The minor poems of the Vernon ms. ... (with a few from the Digby mss. 2 and 86) ...
Horstmann, Carl, b. 1851., Furnivall, Frederick James, 1825-1910.

13. Ay, Mercy, God!

(12 stanzas of 8, abab bcbc.)

As I wandrede her bi weste
ffaste vnder a forest syde,
I seiȝ a wiht went him to reste,
Vnder a bouȝh he gon a-byde;
Þus to crist ful ȝeor[n]e he criȝede,
And boþe his hondes he held on heiȝ:
"Of pouert, plesaunce & eke of pruide.
Ay, Merci, God, And graunt-Merci.*. [I take Merci to be used in this poem in the twofold sense of Mercy and Thanks.]
¶ God, þat I haue I-greuet þe
In wille & werk, in word and dede,
Almihti lord, haue Merci of me
Þat for my sunnes þi blod gon schede!
Of wit & worschupe, weole & wede
I þonke þe, lord, ful Inwardly;
Al in þis world, hou euere I spede,
Ay Merci, god, And graunt Merci.
¶ Graunt Merci, god, of al þi ȝifte,
Of wit & worschupe, weole & wo;
In to þe, lord, myn herte I lifte,
Let neuer my dedes twynne. vs a-two.
Merci þat I haue mis do,
And sle me nouȝt sodeynly!
Þouȝ ffortune wolde be frend or fo,
Ay Merci, God, And graunt Merci. Page  697
¶ I am vnkuynde, and þat I knowe,
And þou hast kud me gret kuyndenes;
Þerfore wiþ humbel herte and lowe,
Merci and for-ȝiuenes
Of Pruyde and of vnboxumnes!
What eueri sonde be, þus sey I,
In hap and hele, and in seknes,
Ay Merci, god, And graunt Merci.
¶ Graunt Merci, God, of al þi grace,
Þat fourmed me wiþ wittes fyue,
Wiþ ffeet and hond, & eke of face
And lyflode, whil I am alyue.
Siþen þou hast ȝiue me grace to þryue,
And I haue Ruled me Rechelesly,
I weore to blame, and I wolde striue,
But Merci, God, And Graunt Merci.
¶ Merci þat I haue mis-spent
Mi wittes fyue! þerfore I wepe;
To dedly synnes ofte haue I asent,
Þi Comaundemens couþe I neuer kepe;
To sle my soule In sunne I slepe,
And lede my lyf in Lecheri,
ffrom Couetyse couþe I neuere crepe;
Ay Merci, God, And Graunt Merci.
¶ Of oþes grete and Gloteny,
Of wanhope and of wikked wille:
Bacbyte my neiȝhebors for enuy,
And for his good I wolde him culle;
Trewe men to Robbe and spille,
Of Symony and with surquidri;
Of al þat euere I haue don ille,
Ay Merci, God, And graunt Merci.
¶ Bi lawe I scholde no lengor liue
Þen I hedde don a dedly synne; Page  698
Graunt Merci þat ȝe wolde forgiue,
And ȝeue me space to mende me Inne!
ffrom wikked dedes & I wolde twynne,
To Receyue me ȝe beo redi
In-to þi blisse þat neuer schal blynne.
Nou Merci, God, And graunt Merci.
¶ Graunt Merci, for þou madest me,
Merci, for I haue don a-Mis;
Min hope, Min help is hol in þe,
And þou hast ȝore bi-heiht me þis:
Whos euere is Baptiȝed schal haue Blis,
And he Rule him Rihtwysli.
To worche þi wille, lord, þou me wis!
Nou Merci, God, And graunt Merci.
¶ Soþfast god, what schal I say,
how schulde I amendes make,
Þat plesed þe neuere in-to þis day
Ne schop me nouȝt mi sunnes forsake?
But schrift of mouþe mi sunnus schal slake,
And I schal sece and beo sori,
And to þi Merci I me take.
Nou Merci, God, [And] Graunt Merci.
¶ ffader & sone and holigost,
Graunt Merci, God, wiþ herte liht,
ffor þou woldest not þat I weore lost.
Þe ffader haþ ȝiuen me a miht,
Þe sone a science and a siht
And wit to welde me worschupely,
Þe Holigost vr grace haþ diht.
Nou Merci, God, And graunt Merci.
¶ Þis is þe Trone þat twynned neuere,
And preued is persones þre,
Þat is and was and schal ben euere,
Only God in Trinite; Page  699
help vs, Prince of alle pite,
Atte day þat we schal dy,
Þi swete face þat we may se.
Nou Merci, God, And Graunt Merci.