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.
Page l Page 1
LEGENDS OF SAINTS IN MS. LAUD 108.
10 Sancta crux*. [This legend, which is counted as 10th in the MS. 1s preceded by (1) a poem on the Life and Passion of Christ (wanting the beginning and end), ed. by me under the title of 'Leben Iesu, ein Fragment,' Münster, Regensberg, 1873, and (2) by a poem on the Infancy of Christ, ed. in 'Altengl. Legenden,' Paderborn, 1875, pp. 1-61. Eight pieces, therefore, are lost before the legend of the Holy Rood.]
ÞE holie rode i-founde was : ase ich eov nouþe may telle. [folio 23]
Costantyn þe Aumperour : muche heþene folk gan a-quelle,
For huy ore louerd iesu crist : to strongue deþe brouȝte,
And alle þe heþene men þat neiȝ him were : sone he dude to nouȝte.
Eleyne, þat was is moder : to Ierusalem he sende
to sechen after þe holie rode : and heo gladliche forth i-wende.
Þo heo cam þudere, heo liet crie : ase heo hire red hadde i-nome,
Þat alle þe giwes of þe cite : bifore hire scholden come.
Þo þe giwes i-somoned were : huy hadden grete fere;
gret conseil huy nomen þare-of : ȝwat þe enchesoun were.
Þo seide on, þat hiet Iudas : "Ich wene þat ich wot
Ȝwat þis somunce a-mounti schal : ȝif þat ich ou telle mot.
Ich wene þat þe quene enqueri wole : ase heo hadde i-þouȝt,
Aftur þe rode þat Iesu crist : to deþe was on i-brouȝt.
Þat non of eov ne beo so wod : þat þare-of a-knowe beo!
In conseil ich eov telle wole : þat mi fader tolde me.
Þo mi fader symeon : in is deþe vuele lay,
In conseile he was to me a-knowe : þo he þene dez on him i-saiȝ:
" 'Iudas,' he seide, 'leoue sone : ȝif hit bi-tidez so
Þat men enquerieth aftur þe rode : þat Iesus was on ido,
Loke þat þov beo a-knowe þare-of : are men þe aquelle!
Þat Zachee, mi fader, tolde : in conseile ich þe telle;
A luyte bifore is deþe he seide me : þat he was atþe dede
to burie þe rode op-on Caluarie hulle : ase huy nomen heom to rede. Page 2
Leoue fader, ich seide þo : ȝwat eilede eov, alas,
Ȝwy wolde ȝe him to deþe do : ȝwane he so guod was?
he seide þat þoruȝ him it nas nouȝt : ake for þat he with-sede
Mine felawes of heore lawe : huy duden him to deþe,
And sethþe in sepulchre leiden him : and he a-ros to liue
Fram deþe þene þridde day : Mid is woundene fiue,
Þene fourteoþe dai þare-Afterward : to heouene he wende an heiȝ
In þe londe of Galilee : þat muche folk it i-seiȝ;
Twelf Monþe it was þare-afterward : and half ȝer and more
Þat Steuene, þat [was] mi broþur : prechede of is lore,
Þe Giwes him ladden with-oute þe toun : and þreowen him with stones
And þare-with brouȝten him to deþe : and debruysden alle is bones;
Þene Morewe aftur Midewinter day : to deþe huy him brouȝte,
And nouþe he is in þe blisse of heuene : and þat he wel deore a|bouȝte.' "
¶ Þo Iudas hadde þis tale i-told : þe giwes seiden, ase huy stode:
"Neuer er ne heorde we telle : þus muche of þe rode."
Þo þe tyme icome was, : bi-fore þe quyene huy come.
"Cheoseth," seide þe Quiene a-non : "on of þis tweie domes;
Lijf and deth eov is bi-fore : cheosez ȝweþur ȝe wolle:
bote ȝe me bringue þe holie rode : echone brenne ȝe schulle."
gret fuyr heo liet makie : riȝt bi-fore hore eiȝen. [folio 23b]
Þe giwes bi-gonne to crien loude : þo huy þat fuyr i-seiȝen,
And seiden : "ȝif any man þare-of wot : þanne wot Iudas,
For Zachee, is fader fader : of swyþe gret power was
Þulke tyme þat Iesus : was op-on þe rode i-do."
Þo liet þe Quiene nime Iudas : and alle þe oþere he*. [= heo] liet go,
And bad him beo a-knowe a-non. : he nolde for no þretningue.
Þe Quiene him liet wel faste binde : and in strongue prisone bringue.
With-oute mete and drinke : þare seue dawes he lay;
For strong hounguer he criede loude : þene seuenþe day
And seide : "bringueth me out of þis wo : and ich eov [wole]*. [om.] lede
Þare ich wene þat þe rode beo : ase mi fader me seide."
Þo he out of prisone cam : with muche folk he wende
to þe place þare þe rode was : ase is fader him kende. Page 3
Þo he to þe place cam : a-doun he sat a-kneo:
"Louerd," he*. [MS. heo] seide, "ȝif it is soth : þat þou man and god beo
And þat þou of Marie were i-bore : siend us þine grace,
Som tokningue, þat we finde mowe · þe rode in þis place."
A-non so Iudas þis bone hadde : to ore louerd i-bede,
Þe hul bi-gan to quakien : and out of one stude
A smoke þare cam and wende an heiȝ : and muche place fulde—
Swottore þing nas neuere non : þane þat smoke*. [MS. smake] smulde.
þo Iudas þis i-seiȝ : loude he gan to crie :
"Iesus is on Almiȝti god : i-bore he was of þe maydene Marie!
he is wod þat ani oþur bi-leuez : ase ich habbe mani a day.
Taken ichulle cristin-dom : ich for-sake here þe giwene lay."
he liet him cristni hasteliche : and þo he icristned was,
He liet him nenne Quiriac : þat erore hiet Iudas.
Þo nomen huy spade and schouele : and ner þe place wende
And bi-gonne forto deluen deope : þare ase þe smoke out kende.
So þat huy founden roden þreo : þo huy hadden i-dolue longue:
Þe rode þat god was on ido : and þat þe tweie þeoues weren on an|honge
bi-side ore louerd, him for-to schiende. : þo nusten huy of þe þreo
Þo holie croyz þat huy souȝten : ȝwich it miȝte beo.
Naþeles huy nomen alle þreo : and toward toune heom bere
To Dame Heleyne, þe guode Quene : with wel glade chere.
bi þe weye ase huy comen : men gonne a-ȝein heom bringue
A ded ȝong man ope one bere : toward bureȝingue.
Quiriac nam þat o rode : and efft-sone þat oþur,
And leide op-on þat dede man : ake he ne a-ros for noþur.
Þe þridde huy leide op-on him : and he a-ros wel bliue
And þonkede ȝeorne godes sone : þat fram deþe him brouȝte to liue.
Þo cam þe deouel ȝeollinde forth : loude he gan to grede:
"Alas, nouþe [is] mi power idon : eueref[t] more," he sede;
"Iesus, Iesus, ȝwat, þenxt þou : al folk to þe lede?
Þou hauest here men to warde i-ȝiue : þing þat ich mest drede, [folio 24]
Þoruȝ ȝwan ich was furst ouer-come : ake nouþe ich am al at grounde.
Alas þulke soruwe : þat heo euere was i-founde!
For i-ne habbe power non so gret : on eorþe a-mong manne, Page 4
Ȝif man fourmeth enes þe croyz : a-non þat i-ne mot þanne.
Þare-fore ich wot þat euerech man : wole nou þe soþe i-se
Þat þe croiz me hauez ouer-come : and al bi-leue me.
Allas, alas þe time, i seiȝe : al ich worþe nouþe for-sake!
Iudas, Iudas, ȝwat was þe : hou hauest þou on i-take?
Þoruȝ A Iudas, þat was ȝwilene : Iesus to deþe ich brouȝte,
And nov þoruȝ Iudas ouer-come ich am : and i-brouȝt to nouȝte.
Strencþe ne worth me neuereft non : bote ani man wolle with wille
Serui me to paye is flesch : is soule for-to spille;
Nouþe mi strencþe is me bi-nome : fondi ich mot with ginne
And with traisun, ȝif ich mai : ani man to me i-winne.
I-ne may here no leng bi-leue : for þis me þinchez longue;
For þe creoiz þat me is so neiȝ : in pine ich am ful strongue."
IVdas seide: "go heonne anon : and ne cum*. [MS. ne cum he cum] here non-more!
I-founde is, þei it late beo : þat schal ouer-come al þi lore.
He þat haueth here þis dede man : fram deþe i-brouȝt to liue,
Pulte þe and þi pouwer al : into helle grounde bliue."
Muche was þe Ioye of þe croyz : þat men maden þo þere;
With gret song and with processioun : to þe Quiene huy hire bere.
Þo nam Iudas cristindom : and þo he ibaptized was,
he liet him cleopien Quiriac : þat erore hiet Iudas.
Þe Quiene of seluer and of gold : one riche schrine heo wrouȝte,
And deorewurthe ȝimstones : and þe Rode þare-inne*. [MS. innne] heo brouȝte.
Op-on þe hulle of caluarie : þare huy þe rode founde,
A noble churche heo dude a-rere : I-hered beo þulke stounde!
Þo wilnede þe Quene muche : After þe nayles þreo
Ȝware-with ore louerd was : inailed to þe treo.
Quiriac, þat hiet er Iudas : wende to þe place
Þare ase þe croiz i-founde was : and bad ore louerdes grace,
Þat he, ȝif is wille were : þe þre Nailes him sende.
Þe Nailes with liȝtingue gret : op of þe eorþe wenden.
Quiriac þonkede Ihesu crist : and with gret Ioye heom nam,
And bi-tok heom heleyne, þe guode Quene : þo he to hire cam.
Þus was þe holie Rode i-founde : þe þridde day of May,
Þat we holdez in holi churche : þe holie rode-day. Page 5
Quiriac, þat þe rode fond : sethþe bischop was—
he is nouþe in heouene seint Quiriac : þat erore hiet Iudas.
bi-seche we þe holie croiz : þat brouȝte þane Deuel to grounde,
And seint Quiriac and seinte heleyne : þoruȝ ȝwam heo was i-founde,
Þat huy bi-sechen him for us : þat on þe Rode schedde is blod,
Þat we moten to þe Ioye come : of heuene þat is so guod.
ÞOrouȝ a treo we weren fur-lore : and furst i-brouȝt to grounde, [folio 24b]
And þoruȝ a treo to liue i-brouȝt : i-hered beo þulke stounde!
Al it*. [MS. A lit] cam of one more : þat us to deþe brouȝte,
And þat us brouȝte to liue a-ȝen : þoru Iesus þat us bouȝte.
Of þe Appel-treo þat ore furste fader : þane Appel of nam,
In þe manere þat ich ov telle wole : þe swete rode cam.
Þo Adam, ore furste fader : þe sunne hadde i-do,
I-driue he was out of parays : and eue, is wijf, also.
Aftur milce ȝeorne he cride : þei it to late were.
For one bi-heste þat he of ore louerd hadde : þo þe Aungel him drof out þere:
Þat, ȝwane þe time were fol-fuld : ore louerd him wolde bi-þenche
And with Oyle of milce smeorien him : and is sunnes a-quenche;
gret hope hadde Adam to his bi-heste : þere-after euere-mo,
Ase he in þe ualeye of Ebron : leouede with teone and wo.
Twei sones he hadde : þat heiȝten Caym and Abel;
For onde þe on a-slouȝ þat oþur : ase ȝe i-wuten it wel.
Þo Caym hadde is broþer a-slawe : i-flemd he was þare-fore.
And þo Adam i-saiȝ þat he hadde : beie is sones for-lore,
he weop and made deol i-nouȝ : "louerd," he seide, "þin ore!
Neiȝ womman ich habbe to muche i-beo : i-nelle neiȝ hire come non|more.
Þreo harmes ich habbe for hire i-haued : mi-sulf furst for-lore,
And nouþe mine sones, a weilawei! : and of alle womman*. [MS. wommen] is more."
Þo nolde Adam come neiȝ is wijf : to hundrede ȝer and more,
For wo þat he hadde for hire i-haued : euere he liuede in sore.
Of ore louerd he hadde tockningue sethþe : þat he scholde to is wiue wiende;
Þo ne dorste he nouȝt þare-aȝein beo. : a child he hadde atþenende,
Seth: he liet it cleopie : and sethþe he hadde mo. Page 6
Al is lijf þe selie man : leouede in teone and wo.
Þo he was of Nin houndret ȝer : and to and þritti old,
Þe strencþe him failede in is limes : is bodi bi-cam al cold;
he ne miȝte nouȝt a-boute þe eorþe swinke : ne þe weodes up drawe;
Of is lijf he was a-nuyd : and wolde beo ded wel fawe.
he sat and carede of is lijf : he cleopede is sone Seth:
"leoue sone," he seide, "ich am weri of leoued : and wilni muche mi dez.
Þo ich was out of parays idriue : ore louerd bi-hiet me þere,
With eoyle of milce to smeorie me : ȝwane it time were.
So longue ich habbe þare abede : þat i-ne may libbe more;
to parays þov most þare-aftur go : and bidde him milce and ore.
Þe Aungel þov schalt þare finde : þat drof me fram þe ȝate;
Seie, ich abide þulke bi-heste : and me þinchez it comez to late,
And seie, elde me hath ouer-come : þat I-ne may libbe longue,
bide him þat ich deiȝe mote : and þe eoyle of milce a-fongue."
"I-ne can nanne wei," quath is sone : "þuder-ward, ase ich wene."
"Leoue sone," Adam seide : "þe wei is wel i-sene.
Ȝwane þou comest to þe heued of þis valeie : a grene wei þov schalt wiende,
Þat gez euene riȝt puyr est : and to parays gez þat on ende; [folio 25]
Þare-forth comen þi moder an ich : þo ich parays for-liet:
Euerech stape þat we stepen : for-barnde onder ore fet;
Ne miȝte þare neuere-eft gras on growe : and al þe wei elles is grene;
For þe foule sunnes þat we duden : ore stapen beoth euere i-sene.
Þare þov miȝt with-oute faille : to parays euene gon."
Seth nam is fader blessingue : and wende him forth a-non.
Þe stapen he fond for-welewede : ase is fader him sede.
Þo he to þe ȝate cam, : he ne dorste gon in for drede.
An Aungel cam sone to*. [MS. te?] [þe] ȝate : and axede ȝwat he souȝte.
he seide þat one tiþingue to him : fram is fader he brouȝte:
Þat he wes old and weri of leoued : and þat he was of-longued sore
After þe bi-heste þat him was bi-hote : for he ne miȝte libbe non-more.
¶ "Ȝe," seide þe Aungel, "is he so? : he ne schal þarof nouȝt doute.
pult in þin heued here atþe ȝate : and stond þi-sulf with-oute!"
So gret deliȝt he hadde and Ioye : of þe foulene murie song; Page 7
A grene he i-saiȝ of grete swotnesse : and faire flovres þare among,
Ech manere fruyt þare he i-saiȝ : þat smulde al-so wel swote:
him þouȝte of eche manere vuel : Aman miȝte habbe is bote;
him þouȝte, ȝif he moste þere : bi-holden In anie stounde,
he miȝte euere in Ioye libbe : and is limes beon hole and sounde.
A-midde þe place, þat was so fair : he saiȝ a swiþe fair welle,
Fram ȝwam alle þe wateres on eorþe comiez : ase þe boc us dez telle.
Ouer þe welle þare stod a treo : with bowes brode and lere,
Ake þare nas opon noþur lief ne rinde : bote ase it for-oldet were;
An Addre it hadde bi-clupt a-boute : al naked with-oute skinne—
Þat was þat treo and þe Naddre : þat made Adam don furst*. [orig. þe] sunne.
he bi-heold In þare-ate eft-sone : þat treo him þouȝte he seiȝ
Faire i-leued and i-woxe : op to þe heouene an heiȝ,
On ouewarde he i-saiȝ a luyte ȝong child : in smale cloþes i-wounde,
Þe More of þe treo, ase him þouȝte : tilde into helle grounde;
Abeles soule is broþer al-so : him þouȝte he [þer] i-seiȝ.
Þo drof þe Aungel him fram þe ȝate : þat he ne moste mor come so neiȝ.
"Þat child," quath þe Aungel, "þat þou i-seiȝe : an heiȝ opon þe treo,
Godes sone*. [MS. sone sone] it was, þat on eorþe : for þine fader sunnes wole beo
And bringue with him þe eoyle of milce : ȝwane þe tyme ifuld is,
to smeorie þare-with and bringe of pine : þine fader and alle his."
Þo wende þe Aungel to þulke treo : Ane Appel þare-of he nam
And bi-tok Seth þreo curneles þar-of : þo he to him cam,
And bad him legge þulke kurneles : onder is fader toungue
Ȝwane he were ded, and burien him : and lokie ȝwat þarof sprongue.
¶ Seth wende hamward ase he cam : þe wei was wel i-sene,
For he iseiȝ þe stapen þat weren i-brende : and þat oþur wei was al grene.
Þo he was i-comen hom aȝen : his fader he fond ded.
he dude þe curneles onder is toungue : ase þe Aungel him hadde i-sed,
And sethþe he burede him in þe valeie of Ebron : ase it was riȝt to don, [folio 25b]
And of-swonk is owene mete : þo he nuste non oþur won.
In A fewe ȝer þare-Aftur-ward : þe curneles bi-gunne springe,
Þreo smale ȝerdene þare woxen of : faire þoruȝ alle þingue.
Þo huy weren i-woxe in lengþe : of one Elne, ich wene, Page 8
In þulke stat huy stoden longue þare : and euere-more grene,
A-non for-to Moyses þe profete : ȝeode þare in londe,
to lede þat folk of Israel. : and þo he fond þe ȝerdene stonde,
"lo here," he seide, "gret bi-tokningue : of þe holie trinite,
Of fader and sone and holie gost : bi þeose ȝeorde þreo."
he tok hem op with gret honour : and in faire cloþe heom wond—
A suote smul þare cam of heom : þat smelde in-to Al þat lond.
to confermi þe bet is lawe : he bar heom forth on is hond;
Ech sick man þat heom A-nourede : is hele a-non he fond.
to techen is folk þe riȝte lawe : þe ȝeordene with him he ber,
And for-to hele sike men : to and fourti ȝer.
Sethþe þo he deiȝe scholde : þe ȝeordene he sette er
Onder þe hulle of Tabor : and deide him-suluen þer.
Þare stoden þis ȝeordene grene : more þane a þousend ȝer,
Forto seint Daui þe kyng cam : þat was of so gret power.
So þat he was þoruȝ þe holie gost : i-hote forto hiȝe
To þe hulle of Tabor : in þe londe of Arabie,
And þat he þulke ȝeordene þreo : fette and with him nome.
Nie dawes he was þuder-ward : are he þudere come.
With gret honur he nam heom op : þo he þe ȝeordene*. [MS. ȝeordere] fond—
Þe swotnesse þat þarof cam : fulde al þat lond.
With grete melodie of is harpe : seint Daui þe ȝeordene nam
And ladde heom to Ierusalem : þene Nynþe day hom he cam.
In a priue stude he heom sette : ase it was in þe eueningue,
For-to a-morewe, þat he i-seiȝe : ȝwodere he miȝte heom bet bringue.
A-Morewe, þo he cam þer-to : to one huy weren alle i-come,
and weren i-morede suyþe faste : þat huy ne miȝten beo op i-nome.
Þat huy weren so alle to one i-woxe : ȝwat bi-toknede þis
bote þe fader and sone and þe holie gost : þat al o god it is?
Seint Daui a-boute þis holie ȝeorde : a strong wal he liet a-rere,
And nam guode ȝeme hov longue it woxe : fram ȝere to ȝere:
With a beiȝ of seoluer he bond : eche ȝeres schute þere,
Þat he miȝte atþe laste i-wite : hou old þat treo were.
So þat with-Inne þritti ȝer : þis treo wax wel on heiȝ;
hit ne wax þo none more : and*. [r. ase] he wust wel bi þe seluerne beiȝ; Page 9
Ake euere-more*. [MS. mon] þare-Aftur-ward : fair and grene it stod.
Seint Daui it honourede muche : for he wuste þat it was guod.
Þo*. [MS. þat] seint Daui hadde i-wrouȝt : þe sunne of lecherie
And man-slauȝt, þo for is owene wijf : he*. [MS. þat] het slen vrie,
And ore louerd nam þar-of wreche : swiþe sori he bi-cam,
Onder þat treo is penaunce he dude : þat he þare-fore nam. [folio 26]
Þo makede he þere þene sauter : is sunnes for-to bete;
Þe sonere is sunnes him weren for-ȝiue : for þe holie treo so swete.
Þo bi-gan he al-so for is sunnes : þe holie temple a-rere
Swiþe noble in Ierusalem : ake he deide in þe fourteoþe ȝere.
Salomon, his sone : þat after him was king þere,
Aftur him bulde þe temple forth : al-þat heo ȝare were.
to and þritti ȝer he was þare-a-boute : and is fader fourtene al-so;
So þat it was sixe and fourti ȝer : are þat weor[c] was al i-do.
þo þat weork was almest ȝare : heom failede a long treo.
þat holie treo was fairest þo : þat huy miȝten ouȝwere i-seo:
¶ Þe kyng Salomon it liet felle and hewe : ase quoynte-liche ase men miȝte,
And liet it meten and makien more : bi a fote þane þe riȝte.
Þo it was i-brouȝt to þe riȝte stude : and scholde beon ilaced þere,
Þo was it bi a fote to schort : ase euene ase huy it meten er.
Þe Carpenters it lieten a-don : in strongue wrathþe and grete;
to no þing þat huy miȝten it don : it nolde beon i-mete.
Ane brugge ouer ane olde diche : huy maden þarof ate laste,
For wrathþe þat huy ne miȝten in þe temple : to none oþure weorke it caste.
Þare-ouer eode mani man : þe ȝwile it þare lay—
Nusten nouȝt alle hov holi it was : þat defouleden it al dai.
Þe Quiene of Saba cam þare forth : and a-non so þat heo it seiȝ,
A-kneo heo sat and honourede*. [MS. honoureden] it : and nolde nouȝt come þare-neiȝ.*. [MS. nouȝt]
bi anoþer wei heo wende forth. : to Saloman heo cam,
For heo him hadde wel wide i-souȝt : to leorni of him wisdom.
Þoruȝ grace þat ore louerd hire ȝaf : to Salomon he*. [= heo] seide:
Þat treo ne scholde nouȝt ligge þere : and he dude bi hire rede.
ȝeot heo seide, þare schal*. [r. scholde] a man : deie on þulke treo
Þoruȝ ȝwam al þe lawe of giwes : destruyd scholde beo. Page 10
Salomon it liet nimen sone : and onder eorþe it caste
Swiþe feor fram alle men : and burede hit wel faste.
So longue so it þare-aftur were : a faire welle þare sprong
And a fair ȝwater with grete fischsches : boþe deope and long.
Manie sike men þat þare come : and wuschschen heore fiet þaron
Oþur heore hondene oþur baþeden Al : helþe huy hadden a-non.
Þat watur huy loueden swiþe muche : and wolden þare-inne wade;
Ake huy nusten nouȝt of þat treo : þat al þe vertue made.
Sethþe þare-after longue it was : þat ore louerd on eorþe cam.
Anon so þat folk bi-spac is deth : and heore red þare-of nam,
Þat treo bi-gan to fleote : ase ore louerdes wille it was.
Þe giwes comen and founden þat treo : fleotinde þare bi cas :
huy nomen it op, for it þouȝte fil and foul : and þare hadde i-leiȝe longue,
And maden þarof þe holie rode : ore louerd þaron to hongue,
For þat treo for-olded was : and huy heolden ore louerd luþur al-so—
Ȝeot heom þouȝte þat treo to fair : þat he were þare-on i-do.
Þe croiz aftur ore louerdes deth : deope under eorþe huy caste, [folio 26b]
Þare ase huy him to deþe duden : and bureden it wel faste,
And þe tweie croiz al-so þare-bi : þat þe þeoues on i-hanguede were.
Þare huy leiȝen faste i-hudde : more þane to hondret ȝeres.
For þo titus and vaspasian : Ierusalem nome*. [r. hadde i-nome]
And hadden alle þe giwes destruyd : þat neuere-eft huy þare ne come,
And al þat lond was i-brouȝt : in þe Aumperoures hond of Rome
And with is men i-fuld and al i-set : to nimen þer-to gome,
Sethþe þare cam An Aumperour : þat hiet Adrian,
heþene he was and swiþe luþur : and werrede ech cristine man;
For he wuste ȝware þe rode lai : þat god was on i-do,
And þat cristine men þe stude honoureden : ȝwane huy miȝten come þerto,
he liet ane temple of Maumates : in þulke stude a-rere,
Þat men ne miȝten nouȝt i-finde to louten heom to : bote maumates alle it were.
Þei cristine men þudere ȝeoden : huy ne dorsten oþur for doute;
And muche aȝein heore heorte it was : to ani maumete a-loute:
So þat huy lieten al þulke stude : and wenden a-wei for fere, Page 11
Þat with-inne ane fewe ȝeres þere-aftur : no cristine man ne cam þere.
Þo þulke stude was al for-lete : and þare-after wel mani a dai,
Þat cristine man ne paynim : nusten ȝware þe rode lai,
Sethþe þare cam an*. [MS. am] Aumperour : þat hiet costantin;
In weorre and bataylle he was so muche : þat þare-of nas no fin.
Þo come is fon and wonne : muche del of is londe.
he ȝarkede al day al is Ost : a-ȝein heom for-to stonde.
ASe he toward þe bataille wende : he bi-heold op and*. [= an] heiȝ:
Him þouȝte þat a fair Croiz : op in heouene he seiȝ;
Lettres he i-seiȝ þare-on i-write : he bi-gan heom to rede :
"With þis signe þou schalt maister beo" : þulke lettres seden.
Þe Aumperour þis Onder-stod : þei he heþene were.
Ane croiz he liet makien sone : þat is men bi-fore him bere
In stude of his baner : in-to þe bataylle a-non:
And þoruȝ vertue of þe holie croiz : he ouer-cam alle is fon,
he i-wan þe maistrie and al is lond : in a luyte stounde þere.
[Muche he thouthe þer-afterward wat þilke signe were.]*. [This verse is added by a later hand on the margin.]
Þe wiseste men of al is lond : he liet bi-fore him bringue
And Axede heom of þe croyz : ȝwat were þe tokningue.
huy seiden him þat at Ierusalem : god was i-don on rode
And þe giwes hudden þe croiz þere : ase huy onder-stode.
"Ȝwane ich habbe þare-þoruȝ," quath þe Aumperour : "mine fon i-brouȝt to grounde,
Of heorte ne worþe ich neuere bliþe : are þe holie croyz beo i-founde."
Þo þe Aumperour þe holie rode : and þe faire miracles i-seiȝ,
he liet him baptizen of þe pope : seint Siluestre, þat was þo him ful neiȝ.
SEint Quiriac, þat Bischop was : prechede godes lawe.
Þe luþere Aumperour Iulian : brouȝte him of dawe,
For þe holie rode þat he fond : and for he men þere-to drouȝ
to bi-lieuen on Iesu crist— : for he heold it al wouȝ.
Þo þe Aumperour hadde seint Quiriac : bi-foren him i-brouȝt, [folio 27]
he bad him bi-lieue on heore Maumates : and þo he nolde nouȝt,
his riȝt hond he liet of-smite : And seide, "ich do þe þis,
For þou hast þare-with i-write : a-ȝein ore lawe, i-wis."
"Þou luþere hound," þis oþur seide : "wel hast þou i-don bi me, Page 12
Of mine guode þou were wel onder-stonde : ich auȝte wel blesci þe:
For þou me hast*. [MS. me hast me] þat lime bi-nome : þat me hath ofte to sunne idrawe,
And ofte ich habbe þare-with i-writen : a-ȝein Iesu cristes lawe,
Þe ȝwyle ich was a luþer givȝ : and on god ne bi-liefde nouȝt."
Þo þis Aumperour þat i-saiȝ : þat he nolde tuyrne is þouȝt,
he made him drinke lead i-weld : and in is mouth helde it þere.
Euere sat þis guode man : riȝt ase him no-þing nere.
Op one gredire he leide him sethþe : ouer a gret fuyr and strong,
To rosti ase men doth fersch flesch : þat were grece a-mong.
Þat fuyr was i-maud of col and grece : and salt was eke þer-to,
And is*. [al. of is] flesch þat was for-brend : þe woundene huy selten al-so.
Þo he ne miȝte þare-with tuyrne is þouȝt : and to deþe [him] bringue,
he þouȝte ȝif he miȝte him tuyrne : with anie oþur þingue.
"Quiriac," he seide, "þench on þi-sulf : and do aftur mi lore:
Ȝif þou nelt ore godes honouri : bote þou wolle more,
Seiȝe þat þou ne art cristine nouȝt : and ichulle debonere beo;
Þat murie lijf þou schalt þar-after lede : sone þou schalt i-seo."
Þo þe guode man nolde aftur him do : a Caudron he liet fulle
With eoyle, he liet it seoþe faste : and þane guode man þare-inne pulle,
And seth þare-inne þane guode man : forto þat he weri was.
Þe guode man herede ore louerd euere : and neuere þe worse him nas.
Þo þe Aumperour þat isaiȝ : þat he ne miȝte him so ouer-come,
With a swerd he smot him þoruȝ þe heorte : þo he was of baþe i|nome.
his soule wende to þe Ioye of heouene : After is tormentingue.
Nou crist for þe loue of seint Quiriac : to þulke Ioye us bringue AmeN.—
ÞE holie Rode was i-founde : ase ȝe wutez, in May:
He was an-hauset in septembre*. [[ 14 Sept.]] sethþe : on þe holie rode-daiȝ.
Aftur heruest he comez i-lome : and oþur-ȝwyle þare-Inne.
god us graunti for his moder loue : þe Ioye of heouene i-wynne.
Mani a ȝer þare was bi-tweone. : riȝt is þat we telle
Of eyþur feste aftur oþur : noþur ouer-huppe i-nelle.
A kyng þare was in .perce. þo : Cosdroe was is name;
Cristine men þat he miȝte i-finde : Alle he brouȝte to schame. Page 13
With his luþere power he i-wan al-so: þe londes al a-boute.
And þo he cam to Ierusalem : of þe sepulchre he hadde doute
Þat ore louerd was on i-leid : and a-non þat he þe sepulchre i-seiȝ,
Of al is power, þat was so luþer : ȝeot ne dorste he come þare-neiȝ.
Ake ane partie of þe swete croiz : þat seinte [Helene]*. [supplied on the margin.] þudere brouȝte
he tok with him and wende him hom : and þudere non-more ne þouȝte.
Of þat treo he was wel prout : þei he him-sulf luyþur were.
A suyþe heiȝ tour of gold and seluer : he liet him sone a-rere; [folio 27b]
Of ȝymmes and of deorewurþe stones : þare-a-boue he liet do
Foourme of sonne and of mone : and of steorrene al-so,
Schininde ase þei it heom-seolue weren : and tuyrne a-boute faste;
Ase a þondringue he made swyþe ofte : þat muche folk ofte a-gaste;
Þoruȝ smale holes bi quoyntyse : þat watur al-so þere
Ofte he made to grounde falle : riȝt ase it rein were.
Ase feor forth ase ani man couþe : he*. [al. om.] made*. [al. makie] with quoyntise,
Þe fourme ase þei it an heouene were : he made on alle wise.
On-ouewarde þe tour a-midde al þis : ane sege he liet a-rere,
to sitten him-seolf þar-inne ase a god : in heouene ase þei it were
In his riȝt half one sege he made : his o sone he sette þere
In stude ase þei it were godes sone : þat non defaute it nere,
In his leoft half he made an oþur : and a fair koc he liet fette
And in stude of þe holie gost : on his leoft half bi him sette,
And he him-seolf sat*. [MS. þat] þare-a-midde : þe fader ase þei it were,
Sone and holi gost on eiþur side—: welle, gret pruyte was þere!
Eraclius þe Aumperour : þat cristine man was, at rome,
Of þis*. [Added on the margin.] misfarinde pruyde : he heorde telle i-lome:
With his host he wende in-to is lond : and weorrede on him wel faste.
In his heouene ase a god he sat : ase þei him no-þing ne a-gaste;
So þat his eldeste sone : he hiet wienden atþe laste
Wit his Ost a-ȝein þe Aumperour : and out of his lond him caste—
For he ne deignede nouȝt him-seolf for him : of his heouene ene a|liȝte,
Non more þane hit were a god : with eorþeliche manne to fiȝte.
his sone a-ȝein þe Aumperour : with is ost he wende.
And þo huy toward þe bataille comen : eiþur to oþur sende Page 14
Þat huy bi-twene heom-seoluen tweine : þe bataille scholden do
And al heore Ost stonden and bi-holde : and non ne come hem to;
Ȝweþur of heom a-boue were : habbe scholde þe miȝte
Of þe oþeres men and al is lond : aftur is wille it diȝte.
Þo þis foreward was i-mad : to-gadere huy smiten to grounde
And fouȝten ase hit heore riȝte was : and maden heom wel bitere woundes.
Atþe laste þe Aumperour : þane oþerne ouer-cam,
And al his folk, ase foreward was : into his power*. [al. baundoun] heom nam.
he liet heom cristni euer-ech-one : and siwi him to is wille.
Þe luþere king sat euere at hom : in his heouene wel stille
Ase a god, and nuste nouȝt : þat he was bi-neþe i-brouȝt;
So vuele he was of his men bi-loued : þat huy nolden him telle nouȝt.
Þis Aumperour wende him forth : in-to his heouene an heiȝ
And fond him sitten þare ase a god : his sone him sat ful neiȝ.
"Ille hail beo þou, false god : in þine false heouene i-founde,
With þi sone and þi holie gost! : ȝe beoth neiȝ a-swounde.
bi him þat þou countrefetest : þat for us þolede wounde,
bote þou wolle on him bi-lieue : þou schalt here in a stounde
Of mine hondene þolie deth : and þi pruyte i-brouȝt to grounde, [folio 28]
For al þine heouene i-nelle bi-leue : for marke ne for pounde."
"Nay certes," þis oþur seide : "þou ne schalt me so nouȝt lere
Þat ich to anie manne a-bouwie schulle : bote he herre þane ich were."
Þe Aumperour drouȝ out is swerd : and smot of is heued riȝt þere.
his ȝongue sone þat sat bi him : þat was in his teoþe ȝere,
he liet cristny and maken him king : of al is fader lond.
his men he ȝaf*. [MS. ȝat] al þat seoluer : þat he þere fond.
Mid þat gold and þe riche þingues : þat he fond al-so þere
Þe churchene þat þe schrewes destruyden er : þare-with he liet a-rere,
And made þare a lond wel bi-lieued : and guod in godes lawe;
Alle þat nolden tuyrne to god : he brouȝte sone of dawe.
Þe holie croiz þat he fond þere : þat ore louerd was on i-do,
A-doun he as nam with gret honour : and with him as ladde also
To þe boruȝ of Ierusalem. : and þo he cam þare-bi-side,
Opon þe hulle of Oliuete : one stounde he gan a-bide. Page 15
Swyþe muche folk him cam a-boute : with gret honur with-alle
And þonkeden god of þis cas : þat heom was þare bi-falle,
Þat þe swete holie croiz : to heom a-ȝein moste come
þat þe luyþere kyng Cosdroe : heom hadde þare bi-nome.
A-doun of þe hulle wende þe Aumperour : with fair processioun
Riȝt þane wei þat ore louerd ȝeode : toward is passioun.
Þo he cam riȝt to þe boruȝ : and wolde In atþe ȝate,
A fair miracle ore louerd sende : þat huy ne miȝten In þar ate;
For þe stones þat þare weren a-boue : a-doun a-non huy a-liȝten
And stoden empne forth riȝt bi þe oþer walle : þat no man In ne miȝte.
Sori was þo þe Aumperour : and al is folk al-so,
And a-dradden þat he nouȝt wuyrþe nere : swuch a dede for-to do.
On god huy criden and wepen sore : þat he scholde heom grace siende,
Ȝif þat it is wille were : into þe boruȝ for-to wiende.
þo stod þare An Aungel ouer þe ȝete : A croiz he heold on honde:
"Sire Aumperour," he seide, "þulke time : þat ore louerd was here a-lonnde,
Þo he com in atþusse ȝate : to beo to deþe ido,
Opon a seli Asse he rod : in feble cloþes al-so;
he ne cam with none nobleye : so as þou dest nov,
With riche cloþes and oþur pruyde : þei he were as heiȝ as þov."
Mid þis word he wende a-ȝen. : þis Aumperour a-non
A-liȝte a-doun and his cloþes : he caste of euer-ech-on
A-non to is schurte and to is briech : sore weopinde with-alle.
Þe stones arisen op a-ȝen : þat weren er a-doun i-falle,
And ech lai in his riȝte stude : ase heo hadden er ido:
þat ȝat was opene ase hit was er : þe wei was clene al-so.
Þe Aumperour nam þe swete rode : and al a-fote in bar;
Þat folk him siwede with gret pres : muche Ioye and blisse was þar.
Þare cam a-non so swote smul : ase hit fram heouene were;
Muche was þe suotnesse and þe Ioye : þat in þe contreie was þere. [folio 28b]
Þe Aumperour bar þe swete croiz : in-to þe temple an heiȝ,
He bi-gan to singue þat newe song : bi-fore alle þat þare were neiȝ:
"Þis*. [r. þu] croiz is*. [om. is] briȝtore to þis world : þane alle þe steorrene beo.
Þou art for-to honori of alle men : and þou art a suyþe louelich treo,
holiore þou art þane al þat is : for þou one wuyrþe were Page 16
Þat þou þat tresor of al þe world : al one opon þe þou*. [om. þou] bere.
Þov swete treo þat bere on þe : þe swete nayles al-so
And þe swete burþene of godes sone : þat on þe was i-do,
Saue nouþe al þis compaygnie : þat hidere i-gadered is
And here to-day to-gadere i-brouȝt : in þine hereȝyngue i-wis!"
Þe Aumperour song þo þis song : þat wel is ȝvyt vnder-stonde—
For ȝuyt men it singueth in holie churche : ȝwane huy berez þe croiz on honde.
Al folk onourede al-so þe croiz : so feor forth so huy miȝten it do,
With offringues and with song : and with oþur melodies al-so.
Þoru vertue of þe swete rode : a-non-riȝt in þe place
Mani miracle þare feol a-day : þoru ore louerdes grace.
A ded man a-ros fram deth to liue : and ten men þat meseles were,
And four men of strongue palasie : heore hele huy hadden riȝt þere,
And fiftene men þat blinde weren : and manie oþere al-so
I-held weren þoruȝ is swete grace : þat on þe rode was i-do.
Þis was þe holie rode-day : þat in Septembre is:
Þare-fore men honouriez in holi churche : þulke dai, i-wis.
Mani miracle of þe swete rode : þe man þat heom telle couþe,
Þare hath sethþe i-beo and al-so bi-fore : some we wollez telle nouþe.
IN þe lond of costantyne þe noble : A gyw some-time þare was
In one churche him-seolf al one : ase it feol bi cas;
he stod and bi-heol[d] þe rode : ore louerd forto schiende,
And*. [r. a = he?] þouȝte to don þe rode schame : are eni man come þare-hende.
In þe þrote with a swerd : he smot þe suete rode;
Þat blod sprong on him anon-riȝt al a-brod : þat he was al a-blode.
Þo was þe schrewe a-ferd of cristine men : þat ani come atþe laste:
Þe rode he bar a-non-riȝt a-wei : and in a deop put hire caste,
And at-orn him-seolf for drede. : a cristine man sone he mette,
Þat bi-heold him hou he was bi-bled : and on him faste he sette.
"Schrewe," he seide, "ȝware hauest þou ibeo? : ȝwam hast þou i|brouȝt of dawe?
Þou schalt a-bide here with me : and beo an-hongue oþur to-drawe."
"Certes," seide þes oþur, "i-ne habbe i-do : no man bote guod."
"Þou lixt," seide þe cristine man : "and þat man mai i-seo bi þis blod." Page 17
"Louerd, merci," seide þe givȝ : "to soþe nouþe ich i-seo
Þat cristinemannes god is muche and guod : betere*. [al. herre] ne may non beo.
doth mid me ȝwat ȝe wollez : of-serued ich habbe i-wis:
For a rode ich smot a swiþe deop wounde : and heo bledde on me þis.
And ich eov bidde cristine-dom : are ich beo to deþe i-do."
Cristine men þat þis i-heorden : ful sone huy ȝeoden him to,
Of þat þe giv heom tolde : huy maden heom ful bold: [folio 29]
huy wenden forth and founden þe Rode : ase [he] heom hadde i-told.
huy wuschen hire clene and setten hire up : ase heo was er bi-fore ido.
Ȝuyt is þe wounde in þe þrote i-sene : and euere heo wole so.
Þe giv þat hire hadde so i-smite : i-cristned he was sone,
And guod lijf ladde, as it bi-feol : cristine man to done.
A Cristine man þare was ȝwile : in þe londe of Sicie,
A rode he hadde in is hous : þer-on ofte to crie.
hit bifeol at is terme-day : þat he wende to an oþur inne.
A giv cam sethþe and wonede þer : and nust nouȝt þe rode þare-inne.
Þo þe rode was þare i-founde : alle þe giwes as nome
And ladden as forth to heore Synagogue : ase huy ladden ore louerd to dome;
And also ase huy ore louerd beoten : þe rode huy beoten faste,
And spatten on hure and boffatteden al-so : and ofte a-doun hire casten;
At þe riȝt side huy smiten a spere : ful deope in atþe laste:
Þat blod sprong out with gret strem. : þo weren þe schrewes a-gaste.
For huy nolden bi-blede heore synagogue : a gret fat and a muche huy fette,
to hente þane strem of blode : vnder þe rode huy it sette;
So þat heo bledde þat fat bretful : of blod, are hit stunte.
þo ne dorsten huy more schame do : þe rode ase huy munte.
Ake huy þouȝten to proui with þat blod : ȝweþer ore louerd were soth and guod*. [r. soth god]:
Euerech sik giv þat huy kneowen : huy smeoreden with þat blod:
And heore hele huy hadden a-non. : þe schrewene onder-stode
þat heore lawe nas riȝt nouȝt : þat ne bi-liefden nouȝt on þe rode:
to þe bischop huy wenden a-non : and lieten heom cristni alle,
And tolden al heore luyþere dede : ant hou it þare-of was bi-falle.
Þe bischop wuste þis holie blod : ase relikes riche and guode. Page 18
gret miracle þare cam alday : of þulke swete blode;
So þat it was in-to manie studes : I-fet, wide and side,
Þat it is nouþe for relikes i-holde : in mani a lond wel wide.
In mani stude men seggez it is : of ore louerdes owene blode;
Ake in eche stude it may wel beo : among oþere relikes guode.
A Giv þare cam to Rome ȝwilene : þat ne miȝte herebeorewe non i-winne:
In an old hous*. [MS. hous hous] he lay him a-doun : feor fram euerech Inne.
For he was in so wilde stude : of þe deuel he dradde him sore.
he þouȝte hou cristine men heom wusten : fram þe deoueles lore:
With þe croiz he blessede him al-a-boute : an-auntre ȝwat him bi-tidde,
Þei he þare-on ne bi-liefde nouȝt : and lay doun him-seolf a-midde.
A gret deouel þere cam In at mid-niȝt : ase þei it a maister were,
And oþur deuelene with him i-nowe : ane chaiere with him huy bere,
Þare-oppon huy setten þis grete maister : and he heom eschte a-non
Ech after oþur of heore dedes : and ȝware-a-boute huy hadden i-gon.
Þo euerech hadde i-ȝolde a-countes : of schreu-hede huy hadden ido,
Þe maister lokede him bi-side : þane giv he i-saiȝ al-so.
"Ȝwat is," he seide, "þilke maister : þat ich in þulke huyrne iseo?
ho made him so hardi and so wod : at oure a-counte to beo? [folio 29b]
goth forth a-non and fetteth him hider! : we schullen maken him with us telle."
So sore werth þe giv a-drad : þat he werth neiȝ out of is felle.
Þo þe deuelene comen toward him : huy ne miȝten come him neiȝ,
Ake ech of heom a-drad was sore : þo he þat creoiz i-seiȝ.
"Ȝwat nou?" quath þis bolde maister : "ȝwy ne habbe ȝe him i|brouȝt?"
"Sire, merci," þis oþere seiden : "we ne mowen come neiȝ him nouȝt:
he is in a veteles þat ampti is : ake with-oute i-armed faste."
Þo flouwen þe deuelene for þe croiz : þat sore huy weren a-gaste.
Þe giv bi-liefde in godes sone : þat on þe rode was i-do,
And liet him cristni al-so sone : so he miȝte come þer-to.
A Nonne þare was of on Abbeie : þat in a day hire ȝeode pleiȝe.
A fair herbe, þat men cleopez letuse : heo i-saiȝ stonde bi þe weiȝe:
In hire mouth heo pulte þarof a lef : and ne blessede it nouȝt er: Page 19
heo iwerth a-non out of hire witte : and feol a-doun riȝt þer.
Þat folk made gret deol for hire : and ech man þat hire i-saiȝ.
An holi man þat þarof heorde : þuder-ward wende adai.
A-non so he cam toward hire : þe deuel gradde for fere
And seide, "a weilawei! ȝwat dude ich here : bote op one herbe sat þere
And heo me nam and swaluz*. [r. swalȝ] me in : and bot me al-so wel sore?
Þou miȝt ȝwite me ȝwat þou wolt : ake i-ne habbe gult non more."
"Þou schalt," quath þis holi man : "an oþer.In. habbe to-ȝere.
For heo for-ȝat to blessi hure : ful redi þou were þere."
Þoruȝ signe of þe holie croiz : þene deuel he drof out þere;
Ȝeollinde and fol sori he wende a-wei : with ful grislich bere.
Þare-fore ich rede ech man beo i-war : þat wilnez wel to do,
blessi is mete are he it ete : þat he ne beo i-serued so.
Nouþe, god, for þe rode loue : þat þou were on ido,
bringue us to þe heiȝe Ioye : þat þou us bouȝtest to. Amen.
11. S. Dunstan.*. [This legend, and S. Cristofer, I have edited before in 'Lemcke, Jahrbuch für rom, und engl. phil., 1875.']
SEint Dunston was of enguelonde : i-come of guode more.
Miracle ore louerd dude for him : þe ȝuyt he was un-bore.
For þo he was in his moder wombe : In a candel-masse day,
Þat folk was muche at churche : ase hit to þe tyme lay:
As huy stoden alle with heore liȝt : riȝt also men stondeth ȝuyt nou,
heore liȝt queincte ouer-al : þat no mon nuste hou;
here þat liȝt barnde swiþe wel : and here it was al oute.
Þat folk stod al in gret wonder : and weren in grete doute,
And bispeken ech to oþur : in ȝwuche manere it were
Þat it queinte so sodeinliche : al þat liȝt þat huy bere.
Also huy stoden and þarof speken : in gret wonder ech-on,
Seint Dunstones moder taper : a-fuyre werth a-non
Þat heo huld in hire hond— : heo nuste ȝwannes it cam.
Þat folk stod and þat bihuld : and gret wonder þar-of it nam;
No man nuste fro whannes it cam : bote þoru ore louerdes grace.
Þarof huy tenden alle heore liȝt : þat weren in þe place. Page 20
Ȝwat was þat, þat ore louerd crist : fram heouene þat liȝt sende [folio 30]
And þat folk þat þare stode aboute : heore taperes þarof tende,
Bote þat of þulke holi child : þat was in hire wombe þere
Al enguelond scholde beo iliȝt : bet þane hit euer er were?—
Þo þis child was i-bore : his freond nomen þer-to hede,
huy leten hit do to Glastingburi : to norischci and to fede,
And to techen him his bileue al-so : his pater noster and crede.
Þat child wax and wel i-þevȝ : ase it moste nede.
To þe world he nam luyte ȝeme : for to alle godnesse he drouȝ;
Ech man þat heorde of him speke : hadde of him ioye i-novȝ.
Þo he couþe mannes wit : to his vncle he gan go,
Þe Erchebischop of caunterburi : Aldelm þat was þo.
With him he maude ioye i-novȝ : and euere þe leng þe more,
Þo he i-sei of his guodnesse : and of his wise lore.
For gret deinte þat he hadde of him : he dude him sone bringue
To þe prince of Engelond : Aþelston þe kyngue.
Þe king him maude ioye i-nouȝ : and grauntede al his bone,
Of ȝwat þing þat he wolde him bidde : ȝif it were to done.
Seint Dunston him bad ane place : þare he was forth i-brouȝt,
In þe toun of Glastingburi : þat he ne wernde him nouȝt.
Þe king grauntede him is bone a-non : and after him al-so
Edmund, is broþer, þo he was king : and in his power ido.
To Glastingburi he wende sone : þe guode man seint Dunston,
Þo boþe þe kingues ȝeue him leue : Eadmund and Athelston.
¶ A fair Abbeye he let þare a-rere : ase men i-seoth þare ȝuyt stonde,
Of blake Monekes, þat was a-rerd : þe furste of Enguelonde—
For ech Abbeie of Enguelonde : þat of blake Monekes is
Of þe hous of Gastingburi : furst sprong and cam, iwis.
Him-sulf he nam þe Abite þere : and Monek formest bi-cam;
Sone he was Abbot of þe hous : and gret couent to him nam.
he makede þare godes seruise : studefast and stable i-novȝ;
Þat couent þat þare-inne was : to alle guodnesse drouȝ.
Þis holi Abbod seint Dunston : hadde gret power
With þe king Eadmund, þo he was king : he was is conseiller.
After þe king Eadmundes deþe : a guode ȝwyle it was a-gon Page 21
Þat Edwyne, is sone, was king i-maud : ake nouȝt riȝt sone after a-non.
¶ Þis Edwyne hadde ful vuel red : and þare-aftur he drovȝ.
With seint Dunston he was wroth : and with wel gret wovȝ
Of his Abbeye he drof him out : and dude him schame i-novȝ;
Þe more schame þat he him dude : þe more þe guode man lovȝ.
he let driue him out of Enguelonde : and let crien him fleme.
Þis guode man wende out wel glad : ne tok he none ȝeme.
To þe Abbeie of seint Amaunt : bi-ȝeonde se he drouȝ,
And soriornede þare longue : and ladde guod lijf inovȝ.
¶ þo þe king Edwyne was ded : Edgar, þat was is broþer.
After him was king I-maud : for he was ner þane ani oþur.
Swyþe guod man he bi-cam : and louede wel holi churche,
And ech man þat him to guode radde : aftur him he gan wurche.
¶ Men tolden him of seint Dunston : þat is broþer drof out of londe
With vnriȝtht for is guodnesse : and he bi-gan him vnderstonde:
After him he sende a-non : þat he come a-ȝen sone
And with him bi-leue is conseiler : of þat he hadde to done.
Seint Dunston cam hom a-ȝen : and faire was vnder-fongue,
And hadde his Abbeye al in pays : fram ȝwuche he hadde i-beo longue.
Swyþe wel he was with þe king : and al his conseiller;
Men speken muche of his guodnesse : wel wide feor and ner.
¶ Hit bi-fel þat þe Bischop : of wyrecestre was ded:
Þe kyng and þe Erchebischop Eode : þar-of nomen heore red
And þene holie Abbod seint Dunston : Bischop huy maden þere,
For he scholde beo herre in godes lawe : þei it a-ȝein is wille were.
Some men axeden at þe Erchebischope : of Caunterburi sire Ode
Ȝware-fore þat he him Bischop maude : and ȝwy his graces weren so guode.
"For he schal," seide þis guode Man : "aftur me here bee
Erchebischop of Caunterburi : and þat Men schullen i-see."
"Ȝwat wostþou?" þis oþere seiden : "þou spext folliche, i-wis,
Þou nost non more þane þi fot : op-on god al it is."
"Mine leue frend," seide þis holie Man : "ȝe ne dorre me blamie nouȝt, Page 22
For ich wot wel ȝwat ore louerd crist : in mi Mouth hath i-brouȝt.
And ho-so with-seith ouȝt of þulke þinge : þat ich eov habbe i-sed,
Þe soþe he mai seo, ȝif he liueth : after þat ich am ded."
¶ Bischop he was of londone : seint Dunston, sethþe al-so,
Of londone and of wyrecestre : and heold boþe to.
hit bi-fel þat þe Erchebischop : of Caunterburi was ded:
Þe pope and þe king Edgar : þar-of nomen heore red
And mauden þane guode man seint Dunstan : Erchebischop þere.
Guode men þat him i-knewen : wel glade þar-of were.
Þe cristindom of Enguelonde : to guod stat he drovȝ
And þe riȝtes of holi churche : he heold up faste i-novȝ.
he fourmede þoruȝ al enguelond : þat ech person scholde cheose
To witien him chaste fram lecherie : oþur his churche leose.
Seint Athelwold was þulke tyme : Bischop of winchestre,
And Oswold, þe guode man : Bischop of wurecestre:
Þeos twei Bischopes with seint Dunston : weren al at one rede,
And Edgar þe guode king : to done þat guode dede.
Þeos þreo Bischopes wenden a-boute : þoruȝ al Enguelonde
And euerech luþer person casten out : heom ne miȝhte non atstonde;
heore churchene and heore oþer guod : clanliche heom bi-nome
And bi-setten as on guode men : þoruȝ þe popes graunt of rome.
Eyȝhte an fourti Abbeies : of Monekes and of nonnes
Of þat tresur huy a-rerden in Enguelonde : þat of persones was so i-wonne.*. [[Here a leaf is torn out in the MS., with the rest of this and the beginning of the following legend; only the first words of vv. 131-151 are preserved on a fragment of the leaf. MS. Vernon, which has the same text, continues:]]
[ffor so hit was bet biset : þen hit were*. [al. was] er on schrewe—
ffor whonne gode Maystres beoþ : sum goodnesse heo wolleþ schewe.
Gode weoren þe þreo Bisschopes : þat þulke tyme weren þo—
Þe betere hit is in Engelonde : for hem euere-mo.
¶ Vr lord ȝaf seint Dunston : on eorþe so feir grace
Þat on a tyme, as he was : in a priue place,
his ffader and his Modur ek : in þe Ioye of heuene an-heih,
Aftur þat heo weoren dede : wel aperteliche he hem seih.
Gret loue vr lord him kudde : whon he him schewede þere
So muche of his priuyte : þe while he alyue were! Page 23
¶ As he lay a noþur time : in his reste a niht,
he sayh þe Ioye of heuene : and þe place þer-inne wel briht;
Aungels he herde syngen also : a Murie song þer-Inne,
Þat me syngeþ in holy Chirche : whon me þe Masse bi-ginne:
Kyrie leyson xpe leyson : was þat Murie song—
Þe holi Mon þat þis i-herde : hit ne þhouhte him no-þing long.
Wel ouhte he to heuene come : at his ende-day
Þat, while he was alyue : so muche of heuene he say!
¶ harpe he louede swiþe wel : for of harpe he couþe i-nouh.
A day he sat in his solas : and a lay þer-on he drouh.
Þe harpe he heng vp bi þe wouh : þo hit was tyme to ete;
Þo hit was redi þer-to ibrouht : he sat doun to his mete.
Of heuene he gon þenche sone : of ioye þat was þere,
Of þe Ioyful blisse þat þer was : among halewen þat þer were.]
he*. [These beginnings of the next verses are extant in L. on a fragment of the fol.] sat [as þeiȝ he weore i-nome : so muche þer-on he þouhte.]
his h[arpe, þat heng so bi þe wouh : of whom he luyte Rouhte,]
heo gan [to kuiþe his holy þouht : ded treo þeiȝ hit were,]
Also it o[vr lordus wille was— : hire herden alle þat weoren þere.]
Al bi hire-[self heo gon harpen : a Murie Antempne iwis]
Þat men s[ingeþ ȝut in holy churche : þat on Englisch is þis]:
"halewene s[oulen glade beoþ : þat in heuene beoþ i-do,]
Þat siweden [vr lordes wey : and for him schedden also]
heore blod for [his swete loue. : þerfore heo schulen wone]
And kyngues*. [Vern. knyhtes] be [wiþ-outen ende : wiþ crist Godus sone."]
Þe*. [al. þis] Antenene þa[t murie is : as þis folk iherden alle,]
Þe harpe song a[l bi hire-self : as heo heng bi þe walle.]
Faire grace ore l[ord him schewede þer : whon þat dede treo]
Scholde so singue [of þulke Ioye : þat he scholde Inne beo!]
Louerd, i-hered beo [þi grace : & þi miȝte also]
Þat woldest her*. [MS. for] [alyue for him : such miracle do.]*. [Vv. 143-4, om. in Vern., are added from MS. Harl.]
¶ þo þis holie man [hedde i-lyued : on eorþe mony a day]
And his ende-dai [was neih i-come : as he him-self sayȝ,]
An holi þoresdai [he wex sek : as hit fel in þe ȝere.]
he liet him clep[e of his frendes : þat specials to hym were,]
his men þat h[im serueden ek : he lette hem clepe also,]
[And for-ȝaf hem heore trespas : þat heo him hedden misdo,
And a-soylede hem of heore sunnes : as he in Godus bendes lay.
And so he lay in þulke tyme : and eke þene ffriday. Page 24
he lette clepe þe saturday : þe ffreres bi-foren him alle
And bad hem alle haue god day : and seide what him*. [r. hem] scholde bi-falle;
he let him don al his Rihtes : and vr lordus flesch he nom,
And wende out of þis world : and to heuene wel sone com.
Now, swete lord seint Dunston : þat vre Erchebisschop were,
Bring vs to þe Ioye of heuene : as Angles þi soule bere. Amen.
SEint Augustin, þat cristendom : brouhte in-to Engelonde,
Riht is among oþere i-wis : þat we him vndurstonde.
Seint Gregori þe holy Mon : pope was of Rome,
Engelond he louede muche : þeih he þer neuer ne come.
Me tolde þat þe lond was good : and þat hit heþene was.
Wel sori was seint Gregori : þat hit cristene nas.
him-self he wolde habben i-went : in-to Engelonde,
Ac he ne moste for þe Cardinals. : ac he sende his sonde:
Wiþ ffourti goode men : seint Austyn he nom
And sende hym in-to Engelonde : to preche cristendom,
Þat vchone Monkes weore : seint Austin and eke þe oþere.
fforþ heo wenden euerichone : þat were alle as breþere—
Aftur þat God was i-boren : ffyue hundred ȝer hit was
Þat seint Austin wende in-to Engelonde : to do þis goode cas.
he dredde him sore for he ne couþe : þe speche of Engelonde:
he nom men wiþ him þat couþen : þe speche vndurstonde.
¶ heo duden hem forþ in þe séé. : þo heo þider comen,
Toward þe heþene of Engelonde : þe rihte wey heo nomen.
In an Ile bi þe Est : Riht atte on ende
Þis Goode Men gonnen aryue : as God wol[d]e hem grace sende.
Þer heo nomen furst heore In : and nomen hem sone to Rede
hou heo mihten best on taken : to don þis holy dede.
¶ To þe kyng Aþelbert, þat was þo : kyng of Engelonde,
Bi a qweynte Messager : feire heo senden heore sonde:
Þat heo weoren Messagers : and from an heiȝ mon heo come
To don to him a Message : from þe Court of Rome,
Þat scholde to him world wiþouten ende : and to alle in his londe
To gret prou ben and to gret Richesse : ȝif he hit wolde vndurstonde.
¶ Þo þe kyng þis word herde : he stod a while in þouht.
"Goode tiþinges," he seide, "mot hit beo : þat heo me habbeþ i-brouht.
vndurfongeþ hem feire inouh : and honoureþ hem also,
And fyndeþ hem plente inouh : of þat heo habbeþ nede to, Page 25
fforte ich habbe wiþ hem i-speke : and heore Message seo;
God leue, as heo me bi-hoteþ : þat hit mote to my prou beo."
his heste was ful wel i-holde : and me vndurfeng hem feire i-nouh.
Þe kyng toward þulke Ile : sone þeraftur he him drouh.]*. [[Here L. continues, ]]
Þo he to þe .yle. cam : to seint Austyn he sende,
Þat he to him with his felawes : to don is erende, i-wende.
¶ Seint Austyn him greiþede wel : and his felawes echon,
For-to fiȝhte a-ȝein þe Deuel : and to batayle gon:
huy mauden þe signe of þe croiz— : oþure Armes ne hadden huy non
For-to done þis bataille : and to ouer-come heore fon.
Ane Croyz of seluer with þe fourme : of god huy leten a-rere
And in stude of Banere : bi-fore heom huy bere,
And ȝeoden forth wel baldeliche : ase hardie knyȝtes and guode,
huy siweden alle heore swete Baner : þe fourme of þe rode;
Þe letanie huy gonne singue : for prov of þe londe,
Þat ore swete louerd heom sende grace : heore prechingue to vnder|stonde.
¶ Þane kyng huy gretten swyþe faire : þo huy to him come,
And seiden him þe erende : þat huy brouȝten fram þe court of Rome,
And precheden him of cristindom : and of ore louerdes lawe,
Þat*. [r. to] goddere hele him and alle his : ȝif huy wolden þare-to drawe;
huy bi-heten him þe Ioye of heouene : þat so riche was and is,
Þat he scholde after þis lijf : tuyrne into þulke blis
And be þere with-outen ende : with god þat us bouȝte.
Þe king stod, þo he heorde þis : ase þei he were in þouȝte.
¶ "Swyþe fair þing," he seide, "it is : þat þov bi-hotest me;
Miȝhte ich beo siker þat hit sothþ were : ich wolde don after þe.
Ake ich ne concenti nouȝt þer-to— : for it is ȝeot so neowe,
Are ich habbe more vnderȝite : ȝweþur þis Message beo trewe.
Ake for ȝe þus i-trauailede beoth : fram so ferre londe,
And for ore guode, ase ȝe seggeth : and ȝe dothþ me onderstonde,
Ich eov nelle greui nouȝt : ake wel faire bi eov do
And onder-fonguen eov and finden also : þat ȝe habbez neode to;
And ich graunti also þat alle þulke : þat wollez to eov torne,
Guode leue ich [ȝiue ech]*. [om.] man : for i-nelle no man weorne." Page 26
¶ Seint Austin and alle his : A swyþe fair woniingue
In þe toun of Douere he heom ȝaf : to makie inne heore prechingue.
Seint Austin and is felawes also : bi-gonne to prechie faste,
So þat some þat guode weren : to heom heore heorte caste
And turnden heom to cristindom : and euere þe leng þe mo;
So þat þut folk a-boute heom cam : ase þicke ase huy miȝten go.
heore dede sprong so wide sone : þat to þe king it cam
Þe faire miracles þat huy duden : as huy precheden cristindom.
¶ He wende and heorde eft heore prechingue : and seiȝ þat hit was guod;
"To longue," he seide, "ich habbe a-bide : ar ich þis vnder-stod."
he turnde him to cristindom : and liet him baptisen anon
And biliefde on ihesu crist : and is Men ech-on.
Erchebischop of Caunterburi : þe furste þat euere cam,
Seint Austin huy maden þo : to holde up cristindom.
¶ Seint Austin brouȝte cristindom : þus into Enguelonde—
Wel auȝte we his [dai] Anouri : ȝif we weren wel vnderstonde. [folio 31b]
¶ His day is toward þe ende of May : for in þat day he wende
Out of þis lijf to ihesu crist : þat after him þo sende.
Bidde we ȝeorne seint Austin : þat cristindom so brouȝte,
Þat we moten to þulke Ioye come : to ȝwan ore louerd us bouȝte.
SEint Barnabe þe Apostle : þat guod was and hiende,
I-Martred he was for godes loue : in strongue deþe atþenende.
After þat ore swete louerd : to heouene gan i-wende,
Þe Apostles precheden cristindom : ase he heom gan wit siende:
¶ Seint Barnabe i-saiȝ þo : þat his bi-leue nas nouȝt:
he turnde sone to þe Apostles : and to ore louerd al is þouȝt.
Of lond he hadde ane grete feld : and he it solde wel faste,
to þe Apostles he wende anon : and to heore fet þe panes caste
And for-sok al þis world*. [r. worldes] guod : and heore felawe bi-cam,
And I-martred he was with heom : for loue of cristindam.
Sethþe þo seint powel : to þe Apostles wende,
Þe Apostles ne lefden it nouȝt : þat ore louerd him to heom sende,
Ake wenden þat he a gylur were : so þat hit was longue— Page 27
For he hadde so luþur man i-be— : are huy dorsten him vnder|fongue.
¶ Seint Barnabe i-knev him ferst : so þat he formest brouȝte
Þe apostles in cuthrade with him : and in riȝte þouȝte,
And tolde heom hov ore swete louerd : bi weye to him cam
And smot him and bi-nam him is siȝt : and brouȝte him to cristindom.
¶ Sethþe þo fram Ierusalem : þe Apostles gonne wende,
For-to prechi godes lawe : þat so guod is and hende,
And to þe londe of Cypre : seint Barnabe huy gonne þo sende:*. [This v. om. in other MSS.]
Ase he wende forth in is wei : in one stude he fond
A felauȝschipe of quoynte Men : þe wiseste of al þe lond.
he spac with heom so quoynteliche : ase he bi heom cam,
Þat þar nas non of heom alle : þat ne wondrede of his wisdam.
"Sire sire," seide on of heom : þat was of grete fame,
"Tel us of ȝwannes þou art : and ȝwat is þi name,
And fram ȝwannes þou art hidere i-come : and for ȝwuche þingue;
Þou comest here into ore lond : ich wot for sume tiþingue."
¶ Seint Barnabe þis holie Man : fondede in eche pointe
to answerien heom wel quoynteliche : for huy weren heom-self so quoynte.
"Sire," he seide, "þov axest wel : and ich ou wulle telle:
Barnabe ich am i-cleoped : þe deueles fo of helle,
Iesu cristes man ich am : þat me gan hidere siende,
Fram Ierusalem ich am i-come : and þus a-boute wiende
For-to prechi is holie name : þat brouȝte us out of biende.
Bi-leueth on him and ȝe worþeth in Ioye : euere with-oute ende."
he prechede so þis grete men : þat huy turnden heore þouȝt
And weren þare to cristindom : þoruȝ seint Barnabe i-brouȝt
And bi-liefden on Iesu crist : and heore heorte ope him caste,
And prechede also of ihesu crist : and turnde þut folk wel faste. [folio 32]
Seint Barnabe wende him forth : and to þe londe of cipre he com,
to tuyrne men to ihesu crist : and to prechi cristindom.
He cam and fond a foul dede : þat schendful was to do:
Men vrne nakede al a-boute : and wummen al-so.
Seint Barnabe was þar-of a-schamed : for it was a schenful dede
Þat þe schrewene neren a-schamede nouȝt : to schewi heore wrechhede. Page 28
To þe temple he wende a-non : ope ȝwan huy a-vouweden heore schame,
And a-mansede þat sori temple : in ore louerdes name.
A-non with þis mansingue : al þat on half dachste a-dovnn
Þoruȝ grete wreche of þis temple : with gret noyse and soun.
Þo þe schrewes i-seiȝen þe wreche : þat so schamelese were,
huy bi-lefden þulke schendfole dede : huy ne dorsten non-oþur for fere.
þis holie man wende him forth : ferrore in þe lond :*. [MS. londe]
Tymon, þat was an holi man : in a stude he fond,
Þat in a strong acces was of a feuere : and al atþe deþe neiȝ.
Seint Barnabe of-þouȝte it sore : þo he him i-seiȝ.
Þe godspelles of seint Mathev : with him euere he ber
In a bok; ase god it wolde : with him he hadde as þer :
Þis bok he leide ope þis man : ase he so sijk þer lay :
he bi-cam anon hol and sound : ase al þat folk i-say,*. [MS. i isay]
And wende forth with him a-boute : hol and glad i-novȝ,
And prechede ȝeorne of ihesu crist : and folk fram sunne drovȝ.
Of ore swete louerd of heouene : seint Barnabe hadde swich grace
Þat, ȝif he founde ani sijk man : ase he wende in ani place,
And he leide ope him þis bok : þat so holi and guod was
Of þe godspelles of seint Mathev : so strong siknesse non nas
Þat he þoruȝ ore louerdes grace : ne helde þar-of a-non;
Þare-þoruȝ he maude mani men : to Iesu criste gon.
Þoruȝ vertue of þis holie Man : and of þis holie bok al-so
Muche fair miȝthte ore louerd hath : in his seriaunz ido.
Þis holie man seint Barnabe : ȝet forþere he wende
And prechede þe giwes faste : hore lijf for-to amende.
Manie he tornede to cristindom : and þene holi gost on heom tende,
Þoruȝ miracles þat he dude : and þoruȝ grace þat god him sende.
¶ Bareu was a luþur giv : þat euere weorrede faste
Seint powel and seint Barnabe : and cudde it at þe laste :
For þo he fond seint Barnabe : þat folk to ore louerd so wiende,
To þe luþere Iustise of þe lond : þe tiþingue he gan siende.
Þis holi man was sone i-nome : and to dome i-brouȝt.
huy tormenteden him harde and stronge : forto torni is þouȝt Page 29
Alle manere turmenz huy him duden : þat huy miȝthten on bi-þenche :
huy ne miȝthten him nouȝt ȝeot enes make : fram god is þouȝt blenche.
¶ Ase huy weren with al heore miȝte : a-boute him*. [al. om.] faste and longue
For-to defouli þis holie man : with tormenz harde and strongue,
¶ Þe Aumperores o cosin : þat of gret power was, [folio 32b]
In-to toune cam þulke time : ase it feol bi cas.
Þe giwes weren so sore a-drad : laste he hem bi-nome
Þoruȝ strencþe seint Barnabe : and ladde him to rome :
A-niȝht huy nomen þis holie man : ase he was to-raunsed so,
And teiden ane rop a-boute is necke : and knutten him faste þerto
And drowen him out of heore synagoge : with seoruwe and pine i-novȝ,
And sethþe al-so bi þe sweore : out atþe ȝate men him drovȝ
And mauden a-boute him swiþe gret fuyr : and barnden him al-to nouȝte.
his soule wende to þe Ioye of heouene : þat he wel deore a-bouȝte.
¶ Þo nomen þe luþere men heore red : ȝwanne huy miȝten atþe laste,
his bones þat weren bi-left vn-barnd : a-midde þe .se. to caste.
Ake cristine Men þat weren bi-side : stelen to bi niȝte
And bureden as wel stilleliche : with ase gret honour ase huy miȝte.
Nov bidde we ȝeorne ihesu crist : king of alle kinge,
For loue of seint Barnabe : þat he us to heouene bringue.
14 Ioh[an] Baptist
SEint Iohan was þe beste bern : þe holie baptist,
Þat euere of womman was i-bore : with-oute ihesu crist.
Ake of al þat he on vrþe was : we ne findez nouȝt i-write
Þat he ani Miracle dude : þat man miȝhte vnder-ȝite.
Mani men þinchez þerof wonder : so guod man ase he was;
For manie miracles sum oþur dude : þat fulliche so holi man nas.
Ake al it was for þe luþere giwes : þoruȝ ore louerdes wille so :
For ȝif he hadde here on eorþe : ani miracle i-do,
Þo giwes wolden habbe i-went : þat he ore louerd were,
For he bi-gan ferst cristindom : and þat folk þer-to lere.
Þare-fore ore louerd dude miracles : and ne liet him do non,
For þe giwes scholden i-wite : ȝwuch he were ech-on. Page 30
¶ Seint Iohan for ore louerdes loue : was sethþe i-brouȝt of dawe,
For-to holden up cristindom : and þe riȝhte lawe.
Heroudes, þat was þo king : in a time to rome
Wende to þe Aumperour : ase is wone was for-to done.
So þat bi þe weie he wende : bi sire phelipe, his broþur;
And maude gret feste, ase riȝt was : heore eiþur with oþur.
So þat heroudes spac : mid is broþer wiue :
Þe*. [r. þat] he hire wolde to wiue habbe : þe ȝwuyle he were a-liue,
And þat he wolde framward rome : þare-forth a-ȝein wende
And nimen hire and leden hire forth with him : and holde hire is liues ende.
At on a-cord huy weren sone : to don þis sorie dede—
Ase twei schrewene a-cordiet sone : to ane luþere rede.
¶ Þis kyng heroudes wende forth : in is wei toward rome
And þouȝte to take is broþer wijf : ȝwane he a-ȝeinward come.
His owene wijf it vnder-ȝat : ase sum freond hire word sende :
to hire fader, þat [was] king : of Damasche, sone heo i-wende,
to beon þare forto heo wuste : hou þis dede wolde an-ende.
Þe king heroudes bi is broþer : A-ȝeinward gan eft i-wende : [folio 33]
And, also it was er bi-speke : þis wijf with him he nam
And heold hire with strencþe ase is owene : in spous-bruche and horedam,
And tiemde bi hire deolfolliche : in sunne and with gret wouȝ.
his broþer and is wiues fader : weren with him wroþe i-nouȝ
And duden him harm bi al heore miȝhte : and boþe weren is fon;
Ake he heold him faste in his folie : and bi-lefde euere in on.
¶ So þat seint Iohan þe Baptist : to him a day com
And calangede him of is sunne*. [MS. sunnne] : to ligge so in horedom,
And seide, it was a-ȝein heore lawe : and a-ȝein cristindom.
Heroudes þare-fore in wrathþe : seint Iohan wel faste nam
And, for-to paye þe luþere hore : in strong prisun him caste—
Þare-inne he lay al a ȝer : i-warded strangue and faste;
And sethþe he liet smite of is heued : as ȝe i-hereth ofte telle,
Also man redez in is daye in heruest : bi-foren eov in þe godspelle.
¶ In þe Castel of Arabie : is heued was of i-smite;
Þe luþere quene it bi-nam hire douȝter : and liet it faste wite. Page 31
his desciples wenden stilleliche : þoruȝ ore louerdes grace
And bureden þis holie bodi : in a wel fair place:
Bi-twe[ne] Abel and Elysee : þat prophetes ȝwilene were,
Stille was is holie bodi : wel longue i-bured þere.
¶ Þis false quene þat heued wuste : þat men ne founden it nouȝt,
laste it were in ani time : to þis bodie i-brouȝt
And a rise fram deþe to liue : and bi-come at þe laste
A prophete ase he was er— : þere-fore heo wuste it faste.
A day ase heo bi-heold þat heued : inwardliche in þe face,
heo feol a-doun ded a-non : as it was ore louerdes grace.
Þulke wreche to hire cam : þat deth hire a-doun caste—
Me þinchez heo ne ouȝte nouȝt bi-liȝhe : hire schreuhede atþe laste;
Ne þat luþere best, hire douȝter, noþer. : for ase heo ȝeode a dai
And pleide upon .yse. in hire game : ase mani a man it*. [r. i-] sai,
Þat .ys. to-brak vnder hire : and heo a-dronk a-non
And in þe deueles name (!) : boþe flechs and bon.
Þis hadde moder and eke Douȝter : to heore Mede atþen ende,
And also schal ech luþur man : ȝwanne vre louerd it wole him siende.
¶ Þat heued was sethþe wel priueliche : to Ierusalem i-brouȝt
And i-bured stilleliche : þat Men ne founden it nouȝt.
Of þis holi bodi, þare it lay : manie Miracles come,
Grete and faire, nyȝht and day : ase þat folk i-saiȝ i-lome.
A luþer Aumperour þere was þo : þe luþere Iulian,
Þa[t] reneyede ore louerdes lawe : and was swyþe vuel Man.
Þo Men tolden him of þis Miracles : In grete wrathþe and onde
he liet nimen þis holie bones : and to-sprede into al þe londe
And casten heom a-boute ech fram oþur : þat no man þare-neiȝ ne come
Ne ne founden*. [r. founde] heom to fette is bote : ase men duden er i-lome.
Ake ȝut for al is felonie : ne bi-lefde ore louerd nouȝt [folio 33b]
Þat manie sike men þat comen þare-neiȝ : to hele weren i-brouȝt.
¶ Þo was þis luþere Iulian : wroþere þane he was er.
Ase is bones weren er to-[s]prad : his men he sende þer
And liet heom fette aȝein wel clene : and with-oute þe toun a-non
he liet heom sette on strongue fuyre : and fur-berne echon, Page 32
And þut doust þar-of wel wide : he liet blowe mid þe winde,
For men ne scholden of him on vrþe : neuereft more i-finde.
¶ Ake his o finguer with ȝwan he teiȝhte : þo he*. [MS. orig. ore louerd þo he him (so the other MSS.)] ore louerd i|saiȝ
Cominde toward baptisingue— : ase attwelfte day—
Toward þe watere of Iordan : and loude gradde and cride and sede
"lo here godes lomb, þat bi-nimeth : þe worldes mis-dede:"
For-soþe no fuyr ne miȝte come : on þat fingur one;
Ake elles was al to douste i-barnd : bodi and bones ech-one.
No fuyr ne miȝhte þat finguer brenne : for none cunnes þingue,
For þe holie dede þat he þare-with : teiȝhte to þe heiȝe*. [MS. holie, on the margin heiȝe] kingue,
Ake he bi-lefde hol, and ȝuyt is : and þere nis non more bi-leued
On vrþe of him bote þilke fingur : and his holie heued;
For al is bodi was for-barnd : bote vnneþe þulke two.
his day, ase falleth in heruest : þis dede was i-do
¶ Þat is bodi was þus i-barnd. : and also þulke day
Þer-aftur longue men founden is heued : vnder vrþe ase it lay.
Of þulke two þingues men holdeth is feste : þanne, þat ȝe it wite;
For men ne mowen nouȝt on ore leuedi day : þo is heued was of i-smite.
A manere martyrdom it was : is bones so to-drawe:
Þare-fore men mouwe þanne holde : is feste bi riȝte lawe.
¶ His holie heued, þat þus was : at Ierusalem i-hud,
Þoruȝ fair miracle of seint Iohan : formest was i-kud.
For to tweie Monekus at Ierusalem : him-sulf he cam bi niȝhte
And schewede heom ȝware is heued lay : ase it were in a siȝhte.
huy wenden forth and souȝten it*. [orig. is] sone : and in þulke here i-wounde
Þat he werede in wildernesse : atþe laste huy it founden;
And þane fyngur huy founden al-so : þat was of him bi-leued.
With gret honour huy beren forth : þat fingur and þis h[e]ued.
¶ For fair relike huy weren i-wust. : and ȝut atþe laste
Eft-sone huy weren ȝuyt i-hud : and in a put i-caste:
And leyen þare longue i-hudde : ase fewe þar-of þouȝte,
Ake weren on vrþe al for-ȝite : ase no-man of heom ne rouȝte.
Bote seint Iohan it nolde nouȝt : þat huy leiȝen to longue þere:
To þe Abbod Marcel*. [MS. Maroel] he cam a nyȝht : in metyngue ase it were, Page 33
And bad him nime is heued up : and seide ȝware it lay.
Þis guode man a-ros up sone : and ne a-bod nouȝt forto day,
Ake he openede is celle dore : and bi-heold a-boute.
Ane steorre he fond bi-fore þe dore : houinde þare-with-oute,
Þe clereste steorre þat miȝhte beo— : him wondrede þar-of i-novȝ.
[folio 34] he þonkede god with guode wille : and toward þe steorre he drovȝ,
And putte forth is hond and wolde hire take. : ake he ne miȝhte hire nouȝt a-reche,
Ake þe steorre gan softe to glide forth : also it were þene wey to teche.
¶ þis Abbod hire siwede euere forth : and þe steorre bi-fore wel softe—
Þe Abbot Anourede his ledare : fale siþes and ofte.
Forth wende þe steorre, forto huy comen : ouer þat ilke place
Þare his holie heue[d] lay : þoruȝ ore louerdes grace;
Þo heo cam ouer þulke place : heo houede þare ane stounde,
For-to Marcel þis holie Monek : hadde þis heued i-founde.
¶ To þe guode bischop Iulian : Marcel tolde þis cas.
Þoruȝ heom boþe þat holie heued : I-nomen up of þe vrþe was.
his heued ȝut, and is finguer al-so : boþe huy beoth hole and sounde.
A-seint Iohanes day in heruest*. [29 Aug.] : þus huy weren i-founde.
Þare-fore ȝuit þoruȝ heste of Rome : so wijd so is cristindom
Men holdez þane dai in ho[nu]raunce*. [MS. hor|aunce] : of is holi martyrdom.
¶ For in ore leuedie daye in leynte : as he was to deþe i-brouȝt,
For þe oþur festene þat þare beoth : of him men ne redez nouȝt.
Nouþe seint Iohan þat in þe flym Iordan : baptisede godes sone,
Lieue us þoruȝ ore cristindom : to þe Ioye of heouene come.
SEint Iemes þe holi Apostle : guod is to habbe in mone,
Seint Iohanes broþur þe Ewangelist : and ore louerdes aunte sone;
his Moder was ore leuedi soster : Marie cleophe—
Of guode kunne he was i-come : non betere ne miȝhte be;
he auȝhte wel him-self beo guod : ase ȝe mowe alle i-se. Page 34
In þe londe of Samarie he prechede : and al-so in Ivde;
Þoruȝ is prechingue mani on : he turnde to cristindom.
To hermogenes þe luþere prince : þe tiþingue sone com.
¶ Þilke prince was wichche strong : and enchauntour also,
Þoruȝ þe deuel he wolde al day : gret Miracle do.
Ane desciple he hadde of is Art : philet was is name:
him he sende to seint Ieme : to fondi to don him schame,
Ȝif þat he miȝhte with is Art : seint Ieme ouer-come.
To-gadere huy comen forto playdi : ase þe day was i-nome.
Godes desciple and þe feondes : bi-gonne to playdi faste;
Ac seint Ieme, þat was godes desciple : a-boue was atþe laste:
Blinde men he ȝaf heore sijȝht : and maude hole in þe place
Meseles and þe crokede al-so : al þoruȝ ore louerdes grace.
¶ Þo philet i-saiȝ him þus ouer-come : to is maister he wende sone,
Hermogenes, and tolde him fore : ase is riȝhte was to done:
"Sire," he seide, "ne hope þov nouȝt : to come seint Ieme with|Inne;
For nauȝt it is, for þov ne schalt nouȝt : ouer-come him with al þi ginne.
Þare-fore do ase ichulle þe rede : and go we to him, we tweiȝe,
And crie him merci and bicome we : his desciples beye.
For siker þou beo, ichulle it do : þei þou nelle nouȝt also."
So wroth was þe prince þat he nuste : ȝwat for wrathþe do;
Þoruȝ strencþe of þe deueles Art : he made philet a-non [folio 34b]
Þat he ne miȝhte non more þane a stok : a fot of þat stude gon.
¶ "Nov," he seide, "we schullen i-seo : ȝwat Iemes þe mai don here,
Ȝweþer he þe mai a-ȝein me vndo : and a-ȝein mine godes pouwere."
he liet him ligge þare ase astok : and forth a-wei fram him wende.
Philet nam ane man a-non : and seint Ieme word sende
hou faste þoru þe deueles miȝhte : he lai þer i-bounde,
And bad him helpe his desciple : and bringue þene deuel to grounde.
¶ Seint Ieme him sende a luyte cloth : þat he with him ber,
Þat he touchede him þare-with : and seide þeos two vers of þe sauter:
"Ore louerd vn-bind þat beoth i-bounde : and ȝif þe blinde is siȝhte,
Ore louerd riȝtht heom þat buth vn-riȝht : for þou louest*. [al. oure louerd loueþ] alle riȝhte."
¶ Þo philet hadde þis i-do : ase seint Ieme word him sende, Page 35
On-bounde he was of þe deueles bendes : and ȝwodere he wolde he wende.
he þrettnede faste hermogenes. : to seint Ieme sone he cam
And godes desciple was and is : and aveng cristindom.
Þo hermogenes i-herde þis : þat he was so vn-bounde
And þat seint Ieme hadde i-brouȝt : al is dede to grounde,
¶ Manie deuelene he conIurede : þat huy to him wende.
"Wel ȝe wutez," he seide, "ȝwi it is : þat ich after eov sende:
Ore alre fo, Iemes, hath : mine desciple me bi-nome.
Bote ȝe beon strengore þane ich am : i-wis we beoth ouer-come.
Ich hote eov þat ȝe wenden a-non : and doth a god preiȝe,
Nimeth and bringuet heom to me : faste i-bounde beiȝe.
Certes, bote ȝe it mouwen do : ase ȝe wel i-seoth,
Ouwer power nis nouȝt wurth an hawe : for ouer-come we beoth."
¶ "We schulle sone," þe deuelene seiden : "with heom on vrþe*. [Vern. a noþur] pleiȝe,
Faste i-bounde al to þine wille : we schulle heom bringue beyȝe.
huy comen fleo oppe in þe loft : ouer þe apostle seint Ieme.
And a-non so huy weren ouer him i-come : huy guonne to grenne and reme,*. [al. feme]
Belewi and wel foule crie : "Iemes, Iemes, þin ore!
We brennez here are it ore tyme be : and beth i-tormented ful sore."
"Ho tormentede*. [al. tormenteþ] eov," quath seint Ieme : "and ȝwat wolde ȝe nouþe here?"
"Bote we buth i-come," þe feondes seiden : "to nime þe and þi fere;
Hermogenes us made hidere wiende : þoruȝ is conIuringue,
Þat we eov scholden faste i-bounde : beiȝe to him bringue.
Bote a-non so we comen here ouer þe : Aungles to us come
With brenninde raketeiȝene : and faste vs bounde and nome;
here huy us beteth and tormentieth : with brenninde fuyre.
A wey, wei, Iemes, ȝwat schulle we do? : we ne mowen nouȝt þis duyre.
A, Iemes, Iemes, leoue louerd : of us wrechches haue reuþe,
And neuereft we nelleth neiȝ þe come : pliȝhte we wolleth ore treouþe." Page 36
¶ "Ȝe wrechche foles," quath seint Ieme : "I not ȝwat ȝe wolden here.
Of þat ȝe þouȝten me a-nuye : drawe ȝe schullen a-rere.
Al on-bounde ich ȝyue eov leue : a-ȝein forto fleo,
[folio 35] And bringuth him þat hidere eov sende : faste i-bounde to me—
Þat ȝe ne don him non oþur harm!— : for icholde with him speke."
"Wel is us nouþe," þe schrewen seide : "we worþet wel a-wreke."
¶ To hermogenes huy comen sone : and to grounde him caste,
huy drowen him and is hondene bounden : bi-hinden him wel faste.
Þus*. [al. þef] huy seiden, "þou sendest us : þare we gret wo i-fielde,
In gret torment and brenningue : and nouþe we wollez þe ȝelde."
huy harleden forth þusne wrechche : and to seint Ieme heo him brouȝte,
And seiden, "lo sire, ȝware he is her : þat to swuche torment us wrouȝte.
Ȝif us ferst leue þat we moten : ore tormens a-wreke
And þe muchele vnriȝht þat he us hath ido : are þou with him speke!"
¶ "Nay, certes," quath þis holie man : "ȝe ne schullen nouȝt so,
For ore louerd us hiet þat we scholden : guod for vuele do.
Ȝwy ne come [ȝe] nouȝt neiȝ philet : þat stant here bi me?"
"Wel þou wost," þis oþure seiden : "þat we ne moten for þe."
"No. goth þanne," quath seint Ieme : "to eower kuynde stude,
And ne cometh neuer-eft neiȝ no guod man : þei a fol eov habbe i|bede."
¶ Euere stod hermogenes : and criede milce and ore,
he quakede for drede and for pine : And wep swiþe sore.
¶ "Philete, philete," quath seint Ieme : "þes hath þe schame ido,
Þov schalt don him guod a-ȝein vuel : for mi louerd het me so.
he bond þe þo þov were vn-bounde : and aȝein þulke luþere dede*. [The last half-lines are transposed in the MS.]
Þov schalt vn-binde him þat is bounde : for so mi louerd sede."*. [The last half-lines are transposed in the MS.]
Philet vn-bond þane wrechche : and dude him vuel for guod.
Þe wrechche ne dorste nouȝwoder gon for fere : ake quakyinde þare he stod.
"Go ȝware þov wolt," quath seint Ieme : "for mi louerd nele it nouȝt Page 37
Þat euere ani man a-ȝein is wille : to him beo i-brouȝt."
¶ "A, merci," quath hermogenes : "þis deuelen me beteh*. [r. beten] so sore
Þat I-ne dar anne fot fram þe go : laste huy me nimen more;
huy me wullez a-sle, ȝif huy me a-fongueth eft : and þare-fore ich bidde þe
Þat þov me take sum þing þat ich mouwe : for heom bere with me."
Seint Ieme him tok is staf on honde : "go nov forth," he seide,
"Þere nis no deuel þat dorre nouþe : neiȝ þe come, for drede."
Hermogenes wende him forth. : his bokes alle he nam
Þat he hadde of his enchauntemenz : to þe Apostle a-ȝein he cam
And bad þat he as for-brenne scholde. : þe Apostle sone heom nam
And caste heom in þe deope .se : faste i-bounde echon.
¶ Hermogenes criede him merci : and wilnede cristindom;
So þat he i-cristned was : and swiþe holi man bi-cam.—
Abiatar, þat þo was : Iustise, luþur i-novȝ,
For þis dede he was wroth : toward seint Ieme, with gret wouȝ.
he nam him faste and swor is othþ : þat he it scholde a-bugge deore;
to þe kyingue heroudes he liet him lede : a rop a-boute is swere.
Heroudes ȝaf his dom a-non : his þrote to smite a-two,
And Iosie þe quellare he was bi-take : þulke dede for-to do.
Ane Rop he dude a-boute is necke : and ladde him toward is dome. [folio 35b]
Ane Man he helde of þe palasie : are heo þudere come.
Þo Iosie þis isaiȝ : merci anon he criede;
Seint Ieme þe holie Apostle : he bad wel sone a-bide
And cristni him in þe place : a-non-riȝtes þere.
A-seinte marie day in leinte : bi-haueded boþe heo were.
Ake holie curche halt of ore leuedi : feste þat ilke day;
Bi-fore lamasse seueniȝht : we holdeth is day þer-fore,*. [MS. bi-fore]
For þulke daye is bodi was : in-to schrine i-bore.
¶ A-non so seint Ieme þe holie man : bi-haueded was þere,
his desciples him wolden lede a-wei : ac huy ne dorsten for fere.
heore tyme huy a-wayteden wel : ȝwanne none Men þare neiȝ nere,
And þat bodi wel stilleliche : out of þe countreye bere.
In a schip huy leiden it in þe se : and forth þare-withþ huy wende,
And none ȝeme ne nomen ȝwoderward fare : bote ase god he[m] kende.
Þat schip wende forth bi him-seolf : and hit cam on a day Page 38
Into þe lond of Galeis : þare ase þe quene lay,
Þat luþur [was] and schrewe inovȝ. : seint Iemes Men a-non
Op of þe schipe nomen þat holie bodi : and leiden it opon a ston.
Þe ston bi-gan to wexe a-brod : and holuȝ bi-cam a-midde,
Ase euene i-maud to þe holie bodi : as ani man wolde bidde—
¶ Ne scholde no man so euene a þrovȝ : in lengþe and i[n] brede
To*. [al. make to] him ase þat ston bi-cam : ase ech man þat it i-saiȝ seide.
his desciples, ase it was riȝht : to þe Quene erest wende :
"Dame," huy seiden, "we habbeth i-brouȝt : þat ore louerd þe hider sende,
Seint Iemes bodi his Apostle : of ȝwam þov nome ofte þi red
To laten him nime þe ȝwyle he was quik : ase mani men it habbeth i-seid.
Ore louerd him hath hidere i-sent : ase he him-seolf bed.*. [orig. bad]
Loke ȝware þov him legge wolt : for i-come he is to þe ded."
¶ "Ey, traytours," quath þe luþere Quen : "ȝweþer ȝe beon of his?
Ȝwane i-ne miȝhte of him beo a-wreke : of eov ichulle, i-wis."
Þis guode Men he nam ech-one : and to þe king of spaygne heom sende,
Þat he heom brouȝte to strong dethþe : oþur don heom heore lawe wende.
Echone þe king nam a-non : and in strongue prisone heom brouȝte.
Ac ore louerd ne for-ȝat heom nouȝt : ake wel sone on heom þouȝte :
For an Aungel fram heouene cam : and þat prisoun brak wel sone.
Þo þe kyng was þar-of i-war : he nuste ȝwat was to done.
¶ Knyȝhtes he liet siende i-nowe : aftur heom wel wide;
Þat febleliche a-gonne in heore neodes : for schame heom gan bi-tide.
For ase huy wolden ouer ane heiȝe brugge : after þis guode men gon,
Vnder heom þe brugge brak : and huy a-drounken ech-on.
¶ Þo þe tyþingue to þe kingue cam : sori he was i-novȝ;
Of is luþere [þouȝt]*. [om.] þat he þouȝte : for drede he him with-drovȝ.
Mildeliche he to heom he sende : þat huy a-ȝein comen him to,
And þat he heom wolde a-mendi faire : of al þat he hadde heom mis-do.
Aȝein huy wenden to þe kyng : and he faire a-ȝein heom cam, [folio 36]
Ȝware-þoruȝ he and al is Men : a-fenguen cristinedom. Page 39
¶ Þe king sende þe Quene word : þat heo scholde heore wille al do.
Ful sori was þe Quene þo : and sore a-nuyd al-so;
Ake heo ne dorste nouȝt beo aȝein is heste : nere hire no so [wo].
Wilde bollokes heo wuste fale : ope ane heiȝe hulle go :
"Gothþ," heo seide, "ope þulke hulle : finde ȝe mowen þere
Oxene and Bolen strongue inovȝ : forte leden with ouwer bere;
Teiȝeth heom to þulke wayne : and þat bodi leggez þar-inne,
And ledeth it ȝware eouwere wille beo— : godes leue ȝe habbe and minne."
¶ For þe Bollokes wilde were : þe luþere Quene so seide,
For huy ne scholden heom temie nouȝt : eni-þing for-to lede.
his desciples wenden forth : to þulke hulle heiȝe :
A fuyr Drake þar-opon : a-ȝein heom cominde huy seiȝe.
Swiþe ferliche he blaste fuyr : and a-sayllede heom faste—
Mani a man he hadde a-slawe : and al þe contreie of him a-gaste.
¶ Þis desciples mauden þe signe sone : of þe Creoyz heom bi-fore :
Anon hadde þis luþere worm : is pouwer al ilore,
Þat hit ne miȝhte ane fot forþere passe. : þis desciples forth wende
And to-pouneden it al to deþe : and ech lime fram oþur rende.
Þe Bollokes and þe ȝoungue steores : þat weren er so wilde,
Anon so huy touward heom*. [superscribed.] come : huy woxen tame and milde.
Þe beste huy chosen þat huy wolden : and to þe wayne heom ladde;
And huy drowen þat bodi so mildeliche : þat ech man þarof wonder hadde.
¶ Þis desciples nomen seint Iemes bodi : and opon þe wayne it leide,
Þe bestes it drowen forth wel mildeliche : with-oute eche fole breide.
huy comen and driue þane wayn : þare as þe Quene was.
hire wondrede muche and dradde sore : þo heo iseiȝ þat cas.
¶ Heo for-sok hire false bi-leue : and tok hire to cristindom,
For þe wonder þat heo iseiȝ : and guod womman bicom.
Al hure paleys þat heo was inne : and al heore oþure bone,
For-to honouri þat holie bodi : heo grauntede heom wel sone.
A-midde þe paleys þis holi bodi : huy bureden with grete pruyte—
Þare he hath euereft to þis dai i-beo : and so he is ȝuyte.
¶ Heo liet arere ane noble churche : and gret tresor he ȝaf þar-to,
And gret lond, þat ȝuyt þare-to lijth : and grete rentes al-so : Page 40
Ȝware-þoruȝ of religioun : a gret hous nouþe þare is
Of Chanones, þat Men ȝeot i-seoth and sechethþ : at seint Iemes of Galys.
A gret pilegrimage it is i-holde : ouer-al, ase ȝe i-seothþ,
To sechen þat ilke holie stude : þare seint Iemes bones beothþ.
Mani miracle is pilegrimes seggeth : þat þare hath ofte i-come.
Þei we ne mouwen nouȝt alle telle : þenche we moten on some.—
¶ Þritti Men at one tyme : pilegrimes bi-come,
To seint Iemes þe holie stude : alle þene wei huy nome.
Ase huy wenden bi þe weiȝe : so gret loue huy hadden and trewe,
And so guod heorte ech to oþur hadde : þat a foreward huy mauden newe [folio 36b]
Þat non ne scholde failli oþur : in perile ne in neode,
Ake wed-breþerne huy bi-comen echon : ase huy þat wei eode.
heore treuþes huy pliȝhten alle bote on : ake he nolde his nouȝt pliȝte,
Ake þat foreward he bi-het to holde : treuweliche ope al is miȝhte.
¶ So þat it bi-feol bi þe weie : þat on i-vuelede a day
And vnder þe hulle of seint Miȝhel : longue sijk he lay.
his felawes þat hadde him treouþe i-pliȝht : fiftene dawes þere
Abiden him; so þat heom þouȝte longue : for sore a-nuyde huy were,
And seiden, "we ne mouwen no leng a-bide : late we him ligge*. [ligge on the margin.] stille;
Do we moten ore pilegrimage : god do bi him is wille."
huy nomen heore leue and lieten him ligge : and wenden forth ech-on,
Bote þilke þat nolde is treuþe pliȝhte— : he nolde nouȝt fram him gon.
¶ "Certes," he seide, "god do is wille : and lieue eov wel to wende,
I nelle anne fot fram him gon : are ich wute of him sum ende."
Mid him he bi-lefde al one : for-to þat he ded were.
Betere is trewe dede þane fals word : as it was isene þere.
Þis trewe Man þat was with þe bodi : ful sore a-drad he was,
For he was so feor fram toune : and no man neiȝh him nas;
For he was with þe dede al one : and it was neiȝh niȝhte,
he nuste ȝwat with þat bodi to do : bote seint Ieme him helpe miȝhte:
his help he bad with guode heorte. : and in þe eueningue riȝht
Seint Ieme cam to him ride : in wel fair a-tyr of kniȝht. Page 41
¶ "Cum here," he seide, "forth with me : ne haue þou of no-þing drede,
Bi-fore me cast þat bodi her : and ich it wolle hennes lede,
And lupe þou up bi-hynde me." : and þo þis was al ido,
Þis holie Man ladde þene dede forth : and þene quike al-so,
Fyftene Iorneies grete are day— : in þulke luytele ȝwile,—
To þe mount of Ioie : þat is bi-sides seint Iemes a mile.
Þo huy comen to þulke Mount : seint Ieme gan a-bide,
"Go," he seide to þe quike manne : "to mine churche here-bi-side
And seiȝe mine Canones þat þarinne beoth : þat ich heom word bi þe sende,
Mine pilegrim þat me was leof : þat in treowenesse mine wei wende,
Þat huy him burien a-mong heom þere : with fair seruise and liȝhte—
For ded he schal þudere come : ȝwane he a-liue ne miȝhte.
And seie heom þat þine felawes were : þat heore wei is al i-lore,
For heore treouþe þat huy breke : heore felawe, þat is nov bi-fore.
And þine ȝwyle ichulle þe ȝelde : þat þou hast þus treowe i-beo."
Mid þusse worde he wende forth : þat he ne miȝhte him none-more i-se.
¶ A-boute þat bodi for þis Miracle : folk cam þicke reke.
Here man mai sum-del i-seo : ȝwuch [it is] treouþe to breke,
And ȝwuch it is þane holie wey : to seint Iemes forto go.
Þis Miracle is so Murie : ich mot ȝeot telle of mo.—
¶ Hit was a guod man and is sone : þat toward seint Iemes wende;
To þe cite of Tolouse : a-ȝein eue huy hem kende.
Al niȝht huy bi-lefden þere : at ane luþere mannes Inne. [folio 37]
he þouȝte with ȝwuche tricherie : he miȝhte panewes winne.
¶ Nou was þe lawe in þulke stude : as þe schrewe wel onder-stod:
Þat ho-so an-hengue anine*. [r. anne] man : he scholde habbe al is guod.
Þe schrewe heom made fair semblaunt : ase is manere was to done,
Þat huy were for-dronke beie : and a-slepe leiȝen sone.
A coppe of seluer stilleliche : þis luþere Man gan bringue
And dude in heore schrippe softeliche : a-mong heore oþur þingue.
¶ Þis guode Man a-wok and is sone : so sone so it dai was,
And nomen heore leue and wenden forth : and nusten nouȝt of þat cas.
Þo huy come with-oute toune a luyte : þis luþere man aftur cam, Page 42
hotinde out, with grete siwte : and þis trewe men beie he nam
And seide huy hadden is coppe i-stole : and in heore scrippe i-bounde.
Þat folk þis i-liefde a-non : þo huy þe coppe founde.
¶ Þis pilegrimes, þei huy treowe weren : to dome weren i-brouȝt.
Eche manere þeofþe huy fur-soken : ake þat folk ne liefde heom nouȝt,
For huy weren i-nome hond habbinde : þe court lokede a-non
Þat huy heore dom with heom beren : and hanguy scholde þat on.
¶ "Alas, alas," þe fader seide : "ȝweþur i schulle novþe hongue
And are ich habbe seint Ieme i-souȝt : þis file dethþ a-fongue?"
"Nai certes," quath is sone : "þat nolde ich graunti þe,
For to beo louerd of al þe world : þat þov deidest bi-fore me.
hanguy ichulle for us boþe : þene deth i-nelle nouȝt for-sake,
And al-so wis ase we gultlese beoth : mine soule ich god bi-take."
"A, mi leoue sone," quath þe fader : "so ne schal it nouȝt beo;
Scholdest þou deiȝe and ich libbe : i-nelle neuere þane day i-seo.
Swuch a child touward as þou art : i-loked it were wroþe,
Þat þov scholdest hanguy and ich libbe! : ichulle hangy for us boþe."
"A, fader, fader," quath þe sone : "be stille, ich bidde þe,
For I nelle neuere þane day a-bide : þat þou schulle hongue bi-fore me;
¶ Ake go þane wey for us boþe : and ichulle hangy for us beye,
And bide seint Ieme þat he me graunti : sum part of þine weye."
Bi-twene þe fader and þe sone : þe striuingue laste longue—
Þat ech man hadde deol þerof— : ȝweþur scholde þene dethþ a-fongue.
So þat it ful atþenende : þei it were with wrongue,
Þat þe sone for heom beiȝe : gulteles was an-hongue.
¶ Alas, alas, þe deolfole cas : to heore so muche falshede!
Wel ȝeorne boþe fader and sone : seint Ieme help huy bede.
Welle louerd, þe deol of þe fader— : grettore neuere non nas,
Þo he isaiȝ is sone an-hongue : and for he gulteles was!
he bi-teyȝte is soule Iesu crist : þo þare nas non oþur won,
And is wei with sorewe i-nov : to seint Iemes he gan gon.
Also wel for is sone ase for him : seint Ieme he bad faste;
And wende, þo he hadde al ido : hamward at þe laste.
Are he come þare is sone was : him þouȝte swyþe longue,
Ȝif he miȝhte finde oþur i-seo : ani lime of him hongue— [folio 37b]
For þe lawe was þere þat euerech man : þat an-hangued were Page 43
hanguy scholde þe ȝwyle i-laste*. [al. he laste] : and for-to ech lime fram oþur to-tere.
¶ Þis ȝoungue Man sixe and þritti dawes : heng up-on þe galu-treo
Are is fader a-ȝein to him come : þat i-roted he auȝte to beo.
he cam and fond him ȝuyt : and ner him he gan teo,
he weop and criede and wrong is hondene : þat deol it was to seo.
¶ "Leoue fader," þe sone seide : "ne weop þou nouȝt to bliue,
For ich nam to bi-weope nouȝt : ȝeot ich am a-liue.
Me nas neuere on eorþe so wel : ase me hath sethþe i-beo;
Ich am ase þei ich were in heouene : þei ich hanguy here on þis treo.
For seint Ieme me halt up : and Ioye i-novȝ me dieth make.
Me of-þuncheth þat þou so sone come : laste þov me a-doun take."
Louerd, þe Ioye þat þe fader : hadde þulke stounde,
Þo he aftur al is sor : his sone a-liue founde!
¶ To toune he orn with Ioye i-nouȝ : and cleopede folk wel faste.
Muche folk him siwede and al þe soþe : i-seiȝen atþe laste.
Withþ gret Ioye huy nomen him a-doun : and to þe toune him brouȝten.
Þene traitur þat him maude an-hongue : wel sone out huy souȝten
And an-henguen him wel heiȝe a-non : and nouȝt bote he wuyrþe were.
Þus seint Ieme þe holie man : is pilegrim halp þere.—
¶ In þe Cite of leouns : a ȝoung man þare was al-so
Þat ofte wende to seint Iemes : and gret loue hadde þar-to.
At one tyme ase he þudere wolde : he dude er ane folie
Þat manie Men to helle bringueth : þe sunne of lecherie;
Toward seint Iemes he wende forthþ : are he i-schriue were.
Þe deuel was wel ȝeorne a-boute : ȝif he miȝhte him mis-lere.
¶ A-ȝein him he cam in þe wei : swiþe milde and softe,
Riȝht ase it seint Ieme were : ase þe schrewe gyleth men wel ofte.
"Ȝwost þou euere," he seide, "ho ich am?" : þe ȝoungue man seide nay.
"Icham þilke," he seide, "þat þov hast : I-serued wel mani a day,
Seint Ieme to-ward ȝwam þou art. : I ne may make no mone
Of þe þat þov wel ne dest : of eche þingue bote of one :
Þat þou dust*. [MS. dẹust; dust=dudest] lecherie : are þou wendest to me;
Among alle men, ȝif þat nere : mest ich preisie þe."
¶ "Seint Ieme, merci," quath þis man : "ich crie þe milce and ore, Page 44
Forȝif me þulke luþere sunne : i-nelle don as neuereft more."
"Ov, beau frere," quath þe schrewe : "strong is þe mis-dede.
Þov ne miȝht me neuere paye wel : bote þov do ase ich rede :
Þe menbre þov most keruen of : ȝware-withþ þou i-sunegut hast;
Þe sunne ichulle for-ȝiue þe þanne : ȝwanne he is fram þe i-cast;
Ak next me þou scholdest in Ioye beo : in þe blisse of heouene a-boue,
Ȝif þou woldest beon a martyr : and þi-seolf martri for mi loue."
¶ "A, louerd seint Ieme," quath þis man : "þov haue merci of me,
Ichulle, mine sunnes to bete, mi-sulf martri : and forto payȝe þe."
Þis wrechche Man carf of is membres : and a-wei fram him caste. [folio 38]
And sethþe þoruȝ þe false þeues rede : him-self he a-slovȝ atþe laste.
Ful redi was þe schrewe þer : þe soule he nam a-non
And wel glad þare-with in his manere : to-ward helle he gan gon.
Ne fur-ȝat nouȝt seint Ieme is pilegrim : for þat cas þat him gan bi|tide :
A-ȝein þe deuel he cam a-doun : and bad þane schrewe a-bide,
And seide, "þou berst more þane þin owe. : þat i schal kuyþe þe.
Ȝwi hast þou mine pilegrim bi-traid? : gret schame þou dest me."
"Ȝe, al for nauȝt," quath þe schrewe : "þou art hidere i-come :
In his sunne him-sulf he a-slouȝ : and þare-with ich him habbe i|nome.
Ne may no man in dedlich sunne : in-to heuene wende.
Ase wel þou miȝht gon hom a-ȝein : he is min with-outen enden."
¶ "Bel amy," quath seint Ieme : "þou bi-traidest him with fals|hede
And with tricherie þou to him come. : lat him gon, ich rede!"
"Ich habbe leue," quath þe schrewe : "to bi-gyli and bi-traye al-so
Mid eche quointise þat ich mai. : ȝwi wolde he aftur me do?"
Þis strif i-laste bi-twene hem longue. : ake þo seint Ieme ne miȝhte
habbe þe soule ne with-inne him come : with no resun ne riȝhte,
"Þou schalt," he seide, "come with me : to an herre Iustise,
Þat þe schal cuyþe þi tricherie : of ȝwam þe schal a-grise."
Bi-fore ore leuedi swete and milde : þane schrewe he gan lede;
he ȝal and quakede deolfulliche : þo he i-seiȝ hire, for drede.
¶ "Þov luþere þing," ore leuedi seide : "ȝwi fondeste in alle wise
To bi-nime us and bi-traiȝe men : þat beth in ovre seruise? Page 45
Þou ne schalt neuere þe soule brouke : for þine tricherie."
"leoue leuedi," quath þe schrewe : "merci ich þe crie.
Vnder-stond þat ich habbe leue : to bi-gylie men inouȝ,
And þat ich fond him in dedlich sunne : and þare-inne him-sulf he slov;
And no man neuere in swuch cas : to heuene come ne miȝhte.
Ase he is min mid alle lawe : hold me, ich bidde, to riȝhte!"
¶ "Þov luþere best," ore leuedi seide : "to muche ower pouwer is.
Alas þat men nellez beon i-war : are huy don a-mis!
Ase þou mid þine tricherie : his lijf him bi-nome,
Al-so ichulle him ȝiuen a-ȝein : is lijf with riȝhte dome.
So þat þe ne tit of him no part : for guod man he wo[l] ȝeot be."
Ore leuedi made þe soule a-non : to þe bodi aȝen fleo;
Fram deþe to liue he a-ros : þoruȝ ore leuedi ore,
And guod lijf ladde euere aftur-ward : and þe deuel doutede þe more.
¶ His menbres, þat he carf of : euer-eft he dude misse,
Bote a luytel wise ȝware-þoruȝ he miȝhte : ȝwane he wolde, pisse.
Manie Men for þulke miracle : seint Ieme louieth þe more.
Nou bidde we ȝeorne euerech-one : seint Ieme milse and ore,
Þat he for þat holie stude : þat he hath in galiz,
helpe us and alle is pilegrimes : and bringue us to heouene blis.
SEint Oswold þe holie king : of þe on ende of enguelonde [folio 38b]
King was, ase þulke tyme bi-feol : in northþ-homber-londe.
Cristine man he was guod i-novȝ : and with al is pouwer
he heold up þe lawe of cristindom : and teiȝte as feor and ner—
For he was king are cristindom : puyrliche stable were.
Al is men þar-to he brouȝte : so wijsliche he gan heom lere.
To þe princes he sende of scoth-lond : and bad þat huy him sende
Ane wise clerk, is men to wissi : heore lijf forto amende.
huy senden him ane holie man : þat icleoped was aydan,
Þat wende and prechede al is lond : and tornede mani a man
¶ Þoruȝ is prechingue and seint Oswold : þat to alle guodnesse hem drovȝ,
Cristindom into al þat lond : stable was i-nouȝ. Page 46
Seint Oswold maude þesne holie man : Bischop in is londe,
And made him al is conseiler : and herede godes sonde;
he ne dude noþing with-outen him : ake with him he heold him faste,
And to-gadere al heore lijf huy weren : and in heouene atþe laste.
¶ A day ase he sat and eat is mete : seint oswold þe holie man,
And þis holie man bi him : þe Bischop guode aydan,
Þat o seriaunt*. [MS. seriannt] seide þat þare withoute : manie pouere men were
And beden sum guod for godes loue : and guod was þat men him*. [r. hem] bere.
Þe king nam inovȝ of is mete : þat bi-fore him stod,
And sende þar-of wel largeliche : heom þat beden him guod.
Ane Dischs of seluer he nam also : þat bi-fore him was i-do,
And to-brak it al to smale peces : and sende heom al-so.
Þe Bischop sat and bi-heold : ase þei he were in þouȝte,
Bi þe hond þe king he nam : and a swete word out brouȝte:
"Ne for-rotie neuere þis hond : ake i-blessed be heo," he sede,
"And euere hol and sound bi-leue : þat dude so guod a dede!"
¶ His bone was fole wel i-heord. : for it bi-feol atþe laste
Þat heþene men come in-to is lond : and weorreden on him wel faste.
he stod a-ȝein with al is miȝhte. : so bi-feol þat huy come
And i-metten heom with heore host : and þe batayle nome.
At þe tounne of Maserfeld : huy smiten to-gadere faste,
And seint Oswold þe holie Man : a-slawe was atþe laste
¶ And I-martred of þis luþere men : for ore louerdes loue.
Al huy to-heowen is bodi : þo huy weren a-boue;
Ake huy ne miȝhten for no þing : makie none wonde
In noþer of is holie hond : ake smiten as of hole and sounde.
And so huy beoth ȝeot, of ase fair heuȝ : ase huy euerer were,
And i-holde for fair relike : ase men mowe i-seo þere.
¶ He was of eiȝte and þritti ȝer : þo he i-martred was,*. [[a. 642]]
And Nye ȝer he hadde king ibeo— : bote luytel ȝwile it nas.
Nov seint Oswold þe swete Martyr : ore erinde to gode beode,
Þat he us for-ȝiue ore sunnes : and us helpe at alle ore neode
And ore soule for is swete loue : in-to blisse lede.
SEint Edward þe ȝungue : was kyng of Enguelonde. [folio 39]
Wel ȝoung he i-martred was : þoruȝ tricherie and onde.
Þo is Moder þe guode Quene : ase god wolde, was ded,
his fader nam an oþur wijf : þat luþur was and qued;
Þat sent Edward louede luyte : and euere radde luþur red.
Bi hure he hadde ane oþur sone : þat i-hote was Atheldred.
¶ Þe Quene louede hire owene [sone]*. [om.] : ase ech man deth is blod;
Ake seint Edward heo louede luyte— : for stepmoder is selde guod.
heo wilnede more þane ani-þing : þat seint Edward ded were,
Þat hire owene sone aftur þe king : þe heritage bere.
Þo þe king wende out of þis world : seint Edward, and*. [r. as?] is sone,
Aftur him was king j-mad : ase lawe was and wone.
¶ Þe guodnesse of þis ȝoungue king : ne may no man telle.
he was meoke and milde inouȝ : and fair of flechs and felle,
De-bonere for-to speke with : ant with pouere men mest,
Chaste, and wis of conseil : and pruyte he louede lest;
Wylde Men ne louede he nouȝt : þat rechelese weren of þouȝte,
And wise Men to him he drouȝ : and aftur heom he wrouȝte.
Aftur þe Erchebischope of Caunterburij : seint Dunston þat was þo,
Ech dede þat he wolde do : þe meste del scholde go.
Glad was þe holie man of him : and al þat lond also,
Of swuch a king þat heore louerd was : þat alle þing wolde wel do.
Guod pais þare was in Enguelonde : and loue and muruþe i-novȝ,
Richesse and al oþur guod : elles it were ȝwovȝ—
For ȝwanne þat heued hathþ godes grace : and loueth alle guode,
Wonder it were bote alle his : þe betere heom onder-stode.
¶ To þe guodnesse of þis holie Man : þe deuel hadde envie,
And is stepmoder þe luþere Quene : þat ful was of tricherie;
For heo þouȝte Niȝht and day : ȝif heo miȝhte in ani manere
Þat seint Edward were a-slawe : and hire sone kyng were—
For he was eldest aftur him : and þe kingues sone al-so.
Þis luþere wumman narewe hire bi-þouȝte : hou þis miȝhte beo do.
To some þat weren hire conseilers : hire luþere þouȝt he*. [= heo] seide,
þat huy holpen with some Gyle : to don þat luþere dede;
Þis luþere*. [MS. þuþere] Men also forthþ with hire : weren in grete þouȝte Page 48
With ȝwuche gyle huy miȝhten do : þat huy to ende [it] brouȝte.
¶ So þat heo hadde to hire conseil : I-nowe atþenende.
For fellere þing nis non ase wumman : ȝware heo wole to vuele wende.
Nadde þis ȝungue king i-beo : in is kynedom vnneþe
Bote þreo ȝer and Eyȝhte dawes : þat he nas i-brouȝt to deþe.
For a day he wente on hontethþ : with is kniȝhtes bi cas
In a fayr wode in deorsete : þat bi-side waraygne was.
Fair wode þare was þulke tyme : ake nouþe heo is al a-doune,
Bote þornes and þunne boskes : þat stondeth bi-sides þe toune.
¶ Ase þis ȝoungue king wende on hontethþ : a gret wille him cam to
[folio 39b] For-te seo is ȝoungue*. [MS. ȝonngue] broþur : and in eche manere he wolde it do.
For he was þere a luyte bi-side : ase is stepmoder was
In a toun þat men clepeden Corf : þat bote þreo Mile þanne it nas.
A strong castel þare is nouþe : ake þe ȝuyt nas non þere.
Þis holie man þouȝte longue : are he at is broþur were;
Ane fewe men with him he nam : and þuderward he gan ride.
his Men pleiden and Arnden bi þe weie : and spradden a-boute ful wide,
So þat with heom*. [r. him] ne bi-lefde non : al one he was sone;
Ake naþeles forth he wende is wei : ase he þouȝte to done.
Þe court he bi-heold a-fer : þare ase is broþer was:
Þudere he wende wel mildeliche : ake no man with him nas—
he ne þouȝte to no man bote guod : ne no man he nadde mis-do.
To-war[d] is deþe forthþ he wende : and mildeliche al-so.
Þo is stepmoder þe luþere Quiene : al one i-seiȝ him come,
heo þouȝte to don hire wille of him : ase heo hadde hire red i-nome.
Þe luþere Men heo cleopede sone : þat weren at hire rede,
And bi-speken bi ȝwuche feolonie : to don þis luþere dede.
¶ þo þis holie Man was neiȝ i-come : þe Quiene a-ȝein him eode
With fair Meyne and gret honour : and gret loue gan him beode—
þe feste þat heo with him made : no tongue telle ne may—
And swor þat he scholde a-liȝte : and with hire bi-leue alday.
"Nai certes, dame," seide þis king : "so ne may it nouȝt beo.
Ake lat me speke with mi broþur : for me longueth him to seo.
For er þane ich him habbe i-seiȝe : Ine worþe nouȝt bliþe, i-wis,
Min heorte is so muche opon him : and no wonder it nis." Page 49
¶ "A, sire," quath þe luþere Quiene : "ȝwane it ne mot oþur beo,
Furst ichulle to þe drinke : and þu schalt him sethþe i-seo."
I-redi was þe Botiler : and brouȝte him drinke a-non.
Among þe oþere þat þare weren : o schrewe þare cam gon
And wel-comede him with fair semblaunt : and made him Ioye i-novȝ
And custe him Iudases cos : and sone him þere a-slovȝ :
For ase he stoupede and custe him : redi he was i-novȝ,
Þoruȝ is wombe he smot a knijf : and is gottes al-to-drovȝ
Þis holie Man sat upriȝht : and bi-heold is deþes wounde.
he ne rod bote wel luyte wei : are he feol to grounde
And liet þere is swete lijf— : is soule to heouene wende.
Alas, luytel vuel þouȝte he : þo þe schrewe is wombe rende!
Ake he was luþur ase Iudas : þat so feolliche him custe
And with tricherie is wombe rende : are he it euere wuste!
Þo þis holie Man i-martred was : huy þat him brouȝten þer-to
Bi-þouȝten hou huy miȝhten best : with þis holie bodie do :
In-to a dierne stude huy wenden : and þar-inne is bodi huy caste
Wel filliche and stilleliche : and bureden it þare wel faste.
¶ þo þis holie Man i-martred was : þe Quiene hadde hire wille;
For liȝhtliche Men holdeth euere with þe quike : and þe dede is sone stille.
Men nomen þo þat child Aþeldred : þat was þe Quiene sone, [folio 40]
And aftur is broþur mauden him king : as riȝht was and wone.
¶ Þe heiȝe men alle of þe lond : with him heolden echon
Ase with heore prince and heore louerd : and þene dede for-ȝete a-non.
Ake among lowe Men and simple : deol þere was i-nouȝ,
huy corseden alle with-oute god : þat heore louerd a-slouȝ.
"Alas," huy seiden, "ȝwat schulle we nouþe? : ho schal for us beo?
ho schal us nouþe fram weorre wite*. [MS. us wite]? : ȝwodere schulle we nouþe fleo?
ho schal nou pais in londe holde? : ore ioye is al i-do!
Of weorre and wo we mouwen beo sikere : al wrechhede comethþ us to."
¶ Grete wille hadden þe guode Men : of þe contreie bi-side
In sum fair place þat bodi legge : and souȝten it wel wide;
huy ortreuweden wel þat it were : in sum foul stude i-do, Page 50
huy souȝten it ofte wide a-boute : and ne couþen nouȝt come þer-to.
On a time ase þis guode men : of wareygne þare bi-side
In þe contreye wenden and souȝten : þis holie bodi ful wide,
huy stoden and bi-heolden*. [MS. bi-heoldem] heom bi-side : þo iseiȝen huy gret liȝht
And cler with-alle a-boute one place : ase apiler stonde upriȝht.
¶ Huy þouȝten þat þere was godes grace. : þudere huy wenden and souȝte,
And founden þere þis holie bodi : and up of þe eorþe it brouȝten.
Þare was wop and sor i-nov : þo huy seiȝen is grisli wounde!
Ake ȝeot was heore heorte glad : and Ioyful, þo huy him founde.
With wel fair procession : þis bodi forth huy bere
In-to þe toun of warayne : and faire it bureden þere;
In a churche-ȝerd of ore leuedi : bi este þe churche a luyte,
Þare huy bureden þat swete bodi : with gret honur and pruyte.
A chapele þare is arerd : ase þat holie bodi lai
In þe toun of warygne : þat stant ȝeot to þis dai.
Þe put þare he was feorst i-founde : a welle þare gan springue,
Fair and cler, þat ȝeot i-last : and is ofte gret botningue,
Þat Men cleopieth ȝeot to þis day : "seint Edwardes welle;"
þare Mani Miracle hath i-beo : ase þe contreie dethþ telle.
¶ Þat holie bodi lay guode ȝwyle : þare it was i-do,
In þe toune of waraygne : and Mani man cam þar-to.
Þe tiþingue hov he i-martred was : sone sprong wel wide,
And þe Miracles þat for him comen : a-boute in eche side.
An heiȝ Eorl þare was a-londe þo : þat i-hoten was Alfez,
Þat seint Edward louede muche : þe ȝwyle he liuede her :
Þo he heorde of þe Miracles telle : þat ore louerd for him wrouȝte,
Glad and bliþe he was i-nouȝ : ase ech Man wel ouȝte;
him þouȝte it was wel vuele i-do : þat he lai so lowe þere,
Þat he nere i-bured in herre stude : ase he wel wuyrþe were;
Gret deol he hadde in is herte : þat he was a-morþred so,
And swuch a creature ase he was : in so lowe stude i-do.
In deorsete he wende wide a-boute : to þe heiȝe men alle þere,
To Bischopes and to Abbodes al-so : þat in Enguelonde were, [folio 40b]
And bad heom of þulke holie bodi : þat huy it þannes bere Page 51
To herre stude ase it was wuyrþe : and þat huy þare-a-ȝein nere.
his Messagers he sende a-boute : for þis þing wel wide,
And to þe Abbesse of wiltone : þat i-hote was wilfride,
And to Eadithþe þe holie wumman : þat Nonne al-so was þar,*. [orig. þer]
Þat was seint Edwardes suster : and þe kingus douȝter Edgar.
So þat Bischopus and Abbodes : and heiȝe Men mani on
To-gadere comen in a time : ase huy bi-speken echon.
¶ To þis holi bodi huy wenden. : and þo huy þer-to come,
hol and sound huy founden it ligge : þo huy þat bodi up nome,
Al-so hol it was with-oute weomme : ase it euer er a-liue was—
Þare nas nouȝt on þat it i-seiȝ : þat glad and Ioyful þere-fore nas.
Ake Eadithþe, is holie suster : to þat bodi orn a-non
And bi-clupte þat bodi and custe it faste : bi-fore heom euerechon;
For gladnesse heo lovȝ and weop : teres wel mani on,
Þo heo saiȝ hire broþur so a-slawe : and so sovnd of flechs and bon—
ho-so nadde neuere deol i-seiȝe : of hire he miȝhte þere.
Þis heiȝe men with gret honur : þat holie bodi forth bere,
With gret song and procession. : muche folk þuder-ward drovȝ.
Ore louerd dude þare for is loue : fair Miracle i-novȝ.
¶ For tweie crupeles þat in heore limes : al fur-crokede were,
Mid gret hope leien in þe wey : and a-biden þe bere :
hore limes bi-gunne to rechchen a-riȝht : and hole bi-comen a-non;
Þare was Ioye and blisse i-nouȝ : a-mong þis men ech-on.
¶ His stepmoder, þat him þare-to brouȝte : herof herde telle :
hire of-þouȝte, þo he swuch man was : þat he*. [= heo] him let so quelle.
Ope hire palefrey heo werth a day : aftur þat bodi to wiende,
To bidde for-ȝiuenesse of hire misdede : ȝif god hire wolde siende.
¶ Ase heo wolde þuder-ward wiende : and with hire mani on,
huy ne miȝhten make hire palefrey : þat it ane fote wolde gon;
huy schouen it faste forthþe-ward and drowen : and neuere þe betere it nas.
Þe Quiene þouȝte on hire misdede : þat al þare-fore it was :
heo a-liȝhte of hire palefrey : and wolde a-fote gon
To-ward þat holie cors. : ake heo nadde power non;
A-ȝein-ward heo miȝhte wel gon : ake forthþe-ward for no-þing.
Heo bi-lefte, þo it was non oþur : in gret deol and mournyng. Page 52
Of hire misdedes heo repentede hire sore : ase manie Men habbeth i-sed,
And cam to guod mendement : are þat heo were ded.
¶ Þis Men ladden þis holie bodi : with gret honur and pruyte
To þe Abbeye of Schaftesburi : þare ase he lijth ȝuyte
A-mong blake Nonnene þat þare beoth : and al-so þare weren þo,
Þat fram þe toun of waraygne : is twenti Mile and mo;
In þe northha[l]f of þe heiȝe Autere : in þe walle bi-side
huy leiden þis holie bodi : þat manie men sechez wide.
In-to þulke Abbeie of Schafteburij : seint Edward huy ladde, [folio 41]
For þe kyng Alfred, is graunt-sire : þat hous a-rerd hadde
And made þar-inne is douȝter Nonne : þat was i-hote alȝyue—
For hire loue he hadde þat hous arerd : and muche guod þudere in i-ȝiue :
An hondret hidenene*. [r. hidene] of guod lond : with hire he ȝaf þer
Þat hous, al-so freo in eche point : ase he him-sulf it heold er.
In þis Abbeie seint edward : lai on and twenti ȝer,
So þat huy i-seien tokningue ofte : þat he nolde nonmore beo þer.
For ȝwane men comen ofte to is toumbe : ase liȝthliche up huy as bere
And heuen as up and doun ase huy wolden : ase þei it liȝht treov were.
¶ Seint Edward cam al-so aniȝht : ase in a visioun
To an holi man þat þere was neiȝ : in an oþur religion;
"Go," he seide, "to Schafteburi : to þe Abbesse of þe house,
Dame Aldred þat clene Maide : þat is godes spouse,
And seie hire þat i-nelle nonmore : ligge þare ich nou do;
Þat ich beo i-brouȝt in an oþur stude : and þat heo segge mi broþer so."
¶ Þis guode Man a-morewe a-ros : and ne fur-ȝat nouȝt þis cas :
To þe Abbesse he wende of Schafteburi : and tolde al hou it was.
Þis guode womman was glad i-nouȝ! : to þe kyngue heo wende sone
And of is broþur tolde him al : and ȝwat þer-of were to done.
Welle, þe kyng was one glad : þo he i-heorde telle
So swete tiþingue of is broþur : þei is moder him liete a-quelle!
¶ He wolde habbe i-went to schafteburi : In shrine him to bringue,
Ac he was so bi-set mid weorre : þat he ne miȝhte for no þingue :
For is fon ornen so faste him up-on : þat he ne miȝhte þannes wiende. Page 53
To heie Men a-boute in þe londe : wel sone he gan siende,
And to wilfin þe guode bischop : þat was bischop þo,
Þat huy scholden with gret honour : to schafteburie go
And his broþur in schrine bringue : ase riȝth was forto done.
¶ Þe Bischop with þis oþur Men : to schafteburi comen sone.
With swiþe fair procession : to is toumbe huy wende.
A swiþe fair Miracle a-mong heom alle : ore louerd for him þere sende :
For a-non so huy openeden þat lid : of is swete toumbe þere,
Þare cam a-doun þoruȝ al þe churche : ase þei it a mist were,
A-mong al þe prece þat þere was : þat huy i-seien alle with eiȝe,
Fleuȝ*. [al. flen] a-mon[g] heom al-so a myst— : so swote þing neuere huy er ne seiȝe.
¶ So swote was þe smul and guod : þat alle þat þere were
For muruþe þouȝten þat huy stoden : in parays and nouȝt þere.
Þis holi bodi up huy nomen : with gret honour and pruyte,
And leiden it in a wel fair schrine : þare ase it lijth ȝuyte.
In þis manere he was i-schrined : in þe on an twentiþe ȝere
Þat þe heiȝe men him brouȝten fro waram : and bureden him furst þere;
A þousend ȝer it was and on : after þulke stounde
Þat ore louerd was on eorþe i-bore : and a-liȝhte for us to grounde.
¶ His broþur, þe king Aþeldred : guod man was i-nouȝ;
Edward was is sone i-hote : þat to alle guodnesse drouȝ, [folio 41b]
Þat king was sethþe aftur him : and heiȝ halewe in heouene is,
I-cleoped seint Edward aftur is vncle : at West-Munstre he lijth, i-wis.
¶ Op-on Miȝhel-masse fourtene-nyȝht : his day fallez in þe ȝere,
And a-midde þe Monþe of luyde*. [18 March] : seint Edwardes dai þere.*. [= þe ere]
Nov god for þe loue of heom boþe : þet swete kingues were,
To þe Ioye of heouene þat huy beoth inne : with heom us bringue þere.
18 Franceys.*. [This life is based on the Vita s. Fr. by S. Bonaventura, in Act. SS. Boll. Oct. 4, p. 742 ff.]
SEint Fraunceys, þe frere Menour : þat guod man was i-novȝ,
Marchaunt he was in his ȝonghede : and to eche treuwenesse drovȝ.
his Marchaundise he maude a*. [al. al] day : in þe cite of Asise; Page 54
And in almesdede he spendede an*. [om. an] on pouere Men : muchedel is Marchaundise;
For no loue of catel : he it nolde bi-leue,
Ȝwane ani pouere man him bede : bote he him som-ȝwat ȝeue.
¶ Ase he cam a day bi þe wei : he gan mieten bi cas
Ane kniȝt þat hadde Riche i-beo : and*. [MS. and and] swiþe a-pouered was;
vuele he was i-cloþed al-so : and bad him sum guod.
Seint Fraunceys hadde reuþe of him : and one ȝwyle he with-stod,
¶ he strepte of is cloþes of is rug : and ȝaf þis pouere knyȝt.
And þer-aftur ase he lay a-slepe : in is bedde a-nyȝt,
A swiþe noble paleys : him þouȝte þat he i-seiȝ;
he Axede was þat paleys were : þat so riche was and heiȝ;
Men seiden him þat it was his : and is kniȝtes al-so.
Þo þis holie Man a-wok : sum-ȝwat he þouȝte do.
In þat paleys him þouȝte he saiȝ al-so : knyȝhtes Armes þere,
And with afair creoiz þoruȝ-out : I-markede alle huy were.
¶ Þouȝte he, "ore louerd it wole : þat ich mi-seolf knyȝt beo,
And swyþe feble ich am þare-to : bote ich me bet bi-seo."
An Eorl þare was in poile*. [= Apoile] : þat was corteys and hende :
he þouȝte knyȝt beo i-maud of him : þuder-ward he gan wende.
Ase he wende towar[d] þis Eorl : for-to beo i-maud kniȝt,
Ore swete louerd in Auision : to him cam a niȝth;
"Seiȝe me," he seide, "of þe louerd : and of þe hyne al-so,
And of þe riche man and of þe pouere : ȝwuch may þe mest guod do?"
"Bote þe louerd," quath þis oþur : "and he þat is riche."
"Þou haddest almest i-chose," ore louerd seide : "þat ful oni-liche :
For truste of þe hyne : þene louerd þou for-soke;
Þov nome vuele þin Avision : þou most þe bet bi-loke.
¶ Þe Armure and þe paleis : þat þou so noble i-seiȝe,
Elles-ȝware þov schalt finde : Ake þou ne comest nouȝt ȝuit so heiȝe;
Knyȝtes þov schalt habbe onder þe : þulke Armes for-to lede.
Þare-fore wend þe hom a-ȝein : and bi-þench bet þi dede!"
¶ Þis holi man, þo he a-wok : a-ȝein wende to Asise,
And þouȝte al on Ihesu crist : and bi-lefde is Marchaundise,
And bad ore louerd nyȝht and dai : þat he scholde him rede
And some tokningue senden him : hov he scholde is lijf lede. Page 55
¶ A day, ase þis holie man : with-oute Asise him drouȝ, [folio 42]
he mette a lodlich Mesel : þat revlich was i-nouȝ
And bad him sum guod for godes loue. : seint Fraunceys a-liȝhte
And bi-clupte and custe þane sike man : ase faire ase he miȝhte,
And of is seluer him tok : and bad him habbe guod day.
Þo nuste he ȝware he was bi-come : ne in none stude him ne say.
¶ Þo þouȝte wel ho it was : and aftur þulke dede
he wep and cride on ihesu crist : þat he scholde him sum-ȝwat rede;
And ofte he wolde bi costome : to Meseles fare
And sechen heom at heore owene hous : bote he founde hem elles|ȝware,
And cusse heore hondene and heore fet : and heore Mouth al-s[o]
And ȝyue heom guod wel largeliche— : bi costome he wolde it do.*. [a later hand adds als]
¶ Bi a churche of seint Damian : a day he cam gon,
Þat ope þe poynte was to falle a-doun. : In he wende a-non
And kneolede a-doun bi-fore þe croiz : ase he dude wel ofte.
Þo spac a voiz þare-inne : wel Mildeliche and softe
And seide, "Fraunceys, go þe forth : and a-rer up min hous an heiȝ,
Þat, þou sixt, fallez to grounde : and al destruyd is neiȝ."
¶ Seint Fraunceys, for þe churche was : a-done-ward al i-brouȝt,
Wende þat ore louer[d] þare-bi seide— : ake þar-of nas it nouȝt:
he wende and solde is cloþes a-non : and muche of is oþur þingue,
And þe panes þat he nam þare-with : to þis church gan bringue.
Þe pr[e]ost of þe churche he fond þere : þe panes he wolde him take,
To arere up þe pouere churche. : and he heom gan for-sake;
he ne dorste nouȝt for is fader : ne for is oþur freond, he seide,
So muche tresor nime of him : bote it were bi heore rede.
¶ Seint Fraunceys nam þat tresor : þo þe oþur it for-sok,
And in a fenestre leide it þere : and in ore louerdes warde it tok.
Þo þe tyþingue cam to is fader : þat he hadde i-sold is guod,
Toward him he wende anon : and for wrath was neiȝ wod.
Seint Frau[n]ceys was i-war of him : and ne bi-lefte nouȝt bi-hinde,
he wende and hudde him in a Dich : þat he ne miȝhte him nouȝt finde.
In þis Diche wel longue he lay : in hunguer and wrech-hede,
And euere cride on Ihesu crist : þat he scholde him betere rede. Page 56
¶ So longue he was þare in meseise : þat he for-ferde neiȝ,
Þat vnneþe him couþe i-knowe : ani man þat him seiȝ.
Atþe laste in meseise i-novȝ : he wende to Asise.
Þat folk, þo huy seien him com[e] : heom gan ful sore a-grise
And seiden "here cometh a wod Man" : huy harleden him wel faste
And smiten and pulten here and þere : and dunge on him caste.
Seint Fraunceis wende euere forth : ase þei him no-þing nere.
¶ his fader cam al-so bi cas : and i-mette him þere:
he ladde him hom to is hous : and beot him sore i-novȝ,
And bad him bringue hom þat catel : þat he er a-wei drovȝ.
Þo he ne miȝhte habbe non oþur word : he bond him swiþe strongue;
So þat þis guode man : in prisone lay ful longue.
Atþe laste, þe ȝwyle is fader : out of toune gan i-wende, [folio 42b]
his Moder hadde reovþe of him : and brouȝte him out of bende.
Þo he was out of bendes i-brouȝt : he ne bi-lefte no leng þer,
he wende to þe Dich aȝein : fro ȝwannes he cam er.
¶ Þo þis housebonde cam hom : and ne founde him nouȝt þere,
Swiþe sore he beot is wijf : and axede ȝware he were.
To þe churche of seint Damian : þe housebonde wende þo,
And fond þat tresor al-hol þere : ase he it hadde i-do.
And sethþe he wende to þe Dich : and founde is sone þere.
he axede at him for ȝwat þingue : þat tresor a-wei he bere;
And þo he i-seiȝ al þen ende : þat he luyte þar-of rouȝte,
he ladde Fraunceys forth with him : ant bi-fore þe Bischop him brouȝte,
And bad, ȝif he alles wolde : þe worldes guod bi-leue,
Þat he bi-fore þe Bischope þer : þat tresor up ȝeue.
¶ Seint Fraunceis with þulke worde : glad and Ioyful stod:
Þare and bi-fore god he ȝaf up : al his eorþelich guod,
And streopte of is cloþes : a-non to is bare liche
And bi-fore þe Bischope tok is fader : and bad him beo guod and riche;
he seide, "ich þe habbe fader i-cleoped : euere to þis day,
And nouþe it is so feor i-come : þat non more i-ne may;
Segge ich mot mi .pater-noster : heonne-forthþe-ward i-wis
And to mi fader holde me : þat in heuene is." Page 57
Nakede he wende fram is fader : bi-fore heom þare echon;
Worldes guod aftur þulke tyme : ne bod he neuereft non.
¶ A seli vplondischse Man : þat nakede saiȝ him go,
Gret deol in is heorte hadde : for is chele and for is wo:
he ȝaf him ane olde Mantel : his bones þare-with to hele;
Seint Fraunceis it vnder-feng : to witien him fram chele,
his licame he heolede þare-with : and in myseise i-novȝ
A-ȝen þare he was i-bore : to Asise he him drovȝ.
¶ Ase he hadde er i-beo so riche : and so wel was i-knowe,
A beggare he cam a[n]d bad is mete : þere-aftur in a þrowe,
Fram dore to dore he bad is mete : and wonede him þar-to;
Some weren wroþe for is dedes : and no guod nolden him do.
Of þe ordre of frere Menours : he ne made no-þing ȝuyte;
he bi-gan in pouerte i-novȝ : and with luyte pruyte.
¶ Men of þe contreie weren : a-boute for-to a-mende
Seint Damianes churche : þat al a-done-ward wende,
Þare ase seint Fraunceys hadde i-beo : and tresor bi-left þere.
Þo he ne miȝhte non oþur do : þe churche for-to a-rere,
he wende þudere and sore swonk : and bar morter þar-to,
And sethþe he eode and bad is mete : ȝwane he hadde al i-do.
¶ Ane churche sethþe of seint peter : men arerden elles-ȝ[w]are:
Þis holie man in is miseise : wel sone he was þare
And Morter and ston drouȝ þer-to : and sore swonk al-so,
And sethþe eode and bad is mete : þo he hadde al i-do. [folio 43]
Ȝwane he heorde of ani churche : þat ouȝwer was for-ta-rere,
he wende þudere, and longue him þouȝte : are he were þere.
¶ To seinte Marie in desert : ate laste he wende wel stille
And criede on ore louerd niȝht and day : þat he dude bi him is wille
And þat he ȝeue him is grace þere : in ȝwat manere he best miȝhte
his churche þat a-doneward was : best a-rere up and diȝhte.
So þat god him ȝaf þe grace : þat he þare bi-gan
Þe ordre of frere Menours : to saui mani a man.
¶ In þe bi-guynningue of þis ordre : ase ore louerd ȝef þat cas,
Ane masse he i-heorde a day : þat of þe Apostles was;
As man rat ȝuyt a-mong us : in þe godspelle it seide þo
Þat ore louerd hiet is desciples : þo huy scholden a-boute go, Page 58
Þat huy ne beren with heom gol[d] ne seluer : ȝwane huy wenden ouer lond,
Ne baggue, ne tweie curtles noþur : ne schon, goinde with ouer lond*. [Ashm. ne staf in hor hond]—
¶ In þis manere ore louerd hiet : his Apostles gon.
Þo seint Fraunceis i-heorde þis : he dude of is schon,
And porueiȝede þat frere Menours : barefot scholden gon,
With-oute bagge, with-oute staf : with-oute ani þing to spene—
Bote ech frere Menour do al-so : he ne halt nouȝt is ordre, ich wene.
In stude of is gurdel al-so : with rope he him bond—
In þis manere frere Menours : scholden go ouer lond.
¶ Seint Fraunceis bi-þouȝte þus : to don þis holie dede
And made þe ordre of frere Menours : al ase þe godspel sede.
¶ Bernard, þat was a guod scholer : formest to him cam
And þe ordre of frere menours : of him formest he nam.
he axede at him hov he scholde best : þe world clanliche for-sake.
To seint Nicholas churche huy wenden : ane masse-bok huy gonne take.
Þe bok was i-closed faste to : seint Fraunceis hine gan vndo,
Al on-mundliche he on-dude þe bok : and þe furste þat he cam to
Þat was a godspel þat seith : "ȝif þou wolt parfijt beo,
Sul al þi guod and ȝif pouere men : and sethþe siwe me!"
¶ Al vn-Mundlingue he cam eft-sone : to a godspel þat seide :
Þat man ne scholde seluer ne gold : bi þe weie lede.
Þe þridde tyme al on-Mundlingue : þe masse-bok he wende :
Þo cam he opon þis godspel : ase ore louerd him grace sende :
"ho-so wole come after me : him-sulf he schal for-sake
And is owene rode bere : and þene wei after me so take."
¶ "Þov i-fuxt here," quath seint Fraunceis : "hou ore louerd in a stounde
Sent us grace ope ȝwuche þingue : we schullen þis ordre founde :
Opon þeos þreo god-spelles, þov fuxt : þat we habbeth furst i-founde
We schullen foundi al ore ordre : and opon þis strongue grounde."
Opon þis*. [MS. þis þis] þreo godspelles he maude*. [maudre] is ordre : and is riule*. [Ryvle on the margin.] for|sothþ—
And þe frere Menor brekez is ordre : þat þare-aȝein ouȝt dothþ.
¶ Fre Gyles was þo þe ferste— : þat guod scoler hadde i-beo, Page 59
Þat aftur frere Bernard þe ordre nam : and sethþe oþur þreo. [folio 43b]
So þat vnder heom alle sixe freres : to-gadere weren i-brouȝt.
And þei þis ordre were i-maud : i-confermed nas heo nouȝt.
¶ Seint Fraunceys þe holie Man : þo god þe tyme sende,
To confermi is ordre a-riȝht : toward Rome he wende.
Ake swiþe sore he was of-drad : laste þe pope were
Contrarious a-ȝein is Ordre : þat heo i-confermed nere.
Ake forth he wende to fondi : he nolde nouȝt beo bi-hynde;
And euere he bad Ihesu crist : þat he moste som grace finde.
¶ Þo þouȝte him in a wision : þat [he] i-saiȝ a gret treo,
So heiȝ þat he was a-drad : toward þe coppe i-seo;
And netheles on aunture he him dude : and nam þar-of a bovȝ
Aboue in þe hexte stude : and toward him it drovȝ :
hit beiȝ al a-doun to him : aftur is wille i-novȝ,
For al þat him dradde furst : þat it was heiȝ and tovȝ.
¶ Þo þis holie man a-wok : on þis sweuene he þouȝte longue
And þare-þoruȝ he hopede of þe pope : sum grace for-to afongue;
For þe treo þat was so heiȝ : lijȝthtliche to grounde drovȝ,
Also he hopede þene heiȝe pope : to is wille bringue i-novȝ.
To þe pope Innocent : þo he to Rome cam,
he bad graunti is Religion : to amendi cristindam,
A[n]t þat he scholde is ordre preouen : and is Revle al-so
Þoruȝ þe godspel of godes word : and þer-aftur do.
¶ Þo þe pope is Revle iseiȝ : þat heo was clene and guod,
And ope þe godspelle i-founded al : ase he wel onder-stod,
In is herte he grauntede it : ake nouȝt with is Mouth a-non,
For he moste is cardinales : conseili þare-uppe ech-on.
¶ So þat a-Mong þis Cardinales : counseil þere was i-nome.
Some heolden þare-aȝein : and also þare-with some.
Þo was þer a Cardinal : þat Bischop was al-so,
Maister Iohan of seint poul : þat faste heold þer-to
And seide, "ȝif we destourbieth him : aȝein þe godspelle we beothþ,
Ȝwane he spechut al vpe godes word : ase we wel i-seothþ."
¶ In Avisioun to þe pope : a-niȝht also it cam
Þat he grauntede him is Reule : to saui cristindom.
So þat þe pope grauntede him : al is Reule to do, Page 60
And confermede þoruȝ al þe court : and bi-hiet him more þer-to.
Þo wende forthþ þis holie Man : and is freres withþ him nam
And prechede a-boute þe godspelles : to amendi cristindom.
¶ Þo þe contreiȝe i-seiȝ heom ferst : gret speche was þere,
Some seiden þat Aunte-crist : oþur is desciples it were;
So þat in wel manie studes : luyte guod men heom sende
And huy weren ofte ofhungrede sore : ase huy a-boute wende.
So þat huy comen into a stude : and ofhungrede weren sore,
Þat some of þe freres hadden i-þouȝt : in þe ordre to beo non-more.
Þo cam þere a wel fair man : and brouȝte heom mete i-novȝ— [folio 44]
Sone huy nusten ȝware he bi-cam : ne ȝwoder-ward he drovȝ.
Þis freres i-seiȝen fule þo : þat an Aungel it was :
Þe studefastore in heore ordre : huy weren for þis cas
And bi-hieten god þat huy nolden neuere : for miseise ne for wo
In þe ordre bi heore miȝhte : pouerte fur-go.
¶ Bi-side þe toun of Asise : feor fram eche strete
huy wenden alle to one stude : þat was al fur-lete.
Miseyse huy hadden þare i-novȝ : and ofte wepen sore,
For defaute of heore sustinaunce : and for defaute of bokes more.
For huy ne hadde bokes none : ȝware-on huy miȝhten loke,
In þe croiz huy bi-heolden al day : in-stude of heore boke,
And beden god*. [MS. guod], ȝif it were is wille : þat he scholde heom sum guod teche,
For huy nadden non oþur bok : ne nusten ȝware-with any a-reche.
¶ To seinte Marie in desert : þannes huy gunne i-wiende,
Ase huy bi-gunnen furst þe ordre : to bringue as þare to ende.
Seint Fraunceis wende bi þe londe : and prechede a-boute þere.
Men wenden, þo huy seiȝen him furst : þat of an oþur worlde he were;
For he capede euere upward : toward heouene an heiȝ,
Þat men wondreden and speken þar-of : euer-ech þat him i-seiȝ.
Manie heolden him a truant : of þe deueles lore
And harleden him here and þer : and ofte beten him sore.
Þis holie man ne tok none ȝeme : ake criede ore louerdes ore,
And ȝware men duden him mest schame : þudere he drovȝ þe more.
¶ Idel ne kepte he neuere beo : he ne louede no þin[g] so luyte
Ne hatede so muche ase he dude Aise : and idelnesse and pruyte. Page 61
"Frere Asse" he cleopede is owene flesch— : for ȝe wuten wel þat an Asse,
Nabbe heo neuere so luyte mete : is trauail nis no þe lasse,
For heo is i-harled here and þere : and to file weorke i-do,
I-priked and i-scourget eke : and sackes heo berez al-so;
Of ȝeomere þingue heo is i-fed : ȝwane heo alles comez þar-to,
And selde heo is i-coureyd wel : with-ovte nail an scho.
¶ He seruede so is owene flesch : and cleopede it "frere Asse":
Mete he ȝaf him luyte i-nov : and to cloþingue wel lasse;
he prikede also and scourgede ek : and þoruȝ-out þe contreiȝe
harlede it and deope wod : bare-fot in deope weye.
Ȝwane he i-saiȝ ani idel Man : þat louede glotonie
And ne trauailede nouȝt for is mete : he cleopede him "frere flie":
For þe flie ne doth non oþur guod : bote fleoth feor and neor
And a-waytez ȝwane men goth to mete : oþur to heore soper;
A-non so þe Disch is i-set a-doun : heo wole beo ope þe brerde—
Of trauail ne wo ne kep[t]hþ heo nouȝt : bote þat heo wel ferde;
¶ Ȝwane a Man hath al dai i-swounke : þei he it hadde i-swore,
he ne schal to is Disch come so sone : þat þe flie nele beo bi-fore.
¶ Also farez manie idele Men : þat non oþer guod nelleth do,
Bote ȝwanne oþur Men beth to-ward þe mete : ȝare huy beth þar-to; [folio 44b]
Atþe Dische huy wollez al-so sone beo : ase huy þat habbez i-swounke,
And þanne is al heore weork i-do : habben huy i-ȝete and i-dronke;
Þanne gothþ huy ligge slepe : oþur gothþ to some folie.
Þare-fore seint Fraunceys cleopede : swuche men "frere flie".
¶ Of noþing nas þis holie man : so glad ase of edwijȝt:
For ȝwane ani Man opbraid is pouerte : he was in gret deliȝt;
Ȝwane Men cleopeden him hoxtare : oþur cheorl oþur cheorles sone—
For port-Men beoth ofte boistouse : and hoxtares bi wone—
"leue broþer," he seide : "certes, þov seist sothþ,
I-blessed beo þou for þat word : and alle þat so dothþ!
Preses*. [r. Perses (Ash. Peres)] sone Bernard : it bi-comethþ bi riȝthe lawe
To heore telle of is riȝhte : ich auchȝte beo glad and fawe."
And ȝwane men preiseden ouȝt of is cuynde : he nadde þare-of no deliȝt.
Þare-fore ho-so wolde him paye : segge him sum edwiȝt; Page 62
And bi-fore al folk a-brod : in is prechingue he seide
his Miseise and is defaute : ofte and is wrechhede.—
¶ In poyle seint Fraunceis ȝeode : some time ouer lond,
So þat a porsful of panes : bi þe weie he fond;
he ne tok non more ȝeme þare-to : þane to so muche fen.
his felawe bad him nimen heom up : and dele pouere men.
"I nelle nouȝt," seide seint Fraunceis : "of oþur mannes dele."
"Me þunchez," seide is felawe þo : "þat þov nart nouȝt fele,
Þat þou ne louest nouȝt pouere men : ȝwane þou nelt heom don no guod."
Þis holie man i-heorde þis : and one ȝwile in þouȝte stod;
¶ "Þou schalt," he seide, "sone i-seo : ȝ[w]at þis panes beoth ech-on."
he wende and nam up þat pors : and openede him a-non:
Þo crep þare out a naddre : þe fouleste þat miȝhte gon,
And þe pors al amti was : and peni bi-lefte non;
And þat was þe Deuel of helle : þat in þe fourme of panes lay,
For-to bi-traye þis holie man : ȝwane he þe panes i-saiȝ.
¶ Þis holie Man seint Fraunceis : among ech manere best
Muche he louede ȝoungue lambre : and a-nourede heom euere mest,
For ore louerd euenede him-sulf to a lomb : þoruȝ seint Iohan þe Baptist,
And for it is with-oute felonie : and milde ase ihesu crist;
And ofte ȝwane men wolden heom quelle : fram deþe he heom brouȝte
With biddingue and with is faire word : and fale siþes heom bouȝte.
¶ In þe Abbeye of seint verecunde : a ȝoung lomb he founde,
A souwe a-strangli it a-non : and fret it in a stounde.
Seint Fraunceis stod and bi-heold : "A-mong alle bestes," he seide,
"A-corsed þou beo, luþere souwe : þat dudest þis luþere dede;
Þat þi lijf beo schort and strong : and þi dethþ beo strong al-so,
And þat no þing ne ete of þi flesch : ȝwane þou ert of liue i-do!"
Þo bi-gan þe souwe a-non : ase he þis word seide,
To beo ful of schabbe and of buyles : and of oþur wrechhede,
Þat heo orn out al of quiture : and ase þat folk i-saiȝ, [folio 45]
In wrechhede and in sorewe inov : heo deide þane þridde day,
And fur-rotede and stonk foule i-novȝ. : no best þat it i-seiȝ,
Rauon ne pie no oþur foul : nolde enes come þare-neiȝ. Page 63
¶ For seint Fraunceis louede lambre*. [orig. lombre] : ase al þat folk i-saiȝ,
On of is freond for godes loue : a lomb him ȝef a dayȝ.
Þis lomb wolde old and ȝoung : al dai neiȝ him beo
And maken with him Ioye i-nouȝ : ȝwanne it him miȝhte i-seo.
Seint Fraunceis hiet þis schep a day : ȝwanne it heorde freres singue,
To churche gon at eche tide : and ne lete for none þingue.
Þat schep aftur þulke time : selde wolde a-bide,
Ȝwane hit i-heorde freres in þe queor : þat hit nas at eche tide;
Blete it wolde a-ȝenes heom : for it ne couþe nouȝt elles do;
And ȝwane it saiȝ þe freres sitten a-kneo : kneuli it wolde al-so,
And ȝwane ani preost sacrede : kneoli it wolde þar-to
And wel inwardliche bi-holde þudere : ase it saiȝ oþur freres do.
Wel auȝte we onouri þe sacringue : ȝwane a swuch best wolde!
A wonder bede-man it was : to come to godes*. [A later hand adds: seruice so] bolde!
¶ Ase seint Fraunceis þis holie man : ouer lond ofte him drouȝ,
Wilde foules, smale and grete : honoureden him i-novȝ.
For ase he wende in atyme : to prechie ouer lond,
An hep of foules grete i-novȝ : In a stude he fond;
huy songuen and maden noyse i-nov : euerech in is wise;
Þe ȝuyt þe holie man a-mong heom cam : huy nolden nouȝt enes arise.
¶ "Beu frere," quath þis holie Man : "ore sustren þat beoth here
honourieth god þat heom made : ech in his manere;
Riȝht is þat we don also : are we fram heom gon."
huy gonne to segge heore tidene : among þis foules ech-on.
Þo maden þis foules so gret noise : þat huy ne miȝhten noþing i-here.
"Sostrene," quath þis holie Man : "chaungiez eouwer manere,
Beothþ nouþe stille and latehþ me segge : mine tidene with mi frere,
And sethþe ȝe mouwen aftur us : euer-ech with is fere."
¶ Þis foules a-non-riȝht to is heste : stille weren al-so
And seten and heorden heore tidene : for-to huy hadden al ido.
"Nou sustren," quath þis holie man : "we habbuthþ i-seid ore tide,
Bi-guynnez ouwer ȝwane ȝe wollez : ȝe ne þoruen no leng abide."
Þis foules bi-gonne singue anon : þe leste and eke þe meste—
Swiþe gret pouwer he hadde of god : þat foules weren at is heste!
¶ Þis holie man wende him forth : to prechi ouer lond:
A gret hep eft-sone of foules : in on oþur stude he fond. Page 64
he wende forthþ a-mong heom. : þis foules bi-gonne echon
Louten to him wel mildeliche : and honouri him a-non.
Þis holie Man at-stod ane ȝwile : and þouȝte heom sum guod teche,
And riȝht ase it weren men of witte : þis foules he gan to preche:
¶ "Leoue sostrene," he seide, "for godes loue : honouriethþ ore creatur,
For a-mong alle liues : ȝe auȝten him don honour:
For he ȝifht eov nobleie i-nouȝ : wynguene for-to fleo, [folio 45b]
And feþerene to beren eov up-on heiȝ : wide for-to seo,
And mete ȝware ȝe wollez a-liȝhte : with-oute eche-manere suynche,
he ȝifth eov also muche pruyte and ayse : ase ȝe mouwen onne þenche;
Delue ne diki ne þorue ȝe naþur : ase manie Men moten do,
And ȝeot ȝe mouwen habbe mete i-novȝ : ȝwane oþere nabbeth nouȝt so."
¶ Þis foules heorkeneden him wel stille : þe ȝwile is prechingue i-laste,
And fram wodes and fram oþur studes : þuder-word drowen faste.
Þo þis holie man hadde i-do : he wende forth a-non
And bi-teiȝte heom ihesu crist : and blessede heom ech-on;
he pleide with heom murie i-nouȝ : ase he among heom gan gon,*. [These vv. are out of order.]
And strokede heom with is longue fleue. : þere nolde a-rise nouȝt on,
Are he wolde bidden heom wende forth : ȝware huy hadden to done.
Þis foules, þo huy heorden þis : huy flouwen forth wel sone.
¶ Seint Fraunceis a-mong al oþur þingue : riȝht at is heorte grounde
Ofte he þouȝte deope i-novȝ : of ore louerdes wounden;
So studefast-liche in is þouȝt : non oþur þing he ne nam.
hit bi-feol at þe holie rode-tid : þat a-ȝein Miȝhel-Masse cam,
Opon þe hul of Auuerne : ase it was ore louerdes wille,
Al one in is oresones : þere he lai wel stille,
he þouȝte on ore louerdes woundene : so deope þat it nas non ende:
An Aungel he i-saiȝ an heiȝ : riȝht fram heouene wiende,
¶ Six wingene him þouȝte he hadde : þat schinden briȝhte and wide,
Þe tweie stoden up a-bouen is heued : and þe tweien bi is side,
And þoruȝ-out ouer is wombe a-creoyz : tweien þere weren al-so,
Ase men seothþ ofte in churche depeint : ho-so lokethþ þare-to;
Þe Armes weren a-long i-sprad : ase huy weren on þe rode,
And þe fet i-streitht a-long : al vrninde a-blode,
Þoruȝ þe riȝht side he was i-smite : and þoruȝ fet and honde: Page 65
hit was in fourme of an Aungel : ore louerd, ich onder-stonde.
¶ So gret Ioye hadde þis holie Man : of þis noble siȝhte
Þat him þouȝte he was in an oþur world : and þonkede godes miȝhte;
he nuste ȝwat for Ioye do : þe ȝwyle he þis fourme i-seiȝh.
At þe laste he fleuȝ a-ȝein : in-to heouene an heiȝh.
Seint Fraunceis was in Ioye i-nouȝ : for he hadde þat noble siȝth,
And nameliche of ore louerdes wounden : þat he wilnede daiȝ and nyȝht.
Þo bi-heold he is owene hondene : and is fiet al-so:
Þo weren huy þoruȝ-out i-smite : and þe nailes þar-on i-do,
And is riȝht side i-wounded al-so— : ake wel sore neren huy nouȝt;
So þat he hadde þe woundene him-sulf : þat so muche weren in is þouȝt.
¶ Þe nailes weren blake i-nouȝ : þe hauedene rounde and grete,
Þe poyntes weren euelongue : ase huy weren a-ȝei[n]ward-i-bete;
Aboute þe nailes þat flesch stod up : ase it were al-to-swolle
And ase it al a-boute were : for Anguyse to-bolle.
In þis manere we mouwen beo sikere : þat ore louerdes woundene were—
For bote ase a schewingue and Ansaumple : in seint Fraunceyse huy nere. [folio 46]
So þat þis holie man hadde : ore louerdes woundene fiue;
And bi-lefden on him aftur-ward : þe ȝwile he was a-liue.
At þe holie rode-tid in Septembre : he gan furst þis þing i-seo;
Ac ope þe hulle he hadde er : neiȝ a monþe i-beo,
And fourtene niȝt þare-aftur-ward : he bi-lefte ȝuyt þere;
So þat euene vnder al : fourti dawes þere were.
¶ Ase Moyses opon synay : was bi olde dawe
Fourti daiȝes in priuete : to seon þe olde lawe,
Also was þis holie Man : fourti dawes riȝht
Opon þe hulle of Auuerne : to seo þat holie siȝht.
So þat Aboute Miȝhelmasse : furst he wende to grounde;
Ac he hudde is fet and hondene faste : þat Men ne i-seiȝen þe wounde.
With þe woundene he liuede two ȝer : and prechede a-boute wide,
And þe woundene ornen ofte a-blode : and nameliche of is side,
And bi-bledde is cuyrtel ofte : and is briech al-so;
he carede muche hou he miȝhte : stilleliche it a-wei do.— Page 66
¶ Sethþe þare cam in þe londe : a swyþe strong qualm of orue,
Þat schep and reoþeren and oþur bestes : aldai leiȝen a-storue.
A guod Man þat hadde muchel orf : bad ore louerd wel faste
Þat he ne bi-nome him nouȝt al is guod : ake þat som him moste i-laste.
Slepinde in ametingue : to him seide þoruȝ*. [om. þoruȝ?] godes sonde
Þat he scholde nime of þat watur : þat seint Fraunceis wusch inne is honde
Oþur is fet and þere-with : a-mong þe bestes sprenge,
And, ȝif him þouȝte þare were to luyte : with oþur watur it Mienge.
¶ Þis guode Man þare-afturward : a-waitede is point ofte
And stal of þis watur stilleliche : in huydeles wel softe,
And spreinde a-mong is owene orf : and a-mong oþure mani on:
And oueral þare it was i-spreind : huy weren hole ech-on.—
¶ Seint Fraunceis was frere Menour : in þe ordre twenti ȝer,
And two ȝer and al-mest þreo wyke : ore louerdes woundene he ber,
So þat he drouȝ to-ward þe deþe : and feblischede ful swiþe faste.
On him nas nouȝt bote fel and bon : bi-leued atþe laste.
In torment he was strong i-novȝ : and ȝwane he was in worst stounde,
his lene bones he wolde drawe : a-ȝein þe harde grounde,
For-to make þe more is pine : and þe eorþe he custe al-so
And þonkede god of alle guode : þat he him hadde i-do.
he lay sijk and deide sone : seint Fraunceis þe holie man
In ore leuedi churche : þare he furst þe ordre bi-gan.
¶ Þo he was þe deþe neiȝ : naked he liet him do,
And to þe harde vrþe al bar : al nakede he lay so,
And het heom þat a-boute him were : þat aftur þulke stounde
huy leten him ligge longue also : nakede on þe grounde,
Þat eorþe miȝhte on eorþe deiȝe : for þat were is riȝhte.
he bi-gan to prechi is breþren : ope is feble miȝhte.
¶ Atþe laste, þo he þene dethþ i-saiȝ : and i-felde hine ful strongue, [folio 46b]
"Voce mea" he bi-gan : one saume of euesongue,
And seide forthþ þe saume al out : and heold up is hondene heiȝe,
And with þe laste word of þe saume : he bi-gan to deiȝe.
he deide tweolf hundred ȝer : and sixe and twenti riȝht
Aftur ore louerdes burtime : on a satur-day at niȝht.
Þe sonendai he was i-bured— : he ne ferde nouȝt ase þis riche Page 67
Þat for bobaunt of þe world : liggethþ longue a-liche.
¶ Þo þis holie man was ded— : þei it were bi niȝhte,
A gret hep of lauerkene : opon þe churche a-liȝhte
And murie sounguen al þe longue niȝht : a-boute þe bodie þere,
Þo þe soule to heouene wende : aȝein kuynde þei it were—
For þe lauerke is a foul : þat muche louez liȝht
And herethþ þane dai with hire song : and restez hire a-niȝht.
Aȝein kuynde huy sounguen þere : ase þei huy hadden in muynde
hou muche he was anoured er : of foules a-ȝein hore kuynde.
¶ Frere Austyn, þat was ministre : under him i-do,
Þo þis holie man was ded : atþe deþe he lai al-so
In þe londe of labour*. [[Terra di Lavoro]] : þat feor was þare-bi-side.
Wel longue he lai speche-les : þene dethþ forto a-bide,
And riȝht ase seint Fraunceis deide : feor in an oþur londe,
Þis frere Austin spac wel mildeliche : and heold up is two honden :
"Abijd, broþur," he seide, "ane ȝwyle : ich come with þe a-non."
his freres axeden him ȝwat it were— : for heom wondrede ech-on.
¶ "Bote frere Fraunceis," he seide, "ore fader : i-brouȝt hath is lif to ende
And is nouþe toward heouene : and with him i-chulle wende."
With þis word he gan deiȝe : and is soule al in pes
To þe Ioye of heouene wende : with is maister seint Fraunceis,
And þare huy [beoth] boþe : in Ioye with-outen ende.
Nou god for þe loue of seint Fraunceis : late us alle þudere wende. AmeN.
*. [¶ Vita sancti Albani.]19 Albon.
SEint Albon þe holie Man : was here of Enguelonde,
I-martred he was for godes loue : þoruȝ Iesu cristes sonde.
Formest he was heþene man : and of heþene men he cam,
And sethþe, ase ore louerd it wolde : he tornede to cristindom.
¶ Þe luþere prince þat was þo : dioclician,
And an oþur þat was al so : þat heiȝte Maximian,
Cristine men þat huy miȝhten i-wite : huy brouȝten alle to grounde;
In eche londe huy lieten heom seche : ȝware huy miȝhten beon i|founde, Page 68
And to strongue deþe heom duden : swiþe manie and fale;
huy ne spareden none þat huy miȝhten finde : noþur grete ne smale.
¶ A luþur Iustise þat with heom was : to enguelonde he cam,
To Martri alle cristine men : and destruyen cristindom.
A clerk, a guod cristine man þat was : heorde it telle wide
Of tormens þat huy duden oþur men : he ne dorste no long a-bide,
Ake he fleuȝ elles-ȝwodere : þat he i-Martred nere;
To seint Albones house he cam : and bad is In þere. [folio 47]
¶ Seint Albon, þe ȝwile he with him was : a-waitede and i-saiȝ
hov he was in is oresones : boþe niȝht and daiȝ:
he þouȝte þat he was a fol : þat he was heþene so longue,
he gan to leue on Ihesu crist : and cristinedom ta-fongue.
¶ Þe Iustise þane clerk liet seche : so þat it was i-kud
hou at seint Albones house : with him he was i-hud.
Kniȝhtes he sende to fechchen him : ȝif he i-founde were.
To seint Albon huy comen : and echsten after him þere.*. [[This v. is written on the margin; v. 25-6 are spurious.]]
huy comen and founden seint Albon : and axeden him a-non
Ȝweþur ani swuch þere were. : "for gode," quath þis holie man,
"For gode," seide þis guode Man : "I nelle it nouȝt for-sake,
A swuch Man ich am mi-seolf : I nelle eou non oþur take."
¶ "A, þeof," seiden þis luþere men : "artþou i-come þar-to,
Ȝwane þou wolt for þat strongue þef : to deþe beo i-do?"
Þis holie man huy bounden faste : and to þe Iustise him brouȝte,
And tolden him þat he pulte him forth : for þat oþur þef þat huy souȝten.
¶ "Bel ami," quath þe Iustise : "seie ȝwat is þi name
And of ȝwat kunne þou art i-come : þat ore godes dost schuch*. [r. swuch] schame."
"To þis Axingue," quath seint Albon : "ichulle answerie sone.
Of ȝwat kunne ich am i-come : luyte þou hast to-done;
Alban is mi name, i-wis : and ich honori al-so
God þat schop alle þing : and euere-more wolle do."
¶ "A, traitur," quath þe Iustise : "artþou i-come þar-to,
I schal don tormenti þi bodi : fram heued to þin ho.
hastþou i-hud þane þef at-hom : þat doth us so muche schame,
And pulst forthþ þi-self, þo*. [r. þou] cheitif : to deþe in his name: Page 69
Anoure ore godes, ich rede, a-non : and heom sacrefise,
Oþur ichulle þe tormenti so : þat men schullen of þe agrise."
"For nouȝt þou spext," quath Albon : "þar-aboute þou spillest þi brethþ,
I-nelle neuere þene deuel honoure : for drede of þe dethþ."
¶ Þo was þe Iustise swyþe wroth : þane holie man he nam,
Nakede, and*. [al. he] liet him faste binde : and ȝaf him sone is dom:
With schourges he made is tormentours : leggen on him i-nowe.
On him huy leiden þat huy werie weren : and al is bodi to-drowe.
Þe harde scourgene in is tendre flechs : deope gonne wade;
Þe more þat huy tormenteden him : þe gladdore he him made;
*. [[53-4 added in L.]]he þonkede god þat he moste : þare for is loue
To þe stat of cristindom : þoruȝ is torment come.
¶ þo þe luþere Iustise i-saiȝ : þat it was al for nouȝt,
Þat he ne miȝhte fram Iesu crist : for no-þing torne is þouȝt,
he hiet him lede with-oute toun : and is heued smite of sone.
I-redie weren þe tormentours : for-to do is bone,
huy harleden him wel filliche : þat schame it was to se,
For-to huy comen to þulke stude : þare he scholde i-martred be.
huy comen to an vrninde brok : þere huy mosten ouer wade:
*. [[63-4 added in L.]]Þe tormentores woden ouer al a-brod : and no strencþe þar-of ne maden.
¶ Ake ore louerd for seint Albones loue : dude miracle þere,
A-non so þe schrewe tormentores : ouer i-wade were:
For þo þis holie Man to watere cam : þat watur him with-drouȝ
And ouer þe broke made ane wei : druyȝe and clene i-nouȝ,
þat he wende ouer al-so druyȝe : ase it a-londe were;
And euere þat watur bi-hinden him : smot to-gadere þere
And cam al a-ȝein ase it was er : þo he cam to londe.
Louerd, muche is þi miȝhte : ho-so him wole onder-stonde!
¶ þe maister of þe tormentores : to ȝwam he was bi-take,
Þo he i-saiȝ þe faire miracle : þene deuel he gan fur-sake,
*. [[73-4 spurious.]]And seide he wolde to Ihesu crist : al is heorte wende,
For þe Miracle þat he þare i-saiȝ : þat so fair was and hende;
his sweord þat he on honde bar : wel feor fram him he caste
And to seint Albones fet he feol a-doun : and criede him merci faste, Page 70
Þat he moste for him deiȝe : oþur, bote it oþur were,
Þat he moste in þe place : þene dethþ a-fongue þere.
¶ Opon an hul huy wenden an heiȝ : ase huy weren a-signet to
Þis holie Man seint Albon : to þe deþe do.
Seint Albon wilnede aftur watur : þare ope þe hulle on heiȝ;
he bi-heold þat þare ne miȝhte : no watur come þare neiȝ:
Ore louerd he bad with guode heorte : þat he sende is grace
Þat som water moste to him come : in þat ilke place.
*. [[85-6 added in L.]]Ore louerd heorde is bone : þare anon-riȝhte
bi-fore alle þe tormentores : in heore alre siȝhte:
¶ For þo he hadde i-seid is oresun : and ore louerd i-bede,
Þare sprong out of þat heiȝe [hul] : a fair welle in þulke stude,
Of al-so guod water ase ani miȝhte beo— : þat ȝuyt lastethþ, ich wene.
Euere was þo and al-so nouþe : ore louerdes miȝhte i-sene.
Þis guode kniȝht þat bi-liefde on god : for þat he seiȝ er,
Wel more he criede þo on him : for þulke miracle þer,
And wilnede ȝeorne þat he moste : for him deiȝe þere.
So þat in ore louerdes name : Imartrede boþe huy were.
¶ Ake þe tormentour þat smot of : seint Albones heued,
Luyte he þorte þar-of ȝelpe : him were betere habbe bi-leued:
For þo he smot of is heued : riȝht in þulke stounde
his owene eyȝene out of is heued : þare riȝht fullen to grounde.
Louerd, muche is þi miȝhte : ho-so him wole onder-stonde,
Ase men mouwe bi is wiþer-wine : godes miȝhte fonde.*. [g. m. f. on the mar|gin; puyrliche onder-stonde ex|punged.]
Seint Albon i-martred was : here in Enguelonde
Bi-side ane toune þat widincestre : men cleopeden, ich onder-stonde.
Þare is nouþe a churche a-rerd : and a gret Abbeye al-so,
Þat men cleopieth seint Albones : ase he was to deþe i-do.
Bidde we ȝeorne Ihesu crist : and seint Albon wel faste
Þat we moten to þe Ioye come : þat euere schal i-laste.
SEint Wolston, bischop of wyrecestre : was here of engelonde, [folio 48]
Swiþe holi man he was al is lif : ase ich me vnder-stonde.
Þe ȝwile he was a ȝong child : clene lif he ladde i-novȝ;
Ȝwane oþur children ornen to pleiȝe : toward churche he drouȝ. Page 71
Seint Edward was kyng þo : þat nouþe in heouene is;
And þe bischop of wyricestre : briȝttey heiȝte, i-wis.
Of þis bischop Briȝtei : seint wolston is ordre nam,
Ech aftur oþur, ase it fel : so þat he preost bi-cam.
Þe bischop vnder-feng him sethþe : and Monek him makede i-wis
In þe priorie of wiricestre : þat noble hous and gret is.
Swyþe wel is ordre he heold : in þat priorie
And al is wille was for-to payȝe : god and seinte Marie.
In none bedde he nolde come : ake, ȝwane oþere ȝeoden þar-to,
bi-fore on auter he wolde go : his oresones for-to do;
Ȝwane þe dede slep him ouer-eode : þat he ne miȝte no leng gon,
his heued he wolde legge a-doun : opon þe harde ston,
Ope one grece bifore þe Auter : oþur is bok þare-vnder do,
And liggen ane stounde in dweole Miengyngue— : al is slep scholde beon so.
he nolde þreo dawes in þe wyke : no-þing eten with-alle,
Ne no word speken bote his beden : for nouȝt þat miȝte bi-falle;
þe oþur dawes wel luytel he spak : and wel luytel he eat al-so,
bote it were a luyte potage— : holde he wolde him þer-to.
So longue he leouede at wirecestre : in þat holie lijf wel stille,
Þat he was imaked prior of þat hous : muche a-ȝein is wille.
his Couent he wuste swyþe wel : and to alle guodnesse hem drouȝ;
Of god and alle guode men : loue he hadde i-nouȝ.
Þe prior[ie]*. [MS. prior] of wyricestre : seint oswold bi-gan er,
Þat was bi-fore seint Wolston : neiȝ ane hondred ȝer;
And þat he hadde er bi-gonne : þe oþur fulfulde, i-wis,
So þat þoruȝ heore beire dede : strong weork and heiȝ þare is.
Ase þis holie Man seint wolston : in a tyme liet a-rere
A bel-hous of swiþe strong weork : bellen to hanguy þere,
And Machouns a-boue and bi-nethe : þare a-boute were,
Bi laddren cloumben up and doun : and þat weork bi-twene al bere,
A man þare clemb up bi one laddre : an þo he was up on heiȝ
Fram eorþe mo þane fourti fet : ase al þat folk i-seiȝ,
Dounward he ful, ase he mis-stap— : Men weren sore a-gaste.
Seint wolston stod and bi-heold : hou he was a-dounward faste:
he made þe signe of þe croyz : ase he feol to-ward þe grounde: Page 72
harmles he feol and hol man i-novȝ : his limes weren hole and sounde,
And a-ros up and dude is weork : ase him no-þing nere.
Louerd, muche is þi miȝte : and þat þou cuddest wel þere,
Þat [he] so harde fram so heiȝe feol : and of eche harme was sker;
Þou art a louerd þat wonderes dest : ase seith þe sauter.
¶ Hit bi-feol so þat briȝtey : þe Bischop of wyricestre, was ded:
A clerk was bischop after him : þat Men cleopeden aldred, [folio 48b]
Þat seint wolston louede wel : and he louede him al-so—
For ech guod man wole louien oþur : it were elles vuele i-do.
Sethþe it bi-fel þat þe Erchebischop : of Euerwicke was ded:
Erchebischop huy maden þar : þene bischop aldred,
And þe bischopriche of wiricestre : vacaunt was and lere :
Seint wolston was sone i-chose : and bischop i-maked þere.
Bischop him made þe holie man : seint Edward þe king,
And a-feng him in his dignete : and tok him is staf and ring.
his bischopriche he wuste wel : and also is priorie,
And a-forcede him to serui wel : god and seint Marie.
Four ȝer he hadde bischop i-beo : and nouȝt fulliche fiue
þo seint Edward þe holie kyng : wende out of þis liue.
Gret reuþe it was to al engelond : so weilawei þe stounde!
For straunge men þere comen sethþe : and brouȝten enguelond to grounde.
¶ Harold was þo riȝhtest eyr : for non oþur þere nas;
Þe croune he bar of Enguelonde : ȝwuche ȝwile so it was.
For willame Bastard, þat was þo : Eorl in Noremaundie,
Þouȝte to winne Enguelond : þoruȝ strencþe and tricherie:
*. [om.]he let him greiþi folk i-nouȝ : and gret poer with [him]1 nam
And with gret strencþe in-to þe se he him dude : and to Enguelonde he cam.
he liet ordeinie is fierd wel : and is banere up arer[d]e,
And destruyde and nam al þat he fond : and þat folk sore a-ferde.
¶ Harold heorde herof telle : þe king of Enguelonde:
he liet greiþie faste is ost : a-ȝein him for-to stonde.
Þe baronie of Enguelonde : redi was wel sone
Þe king to helpe and heom-sulue : ase riȝht was for-to done. Page 73
Þe weorre was þo in Enguelonde : deolful and strong i-novȝ,
And eyþur of oþeres Men : al-to grounde a-slouȝ.
¶ No strencþe ne hadden þis straunge men : þat were i-come so newe,
Aȝeinest heom of enguelonde : þe ȝwyle huy wolden beo trewe.
Ake alas þe muchele tricherie : þat þo was, and ȝeot is,
þat brouȝte þo Enguelond : al-to grounde i-wis!
For þe englische barones bi-comen some : on-treowe and false also
To bi-traiȝe heom-seolf and heore kyng : þat so muche heom truste to.
¶ Þis Noremauns and þis Englische men : ane dai of bataile huy nome,
Þare ase þe Abbeie of þe bataille is : ate daye to-gadere huy come,
To grounde huy smiten and slowen al-so. : ake alas þulke stounde,
Þat Enguelond was þoruȝ tresoun : þare i-brouȝt to grounde!
For þulke þat þe king truste to : failleden him wel faste;
So þat he was bi-neoþe i-brouȝt : and ouer-come atþe laste
And to grounde i-brouȝt, and alle his : and al Enguelond also,
In-to vnecouþe mannes honde : þat no riȝht ne hadden þar-to;
And neuer-eft [it] ne cam a-ȝein : to riȝhte Eyres none—
Vnkuynde Eyres ȝeot huy beothþ : ore kingues echone,
And neiȝh-ȝwat alle þis heiȝe Men : and of þe loȝwe al-so. [folio 49]
For willam liet [him] crouni king : þo þe bataile was al i-do,
And bi-sette al enguelond : with men of oþere londe—
Neuereft to is cuynde heritage : ne cam it, ich onder-stonde.
¶ Þis willam bastard, þat was king : sethþe him onder-stod
Þat he mid vnriȝhte hadde i-sched : mani ane mannes blod:
And þare as þe bataille was : ane Abbeiȝe he liet a-rere,
Þat "þe Abbeie of þe bataille" is i-cleoped : þat wel noble stand ȝeot þere;
for heore soulene he as liet a-rere : þat he with vnriȝhte þare a-slouȝ;
Ake euere he heold forth þe kynedom : of enguelonde with wouȝ.
¶ Ake sone so he was king i-mad : and al enguelond bi-sette,
Ase he wolde, with straunge men : and no man ne miȝhte him lette,
Þis holie Bischop seint wolston : wel ofte him withseide
Þat he with on-riȝhte hadde i-do : a swuch luþer dede,
And spac a-ȝein him baldeliche : and ne sparede for no drede— Page 74
For he was þo þe cuyndeste englische man : þat was of enie manhede,
And for alle oþure weren deseritede neiȝh. : þe king was with heom*. [r. him] wrothþ
Þat he was so luyte a-drad of him : and swor a-non is othþ
To pulte him out of is bischopriche. : he liet [him] somoune al-so
To westmunstre, to answerien him : of þat he him hadde mis-do.
¶ Nou nas nouȝt seint wulston : wel gret clerk in lore—
For þo he scholde to scole gon : to churche he ȝeode wel more.
To westmunstre he cam to is day : ase he was i-somoned er.
Þe king was in grete wrathþe : wel prest to kepe him þer,
And þe bischop of Caunterburi : lanfranc was is name,
And þe bischop gondolf of Roucestre : alle to don him schame.
Seint wolston bi-fore heom cam : þat a-ȝein him weren so strongue
Ase a þeof bi-fore Iustise : his dom to vnder-fongue.
¶ Þe king and þe Erchebischop al-so : speken to him wordes grete,
Þat he scholde, ase he wuyrþe was : is bischop-riche lete;
For-to holden swuch dignete : to luyte he couþe of lore,
And huy him hadden to longue i-þoled : And þo nolden huy nonmore,
And grete foles huy weren þat swuch a fol : formest brouȝte in swch miȝhte,
And ȝif he was folliche onder-fongue : huy wolden don him out with riȝhte.
¶ Seint wolston stod wel mildeliche : and herknede al þat huy sede—
Nadde he noman bote god : to his answere him rede.
"Sires," he seide, "riȝht it is : þat ich eoure heste do,
For, sire king, þou art mi souerein : and þe*. [r. þu] erchebischop al-so.
Þe Croce ich habbe ȝare i-bore : þat ȝe i-seothþ here, lo,
A-knowe ich am and wel ich wot : þat i-nam nouȝt wuyrþe þer-to;
Ȝwane ȝe wollez þat ich as bi-leue : ase man þat vnwurþe is,
Wel fain i-chulle eouwer heste do : ase mine souereines, i-wis.
Vn-bouȝhsome to holie churche : i-wis i-nelle be nouȝt:
To ȝelden hire up ase ȝe me hotez : ich habbe as here i-brouȝt.
¶ Ake, for ȝe ne token as me nouȝt : I nelle eou take non,
Ake him þat as me bi-tok : bi-fore eov euerech-on:
Þe guode Man þat as me bi-tok : ȝeonde he lijthþ wel stille,
Ich as wulle him taken up : and þanne ich do eoure wille." Page 75
¶ To seint Edwardes toumbe he wende : þat was of Marbre-ston,
A*. [r. and?] nam up is croiz wel mildeliche : and smot þe point þar-on.
Þe staf wende into þe marbreston : ase it were in nesche sonde,
And þo heo was inne deope i-nouȝ : þe guode Man hine liet stonde.
"Nou," he seide, "ich him habbe bi-take : him þat as tok me
And bi-fore eov here : i-ȝollden op þe dignete.
Takez as nouþe ȝwam ȝe wollez : som þat bet beo in lore,
And habbez guod dai nouþe euerech-one—; ȝe ne mouwen esche me non-more."
¶ Þis holie Man wende forth : a-mon[g] heom alle wel softe.
Þat folk stod ase it were i-nome : and bi-heolden þe croce wel ofte,
hou heo stod in þe Marbre-ston : so deope and so faste;
Of þe Miracle heom wondrede alle : and some weren sore a-gaste,
Some wenden þar-to sone : þe croce up for-to drawe:
Þare nas non so strong of heom : þat miȝhte hire enes wawe.
huy porueiden er sire Gondolf : bischop of roucestre,
Þat he scholde aftur seint wolston : beon Bischop of wirecestre:
¶ Þe Erchebischop aros him up : to saisi þe croiz a-non,
Þe Bischop of Roucestre wel baldeliche : þudere-ward gan gon,
Þe croiz he nam and faste he drouȝ : in þe Marbre-ston:
he ne miȝhte hire nouȝt enes wawien. : þat folk wondrede ech-on,
And þare-a-boute wel þicke ornen : þat wonder for-to seo.
Þo þe king and þe Erchebischop i-seiȝen : þat non oþur it ne miȝhte beo,
heom of-þouȝte heore dede : and after seint wolstan sende,
And þat huy wolden in faire manere : heore trespas a-mende.
¶ Þe Messagers i-redie weren : and aftur him sone wenden.
Ȝeot þis holie Man for al þe gult : is heorte to heom bende,
And seide, "ich mot nede do : mine souereines wille;"
To court he wende a-ȝein to heom : wel mildeliche and stille.
Þo he was to court i-come : huy a-risen a-ȝein him þere,
Þe king and þe Erchebischop al-so : and oþere þat þare were;
With gret honur huy cleopeden him forthþ : and for-ȝiuenesse him bede,
And boden a-mendi a-ȝein him : al heore grete misdede,
And beden him nime a-ȝein is croce : and don bi heore rede, Page 76
For he was bet wuyrþe þare-to : þane ani oþur, huy seide.
¶ "Nai certes, sires," quath seint wolston : "þat nere me nouȝt to do:
Ich wot wel þat ȝe seiden soth : þat i-nam nouȝt wuyrþe þare-to;
Ake nimeth ȝwam eower wille be : an oþur þat conne more."
Þe kyng and þe Erchebischop also : beden him milce and ore
And seiden þat þere nas non oþur : þat so wuyrþe were þare-to.
Longue it was are þis holie man : wolde heore wille do*. [do added later.];
Ake, for-to obeien is souereins : he wende forth atþe laste
And nam þe croce wel mildeliche : þare he stikede hire er so faste.
¶ Also liȝhtliche ase ani-þing : þe croce he gan up drawe [folio 50]
Þat so mani men fondeden er : and ne miȝhten hire enes wawe.
Þicke orn þat folk a-bouten him : and no wonder it nas!
Þe miracle was sone wide i-kud : þat so apert was.
Men anoureden þis holie Man : al-so muche ase huy miȝhte.
his power þat him was er bi-nome : he tok aȝein with riȝhte;
A-ȝein to is bischopriche : with gret honour he him drouȝ;
his Couent vnder-feng him faire : with grete nobleiȝe i-nouȝ.
¶ Þis holie Man ladde al is lif : swyþe faire and clene.
Sijknesses þare weren wel fewe : þat man wolde him offe mene,
Þat he ne brouȝte to hele a-non : þoruȝ ore louerdes grace;
Sike men wel þicke comen : to him in eche place,
Deue and doumbe and blinde al-so : he helde þoruȝ godes grace
Ȝwane huy comen to him : ouȝwere in ani place.
So longue he leouede on eorþe here : þat he was of grete elde.
His bodi bi-gan to heuegy swiþe : grete feblesse he fielde.
¶ A slouȝ feuere him cam on : þat ne nam him nouȝt ful strongue,
Ac heo made is bodi to melte a-wei— : þat laste swiþe longue.
Seue niȝht bi-fore þat he deide : his breþren he liet fette alle
And liet him alle is riȝhtes do : and seide ȝwat heom scholde bi-falle.
Out of þis world to heouene he wende : þare he schal ay bi-leue,
In þe Monþe of Ieneuer*. [[19 Jan.]] : a-seint Fabianes eue,
¶ A þousend ȝer and nie hundret : and foure þare-bi-fore
It was þat ore swete louerd : on vrþe was i-bore,
In þe teoþe ȝere also : of þe kinedom
Of willam þe rede king : þat aftur willam bastard cam*. [These two v. are written in one line.]
he hadde, are he heonne i-wende : foure and þritti ȝer Page 77
And four Monþes and four dawes : i-beo in worlde*. [r. wolde? the other MSS. bishop]
Four-score ȝer he was old : and seuene al-so neiȝh
Are he wende out of þis lijf : to þe Ioye of heuene an heiȝ.
¶ Þo þis holie man was ded : þe Monekes comen sone
In þe priorie of wirecestre : and duden þat was to done:
Wuschen þat bodi, ase it was riȝht : and to churche it bere;
Þe Monekes alle with gret honour : þat is breþerne were,
Þe seruise a-bouten him huy duden : ase it was wel riȝht,
And to seggen heore sauteres al-so : þare-bi huy woken a-niȝht.
¶ Þo it was wel with-inne niȝht : ase huy seiden in heore boke,
heom luste slepe swiþe wel : þat vnneþes huy miȝhten loke,
And some ne miȝhten nouȝt fur-bere : ake leiȝen and slepen faste,
Some ase it were in dweolkningue : heore eiȝene to-gadere huy caste.
Þat holie bodi, þat lai þare ded : a-mong heom in þe bere,
A-ros up wel mildeliche : ase þei it a-liue were,
And a-weiȝhte heom euer-ech-on : and bi-gan atþon ende
And al along þe rewe : þoruȝ þe queor he gan i-wiende;
And euere ase he a-weiȝhte heom : sumdel he*. [superscr.] gan heom chide
Þat huy nolden with heore slep : heore riȝhte tyme a-bide.
¶ So muche [was] is holi heorte : þe ordre for-to wite [folio 50b]
Þat he nolde, þei he were ded : his breþerne fur-ȝite!
Þis Miracle was sone i-kud : ase riȝht was þat it were.
At wirecestre he was i-bured : and ȝuyt he liht þere.
Þare Man may for is holie bodi : mani fair Miracle i-seo.
Nou god graunti þat we mote with him : in þe Ioye of heouene beo.
SEint Matheu þe Ewangelist : apostel he was and is,*. [al. i-wis]
Ewangelist and eke a-postle : for-soþe he was and is:
Ewangelist, for he godspelles made : þat men doth ofte rede,
Apostel, for ore louerd here on vrþe : seint Matheu with him gan lede.
For ase ore louerd eode ouer lond : seint Matheu he saiȝ bi cas
his mester don of walkingue : for a follare*. [al. tollare] he was,
Fals and trichor of is werk : and liuede bi falshede.
Ore louerd him hiet bi-leue is weork : "cum siwe me," he seide.
And he bi-lefde þo is weork : and wiz ore louerd eode, Page 78
And is false mester liet : for he nadde þer-to non neode.
¶ Fair forebisne ore louerd ȝaf : alle sunfole men þo,
Ȝwane he ane so sunfole Man : het with him go!
Seint Matheu is sunnes bette : and tok to cristindom,
And siwede ore louerd swiþe faste : and is Apostel bi-com.—
Sethþe þo ore louerd was into : heouene i-wend,
Þe Apostles weren þo wel wide in londe : for-to prechie, i-send.
In-to þe londe of Ethiope : seint Matheu sone ȝede,
to prechie men to cristinedom : ase it was wel gret neode.
¶ He founde tweie luþere men : and strongue wichchene þere,
Zaroen and Arphaxat : þat þe deueles limes were,
Þat, ase huy wolden, in grete siknesse : manie men hadden i-do
And manie men þoruȝ þe feonde : i-helde huy hadden al-so.
Alle þat þe luþere men : in siknesse brouȝte,
Seint Matheu heom helde a-non : and wel clene heom out souȝte.
Sorie weren þis luþere Men : huy nusten ȝwat was to done:
Tweie dragones, þat feondes weren : to heom huy cleopeden sone,
Þat casten brumston and fuyr : and [slowe]*. [om.] ȝend al þe londe
Mannes*. [r. men and] bestes þere-with wel þicke— : heom ne miȝhte no þing at|stonde.
¶ Þis luþere men nomen þe dragones to heom : for huy scholden to|drawe
Þane Apostel seint Matheu : and bringue him of lijf-dawe.
Þo seint Matheu þis i-heorde : baldeliche he gan gon,
Þe signe he made of þe croiz : and to heom wende a-non.
A-non so þe dragones him i-seiȝen : to is fet huy fullen a-doun,
huy ne miȝhten heom wawien hider ne þuder : ane fot for al þe toun.
"lo, ȝe wrechches," quath þe apostle : to þe luþere men tweie,
"Ȝware is nouþe al eouwere miȝhte? : ouer-come ȝe beothþ beine.
¶ Ȝif i-nadde nouþe mine louerdes grace : for eou ȝeorne bi-souȝt,
On eov-sulf it scholde nouþe bi-falle : ase ȝe hadden bi me i-þouȝt.
Þis twei luþere dragones : þat ȝe habbuth hidere i-brouȝt,
A-rereth heom ȝif ȝe mowen : oþur eower art nis nouȝt." [folio 51]
¶ Euere stoden þis wrechche men : riȝht ase huy weren i-nome,
huy weren of seint Matheu a-ferde sore : and heolden heom ouer-come.
Seint Matheu þis tweie dragones : þoruȝ Iesu cristes lore Page 79
Out of þe londe heom drof a-non : þat huy ne comen þere non-more.
he wende a-boute and prechede : and þe tweie schrewene liet go—
Ouer-comene wrechches ase hui weren : nas heom neuer er so wo.
¶ Hit bi-feol þat þe kingues sone : of þe londe was ded.
Sone þis tweiȝe deoueles limes : to-gadere nomen hore red
And wenden þudere, ȝif huy miȝhten : þoruȝ heore art him*. [orig. heom] a-rere;
And huy maden heore enchauntement : ase þe deuel heom gan lere.
Ake þat child lai euere ded— : for heore miȝhte nas riȝth nouȝt.
Þoruȝ þe kingue huy weren i-nome : and in strongue prisone i-brouȝt.
¶ Þe king sende aftur seint Matheu : ase men of him tolde,
Ȝif he miȝhte is sone arere— : for he was so wis i-holde.
Þo seint Matheu þudere cam : to ore louerd he*. [MS. heo] dude is bone
And a-rerde þat child : fram deþe to liue wel sone;
Þat child a-ros and herede god : i-bore of mayde marie.
A-non so þe king þis i-seiȝ : wel loude he gan to crie :
"For-soþe," he seide, "ich i-seo : þat Matheu a god is;
Þei he beo here in mannes fourme : he is a god, i-wis!
¶ Anoure we him ase it is riȝht : with seluer and with golde."
huy offreden to him tresor i-nouȝ : more þane he a-fongue wolde.
"Nai certes," quath þis holie man : "god nam ich nouȝt,
Ake godes seriaunt þat here on eorþe : to deþe was i-brouȝt.
ho-so wole on him bi-lieue : to heouene he schal i-wiende,
And ho-so nele nouȝt, he worth i-wis : in pine withþ-outen ende."
So þat þe king and alle his : i-cristnede of him were.
With þe tresor þat men him brouȝte : a fair churche he liet a-rere.
¶ In þritti dawes heo was arerd— : so gret hel[p] þare was to;
Þare þe king and is heore beden bede : and alþe contreiȝe al-so.
Aftur þe tueiȝe*. [MS. treiȝe] enchauntours : seint Matheu liet sende,
Zaroes and Arphaxat : and made heom þannes wiende.
Into þe londe of perce : huy wenden with schame i-nov;
Þere þat folk mis-bi-leued : wel þicke a-boute heom drov.
¶ Sethþe seint symon and seint Iude : to perce þene wei nome
And þulke two enchauntours : to grounde huy ouer-come,
Þare huy neuereft cristine Men : non a-nuy ne wrouȝte,
Ase Man mai in heore liue i-seo : ho-so þare-after souȝte.—
Seint Matheu in Ethiope : þe kingues douȝter nam, Page 80
Þat of hire-seolf was a clene þing : and ȝaf hire cristinedom,
A*. [r. and?] made hire a-uouwe chastete : and clene lif to lede.
þat maide was wel a-paid euere-aftur-ward : of þat ilke dede.
¶ A king of an oþur londe : is loue on hire he caste
And wolde ire habbe to his spouse : and wowede hire wel faste.
Þo þis maide nolde is wille do : to seint Matheu he ȝeode [folio 51b]
Þat he scholde in his half beo : and bed him grete mede.
¶ "Cum," quath seint Matheu, "þilke dai : and ich hire wolle rede
Þat heo heolde hire spoushod : and þare-inne hire lijf lede."
Þe king was glad and wende wel : Þat he bi him it seide,
Þat he wolde hire to him rede— : ake he nolde nouȝt don so to quede.
Þe king cam aday, and muche folk : with him he gan bringue,
And þis maide cam al-so : to hure seint Matheus prechingue.
Seint Matheu stod and prechede : þat folk al a-brod :
Mest he preisede of alle þingue : in is sarmun spoushod,
And þat þere nas no lijf so guod : þare it was trewe and clene.
Þe kyng was glad and hopede wel : þat he it dude bi him mene,
For þat Maide scholde : to him i-wedded beo;
Seint Matheu he louede muche : and hopede is wille i-seo.
¶ So þat sethþe seint Matheu : is prechingue forþere drouȝ
And seide, "ȝif þe king hadde a wif : þat he louede i-nouȝ,
And a fol come in spousbruche : and leiȝe bi is wiue,
Þe king wolde beo wroth i-nouȝ : and bringue him of liue,
For he him hadde is wijf bi-nome : and imad hire don amis.
Of þe heiȝe king of heouene : also it fareth, i-wis :
Ȝif he hathþ a guod spouse : þat ledeth clene lijf,
And þare come forthþ a fol : and bi-nime him is wijf,
To strongue deþe he wolde him bringue : and to þe pine of helle al-so.
Þare-fore ech man beo i-war : þat he swuch þing ne do."
¶ Þo þe kin[g] i-heorde þis : sone he onder-stod
Þat it was riȝht bi him i-seid. : for wrathþe he was neiȝh wod,
And swor þat he nolde bliþe beo : are he were*. [MS. he were a were] awreke.
For[th]*. [MS. for] he wende and bi-gan a-non : seint Matheus dethþ bi-speke.
Þis guode man nas no-þing aferd : he prechede euere faste
And confortede þat clene maide : þat ire heorte opon him al caste.
¶ Þis Maide feol doun to is fet : and on him ȝeorne gradde; Page 81
Euere þis guode man hire bi-souȝte : þat heo clene lijf ladde.
Sethþe he wende and greiþede him : is masse forto singue.
luþere Men i-redie weren : i-sende þoruȝ þe kingue.
Riȝht ase he stod at is Masse : on of heom forthþ wende
And smot him þoru-out with a swerd : and alle his gottes to-rende :
For he smot him In atþe Rugge : and atþe wombe out.
Þo þe guode Man a-slawe was : þe schrewe was wel prout.
¶ Þat folk þat cristine was : wel þicke it cam a-non
Þe kingues paleis for-to brenne : and to a-quelle is men ech-on.
Ake seint Matheus desciples : for-boden heom ech-one
Þat huy ne duden no such þing : ake lieten god wurþe al-one.
huy wenden and nomen þis holie bodi : and swiþe faire on eorþe it brouȝte.—
Þe king ȝuyt bi al is miȝte : after þat maide ȝeorne souȝte.
Ake þo he ne miȝhte in none manere : to is wille hire i-winne,
he wende forth and sette a-fuyre : þat hous þat heo was inne. [folio 52]
Ake seint Matheu ne for-ȝat nouȝt þat Maide : þei he ded were :*. [orig. were ded]
Fram heouene he a-liȝhte a-doun to hire : and is help ire cudde þere*. [added] :
For þat fuyr he drof a-ȝein : to þe kingues paleis a-non
And fur-brende it al-to nouȝt : and is Men echon;
¶ Vnneþe he him-sulf and is sone : a-scapeden with heore liue.
he miȝhte segge, to wroþerhele : he wilne[de] aftur wiue.
For suyþe sone þare-aftur-ward : Musel he bi-cam;
And þo he ne miȝhte nouȝt beo hol : gret deol to him hee nam,
With is swerd him-sulf he a-slouȝ : and is bodi al-to-rende—
Nou god it wot and seint Matheu : ȝwodere is soule wende.
Þat folk wende forth a-non : and made ane newe king wel bliue,
Þe clene maidenes broþur i-wis : þat he wilnede so muche to wiue,
Þat seint Matheu þe apostel hadde : i-cristned with is honde;
Ȝware-þoru cristinedom : cam sethþe into al þe londe.
Nou Iesu crist us ȝiue is grace : þulke Ioyȝe i-winne
For þe loue of seint Matheu : þat he woneth inne.
22 Liger.*. [[2 Octob.]]
SEint leger a bischop was : and holi man i-nouȝ;
Mani a man þoruȝ is prechingue : to godes lawe he drouȝ. Page 82
A luþur Iustise þare was neiȝh : Ebrom*. [r. Ebroin] was is name :
Men tolden him, ase he wende a-boute : of seint legeres fame.
he liet him wel sone nime : and bi-fore him bringue,
And fondede for-to tuyrne is þouȝt : fram þe heuene kingue.
þo he ne miȝhte þat don nouȝt : he was wroth inouȝ;
Ane luþere man he cleopede sone : þat boþe is eiȝene ouȝt drouȝ.
¶ Þo is eiȝene in grete pine : weren i-holede out boþe,
he gan þe more prechi of god. : þare-fore huy weren wroþe.
A wei þer was of scharpe stones : and opward stoden echon :
Þare-oppe þis holie man : barefot huy maden gon,
huy driuen him barefot and a-blend : ope þis scharpe stones þere.
Þis guode man eode wel baldeliche : ase þei him no-þing nere,
And euere he prechede on Iesu crist— : he ne bi-lefte for no fere.
¶ For is longue prechingue þe luþere men : wroþest with him were :
huy coruen of is tongue a-non : riȝht bi is þrote a-boue.
Þare schewede ore swete louerd : fair Miracle for is loue :
For þo is tongue was of i-corue : ȝeot he prechede faste
And al-so wel as he dude er. : þo weren þe schrewes a-gaste.
huy bi-speken to don him more schame : ake huy weren sumdel in doute.
huy [sto]den*. [unreadable.] and bi-heolden is heued : and þo*. [MS. þe?] i-seiȝen huy þare|a-boute
A ro[un]d croune and swiþe cler— : briȝhtore ne miȝhte non beo,
Þat vnneþe huy miȝhten is holie heued : for þe leome i-seo.
¶ Þis luþere Iustise het a-non : þat men smiten of is heued,
Four tormentores he was bi-take : þat it nere nouȝt bi-leued.
huy ladden him with-oute toun : for-[to] don þat dede.
Ase huy comen a-midde þe wei : þis holie man to heom seide :
"Ȝwat neode is it for-to trauailli : ferrore me to lede? [folio 52b]
Dothþ anon þat ȝe scholden do : here riȝht, ich eou rede."
Þe þreo quellares of þis word : anon weren in grete drede :
To is fet huy feollen a-kneo : and for-ȝiuenesse him bede.
Þare-fore was þe feorþe wroth : forth he hupte sone
And smot of þe guode mannes heued : ase he hadde heste to done.
¶ Sone þare-aftur cam a fuir : ase it of helle were,
And al quik fur-barnde him : and þe deuelene a-wei him bere. Page 83
Seint leger was wel faire i-bured. : is soule to heouene wende,
And for þat bodi, ase it on eorþe lai : fair miracle ore louerd sende.
¶ Þe luþere Iustise þat him liet a-quelle : þere-of heorde telle,
two ȝer aftur þulke tyme : þat he him liet a-quelle :
To is toumbe ane kniȝht he sende : þe soþe for-to fonde.
Þo þe kniȝht to þe toumbe cam : þare-bi he gan stonde,
"In schendnesse," he seide, "mote he deiȝe : and in strongue deþe al-so
ho-so bi-lieuethþ þat dede men : ani miracle mouwen do!"
Wel filliche also þe toumbe he smot. : and a-non-riȝht with þe dede
Oppon him feol is owene bone : ase he bad and seide :
For deuelene a-strangleden him a-non— : for al redie þare huy were,
And is soule, ase it was riȝht : a-deuele wei huy bere.
¶ Þe Iustise sone þare-aftur-ward : to deþe was i-do
And a-slawe in grete schendnesse : and a-deuele wei wende also.
Þus was þe bischop seint leger : a-wreke of is fon,
And he him-sulf to þe Ioie of heouene : after is deþe gan gon.
Nou god for þe loue of seint leger : is swete grace us siende,
Þat we aftur þusse liue : moten to þe Ioye of heouene wiende.
23 Seint fid[es]*. [[6 Octob.]]
SEinte Fey, þat holie Maide : of swiþe heiȝe men heo com.
Swiþe ȝong in hire childhod : heo turnede to cristindom,
And holi lijf i-nou heo ladde— : þat word sprong wel wide
Of hire guodnesse and of hire holi lijf : a-boute in eche side.
¶ A luþer Aumperour þare was þo : þat hiet Dioclician,
And is felawe þat was al-so : þe schrewe Maximian;
A luþur Iustise huy hadden with heom : is name was dacian :
To deþe huy brouȝten ȝware huy founden : ani cristine Man.
¶ Þe Iustise Dacian : wende in-tal*. [= in-to al] þe lond
And a-slouȝ alle þe cristine men : þat he ouȝwere fond.
So þat he heorde telle : ase he wende bi þe wey,
Of þis holie maide and clene : and i-cristned, seinte Fey.
¶ To þe toune þare heo was inne : ase a wod man he wende,
And burstinde in grete wrathþe : is bedeles a-boute he sende,
To crie a-boute in eche strete : ȝif men miȝhte ani finde
Cristine man oþur womman : þat huy heom scholden faste binde Page 84
And bi-fore him bringue haste-liche— : þat huy ne sparede non!—
And bote huy wolden heore [þouȝt] tuyrne : anoþur it scholde gon.
¶ Þo þe banne was þus i-cried : þare was Ioye I-nouȝ
Among þe paeyns euerechone : þat Man cristine men so a-slouȝ; [folio 53]
Ake seoruwe and sor and deol i-nouȝ : among cristine men þare was,
Þo huy seiȝen heore deth i-come : and non oþur bote þare nas.
¶ Seinte Fey was furst i-souȝt : for men wusten of hire wel wide.
Ioyful heo was and glad i-nouȝ : þo men þe banne criede;
Ake forth heo wende wel baldeliche : nolde heo nouȝt longue a-bide,
Ake profrede hire to þe tormentores : ase men souȝten hire wide.
With hardie heorte heo wende forth. : þe tormentores hire nome
And harleden hire wel filliche : forth toward hire dome.
¶ Þe Iustise for wrathþe wende*. [r. vemde] þo : heo bi-fore him come.
heo made þe signe of þe croiz : and blessede hire i-lome;
heo bad ore louerd wel mildeliche : þat he ire ȝeue þere
Studefaste bi-leue and strencþe of heorte : þat heo ouer-come nere,
And in hire tormenz treowe heorte : and þat he ire ȝeue is grace
To his onour answerie wel : þe Iustise in þat place.
¶ Þe Iustise bi-heold þat Maide : with ful sori chere,
he grennede and femde touward hire : riȝht ase he wod were :
"Dameisele," he seide, "ȝwat art þou? : ȝwat þencstþou for-to do?
Tel me on ȝwam þou bi-lieuest : and ȝwat is þi name, al-so."
"Sire," seide þis holie Maide : "Fey ich hote nouþe,
And cristine womman ich habbe i-beo : sethþe ich ani guod couþe.
Mi name nelle ich nouȝt for-sake : no mi cristindom noþur;
Þou miȝht þretne al þat þou wolt : of me ne worth þe non oþur."
¶ Þo bi-gan þis Dacian : fair semblaunt to make,
"Maide," he seide, "ich rede þe : þat þou an oþur red take.
Þench þat þou art fair and noble : and þat þe bet bi-come
A noble lauedi to beon and heiȝh : þane beo i-brouȝt here to dome.
For ȝif þou wolt don aftur me : in grete Ioie þou worst i-brouȝt
And in grete nobleie, ase þe bi-cometh— : þare-fore torne þi þouȝt."
¶ "Certes, sire," þis maide seide : "þou spext embe nouȝt,
For i-nelle neuere him for-sake : þat so deore me hathþ a-bouȝt;
For ich habbe to him mi vou i-maked : þat i-nelle neuere breke.
Þare*. [r. þare-fore] do elles ȝwat þou wolt : bote þat þou þarof ne speke; Page 85
For I-nelle nouȝt honouri þine false godes. : for in þe sautere it is i-write
Þat alle swuche Deouele beoth : and þat may ech Man i-wite."
¶ Þo fierde þe Iustise ase he were wod : and made wel sori bere,
And was neihȝ wod for þis Maide seide : þat is godes deuelene were.
he liet fette a bed of bras : brod and heiȝh also,
And dude strepe þis Maide naked : and in þis harde bedde ire do.
¶ Þis Maide, þo heo naked was : with glad semblaunt in wende;
huy streiȝhten hire a-long and a-croiz : and gret fuyr þare-onder tende,
And casten on grece riue i-nouȝ : þat drof up so gret leiȝe
Þat þis maide þouȝte al a-fuyre : ase huy þat stoden þare i-seiȝe.
Þe tormentores stoden þare-bi-side : with kene oules and strongue
And tur[n]den þat Maide side and oþur : ouer þe fuyre wel longue,
Þat heo þoruȝ strencþe of þe grece : ofte al a-fuyre stod. [folio 53b]
Euere lai þat holie Maide : ase hire nere nouȝt bote guod,
hire heu heo nolde chaungi enes : ne tuyrne hire þouȝt;
Alle men þat þe wonder i-seien : þe enchesun nusten nouȝt.
¶ Cristine men manie : þo huy herden telle
Þat þe Iustise was þudere i-come : with tormenz heom to quelle,
huy ornen out of toune hem for-to huyde : ech in is side, for doute,
And leiȝen in puttes and in olde diches : ȝeont al þe contreie a|boute.
An holi man þare hudde him so : þat men cleopeden capras,
Þat in þe north-side of þe toun : in one olde roche he was.
¶ He lai and darede out of is hole : ase he dorste for doute,
And i-saiȝ al þe torment of seinte Fey : ase he [biheold aboute,*. [om. (so Ash.)]]
hou men rosteden hire with fuyr and grece : and to-drowen hire al-so—
For it was a luyte þare-bi-side : þat þis dede was i-do.
Ase þis fuyr bi-gan to brenne : þis holie man i-seiȝ,
A coluere þare cam, so ȝwijt so milk : fram heouene fleo on heiȝ,
¶ A croune of guold heo bar a-doun : þat schinde swiþe briȝhte,
Briȝhtore þane þe sonne leom. : oppe þe maidenes heued*. [Ash. maide heo] aliȝhte
And sette þe croune on hire heued : with þe winguen heo bleu faste
Aȝein þat fuyr, ase him þouȝte : þat it ne miȝhte nouȝt i-laste—
Fram-ward þat Maide heo bleu it euere : þat it ne cam hire no-þing neiȝh, Page 86
And heo lai þare in alle Ioye : ase þis holie man i-seiȝh.
Þare-fore oþure þat weren hire neiȝh : nusten nouȝt hou it was,
Þat þouȝte þat heo was al a-fuyre : and neuere þe worse hire nas.
¶ Þis holie man seint capras : þat i-seiȝh al þis,
to him-seolf he seide, "ich a-bide : nou sone to longue, i-wis;"
he sturte out of þis deope Roche : and þudere or[n] wel faste;
to þis tormentingue sone he cam : no-þing him ne agaste.
Loude he gradde with folle Mouth : "Ich am cristine Man,
I-nelle for-sake Ihesu crist : for drede of Dacian.
To longue ich habbe heonne i-beo— : þat me for-þuncheth sore.
here is Ioye and blisse i-nouȝh : þat schal bringue us to more."
¶ Tweie breþren þare comen þo al-so : seint Felician
And seint prime : þat seide also to þis Dacian.
Wod-wrothþ was Dacian þo : he dude heom nime ech-on,
Seinte Fey and alle þe oþere : and smiten of heore heuedes a-non.
Þe tormentores i-redie weren : and gonne þat maide take
And hire felawes forth with hire : þat nolden ore louerd for-sake,
And ladden heom forth to heore ende-day : and heore heuedes smiten of sone
In gret wrathþe ech aftur oþur : and duden heore maistres bone.
¶ To þe Ioye of heouene a-non huy wenden : and þare bi-leue with|outen ende;
Aungles þare weren to bere heom forthþ : þat ore louerd þudere gan siende.
Þe luþere men leten þe bodies ligge : þo huy weren i-brouȝt of dawe,
In a foul stude al on-bured : þare bestes heom scholden to-drawe.
Ake cristine men þat þare weren neiȝh : þerto stelen bi niȝhte
And bureden heom in a derne stude : ase nobleliche ase huy miȝhten. [folio 54]
Nou seinte Fey and hire felawes : ore erinde beode so,
Þat we moten to þe Ioye come : þare huy beoth inne i-do.
24 XI Millia Virg.
Ondleuene þousend of virgines : for ore louerd i-martrede were;
Telle i-chulle of heore martyrdom : and ho heom þar-to gan lere.
A kyng þare was in Brutayne : sire Maur was is name;
Ane douȝter he hadde þat hiet Ourse : þat was of noble fame; Page 87
Cristine heo was and al hire kun : swiþe hende and quoynte,
So fair womman Men nusten non : no so guod in euerech pointe.
¶ Of hire fair-hede and of hire guodnesse : men tolden in eche side,
Þat þe word cam into Enguelond : and elles-ȝwoder wel wide.
A kyng þare was þo in Enguelonde : and Man of gret poer;
Gret nobleie he heorde telle : of þis maide feor and ner:
his wille was gret þat is sone : þis Maide in spoushod hadde.
Ake Men þe ȝuyt in Enguelond : cristinedom non nadden.
¶ Þe king of enguelond, þat was þo : to þe kyng of Brutayne gan siende
For is douȝter to is sone : þat was is heyr so hende;
And seide, ȝif þat he þare-aȝen were : þat þe dede nere i-do,
him and alle his he wolde destruyȝe : and al his lond al-so.
Þo þis Messagers comen to þis kyng : and heore erinde hadden i-seid,
Sori and dreori was þis king : he ne couþe þare-of no red:
For þe king of Enguelond : was heþene, and alle his,
And for he wuste wel þat is douȝhter nolde : i-wedded beo, i-wis,
And also, for þe kyng of Enguelond : was of so gret miȝhte
Þat he no strencþe ne miȝhte habbe : aȝein him for-to fiȝhte.
And naþeles Triwes of is answere : aȝein þe messagers he nam.
Deol and sor and luyte gladnesse : in is heorte þare cam!
¶ He ne tolde no-þing is douȝter fore : of þis reuful cas;
Ȝeorne he bad god niȝht and day : for he redles was,
And criede on him swiþe reufulliche : þat he him scholde rede.
A niȝht an Aungel to is douȝter cam : and þeos wordes to hire sede:
"Ne beo þou nouȝht a-ȝein þis sonde : Ake, þine fader forto paye,
Graunte i-wedded for-to beo : and bide þat he it delaiȝe
Ane þreo ȝer, þat þou mouwe þe ȝwile : þi Maiden-hod anoure;
And þat huy þe purchace clene maidenes : with þe to habbe in þi boure:
¶ And þat þe king of Enguelonde and is sone : and þi fader beon alle at one rede
Þe for-to cheose ten clene Maidenes : with-oute eche wicke dede;
Ȝwane ȝe Endleue to-gadere beothþ : þat huy eou finden ȝeot þer-to
Euer-ech of eov a þousend maidenes : to serui eou al-so,
Þat ȝwane ȝe alle to-gadere beoth : þat ech mouwe in is side Page 88
honouri hire Maiden-hod and þin : þat it beo couth wel wide,
So þat Men ne mouwen Maide non : alosed finde*. [finde overlined] aȝein þe;
And þat he wolle cristine bi-come : þi louerd þat schal beo.
In þis foreward graunte him : aftur þe þridde ȝere
I-spoused to beon in godes lawe— : And ne haue þerof no fere!"
Þo þat maide i-heorde þis : glad heo was of is lore, [folio 54b]
Þat heo wuste ȝware-with heo miȝhte : bringue hire fader of is sore.
¶ Sone heo wende to hire fader : and bad þat he ire telle scholde
Ȝwy þat he so mourninde ȝeode. : he seide þat he nolde.
"Ich wot wel þi þouȝt," þat maide seide : "þei þou it holde stille.
Of þi sonde ne haue no doute : ichulle don al þi wille."
Þo bi-gan heo tellen him in ȝwuche manere— : ase þe Aungel hire hadde i-seid—
heo wolde habbe þene heiȝe Man : ȝif þat it were is red.
¶ Welle, glad was þe kyng : þo þat he iheorde þis!
Þe Messagers he ȝaf Answere : sone with gret blis.
Þo huy [it] brouȝten þe kingues sone : þe tiþingue wel him payde.
Sone he liet Baptizen him : for loue of þat Maide;
And þoruȝ is fader and þoruȝ him : and þoruȝ þe oþur kingue
Endleue þousend of clene maidenes : to þis maide huy guonne bringue.
heo was glad of þe compaygnie : þat so fair to hire cam!
Sone heo bigan in priueite : telle heom of cristinedom;
Þat for hire loue and for hire prechingue : alle cristine huy were.
Louerd, ȝwuch a compaygnie : of clene maidenes was þere!
¶ So gret Ioye þe king of is douȝter hadde : and of ire faire ferrade,
Þat he liet heom makien a quoynte schip : of*. [al. of gret] lengþe and of brede,
Þat huy scholden in þe se : pleiȝe, ȝwane huy wolde,
Þat ech man a-londe and in watere : heore mayden-hod pre[i]sie scholde.
huy sounguen ofte a-watere and eke a-lond : and treches huy gonne lede
And oþur-manere faire pleies : and al was of clene dedes.
Mete and drinke stilleliche : to þe schip huy lieten bringue
To þreo ȝeres sustinaunce : with-oute leue of þe kingue.
¶ A dai huy wenten into þe se : and pleiden heom up and doun—
For Ioye þere stoden, to bi-holden heom : Men of mani a toun. Page 89
Ase huy weren in mest Ioye of plei : ore louerd ane wynd sende,
Þat drof heom feor into þe se : þat men nusten ȝwodere huy wende.
Welle, glade were þis maydenes þo! : þe wind heom drof wel bliue,
To*. [al. ate] þe cite of coloyne : formest huy gonne ariue.
¶ To Damoysele ourse, þe kyngues douȝhter : an Aungel cam þere
And bad hire lede wel hire compaygnye : for-to huy i-martrede were;
And seide þat huy scholden forþere fare : and alle a-ȝein wende,
And in þulke toune for ore louerdes loue : imartrede beon atþenende.
Glad was þat Mayde for þis word! : forthþ huy wenden a-non.
Atþe cite of Basilie : huy a-riueden ech-on.
¶ Fram þulke Cite euerechone : a-fote huy wenden to Rome.
Gret Ioye made þe pope with heom : þo huy þudere come—
For manie of heom weren neiȝh him sibbe : and for he was of bru|tayne;
Cyriac is name was. : huy weren of him wel fayne.
An Aungel cam to þe pope a niȝht : and seide þat he scholde
With þis Maydenes i-martred beo : for ore louerd it so wolde.
After þat tyme þis holie man : honourede heom þe more,
And prechede heom ofte of clannesse : and of ore louerdes lore. [folio 55]
Tweolf monþe and endleue wokes : alle þis Maydenes were
At Rome with þis holie pope : þat heom dude wel lere.
¶ Ake þe pope seint Ciriac : is conseil cleopie gan,
His clerkes and is Cardinales : and Mani on oþer Man:
Bi-fore heom al is dignete : he tok up atþen ende,
And seide he wolde in-to an oþur lond : with þis maydenes wende.
¶ Þis Cardinales weren þare-a-ȝein : and seiden þat he gan reue
With fole wummen for-to go : and is dignete bi-leue.
Naþeles he wende forth with heom : al a-ȝein heore rede;
Þe Cardinales and is clerkes : gret schame þare-fore him seide.
Tweie luþere princes þare weren : Maximin and Affrican,
Þouȝten þat þis Maydenes wolden : tuyrne mani a man:
To heore Mey, þe prince of Coloyne : huy senden for-þen-one
Þat he, ȝwane huy þudere comen : A-slowe heom euerech-one.
¶ Þat child þat scholde þis Mayde wedde : ase heo hadde i-seid,
Kyng was i-maud of Enguelonde : þo is fader was ded;
Þat ladde swiþe chaste lijf : and longuede swiþe sore Page 90
With þat clene Maide to speke and beo : þoruȝ strencþe of godes lore.
An Aungel cam to him and bad : þat he on alle wise
his Moder and is ȝungueste soster : anon-riȝht liete Baptize
And he with heom to Coloygne : wiende with al his mayne
A-ȝein is trewe spouse, þat was : Mayde Ourse of brutayne;
Þat heo*. [r. he] him to hire leide faste : in wille and eke in dede,
And endede heore lijf in godes seruise : ase heo heom wolde rede.
¶ þis ȝongue with gret ioye dude : þat þe Aungel him gan lere:
his moder and is soster he nam : þo huy i-baptizede were,
And þe Bischop Clement al-so : þat i-baptized heom hadde,
Toward coloyne forth with him : a-ȝen þis Maydenes he ladde.
Swiþe glad was þis ȝongue king : þo he to is lefMan cam!
And also glad was þat Maide : þo heo saiȝh him in cristinedom!
Mest Ioye heo made with is ȝongue soster : þat hiet Florentyne,
Þat heo, clene Mayde, scholde : soffrie deþes pine.
¶ Ourse of Brutayne þene ȝoungue king : in grete Ioye of loue gan lere
Þat he him heolde faste to hire : and ne bi-lefde for no fere,
Þat huy miȝhten in trewe loue : to-gadere i-martred beo
And wonye in heuene with Ihesu crist : þat bouȝte heom on þe treo.
Alþis grauntede þis ȝoungue king : and is lefmane nouȝt ne wernde;
his furste þouȝt into treowe loue : and into clannesse he turnde.
¶ Þe heþene prince i-redi was : þo huy to Coloyne come
With manie luþere heþene Men : and al þis compaygnie huy nome,
And huweden and crieden on heom a-schame : and to grounde heom a-slowe,
And ase so fale wolues a-mong lambren : heore flechs huy to-drowe.
Þo huy comen to þis clene þing : Maide Ourse of Brutayne,
Þat huy founden so fair a creature : of hire huy weren wel fayne.
Þe prince hire nam and hire bi-hiet : to laten hire gon a-liue [folio 55b]
And, for heo was so fair and noble : habbe hire to wiue.
¶ Þis Maide seide þat heo nolde to hire spouse : him ne non oþur take.
Þe prince neiȝh for wrathþe wod : þo he was so fur-sake,
he liet hire to deþe scheote : with Aruwene atþenende Page 91
And þus heo and al hire compaygnie : to þe Ioye of heuene gan wiende;
And þe ȝongue king of Enguelonde : and is Moder also,
And is ȝongue soster Florentine : to deþe weren i-do,
And þe pope Ciriac : and Bischopes mani on
Þat for trewe hope of Martyrdom : with heom weren i-gon.
Ore louerd hadde swiþe*. [al. Ou louerd þe] gret Ioye : of þat swete ferrede,
þat swuch martyrdom for is*. [al. þi] loue : a-fenguen with-oute drede.
In þe to hondrede ȝere*. [al. om.] : and eiȝte and þrittiþe ȝere
After ore louerdes buyrtyme : þis maidenes i-martrede were.
¶ Þis endleue þousend of clene maydenes : and al þis compaygnie
I-burede weren in Coloyne : in one Nonnerie.—
An Abbot þere was bi-side : þat heorde of þis cas,
And ofte of þis clene Maydenes : þat gret Miracle þere was:
he bad þe Abbesse of Coloyne : þat heo him graunti scholde
A bodi of þis clene Maydenes : and he wolde it don in golde.
Þo þis bodi was him i-take : twelf Monþe he liet it beo
With-oute seluer oþur gold : in one cheste of treo.
¶ Þo þe twelf monþes weren a-go : ase þe Monekes weren ech-one
A nyȝt at Matines, þis*. [MS. þis þis] holie bodi : a-ros hire up allone,
heo beuȝ hire to þe heiȝe weued : and wende mildeliche
A-mong al þe Couent forthþ : and out wel stilledliche.*. [r. stilleliche]
Þe Monekus, þo huy þis i-seiȝen : of-dradde and sorien*. [r. sorie] were:
huy eoden to þe cheste þare heo [was] inne i-leid : and ne founden ire nouȝt þere.
¶ "Þis," quath þe Abbod, "is ore wreche : for we hire i-do nadde
In a schrine of gold, ase we bi-heten : þo we ire hidere ladden."
To þe Abbesse of Coloyne : þe Abbod wende a-non
And tolde þis cas al-hou it was : of þat Maide i-gon.
huy wenden forthþ to þulke stude : þare heo was i-leid inne er,
And heuen up þe þrouwes lid : and founden hire ligge þer
Faire and euene ase heo dude er— : so luyte lime þere nas
Þat ne lai ase heo was furst i-leid. : a fair Miracle þere was!
Þe Abbesse was þo swyþe glad : and þe Nonnes euerechon,
And þonkede god of þat faire Miracle : and heiȝe sounguen a-non.
¶ Þe Abbot bad þat he moste habbe : þis holie bodi eft-sone, Page 92
And seide he wolde honouri it faire : ase he auȝte for-to done.
Ake þe Abbesse nolde graunti it nouȝt : ne þat couent noþur
Þat eft it scholde habbe a-wei : þei he hadde i-beo heore broþur;
For buy i-seiȝen þat it was godes wille : þat it bi-lefde þere.
Þis Abbod wende him hom a-ȝein : with wel dreorie chere.
Nou God us graunti, ȝif is wille is : þat we moten i-winne
Þe heiȝe Ioye of heouene : þare alle þis Maydenes beoth inne,
Ne þat we neuere þarof ne missen : for none*. [MS. nome] sorie sunne.
SEinte Katerine of noble kunne: cam, bi olde dawe; [folio 56]
Hire fader was king, hire Moder Quyene : boþe of þe olde lawe,
Þe king . Coste. hire fader het. : gret clerk þis Mayde was;
Þare nas non of þe seue .Ars : þat heo maister of nas.
Maxentius het þe Aumperour : In eche londe he let crie
Þat ech kynerich under him : come to Alisaundrie,
Euerech Man for is stat : to don to heore godes sacrefise;
ho-so it lete, men scholde of him don : swyþe stronge Iustise.
Þo ech lond was þudere i-come : to don heore lawe,
Seinte katerine wel harde-liche : to-ward heom gan drawe;
bi-halues heo stod and bi-heold : heore wrechche gydi-hede,
heo saiȝ Anouri þe Maumates : and manie cristine Men for drede.
Þo hadde heo gret deol in hire heorte : and blesse[de] hire a-non
And forth anon to þe Aumperour : baldeliche heo gan gon.
"Sire," heo seide, "riche Aumperour þou art : swiþe noble and hende,
Þov scholdest þi wisdom and þi wit : to some guode wende.
Þat i segge for þe folie : þat ich i-seo eov do—
So muche feorrene folk : þov hast i-cleopet þar-to.
Grete Ioie in ouwer heorte : þis temple ȝe makiez i-fo
Þat is ymaud of lym and ston : and of ouwer Maumates also;
Ȝwy ne bi-holde ȝe þe heiȝe temple— : for þer-of wondri ov mai—
Of þe heie heuene þat geth a-boute : a-bouen eov niȝt and dai,
Of sonne and Mone and steorrene al-so : fram þe este to þe weste
Þat trauaillieth and neuere werie ne beoth : ne neuere ne habbeth reste? Page 93
bi-þench þe wel and turne þi wit : to some wisdome, ich rede,
And ȝwane þin owene In-wit it seith : þat nouȝwere nis swuch dede,
Al-miȝti god þou him hold : þat swuch wonder can make;
bi-fore alle oþere Anoure him : and þine Maumates for-sake."
With oþere resones of clergie : þat mayde proffrede also
Þat heore godes nauȝtes ne were : þat heo Anoureden heom to.
¶ Þe Aumperour stod and ne couþe þar-to : Answerie In none wise;
Gret wonder him þouȝte of hire fair-hede : and of hire Quoyntise;
"Mayde," he seide, "a-bijd here-with : for-to aftur ore sacrefise
And we schullen more with þe speke : ich oþur mi Iustise."
Þo þe sacrefise was i-don : þe Aumperour sat In is trone,
And al is folk a-bouten him. : men brouten þat Maide sone.
"Maide," seide þe Aumperur : "þou þinchest gent and freo;
Of ȝwat kunrade art þou i-come? : gret wonder us þinchez of þe."
¶ "Sire Aumperur," þis Maide seide : "I-ne wilni bote luyte
to tellen þe of mine kunne : for it were signe of pruyte;
For In is boke þe wise Man : Catun seith al-so:
Þat Man ne schal him-sulue preisi : ne blamie no-þe-mo,
For so doth foles þat wilniez muche : of ȝelpingue and of sunne.
Naþeles ichulle, ake for no pruyte : tellen eov of mine kunne:
Ich am þe kingus douȝter coste : þat þou wost ȝwuch is.
hidere ich cam to speke mid eov : of þat ȝe bi-leuez a-mis;
Mid vn-riȝte heo beozþ i-cleped godes : þat o fot ne mouwen go*. [MS. gon] [folio 56b]
Ne no man helpe in none neode : ne heom-sulue no-þe-mo."
¶ "Maide," seide*. [MS. seide seide] þis Amperur : "ȝif þat þis sothþ were,
Al þis world were fals and guydi : ȝif þou one heom*. [MS. heom heom] scholdest [lere];
And we schulle betere i-leue alle men : and more it wole beo note,
Þane ani fol womman ase þou art— : for ouwer bolt is sone i-schote."
"Sire," seide þis Maide þo : "þei þou luyte telle of me,
Also guod mai beo mi reson : ase þat comez of þe.
For, sire Aumperur, þou*. [MS. ich þou] art : ase ech man is al-so
Þat hote mai and hys men moten : nede hys hestes do,
Of bodi and of soule þou art y-maud : ase þi-sulf miȝt i-seo;
Mid riȝte þi soule Maister is : and þi bodi is hyne schal beo.
Ȝif þi bodi maister is : and þi soule*. [superscribed later.] is hyne,
Aȝen kuynde it is : and þou worst sikur : þare-fore of helle pine." Page 94
Þoruȝ hire clergie þat holi Maide : resones made so quoynte
Þat þe Aumperour ne non of his : ne couþe hire ansuerie in none pointe.
"Maide," he seide, "þou schalt a-bide : In warde here mid me
And oþere ichulle bi tyme finde : þat schullen Answerie þe."
Þis Aumperour sende anon : wide a-boute is sonde
Þat þe gretteste maistres of clergie : to him comen In eche londe,
grete Mede of him to habbe : to don a luytel Maystrie,
And for-to susteinen op heore lawe : þoru strencþe of clergie.
So þat þare comen fifti Maistres : þe gretteste þat man fond
Also wide ase men miȝten seche : ouȝwere In ani lond.
Þe Aumperour heom seide a-non : ȝware-fore he after heom sende:
For-to desputi a-ȝein a ȝong womman : þat al heore lawe schende.
"Nou is þis," þat .o. Maister seide : "gret schame, ich onder-stonde,
An Aumperur to sende a-boute : so wide in eche londe
After þe gretteste Maistres, for-to despuyti : a-ȝen a fol wenche,
Ȝwane on of heore knaue miȝten sone : hire resones alle a-quenche!"
"Nai," seide þis Aumperour : "heo is wisore þane ȝe wene;
Ȝif ȝe mouwen ouȝt aȝen hire don : sone it worth i-sene.
For ich habbe leouere þat ȝe hire ouer-come : with resones In some wise,
Þane we with strencþe hire maden : to don þe sacrefise."
"Lat bringue hire*. [superscribed.] forth," seide þat on : "and heo schal segge a-non
Þat heo ne spac neuere wit wisore men : are heo fram us gon."
¶ An Aungel to þis maide cam : and bad hire of no-þing drede,
And seide heo scholde heom alle þoru hire reson : to cristinedom lede,
And heo alle scholden þoru hire reson : a-fonge martyrdam.
Þo þat Maide i-herde þis : gret Ioie to hire heo nam,
baldeliche heo eode forth : þo men aftur hire come.
"Sire," he*. [= heo] seide to þe Aumperur : "ȝifst þou a wis dom
Þat þus fale maistres of clergie : bringest and sest a-benche,
And me-self to desputy a-ȝeines heom : þat nam bote a fol wenche?
And ȝif þat heo me ouer-comez : þou bi-hast heom gret mede,
And makest me mid strencþe with heom speke : and ne bi-hast me bote luyte! [folio 57] Page 95
Þat þinchez me with on-riȝte it is : ȝwane ich am one a-ȝein heom alle.
¶ Nov ichulle, for god is min help : a-fonge þat me wole falle."
"Seie, dame conIoun, ȝwat artþou?" : þis o legistre seide,
"Þenchestþou speke a-ȝein ore clergie? : turne þi þouȝt, ich rede!
Þov seist þat god al-miȝti : dethz on eorþe þolede here:
I-chulle proui þat he ne miȝte a-liue beo : nouþe In none manere.
For, ho-so deiez, he ne may : neuerefft to liue come,
Ȝwane þe vertue of al is bodi : þoru deþe him is bi-nome;
And þi god al-miȝti is ded : þou ne miȝt libbe nouȝt,
Ȝif he þat scholde ȝiue þe lijf : is to deþe i-brouȝt."
¶ "Nai," seide þis holi mayde : "þou faillest of þin art,
An-oþur þou most segge, ȝif þou þencst : of þine maistrie to habbe part.
God hadde euere and euere he schal : mid him is god-hede,
And for loue of us In ore flesche : he nam him man-hede:
Of twei þingus he was þo imaked : eiþur moste þo is kuynde a-fonge.
For þe kunde of man-hede us to bugge : he þolede deth wel stronge;
Ake for-to bi-leue ded, a-ȝen kuynde it was : ase of is god-hede,
Þare-fore he aros fram deþe to liue : þo he hadde i-don al is dede.
For þe stronge deþe þat þoruȝ Adam : we weren to i-brouȝt,
Þoruȝ is godhede, i-meynd In ore kuynde : nede moste beon i-bouȝt.
Ȝif þou with-seist þis reson : an oþur i-chulle þe make
Þat grete clerkes seiden In heore lawe : þat man ne may nouȝt for-sake.
¶ Platon, þe grete philosophe : þat was heþene of ouwer lawe,
he seide þat god wolde deie : and him-selue to liue aȝen drawe.
Lokiez In is boke,*. [omit in is boke] hov it miȝte beo soth : nouþe In ouwere*. [r. oþer] manere,
bote þe muchele god of heuene : bi-come a luyte Man here.
Also Balaam, ouwer prophete : þat heþene was al-so,
In is bok he seide—ȝe wuten wel ȝware : ȝif ȝe wollez loki þer-to—
Þat þare scholde of Iacobes kuynde : a steorre a-rise wel briȝt
Þat scholde kinges and princes : al bi-nimen heom heore miȝt.
Þat was þat ore louerd wolde : of Iacobes kuynde beon i-bore
&*. [added.] ouer-comen alle þat euere weren : sethþe oþer bi-fore.
And ȝuyt þre kinges of ouwer lawe : on þulke steorre þouȝten,
For þe steorre þo god was i-bore : and þare-fore lok him brouȝten."
Þo þeos Maistres heorden þis mayde speke : of so grete clergie, Page 96
heo ne couþen answerie hire of neuere a word : and ȝeuen hire þe maistrie.
¶ Þo seide þe Aumperur In grete wrathþe : "nis non of eov þat can—
A-mong so manie grete Maistres— : answerie a fol womman?"
"Certes, sire," þis Maistres seiden : "so gret clerk nov nis
Þat scholde to hire reson ȝiue answere : for heo seith so*. [al. soþ] i-wis,
We seggeth, þe holie gost is with hire : and In hire mouþe,
Þat we ne conne hire answerie nouȝt : ne we ne dorren þei we couþe.
Þare-fore, bote we betere of oure lawe : þane we ȝeot i-seon,
Alle we seggez with one mouþe : cristine we wollez beon."
"Ey, trichours," seide þe Aumperur : "is it icome þer-to? [folio 57b]
Certes, ȝe schullen euerech-one : beo to stronge deþe i-do."
he het þat Men scholden a-midde toun : fur-berne heom echone.
And huy afenge þe deth for godes loue : with-oute anie mone,
And muche reuþe heo maden to katerine : I-baptizede þat heo nere.
Þat Maide heom confortede wel : and cristine lawes gan heom lere,
And seide þat heore stronge martyrdom : þat heo þoleden þere,
In stude of cristine-dom scholde beon : ȝif heo stude-faste were.
¶ Þis Maistres weren wel glade þo : gladliche forth heo eode
And nomen þane deth for godes loue : þat men heom wolde beode;
Heo maden þe signe of þe croiz : þo men in þat fuyre hem caste.
And þo heo hadden longe i-barnd : and dede weren atþe laste
And þat fuyr was al a-queynt : al-hole heo leien þere,
Ȝwittore and wel fairore [of]*. [om.] heuȝ : þane heo euere er were;
Þare nas so luyte wem on heom : þat þe leste of heore here
Oþur of heore cloþus a-peirede weren— : heo leien with faire chere.
Þis Aumperur let fette a-non : þat Maide katerine:
"haue reuþe of þi-sulf," he seide : "and schild þe fram pine!
haue reuþe of þi noble bodi : þat is so fair and hende!
For þou schalt beon in grete nobleye : ȝif þou wolt þi þouȝt wende:
In mi paleis ich schal þe make : hext after þe quene;
After þi fourme ichulle þe make : An ymage, briȝt and schene,
Ouer-guld and quoynte i-nov : and sette as a-midde þe cite,
Þat ech man hire honouri schal : for honour of þe
Ase men schullen to one god do. : þou ne schalt mid al þi lore
So muche nobleie bi-þenche þe : þat I nelle don þe more." Page 97
¶ "Sire Aumperur," þis Maide seide : "let þi fole þouȝt,
For þov nast non more ȝwile to spille : þane speken embe nouȝt.
god almiȝties spouse ich am : and al þi blaundisinge
Ne alle þine tormenz ne schullen min heorte : enes fram him bringe."
Þe Aumperur hire let strep[e] naked : and to a piler faste hire bounden,
With stronge schourges men beoten hire sore : and maden hire harde wounden.
Þo heo ne miȝten þare-with-al : turnen hire þouȝt,
In depe prisone and swiþe deorke : sone heo was i-brouȝt;
Þat no man hire mete ne ȝaf ne drunch : þei heo scholde for hungur deie,
For heo scholde to heore lawe hire þouȝ[t] tuyrne : and beon i-brouȝt out of teie.
In þat prison þat Maide lai : twelf dawes and twelf niȝt,
Þat heo noþer .et. ne dronk : ne i-saiȝ non eorþelich liȝt;
A ȝwit coluere þare cam fram heuene : to hire euer-ech dai
And brouȝte hire fram heuene mete : In-to prisone ase heo lai.
A day ase þe Aumperur was : out of þe toune i-fare,
Þe Aumperesse þouȝte on katerine : and hadde of hire gret care:
Of hire bede wel priueliche : heo a-ros at mid-Niȝt,
And nam with hire sire porfirie : þat was hire priue knyȝt.
Þo heo to þe prisone come : heo i-seiȝen þare gret liȝt;
[folio 58] gret wounder heom þouȝte ȝwar-of were : þe deorke stude so briȝt.
Þo heo i-seiȝen*. [al. seiȝen heo] seinte katerine : was In þe prisone grounde
And an Aungel of heuene with hire stonde : and smerede hire wounde:
¶ Þe Aumperesse cride a-non : "Katerine," heo seide, "þin ore!
Mine riȝte bi-leue þov tech me : I nelle beo fol non more."
Þe kniȝt al-so, sire porfirie : loude cride al-so,
Þat muche folk þat þare-a-boute was : sone cam þer-to;
Sire porfirie ful a-doun to hire fet : and merci he gan crie.
With grete Ioye þis Maide prechede heom : of god and seinte marie;
So þat Aumperesse and porfirie : þoruȝ þis Maide þere,
And twei hondred of oþur folk : I-baptizede weren.
¶ Ore louerd him-sulf cam sethþe a-doun : to seinte katerine :
"Lo," he seide, "here ich am : for ȝwam þou hast þis pine.
In þine tormenz beo studefast : Ichulle beo mid þe; Page 98
Þi sege is in heue[ne] i-maud : þare þov schalt wonien mid me."
An oþur dai þe Aumperour : after þis Maide sende;
Þat heo were ded, oþur al fur-fare : swiþe wel he wende.
Þis Maide was bi-fore him y-brouȝt : swiþe fat and round.
"Ȝwat," he seide, "hou geth þis? : heo is hol and sound?
Ȝware beoth þis traitores," he seide : "þat hire In prisone wuste?
Stilleliche heo hire habbeth i-fed : þat no man it nuste.
bi þe treuþe þat i schal to Mahon : heo ne schullen so non-more!"
he let nime alle þe gayholers : and tormenti heom ful sore.
¶ "Sire Aumperur," þis Maide seide : "is þis a guod Ivggement,
gulte-lese Men for mine gulte : to bringe in swuche torment?
he þat hath me i-fed : him ne drat of þe riȝt nouȝt:
For an Aungel it was of heuene : þat mete me hath i-brouȝt.
Do me ȝwat torment þat þov wolt : and lat heom quite gon:
For-soþe, þat*. [al. of þat] þou on heom seist : gult heo ne habbez non."
"Ey., hendie Maide Katerine" : seide þis Aumperour,
"Þench op-on þi noble stat : of alle Maidenes þov art flour;
Torne þi þouȝt and þou schalt beon : þe Aumperesse per;
heo ne schal no-þing bi-fore þe habbe : bote þat heo me mot beo ner."
"guode man," seide þis holie mayde : "þov spext embe nouȝt:
For al þi pouwer þou ne schalt : fram ihesu crist wende mi þouȝt.
Al þat torment þat þou miȝt þenche : And of alle [day longe,*. [d. l. wr. by a later hand on an erasure.]]
Þov miȝt don me ȝif þou wolt : redi ich am to fonge;
For ich ne wilni no-þing so muche : ase mi flechs and mi blod, i-wis,
to ȝiue for mi louerdes loue : þat for me he ȝaf his."
Þo was þe Aumperur so wroth : þat he was neiȝ i-swowe.
Four ȝweles of Iren he let fullen : with rasores, kene I-nowe,
And with ginne heom makede tuyrne a-boute : þe tweien on þat on half opward,
Þe oþur tweine euene heom a-ȝein : In þat oþur half a-done-ward,
Þat, ho-so bi-twene were : In none half ne miȝte him wende
Þat þe rasores nolden al is flechs : to-drawen and to-rende.
Sone so þis Maide was i-don þar-on : hire bodi for-to schende, [folio 58b]
Ore swete louerd fram heuene : an Aungel to hire gan sende:
Þis Aungel with a drawe swerd : þe ȝweoles al-to-hev,
Þat þe peces a-boute flowen : ase corn ȝwane man it sev, Page 99
And smot*. [al. smite] of þis luþere men : wel harde to þe grounde;
Four þousend þ[er]e weren a-slawe : In a lutel stounde.
Þo nuste þe Aumperur ȝwat he miȝte don : for deol ne for sore.
Þe Aumperesse nolde hele hire stat : lengore þo nam-more:
¶ "Sire," heo seide, "hou gez þis? : for godes loue, þin ore!
Ich i-seo þat þis mayde is guod : and of holi lore,
Ower Maumates ichulle for-sake : Inelle on hem bi-leue more."
Þo gan þe Aumperur for wrathþe : loude ȝeolle and rore.
he ne miȝte fram Ihesu crist : hire þouȝt no-þing wende:
he het men þat*. [r. þat men] scholden hire lede : to þe tounes ende
And hire bresten fram hire bodi : with Irene crokes rende
And þare-after smiten of hire heued : þe more forto*. [r. hire to] schende.
Wit guode heorte þe Aumperesse : þane deth gan a-fonge;
Þe quellares heo bad hiȝen faste : and ne a-biden nouȝt to longe.
Heo nomen þe kene crokes of Ire : þat hire flechs depe gnowe,
And, also man draweth with combes wolle : hire tetes heo to-drowe
Fram hire bodi mossel mele : and sethþe smiten of hire heued.
Þat bodi, for houndes it scholden ete : vn-bured it was bi-leued.
Ake porfirie it burede a-niȝt : þat holi bodi and guod.
Þo þe Aumperur þat bodi miste : he was wroth and wod;
he tormentede þare-fore manie Men : þat ne miȝten heom nouȝt skere.
Þo eode porfirie forth : and seide, "sire, lo me here,
Ich burede þat holie bodi : þat was cristus make;
And to Ihesu crist ich habbe al-so : al min heorte i-take;
For no pouwer þat þou miȝt don : I-nelle him for-sake."
Þo gan þe Aumperur for deol and sor : alle is lymes to schake.
¶ "Mahun," he seide, "hou schal þis beo? : ȝwat schal ich nou do,
Nov Ich habbe mi wif for-lore : and mi kniȝt porfirie al-so?
And porfirie al min heorte was! : ȝwy neltþou me rede?"
Þo wenden þis oþure knyȝtes forth : and loude heo gonne grede,
"We nellez þane deth for godes loue : no leng bi-leue for drede."
Þo gan þe Aumperur to-drawe is her : and sore siche and grone,
"Mahun," he seide, "ȝwat schal ich do? : hov schal ich bi-leue allone?
Ȝwi neltþou raþer fette me : and bringe me of þusse liue,
Þane soffri alle mine men to leose : after mine leoue wiue?
Þei þou nelle, mahun, helpe me : I-ne for-sake þe nouȝt, Page 100
Þis foles þat habbez þe for-sake : to deþe heo schulle beo brouȝt."
He let nime porfire þene guode knyȝt : and is felawes echone
And smiten of heore heuedes with-oute toun : ase Mahones fon.
Þo let he fette katerine : "Dameysele," he seide,
Þei þov me bi-nome mi wijf : mid þine fole rede,
I-chulle, ȝif þou wul torni þi þouȝt : fur-ȝiue þine misdede [folio 59]
And with gret nobleie ase min Aumperesse : ouer-al with me þe lede."
¶ "Certes, sire," þis Maide seide : "þis wordes beoth alle for nauȝt:
Þov ne schalt me neuere bringue fram him : þat hath min heorte i-cauȝt.
Do þat þov wolt, and haue i-don : and bring þi wille to ende,
For þou ne schalt neuere for no-þing : min herte fram Ihesu wende."
"Ȝware beo ȝe, mine quellares?" : þe Aumperur þo seide,
"Faste ȝe schulle þe wychche binde : and with-oute toune lede,
And smitez*. [r. smite] of hire heued a-non : an don þe guode dede,
Þat heo ne bringe us neuereft : In soruwe ne In drede."
Þo þis Maide was i-brouȝt : to slene with-oute þe toun,
hire preiere heo maude to god : a-knes heo sat a-doun:
"Louerd," heo seide, "graunte þou me : þat ech man þat hath in*. [om. in] mone
In ani neode oþur in ani anuy : of mine passione,
graunte þat he mote to is wille : help a-fonge sone."
Þo cam ore louerd him-self to hire : and grauntede hire bone.
¶ "Cum forth," he seide, "mi suete leman : mi leue spouse al-so:
heuene-ȝat a-ȝein þe I-opened is : þare þou schalt comen to."
A quellare hire heued of smot. : þat folk þat a-boute heom stode,
Ȝwijt Milk heo i-seiȝen eorne out of þe wounde : and nouȝt o drope of blode.
Aungles comen and nomen þat bodi : a-mong alle þe manne
And to þe hul of synay it beren : tuenti Iorneies þanne,
And bureden it þare In one faire place : wit grete nobleye and riche;
Þare þoruȝ Ihesu cristes grace : hire bones restez ȝuyte.
Þare-of ȝeot to þis day : þare eornez eoille wel riue,
Ȝware-with manie sike Men : beoz to hele i-brouȝt and to liue;
Wide In londe it is i-lad : þat ho-so it habbe mote,
Noble relike it is al-so : sike Men to don bote.
Þre hundred ȝer and twenti : after þat god was i-bore,
I-Martred was þis holie Maide : of ȝwam we tolden bi-fore. Page 101
Ihesu crist, for þe suete loue : of seinte Katerine
graunti us þe Ioye of heuene : and schilde us fram helle pine.
Amen amen, segge we alle : for is holie tyme.
26 Vita sancte Lucie uirginis.
SEinte lucie, þat holie Mayde : In Cezile was i-bore;
Ȝong heo bi-gan to serui god : and bi-lefde sunne and hore;
Dame Evtice hire Moder het : þat hire to wommane brouȝte—
Of hire childe wel glad heo was : ase heo suyþe wel ouȝte.
So bi-feol þat on Dame Eutice cam a siknesse : swiþe greuous and long—
Four ȝer he*. [= heo] hadde gret pine— : þe menison of blode wel strong.
On leches heo hadde i-spendet*. [MS. i spendedet] : Muche del of hire guod,
Ake þare nas non þat hire hele miȝte : þat heo ne bledde euere blod.
So þat wide In þe londe Men tolden : of seinte Agace,
Of Miracles þat comen at hire schrine : þoru ore louerdes grace
In þe cite of Cathenes : þere þis holi womman lay;
Folk wende þudere wel wide : boþe Niȝt and day
bi manie scor to-gadere : of eche londe a-boute. [folio 59b]
Þo seinte lucie þis i-saiȝ : al dai so gret route,
"Moder," heo seide, "þou hauest an vuel : ful greuous with-alle
And we hereth of miracles al day : þat of seinte Agace doth falle:
go we þudere forth mid oþure : to þe holie seint Agace,
And þare þou schalt to hele come : þoruȝ ore louerdes grace."
¶ Nov was lucie stilleliche : I-torned to cristine-dom,
Ake hire Moder heþene was : and al þat heo of com;
Lucie to ane heþene manne : was i-weddet In hire ȝong-hede,
Ake Naþeles clene Mayde heo was : with-oute eche fol dede.
Hire Moder heo nam stilleliche : and with oþere Men heo wende
To seinte Agace Toumbe : hire Moder for-to amende.
*. [vv. 25-6 are tr. in the other MS.]And i-heorde þe Masse a dai : mid oþure þat þere were,
Þo heo weren þudere i-come— : so longue*. [al. a stounde] heo lefden þere.
So þat þe godspel was þat day : ase lucie onder-stod,
Of a womman þat ȝwylene hadde : þe menison of blod
And cam ant touchede þe lappe : of ore louerdes cloþes ene
Ase he eode In grete prece : and was hol a-non and clene. Page 102
"Leoue Moder," seide lucie : "ȝif þov bi-leuest on holi churche
And þe wordes of þis godspel : and þer-after wolt wurche,
Þoruȝ touchingue of seinte Agace toumbe : þouȝ schalt beo hol a-non,
Ase þeo womman ȝwylene was : þat aftur ore louerd gan gon."
Þo þat folk was al i-went : seinte lucie cam
To seinte Agace holie toumbe : and ire Moder with hire nam;
Þare heo leien In heore beden : heo nolden þannes gon.
¶ So þat lucie, þat clene Maide : werth a-slepe a-non.
Seinte Agace, þat holie Maide : to hire fram heuene a-liȝte,
With gret felauȝ-schipe of Aungles— : hire croune schon wel briȝte;
"Lucie," heo seide, "leoue soster : ȝwy trauaillestþou so
And ȝwy biddestþou me so ȝeorne þat þing : þat þou miȝt þi-self do
For þine bi-leue, þat is so guod : helpez þi Moder, i-wis:
And nov þoru þe and þine guod-nesse : þi Moder i-held is.
And also ase þis cite is : i-wuyrþet muche þoruȝ me,
Also schal þi contreie : Anoured beon for þe;
For þi clene Maiden-hod : and for þi holie lif, i-wis,
Þi woneingue is wel ȝare i-maket : with us in heuene-blis."
Þo þis holie Maide a-wok : heo bi-gan to quakien sore;
¶ "Moder," heo seide, "þov art hol : ne þarfþe drede non-more.
For þe loue of þat holie Maide : þat þe hath to hele i-brouȝt,
Ne fonde þov neuere to bringue me : of mi clene þouȝt
And ne soffre þou nouȝt mine spouse in folie : mi Maiden-hod a-spille,
Ne lat me nouȝt leose þat longue lif : for a luytel fol wille!
Ake al þat þou i-grauntet hast : for-to ȝiue him with me,
Lat me it ȝiue þe pouere men : Moder, ich bidde þe."
Þe Moder, þo heo hol was : guod womman bi-cam,
And þe douȝter bi hire Moder wille : þat guod to hire heo nam; [folio 60]
heo hit delte a-mong pouere Men : þe ȝwyle þare i-laste ouȝt.
to him þat hire spouse was : þe teoþingue was i-brouȝt:
he wende to seinte lucies norice : and axede hire wel stille
Ȝwat lucie were on bi-come : heore guod for-to a-spille,
¶ And ȝwi heo dude it so a-wei : and ȝwodere heo dude it bere.
Þis norice wel quoyntelich : ȝaf him a-non answere:
"heo hath ifounde forto sulle : swyþe derewurþe þing, i-wis,
Þat is suych a þousent more wurth : þanne al þat þing þat is; Page 103
Þe beste chaffare it is i-bouȝt : þat euere Man to drouȝ;
Woldestþou gon þare-Inne In part : riche man þou were i-nouȝ"—
Þat was þe chaffare þe blisse of heuene : þat heo hadde i-bouȝt.
gret wonder he hadde of þulke Answere : and stod in gret þouȝt.
So þat he onder-ȝat sone : þat heo cristine was.
In grete wrathþe he tolde fore : þe Iustice, þat het pakas.*. [MS. þakas]
Lucie was sone i-fet : and bi-fore þe Iustice i-brouȝt.
"Maide," seide þe Iustice : "ȝwat hast þou i-þouȝt?
¶ Let þi folie," he seide : "Ich rede, on alle wiffe,
And to ore godes, ase riȝt is : do þine sacrefise!"
"Ich habbe," quath þis holie Maide : "al þis þre ȝer i-do
Mine sacrefise to Iesu crist : and ȝuyt i-chulle al-so:
Al þat ich hadde ich habbe ispended : and bi-take In is lore;
And þer-to ichulle mi bodi take : ȝwane me nis bi-leued nomore.
Spene*. [corr. to spend by a later hand.] i-chulle nou al mi bodi : fram þe fot to þe heued
And euerech lime In is seruise : nov me nis more bi-leued;
Ich ȝelde him op al mi bodi : sire Iustise, here bi-fore þe,
to spene*. [corr. to spend by a later hand.] ech lime In is seruise— : do ȝwat þou wolt bi me!"
¶ "Nov ich wot," quath þe Iustise : "ȝware-to þou tornest þi mod:
For In hore-dom and In lecherie : þou hast i-spend al þi guod,
Þar-on þou wolt þi bodi al spene*. [corr. to spend by a later hand.] : and þar-of þou dest preche;
Ȝwane þov nast non more to spene*. [corr. to spend by a later hand.] : for-soþe þou worst a wrechche:
For þov spext ase an hore strong : ȝwane þou wolt for-sake
Þi louerd þat þou art to i-weddet*. [corr. to i-wedded.] : and to lechours þe take."
"I-wedded ich was to Ihesu crist" : þis holie maide him tolde
"Þo ich was i-baptized : and þulke weddingue ichulle holde.
Ake to hore-dome þov woldest me bringue : ȝwane þov me woldest make
Mine spousede louerd Ihesu crist : for ani oþur man for-sake."
"Þou schalt for-sake him," quath þe Iustise : "haddestþou it i-swore:
For to þe commune bordel þov schalt beo : i-lad oþur i-bore,
*. [The following part of this legend is written as prose, in two columns on each page on f. 60b.]And þare schal mani a moder-child : go to þi foule licame
And ligge bi þe, alle þat wollez : in hore-dom and in schame." Page 104
¶ "Ne mai no wumman," quath þis maide : "of hire maiden-hod beo ido
For no dede þat men deth þe bodie : bote ire herte beo*. [a later hand adds consente.] þerto.
For þe more þat mi bodi a-ȝein mi wille : here defouled is,
Þe clenore*. [MS. clenore] is mi mayden-hod : and þe more mi mede, i-wis."
¶ Þe Iustise let wide a-boute : into al þe contreie crie :
Þat alle þat wolden : bi a swuch fair wumman don anie folie,
Comen to hire, alle þat wolden : for alle heo scholde heom take,*. [a later hand adds consente.]
For in bordel heo scholde beo i-do : þare heo ne scholde non fur-sake. [folio 60b]
he hiet is men nimen hire faste : and to þe bordel hire lede anon
Alle þat miȝhten neiȝh hire come : faste huy hire drowen ech-on,
huy schoue and drowe al þat huy miȝhte : ake huy ne miȝhten hire anne fote i-winne
Ne o fote uchchen of þe stude : þare as heo stod inne.
Þo nomen huy ropes strongue i-nouȝ : ant to fet and hondene teide,
And alle þat miȝhten þere neiȝh come : faste huy drowen and breide;
A þousend men with al heore main : on hire gonne drawe :
Ac euere heo lai stille a-ȝein : huy ne miȝhten hire enes wawe.
¶ "Ȝwat, hou goth þis?" quath þe iustise : "ȝwat resun mai þis beo
Þat a þousend ne mouwen nouȝt þis womman : of þe stude enes teo?"
¶ "Sire iustise," þat Maide seide : "þou hontest a-boute nouȝt:
For, þei þou haddest ȝeot to heom : ten þousend mo i-brouȝt,
Ȝuit it scholde bi-foren eov alle : bi folfuld bi me her
Þat holie vers þat seint Dauid : seithþ in þe sauter:*. [[Ps. 90]]
Þat a þousend men scholden in mi side falle : and to grounde beon i-brouȝt,
And ten þousend in mi riȝht side : and neiȝh me ne comen nouȝt.
Þare-fore it is al for nouȝt : þat þou hontest here-a-boute;
God is strengore þane þou be : and þare-fore i-nabbe no doute."
¶ "Þou art strong wichche," quath þe iustise : "and þar-of Man schal þe bringue,
Mine clerkes and mine enchauntours : bi-nime schullen þi wich|chingue." Page 105
His clerkes he let bringue forth : and his enchauntours echone:
And huy maden heore coniurisones : a-boute þis Maide alone.
And þo huy hadden al ido þat huy couþen : þat folk gan eft-sones drawe:
Ake euere heo lai i-liche stille : huy ne miȝhten hire enes wawe.
¶ Þe Iustise, þo he þis i-seiȝ : for wrathþe he was neiȝh wod.
"Certes," he seide, "hire wichchingue : ne schal do hire no guod."
Strongue temene he liet fette : of Oxene mani on
And bringue þere þis Maide was : and to hire teiȝen ech-on;
He liet heom prikie and harli faste : and huy guonne drawe and pluchche:
And euere lai þis Maide stille : huy ne miȝhten hire enes wawe.
¶ "Certes," he seide, "ore fare nis nouȝt : oþur-ȝwat we moten do,
With oþer þing we schullen hire to nauȝte bringue : ȝwane we ne mouwen so.
Makieth ope þe hore, þare heo lijthþ : ȝwane we ne mouwen hire winne heonne,
Also strong fuyr ase ȝe conne : þat heo al-to douste brenne!"
A strong fuir and gret i-nouȝ : þis tormentores wrouȝte
Aboute þis holie clene maide : to brenne hire al-to nouȝte.
Þo þis fuyr was wel strongue i-maud : heo sat a-midde ful stille;
Þat fuyr ne miȝhte don hire non harm : þat were wurth a fille.
Þo nomen huy pich and brumston : and welden it wel faste
And ope hire nakede tendre bodi : al-fuyri it casten.
¶ Euere sat þis Maide stille : it ne greuede hire no-þing,
Ake euere heo prechede with glade heorte : of Ihesu, heuene king.
¶ Þo nuste þis luþere iustise : ȝwat he miȝhte don more.
Ȝwane he ne miȝhte þis clene þing : ouer-come mid al is lore,
A scharp swerd and a kene : þoruȝ hire þrote he liet do,
To bi-nimen hire speche : and hire lijf also.
Þo heo was þoruȝ þe þrote i-smite : þe betere heo spac i-nouȝ,
And prechede euere of Ihesu crist : and wel smere louȝ:
¶ "Ȝe þat beoth cristine : glade and bliþe ȝe beo,
Of no-þing ne habbe ȝe drede : for gret ioy ich i-seo!
Ane Ioyeful þyþingue ich eou telle : þat sothþ is and nouȝt les:
Þat riȝht nouþe is holi churche : i-brouȝt in guod pes: Page 106
For hire tweie wiþerwines : þat habbez i-beo so ȝare,
Riȝht nouþe beoth to nauȝt i-brouȝt : ȝe þorue habbe of heom no kare.
For þe luþere dioclician : þat so muche harm hath i-do,
he is i-pult out of his kynedom : he ne cometh non-more þar-to;
And also Maximian : þat so luþur hath i-beo,
Riȝth nouþe he deide in luþur deth : ȝe schulle him non-more i-seo;
So þat þe luþere wiþer-wines : þat a-ȝein holie churche were,
Out of heore miȝhte beoth i-brouȝt : ne habbe ȝe none fere.
¶ Þus glade tyþingue ich eov bringue : þei huy feor heonne beo—
I-hered beo god, þat ich moste : þis dai a-liue i-seo!
I-chulle bi-teche ou ihesu crist : for fram eov ich mot wende.
Bringuth me ore louerdes flechs and is blod : for þat schal beo mi*. [corr. to my] ende."
¶ Þe preostes wenden forth anon : and folk þat þere stod,
And fetten to þis holie maide : godes fl[e]chs and is blod.
Þo heo it hadde under-fongue : and hire riȝhtes al-so,
And þe oresones weren alle i-seid : þat bi-fullen þer-to,
Mid þe laste [word]*. [om.] heo ȝaf þene gost : ase huy amen seide.
Aungles þare weren redie I-nowe : hire soule to heuene lede.
Þere heo is with ihesu crist : in Ioye with-outen ende.
Nou god for seinte lucie loue : þudere us late i-wiende! Amen.
27 ¶ Ici poez oyer coment seint Thomas de Kaunterbures nasqui. e de quev manere gent de pere e de Mere.
WOlle ȝe nouþe i-heore þis englische tale : þat is here i-write [folio 61]
Of seint Thomas of Caunterburi : al-hou he was bi-ȝite?
Of londone is fader was : A bordeys*. [r. borgeys] hende and fre,
Gilbert Bekat was is name : þe bok tellez me.
Ake is Moder was of heþenesse. : nov sone ȝe mouwen i-heore
Al-hou heo cam into engelonde : are heo i-cristned were.
Gilebert him bi-þouȝte : þe Croiz for-to fo
In-to þe holie lond : his penaunce þe bet to do.
So þat, þo he þudere cam : he was sone i-nome,
Ase A sclaue forth i-lad : and i-don In prisone,
And faste was i-gwiued : he and manie mo,
And i-wust wel sikerliche : þat he ne scholde a-wei go. Page 107
In þe Amirales prisone*. [orig. prisones] : heo hadden i-beo so longue,
To ȝeres and an half : In bendes swiþe strongue,
So þat god ȝaf þe Amiral : boþe heorte and wille
Þe more to louien Gilebert : for he was meoke and stille.
Eche daie ȝwane þe Amiral : to is mete wolde go,
he bad, Gilebert to is mete : scholde come also—
gret auantage, for-soþe, it was : þat he miȝte so gon;
Ake euere he hadde ane peire feteres : faste him up-on.
And ofte-siþes þe Amiral : dude for Gilebardes loue
Auantage to is felawes : þat with him weren In prisone.
hit bi-feol þat Amiral : Ane faire douȝter hadde—
Childrene of is owene : none mo for-soþe he nadde.
priueliche heo dude for Gilebert : Auantages manie and fele.
And ofte-siþe heo wolde speke with him : ȝwane heo miȝte to bi|stele—
For heo ne dorste bi-fore hire fader : laste he it onder-ȝete
Þat it were for gyle : þat heo with him speke.
Ȝeot it bi-feol In a dai : þat heo saiȝ þo heo miȝte:
to Gillebert heo eode priueliche : and echste him ȝwat he hiȝte
And of ȝwat bi-leue he were : and of ȝwyche londe,
And ȝif he wolde for is louerdes loue : þene deth a-fonge.
Gilbert hire Ansuerede þo : In swiþe fair manere:
"Of engelonde ich am, and cristine Man : þei ich beo nouþe here;
Mi name is Gilbert beket : of Londene þe cite;
gladliche icholde þane deth a-fongue : for is loue þat*. [MS. þad.] bouȝte me,
And for-to saui mi cristine-dom : and mine trewe bi-leue al-so."
Þis womman to Gilbert wel sone : þeos wordes heo seide to:
"Cristine-dom ichulle onder-fonge : for þe loue of þe,
And þou a-non aftur-ward : treweliche weddi me."
Gilbert was ful sore a-drad : of þis wommane sawe,
Laste heo wolde bi-Meldi him : ȝware-þoruȝ he were a-slawe.
To ȝeres and an half he was sclaue : and þat him þouȝte longe:
So þat he and is felawes : gonne heom onder-stonde
Þat heo wolden þet prison breke : and A-weiward gon;
Sore heo weren alle a-ferd : for traison of þat womman. [folio 61b]
Þat prison heo breken : riȝt þulke daie at eue; Page 108
Forth heo wenden alle a-wei : þare nolde non bi-leue.
In þe morewe-tide heo weren i-souȝt : bote þer nas non i-founde.
Ak þo bi-þouȝte þat Maiden hire : In wel luyte stounde
hov heo miȝte best on take : and ȝwat heo miȝte do;
So þat heo porueide hire : and fort a-wei gan go.
Al-bi nyȝte heo wende a-wei : men nusten ȝware heo bi-cam.
Ne heo ne couþe nanne wei : bote god was hire lodes-man.
Þoruȝ godes grace heo was i-lad : with men þat onder-stoden hire langage,
So þat heo cam to þe se : and redi fond hire passage.
Þane wei heo Axede In hire langage : In-to engelonde;
So þat heo cam with pilegrimes : ase ich me onder-stonde,
Ouer þe se sauf and wel : þoruȝ grace þat heo hadde
Of Iesu crist, and socur of men : þat hire ouer ladden.
heo ne couþe no-þing conteini hire : ne speken no-þe-mo;
Ake euere heo axede In hire langage : to londone for-to go.
Mid pilegrimes and þoru grace of god : to londone heo cam.
And þo heo was þudere i-come : þare ne knev heo no man,
Ne heo ne couþe speke ne hire bi-seo : bote ase a best þat a-strayed were.
Þare-fore on hire gapede alday : swyþe muche fol[c] þere,
boþe Men and wommen : and children suyþe fale—
for hire continaunce was wonderful : and hire speche no Man ne couþe þare.
In Manie stretes heo hadde i-wandret— : þat Man may wel i-wite,
So þat bi-fore gilbertes house : þe Noyse was onder-ȝite.
For þe knaue þat hadde with him : In heþenesse i-beo,
to þe dore he orn swyþe : þe dune for-to i-seo.
he i-saiȝ þat it was þe Amirales douȝter : þat al þe wondringue was on:
hasteliche he tornede In a-ȝen : to is louerd a-non,
And seide, þe Amirales douȝter was : In þe strete þare-oute,
And suyþe gret prece of gurles and Men : comen hire al-a-boute;
he seide, "al þe gredinge is for hire : þat ȝe doth nouþe i-heore."
"Louerd," seide gilbert, "ȝweþur heo beo : al-one with-outen fere?"
he het is knaue loki sothþeliche : ȝif þat heo it were; Page 109
And bad hire leden to ane guode wyues house : and a-stunte with hire þere,
And þat heo hire scholde finde i-nouȝ : of al þat heo hadde neode,
riȝt ase heo wolde is owene bodi : and he hire þar-of bede.
Al-so tyme ase þis knaue : to þis Mayde cam,
For Ioye heo ful a-doun i-swowe : opon þe harde ston.
Þo hire stat was a-ȝein i-come : þe knaue hire op nam,
And heo wel gladliche with him eode : to þulke guode womman.
And heo hire onder-feng swiþe faire : for gilberdes loue;
heo makede hire wel an-Ayse : and was hire swyþe wel-come.
Gilbert him bi-þouȝte : a-non so he hadde i-ete,
To þe bischop for-to gon : with him forto speke,
Þare he was at seint poules : of him to habbe red a-non [folio 62]
Al-ȝwat him were of þat Maide : is beste forto don.
Þane bischop of londone : for-soþe he fond þere,
And fyue oþur bischopes : with him þare were;
So þat he fond þare six bischopes : þe beste of Engelonde.
And þo Gilbert i-saiȝ heom alle : bi-fore heom he eode stonde;
he bi-gan to telle is tale : þoruȝ is owene Mouth,
And are he hadde al i-told : heo was swyþe selcouth.
he tolde hou he In þe Amirales prisone : in heþenesse hadde i-be
And hov þe Amirales douȝter to him seide : þat was so fair and fre,
Al-hov þat heo wolde cristine bi-come : for enchaison of him
Ȝif he wolde weddi hire : and for-saken al hire kun;
And hou he and is felawes : bi-twene hem alle bi-speke
For drede of hire wordes : þat prison for-to breke,
ȜIf þat heo miȝten grace habbe : a-wei for-to gon,
laste heo weren alle for hire : to stronge deþe i-don;
And al-hou heo was to londone i-come : and fram so fer i-gon,
gret wonder þar-of he hadde : for language ne couþe heo non.
Þo þis bischopes hadden i-heord : þat gilbert heom hadde i-told,
Þe bischop of wynchestre it wel onder-stod : for he was wis and bold:
Þat hit was al þoruȝ godes grace : þat heo was so fer i-come,
Out of hire owene londe so fer : þat heo þoru miseise ne hadde i-be nome;*. [MS. nonome.]
For heo ne couþe language non : with men for-to speke, Page 110
With ȝwan heo miȝte i-winnen hire : herboruwe and drinke and mete.
he seide, "with-oute faille : ȝif god hathþ i-porueid so
þat heo for gilberdes loue : cristinedom wole onder-fo,
And gilberd hire wolde weddi : sum blede of hire schal come
Þat schal holie churche holde to riȝte : and serui godes sone.
For we it mowen wel i-wite : and we wollen us onder-stonde:
Þat heo is in-to þis londe i-come : it is godes sonde.
for þat þing þat god helpe wole : ne schal nouȝt beo for-fare."
Alle þeos oþure bischopes : a-cordeden to þis tale,
And seiden þat gilberd scholde weddi hire : and holden hire to wiue,
Ȝif heo wolde i-cristned be : and tuyrne to clene liue.
So þat a-non-riȝt þene moruwe : i-porueid it was al-ȝare
At seint poules churche, þat heo scholde : Icristned beo riȝt þare.
Þo þe baptisterie was al-redi : to hire baptizingue,
Þe bischopes beden þat Men scholden : þe womman bi-fore heom bringe.
Þo heo cam bi-fore þe bischopes : heo axeden hire wel sone
Ȝif heo wolde i-cristned beo : ase lawe was for-to done.
heo answerede In hire langage : wel sone heom a-ȝen:
Ȝif gilbert wolde hire weddi : i-cristned heo wolde ben
And bote he hire weddi wolde : heo nolde cristinedom a-fongue,
heo seide heo wolde raþer tuyrne aȝen : In-to hire owene londe.
Gilberd couþe hire language. : þare he stod wel stille:
to þe bischopus he seide : he wolde don heore wille. [folio 62b]
So þat heo i-cristned was : ase god hire ȝaf þe grace,
Of alle þe six bischopes : and i-spouse in þe place.
hire heþene name ne j nouȝt telle : for-soþe ȝwat heo hiet,
Þe name þat heo of cristindom hadde : i-wute ȝe schullen ȝet:
heo was i-nemd Alisaundre : as ich me onder-stonde;
Seint Thomas was on hire bi-ȝite : pris-martyr of engelonde.
Þo Gilbert*. [orig. Gilberd] hire hadde i-weddet : wel glad of him heo was.
Þe furste Nijȝt þat he knovleiȝte hire : he bi-ȝat seint thomas.
Fram þe tyme þat he was bi-ȝite : for-to þat he was i-bore
he ne lai non more bi hire : þane he dude bi-fore.
Anon-riȝtes a-morewe : so gret wille him nam
to þe holi londe for-to gon : þat he cam erore fram, Page 111
Þat him þoute deiȝe he scholde : bote he wende a-ȝenward sone.
Ake he bi-þouȝte him of is wiues stat : ȝwat were of hire to done,
laste heo wolde mourny swyþe : ȝwane he were a-gon,
And gret deol to hire nime— : for langage ne couþe heo non
Þat ani Man couþe onder-stonde : þat heo speke to,
bote gilbert oþur [his] knaue. : þare-fore him [was] ful wo.
So þat gilbert was in grete þouȝte : and bi-gan to sike sore,
laste is wif gret harm habbe scholde : ȝwane he i-wend weore.
Þare-fore gilbert mournede muche : and siȝte stille and softe,
laste is wif fur-fare scholde : he bi-þouȝte him ofte.
for þe mourningue þat he makede : is wif it onder-stod,
And for he siȝte i-lomeliche : þat i-chaunged was is mod.
his wif him axede swiþe ȝeorne : and a-raysonede him wel touȝte,
Ȝif him mis-likede ani-þing : þat grefde him in þouȝte.
So streitliche heo fraynede him : þat he ne miȝte no leng for-sake:
he tolde hire hov gret wille he hadde : þene wei a-ȝein to take,
For-to trauaili is bodi more : ase euerech man wel ouȝte,
Al for-to honouri Iesu crist : þat him so deore a-bouȝte.
Þo heo saiȝ gilbertus wille : þat it was so guod,
heo nolde no-þing a-ȝen him beo : for-to chaungi is mod,
Ake heo ȝaf him conseil þane wei to gon : þat he hadde In þouȝte,
And forto queme Iesu crist : þat him deore bouȝte.
Þare was i-sene þat heo was treowe : and of studefast mod!
heo nolde letten hire louerd nouȝt to done : þat him þouȝte god,
Ake euere heo bad him þane wei gon : þat he hadde In þouȝt
For-to serui is creatour— : þare-a-ȝein heo nolde beo nouȝt,
And ȝeorne he*. [= heo] bad for enchaison of hire : he ne scholde it nouȝt bi-leue.
Saue*. [MS. sone] heo bi-souȝte gilbert : þat he one bone hire ȝeue:
Þat heo moste is knaue with hire habbe : þat hire langage couþe,
And for he scholde hire solas beo : and speke to hire with mouþe.
heo truste so muche to Iesu crist : þat to cristinedom ire hadde i-brouȝt,
Þat heo ne scholde nouȝt fur-fare— : so treowe was hire þouȝt.
Gilebard lefde is knaue wit hire : his name was Richard Mone. [folio 63]
he greiþede him wel haste-liche : and wende is wei wel sone.
To þe holie londe he wende : In penaunce ase he dude er, Page 112
And þare he bi-lefde þo : fulle furthþe-half ȝer.
Þo he hadde þre ȝer þare i-be : and an half ȝer more,
Into is owene londe : a-longued he was sore.
Ȝif þat he was þare ouȝt i-knowe : I-ne can ou tellen non ende;
bote, ase þe bok us tellez : hamward he gan þo wende.
And þo he to londene*. [MS. londene] cam : Ichot wel, þare he founde
his wif and thomas, is ȝonge sone : boþe hole and sounde.
Welle, muche was þe Ioie : þat he makede with is sone,
And also he dude with is wif : þo he was hom I-come;
And is wif gret Ioie made : with hire housebonde,
For he was hire swiþe wel-come : In-to engelonde.
Þat child heo setten to lore : are it were seue ȝer eld;
Ich wot, it leornede swiþe wel : and wax swiþe quointe and beld.
Þo þat he was wel i-woxe : of bodi and of clergise,
Þat þe bischop of londone : wilnede is seruise,
he nolde serui þe bischope nout : ake he bi-lefde at-hom,
And preide is fader wel ȝerne : þat he moste to schole gon.
Of is fader and of is moder : ȝe habbez i-heord telle,
Acke of seint thomas him-selue : þat beste cometh nou to spelle.
¶ Hic Isci Comence la vie seint Thomas Erceeueske de Kaunterbury.
ENgelond, wel glad þov beo : for þou miȝt wel eþe,
And al-so holi churche : for one Mannes deþe,
Þe erchebischop seint Thomas : þat*. [al. þat ou] wel deore bouȝte
With is blod and with is brayn : þat þe scharpe swerd souȝte!
Seint Thomas, þis holi Man : to Alle guodnesse he drovȝ.
At londone he was i-bore : of guode Men i-nouȝ,
For of londone is fader was : a wel guod emne Man.
Þis child was ȝong to schole i-set : And swiþe wel he bi-gan.
His Moder him wolde al day rede : and wel ofte on him crie
Chaste lijf and clene for-to lede : and for-sake lecherie,
And louien bi-fore al oþur þing : god and seinte Marie,
And serui hem and holi churche : and bi-leuen alle folie.
Þis child, þei it were ȝong : swiþe wel þis under-stod—
For seli child is sone i-lered : þare he þenchez to beon guod. Page 113
Þo þis child was bet in elde : and of to and twenti ȝer,
his moder wende out of þis liue : þat so muchel him louede her.
Þis child wolde lengore gon to scole : ake is fader him nolde finde—
For þat child þat is modur for-leost : is help is muche bi-hinde.
Þis child þoruȝ is fader heste : ase man þat oþur red not,
Seruede A borgeys of þe toun : and his a-countes wrot.
So longe þat he cam to court : and was in guod offiz
With þe erchebischop of Kaunterburi : sire tebaud, guod and wis.
He seruede him so hendeliche : þat In a luytel stounde
he makede him his conseiller : so studefast he him founde;
his ercedekne he makede him sethþe : and dude al bi is rede.
Swyþe wel bi-gan þis Ercedekne : holi churche bi-lede,
And stifliche heold op hire riȝte— : þat alle Men i-seie,
An þar-of nolde he þolien no wrong : þei he scholde þare-fore deie.
Wel ofte he wende to rome : for holi churche al-so—
Swuche prelatus al-to fewe : beoth nouþe In office i-do!
¶ So þat henri king of Engelonde : after sire steuene þe blays—
Duyk of Normandie— : y-maked was al In pays.
Þis king henri þe ȝongue : þo he to londe cam,
louede muche wel to do : and guode Men to him nam,
And fondede to habben guod conseil : and wis bi al is miȝte,
For-to holden riche and pouere : euerech man to riȝte.
Of þe Ercedekne Thomas : Men tolden him sone i-nouȝ,
hov he was stable Man and wis : and to alle guodnesse drouȝ:
Þoruȝ þe Erchebischopes graunt : he makede him chaunceler—
For euere Man mot him a-bouwie : þat hauez mest pouwer.
Þo þis holi Man was i-torned : fram þe office of holi churche
To a gret office of þe world : þare-after he moste wurche:
Al-to nobleie of þe worlde : his continaunce he brouȝte—
Of swuche porture neuere Man i-holde nas— : þei oþur were is þouȝte.
With more nobleie he rod i-nouȝ : þane he was i-wonet to do:
his loreins weren al of seluer : stirapes and spores al-so;
pley he siwede of hauekus : and of houndes I-nouȝ;
And ase men þouȝten, In euereche point : to alle pruyte he drouȝ.
bote In is heorte it was an-oþur : hov-so he him bere;
And euere he was chaste þoruȝ alle þing : hov-so it euere were. Page 114
Ake euere he was for holi churche : and for pouere Men al-so,
A-ȝen þe proute courteoures : þat a-ȝen heom wolden ouȝt do.*. [Both verses were orig. transposed in the MS.]
¶ To holden op holi churche riȝte : so muche wo he gan drie
A-ȝen þe luþere courteours : þat a-nuyden him of is liue,
Also he tolde þe Erchebischope : wepinde swiþe sore,
And oþere ofte In priueite : þat loueden him þe more:
he wilnede mest of alle þinge : and on ore louerd he gan crie,
Þat he moste with honour : bi-leue þulke baillie
And ech oþur seruise of court : with þe kingus gode wille,
For he ne miȝte nouȝt is court paie : bote he wolde is soulle spille.
Ake þe king him fond so stable : and so guod conseiller,
Þat he nolde make for no-þing : non oþur chaunceler;
he ne truste to no man so muche : ne þare nas non so heiȝ
Þat he tolde is priueite so muche : ne þat him were so neiȝ.
So muche he caste is heorte on him : þat In his warde he let do
his eldeste sone sire henri— : he was is .Eyr. al-so—
Þat he were is wardein : and al is ordeinour,
Aftur is wille to wissi him : to þe kingus honur. [folio 64]
Þe king wende In-to Normandie : for-to soiorni þere,
And lefde is sone with seint Thomas : þat he is wardein were.
¶ boþe þe fader and þe sone : mest heore heorte heo caste
Ope seint thomas þe holi Man : þe ȝwile it wolde i-laste;
Þare nas Man In engelond : þat hadde so gret power
Of þe reaume ase seint thomas : boþe fer and ner.
Hit bi-fel þat sire Tebaut : ase god þe grace sende,
Þe Erchebischop of Kaunterburi : out of þis liue wende.
Þat word was sone wide couth : a-mong þeuwe and freo,
Þat seint Thomas after him : scholde Erchebischop beo.
Þe king al-so In Noremandie : þo men tolden him þat cas,
A-non bar is heorte him mest : to don þare seint thomas;
Þat couent of Caunterburi : desirede him also.
So ase ech Man it wolde : i-brouȝt he*. [al. it] was þar-to.
At West-munstre he was i-chose : to þat heie pouwer,
Þe fifte ȝer þat he was i-mad : þe kingus Chaunceler;
he was of elde þulke tyme : of foure and fourti ȝer—
his owene deth he onder-feng : and is Martyr-dom þer. Page 115
For þe king was In Normandie : Ipresented he was
to henri, is sone, In Engelonde : þo non oþur kyng þere nas.
Ake þei it were a-ȝen is wille : he nolde it nouȝt for-sake.
¶ Þo*. [MS. þo he Axede In ȝwuche Manere : þo Axede he in ȝwuche m.] Axede he in ȝwuche manere : þe croiz he scholde take.
Men seiden him þat he scholde a-fongue : holi churche so freo
Þat he*. [MS. heo] ne scholde onder noman : bote onder þe pope beo,
Ne no-þing þenche bote holden op wel : holi churche lawe.
"In þis manere," quath seint thomas : "ich hire a-fongue fawe."
Þis was riȝt at wit-sonentid : þat þis dede cam to ende.
Þis guode Man to Caunterburi : a-non bi-gan to wende.
Al þe contreie, to don him honour : a-ȝen him cam and drov;
Þare was for him In Caunterburi : Ioie and blisse I-nov.
Þat dai of þe Trinite : bischop i-sacret he was
And onder-feng þis dignete : þe guode Man seint thomas.
Sire henri, þe kingus sone : was at his sacringue,
And sixtene bischopus al-so : þis dede to ende bringue.
Þo þis dede was i-don : heo gonne sende sone
Aftur is palliun to rome : ase riȝt was for-to done.
Alisaundre, þat was pope þo : he was at Mount-pellers:
Þudere wenden þis wise men : þat weren is Messagers.
¶ Þe Abbod Adam of Euesham : heore cheuenteyn huy nome,
to þe pope Alisaundre : to Mount-pellers heo come.
heore erinde heo hadden sone of him : for [he] hem no-þing ne wernde,
And heo nomen heore leue of him : and hamward a-ȝein heo turnden.
And þis pallion wel sone was : to seint thomas i-brouȝt:
Þis holi Man it a-fonge : with wel milde þouȝt.
¶ Þo he was in is dignete : al clanliche i-do, [folio 64b]
he chaungede euerech-del is lif : and is maneres al-so.
Þe here he dude on next is liche : is flesches maister to beo,
Schuyrte and brech streit i-nov : a-non doun to is kneo—
For him þouȝte þat he wel miȝte : of oþure habbe þe maistrie,
Ȝif he hadde of is owene flesche : al-ovt þe seignorie;
Ȝif is soule Maister were : and is flesch is hyne,
him þouȝte he miȝte is dignete : bringue to guode fine.
Sethþe on-ouewarde þe here : þe Abite of Monek he nam, Page 116
And a-boue al þan clerkene Robe : ase to is stat bi-cam;
So þat he was clerk with-oute : and with-Inne Monek al-so,
Þoruȝ þe Abite þat he hadde on him : priueliche i-do.
In penaunce and In fastingue : he was niȝt and dai,
And In is oresones, bote som ȝwile : þat he slepe lai;
And ȝwane he scholde eten is mete : for þat he moste nede,
Euere he preide ore swete louerd : þat he moste wel spede;
And euere ȝwane he Masse song : he wep and siȝte sore;
he hastede euere þare-with faste : ne miȝte no man more.
¶ Swiþe faire he fedde him at is bord : with grete nobleie and pruyte
And of þe beste him-sulf he et : ake ofte bote luyte.
Of is ordres he was ful streit : and he was in grete fere
For-to ordeinen ani Man : bote he þe betere were.
Idul nolde he neuere beo : ake euere doinde he was;
In eche manere of betere liue : neuere no bischop nas.
Sire henri, þe kingus sone : þat with him was er i-brouȝt,
bi-lefde euere In is warde : fram him nolde he nouȝt.
Þe loue þat was hem bi-twene : nas neuere more i-seie,
Ne of no Man þis child nadde : neuere more loue eiȝe.*. [al. ne eiȝe]
*. [Reditus regis.]HIt bi-fel þat þe king : ovt of Noremandie cam
In-to Enguelonde, þe stat to loke : and al-so is kynedom.
Seint Thomas nam with him : sire hanri, is sone,
And wel faire with honour : wende to south-hamptone.
Þare was Ioie and blisse i-nouȝ : þo heo to-gadere come;
heo custen and heo clupten faste : and hereden god i-lome.
Þe king bi-lefde In Engelonde : to wardi is kynedom.
Seint thomas to is priueitez : euere-more he nam
And heold him euere ase he dude er : is hexte conseiller;
bi is wille he nolde habbe i-haued : non oþur chaunceler.
Euere ȝwane he ani-þing dude : þat were a-ȝen þe riȝte,
Seint thomas it with-seide : euere with al is miȝte.—
Hit bi-fel þat þe bischop of wirecestre : sone þere-after ded was,
And þe bischop of hereforde al-so : ase ore louerd ȝaf þat cas.
Þe bischopriches fullen boþe : In-to þe kingus hond,
For-to onder-fonge al þe prov þare-of : ase lawe was in þe lond.
¶ Þe king heom nolde nouȝt ȝiue sone : bote heold heom swiþe longe Page 117
In his hond, þat he miȝte þar-of : þe more prov a-fonge. [folio 65]
Hit ne likede nouȝt seint Thomas : þat holi churche so
Scholde for a luytel coueitise : In þe kingus warde beon i-do;
he þouȝte þat it was swiþe muche : a-ȝen ore louerdes wille,
And þat þe king miȝte In swuche manere : holi churche a-spille.
he bad þe kinge In faire manere : þat he ne scholde it nouȝt bi-leue
Þat þulke tweie bischoperiches : some guode Men he ȝeue.
Þe king him grauntede mildeliche : and nas nouȝt a-ȝen is bone,
Ake Þeos bischopriches boþe he ȝaf : twei guode Men wel sone.
¶ Seint thomas þouȝte wel : þat he ne miȝte nouȝt paie
þe kingue ne his conseil : bote he wolde holi churche bi-traie;
In gret care and in soruwe he was : hov he miȝte best do,
For he ne miȝte nouȝt paien Ihesu crist : and þene kingue also.
Seint Thomas halewede þat ilke ȝer : þe churche of Redinge,
Þat i-founded was and a-rerd : þoruȝ henri þe oþur kingue,
Þat ȝeot lith þare wel faire i-bured— : willames sone bastard.
In þulke ȝere seint thomas : schrinede seint edward
At westmunstre, þare he lijth : þat bi-fore king willame was;
bote king harald heom was bi-tueone : for-to is power no leng nas.
Þe loue was euere gret i-nouȝ : bi-tweone seint thomas
And þe kinge, for-to þe feond : destourbede hit, allas!
luyte an luyte þat contek sprong : for pouere Mannes riȝte:
paie ore louerd and þe kinge : þis holi man ne miȝte.
Þe furste tyme þat seint thomas : ovtliche him with-seide,
hit was for þe king a-ȝen pouere Men : dude onriȝtful dede.
¶ Þe king nam fro ȝer to ȝere : þoruȝ Engelond wel wide
After is wille ane summe of panes : i-deld bi-eche side,
And sethþe þoru an-queste : he let þoruȝ þe contreies an-quere
hov muche ech Man scholde paiȝe : and hov muche is riȝte were.
So longue he nam taillage : þat he axede atþe laste
Eche ȝere ane certeyne rente : þoruȝ al engelond wel faste.
Ȝwat for eiȝe, ȝwat for loue : no man him ne with-seide;
bote euere þouȝte seint thomas : þat hit was an onriȝtful dede.
he þouȝte al on god and on is soule : and bi-lefde al his manhede,
And wende forth wel baldeliche : to þe king with-outen drede:
"Sire," he seide, "ȝif it is þi wille : þou art riche and hende, Page 118
And king of gret pouwer i-nov— : ore louerd þe more sende.
A taillage þov taxt fram ȝer to ȝer : þoruȝ-out al þi londe,
And axest it for a certeine rente : with onriȝte, ich onder-stonde;
For riȝte rente þov dest it take : at a certein daie in þe ȝere,
A certeyn summe a-signed : And so ne dude no king ere.
Ȝware-þoruȝ þat þat certein rente, me þinchez : þov ne miȝt it nouȝt make:
A taillage it is, and sumdel : with vnriȝte i-take."
¶ "Thomas, thomas," quad þe king : "þou art mi chaunceler,
Þou auȝtest more to holden op : þane to with-seggen mi power."
¶ "Sire," quath þis holi Man : "ich habbe i-beo with þe, [folio 65b]
And þou hast, ore louerd fur-ȝelde þe : gret guod i-don me:
An oþur baillie ich habbe a-fongue : þei it were a-ȝen mi wille,
And I ne mai nouȝt loki boþe wel : bote ich scholde min owene a-spille;
For ich am to luyte wuyrth : þat on for-to loke:
Þanne dude he gret folie : þat boþe me bi-toke.
Þare-fore ich þe ȝelde up here : al-out þe chauncelerie,
And take me al to holi churche : to god and to seinte Marie."
Þo was þe king wel of I-nouȝ : wroþere þane he was er;
Ake naþeles is heorte bar : euere to Thomas þer.
Þat þridde þing ȝeot mest of alle : and sonest in wrathþe hem brouȝte:
A preost, þat*. [al. þer] was a luþer Man : þat luyte of god rouȝte;
Þat of Manslauȝt was bi-cleoped : and þare-fore i-nome also
And In þe bischopes prisone of Salesburi : þare-fore he was i-do.
Þe Mannes frend þat was a-slawe : siweden ope him so faste,
So þat þe preost to Iuggement : Ibrouȝt was atþe laste.
Men acuseden him faste of þe dede. : he ne answerede nouȝt þer-to,
Acke heold him faste to holi churche : and ope none oþere he nolde him do.
¶ I-loked him was to puyrgi him : þoruȝ clergie, ȝif he miȝte,
And dai him was þar-to i-set : þoruȝ holi churche riȝte.
Þo þe dai was i-come : he ne miȝte him puyrgi nouȝt:
he was sone i-lad a-ȝen : and into prisone i-brouȝt.
Þo was þe bischop in grete care : ȝwat þer-of were to done;
For-to habbe þe wisore red : to seint thomas he sende sone. Page 119
And he him sente word a-ȝen : þat he scholde þene preost take
And on-ordeini him of euerech ordre : and ase a lewede Man him make,
And sethþe don him in strongue warde : þat he neuer-eft þar-of ne wende,
In penaunce and in pine i-nouȝ : his sunnes for-to a-mende.
Þe bischop of Salesburi : dude seint thomas heste;
So þat þe preost was i-brouȝt : In tormenz bi þe meste.
Þe tiþinge her-of sone : to þe kinge cam,
Þat a luþer þef, a manquellare : hadde a so liȝt dom.
him þouȝte þat it nas nouȝt riȝt : ne þat it ne miȝte nouȝt beo so.
And phelipe de boys, a Chanoyne : him hadde al-so mis-do:
Þare-fore was ech oþur clerk : þe more him a-ȝen wille;
him þouȝte þat swuch lawe scholde : þe pais of þe londe a-spille.
To westmunstre he let somony : alle þe bischopes of engelonde,
And oþure, þe gretteste clerkes al-so : and þe hexte, ich onder-stonde.
*. [Ait Rex.]¶ "Beav seignours," þe king seide : "I not ȝwat ȝe habbeth i-þouȝt;
Ȝif ȝe goth forth with ower wille : ore pais ne worth riȝt nouȝt.
Ȝif a clerk hath ane Man a-slawe : oþur strong þeffþe i-do,
And he mouwe þanne desordeined beo : and to liue comen so,
heo wollez þanne mis-don al day : and beon þare-oppe wel bolde,
And so schal þe pays of þe londe : wel vuele beon i-holde.
Luyte heom wolde rechche : to leosen heore ordre so,
Ȝwane heo for heore ordre ne spariez nouȝt : þefþe for-to do! [folio 66]
And euere þe herre heore ordre is : me þinchez bi puyr lawe,
þe strengore scholde heore dom beo : ȝwane heo wolden to þefþe drawe."
*. [Ait Thomas.]¶ "Sire, sire," quad seint Thomas : "ȝif it is þi wille,
Lothz vs were any-þing to don : þi pays for-to a-spille.
Þe clerkus þat beoth I-ordeynede : þov wost wel heo berez a signe
Þat heo beoth lymes of holi churche : þat so noble is and digne;
Ȝif heo weren with þulke signe : to vile deþe i-do,
A-viled were al-holi churche : and foule i-schend al-so.
And ȝif heo beoth formest onordeined : and for þulke sulue dede
Sethþe þoruȝ dom to deþe i-brouȝt : it nere nouȝt wel to rede:
For it nas neuere lawe ne riȝt : double dom to take
For o trespas, ase ȝe wel wuteth : and sunne it were to make; Page 120
And vnwuyrþere þane a lewed Man : holi churche were so:
A lewed Man for o trespas : bote o Iuggement nis i-do.
Þare-fore þine grace we biddeth þe : ȝif it is þi wille,
Þat þov ne a-rere none newe lawe : holi churche to spille,
For we biddez niȝt ant day : ase riȝt is for-to do,
Þat god holde þe þine riȝte : and þine reavme al-so."
*. [Rex.]¶ "beav sire," quath þe king þo : "þov seist wel i-novȝ.
Ich hadde lothz bi mi concience : don holi churche wovȝ;
For lawes þere beoth and costomes : þat habbethz euere beon i-holde
Of bischopus þoruȝ al Engelond : ase ovre Aunceteres us tolde,
And bi þe kingus daye henries : þat ovre graunt-sire was
I-confermede weren and i-holde : And no man þare-aȝen nas.
Woltþu þulke lawes holde? : do me to witene sone!"
"We schullen do," seint Thomas seide : "al þat is to done—*. [Thomas.]
Alle þe lawes and þe costomes : we schullen holde bi ore miȝte
Þat beothz to holde and habbeth i-beo : sire,—sauue oure riȝte."
*. [Rex.]"Sauue ouwer riȝte?" quath þe king : "bev sire, ȝwi seistþou so?
bi þulke worde Ine scholde no-þing : aȝen þine wille do
Þat þov noldest segge þat it were : a-ȝen holi churche riȝte,
And so þou miȝtest bringe al þat lond : In contek and In fiȝte.
Ȝe moten holde þe lawes : for-soþe ich onder-stonde,
Þat word me þinchez venimous : to þe pays of þe londe."
*. [Thomas.]"Sire," quath þis holi man : "ne meue ȝe ov riȝt nouȝt!
Wel þov wost þat ech of us : are we weren here-to i-brouȝt,
Trewenesse we þe sworen ase riȝt was : and eorþelich honour al-so,
Sauue ore ordre and ore riȝte— : bote þat was out i-do.
hou scholde we, sire, nouþe oþur do? : ȝe ne Auȝten it us nouȝt beode.
For godes loue hold us to riȝte : for nouþe we habbez neode."
*. [Rex.]¶ "Ich i-seo nouþe, thomas," quath þe king : "ȝware-to þou wult drawe;
Þov art I-come to late : to bi-nimen us ovre lawe.
Þov woldest makien me more wrechche : þane euere ani kyng was:
Þare-to þov art i-come to late : þou cast aumbes as."
þe king [aros] in wrathþe a-non : and let heom sitte ech-one; [folio 66b]
In-to is chaumbre he wende : and ne grette heom neuer one.
Fram londone he wende sone : In wrathþe ase þei it were, Page 121
he ne seide no man of is þouȝt : ake bi-lefde heom alle þere.
Þe bischopus þouȝten þo ech-one : þat he was wroth i-nouȝ,
Þare weren fewe bote seint thomas : þat toward him ne drouȝ.
¶ On seint Thomas heo criden faste : is þouȝt forte wende,
Oþuer he wolde al þat lond : for þulke one worde schende.
kniȝtes and oþure ofte comen : þat with þe kinge were
And beden seint Thomas ententifliche : þat he þat word for-bere,
And þat it were him gret folie : þe kinge In wrathþe bringe,
And also destourbi al þat lond : for so luytel þingue.
Seint thomas stod longe in þouȝte. : "leoue breþren," he seide,
"A-ȝen þe kyngus honur I-ne schal : neuere don no dede,
Ake euerech word ichulle bi-leue : þat a-ȝen is honur is."
Þo weren þis oþure glade i-nouȝ : þo heo i-heorden þis,
And radden him wende to þe kinge : is wrathþe for-to stille.
"Lef me were," quath seint Thomas : "with riȝte to don is wille."
He wende to þe kinge to Oxenford : and with him þare he fond
grete Eorles and barones also : þe hexte of al þe lond.
Þe king welcomede seint Thomas : ake he ne made him nouȝt fair chere;
bischopes and Eorles he let cleopien : alle þat þere were.
*. [Rex.]¶ "Bev sire," he seide, "ich am king : with riȝte of þis londe;
Customes here weren bi-fore : I-vsed, ich onder-stonde,
And so muche wrechche nam ich nouȝt : þat ich nelle þe lawes holde
Þat ovre Auncestres heolden ȝwyle : ase ore conseil us tolde.
Þare-fore ichulle þat þulke lawes : i-confermede beoth ech-on
Of mine eorles and mine barones al-so : heo ne with-seggez non.
Þare-fore ich hote ov euerechone : þat ȝe beon þat ilke dai
At mi maner at Clarindone : with-outen ani de-lai,
For-to confermi þis lawes. : ope peyne þat i schal ou sette,
Ich hote þat ȝe beon þare ech-one— : þat non oþur ne lette."
So departede þe court þo : and euerech to is In drouȝ;
And euere was seint thomas : In care and soruwe i-nouȝ.
*. [Clarendon.]¶ þis bischopes and þe baronie : alle comen to þe daiȝe
to clarindone In wilte-schire : þe kingue for-to paye.
Þo heo comen to þe parlement : þe king axede heom a-non
Ȝweþur heo wolden holde þe lawes : ase heore Auncestres heolden ech-on. Page 122
*. [Thomas.]¶ "Sire, sire," quath seint thomas : "ȝif it þi wille is,
Ech man mot speke for him-selue : and ich for me, i-wis.
For mi stat and for holi churche : Ich answerie þar-to
Þat alle þe olde guode lawes : And þat ȝeot beoth al-so
graunti ichulle for holi churche : for-to habben þin ore,
Sauue ore riȝtes and ore ordre. : þou ne miȝt axi nonmore."
¶ Þe king was wod-wroth for þat word : þat him gan þo mislike,
Seint Thomas wep In is heorte : and sore bi-gan to sike. [folio 67]
Al-to blodi was þat word i-seid : and deore it was a-bouȝt:
Þare-fore was seint Thomas : to stronge deþe i-brouȝt.
Þe bischop of Salesburi : and of Northwiche al-so
Wepinde knevleden to seint thomas : þat he scholde anoþur do
And habbe revþe of al-holi churche : and of heom echone,
"Þat we ne beon alle to grounde i-brouȝt : for þulke worde one."
heiȝe Men þat with þe kingue weren : mani on al-s[o] wende
And knevleden to seint Thomas : þat word for-to a-mende.
¶ "Louerdyngues," quath seint Thomas : "ich am ȝet a ȝong man
And luyte ȝwule habbe bischop i-beo : and þar-on luytel ich can:
Þare-fore of ower olde lawes : transcrit ȝe me take,
And þare-oppe ichchulle conseillen me : ȝwuche beon to for-sake."
þe king him let a traunscrit take : of þis customes echon.
Seint Thomas grauntede some of heom : and with-seide mani on.
*. [Prima lex.]¶ Þe lawes þat ichulle nouþe telle : he grauntede wel fawe:
'Ȝif a bonde-man hath ane sone : þat to clergie beo i-drawe,
He*. [MS. Ne] schal nouȝt with-oute is louerdes leue : noȝwere i-crouned beo,
For þev-Man ne mai nouȝt beon i-maket : a-ȝen is louerdes wille freo.'
*. [Alia lex.]¶ An oþur lawe he grauntede al-so : þat ȝe mowen nouþe i-seo:
'Ȝif ani man of holi churche : halt ani-þing of lay-fe,
person, preost, oþur ȝwat-so he beo : he schal don þere-fore
Þe seruise þat to þe kinge bi-fallez : þat is riȝte nere for-lore;
And In plaidingue stonde in eche place : and In iuggement al-so,
bote ȝware ani Man schal beon bi-leomed : oþur to deþe i-do.'
*. [Tertia lex.]¶ He grauntede also, 'ȝif ani Man : þe kingues traytur were
And ani man is chateus : to holi churche bere,
Þat holi churche ne scholde nouȝt : þe chateus with strencþe lette,
Ake þe king hem scholde wel baldeliche : ase is howene fette. Page 123
For al þat þe kingus feloun hath : þe kingus catel it is,
And ech man in holi churche : is owene take i-wis.'
Seint Thomas grauntede bluþeliche : þeos and oþure mo,
Ake þeos oþere he with-seide— : þat dude him muche wo:
*. [Ia contradicta.]¶ 'Ȝif bi-twene tweie lewede men : were ani striuingue,
Oþur bi-tuene a lewed man and a clerk : for holi churche þingue,
Ase for Avouweson of churche : ȝweþur scholde þe churche ȝiue,
Þe king wolde þat In his court : þat plai scholde beon i-driue,
¶ for ase muche ase a lewed Man : þe o partye, was
clanliche onder þe kingue : and onder no bischop nas.'
*. [ija.]¶ An oþur lawe was 'þat no bischop : ne clerk noþe-mo
Scholde out of engelonde : with-oute þe kingus leue go,
And þanne heo scholden swerien heore oth : opon þe boke, i-wis,
Þat heo ne scholden purchaci non vuel : þe kingue ne none of his.'
*. [iija.]¶ Þe þridde was, 'ȝif ani man : In mansingue were i-brouȝt
And sethþe come to amendement : and a-ȝen riȝte nere nouȝt,
Þat he ne scholde nouȝt swerie op-on þe boke : ake borewes finde he scholde [folio 67b]
to stonde to al þat holi churche : with riȝte him lokie wolde.'
*. [iiija.]¶ Þe ferþe was 'þat no man : þat of þe kinge heolde ouȝt
In chief oþur In seruise : in mansingue nere i-brouȝt,
bote þe wardeins of holi churche : brouȝte*. [al. þat br.] him þer-to,
Þat*. [al. þe kyng s.] seiden, oþur is baillifs : ȝwat he hadde mis-do,
And lokede formest ȝweþer heo wolden : to amendement it bringe,
And bote huy wolden, bi heore leue : þanne don þe mansingue.'
*. [va.]¶ Þe fifte was 'þat no bischopriche : ne non Abbeie also,*. [al. þat bischopriches: & abbayes also]
Þat were voyde with-oute prelat : In þe kingus hond were I-do
And þe king scholde al þat lond : ase is owene take,
For-to atþe laste þat him luste : ani prelat make;
And þanne scholde þilke prelat : of is chapele i-chose beo,
Of is clerkus ȝwuch þat he wolde : þat benefiz to bi-seo;
And þanne ȝwane he were i-chose : In is chapele þere
homage he scholde don to him : are he j-confermed were.'
*. [vja.]¶ Þe sixte was, 'ȝif ani plait : to chapitle were i-drawe
And ani man made ani apel : ȝif men duden him a-ȝen lawe,
Þat to þe bischop fram þe Ercedekne : his apel [he]*. [om.] scholde make, Page 124
And fram þe bischop to þe Erchebischop : and sethþe non herre take;
bote þe Erchebischopes court : to riȝte him wolle*. [r. wolde] bringe,
Þat he scholde fram þulke court : bi-cleopien to þe kinge,
And fram þe kinge non herre'— : so þat atþenende
Þe playdingue fram holi churche : to þe kingue scholde i-wende,
And þe king a-mendi scholde : þe Erchebischopes dede
And beon chief of holi churche— : ake seint thomas it with-seide.
*. [vija.]¶ Þe seueþe was 'þat playdingue : þat of dette were,
for-to ȝelde þoruȝ treuþe i-pliȝt : and nouȝt i-holde nere
Al-þei it þoruȝ treuþe were : þe playdinge scholde beon i-brouȝt
bi-fore þe kinge and is baillifs : and to holi churche nouȝt.'
*. [viija.]¶ Þe eiȝteþe was 'þat In þe londe : citation non nere
Þoruȝ bulle of þe pope of rome : Ake clanliche bi-leued were.'
*. [ixa.]¶ Þe Ninþe was 'þat peteres panes : þat men gaderiez mani on,
Þe pope nere nouȝt on i-send : ake þe kingue euerech-on.'
*. [xa.]¶ Þe teoþe was, 'ȝif ani clerk : ase felun were i-take
And for kingus felon j-proued were : and he ne miȝte nouȝt for-sake,
Þat men scholden furst desordeini him : and sethþe þoruȝ riȝte lawe
And þoruȝ riȝt Iuggement of þe londe : bringe him of lijf-dawe.'
Þeos customes, and manie oþere : þe king pulte forth a-non,
And het þoruȝ-out al þis lond : þat Men heom heolden echon.
Þene feorþe dai bi-fore candelemasse : þo þis was ido,
Þe king het seint thomas a-non : and þe oþere bischopus al-so
On þis chartre heore seles sette : þat non aftur-tale nere,
Þat þulke costomes weren i-holde : þoruȝ al þe londe þere.
"Sire, sire," quath seint thomas : "for godes loue þin ore,
to conseili us betere ȝif us furst : are we speken her-of more!" [folio 68]
So þat respit was þar-of I-nome : and ech wende In his side.
¶ Seint thomas nam þat transcrit : and nolde no lengore a-bide,
to winchestre he wende þanne : with soruwe and care i-novȝ
hov he miȝte holi churche schilde : fram þis muchele wovȝ.
ȝwane oþur Men weren faste a-slepe : he wep and siȝte sore,
"And Iesus*. [al. & bad god] helpe holi churche" : and cride him milce and ore.
he i-sai þat þer nas bote o wei : oþur he moste stif beo,
Oþur holi churche was al bi-neþe : þat with riȝte was so freo.
Sori and careful he was I-nov : þat he tok on so, Page 125
For-to entri into Answere : þare he ne ouȝte nouȝt to do,
Þat he a-feng þat transcrit : and respit hadde i-bede:
For him þouȝte þat al-holi churche : In þat he misdude;
For holi churche ne scholde : In none stude stonde to dome
Ne Ansuerie kinge ne prince noþur : bote þe pope of rome.
¶ Þe deol þat thomas makede : no tounge telle ne may.
"Louerd," he seide, "alas, alas : þat ich euere i-saiȝ þis day,
Þat ich þe warde of holi churche : so folliche scholde take,
And so freo ase heo was er : þus þeu sethþe hire make!
heo þat was er so heiȝ and freo : bi mine Auncestres daye,
Þat ich hire scholde bi-neoþe bringe : Allas! and so bi-traie,
for þis Martyrs þat ȝwylene weren : for hire to stronge deþe i-do,
heo is nouþe þev þoruȝ me i-maked! : Allas, ȝwi dude ich so?
luytel wuyrth ich am of holi churche : wardein for-to beo,
And al-so vnwurthþeliche þar-to i-nome— : þat ech man may i-seo:
For ich nam nouȝt, ase riȝt was : fram none ordre i-nome,
Ake fram heiȝe kingus court to holi churche : and þat wolde vuele bi-come.
Of houndes ich was wardeyn : and of hauekes with þe king,
And nov am wardein of soulene i-maked : and þat ne Ioyneth no-þing;
Ich þat for-sok min owene : þe ȝwyle ich was chaunceler,
So manie soulene habbe to loke : allas! ȝwat schal ich her?
Ich drede þat god habbe me fur-sake : hov tok ich on, alas!"
Þe deol þat þis holi man makede : with-outen ende it was:
he wep and siȝte nyȝt and dai : and heold him al for-lore.
Ȝif he miȝte a-soilled beo : to þe pope he wolde þer-fore,
And wende toward Caunterburi. : sone þe kinge men tolde
Þat þe Erchebischop nolde nouȝt : þe newe statuz holde.
Þe king het his baillifs sone : and sende a-boute is sonde,
Þat heo scholden greui seint thomas : ouer-al on is londes.
¶ Þis baillifs weren preste i-novȝ : and ope is maneres wel faste,
Nomen is bodene and greueden him— : heo wenden þare-with him a-gaste.
Seint thomas let heom al i-worþe : and op-on ore louerd is heorte caste, Page 126
And wende him wel priueliche : bi nyȝte atþe laste
to þe se, toward rome : þat none of is men it nuste,
bote twey Men þat he tok with him : þat is priuete mest wusten.
Sethþe þo is men him misten : and nusten ȝware he bi-cam, [folio 68b]
And seien þat heo with-oute louerd weren : euer-ech is red nam
for-to don euerech is beste : ech wende In is side,
Ase men þat weren louerdlese— : heo nusten ȝwat a-bide.
Þis holi Man wende him forth : and dude him In schipe sone,
And wende forþeward in þe se : ase he þouȝte for-to done.
¶ Þe wind cam ase ore louerd it wolde : and drof him a-ȝen to londe.
Sethþe he wende eft in-to þe se : þe passage for-to fonde:
Þe wind cam and drof him a-ȝein. : and ofte*. [al. eft] In he wende,
And euere he was a-ȝen i-driue : ase ore louerd þe grace him sende.
Þo i-saiȝ þis holi man wel : þat it nas nouȝt godes wille
Þat he þe ȝeot of londe wende : he turnde aȝen wel stille.
On of is seriaunz sat a niȝt : þe ȝwile þat men woke,
In his chaumbre at caunterburi*. [MS. caum|terburl] : þe chaumbre for-to loke;
In þe Eueninge he bad is knaue : to steken þe dore faste.
Þis knaue eode toward þe dore : is eiȝene a-boute he caste:
Þo i-saiȝ he þis holi man : In one huyrne stonde.
he orn and tolde his maister fore : and þonkede godes sonde.
Þe seriaunt ne lefde þat nouȝt : naþeles op he a-ros
And fond seint Thomas In þe huyrne : and sum-del him a-gros.
Þare was sone Ioye i-novȝ! : þat folk sone to him drovȝ
And welcomeden him and maden him guod semblaunt : with Ioye and blisse i-nouȝ.
¶ Heo setten bord and spradden cloth : and bi-gonne to soupe faste.
Seint thomas tolde hem þo : wel Mildeliche atþe laste
Ȝwodere he þouȝte to habbe i-went : and ȝwuch cas god him sende,
And hou it nas nouȝt godes wille : þat he þe ȝwyt forth wende.
Þe tiþinge to þe kinge cam : þat þe guode Man sein thomas,
Aȝen þe status of clarindone : of londe i-went he was—
For þat o statuit was þat no bischop : ne scholde bi none ende
With-oute leue of þe kinge : oute of londe wende.
Ake þe king sende is men sone : to saisi al is lond
And al-so al is bischopriche : ase is traitores, In-to is hond. Page 127
Þis baillifs comen to caunterburi : ase heo i-hote were.
¶ Þo heo wenden to habben al heore wille : heo founden seint thomas þere:
No-þing ne miȝten heo saisi þo : heore wei heo hadden for-lore;
Also huy comen heo wenden a-ȝen : and tolde þe kinge fore.—
Ȝuyt seint thomas him bi-þouȝte : þat he wolde fondi more
Ȝif he miȝte of þe kinge habbe : betere grace and ore:
he ȝarknede him wel mildeliche : and to him þane wei he nam,
At is manere at wodestoke : to þe kinge he cam.
Ase is erþeliche louerd : he grette him, faire i-novȝ.
Þe king bi-heold him ful hokerliche : and a-scorn som-del louȝ.
"thomas," he seide, "hou is þis? : beo we so grete fon
Þat we ne mowen in one londe wonie? : thomas, hov schal þis gon?"
"Sire, sire," quath seint thomas : "god ne late hit neuere so beo,
Ake god us sende, and holi churche : betere grace to þe, [folio 69]
And sende þe wille to louien hire bet : And Iesus for is miȝte
Ne late me neuere a-ȝein þi wille : don þing with on-riȝte."
¶ Þe Erchebischop of Euerwyke : fondede for-to bringe
A-cord and loue bi is pouwer : bi-twene thomas and þe king.
Þe king swor a-non is othþ : þat non oþur a-cord he nolde
bote þat þe status of clarindone : ech bischop holde scholde;
And nameliche þeos bi-fore alle oþure : 'ȝif a clerk hath mis-do
And he þe kingus felun i-preoued were : and for þeofþe also,
Þat Men him*. [MS. him him] scholden desordeini : and sethþe a-non þoruȝ lawe
to þe kingus baillifs deliueri him : to an-hangi oþur to-drawe.'
Seint thomas i-saiȝ wel þo : þat þare nas wei bote on:
Oþur he moste stif with-stonde : oþur is riȝtes for-gon.
¶ he þouȝte þat he nolde neuere : holi churche bi-traye,
Ne þat heo ne scholde beo in suyche seruage : neuere bi is daye;
Raþur he wolde, ase oþere weren : to Martyrdom beon i-do,
Þane holi churche were so bi-neoþe— : I-redi he was þar-to.
Neuere ne miȝten þe king ne he : no-þing a-cordi þer,
Ake departeden al with wrathþe : ase heo hadden i-don ofte er.
Þe king makede him wroth i-novȝ : þat so ofte in barate was
For o man þat him with-seide : and non oþur a-ȝein him nas:
In grete wrathþe he swor is oth : þat he wolde of him beon a-wreke, Page 128
And þat þe holi Man scholde : anoþur with him speke.
he let somony seint thomas : þat þe nexte þoresdaie he were
At Norehamptoune bi-fore seint lucus dai : to ȝiuen him Answere;
And alle þe bischopus of þe lond : And þe baronie al-so,
he het beon þare at þulke daie : is hestes for-to do.
Alle seint thomas londes : in-to is hond his men nome,
Ase it were for-to destreynen*. [MS. destruyen] him : þat he to his court come.
¶ Ore louerd helpe nouþe seint thomas : for oþur frend nath he non,
A-mong so manie tyraunz for-to come : þat weren alle is fon!
bodi and soule he bi-tok : Iesu, godus sone,
And to is daie ase he Isomoned was : wende to Norehamptone.
In þe castel sat þe motinge : of þis tyraunz ech-on.
Þis holi man a-godes name : a-mong*. [MS. a mond] heom wende a-non.
¶ "Sire king," he seide, "god þe loke : and saui þi dignite!
Somounz ich hadde at þis daie : here to Ansuerien þe.
Ake non Erchebischop of caunturburi : nas neuere i-somoned so,
Ne so destreyned of no king. : I not ȝwat þov me þencst to do,
I not ȝwat is þe newe statuit : þat þou þencst forth to drawe,
bote hit beo on of clarindone : þat þou woldest bringe to lawe.
On me nastþu power non : swych destresse for-to do:
Heued of holi churche ich am i-maked : þei ich onwuyrth beo þer-to.
And also ich am þi gostlich fader : þei*. [MS. þei þou] of me luytel þov lete:
It nas neuere riȝt ordre þat þe sone : is fader scholde bete,
Ne þat desciple beote is maister. : al þis were a-ȝen lawe. [folio 69b]
Al þis, ho-so riȝt bi-halt : þov bi-ginnest forth to drawe.
And þis bischopes al-so guod : þat wardeins beoth mid me
to holde op þe honur of holi churche : and þe þi dignite,
heo beoth nouþe a-boute hire forto schende : and bringe In-to vilte.
gret reuþe it is þat Man schal so : hire bringe bi-neþe for me;
Ȝif þov wolt ouȝt to me : þov wost wel i-ne may nouȝt fiȝte,
Ich am ȝare deth for-to a-fonge : for holi churche riȝte."
*. [Rex.]¶ "I-nelle no man," quad þe king : "for holi churche quelle.
beau sire, þov spext ase a fol : a-noþur þov schalt me telle.
Acke com to-morewe bi speche-tyme— : þat þov þinne dai ne breke!—
And Ansuere me of oþur þinge : þat ichulle to þe speke."
Þus departede þe court þo. : a-morewe, þene friday, Page 129
Seint thomas wende þudere a-ȝen : þo he þe time i-sai.
Þe king [sat] an hei in is sce : and a-coupede him wel faste.
"Þov were," he seide, "mi chaunceler— : ake al-to longe it laste,
Ich þe lende þo fif hondred pound : and þov ne ȝolde me nouȝt on:
Sete me þar-of ane schorte day : for þov schalt heom ȝelde ech-on."
*. [Thomas.]¶ "Sire, sire," quath seint thomas : "god sende us bet þin ore!
I-ne wende neuere of þulke panes : i-heore a-countes more.
For ich hadde þulke tyme : betere grace to ovȝ
Þane ich habbe nouþe : and þat me þingchez wouȝ;
guode grace ich hadde to þe : þou me louedest i-nouȝ þo,
Þulke panes þo þov me ȝeue : and woldest ȝet wel mo.
Sire, þar-of ich am suyþe wel a-knowe : þat ich heom a-feng of þe:
Of þine ȝifte with guode heorte : for-soþe þov ȝeue hem me,
And so heiȝ man ase þov art : it miȝte wel beo stille
to Axi þing þat þov ȝeue er : with þine so guode wille."
Þe king him axede ȝif ani man : þulke ȝifte i-saiȝ,
And ȝweþur he miȝte prouen þe ȝifte. : Seint thomas seide nayȝ.
*. [Rex.]¶ "Nov, louerdingus," quath þe king : "alle ȝe i-heorez þis,
Þat of þat tresor þat he is a-knowe : þat ich him tok i-wis,
Þe ȝifte ne mai he proui nouȝt : Ase alle ȝe mowen i-seo.
Iugement ich axi of þis court : hou it þare-of schal beo."
Þe court him lokede : ase he was : a-knowe of þat þing,
And ne miȝte nouȝt þe ȝifte preoui : to ȝelden ech ferþing.
Þe king him het þe panewes ȝelde : oþur sikernesse him make,
Oþur is Marschales scholden swiþe anon : is bodi to prisone take.
Þis holi man of is bischopriche : hadde wel luytel guod,
Ake al helples a-mong is fon : with-oute conseille he stod.
Þe Marchales i-redie weren : to prisone him lede a-non;
heo heten him don heom sikernesse : oþur he scholde with hem gon.
Þis holi man nuste non oþur red : bote soffri al heore wouȝ.
¶ Some guode men þat þare weren : hadden of him reuþe i-nouȝ:
Fif kniȝtes nomen hem to rede : and wenden to þe kingue
And token an hond for seint thomas : of alle þulke þinge, [folio 70]
euerech of an hondret pound : for þis seli man to paie.
Þo was þis guode Man quit I-nov : ase at þulke daie.
¶ A-Moruwe, þene saturdai : to court eft-sone he wende, Page 130
For-to heore þe kingus wille : ȝif is heorte wolde ouȝt a-mende.
Þe kyng sat a-doun In is sce : thomas bi-fore him stod.
"bel ami, þou hast," quad þe king : "i-stole me muchel guod.
Mi chaunceler þov were, al-to longe : and haddest In þin hond
Abbeies and bischopriches : and muche del of þat lond,
And þov ne ȝolde me þar-of none a-countes. : þat rewez me wel sore;
Þar-of þritti þousent pound : þov me schalt, and wel more.
Þare-fore make þe ȝare i-nov : þine a-countes to ȝelde,
Sikur þov beo þov schalt it do : ȝif ich þe may a-welde."
Alle þat heorden þeos demaunde : In grete wonder stoden þere,
And to*. [al. ech to o.] oþur seide þo : þat heo ne heorden þer-of neuer er,
And þat seint thomas was al bi-neþe : and ope þe pointe he was
to beon i-cast In prisone : for non oþur wei þare nas.
Seint thomas stod In þouȝte longue : and with riȝte þe kinge bed
Þat he moste is conseil nime : of þat he hadde to him i-seid.
Þe bischopes he nam to is conseil : þe king ne wernde him nouȝt.
In one Chaumbre, faste i-loke : alle heo weren i-brouȝt,
Þat he ne scholden a-scapien : are heo hore answere seide.
"Nov, louerdinges," quad þis guode man : "her-of ȝe moten me rede.
For, al-so god me bringe of care : Ine habbe þar-of gult non,
Ake me for-to schende he axeth þis : with on-riȝte ech-on.
For ich was with him er wel i-nov : and þat bringeth me nouþe in teone:
Þare ne tok ich no witnesse : of þat us was bi-tweone."
*. [Consilium. episcopus Wincestrie.]¶ Þe bischop henri of winchestre : furst bi-gan him rede.
"S[i]re," he seide, "þus me þinchez : þov miȝt don of þis dede.
For-soþe me þinchez with gret wrong : þe calangez þe king;
Þo þov wendest of his seruise : he ne Axede þe no-þing,
And þo þov þe bischopriche a-fenge : so clene and so freo
Þat þov of none oþur þinge : ne scholdest i-charget beo;
And he quath þe quit al clanliche : of ech oþur wike þer,
An ne axede þe no-þing : of þat þov haddest i-don er.
Ȝware-þoru me þinchez of none þinge : þou ne schalt ansuerien nouȝt
bote to god and holi churche— : of alle oþere þov art i-brouȝt."
*. [episcopus london'.]¶ Þe bischop gilbard of londone : seide þo his a-vis:
"Sire," he seide, "ȝif þov þe bi-þenchest : ase a guod Man schal and wis, Page 131
Ȝwat power þe king þe hath bi-take : and to ȝwuche guode i-br[o]uȝt,
Al is wille þov most soffri : and a-ȝen him ne beo þov nouȝt!
In muche wo þov bringst us alle : and holi churche also,
And þin owene bodi In perile : bote þov is wille do.
Ȝif þov þis wel onder-stode : me þinchez for-soþe, i-wis,
Þov woldest fondi him to paye : and elles þov dudest a-mis."
*. [episcopus Wincestrie.]¶ Þo seide þe bischop of wynchestre : "sire gilbert, beo stille! [folio 70b]
We sospendiez swuch conseil : for it nis nouȝt wurth a fille.
Ȝif þe Erchebischop scholde beo : al to þe kynges wille,
Þe honour of holi churche he lore : and is soule he miȝte so spille."
*. [episcopus Cicestrie.]¶ Þe bischop hyllarie of Chichestre : bi-gan to speke þo:
"Sire," he seide, "mi conseil is : hou-so it euere go,
Forto fondi In faire manere : to paie þe kingues wille
With faire bi-heste, for-to eft-sone : þat it were sumdel stille;
Þanne we miȝten, ȝwane we weren : of þusse destresse i-brouȝt,
Þe betere a-cheui In ore conseille— : for nouþe ne do we riȝt nouȝt."
*. [episcopus lincoln'.]¶ Þe bischop Robert of lincolne : radde wel þare-to.
"Sire Erchebischop," he seide : "for-soþe þov most it do;
Oþur þov schalt leose þine bischopriche : and per-Auenture þi lif;
Þanne bi-ȝete þov wel luyte : me þinchez, of þis strif."
*. [episcopus Exon'.]¶ Þe bischop bartholmev of Eccetre : bi-gan to segge is þouȝt:
"In al þe soruwe of þe world : and care we beoth i-brouȝt.
betere it were þat on heued : In peril him brouȝte,
Þane al-holie churche were bi-neþe : and i-do to nouȝte."
*. [episcopus Wigorn'.]¶ Þe bischop Roger of wyrecestre : longe in þouȝte stod;
"I-nelle ov segge on ne oþur : for i-not ȝwat is guod.
Ȝif ich radde him for-ta-bouwien : al-to þe kingus wille,
Min owene Mouth him-sulf demez : al-holi churche to spille;
And ȝif ich rede aȝen him to beo : In þis place sum is
Þat wolde telle þe kinge fore : and maken him mi fo, i-wis—"
bi þe bischope of londone : þat ilke word he sede;
for he was euere a-ȝein seint thomas : with wordes and with dedes.
"Þare-fore," he seide, "on ne oþur : I-nelle segge i-wis.
guod conseil god us ȝiue— : for muche neod it is."
Þare nas non þat couþe is conseil : with menske bringe to ende,
Ne þat wuste hov heo miȝten best : ovt of þe chaumbre wende. Page 132
*. [Thomas.]¶ Atþe laste ope seint thomas : þis conseil moste al gon.
Tweie eorles of þe kingus hous : he let cleopie a-non,
"Louerdingus," he seide, "we habbez i-speke : faste of þusse þinge,
And al-so fer forth ase we mowen : we wollez paye þe kinge.
Ake for we nabbeth nouȝt i-redi here : ore conseil al-clene,
For-to þe nexte daie we biddez furst : þat ȝe it graunti nouþe ene."
So þat heom was respit i-graunted : and ech wende in is weiȝe.
Manie of seint thomas men : bi-lefden him for eiȝe;
And kniȝtes þat with him weren : alle fram him heo drowe.
Seint thomas nam pouere men : bi þe weie i-nowe,
And ladde hem to is Inne : and to þe mete heom sette;
he seruede heom is owene bodi : And i-novȝ mete and drinke heom fette.
"Þis beoth," he seide, "godes kniȝtes : þis oþur men me habbeth for|sake.
Þeos kniȝtes ich loue more : to heom ichulle me take."
Þene sonenday þare nas no court i-holde : for it was an heiȝ-day.
And þe Monenday sore syk : þe bischop thomas lay, [folio 71]
In þe syknesse of maldeflanke : þat to him ofte cam
And for þe care þat he was Inne : wel þe worse him nam.
Men seiden þat he makede him sik : for he ne dorste to court wende.
Þe king in grete wrathþe i-novȝ : after him gan sende.
"Wel ȝe i-seoth," quath seint thomas : "þat I-ne may come nouȝt,
For-soþe to-moruwe ichulle : hov-so ich beo þudere i-brouȝt.
Þei ich schulle beo þudere i-bore : In baruwe oþur In bere,
Þudere ichulle, þoruȝ godes grace— : crist me helpe þere."
A-morewe, þane tywesday : ore louerd him gan a-rere,
Þe furste dai after seint lucus dai : ase it fallez In þe ȝere.
Þat dai he auȝte onder-stonde : and mani an oþur al-so:
For bi custome alle is grete a-nuy : bi twyesdai cam him to.
Alle þe bischopes þane tywesday : erliche to him wende,
And seiden, "sire, þov art in feble point— : god it þe a-mende.
We habbez ore red þarof i-nome : and mid one mouþe ech-on
to queme þe kinge we redez þe : hov-so it euere gon;
Oþur he þe wole bere on hond : þat þov art is traitur,
And fur-swore ȝwore*. [al. ȝwane þu swore] him to don : eorþelich honovr, Page 133
And ne dost him non ake tricherie— : he þe wole bere on honde,
And bi-nime þe þi stat : and perantur bringue þe out of londe."
¶ "Mine leoue breþren," quad seint thomas : "ȝe i-seoz wel echon
Þat al þe world grat on me one : and alle [beoz] mine fon;
And þat [is] ȝuyt mest reuþe of alle : þat ȝe þat mine breþren beoz,
And me, þei ich sunful beo : ouwer fader In torment i-seoz,
Ȝe beoz mine meste fon of alle : and also ȝe bez al-ȝare
In seculer court to demen me : and þat nolde nouȝt wel fare.
For ȝe habbez þis a-mong ov to-day : bi-speke swyþe i-lome.
Nov god helpe al-holi churche : and take þar-to gome!
Ake In obedience ich ov hote : þat ȝe þare-neiȝ ne beon
Ȝif ich am i-brouȝt to Iuggement : ake þat ȝe raþur fleon.
And ȝif ani man hond on ov*. [al. me] set : ich ov hote al-so
Þat ȝe þe sentence of holi churche : for swuche violence ȝe*. [om. ȝe] do;
And holdez vp holi churche riȝte : þat ov is bi-take—
Man ne schal for none drede of deþe : hire riȝtes for-sake."
Þe bischopes weren þo wroþe i-nouȝ : ant wenden to court ech-one.
Nou god helpe þis holi man : for he was þare al one!
bote þe bischop of wynchestre : þere ne lefde with him nouȝt on,
And Iocelin, þe bischop of Salesburi : þat ne weren alle fram him i-gon.
¶ Þis holi man truste muche to god : and greiþed him a-non,
And song ane Masse of seinte steuene : are he come a-mong is fon.
he song þulke masse i-lome : for al-so heo bi-ginnez,
Þe furste offiz is propre inov : to þe stat þat he was Inne—
Þe bi-ginninge of þulke masse : In englischs so is þis:
"For ȝwane þe princes habbez i-sete : and aȝen heom men spekez,*. [al. aȝen me speke] i-wis,
And luþere men pursiweden me : louerd, min help þov beo!" [folio 71b] *. [Ps. 119.]
Manie seiden þat þis i-heorden : "novþe we mouwen wel i-seo
Þat he singuth þis Masse for þen-ones : for þe kinge and for alle his,
And þat he halt heom alle luþere : þat aȝen him spekez, i-wis."
Þis word cam to court wel sone— : ȝware-þoruȝ heo weren ech-on
In þe more wrathþe a-ȝein him : and wel þe more is fon.
¶ Þo seint thomas hadde is masse i-songue : his chesible he gan of weue;
Alle is oþur uestimenz : on him he let bi-leue—
Oþur Armure nadde he non : for holi churche to fiȝte; Page 134
A-boue he caste is cope : þat bi-feol to is riȝte.
he tok godes flechs and is blod : with him swiþe stilleliche,
Ane Creoyz he nam in is hond : and wende forth baldeliche.
Þe uestimenz was is Armure : ase bi-feol to swuche ane kniȝte;
Þe fourme of þe creoiz was is baner : for holi churche to fiȝte.
Forth wende þis guode kniȝt : a-mong alle is fon—
Swete Iesus beo is help : oþur frend nadde he non.
Þe creoiz in is hond he bar forth : and a-rerde op is baner.
Þe bischop Robert of hereford : bi-gan to gon him ner,
"Sire," he seide, "ich crie þin ore : þi chapeleyn ich mote beo,
bi-fore þe lat me bere þe croiz : for it ne fallez nouȝt to þe."
"Þe ȝwyle ich hire bere," quad seint thomas : "and þe fourme i-seo,
Ich ne drede me of no man : þe hardiore ich may beo."
Þanne seide þe bischop of londone : þat euere was is fo:
"I-ne rede nouȝt þat þou bi-fore þe kingue : In swyche manere go;
For wrathi he wole him a-non : and a-wreken him In þe place."
¶ "Ich bi-take me," quath seint thomas : "al to godus grace."
"Þov hast euere al þi lif," þis oþur seide : "a muche fol i-beo,
And þi folie nelt neuere bi-leue : ase men mai nouþe i-seo."
*. [Curia.]Þis holi Man wiz is creoiz : In-to þis court gan gon.
*. [Rex.]And þo þe king i-saiȝ him so come : he wrathþede him a-non.
¶ "Louerdinges," he seide, "here ȝe i-seoz : hov þis man me schent!
In ȝwuche manere is he In-to þis court : among us hidere i-went!
Ase þei we ne lefden nouȝt on cristindom : ne In godes name.
Ne mot ich nedes awreke me? : ne doth he me gret schame?"
Þo seide al þe court a-non : "sire, wel ȝe mouwen i-seo
Þat [he] is prouȝt and conteckor : and euere hath i-beo;
In despijt of þe and alle þine : þis dede he hath i-do.
For ȝif þou wolt, þou miȝt beon i-war : eft-sone to take on so,
to bringe men In so gret povwer : swiche ase he is,
to beon þe hexte of þine londe : ase þou madest him, i-wis.
Þare-fore we ne bi-menez þe nouȝt : þou noldest beo i-war bi-fore.
We seggez bi him echone : þat he is puyrliche for-swore:
And ase bi a swuch Man þou do bi him : and ase bi þine fon!
For he þe swor eorthþelich honur : and nele don þe non."
Þe budeles and þe oþur schrewes : grenneden on him faste, Page 135
And euere a-biden þe kinges heste : In prisone him to caste. [folio 72]
¶ Þe king let crie a-non a-boute : ȝif ani so wod were
Þat stode In conseile wit seint thomas : oþur felauȝschipe him bere,
Ase þe kingus traitour : Men scholden him nime a-non,
And laten him al one stonde : and fondi ȝwodere he wolde gon (!).
Þe bischop of Eccestre to seint thomas : he feol a-doun a-kne,
"For godes loue þin ore! : for soruwes þat þov miȝt i-se,
haue reuþe of þe and of us : oþur þou wolt us alle schende;
Alle we worþez i-brouȝt to nouȝte : bote þov þi þouȝt wende."
"Sire bischop," quad seint thomas : "ase wel þou miȝt be stille.
go henne fram me ȝif þov wolt : and lat ech man don is wille."
Þe bischopes wenden to-gadere ech-one : and heore conseil nome.
And þo heo hadden heore fourme i-set : to þe kinge a-ȝen heo come.
¶ "Sire," heo seiden, "ȝe beoth a-nuyd : and þat us for-þinchez sore;
For-ȝif us þat ȝe on us berez : we nellez þe mis-don non-more.
Wel we wutez þat þis wrechche : þat scholde ore chief beo,
he is fals and for-sworen : and [þat]*. [om.] mai ech man wel i-seo:
For he suor to holde þe eorþelich honur : and hath i-broke is oth;
And þat man mai wel proui on him : ȝif ȝe nellez nouȝt beo wroth.
Fur-ȝif us þine wrathþe, we biddez þe : ant to rome we wollez wende
to bi-nimen him is Erchebischopriche : and ase a wrechche him schende:
Puyrliche for-suore we schullen him preoui : sire king, bi eovwer rede."
Þe king bi-het heom gret honur : to don þat ilke dede.
to seint thomas, þare he was : heo wenden alle a-non.
Þe bischop hyllarie of Chichestre : tolde for heom ech-on.
"Sire," he seide, "ore gostliche fader : þov were here-bi-fore,
For fader we fur-saketh [þe] : þov art fals and for-swore.
For þou suore þe kynge eorþelich honour : and nelt don him non.
Þare-fore to þe court of rome : we bi-cleopiez þe echon,
to ansuerien us bi-fore þe pope : of þat þov hast ido a-mis."
"Louerdingus," quath þis holie man : "ich i-heore wel al þis."
¶ Nov suete Ihesu beo is freond : ȝwane alle oþure were is fon!
Þe king him let cleopien faste : þat he come forth a-non.
Þe Eorl Robert of lecestre : and oþur men mani on
Comen after him and heten him sone : bi-fore þe kingue gon. Page 136
"Louerdingues," quath seint thomas : "ȝe wuyten wel ech-on
hou wel ich was with þe king : þei ich habbe nouþe manie fon:
Erchebischop he made me— : for-soþe a-ȝein mi wille,
For euere ich dradde for oncunninge : mi soule forto spille.
¶ Þo axede ich bifore al þat folk : In ȝwuche manere he me toke
Þe Maistrie of holi churche : to wardi and to loke.
holi churche me was bi-take : In eche manere so freo,
Þat ich were quit of alle oþure courtes— : and ȝeot with riȝte it scholde so beo.
And ȝwane holi churche is so freo : I-nelle ansuerien þe kingue
Ne non oþur in his court : of none eorþeliche þinge.
For gold ne passez nouȝt so muche : In bounte led, i-wis, [folio 72b]
Al-so dignete of þe preost : herre þane þe kingus is.
And is gostliche fader ich am : ȝif he wolde nime ȝeme,
And it nere no lawe þat þe sone : þe fader scholde deme.
Þare-fore i segge at o word : þat I-nelle me no-þing take
to Iuggement of kingus court : ake clanliche it wolle for-sake,
And take me to holi churche : and to none erþeliche dome:
And Ich bi-cleopie ov here ech-one : to þe court of rome.
Al þe stat of holi churche : and al mi dignite
¶ Þoruȝ Ihesu crist it beo i-wardet : ȝwan it ne mai oþur beo.
And ou bischopus ich bi-cleopie : to þe court of rome also,
for ȝe Anourieth more ane erþeliche king : þane ȝe god al-miȝti do.
And so þoruȝ þe riȝte of holi churche : fram þis court ich wende,
to bringe þeos cause of holi churche : bi-fore þe pope to ende."
Þis holi Man wel mildeliche : out of þis court gan gon.
Þe king, and þat mid him was : wrathþeden heom a-non;
heo criden on þis holi man : and beleweden ech-on
Wit Also*. [MS. Ahso] grete noyse : ase anie Men miȝten don;
heo ne miȝten makie non more cri : þei al þe toun were a-fuyre,
Ase*. [al. þane] heo duden opon þis holi man : þat wide men it miȝten i-huyre.
Þis guode man eode softe forth : ase him no-þing ne rouȝte—
for ȝuyt more men schenden Ihesu crist : þo men him to deþe brouȝte.
he werth opon is palefrai : and to is Inne he wende also.
Vnneþe he miȝte with is hondene : þeos þre þingus do:
blessi þat folk and bere þe croiz : and is bridel wisse. Page 137
Þat simple folk orn a-bouten him : with Ioye i-novȝ and blisse;
for heo wenden þat he hadde i-beo : atþe court faste i-nome,
heo þonkeden muche Ihesu crist : þat he moste a-mong heom come.
¶ to is In, at seint Andreues : heo siweden him faste i-novȝ;
Seint thomas alle þe pouere men : with him to þe mete he drovȝ,
And seide, "comiez here forth with me : for mine freond ȝe beoth;
Ine habbe none freond bote eov : ase alle men nouþe i-seoth."
he let heom Alle fede wel : a gret hous-ful neiȝ;
Þe guode man wel þe gladdore was : þat he heom alle i-seiȝ.
Ase þis holi man sat at is mete : þei he grete wille þer-to nadde,
Þis word þat ore louerd het : is redare bi-fore him radde:
"Ȝif Men ov pursiwiet In one toune : In-to anoþur toun ȝe fleo."
Þis holi man þouȝte þat bi him-self : þat word miȝte wel soth beo
And þat it godes wille was : In-to An oþur londe gon,
As þe holi godspel seith : a man for-to fleo is fon.
Þis holi man was þo wel þe hardiore : of londe for-to wende,
Ȝwane he miȝte a-schapie wel : and god wolde þe time sende.
¶ Þo it was to-war[d] eue : twei seriaunz þare come,
Sore weopinde, and warneden him : þat he sum red him nome,
For þe kyngus Men hadden i-swore : þoruȝ heste of þe kinge,
[folio 73] Ȝware-so heo him miȝten finde : to stronge deþe him bringe.
Seint thomas þouȝte an-oþur. : he let maken is bed aȝen niȝt
Op Inþe heie churche : bi-twene twei weuedes riȝt.
Þo alle oþur men weren a-slepe : and no man nas him neiȝ,
he aros up and bi-heold : on þe ymage an heiȝ;
bi-fore þe auter he feol don a-kne : and on ore louerd bi-gan to crie,
And formest he seide þe seuen salmes : and sethþe þe letanie;
Al wepind ech haluwe he bad : is help for-to beo;
bi-fore ech ymage he op aros : and eft he sat a-doun a-kne.
Þo he hadde iseid is beden : stilleliche he gan gon,
A luyte bi-fore þe cockes crowe : out of þe churche a-non,
And wende him out-ward of engelonde : þat no man with him nas
bote a frere of Semplingham : þat wel priue to him was.
Þis guode Man flev al Engelond : for holi churche riȝte;
Of al is wo ne ȝaf he nouȝt : ȝif he it a-mendi miȝte.
¶ Þe tiþingue cam of þis cas : to þe kingue ful sone. Page 138
Þe heiȝe men nomen heore red : ȝwat were þar-of to done.
Þe king and al is baronie : and þe bischopes echon,
Þat auȝten with seint thomas habbe i-be : and weren mest is fon,
to þis conseil euer-ech-one : heo concenteden at þen ende:
Þat þe king scholde of is hexte Men : to þe court of rome sende
A-ȝen him ȝwane [he] þudere come : and þe pope don onder-stonde
Þat he was fals and for-swore : and destourbour of þe londe.
For-to don þis grete neode : þe wiseste Men heo nome,
And þat is þing were al in pais : for-to heo aȝen come.
Þe Erchebischop of Euerwike : and þe bischop of Eccestre
to rome*. [MS. rome rome] heo wenden for þis neodes : and þe bischop of Cicestre
And þe bischop of londone : and of winchestre al-so,
And also eorles and barouns : and manie clerkes þer-to,
to beren witnesse of þe fals-hede : ȝwane heo to court come.
Noble ȝiftes and oþur Iueles : with hem al-so heo nome—
Þare-with man mai ofte at court : þe riȝte bringe to wouȝ.
Nouȝ crist helpe þis holi man : for he is ȝuyt pouere i-nouȝ!
he nadde none ȝiftes forto ȝiue : to holden up is riȝte;
Fram Norehamptone bar he eode : for holi churche to fiȝte.
¶ Fram seint Andreues þis holi man : of Norehamptone he wende
With a frere of Semplingham : are god þane dai heom sende.
Fiue and twenti mile he wende : to þe toune of graham
Are he stunte in anie stude : with þe frere of Sempringham—
Al North-ward he drouȝ him furst : a-wei al fram þe se,
Þat þe kinges Men ne scholden him finde : to nimen ne for-to sle.
Sethþe he wende fram graham : fiue and tuenti Mile al-so
to þe toun*. [added later.] of lincolne : are he wolde reste i-fo.
Þene moruwe ope seint lucus day— : tiwes-dai it was þo,
he departede fram þe kingus court : with much seoruwe and wo*. [MS. we];
his wei þane wodnes-niȝt : out of þe toune he nam; [folio 73b]
Sone morewe þene þores-dai : to lincolne he cam:
At one follares house : his In he nam riȝt þare.*. [þare corr. to þere]
And bi niȝte euere he eode is wei : þat he a-waited ne ware.
At lincolne he dude him into watere : are god þane dai sende,
And þane fridai fourti mile : al bi watere he wende,
to þe Ermitage of Sempling-ham : þat a-midde þe watere is; Page 139
And þare he bi-lefde al hardiliche : þre dawes, i-wis.
And sethþe he wende to seint botulf : þat was heonnes ouer ten mile:
Þare he dude him eft In-to watere : and cam in a luytel ȝwile
to þe hous of hauer-holt : þat of Simpling-ham is—
Þe frere him ladde bi þulke house : þe sikerore to beon, i-wis.
Fram þannes he wende to eistreþe*. [r. estreye] : his o maner with riȝte,
Þe Erchebischopes of kaunterburi : ȝif he hadde ani miȝte;
Þare he was neiȝ þe se i-novȝ : he a-bod wel þere
And a-waitede is point to passi ouer : ȝwane hit best tyme were.
¶ Seue-niȝt he bi-lefde þare : for-to alle soulene dai;
In A Chaumbre riȝt bi þe churche : daiȝ and niȝt he lai,
Þat no man no scholde him onder-ȝite : ne i-war of him beo;
Þoruȝ þe churche he made an hol : þe sacringe for-to seo
And for-to heren þare is masse— : and Men þat to churche come
Nusten nouȝt þat he was so neiȝ : ne þer-of heo ne token none gome.
An alle soulene dai, þene tywesdaiȝ : are god þene dai sende,
he bi-tok god al holi churche : and In-to þe se he wende.
heo roweden forth al þane dai : and a-ȝen þe eueninge
bi-sides ane hauene heo a-riueden : þat men cleopez graueninge,
In Flaundres, ase god it wolde. : bote hors ne hadde he non:
Þis holi man al a-fote : forth is wei gan gon.
Þat no man ne scholde him knowe : þe Abite of frere he nam
And al-so a frere forth he eode : þo he to Flaundres cam.
blac was is cope a-boue : is Cuyrtel ȝwijt blaunket;
Opon is rugge is cope he bar : ȝif he miȝte go þe bet.
Þe reyn was gret and suyþe st[r]ong : and þe wei ful deop:
Swiþe weri was þe holi man : onneþe he bar up is fet.
he was so trauailled In þe weie : and in þe se bi-fore,
Þat he sat a-doun and ne miȝte no fer : bote he were i-bore.
Þo wende forth a man, þat with him eode : and huyrde him a mere,
For an Englichs peni, with an haltre : þis holi man to bere.
Þe holi Man is cloþes tok : and op-on þe Mere heom caste,
And werth op a-boue alle is cloþes : and rod him forth wel faste.
¶ Allas þat suych a noble man : vuele was it is riȝte
So febleliche ouer lond to wende— : wel muche is godes miȝte;
Vuele was it is riȝte to gon a-fote : oþur ope swuch a best to ride— Page 140
holi churche he a-bouȝte deore : þat men tellez of wel wide!
With one haltre ope þe mere : forth rod þis holi man
As þei it were a frere, and let him cleopie : frere cristian; [folio 74]
For he nolde nouȝt lie : þat cristian he was,
And he was a-drad to beon i-knowe : ȝif man cleopede him thomas.
At one gode mannes house : his In a-niȝt he nam;
At þe bordes ende he sat : Ase vuele it him bi-cam,
And al with-Inne seten is men : as þei he lowest were.
his oste nam wel gode ȝeme : hov heo heom alle bere.
he tok kepe of þe holi man : þat sat atþe bordes ende,
hou milde he was a-mong alle : and mest corteis and hende,
And hou hendeliche he delde is mete : heom þat bi-fore him stode,
And hov luytel he .et. him-selue : with wel simple mode;
his limes al-so he bi-heold : hou faire heo weren and freo,
Þe hondene faire and longe fingres : fairore ne miȝten none beo;
his face was brod and long al-so : his fore-heued large i-novȝ:
And euere mest bi-fore alle oþere : is heorte to him drouȝ.
¶ Of þe Erchebischope of Caunterburi : he gan him vnderstonde,
Þat it was couth ouer-al aboute : þat he was i-wend out of londe:
his heorte him bar þat it was he. : In gret studie he was i-brouȝt;
he rounede in is wiues ere : and tolde hire al is þouȝt.
his wijf after þulke tyme : þat soþe al-so þouȝte:
heo bi-gan to serui þis holi man : and deinteþes to him brouȝte,
Applene. & peoren. and notes also : and fondede in alle manere
A-mong alle þis oþur men : to gladien wel þene frere;
heo bi-lefde to serui alle þe oþere : and opon him was al hire þouȝt.
Seint thomas it vnder-ȝat : and þare-with ne paide him nouȝt.
So þat he bi-heold a-boute : a-non after soper,
Wel mildeliche he bad is oste : for-to comen him ner
And to sitte bi him a-doun : for solaz, one stounde.
"A, sire, merci," quad þis oste : "Ichulle sitte on þe grounde,
And sat him a-doun at is fet. : seint thomas him bad arise.
"Certes, sire," quad þis oste : "I-nelle In none wise.
¶ Nolde god þat ich bi þe sete! : mi louerd, i-hered þou beo,
Þat In mine house þov scholdest come : and þat ich þane dai miȝte i-seo." Page 141
"Luyte deinte," quat seint thomas : "of a swuch pouere man,
Of swuch a frere ase ich am : i-cleoped frere cristian."
"Sire, þin ore," quath þis oste : "wel ich onderstonde,
Þov art Erchebischop of Caunterburi : i-wend out of engelonde."
"Ȝwy seistþov so?" quad seint thomas : "þov hauest selde i-seiȝe
Þene Erchebischop of caunterburi : wende in swuche manere bi weie!"
"Sire," quad þe oste, "þov it art : al-so me seith mi þouȝt,
And ich bidde þe for þe loue of god : ne with-sak it a-ȝein me nouȝt."
Þis holi man him bi-þouȝte : þat oþur he moste lie
Oþur beo bi-knowe þat he*. [MS. heo] it was : so heo gonnen on heom*. [al. so þe oþer gan on him] crie.
Ate laste he was a-knowe : ake with him a-morewe he nam
his oste, þat he ne scholde him wreiȝe : forto he aftur*. [r. a fer] weie cam.
to [þe] Abbeie of seint Bertin : þis holi man i-wende, [folio 74b]
And þare he bi-lefde : forto ore louerd oþur grace him sende.—
Þe bischopus of engelonde : and þe barones al-so,
toward þe court of rome heo wenden : heore erinde forto do.
to þe kinge of Fraunce heo comen : and lettres with heom bere
fram þe king of engelond : þat þus muche an Englisch were :
"to is louerd þoruȝ godes grace : sire lowis þe kinge,
henri king of engelonde : sende loue and gretinge.
¶ Thomas, þat Erchebischop was : of caunterburi bi-fore,
Out of mine londe he is i-wend : ase mi traitore and for-suore.
Þare-fore ase min erþeliche louerd : ich bidde þe bi mine sonde,
Þat þov ne suffri nouȝt þat he beo : Irecetted In þine londe."
Þo þis king þis bone i-heorde : ane ȝwile in þouȝte he stod.
"Certes," he seide, "ase me þinchez : þis bone nis no-þing god.
So strong þeof nis non in engelonde : ȝif he in Fraunce come,
Þat he ne miȝte In Fraunce duelle : ase heo doth i-lome;
And wel raþur scholde a suych heiȝ man : ne come he no so sone.
Ake noþur ich ne þe king of engelonde : with ore bischopes nabbez to done;
For mine bischopes with holi churche : heore wille ich late heom do,
And fairore were þe kinge anouri him : and late him i-worþe also."
¶ Ne miȝten þis heiȝe men of him : non oþur word a fonge;
So þat heo wenden forth heore wei : þo heo hadden a-bide longe.
Maister herebard of Boseham : and oþure sethþe i-wende Page 142
to þe kinge lowis of Fraunce : ase seint thomas him sende,
And tolden þe kinge of al þe wo : þat seint thomas hadde with wouȝ.
Þe king weop, þo he i-heorde þis : and made deol inouȝ,
And tolde heom hov þe kingus men : at him weren bi-fore,
And ȝwuch ansuere he heom ȝaf : þat heore [wei]*. [om.] was for-lore.
Þis gode men with ioie inov : heore leue of him heo nome,
And þannes heo wenden sone i-nouȝ : to þe court of rome.
Þare neren heo nouȝt faire onder-fonge : for þe bischopes comen bi-fore
And desclaundreden seint thomas : þat he was fals and for-suore.
Ake naþeles þe grace heo hadden : þat to þe pope heo miȝten go.
him-sulue heo tolden in priuete : al seint thomases wo:
Of þe status of clarindone : hou heo furst forth come,
And hou he was i-brouȝt at norehamptone : bi-fore þe kinge to dome,
And hov he wende out of engelonde : In muchele miseise and wo,
And al-hov he chaungede is name : þe sikerloker forto go.
*. [papa.]¶ Þe pope bi-gan to siche sore : and*. [al. om.] with ful dreori þouȝt,
Þe teres fullen out of is eiȝene : he ne miȝte with-holden heom nouȝt,
he þonkede god þat swuch a prelat : under him moste beo,
So studefast to holi churche : and þat he miȝte þane dai i-seo.—
A-morewe comen þis bischopes : and þe eorles also,
To procuri seint thomas al þat vuel : þat heo miȝten do;
bi-fore þe pope, ase [he] sat : ful nobleliche heo come,
And bi-fore þe cardinales : and al þe court of rome. [folio 75]
*. [episcopus london'.]¶ Þe bischop of londone : þat euere luþur was,
bi-gan formest to telle is tale : a-ȝein seint thomas.
he stod up bi-fore al þe court : "beu pere," a-non he seide,
"To þe we comieth to make ore mone : of strong lif þat we ledez.
Ower riȝte it is up to holde : alle þat guode beoth,
And foles to bringuen of heore folie : ȝwane ȝe heom i-seoth.
A destaunce þare is i-sproungue : liȝtliche in Engelonde,
Þat destourbez al þat lond : with onriȝte, ich onder-stonde.
Þe Erchebischop of Caunterburi : is al aȝein ore wille,
Folliche he bi-gan In engelonde : holi churche for-to spille,
And to bi-nime þe kynge is fraunchise : and is riȝtes also.
Ake he ne miȝte us make for no-þing : concenti þer-to.*. [This verse on the margin.]Page 143
And for wrathþe þat we nolden : alle is wille do,
Op-on us he caste is owene gult : and opon þe kinge also.
And atþe laste, ase þei it were : þut lond forto blende,
Þo noman ne dude him strencþe : of londe he gan i-wende:
for men nusten nouȝt þe soþe : þat heo scholden onder-stonde
Þat þe king him dude onriȝth : and driue him out of londe."
Þo he hadde al is tale i-told : and i-maked is grete wise,
*. [episcopus Chichestrie.]he sat a-doun; an þe bischop of chichestre : sone gan op a-rise.
¶ "bev pere," he seide to þe pope : "me þinchez it fallez to þe
To on-don ech þing þat fallez to harme : In þe communaute,
Þat o Man ne beo i-soffred : to gon forth mid is wille,
to bring al þat lond to schame : and holi churche to spille.
Þat hath þe Erchebischop i-þouȝt : and þat is i-sene, i-wis,
Ȝwane ech man of al þat lond : faste a-ȝein him is."
*. [Archiepiscopus Eboracensis.]¶ Þe Erchebischop of Euerwike : þo he is tyme i-seiȝ,
Aros op and bi-gan to telle : is tale al on heiȝ.
"Sire," he seide, "no man ne knoweth : so wel ase ich do
Þene Erchebischop of Caunterburi : ne þe bischopriche al-so.
Þe Erchebischop is willesful : and ȝwane he is alles i-brouȝt
In ani wille þat is luytel wuyrth : he nele bi-leue it nouȝt;
Þat man ne may for no-þing : bringe him of is þouȝt.
he is nouþe In swuyche folie— : þat we habbeth deore a-bouȝt;
liȝtliche he is þare-Inne i-come : ake he it nele lete neuere mo,
bot ȝe þoruȝ ower pouwer : bringe us out of wo."
*. [episcopus Exon'.]¶ "Sire," quath þe bischop of eccetre : baldeliche he spac þo,
"Þis cas ȝe moten a-mendi sone : hov-so it euere go.
And ȝe ne leuen nouȝt þe soþe : þat men doth ov to onder-stonde,
Send with us fot with fot : ane legat in-to Engelonde,
And lat him of-gropi þe soþe þere : and þare-after þu lat him wurche.
for-soþe, bote ȝe þaron*. [al. oþer] þenche : ȝe schendez holi churche."
*. [Comes Arondelie]¶ Þe Eorl of Arundel aros op þo : a man of gret dignete.
"Sires," he seide, "for godes*. [MS. guodes] loue : ane stounde herkneth me!
Þe lewede Men þat here beoth : þat ne connen latin non,
We ne onder-stondez nouȝt : of þat ȝe habbez i-told ech-on; [folio 75b]
Ake In langage þat we conne : swuche men ase we beoth,
heiȝe barouns and noble kniȝtes : ase ȝe nouþe i-seoth, Page 144
¶ Tellen ichulle for us alle : ȝwy we beoth hidere i-wend.
For ore louerd þe king of Engelonde : Þat hauez us hidere i-send
to schewi furst þe reuerence : and grete loue also
Þat he hath to eov i-bore : and euere he þenchez to do;
And þare-of he sent þe word bi us : ase we bi-fore þe stondez,
Eorles, barones, and bischopes : þe hexte of þe londe—
Ȝif he hadde ani herre i-haued : hidere he hadden i-wend.
Ake to one so heiȝe court ase þeos is : he hath us hidere i-sent,
to schewi eov furst in his name : þat, also wid ase þe world is,
So trewe prince nis onder god : ne þat so muche ov loueth, i-wis,
Ne þat so muche Anoureth holi churche : and euere hath i-do.
Þe Erchebischop of Caunterburi : is a noble man also,
Þat, ȝif omanere of him nere : ase ich me onder-stonde,
Þare nere no lond In cristinedom : a-ȝeinest engelonde,*. [MS. engelonge]
Ne holi churche so wel i-wust : and i-schild fram ech wouȝ,
Onder noble prince and prelat : boþe guode men i-nouȝ.
Ake þes thomas, þis guode Erchebischop : so hath a luyte wille,
Þat muchel a-peirez his guodnesse : and bi-guynneth þat lond to spille.
his wille is suych þat, ȝwane he is : icomen in fole þouȝt,*. [This verse on the margin.]
he nele þoruȝ conseil ne þoruȝ no rerd : þarof beo i-brouȝt.
In swuche folie he is nouþe i-come— : ore louerd is þouȝt wende!
bote men mouwen is þouȝt wenden : þat lond he wole al schende.
Þare-for mi louerd þe king ov bit : þat ȝe with us sende
Ane legat into engelonde : to ofgropi al þen ende,
Oþur certus he is ope þe poynte : al þat lond to spille;
And þat ȝe him chasti þoruȝ riȝte lawe : & bi-nime him is fole wille."
Of alle þe clerkes þat þare seten : non of heom þar nas
Þat ne preisede muche þis heiȝe man : for he so renable was.
*. [papa.]¶ "Louerdingues," quath þe pope : "wel we onder-stondez i-nouȝ
Þat [ȝe] to-ward þe Erchebischop tellez : with riȝte oþur with wouȝ.
Ake we ne mouwen þar-of non dom ȝiue : bote him-sulue here were,
For we ne mowen bi-hinden him no Iuggement ȝyue : ne no riȝt i-wis it nere."
*. [comes.]¶ "Sire," quath þe Eorl of Arundel : "ȝe moten bet onder-stonde.
A certein dai us is i-set : to come in-to engelonde, Page 145
And þane dai ne dorre we nouȝt breke : for ore louerd þe kingue.
Þare-fore ȝe moten us grace don : sumdel of þis þinge:
Ȝe moten, ȝif it is ower wille : ane legat wis*. [r. wiz] us sende,
And þene Erchebischope hoten also : to Engelonde i-wende;
And ase þe legat þare enquereth : þar-aftur he mai do."
¶ "Certes, beu frere," quat þe pope : "I-nelle nouȝt take on so.
Ȝwane þe erchebischop hidere comez : I-not ȝwat he wole telle;
Þare-fore are ich i-heore him speke : no-þing don þar-of i-nelle."
"Certes, sire," seide þis oþur : "we ne dorren a-bide nouȝt."
"Nov de pardeus," quath þe pope : "doth ase ȝe habbeth i-þouȝt!" [folio 76]
Þis oþure weren wroþe i-nouȝ. : wel faire heore leue heo nome
And wenden heom forth in grete wrathþe : And to londone heo come.—
Seint Thomas was þo In Flaundres : In huydinge ase þei it were,
In þe Abbeie of seint Bertyn : and longe he hadde i-beo þere.
Atþe laste he aros bi niȝte : and out of Flaundres wende
Al priueliche In-to Fraunce : ase ore louerd him grace sende.
Þe king of Fraunce þat was þo : louwis guod and hende,
heorde telle of þis holi Man : he let sone after him sende.
Þo þis holi Man to him cam : gret Ioye he gan him make,
And het him in eche stude opon is lond : j-novȝ of his take,
¶ to spene to him and alle his : ȝware-so heo euere come.
Nolde seint thomas nouȝt a-bide : are he come to rome.
Þe king him fond spence i-novȝ : to him and alle his,
And sende with him guod conduyt : to bringe him þare, i-wis.
¶ þo seint thomas to Rome cam : faire he was onder-fonge;
And sumdel þe pope was anuyd : þat he hadde i-beo so longe.
Men a-coupeden him of þulke trespas : þat þe bischopes tolden er,
And beden him ansuerie for is stat : and aleggi þare-fore þer.
Seint thomas wolde op arise : Men beden him sitte a-doun,
And he bigan a-godes name : and schewede þis reson.
"Sire," he seide, "ich am I-maked : þei ich onwuyrth beo,
to wardi þe churche of Caunterburi : ase ȝe mowen iseo.
Þulke churche was i-woned to beo : Ase lauedi, and schynde wide
briȝte ase þe sonne a-mong alle oþure : of al þe west-side.
Þe sonne þat was erore so cler : deork heo is bi-come, Page 146
brode cloude and strongue i-nouȝ: þat*. [om. þat?] hire liȝt habbeth bi-nome;
Ouer-cast heo is with þis cloudene: þat heo ne ȝifth lijȝt non
And alle þe churchene of Engelonde: deorke beoth ech-on.
Þe kyng, þat hire scholde up-holde: he bi-nimez al hire riȝte
And ase þe cloudene hire ouer-cast: þat heo ne mai no leng liȝte.
Ich þat scholde hire wardein beo: þare-aȝein ich mot fiȝte
And stonde aȝen and with-segge: þe luþere costomes bi al mi miȝte.
For þei ich hadde a þovsend liues: ase ich nabbe bote on,
raþur þane ich it þolie wolde: ȝyue ich wolde ech-on.
Þe costomes aȝen holi churche: þat þe king hath forth i-brouȝt,
here ȝe mouwen heom i-heore: ȝif heo buth to graunti ouȝt."
¶ Þis holi man bi-gan to rede þe luþere lawene: ase he heom hadde i-write;
he wep þat þe teres ornen a-doun: þat deol it was to wite.
Þe pope and alle is cardinales: þat seiȝen him wepe so sore
And heordene alle þe luþere lawene: heo ne miȝten for-bere non|more,
Ake bi-gonnen to wepe faste ech-one: and hereden god al-so
Þat heo miȝten finde a swuch prelat: ouer holi churche i-do,
Þat holi churche so heold to riȝte: and ne soffrede no wovȝ;
heo þonkeden god of swuch a Man: and honoureden him inovȝ.
Þe pope het is clerkes alle: þat*. [om. þat?] þoruȝ al cristindome [folio 76b]
Þat heo wit-seiden suyche luþere lawes: ȝware-so huy euere come,
And*. [om. And] þat heo neren i-soffrede nouȝware: hov-so heo comen to ende,
And þat heo ȝeuen heore lijf þare-fore: raþur þane holi churche schende.
*. [Thomas]¶ Þo spac eftsone seint thomas: wepinde swyþe sore:
"I-nabbe nouȝt," he seide, "so muche wo: þat i-nere wurþe wel more.
For þoruȝ strencþe of eorþeliche manne: In þis pouwer ich am i-do,
Ake ich me drede a-ȝen godes wille it be: for onwuyrth ich am þar-to;
Þare-fore ore louerd for riȝte wreche: vuel biginninge me deth sende,
And ich drede for mine wrechche gultes: þat worse worth þe ende.
Þare-fore, þat holi churche: ne beo to grounde i-brouȝt
For mine sunnes and for mine onmiȝte: þat I-ne may hire wardi nouȝt,
Ich ȝelde ov op here þe bischopriche—: an oþer ȝe moten þare do Page 147
Þat mowe bet loki holi churche: for onwuyrth ich am þarto."
¶ his Ryng he nam and bi-tok þe pope: and op ȝeld þe bischopriche.
Þe pope swiþe deolfulliche: and wel Inliche bigan to siche.
Þerof conseillede al þe court: ȝwat þe beste red were:
to laten him witien holi churche: oþur to don a-noþur þere.
"Me þinchez," quath a cardinal: "In swuch cas ase nouþe is,
best it were to don an oþur: In his stude, i-wis,
Forto paien bet þe kinge: and swuc[h] cas miȝte bi-falle
Þat þe kyng wolde a-swagi and bi-leue: is luþere lawene alle.
For betere it were In faire manere: ho-so it miȝte to ende bringue,
Þane contec arere In swuche londe: and nameliche aȝen þe kingue.
And man miȝte purveien þis gode manne: an al-so guod ase þat is.
I-ne wot ȝwat conseil ȝe wollez rede: for i-chulle reden þis."
Þo seide an oþur cardinal: "Ine rede nouȝt so, i-wis,
For þat wolde ȝiuen men an-saumple: al dai to don a-mis;
For ȝwane þe king were wroth with ani bischop: for anie cunnes þinge,
to don þane bischop a-non a-doun: þe mo vuele lawene he wolde bringe,
And þanne were holi churche i-schend: þat lauedi scholde be.
For þis red me þinchez feble: a betere ȝe moten bi-seo."
*. [papa.]¶ Þe pope nam þo seint thomas: and tok him a-ȝein is ring,
to bi-leue erchebischop forth: and stable þoruȝ alle þing,
studefastliche to holden up: al-holi churche riȝte,
And he him wolde aȝen ech man: helpen bi is miȝte;
Ake he ne scholde nouȝt þe ȝeot: to engelonde wend[e],
Ake a-bide betere grace of þe king: ȝif god it wolde sende.
To þe grete Abbeie to pountenie: forto soriourni þere,
he sende þis holi Man: for-to it betere were.
With luytel folk and luytel aise: þare he dude bi-leue,
For he nadde him-sulf nouȝt to spene: bote ase heo him ȝeue.
his men he broȝte In seruise: heore mete to wynne þere,
And him-sulf he was al one neiȝ: þei he heiȝ Man were.
hard lijf he ladde i-novȝ!: And he hadde of harde here
Schuyrte and brech streit i-novȝ: hardore neuere nere; [folio 77]
Þe strapeles weren swiþe streite: with mani a knotte al-so;
A-non to is þies þe schuyrte tilde: þe brech riȝt to is to; Page 148
Þe knottes gnowen al is flechs: a-boute bi eche side.
Swiþe on-aisi was is brech: a-boute for-to ride;
harde miȝte he sitte a-doun: and harde ligge al-so.
Louerd, deore a-bouȝte he heuene: wel auȝte he come þer-to!—
¶ Þe bischopes of Engelonde: þat a-ȝein him weren at rome,
Þe Eorles and þe oþere heiȝe Men: þo heo to Engelond come,
heo tolden þe kinge al heore cas: hov heo hadde i-sped.
Þo was þe king boþe sori and wroth: þat he was neiȝ a-wed.
¶ "A," he seide, "þilke traitour: þat ich habbe forth i-brouȝt,
Þat he me schal swuch schame don nouþe!: Ine may it þolie nouȝt.
And he fleuȝth*. [r. fleuȝch?] out of londe: þat Ine may to him come,
I-chulle me of is cunne a-wreke: heo schullen a-bugge some."
he let seche out clene al is kun: and is oþur frend ech-on:
Ovt of Engelonde he let heom driue: þat þare ne moste leue non,
Sike ne feble, . ȝung ne old: ne womman þat was with childe,
Ne þe children þat soukinde weren: —muche was he on-milde!
In hire Armes þe moder bar þat child: and In heore wombene some.
Þare hadde þe king, ase me þinchez: a feble wreche i-nome!
I-harlede heo weren in grete Miseise: out of londe, alas!
Ech guod man hadde revþe of heom: þat heorden of þat cas,
And seiden stilleliche bi-twene heom: þat he a luþur king was.
Mo luþere dedene þe king bi-þouȝte: ȝeot ope seint thomas:
Þeos Men þat he of londe drof: were heom lef oþur loth,
Ech aftur oþur he made heom swerie: opon a boke gret oth
Þat heo ne scholden in none stude: bi-leue none stounde
Are heo to þe Erchebischope comen: ȝware-so heo him founden,
And tellen him fore hov heo weren: out of londe i-brouȝt,
to bringue him jn þe more sor: ȝif heo miȝten tuyrne is þouȝt.
¶ Ȝeot þe king bi-þouȝte a luþer dede: more ope seint thomas:
he for-bed þoruȝ al Engelond: ase fer ase his pouwer was,
Þat no man ne scholde for him bidde: In churche ne elles ȝware,
Ase men doth nouþe for Erchebischopes: and habbez i-don wel ȝare.
Louerd, muche was þe schame þo: þat holi churche bi-tidde,
Ȝwane heo ne moste a-mong oþur men: for so holi a man bidde!—
Þat folk of seint thomas kunne: wel þicke a-bouten him drouȝ—
Aldai heo weren i-flemde for him—: In miseise and soruwe i-nouȝ; Page 149
Heo weopen and criden deolfulliche : and tolden him al heore cas,
hov heo weren for him defoulede : and ȝwuch hore soruwe was.
Seint thomas bi-heold heom deolfolliche : and bi-gan to siche sore;
And euere he makede fair semblaunt : to conforti heom þe more,
And seide þis word to gladie hem : þat men onder-stoden wel longe:
"Ech lond," he seide, "is owene contreie : to þulke þat beoth stronge"—
Ase Man þat seith, þei ȝe beon here : In vnkouþe londe i-brouȝt, [folio 77b]
Ȝif ȝe beoth stronge in godes lawe : it ne schal ov greui nouȝt.
Alle þe heiȝe men of þe londe : þat heorden of þat cas,
Corseden þe kinge, and seiden al-so : þat he a luþur man was.
Þis selie men a-boute men nomen : for loue of seint thomas
And founden heom liflode i-nouȝ : þat in miseise neuer on nas.—
Þo þeos tiþinges to þe kingue : of Engelonde cam
þat þis folk was wel onder-fonge : gret deol to him he nam.
"Certes," he seide, "ȝwane I-ne may : in þis manere is heorte buye,
In more miseise ichulle him bringe : þat is lijf him schal a-nuye."
¶ Greye Monekes of Cistevs : fram ȝere to ȝere
A Chapitre makeden generale : of Abbodes þat þere were;
For euerech Abbod of greie Monekes : to þulke chapitle cam
With-Inne þre ȝer,*. [al. a terme] ase [huy] ȝuyt doth : þoruȝ al cristindom.
Þo þe chapitle plenere was : þudere þe king sende
to þe Abbotus alle plenereliche : þat to þulke chapitle wende,
And sende heom word þat him þouȝte wunder : more þane i-nouȝ
Þat heo wolden him so muche do : on-kuynde dedes and wouȝ
for-to susteiny is wiþerwyne : a-mong heom and is fo
In þe house of pounteneye : þat brouȝte him in swuch wo;
And bote heo wolden him bi-leue : and ne susteyni him non-more,
Alle þe greye Monekes of Engelonde : a-bugge it scholden sore;
For heo susteineden is fo : ne*. [r. no] wonder he seide it nere
Þei he awreke him of þat hous : þat ine his londe were.
Þo þeos lettres to Cisteus : a-mong þis Abbotes come,
Of þe þretningue heo dradden heom sore : and conseil þarof heo nome.
So þat heo beden seint thomas : his heste forto do,
For heo ne dorsten nouȝt aȝen þe kingus wille : non-more holden him so.
Þo seint thomas þis i-heorde : he gan forto siche sore, Page 150
And bad Ihesu crist him helpe þo : and cride him milce and ore.
¶ "Louerdingus, ȝe þat habbez me : I-susteyned mani a day*. [Thomas.]
In mine grete neode, Ihesu crist it ov ȝelde : þare ich mi-sulf ne mai.
Þe king þretnez ov so faste : þat ȝif*. [r. ȝif þat?] ȝe holdez me here ouȝt longe:
Ȝif crist wole, ȝe ne schullen neuere : for me harm a-fongue;
Ȝware-so ich euere mai on eorþe beo : fram eov ichulle wende,
Þat ȝe ne beon for me a-peirede— : ore louerd is grace me sende.
Þat ȝe habbeth on me i-spend : after me cometh on
Þat swyþe wel it wole*. [MS. it wole it wole] a-quiten : hou-so it euere gon.*. [v. 1523-4 al. om.]
For ich mai ȝuyt mine mete bidde : I-nam nouȝt to guod þer-to,
Ore louerd þat fedeth þe wilde bestes and foules : he mai me fede al-so.
Ake hov-so it euere of me bi-come : god, ȝif it is his wille,
holde up þe riȝtes of holi churche : þat heo fulliche naspille."
Ase þis holi man in þouȝte stod : ȝwodere he miȝte wende,
Þe king of Fraunce, þat was so guod : sone he gan him word sende
Þat he wolde bi-leue op-on is londe— : ȝware is heort best drouȝ
Cheose he him-sulf, and he wolde : finden him spense i-nouȝ. [folio 78]
For it is soth i-seid, ȝwane a man is : In mest soruwe and teone,
Þanne is ore louerdes grace next— : ase it was þare i-sene.
¶ Þis holi man nam is leue þare : mildeliche and softe,
And sore wepinde he wende forth : he ȝoxede and siȝte wel ofte.
*. [Abbas ponten'.]Þe Abbot of pounteneye : sumdel forth-ward him brouȝte,
And Axede him ȝwi he were : In so deolfule þouȝte.
"Ichulle þe telle," quath seint thomas : "ȝwi ich carie so—
bot þat þov ne telle no man fore : are mine ende-day beo i-do!
Ich am siker þat i schal ȝeot : deie in Martyrdom.
*. [Sompnium.]For to-niȝt ase ich was a-slepe : a wonder*. [MS. ȝonder] metinge me com.
¶ In þe churche of Caunterburi : me þouȝte i stod, i-wis,
And striuede for holi churche : aȝen þe kinge and his :
Þo comen þere four kniȝtes gon : and smiten me opon þe croune
Ech after oþur, þat mi brayn : schedde al a-brod þare doune.
For [me] nouþe*. [al. me] ich þonki Ihesu crist : þat i schal deiȝen so,
Ake for mine Men i siche sore : I-not ȝwat heo schullen do."
Þis holi man wende forth : In care and deol bi weiȝe,
Forto he cam to senouns : twelf mile fram pounteneie. Page 151
*. [ad Senon'.]¶ Þare he bi-lefde In soiourninge : alþe ȝwile þat he wolde,
And þe king him fond to spene i-novȝ : of seluer and of golde.
Þis guode Man bi-lefde þere : In pais and reste i-novȝ;
An euere he carede for holi churche : þat þe king dude hire wouȝ.
he sende to þe kinge of Engelonde : þat he scholde late beo stille
And ne weorri non more op-on holi churche : ȝif it were is wille.
Sone þas*. [al. seþþe] þe king of Engelonde : ase is wille him nam,
Ouer se wende, ase god it wolde : and in-to Fraunce he cam.
¶ Þe king of Fraunce was a-boute : ȝif god wolde him grace sende,
A-cordi him and seint thomas : ȝif he miȝte it bringe to ende.
So þat heo weren to-gadere i-brouȝt : at one daiȝe I-set.
Seint thomas cam bi-fore þe king : and ase is louerd him gret,
And to is fet fel a-kne : he wep and cride is ore,
"haue reuþe of holi churche : and ne weorre þov hire non-more,
And þine wille i-chulle do : ase ich seide er, bi mine miȝte,
Saue mine louerdes honur : and holi churche riȝte."
¶ Þe king makede him wroth i-novȝ for þat word : ase he hadde ofte i-beo.
"Novþe ȝe movwen," he seide, "ech-one : his falshede i-seo,
For man*. [al. i-ne] ne miȝte don ope is*. [al. þis] worde : noþing aȝen is wille
Þat he ne wolde segge þat icholde : al-holi churche spille
And þat it*. [al. ic] were aȝen godes lawe— : and In swyche manere he miȝte
Þat lond destourbi and me bi-nime : mi fraunchise and mi riȝte.
And gode bischopes þare habbez i-beo : bi-fore him ase [ȝe] wyten, i-wis;
Ake, þat ȝe i-seon alle mine treowenesse : and þat al þe wronge is his :
And*. [al. as þe] wiseste and þe beste bischopes : þat bi-fore him were,
A-ȝen þe meste fole kinge þat bi-fore me was : faire heo heom bere:
Do he al-so aȝen me nouþe : and ich me paiȝe wel i-novȝ; [folio 78b]
And ȝif he is aȝen þis fourme : me þinchez he hauez wouȝ:
Oþur him þinchez þat neuere bischop : so wis ase he non nas,
Oþur he me halt þe meste wrechche king : þat euere i-bore was."
*. [rex francie.]¶ Þo seide þe king of Fraunce : and alle þat heorden þis:
"Certes, þov bedest him loue i-novȝ : al þat wrong is his."
*. [thomas.]¶ Seint thomas stod and bi-þouȝte him : and gan to siche sore,
"Þei ichabbe i-haued a-nuy : to come me is wel more. Page 152
"Ȝif þe bischopus," he seide, "bi-fore me : hadden i-do heore miȝte,
hit ne hadde i-beo non*. [r. nou?] neod þare-fore : to contecki ne to fiȝte,
For are þis it were stable i-novȝ : þoruȝ gode mannes siȝte.
Nouþe god for is grace : sende holi churche hire riȝte!
For þat þe bischopus bifore me weren to nesche : ase ich nouþe i-finde,
Þe studefastore i mot beo : oþur it worth al bi-hinde.
Ich wot wel þat heo habbeth here-bi-fore : þe customes in engelonde
.I.-vsed heom al-to muche : holi churche to schonde;
And þei heo habben i-beon suffred longe : and to custome i-drawe,
Þare ne may no man for-soþe segge : þat heo beoth riȝt ne lawe.
For ore louerd louez riȝt and sothnesse : and none vuele costomes, i-wis,
And þat he schewez wel bi o word : þat In þe godspel is:
For ore louerd euenez him-self : to sothnesse þere,
Ake he ne eueneth him in none stude : to costome þat aȝein þe riȝte were.
Þare-[fore] me þinchez riȝt it is : þat we to sothþnesse drawe,
And destourbi þe vuele costomes : þat beth a-ȝein þe lawe;
Þare-fore i-nelle none costomes : soffri bi mine miȝte
Þat aȝein sothnesse beoth : and a-ȝen holi churche riȝte."
here man mai i-se þat vuele lawes : no guod Man nele a-fonge,
Ake destourbi heom mid al is miȝte : þei heo habben i-beo i-holde longe;
For he þat sosteinez vuele lawes : ase wel he haueth sunne,
bote he heom a-legge ȝif he may : ase he þat heom deth bi-gynne.—
Þo þe king of Fraunce i-heorde : and oþure þat þare were,
Þat seint thomas ne dude þe kinges wille : no-þing apayd heo nere.
*. [rex francie.]¶ "Sire bischop," quath þe king of Fraunce : "Ich i-seo wel novþe þi wrong:
Þe king þe beot loue i-nov : þet strif is nov on þe i-long.
Wolt*. [r. wost] þov nouþe is lawes him bi-nime : þat neuere him nere bi-nome,
Þe kingus heo[m] habbeth alle i-holde : þat bi-fore him habbeth i-come,
gret Maister þov woldest a-londe beo : to muche were þi power.
to muche ich habbe honouret þe : In mine londe her;
bote þov suffri him is riȝte lawes : Ichulle bi-come þi fo,
And ȝif we beoth þine fon boþe : I-not ȝwodere þov miȝt go." Page 153
¶ Seint thomas heold him euere In on. : þe kingues heom makeden wroþe,
And departede fram him*. [MS. heom] so : In grete wrathþe boþe;
huy þretneden and maden noyse i-nov : seint thomas heold him stille,
Raþur he wolde deth a-fonge : þane þolie heore luþere wille.
Nov help crist seint thomas : for neode he hath þere-to!
Nov boþe þe kingus beoth is fon : ȝware may he nov go? [folio 79]
I-flemd he was out of Engelonde : and out of Fraunce also.
Alle is men maden deol i-nov : heo nusten ȝwat forto do,
And nameliche is cunnes-Men : þat for him i-flemd were.
"Louerd," heo seiden, "allas, allas : þat we lifles nere!
For i-driue we beoth out of Engelonde : and neiȝ of Fraunce al-so;
Louerd, ȝwat scholde more sorewe : þane us is i-come nouþe to?"
¶ Seint thomas made him glad i-nov : and confortede is men a-non;
"beth stille," he seide, "ȝe makiez deol : neodeles nouþe ech-on;"
And seide "ȝe mouwen of-swinke ouwer mete : ase guode men doth mani on;
For beo ȝe fram me, huy wollez beo ouwer freond : þat nouþe beot ower fon.
Ȝe ne habbez hate of no man : bote for me, with wouȝ,
And beo ȝe fram me i-wend : men wollez louien ov i-nouȝ."
"A, sire, merci," þis oþure seiden : "we wuten wel al þis,
For us-sulf nis us nouȝt : bote for þe, i-wis;
We schullen wel nouþe ore mete i-winne : ake we nuten ȝwat þov schalt do,
bote þov schulle for honger deiȝe. : louerd, ȝweþer þov schulle so?"
"Ich mai bidde mine mete," quath seint thomas : "for i-nam nouȝt to guod þer-to;
Ore louerd it ȝelde heom alle þat ani guod : for his loue me habbez*. [r. wollez] i-do.
bi-twene borgoyne and prouence : ase men doth me onder-stonde,
gvode men beoth and al-mes-fole : þoruȝ kuynde of þe londe:
Ȝif I-ne mot In Fraunce beo : þudere ichulle i-wende
And bidde mine mete for godes loue : ȝif he me wole it sende.
Ȝeot sum*. [MS. sun] guod man me may i-seo : and it beo godes wille, Page 154
And habbe revþe of me and beon min help : þat miseise me ne spille."
His men for him and for hem*. [MS. him] sulf : makeden deol i-novȝ;
Þe guode man among al is wo : confortede heom and louȝ.
Allas þe deol þat þare was : þat swuch an heiȝ man bi-tidde,
Þat þe Erchebischop of Caunterburi : is mete scholde bidde!
Deore a-bouȝte he holi churche : and holi churche riȝte!
Wel auȝte ech man here-after drede : a-ȝen holi churche to fiȝte.—
Ase ech man at oþur is leue nam : a-boute for-to wende,
And þe holi man In his side : ȝwodere god him wolde sende,
Þare ase god wolde to bidde is mete : fort god him sende betere won,
god sende is grace a-mong heom alle : þat sorie weren ech-on.
¶ Þe kingus Messager of Fraunce : to seint thomas cam gon,
And seide þat is louerd him bad : come to him a-non.
¶ Forth wende þis holi man : ake he nuste for ȝwuche þinge;
he tok him al-to godes wille : and cam bi-fore þe kinge.
¶ A-non so þe king him saiȝ come : a-ȝen him he gan gon
And ful a-doun to is fote a-kne : and cride him merci a-non;
"blind," he seide, "ich habbe i-be : and þat novþe ich onder-stonde.
Al mi lond to þine wille : ich take þe an honde;
Þe ȝwule ich am in Fraunce king : ichulle finde þe i-novȝ,
For ich onder-stonde þe soþe nouþe : þat þe king hath al þe wouȝ."
¶ Þe king sende þis holi man a-ȝen : to Senouns, i-wis, [folio 79b]
And fond him þere spense i-nouȝ : him and alle his.
More he dude is miȝte ȝeot : and bi-tuene he sende is sonde
For-to bringue a-cord bi-twene him : and þe kinge of enguelonde.
At Momartre In Fraunce : þis dai was i-nome,
Þudere weren þis kingues boþe : and seint thomas i-come.
Þe king of Fraunce dude is miȝte : þat heo weren to a-cord i-brouȝt;
Ake þo heo hadden to-gadere i-speke : al it was undo for nouȝt:
For þe king swor euere grete oþus : þat a-cord he nolde non
bote þe status of Clarindone : i-holde weren euerech-on;
And seint thomas swor þat bi is daiȝe : he nolde þarof holde non,
Raþur he wolde deth a-fonge : bote þare were oþur i-won.
So þat heo departeden with wrathþe : þo heo nolden non oþur do.
Seint thomas bi-gan to siche sore : and Inliche wep al-so,
"Louerd," he seide, "help me nouþe : for þine swete fif wounde, Page 155
Oþur holi churche is ope þe pointe : to beon i-brouȝt to grounde."
Maister bernard of bosham : þat*. [MS. þaf] is .o. clerk was,
In priueite bi-twene heom to : seide to seint thomas:
"Sire," he seide, "þe mount-martre : þis hul i-cleoped is
Þare ase ȝe*. [MS. ase ȝe ase ȝe] habbez pais bi-speke : of holi churche i-wis:
And ase þe name seith of þis hulle : ase ich douti in mi þouȝt,
Þoruȝ þi martyrdom holi churche : worth formest to pais i-brouȝt."
¶ Sore sichinde seint thomas seide : "god wolde þat it were so
And þoruȝ mine deþe holi churche : Into riȝt pais were i-do,
And þat ich hadde with mine blode : and with mine liue i-bouȝt
Þat heo were in riȝte lawe : and Into guod pais i-brouȝt!"—
A-ȝein Midsomer it bi-ful : þat þe king him gan onderstonde
And In wrathþe of seint thomas : wende In-to engelonde,
For-to saisi sire henri is sone : mid al is kinedom
And for-to crouny him—longe him þouȝte : are he þare-to com.
And is conseil seide þat it was : mest of alle þinge
Holi churche and seint thomas : In vnriȝte for-to bringe;
For þe Erchebischopes riȝte it were : þat of Caunterburie is
To crouny þene kyng of Engelonde : and non oþur bischop, i-wis.
Þe king in preIudice of him : and to bi-nimen him is riȝte,
Let oþur bischopes crouni is sone : and [cud]de a luyte miȝte.
¶ Four bischopus him crouneden : a-ȝen riȝte and a-ȝein þe wone:
Þe Erchebischop of Euerwyke : and þe bischop of londone
And þe bischop of salesburi : and of roucestre al-so;
In seint peteres churche at west-Munstre : þeos dede was ido.
Þe fader seruede þe sone : at þe mete a-dai,
And with [þe] reaume saisede him : ase al þat folk i-sai.
Þe tyþingus of þusse þingue : to seint thomas huy come:
Of þulke on-riȝte he sende sone : to þe court of rome.
Þe pope him sende lettres aȝen : and bulle þat he scholde
A-mansi þe king and is conseil : ȝwuch tyme þat he wolde, [folio 80]
And suspendi þe bischopes : þat swuch on-riȝt duden þere,
And entre-diten al engelond : for-to it a-mendet were.
¶ Seint thomas heold þe lettres to him : for-to god him grace sende
Þat he miȝte him-sulf þe neodes*. [al. dede] do : ȝwane he to engelond wende.—
Ȝuyt cam king henri þe olde : eft-sone into Fraunce. Page 156
Þe king of Fraunce was euere a-nuyd : of þulke desturbaunce
And wende a-boute to makien a-cord : and bi-tweone he sende faste;
So þat heo weren, ase god it wolde : a-cordut at-þe laste.
A-seinte Marie dai Maudeleyne : Idon was þis dede,
In ane Mede þat men cleopiez ȝuyte : "þe traitores mede"—
Al-so ferde þulke a-cord : ase þe Mede i-cleoped was,
For þer-aftur a luyte stounde : no-þing i-sene it nas.
Muche heo speken In priueite : and in grete loue heo wenden a-two,
And seint thomas wende þat þe king : al is wille wolde do.
Maister herebard of boseham : to þe kinge he sone wende
For þe foreward þat heo hadde bi-speke : ase seint thomas him sende,
And bad him hote ȝelde a-ȝen : ase forth ase he miȝte
Þat is baillifs in is bischopriche : nomen with onriȝte.
"Ȝe," quath þe king, "wolde he so? : ȝeot he schal a-bide,
Ichulle i-wite hov he wole him bere : formest In oþur side;
par-auntur so faire he may : bere him a-ȝen me,
Þat ichulle ȝelden him ech feorþing. : þare-fore cheose he."
¶ Maister herebard wende a-ȝein : ant tolde seint thomas fore.
"Ȝe," þouȝte seint thomas : "þis pais is al-for-lore."
Sethþe seint thomas him-sulue : to þe kinge he wende,
to speken more of þe a-cord : ȝif he it miȝte a-mende.
Þe king him welcomede al liȝtliche : ase he ne heolde nouȝt þer-to,
And wende him forth to heren is masse : and seint thomas al-so.
he was i-woned to habbe is masse : ase it ful to þe daiȝ,*. [MS. daiȝe]
And þo he let singen him þe soule-masse : þat no-þing þare-to ne laiȝ,
For he nolde nouȝt atþe peis : cussen seint thomas.
Þe holi Man þouȝte wel : ȝwat þe Anchaisoun was.
Wel narewe þe king him gan bi-þenche : to derne is luþere þouȝt,
Ake to him þat wot ech derne þing : þing*. [om. þing] it nas [to] hele nouȝt.
Þo þe Masse was i-do : In conseil longue heo stode;
Wel ofte þe king him opbraid : þat he dude him er of guode,
And ȝwuch a lovȝ man he cam to him : and In ȝwuche pouwer he him brouȝte,
And þat he auȝte vuele a-ȝein him beo : ȝif he him wel bi-þouȝte.
So þat heo weren to-gadere longe : and þo heo hadden al i-do, Page 157
Þei it luytel ȝwile i-laste : with loue heo departeden ato.—
¶ Seint thomas bi-gan to sike sore : þo he gan him onder-stonde
*. [reprimacio thome.]Þat he hadde longe i-beo : oute of engelonde;
Þei it were a-ȝein is wille : it þouȝte him luþer dede
Þat is bischopriche so longe was : with-oute conseille and rede:
to þe king of Fraunce he wende furst : and to oþere guode and hende [folio 80b]
And faire he tok is leue at heom : to engelond for-to wende;
he þonkede heom of alle honur : þat heo him hadden i-do;
With fair conduyt and gret loue : fram heom he wende so.
Fram Fraunce he wende with gret honour : toward engelonde;
At one hauene he gan a-bide : þat Men cleopiez ȝwit-sonde.*. [[near Calais]]
Þe lettres þat he hadde of rome : to Engelond he sende,
to don þe sentence al a-brod : bi-fore him ase he wende.
Þe Erchebischop of Euerwyke : In sentence he let do
And þene bischop of salesburi : and of londone al-so;
for heo hadden i-crouned þene ȝonge king : a-ȝen þe dignete
With onriȝte In is bischopriche : he a-mansede hem alle þre.
¶ Þo þe tiþinge to heom cam : heo maden heom wroþe i-novȝ,
And þretneden þis holi man : þei it were with wouȝ.
Seint thomas eode toward þe schipe : In-to engelonde for-to wende:
A man þare cam fram engelonde : aȝen heom,*. [r. him] guod and hende.
"A, sire," he seide, "for godesloue : ne passe nouȝt þe se,
For þare beoth kniȝtes in Engelonde : Iporueide þe for-to sle;
At eche hauene Men a-waytiez : to kepe þe, mani on;
Ȝif þou comest a-mong heom ovȝt : þov worst a-slawe a-non."
"Certes," quath þis holi Man : "Inelle no leng a-bide,
to Engelonde Ichulle me drawe : tide ȝwat bi-tide;
Þei ich beo drawe lime mele : I-nelle bi-leue non-more,
to longe ich habbe þaunes i-beo : þat rewez me wel sore.
Þe soulene þat ich habbe þare for-to loke : six ȝer and more, i-wis,
With-oute wardein habbez i-beo : allas! to longe it is.
A-slawe ich worþe, wel ich wot : þare, are come ouȝt longe,
Ichulle for holi churche riȝte : gladliche þene deth a-fonge.
Ake biddez for me Ihesu crist : i bidde eov par charite!
bi-fore alle oþere nameliche : o þing biddeth for me: Page 158
Þat god for is holi grace : to Caunterburi me sende,
Þat ich mote a-liue oþur ded : In-to mine owene churche [wende];
Ȝif i-ne mai þudere a-liue come : are ich i-martred beo,
Þat mi bodi mote ȝwan ich am ded— : god it graunti me."
his leue he nam wel deolfolliche : and to schipe he wende so;
he þonkede heom al honour : þat Men him hadden i-do,
And bi-teiȝte al Fraunce Ihesu crist : and blessede it wel faste;
Þat folk wep and makede sorewe gret : heore deol longe i-laste.—
¶ At douere were kniȝtes ȝare : þat heorden of him telle,
Sone ase he come op þere : al aredi him to quelle:
Sire Reinaud of wareygne : and sire Randolf þe brok;
And also Gerueis þe schyrreue : gret folk with him tok,
to kepe þis holi Man at douere : ase he come op of þe se,
And bote he wolde heore wille do : al-ȝare him for-to sle.
to þe hauene of sandwiche : þat schip wel euene drouȝ—
Þe oþere a-biden him alle at douere : with þretninge and bost i-nouȝ.
In þe schipes seile an heiȝ : þis holi man let do [folio 81]
Ane Croiz, þat Man fer isaiȝ : Iseuwed faste þer-to:
Þat was signe of is baner : oþur ne kepte he non.
Men stoden at sandwich and bi-heolden : þe Croiz wel manion,
And seiden, "we i-seoth nouþe hider-ward come : oure bischop thomas;"
Þe ȝuyt he was fer in þe se : heo wusten ȝwat he was.
Þat cri was sone wide couth : þat folk orn faste i-novȝ,
And are he were to londe i-come : muche folk a-ȝein him drouȝ.
heo criden and þonkeden Ihesu crist : þat heo mosten him a-liue i-seo,
And welcomeden him with Ioye i-novȝ : non more ne miȝte beo.
Þene þridde day of þe Aduent : bi-fore cristemasse it was
Þat he to Engelonde cam : þe guode man seint thomas;
Þe seuenþe ȝer þat he wende furst : out of engelonde—
Six ȝer and a Monthþe he was fleme : ase ich me onder-stonde.
Þis was endleue hondret ȝer : and sixti ȝer and tene
After þat ore swete louerd : In is moder a-liȝte, ich wene.—
*. [Accusatio militum.]¶ Þat word to þe kniȝtes cam : to douere of þis cas,
hov seint thomas þe holi man : at sandwych a-riued was:
to sandwich heo wenden faste. : seint thomas heo founden a-non; Page 159
With*. [MS. withith] luþer semblaunt and fals heorte : heo welcomeden him ech-on,
And seiden, "hou hauestþov þene wei : to engelonde i-nome,
Þat destourbest al þat lond : sone so þov art i-come,
And al-so al-holi churche : ase we alle i-seoth,
Þat þov a-mansest þus þeos bischopes : þat þine felawes beoth!
Þov auȝtest mid alle lawe : loue and pais a-rere,
And þare nas neuere a-londe pais : sethþe þov bischop were!
Ȝif þov wenest wel for-to do : with-drauȝ þine dede sone;
Oþur Man schal bi þe do : ase with swuch a man is to done."
*. [Responsio thome.]¶ "Mine leue freond," quath seint thomas : "sothþ it is i-novȝ
þe mansinge þat ich let do : it was with riȝte and nouȝt with wouȝ,
And bi mine louerdes leue þe king : þat ech man in riȝte were,
Þat so gret trespas ne wende forth : þat it a-mendet nere,
And were eft-sone after-ward : with on-riȝte and a-ȝein lawe
In desertison of mine churche : to costome i*. [MS. it]-drawe."
Þo þe kniȝtes heorden þat þe king : consentede þer-to,
heo bi-leueden al heore grete mod : and heore þretningue al-so,
And in faire Manere beden him : ondon is Mansingue,
to norisi loue with is felawes : and bi-twene him and þe kinge.
So þat respit bi-tuene heom : of þis Ansuere heo nome,
For-to seint thomas a-moruwe : to Caunterburie come.
*. [Aduentus Cantuar.]¶ Seint thomas a-moruwe : to Caunterburi him drouȝ.
Al þe contreie a-ȝein him cam : with Ioye and blisse i-nouȝ.
Ech preost somonede is paroche : clanliche in euerech ende
to beon alle ȝare a-ȝein him : with procession for-to wende:
So þat with processiones : manie and faire i-novȝ,
With croyz and with taperes : þe contreie a-ȝein him drouȝ. [folio 81b]
Þare was Ioie and blisse i-nouȝ : more ne miȝte non beo;
heo þonkeden ȝeorne Ihesu crist : þat a-liue him mosten i-seo.
Of bellene and of tabours : so gret was þe soun,
Of eche manere gleo and of song : þo he cam into toun,
Þat man ne miȝte i-heore non oþur þing : bote þe noise þat was so gret;
Non more ioie ne miȝte beo : þane þare was In euereche stret.
¶ Ase ore louerd a-palme-sonenday : honovred was i-novȝ
Þo he rod into Ierusalem : and toward is deþe drovȝ, Page 160
Al-so was þis holi man : ase men miȝten i-seo þere;
For ore louerd wolde þat is deth : semblable to his were.
Are seint thomas þe holi man : to is churche come,
Þe Monekus with procession : a-ȝein him þene wei heo nome.
Of is palefrai he liȝte a-don : and custe þe Monekes ech-on;
to þe weuede wel mildeliche : heo ladden him a-non.
Þo he hadde at churche i-do : al þat him was to done,
With is men wel mildeliche : to is In he wende sone.—
*. [Milites retro veniunt.]¶ Seint thomas ne hadde i-beo : at is paleis nouȝt longe,
Þat þe kniȝtes ne comen : heore answere forto afonge.
heo beden him ase heo beden er : on-don is mansinge
And a-soilli þe bischopes*. [MS. bischepes] : þat he let þare-Inne bringe.
"bev freres," quath seint thomas : "þat ne mai i do nouȝt,
For heo beoth In mansinge : þoruȝ þe pope i-brouȝt,
And .I.-ne mai nouȝt on-do is dede : ȝe wuten wel, in none place.
Ake nouȝt-for-þan ich truste wel : so muche In his grace,
Þat ichulle a-soilli heom : In þusse fourme fawe:
Þat heo don sikernesse for-to stonde : at holi churche lawe
And to þe lokinge of holi churche— : ake in oþur fourme non."
Þe knyȝtes, þo heo herden þis : chidden faste ech-on,
And þo heo nadden non oþur word : in wrathþe forth heo wende
And tolden þe bischopes heore ansuere : þat heom þudere sende.
Þe bischopes maden heom wroþe i-nouȝ : ant þretneden him wel faste.
Ake naþeles þe tweyne of heom : with-drowen heom atþe laste:
¶ Þe bischop of salesburi : and of londone al-so;
to holi churche heo wolden stonde : and to is lokinge al-so.
¶ Ake þe Erchebischop of Euerwik : a-non-riȝt heom with-sede:
"Daþeheit habbe þat so atstonde : so folliche at ower rede,
For-to don us in is grace : þat euere hath i-beon ore fo
And hath i-don us mani a schame : and þanne he wolde wel mo!
Þei he habbe ouer ov power : ouer me ne hauez he non,
For erchebischop ich am, wel ȝe wutez : ase wel ase he is on.
Ich habbe a luytel Coffre : þat stant hol and sount,
Atþe leste þare beoth Inne ȝeot : Eiȝte hundret pound:
Ȝare ich am to spene þat : and ȝeot me þinchez to luyte,
For-to a-wreken us wel of him : and for-to a-legge is pruyte. Page 161
Wende we to þe kinge a-non : and telle him of is dede, [folio 82]
Þat him ne tit neuere pais : bote he þarof him rede."
*. [hic ueniunt ad regem.]¶ Þeos þreo bischopus hasteliche : ouer se þene wei nome.
A luyte bi-fore cristemasse : to þe kinge heo come,
And founden him in Normandie. : a-doun heo fullen a-kne,
heo beden him holden op his honour : stifliche hore help to beo,
And tolden him hov þis holi Man : þo he to londe cam,
Destourbede al-holi churche : and is kynedam
And hov he hadde with gret pruyte : In mansinge i-do
Al þat maden is sone king : and consenteden þare-to,
And hov in despit of him : he dude swuch luþer dede,
And þat he ne scholde neuere in pais beo : bote he nome an-oþur to rede.
*. [Rex iratus.]¶ Þe king, þo he heorde þis : for wrathþe he was neiȝ wod,
he eode op and doun ase witles : and ofte in þouȝte stod.
"Ȝif he a-mansez alle þat maden : mine sone king," he seide,
"Mid þe furste he a-mansez me : for it was min owene dede.
Þe traitur a-spillez al þat lond : and bringez us in wrechhede,
ho miȝte In swuch soruwe : longe eni lif lede?"
Ofte he corsede alle þeo : þat he hadde forth i-brouȝt,
Of þe false preost and is fo : þat heo ne a-wreke him nouȝt,
Þat destourbede al þat lond : and brouȝte in wrechhede;
Ase he eode op and doun*. [MS. don doun] : ofte þat word he seide.
¶ Þe kniȝtes þo [heo] heorden þis : stoden some stille,
And bi-þouȝten heom wel priueliche : to paie þe kinges wille.
Þe foure þat mest schrewes weren : bi-þouȝten hem of guyle:
Sire reynaud le fiz ovrs : and sire huwe de moruile
And sire willam traci : and sire Richard de bruiz—
heore names for heore schrewehede : ne beoth nout for-ȝite ȝuyt.
huy nomen heom to rede stilleliche : to passi þe se,
to paie þe kingus wille : seint thomas for-to sle.
Stilleliche heo wenden forth : þat no man it nuste;
heo weren neiȝwat atþe se : are þe king it wuste.
Þo þe king it onder-ȝat : After heom he sende
Þat heo bi-lefde heore folie : and aȝenward to him wende.
Ake þis messager ne miȝte nouȝt : ouer-take heom for none ginne, Page 162
For are he cam to þe se : heo weren fer with-Inne.
Þo made þe king deol i-nov : þat heo weren forth i-wend
And þat is messager ne ouer-tok heom nouȝt : þat he after heom hadde i-send.—
*. [Predicatio thome.]¶ Seint thomas at Caunterburi : a-midewynteres dai
Stod and prechede al þat folk : þat mani a man i-sai.
In is prechingue he bi-gan : to siche swiþe sore,
And deol and sorewe made i-nov : ne miȝte no man more;
Swiþe sore he gan to wepe : þe teres ornen a-doun.
Þare was mani wepinde Eiȝe : wel sone ȝeont al þe toun.
"Mine leue freond," quath þis holi man : weopinde suyþe sore,
"Ouwer preost ich habbe ane ȝwyle i-beo : ake i-ne mai no lengore more,*. [This v. added on the bottom.]
[folio 82b] For min ende-dai is neiȝ i-come : I-ne worþe here nouȝt longe;
Ich am redi for holi churche riȝte : deth for-to afonge.
biddez for me for godes loue : and for holi churche al-so,
Þat geth al-mest nouþe to grounde : bote god nime ȝeme þar-to.
Deth ichulle wel fain take : ȝwan it is godus wille,
For þe riȝte of holi churche : raþur þane heo spille."
bok and candele he nam a-non : and a-mansede riȝt þere
Alle þat werreden*. [MS. weṛrṇeden] holi churche : and a-ȝein hire riȝtes were,
And nameliche sire randolf þe brok : and sire robert de bruyz*. [r. Brok] also,
Þat þe Erchebischope of Caunterburi : gret on-riȝt habbez i-do.
For þe ȝwuyle þat he was out of londe : þe king henri bi-tok
Þe bischopriche al for-to loke : sire Randolf þe brok,
And he mad Robert de brok : is clerk þat was þo,
Of al þis wardein onder him. : þat dude is londe wel wo;
For he destruyde al þe bischopriche : and to him-sulf nam i-novȝ,
And dude him fair bold a-rere : of þat he nam with wouȝ.
Þer-inne a-criste-masse dai : þo þe mansinge was i-do,
he sat and .et. wel nobleliche : and manie with him al-so.
Seint thomas (!)*. [r. he (so the other MSS.)] caste houndes of is bred : þat bi-fore him lai,
And euerech hound it for-sok : ase al þat folk i-saiȝ.
Þo handlede he oþur bred : and let menge hit at þe laste
Wit oþur bred þat lai bi-side : and to þe houndes let it caste.
Al þat he i-handlet hadde : þe houndes al for-lete, Page 163
And chosen out þat oþur þare-a-mong : and wel clanliche it ete.
Þe guodnesse*. [al. mansinge] was on him i-sene : a-non-riȝt þat ilke dai,
Ȝwane þe houndes þat bred for-soken : þat bi-fore him lai.
¶ bi a fridai þulke ȝeres : was cristemasse-dai,
*. [Milites.]Þare was gret miracle of god : þat al þat folk i-sai.—
¶ Þis four luþere kniȝtes : of ȝwuche we gunne telle,
to engelonde wel sone comen : seint thomas to quelle.
to þe castel of salt-wode : a-seint Iohanes dai heo come,
Six milene fram caunterburi : and þare heore In heo nome;
And sire Randolf þe brok : to hem cam wel sone.
heore conseil heo nomen þulke niȝt : þe luþere dede to done.
Þene morewe, a-childre-masse dai : þo god þene dai sende,
Sire Randulf þe brok wel stilleliche : to Caunterburi he wende,
For-to enqueri of seint thomas : ȝware heo miȝten him finde,
Þat he ne drowe him nouȝt a-wei : ne hudde him noȝwere bi-hinde.
*. [Milites.]¶ Þis kniȝtes þene Tywesdai : no lengore nolden bi-leue,
Ake wenden heom to Caunterburi : wel are it were eue.
A luyte bi-fore compelin : to seint thomas heo come;
Þene riȝte wei ful baldeliche : In-to is chaumbre heo nome.
heo comen and founden him stilleliche : In is chaumbre stonde
With priue clerkes : and gret conseil hadden on honde.
Sire Reynaud le fiz ours : grimliche forth i-wende,
"Sire," he seide, "ore louerd þe king : in message us hidere sende, [folio 83]
Fram him out of Normandie : Ane heste we habbez i-brouȝt,
Þat þov do is heste— : ne bi-lef þov it nouȝt,
And þat þou wende sone to is sone : þat ȝong king i-maked is,
For-to a-mendi aȝeinest him : þat þov hast is fader i-don a-mis,
And swer þene othþ to beon him trewe : and of þe baronie al-so
Þat þou halst of him in chef : do þat þo[u] auȝtest him for-to do.
Þe clerkes þat þov bringest with þe : ȝif here-ate heo wollez at-stonde,
Schullen suerie þe kinge trewe to beo : oþur heo schullen out of londe."
*. [Thomas.]¶ "Bev frere," quath seint thomas : "I-nelle þe no-þing lie,
Þe kinge ichulle don riȝt and lawe : of þe baronie.
Ake nolde it god þat holi churche : onder fote were so
Þat ich oþur mine clerkus : scholden ani othþ þe kinge do.
For þov wost wel alle þe lewede Men : þat beoth In his londe, Page 164
Ne sweriez him nouȝt þene oth : as ich me onder-stonde.
Nov wolde ȝe holi churche : In grete seruage do,
In more þane ani lewede man beo? : nai, it ne worth nouȝt so."
*. [Miles.]¶ "Me þinchez wel," quath sire Reynaud : "þat þov nelt do no-þing
Of þe heste þat we bringez : fram ore louerd þe king!
Al-so in is half we hotez þe : þat þov a-soili al-so
his bischopes þat þov hast : In mansinge i-do."
*. [thomas.]¶ "bev frere," quathþ*. [MS. quathy] seint thomas : "it nis mi dede nouȝt,
Ake þoruȝ þe popes owene mouthþ : in sentence heo beoth i-brouȝt:
¶ And þou wost wel it ne fallez nouȝt to me : þe popus dede on-do."
*. [Miles.]"Þei þe pope it hete do," quat sire Reynaud : "þoruȝ þe it is i-do."
¶ "ȝif þe pope hath," quath thomas : "In sentence i-brouȝt*. [thomas.]
heom þat habbez me mis-don : he ne mis-paiez me nouȝt."
*. [Miles.]¶ "In eche manere þov schewest wel" : sire Reinaud seide þo,
"For-to a-nuye ore louerd þe king : and þat þov art is fo.
Ȝware-þoruȝ we i-seoth wel : þat þov wilnest to don him wo,
And woldest beo king in is stude— : ake þou ne worst neuere so—
And ȝif þou miȝtest, bi-nime him is crovne— : ake so ne schal it nouȝt go."*. [both lines transposed in other MSS.]
¶ "Certes, bev frere," quath seint thomas : "I-ne þenche no-þing þer-to,
Ake raþur ichulle him þer-to helpe : so muche so ich mai,
And for him and for his honour : ich bidde niȝt and dai.
For þare nis nouþe man on eorþe : þat ich louie, i-wis,
So muche ase him, sauue is fader : þat ȝeot mi louerd is.
A-seinte Marie dai Maugdeleyne : for-soþe i segge þe,
Þo þe a-cord was formest i-maked : bi-twene mi louerd and me,
he seide me þat ich lete a-mansi : alle þat hadden mis-do
Mine churche þat is his owene Moder— : and ich habbe idon so."
¶ "A-voy, sire preost," quath þis oþur : "to muche þov spext neiȝ,
Þov desclaundrest þin owene louerd : þov ne art noþer guod ne sleiȝ!
*. [Miles.]Seistþov þat mi louerd þe king : In mansinge let do
Alle þat maden is sone king? : ne consentede he þer-to?
Nas it al is owene dede : and bi none oþur mannes lore? [folio 83b]
A-voy, sire preost, bi-þench þe bet : ne seie þov so namore."
¶ "Certes, sire," quath seint thomas : "þou wost wel it was so,*. [thomas.]Page 165
For þou were þare þi-self þo : and manie oþere þer-to,
bischopus and Erchebischopus ek : and oþere grete and heiȝe,
Ȝe fif hundred men and mo : al-so þov wel i-seiȝe."
*. [Miles.]¶ "beo stille," quath þis luþere kniȝt : "hold þinne mouthþ, ich rede,
Þov mis-seist mi louerd þe king : daþeit alle þat it seide!
ho miȝte soffri swuch sclaundre : bote he nome þar-of wreche?
bi þe fei þat schal to god : man schal þe an-oþur teche!"
his felawes euerechone : heore Armes a-brod caste
And ferden ase Men þat weren wode : and þretneden him wel faste.
to þe Monekus heo wenden a-non : "comieth here forth," he seide,
"Ȝe holdeth here þe kingus fo : witiez him wel, ich rede;
Þat ȝe to þe kingus wille : is bodi ȝe*. [om. ȝe] habben al-ȝare,
Oþur he schal ouwer londes aboute : and ower maneres maken wel bare!"
*. [thomas.]¶ "Sire Reynaud," quath seint thomas : "wenstþou þat ichulle fleo?
Nai par deu, nouȝt a fote : for þe king ne for þe."
*. [Miles.]¶ "bi god, sire bischop," quath þis oþur : "bi þat þou wost þen ende,
Þi fleoinge schal beo luyte wurth : þou ne schalt nouȝt wel fer wende."
Þis kniȝtes in grete wrathþe þo : wenden heom forth ech-on,
And leten heom army swyþe wel : and comen a-ȝen a-non,
W[i]th suerdes and with axes : and with oþere armes mo;
Robert de brok, þe luþere clerk : he was with heom þo.
Into þe cloistre of Caunterburi : with grete noyse heo comen weue,
Þe Monekus songen Euesong : for it was wel-neiȝ eue.
Some for þe grete noyse : fullen a-doun for fere,
And some bi-gonne to fleon a-boute : ase men þat witlese were.
Seint thomas nam ane Croyz : ake oþure armes non,
And þare-with wel baldeliche : he eode a-ȝein is fon.
Þis Monekus ornen*. [MS. ornem] to him some : "sire, merci," heo seiden,
"For godes loue a-bid ȝut here : ore louerd þe mai ȝuyt rede;
Soffre þat we helpen þe : oþur þat we with þe deiȝe."
Some wolden makien þe doren : þo heo þat folk i-seiȝe.
"bi-leuez," quath þe holie Man : "ȝe ne doth nouȝt as þe wise,
Singuth forth ower auesong : and doth ore louerd is seruise.
Man ne schal of holi churche : castel maken non.
latez foles ane stounde a-wede : and in heore folie gon!" Page 166
Þe kniȝtes comen reken In : heore folie for-to do,
And seiden, "ȝware is nouþe þis traitour : and þis false bischop also?"
*. [thomas.]¶ Seint thomas bar þe Croiz on honde : and answerede is fon :
"Ich am here, godus preost : ake traitour nam ich non.
Sechez him þat wole ov fleo : oþur þat drede ovwer þretninge :
Non rediore ne beoth ower swerdes : me to deþe bringue
Þat min heorte prestore nis : þene deþ for-to take;
For þe riȝtes of holi churche : I-nelle nouȝt det for-sake." [folio 84]
Þare wende forth on of heom : and is huyre of him drouȝ,
And is mantel a-non after-ward : with gret uilte i-nouȝ.
Sire Reynaud le fiz ours : pursiwede him anon.
¶ "Sire Reynaud," quat seint thomas þo : "hov schal þis nouþe gon?
Ofte ich habbe þe guod i-do : and manie oþure mo."
"Þov schalt sone," quath þis oþur : "i-wite hou it go.
Traitour, þou art ded a-non : non oþur nelle ich do."
"For-soþe," quath þis holi man : "wel prest ich am þer-to,
For þe riȝtes of holi churche : deiȝe ichulle wel fawe,
Ȝif heo miȝte þere-after-ward : in pais beo and in lawe.
Ak ich ov bidde ȝif ȝe sechez me : in ovre louerdes name,
Þat ȝe ne comen neiȝ non oþur man : harm ne do ne schame;
For non oþur gulti nis : of þat ȝe witez me,
heo buth alle gultlese bote ich one : þar-of sikere ȝe beo;
And al-so ase heo gultlese beoth : harmles latez heom wende."
Þe guode man sat a-doun a-kneo : þo he sai al þe ende;
Forto a-fonge þene stronge deth : is heued he buyde a-doun,
And softe, ase some i-herden : he seide þis oresoun :
*. [Oratio thome.]¶ "Ore louerd and seinte Marie : and seint Denis al-so
And alle þe avouwes of þis churche : In ȝwas ore ich am i-do,
Ich bi-take mine soule here : and holi churche riȝte."
Ȝeot he bad for holi churche : þo he nadde non oþur miȝte!
Sire Reynaud le fiz ovrs : mest schrewe of ech-on,
For-to smite þis holi man : is swerd he drouȝ a-non.
¶ Ake Edward grim, þat was is clerk : in g[ra]unte-brugge i-bore,
his louerd to helpe ȝif he miȝte : his Arm he pulte bi-fore.
he woundede is Arm swyþe sore : þat blod orn faste a-doun. Page 167
W[i]th þulke dunte he smot al-so : seint thomas ope þe croun,
Þat blod orn bi*. [MS. bi corr. to to] is face a-doun : In is riȝt half of þe wounde.
Lovde gradde þis luþere kniȝt : "smitez alle to grounde!"
Edward grim and*. [MS. and and] alle is men : þat þo a-boute him were,
At-ornen a-boute ech in is side : ope þe weuedes for fere.
Ase it bi ore louerd ferde : þo þe giwes him nome :
his desciples flovwen anon : men nusten ȝware heo bi-come;
For in þe godspel it is i-writen : þat ore louerd him-self seide
"Ȝwane a man smit þene schepherde : þe schep wollez to-sprede";
And ore louered bad for is desciples : þat men ne scholden hem*. [MS. him] non harm do.
Þaron þouȝte seint thomas : he bad for is men al-so.
An oþur kniȝt smot seint thomas : in þulke sulue wounde,
And made him bouwie is face a-doun : and loke toward þe grounde.
Þe þridde in þulke sulue stude : þare-after him smot a-non,
And makede him loute a-doun : is face to þe ston.
In þulke stude þe feorþe smot : þare þe oþere hadden er i-do,
Þat þe point of is swerd brak : In þe Marbre ato.—
¶ Ȝeot þat ilke point at Caunterburi : þe Monekus doth wite, [folio 84b]
For honour of þe holi man : þat þare-with was i-smite.—
With þulke stroke he smot al of : þe scholle and þe croune,
Þat þut brain ful on þe pauement : al a-brod þare doune.
þat ȝwite brayn*. [MS. braym] was i-meind : with þe rede blod þere,
Þat colur was wel fair to seo : þei ich*. [al. hit] reulich were.
Al round it orn a-boute is heued : ase it were a dyademe,
And al-round þare-a-bouten it lay : ȝware-of men token grete ȝeme.
For ȝwane men peyntiez an Anletnesse*. [al. halewe] : ȝe ne seoth it nouȝt bi-leued
Þat þere nis depeint a Roundel : al-a-boute þe heued:
Þat rondel men cleopiez þe diademe. : for manie i-seien þat cas,*. [al. as me seȝ þer a fair cas]
bi þe diademe of is brayne : þat he holi was.
Þo þis holi man i-martret was : þis kniȝtes graden ech-on,
"Þis traitour is to deþe i-brouȝt : wende we henne a-non.
Siwieth us ȝe kingus men alle : and alle þat with him beoth!
Of þis traytur ȝe beoth a-wreke : ase ȝe nouþe i-seoth.
he þouȝte beo herre þane þe king : and bi-nimen him is croune
And bringe to nouȝt al engelond : ake nouþe he lijth þare doune." Page 168
Ase þe giwes bi ore louerd seiden : þo heo wolden him to deþe do,
Þat he made him kin[g] and non nas : and godes sone al-so.
Þo þis luþere kniȝtes weren : fram þis holi man igon,
Robert de brok him bi-þouȝte : and turnede him a-ȝen a-non
And þoruȝ þe scolle smot is swerd : deope with-Inne is heued,
Þo þe scolle al amti was : and no brayn Inne bi-leued.
Ase þe giwes leten smite ore louerd : to þe heorte grounde
After þe deþe with a spere : and maden þe fifte wounde.
¶ Þis luþere men alle in one stude : smiten seint thomas,
In þe scolle riȝt euene a-brod : þare is croune was.
he nas nouȝt þe man þat he wolde : is heued enes with-drawe
Ne fondi for-to fleo heore strokes : ne enes a-weiward wawe,
Ne nouȝt enes groni ne makien cri : bote mildeliche and softe
Euere he heold is heued forth : al-þei heo smiten him ofte.—
Þis luþere kniȝtes wenden a-non : to is tresorie,
breken is doren and is coffres : and duden gret robberie;
heo nomen is cloþes and is hors : and is tresor al-so.
Chartres and oþur priue writes : þat in is coffres weren i-do,
heo it bi-token sire Randolf de brok : þat he þare-with wende
to þe kinge in-to Noremandie : and segge þat heo him sende
And þat he dude þare-with ȝwat he wolde : and ȝif þare ani were
Aȝen is wille oþur is fraunchise : þat he*. [MS. heo] sone to-tere.
A-mong is tresor heo founden al-so : tweie wel stronge heren :
Wel filliche heo casten heom a-wei : ase þei heo nouȝt wurth nere.
Ake naþeles heo bi-þouȝten heom þo : and weren somdel in fere,
And seiden bi-twene heom stilleliche : "guod man we wenez he were."
Sire willam traci tolde sethþe : of þis guode man seint thomas
Þe bischope of Eccetre in is schrifte : ase he of him i-schriue was: [folio 85]
Þat þo þe guode man was a-slawe : and heo ovtward were,
So sore heom a-gros þat heo weren : neiȝ witlese for fere;
For heom þouȝte euere ase heo eoden outward : ne wenden heo no so bliue,
Þat þe eorþe openede onder heom : for-to swolewen hem a-liue.—
¶ Þo þis guod man i-martred was : and þe kniȝtes weren out i-gon,
In-to al þe toun of Caunterburi : couth it was anon.
Þat folc cride deolfulliche : and to churche heo drowe Page 169
And onovreden þat holi bodi : and custen it ofte i-nowe.
Þe Monekus comen sone þer-to : and þis holi bodi toke
And leiden faire In one bere : and bi-fore þe Autere it bi-woke.
Þat face was ȝwyȝt and cler i-nouȝ : and no blod nas þar-inne,
bote fram þe riȝt half of is frount : toward þe left chinne
A smal rewe þere was of blode : þat ouer is nose drouȝ;
More blod þar nas in al is face : ase folk i-saiȝ i-nouȝ.
Þe woundene bledden al þe niȝt : and men henten þare-of, i-wis—
And In þe churche of Caunterburi : of þulke blode ȝeot is.
Ake he nas neuere of þe worse hewe : for al þat he bledde þere,
bote in guode heowe and cler inov : riȝt ase he liues were,
And somdel leyȝinde with þe mouþe— : he lai ase þei he slepe.
Muche folk was a-boute him : þat blod for-to kepe,
And forto gaderi of þe blode : þat i-sched was on þe grounde,
And of þat eorþe þat was bi-bled : and glade weren ȝwan heo it founden—
¶ For þat nolde heom noman werne— : þicke a-wei men it drouȝ;
And ho-so miȝte enes þat bodi cusse : he was glad i-nouȝ.
A-morewe þe luþere kniȝtes : Armeden heom eft-sone
And with-oute toun nome heore red : ȝwat heom was to done;
heo bi-radden for-to nime þat holi bodi : and with wilde hors to-drawe
And sethþe hangen it on a waritreo— : heo seiden þat it was lawe,
For he nas nouȝt wuyrþe to beon i-bured : In churche ne In churche|ȝerd.
Þe Monekus þouȝten þis swiþe wel : and weren ful sore a-ferd:
heo bureden þat holi bodi : hasteliche þere-bi-side
With luyte solempnete i-novȝ : for heo ne dorsten no leng a-bide:
Þis holi bodi was i-bured : In þe munstre of ihesu crist,
bi-fore seint Austines weuede : and seint Iohanes þe baptist.
heo ne dorsten nouȝt so longue : for-to þat bodi i-wasche were,
Al ongreiþet to leggen it In : [heo] heiȝeden bliue for fere.
Ase heo strepten of is cloþes : al a-boue heo founde
Clerkene cloþes ase him to bi-feol : and oþere bi þe grounde:
Monekene Abite with-Inne : ase heo founden þere,
boþe Covele and stamin : he founden next is here.
So þat he was Monek with-Inne : and seculer with-oute— Page 170
Nuste no man is priueite : of þa[t] him was a-boute.
And next is flesche þe here was : with knottes mani on,
Þat deope in is flesche seten : some riȝt to þe bon;
Þar-of he hadde schurte and brech : luytel aise he miȝte i-fele, [folio 85b]
So þat he was þare-inne i-bounde : fram þe scholdre to þe hele;
With luytel aise he miȝte sitte : and ful on-aisi-liche ride,
And on-aisiliche ligge also : opon eþur side.*. [This v. on the margin.]
Ful of wormes was is flesch : to al oþur wo,
In none creature, ich onderstonde : neuere ne weren i-seie mo;
For in euereche stude of is flesche : so þicke heo weren i-sete,
Þat þe grete ne miȝten for þe smale : comen to heore mete;
Faste heo schouen and cropen al-so : ase ametene*. [formice overwr.] al a-boute,
Ake þe smale cleoueden faste to : þe grete bi-lefden with-oute.
¶ he deide endleue houndret ȝer : and seuenti and on
After þat ore swete louerd : of is moder nam flesch and bon.
Of þreo and fifti ȝeres elde : him-sulf he was þo—
Mani a fair dai he hadde i-leoued : in care and in wo.—
Þe king was in normandie : and her-of nuste nouȝt:
he made deol and sorewe i-nouȝ : þo þe tiþinge him was i-brouȝt.
In þe Castel of Argenteyn : he soiornede þo;
With-oute þe ȝates ne cam he nouȝt : fourti daiȝes ne mo,
Ake euere he heold him in priuete : In wepinge and oþur wo;
For none neode þat Man miȝte habbe : with-oute he nolde go;
Ne rouȝte he no-þing of þe world : wel luyte he eat al-so;
Þe sorewe and þe deol þat he made : ne miȝte neuere beo i-do.
he sende a-non to Caunterburi : for þis deolful dede
And bad þe Monekus pitousliche : þat heo for him bede;
And sende heom þat it nas : no-þing bi is rede,
Ake þat þe kniȝtes wenden forth : and no-þing him fore ne seide,
And þat he sende after heom : for-to comen a-ȝe,
¶ And are þe messeger were to heom i-come : huy weren fer in þe se.
to þe pope al-so god : þe king sende sone
And bad is conseil pitousliche : ȝwat him were to done,
he bad him for þe loue of god : In swyche anguise him rede,
Þat he were i-schriue and a-soilled : of so luþer a dede.
Þe pope hadde ful gret pite : þat he swuch word him sende, Page 171
¶ And gret Ioye for he hadde wille : is lif for-to amende.
twei cardinales he sende him : wise men boþe to,
to schriuen him of þulke sunne : and a-soilli him al-so,
And þe bischopus for-to a-soilli al-so : þat weren in mansinge.
Welle, þat þe Cardinales : welcome weren þe kinge!
Þe king bad heom deolfulliche : to schriuen him of þe dede,
And bi-het heom studefastliche : to stonden al-to heore rede.
he swor on þe halidom : þat þoruȝ him nas it nouȝt,
Ne bi is wille, ne bi his heste : þat he was to deþe i-brouȝt;
And ȝet he seide þat for is fader deþe : so sori man he nas,
Ne for is moderes no-þe-mo : Ase he for is deþe was;
And he seide he wolde with guode heorte : alle þe penaunces a-fonge
Þat heo wolden on him legge : ne weren heo no so stronge:
For he was enchaison of is deþe : and of is anuy al-so: [folio 86]
Þe kniȝtes, for-to paien him : brouȝten him þer-to.
¶ Þo þe Cardinales i-seiȝen þis : þat he to repentaunce drouȝ.
heo a-soileden him and setten on him : stronge penaunce i-nouȝ,
In priuete ase riȝt was : þat no man þar-of nuste,
And þis al-so þat ichulle novþe telle : þat alle Men of wusten.
his priue penaunces some weren : fastinge for-to make,
*. [vv. 2261-2 om. in the other MSS.]And In fale tymes linne cloth and schurte of selk : for is sunnes for-sake.
In-to þe holie londe he scholde finde : to hundret knyȝtes, to fiȝte
Al ane ȝer with þe templers : for holi churche riȝte;
¶ And þat he scholde þe status of Clarindone : al clanliche with|drawe,
Þoru ȝwuche statuz þis holi man : i-brouȝt was of lijf-dawe;
And þat he clanliche ȝolde a-ȝein : al þat bi-nome was
Þe bischopriche of Caunterburi : for wrathe of seint thomas;
And þat he scholde is vuele wille : also clanliche for-ȝiue
Alle þat he hadde out of londe : for wrathe of him i-driue.
Þe king grauntede al heore wille : weopinde swiþe sore,
And seide þat it was to luyte : and bad on him legge more,
And ȝeot, "al to ouwer wille here : mi bodi ich bi-take,
Ȝiueth me penaunces i-nowe : I-nelle neuer on for-sake."
he wende out atþe Churche dore : a-soiled forto beo, Page 172
And seide þat he nas nouȝt wurthe : þat men scholde him with-inne i-seo;
And with-oute churche pitousliche : he sat a-doun a-kne.
Ake þe Cardinales nolden nouȝt : is bodi al on-wreo,
And somdel a-boue is cloþes : heo a-soileden him riȝt þere;
For deol heo weopen pitousliche : and manie þat þare were.
his sone al-so made one bi-heste : with wel dreorie chere:
Þe faderes penaunce to folfulle : ȝif he of power nere
Oþur ȝif he felle in-to feble stat : þat he ne miȝte it nouȝt ful-ende,
Opon him-self þe charge he nam : and dude ase guod and hende.
Þus was þe holi man : i-brouȝt to martyrdom;
Mani was þe fair miracle : þat for him sone com.*. [Both verses are written in one line.]—
*. [Jerusalem.]¶ For In Ierusalemes londe men wusten : of is martyrdom
With-Inne þe furste fourtene-Niȝt : þat he þe det nam.
For a Monek in þulke londe : In is deþe vuele lai,
And is Abbod cam to him : bi-fore is ende-dai*. [Both verses are written in one line.]
And conIurede him*. [MS. him þat him] þat he scholde : after is deþe þere
to him comen and tellen him fore : in ȝwuch stat he were.
So þat þis Monek deide sone : ase ore louerd ȝaf þat cas.
to is Abbod sethþe he cam : ase he I-conioured was,
And seide þat he i-saued was : In þe Ioie of heuene an heiȝ;
he tolde him muche of þe Ioye : þat he þare i-seiȝ.
he tolde him þat þulke tyme : þat he to heuene cam
Þe Erchebischop of Caunterburi : þolede martyrdom,
And þat is soule þulke tyme : to heuene wende a-non;
"Fair was þat processioun : þat a-ȝen him cam gon
Of Aungles and of patriarks : and of apostles al-so,
Of Martirs and of confessours : and of virgines þer-to.
heo nome alle þeos holi soule : And bi-fore ore louerd sone [folio 86b]
brouȝten hire with Ioye and blisse : ase he sat in is throne.
his croune was al of i-smite : and blodi was is heued,
And is brayn was al i-sched : þare nas nouȝt bi-leued.
¶ 'Thomas, thomas,' quath ore louerd : 'þus it fallez to þe
To þine louerdus court to come : In swuche manere to me!
For þi seruise ich þe ȝyue : ase muchel Ioie and blis
Ase ich ȝaf seint peter : þat min Apostel is.' Page 173
he sette ane Croune op-on is heued : of golde cler and guod,
Swyþe wel bi-cam þat briȝte gold : op-on þe rede blod.
More Ioie ne miȝte non beo : þane In heuene for him was,
For þe Erchebischope of caunterburi : is name was seint thomas.
Þe Tywesdai after Cristemasse : þe furste þat þere cam,
Þis holi man in Engelonde : þolede martyrdom;
And ȝwan þov i-heorst of is deþe telle : of Men of Engelonde,
Þov i-leue me of þis tale : and þe soþe onder-stonde."
Þe Abbod sone a-morewe : ne fur-ȝat nouȝt seint thomas,
Ake þe patria[r]cke of Ierusalem : he tolde al hov it was.
So þat forþere in þe ȝere : it was wel onder-stonde,
Þo pilegrimes þudere comen : out of Engelonde,
In ȝwat manere he was a-slawe : and ȝwuch tyme he was ded:
Þe pilegrimes tolden al þe soþe : ase þe Monek hadde er i-seid.
Þus was i-kud In Ierusalem : þe deth of seint thomas
With-Inne þe furste fourtene nyȝt : þat he i-martred was.—
*. [Guerra regum.]¶ þe fifte ȝer, ich onder-stonde : after is martyr-dom
bi-twene kyng henri and is sone : gret contek þare bi-com.
Þe sone bi-cam prout a-non : for is kynedom,
And of is fader tolde luyte : and werre ope him nam.
Þe meste del was with is sone : of al Engelonde,
And þe kyng of Fraunce al-so : and þe king of scotlonde.
So þat þis seli oldeman : In sorewe was I-novȝ.
Al he it wuste þe luþere dede : þat man seint thomas a-slouȝ.
he wende him out of Normundie : to-ward Engelonde,
Are he come to Caunterbiri : he nolde nouȝwere at-stonde;
And þo he cam fer w[i]th-oute þe toun : he gan to liȝte a-doun,
Al a-fote and bare-fot : he wende into þe toun.
In is Curtel one and on-gurd : ase al þat folk i-saiȝ,
Riȝt so he wende to þe stude : þere seint thomas lai.
At is toumbe he feol a-doun a-kneo : wepinde wel sore,
he heold op is hondene deolfolliche : and cride him milce and ore.
¶ Wepinde in is oresones : al fastinde he lai
At þis holi mannes toumbe : a nyȝt and al a dai;
Of euerech Monek of þe hous : he tok is discipline
With a smart ȝeorde, and ȝeot him þouȝte : þere was to luyte pine. Page 174
he bad heom alle deolfulliche : bidden for him one,
And swor he wolde legge a-doun : þe luþere lawene ech-one. [folio 87]
¶ So þat he let singe ane masse : are he þannes wende,
In þe honour of seint thomas : þat he is grace him sende.
Þe ȝwyle men þe masse songe : ase ore louerd ȝaf þat cas,
Þe kyng of Scotlond was i-nome : þat mest is fo was;
And manie oþere also with him : þat weren is stron[ge] fon;
So þat heo þat weren vn-nome : to him nadden power non.
his folk dude þe bataille : þe ȝwyle þe masse i-laste*. [MS. staste];
Þar-to heo hadden luyte help : and weren wel sore agaste,
Ake ore louerd for seint thomas loue : his grace wel sone him caste,
So þat heore fon weren some*. [m MS. sone] i-nome : and some flouwen wel faste.
So þat þis seli olde king : þat al bi-neþe er was,
Al a-boue was sone i-brouȝt : þoruȝ bone of seint thomas;
And is sone was al bi-neþe : and so he bi-ȝat wel luyte
For-to weorri aȝein is fader : for is sori pruyte.
bi him men mowen nime ensaumple : to beon to hastiue:
to ȝiuen heore sones op heore lond : þe ȝwyle heo hem-sulue beoth a-liue.
Þe kingus sone þare-after-ward : prouede vuele i-novȝ,
And wel longe bi-fore þe fadere : toward þe deþe he drouȝ
And fur-pinede in þe menisone : þat is lif him þouȝte long;
he deide sethþe deol-folliche : in gret pine and strong.
his broþer also, sire Geffrei : þat Erl of brutayne was,
Deide al-so in þe menison : In þulke sulue cas.
So þat after is fader deþe : þare ne lefde eir non
bote heore ȝongue broþer king Richard : and sethþe þe king Iohan—
Ake sire Geffreies child : with riȝte lawe of londe
Þe heritage scholde habbe i-bore : ase ich me onder-stonde.—
*. [Mors Militum.]¶ Þeos luþere kniȝtes alle foure : þat slowen seint thomas
Deiden in stronge deþe i-nouȝ : ase wel riȝt it*. [MS. it it] was.
heo weren echone repentaunt : ne miȝten none men more,
euere heo criden on seint thomas : to ȝiuen heom milce and ore.
Sone after-ward þat he was a-slawe : al heore guod huy lete
And wenden to þe holi lond : heore sunnes for-to bete.
Ake sire Willame traci ne wende nouȝt : forth with þe oþere þreo, Page 175
he hopede here In Engelonde : Inouȝ repentaunt to beo.
*. [These two verses are tr. in the MS.]Þare-after-ward he bi-cam : in grete meseise and strong:
his flesch bi-gan to breken out : and rotede an fovle stonk,
So longue þat he stonk so foule : þat deul it was to se,
Þat onneþe ani man miȝte : for stunche neiȝ him beo.
his flesch rotede on him al-so : and al dai ful awei,
Þat is bones weren al bare— : þo ne likede him no plei!
Wit is hondene he to-drouȝ al-so : his flesch atþe laste,
pece and oþur al a-brod : a-wei fram him he caste;
hondene and Armes he to-drovȝ : mest of ech-on,
Þat þere nas no flesch bi-leued : bote senue and bare bon.
Manie men it þouȝten wel : þat bi is wille it were, [folio 87b]
Al for-to biete*. [MS. biete] is sunnes here : þat is soule in helle nere.
Wrechchedore gost ne miȝte non beo : þane þis prisun was;
And euere he cride deolfulliche : "merci, seint thomas."
Atþe laste he let is lijf : In wel stronge pine,
And ȝif ore louerdes wille was : he cam to guode fine.
Þis kniȝtes aftur heore luþere dedene*. [al. dede] : deiden sone ech-on,
So þat with-Inne þe þridde ȝere : a-liue ne lefde þer non.
For þe sauter seith þat swuche men : þat of tricherie beoth,
Ne schullen nouȝt halue heore dawes libbe : ase ȝe alda[i] i-seoth;
Þei heo beon swyþe repentaunt : ase þis kniȝtes weren, ich wene,
Ȝuyt ne libbeth heo nouȝt half heore lif : ant þat was bi heom i-sene.—
¶ Seint thomas þis holi man : onder eorþe he lay,
Are þat he I-schrined were : wel mani a long day;
he lai þere nine*. [al. inne] and fourti ȝer : and half a ȝer þer-to
And a-boute ane Eiȝte dawes : are he were of eorþe i-do.
god wolde a-bide ane guode tyme : to don so noble þing:
Þat þare weren boþe guode : Erchebischop and king.
For þe king Iohan þat longue was : euere of luþere rede,
luyte þouȝte bi is daie : to don so guode dede.
¶ Ake þe king henri, is ȝonge sone : nolde nouȝt longe a-fine,
After þat he was king i-mad : are seint thomas were in schrine.
he nas nouȝt þrettene ȝeres old : þo he dude þis noble þing,
And it was in þe feorþe ȝere : þat he was i-mad ȝong king.
Þe guode Erchebischop steuene : radde faste þer-to: Page 176
So þat bi hore boþe redes : þis dede was i-do.
Þe pope honorie, þat was þo : hidere he gan sende
Ane legat fram Rome, þat het pandulf : to bringe þis dede to ende.
Þe pope ȝaf alle pardon : þat þudere wolden gon,
Þat men nusten in Engelonde : suuych pardon non.
Þare-fore, for-to honouri þis holi man : þere cam folk i-novȝ;
Of bischopes and of Abbodes : mani on þudere drouȝ,
Of priores and of persones : and manie oþur clerkes al-so;
Of Eorles and of barones : and manie kniȝtes heom to;
Of seriaunz and of squiers : and oþere house-bondes i-nowe;
And þe simple men of þe londe : so þicke þudere drowe
Þat al þe contreie þare-a-boute : þe tounes wide and longe*. [MS. londe]
Vnneþe miȝten al þat folk : þat þudere cam a-fonge.
¶ So þat þis heiȝe men : þat scholden þis dede do
Weren in care hov heo miȝten : for prece comen þer-to;
So þat Erchebischop steuene : of ȝwam ich er ov seide,
And þe bischop Richard of Salesburi : þar-of heom nomen to rede,
And prior water of þe house : and þe couent al-so,
Wenden heom in priuete : þis dede for-to do.
bi niȝte, þo men weren a-slepe : and luyte þar-on þouȝte,
heo nomes*. [r. nomen] op þe holi bones : and in one cheste brouȝte, [folio 88]
And setten heom in a priue stude : for-to þe time was i-come
þat*. [MS. hit] was i-crid into al þat lond : þat heo scholden beo up i-nome.
It was in þe monþe of Iulie : euene þene seuenthe dai,
bi a tiwesdai it was þo : ase al þat folk i-saiȝ.
Þo þe dai was i-come : to þe munstre heo wenden a-non,
Kyng henri þat ȝonge child : an þe heiȝe men ech-on;
A-boute onderne of þe daie : to þis holi bones heo come.
PAndulf wende furst þer-to : þat legat was of rome,
And þe Erchebischop of Caunterburi : and þe Erchebischop of reins al-so,
Þat for þulke þinge cam : fram bi-ȝeonde se þer-to,
And sire hubert de boruȝ : þat þo was heiȝ Iustise.
Þeos foure grete louerdes : þat noble men weren and wise,
On heore scholdres huy nomen up : þis holi bodi a-non;
¶ Bischopus and Abbodes al-so : it beren ful mani on. Page 177
to þe heiȝe weuede of þe trinite : þe holie bones heo bere,
And leiden þe Cheste al þare-with : In a noble schrine þere.
Þis king henri was so ȝong : þat he ne dorste nouȝt
With þe oþere bere þat holi bodi : laste men him hurten ouȝt.
It was bi a tiwesdai : þat heo þe bones op nome;
Alle is chaunces þat he hadde : bi tiwesdawes him come.
In a tiwesdai he was i-bore : and of is moder wombe he cam;
And also ase men bringuth ane þeof : for-to a-fonge is dom,
bi-fore þe kynge at Norehaumptone : op-on a tiwes-daiȝ
Wit gret schame he was i-brouȝt : ase al þat folk i-saiȝ—
Filloker þane ani þef : folk him þare schende;
bi tiwesday he was i-flemd al-so : and out of londe he wende;
And bi a tiwesdaiȝ at pounteneie : ore louerd to him com
And seide to him þat swete word : of is martyrdom—
¶ "Thomas," seide ore swete louerd : "ȝeot schal of þine blode
Al mi churche honoured beo—" : þis wordes weren wel guode;
bi a tiwesdai also gud : to engelonde he cam,
After þat he was i-flemd : to a-fonge is martirdom;
bi a tiwesdai at Caunterburi : to deþe he was i-do;
And sethþe bi a tiwes-dai : Ischrined he was al-so.
Þeos seuen Auntres bi tiwesday : him comen atþe leste:
Þare-fore we i-seoth manie men : makien one bi-heste
to bi-leue flesch þene tiwesdai : oþur to o mel faste,
For-to heo comen to Caunterburi : oþur þe ȝwyle heore lif i-lastez.
Nov Iesu crist for þulke loue : þat seint thomas on þouȝte,
Ȝyue us part of þulke Ioie : þat he so deore a-bouȝte.
28 [Prologue] Fabian Sebastian.
AL þis bok is i-maked of holi dawes : and of holie mannes liues
Þat soffreden for ore louerdes loue : pinene manie and riue,
Þat ne spareden for none eiȝe : godes weorkes to wurche;
Of ȝwas liues ȝwane heore feste fallez : men redez in holi churche.
Þei ich of alle ne mouwe nouȝt telle : ichulle telle of some, [folio 88b]
Ase euerech feste after oþur : In þe ȝere doth come.—
Þe furste feste þat in þe ȝere comez : we cleopiez ȝeres-dai,
Ase ore louerd was circumciset : In þe giwene lay, Page 178
For to fulfullen heore lawe : and for cristinedom non nas
Are longe þare-afturward : þat he I-cristned was.
¶ He was Nyne and twenti ȝer : and þrettene dawes old
Are he i-baptized were : ase þe bok us hath i-told:
Al-so it fel a twelfte-dai : seint Iohan þe baptist
Baptizede in þe flum Iordan : ore louerd Ihesu crist.
In þat dai a twelf-monþe : ore louerd was at one feste,
Þare he turnde water to win : þoruȝ is moder heste.
We holdez al-so þat dai feste : of þe þridde þinge:
Ase þe þre kingues to ore louerd : presaunt dude bringe;
to him heo comen ase is moder : a-child-bedde lay,
After þat he i-bore was : þane þretteþe day,
Ase it fallez a-twelfte-dai— : longe heo erore him souȝten,
gold. and. mirre. and An-sens : In presaunt heo him brouȝten.—
Seint Fabian þrettene ȝer : pope was*. [MS. was was] In rome;
he turnede mani men þat luþere weren : in-to cristine-dome.
Decius, þat prince was : of heþenesse þo,
he let him martri þere-fore : and oþere with him mo.
Vita sancti Sebastiani.
Telle ichulle of þe holi man : seint Sebastian.
he seruede ane heþe amperour : þat het dyoclician;
hext maister he was onder him : to don al is wille.
Cristine Man he was bi-come : bote þar-of he heold him stille,
for no doute of Martyrdom : ake for þat he wolde longe
Serui god almiȝti, are he wolde : deth onder-fonge.
Alle þe men þat cristine weren : þat þe Aumperor ouȝwer founde
Sone he let to deþe bringe : with fuyre oþur mid wounde.
Ȝwane ani man for cristindom : to deþe scholde beon brouȝt,
Seint Sebastian heom confortede : þat heo ne dradden heom nouȝt
Deth a-fonge for godes loues : Ake þat heo studefaste were;
Mani he heold in þe riȝte bi-leue : þat flechchi wolden for fere.
¶ Marcus and Marcellian : breþren weren tweie,
Þe Aumperour for cristinedom : I-nome hadde heom beiȝe:
he let heom binde to-gadere faste : boþe to o piler,
And to þe Eorþe naylli heore fet : þat heo ne miȝten fer ne ner. Page 179
So heo stoden al ane day and a niȝt : þat non ne miȝten fram oþer;
Eiþur of heom ofte to oþere seide : "here is ioye, leue broþer!"—
guod it is and murie : breþren to wonie i-fere!
Euere heo precheden cristindom : mid wel glade chere.
Þe Aumperor let nimen ane spere : ase heo stoden to-gadere i-bounde,
Þoruȝ heore heortene he let heom smite : þat heo deiden in a luyte stounde.
Sebastian was þo i-wreid : þat he heom ȝaf þane red
to holden op faste heore cristindom : þei heo scholden beo ded. [folio 89]
Þe Aumperor let him cleopie : "Sebastian," he sede,
"to þe al mi truste was : mi lond to wissi and rede,
Of alle þing þat min is : Ich ȝaf þe mest power,
to holden op min honour : and to saui it fer and ner:
Ich habbe to þe suspecion : Ake for-soþe i-ne segge it nouȝt,
Þat þov a-ȝen me and a-ȝen min honour : Itorned hast þi þouȝ[t]."
Sebastian seide, "sire Aumperour : Aȝen þe neuere I nas,
Ake mid þe and al þine þinge : to þin honour ich was,
And ofte ich habbe niȝt and daiȝ : godes sone bi-souȝt,
Al-so wisliche ase he with is heorte blode : deore us hauez i-bouȝt,
Þat he þe ȝyue power gret : and wille and eke þouȝt
to leten þine false godes— : for heo ne helpeth þe nouȝt."
¶ Wod-wroth was þis Aumperor. : "Sebastian," he seide,
"habbe ich þus i-holde þe? : turne þi þouȝt, ich rede!
bote þov honouri ore godus : to swuche pine i schal þe take
Þat, are þov beo to deþe i-brouȝt : ech lime þe schal ake."
"Sire," seide Sebastian : "þine þretningue ne drede i nouȝt,
More me greuez þat þou nelt : habbe reuþe in þi þouȝt
And honouri him þat made þe man : ant þine maumates bi-leue,
Þat ne mouwe helpe nouȝt : for heo beoth doumbe and deue."
Þe Aumperour in grete wrathþe was : þesne holi man he let take,
And dude him leden into þe feld : and binde him to a stake,
he let archers to him scheote : ase it were to one marke;
With quareles and with Arewene : heo maden him woundes starke.
Mani on wende þoruȝ-out him : in a luytel ȝwyle
heo stikeden al-so þicke on him : so yrichon deth of piles.
Þo heom þouȝte þat he was ded : hom heo gonne i-wende; Page 180
On-bured heo bi-lefden him þare : his bodi for-to schenden.
A cristine womman, þat heiȝte Yreine : wende þudere bi niȝte
Forto burien þat holi bodi : ȝif heo it finde miȝte.
heo cam and fond him hol and sound : he nadde nouȝt one wounde;
With gret Ioye heo ladde him to hire hous : and glad was þat heo him founde.
¶ Þene feorþe dai Sebastian : wende to þe Aumperour.
"Sire," he seide, "ichulle þe telle : þat fallez to þin honour:
Ȝe mis-bi-leuez, and men doth eov : a-mis to onderstonde
Þat cristine men scholden harm do : to þe and to al þine londe.
For i-sosteyned and i-saued : it is þoruȝ heore bone
More þane þoruȝ ouwer Maumates : þat ne beoth nouȝt wurhþ a spone.
For we biddez nyȝt and day : god, þat me hidere sende,
Þat he eov ȝiue long lijf : ȝif ȝe eov wollez a-mende."
"hou is þis?" quath þe Aumperour : "ȝweþur þov a-liue beo?
Nartþou nouȝt Sebastian : þat ich a-felde let sle?"
"Ȝe," he seide, þis holi man : "a-liue ich am nouþe her,
hol and sound, with-oute wounde : to schewen þe godus pouwer,
And to schewen þat ȝe onriȝt doth : cristine Men to sle, [folio 89b]
For heore bi-leue is riȝtful and guod : and ouwere nis wuyrth a stre.
Þare-fore on þine soule þench! : ne bi-lef þou nouȝt on a stone,
Ake on him þat us deore a-bouȝte : þat is godes sone al one."
¶ "Ovȝ," seide þe Aumperovr þo : "ȝware is ovre miȝte?
Schal þis þeof þoruȝ is wichchinge : a-ȝen us with wordes fiȝte?"
he let nimen sebastian : and hom to is paleis lede.
For no miracle þat he dude : to wide scholde sprede,
Laste Men torneden to cristindom : In-to a priue stude he him ladde,
With staues he let him to deþe beten. : and þo heo a-slawe him hadde,
In one Chaumbre foreine : a-midde þe fuylthþ-hede
he let him honge with a rop— : and þat was a vil dede—
Þat bodi forto schende : for he hadde drede
Þat cristine Men him wolden stele : and is bodi a-wei lede.
bi niȝte cam þis holi Man : to a womman, þat het lucine,
And tolde hire hou he ymartred was : and in ȝwuche pine,
An hou filliche is bodi heng : and þat heo ase sone ase heo miȝte
his bodi fette, and burien it : a-mong cristine men bi niȝte. Page 181
Þis guode womman at Midniȝt : dude ase he hadde i-bede:
Fette þat bodi and burede hit : In a wel fair stude.
Þus seint sebastian þe holi man : is lif brouȝte to ende,
And fram þe pine of is liue : to þe blisse of heuene he gan iwende.
29 Vita sancte agnetis.
SEint Anneis, þat holi Maide : wel ȝong heo bi-gan
to serui god al-miȝti : to beon cristine womman.
heo nas bote of þrettene ȝer : þo heo was to deþe i-brouȝt
For þe loue of Ihesu crist : þat deore us hath i-bouȝt.
In rome, þare he wonede : so fair creature nas non
Ase was þis maide forthward : of felle noþer of bon.
Ase þis Maide-child cam a dai : goinde fram schole,
Þe constables sone hire i-saiȝ : and heold hire for fole;
he gan to louien hire in folie : and for hire was in mourninge,
And carede hov he miȝte best : to ende his fole þouȝt bringe.
For stille mourninge þat he hadde : he i-werth swuyþe lene.
Þar-of wondrede muche is frend : and ȝerne him duden bi-men[e].
heo axeden him a dai in priuete : hov he dude fare.
he gan to telle fram on to oþur : ȝware-of was is care,
And hou he wolde him-self a-sle : bote he þat maide hadde.
Þe consta[b]le non oþur ne saiȝ : is sone forth he ladde;
heo comen to Anneyse, þat Maide hende : and nomen hire bi þe honde.
Þe fader seide : "lo here mi sone : þat wurth riche heyr of londe:
¶ A fair grace þe is i-come : he hath is heorte to þe i-take;
Riche womman þou worst i-nouȝ : he schal habbe þe to make;
hext þov worst of al þi kun : of londe and oþur þinges,
gold and seluer þe worth i-nouȝ : broches and eke ringus."
Þat maide seide : "go fram me : þov luþe[r] deþes fode!
Woldestþov defouli mi bodi? : þov ne bringest me neuere in þat mode. [folio 90]
Ich habbe me one spouse i-nome : þou ne wost nouȝwer swuch non,
briȝtore þane þe sonne oþur ani liȝt : þat euere on eorþe schon.
Of ȝwas kuynde wondri may ech þing : for is moder is clene mayde,
his fader of womman neuere ne wuste : so þe prophetus us saide;
Al þene world he made of nouȝt : and ȝaf us ovre fode; Page 182
Wel deore with is swete blod : he bouȝte us on þe rode.
Ane marke he hathz on me i-do : þat I-ne scholde non oþur take,
Deorewurþe þing he hath me bi-hote : I-nelle him neuere fur-sake."
¶ Þe Constable het Symproni. : "hov geth þis," he seide,
"Ȝweþur þov bi-leue on þe false gode? : torne þi þouȝt, ich rede
And nim þis child to þi spouse : and þenk on þine owene guod,
Oþur ischal do þe so tormenti : þat þov schalt neiȝ beo wod."
"beo stille," seide þis maide þo : "be stille, þou deueles lime,
Þov ne schalt to-dai for no þretning : mi guode þouȝ[t] me bi-nime.
Ich am redi for is loue : þat deore me hath i-bouȝt
tormenz a-fonge, and þe deth al-so : for Ine drede me riȝt nouȝt."
þe Constable let somony al þe cite : and brouȝte þis mayde heom bi-fore;
hire for-to schiende, he dude hire strepe : so naked so heo was i-bore,
Þat ech man scholde i-seon hire derne limes : þe more hire to schende.
"Onwreste man," þis mayde seide : "schame þe worth atþenende.
¶ Ne schameth þe no-þing in þi þouȝt : bi womman þus to do,
Ȝwan þou of womman art i-come : and ech man is al-so?"
Þat*. [al. þat maide] was not*. [ags. hnot] for hire ȝong-hede : are hire smok were of i-nome,
Þare was*. [MS. was was] on hire swete heued : so muche fair her i-come,
Þat hudde al hire swete bodi : þat it tilde bi-neothe hire kne*. [MS. kneo];
Þo ne miȝten men for here : of hire bodi nouȝt i-se.
An hous þat seruede of bordel : þare was bi-side:
Þare-Inne þe constable hire let do : and sethþe het crie wide
Þat alle þat wolden folie don : þudere scholden wende
And finde þare a fol womman : of bodie fair and hende.
Þo þat Maide was þare-Inne i-do. : so ful was þat hous of liȝte
Þat no man for brijȝt-hede : þat Mayde i-seo ne miȝte.
Þat Maide sat a-doun a-kneo : and seide hire oresun þere:
"Louerd," heo seide, "ȝong ich am : a-mong mine fon i-brouȝt here,
Euerech fondeth to don me schame : þat he[r]-a-boute wendez:
Louerd, ne ȝif neuere no luþer man power : mi bodi for-to schende!"
Þis Maide sat euere in hire beden : to ore louerd heo gan crie:
hire ne miȝte no man for liȝte i-seo : þat come þere-In for folie,
Ake euere ȝwane heo comen In : to don heore fole þouȝt,
heo heorden hire crie on ore louerd so ȝerne : and hire ne seiȝen nouȝt.*. [Vv. 63, 64 are tr. in the MS.]Page 183
¶ Þo bi-gan ech after oþur : ase euer-ech with-Inne cam,
For Miracle þat heo seiȝen þere : tuyrne to cristindom,
And bi-gonne forth with hire : to ore louerd ȝeorne crie—
Þo was þat an hous of beden : þat raþer was of folie.
Ase þat maide sat and bad hire beden : an Aungel þare cam gon, [folio 90b]
A Roket he brouȝte on is hond to hire : ȝwittore nas neuere non.
Þat [maide]*. [om.] dude on þis Roket. : al naket heo was er,
Naþeles heo ne miȝten nouȝt hire bodi seo : for liȝte ne for her;
Þo heo hadde ido þis Roket on : non-more i-hud heo nas;
Fairore lijf nas neuere i-seie : þane þis ȝonge maide þo was.
Þe constables sone cam for-to don with hire : ase he hadde er i-seid:
And are he miȝte þat Maiden handli : he fel a-doun stan-ded.
his felawes þat with him comen : with-oute heo weren wel stille,
And hopeden, for he so longe was : þat he dude is wille.
¶ Naþeles, þo he to longe was : is o felawe gan in gon,
And fond þat child ligge ded : so cold ase a ston.
he leop him out in-to þe strete : loude he gan to grede:
"Comiez hidere, men, and sleth þis wichche : for heo hath i-do a luþer dede:
Þe Constables sone heo hath a-slawe : here ȝe mouwen i-seo.
Comiez nouþe bliue and nimeth hire : þat heo a-wei ne fleo!"
Þat folk cam reke a-boute þis hous : and founden þat it was ded.
Alle þe baillifs þudere comen : to nimen þar-of red.
Some seiden þat heo wichche was : some þat heo was guod,
And alle for þe childes deþe : wroþe weren in heore mod;
heo stoden and Iuggeden hire a-mong heom alle : þat quelle heo wolden hire sone.
Þat maide sat a-doun on hire knes : and made to god hire bone:
"louerd," he seide, "ȝif þi wille beo : ȝif me*. [ȝif me al. om.] þine miȝte and þine grace:
Þov kuythþ þine miȝte*. [þ. m. al. om.] and send þis child : lijf here In þis place,
Þat þis folk þat here is luyþur : þine miȝte mouwen i-seo;
Ne lat none mo men deth a-fonge : for enchesun of me."
¶ A-doun þar cam an Aungel : "mayde Anneis," he seide,
"Ore louerd hath i-heord þine bone : þat þou to him bede."
heo blessede þat child, and hit aros : fram deþe to liue,
And þonkede god, and orn him out : at þe dore wel bliue; Page 184
he cam out a-mong al þat fo[l]k : loude he gan to crie:
"On god þat*. [om. þat] is In heuene : þat was i-bore of þe Maidene Marie,
Þat is fader and sone and holi gost : louerd of alle þinge,
Þat wille hadde þoruȝ is miȝte : fram deþe to-day me bringe.
Fur-sakez eovwer false godes : for heo nabbeth miȝte non
Forto meoui heom enes of þe stude : non more þene a ston."
Þe childes fader and mani oþure : swiþe glade bi-come,
Þo heo i-seiȝen þe Miracle : and cristindom hem nome.
Wod-wroþe weren þe luþere men : heo gonne bi-twene heom telle
In ȝwuche martyrdome heo miȝten : þis holi maide a-quelle.
heo leten makien a gret fuyr : þare a-midde þe place,
For-to brenne seinte Anneis. : and þar*. [MS. þat] ore louerd cudde is grace.
¶ For þo þat Mayde was þudere i-brouȝt : In þe fuyr men hire þrevȝ:
Þat fuyr clef a-middes a-to : and þe luyþere men it wel i-knevȝ,
For þo it smot in eiþur side : and barnde heom al-clene.
Þat Maide nas i-wemned nouȝt : for it ne touchede hire nouȝt ene; [folio 91]
bote heo sat hire a-doun a-kne : and in eiþur half was þe leiȝe.
"Louerd," heo seide, "ȝif þi wille it beo : þat ich here schulle deiȝe,
I-redi ich am for-to a-fonge þat fuyr : þat is me In eyþur side,
Ȝif ich schal here I-martred beo : oþur lengore a-bide."
Þo heo hadde þis word i-seid : þat fuyr a-queinte a-non,
Non more hete nas in þe place : þane in þe colde ston.
Ȝeot þulke þat bi-lefden a-liue : on god þat ne*. [om. þat] bi-lefden nouȝt,
And Iuggeden hov heo miȝten don : þat heo were to deþe i-brouȝ[t]:
heo leten nime a kene suerd : and þoruȝ hire þrote it smite;
Þat rede blod orn a-doun : on hire limes so ȝwite.
Fairore ne miȝte no-þing [be] : þane was þat ilke blod
On hire limes þat weren so ȝwite : þo hit þaron stod.
Þus þis Mayde seinte Annes : brouȝte hire lijf to fine,
And wende to þe Ioye of heuene : after hire muchele pine.
30 Vita sancti vincentij Martyris.
SEint Vincent In spayne : to a cristine bischop cam,
Þat men cleopeden valentin : and cristindom of him nam.
Þe king*. [al. iustice] of þe londe— : Dacian was is name—
For þe bischop cristine was : he þouȝte to don him schame: Page 185
he let him nime and binde : and don him in grete pine.
Þe bischop cride ȝerne on god : he nolde oþur fine.
With heom þat him tormenteden : he spac with milde speche.
Seint Vincent was þare-fore wrath : and seide: "ich mot þe teche;
Ȝwy spext þov so mildeliche : ase þei þov a-drad were?
Wenstþou þat heo þine Maistres beon? : ȝwar-of hauest þov fere?
Spec hardiliche, and conforte wel : oþure þat cristine beoth,
Þat heo mowe to þe deþe hardie beon : ase heo þe i-seoth!"
"hov is þis?" seide þe king : "ȝweþur þes þef wene fiȝte
And with-segge us al a-brod? : Ich him schal euene diȝte.
Lateth þene bischop a-wei gon : for is milde speche,
Nimez vincent and bindez a-non : we schullen him oþur tech[e].
With scourges and with staues : faste ȝe him bete,
Þat he ne mouw i-wielde neuere a lime : are þat ȝe him lete!"
"Ȝe," seide vincent, "þov paiȝest me wel : þi word ne þinchez me nouȝt ille,
I-ne fond neuere Man þat so wel : a-cordede to mi wille:
¶ Nov ich hopie to habbe game : for erore me þouȝte longe;
hit schal me tuyrne to Ioye and gleo : and þe to*. [MS. to þe] pines stronge."
Þe tormentores nomen þane holie Man : and to a piler him bounde,
With staues and scourges heo leiden on him*. [al. him on] : and maden him mani a wounde.
Þo heo ȝeuen him sorest duntes : leiȝen he gan wel smere;
Þe tormentores seten a-doun and cleopeden help : þo heo werie were,
And seiden : "we beoth nouþe ouer-come : ore Armes aketh sore;
he[l]pez us and betez þesne*. [MS. þesne þesne] þeof : for we ne mowen non*. [MS. nou] more."
Þo was þe king wroth with heom : he let heom a-nou take,
Some he let tormenti sore : þat ech bon heom gan Ake,
And some he let to deþe bringue : and some in oþur turment. [folio 91b]
Euere he let ferschi and nevny*. [r. nevuy?] : tormentores to seint Vincent.
Ȝwane heo weren werie of bete : þe holi man bi-gan to speke:
"Louerd, i-wuyrþed beo þi name : nouþe ich am swiþe wel a-wreke:
Þe more þat heo betez me : þe betere me is, i-wis;
to heom i[t] torneþ to pine and sor : and me to Ioie and blis."
¶ "Ne mowe we novȝt," seide þe king : "with no-þing þar-to it bringe Page 186
Þat þov nelt nemme þine false god : for no luþur betinge?"
"Þov luþere Man," seide Vincent : "ȝeot þou most tormenti more,
I-ne habbe nouȝt ȝeot tormenz i-nouwe : þar-after me longez sore."
Þo he was i-scourget so : þat men miȝten i-seo ech bon
And euerech Ioynt and senue : þe king gan ner him gon,
"Vincent," he seide, "haue of þi-self : revþe and merci,
Ne lat þov non-more þi fa[i]re bodi : þus defouli!
bi-lief on ovre godes and torne anon : þi þouȝt and þi mod
And i-schal þe ȝiue ope al mi lond : pouwer gret and guod."
"beo stille," seide seint vincent : "al Atter is þi lore,
beo stille a-non, þou deueles tonge : þou makest me drede sore:
hit me greueth þat þov feinest þe : more þane al þe pine
And alle þe tormens þat þov me dest : þov and alle þine;
Þat þov bi-leuest þine tormenz so sone : and art bi-neoþe i-brouȝt.
Ȝeot þou most more Ioye : bringen in mi þouȝt."
"Þov schalt ȝeot," seide þe king : mo tormenz a-fonge."
he let him lede with-oute þe toun : and on a gibet him honge.
Vincent for Ioie bi-gan to eorne : þo he i-heorde þis dom,
Þare nas non þat him miȝte ouer-take : are he to þe gibat com.
Þo þat he an-hengut was : gret Ioye he made and blisse,
Euere he prechede ase he heng : godes wordes to wisse;
Þe lengore þat he þare heng : þe more Ioie he made.
Þo gradden þe tormentores : "we ne schullen neuere ouer-come þis tade."
¶ Atþe laste he nomen him a-doun : and ladden bi-fore þe kinge,
And seiden þat heo ne miȝten him : for noþing to deþe bringe.
"Alas," seide þe king þo : "is ore miȝte us bi-nome?
Ȝware-of seruieth ovre godes : þat þes þeof us schal ouer-come?
Ledez him with-oute þe toun : a gret fuyr ȝe þare make;
And þat he beo a-midde i-brouȝt : and i-bounde to one stake;
For-brenne he schal euerech lime : ne schal he þus him wer[e]:
And ȝwane he is to douste I-barnd : we beoth i-brouȝt of care."
Þe tormentores nomen seint Vincent : and duden þe kingus heste.
Þe holi man wende in-to þe fuyr : ase gladliche ase to one feste.
Þo heo wenden þat seint vincent : to douste i-brend were,
heo ornen hom and tolden þe kinge fore : gladdore neuere heo nere. Page 187
heo ne miȝten so sone hom come : þat seint vincent nas er
At home and stod bi-fore þe kinge— : mani sori man was þer!
¶ Þe tormentores tolden þe kingue : hov he i-barnd was.
"Alas! alas!" þe king seide : "neuerer i-schend i-nas! [folio 92]
Schal þeos þef us ouer-come? : Mahun, nou þin ore!
Þei he grete tormenz habbe i-haued : ȝeot ich can bi-þenche more."
he let nime platus of Ire : sum-del þunne and brode,
And let heom legge amidde þe place : wel neiȝ ane cartes lode;
gret fuyr he let þar-on make : and þo heo glowinde were,
Þat wode-fuyr heo duden al a-wei : þane guode man þudere heo bere
And on þe berninde plates him casten : and some þarof heo toke
And leiden an-ouewarde is holi bodi : mid one Irene croke.
Al he was þar-on ihud— : þe ȝut nadde he none fere!
Þat grece of him orn a-brod : ase þei it frijnge were.
Þe swyþere þat he barnde : þe gladdore he him made;
he louȝ smere, ȝwane þe plates : In is flesch gonne wade;
Atþe bi-ginningue he was glad : and gladdore atþenende.
"Alas! alas," þe king seide þo : "þes þef us wole schende!
Þis torment ne helpez us nouȝt : an-oþur we moten bi-þenche."
he let maken a swyþe gret fuyr : þat no-þing ne miȝte a-quenche:
¶ Seint Vincent huy lei[den] a-mide-warde : and sethþe salt heo nome
And Mid ladeles on is wondene it casten : in*. [al. & in] þe fuyr i-lome,
So þat þe salt scholde is woundene frete : with þe brenninde fuyre;
Þe spranglinge of þe blode i-selt : wide men miȝten i-huyre.
"Ȝe," seide þis guode man : "þis is a swete feste!
Mani Ioye ichabbe i-haued : ake þis is on þe meste."
Ȝwane is blod spreinde In þe rof an heiȝ : he gan to leiȝen smere.
Þanne was þe king and alle is men : In swyþe grete fere,
And seiden : "þes þef us wole ouer-come. : Mahun, ȝware is þi miȝte?
Schal þes þef with is wichchinge : aȝen þi power fiȝte?"
"Ȝeot Ich þenche," seide þe king : "of one pine stronge;
beo þes þef þar-on i-do : he ne schal nouȝt libbe longe."
heo setten him in a swyþe deork put : þat in þe gayhole was,
So ful of sweordes pointes i-piȝte : ase Mede is ful of gras:
Þare-oppe þanne holi man : heo casten, faste i-bounde,
Þat þe pointes of þe swerdes scholden : ȝiuen him deþes woundes. Page 188
Faste heo loken alle þe dore : and leten him longe þere beo
Ope þe swerdes pointes in deorkhede : he ne miȝte noþing i-seo.
Þare cam an Aungel with a taper : brenninde in is hond,
Of his pine he bar him op— : and þare was godes sonde!
¶ Þe Aungel was þar with him : ase longe ase he þare was,
Mid a brenninde taper, and Ioie gret : þat neuere more nas.
Þo it was longe þare-afturward : þis men comen þerbi-side,
And wende þat he were ded : ane stounde heo gonne a-bide:
Þo i-heorden heo þis holi man : loude and murie singe
And herede god in heuene. : heo tolden þat þe kinge.
Þo was þe þing neiȝ i-swowe : and seide, sichinde wel sore:
"Alas, we beoth nouþe ouer-come : I-ne can*. [MS. cam] þenche non more;
Ovre godes ne helpez us nouȝt : þat alle þing habbeth to wolde. [folio 92b]
I-nelle neuere-eft a-ȝein him fiȝte : creaunt ichulle me holde.
¶ Ȝwane no pine ne mai him sle : oþur þing ichulle fonde:
"goth," he seide, "and maketh a bed : þat softeste in anie londe,
Of quoiltene and of materasz : of cheisel and of palle,
And þanne leggez him þar-on : swiþe softe with-alle."
Þo þat bed was i-maket : to þe gayhole heo wende,
And founden þare þat lijȝt of heuene : þat ore louerd þudere sende.
Wel softe heo nomen þis holi man : and custen is sore wounden,
to Relikes heo gadereden stilleliche : þat heo of is blode founden;
heo leiden him in þat nesche bed. : and þo he was þaron,
his preiere he dude to ore louerd crist : and deide þo a-non.
Þo þe king isaiȝ þis þat he deide : so mildeliche in is bedde,
"tormenz," he seide, "we him habbeth i-do : vuele þarof us spedde:
Ded we wolleth him ouer-come : ȝwane we ne miȝten a-liue.
Into þe wilde felde : þat bodi ȝe beren wel bliue,
Wilde bestes and foules : to-drawe heo schullen it sone."
Þis men brouȝten þat bodi þare : and duden þe kingus bone.
Þare cam fleo a Rauon : and a-doun þare-bi he a-liȝte,
Kene and suyþe dredful : i-redi he was to fiȝte;
ȝif þare come ani foul to : þat þis bodi i-seiȝe,
Þe Rauon smot to grounde : ne mosten þare come non neiȝe,
¶ Ake Euere he drof heom a-wei : þudere ȝwane heo come;
Ne miȝte þare come none so kene : þat o mossel þarof nome. Page 189
A wolf cam also þuder-ward : is mete for-to fette,
And wolde of þat bodi nime. : þe Rauon a-ȝein him sette,
he flev and smot with bile and fot : þat þe wolf atþen ende
blodi was and ouercome : aȝen hamward he gan wende.
Þe Rauon wuste þis bodi longe : Iwemmed nouȝt it nas.
Þo þe king it onder-ȝat : þat þe bodi i-hol was,
hom he let it fette aȝen : and seide, "ȝwat may beo ovre red,
þat we ne mouwen him ouer-come : noþer quik ne ded?
Ȝif we ne mouwen quik ne ded : ouer-come him a-londe
For no*. [MS. ne] quoyntise þat we mouwen do : a-watere we wollez fonde."
he let it lede fer into þe se : and bonde þarto mani a ston,
And casten it out of a schip. : it bi-gan to sinke a-non.
þo þe Mariners i-seien þis : glade heo weren and bliþe;
For-to telle þe kinge fore : heo hiȝeden hom wel bliue.
heo ne miȝten so sone to londe come : þat heo ne founden a-londe
Þis holi Man wel faire ligge : a-bouen þe se-sonde.
Sore a-gremed and a-schamed : hom huy gonne wende;
Þe kinge heo tolden al heore cas : fram þe furste to þe ende.
"Alas, alas," þe king seide : "þe schame and þe schonde!
We ne mowe him neuere ouer-come : quik ne ded, a-watere ne a-londe.
¶ Do we him out of ovre þouȝt : we ne mouwen us neuere a-wreke;
Ich drede þat he mi bane worþe : I-here ich more of him speke." [folio 93]
A-niȝt In slepe seint Vincent cam : to A womman þare-bi-side
And tolde hire ȝware is bodi lai : and bad hire nouȝt to longe a-bide
Ake þat heo it scholde burie sone : for him longuede after reste.
Þis guode womman it onderstod : þo heo a-wok, with þe beste:
heo wende and souȝte þis holi bodi : and fond it swiþe sone;
heo dude it burie with gret honour : ase riȝt was for-to done.
Þus seint vincent þe holie man : in Spayne endede is lif
And wende to þe blisse of heuene : after þis pines and strif.
Men nusten neuere martyr non : þat hadde more torment
Ne þat with som pine ouer-come nas : bote þe gode man seint vincent.
31 Vita sancti Pauli.
SEint powel was a luþer Man : are he i-couerted were.
Alle þe cristine Men of þe lond : hadden of him gret fere, Page 190
For he was muche and strong and feol. : ȝware-so he eni founde,
In chaumbre ne in bedde he ne sparede nouȝt : þat he ne slovȝ heom alle to grounde.
Þo he hadde a-boute Ierusalem : In eche stude i-souȝt
And alle þe cristine men þat he fond : to stronge deþe i-brouȝt,
he cam to þe souereyns of þe lawe : and seide, "ich habbe i-mad al clene
Al þis lond of cristine Men : [ȝe]*. [om.] ne dorre of heom more mene:
Wende ichulle to Dam[a]sche : and clansi þat lond al-so;
Alle þat ich a-liue finde mai : to deþe ichulle heom do,
Oþur ichulle heom faste binde : and hidere to eov sende;
Alle þat ich a-liue finde may : ichulle a-sle oþur schende."
¶ Saul was þo is riȝte name. : he gan forth i-wende,
I-Armed, and mani a man with him : to bringe is þouȝt to ende.
Ase he cam a-midriȝt þe wei : a liȝt him cam a-boute,
Þat he ne miȝte for liȝte i-seon. : þo gan him sore a-doute;
he stod ase þei he a-stoned were. : þo cam þare in a stounde
A drem ase þei it a þondre were. : þare-with he ful to grounde
And lai, þat he ne miȝte him wawie nouȝt. : þo herde he a uoiz telle :
"Saul, ȝwi werrestþov opon me : mine Men for-to quelle?"
"ho art þov?" seide saul : "louerd, artþov þare?"
A voiz seide, "ȝe, ich am þi god : þat þov hast i-weorred so ȝare.
to wynci aȝein þe pricke : swiþe strong it is þe."
"Louerd," seide Saul þo : "ȝwat woltþov do mid me?"
"Þov schalt," seide ore louerd þo : "In-to þe toune wende;
Þine riȝte bi-leue þe schal teche : a man, to ȝwam i-schal þe sende."—
Þis was þene fourteoþe ȝer : aftur þulke stounde
Þat Ihesu crist soffrede on þe rode : for us deþes wounde.—
Þo Saul hadde longe i-leie : wel softe he op a-ros
And stod op—he ne miȝte i-seo neuere a del : ful sore him a-gros.
he let him lede to þe toun. : it was þane þridde dai
Are he .et. oþur dronk : oþur ani siȝt i-saiȝ.
¶ Ore louerd cam to a guod preost : is name was ananye,
"go," he seide, "in-to þe toun : and to Iudases hous þov hiȝe:
Saul þov schalt þare finde : þat i-weorred me hauez longue; [folio 93b]
Ȝif him cristindom in mine name : and he it wole onder-fonge. Page 191
seiȝe þat god þe þudere sende : þat In þe weie a-ȝein him cam
Þo he wolde aȝein him weorri : and is power him bi*. [bi overlined]-nam."
'Louerd," seide Ananie : "ich habbe muche i-heord telle
Þat Saul was a luþer man : and cristine men dude quelle."
"Ne dred þe nouȝt," ore louerd seide : "lomb he is bi-come,
him þinchez longe are he habbe : cristinedom i-nome.
to beo prechour of mi word : i-chose ich him habbe;
he schal beo wis and studefast : nanne betere i-nabbe."
Þo Ananie i-heorde þis : hardiliche forth he wende.
he cam to Saule and seide him so : þat ore louerd him þudere sende
Þat he scholde cristine beo. : saul was þo wel bliþe,
And er þane he i-baptized was : ech ȝwyle him þouȝte fiue.
Þo he i-baptized was : powel was is name.
Wel auȝten men herien þane god : þat of þe wilde makez þe tame!
A-non so he I-baptized was : þare feol out of eiþer eiȝe
Fuylþe ase þei it were slym : þat alle þe men it seiȝe.
þo miȝte he swiþe wel i-seo. : he heold op is honde,
¶ A-knevwes he sat in his bedes : and þonkede godes sonde.
tendre metes men greiþede him : and ȝaf him þar-of wel ofte,
Ȝif he miȝte is strencþe coueri : heo beddeden him wel softe.
Þo seint powel i-couered was : and hadde strencþe of Manne,
he purueide him of prechingue : and wende a-non riȝt þanne
Into þe giwene synagogue : and prechede cristindom.
Ech man wondrede þat him i-saiȝ : þo he prechour bi-cam,
And seiden : "nis þis þilke man : þat weorrede alle þeo
In þe londe of Ierusalem : þat he miȝte oȝwere cristine men I-seo?"
Manie Men he tornede to cristinedom : and manie him þouȝten quelle
And bi-speken hov heo miȝten do : for he bi-gan a-ȝein heom telle.
he ne let for no drede : þat he ne prechede wel bliue.
For euere þoru ore louerdes grace : he ascapede with þe liue.
he souȝte ȝware þe Apostles weren : to heom he cam wel sone,
to prechi mid heom godes word : ase hore riȝte was to done.
Þe apostles weren formest a-ferd of him : and leueden him wel vnneþe,
For he so muche cristine folk : hadde i-brouȝt to deþe;
Ake þo heo wusten hou it was : to felawe [heo] him toke—
For þare ne i-werth non so wis : holi churche to loke. Page 192
Seint powel to cristinedom : cam In þusse manere.
god us graunti for is loue : In heuene to ben is fere.
32 Vita sancte Brigide virginis.
Seinte Bride of heiȝe men : In scotlond heo cam,
Of riche men and of gret power : In lawe of cristindom.
Þis Maide bi-gan wel ȝong : to beo of porture hende;
Þare ne scholde vil dede ne word : neuere fram hire wende.
heo bigan ore louerd crist to serui : in worde and in dede;
Ȝwane hire ȝongue felawes weren atþe pleiȝ : hire oresones heo seide. [folio 94]
¶ hire moder louede hire swiþe wel : þat, þo heo was of elde,
Al hire chese and al hire milk : heo bi-tok hire to welde,
And al þet ȝwijt þat In þe court was : heo scholde ope hire helde,
At a certeyn dai þarof : trewe a-countes ȝelde.
Þat Maide let gaderi swiþe clene : þe Milk ant þe chese,
botere and al þat þarof cam : nolde heo nowiȝt leose :
Ȝwane heo seiȝe anie pouere Men : heo delde it heom wel clene—
hire deierie was euere of chese and botere : bar and swiþe lene.
Ȝwan hire daiȝ was neiȝ i-come : a-countes forto ȝelde,
Of hire moder heo was a-ferd : glad heo was ful selde.
Ȝeorne heo bad ore louerd crist : þat he scholde beo hire red,
he nadde ȝwarof a-countes ȝelde : ase hire moder hadde i-seid.
Þo þe day was i-come : heo nuste ȝware-with hire a-quite,
For þare nas in þe deierie : nouȝt adel of none ȝwite.
Naþeles þe moder eode þudere : to loke hou it ferde :
heo fond ech lome i-heped ful : al a-boue þe brerde,
Of chese and of botere : and of oþur ȝwijte also.
he ne may neuere is ȝwyle leose : þat for þe guode wole ouȝt do.
hit bi-feol þat þis Maydenes frend : nomen heom to rede
Þat heo i-weddet scholde beo. : and heo anon-riȝt heom with-seide.
to þe bischope heo wende a-non : and a-vouwede chastete,
And seide heo nolde neuere man habbe : þe sikerore for-to beo.
For Ioye þat þe bischop hadde of hire : he seide þa[t] he wolde ete,
And alle is Men, a dai with hire : he bad hire maken heore mete.
Þarof was þis Maide glad : and naþeles sore heo hire dradde,
For bote bred and Ale and one kou : non more mete heo nadde. Page 193
heo bi-gan to milken þis cov : and muche milk of hire heo nam*. [MS. mam];
Þe lengore þat heo hire Milkede : þe more milk þare cam :
Þis kov ȝaf so muche Milk : þat þare-mide heo fedde
Þene bischop and alle is Men þat dai : and muche þonk þarof hadde.
¶ hit bi-feol þare-after-ward : þat Maide a-feld wende,
Forto loki to hire schep. : so gret rein ore louerd to eorþe sende
Þat hire cloþes al wete weren. : and a-ȝen hom*. [MS. heom] heo gan gon.
heo wolde hangi hire cloþus forto druye : and heo ne saiȝ nouȝt ȝwaron.
Þe sonne schon In at one hole : and ope þe bem of þe sonne
hire wete cloþes heo heng forto druyȝe : þat þe stremes a-doun ronne.
Museles comen to hire adai : of-hongrede and of-cale,
heo beden hire mete and drinke for godes loue. : he nadde nouȝt a spone-ful ale.
A fat þare stod fol of baþe-water : heo ȝaf it hire blessinge :
Þe beste Ale a-liue it bi-cam : he ȝaf it þe Museles drinke.
A womman cam and bad hire salt : and heo ne hadde non :
With hire blessingue heo turnede to salte : ane wel grete ston.
Þre sike men beden hire guod : ase heo to hire come.
A seluerne coppe heo [heom] ȝaf : and gladliche heo hire nome;
And bi-gunne for-to striui : hov heo hire dele miȝte. [folio 94b]
"Abidez," seide þis Maide : "and ichulle it euene diȝte."
Þis Coppe heo smot aȝen a ston : þat heo to-brak aþre;
Euerech heo ȝaf iliche muche : ase euene ase it miȝte beo.
Þeos miracles, and manie oþure : seinte Bride wrouȝte;
Þe blinde and þe doumbe : to guode hele heom brouȝte.
Þe furste dai of feuerer : hire lijf heo brouȝte to ende.
god us graunti alle forth with hire : te*. [r. to þe] blisse of heuene wende.
33 Vita sancte Agathe.
SEinte Agace, þat guode Maide : In cisile was i-bore;
Wel ȝong heo bi-gan cristine to beon : þat hire soule nere fur|lore.
Of faire porture þis Mayde was : and stable in godes lore.
Þe Duyk of þe londe it onder-ȝat : it him of-þouȝte sore.
he ne miȝte for revþe don hire in pine : Al for hire ȝonghede; Page 194
And for heo so fair was : he hopede hire out of þulke bi-leue lede.
An old quene þare was bi-side : strong hore and baudestrote;
heo hadde Niȝe douȝtren liȝt wummen. : þe Duyk bi-gan hire gret mede bi-hote,
Þat heo scholde þat maide wite : and mis-techen hire and rede,
And fondi ȝif heo miȝte hire bringe : in fol þouȝt oþur in fol dede.
Þis clene þing was to þis hore i-brouȝt : þat heiȝte Affrodose.
heo, and hire douȝtren al-so : maden hire þe glose,
And bi-hete hire quoynte þingus fale : of seluer and of golde,
Richesse and oþur Ioye i-nouȝ : þat heo hire þouȝt chaungi scholde;
heo seiden : "hov miȝte a swuche creature : þus gent and þus freo,
hende and milde and swete i-novȝ : with-oute Iolifte [beo]?
Þi ȝongue blod nolde it þolie nouȝt : scholde þi Ioie beon þe bi-nome;
In þis lond nis prince so heiȝ : þat þov ne miȝtest him wel bi-come."
¶ Þis Maide, þei heo were ȝong : bi-gan to Answerie a-non,
And seide, "beo stille, þou deueles bouk! : þe ne worth here non i-won.
Þe hexte prince þat is ani : In loue ich habbe i-take,
In mine ȝonghede and euere-more : to holde him for mi make.
Swete and hende and milde he is : on him is al mi þouȝt,
Ich am so faste to him i-bounde : þar-of ne bringuest þou me nouȝt."
Þis luþere wummen weren ech-one : studefastliche Niȝt and daiȝ
A-boute to bringue luþer þouȝt : In-to þis swete ȝounge mayȝ;
Þritti dawes heo was with heom : þat heo fondeden euere
to bringue hire into þe deueles lore : Ake heo ne spedden neuere.
Þis wychche wende to þe Duyk þo : þat het quincian,
And seide, "sire, i-ne mai chaungi nouȝt : þe þouȝt of þis womman;
Liȝtloker man may þane hardeste ston : make nesche ase wolle
Þane þat Maide þoruȝ any gin : of hire þouȝt bringe schulle."
Þe Duyk let a-non þis mayde fette : and Axede ȝwat heo were.
"godes schulchone," heo seide, "ich am" : heo nadde none fere.
he Axede of ȝwat kunne heo were. : heo seide, "of gent and freo."
Þe Duyk seide, "hov miȝt þov gentil womman : and eke a schulchone beo?"
"Ȝus," seide þat maide þo : "hit is more fraunchise
to beon gode[s]schulchene oþer is þral : þane king oþur Iustise." [folio 95]
"Anovre ovre godes!" seide þe Duyk : "ne spec of þi god non-more, Page 195
Oþur ichulle þe swuch pine do : þat it schal þe rewe sore."
"I-ne schal so sone," þat maide seide : "In pine beo i-brouȝt
Þat it nele a-swagi ȝif ich habbe : on ihesu crist mi þouȝt;
Ȝif þou bringest me in ani fuyre : and ich me bi-þenche
On þe pine þat he þolede for me : a-non it wole a-quenche."
Þe Duyk let nime þat maide a-non : and In-to þe gayhole lede;
Þat maide was þo also glad : ase þei men hire to feste bede.
In stronge prisone heo was i-do : þar-inne longe heo lay.
Þe Duyk let þare-after-warde : at-fore him þat mayde bringe a day.
¶ "Agace," he seide, "bi-þench þe wel : bi-lef þi fole þouȝt,
Anovre ore*. [MS. ore ore] godes þat mowen þe helpe : are þou beo in pine i-brouȝt."
Þat maide seide, "þou spillest þi breth : and þou tellest embe nouȝt.
Ake ich rede þat þou Anouri him : þat deore us hath i-bouȝt,
And bi-lef þine false godes : þat power nabbez non,
Þat beoth i-mad of an old stoc : oþur of þe harde ston."
"Neltþou [nou]ȝt*. [MS. Neltþouȝt]," seide þe duyk : "þine folie ȝuyt bi-leue,
In stronge pine þov schalt beo i-don : to-day are it beo eue."
hokes and witthene he let nime : and faste to hire breoste binde,
And let is tormentores with þe withþene : hire breostene of wynde.
"Þov onwreste bouk," þis Maide seide : to þe duyk quincian,
"Ne hastþov no schame in þine heorte : defouli þus ani man
Þat lyme þat þov þi moder of soke : and þe hath forth i-brouȝt?
Do þov þin owene confusion : and ne dred þe riȝt nouȝt."
¶ gret pine þolede þis clene [may] : are heo weren of i-drawe;
So muche was hire þouȝt on gode : þat it ne greuede hire nouȝt an hawe.
Þo heo weren of i-drawe : In-to prisone heo was eft i-do.
Þe Duyk let witie þat prison faste : þat no man ne come hire to
hire woundene to hele with ani-þing : oþur hire pines forto lisse.
Ake ore louerd ne for-ȝat nouȝt hire : þo ne þorte he misse.
Ase heo in prisone al one was : an old man þare cam gon,
boxes fulle of Oygneme[n]z : he brouȝte mani on
And seide þat he hire hele wolde. : "þov ne schalt," heo seide;
"I-ne kepe no man bote god : þat me hele and rede."
"Ich am," seide þe olde man : "In his name hidere i-wend, Page 196
For ich am his apostle— : to þe he me hath i-send
Þine woundene forto hele : þat þov hast for him stronge.
In þe Ioye of heuene : þine mede þou schalt afonge."
Þe woundes he gan smeorie : heo weren hole in one stounde.
Þat Maide nuste ȝware he*. [MS. heo] bi-cam : þo he hadde i-held hire wounde.
Þe Duyk let þat maide bi-fore him bringe : þene feorþe day,
he seide, "hastþov ȝeot i-chaunget þi þouȝt?" : þat mayde seide "nay.
Þi word," heo seide, "ne doth non oþur : ȝwane þov spext þus to me,
bote fuylez swiþe foule þe eyr : þat it deth inne fleo.
he is wod þat stok oþur ston : wole to helpe calle, [folio 95b]
And nouȝt to god of heuene : þat hath i-heled mine wounden alle."
"Darstþou ȝeot," seide þe Duyk : "of þine false gode more telle?
Beo þov so wod to nemmen him more : in stronge deþe Man schal þe quelle."
"Onwreste bouk," þat Maide seide : "I-nelle it lete nouȝt,
Þe ȝwyle þat ich libbe may : to nemen him with worde oþur with þouȝt."
Þe Duyk het men hire for-brenne : a gret fuyr he let make.
Þo heo [hire] wolden þar-inne do : þe eorþe bi-gan to quake,
¶ Ase wide ase þe cite was : and felde a-doun þe dom-halle;
Twei men þat hire Iuggeden to deþe : a-slawe weren with þe walle.
Þat folk of þe cite was a-drad. : to þe duyke heo seiden:
"Þis Mayde is guod, and we beth for hire : In grete perile and in drede.
gret pine þov hast [hire] i-don : þou ne schal so non-more."
Þo þe Duyk i-herde þis : a-drad he was wel sore;
Þat Mayde he let to prisone lede : and he him-seolf a-scapede a-wey
bi one posterne stilleliche : þat no man him ne seyȝ.
Þo þat mayde into prisone cam : a-doun heo sat a-kneo,
"Louerd," he seide, "fram mani pine : þou hast i-saued me,
fram fuyr and fram woundes stronge : þou me hast i-brouȝt,
And fram mi child-hod þou me hast i-wust : þat ine mis-bi-lefde nouȝt:
Lat me, louerd, to reste wende : for here me þinchez long,
Tyme it is to endi mi lijf : mine soule þov onder-fong."
Mid þusse worde bi-fore al þat folk : heo bi-gan to deiȝe.
Þare was mani a sori man : and mani a wepinde eiȝe. Page 197
Þat folk þat hire louede : siwede hire wel faste,
hire bodi heo nomen with gret honour : and bureden it atþe laste.
Þo heo bureden þat holi bodi : a felawe-schipe þare cam go
Of þe faireste children þat miȝten beo : þre hondret and wel mo,
Ȝonge þingus of on age : in ȝwite cloþus of palle;
Ane table of Marbre In is hond : þe on bar at-fore heom alle:
¶ heo Ioyneden it to seinte Agace toumbe : þo heo comen þer-to,
Wel sweteliche heo wenden aȝen : þo heo hadden so i-do—
Angles it weren þat þare a-liȝten : for seinte Agace to grounde.
Clerkes bi-heolden þe table ȝeorne : þare-Inne i-write huy founde:
"Þis Maide hadde holi þouȝt : god heo dude honour,
A-serued heo hath to alle þe contreie : deliueraunce of langour."
For-soþe heo miȝten þis laste word : þar-after onder-stonde:
þulke time a twelf-Monþe : of an hul in þe londe
Strong fuyr þare cam eornen out : ase water doth of welle,
And barnde al þat þare was a-boute : quic þing it gan a-quelle;
hit spradde wide into al þat lond : þat folk hadde grete fere,
And barnde þe hard roche of ston : ase þei it Col were.
heo ne dorsten bi-leue at no toun : ake ornen ase men þat were wode:
At seinte Agace Toumbe : þare heo formest at-stode.
Al-so it bi-feol in hire daye : ase sone ase heo weren þere,
Þat fuyr queinte a-non in-to al þat lond : ase þei it neuere nere; [folio 96]
And bi-fore it hadde six dawes i-last : and six Nijȝt al-so,
And orn ase þei it water were : for-barnde al þat him cam to.
Þo schewede ore louerd þat it was soth : þat þe maide seinte Agas
A-seruede deliueraunce to al þe Contree— : þare wel i-sene it was.
Al-so w[i]sliche we schullen hire bidde : ase heo þe contreie ȝaf bote,
Þat we to þe Ioye þare heo is Inne : with hire come we mote.
SEinte scholace, þat holie mayde : heo was of clene liue,
Leouere heo hadde to beon Nonne : þane beon i-widdet to wiue.
Seint Beneit hire broþer was : and þe Ordre furst bi-fond
Of Nonnes and of blake Monekus : þat is ȝuyt into al þat lond;
Of blake Monekus at Duyn : An Abbeye he let a-rere,
him-sulf þe Abite furst he nam : þe ȝongore for-to lere. Page 198
Seinte Scholace, his soster : blac Nonne he let hire make,
And teiȝte hire penaunce forto don : to faste and to wake.
Þeos tweiȝe holie creatures : eche ȝere hadden ane wone
to comen to-gadere some Tyme : and tellen of godes sone;
Ake heore noþer in oþeres Abbeye : bi-leue come ne miȝte
Ne duelle for none þinge : oute of heore celle bi Niȝte.
¶ Þo þis guode holi mayde : i-brouȝt was in grete Elde,
hire longuede with hire broþer to speke : feble heo hire felde.
Þo heo hadde to him i-sent : and to-gadere heo weren i-come,
Al dai heo tolden of godes priuetez : seinte Marie sone,
Of þe Ioye of heuene : hou holi men heore [lif] ladden;
Þare-of al heore Ioye was : þat heo to-gadere hadden.
Sorie weren þis holie þingus boþe : for it was sumdel neiȝ Eue.
Seint Beneit to is soster seide : þat he ne miȝte no leng bi-leue.
Seinte scholace sori was. : "broþur," heo seide, "þin ore,
Þis holie wordus so murie beoth : ȝeot we moten telle more;
Ȝwane we In godes seruise beoth : we ne doz nouȝt ore ordre breke.
Ich am so feble þat ich ne wene : neuer-eft more with þe speke;
bi-leue we þis one Niȝt to-gadere : for his loue þat deore us bouȝte,
Ich wot þat he it wole us for-ȝiue : ȝwane we it doth in guode þouȝte."
"beo stille," seide seint beneit : "loke ȝwat þou dest telle,
Wel þov wost þat ine mai beo : bi niȝte fram mine celle."
Þo scholace i-saiȝ þat it ne heold : to bidde hire broþur more,
hire heued he hangede a-doun : and bi-gan to wepe sore.
"Louerd," heo seide, "þat þov art : ful of milce and ore,
Lat me, louerd, ȝif þi wille it beo : i-heore more of þi lore;
¶ Ne lat nouȝt mi broþur to-Niȝt : fram me, louerd, wende,
Ake soffre us with tales of þe : bringe þis niȝt to ende."
Ase þis Maide loke*. [r. lokede] opward : þo heo hadde i-don hire bone,
Þat weder þat was so cler and fair : bi-gan to chaungie sone;
hit bi-gan to þondri and hauli : leiȝten and eke rine,
Þat feor with-Inne Niȝte it was : er þat weder wolde a-fine.
¶ Þo ne miȝte seint beneit : for þe wedere þannes i-wende. [folio 96b]
"Soster," he seide, "ȝwat hastþov i-don? : þou fondest me to schende;
Ȝif it nere ore louerdes wille : wel ne dost þov nouȝt,
Þat i-schal mine ordre breke : so nadde ich neuere i-þouȝt." Page 199
"Leue broþer," þat maide seide : "ich bad þe swiþe ȝerne
Þat þou þis niȝt bi-lefdest here : and euere þov dudest me werne:
Ich bad mi louerd of heuene : and he me i-herde a-non.
Cheos nouþe ȝwaþer þov bi-leue wolt : oþur heonnes for-to gon,
bi-lef me alone ȝif þov miȝt : for no þonk ne can ich þe,
Ake ich þonki god of heuene : þat so sone i-heorde me."
Þo heo ne miȝten departi nouȝt : to-gadere al niȝt heo woke,
And tolden of godes suettnesse : and of is miȝte : In tale and eke in boke.
Þe Niȝt heom þov[ȝte] suyþe schort : and sorie at þene ende
heo weren þo heo þane daiȝ i-seiȝen : ȝwane heo scholden a-to i-wende.
heo ne dorsten no lengore to-gadere beo : ac wenden to heore celle,
heo weren boþe swiþe sorie : þat heo ne miȝten no leng to-gadere duelle.
Þo þat Maide was hom i-come : sore sik heo layȝ,
And ase it godes wille was : heo deide þane þridde daiȝ.
Seint Beneit in is celle eode : his soster soule he i-seiȝ
In fourme of a ȝwiȝt Coluere : fleon op into heuene an heiȝ;
heouene openede a-ȝeines hire : þe Coluere gan in fleo.
glad was þis holi man : þat he it miȝte i-seo!
A-moruwe he and is couent : þudere wenden sone
And bureden þat holi maide : ase it was riȝt to done.
bidde we suete Ihesu crist : þat is so fair and hende,
Þat we moten þudere comen : ase scholace dude i-wende.
35 Purgatorium sancti Patrici abb[at]is.*. [I have published this legend before in Altengl. Legenden, Paderborn, 1875, p. 177 ff, together with two other versious.]
SEint paterik þoru godes grace : makede ane put in Irlonde,
Þat seint patrike purgatorie is icleoped : ȝeot, ase ich onderstonde.
Ore louerd him bi-tok ane staf : mid is owene honde,
Þat he fond þulke purgatorie with : i-hered beo godes sonde!
In Irlonde is ȝeot þilke staf i-wust : dereworþeliche i-novȝ,
For gret relike he is i-holde : and elles it were wouȝ.
Seint paterik in þulke stude : þat his purgatorie is,
Of religion bi-gan an hous : þat ȝeot stant, i-wis,
Ant Chanoynes þare-inne he makede : ase ȝeot þare beoth al-so. Page 200
Þane put he let faste closi a-boute : þat noman ne come þar-to.
¶ In þe churche-ȝerd is þat ilke putt : riȝt toward þe Est-side,
riȝt est fram þe heiȝe Auȝter : þat manie men ȝwylene souȝten wide.
he is bi-walled faste a-boute*. [MS. abooute] : and faste i-loke þe ȝate,
And þe prior haueth þe keiȝe in warde : þat no man ne mot In þar-ate.
Al bi seint paterikes daiȝe : men wenden þudere i-lome,
And sethþe also mani on : and fewe aȝen þare come;
Ake þulke þat þare comen aȝen : of þat heo i-seiȝen, heo tolde,
Ase it is in þe house i-write : and in priue conseile i-holde.—
¶ Þe manere is of euerech man : þat for-soþe þudere i-went,
Þat it beo to bete is sunnes : ȝif ore louerd him grace [sent]. [folio 97]
to þe bischope of þe lond : furst he schal him schriue,
And bidde him leue þene wey to go : in amendement of is liue.
Ake þe bischop schal rede heom*. [r. him] þare-a-ȝein : and manie resones schewe,
And segge þat manie þudere wendeth : and aȝein þare comieth fewe.
Ake ȝif he is stable in is þouȝt : for al þat men him habbez i-bede,
Þe bischop him wole is lettre make : to þe prior of þe stude.
¶ Þe prior him wole al-so rede i-novȝ : for-to chaungi is þouȝt;
And, ȝwane he siȝkz him studefast : þat he nele bi-leue it nouȝt,
In-to churche he wole him lede : and sette him a-doun a-kne;
Fiftene dawes he schal þare : in is oresones beo.
And ȝif heo ne mouwen for no-þing : maken chaungi is þouȝt,
With gret procession*. [MS. precession] of preostes : to þe putte he worth i-brouȝt;
With þe croiz and with þe haliwatur : heo schullen blessi him ech-on,
him-sulf he schal him blessi al-so : and þanne into þe putte gon;
And þat procession schal tuyrne aȝen : ase riȝt is for-to done.
A-moruwe In þulke tyme : heo schullen come þudere eft-sone,
And, bote heo finden him þanne aȝen i-come : with gret deol and sor
heo schullen tuyrne a-ȝein, and sikere beoth : þat he ne comez aȝen non-more.—
¶ hit bi-fel bi þe kingus daiȝe steuene : þat novþe late was,
Of a kniȝt, þat heiȝte sire Ovwayn : a swiþe wonder cas.
to þe bischop þis kniȝt eode : and to schrifte to him he cam,
In grete repentaunce of is sunnes : deol and sorewe to him he nam. Page 201
Þe bischop bi-gan to chide faste : for þat he hadde mis-do,
And seide þat he was manne worst : for-to sunegun so,
And seide þat he ne miȝte so muche schame a-fonge : þat he nere wuyrþe more.
Þe kniȝt sat with careful heorte : he siȝte and weop ful sore.
¶ "Sire," seide þe kniȝt, "ȝwan ich habbe : manne worst i-do,
to þe sunne þat grettest is : mest penaunce mot þar-to;
And ȝif ich a-mong alle men : mest sunful am, alas,
Þe gretteste penaunce ichulle take : þat euere bi-founde was:
Ichulle me take to godes grace : and in is name i-wende
Into seint paterikes purgatorie : and take þat god me wole sende."
"Ov, beu frere," quath þe bischop : "be stille, ȝwi seistþov so?
Crist for-beode þat þov euere : swuch folie do!
Onneþe comez þare ani a-ȝen : þat doth þare-In i-wende;
Nolde god þat þov þe dede dudest : bodi and soule to schende!
Ake wend into religion and bi-lef þare : to þine liues ende:
Þine sunnes þou miȝt bete wel : ȝif god þe wole grace sende."
"Certes, sire," quath þis kniȝt : "ase wel þov miȝt beo stille,
For þulke penaunce ichulle do : ȝif it is godes wille;
For ase muche ase ich habbe of-serued : Ine mai nouȝt habe of wo.
Þere-fore seiȝe ȝwat i schal : for þudere ichulle go."
¶ Þe bischop prechede him faste i-novȝ : for-to chaungi is þouȝt;
Ake atþe laste, þo he isaiȝ : þat it was al for nouȝt,
To þe prior of þe stude : his lettres made sone, [folio 97b]
Þat he scholde bi him do : ase bi swuch a man was to done.
¶ Þe prior prechede him faste i-novȝ : and schewede him resones i-nowe,
Ȝif he miȝte changi is þouȝt : þat he him with-drowe;
bote is prechinge was al for nouȝt. : ase he saiȝ atþen ende
Þat he nolde lete for no-þing : þene perilouse wei to wende,
Þe prior nam him bi þe hond : and in-to churche him brouȝte.
Þare he ful akne adoun : and ore louerdes grace bi-souȝte;
In fastingues and in oresones : fourtene niȝt he lai,
Forte bidde ore louerdes grace. : and in þe fourteþe dai
Þat Couent cam a-boute him : and oþere preostes al-so
And clerkes, with procession : þe seruise for him to do. Page 202
¶ For him heo songun þe heiȝe-masse : and to ore louerd criden faste,
And ore louerdes flechs and is blod : heo ȝeuen him atþe laste,
And spreinden him with holi watur : and heore oresones heo seide.
With Croiz and with procession : to þe put heo gonne him lede,
And heiȝliche songun þe letanie : and holi water with hem bere,
And alle louerdes halewe beden : þat heo heore*. [r. his] help were.
Þe prior on-lek þe puttes dore : bi-fore heom ech-on,
And seide : "beu frere, lo here þe wei : þat þou wilnest for-to gon.
Ake ȝif þou wolt bi ore rede do : þi þouȝt þou schalt wende
And in oþur manere þine sunnes bete : ase god þe grace wole sende;
Fewe here comen euere aȝen : þat wenden here-In bi-fore,
Ake heo beoth for tormentingue and for wo : lif and soule for-lore."
¶ "Certes, sire," quath þis kniȝt : "rede ȝwat þov me rede,
In ore louerdes name þane wei ich take : to bete mine misdede.
Ake for is loue þat us deore bouȝte : biddez for me ech-on!
Lif and soule god ich bi-take : and In his name ichulle In gon."
he blessede him, and wende forth In : and bi-tok god is flesch and is bon;
Þe prior spreinde him with holi water : and lek þe dore a-non.
Þis guode kniȝt wende him forth : wel baldeliche and faste,
In one holewe weie onder eorþe : and to god is heorte caste;
Swyþe deork it was, þat he ne say riȝt nouȝt : ne no-þing him ne a-gaste.
So longe þat him þouȝte he i-saiȝ : wel feor liȝt atþe laste.
Þuderward he wende baldeliche : so þat he cam þere neiȝ:
Þe faireste feld þat miȝte beo : atþe weiȝes ende he iseiȝ.*. [Pulchra via.]
¶ Þare-Inne he wende murie i-novȝ : and a-midde þe felde he fond
Þe faireste halle and þe nobleste : þat miȝte beo in ani lond.
Ake þet weder nas nouȝt cler : bote ase it were neiȝ eue.
Forto bi-holde þat noble weork : ane stounde he gan bi-leue.
Þe walles neren nouȝt i-hole : ake al a-boute i-wis
With pilers and with qvoynte Arches : ase þis Monekene cloistre is.
In he wende a godes name : and sette him al one an heiȝ;
he bi-heold a-boute in-to eche huyrne : and þat quoy[n]te weork he seiȝ. Page 203
Ase he bi-heold al-so a-boute : þare come In at þe on ende
Twelf men in ȝwite cloþes : swiþe faire and hende; [folio 98]
Alle heore crounes weren newe schaue— : and suyþe faire heo him gretten,
And alle heo seten faire a-doun : and þane [kniȝt] bi heom heo setten.
¶ Þo seide on of heom, ase þei it þe prior were : wel mildeliche and stille:
"bev frere, i-hered beo Ihesu crist : þat on þe brouȝte swuche wille,
And late þe þat þouȝ a-godes name hast bi-gonne : for is holi grace wel ende!
leue broþur, ȝwane þou woldest þis wei : for þine sunnes wende,
Oþur þov most beon studefast and hardi : and in none manere tuyrne þi þouȝt,
Oþur þov worst for-lore, lif and soule : and sone to þe deuel i-brouȝt.
For also-sone ase we beth heonne i-went : þe feondes luþere and wicke
heo wollez come a-boute þe : In-to þis hous ful þicke,
And don þe tormens and wo i-novȝ : and bi-hote þe wel more;
And heo wollez also bi-hote þe Ioye i-novȝ : ȝif þov wolt leue heore lore;
And ȝif heo mouwen þoruȝ ani bi-heste : oþur enie gile, þe ouer-come,
For-soþe þov worst, lif and soule : a-deuele wei al clene i-nome.
Ake ȝif þov art studefast of heorte : and on Ihesu crist wolt þenche,
Ne for bi-heste*. [MS. heste heste] ne for wo : fram him þou nelle blenche,
Þou worst quit of alle þine sunnes : þat þov hast euere i-wrouȝt,
And þov schalt i-seo alle þe Ioies : þat guode men beoth inne i-brouȝt,
And al-so þe pine þat luþere men : habbez for heore mis-dede.
Ake in ȝwat wo þat þov euere art : euere þench on god, ich rede,
¶ And euere ȝwane heo tormentiez þe : cri Iesu milce and ore,
And, ȝif þou art studefast in gode bi-leue : heo ne schullen defouli þe non-more.
We bi-takez þe god of heuene : and ich rede þov do bi ovre lore."
Þo nuste þe kniȝt ȝware heo bi-comen. : he sat and siȝte sore,
Elinge he bilefte alone : and cride on godes miȝte,
And Armede him with holie beden : aȝen þe deuelene to fiȝte,
On þe holi gost he cride faste : þat he ne scholde him faile; Page 204
he lokede euere ȝwane heo comen : him for-to a-saille.
Ase he sat a-godes name : þe bataille for-to a-bide,
Þare cam a sori reuful cri : a-boute in eche side,
Ase alþe world to-borste and to-breke : him þouȝte it was al-so,
Þat, þei alle þe bestes of þe worlde : to-gadere weren i-do,
Ase*. [al. & ase] loude and ase grisliche ase heo miȝten : ȝeollinde ech-one heo were.
Ake*. [al. om.] heo ne miȝten a-mong heom alle : make so grisliche bere,
Þat*. [al. þat ȝif] is hope and is heorte on ihesu crist : euere-more heo were,*. [r. nere]
Elles he hadde wod bi-come : and i-lore is wit for fere.
¶ Þo comen heo a-bouten him : þicke and grisliche þere,
Ȝeonijnde and grenninde on him : with ful lodlich chere.
"bel ami," quath þe on of heom : "þou hast a-riȝt i-do,
We owez wel alle a-nouri þe : for al to fewe doth so.
For alle oþere men wollez a-bide : þat heore lif heom beo bi-nome,
And ȝeot it is aȝen heore wille : þat heo schullen hidere come:
And þov art i-come al bi þine liue : and bi þine guode wille al-so;
Wel ouȝte we þine mede ȝelde : and gre[t] þonk also þe do.
Ȝwane þov hast boþe bodi and soule : iȝyuen us bi þine liue, [folio 98b]
Saunt faille we ne beoth nouȝt so onkuynde : þat we it nellez ȝelde þe bliue,
For þe kundenesse þat þov to us come : al bi þine owene lore.
Ake naþeles, ȝif þou wolt on eorþe : habbe Ioye more,
Sikere us an hond þat þov wolt : In ore seruise bi-leue
And we þe wollez aȝen to eorþe bringe : al sauf, are hit beo eue,
And þov schalt habbe þare Ioye i-nouȝ : in halle and eke in boure—
For none men ne fareth so murie þare : ase þulke þat beoth ovre.
heiȝ man and noble þov schalt beo : and alle men schullen honouri þe.
Ȝwane þov art ded ant comest to us : þou schalt habbe ase guod ase we."
Þis kniȝt þouȝte euere on Iesu crist : and nolde chaungi is wille,
For þretninge ne for fair bi-heste : ake sat him euere stille.
Þo he nolde graunti nouȝt : to heom for-to wende,
heo ȝollen and grenneden on him foule : and strong fuyr bi-gonne for-to tiende; Page 205
¶ Þis kniȝt heo bounden honden and fet : and a-midde þe fuyre him*. [Prima pena.] caste,
With Irene Ovles and pikes : heo to-drowen him wel faste.
Þis kniȝt hadde gret pine : wel loude he cride a-non:
"Ihesus, Ihesus, help me nouþe : and do a-wei mine fon!"
A-non so [he] hadde þis word i-seid : þat fuyr a-queinte ech spronke,
And þe deuelene ne miȝten him non more to-drawe. : ore louerd he gan þonke,
And þe hardiore he was i-nouȝ : þo he þis i-seiȝ,
And þe lasse he was of heom a-drad : þat weren him so neiȝ.
Wel grisliche heo ȝollen, þe schrewes : þo heom faillede heore miȝt,
And flouwen echone out of þe halle : and drowen with heom þis kniȝt.
A-ȝen þe grounde heo drowen him harde : boþe bi fet and honde,
longe, him þouȝte, and swiþe feor : al-a-boute in a waste londe.
So blac and deork was al þat lond : þat no-þing he ne seiȝ
bote þe feondes þat him to-drowen : þat so þicke weren him neiȝ.
Ake swiþe softe wind þare was : þat he heorde onneþe,
Ake so scharpe he bleuȝ and colde : þat brouȝte him neiȝ to deþe;
Riȝt colde he wende þoruȝ is heorte : and þoruȝ al is bodi also,
Þat him were leouere þane al þe world : þat þe pine were ido.
Þus colde heo drowen him, ase heom*. [r. him] þouȝte : forth riȝt est, i-wis,
Ase þe sonne a-rist in somer : ȝwane þe dai lengest is.
Þo heo comen, ase heom*. [r. prima Secunda1 pena] þouȝte : riȝt to þe worldes ende,
bi a brod valeie heo torneden heom : and southward gonne i-wende,
toward þe stude þat þe sonne : In winter doth a-rise.
Þis seli kniȝt was i-drawe : and i-pined in fale wise.
Þo þouȝte him þat he i-heorde feor : bi-fore him ase it were,
Swiþe deolful cri and wop : and swyþe revful bere;
Euere þe neor þat heo comen : þe revlokur was þat cri.
So longe [heo] drowen him, þat him þouȝte : þat heo weren riȝt þer-bi.
¶ Þo comen heo into a wid feld : non more ne miȝte beo,
So long and brod in eche side : þat he ne miȝte non ende i-seo.
Of men and of wummen þis feld was : ful in eche side,
Þe wombene to-ward þe grounde : i-spradde a-brod ful wide, [folio 99]
hondene and fet al a-brod : to þe eorþe faste i-bounde Page 206
With Irene nailles al fuyrie : i-smite þoruȝ heom to grounde.
Þis wrechche gostes weren*. [al. om.] so i-pinede : with Irene and with fuyre.
So deolful cri heo maden þare : þat gret deol it was to huyre;
heo criden merci deolfulliche : Ake no merci men nolde heom do;
For Anguische þe eorþe heo freten : and hore tongene gnowen al-so.
Þe deoulene ornen opon hem : and treden heom to þe grounde,
And with Ovles swiþe kene : maden heom mani a wounde.—
Allas, ȝwy nellez men beon i-war : and heore sunnes here bete,
Are heo comen to purgatorie : and with þe luþere gostes mete!
For ase wel beth þe schrewes in purgatorie : and ouer-al, ase in helle,
And schullen for-to þe daiȝe of dome come : telle ȝwat men telle.—
Þe feondes seiden, "riȝt ase [þis] men beoth i-pinede : þov schalt beo also,
bote þov wolle þi þouȝt wende : and after ovre rede do."
¶ And þo he nolde in none manere : to grounde harde heo him caste
And tormenteden him ase þe oþere weren : and to þe eorþe naileden him faste.
Ake he criede a-non to ihesu crist : þo him smert so sore:
Þare nas non of þe schrewes þo : þat miȝten serui him so more.
*. [Tertia pena.]Þo þe schrewes i-seiȝen þat heo ne miȝten : heore wille habben þo,
heo drowen him into an oþur felde : wel ful of more wo.
Of Men and wummen it was ful : op-riȝt i-sprad to grounde,
Fet and hondene a-to i-drawe : and to þe eorþe faste i-bounde,
With glowinde biendes al of Ire : i-nailede heo weren þer-to;
Al fuyrie naddrene ope heom seten : and foule crapoudes al-so.
Some of þe naddrene bi-clupten heom : so faste al a-boute
Þat heom þouȝte heo scholden to-berste : so streite heo gurden heom with-oute;
Some seten ope heom : and heore flesch al-to-gnowe
And with kene tieth al fuyrie : wombe and breoste to-drowe,
Some with hore scharpe tounges : þoruȝ þe heorte sore heom smite;
Some heo gnowen, and some heo stounge : and some with scharpe tieth heom bite.
Þe Crapoudes al-so, þat weren so foule : op-on heore breostene sete
And stoungen heom þoruȝ heore heortene : with heore foule wrottes grete. Page 207
Þe luþere gostes ornen al-so : a-boute heom i-nowe
With hokes and with ouȝles : a[nd]*. [MS. a] with gret eir heom to-drowe.
Þe wrechche gostes, so for-pinede : in swuch torment weren*. [al. om.] i-brouȝt,
heo criden alle deolfulliche : ake hit ne halp heom nouȝt.
¶ Þe feondes nomen þis seli kniȝt : and wolden him pini al-so:
Ake anon so he cride on Ihesu crist : ne miȝten heo bringe him þer-to.
Ȝeot þe feondes eft-sone him nomen : and to þe þridde feld him*. [Quarta pena.] brouȝte.
In stronge pine he saiȝ þare wrechche gostes : þat of heom-self luyte rouȝte,
Þat weren i-spradde on þe eorþe abrod : and i-smiten þoruȝ-out ech-one
with nailes þicke al abrod : ase þare miȝten stikie one,
Þat man ne miȝte finde ane amtie place : on al heore bodie so luyte
Þat man miȝte for þe þicke nailles : a fingres ende to heom puyte.
¶ A smart wind also to oþur wo : on heom bleuȝ wel faste, [folio 99b]
Þat heom þouȝte heo weren i-barnd : þoruȝ-out with eche blaste.
Þe feondes ornen faste a-boute : fram ech to oþur i-nowe
And heore wrechche flesch with oþur wo : mid Ovles heom to-drowe.
Þeos wrechche gostes, so fur-pinede : and in swuch torment i-brouȝt,
Revliche heo criden ase heo miȝten : ake it ne halp heom riȝt nouȝt;
For heo weren so clene ouer-come : þat heo ne miȝten onneþe
Ani voiz out-bringe bote ase a man : þat were ope þe pointe of deþe:
In heore þrote heo criden dimmeliche : for heore strencþe heom was bi-nome
With muche pine, and no wonder it nas : þei heo weren ouer-come.
Þe feondes nomen þis seli kniȝt : and to grounde him caste,
And seiden, bote he wolde turne is þouȝt : heo wolden naili him þare wel faste.
Ake he cride on Ihesu crist : and nemde is holi name:
Þe schrewes ne hadden none miȝte þo : to don him more schame.
*. [Quinta pena.]Ȝeot heo nomen and drowen him : into þe feorþe felde,
Ful of brumston al brenninde : with stronge leiȝe and spelde.
¶ Ech manere pine þat miȝte beo : In þulke felde he seiȝ:
Some with chaines of Ire : al fuyrie, hengen on heiȝ,
Some bi Armes, some bi fet : and bi þe necke mani on, Page 208
heo weren an-hangede in stronge fuyre : of pich and eke brumston;
Some hengen bi stronge crokus : I-pulte þoruȝ eiþur Eyȝe,
Þoruȝ þe þrote some also : and þoruȝ eiþur ere wel heiȝe,
And some þoruȝ heore derne limes : and some þoruȝ þe tete,
Þat leuere heom were þane al þe world : heore lyf to habbe i-lete.
Some op-on grediles of Ire : i-rostede weren also,
Some ase gyes, þe spites of Ire : þoruȝ-out heom i-do;
Some leyen opriȝt a-ȝein þe grounde : ȝeonijnde wel faste,
Þe feondes welden led and bras : and in heore mouþes caste.
he ne miȝte bi-þenche no manere pine : þat he ne saiȝ mo þer.
him þouȝte he saiȝ þare mani on : þat he knev on eorþe her.
Þe feondes him casten a-midde þis pine : a-mong þis oþere ech-on:
And he cride on Iesu crist : and was deliured a-non.
*. [Sexta pena.]¶ Ȝeot þis feondes þis selie kniȝt : into an oþur place huy drowe.
Þare-Inne he i-saiȝ a grislich ȝweol : with spokene longe i-nowe;
Þat on ende hangede toward þe grounde : þat oþur op-on heiȝ,
Ful it was of hokes and pikes : wel þicke, ase he i-seiȝ;
Þis hokes and þis pikes weren : faste i-riuen al-so,
With wrechche gostes al-a-boute : þat þaron weren i-do.
Al brenninde was þis sorie ȝweol : and stinkinde of brumston;
Þe wrechche gostes þat þar-on hengen : brenninde weren ech-on.
Þis feondes wenden forth a-non : and heore hokes þaron caste
In eiþur side, a[nd]*. [MS. a] tur[n]den a-boute : þis sori ȝweol so faste,
Þat of þe gostus þat þaron hengen : no-þing heo ne seiȝe—
So faste heo torneden þat ȝweol a-boute— : bote þe brenninde leiȝe;
Ake deolfulliche heo criden and ȝollen : euer-ech in is ende.—
Alas, ȝwi nellez men beon i-war : are heo heonnes wende, [folio 100]
Ȝwane he miȝten here with a luytel pine : bete heore mis-dede
And þare heo schullen so bitere a-bugge : alas, þe wrechhede!—
Þis feondes nomen þis seli kniȝt : and on þis ȝweol him caste
And with þis oþere wrechche gostes : torneden him a-boute faste:
Sone he cride on Ihesu crist : deliuered he was a-non;
Þe feondes stoden and bi-heolden : with dreori mod ech-on.
*. [Septima pena.]¶ Eft heo nomen him bitterliche : and ferrore ȝuyt him ladde,
And harleden him forth wel revfulliche : and loude ȝollen and gradde.
bi-fore him he saiȝ an hous stonde : long and brod i-novȝ; Page 209
stunch and hete þat þarof cam : him þouȝte al-mest [him] a-slouȝ.
he with-stod, and nolde, is þonkes : for stunche gon non ner;
"Ferrore þov schalt," þe fendes seiden : "þou ne schalt nouȝt a-bide her;
A bath it is þat þov isijcst : and þar-inne þov schalt beo
And baþi with oþere þat þare beoth : ne schalt þov nouȝt so fleo."
Þe gostes þat þare-inne weren : wel deolfulliche cride
And ȝollen loude, ase he i-heorde : a-boute in eche side.
Þis kniȝt with þis foule wiȝtes : Into þe grete house cam.
Of tormens þat he þare isaiȝ : gret gome with-alle he nam.
ful of puttes and of diches : þat hous with-inne it was;
More seoruwe ne more stunch : neuere i-seiȝe nas:
heo weren folle of stronge tormens : boillinde euer-ech-on
Of wallinde led, and i-fulde heo weren : of piche and brumston.
Wrechche gostus þare-inne seten : þe torment tilde wel heiȝe:
Some a-boue þe heued : and some riȝt to þe Eyȝe,
Some to þe nose, and some to þe mouth : and some op to þe swere
And some to heore breostene : and a-bouȝten heore sunnes ful deore,
And some to heore nauele : and some neþerrore more,
And some stoden op to heore knen : and criden and weopen sore,
And some stoden In with boþe fet : and some with þat on;
Deolfolliche heo weopen and criden : and ȝollen euerechon.
¶ "Nov þov i-sixt," queþen þe feondes : "ȝwoder-In þov schalt gon,
bote þov wolle an-oþur speke : and to us tuyrne a-non."
heo nomen and casten him In a putte. : on Iesus a-non he cride:
Op he cam a-non a-ȝen : and no lengore he ne moste þare a-bide.
*. [[Octaua pena.]]heo nomen him in grete wrathþe : and harleden him ferrere more,
And brouȝten him opon a swyþe gret hul : ful of sorewe and sore.
he stod and bi-heold a-boute : þo he cam þare-op an heiȝ;
him wondrede of þe manie gostes : þat he þare i-seiȝ.
Alle þe pinene*. [al. þat alle] þat he hadde er i-seiȝe : þare-aȝen nouȝt nere:
I-cluiȝte heo seten ope heore ton : and quakeden revliche for fere.
In þe south-half of þe hul : a deop water þare was and louȝ,
Þat foule stonk, and caldore was : þane ani ys oþur snovȝ.
A norþerne wind faste blevȝ : þat him þouȝte is flesch to-rende;
Euere þare seten gostes : and a-ȝein þe winde heom wende, Page 210
heo quakeden and chyuereden faste : in grete pine and stronge, [folio 100b]
Ase ho-so seith a-bidet þare heore time : heore deth for-to a-fonge.
"lo," seide on of þe feondes : "þov nost nouȝt ȝwat istis;
bote þov torne þi þouȝt sone : þou schalt i-wite, i-wis."
Ne hadde he bote þis word i-seid : þat þare ne cam a wind blowe
And drof alle þis wrechche gostes : into þe deope watur ful lowe;
¶ Þe Norþerne wynd drof heom a-doun : al mid one blaste,
And alle þe gostes, and þene kniȝt : a-midde þe watere hem caste.
More pine ne miȝte non beo : of stronge chele ne of stunche
Þane þis gostes þarinne hadden : þare ne miȝte non at-blenche.
Þo þe kniȝt þe stronge pine : of þis water i-felde,
he gan to crie on Ihesu crist : þat faillede him ful selde:
A-non-riȝt with-oute lette : op of þis watere man him*. [al. he (man om.)] drovȝ.
Ake þis wrechche gostes lefden þere : with sorewe and wo i-novȝ.
For in þat water, þat was so cold : and so foule stonk also,
Þis gostes swymden op and doun : in muche sorewe and wo;
Þe feondes ornen opon þe watere : so men doth on þe londe,
And ȝwane ani wolde coueri*. [al. cleueri] op : with fote oþur with honde,
heo pulten him a-doun a-ȝen : þat þare ne a-scapede non;
Þare was wo and sorewe i-nouȝ : a-mong heom euerechon.
¶ Þis feondes wenden forth a-non : and þe seli kniȝt eft nome,
And drowen him into a sori stude : þare neuer er heo ne come.
heo comen and stoden ouer a put : wyd it was and deop i-novȝ;
A brenninde smoke, þat foule stonk : op of þe putte drovȝ,
Þat onneþe þe knyȝt miȝte stonde : for sori stunch þare-neiȝ.
Wrechche gostes in þis put : in þat sori smoke he seiȝ
Fleo op and doun al brenninde : ase speldene doth of fuyre,
And in-to þe putte eft fullen a-doun : þo heo ne miȝten no leng duyre.
him þouȝte he was al ouer-come : for þe stunche þat þar-op of drovȝ;
Þare-bi him þouȝte þat in þe grounde : was soruwe and deol i-novȝ.
"Ȝwy stanst þov so?" þe fendes seiden : "þinchþ þe þarof wonder,
Of þis swete smoke þat here bloweth : and ȝwat put beo þare-onder?
*. [Puteum Inferni.]¶ In þis put is ovre woneingue : for þe put of helle it is;
And, for þov us hast i-serued wel : here þov schalt wonie, i-wis,
For alle þat us seruieth wel : hidere heo schullen wende;
And, ȝif þov comest here-in with us : þov worst here with-outen ende. Page 211
Þare-fore i rede torne þi þouȝt : and do us here man-rede
And we schullen þene wei ase we come*. [MS. conne] : al sauf a-ȝen þe lede;
Þov schalt on eorþe al þi lijf habbe : richesse, and Ioye al-so,
For we schullen on eorþe þe finde i-novȝ : ase riȝt is þat we do."
Þo þe kniȝt for-sok heore bi-heste : ase he hadde er i-lome,
heo smiten heom a-doun into þe putte : and þene kniȝt with heom nome.
Þe deoppore þat heo comen : þ[e] braddere þe put was;
Ake*. [al. þat] al þe wo þat he isaiȝ er : a-ȝein þat nouȝt it nas.
Of stunch, of brenninge, and of oþur wo : þe kniȝt was so ouer-come
Þat is þovȝt toward Iesu crist : neiȝ him was bi-nome; [folio 101]
So muche pine nas neuere i-seiȝe— : him þouȝte ase þei he felde
Þat he was neiȝ ope þe pointe : þene gost op to ȝelde.
Ake ore louerd a-mong al is wo : grace him ȝaf atþe laste
Þat he þouȝte on Ihesu crist : and to him cride [faste].*. [MS. atþe laste]
A smoke þare cam smite up a-non : mid one wel stronge blaste
Þene kniȝt an heiȝ a-boue þe putte : and manie oþere*. [al. om.] gostes, caste.
Þe kniȝt ȝwirlede op in þis blast : ase speldene doth, wel wide,
Atþe laste he liȝte a-doun : a-boue þe putte bi side.
Þare he stod and bi-heold a-boute : ase man þat witles were,
Þat for þe pine þat he hadde i-haued : he nuste hov he cam þere.
Þo he hadde longe i-stonde al one : and bi-holde a-boute,
Þare comen blaste op of þe putte : deuelene a gret rouȝte
And [stoden] bi him al a-boute : al newe as þei heo were;
Ase him þouȝte, he ne saiȝ hem : neuer er bote þo þere.
heo bi-heolden him wel grisliche : and grenneden on him al-a-boute,
And seiden, "ȝwi stanst þov here al one? : þov most come into ovre rovte."
heo seiden, "tolden ore felawes þe : þat þis was þe put of helle?
hit nis nouȝt so, ake we wollez sone : for riȝte soþe þe telle.
Nostþov nouȝt þat it is ore riȝte : to liȝen euere-mo,
And þat we with lesingues bi-traieth men : bote it mowe oþur go?
And so ore felawes louwen þe : þat þis was þe put of helle;
Ake þov schalt come þudere with us : and þe soþe we wollez þe telle."
¶ Þis deouelene harleden þane kniȝt forth : þat wo was him to-drawe,
Þat him were leouere þane ani-þing : þat he hadde i-beo of lif-dawe. Page 212
So þat heo comen to a swyþe gret watur : deop and brod i-novȝ;
A strong mist, þat foule stonk : op of þis watere drovȝ
Of brumston and of oþur wo— : so strong stunch neuere he ne seiȝ,
Þat mid al þe pine of þe world : onneþe he stod þere-neiȝ.
A brugge þare was ouer þat watur : smallere ne miȝte non beo;
Þe smoke was so þicke al-a-boute : þat onneþe he miȝte [it] i-seo.
þo seiden þe sorie fendes : "we seggez þe i-wis
Þat onder þis deope watere : þe put of helle so is.
And þat þov schalt sone i-wite : for þov schalt sone a-non
ouer þis watur, þat is so deop : opon þis brugge gon,
And we schullen þe sende swuch a wynd : þat schal þe amidde caste,
And ore felawes þat beoth bi-neothe : schullen þe nime wel faste
And drawe þe doun forth with hem : Into helle grounde a-non.
Cum novþe forth and þouȝ schalt : op-on þis brugge gon."
heo nomen þis seli kniȝt : and op-on þis brugge drowe,
And maden him go þere, is on-þonkes : with wrechhedes i-nowe.
Þreo þingus vuele i-nowe : on þis brugge were:
Þat on was, for heo was so heiȝ : þat no gost ne*. [al. vnneþe me] miȝte for fere
Þare-oppe gon and so deope a-doun : habbe so grisliche siȝte;
Þat oþur was, for heo was so narovȝ : þat onneþe ani-þing*. [al. me] miȝte
Þare-oppe sette ani fot : þat he ne fulle a-doun a-non; [folio 101b]
Þe þridde, þat heo was so slider : þat man ne miȝte þare-oppe gon
bote he slide and felle a-doun : so sleiȝ man neuere nere.
Þeos þreo þinges þesne selie kniȝt : brouȝten in grete fere,
For heo was narovȝ, and slider, and heiȝ : þat he ne scholde him so bi-telle,
Ȝif þat he glufte*. [al. glide] in ani half : þat he ne fulle in-to helle.
¶ Þare-oppe he was with strencþe i-brouȝt : and þare-oppe i-maket to gon.
So gret drede, ase him þouȝte : ne hadde he neuer er non.
Ake sone he þouȝte on ihesu crist : þat so ofte him sauede er,
And cride on is holie name : þat he were is helpe þer.
he eode forth we[l] baldeliche : and þe innore þat he cam
Þe hardiore him þouȝte he was : and þe betere heorte to him he nam,
And þe braddore was is wei— : so longe forth he eode,
Þat it was so brod þat þere miȝte : a carte gon for neode, Page 213
And so longe, þat tuei cartes miȝte : meten heom wel i-novȝ.
Þe kniȝt þo wel baldeliche : ase a maister forth him drouȝ.
Þe feondes stoden bi-neþe þe brugge : and seiȝen him so faste gon,
And for al þe wo þat heo him duden : ne ouer-cam him nouȝt on;
heom þouȝte, it was al for nouȝt : after him to honten more:
grisliche heo gonne forto ȝeolle : ant to crie and wepe suyþe sore,
Þat for þe ȝeollinge þat heo maden : he hadde wel more fere
Þane of al þe pine þat he hadde er : so lodlich was þe bere;
¶ heore Oules heo nomen and heore hokes : and toward him casten an heiȝ;
Ake þare nas non þat him touchi miȝte : ne no-þing come him neiȝ.
So þat al sauf with alle Ioye : ouer þis watere he him drovȝ,
And þe feondes lefden bi-hinde : with grete soruwe ant sor i-nouȝ—
In helle is heore kuynde heritage : and elles for-soþe it were wovȝ!
heo leten him go ȝwodere he wolde : and ne fondeden him non more,
And heolden heom cleneliche ouer-come : for al heore false lore.
Þis kniȝt wende him forth, sauf i-nouȝ— : þat he hadde erore deore a|bouȝt,
And þonkede ȝeorne Ihesu crist : þat þe feondes ne siweden him nouȝt.
Þat watur he passede sauf inovȝ : and forþere þene wey he nam.
Þe contrie him þouȝte murie i-nouȝ : þare-forth þat he cam;
Þe forþere þat he wende : þe more murevþe he seiȝ.
So [longe] þat he i-saiȝ ane wal : swiþe noble and heiȝ—
So riche weork nas neuere i-seiȝe : ase him [þouȝte] þat þar-on was;
And swyþe fair ȝat þaron he saiȝ : þat neuere swuch i-seiȝe nas;
Þat ȝat schon swyþe briȝte : ase þei it al gold were,
Folle of derewurþe stones i-piȝte : none richere neuere nere.
him þouȝte, are he þudere cam : is wei ful longe laste.
Þo he cam forþere a luytel wiȝt : he stod and bi-heold it faste.
Þat [ȝat]*. [om.] wende op aȝen him : and a-non-riȝt with þe dede
Þare cam smite out a swote smel : and wide a-boute gan sprede,
Þat him þouȝte, þei al þe world : swote spices were,
So muche swotnesse ne miȝte ȝiuen : ase þat suote smul dude þere.
In so gret Ioye him þouȝte he was : þat þei he hadde beo i-brouȝt [folio 102]
In-to al þe soruwe þat he was er : it ne schulde him habbe i-greued nouȝt. Page 214
he bi-heold in at þis ȝate : þo he cam þer-neiȝ:
More clernesse nas neuere i-seiȝe : him þouȝte, þane he þere i-seiȝ.
Ase he wolde þare-In wende : aȝein him þare cam gon
A procession fair i-novȝ : of noble men ech-on,
with creoiz and with taperes : and with baneres clere;
I-reuested faire muche folk was : and ech hadde is fere,
Some were bischopus and Ercedeknes : and some Monekes and freres,
And euerech, him þouȝte, hadde þe Abite : þat heo wereden here.
with þe meste Ioye þat miȝte beo : þis kniȝt was onder-fonge,
And i-lad In with Ioye i-novȝ : mid solas and murie songe.
Þo þis murie song was i-do : to him sone þare come
Tweien ase it maistres weren : and bi þe honde him nome,
And welcomeden him wel mildeliche : and þonkeden ore louerd faste,
Þat him sende so guode bi-leue : so stableliche for-to laste.
heo ladden him a-boute and scheweden him : þat lond fer and ner:
So muche Ioie and clernesse : him þouȝte he ne saiȝ neuer er.
¶ Ase þe sonne bi-nimez þe liȝt : of Candle a-boute Midday,
Also it bi-nam þe sonne hire leom : him þouȝte, ase*. [al. þe liȝt þat] he þare i-saiȝ.
So long and brod þe place was : þat he ne miȝte non ende i-seo:
A fair Medwe he saiȝ*. [al. Al murie med] with swete floures : swottere ne miȝte non beo,
Treon al-so with noble fruyt : þat smulde swote Inovȝ;
And þe*. [al. So gret] swotnesse of euer-ech stude : al a-boute op drouȝ,
Þat þare with-oute mete and drunch : him þouȝte, euere-mo
he miȝte libbe with alle Ioie : ȝif he moste þare-Inne go.
It was þere euere i-liche liȝt : and euere it was dai.
So muche folk in none place, him þouȝte : neuer er he ne saiȝ.
Ech Compaygnie to oþur drovȝ : and ech bi oþur stod,
With murie song and Melodie : and gladnesse in heore mod,
Þat ech of oþur þe more Ioye : to-gadere heo miȝten a-fonge;
Al-miȝti god, þat heom schop : heo hereden In heore songe.
And ase sum steorre þat ȝe i-seoth : briȝtore þane oþur is,
Also was bi heom, for some weren : clerore þane some, i-wis;
Ake þulke þat mest dosk was : him þouȝte, was more cler
And briȝtore schon, þane ani gold : þat he i-saiȝ euer er.
¶ Ech werede cloþes of þe en-taile : þat heo wereden on eorþe here:
Monekes ase it to Monek bi-feol : and freres ase to frere; Page 215
So þat heo hadden heore riȝte fourme : ake wel briȝtore was hore hev,
Ant ȝwat men heo were on eorþe : bi heore cloþinge he knev.
Some hadden þe croune of golde : an-ouewarde þe heued ido,
And some beren in heore hond : ȝeordene of golde al-so.
And alle heo þonkeden Ihesu crist : þat so studefast heorte him sende,
Þe kniȝt, for al þe pine þat he hadde : is heorte enes ne wende;
Ech-one heom þouȝte þat for him : In þe more Ioye heo were.
he stod and bi-heold al þis Ioie : as þei no wit on him nere.
Þe on, ase it heore maister were : is Mouth ondude wel softe [folio 102b]
And welcomede him wel mildeliche : and þonkede ore louerd ofte,
Þat swuch porpos him hadde i-send : and studefast heorte al-so,
Þat he ne chaungede nouȝt is þouȝt : for al þat him was i-do.
"bev frere," he seide, "i-herd beo god : þat þe hauez hidere i-brouȝt
And a-mong alle þine stronge fon : studefast i-wust þi þouȝt!
Of þe pine of sunfule gostes : I-fondet þov hauest i-nouȝ,
And þare-with þine sunnes i-bet : and elles it were wouȝ.
¶ Þov miȝt here sumdel i-seo : þat þov wilnest more,
Of þe Ioye þat guode soulene habbez : þat comieth to milce and ore.
Þis place þat we inne beoth : ich wene þov ne knowest nouȝt:
It is eorþelich parays : þat Adam was Inne i-brouȝt
And þat he was Inne ymad : and sethþe for is mis-dede
he was i-cast out þar-of, and we also : on eorþe into alle wrechchehede;
¶ Al þe Ioye þat þov i-sixt her : he hadde to is wille,
Ake he ne miȝte, þo he was out i-cast : þar-of i-seo wurth a fille.
Of wrechhede we beoth i-kened : and of sunful blode i-come:
And þat us is þoruȝ godes grace : ant þoruȝ ore cristinedom bi-nome.
Ak þat we aftur ore cristindom : of sunne on eorþe wrouȝte,
On eorþe oþur in purgatorie : wel deore we it bouȝte:
For we alle þat þou here i-sixt : þare-forth hidere come
And ore sunnes þare betten : and harde penaunce nome,
Ne miȝte we elles here come. : ase guod bi þe it is:
For ȝif þine sunnes nere for-ȝiue : þov ne come nouȝt here, i-wis.
And alle þat þov þare i-seiȝe : to us þudere heo schullen wende,
And al dai doth some, ȝwane heo habbez : heore penaunce i-brouȝt to ende.
Neuer on not hov longe he schal : þare bi-leue, i-wis; Page 216
For ho-so ani freond on eorþe hath : mid him þe betere it is:
Þoruȝ massene and þoruȝ oþur beden : and þoruȝ almes-dede
Man mai hore pine muche a-legge : and þe sonore ovt þar-of heom lede.
And ȝwane ani of heom hidere comez : aȝen him we wendez ech-on,
Ase we duden a-ȝein þe, with Ioye : and ledez him In a-non.
Ake non of us nis ȝuyt wuyrthþe : in-to heuene for-to wende,
Ne neuere on not ȝwane ovre louerd : after ani of us wole sende;
For ech man þat in-to heuene schal : þoruȝ purgatorie mot
And sethþe into eorþeliche parays : ase we beoth novþe, wel ich wot.
For þis is ovre kuynde heritage : i-wrouȝt we weren þar-to,
Al for-to ore furste fader it a-gulte : and for-to he hadde mis-do;
here we scholden alle habbe i-beon i-bore : and i-leoued ore lif al-so,
For ore louerd wold þat we weren : In þe more Ioye i-do.
Þei men beon ovt heonnes i-cast : here-forth heo moten wende
And*. [om. and] aȝen, ar heo to heouene come : aftur heore liues ende.
Ake al þe Ioye þat is here : nis no-þing, i-wis,
A-ȝein þe leste Ioye of heouene : wel muche þe meste is.
Sum-þing þov schalt of heuene i-seo : In a place here-neiȝ."
he ladde him op-on an heiȝ hul : and bad him bi-holde on heiȝ, [folio 103]
And axede him of ȝwuch colur were : heuene op-riȝt þere.
he seide, him þouȝte riȝt ase gold : þat puyr wallinde were.
"Ȝe," seide þis oþur, "þis is þe wei : þat geth riȝt to heuene blis,
And þat is þe ȝat of parays : þat with-oute heuene ȝeond is.
¶ Ech day some of purgatorie : comez hidere us to,
And some of us to heuene wendez : euer-eche daye also;
So þat [we] wexez eche daie : and waniez, þov sixt lo;
We nutez ȝwuch of us it schal beo next : bote as god wole habbe i-do.
Ech dai þe ȝwuyle we here beoth : ore louerd us fedez ene
with riche metes of heuene : þat swete is and clene;
ȝwuche þulke metes beon : are þov heonnes wende
with us þov schalt sone i-wite : ȝwane god it wole us sende."
Ne hadde he bote o word i-seid : þat þare ne cam a-liȝte
A manere brez fram heouene a-doun : þat schon wel clere and briȝte,
Þat ouer-spradde al þat lond : and a cler leome þare-with-oute, Page 217
And*. [al. om.] opon euereches heued a-liȝte a-doun : wel faire, with-outen doute,*. [al. clerore þane aboute]
And op-on þis kniȝtes heued al-so : an þoruȝ him smot a-non,
And þoruȝ euerech lime and lith of him : þat swete liȝt gan gon;
Þa[t] so muche wille*. [r. winne?] and Ioye : him þouȝte, neuere he nadde.
he stod, ase þei he were i-nomen : for Ioye þat he þo hadde,
Ȝweþur he were quik oþur ded : bote ase he in metingue were.
louerd, murie is þe Ioye of heuene : ase he i-felde wel þere!
Ake it ne laste heom bote luytele ȝwile : þat þe leome ne with|drovȝ;
And naþeles, þei it luyte laste : þar-of heo weren fulle i-novȝ.
Þe kniȝt stod and bi-heold a-boute : and is riȝte stat onder-stod.
So fol he was of þat holi leome : þat so swete was and guod:
him þouȝte, þei he leouede euere-more : and neuereft more ne ete,
Ne scholde him neuer-eft to mete luste : so guod was þe leome and swete.
"Lo," seide þis oþur gost : þat schewede him al þis place,
"Sum-del þov hast nouþe iseiȝe : of ore louerdes grace
¶ Of þe pine þat þe wrechche gostes : habbeth for heore mis|dede,
And of þe Ioye þat guode gostes : in parays doth lede,
And sum-del of þe grete Ioie : þat in þe riȝte heuene is.
Eche daiȝe we beoth i-fedde : ones with swuche Ioie and blis,
And þanne beo we al dai fulle i-novȝ : for-to ore louerd more us sende:
In swuche Ioie heo beoth þat beoth in heouene : and worþez with|oute ende,
And ȝuyt sum-del in more : it ne faillez heom neuere mo,
And we ne beoth a day bote enes : for-to we þudere go;
And ȝwan þat we þudere comieth : we schulle with-outen ende,
And þou, ȝif þov a-seruest heuene forth : þudere for-to wende.
Þov miȝt don ase þov wolt : ȝwane þov comest to eorþe, i-wis,
And þudere anon a-ȝen þou most— : for-soþe, at þe time it is;
And ȝif þov wolt guod lif lede : þine mede þov miȝt i-seo;
And ȝwat pine heo habbez, þov hast i-seie : þat luþere wollez beo.
A-ȝein þou most wende a-non : go forth a-godes name! [folio 103b] Page 218
For sikerliche þov miȝt gon : þe feondes ne mowen don þe no schame;
heo beoth a-dradde wel sore of þe : and a-schamede in eche side.
A-godes name go forth þi wei : þov ne miȝt no leng here a-bide!"
"A, sire, merci!" quath þis kniȝt : "bi-tide ȝwat me bi-tide,
A fote i-nelle fram eov go : for wrechche-hede*. [MS. hedede] goth so wide.
¶ Ake soffriez me bi-leue here with ov! : for, ȝif ich fram eov wende,
A-drad ich am of þe feondene miȝte : laste heo with sunne me schende."
"Do wei, beu frere," þis oþur seide : "ase wel þov miȝt beo stille,
A-ȝen þov schalt to eorþe a-non : and*. [al. om.] þov miȝt don þare þine wille;
And ȝif þov seruest wel ore louerd þere : siker þov miȝt beo
to comen a-ȝein hidere to us : and sethþe to heuene fteo.
A-godes half wend a-ȝen a-non : for-soþe, þov schalt so."
"Alas, alas!" quath þis kniȝt : "ȝwat schal ich nouþe do?
Al þe Ioye þat ich habbe nouþe iseiȝe : it worth me bi-nome,
And to þe wrechhede of þe worlde : alas, schal ich novþe come!"
Ovt ate ȝate heo brouȝten him : wepinde, at þe laste,
And beden him gon wel hardiliche : and herien ore louerd wel faste;
A-non so he was with-oute i-gon : þat ȝat heo maden wel bliue.
With dreori mod he wende a-ȝen : and was a-drad of is liue;
Ase he cam er, with careful mod : þene wei a-ȝein he nam.
And, ȝwane ani deuel þat him pinede er : ouȝwere a-ȝen him cam,
Ase wode schrewene heo flouwen faste : and ne dorsten a-bide him nouȝt.
So atþe laste þis kniȝt was : to þe halle a-ȝein i-brouȝt
Þare as þe holie compaygnie : þuder-ward to him wende;
And sat him a-doun wel softe þere : for-to ore louerd him grace sende.
Ase he sat and bi-heold a-boute : to him heo comen þere,
Al þat faire compaygnie : þat a-ȝein him cam er,
And honoureden him wel faire : and conforteden him wel faste,
And þonkeden Iesus, godes sone : þat his bi-leue so wel i-laste.
¶ "bev frere," heo seiden, "ȝwane þov hast : swuch penaunce i|driue,
Siker beo þou þat þine sunnes : al clene þe beoth for-ȝiue.
loke, ȝwane þov comest to eorþe a-ȝen : þat þov clene lif lede, Page 219
So þat þov neuer-eft in pine ne come : for sunne ne for mis-dede!
Þov most don þe heonnes a-non : for at hom in þine londe
hit dawez clere and is neiȝ dai : ase ich me onder-stonde,
And þe prior with procession : to þe ȝate comez wel sone
to loki ȝweþur þov beo i-come : ase riȝt is forto done,
And, bote he þe finde þere : he wole maken þat ȝat a-non
And wole beo siker þat þou ne comest non-more : and sori wole a-ȝen gon."*. [This verse on the margin.]
Þene kniȝt heo brouȝten out of þe halle : and blesseden him ech-on
And bi-teiȝten god boþe lif and soule : fel and flesch and bon.
Forth he wende wel dreoriliche : bote ase he nede moste it do.
And riȝt ase he cam to þe ȝate : þe prior cam al-so
A-ȝein him with procession : to loke hou it were.
A-non so he hadde þe ȝate on-loke : þene kniȝt heo founden þere.
Þare was Ioye and blisse i-novȝ : þo huy to-gadere come! [folio 104]
With song and oþur melodie : þane knyȝt þare-out huy nome,
Ant ladden him forth to churche a-non : ant þonkeden god wel faste.
Þis kniȝt bi-fore þe heiȝe auctere : a-knes wel sone him caste,
Ant stableliche in his oresones : fiftene dawes he lay,
And þonkede ore louerd & on him cride : boþe nyȝt and day.
And sethþe on his bare flesch : þe holie croiz he nam
And wende to þe holie lond : ant suyþe holi man bi-cam.
he ne tolde neuere-eft nouȝt of þe world : bote ase he were euere in þouȝte,
Ake wende euere forth wel stilleliche*. [al. simpleliche] : as he of no-þing ne rouȝte.
Ofte he tolde of alle þe men : þat in parays were;
As him þouȝte, greiȝe Monekes : mest Ioye hadden þere,
None-manere men in so gret Ioye : ne in so grete honour he ne seiȝ—
hit nis no wonder sikerliche : for þe ordre is noble and heiȝ.—
Novþe ȝe habbez alle i-heord : þoruȝ ore louerdes grace,
hou seint paterik þulke purgatorie : founde in þat place,
For-to warni men a-boute : heore sunnes here to bete.
For þe loue of Iesu crist : and of is moder swete
Alle ower sunnes betez here : as god ov wole grace sende,
Þat ȝe mouwen with-oute pine : to parays hennes wende. Page 220
god leue us ovre sunnes here so biete : for is holie wounde,
Þat we ne þoruen in purgatorie : bi-leue bote luyte stounde.
36 Vita sancti Brendani, Abbatis de Hybernia.
SEint brendan, þe holi man : was here of ovre londe.
Monek he was of harde liue : as ich me under-stonde,
Of fastingue and oþur penaunce i-nov : and Abbot he was þere
Of a þousend Monekes : þat alle under him were.
hit bi-feol in a day : as ore louerdes wille was,
Þat beryn,*. [al. barint] an oþur Abbot : to him cam bi cas.
Seint brendan him bi-souȝte anon : him don onder-stonde
Ant tellen him ȝwat he hadde i-seiȝe : a-boute in oþur londe.
Þis guode man, þo he i-heorde þis : sichingues he made i-nowe
Ant in grete þouȝte bi-gan for-to weope : and fel a-doun i-suowe.
bi-twene his armes seint brendan : þis holie man op nam
& custe him faste, & cride on him : al for-to is wit him cam;
"Fader," he seide, "par charite : oþur red þov most take;
hidere þou come for ovre solas : and nouȝt suych deol to make.
tel us ȝwat þou hast i-seiȝe : a-boute as þou hast i-wend
In þe .se. of Occean : as ore louerd þe hath i-send."
Nou is þe .se. [of] Occean : grettest and mest al-so:
heo goth a-boute al þe world : and alle oþere cometh þer-to.
So þat berin, þis olde man : riȝt of is heorte grounde
Al weopinde he hem tolde : ȝwat he hadde i-founde.
he seide, he*. [al. ic] hadde a wel guod sone : and Mernok was is name,
"A Monek he was, as we beoth : and man of grete fame;
his heorte him ȝaf for-to wende : in-to a priue stude and stille, [folio 104b]
Þare he miȝte beo al one : to a-serui godes wille.
So þat bi mine wille he wende : ase ich it telle ov,
to an yle fer in þe se : þat delitable was i-nov,
bi-side þe Montayne of stones : þat is couth wel wide.
Þe Monek likede þare wel : and longue gan þare a-bide,
And hadde þare under him : Monekes mani on.
Þo ich heorde tellen þat : þuder-ward ich gan gon.
So þat in auision : ore suete louerd him sende,
Þat a-ȝen me, are ich to him come : þre Iorneies he wende. Page 221
And in a schip we duden us sone : and Astward euere kenden
In þe .se. of Occean : as ore louerd is grace us sende.
toward þe est so fer we wenden : þat we comen ate laste
In suyþe þuyster stude : and clouden us ouer-caste;
Al ane tide of þe daye : we weren in deorkhede.
Ate laste ore suete louerd : forþere us gan lede.
So þat we i-seiȝen a newe lond : þuder-ward ore schip drov;
briȝttore it þouȝte þane þe sonne : Ioye þare was i-nov,
Of treon and herbes, þikke j-novȝ : bi-set in eche side,
And of suete preciouse stones : þat briȝtte schynen and wide;
Euerech herbe was ful of floures : and ech treo was ful of fruyt;
bote it were in heuene : nas neuere more duyt.
Þare-Inne with Ioye and blisse I-novȝ : longue we duden i-wende;
Ȝeot us þouȝte luytel ȝwyle : ne miȝte we finde non ende
So þat we comen to a watur : cler and briȝt I-novȝ,
þat euere fram-ward þe est : toward þe west it drovȝ.
We stoden and bi-heolden a-boute : for we ne miȝten ouer i-wende:
Þare cam to us a ȝong ȝomman : swiþe fair and hende,
And welcomede us euerech-one : wel mildeliche and swete;
he nemnede euerech is riȝtte name : and faire gan us grete,
And seide þat we ouȝten*. [al. ȝe aȝte] Ihesu crist : þonki suyþe wel with riȝte
'Þat schewez eov is priuete : and al-so of is miȝte.
Þis is þat lond þat he wole : ȝuyt are þe worldes ende
[his dernelinges an erþe ȝyue : ȝ hyder he schal*. [heo scholle, on the margin.] wende.*. [This verse added by a later hand in the text and on the mar|gin.]]
Þis lond is half in þusse half : ase ȝe i-seoz wel wide,
And bi-ȝeonde þe watere haluen-del : al bi þat oþur side—
Þat watur ne mowe ȝe passi nouȝt : þat oþur del to seo.
For*. [al. om.] here ȝe habbez al a ȝer : meteles i-beo,
Þat ȝe ne eten ne dronken : ne slepen nouȝt with eyȝe,
Ne chele ne hete ne greuede ev nouȝt : noþur lowe ne heiȝe.
Þis*. [al. For þis] is ore louerdes priue stude : and þoruȝ him it is þus liȝt;
Þare-fore it is [her] euere day : and neuere-more niȝt.
ȝif Adam a-ȝein godes heste : ne hadde no-þing mis-do,
here-Inne he hadde ȝuyt i-beo : and is of-sprung al-so.
Ȝe ne mowen no leng here bi-leue : a-ȝen ȝe moten fare;*. [[Here 2 fol. are torn out in the MS. I supply the gap from MS. Harl. 2277.]]Page 222
[Þeȝ hit ne þenche ȝou bote a while : ȝe habbeþ ibeo her ȝare.' [Harl. 2277 folio 42b]
Þat so*. [al. So þat] he brouȝte ous in oure schip : & faire his leue nom;
& þo*. [MS. þe] we were hamward in þe see : we nuste whar he bi-com—
Aȝe-ward he wende aȝen oure wille : þat of-þoȝte ous sore ynouȝ.
Aȝen to þis oþer monekes : þis schip wel euene drouȝ.
¶ Þis monekes vrne aȝen ous : þo hi ous miȝte iseo,
& sori were & wroþe ynouȝ : þat we hadde so longe ibeo.
we seide hem þat we hadde ibeo : in gret ioye & feste,
Bifore þe ȝates of parays : in þe lond of biheste,
Þat oure suete louerd haþ bihote : hem þat he loueþ her,
Þer is euere dai & neuere niȝt : & euere liȝt suyþe cler.
¶ 'Certes,' quaþ þis monekes : 'þis we mowe iseo
Bi þe suete smyl of ȝou : þat ȝe habbeþ þer ibeo.' "—
¶ Þo seint Brendan ihurde þis : he þoȝte & stod stille;
[he þoȝte fondi more her-of : ȝif it were godes wille.]*. [This verse, om. in H., is taken from Ashm.]
he wende aboute his monekes : & tuelue out he nom,
Þat he triste to mest of alle : whan eni neode him com.
Þuse he nom in consail : & in priueite [hem] sede:
["I þenche do a priue þing : þer-of ȝe mote me rede,
To seche þat lond of biheste : ȝif god wolde ous þuder lede.]*. [These 2 v. om. in H.]
Siggeþ what ȝoure consail is : to do such a dede."
"Leoue fader," quaþ þis oþere : "oure wille we habbeþ forsake,
¶ Oure freond & al oure oþer god : & clanliche to þe itake:
& whan al oure dede is on þe : & þu wolt þat hit beo,
we schulle bliþeliche wiþ þe wende : godes grace to seo."
So þat hi faste fourti dawes : & gret penance dude also,
& bede ȝurne oure louerdes grace : þulke veyage to do.
hi leten hem diȝte a gret schip : & aboue hit albi*. [MS. abbi]-caste
wiþ bole-huden stronge ynou : ynailed þerto faste,
& siþþe ipiched al abou[t]e : þat þe water [in] necome. [Harl. 2277 folio 43]
hi wende to here breþeren : & wel faire here leue nome,
And siþþe in oure louerdes name : to schipe wende anon;
here breþeren þat bihynde were : sori were echon.
& þo hi were in þe schip : after þer come go*. [al. om.] tuo
& bede faste þat hi moste : þane wei mid hem go.
"Ȝe mowe wel," quaþ seint brendan : "ac ȝoure on schal atta[n] ende
Repenti er he come aȝe : & al quic to helle wende."
Þider*. [al. vorþ him] wende þis holi man : whoder oure louerd hem sende;
& þis tuei monekes þat come last : also wiþ hem wende.
¶ In þe grete see of occian : forþ hi rewe faste,
& triste alto oure louerdes grace : & noþing nere agaste. Page 223
Þe see drof here schip after wil : þe wynd was gret ynouȝ;
As þe wynd hem drof est forþ : wel euene þe schip him drouȝ,
Euene aȝe þat þe sonne ariseþ : a-midsomeres day—
Nou nuste non of hem whar he was : ne no lond he nesay.
Euene forþriȝt fourti dayes : þe wynd hem drof faste:
So þat hi seȝe in þe norþside : a gret ylle*. [r. yle] atte laste,
Of harde roche & gret ynou : in þe see wel heȝe;
Þreo dayes hi wende þer-aboute : er hi miȝte come þer-neȝe.
¶ A lute hauene hi*. [MS. he] fonde þo : alond hi wende þere;
hi wende alond as maskede*. [al. masid] men : hi nuste whar hi were.
Þer com go a wel fair hound : as hit were hem to here;
At seint Brendanes fet he ful adoun : & makede him faire chere.
¶ "Beau freres," quaþ seint brendan : "ȝe neþore noþing drede:
Ich wot þis is a messager : þe riȝte wei ous to lede."
Þis hound ladde þis holi man : to an halle, fair ynouȝ,
Gret & starc & suyþe noble : euene in he drouȝ.
Þis monekes fonde in þis halle : bord & cloþ isprad,
& bred & fisch þer-vppe ynouȝ— : þer nas non þat nas glad.
hi sete adoun & ete faste— : for hem luste wel þerto.
Beddes þer were, al ȝare ymaked : er here soper were ido:
After here soper to bedde hi wende : to resten hem, as þe wise.
Þo hi hadde alle islepe ynouȝ : sone hi gonne arise,
& wende to here schip : as hi hadde er ibeo.
In þe see wel longe hi were : er hi miȝte lond iseo.
¶ Þo hi seȝe*. [r. seȝe hi] as bi þoþer side : an ylle fair ynouȝ,
Grene & [wiþ] wel fair lese. : þiderward here schip drouȝ.
Þo hi come on þis faire lond : & bihulde aboute wide, [Harl. 2277 folio 43b]
Þe faireste scheep þat miȝte beo : hi seȝe in eche side;
A scheep was grettere þan an oxe : whittere ne miȝte non beo.
Gret ioye hi hadde in here hurte : þat hi miȝte þis iseo.
Þer com*. [al. þo com þer] go a wel fair man : & grette hem wiþ faire chere,
& seide, "ȝe beoþ hider icome : þer ȝe neuere nere.
¶ Þis is icliped þe lond of scheep : for scheep wel faire her beoþ,
Mochele & white & grete ynouȝ : as ȝe aldai iseoþ;
Fairere hi beoþ þan ȝoure scheep : & grettere vnyliche,
For murie weder is her ynouȝ : & lese suyþe riche.
her nis neuere wynter non : for her nis non*. [al. ne non hei] ifounde,
Ac hi eteþ þerbes nue : as hi springeþ of þe g[ro]unde.
Ne me ne gadereþ noȝt of here mulc : þat hi scholde þe worse beo;
¶ For þis þing, & meni oþer : þe bet hi mowe iþeo.
To a stede ȝe schulle hunne wende : þurf oure louerdes grace, Page 224
Þat is foweles parays : a wel ioyful place :
Þer ȝe schulle þis ester beo : & þis wit-sonedai also.
Wendeþ forþ a-godes name : þat þis veyage were ido!"
SEint Brendan & his breþeren : to schipe wende anon,
& rue forþ faste in þe see : wiþ tempest meni on.
So þat hi seȝe in anoþer side : an ylle gret ynouȝ.
here schip þurf godes grace : þiderwardes drouȝ.
Þo hit cam almest þerto : vpe þe roche hit gan ride,
Þat hit ne miȝte noȝt to þe yle come : ac bileuede biside.
Þis monekes wende*. [al. wode] vp to þis yle : ac seint brendan noȝt.
Þis monekes gonne makie here mete : of þat hi hadde ibroȝt :
hi makede fur & soden hem fisch : in a caudroun faste.
Er þis fisch were isode [I-nouȝ] : somdel hi were agaste :
For þo þis fur was þurf-hot : þe yle quakede anon
& wiþ gret eir hupte al vp— : þis monekes dradde echon,
[& þe wei toward hor schip : ech after oþer nom,
God leuest hem þoȝte he was : þat sonest þuder com.]*. [om. in H.]
hi bihulde hou þe yle : in þe see wende faste
& as a quic þing hupte vp & doun : & þat fur fram him caste;
he suam more þan tuei myle : while þis fur ilaste.
Þe monekes iseȝe þe fur wel longe : & were sore agaste :
hi cride ȝurne on seint brendan : what þe wonder were.
"Beoþ stille," quaþ þis gode man : "for noȝt ȝe nabbe*. [al. habbeþ] fere.
Ȝe weneþ þat hit beo an yle : ac ȝe þencheþ amis :
hit is a fisch of þis grete see : þe gretteste þat þer is.
Iastoni he is icleped : & fondeþ niȝt & dai [Harl. 2277 folio 44]
To pulte his tail in his mouþ : ac for gretnisse he nemai."—
Forþ hi rue in þe see : euene west wel faste,
Þreo dayes, er hi seȝe lond : hi were somdel a-gaste.
¶ Þo seȝen hi a wel fair lond : of floures þikke ynouȝ—
wel glade hi were þo hi seȝe : þat here schip þider drouȝ.
In þis faire lond hi wende : lengere þan ic telle :
So þat hi fonde in a place : a suyþe noble welle.
Bi þe welle stod a treo : brod & round ynouȝ;
Foweles white & faire ynouȝ : were in euerech*. [al. so þicke were in ech] bouȝ,
Þat vneþe eni leef : hi miȝte þeron iseo—
Þer was ioye & blisse ynouȝ : to lokie on suche o treo.
¶ Seint Brendan for ioye wep : & sat adoun akneo
And bad oure louerd schowi him : what such a cas miȝte beo.
Þo fleȝ þer vp alute fowel : þo he gan to fleo,*. [al. & toward him gan te]
As a fiþele his wynges furde : þo he to him-ward gan teo.*. [al. þo he gan to fleo]Page 225
Murie[re] Instrument neuere nas : þan*. [MS. þat] his wyngen were!
he bihuld seint brendan : wiþ wel faire chere.
"Ich hote [þe,]" seide seint brendan : "if þu ert messager,
Þat þu sigge me what [þu] ert : & what ȝe doþ her."
Þeȝ hit þoȝte aȝe cunde : þis fowel ansuerede anon :
"We were," he seide "sum-tyme was : angles in heuene echon.
As*. [r. ac sone so] sone as we were ymaked : oure maister was so prout,
Lucefer, for his fairhede : þat he ful sone out,
& mid him also meni on : as here dede was;
¶ & we fulle also a-doun : ac for no synne hit nas,
for*. [MS. Ac for] noþing þat we assentede : to his foule vnriȝt,
Bote soulement forto schewe : oure louerdes suete*. [al. suete louerdes] miȝt.
Ne we ne beoþ her in pyne non : ac in ioye ynouȝ we beoþ,
And somdel oure suete louerdes : miȝte we seoþ.
& bi þe vrþe we fleoþ : & bi þe lifte also,
As gode angles, & liþere ek : riȝt is for-to do,
Þe gode [for]-to do men god : þe liþer liþere makieþ.
¶ & sonedai, þat is dai of rest : such forme we takeþ :*. [MS. makeþ]
Þe forme of suche white foweles : as þu miȝt iseo,
[&] honureþ god þat ous makede : her on þis brode treo.
Tuelf-monþ hit [is] ipassed nou : þat ȝe gonne out wende,
& alle þis six ȝer ȝe schulle fare : er ȝe schulle*. [al. om.] bringe ȝoure wille to ende;
For whan ȝe habbeþ iwend soue ȝer : oure louerd wole ȝou sende [Harl. 2277 folio 44b]
A siȝt þat ȝe habbeþ longe isoȝt : anon after þe soue ȝeres ende.
Eche ȝer ȝe schulle her mid ous : holde ester-feste,
As ȝe nou doþ, forte ȝe come : to þe lond of biheste"—
Nou was hit an ester-day : þat al þis was ido.
¶ þe fowel nom his leue of hem : & to his felawes wende þo.
Þe foweles, þo hit eue*. [al. time] was : bigonne here euesong—
Muriere song nemiȝte beo : þeȝ god silf were among.
Þe monekes wende to bedde & slepe : þo soper was ido;
& þo hit was tyme of matyns : hi arise þerto.
¶ Þe foweles sunge ek here matyns : wel riȝt, þo hit was tyme,
& of þe sauter seide þe*. [al. om.] uers : & siþþe also*. [MS. alto] prime,
& vnderne siþþe, & middai : & afterwardes non,
& eche tyde songen of þe dai : as cristene men scholde don.
Þis monekes were in þe lond : eiȝte wyke also,
Forto alþe feste of ester : & of witsonedai were ido.
¶ Þo com atte trinite : þis gode man to hem þer
Þat spac wiþ hem in þe lond of scheep : & ladde aboute er : Page 226
he chargede here schip suyþe wel : mid mete & drinke ynouȝ,
& nom his leue wel hendeliche : & aȝeward drouȝ.
¶ Þo seint brendan was in his schip : & his breþeren also,
Þis fowel, þat spac wiþ hem er : wel sone com hem to;
he seide, "ȝe habbeþ her wiþ ous : þis heȝe feste ibeo;
Gret trauayl ȝou is to come : er ȝe eftsone lond iseo.
Ȝe schulleþ after soue monþes : iseo a wel fair yle.
Þat abbey is icliped : þat is hunne meni a myle;
Ȝe schulleþ beo mid holie men : þis myde-wynter þere.
Ȝoure ester ȝe schulle holde þer : as ȝe dude to-ȝere :
Vpe þe grete fisches rugge : þer þi monekes were in-fere,
& ȝoure ester [be] mid ous : riȝt as ȝe nou were."
Seint brendan a-godes name : & his breþeren echon,
In þe grete see of occian : forþ wende anon.
Þe wynd hem harlede vp & doun : in peryls meni on.
So weri hi were of here lyue : þat hi nuste whoder gon.
Four monþes hi were*. [al. wende] in þe see : in þis grete turment,]*. [[Here L. goes on again.]]
Þat huy ne yseiȝen no-þing bote þe se : ant þe firmament. [folio 105]
Þo huy yseiȝen*. [al. seie hi] fer fram heom : ane yle ase þei it were;
heo criden faste on Ihesu crist : þat huy mosten a-riuie þere.
Ȝeot after þat seint Brendan : þis yle furst y-seiȝ,*. [MS. saiȝ]
Fourti dawes heo wenden in þe se : er huy comen þere neiȝ,
Þat heom þouȝte heore lif was heom loz. : þe Monekes weren a-gaste,
heo criden ȝeorne on Ihesu crist : and is help heo beden faste.
A luytel hauene and swyþe streit : huy founden atþe laste,
Þat vnneþes heore schip miȝte þerinne come : Aunker*. [MS. Annker] for-to caste
Þis Monekes wenden a-lond þo : wel longue heom þouȝte er.
huy bi-heolden al-a-boute : murie heom þouȝte þer.
Þo yseiȝen heo twey faire wellene : þat on was suyþe cler,
And sumdel wori and þicke þat oþer was. : þe Monekes ȝeoden ner,
to drinken of þat faire welle. : seint Brendan it i-seiȝ,
And seide, "with-oute leue of oþur men : ne come ȝe nouȝt þere neiȝ,
Of olde men þat here-inne beoz : al þoruȝ godes wille*. [al. for mid gode wille];
For*. [om.] heo wollez party þar-of mid us : and þare-fore beoz ȝeot stille."
A fair old man and swiþe hor : a-ȝein heom þere cam gon;
he wel-comede heom faire i-novȝ : and seint Brendan he custe a-non,
And ladde heom forth with him : bi a wel fair wei Page 227
A-boute in many a murie stude : and sethþe in-to on Abbey.
Seint Brendan bi-heold a-boute : and axede ȝwat it were,
And ȝwat-manere men weren þare-inne : and ho þare*. [al. om.] woneden þere.
Stille was þis olde man : and ne ȝaf him none Answere.
Þo cam þere gon a fair couent : and ane croyz bi-fore heom bere,
With taperes in eyþur side— : Monekes it weren ech-on,
And yreuested faire and in queor-copes : a-ȝein heom huy comen gon,
With procession faire i-nouȝ. : þe Abbod bi-hinde com,
And wel faire custe seint Brendan : and bi þe hond him nom.
he ladde him and is monekus : in-to a noble halle,
And setten*. [al. sette] heom a-doun alle on a rewe : and wuchs heore fet alle;
Of þe worie welle heore fet he wuchs : þat huy er i-seiȝe.
In-to þe freytore he ladde heom þo : and sette heom wel heiȝe,
I-medlede with heore*. [al. his] owene couent. : and þo heo weren alle i-sete,
Þare cam on and seruede : and brouȝte heom alle mete :
And ane wel faire ȝwite lof : he sette bi-twene to & to,
Ȝwite moren, ase it of herbes were : bi-fore heom he sette al-so—
Swettore mete ne miȝte non beo : huy ne knewen it nouȝt on;
Of þe clere welle þat huy er i-seiȝen : þe Monekes dronke ech-on.
"beoz nouþe glade," þe Abbot seide : "and drinkez nouþe i-novȝ
In charite of þulke welle : þat ȝe wolden er with wouȝ—
Betere it is drinke in charite : ȝwan it is ov i-brouȝt,
Þane ȝe it þeofliche nomen : ase ȝe hadden i-þouȝt.
Þis bred þat we eteth of : we nuten of ȝwan it is :
An straunge man eche daye it bringuth : In-to ovre celere, i-wis,
We nutez nouȝt bote ope godes grace : wanne it is ibrouȝt—
For ho-so trust to ihesu crist : him ne schal failly nouȝt. [folio 105b]
We beoz foure-ant-twenti freres : and ȝwane we beoz i-sete,
twelf ȝwite Miches*. [al. suche loues] men brynguth us : eche daye to ore mete;
Ate feste of eche hali-daye; and ȝwan it sonen-day is,
Foure-and-twenti loues us comieth : so þat euerech man hath his;
Þat euerech frere of þat him leuez : witiez to is soper.
I-doublet it worth nouþe for ov : ase ȝe i-seoth wel her :
Al*. [al. vor al] ore couent nis nouȝt here : ake muche*. [al. muchedel] it hath vn-ete.
So þat ore louerd þoruȝ is grace : sent us alle mete. Page 228
Fram seint paterikes Abbeye*. [al. dai : & seint ailbi also] : þat in yrlonde is al-so,
Four-score ȝer we habbez i-beon here : þat no man ne cam us to;
euere-eft ore louerd þoruȝ is grace : I-fed us hath ech-on.