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

[12 points of shrift]

The fyrste poynt of shryfte.

Þe fyrst poynt of þy shryfte oweþ to be,
'with þy gode wyl and hertë fre,
     11352
whan þou art yn þy lyfë best,
Awey þou shalt þy synnë kest;'
For þan wurschepest þou God aboue,
And forsakest þy synne for hys loue.
Dauyd seyþ, yn wurde to fulfyl,
     11357
God shrofe hym with hys*. [hys O, om. H.] gode wyl;
Abyde nat tyl þou most nedly,
For þan hyt ys with fors and maystry;
Þou shryuest þe þan for drede,
     11361
Nat for loue, but more for nede; Page  352
Þan semeþ hyt þat hyt shulde be
Þat þy synne forsakeþ þe.
     11364
Swyche shryftë made Acor þe þefe:
whan he shulde go to pynë grefe,
He shrof hys synne, how he hadde stole
Þre þyngës þat he hade forhole,
     11368
A mantle of skarlet, a rolle of golde,
And syluer, he hydde vndyr molde;
Yn þe byble men mow hyt se,
Yn þe story of Iosue.
     11372
Page  353

The Secunde poynt of shryfte.

þe secunde poynt ys next þyr-by,
'þat þou shalt shryue þe hastyly;'
For whan þou doust*. [dost hyt.] yn longe respyte,
hyt ys forȝete, þat long ys olyte.
     11376
Seynt Bernard þarfore, to swych chyt,
And seyþ 'moche forȝyt, þat longe abyt.'
Anouþer skyl ys, þat þou shalt hyt haste,
For yn þy synne þy lyfe ys waste; Page  354
     11380
For, as moche as þe tyme doþ amounte,
For euery oure, shalt þou ȝelde acounte,
Ȝyf hyt so were, þou myȝtest had space, [folio 75b:2]
And wuldest nat come to shryfte ne grace.
Ȝyt, þyr ys þe þred resun*. [See French, l. 9719, &c. last page.]
     11385
þat hastyly shal þy shryfte be doun;
For yn þat tyme þat þy synne*. [synne O, shryfte H.] ys,
Þou art departed fro heuene blys,
     11388
And fro alle þe felawrede
Þat shulde þe helpë at þy nede,
And fro þe preyers of holy cherche,
And fro alle gode dedes, þat men þer werche;
Alle þe prayers, with-outë fayle,
     11393
To þe blys of heuene, þe mow nat auayle.
Algate y rede, þou do gode dede;
To ryse fro synne, hyt wyl þe spede,
     11396
And bettyr wyl hyt pay God almyȝt,
And þy penaunce shal be þe more lyȝt,
And, þe more grace shalt þou haue,
Þe for to shryue and saue.*. [[6 syll.]]
     11400
Page  355

The þred poynt of shryfte.

Þe þryd poynt of þy shryfte,
'Opunly þyn herte vp lyfte:'
So byt God to me and þe,
Þat opunly shal þy shryftë be.
     11404
Salamon to vs seyþ, and*. [seyþ & to us.] kalleþ,
'Seuene tymes on a day þe ryȝtwys man falleþ;'
As oftë þan behoueþ þe ryse,
Ȝyf þou lyue yn ryȝt seruyse.
     11408
Þus seyþ þe clerke seynt Austyne,
Þat was a mayster of dyuyne,*. [deuyn.]
'Ȝyf þou to many prestes atwynne,
Al holyche wylt shryue þy synne,
     11412
Þou shalt fynde grace and forȝyuenes,
And mede to þe, for þy mekenes.'
Þre þyngës mayst þou fynde,
Þat wyl þe oute of synnë bynde;
     11416
Þe fyrst ys, þat þou mayst lere,
And many dyuers samples*. [sample.] here,
Of euery prest, a lessoun,
To knowë þy saluacyoun; [folio 76a]
     11420
Ȝyf þou haue herde of many a-pryse,
þe morë þou canst, of queyntyse.
þe touþer me þenkeþ a gode resoun,
Þat quyteþ þe fro dampnacyoun,
     11424
þe ofter þat þou shewest þy blame,
þe more me þenkeþ þou hast of shame;
þe shame þat þou hast yn þy shewyng,
hyt ys forȝyuenes, to gode endyng.
     11428
Þe þred, ys, þat þe weyl weres,*. [Glossed 'kepeþ' in Oxf.; 'kepyþ' in Harl., by a later hand.]
For þou shalt be yn alle preyers Page  356
Of alle þe prestes þat þe haue shryue,
As longë tyme as euer þey lyue,
     11432
For þey are holdë þar-vn-to;
þe order of prest wyl hyt be so;
þe mo prestës þat for þe prey,
þe sunner*. [soner.] art þou yn gode wey;
     11436
And, at þe day of Iugëment,
To God þey shul make þy present,
þat þou werë clenë shryue,
And þat þey mow be þe forȝyue.
     11440
þo þat þou hast here hyd,
þurgh alle þe werld þey shul be kyd,
And askë domë on þe þere,
þat þou, of hem, neuer shryuë were;
     11444
For allë þyng þat euer ȝyt was,
Shal þe acoupe of þy trespas;
Þe synnë hymself shal forwreye;
Þyn Inwyt, on þe self, þe dome shal leye.

þe fourþe poynt of shryfte.

Þe fourþë poynt, ful feyre hyt ys,
'yn shryftë to haue mekënes.'
She chese þat vertu, oure lady,
     11451
So seyþ "magnificat," here owne storye,
'Þe gretë mekenes many folde
Yn hys hand-mayden, God wlde beholde.'
Syn mekenes ys so noble a ȝyfte, Page  357
For-ȝete*. [Forȝeteþ.] hyt nat yn ȝourë shryfte.
     11456
So spekeþ þe gospel of þys vertu, [folio 76a:2]
How a mesyl come to Ihesu
with gode wyl, and on knees hym sette,
And ful myldely, Ihesu he grette;
     11460
"lorde," he seyd, "þou mayst me saue
Ȝyf þou wylt, and y hele haue."
Ihesu sagh hys myldënes,
     11463
And seyd "y wyl hele, alle þy sykenes."
He þat ys yn dedly synne,
Gostely he ys a mesyl with-ynne;
He þat wyl hys helë seke,
To hys prest he mote be meke;
     11468
Ȝyf þou meke þe to þy prest,
Þou mekës*. [mekest.] þe to Goddës brest;
Ȝyf þou be to hym ful stour,
Þou doust to God grete dysonour;
     11472
he sytteþ þere, yn Goddys se;
To deme þy synne, he haþ pouste;
Ȝyf he blame þe for þyn euyl,
þat þou hast serued moche þe deuyl,
     11476
Defendë nat þy folye,
yn pryde ne yn ypocrysye;
Noþer on þy self lye þou noȝt,
To seye þyng þat þou neuer wroȝt;
     11480
Ne forsake nat þy synne to wreye;
More and*. [þan.] lesse, behoueþ þe seye.

þe fyueþe*. [Þe fyfþe.] poynt of shryfte.

Go we now to þe fyfþe*. [fyfþe O, fythe H.] poynt:
To þe þrydde hyt ys a ioynt,
     11484
þere y spake of ofte shryuyng, Page  358
To tellë many prestes a þyng.
what men are þo þat shryue hem bleþly,
But þo þat synne but lyȝtly?
     11488
For þo þat haue do synnës grete,
Vnneþë*. [Vnneþe O, Vnneþ H.] wyl þey any lete.
Ȝyf þey here any predycacyoun,
Or sum ouþer chaunse be doun,
     11492
Ȝyt wyl þey neuer shryue here shame,
So are þey bounde yn þe fendës hame. [folio 76b]
And somë lette, for hard penaunce,
For to telle here grete cumberaunce.
     11496
And somë lette here synne to seye,
For doute of prest, þat wyl hem bewreye:
No shame myȝt to mochë be
To þe*. ['þe' omitted.] prest þat telleþ*. [telþ.] þat pryuyte.
     11500
letteþ nat, ȝoure synne to telle; Page  359
Þenkeþ on þe peynes of helle;
     11502
what day þat ȝe dyd ȝoure synne,
And how long ȝe haue lyued þer-ynne,
what tyme, ánd how, hyt was wroȝt;
Alle hyt nede*. [nedeþ.] þurghout be soghte.
Seynt Dauyd, þe holy prophete,
Seyþ, þese wurdes, ful swete,
     11508
"Alle my shryftë and my shame
Haþ so couerd and hyd my blame,
þat þe fende may haue no syȝt,
Me to bewreyë with no plyȝt;
     11512
Ne God of heuene wyl nat se
Any þyng þat wyl dampnë me."
Ȝyf þou shryue þe apertly,
Þou mayst be sekyr to haue mercy.
     11516

The syxte poynt of shryfte.

Þe syxte poynt ys, sorowe of herte;
Þat oght to be bytter and smerte
whan þou þenkest on þe gode dedes,
þat, God haþ do for þy nedes,
     11520
And þou hast do, as þou weyl wost,
Þyng, þat, he hateþ moste.
No creatures ne hateþ he noȝt,
But synnë þat ys do or wroȝt;
     11524
Ne he hateþ nat þe fende of helle,
Þe crëature of hym y telle,
But þe wykkednes, pryde and synne
Þat yn hym ys, and wyl nat blynne;
     11528
Ne was þyr neuer aungel so bryȝt,
Ne man so weyl with God almyȝt,
Þat, ȝyf he had synned dedly, [folio 76b:2]
To hellë pyne he was wurþy;
     11532
Þat oght þey boþe to sorowe and kare,
Þat yn dedly synnë are. Page  360
God hym*. [hym O, hym hym H.] self, of mageste,
Vnto hys lykenes he formed þe;
     11536
he made þy soule boþe fayre and clene,
And to hys ownë godhede sene;
And whan þou synnest, þou turnest wyk,
And makest þy soulë black as pyk;
     11540
Þát God had made to hym so weyl,
Þou makest hyt lyke þe fende echedeyl.
Sorowe oghte þan, þyn hertë bynde,
Þat þou art tó hym so vnkynde;
     11544
Þou dysonourest hym yn þat outrage,
And reuylyst hys feyre ymage.
Of þys þyng þan ȝyuest*. [ȝyfst.] þou leste,
     11547
whan þou cumst laghyng to þe prest;
Euyl oghtest þou laghe, coudest þou se
How þou bryngest þy dome with þe;
Aboute þy nekke, hanggeþ a wyþþe,
Þat haþ þe departed fro Goddys gryþþe:
Þy self beryst þan, on þy bak,
     11553
Þy vylë synne þat makeþ þe blak;
May nonë fro þat dome þe borowe,
But ȝyf hyt be with byttyr sorowe.
     11556
Goddys treytour, and ryȝt vyleyn!
Hast þou no mynde of Marye Maudeleyn,
How she soȝt oure lorde Ihesus
Yn Symundës hous leprous?
     11560
Opone þyn herte, þy gostly eres,
And þenke on herë byttyr teres!
She cam nat laghyng to þe*. [com . . . . to þat.] feste,
Noþer for game, noþer*. [no.] for geste;
     11564
She com wepyng with here yne,
Of Ihesu to haue medycyne;
She broȝt a smel of grete sauour,
Þat tokeneþ loue and grete onour; Page  361
     11568
with here terës þat she lete, [folio 77a]
þarwyþ she wyssh Ihesu*. [Ihū.] fete:
So behoueþ vs with here to grete,
Ȝyf we, oure synne, wyl truly lete;
     11572
And, but we haue sorowe for oure*. [for oure O, with here H.] synne,
Þe mercy of God mow we nat wynne.

þe*. [Þe O, Te H.] seuenþe poynt of shryfte.

The seuenþe poynt ys a gode resun,
'Þat þy shryfte be wysly doun,'
     11576
Þat ys to sey, to a wys man,
Þat þy shryfte vndyrstondë kan;
Nat to one þat haþ no wyt
Of vndyrstondyng of holy wryt.
     11580
Seynt Austyn seyþ þys skyl,
Do þyr-aftyr who so wyl,
'Of synnë, who so wyl hym lese,
     11583
A wyse shryftfadyr behoueþ hym chese;
And þat may byndë and vnbynde,
Swych a man behoueþ hym fynde."
A prest þat ys no clergye ynne,
     11587
How can he weyl dystyncte þy synne?
But now, oueralle, se we mowne
An holywatyr clerk of a tounne,
þat lytyl haþ lerned yn hys lyue,
he ys ordeyned a prest to shryue.
     11592
Ȝyf he shulde a shryfadyr*. [shryftefader.] be,
hym behoueþ*. [behouede.] haue lerned of sum degre,
Or lerned, or herde, of some þat couþe,
Ar he had be prest yn hys ȝouþe;
     11596
And moche behoueþ*. [behouede.] hym stody and se,
Or lerne at sum, yn pryuyte.
he may lyue, as a gode man, Page  362
Þoghe he lytyl clergy kan;
     11600
But for to preche, or herë shryfte,
Of clergy behoueþ hym sum þryfte.
And allë prestes haue nat powere
For to assoylë þe ryȝt clere,
     11604
But hyt be þy parysshe preste,
Or haue hys leuë at þe leste, [folio 77a:2]
Or at þy parsone or vycary,
For þese haue of þy soule maystry:
     11608
Aske hem leue, and haue no gylt,
And shryuë þe þan, where þou wylt.

The eyȝtþe*. [eyghteþe.] poynt of shryfte.

The eyghtþe poynt of þe twelue,
'Þy shryfte shal be alle of þy selue,'
     11612
Of þyn ownë proper dede,
And bewreye none ouþer, y þe forbede.
Þyn ownë foly þou shalt seye,
And none ouþer body bewreye.
     11616
Dauyd seyþ yn þe sautere
Þese wurdes, þurgh Goddys powere,—
he spekeþ 2as weyl to lerned as to lewed,2*. [2_2 to lernede as weyl as lewede.]—
"Myn owne lyfe, lorde, y haue þe shewed;
None ouþer mannes y wyl dyscrye,
     11621
For þat were boþe synne and vyleynye."
Ȝyue gode tent, to þys poynt,
Þou prest þat art a-noynt!
     11624
Ȝyf a man telle þe hys synne,
And a-noþer be menged þer-ynne,—
As ȝyf hyt were yn lecherye,
Or hylp to sle, or robborye,
     11628
For þese may nat a man weyl do
Alone, but ouþer be þar-vnto,—
Aske aftyr none ouþer name,
But lestene wyl hys ownë blame;
     11632
For ȝyf þou any ouþer man namest, Page  363
Y dar weyl seye þou hym dyffamest;
hyt ys grete synne to hym and þe
To aske or telle þat shulde nat be;
     11636
hyt ys bakbytyng, and no shryfte;
hyt ys a spyce of euyl þryfte.
Þou lewed man, y forbede þe weyl,
     11639
Þogh þe prest aske, bewreye þou no deyl;
Bewreyë weyl þyn ownë dede,
But none ouþer, y þe forbede.
y tolde langer yn myn auys, [folio 77b]
Loke algate þy preste be wys.
     11644
Do nat as þe pharysu,
Preydë God aȝens hys pru;
He ȝede to þe cherche with a man
Þat men calle a publycan,—
     11648
A publycan ys, yn oure sawe,
A synful man, oute of þe lawe;
Þys pharysu ys to mene 'byfore,'
As forby alle, and fro ouþer shore,—
     11652
Þys pharysu bygan to prey,
And seyd, as a shrewe shulde sey,
"Lordë, þanked mote þou be,*. [See French, lines 10111-15.]
y am nat, as y ouþer se,
     11656
Coueytous, ne lecherous of flesshe,
And nat as he, þys publycan, ys:
Euery woke y fastë twys,
     11659
And ȝyue my tyþes of rychë prys."
Loke how he made hys auauntement
Of þat gode þat God hadde hym sent;
ȝe, syre, on a wykked wyse,
Oþer men for tó despyce;
     11664
hys owne godenes, coude he nat sey,
But algate ouþer, behoueþ*. [behouede.] hym wreye.
Besydë stode þe pupblycan,*. [publykan.]
     11669
And knew*. [knegh.] hym self a wykked man, Page  364
And durst nat loke to God vpward,
But knokked on hys brest ful harde,
And seyd with herte ful drefully,
"Lorde, þou haue on me mercy!"
     11672
Þe þublycan had mochë þanke;
Þe pharysu, byfore God he stanke.
Þus seyþ þe gospel, þat we alle knowe,
"who so makeþ hym hygh, he shal be lowe;
     11676
And, who loghyþ*. [who so logheþ.] hym yn skylle,
Gode heghnes he shal come tylle."
Some, whan þey here shryfte*. [shryfte O, synne H.] bygynne,
he shal hepe on God hys synne,
     11680
And seyþ algate, 'he ne may noȝt [folio 77b:2]
kepe hym, but synne be wroȝt.'
And some sey, whan þey do euyl,
Hyt was algate þurgh þe deuyl;
     11684
And some sey, as y haue herde,
'A! syre! so synneþ alle þe werlde.'
Of þy self, shal nat be seyd;
On þe, shal alle þe blame be leyd;
     11688
God blameþ þe for þy mysdede,
why seyst þou þan, 'þe behoueþ nede?'*. [hyt behoueþ be nede.]
Ne no fende may but temptë þe;
Þe dede shal alle þyn ownë be;
     11692
Ne at þe worlde mayst þou noȝt kest;
Do þy self weyl, hyt ys þe best;
Here mayst þou se wyþ godë skyl,
Alle hyt ys at þyn ownë wyl.
     11696

The nyȝnþe poynt of shryfte.

þe nyȝnþë seyþ 'hyt ys foly
On þy self for to lye.' Page  365
Sey of þy self no*. [to.] trespas,
Ne more synne, þan þou done has;
     11700
Ne forhele nat þy mysdede;
Goddes veniaunce shalt þou drede.
[The Bible-Tale of Ananias and Sapphira.]
Seynt Luke seyþ hys autoryte,
Yn þe bygynnyng of crystyanyte,
     11704
Þe apostoles wente*. [ȝede.] aboute to preche—
Þe crystyndom for to preche*. [teche.]—
how men shuld þe worlde forsake,
And what mede þarforë take;
     11708
Ryche men solde here lande and fee,
And come to þe apostoles yn pouerte.
A ryche man, þat hyghte Ananye,
He solde hys godë plenerlye;*. [al plenerlye.]
     11712
þe syluer þat he þarfore tolde,
þerof a party he ded withholde;—
Hys wyfe cunseyled wel þar-to
Þat he shulde nat awey alle do;—
     11716
Þe touþer partë, alle he lete,
And keste hyt at seynt Peter fete. [folio 78a]
Seynt Petyr parceyued anoun
þat þyr was þere*. [þyr was þere O, þer was H.] gylë doun:
     11720
he seyd, "y comaundë þe,
Alle þat þyr was, þou shewe hyt me."
Ananyas þan swore hym þore,
he solde hys þyng, for no more.
     11724
Seynt Peter, þan seyd*. [seyde þan.] astyt,
"why lyest þou on þe holy spyryt?"
þys Ananyas fyl dowun dede,
As, blak, as any lede.*. [[6 syll.]]Page  366
     11728
Men tokë þe body asswyþe,
And byryed hyt, þat ychë syþe.
hys wyfe come byfore hem alle,—
Saphyra, men here calle;—
     11732
She cunseyled þat hyt was hyd,
But she ne wyst what was betyd.
Seyn Peter asked here þe soþe ywys,
"hast þou no more þan now here ys?"
Saphyra answered and seyd,
     11737
"Y haue no more þan here ys leyd."
"þou lyest," he seyde, "þe soþe y se,
And nat ȝyt al onely to me,
     11740
But þou lyest vnto þe holy goste,
þat alle þyng wote, and myȝt haþ moste."
Asswyþë, yn a lytyl stounde,
She fyl dowun dede vnto þe grounde.
     11744
Men byryed sone here body
Besyde here husbonde Anany.
Here-fore y rede þat þou soþe seye
To þy prest, as þou shust deye.
     11748
Yn þy shryfte, lye þou neuer a deyl;
holy wryt forbedeþ hyt weyl.
þou seyst hyt nat vnto þe prest,
     11751
þou shewest hyt vnto Goddys breste;
Boþe to God and to man,
Þat oure defaute, seeþ alle, and kan.
Gode graunte vs þe soþe to sey,
     11755
And clene be shryuë ar we dey! [folio 78a:2]

þe tenþe poynt of shryfte.

Þe tenþë poynte of shryfte, þys ys:
'Ȝyf þou shalt haue forȝyuënes,
Þy synne naked shalt þou make,
And opunly, hyt forsake.' Page  367
     11760
hyle hem nat with feyrë wurde,
Þat semeþ to gadyr þy synnes to hurde:
yn tyfed*. [tyffede.] wurdys þat slyked are,
Semeþ þy synnes þat þey noȝt were;
     11764
yn swyche wurdys, þe fende ys queynte
To make þy shryftë fals and feynte.
No queyntyse make þou þerynne,
     11767
But sey ryȝt as þou dedyst*. [dest.] þy synne.
þou mayst nat þy synnës wryte,
Yn shryftë þe so to quyte,
Ȝyf þou mayste speke, and haste*. [haue.] space
To fynde a preste yn any place,
     11772
with mouþe to speke, and nat*. [noght.] to hyde,
Elles hyt ys a spyce of pryde:
Seynt Austyn seyþ, algate þy lyue,
'wyþ mouþe opunly, þou þe shryue.'

þe eleuenþe poynt of shryfte.

þe elleuenþe poynt shul we*. [we shul.] knowe,
     11777
'To þy prest þou bere þe lowe,
Blelyche yn*. [þy.] penaunce for to do
Alle þat he ioyneþ þe vnto.'
     11780
Þou shalt make no fals delay,
Penaunce to takë at þy pay;
Hyt ys sloghnes and feyntés
To take penaunce at þy dyuys;
     11784
For þy synne, þe ryȝt penaunce
Shal be þe prestës ordynaunce:
Þus seyþ þe clerk, seynt Austyn,
     11787
"Þe prestes mercy, þou do þe ynne;
Þe prest ys crystys vycarye;
Do þe alle yn hys mercy." Page  368
Ȝyf þe prest be of any resun,
     11791
He wote weyl what shal be doun; [folio 78b]
he wote what penaunce þe falleþ*. [falþ.] to haue,
And what þy state ys, and what hyt wyl craue.
And, þus þou wost weyl at gesse,
Ȝyf þou were now yn a sykenes,
     11796
And*. [al.] wuldest þou do, for to lyue,
Alle þat þy leche wulde þe ȝyue;
To þy soule, do þe samë wyse,
Þy penaunce, as þe prest seyse.
     11800
Many aȝens þe prest þey kaste,
Þat þey mowe noþer bydde ne faste,
But ȝyf þey algate penaunce*. [penaunce O, om. H.] shul do,
Þan þay seye hyt behoueþ be so;
     11804
No þyng aftyr hys dedys ylle,
But algate at hys ownë wylle.
wenest þou so to come to heuene,
     11807
with lyghte penaunce as þou wylt neuene?
But y warne þe of þys cas;
Þarto ys many a streytë pas.
Þe manhede of God wulde noȝt
Haue heuene, but hyt were boȝt.
     11812
what wenest þou haue hyt for so lytyl here,
whan God and man boȝt hyt so dere?
By heuene with þy penaunce,
Or, ellës-where, kepe harder chaunce.
     11816
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.