An Old English miscellany containing a bestiary, Kentish sermons, Proverbs of Alfred, religious poems of the thirteenth century,
Morris, Richard, ed. 1833-1894., Theobaldus episcopus Maurice de Sully bp. of Paris, d 1196.
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APPENDIX II. The xi Pains of Hell. [Douce MS. 302, fol. 17, col. 1.]

Incipit narracio quo michel duxit paulum ad infer|num: Interogandum est quis primus rogauit vt anime haberent requiem In infernum, i.e. paulus apostolus et michael archangelus: Dies dominicus est dies electus.

¶ Þe sononday is godis oun chosyn day,
Þe wyche angelis in heuen þai worchipyn þore.
Gret sorow and dole here ȝe may,
Hou mychael and poule þay went in fere
To se what payns in hel were þer,
And þer þay se a sorouful syȝt;
Herkyns to me now moy*. [u altered to y?] ȝe here
What payns to synful mon be dyȝt.
Be-cause men nel not beleue,
Þer-fore hit was godis oune wyl
Þat mekel schuld led poule to hel
To se þe payns, þe gret parel,
Þe soþ him-selue he myȝt hit preue. Page  211
¶ To-fore hel ȝatis furst þai se þen
Mone an orebil brenyng tre,
Hengyng ful of women and men,
Þat was a sorouful syȝt to se;
Sum be þe hed, sum be þe tungus treuly,
Sum be þe fyt, sum be þe hond,
Sum be þe membirs of here body,
Þat þai han sunnyd with-in herthe leuand.
Þe angel to poule he sayd þon:—
"Þese greuyn god ful greuously
With al þe lymys of here body,
In lechery, slouþ, and glotoné,
And dyed in det and dedlé syn."
¶ With-yn þe ȝatis, wen þay were passid,
A meruelis fournes þer þai se,
Mone a synful soule were þer-in cast;
.iiij. flamys o foyre stod on alye,
Of dyuers colours wonderfully;
About þat fournes .vij. sorous þer were,
Gret snow, gret yse, gret cold greslé,
Gret eddyrs, gret stenche, gret leyte, gret foyre.
Þen þe angel sayd to poule treuly:—
"Þese were proud men, raueners echon,
Extorcioners, monslers, robbid mone one;
Satisfaccion in erþ þai wold do non,
And deseredyn treu ayrs vnryȝtfully:
¶ Here þai schal haue here payns þer-fore
Fore al þe synns þai han don cursidly.
Sum wepin, sum waylin, sum gron ful sore,
Sum broudun, sum brennen, dissyryn to dye.
Hou dredful is hel here may ȝe se, Page  212
In þe wyche is heuenes with-out gladnes,
In þe wyche is sorou of hert contenualy,
In þe wych of wepyng is gret plenteuesnes:
In þe wyche þer is a brenyng wel,
A. þosand tymys an our about doþ ren,
Vche day an angel fore smytis him þen,
A þousand soulis þer-in þai bren."
"Alas," sayd poule, "here is gret deel!"
¶ Affter poule se an orebbil flood,
In þe wyche moné deuelis bestis were in fuyre;
As feschis in þe se about þai ȝod,
Deuowreng soulis as hit chep were;
A brygge was ouer þat gret water,
Þat soulis passud ouer after here meryt.
Moné an euyl moncion was þer ordent [folio 17b]
As crist in þe gospel reherse het*. ["Lygate faceculus ad comburandum similis cum similibus"]
"Bynd bundels to-geder to be I-brent.
Bynd spousebrekers with awouters,
And ranegates with raueners,
And cursid leuers with here cumpers,
And cast ham in þe fuyre with-out end."
¶ Þer poule moné soulis he se
Þat were dround in þat watere;
Sum stod vp to þe kne,
And sum to þe armes a lytil laȝghere,
And sum to þe lippis moche deppere,
And sum to þe brouys oche day were paynd.
Þen poule sykud and wept with gret doloure,
And at þe angel anon he fraynd
"What soulis ben þese bene drownyd here." Page  213
"Þo þat stodyn vp to þe kne
Bakbidit here neȝtbore fore enuy,
And sklaundird hem in erþ ful falseley,
Þat loston here goodis hir lyues y-fere;
¶ And þo þat stodin vp to þe armes
Weron spouse-brekers and leuyd in lechory;
And þo þat stod vp to þe leppis
Be þe seruys of god þai set noȝt by,
And did no reuerens to cristis body,
In hole cherche were euer changilyng
And sayd here prayers vndeuoutly,
And let oþer men of mas hereng,
Herefore þai haue passyng payn;
And þo þat stod vp to þe elbow
At here neȝtbors harmes þay low,
Ȝif þai ferd wel her hertis hit slow,
And of here losse were glad and fayne.
¶ Holé cherche is a house of prayere,
Þe ȝat of heuen crist doþ hit calle,
To worchip þer-in our saueour;
What-euer þou askis þer haue þou schal,
Ȝif þat ȝe bene in chareté alle,
And serue ȝour god in loue and dred,
No myschif on þem hit schal falle,
In al ȝour werkis wel schul ȝe spede.
A synful mon here-of haue mynd
In holé cherche noþyng þou say,
Bot with hole prayers to god ȝe pray;
He grawnt ȝoue grace, boþ nyȝt and day,
Him to serue þat al ȝou send." Page  214
¶ Þen poule wept and sayd, in good soþnes,
"Wo is him to þese payns ben ordent."
Þen he se a plase of gret darknes,
In þe wyche men and wemen wern in gret turment,
Þat etyn here tongis hereto rent.
Þen þe angel sayd to poule treuly—
"Þese were makers of moné with cursid entent,
With wrong mokerers false mesurs and vsere,
Þer-fore wo þai etin here tung,
Fore þai foreswere ham wettanly,
On cristis passion haue no peté
To part with þe pore þat were nede,
Bot holdun hit fast þai geten with wrong."
¶ Þen after poule a plase he se,
In þe wyche were moné damselse blake,
I-cloþid in blak al cresly,*. [? grisly]
In pych and brymston, fuyre and smoke;
Aboute here nekis were nedirs and snake,
Fore wickid angelus repreuyd hem þer,
With horns of fyre here heedus to schake,
And went about hom with hedus bere,
And saydon to hom with carful cry,
"Cnow ȝe now þe sun of god,
Þat aȝayn boȝt þe word
Þat ȝe han greuyd in dede and word,
And slayn his creatours, ȝour childer distrye?"
¶ Þen poule he askid "what ben þese."
Þe angel onswerd without tareyng,
"Hyle*. [? Holé] god þese con displese, Page  215
And kept hem not chast to here wedyng,
And slowyn here childer in burþ-beryng,
And cast ham to houndis in preué place,
In watirs, in pittis, about drounyng,
And neuer wold shryue hem of þat trespase,
Fore dred of sklawnder and penans doyng;
So þe fynd he con hem blynd,
With disperacion hem schame and schend,
Lest here mysdedis þai wold amend
And broȝt hem ta euyl endyng."
¶ Þen after poule he se moche more
Men and wemen on kamels rydyng,
Moch froyt þer was here face be-fore,
To ete þer-of was here lykyng,
Þai myȝt not hit touche fore no þyng.
Þen þe angel to poule con say—
"Þese brekyn þe tymys of here fastyng,
And wold not fast þe good fryday
Þat crist sofyrd deþ apon,
Bot wastin here goodis in glotone,
Fore fleschelé lust of here body;
Fore þai wold not parte with þe pore nedy
Þai schil haue hongir and þrust were-euer þai gon."
¶ Þen after poule in plase he se,
A sorouful syȝt, a hore hold mon,
Be-twene iiij fyndis in turmentré,
And gryd and wept with ful gret mon.
Þen poule he askid þe angel anon
What maner of mon hit myȝt be. [folio 18]
Þe angel answerd him ful sone—
"A neclygent mon fore-soþ was he
And kept not obedyans he was bound to, Page  216
Ne leuyd not chast in his bodé,
In word, in dede, in þoȝt treuly,
Bot couetis prude, euer out of charyté;
To al payne ent domysday he schal go."
¶ Þen poule he weppid with heue chere.
Þe angel sayd, "why wepis þou soo?
Þou sest not þe gret payn þat beþ here,
come on, with me now þou schal goo."
he lad him to þe blak pit þo,
With vij. selys was selid treuly;
Þer-in was care, sorow, and wo,
Stenche and al maner turmentry.
"Stonde vttir poule," quod þe angel þen.
Anon he vnselid þe pit þore,
With a stynche gurd out arore,
Al þe payne hit passid be-fore;
Hit wold haue slayn al crystin men.
¶ Þen poule he askid þe angel in hye,
"What pepul in þis pit ben don?"
"Þese beleuid not in vergyn mary,
Ne treuly in cristis carnacione;
Þai beþ vncristynd euerechon,
And neuer resayuyd cristis body;
Al-þo in-to þat pet þay gon,
Of hem schal neuer be memory
On him in heuen, to-fore godis son,
Fore hit is godis wil specialy,
Of eretekis schal be no memoré,
Ne false cristin men, renegatis þat dyed curstly,
Of hom is no redempcion." Page  217
¶ Þen after poule forsoþ he se
In a wonderful depe plase,
As fro þe erþ to heuen on hy,
Vche soule on oþer couchid þer was,
For fader and moder þai had dispisid alas!
Orebil wormys devouryd hem þere.
Þen poul he herd a dolful noyse,
As layte or þonder þat hit were;
Þen was he ware of a soule anon,
Be-twen .iiij. fendes borne he was;
He rored and cryd alas! alas!
Þat euer his bodé con forth passe
With-out schrift housil contricion!
¶ Þe angelis of god aȝayns him criud
"Alas wrechid soule what hast þou done?"
In erþ þe fyndis þem verefyd,
Dispisid godis laus euerechon,
To-fore him þai red his dedis anon,
And cast him in-to derkens deppist of alle.
Quod angel to poule "be-leue vche mon
As ȝe do in erthe so haue ȝe schal;
He haþ fre choys to do good or elle,
Fore vche good dede rewardid schal be
In erþ, or ellis on euen on hei,
And vche cursid dede ponyschid truly
In erþ, in purgatore, or ellis in hel,
¶ For þis schal be here ponyschyng:—
Pride, couetyse, wrat[h], enuy,
Þese be þe brondis in hel brenyng,
Lechore, slouþ, and glotery;
Þen disparacion of godis mercy, Page  218
Of al þe payns in hel hit is most,
Fore þai soȝt no grace ne no mercy,
Bot synnud aȝayns þe hole gost;
Þat sin schal neuer fore-ȝeuen be,
To god hit is most hye trespace
To mys-trost his mercy and grace;
So ded þat traytur, false iudas,
And dampned him-self perpetualy."
¶ Anon poule a ioyful syȝt gon se,
A ryȝtful soule angelis beryng,
Þat oure was rauyschid sro his body,
Vp taward heuen þai con him bryng.
Þen poule herd a voyse, a heuenlé þyng,
A þousand angelis to-geder holy,
Þat said and song in his heryng:—
"Be glad blesful soule perpetualy,
Fore þe wil of þi god þou hast edon."
Þai beryn hym vp be-fore oure lord.
Þen mychael let him to gret cumford,
In ioy and blis to haue reward,
Laudes deo þai song vcheon.
¶ Þen sayd poule, with gret gladnes,
"Wele is ham to euen may go!"
Þe angel answerd in good soþnes:—
"Þai schul haue wele, without wo,
No tong con tel, ne hert þynke þer-to;
Þe lest ioy þat is in paradyse
In heuen bene a þousand vnderde mo;
Was neuer clerke couþ ham deuyse
Þe lest ioy to mon god haþ ordend,
Fore þo ioys schul neuer sese,
Bot euer enduyre and euer encres, Page  219
And euer leue in rest and pese,
Þat ioy and blis schal neuer haue ende."
¶ Þen al þe sorouful soulus in hel,
Þat were þer-in turmentyng,
Þai crydyn "holé archangel Mechael
Haue mercy on vs in payne bydyng;
And þou poul, belouyd with heuen kyng,
To þat lord for vs þou pray!"
Þen sayd þe angel loke with sore wepyng,
"Prays with poule, ȝif þat ȝe may
Gete ȝou grace of one merce." [folio 18b]
When he had sayd þis word anon,
Þay wept and cryd out euerechon:—
"A þe sun of dauid in heuen trone,
Haue merce on vs fore þi gret peté!"
¶ A voyse fro heuen answerd aȝayn—
"What good dedes haue ȝe nov done,
Ȝe did me to deþ with passion and payn;
Hwy aske ȝe me now remyssioun?
I was crucifid on cros fore ȝou al-on,
With spere and nayles y sched my blood,
Of aysel and gal ȝe ȝeuen me drenkyn,
When I was on-þerst hongyng on þe rode;
And I put my-self to þe deþ fore ȝow,
Þat ȝe schul euer haue leuyd with me;
Bot ȝe were proud, couetyse, ful of enuy,
And wold do no good dede, bot cursid treuly,
And false lyers in ȝour lyue as wel ȝe cnow."
¶ Þen sore wepyng poul knelid adowne,
And al þe angelis in heuen þer, Page  220
And prayd hyle to godis oune sun
Fore þe soulis in hel sum ryst haue þer.
Oure lorde he made hem þis honswere,—
"Þroȝ þe besechyng of myn angelis alle,
And of poule myn apostil, leue and dere,
Þis special grace graunt ham I schal,
Fro setter-day at non, y say treuly,
And al þe fest of þe sununday
In-to þe fyrst our of monday,
In reuerens þat ȝe here-fore ham pray,
Þai schal haue rou and rest perpetualy."
¶ Þen al þe soulis in hel, with one steuen,
Þai cryd and sayd with gret gladnes—
"Þe sun of god, on hi in heuen,
We bles þi grace and þi goodnes,
Þat þou woldist, of þi worþines,
Graunt vs þi grace and þi mercy
Oure gret payns fore-to reles,
Vche sunday perpetualy;
Here-fore we þonk þe lord of al,
Wo-so-euer wil halou þis sununday
Wele and worch it ful, as I ȝoue say,
With angelis of god in heuen fore ay,
Ioy and blis þer haue ȝe schal."
¶ Þen poule askid þe angel anon—
"Houe moné payns in hel þer be?"
Þe angel answerd him ful sone—
"iiij. Ml. a .C. and fourté,
And hunder men þaȝ þer were truly
Fro þe bekyny[n]g of wor[l]d*. ['1' added in a later hand.] ay spekyng,
And vche a .C. tungis had soþly Page  221
Þai myȝt not tel þe payns in hel duryng,
Fore þai may not be noumbyrd treuly."
Here-fore dere breder þat beþ present,
Þat heren þese payns, þese gret turment,
Torne ȝou to god omnipotent
Þat we mow reyng with him in heuen perpetualy.
¶ Alas! þat euer one cristyn mon
Wil not haue þat mater in mynd!
What schame, and chenchip, confucion
Þai schal haue þat seruen þe fynd,
Þat here mysdedis þai nyl not mend,
And fore-sake here synnus and be sory,
And sen al day what chamful end
Þay haue þat leuyn here vnryȝtwysly;
To god þis is a he trespas,
Þat neuer on be oþer ware wil be,
And wraþ here god wetyngly
Þat dyud fore hom on rod tre,
Þai bene acursid syrs in thys case;
¶ Fore hel is not ordend fore ryȝtwyse mon,
Bot fore hom þat seruen þe fynd,
No more þan is a preson of lyme and stone
Bot fore hom þe lawis offend.
Cursid dedis makis men al day eschend,
And þeffys*. ['þeuys' originally.] on galous on hye to hyng.
Þer ryȝtwys men þai han good end,
Þat seruyn here god in here leuyng.
y pray ȝou seris trest wele hereto,
Fore he þat leuys here ryȝtwysly,
On what deþ euer he dey,
His soule neuer paynd schal be,
Ne neuer after wit of wo: Page  222
¶ Meruel ȝe not of þis makyng,
y me excuse, hit is not I.
Þus*. [MS. þs.] mychael lad powle, be goddis bedyng,
To se in hel þe turmentré,
Fore I couþ neuer bot hy foly;
God haþ me chastyst fore my leuyng,
I þonke my god my grace treuly
Of his gracious vesityng;
Be-ware serys, I ȝou pray,
And ȝour mysdedis loke ȝe amend
Be-tyme, lest ȝe be chamyd and schend,
fore al is good þat haþ good end
Þus counsels ȝoue þe blynd audlay.*. [John Audelay, the blind poet.]