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.

63 [Eadmund conf.]

SEint Eadmund þe confessour : þat lythþ at pounteneye,
Of guode men and trewe he cam : þei huy neren nouȝht ful heiȝe;
In Engelonde he was i-bore : in þe toun of Abindone.
Glad miȝhtte þe moder beo : þat bar swuch a sone!
Mabile þe riche is moder [het] : þat guod womman was i-nouȝ,
For boþe wif and*. [MS. and and] wydewe : to holie lif heo drouȝ.
Lustniez nouþe and i may telle : hou and in ȝwat manere
Seint Eadmund was i-bore : ȝif ȝe it wollez i-here.*. [vv. 7-8 al. om.]
A-seint Eadmundus dai þe king : þis guode child was i-bore;
So clene he cam fram is moder : with-oute ech-manere hore,
And so clene,*. [al. drie] þat no cloth : þat neiȝh þe moder was
Ne neiȝh þis ȝoungue child, þo it was*. [þo—was al. om.] i-bore : no-þing þe foulere*. [al. isoilled] it nas.
¶ A-seint Eadmundes dai he was i-bore : riȝht ase it was day;
Fram erne morewe þat*. [al. forte] it was eue : ase a ded þing he layȝ,
Riȝht ase he were ded-bore : for no þing on him lif ne saiȝ; Page  432
Þe mide-wyues him wolden habbe i-bured : ac þe moder seide euere nay.
A-ȝein eue he cudde furst is lif. : to churche he was i-bore,
And for seint Eadmundes day : he [was] Eadmund i-cleoped þare-fore.
¶ Þis child wax and wel i-þev— : elles wonder it were.
Þo it was of ani elde : þe moder it sette to lere,
And Robert al-so, hire oþur sone— : for sones heo hadde to,
And tweye maydenes clene i-nouȝ : hire douȝhtren were al-so,
Dame Margerie and dame Alis : þat at catesbi weren i-do
And þare in religion Nonnes huy weren : and ȝuyt liggez þare boþe-to.
¶ Dame Mabile, heore guode moder : þeos children heo louede i-nouȝh,
And wissede heom to clene liue : and to alle guodnesse heom drouȝh.
Þe ȝwyle þe children ȝongue weren : heo ȝaf heom ofte mede
For-to faste þane friday : to watur and to brede.
Þoruȝ mede and þoruȝ ire faire bi-heste : huy weren so þar-on i-brouȝt,
Þat, þo huy weren of grettore elde : it ne grefde heom riȝht nouȝht.
¶ Þe moder werede þe strongue here : for ore louerdes loue,
Fram þe scholdre to þe hele : and on haubark þare-a-boue—
In swuche manere he ladde hire lif : þe widewe þat was so wis.
wel ȝongue heo sende boþe hire sones : to scole to paris,
And bi-tok heom spense luyte i-nouȝ : ase heo it miȝhte bi-seo.
huy senden hire word*. [al. seide aȝe] þat huy ne miȝhten : with so luyte beo.
"leoue sones," quath þe mode[r] : "ichulle beon a-ȝein eov hende;
Ȝif ȝe wollez aftur me do : ich can eou more sende,
And it schal eov like swiþe wel : bi þat ȝe wyteth þe ende;
Ne spariez nouȝht, mi leoue sones*. [al. ȝif ȝe dorre mid so lute] : out of londe to wende."
¶ "Leoue Moder," queþen þe sones : "we schullen do aftur þi lore;
Ake wel þou wost þat we ne mouwen nouȝt libbe : bote þou us sende more." [folio 180]
¶ Þe moder tok wel stilleliche : eyþur of heom ane here
And bad heom boþe for hire loue : þat huy with heom as bere
And werie as twie oþur þrie : eche woke þere,
And heo wolde heom sende spense i-nov : þe ȝwuyle huy at scole were.
¶ Þis children ȝeoden to scole þo : and duden heore moder heste
And wereden þe here twie a wike : oþur þrie at þe leste.
So longe huy woneden heom þar-to : þat huy nomen as ofture þo, Page  433
So þat noþur nyȝht ne day : huy nolden heom for-go;
¶ huy woneden heom so wel þar-to : þat huy as wereden day and nyȝht.
Þis was, for-soþe, a guod Moder : for*. [al. þat (heo om.)] heo teiȝhte hire children a-riȝht!
And euere ȝwane heo sende heom cloþes : ase heo as miȝhte i-winne,
Þare-with heo wolde herene sende : faste i-seuwede with-inne.—
¶ Seint Eadmund þe ȝongue clerk : to eche guod-nesse drouȝ,
Þat euerech clerk þat him i-knevȝ : hadde of him Ioye inovȝ;
For ore louerdes swete grace : with him was wel riue :
And þat ore louerd cudde him wel : al bi is ȝongue liue.
¶ For ase þis child ȝeode a day : in a Mede to pleie,
his felawes he bi-lefde ech-on : and ȝeode bi-side þe weiȝe,
And al one ȝeode up and doun : and is bedes seide.
Þo cam þere gon a fair ȝwit child : to him in þis mede,
"Felawe," he seide, "heil þou beo : þat þus one gest i-lome!"
Seint Eadmund stod in gret þouȝht : fro ȝwannes þis child come.
¶ "Ne knoustþou me nouȝht?" quath þis child. : seint Eadmund seide "no."
"Ich am þi felawe," quath þat child : "ȝwodere þou euere go.
At scole ich sitte euere bi þe : euere on þi riȝht side,
And with þe ich go in euerech stude : ne go þou no so wide,
¶ And þi plei-fere, for-soþe, ich am— : and ȝif þou nost nouȝt ȝwat ich beo,
¶ In mi fore-heued i-write : mi name þou miȝht i-seo.*. [Ashm. has 4 vv. more.]
And al-so ase mi name is : in mi fore-heued i-do,
Creoyce þare-with þi fore-heued : and þi breoste al-so
Euereche niȝhte are þou slepe : in þe muynde of me,*. [This v. on the margin.]
¶ And þe deuel ne schal habbe no pouwer : for-to greui þe."
¶ Seint eadmund nuste mit þusse worde : ȝware þis child bi-cam.
he onder-stod þat it was ore louerd : and gret Ioye to him he nam;
And nolde fur-ȝite neuere ane niȝht : his lore forto do,
to creoici þriȝes is fore-heued : and is breoste al-so
¶ And segge "ihesus of Nazareth" : ase he it saiȝ i-write—
with no-þing ne scholde a man betere : fram*. [al. wiþ] þe deuel him wite.—
In penaunce, and in is lore : þis child dude al is þouȝt;
For godes loue he þolede muche : þat deore him hadde a-bouȝht, Page  434
¶ In penaunce he was so wel i-woned : and ȝong þar-on i-brouȝht,
Þat, þo he was of grettore elde : it ne grefde him riȝht nouȝht.
At parys he was at scole longue : and at Oxenford al-so.
he ne dude neuere lecherie : ne ensentede þar-to;
Ase is schrift-fader wolde telle : ofte in priueite,
he ne miȝhte neuere finde man : of so gret chastete.
¶ Priueliche at oxenford : on a day he cam [folio 180b]
To one ymage of ore lauedi : and bi þe hond hire nam
And bi-hiet*. [al. forhet] bi-fore hire treweliche : fram*. [al. om.] eche wummanes imone
And with treuþe holden al is lif : clanliche to hire one.
¶ Þulke ymage he weddede with a ring : ase a man dotþ is wif,
Clanliche to holden in spoushod : to hire al is lijf;
"Aue Maria, gracia plena" : þeos four wordes weren i-do
And i-graued in þis ring : for huy a-cordeden wel þar-to.
¶ Wel he huld is treuþe setþe : and his weddingue al-so,
And trewe spouse was i-novȝ : nolde he nouȝt misdo.
Ich wot wel, ȝuyt men miȝhten finde : ho-so souȝte bliue,
Summan, þei it sielde beo : untreowore to is wiue,
And al ful beo of þe Mariage : ȝe and fayn it wolde un-binde!
Ȝweþur ani of eou couþe ouȝwere : ani swuch hosebonde finde?—
¶ His hostasse hadde one douȝter : þere he was at inne,
Þat louede muche þis holie child : ȝif heo miȝhte is loue i-winne;
heo ne couþe neiȝh non oþur wit : ake*. [al. om.] heo fondede for-to do
Folie bi him nyȝht and dai : ȝif heo miȝhte bringue him þar-to.
¶ Heo bad him þat heo moste a-niȝht : to is bedde wiende.
Þis holie clerk ne wernde hire nouȝht : and dude ase þe hende.
Þat Maide was þo glad i-novȝ : for erore heo bad wel of[te].
A-niȝht, þo heo hire tyme i-saiȝh : to is bed heo cam wel softe,
¶ hire cloþes heo dude of a non : ase it is riȝht of bedde,
And made hire naked, to creopen in. : ake febleliche hire spedde :
For seint Eadmund hadde ane smarte ȝeorde : and þe cloþus a-doun spradde*. [al. þis womman anon he redde]
And beot hire on þe nakede rug : þat wel-neiȝh heo a-wedde;
he ne sparede rug ne side noþur : are heo to grounde bledde—
A-quenche he miȝhte hire fole wille : mid blode þat heo schedde!
¶ And euere seide þis holie Man : ase he leide on faste, Page  435
"Maide, þou schalt leorni þus : a-wei forto caste
Þi fole wille of þi flesch : with swuche discipline."
heo þouȝhte wel luyte on folie : are þis guode clerk wolde fine!
¶ Þis Maide wende softe aȝen : hire rug smert ful sore.
he*. [heo.] bi-ȝat so luyte þo : þat hire ne longuede þudere nam-more;
Clene wumman heo bi-cam : with-oute flechsliche dede,
And clene Maide deide setþe : ase hire schriftfader seide.
¶ Þis Maidenes þat beotþ willeffole : folie forto do,
I-cholde huy founden swuche lefmanes : þat wolden heom chastie so!—
Þo Mabile, is swete moder : scholde of þis liue go,
Seint Eadmund, hire guode sone : neiȝh hire was þo;
his Moder him ȝaf hire blessingue : þo heo scholde of liue fare.
"Blesse*. [al. Blesse ek] mine broþur," quath seint Eadmund : "þei he beo elles|ȝware."
¶ "Leoue sone," quath þis wydewe : "boþe ȝe comen of me,
And he is, ȝwane ȝe beoth o blod : i-blessed i-nouȝ with þe.*. [þe added later.]
Ake ich bidde þe for godes loue : and for seinte Marie
Þat þou sum-ȝware þine sostrene do : in-to ane nonnerie, [folio 181]
So þat huy mouwen clene lif lede : in ore louerdes seruise;
And ne soffre þou nouȝht þat huy beon : i-weddet in none wise.
Þe catel þat ich heom bi-queþe : þis dede for-to do,
Al ich bi-take in þine warde : and heom þare-with also."
¶ Þis guode womman deide þus : þat of wydewene was flour;
And in a chapel*. [al. seint Nicholas churche] at Abindone heo was i-bured : with swyþe gret honour,
In a ston bi-fore þe croiz : in þe soutþ-side, i-wis;
A luyte with-inne þe churche-hei ȝate*. [al. wiþoute þe abbay-ȝate]: þat chapel a-rerd is.
A-boue hire is i-write : "here lijthþ in þis ston
Mabile, flour of wudewene"— : and lesingue nis it non,
For heo was womman of guode liue : ase Men miȝhten bi hire i-seo;
And mani Miracle at Abindone : for hire hath sethþe i-beo.
¶ Ne for-ȝat nouȝht seint Eadmund : þat is moder him hadde i-bede :
Þo is power was i-woxe : he purueide him ane stude,
Þat is sostren weren i-do : in one Nonnerie;
Ake wel vnneþe he it fond : with-oute symonie.—
¶ Simonie so is i-cleoped : foreward for-to make Page  436
to bugge liflode of holie churche : and a certein catel take.
A-mansede beotþ alle swuche : þat so wollez don;
Ake naþeles to religion : manie comiez so!—
¶ Þis guode sone souȝhte wide a-boute : mani a Nonnerie,
Are he miȝhte his sostren do : with-oute symonie;
Atþe laste he cam to Catesbi : in Norehamptone-schire,
I-graunted him was þare a-non : al þat he wolde desire :
¶ boþe his sustren a-godes half : Nounnes he made þere;
Þat leueden þare al heore lijf : and holie wommen were,
Þe eldore was sethþe prioresse : of þe lauedies ech-on—
For heom hauez setþe ore louerd i-do : miracles mani on;
And bi-fore þe heiȝe weuede : i-burede huy beoth þere
In a chapele þat huy leten : of seint Eadmund a-rere.—
¶ Seint Eadmund, þis holie man : werede strongue here;
In strengore manere heo was i-maud : þane oþur mannes were :
heo nas i-sponne ne i-weoue : ake i-broide strengus longue,
And sethþe ase man knut a net : i-knut swiþe harde and stronge,
Of harde horses here i-maud— : þe knottes deope wode,
Þat muche del of is bodie orn : of quiture and of blode.
¶ Þare-of he hadde schuirte and briech : fram necke to þe hiele;
vn-ayseliche he miȝhte ligge : oþur ani*. [al. & lutel] ayse i-fele.
A strong rop þere was þanne : a-boue fram þe scholdre i-do
to is bottokes, of horse-here : to holden it faste to;
And setþe he was bi-neoþe is briech : i-gurd faste i-novȝ
with a strong corde a-boue : þat þe here faste*. [al. þe here: þat faste to d.] drouȝ.
¶ So faste was in euerech side : þe here to him i-bounde,
Þat vnneþ[e] he miȝhte bieȝe is rug : oþur stoupi touward þe grounde;
And ȝwan he stoupede ani-þing : is flechs was so for-gnawe [folio 181b]
Þat wonder was hou he it þolede : þat he ne hadde to deþe i-drawe.*. [al. to beo so to-drawe]
¶ Fiet and hondene þat neren nouȝt : i-tormentede with þat here
Necke and face and al is heued : þat with-oute were,
he roddede a-niȝht with þe here : ȝwane no man ne miȝhte i*. [r. it] seo;
For he nolde þat no lime : un-pined scholde beo.
¶ A dai he tok al priueliche : is Manne his olde here,
Þat he as fur-brende stilleliche : for huy for-olde were.
he caste as in gret fuyr i-novȝ— : ac it ne cam nouȝht þare-neiȝh, Page  437
Ake euere huy weren i-liche sounde : ase þis man i-seiȝh.
Þo he i-saiȝ þat huy ne brende nouȝht : he bond þer-to wel faste
heuie stones to drawe a-doun : and in-to a deop watur heom caste.
Þat fuyr nadde power non : to touchi þe holie here!
Ake naþeles he tolde is louerd fore : þat huy i-brende were.—
¶ Seint Eadmund and is felawe : ase it was ofte heore wone,
In a day fram leukenore : wenden to Abindone.
Ase huy comen in a gret ualeiȝe : blake foule huy seiȝe
Ase it crowene and rokes*. [al. chowen] weren : fleon bi þe Eyr wel heiȝe;
A luyte blac sak ase þei it were : þis foules a-mong heom bere,
huy casten it up fram on to oþur : ase huy it al-to-drowe and to-tere.
his felawe stod and bi-heold : and was neiȝh wod for fere.
¶ Seint Eadmund him ȝaf confort : ant tolde him ȝwat it were :
"Deuelene," he seide, "of helle it beoth : and þat huy berez so, i-wis,
Ane Mannes soule here-bi-fore : of Chalgraue it is,
Þat nouþe riȝht deide late— : heo ne cometh neuere in blis,
he mai singue weylawei : þat he euere dude amis."
¶ Forth huy wenden to chalgraue : þe soþe huy founden þere :
Þe Man was*. [al. om.] ded a luyte bi-fore : and al hot ligge on bere.
Neuere þe gladdore ne miȝhte he beo : þat deuelene him so to-tere;
he miȝhte segge weilawey : þat euere is lifdawes were!—
¶ Seint Eadmund, þe holie Man : louede wel is lore,
And for is lore he louede ȝuyt : godes seruise þe*. [on the margin.] more.
Mest he louede on oresoun : þat was of ihesu crist
And of ore leuedi, is swete Moder : and of sein Ioan þe Ewangelist,
Þat ".O. intemerata" : bi-gvynnez on latyn;
Þe bi-guynningue is wel guod : and al-so is þe fin.
Euereche dai bi custome : he seide þis oresun,
he nolde bi-leue for no scole : ne for no lessoun.
¶ In a dai he it fur-ȝat : he hadde so muche to done.
Seint Ioan þe Ewangelist to him cam : þe niȝht aftur-ward ful sone
And a paumerie bar on is hond : gret and strong i-nouȝh;
Seint Eadmund he nam bi þe hond : and is paumerie op drouȝh,
So heiȝe and with so gret Eyr : ase he him wolde al-to-driue.
Seint Eadmund lay and quakede : and drad was of is liue, Page  438
For, ȝif he him smite ase he dunt drouȝ : he were ded a-non;*. [[Here a fol. is wanting in the Laud MS.; MS. Harl. continues:]]
[he quakede & cride dulfulliche : "louerd, merci, seint Iohn!"
¶"Ich wole for-ȝeue þe," quaþ seint Iohan : "þu criest so sore;
& þench bet on oure oreisoun : & neforȝet hit nomore!"
he nefor-ȝat after þulke tyme : nomore þis oreisoun,
For no studie nefor no neode : nefor þoȝt of lessoun.—
¶ So wel lurnede þis holi man : & suche grace hadde,
Þat he bigan at Oxenford : & of art þer radde.
Of art he radde six ȝer : contynuelliche ynouȝ,
& siþþe for-[to] beo more profound : to arsmetrike he drouȝ,
& arsmetrike radde in cours : in Oxenford wel faste
& his figurs drouȝ aldai : & his numbre caste.—
¶ Arsmetrike is alore : þat of figurs al is
& of drauȝtes as me draweþ in poudre : & of*. [MS. in] numbre, i-wis.—
¶ A niȝt in avisioun : his moder to him wende,
"Sone," heo seide, "to what figurs : woltou nou entende?"
"Leoue moder," quaþ þis oþer : "suche as we iseoþ."
"Leoue sone," quaþ þe moder : "betere figurs þer beoþ,
wherto þu most þin hurte do : & þenche her-on nomore!"
heo nom forþ his riȝt hond : & wrot þer-on his lore :
Þreo rounde cerclen heo wrot : in þe paume amidde,
In þe tueye heo wrot fader & sone : & holigost in þe þridde;
"Sone," heo seide, "her-afterward : entende to þis lore!"
To heuene aȝe þe moder wende : heneseȝ hire nomore.
*. [Theologia.]¶ Þo iseȝ seint Edmund : þat hit was al of þe Trinite,
& þat god wolde þat he schulde : ihure diuinite.
To diuinite, as god wolde : þis gode man him drouȝ;
Þer nespedde non in Oxenford : so wel of ynouȝ.
hit nas noȝt longe þer-afterward : þat þe Chanceler ne sede,
& þe hexte maystres of þe toun : þat he schulde bigynne & rede.
he wiþsede & longe*. [al. longe &] seide : þat he nas noȝt worþi þerto;
So þat moche aȝen his wille : nede hi makede him hit do.
So þat he bigan at Oxenford : of diuinite.
So noble alosed þer nas non : in al þe vniuersite.
Of redinge he hadde so gode grace : þat meni on to him drouȝ;
his scolers þat ihurde of him : gode men were ynouȝ.
So pitousliche he wolde rede : & so gode grace hadde þer-to,
Þat his scolers þat ihurde of him : nuste ofte what to do,
Ac sete as in anoþer wordle : & ofte hudde here eȝe Page  439
& wepe þat þe teres vrne adoun : þat men hit al-aboute iseȝe.
vneþe eni ihurde of him : þat þe betere ne bicom,
& meni bileuede al þe wordle : & to religioun nom.—
¶ A dai as þis holi man : in diuinite
Desputede, as hit was his wone : of þe trinite,
In his chaire he sat longe : er his scolers come;
Alutel he bigan to swoudri : as a slep him nome.
Þo þoȝte him in his swoudringe : þat a whit coluere com
Fram heuene mid oure louerdes flesch : & þe wei to him nom,
& þat swete flesch pulte in his mouþ : & siþþe fleȝ vp anheȝ;
heuene openede hire aȝen : as þis gode man iseȝ.
Þe sauour of oure louerdes flesch : him þoȝte, was in his mouþe,
And al þe clergie, him þoȝte, of god : þo he awok, he couþe,
Of þe pure stat of crist : & of his mageste
As [an] angel him þoȝte he couþe : & of his priueite.
¶ he bigan so deope desputi : of þe trinite,
Þat gret wonder me hadde : þurf al þe vniuersite;
Þat þe gretteste clerkes þat were : in Oxenforde þo
Ne þoȝte þat eni vrþlich man : so furforþ miȝte go
Ne wite so moche of godes stat : bote hit [an] angel were;
Þer nere none maystres in Oxenford : þat in gret wonder þerof nere.
Ac he miȝte of ihesu crist iwite : more þan was in boc,
whan he vsede oure louerdes flesch : & in his mouþe toc!—
¶ Ne þoȝte noȝt þis holi man : so moche in his lessoun
Þat euere among his þoȝt nas mest : in godes passioun.
O tyme he was in grete studie : of his lessoun anyȝt,
Þat longe he sat þer-aboute : forte hit was neȝ dailiȝt.
Þo hit was toward þe dai : a-napped he was sore,
he lynede adoun vpon his boc : þo he nemiȝte studie nomore;
So þat he ful aslepe : & vnywar also,
&*. [om. &?] neþoȝte noȝt on þe passioun : as he was iwoned to do.
Þe deuel com to him wel sone : noþing to siche he nas.
Seint Edmund of him was iwar : in swoudring as he was
he wolde him blesci wiþ þe deuel : his riȝt hond he gan forþ drawe :
Þe deuel him nom þerbi anon : he nemiȝte him noȝt wawe.
Þo nom he forþ his lift hond : to blesci him wiþ also :
Þe deuel him nom þerbi faste : þat he nemiȝte noþing do.
vpe him he lai as a sak : þat he was al ouercome,
he nemiȝte him wawe fot ne hond : his poer him was binome.
Ac delyure he hadde al his þoȝt : so þat he þoȝte sone Page  440
Of oure louerdes passioun : as he was woned to done.
¶ Þe deuel nemiȝte þo bileue : vpe him none þrowe,
For drede he ful sone adoun : bituene him & þe wowe.
¶ Seint Edmund aros vp anon : & þe deuel ouercom,
Strangliche & harde ynou : bi þe þrote he him nom.
"þurf oure louerdes passioun : tel nou," he seide, "me,
Ich axi þe hou cristene man : mai best him witie fram þe."
"Me neschal wiþ noþing," quaþ þe deuel : "schulde fram mi poer
So wel as þurf his passioun : þat þu nemnedest er."
¶ þer lurnede þis holi man : as we mowe ek echon,
In whiche manere we mowe best : þe deueles poer forgon,
For he hatieþ godes passioun : as man doþ his fon,]
And ȝwane men it habbuth in muynde : he mot fleo a-non.— [folio 182]
Euerech tyme of daye and nyȝht : seint Eadmund him gan bi-seo
Þat he diȝhte wel to godes wille : þat he nolde idel beo;
Oþur he was in is oresones : oþur at is bok,
Oþur he .Et. oþur slep : oþur to oþur þingus he him tok.
Þreo tymes him þouȝte þat he for-les : ȝwene he cam þar-to :
Ȝwane he rod, and ȝwane he slep : and ȝwane he .Et. al-so;
For he nas þanne in studie : ne in is beden no-þe-mo;
Ech oþur tyme, ase him þouȝte : to sum prou him scholde go.—
¶ So longue þat*. [al. om.] þis guode man : to eche holienesse drouȝ,
Þat is guodnesse was wide couth : and men speken þar-of i-novȝ.
Þe beste prechur he was i-holde : þat man ouȝware under-stod—
For ho-so hath with him godes grace : is dede mot nede beo guod.
So þat of þe Creoycerie : þe pope sente fram rome
To þe bischopus of Enguelond : þat huy ane wise man nome
For-to prechi of þe creoycerie : ase riȝht was for-to do.
Seint Eadmund, þe holie man : i-chose was þare-to,
To prechi of þe creoicerie : a-boute in þe londe,
Þat men wenden to Ierusalem : oþur senden heore sonde.
¶ procracies huy ȝeuen him also : ase he wende a-boute,
Of persones to nime largeliche : þat non nere with-oute.
bote þat nolde he do for noþing : of no man spence take;
And ȝwane persones it boden him : he it wolde for-sake.
For ȝwane he seruede ore louerd crist : to is owene spense he tok; Page  441
Of persones and of oþur men : ȝiftus he fur-sok.
¶ he ne ferde nouȝt ase þis Ercedeknes : ne as oþure na-þe-mo,
Þat persones and þeos pouere preostes : ouer-al doth ful wo!—
Ase he prechede a day : of þe creoiz wel longue,
A ȝung man wende a-mong þe oþure : þe creoiz for-to a-fongue.
A womman þat him louede : so heo i-saiȝh þis,
heo hente him bi-hinde faste : and drovȝ him a-ȝein, i-wis.
¶ Also stif ase ani hard bord : hire hond bi-cam a-non,
Þat heo ne miȝhte as a-welde : noþur senuwes ne bon;
And þe hond was al-so fur-crokud. : heo made revlich bere.
Seint Eadmund bi-heold a-boute : and axede ȝwat it were.
"Sire, merci," quath þis womman : "wrechchede ich am i-novȝ!
Ase þis ȝongue man wolde take þe croiz : a luyte ich him with-drouȝ :
And min hond is al for-croket : ȝware-with ich him nam.
In alle wrechhede ich am i-brouȝht : alas, þat ich here cam!"
¶ "Womman," quath þis holie man : "woltþu þe croiz take?
"Ȝe, louerd," he*. [= heo] seide, "ȝif ich miȝhte : i-nelle hire nouȝt for-sake."
Þis wumman sat a-doun a-kneo : and of him þe creoiz he*. [= heo] nam :
And hire crokede hond streiȝhte forthþ : and a-non-riȝht hol bi-cam;
heo cride and hered Ihesu crist. : þis was couth a-non;
For þis miracle þare token þe creoiz : þe mo wel mani on.—
¶ In a time atþe gang-dawes*. [al. roueisouns] : þis holie man al-so
prechede a day at Oxenford : ase he ofte hadde i-do,
In alle halewene church-ȝerd : In þe norþure side,
with þe Baneres at onderne : a-se men doth a-londe wel wide.
Ase þis holie man with al þis folk : in is prechingue was best,
Þat lodlokeste weder þat miȝhte beo : cam al fram bi west,
Swart and dreok*. [r. deork] and grislich : and ouer-caste al þene toun;
Þe wynd blevȝ al-so swiþe grisliche : ase þe world scholde al a-doun;
So deork it was bi-come al-so : þat men miȝhte vnneþe i-se—
Lodlokur wedur þane it was : ne miȝhte neuere be.
¶ Þat folk for drede of heore cloþus : faste bi-gonne to fleo.
"A-bidez," quath þis holie man : "ore louerd is guod and freo.
Þe deuel it is þat bringuth þis wedur : for-to destourbi godes lore;
Ore louerd is strengore þane he : ne drede ȝe eov nouȝt to sore!"
he bi-heold upward toward god : and cride him milce and ore, Page  442
Þat he schilde hem fram þe deueles miȝhte : þat he ne grefde hem nammore.
Þo he hadde i-seid þis oresun : þat wedur bi-gan to glide
In þe oþur half of þe churche : al in þe souþere side;
Þare it bigan to falle a-non : and nolde no leng a-bide,
Þat vnneþe þoruȝh þe heyȝe stret : miȝhte ani man go oþur ride—
Ake in þe northhalf of þe churche : þare þis holie man stod,
Ne fel neuere a reynes drope : for-to destourbi a mannes Mod;
In þe southhalf þoruȝ al þe heiȝe strete : it leide on for wod,
Þat al þe stret a-watere orn : ase it were a gret flod.
¶ Þat folk þat fram þe prechingue : for drede of þe wedere drovȝ
And þat wenden bi þe heiȝe strete : hadden þar-of i-novȝ;
Ake huy þat bi-lefden þare : druyȝe and clene were—
louerd, muche is þi miȝhte! : and fair miracle was þere!—
In þe toun of wyricestre : bi-tidde þat selue cas,
Ase þis holie man seint Eadmund : in is prechingue was;
Swuch wedur þare cam ouer him : he drof it a-wey al-so.
Me þinchez, ase bi is liue : fair miracle it was i-do!—
¶ So wide sprong is guode los : a-boute, feor and ner,
Þat men ne hulden nouȝt in engelonde : of guodnesse is per.
At salesburi he was i-maket : Canoun seculer;
prouendes of churches*. [al. prouendre of þe hous] he hadde : and was tresurer.
Þo he was auauncet so : he tolde þar-of ful luyte,
he spendede a-boute on pouere Men : þat oþure duden in pruyte;
he spendede so muche for godes loue : in is almes-dede
Þat vnneþe he miȝhte mid is rentes : half ȝer is hous lede.
¶ To þe Abbeye of stanle : he wende swiþe*. [al. þanne] i-lome
And suiournede þare for defaute : for-to is crop him come—
For Maister steuene of lexintone : þat was þo Abbot þere,
his desciple hadde i-be : þe ȝwyle huy at scole were.
his fulle .net. he neuere mo : þat ani Man miȝhte i-seo,
bote ase muche ase he nede moste : þet wolde in ani poynt be; [folio 183]
Of him wondrede euer-ech Man : þat isaiȝ him ete,
hov he miȝhte holde is lijf : with so luyte mete.
Of guode metes ne kepte he nouȝt : þei men it wolde him bringue;
Ȝwat lutles it was, þat he et : was al of grete þingue. Page  443
¶ Þat dai þat he masse song : flechs nolde he non,
Ne þat dai next bi-fore : for man þat miȝhte gon;
Fram þat Men loke alleluya : for-to cam estur-day,
he ne .Et. nouȝht, þat þolede deth : ase muche folk isaiȝh,
Ne in þe aduent na-þe-mo. : ake þat was luyte i-novȝ
A-ȝein is oþur penaunce : þat he al day forth drovȝ.—
¶ Hit bi-fel þat þe Erchebischop : of caunterburi was ded :
Seint Eadmund þar-to was chose : ase Commuyn nam heore red.
Þo þe Eleccioun was i-maud : in þe chapitle at Caunterburi,
A-non huy senden heore messagers : to him to salesburi.
huy wenden toward salesbury : ake þare nas he nouȝt;
huy founden him at Calne : þo huy longue hadden i-souȝt.
¶ In is chaumbre he sat priueliche : at is boke ful stille :
No man ne dorste come him neiȝh : to letten him of*. [al. forto wite] is wille.
Ake naþeles on þat was him next : ase it were is chaumberlein,
Guode tiþingue he þouȝhte him bringue : and þarof was wel fain :
he tolde him þat he was ichose : Erchebischop to beo.
Þis holie man gan him chide faste : and hiet him fram him fleo,
"Be stille, þou fol! ich hote þe" : he seide, "and go out heonne a-non,
Make faste þe dore aftur þe : and ne lat þou no man in gon
For-to lette me of mi studie : ake lat me in pays beo!"
Of þat tiþingue he tolde luyte : ase þare men miȝten i-seo.*. [al. 2 vv. more.]
¶ Þis Messagers bi-lefden þare oute : and carefole weren of þouȝht,
For þe day passede swiþe : and heore erinde ne duden [huy] nouȝht.
huy wenden for heore guode tiþingue : nobleliche beon onder-fongue,
For þe muruþe of is semblaunt : ȝuyt þare hem þouȝhte longue!
heore ȝiftus huy miȝhten eþe a-bere : þat þis holie man heom caste!
huy bi-menden, and it of-þouȝhte heom sore : heore hiȝingue þuder so faste.
¶ he ne a-ros nouȝht a fote fram is bok : are god þe tyme sende,
Ase he was an oþur day i-woned— : ake forthþ þo ful softe he wende.
Þo he cam out of is chaumbre : þe messagers come
And seiden heore erinde hou it was. : þar-of he tok luyte gome.
Þo þe lettres weren i-radde : "beu freres," he sede,
"I-chulle loke ȝwat mine felawes : of þis þing wollez rede Page  444
In þe chapitle of salesburi : ase riȝht is þat ich do."
huy nadden of him non oþur word : þo it alles cam þar-to.
¶ Þe chapitle at salesburi : i-holde was plener;
Alle þe chanouns of þe ordre : þudere come fer and ner,
To conseili heom of þis þing. : þe red was sone i-take:
Gladliche at one worde : alle huy stoden þare-ate.
"buth stille!" quath þe guode man : "ȝwat schal þat i-sed? [folio 183b]
wuyrþe nam ich nouȝt þar-to : nimez an oþur red!"
¶ "Certes," quath þe bischop þo : and þe Canones al-so,
"Þov ne miȝht nouȝht beo þare-a-ȝein : þou most it nede do."
Seint Eadmund seide euere nay : and bi-gan to wepe sore.
Þe Chanones wepen with him al-so : and criden cristes ore;
To is fiet huy fullen a-kneo : and heolden up heore honde
And beden him for þe loue of god : betere him under-stonde
And habbe reuþe of holie churche : and of him-sulf al-so,
And þenche, ȝwane holie churche it wolde : he moste it nede do.
¶ Þe bischop also weop on him : and on him cride faste,
And in vertue of obedience : hiet him at þe laste
Þat he ne scholde it nouȝht bi-leue : godes wille to wurche
And beo bouȝsum to al þe lond : and nameliche to holie churche.
Þo bi-gan þis holie man : to wepe and sike sore;
"Nov god," he seide, "us ȝiue is grace : is milce and eke is ore!
¶ And ich take god to witnesse : and ore leuedi al-so
Þat, ȝif ich ne wende suneguy dedliche : i-ne scholde it neuere do."
Þo huy heorden þis word of him : Ioyfole i-nouȝ huy were,
And nomen him up with ioye i-nov : and to þe heiȝe autere him bere,
And 'Te deum laudamus' songuen : swyþe murie and heiȝe;
Euere wep þe holie Man : ase þe chanones i-seiȝe.
¶ So þat he cam to caunturburi : and dude ase riȝt was þere,
And Erchebischop was i-maud : is vnþonkes þei it were.
Ne þarf no man þar-of esche : ȝweþur he toke on wel i-nouȝ
And wel wissede holie churche : and to eche guodnesse drouȝ!
Ȝif is lyf was holi er : wel betere it was þo;
In strong penaunce he was i-novȝ : of fastingue and oþur wo.
he hadde euere of selie bonde-men : pite and deol i-novȝ,
For him þouȝte þat þe heiȝe men : duden hem al day wouȝ.— Page  445
¶ In a time on of is pouere Men : wende of lif-dawe,
And is beste best to heriet : men brouȝte him, ase it was lawe.
Þo cam þis selie mannes wif : þat careful widewe was,
And mette with þis holie man : ase ore louerd ȝaf þat cas :
heo cride on him deolfulliche : merci and is ore,
And seide him, bote þat o best : luyte guod heo hadde more;
heo*. [al. Ne heo] nuste in ȝwat manere : ne hou*. [al. for meseise] heo miȝhte liue,
heo bad him for þe loue of god : þat best a-ȝein hire ȝiue.
¶ "Guode womman," seide þe holie man : "þou wost wel hou it is,
Þat þat chief louerd habbe þe beste ayȝte : ȝwane is man is ded, i-wis."
To is clerkes he seide a-latyn : þat þe widewe it ne under-stod :
"Me þinchez it a luþur lawe : and noþur riȝhtful ne guod.
Þis guode wif hath i-lore hire louerd : þat al hire guod forhtþ drouȝ,
And to leose þare-aftur ire*. [orig. is] beste best : me þinchez it is wouȝ;
In þat on were lure*. [orig. luþur] i-nouȝ : þei heo ne lore þat oþur al-so.
Þe deueles lawe it is of helle : and þoruȝh god neuere i-do. [folio 184]
¶ "Guode wif," he seide, "ȝif ich [þe] take : a-ȝein þi best to lone,
Woltþou it witie to mine bi-hofþe : for-to ich it axi eft-sone?"
"Ȝe,*. [al. A ȝe] sire," quath þe widewe : "god ȝelde þe þin ore!"
Þe widewe nam hom hire best : and ne ȝeld it him nammore.
Þis Auntur bi-fel ofte siþe : ȝwane men him wolden bidde ouȝt;
heriot of pouere men : he ne wilnede riȝht nouȝht.—
¶ We ne mowen rikeni nouȝt*. [al. nowhar neȝ] : alle is guode dedes.
For euere in strong penaunce i-nouȝ : is lif he gan lede,
And treuliche heold up holi churche : and wuste hire fram ech wouȝ.
Þare-fore hadde þe deuel of helle : to him onde i-nouȝ :
he bi-gan for-to a-rere contek : bi-tweone him a-non
And þe king hanri þat was þo : þe kingues sone Ioan.
Þe king and muche del of is folk : a-ȝein holie churche was,
Ase king henri, is graunt-sire : hadde a-ȝein seint Thomas;
And þat couent of caunturburi al-so : a-ȝein him hul[d] wel faste;
Ofte huy nomen louedai : ake þet contek euere i-laste.
¶ A legat was þo in engelonde : þat a-ȝein him was al-so.
Ake studefast was euere þis holie man : þei he luyte help hadde þar-to.
huy ne miȝten a-cordi for no-þing : ake þe lengore þe worse it was;
Ake euere nam þis holie man : ensaumple of seint thomas. Page  446
Wel ofte he bad þe kingue and his : ȝif it were heore wille,
Þat huy ne weorreden nouȝt a-ȝein holi churche*. [al. H. ch. to werri noȝt] : ake laten hire beo stille
In hire fraunchise and in pays : ase heo hadde i-beo ȝare.
Þe king þretnede þene holie man : bote he bi-lefde is fare.
¶ "Of þi þretningue ich telle luyte" : seide þis holie man,
"For ȝif þou me drifst out of þi lond : an oþur red ich can :
Ich can rede at parys : ase ich are þis habbe i-do,
And þare-with winne me mete i-novȝ : and cloþingue al-so.
Ȝif þou me dest to deþe bringue : þou paist me wel i-novȝ;
Þou ne miȝhtest don me non more honour : þane slen me þoruȝ þi wouȝ."
¶ Ȝuyt eft, ase he ofte dude : to þe king he sende;
And he answerede þe leng þe wors : and no-þing nolde a-mende.
Þo þis holie man i-saiȝh : þat non-oþur it nolde beo,
Þoruȝh holi churche he gan to fiȝhte : and a-corsede alle þeo
Þat weorreden a-ȝein*. [al. om.] þe churche of caunturburi : and with on-riȝhte duden schame;
And some þat he gulti wuste : he a-mansede bi name.
¶ To þe king and to is conseil : þis word wel sone drouȝ.
Ne þarf no man esche : weþur huy weren wroþe i-novȝ!
Þare was þretningue and bost i-novȝ. : seint Eadmund heold him stille,
And stifliche heold forth þe sentence : and liet heom speke heore wille.
Seint Thomas cam and spak with him : and gostliche fram heouene a-liȝhte,
And bad him beo stif and studefast : to holde up þe churches riȝhte,
And for non eorþelich anuy : ne for deþe, ne flechchie nouȝht,
Ake nime ansaumple of him and oþure : þat so deore as hadde a-bouȝt.
¶ Seint Eadmund feol a-doun a-kneo : and is hondene heold up al-so [folio 184b]
To cusse þis holie mannes fiet. : ake he ne moste it nouȝht do.
Þo bi-gan he to weope sore i-novȝ : and seide "louerd, þin ore!"
"beo stille," quath seint Thomas to him : "and ne weop þou so non|more!
Ȝwi wilnestþou to cusse mine fiet? : it nere þe no riȝht to do,
Þou schalt newene þine wille habbe : and cusse mine mouth al-so." Page  447
¶ Seint Eadmund aftur þulke tyme : studefast was i-novȝ,
To deiȝe raþur for holie churche : þane men duden hire any wovȝ.
he þouȝhte muche on seint Thomas : þat out of londe wende
Þe ȝwyle þe kyng was in mest wrathþe : ȝif he wolde ouȝt amende:
Of him he nam ensaumple : and priueliche i-novȝ
he wende out of Enguelonde : and into Fraunce he drouȝ.
And þouȝhte he was at pounteneye : swiþe faire under-fongue
And isusteyned in his anuy : þat i-laste longue;
¶ Also steuene of languetone : þat Erchebischop was,
Six ȝer he was at pounteneye : in þat sulue cas.
Þo*. [al. so] þat seint Eadmund under-stod : of is Auncetres i-nowe,
Ȝwane huy weren in contek for holie churche : to pounteneye heom drowe:
Also dude seint Eadmund— : to pounteneye he wende,
For-to a-bide þe stat of holie churche : ȝwane ore louerd it wolde amende.
honoured he was faire i-nov : of alle þat þare were,
And euere a-bod a-mendement : fram ȝere to ȝere.
*. [langor.]¶ Hit bi-fel, ase god wolde : þat seint Eadmund atþe laste
Fielde is bodi heui i-novȝ : and fieblede swiþe faste;
So longue, þat he was so feble : þat men ne radde him nouȝht beo þere,
Ake for-to soiorni elles-ȝware : þare betere eir to him were.
Þis holie man is leue nam : elles-ȝwodere to wiende;
Þe Monekes mauden so muche deol : þat þar-of nas non ende.
¶ "beth stille," quat þis holie man : "for ichulle þoru alle þing
Comen hidere aȝein to eou : a-seint Eadmundes day þe kyng."
Louerd, in swuche siknesse : wuch a word þat was i-seid!
Ake, ȝwane he ne miȝhte bi is liue : forewar[d] he heold heom ded!
Forth he wende with is men : þudere ase guod eir were:
To þe toun of Soysi : and bi-lefde þere.
¶ So longue so it was, þare he eode : in grete siknesse i-novȝ,
So longue þat he lay a-doun : and toward þe deþe drovȝ.
So þat he Axede ore louerdes flechs : and it was him i-brouȝht.
he sat and bi-heold it faste i-nouȝ : in gret studie and in þouȝht,
Longue are he seide ani word : and þo spak he wel inliche: Page  448
"louerd," he seide, "þou it art : þat ich habbe i-loued treweliche,
¶ And treweliche on þe ich [habbe] bi-leue[d]*. [al. bileued, ich habbe om.] : and i-preched of þe al-so,
And þou treweliche at min ende-day : art i-come me to.
Ich take þe, louerd, to witnesse : þe ȝwyle ich habbe on vrþe i-beo,
Þat i-ne wilnede neuere aftur*. [al. om.] no-þing on vrþe : louerd, so muche ase aftur*. [al. om.] þe."
A,. louerd, þat it*. [al. þis] was an heiȝh word : and he þat so sede
Guod and holi moste he be : and swiþe holi lif lede! [folio 185]
Þo he hadde i-nome ore louerdes flechs : he sat longue in þouȝhte,
And al leiȝhinde on Englichs : þeos wordes forth he brouȝhte:
"Men seggez þat game goth in wombe : ake i segge game goth in heorte."*. [A v. om.?]
Of ore louerd þat he hadde i-nome : wel Ioyful he was þo,
And al is game was in is heorte— : for is bodi was ful of wo.
Þe more is bodi i-pined was : þe ner he was þen ende;
And þo is ende-day was i-come : he wuste ȝwodere wiende.
¶ Euere þe more þat he was : in sicknesse and in wo,
Þe gladdore he was, for he wuste : ȝwodere he scholde go,
And þe more he was*. [al. loȝ] in Ioye : and þe muregore him gan like.
Men nuste him nouȝht enes ligge a-doun : to groni ne to siche,
Ake euere he sat glad i-nouȝ : and lenede al-so wel ofte
Opon cloþes oþur opon is hond : and deide faire and softe.
Fair semblaunt he maude i-novȝ : ase he drov to þen ende;
In þe moreweningue ase þe sonne a-ros : out of þis world he gan wiende.
¶ He deide twelf hundred ȝer : and to and-fourti riȝht
Aftur þat ore swete louerd : in is moder was a-liȝht.
Men leten openi him a-non : & is gottus take
And burie heom þare ase he was ded : in þe Munstre of seint Iake;
Men nomen is holie bodi : and wel faire gunne it lede
To þe Abbeye of pounteneye : ase he him-sulf er sede.
A-seint Eadmundus dai þe king : þudere he was i-brouȝht—
he heold þe Monekes foreward : and ne failede heom nouȝht:
¶ For þo he ne cam nouȝht a-liue aȝein : ded he dude, i-wis!
And þare he was i-brouȝht on vrþe : and i-schrined al-so he is;
he lith þare faire i-novȝ : and with gret honour al-so. Page  449
Mani is þe faire Miracle : þat god hath for him i-do.
Nou god for þe loue of him : and þat us deore bouȝhte,
To þulke blisse us bringue : þat he is soule brouȝhte. AmeN