Robert of Brunne's "Handlyng synne".
Mannyng, Robert, fl. 1288-1338., William, de Wadington, 13th cent., Furnivall, Frederick James, 1825-1910.
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Here bygynneþ þe seuene dedly synnes.*. [O. has 'Here begynne þe s. d. synnys.']
Page  271

Here bygynneþ*. [bygynþ.] Sacrylage.

Of þese dedly synnës seuene,
Þat we wraþþe with, God of heuene,
Of hem haue we touched neyde*. [nede.]
As holy men haue wryten and seyd;
Ȝyt mow[ë] we nát*. [weyl nat.] weyl werche
Ȝyf we forgetë holy cherche,
holy cherche, our modyr dere,
Of here shul we telle ȝow here,
How men synne, and on what wyse,
Aȝens þat falleþ to here fraunchyse.
Þat aȝens here fraunchyse falles,
'Sacrylegë' men hyt calles;
'Sacrylegë,' frenche hyt ys,
Menyng of 'mysdede' or 'mys.'
'Mysdedë to holynes,'
'Sacrylege' on Englysshe ys;
Allë þyng þat men with-holde, [folio 57b]
Stole or reftë,*. [reft.] ȝyue or solde,
with-outë leue of here wytyng,
Þat kepë holy cherches þyng,
Alle swych þyng ys sacrylege,
with-outë leue ys alle outrage.
Now of þe fyrst þat we haue spoke,
Þey þat hauë cherches broke,
And stole þo þynges þat were þer-ynne,
'Sacrylage' men calle þat synne.
Ȝyf þyng vnhalewed were forgete,
Þat yn holy cherche were lete,
Or halewed þyng yn ouþer stede lay,
And oght þerof were bore away,
where*. [Wheþer.] hyt werë ȝyue or solde,
For sacrylege, alle ys hyt tolde.
Many vyces þerto*. [her to.] longe;
Alle are þey synne, but sum are stronge;
y shal ȝow telle of*. [on.] sum maners Page  272
As 'manuel pecchés' me lers.*. [manuele pecche . . leres.]
But, vnkynde and enuyous,
Ouerdo, proud, and daungerous,
Euermorë fynde þey teyl,
Þogh a man sey neuer so weyl;
Noþeles, so weyl y nat seyd,
But þat to my sawe, blame may be leyd
For foule englyssh, and feble ryme
Seyde oute of resun many tyme;
But God ȝelde hem at here endyng,
Þat wyl amende myn vnkunnyng;
But who so blameþ and wyl nat amende,*. [mende.]
He doþe nat as þe curteys kende.
Go we furþe now*. [now furþ.] on oure werk:—
Ȝyf a man yn euyl smyte a clerk,
Yn sacrylage he falleþ ylle
Ȝyf he dyde hyt by hys wylle.
Ȝyf he be man of relygyoun,
Þou art to blame with more resun;
Twey skyles are ful perylous, [folio 57b:2]
Boþe ordred and relygyous.
Also relygyous are*. [men are.] to wyte,
Þat for maystry wyl gladly smyte;
Þey ogh*. [oghte.] to be suffráble and meke,
And no foly on ouþer men seke;
Hys tung shuld be hys fauchoun;
Hys strokes shulde be hys orysun;
Ȝyf any be yn foly stoute,
Holde yn cloystre,*. [Holde hym yn cloustre.] and com nat out.
Also may he be sore a-ferde
Þat doþ vyleynye yn chyrche ȝerde,
Namly, syn hyt halewed was,
Þe more he doþë of trespas.
Vnkynde man ys he hardly*. [hardyly.]
Þat yn cherche ȝerde*. [cherche ȝerde O, cherȝerde H.] doþ vyleyny; Page  273
Oure long hous hyt ys to come,
To reste yn, tyl þe day of dome.
Þerfore we shuld, ȝyf we were kynde,
kepe hyt clene with godë mynde.
And þese prestes me þynkeþ do synne
Þat late here bestys fyle þer-ynne.
Þe gres ys hys þat þerë grenes,
Þe placë ys þe parysshenes.
But lordës þat haue seynorye,
Þey do þeryn most vyleynye;
For þer*. [here.] hope ys, whan þey shul deye,
Þat yn þe cherche men shul hem leye;
And y shal telle a lytyl wyȝt,
how a bonde man bourded with a knyȝt;
And þe borde ys gode to here,
who-so loueþ wurdes to lere.*. [A tale]
[The Tale of the Reproof that a Norfolk Bondman gave a Knight for not respecting the Sanctity of a Churchyard.]
Yn Northfolk, yn a tounne,
wonede a knyȝt besyde a persone;
Fyl hyt so, þe knyȝtes manere
was nat fro þe cherche ful fere;
And was hyt þan, as oftyn falles,
Brokë were þe cherche-ȝerde walles.
Þe lordës hyrdës often lete [folio 58a]
Hys bestys yn-to þe cherche*. [cherche om.] ȝerde & ete;
Þe bestys dyd as þey mote*. [moste.] nede,
Fyled oueral þere þey ȝede.
A bond man say*. [saghe.] þat, and was wo
Þat þe bestys shuld þere go;
He com to þe lorde, and seyd hym þys:—
"Lorde," he seyde, "ȝoure bestys go mys;
Ȝoure hyrde doþ wrong, and ȝourë knauys,
Þat late ȝoure bestys fyle þus þese grauys;
Þere mennys bonys shuldë lye,
Bestës shuld do no vyleynye." Page  274
Þe lordes answere was sumwhat vyle,
And þat falleþ euyl to a man gentyle;
"weyl were hyt do ryȝt for þe nones
To wurschyþ swych[ë] cherlës bones;
what wurschyp shuld men make
Aboute swych cherlës bodyes blake?"
Þe bonde man answerëd and seyd
wurdys to-gedyr ful weyl*. [ful weyl to-gedyr.] leyd:
"Þe lorde þat made of erþë, erles,
Of þe*. [þat.] same erþe made he cherles;
Erlës myȝt, and lordës stut,
As cherlës shal yn erþe be put;
Erlës, cherlës, alle at ones,
Shal none knowe ȝoure, fro oure, bones."
Þe lorde lestened þe wurdës weyl
And recorded hem euery deyl;
No morë to hym wulde he seye,
But, lete hym go furþe hys weye;
He seyd þe bestys shulde no more,
By hys wyl, comë þore.*. [[6-syll. line]]
Seþen he closed þe chercheȝerde so
Þat no best myȝt come þarto
For to ete, ne fyle þer-ynne;
So þoȝt*. [þught.] hym seþen, þat hyt was synne.
Þyr are but fewë lordës now
Þat turne a wrde so wel to prow;
But, who*. [who so.] seyþ hem any skylle, [folio 58a:2]
Mysseye aȝen, fouly þey wylle.
Lordynges,—þyr are ynow of þo,
Of gentyl men, þyr are but fo.*. [fewe]
Hyt ys defended yn þe decre,
Þat none yn cherche shal beryed be,
But bysshope, or abbot of relygyun,
Or prest þat ys of gode renoun.
A man þat haþ no gode fame ryfe*. [ryffe.]
Of dede, of hew, of holy lyfe,
Of gode feyþ, ne of charyte Page  275
Yn almes dede, ne of ouþer bounte,
Me þenkeþ hyt were ful perylous
To berye swych one yn Goddes house;
with swych ys holy cherche but fyled,
And hem self are moste bygyled.
Ȝyf þe soulë be nat wurþy
Þat þe body lygge so solempny,*. [solemply.]
Þan haþ þe soulë morë*. [more of.] peyne;
Þat men wurschyp þe body, ys veyne.
wykked men and vserers,
lechours, and lordys of foule maners,
Þat mow ȝyue pens ful godë wone,
Þey shul be leyde yn toumbe of stone,
And hys ymáge ful feyre depeynte,
Ryȝt as hé were a cors seynt;
Þe wrecched soule, þe soþe to seye,
Shal a-bye alle þe noblye,
And sum for euer be broȝt to bale;*. [sorow]
And þerby wyl y telle a tale.
[The Tale of Valentine, and how Devils puld his Body out of its Grave in the Church.]
Þyr was a man þat*. ['þat' omitted.] hyght Valentyne,*. [A tale]
Playtour he was, and ryche man fyne,
For of þe cherche of Myleyne*. [mylon.] was he playtour,
More for mede þan Goddes onour.
Besyde Genë, a noble cytë,
Deyde Valentyne, and beryed shuld be;
Yn seynt Syxtes cherchë shuld he lye;
So ordeyned men whan he shuld deye.
Þe fyrste nyȝt þat he was þere leyde, [folio 58b]
Þe wardeynes of þe cherche vpbreyde,
And herd one cry, rewly and shyl, Page  276
As he were put oute aȝens hys wyl.
Þe wardeynes asked what þat myȝt be,
"Ryse we vp*. [vp we.] alle, and go we se."
Þere he was beryed, þydyr þey ran,
And sagh many fendes aboute þys man;
And of hys graue þey oute*. [vp.] hym pulde;
Oute of þe cherche, drawe hym þey wulde;
Þe deuylys droȝ*. [drowe.] hym by þe fete
As hyt were careyne þat dogges ete.
Þe wardeynes werë sore affryght
For þat noysë and þat syght;
Aȝen to here bedde þey ȝede;
Þey durst no lenger dwelle for drede.
On þe morne whan þey were ryse,
Þey ȝede to þe graue, þere þey were so agryse;
Þer-yn alle aboute þey soght,
But þe body founde þey noȝt.
Þey opende þe dores, and loked aboute,
And fonde þe body lygge*. [lyggynge.] þere with-oute;
Þe fete ybounde to-gedyr ful faste,
And as a foulë careyne caste.
Seynt Gregory seyþ hardly,
Þere he lay fyrst, he was nat wurþy;
But hys soule hadde pyne þe more
For þe pompe and pryde þat he was leyd þore.
lordes are besy aboute to haue
Proude stones lyggyng an hye on here graue;
Þurgh þat pryde þey mowe be lore,
Þogh þey hadde do no synne byfore;
Hyt helpyþ ryȝt noght, þe toumbe of pryde,
whan þe soule fro pyne may hyt nat hyde. Page  277
Ȝyf þou euer vsedest halewed þyng,
And wystyst hyt fyl to cherches offryng,
Hyt ys grete synne, y do þe to knowne,
Ȝyf þou helde hyt as for þyn owne.
Ȝyf þou wyþhelde any þyng seþyn [folio 58b:2]
Þat hyt was to holy cherche ȝeuyn,*. [ȝyuen.]
Þyn or ouþres, with-outë leue
Of parsone, or prest, or cherchë reue;
Hyt ys sacrylage, y þe plyȝt,
To wyþholde þat falleþ to cherchë ryȝt.
Ȝyf þou dedyst euer þat vnlawe,
A man oute of holy cherche to drawe
Seþen þat he toke hym þar-tyl,
Þou hast synned yn moche vnskyl.
But ȝyf he hadde do aȝens þe assyse
Þat fyl to holy cherches fraunchyse,
Slayn one þar-ynne, or robbed hyt,
Hyt shulde nat þan saue hym,*. [saue hym þan.] by my wyt.
Þe lewed man, holy cherche wyl forbede
To stounde yn þe chaunsel whyl men rede:
who-so-euer þarto ys custummer,
Þogh he be of grete powere,
Boþe he synneþ and doþe greuaunce
Aȝens þe clergy ordynaunce.
But ȝyt do wymmen gretter folye
Þat vse to stonde among þe clergye,
3Oþer at matyns, or at messe,
But ȝyf hyt were yn cas of stresse;3*. [3_3 Omitted in Harl.]
For þerof may come temptacyun,
And dysturblyng of deuocyun;
For foule þoght cumþ of feble ye-syȝt,
And fordoþë grace with ryȝt;
And with a tale hyt may be shewed,
Þat ys gode boþe for lered and lewed. Page  278
[The Tale of the Temptation of St. John Chrysostom's Deacon.]
An holy man telleþ vs þus,*. [A tale]
Men calle hym Ion Crysostomus;
He was a bysshope, and ful gode clerk,
Þat shewe hys bokës of hys werk;
Swych grace of God, grauntede hym was,
At euery tyme þat he song hys masse
Þe holy goste to hym was sent
whan he shulde receyue þe sacrament;
Certeynly, aftyr þe sacrë,
Yn a dowue lyknes he myȝt*. [myghte hyt se.] se,
So whyte and*. [Omitted.] so blesful, and so clere, [folio 59a]
whan he vsed vpp-on þe autere.
Of þat cumfort, and*. [and of.] þat syȝt,
He þanked oftë God almyȝt.
Þe fendë hadde þarwith enuye,
And wulde shewe hys wykked maystry.
A day seynt Ion shulde synge hys messe,
Þe fende made hym yn womman lyknesse,
weyl atyrede, with mochë pryde,
And stodë ouþer men besyde.
Þe dekene þat serued seynt Ion,
At here turnyng tymes echon
He behelde þys womman weyl,
And hys herte chaunged euery deyl;
Temptacyun of þys womman,
Ouer al yn hys þoȝt hyt ran.
Þe bysshope, aftyr þe sacrë,
Shulde receyue God, as byfyl*. [fyl.] to be;
As he stode and heylde*. [helde.] þe oste,
He loked vp aftyr þe holy goste;
But þat tyme ne come hyt noȝt.
Seynt Ion hadde þarfor*. [þarfore hade.] grete þoȝt, Page  279
He soght yn hys herte aboute,
But þeryn foundë he no doute
Þat fyl to synne, ne dedly þyng
To lette þe holy gostes comyng.
He called hys dekene to hym bylyue,
And cunseyled hym 'he shuld hym shryue
Ȝyf he felt oght hym wyþ-ynne,'
"Any maner of dedly synne
Yn þoght or dede þat þou mayst mene;
Of alle, y pray þe, shryue þe clene."
Þe dekene þan opunly with mouþe
Shroue hym of allë þat he couþe.
1He seyde, "of o þyng y haue gret doute:
Yn þoghtës, whan we turnede aboute,1*. [1_1 Omitted in Harl.]
On a womman myn 2yȝe ys y2*. [2_2 ye y.]-caste;
Þe syȝte of here myn herte to-blaste
And, swal yn my*. [myn.] herte so grete,
Þe þoȝt of here ne coude y lete;
But God and ȝow, mercy y crye [folio 59a:2]
Of þat þoȝt and þat folye."
Þe bysshope seyd hyt was tresun
Of þe fendes temptacyun.
Of þat synne he asoyled hym fre,
And ȝede aȝen to hys degre.
Þe dekene loked at þe nexte turnyng,
She was a-wey, he sagh no þyng;
Þe holy goste come furþe a-none,
And shewed hym to þe bysshope Ione;
And seynt Ioun was þer-of blyþe,
And þanked God ful felë syþe.
For wommens sake, þys tale y tolde,
Þat þey*. [þey hem.] oute of þe chaunsel holde
wyþ here kercheues,*. [kercheuers.] þe deuylys sayle,
Elles shal þey go to helle, boþe top and tayle; Page  280
For at hym þey lernë alle
To temptë men yn synne to falle.
To synne þey calle men, alle þat þey may,
why shuld þey ellës make hem so gay?
For no-þyng elles are þey so dyȝt,
But for to blyndë mennës syȝt.
Certes hyt semeþ, at alle endes,
Þat many of hem are but fendes.
And ȝe clerkes*. [clerkes ȝow.] nedeþ to be wyse,
Ȝow nedeþ cune ȝow*. [cunne ȝoure.] self chastyse;
Ȝe mowë se yn holy wryt
How ȝe shul kepe ȝoure ownë wyt.
whan ȝe at Goddës seruyse are,
Ȝe shul nat þan aboute ȝow stare,
Specyaly wymmen to be-holde,
Ne for to Iangle wurdës bolde.
Clerk with skyl shulde be pryue,
And nat yn cherche of wurdës fre;
Ne dysturble men with hys rage,
For hyt ys called*. [callede al.] sacrylage.
kepe þy body yn cherche fro synne,
Þy menbrys and þy wyt with-ynne;
Specyally þy þoȝt and þy syȝt, [folio 59b]
Þan may þy preyer be made alle ryȝt.
Also hyt ys vyleynye to werche,
A lewed man to plete yn cherche,
lay courte, or elles counte,
Þer any man myȝt dampned be;
Ne quest take of endytëment
yn holy cherche, oþer ȝerde purseynt;*. [pursent.]
Ne sysours oght nat to enquere
Of felonye, ne of þeftë þere;
Þou þat hym wreyest, þou mayst weyl se
Þou demyst hym with þat ys yn þe.
Ȝyf þou yn cherche dest any of þyse,
Þou trespast aȝens þe fraunchyse.
Ȝyf þou euer hauntedest swych outrage, Page  281
yn holy cherche with wymmen to rage,
Þat so ferfurþ was þy wyl
Þat þy naturë dydë spyl,—
Þere, y sey, þou synnest*. [synnedest.] dedly;
Ȝe,*. [ȝee.] morë þan þou lay here by.
For þus sey þey þat clergy can,
he*. [Hyt.] myȝt betyde slaghter of man;
Also holy wryt hyt forbedes,
with womman to do flesshely dedes;
Yn holy stede, hyt ys grete awe
Þe dede to do, or speke with sawe;
And nam[ë]ly þer men do messe,
Many more folde þe synnë ys.
And, for to fle[en] swych trespas,
Y shal ȝow telle an auenturs kas.
[The Tale of the Sacrilegious Husband and Wife who stuck together.]
Þyr was a man, and hyght Rychere,*. [A tale]
A ryche of pens and of powere;
hyt telleþ algate he hadde enmys,
Oþer for hys gode, or for folys;
Of hem hadde he swyche drede & eye,
he fled and woned yn an abbeye.
Þe abbot ded hym a chambre werche
For hys ese, fast by þe cherche;
And he and hyse hadde here wonnyng, [folio 59b:2]
wyfe and chylde, and ouþer þyng.
O nyȝt þyr was, he knewe hys wyfe
Of flesshely dede, as fyl here lyfe;
And God was nat payd, and*. [ne.] wlde hyt noȝt,
So ny þe cherche, swyche dede were wroȝt;
Þey myghte no more be broghte a-sondre5Page  282
Þan dog and bych þat men on wondre.5*. [5_5 In the Harl. MS. these two lines have been inked over and scraped out by some ancient fig|leafite.]
Betydde a shame, þey gun to crye,
Þat wundyr fyl on here folye.
Men asked sone what was þat drede;
At þe laste, hyt shewed yn dede.
Sone oueral ȝedë þat fame;
Ȝow þar nat aske ȝyf þey*. [hem.] þoȝt shame.
Þys man dyd þe munkes to kalle,
And specyaly besoghte hem alle
2To praye for hem yn orysun
Þat þey myghtë be undoun.2*. [2_2 The figleafite has scratched over these two lines too.]
"And largëly we wul ȝow ȝyue,
And wurschyp þys stede whyl þat we lyue;
Þat God almyȝty graunte hyt be so
Þat oure synne he wyl vndo."
Þese munkes besoghte for hem a bone,
And God almyȝty graunted hyt sone.
Þere, þurgh alle here ordynaunce,
Þey dede to*. [do.] wryte yn boke þys chaunce,
For to shewe hyt euer more,
Þat ouþer myȝt beware þar-fore.
Þys chaunce fyl nat for hem allone,
But for to warne vs euerychone,
Þat we shul euermorë drede,
Yn holy place to do þat dede.
For, moche more dampnacyun
wyl falle of fornycacyun,
And, ȝyt more for auowtrye
Of prestys or wyuës lecherye,
whan God toke wreche, þat many of spake,
For a dede þat was do yn ryȝt wedlake.
Þys yche chaunce, to ȝow y tolde, [folio 60a]
For hyt ys gode yn herte to holde,
Namly men of holy cherche,
Þat þey þer-ynne no swyche dede werche. Page  283
karolles, wrastlynges, or somour games,
who-so euer haunteþ any swyche shames
Yn cherche, oþer yn cherchëȝerd,
Of sacrylage he may be a-ferd;
Or entyrludës, or syngynge,
Or tabure bete, or oþer pypynge,
Alle swychë þyng forbodyn es,
whyle þe prest stondeþ at messe.
Alle swyche, to euery gode preste ys lothe,
And sunner wyl he make hym wroth
Þan hé wyl, þat haþ no wyt,
Ne vndyrstondeþ nat holy wryt;
And specyaly, at hyghe tymes,
karolles to synge, and redë rymys,
Noght yn nonë holy stedes,
Þat myȝt dysturble þe prestës bedes,
Or ȝyf he were yn orysun
Or any ouþer deuocyun,
Sacrylage ys alle hyt*. [al ys hyt.] tolde,
Þys and many oþer folde.
But for to leue, yn cherche to*. [to O, for to H.] daunce,
Y shal ȝow telle a ful grete chaunce,
And y trow, þe most þat fel
Ys as soþ as þe gospel;*. [Ys as soth as þe gospel O, Ys soþe as y ȝow telle H.]
And fyl þys chauncë yn þys londe,
Yn Ingland, as y vndyrstonde;
Yn a kynges tyme þat hyght Edward,
Fyl þys chaunce þat was so hard.
[The Tale of the Sacrilegious Carollers, and how they danst together for twelve Months without stopping, and then went hopping about singly ever afterwards.*. [Found in William of Malmesbury, but is earlier. It often occurs singly, and no doubt followed the Itinerarium Clementis in the MS. where Wadington read it.—G. Paris, Hist. Litt. xxviii. 204.]]
Hyt was vpp-on a crystemesse nyȝt
Þat twelue folys a karolle dyȝt; Page  284
yn wodehed, as hyt were yn cuntek
Þey come to a tounne men calles*. [calle.] Colbek;
Þe cherche of þe*. [þe H, om. O.] tounne þat þey to come,
Ys of seynt Magne þat suffred martyr|dome;
Of seynt Bukcestre hyt ys also, [folio 60a:2]
Seynt Magnes suster, þat þey come to.
here names of alle, þus fonde y wryte,*. [wrete.]
And as y wote, now shul ȝe wyte:*. [wete.]
here lodës-man þat made hem glew,
Þus ys wryte,*. [wrete.] he hyȝte Gerlew;

* O. inserts wrongly—

Þe ouþer twelue, here namës alle,
Þus were þey wrete as y can kalle.
Twey maydens were yn here coueyne,
Mayden Merswynde and Wybessyne;
Alle þese come þedyr for þat enchesone,
Of þe prestës doghtyr of þe tounne.
Þe prest hyȝt Robert, as y kan ame;
Aȝone, hyght hys sone by name;
Hys doghter, þat þese men wulde haue,
Þus ys wryte,*. [wrete.] þat she hyȝt Aue;
Echoune consented to o wyl,
who shuld go, Aue oute to tyl:
Þey graunted echone out to sende
Boþe Wybessynë and Merswynde.
Þese wommen ȝede and tolled here oute
wyþ hem to karolle þe cherche aboute.
Beune ordeyned here karollyng;
Gerlew endyted what þey shuld syng:
Þys ys þe karolle þat þey sunge,
As telleþ þe latyn tunge,
"Equitabat Beuo per siluam frondosam,
Ducebat secum Merswyndam formosam,
Quid stamus, cur non imus?"*. [Equitabat dux Bovo per silvam frondosam, etc. See the study of this legend of the Curst Dancers by Schröder of Marburg before the Congress of German Philologists and Teachers in 1895 (since publisht). The first couplet of the song that the Cölbigk dancers sang in 1013 is traced back to a certain Dietrich (Theodoricus), who pretended that he'd been one of those dancers, and who was cured of his convulsive malady at Wilton in England, at the tomb of St. Edith. The original song, latinised above, was Low-Saxon.—Romania, xxv. 340-1.]
. . . . . *. [A gap in the MS.]Page  285
"By þe leued wode rode Beuolyne,
wyþ hym he leddë feyre Merswyne;
why stondë we? why go we noght?"
Þys ys þe karolle þat Grysly wroght.
Þys songe sunge þey yn þe chercheȝerd,—
Of foly were þey no þyng aferd,—
Vn-to þe matynes were alle done,
And þe messe shuld bygynnë sone.
Þe preste hym reuest to begynne messe,
And þey ne left þerfore, neuer þe lesse,
But daunsed furþe as þey bygan; [folio 60b]
For alle þe messë þey ne blan.
Þe preste, þat stode at þe autere
And herde here noysë and here bere,
Fro þe auter down he nam,
And to þe cherchë porche he cam,
And seyd, "on Goddes behalue,*. [halfe.] y ȝow forbede
Þat ȝe no lenger do swych dede;
But comeþ yn, on feyre manere,
Goddës seruysë for to here,
And doþ at Crystyn mennys lawe;
karolleþ no more for Crystys awe,
wurschyppeþ hym with alle ȝoure myȝt,
Þat of þe vyrgyne was bore þys nyȝt."
For alle hys byddyng, lefte þey noȝt,
But daunsed furþ, as þey þoȝt.
Þe prest þarefore was sore a-greued,
he preyd God þat he on beleuyd,
And for seynt Magne, þat he wulde so werche,
yn whos wurschyp, sette was þe cherche,
Þat swych a veniaunce were on hem sent
Are*. [Ar.] þey oute of þat stedé were went,
Þat þey*. [þey O, om. H.] myȝt euer, ryȝt so wende
Vnto þat tymë tweluemonth ende: Page  286
(Yn þe latyne þat y fonde þore,
he seyþ nat 'tweluemonth,' but 'euermore.')
He cursed hem þere alsaume
As þey karoled on here gaume.
as sone as þe preste hadde so spoke,
Euery hande yn ouþer so fast was loke,
Þat no man myȝt with no wundyr
Þat tweluemonþe*. [tweluemonþe H, twelfmonþe O.] parte hem asundyr.
Þe preste ȝede yn, whan þys was done,
And commaunded hys sone Aȝone
Þat he*. [he O, om. H.] shulde go swyþe aftyr Aue,
Oute of þat karolle algate to haue.
But al to late þat wurde was seyd,
For on hem alle was þe veniaunce leyd.
Aȝone wende weyl for to spede; [folio 60b:2]
Vn-to þe karolle asswyþe he ȝede;
hys systyr by þe arme he hente,
And, þe arme fro þe body wente.
Men wundred allë, þat þere wore,
And merueyle mowe ȝe herë more,
For seþen he had þe arme yn hande,
Þe body ȝede furþ karoland;
And noþer*. [noþer þc.] body, ne þe arme,
Bledde neuer blodë, colde ne warme,
But was as drye, with al þe haunche,
As of a stok were ryue a braunche.
Aȝone to hys fadyr went,
And broght hym a sory present:
"loke, fadyr," he seyd, "and haue hyt here,
Þe armë of þy doghtyr dere
Þat was myn ownë syster Aue,
Þat y wende y myȝt a*. [haue.] saue.
Þy cursyng, now sene hyt ys
with veniaunce on þyn*. [þyn O, þy H.] ownë flessh;
Fellyche þou cursedest, and ouer sone;
Þou askedest veniaunce, þou hast þy bone."
Ȝow þar nat aske ȝyf þere was wo Page  287
with þe preste and with many mo.
Þe prest þat cursed for þat daunce,
On some of hys, fyl hardë chaunce.
he toke hys doghtyr arme forlorn
And byryëd hyt on þe morn;
Þe nextë day, þe arme of Aue,
he fonde hyt lyggyng aboue þe graue.
he byryed hyt on*. [hyt on O, on H.] anouþer day,
And eft aboue þe graue hyt lay;
Þe þryddë tyme he byryed hyt,
And eft was hyt kast oute of þe pyt.
Þe prest wulde byrye hyt no more;
hé dredde þe veniaunce ferly sore;
yn-to þe cherche he bare þe arme,
For drede and doute of morë harme,
hé ordeyned hyt for to be, [folio 61a]
Þat euery man myȝt with ye hyt se.
Þese men þat ȝede so karolland
Alle þat ȝerë hand yn hand,
Þey neuer oute of þat stede ȝede,
Ne nonë myȝt hem þennë lede;
Þere þe cursyng fyrst bygan,
yn þat place, a-boute þey ran,
Þat neuer ne*. ['ne' omitted.] felte*. [felt O, fette H.] þey no werynes—
As many bodyes, for goyng, dos—
Ne metë etë, ne drank drynke,
Ne sleptë onely a-lepy wynke;
Nyȝt, ne day, þey wyst of none,
whan hyt was come, whan hyt was gone;
Frost ne snogh, hayle ne reyne,
Of colde ne hete, felte þey no peyne;
Heere ne naylës neuer grewe,
Ne solowed cloþes, ne turned hewe;
Þundyr ne lyȝtnyng dyd hem no dere,
Goddes mercy dyd hyt fro hem were;
But sungge þat songge þat þe wo wroȝt,
"why stondë we, why go we noȝt?"
what man shuld þyr be, yn þys lyue, Page  288
Þat ne wulde hyt*. [hyt ne wulde O, hyt ne wulde hyt H.] see, and þedyr dryue?
Þe Emperoure Henry come fro Rome
For to see þys hard[ë] dome;
whan he hem say,*. [saghe.] he weptë sore
For þe myschefe þat he sagh þore;
He ded come wryȝtës*. [carponters] for to make
Coueryng ouer hem, for tempest sake;
But þat þey wroght, hyt was yn veyn,
For, hyt come to no certeyn;
For þat þey settë on oo*. [o.] day,
On þe touþer, downe hyt lay;
Ones, twyys, þryys, þus þey wroȝt,
And alle here makyng was for noȝt;
Myght no coueryng hyle hem fro colde
Tyl tyme of mercy, þat Cryst hyt wolde.
Tyme of grace fyl þurgh hys myȝt [folio 61a:2]
At þe twelvemonth ende, on þe ȝolë nyȝt,
Þe same oure þat þe prest hem banned,
Þe samë oure, atwynne þey woned;
Þat houre þat he cursed hem ynne,
Þat*. [þat O, þe H.] samë oure þey ȝede atwynne:
And, as yn*. [yn a.] twynkelyng of an ye,
Yn-to þe cherchë gun þey flye,
And on þe pauement þey fyl alle downe,
As þey hade be dede, or fal yn a swone.
Þre days, styl, þey lay echone,
Þat none steryd, oþer flesshe or bone,
And, at þe þre days ende,
To lyfe God grauntede hem to wende.
Þey sette hem vpp, and spak apert
To þe parysshe prest, syre Robert:
"Þou art ensample and enchesun
Of oure long confusyun;
Þou maker art of oure trauayle,
Þat ys to many grete*. [ful gret.] meruayle;
And þy traueyle shalt þou sone ende, Page  289
For to þy long home, sone shalt þou wende."
Alle þey ryse þat ychë tyde,
But Auë; she lay dede besyde;
Grete sorowe had here fadyr, here broþer,
Merueyle and drede had allë ouþer,
Y trow no drede of soulë dede,
But with pyne was broght þe body dede.
Þe fyrst man was þe fadyr, þe prest,
Þat, deyd aftyr þe doȝtyr nest,
Þys ychë arme þat was of Aue,
Þat, nonë myȝt leye yn graue,
Þe emperoure dyd a vessel werche
To do hyt yn, and hange yn þe*. ['þe' omitted.] cherche,
Þat alle men myȝt se hyt and knawe,
And þenk on þe chaunce when men*. [þey.] hyt sawe.
Þese men þat hadde go þus karolland
Alle þe ȝere, fast hand yn hand,
Þogh þat þey were þan asunder, [folio 61b]
Ȝyt alle þe worlde spake of hem wunder:
Þat same hoppyng þat þey fyrst ȝede,
Þat daunce ȝede*. [wente.] þey þurgh land and lede;
And as þey ne myȝt fyrst be vnbounde,
So efte to-gedyr myȝt þey neuer*. [mighte þey neuer to-gedyr.] be founde,
Ne myȝt þey neuer come*. [come neuer.] aȝeyn
To-gedyr, to oo stede certeyn.
Foure ȝede to þe courte of Rome,
And euer hoppyng aboute þey nome;
with sundyr lepys come þey þedyr,
But þey come neuer efte to-gedyr;
Here cloþes ne roted, ne naylës grewe,
Ne heere ne wax, ne solowed hewe,
Ne neuer hadde þey amendëment,
Þat we herde, at any corseynt,
But at þe vyrgyne Seynt Edyght,
Þere was he botened, seynt*. ['seynt' omitted.] Teodryght;
On oure lady day, yn lenten tyde,
As he slepte*. [slepe.] here toumbe besyde, Page  290
Þere he hade hys medycyne,
At seynt Edyght, þe holy vyrgyne.
Brunyng, þe bysshope of seynt Tolous,
wrote þys tale so merueylous;
Seþþe was hys name of more renoun,
Men called hym þe pope Leoun;
Þys at þe court of Rome þey wyte,
And yn þe kronykeles hyt ys wryte,
Yn many stedys be-ȝounde þe see,
More þan ys yn þys cuntre;
Þarfor men seye, an weyl ys trowed,
"Þe nere þe cherche, þe fyrþer fro God."
So fare men here by þys tale:
Some holde hyt but a*. [but for a.] trotëuale;
Yn oþer stedys hyt ys ful dere,
And for grete merueyle þey wyl hyt here;
A tale hyt ys of feyre shewyng,
Ensample and drede aȝens cursyng;
Þys tale y tolde ȝow, to make*. [to make H, om. O.] ȝow aferde, [folio 61b:2]
Yn cherche to karolle, or yn cherche ȝerde,
Namely aȝens þe prestys wylle;
leueþ, whan he byddeþ ȝow be stylle,
Ianglyng longeþ to sacrylage;
Þar-of takeþ þe fende taylage;
Iangle we yn cherche neuer so lyte,
Alle þat we do*. [Iangle O, do Iangle H.] Iangle, þe fende doþe wryte,
And shal shewe hyt before oure face
whan hys rolle ys broght yn place:
And y shal tellë, as y kan,
A bourdë of an holy man.
[The Tale of the Devil's Disappointment with the Chattering Women.]
Shortly to tellë, and nat longe,*. [A tale]
An holy man hys messë songe;
And at þe messe, whan tymë fel
Þe dekene to redë þe gospel, Page  291
Yn hys redyng, none wyst why,
he logh a grete laghter an hy.
Þe preste, and oþer þat þere stode,
helde hym a fole, þat coude no gode.
Seþþë, whan þe messe was done,
Þe preste asked þe dekene sone,
'why þat he so ferde, and how
þat he, yn hys gospel, logh?'*. [low.]
Moche þarfore he gan hym blame,
For þe lewed folk þoght hyt*. [hym.] shame.
Þe dekene told hym why hyt fel
þere to laghe*. [laghhe.] yn hys gospel:
"As y redde þat ychë tyde,
Twey wymmen Iangled þere besyde;
Betwyx hem to,*. [two.] y say*. [saghe.] a fende
with penne and parchëmen yn honde,
And, wrote alle þat euer þey spake,
Pryuyly be-hynde here bake.
whan hys rolle was wryte alle ful,
To drawe hyt oute he gan to pul;
with hys teþe he gan to drawe,
And hardë for to tugge and gnawe,
Þat hys rolle to-braste and rofe; [folio 62a]
And hys hede aȝens þe walle drofe
Só hard, and so ferly sore,
Whan hys parchemen was no more.
whan y say þat, y lete so gode,
Y brast on laghter þere y stode,
Þat he so mochë sorow hadde,
As hys wrytyng was alle to-fade;
And when he parceyued þat y wyste,
He al to-drofe hyt with hys fyste,
And went a-wey, alle for shame;
þarfore y logh and hadde gode game."
Þe prest hym asked 'whedyr he say mo.'
"Many," he seyd, "y sagh þere go,
And wrote oueral þere men tolde,
But none so moche þat y dyde beholde;
Hym behelde y weyl ynogh, Page  292
For þat he dyd, þere-at y logh."
Þan wyst þe prest, þurgh þat syȝt
Þat he was weyl with God almyȝt.
For Ianglers, þys tale y tolde,
Þat þey yn cherche here tungës holde.
Speke to God yn þy preyere,
And þat shal nat þe fendë here.
Þou Iangler, take þou godë kepe,
hyt were wel bettyr þou were on slepe;
Ȝyf nyt ne be amended here,*. [O. inserts—Wyþ shryfte of mouth and pen|aunce clere.]
Elleswere shalt þou a-bye hyt dere.
Sacrylage also may be for tyþe;
yn þat, synne men ful oftë syþe.
Of allë þyng, þat þe neweþ,
Tyþe ryȝtly, ór elles hyt þe reweþ.
Of þe werst þou shalt nat ȝyue,
For þan lesest þou þy gode yn þy lyue;
Ne ȝyue hyt nat with wykked wyl,
For al þe touþer, mayst þou þan spyl;
Ȝyue God þe best þat þou mayst haue,
And alle þe touþer he wyl þe saue.

* O. inserts—

But þou do so, wyte þou weyl
He wyl þe reuë eury deyl.
Foure þynges are ȝyuë specyaly [folio 62a:2]
To euery man þat tyþeþ ryȝtly;*. [nota bene]
Þe fyrst ys, long lyfe to haue;
Þe touþer, þe yn gode hele to saue;
Þe þryd ys, gracë gode with-ynne;*. [to wynne.]
Þe fourþe, forȝyuenes of þy synne:
Ȝyf þou wylt haue any of þyse,
Tyþë weyl, and on gode syse.*. [assyse.]
ȝyf þou turnedest, for worldes wynnyng,
halewed place, or holy þyng,
Cherche ȝerde, or þere chapyl was,
Tymber, stones, eren, or glas,
Curteynes, or ouþer vestyment,
Or any oþer vesselement
Þat falleþ to holy cherches seruyse, Page  293
And vsest hem on ouþer wyse,
Þy wytyng;—þou synnest dedly
Yn sacrylage certeynly.
Þarto shal y preue my sawe
By a tale of þe oldë lawe;
And þys tale yn þat tyme fyl,*. [fel.]
Þat was of þe prophete Danyël.
[The Tale of Belshazzar's Feast, and the Prophet Daniel.]
Þyr was a kyng of grete powere;*. [A tale.]
yn hys tyme was none hys pere;
ynogh he hadde of worldës myȝt,
And Baltazar*. [Crost out, and 'Nabygodonosore' inserted.] hys namë hyȝt.
Þys kyng was a paynym,
and with oste he come to Ierusalem,
And robbed þe temple, þys Baltaȝare,
And þe tresour awey bare;
Þe vessel þat was of ryche metalle,
Þat Goddes temple was seruede with-alle,
þat, and more, he dyd aloyne,
And ledde hem yn-to Babyloyne.
Sone aftyrward, þys ychë kyng
Deyd, and madë hys endyng.
hys sone reyned yn þat same,
And Baltaȝarë was hys name;
Alle þe vessel with hym lefte, [folio 62b]
Þat hys fadyr hadd stole and refte.
A day he made a noble feste
with barons and with rychë geste;
Þys vessel þat hys fadyr stale,
Rychely he dyd hym serue with-alle;
Of þe vessel þey ete and dranke,
But to God made þey no þanke;
But yn alle here moste gladyng,
To fals goddys þey made wurschypyng. Page  294
A kandelstyke stode þe kyng before,
Þat oute of Ierusalem was bore;
Þe kyng lokede to þat candelstyke,
And sagh besyde a grete ferlyke:
Vndyr þe kandelstyke, a lytel logh,
He sagh an hande wryte on þe wogh;
No morë he sagh þan þe hande,
But þe lettres were weyl farande;
he redde hyt as he sate on þe des,
"Mane. techel. fares.*. [phares.]"
No more þyr was þere wryte;
On englys þus ys hyt to wyte,
'To mornë shal*. [shal þe.] departyng be,
Of þy ryche kyngdom fro þe.'
Þe kyng vndyrstode no þyng of þys,
Ne none of hysë coude hym wys.
As he þys hand began to holde,
hys herte bygan to tremle and colde;
he shewed hyt to alle hys ássemble,
And crydë hyt þurgh*. [þurghe out.] þe cyte,
'Þat ȝyf any coude do hym to wyte,
what hyt mente, þat þere was wryte,
He shulde haue of hym grete mede,
Þat coudë vndo þat yn dede.'
But none of alle, forsoþe to wene,
Coude telle þe kyng what hyt wlde mene.
But þe quene seyd sone anone:
"Syre kyng, y wotë where ys one,
Þat kan do ȝow alle to knowe [folio 62b:2]
what ys wrytë on þe wowe.
yn þys cyte, yn a strete,
woneþ a ful wys prophete,
hys name men callë Danyël,
he shal vndo þe wrytyng wel."
Þe kyng aftyr Danyël sente,
And þe prophete to hym wente; Page  295
Þe kyng hym preyd, byfore hem alle,
To tellë hem what shulde befalle.
Þe prophete wuldë no þyng hyde:
"Þe hand þat þou sawe yn þe euyntyde,
hyt was sent fro God almyȝt,
Þat hys wraþþe ys to þe dyȝt,
For þou were serued of þe vesseles
Þat of hys temple were Ieuwels;*. [Iuelles.]
Þys day before, of hem þou ete,
And no wurschyp of hym*. [hym O, hem H.] þou lete,
Þat ys God, alle þyng weldande,
And þe and þyne haþ yn hys hande;
But to fals goddes þou madest onour
with vessel of hys owne tresour;
And for þou dedyst boþe euyl, and seyd,
Þy kyngdom ys yn balaunce leyd,
Tyl*. [Tyl H O.] ryȝt be-demeþ,*. [be-demede.] with euyn hand,
To wham hyt shal be ȝyue, þy land.
Þurgh dome of God, hyt ys so dryue,
To twey maner of folke þy land ys ȝyue;
Medys, and Persys, þy land shul haue;
Þe, ne þyne, mayst þou nat saue.
Here ys wryte þe samë wyse,
Y sey to þe,*. [to þe O, to H.] ryȝt as hyt seyse."
Þe*. [Þat.] samë nyȝt þe lande was lore,
Þe kyng was slayn, and awey bore.
Here mayst þou se, euyl-wunne þyng,*. [O. has in margin, 'note. of euill goten goodes.']
with eyre shal neuer make gode endyng,
Namly, with þyng of holy cherche
Shalt þou neuer spede wel to werche.
Þat mayst þou se by parsones eyres, [folio 63a]
hyt fareþ with hem as doþe*. ['doþe' omitted.] with þese feyres;
Now ys þe feyrë bygged weyl,
And on þe morne ys þer neuer a deyl: Page  296
Ryche tresoure, now furþe men leye,
And on þe touþer day hyt ys alle aweye;
O day, to-gedyr men mowe hyt se,
A-nouther,*. [A nouþer day.] sprede þurgh all þe cuntre.
Þus fareþ hyt by þese*. [þe.] parsones cosynes;
Þát þe parsone wynnyþ, þe cosyne tynes;*. [O. gloss 'lest.']
yn þe parsones tyme, rychely he lyueþ,
Aftyr hym, no man of hym ȝyueþ;*. [of hym no man oghte ȝyueþ.]
yn hys tyme, ofte pens he telleþ,
Aftyr hym, for pouert, penys he selleþ.
Also with purchasours ryȝt so hyt fareþ,
Alle þat þey bygge, here eyrës bareþ;
A purchasoure may beye þyng, & with lawe,
with-oute any dede of wrong or sawe;*. [any wronge of dede or of sawe.]
But lokeþ, ȝyue he*. [he O, ȝe H.] wynne þat katel weyl,
wharewith he byeþ hyt euerydeyl.
Ȝyf he haue wunne þe penys*. [penys O, pens H.] ryȝt,
Þan haþ he þe lande with-outë plyȝt;
Ȝyue he haue wunne þe penys*. [penys O, pens H.] falsle,
with ryȝt to þe lande com neuer he.
with fals[ë] weyght, or fals[ë] peys,
And many falshede ouþer weys;
And ȝyt moste, with fals sweryng,
wynneþ manyone moche þyng;
with swyche þyng, wene þou hyt noȝt
Þat þe hous ne lande was ryȝtly boȝt.
Vnneþ lasteþ aght þat men bye
with þat ys wunne with marchaundye;
Yn erytage nat long hyt vayleþ,
Þe þred eyre leseþ,*. [lest.] þat ouþer trauayleþ;
Vnneþe ys any þat haþ gode grace
To lyuë weyl with swych purchace,
Oþer lyue þey a bysyly lyfe,
Or lese hyt*. [hyt O, om. H.] for pouert and for*. [for H, om. O.] stryfe;
For þys men se, and seye alday, [folio 63a:2]
"Þe þred eyre selleþ*. [selþ.] alle away." Page  297
For sacrylage, alle þys ys tolde,
Þat vesselment of cherche ys wyþholde,—
Chaleys, cloth, boke, or lome,*. [LOOME or instrument, utensile, instrumentum. Prompt. Parv.]—
For sacrylage cumþ ofte hard dome;
yn alle þe poyntës seyd before,
Þat fro holy cherche, oght haþ bore,
Or aght mysdo on any wyse
Þat longeþ vn-to þe fraunchyse,
Y or þou, yn any outrage,
we synne dedly yn sacrylage.
Gode ȝyue vs grace so to serue here*. [to serue so here.]
Holy cherche, oure modyr dere,
Here so to serue, and wurschyp make,
Þat we be hyre, and she vs take.