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Anglo-Irish poems of the Middle Ages: The Kildare Poems

Author: [unknown]

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Funded by University College, Cork and
Professor Marianne McDonald via the CELT Project.

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Proof corrections by Angela Naujoks

Extent of text: 16 500 words


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    Manuscript source
  1. London, British Library, Harley MS 913, ff. 3r–63v.
    Editions and Translations
  1. E. Mätzner, Altenglische Sprachproben. Berlin 1867, I. i. 147ff.
  2. W. Heuser, Die Kildare Gedichte. Bonner Beiträge zur Anglistik 14, 1904. (Standard discussion and edition of the poems of MS Harley 913. In German.)
  3. V. Vaananen, Le 'fabliau' de Cocagne. Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 48, 1947, 3–36. (Analogues: Old French and Middle Dutch poems on the same theme.)
  4. R. H. Robbins, Historical Poems of the XIVth and XVth centuries. Oxford 1959, 120–127 (47).
  5. J. A. Bennett and G. V. Smithers, Early Middle English Verse and Prose. 2nd edn. Oxford 1968, 136–144.
  6. Angela M. Lucas (ed.), Anglo-Irish Poems of the Middle Ages. Dublin 1995. (The Land of Cokaygne).
  7. Herman Pleij, Dreaming of Cockaigne, Medieval Fantasies of the Perfect Life. Transl. by Diane Webb, New York 2001 (Texts and translation of the Dutch versions).
  8. For a translation of 'The Land of Cockaygne' (with further information and notes) see the website of 'Wessex Parallel Texts': (
    Secondary Literature
  1. J. M. Schipper, Englische Metrik in historischer und systematischer Entwicklung I: AE Metrik, E. Strauss, Bonn 1882.
  2. J. Poeschel, Das Märchen vom Schlaraffenlande. Paul and Braune's Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur V, 1898, 398–427.
  3. E. K. Chambers and F. Sidgwick (eds.), Early English Lyrics, Amorous, Divine, Moral and Trivial, London, 1907–21.
  4. A. W. Ward and A. R. Waller (eds.), The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes, 1907–21, New York. Volume I, From the Beginnings to the Cycles of Romance, XVII, Later Transition English, paragraph 4, The Land of Cokaygne. (Online on
  5. H. M. R. Murray (ed.), Erthe upon Erthe, Early English Text Society original series 141, London 1911, repr 1964.
  6. J. E. Wells, A Manual of Writings in Middle English, 1050–1400 with nine supplements, Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, New Haven, 1916–51.
  7. E. B. Fitzmaurice, OFM, and A. G. Little, Materials for the History of the Franciscan Province in Ireland 1230–1450, Manchester 1920.
  8. C. Brown (ed.), Religious Lyrics of the XIVth Century, Oxford 1924.
  9. A. Graf, Miti, Leggende, e Superstizioni del Medio Evo. Torino 1925, 169–75.
  10. Jeremiah J. Hogan, The English Language in Ireland. Dublin 1927.
  11. St John Seymour, Anglo-Irish Literature 1200–1582. Cambridge 1929.
  12. C. Brown (ed.), English Lyrics of the XIIIth Century, Oxford 1932.
  13. R. H. Robbins, The Earliest English Carols and the Franciscans, Modern Language Notes 53 (1935) 239–45.
  14. R. H. Robbins, The Authors of the Middle English Religious Lyrics, Journal of English and Germanic Philology 39 (1940) 230–38.
  15. H. R. Patch, The Other World. Harvard/Mass. 1950 7–22, 134–74.
  16. R. H. Robbins (ed.), Secular Lyrics of the XIVth and XVth Centuries, Oxford 1952.
  17. Russell Alspach, Irish Poetry from the English Invasion to 1798. Philadelphia 1959, 14ff. (Cites discussions of provenance and identity of 'Friar Michael' in Crofton Croker, Popular Songs of Ireland. London, 1886, 262–71.)
  18. A. J. Otway-Ruthven, The Medieval County of Kildare, Ir. Hist. Stud. 11 (1959) 181–99.
  19. Thomas Jay Garbáty, Studies in the Franciscan 'The Land of Cokaygne' in the Kildare MS., Franziskanische Studien Heft 1–2, 1963, 139–163.
  20. A. McIntosh and M. L. Samuels, Prolegomena to a Study of Medieval Anglo-Irish, Medium Aevum 37 (1968) 1–11.
  21. R. Woolf, The English Religious Lyric in the Middle Ages, Oxford 1968.
  22. Clifford Davidson, The Sins of the Flesh in the Fourteenth-Century Middle English 'Land of Cokaygne', Ball State University Forum 11, No. 4 (1970) 21–26.
  23. A. Gwynn and R. N. Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses in Ireland, London 1970, repr. 1988.
  24. C. Sisam and K. Sisam (eds.), The Oxford Book of Medieval Verse, Oxford 1970.
  25. T. Silverstein (ed.), Medieval English Lyrics, Edward Arnold, London 1971.
  26. P. L. Henry, Land of Cokaygne. Studia Hibernica 12 (1972) 120–41.
  27. G. Bullough, Later History of Cokaigne - influence of Land of Cokaigne. Festschrift for Prof. Herbert Koziol. Stuttgart/Wien 1973.
  28. D. Gray (ed.), A Selection of Religious Lyrics, Oxford 1975.
  29. Tom D. Hill, Parody and Theme in Land of Cokaygne. Notes & Queries 22, 1975.
  30. J. Burrow (ed.), English Verse 1300–1500, London 1977.
  31. Thérèse Saint Paul, Satire des gens de Kildare, MS Harley 913. Transl. by Thérèse Saint Paul, University of Pennsylvania, 1979.
  32. Jacques De Caluwé, Mélanges de langue et littérature françaises du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance offerts à Charles Foulon par ses collègues, ses élèves et ses amis. L'élément irlandais dans la version moyen-anglaise de The Land of Cockaygne [Cocagne III]. Rennes 1980, 89–98.
  33. P. R. Robinson, The Booklet: A Self-Contained Unit in Composite Manuscripts, Codicologica 3 (1980) 46–69.
  34. A. N. Jeffares, Anglo-Irish Literature. London 1982.
  35. Alan Bliss, Language and Literature, in: James Lydon (ed.), The English in Medieval Ireland, Dublin 1984, 27–45.
  36. D. L. d'Avray, The Preaching of the Friars. Oxford 1985.
  37. S. Wenzel, Preachers, Poets and The Early English Lyrics, Princeton, New Jersey 1986.
  38. Alan Bliss and Joseph Long, Literature in Norman French and English to 1534, in: Art Cosgrove (ed.), A New History of Ireland Vol II: Medieval Ireland 1169–1534. Oxford 1987, 708–736.
  39. Evelyn Mullally, Hiberno-Norman literature and its public, in: John Bradley (ed.), Settlement and Society in Medieval Ireland: Studies presented to F. X. Martin. Kilkenny 1988, 327–43.
  40. M. Benskin, The Style and Autorship of the Kildare Poems, (1) Pers of Bermingham, in: In Other Words. Transcultural Studies in Philology, Translation and Lexicography, presented to H.H. Meier on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday. ed. J. L. Mackenzie and R. Todd, Dordrecht 1989, 57–75.
  41. Augustine Valkenburg, The Kildare poems. Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society and Surrounding Districts Vol. XVII (1989–91) 30–33.
  42. M. Benskin, The Hands of the Kildare Poems' Manuscript. Irish University Review 20 (1990) 163–193.
  43. A. M. Lucas and P. J. Lucas, Reconstructing a Disarranged Manuscript: The Case of MS Harley 913, a Medieval Hiberno-English Miscellany, Scriptorium 14 (1990) 286–99.
  44. T. P. Dolan, The Literature of Norman Ireland, in S. Deane et al, The Field Day Anthology, I, Field Day, Derry 1991, 141–70.
  45. R. Hickey, The Beginnings of Irish English, Folia Linguistica Historica 14/1–2 (1993) 213–38.
  46. K. Reichl, Satire und politische Lyrik in der anglo-irischen Kildare-Handschrift [Hs. BL Harley 913]. In: Cormeau, Christoph (ed.), Zeitgeschehen und seine Darstellung im Mittelalter=L'actualité et sa représentation au Moyen [Acirc ]ge (Bonn: 1995) 173–99.
  47. Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, and Denise Despres, Iconography and the Professional Reader: The Politics of Book Production in the Douce 'Piers Plowman'. Minneapolis 1999 [This reference was kindly supplied by Deborah Hatfield-Moore].
  48. Deborah Hatfield-Moore, Paying the minstrel: a cultural study of B.L. MS Harley 913. Ph.D. Thesis, Queen's University Belfast 2001.
  49. Colmán Ó Clabaigh OSB, The Franciscans in Ireland 1400–1534: From Reform to Reformation (Maynooth History Studies Series), Dublin 2002.
    The edition of the digital edition.
  1. Anglo-Irish Poems of the Middle Ages. Unknown Angela M. Lucas (ed.), Anglo-Irish Poems of the Middle Ages. [One volume.] The Columba PressDublin (1995)


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CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

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This edition represents pp. 46-172 of Angela Lucas's edition; the editorial text has been retained.

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The electronic text represents the edited text.


Direct speech is marked as q except when crossing the line tags boundaries, in which case it is marked '...' .


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div0=the group of poems. div1=the individual poem. Metrical lines and quatrains are marked and numbered.


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Profile Description

Created: By an unknown author (1330s)

Use of language

Language: [EN] The poems are in Middle English.
Language: [LA] A few words are in Latin, especially in poem no. 17.

Revision History

Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: E300000-001

Anglo-Irish poems of the Middle Ages: The Kildare Poems: Author: [unknown]

The Land of Cokaygne

{MS fol 3r}

    1. 1] Fur in see bi west Spayngne
      Is a lond ihote Cokaygne.
      Ther nis lond vnder heuen riche
      Of wel, of godnis hit iliche.
      5] Thogh Paradis be miri and bright,
      Cokaygn is of fairir sight.
      What is ther in Paradis
      Bot grasse and flure and grene ris?
      Thogh ther be joi and gret dute,
      10] Ther nis met bote frute;
      Ther nis halle, bure no benche,
      Bot watir man is thursto quenche.
      Beth ther no men bot two,
      Hely and Enok also;
      15] Elinglich mai he go,
      Whar ther wonith men no mo.
    2. In Cokaigne is met and drink,
      With-vte care, how and swink.
      The met is trie, the drink is clere,
      20] To none, russin and sopper.
      I sigge for-soth, boute were,
      Ther nis lond on erthe is pere,
      Vnder heuen nis lond iwisse,
      Of so mochil joi and blisse.
      {MS fol 3v}
      25] Ther is mani swete sighte,
      Al is dai, nis ther no nighte.
      Ther nis baret nother strif,
      Nis ther no deth ac euer lif.
      Ther nis lac of met no cloth,
      30] Ther nis man no womman wroth.
      Ther nis serpent, wolf no fox,
      Hors no capil, kowe no ox,
      Ther nis schepe, no swine, no gote
      Ne non horwgh, la, God it wote.
      35] Nother harace nother stode.
      The lond is ful of other gode:
      Nis ther flei, fle no lowse
      In cloth, in toune, bed no house
      Ther nis dunnir, slete no hawle,
      40] No non vile worme no snawile,
      No non storm, rein no winde.
      Ther nis man no womman blinde.
      Ok al is game, joi and gle.
      Wel is him that ther mai be!
      45] Ther beth riuers gret and fine
      Of oile, melk, honi and wine.
      Watir seruith ther to no thing,
      Bot to sight and to waiissing.
      Ther is maner frute,
      50] Al is solas and dedute.
    3. {MS fol 4r}
    4. Ther is a wel fair abbei
      Of white monkes and of grei.
      Ther beth bowris and halles.
      Al of pasteiis beth the walles,
      55] Of fleis, of fisse and rich met,
      The likfullist that man mai et.
      Fluren cakes beth the schingles alle
      Of cherche, cloister, boure and halle,
      The pinnes beth fat podinges,
      60] Rich met to princez and kinges.
      Man mai ther-of et inogh
      Al with right and noght with wogh.
      Al is commune to yung and old,
      To stoute and sterne, mek and bold.
      65] Ther is a cloister fair and light,
      Brod and lang of sembli sight.
      The pilers of that cloister alle
      Beth iturned of cristale.
      With har bas and capitale
      70] Of grene Jaspe and rede corale.
      In the praer is a tre,
      Swithe likful forto se.
      The rote is gingeuir and galingale,
      The siouns beth al sedwale,
      75] Trie maces beth the flure,
      The rind canel of swet odur,
      {MS fol 4v}
      The frute gilofre of gode smakke.
      Of cucubes ther nis no lakke.
      Ther beth rosis of rede ble,
      80] And lilie likful forto se.
      Thai faloweth neuer dai no night,
      This aght be a swet sight!
      Ther beth foure willis in the abbei
      Of triacle and halwei,
      85] Of baum and ek piement.
      Euer ernend to right rent
      Of thai stremis al the molde,
      Stonis preciuse and golde.
      Ther is saphir and vniune,
      90] Carbuncle and astiune,
      Smaragde, lugre and prassiune,
      Beril, onix, topasiune,
      Ametist and crisolite,
      Calcedun and epetite.
    5. 95] Ther beth briddes mani and fale:
      Throstil, thruisse and nightingale,
      Chalandre and wodwale,
      And other briddes with-out tale,
      That stinteth neuer bi har might
      {MS fol 5r}
      100] Miri to sing, dai and night.
      Yite I do yow mo to witte:
      The gees irostid on the spitte
      Fleez to that abbai, God hit wot,
      And gredith: ‘Gees al hote, al hote!’
      105] Hi bringeth garlek gret plente,
      The best idight that man mai se.
      The leuerokes that beth cuth,
      Lightith adun to man is muth
      Idight in stu ful swithe wel,
      110] Pudrid with gilofre and canel.
      Nis no spech of no drink,
      Ak take inogh with-vte swink.
      Whan the monkes geeth to Masse,
      Al the fenestres that beth of glasse
      115] Turneth in-to cristal bright,
      To yiue monkes more light.
      Whan the Masses beth iseiid,
      And the bokes up ileiid,
      The cristal turnith in-to glasse,
      120] In state that hit rather wasse.
      The yung monkes euch dai
      Aftir met goth to plai.
      Nis ther hauk no fule so swifte
      Bettir fleing bi the lifte
      125] Than the monkes heigh of mode,
      {MS fol 5v}
      With har sleuis and har hode.
      Whan the abbot seeth ham flee,
      That he holt for moch glee.
      Ak natheles al ther amang,
      130] He biddeth ham light to euesang.
      The monkes lightith noght adun
      Ak furre fleeth in o randun.
      Whan the abbot him iseeth
      That is monkes fram him fleeth,
      135] He taketh maidin of the route
      And turnith vp hir white toute,
      And betith the taburs with is hond
      To make is monkes light to lond.
      Whan is monkes that iseeth,
      140] To the maid dun hi fleeth
      And geth the wench al abute,
      And thakketh al hir white toute.
      And sith aftir her swinke
      Wendith meklich hom to drink,
      145] And geth to har collacione,
      A wel fair processione.
    6. An-other abbei is ther-bi,
      For-soth a gret fair nunnerie,
      {MS fol 6r}
      Vp a riuer of swet milke,
      150] Whar is plente gret of silk.
      Whan the somer is dai is hote,
      The yung nunnes takith a bote
      And doth ham forth in that riuer,
      Both with oris and with stere.
      155] Whan hi beth fur fram the abbei,
      Hi makith ham nakid forto plai,
      And lepith dune in-to the brimme
      And doth ham sleilich forto swimme.
      The yung monketh that hi seeth,
      160] Hi doth ham vp and forth hi fleeth
      And commith to the nunnes anon,
      And euch monke him taketh on
      And snellich berith forth har prei
      To the mochil grei abbei,
      165] And techith the nunnes an oreisun
      With iambleue vp and dun.
      The monke that wol be stalun gode
      And kan set a-right is hode,
      He schal hab, with-oute danger,
      170] Twelve wiues euche yere,
      Al throgh right and noght throgh grace,
      For-to do him-silf solace.
      {MS fol 6v}
      And thilke monke that slepith best,
      And doth is likham al to rest,
      175] Of him is hoppe, Got hit wote,
      To be sone Uadir Abbot.
    7. Whose wl com that lond to,
      Ful grete penaunce he mot do:
      Seue yere in swine is dritte
      180] He mote wade, wol ye iwitte,
      Al anon vp to the chynne,
      So he schal the lond winne.
      Lordings gode and hend,
      Mot ye neuer of world wend,
      185] Fort ye stond to yure cheance
      And fulfille that penance,
      That ye mote that lond i-se
      And neuer more turne a-ye.
      Prey we God so mote hit be,
      190] Amen, pur seint charite.
    8. Finit.

Five Hateful Things

{MS fol 6v}

    1. 1] Bissop lorles,
      Kyng redeles,
      Yung man rechles,
      Old man witles,
      5] Womman ssamles—
      I swer bi heuen Kyng,
      Thos beth fiue lither thing.


{MS fol 7r}

    1. 1] Hail, Seint Michel with the lange sper!
      Fair beth the winges vp thi scholder.
      Thou hast a rede kirtel a-non to thi fote,
      Thou ert best angle that euer God makid.
      This uers is ful wel iwroght.
      Hit is of wel furre y-broght.
    2. 7] Hail, Seint Cristofre with thi lang stake!
      Thou ber Ur Louerd Jesus Crist ouer the brod lake.
      Mani grete kunger swimmeth abute thi fete.
      Hou mani hering to peni at West Chep in London?
      This uers is of Holi Writte,
      Hit com of noble witte.
    3. 13] Seint Mari bastard, the Maudelein is sone,
      To be wel iclothed wel was thi wone.
      Thou berrist a box on thi hond ipeinted al of gold.
      Woned thou wer to be hend, yiue us sum of thi spices.
      This uers is imakid wel,
      Of consonans and wowel.
    4. 19] Hail, Seint Dominik with thi lang staffe!
      Hit is at the ouir end crokid as a gaffe.
      Thou berrist a bok on thi bak, Ich wen hit is a Bible.
      Thogh thou be a gode clerk, be thou noght to heigh.
      Trie rime la, god hit wote!
      Soch an-othir an erthe Inote.
    5. 25] Hail, Seint Franceis with thi mani foulis—
      Kites and crowis, reuenes and oules,
      Fure and tuenti wildges and a poucok!
      Mani bold begger siwith thi route.
      This uers is ful wel isette,
      Swithe furre hit was i-vette.
    6. {MS fol 7v}
    7. 31] Hail be ye freris with the white copis!
      Ye habbith a hus at Drochda war men makith ropis.
      Euir ye beth roilend the londis al a-bute;
      Of the watir daissers ye robbith the churchis.
      Maister he was swithe gode
      That this sentence vnderstode.
    8. 37] Hail be ye Gilmins with yur blake gunes!
      Ye leuith the wildirnis and filleth the tiuns.
      Menur with-oute and prechur with-inne,
      Yur abite is of gadering, that is mochil schame.
      Sleilich is this uers iseid.
      Hit were harme adun ileiid.
    9. 43] Hail, ye holi monkes with yur corrin,
      Late and rathe ifillid of ale and wine!
      Depe cun ye bouse, that is al yure care.
      With Seint Benet is scurge lome ye disciplineth.
      Taketh hed al to me:
      That this is sleche, ye mow wel se.
    10. 49] Hail be ye nonnes of Seint Mari house,
      Goddes bourmaidnes and his owen spouse!
      Ofte mistredith ye yur schone, yur fet beth ful tendre;
      Datheit the sotter that tawith yure lethir!
      Swithe wel ye vnderstode
      That makid this ditee so gode.
    11. 55] Hail be ye prestis with yur brode bokes!
      Thogh yur crune be ischaue, fair beth yur crokes.
      Yow and other lewid men deleth bot a-houue,
      Whan ye delith holibrede, yiue me botte a litel.
      Sikerlich he was a clerk
      That wrochte this craftilich werke.
    12. {MS fol 8r}
    13. 61] Hail be ye marchans with yur gret packes
      Of draperie, auoir depeise, and yur wol sackes,
      Gold, siluer, stones, riche markes and ek pundes!
      Litel yiue ye ther-of to the wrech pouer.
      Sleigh he was and ful of witte
      That this lore put in writte.
    14. 67] Hail be ye tailurs with yur scharpe schores!
      To make wronge hodes ye kittith lome gores.
      Ayens mid winter hote beth yur neldes.
      Thogh yur semes semith fair, hi lestith litil while.
      The clerk that this baston wrowghte,
      Wel he woke and slepe righte nowghte.
    15. 73] Hail be ye sutters with your mani lestes,
      With your blote hides of selcuth bestis,
      And trobles and treisuses, bochevampe and alles!
      Blak and lothlich beth yur teth, hori was that route.
      Nis this bastun wel ipight?
      Euch word him sitte arighte.
    16. 79] Hail be ye skinners with yure drench kiue!
      Who-so smillith therto, wo is him aliue,
      Whan that hit thonnerith ye mote ther in schite.
      Datheit yur curteisie, ye stinketh al the strete!
      Worth hit were that he wer king
      That ditid this trie thing.
    17. 85] Hail be ye potters with yur bole ax!
      Fair beth yur barmhatres, yolow beth yur fax.
      Ye stondith at the schamil, brod ferlich bernes,
      Fleiis yow folowithe, ye swolowith y-now.
      The best clerk of al this tun
      Craftfullich makid this bastun
    18. {MS fol 8v}
    19. 91] Hail be ye bakers with yur louis smale
      Of white bred and of blake, ful mani and fale!
      Ye pincheth on the right white a-yens Goddes law.
      To the fair pillori, Ich rede ye, tak hede!
      This uers is iwrowghte so well,
      That no tung iwis mai telle.
    20. 97] Hail be ye brewesters with yur galuns,
      Potels and quartes ouer al the tounes!
      Yur thowmes berrith moche awai, schame hab the gyle,
      Beth iwar of the coking stole, the lak is dep and hori.
      Sikerlich he was a clerk
      That so sleilich wroghte this werk.
    21. 103] Hail be ye hokesters dun bi the lake,
      With candles and golokes and the pottes blak,
      Tripis and kine fete and schepen heuedes!
      With the hori tromcheri hori is yure inne.
      He is sori of his lif
      That is fast to such a wif.
    22. 109] Fi a debles, kaites that kemith the wolle,
      Al the schindes of the tronn an heigh opon yur sculle!
      Ye makid me sech a goshorne ouer al the wowes,
      Ther-for Ich makid on of you sit opon a hechil.
      He was noble clerk and gode
      That this dep lore vnderstode.
    23. 115] Makith glad mi frendis, ye sitteth to long stille,
      Spekith now and gladieth and drinkith al yur fille!
      Ye habbeth ihird of men lif that wonith in lond;
      Drinkith dep and makith glade, ne hab ye non other nede.
      This song is y-seid of me.
      Euer iblessid mot ye be.
    24. Explicit.

Song of Michael of Kildare

{MS fol 9r}

    1. 1] Swet Jesus hend and fre,
      That was i-strawght on rode tre,
      Nowthe and euer mid vs be
      And vs schild form sinne.
      Let thou noght to helle te
      Thai that beth her-inne.
      So bright of ble thou hire me,
      Hoppe of alle mankynne!
      Do us i-se the Trinite
      And heuene riche to winne.
    2. 11] This world is loue is gon awai
      So dew on grasse in someris dai,
      Few ther beth, weilawai,
      That louith Goddis lore.
      Al we beth iclung so clai,
      We schold rew that sore.
      Prince and king, what, wenith thai
      To libbe euir-more?
      Leueth your plai and crieth ai:
      Jesu Crist, thin ore!
    3. 21] Alas, alas, the riche men,
      Of muk whi wol ye fille yur denne?
      Wende ye to ber hit henne?
      Nai, so mote I thriue!
      Ye sulle se that al is fenne,
      The catel of this liue.
      To Criste ye ren and falleth o knen
      That wondis tholiid fiue,
      For ye beth trenne worthi to brenne
      In bitter helle kiue.
    4. 31] Godde yow hauith to erthe isent,
      Litel dwel yov hauith ilent,
      He schal wit how hit is spent,
      I rede yow, tak hede.
      If hit be hidde ye beth i-schent,
      For helle worth yur mede.
      The bow is bend, the fire i-tend
      To yow, if ye beth gnede.
      Bot yeu a-mend, ye sul be wend
      In euer glowind glede.
    5. 41] Pouir was thin in-comming,
      So ssal be thin oute-going.
      Thou ne ssalt of thi thing
      A peni ber to molde.
      That is a rewful tithing,
      whose hit hire wold.
      Louerd king, to hori ding
      What makith man so hold?
      In pining yiue a ferthing
      He ne sal, thegh he wold.
    6. 51] Riche man be-thenche the,
      Take gode hede wat thou be!
      Thou ne art but a brotil tre
      Of schorte seuen fote,
      I-schrid with-vte with gold and fe,
      The ax is at the rote.
      The fent vn-fre halt al to gle
      This tre adun to rote.
      So mote Ich the, Ich rede the, fle,
      And do thi sowle is bote.
    7. {MS fol 9v}
    8. 61] Now thou art in ro and rest,
      Of al the lond thou art the mest,
      Thou doist no streinth of God is hest.
      Of deth whi neltov thenche?
      Whan thou wenist libbe best,
      Thi bodi deth sal qwench.
      The pouir chest ssal bi thi nest
      That sittist bold a bench.
      Est and West schal be thi qwest,
      Ne might thou nothing blench.
    9. 71] Be thou barun other knighte,
      Thou salt be a sorful wight;
      Whan thou liste in bere itight
      In fulle pouer wede,
      Nastou nother main no mighte;
      Whil thou no man drede,
      With sorwghful sight - and that is righte—
      To erthe me sul the lede.
      Than ssal thi light turn into nighte
      Bethench, man! This I red.
    10. 81] The pouer man bit uche dai
      Gode of the and thou seeist ai:
      'Begger, wend a deuil wai,
      Thou deuist al min ere!'
      Hungir-bitte he goth a-wai
      With mani sorful tere.
      A wailowai! thou clotte of clai!
      Whan thou list on bere,
      Of fow no grai, no rede no rai,
      Nastov bot a here.
    11. 91] Crist tellith in Holy Writte
      That a man of withir witte
      Ibiriid was in helle pitte
      That in this lif was riche.
      Ssal he neuer than flitte
      Fram the sorful diche.
      He sal sitte in helle flitte
      With-oute wyn and miche,
      The fent sal sitte is knot to knitte
      Sore mai he skriche.
    12. 101] The pouer man goth bi-for the,
      Al idriid als a tre,
      And gredith: 'Louerd help me!
      Hunger me hauith ibund.
      Let me dei, pur charite,
      Ibroght Ich am to grund.'
      So mot I the, and Crist ise,
      If he dei that stund,
      His lif sal be icrauid of the,
      Thegh thou yif him no wonde.
    13. 111] I the rede: rise and wake
      Of the hori sinne lake.
      If thou be ther-in itake,
      I-wisse thou schalt to helle,
      To woni with the fentis blake
      In that sorful wille.
      Thi wei thou make, thou dri the stake,
      To prest thi sinnes telle,
      So wo and wrake sal fram the rake,
      With fendis grimme and felle.
    14. 121] If in sinne thi liue is ladde,
      To do penance ne be noght sadde.
      Who-so doth, he nis noght madde,
      As Holy Church vs techithe.
      Therof be thou noght a-dradde,
      Crist sal be thi lech.
      Thus Crist us radde, that rode spradde,
      With a blisful spech.
      Whan He so bad, thou might be gladde,
      Ne louith He no wreche.
    15. {MS fol 10r}
    16. 131] Jesu, King of heuen fre,
      Euer iblessid mot thou be!
      Louerd, I besech the,
      To me thou tak hede.
      Fram dedlich sinne thou yem me,
      While I libbe on lede!
      The Maid fre that bere the
      So swetlich vnder wede,
      Do vs to se the Trinite—
      Al we habbeth nede!
    17. 141] This Sang wroght a frere menour
      Jesus Crist be is socure!
      Louerd, bring him to the toure—
      Frere Michel Kyldare;
      Schild him fram helle boure,
      Whan he sal hen fare!
      Leuedi, flur of al honur,
      Cast a-wei is care,
      Fram the schoure of pinis sure,
      Thou sild him her and thare! Amen.


{MS fol 16r}

    1. 1] The grace of Godde and Holi Chirche
      Throgh uertu of the Trinite,
      Yif ous grace soch workes to wirche,
      That helplich to ure sowles be.
    2. 5] Thes wordes that Ich speke nou laste—
      In Latin hit is iwritte in boke—
      Wel mow de drede and be agast,
      The dede beth so lolich to loke.
    3. 9] Ther-for he seiith: 'A, man, hab munde
      That of this lif ther commith ende!
      Of erthe and axen is ure kunde,
      And in-to duste we schullith wende.'
    4. 13] So seith Seint Bernard in his boke,
      And techith vs ofte and lome
      To be hend, if we wold loke—
      Wel file hit is that of us come.
    5. 17] Man, loke thin ein and thi nosse,
      Thi mouth, thin eris al aboute!
      Fram thi girdel to thi hosse,
      Hit is wel vile that commith vte.
    6. 21] Man, of thi schuldres and of thi side
      Thou mighte hunti luse and flee.
      Of such a park I ne hold no pride.
      The dere nis naughte that thou mighte sle.
    7. 25] If thou ert prute, man, of thi fleisse
      Othir of thi velle that is with-oute,
      Thi fleisse nis naghte bot worm is meisse.
      Of such a thing whi ert thou prute?
    8. {MS fol 16v}
    9. 29] Wormis of thi fleisse schul spring,
      Thi felle with-oute nis bot a sakke,
      Ipudrid ful with drit and ding
      That stinketh lolich and is blakke.
    10. 33] Sire, whar-of is the gentil man
      Of eni other than of this?
      Him-silf mei se, if gode he can,
      For he sal find that so hit is.
    11. 37] That hit be soth and noght les,
      Thou loke thi neghbor, whare and how?
      Thou loke in is biriles,
      He was prute, as ert thou.
    12. 41] Whate prude saltou se thar
      Bot stench and wormis i-crop in dritte?
      Of such a sight we aght be-ware,
      And in vre hert hit hab i-writte.
    13. 45] Silk no sendale nit the none,
      No bise no no meniuer,
      Ther nis no thing a-boute the bone
      To yeme that was ihudded here.
    14. 49] The wikid wede that was abute
      The wormis that hit habbith al for-soght.
      Alas, whar-of is man so prute,
      Whan al is pride sal turne to noght?
    15. 53] If man is prute of world is welle
      Ihc hold a fole that he be.
      Hit commith, hit goth, hit nis bot dwelle,
      Bot dritte, gile and wanite.
    16. {MS fol 17r}
    17. 57] Lo! That catel nis bote gile,
      Trewlich ye mov isee.
      He nel be felaw bot a while,
      Thou salt him leue, other he sal the.
    18. 61] Hit is mi rede, whil thou him hast,
      Thou spen it wel that helplich be
      For god. Bot thou nelt at the last,
      Other men sulle aftir the.
    19. 65] Nouthe other mister men ther beth,
      Throgh couetise hi beth iblend
      That wer leuer wend to the deth
      Than spene the gode that God ham send.
    20. 69] Thogh man hit hab, hit nis noght his,
      Hit nis ilend him bot alone
      Fort to libbe is lit, i-wisse,
      And help the nedful that nath non.
    21. 73] Nou mani wrecche be-commith thralle,
      Hi nul noght spene, bot yime in store.
      Be-com hi beth the deuil is thralle,
      Night and dai hi libbith in sore.
    22. 77] For night and dai is al har thoght
      How hi hit mow hab and winne,
      Fast to hold and spene right noghte,
      And ledith euer har lif in pinne.
    23. 81] The wrechis wringit the mok so fast,
      Up ham silf hi nul noght spened.
      Yit hi sul dei at the last
      And to the deuil hi sul wend.
    24. {MS fol 17v}
    25. 85] Sith such a wringer goth to helle
      For litil gode that nis noght his,
      Whate mai Ich bi the riche man telle,
      That ledith al is lif in blisse?
    26. 89] Hit is as ethe forto bring
      A camel in-to the neld is ei
      As a rich man to bring
      In-to the blisse that is an hei.
    27. 93] Theigh man be rich of lond and lede
      And holdeth festis ofte and lome,
      Hit nis no doute he sal be dede,
      To yeld recning at the Dome.
    28. 97] Ye, sulle we yive a-cuntis
      Of al that we habbith ibe here,
      Ye, of a verthing, soth iwisse,
      Of al thi time fram yer to yere.
    29. 101] And bot thou hit hab ispend aright
      The gode that God the hath ilend,
      Of Jesus Criste thou lesist the sight,
      To helle pine thou worthe isend.
    30. 105] Of helle pine we aght be-ware
      And euer more hit hab in thoght,
      Ac non nel be other i-ware,
      For ham silf be in ibroght.
    31. 109] Theigh freris prech of heuen and helle,
      Of ioi and pine to mani man,
      Al that him thenchit bot dwelle,
      As men tellith of Wlonchargan.
    32. {MS fol 18r}
    33. 113] Ak yite that ilk dai sal be
      Ther nis non that nold him hide,
      So sore we sul drede to se
      The wondis of Iesus Crist is side.
    34. 117] His hondes, is fete sul ren of blode,
      Thou woldist fle, thou ne might noght than.
      The sper, the nailes and the rode
      Sal crie: ‘Tak wrech of sinful man!’
    35. 121] The erthe, the watir than sal sprede
      Route and driue al for-wode;
      'Nov Iesus Crist, we sul the wrekke
      Of sinful man that sadde thi blode!'
    36. 125] Bothe fire and wind lude sal crie:
      'Louerd, nov let us go to,
      For Ich wl blow, the fire sal berne
      Vp sinful man that hath misdo!'
    37. 129] Heuen and erthe sal crie and grede,
      And helle sal berne, thou salt ise,
      O! sinful man, wo worth thi rede,
      Whan al this wrech sal be for the!
    38. 133] Hit is so grisful forto loke
      And forto hir the bittir dome,
      Angles sul quake, so seith the boke,
      And that thou hirist of and lome.
    39. 137] Sei, sinful man, whi neltou leue
      That al thing sal com to hepe?
      Wel aght thi hert throgh-ute cleue,
      Thin eiine blodi teris wepe.
    40. {MS fol 18v}
    41. 141] Hit is to late, whan thou ert thare,
      To crie: ‘Jesu, thin ore!’
      While thou ert here, be wel iware,
      Vn-do thin hert and liue is lore.
    42. 145] Vn-do thin hert that is iloke
      With couetise and prvde ther-an,
      And thench thos wordis her ispoke.
      Foryite ham noght, ac thench apan.
    43. 149] And bot thou nelt thench her-apan
      Fort vnderfong gode lore,
      I-wis, for-soth as thou ert man,
      Thou salt hit rew bitter and sore.
    44. 153] Man is lif nis bot a schade,
      Nov he is and nov he nis.
      Loke how he mei be glade,
      Thogh al this world might be his.
    45. 157] Wold he thench, the vnseli man,
      In-to this world what he broghte?
      A stinkind felle ilappid ther-an,
      Wel litel bettir than right noght.
    46. 161] What is the gode that he sal hab,
      Oute of this world whan he sal go?
      A wikid wede—whi sold I gab?—
      For he ne broght with him no mo.
    47. 165] Right as he com, he sal wend,
      In wo and pine and pouerte.
      Takith gode hede, man, to yur end,
      For as I sigge, so hit sal be.
    48. {MS fol 19r}
    49. 169] I note whar-of is man so prute
      Of erthe, axin, fel and bone,
      For be the soule enis oute,
      A uiler caraing nis ther non.
    50. 173] Mani man thenchit on is thoght
      He nel noght leue his eir al bare.
      His eir sal fail and ber right noghte,
      And wast the gode wel wide-whare.
    51. 177] Ich warne the for i-sold hit sal—
      At that thou wan here with pine—
      A brothin eir sal wast it al,
      And be al otheris that was thine.
    52. 181] Nouth sith that the world nis noght
      And catel nis bot vanite,
      Haue God in ur thoght,
      And of the catel be we fre.
    53. 185] Anourith God and Holy Chirch,
      And helpith thai that habith nede;
      So God is wil we sul wirch,
      The ioi of heuen hab to mede.
    54. 189] What is the ioi that man sal hab,
      If his life he spenith wel?
      Soth to sigge, and noght to gab,
      Ther nis no tunge that hit mai tel.
    55. 193] If I sal tel al that I can,
      In Holi Boke as we can rede,
      Hit is a ioi that fallit to man,
      Of hel pine he ne dar drede.
    56. {MS fol 19v}
    57. 197] The man that mai to heuen com
      The swete solas forto se,
      Seue sithis brightir than the sun
      In heuen sal man is soule be.
    58. 201] His bodi sal ther be al-so
      So fair and strang, ye mou wel leue,
      Iuil is euer fur him fro,
      Ther nis no thing that him sal greue.
    59. 205] To met no drink ther nis no nede,
      No for no hungir he ne sal kar.
      The sighte of God him sal fede.
      Hit is wel miri to woni thar.
    60. 209] Ther beth woningis mani and fale,
      Gode and betir, tak god hede.
      The last word bint the tale;
      Wo best mai do, best is his mede.
    61. 213] Heuen is heigh, bothe lange and wide,
      Mani angles ther beth an,
      Bothe ioi and blis in euch side.
      Ther-in sal woni gode Cristin man.
    62. 217] The lest ioi that ther is in:
      A man sal know is owin frend,
      Is wif, is fader, and al is kin.
      Of al this ioi ther nis non end.
    63. {MS fol 20r}
    64. 221] We sal se Oure Leuedi brighte,
      So fulle of loue, ioi and blisse,
      That of hir neb sal spring the lighte
      In-to oure hert, that ioi iwisse.
    65. 225] The sighte of the Trinite
      The mest ioi that mai be-falle,
      Bothe God and Man in mageste,
      The heigh king aboue vs alle.
    66. 229] The sight of Him is ure vode,
      The sight of Him is ure virst,
      Al ure iois beth ful gode,
      The sight of him is alir best.
    67. 233] Be-seche we Him mek of mode,
      That soke the milke of Maid is brest,
      That boght us with is der blode,
      Yiue us the ioi that euer sal lest.
    68. 237] Alle that beth icommin here
      Fort to hire this sarmun,
      Loke that ye nab no were,
      For seue yer ye habbith to pardoun.

Fifteen Signs before Judgment

{MS fol 20r}

    1. 1] The grace of Jesu fulle of mighte,
      Throgh prier of Ure swete Leuedi,
      Mote a-mang vs nuthe alighte,
      And euer vs yem and saui.
    2. 5] Man and woman, thou aghtist take gome,
      This world is ending how hit ssal be,
      The wondres that sal com be-for the Dome,
      That yung and old hit sal ise.
    3. 9] The fiftene tokingis Ichul you telle,
      As us techith Ysaie.
      The Holi Gost him taght ful welle,
      And he hit prechid for profecie.
    4. {MS fol 20v}
    5. 13] Hit is iwrit in Holi Boke,
      As clerkis hit mow se and rede,
      That no thing no man mai loke
      That is so grisful forto drede.
    6. 17] Thar nis aliue so siful man—
      If he ther-of wold tak kepe,
      And he wold thench apan—
      That nold wel sore in hert wepe.
    7. 21] Godmen, takith non gome
      Of tokninges that commith bi-for,
      The children with-in the moder wome
      Wel sore sul dute and drede ther-for.
    8. 25] With-in the moder wom hi sul grede
      Vp Jesu Criste euer to crie:
      'Louerde Crist thou red vs rede
      And of vs thou hab mercie!'
    9. 29] 'We wold, Louerd, that we ner
      In world icom forto bene,
      And vnbeyet of ure fader wer,
      That al thing nou sal suffri tene.'
    10. 33] The first tokning sal be thusse,
      Al for soth we sul hit see,
      And that other sal be wors,
      For soth ye mou wel liue me.
    11. 37] The sterris that thou sest so bright,
      In heuen aboue that sit so fast,
      For man is sin sal yiue no light,
      Ac sal adun to erthe be cast.
    12. 41] As fair and bright as thou seest ham,
      Hi worth becom as blak as cole
      And be of hiwe durke and wan,
      For man is sin hi sul thole.
    13. {MS fol 21r}
    14. 45] Ther nis aliue so stidfast man
      That ther-of ne sal agrise,
      Him to hide he ne can
      No whoder to fle, in none wise,
    15. 49] Bot as bestis that wer wode,
      A-ye othir to erne her and thare
      Forthi hi ne sul can no gode,
      See no lond hi ne sal spare.
    16. 53] Than the dede up sal arise
      Up har biriles forto sitte,
      Of thilk dai hi sul agrise,
      And lok as bestis that cun no witte.
    17. 57] The thrid dai than amorow,
      Grisful hit sal be to loke,
      Of moch weping and of sorow,
      As we fint in Holi Boke.
    18. 61] The sone that schinith so bright
      Thilk dai thou salt ise,
      Wel grene and wan sal be is light,
      And that for dred so hit sal be.
    19. 65] Abute the time of middai
      He worth as blak as the cole.
      We mov sigge ‘wailawai!’
      Moch is the pine that we sul thole.
    20. 69] The ferth dai that silf son
      Worth as rede as hit wer fire,
      For ferd of dome—that he sold come
      Bi-for Jesus the heigh Sire.
    21. 73] The fifte tokning that sal be-fal,
      That allirkin maner beste
      Wel fore hi sul quak with-al,
      Wil that ilk dai sal lest.
    22. 77] Towar heuen be-hold sul hi,
      With har mund and with har thoght,
      Of Jesu Crist merci to cri,
      Thogh that hi ne mou spek right noght.
    23. 81] Alas, Louerd, wat sul we tak,
      We that abbith sin i-wroght?
      Night and dai we aght sore quake,
      Whan we it sold thench in ure thoght.
    24. 85] The sixte dai ne lef Ich noght
      Wan thes montis and thes hille
      Al for soth hit wurth ibroght
      Thes depe dalis forto fille.
    25. 89] Ther nis castel no ture none,
      That euer was no be salle,
      Imakid was of lime and ston,
      That ne sal adun to falle;
    26. 93] No no tre in erth so fast,
      Mid al har rotis so fast ipight,
      That ne sal adun to berst,
      Thilk silue dai, er hit be night.
    27. 97] The sefthe dai hit sal grow a-ye,
      Har crop adun, har rote an hei.
      Such wondris we sul ise,
      For God is wreth that sit an hei.
    28. 101] The tren sul blede—a wonder thing—
      The thing that bodi no flesse nath non,
      For dred of the heuen King,
      Vnkundlich thing ded sal don.
    29. 105] Than sal dei bothe pouer and rich,
      Ne sal than ther with-stond no thing.
      Al we sul ben ilich,
      Bothe knight and barun, erl and king.
    30. {MS fol 21v}
    31. 109] Ne sal ther help castel no ture,
      Palfrei, chasur no no stede,
      No for al is moch honur,
      That he ne worth wel sone dede.
    32. 113] The eight dai so is dotus,
      And that ful wel thou salt se.
      Ful of tene and angus
      Al this dai so sal be.
    33. 117] Al the see sel draw ifere
      As a walle to stond up-right,
      And al thos wateris that beth here
      Sal cri merci up God almight.
    34. 121] The fissis that beth ther-in iwroght
      The see so hard sal ham to-drive,
      That he wol wene in her thoght
      That God of heuen nis noght aliue.
    35. 125] Than the see sal draw a-ye
      Into the stid ther hit was,
      And euch uerisse watir than sal be
      Becom to is owin plas.
    36. 129] The ninthe tokin sal be thus:
      The wonderis that worth thilk dai
      Ouer al that other sal deuers.
      Wate hit is Ich yow tel mai.
    37. 133] The holi man tellith, Seint Austin,
      That the skeis so sal spec than,
      Wan al thing so sal hab fine,
      In steuen as hit wer man.
    38. 137] Hi sul grede lude with-al
      In nois of man up God to cri,
      As heuen and erthe sold to-fal:
      ‘God and man, nouth merci!’
    39. 141] 'Louerd, merci of might!
      Nouth is al ur time ispend,
      For sinful man is ein sight,
      Ne let us neuer ben ischend.'
    40. 145] Ther nis no seint in heuen abow
      In al God is ferred
      That ther-of ne sal amoue,
      And of thilk tokin be aferd.
    41. 149] Thus vs tellith Seint Ieronime,
      And Seint Gregori al-so,
      That than sal quake Seraphin
      And Cherubin that beth angles two.
    42. 153] Ther nis in heuen angil, iwis,
      That to other sal hab spech,
      So sore hi worth adrad, iwis,
      Of Jesus Crist is gremful wreche.
    43. 157] Al the fendis that beth in hel
      With grete din hi wol com than,
      Har mone thou salt hire ful wel,
      Hou hi sul cri to God and man.
    44. 161] O, man and womman, thou take hede,
      Hou the fentis sul men har mone!
      Wel aghtist the fair to lede,
      Wile thou art in this wreche wone.
    45. 165] Vp Jesus Crist hi sul cri
      With such a steuen of pine and wo:
      'Louerd, yif vs ur herbergi,
      A-ye to helle let us neuer go!'
    46. 169] The ellefthe dai fure windis sul rise,
      And the rainbow than sal fal,
      That al the fentis sal of agris
      And be ifesed into helle.
    47. 173] For wolny, nulni, hi sul fle,
      And that in-to the pine of helle,
      Maugrei ham ther hi mot be,
      With duble pine therin to dwel.
    48. 177] The tuelfte dai the fure elemens sul cri
      Al in one heigh steuene:
      'Merci, Jesus, fiz Mari,
      As thou ert God and King of heuene!'

Fall and Passion

{MS fol 29v}

    1. 1] The grace of God ful of might
      That is a king and euer was,
      Mote amang vs alight
      And yiue vs alle is swet grace,
    2. 5] Me to spek and you to lere
      That hit be worsip, lord, to the;
      Me to teche and you to bere
      That helplich to ure sowles be,
    3. 9] That Ich mote with moch worthing
      Throgh is might so hit fulfille,
      To yov schow is vp-rising,
      If hit be His swet wille.
    4. 13] Al that God suffrid of pine,
      Hit nas noght for is owen gilt,
      Ok hit was, man, for sin thine
      That wer—for sin—in helle ipilt.
    5. 17] Tho Lucifer steigh in pride—
      That was angel in heuen so bright—
      Vte of heuen he gan glide,
      And in-to helle sone he lighte.
    6. 21] And with him mani an mo,
      That no tunge ne might telle,
      With him fille adune al-so
      In-to the derk pit of helle.
    7. 25] Seue daies and seue night,
      As ye seeth that fallith snowe,
      Vte of heuen he alight
      And in-to helle wer ithrow.
    8. 29] For the prude of Lucifer
      The tethe angle fille in-to helle,
      And al that to him boxum were.
      Euer in pine hi mot dwelle.
    9. 33] Har stides for to ful-fille
      That wer i-falle for prude and hore,
      God makid Adam to is wille
      To fille har stides that wer ilor.
    10. 37] Skil, resoun, and ek might
      He yef Adam in his mode,
      To be stidfast with al right,
      And leue harme and do gode.
    11. 41] God yaf him a gret maistri
      Of al that was in watir and londe,
      Of Paradis al the balye,
      Whan Him likid to is honde,
    12. 45] Foules, bestis and the frute—
      Saf o tre He him forbede—
      Of Paradis the grete dute,
      And yit he sinied throgh iuil red.
    13. 49] To him the Devil en-vie
      That he in is stid schold be broghte.
      A serpent he com throgh felonie,
      And makid Eue chonge hir thoght.
    14. 53] Whi com he rather to Eue
      Than he com to Adam?
      Ichul you telle, sires, be-leue;
      For womman is lef euer to man.
    15. {MS fol 30r}
    16. 57] Womman mai turne man is wille
      Whar yho wol pilt hir to,
      That is the resun and skille
      That the Devil com hir first to.
    17. 61] 'Ette', he seid, 'Of this appil,
      If that thou wolt witti be.
      The worth as witti of might and wille
      As God him-silf in Trinite.'
    18. 65] Hi nad bot that appil i-yette
      That the sin nas i-do.
      Glad was the Devil, wol ye iwit,
      For the sorow that he sold to.
    19. 69] Of Paradis hi wer ute pilt,
      With trauail har liuelode to winne,
      And vte flemid for har gilt,
      And neuer efte Paradis to com inne.
    20. 73] In the vale of Eboir
      His liuelod he most swink sore,
      With sorow and care and dreri won
      He liued niyen hundred yer and more.
    21. 77] Aftir is lif that he had here,
      Nedis he most wend to helle
      For the trepas that he did here.
      There he most bide and dwelle.
    22. 81] God makid mankin more,
      Ok to helle the deuil ham broght,
      And euer ham traiid throgh is lore.
      Non fram him scapid noght.
    23. 85] God is prophetis to ham send,
      And seid hov he sold be sauid,
      As bi Moyses that am wend
      A-ye the propheci yit i-sinid.
    24. 89] God wist wel bi thilk say
      That bi no man that was ycor,
      Whan bi prophetis no bi lai
      That communelich hi ne wer forlor.
    25. 93] Holi Bokis fort fulfil
      God is angle anon forth send,
      As bi angle Gabriel
      That to the Maid was iwend.
    26. 97] Flees He tok of Maid Mari,
      God and man is kund to-gadir,
      And that was a gret maistri
      That the doghtir ber the fader.
    27. 101] Maid bere heuen King
      That is al ure creatoure.
      Maid ber the swet thing,
      Ther-for sso ne les noght hir flure.
    28. 105] God Him yed an erth here
      thritti winter and somdel mo,
      As Holi Writ vs gan lere,
      He suffrid bothe pine and wo.
    29. 109] Man ayens God so gilt
      To heuen non sowle ne mighte,
      Fort God is Sone in rode was pilt
      And wan vs heuen light.
    30. {MS fol 30v}
    31. 113] Judas ne cuthe is Lord noght hold,
      His owen disciple yit he was.
      For thritti peniis he him sold.
      Ynom and ibund He was.
    32. 117] He was ibobid and i-smitte,
      And hi spette in is face.
      Hi bete him rede, if He cuthe witte,
      Woch of ham al hit was.
    33. 121] He was ibund to a tre
      And ibet with scurges kene,
      That al the blode vt gan fle.
      Ouer al is bodi hit was sene.
    34. 125] Sith hi nom Him as a thef
      And lad Him be-for Pilate,
      For He nas noght to ham lef,
      Hi had to Him grete hate.
    35. 129] Pilat bed ham do har best,
      A-ye the law be he nold,
      For no gilt bi Him he nist
      War-for deth suffri He ssold.
    36. 133] Hi nailed Him in hond and fete,
      As ye mow al i-se.
      For the appil that Adam ete
      Deth He tholid opon the tre.
    37. 137] The wikkid men nol leue noght
      That He wer fullich ded so,
      Fort that with a sper hi ad Him soght,
      And clef is swet hert atwo.
    38. 141] Ther was in the lond a knight
      That het Josep of Arimathier,
      That louid Jesus wel aright
      And thoght is wel to honuri.
    39. 145] He wend to Pilat swithe snel,
      And be-soght him mercy,
      If hit wer is wil
      The bodi grant biri.
    40. 149] Tho Pilat had igrant is bone,
      Glad y-nogh he was.
      He nem that swet bodi adoun,
      And biriid hit in a fair plas.
    41. 153] His moder stode Him be-side,
      And Seit Ion ek al-so,
      Bittir teris vte gan glide,
      Hir thoght hir hert wol atwo.
    42. 157] Hit nas no wonder thogh yo wep
      For hir swet child, al
      With nailes He was ismit dep,
      With sper hi delet Him in two.
    43. 161] Al hir joi was ago
      Tho yo Him sei dei in rode,
      For to wep yhe nad no mo
      Bot foure bitre teris of blode.
    44. {MS fol 31r}
    45. 165] Who spekith of deil a-ye that del,
      Neuer such nas ther none,
      As whan that hi him be-held,
      As yho makid and Seint Jon.
    46. 169] Sith hi seid at one mouthe
      That He wold destru temple and chirche,
      And that He was wel couthe
      That al falsnis schold wirche.
    47. 173] And vp Pilat hi cried apan,
      Euchon at one vois
      That hi schold hold Barabam
      And do Jesus on the crois.
    48. 177] In this maner He was ipinsed
      As His swet wil hit was,
      And deth for mankyn suffred.
      The thrid dai vp He ros.
    49. 181] After that He light into helle,
      Ther al the sowles wer iwisse,
      Al his frendis He broght vt al
      Into joi and heuen blis.
    50. 185] Whan in helle was Seint Jon,
      Patriarkes and other mo,
      Hit isene ther scapid non;
      Profetis that God louid also,
    51. 189] Al in helle were i-fast;
      Fort Jesus Crist throgh is mighte
      Of the pit vte He ham cast,
      And broght ham heuen lyght.
    52. 193] Throgh is deth He ouer-cam,
      As He is manhed siwed,
      —As profetis prechid in His name—
      So that He deth suffrid.
    53. 197] Tho He rose fram deth to liue,
      As tellith Daui the king,
      Is godhed He gan to kithe;
      Holi Boke tellith is up-rising.
    54. 201] Jesus was siker inogh
      That seid: ‘Erlich Ic wol right me’,
      And answard with-vt wogh,
      ‘After that, deth ouercom be’.
    55. 205] The thrid dai He ros to liue,
      Is lore riuedlich He send,
      His deciplis He makid blithe.
      Ther-after in the world ham send
    56. 209] Of His lore forto preche—
      Hou hi, lord, ssold siu the—
      And the sinful folk to tech
      Hou miri hit is to with the be.
    57. 213] Ther-after He steigh to heuen aboue,
      Ther joi is that euer lest,
      And ther He sal al vs loue
      In His swet blisful fest. Amen.

Ten Commandments

{MS fol 31v}

    1. 1] Nou, Jesus, for thi derworth blode
      That thou schaddist for mankyn,
      Yif vs grace to wirch workis gode,
      To heuen that we mot entir inn.
    2. 5] Man and womman, Ich red, be-ware,
      Yure gret othis that ye be-leue,
      And bot ye nul, God nel you spare.
      Bothe lif and catel He wol you reue.
    3. 9] Hit nis no wonder for-soth, i-wisse,
      That gret wreche ne fallith ther-fore,
      For we ne leuith of al is limmes
      That we ne habbith ham for-swore.
    4. 13] Man is wors than eni hunde,
      Other he is to wild and wode,
      That we ssold edwite is worthi wound
      That He tholid for vre gode.
    5. 17] Be aware, whose euer wol!
      Al quelme and sorow that euir is,
      At then end so find we sulle
      That for man is sin it is.
    6. 21] Ich rede that euch be-ware, i-wis,
      In as moch as the is man;
      Whan ye swerith gret othis
      In rode thou piltist Him apan.
    7. 25] God commandid to Ysay
      That he ssold wend and prech—
      That was in the hil of Syna—
      Hou he ssold the folk tech,
    8. 29] And to ssow ham God is defens,
      Both to yung and to olde,
      Of the ten commandemens.
      Whos wold be sauid, ham ssold hold.
    9. 33] The first comondement is this:
      O God we ssul honuri,
      The heigh king of heuen blis,
      His name with wirssip to worthi.
    10. 37] Loue thou Him as He doth the,
      With al thi might and thi thoght;
      We aught ful wel, for hit was He
      That vs wrecchis so dere boght.
    11. 41] More harm is, we doth noght so.
      We louid the ful dritte of grund.
      Alas! wrecchis, whi do we so?
      Hit mai noght hold vre lif a stunde.
    12. 45] Ye, beth hi the deuil be-taught
      That liuith op goddis mo than one,
      And makith goddis throgh wichcraft.
      Thai ssul al to the deuil gone.
    13. 49] The secunde so is this:
      Sundai wel that ye holde
      To serve God thilk dai wis,
      Bothe yung and ek olde.
    14. 53] And now the Sundai opunlich
      Men holt al har cheping.
      Wonder that Gode ne sent wreech
      Al an erthe vp mankyn.
    15. 57] The thrid is: fader, moder to honuri
      For euch man aght ful wel.
      Moch ten suffrid hi,
      Her hi might bring the wrecche to wel.
    16. {MS fol 32r}
    17. 61] Hit fallith bi children that beth quede
      As farith bi been in hiue:
      Whan fader yiuef ham londe and leed
      The yung wol the old ut driue.
    18. 65] The verth: loue thi neighbore as thine owe bodi
      Non other thou him wil.
      The fift: wit the fram lecheri.
      The sixt is: no gode of man thou ne stel.
    19. 69] The sefthe: manslaght thou ne be,
      Ne coueit noght neuer a del,
      Thogh thou be stuter than is he,
      No is wif no is catel.
    20. 73] Fals witnes thou ne ber,
      Forto deserti pouer no riche
      Sore and bitter the soule sal der,
      For hit benimeth heuen riche.
    21. 77] Besech we Him mild of mode,
      That sok the milk of Maid is brest,
      That boght vs with is der blod,
      Yiue vs euer in heuen rest. Amen.

Christ on the Cross

{MS fol 28r}

    1. 1] Be-hold to thi Lord, man, whare He hangith on rode,
      And weep, if thou might, teris al of blode.
      And loke to is heued with thornis al be-wonde,
      And to is felle so bispette and to the sper is wnde.
      5] Bi-hold to is brest nakid, and is blodi side,
      Stiuiith is armis that sprad beth so wide.
      His fair lere falowith, and dimmith is sighte,
      Ther-to is hendi bodi on rode so is y-tighte.
      His lenden so hangith as cold as marbre stone,
      10] For luste of lechuri nas ther neuer none.
      Be-hold to is nailes in hond and ek in fote,
      And how the stremis ernith of is swet blode.
      Be-ginne at is heued and loke to is to:
      Thou ne findest in is bodi bot anguis and wo.
      15] Turne Him uppe, turne Him downe, thi swete lemman,
      Quer al thou findist Him blodi other wan.
    2. 'Leue, for the mi brest nakid schinith, glisniing.
      Mi side dep istunge, mi hondes sore bleding.'
    3. {MS fol 28v}
    4. 'Man, thou hast the forlor and ful neith to helle ibor.
      20] Wend a-ye and com to me and Ich wol underfang the.
      For first Ich makid the of noght, and sith dere the iboght,
      Whan Ich mi lif yef for the and ihang was on tre.'
    5. 'Man, bi-hold what Ich for the tholid up the rode tre.
      Ne mai no kinnes wo be mare than min was, tho Ich heng thare.
      25] Hire me, man, to the gredind, for loue of the biter deiand.
      Loke mi pinis biter and strang, wan Ich was nailed throgh fot and hond.'
      'For the Ich ad hard stundis, dintes grete and sore wondes.
      For the biter drink Ich dronk, and thou cunnest me no thonk.
      With-vte Ich was ipinid sore, with-in Ich was mochil more.'
      30] ‘For thou nelt thonk me the loue that Ich schowid the’.

[Latin prose occurs before lines 1, 17, 19, 23 and at the end of the poem, this is not included.]

Lollai, Lollai, litil child

{MS fol 32r}

    1. 1] Lollai, lollai, litil child, whi wepistou so sore?
      Nedis mostou wepe, hit was iyarkid the yore
      Euer to lib in sorow, and sich and mourne euere,
      As thin eldren did er this while hi aliues wore.
      Lollai, lollai, litil child, child lolai, lullow.
      Into vncuth world incommen so ertow.
    2. 7] Bestis and thos foules, the fisses in the flode,
      And euch schef aliues imakid of bone and blode,
      Whan hi commith to the world hi doth ham silf sum gode;
      Al bot the wrech brol that is of Adam is blode.
      Lollai, lollai, litil child, to kar ertou bemette;
      Thou nost noght this worldis wild before the is isette.
    3. 13] Child, if betidith that thou ssalt thriue and the,
      Thench thou were ifostred vp thi moder kne.
      Euer hab mund in thi hert of thos thinges thre:
      Whan thou commist, whan thou art and what ssal com of the.
      Lollai, lollai, litil child, child lollai, lollai,
      With sorow thou com into this world, with sorow ssalt wend awai.
    4. {MS fol 32v}
    5. 19] Ne tristou to this world, hit is thi ful vo.
      The rich he makith pouer, the pore rich also;
      Hit turneth wo to wel and ek wel to wo.
      Ne trist no man to this world, whil hit turnith so.
      Lollai, lollai, litil child, thi fote is in the whele.
      Thou nost whoder turne to wo other wele.
    6. 25] Child, thou ert a pilgrim in wikidnis ibor,
      Thou wandrest in this fals world, thou loke the bifor.
      Deth ssal com with a blast vte of a well dim horre
      Adam is kin dun to cast, him silf hath ido befor.
      Lollai, lollai, litil child, so wo the worth Adam
      In the lond of paradis, throgh wikidnes of Satan.
    7. 31] Child, thou nert a pilgrim bot an vncuthe gist,
      Thi dawes beth itold, thi iurneis beth icast;
      Whoder thou salt wend north or est,
      Deth the sal betide with bitter bale in brest.
      Lollai, lollai, litil child, this wo Adam the wroght,
      Whan he of the appil ete and Eue hit him betacht.

Song of the Times

{MS fol 44v}

    1. 1] Whose thenchith vp this carful lif
      Nighte and dai that we beth inne,
      So much we seeth of sorow and strif,
      And lite ther is of world is winne.
    2. 5] Hate and wreth ther is wel riue,
      And trew loue is ful thinne.
      Men that beth in heiighist liue
      Mest icharged beth with sinne.
    3. 9] Fals and lither is this lond,
      As al dai we mai i-se,
      Ther-in is bothe hate and onde,
      Ich wene that euer so wol be.
    4. 13] Coueitise hath the law an honde
      That the trewthe he ne mai i-se,
      Nov is maister prude and onde.
      Alas, louerde, whi suffrith he?
    5. 17] Wold Holi Cherch pilt is mighte
      And law of lond pilt him to,
      Than schold coueitise and vnrighte
      Vte of lond ben y-do.
    6. 21] Holi Cherch schold hold is right
      For no eie no for no loue,
      That hi ne schold schow har might—
      For lordingen boste that beth aboue—
    7. {MS fol 45r}
    8. 25] To entredite and a-monsi
      Al thai, whate hi euir be,
      That lafful men doth robbi,
      Whate in lond, what in see;
    9. 29] And thos hoblurs namelich
      That husbond be-nimeth eri of grund,
      Men ne schold ham biri in non church,
      Bot cast ham vte as a hund.
    10. 33] Thos king is ministris beth i-schend,
      To right and law that ssold tak hede,
      And al the lond fort amend
      Of thos theuis hi taketh mede.
    11. 37] Be the lafful man to deth i-broght
      And is catel awei ynom,
      Of his deth ne tellith hi noght,
      Bot of har prei hi hab som.
    12. 41] Hab hi the siluer and the mede
      And the catel vnder-fo,
      Of feloni hi ne taketh hede;
      Al thilk trepas is a-go.
    13. 45] Of thos auorbisen Ich herd telle:
      The lion is king of alle bestis
      And—herknith al to mi spelle—
      In his lond he did an heste.
    14. {MS fol 45v}
    15. 49] The lyon lete cri as hit was do,
      For he hird lome to telle,
      And eke him was i-told al-so,
      That the wolf didde noght welle.
    16. 53] And the fox, that lither grome,
      With the wolf i-wreiid was.
      To-for har lord hi schold come
      To amend har trepas.
    17. 57] And so men didde that seli asse,
      That trepasid noght no did no gilte,
      With ham bothe i-wreiid was,
      And in the ditement was ipilt.
    18. 61] The uoxe hird a-mang al menne,
      And told the wolf with the brode crune
      That on him send gees and henne,
      That other geet and motune.
    19. 65] The seli asse wend was saf,
      For he ne eete noght bote grasse.
      None yiftes he ne yaf,
      Ne wend that no harm nasse.
    20. 69] Tho hi to har lord com to tune,
      He told to ham law and skille.
      Those wikid bestis lutid adune,
      ‘Lord’, hi seiid, ‘What is thi wille?’
    21. {MS fol 46r}
    22. 73] Tho spek the lion hem to,
      To the fox anone his wille:
      'Tel me, boi, what hast ido?
      Men beth aboute the to spille.'
    23. 81] 'Gees no hen nad Ich noght,
      Sire, for soth Ich the sigge,
      Bot as Ich ham dere boght,
      And bere ham vp myn owen rigge.'
    24. 85] 'God is grame most hi haue
      That in the curte the so pilt
      Whan hit is so, Ich vouche-saue.
      Ich for-yiue the this gilte.'
    25. 89] The fals wolf stode be-hind.
      He was doggid and ek felle.
      'Ich am icom of grete kind,
      Pes thou grant me that might ful welle.'
    26. 93] 'What hast i-do, bel amy,
      That thou me so oxist pes?'
      ‘Sire,’ he seid, 'I nel noght lie,
      If thou me woldist hire a res.'
    27. {MS fol 46v}
    28. 97] 'For Ich huntid vp the doune
      To loke, Sire, mi biyete.
      Ther Ich slow a motune,
      Ye, Sire, and fewe gete.'
    29. 101] 'Ich am iwreiid, Sire, to the,
      For that ilk gilt.
      Sire, Ichul sker me:
      Y ne yaf ham dint no pilt.'
    30. 105] 'For soth, I sigge the, belami,
      Hi nadde no gode munde,
      Thai that wreiid the to mei.
      Thou ne diddist noght bot thi kund.'
    31. 109] 'Sei thou me, asse, what hast ido?
      Me thenchith thou cannist no gode.
      Whi nadistou as other mo?
      Thou come of lither stode.'
    32. 113] 'Sertis, Sire, not Ich noght.
      Ich ete sage abuil gras,
      More harm me ne did Ich noght.
      Ther-for iwreiid Ich was.'
    33. 117] 'Bel ami, that was misdo,
      That was a-ye thi kynd
      Forto et such gras so.
      Hastilich ye him bind.'
    34. {MS fol 47r}
    35. 121] 'Al his bonis ye to-draw.
      Loke that ye noght lete,
      And that Ich yiue al for law,
      That his fleis be al ifrette.'
    36. 125] Al so hit farith nov in lond,
      Whose wol tak ther-to hede,
      Of thai that habbith an hond:
      Of theuis hi takith mede.
    37. 129] the lafful man ssal be ibund,
      And ido in strang pine,
      And ihold in fast prisund,
      Fort that he make fine;
    38. 133] And the thef to skap so
      That doth euer a-ye the right!
      God, take hede ther-to,
      That is al ful of might!
    39. 137] Thus farith al the world nuthe,
      As we mai al ise,
      Bothe est and west, north and suthe,
      God vs help and the Trinite!
    40. 141] Trewith is ifaillid with fremid and sibbe
      Al-so wide as al this lond.
      Ne mai no man ther-in libbe,
      What throgh couetise and throgh onde.
    41. {MS fol 47v}
    42. 145] Thogh lafful man wold hold is lif
      In loue, in charite and in pes,
      Sone me ssul compas is lif,
      And that in a litel res.
    43. 149] Prude is maister and coueitise,
      The thrid brother men clippeth ond;
      Night and dai he fondith i-wisse,
      Lafful men to hab har lond.
    44. 153] Whan erth hath erthe i-gette
      And of erthe so hath inovgh,
      Whan he is ther-in i-stekke
      Wo is him that was in wough!
    45. 157] What is the gode that man ssal hab
      Vte of this world whan he ssal go?
      A sori wede, whi ssal Ich gab?
      For he broght with him no mo.
    46. 161] Right as he com, he ssal wend,
      In wo, in pine, in pouerte.
      Takith gode hede, men, to yure end,
      For al I sigge, so hit wol be.
    47. 165] Y not whar-of beth men so prute
      Of erthe and axen, felle and bone.
      Be the soule enis vte,
      A uiler caraing nis ther non.
    48. {MS fol 52r}
    49. 169] The caraing is so lolich to see
      That vnder erth men mot hit hide,
      Bothe wif and child wol fram him fle,
      Ther nis no frend that wol him bide.
    50. 173] What wol men for the sowle del?
      Corne no mel, wel thou wost,
      Bot wel seld; at the mele
      A rowgh bare trenchur other a crust.
    51. 177] The begger that the crust ssal hab,
      Wel hokirlich he lokith ther-an.
      Soth to sigge and noght to gabbe,
      Right noght he is i-paiid apan.
    52. 181] Than seiith the begger in is mode:
      ‘The crust is bothe hard and touth’.
      The wreche was hard that ow the gode.
      Hard for hard is gode y-nowgh.
    53. 185] Moch misanter that for him bidde
      Pater Noster other Crede,
      Bot let him hab as he didde,
      For of the yift nath he no mede.
    54. 189] Ich red, vp no man thou hab triste,
      No vppon non other,
      Ok del hit with yure owen fist.
      Trist to soster no brother.
    55. {MS fol 52v}
    56. 193] Anurith God and Holi Chirch,
      And yiueth the pouir that habbith nede;
      So God is wille ye ssul wirche
      And joi of heuen hab to mede.
      To whoch joi vs bring
      Jesus Crist, heuen King. Amen

Seven Sins

{MS fol 48r}

    1. 1] The King of heuen mid vs be
      The fend of helle fram vs te,
      To-dai and euir more!
      To-dai me yiue gode beginninge,
      The King of heuen to worthing,
      And spekin of is lore.
    2. 7] And that ye hit mote vnder-stonde—
      The fend to mochil schame and schonde—
      This predicacioune,
      And that ye hit hold mote,
      Bodi and soule to mochil bote,
      And to saluacioune.
    3. 13] Alle we beth meiis and mowe,
      And of one foule erthe i-sowe,
      Whoso hit wold vnderstond.
      This world is wel nis bot wowe
      This wrecche lif nis bot a throw,
      Al dai hit is gond.
    4. 19] Man, ne be thou neuer so riche,
      Be-hold whom thou art iliche,
      Whan thou ert al nakid.
      Be-thench that thou salt i-worthe,
      And for-roti to axin and erthe
      Whar-of thou ert makid.
    5. 25] Clansi the of thi misdede,
      And lerne welle thi life to lede
      The while thou art aliue.
      To none frend thou nab trist,
      Bot to one Jesus Criste,
      To child no to wiue.
    6. 31] Mi leue frendis, Ich you bi-seche,
      Yung, old, pouer and riche,
      Herknith to God is speche!
      In the name of God and Seint Marie,
      Youre sinful lif to amendie
      To-dai Ich wol yow teche.
    7. 37] And that He me let so wel to spek,
      To-dai the deuil is staf to brek,
      And with him so to fighte,
      Ther-to par charite Ich you crie
      A Pater Noster and Ave Marie
      In the name of God al-mighte.
    8. 43] That pees that is in God is huse
      To-dai be a-mangis vse,
      Throgh is holi grace;
      That me yiue lif and gode ending,
      And to you yiue gode lusting
      In this silue place!
    9. {MS fol 48v}
    10. 49] God him-silf seiith in His Gospel:
      'Mi leue frendis, Ich wol you tel,
      Nimith to me gome!
      O worde Ich you lie nelle,
      Of heuen blis no pine of helle
      No of riche dome,'
    11. 55] 'And of the heuid sinnes seuene,
      Whar-for men lesith heuene.
      Ich wol you nemeni alle,
      And har namis Ich wol you teche,
      And hou hi wol men bi-peche
      And make ham to falle.'
    12. 61] First at Prute Ich wol be-gin,
      For hit is heuid of all sinne.
      Ich hit wol you do to wit—
      In Holi Boke hit is iwrit—
      65] Lucifer that was so brighte,
      that fairist was of al wighte.
      With-oute God in heuen nas
      Non so fair als he was.
      Nas neuer non so fule ifund
      70] As he in helle lith ibund.
      Nad he no more gilte
      Whar-for he was of heuen ipilte.
      A litil prude him was in com,
      Ther-for God him hauith be-nome
      75] Heuen blisse that euer sal last,
      And in-to helle he is cast.
      Ther he sal woni euer more,
      And is prude abigge wel sore.
      Alas! man, whi artou prute?
      80] Whannin commith thi fair schrute,
      Mid whate thou art ischrid aboute?
      Noght of the, man, boute doute!
      Thine owen schond thou werist an,
      That helith thi fleis and thi bone.
      85] Ich wol that thou iwit wel,
      Hit nis bote a hori felle
      That is thine owen right wede.
      Be-thenche the, man, and hab drede!
      Man and womman, vnderstond this:
      90] Be-tak euch beste his—
      That ert so fair mid bi-gon—
      Linnin, wollin, glouis and schone,
      That thou art in hit so prute,
      Ne sal the leue neuer a cloute.
      95] Ther-for, man, Ich the for-bede
      Worldlich prude in hert and dede;
      And lede thi lif bi Godis rede,
      To loui God and hab drede,
      That thou be God is sone,
      100] And Him to queme at the Dome.
    13. Coueitise is that other.
      Herkne nov, leue brother!
      Ther is mani man bi-peighte,
      So the fend him hauith iteighte.
      105] The man that is coueituse
      Ne commith he neuer to God is huse
      Suche ther beth al to fele,
      That louith more this world is welle
      {MS fol 22r}
      Than God, that hath ham of erthe iwroghte,
      110] And so swithe dere ham boghte.
      He nel is catel spen in wast
      Ac euer he hit witith fast.
      He nold that aliue nere
      None so riche as he were,
      115] And euer, so he hauith more,
      The faster he gaderith to store.
      And euer he wol is lif so lede,
      In mochel sorow and in drede.
      Nel he neuer hab rest
      120] Is mochil mukke to witi fast,
      That ne mai in him slepe cum
      Lest is muk be him be-nome.
      Leuer him wer yiue of is blode
      Than ani man of is gode.
      125] Nel he of othir thing hede,
      But is fule bodi fede
      Mid his siluer and is gold,
      Noght is soule that he schold.
      Apan is muk he sit a-brode.
      130] He that thus doth mid is gode,
      He ne thenchith noght in is end—
      That he sal of this world wend—
      And vnderstonde noght he nelle
      What he is no whoder he schel.
      135] His catel he wenith witi wel,
      Oc in is soule thenche he nelle.
      With is siluer and is gold
      He wenith euer is lif hold.
      Whan he wenith liuie wel,
      140] Mid deth adun fal he schel.
      The deuil be-nimith him his breth,
      Moch sorow than he him deth.
      For is gode the fend him deriith,
      And is soul to helle he feriith.
      145] The deuil is his executur
      Of is gold and is tresure,
      That he so moch trist to.
      Loke, nou, hou he is ago!
      Ther-for, man, in alle wise,
      150] Ich the for-bede couetise.
      To world is wel nab thou no triste,
      Hit went awei so doth the miste—
      Her it is, and her hit nis—
      Al-so farith the world is blis.
      155] Ne be he neuer so riche,
      Whan he lith a cold liche,
      If he hauith an old clute
      He mai be swithe prute,
      Whar mid i-helid he sal be,
      160] That no man nakid him ise,
      Of what he gadred and is was.
      Nis this rewth? Alas, alas!
    14. The thrid sin so is onde,
      That mochil nuthe is in lond—
      165] And euir hi quemith the fend of helle—
      In woch maner, Ich wol you tel.
      Leue bretherin, herknith now,
      And Ich wol you tel how!
      World is wel fallith vnliche
      170] And noght euch man ilich.
      Sum ther beth that cun noght libbe,
      Sum that hauith frendis sibbe,
      {MS fol 22v}
      And sum ther beth that swinkith sore,
      Winne catel to hab more
      175] Ham silf fair to susteni,
      And euer more hi beth nedi.
      And sum ther beth, leue brother,
      That more hath than another,
      And more loue of gode, man.
      180] Another wol after than
      Areri cuntake.
    15. [The MS text breaks off here]

Piers of Bermingham

{MS fol 50r}

    1. 1] Sith Gabriel gan grete
      Vre Leuedi Mari swete,
      That Godde wold in hir lighte,
      A thousand yer hit isse
      Thre hundred ful i-wisse,
      And ouer yeris eighte.
    2. 7] Than of the eight yere
      Tak twies ten ifere,
      That wol be tuenti fulle.
      Apan the tuentieth dai
      —Of Aueril bi-for Mai—
      So deth vs gan to pulle.
    3. 13] He pullid us of on,
      Al Irlond makith mon,
      Engelon ek as welle.
      Ful wel ye witte his nam:
      Sire Pers the Birmingham
      Non nede hit is to telle.
    4. 19] His nam hit was and isse,
      Y sigge you ful, i-wisse.
      That vppe ssal arise
      In felle, flesse and bone,
      A better knight nas none,
      No none of more prise.
    5. 25] Noble werrure he was,
      And gode castel in place.
      On stede ther he wold ride,
      With his sper and scheld,
      In hard wodde and feld
      No thef him durst abide.
    6. {MS fol 50v}
    7. 31] Do thenchith al in him,
      With weepin who wol win,
      Hou gode he was to nede,
      In batail stif to stond.
      I-wis pere nas nond,
      Alas, he sold be dede!
    8. 37] Al Englis-men that beth,
      Sore now wep is deth,
      That such a knight ssold falle!
      Thos knightis, euchone,
      Of him mai make mone,
      As peruink of ham alle.
    9. 43] Peruink he might be,
      And that for thinges thre
      He vssid of and lome.
      That was one of the best:
      He ne leet no thef hab rest
      In no stid ther he come.
    10. 49] An other thing al-so:
      To Yrismen he was fo,
      That wel wiede-whare,
      Euer he rode aboute
      With streinth to hunt ham vte,
      As hunter doth the hare.
    11. 55] For whan he wend best
      In wildernis hab rest,
      That no man ssold ham see,
      Than he wold driue a quest
      Anon to har nest,
      In stid ther he wold be.
    12. 61] Of slep he wold ham wake,
      For ferdnis hi wold quake,
      And fond to sculk awai.
      {MS fol 51r}
      For the hire of har bedde,
      He tok har heuid to wedde,
      And so he taght ham plai.
    13. 67] Thos Yrismen of the lond,
      Hi swor and tok an hond
      The Englis-men to trai,
      And seid hi wold quelle
      As fale as Ich you telle,
      Al apon o dai.
    14. 73] The Erl of Vluester
      Sire Emond the Botiler,
      Sire Jon le FizTomas
      Illgate al bi name;
      Sire Pers the Birminghame,
      This was har compas.
    15. 79] This compasment com vte
      Fram knight to knight abute,
      Hit was noght lang ihidde.
      Thos knightis preid al
      That meschans most ham fal,
      Yif scape hi ssold ther-midde.
    16. 85] And swor bi God is name,
      To yild the cuntre pane,
      Whan hi might com to,
      And that, with-vte lette,
      To certain dai i-sette
      This thing ssold be do.
    17. 91] Lang er this dai was com,
      Hit was for-yit with som
      That neisse beth to nede.
      Alas! what ssold hi be ibor!
      Throgh ham this land is ilor,
      To spille ale and bred.
    18. {MS fol 51v}
    19. 97] Sire Pers the Birmingham,
      On ernist and agam,
      This dai was in is thoght.
      He thoght ordres to make
      What time he might ham take,
      Of trauail nas him noght.
    20. 103] O'Konwir that was king,
      His ketherin he gan bring—
      The maister heet Gilboie—
      Right at the Trinite,
      Whan hodes sold best be
      To Pers in Totomoye.
    21. 109] And yite of other stoore
      Com Ethe MacMalMore,
      And other fale bi name.
      Sire Pers lokid vte,
      He seei such a rute,
      Him thoght hit nas no game.
    22. 115] Sire Pers sei ham com,
      He receiuid al and som,
      Noght on iwernd nas.
      Sith hoodis he let make,
      Noght on nas for-sake,
      Bot al he did ham grace,
    23. 121] Saue o wreche that ther was.
      He cuth noght red in place
      Ne sing whar he com.
      He was of Caym is kinne,
      And he refusid him;
      He wend vnhodid hom.
    24. 127] He that this sang let mak
      For Sir Pers is sake,
      Wel-wid hath igo,
      Wid-whar i-soght
      And god pardon i-boght,
      Two hundrid daies and mo.
    25. Explicit.


{MS fol 54v}

    1. 1] Elde makith me geld
      And growen al grai,
      When eld me wol feld
      Nykkest ther no nai.
      5] Eld nul meld
      No murthes of Mai,
      When eld me wol aweld
      Mi wele is a-wai.
      Eld wol keld
      10] And cling so the clai,
      With eld I mot held
      And hien to mi dai.
    2. 13] When eld blowith he is bolde,
      His ble is sone abatid.
      Al we wilnith to ben old,
      Wy is eld ihatid?
    3. 17] Moch me anueth
      That mi dribil druith,
      And mi wrot wet;
      Eld me awarpeth,
      That mi schuldren scharpith,
      And youthe me hath let.
    4. 23] Ihc ne mai no more
      Grope vnder gore,
      Thogh mi wil wold yete,
      Y-yoket Ich am of yore
      With last and luther lore,
      And sunne me hath bi-set.
    5. 29] I-set Ic am with sunne
      That I ne mai noght munne
      Non murthes with muthe.
      Eld me hath amarrid,
      Ich wene he be bi-charrid,
      That trusteth to yuthe.
    6. 35] Al thus eld me for-dede.
      Thus he toggith vte mi ted
      And drawith ham on rewe.
      Y ne mai no more of loue done,
      Mi pilkoc pisseth on mi schone,
      Vch schenlon me bi-schrew.
    7. 41] Mine hed is hore and al for-fare,
      Ihewid as a grei mare,
      Mi bodi wexit lewe;
      When I bihold on mi schennen,
      Min dimmith, al for-dwynnen.
      Mi frendis waxith fewe.
    8. 47] Now I pirtle, I pofte, I poute,
      I snurpe, I snobbe, I sneipe on snoute,
      Throgh kund I comble and keld.
      I lench, I len, on lyme I lesse,
      I poke, I pomple, I palle, I passe
      As gallith gome igeld.
    9. 53] I riuele, I roxle, I rake, I rouwe,
      I clyng, I cluche, I croke, I couwe,
      Thus he wol me a-weld.
      I grunt, I grone, I grenne, I gruche,
      I nese, I nappe, I nifle, I nuche.
      And al this wilneth eld.
    10. 59] I stunt, I stomere, I stomble as sledde,
      I blind, I bleri, I bert in bedde,
      Such sond is me sent!
      I spitte, I spatle in spech, I sporne,
      I werne, I lutle, ther-for I murne,
      Thus is mi wel iwent.
    11. 65] Ispend and marrit is mi main,
      And wold wil yuthe ayayn,
      Youth once more,
      As falc I falow and felde.
      I was heordmon, nov am holle,
      Al folk of me beth wel folle.
      {MS fol 62r}
      Such willing is after elde!
    12. 71] Eld me hath so hard ihent,
      Seo, wouw spakly he me spent,
      Vch toth fram other is trent,
      Arerid is of rote.
      The tunge wlaseth, wend ther-with.
      Lostles lowtith in uch a lith.
      I mot be ther eld beth,
      He find me vnder fote. Amen.

Repentance of Love

{MS fol 58r}

    1. 1] Loue hauith me broght in lithir thoght
      Thoght Ich ab to blinne,
      Blinne to thench; hit is for noght,
      Noght is loue of sinne.
    2. 5] Sinne me hauith in care ibroght
      Broght in mochil vnwinne;
      Winne to weld Ich had ithoght,
      Thoght is that Ich am inne.
    3. 9] In me is care, how I ssal fare?
      Fare Ich wol and funde;
      Funde Ich with outen are,
      Ar I be broght to grunde.


{MS fol 58v}

    1. 1] Hit nis bot trewth i-wend an afte,
      Forte sette 'nego' in eni crafte.
      Trewth so draweth to heuen blisse,
      'Nego' doth noght so i-wisse.
      'Forsake' and 'saue' is thef in lore,
      'Nego' is pouer clerk in store.
      Whan menne horlith ham here and thare
      'Nego' sauith ham fram care.
      Awei with 'nego' vte of place,
      10] Whose wol haue Goddis grace.
      Who so wol a-yens the deuil fighte
      Then mai 'nego' sit aright.
      Ak loke that we neuer more
      'Nego' sette in trewe lore,
      For who so can lite hath sone ido,
      Anone he draweth to 'nego'.
      Now o clerk seiith ‘Nego’,
      And that other ‘Dubito’,
      Seiith an other ‘Concedo’,
      20] And an other ‘Obligo’,
      'Verum Falsum' sette ther-to
      Than is al the lore ido.
      Thus the fals clerkes of har heuid
      Makith men trewth of ham be reuid.


{MS fol 62r}

    1. {English text }
      Whan erth hath erth iwonne with wow,
      Than erth mai of erth nim hir inow.
      Erth vp erth fallith fol frow,
      Erth toward erth delful him drow.
      Of erth thou were makid,
      And mon thou art ilich;
      In on erth awaked
      The pore and the riche.
    2. {Latin text }
      Terram per iniuriam cum terra lucratur,
      Tunc de terra capiam terra sorciatur.
      {MS fol 62v}
      Terra super aream subito frustratur
      Se traxit ad aridam terraque tristatur.
      De terra plasmaris es similis virroni
      Vna terra pauperes ac dites sunt proni.
    3. {English text }
      Erth geth on erth wrikkend in weden,
      Erth toward erth wormes to feden.
      Erth berith to erth al is lif deden.
      When erth is in erthe heo muntid thi meden.
      When erth is in erthe,
      The rof is on the chynne.
      Than schullen an hundred wormes
      Wroten on the skin.
    4. {Latin text }
      Vesta pergit uestibus super uestem vare,
      Artatur et uermibus vesta pastum dare,
      Ac cum gestis omnibus ad uestam migrare;
      Cum uesta sit scrobibus, quis wlt suspirare?
      Cum sit uesta posita doma tangit mentum,
      Tunc in cute candida verrunt uermes centum.
    5. {English text }
      Erth askith erth, and erth hir answerid,
      Whi erth hatid erth and erth erth verrid?
      Erth hath erth, and erth erth terith,
      Erth geeth on erth, and erth erth berrith.
      Of erth thow were bi-gun,
      On erth thou schalt end.
      Al that thou in erth wonne,
      To erth schal hit wend.
    6. {Latin text }
      Humus humum repetit, et responsum datur,
      Humum quare neglegit, et humo fruatur.
      Humus humum porrigit sic et operatur,
      Super humum peragit humo quod portatur.
      Humo sic inciperis ac humo meabis,
      Quod humo quesieris humo totum dabis.
    7. {MS fol 63r}
    8. {English text }
      Erth gethit on erth maistri and might.
      Al we beth erth, to erth we beth i-dighte.
      Erth asketh carayne of king and of knight,
      Whan erth is in erth, so lowgh he be light.
      Whan thi right and thi wowgh
      Wendith the bi-for,
      Bi thou thre night in a through,
      Thi frendschip is ilor.
    9. {Latin text }
      Terra uimque brauivm terra collucratur,
      Totus cetus hominvm de terra patratur
      Ops cadauer militvm que regis scrutatur.
      Cum detur in tumulvm mox terra voratur,
      Cum ius et iusticivm coram te migrabunt,
      Pauci per trinoccivm mortem deplorabunt.
    10. {English text }
      Erth is a palfrei to king and to quene.
      Erth is ar lang wei, thouw we lutil wene,
      That werith grouer and groy and schrud so schene,
      Whan erth makith is liuerei he grauith vs in grene.
      Whan erth hath erth with streinth
      Thus geten,
      Alast he hath is leinth
      Miseislich i-meten.
    11. {Latin text }
      Dic uestam dextrarium regique regine,
      Iter longum marium quod est sine fine,
      Indumentum uarium dans cedit sentine.
      Quando dat corrodium nos tradit ruine.
      Cum per fortitudinem tenet hanc lucratam,
      Capit longitudinem misere metatam.
    12. {English text }
      Erth gette on erth gersom and gold,
      Erth is thi moder, in erth is thi mold.
      Erth uppon erth be thi soule hold.
      Er erthe go to erthe, bild thi long bold!
      {MS fol 63v}
      Erth bilt castles
      And erthe bilt toures.
      Whan erth is on erthe
      Blak beth the boures.
    13. {Latin text }
      Humus querit plurima super humum bona,
      Humus est mater tua, in qua sumas dona.
      Anime sis famula super humum prona,
      Domum dei perpetra munda cum corona
      Ops turres edificat ac castra de petra
      Quando fatum capiat penora sunt tetra.
    14. {English text }
      Thenk, man in lond on thi last ende,
      Whar-of thou com, and whoder schaltou wend!
      Make the wel at on with Him that is so hend,
      And dred the of the dome lest sin the schend.
      For he is King of blis,
      And Mon of moche mede,
      That delith the dai fram night,
      And lenith lif and dede.
    15. {Latin text }
      De fine nouissimo mauors mediteris,
      Huc quo ueneris uico dic quo gradieris.
      Miti prudentissimo concordare deris.
      Hesites iudicio ne noxa dampneris,
      Quia rex est glorie dans mensuram restat,
      Mutat noctem de die, vitam mortem prestat.