Robert of Brunne's "Handlyng synne".
Mannyng, Robert, fl. 1288-1338., William, de Wadington, 13th cent., Furnivall, Frederick James, 1825-1910.
Page  369

þe twelueþ poynt of shryfte.

þe twelueþe poynt of oure resun:
'Alle holy oweþ þy shryfte be doun;
No poynt þou shalt with-holde,
     11819
For, alle holy, hyt oweþ to*. ['to' omitted.] be tolde;
And, þat shal y shewë þe
On two maners; þy shryfte al hole shall be.
Ȝyf þou þe shryue by parcelles,
     11823
Þe holy man seyþ, þy shryfte þou steles;
Ȝyf þou shewe one, o party,
And anoþer prest þou tellest anoþer foly,
Þat shryfte ys noȝt, þy soule ys betrayd,
And God almyȝty ys mys-payd;
     11828
For to echoun þyn herte was stoken, [folio 78b:2]
A synne þou heldë þer-ynne loken;
þat þou with-helde, was nat forȝyue;
     11831
Þou shewedest hyt nat, hyt ys vnshryue.
Body ne soulë ys payd weyl
Tyl þou haue tolde þy synne*. [synne O, soule H.] eche deyl;
Telle alle þy synnes, and with-holde noun;
Or elles, y seye, shryfte ys þyr noun;
For, ȝyt haþ þe fende pouste
     11837
For to make sorowe yn þe.
lo here, ensample þat ys certeyn,
Þat noun*. [no man.] may sey þer-aȝeyn;
     11840
Ȝyf þou yn þy body haue woundës*. [wndes.] fyue,
Þat, þe leste may for-do þy lyue,
And hele hem allë but o wunde,
     11843
Ȝyt may þat on,*. [one.] brynge þe to*. [to þe H, to O.] grounde.
[The Tale of how Shrift made a Woman's unconfest Sin fly out of her Mouth as a 'Blak,' a 'Fende of Helle.']
Of a womman y herde onys spelle,*. [A tale]
þat alle here synnës wulde nat telle; Page  370
þys wumman hadde do a synful dede;
here shamed to telle hyt for drede.
     11848
On a*. [o.] day, grace was here ȝyue,
þat she þoȝte she wulde be shryue:
þys womman come vnto a frere,
And, preyd hym, here lyfe to here.
     11852
As she sat here shryftë ynne,
She þoȝte vppon þys ychë synne;
Þe frerë cumforted here weyl,
Boldely to sey euery deyl;
     11856
hys cumforte madë here ryȝt bolde,
So þat she furþe þe*. [þat.] synnë tolde,
þat she haddë longe forhole,
þurgh cunseyl of þe deuyl stole;
     11860
But, at þat ychë breyde
þat she furþe þe*. [þat.] synnë seyde,
Come fleyng oute, at*. [of.] here mouþe a blak,
Ryȝt as she þe wurdë spak:
     11864
þe frerë sagh hyt apertly,
And þanked God of hys mercy.
þat ychë blak, y dar wel telle [folio 79a]
þat hyt was a fende of helle,
     11868
þat myȝt no lenger yn here reste
whan þe synnë oute gan breste;
But as longe as she þe synne forhale,
Þe deuyl helde ful stylle hys stale;
     11872
For euer-more he wyl a-byde
whyl o synnë may hym hyde;
And, for þat yche resun why,
Shryue we oure synnë, alle holy;
     11876
Nat by parcelles, to prestes atwynne;
To one, alle holy, shryue þy synne; Page  371
To o preste telle*. [telle þou.] hyt euery deyl,
Þan art þou shryuë holy weyl:
     11880
At oure shryfte, God ȝyue vs myȝt
Þese poyntes to kunne, and shewe hem ryȝt.
Now haue ȝe herde þe poyntës twelue,
how euery man shal shryue hym selue,
And of þese*. ['þese' omitted.] poyntes lerned sum deyl,
how ȝe mow[ë] shryue ȝow weyl.
Prestës oghte hem alle to kunne,
lewed men to teche and monne;
     11888
And but þey techë hem þys lore,
Here perel ys weyl þe more.