Altenglische legenden.
Horstmann, Carl, ed. b. 1851., Barbour, John, d. 1395.

17. De sca Maria Magdalena historia.

Of Mari Maudelayn mai men take [folio 157] *. [Magdalena und Christina fehlen im Ms. Tib.]
Ensaumple, sins forto forsake.
Scho had a sister, hight Martha;
Full nobil wemen war þai twa;
Both war lufed with our lord Jhesus.
A broþer þai had, hight Laȝarus,
Wham Crist raysed when he was ded,
Als es red in ane oþer stede.
Born þai war of gentyll blode
And riche þai war of werldly gude.
And als it es in storise redd,
Þis Mari Maudelayne was wedd
Vnto saynt John þe Ewangeliste.
He left his wife & went with Criste
At þe grete fest of Architrycline,
Whore Crist turned water vnto wyne.
Sum clerkes wil þis purpose halde:
By-cause hir spous was fro hir calde,
Þai say þat was enchesun why
Scho assentid to syn with hir body,
And efterwarde for þat same skill
God granted gretter grace hyr till.
Fro scho had takin hir vnto syn,
Þar might no-man mak hir to blyn;
Til scho was broght in swilk defame,
Þat in þat tyme þai turned hir name:
Mari þe synner, sum cald hir þan,
And sum: Mari þe wikked woman.
Til al þe last god vouched saue
Þat scho suld his forgifnes haue:
He sent his grace hir hert with-in
Forto haue sorow for hir syn.
In Simondes hous when scho herd tell
Þat Crist suld vnto soper dwell,
Scho thoght on what wise scho might wyn
To get forgifnes for hir syn —
For wele scho trowed with-outyn trayne
Þat in hym was all power playne.
In þat cuntre, als clerkis wate,
Þan was þe sun so wunder hate,
Þat, who-so wore walkand þarin,
All þat war bare euyll wold it brin;
Wharfore þe riche men of þat land
Had gude vnement þarfore ordand
Forto enoynt þaire face and fete,
So forto saue þam fro þat hete.
And for scho hopid so Crist to plese,
Vnement broght scho, him to ese.
Scho wald noght wande, if it war dere,
Bot helt it out with hertly chere
Both on his heuid and on his fete,
And wesch þam with hir teris wete,
And sethin scho dried þam with hir hare,
And for hir sins scho wepyd sare.
Crist knew hir menyng more and les:
Þarfore he grauntid hir forgifnes.
And in his lufe so he hir knyt,
Þat þarfro wald scho neuer flit. Page  82
Scho wold noght leue him in no stede,
Bot foloud him right vnto þe ded.
And sethin vnto his graue scho soght
And ful gude vnementes with hir broght,
Fro wurmes hys body forto saue,
And for it suld noght rote in graue.
Þarfore kindenes to hir he kyd
More þan he vnto oþer did:
For, when he rase, als we er lerde,
Vnto hir first he þan aperde,
To mak hir in hir trouth be stabill,
To trow it fast with-outen fabill;
And þan he made hir messangere
Vnto al his appostels dere,
And bad hir tell to lerd and leude
His rising — þus kindnes he scheude.
Þan with þe apostels furth scho dweld,
And euer in halyne(s)scho hir held;
Scho lifd in ful grete deuocioune.
And sethin, efter Cristes ascensioune
When scho had lifde so fourtene ȝere,
Þan bifell on þis manere.
A nobil preste hight Maximyne,
Þat in faith of Cr(i)st was ful fyne;
He was one of þe sexty and two
Þat war wunt with Crist to go.
Saint Peter made him cumandment
To Mary Maudelayne for to tent
And to Lazare, hir brother, alswa
And vnto hyr sister Martha,
With oþer mo of þaire menȝe,
And bad he suld þaire ȝemer be.
Þan was saint Peter made pape of Rome
And chefe curate of cristendome,
And oþer apostels in sere land
Of Cristes passioune went prechand.
Mari Maudelayne with hir menȝe
Dwellid þan in þe land of Jude.
Ful mani folk þore gun scho draw
Forto lif by Cristes lawe.
Þe Jeus þan had ful grete enuy
To hir and to all hir cumpany,
And oft þai cumpast þam omang
Þam to destroy with sorow strang.
And so þai ordand at þe last
Ane olde schip withouten mast,
Withouten are, anker or ani gude
Þat suld fend ogayns þe flode:
And þorein did þai euerilkone
Þat vnto Cristes trouth had tone,
And put þam furth þan to þe se,
So for þai suld sune perist be,
Both with þe felnes of þe flode
And also for defaut of fode.
Bot Crist, for wham þai war exilde,
Wold noght lat þam be bigilde:
Al-if þam wanted mast & sayle,
He sent þam sone gude gouernaile.
So þat þai rafe up in ane Ile,
A high cuntre, þat hight Marcyle.
Þat land knew noght of Cristes lare,
Þarfore þai war noght welkum þare.
Bot sone, when þai war wun to land,
Omong þe folk þai went prechand,
Of Cristes faith fast þai declarid;
Bot no-man toke to þam reward.
With daunger gat þai drink & mete,
Bot herbering þai might none gete.
So was þare standand on a wall
A maumet þat þo men on call,
Als for þaire god to him þai soght;
And ouer him was a pentice wroght,
To couer hym fro weders wete,
And þat was made to þe midftrete.
Þore herberd Mary and hir menȝe
For best socure þat þai kouth se.
Bot when scho saw sune on þe morn
How folk come þat maumet biforn
And soght to him fro sydes sere
Als to þaire god of grete powere
And to him made þai sacrifise:
Þan was scho ful wroth on hir wise,
Furth scho stode with face ful playne
And said, þaire werkes war all in uayne;
With stabill tung to þam scho spak
And þaire law fast gun scho lak;
Of Crist scho prechid al opinly,
And said þaire werk was maumetry.
Hir wurdes war so wisely wroght,
Þat al þe folk grete ferly thoght;
Þai had ferly of hir fairehede
And how scho durst do swilk a dede.
Bot hir wurdes war so swete to here,
Þat many men held hir dedis dere — Page  83
Bot no wunder if þe wurde war swete
Of þe mouth þat kist Cristes fete!
Hir wurdes þarfore war of swilk grace,
Þat mekil pople in þat same place
Vnto hir tales swilk tent þan toke
Þat þaire fals sacrifise þai forsoke;
Sum lerid ful fast of Cristes lay.
And so bifell it opon ane day:
A mighti prince of þat cuntre
Soiorned in þat same cete;
He and his wife war þedir soght
And to þat maumet ofrand broght,
For werldes welth þai hade gude wane
Bot childe bitwix þam had þai nane;
Þat maumet soght þai, for þai wend
Þat he childe suld to þam send —
Þai honord him to þat entent.
And when Mari wist what þai ment,
Ful opinly scho þam reproued,
And diuers maters þore scho moued
Þat in þat maumet might was none
Ne comfort, bot in Crist allone;
Þis proued scho wele by proces playne,
And so scho gert þam turn ogayne.*. [Ms. and st. þat? l. so to ger?]
And on þe night next folowand
Þe prince and his wife lay slepand:
Þan þe Maudelayn, to amend þaire life,
Aperd vnto þe princes wife
And bad scho suld hir erand say
Vnto hir lord þat by hir lay:
Sen werldes welth was to him sent,
Þat he suld better tak entent
To goddes folk, þat þare peryst
Herberles for hunger and thrist,*. [Ms. for herberles st. herberles for.]
And bid him þaire mischef amend
For gods sake þat him al send.
Þe ladi wakkend & wele scho thoght
On þis tale. bot scho tolde it noght
Vnto hir lord, als had bene right. [folio 158]
& þarfore on þat oþer night
Þe Maudelayn vnto hir aperd
And þat same lesson eft hir lerd:
Scho comand hir with wurdes fell
Vnto hir lord þat scho suld tell
Goddes menȝe forto releue,
Or els, scho said, it suld hir greue.
When al þir tales war told hir till,
Scho wakkend, & ȝit held hir still;
To hir it was ful grete affray,
Bot to hir lord scho durst noght say.
Þarfore þe Maudlain was noght fayn;
On þe thrid night scho come ogayn:
Þan scho aperd vnto þam bathe
And spak to þam with wurdes wrathe —
Þe hous was all fulfild of light:
To þam þat was a selkuth sight;
In þaire slepe war þai ful affraid.
And to þe prince al þus scho sayd:
"Slepis þou, terand ful of ire?
A, lym of Satenas, þi sire!
Call þou vp þat nedder kinlyng
Þat I bad suld mi message bring:
Þat es þi wife þat by þe lise,
To wham I cumand on þis wise:
On mi bihalue at tell to þe
Ofe goddes pople to haue pete.
Ȝe welter here with wombes grete,
And þai haue nowþer drink ne mete;
Ȝe lig in forures mani follde,
And þai perisch with windes colde;
Ful mekil beld es ȝow obout,
And goddes folk lat ȝe lig þerout;
In silk and sendell here ȝe slape —
I say ȝe sall noght so eschape,
Bot ful dere sal ȝe both aby
Bot-if ȝe help goddes folk in hy
For his sake þat ȝow al has sent."
When þis was said, oway scho went.
Þe ladi wakkend & wepid sore:
For so ferd was scho neuer byfore.
Þe prince wakind & was euil flayd.
And sune þe ladi vnto him said:
"Sir, saw ȝe noght þis selkuth sight
Þat me has noyed in þis night?"
"Ȝis, sertes, he sais, I saw it wele;
Þarfore ful grete ferdnes I fele.
So selkuth sight haue I noght sene —
I meruail what it may bymene."
Scho said: "sir, þus has me bitid
Two nightes, and þis es þe thrid. Page  84
Ȝone woman þat ligges in þe way
And kens þe folk of Cristes lay,
Vnto vs both scho has declarde
Þat we to hir suld tak rewarde
And (mend) hir menȝe fro mischefe,*. [mend fehlt im Ms.]
Or els it will turn vs to grefe.
And better es, we to hir bowe
And to hir teching þat we trowe,
Þan ger hir god be with us wrath;
For þan we mai noght skape fro skath."
Þe prince said: "so sall be done"
And on þe morn he hasted sone
To pray Mari and hir menȝe
At his hous herberd forto be.
And at his will with him þai ȝede.
Ful faire he ordand þam to fede
With al dayntes þat he might gete.
And euyn als þai sat at þe mete,
Mari was carpand euer of Crist
And diuers maters scho poplist:
"None oþer lord es to a-low,
Ne oþer trowth es none to trow",
And oþer goddes withouten him
Demyd scho al for deuils dym.
Þe prince hir sufferd in hir saw,
Noght all for lufe, bot als for aw.
Fel on a day: so als scho prechid
And Cristes trouth vnto þam techid,
Þe prince lete þan als he wold lere,
And askid Mari on þis manere:
"Troues þou, he sais, þou may defend
Þis cristen trouth þat þou has kend,
And mayntene it in al manere?"
Þan answerd scho with stabil chere:
"I am redi with hert and hend
Þe faith of Crist forto defend.
My mayster, Peter, þe pape of Rome,
Has biden me do efter his dome;
He wil wele mayntene al mi dede.
And þarfore, sir, it es no nede
So straitly of me to enquere
To defend þe law þat I ȝow lere.
I haue herting of heuynli mede,
Þat no doute haue I in mi dede."
Þan þis prince and his gude lady
On þis manere said to Mary:
"If al be trew þat þou here techis,
And þi god of wham þou prechis
War of swilk might & swilk powere
Als þou has told vnto vs here;
And þan þat þou wold of him craue
And help þat we a child might haue:
Þan wold we to þi sawes assent
And to þe turn al our entent."
Mari was of þir wurdes fayne
And þus scho said to þam ogayne:
"Mi god mai do what so him list—
Þar may no might in him be mist.
Vnto him sall I pray for ȝow;
And if ȝe trewly in him trow,
Þan dar I hete þat ȝe sal haue
A child, or els what ȝe wil craue,
Þat may seme vnto ȝoure saul hele."
Þan leuyd þai wele þat scho was lele.
Þai welkumd hire þan, als was wurthi,
Both hir and al hir cumpani;
Ful haly folk þe prince þam held,
And in grete daynte þore þai dweld.
Þan Mari, als scho first had sayd,
Vnto god for þe gude lady praid;
So did Martha and Maximyne
And al hir folk with hertes fine,
Of hir bone to be hir bylde.
And als god wold, scho wex with childe
And grete scho was by way of kinde.
Þan had þe prince grete mirth in mynde.
And purpos plainly taken he has
Þat he wold vnto saint Peter pas
And of hym al haly wit he wold
If tales war trew þat Mari tolde,
And do he wold efter his dome:
Sen he was heuid of cristendome.
Bot when þe lady þus herd tell
Þat hir lord wald no langer dwell
Bot wend he wold sune ouer þe se,
Scho said: "lord, I wil wend with þe;
For no-mans speking wil I spare,
Bot als þou fars, lord, lat me fare!"
Þan said þe prince to hir ogayne:
"Wife, þir wurdes er al in vayne.
Þou mai noght wend so wele als I;
I sall þe say encheson why:
Þou wote how þou es grete with childe,
And þe se es wude and wilde Page  85
With moni stormes & mekill wathe,
Þat vnto þe might sune do scathe;
I wold noght for no werldes gude
Þat þou fore euyl opon þe flude.
And þarfore, gude wife, wun at home
And kepe our catell vnto my come —
So es wele better, þan forto be
In grete perils opon þe see."
Þan fel scho doune vnto his fete
And sore bigan scho forto grete —
Als wemen wil noght sone forsake
Þaire purpos þat þai to wil take —
Sho cried loud: "lord, god forbede
Þat I allone here life suld lede
And þou wend vnto vnkuth land!
Þat was to my hert hard tithand.*. [Ms. was st. war.]
I wil noght let for fa ne frende
Bot whore þou wendes will I wende,
And when þou restes rest sall I,
And when þou rises I am redy;
With þe, lord, will I lif and lend
And tak what grace so god wil send."
Þe gude man saw it was no bute
Ogayns hir wil more forto mote;
He graunted hir with him to gang.
And ordand þam a schip ful strang
And vitaild it with alkins thing
Þat nedeful was to þaire lifing.
To Mari Maudlayne he bitaght
Al þat he weldid of werldly aght;
His eritage and all oþer thing
Putted he vnto hir kepeing.
It was hir will so þat þai two
Suld to hir maister saint Peter go.
Crosses on þaire shulders gan scho schere,
For þat þe deuils suld þam noght dere;
Sho blisced þam with gude entent,
And so vnto þaire ship þai went.
Ful mekil mirth þan made þai two.
Bot efterward wakkind þaire wo.
When þai war sayled so out of sight
Þe space of a day and a night,
Þe wind bigan rudely to rise
And þe see to bolne on wunder wise;
Grete stormes wex with weders wik
And þe wawes went wunder thik.
Al war þai in grete drede to droune, [folio 159]
For ferd þe lady þan fell in swoune;
Ilkone þai war ful will of rede,
Bot scho was moste like to be ded.
So was scho stond with weders wilde,
Þat sone trauaild scho of childe;
Scho sesid noght, fro (s)cho had bygun,
Till scho was deliuerd of a sun.
Bot þan for reuth might hertes riue:
Scho lay ded, and þe childe o-liue.
Þat was a siteful syght to se
And to all gude men grete pete.
Bot þe prince, als no wunder was,
Cryed ful loud allas, allas;
"A, wife, he said, ful wo es me
Þat I þis sight suld on þe se!"
Þe childe soght by cours of kinde
Efter þe fude, þe pap to finde,
Sethin it swelid and turned & tauyd —
Þe fader fel and for reuth raued.
And al-if he had sorows ful sore,
Þe schipmen made his murnyng more
When þai al samyn said þis wurd:
"Þis ded body bus ouer þe burd,
For are will noght þis weder sese" —
Þe knightes care þus þai encrese.
His care was mikill for his wife,
And more for his sun þat had life,
Þe whilk he wist bud nedes dy,
For it had noght left to lif by.
To him þat was a bitter brayd
And to him-self al þus he sayd:
"Allas, cayteff, þou ert bigilde;
Whi couayt þou to haue a childe,
Forto haue liking in þi life?
Now has þou lorn both child & wife.
Þou ȝernid one, and loses two.
Allas for dole, whi did þou so?"
Þe schipmen fast bigan to cry:
"cast ouer þe burd þis dede body,
Els wil þis storm noght sese!" þai said.
Þe knight þan knelid & to þam prayd
Þat þai wold bide a litell space,
To luke if god wold send his grace Page  86
Þe lady vnto life forto restore.
And als þai war so wepeand sore,
Fer in þe se þai saw a playne.
Þan was þe knight ful ferly fayn.
Sune when þai (se) þe soyle was sad(!),*. [Ms. þe seyle (oder soyle) st. se þe yle? oder es fehlt se od. saw.]
Þe weders sesid, and þai war glad.
Þe knight þan prayd & hight þam mede
Vnto þat land him forto lede,
Þat þo bodis might beried be,
Leuer þan sunken in þe se.
And als þe knight praid & cumand,
Þai set þaire schip nere to þe land.
Into a bote þan both þai kepid
Þe bodi and þe child þat wepid —
Þarof þai kouth no better rede;
For faut of fude it bihoued be dede.
Þore fand þai roches hard of stone;
And toles to wirk with had þai none,
So þat þai might mak no graue.
Bot vnder a crag þai fand a kaue:
Þe knight þore laid his mantil doune
And þe ded body þar oboune,
He put þe child vnto þe pap,
And ouer þam laid his mantil lap;
Ful sore he wepid and wrong his hend
And vnto god þam both bikend.
And als he went sore wepand þein,
On Mari Maudlayn gun he him pleyn:
"A, Mari, he said, what moued þe
Þat þou suld cum to my cuntre
With þi wordes so me to plese,
And sethin be caus of mi dissese?
If it had noght þi counsail bene,
Þis grete sorow had neuer (be) sene.*. [Im Ms. fehlt be?]
Whi wold þou prai so for mi wife
To haue a childe and lose hir life?
Allas, þat euer þou met with me!
For all my los es lang on þe.
I was bousom, what þou wald bid,
And grete kindnes to þe I kid
When I þe left bothe land and rent
And for þi wurdes þir wais I went.
And sen I was to þe so kinde,
In þis meschefe of me haue mynde;
And if þi god be of swilk might
Als þou has techid day and night,
Ordayns now so yow bitwene
Þat his might may on me be sene,
And send me cumfort of my care!"
To schip ogayn þan gun he fare.
Þe weders fand þai gude and gayne,
So þat þai raue up in Romayne.
Þe knight sone, when he landid was,
Soght vnto þe papes palas.
And sone, when he come him byforn
And þe pape saw his schulder schorn
With þe takinyng of þe croyce,
Þan askid he him with opyn voyce
In what cuntre he was at home,
And Þe caus whi he þeder come.
Þan said þe knight with sighin sore*. [sighin st. sighing.]
Al on what wise he ferd byfore:
How he was in his awin cuntre
A prince þat gouernd grete pouste,
And how þe Maudelayne with him dweld
And all his gudes in hir handes held,
And how he had thurgh hir counsayl
Takyn hym vnto swilk trauayl:
"And, sir, he said, scho told to me
Þat hir god was of swilk pouste,
Þat he might all men wele releue:
And all es turned me to mischeue."
And þan he tolde of his dede wyue,
And how he left his sun o-lyue
Ligand in þe krag of stone —
"Was neuer man so wil of wone!
Al my liking I leuyd þore" —
And with þo wurdes he wepid sore.
Saint Peter, when he þir wurdes herd,
Ful hendly to him he answerd,
He said: "dere brother, drede þe noght!
Efter wise counsail has þou wroght.
Lat stabyll faith in þe be fest,
And all sal turn þe to þi best.
And wit þou wele, goddes might es more
Þan to leche þi wife þat ligges þore
And when him list rais hir fro slepe,
And þi ȝong sun sauely to kepe;
Oure god may gif life als him list,
For in him may no might be mist, Page  87
Of al sorous mai he socure send,
And al þat es mis may he mend.
Þarfore in trouth luke þou be trew,
And al þi solace sall be new."
Þe knight said: "sir, þat wold I fain."*. [king in knight corr.]
And þan saynt Peter said ogayne:
"Sir, bi þi cros þe Maudlayn mened
To Jerusalem þat þou suld wende:
And þarfore þeder mak þe boun
In mynde of Cristes passioun
And do honure in ilka stede
Whore he sufferd bifore his ded!
I sall wend with þe pase ful playne,
To-tyme þat þou cum heder ogayne:
Þarfore of no thing haue þou drede!"
On þis maner þe knight furth ȝede
To Jerusalem. And when he come þore,
He fand saynt Peter him bifore,
Þat to ilk place playnli him techid
Whore Crist vnto his pople prechid;
And sethin vnto sere place þai went
Whore Crist had sufferd sere turment,
To þe mount, & to many oþer stede,
Whore he apperd efter his ded,
And sethin whore he to heuin ascend,
And whore he sal cum to mak end.
And when he had þir werkis wroght,
To Rome ogayn sadly he soght.
Saint Peter þore redy he fand
And tolde to him al þis tithand,
How he had soght þir places sere.
And in þis space war spend two ȝere.
Þan said þe knight: he wold ful fayn
With þe popes will wend home ogayn.
Saint Peter þe trouth vnto him tolde
And bad him wend, when so he wold.
A schip þan ordand he gude spede
With al thing þat þai of had nede.
And when þai war al redy boun,
Þan toke he þe popes benysoun.
Þai went & wold no langer dwell.
And als god wolld, so it bifell:
By þat ilk ile þaire way was graid
Whore þe knight had his ladi layd.
Þe knight þarto toke ful gude hede
And praid þe schipmen for þaire mede
To set þaire bote vnto þat hill;
And hastily þai wroght his will.
And als þe knight luked to þe land,
He saw a childe sit on þe sand
Nakid & nemely for þe nones
Playand it with precius stones.
And when it saw þe schip cum þore
And had noght sene swilk sight bifore,
For ferd it crepid ful fast oway
To þe mount whore þe moder lay;
It lurked vnder þe mantill lapp
And lay and plaid it with þe pap.
Þe knight it saw and thoght ferly, [folio 160]
And efter it fast he gun him hy.
His wife lay þore als he hir leuyd.
Þe childe up in his hand he heuyd,
He cherist it with lufly chere,
And þan he said on þis manere:
"Blist be þou, Maudelayn, euermare!
I loue þe, lady, and þi lare,
Þat thurgh þi might on þis manere
Has saued þis childe al þies two ȝere.
Dere lady, haue mercy on me,
For maystri es it none to þe
To saue my wife, wele if þou will!
For saint Peter said me vntill
God might warisch mi wife þat slepid".
And als he spak þir wurdes & wepid,
Þe lady wakkind & with him spak —
Ful mekil Joy þan gun he mak.
Sho rase yp right als scho was laid,
And þir wurdes als sone scho sayd:
"I loue þe, Maudelayn, in my minde:
Mekill es þi might omang man-kinde.
Þou was my gide in mi moste grefe
And midwif in moste mischefe;
Mi sun þus has þou saued here,
And went with me al þir two ȝere".
Þan had þe knight liking in life
And loud he sayd: "lifs þou, mi wife?
Sum wurd of gladnes to me gif!"
"Syr, scho sayd, for suthe I lyf.
Fro pilgrimage now com I hame:
Þat þou has done, I did þat same. Page  88
Mi mayster Peter with þe went
And tolde þe to Cristes monument*. [Ms. tolde st. toke?]
And to þe mount & moni a stede
Whore Crist was sene & sufferd ded;
And right als Peter went with þe,
So Mari Maudelayn was with me;
Scho led me into ilka place,
Both fer and nere, folowand ȝoure trace.
And to proue þis suth þat I say:
I wote wele how ȝe wroght alway".
On raw scho rekind les and more
And said: þus did ȝe þore and þore;
So al þe gates þat he had gone
Scho tolde fully, and faylid of none.
Þan was þe knight ful glad & blith
And thankid þe Maudelain monysith.
He toke his wife and ȝong boy
And went to schip with mekill Joy —
Þarfro he went with mekil payn
And with grete mirth he come ogayn.
Þai sayled furth and sune þai come
To Marcyll, whore þai wer at home.
And in þat cete sone þai fand
Þe Maudelayn and hir men precheand:
Fast fell þai doun bifor hir fete
And for gladnes ilkone þai grete.
And sethin þai tolde with trew entent
How þai had wroght ay sen þai went,
How þai had sorous fell to fele
And sethin how þai war cumfort wele.
Þan war þai fayn ilkone in-fere
And thankid god with ful gude chere.
And þus was þis prince and his wife
Trewly turned to cristen life;
Saynt Maximine þam both baptist
And confermid þam in law of Crist;
Þaire ȝong sun also baptist he
And kend him cristen man to be.
In Cristes faith when þai war fest,
Al þaire maumettes doun þai kest,
Þai brak þam doun & did þam schame,
And bigged kirkes in Cristes name.
And Laȝar ordand þai to be
Bisschop in þat same cete,
With prestes and clerkes on sides sere,
To serue to god on gude manere.
So al þe puple turned þai
And conuert þam to Cristes lay.
And sethin, als god turned þaire entent,
Vnto a noþer cete þai went
And turned þe folk to cristen lare,
And Maxymiyne made þai bisschop þare;
And thurgh him was grete vertu schewd
Off Cristes law to lerd and lewd.
Þe prince & his sun and his wife
With ioy and liking led þare lyfe,
In Cristes law ay gun þai lend
And to him went þai at þaire end.

De vita beate Marie Magd. in heremo viuente.

Mari þan gun purpose take
All werldly sight forto forsake.
Scho toke hir leue at more and les
And went allone to wildernes.
Scho fand þare logeing, in to lend,
Þat was ordand with angels hend;
And in þat loge scho lengid allone,
To thritty winters wer all gone.
In al þat tyme scho was vnknawn,
And scho knew no life bot hir awin;
In al þat sesoun none hir soght
Ne nonekins beld vnto (hir) broght.
Of fruit þore had scho no confort,
Ne of herbis had scho no disport,
Ne water was þore none hir nere.
Wharfore men might haue knawing clere
Þat scho was fed with angels fode
Of god, and of none erthely gude.
Euer-ilkaday by oures seuyn
War angels sent to hir fro heuyn;
Þai raysed hir vp into þe ayre
And fed hir þore with fude ful faire;
Ful mekil m(i)rth and solempne sang
Might scho here made þam omang.
More fully was scho so refete
Þan with any erthly drink or mete.
And when þe angels þus had done,
In hir fell þai fet hir sone.
Ful thritty ȝere scho þore habid. Page  89
And on a tyme þan þus bityd:
Ane haly preste had purpose tone
Þat he in wildernes wald lif allone;*. [Ms. wilde mit überschr. rnes. Ms. alkone.]
To þat wildernes gun he pas*. [gun fehlt?]
Whore Mary Maudlain wunand was.
And þore he logid him als him list;
Bot of hir wunyng noght he wist,
For no man might cum to hir place
Ne se it, bot god gaf þam grace.
And opon a day so it byfell,
Als þis ilk preste sat in his sell,
God gaf hym grace to here and se
Sum poyntes of his owin preuete:
He herd a noys and nobil steuyn
Of angels þat war sent fro heuyn.
Þan prayd he god with gude entent
Þat he might wit more what it ment.
Toward þat stede he went in hy
Whore he herd made þat melody.
And als he lukid ogayn þe light,
Ful sone he saw a solempne sight:
Of angels þat fro heuyn descend;
And on þat loge he saw þam lend,
Þai toke vp Mary þam al omang*. [Ms. onang.]
With mynstralsy and meri sang
Into þe ayre, and þore þai last
Vntil ane oure was fully past,
And sethin he saw al hou þai come
With mekill blis & broght hir home,
In hir loge, þan þai hir left.
And sethen he saw þam fetche hir eft
And serue hir on þe same manere.
Þis had he grete liking to lere.
Ner to þat place þe prest him flit,
More of þat werk for he wold wit;
He praid to god with gude entent
More forto wit, and ner he went.
And when he had þe gate all gone
Bot þe space of casting of a stone,
His lims bigan fayntly to fail,
So þat he might no ferr trauail;
And his hert was so affrayd,
Þat home to gang he him puruayd.
And als sone als he turned ogayn,
His lims þan had þare power playn.
And eft he turned toward þat stede:
Þan wex þai waik als þai war ded.
Þis made him meruayld in his mode;*. [Ms. meruayd mit übergeschr. l.]
Bot þarby wele he vnderstode
Þat all þis sight was of godsande:
Þarfore he durst no ferrer fande;
Ful wele he hopid þat mans might
Suld cum no ner to se þat sight.
And fayn he wold þat place haue spied,
Þarfore o ferrom fast he cried:
"On goddes byhalue I coniore þe,
Man or beste, wheþir so þou be,
Or any creature of resoun els,
Þat in þat loge lendis & dwels:
Þat þou speke with me, & þou may,
And þe suth of þi self me say
Þat schews þir wunders on þis wise!"
And when he had rehercid þis thrise:
Mary him answerd on þis manere:
"Cum nerr! scho said, and þou sall here.
Al þat þi hert ȝernis, sal þou haue
And knaw what þou will efter craue".
Grete light he saw bifore hym ferr,
And, als he durst, þan drogh he nerr.
And when he had went half þe way,
He herd a woman þus speke and say:
"Sir, scho said, ne menes þe noght [folio 161]
Of a woman þat wikkedly wroght —
Mari Maudelayn sum name hir wald,
And Mari þe synner sum hir cald;
With sere men was scho serely namid,
For of grete foly was scho defamid.
And sethin hir bitter bale to bete,
With hir teris wesch scho Cristes fete,
Hir sin scho scheud with sorow sare,
And so scho gat forgifnes þare.
Haues þou oght minde of þat woman?"
Þe prest vnto hir answerd þan:
"Ȝa, sertes, he said, I knew hir wele
And of hir dedis I knew sum dele;
And haly kirk of hir mase minde
For ensaumple omang man-kinde;
Euermore sal hir life be kend, Page  90
To gif men will þair mis to mend.
It es now thritty ȝere and more
Sen scho was went, men wote noght whore;
Sethin was scho noght sene in no stede,
Þarfore men demes þat scho es dede".
Þan said Mary: "I am þat same.
So lang I haue bene here at hame,
Gouerned wele thurgh goddes might,
And fere out of all erthly sight,
With cumpany of angels clene:
Als þi-self sumdele has sene,
How þai heue me vp in þe ayre*. [Ms. heue oder haue?]
And fedes me þore with fode ful faire,
With mirth þat no-man mesure mai.
So do þai seuyn oures ilka day.
Now am I warned thurgh goddes will
Þat cours of kinde I sal fulfill,
To wend out of þis werldly life
And wun in welth with-outen strife.
Þarfore mine erand sal þou wende
Vnto saynt Maximyne, mi frende,
Þat es bisschop of Aquens cete,
And say him þis message fro me:
All of þe sight þat þou has sene,
And tel him þus ȝow two bitwene:
On pase-day next for any thing,
When men redes of Cristes rising,
When he has sayd solempne seruise
Bid hym wirk þan on þis wise:
Wend him-allone, or it be day,
To þe place whore he vses to pray,
And sai him þat, when he cums þore,
He sall find me þan him bifore:
Þan sal I tell him mine entent.
Go, say him þus how I þe sent!"
Þe prest had ferly of all þis fare;
Him thoght als it ane angel ware
Þat spak to him on þis manere:
So was þe voice heuynly and clere.
Bot on þo wurdes ful wele he thoght
And to cete sone he soght
Whore Maximyne was bischop in.
And sone, when he might to him wyn,
He haylsid him with wurdes hende
And sone he tolde him tale till ende*. [Ms. him st. his?]
How he had with Maudlayn met
And how scho him so gudely grett,
And furth he tolde þam two bitwene
Of þe sightes þat he had sene.
When Maximyne had herd þis tale,
Him thoght his hert was neuer so hale;
And so fayn was he of þat fare,
Þat so grete Joy had he neuer are;
He loued god with ful gude entent
Þat swilk fande vnto him was sent.
For al men wend in ilka stede
Þat þe Maudlayn had bene dede;
Þarfore þe bisschop was ful glad
Þat he of hir swilk tythinges had.
Þe preste þore still with him he held
And to þat tyme graythly þai teld.
And when it come to þat sesoun,
Þe tyme of Cristes Resureccioun,
Saint Maximyne with hert ful light
Was in his prayers al þat night,
And efter midnyght þai puplist
Þe resurreccioun of Jhesu Crist.
And when þat seruis was aldone,
To his chapell he went allone.
And, als þe prest had told bifore,
Þe Maudelayn fand he redi þore,
With faire cumpani, als him thoght,
Of angels þat hir þeder broght,
And euer him thoght scho stode þat stound
Two cubites heght vp fro þe grounde;
Hir hend scho held up to þe heuyn,
Prayand to god with stabil steuyn.
Þe bisschop saw þis sight o ferr,
And for drede durst he noght cum ner —
In hert he was sumdele affraid.
And sone þe Maudelayn to him sayd:
"Fader, cum ner and speke with me!
Whi suld þou fro þi doghter fle?"
Þo wurdes ful mekil amend his chere
And, als he durst, he drogh hir nere.
Hir face to luke on was so light
And so schineand vnto his sight:
Hym thog(ht) he might luke langer space
On þe suns beme þan on hir face. Page  91
"A, ladi, he sayd, ful wele es me
Þat I þis semeli sight mai se!
I wend þou had bene ded forlang,
Now wote I wele my wit was wrang.
I loue þe, lady, loud and still,
And boun I am to wirk þi will".
Scho said: "my mayster Maximyne,
In faith luke þou be fast and fyne
And trewly trow, I am þat same
Þat was cristend in Cristes name,
Þat gat forgifnes thurgh his grace,
And wund with þe a sertan space;
And sen-tyme þat we two gun twin,
Wildernes I haue wund in
More þan þe space of thretti ȝere,
With cumpany of angels clere:
Þai haue me fed with angels fode
And susstaynd me with gastly gude.
Now am I warned þat I sall wende
Vnto þe welth with-outen ende.
And for þat caus I cum to þe,
Of þi hand howsild forto be,
And my body in erth to bring —
I ask of þe none oþer thing".
Þe bisschop þan ful hastily
Gert call togeder al his clergy
With þe prest þat þe bodwurd broght.
And when þai war al samyn soght,
He broght þe solempne sacrament,
And scho toke it with gude entent.
And with ful mekil deuocioune
Þan on þe ground scho laid hir doune
Lukeand to heuyn, and so in haste
Vnto god scho gaffe hir gaste.
Þe angels went with bemis light
Bereand it up to heuyn on hight.
In þat stede was ful nobil smell,
Swetter þan ani tung might tell,
And þat swettnes lasted always
More þan þe space of seuyn days.
Þe bisschop berid hir body,
With wirschip, als it was wurthi,
And ordand, when he suld be dede,
To beri him-self in þat same stede,
Þat þai in ded might samyn lend
Als þai in life war frendes kend.
Sethin at hir graue grete ferlis fell,
Als men may in sere storis tell. —
Of hir we suld ensaumple take,
Þat sinful er, sins to forsake
And with penance amend our mis
And kepe vs klene and cum to blis
And lend in life þat lastes ay —
God wis vs forto wend þat way!
Sant Maximyne lifde efter still
An(d) sethin he died at goddes will.
His body was enterd right þore
Als him-self had ordand bifore.
Bot efter þe dede of saynt Maximyne
Was þat pople put vnto grete pine:
Payenis come to þat cuntre
And destroyd all þat same cete
Whore Mari Maudelayn lai in graue.
Bot sethin, als god vouched saue,
Efter Cristes ascension fell it syne
Seuyn hundreth ȝere fourty & nyne,
In tyme of Charls, þe nobil king,
Þan bifell þis ferly thing:
A duke in Burgoyne was dwelland,
Þat had lordschips in moni a land;
He had a lady meke and milde,
Bot bitwix þam þai had no childe.
Oft prayd þai god with hert & hend
Þat he a childe suld to þam send.
To do almus þe duke was glad
Til þat he hopid mister had;
Mynsters made he mani one
And kirkes les(!) of lyme and stone.*. [Ms. les st. als?]
Oft herd he tell bi proces playne
Grete might of Mari Maudelayne;
Þarfore to hir oft gun he pray,
And for hir made he ane abbay,
With monkes, forto rede and sing,
And ane abbot þare ouerling,
To gouern þam in gude degre.
And on a night warned was he [folio 162]
Þat þe Maudlayn graue suld be soght
And hir bones suld be þeder broght.
On þe morn he toke with gude entent
Þe counsail of þe hale couent. Page  92
And hastili þai ordand þen
One of þaire monkes and oþer men
And bad þai suld let for no spens
To seke to þe cete of Aquens:
If þai might find þe Maudlayn graue
And hir relikis þore forto haue,
To bring þam home both more and les,
To be wirschiped, als wurthy es.
Þan þis ilk monk and his menȝe
Soght vnto þat same cete.
Þai fand it wasted and all destroid
With payenis þat þe pople noyed.
Bot, als god þan wold it wore,
A toumb of marble fand þai þore
And writen it with letters playne
Þat þore lay Mary Maudelayne.
Bot þai durst noght touche it þat tyde
For hathen folk þat þam asspide.
Bot on þat night wele war þai lerd:
Þe Maudelayn to þat monk aperd:
Scho bad him he suld haue no drede
Bot, als he thoght, do furth his dede;
Ful wele scho hight him forto were,
Þat no-thing suld vnto þam dere.
Þan þis monk was wunder glad
Þat he of hir so gude herting had.
And al þat oþer night þai wuke
And al þo relikes vp þai toke.
Þai closid þam in cases clene
And furth þai went, & war noght sene.
And so fel, when þai come þat while
Fro þaire Abbay bot half a mile:
Þe relikis wold no ferrer flyt,
And whi it was þai kouth noght wit.
Sum left þai þore, þam forto tent,
And sum vnto þe abbay went;
Þai told þe abbot al þis tale.
And he ordand by counsail hale
To wend with fare processioune*. [fare-faire.]
And bring þo relikes so to toune.
When þai on þis wise ordand ere,
Þai war þan ful light to bere.
To þe abbay war þo relikes broght,
And grete wirschip was to þam wroght.
And sethin war scheud in þat Abbay
Ful mony miracles ilka day,
Of seke men þat war sore bistad,
And al folk helid þat mister had.
And noght allone for þe life space,
Bot vnto ded men did scho grace
And gastly gert scho þam be hale,
Als men may se by ane schort tale.
In þat land þan lifd a knyght
Þat lufd Maudlayn with al his might;
Euer-ilk ȝere ones to hir he soght
And grete wirschip vnto hir wroght.
And sethin bifell him in a stede
Sudaynli forto be dede
With-outen schrift or howsell tane.
Þarfore his frendes war will of wane.
His kinred and his frendes dere
Toke þe body vp on a bere,
Vnto biriell it forto bring.
And þus þai said in þaire sorowing:
"A, Mari Maudlain, mekil of might,
Whi has þou þus sufferd þi knight,
Þat to þi seruis ai was swift,
To dy with-outen housil & schrift?
Þou might wele, & it war þi will,
Haue ordand better hap him till".
Þan sudanly with-outen more
He, þat lay ded lang time bifore,
Turned to life omang þam all,
And bad þam a prest to him call.
He schraue him with gude entent
And sethin resayued his sacrament.
And when he had on þis wise done,
Doun he lay and died als sone.
His frendes þan war ferly fayne
And loued al Mari Maudelayne,
Þat dose swilk socure in sere stede
Both vnto quik and vnto dede.
Now god, þat al þir mightes mase
And vnto Maudlayn gaf swilk grace
In erth here to forsake hir syn
And sethin to endles welth to win,
Vnto his kingdom he vs ken,
Thurgh prayer of Maudlayn! Amen.