English prose works of Richard Rolle : a selection
Rolle, Richard, of Hampole, 1290?-1349.
Horstmann, Carl, b. 1851.

Canonical Works

Page  [3]

The Form of Living

*. [At this point the text of MS Arundel 507 includes the following "little scraps" printed by Horstman:
[folio 36b]

Nota. For als mykil as mannes saule es made euer to life: for-þi es man halden to serue god & lufe god / euer with-outen ende. And for þis bande þat byndes man to serue god / es endeles: to do þer-agayn with deadly synne / es trespas endeles; & sen þe trespas es endeles: þe payne þat þerto falles / es endeles.

Item. Oure euil dedes are oure awne as oure propre catell; bot þe gode when we it do: es oddes. Þen, thorugh þe rightwisenes of god / we are more worthi til haue payne for oure euil dedes: þen any mede of god / for any gode þat we doo.

]*. [The next few lines also comprise the first half of the short text "On the Name of Iesus," given in the companion volume with other pieces from Rawl. C 285.]

Ms. Cambr. Dd V. 64

[folio 101]
Incipit forma uiuendi scripta a beato Ricardo heremita ad Margaretam anachoritam, suam dilectam discipulam.
Cap. 1m.

(I)N ilk a synful man or woman, þat es bunden in dedly syn, er thre wrechednes: þe wylk brynges þam· to þe dede of hell. // Þe first es: defaute of gastly strenght: Þat þai er sa wayke· Page  4 with-in þair hert, þat þai may nouther stand· agaynes þe fandynges of þe fende, ne þai may lyft þair will· to ȝerne þe lofe of god, and folow þar-till. // Þe secund es: use of fleschly desyres:—for þai haue na will ne myght to stand, þai fall in lustes· & likynges of þis worlde; and for þai thynk þam swete, þai dwell in þam still, many tyll þaire lyues ende: & sa þai com¯ to þe thrid wrechednes. // Þe thred wrechednes es: chaungyng of lastand gode· for a passande delite. Als swa say, þai gif ioy endles· for a litell ioy of þis lyfe. If þai will torn þam, & ryse till penance, god will ordeyne þair wonyng· with awngels· & with haly men. Bot for þai chese þe vile syn of þis world, & hase mare delite· in þe fylth of þaire flesch, þan in þe fairhede of heuen, þai lose bath þe worlde & heuen. For he þat hase noght Ihesu Criste, he tynes all þat he has, & all þat he es, & all þat he myght gete. He ne es worthy þe lyfe, ne to be fedde· with swynes mete. All creaturs sal be styrde in his vengaunce· at þe day of dome. // Þiere wrechednes þat I haue of talde, er noght anely in worldly men or women, þat vses gluttry or litcheri, & oþer apert synnes: bot þai er alswa· in other þat semes in penance· & in gode lyfe. For þe deuyll, Page  5 þat es enmy till all man kynde, when he sees a man or a woman, ymang a thousand, turne haly to god, and forsake all þe vanytees & ryches þat men þat lufes þis worlde couaytise, & sekes þe Ioy lastand: a thousand wiles he has· on what maner he may desayue þam. And when he may noght bryng þam in till swylk synnes· þe whylk myght gar all men wonder on þam· þat knew þam, he begyles many swa priuely, þat þai kan noght oft-syth fele þe trap þat has taken þaime.

Somme he takes with errour, þat he puttes þam yn. // Som wyth singulere witt: when he gars þaime wene· þat þe thyng þat þai sai or do es best; and for-þi þai wyll na counsell haue· of oþer þat es better & conander þen þai: & þis es a foule stynkand pryde, for he wolde sett his witt· before all oþer. // Some þe deuell deceyues thurgh vayne glory, þat es ydil ioy: When any has pryde· & delyte in þam-self, of þe penance þat þai suffer, of gode dedes þat þai do, of any vertu þat þai haue; es glad when men loues þam, sari when men lackes þam; haues envy to þam þat es spokyn mare gode of· þan of þam. Þai halde þair self so gloriouse, & swa fer passand þe lyf· þat oþer men ledes, þat þai thynk þat nane suld reprehend þam, in any Page  6 thyng þat þai do or say; an dispises synfull men & oþer þe whilk will not do als þai byd þam. How may þow fynd a synfuller wretche þan swilk ane? And sa mykell es he þe wer, þat he wate noght þat he es yll, & es halden & honord of men als wyse & hali. // Some er deceyued with ouer-mykell lust & likyng in mete & drynk: When þai passe mesure & com in till outrage, & has delyte þarein; and wenes þat þai syn¯ noght, and forþi þai amend þam noght; and swa þai destruye vertues of saule. // Some er begylde with oure-mikell abstinens of mete & drynk & slepe. Þat es of þe temptacion of þe deuell, for to gar þam fall in myddes þair werk, swa þat þai bryng it till nane endyng, als þai suld haue done if þai had knawne skyll & halden discrecion: & swa þai tyne þaire merit for þaire frawerdnes. // Þis gylder layes oure enmy to take vs with, when we begyn to hate wyckednes, & turne vs till god. Þen many begynnes þe thyng þat þai may neuer-mare bryng till ende; þen þai wene þat þai may do what so þair hert es sett on. Bot oft þai fall or þai come ymyd gate; and þat thyng þat þai wend war for þam, es lettyng till þam. For we haue a lange way till heuen, and als many Page  7 gode dedys [als] we do, als many prayers als we make, & als many gode thoghtes als we thynk, in trouth & hope & charite: als many paces ga we till heuen-ward. Þan if we make vs sa wayke & so febyll, þat we may nouther wyrk ne pray als we suld do, ne thynk: Er we noght gretly at blame, þat fayles when we had maste nede to be stal-worth? And wele I wate, it es noght goddys will þat we sa do. For þe prophete says: «Lorde, I sall kepe my strengh to þe»: so þat he myght susten goddys seruys till his dede-day, and noght in a litill & in a schort tyme waste it & þan lygge wanand & granand be þe wall. And it es mykel mare peryll þan men wenes. For saynt Ierome says, þat he makys of rauyn offerand þat outragely tourmentis his body in oure-lytel mete or slepe. And saynt Bernarde sais: «Fastyng & wakyng lettes noght gastly godes, bot helpes, if þai be done with discrecion; with-outen þat, þai er vices». For-þi, it es noght gode to pyne vs so mykell, & sithen haue vnthank for oure dede. // Þare hase bene many, & er, þat wenes þat it es noght all þat þai do, bot if þai be in sa mikell abstinence & fastyng þat all men speke of þam þat knawes þam. Bot oft-sythes it befalles þat ay Page  8 þe mare ioy & wonduryng þai haue with-outen of þe louyng of men, ay þe les ioy þai haue with-in, of þe luf of god. At my dome, þai sulde pay Ihesu Criste mikell mare if þai toke for his loue, in thankyng & louyng of hym, forto sustan þar body in his seruyse, and to halde þam fra mikell speche of men, what so god send for þe tyme and þe stede, & gaf þam sithen enterely & perfitely to þe luf & þe louyng of þat lorde Ihesu Criste, þat will stalworthly be lufed, & lastandly be serued; so þat þaire halynes war mare sene in goddes egh, þen in mans. For ay þe better þou ert & þe les speche þou has of men, þe mare es þi ioy before god. // Ha, what it es mykell, to be worthi louyng, and be noght loued! And what wrechednes it es, to haue þe name & þe habet of halynes, & be noght so, bot couer pride, Ire, or enuy, vnder þe clathes of Criste barnhede! A foule thyng it es to hafe lykyng & delite in mens wordes, þat can na mare deme what we er in oure saule, þen þai wate what we thynk. For oft-sithe þai say þat he or scho es in þe hegher degre, þat es in þe lawer; and þat þai say es in þe lawer, es in þe hegher. For-þi, I halde it bot wodnes to be gladder or sarier, wheþir þai say gude or ill. If we be aboutewarde to Page  9 hyde vs fra speche and louyng of þis worlde, god wyll schew vs till hys louyng, & oure Ioy. For þat es his ioy when we er strenghfull to stande agaynes þe pryue & þe aperte fandyng of þe deuell, & sekes na thyng bot þe honoure & þe louyng of hym, and þat we myght enterely loue hym. And þat aght to be oure desyre, oure prayer & oure entent, nyght & day, þat þe fyre of hys lufe kyndell oure hert, & þe swetnes of hys grace be oure comforth & oure solace, in wele and wo. // Þow hase now herd a party, how þe fende deceyues, wyth hys sotell craftes & whaynt, men & women. And if þou will do be gode cownsel, & folow haly lare, als I hope þat þou will: þou sall destroy his trappes, & bryn in þe fyre of luf all þe bandes þat he walde bynd þe with, & all his malys sall turne þe til ioy, & hym till mare sorow. / God suffers hym to tempe gode men for þaire profete, þat þai may be þe hegher crownde, when þai thurgh his helpe hase ouercomne sa cruell an enmy, þat oft-sythes both in body & in saule confowndes many men. // In thre maners þe deuell has power to be in a man. On a maner: hurtande þe godes þat þai haue of kynde, als in dom¯ men, & in other, blemysand þair thoght. On a nother maner: revande Page  10 þe godes whilk þai haue of grace; and so he es in synfull men þe whilk he hase deceyued thurgh delyte of þe worlde & of þair flesche, and ledes þam with hym till hell. On þe third maner, he tourmentes a mans body, als we rede þat he has done Iob. Bot wytt þou wele: if he begyle þe noght with-in, þe thar noght drede what he may do þe with-outen; for he may do na mare, þan god gyfs hym leue for to do.

Capm. 2m.

(F)Or þat þou has forsakyn þe solace & þe ioy of þis world, & taken þe to solitary lyf, for gods luf to suffer tribulacion & anguys here, & sithen com to þat blys þat neuer-mare blynnes: I trowe treuly þat þe comforth of Ihesu Criste, & þe swetnes of his loue, with þe fire of þe haly gast, þat purges all syn, sall be in þe, & with þe, ledand þe, & lerand þe / how þou sall thynk, how þou sall pray, what þou sall wyrk; so þat in a few ȝers þou sall haue mare delyte, to be by þi nane, & speke till þi luf & to þi spows Ihesu Crist, þat hegh es in heuen, þan if þou war lady here of a thowsand worldes. Men wenes þat we er in pyne, & in penance grete: bot we haue mare ioy & mare Page  11 verray delyte in a day,| þan þai haue in þe worlde all þar lyue. / Þai se oure body, bot þai se noght oure hert, whare oure solace es. If þai saw þat, many of þam wold forsake all þat þai haue, forto folow vs. For-þi be comford, & stalworth, and drede na noye ne angwysch: bot fest all thyne entent in Ihesu, þat þi lyf be gode & wheme; and loke þat þere be na thyng in þe þat suld be mys-payand till hym, þat þou ne sone amend itt. / Þe state þat þou ert in, þat es solitude, es maste abyll of all othyr til reuelacion of þe haly gaste. For when saynt Ione was in þe yle of Pathmos, þan god schewed hym his pryuytees. / Þe godenes of god it es, þat he comfortes þam wondyrfully þat has na comforth of þe worlde, if þai gyf þair hert enterly till hym, and couayts noght ne sekes bot hym: þen he gyues hym-self till þaime, in swetnes & delyte, in byrnyng of luf, & in ioy & melody, & dwelles ay with þam, in thaire saule, sa þat þe comforth of hym departes neuer fra þam. / And if þai any tym begyn till erre, thurgh ignorance or freelte: sone he wysses þam þe right way; & all þat þai haue nede of, he leres þam. // Naman till swylk reuelacion & grace on þe first day may kom: bot thurgh lang trauell & bysines to loue Ihesu Criste, als þou Page  12 sall here afterward. / Noght-for-þi, þan he suffers þam to be temped on sere maners, both wakand & slepand. For ay þe ma temptacions, & þe greuoser, þai stande agayne, & ouer-comes: þe mare sall þai ioy in his luf, when þai er passed. // Wakand þai er vmwhile tempyd wyth foule thoghtys, vile lustes, wicked delites; with pryde, Ire, enuy, despaire, presumpcion, & oþer many. Bot þaire remedy sall be: Prayer, Gretyng, Fastyng, Wakyng. // Þire thynges, if þai be done with discrecion, þai put a-way syn & filth fra þe saule, & makes it clene, to receyue þe luf of Ihesu Criste, þat may noght be loued, bot in clennes. // Also, vmwhile þe fende tempes men & women, þat er solitary by þam ane, on a qwaynt maner & a sotell: He transfigurs hym in þe lyknes of an awngel of lyght, & apers till þam, and sayes þat he es ane of goddes awngels, comen to comforth þam; & swa he deceyues foles. Bot þai þat er wys, & wil not tyte trow till all spirites, bot askes cownsel of conand men: he may not begyle þam. Als I fynd writen of a reclues, þat was a gude woman; til þe whilk þe ill awngell oft-sythes aperde in þe forme of a gode awngel, and sayd þat he was comen to bryng hir Page  13 to heuen. Wharfore scho was right glad & ioyful. Bot neuer-þe-latter, scho talde it til hir schryft-fader; and he, als wyse man and war, gaf hir þis counsell: / «When he comes, he sayde, byd hym þat he schew þe oure lady saynt Mary. When he has done swa: say Aue maria». Scho dyd sa. Þe fende sayde: / «Þou has na nede to se hyr; my presence suffyse to þe». And scho sayde, on all maner scho suld se hyr. He saw þat hym behoued outher do hir wyll, or scho walde despyse hym: Als tyte he broght forth þe fayrest woman þat myght be, als to hyr syght, & schewed til hyr. And scho sett hir on hir knees & sayde: Aue maria. And als tyte all vanyst away; & for scham neuer sithen come he at hir. / Þis I say not, for I hope þat he sal haue leue to tempe þe on þis maner; bot for I will þat þou be war, if any wyk temptacions befall þe, slepand or wakand, þat þou trow not oure-tyte, til þou knaw þe soth. // Mare priuilyer he transfigurs hym in þe forme of an awngel of lyght—þat comonli al men ar temped with: when he hydes ill vnder þe liknes of gode. And þat es in twa maneres: / Ane es, when he egges vs til oure-mykel ees & rest of body, and softnes til oure flesche, vndir Page  14 ne[d]e to susteyne oure kynde. For swilk thoghtes he puttes in vs: bot if we ete wele, & drynk wele, & slepe wele, & lygge soft & sytt warme: we may not serue god, ne last in þe trauell þat we haue begonn. Bot he thynkes to bryng vs till ouer-mykel lust. // Another es, when vnder þe lyknes of gastly gode he entices vs til scharp & oure-mikel penance, forto destroye oure self; and says þus: «Þou wate wele þat he þat suffers mast penance for goddes lufe, he sall haue maste mede. Forþi ete litell, and febyl mete, & drynk lesse, þe thynnest drynk es gode ynogh till þe. Recke noght of slepe; were þe hayre, & þe habirion. All thyng þat es affliccion for þi flesche, do it: so þat þare be nane, þat may passe þe in penance». / He þat says þe þus, es aboute to sla þe with oure-mykel abstinence, als he þat sayde þe toþer, to sla þe with oure-lytell. Forþi, if we will be right disposed, vs behoues sett vs in a gude mene, & þat we may destroy oure vices, & halde oure flesche vnder, / and neuer-þe-latter þat it be stalworth in þe seruyse of Ihesu Criste. // Als-swa, oure enmy will noght suffer vs to be in rest when we slepe: bot þan he es aboute to begyle vs in many Page  15 maners. // Vmwhile, with vggly ymages: forto make vs radde, & make vs lathe with oure state; Vmwhile, with faire ymages, fayre syghtes & þat semes confortabell: forto make vs glad in vayne, and gar vs wene þat we er better þan we er. Vmwhile, tels vs þat we er haly & gode: forto bryng vs in till pryde; [Vmwhile, sais þat we er wicked & synful: for to ger vs falle in to dispaire]. Bot he þat es ordiner of all thyng, suffers noght þat oure slepe be with-owten mede til vs, if we dresse oure lyfe till his will. And wyt þow wele, þou syns noght slepand: if þou be euermare wakande with-outen outrage of mete & drynk, & with-outen ill thoghtes. // Bot many ane þe deuel hase deceyued thurgh dremes, when he haues gart þam sett þair hert on þam. / For he hase schewed þam som¯ sothe, & sethyn begylt þam with ane þat was fals. For-þi says þe wyse man þat many besynes folowes dremes; an þai fell þat hoped in þam. // Whar-fore, þat þou be not begylde with þam, I will þat þou witt þat þer er sex maners of dremes. Twa er þat na man, haly ne oþer, may eschape; þai er: // If þair wambe be oure-tome, or oure-full; Page  16 þan many vanitees in seer maners befalles þam slepande. // Þe thryd es, of illusyons of oure enmy. // Þe ferth es, of thoght before, and illusion folouand. / And þe fyft, thorow þe reuelacion of þe hali gast, þat es done on many a maner. / Þe sext es, of thoghtes before þat falles to Criste or hali kyrk, reuelacion comand after. / In þus many maners touches þe ymage of dremes men when þai slepe. Bot sa mykell we sall latlyer gyf fayth till any dreme, þat we may not sone wyt whilk es soth, whilk es fals; whilk es of oure enmy, whilk es of þe hali gaste. / For whare many dremes er, þare er many vanitees. And many þai may make to erre: for þai hegh vnwhaynt men, & swa deceyues þam.

Capm. 3m.

(I) Knawe þat þi lyfe es gyuen to þe seruyce of god. Þan es it schame til þe, bot if þou be als gode, or better, with-in in þi sawle, als þou ert semand at þe syght of men. Turne for-þi þi thoghtes perfitely till god, als it semes þat þou hase done þi body. For I will not þat þou wene þat all er hali þat hase þe abet of halynes, & er noght ocupyed with þe worlde; / Ne þat all er ill þat melles þam with erthly bysines. // Bot þai er anly hali, what state or degre þai be in, þe whilk despises all erthly thyng, þat es at say, lufs it noght, & byrnes in þe luf of Page  17 Ihesu Criste, & al þair desires er sett til þe ioy of heuen, & hates al synn, & ceses noght of gode werkys, and feles a swetnes in þaire hert of þe lufe with-outen ende: / and neuer-þe-latter þai thynk þam-self vylest of all, & haldes þam wretchedest, leste, & lawest. / Þis es hali mens lyf: folow it, & be haly. / And if þou will be in mede with apostels, thynk noght what þou for-soke, bot what þou despyses. / For als mykell þai forsake þat foloues Ihesu Criste, in wilfull pouert, & in mekenes, & in charite, & in paciens, als þai may couayte þat folows hym noght. And thynk with how mykel, & how gude will þou presentes þi vowes be-fore hym: for till þat he hase hys egh; / and if þou with gret desyre offer þi praiers, with grete feruoure couayte to se hym, and seke na erthly comforth, bot þe sauoure of heuen, & in contemplacion þerof haue þi delyte. // Wondurfulli Ihesu wirkes in hys louers: þe whilk he reues fra þe lust of flesch & of blode, thorow tender lufe. He makes þam to will na erthly thyng, & dose þam ryse in to þe solace of hym, & to forgete vanytees & fleschely lufe of þe worlde, & to drede na sorow þat may fall; / To lathe with ouer- Page  18 mykel bodili ees. To suffer for his luf, þam thynk it ioy; and to be solitary þai haue grete comforth: þat þai be noght lettyd of þat deuocyon. // Now may þou se þat many er war þan þai seme, & many er better þan þai seme, & namely amang þase þat hase þe habett of halynes. / For-þi afforce þe, in all þat þow may, þat þou be noght wer þan þou semes. / And if þou will do als I lere þe in þis schort forme of lyuyng, I hope, thorou þe grace of god, þat if men halde þe gude, þou sall be wele better.

Capm. IIIIm.

(A)T þe begynnyng, turne þe enterely to þi lorde Ihesu Criste. / Þat turnyng till Ihesu es noght els, bot turnyng fra all þe couaytyse & þe likyng & þe occupacions & bisynes of worldly thynges & of fleschly lust and vayne luf: swa þat þi thoght, þat was ay donward, modeland in þe erth, whils þou was in þe worlde, now be ay vpwarde als fire, sekand þe heghest place in heuen, right til þi spows, þare he syttes in hys blys. Til hym þou ert turned, when his grace illumyns þi hert; & forsakes all vices, & conformes il til vertues & gude thewes, & til all maner of debonerte & mekenes. / And þat þou may last & wax in gudenes þat þou hase begon, with-owten slawnes Page  19 & sarynes & irkyng of þi lyf: / Fowre thyngs sall þou haue in þi thoght, til þou be in perfyte lufe—For when þou ert commen þar-till, þi ioy & desyre will ay be byrnand in Criste. Ane es: þe mesur of þi lyf here, þat sa schort es þat vnnethis es it oght. / For we lyue bot in a poynt—þat es þe leste thyng þat may be. / And, sothely, oure lyfe es les þan a poynt, if we liken it to þe lyfe þat lastes ay. // Another es: vncertente of owre endyng. For we wate neuer when we sal dye, ne whare we sal dye, ne how we sal dye, ne whider we sal ga when we er dede. & þat god wil þat þis be vncertayn til vs: for he will þat we be ay redy to dye. // Þe thyrd es: þat we sall answer before þe ryghtwys Iuge of all þe tyme þat we haue bene here, how we haue lyued, what oure occupacioun hase bene and why, & what gude we myght haue done when we haue bene ydel. For-þi sayde þe prophete: «He hase calde þe tyme agayn me», þat ilk day he hase lent vs here forto despende in gude vse, and in penance, & in gods seruys. / If we waste it in erthly lufe & in vanitees, ful greuosly mon we be demed & punyst—ffor þat es ane of þe maste sorow þat may be: bot we afforce vs manly in þe lufe of god, & do gude til all þat we may, whil oure schort tyme lastes. And ilk tyme þat we thynk not on god, we may cownt it als þe thyng þat we haue tynt. The ferth es: Page  20 þat we thynk how mykell þe ioy es þat þai haue þe whilk lastes in goddes lufe til þair endyng. For þai sal be brether & felaws with awngels & haly men, lufand & thankand, louand & seand, þe kyng of ioy, in þe fayrhede & in þe schynyng of his maieste. Þe whilk syght sall be mede & mete, & al delytes þat any creature may thynk, & mare þan any may tell, till all hys louers, with-outen ende. / It es mikel lightar to com¯ to þat blys, þan for to tell it. / Als-swa thynk what pyne & what sorow and tormentyng þai sall haue þe whilk lufs noght god ouer all other thynges þat man sees in þis world, bot files þare bodi & þair sawle in lust & letchery of þis lyfe, In pryde & couayties, & oþer synnes: þai sall byrne in þe fyre of hell, with þe deuell wham þai serued, als lang as god es in heuen with his seruandes: þat es euer-mare.

Capm. Vm.

(I) Wyll þat þou be ay clymbande till Ihesu-warde, & ekand þi luf & þi seruys in hym: noght als foles doos: þai begyn in þe heyest degre, & coms downe till þe lawest. I say noght, for I will þat if þou haue begune vnskylfull abstinence, þat þou halde it: bot for many þat was byrnand at þe begynnyng & abyll til þe luf of Ihesu Criste, for owre-mykel penans þai haue lettyd þam-self, & made þam sa febel þat þai may noght lufe god as þai sulde. In þe whilk luf þat þow wax ay mare & mare, es my couaytyng & Page  21 amonestyng. I halde þe neuer of þe lesse meryt yf þou be noght in swa mykel abstinence; bot if þou sett al þi thoght how þou may luf þi spouse Ihesu Criste, mare þan þou has done, þan dar I say þat þi mede es waxand, & noght wanande.

Capitulum sextum.

(W)Harfore, þat þou be ryght disposed, bath for þi saule & þi body, þou sall vnderstande fowre thynges: / Þe fyrst thyng es: what thyng fyles a man. / Þe toþer thyng: what makys hym clene. / Þe thyrd: what haldes hym in clennes. / Þe ferth: what thyng drawes hym for to ordayne his will all at goddes will. // For þe fyrst: wyt þou þat we synne in thre thynges, þat makes vs folowe: þat es wyth hert, and mouth, & dede. // Þe synnes of þe hert, er þir: Ill thoght. ill delyte. assent till synne. desyre of ill. wikked will. Ill suspecion. vndeuocion. If þou lat þi hert any tyme be ydell, with-outen occupacion of þe lufe, of þe louyng of god. Ill drede. ill lufe. errour. fleschely affeccioun till þi frendes or till other þat þou lufes. Ioy in any mens ill-fare, whethir þai be enmy or nane. despyte of pure / or of synfull men. to honor ryche men for þaire rytches. / vnconabyll ioy of any worldes vanite. / sorow of þe worlde. / vntholmodnes. perplexite, / þat es dowt what es to do / & what noght— / for ilk a man aght for to be syker what he sall do & what he sall leue. / obstinacion in Page  22 ill. / noy to do gude. / anger to serue god. / sorow þat he dyd na mare ill, / or þat he dyd noght þat luste / or þat will of his flesche / þe whilk he myght haue done. / vnstabylnes of thoght. / pyne of penance. / ypocrisy. / lufe to plees to men, / drede to dysplees þam. / schame of gude dede, / ioy of ill dede. / Synguler witt. couaytyse of honoure, or of dignite, or to be halden better þan other, or rycher, or fayrer, or to be mare dred. vayne glory of any godes of kynde, or of happe, or of grace. Schame with pore frendes, pryde of þi riche kynne, or of gentyl—for all we er ilike fre be-for gods face, bot if owre dedes make any better or wers þan other. despyte of gude counsell, & of gude techynge. // Þe synnes of þe mowthe, er thir: To swere oft-syth. / forsweryng. sclaunder of Criste / or of any of his halows. / To neven his name with-outen reuerence. agayn-saiyng, and strife, agayne sothfastnes. / grotchyng agayns god, / for any angwys, or noy, or tribulacioun / þat may befall in erth. / to say goddes seruys vndeuowtly / & with-outen reuerence. / Bakbityng. / flateryng. / lesyng. / missaiyng. / wariyng. / defamyng. / flytyng. / manasyng. / sawyng of discorde. / treson. / fals wytnes. / ill cownsell. / hethyng. / vnboxumnes with worde. / to turne gude dedes to ill, / for to gar þam be halden ill þat dose þam— / We aght to lappe oure neghboure dedes in þe beste, noght in þe warst. / excityng of any man till ire. / to reprehende in a nother / þat he dose hym-self. / Page  23 vayne speche. / mykel speche. / fowle speche. / to speke ydell wordes / or wordes þat er na nede. / rusyng. / polysyng of wordes. / defendyng of synne. / criyng of laghter. / mowe makyng on any man. / to syng seculere sanges & lufe þam. / to prayse ill dedes. / to syng mare for louyng of men þan of god. // Þe synnes of dede, er þir: Glotony. / letchery. / drunkynhede. / symony. / wytchecraft. / brekyn[g] of þe haly dayes. / sacrileghe. / to receyue goddes body in dedely synn. / brekyng of vowes. / apostasy. / dissolucioun in goddes seruys. / to gyf ensawmpyl of il dede. to hurt any man in his body / or in his godes / or in hys fame. / theft. / rauyn. / vsur. / desayte. / sellyng of ryghtwysnes. / to herken ill. / to gyf to herlotes. / to withhalde necessaries fra þi body, / or to gyf it to owtrage. / to begyn a thyng þat es abowen oure myght. / custom to syn. / fallyng oft to syn. / fenyng of mare gude þan we haue, / for to seme halyer / or conander / or wiser / þan we er. / to halde þe office þat we suffice noght till, or þat þat may noght be halden with-outen syn. / to lede karols. / to bryng vp new gyse. / to be rebell agayne hys souerayns. / to defoule þam þat er lesse. / To syn in syght, / in heryng, / in smellyng, / in towchyng, / in handelyng, / In swellyng; / In gyftes, / In wayes, / sygnes, / bydynges, writynges. / To receyue þe circumstance, þat er: Tyme, / stede, / maner, / nowmber, / person, / dwellyng, / conyng, / Page  24 elde: / þir makes þe syn mare or lesse. to couayte to syn or he be temped. to constreyne hym till syn. // Other many syns þar er of omission, þat es, of leuyng of gude vndone: when men leues þe gude þat þai suld do: Noght thynkand on god, / ne dredand, / ne louand hym, / ne thankand hym of his benefices. / to do noght all þat he doos for goddes lufe. / to sorow noght for hys syn as he sulde do. / to dispoos hym noght to receyue grace. / And if he haue taken grace, to vse it noght als hym aght, / ne to kepe it noght. / to turne noght at þe inspiracion of god. / to conforme noght his will to gods will. to gyf noght entent till his prayers, / bot rabill on, / & rek neuer bot þai be sayde. / to do necligently þat he es bownden till, thorow a vowe, / or comawnded, / or es enioynde in penance. / to draw on lengh þat es at do sone. / hauand na ioy of his neghbur prophet als of his awne; noght sorowand for his ill fare. / standand noght agayne temptacions. / forgifand noght þam þat hase done hym harme. / kepand noght trouth to his neghbur, als he walde þat he dyd till hym; / and yheldand hym noght a gude dede for a nother, if he may. / Amendand noght þam þat synnes be-fore his ene. / peesand noght stryues. / lerand noght þam þat er noght conand. / comfortand noght þam þat er in sorow / or in sekenes / or in pouert / or in penance / or in pryson. / Þir synnes, & many other, makes men Page  25 foule.— // Þe thynges þat clenses vs of þat filth, er thre, agaynes þase thre maners of synnes. // Þe fyrst es: sorow of hert: agayne þe syn of thoght. Ant it behoues be perfite: þat þou will neuer syn mare. And þat þou haue sorow of all þi synnes. And þat all ioy & solace, bot of god & in god, be put out of þi hert. / Þe toþer es: schryft of mouth: agayn þe syn of mouth. And þat salle be hasty, with-outen delaying. Naked, with-outen excusyng. Hale, with-owten partyng: Als forto tell a syn till a preste, & a nother till a nother. Say all þat þow wate till ane: or els þi schryft es noght worth. // Þe third es: satisfaccion: Þat has thre partyes: Fastyng, Prayer, & Almos-dede. Noght anly to gif pore men mete & drynk: bot for to forgyf þam þat dose þe wrange, & prai for þam; / and enforme þam how þai sall do þat er in poynt to perisch.— // For þe thyrd thyng, þou sall wyt þat clennes behoues be keped in hert, & in mouth, & in werk. / Clennes of hert, thre thynges kepes: Ane es, waker thoght & stabel of god. A nother es, bisynes to kepe þi fyue wittes; sa þat all þe wyked styryngs of þam be closed out of þe flesche. / Þe third, honest occupacion and prophetabyll. // Alswa, clennes of mouth, kepes thre thynges: Ane es, þat þow vmthynk þe before, or þou speke. A nother es, þat þou be not of mikel speche, but of litel; & namly ay til þi hert be stabeld in þe luf of Ihesu Cryst: Page  26 swa þat þe thynk þat þou lokes ay on hym, whether þou speke or noght. Bot swilk a grace may þou noght haue in þe fyrst day; bot with lang trauell, & grete bysines to lof hym with custom, so þat þe egh of þi hert be ay vpwarde, sall þou |com þar-till. / Þe thyrd:þat þou for nathyng, ne for na mekenes, lye on any man. For ilk a lee es syn, & il, & noght goddes will. The thar noght tell all þe soth ay, bot if þow will. Bot al lees hate. Yf þou say a thyng of þi self þat semes þi louyng: & þou say it to þe louyng of god and help of other, þou dos noght vnwisely, for þou spekes sothfastnes. Bot if þou will haue oght pryue: tel it til nane bot swylk ane, þat þou be syker þat it sulde noght be schewed bot anly til þe louyng of god, of wham es all gudenes, & þat makes som¯ better þan oþer, and gifes þam special grace, noght anely for þam-self, bot alswa for þam þat wil do wele after þaire ensawmpell. // Clennes of werk, thre thynges keps: Ane es, a bysi thoght of dede—For þe wyse man says: «Vmbethynk þe of þi last endyng: and þou sall noght syn.» Another: fle fra ill felyschypp, þat gyfs mare ensawmpel to luf þe worlde þan god, erth þan heuen, filth of body þan clennes of saule. // Þe third es: temperance & discrecion in mete & drynk: þat it be nowther til owtrage, ne beneth skilwys sustinance for þi body. For both comes til an ende: owtrage, & ouer-mykel fastyng: for nowther es gods will—& þat many wil noght wene, for Page  27 noght þat man may say. / Yf þou take sustenance of swilk gude als god sendys for þe tyme & þe day, what it be, I owt-take na maner of mete þat cristen men vses, with discrecion & mesur: þou dose wele, for sa dyd Criste hymself, & hys apostels. / Yf þou leue many metes þat men has; noght dispysand þe mete þat god has made til mannes helpe, bot for þe thynk þat þou hase na nede þarof; þou dose wele, If þou se þat þow ert stalworth to serue god, & þat it brekes noght þi stomake. For if þou haue broken it with oure-mikel abstynence, the es reft appetyte of mete; and oft sal þou be in qwathes, als þou war redy to gyf þe gast. And wit þou wele, þou synned in þat dede. // And þou may not witt some whethir þi abstinence be agayne þe, or with þe. For þe tyme þou ert ȝong, I rede þat þou ete & drynk, better & war, als it comes, þat þou be noght be-gylt. And after-warde, when þou has proued many thynges, & ouer-commen many temptacions, & knawes better þi-self & god þan þou dyd: þan, if þou se þat it be at do, þou mai take til mare abstinence. And whils þou may do pryue penance, þat al men thar noght wyt. Ryghtwysnes es noght al in fastyng, ne in etyng: Bot þou ert ryghtwys, if all ilyke be to þe despyte & louyng, pouert & rytches, hunger & nede, als delytes & dayntes. If þou take þir with a lowyng of god: I halde þe blyssed, & hee before Ihesu. Men þat comes til þe, þai luf þe for þai se þi grete abstinens, & for þai se þe enclosed: Bot Page  28 I may not loue þe so lyghtly, for oght þat I se þe do withowten: bot if þi wil be conformed enterely to goddes will. And sett noght by þar louyng ne þar lackyng, and gyf þou neuer tale if þai speke lesse gode of þe þan þai dyd: bot þat þou be byrnander in goddes luf þan þou was. For a thyng warne I þe: I hope þat god has na perfyte seruand in erth with-outen ennemyes of som men—For anely wretchednes has na enmy. // Forto draw vs þat we conforme oure will till goddes will: er thre thynges. Ane es, ensawmpel of haly men & haly wymen, þe whilk war ententife, nyght & day, to serue god & drede hym, and luf hym. And we folow þam in erth, we mon¯ be with þam in heuen. Another es, þe godenes of oure lorde, þat despises nane, bot gladly receyues all þat comes till hys mercy; & he es hamlyer to þam þan brother or syster, or any frende þat þai maste luf, or maste treystes on. /Þe thyrd es: þe wonderfull ioy of þe kyngdom of heuen, þat es mare þan tong may tell, or hert mai thynk, or egh may se, or ere may here. It es swa mykel, þat, als in hel myght na thyng lyue for mykel pyne, bot at þe myght of god suffers þam noght to dye: swa þe ioy in þe syght of Ihesu in his godhede es swa mykel, þat þai mond dye for ioy, if it ne war his godenes, þat will þat his louers be lyuand ay in blys: als his ryghtwysnes wil þat al þat lufed hym noght, be ay lyuand in fyre, þat es horribel till any man at thynk, loke þen what it es to Page  29 fele. Bot þai þat will not thynk it & drede it now, þai sal suffer it euermare. Now hase þow herd how þou may dispose þi lyfe, and rewle it to goddes will. Bot I vate wele þat þou desyres to here some special poynt of þe luf of Ihesu Criste, & of contemplatyf lyfe, þe whilk þou hase taken þe till at mens syght. Als I haue grace & konnyng, I will lere þe.

Cam. VIIm.

(A)More langueo. / Þir twa wordes er wryten in þe boke of lufe, þat es kalled þe sang of lufe, or þe sang of sanges. / For he þat mykel lufes, hym lyst oft syng of his luf, for Ioy þat he or scho hase when þai thynk on þat þat þai lufe, namely if þair louer be trew & lufand. / And þis es þe Inglisch of thies twa wordes: «I languysch for lufe». // Sere men in erth has sere gyftes & graces of god: bot þe special gift of þas þat ledes solitary lyf, es for to lufe Ihesu Criste. / Þow says me: «all men lufes hym þat haldes his comawndementes.» Soth it es. Bot all men þat kepes hys byddyngs, kepes noght also hys cownsayle. And all þat dos his cownsell, er noght also fulfyld of þe swetnes of his lufe, ne feles noght þe fyre of byrnand luf of hert. / Forþi, þe diuersite of lufe, makes þe diuersite of halynes & of mede. / In heuen, þe awngels þat er byrnandest in lufe, er nerrest god. / Also men & women þat maste has of goddes lufe, whether þai do penance or nane: þai sall be in þe heghest degre in heuen; þai þat lufes Page  30 hym lesse, in þe lawer order. If þou lufe hym mykel: mykel ioy & swetnes & byrnyng þou feles in his lufe, þat es þi comforth & strengh, nyght & day. / If þi lufe be not byrnand in hym: litel es þi delyte. For hym may naman fele in ioy & swetnes, bot if þai be clene, & fylled with his lufe: and þartill sal þou com with grete trauayle in praier & thynkyng: hauand swilk meditacions þat er al in þe lufe & in þe louyng of god. // And when þou ert at þi mete: loue ay god in þi thoght, at ilk a morsel, & say þus in þi hert: Loued be þou keyng, & thanked be þou keyng, & blyssed be þou keyng, Ihesu all my ioyng, of all þi giftes gude: þat for me spylt þi blude, & died on þe rude; þou gyf me grace to syng, þe sang of þi louyng. / And thynk it noght anely whils þou etes: bot bath before & after, ay bot when þou prayes or spekes. Or if þou haue other thoghtes þat þou has mare swetnes in & deuocion, þan in þase þat I lere þe: þou may thynk [þam]. For I hope þat god will do swilk thoghtes in þi hert, als he es payde of, & als þou ert ordaynde for. / When þou prayes, loke noght how mykel þou says, bot how wele: þat þe lofe of þi hert be ay vpwarde, & thy thoght on þat þou sayes, als mykel als þow may. / If þou be in prayers & meditacions al þe day: I wate wele þat þou mon wax gretely in þe lufe of Ihesu Page  31 Cryste, & mikel fele of delyte, and within schort tyme.

Capitulum VIIIm.

(T)Hre degrees of lufe I sal tell þe: for I walde þat þou moght wyn to þe heest. The fyrst degre es called insuperabel. / Þe secund, Inseparabel. / Þe thyrd es, syngulere. Þi luf es Insuperabel: when na thyng þat es contrary til gods lufe, ouer-comes it: bot es stalworth, agayns al fandyngs; and stabel, whether þou be in ese or in angwys, or in hele or in sekenes; swa þat þe thynk þat þow walde noght, for all þe worlde to haue it with-owten ende, wreth god any tyme; / and þe war leuer, if outher sulde be, to suffer al þe pyne & waa þat myght com til any creature, or þou wald do þe thyng þat suld mys- pay hym. / On þis maner sal þi lufe be Insuperabel, þat na thyng may downe bryng bot spryngand on heght. / Blyssed es he or scho þat es in þis degre: bot ȝitt er þai blyssedar þat myght halde þis degre, & wyn in til þe toþer, þat es Inseparabel. // Inseparabel es þi lufe: when al þi hert, & þi thoght, & þi myght, es swa haly, swa enterely, and swa perfytely festend, sett, & stabeld in Ihesu Cryste: þat þi thoght comes neuer of hym, neuer departyd fra hym, outaken slepyng; / and als sone als þou wackens, þi hert es on hym, sayand: Aue maria, or Gloria tibi domine, or Pater noster, or Mise- rere mei deus if þou haue bene temped in þi slepe; or thynkand on his lufe, & his louyng, als þou dyd wakand. When þou may na tyme forgete hym, what sa þou dose or says: þan es þi lufe Inseparabel. / Ful mykel grace haue þai þat es in þis degre of lufe. / And me thynk, þou þat hase noght els at do bot forto lufe god, may com þartill if any may gete it.

// Þe thyrd degre es heest, & maste ferly to wyn: Þat es calde Synguler, for it hase na pere. / Singuler lufe es: when all comforth & solace es closed owt of þi hert, bot of Ihesu Cryste al-ane. Other ioy lyst it noght. / For þe swetnes of hym in þis degre es swa comfortand, & lastand in his lufe, sa byrnand & gladand, þat he or scho þat es in þis degre, mai als wele fele þe fyre of lufe byrnand in þaire saule, als þou may fele þi fynger byrn, if þou putt it in þe fyre. Bot þat fire, if it be hate, es swa delitabell & wondyrful, þat I kan noght tell it. Þan þi sawle es Ihesu lufand, / Ihesu thynkand, / Ihesu desirand, anly in þe couayties of hym anedande, / til hym syngand, / of hym byrnand, / in hym restand. Þan þe sange of louyng & of lufe es commen. / Þan þi thoght turnes in til sang & in til melody. // Þan þe behoues syng þe psalmes, þat þou before sayde. Þan þou mon be lang abowte few psalmes. / Þan þe wil thynk þe deed swettar þan hony, for þan þou ert ful syker, to se hym þat þou lufes. [Þan may þou hardyly say: «I languysch for lufe.»] Þan may þou say: «I slepe: & Page  33 my hert wakes.» // In þe first degre men may say «I languysch for lufe» or «me langes in lufe,» & in þe toþer degre alswa, / ffor languysyng es, when men fayles for sekenes, and þai þat er in þire twa degrees, fayles fra al þe couayties of þis worlde & fra lust & lykyng of synful lyfe, & settes þair entent & þair hert to þe lufe of god — for-þi þai may say: «I languysch for lufe;» and mykel mare þat er in þe secund degre, þan in þe fyrst. Bot þe sawle þat es in þe thyrd degre, es als byrnand fyre, and as þe nyghttyngale, þat lufes sang & melody, & fayles for mykel lufe; swa þat þe saule es [anely] comforted in louyng & lufyng of god, and til þe dede com, es syngand gastly til Ihesu, and in Ihesu, and Ihesu, noght (bodyly) cryand wyth mouth —of þat maner of syn(gyng sp)eke I noght, for þat sang hase bath g(ude &) ill; and þis maner of sang hase nane bot if þai be in þis thyrd degre of lufe: til þe whilk degre is es impossibel to com bot in a grete multitude of lufe. / For-þi, if þou will wytt whatkyn ioy þat sang has, I say þe, þat naman wate bot he or scho þat feles it, þat has it, & þat loues god, syngand þarwyth. A thyng tel I þe: it es of heuen, & god gyfes it til wham he wil: bot noght with-outen grete grace comand be-fore. Wha hase it, hym thynk al þe sang & al þe mynstralcy of erth noght bot sorow & wa, þartil. / In souerayne rest sal þai be þat may gete it. Gangrels, and Iangelers, & Kepers of comers and gangars Page  34 arely & late, nyght & day, or any þat es takked with any syn wilfully & wittandly, or þat has delyte in any erthly thyng: þai er als far þar-fra als es fra heuen to erth. / In þe fyrst degre er many; in þe toþer degre er ful faa: bot in þe thyrde degre vnnethes er any: for ay þe mare þat þe perfeccion es, þe faer folowers it has. In þe fyrst degre, er men lickend to þe sternes; In þe toþer: till þe mone; In þe thyrd: til þe sonne. For-þi says saynt Paule: «Other of þe sonne, other of þe mone, other of þe sternes;» / swa it es of þe lufers of god. / In þis third degre, if þou may wyn þar-till, þou sall witt of mare ioy þan I haue talde þe (ȝi)tt. // And ymang other affeccions & sanges, þou (may in þi) langyng syng þis in þi hert / til þi lorde Ihesu, (when) þou couaytes hys comyng, & þi gangyng: When will þow com to comforth me, and bryng me owt of care, / & gyf me þe þat I may se, hauand euer-mare? / Þi lufe es ay swettest, of al þat euer war: / My hert when sal it brest? for lufe þan languyst I namare. / For lufe my thoght has fest, & I am fayne to fare. // I stand in still mowrnyng of al lufelyest of lare;.. es lufe langyng, // It drawes me til my day: Þe band of swete byrnyng, for it haldes me ay Fra place & fra plaiyng, til þat I get may Þe syght of my swetyng, þat wendes neuer away, In welth bees oure wakyng, wyth-owten noy or nyght: My lufe es in lastyng, & langes to þat syght.

Page  35
Capitulum nonum.

(I)F þou wil be wele with god, & haue grace to rewle þi lyf, & com til þe ioy of luf: þis name IHESU fest it swa fast in þi hert, þat it com neuer owt of þi thoght. And when þou spekes til hym & says Ihesu thurgh custom, it sal be in þi ere ioy, in þi mouth hony, & in þi hert melody: For þe sall thynk ioy to here þat name be neuend, swetnes to speke it, myrth & sang to thynk it. / If þou thynk Ihesu contynuly, & halde it stabely, it purges þi syn, / & kyndels þi hert; / it clarifies þi sawle; / it remoues anger, / & dose away slawnes. / It woundes in lufe, / & fulfilles of charite. / It chaces þe deuel, / & puttes oute drede. / It opens heuen / & makes a contemplatif man. / Haue in mynde Ihesu: for al vices & fantomes it puttes owte fra þe louer. And haylce oft Mary, bath day and nyght. Mikel lufe & ioy sal þou fele, if þou wil do aftyr þis lare. / Þe thare noght couayte gretely many bokes: halde lufe in hert, & in werke, and þou hase al þat we may say or wryte: for fulnes of þe law es charite; in þat hynges all.

Capm. Xm.

(B)Ot now may þou ask me & say: «Þou spekes sa mykel of lufe: tel me / What es lufe, An [d] whar es lufe, / And how I sal lufe god verrayly, / And how þat I may knaw þat I lufe hym, / And in what state I may maste lufe hym.» / Þir er hard questyons to lere, til a febyll man & a fleschly als I am. Bot neuer-þe-latter þar-fore I sal Page  36 noght lette þat I ne sall schew my wytt, & als me thynk þat it may be. For I hope in þe helpe of Ihesu, þat es wel of lufe, & pees, and swetnes. / Þe Fyrst askyng es: What es lufe? And I answer: Luf es a byrnand ȝernyng in god, with a wonderfull delyte & sykernes. God es lyght, & byrnyng. Lyght clarifies oure skyll, byrnyng kyndels oure couayties, þat we desyre noght bot hym. Lufe es a lyf, copuland to-gedyr þe lufand & þe lufed: / For mekenes makes vs swete to god, Purete ioynes vs tyll god, Lufe mase vs ane with god; luf es fayrhede of al vertues. Luf es thyng thurgh þe whilk god lufes vs, & we god, & ilk ane of vs other. Lufe es desyre of þe hert, ay thynkand til þat þat it lufes; and when it hase þat it lufes, þan it ioyes & na thyng may make it sary. [Luf es ȝernyng Imelle twa, with lastandnes of thoghtes]. Lufe es a st[i]ryng of þe saule for to luf god for hym-self, & all other thyng for god; þe whilk lufe, when it es ordaynde in god, it dose away all inordinate lufe in any thyng þat es noght gude. Bot al dedely syn es inordynate lufe in a thyng þat es noght: þan lufe puttes out al dedely syn. Luf es a vertu, þat es rightest affection of man saule. Trowth may be with-outen lufe: bot it may noght helpe with-outen it. Lufe es perfection of letters, vertu of prophecy, frute of trowth, help of sacramentes, stablyng of witt and conyng; Rytches of pure men, lyfe of dyand men. Se Page  37 how gude lufe es. If we suffer to be slayne; If we gyf al þat we haue, til beggar staf; If we kan als mykel als al men kan in erth: til al þis with-outen lufe es noght bot sorow ordande & torment. / If þou will aske how gode es he or scho: ask how mykel lufes he or scho: & þat kan na man tel — / For I hald it bot foly to deme a mans hert, þat nane knawes bot god. Lufe es a ryghtwis turnyng fra al ert[h]ly thynges, & es ioynd til god, with-outen departyng, and kyndelde with þe fire of þe haly gaste; fer fra fylyng, fer fra corrupcion, oblyst till na vice of þis lyfe. Hegh aboven all fleschely lustes, ay redy & gredy til contemplacion of god. In all thynges noght ouercomen. / Þe sowme of al gude affectyons. Hele of gude maners, ende of comawndementes of god; dede of synnes, lyf of vertues. Vertu, whils feghtyng lastes; crowne of ouercomers. Mirynes til haly thoghtes. With-outen þat, na man may pay god; with þat, na man synnes: For if we luf god in al oure hert, þar es na thyng in vs, thurgh þe whilk we serue to syn. Verray luf clenses þe saule, & delyuers it fra þe pyne of hell, & of þe foule seruys of syn, & of þe vgly felyschip of þe deuels; and of þe fendes son¯ makes god son¯, & parcener of þe heritage of heuen. / We sall afforce [vs] at cleth vs in lufe als þe yren or þe cole dose in þe fyre; als þe ayer dose in þe son¯; als þe woll dose in þe hewe. / Þe cole swa clethes it in þe fyre, þat al es fyre. [Þe ayre swa clethes it in þe son þat al es Page  38 light]. And þe woll swa substancialy takes þe hewe, þat it es lik it. / In þis maner sall a trewe lufar of Ihesu Criste do: his hert sal swa byrne in lufe, þat it sal be turned in til fyre of lufe, & be als it war al fire; and he sal sa schyne in vertues, þat in na parte of hym he be myrke in vices. // Þe tother askyng es: Whare es lufe? And I answer: lufe es in þe hert, & in þe will of mane; noght in hys hand, ne in his mouth, þat es at say, noght in hys wark: bot in his sawle. / For many spekes gode & dose gode, & lufes noght god: als ypocrites, þe whilk suffers grete penance & semes haly at mens syght: Bot for þai seke louyng & honoure of men, & fauoure, þai haue lost þar mede, & in þe syght of god er þe deuel sons, & rauysand wlues. Bot if a man gyf almose-dede, & take hym til pouert, & do penance, it es a signe þat he lufes god: bot þarfore lufes he hym noght, bot when he forsakes þe worlde anly for goddes lufe, & settes al his thoght on god, & lufes al men als hym-self; and al þe gude dedes þat he may do, he dose þam in entent forto pay Ihesu Criste, & to cum til þe rest of heuen. / Þan he lufes god: & þat luf es in his saule, and sa his dedes schewes with-outen. If þou speke þe gude & do þe gude, men supposes þat þou lufes god: forthi loke wele þat þi thoght be in god, or elles þou dampnes þi-selfe, & deceyues þe men. / Na thyng þat I do with-owten, proues þat I lufe god. / Page  39 For a wicked man myght do als mykel penance in body, als mykel wake and faste, als I do. How may I þan wene þat I lufe, or halde me better, for þat þat ilk a man may do? Certes, mi hert, whethir it lufe my god or noght, wate na man bot god, for noght þat þai may se me do. Wharfore luf es in will verraily, noght in warke bot in a signe of lufe. For he þat says he lufes god, & wil noght do in dede þat in hym es to schew lufe: say hym þat he lyghes. Lufe wil noght be ydel: it es wirkand som gude euer-mare. If it sesse of wirkyng: wit þou þat it keles & wytes away. // Þe thirde askyng es: «How sal I verrayli lufe god?» I answer: / Verray lufe es: to lufe hym in al þi myght, stalwortly; In al þi hert, wysely; In al þi sawle, deuowtely & swetely. / Stalwortly may na man lufe hym, bot he be stalworth. He es stalworth þat es meke, for al gastly strengh comes of mekenes;—on whame restes þe haly gaste? in a meke sawle. Mekenes gouernes vs & kepes vs in al oure temptacions, swa þat þai ouercom¯ vs noght. Bot þe deuel deceyues many þat er meke thorow tribulacions, & reproues, & bakebitynges. Bot if þou be wrath for any anguys of þis worlde, or for any worde þat men says of þe, or for oght þat men says til þe: þou ert noght meke, ne þou may swa lufe god stalwortly. For luf es stalworth als þe dede, þat slaes al lyuand thyng in Page  40 erth; and hard als hell, þat spares noght till þam þat er dede. And he þat lufes god perfitely, he greues hym noght, what schame or angwys þat he suffers, bot he hase delyte, & couaytes þat he war worthy forto suffer torment & payne for Crystes lufe; and he hase ioy þat men reproues hym & spekes ill of hym. Als a dede man, what-sa men dos or sayes, he answers noght: Ryght swa, wha sa lufes god perfitely, þai er not stirred for any worde þat man may say. For he or scho kan noght lufe þat may noght suffer payne & anger for þair frendes lufe. For wha sa lufes, þai haue na [pyne]. Prowde men or women lufes noght stalworthly: for þai er swa wayke, þat þai fall at ilk a styryng of þe wynde, þat es temptacion. / Þai seke heghar stede þan Cryste: for þai wil haue þair wil done, whethir it be with right or with wrang: and Cryst will nathyng be done bot wele, & with-outen harme of othir men. / Bot wha sa es verrayly meke, þai wil noght haue þair wil in þis worlde, bot þat þai may haue it in þe toþer plenarly. In na thyng may men sonar ouercom þe deuel, þan in Mekenes, þat he mykel hates. / For he may wake & faste, & suffer pyne, mare þan any other creature may: Bot mekenes & lufe may he noght haue. // Alswa þe behoues luf god wysely: and þat may þou noght do bot if þou be wyse. / Þou ert wyse: when þou ert pore, with-owten couaytyse of þis world, Page  41 & dispyses þi-selfe, for þe lufe of Ihesu Cryste; / and dispendes al þi witte & al þi myght in hys seruys. // For sum þat semes wysest, er maste foles, for al þar wysdom þai spyll in couayties, & bisynes abowte þe world. / If þou saw a man haue preciouse stanes, þat he myght by a kyngdom wyth; if he gaf þam for an appyl, als a barne wil do: ryghtwysly moght þou say þat he war noght wyse, bot a grete fole. / Als swa, if we wyl: we haue preciouse stanes: Pouert, & penance, and gastly trauayle: with þe whilk we may by þe kyngdom¯ of heuen. / For if þou lufe pouert, & dispyse riches, & delytes of þis worlde, & halde þi-self vyle & pure, & thynk þat þou hase noght of þi self bot syn: for þis pouert þou sall haue rytches with-outen ende. / And if þou haue sorowe for þi synnes, & for þou ert swa lang in exile, owte of þi contre, & forsakes þe solace of þis lyfe: þou sal haue for þis sorow, þe ioy of heuen. And if þou be in trauayle, & punysche þi body, skilwisly & wisely, in wakyns, fastyngs, & in prayers, & meditacions, & suffer hete, & calde, hunger & thyrst, mys-es & anguys, for þe lufe of Ihesu Cryste: for þis trauel þou sal com till reste þat lastes ay, & syt in a setel of ioy, with aungels. But som er þat lufes noght wysely, like til barnes, þat lufes mare an appel þan a castel. Swa dose many; þai gyf þe ioy of heuen for a litel delyte of þar flesche, þat es noght worth a plowme. Now may þow se þat wha Page  42 sa will lufe wysely, hym behoues lufe lastand thyng lastandly; & passand thyng, passandly: swa þat his hert be sette & festend in nathyng bot in god. // And if þou will luf Ihesu verraly, þow sal noght anly lufe hym stalwortly & wysely: bot also deuowtly & swetely. Swete lufe es: when þi body es chaste, & þi thoght clene. Deuowte luf es: when þou offers þi prayers & þi thoghtes til god with gastly ioy, & byrnand hert in þe hete of þe haly gaste, swa þat þe thynk þat þi saule es als it war drunken for delyte & solace of þe swetnes of Ihesu, / and þi hert conceyues sa mykel of goddes helpe, þat þe thynk þat þow may neuer be fra hym departyd; and þan þou comes in til swilk rest & pees in sawle, & quiete, with-owten thoghtes of vanitese [or] of vices, als þou war in sylence & slepe, & sette in Noe schyppe, þat na thyng may lette þe of deuocion & byrnyng of swete lufe. / Fra þou haue getyn þis lufe: all þi lyf, til dede come, es ioy & comforth, and verrayli Cristes lufer, and he restes in þe, whas stede es maked in pees. / Þe ferth askyng was: how þou moght knaw þat þou war in lufe & charite. / I answer: þat na man wate in erth þat þai er in charite: bot if it be thorow any priuelege or special grace þat god hase gifen til any man or woman; þat al other may noght take ensawmpel by. Haly men & women trowes þat þai haue trowth, & hope, & charite: & in þat dose als wele als þai may, & hopes certaynly þat þai Page  43 sal be safe;—þai wate it not als tyte: for if þai wiste, þair merit war þe lesse. And Salomon says þat it er rightwys men & wyse men, and þair warkes er in goddes hand. And noght-for-þi [a] man wate noght whethir he be worthi hateredyn or lufe, bot al es reserued vncertayne til a nother worlde. Neuer-þe-latter, if any had grace þat he moght wyn til þe thirde degre of lufe, þat es called syngulere: he sulde knaw þat he war in lufe. Bot in þat maner his knawyng es, þat he moght neuer bere hym þe hegher, ne be in þe lesse bisynes to lufe god; bot sa mykel þe mare, þat he es siker of lufe, wil he be bisy to lufe hym and drede hym, þat hase made hym swilk & done þat godenes til hym; and he þat es swa hee, he wil noght halde hym-self worthier, þan þe synfullest man þat gaas on erth. // Als-swa, Seuen experimentes er þat a man be in charite. / Þe fyrst es: when al couatise of ertly thyng es slokkend in hym. / For whare sa couaityse es: þare es na lufe of Cryste. / Þan, if he haue na couaytyse: signe es þat he hase lufe. // Þe secunde es, byrnand þhernyng of heuen. For when men hase feled oght of þat sauoure, þe mare þai haue, þe mare þai couayte; & he þat noght hase feled: noght he desires. For-þi, when any es swa mykel gyfen til þe luf þar-of, þat he kan fynd na ioy in þis lyfe: taken he hase þat he es in charite. // Þe thyrd es: if his tung be chawngyd, þat was [wone] to speke of þe Page  44 erth: now spekes of god, & of þe lyf þat lastes ay. // Þe feerth es: exercise of gastly profet. Als, if any man or woman gyf þam enterely to goddes seruyes, & entermetes þam of nane erthly bisynes. // Þe fift es: when þe thyng þat es hard in it-selfe, semes lyght forto do; þe whilk luf makes. For als Austyne says: «Lufreden es þat bryngs þe thyng þat es fare, nerehande, and impossibel til possibel apertly.» // Þe sext es: hardynes of thoght to suffer all anguyses and noyes þat comes—with-owten þis, al þe oþer suffices noght. / For it sal noght make a ryghtwys man sary: what sa falles hym. For he þat es ryghtwys, he hates noght bot syn, he lufes noght bot god, for god, he dredes noght bot to wreth god. // Þe seuent es: delitabilite in sawle, when he es in tribulacion, and makes louyng to god in ilk anger þat he suffers. And þis schewes wele þat he lufes god: when na sorow may bryng hym downe. / For many lufes god whils þai er in ese: and in aduersite þai grotche, & falles in swa mykel sarynes, þat vnneth may any man comforth þam; and swa sclawnder þai god, flytand & feghtand agayne his domes. And þat es a caytif louyng þat any welth of þe worlde makes; bot þat louyng es of mykel pryce, þat na violence of sorow may do a-way. // Þe fifte askyng was: In what state men may maste lufe god. I answer: In wilk state sa it be þat men er in maste rest, of body & sawle, & Page  45 leest occupied with any nedes or bisynes of þis worlde. For þe thoght of þe lufe of Ihesu Criste, & of þe ioy þat lastes ay, sekes rest wyth-owten, þat it be noght lettyd with comers & gangers, and occupacion of worldely thynges; and it sekes with-in grete sylence fra þe noyes of couayties, & of vanitees, & of ertly thoghtes. And namely al þat lufes contemplatyfe lyf, þai seke rest in body & in saule. For a grete doctor says þat þai er goddes trone þat dwelles still in a stede, and er noght abowte rennand: bot in swetnes of Cristes lufe er stabyld. And I haue lufed for to sytt: for na penance, ne for na fantasy, þat I wild men spak of me, ne for na swylk thyng: bot anly for I knew þat I loued god mare, & langar lasted with-in þe comforth of lufe: þan gangand, or standand, or kneleand. / For sittand am I in maste rest, & my hert maste vpwarde. Bot þar-fore perauenture es it noght þe best til a nother at sitte, als I did & wil do til my dede: bot if he war disposed als I was, in his sawle.

Capm. XIm.

(S)Euen gyftes of þe hali gaste er in men & wymen þat er ordaynd til þe ioy of heuen and ledes þaire. life in þis worlde rightwisly. þies þai er: / Wysdom¯, / Vnderstandyng, / Cownsayle, / Strengh, / Connyng, / Pyte, / & þe Drede of god. / Begynne we at Cownsel, for þarof es maste nede at þe begynnyng of owre werkes, þat vs myslike noght afterwarde. With þier seuen gyftes þe haly gaste towches sere men serely. Cownsel es, doyng Page  46 away of worldes rytches, & of delytes, & of al thynges þat man may be ta[gild] with in thoght or dede; / and þpar-with be drawne inwardely til contemplacion of god. / Vnderstandyng es, to knaw what es forto do, & what for to leue; and þat þat sal be gifen, to gif it til þam þat hase nede, noght til other þat hase na myster. / Wysdom es, forgetyng of ertly thynges, & thynkyng of heuen, with discrecion in al mens dedes. In þis gyft schynes contemplacion, þat es, a[ls] saynt Austyn says, A gastely dede of fleschly affections, thorow þe ioy of a raysed thoght. / Strengh es, lastyng to fulfill gude purpose, þat it be noght left, for wele ne for wa. / Pyte es, þat a man be mylde; & agayne-say noght haly writte, when it smytes his synnes, whethir he vnderstand it or noght; Bot in al his myght purge he þe vilete of syn, in hym & in other. / Connyng es þat makes a man in gude hope noght rusand hym of his rightwisnes, bot sorowand of his syn; and þat man geder erthly godes anely to þe honoure of god, and prow til other men, mare þan til his self. / Þe drede of god es, þat we turne noght agayne til oure syn thorou any il eggyng. & þan es drede perfyte in vs, & haly: when we drede to wreth god in þe leste syn þat we may knaw, and flees it as venym.

Capm. XIIm.

(T)Wa lyues þar er þat cristen men lyfes. Ane es called Actyue lyfe: for it es in mare bodili warke. Another, contemplatyue lyfe: for it es in mare swetnes gastely. Actife lyfe es mykel owteward, & in mare trauel & Page  47 in mare peryle, for þe temptacions þat er in þe worlde. Contemplatyfe lyfe es mykel inwarde, and for-þi it es lastandar, & sykerar, restfuller, delitabiler, luflyer, & mare medeful. For it hase ioy in goddes lufe, & sauowre in þe lyf þat lastes ay, in þis present tyme, if it be right ledde. And þat felyng of ioy in þe lufe of Ihesu, passes al other merites in erth. For it es swa harde to com to, for þe freelte of oure flesch, and þe many temptacions þat we er vmsett with, þat lettes vs nyght & day: al other thynges er lyght at com¯ to, in regarde þarof; for þat may na man deserue, bot anely it es gifen of goddes godenes, til þam þat verrayli gifes þam to contemplacion & til quiete for Cristes luf. // Til men or wymen þat takes þam til actife lyfe, twa thynges falles. Ane: for to ordayne þair meyne in drede & in þe lufe of god and fynd þam þaire necessaries, and þam-self kepe enterely þe comandementes of god, Doand til þar neghbur als þai wil þat þai do til þam. Another es, þat þai do at þar power þe seuen werkes of mercy, / Þe whilk es: to fede þe hungry. To gyf þe thristi a drynk. To cleth þe naked. To herbar hym þat hase na howsyng. To viset þe seke. To comforth þam þat er in Prysoun. And to graue dede men. Al þat mai & hase) cost, þai may noght be qwyt with ane or twa of þir, bot þam behoues do þam al, if þai wil haue þe benyson on domes-day, Page  48 þat Ihesu sal til al gyf þat dose þam. Or els may þai drede þe malysoun þat al mon haue þat wil noght do þam, when þai had godes, to do þam wyth. // Contemplatife lyf hase twa partyes: A lower & a heer. Þe lower party es meditacion, of haly wrytyng, þat es goddes wordes, and in other gude thoghtes & swete þat men hase of þe grace of god, abowt þe lufe of Ihesu Criste; and also in louyng of god in psalmes & ympnes, or in prayers. // Þe hegher party of contemplacion es behaldyng, & ȝernyng, of þe thynges of heuen, & ioy in þe haly gaste; þat men hase oft, and if it be swa þat þai be noght prayand with þe mowth, bot anely thynkand of god, & of þe fairehede of aungels, & haly sawles. Þan may I say þat contemplacion es a wonderful ioy of goddes luf, þe whilk ioy es louyng of god, þat may noght be talde, & þat wonderful louyng es in þe saule; / and for abundance of ioy & swettenes it ascendes in til þe mouth: swa þat þe hert & þe tonge acordes in ane, and body & sawle ioyes in god lyuand. // A man or woman þat es ordaynd til contemplatife lyfe, first god enspires þam to forsake þis worlde, and al þe vanite & þe couayties and þe vile luste þarof. Sythen he ledes þam by þar ane, & spekes til ȝar hert: and als þe prophete says, He gifes þam at sowke þe swetnes of þe begynnyng of lufe; and þan he settes þam in will to gyf þam haly to prayers & meditacions & teres. Sithen, when þai haue sufferd Page  49 many temptacions, & [þe] foule noyes of thoghtes þat er ydel, & of vanitees þe whilk wil comber þam þat can noght destroy þam, er passand a-way: he gars þam geder til þam þair hert & fest anely in hym: and opens til þe egh of þair sawls þe ȝates of heuen: swa þat þe ilk egh lokes in til heuen; and þan þe fire of lufe verrali ligges in þair hert, & byrnes þarin, & makes [it] clene of al erthly filth: & sithen forward þai er contemplatife men, & rauyst in lufe. For contemplacion es a syght: & þai se in til heuen with þar gastly egh. Bot þou sal witt þat naman hase perfite syght of heuen whils þai er lifand bodili here. Bot als sone als þai dye: þai er broght before god and sese hym face til face, & egh til egh: and wones with hym with-outen ende. For hym þai soght, & hym þai couayted, and hym þai lufed, in al þar myght. //

Loo, Margarete, I haue schortly sayde þe þe forme of lyuyng: and how þou may com¯ til perfection, and to lufe hym þat þou hase taken þe til. If it do þe gude, and profit til þe: thank god, & pray for me. Þe grace of Ihesu Criste be with þe, & kepe þe. Amen.

Explicit forma viuendi.
Page  [3]

Ms. Rawlinson C 285

[folio 40]

IN Ilke a synful man or womman þat es bunden in deedly synne, er thre wrytchednes, þe whylk brynges þaim to þe deed of helle. ¶ Þe first es, defaut of gaastly strengthe: Þat þai er so wayke Page  4 wyth-In in þair hert, þat þai may nouther stand agayn fandyngs of þe fynd, ne þay may lift þaire wille to yherne þe lufe of gode and folwe þare-tille. ¶ Þe tothir es, vs of flesshely desyres:—for þay hafe na wille ne myght to stand, þay fall in lustes and lykyngs of þis werld; and for þaim thynke þaim swete, þay dwelle in þaim stille, many til þaire lifs end: ande swa þai com to þe thrid wrytchednes. ¶ Þe thride wrytchednes es schangeyng of lastand gode for a passand delyte; als wha say þai gife Ioi endles for a litil Ioi of þis life. ¶ If þai will turne þaim and ryse til penaunce, god wil ordaynge þaim wonynge with angels and haly men. Bot for þai chese þe wyle synne of þis werld, and has mare delyte in þe filth of þaire flesshe þan in þe fayrhede of heeun, þai loose bath þe werld and heeuen: for he þat has nogth Ihesu Cryst, he tynes al þat he has, and al þat he es, and al þat he myght gete; he ne es nogth worthi þe life, ne to be fede wyth swynes meet. Alle creatures sal be sterde in his wengeaunce in þe day of dome. ¶ Þir wrytchednes þat I hafe of tald, er nogth anely in werldisshe men and womene þat vses glotory or lytchery and other appert synnes, bot þai er alswa in som¯ þat semes in penaunce and in gud life. For þe Page  5 deeuel þat es enemy to al man kynd, whene he sese a man or a woman amange a thousand turne þaim haaly vnto god and forsake all vanytese and rytchesce þat men þat lufs þis werld couaytes, and seke þe Ioi lastand, a thousant wyles he has on what maner he may deceyf þaim. And when he may nogth bryng þaim in til swylk synnes þe whylk mygth ger all men wonder on þaim, he bygiles many so pryuely, þat þai can nogth oft-sythes fele þe trap þat has taken þaim. Som¯ he takes wyth errour þat he puttes þaim In. Som wyth synguler witte, when he gers þaim wen þat þe thyng þat þai thynk or do es best; and for-[þi] þai wyl na counsayl haue of other þat er better and conander þan þai—and þis es a foul stynkand pryde: for he wald nogth ells sette his witte bifore all other. Som¯ þe deeuel deceyfs thurgth vayne glory, þat es Idel Ioy; when any has pryd and delite in þam-self of þe penance þat þai suffre, of gud dedis þat þai do, of any vertu þat þai haue; er glad when men loues þaim, sary when men lakkes þaim, has envye to þaim þat er spoken mare gud of þan of þaim; þai hald þaim-self so gloryous and so fer passand þe lif þat other men ledis, þat þaim thynk þat na man suld reprehend þaim in na thyng þat Page  6 þay do or say, and dyspyses synfull men & othir þe whilk wil nogth do als þai bid þaim. How may þou fynd a synfuller wreche þan swylke ane? and so mekell es he þe wers þat he wat nogth þat he es ille, and es halden and honourd of men als wys and haly. Som er deceyfd with ouer-mykell lust and lykyng in meet and drynke, when þai passe mesur and com in til outrage, and has delyte þar-Inne, and wenes þat þai synne nogth ... and so þai distroy vertus of sawle. Som¯ er b;gylled with ouermykel abstynence of meet and drynk and slep. Þat es of temptacyon of þe deeuel, for to ger þaim fall in myddes þair werk, swa þat þai bryng it til nane enddynge, als þai suld haue don If þai had knawen skyl and halden discrecyoun, and swa þai tyne þaire meryte for þaire frawardenes. Þis gilder lays oure enemy to tak vs with whene we bygyne to hat wyckednes and turne vs til god. Þan many bygynnys þe thynge þat þay may neuermare bryng til end; þan þai wen þat þai may do what so þaire hert es set opon. Bot oft þai fall ar þai com In-myddys þe gate, and þat thyng þat þai wene es for þaim, es lettyng til þaim. For we haue a lange way til heeuene, and als many gud dedis als we do, als many Page  7 prayers als we make, and als many gud thoghtes als we thynk in trouth and hoop and charyte, als many paases ga we til heeuen-ward. Þan If we make vs so wayke & so feble þat we may nothire wirk ne pray als we suld do, ne thynk, er we nogth gretely at blame, þat faylles when we had mast nede to be stalward? And wele I wat þat it es nogth goddis wille þat we so do: For þe prophete says: «Lord, I sal kype my strength til þe»: swa þat he mygth sustayne goddis seruyse til his deed-day; Nogth in a litel and in a schort tyme waast it and sithene ligge wanand and granand by þe wagthe. And it es mykell mare peril þan men wenes: For saynt Ierome says þat he makes of Rauyne offerand þat outrageously tourmentis his body in ouerlitel meet or slep. And saynt Bernard says: «Fastyng ne wakyng lettis nogth gaastly guddes, bot helpis, if þai be don with discrecyoun; wyth-owten þat, er þai vices.» For-þi it es nogth gud to pyne vs so mykele and sithen haue vnthanke for oure dede. Þare has ben many, and er, þat wenes þat it es nogth all þat [þai] do bot if þai be in so mykell abstynence and fastyng þat þay make all men at spek of þaim þat knawes þaim. Bot oft-sithes it byfalles þat ay Page  8 þe mare Ioy and wonderyng þat þai haue with-owtene of þe loouynge of men, ay þe lesse Ioy þai haue with-Inne of þe luf of gode. At my dom¯, þay suld pay Ihesu Crist mykel mare if þai tok for his luf and in thankyng and loouynge of hym, for to sustayne þaire bodys in his seruyse and to hald þaim fra mykele speche of men, what so god sent þaim for þe tyme and þe steed, and gayfe þaim sithen entierly and parfytely til þe luf & þe loouynge of our lourd Ihesu Cryst, þat wile stalwardly be lufd, and lastandly be serued; swa þat þaire halynes war mare sene in goddis eghe þan in mannes eghe. For ay þe better þat þou ert and þe lesse speche þou has of men, þe mare es þi Ioy bifor god. Ha, what it es mykell to be worthy loouynge and be nogth loued! And what wrytchednes it es to haf þe nāme & þe habyte of halynes, & be nogth swa, bot turne to pryd, Ire and envye vnder þe clathes of Crystes barnhed! A foul lytchery it es to haue likyng and delite in mens wordes, þat can no mare deme whate we er in our saul þan þai wate what we thynke. For oft-sithes þai say þat he or scho es in heghere degre, þat es in þe lagher; and þat þay say es in þe laghere, es in þe heghere. For-þi I hald it bot wodnes to be gladder or Page  9 saryer, whether þai say gud or ille. If we be oboutward to hid vs fra speche and loouynge of þe werld, god wil schewe vs til his loouyng, and our Ioy. For þat es his Ioy when we ar strenthfull for to stand agayne þe pryue and þe appert fandyngs of þe deeuele, and sekes na thyng bot þe loouynge and þe honoure of hym, and þat [we] mogth entierly lufe hym. And þat agth to be our desire, our prayer and our entent, nygth and day, þat þe fyre of luf kyndell in our hert, and þe swetenes of his grace be our comfort and our solace, in wele and in wa. ¶ Þou has herd now a party how þe fend deceyfs with his sutell castes vn-quaynt men and wommen: and if þou wil do gud counsaylle and folow haly lare, als I hop þat þou wil, þou sal distroy his trappis, and brynn in þe fyre of lufe. Alle þe bandes þat he wil bynd þe with, and alle his malice sal turne þe til Ioy, and hym to mare sorow. God suffirs hym for to tempe gud men for þaire profyte, þat þai may be þe hegher coround when þai haf thurgth his help¯e ouer-comen so cruel ane enemy, þat oft-sithes bath in body and in saul confoundes many a man. ¶ In thre maners þe deeuel has power to be in a man: ¶ On a maner, hortand þe gudes þat þai haue of kynd, als in dom Page  10 men, and in other, blemyssand þaire thogth. ¶ On a nother maner, reeffand þe gudys þe whilk þai haue of grace: and swa es sene in synfull men whaim he has deceyfd thurgth delyte of þe werld and of þair flesshe, and led with hym til helle. ¶ On þe thred maner, tourmentand a mans body, als we red þat he was in Iob. Bot wyte þou wele: If he bygile þe nogth with-Inne, þe thar nogth dred what he may do þe with-owtene. For he may do no mare þan god gifs hym leue to do. ¶ Bot for þou has forsakene þe solace and þe Ioy of þis werld and taan þe vnto solitary life, for goddis lufe to suffire tribulacioun and anguys here and sithen to com to þe rest and endlesse Ioy in heeuene, I trowe stedfastly þat þe comfort of Ihesu Cryst and swetenes of his luf, with þe fyre of þe haly gast þat purges all synne, sal be in þe and with þe, ledand þe and lerand þe how þou sal thynk, how þou sal pray, what þou sal wyrke; swa þat in faa yheris þou sal haue mare delyte to be by þine ane and spek til þi luf and þi spouse Ihesu Cryst, þan If þou war leeuedy of a thousant werldis. ¶ Men wenes þat we er in pyne and in penance: bot we haue mare Ioy and Page  11 mare verray delyte in a day þan þay haf in þe werld all þaire life. Þai se our body, bot þai se nogth our hert whare oure solace es. If þai sagth þat, many of þaim wald forsake all þat þai haf, forto folwe vs. For-þi be comforted and stalward, and drede na noy ne anguys, bot fest all þine entent in Ihesu, þat þi lif be gode to queme; and at þare be na thyng in þe þat suld be mys-payand til hym þat ne þou son amend it. Þe stat þat þou ert Ine, þat es solitude, es mast able of all other til reuelacyoun of þe haly gast. For when saynt Iohn¯ was in þe Ile of Pathmos, þan god schewed hym his preuetese. Þe gudnes of god it es þat he comfortes þaim wondirfully þat has na comfort of þe werld, If þai gif þair hertis entierly til hym and couaytes and nogth sekes bot hym: þan he gifs hym-self to þaim in swetnes and delite, in brynnyng of luf, and in Ioy and melody, and dwellis ay with þaim in þaire saule, swa þat þe comfort of hym departis neuer fra þaim. If þai bygyne ogth to here thurgth ignoraunce or freyllyte, son he schewes þaim þe rygth way; and all þat þai haue ned of, he leris þaim. Na man comes til swylke reuelacion and grace on þe first day, bot thurgth lang trauaylle & besynes to lufe Ihesu Crist, Page  12 als þou sal here afterward. Nogth-for-þi þan he suffirs þaim to be temped on sere maners, bath slepand and wakand. For ay þe ma temptacions and þe greuouser at þay stand agayne and ouer-comes, þe mare sal þaire Ioy be in his luf when þai er passed. ¶ Wakand þai er vmwhil temped with foul thoghtis, vile lustes, wikked delites; with pryd, Ire, Envye, Despayre, Presumpcȳon, and other many. Bot þaire remedy sal be prayer, gretyng, fastyng, wakyng. Þir thynges, if þai may be don with discrecioun, þai putte away synne & filthe fra þe saul, and makis it clene for to resayfe þe luf of Ihesu Cryst, þat may nogth be lufd bot in clennes. ¶ Alswa vmwhil þe fend tempis men and wommen þat er solitary by þaim ane, on a quaynt maner and a sutelle: he transfigures hym in lickenes of ane aungell of ligth, and apperis til þaim and says þat he es ane of god aungells commen to comfort þaim; and swa he deceyfs foles. Bot þaim þat er wis and wil nogth tyde trowe til all spirytes, bot askes counsayl of conand men, he may nogth bygile þaim. Als I fynd wrytene of a recluse, þat was a gud woman; til whaim þe ille aungelle oft-sithes appered in þe fourme of a gud aungell, and sayd þat he was co- Page  13 men to bryng hir til heeuen. Wharfor scho was rygth glade and Ioyfull. Bote neeuer-þe-latter scho taald it til hir schrythfader: and he, als wys man and quaynt, gayf hir þis counsayl: «When he comes», he sayd, «bid hym þat he schew þe our lauedy saynt Mary. When he has don swa, say Aue maria». Scho did swa. Þe feend sayd: «Þou has na ned to se hir: Mi presence suffice vnto þe». And [scho] sayd, on all maner scho suld se hir. He sagth þat hym behoued outhir do hir wil or scho wald dispyse hym: als tite he brogth forth þe fayrest body of woman þat mygth be als to hir sygth, and schewed it til hir. And scho sete hir on hir knese and sayd Aue maria: And als tite al waynysht away, and for schame neeuer sithen com¯ he at hir. Þis say I nogth for I hoppe þat he sal haue leue to tempe þe on þis maner; bot for I wil þat þou be war, if any swylke temptaciouns bifalle þe slepand or wakand, þat þou trow nogth ouer-tite til þou knaw þe sogth. ¶ Mare pryuely he transfigures hym in þe fourme of aungell of ligth—þat commonly all men er tempid with: when he hidis ille vndire þe lickenes of gud; and þat es in twa maners. ¶ Ane es when he egges vs til ouer-mykel eese and rest of body, Page  14 and softnes til our flesshe vndirneethen, to sustayne our kynd. For swylke thoghtes he puttis in vs: bot if we eet wele and drynk wele and slepe wele and ligge soft and site warme, we may nogth serue god ne last in þe trauaylle þat we haf bygune. Bot he thynkis to bryng vs til ouer-mykel lust. ¶ A nother es when he hidis ille vndir lickenes of gastely gud: he entyces vs til asper and ouere-mykel penaunce, forto distroy our self, and says þus: «Þou wat wele þat he þat suffirs maast penaunce for goddis luf, he sal haue maast mede. For-þi eet litell and feble meet, and drynk lesse, þe thynnest drynke es gud Inogthe til þe. Recke nogth of slep. Weer þe hayer, þe haubergeoun. All thyng þat es afflictyoun til þi flesshe, do it; swa þat þare be nane þat may passe þe in penaunce». He þat says þe þus, he es aboute to sla þe with ouer-mykele penaunce & abstynence, als he þat sayd þe tother, to sla þe with ouer-lytele. For-þi, if we wil be rygth dispoosed, vs bihoues to sete vs in a gud meyne, and þat we may distroy our vyces and hald our flesshe vndir, and neeuer-þe-latter þat it be stalward in þe seruyse of Ihesu Cryst. ¶ Alswa our enemy wil nogth suffir vs to be in rest when we slep: bot þan he [es] aboute to bygyle vs in Page  15 many maners: vmwhyle with vgly Images, forto make vs rad and ger vs lath with our state; vmwhile with fayre Images, fayre syghtes, and þat at semes comfortable, forto make vs glad in vayne, and ger vs wene þat we er better þan we ere; vmwhile telle vs þat we er haly and gud, for to bryng vs in to pryde; vmwhyle say þat we er wycked and synfull, for to ger vs falle in to despayre. Bot he þat es ordayner of all thyng, suffirs nogth þat oure slepe be with-owtene mede til vs, if we adresce our life til his wille. ¶ And wite þou wele, þou synnes nogth sleppand, if þou be euer-mare wakand with-owtene outrage of mete and drynke, and with-outene ille thoghtes. Bot many has þe deeuelle deceyfd thurgth dreemes, when he has gert þaym sette þair hert on þaim: For he has schewed þaim som¯ sogth and sithen bigiled þaim with ane þat was fals. For-þi says þe wys man þat many bysenes folowes dreemes, and þai fel þat hoped in þaim. Whare-foor, þat þou be noth bigyled with þaim, I wile þat [þou] witte þat it er sex maners of dremes. Twa er þat na man haly ne other may etchape, þat es: if þair wambes be ouer-tom or ouer-full, þan Page  16 many vanytese in sere maners byfalles þaim slepand. Þe thryd es of illusyons of our enemy. Þe fierth es of thogth byfoor and illusyon folwand. Þe fyft thurgth reuelacyone of þe haly gast, þat es don on many maners. Þe sext es of thoghtes byfoor þat falles to Cryst or haly kyrke, reuelacion command efter. In þus many maners touches þe Images of dreemes men when þai slep. Bot swa mekyle we sal þe latlyer gyf fayth til any dreeme þat we may nogth sone wit whylke es soth, whylke es fals; whilke es of our enemy, whylke es of þe haly gast. For whar so many dreemes er, þar er many vanytese, and many þai may make to erre: For þai hegth vnquaynt men and swa deceyfs þaim. ¶ [I] Knaw þat þi lif semes gyfuen til þe seruyce of god: þan es it schame til þe bot if þou be als gud or better with-Ine þi saule als þou ert semand at þe sigth of men. ¶ Turne for-þi þi thoghtes parfytely til god, als it semes als þou has don þi body. For I wil nogth þat þou wene þat all er haly þat has þe habyte of halynes and er nogth occupied with þe werld, ne þat all er ille þat melles þaim with erthely bisenes; bot þay er anly haly, what staate or degre so þai be Inne, þe whilke despises all erthely thyng, þat es at say, lufs it nogth, and brynnes in Page  17 þe luf of Ihesu Cryst, and all þaire desyres er sette til þe Ioyes of heeuene, and haates all synne, and ceeses nogth of gud werkes, and feles a swetenes in þaire hert of life with-outene end; and neuere-þe-latter þai thynke þaim-self vylest of all, and haldes þaim-self wrytchedest, last and laghest. þis es halynese of lyfe. Folow it and be haly! and if þou wil be in mede with appostells, thynke nogth what þou forsakes bot what þou despises. For als mykell þai forsake þat folowes Ihesu Cryst in wilfull poueert, and in mekenes, and in charyte, and in pacyence, als þay may couayte þat folwes hym nogth. And thynke with how mekyle and how gud wile þou presentes þi wowes byfor hym —ffor til þat he has his egthe. And if þou with grete desyre offre þi prayers and with grete feruoure couayte to se hym, and sekes na erthly comfort bot þe saueour of heeuene, and in contemplacȳon þaire-of haue þi delyte. Wondirfully Ihesu wirkis in his lufers, þe whilke he reeues fra þe lust of flesshe and blod thurgth tendir lufe; he makis þaim to haf wil to na erthly thyng, and dose þaim ryse in to solace of hym, and to for-gete vanytese and flesshely luf of þe werld, and to dreede na sorow þat may Page  18 fall, to laghte with ouere-mykele bodily eese. To suffre for his luf, þaim thynke it ioy; and to be solutary þay haue grete comfort, þat þai be nogth letted in þaire deuocyone. ¶ Now may þou se þat many er werre þan þay seme, and many er better þan þai seme; and naamly amang þaa þat has þe habyte of halynes. For-þi afforce þe in all þat þou may þat þou be nogth were þan þou semes: and if þou wil do als I lere þe in þis schort fourme of lyfyng, I hop thurgth þe grace of god þat if men hald þe gude, þou sale be wele better.

AT þe bigynnyng turn¯ þe entierly to þi louerd Ihesu Crist. Þat turnyng til Ihesu es nogth ells bot turnyng fra all þe couaytese and þe lykyng and occupacȳons and þe bysenese of þe werld and of flesshely lust and vayne luf; swa þat þi thogth þat was ay dounward moldand in þe erth whiles þou was in þe werld, now be ay vpward als fyre, sekand þe heghest place in heeuene, rygth til þi spouse þare he sittes in his blisse. Til hym þou ert turned when his grace illumȳns þi hert, so þat it forsakes al vices and confourmes it til vertus and gud thewys and til all maner of debonerte and mekenes. And þat þou may last and wax in gudnesse þat þou has bygune, with-outene slaw- Page  19 nes and sarynes and irkynge of þi lif: ¶ Four thyngs sal þou haue in þi thogth til þou be in parfite luf—For when þou ert comen þar-til, þi Ioy and þi desyre wil ay be brynnand in Cryst. ¶ Ane es: mesure of þi life here, þat so schort es þat vnneethes es it ogth. For we life bot in a poynt, þat es þe lest thyng þat may be, and sothely, our life es lese þan a poynt if we lickyn it to þe lif þat lastes ay. ¶ Another es: Vncertaynte of our endyng. For we whate neuere when we sal dye ne how we sal dye, ne whare, ne whidir we sall ga when we er deed; and þat god wil þat þis be [vn]certayne til vs, for he wil þat we be ay redy to dye. ¶ Þe thrid es: þat we sal answere by-for þe rygthwys Iuge of all þe tyme þat we haue here, how we haf lifde, what our occupacyons haf bene and why, and what gud we mygth haf done when we haf ben Idele. For-þi sayd þe prophete: «He has called þe tyme agayne me»—þat es ylke day þat he has lent vs here for to dispend in gud vse and in penance and in goddis seruyce. If we waast it in erthly luf and vanytese, ful griefously mon we be demed and punyst. For-þi þat es ane of þe maast sorowe þat may be, Bot if we afforce vs manly in þe luf of god and do gud til al þat we may to-whyles our schort tyme lastes. And ylk a tyme þat we thynke nogth on god we may account it als þe thyng þat we haue tynt. ¶ Þe Page  20 fierth es þat we thynke how mykel þe Ioy es þat þai haue þe whilk lastis in goddis luf til þair endyng: for þai sal be brethire and felaghs with aungels and haly men, lufand and hafand, loouand and seand þe kyng of Ioy in þe fayrehed and schynyng of his maieste; þe whilke syght sal be mast mede and delyte þat any creatur may thynke, and mare þan any man may telle, til al his lufers withouten end. It es mykell lyghter to com to þat blysse þan to telle it. Alswa thynke what sorow and what payne and tourment þay sal haue þe whi[l]k lufs nogth god ouer all other thynges þat man sees in þis werld, bot files þaire saules in lust and lycchery of þis lif, In pryd and couaytes and other synnes: þai salle brynne in þe fyre of helle with þe deeuele wham þai haue serued, als lang als god es in heeuen with his sergeantis, þat es eeuer-mare. ¶ I will þou be ay clymband til Ihesu-ward and ekand þi luf and þi seruyse in hym: Nogth als foles dose þat bygynnes at þe heghest degre and comes doun til þe lagthest. I say nogth for I wil if þat þou haue by-gune vnskylwys abstynence, þat þou hald it, bot for many þat war brynnande at þe bygynnyng and able to þe luf of Ihesu Cryst, ffor ouer-mykele penance þai haue alledgede þaim-self, and made þaim so feble þat þai mygth nogth luf god als þai suld. In whilk luf þat þou wax ay mare and mare es my couatyng and myne amonestyng. Page  21 ¶ I hald þe neeuer of þe lesse meryte if þou be nogth in so mykele abstynence; Bot if þou sette al þi thogth how þou may luf þi spouse Ihesu Cryst mare þan þou has donne, þan dar I say þat þi mede es waxand and nogth wanande. Wharefor, þat þou be rygth despoosed bath for þi saul and þi body, þou sal vndirstand four thȳngs. ¶ Þe first es, what thyng files a man. ¶ Þe tother, what thynge makis hym clene. ¶ Þe third, what haldis hym in clennes. ¶ Þe fierth, what thyng drawes [him] for to ordayne his wile al at goddis wile. ¶ For þe first, wite þou þat we synne in [thre] thynges þat makis vs foul, þat es with hert, with mouth, and dede. ¶ Þe synnes of þe hert er þir: Ille thogth. Ille delyte. Assent til synne. Desire of ille. Wikked wile. Ille suspeccyoun. Vndeuocyoun. If þou lat þi hert any tyme be Idell, with-outen occupacioune of þe luf and þe loouyng of god. Ile drede, Ile luf. Errour. Flesshly affeccioun til frendis or til other þat þou lufs. Ioy of any mans Ille-fare, whethir þai be enemyse or nane. Despite of poure or of synfull men. To honoure Ryche men for þair rychesse. Vnconable Ioy of any wordis of vanyte. Sorow of other mens wele-fare. Vnthoolmodenes. Perplexite, þat es doute whate es at do, what nogth—For ilke a man agth for [to] be sekir what he sal do and what he sal leeue. Obsty- Page  22 nacyon in ille. Noy to do gud. Angre to serue god. Sorow þat he did na mare ille, or þat he did nogth þat lust or þat wile of his flesshe þe whilke he mygth haue don. Vnstablenesse of thogth. Pyne of penance. Ipocrysy. Luf to pleese men, Drede to despleese þaim. Schame of gud dede, Ioy of ille dede. Synguler wite. Couaytice of honoure or of dignyte, or to be haldene better þan other, or rycher or fayrer, or to be mare drede. Vayne glorye of any guddis of kynde, or of happ, or grace. Schame of pouer freyndis, Pryde of ryche kyne or of gentil—for all we er ilyke fre byfor goddis face, bot if our dedis make any better or wers þan other. Dispite of gude counsayll and of gude teechynge. ¶ Þe synnes of þe mouthe er þir: To sweer oft-sythes. Forsweeryng. Sklaunderyng of Cryst or of any of his halwes. To neeuen his name with-outene reuerence. Gaynesayng and Stryf agayne Suthfastnes. Grucchyng agaynes god for any angwys or noy or trybulacyoun þat may bifale in erth. To say goddis seruyse vndeuoutely and with-outene reuerence. Backbytyng. Flateryng. Leghyng. Myssayng. Werying. Deffamyng. Flytyng. Manasyng. Sawyng of Discorde. Treeson. Fals wittenese. Ille Counsayll. Heethyng. Vnbouxsomnes. With word to turne gud dede to ille, ffor to ger þaim be haldene Ile þat duse þaim—Vs agth to lapp our negthbur dedis in þe best, nogth in þe werst. Excytyng of any man til Ire. To reprehend in a nother þat he dose Page  23 hym-self. Vayne speche, Mikel speche, fole spe[ch]e. To spe[k]e Idele wordis or wordes þat er na nede. Rosyng. Polysyng of worddes. Defendyng of synne. Crying in Laghter. Mow makyng on any mane. To syng seculer sanges and luf þaim. To prayse ille dedis. To syng mare to loouyng of men þan of god. ¶ Þe synnes of dede er þir: Glotony. Litchery. Drunkenhed. Symony. Wytchecraft. Breekyng of þe haly days. Sacrilege. To receyfe goddis body in dedly synne. Breekyng of wowes. Apostasy. Dissolucyon in goddis seruyse. To gif ensampile of ile dedes. To hurt any man in his body, or in his guddis, or in his fame. Theft. Rauyne. Vsure. Deceyte. Sellyng of rygthwysenes. To herken ille. To gif to herlotis. To withhald necessaryse fra þi body, or to gif it outrage. To bygyne a thyng þat es abouene our mygth. Coustom to syn. Fallyng oft in synne. Fenyng of mare gud þane we haue, ffor to seme halier, or conander, or wyser þan we er. To hald þe office þat we suffice nogth tille, or þat may nogth be haldene with-outene syne. To lede Carols. To bryng vp new gyses. To be Rebelle to his soueraynes. To defoule þaim þat er lesse. To synne in sygth, In heryng, In smellyng, In touchyng, In handdellyng, In schewyng; In giftis, in ways, signes, bydynges, wrytynges. To Receyf þe Circumstance, þat er Tyme, Stede, Maner, Nombre, Persone, Dwellyng, Conyng, Eld: þir Page  24 makis þe synne mare or lesse. To couayte to syne ar he be temped. To constreyne hym to synne. ¶ Other many synnes er þar of omyssyoun, þat es of leeuyng of gud vndone: When men leeues þe gud þat þai suld do; nogth thynkand on gode, ne dredand, ne lufande hym, ne thankand hym of his benefyces. To do nogth al þat he dose for goddis luf. To sorow nogth for his synne als he suld do. To dispose hym nogth to receyf grace, And if he haf taken grace, to vse it nogth als hym agth, ne to kype it nogth. To turne nogth at þe Inspiracioun of gode. To conforme nogth his wile to goddis wile. To gif nogth entent til his prayers, bot rable on and reke neuer bot at þai be sayd. To do necligently þat he es halden til thurgth a vowe or comandement, or es enioynt in penance. To drawe on lenth at es at do son. Hafand na ioy of his neighbur profyte als of his awene, Sorowand nogth for his illefare. Standand nogth agayne temptacions. Forgifand nogth þaim þat haf don hym harme. Kepand nogth trouth to his negthbur as he wald he dede to hym, and yheldand hym nogth a gud deide for another if he may. Amendand nogth þaim þat synnes bi-for his eghen. Peesand nogth strifes. Lerand nogth þaim þat er vnconand. Confortand nogth þaim þat er in sorow, or in sekenes, or in pouert, or in penance, or in pryson. Þir synnes, and many other, makes men foule.— ¶ Þe thynges þat Page  25 clenses vs of þat fi[l]th er thre, Agaynes þase thre maners of synnes. ¶ Þe first es Sorow of hert, agayne þe syne of thogth; and þat be-houes be so parfite þat þou be in ful wile neuer to syne mare; and at þou haf sorow of alle þi synnes; and at al ioy and solace, bot of god and in god, be pute out of þi hert. ¶ Þe tother es Schrith of mouth, agayne þe synne of mouthe; and þat sal be hasty with-outene delayinge, nakede with-outene excusyng, and entier with-outen partyng: als for to tell a synne til a prest and another til another. Say all þat þou wat til ane or al es nogth worth. ¶ Þe thride es Satisfaccyoun; þat has thre partis: Fastyng, Prayer, and Almus-dede. Nogth anly to gif poueer men mete and drynke, bot for to forgif þaim þat dose þe wrange, and praye for þaim, and enfourme þaim how þai suld do þat er in poynt to perisse. — ¶ For þe thrid thynge, þou sal witte þat clennes bi-houes be kepide In hert, and in mouth, and in werke. Clennes of hert thre thynges kepis: Ane es waker thogth and stable of gode. Another es bisenes to kipe þe fyue wites, swa þat all þe wicked stirynge be closede out of þi flesshe. Þe thrid es honest occupacyoun and profitable. ¶ Also clennes of mouth kepis thre thynges: Ane es at þou vmthynke þe bifoor ar þou speke. Another, þat þou be nogth of mykele speche bot of litele, and namly ay til þi hert be stabled in þe luf of Ihesu, Page  26 swa þat þe thynk þat þou lokes ay on hym whether þou speke or nogth. Bot swylke a grace may þou nogth haue on þe first day, bot with lang trauayl and grete bisynes to luf and with costome, swa þat þe eghe of þi hert be ay vpward: þan sal þou come þar-til. Þe thrid, þat þou for na thyng ne for na mekenes legthe on any mane—for ilke a leghe es synne and ille and nogth at goddis wile. Þe thar nogth telle al þe south ay bot if þou wil; bot al leghes hate. If þou say athyng of þi self þat semes þi loouyng, and þou say it to þe loouyng of god and help of oþer, þou duse nogth vnwysely, for þou spekes southfastnes. Bot if þou wil haue any preue loouyng, tele it til nane bot swilk ane þat þou be sekir þat it sal nogth be schewed bot anely to þe loouynge of gode of wham es all gudnese, and þat makes sum better þan other, and gifs þaim special graces, nogth anely for þaim-self bot alswa for þaim þat wile do wele, til þaire ensampil. ¶ Clennes of werk thre thynges kepis: Ane es assiduele thogth of þi dede —for þe wyseman says: «Vmbethynke þe of þi last endynge and þou sal noth syn». Another: fle fra ille felischipe þat gifs mare ensampile to luf þe werld þan god, þe erth þan heeuene, filthe of bodye þan clennes of saul. ¶ Þe thrid es temperance and discrecion in mette and drynke, þat it be nother till outrage, ne byneethen skylwys sustynance of þe body. For bath comes til ane endyng: outrage and ouer-mykele fastyng—For nother es goddis wile; and þat wil many nogth Page  27 wene, ffor nogth þat man may say. If þou take sustynance of swylke gud als god sendes for þe tyme and þe day, what it be, I out-tak [na] maner of mete þat crystend men vses—with discrecyon and mesure, þou duse wele; ffor so did Cryst hym-self and his Apostels. If þou leeue many metes þat men has; nogth dispisand þe met þat god has mad til mans help, bot for þe thynke þat þou has na nede þarof, þou duse wele, If þou se þat þou ert stalward to serue god and at it breekes nogth þi stomake. For if þou haue broken þat with ouer-mykel abstynence, þe es reft appityte of mete, and oft sal þou be in qwaythes, als þou war redy to gif þe gaste. And wite þou wele þou synned in þat dede. And þou may nogth wite son whether þi abstynence be agayne or with þe. For-þi, to-while þou ert yhung, I red þat þou ete and drynke better and ware als it comes, þat þou be nogth bygyled. And afward, when þou has proued many thynges and ouer-comen many temptacyons and knawys þi-self and god better þan þou dose now: þan, if þou se at it be at do, þou may take þe til mare abstynence. And whils þou may do pryue penance, þat all men thar nogth wite. Rygthwy[s]nes es nother in Fastyng ne in eetynge: Bot þou ert rygthwys If al he-like be to þe Dispite and Loouyng, Poeuert and Rychesse, Hunger and nede als delites and dayntes. If þou tak þir with a loouyng of god, I hald þe blyssed and hegh byfor Ihesu. Men þat comes til þe, þai luf þe for þai se þi grete abstynence and for þai Page  28 se þe enclosed: bot I may nogth looue þe so ligthly, for ogth þat I se þe do with-outene, bot if þi wile be confourmed entierly to goddis wile. And set nogth by þair loouyng ne þaire lackyng, And gif þou neeuer tale if þai spek lesse gud of þe þan þai dide: Bot þat þou þe brynnander in goddis luf þan þou was. For of a thyng I warne þe: I hop þat god has na parfyte seruaunt in erth with-outene enemys of sum men— For anely wrycchedenes has nane enemy. ¶ For to draw vs þat we confourme our wile til goddis wile, þar er thre thyngs: ¶ Ane es ensampil of haly men and haly women, þe whilk war ententife nygth and day to serue gode and drede hym and luf hym; and if we folow þaim in erth, we moun be with þaim in heeuene. ¶ Anoþer es þe gudnes of our lord þat despises nane, bot gladly receyfs all þat come til his mercy, and es hamelier to þaim þan broþer or sister or any frende þat þai maast luf or maast traystes on. ¶ Þe thrid es: Þe woundirfull ioy of þe kyngdome of heeuene, þat es mare þan tung may telle or hert may thynke or eghe may se or eer may heer. It es so mykell þat, als in hell mygth na thyng lyue for mykel pyne bot at þe mygth of god suffirs þaim nogth to dye, swa þe Ioy in þe sygth of Ihesu in his gudhede es so mykell þat þai mond die for Ioy, If it ne war his gudnes þat wile þat his lufars be lifand ay in blysse, als his rygthwysnes wile þat all þat lufe hym nogth, be ay lifand in fyre, þat es horrible til any man at thynke, Page  29 Lok þan what [it] es to feele! Bot þai þat wile noght thynk it and drede it Now, þai sal suffre it, eeuermare. ¶ Now has þou herd how þou may dispoose þi life and rewle it to goddis wile. Bot I wate wele þat þou desires to here sum speciale poynt of þe luf of Ihesu Cryst, and of Contemplatif lif þe þe whilke þou has takene þe til at mens sigth. Als I haue grace and conyng I wile lere þe.

AMORE LANGUEO. Þir twa wordis er wrytene in þe bok of luf, or þe sange of sanges—For he þat mykel lufs, hym list oft syng of his luf, ffor ioy þat he or scho has when þai thynke on þat at þai luf, namely if þaire lufer be trewe and lufand. And es til þe Inglisshe of þis twa wordis: I languysshe for luf. Sere men in erth has sere giftis and graces of god: Bot þe special gift of þase þat ledis solitary life, es forto luf Ihesu Cryst. Þou says me: «All men lufs hym þat haldes his comaundementis.» South it es; bot all þat kepis his bedyng, kipis noght als his counsayll; and all þat dos his counsayll, es nogth als ful-filled of þe swetenes of his lufe ne files nogth þe fire of brynnand luf of hert. For-þi þe diuersite of luf makes þe diuersyte of halynes and of mede in heeuen. Þe Angels þat er brynnandest in luf, er nerrest gode. Alswa men or women þat maast haf of goddis luf, whethir þai do penaunce or nane, þai sal be in þe hegthest degre in heeuene; þai þat lufs hym lesse, In þe lagther order. If þou luf Page  30 hym mykell, mykel Ioy and swetnes þou felis in his luf þat es þi comfort and þi strength bath nygth and day; If þi luf be nogth brynnand in hym, litele es þi delite. For hym may na man fele in Ioy and swetnes but If he be clenne and fillid with his luf. And þar-til saltow come with gret trauayll in prayer and thankyng, hafand swylke meditaciouns þat er all in þe luf and þe loouyng of god. And when þou ert at þi meet, looue ay god in þi thogth at ylke a morsell, and say þus in þi hert: «Looued þe þou kyng, and thanked be þou kyng, and blyssed be þou kyng, Ihesu all my ioying, of all þi giftis gude, þat for me spylt þi blode, and dyede on þe rode. Þou gif me grace to syng þe sang of þi loouyng.» And thynk it nogth anely whils þou eettis, bot bath bifoor and after, ay bot when þou prayes or spekes; or if þou haue other thoghtes þat þou has mare swetnes and deuocyon In þan in þase þat I lere þe, þou may thynk þaim. For I hop þat god wile do swylke thoghtes in þi hert als he es payed of, and als þou ert ordaynede. For when þou prays, loke nogth how mykell þou says, bot how wele; þat þe luf of þi hert be ay vpward and þi thogth on þat þou says als mykel als þou may. If þou be in prayers and meditacȳons al þe day, I wate wele þat þou mon wax gretly in þe luf of Ihesu Page  31 Cryst and mykel fele of delite, and with-Ine schort tyme. ¶ Thre degrees of luf I sal telle þe: For I wil þat þou mygth wynne to þe hegthest. ¶ Þe fyrst degre es called Insuperable. ¶ Þe secund Inseparable. ¶ Þe third Singuler. ¶ Þi luf es insuperable when na thyng þat es contrary til goddis luf ouer-comes it, bot es stalward agayne all fandyngs, and stable, whether þou be in eese or in anguys, or in heele or in sekenes; swa þat þe thynke þat þou wald nogth for all þe werld, to haue it with-outene ende, wreth god ane tyme, and þe war leeuer, if other suld be, to suffre al þe pyne and þe wa þat mygth come til any creature, or þou wald do þe thyng þat suld mys-pay hym. On þis maner sal þi luf be Insuperable, þat na thyng may doun bryng bot springand on hegth. Blyssed es he or scho þat es in þis degree! Bot yhete war þay blysseder þat mygth hald þis degre and wynne in til þe tothyr, þat es Inseparable. ¶ Inseparable es þi luf whenn all þi hert and þi thogth and þi mygth es so haly, so entierly and so parfytely festend, sete and stablede in Ihesu Crist, þat þi thogth comes neeuer of hym, neeuer departyd fra hym, out-taken slepynge: And als son als þou wakkenes, þi hert es on hym, sayand Aue Maria, or Gloria tibi domin¯e, or Pater noster, or Miserere mei deus If þou Page  32 haue bene temped in þi slepe, or thynk-and his luf and his loouyng als þou did wakand. When þou may na tyme forgete hym, what so þou duse or says, þan es þi luf Inseparable. Ful mykele grace haue þay þat er in þis degre of luf! And me thynk þat þou þat has nogth ells at do [but] forto luf god, may come þar-til, if any may it gete. ¶ Þe thred degre es hegthest, and maast ferly to wynne: Þat es Called singuler, ffor þat has na pier. Singuler luf es when all Comforth and solace es closed out of þe hert bot of Ihesu Cryst anely. Other delyte ne other Ioy list it nogth. For þe swetnes of hym in þis degre es swa comfortand and lastand in his luf, swa brynnand and gladand, þat he or scho þat es in þis degre, may als wele fele þe fyre of luf brynnand in þair saule, als þou may feile þi fynger brynne if þou pute it in þe fyre. Bot þat fyre, if it be hate, es so delytable and wondirfull þat I can nogth telle it. Þan þe saul es Ihesu lufand, Ihesu thynkand, Ihesu desyrand, anely in couaytes of hym hangand, til hym sygthand, of hym brennand, in hym restand. Þan þe sang of loouyng and of luf es comen. Þan þi thogth turnys in to sang and melody. Þan þe bihoues syng þe psalmes þat þou byfore sayd. Þan þou mon be lang about fa psalmes. Þan þe wil thynke þe deide swetter þan hony, ffor þan þou ert ful sekyr to se hym þat þou lufs. Þan may þou hardyly say: «I languysshe for luf.» Þan may þou say: «I slep and my Page  33 hert wakes.» In þe fyrst degre men may say «I languysshe for luf» or «me langesforluf», and in þe tother degre alswa: for languyssyng es, when men falles for sekenes, and þa þat er in þis twa degrees, falles fra all couaytese of þis werld and fra lust and lykyng of synfull lif, and settis þair entent and þair hert til þe luf of god; for-þi may þay say: «I languysshe for luf» — and mykel mare þat er in þe secund degre [þan] in þe fyrst. ¶ Bot þe saul þat es in þe thred degre, es als brynnand fyre, and als þe nygthgale þat lufs sang and melody and falles for mykele luf. Swa þat þe saul es anely comforted in loouyng and lufyng of god, and til þe dede come, es syngand gaastly til Ihesu, and in Ihesu, and Ihesu, nogth bodyly cryand with þe mouth—of þat maner of syngyng speke I nogth, ffor þat sang has bath gud and ille; and þis maner of sang has nane bot if þai be in þis thred degre of luf: til þe whilke degre it es Inpossible to cum bot in a gret multitude of luf. For-þi, if þou wil wite whatkyns ioy þat sang has, I say þe þat na man wate bote he or scho þat felis it, þat has it, and þat looues god syngand þar-with. Ane thyng telle I þe: It es of heeuene, and god gifs it til whame he wille, bot nogth with-outene gret graces comand bifore. Wha so has it, hym thynk all þe sang and þe mynstralcy of erth nogth bot sorow and waa þar-til. In souerayne rest sal þai be þat mon get it. Gangrels and Ianglers and kepers of comers and Page  34 gangers arely and lat, nygth and day, or any þat taglede es with any synne wylfully and wetandly, or þat has delite in any erthly thyng: þay er als fer þar-fra als es fra heeuen til erth. ¶ In þe fyrst degre er many; In þe toþer degre er ful faa: bot in þe thred degre vnnethes er any—for ay þe mare at þe perfeccyone es, þe fouer folowers it has. In þe fyrst degre er men lykened til þe sternes; In þe tothir degre til þe mon: and in þe thred degre til þe sonne. For-þi says sayne Paul: «Othir es of þe sonne, Othir of þe mone, othir of þe sternes.» Swa es it of þe lufers of god. In þis thred degre, if þou may wynne þare-til, þou sal wite of mare Ioy þan I haf taled þe yhete. And amang othir affeccyons and sanges þou may in þi langyng syng þis in þi hert til þi louerd Ihesu, whene þou couaytes his comyng and þi gangynge: ¶ «When wil þou come to comfort me and bryng me out of care, And gif me þe þat I may se, hafand eeuermare? Þi luf es ay swetest of all þat euer ware. My hert whene sal it brest? for luf þan languyst I no mare. For luf my thogth has fest, and I am fayne to fare. I stand in stil mournyng of ane, þe luflyest of lare; es luflangyng. It drawes me til my day, þe band of swete brynnyng, For it haldes me ay fra place and fra playn¯g, Til þat I gete may þe sygth of my swettyng, Þat wendys neeuer away, In welth beese our wakynge, with-outen noy or nygth, My luf es in lastyng, And langes vnto þat sigth.» Page  35¶ If þou wil be wele with god and haf grace to rewel þi lif and com til þe ioy of luf, þis name of Ihesu fest it so fast in þi hert þat it come neeuer out of þi thogth. And when þou spekis til hym and says Ihesu thurgth coustome, it sal be in þine eer Ioy, in þi mouth hony, and in þi hert melody: For þe sal thynk Ioy to heer þat name be neeuend, Swetenes to spek it, Mirth and sang to thynke it. If þou thynk on Ihesu contynuelly and haldes it stabilly, it purges þi synne, and kyndels þi hert. It claryfies þi saul. It remoues anger, and duse away slawnes. It woundes in luf, Fulfilles of charyte. It chaces þe deeuel. It puttes out drede. It opens heeuene and makis a Contemplatif man. Haf in memor Ihesu: for all vices and fantoms it puttes fra þe lufer. And hayls oft Marye, bath day and nygth! Mikel luf and ioy sal þou fele If þou wil do after þis lare. Þe thar nogth couayte gretely many bokes: hald luf in hert and in werk, and þou sal haue all þat we may say or wryte: for fulnes of þe lagthe es charyte; In þat hynges all. ¶ Bot now may þou aske me and say: «Þou spekis so mykel of luf: Telle me what luf es, and whar it es, and how I sal lufe god veraly, and how I may knawe þat I luf hym, and In what state I may maast luf hym.» Þir er hard qwestyons to lere to a feble man and a flesshly als I am. Bot neeuer-þe-latter þare- Page  36 foore sal I nogth leue þat I ne sal schew my witte and als me thynke þat it may be: For I hop in þe help of Ihesu, þat es welle of luf and pees of swetenes. ¶ ÞE fyrst askyng es: What es luf? And I answer: luf es brennand yhernyng In god with a woundirful delite and sikyrnes. God es lygth and brynnyng. Ligth clarifies our skylle, and brynnyng kyndeles oure couaytese, þat we desire nogth bot hym. Luf es a lif coupland to-gider þe lufand and þe lufed: For mekenes makys vs swet to god, Purete Ioynes vs til god, luf makes vs ane with god. Luf es fayrest of all vertus. Luf es thynge thurgth þe whilke god lufs vs, and we god; and ylk ane of vs other. Luf es desire of þe hert, ay thynk-and til þat it lufs; and when it has þat it lufs, þan it Ioyese, and na thyng may mak it sary. Luf es yhernyng Imelle twa, with lastandnes of thoghtes. Luf es a stiryng of þe saul for to luf god for hym-self, and all other thyng for god; þe whylk luf when it es ordayned in god, it dose away all vnordayned luf in any thyng þat es nogth gud. Bot all dedely [syn] es vnordayned luf in a thyng þat es nogth: þan luf puttes out all dedly synne. Luf es a vertu, þat es þe rygth affeccyoun of a mans saul. Trouthe nogth(!) may be with-outen luf, bot it may help with-outen it. Luf es perfeccyoun¯ of letters, vertue of prophetye, fruyte of trouthe, heel of sacramentis, stablyng of wite and conyng, Rychesce of pouer men, Lif of diand men. ¶ Se how god luf es! If we Page  37 suffre to be slayne; If we gif all þat we haf, til begger stafe; If we can als mykel als men may cun in erth: til all þis with-outene lufe, es nogth bot sorow ordayned and tourment. ¶ If þou wil ask howe gud he es or scho, ask how mykel lufs he or scho: and þat can na man telle—Forþi I hald it bot foly to deme of a mans hert, þat nane knawys bot god. Luf es a rygthwys turnyng fra all erthly thynges, and es Ioynt til god, with-outene departyng, and kyndeled with þe fier of þe haly gast; fer fra filyng, fer fra Corupcyoun, obliged til na vice of þis lif, Hegth aboun all flesshely lustes. Ay redy and gredy til Contemplacyoun of god. In all thynges vnouercommene. Þe soun of all gud affeccyons. Heel of gud maners. End of þe comandementis of god. Dede of synnes. Lif of vertus. Vertu whils fightyng lastes. Coroun of ouercomers. Armes til haly thoghtes. With-outene þat, na man may pay god; with þat, na man synnes—For if we luf god in all our hert, þar es na thyng in vs thurgth þe whilke we serue to synne. Verray luf clenses þe saul, and delyuers it fra þe payne of hell, and of þe foule seruyse of synne, and of þe vgly felishipe of deeuels; and of þe fendes sone makis goddis sone, and partyner of þe herytage of heeuen. We sal afforce vs to cleeth vs in luf als þe Iren or þe cool dose in þe fyer, Als þe ayre duse in þe son, Als þe wolle duse in þe hewe. Þe cool swa cleethes it in þe fyre þat all es fyre. Þe ayre swa cleethes it in þe Page  38 sone þat all es ligth. And þe wolle so substauncyaly takes þe hewe þat it es like it. In þis maner sal a trew lufer of Ihesu Cryst do: his hert sal so brene in lufe þat it sal be turnyd in til fyer of luf and be als it war all fyre; and sall swa schyne in vertus þat in na part of hym he be myrke in vices.—¶ Þe tother askynge es: Whar es luf? And I answer: luf es in þe hert and in þe wile of a man, nogth in his hand ne in his mouth, þat es at say: nogth in his werke, bot in his saul. For many spekes gud and duse gud, and lufs nogth god: Als Ipocrytes, þe whilk suffres grete penance and semes haly to mens sygth: Bot for þay seke loouyng and honour of men and fauour, þai haf lost þair mede and in þe sygth of god er þe deeuels son¯s and Rauyschand wolfes. Bot if a man gif almus-dede and takys hym til poouert and duse penance, it es a syng þat he lufs god, bot þare-foore lufs he hym nogth. Bot when he forsakis þe werld anely for goddis luf and settis all his thogth on god and lufs all men als hym-self, and all þe gud dedes þat he may do, he dose þaim in entent for to pay Ihesu Crist and to come til þe rest of heeuen: þan he lufs god, and þat luf es in his saul, and swa his dedis schewes with-outen. If þou spek þe gud and do þe gud, men supposes þat þou lufs god: Forþi lok wele þat þi thogth be in god, or ells þou dampnes þi-self and deceyfs þe men. Na thyng þat I do with-outen prooues Page  39 þat I luf god: For a wykked man mygth do als mykel penance in body, als mykel wak and fast als I do. How may I þane wene þat I luf, or hald me better, ffor þat at ylk a man may do? Ceertis, my hert, whethir I luf my god or nogth, wate na mane bot god, for nogth þat þai may se me do. Whaar-foor luf es in wile verrayly, nogth in werke, bot als synge of luf. For he þat says he lufs god and wil nogth do in dede þat in hym es to schew luf, say hym he leghes! Luf wil nogth be Idele: It es wirkand some gud eeuer-mare. If it cees of wirkyng, wite þou wele it kelis and wytes away.— ¶ ÞE third askyng es: «How sal I verrayly luf god?» I answer: verray luf es, to lufe hym in all þi mygth stalwardly; In all þi hert wysely; In all þi saul deuoutely and swetly. ¶ Stalwardly may na man luf hym bot If he be stalward. He es stalward þat es meke: For all gastely strenth comes of mekenes—on whame restis þe haly gast? in a meke saul. Mekenes gouernes vs and kepis vs in all our temptacyons, swa þat þai ouer-come vs nogth. Bot þe deeuel deceyfs many þat er meke thurgth tribulacyons and reproefs and backbytynges. Bot if þou be wrathe for any anguys of þis werld, or for any word þat men says of þe, or for ogth þat men says til þe, þou ne ert nogth meke, ne þou ne may nogth so luf god stalwardly. For luf es stalward als þe dede, þat slaas al lifand thyng in erth; Page  40 and hard als hell, þat spares nogth to þaim þat er dede. Þarefoor he þat lufs god parfytely, he ne griefs hym nogth, what schame or anguys so he suffirs, bot he has delyte and couaytes þat he war worthy for to suffre tourment and payne for Cristis lufe, and he has Ioy þat men reproues hym and speke ille of hym. Als a dede man, what so men dose or says, answers nogth: swa wha so lufs god parfytely, þai er nogth stirid for na word þat man may say. For he or scho can nogth luf þat may nogth suffre payne and angre for þaire frendys luf: For wha so lufs, þai haf na pyne. Proud man or woman lufs nogth stalwardly: For þai er so wayke þat þai fal at ylke stirynge of þe wynd, þat es temptacyoun. Þai seke hegther stede þan Cryst: For þai wile haf þaire wile done whethir it be with rygth or with wrange, and Cryst wil na thyng be done bote wele and with-outene harme of othir men. Bot wha so es verrayly meke, þai wile nogth haue þaire wile in þis werld, þat þai may haf it in þe tothir plenerly. In na thyng may men soner ouer-come þe deeuel þan in meknes, þat he mykele haatis: For he may waak and fast and suffre pyne, mare þan any other creature may, bot mekenes and luf may he nogth haue. ¶ Alswa þe bihoues luf god wysely. And þat may þou nogth do, bot if þou be wys. Þou ert wys, when þou ert pouer, with-outen couaytese of þis werld, and despyses þi-self Page  41 for þe luf of Ihesu Crist, and dispendys all þi wite and þi mygth in his seruyse. For some þat semes wysest er maast foles, ffor all þaire wysdom þai spyll in couaytese and bysenes about þe werld. ¶ If þou sagth a man haue precyous stanes þat he mygth by a kyngdome with; If he gaf þaim for ane appyl als a barne wil do, rygthly mot þou say þat he war nogth wys, bot a grete fole. Whar-foor, if we wile, we haf precyous stanes: pouert, and penance, and gastly trauayle, with þe whilk we may bye þe kyngdom of heeuen. For if þat þou luf pouert and despise rychesce and delyces of þis werld and haldis þi-self vyle and pouer and thynkes þat þou has nogth of þi self bot synne: ffor þis pouert þou sal haf rychesce with-outen ende. And if þou haf sorow for þi synnes and for þou ert so lang in exile out of þi cuntre, and forsakes þe solace of þis lif, þou sal haf for þis sorow þe Ioy of heeuen. And if [þou] be in trauayl and punysches þi body skylwysly and wysely in wakynges and fastynges and in prayers and meditacyons, and suffirs hete and cald, hunger and threst, Mysays and angwys, for þe luf of Ihesu Cryst, for þis trauayle þou sal come til þe rest þat lastes ay, and sitte in a setill of ioy with aungels. Bot some er þat lufs nogth wysely, lyke til barnes þat lufs mare ane appyl þan a castel; swa dose many: þai gif þe Ioy of heeuen for a litil delite of þaire flesshe, þat es nogth worth a ploune. ¶ Now may þou Page  42 se þat wha so wil luf wysely, hym bihoues luf lastand thyng lastandly, Passand thynge passandly; swa þat his hert be sette and festend in na thyng bot in god. ¶ And if þou wil luf Ihesu verrayly, þou sal nogth anely luf hym stalwardly and wysely, bot alswa deuoutely and swetly. ¶ Swete luf es, when þi body es chast and þi thogth clenne. ¶ Deuoute luf es, when þou offers þi prayers and þi thoghtes til god with gastly Ioy and brynnand hert in þe hete of þe haly gast, swa þat þe thynk þat þi saul es als it war drunken for delyte and solace of þe swetnes of Ihesu, and þi hert conceyfs so mykel of goddis help þat þe thynke þou may neeuer be fra hym departyde; and þou comes in til swylke rest and pees in saul and quyete, with-outen thoghtes of vanytesce or of vyces, als þou war in silence and slepe, and sette in Noe schipe, þat na thyng may lette [þe] of deuocyoun¯ and brynnyng of swet luf. Fra þou haf getyn þis luf, al þi lif, til dede come, es Ioy and confort als verray Chryst lufer, and he restis in þe whase steed es maked in pees.—¶ ÞE fierth askyng was: How þou mot knaw þat þou war in luf and charyte. I answer þat na man whate in erth þat þai er in charyte, bot if it be thurgth any priuelage of speciale grace þat god has gifen til any man or woman, þat all othir may nogth take ensampyl bye. Haly men and women troues þat þai haf trouth and hop and charite, and in þat duse als wele als þai may, and Page  43 hoopes certaynly þat þai sal be saaf; þai wate it nogth als tyte: ffor if þai wyste, þaire meryte war þe lesse. And Salamon says þat it er rygthwys men and wys men, and þaire werkis er in goddis hand. And nogth-for-þi a man wat nogth whethire [he] be worthy hatred or luf: Bot al es reseerued vncertayne til anothir werld. Neeuer-þe-latter if any had grace þat he mygth wynne til þe thred degre of luf, þat I called Singulere, he suld knawe þat he war in luf. Bot in þat maner his knawyng es þat he mygth neeuer beer hym þe hegther ne be in þe lesse bisynes to luf god, bot swa mykel þe mare þat he es sekir of luf, wald he be bisy to luf hym and drede hym þat has mad swylke bisynes(!), and done þat gudnes. And knawe þat he es so hegthe, he wald nogth hald hym-self worthyer þan þe synfullest man þat gas on erthe. ¶ Alswa seeuene experymentis eer þat a man be in charyte. Þe first es, when all couaytese of erthly thyng es sleckend in hym. For whar so couaytyse es, þare es na luf of Cryst. Þan if he haf na couaytyse, sygne es þat he has luf. Þe secund es, brynnand yhernyng of heeuene. For when men has felid ogth of þat sauour, þe mare þai haf þe mare þai couayte, and he þat nogth has felid nogth he desyres. For-þi when any es so mykel gifen til þe luf þarof þat he can fynd na Ioy in þis lif, Taken he has þat he es in Charyte. Þe thred es: If his tung be chaunged, þat was wone to speke of þe erth, and now Page  44 spekes of god and of þe lif þat lastes ay. Þe fierth es, excercyse of gaastly profyte, als if any man or woman gifs þaim entierly til goddis seruyse and entirmetis þaim of nane erthly bisynes. Þe fift es, when þe thinges þat er hard in þaim-self, semes ligth forto do. Þat luf makes. For als Calcidor says: Lufreden es þe thyng þat brynges nerehand inpossible til possible mygth appeertly. Þe sext es, hardynes of thogth to suffre all angwysses and noyse þat comes—with-outene þis, all þe tothir ne suffyces nogth. For it sal nogth make a rygthwys man sary what so bifalles hym. For he þat es Rygthwys, he haatis nogth bot synne, he lufs nogth bot god, he dredis nogth bot to wrethe god. Þe seuent es, delytablete in saul; when he es in tribulacyoun and makis loouyng to god in ylk ane angre þat he suffres. And þis schewys wele þat he lufs god when na waa may bryng hym doun. For many looues god whiles þai er in eese, and in aduersyte þai grucche and in til so mykel sarynes þai falle þat vnnethes may any man comfort þaim, and swa sk[l]aunder þai god, flitand and figthtand agaynes hys domes. And þat es a caytif loouyng þat any welth of þe werld makes! Bot þat loouyng es of mykel prys þat na vyolence of sorowe may do a-way.—ÞE fift askyng was: In what state men may maast luf god. I answer: In whilke state so it be þat men er in maast rest of body Page  45 and saul, and leest occupyed with any nedis or bisynes of þis werld. For þe thogth of þe luf of Ihesu Cryst and of þe day þat lastis ay, sekis rest with-outen, þat it be nogth lettid with comers and gangers and occupacyon of werldisshe thynges; and it sekis with-Inne gret silence fra þe noyse of couaytise and of vanytese and erthly thoghtes. And namely all þat luf contemplatife lif, þai seke rest in body and in saul. For a gret doctor says þat þai er goddis throne þat dwellis stille in a stede and er nogth about rennand, bot in swettenes of Crystis luf, er stablede. ¶ And I haf lufd forto sytte, for na penance, ne for na fantasy þat I wald men spake of me, ne for na swilke thyng, bot anely for I knewe þat I lufd god mare and lengar lasted with me comfort of lufe, þan gangand or standand or kneland. For sittand am I in mast rest, and my hert mast vpward. Bot þarfor parauenture it es nogth þe best til anothir to sitte als I haf done and wil do to my dede, bot if he war disposed als I was in his saul.

Page  46Twa lifs er þat cristen men lifs: Ane es called actife lif: for it es [in] mare werke bodely. Anothir Contemplatif lif: for it es in mare swetnes gastly. ¶ Actif lif es mykel outward, and in mare trauaylle and in mare perille, Page  47 for temptacyons þat er in þe werld. ¶ Contemplatif lif es mykel inward, and for-[þi] it es lastander and sikerer, restfuler, delitabler, luflyer and mare medfull. For it has Ioy in goddis luf, and sauour in þe lif þat lastes ay, in þis present tyme if it be rygth ledde. And þat felyng of Ioy in þe luf of Ihesu passes all othir merytes in erthe. For it es so hard to cum tille, ffor þe freyllte of our flesshe and þe many temptacyons þat we er vmsette with, þat lettis vs nygth and day: All othir thynges er ligth at come to in reward þareof. For þat may na man deserue: Bot anely it er gifen of goddis gudnes til þaim þat verrayly gifs þaim til Contemplacyone and til quyete for Cristis luf. Til men or women þat takis þaim til actif lif, Twa thynges falles: Ane, forto ordayne þaire menyhe in drede and in luf of god and fynd þaim þaire necessaryes, and þaim-self kepe entierly þe comaundementis of god, doand with þaire neigthbur als þai wil þat þai do til þaim. ¶ Anothir es þat þai do at þaire power þe seuene werkys of mercy; þe whilke es: to fede þe hungry, To gif þe thresty a drynke, To cleth þe naaked, To herber hym þat has na housyng, To vysete þe seke, To comfort þaim þat er in preson, and to graue dede men. All þa þat may, and has cost, þai may nogth be quyte with ane or twa of þir, bot þaim bihoues to do þaim all, If þai wil haf þe beneson on domes-day þat Ihesu Page  48 Crist sal til all gif þat duse þaim. Or elles may þai dred þe malysoune þat all mon haue þat wil nogth do þaim when þai had guddes to do þaim with. ¶ Contemplatyf lif has twa partys, a lagther and a hegther. Þe lagher partye es medytacyone of haly wrytyng—þat es godis wordis—and in othir gude thoghtes and swete þat men has of þe grace of god obout þe luf of Ihesu Cryst; and alswa in loouyng of god in psalmes and ympnes, or in prayers. ¶ Þe hegther party of Contemplacyoune es bihaldyng and yhernyng of þe thynges of heeuene, and Ioy in þe haly gast; þat men has of grace, and if it be swa þat þai be nogth prayand with þe mouthe bot anely thynkand on god and of þe fayrehed of angells and haly sauls. Þan may I say þat Contemplacyone es a woundirfull Ioy of goddis luf, þe whilke Ioy es loouyng of gode þat may nogth be tald, and þat woundirful loouyng es in þe saul. And for aboundaunce of ioy and swetnes it ascendis in til þe mouthe, swa þat þe hert and þe tung accord in ane, and body and saul Ioyse in god lifand. ¶ A man or woman þat es ordand til Countemplatif life, fyrst god enspires þaim to forsake þis werld and all þe vanyte and þe couaytise and þe vyle lust þare-of. Sithen he leddis þaim by þaire ane and spekis til þaire hert: and als þe prophete says, he gifs þaim at souke þe swetnes of þe bygynnyng of luf; and þan he settis þaim in wille to gif þaim haally to prayers and meditacyons and teeris. Sithen when þai haf suffred many Page  49 temptacyons, and þe foul noys of thoghtes þat er Idell, and of vanytyse, þe whilke wile combre þaim þat can nogth distroye þaim, es passand away, he gers þaim gader til þaim þaire hertis and fest þaim haally in hym: and opens til þe egth of þaire saul þe yhates of heeuen, swa þat þat ylke egthe lukes in til heeuen. And þan þe stye of luf verrayly ligges in þaire hert and brynnes þare-Inne, and makis it clenne of erthly fylth; and sithen-forthward þai er Contemplatife men and rauyshed in luf. For Contemplacyoune es a sygth: þai se in til heeuen with þaire gastly egthe. Bot þou sal wyte þat na man.has parfite sigth of heeuen whils þai er lifand bodyly here; bot als sone als þai dye, þai er brogth byfore god and seese hym face til face and eghe til eghe, and wonnes with hym with-outen end. For hym þai sogth and hym þai couayted and hym þai lufd in all þaire mygth.

Lo, Cecil, I haf schortly sayd [þe] þe fourme of lufyng, and how þou may come til perfeccyoune and to luf hym þat þou has taken þe til. If it do þe gud and profyte, thanke god, and pray for me. Þe grace of Ihesu Cryst be with þe and kepe þe. Amen.

Ego Dormio et Cor Meum Vigilat

Page  50

Ms. Cambr. Dd V. 64

[folio 122]

(E)Go dormio & cor meum uigilat. Þou þat lyste lufe, herken & here of luf. In þe sang of luf it es writen: «I slepe & my hert wakes.» Mykel lufe he schewes þat neuer is irk to lufe, bot ay, standand, sittand, gangand or wirkand, es ay his lufe thynkand, and oft-syth þarof es dremande. Forþi þat I lufe, I wow þe, þat I myght haue þe als I walde, noght to me bot to my lorde. I wil be-com¯ þat messanger to bryng þe to hys bed, þat hase made þe & boght þe, Criste þe keyng son¯ of heuen: for he wil with þe dwelle. If þou will lufe hym, he askes þe namare bot þi lufe. And my dere syster in Criste, my wil þou dose if þou lufe hym. Criste couaytes ... noght els bot at þou do his wil, and enforce þe, day & nyght, þat þou leue al fleschly lufe, and al lykyng þat lettes þe til lofe Ihesu Crist verraly. For ay whils þi hert es heldand til lufe any bodely thyng, þou may not perfitely be coupuld with god. / In [heuen] er neyn orders of aungels, þat er contened in thre Ierarchies. / Þe lawest Ierarchi contenes Aungels, Archaungels, & Vertues. / Þe mydel Ierarchi contenes Principates, Potestates, & Dominacions. Þe heest Ierarchi, þat neest est god, contenes Thronos, Cherubyn, & Seraphyn. Þe lawest es aungels, þe heest es seraphyn. / And þat order þat leste es bryght, es seuen-sythe sa bryght als þe son¯ es. [And als þou sees þe son] bryghtar þan a kandele, þe kandel bryghtar þan þe mone, þe mone bryghtar þan a sterne: / also er þe orders in Page  51 heuen ilkane bryghtar þan other, fra aungels to seraphyn. Þis I say to kyndel þi hert for to couayte þe felichip of aungels. For al þat er gude & haly, when þai passe owt of þis worlde, sal be taken in til þies orders: Som¯ in til þe lawest—þat hase lufed mykel; Som¯ in til þe mydelmest—þat hase lufed mare; Oþer in til þe heest—þat maste lufed god & brynandest es in hys lufe. Seraphyn es at say «brynand:» Til þe whilk order þai er receyued þat leest couaytes in þis worlde, & maste swetnes feles in god, & brynandest hertes hase in his lufe. // Til þe I write [þis] specialy, for I hope mare godenes in þe þan in a nother, and [þat] þou wil gyf þi thoght to fulfil in dede þat þou seys es maste prophetabel for þi sawle, and þat lyf gif þe til [in] þe whilk þow may halyest offer þi hert to Ihesu Criste, & leste be in bisynes of þis worlde. For if þow stabil þi lufe, & be byrnande whils þou lyfes here: with-owten dowte, þi settel es ordaynde ful hegh in heuen, & ioyful before goddes face, amang his haly aungels. For in þe self degre, þar prowde deuels fel downe fra, er meke men and wymen, Criste dowves, sett, to haue rest & ioy with-owten ende, for a litel schort penance & trauel þat þai haue sufferd for goddes lufe. / Þe thynk [now] perauenture hard to gife þi hert fra al erthly thynges, fra al ydel speche & vayne, & fra al fleschly lufe, & to be al-ane, to walk & pray & thynk of þe ioy of heuen, & of þe passyon of Ihesu Criste, and to ymagyn þe payne of hell þat es ordande for synful man. Bot wyterly, fra þou be vsed þarin, þe wil thynk it lyghter, & swetter, þan þou dyd any erthly thyng or solace. Als sone als þi hert es towched with þe swetnes of heven, þe Page  52 wil lytel lyst þe myrth of þis worlde; and when þou feles ioy in Criste lufe, þe wil lathe with þe ioy & þe comforth of þis worlde & erthly gamen. / For al melody, & al riches & delites þat al men in þis world kan ordayne or thynk, sownes bot noy and anger til a mans hert þat verraly es byrnand in þe lufe of god: For he hase myrth & ioy & melody in aungels sang, als þou may wele wyt. // If þou leue al thyng þat þi fleschly lufe list, for þe lufe of god, and haue na thoght on syb frendes, bot forsake al for goddes lufe, & anely gyf þi hert to coueyte goddes lufe & pay hym; mare ioy sal þou haue & fynd in hym þan I can on thynk, how myght [I] þan w[r]yt it? I wate neuer if any man be in swilk lufe: For ay þe hegher þe lyfe es, þe fewer folowers it hase here, ffor many thynges drawes man fra goddes lufe, þat þow may here and se; and god comfortes his lufers mare þan þai wene þat lufes hym noght. For þof we seme in penance with-owten, we sal haue mykel ioy with-in, if we ordayne vs wysely to goddes seruyce, & sett in hym al owre thoghtes, & forsake al vanyte of þis worlde. // Gyf þien entent til vnderstand þis wrytyng: and if þou haue sett al þi desyre til lufe god, here þies thre degrees of lufe, sa þat þou may rise fra ane til a nother, to þou be in þe heest. / For I wil noght layne fra þe þat I hope may turne þe til halynes. // Þe fyrst degre of lufe es when a man haldes þe ten commandementes, and kepes hym fra þe seuen dedely synnes, & es stabyl in þe trowth of hali kyrke; and when a man wil noght, for any erthly thyng, wreth god, bot trewly standes in his seruyce, & lastes þarin til his lyues Page  53 ende. Þis degre of lufe behoues ilk man haue þat wil be safe. For naman may com til heuen bot if he lufe god & his neghbor, with-owten pride, Ire, envy, or bakbityng, & with-owten al other venemus synne: glotony, lichery, & couayties. For þies vices slaes þe saule & makes it to depart fra god, ... with-owten wham na creature may lyf. For als a man pusonde of a swete morcell takes venome þat slase his body, sa dose a synful wreche in likyng and luste of hys flesch: destrues his sawle, & brynges it to dede with-owten end. / Men thynk it swete to synne: bot þaire mede, þat es ordand for þam, es bitterer þan þe gall, sowrar þan þe atter, war þan al þe waa þat we may here se or fele.

¶ [Al perisches & passes þat we with eghe see]. It wanes in to wrechednes, þe welth of þis worlde. Robes & ritches rotes in dike. Prowde payntyng slakes in to sorow. Delites & drewryse stynk sal ful sone. Þair golde & þaire tresoure drawes þam til dede, Al þe wikked of þis worlde, drawes til a dale, Þat þai may se þare sorowyng whare waa es euer stabel. Bot he may syng of solace þat lufed Ihesu Criste: Þe wretchesse fra wele falles in to hell.—Bot when þou hase wele leued in þe ten comandementes of god & styfly put þe fra al dedely synnes, & payes god in þat degre: vmbethynk þe þat þou wil plese god mare & do better with þi sawle, & becom¯ perfyte: þan enters þou in to þe toþer degre of lufe, þat es, to forsake al þe worlde, þi fader & þi moder & al þi Page  54 kyn, & folow Criste in pouerte. In þis degre þou sal stody how clene þou [may] be in hert, & how chaste in body, and gife þe til mekenes, suffryng, & buxumnes, & loke how fayre þou may make þi saule in vertues, & hate al vices: so þat þi lyf be gastly, & noght fleschly. Neuer-mare speke euyl of þi neghbor, ne gyf any euel worde for a nother, bot al þat men says, euel or gude, suffer it mekeli in þi hert, with-owten styrryng of wreth: & þan sal þou be in rest, with-in & with-owte, and so lyghtly sal þou com¯ to þe gastly lyfe, þat þou sal fynde swettar þan any erthly thyng. // Perfite life & gastly es, to despise þe worlde & couete þe ioy of heuen, & destroy thorow goddes grace al wicked desyres of þe flesch. And forgete þe solace & þe lykyng of þi kynredyn, & lufe [þam] noght bot in god;—whethir þai dy or lyfe, or be pore or riche, [hale] or seke, or in wa or in hele, thank þou ay god, & blisse hym in al [his] werkis. For his domes er so pryue, þat na creature may comprehend þam; // and oft-sithes som¯ haues þar likyng & þair wil in þis worlde, & hell in þe toþer: & som¯ men er in pyne & persecucion & anguysch in þis lyfe, & hase heuen to þair mede. For-þi, if þi frendes be ay in þaire ese, and hele, & welth of þis worlde, þou and þai bath may haue þe mare drede, þat þai lose noght þe ioy of heuen with-outen ende. / If þai be in penance & sekenes, or if þai lyf rightwisly, þai may trayste to com¯ til þe blysse. / For-þi in þis degre of lufe þou sal be fulfilde with þe grace of þe haly gaste þat þou sal noght haue na sorow ne grutchyng bot for gastly thyng, als for þi synnes & other mennes, & after þe lufe of Ihesu Criste, & in thynkyng of his passyon. And I wil þat þou haue it mykel in Page  55 mynde, for it wyll kyndel þi hert to sett at noght al þe gudes of þis worlde, & þe ioy þarof, & to desyre byrnandly þe lyght of heuen, with aungels & halowes. / And when þi hert es haly ordande to þe seruice of god, & al worldly thoghtes put oute: þan wil þe liste stele by þe al-ane, to thynk on Criste, & to be in mykel praying. For thorow gode thoghtes & hali prayers, þi hert sal be made byrnand in þe lufe of Ihesu Criste, & þan sal þow fele swetnes & gastely ioy bath in praying & in thynkyng. / And when þou ert by þe al-ane, gyf þe mykel to say þe psalmes of þe psauter, and Pater noster, & Aue maria; & take na tent þat þou say many, bot þat þou say þam wele, with al þe deuocion þat þow may, liftand vp þi thoght til heuen. / Better it es to say seuen psalmes wyth desyre of Crystes lufe, hauand þi hert of þi praying, þan seuen hundreth thowsand, suffrand þi thoght passe in vanitees of bodyli thynges. What gude hopes þou may come þarof, if þou lat þi tonge blaber on þe boke, & þi hert ren abowte in sere stedes in þe worlde? / For-þi, sett þi thoght in Criste & he sal rewle in til hym, & halde þe fra þe venome of þe worldly bisynesse. / And I pray þe, als þou couaytes to be goddes lufer, þat þou lufe þis name IHESU, and thynk it in þi hert, sa þat ;þou forget it neuer, whare so þou be. And sothely I say þe þat þou sal fynd mykel ioy & comforth þarin; / and for þe lufe, þat þou lufes Ihesu so tenderly & so specialy, þou sal be fulfild of grace in erth, & be Criste dere seruande in heuen. For na thyng pays god swa mykel als verray lufe of þis nam Ihesu. If þou luf it ryght & lastandely, & neuer let for na thyng þat men may do or say, þou sal be receyued in til a heghar lyfe þan Page  56 þou can couete. His godenes es sa mykel, þare we inwardely aske hym ane, he wil gyf fyfe; so wele payde es he when we wil sett al oure hert to lufe hym. // In þis degre of lufe þou sal ouercome þi enmyse: þe worlde, þe deuel, & þi flesche. Bot neuer-þe-latter þou sal euer haue feghtyng whils þou lyfes; til þou dye þe behoues to be bysy to stande, þat þou fal noght in til delites, ne in euel thoghtes, ne in euel wordes, ne in euel warke: For-þi, grete aght þi þernyng be þat þou lufe Criste verrayly. Þi flesche sal þou ouer-com¯ with haldyng of þi mayden-hede, for goddes lufe anely; or, if þou be na mayden, thorow chaste lyuyng & resonabel in thoght & dede, & thorow discrete abstinence. / Þe worlde þou sal ouercom thorow couaytyng of Cristes lufe, & thynkyng on þis swete name Ihesus, & desyre til heuen. / For als sone als þou feles sauour in Ihesu, þe wil thynk al þe worlde noght bot vanyte, & noy for men sawles. / Þow will noght couayte þan to be riche, to haue many mantels & fayre, many kyrtels & drewryse, bot al þou wil sett at noght & despise it als noght it ware, & take na mare þan þe nedes. / Þe wil thynk twa mantels or ane Inogh; þow þat hase fyue or sex, gyf some til Criste, þat gase naked in a pore wede, and halde noght all: for þou wate noght if þow lif til þai be half gane. / Þe deuell es ouercome, when þou standes stabeIy agaynes al his fandyngys, in sothefast charite & mekenes. // I will þat þow neuer be ydel, bot ay owther speke of god, or wirke som notabil warke, or thynk on hym principaly, þat þi thoght Page  57 be ay hauand hym in mynde. And thynk oft on his passyon:

(Meditatio de passione Cristi.)

// My keyng þat water grette, and blode swette; sythen ful sare bette, so þat hys blode hym wette, when þair scowrges mette. / Ful fast þai gan hym dyng, and at þe pyler swyng, & his fayre face defowlyng(!) with spittyng. / Þe thorne crownes þe keyng, ful sare es þat prickyng. Alas my ioy and my swetyng es demed to hyng! / Nayled was his handes, nayled was hys fete, & thyrled was hys syde so semely & so swete. / Naked es his whit breste, & rede es his blody syde; wan was his fayre hew, his wowndes depe & wyde. In fyue stedes of his flesch þe blode gan downe glyde, als stremes of þe strande, hys pyne es noght to hyde. / Þis to see es grete pyte, how he es demed to þe dede, and nayled on þe rode-tre, þe bryght aungels brede. / Dryuen he was to dole þat es owre gastly gude, and alsso in þe blys of heuen es al þe aungels fude. A wonder it es to se, wha sa vnderstude, how god of mageste was dyand on þe rude. / Bot suth þan es it sayde þat lufe ledes þe ryng; þat hym sa law hase layde, bot lufe it was na thyng. / Ihesu, receyue my hert, & to þi lufe me bryng: al my desyre þou ert, bot I couete þi comyng. / Þow make me clene of synne, & lat vs neuer twyn; kyndel me fire with-in, þat I þi lufe may wyn, and se þi face Ihesu in ioy þat neuer sal blyn. / Ihesu, my saule þou mend, þi lufe in to me send, þat I may with þe lend, in ioy with-owten end. / In lufe þow wownde my thoght, and lyft my hert to þe: Page  58 my sawle þou dere hase boght, þi lufer make it to be. Þe I couete, þis worlde noght, & for it I fle; þou ert þat I haue soght: þi face when may I see? / Þow make my sawle clere, for lufe chawnges my chere: how lang sal I be here? [when mai I negh þe nere, þi melody to here,] / Oft to here sang, þat es lastand so lang? Þou be my lufyng, þat I [þi] lufe may syng. //— —If þou wil thynk þis ilk day, þou sal fynde swetnes þat sal draw þi hert vp, þat sal gar þe fal in gretyng, & in grete langyng til Ihesu; & þi thoght sal al be on Ihesu, and so be receyued abouen all erthly thyng, abouen þe firmament & þe sternes, so þat þe egh of þi hert mai loke in til heuen. And þan enters þow in to þe thirde degre of lufe. / In þe whilk þou sal haue grete delyte & comforth: if þow may get grace to com þartill. For I say noght þat þou or a nother þat redes þis, sal do it all: for it es at goddes will to chese wham he will, to do þat here es sayde, Or els a nother thyng on a nother maner, als he gifes men grace til haue þaire hele. For sere men takes seer grace of oure lorde Ihesu Criste: and al sal be sett in þe ioy of heuen, þat endes in charite. Wha sa es in þis degre, wisdom he hase & discrecion, to luf at goddes will. Þis degre es called contemplatife lyfe; þat lufes to be anely, with-owten ryngyng or dyn, or syngyng or criyng. / At þe begynnyng, when þou comes þartil, þi gastly egh es taken vp in til þe blysse of heuen, & þar lyghtned with grace & kyndelde with fyre of Cristes lufe, sa þat þou sal verraly fele þe bernyng of lufe in þi hert, euer mare & mare; liftand þi thoght to god and feland lufe, ioy & swetnes, Page  59 so mykel, þat na sekenes, anguys ne schame ne penance may greue þe, bot al þi lyf sal turne in tyl ioy; & þan for heghnesse of þi hert [þi] prayers turnes in til ioyful sange, and þi thoghtes to melody. / Þan es Ihesu al þi desyre, al þi delyte, al þi ioy, al þi solace, al þi comforth; al I wate þat on hym euer be þi sang, In hym all þi rest. // Þen may þow say: «I slepe and my hert wakes. Wha sall tyll my lemman say [þat] for hys lufe me langes ay?» // All þat lufes vanytees and specials of þis warlde, and settes þaire hertis on any other thynges þan of god, in tyll þis degre þai may noght come, ne in tyll [þe] other degre of lufe before neuynd. And þarfore all worldely solace þe be-houes forsake, þat þi hert be heldande til na lufe of any creature, ne til na bysynes in erth: þat þou may be in sylence, be ay stabilly & stalwortly with þi hert in goddes lufe & hys drede. Owre lorde gyfes noght to men fairehede, ritchesse & delytes, for to sette þaire hertes on & dispend þam in synne: bot for þai sulde knaw hym, & lufe hym, & thank hym of al hys gyftes. Þe mare es þaire schame, if þai wreth hym, þat hase gyfen þam gyftes in body & in saule. / For-þi, if we couayte to fle þe payne of purgatory, vs be-houes restreyne vs perfitely fra þe lust & þe likyng & al þe il delytes & wikked drede of þis worlde; and þat worldely sorow be noght in vs: Bot þat we halde owre hope faste in Ihesu Criste, & stande manly agaynes al temptacions.

Page  60
(Can[tus] amo[ris]).

/ Now I wryte a sang of lufe, þat þou sal delyte in when þow ert lufand Ihesu Criste. // My sange es in syhtyng, my lyfe es in langynge, til I þe se my keyng, so fayre in þi schynyng, / So fayre in þi fayrehede: in til þi lyght me lede, and in þi lufe me fede: In lufe make me to spede, þat þou be euer my mede. / When wil þou come, Ihesu my ioy, & couer me of kare, & gyf me þe þat I may se, lifand euer-mare? Al my coueytyng war commen, if I myght til þe fare; I wil na thyng bot anely þe, þat all my will ware. / Ihesu my sauyoure, Ihesu my comfortoure, of al my fayrnes flowre, my helpe & my sokoure: when may I se þi towre? / When wil þou me kall? me langes to þi hall, to se þe þan al: þi luf lat it not fal, my hert payntes þe pall; þat steds vs in stal. / Now wax I pale & wan, for luf of my lemman: Ihesu bath god & man, þi luf þou lerd me þan, when I to þe fast ran: for-þi now I lufe kan. / I sytt & syng of luf-langyng, þat in my breste es bredde. Ihesu, Ihesu, Ihesu, when war I to þe ledde? Full wele I wate, þou sees my state: in lufe my thoght es stedde; When I þe se & dwels with þe, þan am I fylde & fedde. / Ihesu þi lufe es fest, & me to lufe thynk best: my hert when may it brest, to com¯ to þe my rest? / Ihesu, Ihesu, Ihesu, til þe it es þat I morne: for-[þi], my lyfe & my lyuyng, when may I hethen torne? / Ihesu my dere & my drewry, delyte ert þou to syng: Ihesu my myrth & melody, when will þow com my keyng? Ihesu my hele & my hony, my whart & my comfortyng: Ihesu, I couayte for to Page  61 dy, when it es þi payng. / Langyng es in me lent, þat my lufe hase me sent; al wa es fra me went, sen þat my hert es brent / In Criste lufe sa swete, þat neuer I wil lete, bot euer to luf I hete: for lufe my bale may bete / And til hys blis me bryng, & gyf me my ȝernyng, Ihesu my lufe my swetyng. / Langyng es in me lyght, þat byndes me day & nyght, til I it hafe in syght, his face sa fayre & bryght. / Ihesu my hope my hele, my ioy euer-ilk a dele: þi luf lat it noght kele, þat I þi luf may fele, & won with þe in wele. / Ihesu with þe I byg and belde, leuer me war to dy: þan al þis worlde to welde & hafe it in maystry. / When wil þou rew on me, Ihesu þat I myght with þe be, to lufe & lok on þe? / My setell ordayne for me & sett þou me þar-in: for þen mon¯ we neuer twyn, / And I þi lufe sal syng thorow syght of þi schynyng, in heuen with-owten endyng. AmeN.

Explicit tractatus Ricardi heremite de Hampole scriptus cuidam moniali de Ȝedyngham.

Ms. Rawlinson A 389

[folio 77]

Ego dormio & cor meum vigilat. Þe þat lyste luf, held þine ere and here of luf. In þe sang of luf I fynde it writen þat I haue sett at þe begynnynge of my wrytynge: «I slepe and my hert wakes.» Mykell luf he shewes þat neuere is irke to luf, bot ay, standande, sittande, gangande or any other dede doande es ay his luf thynkand, and oft-sithe þerof dremand. For-þi þat I luf þe, I wogh þe, þat I myght haue þe as I wilde, noght tille me bot till my lard. I wille be comer and messager to bryng þe till his bed þat has made þe and boght þe, Criste þe kynges son¯ of heuen; for he will wed þe if þou wille luf hym; he askes þe na mare bot þi luf. And my wille þou dose, if þou luf hym. Crist couaytes þi fairehede in saule, þat þou gyf hym halely þi hert: and I preche noght ellys bot þat þou do his will, and afforce þe day & nyght to lefe alle fleschely luf and al likyng þat lettus þe to luf Ihesu Crist verrayly; for I-whils þi hert is heldande to luf of any bodyly thyng, þou may not parfitly be cupilde wit god. ¶ In heuen er IX. ordirs of aungels, þat are conte[n]yd in thre Ierarchies: þe lagheste Ierarchy contenys aungels, archangels, vertuȝ. Þe myddes Ierarchi contenys: Potestates, Principatus, Dominaciones. Þe heghest Ierarchi, þat next is til god, contenys: Tronys, Cherubyn, and Saraphyn. Þe laghest ordir is Aungels, þe heghest Seraphyn. And þat ordir þat lest is bryght, is seuen sa bryght as is þis son¯. And as þou sees þe son¯ bryghter þan þe candel, þe candel bryghter þan þe mone, þe mone bryghter þan þe sternys, alswa are þe orders of aungels Page  51 in heuen ilkane brighter þan other, fra aungels tille Seraphyn. Þis I say to kyndel þi hert to couayte þe felawschype of aungels: for alle þat are gode and haly, when þei passe of þis werld, salle be takyn in till þire orders, som til þe lawest: þat has lufed god mykel; som to þe myddes: þat has loued god mare; other til þe heghest: þat mast lufes god and brennandest er in is lufe. / Seraphyn is at saye «brynnande»: tille whilke ordir þai er receyfede þat leste couaytes in þis werld, and mast swetnes felys in god, and brennand[est] hertis han in lufe. ¶ Tille þe I wryte þis specialy, for I hope in þe mare gudnes þan in any other, [&] þat þou wille gyf þi thoght to fulfille in dede þat þou sees is profitable to þi saule, and þat lyf gyf þe tille in þe whilke þou may halelyeste offer þi hert tille Ihesu Cryst and leste be in bysynes of þis werld. For if þou wille stabilly luf god & brennandly whiles þou lyfes here, with-outen doute þi setyll es ordaned for þe ful hegh and ioyfull before þe face of god ymanges haly aungels. For in þe self degres þare proude deuyls felle downe er meke men and wymmen, Cristes doufys, sett in, to haf rest and ioye with-outen ende, for a littul schort penaunce & trauaile þat þei hafe suffrede for goddes luf. ¶ Þe thynke now perauenture harde to gyf þi hert fra alle erthly thynge, fraydil speche, fra al fleschely luf, and ga by þine ane to wake & pray and þinke þe ioye of heuen, & to haue compassion of þe passion of Ihesu Crist, and to ymagyn þe pyne of helle þat is ordeyned for synfulmen. Bot witterly, fra þat þou be vsed þerin, þe wil þinke it lighter & swetter þen euer þe did any erthly solace. / Also sone as þi hert is toched wit þe swetnes of heuen, þe wil litel Page  52 liste þe myrth of þis werlde; and when þou felys ioye in Cristes luf, þe wil lathe wit þe ioye & þe comford of erthly gammyn. For alle þe melodye, alle þe ryches, alle þe delites þat alle þe men in þis world kan ordeyne or thynke, semes & es bot noy & angyre til a mannys herte þat verrayly is brennand in þe luf of god, for he has myrth & melodie of aungel sange, as þou may wel wyit. If þou lefe alle thynge þat þe liste fleschely, & haue na thowght of þi syb frendys, bot for-sake alle for goddes luf, and anely gyf þi herte to couayte goddes luf and to paye him, mare ioye þou schal fynde in hym þan I kan thynke—howe myght I þan wryte hit? I wat neuer if many men be in swilke luf; for ay þe hegher þat þe lyfe es, þe faer folowers it has here, for many thynges drawes men fra goddes luf, þat þou may here & see; [and] god comfortes his lufers mare þan þei wene þat lufes hym noght. For of we seme in penance wit-outen, we salle haue ful mykel ioye within, if we ordeyne vs wysely to goddes seruys and set in hym alle oure thoghtes & forsake vanite. ¶ Gyf alle þine entente to vnderstonde þis wrytyng: [&] if þou haue set þi desire to luf god, here þere thre degres of luf, swa þat þou may ryse fra ane til a nother, tille þou be at þe hegheste; for I ne wil not hil fra þe þat I hope ma torne þe tille halynes. ¶ þe first degre of luf es when a man haldes þe ten commaundementes, and kepes him fra þe seuen dedly synnes, and is stabul in þe trouthe of haly kirke; and when a man wille noght for any erthly thynge wreth god, bot trewly standes in his seruice and lastes þare-in tille his lyfes Page  53 ende. ¶ Þis degree of lufe by-houes ilke man haue þat wille be safe; for na man maye come tille heuen bot if he luf god and his neghbur with-outen pryde, ire and any bakbytyng, and with-outen alle other wennymouse synnes as slawnes, glotery, and lichery, and couaytys: for þere vices slaes þe saule & makes hit to depart fra god þat es lyfe of þe saule; and when a wreched man or wommon es departed fra god, we saye he is ded, for he is slayne fra god with-outen wham na creature may lyf. Als a man poysunde in a swete morsell takes venym þat slas his body, swa dos a synful wreche in likyng and lust, destroyes his saule and brynges hit tille dede with-outen ende. Men þinke hit swete to synne, bot þaire hire þat is ordayned for þaim, es bitterer & galle, sowrer þan atter, wers þan alle þe wa þat man can thynk in erthe. ¶ Alle perisches & passes þat we with eghe see. Hit wanys in till wrechedhede þe wele of þis worlde. Robys & riches rotes in þe dyche. Pryde & payntynge slake salle in sorowe. Delytes and drorys stynke sall ful sone. Þaire gold & þaire tresoure drawes þaim til dede; Alle þe wykked of þis werlde dryues til a dale, Þat þai may see þaire sorowynge þare wa es alle þe rabel. Bot he may synge of solas þat lufed Ihesu Cryst, When alle þe wreches fra wele falles in tille helle.— ¶ Bot when þou has wel lyfed in þe commaundementes of god and styffely keped þe fra alle dedly synnes, and payde tille Criste in þat degre: vmthynke þe þat þou wil mare luf god, & do better with þi saule, and bycome parfite: & þan enters þou in tille þe tother degre of luf, þat es: to forsake alle þe worlde and þi fader and þi moder & alle þi kyn & folowe Page  54 Crist in pouerte. ¶ In þis degree þou schalle stody howe clene þou may be in herte, and howe chaste in body, and gyf þe tille mekenes, suffryng & bosumnes, and loke how faire þou may make þi saule in vertuese, and hate alle vices: swa þat þi lyfe be gastely, noght fleschely; neuer-mare spekand ille of þine neghbur, ny gyf ane ille word for a nother, bot alle þat men says, ille or gode, suffir hit debonerly in þi hert, with-outen stirryng of wreth: and þan schal þou be in reste within, and lightly come in to gastely lyfe, þat þou salle fynde swetter þan any erthely thyng. ¶ Parfite lyfe and gastely es, to despise þe erth, couayte þe ioye of heuen, and destroye thurgh goddes grace alle wikked desires of þe flesche. And forgete þe solace and likyng of þi kynredyne, and luf þaim noght bot in god; whethire þa dye or lyf, be pore or ryche, be hale or seke, in wa or in wele, thank þou ay god, and bles hym in alle his werkes: for his domes are so priue, þat na creature may comprehende þaim; and oftsith sum men has þaire likyng and þaire wele in þis world, and hell in þe tother: and sum men es in pyne & persecucioun & anguys in þis lyfe, and has heuen til þaire mede. For-thy, if þi frendes be ay in es and hele & in welth of þis werlde, þou & þai bathe maye þe mare drede, þat [þai] lose noght þe ioie with-outen ende. If þai be in penaunce, in sekenes, or if þei lyf ryghtwysly, þai may trayste in god to come to his blisse. For-þi in þis degree of luf þou salle sa by filde in grace of þe haly gast þat þou sal noght haue sorowe ne gratyng bot for gastely thynge, and for þi synnes and other mennys, and aftir þe luf of Ihesu Crist, and in thynkyng of his passioun— and þat I wille þat þou hafe mykel Page  55 mynde of, for hit will kyndel þi hert to set at noght alle þe gudes of þis werlde and alle þe ioye, & to desire brennandly þe light of heuen with aungels and haloghys. ¶ And when þi hert is ordayned halely to þe seruice of god, & alle werldes thoght is putt oute: þan wille þe liste stele be þi nane, to thynk of Crist and to be in mykel prayng; for thorow gode thoghtes and haly prayers þi hert salle be made brennande in þe luf of Ihesu Crist, and þan salle þou fele swetnes and gastely ioye bathe in prayinge and in thynkyng. And when þou arte be þi nane, gyf þe mikel to say þe psalmes of þe sawter, and Pater noster and aues; and take not tent þat þou say many, bot þat þou say hom wele, and in alle þe deuocioun þat þou may, lyftande vp thy thoght til heuen. Bettir hit is to say seuen psalmes in desyre of Cristes luf, hafand þi hert on þi praying, þan seuen hundred, suffrande þi thoght to pas in vanitees of bodily thynge. What gode hopes þou may com þerof if þou lat þi tonge blabir on þe boke, and þi hert ryn¯ aboute in sere stedes in þe werld, whare hit will? For-thy set þi thoght in Crist and he salle refe it tille hym and halde hit fra þe venym of werldes bysynes. And I pray þe, as þou couaytes to be goddes lufer, þat þou lufe þis name Ihesu, and thynk hit in þi herte, swa þat þou forgete hit neuer, wharsom¯ þou be: and witterly I hete þe þou salle fynde mykelle ioye & comfort þerin, and for þe luf þat þou lufes Ihesu sa tendirly and sa specialy, þou salle be filde full of grace in erth, and be Cristes dere mayden & spouse in heuen. For na thynge sa mekill pays god as verray luf of his name Ihesu. If þou lufe hit ryght and lastandly, & neuer let for na thynge þat men may saye or do, þou salle be raysed in tille a hegher lyfe Page  56 þan þou can couayte. His godenes es sa mekill þat þare we inwardly aske hym of ane, he wille gyf vs thre: sa wele payed he es when we set alle oure hert to luf hym. ¶ In þis degre of luf þou salle ouercom þi thre enmys: þe werld, þe deuel, and þi flesche;—bot neuer-þe-latter þou schal hafe ay fightyng whils þou lyfes, and ay til þou dye by-houes þe be bysy to stande & to falle noght in ille delyte ne in ille thoght or in ille worde or in ille werkis: for-þi grete augh þi gernynge to be þat þou luf Crist verraily. Þi flesche salle þou ouer-com thurgh [haldyng of þi maydenhede for goddes luf anely, or, if þou be na maydun, thurgh chast lyfynge in thoght and in dede, and thurgh discrete abstinence and resonable seruyse. Þe werld salle þou ouer-com þorow couaytyng of Cristes luf, & thynkynge of his swete name, and desire til heuen; for als son¯ as þou feles sauowr in Ihesu, þe wille thynke alle þe werlde noght bot vanite and noye for mennys saules. Þou wil noght couayte þan to be ryche, to haue many mantils and faire, many kirtils, many dreurise, bot alle þou wil set at noght and despise alle, and take na mare þan þe nedes. Þe wille thynke twa mantils or ane Inogh, þat nowe has fyfe or sex; for-þi gyf som¯ til Crist ;þat gas naked and pore, and hald noght til þe alle: þat wate noght þi lyfe tille þay be halfe gane. / Þe deuyl is ouercommen when þou standis stabilly agayns alle his fandynges, in sothfaste charite ande mekenes. And thynke on me þat I be noght forgeten in þi prayeres, þat is aboute-warde þat þou were dere with Criste, whas mercy me nedys. I wille þat þou be neuer Idel, [bot] be ay other spekand of god, or wirkand some notabul warke, or thynkand in hym and principally, þat þi thoght be Page  57 ay hafand hym in mynde. And thynk oft þis of his passioun:

(Meditacio de passione.)

¶ My kynge þe watur grett, and þe blod he swett; sithen full sare him bett, so þat his blode hym wett, when þaire scourges mett. Ful faste þai gun hym dynge, and at þe piler swynge, his faire face fouled with spittyng. Þe thorne coronys þe kynge, fulle sare es þat prykkyng. allas my ioye and my swetyng, es demed for to hynge! Nayled was his hende and nayled was his fete, & thirled es his syde sa semely & sa swete. Naked his white brest, and red his blody syde; wan was his faire hewe, his woundes depe & wyde. In fyfe stedys of his flesche þe blode gan downe glyde, as þe streme dos of þe strande, þis pyne es noght to hyde. To thynke es gret pite, how demed es tille þe dede, and nayled on þe tre, þe bryght aungels brede. Dryuen he is til dole þat is oure gastly gode, and fouled as a fole, in heuen þe haloghys fode. A wondir hit is to se, wha-som vndurstode, how god of mageste was dyande on þe rode. Bot sothe þan is [it] saide þat luf ledes þe rynge; þat him sa laughe has laide, bot luf hit was no thynge. Ihesu, resayue my hert, and til þi luf me brynge: alle my desir þou art, I couaite þi comynge. Þou make me clene of synne, and lat vs neuer twyn¯, kyndel me fyre withinne, þat I þi luf may wynne, and se þi face Ihesu in blys þat neuer may blynne. Ihesu, my saule þou mende, þi luf in to me [MS Vernon (Bodl. Eng. poet.a I)]

Page  60

Nou i write a song of loue, þat þou schalt delyte in whon þou art louyng Ihesu Crist. ¶ My song is in syngyng (R. sittyng), Mi lyf is in longing, to þe (R. þat) i seo my derlyng so feir in his schyning, So feir in his (R. þi) feirhede: in to þi liȝt þou me lede, And wiþ þi loue þou me fede, In loue mak me to spede, And þou beo euere my mede. // Whonne wolt þou come, Ihesu my ioye, & keuere me of sore, And ȝeue me þe þat i may se & haue for euer-more? Al my coueiting were comen, ȝif i miȝte to þe fare; I wol no þing but only þe, þat al my weolnes (R. wilnes) ware. Ihesu my saueour, Ihesu my cumfortour, Of alle feirhede þe flour, Myn help and my socour: Whon may i se þe in þi tour? ¶ Whon wolt þou me calle? Me longeþ to þin halle, To seo þe & hem alle: Þi loue let hit not falle ... ¶ Now wax I pale & won, For loue of my lemmon. Ihesu boþe god and mon, Þi loue (R. lore) þou lered me þon, Whon i faste to þe ron: For-þi nou loue i con. ¶I sitte and synge of loue-longynge, þat in myn herte is bred. Ihesu, Ihesu, Ihesu, whi neore i to þe led? For wel I wot þou seost my stat, in loue my þouȝt is sted; Whon i seo þe, and dwelle wiþ þe, [MS Rawlinson A 389] *. [Ms. Rawl. continues] þan am I filde and fed. Ihesu þi luf es feste, and me to luf thynke beste: my hert when may hit brest, til com to þe my reste? Ihesu, Ihesu, Ihesu, tille þe es þat I mourne; For-þi, my life and my lyfynge, why ne may I hythen tourne? Ihesu my dere and my drewry, delite art þou to synge; Ihesu my myrth my melodie, when wille þou com my kynge? Ihesu my hele and my hony, my whert, my com- Page  61 fortynge: Ihesu, I couaite for to dye, when it is þi payinge. Langynge es in me lente, þat my luf has me sent; alle wa fra me es went, sen þat my hert es brent ¶ In Cristes luf sa swete, þat neuer I wille lete, bot euer to luf I hete: for luf my bale may bete / and til my blys me brynge, and gyf me my ȝernynge, Ihesu my luf swetyng. Langynge es in me light, þat byndes me day & nyght, til I hit hafe in sight, his face so fayre an bryght. Ihesu my hope & hele, my Ioie euer-ilka dele, þi luf lat it noght kele, þat I þi lufe may fele, and won wit þe in wele. Ihesu with þe I bygge and belde, leuer me ware to dye, þan al þis worlde to welde and hafe it in maystry. When wil þou rewe on me, Ihesu þat I myght with þe be, to luf and loke on þe? my setill ordayne for me, and sett þou me þare-in: for þan we neuer twynne, and I þi luf salle synge, thurgh syght in þi schynyng, In heuen wit-outen endyng. amen.

The Commandment

Ms. Cambr. Dd. V. 64

[folio 129]

(Þ)E comawndement of god es þat we lufe oure lorde, In al oure hert, In all oure saule, In al oure thoght. Page  62 // In al oure hert, þat es, in al oure understandyng, with-owten erryng. // In al owre sawle, þat es, in al oure will, with-owten gaynsaiyng. // In al oure thoght, þat es: þat we thynk on hym with-owten forgetyng. In þis maner es verray lufe & trew; þat es werk of mans will. / For lufe es a wilful stiryng of owre thoght in til god: sa þat it receyue na thyng þat es agaynes þe lufe of Ihesu Crist; and þar-with, þat it be lastand in swetnes of deuocion: and þis es þe perfection of þis lyfe. / Til þe whilk al dedely syn es contrary & enmy, bot noght venyall syn. / For venial syn dose noght away charite: bot anly lettes þe vsce & þe byrnyng þarof. For-þi, all þat wil lufe god perfitely, þaim behoves noght al-anly fle al dedly synnes, bot alsa, als mykel als þai may, all venial syn, in thoght, and worde, & dede. And namly, to be of lytel speche. And þat sylens be in occupacion of gode thoghtes, it helpes gretely to goddes lufe. / For Iangelers & bakbyters, þat appayres other mens lyfe with wikked wordes, and all þat roses þar awne state before all other, or þat despises any state in þe whilke a man may be safe: þai haue na mare syght of þe lufe of god in þaire sawle, þen þe egh of a bak has of þe sonne. / For vayne speche & ill wordes, er syngne of a vayne hert & ill, þat es with-owten grace of god. And he þat spekes ay þe gode, & haldes ilk a man better þan hym-selfe: he schewes wele þat he es stabel in godenes in hys hert, & ful of charite til god & til his neghbor. // And þat þou may wynne til þe swetnes of goddes lufe, I sett here thre degres of lufe, in þe whilk þou be ay waxand. // Þe fyrst degre es called Insuperabel, / þe Page  63 secunde Inseparabel, / þe thyrd Singuler. // Þi luf es Insuperabel: when na thyng may ouer-come hit, þat es, nowther wele ne waa, ese ne anguys, lust of flesch ne likyng of þis worlde; bot ay it lastes in gode thoght, if it wer temped gretely, & it hates all syn: sa þat na thyng may slokken þat lufe. // Þi lufe es Inseparabel: when al þi thoghtes & þi willes er gederd to-geder & festend haly in Ihesu Criste, swa þat þou may na tyme forgete hym, bot ay þou thynkes on hym. And for-þi it es called Inseparabel: for it may noght be departed fra þe thoght of Ihesu Criste. // Þi luf es singuler: when al þi delyte es in Ihesu Cryste, & in nane other thyng fyndes ioy & comforth. In þis degre es lufe stalworth as dede, & hard as hell. For als dede slas al lyuand thyng in þis worlde, sa perfite lufe slas in a mans sawle all fleschly desyres and erthly couaytise. And als hell spares noght til dede men, bot tormentes al þat commes þartill, alswa a man þat es in þis degre of lufe, noght anly he forsakes þe wretched solace of þis lyf, bot alswa he couaytes to sofer pynes for goddes lufe. / Þarfore if þe lyst lufe any thyng, lufe Ihesu Criste, þat es þe fayrest, richest, & wysest; whas lufe lastes in ioy endles. // For al erthly lufe es passand, & wytes sone away... / If þou be couetose after gode: luf hym, & þou sal haue al gode. Desyre hym trewly, and þe sal wante na thyng. If delites like þe: lufe hym, for he gyfes delites til hys louers þat neuer may perisch: — bot al þe delytes of þis world, er faynt and fals, & fayland in maste nede; þai bygyn in swettnes, & þair endyng es bitterer þan þe gall. If þou kan noght lyf with-owten felichip: lyft þi thoght til heuen, þat þou may fynd comforth Page  64 with aungels & halows, þe whilke wil helpe þe til god, & noght lett þe, als þi fleschly frendes dos. / Restreyn þi will a while, fra al lust and lykyng of syn, & þou sall haue efterwarde al þi will: For it sal be clensed & made sa fre, þat þe lyst do na thyng bot þat þat es payng of god. If þe lyste speke: forbere it at þe begynnyng for goddes lufe: For when þi hert feles delyte in Criste, þe wil not liste to speke ne iangell bot of Criste. If þow may not dreghe to syt by þi nane: vse þe stalworthly in hys lufe, & he sal sa stabyly sett þe, þat al þe solace of þis worlde sal noght remove þe, for þe will noght list þarof. // When þow ert be þi-self, be ay, till slepe come, owther in prayer or in gode meditacioun. And ordane þi prayng & þi wakyng & þi fastyng, þat it be in discrecion, noght ouer-mykel na ouer-litel: Bot thynk ay þat of all thyng maste coueytes god þe lufe of mans hert. And for-þi seke mare to lufe hym, þan to do any penance. For vnskylful penance es litel worth or noght: Bot lufe es ay þe best, whether þou do penance mykel or lytel. Be abowtwarde in þi myght, þat þou war swa inwardly gyuen til þe lufe of Ihesu Criste, þat for gastly ioy of þi sawle na thyng þat men may do or say, make þe sary; swa þat þi thoght with-in be fed anly in þe swetnes of Cristes lufe; & noght in delyte of erthly ese; ne in louyng of men, when þai begyn to speke gode of þe, in ydel ioy. Trayst in god, þat he wil gif til þe þat þou prayse hym skilfully. // Skylful prayer es til cristen mans sawle: to seke & aske, nyght & day, þe lufe of Ihesu Criste, þat it may lufe hym verraly, feland comforth & delyte in hym; owt kastyng worldes thoghtes Page  65 & il bysynes. / And sykir be þou, if þou couayte his lufe trewly & lastandly, swa þat na lufe of þi flesche, ne angers of þe worlde, ne speche ne hatreden of men, draw þe agayne, & caste þe noght in bisynes of bodily thyng: þou sal haue his lufe, & fynd and fele þat it es delitabeler in a nowre, þan al þe welthe þat we here se may, til domesday. // And if þou fayle & fall for temptacions, or for angers, or for ouer-mykel luf of þi frendes: it es na wonder if he halde fra þe thyng þat þow couaytes noght trewly. // He says þat he lufes þam þat lufes hym; and: þai þat arely wakes til hym, sal fynde hym. // Þow ert arely wakand oft-sythe, why þan fyndes þou hym noght? Certes, if þou seke hym ryght, þou sall fynde hym. Bot ay whiles þou sekes erthly ioy: if þou wake neuer sa arely, Criste may þou noght fynde: for he es noght funden in þair lande þat lyues in fleschly lustes. Hys moder, when he was willed fra hyr, scho soght hym gretand, arely and late, ymang his kynredyn & hirs: bot scho fand hym noght, for al hyr sekyng, til at þe laste scho come in til þe tempyl, & þare scho fand hym syttand ymange þe maysters, herand and answerand. Swa behoues þe do, if þou wil fynd hym: seke hym inwardly, in trouth, & hope, & charite of haly kyrk; castand owt al syn, hatand it in al þi hert: for þat haldes hym fra þe, & lettes þe þat þou may noght fynd hym. // Þe herdes þat hym soght: fand hym lyand in a krybbe, by-twyx twa bestes— þat þou knawes. // If þou seke hym verraly: þe behoues ga in þe way of Pouert, and noght of riches. // Þe sterne led þe thre keynges in til Bedlem: þar þai fand Criste swedeld in Page  66 clowtes sympely, as a pore barne. Þarby vnderstand: whils þou ert in pryde & vanyte, þou fyndes hym noght. How may þou for schame, þat es bot seruand, with many clathes & riche folow þi spowse & þi lorde, þat yhede in a kyrtel: and þou trayles als mykel behynd þe, as al þat he had on? // For-þi I rede þat þou parte with hym, ar þou and he mete: þat he reprove þe noght of outrage; for he wil þat þow haue þat þou hase mister of, & na mare. He sayde til his discipyls þat þai sulde noght haue als many clathes as twa myght be sustend with; forto traueyle þare-abowte, es owtrage bisynes, þat he forbedes. // Þe lufe of Ihesu Criste es ful dere tresure, ful delytabyl ioy, & ful syker to trayst man on. For-þi, he wil not gyf it to folys, þat kan noght hald it & kepe it tenderly: Bot til þaim he gese it þe whilk nowther for wele ne for wa wil lat it passe fra þam, bot are þai wil dye or þai wolde wrath Ihesu Criste. / And na wyse man dose precyous lycor in a stynkand vessell, bot in a clene. Als Criste dose noght his lufe in a foule hert in syn, & bownden in wile lust of flesche, bot in a hert þat es fayre and clene in vertues. Noght-for-þi, a fowle vessel may be made sa clene, þat a ful dere thyng sauely may be done þarin. And Ihesu Criste oftsythes purges many synfull mans sawle, & makes it abyl thurgh his grace to receyue þe delitabel swetnes of hys luf, & to be his wonnyng-stede in halynes; and ay þe clennar it waxes: þe mare ioy & solace of heuen Criste settes þarin. For-þi, at þe fyrst tyme when a man es turned to god: he may not fele þat swete lycor, til he haue bene wele vsed in goddes seruys, & his hert be purged thorow prayers & Page  67 penance & gode thoghtes in god. For he þat es slaw in goddes seruyce, may noght be byrnand in lufe, bot if he do al his myght, & trauell nyght & day, to fulfill goddes will. And when þat blyssed lufe es in a mans hert: it will not suffer hym be ydel, bot ay it stirres hym to do som gode þat myght be lykand til god, as in praying, or in wirkyng profitabel thynges, or in spekyng of Cristes passyon; and principally in thoght, þat þe mynde of Ihesu Criste passe noght fra his thoght. For if þou lufe hym trewly: þou wil glad þe in hym, & noght in other thyng; and þou [wil] thynk on hym, kastand away al other thoghtes. Bot if þou be fals & take oþer þan hym, & delyte þe in erthly thyng, agaynes his wille: wit þou wele, he will forsake þe as þou hase done hyme, and dampne þe for þi synne. // Wharfore, þat þou may lufe hym trewly, vnderstand þat his lufe es proued in thre thynges: In thynkyng, In spekyng, In wirkyng. Chaunge þi thoght fra þe worlde, & kast it haly on hym: & he sall norysche þe. Chaunge þi mowth fra vnnayte & warldes speche, & speke of hym: & he sall comforth þe. Chaunge þi hend fra þe warkes of vanitese, & lyft þam in his name, & wyrke anly for hys lufe: & he sall receyue þe. Do þus: & þan lufes þou trewly, and gase in þe way of perfitenes. / Delyte þe sa in hym, þat þi hert receyue nowther worldes ioy, ne worldes sorow; and drede no anguys ne noy þat may befalle bodyly on þe or on any of þi frendes: bot betake all in til goddes will, & thank hym ay, of all hys sandes: swa þat þou may haue rest & sauowre in hys lufe. For if þi hert owther be ledde with worldes drede, or worldes solace, þou ert full fer fra þe swetnes Page  68 of Cristes lufe. / And loke wele þat þou seme not ane with-owten, and be a nother wyth-in, als ypocrites dose, þe whilk er like til a sepulker þat es paynted richely with-owten, & wyth-in rotes stynkand banes. If þou haue delyte in þe name of religion: loke þat þou haue mare delyte in þe dede þat falles til religion. Thyne abett says þat þou hase forsaken þe world, þat þou ert gyuen till goddes seruys, þat þou delyte[s] þe noght in erthly thyng: lok þan þat it be in þi hert, als it semes in men syght—For na thyng may make þe religious bot vertues & clennes of sawle in charite. / If þi body be cled wyth-owten as þine order wille, loke þat þi sawle be noght naked with-in—þat þine order forbedes: Bot naked be þi sawle fra all vices, & warme happed in lufe and mekenes. Drede þe domes of god, sa þat þou wrath hym noght. Stabel þi thoght in hys lufe, & helld owt of þe al synnes. Kast away slawnes, vse þe manly in godenes; be deboner & meke til al men, lat na thyng bryng þe til Ire or envy; dyght þi sawle fayre & make þar-in a towre of lufe til goddes son¯, and gar þi will be couaytous to receyue hym, als gladly as þou walde be at þe commyng of a thyng þat þou lufed mast of al thyng. Wasche þi thoght clene wyth lufe-teres & brennand ȝernyng, þat he fynd na thyng fowle in þe: for his ioy es þat þou be fayre & lufsom in his eghen. Fayrehede of þi sawle, þat he couaytes, es þat þou be chaste and meke, mylde and sufferand, neuer irk to do his wille, ay hatand all wykkednes. In al þat þou dose, thynk ay to com¯ to þe syght of his fairehede, & sett al þine entent þarin þat þow Page  69 may com¯ þar-til at þine endyng—for þat aght to be þe ende of al oure traueyle, þat we euermare, whils we lyue here, desyre þat syght, in all oure hert, & þat we thynk ay lang þar-till. // Als-sa festen in þi hert þe mynd of his passyon & of his woundes: grete delyte and swetnes sal þou fele, if þou halde þi thoght in mynde of þe pyne þat Cryst sufferd for þe. / If þou traueyle right in hys lufe, & desyre hym brennandly: all temptacyons & dredes of ill þou sall ouercom, & deful vnder þi fote, thorow his grace. / For al þat he sees in gode will to luf hym, he helpes þam agaynes all þar enmys, and rayses þar thoght abouen all erthly thyng, swa þat þai may haue sauoure & solace in þe swetnes of heuen. // Purches þe þe welle of gretyng, & cees noght till þou haue hym. For in þe hert whare teres sprynges, þar wil þe fyre of þe haly gaste be kyndelde: and sythen þe fyre of lufe, þat sal byrn in þi hert, wil bryn til noght al þe rust of syn, & purge þi sawle of al fylth, als clene as þe golde þat es proued in þe fournes. I wate na thyng þat swa inwardly sal take þi hert to couayte goddes lufe and to desyre þe ioy of heuen & to despyse þe vanitees of þis worlde, as stedfast thynkyng of þe myscheues & greuous woundes [&] of þe dede of Ihesu Criste. It wil rayse þi thoght abouen erthly lykyng, & make þi hert brennand in Cristes lufe, & pur[ch]es in þi sawle delitabelte and sauoure of heuen. // Bot per-aunter þou will say: «I may noght despyse þe worlde, I may not fynd it in my hert to pyne my body, & me behoues lufe my fleschly frendes, and take ese when it comes.» If þou be temped with swilk thoghtes, I pray þe þat þou vmbethynk Page  70 þe, fra þe begynnyng of þis worlde, whare þe worldes louers er now, & whare þe louers er of god. Certes, þai war men & wymen as we er, and ete & drank & logh: and þe wreches þat lofed þis worlde toke ese til þair body & lyued as þam lyst, in likyng of þair wikked will, & led þair dayes in lust & delyces: & in a poynt þai fel in til hell. / Now may þou see þat þai wer foles, & fowle glotons, þat in a few ȝeres wasted endles ioy, þat was ordand for þam if þai walde haue done penance for þair synnes. Þou sese þat al þe ryches of þis world, & delytes vanys a-way and commes til noght. Sothely, swa dose al þe lofers þar-of: For nathyng may stande stabely on a fals gronde. Þair bodys er gyn til wormes in erth, & þair sawles til þe deuels of hell. Bot all þat forsoke þe pompe & þe vanite of þis lyfe, & stode stalworthly agaynes all temptacions, and ended in þe lufe of god: þai ar now in ioy, & hase þe erytage of heuen, þar to won with-owten end, restand in þe delyces of goddes syght. For here þai soght na mare rest ne ese til þair body, þen þai had nede of. // A thyng I rede þe: þat þou forgete noght þis name IHESU, bot thynk it in þi hert, nyght & day, as þi speciall, & þi dere tresowre. Lufe it mare þan þi lyfe, rute it in þi mynde. Lufe Ihesu, for he made þe, and boght þe ful dere. Gyf þi hert till hym: for it es his dette. For-þi set þi lufe on hys name Ihesu, þat es «hele». // Þer may na ill thyng haue dwellyng in þe hert þar Ihesu es halden in mynde trewly: For it chaces deuels, & destroyes temptacions, and puttes a-way wykked dredes & vices, & clenses þe thoght. Wha sa lofes it verraly, es full of goddes grace & vertues; in gastly comforth in þis lyfe, & when Page  71 þai dye þai er taken vp in til þe orders of awngels, to se hym in endles ioy þat þai haue lufed. Amen.

Explicit tractatus Ricardi Hampole scriptus cuidam sorori de Hampole.
Page  61

Ms. Rawlinson A 389

[folio 81]
¶ Richard hermit.

Þe commaundement of god is þat we lufe oure lord in al oure hert, in al oure sowle, in al oure thoght. In Page  62 al oure hert, þat is in al oure vndirstondyng with-outen erryng. In al oure sowle, þat is in al oure wille with-outen ȝeynsaiyng. In al oure thoght, þat is, þat we thynk on hym with-outen forgetyng. In þis manere is verray luf & trewe, þat is werke of monnes wille. For luf is a wilfu! stiryng of oure thoght in to god: so þat it receyue no thyng þat is aȝeyns þe luf of Ihesu Crist, and þare-with þat it be lastyng in swetnes of deuocion: and þis is þe perfeccion of þis lif. To þe whiche al dedly synne is contrary & enemy, bot not venial synne: for venial synne doth not awey charite, bot onli letteth þe ois and þe brennyng þare-of. Þare-fore alle þat wil luf god parfitly, þaim behouith not onli fle alle dedly synnes, bot also, als michel als þai may, al veniale synne, in thoght, and word, and dede; and namely to be of littul speche—and þat silence be in occupacion of gode thoghtes, It helpes gretly to goddes luf. For ianglers and bakbiters þat apeireth othir mennes lif with wicked wordes, and alle þat louen þaire owene state by-foren alle othere, or þat despiseth any state in þe whiche a man may be sauf: thai haue no more sight of þe luf of god in þaire sowle þen þe egh of a backe hath of þe sonne. For veyn speche and ille wordes arne signe of a veyne hert & ille þat is with-outen þe grace of god. And he þat speketh ay þe gode, and holdes iche mon better þen him-self: he schewith wele þat he is stable in godnesse in his hert, & ful of charite to god and his neghbur. ¶ And þat þou may come to þe swetnesse of goddes luf, I sette here thre degrees of luf, in þe whiche þou be waxing. ¶ þe first degre is cleped Insuperable, þe tother Page  63 Inseparable, þe thridde Singuler. Thi luf is insuperable, when no thing may ouer-com it, þat is, nouther wele ne wo, ese ne anguys, luf of flesch ne likyng of þis world; bot ay it lasteth in god, þogh it were tempted gretly, and hit hateth al synne, so þat no thyng may slakne þat luf. ¶ Thi luf is inseparable, when alle thi thoghtes and alle thi willes are gaderd to-gedir & festned holly in Ihesu Crist, so þat þou may notyme forȝete hym, bot ay þou thynkest on hym; and þerfore it is cleped inseparable, for it may not be departed fro thoght of Ihesu Crist. ¶ That luf is singuler, when al þe delit is in Ihesu Crist, and in non other thing fynde ioye or comfort. In þis degre is luf stalworthe als ded, and hard als helle: for als ded slees al lyuyng thing in þis world, so parfit luf sleth in a monnes sowle alle fleschely desires and erthly couaytise. And als helle spareth not to ded menne, bot tormenteth alle þat cometh þerto, so a mon þat is in þis degre of luf, not only he forsakith þe wreched solace of þis lif, bot also coueiteth to suffre pynes for godes luf. Þare-fore if þe list luf any thing, luf Ihesu Crist, þat is fairest, richest & wisest, whos luf lasteth in ioye endeles; for al erthly luf is passing and witeth sone a-wey; noht þat falleth þerto is dwellyng, bot pyne þat it deserued. If þou be coueitous aftur gude: luf him and þou hast al gude; desire hym trewly & þe schal wonte no thyng. If delites like the: lufe him, for he ȝeueth delites to his lufers þat neuer may perisch: bot alle þe delices of þis world are feynt and fals and failyng in most nede; / thai bygynne in swetnesse and þair endyng is bitterer þen galle. If þou kan not lyfe with-outen felashipe: lift þi thoght to heuen, þat þou may fele Page  64 comfort with aungels and halewes, þe whiche wil helpe þe to god, & not lette þe als þi fleschely frendes doth. / Restreyne þi wille a while fro al lust and likyng of synne and þou schalt haue afterward al thi wille: for hit shal be clensed & made so fre, þat þe wil lust to do no thyng bot þat is paiyng to god. If þe lust speke: for-bere it at þe bygynnyng for goddes luf: for when þi hert feleth delit in Crist, the wil not lust speke ne iangle bot of Crist. If þou may not dreghe to sitte bi thyn one: oise the stalworthly in his luf and he shal so stabli sette þe, þat al þe solace of þis worlde shal not mowe remewe þe, for the wil not luste þare-of. / When þou art bi thi-self, be ay, to slep come, outhir in prayer or in gode meditacioun. / And ordeyne þi wakyng and þi praying and þi fasting, þat it be in discrecioun, not ouer-mychel ne ouer-litel: bot thynke ay þat of alle thinges most quemeth god luf of monnys hert. / And þare-fore seche more to luf hym þen to do any penance; for vnskilful penance is litul worth or noght, bot luf is ay þe best, whether þou do penance mychel or litel. ¶ Be aboutewarde in al þi myght þat þou were so inwardly ȝeuen to þe luf of Ihesu Crist þat for gostli ioye of þi sowle nouht þat men may say or do made þe sory, so þat þi thoght withinne be fed only in þe swetnesse of Cristes luf, not in delit of erthly ease, ne in louyng of men, if þai be-gan to speke gude of the, ne in idel ioye. / Trust in god, þat he wil ȝeue to the thingis þat þou prayes hym skillefully. Skylful prayer is to cristen mennes sowle to seche and aske nyght and day þe luf of Ihesu Crist, þat it may luf him verrali, feling comfort & delit in him, oute-kasting worldes thoghtes and Iuel Page  65 bisines. / And siker be þou, if þou coueite his luf trewli & lastyngli, so þat no lust of þi flesche, ne angrynge of þe world, ne speche ne hatereden of men, drawe aȝeyn & cast þe not in bisinesse of bodili thynges: þou shalt haue his luf, and fynde and fele þat hit is delitabler in an oure þan alle þe welthe þat we here see, may be to domes-day. And if þou faille and falle for temptacions, or for angres, or for ouer-myche luf of þi frendes: it es no wonder if he holde fro þe thing þat þou coueitest not trewly. He sayth þat he lufes thaim þat lufes him; and, þei þat erly waketh to him schal fynde him. Þou art erely wakyng oftesyth, whi þan fyndes þou him not? Certes if þou seche hym ryght, þou schalt fynde him; bot whiles þou sechest ertheli ioye, þogh þou wake neuer so erli, Crist may þou not fynde: for he is not founden in þaire londe þat lifes in flescheli lustes. ¶ His moder, when he was willed fro hire, soght wepyng erely & late amonge his kynreden and hires: Bot sche fonde him not for alle her schetyng and her sorowyng, to at þe laste sche come in to þe temple, and þere sche fonde hym sittyng among þe maistres, heryng and onsweryng. So behoueth þe do, if þou wilt fynde hym: seche inwardly, in trouthe & hope and charite of holichirche, castyng oute al synne and hathing it in al þi herte: for þat holdeth hym fro þe, and letteth þe þat þou may not fynde hym. ¶ Þe herdemen þat soght, fonde him liggyng in a crybbe, bi-twene two bestes; þat þou knowe, if þou seche hym verraly, þe be-houeth go in þe way of pouert, and not of richesse. ¶ Þe sterre led þe thre kynges in to Bethleem: þere þei Page  66 fonde Crist in swethil-cloutes simpli, as a poure childe. Þarby vnderstonde þat whiles þou art in pryde and vanite, þou fyndest him not. How may þou for schame, þat art bot seruant, with mony clothes & riche folewe þi spouse and þi lord, þat went in on kirtil: & þou trailest as myche bihynde þe, as al þat he had on? Þare-fore I rede þat þou part with hym er þou & he mete, þat he reproue þe not of outrage; for he wil þat þou haue þat þou hast myster of, and nomore. He said to his disciples þat þei schulde not haue als mony clothes als two moght be susteined with—for to trauaile þare-aboute, is outrageous besenesse, þat he forbedeth. ¶ The luf of Ihesu Crist is ful dere tresor, ful delitable ioy, and ful siker to trust men on. Þare-fore he wil not ȝeue hit to foles, þat can not holde hit and kepen it tenderly: bot to thaim he ȝefeth it þe whiche nouther for wele ne for wo wil let it passe fro thaim, bot þei wil die er þei wolde wrathe Ihesu Crist. / And no wysmon dos precious licour in a stynkyng vessell, bot in a clene. Also Crist dos not his luf in a foule hert(e) in synne, and bonden in vil lust of flesshe: bot in an herte þat is faire and clene in vertues. Neuer-þe-latter a foule vessel may be maked so clene, þat ful dere thyng sauely may be don þere-in. And Ihesu Crist oftesithes purgeth mony synful monnes soule, & maketh it able thurgh his grace to resceyue þe delitable swetnesse of his luf, and to be his wonyngstede in holynesse; and ay þe clenner it waxeth, þe more ioy & solace of heuen(e) Crist setteth þare-in. Þarefore at þe first tyme when a mon is turned to god, he may not fele þat swete licour til he haue ben wel oised in goddes seruice and his herte be purged thurgh prayers Page  67 & penance & gode thoghtes in god; for he þat is slowe in goddes seruice, may not be brennyng in luf, bot if he do al his myght and trauaile nyght and day to fulfille goddes wille. And when þat blissed luf is in a monnes herte, it wil not suffre hym to be idel, bot ay it stireth hym to do som gode þat myght be likyng to god, as in praying, or in worching profitable thinge, or in spekyng of Ihesu Crist; and principally in thoght, þat þe mynde of Ihesu Crist passe not fro his thoght. For if þou lufe hym trewly, þou wil(t) glade þe in him and not in other thyng, / and þou wilt thynk on him, castyng awey alle othir thoghtes. / Bot if þou be fals & take othir þen him and delite þe in erthely thyng aȝeins his wille: witte þou wele he wil forsake þe as þou hast don hym, & dampne (þe) for þi synne. / Wharfore, þat þou may luf hym treweli, vndirstonde þat his luf is proued in thre thynges: In thynkyng, in spekyng, in worchyng. / Change þi thoght fro þe world and cast hit holli on hym, and he schal norisshe þe. / Change þi mouth fro vnprofitable & wordli speche (& speke) of hym, and he schal comfort the. / Change þine honden fro werkis of vanites and lift þaim in his nome and worche only for his luf, and he schal resceyue þe. Do þus and þou lufes him trewly and þou gost in þe wey of parfitenesse. Delite þe so in hym þat þi hert resceyue nouther worldes ioy ne worldes sorowe; and drede not anguyse or noy þat may be-falle bodili on the or on any of þi frendes, bot betake al in to goddes will, and thanke him ay of all his sondes: so þat þou haue rest and sauour in his luf; for if þi herte outher be led with worledes drede, or worldes solace, þou art ful far fro þe Page  68 swetnesse of Cristȝ luf. And loke wele þat þou seme not on withouten and be an other withinne, as ypocrites doth, þe whiche are like to a sepulcre þat is peynted richely with-outen, and withinne roteth stynkyng bones. If þou haue delit in þe [name of religion, loke þat þou haue more delyte in þe] dede þat falleth to religion. Þin habit saith þat þou hast forsaken þe world, þat þou art ȝefen to goddes seruice, þat þou delites þe not in erthely thyng: loke þenne þat it be in þi hert(e) as hit semeth in mennes sight—for nothþing may make þe religious bot vertues and clennesse of soule in charite. If thi bodi be clothed with-outen as þin order wil, loke þat þi soule be not naked withinne—þat þin order forbedeth: bot naked be thi soule fro alle vices, and warme happed in luf & mekenes. Drede þe domes of god, so þat þou wretthe him not; stabil þi thoght in his luf, and held oute of þe alle synnes; cast awey slowenesse, oise þe monli in godenes, / be deboner ande meke to alle men, lete no thing brynge þe to ire or enuy(e); dight thi soule faire, make þare-inne a trone of luf to goddes son, and make þi wille be coueitous to receyue hym as gladli as þou woldest be at þe comyng of a thyng þat þou lufed most of alle thyng. Wasshe þi thoght clene with luf-teres and brennyng desiryng, þat he fynde no thyng foul in þe: for his ioy is þat þou be faire & lufesom in his eghen. / Fairehede of þi soule þat he coueiteth, is þat þou be chast & meke, mylde & suffrynge, neuer irk to do his will, ay hatyng alle wrychednesse. In al þat þou dost think ai to come to þe sight of his fairehed, & sette alle þin entent þare-inne þat þou may come þare-to at thin endyng— Page  69 for þat oweth to be ende of al oure trauail þat we euermore, while we life here, desire þat sight in alle oure hert, and þat vs ay thynk longe þar-to. ¶ Also festne in thin herte þe mynde of his passione & of is woundes: gret delit and swetnes schal þou fele, if þou holde þi thoght in mynde of þe pyne þat Crist suffred for þe. ¶ If þou trauaill ryght in his luf, and desire him brennyngli: alle temptacions & dredes of euel þou salt ouercome and defoule vnder þi fete thurghe his grace; for alle þat he seeth in gode wille to luf him, he helpeth thaim aȝeins alle thaire enemys, and reiseth þair thoght abouen erthely thynge, so þat thei may haue sauour of þe swetnesse of heuen. Purchace the þe welle of wepyng, and cese not til þat þow haue hym: for in þe hert where teres spryngen, þer wil þe fire of þe holigost be kyndelet: and sithen þe fire of luf, þat schal brenne in þi herte, wil brynge to noght al þe rust of synne, and purge þi soule of al filthe, als clene as þe gold þat is proued in þe fourneys. ¶ I wote no thinge þat so inwardly schal take þi herte to coueit goddes luf / and to desire þe ioy and to despise þe vanites of þis world, as stedfast thynkyng of þe mysese & greuous woundes and of þe deth of Ihesu Crist: it wil reise þi thoght abouen ertheli likyng / and make thin herte brennyng in Cristes luf, and purchace in to þi soule delitablete and sauour of heuene. / Bot peraunter þou wilt say: «I may not despise þe worlde, I may not fynde it in my hert to punysshe my bodi, and me behoueth luf my flessheli frendes, and take ease when it comes.» If þou be tempted with suche thoghtes, I pray þat þou bethynk þe, fro þe bigynnyng of þis Page  70 worlde, where þe worldes luferes are now, / and where þe lufers are of god. Certes, þai were men and wemen as we are, & ete and dronk and loghe: / and þe wrecches þat lufed þis world toke ese to þair body, and lifed as þaim luste in likyng of þaire wicked wille, and ledde þair daies in lust and delices: and in a pointe þai felle to helle. Now may þou see þat þai were foles and foule glotons, þat in a fewe ȝeres wasted endles ioye þat was ordeynt for tham if þai wold han don penance for thaire synnes. // Þou seest þat al þe riches and delite of þis worlde vanisseth awey and cometh to noght. Sothli, so doth alle þaire lufers: for no thyng may stonde stabli on a fals gronde. Þair bodies are ȝeuen to wormes in erthe, and þaire soules to þe deuelles in helle. / Bot alle þat forsoke þe pompe and þe vanite of þis lif, and stode stalworthly aȝeins alle temptaciones, / and ended in þe luf of god: þai are now in ioye and haue þe heritage of heuen, þere to won with-outen ende, restyng in þe delices of goddes sight; for here þei soght no more rest ne ese to þair body þen thai had nede of. // O thynge I rede the: þat þou forȝete not þis nome Ihesu, bot thenk hit in þi hert nyght and day, as þi special and as þi dere tresour. Luf hit more þan þi lif, rote it in þi mynde. Luf Ihesu, for he made þe, and boght þe ful dere. Ȝef þi hert to hym: for it is his dette. Þerfore set þi luf on his nome Ihesu, þat is hele. // Þere may non euel thing haue duelling in þat hert(e) þer Ihesu is trewly holden in mynde: for it chaceth deuelles, it destruyeth temptacions, it putteth awey wicked dredes and vices, and clenseth þe thoght. Who so loueth hit verraily, is ful of goddes grace and vertues, in gostli comfort in þis lif, and when þai Page  71 die, þai are taken vp in to þe ordre of aungels, to se him in endles ioye þat þai haue lufed. Deo gracias.

Page  [83]

Meditations on the Passion

[Text I: shorter version] Ms. Cambr. Ll I. 8

[folio 201]

SWete lord Ihesu Cryst, I thanke þe and ȝelde þe graces of þat swete prayere and of þat holy orysoun þat þou madest beforn þe holy passyoun for vs on þe mownt of Olyuete. Y beseche þe, swete lord, þat þou here my prayere. ¶ Adoramus te Christe & benedicimus tibi. Pater noster. Aue maria. ¶ Swete lord Ihesu Cryst, y thanke þe and I ȝelde þe graces of þat mychel ferdenesse þat þou haddyst for vs whan þou become so ful of angwysch þat an aungel of heuene cam to confortyn þe, wenne þou swattest blod for angwysche. I preye þe, lord, and byseche þe for þi swete mercy, þat þou be myn help in al myn angwysch and my fondynges, and send me, lord, þe aungel of red and of confort in alle my nedys: þat I myȝte turne thorow þat swet owt of al sekenesse of soule in to lyf of hele of body(!). Adoramus & c. ¶ Pater. Aue. ¶ Swete Ihesu, I thanke þe and I ȝelde þe graces of pynes and angwysches and schames and felonyes þat men dyden þe al with tresoun: men bowndyn þe os a thef, with-owten mercy and pyte. ¶ Lord, I thanke þe of þo swete and pytows pasys þat þow ȝede for owre loue toward þin owne peyne and þin owne deth. I prey þe, lord, and byseke þe þat þou vnbynde vs of bondys of alle owre synnys, os þou suffred to be bownde for owre loue. ¶ Adoramus. ¶ Pater. Aue. ¶ I thanke þe, swete lord Ihesu Cryst, of þe pynus and of þe schamus þat þou suffryd before þe byschopus and maystres of þe lawe, and of þine enemys of buffetys and of neckedyntes, and of many oþer schamus þat þou suffred. ¶ And among oþere I thanke þe, lord, of þat lokynge þat þou lokyd to þi decyple þat þe hadde forsakyn, seynt Petyr: þou lokyd to hym with syȝt of mercy when þou were in þi most angwysch and in þi most peyne; opynly þou schewyd þere þe loue and þe charyte þat þou hadde to vs, þat schame no peyne ne no thyng may drawe þin herte fro vs, in also mykel os in þe is. ¶ Swete lord ful of mercy and of pyte, þere we thorow þi blessyd lokyng may turne to þi grace and repent vs of owre trespas and of owre mysdede, so þat we may come with seynt Petyr to þi mercy. ¶ Adoramus. ¶ Pater. ¶ Aue. ¶ I thanke þe, swete lord Ihesu Cryst, of alle peynes and tormentys / Page  84 and scornynges and sclawndrynges & schamys þat men dyde & seyde to þe þat nyȝt in þat harde prisoun þat þei helde þe Inne. Lord, I pray þe and beseke þe þat þou ȝeue me sofferynge and strenkethe for to with-stande stedefastely aȝeynes alle þe assaylynges & fondynges of my foos and of myn enemys gostely and bodyly. Adoramus. ¶ Pater. ¶ Aue. ¶ Lord Ihesu Cryst, I thanke þe of alle þe peynes and schamus þat þou soffred beforn Pylate, and of alle þi pases and þi steppys þat þou ȝedyst for me in al þat sorewe, now hyderward now þiderward, now byfore on and now byfore anoþer. I thanke & beseche þe, lord, for alle þeise peynes and þese schamus and þeise greuawnces & þe pases þat þou ȝede þenne in þat ilke tyme for þe loue of vs, þat þou drawe and ryȝte owre gatys and owre steppys to þe-ward & to þi seruyce. ¶ Adoramus. ¶ Pater. ¶ Aue. ¶ Swete lord Ihesu Cryst, I thanke þe of peynes þat þou soffred for vs, and for þe swete blod þat þou bledde for vs, whan þou were so sore betyn and bownden to þe pyler, þat ȝyt it is sene þe blood on þe pyler. I prey þe and byseke þe as my dere lord, þat swete blood þat þou bledde so largely for me, may be ful remyssyoun for my soule. ¶ Adoramus. ¶ Pater. ¶ Aue. ¶ Swete lord Ihesu Cryst, I thanke þe of þe peynes and schamys þat þou thorow þi swete wylle soffred for vs whan þou were clad in purpre for to schame þe, and þe corowne with thornys for to pyne with þi swete hed, and þei on knelyng on skorn callyd þe, lord, kyng and mayster, and with al þat on þi swete face spytted so fouly, and so fouly engleymede þi fayre face with þe foule styngynge spyttynge of þe foule cursyd Iues, & bofetede & smyten and betyn on þi swete hed with Inne(!); and of þi byttere woundes I thanke þe, of þi peynes and of þi swete blood þat ran doun & stremyd fro þi blessyd face. I praye and byseche þe, dere lord, þat þou defende vs fro synne, and fro schame þat we han deseruyd for synne. ¶ Adoramus. ¶ Pater. ¶ Aue. ¶ Swete lord Ihesu Cryst, I thank þe þat þou were so by-bled þanne, so crownyd with thornys before alle þe folc, and þi swete face so spytted & so beclemyd with þe fowle & þe styngynge spyttynge of here corsede mouthes. Þan were þou on eche a syde forcryed and hyed to stronge deth, and to foule deth of hangynge demyd, blessyd and thankyd be þou. I beseche þe, dere lord, þat þou for þi mychel mercy gyue me grace and wysdom my-self for to Iugge and deme, to sauacion of my soule. ¶ Adoramus. Pater. ¶ Aue. ¶ Swete lord Ihesu Cryst, I thanke þe of peynes and of schamus þat þou soffrede so swetely & so gladly, now for to drawe þe, now for to putte þe so schamely, now for to smyte þe, now for to bete þe so sore & so felly; and for to bere þine owne rode on þi swete nakede bac, as it were a thef þat bare hys owne galewys for to be hangyd onne hym-selue at þe mownt of Caluarye, þere men hedyd wyckede men and theuys wheþur he were þef or mansleere: and þere þou soffryd hem to do þe on þe cros. ¶ Dere lord Ihesu mercy, þat welle art of mercy, why wyl not myn herte breste and cleue in-two? whou schal it euere laste, whan it rennyth in myn herte at þi kyrtel-chaungynge whou woo þou were begon: whan þe fals Herode let tak it of þe, þat clemyd faste with þe blood of þat harde scowrgynge to þe flesch of þi body þat sore was betyn and rowyd, and rent þi sely skyn; þe kyrtel clemyd þere-to, and dryed was þere-to; þi flesch was so tendur, so seek and so soor, þat þei drow it of þi body pytously and harde, ne hadde þei no reward whow soore þe Page  85 bystood þe stryppynge: for þere-with folewyd somme of þe pecys of bledderys and of þe rent skyn. Þan was þi seke body, precyous lord, al reufully rowed and bled, þe stem stood of þi body & rekyd al-abowte, þe dew-dropys þat þanne roos þere-with it is to thenke. ¶ A, lord, I [se] þi rede blod renne be þi chekys, stremys after yche a strook, byforn & behynde. Þe skyn of þin hed þi crowne hath al to-rente, eche a thorn þat þere is sytteth to þi brayn-panne. Alas þat I schal lyue and se my gracyous lord so soffrenge and so meke, þat neuere trespasyd, so schamely bedyȝt! þe grucchynge & þe gronynge, þe sorwe & þe syschynge, þe rewthe of hys chere, I wolde were my deth. Þe crowne of al blysse, þat crownes alle blessede, & kyng is of alle kynges, & lord is of lordys, is of helle-houndys crowned with thornys; þe worchype of heuene despyced and defouled; he þat schop þe sonne & al þat is ouȝt, of al þe gode in erþe þat al is of hys gyfte, he hadde not were-Inne hys heed he myȝte hyde, but is so porely become, vs to make ryche, þat al nakyd he goth, in syȝt of alle þe folk. ¶ A, lord, þi sorwe, why were it not my deth? now þei lede þe forthe, nakyd os a worm, þe turmentoures abowtyn þe, & armede knyȝtes. Þe prees of þe peple was wonderly strong; þei hurled þe and haryed þe so schamefully, þei spurned þe with here feet os þou hadde ben a dogge. I se in my soule how reufully þou gost, þi body is so blody, so rowed and so bledderyd, þi crowne is so kene þat sytteth on þi hed; þi heere meuyth with þe wynde clemyd with þe blood; þi louely face so wan & so bolnyd with bofetynge and with betynge, with spyttynge with spowtynge, þe blood ran þere-with, þat grysyth in my syȝt; so lothly and so wlatsome þe Iues han þe mad, þat a mysel art þou lyckere þan a clene man. Þe cros is so heuy, so hye, and so stark, þat þei hangyd on þi bare bac, trossyd so harde. ¶ A, lord, þe gronyng þat þou made, so sore and so harde it sat to þe bon. Þi body is so seek, so febyl and so wery, what with gret fastynge before þat þou were take, and al nyȝt wooke with-owten ony reste; with betynge with bofetynge so fer ouur-take, þat al stowpynge þou gost, & grym is þi chere. þe flesch þere þe cros sytteth is al rowed, þe bleynes and þe bledderys are wanne and bloo; þe peyne of þat byrden sytteth þe so sore, þat iche foot þat þou gost it styngyth to þin herte. Þus in þis gronynge and in þis mychel pyne, þou gost owt of Ierusaleȝ toward þi deth. Þe cyte is so noble, þe pupyl is so mychel, þe folk comyth rennynge owt of iche a strete, þanne stondyth vp þe folk, and þe [folio 203] grete reke, þat wonder men may þat þere-onne thynke. With swyche a processyoun of worldely wondrynge, was neuere no thef to þe deth lad. Somme þere were of þe comown peple þat sysched sore and grette for þi wo, þat wysten þe so turmentyd and þat it was for envye, for þe princes and þe byschopys þat ladden þe lawe, þei dyden þe to þe deth for þi soth sawes, whan þou of here erroures wolde hem repreue. Þei knewe it was owtrage and wrong þat þou soffrede, and folwyd þe wepyng and syschyng sore. Þou þan seyde thyng þat after fel: þou bad hem wepe for hem-selue, and for þe grete vengeaunce þat scholde falle for þi deth on hem and vp-on here chyldren, and vpon al þe cyte, þat sythen was fordon & for þe vengeaunce of here owne gylt chasyd owt of here place. ¶ A, lord, þe sorewe þat fel to þi herte, whan þou on þi modur caste þine eyen. Þou saw hyre folewe after among þe gret prees, Page  86 os a womman owt of hyre-selue hyre handys sche wrong, wepynge and syschynge hyre armys he caste, þe watur of hyre eyen dropped at hyre feet; he fel in dede swowne ofter þan onys, for sorewe of þe peynes þat to hyre herte smyten. Þe sorewe þat he made and þe mykel dool agreggyd many-fold alle þin oþere peynes. So whan heo wyste þat it so was, þan was hyre wel wers, and þou also for hyre wepyst; so was ȝoure sorewe eyther for oþer waxenge manyfold with hepynge sorewys. Þe loue of ȝowre hertys þat ouer alle oþere loues was wyth-owte make brennyng kene, made ȝow to brenne eyther for oþer with vnlyke sorewe to ony oþer woo; as þe loue was makeles, so þe sorewe was perelees, it stykyd at ȝowre hertys os it were deth. ¶ A, lady, mercy, why were þou so bolde among so manye kene foos to folewe so ny? how was it þat arwenesse of wommankynde or maydenhed schamynge ne hadde þe with-drawyn? for it was not semely to þe to folewe swych a rowte, so vyle and so schamefully, so grysly to see! But þou ne hadde no reward to no mannys drede, ne to nouȝt ellys þat þe schulde lette, but as owt of þi-self for dool and for sorewe of þi sonys passyoun was al þin herte set. Ȝowre loue was so kene eythyr to other, and so brennynge hot, þi syschengys were so fer fet, þe dool of ȝowre chere was dedly woo. Þe loue and þe sorewe þat styked in þi breest, refte þe þe reckyng of bodyly drede and of worldes schame and alle maner of lettynges, þat os owt of þi-selue þi sorwe hath þe mad. ¶ A, lady, for þat sorewe þat þou soffryd of þi sonys passyoun—for þat schulde haue bien myn owne, for I it hadde deseruyd and manye werse, I was cause þere-offe and he gylteles: os þe dere woundes were myn owne ryȝt, gete me for þi mercy on of hem alle, a prikke at myn herte of þat ilke peyne, a drope of þat rewthe to folewe hym with. Ȝyf al þat wo is my ryȝt, gete me of myn owne, ne be þou not so wrongful to with-holde al. / Þow al þi woo be þe leef, ne art þou nouȝt swythe large? parte with þe poore þat lytel hath or non; gyf me of þi sykynges þat sykest so sore, þat I may syke with þe, þat began þat woo. I aske not, dere lady, kastelys no towrys ne oþer worldys wele, þe sonne nor þe mone ne þe bryȝt sterrys, but woundys of reuthe is al my desyr, peyne and compassyoun of my lord Ihesu Cryst. Werste and vnworthyest of alle mennys haldyng, I haue appetyte to peyne, to beseke my lorde a drope of hys reed blod to make blody my soule, a drope of þat watur to waschyn it with. ¶ A, lady, for þat mercy, þat modur art of mercy, socoure of al sorewe and bote of alle bale, modur mad of wrecchys and of [al] wooful: herken to þis wrecche & vysyt [þ]y chyld: soue in myn herte, þat is hard os ston, a sparcle of compassyoun of þat dere passyoun, a wounde of þat reuthe to souple it with. ¶ A, lord, þat peyne þat lyther Iues so cruel & so kene at þe mownt of Caluarye with-owten ony mercy pynyd þe with. Þei cast þe cros doun flat on þe grounde, and with stronge ropys knyt to þine handys and to þi feet, & layde þe þere-onne; þei drow and streynyd þe streyȝte on brede and on lenkthe by handys and by feet, and dryue In þe nayles, fyrst in þe ton hand, and drow harde, and after dryue þat oþer. Þe nayles were blonte at þe poynt, for þei schulde breste þe skyn & þe flesch; þei grauyd þine handys & þi feet al with þe blonte nayles, for þe more peyne. ¶ Foderunt manus meas & pedes meos. ¶ Gloryouse lord so doolfully dyȝte, so rewfully streynyd vp-ryȝt on þe [rode]: for þi mykel mekenesse, þi mercy þi miȝt, Page  87 þou bete al my bale with bote of þi blood. ¶ A, lord, þe pyte þat I now se: þi woundys in þi streynynge reche so wyde, þi lymes and þi nayles(!) are so tendre. Þou lyst rowyd and reed streyned on þe cros, þe kene crowne on þin hed þat sytteth þe so sore, þi face is so bolnyd þat fyrst was so faire; þi synwes & þi bonys styrten owt so starke, þat þi bonys may be nowmbryd; þe stremys of þi reede blood rennyn as þe flood, þi woundys are for-bled and grysly on to se. Þe sorewe þat þi modur makyth encresuth þi woo. ¶ A, lord kyng of myȝt, þat leuyn woldust þi myȝt & os vnmyȝty become my wrongys to ryȝte: what is it þat I speke & bete þe wynd? I speke of þe felyng of þe & fynde I no taste, I blondre in my wyrkyng os man þat is blynd, I studye in my thouȝtes and þei wyrken al wast: it is tokenyng of my deth, and fylthe of my synne, þat slayn hath my sowle & stoke is þere-Inne, and stoppyth al þe sauoure, þat I may nouȝt the fele, þat so schamely haue ben þi tretoure vntrewe; it myȝt be a prisoun, gloryouse lord, to þi godhed; þe stynke of my schame, þe sorwe of my soule, þe fylthe of my mouthe, ȝyf I lykke þere-onne it fylyth þi name: so may I no manere þe swetnesse of the taste, þat I haue lost thorow synne to han lykyng of swyche comfort—for I blondre gladly in lustys of many dyuerse blamys. But þou gloryouse lord, þou quykenyst þe dede, & turnyd hast þou manyfold and brouȝt hem to heuenly mede: þe blynde-born þou lyȝted, in book os i rede: it betokenyth gostely werkys, it is no drede. Quikne me, lord Ihesu Crist, & gyf me grace þat I may fele som of þe sauowre of gostely swetnesse; lene me of þine [l]yȝt, þat I may som-what syȝt haue in soule my thryste to kele. But wel I wot þis þat I haue rad, þat who-so ȝernyth and sekyth a-ryȝte: þou he fele þe nouȝt, he hath þat he wot nouȝt, þi loue of godhede;—it hath vs dyȝt þis speche; and swyche oþere: þat ȝef a man no sauowre fynde, thenk hym-self owt castynge, and rebukynge and reuylynge & seyng hys weykenesse and ȝeldyng hym-self vnworthy deuocion to haue or ony swyche specialte of oure lord god, whan so euere he may no deuocion fynde: þenne he schal gete sonnest þe gyfte of hys grace. ¶ Þenne þere went after þe cros many Iues ynowe and reysyd it vp and lyft it vpon hy, with al þe myȝt þat þei hadde, and squat it harde in to þe pyt of þe hyl þat made was þerfore: þi woundes borsten and ronnyn sore owt, þat alto-schakyd hangyd þi body, wo was þe bygon! ¶ Lord, woo was þe þanne, whan þe sore woundys of þi feet and of þine hondys þat were byfore alle men most tendre, þat bare al þe weyȝte of þine blessyd body þat was so faire and large. Þat sore & þat sorewe þi modur byheld, þat so louely was and so meke and so mylde: he fel doun often-sythe and syschyng among, þe sorewe stoke hyre in þe brest as it were deth; hyre hed heo heng doun dolfully, hyre handys sche wrong, þe terys were ful ryue þat sche þere grette. Þe syschynges and þe sorewes þat sche þere made, was ekyng of þi woo, and made it manyfold. Þe place was so wlatsome and gronyng stede, þe stynk of þe careynes in þi nose smot. So was þou pyned in þi fyue wyttes, to hele with oure trespas þat we þere-with han wrouȝt. ¶ Agayn þat we trespaste with owre syȝt, þou wolde of þe Iues be blynfeld. ¶ Agaynes þe synne of owre nose-smellynges, þe smellyng of þe careynes as þou hengyd on þe rode smot in þi nose, þat was to þe ful greuows. ¶ Agayn owre tastynge, þou tasted of þe galle: so poore was Page  88 þou mad of þi grete bledynge. ¶ Agayn leccherous heryng þat we þe with han greuyd, þou wolde with þine erys here myche wrong: whan men accused þe falsly of synne, callynge at þi corownynge in scorn and hatrede & sayde «heyl be þou kyng» and spytted in þi face; þe heryng of þe foule cry whan þei cried alle «do hym on þe rode, þe cros schal be hys dom»; and also whanne þei sayde «he couthe othere men saue: lat hym saue hym-self now, ȝyf he can». [By] þe herynge of þeise & of oþere wordys wyckedly þou wolde in þat swete wyt for vs be pyned. ¶ Agayn þe synne of felyng and of euele gatys, were þi handys and þi feet with harde nayles thyrlyd, and fro þe hed to þe feet, with coronynge and scourgynge, with bofetynge and betynge, with spornynge and puttynge, with harde cordys knyttynge, and on þe cros streynynge, þou wolde, gloryous lord, for me harde be pyned. / Þere honges þou so poore and so woo-bygon, þat of al þis worldys gode, þat was al þine owne, þou haddest not but a pore cloth to kyuere with þi lymes priuye. Þou þat art of kynges kyng and lord of lordys— helle and heuene and al þis world is al þin owne—þou wolde in tyme of þi deth for me be so poore, þat erthe hadde þou not so myche þat þou myȝte dye onne: but on þe harde rode hangynge in þe eyre, þere was þi deth-bed delfully dyȝt: þe rode hadde a fote of erthe or ellys lytel more þat it stod vpon, and þat was to þi payne! ¶ By þe it was reufully sayd, gloryouse lord, þat foxes han here dennys, and fo[wl]us han here nestes, but þou hadde not at þi deth no thyng þin hed to reste onne. Ihesu, why were it nouȝt my deth þe dool and þe sorewe, whan I thenk in my thouȝt whou reufully þou spake whan þou sayde: «Alle ȝe þat passyth be þe way, abydeth and byholdyth ȝyf euere ony peyne þat euere soffred any man, or ony wordely woo, be lyk þe sorwe þat I soffre for synful mannys sake.» Nay, lord, nay, þere was neuere non so hard, for it was makeles; of alle peynys þat euere were, so hard was neuur fowndyn. And ȝyt seydys þou, lord, so swetely and so mekely: ¶ Vinea mea electa, ego te plantaui: þat is: «My dere vynȝerd», seydust þou, þat is, my dere chosen, «haue I nouȝt my-self þe plauntyd? why art þou so bytter?» ¶ Popule meus, quid feci tibi: þat is: «My swete, what haue I þe don? haue I þe wratthyd, þat þou dost me þis woo? haue I not ȝeuyn þe al my self, and al þat euere þou hast, and lyf with-owten ende ȝef þou it wyl take, my body to þi foode, and to deth on rode, and hyȝt þe al my-selue in heuene to þi mede? haue I with my gode dede hyrtyd þe so sore, or with my swete dawntynge greuyd þin herte?» ¶ Lord, þou besowte þi fadur in heuene for þe foule traytourys, þe tyrauntys, þe tormentours, þat he schulde forgyue hem þi deth, and al þat þei trespasyd; and seyde þe wrecchys wyst not what þei dyde. And also to þe thef þat hangyd be þi syde, þat euere sythen he cowde hadde vsyd thefte: þat he schulde be in blysse with þe þat ilke day. Þou sette nouȝt for-þi þat he schulde haue for hys synne long peyne, but at þe fyrst askynge þat he þe mercy crauede, and knew þe forgod, and hys owne trespas, als sone þou ȝaf hym þe grawnt of grace & of mercy, with-owten ony lengere delayng in blysse for to be. ¶ Lord, for þi mercy, þat welle art of mercy, say to me þat am þi thef þat þou to hym sayde—for I haue stole þi gode dedys, and vsyd mys þi grace, þe wyttus and þe vertues þat þou to me hast lent. Þou þat were so gracyous and so curteys and so mylde to Page  89 grawnte hym þat grade in þi most woo: now þou art in blysse þere nouȝt is þat þe greuyth, but owre mysdedys are þat þe lettyth, ne be þou nouȝt daungerows nor straunge for to craue, but manyfold more gracyows be—for seldom seth [men] ony man þat ne is more gracyous whan hym best lykyth, þenne in hys most woo.— ¶ A, lord, þi modur was woo, and þou for hyre also woo, whan sche schulde þe forgo, and þou þi leue toke, bytawȝte hyre to seynt Iohan, in stede of þe to seruyn hyre & to comforten os hyre sone; in tokenynge þou seyde: «Womman, loo here þi sone», and to Iohan: «loo here þi modur.» Þou betook mayde mayde to kepe; þi wysdom wolde not þi modur leue by hyre one, but þat þere were on to hyre in stede of comfort assygnede. ¶ A, lady, woo was þe þanne whan þou with þine herys herde þat word! þat sorewe myȝte han bien þi deth, of þat leue takynge and of þi sonys woo. Þe terys of þin eyen ronnen ful faste, þi syschynges and þi sorewys to þin herte sat ful ny, þou fel doun swounyd with al þi lymes loose; þine armys fel þe by, þin hed doun hangede, þi rody wex al wan, þi face ded pale: þe swerd of þi sonys woo thorow-strook þin herte. ¶ Animam tuam pertransibit gladius, þat is: «þe swerd schal glyde thorow þine herte.» ¶ A, lady, þat sorewe may no tunge telle þat þou þere soffryd at þat ilke chawngynge: whan þou in þi sonys stede, þi flesche and þi blood, schulde anoþer felow take: for almygty god a dedly man, decyple for þe mayster, Iohan for Ihesu Cryst; þat chawnge to þe was so dolful os a throw of þi deth. Lady, why hadde I nouȝt þenne bien by þe and herd þat þou herde, and sen þat ilke syȝt, and of þi mykel sorewe hadde take my part, ȝyf I myȝte in cas han sleckyd þi woo?—for men seyn swyche a word: þat [it] is often solace to haue in peyne companye.—¶ Lord, þou cryed aftyr þat so dolfully on þe rode and sayde þat þe thrysted—os lytel wondur was. Þenne was to þe byrled eysyle and galle, of hem þat þou þine herte-blood wolde blede fore. ¶ A, lord, þou it took and tastyd þere-offe; for þou wolde for vs in iche a wyt be pyned. Þat thryst was twofold: in body and in soule; þou thryst with a gret ȝernynge aftur þeire amendement þat dyden þe to þe deth, and also for þe soulys þat þanne were in helle, þat hadde in here lyues kepyd þi lawys. Blessyd is þat ilke man, gloriows lord swete Ihesu, þat ony thyng in hys lyue may soffren for þi sake of bodyly peyne or any worldys schame, or ony fleschely lustys gostely or bodyli for þe loue of þi name holly forsake, or may in any poynt folewe þe here wyth þe schadowe of þi cros, þat is scharpe lyuynge. ¶ A, lord, þe reuthe, þe dedly dool, þat in manys herte owȝte to synke whan þat men thynken on þat word þat þou on þe rode sayde, & made to þi fadyr so reufully þi mone: ¶ Eloy, Eloy, Lamazabatani: þat is: «My god, my dere god, why hastow al forsakyn me, þat no thyng þou me sparyst?» ¶ Gloryous lord, þin manhede was for vs al forsakyn, so vyle deth and pyneful soffred neuere man. Þi godhede it wolde for synful mannys sake, with-owten ony sparynge þat þe was so be-gon; neuere martyrdom ne bodyly peyne lyk þin. Þi manhed was so tendur boþe bodyly and gostely: and þe peyne neuur-þe-lesse ouer alle peynes. Þe dignyte so excellent, þe faderys sone of heuene: by-twene two theuys þou hengyd on þe cros, and þat in myddes þe worlde, hit was no priue schame; os of alle theuys þe cheueteyn in myddys hem þou hengyd, al nakyd, þi skyn to-drawe and ilke a lyth from oþer, Page  90 þe kene crowne on þin hed þat þou was crownyd with. Þi woundys were so grysly and so wyde drawyn, þe blod þat þow bledde was delful to se. Þe sorewe of þine modur was to þe more pyne þanne al þi bodyly woo; þat passyd alle þe toþer: þe losse of here soulys þat pyned þe soo. ¶ Lord, þi mykyl mercy may non herte thenkyn, ne þat endeles loue & louely reuthe þat þou on þe guode settyst þat folewith þi wylle: whan þi sorwe was soo mykyl for hem þat were þi foos. ¶ Lord, I wele in my thouȝt þe rode foot take in my armys, flat os þou lay þere vpon þe grounde, with þe stynk of þe dede mennys bonys þat lay þere so wlatsom vndur þi nose; no thynge schal me þanne greue ne chawnge myn herte, so þat gret comforte it schal to me be with lykande thouȝt. I wyl not vpward castyn an eye to se þat gloryouse syȝt, þi woundys to byholde: for I am, gloryouse lord, manyfold gylty and cause þere-offe, os vnworthy þat syȝt to se. ¶ I wolde among þe dede, þat lyn styngynge fouly, lay me flat on þe grounde, & neþerere ȝyf I myȝte, þe vertu and þe grace to kepe of þi blood; þennes wyl I not ryse ne non gate flytte, tyl I be with þi precyous blood bycome al reed, tyl I be markyd þere-with os on of þine owne, & my soule softyd in þat swete bath: so may it falle, gloryouse lord, þat myn herd harte may opene þere-with, þat is now hard os ston, bycomen al nesche and quyckenen in þi felyng. ¶ Lord, þi swete passyown reysyd þe dede of here grauys and þei walkyd abowte, hyt openyd helle-ȝatys, þe erthe tremblyd þere-with, þe [sonne] lost hys lyȝt: and my sory herte, þat is of þe deuelys kynde, hardere þan þe stonys þat clouyn at þi deth, it may not of þi passyoun a lytel poynt fele, ne I ryse not with þe dede in reuthe þere-offe, ne I cleue not as þe temple, ne os þe erthe tremble, ne opene þe closyng þat is so harde speryd. ¶ My lord, is now þe malyce of my lyther herte / more þan is þe vertu of þi precyouse deth, þat wrouȝte swyche wondrys and many on mo, and þe mynde þere-offe styreth not myn herte? Whe, lord, a drope of þi blood to droppe on my soule in mynde of þi passyoun may hele al my sore, souple and softe in þi grace [it] þat is so harde, and so dyen(!) whan þi wylle is. / I wot wel, myn herte, gloryouse lord, is not worthy come to þe þat þou þere-Inne lyȝte; it is nouȝt of þe dygnite of þin holy sepulere þat þou were [inne] in manhed closyd: but to helle, lord, þou lyȝted to vysyten and to ryȝte: and in þat ilke manere I aske þin comynge. I knowe wel, gloryouse lord, þat i was neuere worþi to be þi modur felowe, to stonde at þi passyoun with hyre and with Iohan: but, lord, in þat entente ȝyf I may not be þere for my grete vnworthynesse to sen þat selly syȝt, I holde me worthy for my gret trespas to hange be þi syde os þe thef hangyd. So, lord ȝyf I may not as worthy be þere, I aske os þe gylty þe part of þi deth: þat þou I be not worthy þat myn herte be lyȝted, my nede and my wyckednesse askyth þat þou it ryȝte. ¶ Come þanne at þi wylle, heuenelyche leche, and lyȝten me sone os þou my nede knowyst; a sparkle of þi passyoun, of loue and of reuthe, kyndele in myn herte to quychen it with: so þat al brennyng in loue ouur al thynge, al þe world I may forgete, and baþe me in þi blood. Þan schal I blesse þe tyme þat I fele me so styred [to þe] of þi grace, þat al wordely wele and fleschely lykyng ageyn þe thouȝt of þi deth lykyth me nouȝt. ¶ Whe, lord, þou bytawte in to þi faderys handys at þe poynt of þi deth þi gloryouse gost, and sayde: ¶ Pater, in manus tuas &c., þat Page  91 is: «Fadur, in þine handys I betake my soule.» And in trewe tokenynge of oure soule-hele, þat al was fulfylled in þi blysse of þi blood, þou saydest at þe laste: ¶ Consummatum est, ¶ þat is: «Al is endyd.» Þanne fel doun þine hed, and þe gost went owt. Þe erþe þanne tremblede, þe sonne lost hys lyȝt: þat al merk was þe wedur os it hadde ben nyȝt; þe dede rysyn, in wytnesse of þe godhede to knowe; þe temple þanne clef, þe stonys alto-roof. With a scharpe spere þine herte þei stroke: þe blood and þe watur þere-offe went owt. ¶ Þus gloriose lord, it styreth in myne mynde: I se þi blood laue owt of handys and of feet, þi sydes thyrled with þe spere, þi woundes dryed and al to-ran, þi body al be-bled, þi chyn hangyd doun, & þi teth bare; þe whyte of þin eyen is cast vp-ward, þi skyn þat was so louely is become al pale, þe crowne in þin hed grysyth in my syȝt, þe heer is clemyd with þe blod and blowith al a-bowte. Þe mynde of þat mater I wolde were my deth. ¶ Lord, I se þi modur stande be þi syde, sche sobbyth and sykyth and falleth doun; Iohan on þe toþer half is so ful of sorewe; þei wryngyn here hondys and make myche dool. Whan þei lokyd vpward, þe syȝte of þe rode stykyth to here hertys as it were þe deth. Þei falle doun wepynge and gronynge ful sore—and I am enchesoun of al þat iche woo! ¶ Lady, for þi mercy, sythen I deseruyd al þat ȝow byfel, and al is my ryȝt: grawnte me of þi grace a syȝt of þi sorewe, a poynt of þi peyne to playe me with: þat I may in a poynt som-what fele, and a part of þi sorewe, þat I haue al mad. ¶ A, lord, þei cast loot on þi cloþes, os þe boke sayde longe before: an[d] lefte þe nakyd by-twene two theuys—so foule os þi deth was soffred neuere man. Þanne began þe folc to flocke toward þe towne fro þe mownt of Caluarye, on þe rode þere þou hengede. Þat syȝt is so wonderful, þei wawe so thykke, eche man to hys owne hom, by eche a way. Þan was þou in þi godhede ful smertely at helle, to glade þe soulys þat kepten þi comynge. Þe blysse and þe gladynge, þe myrthe and þe lykynge, þat þei þanne hadde, with tonge no man may telle. Þou openyd helle-ȝatys, lord thorou þi myȝt, and took owt of peyne manye þat were þere: Adam and Eue, and alle þat þe were leue, þat had in here lyues kept þi lawys. Lord, aftur þat Ioseph ab Aramathye tok leue at Pylate to take þe doun, os it were tyme of euynsonge, with help of Nychodemus, of þi modur and of Iohan, þat stood þere sorewfully. Þei toke of þe rode þi blessyd body, þei ryȝttyd owt þine armys þat were bycome starke, and strekyd hem doun after þi sydes. Þei bare to þe place þat þou were beryed Inne; þei weschen of þe cold blod and made þe clene, layde þe in þe monument þat was newe, þat Ioseph hadde ordeynyd for hym-selue; þei onoynte þe with oynement þat smellyd swete. Þe sorwe þat þi modur hadde, is sorwe to here. ¶ Lady, þe terys þat þou þere grette, þi brest and þi chekys mad al watur! þou fel doun to hys feet, and kyssed hem ful swete, and ouere os þou kyssyd sore þou grete. ¶ Þenne was þere warde set of armede knyȝtes, to kepe þe monument tyl þe thrydde day. &c. Amen. Ihesu.

¶ Explicit quedam Meditacio Ricardi Heremite de Hampolo de passione domini: Qui obiit anno domini M.CCCo xlo VIIIo. &c.
Page  92

[Text II: longer version] Ms. Cambr. Addit. 3042

Here bigynneþ deuote meditaciouns of þe passioun of Crist whiche weren compilid of Richard Rolle hermyte of Hampol, þat diede in þe ȝeere of oure lord M.CCC. & xlIx ȝeer.

LOrd þat madist me of nouȝt, I biseche þee to ȝeue me grace to serue þe wiþ al myn herte, wiþ al my myȝt, wi&; al my strenkþe, wiþ al my kunnynge, wiþ al myn entencioun, wiþ al myn vndirstondinge, wiþ alle þe myȝtis of my soule, wiþ al my þouȝt, wiþ al my speche, wiþ alle my wittis, wiþ alle my werkis, wiþ al myn ocupacioun, wiþ al my bisynes, & wiþ al my reste.

LOrd þat madist me lich to þee, I biseche þee to ȝeue me grace to loue þee wiþ al my soule, wiþ al my loue, wiþ al my wil, wiþ al my lust, wiþ al my likinge, wiþ al my mynde, wiþ al my wische, wiþ al my deuocioun, wiþ al my longinge, wiþ amendinge of my liif wiþ al my disirynge, wiþ lastinge in goodnes, wiþ contricioun & confessioun to þee & penaunce for my synnes.

LOrd þat madist me & alle my lymes, I biseche þee, ȝeue me grace to serue þee wiþ alle my lymes, & alle to be ocupied in þi seruice, & euere bowinge to þi biddingis, euere redi to meue or to reste at þi wille, euere lame to dedis of synne, & euere freisch & redi to þi biddingis.

LOrd þat madist me & hast ȝouen me manye ȝiftis, gostly, bodili and wordili, I biseche þee, graunte me grace to vsen hem alle in þi seruice & to þat eende to whiche þou ȝaue hem to me, þat I euere worschipe þee in þi ȝiftis; & graunte me grace euere to meken me in þi ȝiftis, to holde me apaied wiþ þi ȝiftis, & neuere to be presumptuous ne proud of þi ȝiftis, but euere to knouleche me for sich as I am, a sinful wrecche.

LOrd þat aliȝtist fro heuene to erþe for loue of mankynde, from so hiȝ to so low, / from so hiȝ lordschip to so low pouert, / from so hiȝ noblei to so lowe myscheef, / from so hiȝ wele to so lowȝ wo, / from so hiȝ blis to so lowȝ peyne, / from so hiȝ myrþe to so lowȝ sorewe, / from so likinge a liif to so peyneful a deeþ: / Now, lord, for al þat loue þat þou schewidist to mankinde in þin incarnacion & in þi passioun, I biseche þee of merci and help. /

Swete Ihesu, I þanke þee, lord, wiþ al myn herte, for þou profredist þee to þat place where þou wistist þi deeþ ordeyned, & I þanke þe, lord, for þere þou schewedist weel þat þou were willi to die for vs; & so I bileeue, lord, þat þou chees þe day & þe tyme whanne þou woldist die, & euery poynt of þi passioun was doon at þin ordinaunce; & I bileeue, lord, þat þou leftist þi soule whanne þou woldist, & whanne þou woldist þou took it aȝen. Now here, swete Ihesu, I biseche þee, graunte me grace to profre me to þee wiþ hool wil, in sorewe of herte for my synnes, & criynge merci in wil to amende me, in schrift to þee & penaunce for my synnes, in contynuauance of good lyuynge, in hool loue to þee þat madist me: & graunte me to turne to þee bi often schrifte, in ech tribulacioun, in ech temptacioun of man, fleisch, world, or enemy: & graunte me grace þat ech þouȝt of me, word, or werk, schewe þat I am turned to þee: Page  93 & ȝeue me grace fayn to turne to þe dedis wiþ ful wil þat þou hast ordeyned for me. / Swete lord, I biseche þee, þou heere my preier. Pater noster Et ne nos / set libera nos a malo. Adoramus te Christe & benedilimus tibi, Quia per sanctam crucem tuam re[de]misti mundum. / Oremus:

DOmine Ihesu Christe fili dei uiui, pone passionem, crucem & mortem tuam inter iudicium tuum et animas nostras nunc & in hora mortis nostre: & largire digneris uiuis misericordiam et gratiam, defunctis ueniam & requiem, ecclesieque regnis pacem et misericordiam, & nobis peccatoribus uitam, leticiam, et gloriam sempiternam: Qui uiuis et regnas deus, Per omnia secula seculorum. Amen.

SWete Ihesu, I þanke þee wiþ al myn herte & kunnynge of þat swete preier & of þat holy orisoun þat þou madist bifore þi passioun so holi upon þe mount of olyuete, / & lord, I þanke þee, for þere þou tauȝtist us to preie, whanne þou seidist: / «fadir, not myn, but þi wille be fulfild»— / for þi wil!, lord Ihesu, & þi fadris wil, ben al oo will. / Þanne þou preiedist not for þee, but for us / to teche us, þat han often contrarious willis to þe fadir of heuene, for to leue oure wil, & to preie þat þe fadris wil in us be fulfild. / Now here, swete Ihesu, I biseche þe þat I be euere redi at þi wille, & not at myn, but whanne my wille acordiþ to þin þat is my ioie; and graunte me grace euere to seche what is þi wille, & so to turne to þee. Pater noster. Et ne nos. Adoramus te. Domine.

SWete lord Ihesu, I þanke þee as I can of al þe drede & anguisch þat þou suffridist for us whanne an aungil of heuene come to counforte þee, & whanne þou swettist blood for anguisch. / Here, swete Ihesu, I biseche þee for þi swete merci, þat þou be myn help & counfort in al my temtacioun, anguisch, or tribulacioun; þat I mowe turne þoruȝ þi swete counfort out of al myscheef of soule & of bodi / in to helþe of vertu & of meeknes. Pater noster.

SWete Ihesu, I þanke þe for þe disese þat þou haddist whanne Iudas bitraide þee: & þou toldist it him biforen & warnedist him faire, & þerfore þat was oon of þe grettist synnes þat euere was. / Now, lord Ihesu, I biseche þee, scheelde me fro grete synnes, as ouerhope, wanhope, & alle maner synnes aȝens kynde, & ȝeue me grace to þenke ech synne greet þat in ony maner wise myȝte greue þe, Ihesu. Pater noster.

SWete Ihesu, I þanke þe for al þe disesis þat þou suffridist whanne þou were taken of þe iewis: / for summe pulliden þee, summe schouen þee, drowen þee, dispisiden þee, scorneden þee, toggiden & teere þee: & swete Ihesu, I þanke þee for al þat mekenes þat þou schewedist þere, whanne þou letist hem doon as þei wolden. / Now, swete Ihesu, I biseche þee to take me to þe & make me al þin: & if I fle to ony synne of þe world, of þe fleisch or of þe feend, swete Ihesu fecche me soone hoom aȝen, as a lord dooþ his bondeman, & dryue me wiþ tribulacioun soone to penaunce. / Swete Ihesu, in þee is al souereyn medicyn, & I, lord, am al siik in synnes: Þerfore, swete Ihesu, take me to þee & sette me vndir þi cure, & come neer to me wiþ grace, as þe Page  94 Samaritan dide, & hilde in to my woundis oile of merci and wyn of counfort, and brynge me in to þe stable of charite, & euere holde me vndir þi cure. /ȝit, lord swete Ihesu, þis liff is ful of temptaciouns and enemyes, & þere is no socour but in þee, swete Ihesu: þanne, swete Ihesu, take me to þee wiþ-ynne þi gouernaunce and schildinge, & lat neuere þin hondwerk be for-loren. /¶ ȝit, swete Ihesu, þou art al good, & to þee longiþ al loue: / Þanne take to þee myn herte hoolli, þat al my loue be on þee þat al bouȝtist; so þat myn herte neuere turne fro þe for no temptacioun, but euere cleue fast upon þee, for to loue þee swete Ihesu, moost needful, moost meedful, & moost spedeful. Pater noster. Et ne nos.

SWete Ihesu, I ȝelde to þee þankingis & gracis for þat tresoun & schames þat þou haddist whanne þei bonden þee to a þeef. ¶ Now, swete Ihesu, I biseche þee, bynde me to þe, so þat neuer temptacioun ne tribulacioun parte us a-sundir; / binde me to þee, swete Ihesu, in bileeue, hope, & harite. / In bileeue fastne me to þee, swete Ihesu, þat neuere noon errour ne eresie turne me fro my bileeue; & graunte me swete Ihesu, þat my bileeue be in mesure, not to large: bileeuynge þat schulde not be bileeued; / ne to streite: leuynge þat schulde be bileeued; / &, swete Ihesu, make me bileeue in alle þe sacramentis of holi chirche & in alle þe ordinauncis, & in trist to god of al my sauacioun. ¶ Swete Ihesu, binde me to þee in hope: so þat al myn hope & trist be oonli in þee; / late neuere myn hope be to streite: lest I falle in wanhope; / ne to large: lest I rise in to ouerhope; / and graunte me grace, swete Ihesu, to continue in good werkis in þi seruice wiþ discresioun, þat I mai skilfulli hope & triste in þee. / ¶ Swete Ihesu, binde me to þe in charite: þat al my loue be hole to þee, in wil, word, & werk, & lete me no þing loue but þe, or for þee; & lete me loue after þin heeste frend & foo; & graunte me grace þat noon vnskilful wraþþe, ne hate, ne enuie, breke þe bond of my charite; & graunte me, lord, to loue þee euere lengir þe betere, þe more kunnyngli, þe more bisili, þe more stidfastli, & graunte me to loue þat þou louest, & hate þat þou hatist. Pater noster.

SWete Ihesu, I ȝeelde to þe þankingis & gracis for alle þe steppis & pacis þat þou ȝedist toward þin owne peyne & þin owne deeþ. I biseche þee, swete Ihesu, þat þou rule alle my goinges, and alle þe affecciouns of myn herte. Pater noster.

SWete Ihesu, I þanke þee for alle þe schames, anguischis, & felonyes, þat þou suffridist biforen Annas & Caifas, Pilat & Eroud, / & nameli I þanke þee, swete Ihesu, for þat merciful lokinge, þat þou turnynge aȝen biheld upon seint Petir þi disciple þat forsook þee / & ȝit in myche anguische þou schewedist þi loue openli to him, so þat neiþer schame ne peine my[ȝt] drawe þin herte fro him. / Now, swete Ihesu, turne þin iȝe of merci toward us synful, so þat þoru þi merci and grace we moun repente of oure trespas & mys-dedis with seint Petir. Pater noster.

SWete Ihesu, I þanke þe for þat meke & stille stondinge aforen Pilat & alle þe false accusaciouns of þe iewis. / Now here, swete Ihesu, I biseche þee, Page  95 graunte me grace feiþfully to haue mynde in ech temptacioun þat I stonde bifore þee my domisman; & graunte me grace to suffre pacientli accusaciouns, snybbingis & yuel wordis of foos for þi loue; / & graunte me to knouleche ech man for betere þan me, & to meke me euere & holde me lowe; / & swete Ihesu, whanne I schal be demed, haue merci on me / & lete þi meeknes & þat doom þat þou vnskilfulli suffridist, excuse me fro þat doom þat I skilfulli schulde haue. Pater noster. Et ne nos.

SWete Ihesu, I ȝelde þee þankingis for al þat schame & anguisch þat þou suffridist whanne þei spitten in þi face, / in þat swete myrrour & bodili blis of heuene, upon which aungels & seintis haue deinte to loke. / Now, swete Ihesu, ȝeue me grace to haue most deinte inwardli to loke & þenke upon þat blissid face; / and, swete Ihesu, restore þe liknes of þi face in my soule þat foule synnes han fadid; / &, leue lord, lete me neuere haue likinge in þe face of synne in temptacioun, & graunte me grace neuere to assente to lust of synne; & ȝeue me grace to worschipe þee in ech creature; & lete me neuere haue pride of chere of my face, ne lust to synne for semblaunt of ony oþirs face; and, swete Ihesu, graunte me to se þi blisful face in heuene, amen. Pater noster. Et ne nos.

SWete Ihesu, I ȝelde þee þankingis as I can of alle yuel wordis, sclaundris, scornis, mowis, & schames, þat þe iewis seiden to þee in al þe time of þi precious passioun; & of alle þe housis and prisouns þat þei heelden þee ynne / whanne þou were drawen & haried [now] to Annas and Caifas, now to Eroud & Pilat, & closid wiþ-ynne in her placis. / Now, swete Ihesu, here I biseche þee, graunte me suffringe & strenkþe to stonde stidfastli & pacientli to suffre wordis of dispite & rebukinge for þi loue, & neuere to grucche for tribulacioun ne angir ne siiknes of þi sonde; & graunte me, swete Ihesu, stifli to stonde in alle þe assailingis & temptaciouns of my foos, goostli and bodili. Pater noster. Aue maria.

SWete Ihesu, I þanke þe for alle þe steppis & pacis þat þou ȝedist hidirward & þidirward in tyme of þi passioun. & I biseche þee, graunte me grace in alle my weies & gatis þat þei be ordeyned to þi worschip & to saluacioun of my soule; / & graunte me grace wilfulli to go to þi seruice, & spare for no peyne ne penaunce; & make me loth to meue, swete Ihesu, to ony lust aȝens þi wille. Pater noster. Et ne nos.

SWete Ihesu, I ȝeelde þee þankingis for þat dispiteous blindfelling þat þe iewis diden to þee. & here I preie þee, swete lord Ihesu, scheelde me fro blindfelling of synne, in custum, in long vnschrift, in ouerhope in wanhope, in latinge to myche bi my-silf; & schelde me from perpetuel blindfelling of dampnacioun, & excludinge fro þe blisful siȝt of þi glorious face; & graunte me cleerli to se in to þe face of my conscience; / & ȝeue me grace, swete Ihesu, to kepe myne iȝen from alle yuele siȝtis þat eggen to synne; & graunte me to se þi blissid presence endelesli. Pater noster.

SWete Ihesu, I þanke þe euermore for þat schame & schenschip þat þou suffridist in þi buffetinge: / for manye a soor strook þou suffridist þanne, / Page  96 for ech of hem stroof to smyte bifore oþere. / Now, swete Ihesu, graunte me here wilfulli to suffre disese & tribulacioun for þi sake, & neuere to grucche for siiknessis ne for wrongis of man, but euere to þanke god of al his sonde; / & graunte me, lord Ihesu, to be p[yn]ede for my synnes or I die, & continuel herte lord, þat to preie; / & whanne it comeþ, lord, ȝeue me pacience, & herte hoolli to þanke þee of þi sonde. Pater noster.

SWete Ihesu, I ȝeelde þee gracis & þankingis for al þat sore & long & egre peyne þat þou suffridist for us, & for al þat precious blood þat þou bleddist, whanne þou were bounden fast to a piler and scourgid ful sore;—for þat was a bittir peyne: / for þe scourgers weren chosen men and stalworþe, & willi to sle þee, & it was longe or þei weren weri; / & þe scourgis weren mad ful stronge & smerte: so þat al þi bodi was but woundis, & manye woundis in oo wounde / for þe knottis smiten so ofte in oo place, & at ech strok smoot deppir. & þat was, swete Ihesu, a large & a plenteuous schewinge of þi loue! / Þanne was þi bodi lijk to heuene: for as heuene is ful of sterris, so is þi bodi ful of woundis. / But, lord, þi woundis ben betere þan sterris: for sterris schinen not but bi nyȝtis, & þi woundis ben ful of vertu nyȝt & day; / alle þe sterris bi nyȝte ne liȝten but a litil, & o cloude may hide hem alle: / but oon of þi woundis, swete Ihesu, was & is Inouȝ to do awey cloudis of synne, & to clere þe conscience of alle sinful men. / here, swete Ihesu, I biseche þee þat þise woundis be my medicacioun for ech disese of soule. / Also, swete Ihesu, þe sterris ben cause in erþe of ech þing þat is grene, or growiþ, or beriþ fruyȝt: / now, swete Ihesu, make me grene in my bileeue, growinge in grace, & beringe fruyȝt of gode werkis. / Also sterris ben cause of mynes of metals & of precious stonys: / now, swete lord Ihesu, make me touȝ as metal aȝens temptaciouns, & precious as perre in to þe hiȝ degre of charite. Pater noster. Et ne nos inducas.

ANd ȝit, lord swete Ihesu, þi bodi is lijk a nett: / for as a nett is ful of holis, so is þi bodi ful of woundis. / Here, swete lord Ihesu, I biseche þee, catche me in þe nett of þi scourginge, þat al myn herte & loue be to þee; & drawe me euere to þee & wiþ þee as a net drawiþ fisch, til I come to þe bank of deeþ: þat neuere temptacioun, tribulacioun ne prosperite pulle me fro þee; / and as a net drawiþ fisch to londe, so, swete Ihesu, brynge me to þi blis. / Catche me, lord, in þe net of holi chirche; & kepe me, lord, þat I neuere breke out of þe bondis of charite. / Cacche me, lord swete Ihesu, in þi net, þat neuere synne haue me out of þe cloce of vertues. Pater noster. Et ne.

ȜIt, swete Ihesu, þi body is lijk a dufhous: / for as a dufhous is ful of dowue holis, so is þi bodi ful of woundis: / & as a dowue pursued of an hauke, if sche mai a-reche to an hole of hir hous, sche is sikir I-nowȝ: so, swete Ihesu, in temptacioun þi woundis ben best refute. ¶ Now, swete Ihesu, I biseche þee in ech temptacioun graunte me grace of sum hole of þi woundis, & likinge to abide in mynde of þi passioun. / Also, swete Ihesu, þi bodi is lijk an hony-comb: for þat is ech weies ful of cellis, & ech celle ful of hony, so Page  97 þat it may not be touchid wiþouten ȝeldinge of swetnes: / so, swete Ihesu, þi bodi is ful of cellis of deuocioun, þat it may not be touchid of a clene soule wiþoute swetnes & likinge. / Now, swete Ihesu, graunte me grace to touche þee wiþ criynge merci for my synnes, wiþ desiris to gostly contemplacioun, wiþ amendinge of my lijf & contynuaunce in goodnes, in stodie to fulfille þin heestis, & delicat abidinge in mynde of thi passioun. Pater noster. Et ne.

MOre ȝit, swete Ihesu, þi bodi is lijk a book writen wiþ reed enke: so is þi bodi al writen wiþ rede woundis. / Now, swete Ihesu, graunte me grace often to rede upon þis book, & sumwhat to vndirstonde þe swetnes of þat writinge, & to haue likinge in stodious abidinge of þat redinge; & ȝeue me grace sumwhat to conseyue of þat perles loue of Ihesu Crist, & to lerne bi þat ensaumple to loue god aȝenward as I schulde; / and, swete Ihesu, graunte me þat stodie in ech tide of þe day, & graunte me grace þat I may haue upon þis book matyns, pryme, houris, euesong & complin, my meditacioun, my speche, & my daliaunce. Pater noster. Et ne nos.

SWete Ihesu, ȝit þi bodi is lijk to a mede ful of swete flouris & holsum herbis: / so is þi bodi ful of woundis, swete saueringe to a deuout soule, & holsum as eerbis to ech sinful man. / Now, swete Ihesu, I biseche þee, graunte me swete sauour of merci, & þe holsum reseite of grace. Pater noster.

SWete Ihesu, I ȝeelde þee þankingis of alle þe peynes & schames þat þou suffridist þoru þi swete wille for us whanne þou were cloþid in purpur for to schame þee, & [þei] crowned þin heed wiþ þornes for to preue þi swete suffraunce & pacience, / and þanne þei fellen on knees & scorneden þee & calliden þee lord & maistir, & spitten in þi face & buffetiden þee, & as myche schame as þei coude seiden to þee. / Here, swete Ihesu, I biseche þee for alle þe schameful turnes þat we haue wrouȝt, forȝeue us al þat schame & peyne þat we haue discerued bi oure synne; & graunte us grace to worschipe þee in as many wise & as hertili, as þe eiwis schameden þee in þi passioun; / and, swete Ihesu, graunte us grace of sich cloþinge & aray as moost plesiþ þee, & neuere to desire disgisynge ne pride of atire; / and, swete Ihesu, graunte me grace to bere myn heed lowe, & neuere to schewe pride in semblaunt ne chere; / &, swete Ihesu, graunte me grace to kepe my fyue wittis to þe worschip of þee, & graunte me grace neuere to desire state ne degre forþer þan þou hast ordeyned for me. Pater noster. Et ne nos.

SWete Ihesu, I þanke þee wiþ al myn herte for al þat blood þat þou so plenteuousli bleddist in þi crownynge biforen al þat folk, whanne þi swete face was al blood, / and on ech side þou were forcried & dispisid & hastid to þat strong and foule deeþ, & deemed so wrongfulli þerto, / blessid & þankid be þou, swete Ihesu & worþi to be loued of alle creaturis. Here, swete Ihesu, I biseche þee, waische my soule wiþ þat blood, & anoynte & depeynte my soule & my mynde wiþ þat precious blood; & graunte me grace for þi mychel merci to iuge my-silf wiseli & deme, to saluacioun of my soule. Pater noster.

Page  98SWete Ihesu, I ȝeelde þee þankingis for alle þe peynes and schameful turnes þat þou suffridist whanne þou bere þin owne cros & iugement upon þin nakid bak: / for þei drowen þee & pulliden þee so felli þat greet ruþe was to se, / & þerto, swete Ihesu, þei putten þee, smyten þee so schamefulli, as it were a þeef þat bare his owne galowis. / A, dere lord swete Ihesu, þat þou were wobigoon whanne at þe biddinge of Eroud þi kirtil was taken from þee, þat cleuede so faste to þi bodi wiþ blood of þir scourginge whanne þou were racid and rent & beten so sore and so longe til al þin vtter blood was bled and þi skin vnneþe hangide to-gidere. / Þanne whanne þei drowen of þe clooþ þat cleuede to þi skyn wiþ drie blood, and þou so tendre, and in ȝong and freisch age: þ[ei] took no reward how sore it greuede þee þat dispiteuous strepinge, whanne manie a pece of þi tendre skyn folowide. / Þanne was ruþe to se þi bodi al stremed of blood. / ¶ A, lord swete Ihesu, me þinkiþ I se þi reed blood renne doun bi þi chekis, stremynge aftir ech strook of þi crownynge, bifore and bihinde and on ech side. / Þe skyn of þin heed þornes al to-renden, ech þorn sittiþ to þe brain-panne. / Alas, swete Ihesu, how may a cristen soule se his lord suffre so myche peyne, þat neuere trespasside? / þi grintinge & gronynge, þi sorewinge & siȝynge, þe ruþe of þi chere persiþ myn herte. / Þe crowne of al blis, þat crowneþ al blissid, þe king of alle kingis, þe lord of alle lordis, þe emperour of helle, is now hound crowned wiþ þornes, / þe worschip of heuene is dispisid & defoulid; / he þat schope sunne and alle creaturis, & al þing is of his ȝift, he haþ nott where he mai hide his heed, / and he is so pore þat he gooþ al nakid in þe siȝt of al folk. / Here, swete Ihesu, I biseche þee, ȝeue me grace to bere wiþ þee þe cros of penaunce for þi loue & my synnes, & lete me bere it to my deeþ-tyme as þou didist, & lete me neuere be grucchinge for þat I suffre for þi loue; and ȝeue me grace to do penaunce in þis lijf for my synnes, & graunte me my purgatorie here; & ȝeue me grace to suffre esili wordis of dispite for þi loue. Pater noster. Et ne nos.

SWete Ihesu, I ȝeelde þee þankingis for al þat angir and sorewe þat þou suffridist whanne þou bere þi cros toward þi deeþ. / & me þenkiþ, lord, I se how þei leden þee forþ nakid as a worm, turmentours aboute þee & armed knyȝtis, þe prece of þe peple wondir miche, þei harien þee schamefulli, þei spurnen þee wiþ her feet as þou weere a dogge. / A, þis is a ruful siȝt! þin heed is ful of þornis, þin heer is ful of blood, þi face is al wan, þi lokinge is morninge, þi cheekis and heed al bolned wiþ buffetis, þi visage al be-soilid wiþ spotil: / þe iewis han so biseie þee þat þou art likir a mesel þan a clene man. / Þe cros heuy & huge, & so hard trust upon þi bak, þat þou art cruyschid to hepe & schrinkist þer-vndir. ¶ A, swete Ihesu, þou gronedist ful harde whanne it sat so sore to þi nakid bodi, þat is so sijke, so ful frauȝt of peynes, so feble so weri, what for longe and greet fastinge bifore, what wiþ wakinge al nyȝt biforen wiþouten reste, what wiþ betinge & buffetinge and schameful wordis & dedis bifore. / Þe fleisch þere þe cros sittith is skinles & ouer-runne wiþ blood-rowis. / Þe peyne of þat birþen greueþ þee so sore, þat ech foot þat þou goost Page  99 stingiþ to þin herte. ¶ Þus þou goost, swete Ihesu, [out of] Ierusalem toward þi deeþ, / al þe peple cometh & folewiþ and gouliþ upon þee & wondriþ; wiþ sich a processioun was neuere þeef led to his deeþ! / Here, swete Ihesu, I preie þee, graunte me grace to folewe þe in mynde of þi passioun, & in suffringe sumwhat for þi loue, and in hauinge compassioun of þee. Pater noster. /

SWete Ihesu, what sorewe fel to þin herte whanne þou castist þin iȝe toward þi modir so dere! / þou siȝ hir folewe among þe greet prees as a womman out of hir-silf. Now sche wrong hir hondis, wepinge & siȝynge, / now sche castiþ hir armes abrood, the watir of hir iȝen droppide at hir feet, / sche fel in deed swoun ofte-siþis for peynes and sorowis. / Hir sorewe, swete Ihesu, and hir dool a-greggide greetli & manyefold alle þine oþere peynes; / and whanne sche knewe þat hir sorewe greuede þee so soore, þanne was sche weel worse: / and so sorewe of eiþer of ȝou for oþere wexiþ manye-foold; / þe hiȝ loue of ȝoure hertis eiþir to oþere, þat was perles brenninge, kindeli made ȝoure sorewe eiþer for oþere vnlike to ony oþir sorewe or wo on erþe, / for as ȝoure loue was makeles, so was ȝoure sorewe peerles, / it stikiþ at ȝoure hertis as itt were deeþ. ¶ A, ladi, mercy, how were þou so bold among so manye kene foos to folewe him so nyȝ? / how was it þat þe arownes of wommans kinde, or schamynge of maidenheed, ne hadde wiþdrawe þee? and it was not semeli to þee to folewe sich a route! / But þou haddist no reward to mannis drede, ne to nouȝt ellis þat schulde lette þee, / for þou were out of þi-silf for sorewe of þin owne sone. / Þi siȝhis weren so fer fet, þi brest so ful of dole and sorewe, þi cheer so dreri for deedli wo, þat it bire[fte] þe reckinge of bodili wo or drede and of wordli schame & of alle maner lettingis. / Now, ladi, þat peyne & passioun schulde haue be myn: for I hadde deserued it & [was] cause þerof. / Þerfore, swete ladi, as þo peynes & woundis were myn owne wiþ riȝt, gete me of þi merci oon of hem alle, þat it may abide as a pricke at myn herte; / gete me, swete lady, a drope of þat ruþe þat þou haddist, to folewe him wiþ as þou didist. / Al þat wo is myn bi riȝt: sette me on myn owne, / be þou not so daungerous to wiþholde al. Þouȝ al þi wo be þee leef, þou art ful large: þan parte wiþ þe pore þat litil haþ, and ȝeue me of þi siȝyngis þat siȝhist so sore, & lete me siȝe wiþ þee, siþen I bigan al þat wo. / I axe, dereworþe ladi, nouþir castels ne townes ne noon oþir worldis wele, ne sunne ne moone ne noone of þe bodies of heuene, ne no þing: but woundis of ruþe, of peyne and of cumpassioun of swete Ihesu my lordis passioun is al my desire. / I haue apetite to peyne, & I biseche my lord a drope of his rede blood to make my soule blodi, / or ellis a drope of his watir to waische wiþ my soule. / A, modir of wrecchis & of alle woful, visite my sike soule & sette in myn herte þi sone wiþ hise woundis; / sende a sparcle of cumpassioun in to myn herte þat is hard as stoon, / a drope of þat passioun to souplen it wiþ. Pater noster.

SWete Ihesu, I þanke þe wiþ al myn herte for al þat peyne þat þou suffridist whanne þe cros was cast doun on þe grounde, & þe[i] leiden þee flat þeron, & wiþ cordis drowen þin hondis & feet to þe holis, & nailiden fast þat Page  100 oon hond, & streyned þat oþir to þat oþer hole, / and þanne, swete Ihesu, þei drowen al þi bodi doun til þi feet rauȝten to the holis; / and þe nailis, lord, weren blunte, for þei schulden tere þi skyn / & bruse þi fleisch. / Now, swete Ihesu, me þinkiþ I se þi bodi on þe rode, al bled, and streyned þat þe ioyntis twinnen; þi woundis now openen, þe skyn al to-drawen recchiþ so brode þat merueile is it halt; þin heed crowned wiþ þornis, þi bodi al ful of woundis, nailis in þin hondis & feet so tendre, & in þi synewis, þere as is moost peinful felinge; / þere is no leninge to þin heed, þi bodi is streyned as a parchemynskyn upon þe harowe; / þi face is al bolned þat first was so fair; / þi iointis vndoon; / þou hongist and stondist on nailis; / stremes of blood rennen doun bi þe rode; / þe siȝt of þi modir encresiþ þi peyne. / A, lord swete Ihesu, þat woldist vnmyȝti bicome to make me myȝti & mende my synne, / I speke, lord, of þi passioun and of hiȝ deuocioun & I fynde no swetnes, but speke as a iay & noot what I meene; / I studie in þi passioun & I fynde noo taast: / my synnes ben so manye and so wickid þat þei han schit out deuocioun & han stoppid al þe sauour of swetnes fro my soule, / & þerfore I speke & blundere forþ as a blinde creature, & speke wiþouten wisdom or kunnynge of so deuoute mater. / Pater noster.

BVt þou, swete Ihesu, þat quikenest þe dede, & turnest to good lijf fro deeþ of synne: so quike me, lord swete Ihesu, & ȝeue me grace to fele sum of þat swete sauour & goostli deuocioun; / sende me, lord, þe liȝt of grace, to haue sum ynsiȝt in soule. ¶ But, lord, I woot weel þat who so desiriþ þee ariȝt: þouȝ he fele nouȝt, he haþ þat he woot nouȝt, þe loue of þi godhede; / & if a man may no feruour fynde: þenke him-silf feble & outcast, and holde him-silf vnworþi to haue deuocioun or ony sich specialte of oure lord god: / & so he schal gete sunnest þe ȝift of his grace. Pater noster.

SWete Ihesu, þanne þe iewis heuen up þe cros and maden it to falle sore in to þe hole þat was maad þerfore, & brast þi woundis & al to-schoke þi bodi þat hangide so sore. / Lord swete Ihesu, wo was þee þanne, whanne þi sore woundis of hondis & feet bare al þe peis of þi bodi! / Swete Ihesu, þanne þi modir was wo Inow þat siȝ þis, / sche siȝede & wrong hir hondis, sche weep teris Inowe: / & al þat, lord, was eking of þi wo. ¶ And þat place was so wlatsom wiþ stinche of diuers careines, þat it loþide ony man to neiȝe nyȝ. / & þus weren alle þi fyue wittis ocupied wiþ peynes: to bote þe trespace of oure fyue wittis. ¶ In siȝt þou were blindfeld, for þou siȝ þi modir so wo, and for þou siȝ hem þi foes þat weren moost holden to be þi frendis, as þe iewis. ¶ In þi smellinge, wiþ stink of careynes þat were so manye: for þou were doon to þe deeþ in þe foulist place of Ierusalem, þere alle þe careynes of þe toun weren cast out; / and þat smyl, swete Ihesu, was ful greuous in þi nose. ¶ In þi taast, lord, greuede þee þe galle aftir þrist—for, swete Ihesu, plente of peyne is cause of þrist & of drienes—& [gal] is bittir in taast: / & þe iewis ȝeuen þee þerto eisil, to echin þi bittir taast. ¶ In heeringe, swete Ihesu, þou were greued wiþ false accusingis, & scornes, whanne þei seiden «heil king» & spitten in þi face; wiþ heeringe of foul cri, whanne þei crieden to hange þee swete Ihesu on Page  101 þe rode, / and whanne þei crieden «he coude oþere men saue: now lete him saue him-silf if he can». ¶ In felinge, swete Ihesu, þou were peined in þi bindinge and hariynge, buffetinge, blindfelling, scourginge, crowninge, in beringe of þe cros, in drawinge of cordis on þe cros, in nailinge of þi feet & hondis on þe cros. / Þere heng þou so pore, swete Ihesu, & so wobigoon, so þat of al good on erþe þou ne haddist but a litil clooþ to hilen wiþ þi lendis: / and ȝit þou art king of kingis & lord of lordis, & heuene & erþe & helle is þin. / & ȝit, lord, þou woldist be so pore þat tyme, þat þou ne haddist noon erþe to die upon, but on the cros in þe eir. / & þerfore, swete Ihesu, of þee was seid: / «Foxis han dennys and briddis han nestis: but þou at þi deeþ-tyme ne hast not to reste þin heed upon.» ¶ A, swete Ihesu, þat was a ruful word whanne þou seidist: / «Alle ȝe þat passen bi þe weie, abidiþ and biholdiþ if þer is ony sorewe lijk to my sorewe, þat I suffre for man.» / & ȝit, swete Ihesu, þou preiedist to þi fadir to forȝeue hem þe gilt of þi deeþ—so miche is þi merci. / And, swete Ihesu, not-wiþstoondinge al þi greet peyne, ȝit þou tendist to þe þeef upon þi riȝthond whanne he axkide merci, & grauntidist him betere þan he askide. / Þanne, swete Ihesu, now þou art in blis, & not in peyne: be not now to daungerus ne straunge of þi merci—for ceelden is a man more gracious in wo þan in blis. / A, lord, wo were þou for þi modir, whanne þou took þi leue of hir and woldist die, & bi-took hir to seint Ioon to kepe & to counforte. / Here, swete Ihesu, I biseche þee þat am ful of synnes: now lord in blis haue merci on me, & graunte me grace, whanne it is þi wille, to be wiþ þee in paradice. Pater noster. Aue maria. Et ne.

SWete ladi maiden & modir, wo was þee bigoon whanne Crist hadde take his leue at þee & bitook þee to Ioon: þat sorewe myȝte haue be þi deeþ, in þat leue takinge. / Þe teeris of þin iȝen runnen doun ful faste, siȝingis & sorewingis saten ful nyȝ þin herte; / þou fel doun in swoun, þin heed hangid doun, þin armes fellen doun bi þi sidis, / þi colour wax al wan, þi face wax al pale: / þe swerd of þi sones deeþ smoot þoruȝ þin herte. Þat chaunginge, ladi, whanne þou haddist Ioon for Crist, was ful doleful as a þrowe of deeþ to þin herte. / A, swete ladi, whi hadde I not ben bi þee, & herd þat þou herdist, & seen þat siȝt wiþ þee, & of þat myche sorewe haue take my part: if I myȝte in caas haue slakid þi wo/—for men seien it is solace to haue cumpanie in peyne. / Now, swete Ihesu, siþþe I myȝte not be þere at þi deeþ, so graunte me grace to haue þat deeþ continuely in mynde, in deuocioun & in daliaunce; & graunte me mynde of þi deþ often, & to amende my lijf & to haue sorewe in herte for my mysdedis. Pater noster.

SWete Ihesu, þanne criedist þou dolefulli on þe rode and seidist þou were aþrist: & þat was no wondir, for peine is þristlewe; & þei, lord, ȝauen þee eisil and galle. / Swete Ihesu, þat was no þristis kelinge, but ekinge. / A, swete Ihesu, þei ȝauen þee poisoun to kele þi þrist wiþ: & þou ȝaue hem þin herte blood to quenche her synnes, & to hele her soulis. / But, swete Ihesu, þi þrist was manye-fold: in bodi for peyne, & in soule þou þristidist amendement of her synnes þat diden þee to deeþ, / and þou þristidist deliueraunce of soulis in helle þat here in lijf hadde kept þi lawis. ¶ Here, swete Ihesu, I biseche þee, ȝeue me grace to suffre hungir & þurst for þi loue, & to wiþstonde lustis & Page  102 temptaciouns of ech foundinge of fleisch, þe world, or þe fend; / & ȝeue me grace in suffraunce, to folewe þe schadewe of þi cros, & to þriste aftir þi seruice, þi loue, þi presence to myn herte, in desire & willinge of þi charite. Pater noster. Aue maria gracia. Et ne nos.

SWete Ihesu, I þanke þee wiþ al my soule for þat doleful word þat þou seidist an hiȝ to þi fadir aforen þi deeth: / «dere god, whi hast þou forsake me, þat no-þing þou sparist me?» / Swete Ihesu, þi manhede for us was al forsaken, so foule deeþ and so peynful suffride neuere man. / Þere is no bodili peyne þat is lich þin: / þi manhode was tendre; þi dignete excellent: þe fadris sone of heuene hangiþ bitwene two þeues; & amyddis the world: for alle men schulden wite; / and on þe hiȝ holy-day whanne alle men comen to þat citee: / and so it was no priuy schame. / þou hangist al nakid, þi skin al to-rent, ech lith from oþere wiþ cordis drawen, crowned wiþ þornes, woundis wide, manye & griseli. / Þe sorewe of þi modir was to þee more peyne þan al þin oþer wo. / lo, þe los of mannys soule: þat peyned þee so sore. / Swete Ihesu, þi mychil merci, þin eendles loue and ruþe may no man telle ne biþenke, siþen þou suffridist so sore for hem þat weren þi foos. Pater noster. Aue maria. Et ne.

SWete Ihesu, I wole in my þouȝt leie me flat on þe erþe, & neþerer if y mai, for I am cause & gilti of þat peinful deeþ / I wole take þe rode foot in myn armes, flat on þe grounde, as þou lay swete Ihesu, among þo stinkinge dede bonys þat laien þere wlatsumli to se: no þing schal it greuen me, but is schal be loue & likinge to me; / so myche þat I wole not upward caste myn iȝen to þat glorious siȝt of þi woundis, / for I þat am cause of hem alle, am vnworþi to loken on hem. / Þus wole I lie to kepe of þi blood, swete Ihesu: from þens wole I not flitte, til I be wiþ þi precious blood bicomen al reed, / til I be markid wiþ þi precious blood as oon of þin owne, & my soule softid in þat swete baþ: / and so may falle, swete Ihesu, þat myn hard herte it may opene, þat now is hard as stoon to bicome neische, / þat deed was bi synne to quikene towardus þee bi vertu. ¶ Swete Ihesu, þi precious passioun reiside dede men out of her graues, / it openede heuene, it braste helle-ȝatis, erþe tremblide þerwiþ, þe sunne lost his liȝt: & my sori herte of þe fendis kynde is hardir þan stones: for þei cleueden in þi passioun, & myn herte may not fele of þi passioun a litil point, ne rise wiþ þe dede in ruþe þerof. ¶ Now is þe malice of my wickid herte more þan þi precious deþ, þat wrouȝte siche wondris & manye-foold more, & þe mynde þerof stiriþ not my soule? / But, swete Ihesu, a drope of þi blood droppid on my soule in mynde of þi passioun, mai souplen & softe my soule, þat is so hard, to melte bi þi grace. / I woot weel, swete Ihesu, þat myn herte is not worþi þat þou schuldist come þerto & þere-ynne aliȝte; / I ne aske it not of dignite of þi sepulture: but swete Ihesu, þou aliȝtist in to helle to visite þere and to riȝten þe holi soulis of oure holi fadris: & in þat lijk maner I axe þi comynge to my soule. / Swete Ihesu, I knowe weel also þat I was neuere worþi to be þi modris felow, to stonde at þi passioun wiþ hir & wiþ Ioon: / but, swete Ihesu, if I may not be þere in þat maner for my greet vnworþines, I holde me worþi for my greet trespace to honge bi þi side as oon of þe þeues. ¶ And so, swete Ihesu, if I may not as worþi be þere, I aske itt as gilti to haue part of þi deeþ: / & so, Page  103 þouȝ I be not worþi in herte to be liȝtid: my nede, lord, & my wickidnes askiþ to be riȝtid. / Come þanne, swete Ihesu, at þi wille, & liȝte in to my soule as þou for best knowist a sparcle of loue, a ruþe of þi passioun to kindle in myn herte, & quike me þerwiþ þat I were brennynge in þi loue ouer al þing; & baþe me in þi blood, so þat I forȝete al wordli wele & fleischli liki[n]gis. Þanne mai I blisse þe tyme þat I fele me stirid to þe of þi grace: so þat none oþir wele ne like me, but oonly þi deeþ. Pater noster. /

SWete Ihesu, þanne þou seidist: «Fadir, in to þin hondis I bitake my spirit.» / Here, swete Ihesu, I biseche þee, haue & holde in þin hondis euere my soule: þat it neuere wiþ hool purpos desire fulli ony þing but þee or for þee; / and lete neuere wele ne wo turne my soule out of þi gouernaunce; & at my laste eende, swete Ihesu, resceyue my soule in to þin hondis, þat no fend ne lette me fro þi blis. Pater noster. Aue maria.

SWete Ihesu, þanne seidist þou last: «Al is endid:» / þan fel þin heed doun, þi goost passide from þe; þe erþe tremblide, þe sunne lost his liȝt, dede men risen out of her graues, þe temple to-cleef, stones al to-bursten:—þo weren witnessis of þi godhede. Swete Ihesu, þanne þe scharp spere perside þi side: & blood & watir ran out. / A, swete Ihesu, þanne were þere fyue grete flodis of blood: in hondis, foot, and side. / Þi chin hangiþ on þi brest, þe white of þin iȝen is cast upward, þi lippis schrinken, þi white teeþ schewen, þi loueli face is bicomen al pale, þin heer cloþed al wiþ blood. / Þe mynde of þis mater I wolde were my deep. / A, swete Ihesu, þanne was þi modir ful wo: / now sche lokide upon þin heed & on þe crowne, / now on þi face, now on þin hondis wiþ þe nailis, now on þe wounde upon þi side, now on thi feet nailid on þe rode, now upon þi bodi scourgid: / & at euery place sche fond a newe sorewe; / sche weep, sche wrong hir hondis, / sche siȝede, sche sobbide: sche falliþ doun. Ioon upon þe oþer half, is ful of sorewe. / Þe siȝt of þe crucifix stikiþ in her hertis as it were her deþ. / Now, swete ladi, for þi merci, siþen þat I am cause of al þat wo & peyne, graunte me of þi grace a point of þi peyne, a siȝt of þi sorewe, to siȝen & sorewen wiþ þee: þat I mowe sumwhat fele, þat al haue maad; / graunte me, swete ladi, to haue & to holde þis passioun in mynde as hertili & as studiousli in al my lijf, as þou, ladi, & Ioon, hadde it in mynde whanne þe peple weren goon & ȝe abiden bi þe rode foot. Amen. Pater noster. Et ne nos in. Adoramus te Christe. Quia per sanctam crucem. Domine Ihesu Christe.

Page  193

Short Prose Tracts

The Bee and the Stork

Ms. Thornton (Lincoln Cath. 91)

[folio 194]

Moralia Richardi heremite de natura apis, vnde quasi apis argumentosa.

The bee has thre kyndis. Ane es þat scho es neuer ydill, and scho es noghte with thaym þat will noghte wyrke, bot castys thaym owte and puttes thaym awaye. A-nothire es þat when scho flyes scho takes erthe in hyr fette, þat scho be noghte lyghtly ouer-heghede in the ayere of wynde. The thyrde es þat scho kepes clene and bryghte hire wyngeȝ. Thus ryghtwyse men þat lufes god, are neuer in ydyllnes: ffor owthyre þay ere in trauayle, prayand or thynkande or redande or othere gude doande, or withtakand ydill mene and schewand thaym worthy to be put fra þe ryste of heuene ffor þay will noghte trauayle here. Þay take erthe, þat es þay halde þam-selfe vile & erthely that thay be noghte blawene with þe wynde of vanyte and of pryde. Thay kepe thaire wynges clene, that es þe twa commandementes of charyte þay fulfill in gud concyens, and thay hafe othyre vertus vnblendyde with þe fylthe of syne and vnclene luste. Arestotill sais þat þe bees are feghtande agaynes hym þat will drawe þaire hony fra thayme. Swa sulde we do agaynes deuells þat afforces thame to reue fra vs þe hony of poure l[u]fe & of grace. For many are þat neuer kane halde þe ordyre of lufe ynesche þaire frendys sybbe or ffremmede, bot outhire þay lufe þaym ouer-mekill, settand thaire thoghte vnryghtwysely on thaym: or þay luf thayme ouer-lyttill, yf þay doo noghte all as þey wolde till þame. Swylke kane noghte fyghte for thaire hony, ffor-thy þe Page  194 deuelle turnes it to worme[d] and makes þeire saules ofte-sythes full bitter in angwys and tene, and besynes of vayne thoghtes and oþer wrechidnes, ffor thay are so heuy in erthely frenchype þat þay may noghte flee in till þe lufe of Ihesu Criste, in þe wylke þay moghte wele for-gaa þe lufe of all creaturs lyfande in erthe. / Whare-fore, accordandly Arystotill sais þat some fowheles are of gude flyghyng, þat passes fra a lande to a-nothire, Some are of ill flyghynge for heuynes of body and for[-þi] þaire neste es noghte ferre fra þe erthe. Thus es it of thayme þat turnes þame to godes seruys. Some are of gude flyeghynge for thay flye fra erthe to heuene and rystes thayme thare in thoghte, and are fedde in delite of goddes lufe, and has thoghte of na lufe of þe worlde. Some are þat kan noghte flyghe fra þis lande bot in þe waye late theyre herte ryste and delyttes þaym in sere lufes of mene and womene, als þay come & gaa, nowe ane & nowe a-nothire, and in Ihesu Criste þay kan fynde na swettnes or if þay any tyme fele oghte it es swa lyttill and swa schorte for othire thoghtes þat are in thayme, þat it brynges thaym till na stabylnes; [f]or þay are lyke till a fowle þat es callede strucyo or storke, þat has wenges and it may noghte flye for charge of body. Swa þay hafe vndirstandynge, and fastes and wakes and semes haly to mens syghte, bot thay may noghte flye to lufe and contemplacyone of god, þay are so chargede wyth othyre affeccyons and othire vanytes.


Desyre and Delit

Ms. Thornton (Lincoln Cath. 91)

[folio 196b]

Item Idem de dilectacione in deo.Also of þe same: delyte and ȝernyng of gode.

Ihesus Marie filius, sit michi clemens & propecius. Amen.

Gernyng and delite of Ihesu Criste þat has na thyng of worldes thoghtes, es wondyrfull, pure, haly, and faste, and whene a man felis hym in þat degre than es a man Circumsysede gastely. [It es haly] whene all oþer besynes and affeccyons and thoghtes are drawene away owte of his saule, that he may hafe ryste in goddes lufe with-owttene tagillynge of oþer thynges. ¶ The delyte es wondirfull [when] it es sa heghe þat na thoghte may reche þar-to to bryng it doune. ¶ It es pure when it es noghte blendid with na thynge þat es contrayrie thare-to. ¶ And it es faste whene it es clene and stabill delitande by it-selfe. ¶ Thre thynges makes delite in gode heghe: Ane es restreynynge of fleschely luste in complecioune. Anoþer es restreynynge or repressynge of ill styrrynge and of temptacione in will. The thirde es kepynge or hegheynge of þe herte in lyghtenynge of þe halygaste, þat haldis his herte vpe fra all erthely thoghtes, þat he sette nane obstakill at the comynge of Criste in till hyme. // Ilkane þat couaytes endles hele, be he besy nyghte and daye to fulfill þis lare or elles to Cristeȝ lufe he may noghte wynne // ffor it es heghe, and all þat it duellis in, it lyftes abowne layery lustes and vile couaytes and abowne all affeccyouns and thoghtes of any bodily thynge. // Twa thynges makes oure delyte pure. // Ane es tornynge of sensualite to the skyll; ffor whene any es tornede to delite of hys fyve wittes alson¯e vnclennes entyrs in to his saule. // Anoþer es þat þe skyll mekely be vssede in gastely thynges, als in medytacyons, and orysouns, and lukynge in haly bukes. / For-thy þe delyte þat has noghte or vnordaynde styrrynge and mekely has styrrynge in Criste, and in whilke þe sensualyte es tournede to þe skyll, all sette and oysede tyll god, makys a mans saule in ryste & sekirnes, and ay to duell in gude hope, & to be payede with all godis sandes with-owttene gruchynge or heuynese of thoghteȝ, &c. Explicit.

Explicit carmen. Qui scripsit sit benedictus. Amen.

Gastly Gladnesse

Ms. Cambridge Dd V. 64

[folio 41b]

(G)astly gladnes in Ihesu & ioy in hert with swetnes in sawle of þe sauor of heuen in hope es helth in til hele. And my lyfe lendes in luf, and lyghtsumnes vnlappes my thoght. I drede noght þat me may wyrk wa, sa mykel I wate of wele. It war na wonder if dede war dere, þat I myght se hym þat I seke. Bot now it es lenthed fra me, & me behoues lyf here, til he wil me lese. Lyst & lere of þis lare, & þe sal noght myslike. Lufe makes me to melle, & ioy gars me iangell. Loke þow lede þi lyf in lyghtsumnes, &heuynes helde it a-way. Sarynes lat it noght sytt wyth þe: bot in gladnes of god euermare make þow þi gle. AmeN.

Expliciunt cantica diuini amoris secundum Ricardum Hampole.

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Ms. Arundel 507
[folio 43]

Þis are þe .VII. giftes of þe hali gast: Wysdom, Vnderstandynge, Consail, Strenth, Conynge, Pite, Drede of god. Þir ordeyne man til lede his life rightwisli in þis werld. Bigyn we at consail: for þerof is mast mister. Consail / is doyng a-wai: of werld riches & delices / & of al thinge þat man mai be tagild with in thought or dede; & steringe inwardli til contemplacion of god. / Vnderstandynge is: til knawe what is for to do: & what is for to leue; & to gife þat sal be gyuen: til þe nedy / noght til þa þat haues na nede. / Wisdom: is forgetynge of erthli thinges & thinkynge of heuen / with discrecion in alle oure dedes; in þis gifte: schynes contemplacion, þat is as saynt Austyn sais, a gasteli dede of affeccions: thorugh þe ioie of a raisid thought. / Strynth: is lastynge to fulfil gode purpos þat it be noght left / for wele ne waa. / Pyte: is þat a man be mylde, & gayne-sai noght hali writte: when it smytis his synnes / whether he vnderstand it or noght; bot in al his might: purge he þe vilete of synne / in him & in oþer. / Conynge: makis a man noght rosand him of his rightwisenesse / bot sorowand for his synne; & þat he gedir erthli godes / aneli til þe honour of god & prow til oþer men as til him-selfe. / Drede: is þat we turne noght agayn til oure synne; & þen is drede perfite in vs: when we drede til wrath god in þe leste synne þat we can knawe, & flees it as venyme.

Page  196
Ms. Thornton (Lincoln Cath. 91)
[folio 196]
Item Idem de septem donis spiritus sancti. Also of the gyftes of the haly gaste.

Þe seuene gyftes of þe haly gaste þat ere gyfene to men and wymmene þat er ordaynede to þe Ioye of heuene and ledys theire lyfe in this worlde reghtwysely: Thire are thay: / Wysdome / Vndyrstandynge / Counsayle / Strenghe / Connynge / Pete / The drede of god. / Begynne we at consaile, for þare-of es myster at the begynnynge of oure werkes þat vs myslyke noghte aftyrwarde. / With thire seuene gyftes þe haly gaste teches sere mene serely. ¶ Consaile es doynge awaye of worldes reches, and of all delytes of all thyngeȝ, þat mane may be tagyld with in thoghte or dede, and þa[r]-with drawynge in till contemplacyone Page  197 of gode. ¶ Vndyrstandynge es to knawe whate es to doo and whate es to lefe; and þat that sall be gyffene to gyffe it to thaym þat has nede / noghte till oþer þat has na myster. ¶ Wysedome es forgetynge of erthely thynges and thynkynge of heuen, with discrecyone of all mene dedys. / In þis gyfte schynes contemplacyone, þat es, saynt Austyne says, a gastely dede of fleschely affeccyones thurghe þe Ioye of a raysede thoghte. ¶ Strenghe es lastynge to fullfill gude purpose, þat it be noghte lefte for wele ne for waa. ¶ Pete es þat a man be mylde; and gaynesay noghte haly writte whene it smyttes his synnys, whethire he vndyrstand it or noghte, bot in all his myghte purge he þe vilte of syne in hyme and oþer. ¶ Connynge es þat makes a man of gude [hope] noghte ruysand hyme of his reghtewysnes, bot sorowand of his synnys; and þat man gedyrs erthely gude anely to the honour of god, and prow to oþer mene þane hym-selfe. ¶ The drede of god es þat we turne noghte agayne till oure syne thurghe any ill eggyng. / And þa[n] es drede perfite in vs and gastely / when we drede to wrethe god in þe leste syne, þat we kane knawe, and flese it als venyme. Explicit.

Page  195

Commentary on the Decalogue

Ms. Thornton (Lincoln Cath. 91)
A notabill Tretys off the ten Comandementys: Drawene by Richerde the hermyte off Hampull.

The fyrste comandement es: «Thy lorde god þou sall loute and til hym anely þou sall serue.» / In this comandement es forboden all mawmetryse, all wychcrafte and charemynge, / the wylke may do na remedy till any seknes of mane, womane or beste; ffor þay erre þe snarrys of þe deuelle by þe whilke he afforces hym to dyssayue mankynde. / Alswa in þis commandemente es forbodyne to gyffe trouthe till so[r]cerye or till dyuynyngeȝ by sternys or by dremys or by any swylke thynges. / Astronomyenes by-haldes þe daye and þe houre and þe poynte þat mane es borne In, and vndyr whylke syngne he es borne and þe poynte þat he be-gynnes to be In, / and by þire syngnes and oþer þay saye, þat þay say that sall be-fall þe man aftyrwarde: bot theyre errowre es reproffede of haly doctours. / Haly crosses mene sall lowte ffor thay are in syngne of Cryste crucyfiede; To ymages es þe louynge þat es till theyme of whaym þai are þe ymageȝ, ffor þat Entent anely þai are for to lowte. The tothire comandement es: «þou sall noghte take þe name of god in vayne.» Here es forbodene athe with-owttene chesone. / He þat neuenes god & sweris fals, dispyse god. / In thre maners mane may syne in swerynge: / That es, if he swere agayne his concyence, Or if he swere be Cryste wondes or blude—That es euermare gret syne / þofe it be sothe þat he sweris, / ffor it sounes in irreu[er]ence of Ihesu Cryste; / Also if he come agaynes his athe noght fulfilland þat he has sworne. / The nam of gode es takyne in vayne one many maners: With herte / with mouthe / with werke. / With herte takes false crystyne mene it in vayne þat rescheyues þe Sacrament with-owttene grace in sawle. / With mouthe es it tane in vayne with all athes; brekynge of new prechynge þat es vanyte and vndeuocyone; prayere when we honour god with oure lyppys and oure hertys erre ferre fra hym. / With werke ypocrittes takes goddes nam in vayne: / ffor they feyne gud dede with-owttene, and þey erre with-owttene charyte and vertue and force of sawle to stand agayne all ill styrrynges. The thirde commandement es: «Vmbethynke the þat thow halowe þi halydaye!» / This commandement may be takyne in thre maneres: / Firste generally þat we sesse of all vyces. [Sithen speciali, þat we cesse of alle bodili werkis] þat lettys deuocyone to god in prayenge and thynkynge. The thyrde es specyall, als in contemplatyfe mene þat departis þayme fra all werldly thynges swa þat þey hally gyfe þayme till god. / The fyrste manere es nedfull vs to do / The tothire we awe to do / The thirde es perfeccyone. / For-thi one þe halydaye men awe, als god byddys, to lefe all syne, and do na werke þat lettis thayme to gyffe þaire herte to godd, thatt þay halowe þe daye in ryst and deuocyone and dedys of charyte. The ferthe comandement es: «Honoure thy fadyre and þi Page  196 modyre.» / That es in twa thynges, þat es bodyly and gastely. / Bodyly in sustenance / þat þay be helpede and sustaynede in þaire elde / and when þay are vnmyghtty of þayme-selfe. / Gastely in reuerence and bouxomnes: þat þay say to þame na wordes of myssawe ne vnhoneste ne of displesance vnauyssedly, / bot serue þame mekely and gladly and lawlyly; þat þay may wyne þat godde hyghte to swylke barnes / þat es [þe] lande of lyghte. / And if þay be dede / thaym awe to helpe þaire sawles with almous-dedes and prayers. The fifte commandement es þat «thow slaa na mane;» nowthire with assente, ne with werke, ne with worde or fauour. And also here es forbodene vn-ryghtewyse hurtynge of any persone. / Thay are slaers gastely / þat will noghte feede þe pouer in nede / and þat defames men / and þat confoundes Innocentys. The sexte commandement es: «thow sall be na lichoure.» / Þat es / thow sall haue na man or womane bot þat þou has takene in fourme of haly kyrke. / Alswa here es forbodene all maner of wilfull pollusyone procurede one any maner agaynes kyndly oys, or oþer gates. The seuende commandement es: «thow sall noghte do na thyfte.» In the whylke es forbodene all manere of with-draweynge of oþer mene thynges wrangwysely agaynes þaire wyll þat aghte it, / bot if it ware in tyme of maste nede, when all thynges erre comone. / Also here es forbodene gillery of weghte / or of tale / or of mett or of mesure, / or thorow okyre, or violence or drede / als bedells or foresters duse and mynystyrs of þe kynge, / or thurghe extorcyone als lordes duse. The aughtene commandement es / that «thow sall noghte bere false wyttnes agaynes thi neghteboure», als in assys / or cause of matremoyne. / And also lyenges ere forbodene in þis commandement / and forswerynge. / Bot all lyenges are noghte dedly syne, bot if þay noye till som man bodyly or gastely. The nynde commandement es: «thow sall noghte couayte þe hous or oþer thynge mobill or in-mobill of þi neghtbour with wrange,» / ne þou sall noghte hald oþer mens gude if þou may ȝelde thayme, / elles þi penance saues þe noghte. The tend commandement as: «thow sall noghte couayte þi neghtebour wyefe, ne his seruande, ne his maydene, / ne mobylls of his». / He lufes god þat kepis thire commandementes for lufe. / His neghtebour hym awe to lufe als hym-selfe, þat es till þe same gude þat he lufes hym-selfe to, / nathynge till ill; / and þat he lufe his neghtbour saule / mare þane his body or any gudeȝ of þe worlde &c. Explicit.