Altenglische legenden.
Horstmann, Carl, ed. b. 1851., Barbour, John, d. 1395.
Page  [265]

6. De Erkenwalde. (S. Erkenwald tauft einen Leichnam). aus Ms. Harl. 2250, fol. 72b. (Westnördl. Dialect.)

In halt. Bald nach der Bekehrung der Sachsen durch S. Augustin wird beim Neubau des "S. Paul's Münsters", des alten Heidentempels "Triapolitan", in London, dem "neuen Troja" der Heidenzeit, ein wunderschönes steinernes Grab gefunden, mit seltsamen goldenen Zeichen geziert, die Niemand lesen kann. Auf die Kunde hiervon strömt ganz London herbei. Der Maire befiehlt das Grab zu öffnen: da findet man einen Leichnam, königlich geschmückt, in reichem goldumsäumten Gewande, mit Krone und Scepter, und, seltsam, alles unversehrt, den Leichnam noch rosig und frisch wie schlafend. Aber Niemand kennt ihn, der doch erst vor kurzem gestorben scheint. Der Fund wird dem Bischofe Londons, S. Erkenwald, der gerade zur Visi|tation einer Abtei in Essex weilt, gemeldet. Er eilt herbei, schliesst das Grab ab und verbringt die Nacht im Gebet zu Gott, das Geheimniss zu lösen. Am andern Morgen singt er das Hochamt vor allem Volke und geht dann zum Grabe. Der Dechant berichtet wie man vergeblich 7 Tage lang die Todtenregister durchsucht, um ūber den Todten Auskunft zu finden; aber Erkenwald weist auf die Allmacht Gottes, der die Räthsel lösen könne, tritt dann an den Leichnam und heisst ihn in Christi Namen sagen, wer er sei. Dieser antwortet, dass er kein Kaiser oder König, sondern ein Richter im "neuen Troja" gewesen, vor vielen vielen Jahren, 1033 Jahre vor Chr. G., 482 Jahre nach Brutus' Erbauung der Stadt, unter der Regierung des Bretonenkönigs Belin. Auf die Frage, warum er denn Krone und Scepter trage, antwortet er: weil er ein gerechter Richter gewesen, der nicht nach dem Ansehen der Person, nicht um Lohn oder Lob gerichtet, darum habe ihn das "neue Troja" königlich geehrt, als den König der Richter. Der Bischof fragt ihn dann, warum sein Gewand, seine Farbe so frisch und unversehrt geblieben; er erwiedert, der himmlische König der Gerech|tigkeit habe ihn so auszeichnen wollen, weil er Gerechtigkeit geübt. "Aber wo ist deine Seele, wenn du so gerecht warst?" Da stöhnt der Todte und spricht zu Gott: "O mächtiger Schöpfer, wie konntest du deine Gnade mir zuwenden, da ich ein Heide, unkundig deines Gesetzes? Ach, ich gehörte nicht zur Schaar der Erlösten, da du zur Hölle fuhrst und sie befreitest! Da wohne ich noch, im Dunkel des Todes, weil die Taufe und der Glaube mich nicht geheiligt. Ach, was helfen mir nun meine guten Werke?" Alle weinen, die das hören; der Bischof schluchzt lange, wortlos; endlich spricht er unter strömenden Thränen: "Wollte Gott, dass du lebtest bis ich Wasser geholt und es auf dich aufgegossen mit den Worten: Ich taufe dich im Namen des Vaters, Sohnes und heil. Geistes!" Während er so spricht, siehe da tropfen die Thränen auf das Grab und eine fällt auf des Todten Antlitz. "Nun preise ich Gott", so spricht er, "und danke dir, o Bischof, da die Worte, die du gesprochen, und die Thräne, die du vergossen, meine Taufe geworden; ein himmlischer Lichtstrahl hat in den Abgrund geschienen und meine Seele emporgehoben, dass ich nun sitze am himmlischen Mahle". Und plötzlich verstummt er, der Leichnam verweste, das eitle sterbliche Theil zerfiel. Page  266

Diese Legende gehört zu der Gruppe der westnördlichen alliterirenden (grossen|theils ungereimten) Dichtungen der 2. Hälfte des 14. Jhdts, wie Troy Book, Morte Arthur, Gawayne, Alliter. Poems ed. Morris, Susanne u. a., denen von anderer Seite schottischer Ursprung (als Werke des schottischen Dichters Huchowne) vindicirt wird. Skeat in seinem Verzeichniss der alliterirenden Dichtungen führt diese Legende nicht auf und scheint sie also nicht gekannt zu haben; vgl. An Essay on Allit. Poetry, by W. Skeat. Der Stil hat den Character des Grossartigen und Erhabenen, in den Formen und im Geiste der angelsächsischen Poesie, deren künstliche Wiederbelebung die spätern alliterirenden Dichtungen erzeugt hat.

At Londone in Englonde, noȝt fulle longe sythene
Sythene Crist suffride one crosse & cristendome stablyde,
Ther was a byschop in þat burghe, blessyd & sacryd:
Saynt Erkenwolde, as I hope, þat holy mon hatte.
In his tyme in þat tone þe temple aldergrattyst*. [Ms. ton,]
     5
Was drawene done, þat one dole to dedifie new,*. [Ms. don mit Abbr. für e, = toun doun.]*. [dole = dale part. dedifie = edifie, zur Allitter., wie v. 23 u. daungerde = angerde 320.]
For hit hethene had bene in Hengyst dawes,
Þat þe Saxones vnsaȝt hadene sende hyder.*. [vnsaȝt dissatisfied.]
Þai bete oute þe Bretons & broȝt hom in-to Wales,
& peruertyd alle þe pepul þat in þat place dwellide.
     10
Þene wos this reame renaide mony ronke ȝeres,
Til saynt Austyne in-to Sandewiche was sende fro þe pope:*. [renaide = renegade, disbelieving, so M. Arth. 2913, 3572, 3892.]
Þen prechyd he here þe pure faythe & plantyd þe trouthe
& conuertyd alle þe communnates to cristendame newe.
He turnyd temples þat tyme þat temyd to þe deuelle,
     15
& clansyd hom in Cristes nome & kyrkes home callid,
He hurlyd owt hor ydols & hade hym in sayntes,*. [hym acc. pl. (sonst hom).]
& chaungit cheuely hor nomes & chargit home better:
Þat ere was of Appolyne, is now of saynt Petre,
Mahone to saynt Margrete oþer to Maudelayne,
     20
Þe Synagoge of þe sonne was sett to oure lady,
Jubiter & Jono to Jhesu oþer to James.
So he home dedifiet & dyght alle to dere halowes,
Þat ere wos sett of Sathanas in Saxones tyme.
Now þat Londone is neuenyd, hatte "þe new Troie" —
     25
Þe metropol & þe mayster-tone hit euermore has bene.
Þe mecul mynster þerinne a maghty deuel aght,
& þe title of þe temple bitan was his name,
For he was dryghtyne derrest of ydols praysid;
And þe solempnest of his sacrifices in Saxone londes,
     30
Þe thrid temple hit wos tolde of Triapolitanes —
By alle Bretaynes bonkes were bot othire twayne. —
Now of þis Augustynes art is Erkenwolde bischop
At loue Londone tone, & the laghe teches,*. [loue great, immense, vgl. lawe Troy B. 2441 (leue ib. 12555).]Page  267
Syttes semely in þe sege of saynt Paule mynster,
     35
Þat was þe temple Triapolitan, as I tolde are.
Þene was hit abatyd & beten done, & buggyd efte new,
A noble note for þe nones, & new werke hit hatte.
Mony a mery masone was made þer to wyrke,
Harde stones for to hewe wt eggit toles;
     40
Mony grubber in grete þe grounde for to seche,
Þat þe fundement one fyrst shuld þe fote halde.
& as þai makkyde & mynyde, a meruayle þai foundene,
As ȝet in crafty cronecles is kydde þe memorie:
For as þai dyȝt & dalfe so depe in-to þe erthe,
     45
Þai foundene fourmyt one a flore a ferly faire toumbe.
Hit was a throghe of thykke stone, thryuandly hewene,
Wt gargeles garnysht aboute, alle of gray marbre;
Thre sperlis of þe spelunke þat spradde hit o lofte*. [Ms. sperlis od. spertis?]
Was metely made of þe marbre & menskefully planede;
     50
& þe bordure enbelicit wt bryȝt golde lettres —
Bot roynyshe were þe resones þat þer one row stodene.
Fulle verray were þe vigures. þer auisyde hom mony,
Bot alle muset hit to mouthe & quat hit mene shulde.*. [to mouthe to speak.]
Mony clerke in þat clos, wt crownes ful brode,*. [Ms. clerkis?]
     55
Þer besiet hom aboute noȝt, to brynge home in wordes.
Quen tithynges tokene to þe tone of þe toumbe-wonder,
Mony hundrid hende mene highide þider sone.
Burgeys boghit þer-to, bedels ande othire,*. [boghit went v. boȝen.]
& mony a mesters mon of maners dyuerse;
     60
Laddes laftene hor werke & lepene þiderwardes,
Ronnen radly in route wt ryngande noyce.
Þer commene þider of alle kynnes so kenely mony,
Þat as alle þe worlde were þider walon wt-in a honde-quile.
Quen þe maire wt his meynye þat meruaile aspied,
     65
By assent of þe sextene þe sayntuare þai keptene,
Bede vnlouke þe lidde & lay hit byside:
Þai wolde loke one þat lome quat lengyd wt-Inne.
Wyȝt werke-men wt þat wenten þer-tille,
Putten prises þer-to, pinchid one vnder,
     70
Kaghtene by þe corners wt crowes of yrne,
And, were þe lydde neuer so large, þai laide hit by sone.
Bot þen wos wonder to wale one wehes þat stodene*. [wehe,]
That myȝt not come to to knowe a quontyse strange—
So was þe glode wt-in gay, al wt golde payntyde.*. [glode = clyde plaister?]
     75
& a blisfulle body opone þe bothum lyggid,
Araide one a riche wise in rialle wedes:
Al wt glisnande golde his gowne wos hemmyd, Page  268
Wt mony a precious perle picchit þer-one;
& a gurdille of golde bigripide his mydelle;
     80
A meche mantel one lofte wt menyuer furrit,
Þe clothe of camelyne ful clene, wt cumly bordures;
& one his coyfe wos kest a coroun ful riche,*. [coyfe hier = Kopf.]
& a semely septure sett in his honde.
Als wemles were his wedes wt-outen any teiche,*. [teiche, sranz. tache = fault, wie teche Allit. P. B 1230, teccheles Troy B. 917.]
     85
Oþer of moulynge oþer of motes oþir moght fretene,
& als bryȝt of hor blee in blysnande hewes,*. [Ms. hȳ = hyn, in.]
As þai hade ȝepely in þat ȝorde bene ȝisturday shapene;
& als freshe hyn þe face & the ffleshe nakyde —
Bi his eres & bi his hondes þat openly shewid,
     90
Wt ronke rode as þe rose, & two rede lippes,*. [rode, rubor.]
As he in sounde sodanly were slippide opone slepe.*. [sounde, sanitas, so Gaw. 2488.]
Þer was spedeles space to spyr vsch one oþer*. [Ms. vschon st. vch on.]
Quat body hit myȝt be þat buried wos ther;
How longe had he þer layne, his lere so vnchaungit
     95
& al his wede vnwemmyd, þus ylka weghe askyd.*. [weghe, man, person (ags. wiga warrier).]
"Hit myȝt not be bot suche a mone in myde stode longe;
He has bene kynge of þis kithe, as couthely hit semes.
He lyes doluene þus depe, hit is a derfe wonder."
Bot summe segge couthe say þat he hym sene hade —
     100
Bot þat ilke note wos noght, for nourne none couthe,
Noþer by title ne tokene ne by tale noþer
Þat euer wos breuyt in burghe ne in boke notyde,*. [Ms. boko st. bokis?]
Þat euer mynnyd suche a mone, more ne lasse.*. [Ms. more st. mone?]
Þe bodeworde to þe byschop was broght one a quile,
     105
Of þat buriede body al þe bolde wonder.
Þe primate wt his prelacie was partyd fro home:
In Esex was ser Erkenwolde, ane abbay to visite.
Tulkes toldene hyme þe tale wt troubulle in þe pepul,
And suche a cry aboute a cors crakit euer more.
     110
The bischop sende hit to blynne, by bedels & lettres,
Ande buskyd þiderwarde by tyme one his blonke after.*. [blonke = (white)horse; dass. bez. meere 114.]
By þat he come to þe kyrke kydde of saynt Paule,
Mony hym mettene on þat meere, þe meruayle to telle.
He passyd in-to his palais & pes he comaundit,
     115
& deuoydit fro þe dede & ditte þe durre after. —
Þe derke nyȝt one drofe & day-belle ronge:
And ser Erkenwolde was vp in þe vghtene ere þene,*. [vghten morning.]
Þat welneghe al þe nyȝt hade naityd his houres,*. [Ms. nattyd st. naityd, isl. njota, to use, ply.]
To biseche his souerayne of his swete grace Page  269
     120
To vouche safe, to reuele hym hit by a vis(i)one or elles:
"Þaghe I be vnworthi", al wepande he sayde,
Thurghe his deere debonerte, "digne hit, my lorde,
In confirmynge þi cristen faithe fulsene me to kenne*. [fulsene = filsyn fulsten to aid.]
Þe mysterie of þis meruaile þat mene opone wondres!"
     125
& so longe he grette after grace, þat he graunte hade:
Ane ansuare of þe holy goste. & afterwarde hit dawid.
Mynster-dores were makyd opone, quene matens were songene:
Þe byschop hym shope solemply to synge þe heghe-masse.
Þe prelate in pontificals was prestly atyride,
     130
Manerly wt his ministres þe masse he begynnes
Of sp(iritu)s d(o)m(ini) for his spede one sutile wise,
Wt queme questis of þe quere, wt ful quaynt notes.
Mony a gay grete lorde was gedrid to herkene hit,
As þe rekenest of þe reame repairene þider ofte.*. [reken noble, worthy.]
     135
Tille cessyd was þe seruice & sayde þe later ende:
Þene heldyt fro þe autere alle þe heghe gynge.*. [heldyt v. helden to bend to, to go. gyng company (so in Troy B., Allit. P.).]
Þe prelate passide one þe playne — þer plied to hym lordes —
As riche reuestid as he was, he rayked to þe toumbe.
Mene vnclosid hym þe cloyster wt clustrede keies—
     140
Bot pyne wos wt þe grete prece þat passyd hyme after.
The byschop come to þe burynes, him barones besyde,
Þe maire wt mony maȝti mene & macers before hyme.
Þe dene of þe dere place deuysit al one fyrst
Þe fyndynge of þat ferly, wt fynger he mynte:
     145
"Lo, lordes", quaþ þat lede, "suche a lyche here is,
Has layne lokene here one loghe, how longe, is vnknawene,*. [loghe altnord. lagr = pit, deep, so All. P. B. 366.]
& ȝet his colour & his clothe has caȝt no defaute
Ne his lire, ne þe lome þat he is layde Inne.
Þer is no lede opone lyfe of so longe age
     150
Þat may mene in his mynde þat suche a mone regnyd,
Ne noþer his nome ne his note nourne of one speche;
Queþer mony porer in þis place is putte into graue*. [queþer tamen.]
Þat merkid is in oure martilage his mynde for euer.
& we haue oure librarie laitid þes longe seuene dayes,
     155
Bot one clucle of þis kynge cone we neuer fynde.*. [clucle = clutch (l. cluche?).]
He has non layne here so longe, to loke hit by kynde,
To malte so out of memorie, bot meruayle hit were."
"Þou says soþe", quaþ þe segge þat sacrid was byschop;
"Hit is meruaile to mene, þat mountes to litelle
     160
Towarde þe prouidens of þe prince þat paradis weldes,
Quene hym luste to vnlouke þe lefte of his myȝtes.
Bot quene matyd is monnes myȝt & his mynde passyde Page  270
And al his resons are to-rent & redeles he stondes,
Þene lettis hit hym ful litelle to louse wyt a fynger
     165
Þat alle þe hondes vnder heuen halde myȝt neuer;
Þere as creatures crafte of counselle oute swarues,
Þe comforthe of þe creatore byhoues þe cure take.
& so do we now oure dede, deuyne we no fyrre —
To seche þe sothe at oure-selfe, ȝee se þer no bote —
     170
Bot glow we alle opone godde & his grace aske,*. [glow, T. B. glogh = to gaze, blicken.]
Þat careles is of counselle & comforthe to sende.
& þat in fastynge of ȝour faithe & of fyne bileue
I shal auay ȝow so verrayly of vertues his,*. [auaye frz. avoier, to show, so in All. P. B. 1311, 1358.]
Þat ȝe may leue vpone longe þat he is lord myȝty
     175
& fayne ȝour talent to fulfille, if ȝe hym frende leues".
Thene he turnes to þe toumbe & talkes to þe corce,
Lyftande vp his eghe-lyddes he loused suche wordes:
"Now, lykhame, þat þou lies layne þou no lenger!
Sythene Jhesus has iuggit to-day his ioy to be schewyde,
     180
Be þou bone to his bode, I bydde in his behalue;
As he was bende one a beme, quene he his blode schedde,
As þou hit wost wyterly & we hit wele leuene,
Ansuare here to my sawe, councele no trouthe!
Sithene we wot not qwo þou art, witere vs þi-selwene,
     185
In worlde quat weghe þou was & quy þow þus ligges,
How longe þou has layne here & quat laghe þou vsyt,
Queþer art þou ioyned to ioy oþer iuggid to pyne?"
Quene þe segge hade þus sayde & syked þer-after,
Þe bryȝt body in þe burynes brayed a litelle,
     190
& wt a drery dreme he dryues owte wordes
Þurghe sum lant goste, lyfe of hyme þat al redes:*. [lant, auch 272, = lent, vgl. lanteȝ All. P. B. 348.]
"Bisshop", quaþ þis ilke body, "þi boode is me dere,
I may not bot boghe to þi bone for bothe myne eghene:
To þe name þat þou neuenyd has & nournet me after
     195
Al heuene & helle heldes to & erthe bitwene.
Fyrst to say the þe sothe quo my-selfe were:
One þe vnhapnest hathel þat euer one erthe ȝode,*. [vnhapnest v. vnhappen unfortunate All. P. B. 573. hathel a noble, man.]
Neuer kynge ne cayser ne ȝet no knyȝt nothyre,
Bot a lede of þe laghe þat þene þis londe vsit.*. [lede ags leód = man, person.]
     200
I was committid & made a mayster-mone here
To sytte vpone sayd causes; þis cite I ȝemyd,
Vnder a prince of parage of paynymes laghe,
& vche segge þat him sewide, þe same faythe trowid.
Þe lengthe of my lyuing here þat is a lewid date,*. [Ms. nōmbre, wie 289.]
     205
Hit (is) to meche to any mone to make of a noumbre:*. [is fehlt im Ms.]Page  271
After þat Brutus þis burghe had buggid one fyrste
Noȝt bot fife hundred ȝere þer aghtene wontyd,
Before þat kynned ȝour Criste by cristene acounte
A þousande ȝere & þritty mo & ȝet threnene aght.*. [þrenene 3, vgl. þrynne All. P. B. 606, 1727.]
     210
I was ane heire of anoye in þe new Troie*. [heire = here, a man, person T. B.; heire of anoye, ein gefürchteter Herr; vgl. noye T. B. 3701.]
In þe regne of þe riche kynge þat rewlit vs þene,
The bolde Bretone ser Belyne, ser Berynge was his brothire —
Mony one was þe busmare bodene home bitwene
For hor wrakeful werre, quil hor wrathe lastyd.
     215
Þene was I iuge here enioynyd in gentil lawe".
Quil he in spelunke þus spake, þer sprange in þe pepulle
In al þis worlde no worde, ne wakenyd no noice,
Bot al as stille as þe stone stodene & listonde,
With meche wonder forwrast, & wepid ful mony.
     220
The bisshop biddes þat body: "biknowe þe cause,
Sithene þou was kidde for no kynge, quy þou þe croun weres?
Quy haldes þou so heghe in honde þe septre
& hades no londe of lege men, ne life ne lyme aghtes?"
"Dere ser", quaþ þe dede body, "deuyse þe I thenke.*. [deuyse hier = describe, wie All. P. A. 99, 984.]
     225
Al was hit neuer my wille þat wroght þus hit were.
I wos deputate & domesmane vnder a duke noble,
& in my power þis place was putte al-to-geder:
I iustifiet þis ioly toun one gentil wise
& euer in fourme of gode faithe, more þene fourty wynter.
     230
Þe folke was felouse & fals & frowarde to reule —
I hent harmes ful ofte, to holde home to riȝt;
Bot for wothe ne wele ne wrathe ne drede
Ne for maystrie ne for mede ne for no monnes aghe
I remewit neuer fro þe riȝt by resone myne awene
     235
For to dresse a wrange dome, no day of my lyue,
Declynet neuer my consciens for couetise one erthe
In no gynful iugement no iapes to make;
Were a renke neuer so riche, for reuerens sake,
Ne for no monnes manas ne meschefe ne routhe,
     240
None gete me fro þe heghe gate to glent out of ryȝt,*. [glent = glide, slip, fall, wie All. P. A. 631. sonst = gleam, glitter (Sk. glent glint).]
Als ferforthe as my faithe confourmyd myn hert.
Þaghe had bene my fader bone, I bede hym no wranges,*. [bone = bane murderer.]
Ne fals fauour to my fader, þaghe felle hyme be hongyt.
& for I was ryȝtwis & rekene & redy of þe laghe:
     245
Quene I deghed, for dul denyed alle Troye,*. [denyed = dinned resounded.]
Alle menyd my dethe, þe more & the lasse.
& þus to bounty my body þai buriet in golde, Page  272
Claddene me for þe curtest þat courte couthe þen holde,
In mantel for þe mekest & monlokest one benche,
     250
Gurdene me for þe gouernour & graythist of Troie,
Furrid me for þe fynest of faithe me wt-inne,
For þe honour of myne honeste of heghest enprise
Þai coronyd me þe kidde kynge of kene iustises
Þat euer wos tronyd in Troye oþer trowid euer shulde,*. [Ms. þer st. þat.]
     255
And for I rewardid euer riȝt, þai raght me the septre".
Þe bisshop baythes hym ȝet wt bale at his hert:*. [baythes = asks? Gaw. baythe = consent, grant 1404, 1840, 327.]
Þaghe men menskid him so, how hit myȝt worthe
Þat his clothes were so clene. "In cloutes, me thynkes,
Hom burde haue rotid & bene rent in rattis longe sythene.*. [rattes = rags.]
     260
Þi body may be enbawmyd, hit bashis me noght,
Þat hit thar ryue ne rote ne no ronke wormes(!);*. [ryue od. ryne? vor no fehlt fede?]
Bot þi coloure ne þi clothe I know in no wise
How hit myȝt lye by monnes lore & last so longe".
"Nay, bisshop", quaþ þat body, "enbawmyd wos I neuer,
     265
Ne no monnes counselle my clothe has kepyd vnwemmyd,
Bot þe riche kynge of resone, þat riȝt euer alowes*. [alow reward.]
& loues al þe lawes lely þat longene to trouthe,
& more he menskes mene for mynnynge of riȝtes*. [Ms. moste st. more.]
Þen for al þe meritorie medes þat men one molde vsene.
     270
& if renkes for riȝt þus me arayed has,
He has lant me to last, þat loues ryȝt best".
"Ȝea, bot sayes þou of þi saule", þen sayd þe bisshop,
"Quere is ho stablid & stadde, if þou so streȝt wroghtes?
He þat rewardes vche a renke as he has riȝt seruyd
     275
Myȝt euel forgo the to gyfe of his grace summe brawnche,
For as he says in his sothe psalmyde writtes:*. [skelton v. skelt = hasten run, so in Allit. P. B. 1554.]
Þe skilfulle & þe vnskathely skeltone ay to me.
Forþi say me of þi soule, in sele quere ho wonnes,
And of þe riche restorment þat raȝt hyr oure lorde".
     280
Þen hummyd he þat þer lay, & his hedde waggyd,
& gefe a gronynge ful grete, & to godde sayde:
"Maȝty maker of mene, thi myghtes are grete!
How myȝt þi mercy to me amounte any tyme?
Nas I a paynym vnpreste þat neuer thi plite knewe
     285
Ne þi mesure of þi mercy ne þi mecul vertue?
Bot ay a freke faitheles þat faylid þi laghes,*. [freke man, ags. freca warrior.]
Þat euer þou, lord, wos louyd in? Allas, þe harde stoundes!
I was none of þe noumbre þat þou wt noy boghtes,
Wt þe blode of thi body vpone þe blo rode;
     290
Quene þou herghedes helle-hole & hentes hom þer-oute,
Þi loffynge, oute of limbo, þou laftes me þer.*. [Ms. ne st. me.]Page  273
& þer sittes my soule þat se may no fyrre,
Dwynande in þe derke dethe, þat dyȝt vs oure fader,
Adam, oure alder, þat ete of þat appulle
     295
Þat mony a plyȝtles pepul has poysned for euer.*. [plyȝtles = faultles.]
Ȝe were entouchid wt his tethe & take in þe glotte,*. [glotte st. glette?]
Bot, mendyd wt a medecyne, ȝe are made for to lyuye:
Þat is fulloght in fonte, wt faitheful bileue,
& þat hane we myste alle merciles, myselfe & my soule.
     300
Quat wane we wt oure wele-dede, þat wroghtyne ay riȝt,
Quene we are dampnyd dulfully into þe depe lake
& exilid fro þat soper so, þat solempne fest
Þer richely hit arne refetyd þat after right hungride?
My soule may sitte þer in sorow & sike, ful colde,
     305
Dymly in þat derke dethe, þer dawes neuer morowene,*. [Ms. dynly st. dimly.]
Hungre in-wt helle-hole & herkene after meeles,
Longe er ho þat soper se, oþer segge hyr to lathe".
Þus dulfully þis dede body deuisyt hit sorowe,
Þat alle wepyd for woo, þe wordes þat herdene.
     310
& þe bysshop balefully bere done his eghene,
Þat hade no space to speke so spakly — he ȝoskyd.*. [spakly quickly.]
Til he toke hyme a tome & to þe toumbe lokyd,
To þe liche þer hit lay wt lauande teres:*. [lauande pouring, flowing, so All. P. B. 366.]
"Oure lord lene, quaþ þat lede, þat þou lyfe hades
     315
By goddis leue, as longe as I myȝt lacche water
& cast vpone þi faire cors & carpe þes wordes:
I folwe þe in þe fader nome & his fre childes
& of þe gracious holy goste — & not one grue lenger.*. [grue? Ms. undeutlich. grue = gre? wie Gaw. 2251 I schal gruch þe no grwe.]
Þene þof þou droppyd doun dede, hit daungerde me lasse!"*. [daungerde = angerd.]
     320
Wt þat worde þat he warpyd þe wete of eghene
& teres trillyd adoun & one þe toumbe lightene:
& one felle one his face: & þe freke syked.
Þene sayd he wt a sadde soun: "oure sauyoure be louyd!
Now herid be þou, heghe god, & þi hende moder,
     325
& blissid be þat blisful houre þat ho the bere in!
& also be þou, bysshop, þe bote of my sorowe
& þe relefe of þe lodely lures þat my soule has leuyd in!
For þe wordes þat þou werpe, & þe water þat þou sheddes,
Þe bryȝt bourne of þin eghene, my bapteme is worthyne;
     330
Þe fyrst slent þat one me slode, slekkyd al my tene.*. [slent Sw. slinta to slip, Gaw. 1260 slenting = shooting, glansing.]
Ryȝt now to soper my soule is sette at þe table,
For wt þe wordes & þe water þat weshe vs of payne
Liȝtly lasshit þer a leme loghe in þe abyme,
Þat spakly sprent my spyrit wt vnsparid murthe Page  274
     335
In-to þe cenacle, solemply þer soupene alle trew;
& þer a marcialle hyr mette wt menske alder-grattest*. [marciall = marshal.]
& wt reuerence a rowme he raȝt hyr for euer.
I heere þerof my heghe god & also þe, bysshop,
Fro bale has broȝt vs to blis! blessid þou worth!"
     340
Wyt this cessyd his sowne, sayd he no more.
Bot sodenly his swete chere swyndid & faylide
And alle the blee of his body wos blakke, as þe moldes,
As rotene as þe rottok þat rises in powdere.
For assone as þe soule was sesyd in blisse,
     345
Corrupt was þat oþer crafte þat couert þe bones —
For þe ay-lastande life, þat lethe shalle neuer,
Deuoydes vche a vayne glorie, þat vayles so litelle.*. [loves = hands, so K. Alexand. p. 71 u. Allit. P. B. 987 (Altnord. lofi).]
Þene wos louynge oure lorde wt loves vp haldene,
Meche mournynge & myrthe was mellyd to-geder.
     350
Þai passyd forthe in processione, & alle þe pepulle folowid,
And alle þe belles in þe burghe beryd at ones.