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.

64 [Martyn]

SEint Martyn was i-bore : in þe londe of sabarie;
Wel ȝong he was i-noriced : in þe londe of papie.
A noble knyȝht is fadur was : and Maister of þe fierde,
Vnder Costantyn þe Aumperour : and al is .Ost. he stierde.
For*. [al. om., r. forth?] into batayle he brouȝhte is ȝoungue sone : þar-of him to lere.
None heorte nadde he þer-to : for huy heþene were;
his heorte bar him euere to Iesu crist : þei he i-cristned nere,
he i-saiȝh þat heore bi-leue nas nauȝht : þat huy bi-lefden þere.
¶ To churche, þo he was Twelf ȝer old : stilleliche he wende
And bi-hiet ore louerd cristine to beo : ȝwane he þe time him sende.
¶ Þe Aumperour het*. [MS. hiet?] into al þat lond : to euereche olde kniȝte
Þat heore sones scholden into batayle comen : and for heore faderes fiȝhte.
So þat þe ȝungue seint Martin : nas bote of fiftene ȝer
Þo he [þe armes]*. [om.] in eche bataile : for is fadere ber.
A winter ase þis child rod : bi þe weye al one,
A Miseise man he mette naked : sore sike and grone. [folio 185b]
Seint Martyn drovȝ out is swerd : ase we findeth in þe bok,*. [MS. boke]
And carf is Mantel half a-to : and þe pouere Manne it bi-tok.
¶ Sone aftur-ward, ase he bi-heold : to-ward heouene an heiȝh,
with is halue Mantel i-heled : ore louerd crist he seiȝh:
"lo," he seide to is Aungles : "þis ne worth me nouȝht bi-reued;
Martin, þat is heþene ȝuyt : here-with me hath bi-weued."
Þo Martin þis i-herde : and ore louerd he saiȝh þere,
Glad ne bliþe nolde he beo : are he i-cristned were.
¶ Eiȝhtetene ȝer he was old : þo he i-cristned was;
Þat he hadde so longue a-bide : ofte he seide alas.
Ake al þe to ȝer þare-afturward : in-to batailes he wende
For is fader wide a-boute : ase þe Aumperor him sende.
hit bi-fel of a gret bataile : þat þe Aumperor hadde i-nome,
he het alle is knyȝhtes in is lond : þat huy scholden to him come; Page  450
he het*. [orig. hiet] Martyn with heom wende : and Armure with him take.
"Certes, sire," Martin seide, "þine Armes ich habbe for-sake,
¶ Ich am Iesu cristes knyȝht : and so ich habbe i-beo longue,
And none oþure Armes bote his : i-nelle vnder-fongue."
"Ei, couward," seide þe Aumperour : "nouþe þou sparest for fere
For-to fiȝhte with þine felawes : ase þi riȝte were?"
"Sire," seide Martin þo : "þe soþe þou schalt i-se,
Of þine Armes ne kepe i nouȝht : ake þe furste ichulle beo
Al one bi-fore al þi folk : naked to þe bataile;
Mine louerdes miȝhte þou schalt i-seo : for he me nele nouȝt faile."
¶ Þo þat ferd al-ȝare was : seint Martin wende a-non
Vn-armed with is swerd a-drawe : among alle is fon.
Þo he a-mong hem was i-come : þare nas of hem nouȝht on
Þat miȝhte ani more hebbe up is hond : þane it were a ston;
huy ȝolden him þe maistrie a-non : bote þat he let hem a-liue.
Seint Martin clepede is felawes : and het hem hom wel bliue.
"Sire Aumperour," he seide, "nouþe þou sixt : ȝwuch is mi louerdes miȝhte;
Are ȝe alle it hadden þar-to i-brouȝht : longue ȝe mosten fiȝhte!
¶ Nov þou hast alle þine fon i-wonne : þonke god, and nouȝht me,
And haue guod day, for i-nelle : no lengore serui þe."
he nam is leue and wende forth : —he nolde no leng a-bide—
To þe holie bischop hyllari : þat wonede þare-bi-side.
Of him he was i-maud a-colite : and dude al bi is rede.
Ore louerd cam to him a niȝht : and þeos wordes to him seide :
¶ "Ich hote þe, Martin, þat þou go : wel ofte to þine kunne,
And spec with hem, ȝif þov miȝht : bringue hem out of sunne;
Þei þat huy heþene beon : ne let heom nouȝht þare-fore,
For ech guod man schal Anouri þat kun : þat he was of i-bore.
Ake gret a-nuy þov schalt habbe : þe ȝwile þou gest a-boute;
Þe ȝwyle þou mine grace hast : þe þarf no-wiȝht doute."
Þis guode Man, ase ore louerd him het : to-ward is kun wende.*. [orig. hiet]
Strongue outlawes bi þe wei he mette : heore bouwes sone huy bende,
Þis guode man huy nomen : and maden him mani a wounde, [folio 186]
Forth huy ladden him for-to sle : is hondene faste i-bounde.
Þe outlawes axede him ȝif he were : so sore a-drad euere. Page  451
"Nai, certes," quath þis holie man : "þat*. [al. so siker] nas ich neuere.
¶ Ore louerdes help was euere neiȝh : þe manne þat was in care :
So muche is þar-to min hope : þat i-ne rechche hou ich fare."
Of Ihesu crist he tolde so : with heom þat him nome,
Þat huy ful sone leten him go : and cristine for him bi-come.
Ase þis guode Man eode forth al one : þe deuel a-ȝein him cam;
In faire manere he axede him : ȝwodere þene wei he nam.
Þis guode Man seide, "ichulle go : ase mi louerd wole lede me."
"Ȝwodere þou go," þe oþur seide : "þe deuel wole aȝein þe beo."
¶ "Ȝe," seide þis guode Man : "þou most wel al-so;
For ȝwane ore louerd is min help : i-ne rechche ȝwat oþure do."
Þis guode Man eode a-mong is freond : is moder cristine he made;
his fader nolde cristine be : for al þat huy him bede.—
Seint Martin fond a ȝong man ded : þat swiþe wel with him was,
Þat bi-lefde on ore louerd for him : ake i-cristned nouȝt he nas.
¶ Gret deol made þis holie man : þat he nadde ibe i-cristned er :
To is burieles he eode, and bad for him : and weop wel mani a ter.
Þe dede Man bi-gan a-non : fram deþe arise to liue;
"Martin," he seide, "i-hered beo þou : and ore louerdes woundes fiue!
Mi soule was to helle i-lad : ase alle beoth of oure kuynde,
Ake tweye Aungles þoruȝ godes grace : hadden me in muynde
And seiden ore louerd þat ich hadde : ouwer desciple i-beo;
Þare-fore ore louerd me dude a-rise : for þe honour of þe
And dude mi soule to mi bodi : for þi loue hider bringue.
Cristine-dom par charite : ich esche bi-fore alle þingue."
¶ Gret Ioye hadde þis holie Man : of þis swete cas;
he nolde departi fram him nouȝht : are he i-cristned was.—
Þat folk nam sethþe seint Martin : for he was so guod,
And maden him bischop of turoyne : muche a-ȝein is mod.
To mile with-oute þe cite : an Abbeye he liet a-rere;
Four-score Monekes of guode liue : him-sulf he dude þere.
with heom he wonede al in pays : ase he heore soueren were;
he ne wende nouȝht out bote ȝwane it neod was : þat folk for-to lere.—
¶ So holi lif seint Martin ladde : þat he hadde to is heste
Fuyr., and treo., and þe kuynde of worm : of foules and of beste.
*. [a v. om.]A strong wind blevȝ a fuyr : þat to seint Martines house it wende, Page  452
And are þis guode man it onder-ȝete : i-barnd was þat on ende.
Seint Martyn hiet a-godes name : þat fuyr a-ȝein wiende :
For is heste þat fuyr flevȝ : a-non a-ȝein þe wynde
To þe stude þare it cam fram : and ne bi-lefde no-wiȝht bi-hinde,
And dude a-ȝein þe kuynde of fuyre : a-ȝein þe wynde to fle. [folio 186b]
Þare was i-sene þat fuyr ne miȝhte : a-ȝein is heste be.—
¶ To is heste he hadde, ase ich seide er : þe kuynde of þe tre,
Ase ȝe mouwen bi a fair miracle : of him nouþe i-seo.
On a dai ase he stod under a treo : to prechi godes lawe,
Þe luþere men þat þare-bi stoden : þouȝhten him bringue of dawe :
huy gunne sawie þat treo a-to : to-ward þis holie Manne,
Þat it scholde ouer-falle him— : for þare nadde he freond nanne.
Þoruȝ noyse of þe crakeȝingue : þe guode man i-heorde
Þat þut treo fel touward him. : a-ȝein wel sone he it cherde;
¶ he het þat treo a-godes name : opward a-ȝein tuyrne.
Þat treo a-ros up-riȝht i-nouȝh : for it nolde is heste werne,
And ouer-ful*. [MS. ouerfalle] in þat oþur side : [m]anie*. [MS. anie] of is fon.
huy þat leoueden, lieten heom sone : cristni euerech-on.—
Þe worm dude is heste al-so. : for ase he cam bi a wateres brimme,
A lodlich Naddre he i-saiȝh : stifliche aȝein him come swymme.
"Ich hote þe," seide þis holie Man : "þat þov aȝeinward wende,
A[n]t þat þou neuereft here ne come : ne nouȝwere in þis ende."
Þis worm turnede a-ȝen a-non : ase þis holie Man him het,
And swam in-to an oþur lond : and þulke contreiȝe fur-let.—
¶ Foules duden is heste al-so. : for on a time ase he gan gon,
he saiȝh douedoppene fisches cachche : and swolewen heom in a-non.
"Alas!" seide þis guode man : "þis is þe feondes manere :
Gultlese*. [MS. gultlesse] þingus and vnwarre : to cachchen, ase huy doth here,
And þing þat non harm ne doth : bote wenth in pay[s] to beo;
So farez þe deuel, a-waytez euere : for-to he is preiȝe i-seo."
he het þe foules a-godes name : ech-one þannes teo
And þat huy scholden in-to wildernesse : out of þat watere fleo,
Þat huy neueref[t] þare ne comen : gultlese þingues to take.
Þis foules a-non with þis word : awei huy gonne schake.—
¶ bestes duden al-so is heste. : for ase he wende a-boute,
Aftur ane hare he saiȝh vrne : grehoundes a gret route; Page  453
"Alas," he seide, "þis seli best : þat no-þing ne doth a-mis!
Þis foule houndes it wollez to-drawe : gultles ase it is."
he het þe grehoundes a-bide a-non : and ne do þat best no wo;
huy at-stunten a-non, and eoden a-ȝein : and lieten þat best forth go.*. [al. 2 vv. more.]
¶ On atyme kene houndes comen : a-boute one of is manne;
he ne miȝhte him wite, so kene huy were : ne help nadde he nanne:
"Ich hote eov," he seide, "a-godes name : and on seint Martines al-so,
Þat ȝe me laten a-pais wende : Min erinde for-to do."
Þe houndes a-non with þat word : bi-gonne to stonde stille,
And wenden euerech in is wey : to do seint Martines wille.
¶ A kov al-so þat was gidi : a-boute orn in þe londe,
Þat fale men slov, and bestes al-so : ȝware heo fond anie stonde;
hire ne miȝhte no-þing atstonde a-ȝein : so strong þat foule þing was.
A-ȝein seint Martin heo cam eorne : ase ore louerd ȝaf þat cas; [folio 187]
Sore weren is Men a-dradde. : þis guode Man hire het a-non
A-godes name stonde stille : and [n]ane*. [MS. ane] fot forþere gon.
Þat best, þei it gidi were : a-non it gan a-bide.
Seint Martin þene deuel i-saiȝ : opon hire rugge ride.
¶ "Þov luþere þing ȝwat dostþov þer? : for euere þou dost to quede.
Ȝwy trauailest þou þat selie best : þat ne loueth no misdede?
A-corsede þing, þou wend a-wei : ne cum neiȝh hire non-more!"
Þe deuel wende a-wei a-non : ȝeollinde suyþe sore—
he moste nede is heste do : ase wel ase þe kov.
Þo heo of him deliured was : ase ȝe i-hereth hov,
Mildeliche heo eode to seint Martyn : to is fet heo feol a-kneo a-non,
And schok hire heued, to þonki him : he nolde fram him gon.
¶ Seint Martin hire het a-risen up : and to ire felawes wende.
heo lottede on him and eode forth : hom to ire owene ende.—
Seint Martin was apostlene pier : for þe holie gost a-liȝhte
In him ase in þe Apostles : in fourme of fuyr wel briȝhte.
A dai ase þis guode Man sat : allone in is celle,
his priue Men a-biden him þare-oute : and heorden him loude telle;
Al-so ase þei it wummen were : huy heorden with him speke.
Þare-of hem þouȝhte wonder gret : ne dorsten huy nouȝt in breke.
¶ Sethþe þo þe guode man cam out : huy fullen a-doun a-kneo, Page  454
And axeden ȝwat þe speche were : þat with him hadde i-beo.
Þe guode man seide, "ich may eou telle : for ȝe me beoz priue:
It was ore lauedi and seint Anneis : þat þare-inne weren with me,
Of þe Ioye of heouene huy speken : and ofte huy doth so.
Seint petre and seint powel : to me comiez ofte al-so."—
Seint Martin at paray*. [place left vacant, paray on the margin; al. paris] : mette ane Musel bi cas.
he custe him, and anon aftur-ward : þe Musel al hol was.—
¶ Men ne seiȝe him neuere wroth : ne liȝe no-þe-mo,
And ȝwat-so-euere is Men duden : he wolde euere bi on go.
In wel pouere wede a day : he rod out on ane Asse;
heiȝe Men he mette bi þe weie : þat tolden of him þe lasse.
heore hors weren of him a-drad le : for is pouere cloþes,
And ornen a-bach, and felden hem a-doun. : huy weren with him ful wroþe,
huy sturten up and nomen þis holie Man : and beoten him ful sore.
Euere he was stille and ne spak no word : for þi huy beoten him þe more.
¶ Þo huy him hadden so i-bete : huy bi-lefden [him] atþen ende
ligginde þare, and worþen on heore hors : forth heore wei to wende.
Ake heore hors nolden gon of þe stude : for al þat huy don*. [al. om.] miȝten,
Ȝuyt huy*. [ȝuyt huy al. om.] smiten with ȝeorde and with spore : are þat huy a-liȝhten
And criden merci þis guode Man : þat huy him hadden mis-do.
heore hors hem bere forth a-non : þo huy token on so.—
And in an hous þe ȝwile it barnde : he slep wit-oute harm;
his cloþes fur-barnden al-to cole : he ne fielde it no-þing warm.—
¶ At a gret feste, ase he scholde : þe heiȝe masse singue, [folio 187b]
To churche he wende with is men : men gunne a-ȝein him ringue.
Ane pouere Man he mette nake : þat no schroud him nadde a-boue,
And bad him sum-þing to helien him with : for ore louerdes loue.
Seint Martyn bad is Ercedekne : þat he him ȝeue sum cloth.
Þe Ercedekne tolde þarof luyte : and nolde, he swor is Oth.
Seint Martin bote anne Cuyrtel : on him-sulf þo nadde:
To þe pouere Manne he hine ȝaf : in an hous þare he him ladde.
¶ he ne bi-lefde on him no cloth of wolle : bote is Cope al-one.
Þe masse ne miȝhte he bi-guynne nouȝht : þat folk made þar-of mone.
"Ȝwy neltþou," seide þe Ercedekne : "þine masse bi-guynne?" Page  455
"For þou most er ane pouere Manne : sum cloth to him i-winne."
"Nov is þis*. [erased? al. hit]," seide þe Ercedekne : "gret a-nuy with þe,
For j-ne seo no pouere Man : nouȝwere a-boute þe be."
"No," seide þis holie man : "it nele faillie þe nouȝht,
Al redi þou findest a pouere Man : habbe þou þat cloth i-brouȝth."
¶ Þe Ercedekne in grete wrathþe : eode into chepingue,
A lodlich cloth he bouȝhte for fif panes : to þe bischope he gan it bringue.
Þe bischop eode into þe vestiarie : is Cope he gan of strepe.
he nadde under is vestimenz : to habbe on bote þis*. [orig. is] Iuype,
Vnneþe it heolede is derne limes : and nouȝht folliche is elbouwes;
For is bare Armes atþe masse : þis guode man hadde gret houwe—
For þe uestimenz wide weren : and is Armes smale and lene;
laste is Armes nakede weren i-seiȝe : he ne dorste hebbe op is hond ene.
¶ Ake þo he nedlingus at þe sacrement : is hondene hebbe up scholde,
An Aungel schrudde is nakede armes : with tweie sleuene of golde.*. [Harl. 3 vv. more.]
Þe ercedekne cride and bi-hiet : þat neuere-eft mis-don him he nolde.—
Þe deuel hadde to þis holie man : gret onde with-alle.
he cam in a time him to bi-traye : in riche cloþus of palle,
with hosen and schon of briȝte golde : swyþe fair he was of face.
"Martin," he seide, "wel þe beo : i-founde þou hast mine grace:
Ich am þilke þat þou seruest wel : ichulle me schewi to þe;
Þov most sone chaungi þi lif : and bi-time come to me."
¶ Þis guode Man sat in gret þouȝht : no word he ne sede.
"Martyn," he seide, "ich am þi freond : ȝwar-of hastþou drede,
Ȝwane þin owene god spekez with þe : here mouth with mouþe?
Euere þou hast of guode bi-leue i-beo : ne lat it nouȝt faili þe nouþe!
For ich blessi alle þat on me bi-leuez : þei huy me nouȝht ne seo,
And er þis þei þov ne seiȝe me nouȝht : in þulke blessingue þou woldest be."
¶ "I nuste neuere," quath þis guode man : "þat mi louerd euere sede
Þat he wolde on vrþe come : in swuche riche kingene wede; Page  456
And bote ich mouwe of mine louerdes woundes : on þe signe i-se
Oþur of is croyz, inelle i-leue : þat þou mi louerd be."
Þe foule þing wende a-wey : and was adrad of ane boule;
Þe stude þare-Aftur swiþe longue : stonk of him riȝht foule.*. [al. 2 vv. more.]—
[folio 188] ¶ Þis guode Man seide his ende-day : him was swyþe wel come.*. [al. wel longe er hit come]
his desciples weopen sore : and gret deol to heom nome.
"Leoue fader," huy seiden, "ȝwat schulle we do : þat þov us wolt for-sake?
Vs fader-les with-oute confort : ȝwam woltþu bi-take?
Nov wollez wilde wolues come : and alle þine schep a-spille."
"Ich mot nede," seide þis guode man : "don mine louerdes wille."
Of Askene and of is here he made*. [he m. on the margin.] : a bed at is ende-day,
And þaron feble aȝen is deþe : opriȝht adoun him-sulue he lay;
And toward heouene lokede ay : so longue þat it nas non ende.
his Men þouȝhten it dude him harm : and wolden him helpe to wende.
¶ "A-bideth," seide þis holie man : "ȝwy wolle ȝe don so?
latez me ane ȝwyle bi-holde þe stude : þat mi soule schal to!"
Þo i-saiȝh he þene deuel aftur is soule : stonde þare with is feren.
"A-wey," he seide, "þou luþere best : þou nast nouȝt to don here!
with me nastþou nouȝt to done : for mi louerd me wole onder fongue;
In is name to him ich wende : þat bouȝhte me swiþe strongue."
¶ With þusse worde he ȝaf þene gost— : Aungles i-redie were,
Þat folk heorde heore murie song : ase huy þe soule bere.
Four hondret ȝer it was : and in þe sixe-and-sixtiþe ȝere
Aftur ore louerdes buyrtyme : þat þis guode Man deide þere.
Four-score winter he was old : are he was ded al-so.
God ȝiue us part of þulke ioye : þat is soule wende to.