Percy Society.

Early English poetry, ballads, and popular literature of the Middle Ages ; (Volume 2) online

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To make reknyng how I my tyme have spent,
Bareyn of vertu, alias ! who shal me save

Fro feendys daunger, t'acounte for my talent ?
But Jhesu be my staff" and my potent,

Ovir streyt audit is lik t'encoumbre me,
Or doom be yove but mercy be present.

To alle that kneele to Jhesu on ther kne.

Now in the name of my lord Jhesus,

Of rihte hool herte in al my best entent,
My lyffe remembryng froward and vicious,

Ay contrary to the comaundement
Of Crist Jhesu, now with avisement.

The lord besechyng to have mercy and pite.
My youthe, myn age, how that I have myspent,

With this woord seyd kneelyng on my kne.

lydgate's minor poems. 241

Jhesu ! mercy, with support of thy grace,

For thy meek passioun remembre on my compleynt,
Daryng my lyf with many gret trespace,

By many wrong path wher I have mys-went ;

1 now purpoose, by thy grace influent,

To write a tretys of surfetys doon to the,
And callyn it my last Testament,

With Jhesu mercy I kneelyng on my kne !


The yeeris passyd of my tendir youthe,

Off my fresshe age seryd the grennesse,

Lust appallyd, th'experience is cowthe,

The unweeldy joyntes starkyd with rudnesse,

The cloudy sihte mystyd with dirknesse,

Withoute redres, recure, or amendys,

Lo me of deth han brouhte in the kalendys.

Of myspent tyme a fool may weel compleyne,
Thyng impossible ageyn for to recure,
Dayes lost in ydil no man may restreyne,
Them to refourme by noon aventure;
Eche mortal man is callid to the lure
Of dethe, alias I uncerteyn the passage,
Whoos cheef maryneer is callyd crokyd age.

Oon of his bedellys, namyd febilnesse,
Cam with his potent instede of a maas,
Somowned me, and aftir cam syknesse,
Malencolyk, erthely, ad pale of faas ;
With ther waraunt thes tweyne gan manaas,
How deth of me his dew dette souhte.
And to a bed of langour they me brouhte.


Wher unto me anoon ther did appeere,
Whyl that I lay compleynyng in a traunce,
Clad in a mantyl a woman sad of cheere,
Blak was liir habite, sobre was liir contenaunce,
Straunge of hir poort, froward of daliaunce,
Castyng hir look to me-ward in certeyn,
Lych as of me she had disdeyn.

This sayd woman was callyd reraembraunce
Of myspent tyme in youthys lustynesse,
Which to recorde did me gret grevaunce ;
Than cam hir sustir namyd pensiffnesse
For olde surfetys, and gan unto me dresse,
A wooful bille which brouhte unto my raynde,
My grate outrages of long tyme left behynde.

Lyggyng allone I gan to ymagyne,

How with foure tymes departyd is the yeer.

First how in Ver the soyl t'enlumyne,

Buddys gynne opne ageyn the sonne clear.

The bawma up-reysed, moost sovereyn and enteer,

Oute of the roote doth naturally ascende,

With newe lyveree the bareyn soyle t'araende.

The honysoucle, the froisshe prymerollys,

Ther levys splaye at Phebus up-rysyng,

The amerous fowlys with motetys and carollys,

Salwe that sasoun every morwenyng,

Whan Aurora, hir licour distillyng,

Sent on herbys the pearly dropys sheene,

Of silvir dewys t'enlumyne with the greena.

lydgate's minor poems. 243

This tyme Ver is namyd of grennesse,
Tyme of joye, of gladnesse, and dispoort,
Tyme of growyng, cheef moodir of fresshenesse,
Tyme of rejoisshyng, ordeyned for courafoort ;
Tyme whan tyme makithe his resoort,
In gerysshe Marche toward the ariete.
Our Emysperye to gladen with his hete.

Whiche sesoun prykethe fresshe corages,
Rejoisshethe beestys walkyng in ther pasture,
Causith briddys to syngen in ther cages,
Whan blood renewyth in every creature,
Som observaunce doyng to nature,
Which is of Ver callyd cheef pryncesse,
And undyr God ther woi'ldly emperesse.

And for this lusty sesoun agreable,
Of gladnesse hath so gret avauntage,
By convenyent resouns ful notable,
Therto ful weel resemblith childisshe age,
Quyk, greene, fresshe, and delyvere of corage ;
For rihte as Ver ay moreth in grennesse,
So doth childhood in amerows lustynesse

This quykyng sesoun, nutrityfF, and good,

Of his nature hath tweyne qualitees.

Of hoot and moyst whiche longe also to blood,

In ther ascensioun upward by degrees.

Of kyndly rihte, the which propirtees,

By natural heete and temperat moisture,

Reknyd in childhod fourtene yeer doth endure.

R 2

244 lydgate's minor poems.

Thus in sixe thynges by ordre men may seen,
Notable accoord and just convenience,
Blood, eyr, an Ver, soutlie and merydien,
And age of childhood by natural assistence.
Which whil they stonde in ther fresse premynence,
Heete and moysture directyth ther passages.
With greene fervence t'affore yong corages.

First Zephirus with his blastys soote,
Enspireth Ver with newe buddys greene,
The bawme ascendith out of every roote,
Causyng with flourys ageyn the sonne sheene,
May among moneths sitte lyk a queene,
Hir sustir April wattryng hir gardynes,
With holsom shoures shad in the tendyr vynes.

This tyme of Ver, Flora doth hir cure,
With pleyn motles passyng fresshe and gaye,
Purpil colours wrouhte by dame nature,
Mounteyns, valys, and meedewys for t'araye,
Hir warderobe open list nat to delaye,
Large mesour to shewe out and to sheede,
Tresours of fayrye which she doth poosseede.

This sesoun Ver moost plesaunt to childhood,
With hire chapirlettys greene, whit, and reede,
In which tyme the newe yonge blood.
Hoot and moyst, ascendith up in deede,
Rejoisshyng hertys as it abrood doth spreede,
Weenyng this sesoun among there merthis alle,
Shuld nevir discresen nor appalle.

lydgate's minor poems. 245

The variaunt sesoun of this stormy age
Abraydeth evere on newfangilnesse,
Now frownyng cheer, now fressh of visage,
Now glad, now lihte, now trouble and hevynesse,
Wylde as an hen now moornyng for sadnesse,
Stormysshe as Marche, with chaungis ful sodeyne,
Afftir cleer shynyng to tourne and make it reyne.

Off this sesoun lust halt reyne and brydil,

Seelde or nevir abydyng in o poynt,

Now passyng besy, now dissolut, now ydil.

Now a good felawe, now al out of joynt.

Now smothe, now stark, now lyk an hard purpoynt,

Now as the peys of a dyal goth,

Now gerysshe glad and anoon aftir wrothe.

Lych as in Ver men gretly them delite

To beholde the bewte sovereyne

Of thes blosmys, som blew, rede, and white,

To whos fresshnesse no colour may atteyne.

But than unwarly comyth a wynd sodeyne,

For no favour list nat for to spare

Fresshnesse of braunchys, for to make hem bare.

This sesoun Ver stant evir in nouncerteyne.

For som oon hour, thouhe Phebus fresshely shyne.

In Marchys wedrys it sodeynly wil reyne.

Which of the day al dirknesse doth declyne ;

And semblably a lyknesse to difFyne,

Men seen childre, of berthe yong and greene,

Buryed witheyne the yeerys of fifteene.

246 lydgate's minor poems.

Whan Ver is fresshest of blosmys and of flourys.
An unwar storm his fresshnesse may apayre.
Who may vvithstonde the sterne sharp shourys
Of dethys power, wher hym list repayre ?
Thouhe the feturis fresshe, angelik and fayre,
Shevve out in childhood, as any cristal cleer,
Dethe can difFace hem witheyne fyfteene yeere.

Ver is sesoun doth but a while abyde,
Skarsly thre monethys he holdith heer sojour,
The age of childhood rekne on the tothir syde.
In his encrees up-growyng as a flour;
But whan that deth manacithe with his shour,
In such caas he can no moor difFence,
Than crokyd age in his moost impotence.

Ver and ech sesoun mot by processe fade,
In Ver of age may be no sekirnesse,
Eche hath his hourys, hevy and eek glade,
Ther sesouns meynt with joye and hevynesse,
Now fayr, now foul, now helthe, now siknesse,
To shewe a maner lyknesse and ymage,
Our dwellyng heere is but a pilgrymage.

And for my part I can remembre weel,
Whan I gladdest in that fresshe sesoun,
Lyk brotyl glas, nat stable, nor lyk steel.
Fere out of arrest, wylde of condicioun,
Savagyne voyd of al resoun,
Lyk a phane ay tornyng to and froo,
Or lyk an horloge whan the peys is goo.

lydgate's minor poems. 247

Yove to unthrift and dissolucioun,
Stood unbrydlyd of al good governaunce,
Which remerabryd by meek eonfessioun,
Now with my potent to fynden allegeaunce,
Of oold surfetys eontryt, with repentaunce,
To the Jhesu I make my passage,
Rehersyng trespacys doon in my tendir age.

But to directe by grace my mateere,
Meekly kneelyng Jhesu in thy presence,
I me purpoose to gynne with prayeere,
Undir thy merciful fructuous influence.
So thu, Jhesu, of thy benyvolence,
To my requestys by merciful attendaunce,
Graunt or I deye shrift, hosyl, repentaunce !

My wrecchyd lyfe t'amenden and correcte,

I me purpoose with suppoort of thy grace,

Thy deth, thy passioun, thy cros •!■, shal me directe,

Which suff'redist deeth, Jhesu, for our trespace;

Iw e cche unworthy to looke upon thy face,

Thy feet embracyng fro whiche I shal nat twynne,

Mercy requeeryng, thus I wyl begynne.


" O myhty lord, of poweer myhtiest,

Withoute whom al force is febilnesse,
Bountevous Jhesu, of good goodliest,

Mercy thy bedel or thu thy doomys dresse,

248 i^ydgate's minor poems.

Delayest rigour to punysshe my wikkydnesse,
Lengest abydyng, lothest to do vengaunce,

blyssed Jhesu ! of thyn liihe goodnesse,
Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce 1

"Thouhe tliu be uiyhety, thu art eek merciable
To alle folkys that meekly hem repente,

1 a vvrecche contagious and coupable,

To alle outrages reedy for t' assente.
But of hool herte and wyl in myn entente,

Of oolde and newe, al vicious governaunee,
Of youthe, of age, and of mystyme spente,

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce.

" Off my confessioun receyve the sacrefise.

By my tonge up offryd unto the.
That I may seyn in al my best guyse

Meekly with David, " have mercy upon me ;"
Sauf al my soorys that they nat cankryd be

With noon old rust of disesperaunce.
Which of hool herte crye upon my kne,

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce.

" O Jhesu 1 Jhesu ! heere myn orisoun,

Brydle myn outrage undir thy disciplyne,
Fetre sensualite, enlumyne my resoun,

To folwe the tracys of spiritual doctryne ;
Lat thy grace leede me rihte as lyne.

With humble herte to live to thy plesaunce,
And blissed Jhesu, or I this liffe shal fyne,

Graunt of thy mercy shrift, hosyl, repentaunce.

lydgate's minor poems. 249

" Suffre me to have savour nor swetnesse.

But in thy name that callid is Jhesu,
Al foreyn thyng to me mak bittirnesse,

Sauf oonly Jhesu, moost sovereyn of vertu I
To my professioun accordyng and moost dew,

Evere to be preentyd in ray remembraunce,
At myn eende to graunte me this issu,

To-for my deth shi'ift, hosil, repentaunce.

" No lord bnt Jhesu, moost merciable and benygne.

Which of mercy took our humanyte,
And, of love to shewe a sovereyn signe,

Suffredist passioun upon the roode tre;
Oonly to fraunchise our mortalite.

Which stood in daunger of Sathanys encoumbraunce ;
Or I passe hens, Jhesu, graunt unto me,

To-for my deth, shrift, hosil, repentaunce.

" I am excited and meevyd of nature.

This name of Jhesu sovereynly to preyse,
Name comendid moost hihely in Scripture,

"Whiche name hath poweer dede men to reise
To lifF eternal, whos vertu doth so peyse,

Ageyn my synues weyed in ballaunce.
That grace and mercy shal so counterpeyse,

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce.

" Lat me nat reste nor have no quyete,
Occupye my soule with spiritual travayl.

To synge and seyn " O mercy, Jhesu swete !"
My proteccioun geyn frendys in batayl,

250 lydgate's minor poems.

Sette asyde al othir apparayl,

And in Jhesu put hool myn affiaunce,

Tresour of tresoures, that me moost avayl,
Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce.

" Myn feith, myn hoope, to the, Jhesu, doth calle.

Which glorious name shal nevir out of mynde ;
I shal the seeke, what hap that evyr befalle,

By grace and mercy in trust I shal the fynde !
And but I did, trewly I were unkynde,

Which for my sake war percyd with a launce.
Unto the herte, Jhesu, lefF nat behynde,

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, I'epentaunce.

" Ther is no God but thu, Jhesu, allone I

Sovereynest and eek most merciful,
Fayrest of faire, erly, late, and soone,

Stable and moost strong, pitous and rihteful,
Refourmyng synners that been in vertu dul,

Dawntyng the proude, meeknesse to euhaunce,
Thy toune of mercy is evir i-liche ful,

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce.

" Suffre of mercy I may to the speke,

O blissed Jhesu ! and goodly do adverte,
Who shal yeve me leiser out to breke.

That thu Jhesu mayst entren in myn herte,
Ther t'abyde moor neere than my sherte,

With aureat lettris grave ther in substaunce.
Provide for me and lat it nat asterte,

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce.

lydgate's minor poems. 251

" Sey to my soule, Jhesu, thu art myn helthe,

Heeryng this voys aftir I shal purswe,
Skore that place from al goostly felthe,

And vice alle fro thens do remwe,
Tliyn Hooly Goost close in that litil mwe.

Part nat lihtely, mak such chevisaunce,
T' encrese in vertu and vices to eschewe,

Andj or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce.

" Shew glad thy face, and thy lihte doun sheede,

The merciful lihte of thyn eyen tweyne,
On me thy servaunt which hath so mooche neede.

For his synnes to weepen and compleyne;
And blissid Jhesu ! of mercy nat disdeyne,

Thy gracious shourys lat reyne in habundaunce,
Upon myn herte t' adewen every veyne,

And, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce.

" Save me thy servaunt, O lord I in thy mercy.

For lak of whiche lat me nat be confoundid,
For in the, Jhesu, myn hoope stant fynally,

And al my trust in the, Jhesu, is groundid ;
For my synnes thynk, Jhesu, thu were woundid

Nakid on the roode, by mortal gret penaunce.
By which the poweer of Sathan was confoundid,

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce.

" Thu art, Jhesu, my socoure and refuge,

Geyn every tempest and turbulacioun.
That worldly wawes with there mortal deluge,

Ne drowne me nat in ther dreedful dongoun ;

252 lydgate's minor poems.

Wher karibdys hath domynacioun,
And Circes syngeth songis of disturbaunce,

To passe that daunger be my protcccioun,
Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce.

" Who shal give me lych to mj-n entent ?

That thu, Jhesu, maist make thyn herbergage,
By recey vyng of th' ooly sacrament,

Into rayn herte, which is to inyn oold age
Repast eternal geyn al foreyn damage,

Dewly receyved with devout observaunce.
Celestial guerdoun, eende of my pilgrymage,

Is shrift, hosyl, and hertly repentaunce.

" I feele myn herte brotel and ruynous,

Nat purefied, Jhcsu, therin to reste ;
But as a carpenteer comyth to a broken hous,

Or an artificeer reparith a riven cheste.
So thu, Jhesu, of craffty men the beste,

Repare my thouhte broke with niysgovernaunce,
Visite my soule, myn herte of steel thu breste,

Graunt, or I deye, shryft, hosyl, repentaunce.

t* With wepyng eyen and a contryt cheere,

Accepte me, Jhesu, and my compleynt conceyve.
As moost unwurthy t' apeere at thyn awteer,

Whiche in mysilfe no vertu apparceyve ;
But yif thy mercy by grace me receyve.

By synful lyvyng brouhte unto uttraunce,
Preye with good hoope which may me nat deceyve,

Graunt, or 1 deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce.

lydgate's minor poems. 253

" Cryeng to the that deydest on the rood.

Which with thy blood wer steyned and maad reed,
And on sheerthursday gafe us to oure food

Thy blissid boody, Jhesu, in foorme of breed ;
To me moost synful graunt or I be deed,

To cleyne by mercy for myn enheritaunce,
That with sharp thorn wer crownyd on thyn heed,

Or I passe hens, shryfFt, hosyl, repentaunce.

" And oon requeste in especial,

Graunt me Jhesu whyl I am heer alyve,
Evir have enprentyd in my memorial,

The remembraunce of thy woundys five,
Naylles with the spere that did thyn herte ryve.

Thy crown of thorn, which was no smal penaunce,
Language and tonge me dewly for to shryve,

The hooly unctioun, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce.

" AUe the toknys of thy passioun,

I pi'ay the, Jhesu, grave hem in my memorye
Dewly raarke myd centre of my resoun,

On Calvary thy tryumphal victorye,
Man to restoore to thyn eternal glorye,

By mediacioun of thy meeke suffraunce.
Out of this exil unswre and transitorye,

And whan I passe, shrifft, hosyl, repentaunce.

" Of thy mercy requeryng the to myne,

Of my mynde the myd poynt moost profounde.

This woord, Jhesu, my fy ve wittys t' enlumyne.
In lengthe and breede, lyk a large wounde,

254 lydgate's minor poems.

Al ydel thouhtis t'avoyde hem and confounde,

Thy cros, thy scorgis, thy garnenient cast at chauncc,

The rope, the pilere to which thu wer bounde,
Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosil, repentaunce.

" Of this prayeer meekly I make an eende,

Undir thy merciful supportacioun,
O gracious Jhesu ! graunt whereevir I weende,

To have memory upon thy passioun,
Testimonial of my redempcioun.

In my Testament set for allegaunce,
This clause last of my peticioun,

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosil, repentaunce."

Duryng the tyrae of this sesoun Ver,

I meene the sesoun of my yeerys greene,

Gynnyng fro childhood stretchithe up so fere,

To the yeerys accountyd ful fifteene,

B' experience, as it was weel scene.

The gerisshe sesoun straunge of condiciouns,

Dispoosyd to many unbridlyd passiouns.

Voyd of resoun, yove to wilfulnesse,
Froward to vertu, of thrift gafe litil heede.
Loth to lerne, lovid no besynesse,
Sauf pley or merthe, straunge to spelle or reede,
Folwyng al appetites longyng to childheede,
Lihtly tournyng, wylde and seelde sad,
Weepyng for nouhte and anoon afiltir glad.

lydgate's minor poems. 255

For litil wroth to stryve with my felawe.
As my passiouns did my bridil leede.
Of the yeerde somtyme I stood in awe,
To be scooryd that was al my dreede, —
Loth toward scole, lost my tyme indeede,
Lik a yong colt that ran withowte brydil,
Made ray freendys ther good to spende in ydil.

I hadde in custom to come to scole late,
Nat for to lerne but for a contenaunce.
With my felawys reedy to debate.
To jangle and jape was set al my plesaunce,
Wherof rebukyd this was my chevisaunce.
To forge a lesyng and therupon to muse,
Whan I trespasyd mysilven to excuse.

To my bettre did no reverence.

Of my sovereyns gafe no fors at al,

Wex obstynat by inobedience,

Ran into gardyns, applys ther I stal ;

To gadre frutys sparyd hegg nor wal,

To plukke grapys in othir mennys vynes.

Was moor reedy than for to seyn matynes.

My lust was al to scorne folke and jape,

Shrewde tornys evir among to use.

To skofFe and mowe lyk a wantoun ape,

Whan I did evil othre I did accuse;

My wittys five in wast I did abuse,

Rediere chirstoonys for to telle,

Than gon to chirche or heere the sacry belle.

256 lydgate's minor poems.

Loth to ryse, lother to bedde at eve,
With unwassh handys reedy to dyncer,
My pater noster, my crede, or my beleeve,
Cast at the cok, loo ! this was my maneere ;
Wavid with eche wynd, as doth a reed speere,
Snybbyd of my frendys such techechys for t'amende,
Made defFe ere lyst nat to them attende.

A child resemblyng which was nat lyk to thryve,

Froward to God, reklees in his servise,

Loth to correccioun, slouhe mysylfe to shryve,

Al good thewys reedy to despise ;

Cheef bellewedir of feyned trwaundise ;

This is to meene mysilf I cowde feyne,

Syk lyk a trwaunt, felte no maneere peyne.

My poort, my pas, my foot alwey unstable,
My look, myn eyen, unswre and vagabounde.
In al my werkys sodeynly chaungable,
To al good thewys contrary I was founde ;
Now ovir sad, now moornyng, now jocounde,
Wilful rekles, mad stertyng as an hare.
To folwe my lust for no man wold I spare.

Entryng this tyme into religioun.
Unto the plouhe I putte forth myn hoond,
A yeer complect made my professioun,
Considryng litil charg of thilke boond ;
Of perfectioun ful good exaumple I foond,
The techyng good in me was al the lak,
With Lootys wyff I lookyd ofte bak.

lydgate's minor poems. 257

Tauhte of my maistris by vertuous disciplyne,
My look restreyne and keepe clos my sihte,
Of" blyssed Benyt to folwe the doctryne,
And ber me lowly to every maneere wihte;
By the advertence of myn inward sihte,
Cast to God-ward of hool affectioun,
To folwe th'emprises of my professioun.

His hooly rewlc was unto me rad,

And expownyd in ful notable wise,

By vertuous men religious and sad,

Ful weel expert, discreet, prudent, and wise,

And observauncys of many goo^tly emprise ;

I herd al weel, but touchyng to the deede

Of that they tauhte, I took but litil heede.

Of religioun I weryd a blak habite,
Oonly outward as by apparence,
To folwe that charge savouryd but ful lite,
Sauf by a maneer countirfet pretence,
But in effect ther was noon existence,
Lyk the ymage of Pygmalioon,
Shewyd liffly and was nat but of stoon.

Upon the laddere with stavys thryes thre,
The nyne degrees of vertuous meeknesse,
Callyd in the rewle grees of humylite,
Wheron t'ascende, my feet me lyst nat dresse.
But by a maneer feyned fals humblesse,
So covertly whan folkys wer present,
Oon to shewe outward, anothir in my entent.


258 lydgate's minor poems.

First wher as I forsook inyn owne wil,
Shett with a lok of obedj'ence,
T'obeye my sovereyns, as it was rihte and skil.
To folwe the scoole of parfihte pacience,
To my eynes doon worship and reverence,
Folwyng the revers, took al anothir weye.
What I was bodyn, I cowde wel disobeye.

With tonge at large and brotil conscience,
Ful of woordys, disordynat of language,
Rekles to keepe my Hppys in silence.
Mouth, eye, and eerys, tooke ther avauntage.
To have ther cours unbrydlid by outrage,
Out of the reynes of attemperaunce,
To sensualite gaff al the governaunce.

Watche out of tyme, ryot and dronkenesse,
Unfructuous talkyng, imtemperat diete,
To veyn fablys I did myn eerys dresse,
Fals detractioun among was to me swete ;
To talke of vertu me thouht it was not mete
To my corage nor my complectioun.
Nor nouht that sownyd toward perfeetioun.

Oon with the firste to take my dispoort,

Last that aroos to come to the queer,

In contemplacioun I fond but smal coumfoort,

Hooly historyes did to me no cheer ;

I savouryd mor in good wyn that was cleer.

And every hour my passage for to dresse.

As I seide erst, to ryot or excesse.

lydgate's minor poems. 259

Rowde grucche and fond no cause why,
Causelees ofte compleyned on my fare,
Geyn ray coiTecciouns answeryd frowardly,
Withoute reverence lyst no man to spare;
Of al vertu and pacience I was bare,
Of reklees youthe lyst noon heed to take,
What Crist Jhesu suiFryd for my sake.

Which now remembryng in my latter age,

Tyme of my childhood, as I reherse shal,

Witheyne fifteene holdyng my passage,

Mid of a cloistre depict upon a wal ;

I sauhe a crucifix, whos woundys were nat smal.

With this woord vide writen ther besyde,

" Behold my meeknesse, O child, and lefe thy pride."

The which woord whan I did undirstonde.

In my last age takyng the sentence,

Theron remembryng my penne I took in honde,

Gan to write with humble reverence,

On this w oord vide of humble dilligence.

In remembraunce of Cristis passioun,

This litil dite, this compilacioun.


Behoold, O man, left up thyn eye and see,
What mortal peyne I suifryd for thy trespace.

With pitous voys I crye and sey to the,

Behoold my woundys I behoold my bloody face I

Behold the rebukys that do me so menace.
Behold myn enmyes that do me so despise,

And how that I, to refourme the to grace,

Was lik a lamb offryd in sacrifise I


260 i-ydgate's minor poems.

Behold the paynemys of whom I was take I

Behold the cordys with which that I was boundc !
Behold the armwrys which made myn herte quake!

Behold the gardyn in which that I was founde I
Behold how Judas took thrytty penyes rounde !

Behoold his tresour ! behold his covetise I
Behold how I., with many a mortal vvounde,

Was lyk a lamb ofFryd in sacrifise I

See my disciple which that hath me sold,

And see his feyned fals salutacioun,
And see the mony which that he hath told,

And see his kissyng of fals decepcioun ;
Behold also the corapassyd fals tresour,

Take as a theef with lanternys in there guyse,
And aftirward for mannys redempcioun,

Was like a lamb ofFryd in sacrifise.

Behold to Caiphas how I was presentyd.

Behold how Pilat list geve me no respyt.
Behold how bisshopis wer to ray deth assentyd.

And se how Herowd had me in despit,
And lik a fool how I was clad in whit,

Drawen as a feloun in moost cruel wyse,
And last of alle I, aftir ther delit.

Was lik a lamb ofFryd in sacrifise.

Behold the mynystrys which had me in keepyng,

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Online LibraryPercy SocietyEarly English poetry, ballads, and popular literature of the Middle Ages ; (Volume 2) → online text (page 13 of 26)