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SEP 5 1951 

II^r31 1973 

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J. H. DIXON, Esq. 


W. D H.\GGARD, Esq, F.S.A. 

Honorary Secretary. 


JAMES PRIOR, Esq., F.S.A., M.R.I.A. 





THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A., F.S.A., Treasurer. 


It has been affirmed in works of considerable 
reputation that the subject of the following 
' Passion"" was almost wholly unknown to our fore- 
fathers till the period of the Crusaders, when he is 
said to have interposed in behalf of the Christians 
during the expeditions of Richard I. 

This statement is, however, untenable, as will 
be seen by referring to the notices of St. George, 
which belong to Anglo-Saxon history. The 
language of the present poem is of itself sufficient 
to convince us of his general recognition in 
England even before the Norman conquest. The 
MS. was perhaps executed somewhat later, but 
the author of it was none other than vElfric, 
archbishop of York, who presided over that see 
between the years 1023 and 1051. This fact has 
been ascertained by collating the Cambridge 
MS. with a volume of ' Lives of Saints,' in the 


Cotton library (Julius, E, vii), unquestionably the 
work of ^Ifric, as we learn from the preface. 
He also informs us that he had already translated 
two volumes of the same kind, to meet the wishes 
of the English people, while this third was chiefly 
undertaken for the gratification of the monks. 
The pages which relate to St. George agree 
almost literatim with the text of the following 

Nor is this the earliest vestige of St. George 
in Anglo-Saxon literature. We find him in a 
' Marty rology' surviving in Corpus Christi College, 
Cambridge (No. cxcvi, p. 12), given, it would 
seem, by bishop Leofric to the Cathedral Church 
of Exeter, early in the eleventh century.^ He 

* I transcribe this Passion at length: "On 
]?one ];reo and twentigo"(San dajg j^rcs mon'Ses 
(Eostor-month or April) byS sancte Georius tyd 
J^aes se'Selan martyres, j^one Datianus se casere 
seofen gear myd unasecgendlicum wytura hyne 
j^reatode J^at he Cryste wi^soce: and he njefre 
hyne ofei'-swy^an no myhte. And |)a refter |>am 
seofon gearum het he hyne beheafdian. pi he J?a 
waes gelaed to )?fere behcafdungc ]?a com fyr of 
hcofcnum and forbaernde |?onc hajScnan casere 
and ealle ]>a ]?c myd hym ajr tyntrcgdon J>one 
halgan wer. And sancte Georius hym to Dryhtne 


has also a j)lace in the Anglo-Saxon ' Ritual of 
the Church of Durham,' published by the Surtees 
Society, and assignable to the beginning of the 
ninth century.* A still older channel by which 

gebaed and ]?us cvvae^, ' Haelend Cryst, onfoh 
mynuni gaste; and ic J>e bydde J^at swa hwylc 
man swa myn gemynd on eorSan do, J>onn afyrr 
fram Jjaes mannes huse aelce untrumnysse, ne hym 
feond ne sce^^e ne hunger ne man-cwealra ; and 
gif man mynne nama naeme^ on senigre freced- 
nysse oS5e on sae oSSe on oSrum sy^ saete, ]?onne 
fylge se ]?ynre myld-heortnysse\ pa com staefen 
of heofenum and cwae'S, ' Cum ];u geblotsode, and 
swa hwylc man swa on oenigre stowe and freced- 
nysse mynne naman J»urh J?e cygS, ic hyne gehyre.' 
And sySSan J>yses halgan weres mihta waeron 
oft mycele gecy Sed. Pa maeg on-gy tan seSe rasped 
sancte Arculfes boc, ]?at se man wses stranglice 
gewytnod, se^Se geunarode sancte Georius anlyc- 
nysse, and se waes wy^ hys feondum gescyld 
betweox mycelrc frecednysse seSe hym ];ain an- 
lycnysse to ]?yngunge gesohte." In p. 15, there 
is a commemoration of Alexandra, who is men- 
tioned in some legends of St. George as the queen 
of Datianus. 

* p. 52. — The prayer runs thus: God, 5v ^e 
vsig eadges Georg' ^rpvres ^ines earnvngv j 


the Anglo-Saxon Church might have become 
acquainted with St. George, is the Gregorian 
Sacramentary, once very generally used in our 
island. It is true, questions have been raised 
touching the genuineness of the ' Preface,' where 
St. George is commemorated by name ; but other 
evidence is not wanting to prove that he was 
already known to Gregory the Great, and there- 
fore to the Roman missionaries, who took part in 
the conversion of the Saxons. For among the 
letters of St. Gregory, there is one in which he 
gives orders for the repair of a church dedicated 
in honour of St. George.* 

But all doubts as to his early introduction 
among our Anglo-Saxon forefathers are removed 
by the testimony of Adamnan, whose treatise 
' de Situ TerraD Sanctse' (ed. Ingolstadt, 1G19) 
supplies the following curious information. It 
appears that Arculf, the early traveller, on his 
return to his bishopric in France, was carried by 
adverse winds to lona (a.d. 701). At his own 
dictation, a narrative was made ^^ his interesting 
pilgrimage ; and among other p.u'ticulars we are 

"Singvnge gigladias, gilef rvmlice, '^te iSa ^e his 
vcl-fremnis' vc givga'S, gefc giselenisnc gefes ve 

* Lib. ix, Indict, iv, ep. Ixviii. 


told (lib. iii, c. 4) : " Aliam quoque de Georgia 
martyre certam relationeni nobis S. Arculfus 
intimavit, quam expertis quibusdam satis idoneis 
narratoribus in Constantinopoli urbe indubitanter 
didicit." In proof of the sanctity of the martyr^ 
he subjoins a most singular story touching a man 
who vowed his horse to St. George, as he vva& 
proceeding on some perilous expedition. Having 
returned in safety, he wished to commute the 
offering by the payment of a sum of money. 
Whereupon the saint showed his deep displeasure 
by causing the animal to become restive, when 
his rider had mounted for his departure; and 
after several ineffectual attempts, and the promise 
of some extra shillings, the vow was at length 
literally fulfilled by leaving the horse behind. The 
moral which this story inculcated on the Anglo- 
Saxons is then stated by Adamnan : " Hinc 
manifesto coUigitur, quodcumque Domino conse- 
cratur, sive homo erit sive animal (juxta id quod 
in Levitico scriptum est) nullo modo posse rcdimi 
aut mutari." 

From the sa^iC source Bede most probably 
derived the information contained in his Mar- 
tyrology, for he was well acquainted both with 
the travels of Arculf* and the book of Adamnan, 

* Hist. Eccl, lib. v, c. 15-17. 


which latter, indeed, he has epitomised. The 
notice at ix Kalend. Maii, is as follows : " Natale 
S. Gcorgii martyris, qui sub Datiano,regePersarura 
potentissimo qui dominabatur super septuaginta 
reges, multis miraculis claruit, plurimosque con- 
vertit ad fidem Christi, simul et Alexandram 
uxorem ipsius Datiani usque ad raartyriura 
confortavit. Ipse vero novissime decollatus mar- 
tyrium explevit, quamvis fjesta passionis ejus inter 
apocryplms connumerentur scriptums.^' 

This last clause will throw light upon the 
language at the opening of the Anglo-Saxon 
Passion. It is there stated that heretical accounts 
of St. George were not uncommon in the Western 
Church ; and that the compiler of the present 
legend undertook it with the hope of preserving 
the faithful from all further imposition. In what the 
heresy of those legends consisted we are unable 
to ascertain precisely, for the first mention of 
them, which occurs in a catalogue of spurious 
writings drawn up at Rome in 495, does no more 
than enumerate one relating to St. George. It 
may however be conjectured, with considerable 
probability, that the ground of condemnation was 
an allusion respecting St. Athanasius, who appears 
to have been foisted into the narrative at a very 
early period. As in our own legend, he is made 
to play the part of a magician in aid of the tyrant 


Datianus ; and since his adversaries were in the 
habit of taxing him with sorcery, there is reason 
to suspect that the corruption of the legend is 
due to Arian malice. This at least has been the 
opinion of many writers who have investigated 
the story of St. George, including Baronius, 
Heylin, and the Bollandists. They also maintain, 
that the confusion of our saint with the Cappado- 
cian George, who lived nearly a century later, has 
resulted from similar interpolations.* However 
this may be, it is clear that the author of the 
legend from which our Anglo-Saxon text has 
been derived, reproduced several of the Arian 
elements, notwithstanding his zeal to vindicate 
the saint from all heretical misconstructions. This 
feature of the Passion will be found not the least 

I may add, in conclusion, that the accompa- 
panying version claims no merit beyond that 

* The main channel by which this corruption was per- 
petuated, seems to be a manuscript written in Lombardic 
characters, and referred to the seventh century. Baronius 
speaks of that legend of St. George as " multis procul dubio 
repertam mendaciis", and the Bollandists as " non tantum 
fide sed etiam lectione indignissima." They affirm, how- 
ever, that the basis of the legend was historical, and that 
it was subsequently expui-gated l)y collation with the pui'er 
accounts of the Eastern Chui'ch. 


of a literal correctness, and that the few various 
readings are drawn from the Cotton MS. to which 
I have before alluded. 

St. Catharine's Hall, Cambridge, 
June 29, 1850. 

0. H. 



GEDWOL-menn awrlton 

gedwyld on heora bocum* 

be J^am halgan were 

J>e is gehaten Georius.* 

Nu wylle we eow secgan 

J?at so'S is be J>am* 

]>at heora gedwyld ne derief 

dicrellice aenigum. 

Se halga Georius 

waes in hae'Senum dagum 

rice ealdormann* 

under:}: |?am re"(Sam cascre Datianus§* 

on jjffire scire Capadocia. 

]ni het Datianus 

]>a. hfe]7enan gcgaderian* 

* A corruption of Georgius very common in Anglo-Saxon 
and Anglo-Norman MSS. Instances also occur in which 
Georgius has been confounded with Gregorius. t Derige. 

X Under ^am rcbam casere ]>e wtcs Datianus geciged. 

§ The Greek Acts generally read Diocletianus, of which 


Misbelievers have written 

Misbelief in their books. 

Touching the saint 

That Georius hight. 

Now will we teach you 

What is true thereabout, 

That heresy harm not 

Any unwittingly. 

The holy Georius 

Was in heathenish days 

A rich ealdorman. 

Under the fierce Caesar Datlanus, 

In the shire of Cappadocia. 

Then bade Datianus 

The heathen assemble 

Datianus may be a corrupted form. Heylin has endeavoured 
to prove that the Datianus here mentioned was Galerius 
Maximinus, a native of Dacia. — Hist, of tSt. George, -p. Wd, 



to his deofol-gyldum 

his Drihtne onteonan' 

and mid manegum ];eowracum 

l^at man-cyn geegsode* 

]>at hi heora lac geoffrodoii 

])am leasura godum mid him. 

]7a geseah se halga wer 

J^aara hse^enra gedwyld* 

hu hi ]7am deoflum onsaigdon 

and heora Drihten forsawon. 

]7a aspende he his feoh 

unforht on ielmyssum* 

hafenleasum mannum 

]?am Haileude to lofe" 

and wear's Jjurh Crist gebyld 

and cwai^ to )?am casere* 

Omnes dii gentium [demonia*] 

Dominus autcm cudos fecit. 

Ealle J^ajra hej^enra godas 

syndon gramlice deoflirf 

and ure Drihten soSllce 

geworhte heofonas. 

)>ine godas casere 

syndon gyldene and sylfrene' 

sttc'nc and treowc:}: 

getreowleasra manna hand-gcweorc* 

* Supplied from Cotton MS. t deofla. 

+ btajncnc and trcowene. 


At his devil-offerings§ 

His Lord to blaspheme ; 

And with many threatenings 

(So) frightened the people, 

That they offered their gifts 

To the false gods with him. 

Then witnessed the saint 

The heathens' delusion, 

How they were worshipping devils. 

And despising their Lord. 

Then spent he his wealth 

Cheerful in alms. 

On shelterless men, 

to the praise of the Saviour ; 

And, through Christ, waxed courageous, 

And quoth to the Cassar, 
" Omnes dii (gentium dwmonia 

Dominus auiem ccelos fecit.\\ 
' All the gods of the heathen 

Are furious demons ; 

And our Lord, in sooth, 

Fashioned the heavens.' 

Thy gods, O Ca3sar, 

Are of gold and silver, 

Of stone and of tree. 

Of untrue men the hand-work ; 

§ I.e. idolatry. || Ps. xcv, 5, ed. Vdg. 


ant! ge him weardas setta'S 

^e hi bewaciaS \vi5 j^eofas* 

hwset ^a Datianus 

deoflice geyrsode' 

ongen J^one halgan wer 

and het hine secgan* 

of hwilcere byrig he wpere 

o^'Se hwa^t his nania wa^re. 

J>a andwyrde Georius 

pnm arleasan and cwse^* , 

Ic eoin soSlice Cristen 

and ic Criste ]?eowie.* 

Georius ic eom gehaten 

and ic habbe ealdordora* 

on minum gcarde'f' 

]>e is gehaten Capadocia' 

and me bet lica'cS 

to forl?ctcnne nu* 

J>ysne hwilwendlican wurcSmynt 

and jws wuldorfyllan Godes* 

cyne-dorae gehyrsumian 

on haliirre drohtnunjje. 

])a c\v;o(S Datianus 

]m dwclast Georius* 

genealre'c nu anrcst 

and geoffra ])ine lac* 

}7ani unoferswijjcnduiu Ajiullinc 

scJSc socSlice nia'g" 

j7eowige. t earde. 


And ye station guards for them, 

Who may them watch against thieves." 

Whereupon Datianus 

Devilishly raged 

Against the holy man, 

And bade him declare 

Of which borough he was, 

Or what was his name ? 

Then answered Georius 

The sinner, and quoth, 
" I am, truly, a chi'istian. 

And to Christ am in thrall. 

My name is Georius, 

And I rank as an ealdorman 

In my own pi'ovince, 

That is hight Cappadocia ; 

And me it better liketh 

To forfeit at once 

This temporal honour. 

And the glorious God's 

Empire to follow 

In pureness of living." 

Then quoth Datianus, 
" Thou art astray, O Georius, 

Therefore come first 

And offer thy gift 

To unconquered Apollo, 

Who doubtless is able 


J;inre nytennysse geniiltsian 

and to his man-r?eclene gebigan. 

Georius J^a befran 

])oue feondlican Casere* 

hwaSer* is to lufigenne 

o|?]?e hwam lac to ofFrigennc" 

|7am hselende Criste 

ealra worulda'f' alusend'J 

o]>]>e Apolline 

ealra deofla ealdre. 

hwa3t ]?a Datianus 

mid deoflicum graman* 

het ]7one halgan wer 

on hengene ahebl)an*§ 

and mid isenum clawimi 

clifrian his lima* 

and on-tendan blasan|| 

ict bam his sidan^' 

and het hinc ]>a. si^San 

of Jjsere ceastre ahcdan* 

and mid swinglum prcagan 

and mid sealtan* gnidan' 

ac se halga wer 

wunode ungedcrod. 

]?a het so Cascrc 

hlne on cwcnitcrnf don* 

* hwas^cr. t worulJia. X alysend. 

§ ahscbban (which is prohahly the true reading). 


Thy folly to pardon, 
And to his allegiance to bend." 
Georius then asked 
The fiend-like Ca?sar, 
" Whether one should love, 
Or to which offer gifts, 
To the merciful Christ, 
Everlasting Kedeemer, 
Or else to Apollo, 
Of all devils the chief?" 
Whereupon Datianus, 
With devilish fury. 
Gave order the saint 
In prison to hold, 
And with iron claws 
To harrow his limbs, 
And set torches on fire 
At both sides of him : 
And bade him thence forth 
From the city to lead, 
And with scourges chastise, 
And rub (him) with salt. 
Notwithstanding the saint 
Uninjured abode. 
Then ordered the Cicsar 
Him in prison to lay, 

II blysan. If sidum. 

* sealte. f cwcartcrnc. 


and het geaxlan ofer eall 

sumne seltewne dry. 

]?a geaxode ]7at 

Athanasius se dry'' 

and com to ]?am Casere 

and hine caflice befran* 

hwi hete Su me fcccan 

J?us fcerlice to ]?e' 

Datlanus andwurde 

Athanasius J?us' 

miht ]>u adwsescan 

|7a?ra Cristenra dry-craeff 

]?a andwyrde se dry' 

Datiane ]?us* 

hat cuman to mc 

J)one cristenan man* 

and ic beo scyldig 

gif ic his scin-crrcff 

ne mreg mid ealle adwscscan 

raid minum dry-crsefte. 

])a fscgnodc Datianus 

])at he funde swylcne dry'' 

and het of cwearternc hcdan 

]?one Godes cempan* 

and cwffi^ to ]mm lialgan 

mid lietclicum mode 

for ~Sc Geori 

ic begcat J^isne dry 


And inquire above all 

For some eminent mage. 

Then news thereof heard 

Athanasius, the mage, 

And he came to the Cicsar, 

And inquired of him quick, 
" Why badest thou fetch me 

Thus suddenl}' to thee ?" 

Datlanua answered 

Athanasius thus : 
" Canst thou extinguish 

The Christians' magic ?" 

Then answered the mage 

To Datian thus : 
" Bid come unto me 

The Christian man, 

And I am a sinner 

If I his illusion 

Do not quite extinguish 

By means of my magic." 

Datianus was fain 

That he found such a mage, 

And bade lead from prison 

The champion of God ; 

And quoth to the saint 

In vehement mood, 
" For thy sake, Georius, 

I have cot me this majre : 


ofer-swiS his dry-craft 

o^^e he Se ofer-swy^e* 

o|>J?e he ]7e fordo 

o'SSe ]>u fordo hine. 

Georius J?a beheold 

];one hfej^enan dry'* 

and cwreS ];at he gesawe 

Cristes gifc on him. 

Athanasius 'Sa 

heardlice* genara* 

senne niicelne bollan 

mid bealuwe afulled"^" 

and deoflan| bet£ehtc 

J)one drenc eahie* 

and sealde him drincan 

ac hit him ne derode. 

j^a cwse^ eft sc dry* 

gyt ic do an ]^ing' 

and gif him ]nit nc dcru"(S 

ic huge to Cristc. 

He genam "Sa anc cuppan 

mid cwcahn-bsorum drsence* 

and clypodc swySe 

to J?am sweartum dcoflum* 

and to }?am fyrmcstum deoflum 

and to ]>am full strangum* 

and on hcora naniun begul 

];one gramlican drenc. 

* ardlicc. t afylled. X deoikun. 


O'ercomc thou \n6 inaixic, 
Or let him o'ercome thee : 
Either he tlo for thee, 
Or thou do for him." 
Then Georius beheld 
The heathenish mage. 
And quoth that he saw 
Christ's favour on him. 
Athanasius then 
Hastily took 
A bowl of great size 
With torment full-filled, 
And to devils devoted 
The whole of the drink, 
And gave him to drink ; 
But it injured him not. 
Then added the mage, 
" I do one thing more, 
And if that do not harm him 
I bow unto Christ." 
He then took a cup 
Of death-bearing drink, 
And earnestly called 
On the swarthy devils, 
And the foremost of devils, 
And devils full strong ; 
And in their name enchanted 
The horrible drink. 


sealde J>a drincan 

|?am Drill tnes halgan* 

ac him naht ne derode 

se deoflica wte'ta. 

|7a geseah se dry' 

J>at he him derian ue mihte* 

and feoll to his fotum 

fuluhtes* biddende" 

and se halga Georius 

hine sona gefullode. 

hwset "ba Datianus 

deoflice wear^ gram* 

and het geniman ];one dry'* 

|?e 'Sair gelyfde on God' 

and lajdan of ]?ffire byrig 

and beheafdian sona. 

Eft on ]?am o|?rum da^gc 

het se arleasa Casere* 

gebindan Georium 

on anum bradum hvveowlc* 

and twa sccarpe swurd 

settan him to-gcanes' 

and twa up ateon 

and under-ba3C sceofan. 

]>a gcbaid Georius 

liine bcaldlicc to Gode* 

Deus in adjutoriuni mcum intcndc 

Domino ad adjuvandum me festina. 

* fulluhtes. 


Gave (it) then to drink 

To the saint of the Lortl ; 

But no wise it harmed him, 

The devilish wet. 

Then the mage ascertained 

That he could not him harm, 

And fell at his feet. 

Imploring baptism ; 

And the holy Georius 

Baptized him forthwith. 

Whereupon Datianus 

Waxed devilishly fierce, 

And bade take the mage, 

Who there trusted in God, 

And lead (him) out of the borough. 

And behead (him) forthwith. 

On the following day 

Bade the impious Caesar 

To fasten Georius 

Upon a broad wheel. 

And a pair of sharp swords 

Against him to fix. 

And so up to draw. 

And backwards to shove. 

Then Georius prayed 

Him boldly to God, 

Deus in adjutorium meum intende 

Domine ad adjuvandum me/esiina.f 

f Common ejaculations in the OflSces of the western 


]>at is, God beseoli *Sir 

on minum fultume* 

Drihteu efst j^u** 

me to f'ultumigenne. 

and he wear's gebroht 

mid ];isum gebede on ]>am hwcowle. 

]>a tyrndon ]m hje]>cnan 

hetelice ]?at hweonol- 

ac hit soua to-bterst 

and beah to eor'San ; 

and se halga wer 

wunode ungederod. 

Datlanus ]7a 

dreox'ig wear's on mode* 
and swor ]mrh Sa snnnan 

and J»Lirh ealle his godas' 

J>at he mid mislicum wituin 

hine wolde fordon. 

]>a. cwse^ se eadiga 

Gcorius him to* 

pine ]?eowracan 

synd hwilwendlice* 

ac ic ne fbrhtige 

for "Sinum gcbeote. 

Su hffifest minne lichaman 

on "Sinum anwealde* 

church : see, for example, Rituule Ecciesics Dunelmensis. 
p. !(]!), cd. Surtccs Society. 


That is, " Look thou, O God, 
Upon my support, 
Haste thee, O Lord, 
To succour and save." 
And he was brought 
With this prayer to the wheel. 
Then turned the heathen 
Hotly the wheel, 
But it soon burst asunder. 
And bowed to the earth ; 
And the holy man 
Continued unhurt. 
Thereupon Datianus 
Waxed dreary in mood, 
And swore by the sun, 
And by the whole of his gods, 
That with divers torments 
He would do him to death. 
Then quoth the blessed 
Georius to him, 
" Thy comminations 
Are but for a time, 
But naught do I quail 
Because of thy threats. 
Thou holdest my body 
Within thy dominion, 

* ]>u uu. t j^a gebroht. 



ac ^u naef'st swa ]>eali 

mine sawle ac God. 

]7a het se Casere 

his cwelleras feccaii' 

senne ierenne hwer 

and hine ealne afullan"'^ 

mid weallendimi leade 

and lecgan Gcorium" 

innan j^one hwer 

]>sk ^a he hatostt wses. 

}>a ahof se halga 

to heofonum his eagan* 

his Drihten biddende 

and bealdlice cwa^ende* 

ic gange in to ^e 

on mines Godes naman" 

and ic hopige on Drihten 

]?at he me ungederodne' 

of ]>isum woallendum hwcrc 

wylle ahreddan* 

]?am is lof and wuldor 

geond calle worold. 

and lie blctsode ]?at lead 

and liug him on-uppan' 

and ];at lead wear's acolod 

^urh Cristes| mihte* 

and Gcorius srct 

gesund on J?am hwere* 

* afyllaii. t hattost. * ]?urh Godes. 


But my spirit nathless 
Hast thou not, but God." 
Then bade the Caesar 
His quellers to fetch 
A brazen ewer, 
And fill it all up 
With boiling lead. 
And lay Georius 
Inside the ewer. 
Where it was hottest. 
Then lifted the saint 
To heaven his eyes, 
Beseeching his Lord, 
And boldly declaring, 
"I go unto thee, 
In the name of my God, 
And I hope in the Lord 
That He me unharmed 
From this boiling ewer 
Will be pleased to deliver. 
Whose is praise and glory, 
World without end." 
And he hallowed the lead, 
And lay thereupon, 
And the lead waxed cold, 
Through the power of Christ; 
And Georius sat 
Unhurt in the ewer. 



J7a cw^e'S se Casere 

to ];am Cristes Jjegene* 

nast ^u la Georiiis 

]?at ure godas swincaS miS |je* 

and gyt hi sund gej^yldige 

J?at hi ^e mlltsian- 

nu lare ic ^e 

swa swa leofne sunu* 

]>at ^u J^sera lare cristenra* 

forlaete mid ealle* 

and to minuni rsede 

hra^e gebuge. 

swa J>at ^u ofFrige 

]7am arwur^an Apolline. 

and ]7u miht micelne 

wurSmunt swa begytan.t 

]7a se halga martir 

mid Jjam halgan Gaste afuUed" 

smercode mid mu'Sc 

and to J^am miinfuUan cwaeiS* 

ys gedafenaS to ofFrienne 

]nim undeadlicuni Godc. 

sefter })ysum bcbead 

se ablenda Datianus* 

J?at man his deadan godas 

dcorwyrSlicc fnBtewode* 

and )?at deofles tempi 

* cristenra lare. 


Then quoth the Cffisar 

To the liege-man of Christ, 
" Oh ! know'st not, Georius, 

That our gods toil with thee, 

And yet are they patient 

That they may thee pardon. 

Then counsel I thee, 

As a son of my love, 

That the Christian lore 

Thou abandon entire, 

And to my advice 

Readily bow, 

So that thou worship 

The reverend Apollo, 

And thou many honours 

So may obtain." 

Then the holy martyr, 

With the Holy Spirit full-filled, 

Smirked with his mouth, 

And to the impious one quoth, 
" Us becomes it to worship 

The undying God." 

After this ordered 

The blind Datianus, 

That they his dead gods 

Should richly adorn, 

And the devil's temple 

and bu micelne wui-^munt 
miht swa begitan. 


mid deorwur^um seolfre* 

and het J^yder Isedan 

bone geleafFullan martii" 

wende |?at he wolde 

wur'Sian his godas* 

and his lac geofFrian 

]7am lifleasum stanum. 

hwaBt ]>a Georius 

to eorSan abeah. 

]ms biddende his Drihten 

sebisdum cneowum* 

gehyr nu God aslmihtig 

ymes ]>eowan bene* 

and ]7as earman anlicnyssa 

mid ealle fordo. 

swa swa weax formylt 

for hatan fyre* 

]7at men ]?e oncnawan 

and on j^e gelufon* 

]?at ]>u eart ana God 

aehnihtig scyppend. 

seftcr ]7ysum gcbede 

bajrst ut of heofenum" 

swiSe fccrlic fur 

and forbiTcrnde ]7at tempi* 

and ealle ]m godas 

grundlunga suncon* 

in to ]7?ere eorSan 


With costliest silver, 
And bade thither lead 
The believing martyr. 
[HeJ weened that he would 
Worshijo his gods, 
And offer his gift 
To the lifeless stones. 
Whereat Georius 
Bowed him to earth, 
Thus beseeching his Lord 
On his bended knees : 
" Hear now, God Almighty, 
Thy servant's petition, 
And these helpless images 
Wholly destroy, 
Like as wax melts away 
Before the hot fire, 
That men Thee acknowledge 
And on Thee believe, 
That Thou art one God, 
Almighty Creator." 
After this prayer 
Burst out from heaven 
Instantaneous fire. 
And burnt up the temple ; 
And all the gods 
Utterly sunk 
Into the earth, 


and ne seteowden nsefre sy]7j?an. 

eac swilce ]>n sacerdas 

suncon for^ mid* 

and sume ]7a hai|)enan 

J7e "Saer gehende stodon* 

and Georius axode 

J)one arleasan Casere' 

on hwilcum godum tihtst "Su 

us to gelyfenne' 

hu magon hi ahreddan 

■Se Irani frsecednyssum' 

]?onn hi ne mihton 

hi sylfe ahreddan. 

hwset "Sa Datianus 

gedihte ];ysne cwyde* 

and het "Sus acwellan 

J>one Godes cempan. 

nima^ ]?ysn6 scyldigan 

Jjc mid scin-craefte to-wende* 

ure arwuriSan godas 

mid ealle to duste* 

and draga^ hine neowchie 

liis neb to eor^an* 

geond ealle J'as streat 

and staenene wegas* 

and of'-slea^ hine 

mid swurdes ecge. 

J7a tugun )?a hsej^enan 


And have not appeared ever since : 

So also the priests 

Were wholly engulphed, 

And some of the heathen 

Who stood near the place. 

And Georius asked » 

The impious Caesar, 
" On what gods allur'st thou 

Us to believe ? 

How can they save 

Thee from disasters, 

When they are powerless 

To deliver themselves?" 

Whereupon Datianus 

Drew up this command, 

And bade thus to kill 

The champion of God, 
" Lead off this sinner, 

Whose illusion upturned 

Our adorable gods 

Entirely to dust : 

And drag him prostrate, 

His face to the ground, 

Over all these streets 

And stony ways, 

And destroy him quick 

With the edge of the sword." 

Then drew the heathen 


j7one halgan wer* 

swa Datianus liet 

oS]?at hi conion* 

to ^sere cwealm-stowe 

and se martir bsed 

|?at he hine gebidden moste* 

to J?am ?elmihtigan Gode 

and his gast betsecan" 

he ]7ancGde ])a, Gode 

ealre his godnyssa* 

|?at he hine gescylde 

wi^ ]7one swicolan deofol" 

and him sige forgeaf 

]?urh so'Sne geleafan* 

he gebaid eac swylce 

for eall Godes* folc 

and ]7at God forgeafe 

])sexe eor^an renas" 

lbr]?an J?e se hscj>a 

)ja hynde ^a eor^an" 

icfter ]?ysum gebede 

he bletsode hine sylfnc* 

and ba?d his slagan 

l^at he hine sloge* 

mid ]?am "Se he acweald wks 

(Sa conion ]?yder sona" 

liis a^ene laud-leoda+ 

. ^ — 

* cristen. 


The holy man, 
As Datlanus bade, 
Until they came 
To the place of death ; 
And the martyr begged 
That he might him pray 
To the Almighty God, 
And his spii'it commend. 
Then thanked he God 
For His goodness all, 
That He shielded him 
From the treacherous devil. 
And him victory granted 
Through a sound belief. 
He prayed likewise 
For all God's folk. 
And that God would grant 
To the country rains 
Inasmuch as the drought 
Was then wasting the land. 
After this prayer 
He hallowed himself. 
And ordered his slayer 
That he would him slay. 
Whereupon he was killed. 
Then came thither soon 
His own country-people, 

f land-leode. 


gelyfede* on God 

and gel^hton his lie 

and Iseddon to 'Sere byi'ig* 

]7e he on-J?rowode 

and hine "Ster bebyrigdon- 

mi^ miceh'e arwyr^nysse 

J^am selmihtigan to lofe. 

)7a asende Drihten 

sona ren-scuras* 

and ]7a eor'San gewse'terodc 

"So se'r wses forburnen* 

swa s%va Georius bsed 

fer'San ]>e he abuge to siege' 

hwset ]>a, Datianus 

wear^ fserlice of-slagen* 

inid heofonlicc^l* fyre 

and his geferan samod" 

]>a ^a he hamwerd wa3s 

mid his heah-begnum| 

ac he becom to helle 

ser^an J>e to huse* 

and se lialga Georius 

siSodc to Criste* 

mid J)am a wunaiS 

on wuldrc. Amen. 

* geleofede. t heofonlicum. % he 


Believers in Gotl, 

And took up his corpse, 

And conveyed to the borough, 

Where he was martyred, 

And buried him there 

With manifold worship, 

To the praise of the Almighty. 

Then sent out the Lord 

Rain-showers forthwith. 

And watered the ground 

That ere had been parched ; 

Like as Georius prayed 

Ere that he bent him to death. 

Whereupon Datianus 

Was suddenly slain 

By heaven-sent fire. 

And his colleagues likewise, 

While on his way home 

With his notable thanes ; 

But he entered hell 

Ere (he reached) his house. 

And the holy Georius 

Journeyed to Christ, 

With whom he aye dwclleth 

In glory. Amen. 










€f)t ^nt^ ^otkt^. 







J. H. DIXON, Esq. 


J. M. GUTCH, Esq., F.S.A. 


F S.A., Acling Secretary. 
W. JERDAN, Esq. M.R.S.L. 
J. S. MOORE, Esq. 
T. J. PETTIGREW, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A. 
THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M .A., F S.A., Tnasurer 


This curious relic of our earlier poetry is preserved 
at the end of a folio volume of Homilies, by 
Radulphus Acton, or Achedon, who flourished, 
according to Pits, about the year 1320. {De 
Scriptorihus, s. 474.) The volume was presented 
to St. Peter's College, Cambridge, by Thomas 
Beaufort, half-brother to King Henry IV, and 
afterwards Duke of Exeter; the use of it being 
reserved (as we gather from a note at the com- 
mencement) to one Mr. John Savage, " ad ter- 
minum vitse suse duntaxat." The donor was 
appointed Lord Chancellor of England in the year 
1410, and died in the year 1425 {Lord CampheWs 
Lives, i. p. 316); by which dates we can approxi- 
mate with sufficient accuracy to the time Avhen 
the manuscript reached its present resting-place. 

The hand-writing of the Poem belongs to the 
same period as that of the Homilies, and is possibly 


the work of the same scribe. It may be assigned 
to the reign of Ed ward III, or perhaps of Ed ward II. 
This opinion, however, as to the execution of the 
manuscript, is quite independent of the age of the 
Poem; and since nothing has survived respecting 
the author, his date can only be ascertained by 
the internal evidence of language and historical 

With respect to the language of the Poem, it 
will be found (speaking generally) to resemble 
the old English of Piers Ploughman's Creed and 
Vision, so that we shall not far misdate its com- 
position, if on a prima facie view we consider it 
not later than 1350. On the contrary, it will 
appear to be still more ancient. For, first, it con- 
tains allusion to certain calamities very prevalent 
in England at the time of its publication. Thus 
in stanza 1 : 

Why werre and wrake in londc 
And manslaugt is y-come : 
Why hongcr and derthe on crthc 
The pour hath oucr-nomc ; 
Wy bestes bcth i-storvc 
And why come is so dere, 
5c that wyl abyde, 
Lystyn and 30 mow here. 

And similarly in stanza 78; both which passages 
furnish proof that the country was then, or had 
been very recently, suffering from war, famine, 


and a grievous murrain ; and that the i)rice of 
corn was immoderately high. Now these various 
liistorical phases will, I think, be found to syn- 
chronize with that portion of the reign of Edward II, 
which is included between the years 1311-1320. 
The allusion to war and domestic divisions may 
be dismissed, by referring to the troubles con- 
nected with Piers Gaveston, and the unsuccessful 
expedition to Scotland. The other topics, which 
are of a less ordinary character, will be illustrated 
by the following extract from Stow's Chronicle:* 

" The king, in a Parliament at London, gave 
the rod and office of marshall vnto Thomas of 
Brotherton, Earle of Norfolke, his brother. Hee 
also reuoked the provisionsf before made for selling 
of victuals, and permitted all men to make the 
best of that they had ; neuerthelesse the deai'th 
increased through the aboundance of raine that 
fell in harvest, so that a quarter of wheate, or of 
salt was solde before mid-sommer for thirty 
shillings, and after forty shillings. Thei'e followed 
[a.d. 1316] this famine a grievous mortality of 

* Pp. 217, 218, Lond. 1632. 

t These are probably the dietary provisions published in 
Lelands Collectanea, vi, 36, ed. Ilearue. The date is 1315. 
A second visitation of the same kind is placed by Walsing- 
ham in the year 1319. Scotland and Ireland were equally 
afflicted. Sec Carte, ii, 337, 340. 


people, so that the quick might unneath bury the 

dead The beasts and cattail also, by the 

corrupt grasse whereof they fed, dyed, whereby 
it came to passe that the eating of flesh was sus- 
pected of all men ; for flesh of beastes not cor- 
rupted was hard to finde. Horse-flesh was 
counted great delicates ; the poor stole fatte dogges 
to eate. Some (as it was sayd), compelled through 
famine, in hidden places, did eate the flesh of 
their own children, and some stole others which 
they deuoured. Theeues that were in prisons 
did pluck in peeces those that were newly brought 
amongst them, and greedily devoured them, halfe 
aliue. A gallon of small ale was at twopence, of 
the better threepence, and the best fourpence." 

Another allusion, of a character more specific, 
will place our Poem about the same period, i.e., 
between 1311 and 1320. In stanza 35, the fol- 
lowing lecture is read to the order of the Hospi- 
talers : — 

An other religion ther is 
Of the Hospital ; 
They ben lords and sires 
In contrey over al : 
Ther is non of hem all 
That ne awt to ben a-ilrad, 
Whan thei bethonken 
How the Templars have i-sped 
For pride : 


Forsothc catcl cometh and goth 
As wederis don in lydc* 

It will be observed that the poet is here moral- 
izing on the suppression of the Knights Templars, 
and the transferring of their property to the 
Hospitalers. These changes had been, effected at 
the council of Vicnnc, in the year 1311 ; so that 
a warning like the above, addi'cssed to persons 
somewhat flushed by their recent good fortune, 
would be, on our hypothesis, both natural and 

A further corroboration will be found in stanza 
.58, w hicli refers to a general military conscription : 

Whan the kyng into his werre 

Wol hauc strougo men, 

Of ech touu to help hym at his werre 

Fourten or ten : 

The strong schul sytte a-doun 

For X. shylynge other twelue 

And send wreches to the kyng 

That mow not help hem selue. 

I believe no example of levying forces after this 
fashion has been recorded before the 3'ear 1316, 
nor have I met with any repetition of it for some 
time afterwards. In that year, however, w^e are 
told, "the great men, and knights of shires, 
granted the king one able-bodied footman, well 

* I.e., " property comes and goes as clouds do in March." 


armed, out of every village, or hamlet, in the 
kingdom. Market-towns were to furnish more, 
in proportion to their bigness and ability to defray 
the expense of sending them to the general ren- 
dezvous, and of paying each man a groat a day 
for sixty days ; upon the expiration of which term 
their wages were to be paid by the king, who de- 
clared, by his letters patent, that this should not 
be made a precedent, nor be drawn into a custom."* 

From these, and other incidental allusions, which 
it is not necessary to particularize, the poem be- 
fore us may be fairly assigned to somewhere 
about the year 1320. It would thus precede 
Piers Ploughman by an interval of more than 
thirty years, and was (if I mistake not) one of the 
very earliest satirical poems composed in the 
English language. 

It is well-known that this species of warfare had 
been long practised by our forefathers through 
the medium of the Latin language; and that many 
who on this side the channel imitated the gentler 
branches of Provencal poetry were not backward 
in copying its more caustic productions. In 
neither case, however, was the satire of a popular 
character; for besides the comparative obscurity 
of the language, it was nearly always disguised in 

* Carte, ii, 339. 


tropes and allegories. The exceptions, which are 
few, consisted of short English ballads, directed 
against some obnoxious individual, and differing 
in that respect from the poem before us, which is 
a broadside against whole orders. Indeed (as 
Warton* observes) the personalities of some of 
the above-mentioned ballads seem to have occa- 
sioned a statute against libels in 1275, entitled 
"Against slanderous reports, or tales to cause 
discord betwixt king and people". Probably, 
through dread of this statute, as well as of eccle- 
siastical censure, the allegorical species of satire 
is revived by the author of Piers Ploughman's 
Vision, who moi'eover substituted^ the alliterative 
style of the Anglo-Saxon period for the rhyme 
now beginning to be almost universal. Diverse 
from him in both these respects is the author of 
the poem before us. His versificationt is in 
rhyme, with occasional examples of alliteration ; 
neither does he confine his censures to any mere 
abstractions, such as pride, avarice, and simony, 

* Vol. i, 45; ed. 1840. 

t In the manuscript the stanzas appear in five long 
linos, each line divided by the metrical dot, or dash. The 
first four lines, by subdivision, produce eight lines, which 
rhyme in alternate pairs. At the end of the fourth long- 
line is added a versicle, generally of two syllables, which 
(oddly enough) rhymes with the final syllable of the last line. 


but proceeds to a direct attack on all states and 
conditions of men, — the pope, archbishops and 
bishops, archdeacons, parsons, priests, abbots, priors, 
monks, canons, friars (white, black, and grey), 
hospitalers, deans and chapters, physicians, knights, 
barons, squires, ministers of state, judges, sheriffs, 
advocates, attorneys, merchants, and in short, 
every body.* The tone of our author, though 
here and there pathetic, must be described as, on 
the whole, deeply lugubrious, and his matter, with 
only a few exceptions, one volle}^ of unmitigated 
invective. All classes of society, he is persuaded, 
find their chief pleasure in victimizing the poor ; 
and although we do not read that he stirred up 
any violent demonstration, I cannot help thinking 
that poems like his had great force in predisposing 
the populace for the Lollard doctrines, as well as 
in urging them to Jack Cade excesses. 

Still it would be most unfair to argue as if the 
grievances of the people in that age were either 
few or trivial. The whole course of the reign of 

* There is one exception to this sweeping condemnation, 
in the absence of all allusion to the pardoner, who in Piers 
J'lou'jhman and in C/taucer is handled very roughly. I 
consider this silence a further proof of the early date of the 
poem. Indulgences were not sold, at least publicly, till 
A.D. 1313, so that we could scarcely expect to hear of their 
abuse so early as 1320. 


Edward II was one of domestic deterioration and of 
external disgrace ; the king, weak and capricious ; 
the courtiers, hiwless, uni)rincipled, and oppressive. 
Among the bishops and secuhir clergy there were 
too few of those 

. . . Lele libbynge men 
That Goddes lawe techen : 

Avhile, in very many cases, the licentiousness of 
the monastic and mendicant orders kept pace with 
their pride and rapacity. These latter were wide- 
spread evils, and had been gradually provoking a 
spirit of satire not only in England,* but in almost 
every corner of western Christendom. t 

Again, we have abundant proof that when our 
poet was uttering his complaint in behalf of the 
poor and starving, the wealthier classes of the 
nation were revelling in ease and luxury. A 
curious picture of these habits is preserved in a 
dietary, or royal edict, bearing date 1315, and 
occasioned, most probably, by the famine to which 
we have before alluded. While all who had the 
means were faring sumptuously every day, the 
rest were literally abandoned to destitution, and 
hundreds, we know, shared the fate of the diseased 

* See the Latin Poems attributed to Walter Mapes, and 
Piers Ploughman, passim. 

t See a collection of kindred [wems, Be corruj/to £cd-esice 
Statu, Basil. 1556, edited by Flacius Illyricus. 


cattle, to which they were deemed hardly su- 

The last particular, which may be adduced in 
extenuation of our author's acrimony, has refer- 
ence to the alleged corruption of the law-courts of 
that period. The lord chancellor was Robert de 
Baldock, who stands charged as one of the prin- 
cipal agents in bringing on the troubles of Edward 
II. " He seems," says Lord Campbell,* " to have 
been a very profligate man, and to have been un- 
scrupulous in perverting the rules of justice, re- 
gardless of public opinion, and reckless as to the 
consequences." He was afterwards seized by the 
mob, and thrown into Newgate, where he died of 
his wounds. 

On the whole, therefore, we must admit that 
there were numerous handles for satire ; and if 
the specimen before us appears somewhat coarse 
and indiscriminate, it was probably the only kind 
of corrective which that age could have appreciated. 

C. H. 

iSt. Catharines Hall, Cambridge, 
ISth April, 1849. 

P.S. I should remark (what was unknown to 
me wlacn I transcribed this poem) that an imper- 
fect copy of it has been printed In Mr. Wright's 
Collection of Political Songs, from a manuscript 

See Lives of the Chancellors, i, 199. 


in the Advocates' Library at Edinburgh. The 
{)rinted Poem agrees in the main with this one, 
not however witliout important variations of 
words, and even of lines and stanzas. From one 
or two circumstances I suspect that the Edinburgh 
manuscript was a sort of second edition corrected. 
Mr. Wright simply describes the fragment as 
very curious, and assigns it to the reign of Ed- 
ward 11. I regret that he was unacquainted with 
the Peter- House MS., for besides supplying many 
various readings, it would have enabled him to 
complete his text, and would thus have enhanced 
the value of his interesting publication. 




1. Why werre and wrake in londe 
And manslaugt is y-come, 
Why honger and derthe on ertlic 
The pour hath over-nome ;* 
Wy bestes beth i-storvef 

And why corne is so dere, 
3c that wyl abyde, 
Lystyn and 30 mow here, 

With skyl ; 
Certes without lesyng, 
Herken hit ho so wyl. 

2. In hevenc y-blessyd mut he be 
That herkeneth here a stounde ;:|: 

* Overtaken. 

t Dead; perished. (A. S.) Seo examples iu IlulliweU's 
Dictionary, p. 803. 

X A moment, or sliort time. (A. S.) See numerous examples 
in IlaUiwdVs Dictionary, p. 814. This stanza is not in the Edin- 
burgh MS. 


How plenteth and al myrthe, 
For pride is brout to grounde ; 
How stedfastnesse and trewtlie 
Yt* turned to treclierye, 
And all poure mennes sing, 
" Alas ! for hunger I dye 

Up ry3t :" 
Y-hei'edf be the kyng of heven, 
Such is hys my5t ! 

God greteth al the peple wel, 
And doth hem to understondc, 
That ther nys| but falsnes 
And trecherye in londe. 
At the court of Rome, 
That trewth schuld begynne, 
Hym is forbode the paleys ; 
He dar not com ther-ynne 

For dowte : 
Thow the poi)e clepe§ hym, 
3et he schal stond ther-oute. 

Alle the popes clerkes 
Have i-take to red,|| 
Gif trewth com among hem, 
I-wys he schal be ded : 
Ther ne dare he nojt com 
For doute to be slayn 

* Ys? t Glorified. J Is nought. 

§ Invito. II Havo taken counsel. 


Withyn the popes paleys, 
3if he mijt be sayn :* 

For ferde 
3if symonye may mete hyra, 
He wil smyte of his hede.f 

5. Voys of clerk shal lytyl be herd 
At the court of Rome, 

Were he never so gode a clerk, 
Without selver and| he come : 
Thoj he were the holyest man, 
That ever 3et was i-bore, 
But§ he bryng gold or sylver, 
Al hys while is for-lore]| 

And his thow5t : 
Alias ! whi love thei that so mych 
That schal turne to nowgt? 

6. So another ther ajen 

That is an horlyng^ and a shrewe, 
Let hym com to the court 
Hys nedes for to shewe, 
And bryng gold and selver 
And non other wedde,* 

* Seen. t Berde? J If. 

§ Uuloss. II All his tinio is lost. 

^ An adulterer. (A. S.) 

" And wende bi heom that is wiif, 
And hire horeling it were." 

MS. a)). HaUiweU'n Dictioimnj, y>. tTiO. 

* Pledge. (A. S.) 



Be he never so mych a shrewe, 
Heys nedes schul be sped, 
Ful styll ; 
Covetyse and symonye 
Have all the world at wylle. 

Erehebisshopes and byshopes, 
That schuld trewly enquere 
Of al men of holy cherche 
In what Stat thei were, 
Some be foles hemself 
And ledeth a feble lyf ; 
Therfor dar thei now3t speke, 
Lest ther ryse a stryf 

Of clerkes ; 
Lest ych on bewrye other 
Of her feble werkes. 

Certes [holy cherche*] 

Is mych i-browt a-doun, 

Syth [seynt Thomas] of Cantrebury 

Was smyt of the crown. 

[lie was by shop] of ryjt 

To governe holy cherche, 

These other be many lewed 

And feblech do the wyrche : 

That is i-sene in holy chyreh, 
Hyt fareth al amys. 

* See note ad fin. 


9. Every man hymself 
May ther-of take jeme,* 
No man may serve 
Twcy lordes to qvveme :t 
Thei beth in ofFys with the kyng 
And gadereth gold an hepe, 
And the state of holy cherch 
Thei lat go lygge to slepe 

Ful stylle : 
Al to many ther ben of such 
Nerer| Goddes wylle. 

10. The erchedeknes that beth sworn 
To visite holy cherche, 

Anon thei welle begynne 

Febleche|| to wyrche. 

Thei wolleth take mede 

Of on and of other, 

And lete the personn have a wyf 

And his prest another 

At wille : ' 
Covetyse schal stoppen here mowth, 
And make hem ful stille. 

1 1 . AVhan an old personn hys ded 
And his lyf agon, 

Than schal the patrone 
Have 3iftes anon : 

* Notice; cixre. t Please. (A. S.) 

t Were it not. (A. S.) § Feebly. 


Than wolle the 30ng clerk 
Bygynne for to wowe,* 
The patioun schal have jiftes 
And preseutes ynowe, 

And the byschoppe : 
Ther schal symonye wel sone 
Be take by the toppe.f 

12. Covetyse upon hys hors 
Wolle sone be ther, 

And brynge the bischop silver 
And rown in hys jhere ;J . 
AUe the pour clerk 
For nowt thei schul wyrche, 
He that most biyngeth 
He shal have the chyrch 
I-wys : 
Thus the stat of holy chii'ch 
Is gyed§ al amys. 

13. Whan the 5ong persoun 
Is stedyd|| in hys cherch, 
Anon he wolle bygynne 
Feblych to wyrch. 

Ne schal the corn in hys borne 
Be ete with no mows, 

* Woo, or supplicate. 

f Be taken by the head, a viTy common old proverbial phrase. 
J Whisper in his ear. The phrase occurs in Shakespeare's 
Sonnets, § Kulcd, || Stationed. 


Hit scluil be spended sykyily 
In a ful sory use, 

If he may : 
Hit schal be alle i-tlirosshen* 
Art Christymasse day. 

1 4. Wan he hath gadred to-geder 
Markys and powndes, 

He pricketj out on hys contrc 
With haukes and houndes 
Into a strange conti'e, 
And halt a wenche in cracche.§ 
A ! wel is her that first may 
Such a personn cacche 

In londe. 
Thus thei serveth the chapels, 
And leteth the chyrch stonde. 

15. He nymeth|| all that he may 
And maketh the cherch poui", 
And leteth^ ther behynde hym 
A thef and an hore, 

A servand and a deye* 
That ledetli a sory lyf : 

* Thrashed. t Ere; before. t Rode. 

§ A crib, stall, or manger. ^Ir. Ilalliwell explains it, " a 
rack of any kind, a manger." || Taketh. ^ Leaveth. 

* A female servant who had the charge of the dairy, and all 
things pertaining to it. Chaucer has the word. Sometimes a 
male servant who performed those duties was so called. — HaUiwelVs 
Dictionary, p. 30 1 . 


As homlych* the gon to beclde 
As god-man and hys wyf, 

With sorow, 
Ne schal ther pour man ha^■e ther gode 
At hevef ne at raorow. 

16. Wan he hath that sylver 
Of wolle and eke of lomb, 
He putteth in hys pawtenerj 
A kerchyf and a comb, 

A shewev5§ and a coyf 
To bynd with hys loks, 
And ratyl on the rowbyble|| 
And in non other boks 

Ne moo ; 
MawgreylF have the bysshop 
That lat hyt so goo. 

17. Thei the bysshop hyt vvyte 
And hit bename cowthe,* 
With a lytyl selver 

He may stop his movvth ; 

* Homely. •{• Evening, 

J Purse, 01' bag. See several examples in HaliiweWs Dictionary, 
p. 609. 

§ Mirror. The Edinburgh MS., edited by Mr. Wright, reads 

II A small ribibe, or kind of fiddle. See HalliwdVs Dictionary, 
p. 682, in V. Rihibk. Mr. Wright erroneously prints it as two 
words. ^ Misfortune. (A. N.) * IJecame public. 


He medetli* the clerkes 
And sustyneth the wench, 
And lat the parysch far amys : 
The devyl hem a-drenchef 

For hys wevkys ! 
Sory may the fader be 
That ever mad hem clerkys. 

18. 3if the person have a prest 
That is of clene lyf, 

And a gode shryft-faderj 
To maydyn and to wyf. 
Than schal an other putte hyra out 
For a lytyl lasse,§ 
That can not a ferthing worth, 
And now3t wel hys masse 
But ille. 
Thus schul the persons shep 
For defaute spylle.[| 

19. Certes also hyt fareth 
By a prest that is lewed^ 
As by a jay in a cage. 

That hymself hath beshrewed :* 
Gode Englysh he speketh 
But he notj never what. 
No more wot a lewed prest 

* Bribes. f Drown. J Confessor. § Less. 

II Be destroyed. ^ Unlearned. * Cursed. | Knows not. 


Hys gospel wat he rat* 

By day ; 
Than is a lewed prest 
No better than a jay. 

20. Echo man may wel wyte, 
By the gode rode !f 
Ther bethe many prestes, 
But not alle gode. 

That maketh gode men ofte 
To be in mych blame, 
For these nyselj: prestes 
That playeth her nyse game 

By nyjt ; 
Tbei goth with swerd and bokler 
As tliei wolde fi5t. 

21. Abbots and priours 
Doth ajenst the ryjtis, 

Thei rydeth with hauks and hounds 

And contrefetith kny3ts ; 

Thei schuld by-leve§ such pride 

And be relygious, 

And now is pryde lord and syre 

In cche house 

I-w ys : 
Religion is now3t i-loked,|| 
Hit fareth al amys. 

* Reads, t Cross. J Wanton. 

§ Leave. II Regarded. (A. S.) 


22. By that ilke* deth 
That I schal on dye, 
Ther nysf no relygion, 
That ther nys yn ennye. 
Pryde and en vie 

Have tempreth| so here gle, 
That among men of religion 
Is non unyte 

I-take : 
Forsothe love and chai'ite 
Is turned to woo and wrake. 

23. Late come to an abbey 
Syx men other seven, 
And lat ther on aske gode 
For Godd love of heven, 
He schal stond theroute 
An-hungred and a-cold ; 
Schal no man do hys nede 
Nother 3ong ner old 

For hys love. 
That is kyng over all kyng, 
And setteth us al above. 

24. Bot lat a boye com fro a lord, 
And bryng hym a letter, 

And do hys erand to the porter, 
And he schal spede the better : 

* Same. j Is not. | Mingled; adulterated. 


3if he is with any man 
Tiiat may do the abbot harme, 
He schal be led into the halle 
And be maked warme 

Abowt mawe,* 
And a Goddes man shal stond ther-owt ; 
Sory was that lawe. 

25. Thus is God Almy3ty dryve 
Out of relygion, 

He ne mot nojt among hem come 

In felde ne in ton ; 

His men beth unwelcome 

Eoth erlych and late, 

Tlie porter hath comaundement 

To hold hem without the 3ate, 

In the fen : 
How myjt thei love wel the Lord, 
That faryth so witli hys men ! 

26. Mych sorow theif suffre 
For our Lordes love ; 

Thei wereth sokkes in her schon| 

And felted botys above ; 

Wcl thei beth i-fed 

With gode flesch and fysch, 

And ii' it ys gode mete 

• Stomach. t ■^•'-'•> tlie monks. 

X Their shoes. 


The lete* lytyl in her disch 

Of the beste : 
Thus thei pyneth her bodyes 
To hold Crystes hest ! 

27. Religion was i-maked 
Penance for to drye,t 
Now it is mych i-turned 
To pryde and glotonye. 
Wer schalt thu fynde 
Redder men on lerys| 
Fayrer men other fatter 

Than monkes, chanouns, other freres 

In toun ? 
Forsothe ther nys non aysier lyf 
Than is religion. 

28. Religion wot every day 
Redely what he schal don : 

He ne careth no skynnes thing§ 

But for his mete at non. 

For clothes ne for hows hyre 

He ne careth nowt, 

But whan he coraeth to the mete 

He maketh his wombe towt|| 

Of the beste : 
And therafter he wol fondeH 
For to cache hys reste. 

* They leave. f Bear; undergo. J In complexion. 

§ Not the least. || Stomach full. «[ Seek. 


29. Hafter mete the Iiaf* a pyne 
That greveth hem ful sore : 
He wil drawe at a drawjt 

A gode quart other move 
Of gode ale and strong 
Wei i-browenf of the beste, 
And sone therafter he wol fond 
For to each reste, 

3if he may. 
Thus thei pyneth her bodyes 
Bothe nyjt and day ! 

30. Now beth ther otlier relygious, 
Menours and Jacobyn, 
Carmes,| and other freres 
I-found of seynt Austyn, 
That wol preche more 

For a buschel of whete 
Than brynge a sowle fro helle 
Out of grete hete 

In rest. 
Thus is covetyse lord 
Est and eke west. 

3 1 . Lete me come to a frer, 
And aske hym shryft, 
And come thu to another 
And bryng hym a 3ift, 

* They have. + Brewed. 

f Carmelite friars. See HaUiwelVs Dictionary, p. 232. 


Thou shalt into the fraytrye* 
And be made glad, 
And I schal stond without 
As a man that wer mad 

In sorowe, 
And 5et schal myn erynd be undo 
For tof hyt be on the morow. 

32. 5if a ryche man be seke 
And evel hym hath nome, 
Than wol the frere 

Al day theder come. 
3if hit is a pore man 
And lyth in myche care, 
Mych mysawntre^ on that on 
That wol com thar 

Ful loth : 
Now mow je wel here 
How the game goth. 

33. jif the rych man deyth. 
That was of grete myjt, 
Than wol the frcres al day 
For the cors 631. 

Hyt is not al for the calf 
That the cow loweth, 
But it is for the gode gras 
That in the mede groweth. 

By my hod ! 

Refectory. f Until. t Misadventure. 


And that may eche man know 
That can any god. 

34. So ych mut broke* myn hed 
Under myn hatte, 

The frer wol do diri'ge 

If the cors be fatte : 

Be the fiiyth ic schal to God, 

If the cors be lene, 

He walketh abowt the cloystre 

And halt his fet clene 

In hows : 
How mowe thei forsake 
That thei ne be covetows. 

35. An other religion ther is 
Of the Hospital, 

They ben lords and sires 

In contrey over al ; 

Ther is non of hem all 

That ne awt to ben a-drad 

"Whan thei bethenken 

How the Templers have i-sped 

For pride : 
Forsothe catelf cometh and goth 
As wederiy| don in lyde.§ 

* As sure as I wear? t Property. 

I Clouds. § March. 


36. Official and denys 

That chapitres scliuld holde, 

The schuld chaste men fro syne 

And thei make hem bolde. 

IMake a present to the official 

Ther* thu thenkest to dvvelle, 

Thu schalt liave leve a twelf-moneth 

To serve the devel of hell 

To qweme. 
Forsoth, have thei the selvre, 
Of synne take thei no jeme. 

37. 3if a man have a wyf 
And he love her nowt, 
Bryng hyr to the consteryf 
Ther trevvth schuld be vvrowt, 
Bring twei fals wytnes \vith hym 
And hymself the thrydde, 

And he schal be deperted,:|: 
As fair as he wold bydde, 

From his wyf : 
He schal be mayntend full wcl 
To lede a sory lyf. 

38. Whan he is deperted 
From hys trew spowse, 
Take his neyjtbores wyf 
And bryng her to howse, 

* "Where. f Consistory. (A. N.) J Divorced. 



3if he have selver 
Among the clerks to sende, 
He may have hir to hys wyf 
To hys lifs ende 

With on sky 11 :* 
Thei that so fair with falsenes dele,t 
Gods cors on her bill.l 

39. 3ut ther is another craft 
That towcheth to clergye, — 
That beth thes fisisiens§ 
That helpeth men to dye. 
He wol wag his uryn 

In a vessel of glass, 
And svver by seynt Ion 
That he is seker than he was, 
And seye 
" Dame, for defaw3t 
The god-man is i-sleye." 

40. Thus he wol affray 
All that ben therinne, 
And mak many lesyngs 
Sylver for to wynne : 
After tliat he wol begynne 
To confort tliat wyf. 

* Wrongfully; with unskill. t Separate. 

J 5(7/ of divorcement? or rather, mouth iincl/«ce; cf. stanza 43, 
Gods cors on hys chekc," and stanza 69, " Fals in the hille." 
§ See iiotf ''. 


And sey, " Dame, ley cost,* 
And we schul save his lyf" — 

And lye, 
Thow he be never the wyser 
Whether he wol lyve or dye. 

41. Furst he wol begynne 
To blere the wyfs ey5e ;t 
He wol aske half a pownd 
To bygge with spiserye 4 
The eyjt shillyngs schul up 
To wyn and to ale, 

And bryng hem rotys and rynds 
Bretful§ a male|| 

Of now3t : 
Hit schal be dere i-now a leke^ 
"Wan it is al i-browt. 

42. He wol preise hit fast 

And swere as he were wod,* 

For the kyng of Ynglond 

The drynk is swet and god. 

And gif the gode-man to drynke 

A gode quantite. 

And make hym wers than he was, 

* Pay the fee. 

■f I.e., to impose upon her. See examples in HalliweU's 
Dictionary, p. 185. J I.e., to buy spicery witli. 

§ Brimful. || Chest. t See Richardson. * Jlad. 

c 2 


Evel mot he the* 

The clerk ; 
That so beryth awey that selver 
And falselich dothe hys werk. 

43. He wo\ byd the wif sethe a caponn 
And a pese of bef ; 

The gode-man schal have never a mossel,f 

Be he never so lef.J 

He wol pike hit hyraself 

And make his raawe towt, 

And 3lf the gode-man to drynk 

Lene broth that is nowjt 

For the sek : 
That so bygileth the gode-man 
Godds cors on hys cheke. 

44. He maketu hym al nyjt at ese 
As wel as he can, 

And loke that ha fare wel 

Hors and eke man : 

A-morow he taketh the uryn 

And waggeth in the sunne, 

And seyth, " Dame, blessed be God ! 

Thi mays^tre is i-wonne 

And lyketh :§ 
Thus he bereth awey that selver 
And the gode-wyf biswyketh.|| 

♦ Thrive. + Morsel. J Desirous. 

§ Thrivetli. || Cheateth. 


45. Certes, and by my sowle, 
This world is al beshrewed ; 
Muclie thei fare with falsenes 
Bothe lered and lewed. 

Of the lewed men 
Now speketh the pope, 
Whether I lye or I segge soth 
Now jhe it schul grope, 

That sothe 
Falsenes cometh to eche feire 
And piccheth first his bothe.* 

46. The pope gret wel al lewed men, 
William, Richard and Ion, 
And doth hem to understonde 
That trewth is ther non ; 

And seyth that he wer worthi 
To be hanged and drawe. 
That hathe dryve trewth out of lond 
Without proces of lawe : 

Alas ! 
Certes whil treweth was in londe 
A gode frend he was. 

47. Treweth was over al redyi 
For pore men to speke, 

And now go pore men al a-doun 
God hem mot a-wreke ! 

♦ Booth. 


Pryde and covetise 
Gyveth over al jugement, 
And turneth lawes up and doun 
Therfor pore men be shent* 

Al clene : 
Ther is no rych man that dredeth God 
The worth of a bene.f 

48. Thei that weldeth al the world 
In town and in feld, 

Erles and barowns 

And also knyts of shelde, 

All thei be i-swore 

To maynten holy cherch ryjt, 

And therfor was kny3t i-maked 

For holy cherch to fijt 

Sanj fayl ; 
And thei beth the first men 
That holy cherch woUe assaile. 

49. Thei maketh werre and wrake 
In lond ther^ schuld be pees ; 
Thei schuld to the Holy Lond 
To make ther a rees :§ 

Thei schuld into the Holy Lond 

And prove ther her myjt, 

And help to wreke Jhesum Crist, 

* Confoimdefl. f -^ proverbial saj'ino^ for anything worthless. 
See Halliwcll's Dictionary, in v. Bean. J Where. § Onslaught. 


And than wex-e he a kny3t 

With sheld : 
Now be they lyons in the halle 
And hares in the feld. 

50. Knytes schuld were clothes 
I-schape in dewe manere, 
As his order wold aske 

As wel as schuld a frere : 
Now thei beth disgysed 
So diverselych i-dijt, 
That no man may knowe 
A mynstrel from a kny3t 
Wel ny : 
So is mekenes fait a-down 
And pride aryse an hye. 

5 1 . Thus is the order of knyjt 
A-turned up and doun ; 
As wel wol a knyjt chide 
As eny scold in a toun ; 
Thei schuld be as hend* 
As any lady in londe, 

To speke al maner of fylth 
Ne nys ne kny3t fondef 

For shame ; 
Thus is chyualrye a-cloyed:j: 
And woxen fote-lame. 


* Gentle; polished. t See HalHweirs Victionari/, under 

wonde, which is probably the true reading. J Debased. 


52. Cliyvalrye now is a-cloyed 
And wjckedlych i-dijt ; 
Conne a boye breke a spere 
He schal be made a kny3t. 
Thus beth knyjtis i-gadered 
Of unkynde* blod, 

And thei shendethf the order 
That schiild be hende and god, 

And hende : 
On shrew in a court 
May al a company shende. 

53. Knyjts to drawe, God almy5t 
Iche tyme schal be swore, 
His yen, his fat, his nayles, 
His sowle is nowt forbore : 
That is now the gentry| 

In chawmbre and eke in halle, 
The lord wil hab on othe 
Grettest of hem alle 

For pride : 
At the day of dom 
Ne schal no man his othes hyde. 

54. Now is non mysprowd squier 
In al this mydil-jerd,^ 

Bot he here a long babel|| abowt 

* Unaristocratic. See note ". t Corrupt. 

:j: La mode. § Earth. || Bauble. See HalliwelVi 

Dictionary, in v. 


And a longe berd, 
And swere by Godds sowle, 
And often vowen to God, 
" I byshrew liym for that, perdou,* 
Bothe hosed and shod, 

For his werke :" 
For such othes God is wroth 
With lewed men and clerke. 

55. Godds sowle schal be swore, 
The knyf schal stond a-strout,f 
Thow his botes be al-to-tore 
5at he wol make it stout : 

His hod schal hang on his brest 
Rijt as a draveled lowt, 
Alas ! the sowle worthet forlore 
For the body that is so prowd 

In felle ; § 
Forsothe he is deseyved 
He wenyth he dothe ful well. 

56. A n£w entaile|| thei have i-fend 
That is now in eche toun ; 
The ray^ is turned overthwai't 
That was wont be up and doun ; 
Thei beth desgysed as turraentours 
I-come fro clerks pleye, 

* Par Dieu ! t Shall stick up. See a long account of this 
word in HalliiveU's Dictionary, T^. 102. J Is. § Skin? 

II Cut, or fashion. ^ Slripc in the cloth. 


Thei beth beleved al with pryde* 
And Lave cast norterf away 
In a diche : 
Thei beth so desgised 
Thei beth no man lych. 

57. Mynystres under the king 
That schuld meynten ry3t, 
Of the fair clere day 
Thei maken dai-ke nyjt : 
Thei goth out of the hy-way, 
Thei lettenij: for no sclandre, 
Thei maketh the mote-hall § 
At home in here chawmbre 

With wrong ; 
That schal pore men a-bygge|| 
Ever more among. 

58. When the kyng into his werre 
Wol have stronge men, 

Of ech toun to help hym at his werre 
Fourten or ten : 
The stronge schul sytte a-doun 
For X. shylynge other twelve 
And send wreches to the kyng 
That mow not help hemselve 
At nede : 

* i.e., aro abandoned to pride. f Nurture. 

} Leave off. § Justice-hall. || Abide. 


Thus is the kyng deseyved 
And pore men shend for medc* 

59. Whan the kyng into his werre 
Wol have a taxacion 

To help hym at his nede 
Of ech toun a portion : 
Hit schal be to-tolled, f 
Hit schal be to-twy3t4 
Hit schal half-del § be go 
Into the develes flijt 

Of helle : 
Ther beth so many parteners 
Ne dar no pore mon telle. || 

60. A man that hath an hundred pownd 
Schal pay xij.pens round : 

And so mych schal a pore man pay 
That poverte hath browt to ground, 
That hath an housful of chyldre 
Sitting abowt the flete :1F 
Cristis cors hab thei ! 
But* that be wel sette 

And sworn, 
The pore schal be i-pyltj 
And the rych schal be forborn. 

* Destroj'ed by bribery. "[" Levied in full, or divided out. 

X Snatched away. § One-half. || Give information. 

t Floor. * Unless. f Robbed. (A. S.) 


6 1 . "Wyst the kyng of Ynglond 
For god* be wold be wrotb, 
How his pore men be i-pyled 
And how the selv'er goth : 
Hit is so to-tolled 

Bothe heder and theder, 
Hit is halfen-del i -stole 
Ar hit be brout togeder 

And a-counted : 
If a pore man speke a word 
He shal be foul a-frounted.f 

62. Wold the kyng do after me 
That wold tech hym a skyl,| 

That he ne schul never habbe wylle 
Pore men to pil : 

He ne schuld not seke his tresor so fer, 
He schuld fynd it ner, 
At justices and at shiryves, 
Corowners, and chancelers 
No lesse : 
This my3t fynd hym i-now 
And let the pore have pes. 

63. Who that is in such offys 
Ne come he ner§ so pore, 
He fareth witin a while 

As he had selver in horde :|| 

* Doubtless. t Rebuked. 

% A reasonable plan. § Never. || Treasure. (A. S.) 

Cf. TlaJ'iweirs Dlciionari/, in V. 


Thei byen londs and ledes* 
Ne may tlier nowt astonde.t 
Wat shul pore men be i-pild 
"Wil:{: such be in londe 

Ful fele ?§ 
Thei pleyeth wit the kyngs selver 
And bredeth wode|| for wele. 

64. Sotelych^ for-sothe 
Thei don tlie kyngs hest ; 
Whan ech man hath his parte 
The kyngs hath the lest ; 
Eche man is abowt 

To fiUe his own pors, 
The kyng hath the lest 
And he hath al the cors 

Wit wrong : 
God send trewth into Ynglond ! 
Trechery dureth to long. 

65. Thei byggeth wit the kyngs selver 
Bothe londes and ledes, 

Hors as fair as the kyngs 
Save grete stedes ; 
This myjt help the kyng 
And have heraself inow : 

* Landed possessions. t Withstand. J "While. 

§ Many. || Become mad (through prosperity). 

^ With subtlety. 


Thei take thus wit a pore man, 
That hath but half, I trowe, 

A plow-land, 
Other of a wreched laborer 
That lyveth by hys bond. 

66. Baylys and southbailys* 
Under the shireves 
Ever thei fondethl wer 

Thei mow pore men to-greve : 
The pore men shul to London 
To somons and to syse, 
The i-ych wol sytte at home, 
Were| selver wol aryse 
Anon : 
Crist cors mut thei have ! 
But§ that be wel i-don. 

67. Courteous|| in the benche 
That stondeth at the barre 
Wol bygile the in thin bond 
Bot ifi[ thu bewar : 

He wol take half a mark 

And do doun his hood. 

And speke a word for a pore man- 

And do hym lytil god, 

I trowe : 
Whan the gode-man gothe awey 
He maketh hym a mowe. 

* Sub-bailiffs. t Seek. J Where. 

§ Unless. II Advocates. ^ Unless. 


G8. Attorneis in centre 

Wynneth selfre for nowt ; 
Thei make men to bigyune pie* 
That never had it thow3t : 
Wan thei cometh to the ryng 
Hoppef if thei con ; 
All that thei wynne wit falsenes 
All that thei tell i-wonne 
Ful wel ; 
Ne tryst no man to much to hem, 
Thei beth fals by skyl. 

69. Suche bethe men of this world, 
Fals in the bille. 

If eny man woUeth lyf 
In trewth and in skil, 
Let| his fals ney3bours 
And sewe§ not the rowte,|l 
He may ech day of his lyf 
Have grete dowte ; 

For why ? 
Thei schal al day be endited 
For manslaujt and robbery. 

70. Take the trewest man 
That ever in londe was, 

* Law -suit. 

% Dance; i.e., they can not dance, § I.e., if he leave. 

II Follow. \ Crowd. 


He schal be endited 

For thing that never was ; 

I-take and i-bounde 

A strong thef as he were, 

And led to the kyngs prison 

And lote hym lygge there 

And rote : 
Other wit a fals enquest, 
Hang hym by the throte. 

7 1 . Many of thes assisours, 

That seweth shyre and hundred, 

Hangeth men for selver ; 

Therof is non wonder, 

For wan the rich justice " 

AVol do wrong for mede 

Than thynketh hem thei mow the beter 

For thei have mor nede 

For to wyn ; 
Thus hath covetise benome* hem, 
Trowth for love of dedly syn. 

72. Be seynt Jame in Gal,"j" 

That many man hath sowt, 
The pelery and the cok-stol]: 
Be i-made for nou3t : 
Wan tliei have al i-reyned§ 
And i-cast on hepe, 

* Possessed. t See note f. 

J Cucking-stool. § Eninrd? 


Bred and ale is the derrer, 
And never the better schepe 
For al that : 
Trechery is i-mejntend 
And trewth is al-to-sq\v;it.* 

73, Sonityme wer raarchants 
That trewly bout and sold, 
Now is thilk assisej i-broke 
And trewth is nowjt of told ::j: 
Mai'chandis was wont 

Be hold up with trewth, 
Now it is turned to trechery 
And that is grete rewth 

To wete, 
How trechery shal be hald up. 
And trewth douu i-smete. 

74. Ther nys wel ny no man 
That can any craft, 
That he nis a party 
Lose in the haft :§ 
Falsnes is over 

Al the woi'ld i-sprong 
That nys wel ny no trewth 
In hond ne in tonge 

Ne in hert ; 

* Quite prostrate. t The same rule. J Accounted of. 

§ The metaphor is borrowed from some manual implement 
>ut of lepair: "in some degree loose in the haft." 



Forsothe thei nyl sese* 

Art God make hem to smert. 

75. Ther was a game in Ynglond 
That dured jer and other,| 
Even upon the Moneday 
Ech man beshrewed other. 
So long dured the game 
Among lered and lewed, 
That thei nold§ never beleve|l 
Ar the world wer beschrewed, 

I-wis : 
Al that ever schal help man 

All it fareth amys. 

76. For tlie mych falsenes 
That walketh in lond, 
God almyjty of heven 
Hath bound nowt his bond, If 
And send wederyng on erthe, 
Cold and unkynde,* 

And 3et is ther non man 
That to God taketh mynde 

With ry3te ; 
We be nothing aferd 
Of Hys myche myjt. 

* Will not ceaso. f Ti"- t ^•<'-' '""*' years- 

§ Would not. II Leave off. 

^ Has abrogated his covenant. * Unseasonablo. 


77. God is wroth with tlie world 
And that is wel i-sene, 

Al that was play and game 
Is turned to sorow and tene ; 
God shewed us plente inow, 
SuiFre whil we wold, 
Al maner of frute 
Groweng on raolde 

Ful thik, 
And ever ajens God Alray5ty 
We beth alych wyk.* 

78. Whan God Almyjty seth 
The work is overthwart,f 
He sende his sond| into erthe 
And makethe us to smart ; 
Whan bestes beth i-storve 
And corne waxeth dere. 

And honger and pestilence in ech lond 
As 36 mow ofte here 

Over al ; — 
But if§ we amende us 
It wil wel wers befal. 

* Equally wicked. 

f Perverse: wrong. Halliwell's Dictionarrj, y>. b9o. 

X Message. § Unless. 


^ The words included between brackets have been almost 
entirely erased ; probably in obedience to the proclamation 
of Henry VIII, who after declaring " Thomas, sometime 
archbishop of Canterbury, to have been guilty of contumacy, 
treason, and rebellion," commanded "his loving subjects to 
destroy all images and pictures of the pseudo-saint Thomas, 
and to erase his name and remembrance from all books, 
under pain of his majesty's indignation." 

'' For a fuller delineation of a monastic gourmand, see 
Piers Ploughman s Vision, vol.i, p. 250, ed. Wright. 

•^ The Minors were the gray friars, or Fi'anciscans ; the 
Jacobins, the black, or preaching friars, and were so called 
from theii- first establishment in Paris (see Fleury, Hist. 
EccL, liv. Isxviii, s. 5) ; the Carmes, or Carmelites, were the 
white friars, originally established at Mount Carmel ; the 
Austins were friars of the order of St. Augustine, They 
had all gained a footing in England about the year 1250. 
In the " Creed of Piers Ploughman" they are satu-ized at 

^ Cf. Piers Ploughman'' s Vision, vol. i, p. 133 : 

" For murtliereris are many leclies 
Lord hem amende I 

Thev do men deye througb liir drjnkes 
Er destyuee it wolde." 

Sentiments not unlike the above had been uttered long- 
before, by John of Salisbui-y. 

« Allusion is perhaps made to royal edicts and decisions 
of Parliament, whereby it was ordained that all persons 
who had a whole knight's fee, or fifty pounds a-year in land, 
should be admitted to the honour of knighthood. Instances 
of this practice occurred in the years 1312 and 1316. See 
Carte, ii, 325, 339. 

f The reference is to St. James of Compostella in Galicia, 
which was then a most famous resort of pilgrims : 

" And til seint James be sought 
Tliere I shal assigne, 
Tliat no man go to Galis 
But if lie go for evere." 

Piers Ploughman's Vision, vol. i, p. 72. 






THOMAS WRIGHT, ESQ., M.A., F.S.A., etc., 

CorresponiUng Member of the Institute of France (AoRilcniie 
lies Inscriptions et Belles Lettres.) 



4 5 3 9 3 

Cfte \^tvt}) ^otitt}). 






J. H. DIXON, Esq. 


Honorary Secretary. 




T. J. PETTIGREW, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A. 

JAMES PRIOR, Esq., F.S.A., M.R.I.A. 




THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A., F.S.A , Treasurer. 


William de Shoreham is, as far as I know, a new 
name in the list of English writers. His poems 
are interesting in two points of view ; they 
exhibit to us the popular doctrines of the age on 
subjects of religion, which alone were consigned 
to the vulgar tongue, and they present a good 
specimen of the English language as it Avas then 
spoken and written in the county of Kent. They 
seem to have been written by a zealous, and far 
from unlearned, preacher, for the purpose of en- 
forcing the doctrines of the Church on the minds 
oi' those who were only capable of understanding 
them when offered in a popular form ; and they 
offer most of the subjects of Christian doctrine 
which were then considered important. The 
first of these poems recounts and illustrates the 


seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, and gives 
a very full description of its principal ceremonies 
and orders. The second is a rhyming version of 
some portion of the ceremonies. The third, on the 
ten commandments, and the fourth, on the seven 
sins, are short commentaries on Christian morality. 
The fifth is on the joys of the Virgin, a most 
popular subject in the middle ages. The sixth is 
a hymn on the Virgin, translated from Robert 
Grosteste. The seventh and last, in which the 
writer becomes at times quite philosophical, is a 
sort of dissertation on some of the mysteries of 
the Christian faith, but more especially on the 
doctrine of original sin. 

Our information as to the author of these poems 
is derived from the colophons at the end of several 
of them, in which he is called William de Shore- 
ham, and is stated to have been vicar of Chart 
near Leeds. In Thorpe's Registrum Roffense, 
p. 207, we have a charter of Walter archbishop 
of Canterbury, by which he impropriates the rec- 
tory of Chart-Sutton to the prior and convent of 
Leeds, upon which it became a vicarage, and wc 

learn that the first vicar admitted was William de 
Shorehara. The archbishop alluded to was Walter 
Raynolds, who held the see from 1313 to 1327. 
It is therefore probable that our Kentish poet, 
who was, no doubt, a native of Shoreham, near 
Otford (about four miles and a half from Seven- 
oaks), was originally a monk of the priory of 
Leeds, and he was made vicar of Chart-Sutton 
on the appropriation of that living to his convent 
by archbishop Walter. His poems may, there- 
fore, be attributed to the reign of Edward II. It 
appears from one of the colophons (p. 116 of the 
present volume) that he was living under Walter^s 
successor, archbishop Simon Mepham (1327- 
1333): and he, probably, occupied himself in the 
latter period of his life in collecting his poems 
into the very manuscript from which they are 
here printed, which appears to be of the beginning 
of the reign of Edward III. The manuscript 
was in private hands at the time my transcript 
was made ; but I am not sure whether at present 
it be in a private, or public collection. I have every 
reason to believe my transcript to be a correct 


one ; but, unfortunately, while the present edition 
was passing through the press, it was not in my 
power to refer to the original, and to this circum- 
stance, I trust that any errors that may have 
occurred in editing a text which presents many 
difficulties, will be attributed. 

Thomas Wright. 

24, Sydney Street, Brompton. 
October 1849. 




De septem sacramentis. De psalmo, Excercitatus sum 
et defecit spiritus. 

SoNDERLicHE his man astoned 

In his owene mende, 
Wanne he note never wannes he comthe, 

Ne wider he schel wende ; 
And moi'e, 
Thet al his lyf his here i-mengde 

Withe sorwe and eke withe sore. 

And wanne he deithe, ne mey me wite 

Woder he cometh to wisse ; 
Bote as a stocke ther lithe thet body, 

Withethoute alle manere blisse ; 
Wat thenkeste ? 
And hondred wynter 3ef a levethe, 

That his lyf mid the lengeste. 



Onnethe creft eny that stat, 

Ac some crefteth that halve ; 
And for siknesse lechecreft, 

And for the goute sealve 

Me makethe ; 
For wanne man drawith into olde-ward, 

"Wei ofte his bones aketh. 

And be a man never so sprind, 

jef he schel libbe to elde, 
Be him wel siker ther-to he schel, 

And his deythes dette 3elde, 
To gile ; 
5et meni 3onge man weneth longe leve, 

And leveth wel litle wjle. 

Thos we beth al awey-vvard, 

That scholde her by-leve ; 
And 3et me seith y-demyd we bethe 

In Adam and ine Eve, 

Te telle ; 
Wajt hope his here of savement, 

Now time his for to telle. 

Me seithe the ri3te wone3ynge 

Ine hevene hyt his to manne ; 
Ac hevene his liei3e, and we beth hevy, 

Howe scholde we thider thanne ? 
Bi leddre ? 
Howe me}'' that be ? wo dar ther-oppe stei3e, 

For dou3te of fotes bleddre ? 


Than thy laddrc iiys nau5t of wodc 
That may to hevoue leste ; 

Ac on ther his that Jacob i-sei3e, 
Ther he sleppe inne hys reste ; 

Now schewe this : 

This ilke laddre is charite, 
The stales gode theawis. 

Her-on Jhesus stawe uppe bi-fore, 
Al for to teche ous stey3e ; 

Nowe hyje, man, and fFolwje wel, 
A-doun that thou ne sy5e, 

By-weylcd ; 

For yf thou nelt nau3t climnie thos, 
Of heveue thou best y-faylcd. 

And that man lovye God and man, 

Ase charite hyt hoteth, 
That he so wel y-theawed be, 

That alle men hit notethe ; 

Wat thanne ? 
5et senneles ne may he nau5t be, 

Ac a deythe and he not wanne. 

Of brokele kende his that he deithe. 
For hy ne mo3e nau3t dury ; 

And al dey he to senne falleth, 
Her ne mo3e nau3t pury 

Of serewnessche. 

set hope thou wel, man, for al this. 
That g03de lyf wole the wessche. 

B 2 


For dethe ne falle naii5t into wanhope, 
For God himself for the deide, 

The thridde day he aros ajeyii 

Of the throu5 ther men hine leyde ; 
Ine tokene 

That, man, thi body arise schel, 
Of deithe nammore to blokne. 

The Bible seythe that mannys blodis 

Hys ry3t ther saule giste ; 
And water wasscheth the felthe awey, 

Ther me wesscheth byliste 

The onsounde ; 
To wesschen ous Cryst schedde his blod 

And water out of hys wonde. 

Here-of spronge the sacremens 

Of holy chyrche digne ; 
And his to segge sacrement 

Of holy thynge signe, 

For gode. 
Hon inyjte fayrer signe be 

Thane of the water and blode ? 

Than thorwe that blod thi soule his boujt 

Frani the fendes powei'e ; 
And thorwe that water i-wessche thart 

Of thyne sennes here. 

Nou loke, 
joure Cristendom his tokene throf 

Of Criste that we toke. 


For jef thou vangest thane cristeiuloin, 

And foi* than bi-left clene, 
Thou schelt be marked to thet stode, 

To wichen heven his y-mene ; 
To sothe, 
Wanne the bisschop bisschopetli the, 

Tokene of raarke he set to the. 

Ac cristendom hys sacrement 

Of so grete powere, 
Tliat hit thorwe-wasscheth thane man 

Of senne in alle manere ; 

And glorie 
Hit scheppeth, 3ef man deythe, 

And schilt fram purgatorie. 

And for we beth of nonn power 
To weryen ous fiara schame, 

Ther der no fend acombry ous, 
Crist is mid ous to-sames 

And neade ; 

Tokene ther-of his Godes bodi 
At cherche in forme of brede. 

And 3et for man his so brotel 

Ine his owene kende, 
Thaj he torni to senne ajen 

Thorwe fondynge of the feende, 
By chaunce, 
That he may come to stat n5eyn 

Th,)r\ve bare repcntaunce. 


Her-of we habbeth tokene gode, 
Wanne we fangeth penaunce; 

For sennes that we habbeth i-done, 
To pyne allegaunce 

Ine fere, 

For ther we scholde hit under-go 
Sote we pinede hit here. 

That man ne falle ine wanhope 

A-last withoute bote, 
Al that he heth i-senoged her 

With honden and with fojte, 
Wyth thoute, 
Mouthe, nase, and ey3en, and with si3t, 

Eliinge brengeth hit to uou5te. 

5et some hethe suche devocioun, 
That hym thingthe he his al ydel, 

For to libbe common lif, 
Bote 5ef he hedde a brydel ; 
Wet thinge 

Of harder stat God graunteth 
Wei tokne throw5 his ordiingc. 

jet that man mowe naujt lecherie 
For-bere to donne in dede ; 

5et ne schal he naujt be for-lore, 
For God jefthe hym to rede 
Spousyiige ; 

Tokene throf his the weddinge 
At cherchc and biterc vvyinge. 


Cristendom, and bisschoppynge, 

Penauns, and eke spousinge, 
Godes body ine forme of bred, 

Ordre, and aneliinge, 

Thes sevene 
Heth holi cherche sacremens, 

That betli tokeneu of hevene. 

God wesclit, and marketli, 

And for3efth, and joyneth men an wyves, 
And frevereth thorwe his body man, 

And grace sent, and lyves ; 
5e, vvanne ? 
Wanne we taketh the sacremens, 

Thar we seth hit thanne. 

That we ne mowe hyt naujt i-se, 

Ne forthe ine bodie inrede. 
We sethe hit wel ine oure fey, 

And fredeth hit at nede, 

Wel ejathe, 
God thorwe miracles ketheth hit 

A-lyve and eke a-dethe. 

And bote he thorwe hys sacramens 

Ous thos bi-redde, 
Ne scholde we of his grace wite 

Wanne we hit toke and hadde, 
To wisse ; 
Ther-fore he that bi-lefeth hit naujt, 

Rijt wyt neth he of none blisse. 


Al hit beth in these cherche sacremens, 
Thet tokeneth holi thynges, 

As hali water, and haly bred, 
Lijt, and bel-ryngynges 

To leste ; 

And of alle other sacremens 
Thes sevene beth the greste. 

De baplismo. 

Cristendom his that sacrement 
That men her ferst fongeth ; 

Hit openeth ous to the hevene blisse 
That many man after longeth 
Wei sore ; 

For who that entreth ther. 
He his sauffe evere-more. 

Nou ferst ich wille telle 50U 

Wet may be the materie, 
Wer-inne cristninge may be mad, 

That bringeth ous so merie 
To honoure. 
Hijt mo5t be do ine kende water, 

And non other licour. 

Ther-fore ine wine me ne may, 
Innc sithere, ne inne pereye, 

Ne ine thinge that nevere water nes, 
Thorj cristninge man may reneye, 
Ne inne ale ; 

For-thie hi5t were water ferst, 
Of water neth hit tale. 


Ne mede ne forthe no other licour 
That chaungeth wateres kende, 

Ne longeth naujt to cristendoni, 
Thajt some foles hit wende 
For wete ; 

For suich is kendeliche hot, 
Thajt ther no feer hit ne heute. 

Ac water is kendeliche cheld, 
Thaj hit be warmd of fere ; 

Ther-fore me mey ci'istni ther-inne, 
In whaut time falthe a 3ere 
Of yse ; 

So mey me nau3t in ewe ardaunt, 
That neth no wateris wyse. 

Also me may inne sealte se 

Cristny wel mitte beste ; 
And eke inne othere sealte watere, 

Bote me in to moche kesclite 
Of sealte ; 
For 5ef that water his kende lest, 

That cristninge stant te-tealte. 

Ac 3yf ther were y-mengd licour 

Other wid kende watere, 
Ich W03t wel thrinue to cristnye 

Hit nere nefur the betere, 

Ac wonde ;• 
For bote that water his kende have, 

That cristnynge may nau3t stondc. 


In water ich wel the cristny her, 
As Gode himself hyt dijte ; 

For mide to wessche nis nothynge, 
That man cometh to so li5te, 
In londe ; 

Nis non that habben hit ne may, 
That habbe hit wile founde. 

This bethe the wordes of cristninge 
Bi thyse Englissche costes, 
" Ich cristin the in the Vader name, 
And Sone, and Holy Gostes, 
And more". 
Amen ! wane hit his i-sed ther-toe 
Confermeth thet ther to-foi-e. 

The wordes schoDe be i-sed 
Witheoute wane and eche ; 

And onderstand hi more bi sed 
In alle manere speche, 

Ine lede ; 

That everich man hi sigge more. 
And cristny for nede. 

Ac 3if man scholde i-cristnid be, 
That neth none deathes signe, 

The pope for te cristny hyue 
So nere naujt to digne 

The lesie ; 

Ther-fore hi beth in cherche broujt, 
To cristny of the prcste. 


Ac he that 3if so lai'ge water 

The fend fram ous to reave, 
In nede for to crystny men, 

jef alle men i-leave. 

At felle ; 
Olepi me mot hym depe ine the water. 

And eke the wordes telle. 

And wanne hi criritneth ine the founjt, 

The pi'estes so thries duppeth. 
In the honur of the Trinite, 

Ac gode 5eme kepeth 

The ned ; 
On time a clothe that water i-kest, 

Ac ope the hevede to bede. 

Ac water i-kest another love 

Cristneth the man alyve, 
Ac hit his sikerest in the heeved 

Ther beth the wittes fyve, 

Wei, brother, 
Ne non ne may i-cristened be, 

Ar 3e his boren of moder. 

3et gret peryl hy nndergothe 

That cristneth twycs enne. 
Other to 3eve asent ther-to, 

Other for love of kenne 

For-hedeth ; 
Wanne child :iri5t cristnynge heth, 

And that other naii3t for-bedeth. 


Bote hi this coune, hit his peril 

To thise medewyves ; 
For ofte children scheawith quike, 

I-bore to schorte lyves, 

And deyeth ; 
Bote he arijt i-cristned be, 

Fram hevene evere hi weyeth. 

Ac jif that child i-cristned his 
Ac ine fot at me hit weveth, 

Thise habbeth forme ther-of, 

A Latin that ham gevieth 

To depe ; 

And ich schel se.sgen hit an Englisch, 
Nou ther-of neme 36 kepe. 

The prest taketh that ilke child 
In his honden by-thuixte, 

And seith, "ich ne cristin thei nau3t, 
3ef thou ert i-cristned, 

Eftsone ; 

Ac 3yf thou nart ich cristin the ;" 
And deth that his to donne. 

Ac 3et ther beth cristnynges mo, 
Ac no man ne may di3tti ; 

For hi beth Godes grace self, 
Men of gode ine wil to ri5ti, 
And Wynne, 

Wanne he wolde i-cristned be. 
And mort," mid none giimc. 


Tliat on his cleped cristninge of blode, 
Wanne-suche bledeth for Criste ; 

That other of the Holi Gost, 
That moje mid none liste 

Be i-cristned ; 

And deyeth so wanne hi beth deede, 
In hevene hi beth i-gistned. 

The children atte cherche dore 

So beth y-primisined ; 
And that hi beethe eke atte fount 

Mid oylle and creyme alyncd, 
Al faylleth ; 
IIi5t wortheth cristnynge, 

And that child ther-to hit availleth. 

De confirmaciune. 

Confermynge his a sacrement, 

And other that we foungeth ; 
And wanne a man hit ondervangeth 

Ine saule hit hine straungeth 
Wei lijtte. 
For wanne a man y-maked his, 

The stronger he his to fyjte. 

And be thou siker that mannes lyf 

Is rijt a kni3thod ine londe ; 
And so seythe Job, the holy man ; 

Now wote we thanne stonde 
To fi5te ; 
The feend, that flesche, and eke the wordlo, 

Ajeins ous beth i-dijte. 


The feend with prede acombreth ous, 
With wrethe, and with envie ; 

That fleische with slouthe and glotonie, 
And eke with lecherie, 

Thou wyse ; 

The wordle, with here faljse scheawinge, 
Schent ous with coveytise. 

Ac he that ine saule is Strang, 

That he with-stent hi alle, 
And hardeliche hert othre men, 

A-doun that hi ne falle, 

Ac stonde ; 
So his i-hert thor3 confermynge of gode, 

That for dethe nele nau3t wonde. 

Nou ich mot of this sacrement 

50U telle the materie, 
That maketh man so hardiliche 

To stonde ane so merie 

Ine goste, 
That he ne may nau3t y-wcid be 

With blanding ne with boste. 

Hit his the oyle and baume y-raengc, 
I-blessed, and wile lestne ; 

For oyle smereth thane champion 
That me ne schel on him evel festne, 
Ne presse ; 

And baume his riche and tokened I003 
Of tliarc holy prowesse. 


A prince longeth for to do 

The gode knijtes dobbynge ; 
And so a pi'ince of Godes ost 

Schel do the confermynge, 

None lo5er ; 
Therfore hit mot a bisschoppe be, 

Nis non ther-to yn 03er. 

That me wasche men over the fant 

After confirmement, 
Nis nau5t do bote for that honour 

Of thilke sacrement, 

Soe here ; 
Ther-fore me wescht and kerfy thane clout, 

And berneth him in the fure. 

The bisschop these wordes seth, 
And beth wordes of selthe, 
" Ich signi the with signe of croys, 
And with the creme of hele 
Ine the foreheved the crouche a set, 
Felthe of fendes to bermi. 

In the foreheved he croucheth hine, 

That hine be aschamed boute ; 
Bote for to bi-knowe Cristes name, 

Withoute alle manere doute. 

And with ginne, 
Thorwe creymie anoynt straunge he bi-comthe, 

His sauvement to winne. 


Ac hou his hit ther bethe so fele 

Confermed of mankenne, 
And ther so feawe stondeth styf 

To fytte a5enis senne 

Maligna ? 
For hi ne fongeth nou3t that thing, 

Bote the bare signe. 

The signe his of the sacrement, 
Mid creyme the markynge ; 

Ac thing that ther bi-tokned his, 

Strengthe his that Godschel bringge 
Amonge ; 

Withoute god fey and god wil, 
Mey non this thinge ounderfonge. 

Ac nou that wil that is to gode 

His al i-set bi-hinde ; 
And thi bi-leave of Jhesu Crist 

His nou al weverinde, 

Undigne ; 
Ther-fore ne habbeth that thing 

Naujt bote the bare signe. 

Ac thare children take that thinge 
In hare chilhod so povre ; 

Hit lescth wannc hi cometh to wit, 
Thonr3 hare misaventure 
Of senne ; 

Anon the focnd fondeth hy so, 
And he ne spareth nanne. 


That deth that hi nastondeth nou3t, 
Ac eche othren aschrencheth ; 

Ac jif hy mowe jct stonde bet, 
Wanne hi ham bet bi-thenketh 
To leve, 

And do ham to devocioun, 
jef God ham strengthe jive. 

And thanne Gode that his so god 

Anon hi stronge niaketh, 
As hi habbeth devocioun, 

And hie God fey taketh, 

Reversed ; 
And al his thorj that sacrement, 

Theije hit ne be naujt rehersed. 

For wanne we taketh this sacrement, 

His soule prente taketh ; 
And that hi nefer mo for-lest, 

Naujt hi that God for-salieth, 

Ac hine healdeth ; 
Ine Stat that sacrement ine man, 

Wanne je ine Gode by-aldeth. 

And as thys ylke sacrement 

Her thynge and toke hiis sigiie, 

So habbeth the otliere sacremens 
Syxje that bethe so digne, 


Her signe, droppynge in the water, 
And thynge hiis for-jemynge. 


Thys ylke sygne, and eke thys tliynge, 
Ine cure childhode we 5yt toke, 

Ac afterward we lore that thynge, 
Tho we to senne toke 

By wylle ; 

Amend we the prente lefth 
Ine oure saule wel stille. 

Hym selve no man hebbe schel 

To the bischoppynge, 
Ine tokne of febleste of hiis goste, 

Another schel him brynge, 
And lefte ; 
Ase he ne mijte naujt himself 
To confermynge crefte. 

Ac her ich segge apcrteliche 
Thys men and eke this wyves, 

That hi ne hebbe hare oje child 
By hare quicke lyves, 

And rede ; 

For 3cf hy dothe man and hys wyfe, 
Ther dravveth God sibrede. 

Of seve sacrcmens thre 

Prente ine herte maketh ; 
That both cristnynge, and confermynge, 

And ordrc tliat men taketh 
Wel blithe ; 
Tliat hy ne take hiis for no man, 

Bote one-lepy sythe. 


De Sacramento altaris. 

Nou hy3t by-valth to telle 30U, 

And so icli mojt wel nede, 
Of Godes flesche and eke hys blode 

At cherche ine forme of brede 
And wyne ; 
That frevereth ous in oure exil, 

And lytheth oure pyne. 

1136 blithe niy3ten by be 

That folwede Cryst in londe, 
That my3te hyne eelie day y-se, 

Hiis svvete love to foude, 

Ine keththe ; 
So mowe we be for ous ner he, 

Hy faylled never seththe. 

For tho hiis tyrae was y-conie 

No lenge to dwelle here, 
That wete brede and honde he toke, 
Ther he set atte soupei'e, 

And seyde, 
" Taketh and eteth, thys hiis my body," 
Of sothe he ham aneyde. 

For-wy hy3t moste nedes be 

Al sothe that he sede, 
That alle thynge bis ase he seith, 

Thys resoun wole the rede, 

To dede, 

He seyde to al the worlde be. 

And al was ase he sede. 

c 2 


Nammore maystrye nys hi5t to hym 

To be ine bredes lyche, 
Thane hym was ine the liche of man, 

To kethen ous hiis ryche ; 

Thet maketh 
That hy beth alle mis-by-leved, 

That other throf for-saketh. 

The fend hymself him maky mey 

Wei dyverse liknynges, 
Of best, of men, and of wymmen, 

And mani other thynges. 
To nusy ; 
Wei bet may Gode to oure prou 

Dyverse formes usy. 

Tho that the bred y-tourned was 

Into hys body sylve, 
He toke the coppe, with the wyne and water, 
And seide eft to the twelve 
*' Taketh and drynketh everechon 
Of this chalice here. 

" Thys hys my chalis of my blode 
• Of testament nywe, 

That schal be schad for manye men, 
And ase we seyjeth gode and trewe 
And kende ; 
And doth 36 thos wanne je hyt dothe, 
Doth liyt in 30ure raende." 


Tho that he sedc, "doth 30 thos," 

The hey3e kynge of hevene, 
He 3af ham power to don hyt, 

And forth to 3evene, 
AYel werthe, 
That he ne toke Judas out, 

The worste man on erthe. 

And that power hys y-5ive 

Fram bysschoppe to preste, 
And so schel al so longe be, 

Ase cristyndom schel leste, 
Y-mete ; 
Seththe Crist four ous an orthe come, 

He nolde ous nau5t for-lete. 

Tha3 he her were inne, hys manhode 

Amanges ous to flotie, 
3et nere he naujt thanne ous so ne3, 

Ase nou we mowe hyra notye 
In Gode ; 
We honorieth hyne al i-hoUiche 

Ine flesche and eke ine blode. 

Wat may amount! that he wyle 

So by-come oure fode, 
Chaungeth he nau3t ase othere mote 

Into oure flesche and blode. 
By kende ? 
Nay, ac he chaungeth ous in liym, 

To maky ous gode and hende. 


And ase Gode there his hole men mete, 
And sike hyt by-swiketh, 

So his the mete dampnacion 
To hem that senne liketh 
To holde ; 

So he hyt tok and his lore, 
Judas, that Jhesus solde. 

Ther-fore ich segge a Godes half 

To alle crystyne folke, 
That wanne by scholle y-houseled be, 

That by ne be abolke . 

In prede ; 
Let ounde and wrethe and coveytynge, 

Sleuthe and lestes on lede. 

Nys none of wyraman beter i-bore 
To seint Johan the Baptyste, 

And 5et he quakede wel ar3 
Tho he touchede Crist 

In the flomme ; 

Thanne au5te we wel ary3t to be, 
To fange hym on tromme. 

Thei'-fore jef that 30 fredeth 30U, 
That he ne be nau3t digne 

For te be housled wyth thys body 
Ine this thre holy signe, 

Wyth-draweth ; 

For wo that hy5t takcth ondygnelichc, 
llys jugcinent he gna3eth. 


May som man segge, liou schal me so 

Fram ther liouslynge dwelle, 
Wanne God self aperteliche 
Seith ous in the Gospelle, 

Wei to mende, 
" Who that eteth my flesch and drynketh my blod, 
Ileth lyf vvithoute ende." 

That thou take hy3t wyth the mouthe, 

Ne myd teth ther-on ne werche, 
Thou takest hyt, man, 3ef that thou art 

A lyme of holy cherche, 

To blysse, 
Wanne eny prest his messe syngeth, 

I-lief hyt myd y-wysse. 

For on hys Godes flesch to nemme, 

Ase mouthe the mete taketh, 
Another ase the mete y-3ete 

Into the raembres taketh ; 
Ac here, 
Cryst hys that heved, the prest the mouthe, 

The lymes that folke i-vere. 

And ase the bred to-gadere comthe 

Of menye greynys to-bake, 
And ase the wyne to-gadere flouthe 

Of manye greyns y-take, 
Cryst and hiis membrys, men, 

O body beihe ine niystyke. 


Wet hys mystyke ne rney non wete 

Be nothynge a-founde, 
Bote wanne ther hys o thynge y-ked, 

Anotlier to onderstonde 

Ther-inne ; 
Hy that aredeth thyse redeles, 

Wercheth by thilke gynne. 

So wane that body hym hys ked 

Of swete Jhesu Cryst, 
Me may wel onderstonde ther, 

By thulke selve lyste, 

An other ; 
Cryst and eke alle holy men 

Beth body, my leve brother. 

Ther-fore guod beth this sacrement 

Y-mad of suiche thynges, 
That myjte of manye make on, 

As Cryst and hys derlynges 
I-monge ; 
Thenne scholde hy at one be. 

In love that scholde hyt fonge. 

Nou onderstand the signe her 
Fourme hys of wyne and brede ; 

Noble liys that thynge, ryjt Cristes body. 
And body of quike and dede ; 
Ac, brother, 

5et ryjte body thaj hyt be thynge, 
Ilyjt hys signe of that other. 


Vor ase the ry5te bodyes lemes 

Habbeth dyverse wyke, 
So habbeth ry5t membrys eke 

Of the body ine mystyke, 

That weldeth ; 
riys honden men beth that wel doth, 

The fet that wel op-hekleth. 

AUe taketh that ry3t body 

Thyse men at hare houslynge ; 
Ac some to prou, and some to lere, 

Ine wyl of sene3ynge, 

To derye ; 
Ac one Gode aryjt hyt nometh, 

That body ine hys mysterye. 

Ac tha5 we be tokned ther 

Ine oure Sauveoure, 
Ne lef thou naujt the we be ther, 

Ne forthe nau3t of oure 

That were ; 
Tha3 ther be tokned thynges two, 

Ther uys bot o thyng there. 

And that hys swete Jhesu Cryst 

Ine flesche and eke ine bloude. 
That tholede pyne and passyoun, 

And diath opene the roude, 
Wel soure ; 
Ne lef non other Cryste, man. 
For safour ne coloure. . 


For that colour, ne that savour, 
Ne beth nau3t ther-inne Cryste, 

Thaj he ther-inne schewe hyra. 
By hys myjtefolle lyste, 

So couthe ; 

Ne my3te elles bet be seje, 
Ne beter yujred inne mouthe. 

For 3ef he schevved hym in flesche. 

Other ine blody thynge, 
Hydous hyjt were to the sy5te. 

And to the cast wlatynge, 

And pyne ; 
Thanne hys hyt betere in fourme of brede, 

And eke in forme of wyne. 

For bred strengeth the herte of man, 
And wyn hys herte gledeth ; 

And strengthe longeth the body, 
And blice the saule fedeth. 
And nede ; 

Ther-fore hys double sacrement, 
Of wyne and eke of brede. 

For he y-brout heth oure body. 

Into OS he let hys sinke ; 
And vor the saule ine the blod, 

Hys blod he let os dx'ynke ; 

Nou wost, 

Wyther hys double sacrement, 

For note of body and gost. 


Ac wen nau}! that Cryst be to-schyft, 

Thaj he scheweth ine bothe, 
To wene hys body wythoute blod, 

By tha vveye ne gothe, 

To thryfte ; 
For ther he hys, he hys al y-hol, 

Ne raey ine hym to-schifte. 

The3 ther te breke a^e ine the mouth, 

Other ine thyne honden, 
Ilyt nas nau5t he that hys to-broke, 

Ensample thou myjt fonden 
To slyfte ; 
In a rayrour thou ray3t fol wel thi-selve se, 

Bote nau5t the ymage schefte. 

By thyse ensample thou myjt y-se 

He hys ine echautere ; 
Y-hol the prest hys messe syngetb, 

Thej he ne be naujt y-here, 

Ac wykke, 

Ase ther beth foles swiche fele 

Y-sawe al to thykke. 

Ac thiiy the prest hys messe do 

Inne dedleche senne corse 
Thet sacrement, man, be thou syker. 

For hym nys nase worse ; 
For loke, 
The sacrement nys nathe wors, 

Tha; that Judas hyt toke. 


Ac tha3 hyt be never the wors 

That sacrement an honde, 
The bone that swych prest ther byjt 

No stel ne sehel hym stoude, 
Ac derye ; 
For he despyseth Jhesu Cryst, 

Wanne he hym scholde herye 

And 5yf thou wylt tak hyt to prou, 

For the and thyne freende, 
Ry3t repentaunt and rj^t devout 

Take hys death in thy meende, 
Naut ly3t ; 
The more thou thenkest so on hys death, 

The more hys thy meryte. 

Manne, wanne thyt takest ase other mete, 
Into thy wombe hy3t sedlyth ; 

Ac ne defith nau3t ase thy mete, 
Wyth thyne flesch medlyth, 
Ac kevereth 

Al other wyse, and so thy body 
And thy saule hy3t I'revereth. 

Nabyd hy3t nau3t ase other mete 

Ilys tyme of defyynge ; 
And ry3t anon hy3t frevei'cth 

In thare oundervanginge, 
Of syke men, tha3 hy hyt keste of, 

Ne helpcth hyt nau3t the hisse. 


For yf the syke man hys gode 

In the leve of holy clierche, 
The} he hy5t cast op, hyt bylefth 

Sauvacion to werche, 

Ryjt there ; 
For al at ones he mey be god, 

Ther and elles-were. 

He soffreth wel to be kest op, 

And jet to be honoured ; 
Ac he soffreth nojt to be to-trede, 

And of bestes devoured, 

And neade ; 
Asc he by-leve assayth in flesche. 

He assayth ine forme of brede. 

That body hyjt hys najt that ther corathe op, 

3ef that a man hyjt keste ; 
For al so longe hyt hys that body, 

Ase forme of brede schel leste 
Ine manne ; 
3et thaj the fourme of brede to-go, 

That body by-lefth hjet thanne. 

And 3yf he passeth naujt fram ous, 
Wanne wcy ary3tt hym healdeth, 

That vod hys for to take hym efte, 
Ther wylc he ous so wealdeth, 
For mende 

Of hys dethe and hys passyon, 
Ase he heth hit atte hys ende. 


Of pure wete hyt mot be, 

And eke of pure wyne, 
Thet schel be to thys sacrement 

Ryjt of the grape of wyne 
I-lete ; 
For Jesus seyth the vygne be hys, 

And eke the greyn of wete. 

And 3ef raannes devocioun slaketh, 

Wanne he by-healdeth, 
For hyt thinkth bote other bread 

An-hea3 that the prest healdeth ; 
By-thenche hym 
Of the vertue that ther hys, 

That non eirour adrenche hym. 

And tak ensaumple of that he kneuth. 

The preciouse stone, 
Thaj he lygge amange othere y-lyche, 

Me honoureth hym alone, 
So swete ; 
Mid al thy wyl ther vertue hys, 
God self ine sacrement y-mete. 

Namore no greveth hyt Jhesus, 
Thane sonne i-trede in felthe, 

Tlia3 eny best devoured hyt, 
Other eny other onselthe, 

Ech screade ; 

3et al so longe hys Godes body, 

Ase lest tlie ibunnc of breade. 


And al so longe hyt Iiys blod, 
Ase lest the forme of wyne ; 

Naujt of fynegre kende chald, 

Ne offe water droppynge of wyne ; 
Ac trye, 

So lyte water schel be me[n]gd, 

That wyne Iiabbe the maj'strye. 

For water self nys nau5t that blod, 

Ac hyt hys an y-lyke, 
Ine folke that torneth al to Ci'yst, 

Ine the body of mystyke ; 

Nou, brother, 
I-lef al thys ine gode fey. 
For hit may no tliynge be sother. 

De penitetwia. 
Wane man after hys crystendom 

Heth au5t i-do wyth wronge, 
Penaunce hyt hys a sacrement 
That men scholde fonge, 

Ande mote ; 
Penaunce heth maneres thre, 
Thorj sofje, schryfte, and edbote. 

Thy sorwe for tliyne senne, man. 

Mot be ine gode wylle, 
That liy ne be nau5t ine wanhope, 

That made Jtulas to spylle ; 
Ac crye 
Mercy to swete Jhesu Cryst, 
Mid wyl to lete folye. 


And 3et thy wylle mot be so gret, 

And ine so gode faye, 
That thou wenst thou iioldest sene3i eft, 

Ther-fore thej thou schoklest deye, 
Ine wytte ; 
For 3ef thou woldest for death hyt do, 
Thy sor5e hys al to lyte. 

The3 sor3e bele man anon 

Of velth of sennes slyme, 
3et thanne were hyt nau5t i-nou3, 

The fore sorwy on tyme, 
Ac evere, 
Ase longe ase, man, thy lyf y-lest, 
EUes senne may be kevere. 

For so, man, senne greveth in the. 

And eke in alle thyue, 
That wed schel grewen over the corn, 

Wythoute medicyne 

Of sor3e ; 
Nou her-on thenche, man, day and ny3t. 
An even and a morwe. 

Thcnch t]iour3 thy senne thou best i-lore 

Tliy blys of bevene-ryche, 
An betli i-wrethed thane kynge 

That non hys y-bche ; 

And here, 
Thou best of-servcd dygnelyche 
The pyne of belle vere. 


Draj into mende that hydous sijt 

Of deade men a bere, 
That nadde never deade i-be, 

5ef senne of Adam nere, 

Bye drytte ; 
5et thou a5test habbe more hydour 

Of thyne ojene unry3te. 

Myd sucher sor5e schryfte, man, 

Wei stylle an nothynge loude ; 
For repentaunce ondeth the hel, 

And schreft hyt mot out-treude, 
Al clene ; 
For 3ef a3t lefth that treude my3t, 

God so thou schelt y-wenne. 

Ne non ne may hym schryve ary5t, 

Bote 3ef he hym by-lho3te 
Of sennes that he beth y-do, 

And hys lyf al thor3 sojte 

To kenne ; 
Ac manie dosper to the prest 

Al one by-se5e of senne. 

And understand that al i-hol 

Mot be thy schryfte, brother ; 
Na3t tharof a kantel to a prest. 

And a kantel to another ; 

And thanne 
Tele 3ef thou my5t by-thenche tlie 

Wet hou and wer and wanne. 


And 5ef thou wylt, man, thor3 thy schryft 

Lat thy senne al a-drou3e, 
Ne wynd thou naut thy senne ine selke, 

Ac telle out al that rou5e, 
Tys la5e ; 
3ef thou wenst seie, and nast no prest, 

Schryf the to another felawe. 

Ac that ne schalt thou nevere do, 
Bote the wantrokye of lyve ; 

And 3ef thou comste to lyve a3en. 
Eft throf thou most the scryve 
To preste. 

That heth power to assoyly the, 
Thor3 power of the greste. 

Tha3 man on tyme i-healde be 

To schryve hym a 3ere, 
To schryve hym wanne he sene3ed heth, 

Wei syker thynge hyt were 
And mete ; 
Wald 3ef he sodeynlyche deith. 

And wald he hyt for-3ete. 

For wanne man sodeynleche deith, 
Hys tho3t the sor3e tumblcth ; 

And senne ony schryve wanne he vor-5et, 
Hys senne ther be doubleth 
To nusy ; 

For raytter senne that he dede, 
The sleuthe liinc wyle acusy. 


Man, schryf the, and woiide none schame, 

For-\vy liyt hys to donne, 
A lytel schame hys betere her 

Thane overmoche eftsone ; 
To crefte 
Byvore God a domesday, 

Amang al Godes schefte. 

For thaj man mo3e i-sauved be 

Thor3 bare repentaunce, 
Wanne he ne may to scryfte come, 

3ef hym valleth that chaunce. 
So holde ; 
3et ne may he nau3t y-sauved be, 

Be he hym schrive wolde. 

Ther-fore thy schryfte, man, schel be 

"Wythoute stoneynge, 
Myd herte I03, and, 3ef thou my3t, 

Myd thyn e3ene wepynge. 

In treuthe ; 
Thet ther be non ypocrysyc, 

Bote repentaunce and reuthe. 

And 3yt' that thou to schryfte comff 

Ine thyse manere to fare. 
The schryft-vader that varth ary3t 
Schal be wel debonayre. 

And 1030 ; 
He schel wystlyche thy senne hele, 
Bet thane he wolde hys owe. 



3ef he the schel anoye a3t, 

Hyt wyle of-thenche hym sore ; 

And otherwyl anoye he mot, 
Wanne he scheweth the lore 
Of helthe, 

Ase mot the leche ine voule sores, 
Wanne he royneth the felthe. 

Ther-fore je mote tholyen hyt, 
Wythoute alle manere tole ; 

And do ther-by ententyflyche, 
3yf 3e wolleth be hole 

To live, 

And to a betere beleave goth, 
3ef 30ure prest can nau3t schryve. 

Te mo pvestes that thart i-schryve 

Myd alle y-hole scryfte, 
The clenner thert a3ens God, 

And of the more thryfte, 

Nau3t nyce ; 
3ef hyt ne be nau3t to thy prest 

Malice ne prejudice. 

"Wanne man liys repentaunt i-schrive. 

He scholde don edbote, 
And the ferste hys that he by-fle 

Chypeans of sennes rote, 

Ase qnances ; 
He that by-fleke wel lecherye 

Bi-vlekth foulc continaunce. 


Edbote hys dede after god conseyl 

Of gosslich medicine, 
Wanne senne sor y-clensed hys, 

To tholye a lytel pyne 

Thet frete, 
That he ne be ther-vore i-wrete 

In purgatoryes hete. 

Thre maner peyne man i'angeth 

For hys senne nede ; 
Senne hys that on, that other fastynge, 

The thrydde hys almesdede ; 
Ac woste, 
Sene hys and edbote y-set 

For senne do ine goste. 

For senne in flesche 

Vestyng heth the flesclie lothe ; 
Ac elmesdede senne bet 

Of gost and flesche bothe ; 

For thencheth, 
Thet almesdede senne quenketh, 

Ase water that fer aquencheth. 

To byddynge contemplacion 

Longeth rede ande wryte, 
To here predicacioun won 

Lore and herte smyte, 

And wreche, 
Dedes to 5yve devocioun 

To men ine holy cherche. 


Knewelynge, travayl, bar-vot go, 
Welle-ward and wakynge, 

Discipline and lyte mete, 
Thes longeth to vestynge. 
And here, 

Pelgrymage and beddynge hard, 
Flesch fram lykyuge te arere. 

3eve, and lene, and conseil, 
Clothynge, herberj, and fede, 

Vysyty syke and piysones, 
And helpe povere at nede ; 

For to vor-jevene trespas, 
Tak dedes of elmesse. 

And sene 3er thou scholdest, man, 
dedlyche senne peyny, 

Ther-vore al that the prest the hast 
To done schalt thou nau3t fyny ; 
Ac more, 

For onmeathe thys ther eny prest 
That peyne set so sore. 

For hy habbeth in syke of men, 

Hy more sctte the lesse, 
And beterc hys ffor te apeched be 

Of more for3efnesse, 

Than wreche ; 
For 3yf thou to lyte peyne best, 

Purgatory e hyt schal eche. 


And 3et ther hys another cas, 

That prestes 3yvet so lyte 
Penaunce, tha3 me telle ham 

Ryjt moche of sennes wyte, 
Ine mone ; 
Me mot ham legge lytel on, 

Other hy nolde do none. 

Beter hys that hy a lyte do 

Her ine obedience, 
And fol-velle that remenaunt 

Ine purgatoryes tense, 

Eftsone ; 
Nys nau3t god to vor-lete a man, 

That eny yinge hys wyl bone. 

The bydde ich, brother, be nau3t loth 

To do penaunce here ; 
For 3et ther hys here some reles. 

So nys nau5t ine the vere 
Areyved ; 
Ne thor3 the ry3tvolnesse of God 

Nys no sen omtheyvid. 

Man, wane thou sene3yst thre thou dest. 

Thou wrethest God almy3ty, 
To holy cherche onbouxam thart, 

Makest thy selve onry3ty, 

Thos 56 mote 
Make thy pes wyth alle thre, 

Sorwe, schryfte, and edbote. 


Man taketh thys sacrement, 

And geth awey ondigne, 
For he ne schryfth nau5t of thet thynge, 

Bote of the bare signe. 

To Wynne ; 
The signe hiis that hys boute y-do, 

That thynge hys grace bynne. 

Two thynges her wythynne beth, 
For-5efthe and repentynge ; 

Ac repentaunce hys signe also 
Of sennys for-hevynge, 

Certayne ; 

For so may man repenti hym, 
That ther vol3eth no peyne. 

That was i-ked wel inne the thef 

Ope Calvaryes felde, 
Tho he escusede Jhesu Cryst, 

And hym gelty gan 5elde, 

Mid sourwe ; 
He deide and come to Paradys, 

Nabod he naujt fort a-morwe. 

De wicione extrema. 
Sacrament of aneliinge 

Nou her ich woUe telle, 
That man vangcth wane he ne wenth 
No lenge he my3te dwelle 
A-lyve ; 
The bodyes cvel that libbe ne mey, 
And sone hit mey to-dryve. 


Many for defaute deithe 

Of ther anelyynge ; 
And jyf hys saule after hys dethe 

SofFrey harde pynynge, 
In fere, 
So scholde by naujt hedde he i-hed 

Ry3t elyynge here. 

For seint James, in hys boke, 

"Wysseth wyd gode mende, 
That 3yf eny by-falthe ryjt syke. 

The prest he scholde of-sende 
To hys ende ; 
And he schel elye hym wyth ele, 

Hys savement to wynne. 

Seynt Jame scythe that orysonne 

Of ther holy by-leve, 
Of hiis siknesse helthe wynthe, 

That no fend schal reve 

The helthe ; 
And 3ef that he ine sennys be, 

For-3eve hys him that felthe. 

Thys his, brother, and gret confort 

For for-3etene synnes, 
That oure foman aredy haveth 

A3eynys that we goth hennes, 
Tatuite ; 
Ac 3ef we ary3t anelede beth, 

Hy5t gayneth ham wel lytel. 


And thanne hys man aiy3t aneled, 
Wanne he myd wyl hyt taketh, 

Myd by-leve of devocioun 
And repentaunce maketh 
So digne ; 

And 3yf he hyt othere-wyse fangeth, 
He taketh ha bote the sygne. 

For the sygne of thys sacrement 

The elyyngys boute, 
That thyngge hys alleggaunce of evel, 

To lyf other diath 3ef he schel loute, 
And hennes, 
Thar he wende that thynge is eke 

Alleggaunce of hys sennes. 

And 3et me schal anelye a man, 
Thar that he lese hys speche ; 

For wet he thencheth in hys mod 
Ne may ous no man teche ; 
Ac stronge, 

He mot habbe devocioun, 
Thet schel a-ry3t hyt fonge. 

Ther-fore this children eleth me nau^t, 

Ne forthe none wode, 
For hy ne conne mende have 

Of thilke holy Gode ; 

Ac fonge 
The wode mey that sacrement, 

Wane relcs cometh amonge. 


A prest mot do thys sacrement, 

For-why hy3t hys wel worthe ; 
And that seyde seynt James wel, 

Ther-wyle he jede an erthe, 
36 hit hedde, 
Tho ich a lite her alone 

Thes holye wordes redde. 

The matyre of this sacrement 

Hys ryjt the oylle allone ; 
And wanne the bisschop blesseth hyt, 

Baume ther-with ne megth he none 
Ther-inne ; 
For baume tokneth lyves loos, 

Oyle mercy to wynne. 

For wanne man deithe, he let his lyf 

Ther the god los by-hoveth ; 
Ac senne jef he farthe aryjt, 

To bi-rensy he proveth, 

To oure Lorde 
Mercy he cryth, and biddeth hym 

Mercy and misericorde. 

The wordes that ther beth i-sed, 

Hyt beth wordes of sealthe ; 
For liy biddeth the sike man 

Of all his sennes helthe, 

In mende ; 
Ther-to me aneleth the wyttes fy3f, 

And fe3et, and breste, and lenden. 


And for the lechery e sj^t 

In lenden of the manne, 
And, ase the boke ous seyth, hy sit 

Inne navele of the wymman, 
To hele, 
Me schel the mannes lenden anelye, 

The navele of the femele. 

Thys beth the wordes wane me aneleth, 

"By thisse aneliinge, 
And be hiis milse, for-jyve the God 

Of thine sennejynge, 

Myd eyen" ; 
And so he seyth be al hys lymes, 

That scholle the oyle drejen. 

Caracter thet is prente y-cliped, 

Nys non of eliinge ; 
Ne furth of penaunce ne the mo, 

Nof housel nof spousynge, 
In thede ; 
For man ofter thane ones taketh 

The sacremens for nede. 

De ordinihus ecclesiasticis. 
Nou her we mote ine this sarmon 

Of ordre maky saje, 
Ther was by-tokned suithe wel 
Wylom by the ealde lawe, 

To a-gyunc, 
Tho me made Codes hous 
And ministrcs ther-innc. 


God ches folkes specilliche 

Hys holy folke amonge, 
That was the kenred of Levy, 

Offyce for to fonge, 

Ase brotheren ; 
For to servy ine Godes house 

By-fore alle the notheren. 

To segge hys Levy an Englysch 

Fram the notheren y-take ; 
So beth of ordre i-take men, 

Ase wyte fram the blake, 

Of lyve ; 

Gode 3eve al y-ordrede men 

Wolde a-ry5t her-of schry ve. 

Ase ther beth of the Holy Gost 

3eftes ry5tfolle sevene ; 
So ther beth ordres folle sevene, 

That made Cryst of hevene 
An orthe ; 
And hedde hys ek hie hys monheth, 

Toke thou hy that were wel werthe. 

The ferste hys dore-ward y-cleped ; 

The secunde redynge ; 
The thrydde hys i-cleped conjurement 

A3enys the foule thynge 

To wersiexe ; 
The fertile acolyt hys to segge y-wys, 

Tapres to here wel worthe. 


The ordre fifte y-cleped hys 

The ordre of sudeakne ; 
And hys the syxte also y-cleped 

The holy ordre of dekene, 

And the greste ; 
The sevene hys and hys y-clyped 

The holy ordre of prest. 

Ine the elde lawe synagoge ferst 
God let the ordres werche, 

And that was sched of that hys ly3t, 
Non wryt ine holy cherche 
I nere ; 

Ich schel telle hou hyt was ther, 
And hou hyt hys now here. 

De hostiariis. 
Ine the ealde lawe dore-ward 

Lokede dore and gate, 
That ther ne scholde onclene thynge 
Ry3t non entry ther-ate, 

Wei coutlie ; 
80 doth thes dore-wardes eke 
Ine holy cherche nouthe. 

And jef eny other hyt doth, 
Nys hyt ordre ac i -leave, 

To helthe wane ther nede i-valth, 
Ac me ne schal nau3t reave 
The office, 

Wythoute leve to don hyt, 
Ne be no man so nice. 


The bisschop, wanne he ordreth thes clerekes, 

Takth hym the cherche keyje, 
And seyth, " taketh and dotheth fol wel, 

Ase wane 36 schoUe deye, 

Scholde 3elde 
Acounte of thet hys ther-onder clos, 

Hardyst thet wo so hyt felde." 

Ine the temj^le, sweete Jhesus 

Thyse ordre toke at ones, 
Tho that he makede a baleys, 

And bet out for the nones, 
Tho that boujte and sealde in Godes hous, 

That hys a hous of bene. 

De lectoribus, 
Nou ieh habbe of the ferste y-teld. 

That other wyl ieh trye ; 
Ine the akle laje the redere 
Rede the prophessye, 

By wokke ; 
So schulle the rederes now 
By-rede and conne on lowke. 

Ther-fore ere hy thys ordre have. 

Me schel hy wel assaye 
Of that hy redeth that hy wel 

Ham conne aneye, 

Otheren to reden schal me nojt, 

Ac soffry hyt for nede. 


Thyse ordre swete Jhesu Cryst, 
Kedde wel that he hadde, 

Tho he toke Ysaies boke 

Ine the synagoge, and radde, 
Wet welle, 

Wet he ther redde thou myjt se 
Ine seynt Lukes godspelle. 

The bysschop wenne he ordreth thes, 
The redynge boke hym taketh, 

And seyth, " tak and by-corae redre 
Of word that of God sinaketh, 
And blyce 

Schelt habbe ase god prechour, 
3ef thou wolt do tbyne offyce." 

De exorcist is. 
The thrydde ordre conjurement, 

And was ine the ealde laje, 
Go dryve out develyn out of men, 
Fram God that were draje 
Alyve ; 
Thanne he mot habbe a clene gost, 
That schal the oneclene out-dryve. 

The bisschop wane he ordretli thes, 

Take ham boke of cristnynge, 
Other of other conjureraens 
A5eyns the foule thynge, 

And seggeth, 
" Taketh power to legge hand 

Over hain that fendes op-biggeth." 


Thyse ordre swcte Jhesu Cryst kedde 

Wei that he hedde, 
Tho he drof develen out of men 

That hym wel sore dredde, 
The apryse 
Ine the elde le^e hyt ferst by-gaii 

Kynge Salomon the vvyse. 

De accolitis. 
The ordre fer the accolyt hys 

To here tapres aboute wi3t ri3tte, 
Wanne me schel rede the gospel 
Other offry to oure Dryte, 

To thenche, 
That thet ly3t by«tokneth that ly5t 
Thet nothynge may quenche. 

And wanne that hey ordred hys, 

The bisschop schel hym teche 
Hou he schel lokke cherche ly3t, 

And wyne and water areche, 
To synge, 
In tokne taper and crowet 

To hand me schal hym brynge. 

Thet thys ordre hedde Jhesus, 

We habbeth wel a-founde 
By thet he seyd, " Ich am that ly3t 

Of alle ther wordle rounde 
Wo so loketh, ne geth he nau3t derko, 

Ac lyt ine lyves route." e 


Ine the elde temple tokne was 
Of the ordre of acolytes, 

Tho certeyne men ly5te that ly5t, 
Ase the la3e jef the rytes, 
So brode ; 

Of weche ly3t hys y-wryte 
Ine the boke of Exode. 

De subdiaconis. 
The ordre fifte sudeakne hys, 

That chastete enjoyeth; 
For sudeakne bereth the chalys 
To the auter and aolyveth, 

Ande weldeth 
Al bare and eke the corperaus 
Onder the deakne vealdeth. 

Ine the aide lawe y-hote hyt hys, 
That hy ham scholde clensy 

That there that vessel of God, 
And rayd water bensy. 

By ryjtte, 

Clenne schel he in herte be 
That schal the chalys dijte. 

And wanne that he y-ordred hys, 
He taketh the chalys bare, 

And lie a-vangeth a crowet eke, 
And a towaylle vare 


For he schel lionden helde weter, 
That serveth to the autere. 


Tho hym with a touwayle schete Jhesus 

After soper by-gerte, 
And water inta bacyn 

Myd a wel mylde herte, 

And wesschte 
Al hys apostlene veet, 

Thos ordre forthe he lesschte. 

De diaconis. 
Nou of the sixte telle ich schel, 
That hys the ordre of deakne, 
Thet hys of more perfeccioun 
Thane hys ordre of sudeakne ; 
He bryngeth 
To honde thet the prest schel have, 
Wanne he the masse singeth. 

Ine the ealde lawe beren hy 

The hoche of holy crefte, 
And nou the stole afongeth hy 

Ope here scholder lefte, 

To a-gynne ; 
And so for thane travaylle her, 

The ry5t half for to wynne. 

And at ordres avangeth hy 

The boke of the Godspelle, 
For than to rede the gospel, 

And sarraone for to telle, 
To wake 
Hy thet slepeth ine senne slep 

Amendement to maky. e 2 


Thyse ordre swete Jhesu Cryst 

Ine lays travayle kedde, 
Tho he prechinde thet folke 

To ry3tte weye ledde ; 

The thredde 
"Was tho he wakede hymself 

The apostles for to bydde. 

De presbiteris. 

The sevende ordre hys of the prest, 
And hys i-cleped the ealde, 

Bote nau5t of 3eres, ac of wyt, 
Ase holy wryt ous tealde; 
For jeres 

Ne maketh so nau5t thane prest aid, 
Ac sadnesse of maneres. 

And wanne he y-ordred hys, 

Hym faith an holy gyse, 
Hys honden beth anoynte bothe 

Thor -out a cirovvche wyse, 
Ther-inne Godes 03en flesch. 

That fode is to the stronge. 

He takth the helye inne of eyther half 

Y-joyned atte breste, 
Thet no god hap ne heji hyne, 

Ne non harm hyne don deste, 
In mode ; 
Ac thenche on hym that tholede death 

For ous opone the roude. 


He takth the chalys wyth the wyne, 

And brede of the pateyne ; 
He heth power to sacry hyt, 

And thet throf hys ther seyne, 
We\ trewe ; 
Inne the elde lawe the ordre a-gan, 

Ine tokne of thyssere newe. 

Cryst kedde that he hys a prest 

Ry3t in double manere ; 
That on tho he sacreded hys body, 

Ther he set atte sopere ; 

Thet other, 
Tho he an roude ofFrede hys body 

For ous, ray leve brother. 

De prima tonsura. 
To thys ordre croune bet 

Ys an apparyblynge, 
Thet hys in holy cherche y-cleped wel 
The furste scherynge 

Of clerke ; 
Gierke hys to segge an Englysch, 
Eyr of Godes werke. 

Ac Godes werke an erthe was 

The puple for to teche, 
And also thourj hys holy dethe 

Of sennes he was leche ; 

Thes werkes 
Men taketh after Jhesu Cryst, 

Wanne hy by-coraeth clerkes. 


And 3yf hy douth wel hare dever 

Ine thysse heritage, 
Ne may hem falle after thys lyi" 

Non one worth desperage, 
To wysse, 
Ry3t y-marissched schelle hy be 

Ine hevene-ryche blysse. 

The croune of clerke y-opened hys, 
Tokneth the wyl to hevene, 

Thet habbe mot that entri schel 
Into eny of the sevene, 

And sedder, 

Tokneth ase he ine ordre a-ryst 
That hys the croune breddour. 

Ther drof bischop hys dignete 
To maky thulke sevene, 

And hyt by-tokneth thane bisschop 
In the bisschopriche of hevene, 
So wrethe 

Was and hys the pope vicary 
I-maked here an erthe. 

Thythe ordres to thys sacrement 

By ryjte longis scholle, 
And that mo be that gode beth, 

Thes maketh al that foUe 

Be a-stente ; 
Therfore ich abbe ondo 3011 thos. 

For thyse sacrement. 


And nou ich wolle ondo thys eft 

By the wey of mystyke, 
For crystene man hys Godes hous, 

Hye mote habbe wyke 

Nou lett ich schel onlouke thys, 

Ase God wyle grace 3yve. 

Thet inewyt hys the dore-ward, 

The doren wyttes fyve ; 
He schel loky wel bysylyche 

That no lykynge in dryve. 

That stenketh ; 
That inwyt hys the reddere eke 

That holy lore thencheth. 

Thet innewyt dryfth the fend awey, 

Myd meende of Crystes pyne ; 
Thet inwyt lyjt ther saule lyjt 

Myd theawes gode and fyne, 
To hele ; 
Thet inwyt wescht the felthe awey, 

And greydeth the fessele. 

Thet inwyt redeth that gospel. 
Wane hyt herereth Crystes lore ; 

And jet ther-to hys charge hyt berth 
Of left half swythe sore, 

To abyde 

After thys lyf the hevene blys, 
And krefte the ryjt syde. 


That inwyt hys the masse prest, 
That ine the herte slaketh 

Thane auter of devocioun, 

Wane man hys bone maketh ; 
No lesse 

Nys hyt wane man stedevast by-lefth 
Sacrament of the messe. 

On inwyt mey al thys wel do, 
And ine the manne to wercbe, 

Ase on may al thys ordres have 
Ryt wel in holy cherche, 

Ase here ; 

3ef her nys suiche mynystre nou, 
Thys temple stent evere. 

Ther-fore ech man that crystene hys 

Hys wyttes loky fyve, 
And thenche opan the lore of God, 

And fendes fram hym dryve. 
And lyjte 
Myd gode thewes til hys lyf, 

And ther-to do hys myjte. 

And wessche and greydy hys fessel, 
And do trewlyche hys charge. 

And niaked otfrynge of hys beden, 
Myd wel to elmesse large 

Thys wyke ; 

By thys 30 i-seoth how cth mey do 
Ine manere of mystyke. 


The signe bys of thys sacrement 

The bisschopes blessynge, 
Forth myd the admynystracioun 

That he deth atte ordynge, 
And grace 
Of wyt and of auctoryte, 

Thet thynge hys ine the place. 

De matrimonio. 
Her longeth nou to thys sarmon 

Of spousynge for to werche, 
Thet hys the tokne of the joynyng of 
Gode and holy cherche ; 

And woste 
Ryjt holy cherche y-cleped hys 
That holy folke ine goste. 

And ase ther mot atter spousynge 

Be ryjt asent of bothe, 
Of man, and of ther wymman eke, 

Yn love and nau3t y-lothe, 
By-tuixe God and holy folke 

Love hys wel trye and ryche. 

Thanne a3te men here wyves love, 

Ase God doth holy cherche ; 
And wyves naujt a3ens men 

Non onwrestnesse werche, 
Ac tholye, 
And nau3t onwrost opsechem hy 

Ne tounge of hefede holye. 


Ine wlessche joyneth man and wyf 

Children to multeplye ; 
And God hath taken oure flesch 

Of the mayde Marye, 

Wei ferren, 
Ther-of springeth thet holye stren 

I-lykned to the sterren. 

Wei fayr thanne hys thys sacrement, 

And marye was by-gonne, 
Tho hyt by-gan ine Paradys 

Are Adam were y-wonne 
To senne ; 
Ac so changede to vylenye 

That Stat of man-kenne. 

For 3ef he hedde i-healde hym, 
Ase God hym hedde y-maked, 

He hedde y-brout forthe hys bearra-team 
Wythoute senne i-smaked ; 
Wet thanne, 

jet holy stren by-tokned hys 
By strenynge of the mane. 

Ilyt was God self that spousynge ferst 

In Paradys sette ; 
The fend hyt was that schente hyt al 

Myd gyle and hys abette, 

Wranch evel, 
Spousoth scheawyth wet God ther dede, 

Hourdom wat detle tlic (level. 


For wanne man tlra5th to hordom, 

And let hys ry3t spouse, 
So dede Adam ine Paradys 

Hys ryjt lord of house 

Of hevene, 
The gode for-horede the fend 

Wyth hys blaundynge stevene. 

That deth that God menteyneth 
"Wei ryjt spousynge her an erthe, 

And ever mo schel go to schame 
Hordom and thet hys worthe, 
I-lome ; 

Bet some wenth ligge in spoushop, 
And lithe in hordome. 

Ther-fore ich wylle telle 30U 

The lore of ryjt spousynge, 
That he ne take horedom, 

Wanne taketh weddynge ; 

Nou lestneth. 
The lore al of the la3e y-wryte 

That holy cherche festneth. 

Ase to God hyt were y-now 

That bare assent oof bothe, 
Wythoute speche and by-treuthynge. 

And alle manere othe, 

And speche ; 
Ther mote be speche of hare assent. 

Holy cherche to teche. 


And 3ef the man other that wyf 
By cheaunce doumbe were, 

3ef may wyten hare assent 
By soum other abere, 

And seave, 

Hy mowe be wedded wel 5enge 
By holy cherche leve. 

Two manere speches beth i-woned, 

Ther two men for to nomene ; 
That one of thyng that hys now, 
That other of te comene, 

"Wel couthe ; 
*' Her ich the take" wordes beth 
Of thynge that hiis nouthe. 

And 5ef me seythe " ich wille the have," 
And ther-to treuthe ply3te 

He speketh of thynge that his to come 
That scholde be myd ry5te 
Of treuthe ; 

Ac that ferste ne faylleth nau3t, 
That other may for sleuthe. 

And 3yf another treutheth sethe, 
Wyth word of that hys nouthe, 

The ferste dede halte beth, 
Ne be hy nase coutlie. 

As noae ; 

Bote 3ef ther fol5ede that treutliyjige, 
A ferst flesch v-raone. 


For thet completh thet spoushod 

After the by-treuthynge, 
That hyt ne may be ondon 

Wyth none wythseggynge, 

By ry3te ; 

And that hyt were her ondo, 

Ry3t halt wythoute Dry3te. 

And her may treuthynge be ondo 

Thorwe falnesse of partye, 
And for defaute of witnessynge 

Wyth wrange and trycherye, 
Me weddeth suyche and liggeth so 

For than ine hordome. 

Ne hy3t ne may no man ondo, 

By lawe none kennes, 
And so by-leveth ever-ino 

Fort other vvendeth hennes, 
Thou wyse, 
So bryngeth hem in suche peryi, 

That hy ne mowe a-ryse. 

Ac 3ef eny hys ine the cas, 

Red ich that he be chaste ; 
And 3yf hys make raone craveth 

Ine leyser other in haste 
He mo3t hy5t do wyth sorye mod, 

And skyle wert wepynge. 


3yt he mot gret penaunce do 

The dayes of hys lyve, 
And 3et the more jef hath maked 

An hore of hys wyf, 

That ere, 
3ef that he hedde y-wedded hy, 

A goud wyraman hyt were. 

For suche \a^e is that manye beth 
Men other wymmen of elde, 

Thar suche contra3t y-maked hys 
That more ry3t pi-ove 3elde, 

And scholle ; 

And 3et of volees thane of tuo 
Hys prove to the folle. 

And 3yf ry3t contrait ys y-maked 
Wy3thoute wytnessynge, 

3ef hy by-knoweth openlyche 
Byfore men of trewthynge, 
Te take, 

To-gidere y-hoten scholle hy be, 
Tha3 other oft for-sake. 

That hys bote hy wedded be 

To othren er hy Iiy3t by-knowe ; 

For tha3 liy by-knowe hyt, 
Ne hys nau3t y-helde trewe 
By lawe ; 

For 3ef hy were, hyt scholde be 
These spousebrechene sawe. 


Of ham that scholde y-wedded be 

Her the age thou myjt lerne, 
Thet knave childe fortene ^er 

Schel habbe ane tuel thetherne, 
Spousynge ; 
At seve ^er me maketh may, 

Ac none ryjt weddynge. 

For thej hy were by assent 

Ryjt opelyche y-wedded, 
And ase thyse childre ofte betli 

To-gadere ry3t y-bedded. 
By ry5te ; 
Bot 3ef hy 3yve ine tyme assent. 

Departed be y-my3te. 

And the tyme is wane ather can 

Other flescblyche y-knowe. 
For wanne hy habbeth thet y-do, 

Ne mowe hy be to-throwe. 
In sa3e ; 
Hy beth i-cliped pukeres, 

That hys a worde of lawe. 

Ne no treuthynge stonde ne schel, 
Wyth strenthe y-maked ine mone, 

Bote ther fol3y by assent 
Ry3t flesch y-mone, 

Ine dede ; 

For thet folvelleth that spoushoth, 
Ase ich by-fore sede. 


And jyf hy bethe by assent 
The thrydde treuthe leyde, 

Here eyther other for to have, 
Other woi-d to asenti seyde, 
Othe swore ; 

3ef hy soffreth hym mone of flesche, 
Hys wyfe and naujt hys hore. 

And 3ef ther hys condicioun 

Y-set atter treuthynge, 
3ef hyt hys goud wythoute quede, 

Hyt letteth the weddynge, 
Onhealde ; 
Bote 3ef ther vlesches y-mone be 

Fol3ynde, ase ich ear tealde. 

And hit is wykked condicioun, 
Covenaunt of schrewead-hede, 

Ase 3ef he seyth ich wille the have 
3ef thou deist suche a dede. 
Of queade; 

Tha3 thet covenant be nau3t y-do, 
Hy schoUe hem weddy nede. 

Bote that quead be a3eins spouthhoth, 

Ase ich schel here teche; 
And 3ef man seyth " ich wolle the have, 

3yf thou wilt be spousbreche, 
Other wealde 
For te dcstruvvcn oure stren," 

That treuthynge darf naut hcalde. 


Sudeakne mey be y-wedded nau3t, 

Moneke, muneche, ne no frere, 
Ne no man of religion, 

Profes jef that be were, 
To leste 
Of chaste professioun 

Hys solempne by-beste. 

Ac 3ef man of religion. 

Be hys ryt fre wille, 
Over tyme of professioun 

Heldeth hym thrynne stylle, 
Schel hym naujt be religioun, 

Tha3 he be naujt professed. 

Ac 3ef ther were ry3t treuthynge, 

That may nau3t be relessed ; 
Ore bye into suche ordre came, 

And here hi be professed, 
To sothe, 
Hy scholde 33611 to the spousynge, 

And lete al that to nothe. 

Hy that the man for-leyen hethe 

Under hys ry3t wyf, 
Other 3yf by hosebonde heth 

Ine thet spousbreche alyve. 
Si dome ; 
5et hi my3te be wedded eft, 

3ef by sengle by -come. 


Bote 3ef hy by-treuthede hem, 
Wyth worde of nouthe i take, 

Other bote hy by-speke his dethe 
In hare senvoUe sake, 

To sla5e ; 

For thanne scholde hy weddi nou5t, 
By none ryjt lawe. 

Meseles mowe y-wedded be, 

5ef hi asenti wylle ; 
An tha3 other bi-come mesel, 

To-gadere healde hem stylle, 
To nomene; 
Bote the treuthege bare be, 

Wyth wordes of to comene. 

For 3ef thet hy by-treuthed be 
With worde of nou y take, 

Other wyd wordes of to come, 
With dede of flesches sake, 

Ther, brother. 

Seel be renoveled that a-gonne hi is, 
And ayther fo]3y other. 

Bote the syke into a spytel-hous 
Entry ther beth museles, 

Thanne der the hole nau3t 
Ther-ine folwy hiis meles, 

Ne hiis gyfte ; 

Falthe ham nau3t in suche compaigni 
'I'o-gadeie be a ny3t. 


And iiie the wcddynge ne gayiiet noti3t, 
Tiia3 thou the otlier by-s\vyke ; 

Wanne them weneth the other be hoi, 
And wedded thane syke, 

Ne tinde ; 

Ne beth no thynges bote two 
That oundeth the weddynge. 

That on hys, wanne he weddeth the thral, 

And weneth the frye take ; 
That other, wanne he weddeth one other 

Thane hys ryjte make, 

By-gyled ; 
The lawe of God ne senteth nou5t 

That man be so by-wyled. 

And 3yf thet one weddeth the thral, 

And weneth the frye weddy, 
And 3yf a spyet that sothe throf, 

And wondeth nau3t to beddy, 
Ine mone ; 
3ef he by wyl serveth that flesche, 

Ry3t party nge worthe hym none. 

And 3yf thy wyf hebbeth a child, 

Wane thou he hest for-leye, 

Ne my3t nau3t weddy that childe 

Eft tha3 that thy wyf deye, 

By lawe ; 

Ne forthe the moder thet hyt beer, 

Ne woldest thou nase y-fa5e. 

F 2 


And 3yf thou habbest so a child, 
The lawe y-wryte hyt sede, 

Thy wyf that his thyn oje flesch 
Drajeth eke the godesybred, 

That hy ne may weddy that child, 
Ne fade thet hyt bi-3ete. 

Thet ilke that y-crystned hys 

Ne may weddy by laje 
Him that hyin crystneth, ne hys child, 

Ne wolde nase na3e, 

Ac lete ; 
And eke hem that hym hebbeth so, 

And alle hare bi-3ete. 

And for the fader and moder 

That hyne fleschlyche forthwyseth, 

Gostlyche for hym by-sebbe beth, 
To ham that hine baptizeth. 
And heven ; 

Ther-fore thaj hy ham wedded eft, 
Ne myt so by-leven. 

And ase the gossybrede dra3th 
Ry3t to ous after crystnynge, 

So gossibrede dra3eth eke 
Ry3t after confermynge. 

By lawe ; 

That so liy mo3e hy weddy nau3t, 
No woldo hy nase y-na3e. 


More godsibrede nys ther naujt 

Thane hys y-menejed here, 
Godfader wedded godsones child 

Fol wel, my leve fere, 

No senne, 
Neth man and wyf that weddeth ham, 

Godfader thej he habbe enne. 

And 3yf a man hebbeth thy child, 

And naujt bye thyne wyfe, 
Thy wyf may vveddy thane man 

Wel after thyne lyve, 

And libbe ; 
And in that cas thou myjt weddy 

To thyne wyfes gossibbe. 

And that lawe for-bode nau3t 

That man and wyf y-mene 
Toe hebbe a childe, 3et scholdy nau3t 

Honestete so 3wene, 

Ne wette, 
Schrewede tonge for te speke 

For sclaunder me schal lette. 

The sibbe mowe to-gadere nau3t. 

The foerthe grees wythinne; 
Ne me ne scholle telle the stoke 

That after hym by-genne, 
To telle; 
And 3ef other the fixte of-taketh, 

To gare more hy dwelle. 


5ef' thou myd word, if thet liys nouthe, 

Ary5t bi-treuthest one, 
Otlier tha5 thet bi-treuthy hy nau5t. 

And hast flesches mone, 
By lawe, 
AUe here sybbe affinity 

To the for-than schel drawe. 

And thet ine the seh'e degre 
That hy beth here by sybbe ; 

And 3ef thou weddest eny of Lam, 
In inceste schoUe ye lybbe 
An erthe ; 

5ef hy y-sibbe ine degres 
Ry5t wythinne the ferthe. 

And so drawyth hy affinite 

Wyth alle thyne sibbe, 
Ase thou of hire sibben dra3st, 

For-than tlia; hy ne libbe ; 

Wat doth hy3t ? 
Hyt deth the monynge ine flesehe, 

The3 ^^^ "^ wyte ne se hy3t. 

And holy cherche y-hote heth, 

Me schal maky the cryes 
At cherche oppe holy day3es thre 

By-fore the pocple thryes, 
To assaye, 
To sech contrait 5ef me nicy 

Of destorber anaye. 


For ertlie the banes y-greil 

He that the treuthe maketh, 
Farth ase he that great work by-gunth 

And thanne conseyl taketh, 

And tethleth; 
Ac mani man that so by-gunth, 

With grete harme fayleth. 

And tha3 the weddynge were maked, 

Ase hyt mytte by lawe, 
3et hyt my5t eft be ondo, 

And eft also to-drawe, 

Wet wyse, 
jef ther ne raey nothere kendelyche 

Do the flesches servyse. 

Thet hys, 3ef that ere the weddynge 

FoUe that ylke lette, 
That other were so i-let 

To do the flesches dette, 

By kende; 
For 3ef that lettyng velle seth, 

Ne scholde hy nou3t to-wende. 

And tha3 thet on bi-wiched be 

Thanne hy to-gadere come, 
That hy ne my3te don ry3t nau3t, 

Ne asayde nase lome, 

And vvolde; 
3et thre 3ier hy abyde scholde, 

To do ere hi be scholde. 


And tliaj that servyse be foul, 
5et hyt hys tokne of gode ; 

For hyjt by-tokneth the takynge 
Of oure flesche and blode 

Ine Cryst ; 

No stren may non encressy 
AVythoute flesches loste. 

And dette hy3t hys in spoused, 
"Wanne the other hyjt welde ; 

For 5yf thyt other nolde do, 

Destrayned be he scholde, 

Be rytte, 

To do hyt 5yf that he may. 
The lawe heth the he rayjte. 

And tha5 man hath bysemer 
Of seche manere destresse, 

Be hem wel syker hyt hys y-do 
For wel grete godnesse, 
Of ly ve ; 

For elles nolde the laje nau3t 
Of suche thynge schryve. 

In spoushod beth godnesse thre, 
Treuthe, strenyg, and signe ; 

Treuthe hys that ther no gile be 
Thourwe spousebreche maligne ; 
Ac, brother, 

That on may spousbreche by-come. 
For defaute of thct other. 


That other godnesse hys strenynge, 

Ther me may children wene; 
And 3yf that on thothren warneth hys flesch, 

Ne ray3t hy naut strene 

On nette, 
TIio scholde that godnesse be 

By-twene ham inlette. 

The thrydde godnesse hys sacrament, 

That hiis the holy signe 
Of the joynynge of God self 

And holye cherche digne, 

That abayleth; 
And 3yf thothren warnth hys flesch, 

That sacreraent hem fayleth. 

By thyse thre hy mo5e i-se 

Wanne hy ine flesche senejeth. 
Wanne hy wytlioute thyse thre 

Wyth fleschlich mone megeth 

Hare other other, 
The more thyt doth, the wors hi beth. 

And God also the lother. 

Ase 3ef hy hy3t my3t wel a-come 

To letten other wyle, 
And lesse do hyt thane hy doth, 

Wythoute otheres peryl 

Ac blondeth, 
And nys non ned wyth foule handlynge 

Other other afondeth. 


Ne hy ne wondeth messe-day, 

Ne none holy tyde, 
Ne holy stede wythoute peryl, 

Thaj hy niy3te abyde 

Spy felthe, 
Ther hy myjte hyt do kendelyche, 

Onkende hys hare onselthe. 

Hyt uys nau3t a3eus sacrement 
Of God and holy cherche, 

Thay hy nolde by goud purpos 
Ine hare flesche worche 

By fold ; 

So ferde Marye and Joseph, 
By assent that clene hem held. 

For they hye wolde 

In flesch by-leve clene, 
jet ajeyns treuthe nere hyt noujt, 

Ne forthe ajeyns strene ; 

Hon scholde hyjt 
Aje gode purpos of strene, 

Bote other of ham wolde hyjt ? 

Ne hyjt nys ajeyns sacrement. 
By assent thaj hy be clene ; 

In spoushoth jef hy levies hem, 
And wel libbeth i-mene : 

Cryst and thys holy saulen eke, 
Al lovieth hem ine clannesse. 


And 3yf bothe beth of god wylle, 

And of assent an emne, 
To take to religioun 

And makye a vou solenipne, 
Hy mytte 
In chastyte for evere mo 

Sei'vy oure Drytte. 

And 3ef that eyther otlier may 

Kendelyche serve, 
Ne mo3en hy a3eins wyl to go 

Er thane other schal sterve, 
No sauve, 
Bote 5ef that on for-houred be, 

He may departyng have. 

And 3ef hy so departed be, 

Chastite he mote take, 
So longe ase thothres lyf y-lest, 

That whas hys ry3t make, 

Nyst gabbe, 
3ef he other thane hy for-lyth, 

A3en a schel hys habbe. 

Tha3 hy mysdede, 3et and he uyle 

Eft a3eyn he may crave, 
Tha3 ther such a departynge be. 

And hiis wyf a3eyn have, 

And scholde ; 
Tha3 hy wythseyde hyt openlyche. 

And a3eyn come nolde. 


Ac understond for thet hordom 

That maketh thes to stryve, 
That eche hordom ne parteth nau3t 

The man al fram hiis wyf ; 
Nou lestne, 
3ef the other othren so by-swyketh, 

Ne moje hy noujt ounnestne. 

Ne thaj a wyf by-gyled be 

Of another by wrake, 
And weneth wel to for-leye be 

Of hyre ryjtte make ; 

3et more, 
Tha3 hy ben strengthe be for-leye, 

Takth he nau3t houre lore. 

Ne 3ef thon thother profreth 

Wyth any other to beddy, 
And ne 3ef the on welnith this otheres deth, 

And he another weddeth, 

Tha3 come ; 
The make a3en ne schelde hy be 

To do for hordome. 

Ac het nou ounderstand for ham 

That gooth a pylgrymage, 
On wenddeth, the other abyde schel, 

Wet other passeth age, 

By kende, 
Other wat that ther be of hys death 

Ky3t god and certayn mende. 


And 3yf man halt ase hys wyf 

After the gelt hys spouse, 
Thaj he by hyre ne ligge noujt, 

Other halt hys ine hys house, 
In tome, 
Ne schal hy nau3t departed be 

Frara hyra for hordome. 

The signe hys of the sacrement, 

The treuthynge wel couthe. 
Other comthey signe of thet asent 

Wyth worde that hiis nouthe, 
And dygne ; 
Thynges ther beth her mo than on 

Onder thys ylke signe. 

Thet o thyng hys thet hoi assent 

By-tuixte man an wyf, 
Wat bynding hys of the spousehoth 

To helde to ende of lyf. 

And, brother, 
Thys ilke thynge a signe hys eke 

Of thyng to-forin another, 

And that thynge hys ase ich seyde her, 

Tho ich her-an gan worche, 
The holy joynynge of God self 

And of al holy cherche. 

In tome, 
Of spouhoth thys aneyment 

Loiiketh 50U for hordome, 


Tho seynt Johan ine the Apokalips 

Sej pruveetes of hevene, 
He sej a boke was fast i-schet 

Wyth strong lokes sevene, 
A wonder ; 
Ne hy my3ty no man ondo 

Above in hevene and onder. 

And tho that seint Johan y-sej that, 
Wei soi'e he gan to wepe ; 

Tho seyde an angel, " Wep thou nou5t, 
Ac take wel gode kepe, 

Thys sygne, 

That holy lambe that sla3en hys 
To ondo hyt hys wel dygne." 

Thys ylke boke the mystikys 

Of these sacrementis, 
That were i-schet frara alle men, 

Wat God himself out sent hys, 
To tounne ; 
For be thou syker hy were in God, 

Er than the worlde by-gounne. 

For ase he wyste wel 

We scholde be by-gyled, 
So ever wyste he that the feend 

Scholde a5en be by-wylcd, 

Thorj Cryste ; 
Ac he hyt hadde wel prive 

For Saternases lyste. 


Al what OS com thet ilke lambe, 

Jhesus that was y-slawe, 
That onne schette the queynte loken, 

That spek of the aide lawe, 
And sevene, 
So kedde out thyse sacremens 

By-nethe and bove in hevene. 

The ferste loke oneleke Jhesus, 

Ase he wel coude and myjte, 
Tho Nychodemus to hym come 

At one tyme by nyjte, 

To lerny ; 
And he ondede hym cristendora, 

No lenge he nolde hyt derny. 

That lok onleake of confermynge 

Ther hiis apostles leye 
Slepynde tho that of ham bed 

Aryse for to preye, 

That hy ne voile into fondynge. 

Ac that hye weren stronge. 

The thrydde loke onleke Jhesus 

Ther he set atte sopere, 
Tho he sacrede hys flesche and blod, 

Ase ich 50U seyde hyt here, 
So holde, 
In fourme of bred and eke of wyn 

That we hyt notye scholde. 


And tho Peter in 036 ny3t 
Thryes hedde hyne for-sake, 

And he by-held hyne ther a-set 
Ryjt atte hys pynyng-stake, 
Nera kepe, 

Ther he onleke penaunce loke, 
Tho Peter gan vor to wepe. 

The fy5te that hys elyynge, 
Cryst onleke to oure wayne, 

Tho hand and fet and al hys lymes 
I-persed were ine payne, 

Ene helede, 

For al the formes of oure lemes, 
Anon so be we anelede, 

The syxte onleke swete Jhesus, 
Of ordre nothynge orne, 

Tho he a-veng for oure love 
The croune of scharpe thornes ; 
Wei wyde 

Ondede the loke of ryjt spousynge 
The wounde onder hys syde. 

For ase wymman com of the ryb 
Of the mannes ryjt syde, 

So holyche spouse of God 

Sprange of thane wonden wyde ; 
Nou leste, 

Hou that was hed conseyl ine God, 
Sprounge hiis out at hys brest. 


Nou, Lord, that coudest makj open, 

Thet no man coude oneschette, 
And canste wel sehetten thet hy be open 

That none other man derte 
To hopye, 
So graunte ous thyne sacremens, 

That non errour ne ous ascapye ; 

And that we hys mote a-redy have. 

Lord, her at oure nede, 
That no devejl ne acombry ous, 

Lord, thou hy3t ham for-bede, 
Amonge ; 
And for the tokene that we neme, 

Lat ouse thy holy dole fonge. Amen. 

Oretis pro anhna domini Willelmi de Sckorham, 
quondam vicarii de Chart juxta Ledes, qui composuit 
istam compilacionem de septem sacramentis. 


Pater noster, Domine, labia mea aperies, etc. 

Thou opene myne lyppen, Lord, 
Let felthe of senne out wende ; 

And my moutlie wyth wel god acord 
Schel thyne worschypynge sende. 

Deus, in adjutorium meum intende. 

Vaderis wyt of heve an-hej, 

Sothnesse of oure Dry3te, 
God and man y-take was 

At matyn-tyde by nyjte. 
The disciples that were his, 

Anone hy hyne for-soke, 
I-seld to Gywes and by-traid, 

To pyne hyne toke. 

Adoranms te, Christe, et henedicamus tibi, etc. 

We the honreth, Jhesu Cryst, 

And blesseth ase thou os toujtest ; 

For thour5 thy crouche and passyon 
Thys wordle thou for-bou3test. 

Oremus, Domine Jhesu Criste. 

We the byddeth, Jhesu Cryst, 

Godes son a-lyve, 
Sete on crouche pyne and 2:)assyoun, 

And thy dethe that hys lyve ; 
Gode atende to my socour, 

Lorde, hyje, and help me fyjte ! 


Glorye to the Fader and Sone, 

And to the Gost of niyjtte ; 
Ase hyt was ferst and liiis, 

And scliul evere-more be wyth i"y5te. 
Bytuext ous and jugement 

That no fend ous ne schende, 
Nou, ne wanne the tyuie comthe 

Thet we scholle hennes wende. 
And 5yf the ly ves mysse and grace, 

The dede redand and reste, 
Holy cherche acord and pays 

Ous glorye and lyf that beste ; 
That levest and regnest wyth the Fader 

Ther never nys no pyne, 
And also wyth the Holy Goste, 

Evere wythoute fyne. Amen. 

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Donmius tecvm ; hene- 
dicta tti, etc. 

O swete levedy, wat they was wo, 

Tho Jhesus by-come in orne ; 
For drede tho the blodes dropen 

Of swote of hym doun orne. 
And, levedy, the was wel wors, 

Tho that thou se5e in dede 
Thy Icve ehilde reulyche y-norae 

And ase a thef forthe lede. 
And ase he tholede thet for ous, 

Levedy, wythoute sake, 
Defende ous wanne we dede bethe, 

That noe fende ous ne take. c 2 


Paternoster. God, atente to my socoiir . Lord, hyj^e, 
etc. Deus, adjutorium meian. Dondne, ad. Hora prima. 
At prime Jhesus was i-led 

To-fore syre Pylate, 
Thar wytnesses false and fele 

By-lowen hyne for hate. 
In thane nekke hy hene srayte, 

Bonden hys honden of myjtte ; 
By-spet hym that sw... semblant 

That hevene and erthe a-lyjte. 

Adoramiis te, Christe. 11 e the honouret/i, etc. 
Ave, Jhesu Christe. We the biddeth, Jhesu Cryst. 
Ave Maria, etc. 

O swete levedy, wat the was wo 

A Gode Frydayes in orthe, 
Tho al the nyjt y-spende was 

In swete Jhesues sorwe. 
Thou seje hyne hyder and thyder y-cathed, 

Fram Pylate to Herode ; 
So me bete hys bare flesche, 

That liyjt arne alle a-blode. 
And ase he tholede that for ous, 

Levedy, withoute crye, 
Schelde ous wanne we deade beth 

Fram alle feenden mestrye. 

Pater noster. Deits, in adjutorivm. Gad, atende 
to my socour. Critcifjge, etc. 

Crucyfige ! crucifige ! 
Gredden hy at oiidre ; 


A pourpre cloth hi dede hym on, 

A scorne an hym to wondre. 
Hy to-steke hys swete hefed 

Wyth one thornene coi'oune ; 
Toe Calvarye his crouche ha beer 

Wei I'euliche oujt of the toune. 

Adoratnus te. We the honoureth, Jhesu Cryst. Ut 
sancta, Domine Jhesu Christe. We the byddeth, Jhesu 
Cryst. Ave Maria, etc. 

O swete lavedy, wat the was wo 

Tho that me Jhesus demde, 
Tho that me oppone hys swete body 

The hevye crouche semde ! 
To here hyt to Calvary 

I-wys hyt was wel wery, 
For so to-bete and so to-boned, 

Hy3t was reweleche and drery. 
And alse he tholede that for ous, 

Levedy, a thysse wyse, 
I-schelde ous, wanne we dede beth, 

Fram alle fendene jewyse. 

Deus, in adjutorium. Code, atende to my socour. 
Pater noster. Hora sexta. 

On crouche y-nayled was Jhesus 

Atte sixjte tyde, 
Stronge theves hengen hy on 

Eyther half hys sede. 
Ine hys pyne hys stronge therst 

Sthanchede hy wyth jalle ; 


So that Godes holy loinbe 
Of senne wesche ous alle. 

Adoiximus te, Chrisle. We the honoureth, Jfiesu 
Cryst. Oremits, Domine Jhesu Christe. We the 
biddeth, Jhesu Cryst. Ave Maria, gratia plena. 

O swete levedj, wat the was wo 

Tho thy chyld was an-honge, 
I-tached to the harde tre 

Wyth nayles gret and longe ! 
The Gywes gradden, " com adouii," 

Hy neste way y mende, 
For thrau ha thole to be do 

To deth for mankende. 
And ase he henge, levedy, for ous, 

A-heye oppon the hulle, 
I-scheld ous wane we deade ben, 

That we ne hongy in belle. Amen. 

Pater noster. Dens, in adjiitorium. God, atende 
to my soconr. Jjord, hy^c, etc. Hora nana. 

Atte none Jhesu Cryst 

Thane harde death felde ; 
Ha grade " Ilely" to bys fader, 

The soule he gan op-3elde. 
A knijt wyth one scharpe spere 

Stange hyne i the ry3t syde ; 
Therthe schoke, the sonne dyin by-come, 

In thare tyde. 


Adoramus te. We the honoureth, Jhesu Cryste. 
Domine Jhesu Christe. We the biddeth, Jhesu Cryste. 
Ave Maria, gratia plena, etc. 

O swete levedy, wat the was wo 

Tho Jhesus deyde on rode ! 
The crouche and the ground onder hym 

By-bled was myd his blode. 
That swerde persed thyne saule tho, 

And so hyt dede wel ofter, 
That was thy sorwe for thy child, 

Dethe adde be wel softer. 
And ase he tholed thane deth, 

Levedy, for oure mende, 
Schulde ous wane we dede beth, 

Fram deth wythouten ende. Amen. 

Pater noster. Deus, i?i adjutorium. God, alt ende 
to my socour. Lord, hi'^e, etc. De cruce deponitur. 
Hora, etc. 

Of the crouche he was do 

At eve-sanges oure ; 
The strengthe lefte lotede ine God 

Of oure Sauveoure. 
Suche death a under-3ede, 

Of lyf the medicine, 
Alas ! hi was y-leyd adoun 

The croune of blysse in pyne. 

Adoramus te. We the honoureth, Jhesu Crist. 


Ave Jhesu Christe. We the biddeth, Jhesu Cryst. 
Ave Maria, gratia plena. 

O swete levedy, wat the was wo 

Tho Ciyst was do of rode ! 
For ase a mesel ther he lay, 

A-stoimed in spote and blode, 
For-bere wepyng ne my3t hy 

That seje al hou thou weptyst ; 
Al hy the 8656 of hym blody, 

So ofte thou hine by-cleptyst. 
And ase he tholede the fylthe, 

For felthe of oure sennes, 
Helpe ous, levedy, we clene be, 

Wanne we schoUe wende hennes. Amen. 

Pater yioster, etc. Deus, adjutorium. God, attende 
to my socoiir, etc. Lord, Jii'-^e, etc. Hora complectorii. 

At complyn hyt was y-bore 

To the beryynoje, 
That noble corps of Jhesu Cryst, 

Hope of lives comynge. 
Wei richeleche hit was anoynt, 

Folfeld hys holy boke ; 
Ich bydde, lord, thy passioun 

In myne mend loke. 

Adoramus te. We the honoureth, Jhesu Crist. 
Domine Jhesu Christe. We byddeth, Jhesu Cryst. 
Ave Marin, gratia plena : etc. 

O swete levedy, was the was wo, 


And drery was thy mone, 
Tho thou seije thy lefe sone 

I-bered under the stone ! 
That thou wystest thourj thy feyth 

A-ryse that he scholde, 
A drery fayth hyt was to the 

That he lay under molde. 
And ase he was four ous y-bered, 

And a-ros thourwe hys myjtte, 
Help ous, levedy, a domes-day, 

That wey a-ryse mytte the, levedy brytte. 

Thyse oures of the canoune, 

Lord, moneje ich the wel fayre, 
Wyth wel grejt devocioun 

A reyson debonayre ; 
And ase thou tholedest lor forme 

Ope Calvaryes doune. 
So acordaunt to thy travayl, 

Lord, graunte me thy coroune. Amen. 


De decern preceptis. 

The man tliat Godes hestes halt, 

And that myd gode wylle, 
And uaujt one by-fore men, 

Ac both loud and stille, 
Meche hys the mede that hym worthe. 

By so that he na drylle ; 
3ef he hys breketh and so by-loefth, 

Hys sauylle schal he spylle. 
jef thou hys halst man, God the seithe, 

Ha wole be the so kende. 
He wole be fo to thyne fon, 

And frend to thyne frende. 
Hye the mys-doth, ham wyle mys-do, 

And have thys ine thyne mende ; 
Hys angel schal to-forthe go 

To wyte the fram the fende. 
Thyne sustenaunce thou schel have, 

Thy3 naujt a-lyve delyce, 
Ac mete and clothes renableliche, 

And lyf ine herte blysce. 
Thaj folke the beelde a nice man, 

Ther-fore nert thou naujt nyce ; 
I-likned worth thy gode loos 

So swete so the spyce. 
Thef the that art a crystene man 

Wei hy healde by-falleth, 
Sykcr thou my5t be of that lond 

Thar iiiclko and hony walleth. 


That hys the blysse of hevene above, 

Thar holy soulen stalleth ; 
Ine glorye ther none ende nys, 
Ne none swetnesse appalleth. 
To wyte thanne wat God hajt, 

Is eche man wel y-halde, 
Throf ich may telle ase ich wot, 

Ase other men me tealde, 
And ase hyt hys in holye boke 
I-wryten ine many a felde ; 
Lestnetb to mey par charyte, 

Bothe 3onge and ealde. 
thynge hyt hys al that God hat, 

Bote a-two he hy3t dy3te, 
And that hys love, man, syker thou be, 

To lovye wyth thy my3t. 
Thou ert y-helde, man, ther-to 
Bye skele and eke by ry3tt(' ; 
Thou thenke her-on par charyte. 

By dayes and eke by ny3tte. 
Thys love God heth y-di3t a-tuo 

Amange hiis hostes alle. 
The ferste hys for to lovye God. 

By-falle what so falle ; 
Seththe to lovye alle men, 

So brethren scholde ine halle, 
Wythouten byternesse of mode 

That hiis thare saule galle. 
The man that healdeth thys two, 
Of charyte the henstes, 


Al he folveth the lawe of Gode 

And prophetene gestes. 
Ac lasse love ther hys wjth men 

Thane be wjth wjlde bestes, 
That doth that manye y-schodred ben 

Fram hevene-ryche festes. 
Ten hestes haveth y-hote God, 

Ase Holy "Wiyt ous tealde, 
O the two tablettes of ston 

Wyth hys fynger bealde. 
He hys wrot Moyses by-toke 

Wylom by dajes ealde, 
To wyse man hou schal wel 

These ten hestes healde. 
In ston ich wot that he hys wrot, 

In tokne of sykernesse, 
That we that wole y-saved be, 

The more and eke the lesse, 
By-hoveth that he healde hy 

Wyth al hys bysynysse. 
Alias ! feawe thencheth ther-on, 

Th a wykkednesse. 

Yet o table hedde thry 

Of thyse hestes tene. 
The thri longeth to love of Gode, 

Ase hyjt schel wel be sene ; 
The seven longet to love of man, 

That none scholde wene, 
Ine thother table sete tho 

To-gadere and al y-mene. 


Honury thou schelt enne God, 

Hym one to by-knowe ; 
Take naujt hys name in ydelschepe, 

Wyth ydel wynde to blowe ; 
Halje thou the masse-day, 

Ase he comthe in the rewe. 
In these thi'e the love of God schewy hit, 

Were hyt hys to sewe. 
Worschipe thy fader and moder eke ; 

Ne brynge no man of ly ve ; 
Do the to none lecherye, 

Thaj the foundyngge dryve ; 
Wytnesse vals ne here thou non ; 

Of thefthe thou ne schryve ; 
Coveyte none mannes wyf, 

Ne nau3t of hys for-stryve. 
Thys bethe the sevene that love of man 

Schewe what hy5t be scholde. 
jef eny man fayleth eny of thys, 

Nys hy3t bote an on holde ; 
Ac al to fewe lovyth ham, 

And wylleth that other wolde. 
Alas ! wat schal be hare red, 

Wanne hy beth under molde ? 
Ac many man desceyved hys, 

And weneth that he hys helde ; 
And weyneth that he be out of peryl, 

Other ine senne so schealde, 
That hym ne douteth of no breche 

Of Godes hestes healde, 


Ac lie not nefer wat hy beeth, 

Ne never hy ne tealde. 
I-wryte hyt hys, ich telle hyjt the, 

Ine the boke of Wysdome, 
That eche man scholde conne hy, 

And rekeny wel y-lome. 
And that hy nere nau3t for-jete, 

Wane othere thou5tes come. 
Tys fyngres scolde man bynde hy, 

For doute of harde dome. 
For mannes honden and hys fet 

Beret tokene wel gode 
Of alle the tenne comaundemens. 

That man thyt onderstonde. 
Ten fyngres and ten thine tone. 

Of flesche and bon and blode, 
Tokneth that thyne workes ne be 

Ajeyns the hestes for broude. 
3et som man hiis that passioun lyche 

Can telle hy myd the beste, 
Ac me hys dedes nares he, 

Ase he nan5t of hem neste. 
And 5et hym thingth that he beth wel. 

And for to come to reste ; 
Ac al desceyved schel he be, 

Wanne cometh the grete enqueste. 
Here-fore nys hyjt nau3t y-nouj 

To telle hy ne vor to conne, 
And telle and werche wel ther-by, 

Thanne hys hy3t alle y-wonne. 


For wel to conne and nau3 no don, 

Njs nather rawe ne y-sponne ; 
Lytel hiis worth bote hyt eudj 

Wel thynge that hiis wel by-gonne. 
They hyt be wel lyttelyche y-sed, 

The ferste heste a-ro\ve, 
For to honoury anne GoJ, 

Hym one to by-knowe, 
Thenche thou most wel bysyly, 

And thy wyjt thran by-stowe, 
And bydde hym that thou hyt mote do 

Wel myldelyche a-kuowe. 
For thou ne myjt hytte nefeie do, 

Man, wel wythoute grace ; 
So heth thys wordle bounde tlie 

Wyth here lykynges .... 
Ther-fore the by-hoveth Godes helpe, 

That he hyt wolde arace, 
So that thou ne teldest no worth 

Of blandynge face. 
For 3yf thy wyl rejoth more 

In enyos kennes thynges, 
Be-hyjt the childe, other thy best, 

Land, broaches, other ryngeth ; 
Other ajt elles, wat so hyt be. 

Bote yne God that hys kynge of kyngcs, 
Thou ne anor.rcst na5t God a-i'y5t, 

Ac dest is onderlynges, 
By-lef thou in no wychecraft, 

Ne ine none teliinge. 


Ne forthe inne none ymage sell', 

Tha3 that be great botninge ; 
Bote as al holy cherche the tek, 

Thou make thyne worthynge. 
For Gode nele nau5t that thou hyt do, 

Bote by there wyssynge. 
Thanne asay thyn oje thojt 

By thysser ylke speche, 
And 3yf thou annourest God a-ry3t, 

Thyne inwit wyle the teche, 
And 3yf thou fynst that thou ne dest, 

Amende, ich the by-seche ; 
Thou ert a sot, and my3t do bet, 

And so si5st yn the smeche. 
That other heste apertelyche 

Schewed mannes defaute, 
"Wanne he aldey swereth ydelleche, 

In kebbynge and in caute. 
Mechel hys that he maketh hym 

Her efterward to tenty, 
"Wenne he schal hys acountes 3yve 

Of ech idel sente. 
Thenne ne couthe ich nanne red 

Of thylke acountes oure, 
Nere the milse and merci of God self 

Oure alder auditour. 
That woUe the arerages for-3eve, 

3ef hyt hys to hys honoure. 
Ac cesse, man, of thy ydelschop, 

Other ich wole out wcl soure. 


The thrydde heste apertelyche 

Scheweth wyth wykked rote, 
Wanne thou halst thy masse-day, 

As God hyt hath y-hote ; 
Ac werkest other werke dest 

Werkes that beth to note, 
The wykkede ensample that thou jefst, 

Thou abeyst, ich the by-hote. 
And that thou ne werche nau3t, 

Ac gest to pyne gloutynge, 
Other in eny other folke 

In pleye of thretynge. 
Thou halst wel wors thane masse-day, 

Thane manne myd hys workynge ; 
Thare-fore to the al y-holliche 

That day to holy thynge. 
The feste heste scheweth the 

That thye senne schal slethe, 
5yf thou rewardest thyne eldrynges naujt 

A-lyve and eke a-dethe ; 
That were wel besy to brynge the forthe, 

As hy myjten onnythe, 
5yf thou hy gna3St and flagjst eke, 

Ry3t hys that fendes fleathe. 
Naujt nys thys heste y-hote of God 

For suche eldren allone ; 
Ac hys of raannes eldren eke, 

Ase he te3t atte font-stone. 
Ther holy cherche thy moder hys, 

And fader in Cristes mone ; 


3ef thou ert onboxora to hyre, 

Grace of God ne worthe the none. 
The fyfte heste scheweth the 

That thou ne schalt naujt smyte, 
Ne naujt ne mys-segge ne mys-do, 

Ne naujt foules he atwyte. 
For ofte the mannes sie5te aryft, 

Were man hyjt weneth wel lytel ; 
And he that spilleth mannes lyf, 

Venjounse hyt schel awyte. 
And 3ef ther hys man-sle3 the pur, 

As ous telleth holy boke, 
5yf eny man for defaute deyth, 

And eny hyra for-soke 
To helpe hym of that he may, 

Hys lyf to save and loke, 
Her dere jer acuseth fele, 

That God and arthe touke. 
And jet seint Johan the wangelyst 

Al into mende drajeth. 
He that hatyeth eny man. 

He seche that he hym slaje. 
Manye suche man-slej then beth, 

That al day men for-gnajeth, 
And sweche beth in helle depe 

That develen al to-dravveth. 
The sixte heste scheweth wel 

The sothe to al mankenne, 
The dede y-do in lechery 

Hys ryjt a dedleche senne. 


And elles nere hyjt naujt 

For-bode amange the liestes tenne ; 
The that seggeth hyt nys nau3t, 

So hare wy5t hys al to thenne. 
Her hys for-bode glotenye, 

vSo ich the by-hote ; 
For ich norysseth lecherye, 

Ase fer the brondes hote. 
And tha3 ther be alone lomprynge 

In lecheryes rote, 
Al hyt destrueth charyte, 

Wyth wrake and wyth threte. 
The sevende heste schewed wel 

Man schal be true in dede, 
That no man abbe of the otheres naut, 

Thor3 thefte wyckerede. 
For al hys thefte that man tejt 

Myd wyl of wymynghede, 
Ajens the ry3t a3eres wyl, 

So lawe y-wryte hyt sede. 
Thanne hys hyt a thef, wo so hyt be, 

That raanne god so taketh, 
Be hy3t by gyle other mestry, 

Other wordes that he craketh. 
In londe suche his many a thef 

That y-now hym maketh ; 
He wenth by chere of jugement, 

Ac belle after hym waketh. 
The e3tende heste the for-bed 

The ffalse wytnessynge ; 

11 2 


And that hys, man, syker thou be, 

Alle manere lesynge 
To hermy in body man. 

Other in hys other thynge, 
Other in hys saule, and that hys worst, 

In peryl for to brynge. 
Al hyt hys senne that me le5th, 

Bote that men lejth for gode ; 
Ryjt deadlyche senne nys that nau3t 

For myldenesse of mode. 
Ac elles, man, al that thou legst 

Is deathlich and for-brode, 
Tho thet hyjt useth, ich wot hy beth 

Unwyser thane the wode. 
Alas ! onnethe any man 

That thyse hestes healde ; 
Alle hy beth y-torned to lesynge, 

Thes 3onge and eke thes olde. 
Ther-to hys mentenaunce great. 

That maketh hy wel bealde ; 
Do 36 nau3t so, par chay-yte, 

Ac 30ure tongen 36 wealde. 
The ne3ende heste the for-bed 

That wyl to lecherye ; 
And to spousbreche nameleche, 

That so meche hys to glye, 
Thanne nys hyt nau3t one dealyche 

Swych dede to complye, 
Ac ys that voule wyl also 

To swychc fylenye. 


The tethe heste the fb[r]-bet, 

Wyl tou other manne thynge, 
For that desturbet charyte, 

In onde man to brynge. 
Defendeth 30U, for Godes love, 

Fram alle wykked wyllynge ; 
For suche wyl hys for dede i-set 

In Godes knelechynge. 
Nou ich 30U bydde, for the blode 

That Jhesus blede on the rode, 
That into herte taketh thys two 

To 30ure soule fode ; 
And fojeth nau3t in thys wordle 

The vyle commune floude, 
That fleuth into the fendes mouthe ; 

And so seithe Jop the gode. Amen. 


[Z)e septem mortalihus peccatisJ^ 

Senne maketh many thral, 

That scholde be wel fry ; 
And senne maketh many fal, 

That he ne mote i-thy. 
Senne bryngeth man a-doun, 

That scholde sute a days ; 
Senne maketh storbylon, 

Thar scholde be godes peays. 
Senne maketh by-wepe 

That som man er by-loj ; 
Senne bryngeth wel depe 

That hyra wel hy3e droj. 
Senne hys swete and lyketh, 

Wanne a man hi deth, 
And al so soure hy bryketh, 

Wane he venjaunce y-seth. 
Senne maketh nywe schame, 

Thaj hy for-3ete be ; 
And senne bryngeth men in grame, 

Thar er was game and gle. 
And senne maketh al the who 

That man an erthe hath ; 
And bryngeth mannes saule also 

In belles voule breth. 
And they man be fram helle y-wered 

Thour3 repentaunce here, 
5et ne may naujt some man be spared 

Fram purgatories fere, 


That he ne schel soffry ther hys who, 

As he hiis here atenkt, 
And her nys fer namore ther -to, 

Thanne hys fer dereynt. 
Ac purgatorie and helle hy beth 

So lyte by-leved, 
That what soraevere men telleth, 

Beth throf al adeved. 
Hem wolde douty more 

A lytel pyne her, 
Thane havi wolde al that sore, 

And on y-sely fer. 
Ac hwo 863 ever eny 

That hedde of senne glye, 
For bond other for peyne, 

That he ne changede hys blye, 
Wyth schame and eke wyth schounde, 

Wyth sor3e and eke wyth who, 
And that was ked in londe 

By some naujt fern ago. 
Thanne ich may W3'ssy ase ich can, 

I miself tha5 ich be spreth, 
That bote thou wylle wondy, man. 

Thy pyne after thy deth, 
Wonde the sor5e that hys her, 

Foljcnde after thy queed, 
And 3et the tyt the lasse fer, 

Whanne the faith to be dead. 
Whanne thou scholdest sene3y, 

By-thenche, leve frend. 


And thaj thy flesch the mene3y, 

The wordle other the tend, 
By-thenche hou schort hys the lykynge, 

And hou the schame hys stronge, 
And hou thou weiyest thane kynge 

Of hevene wyth thy wronge. 
Thij man mo 30 thor3 hys resone, 

Y wote, wanne he mys-deth ; 
3ef ther by-hoveth gre5t sarmone 

To hame that lewed bethe ; 
For feawe of ham conne the skele 

Hou senne aboute cometh, 
And that acombreth swythe fele 

That none kepe nometh. 
Ther-fore thys tale ryraeth 

Hou men in senne beth, 
And hou senne by-lymeth 

Than that to senne hym deth. 
Ther-fore neme 3e kepe 

Al hou the senne syt, 
That je ne falle to depe, 

For wane of 30ure wyt. 
Nou lyst hou man hys bounde 

Wyth senne swythe stronge, 
And hou he bereth death wounde. 

And fenym thare amonge. 
The wonde swelth an aketh 

So doth the naddre stenge, 
And gret and gretter maketh, 

And fcithc make threnge. 


I-wounded was mankende 

After that hy was wrojt, 
Thorj the neddre the feend, 

That hy heth al thor3 soujt. 
Thorwe the fenyni of senue, 

That al mankende slakth, 
Nes non nou that kenne 

That that fenym ne taketh. 
And that fenym was ferst y-kast 

On Eve and on Adam, 
And so forthe thenne hyt her y-lest, 

Ase kenne of jerneth yne man. 
So hyjt nys naujt senne lyas, 

That child that haveth lyf, 
Y-bore other onbore was, 

Bote crystnynge breketh that stryf. 
Oryginale thys senne hys cleped. 

For man of kende hyt taketh syn ; 
Ry3t so hys al mankende a-merred, 

Thor3 the i"oute of fenym. 
That doth that mannes body y-bered, 

Nys bote a lyte slym. 
Her-uppe y-thojt hath meny a man, 

And i-sed many a foul, 
That onwyslyche God ous by-gan, 

And hys red was to coul, 
That let man to suich meschyf, 

That myjte hyt habbe undo. 
Ac 3ef thou wolt by godc lef, 

Thenche thou namore so. 


Ne velthe hyt noujt to clypye a3en, 

We soeth wel hyt hys tlious ; 
God to atwyte oure won 

No longeth nothynge to ous. 
For we dysputeth ajeyn hym, 

Concluded schel he be, 
Dispute naujt, ac kepe nym, 

Wo thart and who hys he. 
Wat helpth hyt the crokke, 

That hys to felthe y-do, 
Aje the crokkere to brokke, 

Wy madest thou me so ? 
The crokkere myjtte segge 

Thou proud erthe of lompet, 
Ine felthe thou schelt lygge, 

Thou ert nau3t elles ne3t. 
Ryjt so may God answerye the, 

Wanne thou hym atwyst, 
Wat helpthe hyt so wran to be, 

Wanne thou wyth Gode chyst ? 
Do naujt so, ac mercy crye, 

That the tyde wors ; 
For suiche al day me may y-se 

Encresseth here cors. 
Ac be thou wel, man, be the wo, 

Of gode ne tel thou naujt lytel ; 
For syker be that he let do. 

He let hyt do wyth ry^te. 
Swech ryjt scheavvcth wyth 

God above, the hy5t be hyd fram the ; 


Thenclie namore for Godes love 

So heje pryvete. 
Ac tliench thou nart bote esclie, 

And so thou loje the ; 
And byde God that he wesche 

The felthe that hys in the. 
And thy3 thou lange abyde, 

Ne atwyt hym naujt thy who ; 
Ac tyde the what by-tyde, 

Thou thenke hym evere mo. 
And so scum grace the by-tyde, 

Ac elles the hy for-gest ; 
For God wythstondeth hym that chyt 

And a3e God wrest, 
Ase he wythstent the prouden, 

And myld grace sent 
To libbe amange the louden, 

Wenne other beth i-schent. 
Nou we seeth wel hou hyt ys 

Of thane oryginal ; 
Nou lest ou man do aniys 

Thorj hys ojene gale. 
Thys senne cometh naujt of thy ken, 

Ac thyself ech del. 
Tho seggeth thys leredemen, 

And clypyeth hyt accuel. 
Thys manere senne nys naujt ones, 

Ac hys i-schyt in thry, 
In thou5t, in speche, in dede amys, 

Thys may ech man y-sy. 


He that ne thynketh naujt bote wel, 

And speketh and doth al ry3t, 
The man hys sekere of accuel, 

Ac he hys here so bry5t. 
Ho hys he that al beth wel, 

The tho3tes that he kakthe ? 
And who hys that spoke scheal 

A-ry5t al that he speketh ? 
And wo hys he that al newe deth 

Wel al that he deth ? 
No man, no man, ac nijt and day 

Thys men by-soyled beth, 
So as hy beth men ase we seeth 

Wyth sennes al thor3 therled, 
Many ys the senne that me doth. 

In tal the wyde wordle. 
Of senne ich wot by thyse sckyle. 

That ther hiis wel great host ; 
And for the fend i-mut so fele, 

Ther-of hys alle hys host. 
And he arayeth hare trome 

As me areyt men in fy5t ; 
For he sykth gode theawes 

Some a3enes ham y-dy3t. 
And ase God dyst theawes 

In alle gode men. 
The feend arayeth the schreawes 

In wykken ther-a5en. 
Thys hys that fy3t an erthe 

That al vvynth, other lest ; 


And ase the fy3ttere hys worthe, 

The cheveteyn hyni chest. 
Ac cheveteyn of senne 

Ich wot that the fend hys ; 
For wyse and alle kenne 

Arayes hys amys. 
And ase there in bataylle 

kynge bereth the beeth ; 
Soe hyt were a gret faylle, 

jef the host were eni hej. 
Ther-fore me maketh prynses 

The host to governi ; 
And ase who welen the linses 

To-gadere heldeth hy. 
And ase al that hys here 

By sove dajes geth ; 
Of senne alle manere 

Seve develen prynces beth, 
That thene certeygne, 

That Cryst kest out hyt seyth, 
Of Marie Maudeleyne, 

That goospel that ne weyth. 
The ferst pryns hys prede, 

That ledeth thane floke, 
That of alle othere onlede 

Hys rote and eke stoke. 
For nys non of the syxe 

That hy ne cometh of thane, 
For rayx of alle myxe 

In hevene hy by-gan. 


Prede suweth in floures 

Of wysdom and of wyt, 
Amang levedys iu boures 

The foule prude syjt ; 
Under couele and cope 

The foule prede lythe ; 
Thej man go gert wyd rope, 

jet prede to hym swyth. 
Prede syjt under ragge, 

"Wei cobel and wel balgth, 
That ketheth wordes bragge, 

And countenaunces jaldeth. 
Nys non, thaj som myt wene, 

That some prede ne taketh ; 
Ne none so proud, ich wene, 

Ase he that al for-saketh. 
For who hys that nevere set hys thoujt 

And erthe to be hyj ? 
Who hys hit that never y-thoujt 

Of pompe that he sej ? 
Who yst that never nas rebel 

Ajenis hys soverayn ? 
Who hist that be-nome schel, 

And nabbe non agayn ? 
Who hyst that nevere godlich nas 

Wanne chaunce at wyllc come ? 
Who yst that wanne he preysed was, 

Never at hej hyt nome ? 
Who hyst that never thojte 

He scholde honoured be, 


For dedes that he wroute 

Wanne menne hyjt mytte se ? 
Who hys that never ho5the droj 

To-ward hys that was ? 
Ho hys never ne kedde W03 

In boste to hys sugges ? 
Ho neth wyth pompe y-schewed hym 

3et other thane he was ? 
Nou ypocresy kepe nym 

Regneth, hyt nys no leas. 
Ho yst that never was y-blent 

Wyth non surquydery ? 
That hys wanne a proud man 

Heth y-ment other thane hyt schel by. 
Wo that never ne dede thous 

He wole prede by-fle} ? 
3ef that kebbede eny of ous, 

Ich wojt wel that he lej. 
The man the hym wole afayty 

Of prede that hys so he3, 
Fol wel he mo3t hys weyti 

Bothe fer and ne3. 
For 3ef he let to nothe 

That he ne awayteth hy, 
Ich segge hym wel to sothe, 

That ry3t proud schel he be. 
For prede hys a senne of herte, 

And bounte scheweth hy, 
Wyth kebbynges aperte 

And weddynge manyable. 


Thorj dedes of bostynge, 

And atyr stent and say, 
And other suche thynges 

That men usyeth al day. 
That other feend of onde 

Hys pryns and chevetayn, 
That senne hys ryf in londe, 

And nau3t hys hyre wayn. 
For sorwe he heth of gode, 

And harme hys hyre blysse ; 
Ine here pryncy mode ' 

The hert wait al thys. 
Thys senne hys over nyce, 

Ac holde schal hy be, 
The senne of meste malice 

A3eyns charyte. 
Wanne love hys here preye, 

Al for to confundy, 
And wyl het to by-traye 

That wolde gode by. 
Onde hys a senne of herte, 

And bounte scheweth hy, 
To harmy and to herte 

Wanne hey deth bacbyty. 
Wanne hy holdeth hy werches 

That god and hende beth, 
And othere southe plocches 

Scheweth wat onde deth. 
The thrydde senne hys wrethe, 

That so meche hys i-telde, 


ITyt maketh blod and broche 

About the herte aneld. 
Wanne manne neth nau3t hys tliouse 

To wylle and alse thynthe, 
He compasyth venjaunce 

To hym that ajen clenketh ; 
And so hyt fret and hys y-frete 

Evere megrete, 
And wanne hy het to meche hete, 

Hyt letteth charite. 
Inne herte hys thys senne3inge, 

And bounte scleweth mod, 
Thor3 cheste and mys-doynge, 

And wythdrawynge of god. 
Covetyse hys the furte, 

I-lyche dropesy, 
Wanne al that hys an erthe 

To hyre hys al besy. 
And hou hy habbeth hy verkth, 

And mannes herte by-set, 
Fram Gode and so thanne name y-kejt 

Servise of Mamenet. 
That hy by herte senne 

jet boute schentth hy 
To mochel amange mankenne, 

Thor3 wrange and trycherye, 
Thorj 5eskynge efter gode, 

Thor3 bor3 and 3emer 3elde, 
Thorw wrechydnesse of mode, 

And never more ful-fclde. 


The fyfte senne hys sleuthe 

Of that man scholde do, 
Hye breketh god treuthe 

Wyth God and man also. 
Wanne man leteth adrylle 

That he god 3elde schel, 
And for-slaggyth by wylle 

That scholde men to stel. 
Of herte cometh thes senne, 

And schewe boute also, 
IIou hy letteth mankenne 

Of that scholde by do. 
Hyt hys thorwe besynesse 

That men for-slewyth hyt ; 
And other wyle thor3 ydelnesse 

God dede era do for-slyt. 
Glotonye hys the syxte. 

And hys me ine flesche y-do ; 
And lecherye the nyxte in flesche 

Hys senne also. 
Ac glotonye entythyth 

To lecherye her, 
Ase that hy norysseth 

Ilote brondes thet fere. 
Of glotonye hys foure, 

The boke speketh openlyche ; 
To meche fode devoury ; 

And to lykerouslyche ; 
An do to frechc to fretene, 

Wanne men hiis tynic hetli ; 


And out of tyme to hetene, 

That none siknesse neth. 
Of lecherye cometh 

Wreche, foule speche, and foule delyt, 
Commune hordom, 

Spousbreche, incest, and sodomye. 
And hys incest wyth kenne 

The lecherye so ; 
And sodomyt hys senne 

Ajens kende y-do. 
By-feld beth men in sleauthe, 

Ase glotonye hyt bryngeth ; 
And ofte hyt doth moni kepe, 

That man wakynge thencketh. 
Ac jef evyl hyt come nau3t 

Dealyche senne next, 
Ac hou hyt falleth y-lome ne5, 

Ech man nau3t y-wyst. 
Thyse manere sennes sevene, 

Ase he hys here i-sejeth, 
Me letteth men fram hevene, 

And al dedlyche hy beth. 
Wanne hy y-thou3t beth other y-speke, 

Other y-don in stat, 
A3e the lawe of God to breke 

The hestes that he hat. 
Of alle the sennes tha ther beth, 

Thos bereth that los ; 
For everech senne that me dotli 

Longeth to some of tlies. 


Her-by thou my3t, man, y-seo, 

And hou here ende hys sour ; 
Nou loke her-in piir charite. 

And make hyt thy myrour. 

Orefis pro anima domini Willelmi de Schorhaiih 
quondam vicarii de Chart juxta Ledes, qui composuit 
istam compilacionem de septem mortalibus peccatts, Et 
omnibus dicentibus oracionem dominicam cum saluta- 
cione angelica quadraginta dies Venice a domino Symone 
ai'chiepiscopo CantiiaricE conceduntur. 


Meche hys that me syngeth and redeth 
Of hyre that al mankende gladeth, 

I-bore was here on erthe ; 
And they alle speke, that speketh wyd tonge, 
Of hyre worschype and murye sounge, 

jet more he were worthe. 

Thyse aungeles heryeth here wyth stevene, 
Ase he hys hare quene of he[ve]ne. 

And eke hare blysse ; 
Over al erthe levedy hys here, 
And thorjout helle geth here power, 

Ase he hys emperysse. 

Cause of alle thyse dignyte, 
Thorj clennesse and huraylyte, 

Was Godes owene grace ; 
Wer-thorj he ber than hevene kynge, 
Worschype hys worthy ine alle thynge 

Ine evereche place. 

Al that hys bove and under molde, 
Hou myjt hyt bote hyt bowe scholde 

To hyre owene raede ; 
Wanne he that al thys wordle schel welde, 
To hyre worschipe hys y-helde, 

For here moderhede. 


Al thyse maydenes wythout bost 
Ily bereth God in here goste 

In hare holy thou5t ; 
Ac hy wythoute mannes y-mone 
In body and naujt in gost alone 

To manne hyne broute. 

Of hyre that hys thos dygne of take, 
Hou my3te ich of hyre songes make, 

That am so foul of lyve ; 
And thou me bede, soster, synge, 
And alle into one songe brynge 

Here swete joy en fyve. 

To segge that ich hyt maky can, 
That am so oneconnende a man, 

Dar ich me naujt avanty ; 
Ac tryste ich woUe to oure levedy, 
And maky hyt ase hyt wyle by, 

And ase hy hy wolde me granty. 

As man me hys by leave y-seth, 
Joyen of hyre so fele ther beth, 

Ne may hyt no man telle, 
Ase hy hath of hyre leve sone, 
Hyt passeth al mankendes wone, 

And out of mannes spelle. 

Four manere joyen hy hedde here 
Of hyre sone so lef an dere, 

Wytncs opan the Godspelle ; 


And al cometh ofte the blysse, 
That hye heth nou wythoute mysse, 
So stremes of the welle. 

The wylle that hys in paradys 
Fol wel by-tokneth thys avys, 

Wyth here stremes foure, 
Thet orneth out over al that londe, 
Nys never erthlyche man that fond 

Hou fele come of the stoure. 

Thys wulle hys God self man by-come ; 
Of hym thys joyen beth alle y-nome, 

And alle ine nout maner. 
The furste was wyth concepcioun, 
Tho the angel Gabryel come a-doun 

Ine stede of messager, 

To brynge the tythynge by-fore, 
That Cryst of hyre wolde by bore, 

Mannes trespas to jelde ; 
For to brynge ous out of helle, 
Wo mytte thenche other telle 

Wat joye ther y-velde. 

In Na3areth the ryche toun, 
Ave Maria was that soun 

Of Gabrieles stevene ; 
Tho was that mayde was y-gret, 
And wyth a present wel a-geet 

Pram vader oure of hevene. 


So he was ine hyre y-come, 

For fleasch and blod of hyre to nome, 

Ase the angel hyre seyde ; 
Ne hy of mannes mone neste, 
Ne hy ne breke nau3t hyre by-heste, 

Ac evere clene a mayde. 

Seynt Johan the Baptyst onbore, 
Tho hy spek hys moder by-fore, 

Ine joy e he gan to asprynge ; 
Elyzabet wel that aspyde, 
Hou aspylede onder hys syde, 

And made hys rejoyynge. 

More encheyson hadde oure levedy 
Joyous and blythe for to be, 

Wythoute prede and boste ; 
For in hyre selve hy hyne fredde, 
Fol wel hy wyste hou hyne hadde 

Thor3 self the Holy Goste. 

Joseph kedde that he was mylde, 

Tho that he wyste hy was wyth chylde, 

Awey he wolde alone ; 
Ha nolde naujt he were a-slawe, 
Ne forthe y-juged by the lawe 

To by stend wyth stone. 

Ac Joseph was wel blytlic aply3t, 
So to hyui cam the angel bry5t, 

To scgge hym wat he scholdc 


Wei blyththere my3te be that may, 
That was y-conforted al day 

Wyth aungeles wanne hy wolde. 

In thyssere joye we scholde by-louken 
Al hyre joy en of vourti woken 

The wylest he jede wyth chylde ; 
Of hyre hyt was god game, 
Ther-ine thet unicorn weks tame 

That erthange was so wylde. 

Thet other joye of hyre y-core, 
Was of Jhesus of hyre y-bore 

A Crystesmasse ny3te, 
Wythoute sorje, wythoute sore, 
And so ne schal ther nevere more 

Wyniman wyth childe dyjte. 

For so hy hyne scholde ferst a-vonge, 
Ther nys no senne ther amonge, 

Ne noe flesches lykynge ; 
Ther-fore of hyre y-bore he was, 
Ase the sonne passe3t thorj the glas, 

Wyth-outen onopenynge. 

In suathe-bendes hy hyne dyjte, 
Ase hyt hys the chyldes ry3te, 

And 3ef hym melke to souke ; 
Tha3 hyt were thustre of ny3t, 
Ther nas wane of no ly3t, 

The hevene gan onloukc. 


Out com an aungel wyth great loom 
Into the feld of Bedleem, 

Amonges the schoperden, 
Te telle that Cryst was y-bore, 
Thar come singinde ther-fore 

Of angeles manye verden. 

Thanne sede he swythe wel, 
Gracia plena, Gabryel, 

And that hys fol of grace ; 
Wanne glorye of hyre hys fol above, 
And pays i-grad for hyre love 

Of angeles in-place. 

The oxe and asse in hare manyour, 
Tho that hy se3en hare creature 

Lyggynde ine hare forage, 
Alone knowynge thaj hy were, 
Hy makede joye in hare man ere. 

And eke in hare langage. 

Ope the heje ejtynde day 

He onder-jede the Gywen lay, 

And was y-circumcysed. 
Jesus me clepede hyne ther-vore, 
Ase aungeles er he were y-bore 

Hys eldren hedde y-wysed. 

Mochelc joye hy aspydc, 

The kyiiges thre that come rydc 

Fram be easte wel i-verre ; 


Gold, myrre, scor, were here offrynges, 
That he was lord and kyng of kynges 
Wei by-toknede the sterre. 

Tho that he scholde y-offred be 
In the temple domini, 

Ase la3e jef the termes, 
Symeon the olde man gan crye, 
And spek of hyra fur propheeye, 

And tok hym ine hys earmes. 

Tho 3e was bote twelf wynter aid, 

And hejhe ine the temple he seat wel bald, 

And thaj he speke smale, 
Many man wondrede on hym there, 
For to alle clerkes that ther were 

He 3af answere and tale. 

A-lyve vertu was hys childehode, 
And so he com to hys manhode ; 

Ine flom Jordanes syche 
He was y-crystned, the hevene onleake, 
The Fader of hevene doun to hym spake, 

The Gost com colvere y-lyche. 

To thyssere joye longye schoUe 
Alle the joyen that hyre foUe, 

Of hyre chylde God, 
Fram than tyme he was y-bore, 
For al munkendc that was for-lore, 

For he deydc one the roude. 


The thrydde joye that com of Cryste, 
Hadde oure levedy of hys op-ryste 

Frain deathes harde bende, 
Out of the sepulcre ther he laye, 
Ase hyt fel thane thrydde daye 

After hys lyves ende. 

Wet joye of hym my3te be more, 
After suiche sor3ynge and swyche sore, 

Ase hye y-seye hiue feye, 
Thanne i-si3e hyne come to lyve ajen, 
And everest more a-lyve to ben, 

And nevere eft to dey3e ? 

That he was lyf and strengthe and ray3te, 
And that he kedde on Estre ny3tte, 

Al ine the dawyynge, 
Altha was an erthe-schoke, 
And hevene above undertoke 

Hys holy uppe-rysynge. 

Thar doun come aungeles whyte ine wede, 
And that he was a-ryse hy sede. 

And hare sawe was trewe ; 
That he ne laye nau3t under molde. 
For to asaye ho so wolde, 

Thane ston hye over-threwe. 

Thu3 *''^' ''"^ ^"^ '^y^ manhoth deyde, 
Domimis tecum that a soyde, 

The the aungel here by-redde ; 


That hys to seggene Godcs my3te, 
Ine iy3te sothe hyt moste sitte, 

That godhoth wel hyt kedde. 

Nedde cure levedy thyse blysse alone, 
Ac al hyre frendes in hyre mone, 

So meche was here the more ; 
For more hys blysse god and clene, 
Amonge frendes to habbe y-mene, 

After sor5ynge and sore. 

that hy were blythe, tho hye were sijen, 
So glorious a-lyve wyth hare ejen, 

Thet hy y-seye er in paygne ; 
Furste aschewed hym wyth a fayre chaunce, 
To here thet hys ensample of repentaunce, 

Marye Magdaleyne. 

And so hygeye hyne Peter and sothenes hy alle ; 
And ther Thomas of Ynde a kowes y-falle 

Ci'oped hys holy wounde ; 
Thare he fond flesche and blod myd the bones, 
An nou he gan to crye loude for the nones, 

"My Lord icli abbe y-founde." 

Houre Lord hym answerde in thet cas, 

" Thou levedest, for thou seje me, Thomas, 

That thou me haddest y-founde, 
Ac, Thomas, ich the telle, y-blessed hy bctli, 
Tho that on me by-leveth and nau5t me sctli, 

No gropyeth none wounde." 


To thyssere joy en schoUe be y-leyd 
AUe the joy en that mo3e be y-seyd, 

Ine wyttes other in mende ; 
Fram Crystes resurreccioun, 
"Wat cometh hys ascencioun, 

At fourty dajen ende. 

Ne for the joye telle ich may, 
That fel opon the Holy Thoresday, 

Opon a mounte yne heje ; 
He sej Jhesus and othere some, 
Of flesche and blod of hyre y-norae, 

Op into hevene stejc. 

Al ine joye was hyre mende, 
So hy 8636 here and oure kende 

Jhesus, hyre leve sone, 
Into the blysse of hevene sty. 
To agredy worthy scholde hy be 

At hyre assumpcioun. 

And 5et ne were hyt no5t y-no5, 
One to agredy hyre I003 

And he3 ine hevene blysse ; 
Ac oure also, hyt nis non other. 
For he hys oure kende brother. 

That leve we to wysse. 

Ine hym ne schalt hyt nau3t lang be, 
That wc to hym nc schollc to, 

Wannc wc schollc wendc hennes; 


Ac schel on ous, that beth onkende, 
Ne dra3eth naujt hys love to mende, 

And wretheth hyne wyth sennes. 

And jet he hys milde, and sparyeth some, 
And ase he wente op he vvole come 

A domesday wel bryjte ; 
For to crye manne dede, 
And after dede jive raede, 

And jugement to ryjtte. 

Betere red nys ther non here, 
For to be Crystes y-vere, 

And hy3 ine hevene blysse ; 
Bote folthe of senne to by-vly, 
And bydde God and oure levedy, 

That hy ous helpe and wysse. 

For hyre poer nys noujt y-lessed, 
Ac toup alle othren hys y-blessed, 

Sothe wyf and mayde ; 
Ase that Godspel telleth ous, 
Benedicta tu i?i muUeribus, 

Elizabeth hyt sayde. 

Al here joyen a lok Sounday, 
And alio the that me aspye may. 

That hyre and cithe felle, 
Al frara Crystes ascencioun, 
Al wat comthe hyre assumpcioun, 

To thyssere loungy schelle. 


The fyfte joye of oure levedy, 
Not erlychman hou hyt may by 

Ne ther-of more aspye, 
Bote that the gloriouse beerde, 
Out of thyse world the gloriouse ferde 

Wyth greate melodye. 

Eve couth to the man hys thes figure, 
For the offyce of hyre sepulture 

Was al an hevene gyse ; 
And toller hys man to hevene speche, 
Thane be abest, tha3 man hym teche, 

Reyson and mannes wyse. 

Ther-fore nys ther-of naut y-wryte, 
For man ne mot nou3t her y-wyte 

Wat hys so he3 a stevene ; 
Ac holy cherche der wel by-knowe, 
That hy ne tholede none deathes throje, 

That lower that lyf of hevene. 

Hyt hys y-wryte that angeles brytte 
To holy manne deathe aly3te 

Her an erthe leye ; 
In holy boke hys hyt i-nome, 
That God hymself a wolde come, 

Wanne hy scholde deye, 

Ther-bye we mowe wel y-wyte, 
Tha3 tlier he nau3t of y-wryte, 

That Cryst hymself was there ; 


Myd hym of hevene the ferede, 
The eadi levedy for to lede, 

Most here no fend ofFere. 

Hy wente uppe, my leve brother, 

In body and soule, hyt nys non other, 

For Cryst hys god and kende ; 
That body that he toke of hys 05en, 
Hou mytte hyt ligge araange the lojen, 

Wythoute honour and mende. 

Thanne ich dar segge, mid gode ryjte, 
That alle the court of hevene a-ly5te 

Attare departynge ; 
And Cryst hymself a3eins hyre com. 
And body and saule op wyth hym nom 

Into hys wonyynge. 

That hy hys quen, ase ich er mende, 
Here grace hy may doun to ous sende, 

Hire joye to fol-velle ; 
Ich hopye hy nele nau3t let ous spylle, 
For he hys al to hyre wylle 

Of joye that hys the welle. 

For of hyre wombe he hys that frut, 
Were-of thes angeles habbeth hare dut, 

And men hare holy fode ; 
Elizabeth hy sede thys, 
Et benedietus fructus ventris 

Tui, Jesus the gode. 



Of songe hys to then ende y-brout, 
Ase thou hest, soster, me by-so5t, 

Ase ich hene my5tte frede. 
Now synge and byde the hevene quene, 
That hy ous brynge al out of tene 

At oure mest nede. Amen. 

Oretis p7'0 anima JViUeJmi de Schorham, quondam 
vicarii de Chart juxfa Ledes. 


Marye, mayde mylde and fre, 
Chambre of the Trynyte, 
One wyle lest to me, 

Ase ich the grete wyth songe ; 
Thaj my fet onclene be, 

My mes thou onder-fonge, 

Thou art quene of paradys. 

Of hevene, of erthe, of al that hys ; 

Thou here thane kynge of blys, 

Wythoute senne and sore ; 
Thou hast y-vyjt that was a-mys, 

Y-wonne that was y-lore, 

Thou ert the colvere of Noe, 

That broute the braunche of olyve tre. 

In tokne that pays scholde be 

By-tuexte God and manne ; 
Swete levedy, help thou me, 

Wanne ich schal wende hanne. 

Thou art the bosche of Synay ; 
Thou art the rytte Sarray ; 
Tliou hast y-broujt ous out of cry 

Of calenge of the fende ; 
Thou art Crystes 05ene drury. 

And of Davyes kende. 

K 2 


Thou ert the slinge, thy sone the ston, 
That Davy slange Golye opon ; 
Thou ert the 3erd al of Aaron, 

Me dreye i-se3 spryngynde ; 
Wytnesse at ham everechon, 

That wyste of thyne chyldynge. 

Thou ert the temple Salomon ; 
In the wondrede Gedeou ; 
Thou hest y-gladed Symeon, 

Wyth thyne swete offrynge 
In the temple atte auter ston, 

Wyth Jhesus hever^e kynge, 

Thou ert Judith, that fayre wyf, 
Thou hast abated al that stryf, 
Olofernes wyth hys knyf 

Hys hevede thou hym by-nome ; 
Thou hest y-saved here lef, 

That to the wylle come. 

Thou ert Hester, that swete thynge, 
And Assever, the ryche kynge, 
They heth y-chose to hys weddynge, 

And queue he heth a-vonge ; 
In Mardocheus, thy derlynge, 

Syre Aman was y-honge. 

The prophete Ezechyel, 

In hys boke, hyt wytnesseth wel, 

Thou ert the gate so stronge so stel, 


Ac evere y-schet fram rnanne ; 
Thou erte the ryjte nayre Rachel, 
Fayrest of alle wymman 

By ryjte toknynge, thou ert the hel 

Of wan spellede Danyel ; 

Tliou ert Emaus, the ryche castel, 

Thar resteth alle werye ; 
Ine the restede Emanuel, 

Of wany speketh Ysaye. 

Ine the hys God by-come a chyld ; 
Ine the hys wreche by-come myld ; 
That unicorn that was so wyld 

Aleyd hys of a cheaste. 
Thou hast y- tamed and i-styld 

Wyth melke of thy breste. 

Ine the Apocalyps sent Johan 

I-sej ane wymman wyth sonne by-gon. 

Thane mowe al onder hyre ton, 

I-crouned wyth tuel sterre ; 
Swyl a levedy nas nevere non, 

Wyth thane fend to werre. 

Ase the sonne taketh hyre pas 
Wythoute breche thor30ut that glas, 
Thy maydenhod onwemmed hyt was 

For bere of thyne chylde : 
Now, swete levedy of solas, 

To ous senfoUe be thou niyide. 


Have, levedy, thys lytel songe, 
That out of senfol herte spronge ; 
Ajens the feend thou make me stronge, 

And 3yf me thy wyssynge ; 
And thaj ich habbe y-do the wrange, 

Thou graunte me amendynge. 

Oretis pro anima domini Roberti Grosseteyte quon- 
dam episcopi hincolnicB. 


In holy sauter me may rede, 

Hou God thourwe the prophete sede, 

Davyd, y-wysse, 
That fol in hys herte sede, 
Ther iiys no Gode, dar man iiau5t drede 

To don amys. 

Thesse hyt hys, so hyt hys grete doute, 
That thare be woxe of thare route 

Mani and fole, 
That weneth ryt wythoute mysse 
That ther nys God ine hevene blysse, 

Ne lellc pool. 

That eny soche be crystene man, 
God for-bede, and nau3t for-than 

Wey soeth al day. 
That menye y-crystnedde were 
Fareth ryt ase hy nere 

Nau5t of the fay. 

And manye of ham that beth so fele, 
That tha5 me godne sckele hem telle, 

Naujt hyjt ne ganth ; 
Ajen hy clap'peth thys and that, 
And manye of ham not nevere wat, 

Ne wat he me nth. 


To sechen hyt hys wel lytel prys, 
Eeyson to telle thet liys y-wys, 

Ac lete liam be ; 
For bote hy take a betere fay, 
Atte last hy goth to schame a-way. 

Me may hyt see. 

Ac 5ef thou wenst, man, that errour, 
That thare ne be no Sauveour, 

Ne other lyf, 
And hyt be for defaute of lore, 
Lest now wat ich segge more, 

Wythoute stryf. 

And 3ef thou [be] y-lered man, 
And onderstant 5et al for-than 

No God ne be, 
Ich acsy the a questioun. 
And ase hyt longeth to reysoun 

Andswere thou me. 

The erthe hys hevy wythoute wylle, 
That wey y-seoth and by al stylle 

To gonne throp ; 
\\Tiat hou fareth liy that hy nasynketh, 
Ase here kende were hyt thenketh, 

Ho halt ys op ? 

Iler-to me seyth, and heth y-sed, 
To healde hy op hyt nys no ned, 
Ne nevere nes ; 


For chisel gravet stones harde, 
Ande here depnysse ry3t doun-warde 
Ilys endeles. 

Tha3 that be fals, me may aspye, 
By wytnesse of philosophye, 

And clerkes fele ; 
And fals ich may hit provie wel, 
Ther hyt hys ned, and were ich schol, 

By thysse skyle. 

The Sonne and monne and many sterren 
By easte aryseth swythe ferren, 

Ase ham y-worthe ; 
By weste hy grendeth alle thyse, 
And Cometh ajen ther hy a-ryse 

A under forthe. 

Thos my3t wete wel, wo so wolde, 
The wolkne by-clepth al the molde, 

And so hyt doth ; 
Ne may hy nau5t thanne be endeles, 
That thos be go so hys and was, 

An that hys southe. 

Ac saye ryjt thos, and ich afowe, 
That everech man hyt mo3t alowe, 

That reson hent, 
IIy3t hys a my3t of alle my3tte, 
That halt op therthe and sterren bry3te 

Aboute i-trent. 


Thys ilke mytte, for hyt wel may, 
Bryngeth forthe a wyt of swete aray, 

Thet no swech nys ; 
Fox" al that hys an hej and 1056, 
Hit schift and ditteth ase hys oje, 

And so hyt hys. 

Wat maketh sonne, mone, and sterren 
To certeyn go aboute and ferren, 

And faylleth noujt ? 
Hyt mot wyt and wysdom neade, 
Thet of the mytte thet ich er sede 

Hys forthe arajt. 

Nou thou sixte wel hou hyt syt, 
Thys ylke my5te and eke thys wyt, 

In oure boke ; 
The mytte hys fiider of our crede, 
Wysdom the sone, for wyttihede 

That he forth toke. 

Ever was thys ylke my3tte. 
And ever worth, bye gode ryte, 

Ne say nau3t nay ; 
Hou mytte hyt and eft by-gynne, 
Thet nede netli of none gynne, 

Ac al do mey ? 

And ase hyt hys by-fore y-nome, 
Thaj that wyt of the mytte 
By keiide wey ; 


That wyt was evere natlieles, 
The myjtte nys never wytles, 
Ne by ne may. 

Her-to acordeth oure fay, 
That holy cherche ne3 eche day 

Wei merye syngth, 
Ine a song ofte by note, 
Quicumque vult that hys y-hote, 

Ryjt ase me singeth. 

For ther hyt of the Vader seytb. 
And of the Sone to-gadere leyth, 

In boke y-set ; 
The Sone hys of the Fader alone, 
Engendred naujt, y-mad of mone, 

Nes othe wat. 

Folye hyt hys to nieche to thynche 

Of the engendrure and thynne adrenche 

Of Fader and Sone ; 
So ase hy bethe, ever were, 
And sothe by-5ete nevere nere, 

EUes me wone. 

Ac nau5t forth than that hyt be soth 
Holy cherche to wytene doth. 

We wyten hyt wel ; 
I-lef hyt, other thou ert by-caut. 
For ho that nele by-leve hyt naujt, 

To helle he schel. 


And thelke Sone 5et natheles 
Ry3t ase the Fader hys endeles, 

Asa myjt and wyt ; 
jef ever was, ever was sone, 
For bethe reysoun and eke wone 

Aloweth hyt. 

Nou we habbeth Vader and Sone, 
Ase bye beth ry5t ine persone, 

And thaucheysone ; 
Wat may the Holy Gost nou be, 
Persone thrydde in Trynyte, 

Nou herkne reysone. 

Thou sixt thet al that farth a-ry3t, 
Be hyt thyster, be byt ly3t. 

To acord hys wyve ; 
For 3ef ther were weyre above 
Amange the sterren, and no love, 

Al by to-dryve. 

And bote a truvve love come 

Of thare my3tte and tha wysdome, 

Ne my3t hyt by ; 
And ry5t of ham he moste come, 
For vver-of elles te be y-nome 

Can non y-sy. 

Ever to lef that love were, 
For niy3tte and wysdom never ncie, 
\Vythoute acord ; 


For 3ef acord hem liedde y-faylled, 
Ar ayder other hedde asaylled 
Wyth wykked word, 

IIou scholde myjtte maky wrako, 
Other eny descord onder-take, 

Wyth 636 wyt ? 
So nest ac ever weren hy, 
Thanne moste love ever by, 

Nou thou sixt hyt. 

Thys love hys self that holy spyryt, 
Ther-to acordeth holy wryjt, 

Ine thylke songe, 
That ich was embe oure faye, 
That holy cherche singeth a-daye 

At pryme longe. 

The holy of Fader ryche, 

And of the Sone of other y-lyche, 

So he for-comthe, 
Nother by hete ne forthe i-wrojt 
Of a3t that hys, ne forthe of nau5t, 

By lawe hyt nometh. 

And ever was that holy spyry3t, 
That ylke songe wytnesseth hyt, 

And more ther-to ; 
That liy sehal by and hys and was. 
That Fader of hevene ry3t endeleas. 

And Sone also. 


jet our by-leave wole onder-gon, 
That thyse thre beth ryjt al on, 

And nys no wronge ; 
Thaj by be ine reyson dyvers, 
O God byt hys, and stent in vers 

Ine thulke songe. 

Thaj rayjte, wysdom, and eke love, 
Hy thre by ase icli sede above 

Divers ine worke ; 
Ine hem self o God hy beth, 
Nys non that ajt elles y-seth, 

So god clerke. 

And natheles ofte hy beth y-blend, 
Thyse clei'kes wyth here argument, 

Ande gynneth lye ; 
Hare aje wyt hys hym by-kecheth, 
That God so sotylleche secheth, 

That syt so heje. 

The Fader hys God, for he may alle ; 
The Sone hys swete, for he wot alle, 

Wythout crye ; 
The Gost hys God that oneth al ; 
3et ne botli hy bote o God al, 

Naujt Godes thry. 

Tha3 myjtte be to the Fader y-leyd. 
And wysdome of the Sone y-seyd. 
And love the Goste •, 


jet beth hy thre of one mj^tte, 
Of one wytte and love Ijjtte, 

Tborj faythe hyt wost. 

Nou thou syxt wel that encheysone 
Of oure by-lev e, and eke reysone, 

Thet God hys ; 
jef thou thenkest forther hou hyt may be, 
Go naujt to nij hys majeste, 

To thenche a-mys. 

Nou hys al thys by skele ondo, 
And by leave alegged ther-to, 

That God hys he ; 
Now we moste y-wyte more 
Of thyse wordle some lore, 

How hyjt may be. 

Fader, thy worldle ever were, 
Other a some tyme nere. 

And tho by-gan ; 
Everte mytte hy naujt by, 
Ich schal the telle reyson wy, 

.Sothe ase ich can. 

For Godes myjtte ande eke hys wyt, 
And eke hys wylle to soifry hyjt. 

So were W03 ; 
For 30 hys almytty, ase ich er sede, 
Al wys and wyl ine godhede, 

That hys y-no5. 


Ac jef he nedde thys world y-wroujt. 

And my3te and couthe and dede hy5t nou5t, 

Hyt were a-rays ; 
Ac hys almyjtty hys of suche entaylle, 
And hys ahnytty hou mytte hyt fayile, 

Of thet god hys. 

He made hyt al, nys hyt non other, 
And that of nau3te, my leve brother, 

He made hys werke ; 
For er he a-gounne hys worke so raerye, 
Nas nother fourme ne materye, 

Ne lyjt ne derke. 

Ne acombre naujt thy wyt and mo, 
To meche to thenche hou hyt was tho, 

Hyt naujt worth. 
Hou man hyt myjte wete ich not, 
For so to wytene ase God hyt wot, 

Comest thou naujt forthe. 

Ac some mey acsy, war God was 
Tho nothynge of the worlde nas 

Ne great ne smal ? 
Ther the worlde hys nou was he, 
And 5et he hys and ever sclial be, 

I-hole over al. 

He hedde nedc of none gynne, 
Ne 3et hou neth, to wonye ynnc, 
Thou kcpe nym ; 


3ef the faly tlirof to be aposed, 
8ey God nys naujt in ther worldle a-closed, 
Ac hy hys ine hyin. 

Tha3 hy nabbe ende ne forthe gol, 
3et over al he hys y-hol, 

Wythoute crede ; 
Nau5t o del here, another there, 
Ase great body as hyt were, 

That al by-5ede. 

Thou wost he may by y-thojt of me 
AUe y-hollyche, and eke of the ; 

Wei betere ich plyjte. 
He may by wel ine dyvers I03, 
Ry3t al at ones, wel y-no3, 

That deith hys my3tte. 

Thyse wordle he made, as ich er sede, 
Al ase hy hys ry3t nou ine dede, 

And I03 and he3 ; 
Ine the gynynge of holy wryt, 
Hou he hy made ry3t ther hyt sy3t, 

Ich hyt y-se3e. 

Ine da3es sixe he made hyt ry3t, 
Hevene and erthe and wolkne bry5t, 

Thet water to dy5t ; 
Tren and gx-as and erthe dre3e, 
Sonne and mone and sterren grey3e, 

That beth so bry5t ; l 


Fo3eles, fisches ine the depe, 
Bestes, wormes for to crepe, 

And a-last man ; 
So that hyt was god and sad, 
Al thys world that was y-mad, 

Of hym that cam. 

Al hyt was god, wythoute lake, 
Hard and nesche, wyte and blacke, 

And al that was, 
Nedes Godes creature 
Moste be ry5t by nature, 

Al sennes led. 

3ef quead so were of Gode y-nome, 
By ry3tte he myjtte be wythnome, 

Ryjt ase a qued. 
Ther-fore ne my3te he nau3t do wrothe, 
Ac schrewadnesse beth hym lothe, 

And hys for-beade. 

And thesse God self hyt for-beade, 
Wannes coraeth forthe al that quead, 

So meche ther hys? 
And wel to donne apanyeth neawe, 
Ac hym apayneth many a screwe 

To do nmys. 

That God hyt sofFreth, hou meny hyt be, 
Seththe of so great my3tte hys he, 
'I'het 3ef ha wolde, 


He my3tte vor-do that liys quead, 
And lete ous libbe, and nau3t be dead, 
Hyt thingth ha scholde. 

Leve brother, jef he so scholde, 
By the syker that he so wolde, 

Ac he hyt nele ; 
Ich kan the telle reyson vvy 
He let y-worthe quead to by, 

Nou harkne skele. 

That alther-ferste that god schop, 
That was hevene, ther nys no wop, 

Soth for to telle ; 
For he hyt made of swyche aray, 
For alle manere blysse and play 

Ther to folfelle. 

Ac o blysse hys nys nau3t folfeld, 
War-fore that hevene hys al y-dueld. 

And 3et nou werth ; 
Ac ich schel telle wat hys that blysse, 
And so we scholle wyte to wysse 

Hou quead cometh forthe. 

3ef the by-falth avencement. 
Of 3ef the that the was y-ment, 

Wei blythe art thou ; 
And 3ef the falleth to be eyr 
Of a regne raechel and fayr, 

More hys thy prou. h 2 


Ac nys no blysse ne no feste 
Ajeyns the joye of conqueste, 

Thet hys thorj god ; 
Ne mey me more joye aspye, 
Thane wanne a man thor5 pur mestrye 

Keth hys manhod. 

And to great defaute hyt were, 
3ef no joye of conqueste nere, 

So merye hys hy. 
Nou sixt thou thanne mytte beste, 
How joye that cometh of conqueste 

Mot neades by. 

Nys gryt stryf wythoute queade. 

And ther conqueste hys, stryf hys neade, 

And som y-schent. 
Thanne nys hyt to God no wrang. 
To soffre queade the gode amange 

To avancement. 

For 3ef quead nere in none thynge, 
Ther nere stryf ne contekynge, 

Ne no wythsey ; 
And 3yf stryf nere ne victorye, 
So scholde ine hevene that glorye, 

Ac hyt ne mey. 

Ther-fore ther hys a mastrye schreavve, 
Wyth hym mo beth and thet nau3t neawe, 
And neades mote; 


For he hys heaved of schrewednesse, 
Ase God hys cheaf of alle godnesse 
And alle bote. 

Hou mytte schreaudnesse by, 
Bote scherewen were by, 

That hy ferst thoujte ? 
For God ne dede no quead in dede, 
For al was god, ase ich er sede, 

Al that he wroute. 

Thes ilke screawe so hys hy3t barn, 
That into helle God at arn 

Ferst for hys prede ; 
Ac God hyne makede fayr y-no5, 
Bryjt ande schene and he5est in I03, 

Ferst ine hys dede. 

Ac are he were y-mad parfyt, 
Ase Gode soifrede hyjt. 

He waux wel proud ; 
He wolde sette hys sete ryche 
Of north half, and be God y-lyche. 

To be alowed. 

And so he werry ferst by-gan 

Wyth Gode ine hevene, and 3et te than 

Other wel fele, 
Wyth hym that helde wyth alle my3tte, 
Angeles that God hedde y-mad bry3tte, 

Ine alle wele. 


Thys by-ganne schrewednesse, 
Op an he3 ine hevene blysse, 

The ferste clay ; 
Hyjt nioste neades for the glorye, 
EUes hedde y-faylled fyctorye, 

Ac liyt ne may. 

Ac alle by weren y-dryven out, 
Wyth Lucyfer that was so stout, 

Tho5r Godes myjtte ; 
Hy that ne hylde wyth the left, 
Stale woxe that nevere eft 

Sene 3y ne myjtte. 

Tuo skeles beth that me may wyte, 
That none nere y-mad parfyte 

Ine hevene ferst, 
Er the bataylle y-ended was 
By-twexte God and Sathanas, 

That now hys worst. 

O reyson was for angeles gode, 
That chose a-ry3t and faste stode 

At thylke dede ; 
For that hy scholde thorj pur coqueste 
Ilabbe joye evere to leste 

For hare mede. 

That other reyson was for the devel, 
That he schal to mys-wende hys chevel, 
Tliorj hys malycc ; 


So that fulveld were the glory e, 
And hyra seelf thorj noble victorye 
Lys al hy blysse. 

jef hy heade be mad parfyjt, 

We nedde y-haved ryjt no profy5t 

Ine hevene above ; 
Nou schal man be in hare I03, 
Ande habbe joye and blysse y-no3, 

And pes and love. 

And seththe hyt moste nides by, 
Thet sothe schrewen were hy, 

Ase gode hyt mente ; 
Hon yst thet hy ine helle slabbeth, 
And thave ton none grace nabbeth 

To repente. 

Suppose here hys o justyse, 
God and truwe in alle wyse, 

And wys of rede ; 
And dampneth theves for to ordeyne 
Peys in londe, naujt so weyne, 

Ne for quoadhevede. 

Suppose he that schel hem spylle, 
And hongeth hy wyth grete vvylle, 

And hys wel glad ; 
Ne he neth reuche of hys eny Cryste, 
Thaj hy nevere of thef the neste, 

Thes hys a quead. 


For that he hys manslej the pur, 
Of wylle of mysaventure, 

To spylle blod ; 
And he that meute hyt that justyse, 
Hys to preysy in thysse wyse 

For hys wyl god. 

So thou sixte that me may dyjte 
Quead for gode, and that wyth ry3tte, 

And so me deth. 
And hy that doth hyt ine .deade, 
"Wyth hare wyl of schrewedhede, 

Dampnable beth. 

Thos mo3e we wel by reysoun scheawe, 
That thaj God soffrede such a schreawe 

Al for to spylle, 
Hyt was for gode, ase ich er sede ; 
And Lucyfer, in hys niys-dede. 

Was wykke of wylle. 

And thare-vore dampnable he hys, 
For he was to don amys 

Tho that he myjtte ; 
And God soifred that ylke dede, 
For god come throf, ase ich er sede, 

As God hyjt dy3tte. 

Ne hyt nys of god ne malyce, 
Thej he hym soffrede lasse liys blysse, 
In allc hys wele ; 


Al that he thor3 hys grace my3tte, 
Habbe y-don hym wilni that ry5tte, 
Now harkne skele. 

Hyt ou by-come ine eche place, 
5ef echynge hadde y-lyche grace, 

To joye and blysse ; 
And ich msy 3yven, and eke wythdraje, 
Al that myn myn hys by gode laje, 

Wythoute malyce. 

Ne may naujt thanne God also 
War he wyle hys grace do, 

And eke wyth-draje, 
jef" he wole, wythout malyce. 
And wythoute alle raanere vyce ? 

Nys nys god laje ? 

3es, y-wys, god la3e hys, 

Thet hyt be al ase hys wyl hys, 

Hyt wyle wel by-come ; 
Nys non that conne dy3te hyt bet, 
Al tba3 hyt thenche wel ou net, 

Hys wyl to some. 

Ther that God wyle grace 3yve, 
Ever to libbe hyt mot leve 

Ine savement ; 
And thar he wyle wyth grace wythdra5e, 
Nys nau3t malyce, ac hyt hys la3e 

And jugement. 


Ac wy he graunteth grace to one, 

And soche and otheren grauntjetli none, 

Segge ich ne kanne ; 
Bote thet hys hys pryvete 
Of hys domes in equyte 

Wyth wel to thanne. 

For ther nys nou5t of tliysse wylle 
Her to jugy, ac be we stylle, 

We beth y-lete ; 
For Davyd ous to wyten deth. 
In boke, that Godes domes beth 

A groundlyas pet. 

For hys ne may no wyt areche, 
Bot tho thet hym self wyle teche. 

He scheawyth hy ; 
And the hevele hy beth pryve, 
Al that y-ordeyned beth he 

Mot neadys by. 

Thus tlie devel y-dampned hys, 
And wyth hym also that beth hys, 

Develen wel mo ; 
For tluit the grace of God hym faylleth, 
Moche hys the pyne that hem eyleth, 

And eke the who. 

Wy hy ne mowe, ase ich er sede, 
Wel repenty of hare mys-dede, 
Lest enne skele, 


That icli schal segge, ase ich can ; 
Mo beth at thet longy te man, 
Ne beth naujt fele. 

Swythe fayr thynge hys that wyte, 
And ther by-syde bloke alyte 

Wei y-dryjt ; 
The wyte the vayrer hyt maketh, 
And selve more hyt blaketli, 

And al hyt hy5t. 

The wyser man, the wyser soneth ; 
Ther thet menye foules dremeth, 

And no reysone ; 
The merrer hyt hys ine batayle, 
Thet insykth al the vomen faylle. 

And falle a-doun. 

Thys lykynge hys for hevene blysse. 
That leste schal wythoute mysse, 

Ase evere mo ; 
Thar hys so raeche the more merye, 
The develys that me nau3t ne derye 

And helle also. 

Hy thet ther beth so more y-sy, 
Wat peryl ascaped bey hy, 

And be the blythere ; 
So that folveld the joye nere, 
Bote evere helle pyne were 

And thrynne withere. 


Ac WO beth werther for to by 
Ever in o helle, thane by 

Ther sech gelt hys ? 
Thenne mey be wel thys skele, 
Tha3 grace fayllth ham to wole, 

No wonder nys. 

And ase angeles the faste stode, 
For hever eft by-come gode, 

And glad and blythe ; 
Ryjt develen for screawedhede 
Ever ine force scholle brede, 

And wrethe and nythe. 

Ac tho hy hedde ine hevene y-topped, 
Wy nedde hy be ine helle y-stopped 

For evere rao, 
Ac naujt her in thys myddelnerde, 
For to maky men offerde, 

And to mys-do ? 

For tho hye weren out y-cached, 
And ou5t of hare I03 arached, 

For hare senne ; 
We moje weten hyt wel y-nou, 
That ase ydel was hare I03, 

That hy weren ynne. 

And one by comeleche thynge hyt were, 
503 eny bo3 ther lothy were 
Servynde of nou3t ; 


Thar-fore God made mannes schefte, 
That ylke I03 al for to crafte, 
As God hyjt thoute. 

Ac manne ne mytte nau3t the glorye 
Crefte vvytlioute victorye. 

My leve brother ; 
For 3ef he nadde hyjt thorj conqueste, 
Folfeld ne mytte be hys feste, 

Al ase another. 

Thare-fore God made hym god and wys, 
And mayster over al paradys, 

Ac nau3t parfyt ; 
For o Irou thynne God for-bead, 
Ase he nolde nou3t be dead, 

Nau3t take hyt. 

And god reyson was that hevere 
Nau3t parfy3t ase other were 

To-vore y-sed ; 
Ac ase he was y-mad of erthe, 
Ey3t here an erthe hyt was wel worthe 

He were asayd. 

Ther-fore nas helle nau3t y-schet, 
Ne develyn ther-inne nau3t y-dut, 

Ine thare crybbe ; 
For that hy scholde man asaye, 
Wather he was worthe for to deye, 

Other to libbe. 


Ac tho the devel hyt aspyde, 
That man hym scholde ther abyde 

To be assayde, 
He thou3te gyle al onder-go, 
For of thet he hadde her y-do 

He was afFrayde. 

Nas wonder thaj he wede affrayd, 
For swythe wel he was anayd 

Of mannes stad. 
For after God semblant he here, 
And he thou3te a thet hyra wel er, 

Tho he was y-mad. 

Ac hys envie a3eins man 

So great by-cometh, thet al Ibr-than 

He nolde lette, 
That he nold man afounde, 
And an hym bote he mytte stonde, 

Hys venym sente. 

And dede hym in an addre wede, 
That best was of mest schreuhede 

Of alle beste ; 
Hyt moste neades screwed by-come, 
Tho that hy hedde me hym y-noine 

Soclie a tempest. 

And he gan to the trowe glyde, 
That was for-boden, al forte abyde 
After hys praye. 


Ac sore Iiym drade for to faylly, 
And dorste riau3t Adara asaylly, 
Al for to waye. 

Ac wel hym thoujte that Eve nas 
Na3t so stedefast ase Adam was, 

That was hyre lorde ; 
And ase hy come, he gan here knowe. 
And to hyre speke out of the trowe 

Thys ylke word : 

" Leve Dame, say me now, 
Wy heth God for-bode hyt now, 

Thet he ne mote 
Eten of al that frut that hys 
Here growynde in paradys 

To 3oure bote ?" 

"We eteth y-nou," quath Eve, "y-wys 
Of alle the trowes of paradys. 

And beth wel glad ; 
Bote thys trow mote we nau3t take. 
For bothe me and mynne make 

God hyt for-bede. 

And seyde 5ef we ther-of ete. 
We scholde deye and lyf for-lete, 

And alle blysse." 
" Nay," quath the fend, " ac 30 ne scholde ; 
Ac he wot fol wel wet he wolde 

That for-boad thys. 


36 wot wel 3ef je ther-of toke, 
Wyth ejen scholde 36 forth loke, 

Ry3t ase godes ; 
And conne bothe god and quead, 
And never the rather be dead 

For hys for-bodys." 

Thos he gan hyre herte ablowe, 
And hy 863 that frut ine the trowe 

Was fayr and god ; 
And et throf dame lykerpuse, 
And maden eke eten hyt hyre spouse ; 

Hy weren wode. 

Anon opened ther bothe hare e3en, 
And naked that hy weren y-se3en, 

And woxe of-schamed ; 
Wyth leaves hy helete hem ther-fore, 
Ne mytte hy noseng be for-bore 

To be y-blamed. 

Ac tho hy herde God speke, 
Wel sone an hal by-gonne threke 

Wer thet hy niytte. 
" Adam !" quath God "wer my3tou be ?'' 
Queth he, " Lord, tho we herde tlie, 

We were of fly3te ; 

And nedes moste, Lord, to sothe, 
Al for that we beth naked bothe, 
Ase vole thynges." 


Queth God, "Ho hath y-scheawed 30U 
That he beth bothe naked nou, 
Bote 3oure otinges ?" 

Sede Adam wytherlyche to Gode, 

" Nedde ich y-broke nau5t thy for-bode, 

Ne nau3t do so, 
Nedde the wymman, Lord, y-be, 
That to felaje thou madest me, 

Hyt dede hyt me hyt do." 

So seyde God Almy3ty to Eve, 
" Wy madest thou man mys-beleve, 

And thous mys-went ?" 
Ac tho seyde Eve, so wey that wyle, 
" The eddre. Lord, wyth hyre gyle 

Heth ous y-schent." 

Tho by-gan God speke to that worm, 
" For thou areredst therne storm 

And alle thys hete, 
Acorsed be thou bestes by-syde, 
Opone thy wombe thou schalt glyde, 

And erthe frete. 

And ich schal makye contekhede 
By-tuyce thyne and wyves sede, 

And moche to pleny. 
So schal thy power be by-reved. 
That 3ef schal wymman trede thine heved, 

And thou hyre wayti." 


So sede he, " Wymman here lere, 
Hou hy scholde al hyre children here 

Ine sorje and stryf ; 
And thet hy scholde lybbe her 
Evere ine mannes daunger, 

Al hyre lyf." 

To Adam seyde God of hevene, 

" For thou dedest by thine wyves stevene 

Thet was for-hote, 
Ther hys acorsed ine thyne deade, 
In swinched then schalt thy lyf leade, 

And ete ine swote. 

Al wat thou art ajen y-come 
Into erthe that thart of y-nome, 

Thorj deathes bende ; 
For thou nart bote of poudre y-welt. 
And a3en into poudre schelt, 

Manne, at thyne ende." 

Thoi'j the fend that hys oure vo, 
Thos by-ganne ferst al oure wo 

Thet we beth inne ; 
An thos by-ganne ferst trecherye, 
TIior3 the feend, and eke onnye 

Manne for to wynne. 

And wondervol was thys assay, 
And wonderlychc jede man away 
Lyjtlyche y-lore ; 


And wonderlyche 3et forth myt than 
Her ii*e thys world hys ever man 
To sorwe y-bore 

Ac, crystene man, for al thys wounder, 
Loke that thou ne go uaujt onder, 

Thouj wantrokynge ; 
For sothe apreved hys thys sa3e, 
Bothe by the elde and nywe la3e, 

Wythoute lesynge. 

And skefol was thys ordinaunce, 
Tha3 man by-volle so liard a chaunce, 

Thor3 trycherye ; 
For thor3 mestrye that he vorth dro3, 
The feend in hevene has hys I03, 

Thor3 pur mastrye. 

Ey3t also tho he gyle thou3te, 
For to brynge man to no3te 

Pryvelyche ; 
God Almy3ty that hys wyl wyste, 
A3eyns hym tho3te go by lyste 

Also styllyche. 

For ine the trowe death was kene, 
And that God made wel y-sene, 

Thet hyt for-bead. 
And 3e weste that God hyt sede, 
3ef man throf ete he scholde awede, 

And eke be dead. 


Ac lyf was also ine the trowe, 

Ac that ne my3te be nau3t y-knowe, 

For God hyt hedde ; 
For hyt was pryve for a wyle, 
A3e the fendes prive gyle 

The man for-ledde. 

For nau5t nas hyt y-cleped ne hys 
Trou of lyve in paradys ; 

Ac wyste, 
For ase man was thorj trowe by-coujt, 
In trowe he scholde be for-bou5t, 

That the fende neste. 

And that was ine the holy rode, 
Thorj the schewynge of the blode 

Of Godes sone ; 
Ase ich her-after telle may, 
That he tok of a clene may, 

A3ens wone. 

Hedde he wyst ther hedde y-be 
Lyf for-boute ine tlie appel-tre, 

He nedde assaylled 
Nother Adam ne non of hys ; 
Ac are the worlde was and hys 

Was y-conscyled. 

God wyste wel that man schold erry, 
And thor3 onboxamnesse ncrry 
Frain alio hcalthc ; 


Ther-fore that consayl was wel trye, 
Ajeyns the feendes foule envie 
To abatye welthe. 

Thys consayl hou hyt scholde be, 
Al was y-consayled of thre, 

Ere eny tyme ; 
Of Fader, and Sone, and Holy Gost, 
That ich was embe that thou wel wost 

Ferst in thyse ryme. 

And was that conseyl so y-tayled, 
That hyt ne my3te habbe faylled, 

To bote of manne ; 
And certeyn tyme y-set ther-to, 
And hou hyt scholde be y-do, 

And wer and wanne. 

And her mankende swank and dalf, 
Fyjf thousend wynter and an half, 

And 5et wel mo, 
Er thane the tyme of lyve come. 
And death man hedde for hys dome, 

And helle also. 

Thet go so longe abod the skyle, 
Wel mey be thys that on of vele 

To mannes mende ; 
For death scholde hys meystryes kethe, 
And ft)r-sopil and for-sethe 

In deathes bende. 


That my3te ijjt wel y-kno\ve, 
That he was ryjt al one threawe, 

And harde y-nome ; 
And the fend hyjt myjte wene, 
Thet men out of so longe teue 

Ne my3te come. 

Ac her aryst questio)i, 

Tho that Adam was brojt a-doun, 

And Eve also, 
Wet gelt hedden hy that tho nere, 
Thet hy to dethe i-schape were, 

And eke to wo ? 

Thou syxt, brother, by than by-fore, 
That oure aldren were al for-lore, 

Adam and Eve ; 
For thar nas of ham no partye. 
That nas torned to vylanye 

So to by-leve. 

Ac now be wey of ham y-come, 
Wyth flesch and blod of ham i-nome, 

Thet was ablowe 
Thor3 the fenym of the fende ; 
Thanne faith ous rewelyche by kende, 

To soffry wo we. 

And tlios that cliyld to nyjt y-bore, 
Tli:i5 hyt deyde hyt were for-lore, 
3ef crystnyngc nere ; 


Thor3 the flcsch that hyt norae 
Of hys eldrene that hyt of come, 
That wykkede were. 

And neades moste, leave brother, 
Ry3t of ham come and man of other, 

And be nature. 
For elles nadde man y-be 
Naujt y-lych Gode in Trynyto, 

Thorj engendrure. 

Thaj hy be thorj senne demeyned, 
So nas hyt nau3t ferst y-ordeyned, 

Thy engendrure ; 
For tlio man senejed in Paradys, 
Al chaungede that flcsch a-mys 

To mysaventure. 

Elles nedde hyt be no senne, 
Thy engendrure of al mankenne, 

In al thys wone ; 
Ac senneleas hy hadde y-be, 
Ase the engendrure in Trynyte 

Of Fader and Sone. 

Ase mannes y-lyche y-mad of tre 
May naujt be al ase man may be, 

Inne alle thynge ; 
Ne Godes y-lyche, man, y-wys 
Ne may naujt be al ase God ys, 

Of hevene kynge. 


For God the fader hys leve sone 
Engendrede out of alle wone, 

Wythoute tyde ; 
Ac man hath certayn tyme of elde, 
Wanne he may engendrure 3elde5 

And tyme abyde. 











J. 0. HALLIWELL, ESQ., F.R.S., F.S.A. 





THOMAS AMYOT, Esq., F.R .S., F.S.A. 



J. H. DIXON, Esq 


Honorary Secretary. 

W. JERDAN, Esq., M.R.S.L. 



T. J. PETTIGREW, Esq, F.RS., F.S.A. 

JAMES PRIOR, Esq., F.S.A., M.R.I.A. 




THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A., F.S.A,, Treasvrer. 


The interlude, presented to the modern reader 
for the first time in the following pages, was 
printed from a copy formerly in the possession 
of Steevens, the eminent Shakesperian critic, 
before it was noticed that a copy in the British 
Museum contained several variations and su- 
perior readings. These were the more important, 
settling in some places the distribution of the 
speeches with greater accuracy than they were 
arranged in the exemplar we used. Perhaps, 
indeed, this may in some measure have arisen 
from the one last mentioned having been what 
booksellers technically term " cropped", but we 
have noticed all variations of importance in the 
notes, and some of them seem incompatible with 
any supposition, except that there were two 


different impressions in the same year,* or that 
the Museum copy had been corrected while the 
work was in the press. 

Mr. Collier conjectures that the Trial of 
Treasure was written some years before it was 
printed, but subsequently to the composition of 
Lusty Juventus, which is, he says, " mentioned 
in it." But it appears to me that the allusion 
to Lusty Juventus^ (p. 5), is merely a generic 
proverbial title, and has no reference whatever 
to the old play so called. Mr. Collier, Hist. 
Dram. Poet, ii, 330, has given a brief analysis 
of the interlude now reprinted. 
December 1\st, 1849. 

* The Museum copy has a wood-cut on the back of the 
title-page, which is wanting in the other copy, a circumstance 
which appears to confirm this opinion. 





The names of the playen. 

First, Sturdiness, Contentation, Visitation, 
and Time. 

The Second, Lust, Sapience, Consolation. 

The Third, the Preface, Just, Pleasure, 

The Fourth, Elation ; Trust, a "Woman ; and 
Treasure, a Woman. 

The Fifth, Inclination, the Vice. 

Iinpriiitecl at London, in Paules Cliuvcheyarde, at tlie signe 
of the Lucrece, by Thomas Purfoote. 



Doe all things to edijie the Conrji-efjation. 

Diogenes, which used a barell for his house, 
Being fled from his father to the citie of Athens, 
Comforted himself much in beholding the mouse, 
Which desired neither castell nor hold for her defence ; 
Concerning sustentation she made no difference, 
But eate whatsoever to her did befall, 
And, touching her apparell, she had least care of all ; 
This poore mouses propertie noted Diogenes, 
AVhiche oftentimes also he would have in sight, 
And though he were disciple unto Antisthenes, 
Yet he learned of the mouse as much as he might ; 
In the science of Sophy he had great delight. 
But concerning his state and outward condition. 
The most can declare, if you make inquisition. 
On a time he chaunsed accurapanied to be 
With Alexander, which stode betwene him and the 

What requirest thou to have, Diogenes, (quod he), 
Is there any thing that by me may be done ? 



I pray thee stande asyde, and make a little rourae 

(Quod Diogenes), that the sunne upon me may shine, 

Nought els require I of that that is thine. 

He used to saie, that as servauntes be obedient 

To their bodely maisters,. being in subiection, 

Euen so euill men, that are not contente. 

Are subiects and slaues to their lustes and atFection ; 

This lesson unto us may be a direction 

Which way our inclination to bridle and subdeawe, 

Namely, if we labour the same to eschewe. 

Thus see you howe little this Philosopher estemed 

The aboundaunt possessions of this mundaine treasure, 

Which yet, notwithstanding, at these dayes is deemed 

To be the original! and fountaine of pleasure ; 

This causeth luste to raigne without measure, 

To the whiche men are subjects, Diogenes doth say, 

Yet both lust and treasure in time weareth away. 

A philosopher is he that wisdome doth love, 

Which before Pithagoras wyse men were named. 

Now Diogenes being wyse, this doth approve 

That some of this age ought as fooles to be blamed. 

For where the one with treasure lack his life framed, 

The other travaile, care and labour with gredinesse 

The same by all meanes to enjoy e and possesse. 

But luste with the lustes converteth to duste. 

And Icaveth of force his pleasant prosperitie, 

So pleasure, in time, is turned to rusti'. 

As S. James, in his Epistle, sheweth the veritie ; 

Hereof we purpose to speake without temeretie. 

Therefore our matter is named the Triall of Treasure, 


Which time doth expell, with all raundaine pleasure ; 

Both merj and short we purpose to be, 

And therefore require your pardon and pacience ; 

We trust in our matter nothing shall you see 

That to the godly may geve any offence ; 

Though the style be barbarous, not fined with eloquence, 

Yet our author desireth your gentle acceptation, 

And we the plaiers likewyse with all humiliation. 


Enter Luste, like a gallant, wifj'uKj this songe. 

Heye howe, care away, let the world passe, 
For I am as lusty as euer I was ; 
In floures I florishe as blosomes in May, 
Hey howe, care away ; hay hewe, care away ! 

Luste. What the deuill ailed me to singe thus? 
I crie you mercy, by my faith, for entring ; 
Moste like I haue ridden on the flying Pegasus, 
Or in Cock Lowels barge I haue bene a ventringe, 
Syng : why, I would singe if it were to do againe, 
Witli Orpheus and Amphion I went to schole : 
What! laddes must be liuely attending on the traine 
Of Lady Delectation, whiche is no small foole. 
Hey rowse, fill all the pottes in the house ; 
Tushe, man, in good felowship let us be mery. 
Looke up like a man, or it is not worth a louse ; 
Hey howe, troly lowe ; hey dery, dery. 
Ha, pleasaunt youths, and lusty Juventus, 
In faithe, it is good to be mery this May : 
For of man's liuins: here there is no point endentus, 


Tlierfore a little niirtli is worth mucli sorrow, some say. 

Enter Juste. 
But remember ye not the wyse man's sentence ? 
It is better in the house of mourning to be 
Then in the house of laughter, where foly hath residence, 
For lightnes with wisdome cannot agree ; 
Though many haue pleasure in foolish phantasie. 
Ensuing their inclination and luste, 
Yet much better is the life of one that is iuste. 

Luste. Sir, in this you seme against me to inuaye. 

Juste. Nothing but reason, I thinke, I do saye. 

Luste. Mary, you shall haue a night-cap for making 
the reason. 
Frinde, haue you not a pece of stocke-fishe to selle ? 
I would you had a dishe of buttered peason. 
By my faith, your communication likes me well, 
But, I beseche you, tell me, is not your name Juste ? 

Juste. Yes, forsothe. 

Licste. And my name thou shalt understande is Luste, 
And according therto I am lusty in deede ; 
But, I think, thou haste drunke of Morpheus seede. 
Thou goest like a dromeldory, dreamy and drowsy ; 
I holde twenty pounde the knaue is lousy ! 

Juste. Myne apparell is not like unto thine, 
Disguysed and iagged, of sundrie fashion ; 
Howe be it, it is not golde alwayes that doth shine, 
But cori'upting copper, of small valuation ; 
To horrible besides is thy operation, 
Nothing more odious unto the juste, 
Then the beastly desires of inordinate luste. 


Lmte. It is a sharaefull thinge, as Cicero doth saye, 
That a man his ovvne actes shoukle praise and commende; 
Hypocrites accustome thee like, daye by daye, 
Checking other men, when they doe oiFende. 

Juste. Yea, but it is an harde thing, saieth the 
For a foolislie man to haue his maners reprehended ; 
And euen at this daie it is come so farre, 
God graunt, for his mercy, it may be amended ! 
For tell a man friendly nowe of his faulte, 
Being blasphemy, pryde, or vyle fornication, 
He will be as presumptuous as Haman, the haulte, 
And repaye with reuenge, or els defamation : 
Thus fewe men a friendly monition will beare, 
But stoutly persiste and mainteine their ill ; 
And in noblemen's houses truly I do feere, 
There are to many haue suclie froward will. 

Luste. Woundes and hartes, who can abyde this ? 
Nay, ye vyle vylayne, I will di'esse you therefore ; 
Your lasy bones I pretend so to blisse. 
That you shall haue small luste to prate any more. 

Juste. Behold the image of insipient fooles ! 
There not a few, euen nowe, of thy propertie, 
Untill you be put into pouerties scholes. 
Ye will not forsake this folishe insolencie. 

Luste. Nay, soft, with thee I haue not made an end. 

\_Dr(tHe out his suoonle. 

Juste. The just against lust must always contend, 
Therfore I purpose to wrestle with thee [^jnit it up']. 
Who shall haue the victorie streightwaye we shall see. 


Luste. When thou wilt; by his fleshe I shall hokle 
the wag. 
\_Wrestle, and let Luste seeme to haue the better at 
the firste. 
Juste. I know that Lust useth not little to brag. 
Luste. Thou shalt find me as mighty as Sampson 

the strong. 
Juste. Yea, the battel of lust endureth long. 
Luste. Woundes and fleshe ! I wns almost down on 
But yet I will wrestle till my bones cracke. [my back ; 

[_Staye, and then speake. 
Juste. The endof thy presumption nowedoth appeare. 
Luste. Yet dooe what thou canst, I will not lie here; 
No, by his woundes, you old doating knaue ! 

\_Caste him, and let him arise again. 
Thinkest thou Lust will be made a slaue ; 
I shall mete you in Smithfield, or else other wheare, 
By his flesh and bloud, I will thee not forbeare ! 

Juste. Not of my power I doe thee expell, 
But by the mighte of his spirite tliat dwelleth in me : 
Inordinate luste with the just may not dwell, 
And therfore may not I accompanie thee. 

Luste. Well, goodman Juste, it is no matter, 
But, in faithe, I pretend not with thee to flatter ; 
Though from thy company departe 1 muste, 
I shall Hue in as much welthynesse, I truste. 

\_Go out. L^e must drive him out. 
Juste. Where moste wealth is, and most dilectation, 
There Luste is commonly of moste estimation ; 
For whereas wealth wantcth, idleness dotli slake, 


For where idlenes is, Lust parteth the stake. \^Pause. 
Thus have you seene the conflicte of the juste, 
Which all good men ought to use and frequent ; 
For horrible are the fruites of inordinate luste, 
Which in some case resembleth Hydra, the serpent ; 
Whose head being cut of, another ryseth incontinent : 
So, one of Luste's cogitations being cut away, 
There ryseth up another, yea many, we may say. 
It is requisite, therfore, that euery degree 
Against this, his lust, both striue and contende ; 
And though, at the first, he seeme sturdy to be. 
The Lord will conuince him for you in the ende. 
Your cause unto him, therefore, holy commende. 
Labouring to auoyde all inordinate luste, 
And to practise in lyfe, to live after the Juste. 

\^Go out. Enter IncUiiatioii the Viae. 
Indin. I can remember synce Noe's ship 
Was made, and builded on Salisbury Plaine ; [pip> 
The same yeere the weathercocke of Paules caught the 
So that Bowe bell was like much woe to sustaine. 
I can remember, I am so olde. 
Since Paradise gates were watched by night ; 
And when that Vulcanus was made a cuckold, 
Among the great gods 1 appeared in sight. 
Nay, for all you smiling, I tell you true. 
No, no, ye will not knowe me nowe ; 
The mightie on the earth 1 doe subdue. 
Tush, if you will giue me leaue, yle tell ye howe ; 
Nowe, in good faith, I care not greatly, 
Althoughe T declare my dayly increase ; 


But theu these gentlewomen wil be angry, 

Therfore I thinke best to holde my peace : 

Nay, I beseche you, let the matter staye, [handes ; 

For I would not for twenty pounde come into their 

For if there should chaunce to be but one Dalila, 

By the mas, thei would bind me in Samson's bands ! 

But what meane I first with them to beginne, 

Seing that in all men I doe remaine ? 

Because that first I remayned Eue within, 

And after her, Adam, and so foorth to Caine. 

I perceiue, by your lookes, my name ye would knowe ; 

Why, you are not ignoraunt of that, I dare saye ; 

It is I that doe guyde the bent of your bowe. 

And ruleth your actions also, daye by daye ; 

Forsothe, I am called Natural Inclination, 

Whiche bred in old Adam's fostred bones ; 

So that I am proper to his generation, 

I will not awaye with casting of stones ! 

I make the stoutest to bowe and bende : 

Againe, when I luste, I make men stande uprights ; 

From the lowest to the highest I doe ascende, 

Drawing them to thinges of natui-all might. 

E)Uer Luste and Sturdiness, simjing this song. 
"Whei'C is the knaue that so did raue ? 
O, that we could him finde, 
We would him make for feare to quake, 
That loute of lobbishe knide. 
My name is Luste, and let him trustc 
That I will haue redresse ; 
For thou and I will make him flie 


Mine oulde Iriende Sturdiness. 

Lnste. Where is now that valiaunt Hercules ? 
For all his bragges, he is nowe runne away. 

Sturdi. (bnu/giugj. By the guttes of Golja it is beste 
for his ease, 
For he was raoste like for the pottage to paye. 

IncUna. Cockes soule ! what bragging knaves have 
we here ? 
Come ye to conuince the mightiest conqueror ? 
It was I, that before you now doth appeare, [ander : 
Whiche brought to confusion both Hector and Alex- 
Looke on this legge, ye prating slaues, 
I remember since it was no greater then a tree ; 
At that time I had a cupple of knaues, 
Much like unto you, that wayghted on me. 

Lnste. Cockes precious soule, let us conquer the knaue. 

Sturdi. By his flesh and sydes, a good courage I have ; 
Stande you, therfore, a little asyde, 
And ye shall see me quickely abate the fooles pryde. 
[^Draw out the swoorde ; make him put it up ; and 
then strike him. Looke in your sj^ectacles. 

IncUna. Naye, I dare not I, if tbou lookest so bigge ; 
What, suche a bore fight with a pigge ! 
Put up thy swoorde, man, we will agree ; 
So lo : doe so much as beare that for mee. 

Sturdi. Nay, by his harte then, I will you dresse. 

Inclin. Be good in thine office, gentle friend Stur- 
diness ; 
For though thou and I doe seme to contende. 
Yet we are, and must be, friendos till the ende. 


Sturdi. Come, geue me thy bande, I beshrowe thy 

Inclin. Nay, you must take all thinges in good parte ; 
Who standeth yonder, Captain Luste ? 

Sturdi. Yea, mary. 

Indin. No remedy then, to him go I must. 
You haue forgot, I dare say, your old friend Inclination ; 
But let us renew acquaintance again, for cocks passion! 

Luste. Why, man, our acquaintaunce hath bene of 
olde ; 
I am your's at commaundement, therfore be bolde ; 
For Luste can doe nothing without Inclination, 
Chiefly in matters concerning a pleasaunt vocation. 

Inclin. Indede Luste may be taken for a thing in- 
Except Inclination be joyned therunto ; [different, 
But when that I once haue reuealed ray entent, 
As I will men to worke, so commonly they doe. 

Luste. Ye haue harde of the combate betwene me 
and Juste. 

hic. Ye, mary, I harde saye that you laye in the duste. 

Luste. What saye ye ? 

Inc. Neither one worde, nor other, ye may me truste. 

Luste. Of mine honestie my company he utterly 
And in wrestling with me he gaue me the foyle, 
Saying that I had myselfe and other abused, 
Leading men in pcrplexitie and marvellous toile. 

Sturdi. By gogs woundes, if we had founde him here, 
We should by his fleshe haue abated his chere. 

Juclin. I perceive, Sturdiness, thou art no foole ; 
Tell nic, of i'elowslii]), where wentest thou to schole. 


Sturdi. What, to reade or vvrighte ? 

Inclin. Naj, to sweare and fighte : 
For I thinke thou canst neither wryte, reade, nor spel, 
But in swearing and fighting thou doest excell. 

Sturdi. Thou knowest that I am joyned with Luste, 
And sturdy, hy nature, I am in like case ; 
What, let the worlde wag, all cannot be j uste, 
Some must naturall inclination embrace. 

Luste. All men juste ? no ; I remember the sentence 
of Tully, 
That no man is j uste that fear eth death, pouertie, or paine, 
Which I doe feare all, and that marueilously ; 
For fortune is variable, I doe perceiue playne, 
And notwithstanding that Felix possessed great gaine, 
Yet when Paule preached of the judgement daye, 
He trembled for feare, and bad him go awaye. 

Inc. Doth such passions often trouble your mynde ? 

Luste. Nay, not often, but sometime I do them fynde ; 
But then, to the entent to dryve them awaye, 
I either go to sleape, or els to some playe. 

Slurdi. By gogs precious hearte, euen so doe I ; 
But sometyme they comber me pestilently. 

Inclin. Well, maister Luste, suchedumpestoeschewe, 
My advise and request you must nedes ensue ; 
That is, to become disciple to doctor Epicurus, 
And then youshall hauemyrthbymeasureandoverplus ; 
Tushe, I knowe a cupple companions in store 
That were marueilous mete for you euermore ; 
I wishe you were knowne unto them. 

Luste. Well, then, call them in. 


Inc. Here they come, each of theni in a knaues skinne. 
[_EnU'r Elation and Greedy-gutte. 
With luste to live is our delight, 
In high estate and diguitie ; 
Seing that the Just put us to flight, 
Let them alone in raiserie. 

Stur. Nay, they be lusty laddes, I tell ye. 

Ela. What, Inclination ! methought I did smell thee: 
Gyve me thy hande or we forther go. 

Inc. Nowe, welcome in faith, and Gredy-gutte also: 
But, syrs, are none of you both acquainted with Lust? 

Luste. Yes, that they have bene both of them, I 
truste ; 
Welcome, syrs, in faithe ; welcome unto me. 

Ela. By my trothe, I am glad your maistership to 
In health and prosperitie, as presently you bee. [see 

Gre. Bom fay zo, am I wod all my harte. 

Inc. This cowe-bellied knave doth come from the 
carte ; 
Ise teache you to speake, I hold you a pounde ! 
Curchy, lob, curchy downe to the grounde. 

Gre. Che can make curchy well enowe. 

Inc. Lower, olde knave, or yle make ye to bowe ! 
The great bellied loute methinke can not bende 
Yet so lo, he beginneth to amende. 

Lmte. Well, syrs, nowe I remember Esopes advise 
Whiche he gave to the Samies against king Crassus ; 
Therfore, it is good to be wyttye and vvyse, 
And being in libertie to kepe me still thus, 
I cannot abide a life that is dolorous, 


And seing that my name is properly Luste, 
I hate the conversation of the Juste. 

Inc. Well, maister Luste, first joyne you to me, 
Next here with Sturdiness you must you acquainte ; 
Turne you about and embrace Elation ; 
And that wealth may encrease without any restraint, 
Joine you with Gredy-gutte here in our presence, 
That all these in you may have prosperous influence. 

[Boive to the grourale). 

Luste. Out, alas ! what a sodaine passion is this ! 
I am so taken that I can not stande ; 
The crampe, the crampe, hath touched me y-wis ; 
I shall die without remedie nowe out of hande. 

Gre. By my matins chese, our master is sicke. 

Inc. Stande back, NycoUnoddy, with the pudding 
More braines in thy skinne then witte in thy braine, 
Such Gredy-guttes in faith would be flayne ! 
This crampe doth signifie nothing in effect ; 
None of all your councels he will now rejecte, 
And therfore feare not to make full declaration. 

Stur. Then feare not the force of these that be juste, 
But labour yourself to aduaunce and augment ; 
Be jocund and lively, sithe your name is Luste, 
And then you shall easely obtaine your entente. 

Ela. Esterae yourselfe alwayes equall with the beste, 
And seeke ibr promotion, power and dignitie ; 
It is good when men may live as they luste, 
And unto the juste beare hate and malignitie. 


Gre. O, zur, ye must be gredy to catche and clawe. 

Inc. Well said, Gredy-gutte, as wyse as a dawe I 

Gre. Eate up, at a mouthfull, houses and landes. 

Inc. There's a vengeable mouth to — 

(Gape and the Vise gape). 

Gre. Never feare God, nor the governours lawe. 
But gripe, gripe, gripe gredely all that coraeth in 

your hands. 
By the masse, but Hewe Hovvlet is pestilent witty, 
What guttish gredinesse the lioreson can teache ! 
That thou art not ejected, in faith, it is pitie, 
As hie as three trees and a halter will reache. 
Mary, syrs, but your councels hath set me on fire ! 
Hey, lusty lad, how freshe am I nowe ! 
Leade me, Inclination, to have my desire, 
And then at thy requeste I wyll ever bende and bowe; 
He that bendeth to folowe his own inclination, 
Must nedes live a wicked and vile conversation, 
But so, maister Luste, I will leade you to a place 
Where you shall have pleasure enough in short space; 
Yea, but shall not this company go thether? 
Yes, mary, we foure will all go together ; 
But Sturdiness shall tary to face out the matter, 
If Juste peradventure against you should clatter: 
By the masse, and well said, but lirst let us sing, 
I must tune my ))ipcs first of all by drinking, 
Tushe, what then ? I praie thee help us a part ; 
Yes, I will sing the treble with all my harte. 
Luste shall be led by Inclination 
To carnall cogitation ; 


Where luste is led wholy by ine, 

He must fall to Cupiditie ; 

For carnal cares shall him assaile, 

And spedeley they shall prevaile ; 

I, Sturdiness, will face it out 

In his cause, sturdy, stifFe and stoute. 

Then Gredy-gutte shall make him eate 

Both house and lands like bread and meate ; 

Elation shall pufFe him hie 

For to aspier above the skie ; 

Then naturall and lordly Luste 

Shall with his poure dispise the Juste. 

Elation. Oursongeis ended, haste thou other in store ? 

Inc. I shall not haue done this halfe houre and more. 
Yet I will, nowe I remember. Come in, Luste ; 
That I go before is but nedeful and j ust. 
You shall be nowe led by me, Inclination, 
To reason and talke with Caniall cogitation. 
Is there moi-e vanitie underneath the sonne 
Then to be inclined after this sorte ? 
Well, Luste doth now as others haue done, 
Yea, and doe daye by daye, esteming it a sporte ; 
This Luste is the image of all wicked men, 
Whiche in seeking the worlde haue all delectation ; 
They regarde not God, nor his commaundements tenne, 
But are wholly led by their owne inclination. 
First, to inculcate with Carnall cogitation. 
And, after, to the desier of all worldly treasure, 
Whiche alone they esteeme the fulness of pleasure. 
With Elation, oi- pride, he is also associate, 



Which puffethuphis sences with presumption pestilent ; 
Then Gredy-gutte maketh them continually to grate 
On the mock of this world, which he thinketh permanent. 
I, Sturdiness, to heare out all things am bent : 
Thus, see you howe men that are led by their luste 
Dissent from the vertuous, godlie, and juste. 

[6^0 out. Enter Juste and Sapience. 

Sapience. The advise of Aristippus haue in your 
Which willed me to seke such thinges as be permanent, 
And not such as are of a vanishing kinde, 
For the one with the other is not equivalent. 
Be circumspect, therefore, forseing and sapient. 
For treasures here gotten are uncertain and vaine, 
But treasures of the mynde do continually remains. 

Juste. This is the mynde of , and I remember 

Like as presently you haue advertised me, 
For the whiche I cannot but thankefully render 
Such commendations as is requisite to be : 
And as your name is Sapience, thus muche I see 
That on heauenly wisedome you doe depende, 
And not on as time doth bring to an ende. 

Sapience. Truthe, indeed, and therfore your name 
being Juste, 
With me and my documentes must be associate ; 
Where, contrary, suche as are led by their lust, 
To incline euill are alwayes appropriate : 
They haue not, as you haue, battel and combate 
Against the cogitations that inwardly spring, 
But rather are obedient unto the same thing : 


And this is the occasion that men are so ambitious, 
And so foolishe, led by the lustc of their braine 
Sometime to couet, sometime to be vicious ; 
Sometime the councell of the wyse to disdaine ; 
Sometime to clime till they fall down againe ; 
Sometime to usurpe the possessions of other ; 
Sometime to disobeye bothe father and mother. 

Juste. Alas, what availeth it ryehes to enjoye, 
Though as muche in comparison as Cressus the king ? 
What helpeth it to haue Helene in Troye, 
If the conscience of man continually sting ? 
Elation and Pride no commoditie doth bring. 
But is often knowen the forerunner of shame, 
And the blotte of immortall memorie and fame. 

[Enter Inclination, the Vise. 

Inc. Nowe, by my hallydome, it is alone a, 
Better sporte in my life I never sawe. 
It is trimrae, I tel you, to daunce with John and Jone a, 
"We passe not a point for God nor his law ; 

But lust is 

Cogitation and he in one bed doth lie. 

Here is maister Juste, with his cancred corage, 

What, and olde doting Sapience ! then I am dressed I. 

So often already Juste hath me restrained. 

That I dare not entise him any more. 

For through Sapience he hath me clerely disdained, 

That my courage is spent and I have no more. 

\_Make a fjoing hack. 

Sap. Nay, softe, syr, we must talkc with you or ye 


c 2 


Inc. I can not tary at this time, the truthe is so. 
Juste. Nay, there is no remedy with you : we muste 

Inc. By the body of me, I holde best that I walke. 
Or els learne to speake language another whyle, 
And so I may happen the knaves to beguyle. 
Juste. Turne back or you go, we have somewhat to 

Inc. Non point parla fransois, nonne par ma foy. 
Sap. To deceiue us nowe himselfe he doth prepare. 
Inc. Ick en can ghene englishe spreken von waer. 
Body of me, let me go, or els I shall ... ; 
I wis, maister Juste, you have loved me or this ; 
Therfore nowe be ruled after my councell, 
And godly thinges for your commoditie I shall you tell. 

Sap. Let him that is juste not lightly ensue 
His vile inclination and carnall concupiscence, 
But let him rather contende the same to subdue ; 
And chiefly those that haue knowledge of Sapience : 
Therfore to brydlc this luste do your diligence, 
His craftie provocations utterly to restraine, 
That Just may Hue while life doth remaine. 

Inc. Godd man Hoball, speake you in earnest ? 
What doest thou saye, shall the Just bridle me ? 
No, no, brother Snappes, doe the worst and tliy best, 
I will not be bridled of him nor of thee. 

Juste. Seing Sapience consisteth in heaucnly docu- 
And that lieauenly document consisteth in Sapience, 
To bridle tliis wretch I cannot but consent. 


Sithe I of his purpose haue had oft intelligence. 

Inc. Yet again brydle it doth not preuayle ; 
I will not be bridled of the best of you both. 
See you this gere ? heres one will make you to quaile ; 
Stande backe! to kil you, maister Juste, I would be loth! 
You have been so burned and fried of late, 
That it were pide to hurt you any more. 
Back, I say, or my dagger shall about your pate, 
By the masse, but I will, syr, yle make your bones 
sore. [Struggle two or three times. 

Juste. I will bridle thee, beast, for all thy bragging. 
Inc. In faith, good man Juste, yle holde ye wagging; 
Nay, brother, ye shall find me a curste colt to bridle, 
Nay, in faith, better yet I will make thee to struggle. 
Sap. Never leve him, but ensue the councell of 

Juste. Lo, nowe I have brought hira under obedience. 

[Brydle him. 
Inc. Not so obedient as thou thinkest me to have ; 
Nay, brother, ye shall finde me a coltishe knave : 
"We, he, he, it is good for you to holde faste. 
For I will kicke and winche whyle the lyfe doth laste. 
Sap. Thou shalt kicke indeed, but no victorie 
Wynne ; 
Neither to conquer the Juste to ungodliness nor synne. 
Inc. yes, O yes, I will make a proclamation. 
Juste. What shall that be ? 

Inc. If ye will geve me leave, then you shall see. 
O yes ! is there any man or woman that hath lost 
A gambolling gelding with a grave tayle, 


Let him come to the Crier and pay for his coste, 
And he will tell him tidinges without any fayle. 

Sap. To the entent that you may him sharpely 
restrain e, 
Let him not enjoye so muche of the raine. 

[Bridle him shorter. 

Inc. Cockes sole, now the snaffel cutteth my lip, 
I would this luberly knave had the pip ! 
I shall leape no hedges whyle this brydle is on, 
Out, alas ! I think it will fret me to the bone. 

Sap. Thus should every man that wil be called 
Brydle and subdue his beastly inclination, 
That he in the ende may obtaine perfect truste, 
The messenger of God to geve sight to salvation. 

Juste. That truste to obtaine with him I have 

Sap. Then let us departe, and leave this beast 
bridled. [Go out both. 

Inc. May the deuill go with you and his dun dame ! 
Suche horse maisters will make a colte quickely tame; 
I would he were hanged that this sualfell did make, 
It maketh ray chappes so shamefully to ake ; 
Ye haue no pitie on nie, you, I se, by your laughing ; 
I care not greatly if I fall to gambolling ; 
We, he, he, he, he, lie, come alofte, I saye, 
Beware the horse heles, I avyse you stande awaye ; 
The raine of my bridle is tied so shorte, 
That I can not make you any more sport. 
But though I be bridled now of the Juste, 


I doubte not but I slial be unbridled by Luste, 
And let not Juste tbinke but I will rebell, 
Altbougb he bridle me tenne times all well ; 
Though Nature saith one done with a croche, 
It will not lie long but incontente aproche ; 
Even so though that I be bridled a whyle, 
The colte will at length the curser beguyle. 

Enter Gredy-gutte running and catche a fall. 

Gre. Chill ran I as fast as I can, 
Zures, did none of you zee a man ? 
Cham zent in haste from my maister Luste, 
So that Inclination nedes come to him must. 

Inc. Where is he now ? I pray thee tell me. 

Gre. Why what have we here, Jesus, benedicitie ! 
I holde twenty pounde it is Baalam's asse, 
Nay tis a colte, I see his tayle by the masse ! 

Inc. Am 1 a colte ? nay, thou liest lyke a knaue, 
Somewhat for thy labour nowe shalt thou haue. 

Gre. Hoball, ho, lousy jade, must ye kicke ? 

Inc. Who euer sawe suche a desperate Dicke ? 
Why, Gredy-gutte, doest thou not knowe Inclination ? 

Gre. Body of me, who hath drest thee of that fashion? 
Thou arte brydled for byting uowe indecde, 
Syra, maister Luste would have thee make spede. 

Inc. I am bridled I, euen as thou doest see, 
Therefore desier him to come and helpe me. 
But what is the matter that he for me sente ? 

Gre. Mary, to gather with Grediness nowe he is 
bent ; 


He hath had long talke with Carnal Cogitation, 
And is set on fier by the means of Elation, 
So that he is so lusty he cannot abyde, 
Therefore one or other for him must be spied. 

Inc. Well, Gredy-gutte, I praye thee, go and make 

Gre. Tush, feare not, chill spend no time in waste. 

Inc. I had rather then'xL pence that he were come ; 
If I be bridled long I shall be undone. 
So sharpe is this snaffell called restrainte, 
That it maketh me sweate I am so fainte : 
Harke ! I heare the voyce of my maister Luste ; 
Now I shall be unbridled shortly I truste. 

Enter Luste. 

Luste. Cocks precious woundes, here hath bene 
vilanie ! 

Inc. Heye, they have used me with to much 
That old knave Sapience so counseled Juste ; 
But let me be unbridled, good maister Luste. 

[Uiihridh' him. 

Litste. Lo, now thou ait unbridled, be of good chere. 

Inc. By Lady, I am glad I have gotten thus cleare. 
But harke you, maister Lust, if I may do you pleasure, 
Whisper, whisper, she is called Treasure. 

Jjvste. O my harte is on fyre till she come in place. 

flic. O maister Luste, she hath an amiable face ; 
A tricker, a trimmer, in faith that she is. 
The goddess of wealth, pros[)critie and bliss. 


Luste. But thinke you that this minion long endui-e 
shall ? 

Inc. For euer and euer, man, she is immortall. 
There be many other, but she exceadeth them all. 

Luste. What be they, haue you tlieir names in store? 

Inc. Yea, harke, in youreare — And many other more. 

Luste. Sithe that the apple of Paris before me is 
And that I may deliuer the same where I will, 
I would Prometheus were here to helpe me holde fast, 
That I might haue a fore witte with me euer still. 
Pallas I consider in science hath skill, 
But Juno and Venus good will do I beare ; 
Therefore to geue the appuU I know not where. 

Inc. Be conciled by me, and geve it Lady Treasure, 
It shal be for your commoditie in the end without 

For hauing the company of this minion lasse, 
You shall never wante the societie of Pallas ; 
Juno, nor yet the arraipotent Mars, 
Can not resiste your strengthe be they never so fearce; 
And as for Venus, you shall haue at pleasure, 
For she is bought and soldo alwayes with Treasure ; 
She of her power hath whole countries conquered, 
The moste noble champions by her hath ben murthered; 
Aeon for her sake was stoned to death. 
Tushe, innumerable at this day spende their breathe, 
Sume hange or be hanged, they love her so well, 
She is the great goddesse, it is true that I telle. 

Luste. Which way should I worke of her to haue a 
sight ? 


Inc. I, Inclination, will leade you thyther right ; 
But we must haue Gredy-gutte, and also Elation 
Luste. They are at the house of Carnal Cogitation. 
Inc. Whether I would wyshe that we might departe ; 
I will lead you thither with all my harte. 

[Go out. Enter Just. 
Trust, a woman plainly, and Contentation, knele down 
and sing, she have a croicne. 
So happy is the state of those 

That walke uprighte and juste, 
That thou, Lorde, doest thy face disclose 

By perfect hope and truste. 
Their inclination thou dost stay, 

And sendeth them Sapience, 
That they should serue, and eke obey 

Thy highe magnificence. 
Thou sendest Contentation, 

That we in thee may rest. 
Therefore all adoration 

To thee perteineth best. f^^J^' 

Juste. God careth for his people, as the prophet doth 
And preserveth them under his mercifull wynges ; 
Namely the juste, that his will do obey, 
Observing his holy commaundement in all thynges ; 
Not for our sake, or for our deservinges. 
But for his owne sake, openly to declare, 
That all men on earth ought to live in his feare. 

Truste. Howe God hath blissed you all men may see; 
For first, at your entraunce you con([uered Luste, 
Not by your powci", but by might of the deitie. 


As all persons ought to doe that be juste. 
Then through Sapience which God did you sende, 
You bridled that brutishe beaste Inclination, 
And also ordered you with Contentation. 

Cot. Those that are contented with their vocation 
Be thankefull to God; this is a true consequent ; 
And those that be thankefull in their conversation, 
Can not but please the Lorde God omnipotent ; 
But those that be sturdie, proude, and disobedient, 
The Ruler of all rulers will them confounde. 
And rote their remembraunce of from the grounde. 

Juste. When Solon was asked of Cressus the king, 
What man was moste happie in this vale terestriall. 
To the ende he semeth to attribute that thing 
When men be asociate with treasures celestiall. 
Before the ende can no man judge, he doth saie, 
That any man is happy that here beareth breath, 
But then by his end preteley judge we may; 
Thus true happines consisteth, saith he, after death. 
If this be a truthe, as undoubtedly it is. 
What men are more foolish, wretclied, and miserable, 
Then those that in these treasures accompt their whole 

Being infect with ambition, that sickness incurable ; 
A ! wicked Adrastia, thou goddes deceiuable, 
Thus to plucke from men the sence of their mynde, 
So that no contentation therein they can finde. 

Truste. The treasure of this worlde we may well 
To Circes, the witche, with her craftie cautilitie, 


Wherewith many mens myndes so poysoned are, 
That quite they are carried into all fidelitie ; 
They are conjured in deede and bewitched so sore, 
That treasure is their truste, joye, and delighte. 
True truste is expelled, they passe not therefore. 
And against contentation they continually fight. 
But though wicked men folowe their luste, 
Crying on earth is our felicitie and pleasure, 
Yet God doth so guide the hartes of the juste. 
That they respect chiefly the celestiall treasure. 

Con. Alas ! should we not have that estimation 
Which God hath prepared for his dere elect ? 
Should not our myndes rest in full contentation, 
Having truste in this treasure, most highe in respecte? 
St. Paule, whom the Lorde so high did erecte, 
Saith ; It passeth the sence of our memory and mynde, 
Much lesse can our outward eyes the same finde. 
And as for treasures which men possesse here. 
Through fickelnes of fortune sone fadeth away ; 
The greatest of renowme and most worthy here 
Sometime falleth in the ende to myserie and decay. 
Recorde of Dionisius, a king of much fame, 
Of the valiaunt Alexander and Ca3sar the strong. 
Record of Tarquin, which Superbus had to name, 
And of Heliogabalos, that miuistred with wronge ; 
If I should recite all, I should stand very long. 
But these be sufficient plainly to approue 
Howe sone by uncertaintie this treasure doth remoue. 

Juste. It is true ; therfore a mynde well contente 
Is great riches, as the wyse king Salomon doth say. 


We have sene of late days this cancard pestilent 
Corrupting our realme to our great decaie, 
Ambition, I nieane, which chiefly did raigne 
Among those that should be examples to others ; 
We sawe how their brethren they did disdaine, 
And burned with fire the childe with the mother ; 
It is often seene that such monsters ambitious 
As spare not to spile the bloud of the innocente, 
Will not greatly sticke to become seditious, 
The determination of God thereby to prevente. 
God graunt every one of us earnestly to repente, 
And not to set our minds on this fading treasure. 
But rather wyshe and wille to doe the Lordes pleasure. 
Truste. O ye emperours, potentates, and princes of 
Learn of Juste with Truste yourselves to associate. 
That like as your vocation by right doth aske the crown, 
And also due obedience, being the appointed magistrate. 
So rule that at the last you may be resuscitate 
And raigne M'ith the Almightie with perfect continu- 
Receiving double crownes for your godly governaunce. 
Ye noblemen whome God hath furnished with fame, 
Be myndefull to walke in the wayes of the Juste, 
And be not ouercorae of concupiscence or luste. 
Fie from louc of treasure, catche holde of me, Truste; 
And then double felicitie at the last you shall possesse, 
And in all earthly doings God shall geue you succes. 
Ye poore men and commons, walke well in your 


Banishe lust and desier, which is not convenient ; 
Let truste worke in you a full contentation, 
Considering that it leadeth to treasures more excellent, 
For these are uncertaine, but they are most permanent. 
Your necessitie supplie with vertue and truste, 
And then shall you enjoye your ci'own among the just. 

Juste. As I, being properly nominate Juste, 
Am here associate with Contentation, 
So have I my whole felicitie in Truste, 
Who ilumineth myne eyes to see my saluation. 

Truste. Feare you not, shortly you shall haue 
If I were once growen in you to perfection, 
Euen thus goeth it alwaies with the children of 

Juste. I will departe now ; will ye go with me, Truste ? 

Truste. Yea, I must alwaies associate the Juste. 

Cont. A psalme of thankesgeuing first let us sing, 
To the laude and prayse of the immortall Kinge. 

[Here if you will: sing " the man is blest thatfear- 
eth Go(r, <(■€.— Go out). 

Enter Inclination laughinij. 

Inc. Lust (quod he) nowe in faithe he is lusty, 
Lady Treasure and he hath made a matclie ; 
He thinketh that I ware marvelous trusty. 
Because I teache him to clawe and to catche, 
And now a dales amitie doth therein consiste ; 
He that can flatter shal be well beloued ; 
But he that saietli, 1hv>i and thus, saicth Christe, 
Shall as an enemy be opiMily reproued. 


Friendship, yea friendship consisteth now in adulation; 

Speake faire and please the lust of thy lorde, 

I warrant thee be had in great estimation, 

When those that tel truthe shal be abhorde. 

A ! unhappy lingua, whether wilt thou ten ? 

Take heed, I advise thee, least thou be shent ; 

If ye chaunce to tell any tales of these gentlewomen, 

With flesh hokes and nayles you are like to be rent ; 

Nay, for the passion of me be not so moued, 

And I will please you incontinent againe. 

Above all treasures you are worthy to be loued, 

Because you do no men deride nor disdaine ; 

You do not contempte the simple and poore ; 

You be not hie-minded, proude, and presumptuous, 

Neither wanton nor wyly you be neuer more, 

But gentle, louing modestie, and vertuous. 

Behold howe a lie can please some folkes diet ! 

O pacifie their myndes maruellous well, 

All whyste, I warrant ye, so they in quiet. 

Howe to please you hereafter I can tell : 

Harke, I heare Luste and my lady Treasure, 

They are given to solace, singing, and pleasure. 

Enter luVSTE and Treasure, a woman finely appareled. 

Lust. Ah, amorous lady, of bewtifuU face, 
Thou art hartely welcome unto this place ; 
My harte is inclined to the, lady Treasure, 
My love is insatiate, it kepeth no mesure. 

Treas. It is I, maister Luste, that will you aduaunce; 
Treasure it is that things doth enhaunce ; 


Upon me set your whole affection and liiste, 
And passe not a point for the wayes of the Juste. 
Treasure is a pleasure, beare that in mynde ; 
Both trusty and true ye shall me alwayes finde. 

Inc. As trusty as is a quick ele by the tayle ! 
"What, lady Treasure, welcome withoute fayle ; 
To be better acquainted with you once I truste, 
But I dare not in the presence of my maister Luste. 
Ye are welcome, syr, hartely ; w^hat ! be of good 

courage ; 
Drawer, let us have a pinte of whyte wine and borage. 

Luste. Wherefore, I praye thee tell ? 

Inc. Mary, methinke you are not well. 

Luste. Not well, who can a better life craue, 
Then to possesse suche a lady as I haue ? 
Is there any wealth not contained in Treasure ? 
Ah, lad}', I love thee in faith out of measure. 

Inc. It is out of measure indeede, as you saie, 
And euen so must men loue her at this daie ; 
Oh, she is a raynion of amorous hewe. 
Her pare in my dales yet I neuer knew. 
Old (quod you) I am an old knaue I tell ye. 
Nay, neuer lauglie at tlie matter, for doubtles I smel 

She passeth Juno, Ceres, and Pallas, 
More beautiful! then euer dame Venus was, 
Other in sapience she doth cxcede. 
And Diana in dignitie, of whome we doe reade ; 
What should faire Ilclene once named be. 
She excclleth uU these, maister Luste, beleue me. 


Luste. Howe say you, is not this an eloquent lad ? 
Treas. That you have suche a servaunt truly I am 

Inc. Ha, ha, now indeede I can you not blame, 
For women of all degrees are glad of the same ; 
They that flatter and speake them fayre 
Shal be their sonnes, and peradventure their ayre. 
Luste. You tolde me of a brother you had, lady 

Treas. Yea, syr, that I haue ; his name is called 
Pleasure ; 
And seeing you enjoye me now at your will, 
Right sone, I am sure, he will come you untill. 

Luste. Truly of him I would faine haue a sight. 
For because that in pleasure I haue marueilous delight. 
Inc. Then honestie and profite you may bidde good 

Luste. What saiest thou ? 
Bic. I saie he will shortly appeare in sight ; 
I knowe by his singing the same is he. 
The misbegotten Orpheus I think that he be. 

Enter Pleasure, sbujing this Song. 

O, happy dales, and pleasaunt playes, 

Wherein I doe delight, a ; 
I doe pretende, till my Hues ende, 

To Hue still in such plighte, a. 

Inc. Maister Pleasure, I perceive you be of good 

Pleas. What, Inclination, old lad, art thou here ? 



Inc. Yea, syr, and lady Treasure, your sister, also. 

Plea. Body of me, tlien unto her I will go. 
What, syster, I am glad to mete with you here. 

Trea. Welcome unto me, mine owne brother dere. 
Maister Luste, this is my brother, of whome I tolde ; 
He is pleasaunt and lusty, as you may beholde. 

Luste. Gentleraa (I pray you) is your name master 
Pleasure ? 

Plea, Yea, syr, and I am brother to lady Treasure. 

Ltiste. And are you contented to accompanie me ? 

Plea. Whereas she is resident, I must nedes be ; 
Treasure doth Pleasure commonly preceade. 
But the one is with the other, they have both so decreed. 

Inc. Mary, nowe j'ou are well indeede, maister Luste ; 
This is better, I trowe, than the life of the juste : 
They be compelled to possesse contentation, 
Hauing no treasure but trust of saluation. 
But my lady your mistris, my mistris I would saye, 
She worketh, you may see, to keepe you from decaie. 

Luste. 0, madame ! in you is all my delight, 
And in your bi'Other, Pleasure, bothe daye and nighte. 
The Triall of Treasure, this is indeede, 
I perceive that she is a true frende at neede ; 
For I haue proued her, according as Thales doth saye, 
And I perceive that her bewtie cannot decaye. 

Trea. Alwayes with you I will be resident, 
So that your life shall be most excellent. 

Plea. Yea, syr, and me, Pleasure, also you shall have, 
So that none other thinge there nedeth to craue ; 
I will replenishe your harte with delighte. 


And I will be alwayes with Treasure in sighte. 
But if you desire to enjoy me at your will, 
My sister you must haue in reputation still ; 
And then, as her treasure is certaine and excellent, 
My pleasure shal be both perfect and permanent. 
Credite not those, syr, that talke that and this. 
Saying, that in us twoo consisteth no bliss. 
But let experience your mynde euer moue, 
And see if all men us twoo doe not loue. 

Inc. Loue, yes, they loue you indeede without 
Which shutteth some of them God's kingdome without. 
They loue you so well that their God they do hate, 
As time hath declared to us even of late. 
But he that on such thinges his study doth caste, 
Shal be sure to be deceiued at the last. 

Luste. What doest thou sale ? 

Inc. Of Treasure, forsoth, ye must euer holde fast. 
For if you should chance to lose lady Treasure, 
Then farewell in post this gentleman. Pleasure. 

Lnste. My loue to them both cannot be exprest. 
And especially my lady, you I loue best. 

Treas. If you love me as you doe professe, 
Be ye sure you shall wante no kinde of welthiness. 

Pleas. And if you haue welthiness at your own wyll, 
Then will I, Pleasure, remayne with you still. 

Inc. You are both as constant as snowe in the sun. 
Which from snow to water through melting doth run ; 
But worldly wyse men cannot conceave that, 
To bonte for suche myse they learnc of the cat. 



Luste. My lady is amorous, and full of favour. 
Inc. I may say, to you she hath an ill-fauoured 

Luste. What saiest thou ? 

Inc. I saye she is loving, and of gentle behauiour. 
Treas. And so I will continue still, be you sure. 
Pleas. And I in like case whyle your life doth endure. 
Luste, Ah, truste Treasure ; ah, pleasaunt Pleasure; 
All wealth I possesse nowe without measure ; 
And seing that the same shall firmely remayne. 
To helpe me sing a songe will you take the paine. 
Treas. Euen with all my harte, begin whan ye will. 
IncUn. To it, and I will either helpe or stand still. 

[Singe tJiis Songe. 
Am I not in blissed case, 

Treasure and Pleasure to possesse ; 
I would not wishe no better place. 

If I may still haue welthiness : 
And to enjoye in perfect peace, 

My lady, lady. 
My pleasaunt pleasure shall encrease, 
My deare lady. 

Helene may not compared be, 

Nor Creseda that was so bright ; 
These cannot staine the shine of thee. 

Nor yet Mincrua of great might. 
Thou passest Venus farre away, 

Lady, lady ; 
Loue thee I will, both night and day, 
My dere lady. 


My mouse, my nobs, and cony sweete, 

My hope, and ioye, my whole delight ; 
Dame nature may fall at thy feete. 

And may yeelde to thee her crowne of righte. 
I will thy body now embrace, 

Lady, lady ; 
And kisse thy swete and pleasaunt face, 
My dere lady. 

Enter God's Visitation. 

Visit. I am Gods minister, called Visitation, 
"Which diuers and many waies you may understande ; 
Sometime I bring sicknes; sometime perturbation ; 
Sometime trouble and misery throughout the lande ; 
Sometime I signifie God's wrath to be at hande ; 
Sometime a foreronner of distruction immenent, 
But an executer of paine I am at this present. 
Thou insipient foole, that hast folowed thy luste. 
Disdaining the doctrine declared by Sapience, 
In Treasure and Pleasure hath bene thy truste, 
Which thou thoughtest should reuiaine euer in thy 

presence : 
Thou neuer remembrest Thales his sentence. 
Who willeth men in all thiuges to kepe a measure. 
Especially in loue to incertaintie of treasure ; 
Even nowe I am come from visiting the Just, 
Because God beginneth first with his elect ; 
But he is so associated and comforted with Truste, 
That no kinde of impacience his soule can infecte. 
Contentation in suche sort liis race doth directe, 


That he is contented with God's operation, 
Comfortably embracing me his visitation ; 
But nowe I am come to vexe thee with paine, 
Whiche makest Treasure thy castell and rocke, 
Thou shalt knowe that both she and Pleasure is vaine, 
And that the Almighty thou canst not mocke. 
Aiiguishe and griefe into thee I doe caste, 
With paine in thy members continually. 
Now thou hast paine thy pleasure can not laste, 
But I will expelle him incontinently. 

Luste. O cockes harte ! what a pestilence is this ! 
Departe from me, I saye, hence, Gods Visitation ! 
Helpe, helpe, lady Treasure, thou goddes of blis ! 
At thy handes let me haue some consolation. 

Treas. I will remaine with you, be out of doubte. 

Inc. Will ye be packing, you il favoured lowte ? 

Visi. Presently, in dede from him thou shalt not go, 
And why ? because Gods will hath not determined so; 
But in tyme thou, Treasure, shalt be turned to ruste. 
And as for Pleasure he shall nowe attende on the Just. 

Luste. Gogs woundes ! these panges encrease euer 

Inc. And my littell finger is spitefully sore ; 
You will not beleue how my hele doth ake. 

Treas (To Visitation) Nay, let me alone, your 
part I will take. 
(To Lust) Be of good comforte, whylc I here remaine ; 
For pleasure and he shall be parted in twaine. 

Visit. It is not mete that he should be participate 
with Luste, 


But rather vertuous, godly and juste. 

Luste. Remaine with nie still, maister Pleasure, I 

Pleas. Nay, there is no remedy ; I must away ; 
For where God doth punition and paine, 
I Pleasure in no case can not remaine, 

Visit. I could in like case separate thy treasure, 
But God doth adraonishe thee by losing thy pleasure. 
[^Go out Visitation and Pleasure. 
Inc. Fare well in the deuils name olde lousy loute. 
That my maister will die I stand in great doubte. 
Ho, ho, ho, howe is it with you, maister Luste ? 
Luste. By the flesh of Goliah, yet Treasure is my 
Though Pleasure be gone, and I liue in paine, 
I doubte not but Treasure will fetche him againe. 
Treas. Yea, that I will ; feare not, and with you to 

Inc. The propertie of riche men undoubtedly he 
, hath, 
Whiche thinke with monie to pacifie God's wrath, 
And health at their pleasure to bye and to sell. 
Howe is maister Lust, are you anything well ? 

Luste. Against this Visitation my harte doth rebell. 
Gogs woundes ! shall I still in these panges remaine ? 
Treas. Feare you not, maister Lust, I will helpe 
you again. 
Treasure in phisicke exceadeth Gallenus : 
Tushe ! there is no phisition but we must haue with 
us ; 


To the ease of your body tliey will you bringe, 
And therefore I praie you despaire in nothing ; 
Put your trust alwayes in me, lady Treasure, 
And I will restore you againe unto pleasure, 
For I am the goddes that therein hath power, 
Which shall remain perfect unto the last houre. 

Inc. Yea, yea, maister Luste, be as mery as you may; 
Let Treasure be your truste, who so euer say naye. 

Enter Tyme. 

Time. The auncient Grekes haue called me Chronos, 
Whiche in our vulgar tongue signifieth Time ; 
I am entred in presently for a certainly purpose, 
Euen to turne Treasure to ruste and to slime ; 
And Luste whiche hath long disdained the Juste, 
Ensuing his filthy and vyle inclination. 
Shall immediatly be turned into duste, 
To the example of all the whole congregation ; 
For time bringeth both these matters to passe, 
As experience hath taught in euery age, 
And you shall beholde the same in this glasse, 
As a document both profitable and sage. 
Both Lust and Treasure, come foorth with spedc 
Into the shop of the most mighty God, 
There shall you be beaten to pouder in dede. 
And for your abusion fele his scourge and rod. 

Inc. By Saint Mary ! then they haue made a wise 
I pretende therefore to leape ouer the hatche ; 
Nay, let me departe, syrs ; stop me not, I saye, 
For 1 must remayne, though both these dccaye. [Uo out. 


Luste. Luste from the beginning frequented hath 
And shall I now turne to nothing for thee ? 

Treas. Treasure in all ages hath bene beloued, 
And shall she from the earth by thee be remoued ? 

Time. You know that all suehe thinges are subject 
to time ; 
Therefore, me to withstande is no reason nor ryme ; 
For like as all thinges in time their beginning had, 
So must all thinges in time vanishe and fade. 

Luste. Gog's woundes, let Treasure remaine stil 
with me. 

Treas. Yea, let me continue still in my dignitie. 

Time. Nay, I must cary you into Vulcan's fire, 
"Where you shall be tried unto the uttermost. 
Seing Lust against Lust did daily conspier, 
To dust he shall turne for all his great boaste ; 
Both of you shall haue one rigorous hoaste ; 
Come therefore with spede, Time cannot tary, 
To the ende of your felicitie I will you carie. 

Treas. If there be no remedie, then there is no shifte. 

Luste. He must nedes go, that is driuen by the 
deuil's drifte ; 
A ! Cocke's precious sydes, what fortune is this ? 
Whether go I nowe, to misery, or blis ? [Go out. 

Enter JvsTE, lead'uuj Inclination in his bridle shakled. 

Lie. We, he, he, he, he ! ware the horse heles, I saye ; 
I would the raine ware lose, that I might run away. 
Juste. Nay, sithe thou wilt not spare against me to 


I will not spare, by God's grace, thee to brydell ; 
All men may see how vile Inclination 
Spareth not to put the j ust to vexation ; 
Euen so may all men learne of me againe, 
Thy beastly desiers to bridle and restraine. 

Inc. Mary, syr, I am bridled indeede, as you say, 
And shakled, I thinke, for running away ; 
This snafle is sharp indeed for the nones. 
And these shakkels doe chafe my legs to the bones ; 
And yet will I prouoke, spurne, and pricke, 
Rebell, repugne, lashe out and kicke. 
We, he ! in the jade's name are ye so freshe ? 
This gere I suppose will plucke downe your fleshe. 

Juste. Nay, softe, thou shalt haue a little more paine, 
For somewhat shorter nowe I will tye thy rayne. 

Enter Trust and Consolation. 

Truste. Most blissed and happie, I say, are the juste, 
Euen because they restraine their owne inclination ; 
Thou, therefore, that hast made thy treasure of trust, 
Beholde, I haue brought thee here Consolation. 

Juste. Nowe blyssed be God of his mercy and grace. 
With all my harte and soule I doe you embrace. 

Con. Consolation is my name, euen as Truste hath 
Which is joye, or comfort, in this life transitorie ; 
He that possesseth me is of nothing afraide, 
But hathe a most quiet and peaciable memorie. 
For I, through Trust, doth shewe thee the glorie 
That God luith prepared ibr them beforehand, 


Wherein at the last they shall perfectly stande. 

Truate. Receive this crowne of felicitie now at this 
Which shall be made richer at the celestiall place. 

Inc. Byr lady, I woulde I had suche a gay croune. 

Juste. Nowe praysed be God for this riches of 
renoune ; 
Felicitie, in this worlde, the juste doth enjoye, 
Namely, when the deuill can them not anoye ; 
The Lorde's worke this is, who be praysed for ever, 
Who graunte us in his lawes still to persever. 

Con. Amen, amen. God gyve us delight 
In his holy couenant bothe day and night. 

Trust. Our matter is almost brought to an ende, 
Sauing that Inclination in prison must be shut. 
Juste, carie him forth, that useth to contende, 
And see that surely enoughe he be put. 

Juste. That shall be done shortely, by God's grace. 

Inc. What, softe, I say, me thinke ye go a shamfull 
pace ; 
Was ther euer poore colte thus handled before ? 
Fie upon it, my legs be onreasonably sore ; 
Well, yet I will rebell, yea, and rebell againe, 
And though athousand times youshouldest merestraine. 

[_Leade him out. 

Enter Time, uith a similitude of dust, and rust. 

Time. Beholde here, howe Luste is conuerted to 
duste ; 
This is his image, his wealth and pros[)eritie ; 


And Treasure in like case is turned to ruste, 
Whereof this example sheweth the veritie. 
The Triall of Treasure, this is, no doubte, 
Let all men take hede that truste in the same, 
Considering what thinges, I, Tjme, bringe aboute. 
And quenche out the ungodly, their memory and fame. 

Enter Juste. 

Juste. Why, and is Lust and Treasure conuerted to 
this ? 

Time. Yea, forsothe. 

Juste. What foolishe man in them would put truste, 
If this be the finall end of their blisse ? 
Muche better I commend the life of the juste. 

Con. So it is, no doubte, for they haue consolation, 
Possessing felicitie euen in this place ; 
I meane through trust and hope of saluation, 
Which setteth out to us God's mercy and grace. 

Juste. Let all men consider this good erudition, 
And not to put confidence in Luste nor Treasure ; 
By these two examples receiue admonition, 
And also of the sodaine banishment of Pleasure. 

Time. Remember that Time turneth all things about ; 
Time is the touchstone the juste for to try. 
But whereas Lust and Treasure in time is come to 

Just, possessing Trust, remaynetb constantly. 
So that as I, Time, hatli reuealed their infumie, 
So haue I shewed tlie consolation and gaine 
That the juste aliall receiue that justly do raigne. 


Con. We will now no longer trouble this audience, 
Sythe somewhat tedious to you we have bene ; 
Beseching you to beare all thinges with pacience, 
And remember the examples that you haue scene. 
God graunte them to florishe liuely and grene, 
That some of us the better therefore may be, 
Amen, amen ! I beseche the blyssed Trinitie. 

Praiefor all estates. 

Take hede in tyme, and note this well, 
Be ruled alwaies by councell. 

Learne of the just to leade thy life 
Being free from envie, wrath, and strife, 
Presumption, pride, and covetousnesse, 
With all other ungodlinesse. 

Learne of them alwayes to obey 
The Lordes preceptes, from daye to daye. 
That thou maiest walke as he doth wyll, 
And labour thy fondc affectes to kill. 

Alwayes subdue thy beastly luste. 
And in the Lorde put hope and truste ; 
Bridle thine inclination 
By godly conversation. 


The counsell of the wyse embrace, 
The fooles advise doe then deface. 
Whiche fast and praie with good delight, 
That Adam may be killed quite. 

That joy in us may still encrease, 
That God, the Lorde, may give us peace, 
That we may be content with Truste 
To have our crowne among the just. 

Imprinted at London, in Paules Churcheyarde, at the signe of 
the Lucrece, by Thomas Purfoote. 



P. 4, /. 21. Some men — I. 25. As luste with the luster — 
/. 27. So treasure. — P. 5. 1. 4. You shall — I. 14. Hay howe 
— I. 18. Cocke Lorrels, (the text is incorrect J — I. 27. Pleasant 
youth.— P. 8, 1. 16. Thou that Lust.— P. 9, I. 5. Resemble 
Hybra— ^. 27. The might— ?. 29. Howe in.— P. 10, I. 4. 
Come in — I. 9. Even within. — P. 11, I. 4. Braggingly — 
I. 20. The swearde— ;, 23. What should suche.— P. 13, 1. 29. 
You unto them. — P. 14, 1. 3. This is a Song — /. 25. Yes, so 
lo. — P. 15, /. 2. Also of — I. 20, After this, read a line, " But 
howe he is bowed by me, Inclination." — P. 16, I. 1. And to 
clawe — I. 9. Pestilens witty—?. 11. Art not erected — I. 13. 
This is spoken by Lust ; 1. 17 by Inclination ; /. 21 by Luste ; 
I. 22 by Inclination ; /. 25 by Sturdiness ; I. 26 by Incli- 
nation ; /. 27 by Elation ; I. 28 by Inclination, and from line 
29 is a Song. [A transcript, in the King's Library, British 
Museum, has these speeches all assigned to Greedy-gut, as 
in our text]. P. 17, I. 16. Marginal direction, " Go out all 
foure." — I. 19. This is spoJcen by Sturdiness — I. 21. As other. 
—P. 18, I. 16. Of Musonus, also I.— P. 19, I. 20. But 
Lust is lusty, and full of porridge — /. 22. When here. — 
P. 20, I. 2. No remedy; with you we.— P. 23, I. 4. One 
dome—?. 5. Incontinente — ?. 9. Chill runne. — P. 24, ?. 23. 


This speech is not assigned to Inclination in the original. — 
P. 26, I. 14. And sendest— ?, 21. For his, as.— P. 28, I 20. 
Worthy pere — I. 24. Tarquinius — I. 25. Heliogabolos. — 
P. 29, I. 1. Cancar— /. 24. After this line, add, "Adde 
vertue evermore to your honorable name." — I. 28. Good 
succes— ^. 30. Vocation.— P. 30, ?. 11. Feare ye not.— P. 31, 
I. 5. Thou ren— ;. 20. Now I— I. 25. Into.— P. 32, I. 19. 
So most— Z. 27. Othea.— P. 33, I. 23. Happy eaies.— P. 34, 
I. 12. Proceade.— P. 39, I. 29. Shall have.— P. 40, I. 16. 
To duste. 




Couiutl, 1 850-5 L 
The Rt. Hon. LORD BRAYBROOKE, F.S.A., President. 

T. AMYOT, ESQ., F.R.S., F.S.A. 

M.R.I. A. 



F.S.A., SEC. 
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Publications of the First Yeor. 



Miuj \st, 1850. 

The Council of the Percy Society, in submitting the 
present Annual Report to the Members, feel satis- 
faction in congratulating them on the continued pros- 
perity of the Society ; for, although the limited funds 
at their disposal have not permitted them to carry out 
the objects for which the Society was founded as 
efficiently as they might desire, it is something that 
amidst the general depression under which nearly all 
the publication societies have suffered, the Percy 
Society possesses its number of members undi- 
minished, while its works continue to retain their 
value in the market. 

The Council have much pleasure in informing the 
Members that the third and concluding volume of 
Mr. Wright's valuable edition of Chaucer will be 

ready for delivery in the course of the present month, 
and will be considered as the issue for May 1st. 

The Council have had under their consideration a 
proposal for printing the complete works of some of 
the best early English poets and dramatists whose 
writings have not yet appeared in a collective form, . 
or been but imperfectly edited. They hope to pre- 
sent the members, before long, with the works of 
William Browne, author of the Britannia's Pastorals, 
including a third book of that celebrated work, from 
a manuscript that has not been seen by any of his 

The publications during the past year have been, 

1. A Poem on the times of Edward II. From a manuscript 
preserved in the Library of St. Peter's College, Cambridge. 
Edited by the Rev. C. Hardwick. 

2. Fugitive Tracts and Chap Books. Edited by J. 0. 

Halliwcll, Esq., F.R.S. 

3. The Man in the Mooue. From the Unique Copy, printed 
in 1609, preserved in the Bodleian Library. Edited by 
the same. 

4. The Poems of William dc Shoreham, vicar of Chart-Sutton, 
in Kent, in the Reign of Edward II. Edited by Thomas 
Wright, Esq., M.A., F.S.A., etc. 

5. The Triall of Treasure. Reprinted from the black letter 
edition, l)y Thomas Purfoote, ir)67. Edited by J. 0. 
Halliwell, Esq., F.ll.S. 

6. The use of Dice Play. A Manifest Detection of the most 

vyle and detestable use of Dice Play. Edited by the 

The following works arc preparing for publication, 
or have been suggested to the Council for that 
, purpose. 

1. The Works of William Browne, including a third book of 
the Britannia's Pastorals, from a manuscript hitherto 

2. A Selection from the Roxburghe Ballads now in the British 

Museum. Edited by J. H. Dixon^ Esq. 

3. The Semi-Raxon Poem on St. George, from a manuscript 
at Cambridge. Edited, with a translation, by the Rev. 
C. Hardwick, of St. Catharine's Hall. 

4. A Collection of Poems on the Assassination of the Duke 

of Buckingham. Edited by F. W. Fairholt, Esq., F.S.A. 

5. The Minor Poems of Drayton. To be edited by Bolton 

Corney, Esq. 

6. The early poem of " John the Gardener," a metrical treatise 
on Domestic Gardening, in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth 

7. A Collection of Old Ballads, relating to the Processions 
of the Irish Trades. 

8. A new edition of Lord Cork's " True Remembrances," 

with Notes by T. Crofton Croker, Esq. 

9. The Poems of Hoccleve. To be edited by W. H. Black, 

10. An Edition of Heywood's " Dialogue, contayning in effect 

the number of al the Proverbes in the English Tongue 
compact in a matter concerning two marriages." 

11. A Collection of Ballads, in old French and English, re- 

lating to Cocaygne. To be edited by T. Wright, Esq. 

12. A Collection of Jacobite Ballads and Fragments, many of 
them hitherto unpublished. To be edited by William 
Jerdan, Esq., M.R.S.L. 

13. A Collection of Charms, illustrative of English super- 

stitions in former days. From early manuscripts. 

14. " Rede me and be nott wrothe." A Satire on Cardinal 

Wolsey, by William Roy. 

15. History of the Office of Poet Laureate in England, with 
Notices of the existance of similar offices in Italy and 
Germany. By James J. Scott, Esq. 

16. Historical Ballads, in the Scottish Dialect, relating to 
events in the years 1570, 1571, and 1572 ; from the 
copies preserved in the Library of the Society of Anti- 
quaries, London. To be edited by l)avid Laing, Esq., 
F.S.A. Sc. 

17. A Continuation of the Collection of Ballads, by J. Payne 

Collier, Esq., F.S.A. 

The Council ma}' be allowed to repeat the invi- 
tation made in its former Reports to Members of the 
Society and others, to suggest new works for consi- 
deration. The Society is obliged to all gentlemen 
who may contribute rare tracts or ballads from pri- 
vate collections ; as well as to the different Editors, 
by whose zeal and gratuitous labours they may be 
ushered into the world. 

J. O. IIALLIWELL, Secretary/. 

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