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.

74 Vita & passio sancte Cecilie virginis & martiris.

Seinte Cecilie, of noble kynde I-bore ȝe was at rome;
Oure louerd crist ȝe louede wel ar ȝe fram cradel come.
Stilleliche ȝe hire let baptiȝe, as we fynden I-wryte;
To oure louerd crist ȝe bad ȝerne hire maydenhod to wyte.
     4
So þat þoru strengþe of hire frendes I-spoused ȝe was to a man
Of gret nobleye ȝ of richesse, his name was Vallerian.
Þis mayde werede robe of pal ȝ cloþes swiþe riche,
Garlaundes ȝ tressoures of gold—þe here next hire liche.
     8
Whane ȝe herde menstrales song, . ȝe song in hire menstralcie,*. [Ash. Wen þe m. songe hor song: of hor m.]
Þis mayde stiliche song of god ȝ of his moder marye.
A vers of þe psalter hire song was, wer-on was mast hire þout:
"Lat, louerd, myn herte wiþoute wem be, þt it confundet be naut!"
     12
A-nyȝt as ȝe was in riche bed wiþ hire lord i-brouth,
Sone he hadde of folye þis clene mayde be-sout.
"Swete herte," þis mayde seyde, "for loue þou hast to me,
Graunte me y mowe þe telle a litel pryuete,
     16
Þat ich me mowe þerof schryue, ȝ. þt þou it wille hele."
"Certes, lemman," þis ȝungman seyde, "noþing telle I nele."
"Suete lemman," þis mayde seyde, "in warde icham I-do:
An aungel of heuene is my wardeyn, ȝ my lemman þer-to.
     20
Wel faste he stant her bi me. ȝif he vnderȝete
Þat þou be-nome my maydenhod, noþing nolde he lete
Þat he ne wolde harde smyte, ȝ be-nyme þe þi myȝtte [folio 231]
Of þi ȝungnesse ȝ of noble stat, for þou ne myȝth wiþ him fyȝtthe.
     24
Ac ȝif he wiste þou louedest me in gode loue ȝ clene,
Wytte*. [MS. wytie?] he wolde þe als he deþ me, ȝ al yuel fro þe ȝene."
"Ȝif þou wilt," seyde Vallerian, "þat ich I-leue þis,
Þen angel þou most me schewe, þat I se hym I-wis;
     28
Ȝ wanne I þat soþe i-se, þat þou hast soþ i-seyd,
In clenesse for-soþe þi wille I do, al after þi red.
Ȝif I se þat in folye þou louest anoþer þan me, Page  491
No-þing ne schal ȝou helpe, þat I ne sle him ȝ þe."
     32
"Swete herte," seyde þat mayde, "ȝ þou wile þe aungel se,
Þou most bileuen on Ihesu crist ȝ I-cristned be,
Ȝ sen him þou schalt ȝif þou wilt so; he þe wile wytte*. [MS. wytie?] fro helle,
So gret ioye of oure loue schal be þat no tunge ne may telle.
     36
Ac henne ouer þre myle þou most gon þe wey to*. [al. of] apye;
Þere [pore] men þou schalt fynde on Ihesu crist faste crye,
Sey þt ich to hem þe sende, ȝ þt he þe teche anon
Whar is seint vrban þe holi old man, for þou most to him gon,
     40
ffor priue counseil þou wilt wiþ him speke. ȝ he þe schal baptiȝe.
Ȝ þanne þou schalt þan angel se, ȝ do as he þe wile wise."
Vallerian a-ros a-non, as oure louerd him ȝaf wille,
To þe stede þe mayde bad he wende forþ wel stille.
     44
Þes pore men him taute a-non to þe olde seint vrban;
he fond him in an old for-late stede, þat*. [r. þer] wonede neuere man,
Among puttes ȝ burieles als men cristene men þreu
After þat he martired were, men anye kneu(!)
     48
To his feet he ful a-doun a-kne, als-sone as*. [overlined.] [he] to him come,
Ȝ seyde þat cesilie send him þider to asken cristendome.
"Louerd, I-herd be þi myȝtte," seyde seint vrban,
"Weþer þis be þat Luþere werreor men clepuþ vallerian?
     52
Were cecilie haue him now y-mad, him þt was so wilde
Ȝ more tyrant þan any wolf, als a lomb he is*. [om. he is] now mylde?"
Þo com þer go a swiþe old man a lyȝtthe fro heuene þer,
hor, wiþ whyte vestemens, a swiþe fair wryt he ber.
     56
Þo vallerian it*. [al. him] I-sey, a-doun he fel for drede;
Seint vrban nom him vp aȝen . ȝ gan him forþ lede.
Þis halewe of heuene tok him þat wryt, ȝ bad him forto rede.
Vallerian tok it anon, & þus þe wordes sede:
     60
"On*. [MS. Oure] louerd is, .ȝ. on bi-leue, .ȝ on baptiȝingge,
On god .ȝ fader of alle þat beþ, þt oueral is .ȝ in eche þingge."
"I-leuestou þis," quaþ seint vrban, "þat þou dost her I-se?"
"Þer nis noþing," quaþ þis oþer, "þat bet to leue be."
     64
After þis whyte man he be-held; he nuste wher he be-cam.
Seint vrban him nom a-non, ȝ ȝaf him cristendom.
To sein Cecilie he wente aȝen, þo he was þare is fulle: [folio 231b]
he fond hire chambre lyȝth wiþ-inne, .ȝ swiþe swote smulle.
     68
he fond cecilie, his gode spouse, ȝ an aungel wiþ hire stonde,
Bryȝttere þan any leme*. [MS. lome]; twey garlondes he hadde on honde,
Of rose ȝ of lilie swote; þat on, cecilie he tok,
Ȝ þat oþer, vallerian, as we fynden in bok. Page  492
     72
"Wyteþ þis wiþ trewe loue, wiþ chaste body ȝ clene,
Ich hem habbe fro heuene i-brouȝth, oure lord hem doþ ȝou lene;
ffor-falewe ne olde wille þei nat, ac euere he willeþ laste.
Two manere floures þer beþ on, nelle neuere here heu caste;
     76
Þe lilie be-tokneþ ȝoure maydenhod, þt is so whyt ȝ swote,
Þe rose be-tokneþ ȝoure martirdom; for þer-on deye ȝe mote.
And for þou dest, vallerian, cecilie red so sone,
What þou be-sekest of my lord, he wille þe graunte sone."
     80
"I ne wille*. [al. wilny] noþing so miche," seyde vallerian,
"Bote*. [al. As] þat Tiburs,*. [MS. Tiburft] my broþer, wiþ me were cristeneman."
"Mi lord," quaþ þis aungel, "wile ȝiuen þat ilke grace,
Ȝ boþe ȝe schulle I-martired be at o tyme, in o place."
     84
Þe aungel [wende] wiþ þis word, he nuste wher he be-com.
Þis two clene þingges ioye I-now ech of oþer nom.
Tiburs com to chambre ȝ spac*. [al. to speke] wiþ his broþer þere:
he stod ȝ be-held al-a-boute als he nuste wher he were;
     88
"Broþer," he seyde, "hou goþ þis? þis tyme of þe ȝere
So swote smul ne smelde I neuere, me þinkþ, as I do here!
Þei þis hous were ful of newe roses ȝ of lylie also,
I ne myȝtte hem versschere smelle, me þinkþ, þan I now do.
     92
So ful ich am al of þe smul, ȝ so muche it is in my þout,
Þat Ich am for-soþe in an-oþer wytte I-brouth."
"Leue broþer," quaþ vallerian, "garlandes we habbeþ here
Of floures þat þou ne myȝt i-se bote þou were oure fere.
     96
als þou hast þane swote smel þar-of for oure bone,
Ȝif þou wilt be-leue as we, þou myȝt sen hem sone."
"Leue broþer," seyde þis oþer, "wheþur it be soþ þis,
Oþer I stonde in matyngge .ȝ mete þat so it is?"
     100
"In metyngge," quaþ vallerian, "we habbeþ euere I-be;
Nou we ben ferst of slepe a-waked, nou we mowe ferst i-se."
"Sestow nou bet," quaþ þis oþer, "þan þou hast er I-do?"
"Ȝe," seyde vallerian, "wel sone*. [al. om.] me be-houeþ so,
     104
ffor my lordes aungel of heuene haþ I-ȝoue me syȝth;
Ȝ for oure loue he þe schal also, ȝif þou wile leue a-ryȝth."
Þo seyde þis holy mayde: "tibors, leue broþer,
What ben maumettes bote wrechedhede? þou sest on hem non oþer.
Ne sestou þat þese maumets ben mad of old tre?
Þing þt ne may him-sulf helpe, hou myȝte it hel[p]e þe?" [folio 232]
     110
"No-þing nis soþere," quaþ tiburs,*. [MS. tiburus] "þanne þat þou hast i-seyd;
Gydiere he were þan any beste þat nolde don þi red."
     112
Seinte cecilie him custe a-non: "leue tiburs," he seyde, Page  493
"To-day þou schalt my broþer be, for þou wilt don be rede.
Þoru clene loue ȝ good be-leue þi broþer my spouse is,
Þar-þoru þou schalt be-come also my broþer when þou art his.
     116
Mid Vallerian þou most go to þe bisschop Vrban
Ȝ be cristned, ȝ do also as he þe rede can."
"Is þat vrban," quaþ tiburs, "þat so ȝerne haþ be souȝth,
Þat ȝare haþ be fleme ȝ hud? ȝ ȝif he were forþ brouȝth,
     120
ffor-berne he scholde, ȝ we also, ȝif we wiþ him were;
Ȝ so þe while we heuene souȝthen, for-barnd we scholde ben here."
"Ȝif þer nere," quaþ þis mayde, "onliche bote þis lyf,
ffol he were þat it wolde [lese] for any-maner strif;
     124
Ȝ seþe þer is so mury lif þer þat we schulle after a-fonge,
ffol is þat nelle a whyle ben wo, to be in ioye so longe."
"Leue broþer," quaþ tiburs, "þou haue merci of me
Ȝ led me to þat gode man, ich be-seche þe."
     128
Þat o broþer þat oþer ladde to þe bisschop Vrban;
Þar he for-sok his foule lawe, ȝ be-cam cristene man.
Tiburs, þo he com aȝen, þan aungel sey a-non
Þat cecilie him hadde be-hote, in þe chambre wiþ hire gon.—
     132
Cecilie, for ȝe wyfman was, at hom ȝe moste a-byde;
Ak þese breþeren, þat men were, a-boute wenten wyde,
And whane me martyreden cristenemen, þider he wolden gon
Ȝ stele to whan*. [MS. whom] he myȝtte best, ȝ burien hem*. [MS. him] a-non.
     136
Als þei burieden twey godemen þat y-martired were,
Come þe emperoures men .ȝ nomen hem ryȝt þere.
To-fore þe Iustise he weren i-brouth. þei*. [al. me] askede hem*. [MS. him] a-non:
"Who made ȝou so hardi to burie þe emperoures foon,
     140
Þe mys-bi-leuede trichours þt were aȝen oure lawe,
Þat wiþ ryȝth Iugement of þe lond were i-brout of dawe?"
"Sire, we wolde," þis oþere seyde, "þat we worþi were
here knaues forto habbe I-be, þat þou let quelle þare!
     144
he leften þing þat nas nawt, þei it semblance hadde,
Ȝ toke good þing þat was ȝ worþ .ȝ. no semblance nadde.
Þe worldes ioye, þat haþ semblance, for so[þe] nawt it nys;
And þei þe blisse of heuen þinke lite, . mechul ȝ swete it is."
     148
"Beaus amys, me þynkþ þat ȝe ben wode:
worþe he is to habbe wo, who-so ne keput nat of gode."
"In wynter," quaþ Vallerian, "Idel men sitten ȝ drynkun,
To bismere he leyen here*. [al. erþe] tilien þat a-boute sowynge swynkeþ;
     152
In heruest, whan þe swynkeres moweþ fair schef ȝ good ȝ rype,
*. [al. erþe]In meseyse ȝe mowen gon vp ȝ doun, he nabbeþ neuere agripe: Page  494
Als we schulle for oure trauayl In blisse rype atte ende, [folio 232b]
whanne ȝe schulle for ȝoure ioye to helle wepynde wende."
     156
"Ek he*. [al. we]," seyde þe Iustise, "þat Lordes scholde be,
Beþ lasse worþ þan swiche wreches, þat nolde neuere þe?"
"Certes," quaþ vallerian, "þou art lasse i-told
Þan is a saly beggere aȝen god, ne be þou neuere so bold."
     160
"Bel amy," quaþ þe Iustise, "yne kepe nat of þi Ianglyngge.
Doþ ȝoure sacrefise a-non, oþer me schal ȝou to deþe bringge."
"Certes," quaþ þis godeman, "þou ne bringgest me neuere þerto."
Þe Iustise hem let a-non in strong prisone do.
     164
Maxime þe gayler [het] þat hem in warde nom;
So þat he ȝ alle his þorw hem cristene bi-com.
Seinte cecilie com be þe prison; loude ȝe gan grede :
"What do ȝe, godes knytes? kuþeþ ȝour staleworthede!
     168
Fyȝteþ nou staleworþliche, to leue þis derkhede,
Þat ȝe were in þe weye i-brouth þt to cler lyȝt schal ȝou lede."
Opon þe morue, to þe maumets þis gode men were brouth.
Þe Iustise het hem don sacrifise; ac þei ne wolde nat.
     172
here heued he let of smyte, ȝ maxime it*. [al. om.] I-sey
Whare aungles here soules nome ȝ to heuene baren an hey.
To þe Iustise he ȝede anon : "cristene ich am," he sede,
"Ich i-sey þe godemannes*. [al. menne] soule aungles to heuene lede."
     176
Þe Iustise him let nymen a non, naked he let him bete
Wiþ stronge skourgen, faste i-bounde, forto he gan þat lif lete.
Þe body þei casten wiþoute þe toun. þo gan cecilie forþ gon :
Þese þre holy martires ȝe burede to-gydere a-non.
     180
[Ȝe was sone i-nome ȝ ilad before þe Iustise þo.]*. [This v. om.]
"What," sede he, "hou goþ þis? beþ þer ȝet schrewen mo?
artou Vallerianus wif? be þe fey Ich owe mahoun,
Bote þou oþer do, þi wyth*. [al. wite heu] worþ sone I-brouth a-doun.
     184
Of what kynne artou of y-come, þt þus foleliche wilt*. [al. þe doþ] lere?"
"Of betere kunne," quaþ cecilie, "þan þou euere were."
"In wich-maner lif," quaþ þis oþer, "þenkest tou to lyue?"
"ffor-soþe þou axest as a fol, ȝ swich ansuere me schul þe ȝiue.
     188
for al þi poer, þou schalt i-se, be þat þou wost þen ende,
Þat þou ne schalt fro ihesu cryst ones myn herte wende."
"hou comeþ it þe," seyde þe iustise, "to be so hardy her,
To clepe me fol þat am þi maister? ne sixte nower my per.*. [al. poer]"
     192
"Þi per,*. [al. poer] wreche," quaþ þis mayde, "worþ sone i-brouȝth be-hynde,
for it nis bote a bladre I-blowe fol of a wreche wynde;
be it wiþ a litel prikke I-priked, a-wey it schrinkeþ al : Page  495
Als þi caroigne wiþ siknesse, wreche, a-dwyne schal. [folio 233]
     196
Þi poer þat þou ȝelpest of, boþe is þenne ȝ lite."
"hou goþ þis, dame?" seyde þe Iustise, "whenne comeþ al þis prute?
I may þe ȝiue deþ ȝ lif, as þou sixt myd þin eye."
"Certes," quaþ þe mayde þo, "þou lixt þer-of wel heye :
     200
a wreche caroyne þou myȝth ȝiue, ȝ*. [al. om.] deþ þat wel schort is,
Ak of lyf ne myȝtte no-þing ȝiue þi-selue nat, i-wis.
Seþe þou myȝth ȝiue deþ ȝ no lif, me þinkþ be pur ryȝtte
Þat þou art deþes seriant, for of lif hasto no myȝtte.
     204
ffor*. [al. &] whan þou deþes sergeant art, deþ þi louerd is,
Ȝ in deþ wiþ-outen ende þou wilt be, I-wis."
"Dame," quaþ þe iustise, "of þi gydihede ne kepe ich ryȝth nowth.
Do sacrifise to oure godes, oþer þou worst to deþe i-brouth!"
     208
"Þou seist þat ich gydi am," seinte cecilie sede,
"Ac þou art gydi, ȝ ek blind, i-sene is on þi rede.
Scholde I honure þine [godes] ymad of ston ȝ tre?
I nelle it do, for-soþe, for þou ne myȝt nat I-se.
     212
Bote þou myȝth i-se þat art blynd*. [al. Bote þu Þu blynd, Þu miȝt ise], . þat þis þing soþ is;
Ȝif þou sixt .ȝ. ne leuest it naut, gydi þou art, I-wys,
for gydi he is þat nelle I-leue þat he seþ myd his eye;
Gydi ȝ blind þou schalt deye, in helle pyne deye."
     216
Þo ferde þe schrewe as he were wod, he het þis mayde take
Ȝ leden in-to an out-hous, ȝ a greth fur make,
Ȝ þer-ouer a led-ful of water, ȝ al amydde hire caste,
To seþe hire þer while any Lime hol on hire I-laste.
     220
Þo þis Iuggement was I-ȝiue, ȝ men hire forþ ladde,
Wifmen ȝ men þat [it] i-seye, loude ȝe wopen ȝ gradde,
"Allas," þei seyde, "þat þis ȝongge þing,*. [MS. þis] þus fair a creature,
Schal nou lese hire ȝongge lif, ȝ deye þoru þe fure!"
     224
"Beþ stille," quaþ þis holi mayde, "for me ne wepeþ nout!
Mi ȝongge lif ne lese I nowth, ac to lyue Icham i-brouth.
Ane schorte deþ I schal a-vonge, ȝ lif wiþ-outen ende;
ffol he were þat nolde also. god he*. [al. om.] me sone hyne sende."
     228
Men casten hire in þe seþing water. þar-Inne al nyȝt ȝe seeþ;
Þe lengere ȝe þer-inne sat, þe ferþere ȝe was hire deeþ;
Wiþ þe welmes ȝe sat ȝ pleyde, ȝ prechede of godes grace.
Mo þan four hondred be-come cristene in þat place.
     232
Þe Iustise sey þat he myȝtte in swich deþ hire quelle naut :
he het of smyte hire heued, þat ȝe were to deþe i-brout.
Þe quellere hire smot wiþ al his mayn þre siþe in þe swere,
he ne smot it nat fulliche of, hire deþ was bouth to dere! Page  496
     236
No quellere ne moste be þulke daye smyte oftere þan þrie; [folio 233b]
half-slawe he leuede hire so; a-weyward he gan hye.
Nou an yuel stede gon he mote, for he was a schrewe!
Wo dede he þat holy mayde, gulteles hire so to hewe,
     240
Ȝ bi-lefte*. [al. beleue] hire so half a-lyue; welle, wo him be!
ffor who-so nuste of no doel, þer men myȝtte it se :
Þis holi mayde ȝede a-boute, hire heued half of-smyte,
Ȝ was half quik ȝ half ded, þat rewþe it was to wyte;
     244
Ȝ pouere men mechel of hire good ȝe delde wiþ hire honde—
It was a wel fair grace of god þat ȝe aut myȝtte stonde.
Ȝe prechede, ȝ to Ihesu cryst many a god man wende,
Ȝ alle to seint vrban þe bisschop to baptiȝe ȝe hem sende,
     248
Ȝ bad þat he scholde hire hous þat ȝe hadde woned Inne
halewen in oure louerdes name ȝ a churche þer bigynne,
And burien þere hire swete body, ȝ þat oure louerdes seruise
Vpe his poer þer-inne were i-do on alle-kynne wyse.
     252
Þe þridde day after hire martirdom þe mayde a-doun lay,
And prechede to þe cristenemen, ȝ bad hem habbe god day,
Ȝ seyde : "now ich habbe i-do al þat my wille is to,
Wende I wile to Ihesu crist, ȝ ȝe schulle also."
     256
Þis was two hundred ȝer ȝ þre ȝ twenti ryȝth
After þat oure louer[d] was in his moder a-lyȝth.
Nou bidde we oure swete louerd, for hire martirdom,
To bringge vs to þat ioye þat hire soule to com.*. [After this there follows: 75. S. Alexius, in six-lined stanzas, ed. by me in Herrig's Archiv, 1873, and by Furnivall for the Early English Text Society, Original Series, no. 69.]—Amen.
     260