The early South-English legendary ; or, Lives of saints. I. Ms. Laud, 108, in the Bodleian library. Edited by Carl Horstmann.
Horstmann, Carl, b. 1851.
22 Liger.*. [[2 Octob.]]
SEint leger a bischop was : and holi man i-nouȝ;
Mani a man þoruȝ is prechingue : to godes lawe he drouȝ. Page 82
A luþur Iustise þare was neiȝh : Ebrom*. [r. Ebroin] was is name :
Men tolden him, ase he wende a-boute : of seint legeres fame.
he liet him wel sone nime : and bi-fore him bringue,
And fondede for-to tuyrne is þouȝt : fram þe heuene kingue.
þo he ne miȝhte þat don nouȝt : he was wroth inouȝ;
Ane luþere man he cleopede sone : þat boþe is eiȝene ouȝt drouȝ.
¶ Þo is eiȝene in grete pine : weren i-holede out boþe,
he gan þe more prechi of god. : þare-fore huy weren wroþe.
A wei þer was of scharpe stones : and opward stoden echon :
Þare-oppe þis holie man : barefot huy maden gon,
huy driuen him barefot and a-blend : ope þis scharpe stones þere.
Þis guode man eode wel baldeliche : ase þei him no-þing nere,
And euere he prechede on Iesu crist— : he ne bi-lefte for no fere.
¶ For is longue prechingue þe luþere men : wroþest with him were :
huy coruen of is tongue a-non : riȝht bi is þrote a-boue.
Þare schewede ore swete louerd : fair Miracle for is loue :
For þo is tongue was of i-corue : ȝeot he prechede faste
And al-so wel as he dude er. : þo weren þe schrewes a-gaste.
huy bi-speken to don him more schame : ake huy weren sumdel in doute.
huy [sto]den*. [unreadable.] and bi-heolden is heued : and þo*. [MS. þe?] i-seiȝen huy þare|a-boute
A ro[un]d croune and swiþe cler— : briȝhtore ne miȝhte non beo,
Þat vnneþe huy miȝhten is holie heued : for þe leome i-seo.
¶ Þis luþere Iustise het a-non : þat men smiten of is heued,
Four tormentores he was bi-take : þat it nere nouȝt bi-leued.
huy ladden him with-oute toun : for-[to] don þat dede.
Ase huy comen a-midde þe wei : þis holie man to heom seide :
"Ȝwat neode is it for-to trauailli : ferrore me to lede? [folio 52b]
Dothþ anon þat ȝe scholden do : here riȝht, ich eou rede."
Þe þreo quellares of þis word : anon weren in grete drede :
To is fet huy feollen a-kneo : and for-ȝiuenesse him bede.
Þare-fore was þe feorþe wroth : forth he hupte sone
And smot of þe guode mannes heued : ase he hadde heste to done.
¶ Sone þare-aftur cam a fuir : ase it of helle were,
And al quik fur-barnde him : and þe deuelene a-wei him bere. Page 83
Seint leger was wel faire i-bured. : is soule to heouene wende,
And for þat bodi, ase it on eorþe lai : fair miracle ore louerd sende.
¶ Þe luþere Iustise þat him liet a-quelle : þere-of heorde telle,
two ȝer aftur þulke tyme : þat he him liet a-quelle :
To is toumbe ane kniȝht he sende : þe soþe for-to fonde.
Þo þe kniȝht to þe toumbe cam : þare-bi he gan stonde,
"In schendnesse," he seide, "mote he deiȝe : and in strongue deþe al-so
ho-so bi-lieuethþ þat dede men : ani miracle mouwen do!"
Wel filliche also þe toumbe he smot. : and a-non-riȝht with þe dede
Oppon him feol is owene bone : ase he bad and seide :
For deuelene a-strangleden him a-non— : for al redie þare huy were,
And is soule, ase it was riȝht : a-deuele wei huy bere.
¶ Þe Iustise sone þare-aftur-ward : to deþe was i-do
And a-slawe in grete schendnesse : and a-deuele wei wende also.
Þus was þe bischop seint leger : a-wreke of is fon,
And he him-sulf to þe Ioie of heouene : after is deþe gan gon.
Nou god for þe loue of seint leger : is swete grace us siende,
Þat we aftur þusse liue : moten to þe Ioye of heouene wiende.