Pety Job


1 Parce michi, Domine, nichil enim sunt dies mei. Job 7.16: Spare me, for my days are nothing. The Latin passgaes which mark the first line of each stanza refer to each complete stanza as it paraphrases the Biblical text.

2 Quid est homo, quia magnificas eum? Job 7.17: What is a man that thou shouldst magnify him?

3 Aut quid apponis erga eum cor tuum? Visitas cum diluculo, et subito probas illum. Job 7.17B18: Or why dost thou set thy heart upon him? Thou visitest him early in the morning, and thou provest him suddenly.

4 Usquequo non parcis michi, nec dimittas me, ut glutiam salivam meam? Peccavi. Job 7.19B20: How long wilt thou not spare me, nor suffer me to swallow down my spittle? I have sinned.

5 Quid faciam tibi, o custos hominum? Quare posuisti me contrarium tibi, et factus sum michimet ipsi gravis? Job 7.20: What shall I do to thee, O keeper of men? why hast thou set me opposite to thee, and I am become burdensome to myself?

6 Cur non tollis peccatum meum, et quare non aufers iniquitatem meam? Job 7.21: Why dost thou not remove my sin, and why dost thou not take away mine iniquity?

7 Ecce nunc in pulvere dormio; et si mane me quesieris, non subsistam. Job 7.21: Behold now, I shall sleep in the dust: and if thou seek me in the morning, I shall not be.

8 Tedet animam meam vite mee; dimittam adversum me eloquium meum, loquar in amaritudine anime mee. Dicam Deo: Noli me condempnare; indica michi cur me ita judices. Job 10.1B2: My soul is weary of my life, I will let go my speech against myself, I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God: Do not condemn me: tell me why thou judgest me so.

9 Nunquid tibi bonum videtur, si calumpnieris me, et oprimas me opus manuum tuarum, et consilium impiorum adives? Job 10.3: Doth it seem good to thee that thou shouldst calumniate me, and oppress me, the work of thy own hands, and help the counsel of the wicked?

10 Nunquid oculi carnei tibi sunt? aut sicut videt homo, et tu vides? Job 10.4: Hast thou eyes of flesh: or shalt thou see as man seeth?

11 Nunquid sicut dies hominis dies tui, et anni tui sicut humana sunt tempora? Job 10.5: Are thy days as the days of man, and are thy years as the times of men?

12 Ut queras iniquitatem meam, et peccatum meum scruteris, et scias quia nichil impium fecerim, cum sit nemo qui de manu tua possit eruere? Job 10.6B7: That thou shouldst enquire after my iniquity, and search after my sin? And shouldst know that I have done no wicked thing, whereas there is no man that can deliver out of thy hand.

13 Manus tue fecerunt me, et plasmaverunt me totum in circuitu: et sic repente precipitas me? Job 10.8: Thy hands have made me, and fashioned me wholly round about, and dost thou cast me down headlong on a sudden?

14 Memento, queso, quod sicut lutum feceris me, et in pulverem reduces me. Job 10.9: Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay, and thou wilt bring me into dust again.

15 Nonne sicut lac mulsisti me, et sicut caseum me coagulasti? Job 10.10: Hast thou not milked me as milk, and curdled me like cheese?

16 Pelle et carnibus vestisti me; ossibus et nervis compegisti me. Job 10.11: Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh: thou hast put me together with bones and sinews.

17 Vitam et misericordiam tribuisti michi. Job 10.12: Thou hast granted me life and mercy.

18 Et visitacio tua custodivit spiritum meum. Job 10.12: And thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.

19 Quantas habeo iniquitates et peccata? Scelera mea atque delicta ostende michi. Job 13.23: How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me know my crimes and offenses.

20 Cur faciem tuam abscondis, et arbitraris me inimicum tuum? Job 13.24: Why hidest thou thy face, and thinkest me thy enemy?

21 Contra folium quod vento rapitur, ostendis potenciam tuam, et stipulam siccam persequeris. Job 13.25: Against a leaf, that is carried away with the wind, thou shewest thy power; and thou pursuest a dry straw.

22 Scribis enim contra me amaritudines, et consumere me vis peccatis adolescencie mee. Job 13.26: For thou writest bitter things against me, and wilt consume me for the sins of my youth.

23 Posuisti in nervo pedem meum, et observasti omnes semitas meas, et vestigia pedum meorum considerasti. Job 13.27: Thou hast put my feet in the stocks, and hast observed all my paths, and hast considered the steps of my feet.

24 Qui quasi putredo consumendus sum, et quasi vestimentum quod commeditur a tinea. Job 13.28: Who am to be consumed in rottenness, and as a garment that is moth-eaten.

25 Homo, natus de muliere, brevi vivens tempore, repletur multis miseriis. Job 14.1: Man born of a woman, living for a short time, is filled with many miseries.

26 Qui quasi flos egreditur et conteritur, et fugit velud umbra, et nunquam in eodem statu permanet. Job 14.2: Who cometh forth like a flower, and is destroyed, and fleeth as a shadow, and never continueth in the same state.

27 Et dignam ducis super huiuscemodi aperire oculos tuos, et adducere eum tecum in judicium? Job 14.3: And dost thou think it meet to open thy eyes upon such a one, and to bring him into judgment with thee?

28 Quis potest [facere] mundum de immundo conceptum semine? Nonne tu qui solus es? Job 14.4: Who can make him clean that is conceived of unclean seed? is it not thou who only art?

29 Breves dies hominis sunt; numerus mensium eius apud te est. Job 14.5: The days of man are short, and the number of his months is with thee.

30 Constituisti terminos eius, qui preteriri non poterunt. Job 14.5: Thou has appointed his bounds which cannot be passed.

31 That [amount of time] he may neither surpass nor fall short of

32 Recede ergo paululum ab eo, ut quiescat, donec optata veniat, et sicut mercenarii, dies eius. Job 14.6: Depart a little from him, that he may rest, until his wished for day come, as that of the hireling.

33 Quis michi hoc tribuat ut in inferno protegas me, [et abscondas me,] donec pertranseat furor tuus? Job 14.13: Who will grant me this, that thou mayst protect me in hell, and hide me till thy wrath pass?

34 Et constituas michi [tempus] in quo recorderis mei? Job 14.13: And appoint me a time when thou wilt remember me?

35 Putasne, mortuus homo rursum vivat? Job 14.14: Shall man that is dead, thinkest thou, live again?

36 Cunctis diebus quibus nunc milito, expecto, donec veniat immutacio mea. Job 14.14: All the days, in which I am now in warfare, I expect until my change come.

37 Vocabis me, et ego respondebo tibi; operi manuum tuarum porriges dexteram. Job 14.15: Thou shalt call me, and I will answer thee: to the work of thy hands thou shalt reach out thy right hand.

38 Tu quidem gressus meos dinumerasti, sed parce peccatis meis. Job 14.16: Thou indeed hast numbered my steps, but spare my sins.

39 Spiritus meus attenuabitur, dies mei breviabuntur, et solum michi superest sepulcrum. Job 17.1: My spirit shall be wasted: my days shall be shortened; and only the grave remaineth for me.

40 Non peccavi, et in amaritudinibus moratur oculus meus. Job 17.2: I have not sinned, and my eye abideth in bitterness. (Job 17.3 is omitted; see note.)

41 Dies mei transierunt; cogitaciones mee dissipate sunt, torquentes cor meum. Job 17.11: My days have passed away; my thoughts are dissipated, tormenting my heart.

42 Noctem verterunt in diem, et rursum post tenebras spero lucem. Job 17.12: They have turned night into day; and after darkness I hope for light again.

43 Si sustinuero, infernus domus mea est; in tenebris stravi lectulum meum. Job 17.13: If I wait, hell is my house; and I have made my bed in darkness.

44 Putredini dixi: Pater meus es; mater mea, et soror mea, vermibus. Job 17.14: I have said to rottenness: Thou art my father; to worms: my mother and my sister.

45 Ubi est ergo nunc prestolacio mea et paciencia mea? Tu es, Domine, Deus meus. Job 17.15: Where is now then my expectation, and who considereth my patience?

46 Pelli mee, consumptis carnibus, adhesit os meum; et derelicta sunt tantummodo labia circa dentes meos. Job 19.20: The flesh being consumed, my bone hath cleaved to my skin: and nothing but lips are left about my teeth.

47 Miseremini [mei], miseremini mei, saltem vos, amici mei, quia manus Domini tetigit me. Job 19.21: Have pity on me, have pity on me, at least you my friends; because the hand of the Lord hath touched me.

48 Quare persequimini me sicut Deus, et carnibus meis saturamini? Job 19.22: Why do you persecute me as God, and glut yourselves with my flesh?

49 Quis michi tribuat ut scribantur sermones mei? Job 19.23: Who will grant me that my words may be written?

50 Perhaps if instead (i.e., because of me) they will refrain / And not make so wondrous a disturbance, / But rather take me as an example (see note)

51 Quis michi det ut exarentur in libro, stilo ferreo, plumbi lamina, vel celte sculpantur in silice? Job 19.23B24: Who will grant me that they may be marked down in a book, with an iron pen, and in a plate of lead, or else be graven with an instrument in flint-stone?

52 Scio enim quod Redemptor meus vivit, et in novissimo die de terra surrecturus sum; et rursum circumdabor pelle mea, et in carne mea videbo Deum Salvatorem meum. Job 19.25B26: For I know that my Redeemer liveth; and in the last day I shall rise out of the earth. And I shall be clothed again with my skin, and in my flesh I shall see my God.

53 Quem visurus sum ego ipse, et oculi mei conspecturi sunt, et non alius. Job 19.27: Whom I myself shall see, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.

54 Reposita est hec spes mea in sinu meo. Job 19.27: This my hope is laid up in my bosom.

55 Quare de vulva eduxisti me? Qui utinam consumptus essem, ne oculus me videret! Job 10.18: Why didst thou bring me forth out of the womb? O that I had been consumed, that eye might not see me!

56 For sin makes me C whom You made from nothing C separate from You

57 Fuissem quasi non essem, de utero translatus ad tumulum. Job 10.19: I should have been as if I had not been, carried from the womb to the grave.

58 Nunquid non paucitas dierum meorum finietur brevi? Job 10.20: Shall not the fewness of my days be ended shortly?

59 Dimitte ergo me, Domine, ut plangam paululum dolorem meum; antequam vadam, et non revertar, ad terram tenebrosam, et opertam mortis caligine. Job 10.20B21: Suffer me, therefore, that I may lament my sorrow a little: Before I go and return no more, to a land that is dark and covered with the mist of death.

60 Terram miserie et tenebrarum, ubi umbra mortis et nullus ordo, sed sempiternus horror inhabitans. Job 10.22: A land of misery and darkness, where the shadow of death, and no order, but everlasting horror dwelleth.


D MS Douce 322. [Base text.]
T TCC MS R.3.21.
H MS Harley 1706.
C MS Camb. Univ. Lib. Ff.2.38.
P MS Pepys 1584.

D presents the best text in the DHT group of affiliated MSS. The other two MSS, C and P, are related to each other but are not from the same exemplar (McSparran and Robinson, p. xvi). Crawford's analysis persuasively shows that the DHT textual group is nearer to the original poem than the CP pair (pp. 43-55). The following notes list variants only where: (1) C and P agree (thereby providing the secondary tradition, for which the texts are unpublished); or (2) readings from H, T, C, or P shed light on a problematic reading in D. Inverted wordings and variant spellings or verbal endings are not listed.

Incipit C: Here endyth the Compleynte of God and begynneth the ix lessons of dyryge whych ys clepyd Pety Job; P: Here endith the Seale of Mercy or the vii Salmes and begynnyth the ix lessons of dyrige that is clepid Pety Jobe.

1-84 Stanzas 1-7 paraphrase Lesson 1 of the Dirige: Job 7.16-21. DHTP indicate the beginning of each lesson by means of large initials at stanzas 1, 8, 13, 19, 25, 32, 38, 45, and 53. The rubricator of C erroneously inserted only three large capitals, at stanzas 1, 32, and 45, but marginal indicators for initials appear at stanzas 8, 13, 19, and 25, and spaces (each containing a small guide letter) were left at stanzas 19, 38, and 53.

Parche michi, Domine! Line supplied by CP; omitted in DHT, where the stanza is headed (as is normal in these three MSS) with the Vulgate verse Parce michi domine nichil enim sunt dies mei.

8 be but. CP (adopted by Horstmann); DHT: be. Compare the similar phrase at line 575, where (conversely) CP omit the word but.

11 not. Kail and Crawford read the word in D as nat, but the vowel appears to be an o. Crawford emended her reading to not, as found in the other MSS. The usual form in D for the negative adverb is nat, but the verb for ne wot, "does not know," would be not (compare lines 461 and 591, where all MSS agree).

12 The refrain is the same in The Bird with Four Feathers, a companion poem in DHT. See note to line 12 of that poem. The word Domine appears in the liturgy — and in the commentaries of Gregory the Great, Odo of Cluny, Rupert of Deutz, and Peter Riga (Alford, p. 324 n. 6) — but not in the Vulgate text.

13 What. CP: But what.

13-16 The syntax of this question displays the poet's artfulness, as he asks, in effect, three differently modulated questions, each one building from the last: What is a man? What is a man who always magnifies himself? What is he other than a mere mark made from a clod of clay? In stating that man magnifies himself, the speaker alters the Latin sense (God as magnifier of man), emphasizes human pride, and starkly contrasts it to man's "nothingness." The imagery depicts God as artistic sculptor of man's form, with an emphasis upon the earthiness of the medium. The poet's overall stress upon man's base make-up from "dust" surpasses even the source verses in Job. As Crawford comments, "the synonyms clay, pouder, erth, and hume come up again and again" (p. 155).

21 good Lord. CP: Lord God.

What shall I say? The speaker establishes a tone of primal questioning that drives the poem: "I have a need to know what is man. It is evident he is nothing but as Thou, God, formed him. Knowing this and being a man, I need to know how to speak to Thee." In its spirit of questioning, the poem might be compared to the Vernon lyric This World Fares as a Fantasy (ed. Brown, pp. 160-64); see discussion by Douglas Gray, Themes and Images in the Medieval English Religious Lyric (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972), pp. 212-16.

23 wote. CP: knowe.

helpe. CP: helpe me.

25 Crawford cites the opening Or of this line, they in line 481, and hem in line 578 as evidence for the continuity of the English poem from stanza to stanza. It would appear that the poet did not expect the Latin Office (used as stanza headings in DHT) to interrupt the flow of English verse.

ayene. DHTC: ayenst man; P: man agayn. Emendation (also adopted by Crawford) is indicated by the rhyme and meter. The form for the preposition "against" is generally ayenst (appearing eight times) but ayene is found at line 163 (in all MSS).

30-34 The voice here speaks for himself and the reader, hence, the plural first-person pronouns (and the mixed singular/plural oureself), culminating in the phrase the and me.

36 Crawford remarks that the refrain has a substantive force here and at stanzas 5, 8, 16, 19, 25, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 39, 42, 45, 46, 51, 52, 53, 56, and 57. Here and at those points she hyphenates the Latin phrase and defines it "God's mercy towards me." Occurrences of the phrase elsewhere in Middle English suggest that it had currency as a common prayer; see Alford, pp. 323-35.

37 O. HCP (adopted by Crawford); DT: Or.

39 mare. TC; DHP: more. The northern spellings of T are adopted for the rhyme here and in lines 41 and 43. On northern forms in Pety Job, see note to line 512.

40 salyve. CP: spotull blyfe. Crawford notes that the reading of CP is influenced by the Prymer, which always used "some form of the word spotull" (p. 114). On the larger question of Prymer influence, see Crawford's careful analysis (pp. 107-17).

41 sare. T; DHCP: sore.

43 lare. T; DHCP: lore.

44 That. CP: That Y.

45 The poet introduces a christological reference to Jesus's five wounds into the paraphrase of verses from Job. The devotional theme is not, however, integral to the poem, as it is, for example, in The Valley of This Restless Mind.

47 of. CP: of thys (adopted by Horstmann).

53 O. Omitted in CP.

55-57 These lines set God's mercifulness toward man against man's willful ingratitude toward his own Creator. Because God gave man his being, this ingratitude is taken to be unnatural (unkynde). On the lyric tradition of God as mankind's friend, see Rosemary Woolf, The English Religious Lyric in the Middle Ages (Oxford: Clarendon, 1968), pp. 214-18.

59 make me have. CP: that Y may.

69 pray The. TCP (adopted by Horstmann and Crawford); DH: pray. The meter of the TCP reading is better; the word The probably dropped out by confusion with the next word thys.

79 pytte. The word means "hell" in line 33, but here it is the grave, whether actual (the voice is a soul who has died) or potential (the voice is a living soul for whom a grave is reserved). The voice typically speaks from a vaguely timeless perspective, for all souls, dead and living. There is eventually, however, a subtly timed sequence given to the speaker's state; see note to line 203.

80 Though men me seke. Crawford notes that this phrase appears to be a mistranslation of the Latin si mane me quesieris, the poet rendering mane ("in the morning") as "men."

81 Abraham. CP: fayre Abraham.

84 So. CP: Ever.

85-144 Stanzas 8-12 paraphrase Lesson 2: Job 10.1-7.

88 lyfe. C: selfe (adopted by Horstmann).

90 oune. Omitted in CP.

94 how. CP: whi, a reading that translates Latin cur. But, as Crawford notes, the reading of DHT fits the penitential stance: "The poet knows why he is judged . . . he is asking how the judgment will be carried out" (p. 248).

97-108 The Pety Job poet omits the last phrase of the verse in Job, et consilium impiorum adives ("and help the counsel of the wicked"), an accusation of God's injustice that goes beyond the sinner's personal plight.

98 accuse. CP: to accuse.

105 of. CP: on.

107 Thow. TCP: Lord Thow (adopted by Horstmann and Crawford, for better meter). The extra syllable is not necessary; stress falls upon Thys and the second syllable of prayer.

114 may se. CP: man may.

119 nat that. TCP (adopted by Horstmann and Crawford); DH: nat. The variant reading is accepted for both sense and meter. The word that must have been omitted by confusion with either nat or Thow.

121 lyke. C: slyke ("such," adopted by Horstmann). The reading in C "could be an original Northern rime preserved or . . . a scribe's attempt to avoid the identical rime" (Crawford, p. 250). Kail erroneously prints syke.

125 That. TCP: This (adopted by Horstmann and Crawford, for sense). Emendation is unnecessary; that contrasts as well as this with tomorow in line 127.

126 gladsom. CP: gladly.

128 borne. Horstmann emends: is borne. Crawford notes, however, that borne can be read as parallel to syke, with both words serving as complements to the verb wexeth (line 127).

132 Lorde. CP: Ever.

133-44 The poet omits Job's protestation of innocence (scias quia nichil impium fecerim), in keeping with the poem's penitential emphasis. Compare stanza 39, where Job's "I have not sinned" is rendered by the poet "I have nat synned wylfully."

134 to serche thus. C (adopted by Horstmann and Crawford); D: suche thus; H: suche ys; T: to seche thus; P: to serche. Crawford's analysis of this line is plausible: "The poet probably used seche in line 133 to translate Latin queras, and serche in line 134 to translate Latin scruteris" (p. 250). The errors of D and H support evidence elsewhere that H is a copy of D (p. 52).

135 hardnes. CP: hardynesse.

145-216 Stanzas 13-18 paraphrase Lesson 3: Job 10.8-12.

148 nobley. CP: noble lord.

150 The subject of Satan as deceiver and cause of man's fall is not found in the biblical verse. Compare note to line 246.

152 Hedlyng. C (adopted by Horstmann); DHT: Heldyng; Heledyng. It is likely that the poet used the word for "headlong" found in C; see MED hedlyng adv. (a), where in two citations the word is followed by the adverb doun. For Job 10.8 the Prymer has "thou castist me doun so sodeynli" (p. 60), and Douay (1609) has "thou cast me down headlong on a sudden." In DHT the image is curious — God holding down man by his skull — and does not correspond to the Latin.

155 ranne. CP: down ran.

156 So. CP: Evyr.

161 be. TCP: ben (adopted by Horstmann).

165 ys no. CP (adopted by Horstmann and Crawford); DH: ys; T: nys. The reading of CP is accepted for better sense and meter.

168 Lorde. CP: Thus.

169 nat me, Lorde. C: not me; P: Thou not me.

169-78 Springing from the biblical simile of milk, the poet builds up a sequence of "liquid" images. The milk, his blood, is softer (that is, weaker) than silk, which is vulnerable to rain; consequently it leads him to sin, so that he, who is filled with such blood, wades deeply in sin and nearly drowns in it.

171 Thow madest that. CP (adopted by Horstmann); DH: that; T: of that; Crawford emends: thow cruddedest. The reading of DH has obviously lost at least one word, and T appears to be a rough attempt to correct the DH reading. Crawford supplies the verb crudden, which, she states, is used to translate Latin coagulare "in all manuscripts of the Middle English Prymer, in the Ten Lessons, and in the Wycliffite Bible" (p. 252). Her speculation may be correct, but it is not needed for the sense, since the phrase in CP, madest . . . ryght as the hardnesse, supplies the meaning of coagulare. Moreover, the CP phrase continues the emphasis upon what God has "made" (compare lines 159, 162, and 170) and leads to stanza 16.

172 chese ys. CP: flesche hyt.

175 thus. TCP: this.

183 As Crawford notes, this line anticipates and translates the next verse, Job 10.12; compare line 193.

192 For. CP: Of.

195 to me nat ones. C: not oones to me; P: oonis to me.

202 that. C: that that (adopted by Horstmann).

203 The lyric monologue subtly dramatizes a sequence of events, moving from a state of contrition in life to the uncertain state of the soul after death. Here the speaker is still one of the living, praying for something before he is "laid in the grave." The progression past the point of death is gradual, occurring at about stanza 42.

206 that ys. CP: that Y have; omitted in T.

208 Than. TC: Thyn (adopted by Horstmann); P: Thy.

grace. CP: goste.

211 wypt. P: whypt. The spelling in P helps to establish the meaning of this word, "whipped, driven with force." The rhymes in -ept(e) may indicate an original form w(h)ept, a northern variant spelling. Crawford follows the OED in defining wypt as "wiped" (wipe v., sense 4.). The phrase wipe from is, however, otherwise unattested, and parallel senses in the OED do not begin until 1535.

214 in. Omitted in CP.

216 Lord. Omitted in CP.

217-26 Ten lines form a long sentence jumbled in syntax by rapid mental associations and emotions. The poet seems to be reacting to the scriptural pile-up of Latin terms for his iniquity, iniquitates, peccata, scelera, and delicta. As the speaker acknowledges his heap of sins, he envisions the frightening pit of hell.

217-88 Stanzas 19-24 paraphrase Lesson 4: Job 13.23-28.

218 an. CP: a.

220 may. CP: may heere (adopted by Horstmann).

222 so. Omitted in TCP.

225 on. TCP (adopted by Horstmann and Crawford); DH: of. The emendation is needed for sense. For a similar image of hell, see The Sinner's Lament, line 66.

227 may. CP: may me (adopted by Horstmann).

232 lesse. TCP (adopted by Horstmann and Crawford); DH: lace. The rhyme shows that TCP preserve the correct reading. The shared error in DH was caused by attraction to the a-rhyme.

233 As Crawford notes, the poet here extends his biblical source, showing God to persecute the sinner as an enemy.

235 fayne. CP: Lorde.

236 me. The line would be better, metrically, without this word, but it is found in all MSS.

238 oo. CP: good.

240 Lorde. CP: Evyr.

241 to. CP: to be.

242 freel. CP: full frele (adopted by Horstmann).

244 Although. DHTCP: As though. Emendation is needed for sense.

beres bynde. DHTCP; Crawford emends: be berebynde. The phrase is apparently a common expression for boldness. Compare the Vernon lyric Think on Yesterday, where bynde rhymes with wynde, a word used for the forces of the world:
This wrecched world nis but a wynde,
Ne non so stif to stunte ne stare,
Ne non so bold beores to bynde,
That he nath warnynges to beo ware.
(lines 52-55, ed. Brown, p. 144)
S.v. MED bere n.(1), sense 1.(d). Crawford's emendation to be berebynde (a plant-name) is overly speculative.

246 fondyng. See OED fanding vbl. sb., "a testing or putting to the proof."

of The. CP: of the fende (adopted by Horstmann and Crawford); T: oft. The phrase fondyng of the fende is well attested; see MED fondinge and OED fanding, sense 2. The CP phrase may therefore be the original, especially since the poet does add the agency of Satan elsewhere (compare lines 117, 150, and 656). I have, however, retained the DH reading because the idea that God does the testing accords with the scriptural source.

249 grope. CP: graspe.

a. Omitted in CP.

250 though I stomble. Crawford emends: through the stobble, another editorial attempt to bring the poem closer to the Latin Job (see note to line 244). Her interpretation of the line is faulty: "if the poet stumbles God would not be following him but catching him." The point is that the speaker is blind to God's ways, even to God's tests, but God is nonetheless constantly watchful of him.

252 Yet. CP: Evyr.

258 hit. Omitted in CP.

259 thys. CP: thus (adopted by Horstmann).

yse. Horstmann emends: I see.

260 And distroy me for. C: Dyscrye me of; P: Discryve me of; Horstmann emends: Distroy me for. Horstmann's rendition of lines 259-60 (And thus thou wyllt, fulle welle I see, / distroy me ffor my wycked dede) removes the idea that God sees private sins.

262 Lorde. CP: welle.

263 drope. TCP: drowpe.

265 a synew. CP: stockes. For the sense "snare," see OED sinew sb. sense 1.b. Synew to translate Latin nervus also occurs in some copies of the Prymer; the word stockes occurs in other copies and has once been inserted as a correction of synew. According to Crawford, the variants suggest "that the poet or some of the scribes did have a verbal memory of at least parts of a Prymer or of some similar vernacular version of the Office of the Dead" (p. 112).

268 in wey or walle. The sense would seem to be "in open-ways and in walled enclosures." Crawford suggests a reference to "medieval wall-walks, such as those surviving in York today" (p. 257).

277-80 The syntactic conjoining of three images (the third one not found in the Vulgate) is magnificently evocative. Rotting shall consume the body, which fares just like moth-eaten cloth, or just like (the innovation) smoke departing from fire. The final image denotes the true transparency of the ephemeral body, and the burning life of the soul. The remarkable pile-up of images is then converted to a stark summation: "So body and soul asundre goth."

278 mowthe-eten. C: moght eton; P: mothis etyng; T: mothis that eten.

279 And. Omitted in CP.

281 hume. CP: slyme.

283 than. CP: Lorde.

287 leve. CP: beleve.

289 Human experience is gendered as male. "Woman" is the earth from which men spring, the material source to be abhorred and regretted. The androcentrism derives from Job (see Edwin M. Good, "Job," in Harper's Bible Commentary, gen. ed. James L. Mays [San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988], p. 432), but in Pety Job it is strongly colored by medieval penitential ideas of the male soul birthed into errant female flesh (see stanza 53). The Messengers of Death, a poem found in the Vernon MS, opens with a paraphrase of this verse:
The Mon that is of wommon i-bore,
His lyf nis heere but a throwe [instant] —
So seith Job us heer bifore
Al in a Bok that I wel knowe. (lines 1-4)
(ed. F. J. Furnivall, The Minor Poems of the Vernon Manuscript, Part 2, EETS o.s. 117 [1901; rpt. New York: Greenwood, 1969], p. 443)
289-372 Stanzas 25-31 paraphrase Lesson 5: Job 14.1-6.

293 hote and colde, and hungor. CP: heete colde hungur and.

294 Turmented. CP: Turned he.

298 a. Omitted in CP.

and. TCP: that.

299 The. Omitted in CP.

lovely. CP: mylde.

300 For. CP: Of.

301 spryngeth oute. CP: owt spryngyth (adopted by Horstmann).

307 houre. CP (adopted by Horstmann); DHT: shoure. The reading of CP is better than the repeated rhyme of DHT. As soon as the Job text calls up the ancient flower simile — a figure for man in time — and the poet establishes an a-rhyme upon -oure, houre becomes the inevitable fourth rhyme word, after floure, shoure, and coloure. It suits also the theme of growth after birth, "from yere to yere," begun in stanza 25.

308 ryght. Omitted in C; P: like.

309 full. C: all full; P: all foule.

311 Of heven blysse. CP: Lord of hevene.

318 ys harder than. C: ys harde as; P: as hard as; T: harder than.

ston. TCP (adopted by Crawford); DH: a ston(e).

320 In expanding his paraphrase of the Job verses, the poet often alludes to the traditional three foes of mankind, the flesh, the world, and the devil. On the addition of Satan elsewhere, see note to line 246.

they. HTCP (adopted by Crawford); D: then. The error in D is caused by attraction to the following word ben.

321 Lord. Omitted in CP.

323 Passion literature often contained devotion to both Mary and John the Evangelist, derived from John 19.26-27. Compare The Four Leaves of the Truelove, lines 225-26, and the meditation addressed to St. John the Evangelist by the fourteenth-century monk John Whiterig (ed. Hugh Farmer, The Monk of Farne [Baltimore: Helicon, 1961], pp. 149-51).

325 But. C: A; P: O.

327 A. Omitted in CP.

undertake. CP (adopted by Horstmann and Crawford); DH: understande; T: undirstake. Crawford explains the T reading as a scribal attempt to correct the faulty rhyme produced by the error in DH.

333 Ywys. CP: Forsothe.

335 Lorde. Omitted in CP.

336 And ever. CP: Wyth.

338 take. CP: take thou (adopted by Horstmann).

343-44 These lines summarize the speaker's attitude about the life of the soul before and after bodily death: it is only sorrow and care until God's Judgment, which may allow entry to heaven.

347 On the notion of actively rising up out of sin to repent, a move that requires willed energy, compare The Sinner's Lament, line 72.

348 Lorde. CP: Evyr.

350 now. Omitted in CP.

354-58 For the story of Ezechias, see 4 Kings 20 and Isaiah 38. The poet recasts the story into a penitential exemplum. The biblical Ezechias wept not for his sins, but for the fact that his life was being cut short. Rather than repent, he pleaded his righteousness. The reference to Ezechias at this verse in Job corresponds to Gregory's use of it in the Moralia in Job (Crawford, pp. 135-37; for Gregory, see J. P. Migne, ed., Patrilogia Latina 75.987). In general, there is little evidence that Gregory's work influenced the poet. The borrowing need not have been direct from Gregory but rather from a sermon or other reading. As usual, the English poet inserts a greater penitential emphasis.

359 Lord, yeve. CP: So graunt.

360 Have. CP: Wyth.

364 hys. CP: a.

365 lust. CP: lyste.

366-69 A rhetorical shift severs the complaint of the octave from the speaker's piety in the final quatrain. The speaker precariously balances two contrary perspectives: the plaintive "This holde I, Lorde, for the beste" and the repudiative "all thys worlde now ys myswrest."

369 all. Omitted in CP.

370 thys. TCP: thus (adopted by Horstmann).

372 For. CP: Thorow.

373-84 Crawford notes that in this stanza the poet departs from the primary sense of the Job verse: "The sense of hiding in the grave, expressed in the Latin in inferno protegas me, is turned by the poet into a stanza on the omnipresence of God" (p. 262).

373-444 Stanzas 32-37 paraphrase Lesson 6: Job 14.13-16.

375 Fro. T (adopted by Crawford); DHCP: For. Kail prints Fro without noting it as an emendation of D.

376 my. CP: any.

377 concurraunte. The rhymes in this stanza exhibit an aureate flair. This word would probably contain the earliest meaning in English for concur, "to run together violently, to collide," hence my definition, "prone to rebel." See OED concur v., which shows little currency for the word before the sixteenth century. The MED offers a tentative definition of the unusual usage in Pety Job, "? exist along with others," a definition adopted by Crawford.

378 in. CP: in thy (adopted by Horstmann).

379 haunte. C: daunt; P: daund. The word haunt means "frequent the company of, stay near" (MED haunten v., sense 3a), not "seek," as cited in the MED (sense 3b).

380 Yet. Omitted in CP.

382 now. Omitted in CP.

383 leccioun. CP; DHT: lessoun. The spelling of CP is adopted to accord with the aureate rhyme-words of the stanza. Although not found in the MED (compare lecoun n.), leccioun is an anglicized form of Latin lectio, "a reading, a lesson." The word leccio heads each lesson of the Dirige in the Prymer.

388 of Thy blysse am so. CP: am of blysse full.

391 bounde here. CP: bownden.

393 Thow. Omitted in CP.

393-94 On God's pyté, compare The Bird with Four Feathers, line 13.

395 lyght as lynde. A proverbial expression for carefree light-heartedness, derived from the linden tree's delicate leaves, which are easily set in rapid motion by the wind; see MED lind(e) n., sense 1b.

396 To have. CP: Of.

399 in. CP: on.

401-02 These two lines are omitted in T.

405 Thus. TCP (adopted by Horstmann); DH: Thys.

407 That I may. CP: Graunt me to. The variant helps to clarify that lines 407-08 are to be read as a petition.

the. CP: thy (adopted by Horstmann).

408 Of. CP: Wyth; Horstmann emends: Lord.

409 lyve. CP: leve.

410 wepyng. C: woopes; P: wopis.

412 fale. TCP; DH: fall(e). The reading of TCP is adopted for the rhyme; the variant is not cited by Crawford.

416 hale. CP: thou hale (adopted by Horstmann).

420 But. CP: Evyr.

424 myn. T (adopted by Horstmann and Crawford); DH: my; CP: an. The emendation conforms to the D scribe's practice elsewhere of using -n on possessive pronouns preceding vowels. A similar emendation is adopted at line 589.

429 And my wittes though. P; DHT: And with my thought; C: And wyttes myne thogh; Crawford emends: My wittes though. The reading of P is adopted for better sense; compare similar phrasing at line 345.

432 Thorow. CP (adopted by Crawford); DH: But; T: With. The emendation complements the one at line 429 and is needed for logical sense.

436 hell. CP: alle.

438 welle. CP: walle.

441 bytterer. HTCP (adopted by Horstmann and Crawford); D: bytter. The D scribe neglected to add the hooked sign for -er to the end of the word. Crawford mistakenly reads bytter in H and takes this line as an instance of shared error in DH.

eysell or gall. Vinegar and gall, the two bitter drinks offered to Jesus on the Cross, to increase his torment (Matthew 27.34).

445-528 Stanzas 38-44 paraphrase Lesson 7: Job 17.1-2, 11-15. The Pety Job poet omits one verse found in the Office of the Dead: Libera me, Domine, et pone me iuxta te, et cuiusvis manus pugnet contra me. (Job 17.3: Deliver me, O Lord, and set me beside thee, and let any man's hand fight against me.) The missing verse would have come between stanzas 39 and 40.

446 I am fallen in any. CP: that Y am fall(en) yn (adopted by Crawford). Crawford's adoption of the CP reading is based on a belief that the poet is describing the weakness of old age. The context, however, suggests that his weakness remains a fact regardless of age and of how cautiously he might try to live.

447 never. Crawford emends: hit never, in order "to complete the phrase make hit queynt" (p. 265). For the idiom, see OED quaint a., sense 11, and MED queinte adj., sense 2(e). The emendation is not needed, however, because the subject dayes supplies the implied object for the idiom. Another example of the idiom without hit appears in the Vernon lyric Who Says the Sooth, He Shall Be Shent, line 14 (ed. Brown, p. 152).

455 cage. A figurative term for the grave. Compare the similar use of a cage image in The Sinner's Lament, line 56.

461 not. In D the o is written over an a.

465 This line is omitted in H.

466 Thow. The word is omitted in DHT, but supplied by comparison of the line with the two variants, that is, C: And Thou that yche God that madyst me, and P: And Thou God aloan that madist me. Both Horstmann and Crawford adopt the emendation, which is needed to supply an antecedent for that ylke God.

471 wandre. C: wandren (adopted by Horstmann); P: wanderith.

whare. The word has the generalized sense, "wherever, whither"; see OED where adv., sense 9.

472 Lorde. CP: ofte.

479 Thy. CP: thus.

480 Lorde. CP: Evyr.

481 they. Refers to the thoughts described in the preceding stanza. See note to line 25.

484 myn. CP: my.

plyght. CP: pyght (adopted by Horstmann and Crawford). Crawford states that "none of the OED definitions of plyght (DHT) fits the context of this line." (p. 267). The word is, however, the past participle of pleiten, meaning "fastened" (MED, sense [c]) or "turned over in one's mind" (sense [a]).

489 mekyl. CP: moche.

491 a. Omitted in CP.

492 Lorde. CP: Thorow; T: With.

493-94 The poet emphasizes disease and death, not hell as in the Latin source. Here the poet initiates a series of stanzas that meditate upon the experience of the soul after death. In the poem as a whole this series occurs within a larger sequence from life to death; see note to line 203.

496 Whether I be. CP: Be Y.

497 The imagery of a bed and sleeplessness, begun in the last stanza, evokes now multiple meanings: birth, individual consciousness, a deathbed, the grave.

501 that, of my. CP: owt of that.

503 Thow. CP: The Thou; HT: The.

504 With. CP: Thorow.

508 I am. CP (adopted by Kail, Horstmann, and Crawford, for the rhyme); DHT: am I, an error caused by attraction the a-rhyme.

509-12 Note how the poet plays with the sounds of for and I within these lines.

510 then. D; HTCP: than (adopted by Crawford). The form is merely a spelling variant; compare than at lines 318 and 441.

am. C: name; P: ne am; Horstmann emends: nam.

511 sustres. CP: systren.

512 ham. CP; DHT: hem. The spelling, either northern or Midland, is accepted for the rhyme. The D scribe's usual form is hem. The poet's dialect is difficult to ascertain because the evidence in the poem is mixed. On the frequent presence of northern forms, Crawford writes:

By the mid to late fifteenth century, when the Pety Job poet was working, many Northern forms had no doubt become part of the literary language at the command of any poet looking for appropriate rimes. Desire that their works be associated with the popular Northern devotional poems (especially those of Richard Rolle) may also have prompted authors whose dialect was non-Northern to use Northern forms. Although determination of dialect from mixed rime evidence is difficult, it may be conjectured that the Pety Job poet used a Southeast-Midlands dialect. (p. 57)

515 On Christ likened to a lamb, see John 1.29.

527 hoo. CP: sey hoo. The variant takes the word to be the exclamation, "hoo," used to attract someone's attention. But it is a verb; see OED ho v.2, "to cease, pause." The speaker is asking God for a brief respite from his oppressive human condition.

528 And. CP: Wyth.

529 skyn my mouth. C: mouthe me skynne; P: skyn my bone. Crawford points out that the poet has apparently mistranslated os meum (Douay "my bone") as my mouth. The result is a stanza entirely about the mouth, teeth, and lips (in a free rendering of the Latin), and then about senses (hearing and eyesight) also located in the head. The P scribe tried to correct the error of os meum, possibly from a memory of "my boon" in the Prymer.

lo. The meaning is possibly "lo!" (Crawford).

529-52 The persons addressed in these two stanzas are other men, a shift from the intimate address to God that characterizes most of the poem.

529-624 Stanzas 45-52 paraphrase Lesson 8: Job 19.20-27.

530 And cleved. C: Cleved (adopted by Crawford); P: Clevyng; T: And clevith. CP (and Crawford) read ys cleved as a single verb; DHT have a compound verb, ys (attached low) and (is) cleved.

533 they. Omitted in CP.

536 Gray eyes, often used to describe heroines in romance, were considered beautiful. Gray probably refers to the eye color one would now term light blue.

538 Full. Omitted in CP.

539 that. Omitted in CP.

540 For. CP: Wyth.

542 now. CP: ye.

helpeth. HTCP: helpe. See note to line 547.

545 And. CP: Now.

seeth. TCP: syth.

546 that. Omitted in CP.

547 helpe. This apparently plural imperative does not agree in form with reweth, helpeth, and seeth in the same stanza. Alternation of form was not uncommon in Middle English; see Tauno F. Mustanoja, A Middle English Syntax, Part I. Parts of Speech (Helsinki: Sociténéophilologique, 1960), p. 474.

that. Omitted in CP.

548 Refers to the three classes of pentiential deeds required in the satisfaction of the sacrament of penance. See Matthew 6.1-18; and Spitzig, p. 179.

550 Placebo and Dirige. The opening words, respectively, of Vespers and Matins of the Office of the Dead (see Breviarium Sarum, ed. Procter and Wordsworth). The phrase appears in the refrain of a political poem (ed. Robbins, Historical Poems of the XIVth and XVth Centuries [New York: Columbia University Press, 1959], pp. 187-88).

551 Herewith my. CP: My hungery.

555 peyne. TCP: pyne (either a spelling variant, or the verb "pine").

pewe. Cited in the OED as the first usage of the word with the sense "station, situation, allotted place." See pew n., sense 3.b. The MED tentatively assigns this unusual usage to the noun (found in place-names) meaning "hill, knoll" (peue n.[2]).

561 Crawford suggests that this line approximates a translation (otherwise absent) of the Latin et carnibus meis saturamini, noting that the poet "changes the verbal persecution of the biblical Job by his 'comforters' into robbery" (p. 270).

563 faytoures. C: false factowres; P: false faytours. In C the scribe has interlined the word false, which may indicate that it was added to fill out the line in an earlier exemplar. In meaning factowres (C) does not differ from faytours (DHTP).

564 Lorde. CP: Evyr.

569-74 Given that Pety Job is itself an extended complaint over the human condition, the thought expressed in this stanza becomes (perhaps unconsciously) paradoxical. The speaker states that he would like to be an example, after death, to others so that they might "spare" their own complaining. The idea that the speaker becomes a "mirror" by which others may learn and thereby contain their own grief is similar in point to The Sinner's Lament, but the Pety Job speaker has offered scarce comfort to the reader (other than what the refrain may suggest), and his own example might be said to be one of unrestrained lament (see note to lines 665-66). The poet seems to play, nonetheless, upon the idea that learning to "spare" one's lament is a worthy reflection of God's "sparing" mercy.

570 Eyther. CP: Or.

with hert. CP: ofte wyth hertys.

572 Because yef. Horstmann emends: Percase yet; Crawford emends: Percase then. But the agreement of all MSS on this reading and on Fore yef at line 569 suggests a grammatical construction of hypothesis that the scribes could understand: "for if something is liable to occur, (yet) by (another) cause perhaps something else will come about." Yef can encompass the meaning "perhaps" (see MED if conj., sense 5).

573 nat so. CP: no soche.

575 but. Omitted in CP. Compare line 8.

578 hem. Refers to the words mentioned in line 566 in the preceding stanza. See note to line 25.

579 My. DHTCP; Horstmann and Crawford emend: In. The editors' emendation is based on the Latin in libro and the plausibility of such an error on paleographical grounds. But In is not necessary for sense (it is understood in context), it has no basis in any MS, and the phrase My booke becomes a figure for "my life made into a tangible example for others," something that is quite significant and personal to the speaker.

580 gumme. The MED does not cite this use of the word in the art of bookmaking. Besserman notes the presence in this stanza of "the anachronistic vocabulary of the medieval scribe" (p. 81).

581 yet. Omitted in CP.

583 whereever. CP: where.

588 Now. CP: So.

589 my. HTCP (adopted by Crawford); D: myn. Compare line 424.

592 on Domysdaye. These words represent the poet's translation of in novissimo die and are part of the general addition of judgment to the ideas found in the Latin verse. The Last Judgment is a recurring theme; compare stanzas 22 and 34.

594 In. CP: And.

601 Whan. DHTCP; Horstmann emends: Whame; Crawford emends: Whom. The emendation derives from Latin Quem, but it is not necessary, nor does it help the sense or syntax of the complex Middle English sentence that runs for eight lines.

602 hert. Kail emends: herte, for meter.

604 disparitable. Horstmann suggests despitable, but does not emend. Another example of aureate rhyme, the word is perhaps a coinage by the poet. No other examples are cited in the MED.

607 bryght. The word connotes the speaker's visual capacity and also the brightness of the sight of God's majesty, as envisioned at line 610.

609 charyté that ys. CP: arte (adopted by Crawford). This hypermetric line suggests the speaker's imagined rapture at the sight of the Godhead.

622 In any thyng. C: Wyth oghe; P: With oute.

624 Thorough. CP: Wyth.

625-56 In William Lichfield's The Complaint of God to Sinful Man (preserved with Pety Job in TCP) man answers God:
I wolde my motheris wombe had be my grave.
For what profityth my lyvyng here,
But if I do so that Thou wylt me save? (lines 164-66)
(ed. E. Borgstr'm, p. 513; see note to line 289)
625-84 Stanzas 53-57 paraphrase Lesson 9: Job 10.18-22.

628 Within. CP: In.

629-30 The poet changes the sense of the Latin, perhaps in mistranslation, and greatly expands the penitential sense of regret at having seen the temptations of the world. While the verse in Job is a plea that God might never have seen the unfortunate Job, the Pety Job version has the eye belonging to the speaker and its sight is focused upon the world.

630 no more. CP: me more; Crawford emends: ne more. Crawford derives her emendation from a blend of the two readings "to make the negatives parallel" (p. 274). The change is not needed. The CP reading appears to be a partial attempt to correct the mistranslation of lines 629-30.

ne. C: or; P: of.

633 from. CP: Lorde fro.

634 CP: Ye from the Lorde that madyste me. Crawford points out that the word That in DHT could refer to either me or The in line 633, and that the sense is the same either way. CP represents a scribal rewording.

635 make me to. CP: graunt that Y may.

636 With. CP: Thorow.

637-48 The poet omits the second half of the verse from Job (in Douay, "carried from womb to the grave"). Job expresses the wish to have never been, that is, to be as if conveyed immediately from womb to grave; the clause negates not birth but the experience that comes with life. In Pety Job the wish is stronger: never to have been born.

644 Nere. CP: Ne were; T: Nor.

647 of plenté. CP: Lorde all.

652 oute of. CP: fro.

653-56 On the poet's insertion of the theme of the world, the flesh, and the devil, see notes to line 246 and 320.

660 So. CP: Evyr; omitted in T.

661 Thow. CP: now.

661-84 Chaucer's Parson draws upon this passage (Job 10.20-22) to exemplify the third cause of contrition, the fear of judgment and dread of hell, "the derke lond, covered with the derknesse of deeth" (CT X(1) 175). See especially CT X(1) 180-85 (Riverside Chaucer, p. 291).

662 whyle that wepe. C; DHT: what that whyl(l); P: what that whaile and wepe; Crawford emends: whyle that whaile. The reading of C is adopted for sense, and for its translation of the Latin phrase ut plangam paululum.

663 greved. CP: gyltyd.

665-66 The petition is for an allowance of time to lament and for permission to use one's earthly life in lament. In retrospect, these lines are expressive of the speaker's mode of poetic utterance, which figures profitable living as a verbal song of perpetual complaint and appeal, sorrow and repentance. On the problematic psychological balance required of the penitent (acknowledgment of sin without despair), see Lee Patterson, pp. 374-84.

667 never. C: ne; P: not.

669 good. Omitted in CP.

678 may. CP: may there.

679 of 2. Omitted in CP.

680 sorow. CP: orrour. The reading in CP seems to derive from the Latin word horror, but it should also be noted that the poet's rendition of Job is rather free in this stanza.

681 cleped. CP: named.

682 Worthy. CP: Worschypfull.

now Thow. Omitted in CP.

Colophon CP: Here endyth Pety Joob and begynnyth the Proverbis of Salamon.
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Pety Job

Here begynneth the nyne lessons of the Dirige, whych Job made in hys tribulacioun lying on
the donghyll, and ben declared more opynly to lewde mennes understanding by a solempne,
worthy, and discrete clerke Rychard Hampole, and ys cleped Pety Job, and ys full profitable
to stere synners to compunccioun.
(see note)
Parce michi, Domine! 1
Lyef Lord, my soule Thow spare!
The sothe I sey now sykerly:
That my dayes nought they are,
For though I be bryght of ble —
The fayrest man that ys oughware —
Yet shall my fayrenesse fade and fle,
And I shal be but wormes ware.
And when my body ys all bare,
And on a bere brought shal be,
I not what I may synge thare
But Parce michi, Domine.
What ys a man, wete I wolde, 2
That magnifyeth hymself alway,
But a marke made in molde
Of a clyngyng clot of clay?
Thow shopest us for that we shulde
Have ben in blysse forever and ay —
But nowe — allas! — bothe yong and olde
Foryetyn hit bothe nyght and day!
A, good Lord! What shall I say?
I that stande in thys degré?
I wote nothyng that helpe may
But Parce michi, Domine.
Or why puttist Thow thyn hert ayene 3
That Thow hast so dere bought?
Thow vysyteste hym, and art full fayne
Sodenly to preve yef he be ought.
To longe in synne we have layne,
For synne hath so oure soule thorow sought;
To helpe oureself have we no mayne —
So moche woo hit hath us wrought!
But to the pyt when we be brought,
Then men woll wepe for the and me,
But certes all that helpeth nought,
But Parce michi, Domine.
O why so longe or Thow wolt spare 4
Me in synne, that depe dyve?
Thow woldest suffer never mare
Me to swolowe my salyve?
I have The gylt and grevyd sare,
For synne with me hathe ben to ryve;
But, Lord, now lere me with Thy lare
That dedly synne fro me may dryve.
And, Jhesu, for Thy woundes fyve,
As Thow becammest man for me,
When I shall passe oute of lyve,
Than Parce michi, Domine.
What shall I do unto The, 5
O Thow Kepar of all mankynde?
Of suche a matiere why madest Thow me
To The contrarious me for to fynde?
O Fader of Heven, fayre and fre,
As Thow art bothe good and hende,
Yet be kynde, as Thow hast be,
And spare me, Lorde, that am unkynde.
Thy frenshyp, Fader, late me fynde,
As Thow art God in Trinité.
Of Thy mercy make me have mynde
Wyth Parce michi, Domine.
Why takest Thow nat my syn away, 6
A Thow God of all goodnesse?
And why, also, as I The say,
Dost nat awey my wykednesse?
Thow madest me of a clot of clay
That breketh ofte thorough brotylnesse:
Full brotyll I am — hit ys no nay! —
That maketh me ofte to do amysse.
But, good Jhesu, I pray The thys,
For thy grete benygnyté,
Thy mercy, Lorde, late me nat mys,
But Parce michi, Domine.
Loo, in pouder I shall slepe, 7
For owte of poudere furst I cam,
And into poudere must I crepe,
For of that same kynde I am.
That I ne am pouder I may not threpe,
For erthe I am as was Adam,
And nowe my pytte ys dolven depe;
Though men me seke, ryght nought I am!
O Thow, Fader Abraham,
For Mary love, that mayde so fre
In whos blode thy Son swame,
So Parce michi, Domine.
Hyt forthynketh my soule, ywys, 8
The lyfe that I have lad alway;
For now my speche ayenst me ys;
Sothly my lyfe I shall dysplay.
In sorow and in bytternesse,
Of myn oune soule, thus shall I say:
"Now, good Jhesu, Kynge of Blysse,
Dampne me nat at Domesday!"
And, good Jhesu — to The I pray! —
Telle how thus Thow demest me.
Nowe yeve me mercy, and say nat nay,
Wyth Parce michi, Domine!
Semeth hit good, Lord, unto The, 9
To thryste me doune, and me accuse?
I am Thy werke, Thow madest me:
Thyne oune handwerk Thow nat refuse.
Wythyn the close of cheryté,
Good God, Thow me recluse,
And yef I gylte The in any degré,
With Thy mercy Thow me excuse.
Ne late me never of maters muse
That fallen unto dyshonesté.
Thys prayer Thow nat recuse,
But Parce michi, Domine.
Whether Thyne eyen flesshly be, 10
Or yef Thow seest as seeth a man?
Nay, forsoth, but oonly we
Of outeward thynges beholdyng han;
But inward thynges dost Thow se,
That non other may se ne can.
Therfore, Lorde, I pray to The,
Warne me when I am mystan,
That I may flee fro foule Sathan,
That ys aboute to perysshe me.
Lese nat that Thow ones wan,
But Parce michi, Domine.
Whether Thy dayes, Lord, be lyke 11
As mennys dayes, that dwellen here,
Or Thy yeres be ought lyke
To the tymes of mannes yere?
That day a man ys fresshe and fryke,
And sheweth forth a gladsom chere;
But tomorow he wexeth syke,
And haply borne forthe on a bere.
Thus mannes tyme ys in a were,
But Thy tyme stondeth in oo degré.
Therfore, I pray in thys manere:
Lorde, Parce michi, Domine.
For to seche my wyckednesse, 12
And for to serche thus all my synne,
Methynketh hit cometh of grete hardnes
With me, Lorde, so to begynne.
Shewe Thow forth thy grete goodnes,
And Thyne hardshyp up Thow pynne;
Thynke opon the brytylnesse
That alwey worcheth me withynne,
And sythen I may nat fro The twyn,
Ne from Thyne hande warysshed be,
Though I offende more or mynne,
Ever Parce michi, Domine.
Thyne handes, Lorde, have made me 13
And formed me in shap of man,
And me Thow settest in degré
Of grete nobley after than.
But whan I, thorough the sotylté,
Deceyved was of foule Sathan,
Thow puttedyst me fro that dignité
Hedlyng doune on my brayn pan.
Noon other cause alege I can
But that synne hathe depryved me.
Now for the blood that from The ranne,
So Parce michi, Domine!
Have mynde, therfore, I The pray, 14
O Thow God, Almighty Kynge,
Thynke Thow madest me of clay,
And into clay Thow shalt me brynge.
Suche ys Thy myght, and hath be ay,
And sythen Thow madest furst all thynge,
Who dare sey ayene The nay,
To lette Thy wyll or Thy lykyng?
There ys no man, olde ne yonge,
That stryve dar ayenst The;
Therfore nede maketh me synge,
Lorde, Parce michi, Domine.
Mylkedest nat me, Lorde, as mylke, 15
With nesshe blood, whan Thow me made?
And sythen, Lord, Thow madest that ylke,
Ryght as the hardnesse of chese ys hade?
My bloode ys nessher than ys sylke,
In reyny weder that sone woll fade,
And thus me made do dedys swylke
With whyche my goste ys ofte unglade.
And thus in sinne full depe I wade
That nygh I droune thorow freelté!
Although I can of synne nat sade,
Yet Parce michi, Domine.
With flesshe and felle Thow hast me cladde, 16
With bones and synewes togeder knyt;
Lyfe and mercy of The I hadde;
To governe me Thow yave me wyt.
To kepe Thyne hestes Thow me bade,
And seydest that I shuld, for hit,
In heven blysse be ever gladde.
And yet I woll nat fro syn flytte,
But freelté, Lord, so me smytte,
Unnethe kepte ys oone for me!
Nat for than I pray The yet
For Parce michi, Domine.
Lyfe and mercy Thow yave me, ay! 17
When I wold Thy mercy crave,
Thow seydest to me nat ones nay,
But glad was when I wold hit have.
Thow were redy, nyght and day,
With mercy, Lord, me to save!
But I denyed hit alwey,
So woodly syn made me to rave;
I servyd syn, and was hys knave;
I dyd that was ayenst me.
Now, Lord, when I am leyde in grave,
Than Parce michi, Domine!
Thy vysitacion, Lorde, hath kepte 18
My spyryte that ys me withyn,
For when I wolde to syn have lepte,
Than holy grace made me to blyn;
And ofte tyme I have sore wept
The more grace of The to wyn;
And thus with wepyng have I wypt
My soule, Lord, from dedly synne.
Lord, late me never werke begynne
That in any wyse may displese The;
And, somtyme, though I from The twyn,
Yet, Lord, Parce michi, Domine.
What wykednes — all that I have! — 19
With my synnes — all on an hepe! —
Shewe me hem or I go to grave,
That I for hem may sore wepe,
My soule, Lord, that I may save
From the pyt of hell so depe,
Where synful soules tumble and rave
In endeles woo — ataketh good kepe! —
Toodes on hem doth crowde and crepe —
In suche peynes the soules be!
From that place I may nat kepe
Withouten Parce michi, Domine.
Why hydest Thow fro me Thy face, 20
That ys so full of all fayrenesse?
I mene thys: Somtyme Thy grace
That Thow withdrawest, and yevest me lesse.
As Thyne enemy Thow dost me chace,
Demyng me in grete hardnesse;
Thy love fayne wold I purchase
Yef Thow wolt me hit graunte of thy goodnes.
Now graunte me, Lord, suche stedfastnes
That I may stande in oo degré,
And though I fall thorow brotylnes,
Lorde, Parce michi, Domine.
Ayenst a leefe, that lyght ys to blowe, 21
To me, that am freel of kynde,
Thy myght and power dost Thow showe;
Although I myght beres bynde,
With wyndes ofte I overthrowe.
Suche fondyng of The I fynde.
I renne forthe fro rowe to rowe,
Somtyme before, somtyme behynde;
I grope as a man that ys full blynde,
But though I stomble, Thow folowest me:
A, Lord! Though I to The be unkynde,
Yet Parce michi, Domine!
Thow wrytest, Lord, ayenst me 22
Bytternesse, that I shall rede
At Domesday, in syght of The
And all the worlde in length and brede;
That I dyd in pryvyté
There opynly hit owte shall sprede.
And thys Thow wylt full well yse,
And distroy me for my wyked dede!
But, Lorde, to The I clepe and grede,
As Thow art Lorde of all pyté,
That day when I shall drope and drede,
Than Parce michi, Domine!
In a synew Thow hast my feet sette, 23
With the whyche that I go shall,
And all the pathes Thow hast mette
That ever I yede in wey or walle;
There ys nothyng that The may lette
To knowe my steppes, grete and smalle,
Wycked and worse, good and bette —
I wote well, Thow considerest alle!
But, Lorde, to The I clepe and calle:
When I slyde, supporte Thow me,
And though somtyme I take a falle,
Yet Parce michi, Domine!
The whyche, as rotyng shall consume, 24
And fare as mowthe-eten cloth,
And as from the fyre departeth fume,
So body and soule asundre goth.
I am made of a lothly hume —
Hit ys a thyng to man most loth!
Wherof than shulde I presume
To be hygh-herted or lyghtly wroth?
Though I be he that ofte mysdoth,
Of mercy art Thow large and fre;
As I leve that thys ys soth,
So Parce michi, Domine!
A man that ys of a woman bore 25
But lytell whyle he lyveth here,
And every day, more and more,
Replenysshed ys with synnes sere;
With hote and colde, and hungor sore,
Turmented ys from yere to yere,
And ofte hym wanteth Goddys lore,
That gostly wey he shuld lere.
And thus he wandreth in a were,
As a man blynd, and may nat se!
Therfore I pray The, with lovely chere,
For Parce michi, Domine!
The whyche spryngeth oute as a floure 26
That groweth fresshe, all men to glade,
But when he with a sharpe shoure
Ys smyten, begynneth sone to fade.
So lese I the fayre coloure
That God Almyghty furst in me made,
And thus I chaunge in every houre,
And fle away ryght as a shade;
And herewith I am full lade
With synnes of diverse degré —
Of heven blysse me nought degrade,
But Parce michi, Domine!
And, Lord, Thow lettest that hit be dygne 27
Thyne eyen to opene uppon suche on,
And hym Thow shewest, by that sygne,
That he, with The, to dome shall gone.
Have mercy on me, Jhesu benygne!
Methynketh myn hert ys harder than ston,
And besyed with a spiryte maligne,
My flesshe, the worlde, they ben my fone!
These ben myn enemyes, Lord, echone,
Ever aboute to perysshe me!
Lorde, for the love of Mary and John,
Ever Parce michi, Domine!
But, Lord, who may clene make 28
Conceyved thyng of seede unclene?
Nat Thow? A, yes, I undertake,
Yef The lyste to make hit clene.
Allas! I walke in a lake
Of dedly synne that doth me tene;
But, Lorde, for the Love of Maryes sake,
Amende the harme that I of mene.
Ywys I am nat worthe a bene,
Of my sylfe, to commendyd be.
Yet helpe me, Lorde, with thy grace shene,
And ever Parce michi, Domine!
Mennes dayes ben shorte. Beware! 29
And therto take good entente!
For in respyte of tyme evermare,
They beth nothyng equipolent.
The nombre of hys monthes are
Alwey at The, Lorde, verament;
Oure lyfe ys nought but sorow and care
Tyll we be passed jugement.
My wyttes, Lorde, I have myspent
That Thow me yave to rewle with me,
But that I may ryse up and here repent,
Lorde, Parce michi, Domine!
Hys termes, Lord, Thow hast ordeyned: 30
How longe he shall now lyve here,
That may he nat passe, ne be refreyned, 31
But by Thyne absolute power;
Thys sentence may be well susteyned
By a story, as we may here.
Howe Ezechye to dethward peyned
And yet God addyd over fiftene yere;
Hys kyndly tyme was comen full nere,
But for hys synnes tho wepte he!
Lorde, yeve me grace that I may here
Have Parce michi, Domine!
Therfore, Lord, a lytell go awey, 32
Withdrawe Thyn hande, that man may rest,
Tyll he desyre hys dethe day
And wylne to be shut up in hys cheste;
And late hym lyve, yef hym lust ay;
Thys holde I, Lorde, for the beste.
All dysease from hym delay,
Tyll the careyn in erthe be keste.
Allas, all thys world now ys myswrest
To carpe thys, Lorde, ayenst The!
Make me to Thy mercy trest
For Parce michi, Domine!
Who to me may yeve or graunte, 33
For love or any affeccioun,
Fro Thy wrathe that ys duraunte
I may have my proteccioun?
In helle, yef I be concurraunte,
There am I in subjeccioun;
In heven, though Thow woldest me haunte,
Yet there am I at Thy correccioun.
I may nat from Thy respeccioun
By no way, Lorde, hyde now me;
Therfore seye I thys leccioun
Of Parce michi, Domine!
And Thow woldest a tyme ordeyne 34
In whyche Thow woldest of me have mynde,
With som solace me to susteyne,
That of Thy blysse am so fere behynde.
My woo from The can I nat leyne,
But telle hit The, for Thow art kynde:
I am fast bounde here with a cheyne
Of dedly synne, full wele I fynde,
But woldest Thow, Lorde, me unbynde
Thorough the vertew of Thy pyté,
Than were I glad, and lyght as lynde,
To have Parce michi, Domine!
Trowest Thow nat that man shal ryse 35
Ayene to lyfe, that dyed onys?
Yes, and that in a wonderful wyse,
With flesshe and felle, bloode and bones.
Than shal God Hys dome devyse,
And to Hym take the good att ones;
But dampned soules shullen sore gryse,
And yeve a shoute with hydous grones.
Thus make they shull wofull mones,
All that shullen dampned be.
That I may dwelle withyn the wones
Of Parce michi, Domine!
All the dayes that I lyve here 36
In thys wofull wepyng dale,
I byde alwey, from yere to yere,
Tyll I chaunge, as men do fale.
Change I shall withouten were,
Nat ay be dwellyng in thys vale;
But, Lorde, whan I am leyde on bere,
Hye up to heven my soule hale —
For there commyn neyther grete ne smale,
But Thow drawe hem, Lorde, to The —
That my soule be not in bale,
But Parce michi, Domine!
Thow shalt me call at Domesday, 37
When Thow art set on jugement,
And I to The, wythouten delay,
Shall yeve myn answere verament.
But, good Jhesu, to The I pray,
Thynke alwey with full entent;
Thow madest me of a clot of clay;
Thyne handwerke helpe, as Thow furst ment!
And my wittes though I have myspent
Thorough malyce, here, of frealté,
Here, leef Lorde, late me repente,
Thorow Parce michi, Domine!
Forsothe, my steppys everychone 38
Thow nombred hast, and tolde hem all.
But, Lorde, to The I make my mone,
As Thow art Lord of heven and hell.
Vertues, Lorde, though I have none,
Late Thy grace in me now welle,
For woo ys hym that stante alone,
And hathe noon helpe yef that he fall.
My syn ys bytterer than eysell or gall,
And stynketh, Lorde, in syght of The;
But nought for than to The I call
For Parce michi, Domine!
My spyryt shal be feble and feynt 39
When I am fallen in any age;
My dayes, make I never so queynt,
Shullen abrege and somwhat swage.
And I ful sone shal be atteynt
Whan I have loste myn hote corage;
And though I dyed than as doth a seynt,
A pyt shal be myne herytage.
In erthe gete I non other wage
Of all rychesse that man may se;
Whan I am closed in that cage,
Than Parce michi, Domine!
I have nat synned wylfully 40
Thorow my feynt, feble nature,
Ne greved The so grevosly,
Wherfore I shulde thys wo endure.
Thow punysshest me, and I not why,
Passing resoun and good mesure.
Hit ys my flessh, Lorde, and nat I,
That grocheth ayenst Thyn hard reddure.
But, Lorde, as I am Thy creature,
And Thow that ylke God that boughtest me,
So my care recovere and cure
With Parce michi, Domine!
My dayes, Lorde, passed are, 41
And olde I am, I am no faunt.
My thoughtes wandre wyde whare,
For they ben, Lorde, full variaunte.
Myne herte they grevyn wonder sare,
For ever about hym they haunte;
Thys maketh me to drowpe and dare,
That I am lyke a pore penaunte!
Though I be, Lorde, unsuffisaunte
Any helpe to gete of The,
Yet, for I am Thy creaunte,
Lorde, Parce michi, Domine!
The nyght they turned into the day, 42
For they maden me to wake all nyght;
I myght nat slepe by no way,
Suche thoughtes were in myn hert plyght.
In derkenesse dymme as I so lay,
Yet hoped I after the clere daylyght;
But thoughtys me so trobled ay,
That I was than a wofull wyght!
But, Lorde, as Thow art mekyl of myght,
All evyll thoughtes put fro me,
And that I of The may have a syght,
Lorde, Parce michi, Domine!
Lorde, yef I shall suffre thys grete disese, 43
Hit woll me brynge unto my grave!
And yet, ywys, I may nat chese,
Whether I be kyng, knyght, or knave.
In derkenesse dymme, all oute of ese,
My lytell bed spred I have:
That bed shall I never lese,
Though I wolde for angor rave,
Tyll the Day of Dome that, of my grave,
I shall aryse, and mo with me.
My soule, Lorde, I pray, Thow save
With Parce michi, Domine!
To roten erthe, ryght thus sayde I, 44
"Thow art my fader of whom I cam,"
And unto wormes sekurly,
"Thow art my moder, thy son I am;
My sustren all ye bene, forwhy
None other then ye, forsoth, I am."
I shall call hem sustres, lo, forthy
For I shall roote amonge ham.
Of the lowest erthe God made Adam,
Of whyche my kynde I had, as he.
Now, Lorde, that art lykened to a lambe,
So Parce michi, Domine!
Where ys myn abydyng nowe, 45
And all my pacience therto?
They ben away, I wote never howe,
Forsothe me wanteth bothe two.
Yef myn hert be styf and towe,
To thanke The in wele and woo,
Hit ys nat I, but only Thow.
Thow art my Lord and God also.
O Thow, grete Lord, Alpha and Oo,
Helpe me, for Thy grete pyté!
I have ynowgh, I pray The hoo,
And Parce michi, Domine!
To my skyn my mouth ys lo, 46
And cleved fast, as ye se may;
And wasted ys my flesshe also;
And bothe my lyppes ben away;
My whyte tethe, they ben full bloo —
Ye wolde be agaste yef ye me say!
Myne heryng ys full clene ago;
Myne eyen ben dymme, that weren ful gray;
And I that was full stoute and gay,
Full horyble am now opon to se!
Tyme ys that men now for me pray,
For Parce michi, Domine!
Reweth on me, reweth on me! 47
My frendes namly, now helpeth at nede!
For I am there I may nat fle;
The hande of God ful sore I drede.
And frendes, seeth that I am he
Thys other day that on the erth yede.
Now helpe, yef that youre wyll be,
With prayer, fastyng, and almesdede.
For these mowen best gete me mede
With Placebo and Dirige.
Herewith my soule, I pray yow, fede
With Parce michi, Domine!
Why, as God, do ye pursewe 48
Me that suffre these sharpe shoures?
Ye lat me peyne here in a peynfull pewe,
That ys a place of grete doloures.
Yow I chese for frendes trewe,
And made yow myne executoures.
But tyme shall come that ye shall rewe
That ever ye were to me so false treytoures.
My good ys spent, as hit were youres,
But nat a peny yevyn ye me.
Nowe for all suche faytoures,
Lorde, Parce michi, Domine!
Who may graunte me thys boone, 49
That my wordes wreten were
In ensample of everychon
That hap may to ben in care?
For yef they wolden make moone,
Eyther groche with hert sare
Ayenst God that sytteth in troone,
Because yef they wolden spare
And make nat so ferly fare,
But take ensample wolden of me. 50
Now, Lorde, as I am but wormes ware,
So Parce michi, Domine!
Who shall graunt me, or I be dede, 51
To wryte hem by oon and oone,
My booke with ynke blak or rede,
Made with gumme and vermylone?
Or ellys yet in plate of lede,
Or graven in harde flynte of stone,
That all men, whereever they yede,
Myght otherwhyle loke theropon?
I wolde my frendys and my foon
Ensample take myght by me.
As Thow art Thre, and God al Oon,
Now Parce michi, Domine!
I wote ryght well that my Redemptour 52
Lyveth yet, and lyve shall aye!
And I shall ryse, I not what oure,
Oute of the erthe on Domysdaye,
And take to me my furst coloure,
In flesshe and felle, clad on clay.
And so shall I see my Savyour
Deme the worlde in wondre aray.
The wikked than, withouten delay,
As arowes, to helle they shullen fle.
Lorde, that I go nat that way,
So Parce michi, Domine!
Whan I mysylfe shall see in syght, 53
With eyen clere and hert stable,
And knowe Hym as God Almyght,
That was forme man disparitable,
Shall ther fore me noon other wyght
Se my God that ys durable,
But I mysylfe, with eyen bryght,
Shall Hym beholde most honorable:
O Lord, that charyté that ys so amyable,
And bryght shynyng in Thy magesté!
That syght to se, Lord, make me able,
Thorow Parce michi, Domine!
Thys hope ys in myn hert sette, 54
That never from me shall dyssevere.
Thereyn my truste also ys knette,
The whyche to have now ys me levere.
I hope to God that I shall gete
Of all diseases yet rekevere,
And se my Lorde in Hys turete,
With whom I hope to dwelle ever!
Though I be synfull, Lorde, take me never
In any thyng that may displese The.
Thy blysse late me have forever
Thorough Parce michi, Domine!
A, Lord, why leddest Thow so me 55
Oute of the wombe that I was in?
Wold God I had consumed be
Within myn oune moders skynne!
That the eye with whyche I se
Had nat seyn no more ne mynne!
That I myght in that degré
Never have wyste what had be synne!
For syn maketh me from The to twynne -
That of nought madest Thow me — 56
Thy mercy, Lord, make me to wynne
With Parce michi, Domine!
And wold God that I be hadde 57
As a thyng that never was —
For all with synne I am bestadde,
And every day I do trespas!
No wonder though I be ungladde,
And though I synge often "allas!"
For pure woo I wexed madde,
Nere Goddys mercy my solas —
Lo, Lorde, lo, I am ryght as
A wytles man withouten The!
But, as Thow of plenté mercy has,
So Parce michi, Domine!
Whether the fewnes of my dayes 58
Shull nat hastyly have an ende?
Sythen I can se by no worldly wayes,
But oute of the world sone shal I wende,
The worldes wyles ryght nat me payes,
For they ben false and full unthende.
My flesshly lust my soule affrayes,
And I am tempted with the fende.
Thys maketh me to bowe and bende
Alwey to syn, that woo ys me.
Lord, that art curteys and hende,
So Parce michi, Domine!
Therfore, Lord, suffer Thow me 59
A lytell whyle that wepe I may
The tyme that ever I greved The
In ded or thought, by nyght or day,
And graunt me, yef Thy wyl be,
That here in erthe wepe I may.
The derke lande that I never se,
That kevered ys with black alway,
Now, good Jhesu, to The I pray,
As Thow art God in Trinité,
From that londe Thow kepe me ay,
Thorow Parce michi, Domine!
The londe of myschyef and of derknes, 60
Whereas dampned soules dwell,
The londe of woo and of wrechednesse,
Where ben mo peynes than tonge may telle,
The londe of dethe and of duresse,
In whyche noon order may dwelle,
The londe of wepyng and of drerynesse,
And stynkyng sorow on to smelle!
Now from that londe, that cleped ys helle,
Worthy Lord, rescue now Thow me,
So that I maye ever with The dwelle
Thorough Parce michi, Domine!
Here endeth the ix lessons of the Dirige, which Job made in his tribulacion.

Spare me, Lord!; (see note)
truth; certainly
food for worms; (see note)

do not know; (see note)
(see note)

understand; (see note)

a molded impression made
From a sticky clod
shape us in order that

(see note)
know of; (see note)

against; (see note)
That one whom
determine if; anything

thoroughly pervaded; (see note)
made for us
pit [of hell]
thee (the reader)
(see note)

before; (see note)
Who am delved so deeply in sin
(see note)
saliva; (see note)
offended and sorely grieved You; (n)
too rife
teach; lore; (see note)
Which may drive deadly sin from me; (n)
(see note)

(see note)

How shall I serve

that causes me to be contrary
(see note)
kind (natural); (see note)
unkind (unnatural)

(see note)


brittleness (i.e., weakness)
I cannot deny it!

(see note)



grave; dug deeply; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
Mary's; generous

(see note)

My soul repents, indeed; (see note)

Truly; (see note)

own; (see note)


judge; (see note)
give; do not deny [me]

(see note)
thrust; (see note)

do not refuse
enclosure of charity
make me a recluse
if I offend

dwell on; (see note)
tend toward dishonesty
refuse; (see note)

[How can I know] Whether

have the power to behold

(see note)


Lose not what You once won; (see note)

[How can I know] Whether; (see note)

vigorous; (see note)
face; (see note)
becomes ill
will perchance be borne; bier; (see note)
state of uncertainty

(see note)

examine; (see note)
(see note)
comes from great obstinancy; (see note)
[and] so begins [there]


works entirely
since; part

(see note)

worthiness; (see note)
by; (see note)
Headlong; skull; (see note)

for the sake of the blood; (see note)
(see note)

been forever; (see note)
since You created
say no to You
To prevent
nor; (see note)
dares to strive

(see note)

(see note)
soft blood
then; same [blood]; (see note)
Harden like cheese; (see note)

I am made to do such deeds; (see note)
spirit; sorry

almost; frailty
be satiated


from; (see note)
gave me intelligence
commands; ordered

frailty; has so smitten me
Scarcely; one [command] by me
Despite that [failure]
(see note)

never once no; (see note)


that which was against; (see note)
(see note)

(see note)

desist; (see note)

whipped; (see note)

any way; (see note)
(see note)

(see note)
(see note)
Show them to me before
grievously; (see note)

(see note)

Toads upon them; (see note)

keep myself; (see note)

(see note)
chase; (see note)
Judging; obstinacy [in sin]
earnestly; (see note)
If; (see note)
(see note)

(see note)

As [the wind] against a leaf; (see note)
frail by nature; (see note)

[be bold enough to] bind bears; (see note)
By [Your] winds; am overthrown
testing from You; (see note)

fully blind; (see note)
(see note)

(see note)

Bitter things
in Your sight

That which; private
(see note)
see; (see note)
(see note)
call and cry out
compassion; (see note)
be abject and afraid; (see note)

snare; (see note)

have watched (L. observati)
walked in open or walled places; (see note)
may prevent You from knowing



That which rotting; (see note)
(see note)
smoke; (see note)
[do] body; go asunder
loathly compost (humus); (see note)
For what reason then; (see note)
proud or playfully angry
acts wrongfully
believe; true; (see note)

born of a woman; (see note)
lives here but a little while

(see note)
(see note)
desires; teachings
So that the spiritual way; learn
state of uncertainty
(see note)
loving countenance; (see note)
(see note)

That which; (see note)
shower [of rain or afflictions]

(see note)
ghost; (see note)
laden; (see note)
diverse kinds
From; do not demote me; (see note)

may you allow; worthy
such a one

shall go with You to judgment
(see note)
occupied by; evil
are my foes; (see note)
each one; (see note)
St. John the Evangelist; (see note)

undefiled; (see note)
A thing conceived of unclean seed
I am sure [You may]; (see note)
If it pleases You

does me harm

complain about
bean; (see note)
On my own merits
shining; (see note)
(see note)

heed; (see note)
in comparison to eternity
not at all equivalent

at Your will; truly
(see note)

reasoning power
gave to me to rule myself
(see note)
(see note)

His (A man's)
(see note)

Except by means of
(see note)
Ezekiel declined to death
added [to his life]
His (Ezekiel's) natural
(see note)
(see note)

wishes; coffin; (see note)
always as he pleases; (see note)
This I maintain is; (see note)
body; cast
misguided; (see note)
complain in this manner; (see note)
(see note)

(see note)
For the sake of
everlasting; (see note)
May I be protected; (see note)
prone to rebel; (see note)
(see note)
stay near me; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
lesson; (see note)


Who from; (see note)
I must tell it to You
(see note)

(see note)
a linden tree; (see note)
(see note)

Do You not believe

wondrous manner; (see note)
(see note)

(see note)

[Grant] that; place; (see note)
(see note)

(see note)
(see note)
remain always
fail; (see note)

pull; (see note)

(see note)

truly; (see note)


which I have wasted; (see note)
in my frailty

(see note)

every one
numbered; tallied

(see note)

Let; spring up; (see note)
who stands

more bitter; vinegar; (see note)

for that reason

(see note)
at any age; (see note)
no matter how carefully I live them; (n)
be cut short and somewhat abated
fiery pride


grave; (see note)

Nor aggrieved You
That I should [deserve to]
do not know; (see note)
beyond what is reasonable

complains about; strictness
(see note)
same; (see note)
restore to health

everywhere; (see note)
indecisive; (see note)
droop and cower
humble penitent

because; creature; (see note)
(see note)

they = the thoughts; (see note)

by no means
fastened; (see note)

I looked for

great; (see note)

(see note)
(see note)

unease; (see note)

(see note)
(see note)


from; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)

father from
mother; (see note)
sisters; because; (see note)
Nothing; than you, truly; (see note)
for that reason; (see note)
(see note)

(see note)


Truly I am in need of
If; firm and strong [enough]
weal and woe
the credit is due only to You


have had enough; cease; (see note)
(see note)

[attached] low; (see note)
(see note)

blackened; (see note)
hearing is entirely gone
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)

Pity me, pity me!
(see note)
there where

(see note)
[Who] This; passed; (see note)
(see note)
almsgiving; (see note)
might; reward
(see note)
(see note)

suffer; allotted situation; (see note)

as if; (see note)
did you give to me
imposters; (see note)
(see note)

be written
As example to everyone
Who may happen to be in care
if; complaint; (see note)
Or lament with heavy heart; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)

food for wormes; (see note)

them (i.e., words); (see note)
(see note)
gum; vermilion (a pigment); (see note)
by lead impression; (see note)
engraved in hard flintstone
go; (see note)
in other times
would like that; foes

(see note)

(see note)
do not know what hour
(see note)
in; (see note)

wondrous fashion

(see note)
steadfast; (see note)

in form unequal to man; (see note)
before me; person

gleaming eyes; (see note)
[Who] is most honorable
whose charity is; (see note)

knit (i.e., bound)
I am eager
gain recovery from


(see note)

(see note)

(see note)

(see note)

less; (see note)

separate; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)

treated; (see note)



Were not; (see note)
just like
witless (i.e., unreasoning)
(see note)

[How may I know] Whether; scarcity

pass; (see note)
do not pay me [justly]; (see note)
entirely unprofitable
frightens my soul
by the fiend
This state

(see note)

allow; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)

(see note)

(see note)
(see note)


(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
called; (see note)
(see note)

(see note)