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.
SEint Barnabe þe Apostle : þat guod was and hiende,
I-Martred he was for godes loue : in strongue deþe atþenende.
After þat ore swete louerd : to heouene gan i-wende,
Þe Apostles precheden cristindom : ase he heom gan wit siende:
¶ Seint Barnabe i-saiȝ þo : þat his bi-leue nas nouȝt:
he turnde sone to þe Apostles : and to ore louerd al is þouȝt.
Of lond he hadde ane grete feld : and he it solde wel faste,
to þe Apostles he wende anon : and to heore fet þe panes caste
And for-sok al þis world*. [r. worldes] guod : and heore felawe bi-cam,
And I-martred he was with heom : for loue of cristindam.
Sethþe þo seint powel : to þe Apostles wende,
Þe Apostles ne lefden it nouȝt : þat ore louerd him to heom sende,
Ake wenden þat he a gylur were : so þat hit was longue— Page 27
For he hadde so luþur man i-be— : are huy dorsten him vnder|fongue.
¶ Seint Barnabe i-knev him ferst : so þat he formest brouȝte
Þe apostles in cuthrade with him : and in riȝte þouȝte,
And tolde heom hov ore swete louerd : bi weye to him cam
And smot him and bi-nam him is siȝt : and brouȝte him to cristindom.
¶ Sethþe þo fram Ierusalem : þe Apostles gonne wende,
For-to prechi godes lawe : þat so guod is and hende,
And to þe londe of Cypre : seint Barnabe huy gonne þo sende:*. [This v. om. in other MSS.]
Ase he wende forth in is wei : in one stude he fond
A felauȝschipe of quoynte Men : þe wiseste of al þe lond.
he spac with heom so quoynteliche : ase he bi heom cam,
Þat þar nas non of heom alle : þat ne wondrede of his wisdam.
"Sire sire," seide on of heom : þat was of grete fame,
"Tel us of ȝwannes þou art : and ȝwat is þi name,
And fram ȝwannes þou art hidere i-come : and for ȝwuche þingue;
Þou comest here into ore lond : ich wot for sume tiþingue."
¶ Seint Barnabe þis holie Man : fondede in eche pointe
to answerien heom wel quoynteliche : for huy weren heom-self so quoynte.
"Sire," he seide, "þov axest wel : and ich ou wulle telle:
Barnabe ich am i-cleoped : þe deueles fo of helle,
Iesu cristes man ich am : þat me gan hidere siende,
Fram Ierusalem ich am i-come : and þus a-boute wiende
For-to prechi is holie name : þat brouȝte us out of biende.
Bi-leueth on him and ȝe worþeth in Ioye : euere with-oute ende."
he prechede so þis grete men : þat huy turnden heore þouȝt
And weren þare to cristindom : þoruȝ seint Barnabe i-brouȝt
And bi-liefden on Iesu crist : and heore heorte ope him caste,
And prechede also of ihesu crist : and turnde þut folk wel faste. [folio 32]
Seint Barnabe wende him forth : and to þe londe of cipre he com,
to tuyrne men to ihesu crist : and to prechi cristindom.
He cam and fond a foul dede : þat schendful was to do:
Men vrne nakede al a-boute : and wummen al-so.
Seint Barnabe was þar-of a-schamed : for it was a schenful dede
Þat þe schrewene neren a-schamede nouȝt : to schewi heore wrechhede. Page 28
To þe temple he wende a-non : ope ȝwan huy a-vouweden heore schame,
And a-mansede þat sori temple : in ore louerdes name.
A-non with þis mansingue : al þat on half dachste a-dovnn
Þoruȝ grete wreche of þis temple : with gret noyse and soun.
Þo þe schrewes i-seiȝen þe wreche : þat so schamelese were,
huy bi-lefden þulke schendfole dede : huy ne dorsten non-oþur for fere.
þis holie man wende him forth : ferrore in þe lond :*. [MS. londe]
Tymon, þat was an holi man : in a stude he fond,
Þat in a strong acces was of a feuere : and al atþe deþe neiȝ.
Seint Barnabe of-þouȝte it sore : þo he him i-seiȝ.
Þe godspelles of seint Mathev : with him euere he ber
In a bok; ase god it wolde : with him he hadde as þer :
Þis bok he leide ope þis man : ase he so sijk þer lay :
he bi-cam anon hol and sound : ase al þat folk i-say,*. [MS. i isay]
And wende forth with him a-boute : hol and glad i-novȝ,
And prechede ȝeorne of ihesu crist : and folk fram sunne drovȝ.
Of ore swete louerd of heouene : seint Barnabe hadde swich grace
Þat, ȝif he founde ani sijk man : ase he wende in ani place,
And he leide ope him þis bok : þat so holi and guod was
Of þe godspelles of seint Mathev : so strong siknesse non nas
Þat he þoruȝ ore louerdes grace : ne helde þar-of a-non;
Þare-þoruȝ he maude mani men : to Iesu criste gon.
Þoruȝ vertue of þis holie Man : and of þis holie bok al-so
Muche fair miȝthte ore louerd hath : in his seriaunz ido.
Þis holie man seint Barnabe : ȝet forþere he wende
And prechede þe giwes faste : hore lijf for-to amende.
Manie he tornede to cristindom : and þene holi gost on heom tende,
Þoruȝ miracles þat he dude : and þoruȝ grace þat god him sende.
¶ Bareu was a luþur giv : þat euere weorrede faste
Seint powel and seint Barnabe : and cudde it at þe laste :
For þo he fond seint Barnabe : þat folk to ore louerd so wiende,
To þe luþere Iustise of þe lond : þe tiþingue he gan siende.
Þis holi man was sone i-nome : and to dome i-brouȝt.
huy tormenteden him harde and stronge : forto torni is þouȝt Page 29
Alle manere turmenz huy him duden : þat huy miȝthten on bi-þenche :
huy ne miȝthten him nouȝt ȝeot enes make : fram god is þouȝt blenche.
¶ Ase huy weren with al heore miȝte : a-boute him*. [al. om.] faste and longue
For-to defouli þis holie man : with tormenz harde and strongue,
¶ Þe Aumperores o cosin : þat of gret power was, [folio 32b]
In-to toune cam þulke time : ase it feol bi cas.
Þe giwes weren so sore a-drad : laste he hem bi-nome
Þoruȝ strencþe seint Barnabe : and ladde him to rome :
A-niȝht huy nomen þis holie man : ase he was to-raunsed so,
And teiden ane rop a-boute is necke : and knutten him faste þerto
And drowen him out of heore synagoge : with seoruwe and pine i-novȝ,
And sethþe al-so bi þe sweore : out atþe ȝate men him drovȝ
And mauden a-boute him swiþe gret fuyr : and barnden him al-to nouȝte.
his soule wende to þe Ioye of heouene : þat he wel deore a-bouȝte.
¶ Þo nomen þe luþere men heore red : ȝwanne huy miȝten atþe laste,
his bones þat weren bi-left vn-barnd : a-midde þe .se. to caste.
Ake cristine Men þat weren bi-side : stelen to bi niȝte
And bureden as wel stilleliche : with ase gret honour ase huy miȝte.
Nov bidde we ȝeorne ihesu crist : king of alle kinge,
For loue of seint Barnabe : þat he us to heouene bringue.