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.

66 [Magdalena.*. [This legend has been edited before in my "Sammlung altenglischer Legenden," Heilbronn, 1878; two other MSS. of the same text, Trin. Coll. Cambr. R 3, 25 and Lambeth 223, in Herrig's Archiv, 1882. It is a very old poem, in stanzas with mid · rhymes, originally in the East-Midland dialect, perhaps by the author of Gregorius; the text is greatly corrupted.—All other MSS. contain a different text.]]

Sleiȝe Men and egleche : and of redes wise and bolde,
Lustniez nouþe to mi speche : wise and vnwise, ȝongue and olde :
No-þing ich eov nelle rede ne teche : of none wichche ne of none scolde,
Bote of a lif þat may beo leche : to sunfule men of herte colde.
¶ Ich nelle eov noþer rede ne rime : of kyng ne of Eorl,*. [al. Telle nelle ic of no man:] of knyȝht ne of swein,
Ake of a womman ichchulle ov telle*. [al. also ic can] : þat was sunful and for-lein :
A swyþe fol wumman heo bi-cam : and þoruȝ godes grace heo was i-brouȝht aȝeyn,
And nouþe heo is to crist i-come : þe fayre Marie Maudeleyn.
Of hire*. [al. h. name] ichulle ȝeou telle nouþe*. [al. om.] : al-hou and ȝware heo was i-bore,
Ȝif ȝe to me wullez i-heore*. [al. lusten & dwelle] : and habben of god þonk þare-fore.
¶ Þis word Marie so is briȝh[t]nesse : and bi-tokneþe*. [MS. bitokne þe] steorre of þe se,
And soruwe also and biturnesse : ase þe bok tellez me;
For ȝwane a man fielez in is heorte : þat he hauez muche mis-do,
And him þare-fore biguynnez to smeorte : þat is to him*. [al. þan is him] bitur and wo,
he mournez and he sikez ofte— : þis ilke Marie fierde al-so,
Þat þing þat was hire leof and softe : was sethþe hire fulle fo.
¶ In þe Castel of Magdale : þis faire wumman was i-bore :
heo was icleoped in propre name : "þe Maudeleyne" riȝht þare-fore.
To speken of hire ich am wel fous : and it likez me ful murie.
Ire fader was hoten sire Titus : and hire moder Dame Euchirie;
hire broþur was cleoped lazarus : and Martha was hire soster—
heo was debonere and pitiuous : and heo was a seli foster. Page  463
heore fader and heore moder boþe*. [r. bo] : comen of riche kunne,
Of bolde kyngus and of Quienes*. [sup. also] : Men of muchele wunne :
¶ Of castles and of tounes*. [r. toures] : of londes and of þeodes, [folio 190b]
Of halles and of boures : of palefreiȝes and of stedes;
large huy weren of heore metes : to heom þat hadden neode,
To men goinde and eke sittinde*. [al. ysete] : þat heore bonene wolden heom beode.
Wyse men and sleyȝe : oueral huy weren i-tolde.
Þo þat huy scholden deiȝe : and so huy weren i-holde :
¶ Heore londes and heore leodes : huy delden alle a-þreo,
Tounes and heore þeodes : heore guod*. [r. gold] and heore feo,
To feoffen heore children*. [al. Here ch. to dyȝte] : þare-wiz echon,
For huy ne scholden nouȝt striue*. [fyȝte] : ȝwane huy heom weren at-gon.
wel sone þere-aftur : þo huy nede scholde,
Deiden fader and Moder : ase iesu crist it wolde;
¶ Bi heom Men duden sone : ase huy ouȝten to done,
And to heore longue home : brouȝten heom ful sone—
Iesu crist of heouene : of heom habbe merci
And for is names seouene : fram helle heom waraunti!
huy diȝhten heore londes : a-mong heom, alle þreo,
And with heore hondene delden : heore gold and heore feo :
To Marie bi-lefde*. [al. gan falle] : þe castel Magdale,
¶ Þare-fore Maudeleyne*. [sup. of alle] : formest i-cleoped was heo;*. [vv. 43-44 are wr. in one line.]
Lazarus hadde þat haluen-del*. [al. chaumpart] : of al Ierusalem,
Of wodes and fieldes and of sart : al-mest to bedlehem;
Martha was i-feoffed : with þe*. [al. om.] Betanie
And al-so with genezarez : bote þe bok us lie.
¶ Marie, heo ne tolde nouȝt : bote al of hire pruyde,
Ake þar-on was al hire þouȝht : and faire hire to schruyde,
And sethþe for-to walke a-boute*. [al. om.] : to don hire flechses wille,
To gon and eorne feor and neor*. [al. & to stalke] : boþe loude and stille;
For-soþe, heo was riche i-nouȝh*. [al. sekirly] : and so heo moste nede :
Manie riche Men hire leiȝen bi : and ȝeuen hire gret mede.
¶ Lazarus spendede al is þouȝht : op-on his chiualerie,
Of oþur þingus ne tok he no ȝeme : ne to*. [al. Ac at o word he tolde noȝt: of] housebondrie.
Þe selie Martha, þat oþur suster : heo was of redes guode, Page  464
Ase þei heo and hire soster : neren nouȝt of one blode :
¶ Martha nam hire broþur lond : and hire sustres al-so,
And dude heom teolien wel i-nouȝ : ase wys man scholde do;
Þare-with heo fedde alle heore men : and cloþede heom al-so,
[&] pouere men and wummen : þat weren neodfole and in wo.
¶ So fair womman nas þare non : in none kunnes londe,
Ase marie was of bodie*. [al. lycam] : and of fote and honde;
So more fairore þat heo bi-cam*. [al. was hir fax] : þe more of hire was prys,*. [MS. pryis]
Þe more fol womman heo wax : and sunful and unwys :
¶ Hire riȝhte name marie : ouer-al heo les þare-fore,
Sunfole wumman men cleopeden hire*. [al. gan hire clepy] : bi-hinde hire and bi-fore.
Þo þis wumman hadde i-heord : þat hire name was ilore,
Þat heo was so bi-gyled and bicherd : wo was hire þare-fore;
Þo Men hire cleopeden sunfule : and lieten hire riȝhte name, [folio 191]
heo wax kareful and dreori of þouȝht*. [al. drery & carful] : and gan sore to schame :
Þo nolde heo no-more : bi-fore þe riche men come;
In-to hire castel for sorewe*. [al. sore] : heo hauez hire i-nome,
For-to ore louerd cam and prechede : ouer al in þat londe.
Martha hire suster ofte bi-fore op-braid*. [r. apechede?] : hire schame and hire schonde,
And chidde hire ful ofte : for hire lecherie,
boþe fastinde and eke ful : þat vnneþe he miȝhte it drie.
¶ A man of þat contreye : þat heiȝhte symond leperous,
Al-so þe bok us tellez : bad ore louerd to is hous,
And is deciples tweolue : with him, to þe mete,
For he ne miȝhte nouȝht him-sulf : fram heom alle ete.
¶ Marie þis i-heorde : and þarof was ful glad;
A smeorieles to greiþi : þar-to he was ful rad;
heo wende to symundes hous : þat no man hire ne bad,
To ore louerd Iesu crist.*. [al. crist Iesus] : and ful sore heo was of-drad,
¶ For þat he was so sunful : bi-fore ore louerd to come,
Careful heo was, and sore a-ferd : forto beon i-nome;
heo ne dorste ore louerd repie nouȝht*. [al. om.] : bi-hinde ne bi-fore,
Ne no Man hire nolde cleopie : and þat hire grefde sore.
¶ Þo ore louerd was i-sete : in symundes house þere,
And his Apostles to þe mete : þat with him þo were,
Ore louerd sat and þouȝhte muche : ake bote luyte he ne eet.*. [orig. eat]Page  465
Marie þat was so sunful*. [al. þat of hirself ne roȝt] : heo crep doun to is fiet,
¶ heo custe is fiet and wusch al-so : with hire wete teres,
And wipede heom aftur-ward : with hire ȝeoluwe heres,
Out of hire boxe heo nam : Oynement ful guod
And smeorede ore louerdes heued : with ful blisful mod.
¶ Iudas was þare bi-side and smulde hit : and þare-fore he was neiȝh wod,—
Þat swote smul him culde neiȝh : and gremede is sorie blod,—
And*. [al. he] bad don up þat riche þing : þat heo ore louerd gan with smeore;
To spene it so in wasting : he seide, it was gret lure;
And seide, "it mai beon i-sold ful deore : to bugge with muchel mete,
pouere Men þare-with to freueri : of drunch and of mete."*. [on the margin, to drinke and to ete]
¶ Þo saide ore louerd to Iudas : "lat þou þis wumman beo!
Ful guod weork it was and is : þat heo wurchez in me;
For ai schulle ȝe pouere with eov habbe : and so ne worth eov me—
Þi toungue moste bien i-schaue : to speche heo is to freo."
¶ Symund leprous i-heorde þis : he þouȝhte wel mani-fold
Þat, ȝif þes profete were al-so wys : ase he is fore i-told,
he nolde soffri þis fole wumman : his bodi enes to reppe,
For no weork þat heo can do*. [al. do can] : to-ward him enes steppe.
¶ Ore louerd wuste is luþere þouȝht : ake þarof stod him non eyȝe:
"Symund, þou þenchest muche for nouȝht. : sum-þing ichulle þe seiȝe."
"Maister, seye," seide symound : "ich it bidde þe!
For þou noldest for no þing*. [al. C pound] : segge on-riȝht to me." [folio 191b]
¶ "An vsurer was ȝwilene : þat hadde dettores tweyne,
Þat swyþe longue ȝwyle : dette him scholden beyne:
Þat on him scholde fifti panes : and twenti þar-to,*. [al. fyf siþe twenti]
Þat oþur him scholde of dette : fifti panewes al-so.*. [al. panes : fulle fifty]
¶ And noþur of heom nadde : ȝware-of þe dette for-to ȝelde:
huy ȝolden, þo he it creuede*. [al. He forȝaf hit hem : (the MSS. are corrupt)] : ase þe bok us telde.
Ȝweþur of heom tweine : cudde him more loue þo?"
"Maister, he þat*. [al. þat he] more ȝaf*. [forȝaf] : me þinche, so mote i go."
¶ "For soþe, symund leperous : þou hauest i-demed a-riȝht.
For sethþe ich cam into þin hous : þou ne custest me no-wiȝht,
Ne þou ne wusche nouȝt mine fiet : with watur ne with teres
Ne þou ne wypedest heom nouȝht ȝuyt : with cloþe no with heres,*. [orig, here, s added later.]Page  466
¶ Min heued on none halue : with no-manere Oynement
Ne smeordest*. [MS. smeredest smeordest], with none salue : ne with no piement;
Sethþe ich cam in-to þin hous : þis wumman*. [MS. wumnan] nolde blinne
Mine fiet to wasche and cusse : with-outen and with-inne,
¶ And to wipen heom sethþe aftur-ward : with hire faire here,
Min heued also to smeorien : with riche Oynement and dere.
Op aris, þou wumman, þine sunnes þe beoth for-ȝyue!
Al-so ich nouþe can and may*. [r. may and can] : of me þou art i-schriue."
¶ Marie þe Maudeleyne*. [al. M. þat was in fere] : ore swete louerd hire schrof,
Swete Iesu crist out of hire : seue deuelene he*. [MS. heo] drof.
Ore louerd makede hire is procuratour : his leof and is hostesse;
heo louede him with gret honour : in pays and in destresse.
¶ Martha, hire suster, was ful sik : and so heo hadde i-beo ful ȝore,
At hire bi-hinde heo hadde i-bled : seuen ȝer and more;
heo ne miȝhte for no-þing : no leche-craft*. [craft on the margin.] a-fongue,
Are ore louerd, heouene king : a-mong heom þare gan ȝongue,
And ȝaf hire is swete blessingue : and helde hire of hire sore
And bad hire beon hol and sound. : and so heo was euer-eft more.
¶ Heore beire broþur lazarus : was swyþe sikel a*. [overlined.] man.
Iesus hereborewede at heore hous : ȝwane he bi heom cam,
And his Apostles alle : ȝwane huy þare-forth come,
heore In huy gonne cleopie : an*. [al. þat wolde to hem by falle:] ase heore owene it nome;
¶ Al swuch ase þare-inne was : huy eten and huy drounke—
Men habbez ofte note of þing : þat luytel it habbut swounke.
Þo Iesus hadde þare i-beo : ase longue ase he wolde,
he wente to an oþur contreye : for men i-seon him scholde;
¶ Marie he ȝaf is blessingue : and Martha and lazarus,
Muchele and luttle, elde and ȝongue : þat woneden in heore hous.
Aftur þat he was i-wend : Marie was*. [al. wax] egleche:
Crist hire hauede a-boute i-sent : to sarmoni and to preche:
¶ To sunfole men he was ful rad : to wissi and to teche,*. [MS. toche]
And to sike men heo wa[s] ful glad : to beon heore soule leche;
Mani on to cristinedom : heo brouȝhte, and out of sunne, [folio 192]
Fram lecherie and hore-dom : þoru*. [al. to] schrift, to Ioye and alle wunne.—
¶ Aftur ore louerdes passione : in þe þritten þe ȝere
Giwes weren proute and grimme : olme and of luþere chere, Page  467
Seint steuene to deþe huy stenden : þat was ore louerd ful deore,
And manie Men huy flemden : þat cristes limes were;
¶ Non Apostle ne moste liue : in Giwene londe,
Alle huy weren of londe i-driue : with wrathþe and nyþe and onde.
Seint Maximus was þo : with godes apostles*. [al. þo was w. g. a. : s. M.] bi-come;
Sixti .ant. Ten deciples : to-gadere heom hadden i-nome;
¶ Marie þe Maudeleyne : and hire broþur lazarus,
And heore suster Martha : and þe bischop Maximus,
Mani mo of cristine Men : wel mo þane i can nemne,
weren i-hote fleme : and some to quelle and brenne.
¶ Huy weren in .A. schip i-pult : with-outen ster and ore,
Þat huy scholden beon fur-faren*. [al. i-spilt] : and ne libben no-more;
Þare nas noþur ido with heom : noþur watur ne bred,
For huy scholden of-hongrede beon : and sone þare-aftur-ward ded.
¶ Huy schypeden in þe salte se : ase Iesu crist it wolde,
For-to þat tyme scholde beo : þat huy a-riui scholde.
To Marcile þe wynd heom drof : a gret name-couth cite;
Euer-ech of heom oþur schrof : are huy comen out of þe se.
¶ Huy ne founden þare no freond*. [al. frend non] : þat wolde heom hereboruwe,
Cristine man ne no giv*. [Noþer gywe ne cr. man] : an eue noþur a-moruwe,
Ne ȝyuen heom mete ne drinke noþur*. [al. om.] : ne lissen heore soruwe,
Ne no man, for loue ne for swunch : þat huy miȝhten of bugge ne borewe:
¶ In one olde porche : huy stunten al þat nyȝht,
with-oute liȝht of torche : with-oute fuyr and candle briȝht.
Þe porche was an old*. [MS. hold] hous : of olde weorke i-wrouȝt;
Þudere in huy weren alle wel vouse : þat of þe se weren i-brouȝht,
¶ For huy nusten elle-ȝware : þat huy stunte miȝhte;
Bote huy hadde gre[t] schame and teone : and giwes with heom to fiȝhte.
Þare huy duelden al þat nyȝht : forto it was day a-moruwe.
Þe sarasins heom boden fiȝht : to echen heore soruwe.
¶ Alle þe Men þat fram þe se : þuder weren i-come,
huy nusten ȝwodere huy miȝhte fleo : for-þi huy weren i-nome.
huy weren i-hote ope lyf and lime*. [al. on here lyf] : Iesu crist fur-sake,
And, with þretningue and with strif : to heore false godus take. Page  468
¶ Þe Marie Maudeleine : heo saiȝh þat folk a-rise,
Riche and pouere, knyȝht and sweyn : to don þat sacrefise:
heo was a-nuyd and of-drad : þat hire bi-gan to grise;
To speken of god heo was ful rad : and so dude on hire wise.
¶ Op heo stod with wordes bolde : with briȝht neb and glade chere,
And seide, "herkniez to me, ȝunge and elde : þat wullez beon cristes:*. [rhyme om.; al. þat in þis place ben here]
Ne bi-lieuez nouȝht opon Mahun : ne on teruagaunt, is fere,
For huy beoth boþe deue and doumbe : and huy ne mouwen i-seo n i-here, [folio 192b]
¶ Ne huy ne mouwen eov helpe nouȝht : of none kunnes þingue
Þei men of heom ȝelpen ouȝt : ne no guod to eu bringue:
For huy bez doumbe and deue : crokede and eke blinde,
heore miȝhte is fallen to grounde : bi-foren and bi-hinde.
¶ Ake ȝe schulle lieuen on iesu crist : oure heiȝe heouene kyng,
Þat al þis worldes maister is : with-oute ani ending:
For he may don is wille*. [al. He ou wole dyȝt (of om.)] : of euereche cunnes þing
Þat ȝe wilniez with riȝhte : and with-outen suneguyng;
¶ He is with-oute þe bi-guynningue : and he is with-outen ende,
with-oute fuylþe and sunegyng : so corteys and so hende
Þat al þing þat man with skile him biddez : he wole him ȝyue and sende,
To Man þat goth and eke rit : þat wole to him wende;
¶ He is wuryte*. [r. wuyrte] of alle þing : he makede heouene and helle,
Ne may no kayser ne no kyng : his vertues alle telle;
Þe man þat him seruez wel : ne may him no feond cwelle,*. [orig. dwelle]
Ake huy þat wullez a-ȝein him fiȝhte : to grounde he wole heom felle;
¶ He makede day and eke nyȝht : steorrene and sonne and Mone;
Þe man þat trewe is and louez him ariȝt : he wole graunti him is bone
And þat he biddez him with treouþe : he it grauntez him ful sone,
he helpez boþe king and knyȝht : þe pouere alle mididone."
¶ A riche prince of sarazins : þudere was i-come,
with him is wyf and his mayne : þat with him he hadde i-nome:
To Maries prechingue : he lustnede ful sone;
For þat heo was so fair a þing : to hire huy token guod gome.
¶ Þe sarazins onvele : weren fulle of nyþe and hete, Page  469
þo it was time of mele : huy wenden to heore mete;
þo huy comen hom vnsele : and þar-to weren i-sete,
Cristes Men to delen guod : ful clene huy hadden for-ȝete.
¶ Þare weren of cristine men : mo þane sixti and tene;
No man nadde reuþe of heom : and þat was þare i-sene:
huy weren wit-oute mete and drunch : in gret hongur and in teone,
Ne huy ne duden no weork ne swunch : ne no-þing men nolde heom lene.
¶ Hit was in one nyȝhte : aftur þe þridde day,
þat þis riche princes wif : in hire bedde lay:
Þare cam Marie Maudeleyne : and bi-foren hire heo stod:
"Dame, me þinchez þou art vnhende*. [al. vilayne] : for þou hast muche guod,
¶ Of þe ich habbe gret feorlich : and muche me þinchez wunder
Þat þou last Iesu cristes folk : þus steorue for hungur!
Bote ȝif þou oþur þi louerd : lissi heore kare,
Wite ȝe mid-i-wisse : sorewe eou schal beon ful ȝare:
¶ Swuch a fierd schal op-on eov come : þat schal eov so*. [al. om.] fur-fare
And a-quellen eou and eouwer folk : huy nellez eov no-þing spare."
Þis riche princes wif þis word : nolde hire louerd nouȝht telle—
For-soþe, heo was puyrliche vnwys : in sawe and in spelle.
Þe oþur nyȝht þe Maudeleyne : eft-sone ȝeode hire to, [folio 193]
And spak to hire wel stuyrneliche : and þe þridde nyht al-so;
And ȝuyt heo nolde hire erinde : to hire louerd do.*. [a v. om.; al. Alle suche messageres : crist hem worche wo.]
¶ Marie cam þe feorþe nyȝht : and bi-fore þe prince heo stod:
"Slepestou, tyraunt, þou deueles knyȝht : of sathanasses blod?
þi wif, þe Naddre, heo is a-mad : ich holde hire puyr wod:
heo nolde þe telle þat ich bad : for vuele ne for guod.
¶ Þou hauest mete and drunch i-novȝ : and luytel oþur care,
And soffrest cristes men with wouȝh : for hungur þus fur-fare!
Bote þou a-mendi heore stat sone : þe is sorewe al-ȝare,
þare schal so strong*. [MS. stronk] folk come þe a-ȝein : þat wollez þe luytel spare,
¶ with sweord and spere huy schullen þe sle : and al þi folk fur-fare."
þe Maudeleyne ȝeode fram him : and liet him ligge þare.
þe Quiene*. [al. prince] a-wok and siȝhte sore : and tolde hire louerd*. [þe quene] so;
þo þouȝhte him þat he i-warned was*. [al. þoȝte heo, so dyde me:] : þreo nyȝhtes and mo.
¶ Heo tolde him þat hire was i-seid*. [orig. i-said] : and al-so i-hote to do: Page  470
Feden Iesu cristes men : and lissi heom of heore wo,
Oþur heom scholde sorewe i-novȝ : and kare comen heom to.
þo seide þe prince : "Dame, ȝwat schulle we do
Of þisse opene warningue : þat is i-come us to?*. [vv. 269-70 are written in one line. v. 270 al. om.]
Betere is þat we Cristes men : swyþe wel heom fiede and schruyde,
þene we tellen luyte of heom : In vilte oþur in pruyde."
¶ huy token Iesu cristes Men : and ladden hom*. [al. hem] to heore inne;
Al þat heom was neod, huy founden heom : with loue and alle wunne.
Þe Maudeleyne heom radde wel : to witien heom fram sunne,
So þat heom ne þorte neuere drede : of sathanases kunne.
¶ Opon a day heo bi-gan*. [al. Heo bigan vpon a day] : godes word forto preche
And of godes lawe, with gret wit*. [Wiþ grete witte of godes lay] : ase heo þar miȝhte a-reche;
To leden heore lyf in guod fey : alle heo gan heom teche,
And for-to louie god and don a-wey : wrathþe and onde and wreche.
¶ Þe prince saide þo to hire : with egleche wordes and bolde:
"Miȝht þou proui with treuþe : þat þou prechest may beo wel i-holde?"
Þe Maudeleyne saide,*. [corr. to seide] "ȝe : ich am redi eov to teche,
Bi ore maistres conseile : and mid is holie speche—
Þat is seinte*. [MS. seinte?] petre of rome— : hov ȝe schullen on take
Þe blisse of heouene for-to afongue : and þe feondes lore for-sake."
¶ Þo seide þe prince a-non : and is wyf al-so:
"We beoz boþe redie a-non : þine wille forto do,
So ase þi louerd is : of so muchel miȝhte
Þat he may, ȝwane he wole : at is wille alle þingus diȝhte.
¶ Bide þine louerd, heoue king : þat is us alle a-boue,
So ase he may don alle þing : and al-so for is moder loue,
And for þine bi-sechingue*. [al. bisokne] : þat he ȝyue a child, þat beo a sone:
And at þane forewarde*. [tokne] : we wollez with eov wone,
Ore kinedom also forth with us : his owene we wollez bi-come,
And we wollez ȝelden a-ȝein to is Men : þat we heom habbez bi-nome.
¶ Þo seide Marie þe Maudeleine : "þat nelle ich nouȝht bi-leue,
A preiere to mi louerd to make : nele me no-þing*. [MS. þinging] greue.
"Ich bidde þe, swete Iesu crist : þat makedest sonne and mone,
Þat þou þis prince siende a child : and þat it beo a sone."
heo bad with guode heorte and milde. : heo was i-heord ful sone:
¶ Þat ilke nyȝht huy geten a child : ase god heom ȝaf grace to done. Page  471
¶ Þo þe prince wuste : þat is Quiene was with childe,
A-non-riȝht toward Iesu crist : he wax meoke and milde;
huy leten heore vuele dedes : þat weren so wikke and wilde,
And aftur godes dedes : huy wrouȝhten a[nd] gonne buylde.
¶ Þo swor þe prince and seide, "bi heued min : wiende ichulle to rome
And bi-come a pilegrim : and don aftur þe holie dome,
And with seint petur ichulle speke : and don aftur is redes,
ȝif it is so ase Marie seiz : of Iesu cristes dedes;
And ȝif þat ich him finde : at þe court of rome,
Of him ichulle vnder-fongue : fulloutht and cristindome."
¶ Þo seide þe lauedi : "ichulle wiende with þe,
And, þare þou art i-cristned : ichulle al-so beo;
And ȝwane þou comest hidere a-ȝein : ich may come with þe."
Þo seide þe prince leiȝinde : to is wif a-game:
"And beo nouþe ase þou seist : mi leoue swete dame,
¶ Bote in schipe wexez ofte soruwe*. [al. om.] : peril and teone and grame;
And þou art nouþe with childe : couth is þat guode fame,
In þe .se. þou miȝhtest*. [al. þou m. in þe se wilde] : ful sone hente schame—
Ȝuyt hadde ich leouere ich were i-huld : and euere to ligge lame.
Ake bi-lef þou athom and reste þe wel*. [al. om.] : and ȝem alle ore þingues;
At mine aȝein-come god siende me : of þe guode tiþingues!"
¶ Þo spak þe lauedi, þe Quiene : and feol a-doun to is fote:
"Leue louerd, þou let beo þat : and graunte me þat ich mote!
Þis ilke sorewe wole me a-slen : bote þou do me bote."
¶ Ȝeot seide þe leuedi : and weop wel swiþe sore,
Deolful and dreori heo ful a-doun : and seide ofte, "sire, þin ore!
hov miȝhte ich libbe and beon glad : bote we to-gadere wore*. [orig. were]?
we loueden us so ȝoungue : and nouþe we beoth sumdel hore."
¶ So longue and ȝeorne þis lauedi bad : hire louerd þat was so hende,
Þat he hire*. [orig. him] grauntede, and was ful glad : with him for-to wiende.
For neodfole bi-sokne : of heom and heore men,
Þe holie blessingue with hire hond : Marie makede on heom,
For no wickede gost : bi þe weye ne scholde hem derie,
Þe holie rode tokningue : fram seoruwe heom scholde werie.
¶ Þe Marie heo mauden wardein : of heom and of heore schipe,*. [r. lordschipe?]Page  472
Þe swete holie Maudeleyne : in cristes wurthschipe,
For heo was þe kingue of heouene : leof and deore and queme,
And bi-token hire ech-del : to witien and to ȝeme.
¶ huy nomen with heom into heore schip : bred i-novȝ and wyn,
Venesun of heort and hynd : and of wilde swyn, [folio 194]
huy nomen with heom in heore schip : al þat hem was leof,
Gies and hennes, crannes and swannes : and porc, motoun and beof;
For huy scholden passi : þe grickische se,
And for þat huy nusten hou longue : huy scholden þare-inne be.
¶ huy drowen op seil and ore : and schipeden a-non-riȝht,
Alle, þe lasse and þe more : Eorl, baroun and knyȝht.
huy nadden bote seue nyȝht : i-seiled in þat flod,
Þat huy neren sore of-dradde : þe se wax stuyrne and wod;
Þe se bi-gan to flowen : and þe wawes forto a-rise:
Some bi-gonne to swounen : and heore heortene sore a-grise;
¶ Þe se bi-gan to ebbi*. [al. route] : and þe wynd ful stuyrne to blowe.
Ase þe Quiene on hire bedde lay*. [al. And þe q. for doute:] : hire token ful strongue þrowes,
heo swounede ful i-lomeliche*. [al. ylome] : and harde pinede þare-fore,
So for-to þat hire ȝoungue sone : were of hure i-bore.
Þo þat child i-bore was : þe Moder bi-gan to deye,
Þat folk gradde "allas allas" : and weopen with heore eye.
¶ Þo þe leuedi was ded : aftur þat þet child was i-bore,
huy ne miȝhten it bi-leue : to*. [al. þer was wiþ hem non oþer red : but] make deol þare-fore.
Þat child wolde souke : and it nuste ȝwam,
Þare nas no milk a-boute : ne no mielch wumman.
¶ "Allas," quath þe prince : "þat ich euere was i-bore!
Wo is me for þis ȝunge child : and for mi Quien þat ich habbe i-lore,
And nouþe it mot nede deye : for souke ne hath i[t] non,
Ne i-not in none halue*. [al. Wote ic neuer sikerly] : ȝwat me is best to don."
¶ Þe schipmen hieten with stuyrne mod : þat men ne schulden nouȝht spare
Þe dede Quien to casten in þat flod : oþur elles huy mosten fur-fare:
"Þe ȝwyle þat bodi is here with us : þe stormes beoth so kete,
To quellen us huy þenchez : and þat huy nellez lete."
¶ huy nomen up þad*. [r. þat] dede bodi : in-to þe se for-to caste.
"Abidez ȝuyte and herkniez me!" : þe prince gradde faste; Page  473
"Ȝif ȝe nellez for mi loue it lete*. [om. it lete] : ne for loue of mi wif,
spariez for mi luytel sone : so þat he mouwe habbe is lyf!
For ȝif is moder mouwe ȝuyt : of hire suoweningue awake,
Þanne may mi luytel sone : to hire tete take."
¶ huy lokeden heom bi-side : and seiȝen an heiȝh hurst
Swiþe feor in þe se*. [al. In þe se wyde] : and þe prince it i-saiȝ furst;
him þouȝte þat wel more wisdom : to þe bodie it were
to burien it opon þet heiȝe hurst : þane fisches it eten þere.
¶ Þo huy comen þudere*. [al. were þ. ycome] : huy ne miȝhten make no put:
Þe hurst was al of harde stone : ech faste in oþur i-knut;
huy nomen þe Quiene and hire child : and wounden in a mantel,
And leide opon þe heiȝe hurste : in a grene cantel;
huy leiden þat childes mouth : to þe moder tete—
Þo þe prince þat i-saiȝh : with wepingue is neb he gan wete.
with gret deol þe Quiene and hire Child : þare huy gonne lete [folio 194b]
Opon þet hurst þat was so heiȝh : and hard and wilde and kete.
¶ Þe prince wep and wende forth : with his schip in þe se;
"Marie Maudeleyne," quath þe prince, "alas : þat euere kneu ich þe!
To don þis pelrimage : ȝwy raddest þou me?
Þov bede þi god a bone : þat mi wif with childe scholde be:
And nouþe is ded þus sone : boþe hire child and heo!
¶ Al mi lond and al mi þing : ich habbe i-take þe
To witen and to wardi : ȝwi schal it þanne þus be?
Mi wif and mi ȝungue child : marie, ich bi-take
To Ihesu crist, þi owene louerd : þat alle þing of nouȝht gan make,
Þat, ȝif he is so corteys and miȝhtful : ase þou seidest to me,
he saue mi wif and mi child : fur-fare þat ich ne be."
¶ To his schyp he wende : and so forz in þe se.
God hem to Rome sende : for þudere wolden he.
Seinte petur wuste wel : þat þe prince cam:
With milde mod and fair compaygnie : a-ȝeines him he nam.
Petur Axede him fram ȝwanne he cam : and ȝwodere he wiende wolde.
"To Rome," he seide, "þen wey ich take*. [al. nam] : and speke with þe ischolde;"
he tolde of marie Maudeleyne : hou he to hire cam, Page  474
And hou he cristus sixti men : and tene to him nam,
he tolde him of is child : he tolde him of is wif,
hov he with milde heorte : for heom þolede strif.
¶ Seinte petur creoysede him : opon is riȝht scholder,
Of þat Marie hauede i-seid : he hauede game and wonder,
And seide, "prince, wel-come þou be : and þine kniȝhtes alle!
pays and grace with þe beo : and Ioye þe mote on falle
In bour and in halle : in field and in toun al-so,
In castel noþur in boure : ne worþe þe neuere wo,
In watur and in londe : and in alle stude
God þe fram harme schilde— : and þat ich habbe i-bede.
¶ Þey [þi] wif slepe nouþe*. [al. nou slepe] : and þi sone him reste,
Loke þat þou ne weope nouȝt for hem*. [n. f. h. om.] : ne make deol ne cheste :
Mi louerd is swiþe miȝthful : he wole don is wille,
And he is also quoynte and sley : boþe loude and stille,
he can ȝyuen and bi-nimen : borewi and eke ȝielde
For soruwe blisse, ȝwane his wille is : in toune, in watere, in fielde;
Ȝwane he is wroth, he doth wreche : ake þat fallez ful sielde;
Ake of[te] gret fuyr and eke stuyrne : wext of a luytel spielde."
¶ Petur ladde þene riche man : aȝein*. [al. om.] to Ierusalem,
And fro þannes þene wey he nam : with him to bedlehem,
Fram þannes to þe flym Iordan : an long bi þe strem—
I segge it ase ich ov telle can : In boke and nouȝht in drem.
he schewede him caluarie : þare god was don on rode,
his fiet and is hondene : al-hou huy ronnen on blode,
he tolde him of þe þornes : þat on his heued stode, [folio 195]
And of þe nailes þat in is fiet : and in his hondene wode,
And ȝet he tolde him of þe spere : þat to þe heorte him stong,
And hou he an heiȝh opon þe rode : deide with muche wrong,
hou he into helle cam : with Sathanas to fiȝhte,
And is folk þat þare-inne was : hou he it gan out diȝhte,
hou he a-ros, and to heoue steuȝ : to is fader sete
And sat him þare-inne, for he was gleuȝ : and was him swyþe i-mete.
¶ Þo þe prince hadde i-heord : seint peteres lore,
he carede laste he were bi-cherd : for he hadde i-beo þare*. [al. was fol] so ȝore;
he hadde i-leorned swiþe wel : al clanliche his bi-leue, Page  475
his oures and is sauter ech-del : þo seide he, "god it ȝeue
Þat ich were sone : in mine owene contreye
And al mi folk, with flechs and blod : riȝht ase ich wolde, seiȝe!"
Seint petur he bad par charite : cristni him a-non
And al is oþur mayne : and laten heom wende hom
And þanne habben guod day : "and ȝif us þine blessingue!
we wollez so bliue so we mouwen : don us to schipijngue."
¶ "Þou schalt with-outen cristindom : wienden into þine londe;
Ne drede þe nouȝth, for þou miȝht it don : with-oute schame and schonde.
Þe Maudeleyne schal beon with þe : and to þe heo schal fongue,
Lazarus and Martha, al þre : bi þe huy schullen stonde;
Þare þou schalt i-cristned beo : þoru Iesu cristes sonde,
And muche folk al-so of þine contreye : ne þinche þe nouȝt to longue!
¶ An holi man schal cristni eov : þe bischop Maximus,
Þat can is mester don swiþe wel : in Ihesu cristus hous,
he wole beo ȝep and eke rad : sley and eke vous,
To cristni manie he wole beo glad : to is louerd Iesous—
he were a fol and un-wis : þat ne were of glad and bliþe."
Þe prince tok leue of seint petur : and þonkede him fale siþe.
Þe prince saide, "holie fader : haue nov wel guod day!
Ichulle wienden hamward : so bliue so ich may."
he dude him into þe salte flod. : his schip bi-gan to go
So bliue, for þe wind was guod : a[s] swaluwe swift*. [al. om.] oþur flo;
with-inne þe seuenniȝhtte : þudere he was i-come
Þare he,*. [overlined.] aȝein is wille, bi lefde : is wif and is sone.
¶ huy i-seiȝen bi þe stronde : a luytel child gon pleye
with publes on is honde : bi-fore hem in þe weye.
Þe prince stap out of þe schipe : of hem alle he was þe furste,
Opon þe stronde he ȝaf a lupe : he hiȝede him to þe hurste.
Þat child was swiþe sore of-drad : þo þe prince cam,
To his moder he was wel rad : and a-boute þe necke hire nam.
¶ Þe leuedi lai wel stille and slep : opon a grene cantel,
Þat child for fere orn to hire and crep : under hire mantel.
Þo saide þat child, "hiderward : a þing, me þouȝhte, i saiȝ come,
Of him ich am ful sore a-drad : laste we beon i-nome." [folio 195b] Page  476
"Beo stille, mi sone, mi leoue child : he is mi worldes fiere;
For gladnesse wepe he wole : þat [he] us findez here."
¶ Þe prince cam and fond hire þer : ligginde on þe hurste,
Þare ase he bi-lefde hire er : and þat chil sek hire breste.
For Ioye he weep and sat on is knen : and heold up his honde :
"Þat ich euere moste þis i-seo : ich þonki ore louerdes sonde.
A, swete Marie Maudeleine : þat me wolde nou riȝht þinche murie
Miȝhte þis wumman quikie a-ȝein : and liuen and hire sturie!"
¶ Þo he hadde þat word i-seid : his wif bi-gan to wake,*. [al. quake]
Of a swume heo schok and braid : and sone bi-gan a-wake;
And [seide], "þe hende Marie Maudeleyne : heo hath i-ȝiue me space,*. [orig. grace]
Fram deþe to liue heo hauez me i-brouȝt : þoru hire louerdes grace;
heo hauez i-fed me and mi sone : and i-don us alle guode—
To seggen it þe ȝwi scholde ich schone? : þat ȝelde hire þe rode!
heo hauez i-beon min hou[s]wif : mi mayde and mi norice,
And bote ich þe [seide] hou heo heold mi lif : for-soþe ich were nice.
¶ Al þat seint petur hath*. [al. peter : haþ] : sethþe i-schewed þe,
Þe swete marie Maudeleyne*. [al. M. M. swete] : it hauez i-schewed me :
heo me hauez on hire hond i-lad : ouer þe salte strem,
And setþe forþere-more : to Ierusalem,
And setþe heo me ladde : bedlehem for-to seo,
Þudere ase seint petur : bi-fore ladde þe,
And sethþe to þe flum Iordan : heo ladde me ful raþe,
with-oute harme and siȝht of man : and with-oute schame and scaþe,
And ouer-al heo me ladde : mi louerd, þare þou were;
And, for þou scholdest Ioyful beo : nouþe riȝht heo brouȝhte me here."
¶ Quath þe prince, "ich þonki god al-miȝhti : þat ich eov habbe a|liue.
A-risez boþe, ȝif ȝe mouwen : and go we to schipe ful bliue!"
huy duden heom to þe watere : and schipeden alle a-non,
Þe wynd was blowinde swiþe wel : and heore schip bi-gan to gon;
huy gonne to seili swiþe*. [al. Hij hyed hem to seyle] : in þat salte fom,
And hiȝeden heom ful bliue : þat*. [al. Hem þoȝt longe & eyle : or] huy weren at hom.
With-inne a quartron of þe ȝere : huy comen to Marcilie.
Mani Men of feor and ner : of heom gonne speke and spilie, Page  477
Manie hem hadden to-gadere i-nome : Eorl, baron, knyȝht, and swein,
Are huy weren to londe i-comen : for-to wenden heom a-ȝein,
Sarazins, and þe Giwes some : and þe Marie Maudeleyn;
¶ Martha cam and lazarus : of heom huy weren ful glad,
And þe holie Bischop Maximus : to heom he was ful rad,
And manie of cristine Men— : huy neren noþing of-drad
To comen and gon a-ȝeinest him : and don þat he heom bad.
Þo þe prince and is wyf : weren i-come to londe,
Þe Maudeleyne with-oute strif : i-reuested þare huy founde;
And þo huy comen fram schipes bord : marie huy founden stonde
For-to prechen godes word : to heom þat were on londe. [folio 196]
¶ Þe prince tok*. [MS. tok tok] is wif and is sone : with heorte guod and swete,
To þe Maudeleyne huy comen : and fellen doun to hire fete,
And tolden hire al heore lijf : þat heom bi-feol in þat weye;
Pays and loue, harm and strif : al huy gonne hire seiȝe.
huy lieten þane Bischop Maximus : cristni heom a-non,
Marie and Martha and lazarus : huy brouȝhten heom þaron.
Þe children and þe wummen alle : þat weren in þe londe,
Alle huy nomen cristindom : and þat was þoru godes sonde.
¶ Ich wot, huy nomen heore false godes : and casten heom þare doune
And brenden al-to poudre : feor fram euerech toune;
huy duden a-rere churches : ouer al þe contreies,
And priories wurche : and manie guode Abbeies,
And preostes huy gonne makien*. [al. Hij dude hede prestes] : ouer-al in þe londe,
Sudecknes and oþur clerkus : to serui heom to honde.
huy mauden lazarus bischop : þe Maudeleynes broþer;
Þe holie bischop Maximus : maude al-so mani anoþur.—
¶ Þo al þat lond cristine was : and al þat folc þare-inne,
Marie bi-þouȝhte a wonder cas : and stal a-wey fram hire kunne,
In-to wildernesse he wende : al for-to wonien þere.
Swuch grace god hire sende : heo was þare þritti ȝeres.
Þare nas no watur a-boute : ne þare ne wax no treo
Þat ani best miȝhte onder at-route : þe betere an ayse to beo.
For-soþe ichulle ȝeov telle : of a ferliche wonder :
Aungles comen euer-eche day : riȝht a-bouten ondern, Page  478
And nomen swiþe softeliche*. [al. softe] : þe Marie Maudelein
And beren hire op in-to þe lofte : and brouȝhten hire eft a-ȝein.
¶ Men nusten hou heo leouede : for noman ne saiȝh hire ete;
Ake some huy onder-stoden : þat heo liuede bi Aungelene mete.
A preost þare was in marcilie : þat wilned swiþe muche
For-to leden elinge lif : þe betere fram sunne him wite;
he maude him a wonijngue : in þat wildernesse
Þare Marie, þe swete Maudeleine*. [al. þing] : wonede in clennesse;
he ne bulde nouȝht fram Marie*. [al. hire stede] : bote a wel luyte mile—
For-to quemen god he it dude : and he ȝeld wel is ȝwile.
he hadde wunder for þat he saiȝh : þat þe Aungles comen ofte
A-boute onderne eche daye : ase he stod in is crofte,
And hou huy beren þe Maudeleyne : an hei op on lofte,
And al-so hou huy brouȝhten hire a-ȝein : and setten hire a-doun wel softe.
¶ Þe preost a-ros op-on a day : and wende neor þe stude,
he wolde i-wite ȝwat he i-saiȝh : and þare-fore he it dude;
To þulke stude he cam so neiȝh : al bote a stones caste :
Þo bi-gonne hise þeon to schrinke : and to croki swiþe faste;
A-drad he was, and turnde a-ȝein : and so he moste nede—
Ne knev he nouȝt þe Maudeleyne : ne hire guode dedes.
Eft-sone he ȝeode him þude-ward : is fiet bi-gonne folde,
his heorte and his Inneward : him gonnen al to colde.
he þouȝhte it was sum derne þing : oþur som holi priuete,
I-comen fram þe heuene king : þat he ne scholde it nouȝht i-seo :
¶ he sat a-doun opon is kneon : and bad ore louerd þere
Þat he moste i-wite and seon : ȝwat þat feorlich were;
he gradde on eornest and on game : "þou best in þine celle, [folio 196b]
Ich halsni þe a-godes name : of þi stat þat þou me telle!"
heo bi-gan to tellen : wordes him a-ȝein :
"I segge it þe for-soþe : ich am Marie Maudeleyn,
Þat to þe kingue of heoue : of mine sunnes ich me schrof,
And foule deuelene seouene : out of me he drof.
Ich habbe i-woned nouþe here : fulle þritti ȝer,
Ake i-ne saiȝh neuere no man þus neiȝh : bote þe nouþe her.
¶ Of no-þing þat ani man : of þe eorþe euere bi-swonk, Page  479
I-ne .et., sethþe ich hidere cam : no mete, ne no drunch ne*. [overlined.] dronk;
Godes Aungles euer-ech day : habbe me here i-nome
An ibore me alne wey : ȝwane ischolde come,
An heiȝh to heouene lofte : euere ȝwane i*. [MS. it] ete scholde,
And hidere aȝein wel softe : ȝwane ich mi-sulf wolde.
Ich halsni þe a-godes name : þat þou wende to Marcilie,
And with mine freond with-oute blame : loke wel þat þou spilie :
Þou gret wel Martha, mi soster, ofte : and mi broþer lazarus,
And al-so gret ofte swiþe wel : þene bischop Maximus,
And seie hem wel ichulle comen : a-sonenday at eue,
with heom for-to wonie : and euere with heom bi-leue—
For ischal to paradis : newene fram heom fare,
Ake mi bodi, for-soþe i-wis : bi-leue schal with heom þare;
Seiȝe heom þat huy kepen me : aftur þe mid-niȝhte,
For þare ich hopie for-to beo : þoru godes swete miȝhte."
¶ Þis holie preost him wende forth : and dude hire herinde anon
To þe bischop maximus : ase heo bad him don.
Þe holie bischop Maximus : was glad of þat sonde,
And for þat tiþingue he þonkede god*. [al. t. ioyus : he helde] : and to him heold up is honde;
hire soster and hire broþer : weren þar-of wel fayn :
"Nou comez oure Maister sone : þe marie Maudeleyn!"
Of þis ilke tyþingues : huy weren swiþe glad
Þat huy hadden i-heord— : ake some weren of-drad
Þat huy bi-trayde weren. : ake þe bischop Maximus
wuste wel þat hit was sothz— : to seon hire he was Ioyous,
And to witen hire stat euer-echdel : he was wel coraIous.
¶ For-to seon þane Messager : þene sonen-nyȝht he wakede,
And al nyȝht was in heore queor : and his oresones he makede,
bi-fore þe heiȝe Auter ore louerd he bad : þat he moste i-seo
Þe Maudeleynes face : þat he þe gladdore miȝhte beo. [folio 197]
Sone aftur þe Midniȝht : are ani koc him crev,
Þare cam a wonder muche liȝht : ake no wynd þare ne blev,
Þe Aungles comen fram heouene : and brouȝhten þe Marie,
huy seiden þe salmus seouene : and þe letanie;
Fram þe eorþe huy gonne hire holden*. [al. helden here] : swiþe longue stounde, Page  480
Þe ȝwyle heo makede hire preyere : and sethþe lieten hire to grounde.
Þo cam wit hire swuch a smul : among heom euerech-on,
In churche, in halle and in bour : þat swuch ne smulden huy neuerer non.
¶ Þe bischop, for þe muchele lijȝht : and for þat swote smullingue,*. [al. smak]
Sumdel þare-fore he was a-ferd : and a luyte him drovȝ bi-hinde.*. [abak]
Marie turnede, of wordes freo : and of vilenie quijt and sker,
And seide, "fader, ȝwy woltþou þi douȝter fleo? : a-bid and cum me ner!"
he saiȝh hire neb, and turnde a-ȝein : so briȝht so sonne-bem,
Of þat swete Maudeleine : so lijȝht so ani leom.
¶ heo saide, "fader Maximus : par seinte charite,
Schrift and hosel ich ȝuyrne*. [al. To ben ihoseled ic am vous] : sone þou graunte it me!"
huy cleopeden alle þe preostes : and þe clerkus euerech-on
And alle þe oþur ministres : and duden hire wille a-non.
heo it a-ueng wepinde : with guod deuotion,
And wel sore sichinde : heo lay hire-sulf a-doun,
¶ And seide, "Ihesu, þat deidest opon þe trco : al mi stat þou wost;
Into þine hondene ich bi-take þe : mi lijf and mi gost."
Anon-riȝht heo ȝaf up hire lijf : and hire gost, i-wis.
heo was i-lad with-outen strif : anon-riȝht to paradys.
Þe bischope þouȝhte murie : and þe clerkes echon,
And a-non-riȝht gonne hire burien : in a Marbre-ston.
¶ Seue niȝht þare-aftur-ward : þat day þat heo i-bured was,
Niȝht and day þat smul was þare— : it was a wonder cas.
Þe bischop þouȝhte murie : and bad, ȝwane he ded were,
Þat Men him scholden burien : bi-siden hire riȝht þere.
Of þe Maudeleine : þis is þe riȝhte endingue.
God us schilde fram peyne · and to heouene us bringue! AmeN