University of California
F -n L- '
This book is DUE on last date stamped below
MAY 27 1957
APR 2 ^ 1959
.5 ^ Y^''
FOUR WEEKS FtfM^^^.pWT
NON-REMEWABIE ^ '^
EARLY ENGLISH POETRY,
AND POPULAR LITERATURE
OF THE MIDDLE AGES.
EDITED FROM ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS
AND SCARCE PUBLICATIONS.
PRINTED FOR THE PERCY SOCIETY,
BY T. RICHARDS, ST. MARTINS LANE.
CONTENTS OF VOL. XIV.
THE POEMS OF .JOHN AUDELAY.
tlilTED liY J. O. IIALM^VELL, ESQ. r.R.S.
ST. BRANDAN, A LEGEND OF THE SEA.
EDITED BY THOMAS WKIGXif, ESQ. M.A., r.S-A.
THE ROMANCE OF THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN.
KDITED BY J. O. HALLrWELL, ESQ.
A SPECIMEN OF THE SHROPSHIRE DIALECT
IN THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY.
JAMES ORCHARD HALLIWELL, ESQ., F.K.S.
4 ;> o i 9
PRINTED FOR THE PERCY SOCIETY,
BY T. RICHARDS, 100, ST. MARTIN'S LANE
CfK ^pertp Society.
The Rt. Hon. LORD BRAYBROOKE, F.S.A.
THOMAS AMYOT, Esq. F.R.S. The as. S.A.
WILLIAM HENRY BLACK, Esq.
WILLIAM CHAPPELL, Esq. F.S.A.
J. PAYNE COLLIER, Esq. F.S.A.
C. PURTON COOPER, Esq. Q.C, F.R.S., F.S.A.
PETER CUNNINGHAM, E.sq.
J. H. DIXON, Esq.
WILLIAM JERDAN, Esq. F.S.A., M.R.S L.
CAPTAIN JOHNS, R.M.
T. J. PETTIGREW, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A.
LEWIS POCOCK, Esq. F.S.A.
SIR CUTHBERT SHARP.
WILLIAM SANDYS, Esq. F.S.A.
WILLIAM J. THOMS, Esq. F.S.A.
THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A., F.S.A., Secretary and
p n W \
Among the capellani of the quiet monastery of
Haghmon, at the commencement of the fifteenth
century, hved one, a truly penitent and righteous
monk, who atoned for the excesses of his early
life by the devotion of an enthusiast, and called
the priesthood to their duty by the voice of litera-
ture, even during the afflictions of the blind and
the deaf. He was no Lollard. A pious priest,
denouncing the opinions of Wickliffe, teaching that
dissent and heresy would assuredly lead to damna-
tion, he was yet well aware that the return of the
leaders of his religion to their early discipline, was
the only chance left for restoring orthodoxy.
His name was John Audelay, or Awdlay, as
the name is spelt different ways in the same
A selection from the poems of this somewhat
remarkable writer, is presented to the reader in
the following pages. The original MS. formerly
belonged to Farmer, and is now in Mr. Deuce's
collection. Wo have printed only a small portion
of it; for the MS. is scarcely worthy of being
published entire, and is, indeed, principally valu-
able as exhibiting a faithful specimen of the
Salopian dialect at so early a period. The greater
portion appears to form part of one work, the
MS. being unfortunately imperfect ; but the fol-
lowing colophon is found about the middle of it: —
" Finite libro, sit laus et Gloria Christo !
Liber vocatur concilium conciencie sic nominatur,
Aut scala celi et vita salutis eterni.
Iste liber fuit compositus per Johannem Awdelay,
capellanum, qui fuit sccus et surdus, in sua visit-
acione, ad honorem Domini nostri Jhesu Christi,
et ad exemplum aliorum, in monasterio de Hagh-
mon, anno Domini millesimo cccC"" vicessimo vi.'o
eujus anime propicietur Deus. Amen."
In the following lines, which are found im-
mediately before the colophon, he expresses,
somewhat feelingly, the afflictions under which
ho laboured, and the inspiration of his muse : —
" As I lay seke in my langure,
In an abbay here be west,
This boke I made with gret dolour,
When I myjt not slep ne have no rest ;
Offt with my prayers I me blest,
And sayd Idle to lieven kyng,
I knowlaehe, Lord, hit is the best
Mekele to take tlii vesetyiig,
Ellis wot I wil that I were lorne,
Of al lordis be he blest !
Fore al that je done is fore the best,
Fore in thi defawte was never mon lost,
That is here of women borne.
" Mervel 30 not of this makyng,
Fore I me excuse, hit is not I ;
This was the Hole Gost wercheng,
That sayd these wordis so faythfully ;
Fore I quoth never bot hye foly,
God hath me chastyst fore my levyng !
I thong my God my grace treuly
Fore his gracious vesityng.
Beware, seris, I joue pray,
Fore I mad this with good entent.
In the reverens of God omnipotent ;
Prays fore me that beth present,
My name is Jon the blynd Awdlay."
In another place, in nearly the same words, he
apparently alludes to the errors of his earlier
years : —
" Mervel ^e nojt of this makyng,
Fore I me excuse, hit is not I,
Fore this of Godis oun wrytyng,
That he send doun fro heven on hye,
Fore I couth never bot he foly ;
He hath me chastist for my levyng.
I thonk my God my grace treuly,
Of his gracious vesetyng."
Nearly all Audelay's poems that have descended
to us are of a religious cast, and partake of much
sameness. The following lines on King Henry VI
are an exception, and by no means an unfavourable
specimen of his poetical talents : —
De rege nostro Henrico sexto.
" A ! perles pryns, to the we pray,
Save our kyng both ny3t and day !
Fore he is ful 3ong, tender of age,
Seraele to se, o bold corage,
Lovele and lofte of his lenage.
Both perles prince and kyng veray ;
His gracious granseres and his grawndame,
His fader and moderis of kyngis thay came,
Was never a worthier prjoice of name,
So exelent in al our day.
His fader fore love of mayd Kateryn,
In Fraunce he wrojt turment and tene,
His love hee sayd hit schuld not ben.
And send him ballis him with to play.
Then was he wyse in -wers withalle,
And ta3t Franchemen to plai at the ball,
"With teues hold he ferd ham halle,
To castelles and setis thei floyn away.
To Harflete a sege he layd anon.
And cast a bal unto the towne ;
The Frenchemen swere be se and sun,
Hit was the fynd that mad that fray I
Anon thai toke ham to cownsele,
Oure gracious kyng thai wold asayle,
At Agyncourt at that batayle
The floure of Frawnce he fel that day.
The kyng of Frawnce then was agast,
Mesagers to him send in hast,
Fore wele he west hit was hot wast
Hem to withstond in hone way ;
And prayd hym to sese of his outrage,
And take Kateryn to mareage,
Al Frawnce to him schuld do homage,
And croune him kyng afftyr his day.
Of Frawnce he mad him anon regent,
And wedid Kateren in his present ;
Into Englond anon he went,
And cround our quene in ryal aray.
Of quen Kateryn our kyng was borne,
To save our ry3t that was fore-lorne,
Oure faders in Frawns had won beforne.
Thai han hit hold mone a day.
Thus was his fader a conqueroure,
And wan his moder with gi-et onoure,
Now may the kyng here the floure
Of kyngis and kyngdams in uche cuntre !
On him schal fal the prophece,
That hath ben sayd of kyng Herre,
The hole cros wyn or he dye.
That Crist habud on good Fryday ;
Al wo and werres he schal acese.
And set alle reams in rest and pese,
And turne to Christyndam al hevynes.
Now grawnt him hit so be may !
Pray we that Lord is Lord of alle.
To save our kyng his reme ryal,
And let never myschip uppon him falle,
Ne false traytoure him to betray !
I pray youCj seris, of 30ur geutr6.
Sing this carol reverently,
Fore hit is mad of kyng Herr6,
Grot nod fore liiin we han to pray !
3if he fare wele, wele seliul we be,
Or ellis we may be ful sor6 ;
Fore him schal wepc mone an e ;
Thus prophecis the blynd Awdlay."
Among the other portions of the MS. may be
noticed an account of St. PauFs journey to the
regions of the wicked ; a prayer to St, Francis ; a
curious alliterative poem somewhat defaced,
entitled " l)e tribus regis ;"" and a copy of the
poem commencing " De mundus militat," which
has been printed by Mr. Wright in his edition of
Walter Mapes, p. 147. The MS. concludes with
the following lines, which inform the reader that
he may have a copy on condition that he will pray
for the author's soul : —
"Cujus finis bonus ipsum totum bonum,
Finite libro, sit laus et gloria Christo !
No mon this book he take away,
Ny kutt owte uoo leef, y say for why ;
For hyt ys sacrelege, sirus, y 30W say,
[He] beth acursed in the dede truly ;
3ef 5e wil have any copi,
Askus leeve and 56 sliul have,
To pray for hym specialy.
That hyt made jour soules to save,
Jon the blynde Awdelay ;
The furst prost to tlie Lord Strange he was,
Of thys cliauntre here in this place,
That make thys bok by Goddus grace,
Deeif, siek, blynd, as he lay,
Cujus anirae propicietur Deus."
With regard to the dialect in which these
poems are written, it would be both difficult and
unsatisfactory to make a comparison of them with
the present language of Shropshire. Mr. Harts-
horne has exhibited the modern Salopian dialect
very fully ; but the similarities are not very easily
perceptible. The tendency to turn o into a, and
to drop the /«, may be recognized in the following
pages, as aid for liold^ &c. / is still turned into
e^ which may be regarded one of Audelay's
dialectical peculiarities, especially in the prefixes
to the verbs ; but the cli for sli or scA, so com-
mon in Audelay, has not found a place in
Mr. Hartshorne's glossary. There is much
uncertainty in reasoning on the early provincial
dialects, owing to the wide difference between the
broad and the more polished specimens of the
language of the same county ; and the present
work can be by no means considered as affording
an example of the broadest and purest early
Nothing seems to be known of Audelay beyond
the little that the sole existing MS. of his poems
has recorded ; and we have already selected all the
biographical information to be derived from that
source The MS. Bodl. 546, formerly belonged
to one John Audelay, whose name occurs in several
places, but although of nearly the same period, it
may bo doubted whether this person was the
Shropshire poet. It may also be added that a
very good account of the contents of the MS. of
Audlay's poems is given in the recent Catalogue
of Douce's MSS., a collection now deposited in the
Bodleian library. The ruins of Haglimon Mon-
astery, the place of the poefs abode, still remain,
and are, we believe, the property of John Corbet,
J. 0. HALLIWELL.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
In hel ne purgatore non other plase,
Thes synnes wold make 30U schamyd and schent,
And lese jour worchyp in erth and grace.
Al day withene sene thou has
Hou men bene slayne fore dedle synne,
And han vengans fore here trespace,
Both lyve and goodes that lesyn then
by londys law.
3if thai had kept Cristis comaundment,
Thai schuld never be schamyd ne chent,
Ne lost here lyfe, ne lond, ne rent,
nouther hongud ne draw.
Hel is not ordent fore ry3twyseme[n],
Bot fore horn that here serven the fynd ;
No more ys a preson of lyme and ston,
Bot to horn that the lauys thai done offend.
Fore wyckyd dedys makys thevys i-schent,
Hye on galouys fore to heng,
2 POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
Tlipr ryjtwyse men tliai han god end ;
Fore thay bene treue in here levyng,
trust vvel therto.
He that levys here ryjtwysly,
On what dey that ever he dy.
His soul never sclial j)onyschyd be,
ne never vvyt of wo.
The syn of sodorni to heven
Hit crysen on God Alnny3t;
And monsla3t with a rewful steven
Hit askys vengans day and ny5t;
Extorcyons ajayns the ryjt,
And huyrns that with wrong holdon be,
Damnacion to ham hit is y-dy5t
That usyn these, and avowtere,
These synnys a nion thai done blynde,
Fore thai be done ajayns kynde,
And bene the werkys of the fynde
Thre synns princypaly a man doth mare,
Murthyr, theft, and avoutre ;
Thai wyl 50U schend ore je be ware,
Be thai done never so prevely ;
The fynd wyl schew ham hopunly.
That al the werd schal have wyttying;
Fore thai bene cursyd in heven on hye,
Al that usus that cursid doying
thai wyl be schent.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. d
Fore morther Cayine cursud of God was he;
And fore theft, thevys al day hongud thay be ;
For avoutre vengaiis had kyng Dave,
fore brekying of the sacrement.
Avoutre ne lechorj'^ men set not by,
To breke the bond of the sacrement ;
Thay schuld aby ful sekyrly
Bot thai have spase ham to repent.
Herefore, 36 curatis, 36 wyl be schent,
And pristis that bene lewyd in here levyng.
Fore to this syn 36 done assent
With evyl ensampyl to other 3eveng :
and wretyn hit ys,
36 were chosen to chastyte.
To kepe 30ur holy order and 30ur degre
In perfyt love and charite,
and mend all other that done amys.
Kepe 3oure wedloke, 36 weddid men;
In paradyse God furst hit mad,
Betvvene Adam and Eve with trew love tlien,
Both mon and weraon therwith to glad.
Therwith he is both plesud and payd,
3if hit be kept laufully :
Hym selfe was borne of a mayde,
To fulfyl that sacrement prinsypalj',
into berth he come,
To make ther eyrus of heven blys.
That Lucefyr lost, and al hys,
Monkynd schal hyt a3ayne encrese
or the day of dome.
4 POEMS OF JOHN AL'1)EI-.\V.
Nou 5if a woman niaryd sclial be,
A noon sche schal be bojt and sold ;
Hit is fore no love of liert treuly,
Bot fore covetyse of lotid or gold.
This is Goddis \\yl and his iau wolde
Evan of blood, evan good, evan of age ;
Fore love together thus cum thai .schal be.
Fore this makus metely niaryage,
Thai schal have ayrs ham betwene.
That schal have grace to thry ve and thene ;
Thother schul have turment and tene
Ther is no cryatour, as wreton y fynde,
Save only mon that doth outrage ;
Thai chesun here makus of here honne kynd,
With treasore makun here mareage.
Nou a lade wyl take a page,
Fore no love, bot fore fleschely lust ;
And al here blood dysparage.
This lordys and lordschips thay ben i-lost
in mone a place.
Lordys and lordchypus thay wastyn away,
That makys false ayris, hit is no nay,
And wele and worchyp fore ever and ay,
onour and grace.
Now 5if that a man he wed a wyfe.
And hym thynke sche plese hym uojt,
Anon ther rysis care and stryfe ;
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
He wold here selle that he had bo5t.
And schenchypus here that he hath ?03t,
And takys to hym a loteby.
These bargeyn wyl be dere abojt,
Here ore henns he schal aby.
He is foresvvorne,
When he as chosyn hyr to his make,
And plj'3t here trowth to here y-take,
Hy schuld never here foresake,
even ne morne.
A3ayns al this remedy I fynde,
Forsake joure syn, y 30U pray ;
To God and mon loke 36 be kynde,
To heven ther is [no] notber way.
And make amendis wyle that 36 may,
3if 36 wyl have remyssyon,
God 3e most botii plese and pay,
Orellus have damnacion,
wyle ye han space.
Thus gracyously says the kyng of blys,
3etF je wyl mend that 3e do mysse,
Nolo mortem peccatoris,
36 schul have grace.
In what order or what degre
Hole cherche hath bound ye to,
Kepe hit wel, I counsel ye ;
Dyssyre thou never to go therfro.
6 POEMS OF .lOIIN AUDKLAY.
Fore tliou art boiindon, go were thou goo,
When thou hast ressayv[e]d the sacrement,
Ther is no nion may hit undoo
Bot he be cursid verament ;
in the gospel thou sist,
That God be law byndus y-fyre,
Ther ys no nion that hath povere
Hit to undo in no manere,
bot he be curst.
Love 30ur God over al thyng,
30ure ne3bore as 30urselfe, as I 30U save ;
Let be 30ure othis, 30ure false sweryng ;
In clannes kepe 30ure haleday ;
30ure fader, 50urc moder worchip ay ;
See no nion fore worldle thyng,
Bakbyte no mon ny5t ne day,
Ne say no word to hym sklaunderyng ;
False wytnes loke thou non bere,
Dysseyte ne theft loke thou do non ;
And lechery thou most foreswere :
Here beth the comaundments everychon,
loke 3e kepe hem wele,
I rede 56 serve heven kyng,
Fore ane loust or lykying,
Have mynd apon 50ure endyng
of the payns of helle.
Another remede 3et ther is,
Gentyl sires, herkene to me :
The .vij. vverkys of merce, so have I blys,
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
I wyl declare ham oponle ;
Thai schul be schevved ful petuysly
At domysday at Cristis cumyng,
Ther God and nion present schal be.
And al the world on fuyre brennyng,
a reuful aray :
Then wele is hym, and wele schal be,
That doth these vvorkys with pete,
He schal have grace and merce
The hungre 3if mete, the thorste 3if dryng,
Cleth the nakyd, as I ye say ;
Vysyte the seke, in prisen lying,
And bere the ded, as I the pray ;
And herbere the pore that goth be the way.
And teche the unwyse of tlii cunnyng ;
Do these werkys both ny3t and day.
To Goddis worchip and his plesyng ;
this is his wylle.
Ever have this in thy mynd,
To the pore loke thou be kynd,
Then in heven thou schalt hit fynd,
thou schalt never spyl.
Thi ,v. wyttis thou most know,
Thonke thi God that land ham the ;
Thi heryng, thi seyng, as I the schewe,
Thi syjt, thi smellyng, here be .iij. ;
Thi touchyng, thi tastyng, here .v. ther be,
8 POEMS OF JOHN AUHKLAY.
To reulc the with yn thi levying ;
God hath tho grauntiii ham graciously,
Hym to love over al thyng,
his wyl hit is ;
3if tin .v. wyttis here hym will spend,
Thi God thou schalt ii03t afend,
Bot bryng thiselfe to good end,
into heven blys.
Ellys a mon he were unabille,
As a best ys of kynd ;
Better mon ys made resnabyl,
Good and evyl to have in his mynd ;
And has fre choys, as we fynde,
Weder he wyl do good or ylle,
Owtlier y-savyd or ellys y-schent,
Owther have heven or ellus have hell,
thou hast fre choys.
Then I red foresake the fynd,
To God and mon loke thou be kynd,
And have his passyon in thi mind
that dyed on cros.
Thou most have fayth, hope, and charyte,
This is the ground of thi beleve,
Ellys i-savyd thou mat no5t be.
Thus Foul in his pystyl he doth preve.
Then God and mon thou schalt never greve,
This is the ground of good levyng ;
Then charyte he is the chif,
Hereffore he lovys God over al thyug,
thys wyl I prove.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
Lok in thi merour,
5if thou love thi nejtboure
Then thou lovyst thi Savj^oure,
thou art trew in thi beleve.
Thi beleve is the fayth of hole cherche,
Soule in hope God hath ordynd the,
Ever good werkys that thou schuld werche.
And be rewarded therfore in heven on hye.
Then charyte chif callid is hee,
Fore he counsalys uche mon that is levyng
To do as thou vvoldest rae dud by the,
And bryng thi lyf to good endyng,
here and hen.
Do fore joure self ore 36 gone,
Or mede of God get 36 none,
Bot sone before 3etone
of kyth and of kyn.
Ever have pete of the pore.
Of the goodus that God the sende ;
Thou hast no other here tresoure,
A3ayns the day of judgment;
Or ellys thou sehall br schamyd and chent
When thou art callid to thy rekynyng,
Ther God and mon schal be present,
And al the world on fuyre brennyng,
the to afray.
5if thou have partyd with the pore,
God wyl thonke the therfore,
And in his kyndom the restore
the lyf that lastyth ay.
10 POEMS OF JOHN AUDFXAY.
The pore scliul be made domysmen
Apon the ryche at domysday :
Let se houe tliai cun onswere then,
For al here ryal reverent aray.
In hunger, in cold, in thurst, weleaway I
Afftyr here almes ay vvaytyng,
Thay wold not vysete us nyjt ne day,
Thus wyl thai playn ham to heven king
that is above.
Thus we dydon myschyvysly,
Fore hungyst, thurst, ful petuysly,
Thai wold not on us have no pete,
ny for thai love.
The " day of dome ' shuld come in here,
Vor the defawle of the ivnjtere,
At the .xiij. leef afore hyt ys,
Seche hyt there thou shalt nott mys.
De Concordia inter fratres et rectores ecclesise.
God hath grauntyd grace unto our lernyng,
Al that we fynden fay fully wrytyn in hole wryt.
That be our pacyens princypaly and holy wryting
We schuld have consolacioun and conford, byleve
truly in hyt.
I schal say 30U the soth, that wele schul 38 wyt.
Hit ys Godys word and his werke, and his worchyng;
Be the grace of the Hole Gozt togedyr hit is y-knyt,
Redle us to remembyr in oure redyng,
And hold hit in mynde,
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 11
Tlier is no mon that saved may be,
But he have fayth, hope, and charite,
And do as thou woldust me dud by the,
to God and men be kynde.
Haec est fides Catholica.
This foreward furst we mad at the forsston,
To fore owre fader faythely that folowed in ray.
To forsake syr Sathanas his werkus everychon,
And become Cristen men to byleve in God veray,
And kepe his comavvndmentis kyndly ny3t and day,
Ther we were croysid in a crysun with a earful krye;
To this covenant was called to wytnes, y say,
Oure godfars, oure godraoders, to stond ther us by ;
when we myjt not speke,
Ther thai answerd for us,
In the name of Jhesus,
Al thre with one woys,
this bond we schuld nojt brake.
Time Dominum, et mandata serva.
Hwo so brekys this bond, bare thai bene of blys,
Bot thai ben salvyd of here syn or thai hens passe,
Thai schulun way of wo, y warne joue y-wys,
Hit schal be ponysched here ore henus evere tres-
Men have not this in mynd, nowther more ne lasse,
Thai most obey obedyans that thai be bounden to,
And mend her here mysdedys, and her matens and
12 rOEMS OK JOHN AUDKLAY.
And kepe ihe comawndments of Crist, this deute n)ost
Fore thai beth ayres of heven blys,
The fader of heven hath grauntid ham this,
5if thai wyl mend that thai do mys,
to have remyssyon.
Sapientia hujus muiidi stultitia apud Dominum.
Alas I ale the vvyt of this word fallus to foly,
Thus sayth Sapyens forsoth in the boke of lyfe ;
He has vvysdom and wyt, I tel 30W trewly
That can be ware or be won, and leve in clene ly ve.
Who mai kepe hym unkyt fro a kene knyfe,
jif he boldly that blad tonche in his tene ;
No more may a mon here, maydon ne wyfe,
Plese God unto his pay bot his consyans be clene ;
ensaumpyl I make,
Who may here serve a lorde,
Bot jif he bold hym fo[r]warde
He getys never reward,
y dare undertake.
Si quis diligit me, sermonem meum servabit.
He that sayth he lovys his Lord, on hym take good erne,
And kepus not his coraawndmentes as a Crystyn mon,
Leve he is a lyere, his dedis thai done hym deme
Fore he schuld walkethe same wayes his Lord had
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. lo
EUys lely hit is loke that treusone ys iher noii.
Fore he schuld sew his soferayns, and his saucour ;
This may 36 kyndle know hit is treu as ane ston,
He lese al his lyve-days, and his labour,
and stondis in gret drede,
He that is untreu to his lorde,
Outher in dede or in word.
The law vvyl hym reward
deth to his mede.
Vox popiili vox Dei.
I Marcol the more fole, mon, on my mad wyse,
I send the brod Salamon to say as I here,
Hou homle hosbondmen here hertys thai aryse,
Thai woldon thai wro3ton wysely that schuld ham
lede and lere.
Do thi message mekely to pryst and to frere,
Thai are the lanternys of lyf ye lend men to lyjt,
Bot thai be ca3t with covetyse, with conscious unclere,
A3eyns the lauys of here Lord reson and ry3t,
hit is no3t unknow ;
Comawnd hem in al wyse,
Never on other dai dar dyspyse,
Fore here cursid covetyse
here home is e-blaw.
Ubi est thesaurus tuus, ibi et cor tuum erit.
Counsel ham fro covetyse, cursid mat he be.
He wyl hem lede to here lost and lyke to be lore,
31 f thai fowyn his fare thai fallyn to foly,
He wyl ham gyde gylfulley, and goo hem before.
14 POEMS or JOHN AUDEI,AY.
Have thai never so niekyl inok he wyl Iiave more,
With wylis and with wrorif^us he wyl hit ay wyii.
He is unkynd and uiicurtes ; he kepis not to restore
That he takys ainys to no nianer mon,
iient his endyng ;
Then is lie a traytour,
Fore he trnstys to his secatour,
He schuld his soule socour
here in his levyng.
Ante oculos tuos ne \-i(leant vanitatem.
Dispiseyou no pristhod, brother, I the pray,
Bot veyn glory and here vysis and here vanite ;
Bed ham mend that thay do mys, spare not to say,
Fore her dedus wyl hem deme 5if thai be gylte.
Thai schuld rader repreve the synnys that thai se,
Rennying and reynying in the reume al aboute.
And clanse here consyans clene and kepe charite ;
Then my3t thai say a sad say, and stond out of doute
in al mens syjt.
Therof tlie pepul wold be fayue,
Fore to cum home ajayne,
That hath goon gatis ungayne,
for defaute of ly5t.
Quod natiira dedit, nemo toUere poterit.
Uche best that ys blest, togeder thai wyl draw,
Be kynd to the cuntre that thai come fro ;
3et thai ben unleryed, unwyse in the law,
Bot as nature has ham noryschid, hit nedus no nodcr
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 15
We were put in paradise to have wele withoutyn woo,
Hent we had unblest brokyn the commaundoientis of
That is lord of all lordys, were bene one moo,
Thatmai us salve of oure sore ourebotynglo us bryng?
that lord be he blest !
I rede je draun to jour kyng.
Fore one lust or lykyng,
Pray hem with here prechyng,
to set mon soule in rest.
Filius non portabit iniquitatem patris, etc. Sed imusquisque
onus suum portabit.
What was Abel the worse thaj Kayme his borne broder
Were cursid for his covetyse and his creuel dede ;
No more ys a good prest the worse fore another.
That wyl love his Lord God, hym serve and drede.
Make moche of a good mon, on hym take good hede,
Loke ye bite not bayard for bryd ne for brend ;
As a sete may be savyd and schal the better spede,
Thro3 the prayere of a good prist, an hole and an hynd,
' that kepys his ordore ;
He whot never hou sone
God wyl here his bone.
And al that here wele done,
heryd ys here prayoure.
Declinate a me, maligni, etc.
jif ther be a pore prest, and spiritual in spiryt.
And be devout, with devocioun hisservyse syngandsay,
Thay likon hym to a lossere, and to an epocryte,
3if he be besein his bedus the prynce of beven to pay,
16 POEMS OF JOHN AUDEf.AY.
And holdt; hym in liolc cli(M'ctiP dale uche day,
Oute of tlif curse of conipaiie,
And [he] kepe liis concyans clene,
He ys a nythying, a nojt, a negard, tliai say :
Bot 5if lie folou his felows, his chekys mai be ful leno,
on hym men han no niynde,
A holy prest men set not by,
Therfore ther bene bot feu truly.
Thai kepe not of here cumpany,
to hom men beth unkynde.
Increpasti supei'bos, maledicti qui declinant amantis.
Cure gentyl ser Jone, joy hym mot betyde,
He is a mere mon of mony among cumpane.
He con harpe, he con syng, his orglus ben herd ful wyd,
He wyl nojt spare his prese to spund his selare;
Alas he ner a parsun or a vecory,
Be Jhesu ! he is a gentylnion and jolyle arayd,
His gurdlisharneschit with silver, his baslard hongusbye,
Apon his parte pautener uche mon ys apayd,
both niaydyn and wyfe ;
I-fayth he shal nojt fro us gon.
Fore oure myrlh hit were e-don
Fore he con glad us everychon,
y pray God hold his lyve.
Vanitas vanitatuni et omnia vanitas.
Thus this wyckyd world is plesid with vanite,
And wrathyn God wyttyngly unwysely (.vermore,
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 17
God of his gret grace grauut hem that beth gulte
Here luysse and here inysdedus to uiend here therfore;
And let hem never fore here lust, Lord, be forelore.
But send sorewe in here hert here synnus to slake,
Into thi eurte and thi kyngdam Lord hem restore;
From al temtacioun aud tene the Trenete us take,
his lipstis to i'ulfyl.
Here sehul je here anon
Of men of relegyon,
What lyfe ihay leedon,
Goddus heest to fulfyh
Religio raunda et immaculata. Hoc est preceptum meuni ut
I move these mater to monkys in a meke maner.
And to al relegyous, that beth i-blest by Goddis
Forst Saynt Benet horn enformyd to kepe hem cloyster.
In povert and in prayerys, in prive penavvs,
And to abeyd abstinens and forsake abur^dans,
To sle the lust of hore lycam, and hore lykyng,
And obey obedyans and kepe observans :
Botli in clovstyrand in qiiere holdyth sylens fore ane
and to God and mon be kyiide ;
And ryse at midnygjt out of here ryst.
And pray fore here gooddeers as bred i-blest,
And depert here almys lest hit be lest,
fore the founders that hem fynil.
Fore in the rewle of relygyons ther may 36 rede,
Hou the graceous goodys of God sehuld be s;pend.
18 POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
Uclie prcson sclmld liavc Iiis part after that ho liadned,
7\iulcast liital iiiconiyn ihegoodys thatGod ham send;
Aridleve not lykeleud men, fore schamo, lestje be schcnt,
That steren stryf and wrath because of covetyng.
3e scliuld have no propurtc, on the pore hit schuld be
And hold up joure houshold and 3oure housyng,
and let Iieiii not adoune ;
And herbore the pore per chary te.
And 3ef mete and dreng to the nede,
And cuniford hem that woful be,
ellis be je no relegyon.
Servite Domino iu timore, et exultate ei cum tremore.
Both in cloyster and in cjuere when that thai syng and
Aperte et distincte ban mynd for ham thay pray,
And kepun her pausus and her poyntes, elles myjt thai
gete no mede.
Fore thus sayth here sovereyns sotliely to say :
Mi pepyl praysy me with here lyppus, here hertis ben
far away ;
Fore thai be cajt with covetyse, that schal ham cast
To the worcliip of this world thai wryn fro me away,
Thai han no lykyng neno lust to lerne apon my lare;
to me thai beth unkynd,
Ajayns my gret goodnes
Thai chewyn me unbuxumnes,
And I graunt ham fore5ifnes,
thai have not this in mynd.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 19
Thus he provys joure prayers and jour spir [it]ualte ;
For when 33 prayyn to jour God, je spekyn with hym
And jif 39 reden in hole wryt he speke a3ayn with the,
Remembyrjou redely when jered, that may 36 wyl wy t;
Takeknovvlache at 30ure consians, fore ther hit is y-knyt;
Thus sayth Marke sothely, Mathou, Louke, and Jon,
No nion mese in this mater ny in Holy Wryt,
For al the iiij. doctors acordon al in hon,
and clerkys of devenete,
Thai conferme the same,
And comawndon in Cristis name,
Hole wryt no mon blame,
hit is Goddis priveto.
Beatus qiii intelligit super egenum et pauperem.
Fayne mai be the fadyrs and al the fonders,
That sustyne or sokere relygious in one way ;
And so mai be sothli al here good doars,
That prayin for hom besyly both ny3t and day.
When 3our care is y-cluggun and caste into clay,
Hore matyns, here masse fore ham thai red and syng,
When al the welth of this world is went from hem away,
Then the bedis of hole cherche thai beth abydying,
fore ever and for ay.
And do 30a dredles out of drede,
Thai schal have Heven to here mede.
That secures religyous at nede,
her in ane way.
20 POKMS OF .TOIfN AUDEr^AV,
Da tua dum tua sunt; post mortomtiinc tiia non sunt,
liokys, lordus, to 3oure lyffe and to jour levying,
For I am touchid upon tho tong, the soth for to say,
Tliat 30 be leders of the lond 3ete 30U lovyng,
And cal the clargo to 30ur counsel, that berynCristiskay,
And holdist up hole cherche the pry nee of Heven to pay,
Tliat did lest dedle sun this reine wyl dystry,
For tlie lauys of this lond ben lad a wrong way.
Both temperali and spiritual I tel 30U treuly,
3if Goddus lawys 3e dystry,
And holy cherclie set not by,
Then farewell the clergy,
Hit is 30ur damnacion.
Honora Deum tuum cle tuis substanciis.
Takys faire ensampyl be 30ur faders that were 50U before.
How thai worchypd hole cherche hyly to Godys
Therfore thai blessun her burth, and the bodys that ham
For thai knowyn wel in her consians hit was her tresoure.
Foras harlordchipand herelondys hit farys asafloure,
This day hit ys fresche, to-morow hit is fadyng ;
A sad ensampyl forsoth 30ur soule to socour,
And do as 30ure faders ded before here in here levyng,
hit is fore the best.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 21
Do fore 3oure self or 36 gone,
Trust not to another mon,
EUus med of God get 36 non,
bot then 30 be e blest.
Qui perseveraverit usque in finem, hie salvus erit.
Redele these relegyos men schul have hy3 reward,
3if thai kepyn her cloyster and here comawndment ;
Fore one fonding of the fynd fulfyl 3our forward.
And castis awai covetyse that is cause of cumbernient,
And kepe 30ue clene in chastyte, to charite asent.
What sad 30ur soveren to his dyssiples when he dyd
And knelud lowl y apon his knen to -fore his blessid covent.
And be-toke hom this tokyn, dilhjatls invicemP
As I have lovyd 30W,
Then joyful schal 36 be.
For in my kyngdom 36 schul me se.
And sit apon my dome with me,
my counsel schal 36 knowe.
Withdraw 36 not from hole ciierche, 50ur faderes han
To the prelatis and the prystis fore hom fore to pray;
Bot 30 han grace of God hit to restore,
3e schul 3ild a earful counte on dredful domys-day.
Y rede 3e mend 3our mysdedus here wyle 36 may,
And let no cursid counsel cast 30U in care ;
Fore al the worchyp of this word hit wyl wype sone
22 POEMS or JOHN audei.ay.
Hit fdllus and fadys forth go doth a chore fayre,
Thenke wel on this ;
Thai bene acursid be Goddis law,
The goodys of hole cherche that withdravve,
That other han jevcn in holdoun dais,
to mayntyn Godys servyse.
Quid protlcst homini, si universum mundum lucretur.
Thus have I cumford 30U, covens, and counsel 50U fro
I rede 36 obey obedycns that 36 bene bowndon to ;
Then schul 36 blis 30ur byrth and the bodyms that 30ue
For 36 forsake this wyckyd word to have wele with-
This may 38 know kyndle y fayth both frynd and fo.
Remember 50U of the rychemen and redle on his end,
What is reches, his reverans, his ryot bro5t hym to,
Sodenle was send to hel with mone a foul fynde,
to serve ser Satanas ;
Fore to his God he was unkynd,
The lazar he had not in his mynd,
Fore worldys worchip hit com hym blynd,
therefore he syngys, alas !
Humilitas est radix omnium virtutum.
Ever have mekenes in your mynd, relegyouse, I 50U rede,
And use vertuys, and leve visibal vayne and vanete,
Fore 3if 5e love 30ur Lord God his lauys thai wyl 30W
Into his court and his coindom. were ys no vayn gloric.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 23
That unfytting sum forsothe al verteus hit duystry.
Hit lad Lucyfer to him los that was an angel clere,
God had claryfyud hym so dene of liis cortesy,
He sy3 the Trinyte apere within his hody clere,
then enterd in hym envy,
Whan he hade seyne this gloryis sy5t,
He wolde wrast hym his my5t,
A noon he fel downe ry5t
into hel sodenly.
Qui se exaltat humiliabitur.
A sad ensampyl forsoth to al relygyous men,
That bene cajt with covetyse to be sit in hye astate ;
Thai most hem ground furst in grace, hemselve know
Ellys the worchip of this world hit wyl sone abate.
36 most have mekenes and merce, hy5nes of hert hate,
And werche nothafter wylfulnes bot wysdam to 50ue
After chec for the roke ware fore the mate.
For 3if the fondment be false, the werke most nede
withyn a lyty stounde.
No mon make a covernour,
Bot 3if hit be to Godys honour.
His worchip wyl fare as floure,
and gud to grounde.
Non lionorem sed onus accepere nomen honoris.
Tiier is no worchyp wyt hit bot a gret charche,
To take the name of a state and of live honour ;
24 I'OI'.MS OK .lOIIN AIDFJ.AY.
Fore both to God and to inon tliou most ned he large,
Fore thou art choson fore chif and made here cover-
Then loko thou grounde the in God and drede thi Saveoure,
That wyl cal the to thicountus, and to thi rekynyng ;
How thou hast done thi deutc and trculy thi devour,
And spend his goodys princypaly to liis plesyng,
fore this most tliou nede.
^it" thou liast spend move fore the worde,
Tiien fore love of thi Lord,
The law wyl the reward
detli to thi Riede.
Concilium nieuin non est ciun impiis.
A foul defaute feythfuly in hole Cherche we fynde,
To let lordis or leudmen make electioun,
Thai schul not know 50ur counsel, hit is a33yn kynde,
Fore this cause Say nt Thomas soferd dethand passyon.
30ur chapytre schuld be cownsel and confession ;
And now boldly tlieryn thay man ne boy halle ;
Thus these preletus of her prevelache thay deprevon.
There holy chirche was fro now thay make hit thral,
and leson worchip and grace.
To let lord or leudmen.
Know of 50ure corexeon.
Ye men of relegyon
beth cursid in that case.
Leges meas custodite, dicit Dominus.
3e schuld rather sofyr deth, payn, and passyon.
Then lese the love of joure Lord and let down his laue;
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 25
Corsid covetyse hit is the cause, prid, presoinseoii,
56 beth ungroundid in grace, 50ur God 56 con not
jourdedusdemeysjouedredles, devocioun hit is withdraw,
36 ban chasid away charite and the reule of relegyon;
Al gestle grace and holenes hit is layd ful lowe.
Thus have 36 pot hole cherche to gret confusioun,
and made 30urselfe thral.
Godys lauys 56 ban suspend,
Herefore 3e wyl be schaniyd and chend,
13ot ye ban grace 30 u to amend,
ful dere aby 3e schal.
Quid prodest homini, si umversum mundum hicretur.
Tbenke on the cursid covetyse mon, that to hymself gon
Ete and drenke, and make the mere, — this word is at
A voyse onswerd hym anon, to-morw or hit be day,
Thi soule sodenly schal be send into the fouyre of liel,
Fore thou trustis more to thi tresoure and to thi catel,
Then in the love of thi Lord, that al thi wele hatb
Thou earful caytyf the curst, hit is treu that I the tell,
Thou schuldyst thonke thi Lord God that with his
blod the bo5t;
to hym thou art unkynd,
Tberfore daninyd schalt thou be.
Into hel perpetually,
Witboutyn grace and mercy
world witboutyn end.
26 POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
Qui vult vonirf! post mo abneget semetipsum.
Bot he that wyl come after Crist,
And kyndle here his cros,
And crucyfe his caren with love and charj'tc,
Leve thou me that his love schal not turne to lease,
Both fore his meryd and hys mede rewardyd schal he be,
Ther is no tong that con tel, hert thenkene ye se.
That joye, that jocundnes, that Jhesus wyl joyn hym to.
Ne the melode, ne the rayry minstrasye.
Hit is without comparisoun wele withoulen woo,
and love that lastis ay.
That joy hit schal never sesse,
Bot ever endoyre and e3ever encresese ;
Thus with rest and with pesse
I make a loveday.
Pacera et veritatem diligite, ait Dominus omnipotens.
INIy blessid broder Salamon, spesialy I the pray
Meve this niatcr maysterfully to prest and to frere.
Spare not to say the soth and make a loveday
Loke thou core not favel ne be no flaterer.
T am hevy in my hert and chaunget al my chere,
To wyt lead men unleryd la3 ham to scorne,
They were better unborne and bro5t on a bere,
Bot 5if thai mend here mysdede y lykyn hem belorne
and kepe charite.
Fore mon soule thai schuld save,
No spot of sun thai schuld have.
Alas ! I trou that thai rave.
Lord, benedycite I
Fore schryfte and fore trcntal thai scorne al this stryf,
5if hit because of govctvse, cursud then thai be:
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 27
5if thai loven more here luconr then the soule ly ve,
Lytul deynteth of here doctrine and of here dygnite.
For thai were chosun to be chast and kepe charytc,
And cast away covetys is cause of cumbennent,
And be a clenc kalender the sekelers on to see,
Ellys with chenehip and with chanie thai wyll be
thai stond in gret drede.
Pray ham al for charyte,
To save mon soule spesialy,
Ellys woful schal thay be
for her falshede.
Si Unguis homimim loqiiar et angelorum, caritatem auteiu
I say the, broder Salamon, tel in thi talkyng,
Furst of the frerys thus meve thou may,
Of here prevelache, and of here prayrys, and here prech-
And of here clerge and clannes and onest aray.
jif thou say not the soth, then may won say,
That thou art leud and unlerd and letter cansteth non ;
3if thou touche the treuth, truly thou hem pray,
Fore to holde the excusid everichon,
5if hit be here wyl.
I hold hit bot a leude thyng
Fore to make a lesyng,
To God hit his displesyng,
outher loud or styl.
Vos amici mei estis, si foceritis qusc prfecipio vobis.
The furst founders of tlie freres of the iiij. ordyrs,
Weren iiij. be[rn]es i-blest of oure Saveour I say,
28 POEMS or JOHN audelay.
And bc-tokyn licru bokys and baggus to be beggers,
To preclie the pepul apert the Prince of Heaven to
To heron, to beg, to put schame bothe away,
To by and to byle with here beggyng,
And pray for her good doerys both ny3t and day,
That sendus ham here sustynans and her levyng
here in this worlde.
Nyjt and day contynualy,
Fore horn thai prayn spesealy,
In matyns, niesse, and no more,
to her lovely lord.
Petite et accipietis.
Whosoever sparys fore to speke sparys for to spede,
And he that spekys and spedys no5t, he spellys tlie
I do 5oue clene out of dout and dredles out of drede,
Better is to speke and sped then hold hit in mynd;
Foremone hannemone manners, and niony beth unkynd,
Unclene in here consyans because of covetyse.
Spek and have I the hete, seche and thou schalt fynd,
Ellys may thou fal in myschif and fare al amysse ;
nyk not this with nay.
Asay thi frynd or thou have nede,
And of his answere take good hede.
Thou getyst no good withoutyn drede,
bot 5if thou byd or pray.
Qiiserite et invenietis.
3if ye wyl 5if ham of your good without beggyng.
Thai wold nowther begge ne borou, thus dare I say ;
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 29
And fynd hem hem here houshold and here housyng,
No\ither by ne byUl I red 5e asay ;
Behold, syrus, apon here chyrche, now I 50U pray,
Apon here bellys, on here bokys, and here byldyng,
Apon here prechyng, her prayes, lier reverent aray,
Thai pase al other men in here governyng,
I whot hit is no nay.
Thai play not the fole,
Contenualy thai go to scole,
Lordys worchip han thai wole,
and poton iblys away.
Dignus est mercenarius mercede sua ; ego autem mendiciis sum
Sum men sayn these sele frerys thai han no consyans,
A mon to take vii. salerys x. trental 5if thai may,
And cast ham in a hogpoch togedur fore to daunce.
Hit ys no ferly tha3 the folke in hotnthai han no fay.
I lekyn ham to Judas that Crist he con betray,
Because of his covetyse he sold his soferayn ;
So to begyle the sele pepul and greve God, weleaway I
Rededele thai ben ravenowrys and non religyous men;
that schal han reuful sore.
Hit is a3ayns Godys ordenans
To covet more then 5uure sustynans,
This makys debat and dystans,
and mend you, syrus, herefore.
Ego autem mendicus sum et pauper.
Sothly hit is wel be-set at my vvetyng,
The grace and the goodness that men done hem here ;
Hit provys wel apirt by here levyng,
To pot horn to povert in soche a manere.
30 POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
5ct thai niakyn mone men ful mekusly chere,
With the grace and the goodys that God here honi
Wysele and wytle and wittle the loud tliai wyl liere
Her niys and her mysdedis her to amende;
why schuld men be wrotli ?
Sethying God sendys horn of his sond,
VVithoutyn ploj or londe,
Ore salere of kovenande,
mete, and drinkc, and ch)th.
Fratres, nolumus vos ignorare veritatom.
I wyl not faver 30ue, frerys, with no flateryng,
50 were better unborn then fore to be to bolde ;
Passe not joure prevelage because of covetyng,
Fore this tale treule apon 5oue hit is told ;
Of soche that knouen horn gulte agayns me thai wold,
And I repreve no presthod bot here leud levying,
For to stond at a stake bren ther y wolde ;
3if y say falsle at my wyttyng,
blynd as y am,
To me hit were a slawnder
To lye apon my broder,
I wold han fayne forthcr
but songe locum acara.
Attendite a falsis prophetis.
Beth faythful, 36 frerys, in 50urfay, le tbe 50ur flateryng.
Preche the pepul pryncypaly the Prince of Heven
Pil not the pore peple with your prechyng,
Bot begge at abundand and at ryche aray :
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 31
36 may mete mone men ye walkyn be tiie way,
That bene nede and nedful, and woful begoon,
That ave apeny in here perse tha5 ^e beg and pray,
Ajayns xx. of 30urs y trou thai have not hone :
this is no charyte,
For to beg at the pore,
36 schuld haven here socoure
Of that 36 potyn in tresoure,
on ham have pete.
Estote misericordes, sicut Pater vester misericors est.
Thus 36 techyn truly to al maner men.
For to part with the pore, on ham have pite ;
As 36 counsel other, y counsel 30U then,
To solaus ham, to socour ham, in here fyrmete.
Ellys, lele, hit is lyke 3e have no charete,
3e schul schew good eusampyl to the soule-hele ;
Men waytyn apon 30ur werkys, y tel 30U wytterly,
As 36 techen other to do 3e don never a dele,
beth seche as 36 seme ;
A prechur schuld iyve parfytly,
And do as he techys truly,
Ellys hit is ypocresy,
30ur dedus that doth 30U deme.
Nidlum malum pro malo reddentes.
He that wyl not forther these frerus wyllun han no
Wyl thai loven her lord God thai mow not fare amys;
Thenk on the leyth lazar was borne into Abragus barme,
With his povert and his payne he bo3t hym heven blys.
32 I'OKM.S OF .lOIIN AUDELAY.
Fore tlie ryclu; mon liyni refused lie farytli al ainys,
And lyus law with Lucefyr k^yst in he),
J^arte with these pore frerus, 5our fader wyl hit his,
Last the case on 30ue fall that on liyni befelle;
56 schuld fyiide hit fare the best:
Do as thou woldus nie dud be the ;
Apon thi brodcr thou have pete.
Depart with Iiym, and he with the,
then be thai both y-biest.
Ignorantia non excusat sacerdotem.
Mone men of hole cherche thai ben al to lewd,
I lekyn ham to a bred is pynud in a cage ;
When he hath shertly hymselfe al be-scl;erewd,
Then he begynnys to daunce, to harpe, and to rage :
Fore he is leud and understond not his oune langwage,
Therfore he settys therby not a lytyl prise,
Fore he had lerd hit in his 50uthe and in his jenge age,
And castis hym never to lerne more, and att her oun
I say 50W fore why,
Thus leud men thai can sey,
He is an honest prest in good faye,
5if his goune be pynchit gay,
he getis a salary.
Legere et non intelligere est quasi non legerc.
Now 5if a pore mon set hys son to Oxford to scole,
Both the fader and the moder hyndyd thay schal be ;
And 5if ther falle a benefyse, hit schal be 5if a fole,
To a clerke of a kechyn, ore into the chauncere ;
This makys the worchip of clerkys wrong fore to wry.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 33
Seth sekelar men schul have mon soulys in kepyng ;
And pytton here personache to ferrae to a bayle,
And caston doune here howses and here housyng,
Here paryschun dystroy ;
Clerkys that han cunnyng,
Schuld have monys soule in kepyng,
Bot thai mai get no vaunsyng
Qui intrat in ovile nisi per hostium, ille fur est et latro.
Symony is a sun forbedun be the laue,
Hyly in holy cherche no nion hit use.
And fro that dredful dede 56 schul 30U withdraw,
Ellus the lauys of God 36 doth not bot dyspyse;
Curatis that beth unkunyng, hem je schuld refuse,
And aspy pore provyd clerkys among the clergy.
And 3if hem awaunsment and a benefyse,
To save synful soulys with here felecete,
Goddys wyl hit ys.
Curatus resident thai schul be,
And aid houshold oponly,
And part with the pore that beth nede,
And mend that 30 do mys.
In tres partes dividite rerum ecclesise substantiam.
The furst princypale parte hingus to 3our levyng ;
The ij. part to hole church to hold his honeste ;
The lij. part to 30ur parechyngs that al to 30ue bryng,
To hom that faylun the fode, and fallun in poverte.
34 I'OEMS OF JOHN AUDP:iiAY.
Thus the goodys of hole cherch schuld be spend spe-
Both30urmerytand30urraede in heaven schulje have;
Al Cristyn men on Crist wold thai crye,
ffor the bode and the soule bothe do 50 save,
Here in this word ;
That susteyne hara both ny3t and day,
And techyn to heven the rode way,
Pryncepal fore 50ue thai wold pray
To here gracious Lord.
Apprehendite disciplinam, ne quando nascatur.
Trule, I trow, this revvme where chamyd and chent,
Nere ther foretheryngof the frerys and here prechyng,
Fore the seculars pristis take non entent,
Bot to here leudnes and her lust and here lykyng ;
Thai beth nothing covetese to lerne no conyng,
The laus of here Lord God to know and to ken,
Hit demys wele be here dedys thay have no lovyng
Norther to God ne goodness, ne non to odyr men ;
This is a gret pete.
Here hole order when that thai toke,
Thai where exampnyd apon a boke,
Godys lauys to lerne and to loke.
And kepe charyte.
Accipite jugum castitatis.
Clerkys were choson to be chast and kepe charyte,
With alle here wyt, and here wyl,and here worchyng,
And be a clene calender the leud men on to se,
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 35
And not to stere stryf and wrath fore here covetyng.
Hit is a schenchyp and a schame and a sclawnderyng,
Ajayns the order of hole cherch and Goddys orden-
Prestis fore to covet al, the frerys to han no thyng,
This dole is undeule dalt, hit raaketh dj'stans,
And al thai beth breder.
And sethen thai serven won Lord,
Thai schuld never be at dyscord,
Nouther in ded nor in word,
But ychon part with olhyr.
Erant illis omnia commiinia.
In Actibus Apostolorum ther may 30 rede,
Hou the goodys of hole cherche sumtyme were i-sempde,
Uche postyl had his part ryjt as he had nede,
Thai cast hit al in comyn the goodys that God hym
Curst covetyse forsothe the clerge hath y-blynd,
That schuld be lanterns ly3t in hole cherche to bren,
And chasud away charyte, therfore thai vvyl be chent,
And turne hemself fro the treuth and marrun other
More arme is ;
Thai pottyn hamselfe in gret parel,
Fore treuly the pepul thai schuld tel
And warne ham of the payns of hel,
And mend that thai do mys.
36 I'OEMS OF JOHN AUDEI.AY.
Ecce quam bonum ot quam jocTindnni.
Take tent to this tyxt, pristis, I 30U pray,
IJabitare semper fratres in unum,
Thus Davit in the Sauter sothle con he say,
Crist of his curtesse to curatis toke his kay,
Mon soul with mekenes to have in kepyng,
With the treuth of here toung to teche hem the way,
Thro3 the vij. sacrementis here soule to blis bryng.
God grauntyth hem his pouere
To asoyle that wyl repent,
And schryve hem clene with good entent,
And do here penaiis verament,
Wyle that thai ben here.
Ego sum pastor bonus.
The ground of al goodnes curatis schuld be the cause.
And knyt hem kyndly togedur al the clerge,
And leve here leudnes and here lust and lern Godys
With here conyng and clannes dedle synnus dystroy,
Both the flesche and the fynd false covetys defye,
With merce and with mekenes the treuth for to teche,
The comawndmentis of Crist to kepe kyndly,
To-fore the pepul apart thus schuld he preche,
ffore je ben scheperdys al one ;
Then Crist to Peter, what said he ?
" My keyis I betake to the,
Kepe my schepe fore love of me,
That they perische never on."
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY, 37
The prophecy of the prophetus al nowe hit doth apere,
That sumtyme was sayd be the clergy,
That leud men the laue of God that schuld love and lere,
Forecuratis fore here covetysewold count no3t therby,
Bot to talke of her tythys y tell 3011 treuly ;
And jif the secular say a soth anon thai bene e-schent,
And lyen upon the leudmen and sayn hit is lollere ;
Thus the pepul and the pristis beth of one asent,
They dare no noder do :
Fore dred of the clerge
Wold dampnen hem unlaufully,
To preche upon the pelere.
And bren hem after too.
De vobis qui dicitis malum bonum et bonum malum.
Lef thou me a loller, his dedis thai wyl hym deme,
jif he withdraue his deutes from hole cherche away.
And wyl not worchip the cros; on hym take good erne,
And here his matyns and his masse upon the haleday,
And belevys not in the sacrement, that hit is God veray,
And wyl not schryve him to a prest on what deth he
And settis no3t be the sacramentis sothly to say,
Take him fore a loller y tel30u treuly.
And false in his fay ;
Deme hym after his saw,
Bot he wyl hym withdrawe,
Never fore hym pray.
38 POEMS OF .lOIIN A U DELAY.
Corripite inquictos, qui voliint intelligcro ut bene facerent.
Tha3 the pepyl be never so leud in here levyng,
And brekun the comawndementes of Crist, and
wykud werks worch,
They may go mery al the 3ere for ane reprevyng,
Outher of person, or of prest, or men of hole cherche.
Bot 3if thai faile thus, or schof another that with thai
Comawnd in Cristis name her techyng to hem bryng.
Ellis a lecter of sentens thai wyl on hem sorche.
Hit ceraysthat to the celc soule thai have no levyng.
Thus may 36 wel knowe,
Y pray serys that 36 aspye,
Houe contemnys lechore.
Have he cordit with the constere,
Vola verede voo.
Videte rectores ecclesise, ne propter hicrum dampnetis animas
Alas I that thes ofFecers of hole cherchis laue
Lettyth these leud men lye in here syn,
That dredun nothyng here domus hem to withdrawe.
Fore mede the maydyn mantens hem therin.
Because of ser covetys is neyre of here kyn,
May do with raon of hole cherche holle his entent,
The wyf and the hosbond he mai part atwyn,
Tha3 thai be boundon to God be the sacrement.
He wyl dyssever hem two ;
And jet the gospel hem dos lere.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 39
That God coninius togeder y fere,
There is no raon that hath pouere
That sacrement undoo.
Episcopus debet esse sine crimine, et corrigere rectores ecelesise,
sicut vult respondere coram Summo Judice.
Thus oure blessud byscop, dene ofFecialle,
Sofers thes sekelers in here sy3t to sun opynly,
Tha3 thai to here constri horn to here court call,
Thai mercyn hern with mone and med prevely ;
Thai schuld put hora to prayers and to penans opunly,
Fore opun syn opun penans, this is Godys laue.
3if 36 wyl serche the soth here is reniede,
Then wold thai dred 3our domys and sone horn with-
And kepe Godys laus.
Curatis the soth thai dar not say,
ffore thai be worse levers then thai.
And leven in syn for day to day.
So thai beth the cause.
Inclina cor meum, Deus, in testimonia tua, et non avaritiam.
36 curatis, fore 30ur covetys 36 castun in the new fayre,
The churches that 36 byn chosun to be Godus orde-
And callun hit permetacion cuntreys about to kayre,
Bot 3if 36 han pluralytis hit is not plesans.
I preve the pope principaly ys worthy to have penaunce,
That grauntus ane seche grace because of covetyng.
Hit dous dysese in hole cherche and inakys bot dys-
40 roEMs OF JOHN audelay.
A mon to have iiij. benefyse, anoder no lyvyiig,
This is not Godys wyl.
The furst benefyce ^e ben bound to,
36 shuld not desire to go therfro,
And tak a levyng and no more,
Lest 3e 30ur soulis spyl.
Nemo potest duobus doininis servire.
3e schul make no marketys, ne no marchandyse,
Nouther for to by ne to sel for lucre, I say ;
Hit chasis away charyte 30ur covetyse,
AUe 30ur goostly grace hit wypis clene away.
Who may serve two lordis and bothe to here pay,
That is, this vvyckyd word and God to plesyng ?
3it 36 serve not 50ur God, the fynd wyl 30U fray,
When 3e bun callud to 50ur countys and to 50ur
That most 36 nede ;
3if 36 have servyd the worlde.
And be untreue to 30ur Lorde,
The laue wyl 3oue rewarde
Deth to your ende.
Hoc quocienseunque feceritis, in mei memoriam facialis : qiii
vero propter lucrum quodlibet temporale officium dominicum
prffisiunit celebrare, prorsus quidem similis proditori Judae, qui
Christum Judseis, propter denarios triginta, non dubitavit vendere.
Qui ergo hoc modo accedit ad corpus dominicum, indigne vera
sibi id ipsum accipit, et sanguinem Dominicum, non ad salutem
sed ad judicium, ct juste. NuUus itaquc propter lucriun hoc
agat, ne Judae proditori socius in poenis fiat.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 41
A foule defaute faythfuUy I fynd in hole cherche,
Pristis to syng twyse a day fore here leucre,
jif thai schuld fore Cristis sake, anon then thay groche,
And thus thai sellyn here soverayn and here Saveoure ;
I lekyn hem to Judas that was a traytoure.
Because of his covetyse his soveren he solde.
Boldle, the byschop is to blame that doth ham favour.
Fore this tale treuly on hem hit is tolde;
This is a gret schame ;
And 3et the laue hit doth hem lere,
Thai schuld syng bot twyse a 3ere,
At Crystymas and Astere,
Ellys thai beth to blame.
Sicut aqua extinguit ignem, ita elemosina extinguit peccatum.
Prestis 30 schul prove 30urselfe and princypale in dede.
Ever depart with the pore, on hem have pite,
Cownsel ham and cumford ham and cloth hem at here
In prisun, and in poverte, and infyrmety ;
Thus 36 prechyn the pepul and in the pylpit opynle
The vij. werkys of merce mekele to fulfyl,
And to ressayve here reward remyssyon redele
At the dredful dai of dome, fore this is Godys wyl,
Ore alius schul thai rew.
As 30 techon other to do,
Do 30urselve al so,
Ore ellis men wyl part 3oue fro,
And say ye bene untrew.
42 POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
De confessione, et dc sacramcnto altaris. Subjccti estote omni
huinanaj crcaturiL' propter suum.
I counsel 30ue, al Christun men, and comawnd in
That 36 obey 30ur curatis that 30 ben boundon to,
3if one be fallyn be frelte in ane febel fame,
God graunt hem of his grace no more so to do ;
And beth in ful charyte with frynd and with foo,
Fore that is the grownd of al goodnes with contri-
And serve that lord of al lordys where bene ane mo,
That may soyle 30ue of 30ur sunne and graunt you
In fayth no mo bot hee ;
Of al lordyis be he blest,
He wold no mon where e-lost.
That wyl in his merce trust,
And in his benyngnete.
3if 3our curatis comaund 30U to kepe Cristis lawus.
Then do aftyr here doctrine and 56 bene out of drede,
Fore, serys, thai may save 30ur soule thro3 here soth saus.
Then in heven schal3e have jour meryd and jour mede ;
Bot do not as thai doun, thereof take good hede,
Bot3if thai sho\ve30ue good emsampil to the soule hele,
Fore God in the Gospel this he forebed.
After here werkus worche 30 never a dele,
Ellus schul ye reue ;
Fore as thai techyn 30U to do,
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 43
Bot 3if thai don hamselve al so,
Ell us y rede 5e gon him fro,
And say thay ben untreu.
Quodcunque ligaveris super terram.
Fore God hath graunt of his grace to curatis his pouere,
Tha5 thai ben synful men to asoyle joue of jOur synne,
Thorj virtu of the sacremente soyle I jowe enseure.
No mon raese in this matere 3if he wyl savyd bene.
Evere prest he hath pouere to asoyle 50U then,
And to here confession in jour necescyte,
3if to 30ur curatis 36 mai not cum that beth 3our soveren,
Thai may do 30ue ry3tus, y telle 30ue treuly
Thai have this povere.
To asoyle that wyl repent.
And schryve han clene with good entent.
Be vertu of the sacrement.
Both prest and frere.
Nota secundum decretales et constitutiones ecclesiae quod omnia
homo utriusque sexus tenetur confiteri suo proprio sacerdoti
semel in anno ad minus, nisi habeat licentiam, vel dispensationem,
vel privUegium a superiore.
Bot 3e most come to 3our curatures be the comen laue,
And schryve 30ue sothely of 30ur synne at the lest
enus a 3ere ;
36 stonden in doute and in dred 3if 36 30U withdraw.
Without lysens or leve outlier to prest or frere:
Thai most 30ur counsel knoue that schal 30ue led and
That have the charche of 30ure soule in here kepyng,
44 POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
3e bytli ])rincypaly under here pouere,
Go not ungoodly away without here wytyng,
And know jour entent ;
Thai mal not answers fre jeve,
30ur counsel hot thai know,
Thai beth excusid be the laue,
And 5e schul be schent.
Quicunque enim manducavcrit vel biberit caliceiu banc indigne.
jif the prest unworthele presume to syng his mas,
Serus, y say the sacrement enpayrd hit may not be,
Bot lies owne detli and his dome he ressayns, alas I
3if in his consians he knaw that he be gulte,
Tha3 he syng and say no mas the prest unwothele.
Both 30ur maret and 30ur mede in heven 3e schul
Fore God hath grauntyd of his grace be his auctorete,
Be he never so synful 30ure soulys may he save,
Have this in tho3t ;
The masse is of so hye degre,
Apayryd forsoth hit mai not be,
Ne no mon mend it may,
Theron doctours han 5051.
Nichil impossibile apud Deum.
Take ensampyl by the sunne je syne here with sy3t,
Wha may depreve hit hym of his pouere and let hit
That shenus apon a synful man as wel as on a ry3t,
Alse wile on fouele as on fayre without defouteryng,
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 45
Alse wel apon a knave as apon a kyng ;
A sad saumpil forsoth her may je se,
Hit is Godys word and his werke and his worchyng,
The sacronient of the autere defoulyd mai not be,
I do 30ue out of drede.
His Godhed may not be sayne
With no fleschlc eyne,
Bot in the sacrement 36 may hit sene,
In figure and fourme of bred.
I se sothle in the sunne knyt iij. raaner kynde,
His clerte and his clerenes what clerte can declare,
Behold the hete in thi hert and have hit in mynd,
The conselacioun and the conford thai iij. what thai are;
Fore al that levys in this lond ful evyl schul hit fare,
Nere that gloreus gleme that fro the heven glydis,
Ho that servy th not that soverayn his hert may be ful sare,
That lenusof hislovesechealyzt that al this word gladis
In everych a place.
A 1 synful mon, have this in mynde,
To that Lord be not unkynde.
Fore he may both louse and bynde,
Graunt merce and grace.
I declare the clerte to the Fader of my3tis most,
The heete hyle therof to his onle sunne.
The consolacioun and the comford to the Hole Gost,
Kyndly y-knyt togeder without devesioun ;
The Fader, the Son, the Hole Gost, al thai bethbot hone,
Thre persons prevyd in the Trenete,
46 POEMS or JOHN AUDELAY,
That never had begynnyng, ende have thai none,
That now is, and ever was, and ever schal be,
Lord of my3tys most.
Thus the fader our ly3t us bro3t,
With the hete of his blod his son us bojt,
Consolacioun and cumford thus have thai wro3t,
Thro3 the grace of the Hole Gost.
Fides non habct meritum.
Ry3t as 30 se all this world is glorefyed with one sunne,
Serrs, so is mons scale with the sacrament,
Als mone men at a mas as 36 acount con,
Uche person has his part that is ther present ;
And al hit is bot hone Good, beleve this verament,
That is sacyrd on the autere between the pristis house,
That schal 30U deme at domysday at his jugement,
After 30ur dedis dredles thus schal 36 understonde,
Tha3 36 have done amys ;
3if fore 30ur synnus 36 be sore,
Then 5e resseyve hem worthele,
And schul have grace and mercy,
And joy in Heven bliss.
Estote fortes in bello.
Dredles uche dedly sunne y declare a wounde,
That when the fynd hath fo3t with 30ue and hath the
That can sothle serche 30ur sore and make 50ue hole ;
Confession and contresion thi salve schal hit be.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 47
The penans of this penetawnsere thi satisfaccion.
Then fe3tust with the fynd a3ayne and hast the raaystre,
And dost hym schenchip and schame for ever confu-
Thi soule fore to save.
Thus thi wondis helyd schul be,
With gret worchip to the,
Because of thi victore,
Reward schalt thou have.
Miserere mei, Deus, quia infirmus sum.
I lekyn uche a synful soule to a seke man,
That is y~schakyd and schent with the aksis,
Thir is no dayntel e-dy3t that pay hym thai con,
Bot al that is a3ayns him that wyl hym pleese ;
So hit farus by a mon that ys recheles,
That is seke in his soule the sothe he vel not here,
Bot wrys away fro Godys word to his wyckydnes.
Here may 36 know kyndle 3if 3our consians be clere,
The soth verament.
Cristyn men 3if that 3e be.
Then loke 3e done cristynle,
Ellus 36 berun that norae in veyne, treuly ;
36 wyl be shamed and y-shent.
I counsel al 50ue, al curators, that wysele 30U wayt.
That han the cure of mons soule in 3oure kepyng,
Engeyne 3e not to 3eesy penans, ne to strayt algat,
Lest3eslene both bode and soule with30urponyschyng;
Fore better is a pater noster with repentyng,
48 POEMS OF .K)IIi\ AUDEI.AY.
To send hem to tlio inerce of God to purgatore,
Fore Crist enjoynd no notlier penans in his levyng,
Bot vade in pace, amjjlius noli pcccarc.
Fore as possebel hit were
Here with a tere of thyn nye
To quench the feyre of purgatore,
Als al the water in the se
To quench a blase of foyre.
36 that be chosun to ben chif and sittyng in Cristis place,
3e most have treuth and ry3twysnes in 30ur demyng :
Then let treuth ale tok hym both merce and grace.
And ry3twysnes, rest pes, fore dred of perechyng ;
These iiij. sistyrs made acord betwene heven kyng.
And manse soule that was forjuggyd to damnacioun,
Fore pes a3ayns ry3twysnesche was over pletyng,
Whyle merce with his mekenes turne treuth to re-
Herewith God plesid was.
And send doune his son from heven an hye
To le3t in the virgyn ma3de Mary,
In berth to be boren of here body,
To graunt merce and grace.
Qui prjeliantur non falletur.
I hold hym wyse that wyl be ware whare he has warny ng.
Have this mas in 3our hert and hoolde hit in mynde,
Bot never hone whyl be ware in here levyng,
Bot al blustyrne furth unblest as bayard the blynd.
A3ayns the goodnes of God men bene unkynd.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 49
Frerys fekul, and freel, and false in here fay ;
A monke, the men of hole cherche, feu ther I fynd
That worchyn wysly hemselfe to wyse men the way,
This is a earful case.
To curatis, sayth Saynt Gregore,
That thai schal answere trewle,
Fore men soul speciale,
To-fore Goddis face.
Verbi gratia, gratia qui sicut dicit episcopo, episcopus recto -
ribus ecclesise, qui recipiunt potestatem ligandi atque solvendi
et curam animarum fratrcs in Christo liabet, trado vobis carum
animarum parochanorum vestrorum, ut respondiatis pro me et
pro nobis coram summo Judice in die judicii.
I mene this mater mekele fore murmur of men,
Wherefore I pray 30U specyaly that 30 wyl aspye,
At clerkus that have conyng that can this know and ken,
Bene the trouth is he touchid, wherefore and why.
I red 36 rede hit aryjt, remember 30U redle,
Fore the love of our Lord non there la5 ne gren,
As God of my mysdedis he have nierce,
I mene this to amend me and al other men.
My God to plese and pay.
No mon deney this,
3if that he thynke to have blys,
Betwene prestis and frerys y-wys
I make this loveday.
Misericordia et Veritas obbeaverunt; sibi pax et justicia
Thus sayd David foresoth in the Sautere,
And verefyus in asife the love of our Lord,
50 POEMS OF JOHN AUDEI,AY.
Misericordia ot Veritas han thai met efere,
That long tyme before had bene at dyscord ;
There was faytlifole made a feneal corde,
Fore justicia and pax made ham to kus,
Fro that day furth to fulfyl that forward,
Never tliat mater to have in mynd to fere was a-mys,
So I 30U pray.
Fore Godis wyl forsoth hit is,
That 36 amend 36 han do mys,
And hochon othere 36 cusse,
For ever and for ay.
Cujus finis bonum ipsum totum bonuni.
Thus Salamon hath sayd the soth verement.
As Marcol, the more fole, warned hym I wene,
Bot 3if this dra3t be draun wel thai goune wil be schent,
And schal turne treule to torment and to tene ;
Have mynd on this mater, 36 wot what I mene,
Bluster not furth unblest as Bayard the blynd,
Bot cal a3ayne charyte with consians elene,
And wry not fro Godis word as the wroth wynd,
Herkyns hit as the hynd ;
Apon 5our levyng take good erne,
And beth seche as 3e schul seme.
Fore be 30ur dedis men wyl 30U deme.
Here I make an end.
Si veritatem dico quare non creditis mihi qui ex Deo est, verba
Dei audit ideo non auditis qiu ex Deo non estis.
Fore I have towchid the trouth I trow I schal be schent,
And said sadle the soth without flateryng.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY, 51
Half] me fore no parte that heth liere present,
I have no lykyng, ne lust to make no lesyng,
Fore favel with his fayre vverdis and his flateryng,
He wyl preche the pepul apert hem for to pay,
I nel not wrath my God at my wetyng,
As God have merce on me, syr Jon Audlay,
At my most ned.
I reche never who hit here,
Weder prest or frere.
For at a fole je ma lere,
3if 5e wil take hede.
To thi ne5bour fore love of me,
To make debate ny dyscorde,
And thou dust me more ounferd.
Then thaj thou wentust barefote in the strete.
For love of me that ys thi Lorde,
That stremus of blood folewed thi fete,
I sai for \vi.
A wickid worde a mon may schame,
To lese his godes and hys good name,
Who so falsly duth men fame,
Beth curse[d] trly.
The vij. vertu ys good conselyng,
Entyse not thi nejbour to wekednes,
Ny say no worde to hym ni sklanderyng,
But consel hym to al goodenes.
62 POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
And this tliou my3t me more plese,
Then tha3 thou styndest ones a day,
Into heven thi sowie to sese,
Into that joy that lastus ay,
For bi thi goodenes and thi consele,
Thou may pytte thi nejbour fro gret perele.
And save hym fro the peynes of hel,
And encrese thi mede.
The viij, vertu is hole prayere ;
Dyssyre and aske of me ry3tvvesly,
Thi selfe thou schalt be messangere,
And do thi message dewoutly,
And thou plesust me more speciali,
Then thaj my raoder and sayntis alle
Praydyn in heven on hy fore the,
For tbou ast fre choyse to ryse or falle,
Both thou may.
3if tbou falle, aryse anon,
And call to me with contricion,
Then my moder and sayntis uchon
Wil fore the pray.
The ix. vertu is thou schalt only
Love me in herte over al thyng,
Then gold, or selver, or lond, or fee,
Or wyf, or child, or worldle thyng :
Thou dost me then more plesyng.
Then tha3 thou styedust up-on hy3 pelere,
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 53
Folle of rayssors kene stekyng,
Fore me love thi flesche to tere,
Bileve wyl this.
Love plesis me over al thyng,
Fore charete with hym is ever dwellyiig,
Mon soule to joy hit doth hit bryng
Into ray blis.
These ix. vertue son soth thou sehalt fynd,
Lerne this lesson now I the pray,
To God and mon ioke thou be kynd,
And make amendis wyle thou may;
For to heven ther ys noon oder way,
3yf thou vvolt have salvasyon,
Me thou most nede plese and pay,
Or ellus have damnacyon,
Hit ys for the best.
Do as thou woldust me dud by the,
Uche on of oder ^e have pyt§,
And leve in love and charyte,
Then be 36 blest.
Sum men ther ben that stelon heven,
With penans, prayers, and poverte ;
And sum goon to hel ful even,
For lust, and lykyng of here body.
Here twey wayes, my sone ther be.
Thou hast fre choyse wedur to passe,
Chese the better y consel the,
Lest thou syng the sung alasse
For ever and ay.
54 I'OliMS OF .lOlIX AUDF.I.AY.
I redo thou serve heven kyng,
For any lust or lykyng,
Havf niyndc apon tlii endyng.
And dredeful doninsday.
Mervcl 3e not of this makyng,
I nife excuse, hitys not y.
Hit ys Goddus vvorde and his techyng,
Tliat he tajt a salutary.
Fore y kowthe never but hyc foly,
God hath me chastest for my levyng,
I tlionk my God my grace trewly,
Of his gracyouse visetyng,
Ellus were y lore.
Ever that Lorde be he blest,
Al that he duth ys for the best,
Ellus were 36 lyke to be lost,
Upon 50ur lyfe take good erne,
Bewar lest God that 3e ofFende;
As he fyndes 30\v he wil 50U deme,
Owther be saved or ellus be schent!
For soden detii loke 36 amende,
And settus no trist where noon ys,
For al ys good that hath good ende,
When 56 han mended 3e han do mys,
This ys no nay.
Y made this wit good intent.
In hope the rather 36 wolde repent,
Prayes for me that beth present,
My name hyt ys the blyndc Awdtlay.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 55
De effusione sanguinis Christi in remissione peccatorum.
An holy prayer here bygynnes,
In remedy of seuen dedly synnes.
Vij. blodes Crist he bled,
The fyrst in his circumsycyon,
The secund in hole oresown,
The deth when that he dred ;
The thred in his flagellacion,
The fourth in his coronacion,
The fyfth in his hondis also,
The vj. in his hole fete,
The vii. blode ran out of his hert wete,
To wasche us out of our wo ;
With mone an other enstreinent.
He suffryd tene and turmentyng,
In his mon-heed.
In tyme of his passcion,
Here fore our redemcion.
His blesful blod he bled !
O Jhesu, fore the blod thou bledyst,
And in the furst tyme thou cheddust.
In thy circumcecion.
That I have synnyd in lechore.
That stynkyng syn forejyf thou me,
And my delectacion.
O Jhesu, at the mount of Olefete,
56 POEMS OF JOHN A I DELAY.
There blod and water thou eon swete,
To thi Fader when thou dydist pray ;
So, Fader, jif thi wyl hit be,
Put envy away fro me,
And temtacions ny3t and day.
O Jhesii, tlii payns were ful strong,
When the skorgis both scharp and long,
Mad thi body to bled.
To the, Lord, merce I cry,
Thou kepe me out of glotone.
And helps me at my ned.
O Jhesu, fore thi scharp croune,
That mad the blod to ren adoune
About thi fay re face,
Ther proud in hert I have be,
Lord unbuxum to the,
Grawnt merce and grace.
O Jhesu, as I understond
Tiiou ched blod at both thi bond.
When thai were naylid.
Thou cast me out of covetyse.
And graunt me grace sone to aryse,
Of syn when I am seylid.
O Jhesu, thou bledyst more blod.
Wen thou wast nayld apon the rood,
Tliro3 thi fete with naylis.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 57
Let me never in slouth stj-nke,
Bot grawnt me grace for to swynke,
Thyng me avaylis.
O Jhesu, blessid be thi bones,
Fore blod and water thou chedist at once,
Out of thi pressious hert.
Out of wrath kepe thou me,
And grawnd me love and charyte,
For tiii woudis smert.
O Jhesu, for the peler strong,
Thi bodi was bound therto with wrong,
Y-bufFet and y-blend.
That hole cherche as bound me to,
Grawnt me grace that fore to do.
Lest I be chamyd and schent.
O Jhesu, fore thi blesful face.
Thou betoke Veroneca bi grace,
Upon here sudare.
That face be ne consolacion,
And to the fynd confusion.
That day when I schal dye.
O Jhesu, fore thi hole cros,
Thi body sprad theron was,
Fore our syn sake.
That cros be my proteccion
Ajayns my nenmys everychon,
Weder I slepe or wake.
58 POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
O Jhosu, fore thi naj lis thre,
Tliat persid the to the rod tre,
Y-drevyn with gret distres;
Thou gravvnt me repentawns,
Fore my syns to do penans,
My payns to relesse.
O Jhesu, fore the vessel also,
That aysel and gal thai bro3t the to,
That drenke hit was unsete ;
That I liave synd in glotency,
That stynkyng syn for3if thou me,
That me hath thojt ful swete.
O Jhesu, fore the charp spore.
That thro3 thyn hert Longyus can here,
That was a blynd knyjt ;
Thou perse me hert with contricion,
Fore the syns I have edone,
As thou 3if him his sy3t.
O Jhesu, fore the lovele ladder.
And fore the tongis and fore hamyr,
That laust the fro the tre ;
Thou graunt me contemplacion
To theng the fore thi passioun,
That thou soferest fore me.
O Jhesu, as Josep of Haramathe
Beryd the ful onestle
In his monument,
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. o9
Fore thi gloryous resurexioii,
And thi marvelis assencion,
Thou grawnt nie remyssion,
Tofore thi jugement.
In worchip of thi hole passion,
And of my syns remyssion,
XV. pater noster y say ;
And XV. aves to Our Lady,
Fore heo is the wel of al pyte,
That heo wel fore me pray.
He that says this prayere
Every day in the 3ere,
He worchips euere wonde ;
That Crist sofyrd fore his sake,
Fore his syns amendis to make,
I-blessid be that stounde.
Wherefore y pray joue specialy
That 36 say hit dewoutly,
30ure souls 3e may save ;
Fore Crist hath grawndtid seche a grace,
In heven he schal have a plasse.
That other schal no3t have,
That fFulfyld not this prayere,
And worchipd not his passion wyle thai bene here
With devocion ;
Thes that to him be unkynd,
He wil not have ham in mynd,
In here trebulacion.
60 POEMS or JOHN ALDELAY.
He that techis another nion this,
He schal be sekyr of heven blis,
Thus wretyn I fynde ;
Fore thai be blessud of our Lord,
That heren and don after Godis wortl.
And holdyn hit in mynd.
Explicit de sanguine Christi.
Quomodo Jliesus fuit reprobatus a Judseis.
O God, the wyche thou woldust, Lorde,
Fore the redempcion of the worlde
Of Jewis to be reprevyd.
And to be betrajd of Judas,
Of that traytur with a cos,
Strayt boundyn and dispilid.
And as a lomb and ennosent,
To be lad to sacrefyce to fore present,
Of Ann and Kayface ;
Of Pilate, Erod, and mone mo,
Unsemele to be ofFyrd up so,
That never didist trespace.
And to be acusid of false witnes,
Reprevyd and scorgid with creuelnes,
And to be crownd with thorns;
And to be spit in the face,
And to be bofet and blyndfuld, alas!
With mone schamful skorns.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 61
And to be throullid hond and food
With charp naylus to the rod,
And to be lift up in the cros,
Betvvene two thevys for to hyng ;
Of aysel and gal thai propherd the drynke,
With a spare thi hert persid was.
Be these most hole payns, Lord,
Fore me synful that thou soffyrd,
I worehip with hert and wylle.
Also fore the hole cros,
Delyver my soule. Lord, fro losse.
Fro the payns of helle.
And led me, Lord, graciously,
Synful wreche and onworthe,
Into that some plasse
Thou ladist the thefe hongyng the by,
And grauntust him grace and thi mercy,
Fore-3if me my trespace.
Wele is him that wil and may
Say this oreson evere day.
Of Cristis passion ;
Out of this word or that he wynd,
Of al his synnus, as wretyn I fynd,
Schal have remyssion.
62 POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
De septem verbis Jhesu Christi pcndentis in Crucf.
O Jhesu Crist hongyng on Cros,
vij. vvordis thou saydest with mykl voys,
Unto the fader of Heven ;
Be the vertu of tho wordis forejif thou me,
That I have trespast here to the,
In the dedle syns seven.
In pride, in wrath, and in envy,
In lechory, in glotonry,
With gret unkyndnes;
In sleuth, Lord, in thi servyse,
And in this wordis covetyse,
Graunt me fore3ifnes.
O Jhesu, this word furst 36 sayde,
" Fader, I am els apayd,
Graunt ham remission.
That don me al this turmentre,
On ham fader have pete,
That wot not what thai done !"
O Jhesu, so I the beseche,
Ry3t with her fulli speche.
Thou graunt myn enmes grace.
Here mysdedis here to mende.
Out of this word or thai wynde,
Fader, thou 3if ham space.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 63
O Jhesu, the theff to the con say,
" Have inynd on me, Lord, I the pray,
When thou cumyst to thi kyngdom."
" Amen, I say thou schalt be
This day in Paradyse with me,
Without syn and schame !"
O Jhesu, my soveren and my Lord,
Have mynd on me with that word
In that same wyse.
When my soule schal wynd away,
Graunt me part, I the pray.
Of the joys of Paradyse.
O Jhesu, thi moder had gret pete,
When heo se the turment on rod tre.
To here thus con thou say :
" Woman, lo I here thi sune.
Take here to thi moder, Jon,
And kepe here now, I the pray."
O Jhesu, for thi moder love,
That is cround in heven with the above.
And Jon, thi dere darlyng ;
Fore the love thai hadyn to the,
Uppon my soule thou have pet6,
And graunt me good endyng.
O Jhesu, thou saydyst ful petuysly,
" Eloy Lamazabatani,"
With a rewful voyse.
64 POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
" My God, my God," hit is to say,
" Wy foresakis thou me tins day,
Hongyng apori the croyse ?"
O Jhesu Lord, I the pray,
Graunt me grace that I may say,
In tyme of temptacion,
"Fader, thou have merce on me,
As thou cliadist thi blood on rod tre
Fore my redempcion."
O Jhesu, [thou] saydist cicio,
Eysel and gal thai propherd the to.
Thou foresoke that bittere drynke ;
Hit were the soulis that were in payn.
To delyver ham thou wast ful fayne
Out of that darke dwellyng.
O Jhesu, graunt me grace to thorst
The water of lyve that ever schal last.
The vvel that is ever ly3tyng ;
With al the dessire of ray hert.
To foresakc my synnis with terys smert,
Here in my levyng.
O Jhesu, thou saydist ful specialy,
" In manus tuas, Domine,
Commendo spirituui vieum.
Out of this word I when schal wynd.
My soule to the I recomend,
Fader, to the I cum 1"
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 65
O Jhesu, my Lord, and my sovercn,
When bode and souie schal part entwyn,
My speryt I comende
In manus tnas, Domine,
In thi blis with tlie to be,
Word without ende !
O Jiiesu, thou saydist, " ai endyd is !"
Labers, sorowys, woeful i-vvys,
Thou sofyrd fore synful men.
To us, Lord, thou wast ful kynd,
Graunt us grace to have in mynd
To thonke the here and hen.
And make me worthe, fader dere,
Thi ssvete voyse that I may here,
In the oure of my partyng,
Cum to me, my chosun blest,
And have the blis that ever schal last,
W^ord without endyng.
In the worchip of these wordis vij.,
Devoutle to the fader of heven
Vij. pater-nosters je say.
And vij. aves to our lady,
Fore sche is the wel of al pete,
That lieo wyl fore me pray.
And graunt me trt w confession.
And every contrecion.
Hens ore I wynd;
6() POEMS OF JOFIX AUDELAY.
'J'liat Cristis Iioln passion,
May be may satisfaccion,
And scenchip to the fynd.
Welle is him that wil and may
Worchip these wordis evere day
Ful secur then may he be,
3if he be in love and charyte,
Hath playn remyssioun,
De meritis missse; quomodo debemiis audire missaiu.
Lordis, jif ^e wil lythe,
Of a thyng I wil 30U kythe.
Is helth to al monkynd.
Of the medis of the masse,
Houevere mon more and lasse,
Schuld iiave hem in mynd.
How 36 schul 30ur servyse say,
30ur prayers prevele to pray,
To hym that mai unbynd,
In salvyng of 30ur synis seven,
To Jhesu Godis son in heven,
Oure fader that we schul lynd.
30ur faythful fader he schal be fond,
To evere mon that is ebonde,
In syn fore to say.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 67
Be his soferens we may se,
How he provj's the and me,
And letys us wyle he may.
Fore he is boune our bale to bete,
jef we wyl of our syn lete,
Into our deth day.
And jif we wyl leve our synne.
He wyl wys us fore to wyne,
To heven the rede way.
What men long wold sofir to se.
Fore hys syn himselfe to sle,
5if he myjt lif a3ayne ;
Fore jif he were fore traytre take,
Then he most amendis make,
Or ellis to be slayne.
Ry3t, serus, soo most we
In our hertis sore be,
Fore our synnys sake.
And to the prest schryve the.
And do thi penans devoutly,
And this amendis make.
Holeer thyng may no mon here,
Ne lyjtyr thyng fore to lere.
To lerne men of lore,
To teche mon in what wyse,
Hon thay schal say here servyse.
In chorche when thai be thore.
G8 I'OKMS OK JOHN ALI)Hf-AY.
3if thou to tlie cherche go,
Toward, froward, or ellis ciini (Vo,
To here tnusse jif thou may.
Al the way that thou gase,
An angel puyntus thi face,
The prynco of heven to pay.
So in that oure thou lost nojt,
That thou hast therin thi tho5t,
Thi prayers fore to praye.
Blynd that day thou schalt no3t be.
The sacrement jif thou may se,
Soyle, as I the say.
And seche grace God hath the jene,
3if thou be clene of syne schrene.
When thou his bode ast y-seyne,
3if thou dry that ilke eday,
Thou schalt be found in the fay,
As thou houseld hadust bene.
And both thi mete and thi drynke,
Thou schalt wyn with lasse swynke,
Without travayle or tene.
And 3if thou stond in one drede,
Alie day thou schalt the bettyr spede,
To kever thi cars kene.
Saynt Austyne comawndis 5oue specialy,
That 5e beleve truly
In that sacrement.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 69
That lie is ther God veray,
That schal 30U deme at Domysday,
At his jugeinent.
That sofyrd payne and passione
Here, fore jour redempcion,
Apon the rod tre.
And grawntis 30U remission,
jif 5e have contresion,
When schrevyn that 36 be.
When that thai knele to the sacreyug,
Knelis a douue lore one thyng,
And hold up jour hond.
And thonk that Lord of his grace,
That al thyng land 30U he has,
Thro3 his swet sond.
Then glad mai 3e be,
jour Saveour so to se.
Tent and 36 wold take ;
Fore hit is the same brede
That he dalt or he was dede,
Fore his disipilis sake ;
And lafFt Iiit with hem in memore,
And to ale other pristis truly,
To have hit in mynd ;
3every day of the jere,
To ofur iiit upon his autere,
In salvacion of al nionkynd.
70 POEMS OK JOHN A Li DELAY.
And lie that rossayus liit wortliely,
At that day wen he schal dye,
Hit is his salvacion ;
And he that is in dedle syn.
Anon as hit enters him withyii,
Hit is his dampnacion.
Take ensampil be Judas,
At Cristis soper y wot he was.
And ete of that blessid bred.
But fore he was in didle syn,
The fynd entyrd anon him yn,
Fore his Lord lie had betrayd.
Therfore loke that ^e be
In parfite love and charyte,
And out of dedlesyii ;
Loke what bone that 36 crave,
Aske God and ^e may have,
And heven blis to wyn.
jowre pater nostere loke 36 con,
And 30ur ave, evere mon,
And specialy 30ure crede,
Ellis esavyd 36 may not be;
Bot 36 con 30ur beleve truly,
36 stond in grete dred.
For al that ever nedis to the,
And to thi ny3tbore truly,
In the pater noster hit is ;
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 71
Vij. petecions tlipr be in,
That getis 30U fore3ifnes of 30ur syn,
And bryngis jour soule to blis.
V. worchipis thou dost to our Lady ;
When that thou sayst thyn ave,
Blessid mot heo be !
Thus angel Gabreel he con say,
" Hayle, ful of grace, thou swet may !
God he is with the !"
Xij. arteklus of thi beleve,
Thus clerkis thai don ham preve,
That beth in this crede.
That getyn tlie salvacion,
And of thi syns remission,
And heven to thi mede.
30ur X. comawndmentis 36 most con,
And kepe hem wel evere mon,
Thus Crist he bede.
Thi gostle Fader schal teche tham the.
Or ellis ful vvoful schal 36 be,
Thai stond in gret dred.
The vij. dedle synns 36 most know,
Wyche thai bene I wyl 30U schew,
Ry3t here anon.
Pride, covetyse, wrath, envy,
Lechore, slouth, mid glotone,
Here thai bene echon.
72 POEMS OF JOHN AL'DEI.AY,
jif any of these that 36 in falle,
Anon on Crist loke that 36 calle,
Anon schryve 30U of 30ur syn,
Bo frelte 3if 3c fal theryn,
And 30 schal have remission.
Then in the cherche 36 knele adowne,
With good hert and devocion,
Hold up 30ur hondis then ;
Furst fore 30ur selfe 3e schul pray,
Sethen fore fader and moder, as I the say;
And then fore al thi kyn.
And fore thi frynd, and fore thi foo,
And fore tbi good doeres also,
Alse mone as thou mai myn ;
And fore the prest that syngis masse,
That God for3if him his trespasse,
And al the cherche beth in.
3if that the prest the masse doth syng,
Be not at thi lykyng,
Therfore let thou no5t.
For the his masse is as good to here,
As ane monkis ore ane frere.
Have this in thi^li03t.
Bot his prayers and his bone,
Be not hard half so sone,
As the mon tliat wele liath \vro3t;
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 73
Y-clo 50U out of cli^paire,
The sacrenient no men may mend ne payre,
Theron doctors ban sojt.
Both saynt Barnard and saynt Bede,
Sayne the masse is of so gret made,
That no mon mend hit may,
Weder that be were hold or jong,
He myjt tel with no tung,
Thaj he my3t leve fore ay.
Ne exponerc habit opus,
Half the medis of the masse.
Into his last day.
Were he never so wyse of art,
He schuid fayle the v. part
Of the soth to say.
T pray 30U, serrys, more and lasse,
When 36 stond at 30ur masse.
Sum good word 36 say.
Fore as mone as 36 prayn fore,
Securly fore mone a score.
At masse myn 36 may.
All thyng tha3 5e myn no3t,
Hold ham stil in 3our tho3t,
Horn that 3e fore pray.
I do 30U cleno out of dout,
Ther is non the masse without,
Bot he be in hel for ay.
74 POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
P'ore alse mone as 30 may myn,
When 36 beth the cherche withy n,
Ther is non a masse without.
Bot jif he be in decile syn,
And thynke to contenu theryn,
Then he stondis en dowte.
When that 30 bene in the kerke,
Thenke theron and thenke not erke,
Hent to the last endyng.
Then have no dout of tlii doole,
Thou hast a masse thiself al hole,
Hit is so hy a thyng.
Saynt Austyn sayth fore soulis here,
A thousand and thou woldist here,
Do a masse fore to syng ;
Hit is nouther more ny lasse,
Bot evere soule he hath a masse,
Hit is to Godis plesyng.
In that houre thou herist thi masse,
Soules hit doth gret solas,
That byth in payns bidyng.
Of that oure thai beth ful fayne.
Fore hit delyvers hem of here payne,
This is a gracious thyng.
Fore his love that 50U dere bo3t,
Have mynd of this, fore5ete hit no3t,
3e not when 56 schul passe.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 75
3it' he vvil be sekyr and sere
Evere day in the jere,
Loke thou here thi masse.
3if thou may not thi masse here,
Then this lesson y rede thou lere.
When thai to masse do knyle.
Pray God of his gret grace.
To send the part of that mass,
3if hit be his wylle.
I do the clene out of dout,
That art not that masse without,
Seche grace is 3if to the.
Fore thi hert dissiryng.
Thou hast part of beedis and masse synyng.
Where that ever thou be.
Fore the prest that syngis the masse,
For al astatus more and lasse,
That is here levyng.
He takis hem in his memore,
And soulis that beth in purgatore,
That God to blis hem bring.
Here-fore, serys, more and lasse,
Evere day here 3our masse,
On-morowe 3if 36 may.
And 3if 3e mai not on-morwo,
Loke 56 do be undorne.
Or ellis be mydday.
76 POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
Sertcniy without fayle,
Thou schalt not of thi travayle
Lese a fote of tlii way.
Al dai thou schalt be the lyghtur,
And have grace to do the better,
Foresoth as I the say.
jet Saynt Austyn bede take tent,
That he hold no parlement
With no levyng mon.
Fro tyme the cherche je ben within,
And the prest he doth begyn
His vestmentus to take on.
Fore wyckid gostis thai wyl hit wyt,
And 30ur wordys thay wil ham wryte,
In here bokis everechon.
That witnes wele St. Austyne,
That furst in Englond with his gyn.
The treuth to preche began.
To fore that Awstyn in Englond come,
With Saynt Gregore in gret Rome,
Ful derele con he dwel,
Hent on a day of gret dimes,
Saynt Gregore wold syng his masse.
So fayre as him befelle.
To the Austyn ho mad a syne,
Fore to be his dekyn dene.
To red his co.^Del.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 77
And as he rod he sau sit
Thre iyeridyS; as 36 may wit,
And talis con thai telle.
What thai sayd he herd hit alle,
Thro5 a wyndow of the walle,
No fer fro his face.
He se a fynd sit within,
With pen and euke and parchemen,
As God 3if him grace.
He wrot so lung ther he did want,
And his parcheiuent wex scant,
To speek thai had space.
With his tethe he con hit tug,
And alfe Rofyn be-gon to rug,
His roUe bigan to rase.
So hard Rofyn rogud his roll,
That he sniot with his choule,
A3iyns the marby stone.
Of that dynt thai had grct doute,
Al that setyn ther aboute,
Fore thai herd hit eohon.
When the fynd so hard drou,
Saynt Austyn stod and low,
Saynt Gregore eon grame.
Never the less for grame he get,
Sone after masse the Austyn he met,
And mysdele mad his mone.
78 POEMS OF JOHN ATIDRI.AY.
He sayd to liim with myld inodc,
" What aylid the, thou wytytles vvoodc
To dai to do tliis dede ?
Seche a dede was never done."
Then he answerd him ful sone,
Fore of him lie liad gret drede.
" Sere, greve je no5t or 36 wyt,
Fore 3onder I se a Satanas sit,
Hit semyd his hed did blede.
What he wrot to fore he brayd.
That iij. wyvys seton and sayde.
As I stod to rede."
"I was adenyd of that dynt,
Hit stonede me, and mad me stont
Styl out of my Steven ;
I schal 50U tel what I se.
And word therof I wy! no3t h'e.
Be Godis son in heven !
" Syr, 36 may wyl trow
He lad hym to the vvyndow,
Cum nere, syr, and sene."
The saynt Gregore was adred,
Fore blak blood he se e-spred
Apon the aschelere even.
Then this good raon grevyd him lasse,
And comawndit at evenmasse
Of this mater to mvn.
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 79
Kepe 50U out of Godis wreke,
Fore ther is no word that 36 speke
Bot 36 don syn.
Therfore, serj's, with good wyl,
Loke that 30 hold 30U styl
The cherche when 36 bene in ;
A prest to stone in his masse
All alond may fare the worse
Out of wo to wyn.
The chorche is a house of prayere,
Holdhile to Godis honoure,
To worchip hym therin ;
What ri5htful bone that 3e crave,
Aske God and 36 sehul have,
And before 3evyn of 30ur syn.
Hit were hand to oure behove,
Uche prefende fore to prove
Of our awntros alle.
Here shortle I wyl chew hit
Lewd men for to know hit,
Crist on fore to calle.
In the cherche thou knele adown,
With good hert and devocion
Hold up thi hondis then ;
Fore thi-self furst thou pray.
Fore fader and moder as I the say,
And sethyn fore all tiii kyn ;
80 POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY.
And fore tho wedcr and foro the pes,
And fore men and women mo and lees,
That Crystyndam Iian tane;
In the name of the Trenete
Then pater noster say thou iij..
Say furst in Cristis name.
Then V. pater nt)stir thou schalt say,
To pray him that best may
To gyf the wit and grace.
The V. wyttis so to spende
Thi synful soule here to amend,
To heven to folow the trasse.
Sethin unto the Hole Cost,
To kepe the out of werkis wast,
And out of dedle syn ;
Ten pater noster say thou then.
Fore brekyng of thi hestis ten,
And thus thou schalt begyn.
On the werkeday jif that thou be
About thi labor treuly.
In word as thou most nede.
On the haleday thou fulfyl,
Ri3ht as I have sayd the tyll.
And thou art out of drede.
And oche eday thi masse thou here,
And take hale bred and hale watere
Out of the prestis liond ;
POEMS OF JOHN AUDELAY. 81
Soche grace God hath jif the,
3if that thou dey sodenly
Fore thi housil hit schal the stoiul.
Fore suche a power that blessyng hit has,
That God blessud the bred in wildernes.
And two fj'schis also,
And fedd therwith v. thosand men,
xij. lepus of relef laft after then,
Soche lordis ther be no moo.
And also loke that 30 be
In perfyte love and charyte,
And out of dedle syn ;
What ryjtful bone that 56 crave,
Aske God and 30 schul have,
And heven blis to wyn.
Alle that han herd this sermon
A c. days of pardon,
Saynt Gregore grauntis 30U this.
Out of this word wen 36 sch[al] wynd,
Jeshu save 30U from the fynd.
And bring 30ur soule to blis.
p. I, 1. 1. — The MS. commences imperfectly, and there is
nothing to show how much is lost ; but it must have been more
than eleven leaves. See p. 10.
P. 3, 1. 1 . — Cai/me.'] This is the usual early orthography of
Cain's name. See Piers Ploughman, ed. Wright, p. 106.
P. 4, 1. 1. — Noil %if a woman.'] This, and the following
stanza are repeated by Audelay at f. 30 of the same IMS.
P. 4, 1. 9. — Herein ahvyse.'] Read, here in al wyse.
P. 4, 1. 16. — Honne.'] i.e. own.
P. 4, 1. 24:.—Ayris.'] i.e., heirs. A similar orthography
occurs in other places. See p. 12.
P. 5, 1. 3. — Lntebt/.'] i.e., a private companion, abed-fellow.
So in Piers Ploughman, p. 52.
She blesseth thise bisshopes,
Theigh thei be lewed ;
And preestes maynteneth,
To have lemmans and Mebies
Alle hire lif daies,
And bryngeth forth bames,
Ayein forbode la was.
P. 5, 1. 22.— Ezekiel xxxiii. 11.
P. 8, 1. 22. — Fayth, hope, and chari/te.'] — Alluding to St.
Paul's Epist. to the Corinthians, xiii. 13.
P. 9, 1. 22.— Br.] Read, be.
P. 10, 1. 14. — The day of dome.] These four verses were
probably dictated by Audelay, and go far to prove that the
MS. was the first copy made. The leaf referred to is lost with
P. 11,1. 5. — This is the conclusion of the creed of St.
P. 11,1. 6. — ForsstonJ] Read, fonsston.
P. 11,1. 19. — Mandata serva^ Read, mandata ejus serva.
This is from Ecclesiastes xii. 13.
P. 12, 1. 7.— 1 Corinth, iii. 19.
P. 12, 1.21.— John xiv. 15.
P. 13, 1. 2 — Saucour.} Read, Saveour.
P. 13,1. 11.— Marcol.l See another allusion to Marcolf at
p. 50. The dialogue between this personage and Solomon,
was a favorite piece of the middle ages. The following is
given as a specimen. It seems that Solomon was so enraged
with him, that he positively commanded Marcolf never to let
him see him again " between the eyes ;" and the history proceeds
as follows : —
" Marcolphus vero moleste ferens injuriam sibi de rege fac-
tam, et quod jusserat ut eum amplius in mediis oculis non
videret, cogitabat quid ageret. Deinde nocte insecuta nix
multa de coelo cecidit. Tunc Marcolphus cepit cribrum in
manu vma, et pedem ursi in manu altera, et calceamenta sua
transversa, et quasi bestia quatuor pedibus per plateas mbis
coepit ire. Cum autem venisset extra civitatem, invenit fur-
num unum, et intravit in eiim. Nocte autem abeunte, dies
venit, et familiares regis sui'gentes, tramitem Marcolphi inve-
nerunt, et aestimantes esse tramitem alicujus mirabilis bestiaB,
regi nunciaverunt. Tunc rex cum copula canum, et cum
venatoribus coepit persequi vestigia Marcolphi. Cum autem
venisset ante furnum, et vestigia defecissent, descendunt ad os
furni inspicere. Marcolphus vero jacebat in facie sua cuna-
tus, et deposuit bracam suam, apparebantque ei nares, cuius,
curgulio, et testiculi. Quern videns rex ait : Quis est hie
qui il)i jiicet ? Miircolph. ego sum. Rcspondit Salomon :
Quomodo, inquit, itajaces? Marcol. Tu prsccepisti mihi ne
amplius mc vidcrcs in mediis oculis : si auteni non vis me
vidcrc in mediis oculis, videas me in medio culi. — (Ad Jin.
Epist. Obscurorum Virorum, l2mo. Franc. lf>43, p. G03.)
P. 13, ].25.-Mataiew vi. 21.
P. 14, 1. 7. — Sccatour.'] i.e. an executor. This class of
persons fall under a severe satire in an old ])rovcr]) printed in
the Rcliquicc Antiqtue, — " Two secaiurs and an overseer make
P. 15, 1. 17. — Bayard^ Probably the term for a bay horse.
The old proverb of Bayard the Blind is the reverse of '" look
before you leap," Audelay compares himself to old blind
P. 15, 1. 25.— Matthew xxv. 41.
P. 16, 1, 12. — Owe gvntil ser Jone.] Audelay here describes
one of his brother monks, and in lines of no contemptible
merit. The baselard, though often worn by priests, was for-
bidden, and John Marks, in his poem on the duties of a pa-
rish priest, inveighs strongly against its being worn by persons
in holy orders. Compare Piers Ploughman, p. 302.
If lewed men wiste
What this Latyn meneth.
And who was myn aiictour,
Mucho wonder me thinketh,
But if man}- a preest beere,
For hir baselardes and hir broches,
A peire of bedes in hir hand,
And a book under hir arme.
Sire Johan and sire Gcfl'rey
Hath a girdel of silver,
A baselard or a ballok knyf,
With botons over giltc.
1\ 1(5, 1. 2j. — Ecdcsiastcs i. 2,
P. 18, 1. 14.— Aperte et distincte.'] The indistinct manner
in which the reading or chanting was often performed, fur-
nished su1)ject for many complaints. See Wright's notes to
Piers Ploughman, p. 547. The following verses are in MS.
Lansd. 762 :—
Hii sunt qui Psalmos corrumpunt nequiter almos :
Jangler cum jasper, lepar, galper quoque, draggar.
Momeler, for-skypper, for-reyuner, sic et over-leper,
Fragmina verborum Tutivilhis colligit borum.
P. 18, 1. 17.— Mipepi/l.'] See Matthew xv. 8.
P. 19, 1. 1. A Latin heading is here so nearly destroyed by
the binder, as to be unintelligible.
P. 22, 1. 1. — A chere fayre.l Cheny fairs are still held in
Worcestershire on Sunday evenings, in the cherry orchards ;
and being often made the resort for lovers, and the light and
gay, may appropriately retain their significant type of the
uncertainty and vanity of the things of this world. The
simile is used by Gower, and other early writers. The cherry
season was a time of some consequence in our Western coun-
ties, and, in some respects, is so still. See Piers Ploughman,
P.22, 1. 10.— Bodynis.'] Read, bodyius.
P. 23, 1. 10.— Lukexiv. 11.
P. 23, 1. 14.— Abate.'] Read, abate.
P. 24, 1. 26.— Leviticus xxii. 31.
P. 28,1. 12.— Matthew vii. 7.
P. 28, 1. 26.— Luke xi. 9.
P. 31, 1. 3. — Apeny.'] Read, a peny,
P. 31, 1. 10.— Lidie vi. 36.
P. 31,1. 24.— Nullum.'] See 1 Peter iii. 9. We should
here probably read non.
P. 32, 1. 26. — To Oxford to scole^ These curious lines
have already been quoted by Mr. James Heywood in his edi-
tion of the Mertoii College Statutes. In the second line we
should read hyndryd.
P. 33. 1. 20. — Aid.'] This form of the word may be still
heard in Shropshire.
P. 36, 1. 14.— John x. 14.
P. 36, 1. 25.— Matthew xvi. 19.
P. 37, 1. 15. — A loller.'] The origin of the temi lollard is
doubtful ; but according to Mr. Wright, it seems to mean ge-
nerally people who go about from place to place with a hypo-
critical show of praying and devotion, nearly corresponding
to the modern appellation of methodists. Here it refers to
the new sect which had sprung up with WicklifiFe, but the term
was certainly in use both in Germany and in England, long
before the refonned religion was broached in this countiy by
the reformer of Lutterworth. Johannes Hocsemius, quoted
by Ducange, says in his chronicle of the year 1309, " Eodem
anno quidam hypocritae gyrovagi, qui Lollardi sive Deum
laudantes vocabantur, per Hannoniam et Brabantiam quasdam
mulieres nobiles deceperunt." The term, used in the latter part
of the fourteenth centuiy as one of reproach, was afterwards
contemptuously given to the Church reformers.
P. 40, 1. 7.— Matthew vi. 24.
P. 44, 1. 11.— Ressaym.'] Read, ressayus.
P. 44, 1. 22.— Lule, i. 37.
P. 48, 1. 22. — Prceliaiitur.'] Read, ■prcemumtur.
P. 49, 1. 26. — Lnveday ] So in the House of Fame, ii. 187: —
Mo love-dcujis, and mo accordes.
Than on instrumentis ben cordes,
A nd eke of love mo exchaungis
Than ever come were in graungis.
P. 49, 1. 27.— Psalm Ixxxv. 10.
P. 49, 1. 29.— Asifc.'] Read, asise.
P. 51, 1. 3.— ivjj-p/.] Flattery. So in Piers Ploughman,
p. 28 •.—
Loke up on tl)i left half,
And lo where he stondetli !
Both Fals and Favel,
And hire feeres nianye.
P. 53, 1. 11. — Make amendi/sJ] The following extract from
a curious MS. of the fifteenth ceiitmy, in the Public Library
at Cambridge, Ff. ii. 38, will illustrate this passage : —
Man, yf thou wilt of batayls Wynne,
And charyte kepe in eehe chaunce,
My mercy soone schalt thou wynne,
So thou do fruytys of penaunce.
Loke thyn herte be contryte wythynne,
And sory for thy mysgovernaunce ;
Wliat profytyth the to shryve thy synne,
But thou in herte have repentaunce ?
Thou scornest, and penance doyst thou noone,
For thy synne but thyn herte be sore ;
For worldely losse thou makest moone,
Thou synnest and sorowest noght therfore.
And yf thy body were woo begone,
What byttur medycyne the ^even were,
Joying thou woldest hyt take anoone,
To boodely hele the to restore.
Thy sowle with synne ys goostly slayne.
And thou with-owt sorow thy synne telles ;
To do soche penaunce thou art not fayne,
As thy schryfte, Fadur, the counsayles.
Thou wylt never restore ajayne
False goten good that thou wyth melles.
Man thou muste algates suffre payne
For thy synne here, or somewhere elles .
Hyt ys inipossyble and may not be.
To passe fro yoye to yoye worthy :
Take the cross to the and folow me.
If thou wylt to my blys up stye,
Sekenes and all adversyte.
Whatsoever cometh suffre pacyently.
Hate alwey synne and fro hyt flee.
And make amendys, man, or thou dye !
Lord, yf me grace amendys to make,
For of my selfe me faylyth powere,
Synne that ys deedly to forsake,
And to do dedys that worthy meryte were.
In this worlde send me woo and wrake,
For synnes that y have doon seere ;
Who hath no dysese here he may qwake,
Them that than lovest thou chastvsest here !
For my sake xxx ^cere and raoo,
Grcto travaylc iii crthn for mc tliou hadJ ;
Thy modur mid tliy postolys also,
In grete dysscse ther lyfoys tliny ladde.
In advcrsyte and mncho woo,
Marturs and confessours weren cladd ;
In soche a conij)eny to go,
In tliy lyverey y schule be gladd.
Sythen the derlyiig that with the doythc dwellc,
Had soche an advcrsyte in thys lyl'e ;
What hert may thenk or tiinge telle,
The poyne, the angwysch, and the stryfe
That dampned men schuUe have in helle,
There endeles wooes and sorowes ben ryfe ?
I wole Ibr-sake my synnes felle.
And to a dyscreet prest y wole me schryfe ;
In trewe penaunce ys myn entente,
From hens forward my tyme to spcndc.
And kepe y wole thy commaundement,
Ellys in helle fyer y schalle be brende !
Ryalle repeyrc, ryche robes, and rente,
What may they helpe me at myn ende ?
But y the serve y schalle be schente,
Mercy, Jesue, y wole amende !
P. 58, 1. S.—Ai/sel.'] i.e. vinegar.
P. 59, 1. IS.—Eucre.] Read, eveie.
P. 60, 1. 13.— Cos.] i.e. a kiss.
P. 63, 1. 2.— Luke xxiii. 42.
P. 63, 1. 4.— Luke xxiii, 43.
P. 63, 1. 26.— Matthew xxvii. 46.
P. 64, 1. 1.— Mark xvi. 34.
P. 64, 1. 10.— John XX. 28.
P. 64, 1. 23.— Luke xxiii. 46.
P. 65, 1. 7.— John xx. 30.
P. 71,1. 8.— Luke i. 28
P. 76, 1. 7. — This legend does not seem to be in the Acta
Sanctorum, but see ii. 153.
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One of the most remarkable and widely spread
legends of the Middle Ages, was that of St.
Brandan. Almost all nations which lived near
the sea have had their legendary navigators. St.
Brandan was a Christian Ulysses, and his story had
much the same influence on the western Catholics,
as the Odyssey upon the Greeks. There are seve-
ral remarkable points of similarity between St.
Brandan and the Sinbad of the Arabian Nights,
and at least one incident in the two narratives is
identical, — that of the disaster on the back of the
great fish. How far the Christians of the West
were acquainted with the story of Sinbad it is
difficult to say, but we have nearly conclusive
reasons for believing that the legend of St. Bran-
dan was known at an early period to the Arabs.
Some of the Arabian geographers describe the
" Island of Sheep," and the " Island of Birds," in
the Western Ocean, in words which must have
been taken from our Christian legend.
The legend of St. Brandan exercised an influ-
ence on geographical science down to a late
period, and it entered as an important element
in the feelings of the Spanish sailors when
they went to the discovery of America. There
are, indeed, some incidents in the legend which
might be supposed to have arisen from the tradi-
tional stories of early adventurers, (for such there
were without doubt), who had been accidentally
or designedly carried far out in the extreme west.
So late as the end of the sixteenth century, the
Spaniards and Portuguese believed in the existence
of the Isle of St. Brandan, situated in the direc-
tion of the Canaries, which was seen sometimes
by accident, but which could never be found when
sought for (qiiando se busca no se halla.) This
notion existed still later in Ireland. Several ex-
peditions were fitted out by the Spaniards in search
of this island ; a king of Portugal is said to have
made a conditional cession of it to another person,
" when it should be found" ; and when the crown
of Portugal ceded its right over the Canaries to
the Castilians, the treaty included the Island of
St. Brandan, as the island which had not yet been
found. There were many who believed that this
isle of St. Brandan had served as the retreat of
Don Rodrigo, when Spain was invaded by the
Arabs, and at a later period of king Sebastian,
after the fatal battle of Alcazar.
As far as I have been able to trace the history
of the Legend of St. Brandan, I am inclined to
think that it first took the definite form in which
it afterwards appeared, in the latter part of the
eleventh century, at which time, probably, the
Latin prose narrative was written ; although I
think M, Jubinal has somewhat over-rated the
antiquity of the manuscripts used for his edition.
Metrical versions of the legend, in Latin and
Anglo-Norman, appeared in England as early as
the reign of Henry I, and are preserved in manu-
scripts in the British Museum, the Latin one
in MS. Cotton. Vespas D. XL, and the Anglo-
Norman version, dedicated to Henry ""s queen,
Aaliz, in MS. Cotton. Vespas. B.X. The MSS.
of the prose Latin text are very numerous ; it
has been edited, with early French versions in
prose and verse, by M. Achille Jubinal, in an
interesting volume entitled La Legends Latine
de S. Brandaines, avec une traduction inedite en
prose et en poesie Bomanes, 8vo., Paris, 1886, to
which I refer for further information on the sub-
ject, and for an account of the numerous other
versions in almost every language of the West,
several of which were printed in the earlier ages
The English metrical version of this legend, now
printed for the first time, is extracted from the
early metrical series of Saints' Lives, which is so
frequently met with among English manuscripts,
and wliich appears to have been composed to-
wards the end of the thirteenth, or beginning
of the fourteenth century. The copy from which
it is here printed, (MS. Harl. No. 2277, fol. 41,
v".) is of the earlier part of the fourteenth cen-
tury. This version is somewhat abridged from the
Latin text, and differs so much from it in one or
two circumstances, that it would appear to have
been taken immediately from some other source.
The English prose version is taken from Wynkyn
de Worde's edition of the Golden Legend (Lend.
1527), and may assist such of our readers as are less
intimately acquainted with the language of the
fourteenth century, in understanding the metrical
legend. I have never examined into the question
of the immediate source of the Lives in the English
Golden Legend, but there is such a close resem-
blance between the two versions here printed, not
unfrequently approaching to an identity of words,
that there can be little doubt of the one having been
taken from the other. In the few hasty notes
thrown together at the end, I have selected two or
three various readings from a collation (made se-
veral years ago) of the text of the Harleian manu-
scripts, with a good copy of the metrical Saints'
Lives, in the Library of Trinity College, Cam-
bridge, R. 8, 25.
THE METRICAL LIFE OF
gEINT Brendan the holi man wasjund of Irlaude;
Monek he was of hard lyf, as ich understonde,
Of fasting, of penance y-nou3 ; abbod he was there
Of a thousend nionekes that alle an under him were.
So that hit ful an a dai, as oure Loverdes wille Avas,
That Barint, another abbot, to him com bi cas ;
Seint Brendan him bisojte anon that lie scholde under-
And telle that he i-sej aboute in other londe.
This gode man, tho he hurde this, sikinges he makede
And bigan to wepe in gret tho5t, and ful adoun i-suoje.
Bituene his armes seint Brendan this holi man up nom,
And custe and cride on him forte that his wit aje com:
" Fader," he seide, " par charite, other red thu most
Hider thu com for oure solaz, and for such deol to make,
Tel ous what thu hast i-se3e, as thu hast aboute i-wend
In the mochele see of occian, as oure Loverd the hath
2 THE METRICAL LIFE
Nou is the see of occian grettest anfl mest also,
For he goth the wordle aboute and alle othere goth
So that Barint the olde man ri3t at his hurte grounde,
"Wei wepinge bigan to telle what he er founde ;
He seide, " Ich'liadde a godsone, Mernoc was his name,
Monek he was as we beoth, and man of grete fame,
So that liis hurte gan wende to a privei stede and stille,
Ther he mijte alone beo to servi God at wille ;
So that bi mi leve he wende and alone drouj
To an ylle that is in the see that is delitable y-nouj,
Biside the Montayne of Stones that couth is wel wide.
So longe that this gode monek in this ylle gan abide,
That he hadde under him monekes meni on.
Anon tho ich i-hurde this, thider-ward ich gan gon,
So that in avisioun oure suete Loverd him kende,
That a3e me, er ich come ther, three journeyes he wende.
So that we dude ous in a schip, and evere est-ward we
In the see of occian with turmentz y-nowe.
Toward than estsofurwe wende, thatwe come attelaste
In a stude suythe dure and clouden overcaste ;
Al o tide of the dai we were in durchede.
Atte laste oure suete Loverd forthere ous gan lede.
So that we seje ane lond, thiderward oure scliip drouj,
Bri3tterehit thojte than the sonne,joye ther was y-nouj.
Of treon, of erbes, thikke hit stod biset in eche side ;
Of preciose stones ek that bri3te schyneth wide ;
Eche erbe was ful of floures, eche treo ful of frut.
Bote hit were in hevene nas nevere more dedut.
OF ST. BRANDAN. 3
Therinne with joye y-nouj longe we gonne wende ;
Thej Lit ous lute while tho3te, we ne mi3te fynde nou
So that we come to a water cler and brijt y-nouj,
That evene fram-ward than est to-ward thane west
We stode and bihulde aboute, for we ne mijte over
Ther com to ous a 3ung man suythe fair and hende,
He welcomede ous everechon miltheliche and suete,
And nemnede evereches owe name, and wel myldeliche
ous gan grete,
And seide, " je mijte wel Jhesu Crist wel faire thonki
That schoweth 30U his priveite and so moche of his
This the lond that he wole 3ut er the wordles ende
His durlings an urthe 3eve, and hider hi schulle wende;
This lond is half in this side, as 30 seoth wel wide,
And bi3unde the water halfen-del al bi thother side.
That water ne mowe 30 passi no3t, that other del to
Her 36 habbeth al a 3er meteles i-beo,
That 30 ne ete ne drinke no3t, ne slepe mid 30ure eje;
Ne chile ne hete ne fonde 36 no3t, ne no ny3t i-se3e ;
For this is Godes priv6 stede, thurf him is al this li3t,
Therfore hit worth her evre dai, and nevre more ni3t.
If man nadde aje Godes heste nothing mis-do.
Herinne hi hadde 3ut i-lyved and here ofspring also.
36 ne mote bileve her no leng, agen 30 mote fare,
4 THE METRICAL LIFE
Thej hit nc tlienche 30U bote a while, 30 habbeth i-beo
That so he brou3te ous in our schip, and faire his leve
And tho we were ham-ward in the see, we nuste whar
A3e-ward we wende a3en oure wille, that of-tho3te ous
A3en to this other monekes this schip wel evene drou3 ;
This monekes urne a3en ous, tho hi ous mi3te i-seo,
And sori were and wrothe y-nou3 that we hadde so long
We seide hem that we hadde i-beo in alle joye and feste,
Bifore the 3ates of Paradys, in the lond of biheste,
That oure suete Loverd hath bihote hem that he loveth
Ther is evere dai, and nevere ni3t, and evere li3t suythe
" Certes," quath this monekes, " this we mowe i-seo
Bi the suete smyl of 30U, that 3e habbeth ther i-beo."
THO seint Brendan i-hurde this, he tho3te and stod
He wende about his monekes, and tuelve out he nom.
That he triste to mest of alle whan eni neode him com;
Thuse he nom in consail, and in privet^ sede,
" Siggeth what 30ure consail is to do such a dede."
" Leove fader," quatli this othere, " oure wille we hab-
Oure freond and al oure other god, and clanliche to
the i-take ;
OF ST. BRANDAN. O
And whan al oure dede is on the, and thu wost that
"We schuUe blitheliche with the wende Godes grace to
So that hi faste fourti dawes, andgret penance dude also,
And bede jurne oure Loverdes grace thulke veyage
Hi leten hem di3te a gret schip, and above hit al bi-caste
With bole huden stronge y-nou y-uailed therto faste,
And siththe i-piched al above, that the water ne come.
Hi wende to here bretheren, and wel faire here leve
And siththe in oure Loverdes name to schipe wende
Here bretheren that bihynde were sori were echon.
And tho hi were in the schip, after ther come go tuo,
And bede faste that hi moste thane wei mid hem go.
" 3e mowe wel," quath seint Brendan, " ac 30ure on
schal atta ende
Repenti er he com a3e, and al quic to helle wende."
Thider wende this holi man whoder oure Loverd hem
And this tuei monekes that come last also with hem
TN the grete see of occian forth hi rewe faste,
And triste al to oure Loverdes grace, and nothing
The see drof here schip after wil, the wynd was gret
As the wynd hem drof est forth, wel evene the schip
b THE METRICAL LIFE
Evene a5C that the sonne ariscth a midsomerea day :
Nou nuste non of hem whar he was, ne no lond he ne
Evene forth rijt fourti dayea the wynd hem drof faste,
So that hi seje in the north side a gret ylle atte laste,
Of harde roche and gret y-nou, in the see wel heje ;
Threo dayes hi wcnde ther-aboute er hi mi3te come
A lute havene he fonde tho, a-lond hi wende there,
Hi wende a-loudas maskede men, hi nuste war lii were;
Ther com go a wel fair hound, as hit were hem to lere;
At seint Brendanes fet he ful u-douu, and makede faire
" Beau freres," quath seint Brendan, " 36 ne thore
nothing drede ;
Ich wot this is a messager the rijte wei out to lede."
This hound ladde this holi man to an halle fairy-nouj,
Gret and stare and suythe noble, evene in he di-ouj.
This monekes fonde in this halle bord and cloth i-sprad,
And bred and fisch ther-uppe y-nouj, ther was non
that uas glad.
Hi sete a-doun and ete faste, for hem luste wel ther-to;
Beddes ther were al jare y-maked, er here soper were
After here soper to bedde hi wende to resteu hem as
Tho hi haddc alle i-slepe y-nouj, sone hi gonue arise,
And wende to here schip, as lii hadde er i-beo ;
In the see wel longe hi were er hi mijte lond i-seo.
Tho hi seje, as bi thother side, an ylle fair y-nou3,
Greue and wel fair lese, thider-ward here schip drouj
OF ST. BRANDAN. 7
Tho hi come on tins faire lond, and bihuldeaboutewide,
The faireste scheep that mijte beo hi seje in eche side ;
A scheep was grettere than an oxe, whittere ne mijte
Gret joyehi hadde in here hurte, that hi mijtethisi-seo.
Ther com go a wel fair man, and grette hem with faire
And seide, " ^e beoth hider i-come ther 36 nevere nere :
This is i-cliped the Lond of Scheep, for scheep wel
faire her beoth,
Mochele and white and grete y-nou3, as 3e al dai i-seoth ;
Fairere hi beoth than 30ure scheep, grettere unyliche,
For murie weder is her y-nou3, and lese suythe riche.
Her nis nevere wjnter non, for her nis non i-founde,
Achieteth therbes nne as hi springeth of theg[ro]unde;
Ne me ne gadereth no3t of here mule, that hi schold
the worse beo,
For this thing and meni other the bet hi mowe i-theo.
To a stede 3e schuUe hunne wende, thurf oure Loverdes
That is Foweles Parajs, a wel joyful place ;
Ther 3e shulle this Ester beo, and this Witsonedai also.
Wendeth forth aGodes name,thatthis vejage werei-do !"
QEINT Brendan and his bretheren to schipe wende
And rue forthe faste in the see, with tempest meni on,
So that hi se3e in another side an ylle gret y-nou3 ;
Here schip thurf Godes grace thider-wardes drou3.
Tho hit cam alraest ther-to, upe the roche hit gan ride,
8 THE METRICAL LIFE
That hit ne inijte no3t to the yllc come, ac bilevedc
This monekes wende up to this ylle, ac seint Brendan
This monekes gonne make here mete of that lii hadde
Hi makede fur, and soden hem fisch in a caudroun faste ;
Er this fish were i-sode, somdel hi were agaste.
For tho this fur was thurf hot, tlie yle quakede anon.
And with gret eir hupte al up ; this monekes dradde
Hi bihulde hou the yle in the see wende faste.
And as a quic thing hupte up and doun, and that fur
fram him caste.
He suam more than tuei myle while this fur i-laste.
The monekes i-seje the fur wel longe, and were sore
Hi cride jurne on seint Brendan, what the wonder were.
" Beoth stille," quath tliis gode man, "for nojt je nabbe
36 weneth that hit beo an yle, ac ye thencheth amis,
Hit is a fisch of thisgrete see, the gretteste that theris,
Jascom he is i-cleped, and fondeth nijt and dai
To putte his tail in his mouth, ac for gretnisse he ue
Forth hi rue in the see evene west wel faste
Threo dayes er hi seje loud, hi were somdel agaste ;
Tho sejen hi a wel fair lond, of floures thikke y-nou3.
Wel glade hi were tho hi se3e that here schip thider
OF ST. BRANDAN. H
In this faire lond hi wende lengere than ich telle,
So that hi fonde in a place a siiythe noble welle ;
Bi the welle stode a treo, brod and round y-nouj,
Foweles white and faire y-nou3 were in everech bouj,
That unethe eni leef hi niijte tlieron i-seo,
Ther was joye and blissey-nouj to lokie on suche o
CEINT Brendan for joye wep, and sat a-doun a-kneo,
And bad oure Loverd schowi him what such a cas
Tho flej ther up a lute fowel, the he gan to fleo,
As a fithele hiswyngesfurde tho he to him-wardgan teo;
Murie instrument nevere nas that his wyngen were.
He bihuld seint Brendan with wel faire chere.
"Ich hote," seide seint Brendan, "if thu ert messager,^
That thu sigge me what ert, and what ^e doth her."
The3 hit tho3te aje cunde, this fowel ansuerede anon,
" We were," he seide, " sum tyme was, angles in hevene
As sone as we were y-maked, oure maister was to prout,
Lucefer, for his fairhede, that he ful sone out,
And mid him also meni on, as here dede was.
And we fulle also a-doun, ac for no synne hit nas,
Ac for nothing that we assentede to his foule unrijt.
Bote soulement for to schewe oure Loverdes suete mijt ;
Ne we ne beoth her in pyne non, ac in joye y-nou5
And somdel oure suete Loverdes mijte we seoth.
And bi the urthe we fleoth, and bi the lifte also,
As gode angles and lithere ek rijt is for to do.
10 THE METRICAL LIFE
The gofle to do men god, the litherc lithere makieth ;
And Sonedai, that is dai of rest, such forme we maketh,
The forme of suche white foweles as thu mi3t i-seo,
Honureth God that ous raakede her on this brode treo,
Tuelf month hit i-passed nou, that3e gunne out wende,
And alle this six jer e schuUe fare, er 36 schulle bringe
30ure wille to ende ;
For whan 3e habbeth i-wend sove3er, oure Loverd wole
A si3t that 30 habbeth longe i-S03t, anon after the sove
3eres ende ;
Eche 3er 36 schulle her mid ous holde Ester feste,
As 36 nou doth, forte 3e come to the lond of biheste,"
Nou was hit an Esterdai that al this was i-do :
The fowel nom his leve of hem, and to his felawes
The foweles tho hit eve was, bigonne here evesong ;
Muriere song ne mi5te i-beo, the3 God silf were among.
The monekes wende to bedde and slepe, tho soper was i-do,
And tho hit was tyme of matjns hi arise ther-to.
The foweles sunge ek here matyns wel ri3t tho hit was
Andof theSauter seide the vers, andsiththe al to prime,
And underne siththe and mid dai, and afterwardes non,
And eche tyde.songen of the dai as cristene men scholde
This monekes were in the lond ei3te wyke also.
For to al the feste of Ester and of TMtsonedai were i-do ;
Tho com atte Trinite this gode man to hem ther,
That spac with hem in the Lond of Seheep, and ladde
OF ST. BRANDAN. 11
He chargede here schip suythe wel mid mete anddrinke
And nom his leve wel hendeliche, and a5e-ward drouj.
Tho seint Brendan was in his schip and his bretheren
This fowel that spac with hem er, wel sone com hem to.
He seide, "je habbeth her withous thishejefestei-beo,
Gret travayl 30U is to come er je eftsone loud i-seo ;
30 schulleth after sove mouthes i-seo a wel fair yle,
That Abbey is i-cliped, that is hunne meni a myle.
3e schulleth beo mid holie men this mydewynter there,
30ure Ester 36 schulle holde ther as 3e dude to 3ere,
Upe the grete fisches rugge, ther thi monekes were in
And 3oure Ester mid ous ri3t as 3e nou were."
Seint Brendan a Godes name, and his bretheren echon,
In the grete see of occian forth wende anon ;
The wynde hem harlede up and doun in peryls meni on.
So weri hi wei'e of here ly ve, that hi nuste whoder gon.
Four monthes hi were in the see, in this grete turmeut,
That hi ne se3e nothing bote the see and the firmament ;
Tho se3en hi fur fram hem an ylle as hit were,
Hi cride 3urne on Jhesu Crist that hi muste aryve there.
3ut after than that seint Brendan furst this yle i-se3,
In the see hi wende fourti dayes er hi mi3te come ther ne3 ;
That hem tho3te here lyf hem was loth, this monekes
Hi cride 3urne on Jhesu Crist, and his help bede faste.
A lute havene suythe streit hi fonde atte laste,
Unethe here schip com ther ne3, hereankre ther hi cast.
This monekes wende ther a-lond, wel longe hem tho3te er,
12 THE METRICAL LIFE
Hi wende and bihulde aboute, wcl murie hem tliojte
So that hi seje tuei faire wellen, that on was suythc cler,
And thother wori and thikkc y-nou ; themonekes jeode
To drinke of this faire wil ; seint Brende seide tho lie
" Withoute leve of other men ne come no5t ther nej,
Of olde men that therinne booth, for mid gode wille
Hi woUeth parti therof with 30U, therfore beoth 3ut
A fair old man and suythe hor a3en hem com gon,
He wolcomede hem faire y-nouj, and seint Brendan
He nom and ladde him bi the hond bi a fair wei,
Aboute into meni o stede, and siththe into an abbei.
Seint Brendan bihuld aboute, and eschtewhat hit were,
And what maner men were therinne, and ho wonede
Stille him was that olde man, and ne jaf him non
Tho seje hi come a fair covent, and a croice to-fore hem
With taperes in eche side, monekes hit were echon.
Revested in faire copes ajen hem hi come anon,
With processioun fair y-nou ; the abbot bihynde com,
And faire custe seint Brendan andbi the hond him nom,
And ladde him and his monekes into a wel fair halle.
And sette hem a-doun a-renk, and wosche here fet alle.
Of the wori wel hi wosche here fet, that hi er i-seje ;
OF ST. BRANDAN. 13
Into the freitour hi ladde hem sithtlie and sette hem
ther wel heje
1-melled with his owe covent ; tho hi were alle i-sete,
Ther com on and servede hem, and broii3te hem alle
A fair whit lof he sette, bituene tuo and tuo,
White mores as hit were of erbes bifore hem sette also,
Suettere thing ne mijte beo, hi ne knewe hit nojt on,
Of the clere wel that hi se3e er the monekes dronke
" Beoth nou glade," the abbot seide, " and drinketh
In charite, of thulke water that je wolde er with WOU3 ;
Hit is betere dronke in charite, whan hit is 30U i-bi*ou3t,
Than 3e hit theofliche nome, as 36 hadde er i-tho3t.
This bred that we eteth nou, we nuteth whanne hit is,
Ac a strong man hit bringeth ech dai to oure celer i-wis ;
We nuteth no3t bote thurf God whannes hit is i-brou3t,
For ho so douteth Jhesu Crist, him ne failleth no3t.
Four and tuenti freres we beoth her, and whan we
Tuelf suche loves eche dai me bringeth ous to mete ;
And feste and everech holi day, and whan hit Sone-
Me bringith ous four and tuenti loves, and ech monek
That ech frere of that he leveth wite to his soper ;
For 30U hit is to-dai i-dubled, as 3e seoth nou her.
For oure covent nis no3t her, for moche del is un-y-ete.
So that oure Loverd thurf his grace ech dai sendeth
14 TIIR METRICAL LIFE
Siththe seint Patrikes dai, and seint Alvey also.
"We habbeth i-beo her fourscore 3er that noman ne com
ous to ;
Evereft oiu'e Loverd thurf his grace i-fed ous hath
This weder is murie everc ek, and siknisse nis ther non.
And whan wc schule do oure servise, oure Loverd tent
And oure taperes ne beoth nothe lasse, thej hi berne
day and nyjt."
Hi arise up and to churche wende, tho hi hadde alle
Tuelf other freres of the queor hi mette to- ward the
" Hou is this ?" quath seint Brendan, "nere thuse no>t
with ous ?"
" Leove fader," the abbot seide, "hit mot nedebeo thus:
Ther nulleth bote four and tuenti monekes in oure
celle beo i-do,
And whan 36 were ther with ous hi ne mijte no3t also;
The while we siggeth eve-song hi wolleth sitte and ete,
Here eve-song hi wolleth sigge whan we habbeth y-ete."
CEINT Brendan bihuld here faire weved, him tho3te
hit was al,
Weveth and caliz and cruetz, pur cler crestal ;
Sove tapres in the queor ther were, and nomo.
And four and tuenti sigen ek, to whan hi scholde go;
For ther were four and tuenti monekes, and everech
And the abbotes sige was amidde the queor i-wis.
OF ST. BRANDAN. 15
Seict Brendan eschte tlie abbot, "Sei me, leove brother,
Hou Iiolde 56 so wel silence, that non ne speketh mid
" Oure Loverd hit wot," the abbot seide, '• we habbeth
Fourscore jer in suche lyve as thu mijt i-seo.
And ther nas nevere among ous alle i-speke in non wise
Er this tyme non other word bote oure Loverdes
Ne wenere never-eft in feblesce, ne in siknesse no5t on."
The seint Brendan i-hurde this he wep for joye anon:
** LeoTe fader," he seide, " for Godes love, mote we
bileve here ?"
'* Thu wost wel, sir," quath this other, "je ue mowe
in none manere.
Nath oure Loverd the schowed wel what thu schalt do?
And come 5ut to Ix-land a^e, and thi tuelf bretheren
And the thretteoth fram the to the ylle of ankres schal
And the fourteothe to helle al quic, and beo ther with-
outen ende ?"
Tho ther com in a furi arewe at a fenestre anon.
As he fram hevene come, and the tapres tende echon ;
A3e-ward as he com at a fenestre there,
This tapres brende longe y-nouj, ac hi no the lasse
" Loverd Crist," quath seint Brendan, " ich wondri on
Hou this tapres berneth thus, an ne wanyeth no5t."
16 THE METRICAL LIKE
"Nastou nojt," quatli this abbot, "in tlic oldo lawe
Hou Moyses i-sej a thorn bcrne fram toppe to the
The suythere that this thorn brende the grennere the
leves were :
Ne wenstou that oure Loverd beo her as niijti as lie
was there ?"
This monekes were togadere thus forte midewynter
was i-do ;
Hit was twelfthe dai er hi departede a-tuo.
ANON to seint Hillaries dai seint Brendan forth
In the see with his monekes, thur the grace that God
Urne up and doun in sorwe y-nou5, the see hem
Fram thulke tyme fur in Leynte ne lond hi ne 8636,
So that aboute Palmsonede[i] hi bihulde about faste,
Hi tho3te that hi seje fur fram hem as a cloude atte
This monekes wondrede moche whar this cloude were:
" Beoth stille," quath seint Brendan, " er this je hab-
betli i-beo there ;
Ther is oure gode procuratour, that moche god ous
In the Fowelen Parays and in the Loud of Schep also.
So that the schip atte laste to-ward this yle drouj,
A Scher-thursdai thider hi come, with travayl and
OP ST. BRANDAN. 17
Tliis procuratour com ajen hem glad, and wolcome
And custe seint Brendanes fet, and the monekes echon,
And sitte hemsiththe attesoper, for the dai hit wolde so,
And siththe wosch here aire fet, here mand6 to do.
Al here mande hi hulde ther, and therhi gonne bileve
A Gode-Fridai aldai forto Ester eve ;
An Ester eve here procuratour bad hem here schip take,
And the holi resureccioun upe the fisches rug make,
And after the resureccioun he het hem evene teo
To the Fowelen Parays, ther hi hadde er i-beo.
THIS holi men wende forth, and Godes grace nome,
So that to the grete fisch wel sone siththe lii come ;
As a lond that hovede, here caudron hi fonde there,
As hi levede upon his rug in that other 5ere.
Loverd Crist ! that such a best scholde beo so stille.
And suffri men ther-uppe go, and do al here wille.
THE monekes upe the fisches rug bilevede alle longe
And songe matyns and eve-song, and siththe, tho hit
Anone-ward the fisches rug hi songen liere massen
And evere was this mochele best stille so eni ston.
AS this resurexioun with gret honur was i-do,
And this monekes hadde i-songe here massen also,
Aboute imderne of the dai here wei to schipe hi nome.
And to the Fowelen Parays thulke dai hi come.
ANON so hi sejc the monekes come, hi gonne to
18 THE MKTklCAL LIFK
Ajen hem with gret melodie, as hit were for than one ;
And thulke that spac with hem er sons toward hem
The soun of liim murie was, he wolcoraede hem faire
"3e aujte," he seide, "oure Loverd Crist onury with
He purveide 30U this four stedes to habben in joiire
Witli joure gode procuratour, 3onre mande to do,
And siththe 30ureresurexioun upe this fisches rug also.
And with ous her this ei3te wyke forto Witsonedai,
And fram Midewynter to Candelmasse in thille of
And in the grete see of occian with gret travayl 36
And in pyne al thother tyme, forte sove 3eres ende ;
And the Lond of Biheste God wole that 3e seo,
And ther-inne in joye y-nou3 fourti dayes beo;
And to the contrai that 3e beoth of siththe 3e schulle
Al eseliche withoute anuy, and ther 30ure lyf ende."
THIS holi men bilevede ther forte the Trinite,
Hei'e procuratour com to hem ther hi were in gret
He brou3te hem mete and drinke y-nou3, as he hadde er
And chargede here schip therwith and let hem wende so.
THIS holi men hem wende forth as God hem wolde
For Godes grace was with hem the bet hi mi5te wende.
OF ST. BRANDAN. 19
As hi wende upon a tyme in gret tempest y-nou3,
A gret fisch hi seje and grislich, that after here schip
Berninge fom out of his mouth he caste,
The water was hejere than here schip bifore hem at
With his browen wel faste he schef ; this monekes were
And cride 5urne on Jhesu Crist, and in seint Brendan
After the schip so faste he schef that alraest he com
As he hem hadde almest of-take, and hi ne tolde no3t
of here lyve,
Another fisch out of the west ther com suymminge
And encountrede this lithere fisch, and smot to him
And for-clef his foule book in threo parties atte laste,
And thane wei as he cam er wel evene aje he drouj.
This monekes thonkede Jhesu Crist, and were joyful
So longe hi wende this holi men in the see aboute so,
That hi were afingred sore, for here mete was al i-do.
Ther com fleo a lute fowel, and broujte a gret bou3
Ful of grapes suythe rede, and evene to hem drou3 ;
This grapes he tok seint Brendan, this gode man sum-
Ther-bi hi lyvede fourte ny3t, and hadde alle mete
20 THE METRICAL LIFE
THO this grapes were alle i-do, lii were afingred sore,
Bi thato sidehiseje an yle, and mete ther-innemore :
The yle was ful of faire treon, and so ful everech bouj
Of suche grapes as he se3 er, that to the ground hit
Seint Brendan wende up of this schip, of this grapes he
And bar hem to his schip, that fourti dayes hi laste.
Sone ther-after cam a gryp fleo faste in the see.
And assaillede hem faste, and here schip, and fondede
hem to sle.
This monekes cride dulfulliche, and ne tolde no3t of
here lyve ;
Tho com ther fleo a lutel fowel toward hem wel blyve,
That in the Fowelen Parays so ofte hem hadde i-rad.
Tho seint Brendan i-sej hem come, he nas no3t a kite
This lutel fowel smot to this grymp, and sette his dunt
The furste dunt that he him 5afhe smot out aither eje;
This lithere best so he sloj that he ful into the see ;
Thing that God wole habbe i-wist ne mai nothing sle.
This holi men wende in the see aboute her and there ;
Ac in on of the four stedes in reste evere hi were.
f\ TYME a seint Petres dai, gretfeste with here tunge
In the see hi makede of seint Peter, and here
servise sunge ;
Hi come in o stede of the see, the see so cler hi founde
That hi seje on bi eche half clerliche to the grounde.
Hem thojte the ground i-heled was with fisches at one
OF ST. BRANDAN. 21
That hi ne seje non other grounde bote as hi leye aslepe.
This monekes hete seint Bi-endan that he softe speke,
That hi ne weijte nojt the fisches, leste hi here schip
" What is 30U ?" quath seint Brendan, " whar-of beoje
Upe the maistres rug of alle fisches ^e habbeth y-ma-
ked 30U glad,
And ano-ward his rug fur y-maked, and doth fram
3ere to jere.''
This holi man makede loudere song, as hit for than
THE fisch sturte upe with here song, as hi awoke of
And flote al aboute the schip, as hit were atone hepe;
So thikke hi flote aboute bi eche half, that non other
water me ne sej.
And bisette this schip al aboute, ac hi ne come tlier uej.
So thikke hi were aboute the schip, and suede hit
The while this holi man his masse song, forte he hadde
And tho the masse was i-do, eche wende in his ende ;
Moche wonder he mai i-seo, ho so wole aboute wende.
The wynd was strong, and stif y-nouj, and drof the
As fur as hi wende sove nijt the clere see i-laste,
So that hi seje in the see as clerUche as hi scholde a-
Gret wonder hadde the gode men, and thonkede Godes
22 THH METRICAL LIFK
THO com ther a southerne wynd, that drof hem forth-
Rijt evene no3th hi nuste whoder, that ei3tc dawes hit
Tho seje hi fur in the north a lond durk y-nouj,
Smokie as ther schipes were, tliider-ward here schip
Tlio hurden hi of bulies gret blowinge there,
And gret beting and noyse y-nou3, as ther thundre
So that Brendan agaste sore, and him blescede faste.
Ther cam out a grislich wijt wel lither atte laste ;
Thurf suart and berning al his ejen upe hem be caste,
And turnde him in anon ; this monekes were agaste.
This lither thing maked a cri tbat me mijte i-hure
Tho come ther suche sclirewen mo wel thicke bi eche
"With tangen and with hameres berninge meni on,
To the brym hi urne of the see after the schip echon.
Tho hi ne mijte come ther nej, hi gonne to crie faste,
And here oules al brenninge after the monekes caste ;
That me ne mi3te nothing bote fur i-seo ne i-hure,
The see as he ful a-doun tho3te ek al a-fure.
Ech caste upon other his oules al an he3,
And aboute the schip in the see, ac nevere ne cam non
Atte laste hi turnde hem a3en, tho hi ne spedde uo3t
And al that lond tho3te hem ek a -fur as the3 hit were,
OF ST. BRANDAN. 23
And al the see ther-aboute smokede and bi'ende faste,
Strong was that stench and that longe i-laste.
Tho the monekes were so fur that hi ne mijte i-seo no-
Here juUiuge jut hi hurde, the schrewen wepe sore.
" Hou thinjth 30U," quath seint Brendan, " was this a
murie pas ?
We ne wilnyeth come her nomore, an ende of helle
And the develen hopede wel of ous liabbe i-had a god
Ac i-hered beo Jhesu Crist, hi caste an ambesas."
THE southerne wynd i-laste jut, and drof hem evere
So that hi seje an hulle wel hej fur in the north,
Cloudi and berninge smoke, gret stench was there ;
The lie of the fur stod an hej as hit a was were :
If ther was moche smoke in than other, jut was ther
On of his monekes bigan tho to wepe and julle sore ;
For his tyme was to i-come that he ne mijte no leng
He hipte him amidde the see out of the schip biside,
And orn him faste upon this water to this grisliche
He cride and jal so dulfulliche, that ruthe hit was to
"Alias! " he seide, "mi wrecche lyf! for nou ich i-seo
Mid 30U ich habbe in joye i-beo, and y ne mai mid 30U
24 TIIK MUTRICAIi r.II''K
Acursed beo lieo that me bar, and the tynie that ich
And the fader tliat me bijat, for ich am iiou for-lore !"
A3EN him the develen come anon, and noma thane
And defoulede him stronge y-nou3, and amidde the fur
Tho he fonde that seint Brendan seide tho he out wende.
Him faillede grace, hou so hit was, his lyf to amende.
So stronge brende the mountayne, that nothing hi ne
The 3ut hi were fur ther-fram. bote fur and lie.
Tho turnde the wynd into the north; and south-ward
hem drof faste,
In thulke side strong y-nou5 sove ny3t the wynd i-laste.
QO longe hi wende evene south, that hi se3e attan
A hard roch in the see, and the see ther-over wende ;
Ther-over the see caste i-lome and ofte he was bar.
Tho hi come the roche ne3 of other hi were i-war :
Ano-ward tho se hi se5e sitte, wan the see withdrou3,
A wrecche gost sitte naked, bar and meseise y-nou3;
Above him was a cloth i-teid mid tuei tongen faste,
The nyther ende tilde to his chynne, over al the wynd
That the water withdrou3, the cloth that heng he5e
Beot as the wynd bleu the wrecche amidde than 636.
The wawes beote him of the see bifore and eke bihynde;
Wrecchedere gost than he was ne mai noman fynde.
Seint Brendan bad him a Godes name telle him what
OF ST. BR AND AN. 25
And what he hadde God mis-do, and whi he sete there.
'' Ich am," he seide, " a dulful gost, wrecche Judas,
That for pans oure Loverd solde, and an urthe mid him
Nis this nojt mi ri3te stede, ac oure Loverd me doth
To habbe her mi parays, as ^e seoth, in this place,
For no godnisse that ich habbe i-do, bote of oui'e Lo-
verdes milce and ore,
For J ne mijte habbe so moche pj ne that j nere worthe
For in the brenninge hul that ech of jou i-say
Mi rijt is to beo and brenne bothe nyjt and day.
Ther ich was this other daitho joure brother thider com,
And was into pyne i-lad, and sone hadde his dom ;
Therfore helle was tho glad y-nouj, that he makede the
For joye tho he was i-come that 36 so fur i-sye.
So he doth whan eni soule furst is thider i-come.
Thurf oure Loverdes suete milce ich am nou thanne
For ich am her ech Soneday, and fram the Saterdayes
Forte hit beo thane Soneday eve her ich schal bileve.
And at Midewynter ek forte tuelfthe day beo i-do,
And fram byginning ek of Ester forte Whitsoneday
And at oure Lefdi feste ek, for ful of milce heo is ;
In al the other tyme of the jer in helle ich am i-wis.
With Pilatus, Herodes, Anne, and Kayfas.
26 THE METRICAL LIFE
Bote icli mai cursi the tyme that ich i-bore was;
And ich bidde 3011 for the love of God that 36 fondie in
That ich bileve lier al 11131 forte the soune arise,
And that 36 wite me fram the develen that cometh sone
CEINT Brendan seide, " Thurf Godes grace we
schuUe schulde the :
Tel me what is the cloth that so he3e hongeth there."
"Tho ich was an urthe," quath Judas, " and oureLo-
verdes pans bei".
This cloth ich 3af a mesel, and for myne nas hit no3t,
Ac hit was mid oure Loverdes pans and mid oure bre-
therne i-bo3t ;
Ac for ich hit 3af for Godes love nou hit is me bifore.
For me ne schal nothing for him do that schal beo
And for hit was other mannes, as myn inwit understod,
Hit me doth the3 hit hongi her more harm than god.
For hit bet in myn e3en sore, and doth me harm
Her me mai i-seo which hit is to 3yve other manes
As woleth meni riche men mid unri3t al dai take
Of pore men her and thar, and almisse siththe make ;
That hi doth for Godes love ne schal hem no3t beo
Ac to pyne hit schal hem turne, as hi mowe thanne
" The tongen also," quath Judas, '' that 3e seoth hongen
OF ST. BRANDAN. 27
Preostes icli jaf an urthe, therfore here hi beoth ;
For clenliche me schal eche thing fynde that me doth
for his love.
The ston upe whan ich sitte, that maketh me sitte
In a wei ich him fond ligge ther no neod nas to
Ich caste him in a dupe dich that me mijte ther-over
Fewe gode dede ich habbe i-do that ich mowe of telle,
Ac non so lute that j ne fynde her other in helle."
THO hit was eve thane Sonedai, the develen come
To lede to helle this wrecche gost ; hi cride and julle
" Wend hunne," hi seide, " thu Godes man, thu nast
no3t her to done,
Let ous habbe oure felawe and lede to helle sone ;
For we ne thore oure maister i-seo er we him habbe
Wend fram him, for hit is tyme, and ne lette ous uoujt."'
" I lette 50U nojt," quath seint Brendan, " ne ne witie
That doth oure Loverd Jhesu Crist, that is of more
" JTOU therstou," quath this develen, " bifore him
nemne his name ?
Ne bitrayde he him and solde ek to dethe with grete
Seint Brendan seide," Inhisnameichhote30u asichmai.
28 TIIK METRICAL LIFE
That 56 ne tuouche him 11031 to nijt, er to morwe that
hit beo day."
Grisliche the devclen juUe, and ajen gonne fleo.
Judas thonkede pitousliche, that deol hit was to seo.
A-morwe, so sone as hit was dai, the develen gonne
Grisliche hi cride and 3ulle also, and chidde also faste,
" Awei!" hi seide, " thu Godes man, acursed beo the
That thu come her owhar about, and that we there
here founde :
Oure maister ous hath i-turmented so grisliche allonge
And stronge y-nou3, for we ne brou3te mid ous this
Ac we wolleth ous wel awreke, upe him silve hit schal go,
For we schulle this six dayes therfore dubli his wo."
This wrecche gost quakede tlio, that reuthe hit was to
The develen him nome wel grisliche, and here into
Ac seint Brendan hem forbed in oure Loverdes name,
That he nadde for thulke ni3t nevere the more schame.
Seint Brendan and his monekes in the see forth wende
Ili3t thi'eo dayes evene south, as oure Loverdhem sende j
The furde dai hi 8636 an yle al bi southe an hej,
Seint Brendan sijte sore tho he this yle i-se3,
" Poul," he seide, " the ermite, is in the yle that ich
Ther he hath withoute mete this fourti 5er i-beo."
OF ST. BRANDAN. 29
THO hi come to this yle, yn hi wende echon,
The ermite that was so old a5en hem com gon;
His her to liis fet tikle of berde and of heved,
And helede al aboute his bodi, nas ther no bai* on liim
None other clothes nadde he on, his lymes were al hore.
Seint Brendan him bihulde, and gan to sike sore,
" Alias!" he seide, " ich have so jare in stede of monek
And nou in lyf of an angel a man ich i-seo."
"gEO stille," quath this Ermite, "God doth bet hi
For he schoweth the more than eni other of his pri-
For o monek ly veth bi the swynk of his owe honde,
And thurf oure Loverdes grace thu lyvest, and thurf
Of the abbey of seint Patrik monek ich was i-wis.
And of his church ai a wardeyn, ther as purgatorie is:
A dai ther com a man to me, ich eschte what he were,
Ich am, he seide, thyn abbod, of me nave thu no fere.
Non other man than seint Patrik abbot nis, ich sede.
No ich hit am, quath this other, "ne therstou nothing
To morwe arys sone days to the see thu must wende,
A schip thu schal fynde jare, as oure Loverd the wole
Do the forth in thulke schip in the see wel wide,
And hit wole the lede into the stede ther thu schalt
30 THE METRICAL LIKE
Sone a-morwe ich arosto don his holi bone,
Forth ich wende to the see, a schij) ich fond sone,
Mid me ich let the schip i-worthe ; wel evene forth hit
Thane sovethe dai into this yle oure Loverd me sende.
So sone ich was out of tho schip, aje thane wei hit nom.
As evene as hit rai3te drawe ri3t as hit thider com.
Eling ich jeode her alone, confort nadde ich non,
So that iipe his hynder fet an oter ther com gon,
Mid his forthere fet he broujte a fur-ire and a ston,
Forto smyte fur therwith, and of fisch god won.
This oter wende aje anon ; ich makede me fur wel faste,
And seoth me fisch a Godes name that threo dayes
So that evere the thridde dai this oter to me drou3.
And broujte me mete that ich hadde threo dayes y-
Water of this harde ston, thurf oure Loverdes sonde,
Ther sprong out ech Sonedai to drinke and to wasche
THO ich hadde her in thisse lyve thretti 3er i-beo.
This welle him gan furst to schewe, that thu mi3t her
Bi this wille ich have i-lyved four and tuenti 3er nou
And vyfti 3er ich was old tho ich gan hider gon ;
So that of an hondred 3er and tuenti ther-to
Bi this tyme ich am i-redi oure Loverdes wille to do,
And mi deth ich abide her, whan hyne wole me sende.
Whan God wole that ich come to him and out of this
OF ST. BRANDAN. 31
And nym with the of this water what thu hast neode
And wend forth faste in the see, for thi wei nis nojt
For thu schalt jut in the see fourti dayes fare,
Thanne thu schalt thin Ester holde ther thu hast i-do
And thanne thu schalt wende forth to the Lond of
And ther thu schalt fourti dayes bileve atte meste,
And to thin owe lond aje thu schalt wende so."
This gode men with deol y-nouj departede ther a-tuo.
THIS gode men hem wende forth in the see faste,
Fourti dayes evene south the while Leynte i-laste ;
To here gode procuratour an Ester eve hi come.
With hem he makede joye y-nouj, as he dude er
He ladde hem to this grete fisch, thider hi come an eve,
This Ester nijt forte a-morwe ther hi scholde bileve,
Ther hi seide here matyns and here masse also.
This fisch bigan to moevi him tho the masse was i-do,
And bar this monekes forth with him, and swam forth
In the grete see wel grislich, this monekes were agaste,
A wonder thing hit was to mete, ho so hit hadde i-seie,
A so gret best aboute wende into al the contreye.
To this Fowelen Parays this monekes he ladde echon,
And sette hem up ther hoi and sound, and wende aje
Tho this monekes thider come wel joyful hi were ;
32 THE METRICAL LIFE
Forte after the Trinite hi bileved there,
For here procuratour bi thulke tyme broii5te liem
As he hadde er ofte i-do, into here schip hit drou3,
And wende forth with hem whoder oure Loverd hem
Rijt evene toward than est fourti dayes hi wende ;
Tho this fourti dayes were i-do hit bigan to haweli
A wel dure myst ther com also that wel longe i-laste.
*' Beoth glad," quath this procuratour, " and makieth
For ich hit wotje beoth nou nej the Lond of Biheste."
T'HO hi come out of this durke mist, and mi3te aboute
Under the faireste lond hi come that evere rai3te beo ;
So cler and so lijt hit was, that joye ther was y-nou5,
Treon ther were ful of frut wel thikke on everech bou3.
Thikke hit was biset of treon, and the treon thicke here,
Thapplen were ripe y-nou3, ri3t as hit harvest
Fourti dayes aboute this lond hi hem gonne wende ;
Hi ne mi3te fynde in non half of this lond non ende ;
Hit was evere more dai, hi ne fonde nevere ny3t.
Hi ne wende fynde in no stede so moche cler li3t.
The eir was evere in o stat, nother hot ne cold,
Bote the joye that hi fonde ne mai nevere beo i-told.
So that hi come to a fair water, hi ne mi3te no3t over
Ac over hi mi3te the lond i-seo foir withouten ende.
OF ST. BR AND AN. 33
THO cam ther to hem a junglich man, swyse fair and
Fairere man ne mijte beo, that oure Loverd hem gan
He wolcome ech bi his name, and custe hem echon,
And honurede faire seint Brendan, and nom him bi
the hond anon.
" Lo," he seide, "her is the lond that je habbeth i-sojt
And the lengere for oure Loverd wolde that 56 schulde
For 36 scholde in the grete see his priveitez i-seo.
Chargieth 30ure schip with this frut, for 36 ne mowe
no leng her beo,
For thu most to-ward thin owe lond a3e-wardes wende,
For thu schalt sone out of the wordle, thi Ijf is ne3
This water that 36 her i-seoth deleth this lond a-tuo ;
This half 30U thin5th fair y-nou3, and thother half also ;
A 3und half ne mowe 36 come no3t, for hit nis no3t ri3t.
This frut is evere i-liche ripe, and this lond i-liche li5t.
And whan oure Loverd ech maner man to him hath
And ech maner men knoweth him, and beoth under his
This lond wole thanne schewe to-ward the wordles
Hem that beoth him next i-core er hi hunnes wende."
Seint Brendan and his felawes of this frut nome faste,
And of preciouse stones, and into here schip caste,
34 THE METRICAL LIFE OF ST. BRANDAN.
And faireand wel here Icve nome tho tliis was al i-do,
And mid wop and deol y-nou3 departede tho a-tuo,
And wende hem ham-ward in the see, as cure Loverd
And welrathere come hem horn than hi out-ward wende.
Here bretheren, tho hi come hom, joyful were y-nou3.
This holi man seint Brendan to-ward dethe drouj ;
For ever-eft after thulke tyme of the wordle he ne
Bote as a man of thother wordle, and as he were in
He deide in Irlande after thulke stounde ;
Meni miracle me hath ther siththe for him i-founde ;
An abbei ther is arered ther as his bodi was i-do :
Nou God ous bringe to thulke joye tliat his soule
wende to !
PROSE LIFE OF ST. BRAND AN.
Here begynneth the lyfe of saynt Brandon.
Saynt Brandon, the holy man, was amonke, and borne
in Yrlonde, and there he was abbot of an hoiis wherein
were a thousand monkes, and there he ladde a full
stray te and holy lyfe, in grete penaunce and abstynence,
and he governed his monkes ful vertuously. And than
within shorte tyme after, there came to hym an holy
abbot that hyght Beryne to vysyte hym, and eche of
them was joyfull of other; and than saynt Brandon
began to tell to the abbot Beryne of many wonders
that he had seen in dyverse londes. And whan Beryne
herde that of saynt Brandon, he began to sygh, and sore
wepte. And saynt Brandon comforted him the best
wyse he coude, sayenge, " Ye come hyther for to be
joyfull with me, and therfore for Goddes love leveyour
mournynge, and tell me what mervayles ye have seen
in the grete see occean, that compasseth all the worlde
aboute, and all other waters comen out of hym, whiche
renneth in all the partyes of the erth." And than
Beryne began to tell to saynt Brandon and to his
monkes the mervaylles that he had seen, full sore
wepynge, and sayd, " I have a sone, his name is Mer-
noke, and he was a monke of grete fame, whiche had
36 THK PROSK LIFE
gretc desyre to seke iiboute by sliypjje in dyverse
countrees, to fynde a solytary place wlierin lie myght
dwell secretly out of the besynesse of the worlde, for
to serve God quyetly with more devocyon ; and I
counseyled hyra to sayle into an ylonde ferrc in tlie see,
besydes the Mountaynes of vStoncs, whiche is ful well
knowen, and than he made hym redy and sayled thy-
der with his monkes. And whan he came thyder, he
lyked that place full well, where he and his monkes
served our Lorde full devoutly." And than Beryne
sawe in a visyon that this monke Meruoke was sayled
ryght ferre eestwarde into the see more than thre dayes
saylynge, and sodeynly to his semynge there came a
derke cloude and overcovered them, that a grete parte
of the daye tliey sawe no lyght ; and as our Lorde
wold, the cloude passed awaye, and they sawe a full
£iijr ylond, and thyderwarde they drewe. In that
ylonde was joye and myrth ynough, and all the erth of
that ylonde shyned as bryght as the sonne, and there
were the fayrest trees and herbes that ever ony man
sawe, and there were many precyous stones shynynge
bryght, and every herbe there was ful of fygures, and
every tree ful of fruyte ; so that it was a glorious sight,
and an hevenly joye to abyde there. And than there
came to them a fayre yonge man, and full curtoysly he
welcomed them all, and called every monke by his
name, and sayd that they were much bounde to prayse
the name of our Lorde Jesu, that wold of his grace
shewe to them that glorious place, where is ever day,
and never night, and this place is called paradyse ter-
OF ST. BRANDAN. S7
restre. But by this yloncle is au other ylonde wherin
no man may come. And this yonge man sayd to them,
" Ye have ben here halfe a yere without meet, drynke,
or slepe." And they supposed that they had not ben
there the space of half an houre, so mery and joy full
they were there. And the yonge man tolde them that
this is the place that Adam and Eve dvvelte in fyrst,
and ever should have dwelled here, yf that they had
not broken the commaundement of God. And than
the yonge man brought them to theyr shyppe agayn,
and sayd they might no lenger abyde there ; and whan
they were all shypped, sodeynly this yonge man van-
ysshed away out of theyr sight. And than within
shorte tyme after, by the purveyaunce of our Lorde
Jesu, they came to the abbey where saint Brandon
dwelled, and than he with his bretherne receyved them
goodly, and demaunded where they had ben so longe,
and they sayd, " We have ben in the Londe of Byheest,
to-fore the gates of Paradyse, where as is ever daye,
and never night." And they sayd all that the place is
full delectable, for yet all theyr clothes smelled of the
swete and joyfuU place. And than saynt Brandon
purposed soone after for to seke that place by Goddes
helpe, and anone began to purvey for a good shyppe,
and a stronge, and vytaylled it for vij. yere; and than
he toke his leve of all his bretherne, and toke xij.
monkes with him. But or they entred into the shyppe
they fasted xl. dayes, and lyved devoutly, and eche of
them receyved the sacrament. And whan saynt Bran-
don with his xij. monkes were entred into the shyppe,
88 THE PUOSK LIFE
there came other two of his monkes, and prayed hym
that they myght saylc with hym. And tlian he sayd,
" Ye may sayle with me, but one of you shall go to
hell, or ye come agayn." But not for that they wold
go with hym.
And than saynt Brandon badde the shyi>men to
wynde up the sayle, and forth they sayled in Goddes
name, so that on the morow they w'ere out of syght of
ony londe ; and xl. dayes and xl. nightes after they
sayled playn eest, and than they sawe an ylonde ferre
fro them, and they sayled thyder-warde as fast as they
coude, and they sawe a grete roche of stone appere
above all the water, and thre dayes they sayled aboute
it or they coude gete in to the place. But at the last,
by the purveyaunce of God, they founde a lytell haven,
and there Avent a-londe everychone, and than sodeynly
came a fayre hovmde, and fell down at the feet of saynt
Brandon, and made hym good chere in his maner.
And than he badde his bretherne, " Be of good chere,
for our Lorde hath sente to us his messenger, to lede
us into some good place." And the hounde brought
them into a fayre hall, where they founde the tables
spredde redy, set full of good meet and drynke. And
than saynt Brandon sayd graces, and than he and his
bretherne sate down and ete and dranke of suche as they
founde ; and there were beddes redy for them, wherin
they toke theyr rest after theyr longe labour. And
on the morowe they returned agayne to theyr shyppe
and sayled a longe tyme in the see after or they coude
fynde ony londe, tyll at the last, by the purveyaunce
OF ST. BRANDAN. 39
of God, tliey sawe ferre fro them a full fayre ylonde,
ful of grene pasture, wherin were the whytest and
gretest shepe that ever they sawe ; for every shepe was
as grete as an oxe. And soone after came to them a
goodly olde man, whiche welcomed them, and made
them good chere, and sayd, " This is the Ylonde of
Shepe, and here is never colde weder, but ever som-
mer, and that causeth the shepe to be so grete and
whyte ; they ete of the best grasse and herbes that is
ony where." And than this olde man toke his leve of
them, and bad them sayle forth ryght eest, and within
shorte tyme, by Goddes grace, they sholde come into
a place lyke paradyse, wherin they shold kepe theyr
And than they sayled forth, and came soone after to
that lond ; but bycause of lytell depthe in some place,
and in some place were grete rockes, but at the last
they wente upon an ylonde, wenynge to them they had
ben safe, and made theron a fyre for to dresse theyr dy-
ner, but saynt Brandon abode styll in the shyppe. And
whan the fyre was ryght bote, and the meet nygh soden,
than this ylonde began to move ; wherof the monkes
were aferde, and fledde anone to the shyppe, and lefte
the fyre and meet behynde them, and mervayled sore
of the movyng. And saynt Brandon comforted them,
and sayd that it was a grete fisshe named Jasconye,
whiche laboureth nyght and daye to put his tayle in
his mouth, but for gretnes he may not. And than
anone they sayled west thre dayes and thre nyghtes or
they sawe ony londe, wherfore they were ryght hevy.
40 THE PROSE LIFE
But soone after, as God wold, tlicy sawc a fayre
ylonde, full of floures, herbcs, and trees, whertjf they
thanked God of his good grace, and anonc they went
on londe. And whan they had gone longe in this,
they founde a ful fayre well, and therby stode a fayre
tree, full of bowes, and on every bough sate a fayre
byrde, and they sate so thycke on the tree that unneth
ony lefe of the tree myght be seen, the nombre of them
was so grete, and they songe so meryly that it was an
hevenly noyse to here. Wherfore saynt Brandon
kneled down on his knees, and wepte for joye, and
made his prayers devoutly unto our Lord God to knowe
what these byrdes ment. And than anone one of the
byrdes fledde fro the tree to saynt Brandon, and he
with flykerynge of his wynges made a full mery noyse
lyke a fydle, that hym semed he herde never so joy-
full a melodye. And than saynt Brandon commaunded
the byrde to tell hym the cause why they sate so thycke
on the tree, and sange so meryly. And than the
byrde sayd, " Somtyme we were aungels in heven, but
whan our mayster Lucyfer fell down into hell for his
hygh pryde, we fell with hym for our offences, some
hyther, and some lower, after the qualyte of theyr
trespace ; and bycause our trepace is but lytell, ther-
fore our Lorde hath set us here out of all payne in full
grete joye and myrth, after his pleasynge, here to
serve hym on this tree in the best maner that we can.
The Sonday is a day of rest fro all worldly occupacyon,
and, therfore, that daye all we be made as whyte as
ony snow, for to prayse our Loi'de in the best wyse we
OF ST. BRANDAN. 4J
may." And than this byrde sayd to saynt Brandon,
"It is xij, monethes past that ye departed fro your
abbey, and in the vij. yere hereafter ye shall se the
place that ye desyre to come, and all this vij. yere ye
shal kepe your Eester here with us every yere, and in
the ende of the vij. yere ye shal come into the Londe
of Byhest." And this was on Eester daye that the
byrde sayd these wordes to saynt Brandon. And than
this fowle flewe agayn to his felawes that sate on the
tree. And than all the byrdes began to synge even-
songe so meryly, that it was an hevenly noyse to here ;
and after souper saynt Brandon and his felawes wente
to bedde, and slepte well, and on the morowe they
arose betymes, and than those byrdes began matyns,
pryme, and houres, and all suche service as Chrysten
men use to synge.
And saynt Brandon with his felawes abode there
viij. wekes, tyll Trinite Sonday was past ; and they
sayled agayne to the Ylonde of Shepe, and there they
vytayled them wel, and sytli toke theyr leve of that
olde man, and returned agayn to shyppe. And than
the byrde of the tree came agayn to saynt Brandon,
and said, " I am come to tell you that ye shall sayle fro
hens into an ylonde, wherein is an abbey of xxiiij.
monkes, whiche is fro this place many a myle, and
there ye shall holde your Chrystmasse, and your
Eester with us, lyke as I tolde you." And than this
byrde flewe to his felawes agayn. And than saynt
Brandon and his felawes sayled forth in the occyan ;
and soone after fell a grete temj^est on them, in whiche
42 THE pkosp: life
they were gretely troubled longe tyme, and sore for-
laboured. And after that, tliey founde by the purvey-
aunce of God an ylonde whiche was ferre fro them, and
than they full mekely prayed to our Lord to sendc
them thyder in safete, but it was xl. dayes after or they
came thyder, wherfore all the monkes Avere so wery of
that trouble that they set lytel pryce by theyr lyves,
and cryed contynually to our Lord to have mercy on
them and brynge them to that ylonde in safete. And
by the purveyaunce of God, they came at the last into
a lytell haven ; but it was so strayte that unnetli the
shyppe might come in. And after they came to an
ancre, and anone the monkes went to londe, and whan
they had longe walked about, at the last they founde
two fayre welles ; that one was fayre and clere water,
and that other was somwhat troubly and thycke. And
than they thanked our Lorde full humbly that had
brought them thyder in safete, and they wolde fayne
have droken of that water, but saynt Brandon charged
them that they sholde take none without lycence, " for
yf we absteyne us a whyle, our Lord wyll purvey for
us in the best wyse." And anone after came to them
a fayi'e old man, with hoor heer, and welcomed them
ful mekely, and kyssed saynt Bi-andon, and ledde them
by many a fayre welle tyll they came to a fayre abbey,
where they were receyved with grete honour, and
solempne processyon, with xxiiij. monkes all in ryal
copes of cloth of golde, and a ryall crosse was before
them. And than the abbot welcomed saynt Brandon
and his felawshyp, and kyssed them full mekely, and
OF ST. BRANDAN. 43
toke saynt Brandon by the hande, and ledde hym with
his monkes into a fayre hall, and set them downe
a-rowe upon the benche ; and the abbot of the place
wasshed all theyr feet with fayre water of the well
that they sawe before, and after ladde them into the
fraytour, and there set them amonge his covent. And
anone there came one by the purveyaunce of God,
whiche served them well of meet and drynke. For
every monke had set before hym a fayre whyte lofe
and whyte rotes and herbes, whiche were ryght
delycyous, but they wyst not what rotes they were ;
and they dranke of the water of the fayre clere welle
that they sawe before whan they came fyrst a-londe,
whiche saynt Brandon forbadde them. And than the
abbot came and chered saynt Brandon and his monkes,
and prayed them to ete and drynke for charite, " for
every day our Lorde sendeth a goodly olde man that
covereth this table, and setteth our meet and drynke
to-fore us; but we knowe not how it cometh, ne we
ordeyne never no meet ne drynke for us, and yet we have
ben Ixxx. yere here, and ever our Lorde (worshypped
mote he be!) fedeth us. We ben xxiiij. monkes in
nombre, and every feryall day of the weke he sendeth
to us xij. loves, and every Sondaye and feestful day
xxiiij. loves, and the breed that we leve at dyner we
ete at souper. And nowe at your comynge our Lorde
hath sente to us xlviij. loves, for to make you and us
mery togyder as brethern, and alwaye xij. of us go to
dyner, whyles other xij. kepe the quere ; and thus have
we done this Ixxx. yere, for so longe have we dwelled
44 THE PROSK LIFE
here in this abbey ; and we came hyther out of tlie
abbey of saynt Patrykes in Yrelonde, and thus, as ye
se, our Lorde hath purveyd for us, but none of us
knoweth how it cometh, but God alone, to whome be
gyven honour and laude worlde without ende. And
here in this londe is ever fayre weder, and none of us
hath ben seke syth we came hyther. And whan we go
to masse, or to ony other servyce of our Lorde in the
chirche, anone seven tapers of waxe ben set in the
quere, and ben lyght at every tyme without mannes
hande, and so brenne daye and nyght at every houre
of servyce, and never waste ne mynysshe as longe as
we have ben here, whiche is Ixxx. yere."
And than saynt Brandon wente to the chirche with
the abbot of the place, and there they sayd evensonge
togyder full devoutly. And than saynt Brandon loked
up-ward to-warde the crucifyxe, and sawe our Lorde
hangynge on the crosse, which was made of fyne
cristal and curyously wrought ; and in the quere were
xxiiij. setes for xxiiij. monkes, and the vij. tapers
brennynge, and the abbottes sete was made in the
myddes of the quere. And than saynt Brandon de-
manded of the abbot how longe they had kepte that
scylence that none of them spake to other." And he
sayd, " This xxiiij. yere we spake never one to an
other." And than saynt Brandon wepte for joye of
theyr holy conversation. And than saynt Brandon
desyred of the abbot that he and his monkes might
dwell there styll with hym. To whom the abbot sayd,
" Syr, that may ye not do in no wyse, for our Lorde
OF ST. BRANDAN. 45
hath shewed to you in Avhat maner ye shall be guyded
tyll the vij. yere be fully lied, and after thatterme thou
shalte with thy monkes returne into Yidonde in safete ;
but on of the two monkes that came last to you shall
dwell in the Ylonde of Ankers, and that other shall go
quycke to liell. And as saynt Brandon kneled in the
cliirche, he sawe a bryght shynynge aungell come in at
the wyndowe, and lyghted all thelyghtes in the chirche,
and than he flewe out agayn at the wyndowe unto heven,
and than saynt Brandon mervayled gretly how the lyght
brenned so fayre and wasted not. And than the abbot
sayd that it is wryten that Moyses sawe a busshe all
on a fyre, and yet it brenned not, " and therefore mer-
vayle not therof, for the myght of our Lorde is now as
grete as ever it was."
And whan saynt Brandon had dwelled there fro
Chrystmasse even tyll the xij. daye was passed, than
he toke his leve of the abbot and covent, and returned
with his monkes to his shyppe, and sayled fro thens
with his monkes to-warde the abbey of saynt Hylaryes,
but they had grete tempestes in the see fro that tyme
tyll Palme Sondaye. And than they came to the
Ylonde of Shepe, and there were recey ved of the olde
man, whiche brought them to a fayre hall and served
them. And on Sher-Thursdaye after souper he was-
shed theyr feet and kyssed them, lyke as our Lorde
dyd to his discyples, and there abode tyll Saterdaye
Eester even, and than they departed and sayled to the
place where the grete fysshe laye, and anone they
sawe theyr caudrou upon the fysshes backe wlaiche
they had left there xij. nionethes to-fore, and there
46 TFIK PROSE LIFE
they kepte the servyce of the resurreccyon on the
fysshes backe, and after they sayletl the same daye by
the mornynge to the ylonde where as the tree of
byrdes was, and than the sayd byrde welcomed saynt
Brandon and all his fclawshyp, and went agayn to the
tree and sangefull meryly. And there he andhisraonkes
dwelled fro Eester tyll Trynit6 Sondaye, as they dyd
the yere before, in full grete joye and myrtli ; and
dayly they herde the mery servyce of the bjTdes
syttynge on the tree. And than the byrde tolde to
saynt Brandon that he sholde returne agayn at Chryst-
masse to the abbey of monkes, and at Eester thyder
agayn, and the other dele of the yere labour in the oc-
cean in full grete perylles, "and fro yere to yere tyll the
vij. yere ben accomj^lysshed, and than shall ye come to
the joy full place of Paradyse, and dwell there xl. daye
in full grete joye and myrth ; and after ye shall
returne home into your owne abbey in safete, and
there end your lyf and come to the blysse of heven,
to whiche our Lorde bought you with his precyous
blode." And than the aungell of oure Lorde ordeyned
all thynge that was nedefuU to saynt Brandon and to
his monkes, invytayles and all other thynges necessary.
And than they thanked our Lorde of his grete goodnes
that he had shewed to them ofte in theyi* grete nede,
and than sayled forth in the grete see occcan abydynge
the mercy of our Lord in grete trouble and tempestes,
and soone after came to them an horryble fysshe,
whiche folowed the shyppe long tyme, castynge so
moche water out of his mouth into the shyppe, that
OF ST. BRANDAN. 47
they supposed to have ben drowned. Wherfore they
devoutly prayed to God to delyver them of that grete
perylL And anone after came an other fysshe, greter
than he, out of the west see, and faught with him, and
at the laste clave hym in thre places, and than returned
agayne. And than they thanked mekely our Lord of
theyr delyveraunce fro this grete peryll ; but they were
in grete hevynesse, because theyr vytayles were nygh
spente. But, by the ordynaunce of our Lorde, there
came a byrde and brought to them a grete braunche of
a vine full of reed grapes, by whiche they lyved xiiij.
dayes; and than they came to a lytell ylonde, wherin
were many vynes full of grapes, and they there londed,
and thanked God, and gadred as many grapes as they
lyved by xl. dayes after, alwaye saylynge in the see in
many a storme and tempest. And as they thus sayled,
sodeynly came fleynge toward e them a grete grype,
whiche assayled them and was lyke to have destroyed
them; wherfore they devoutly prayed for helpe and
ayde of our Lord Jesu Chryst. And than the byrde of
the tree of the ylonde where they had holden theyr
Eester to-fore came to the gripe and smote out both his
eyen, and after slewe hym ; wherof they thanked our
Lorde, and than sayled forth contynually tyll saynt
Peters daye, and than songen they solempnely theyr
servyce in the honour of the feest. And in that place
the water Avas so clere, that they myght se all the
fysshes that were aboute them, wherof they were full
sore agast, and the monkes counseyled saynt Brandon
to synge no more, for all the fysshes lay than as they
48 TIIR PROSK LIFE
had slepte. And than saynt Brandon sayd, " Drede ye
not, for ye have keptc by two Eesters the feest of the
resurreccion upon the grete fysshes backe, and ther-
fore drede ye not of these lytel fysshes." And than
saynt Brandon made hym redy, and wente to masse,
and badde his monkes to synge the best wyse they
coude. And than anone all the fysshes awoke and
came aboute the shippe so thicke, that unneth they
myght se the water for the fysshes. And whan the
masse was done, all the fysshes departed so that they
were no more seen.
And seven dayes they sayled alwaye in that clere
water. And than there came a south wynde and drove
the shyppe north-warde, where as they sawe an ylonde
full derke and full of stenche and smoke; and there
they herde grete blowynge and blastyng of belowes,
but they myght se no thynge, but herde grete thon-
drynge, wherof they were sore aferde and blyssed them
ofte. And soone after there came one stertynge out
all brennynge in fyre, and stared full gastly on them
with grete staryng eyen, of whome the monkes were
agast, and at his departyng from them he made the
horryblest crye that myght be herde. And soone
there came a grete nombre of fendes and assayled
them with hokes and brennynge yren mallcs, whiche
ranne on the water, folowyng fast theyr shyppe, in
suche wyse that it semed all the see to be on a fyre;
but by the wyll of God they had no power to hurte ne
to greve them, ne theyr shyppe. "Wherfore the fendes
began to rore and crye, and threwe theyr hokes and
OF ST. BRANDAN. 49
malles at them. And they than were sore aferde, and
prayed to God for comforte and helpe; for they sawe
the fendes all about the shyppe, and them semed that
all the ylonde and the see to be on a fyre. And with
a sorowfuU crye all the fendes departed fro them and
returned to the place that they came fro. And than
saynt Brandon tolde to them that this was a jiarte of
hell, and therfore he charged them to be stedfast in
the fayth, for they shold yet se many a dredefuU place
or they came home agayne. And than came the south
wynde and drove them ferther into the north, where
they sawe an hyll all on fyre, and a foule smoke and
stenche comyng from thens, and the fyre stode on eche
syde of the hyU lyke a wall all breunynge. And than
one of his monkes began to crye and wepe ful sore,
and sayd that his ende was comen, and that he might
abyde no lenger in the shyppe, and anone he lepte out
of the shyppe into the see, and than he cryed and
rored full pyteously, cursynge the tyme that he was
borne, and also fader and moder that bygate him,
bycause they sawe no better to his correccyon in his
yonge age, " for now I must go to perpetual payne."
And than the sayenge of saynt Brandon was veryfyed
that he sayd to hym whan he entred into the shyppe.
Therfore it is good a man to do penaunce and forsake
synne, for the houre of deth is incertayne.
And than anone the wynde turned into the north,
and drove the shyppe into the south, whiche sayled vij.
dayes contynually ; and they came to a grete rocke
standynge in the see, and theron sate a naked man in
60 THE PROSI;: LIFE
full grete mysery and payne; for the wawes of the see
had so beten his body that all the flesshe was gone of,
and nothynge lefte but synewes and bare bones. And
Avhan the wawes were gone, there was a canvas that
henge over his heed whiche bette his body full sore
with the blowynge of the wynde ; and also there were
two oxe tongues and a grete stone that he sate on,
whiche dyd hym full grete ease. And than saynt
Brandon charged hyni to tell hym what he was. And
he sayd, " My name is Judas, that solde our Lorde Jesu
Chryst for xxx. pens, whiche sytteth here moche
wretchedly, how be it I am worthy to be in the gretest
payne that is ; but our Lorde is so mercyfull that he
hath rewarded me better than I have deserved, for of
ryght my place is in the brennynge hell ; but I am here
but certaynetymes of theyere^ that is, fro Chrystmasseto
twelfth daye, and fro Eester tyll Whytsontyde be past,
and every feestfull daye of our lady, and every Sater-
daye at noone tyll Sonday that evensonge be done ;
but all other tymes I lye styll in hell in ful brennynge
fyre with Pylate, Herode, and Cayphas; therfore
accursed be the tyme that ever Iknewe them." And
than Judas prayed saynt Brandon to abyde styll there
all that nyght, and that he wolde kepe hym there styll
that the fendes sholde not fetche hym to hell. And
he sayd, " With Goddes helpe thou shalt abyde here all
this nyght." And than he asked Judas what cloth that
was that henge over his heed. And he saydit was a cloth
that he gave unto a lepre, whiche was bought with the
money that he stale fro our Lorde whan he bare his purse,
OF ST. BRANDAN. 51
"wherfore it clothe to me grete pajne now in betyng
my face with the blowynge of the wynde ; and these two
oxe tongues that hange here above me, I gave them
somtyme to two preestes to praye for me. I bought
them with myne owne money, and therfore they ease
me, bycause the fysshes of the see knawe on them and
spare me. And this stone that I syt on laye somtyme in
a desolate place where it eased no man ; and I toke it
thens and layd it in a foule waye, where it dyd moche
ease to them that went by that waye, and therfore it
easeth me now; for every good dede shall be rewarded,
and every evyll dede shal be punysshed." And the
Sondaye agaynst even there came a grete multitude of
fendes blastyng and rorynge, and badde saynt Brandon
go thens, that they myght have theyr servaunt Judas,
" for we dare not come in the presence of our mayster,
but yf we brynge hym to hell with us." And saynt
Brandon sayd, " I lette not you do your maysters com-
maundement, but by the power of our Lorde Jesu Chryst
I charge you to leve hym this nyght tyll to morow."
" How darest thou helpe hym that so solde his mayster
for XXX. pens to the Jewes, and caused hym also to dye
the moost shamefuU deth upon the crosse ?" And than
saynt Brandon charged the fendes by his passyon that
they sholde not noy hym that nyght. And than the
fendes went theyr way rorynge and cryenge towarde
hell to theyr mayster, the grete devyll. And than
Judas thanked saynt Brandon so rewfully that it was
pit6 to se, and on the morowe the fendes came with an
horryble noyse, sayenge that they had that nyght
62 THE PROSE LIFE
suffred grete payne bycause they brought not Jiulas,
and sayd that he shold suffre double payne the sixe
daycsfolowyngc. And they toke than Judas tremblynge
for fere with them to payne.
And after saynt Brandon sayled south-wardc thre
dayes and thre nyghtes, and on the Frydaye they sawe
an ylonde, and than saynt Brandon began to sygh and
saye, " I se the ylonde wherin saynt Poule the heremyte
dwelleth, and hath dwelled there xl, yere, without meet
and drynke ordeyned by mannes hande." And whan
they came to the londe, saynt Poule came and welcomed
them humbly. He was olde and for-growen, so that
no man myght se his body, of whom saynt Brandon
sayd weepyng, "Now I se a man that lyveth more
lyke an aungell than a man, wherfore we wretches
may be ashamed that we ly ve not better." Than saynt
Poule sayd to saynt Brandon, " Thou art better than I ;
for our Lorde hath shewed to the more of his prevytees
than he hath done to me, wherfore thou oughtest to be
more praysed than I." To whome saynt Brandon sayd,
" We ben monkes and must labour for our meet, but God
hath provyded for the suche meet as thou boldest the
pleased, wherfore thou art moche better than I." To
whome saynt Poule sayd, " Somtime I was a monke of
saynt Patrykes abbey in Yrelonde, and was wardeyn of
the place where as men entre into saynt Patrikes pur-
gatory. And on a day there came one to me, and I
asked hym what he was, and he sayd I am your abbot
Patryke, and charge the that thou departe from hens
to morowe erly to the see syde, and there thou shalt
OF ST. BRANDAN. 53
fyncle a shyppe, into the wliiclie tliou must entre,
whiclie God hath ordeyned for the, whose wyll thou
must accomplysshe. And so the uexte daye I arose
and went forth and founde the shyppe, in whiche I
entred, and by the purveyaunce of God I was brought
into this ylonde the seventh daye after, and than I
lefte the shyppe and went to londe, and there I
walked up and downe a good whyle, and than by the
purveyaunce of God there came an otter goynge on his
hynder feet and brought me a flynte stone, and an yren
to smyte fyre with, in his two fore clawes of his feet ;
and also he had aboute his necke grete plente of
fysshes, whiche he cast down before me and went his
waye, and I smote fyre, and made a fyre of styckes,
and dyd sethe the fysshe, by whiche I lyved thre
dayes. And than the otter came agayn, and brought
me fysshe for other thre dayes ; and thus he hath done
Ij. yere, through the grace of God. And there was a
gx'ete stone, out of whiche our Lorde made to sprynge
fayre water, clere and swete, wherof I drynke dayly.
And thus have I lyved this Ij . yere ; and I was Ix. yere
olde whan I came hyther, and am now an hondred and
xj. yere olde, and abyde tyll it please our Lorde to
sende for me ; and if it pleased hym, I wolde fayne be
discharged of this wretched lyfe." And than he bad
saynt Brandon to take of the water of the welle, and
to cai-y it into his shyppe, " for it is tyme that thou de-
parte, for thou hast a grete journey to do; for thou
shalt sayle to an ylonde whiche is xl. dayes saylyng
hens, where thou shalt holde thyn Eester lyke as thou
54 THE PROSE LIFE
hast done to-fore, wher as the tree of byrdes is. And fro
thens thou shalte sayle into the Londc of Byheest, and
shalt abyde there xl. dayes, and after returne home
into thy countree in safete." And than these holy men
toke leve eche of other, and they wepte bothe full sore
and kyssed eche other.
And than saynt Brandon entred into his shyppe,
and sayled xl. dayes even southe, in full grete tempest.
And on Eester even came to theyr procuratour, whiche
made to them good chere, as he had before tyme. And
from thens they came to the grete fysshe, where they
sayd matyns and masse on Eester daye. And whan
the masse was done, the fysshe began to meve, and
swamme forth fast into the see, wherof the monkes
were sore agast which stode upon hym, for it was a
grete mervayle to se suche a fysshe as grete as all a
countree for to swymme so fast in the water ; but by
the wyll of our Lorde God this fysshe set all the
monkes a-londe in the Paradise of Byrdes all hole and
sounde, and than returned to the place that he came
fro. And than saynt Brandon and his monkes thanked
our Lorde God of theyr delyveraunce of the grete
fysshe, and kepte theyr Eestertyde tyll Trinite Son-
daye, lyke as they had done before tyme. And after
this they toke theyr shyppe and sayled eest xl. dayes,
and at the xl. dayes ende it began to hayle ryght
fast, and therwith came a derke myst, whiche lasted
longe after, whiche fered saynt Brandon and his monkes,
and prayed to our Lord to kepe and helpe them.
And than anone came theyr procuratour, and badde
OF ST. BRANDAN. 55
them to be of good chere, for they were come into the
Londe of Byheest. And soone after that myst passed
awaye, and anone they sawe the fayrest countree eest-
warde that ony man myght se, and was so clere and
bryght that it was an hevenly syght to beholde ; and all
the trees were charged with rype fruyte and herbes
full of floures ; in whiche londe they walked xl. dayes,
but they coude se none ende of that londe ; and there
was alwaye daye and never nyght, and the londe
attemperate ne to bote ne to colde. And at the last
they came to a ryver, but they durst not go over.
And there came to them a fayre yonge man, and wel-
comed them curtoysly, and called eche of them by his
name, and dyd grete reverence to saynt Brandon, and
sayd to them, " Be ye now joyfull, for this is the londe
that ye have sought ; but our Lorde wyll that ye departe
hens hastely, and he wyll shewe to you more of his
secretes Avhan ye come agayn into the see ; and our
Lorde wyll that ye lade your shyppe with the fruyte
of this londe, and hye you hens, for ye may no lenger
abyde here, but thou shalt sayle agayne into thyne
owne countree, and soone after thou comest home thou
shalt dye. And this water that thou seest here
departeth the worlde asondre; for on that other syde
of the water may no man come that is in this lyfe.
And the fruyte that ye se is alwaye thus rype every
tyme of the yere, and alwaye it is here lyght as ye now
se ; and he that kepeth our Lordes hestes at all tymes
shall se this londe, or he passe out of this worlde."
And than saynt Brandon and his monkes toke of
66 THE PROSE LIFE OF ST. BRANDAN.
that fruyte as moche as they wolde, and also toke with
them gi'cte plente of precyous stones ; and than toke
theyr leva and went to shyppe, wepynge sore bycause
they myght no lenger abyde tliere. And tlian they toke
theyr shyppe and came home into Yrelonde in safete,
whome theyr bretherne receyved with grete joye,
gyvynge thankynges to our Lorde, whiche had kepte
them all those seven yere fro many a peryll, and
brought them home in safete, to whome be gyven
honour and glory worlde withouten ende. Amen.
And soone after, this holy man saynt Brandon wexed
feble and seke, and had but lytell joye of this world,
but ever after his joye and mynde was in the joyes of
heven. And in shorte tyme after, he, beynge full of
vertues, departed out of this lyfe unto everlastyng
lyfe, and was worshypfully buryed in a fayre abbey,
whiche he hym selfe founded, where our Lorde sheweth
for this holy saynt many fayre myracles. Wherfore
let us devoutly praye to this holy saynt that he praye
for us unto our Lord, that he have mercy on us,
to whom be gyven laude, honour, and empyre, world
withouten ende. Amen.
NOTES TO THE METRICAL LIFE.
P. 1,1. 1. — The name is spelt diversely in the different
MSS. Brendan and Brandan. The commenceinent of our Eng-
lish poem agrees closely with that of the prose English version
here printed, but they differ very much from the original La-
tin, and all the other versions, which give a more exact account
of the family of the saint. — Sanctus Brendanus, filius Finlo-
cha, nepotis Alti de genere Eogeni, e stagnile regione Mimen-
sium ortus fuit.
P. 1, 1. 4. — A thousend monekes.^ So the English prose ver-
sion. The original Latin, and all the other versions, say three
P. 6. — Barint.} The Latin calls him Barintus, nepos Neil
regis. In the prose life he is corruptly called Beryne.
P. 2, 1. 5. — Mernoc.'] The Trin. Col. MS. reads Menrok.
The prose version, probably by a mere error of the printer,
calls him Meruoke.
P. 2, 1. 5. — Mountayne of Stedes, MS. Trin. The Latin
text has juxta Montem Lapidis,
P. 2, 1. 2'A.—Ane lond.] The Trin. Col. MS. reads a nywe
P. 3, 1. 6. — A yung ivan^ The original Latin, and the ver-
sions made immediately from it, have only quidam vir, without
saying anything of his youth.
P. 4, 1. 4. — The Trin. C. MS. reads, agen-ivard he wende
tho, and that.
P. 4, 1. 13.— ,S'w^^.] MS. Tr. C. reads smelle.
P. 4, 1. 14.— /« thof/t he stod, MS. Tr. C. This MS. adds
alter this line the foUowiiijf, wliicli is evidently omitted iu our
text — He thogt fondy thcr-of yf hit were Godes wylle.
P. 4, 1. 17. — We shoukl probably read Tliuse tuclve, as the
line seems at present imperfect. MS. Tr. C has Thes twelve
he chjped to consail. 'J'here are also evidently two lines omit-
ted in cm' text, which should form the commencement of St.
Brandan's address to his monks, and which stand thus in the
Tr. C. MS :—
" Icli thynche to a prive thyng, ther-of ye mote me rede,
To seclie the Londe of Byheste, if oure Lord wole me thuder lede."
The omission has arisen from the number of consecutive
rhymes. In the English prose version the preparations for
voyage are told more briefly.
P. 5, 1. 5. — The Tr. C. MS. reads Hu leten make a strange
schip. The Latin text differs here from our narrative. Trans-
actisjam quadraginta diebus, et salutatis fratribus ac com-
mendatis prseposito raonasterii sui, qui fuit postea successor in
eodem loco, profectus est contra occidentalem plagam cum
quatuordecim fratribus ad insulam cujusdam sancti patris
nomine Aende. Ibi demoratus est tribus diebus et tribus noc-
tibus. Post hfec, accepta benedictione sancti patris et omnimn
monachorum qui cum eo erant, profectus est in ultimam par-
tem regionis suae, ubi demorabantur parentes ejus. Attamen
noluit illos videre, sed cujusdam summitatem montis exten-
dentis se in oceanum, in loco qui dicitur Brendani sedes, as-
cendit, ibique fuit tentorium suum, ubi erat et introitus unius
navis. Sanctus Brendanus et qui cum eo erant, acceptis fer-
ramentis, fecerunt naviculam levissimam, costatam et colum-
natam ex vimine, sicut mos est in illis partibus, et coopem-
erunt cam coriis boviuis ac rubricatis in cortice roborina, lini-
eruntque foris omues juncturas navis, et expendia quadraginta
dicrum ct butirum adpellespra'parandas assimipserunt ad co-
operimentum navis, et ca3tera utcnsilia quse ad iisum vitse
humanae pertinent. Arborem posuenmt in medio navis fixmn,
et velum, et caetera quae ad gubernationem navis pertinent.
This is a curious description of a very primitive ship.
P. 6, 1. 4.— An hulle at the laste, MS. Tr. C.
P. 6, 1. 8. — Hu ivende aboute as moppi/sche men that nuste
wer hu were. MS. Tr. C,
P. 6, 1. 13. — To an halle.'] The Latin has, usque ad unum
oppidum, intrantes autem viderunt aulam magnam. In the
early French version it is, Et sivirent ie chien dusques au chas-
te). Dont entrerent en i. chastel, et virent une grande sale.
The English versions omit the incident of one of the two monks
who followed St. Brandan voluntarily, who stole a bridle of
silver from the hall, and died and was buried in the island.
P. 7, 1. 7. — The Island of Sheep, answering closely to this
description, is described by some of the Arabian geographers
as existing in the western ocean.
P. 8, 1. 7.— Eyre, MS. Tr. C, which adds after this line,
the two following —
" And here wey to here schyp eche after other nome,
God hym thogt levyste was that sonest thyder come."
P. 8, 1. 16. — Jaseom.'] The MS. Tr. C. reads Jastoyn; the
Latin has Jasconius. It has been already observed in the
preface, that the incident of the great fish is founded in the
Arabian voyages of Sinbad. The existence of this great fish
was a very popular legend in the middle ages ; it was doubtless
the Craken of the north. In the medieval bestiaries it is some-
times identified with the whale. The story is the subject of an
Anglo-Saxon poem in the Exeter MS. Philippe de Thaim
gives the same incident in a few lines, adding that the
fish, before rising to the surface, throws the sand of the sea on
its back, which gives it still more the appearance of land, —
" Cetiis ceo est mult grant beste, tut tens en mer converse ;
Le sablun dc mer pront, sur son don I'estent,
Sur mer s'esdrecerat, en pais si esterat.
Li notuners la veit, quide que ille sait,
rioc vait ariver sun cunrei aprester.
Li balain le fu sent e la nef e la gent;
Lores se plungerat, si il pot, si's neierat."
" Cetus is a very great beast, wliicli lives always in the sea ;
it takes the sand of the sea, spreads it on its back, raises itself
Mj) in the sea, and will be without motion. The seafarer sees
it, thinks that it is an island, lands there to prepare his meal.
The whale feels the fire and the ship and the people ; then he
will plunge and drown them, if he can."
See also the account of this monster given in the early Eng-
lish metrical bestiary, printed in the Reliquias AntiquaB, vol. i.
P. 9, 1. 9.— The Tr. C. MS. reads,—
" Tho fley ther up a litel foule, and toward hpn gan te,
As a fythele liis wyngen ferd tho he bygan to fle."
P. 9,1. 16. — This notion relating to the distribution of the
fallen angels, according to the degree in which they had par-
ticipated in Lucifer's crime, was very general in the middle
ages. I have collected together from old writers some extracts
on this subject in my essay on " St. Patrick's Purgatory," p.
90. In the Latin text of our legend the bird says, Nos sumus
de magna ilia ruina antiqui hostis ; sed non peccando aut
consentiendo sumus lapsi, sed Dei pietate praedestinati, nam
ubi sumus crcati, per lapsum istius cum suis satellibus con-
tigit nostra ruina. Deus autem omnipotens, qui Justus est et
verax, suo judicio misit nos in istum locum. Pcenas nonsus-
tiuemus. Pra^sentiam Dei ex parte non videre possumus,
tantum alienavit nos consortio illorum qui steterunt. Vaga-
mur per diversas partes hujus sa^cidi, aeris et firmamenti et
terrarum, sicut et alii spiritus qui mittuntur. Sed in Sanctis
diebus dominicis accipimus corpora talia qute tu vides, et per
Dei dispensationem commoramur hie et laudamus creatorem
P. 11, 1. 8.— Abbey.'] Insulam quae vocatur Ailbei/. Text.
P. 12, 1. 3. — Thother worLI unus turbidus. Text. Lat.
P. 13, 1. 5. — White mores.'] The Latin text has, Et quibus-
dam radicibus incredibilis saporis.
P. 14,1. 1. — Seint Alvey.] Et sancti Ailbei. Text. Lat.
P. 14, 1. 16. — Weved.] An altar. In the next line MS. Tr.
C. reads, iceved, chalys, and croeses. Erant enim altaria de
cristallo, calices et patenae, urceoli, et coetera vasa quae perti-
nebant ad cultum divinum, itidem ex cristallo erant. Text,
P. 15. 1. 13. — Ylle of ankres,] i. e. the isle of hermits, or
anchorites. MS. Tr. C. reads jr/e of auntres. De duobus vero
qui supersunt, unus peregrinabitur in insula quae vocatm*
Anachoritalis ; porro alter morte pessima condempnabitur
apud inferos. Text. Lat.
P. 15, 1. 15. — A furi arewe.] Sagitta ignea. Text. Lat.
The prose English version has misread angel for arrow.
P. 16, 1. 5. — 3Iidewynter.] It is perhaps hardly necessary
to observe that this is the Anglo-Saxon name for Christmas.
P. 16, 1. 16. — Foicelen Parai/s.] Insula quae vocatur Pa-
radisus Avium. Text. Lat. A cm'ious incident of the Latin
legend, where the monks were made ill by drinking water in
another island, is omitted in the English.
P. 16, 1. 18. — Scher-thursdai.] Shere Thmsday, or Maun-
day Thursday, is the Thursday before Easter, when it was the
custom to wash each other's feet in imitation of Christ, which
ceremony was called his mande (or commandment), whence
is derived one of the names given to the day,
P. 17, 1. 25.— Ymoue.] The Tr. C. MS. reads cchon.
P. 19, 1. 15. — Ajin(/red,] i.e. hungry. See the Glossary to
Piers Ploughman. In the original Latin text the monks are
twice exposed to extreme hunger, and on the first occasion re-
lieve themselves by eating of the flesh of the beast which had
been killed. Several incidents in this part of the original story
are omitted in the English version. It would appear also that
in the Latin legend the great beast which had been killed was
the same on whose back they had lit the fire, for Brandan says
to them when they express their fear of the fishes they saw
asleep at the bottom of the sea, — Cur timetis istas bestias?
Nonne omnium bestiarum maxima devorata est ? Sedentes
vos et psallentes soepe in dorsoejus fuistis, et silvam scindistis,
et ignem accendistis, et carnem ejus coxistis.
P. 22, 1. 2. — For a full illustration of the notions relating
to hell and paradise contained in the latter part of this legend
I would refer the reader to the materials I have collected in
the essay on " St. Patrick's Purgatory."
P. 23, 1. 8. — Ambesas.'] A term in the game of dice, fre-
quently used in medieval writers, which shows the great pre-
valence of gambling in the middle ages.
P. 26, 1. 7. — And oure Loverdes pans ier.] It was a preva-
lent notion in the middle ages that Judas was the pursebearer
of Christ and his disciples, and that his avarice and dishonesty
was partly the cause of his ruin. A curious early fragment
on this subject is printed in the Reliquiae Antiquae, vol. i. p. 144.
In the " Chester Mysteries " he is made to take ofi^ence at the
extravagance of the Magdalene in lavishing so much money
on a pot of ointment. In the Latin text of the legend of
St. Brandan, Judas is represented as haWng been the cham-
berlain of the Saviom* — quando fui camerarius Domini. In
the French version it is, Quandje ftiicambrelens men Signeur.
P. 30, 1. 21. — The Latin text gives his age somewhat dif-
ferently. Nonagenarius enim sum in hac insula, et triginta
annis in victu piscium, et sexaginta in victu illius fontis, et
quinquaginta fui in patria mea ; omnes enim anni vitffi mese
sunt centum quinquaginta.
P. 34, 1. 11. — An abbei.^ This abbey was Cluain-fert or
Clonfert, in the county of Galway, where it is pretended
that St. Brandau was buried in the year 576. See Archdall,
Monast. Hibern. p. 278.
P. 36, 1. 11. — In a visyon.'] The prose version is here rather
confused, and the writer appears imintentionally to have over-
looked part of the original. It would seem here as though the
voyage of Barintus was nothing more than a vision, which
certainly was not the writer's meaning.
RICHARDS, ST. M.\ETIN'S LANE.
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN.
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN;
NOW FIRST PUBLISHED,
FROM MSS. AT LINCOLN AND CAMBRIDGE.
JAMES ORCHARD HALLIWELL, ESQ., F.R.S.
UON. M.B.I.A., HON. M.R.S.L.,
And Conesjionding Member of the Coniite des Arts et Monuments.
FEINTED FOR THE PERCY SOCIETY,
BY T.RICHARDS, 100, ST. MARTIN'S LANE.
€\)t ierfp Society*
The Et. Hon. LORD BRAYBROOKE, F.S.A.
THOMAS AMYOT, Esq. F.R.S. Treas. S.A.
WILLIAM HENRY BLACK, Esq.
WILLIAM CHAPPELL, Esq. F.S.A.
J. PAYNE COLLIER, Esq. F.S.A.
C. PURTON COOPER, Esq. Q.C, F.R.S., F.S.A.
PETER CUNNINGHAM, Esq.
J. H. DIXON, Esq.
WILLIAM JERDAN, Esq. F.S.A., M.R.S L.
CAPTAIN JOHNS, R.M.
T. J. PETTIGREW, Esq. F.RS., F.S.A.
LEWIS POCOCK, Esq. F.S.A.
SIR CUTHBERT SHARP.
WILLIAM SANDYS, Esq. F.S.A.
WILLIAM J. THOMS, Esq. F.S.A.
THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. MA., F.S.A , Stcrelary unci
When Weber printed the romance of Octovian
from MS. Cotton. Calig. A. ii., he was not aware
that the other copy which he mentioned as exist-
ing at Cambridge, in MS. More 690, was an
entirely different version, or rather translation, of
the French original. This fact was also unknown
to Conybeare, who published an analysis of the
Anglo-Norman romance, although with more cau-
tion, he alludes to it as " another poem with the
same title ;"" referring to Warton, who had pre-
viously noticed that the commencing lines of the
two MSS. differed. It does not, however, appear
that either Percy, or any of these writers, had
examined the Cambridge version, and as it com-
pletely differs from the other in its composition,
and occasionally in the conduct of the story, it
appeared to the editor well worthy of publication ;
and in the course of his task, he has had the
advantage of comparing the text with another
copy of the same version preserved in the Thorn-
ton manuscript, a very valuable volume in the
library of Lincoln Cathedral. The principal va-
riations afforded by the Lincoln MS. will be found
in the notes.
Only one copy of the French original is known
to exist, a poem of about 5600 lines, in a MS. on
vellum of the fourteenth century, in the Bodleian
library, MS. Hatton 100. It commences as
follows : —
/fi commence la romanz cle Othevien, empereor de Rome.
Seigneor, preudora, or escoutes,
Qui les bones chancons am^s ;
D'lme tant bone oir porres,
Ja de ineilleor dire n'orrcs,
Des grans niervcilles qui sunt f'aites,
Et de Latin en Romanz traites.
Apres un jor qui jadis fu,
Ot a Paris un roi cremu,
Qui Dragonbers fu apeles.
Plus fiers home de lui ne fu nes,
Ne niiex seust terre tcnir,
Ne ses anemis estormir.
Farame prist de grant renon,
Gente de cors et de fo^on.
Un pere avoit de fier corage,
Car moult estoit de haut lingnage,
Mult durement estoit preudon ;
Loteires fu nomes par non.
Dagonbers dont m'oies center,
Fist Sain Denis faire fonder.
Mult ama Diex mult fermemcnt ;
Loteires fu de mult grant aage,
Et se clici en grant malage.
Famme pristuoit a sa fil doner,
Et de le roiaiime coroner.
From the sixth line it appears that the tale
was originally composed in Latin ; and this is
partially confirmed by the following passage in
Weber''s version : —
" Be Seyne water, seyd the Latin,
Maryners liym broghte to the maryn
Of Gene cost."
But the French is also referred to in the same
piece, and there can be little doubt that both the
English versions were derived immediately from-
There are several early notices of this romance
in English writers. William Nassyngton, in his
" Mirrour of Life/' written before the year 1384,
thus alludes to it : —
" I warne jow ferst ate henyngnyng,
I wyl make 50W no veyn carpyng
Of dethes, of arnies, ne of amours,
As doth menstrale and jestoures,
That maketh carpyng in many place
Of Octovyane and Ysambrace,
And of many other gestes.
Namely when they cum to festes ;
Ne of the lyf of Bewis of Hamptoun,
That was a knyjt of gret renoun,
Ne of syre Gy of Werewyke,
Alle-jif hit myjte som men lyke."
MS. Budl. 48, f. 47.
And in the anonymous translation of Colonna,
MS. Laud. 595, f. 1, it is included in a very ex-
tensive list of the " romaunces of pris," as well as
in a similar enumeration in Richard Coer de Lion,
It is conjectured by Tyrwhitt that Chaucer also
alludes to the romance of Octavian in the follow-
ing passage : —
" Aiionriglit whan I herdin that,
How that they wolde on -huii tinge gone,
I was right glad, and up anone
I toke my horse, and forth I wente
Out of chambre. 1 nevir stente
Tyl I come to the felde without ;
There ovirtoke I a grete rout
Of huntirs and of foresters,
And many relaies and limers,
That hied hem to the forest fast.
And I with hem ; so at the last
I askid one lad, a lymere,
' Say, felowe, who shal huntin here?'
Quod I ; and he answered ayen,
" Sir, the emperour Octovijen"
Quod he, ' and he is here faste by.' "
The Dreme of Chaucer, 3(58.
And he quotes a passage in an inventory of 2
Hen. VI, where mention is made of a piece of
tapestry which was ornamented with the story of
Le Octacion roy de Rome, as having been in the
palace of Henry V.
Bagford, MS. Harl. 5905, f. 17, mentions a
printed edition of the English version of Octa-
vian. He thus describes it : — " Octavyan, the
emperour of Rome, a romanse in rime ; a man
and horse in complete armour, with a dogge run-
ing ; imprented at London, in Flet Strete, at the
signe of the Sonne, in q,, no date ; a well printed
booke." No copy of it is now known to exist,
but it was in all probability the version now print-
ed, that in the Cottonian MS. being in a peculiar
and original stanza. According to Weber, a
G-erman translation of the romance in prose forms
at present one of the most popular story-books
among the peasants of that country, but the
earliest copy he had seen was dated in 1587.
It is scarcely necessary to observe that the
following romance has nothing to do with the
genuine history of the Roman emperor whose
name it bears. In the Cambridge manuscript,
now marked Ff. ii. 38, his name is spelt Octavyan^
which is my reason for ad opting a similar ortho-
graphy, to distinguish this from Weber's version.
This MS. is the one referred to by Percy, War-
ton, and others, as MS. More 690, and a de-
scription of it will be found in a volume of early
metrical romances which I am now editing for
the Camden Society. The Lincoln MS. is also
described in the same work, and in Sir F. Mad-
den's Introduction to " Syr Gavvayne." To this
latter work I was indebted for my first know-
ledge of the Lincoln copy.
Conybcare's analysis of the French romance
was printed privately and anonymously, 8vo.
Oxford, 1809, with notes and illustrations. To
that work I refer for a more complete account of
the Hatton MS. than could consistently be given
in this place. It differs in several particulars
from the English versions, but the main conduct
of the tale is the same in all. The name of the
author does not appear in any part of the poem,
but it seems probable that it was written in En-
gland, from the fact that St. George, and not St.
Denys, is introduced as the champion of the
The tale of Sir Aldingar in the Percy manu-
script, contains an incident very similar to that
related at the commencement of the following
romance ; and perhaps the reader may not object
to have the opportunity of making the compa-
rison. It may be observed that it is an incident of
frequent recurrence in medieval fiction. Weber
refers to Hugh le Blond as well as to Sir Aldingar.
The latter commences as follows : —
" Our king- he kept a false steward,
Sir Aldingar they him call ;
A falser steward than he was one,
Serv'd not in bower or hall.
He wolde have layne by our comely queen,
Her dear worship to betray ;
Our queen she was a good woman,
And evermore said him nay.
Sir Aldingar was wroUi in his mind,
With her he was never content,
Till traiterous means he could devise,
In a fire to have her brent.
Ther came a lazar to the king's gate,
A lazar both blind and lame ;
He took the lazar upon his back,
Him on the queen's bed has lain.
" Lie still, lazar, whereas thou liest,
Look thou go not hence away ;
I'll make thee a whole man and a sound,
In two hours of the day."
Then went him forth Sir Aldingar,
And hied him to our king ;
" If I might have grace, as I have space,
Sad tidings I could bring."
" Say on, say on. Sir Aldingar,
Say on the sothe to me !"
" Our queen hath chosen a new true love,
And she will have none of thee.
" If she had chosen a right good knight,
The less had been her shame ;
But she hath chose her a lazar man,
A lazar both blind and lame."
"If this be true, thou Aldingar,
The tydyng thou tcllcst to me ;
Then will 1 make thee a rich rich knight,
Rich both of "old and fee.
" But if it he false, Sir Aldingar,
As God now grant it be !
Thy body, I swear liy the holy rood,
Shall hang on the gallows tree !"
He brought our king to the queen's chamber,
And open'd to him the door.
" A lodlye love," king Flany says,
" For our queen dame Elinore !"
" If thou were a man, as thou art none.
Here on my sword thou'st die;
But a pair of new gallows shall be built,
And there shalt thou hang on hye !"
Forth then hyed our king i-wysse.
And an angry man was hee ;
And soone he found queene Elinore,
That bird* so bright of blee.
" Now God you save, our queen, madam,
And Christ you save and see ;
Here you have chosen a new true love,
And you will have none of me.
" If you had chosen a right good knight,
The less had been your shame ;
But you have chose you a lazar m<an,
A lazar both blind and lame.
"Therefore a fire there siiall be built.
And brent all shalt thou be !"
" Now, out alack !" said our comely queen,
" Sir Aldingar's false to me !"
* Dr. Percy reads bride.
Now out alack !" said our comely queen,
" My heart with grief will l)rast !
I had thought sweveiis had never been true,
I have proved them true at last.
" I dreamt in my s woven on Thursday eve,
In my bed whereas I lay ;
I dreamt a grype and a grimly beast,
Had carried my crown away !'
In the old romance of the Erie of Tolous, as
in OctavJan, the lady's presumed guilt is proved
to the satisfaction of the court by conveying a
boy into her chamber while she was asleep. Simi-
lar instances of coincidence will present themselves
to the reader of old romances ; and the incident
of the lioness's attachment to the child is found
in several tales under very slightly varying forms.
J. 0. Halliwell.
August Srd, 1844.
THE EMPEROR OOTAVIAN.
Lytyll and mykyll, olde and yonge,
Lystenyth now to my talkynge,
Of whome y wylle yow lytlie.
Jliesu, Lorde, of hevyn kynge,
Grawnt ns alle hys blessyuge, 5
And make us gladd and blytlie !
Sotlie sawys y wylle yow mynge
Of whom the worde wyde can sprynge,
Yf ye wyUe lystyn and lythe ;
Yn bokys of ryme hyt ys tolde, lo
How hyt befelle owre eldurs olde,
"Welle oftyn sythe.
Some tyme feUe aventure,
In Rome thei' was an emperowre,
In Romans as we rede ; 15
He was a man of grete favour,
He levyd in yoye and gret honour,
And doghty was in dede.
THK ROMANCE OF
111 turnament and yii f'yglit,
Yn the woi'klc was not a bettur knyglit 20
Then he was undur Avede :
Octavyan liys name hyght,
He was a man of moche myght,
And bolde at every ncde.
An emperes he had to wyfe, 25
The feyrest that myght here lyfe,
These clerkys seyn soo ;
Vij. yere togedur had they ben,
Wyth yoye and game them betwene,
And othur myi'thys moo. ^"^
Tho the vij. yerys were alle goon,
Chylde myght they gete noon,
That tyme betwene them twoo,
That aftur hym hys londes schukle welde ;
Therfore grete sorowe drewe them to ekle : =^-'
Yn herte he was fulle woo.
The emperowre on a day.
In hys bedd as he lay
Wyth hys lady bryght,
He behelde hur feyre lere, 40
That was bryght os blossom on brere,
And semely in hys syght.
A sorowe to hys herte ranue.
That chylde togedur they my5t noon lian,
Hys londe to yeve and ryght j 15
Be hys lady as he sete.
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 3
For woo hjs chekys waxe alle wete,
That was so liende a knyght.
When the lady can hyt see,
Chaunge sche dud hur feyre blee, 50
And syghyd wondur sare :
Sche felle on kneys hyiu agayne,
And of hys sorowe sche can hym frayne,
And of hys mekylle care.
" For yf that hyt were yowre wylle, 55
Yowre counselle for to schewe me tylle,
Of yowre ly vys fare,
Ye wott y am yonre worldys fere,
Youre thoght to me ye myght dyskever,
Youre comfort were the mare." ^0
In hys armes he can hur folde,
And hys cownselle to hur tolde.
And of hys hertys wownde ;
"Now have we vij. ye're togedur byn.
And we no chylde have us betwen,
And here we schalle not leve but a stownde.
Y wott not how thys londe schalle fare.
But leve in warre, in sorowe, and care,
When we are broght to grownde ;
Therfore y have so mekylle thoght,
That when y am to bedd broght,
Y slepe but selden sownde."
Tlian answei-yd that lady bryght,
" Syr, y can yow rede aryght.
THE ROMANCE OP'
Yf yow no tliyng to ylle ; ^5
A ryclie abbey sclialle we make,
For owre clere lady sake,
And londys geve tliei'-tylle.
Sche wylle prey hur Sone feyre
That we togedur may have an heyre, 80
Thys londe to welde at wylle."
They let make an abbey thoo ;
The lady was with chyldren twoo,
As hyt was Goddys wylle.
Wyth chylde waxe the lady there ; 85
Grete sche was with peynys sore,
That was bothe hende and free,
Tyll tyme felle that hyt was soo,
The lady had men chyldren two,
That semely were to see. ^^
Tythyngys come to the emperowre,
As he lay in hys towre ;
A gladd man was hee !
Two maydeuys the errande hym broght ;
Wythowt gyftys yede they noght, ^^
Eytlier he gafe townys three.
The emperowre was fiille blythe of mode ;
To hys chapelle swythe he yode,
And thanked God of hys sonde ;
Yerly when the day can sprynge, ^^O
A preest he dud a masse synge ;
Hys modur there he fonde.
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAX. 5
" Sone," sche seyde, " y am blythe
That the emperes schalle have lyve,
And leve wyth us in londe ; 1^^
But moche sorowe deryth mee,
That Rome schalle wi'ong-heyred bee,
In unkynde lionde."
" Modur," he seyde, " why sey ye soo ?
Now have we men-chyldren two, no
Y-thankyd be Goddys wylle !"
" Nay," sche seyde, " sone myne,
Ther ys never neytliyr of them thjn,
That lykyth me fulle ylle !
For thou myght no chylde have, 115
Thy wyfe hath take a cokys knave,
That wylle y prove be skylle."
A sorowe to the emperowrs herte ranue.
That worde cowde he speke noon,
But yede awey fulle stylle. 120
To hys chapelle forthe he yode,
And at hys masse stylle he stode,
As man that was in care.
The emperowrs modur let calle a knave.
And hym behett grete mede to have, i'2o
A thowsande pownde and mare ;
To the chaumbur the knave toke the way,
There as the emperes in chylde-bedd lay.
Alle slepte that thei'e Avare ;
For-why they had wakyd longe, 130
THE ROMANCE OF
In peynys and in sorowe stronge,
Or sche were delyvyrd thare.
" Haste the, knave, wyth alle thy myght,
Prevely that thou were dyght.
And that thou were uncladd ; 135
Softly be hur yn thou crepe,
That thou wake hur not of hur slepe,
For seke sche ys be-stadd."'
Hastyly was the knave uncladd ;
In he went, as sche hym badd, '40
Into the ryche bedde ;
And evyr he drewe hym away,
For the ryches that he in lay.
Sore he was a-dredd.
The emperowrs modur awey went than : i^^
To hur sone swytlie sche wan,
At masse there as he stode.
" Sone," sche seyde, " thou trowest not me ;
Now thou mayste the sothe see."
To the chaumbur wyth hur he yode. 1-50
When he sawe that syght, tlian
Sorowe to hys herte ranne.
And nerehonde waxe he wode ;
The knave he slewe in the bedd,
The ryche clothys were alle be-bledd 155
Of that gyltles blode.
Evyr lay the lady faste aslepe,
A dylfulle swevyu can sche mete.
THE EMPEROR OCT.AVIAX. 7
That was so swete a wyght :
Sche thoglit sche was in wylclyrnes, l^^
Yn tliornes and in derkenes,
That sche myght have no syght.
There come fleyng ovyr the stronde
A dragon, alle with fyi-e brennand,
That alle the londe was bryght ; 165
In hys palmes, alle brennyng bloo,
Up he toke hur chyldren twoo,
And away he toke hys flyght.
When the lady can awake,
A dylfuUe gi'onyng can sche make ; ^''O
The lasse was hur care !
The emperowre toke up the grome,
The herre in hys honde he nome,
The hede smote of thare.
He caste hyt ageyne into the bedd, 1^5
The ryche clothys were alle be-bledd,
Of redd golde there they ware :
The grete treson that there was wroght,
The lady slept and wyste hyt noght,
Hur comfort was the mare. 180
Wordys of thys were spoke no moo
Tylle the emperes to churche was goo,
As lawe was in lede ;
The emperowre made a festo, y iindurstonde,
Of kyngys that were of ffarrc londe, i^o
And lordys of dyvers stede.
TlIK ROMANCH 01'
The kyng of Calabur, withowt lees,
Tliat tlic ladys ffadur was,
Thctliur was he bede ;
AUe they semblyd on a day, ^"^
Wyth myrtlie, game, and with play,
Whan the lady to churche yede.
Kyngys dwellyd then alle in same ;
There was yoye and moche game,
At that grete mangery ; ^^^
Wyth gode metys them amonge,
Harpe, pype, and meiy songe,
Bothe lewte and sawtre.
When the vij. nyght was alle goon,
AVyth alle-kyn welthe in that won, 200
And mery mynstralsy ;
Ther was never so ryche a getherynge.
That had so sory a pertynge,
I wylle yow telle for-why.
Grete dele hyt ys to telle, 205
On the ix*^*^ day what befelle ;
Lystenyth, and ye schalle here.
The emperowre to chaumbur yode,
Alle the kyngys abowte hym stode
Wyth fuUe gladd chere. 210
The emperowre seyde there he can stonde,
Soche aventure felle in that londe,
Of a lady in that yere,
Wyth soche a treson was take and teynl ;
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 9
He askycl when inaner jugement 215
That sche worthy wei'e.
When the emperowre had hjs tale tolde,
The kyng of Cah^bui* answere wolde,
He wyste not what hyt mente ;
He seyde, " Hyt ys worthy, for hur sake, 220
"Wythowt the cyte a fyre to make,
Be ryghtwyse yugement ;
When the fyre were brennyng faste,
Sche and hur ij. chykben therin to be caste,
And to dethe to be brente." 225
The emperowre answeryd hym fuUe sone,
" Thyn own doghtur hyt hath done,
Y holde to thyn assent !"
There was dele and grete pyte ;
A feyre they made withowt the cyte, 230
Wyth brondys brennyng alle bryght.
To the fyre they ledd that lady thare.
Two squyers hur chyldren bare,
That semely were in syght ;
In a kyrtulle of Scarlett redd, 235
In the fyre to take hur dedd
Redy was sche dyght.
The kyng of Calabur made evylle chere.
For dele he my3t not stonde hys doghtur nere ;
There wept bothe kynge and knyght. 240
The lady sawe no bettur redd,
But that sche schulde be dedd
10 THE ROMANCE OP
That day upon tlie fylde ;
Wytli sory liert, the sotlie to telle,
Before the empci'owre on kneys sche felle, '-•''
And bothe hur hondys uphelde.
" Grawnt me, Lorde, for Jhesu sake,
Oon oryson that y may make
To Hym that alle may welde ;
And sythen on me do yowre wylle, '^-'^
What dethe that ye wylle put me tylle,
Therto y wylle me jelde."
The lady on hur kneys hur sett,
To Jhesu Cryste fulle sore sche wepte,
What wondur was hy t thogh she were woo ! '^55
"Jhesu," sche seyde, "kynge of blysse,
Thys day thou me rede and wysse,
And hevene qwene alsoo.
IMary, raayden and modur free,
My preyer wylle y make to thee, 260
For my chyldren twoo ;
As thou lett them be borne of mee,
Grawnt that they may crystenyd bee,
To dethe or that they goo."
Kyngys and qwenys abowte hur were, 265
Ladys felle in swownyng there,
And knyghtys stode wepande ;
The emperowre hiu* lorde stode hur nere,
The terys tryllyd downe on hys lere,
Fulle sory can he stande. 270
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 11
The emperowre spake a worde of pyte,
" Dame, tliy dethe y wylle not see,
Wyth herte notliiir wytli liande."
The emperowre gaf hur leve to goo,
And wyth hur to take hur chyldren two, 275
And flee owt of hys londe.
The emperowre gaf hur xl. pownde
Of fflorens that were rownde,
In yeste as we rede ;
And betoke hur knyghtys twoo, 280
And gaf hur the golde, and badd hur goo
Owt of hys londe to lede.
The knyghtys the chyklren bare,
There the hye weyes ware.
And forthe fulle swythe they yede ; 385
The kyngys from the parlement,
Eche man to hys own londe went.
For sorowe ther hertys can blede.
Tho the lady come to a wyldurnes,
That fulle of wylde bestys was ; 290
The wode was grete and streyght.
The knyghtys toke hur there the chyldren twoo,
And gaf hur the golde, and badd hur goo
The way that lay forthe ryght.
They badd hur holde the hye strete, 295
For drede of wylde beestys for to mete,
That mekylle were of myght ;
Ageyne they went with sory mode.
12 TIIH ROMAN'CE OP'
The l;uly alooii furtlie sche yode,
As a wofullc Avyght. 300
So had sche vvcpte there beforne,
That the ryght wey had sche lonie,
So moche sche was in thoght ;
Ynto a wode was veryly thykk,
There clevys were and weyes wyck, 306
And hur wey fonde sche noght.
Yn a clyfF undur an hylle
There sche fonde a fuUe feyre welle,
In an lierber redy wroglit ;
Wytli olyfe treys was the herber sett : ^'O
The hidy sett hur downe and wepte,
Further myght sche noght.
The lady by the welle hur sett,
To Jhesu Cryste sore sche grett ;
No further myght sche gone. 315
" Lorde kynge," sche seyde, " of hevyn blys,
Thys day thou me rede and wysse,
Fulle weyle y am of won.
Mary modur, maydyn free,
]My preyer wylle y make to the, 320
Thou mende my sorowfulle mone !
So fulle y am of sorowe and care,
That thre dayes are goon and mare
That mete ete y noon."
Be that sche had hur chyldren dyght, 325
Ilyt was woxe derke nyght,
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 13
As sche sate be the welle ;
In the erber downe sche lay
Tylle hyt was dawnyng of the day,
That fowlys herde sche jelle. 3^0
There came an ape to seke hur pray,
Hur oon chylde sche bare away
On an hye hylle ;
What wondur was thogh sche were woo ?
The ape bare the chylde hur froo ! 335
In swownyng downe sche felle.
In alle the sorowe that sche in was,
There come rennyng a lyenas,
Os wode as sche Avolde wede ;
In swownyng as the lady lay, 340
Hur wodur chylde sche bare away,
Hur whelpys wyth to fede.
What wondur was thogh sche woo ware ?
The wylde beestys hur chyldyr away bare.
For sorowe hur herte can blede ! 315
The lady sett hur on a stone
Besyde the welle, and made hur mone.
And syghyng forthe sche yede.
There came a fowle that was feyre of flyght,
A gryffyn he was callyd be ryght, 350
Ovyr the holtys hore ;
The fowle was so moche of myght,
That he wolde bare a knyght,
Welle armyd thogh he ware.
14 THE ROMANCE OF
The lycnas witli the ehyhh; tij) toke he, •*■"'■'-'
And into an yle of the see
Bothc he them bare ;
The chylde slept in the lyenas mowthe,
Of wele nor wo notliyng hyt knowyth,
But God kepe hyt from care. 300
Whan the lyenas had a fote on londe,
Hastyly sche can up-stonde,
As a beste that was stronge and wylde ;
Thorow Goddes grace the gryffyn she slowe,
And sythen ete of the flesche y-nowe, 305
And leyde hur downe be the chylde.
The chylde soke the lyenas,
As hyt Goddys wylle was,
"Whan hyt the pappys feled ;
And when the lyenas began to wake, 370
Sche lovyd the chylde for hur whelpys sake,
And therwith sche was fulle mylde.
Wyth hur fete schie made a denne,
And leyde the lytulle chylde theryn,
And kepte hyt day and nyght ; ^/o
And, when the lyenas hungurd sore,
Sche ete of the gryifyn more.
That afore was stronge and wyght.
As hyt was Goddys owne wylle.
The lyenas belafte the chylde stylle ; 380
The chylde was feyre and bryght.
The lady sett hur on a stone
Besyde the welle, and made hur mone.
As a wofiiUe wyght.
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 1 5
"Jhesii," sclie seyde, "kynge of blys, ^sj
Thys clay tliou me rede and wysse!
Of alle kyngys thou art flowre !
As y was kyngys doghtur and qwene,
And emperes of Rome have bene,
Of many a ryche towre. 390
Tliorow the lesyng that ys on me wi'oght,
To moche sorowe y am broght,
And owt of myn honowre ;
The worldys wele y have forlorne,
And my two chyldren be fro me borne, Sfto
Thys lyfe y may not dewre !
" Lorde, the sorowe that y am yune,
Welle y wot hyt ys for my synne :
Welcome be thy sonde !
To the worlde y wylle me never yeve, -^^^
But serve the, Lorde, whylle y leve,
Into the Holy Londe."
Downe be an hylle the wey she name,
And to the Grekeysch see sche came.
And walkyd on the stronde ; ^^^
Beforne hur an haven there she sye,
And a cete wytli towrys hye
Alle redy there sche fonde.
When sche come to the ryche towne,
A schyppe sche fonde alle redy bowne -HO
Wyth pylgrymys fortlie to fare ;
Sche badd the schyppmau golde and fee,
16 THE ROMANCE OF
In liys schypp that sche myght bee,
Yf hys wylle ware.
A bote they sende ovyr the flodc ^u
To the lady there sche stode,
A wyght man in hur bare ;
By the maste they badd hur sytte,
Of hur wo myght no man wytt,
But evyr sche wept fulle sare. 420
The schypp come be an yle syde,
The schyppman bade them there abyde,
" Fresche watur have we none."
Besyde them was a roche hye,
A welle feyre welle there they sye 425
Come strykyng ovyr a stone.
Two men to the londe they sente ;
Up by the streme they wente,
The welle they fonde anone.
A lyenas lay in hur denne, 430
And was fulle fayne of tho two men,
Anon sche had them slon.
So long on ankyr can they i*yde,
The two men for to abyde,
Tylle none was on the day ; 435
Xij. men anon can they dyght,
Wyth helmes and hawberkys bryght,
To londe than wente they.
They fonde the lyenas denne,
A man-chylde lyeng therynne, 4 to
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 17
Wyth the lyenas to pley ;
Sometyme liyt soke the lyenas pappe,
And sometyme they can kysse and cleppe :
For fere they fledd away.
They yede and tolde what they sye, 445
They fonde on the roche on hye
A lyenas in hur denne,
A man-chylde ther in lay,
AVyth the lyenas to play,
And dedd were bothe ther men. 450
Then spake the lady mylde,
" Mercy, lordyngys, that ys my chylde !
On londe ye let me renne."
The bote they sente over the flode,
To londe allone the lady yode, 455
Sore wepeyd the schypman than !
When sche came on the roche on hyght,
Sche ranne, whylle sche myght,
Wyth fulle sory mode;
The lyenas, thorow Goddys grace, 460
When sche sye the ladyes face,
Debonerly stylle sche stode.
Thorow the myght of Mary mylde,
Sche suffurd hur to take up the chylde,
And wyth the lady to the see she yode ; 465
When the schypmen the lyenas sye.
The londe durste they not come nye,
For feere they were nye wode !
18 THE ROMANCE OF
Some hente an oorc, and some a sprytt,
The lycnas for to mcete, 470
Owt of tlier schyppe to were ;
The lady ynto the schyp wente,
XXX. fote the lyenas aftur sprente,
Ther durste no man hur yn here.
There men myght game see, 47/»
xl. men lepe ynto the see,
So ferde of the lyenas they were!
By the lady the lyenas downe lay,
And with the chylde can sche play.
And no man wolde sche dere. ^^
They drewe up seyle of ryche hewe,
The wynde owt of the havyn them hlewe,
Ovyr the wanne streme ;
The furste londe that they sye
"Was a cete wyth towrys hye, ^^
That hyght Jerusalem.
As glad they were of that syght,
As fowlys be of day lyght.
And of the sonne leme ;
When hyt was ebbe and not flode, ^^o
The schypmen and the lady to londe yode
Into that ryche realme.
Ovyr alle the cyte wyde and longe,
Of thys lady worde ther spronge,
That there on londe was lende ; ^^^
How sche had a lyenas
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 19
Broght owt of wyldurnes ;
The kynge aftur hur sende.
The kynge bad hur lett for nothynge,
And the lyeuas with hur brynge, ^oo
To the castelle there nere-honde ;
When that sche before hym come,
For the emperyce of ryche Rome
Fulle welle he hur kende.
The kynge frayned hur of hur fare, ^05
And sche hym tolde of moche care,
As a wofuUe wyght ;
With hys quene he made hur to dwelle,
And maydenys redy at hur wylle,
To serve hur day and nyght. ^lo
The chylde that was so feyi'e and free,
The kynge let hyt crystenyd bee,
Octavyon he hyght ;
When the chylde was of elde,
That he cowde ryde and armys welde, ^'^
The kynge dubbyd hym knyght.
The lyenas that was so wylde,
Sche levyd with the lady mylde,
Hur comfort was the more ;
The lady was wyth the quene, ^20
With myrthe and game them betwene,
To covyr hur of hur care.
Eche oon servyd hur day and nyght,
To make hur gladd with alle ther myght,
20 THE ROMANCE OF
Tylle liyt bettur ware. ^25
In Jerusalem can the lady dwelle,
And of hur odur chylde y can yow telle,
That the ape away bare.
Now corayth the ape that was wylde,
Thorow the forest with the chylde, ''''^^
Be the holtys hoore ;
As the ape come over the strete,
With a knyght can sche meete,
That chylde as sche bai-e.
There faght the knyjt wondur longe 535
With the ape that was so stronge,
Hys swyrde brake he thare !
The ape then awey ranne,
The knyjt there the chylde wanne,
And on hys way can he fare. ^^^
Forthe rode the kny3t with the chylde then,
And yn the foreste he mett owtlawys x..
That moche were of myght ;
The knyjt jyt was never so wo,
For hys swerde was brokyn yn two, 54-5
That he ne myjt with them fyght.
Tliogli the knyjt were kene and thro.
The owtlawys wanne the chylde hym fro,
That was so swete a wyght ;
The knyjt was woundyd so that day, ^50
Unnethe hys hors bare hym away.
So delefully was he dyght.
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 21
The owtlawys set them on a grene,
And leyde the lytylle chylde them betwene }
The chylde upon them loghe. *''*
The maystyr owtlawe seyde then,
" Hyt were grete schame for hardy men,
Thys chylde here and we sloghe ;
I rede we here hyt here besyde,
To a ryche cyte with grete pryde, ^^^
And do we hyt no woghe ;
Hyt ys so feyre and gentylle borne,
That we myjt have therforne
Golde and sylvyr y-noghe."
Then ij. of them made them yare, *65
And to the cyte the chylde they bare.
That was so swete a wyght ;
Ther was no man that the chylde sye,
But that they wepte with ther eye.
So feyre hyt was be syght. ^'O
A burges of Parys came them nere,
That had be palmer vij. yere,
Clement the velayn he hyght :
" Lordynges," he seyde, " wyUe ye thys chylde
" Ye, who wyUe us golde and sylvyr telle, ^75
Floryns brode and bryght."
For xl. li. the chylde selle they wolde;
Clement seyde, " Longe y may hym holde,
Or y hym selle may ;
Y swere yow, lordynges, be my hode, ^80
22 THE ROMANCE OF
I trowc ye can fulle lytylle gode,
Soche wordys for to say.
Golde and sylver ys to me fulle nede,
XX. U. y wyllc yow bede,
And make yow redy paye." 686
The chylde they to Clement yolde,
XX. li. he them tolde,
And wente forthe on hys way.
When Clement had the chylde boght,
A panyer he let be wroght, 590
The chylde yn to lede ;
A nurse he gate hym also
Into Fraunce with hym to go,
The chylde for to fede.
Home he toke the wey fulle ryght, 59-5
And hastyd hym with alle hys myght,
That was hys beste rede ;
Burgeys of Parys were fulle fayne,
Many wente Clement agayne,
A sklavyn was hys wede. ^oo
They callyd Clement and kyssyd hym alle,
And broght hym home to hys haUe ;
Hys wyfe therof was blythe.
Sche askyd hym the ryght dome
How he to the chylde come ; .605
He tolde hur fulle swythe,
" In Jerusalem there y hym gete,
For there wolde y hym not lete,
The sothe y wylle the kythe."
THE EMPEROR OCT A\T[AN. 23
The wyfe answeryd, with herte mylde, 6io
" Hyt schalle be myn own chylde,"
And kyssyd hyt many a sythe.
" Dame," seyde Clement, " whylle y palmer was,
Thys chylde y gate with my flesche
In the hethen thede ; •51-5
Into thys londe y have hym broght,
For- why that thou wylt greve the noght,
FuUe ryche schalle be thy mede."
The wyfe answeryd with herte fre,
" Fulle welcome, syr, hyt ys to me ; ^20
Fulle welle y schalle hym fede,
And kepe hym with my chylde,
Tylle that he come of elde.
And clothe them yn oon wede."
Clement than was fulle blythe, ^-^
And let crysten hym fulle swythe ;
Hyt was taryed that nyght.
In the jeste, as hyt ys tolde.
The ryght name he hym calde,
Florent be name he hyght ; ^'^^
Whan the chylde was vij. yere olde,
Hyt was feyre, wyse, and bolde,
The man that redyth aryght :
Thorow the realme of Fraunce wyde and longe
Of thys chylde the worde spronge, ^'^-^
So feyre he was be syght.
24 THE ROMANCE OF
Evyr the burges and hys wyfe
Lovyd the chyhle as ther lyfe,
To them he was fuUe dere ;
Tylle the chylde was vij. yere olde and more, ^^^
The burges set hym to lore,
To be a cliaungcre.
Clement toke the chylde oxen two,
And bad hym to the brygge go,
To be a bochere, ®'*-5
To lerne hys crafte for to do ;
And hys kynde was nevyr therto,
Soche games for to lere.
As Florent to the brygge can go,
Dryvyng forthe hys oxen two, ^^o
He sawe a semely syght ;
A squyer, as y schalle yow telle,
A jentylle fawcon bare to seUe,
Wyth fedurs folden bryght.
Florent to the sqixyer yede, '^*^
Bothe hys oxen he can hym bede
For the fawcon lyght ;
The squyer therof was fuUe blythe
For to take the oxen swythe,
And gave hym the fawcon ryght. ^60
The squyer therof was fulle gladd.
When he tho oxen taken had.
And hyed owt of syght;
And Florent to fle was fulle fayne,
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 25
He wende lie wolde have had hys hawk agayne, ^65
And ranne with alle hys myjt.
Home he toke the ryght way
To Clemeiites hows, as hyt lay,
And yn he went fulle ryght ;
He fedde the hawke whylle he wolde, 670
And sythen he can hys fedurs folde,
As the squyer had hym tey3t.
Clement came yn fulle sone,
" Thefe, where haste thou my oxen done.
That y the be-gyfte ?" 675
Grete dele myjt men see there ;
Clement bete the chylde sore.
That was so swete a wyght!
" With odur mete shalt thou not leve,
But that thys glede wylle ye yeve, cso
Neythur day ne nyght."
As sore beton as the chylde stode,
3yt he to the fawcon yode,
Hys fedurs for to ryght.
The chylde thoght wondur thore, 685
That Clement bete hym so sore,
And mekely he can pray,
" Syr," he seyde, " for Crystys ore,
Leve, and bete me no more,
But ye wyste welle why. 6^0
Wolde ye stonde now and beholde
How feyre he can hys fedurs folde,
26 THE ROMANCE OP
And how lovely they lye,
Ye wolde pray God with alle your mode,
That ye had soldo halfe your gode, ^^^
Soche anodur to bye."
The burgeys wyfe besyde stode,
Sore sche rewyd yn hur mode,
And seyde, " Syr, thyn ore !
For Mary love, that maydyn mylde, "^^0
Have mercy on owre feyre chylde,
And bete hym no more.
Let hym be at home and serve us two,
And let owre odur sonys go
Eche day to lore ; ''^5
Soche grace may God for the chylde have wrojt,
To a bettur man he may be broght,
Than he a bocher were."
Aftur alle thys tyme be-felle,
Clement xl. pownde can telle '^^
Into a pawtenere ;
Clement toke hyt chylde Florent,
And to the brygge he hym sente,
Hys brothur hyt to here.
As the chylde thorow the cyt6 of Parys yede, ^i-i
He sye where stode a feyre stede,
Was stronge yn eche werre ;
The stede was whyte as any mylke,
Tlie brydylle reynys were of sylke,
The molettys gylte they were. '^^o
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 27
Florent to the stede can gone,
So feyre an hors sye he never none
Made of flesche and felle ;
Of wordys the chylde was wondur bolde,
And askyd whedur he schoulde be solde, ''25
The penyes he wolde hym telle.
The man hym lovyd for xxx. pownde,
Eche peny hole and sownde,
No lesse he wolde hym selle.
Florent seyde, " To lytulle hyt were, '3o
But never the lees thou schalt have more."
xl. pownde he can hym telle.
The merchaund therof was fulle blythe
For to take the money swythe.
And hastyd hym away. ^^^
Chylde Florent lepe up to ryde.
To Clementys hows with grete pryde
He toke the ryght way :
The chylde soght noon odur stalle.
But sett hys stede yn the halle, ^^'^
And gave hym corne and haye ;
And sethyn he can hym kembe and dyght,
That every heer lay aryght,
And nevyr oon wronge lay.
Clement comyth yn fulle sone, ^45
" Thefe," he seyde, " what haste thou done ?
What haste thou hedur broght ?"
" Mercy, fadur, for Goddys pete.
28 THE ROMANCE OF
With the money that ye toke me,
Tliys horse have y boght." '-'O
The burges wyfe felle on knc thore,
" Syr, mercy," sche seyde, " for Crystys ore,
Owre feyre chylde bete ye noght !
Ye may see, and ye undurstode,
That he had never kynde of thy blode, '^5
That he these werkys hath wroght."
Aftur thys hyt was not longe.
In Fraunce felle a werre stronge,
And c. thousande were there y-lente ;
"With schyldys brode, and helmys bi'y3t, 760
Men that redy were to fyght,
Thorow owt the londe they went.
They broke castels stronge and bolde,
Tlier my3t no hye wallys them holde,
Ryche townys they brente! 76.5
AUe the kyngys, ferre and nere.
Of odur londys that Crysten were,
Aftur were they sente.
Octavyon, the Emperour of Rome,
To Parys sone he come, 770
"Wyth many a mody knyght ;
And othur kynges kene with crowne,
Alle they were to batelle bowne,
"With helmys and hawberkys bryght.
In Parys a monyth the oost lay, 775
For they had takyn a day
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 29
"With the sowdon, moche of myght.
The sowdon with hym a gyaunt brojt,
The reahiie of Fraunce durste nojt
Agenste hym to fyght. '^i'
The sowdon had a doghtur bryght,
Marsabelle that maydyn hyght,
Sche was bothe feyre and fre ;
The feyrest thynge alyve that was,
In Crystendome or Hethynnes, 785
And semelyest of syght !
To the kynge of Fraunce the maydyn sende,
To lye at Mountmertrous there nere-honde,
From Parys mylys thre ;
At Mountmertrous besyde borogh Larayne, 790
That stondyth over the banke of Sayne,
For aventours wolde sche see.
The kyng of Fraunce the maydyn hyjt,
As he was trewe kyng and kiiyjt,
And swere hur, be liys fay,
That she must savely come therto,
Ther schulde no man hur mysdo,
Neythur be nyght ne day.
The mayde therof was fuUe blythe,
To the castelle sche went swythe,
And vij. nyghtes there sche lay;
For sche thoghtyoye and pryde,
To see the Crystyn knyghtes ryde.
On fylde them for to play.
30 THE ROMANCE OF
The gyauntes name was Aragonour, 805
He lovyd that maydyn paramour,
That was so feyre and free ;
And she had levyr drawyn bene,
Than yn hur chaumber hym to sene,
So fowle a wyght was he ! 8io
The gyaunt came to Mountmertrous on a day,
For to comfort that feyre may,
And badd hur blythe bee ;
He seyde, " Lemman, or y ete mete,
The kynges hed of Fraunce y wylle the gete, ^is
For oone cosse of the !"
Than spake the mayde, mylde of mode.
To the gyaunt there he stode.
And gaf hym answere.
" The kynges hed, when hyt ys bro3t, 820
A kysse wylle y warne the noght.
For lefe to me hyt were !"
The gyaunt armyd hym fulle welle,
Bothe yn yron and yn stele.
With schylde and wyth spere ; 825
Hyt was xx. fote and two
Be-twyx hys hedd and liys too,
None hors my3t hym bere.
The gyaunt toke the ry3t way
To the cyte of Parys, as hyt lay, 8^0
With hym went no moo.
The gyaunt leynyd over the walle.
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 31
And spake to the folkys alle,
"Wordys kene and thro;
And bad them sende hym a knyght, 835
To fynde hym hys fylle of fyght,
Or the londe he wolde ovyr go,
And he ne wolde leve alyfe
Man, beste, chylde, ne wyfe,
But that he wolde them brenne and slo ! sio
AUe the folke of that cyte
Ranne that gyaunt for to see,
At the walle there he stode;
As farre as they sye hys blee,
They were fayne for to flee, 845
For fere they were nye wode!
Owt went armyd knyghtes v.,
They thoght to aventour ther lyve,
The gyaunt thoght hyt gode ;
Fulle hastely he had them slayne, 850
Ther came never oon quyk agayne,
That owt at the yatys yode!
Chylde Florent askyd hys fadur Clement,
Whodur alle that people went.
That to the yatys dud renne ; 855
Clement tolde Florent, hys sone,
" Soche a gyaunt to the walle ys come ;"
The chylde harkenyd hym then.
" Sone, but yf he may fynde a man,
That he may fyght hys fylle upon, 860
32 THE ROMANCE OF
Thys cyt6 wyllc he brcnne,
And sytlien tliys londe over gone,
Quykk wylle lie leve noon
Alyve that ys ther-ynne."
" Fadur," he seyde, " sadulle my stede, **''•''
And lende me some dele of your wedc,
And lielpe that y were dyght ;
Yf that hyt be Goddys wylle,
I hope to fynde hym hys fylle,
Thogh he be stronge and wyght." 870
Clement seyde, " And thou oon worde more speko,
Thys day y wylle thy hedd breke,
I swere be Mary bryght!"
" For nothynge, fadur, wylle y byde,
To the gyaunt wylle y ryde, 875
And prove on hym my myght!"
For sorowe Clementes herte nye braste,
When he on Florent hacton caste.
The chylde was bolde and kene ;
An hawberke above let he falle, 880
Rowsty were the naylys alle,
And hys atyre bedeene.
Clement broght forthe schylde and spere,
That were uncomely for to were,
Alle sutty, blakk, and unclene ; 885
A swyrde he broght the chylde beforae.
That vij. yere afore was not borne,
Ne drawe, and that was seene.
THE EMPEROR OCTAYIAN. 33
Clement the swyrde drawe owt wokle,
Gladwyn hys wyfe schoulde the scabard liolde, *^!«>
And bothe fuste they drowe ;
When the swjTde owt glente,
Bothe to the erthe they wente,
There was game y-nowel
Clement felle to a benche so faste, «^95
That mowth and nose alle to-braste,
And Florent stode and loghe-
Hyt ys gode bowrde to telle,
How they to the erthe felle,
And Clement lay yn swoghe! ^oo
Chylde Florent yn hys on -fay re wede,
When he was armyd on a stede,
Hys swyrde y-drawyn he bare ;
Hys ventayle and hys basenett,
Hys helme on hys hedd sett, 905
Bothe rowsty they were.
Bothe Clement and hys wyfe
Lovyd the chylde as ther lyfe.
For hym they wept fulle sore !
To Jhesu Cryste faste can they bede ^i"^
To seride hym grace welle to spede;
They myght do no more.
For hys atyre that was so bryght,
Hym behelde bothe kynge and knyjt,
And moche wondur thoght ; 'Jl^
Many a skorne there he hent,
34 TIIK ROMANCE OF
As he thorow tlic cytc went,
But therof roglit lie noght.
The people to the wallys can go
To see the batelle bctwene them two, 920
When they were togedur broght :
Clement, hys fadur, wo was he
Tylle he wyste whych schulde maystyr be ;
Gladd was he noght.
The chylde came to the yatys sone, 926
And bad the portar them on-done.
And opyn them fulle wyde.
Alle that abowt the chylde stode,
Laghed as they were wode,
And skornyd hym that tyde. ^30
Every man seyde to hys fere,
"Here comyth an hardy bachelere,
Hym besemyth welle to ryde ;
Men may see be hys breme bryght,
That he ys an hardy knyght 935
The gyaunt to abyde !"
The gyaunt upryght can stonde,
And toke hys burdon yn hys honde.
Of stele that was un-ryde ;
To the chylde smote he so, 9-^0
That the chyldes shylde brake yn two.
And felle on every syde.
The chylde was never 3yt so wo,
That hys schylde was brokyn yn two,
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 35
More he thoglit to byde ; ^46
To the gyaunt he smote so sore,
That hys ryjt arme flye of thore,
The blode stremyd wyde.
Clement on the wallys stode,
FuUe blythe was he yn hys mode, ^^0
And mende can hys chere :
" Sone, for that y have seene
Thy noble stroke that ys so kene,
To me art thou fuUe dere ;
Now me thynkyth yn ray mode, ^^^
Thou haste welle be-sett my gode,
Soche playes for to lere.
Jhesu that syttyth yn Trynyte,
Blesse the fadur that gate the,
And the modur that the dud here !" ^*^'^
Chylde Florent, yn hys feyre wede,
Sprange owt as sparkylle on glede,
The sothe y wylle yow say ;
He rode forthe wyth egur mode
To the gyaunt there he stode.
There was no chyldys play!
The gyaunt to the chylde smote so.
That hys hors and he to grounde dud go,
The stede on kneys lay ;
Clement cryed wyth egur mode,
" Sone, be now of comfort gode.
And venge the, yf thou may."
36 THE ROMANCE OF
As evylle as the cliylde farde,
Wlicn he Clementes speche harde,
Ilys harte beganne to holde ; ""^
Boldely hys svvyi'de he lawglit,
To the gyaunt soche a strok he raght,
That alle hys blode can colde.
He hytt the gyaunt on the schouldur boone,
That to the pappe the swyrde ranne, ^^o
To grounde can he folde !
Thus hyt was, thorow Goddys grace,
The gyaunt swownyd yn that place,
In geste as hyt ys tolde.
The kyngys on the wallys stode. *85
Whan the gyaunt to grounde yode,
Alle gladd they were ;
Alle the people at the chylde loghe.
How he the gyauntes helme of droghe,
And hys hedd he smote of there. ^^^
The chylde lepe upon hys stede,
And rode awey a gode spede,
Wyth them spake he no more.
The chylde toke the ryght way
To Mountmertrous, there the mayde lay, '"^5
And the hedd with hym he bare.
When he came to the maydyns halle.
He fonde the boordys covyrde alle,
And redy to go to mete ;
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 37
The maydyn that was so mylde of mode, ^^^^
In a kyrtulle there sche stode.
And bowne sche was to sete.
" Damyselle," he seyde, " fey re and free,
Welle gretyth thy lemman the,
Of that he the be-hete ; 1005
Here an hedd y have the broght,
The kyngys of Fraunce ys hyt noght,
Hyt ys evylle to gete."
The byrde bryght as golde hye,
When sche the gyauntes hedd sye, I'^io
Welle sche hyt kende.
" Me thynkyth he was trewe of hete,
The kynges when he myght not gete,
Hys own that he me sende."
" Damyselle," he seyde, " feyre and bryght, ^^15
Now wylle y have that thou hym hyght,"
And ovyr hys saduUe he leynyd ;
Ofte sythys he kyste that may,
And liente hur up and rode away,
That alle the brygge can bende! 1020
Crye and noyse rose yn the towne,
Sone tber was to batelle bowne
Many an hardy knyght.
With sperys longe and schyldys browne ;
Floi'ent let the maydyn adowne, 1025
And made hym bowne to fyght.
Hur skarlet sieve he schare of then,
He seyde, "Lady, be thys ye shalle mc ken.
38 THE ROMANCE OF
When ye me see by syght."
Soclie love waxe betwene them two, 1*^30
That the lady wepte for wo,
When he ne wynne hur myght.
Chylde Florent yn on-feyre wede
Sprange owt as sparkylle on glede.
The sothe for to say : 1035
Many hethen men that stownde,
In dede he broght to the grounde,
There was no chyldys play.
When Florent begaune to fownde,
Wythowt any weme of wownde, 1^40
To Parys he toke the way ;
The hethyn men were so for-dredd.
To Cleremount with the mayde they fledd,
There the Sowdon lay.
In hur fadur pavylon, 1045
There they let the maydyn downe,
And sche knelyd on knee ;
The Sowdon was fuUe blythe.
To hys doghtur he went swythe.
And kyssyd hur sythys thre. 1050
He set hur downe on a deyse,
Rychely, wythowt lees,
Wyth grete solempnyte :
Sche tolde hur fadur and wolde not layne.
How Araganour, the gyaunt, was slayne ; 1055
A sory man was he !
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 39
"Leve fadur," sclie seyde, "tliyn ore,
At Mountmertrous let me be no more,
So nere the Crjsten to bene ;
In soche aventure y was to day, 10^0
That a rybawde had me borne away.
For alle my knyghtys kene;
Ther was no man yn hethyn londe
Myght sytte a dynte of hys honde.
The traytur was so preme. ^^*^^
As oftyn as y on hym tlienke,
Y may nodur ete nor drynke,
So fuUe y am of tene."
When the Sowdon thes tythynges herde,
He bote hys lyppys and schoke hys berde, i'^'*'
That hodyus hyt was to see ;
He swere be egur countynawns,
That hange he wolde the kyng of Fraunce,
Andbrenne alle Crystyante !
" I schalle neythur leve on lyve lO^s
Man ne beste, chylde ne wyve,
Wyth eyen that y may see !
Doghtur, go to chaumbur swythe.
And loke thou make the glad and blythe,
Avengyd schalt thou be!" ^080
FuUe rychely was the chaumbur spradd,
Therto was the maydyn ladd
Wyth maydenys that sche broght ;
On softe seges was sche sett,
Sche myght nodur drynke ne ete, ^^^^
40 THE ROMANCE OF
So moche on hym sche tlioght ;
Otlur wliylc on liys feyrc clicre,
And of tlie colour of hys Icre,
Sche myght for-gete hym noght.
Stylle sche scyde, wyth herte sore, looo
"Alias! with my lemman that y ne were,
Where he wolde me have broght!"
On hur bedd as sche lay,
To hur sche callyd a may
Fulle prevely and stylle ; ^095
The maydyn hyght Olyvan,
The kyngys doghtur of Sodam,
That moost wyste of hur wylle.
Sche seyde, " Olyvan, now yn prevyt^,
My councelle wylle y schewe the, noo
That grevyth me fulle ylle ;
On a chylde ys alle my thoght.
That me to Parys wolde have brojt,
And y ne may come hym tylle."
Olyvan answeryd hur tho^ lio.i
" Sethyn, lady, ye wylle do so,
Drede ye no wyght ;
I schalle yow helpe bothe nyght and day,
Lady, alle that evyr y may,
That he yow wynne myght. iiio
3yt may soche aventour be,
Lady, that ye may hym sec
Or thys fourtenyght ;
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 41
At Mountmertrous y wolde ye were,
The sothe of hym there shulde ye hei*e, m-s
Be he squyer or knyght."
The crysten men were fulle blythe,
When they sye Florent on lyve,
They wende he had be lorne ;
The chylde was set with honour U'^o
Betwyx the kyng of Fraunce and the Emperour,
Sothe wythowten lees.
The Emperour the chykle can beholde,
He was so curtes and so bokle,
But he ne wyste what he was ; ^^^^
The emperour thoght ever yn hys mode,
The chylde was comyn of gentylle blode,
He thoght ryght as hyt was.
When the folke had alle eton,
Clement had not alle forgeton, H^o
Hys puree he openyd thore.
XXX. florens forthe caste he,
" Have here for my sone and me,
I may pay for no more."
Clement was so curtes and wyse, JJ35
He wende hyt had ben merchandyse,
The pryde that he sawe thore !
At Clement logh the kyngys alle,
So dud the knyghtys yn that halle,
And chylde Florent schamyd sore. ^^^^
42 THE ROMANCE OF
The Empcrour tlian sjiekytli he
To Florent, that was feyre and fre,
Wordys wondur stylle.
" Yonge knyght, y pray the,
Ys he thy fadur ? telle thou me." '1^5
The chylde answeryd ther-tylle,
" Syr, love y had never hym to,
As y schulde to my fadur do.
In herte ne yn wylle ;
Of alle the men that evyr y sye, Ji^o
Moost yevyth my herte to yow trewly,
Syr, take liyt not yn ylle."
The Emperour let calle Clement there.
He hym sett hym fuUe nere
On the hygh deyse ; 1156
He bad hym telle the ryght dome
How he to the chylde come,
The sothe wythowten lees.
" Syr, thys chylde was take yn a forest
From a lady wyth a wylde beest, n^*^
In a grete wyldurnes ;
And y hym boght for xx. powude,
Eche peny hole and sownde.
And seyde my sone he was."
The emperour than was fulle blythe 1165
Of that tythynge for that lythe,
And thaukyd God Almyght !
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 43
The emperour felle on kne fuUe swythe,
And kyste the chylcle an c. sythe,
And worschyppyd God fulle ryght ! ^1^*^
Welle he wyste withowt lees,
That he hys own sone was,
Alle garayd kyng and knyght.
The chyldys name was chaungyd with dome.
And callyd hym Syr Florent of Rome, i^''
As hyt was gode ryght.
The emperour was blythe of chere,
The terys traylyd downe on hys lere.
He made fulle grete care.
" Alias," he seyde, " my feyre wyfe, ^^^
The beste lady that ever bare lyfe,
Schalle y hur see no more ?
Me were levyr then alle the golde
That ever was upon molde,
And sche alyve wore." ^^^'^
The empei-our gave Clement townys fele,
To leve yn ryches and yn wele
I-nowe for evyrmore.
On a nyght, as the chylde yn bedd lay,
He thoght on hys feyre may, ^^^^
Mekylle was he yn care !
The chylde had nodur reste ne ro,
For thoght how he my3t come hur to,
And what hym beste ware ;
The chylde thoght for the maydyns sake ^^-'^
A message that he wolde make,
44 THE ROMANCE OF
And to the sowdon fare.
On the niorne lie saduklc hys stede,
And armyd hym yn ryche wede, .
A braunclie of olefe he bare. 1200
Hyt was of messengerys the lawe,
A braunche of olefe for to have,
And yn ther hondeto bere;
For the ordynaunce was so,
Messengerys schulde savely come and go, '^^o
And no man do them dere.
The chylde toke the ryght way
To Cleremount, as hyt lay,
"Wyth hym hys grete heere;
At the halle dore he reynyd hys stede, ^"-^"^
And on hys fete yn he yede,
A messengere as he were.
Than spake the chylde with hardy mode.
Before the sowdon there he stode,
As a man of moche myght. 1215
" The kynge of Fraunce me hedur sende,
And byddyth the owt of hys londe thou wynd,
Thou werryst ageyn the ryght !
Or he wylle brynge agenste the
XXX. thousande tolde be thi-e, 1220
With helmys and hawbei'kys bryght ;
Eche knyjt schalle xxx. squyers have,
And every squyer a fote knave
Worthe an hethyn knyght."
THE EMPEROR OCTAVTAN. 45
Than began the sowdon to speke, ^225
There he sate at hys ryche mete,
Amonge hys knyghtys kene.
" The kyng of Fraunce shalle welcome be,
Agenste oon he schalle have thre,
I wot, wythowten wene, 1230
That also fayne are of fyght
As fowle of day aftur nyght,
To schewe ther schyldys schene !
To prove to morne be my lay,
I wylle never set lenger day, 1235
Than schalle the sothe be sene."
Than spekyth the mayde with mylde mode
To feyre Florent there he stode,
That was so swete a wyght.
" Messengere, y wolde the frayne, 1240
Wliedur he be knyght or swayne.
That ys so moche of myght,
That hath my fadurs gyaunt slayne,
And ravyschyd me fro borogh Larayne,
And slewe there many a knyght." 12 15
Thogh sche movyd hym to ylle,
3yt were hyt mykulle yn hur wylle
To have of hym a syght.
"Lady," he seyde, " nodur lesse nor more,
Than yf hyt myselfe wore, 1250
Syth thou wylt of me frayne ;
Thou schalt me knowe yn alle the hcere,
Thy sieve y wylle here on my spere
46 THE ROMANCE OP
In the batelle playne."
Alle they wystc ther by than, J255
That lie was the same man,
That had the gyaunt slayne.
Withowt ony odur worde,
Alle they start fro the borde,
With swyrdys and knyvys drawyn ! 1260
Florent sawe none odur bote,
But that he muste fyght on fote
Agenste the Sarsyns alle.
And evyr he hyt them amonge,
Where he sawe the thykest thronge, 1265
Fulle fele dud he them falle!
Some be the armys he nome,
That alle the schouldur witli hym come,
The prowdyst yn the halle ;
And some soche bofettys he lente, ^^'^
That the hedd fro the body wente.
As hyt were a balle !
Whan hys swyrde was y-brokyn,
A Sarsyns legge hath he lokyn,
Therwyth he can hym were ; ^-'^
To the grounde he dud to go,
vij. skore and some dele moo,
That hethyn knyghtys were.
The chylde made hym wey fulle gode,
To hys stede there he stode, 1280
Tho myght hym no man dere.
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 47
The chylde toke the ryght way
To the cyte of Parys, as hyt lay,
Thorow owt alle the heei'e.
The Crysten men were fulle blythe, '285
When they sye Florent come alyve,
They wende he lorne had bene.
When he come nye the cyte,
Agenste hym rode kyngys thre,
And the emperour rode them betwene. 1^90
The folke presyd hym to see,
Every man cryed, " Whych ys he ?''
As they hym nevyr had sene.
To the pales was he ladd,
And tolde them how he was be-stadd ^295
Amonge the Sarsyns kene.
" Lordyngys, loke that ye ben yare,
To the batelle for that fare,
And redy for to ryde ;
To morne hyt muste nede be sene, 1300
Whych ys hardy man and kene,
We may no lenger byde."
The folke seyde they were blythe
To wynde to the batelle swythe,
In herte ys noght to hyde. 1305
A ryche clothe on horde was spradde,
To make the chylde blythe and gladd,
A kynge on aythur syde.
48 THE ROMANCE OF
On the raorne when hyt was day lyght,
The folke can them to hatellc dyght, 13'«
Alle that wepyn niyght welde.
There men niyght see many a knyglit,
Wyth helmys and with hawberkys bryght,
"Wytli sperys and wyth schylde ;
Wyth trumpys and with moche pryde, '•^••5
Boldely owt of the borowe they ryde
Into a brode fylde.
The downe was bothe longe and brode,
There bothe partyes odur abode,
And eyther on odur behehle. '320
Marsabelle, the maydyn fre.
Was broght the batelle for to see.
To Mountmertrous ovyr Seyn.
Florent hur sieve bare on hys spere,
In the batelle he wolde hyt were, ^325
And rode for the yn the playne.
For that men schulde see by than,
That he was that ylke man.
That had the gyaunt slayne ;
And also for the maydyn free, 1330
That sche schulde hys dede see,
Therof sche was fayne.
That whyle was moche sorowe yn fy5t,
When the batelle began to smyte,
Wyth many a grevys wounde! 1335
Fro the morne that day was lyght,
Tylle hyt was evyn derke nyght,
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 49
Or eythur party wolde fownde.
Florent can ever among them ryde,
And made there many a sore syde, '^^"^
That afore were softe and sownde.
So moche people to dethe yode,
That the stedys dud wade yn blode,
That stremyd on the grounde!
There men myght see helmys bare, 134.5
Hedys, that fulle feyre ware,
Lay to grounde lyght.
The Crystyn party become so than.
That the fykle they myjt not Wynne,
AUe arewyd hyt, kynge and knyght. I'^oO
Florent smote wyth herte gode,
Thorow helme ynto the hed hyt wode.
So moche he was of myght!
Thorow Godys grace and Florent there,
The Crysten men the bettnr were l"^^''
That day yn the fyght.
The partyes were y-drawe away.
And takyn was anodur day,
That the bateUe schulde bee.
Florent rode toward borough Larayn, '^go
Be the watur banke of Seyne,
Moo aventurs for to see.
The maydyn, whyte as lylly flowre.
Lay yn a corner of hur towre,
That was ferly, feyre, and free ; 1^65
50 THE ROMANCK OF
Florent sche sye on fylde fare,
Be the sieve that he bare
Sche knewe that hyt was he.
Then sj^ckyth the maydc, with mylde mode,
To Olyvan, that be hur stode, i»'0
And knewe hur prevyte ;
" Olyvan, how were beste to do,
A worde that y myjt speke hym to ?
I-wysse then wele were me."
Sche seyde, " Lady, we two 1376
AUone wylle be the rever go,
There as he may yow see.
Yf he yow love with herte gode.
He wylle not let for the flode.
For a fulle gode stede hath he." 1380
Forthe went the maydyns two.
Be the rever syde can they goo,
Them-selfe allone that tyde.
When Florent sawe that swete wyght.
He sprange as fowle dothe yn flyght, ^'■^'^■^
No lenger wolde he byde ;
The stede was so wondur gode,
He bare the chylde ovyr the flode,
Hym-selfe welle cowde ryde.
Grete yoye hyt was to see them meete i^^o
With clyppyng and with kyssyng swete,
In herte ys not [to] hyde.
" Lady," he seyde, '■ welle ys me,
A worde that y may speke with the,
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 51
So bryght thou art of hewe ! ^^^^
In alle thys worlde ys noon so fre,
Why ne wylle ye crystenyd be,
And syth of herte be trewe ?"
Sche seyde, " Yf that ye myght me wynne,
I wolde forsake alle hethyn kynne, i-ioo
As thogh y them nevyr knewe.
And syth ye wolde me wedde to wyfe,
I wolde leve yn Crysten lyfe,
My yoye were evyr newe."
" Lady," he seyde, " wythowt fayle, 1*05
How were beste yowre counsayle.
That y yow wynne myght ?"
" Certys, ye never wynne me may,
But hyt were on that ylke day,
That ye have take to fyght, i^io
That ye wolde sende be the flode,
Wyth men that crafty were and gode,
A schyppe that welle were dyght.
Whylle that men are at that dere dede,
That whyle my3t men me awey lede i*'^
To yowre cyte ryght.
"My fadur hath a noble stede,
In the worlde ys noon so gode at nede
In turnament ne yn fyght ;
Yn hys hedd he hath an home 1420
Schapon as an unycorne.
That selkowth ys be syght.
52 THE ROMANCE OF
Syr, yf that ye hym myght wynne,
There were no man yn hethyn kynne
That hym wythstonde myght !" 1425
Florent kyste that feyre maye,
And seyde, " Lady, have gode day,
Holde that ye have hyght !''
Florent ynto the sadulle nome,
And ovyr the rever soon he come, ^^^^
To Parys he toke the way.
He ne stynt ne he ne blanne.
To Clementes hows tylle that he came,
Hys aventurs to say ;
He tolde hym of the noble stede, 1*35
That gode was at every nede.
And of that feyre maye.
" Sone," seyde Clement, " be doghty of dede,
And, certes, thou schalt have that stede
To-morne, yf that y may." '^^^
On the morne, when hyt was day lyjt,
Clement can hymselfe dyght
As an on-frely feere. .
He dud hym ynto the hethen ooste,
There the prees was althermoost, ^^^
A Sarsyn as thogh he were.
To the pavylowne he can hym wynne,
There the sowdon hymselfe lay ynne.
And brevely can he here.
FuUe welle he cowde ther speche speke, ^^^^
And askyd them some of ther mete,
The sowdon can hym here.
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 53
Grete dole the sowdon of" liym thoght,
And soon he was before hym broght,
And wyth hym can he speke ; 1^55
He seyde he was a Sarsyn stronge,
That yn hys oost had be longe,
And had defawte of mete.
" Lorde, ther ys noon hethyn lede,
That so welle cowde kepe a ryche stede, 1460
Or othur horsys fulle grete."
The sowdon seyde that ylke tyde,
Yf thou can a stede welle ryde,
Wyth me thou schalt be lete."
They horsyd Clement on a stede, 1*65
He sprang owt as sperkulle on glede,
Into a feyre fylde.
Alle that stodyn on ylke syde
Had yoye to see hym ryde,
Before the sowdon they tolde. 1*70
When he had redyn coursys iij.,
That alle had yoye that can hym see,
The sowdon hym be-helde.
Downe he lyght fulle soon,
And on a bettur was he done, 1 1'5
Fulle feyre he can hym welde.
Grete yoye the sowdon of hym tho3t.
And bad hys feyre stede forthe be bi'03t,
And Clement shalle hym ryde.
When Clement was on that stede, '-^^o
He rode a-way a fulle gode spede,
54 THE ROMANCE OF
No lenger wolde he byde.
When he was redy forthe to fou[nde],
"Be-leve there," he seyde, "yehethen ]i[ounde],
For ye have lorne yowre pryde." ^^^^
Clement toke the ryght way
Into Parys, as hyt lay,
Fulle blythe was he that tyde !
" Florent, sone, where art thou ?
That y the hyght, y have hyt [now], ii'J<»
I have broght thy stede !"
Florent blythe was that day,
And seyde, " Fadur, yf y leve may,
I wylle the quyte thy mede.
But to the emperour of Rome 149.5
Therwith y wylle hym present sone.
To the pales ye schalle hym lede ;
For evyr me thynkyth yn my mode,
That y am of hys own blode,
Yf hyt so poverly myght sprede." '^^o
To the pales the stede was ladde.
And alle the kyngys were fulle gladd
Theron for to see.
The emperour before hym stode,
Ravyschyd herte and blode, '505
So wondur feyre was he.
Then spekyth the chylde of honour
To hys lorde the emperour,
" Syr, thys stede geve y the."
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 55
Alle that abowte the chylde stode, i^io
Seyde he was of gentulle blode,
Hyt myght noon odur be.
Aftur thys the day was nomyn,
That the batelle on schulde comyn
Agenste the Sarsyns to fyght ; ^^^^
Wyth trumpys and with moche pryde,
Boldely owt of the borogh they ryde,
As men moche of myght !
Florent thoght on the feyre maye,
To batelle wente he not that day, ^520
A schyppe he hath hym dyght ;
Fro Mountmertrous there the lady lay,
To Parys he broght hur away,
Ne wyste hyt kynge ne knyght.
That whyle was moche sorowe yn fyjt, ^^'^-^
When the batelle began to smyght
With many a grymme gare ;
Fro morne that hyt was day lyght,
Tylle hyt was evyn derke nyght,
Wyth woundys wondur sore. l^'^o
For-why that Florent was not there,
The hethyn men the bettur were,
The batelle venquyscht they thore.
Or Florent to the felde was comyn,
Emperoiir and kynge were y-nomyn, 1535
And alle that Ci'ysten were.
56 THE ROMANCE OF
Floreiit was of" licrte so gode,
He rode tliorow them [as] he was wode,
As wyght as he wolde wede.
Ther was no Sarsyn so moche of mayii, i^^o
That my3t hyin stonde witli strenkyth agayn,
Tylle they had slayne hys stede ;
Of Florent there was dele y-now,
How they hys hors undur hym slowe,
And he to grounde yede. ^^45
Florent was take yn that fyght,
Bothe Emperour, kynge, and knyght,
Woundyd they can tliem lede.
The Sarsyns buskyd them with pryde,
Into thei' own londys to ryde, i^oo
They wolde no lenger dwelle.
Takyn they had syr Florawns,
The Emperour and the kyng of Fraunce,
Wyth woundys wondur fele.
Othur Crystyn kyngys moo, ^^^^
Dewkys, erlys, and barons also,
That arste were bolde and swelle ;
And ladd them with yron stronge,
Hur fete undur the hors wombe,
Grete dele hyt ys to telle ! 15<30
Wyde the worde sprange of thys chawnce,
How the Sowdon was yu Fraunce
To warre agenste the ryght ;
In Jerusalem, men can hyt here,
How the Emperour of Rome was there i-J^^
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 57
"Wyth many an hardy knyght.
Than spekyth Octavyon the 3yng,
FuUe feyre to hys lorde the kyng,
As chylde of moche myght :
" Lorde, yf hyt were yowre wylle, 1570
I wolde wynde my fadur tylle,
And helpe hym yn that fyght."
Than spekyth the kyng of moche myjt,
Fulle fayre unto that yong knyght,
Sore hys herte can blede. l^^s
" Sone, thou schalt take my knyghtes fele.
Of my londe that thou wylle wele,
That styffe are on stede,
Into Fraunce with the to ryde,
Wyth hors and armys be thy syde, 1^80
To helpe the at nede;
When thou some doghtynes haste done,
Then may thou shewe thyn errande soone,
The bettur may thou spede."
He bad hys modur make hur yare, 1585
Into Fraunce with hym to fare.
He wolde no lenger byde.
Wyth hur she ladd the lyenas
That sche bro3t owt of wyldurnes,
Rennyng be hur syde; 1590
There men myght see many a knyght,
With helmys and with hawbei'kys bryght,
Forthe yn-to the strete.
58 TlIK ROMANCK OF
Forthe they went on ft day,
The hethyn ooste on the way '^''•^
A lie they can them meete.
By the baners that they bare,
They knewe that they hethyn ware,
And stylle they can abyde.
They dyjt them with bremus bryght, '""^o
And made them redy for to fyjt,
Ageyn them can they ryde:
They hewe the flesche fro the bone,
Soche metyng was never none,
Wyth sorow on ylke syde! "50j
Octavyon, the yong knyght,
Thorow the grace of God Almyght,
Fulle faste he felly d ther pryde.
The lyenas that was so wyght,
When she sawe the yong knyght ^^'O
Into the batelle fownde,
Sche folowed hym with alle hur my3t,
And faste fellyd the folke yn fy^t,
Many sche made ou-sownde!
Grete stedys downe sche drowe, i'''^
And many hethen men sche slowe
Wy th-ynne a lytulle stownde !
Thorow God, that ys of myjtes gode,
The Crysten men the bettur stode,
The hethyn wei'e bro3t to growude I ^'^-O
THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN. 59
The Crysten prysoners were fuUe fayne,
When the Sarsyns were y-slayne,
And cryed, " Lorde, thyn ore."
He ne stynt ne he ne blanne,
To the prysoners tylle that he wanne, 1^35
To wete what they were.
The Emperour, wythowt lees,
That hys own fadur was,
Bowndon fownde he there;
The kyng of Fraunce and odur moo, 1630
Dewkys, erlys and barons also,
"Were woundyd wondur sore.
Hys fadur was the furste man
That he of bondys to lowse began,
Ye wete, wythowten lees : 1635
And he lowsyd hys brodur Floraunce
Or he dud the kynge of Fraunce,
3yt he wyste not what he was.
Be that hys men were to hym comyn.
Soon they were fro yrons nomyn, 1640
The pryncys prowde yn prees.
Whan he had done that noble dede.
The bettur he oght for to spede.
To make hys modur pees.
A ryche cyte was besyde, 1645
Boldely thedur can they ryde
To a castelle swythe ;
Ryche metys were there y-dyght
Kynges, dewkys, erlys, and knyght,
GO THE KOMANCK OV
Alle were gla(l<l and Ijlythe : i*^'''^
Syth came Octavyon that yong with honour,
And knelyd before the emperour,
ITys errande for to kythe;
That ylke tale that he tolde,
Ryche and pore, yong and olde, ^^^^
Glad they were to lythe.
He seyde, "Lorde, yn alle thy s londe y have the soght
My modur have y with me broght,
I come to make hur pees ;
For a lesyng that was stronge, ^^^^
Sche was exylyd owt of yowre londe,
I prove that hyt was lees !"
The emperour was nevyr so blythe,
He kyssyd that yong knyght swythe,
And for hys sone hym chees ; ^665
For yoye that he hys wyfe can see,
vij. sythys swownyd he
Before the hye deyse !
Fep'e Florent was fulle blythe
Of thes tydyngys for to lythe, i^'*^
And hys modur to see.
Than spekyth the lady of honowre
To hur lorde the emperour,
Wordys of grete pyte,
" Lorde, yn alle the sorow that me was wroght, 1675
Thyn own sone have y with me broght,
And kepyd hym wyth me.
THE EMPEROR OCT AVIAN. 61
Thyn odur sone yn a foreste
Was takyn with a wylde beste,
That was ferly, feyre, and fre. i^^o
I wot hyt ys Godys grace,
I knowe hym be hys face,
Hyt ys that youg kuyght by the!"
There was nioche yoye and game,
Wyth clyppyng and with kyssyng same, J 683
Into a chaumbur they yode.
Grete yoye there was also.
The metyng of the brethurn two,
That doghty were yn dede.
A ryche feste the emperour made there i*5^o
Of kynges that were farre and nere.
Of many londys thede.
The tale who so redyth ryght,
The feste lastyd a fourtenyght
In jeste as we rede. i*j95
Marsabelle, that feyre maye,
Was aftur sente, the sothe to say,
Fro Parys there sche was :
Crystenyd sche was on a Sonday,
Wyth yoye and myrthe, and moche play ; i'*^*^
Florent to wyfe hur chees.
Soche a brydale ther was there,
A ryaller ther was never noon here.
Ye wot withowten lees.
Florent hymselfe can hur wedd, 1705
And ynto Rome sche was ledd
With pryncys prowde yn prees.
62 THE EMPEROR OCTAVIAN.
Than hyt befcUe on a day,
The emperour began to say,
And tolde the lordes how hyt was. ''"'
The ryehc kynges gave jugement,
The Emperours modur schulde be brent
In a tonne of brasse.
As swythe as sche therof harde telle,
Swownyng yn hur chaumbur she felle, ^^'•''
Hur heere of can sche race ;
For schame sche schulde be provyd false,
Sche schare a-to hur own halse
"Wyth an analasse !
Therat alle the kynges loghe, i'20
What wondur was thowe ther were no swoghe?
They toke ther leve that tyde ;
"With trumpys and with mery songe,
Eche oon went to hys own londe,
"With yoye and with grete pryde. ^''^^
"With game and with grete honowre
To Rome went the emperour,
Hys wyfe and hys sonys be hys syde.
Jhesu Lorde, hevyn kynge,
Graunt us alle thy blessyng, i"30
And yn hevyn to abyde !
Line 10. — Y71 boki/s of ryme.'] The Lincoln MS. reads, " In
the bukes of Rome," meaning books in the Romance or An-
L. 22. — Octavyan.'] Instead of this and the next two lines,
the Lincoln MS. has, —
" Octovyane was his name tlanigheowte,
Everylke mane hade of hym dowte
Whenne he was armede one stede."
L. 45. — Yeve.'] A misprint for 7/e??e. The Lincoln MS.
has, " Thaire landis to rewle one ryghte."
L. 59. — Dyskever.'] Possibly some of the earlier MSS. may
have read dyshere. In the Erie of Tolous, 636, Ritson unne-
cessarily altered dyskevere in the MS. to dyskcre, but numerous
instances might be adduced to prove that the first form may
be the right one. AVhen Sir F. Madden cites the last instance
in support of the form here, he seems to have overlooked Rit-
son's list of corrections. Met. Rom. iii. 223. The Lincoln
MS. here reads, " Opyne jour herte unto me here."
L. 66. — Ajid here.'] The Lincoln MS. reads,—
" For fay we salle hythen fownde."
L. 72.— Y slejie.^ The Lincoln MS. reads,—
" I slepe hot littille stownde."
L. 83 With chyldrcn tivon!] The whole of this introduc-
tory story is wanting in the version printed by \A^t'ber from
llic Cottonian MS. It is tlierc related that after Octavian
had been emperor five years, he married tlie dauglitcr of the
king of France, and " yn the ferst yere," his lady gave hirtli lo
twin sons "as whytte as swan." The Liueoln MS. reads
'' knave cliildire." The Hatton MS. in these particulars
nearly agrees with Weber's version.
L. 116. — A cohys hnave.'] The boy who turned the .spit, a
turn-broach like Jack Hare. See Reliq. Antiq. i. 13, and
Lydgate's Minor Poems, p. 52. Octavyan credited his wife's
dishonour more readily than Schahriar, and yet her presumed
lover was hardly of as respectable a class in society as the
queen's friends, the blacks.
L. 118. — A sorowe to thcl The Lincoln MS. reads,
" A sorowe there to his herte gane goo,
That wordis moghte he speke no moo."
L. 132. — Or sche were delyvyrd thare!] After this line, the
Lincoln MS. has the following ones : —
" Than said that lady to that knave,
Hye the faste thi golde to hafe ;
Thou schalle be rewarde this nyghte."
L. 139. — Hastyhj was the knave iincladd.'] The Lincoln
MS. reads : —
" Whatte for lufe and whatt for drede,
Into the ladyes beedd he ■zede;
He dyd als scho hyme hadd."
L. 151. — When he saire that syr/ht.'] The Lincoln MS.
" Bot whcnne the emperoure sawe that syghte,
For sorowe no worde speke he ne myghte,
For he wexe nerhande -node !
A scharpe baselarde owte he droghe.
That giltles knave there he sloghe !
AUe was by-blede with bloile !"
L. \59.— That um so swete a iryijht.'] The Lincoln MS.
reads, " Scho was a wofulle wyghte."
L. 171. — The lasse was hur care^ Instead of this and the
following lines, the Lincoln MS. reads, —
"And scho sygliede fulle sare.
The eniperoure to the knave wente,
The hede up by the hare he hente,
And caste it tille hir thare.
The lady biyschede up in the bedde,
Scho saw the clothes alle by-blede,
Fulle mekylle was hir care!
Scho bygane to skryke and crye,
And sythene in swonyiige for to ly,
Hirselfe scho wolde for-fai'e !"
L. \96.—Metys:\ " Myrthis," Lincoln MS.
L. 20Q—Ninthe.'] " Haghtene," Lincoln MS.
L. 214. — Wyth soche a treson.'] It is of course understood
that the king here relates the previous tale.
L. 215. — When.'] So in the MS., but we certainly ought to
L. 24 L — The lady saive!] This and the two following lines
are omitted in the Lincoln MS., but after 1. 252, it inserts the
following : —
" The emperoure graunted hir righte so ;
like a mane thane was fulle woo,
That were that day in the felde."
L, 245.— On hneys sche felle.'] In the French romance she
declares her innocence in the most pathetic manner, and ad-
jures her husband to save her life, reminding him at the same
time of his marriage oath : —
" Por Dies, fait-ele, Otheviene,
Or esgarde se tu fais bien.
Quant tu a fame me pris,
Tu me juras et pie vis
Que tu le mien cors garderoies,
Come le tuen, si le pooies.
Gentiex roi, par Diex entent,
Se tu gardes ton sairement !"
Ij.ilQ.— Teste.'] The Lincoln MS. reads "romance;" and so
also 11. 628, 1()05. i
L. 283.— r/tt' hnijijIiU/s.'] The Lincoln MS. reads :—
" Two sqwyers hir cliildjT bare
In .stede ther tliay wero never are,
And intille iincouthe thede :
Whenne scho was lleinyd that was so gent."
L. 29\.— The wode was.'] The Lincoln MS. reads,—
" And alle ■wylsome it semed to syghte."
L. 304.— Fer?/Z//.] " Ferly," Lincoln MS.
L. mv.—Ch/Jf:'] " Grene," Lincoln MS.
L. ^Ul.— Wcpte.'] The Lincoln MS. has "greltc," which is
probably the correct reading.
h.'Mb.— No further myght sche gone.'] The Lincoln MS.
reads, " For sche was lefte allone."
h. 3il. — Wodur.] " Other," Lincoln MS.
L. 346.— The lady sett hur on a stone.] Instead of this
and the next two lines, the Lincoln MS. reads, —
" 13ot for it was a kynge sone i-wysse,
The lyones moglite do it no mys ;
Bot forthe therwith scho ?ede."
L. 350. — A ijryffi/n.] This fabulous animal, partly eagle
and partly lion, is fully described by Sir John Maundevile.
See Mr. Way's note in the Prompt. Parv. p. 212. It is
constantly introduced in Romance literature. The French
Romance calls the animal a dragon.
L. 359. — Knoici/th.] The Lincoln MS. has kouthe, which
is probably the true reading. In the next line, the same MS.
reads " kepid" instead of " kepe."
L. 382. — This and the next line are repetitions of
L. 408. — Alle redy there.] This line is placed after 1. 402
in the Lincoln MS.
L. 440. — Lyeng.] "Sowkand hir," Lincoln MS.
L. 454.— T/h' bote they sentc] In the French version this
incident is much .implified. The crew attempt to persuade
her from the dangerous enterprise, but the only precautions
their solicitude could prevail on her to adopt are those of a
religious nature. She confesses herself to the chaplain of the
vessel, and tales sacred vestments and holy water with hei-,
and so prevails over the lioness.
L. 475. — There men viyijhl game se.'] The Lincoln MS. has
a far worse reading, —
" There was thane bot lytille glee."
L. 484 Thefursle londe.l A very curious incident is here
inserted in the Anglo-Norman romance, which will at once
remind the reader of Spenser's Una. When the queen
leads the lioness into the ship, the mariners, in a state of
considerable perturbation, threaten to throw the queen and her
infant overboard, unless their unwelcome visitor will consent
to make its retreat. The queen soon pacifies them, however,
by answering for its good behaviour ; and, as it evinces no
disposition to forfeit this character, they set sail, and continue
for some time to live together very comfortably, " mult chiere-
ment." One accident only occurs during their voyage to
disturb this perfect harmony, the incident above alluded to.
A drunken and ill-mannered fellow, " un omme ivre et mal
apris," pays his addresses to the queen, and having failed in
his eloquence, attempts more violent measures to compass his
design, which the lioness witnessing, speedily frustrates, by
tearing him to pieces. The rest of the crew, reverencing the
virtue of their beautiful companion, and feeling, probably,
some additional respect for the fangs and teeth of her attendant,
make no difficulty of acquiescing in a sense of the justice of
his punishment. See Conybeare's Analysis, p. 1 1 .
L. 489. — And of the sonne leme.'] The Lincoln MS. reads,
" of the dayes glome."
L. 501. — There nere honde."] The Lincoln MS. reads," es
L. 502. — Ilyt ya so fei/re.'] The Lincoln MS. has, —
" It es comync of gentille blode,
We salle liyni selle for niekilk: gude."
L. 566. — And to llic ci/t/'.'\ " To the Grekkcs se," Lincoln
L.573. — The ve.layn^ For all particulars relative to this
class of society, see Mr. Wright's excellent paper in the last
volume of the " Arch.Teologia."
li. 575. — Ye, who wylle us.'] The Lincoln MS. reads, —
" The golde wille I for hym telle."
L. 579, — Ory hym scllemay.'] The Lincoln MS. reads, —
" Are •le hym so sella may."
L. 587. — XX. li.'\ In the French romance, Clement is so
eager to purchase the child, having been struck by his beauty,
that he exposes himself to no small ridicule by voluntarily
purchasing him at the extravagant price of a hundred pieces
of gold. Scarcely has he concluded his bargain, before he
begins to meditate with great seriousness on his imprudence,
and its probable consequences : his meditations, however, pro-
duce no other effect than the additional expense of an ass, for
the purpose of carrying the young foundling. See Couybeare's
Analysis, p. 7.
L. 597. — That ivas hys beste rede.'] The Lincoln MS.
" And mito Paresclie he ^ede."
L. 601 . — Callyd.] " Haylsest," Lincoln MS.
L. 6 1 3. — Dame, seydc Clement.] The Lincoln MS. reads, —
" Clement saide to his wyfe tho.
Sen the childe is getyne so."
L. 62'S.—Tylle that he come.] This and the next line are
transjjosed in the Lincoln MS.
L. MO.—rij.] " Tuelve," Lincoln MS.
L. 642. — To be a chaungere.] The Lincoln MS. reads, —
" To be a chawiidelere."
L. 645— To be.] " Unto," Lincoln MS.
L. 648.—" To use swylke mystere," Lincoln MS.
L. 651. — "A semely sjgbte savve he," Lincoln MS.
L. 654. — " That semly was to see," Lincoln MS.
L. 657,—" For that fowle so fre," Lincoln MS.
L. 660.—" Florent was biythe in ble," Lincoln MS. After
1. 661, the Lincoln MS. has a leaf missing.
L. 672. — H)jin.~] This word is repeated in the MS. Flo-
rent's fear that the " squyer" should wish to retract his bar-
gain, is somewhat " more than natural."
L. 73 L — Thou schalt have niore^ The reader will observe
how carefully Florent's chivalric character is kept up. This
munificence is in perfect harmony with the conduct of the tale.
In the Anglo-Norman romance he says, —
" Dis, estes-vous ivres ?
Qui me le faites trente livres?
Ne Toil pas que vous i perdes ;
Quarante livres eu avrcs."
L. SOL — The conduct of the tale here seems to be some-
what different in the Lincoln MS., but a leaf being wanting,
it is almost impossible to decide that question clearly. It
appears, however, that in the Line. MS. the giant wishes to
sti'ike a bargain with the sultan for his daughter, for f. 103
begins as follows, this extract reaching to 1. 816of our text. —
" Merveylle therof thynkes mee.
If thou and alia ttis mene wille blynne,
I wille undirtake to wynne
Paresche, that stronge cetc ;
Bot Mersabele thane weedde I \\ille !"
Snyd the Sowdaune, " I halde thertille,
With thi that it so bee."
Arageous ajipone that same daye,
To the Mount-Martyne ther the \a.\\y layo,
The wave he tuke tulle i*yghto ;
And hir hade lever dede to hafo bene,
Thane hvm in hir chanibir to hale sene,
So I'lillf.' lie was of syglite !
He sayse, " Lemanu, kyssc me bc-lyve,
Thy lorde nie base tlic graiinte to wyefe,
And Pnresclie I liiilb liym liyghtc ;
And I lieto tlie wittcrlj'
The kynges hevede of Fraunce certanely,
To niorowe or it be nyghte !"
L. 821, — A h/sse irylle y ivame the nnyht.'] The Lincoln
MS. reads, —
" Than shalle thou hafe thyne askynge."
L. 830.— Js hi/t. lay.'] " That ilke daye," Lincoln MS.
L. 852.— After this line, the Lincoln MS. has the following,
not found in our version : —
Wlienne he had slayne the knyghtes fyve,
Agayne to the walles gane he dry ve,
And over tlie bretage gane lye:
" Kynge Dagabcrde of Fraunce," he sayde,
" Come thi-selfe audfyghte a brayde,
For thi curta.S3'e.
For I wille withe none other fyght,
Thi hevede I hafe my lemane highte,
Seho salle me kysse with thi ;
And if thou ne wille noghte do so,
Alle this cete I wille overgo,
Als dogges thane salle thay dy ! '
Crete dole it was thane for to see
The sorowe that was in that cete,
Bothe with olde and Tonge ;
For ther was nother kynge ne knyghte,
That with that geaunt thane durste fyghte.
He was so foulle a thynge !
And ay i-whills Arageous with bis stafl'e,
Many a grete bofete he gafl'e,
And the walles downe gane he dynge;
And thane gane alle the pepille crye
Unto God, and to mylde Marye,
With soro-n e and grete wepyngc 1'
L. 858.— The chylde harkeuyd.] After this line, the Lin-
coln MS. has the three following: —
" Oure kynges liede base he liiglife
The Sowdane dogheter that es so brj'ghte,
For scho sohle kysse hym thenne."
L. 862. This and the next two lines are omitted in the
L. 808. Instead of this, and the eiyht following lines, the
Lincoln MS. reads as follows : —
" A ! lorde, why ever thus raany meue hym drede?
Me thyuke I myghte do aHe his nede,
And I were armede ryghte 1"
Sayse Clement, " And thou tlierof sjieke,
I trow I salle thyne liede hreke,
For liad tliou of hyme a sj'ghte,
For alia this cete wohle thou [not] habyde,
Bot faste a-waywarde wokl thou ryde,
He es so fowle a wyghte !"
" A ! fadir," he said, " takes to uone ille,
For with the geaunt fighte I wille,
To luke if I dare byde ;
And bot I titter armede be,
I salle noghte lett, so mote I the,
That I ne salle to hyme ryde."
Clement saide, " Sena thou willt fare,
I hafe armoures swylke als thay are,
I salle thame lene the this tyde ;
Bot this sevene ■zere sawe thay no sonne."
" Fadir," he sayd, " alio es wonne,
Ne gylfe I noghte a chide !"
" Bot, fadir," he sayde, " I ww praye,
That we na make no more delaye,
Bot tyte I ware dyghte ;
For I wolde noght for this cete,
That another mane before me
Undir-tuke that fj-ghte."
" Nay ! nay !" saise Clement, " I luidirtake,
That ther wille none swylke maystres make,
Nother kynge ne knyght ;
Bot God sone sende the grace wirchipe to wyne,
And late me never hafe perelle therin,
To the dede if thou be dyghte."
L. 913.— .S'(; bri/!/hl.] " Un1)ryghte," Lincoln MS. The
satirical niuaning implied in our textsccnis prefcraljlc.
L. 9.'34. — Ih'nm:.'\ " Brcnc," Lincoln MS.
L, 9U.—The chyldes.'] "His," Lincoln MS. This is a
better reading. See the previous line.
L. 957. — Plai/cs.'] " Lawes," Lincoln MS. The three lines
following this are omitted in the same MS.
L. 963. — The sotlie y wylle yow say.'] A very common
expression in old romances. By an accident, sothU in a simi-
lar line in Audelay's Poems, p. 68, is misprinted soyle. The
mistake was owing to some slieets of that work having been
accidentally ordered for press before the final corrections had
L. 970.— £"(/«/•.] " Sory," Lincoln MS.
L. 983. — The gyaunt swoumyd.'] The Lincoln MS. reads,
" he slewe the geaunt."
L. 1001. — Kyrtulle there.'] " Surkott in hyr haulle,'' Lincoln
L. 1009.— Hye.] So in the MS. Qii. Bye ?
L. I0\9.-Rodc.] "Wolde," Lincoln MS.
L. 1034. " Fulle many a Sarazene made he to blede," Lin-
L. 1065. — " That he ne fellede thame ])ydene," Lincoln
L. 1072. — Eytir.] " Hcdouse," Lincoln MS. It would be
difficult to point out a passage in the old romances more des-
criptive of an angry Sultan than the present.
L. 1088. — " And one his coloure and one his lyre," Lincoln
1097. — "That was fulle faire of blode and bane," Lincoln
L. 1113.— Or thys.] " Or thys daye," Lincoln MS.
L. 1119. — They irende he had he lornc] After this line,
the following curious incident is related in the Lincoln MS : —
' And wLenne he come near the cete,
Agayne hym wente kynges thre,
And the Eniperoiire rode hyfome;
And to the palayse the chihle was hroghte,
Fulls riche atyre thay for hym soghte,
Ofgolde and sylver schene;
Mene callede hym Florent of Ptiresche,"'
For thus in romance tolde it es,
Tlioghe he ther were noghte home :
And Clement for the childes sake
FuUe faire to courte thay gane take,
And gaiTe hym fuUe riche wedc ;
One softs seges was he sett,
Amonge grete lordes at the mete
And servede of many riche hrede.
The chylde was sett with grete hoiiowre
Bytwixe the kynge and the emperoure,
His mete thay gane hym schrede ;
He was so curtayse and so holds
That alls hym lovede ^onge and olde
For liis doghety dede
Noghte longe after, als I ^ow saye,
The chUde solde be knyghte that other daj'c,
No lenger wolde thay habyde.
His atyre of golde was wroghte,
Byfore the emperoure the childe was broghte,
A kjTig on aythir syde.
The kyng of Fraunce byfore hym ^ode.
With mynstralles fulle many and gode,
And lede hym up with pryde;
Clement to the mynstralles gan go,
And gafe some a stroke, and some two.
There durste noghte one habyde!
Clement so sorye was that daye
For alle thaire costes that he solde paye,
That he gane wepe wele sore ;
And whills the kynges dauwusede in the hallc,
Clement take thaire mantills alle,
And to his howse thame bare ;
Thane the kynges gane thaire mantills myse.
And ilke raaue askede after his.
Where thay bycomene were;
Thane swore Clement by Godiles tlaye,
For ■jouro mete mostc ■le payo,
Or ^e gc((,' tliamo no more !"
There att alle t)ie kyngcs loghe,
There yras joye and gainene y-nogho
Amonges thame in tlie lianllc !
The kynge of Frauiice witli hert ful fayne,
Said, " Clement, brynge the mantils agayne,
For I salle paye for alle."
Clement thorc of was fuUe blythe,
And home he rane als so swythe
To his owene haulle,
And to the palaj-s the mantils bare,
And bade thame take thame alle thare,
And downe he lette thame falle ;
The biirdes were sett and coverde alle,
Childe Florent was broghte into the haulle
With fulle mekille presse."
L. 1136. — He wcnde liyt had ben merchandysc.^ This
amusing- incident is not found in the Cottonian MS. The
preceding line is of course to be taken satirically. This part of
the tale is conducted in a different manner in the Lincoln MS.
L. 1102. — For XX, poivnde.^ The Lincoln MS. reads
" thritty," which does not agree with what is said previously at
L. IWS.—FuUe.'] "Als," Lincoln MS.
L. 1170.—" Thoghe he ne wiste whate he highte," Lincoln
MS., which is on the whole a better reading.
L. 1175. — Si/r Florent.l In the Anglo-Norman romance,
the ceremony of knighthood is delayed by the interposition of
the worthy Clement, who, bearing a most rooted antipathy to
the profession of arms, uses all his eloquence to persuade the
king from bestowing, and his foster son from receiving, so un-
profitable and perilous a dignity. These kind-hearted exer-
tions, however, serve only to draw upon him the ridicule and
gaherie of the whole assembly ; and, indeed, both here and
elsewhere, the poet seems to have aimed at enlivening his fie-
tion by contrasting the simplicity and bourgeoisie of the vikiin
with the heroic deportment of his more elevated characters.
The ceremony, then, of investing Florent with his spurs was
the next morning performed by the king himself, before the
tale of Clement respecting his origin had been revealed. Sec
Conybeare's Analysis, p. 28.
L. 1207.— Ri,(/ht.'] " Heghe," Lincoln MS.
L. 1255. — This and the next triplet are transposed in the
L. 1272.-^ balle.} " A fote-balle," Lincoln MS. This is
a curious early notice of that game. The earliest mention of
the sport produced by Strutt is in 1349. See his " Sports and
Pastimes," ed. Hone, p. 100.
L. 1274.— "A mete-forme he gatt percas," Lincoln MS.
L. 1277— Vij.'] "Ten," Lincoln MS.
L. 1284— Alle the.'] "The heythene," Lincoln MS.
L. 1285. — There are many variations and much additional
matter in the Anglo-Norman romance. When the Sultan
heard of Florent's escape, and the loss of his men, he was irri-
tated beyond all bounds, and vented his rage upon his idol
Mahomet, giving him four blows with his truncheon, and
declaring him to be of less value than a brace of dead dogs.
Mahomet was, however, somewhat recompensed for his bruises,
by the grateful, though silent, praises and thanks bestowed on
him by the love-sick Marsabelle, for thus kindly conniving at
the escape of her admirer. Afterwards, when the king of
France was nearly vanquished in the battle with the Saracens,
perceiving that no human efforts could avail to extricate
himself and his people from their calamitous situation, he
addresses himself fervently, though hastily, to the Deity.
Scarcely had he uttered the prayer, when twenty thousand
warriors, mounted on milk-white steeds, and clad in armour
of the same colour, and of a most dazzling brightness, were
seen rapidly to descend from the heights of Montmartre. On
their nearer approach, it was discovered that this angelic
cliivalry was headed l)y the illustrious champion of Christi-
anity, St. George; and it is almost needless to add that their
interposition at once turned the scale of battle in favour of
their votaries. For other particulars we must refer the reader
to Conybeare's Analysis.
L, \295.— Was be-slndd.] " Hadspcdc," Lincoln MS.
L. 1312— Kmj(/ht.'] " Wyghte," Lincoln MS.
L. 1321.— r/te.] " That," Lincoln MS. The same variation
occurs in the next line.
L. 1333.-iv(/3<.] " Syte," Lincoln MS.
L. 1340.— Sore.] " Sory," Lincoln MS.
L. 1370. — Oil/van.'] The Lincoln MS. here and in other
places calls this damsel Olyve.
L. 1382. — Be the rever si/de.} The Lincoln MS. reads, —
" Owte of the castelle gane thay goo
By the revere sytle."
L. 1449.— Brevelt/.'] " Brymly," Lincoln MS., which is a
better reading. The same MS. has the next two lines trans-
L. 14G7. — Into «.] " Appone a fulle," Lincoln MS.
L. 1470. — The soivdon they tolde.'] The Lincoln MS. has
" the sowdans telde," i. e. tent, which is evidently the true
L. 1485. — For ye have lorne yowre pryde.] This incident of
Clement stealing the wonderful horse is related with much
force in the version printed by Weber. We miss here his
going into Spain and other countries to obtain the guise and
manner of a pilgrim, their tales and songs. The stratagem in
our text is worked with much greater ease, and it is somewhat
remarkable that the curious condition that no one could ride
the horse "but a bloman be hyui bysyde," is altogether
This part of the version in Webtr's edition is worth
quoting, and we therefore take the opportunity of giving- a
specimen of it : —
Sche seyde, " Yf ye denketh spede,
To my tale now taketh liede ;
My ladyr hath an horned stede
Whyle he hym liath dar hym naght drede
Of your maystrye.
" No man may on that stede ryde
But a Woman be hym bysyde,
That hath y-kepte hym fer and wyde
Fram Grece to Troye :
For he hym maketh, with moche pride,
A nyse coye.
" The coye ys with hys handys two,
Clappj'nde togedere to and fro ;
He ys swyftyr than ony roo
In ech bateyle lie well slo
Before and behynde.
" An unycorn begat that fole
On a rabyte, as blakke as cole."
Than seyd Clement, " He schall be stole
With som queyntys ;" —
And bad that counsell schuld be hole
Stylle yn Parys.
Pyk and palm, schryppe and slaveyn,
He dyghte hym as a palmer queynt of gyn ;
Be Seyne water, seyd the Latyn,
Maryners hym broghte to the maryn
Of Gene cost.
He turnede abowteGalys and Spayne,
Lumbardye and also Almeyne ;
Of other palmers he gan frayne
As ech man behovyd that ys yn payne
Hys tale paynte.
Be the Soudanes est whan he was come.
Well hastylyche he was y-nome ;
Before the Soudan, the greet gome,
Servantes hym broghte.
Now herkeneth, frendes all and som.
How Clement wroght!
The Soudan aslsede, ivhaniics he cam .
He seyde lie come fro Jerusalem,
Fram the sepiilcre of IJedlem,
In pylgreinaf^e, —
" And ther y liave lettc iiiyn em
For strong hostage.
Whanncs he was men gon hym freyne :
He seyde he was of Greet-lJruteync, —
" In Artour's court a man of niayne
I have ybc yore :
Of hys greet liors y was wardeyne
Sane yere and more."
For to blere the Soudanes ye
Quej-utelesynges he gan to lye,
And seyde he hadde lemed marchal.s3'e,
Both fer and neygli ;
In Ynde, Europe, Aufryke, and Asye,
Ther nas noon so sle^'gh ;
And all maner of hors he knew,
Bothe the lake and the vertu.
" Ther ys, he sayde, Cristcn neyther Jew
That connc me teche."
The Soudan that was blak of hew,
Logh of hys speche.
The Soudan sayde : " I have a stede," —
(He swere as Malion schuld hym spede),
" Yf thou kanst telle all the dede
Of hys kende,
Thou schalt have of me riche medc
Ere that thou wende."
The stede was broght out of stable ;
The blomau hym ladde with a cable,
Tho seyde Clement : " AVithout fable,
O, ser Soudan,
In the w^orld nys hors so profytable
As thou hast oon.
" Thysys a stede of Arabye,
Be hys horn I gan hyt aspye,
An unjcom, with greet maystryc.
Begat hyt tliare
A rabyte, y se hyt with my ye,
Therto was mare.
" Hyt ys swyfter thanhert other hynde,
Or ro that renneth under lynde;
He feyght before hym and beliynde
In ecli batayle.
Ther uys no man of Crvsten kynde
That myglite the asayle,
AVliyle thou on thy stede hovyst." —
Tho hadJe the Soudan ivonder mest,
And seyde : " Palmer, ryghtly thou arest
All the maner.
Darst thou ryde upon thys best
To the ry vere,
" And water hym that thou ne falle ?
Thanne T\ylle we seye among us all,
That thou hast be ^u Artourys balle
Hys prys marschalle,
And therfore a robe of ryche palle
Y yeue the schall."
Clement nere the stede staple.
He whyslede and hys hondys clapte ;
Thorgh Godes grace well he hapte, —
He nas noght ydell, —
In the stedes mouth he rapte
An huge brydel.
The brydel was made of chaynys,
Of grete liaspys wer the reynys.
Erles, barons, kuyghtes, and swaynes
Of Clement spak.
How he lepte with myght and maynes
On the stede back ;
And ^vith a peyre sporys of SpejTie,
He smot the stede with myght and mayne,
And rood ryght over the water of Seyne,
Ryght to the cyte.
Tlie Emperour of Almeyne
That syght gan se.
And lette opene the gettys wyde.
And Clement yn began to ryde.
The Soudan began up hys godes chyde
For that myschaunce.
Clement presentede with that stede
The Kyng of Fraunce.
L. 1500— Yf hi/ 1.'] The Lincoln MS. reads,-
" So prodly if I moghte spetle."
L. 1507. From this line to 1. 1538 inclusive, the Lincoln
MS. is imperfect, having been torn down the middle ;
1. 1549 to 1. 1025 inclusive are quite wanting; and 1. H)26 to
1. 1659 are very imperfect in that MS., which has been sadly
mutilated in this place.
L. \65l.— With.'] " With grete," Lincoln MS.
L. 1654.— //e.] " He tljore," Lincoln MS.
L. 1660. This and the next triplet are transposed in the
Lincoln MS., and 11. 1672-5 are omitted.
L. 1677. — Kppj/d.'] ",emede,'' Lincoln MS.
L. 1682.— Hi/s.'] " His faire," Lincoln MS.
L. 1713.— Tonne.] " Belle," Lincoln MS.
L. 1721. — What u-ondur icas^ The Lincoln MS. reads, —
" There was joj'e and ganiene ynowghe."
L. 1728.— Hys wi/fe and hi/s soni/s.] Instead of this and the
two following lines, the Lincoln MS. thus concludes, —
And his two sonnes also,
And with tliame many one nio,
Home thane gano thay ryde.
And tlms endis Octoveane,
That in his tyme was a doghety mane,
With the grace of Mary free !
Now, Jhesu, Lorde of hevene kynge.
Thou gj'fTe us alle thi dere blj'ssyngc,
Amen, Amene, per charytc ! Amen.
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