Ancrene Wisse: Part Three
ANCRENE WISSE, PART THREE: FOOTNOTES
1-4 Mine leove sustren . . . leste ye al leosen, My dear sisters, just as you protect well your senses on the outside, also above all things see (lit., look) that you be inside soft and mild and humble, sweet and sweetly hearted, and patient against injury of words which people (lit., one) say to you, and deeds which they perpetrate (lit., misdo) on you, lest you lose everything (lit., all).
4 Ayein bittre ancres, Against bitter anchoresses.
4-5 Similis factus sum pellicano . . . et cetera, "I am made (or, have become) like a pelican of the wasteland," etc. (Psalm 101:7).
5-6 "Ich am . . . bi him ane," "I am," he says, "as a pelican which lives by itself alone."
6-10 Pellican is a fuhel . . . his briddes i-sleine, The pelican is a bird (lit., fowl) so petulant (lit., malice-minded) and so wrathful that it slays often in anger its own chicks (lit., birds) when they do it some harm, and then soon thereafter it becomes very sorry and makes a very great moan (or, complaint), and smites itself with its bill that it slew earlier its chicks with, and draws blood from its breast, and with that blood brings to life (or, revives) again its slain chicks.
10-11 This fuhel, pellican . . . of scharp wreththe, This bird, the pelican, is the petulant anchoress. Her chicks (lit., birds) are her good works which she slays often with the bill of sharp wrath (or, anger).
11-15 Ah hwen ha swa haveth i-don . . . beoth hire gode werkes, But when she has done so, [let her] do as does the pelican: regret it very soon, and with her own bill [let her] peck her breast - that is, with confession of her mouth, which she sinned with and slew her good works - draw the blood of sin out of her breast - that is, from the heart which the soul's life is in - and thus will [she] again bring to life (lit., quicken) her slain chicks, which are her good works.
15-17 Blod bitacneth sunne . . . bivore Godes ehe, Blood symbolizes sin, for just as a bloody (lit., beblooded) man is grisly and horrific in man's eye, just so is the sinful [person] before God's eye.
17-18 On other half . . . of sunne, On the other side (i.e., at the same time), no one can judge (or, diagnose) blood well before it be cooled. Just [so it] is with sin.
18-20 Hwil the heorte walleth . . . wule cumen of, While (or, as long as) the heart wells (or, surges) inwardly with wrath there is no right judgment, or while the desire is hot toward any sin, you cannot judge well for a while (lit., whiles) what it is, or what will come of that (lit., thereof ; ter = reduced form of ther after preceding -t).
20 Ah let lust overgan . . . wule likin, But let desire pass over (lit., go over, i.e., subside), and it will please you (i.e., you will be pleased).
20-23 Let thet hate acolin . . . ther-toward thohtest, Let the heat cool as does [the person] who wants to judge (or, diagnose) blood, and you will judge rightly the sin [to be] foul and loathsome which seemed to you fair, and [you will judge] so much evil to come from that (lit., thereof), if you had done it while the heat lasted, that you will judge yourself [to have been] mad (i.e., insane) when you thought about it (lit., there-toward).
23-24 This is of euch sunne . . . nomeliche of wreaththe, This is true for each sin - why blood symbolizes it - and namely (or, particularly) for wrath.
24-25 Impedit ira animum . . . cernere verum, "Wrath impedes the spirit so that it cannot discern truth" (Distichs of Cato 2.4).
25-26 "hwil hit least . . . soth i-cnawen," "as long as it lasts (least = reduced form of leasteth) blinds the heart so that she (i.e., the heart) cannot know truth."
26-27 Maga quedam est . . . naturam humanam, "She is a kind of sorceress transforming human nature" (source unidentified).
27-29 Wreaththe is a forschuppilt . . . into beastes cunde (a loose translation of the Latin), Wrath is an enchanter (lit., transformer or misshaper), as they (lit., one) tell in tales, for she robs man [of] his wit and completely changes his expression (i.e., deforms his face, which is contorted in anger), and transforms him from a man into a kind of beast.
29 Wummon wrath . . . liun other unicorne, A woman, angry, is a she-wolf; man, a wolf or lion or unicorn.
29-31 Hwil thet eaver wreaththe . . . ne deth ha bute theoteth, As long as (lit., while that ever) wrath is in a woman's heart, [if she] recites the divine office (lit., verses), says her [canonical] hours, "Aves," "Our Fathers," she does [nothing] but howl.
31-32 Naveth ha bute . . . in his lihte earen, She does not have [anything] but a she-wolf's voice - as she who is changed into a she-wolf in God's eyes - in His quick (i.e., discerning) ears.
32 Ira furor brevis est, "Wrath is a brief madness (or, temporary insanity)" (Horace, Epistles 1.2.62, but proverbial).
32-34 Wreaththe is a wodschipe . . . Hu is he mon thenne? Wrath is insanity. A wrathful man - is he not insane? How does he look? How does he speak? How does his heart fare within? Which (i.e., what) are his expressions (or, behaviors) on the outside? He does not know anyone. How is he a man then?
35 Est enim homo . . . natura, "For man is an animal gentle by nature" (Alexander Neckham, On the Natures of Things 156); "Mon cundelich is milde," Man is naturally mild.
35-37 Sone se he leoseth . . . as ich ear seide, [As] soon as he loses mildheartedness, he loses man's nature, and wrath, the enchanter (or, transformer), transforms him into a beast, as I said before.
37-38 Ant hwet yef eni ancre . . . Nis thet muche sorhe? And what if any anchoress, Jesus Christ's spouse, is transformed into a she-wolf? Is that not a great sorrow?
38-41 Nis ther bute sone . . . nis Gode lic-wurthe, There is not [any remedy] except [she] soon shed that rough hide about the heart, and with soft peace (or, reconciliation) make her (i.e., the heart) smooth and soft as is natural to woman's skin, for with that wolfish hide nothing that she does is pleasing (lit., like-worthy) to God.
42 Lo, her, ayeines . . . misliche boten, Lo, here, against wrath, [are] many remedies, a great flock of comforts and various remedies.
43 Yef me misseith the . . . bispit me eorthe? If one slanders (lit., missays) you, think (imper.) that you are [made of] earth. Does not one trample the earth? Does not one spit upon the earth?
44 Thah me dude swa bi the . . . the eorthe rihte, Even though people did so by you (i.e., mistreated you in this way), they have done the earth right (i.e., have done the right thing to [something made of] earth).
44-46 Yef thu berkest ayein . . . dude he swa? If you bark back, you are of a dog's nature. If you sting back, you are a serpent's offspring, and not Christ's spouse. Think - did He do so?
46-47 Qui tanquam ovis . . . non aperuit os suum, "Who was just like a lamb which is led to the slaughter and did not open his mouth" (Isaiah 53:7, Acts 8:32).
47-49 Efter alle the schendfule pinen . . . ne cweth he neaver, After all the shameful pains that He suffered in the long night of good Friday (see glossary), they (lit., one) led Him in the morning to hang [Him] on a gallows (lit., punishment-tree), and drove through His four limbs iron nails, but "no more than a sheep," as Holy Writ says, "did He ever flinch or speak."
50 Thench yet . . . bute wind? Think still, on the other side (i.e., at the same time), what is a word but wind?
50-52 To wac ha is . . . ancre wind-feallet? Too weak she is fortified (lit., strengthened) that a wind's puff, a word, may fell [her] and throw [her] into sin, and who will not think [that] strange (i.e., be astonished) at an anchoress wind-felled (i.e., felled by a wind)?
52-53 On other half yetten . . . is anan toblawen? On the other side (i.e., at the same time) again, does she not show that she is dust and an unstable thing, who with a little word's wind is immediately blown over?
53-55 The ilke puf . . . ure muchele meadschipe, The same puff of His mouth, if you cast it under you, it should (i.e., ought to) bear you upwards toward the bliss of heaven, but now [there] is great wonder (i.e., astonishment) about your great foolishness.
55-56 Seint Andrew mahte tholien . . . biclupte hire, St. Andrew was able to endure that the hard cross [should] heave (or, lift) him toward heaven, and lovingly embraced her (i.e., the cross).
57 Sein Lorenz alswa tholede . . . bearninde gleden, St. Laurence also endured that the griddle [should] lift him upwards with burning flames.
57-61 Seinte Stefne tholede . . . thah hit beo hare unthonkes, St. Stephen endured the stones which they (lit., one) threw at him and received them gladly and prayed for them who threw them at him, on bent (lit., folded) knees - and we cannot endure that the wind of a word bear us toward heaven, but are mad (or, insane) against them who[m] we should thank as the very ones (lit., same) who serve us with much service, though it be unintentional on their part (see glossary, un-thonckes).
61-62 Impius vivit pio velit nolit, "The evil person lives [for the benefit of] the pious, whether he wants to or not (lit., will he, will he not)" (Gregory, Moral Discourses on Job 5.45.79 [PL 76.168-69).
62-63 Al thet te unwreaste . . . timbrunge toward blisse, All that the wicked and the evil do because of evil, all is to the good (i.e., profit) of the good: all is his advantage and edification toward bliss (i.e., happiness).
63-64 Let him . . . breide thi crune, Let him (i.e., the evil person) - and that gladly (i.e., and be glad about it)! - weave (lit., braid) your crown.
64-66 Thench hu the hali mon . . . the blissen of heovene, Think how the holy man in The Lives of the [Desert] Fathers kissed and blessed the other's hand who had harmed him, and [he] said on the inside (or, to himself) kissing her (i.e., it, the hand) eagerly, thus: "blessed be this hand always, for she has built for me the joys of heaven."
66-68 Ant tu segge . . . to timbri mi crune, And you [ought to] say also concerning the hand which mistreats (lit., misdoes) you, and about the mouth also which slanders (lit., missays) you at all, "blessed be your mouth," - say (imper.), "for you make (i.e., are making) a tool of it (i.e., the mouth), to construct my crown."
68-69 Wel me is . . . hearmest te-seolven, "Well is me (i.e., I am happy) for my good, but woe [is me] (i.e., I am sad) however for your evil, for you do me benefit and harm yourself."
69-70 Yef ei mon other wummon . . . ye schulden seggen, If any man or woman slandered or mistreated you, my dear sisters, so you ought to say.
71-72 Ah nu is muche wunder . . . a lutel toward us! But now [it] is a great wonder, if we behold well (i.e., if we look at it rightly), how God's saints (lit., holy [ones]) endured wounds on their bodies, and we are insane (or, mad) if a wind blow[s] a little toward us!
72-75 Ant te wind ne wundeth . . . bute the-seolf hit makie, And the wind does not wound [anything] but the air alone, for neither can (lit., may) the wind - that is, the word which one says - either wound you in your flesh, nor contaminate (lit., befoul) your soul, though it puff upon you, unless [you] yourself make it.
75-76 Bernardus: Quid irritaris . . . nec inquinat mentem? Bernard: "Why are you irritated, why are you inflamed at the gust of a word, which neither harms the flesh nor stains the mind?" (from Geoffrey of Auxerre, Declamations on the Debate between Simon and Jesus from the Collected Sermons of St. Bernard 36.43 [PL 184.461]).
76-78 Wel thu maht underyeoten . . . hit waxeth with winde, Well you can perceive that there was [only a] little fire of charity (or, love), which blazes completely (lit., all) with our Lord's love, little fire was there that a [mere] puff quenched [it], for where there is a great fire, it grows with the wind (i.e., you ought to see that if your little fire of love can be puffed out with a word, there was not much fire there to begin with).
79-80 Ayein mis-dede other mis-sahe . . . essample, Against misdeed or missaying (i.e., slander), lo here in the end [is] the best remedy - and learn this example.
80-83 A mon the leie i prisun . . . ayeines his heorte? A man who lay in prison or owed a great ransom, nor in any way would he [come, get] out, unless it were to hang, before he had fully paid his ransom - would he not be grateful to a man (lit., know thanks to a man) who threw at him a purse of pennies to ransom himself with and release himself from pain, [even] though he threw it very hard against his heart? All the hurt were (i.e., would be) forgotten for the gladness.
84-87 O this ilke wise we beoth . . . of word other of werc, In this same way, we are all in prison here, and owe God great debts of sin, therefore we cry to him in the "Our Father": "and forgive us our debts" (Matthew 6:12). "Lord," we say, "forgive us our debts, just as we forgive our debtors," [just as we forgive] wrong that people do to us, either by word or by work (i.e., deed).
87-89 Thet is ure rancun . . . thet beoth ure sunnen, That is our ransom that we will ransom ourselves with and pay our debts toward our Lord - which are our sins.
89-90 For withute cwitance . . . the pine of helle, For without payment none is taken up (i.e., out) from this prison who is not immediately hanged, either in purgatory or in the pain of hell.
90-91 Ant ure Laverd seolf . . . dimittetur vobis, And our Lord Himself says, "forgive and [it] will be forgiven you" (Luke 6:37).
91-93 "Foryef, ant ich foryeove the . . . deatte the thu ahest me," "Forgive, and I forgive you," as if (lit., though) He said, "you are indebted to me greatly for sins, but do you want a good agreement (i.e., deal)? Everything that ever any man says against you (lit., missays) or does against you (lit., misdoes) - I will accept it toward the debt which you owe Me."
93-97 Nu thenne, thah a word . . . thonc of his sonde, Now then, though a word strike you very hard upon the breast and, as [it] seems to you, at first hurt your heart, think as the prisoner would whom the other hurt sorely with the purse, and receive it gladly in order to (lit., for to) acquit yourself with, and thank him who sent it to you, though God will never give him thanks for his message (lit., sending; i.e., giving you the blow).
97-98 He hearmeth him . . . const tholien, He harms himself and strengthens you, if you can endure it.
98-100 For as Davith seith . . . the wel fehteth, For as David says exceedingly well moreover (lit., withal), "God puts (lit., does) the wicked and the evil in His treasury in order to (lit., for to) hire with them, as one does with treasure (i.e., money), those who fight well.
100 Ponens in thesauris abyssos . . . milites suos, "Putting (i.e., He puts) the depths in His treasury" (Psalm 32:7). Gloss: "the cruel ones, with which He pays His soldiers."
101-02 Eft upon other half . . . in ancre stevene, Again on the other side (i.e., at the same time), a pelican, this bird, has another characteristic (lit., nature), that it is always lean. Therefore, as I said, David compares himself to it (lit., thereto) in the persona of anchoress, in an anchoress' voice.
103 Similis factus . . . solitudinis, (see gloss to 3.4-5).
103-04 Ich am pellican i-lich . . . hit is leane, "I am like the pelican which lives by itself alone." And an anchoress ought to say thus (i.e., like this) and be like the pelican in the sense that it is lean.
104-05 Judith clausa in cubiculo . . . vite sue, et cetera, "Judith enclosed in [her] cell fasted every day of her life," etc. (condensed from Judith 8:5-6).
105-06 Judith bitund inne . . . werede here, Judith enclosed inside, as it tells in her book, led a very hard life - fasted and wore a hair[shirt].
106-08 Judith bitund inne bitacneth . . . cul of the axe, Judith enclosed inside symbolizes the enclosed anchoress who ought to lead a hard life as did the lady Judith, according to [her] capacity (or, character) - not as pigs penned up in a sty, to fatten and to enlarge [them] against (i.e., in preparation for) the blow of the axe.
109-10 Twa cunnes ancren beoth . . . false ant of treowe, There are two kinds of anchoresses that our Lord speaks of and talks [about] in the Gospel: of false and of true.
110 Vulpes foveas . . . celi nidos, "Foxes have [their] lairs and birds of the heaven [have their] nests" (Luke 9:58, Matthew 8:20).
111 hare holen, their holes.
112-13 Theose habbeth . . . reopen ant rinnen, These have, he says, holes who burrow into the earth with earthly vices (lit., unvirtues) and drag into their holes all that they may steal and seize.
114 Thus beoth gederinde ancres . . . to voxes i-evenet, Thus are gathering (i.e., grasping) anchoresses compared by God in the Gospel to foxes.
114-16 Fox ec is a frech beast . . . bathe ges ant hennen, A fox also is an impudent (compare German frech "rude") beast and ravenous (lit., desiring to gobble) besides (lit., withal), and the false anchoress drags into her hole and gobbles up, as the fox does, both geese and hens.
116-17 Habbeth efter the vox . . . the is ypocrite, [False anchoresses] have after (i.e., in imitation of) the fox an innocent (lit., simple) expression (or, appearance) sometimes, and are nevertheless full of guile. [They] make themselves other than they are, as a fox, who is a hypocrite.
117-18 Weneth for-te gili Godd . . . gilith meast ham-seolven, They expect to beguile (i.e., trick, fool) God as they confuse (or, lead into error) simple (or, honest) men, and (i.e., but) mostly beguile themselves.
118-21 Gealstrith as the vox deth . . . ther he geath forth, [They] bark (or, howl) as the fox does, and boast about their good (i.e., advantages) wheresoever they dare and can, chatter about idle (i.e., trivial) [things], and become so very worldly that in the end their reputation (lit., name) stinks as the fox where he goes forth (i.e., wherever he goes about).
121-22 For yef ha doth uvele . . . Davith the gode, For if they do evil, they (lit., one) say worse about them. These went into the anchor-house as did Saul into the hole, not as David the good.
122-26 Ba ha wenden into hole . . . ha weren amidde the worlde, They both, Saul and David, went (lit., wended, turned) into a hole, as it tells in Kings, but Saul went in there (lit., thither) in order to do (or, put) his filth in there (i.e., relieve himself), as does some miserable anchoress among many [good anchoresses] - goes into the hole of the anchor-house to befoul that place, and to do (i.e., perform) more secretly in there (lit., therein) fleshly filths than she might if she were amidst the world.
126-27 For hwa haveth mare . . . false ancre? For who has more leisure (lit., ease) to do her wickedness than the false anchoress?
127-28 Thus wende Saul . . . sohte to sleanne, Thus Saul made his way (lit., wended) into the hole to befoul (i.e., relieve) himself, but David went in there (lit., thither), only in order to hide himself from Saul who hated [him] and sought to slay [him].
128-30 Swa deth the gode . . . from hise kene clokes, So does the good anchoress, whom Saul - that is, the devil (lit., fiend, enemy) - hates and hunts after. She puts herself in [the hole] to hide herself from his sharp clutches.
130-33 Ha hud hire in hire hole . . . Ebreische ledene, She hides (hud = reduced form of hudeth) herself in her hole, both from worldly men and worldly sins. And therefore she is spiritually David - that is, strong against the devil (lit., fiend, enemy) - and her face [is] lovely to our Lord's eyes - for as much says (i.e., means) this word "David" in the Hebrew language.
133 efter thet his nome seith, according to what his name says (i.e., means).
133-34 Saul: abutens sive abusio, "Saul: misusing or abuse."
134-35 For Saul on Ebreisch . . . al thet ha wurcheth, For Saul in Hebrew is (i.e., means) "misuse" in English, and the false anchoress misuses the name of anchoress and everything that she does (lit., works).
135-37 as we ear seiden . . . ant wereth hearde, as we said earlier, that is, enclosed as she was, and does also as she did: fasts, holds vigils (lit., wakes), works and wears a hair[shirt].
137-39 Ha is of the briddes . . . thet is, hare reste, She is among the birds which our Lord speaks of after the foxes, who with their desires do not burrow (lit., hole) downward as do the foxes - those are the false anchoresses - but [they] have set their nests - that is, their rest - on high (i.e., up high) like a bird of heaven.
140-42 Treowe ancres beoth . . . uppart toward heovene, True anchoresses are called birds, for they leave the earth (or, ground) - that is, the love of worldly things - and through yearning of heart for heavenly things fly upwards to heaven.
142-44 Ant tah ha fleon hehe . . . learde alle hise, And though (tah = reduced form of thah) they fly high with high and holy life, [they] hold nevertheless the head low through mild humility, as a bird flying bows the head, considers everything worth nothing that she does well (i.e., discounts her good works), and says as our Lord taught all His [people].
144-45 Cum omnia benefeceritis . . . sumus, When you (pl.) have done all [things] well, say: "We are useless servants" (Luke 17:10).
145 Hwen, When.
146 ure Laverd, our Lord; thet ye beoth unnete threalles, say (imper.) that you are useless thralls.
146-47 Fleoth hehe . . . eaver lahe, Fly high and hold nevertheless the (i.e., your) head always low.
147-49 The wengen the uppard beoreth ham . . . stureth hise wengen, The wings which bear them upwards - those are good habits (or, virtues) which they may stir (i.e., set into motion) into good works, as a bird when it flies will stir its wings.
149-51 The treowe ancres . . . beoreth Godes rode, The true anchoresses again which we compare to birds - not we, though, but God does - they spread their wings and make a cross of themselves as a bird does when it flies - that is, in thought of heart and in bitterness of flesh [the true anchoress] bears God's Cross.
152-53 Theo briddes fleoth wel . . . feole fitheren, Those birds fly well which have little flesh, as the pelican has, and many feathers.
153-54 The strucion . . . to ther eorthe, The ostrich, because of (lit., for) his great flesh (i.e., big body), and other such birds (lit., fowls), make a show to fly (i.e., a pretense of flying), and beat the wings, but the feet always pull (lit., draw) to the earth (or, ground).
155-58 Alswa fleschlich ancre . . . ant were an hali ancre, Also the fleshly anchoress who lives in the flesh's desires and follows (i.e., pursues) her comfort (lit., ease) - the heaviness of her flesh and [her] flesh's vices (lit., unvirtues) deprive her of her flight, and though she make a show and much noise with wings - with others, not hers (i.e., with others' good works) - that is, lets on as though she [were] flying, and [as if she] were a holy anchoress.
158-59 Hwa-se yeorne bihalt . . . draheth to ther eorthe, Whosoever carefully observes (lit., beholds - bihalt = reduced form of bihaldeth) [her], laughs her to scorn, for her feet always, as do the ostriches' - those are their desires - pull (lit., draw) to the earth.
159-61 Theos ne beoth . . . on eorthe, These are not like the lean bird, the pelican, nor [do they] fly up high (lit., on high), but are earth-birds and nest on the earth (or, ground).
161-62 Ah Godd cleopeth . . . as ich ear seide, But God calls the good anchoresses "birds of heaven," as I said earlier.
162 Vulpes foveas habent . . . nidos, (see gloss to 3.110).
163-67 Treowe ancres . . . habbeth murhthe of heorte, True anchoresses are rightly [thought of as] birds of heaven, which fly on high and sit singing merrily on the green boughs - that is, they think upwards of the bliss of heaven which never fades (or, withers), but is always green - and they sit in this green singing merrily - that is, rest themselves in such a thought, and as those who sing, have mirth of heart.
167-68 Brid, tah, other-hwile . . . to ther eorthe, A bird, though, (tah = reduced form of thah after preceding -d) sometimes in order to (lit., for to) seek its food, for the need of the body (lit., flesh), lights to the earth.
168-69 Ah hwil hit sit on eorthe . . . the gode ancre, But while it sits on the ground (sit = reduced form of sitteth), it is never safe, but turns itself often and looks about him always carefully, as does the good anchoress.
169-71 Ne fleo ha neaver se hehe . . . of eorthliche thinges, Fly she ever so high (i.e., no matter how high she might fly), she must light sometime down to the ground of her body, to eat, drink, sleep, work, speak, [and to] hear about what is necessary for her of earthly things (i.e., what earthly things she must attend to).
171-74 Ah thenne . . . the hwil ha sit se lahe, But then, as the bird does, she must see to herself well, look about her on each side so that she nowhere mistakes (i.e., makes a mistake), lest she be caught by some of the devil's snares, or [is] hurt [in] some way, while she sits so low.
175 Volucres celi nidos, (see gloss to 3.110).
175-79 Nest is heard ute-with . . . to thine bihove, A nest is hard on the outside (lit., without) with pricking thorns, [but] on the inside delicate and soft - so must an anchoress suffer outwardly in her flesh hard [things] and pricking pains, so wisely though that she will harass (or, mortify) the flesh, [so] that she may say with the Psalm-wright (i.e., Psalmist), "I shall guard my strength for You" (Psalm 58:10) - that is, "I will protect my strength, Lord, to Your advantage."
179-81 For-thi beo flesches . . . the heorte withinnen, Therefore [let] the pain of the flesh be according to each one's ability. [Let] the nest be hard without (i.e., on the outside), and the heart soft and sweet within.
181-82 Theo the beoth . . . ant thorni withinnen, Those who are of bitter or of hard heart, and soft to their flesh, they make their nest inside out (lit., fromward) - soft on the outside, and thorny on the inside.
182-84 This beoth the wea-mode . . . hearde schulde beon, These are the petulant and indulgent anchoresses - bitter within, who (as not translated) should be sweet, and pleasure-seeking on the outside, who should be hard.
184-86 Theos i thulli nest . . . fleon toward heovene, These in such a nest can have bad (lit., evil) rest when they well bethink themselves (i.e., when they consider it well), for they will bring forth chicks late from such a nest - those are good works which fly toward heaven.
186-87 Job cleopeth . . . as he were ancre, Job calls the anchor-house a nest, and says as [if] he were an anchoress.
187 In nidulo meo moriar, "I shall die in my nest" (Job 29:18).
187-90 Thet is, "ich chulle . . . softe beo withinnen," That is, "I will die in my nest, be as [if] dead in it (lit., therein) - for that is right for an anchoress (lit., that is an anchoress' right) - and [I shall] dwell until death in there, [so] that I will never stop (lit., slack), while the soul is in the body, to suffer hard [things] without - just as the nest is - and to be soft within."
191-95 Of dumbe beastes . . . nahhede neaver, From dumb beasts learn (imper.) wisdom and teaching (lit., lore). The eagle puts (lit., does) into its nest a precious gemstone, called an "agate," for no venemous thing can near the stone, nor while he (i.e., the stone) is in the nest [can it] harm his chicks. This precious stone, that is Jesus Christ, true as a stone (i.e., rock) and full of all powers above (i.e., beyond) all gemstones - He is the agate which the venom of sin never neared (i.e., approached).
195 Do, Put (imper.).
195-97 Thench hwuch pine . . . of thi bodi, Think (imper.) what (lit., which) pain He suffered on His flesh without, how sweet hearted He was, how soft within, and so you will drive out each venom from your heart and bitterness from your body.
197-99 For i thulli thoht . . . schal thunche the swote, For in such a thought - be it ever so bitter pain that you suffer for the love of Him who suffered more for you - [it] will seem sweet to you.
199-200 Thes stan . . . ther Godes nest is, This stone, as I said, puts venemous things to flight. Keep (imper.; lit., Have thou) this stone within your breast, where God's nest is.
200-01 Ne thearf thu noht . . . al sker of his atter, You need not dread the venemous serpent of hell. Your chicks - which are your good works - are all safe from his poison.
202-03 Hwa-se ne mei . . . thet is, the crucifix, Whosoever cannot have or hold this gemstone in the nest of her heart, [should] at least have in the nest of her anchor-house His like (i.e., likeness) - that is, the Crucifix.
203-05 Bihalde ofte th'ron . . . thuldeliche tholede, Look (lit., behold) often on it (lit., thereon) and kiss the wound-places in sweet remembrance of the true wounds which He suffered patiently on the true Cross.
205-07 Se vorth se ha mei . . . yelt hit uvele, As far (lit., forth) as she can, [let her] be Judith - that is, live hard (i.e., a hard life), acknowledge (lit., be known) often to God His great goodness toward her, and her faults against Him, that she repays Him for it badly.
207 Crie him yeorne . . . schrive hire i-lome, [Let her] cry to Him for mercy and grace for that (lit., thereof), and confess herself often.
208-09 Thenne is ha Judith . . . deovel of helle, Then she is Judith, who slew Holofernes. For Judith in Hebrew is (i.e., means) "confession" in English, which slays spiritually the devil of hell (then = inflected def. art.).
209 Judith: Confessio, "Judith is Confession" (Pseudo-Jerome, Book of Hebrew Names [PL 23.1286).
209-11 For-thi seith ancre . . . the deofles strengthe, Therefore the anchoress says to each priest "I confess" first of all and confesses herself often, in order to (lit., for to) be Judith and slay Holofernes - that is, the devil's strength.
211-12 For ase muchel seith . . . in helle, For this name Holofernes says so much as "stinking in hell."
212-13 Secundum nominis ethimologiam . . . vitulum saginatum, According to the etymology of the name, Holofernes [means] "stinking in hell," according to the interpretation, "weakening the fattened calf" (See Dobson, Moralities, pp. 136-37).
213-15 On Ebreische ledene . . . thurh eise ant thurh este, In the Hebrew language Holofernes is the fiend (or, enemy) "who makes feeble and unstrong a calf [which is] fatted" and too wild - that is, the flesh which grows wild as soon as it ever grows fat through ease and through pleasure.
215-16 Incrassatus est . . . recalcitravit, "My love has grown fat and has kicked" (Deuteronomy 32:15).
216-17 "Mi leof is i-featted . . . with his hele," "My love is fattened," He says, our Lord, "and smites me with its heel."
217 Sone se flesch . . . feat meare ant idel, [As] soon as flesh has his (i.e., its) will (or, desire), it kicks as does a fat and idle mare.
218-19 This featte kealf . . . this nome "Oloferne," (inverted syntax) The fiend has the strength to unstrengthen (i.e., weaken) this fat calf and bow (or, bend) [it] toward sin, for so much says (i.e., means) this name, "Holofernes."
219-22 Ah ancre schal beo Judith . . . wisliche thah ant wearliche, But an anchoress ought to be Judith through a hard life and through true confession, and [she ought to] slay as did Judith this evil Holofernes, [and] tame very well her flesh, [as] soon as she feels that it goes wild too much, with fasts, with vigils, with hair[shirts], with hard toil, with hard disciplines - prudently though and warily (or, carefully).
222-23 Habete, inquit, sal in vobis . . . offeretis michi sal, "Have," he says, "salt in you." The same [verse]: "In every sacrifice you (pl.) ought to offer me salt" (adapted from Leviticus 2:13).
224 offrith, offer (imper.); eaver, always.
224-25 Veaste, wecche . . . beoth mi sacrefises, To fast, wake (i.e., hold vigils), and other such [things] as I named [just] now, are my sacrifices.
225 bitacneth, symbolizes.
225-27 for salt yeveth . . . alle ure deden, for salt gives food taste, and wisdom gives savor to all that we do (lit., work) well. Without the salt of wisdom all our deeds seem tasteless to God.
227-28 On other half . . . ant forroteth sone, On the other side (i.e., at the same time), without salt, flesh (or, meat) gathers worms, stinks very badly and rots away soon.
228-30 Alswa withute wisdom . . . stinketh ure Laverd, Likewise without wisdom, the flesh, as [does a] worm, gobbles herself (i.e., itself, the flesh) and wastes herself, degenerates (lit., fares badly) like a thing which rots away, and slays (i.e., kills) herself in the end. But such sacrifice stinks to our Lord.
231-32 Thah the flesch . . . nawt fordon mid alle, Though the flesh be (i.e., is) our foe, it is commanded us that we hold it up. We may do it woe (i.e., cause it pain), as it is very often worthy of, but [we may not] destroy [it] as well.
232-34 For hu wac . . . with thet other, For howsoever weak it be, still, it is so coupled (i.e., joined) and so firmly connected to our precious spirit (lit., ghost), God's own creation, that we could soon slay (i.e., kill) the one with the other.
234-36 Augustinus: Natura mentis . . . solus Deus major est, Augustine: "Than the nature of the human mind which is created in the image of God, and is without sin, God alone is greater" (Augustine, Against Maximus 2.25 [PL 42.803]).
236-41 Ant tis is an of the measte wundres . . . ant of heovene, And this is one of the greatest wonders on earth, that the highest thing below God - that is, man's soul, as St. Augustine witnesses - must be so firmly joined to the flesh, which is but fen (i.e., mud) and a foul earth (i.e., dirt), and through that same joining [the soul must] love it so much, that she, in order to please (or, comfort) it in its foul nature, goes out (i.e., departs) from her high heavenly nature, and in order to please her [the flesh], angers her Maker, who made her after (i.e., according to, in imitation of) himself who is king and emperor (lit., caesar) of earth and of heaven.
241-44 Wunder over wunder . . . withute Godd, Marvel beyond marvels and a shameful marvel! that so immeasurably low a thing - "almost nothing" "for nearly nothing," says St. Augustine - will (i.e., can) draw into sin so immeasurably high a thing as the soul is, that St. Augustine calls "almost the highest" - that is, "nearly the highest (lit., next) thing," except God.
244-47 Ah Godd nalde nawt . . . renginde abuten, But God did not want that she [should] leap into pride, nor [did He] want [her] to climb [in pride] and fall as did Lucifer, for he was without burden (i.e., hardship; lit., weight), and therefore [He] tied a clod of heavy earth to her as one does the hobble to the cow, or to the other animal that is too straying and roaming about.
247 thet, what.
247-48 Qui fecisti ventis . . . pondus, "[You] who have made a weight for the winds" - that is, for souls (Job 28:25).
248 Laverd, Lord.
248-49 thu havest . . . hire dune-ward, you have made a heavy weight (lit., cart-load) to load the souls with" - that is, the heavy flesh which draws her downward.
249-51 Ah thurh the . . . into hire lahe cunde, But through the loftiness of her (i.e., the soul) it (i.e., the flesh) shall be very light, lighter than is the wind, and brighter than the sun, if it (i.e., the flesh) follows (i.e., obeys) her here, nor draws her too powerfully into her low nature.
251-53 Leove sustren . . . hire to swithe, Dear sisters, for His love, whom she (i.e., the soul) is like to (i.e., whom the soul resembles), bear (imper.) her honor, nor let (imper. - lit., nor let you) the low flesh master her too powerfully.
253-55 Ha is her in uncuththe . . . in hire ahne riche, She (i.e., the soul) is put here in a strange land, in a prison, enclosed in a death-house, nor is [it] apparent of what kind of dignity she is, how high her birth (or, nature) is, nor what (lit., which) she will seem (or, appear as) however in her own kingdom.
255-57 Thet flesch . . . on his ahne mixne, The flesh is here at home, like earth which is in earth (i.e., dirt which is in the ground), and is therefore cunning and villainous. As they say (lit., one says), the cur (i.e., dog) is fierce on his own dunghill.
257-59 Ha haveth to . . . ant feole fitheren, She (i.e., the flesh) has too much mastery (or, power), alas, over many. But an anchoress, as I have said, ought to be completely spiritual (lit., ghostly) if she will fly well as a bird which has little flesh and many feathers.
259-62 Nawt ane yet . . . the dunge of sunne, Not only this, though, but besides [the fact] that she tames her ill-mannered flesh well and strengthens and does honor to the worthy soul - besides this, she must still through her example and through her holy prayers give strength to others, and hold them up, so that they do not fall into the dung of sin.
262-63 Ant for-thi . . . under evesunges, And therefore David soon after he has compared an anchoress to the pelican, he compares her to a night-bird (lit., night-fowl) which is under the eaves.
263-64 Simlis factus . . . in domicilio, "I am made (or, have become) like the pelican of the wasteland; I am made as the night bird in the cottage." (Psalm 101:7). (The Vulgate reads bubo 'owl' instead of nicticorax.)
265-68 The niht-fuhel . . . eadie bonen, The night-bird in the eaves symbolizes (lit., betokens) recluses who live for this reason under the church's eaves, [so] that they understand that they ought to be of so holy a life, that all Holy Church - that is, Christian folk - [ought to] lean and support [itself] upon them (i.e., the recluses), and they hold her (i.e., the church) up, with their life's holiness and their blessed prayers.
268-70 For-thi is ancre "ancre" . . . hit ne overwarpen, Therefore (i.e., for this reason) is an anchoress called an "anchor," and anchored under the church like an anchor under a ship's side, in order to (lit., for to) hold the ship, so that waves and storms do not overturn it.
270-71 Alswa al Hali . . . ne hit overwarpen, Likewise (lit., also) the entire Holy Church, which is called a ship, must anchor onto the anchoress, so that she may hold (i.e., stabilize) it so that the devil's blasts - those are temptations - do not overturn it.
272-73 Euch ancre haveth . . . ha walde fallen, Each anchoress has this in covenant (i.e., as part of her agreement), both through the name of "anchoress" and because (lit., through that) she lives under the church: to prop her [up] if she was about (lit., wanted) to fall.
273-74 Yef ha breketh . . . ne stureth neaver, If she breaks [her] agreement, look whom she cheats (or, is lying to), and how continually, for she never stirs (i.e., moves).
274-75 Ancre wununge . . . hwen ha slepeth, An anchoress' dwelling and her name cry (i.e., declare) constantly this agreement, even when she sleeps.
276 On other half . . . theosternesse his fode, On the other side (i.e., at the same time), the night-bird flies by night and gets (or, obtains) its food in darkness.
276-78 Alswa schal ancre . . . hire sawle fode, Likewise the anchoress must fly with contemplation - that is, with high thought, and with holy prayers by night toward heaven - and get by night her soul's food.
278-79 Bi niht ah . . . anan th'refter, By night an anchoress ought to be vigilant and busily about (i.e., striving for) spiritual profit. For this reason immediately after comes [this verse].
279-80 Vigilavi et factus sum . . . in tecto, "I was awake and am made (or, have become) like a lonely sparrow on the roof" (Psalm 101:8).
280-81 Vigilavi . . . under rof ane, "I was awake," "I was vigilant," says David in an anchoress' persona, "and like a sparrow under the roof alone."
281-82 for thet is . . . for-te wakien, for it is right [for the] anchoress to wake (i.e., hold vigils, stay awake) often (lit., much).
282-83 Ecclesiasticus . . . tabefatiet carnes, Ecclesiasticus: "The vigil of honesty (or, virtue) consumes the flesh" (Ecclesiasticus 31:1).
283-84 Na thing ne . . . studen i-preiset, Nothing controls wild flesh, nor makes it tamer than many a (lit., much) vigil. The vigil is praised in Holy Writ in many places.
284-85 Vigilate et orate . . . temptationem, "Wake and pray lest you enter into temptation" (Mark 14:38, Matthew 26:41).
285-86 Alswa as ye . . . don ow stonden, "Just as you do not want to fall into temptation," He says, our Lord, "wake and pray (imper.; lit., pray you)" - that will make you stand.
286 Eft, Again.
286-87 Beatus quem invenerit vigilantem, "Blessed [is he] whom [God] will find waking" (adapted from Luke 12:37).
287-88 "Eadi is the . . . i beoden al niht," "Blessed is the same [one], who when our Lord comes [He] finds waking (i-fint = reduced form of i-findeth)." And He Himself sometimes (or, formerly) "spent the night in prayer" (adapted from Luke 6:12), "stayed awake in prayers all night."
288-89 Ant swa he . . . with his dede, And so He taught us to wake (i.e., hold a vigil), not only with His teaching (lit., lore), but did [it] with His deed (or, action).
290-94 Eahte thinges nomeliche . . . ear her i-bette, Eight things especially invite us to wake continually (lit., ever) in some good [action] and to be working: 1) this short life; 2) this formidable path; 3) our goodness, which is so trifling (lit., thin); 4) our sins, which are so many; 5) death, which we are sure of, and (i.e., but) unsure of when [it will come]; 6) the stern judgment - and so exacting as well - of Judgment Day, so that each idle (or, trivial) word is (i.e., will be) brought forward there, and idle thoughts [as well] which were not atoned for here beforehand.
294-95 Dominus in Ewangelio . . . non evadet inpunita, The Lord in the Gospel: "of every careless word," etc. (adapted from Matthew 12:36.) Likewise: "and the hairs of the head shall not perish" (adapted from Luke 21:18) - that is, thought (does) not escape unpunished. (The full text of Matthew 12:36: "but I say to you therefore, every careless word which will have been spoken - men will give a reason [or, account] of it in the Day of Judgment.")
296-97 Anselmus: Quid faties . . . ad minimam cogitationem, Anselm: "What will you do on that day when each moment spent by you will be examined, how it was spent by you, and up to (i.e., including) the most trivial thought" (Anselm, Meditations 1 [PL 158.723]).
297-98 Loke nu hwet . . . sunfule werkes, See (lit., look) now what is (i.e., comes) from wicked wills (or, desires) and sinful works.
298-99 Yet the seovethe . . . sorhe of helle, Still [there is] the seventh thing which reminds us to wake (i.e., hold vigil), that is 7) the sorrow of hell.
299-300 Ther bihald threo . . . unimete bitternesse, There behold (or, consider) three things: the innumerable pains, the eternity of each one, the immeasurable bitterness.
300-01 The eahtuthe thing . . . world buten ende, The eighth thing: 8) how great the reward in the bliss of heaven is, world without end (i.e., forever and ever).
301-03 Hwa-se waketh . . . of uvel slawthe, Whosoever wakes here well for a moment (lit., a hand-while), whosoever has these eight things often in her heart, she will shake off [from] her the sleep of evil sloth (or, laziness).
303-05 I the stille . . . us to gode, In the still night when one sees not a whit, or hears what [might] hinder the prayer, the heart is often so free, for nothing is witness of the things which one then does, except God's angel, who is in such a time busily about inciting us to good (lit., to incite, egg us on).
305-08 For ther nis nawt forloren . . . ant dearnliche - sawle fode, For there is nothing lost, as [there] is often by day. Hear (i.e., pay attention) now, dear sisters, how it is evil to mention, and how good a thing it is to cover up a good deed, and fly by night as a night bird does and gather by darkness - that is, in privacy (or, in secret), and secretly - the soul's food.
309 Oratio Hester . . . Assuero, "The prayer (or, request) of Esther pleased Ahasuerus the king" (adapted from Esther 5:4).
309-10 thet is . . . lic-wurthe ant i-cweme, that is, "Esther's prayer, the queen, was pleasing and agreeable to King Ahasuerus."
310-12 "Hester" on Ebreisch . . . the king of heovene, "Esther" in Hebrew, that is (i.e., means), "hidden" in English, and is to [be] understood (passive inf.) that prayer and [any] other good deed which is done in hiding is agreeable to Ahasuerus - that is, to the King of heaven.
312-13 For "Assuer" on Ebreisch . . . eadi over alle, For "Ahasuerus" in Hebrew is "blessed" (or, happy) in English - that is, our Lord who is blessed over all [others].
313-14 Davith speketh to . . . hit ant schaweth, David speaks to the anchoress who had lived in hiding in order to (lit., for to) work well, and afterwards in some way [she] mentions and shows (i.e., displays) it.
314-15 Ut quid avertis manum . . . in finem, "Why do you turn away (i.e., withdraw) your hand, your right hand, from the middle of your bosom for ever?" (Psalm 73:11).
315-16 thet is . . . midde thi bosum? that is, "why do you draw out your hand, and yet (i.e., especially) your right hand from the midst [of] your bosom?"
317-20 Bosum is privite . . . god dede i-hole were, The bosom is (or, represents) secrecy, and [it] is as though he said, "the right hand which you held, anchoress, in your bosom - that is, your good works which you had done privately (i.e., secretly), since (lit., as) a thing in the bosom (or, heart) is secret - why do you draw it out in the end?" - that is, so that your reward ends so soon, your reward that would have been (lit., were) endless if your good deed were covered (i.e., hidden).
320-21 Hwi openest tu . . . in an hond-hwile? Why do you reveal it and take so short (i.e., skimpy) a reward, pay that is lost in an instant (lit., a hand-while)?
321-22 Amen dico vobis . . . mercedem suam, "Indeed, I say to you they have their reward" (Matthew 6:2).
322-23 "Thu havest i-uppet . . . undervo thi mede," "You have mentioned (i.e., spoken of) your good," He says, our Lord, "truly you have received your reward."
323-24 Sein Gregoire awundreth . . . swa uvele, St. Gregory is amazed (lit., wonders himself, reflex.) and says that men are mad who fall short so badly.
324-26 Magna verecundia est . . . transitorii favoris querit, "[It] is a great shame to do grand [things] and to covet (or, gape at) praises. Instead of that by which heaven can be won (or, merited), he seeks the coin of transitory applause" (Gregory, Moral Discourses on Job 8.43.70 [PL 75.844]).
326 Muchel meadschipe, Great madness.
326-28 "don wel . .. . of monnes herunge," "to do well and desire a reputation for it (lit., thereof), to do [something] with which (lit., where-through) he buys the kingdom of heaven and to sell it for a wind's puff of a word's praise, [for a puff] of man's praising."
328-29 For-thi, mine leove sustren . . . neome scheort ende, Therefore, my dear sisters, hold your right hand inside your bosom, lest endless reward take a short end.
329-33 We redeth in Hali Writ . . . bivore monnes sihthe, We read in Holy Writ that the hand of Moses, God's prophet, [as] soon as he had drawn her (i.e., the hand) out of his bosom, seemed [to be suffering] from leprosy (lit., hospice-sickness) and seemed leprous, through which (lit., what) [it] is symbolized that a good deed drawn forth (i.e., called attention to) is not only lost through that mentioning, but seems also horrific before God's eye, as leprosy is horrible before man's sight.
333 Lo, a feorli god word . . . Job seith, Lo, a marvelously good word which the holy Job says.
334 Reposita est hec spes mea in sinu meo, "This hope of mine is stored in my breast" (Job 19:27).
334-35 i-halden, held.
335-37 as thah he seide . . . hopie to mede, as though he said, "whatsoever good I do, if it were revealed from the heart and drawn out of my bosom, all my hope would have (lit., were) slipped away. But because I cover and hide it as [if] in the heart, I hope for reward."
337-38 For-thi yef ei . . . beon al toweavet, Therefore if any[one] does any good [deed], [let him] not draw it outward nor boast at all of it (lit., thereof) for with a little puff, with a word's wind it may be completely wafted away.
339-40 Ure Laverd i Johel . . . seith theos wordes, Our Lord in Joel complains (reflex.) grievously of those who lose and destroy all their good through desiring of praise-word (i.e., desire for praise) and says these words.
340-41 Decorticavit ficum meam . . . rami ejus, "[A nation] has stripped my fig tree and, uncovering [it], has despoiled it and thrown [it] down. Its branches are made white" (Joel 1:7).
341-44 "theos the schaweth . . . to drue, hwite rondes," "those who show their good [deeds] have stripped (lit., peeled) my fig tree, torn (lit., rent) all the bark off, despoiled (i.e., stripped) her stark naked, and thrown [her] away, and the green boughs are dried out and deformed (or, transformed) into dry, white sticks (or, logs)."
344 This word is dosc . . . hit wulle brihtin, This word is dark (i.e., obscure), but pay (lit., take) attention how I will brighten it.
344-46 Fier is a cunnes . . . is i-uppet, A fig tree is a tree of the kind which bears sweet fruit which they (lit., one) call "figs." Then the fig tree is peeled and the bark is ripped (lit., rent) off when a good deed is revealed (or, mentioned).
346-49 Thenne is the lif . . . to fures fode, Then the (i.e., its) life is out, then the tree deadens, when the bark is gone (lit., away), neither does it bear fruit, nor green (i.e., become green) thereafter with (lit., in) lovely leaves, but the boughs dry out, and become white sticks (or, logs) - for nothing better than as fire's food (i.e., to feed the fire).
349-50 The boh . . . warpeth his rinde, The bough, when it deadens, it grows white on the outside and dries out on the inside and throws off its bark.
350-51 Alswa god-dede . . . unhuleth him, Likewise (lit., also) a good deed which is about to (lit, wants to) die (lit., deaden) throws off its bark - that is, uncovers itself.
351-52 The rinde the writh . . . i cwicnesse, The bark which covers it is the tree's defense, and protects (wit = reduced form of witeth) it in [its] strength and vigor.
352 Alswa the hulunge . . . i strengthe, Likewise the covering is the life of the good deed, and keeps (lit., holds) it in strength.
352-55 Ah hwen the rinde . . . Godd to bihalden, But when the bark is off, then, as the bough does it whitens outside through (or, by) worldly praise-word (i.e., words of praise) and dries out inside and loses the sweetness of God's grace, which made it green and pleasant (lit., like-worthy) for God to behold.
355-56 For grene . . . fur of helle, (For green, more than [lit., over] all colors, comforts the eyes most.) When it is dried out thus, then it is good for nothing so [much] as for the fire of hell.
356-57 for the earste bipilunge . . . of prude, for the first peeling (or, stripping), from which (lit., whereof) all this evil is (i.e., comes), is nothing but from pride.
357-60 Ant nis this . . . helle fures fode? And is this not a great pity that the fig tree which ought to with her sweet fruit - that is, the good deed - feed God spiritually, the Lord of heaven, must dry out barkless because (lit., through that) it is uncovered and [has] become without end (i.e., forever) the food of hell's fire?
360 Ant nis ha . . . hire helle? And is she not (nis = ne is) too wretched who buys hell for herself with the price of heaven?
361-62 Ure Laverd i the Godspel . . . "hudeth hit," Our Lord Himself in the Gospel compares the heavenly kingdom to a gold-hoard, which "whosoever finds it," as He says, "hides it."
362 Quem qui invenit homo abscondit, "[A treasure] which a man found he hid" (Matthew 13:44).
362-64 Golt-hord is god-dede . . . hit is forlore sone, The gold hoard is a good deed which is compared to heaven, for one buys it (i.e., heaven) with that (lit., therewith, i.e., the good deed), and this gold hoard, unless it be hidden and covered the better, it is (i.e., will be) lost soon.
364-65 Depredari desiderat . . . portat in via, "Whoever carries a treasure openly (lit., publicly) on the road wants to be robbed" (Gregory, Homilies on the Gospels 1.12).
365-66 "The bereth tresor . . . beon i-robbet," "Whoever bears treasure openly in the way (or, path) which is completely full of robbers and of thieves, [it] pleases him (i.e., he would like) to lose it and be robbed."
366-69 This world nis . . . i this wei openeth, This world is [nothing] but a path to heaven or to hell, and is beset with hell's pilferers (or, petty thieves) who rob all the gold-hoards which they may find out that man or woman reveals (lit., opens) on this path.
369 For ase muchel . . . as he eode, For [that] is as much good (lit., is worth as much) as if someone said and cried as he went.
369-71 "Ich beore golt-hort! . . . deore-wurthe stanes!" "I am carrying a gold hoard! I am carrying a gold hoard! See it here red gold, white silver enough, and precious stones!"
371 A sapere the . . . thet he bereth, A soapmaker (or, peddler; lit., soaper) who [does not] carry (lit., bear) [anything] but soap and needles cries up loudly (lit., highly) what he carries.
372-74 A riche mercer . . . deore-wurthe tresor, A rich cloth merchant goes out completely still (i.e., quiet). Ask (imper.) what bitided (i.e., happened) to Hezekiah the good king because he showed the store-rooms [full] of his spices, his many things (i.e., possessions), his precious treasure.
374-77 Nis hit nawt for . . . thet ha beren, It is not written for nothing in the holy Gospel about (lit., of) the three kings who came to offer to Jesus Christ the priceless (lit., dear) three gifts, "falling down, they worshiped him, and having opened up their treasures, offered [them to him]" (Matthew 2:11), [so] that what they wished to offer him, they held always hidden until they came before him, when they first opened (lit., undid) the presents that they carried.
377-79 For-thi, mine leove . . . beoth yeorne sturiende, Therefore, my dear sisters, be (imper.) stirring diligently by night, as the night bird, to which the anchoress is compared.
379-81 Niht ich cleopie . . . of monnes eare, I call night "privacy" (or, secrecy). This "night" you can have each time of the day, [so] that all the good that you ever do is done as if by night and by darkness, out of man's eye, out of man's ear.
381-83 Thus i niht . . . nicticorax in domicilio, Thus be (imper.) flying at night, and seeking your soul's heavenly food: then you are not alone, "pelican in the wastelands," but are also the "night-raven in the cottage" (i.e., under the cottage-eaves).
384 Vigilavi et factus sum . . . in tecto, "I have held a watch (or, stayed awake) and am made like a solitary sparrow on (lit., in) the roof" (Psalm 101:8).
384-85 Yet is ancre . . . rof as ancre, Still (i.e., once more) the anchoress is compared here to a sparrow that is alone under the roof, as an anchoress [is].
385-87 Spearewe is a . . . to spearewe ane, A sparrow is a chattering bird, chatters forever, and chirps. But because many an anchoress has that very vice, David does not compare her to a sparrow which has a companion, but does [so] to a sparrow alone.
387-88 Sicut passer solitarius . . . thet is ane, "As a solitary sparrow." "I am," he says about the anchoress, "as a sparrow that is alone."
388-90 For swa ah ancre . . . ow over alle, For so ought an anchoress, alone [and] in a solitary place as she is, to chirp and chatter her prayers continually. And understand lovingly my dear sisters, that I write about the solitary life in order to (lit., for to) comfort anchors, and you above all.
391 Hu god is . . . neowe i-sutelet, How good [it] is to be alone is revealed both in the old law and in the new.
391-95 For i bathe me . . . toward heovene, For in both one finds (i-fint = reduced form of i-findeth) that God showed His secret mysteries and heavenly secrets to His dearest friends - not in a crowd (lit., flock) of men, but [He] did [so] where they were alone by themselves, and they themselves also as often as they wanted to think clearly of God and make pure prayers and be at heart spiritually (lit., ghostly) raised toward heaven.
395-97 aa me i-fint . . . ham hare bonen, One always finds that they fled the chaos (lit., disturbance) of man and went by themselves alone, and there God revealed to them and showed Himself to them and gave (i.e., granted) them their prayers.
397-98 For-thi thet ich . . . schawin forbisne, Because I said that one finds this both in the Old Testament and also in the New, I will from both (lit., both two) reveal an example (or, illustration).
399-400 Egressus est Yssac . . . consuetudinarium, "And Issac had gone out into the field" - which is believed to have been a custom of his (Genesis 24:63).
400-01 Ysaac the patriarche . . . as Genesys teleth, Isaac the patriarch, in order to think deeply, sought a solitary place and went by himself alone, as Genesis tells.
402-03 Rebecca enim interpretatur . . . gratia donat, "Rebecca in fact is interpreted as '[she] gave much and whatever merit she has, prevenient grace gives it to her'" (based on Pseudo-Jerome, Book of Hebrew Names [see PL 23.1208]).
403-05 Alswa the eadi Jacob . . . wes him al ane, Also the blessed Jacob, when our Lord showed him His precious face and gave him His blessing, turned his name better (i.e., into a better name, Israel; see Genesis 32:28 ff.), he had fled men and was by himself all alone.
405-06 Neaver yete i . . . swuch biyete, Never yet in man's flock (i.e., in a crowd of people) did he catch (or, receive) such a benefit.
406-08 Bi Moysen ant bi Helye . . . privement ham ane, Through Moses and Elijah, God's precious freinds, [it] is revealed and evident which (i.e., what kind of) strife and how dreadful a life [there] is always among the throng (or, crowd) and how God shows His secrets to those who are intimate [with] Him alone.
408-09 Me schal, leove . . . this brihte understonden, One must, dear sisters, tell you these histories, for they were (i.e., would be) too long to write them here, and then you will understand all this clearly.
410 Set et Jeremias solus sedet, "But also Jeremiah sits alone" (adapted from Jeremiah 15:17).
410-11 The eadi Jeremie . . . the reisun for-hwi, The blessed Jeremiah says he sits (sit = reduced from of sitteth) alone and says the reason why.
411 Quia comminatione tua replesti me, "Because you have filled me with your threat" (Jeremiah 15:17).
411-12 Ure Laverd hefde . . . of his threatunge, Our Lord had filled him with His threatening.
412-13 Godes threatunge . . . worlt buten ende, God's threatening is hardship and suffering in body and in soul, world without end (i.e., forever and ever).
413-14 The were of this . . . underfon fleschliche lahtren, Whoever would be (lit., were) well filled with His threatening as he (i.e., Jeremiah) was - there would be no empty place in the heart to receive carnal laughter (lit., fleshly laughters).
414 For-thi he bed wealle of teares, Therefore he prayed for a well of tears.
414-15 Quis dabit michi fontem lacrimarum? "Who will give me a fountain of tears?" (adapted from Jeremiah 9:1).
415-17 Thet ha ne adruhede . . . mid deadliche sunne, So that she (i.e., the anchoress) [would] not ever dry up, any more than a well, in order to weep over the slain folk - that is, [al]most all the world, which is spiritually slain with deadly sins.
417 Ut lugeant interfectos populi mei, "So that they may lament the slain of my people" (adapted from Jeremiah 9:1).
417-22 Ant to this wop . . . to beon ane, And for this weeping, look now, he (the holy prophet) asks for a solitary place, "Who will give me [a dwelling] in the desert (or, solitude) of many wayfarers, so that . . . ," etc. (Jeremiah 9:2), in order to to show plainly that for whosoever will weep for her own and others' sins, as an anchoress ought to do, and for whosoever will find (or, obtain) from the strict judge (lit., man of judgments) mercy and grace, the one thing that hinders him most is dwelling - that is, living among men - and what most powerfully furthers it, that is a solitary place, [for a] man or a women too to be alone.
422 Yet, Still.
423 mare, more; Sedebit solitarius et tacebit, "He will sit alone and be silent" (Lamentations 3:28).
423-24 "Me schal sitten . . . beo stille," "One must sit," he says, "[by] himself alone and be still."
424 Of this stilnesse . . . ther-bivoren lutel, Concerning this stillness, he speaks a little before that.
424-26 Bonum est prestolari . . . ab adholescencia sua, "[It] is good to wait in silence for the salvation of God. Blessed [is he] who has borne the yoke of the Lord from his youth" (Lamentations 3:26-27).
426 God, Good; i-kepen, to expect (or, receive - see glossary).
426-27 ant thet me beore Godes yeoc . . . kimeth th'refter, and [it is good] that one bear God's yoke immediately from his youth, and then comes after that [the following verse].
427-28 Sedebit solitarius . . . levabit se supra se, "He shall sit alone and be quiet, for he will raise himself above himself" (Lamentations 3:28).
428-30 Hwa-se swa wule . . . over hire cunde, Whosoever wants to do so, "she must sit alone and hold herself still, and so lift herself above herself" - that is, with high life rise toward heaven over her nature.
430-31 Teke this . . . kimeth anan efter, Besides this, what other good may come from this solitary sitting which Jeremiah speaks of, and from this blessed stillness, comes immediately after (i.e., in the text).
431-32 Dabit percuscienti se . . . saturabitur obprobriis, "He shall give his cheek to [him who is] persecuting him, and he will be filled with reproaches" (Lamentations 3:30).
432-33 "Ha wule," he seith . . . with schentfule wordes," "She will," he says, "whoever lives thus, offer up the cheek to the smiter and be filled through [and through] with disparaging words."
433-35 Her beoth i theos word . . . ant meoke heorte, Here are in these words two blessed virtues to note very carefully, which pertain rightly to an anchoress: patience in the first case (lit., on the earlier side), in the latter, humility of a mild and meek heart.
436-37 For tholemod is . . . mis-segge, For the patient [person] is whoever patiently bears the wrong people do to him. The humble [person] is whoever can suffer what people say wrongly [against] him.
437-38 Theos the ich . . . to the neowe, These which I have named here were from the Old Testament. Let us come now to the New.
439-41 Sein Juhan Baptiste . . . bathe siker ant biheve, St. John the Baptist - about whom our Lord said, "Among the sons of women no greater one has risen up than John the Baptist" (Matthew 11:11), that "among the sons of women a higher [one] never rose" - he makes known to us openly by his own deed that a solitary place is both secure and beneficial.
441-46 For thah the engel . . . of speche ane, For [even] though the angel Gabriel had prophesied his birth (lit., registered it in a book), even though (lit., all were) he was filled with the Holy Spirit at once in his mother's womb, even though he was born through a miracle from a barren [woman] and at his birth unlocked his father's tongue in prophecy - for all this, he still dared not live among men, so dreadful (i.e., frightening) a life he saw in it (lit., therein), even if (lit., though) it was (i.e., consisted) of nothing else than of speech alone (i.e., even if life among men meant merely speaking to them, let alone interacting with them).
446-47 Ant for-thi hwet . . . in his ymne, And therefore what did he do? Young of years, [he] fled away into the wilderness, lest he sully with speech his clean (or, pure) life, for thus [it] is in his hymn.
448-51 Antra deserti . . . famine posses, "You occupied caves of the desert in your early years (lit., under, before [your] years), / fleeing the towers of cities you sought [them] (i.e., the caves) out, / so that you could not stain [your] life / even with trivial talk" (Paul the Deacon, hymn for the Feast of St. John the Baptist).
452-53 He hefde, as hit . . . ego sum, He had, as it seems, heard Isaiah, who lamented (lit., moaned him, [reflex.]) and said, "Woe [is] me because I am a man with unclean lips" (adapted from Isaiah 6:5).
453 Wumme, Alas.
454 sulede lippen, sullied lips; ant seith the acheisun hwer-vore, and says the reason why (lit., wherefore).
454-55 Quia in medio populi . . . ego habito, "Because I live in the midst of the people who have defiled their lips" (Isaiah 6:5).
455-56 "Ant thet is . . . mid misliche spechen," "And that is because," he says, "I live among men who sully their lips with various speeches (i.e., much talking)."
456 hu, how.
457 i-sulet thurh beowiste bimong monne, sullied by living among man.
457-59 Swa hit is sikerliche . . . longe liggen togedere, So it is surely: neither ore, metal, gold, silver, iron [or] steel will ever be so bright that it will not draw rust from another [metal] that is rusted, as long as they lie long together.
459-60 For-thi fleh Sein Juhan . . . he were i-fulet, Therefore, St. John fled the fellowship of foul men, lest he be befouled (i.e., so that he would not be sullied).
460-62 Ah yet for-te schawin . . . i the wildernesse, And yet in order to show us that one cannot flee the evil unless one [also] flees the good, he (i.e., John) fled his holy kin (or, family), chosen by our Lord, and departed into a lonely place and lived in the wilderness.
462-63 Ant hwet biyet . . . Godes baptiste, And what did he profit (or, gain) there? He profited [in] that he was the baptizer of God.
463-64 O, the muchele hehnesse . . . his anes mihte! Oh, the great glory, that he (i.e., John) held in baptism with his hands, the Lord of heaven, who holds up all the world (halt = reduced form of haldeth) with his single might!
464-66 Ther the Hali Trinite . . . in his honden, There the Holy Trinity - "threeness" in English - showed herself completely to him: the Father in his voice, the Holy Spirit in the dove's shape, the Son in his hands.
466-67 In anlich lif . . . meidenes mede, In the solitary life he gained three distinctions (or, special honors): the special rights of a preacher, merit of martyrdom, [and the] virgin's reward.
467-69 Theos threo manere . . . ofearnede him ane, These three kinds [of] men [will] have in heaven, with overflowing (lit., overfilled) reward, crown upon crown. And the blessed John, in a solitary place as he was, earned all these three estates (i.e., statuses) by himself alone.
470-71 Ure leove Leafdi . . . i-findeth, Our dear Lady, did she not lead a solitary (or, lonely) life? Did not the angel find her in a solitary place all alone? She was nowhere outside, but was locked up securely, for so we find.
471-72 Ingressus angelus . . . in mulieribus, "The angel entered and spoke to her. 'Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord [be] with you; O blessed are you among women'" (Luke 1:28).
473 wende, went.
473-74 Thenne wes heo inne . . . ne eadeawede neaver ofte, Then (i.e., at that time) was she inside in a solitary place by herself alone. An angel [has] never appeared often to a man in a throng (or, crowd).
474-76 On other half . . . the heold swa silence, On the other side (i.e., at the same time), since (lit., through that) nowhere in Holy Writ is [anything] written about her speech (i.e., talking) but four times, as is said above, it is a clear proof that she was much alone, who kept silence thus.
477-79 Hwet seche ich other? . . . makien riht penitence, Why (lit., what) do I seek another [example]? From God alone [there] would be enough of an example to all, who betook Himself (i.e., went) into a solitary place, and fasted while he was alone in the wilderness in order to show thereby that among the throng of man no one (lit., none) can make right penitence.
479-80 Ther in anli stude . . . thet is meoseise, "There in a solitary place he hungered" (reflex.) (Matthew 4:2) it says, as a comfort [to the] anchoress who is distressed (or, suffering discomfort).
480-82 Ther he tholede . . . to ham, There He allowed that the fiend tempted Him in a variety of ways (lit., many-ways), but He overcame him, also in order to show that the fiend tempts much those who lead a solitary life, for the envy which he has of them.
482-84 Ah he is ther . . . his strengthe, But he is there overcome, because our Lord Himself stands there by them in the fight and emboldens (i.e., instructs) them how they must stand strongly in opposition (lit., against), and gives them [something] from His strength.
484-89 He, as Hali Writ . . . we beoth i bonen, He, as Holy Writ says, whom no noise or crowd of people might hinder (Him omitted in translation) from His prayers, or disturb His good, He still nonetheless, when He wanted to be in prayer, He fled not only other [ordinary] people, but did even [flee from] His precious holy Apostles and went alone upon the hills as an example to us that we should turn by ourselves and climb with Him on the hills - that is, to think high (or, loftily) and leave low under us all earthly thoughts while we are in prayer.
489-92 Pawel ant Antonie . . . al thet ha walden, Paul and Anthony, Hilarion and Benedict, Syncletica and Sarah, and other such [ones], many men and women both, found out surely and understood truly the advantage of a solitary life, as those who did with God all that they wanted.
492-93 Sein Jerome . . . minor homo recessi, Now St. Jerome let it be said (lit., let say) about himself: "As often as I was among men, I departed a lesser man" (cited as Jerome by Peter the Cantor, Abbreviated Discourse, 69 [PL 205.206]).
493 bimong, among.
494 leasse mon then ich ear wes, less a man (or, person) than I was before.
495 Ne oblecteris . . . est enim commissio, "You should not delight in crowds, for their commotion is continual" (adapted from Wisdom 18:32).
495-96 "ne thunche the neaver . . . eaver sunne," "[let it] never seem good to you among the flock (or, press) of men, for there is sin always."
496-97 Ne seide the stevene . . . of heovene, Did not the voice of heaven say to Arsenius (lit., said not the voice . . .).
497 Arseni, fuge homines et salvaberis? "Arsenius, flee men and you will be saved"? (The Lives of the Desert Fathers 190).
498 i-borhen, saved; Ant eft hit com ant seide . . . quiesce, And again it (i.e., the voice) came and said, "Arsenius, flee, be quiet, [and] be at peace" (The Lives of the Desert Fathers 190).
499 ant wune stude-vestliche . . . ut of monne, and dwell fixedly in some place away from (lit., out of) men.
500-01 Nu ye habbeth i-herd . . . luvien, Now you have heard, my dear sisters, an example from the old law and also from the new why you ought to love very much the solitary life.
501-02 Efter the forbisnes . . . eahte ed te leaste, After the examples, hear now the reasons why one ought to flee the world, eight [reasons] at the [very] least.
502-03 Ich ham segge . . . betere yeme, I [shall] say them shortly (i.e., briefly) - pay the better attention (i.e., pay closer attention since I describe them briefly).
504 The forme is sikernesse, The first is safety.
504-05 Yef a wod liun . . . bitunen hire sone? If a mad lion ran through the street, would not the prudent enclose herself quickly?
505-07 helle liun rengeth . . . leste he us lecche, the lion of hell always ranges and strays about to seek an opportunity to swallow up the soul, and bids us to be vigilant and busy in holy prayers, lest he (i.e., the lion) catch us (i.e., so that he will not be able to catch us).
507-08 Sobrii estote et vigilate . . . querens quem devoret, "Be sober and be vigilant in [your] prayers, because your enemy the devil, as a raging lion, circles about seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
508-09 thet ich ear seide, which I said (or, mentioned) before.
509-10 For-thi beoth ancren wise . . . beo the sikerure, Therefore [those] anchors are wise who have enclosed themselves well against hell's lion in order to be the safer.
511 other, second.
511-12 the bere a deore . . . bute ha fol were? whoever would carry (lit., bear) an expensive liquid, a precious fluid as balsam in a breakable container (lit., feeble vessel), a healing potion in brittle glass, would she not go out of the throng (i.e., get out of the crowd), unless she were a fool?
512-13 Habemus thesaurum istum . . . dicit apostolus, "We have this treasure in clay vessels" says the Apostle (2 Corinthians 4:7).
513-16 This bruchele vetles . . . as is eani gles, This fragile vessel, it is women's flesh, while (lit., still nonetheless) the balsam, the healing liquid, is the virginity which is in it (lit., therein) - or after loss of virginity, chaste purity. This fragile vessel is [as] breakable as is any glass.
516-17 For beo hit eanes tobroken . . . na mare thene gles, For be it once broken (i.e., if it is ever broken), it [will] never be repaired, [never] repaired nor whole as it was before, any more than glass.
517 Ah yet hit breketh . . . bruchel gles do, But it breaks with even less [cause] than brittle glass may do.
517-19 For gles ne tobreketh . . . ant leaste se longe, For glass does not break unless something touch[es] it, and as concerns loss of virginity, it may lose its wholeness with a stinking desire, so far can it go and last so long.
519-21 Ah this manere bruche . . . schrift ant bireowsunge, But this kind of break may be repaired again as completely intact (lit., whole) as it ever was, most whole (see glossary) through the medicine of confession and repentance.
521-24 Nu the preove . . . meiden to witene, Now the proof for that (lit., hereof): St. John the Evangelist - had he not brought a bride home? Had he thought (i.e., did he not intend) then - if God had not hindered him - to lose [his] virginity? Afterwards though, was he not a virgin nevertheless complete (lit., the more unwhole), and "was not the Virgin entrusted to a virgin (i.e., John) to protect?"
524 Virginem virgini commendavit, "The Virgin was commended to a virgin" (source unidentified).
524-28 Nu as ich segge . . . ant cleannesse schedeth, Now as I say, this precious medicine in the brittle vessel is virginity and chastity in your brittle flesh, brittler than any glass, so that if you were in the world's throng (or, tumult), with a little collision (or, jostling) you might lose everything (lit., all) as the unfortunates in the world who collide together and break their vessels and spill [their] purity.
528 For-thi ure Laverd cleopeth thus, Therefore, our Lord cries [out] thus.
528-29 In mundo pressuram . . . pacem habebitis, "In the world you will have tribulation, but in Me [you will have] peace" (John 16:33).
529 Leaveth, Leave (imper. pl.).
529-30 ther ye schulen . . . peis is in me, there you will be in tumult (lit., in the throng), but rest and peace is in me.
531 of the worldes fluht is the biyete of heovene, for the flight of the world (i.e., to flee the world) is the gaining of heaven.
532 swithe heh, very high.
532-33 Hwa-se wule biyeoten . . . under hire fotes, Whosoever wants to acquire it and reach up to it (lit., thereto), for her [it] is little enough (i.e., a small enough thing) to throw all the world under her feet.
533-34 For-thi alle the halhen . . . areache the heovene, Therefore all the saints made of all the world a footstool (or, platform) for their feet [in order to] to reach up to the heaven.
534-35 Apocalypsis: Vidi mulierem . . . sub pedibus ejus, Apocalypse: "I saw a woman clothed in the sun and the moon under her feet" (adapted from Revelation 12:1).
536 i-seh, saw; i-schrud, clothed.
536-38 The mone woneth . . . eaver i change, The moon wanes and waxes, nor is [it] ever steadfast, and betokens (i.e., symbolizes) therefore worldly things which are, as the moon, always in change (or, flux).
538-40 Thes mone mot te . . . te sothe sunne, The woman must hold this moon under her feet - that is, tread down (or, trample) and reject worldly things - whoever wants to reach heaven and be clothed there with the true sun.
541-42 preove of noblesce . . . ne with purses, proof of nobility and of largess (or, generosity). Noble and gentle men do not carry any packs, nor [do they] travel (lit., fare) loaded down with bundles or with purses.
542-44 Hit is beggilde . . . leafdi of heovene, It is right [for the] beggar woman to carry a bag on [her] back, right [for a] burgess (or, townswoman) to carry a purse - [but it is] not [right for] God's spouse, who is a lady of heaven.
544-45 Trussen ant purses . . . ant worltliche rentes, Bundles and purses, bags and packs are worldly things: [as are] all earthly riches and worldly revenues.
546-47 makieth large relef . . . with Seinte Peter, make generous donations, but who can make more generous [ones] than he or she who says with St. Peter.
547-48 Ecce nos reliquimus . . . sumus te, "Behold we have left everything behind and have followed you" (Matthew 19:27).
548 for-te folhi the, to follow you; forleavet, abandoned.
548-49 Nis this large relef? . . . lave? Is this not a generous donation? Is this not a great legacy?
549 keisers, emperors.
549-50 hare liveneth . . . habbeth, their livelihood from your generous donation which you have left (i.e., willed to them).
551-52 we wulleth folhi the . . . of thi largesce, we will follow you in the great graciousness of your largess (or, generosity).
552-53 Thu leafdest to othre men . . . lave se large, You left to other men all [your] riches and made of everything so generous a donation and legacy.
553-56 We wulleth folhi the . . . bute ane meidnes, We will follow you. We will do likewise, leave everything, as you did, follow you on earth in that and in other things - in order to (lit., for to) follow you also into the bliss of heaven, and still to follow you there (tear = reduced form of thear "there") above all follow you in whatever direction (lit., whitherward) you ever go, as none can but virgins alone.
556-57 Hii secuntur agnum . . . integritate cordis et corporis, "These follow the lamb wherever it may go," indeed with both feet, that is, with the wholeness of heart and body (adapted from Revelation 14:4, with gloss).
558 seste, sixth.
558-59 is hwi ye habbeth . . . with ure Laverd, is why you have fled the world - intimacy (or, acquaintance), great kinship, to be privy (or, intimate) with our Lord.
559 bi, through, by means of; Osee, Hosea.
559-60 Ducam te in solitudinem . . . ad cor tuum, "I shall lead you into solitude and there I shall speak to your heart" (Hosea 2:14).
560 Ich chulle, I shall; leofmon, sweetheart (or, leman).
561 ant ter ich chulle . . . lath preasse, and there I will speak lovingly to your heart, for to me a crowd (lit., press) is loathsome.
562 Ego Dominus . . . non ingredior, "I am the Lord, and I will not enter the city" (adapted from Hosea 11:9).
563 seovethe, seventh.
563-64 for-te beo the brihtre . . . ow for hire her, in order to be the brighter and see the more brightly in heaven God's bright face, for you have fled the world and [you] hide yourself from her (lit., before her) here.
564-66 Yet ter-teken thet . . . i-seid th'ruppe, Yet besides that you are swift as the sun beam, because you are enclosed with Jesus Christ as [if] in a sepulchre, restrained (lit., barred) as He was on the dear Cross, as is said above.
567 eahtuthe, eighth; to habben cwic . . . yeorne hwer-vore, to have living prayer - and look carefully why (lit., wherefore).
567-68 The eadmode cwen . . . on Englische ledene, The humble Queen Esther betokens (or, symbolizes) the anchoress, for her name says (i.e., means) "hidden" in the English language.
569-70 As me ret in hire . . . to death i-demet, As one reads (ret = reduced form of redeth) in her book, she was pleasing to King Ahasuerus over all [others], and through her prayer (or, request) saved from death all her people, who were (lit., was) judged to death.
570-71 This nome Assuer . . . eadi over alle, This name Ahasuerus is interpreted [as] "happy, blessed," as is said before, and symbolizes God, blessed over all [creation].
571-73 He yetteth Hester . . . ham muche folc, He grants to Esther the queen - that is, the true anchoress, who is a proper Esther, who is properly "hidden" - He hears and grants her all her prayers, and saves through them many (lit., much) people.
573-75 Monie schulde beo . . . Mardochees dohter, Many would be lost who are saved through the anchorite's prayers, as were through Esther's, provided that she (i.e., the anchoress) be Esther and holds herself (i.e., behaves) as she (i.e., Esther) did, Mordecai's daughter.
575-76 "Mardoche" is i-spealet . . . totreodinde thene scheomelese, "Mordecai" is interpreted [as] "bitterly grinding (or, trampling) the shameless" (source unidentified) - that is, "bitterly treading down (or, trampling) the shameless" (thene = inflected def. art.).
577 the seith eani untu . . . bivoren ancre, who says or does any ill-mannered [thing] before (i.e., in the presence of) an anchoress.
577-80 Yef eani thah . . . breokinde thene scheomelese, If anyone nevertheless does so, and [then] she break[s] (i.e., condemns) bitterly his ill-mannered word[s] or his foul deed, [if she] trample[s] them at once by counting [them] worthless, then she is Esther, Mordecai's daughter, harshly crushing (or, defeating) the shameless.
580-81 Bitterluker ne betere . . . mid tis vers, She cannot ever crush (or, defeat) him more harshly nor better than is taught above with "[evil ones] have told me [lying fables]" (Psalm 118:85), or with this verse.
581-82 Declinate a me . . . Dei mei, "Depart from me cursed [ones] and I shall search the commands of my God" (Psalm 118:115 - see 2.560 above).
582-83 ant wende in-ward . . . as Hester, the "i-hudde," and [let her] turn inward at once toward her altar and hold (or, keep) herself at home, as Esther did, the "hidden" [one].
583-86 Semei i Regum . . . to death i-demet, Shimei in Kings (1 Kings 2:36-46) had deserved death but he cried "mercy" and Solomon forgave it him, though with such an agreement: that he [should] keep himself at home in Jerusalem where he lived and [should] hide himself in his house, [and] if he went out anywhere - such was the agreement - that he was again offending (lit., foul) and condemned (lit., judged) to death.
586-87 He thah brec foreward . . . his unselhthe, He nevertheless broke the agreement through his wretchedness.
587-89 His threalles edfluhen . . . fordemet to deathe, His servants (lit., thralls) fled [from] him and broke out [away from] him, and he followed them and went out after them - what more do you want (i.e., and what do you expect)? - [and] was accused [or, betrayed] to king, Solomon, and, since the agreement was broken, condemned to death.
590-91 Semey bitacneth . . . the "i-hudde," Shimei symbolizes the external (lit., outward) anchoress, not Esther, the "hidden" [one].
591-93 For Semey seith audiens . . . hercninde efter ut-runes, For Shimei says (i.e., means) "hearing" which is "listening" in our language - that is, the recluse who has ass' ears, long [in order] to hear far, [and] who is listening for news (or, rumors).
593 Semeis stude wes Jerusalem . . . he walde libben, Shimei's place was Jerusalem which he should (i.e., was supposed to) hide himself in if he wanted to live.
594 spealeth, means; "sihthe of peis" ant bitacneth ancre-hus, "sight of peace" and symbolizes the anchor-house.
594-96 For th'rinne ne thearf . . . te sothe Salomon, For in there (i.e., the anchor-house) she need not see [anything] but peace alone. Let her never be Shimei - that is, the recluse so very guilty toward the true Solomon.
596-97 thet is, ure Laverd . . . the worldes baret, that is, our Lord. [Let her] keep herself at home in Jerusalem [so] that she [might] know nothing (nute = ne wite) at all of the world's strife.
597-600 Salomon yetteth hire . . . efter his threalles, Solomon grants her happily his grace, but if she interferes (reflex.) with things outside (i.e., external things) more than she need, and her heart is [focused on the] outside, [even] though her (lit., a) clod of earth - that is, her body - is within the four walls, she has gone with Shimei out of Jerusalem just as he did after his servants.
600-01 Theos threalles beoth . . . servin hare leafdi, These servants (lit., thralls) are the in-born (or, native) five senses, which should be at home and serve their lady.
601-03 Thenne ha servith . . . in hali bonen, They serve well the anchoress, their lady - then when they put themselves to good use in her soul's need: when the eye is on the book or on some other good [thing], the ear to God's word, the mouth in holy prayers.
604-06 Yef ha wit ham . . . to death i-demet, If she guards them badly (wit = reduced form of witeth) and lets them through carelessness escape her service and [if she] follows them outward with her heart - it happens most often (lit., ever most) that [if] the senses go out, the heart goes out after [them] - she breaks Solomon's agreement with the unfortunate Shimei and is judged (or, condemned) to death.
607-08 ne beo ye nawt . . . blisse of heovene, do not be (imper.) Shimei, but be Esther, the "hidden" [one], and you will be exalted (or, lifted up) into the bliss of heaven.
608-10 For the nome of Hester . . . "i folc i-hehet," For the name of Esther does not say (i.e., mean) "hidden" only - that is, not only "hidden" - but does (i.e., means) besides that "raised among the people" - that is, "exalted among the people."
610 swa, so (or, thus).
610-11 as hire nome cwiddeth . . . a povre meiden, as her name says, raised (i.e., promoted) into a queen from a poor virgin.
611-14 I this word "Hester" . . . wurthliche i-hehet, In this word "Esther" are [the words] "hiding" and "highness" (or, loftiness) joined together, and not only "highness," but "highness over people," in order to show clearly that those who hide themselves rightly in their anchor-house, in heaven, they will be raised worthily (i.e., in honor) above other kinds of people (lit., over folk of other kind).
614-15 Ba Hesteres nome . . . i Jerusalem, Both Esther's name and her raising prove what I say (i.e., have been saying). On the other side (i.e., at the same time), understand (imper.): you are in Jerusalem.
615 Ye beoth i-flohe . . . grith, You have fled to the church's sanctuary (or, peace).
615-16 For nis ower nan . . . Godes theof, For [there] is not (nis = ne is) one of you that was not [at] some time [or another] God's thief.
616-17 Me weiteth ow . . . i-broke to chirche, People wait (i.e., are waiting) for you outside - you know that very well - as [they do for] thieves who have escaped to a church.
617 Haldeth ow feaste inne, Keep (lit., hold) yourself fast (i.e., firmly) inside.
618-19 Nawt te bodi . . . sawle lif is, Not the body (i.e., your body) alone, for that is the most worthless, but your five senses and the heart above all, and all [things] where (or, in which) the life of the soul is.
619-20 For beo ha bitrept . . . weari-treo of helle, For [if] she (i.e., the heart) is trapped outside, there is [nothing to do] but [to be] led up to the gallows (passive inf.) - that is, the punishment-tree (i.e., gibbet) of hell.
620-22 Beoth ofdred of . . . ow his cleches, Be afraid of each man just as the thief is, lest he draw (i.e., tempt) you out - that is, deceive [you] with sin - and lie in wait to get (lit., throw) his clutches on you.
622-23 Bisecheth yeornliche Godd . . . the ow weitith, Beseech (or, beg) God eagerly as a thief [who has] escaped to the church, that He protect and guard you against all who lie in wait for you.
623-25 Chiterith ower beoden . . . euch gastelich biyete, Chirp your prayers continually as the sparrow does which is "alone," for this one word is said of the solitary life, of the solitary place, where one can be Esther, hidden away from the world, and [where one can] do (or, undertake) better than in the crowd (lit., throng) each spiritual profit.
626 For-thi eveneth Davith . . . to spearewe ane, For this reason David compares the anchoress to a pelican which leads (leat = reduced form of leadeth) a solitary life, and to a solitary sparrow.
627-28 Spearewe haveth yet . . . fallinde uvel, A sparrow has nevertheless a nature (or, characteristic) that is an advantage [to an] anchoress, though one [might] hate it - that is, the falling sickness (i.e., epilepsy).
628 For muche neod is . . . habbe fallinde uvel, For [there] is a great need that an anchoress of holy and of high life have the falling sickness.
628-31 Thet uvel ne segge . . . of hali hehnesse, I do not mean (lit., say) that sickness which they name thus, but I call a "falling sickness" sickness of the body or trials of the temptation of the flesh, by which [it] seems to her that she falls downward from a holy height.
631-34 Ha walde awilgin elles . . . with sunne, She would grow wild or else think too well of herself, and so come (lit., be) to nothing; the flesh would grow wild and become too badly behaved toward her lady - if it were not beaten - and make the soul sick - if sickness did not tame it with evil or with sin.
635-36 The licome ne the gast . . . secnesse of alle, If neither of them, the body or the spirit, were sick, as it seldom happens, pride would awaken which is the most dreadful sickness of all.
636-39 Yef Godd fondeth ancre . . . is spearewe uvel, If God tests (or, tempts) the anchoress with any sickness on the outside (i.e., external sickness), or the fiend (i.e., devil) inside [tempts her] with spiritual vices, [such] as pride, wrath, envy, or with the flesh's desires, she has the falling sickness, which they say (lit., one says) is the sparrow's sickness.
639-40 Godd hit wule . . . falle i prude, God desires (lit., wants it) therefore that she always be humble and with low opinion (lit., holding) of herself [He wants her to] fall to the earth (or, ground), lest she fall in[to] pride.
641-42 Nu we hurteth . . . ant either moni-valde, Now we dash on, dear sisters, to the fourth part, which I said should be about many temptations, for there are outer and inner [temptations], and many of each (lit., manifold of either).
642-44 Salve ich bihet to teachen . . . toyeines ham alle, I promised to teach you a salve (i.e., medicine) against them and a remedy, and how whoever has them (i.e., temptations) can gather from this part comfort and consolation against them all.
644-45 Thet ich thurh the lare . . . thurh ower bonen, That I, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, keep the agreement, may He grant it to me through your prayers.
ANCRENE WISSE, PART THREE: EXPLANATORY NOTES
This section likens the anchoress to various birds, as the author's outline states (Pref.139-40). Before Part Three progresses very far, however, it is easy to see that the comparison to birds is only part of a much more complex approach which deploys a variety of images (drawn broadly from the natural and human worlds) as well as a number of exempla (from the Old Testament in particular). Popular preaching often used bestiary lore, properly allegorized, to drive home a point, though the effect here is far from simple: it would be a mistake to reduce this section to a simple working out of the phrase "Of dumbe beastes leorne wisdom ant lare" (3.191). James Maybury ("On the Structure and Significance of Part III of the Ancrene Riwle") believes that Part Three is based on an extended exegesis of Psalm 101:7-8: "I am like the pelican of the desert [lit., solitary places], I am become like an owl in the midst of ruins. I lie awake and moan, like a bird [lit., sparrow] all alone on the housetop." Maybury's article gives a detailed picture of how Part Three agrees with or departs from the standard Psalm commentaries and the Physiologus and bestiary traditions. As Savage and Watson note (pp. 359-60n1) the principal sources for this section are Guigo's Consuetudines, Gregory's Moral Discourses on Job and Homilies on the Gospels as well as a number of allegorized bestiaries and books on nature, including Alexander Neckham's On the Natures of Things, perhaps Isidore of Seville's Etymologies and Hugh of Folieto's On Birds (see the notes below). Interested readers should refer to Savage and Watson's detailed source notes.
The main theme of Part Three centers on the necessity, theory, and practice of the inward, solitary life. Like Part Two, Part Three's structure is by and large associational and often driven by a complex web of images and comparisons, many drawn from the world of the bestiaries. Grayson believes that the main theme of Part Three is the "regulation of the inner feelings," complementing Part Two, which outlines the regulation of the outward senses (p. 57). Perhaps one could also say that Part Three shows the anchoress how to guard, hide, and enclose the inner life sketched out near the end of Part Two (2.490-651).
Wrath and its remedies (3.1-108). Part Three opens with a discussion of wrath and its remedies: the wrathful or petulant anchoress is like the pelican or she-wolf and can only cure her wrath by realizing that insulting words are mere puffs of wind. Thus, the beginning points back to Part Two's warnings about listening to hurtful speech (2.393-489) but ahead to Part Four's discussion of wrath and its remedies (4.847-969), where wrath is singled out as the main enemy of life in a religious community. On another level, wrath indicates that the anchoress' heart is pointed outwards, and the shape of Part Three, like that of Part Two, is to start with the outer and move ever deeper to the inner. Grayson notes that "Anger dominates the chapter because it is inimical to love," the key component of an anchoress' inner life (p. 57).
True and False Bodies (3.109-230). Next, the discussion turns to various types of false and true anchoresses based on their attitude towards the body and the anchorhold (as intertwined concepts): false anchoresses are like ravenous foxes, filthy Saul, over-fed ostriches, fat calves, etc., while good anchoresses are like lean birds in their upward flight and their pausing only briefly on the earth, their anchorholds like nests. The emphasis in this section is on bodies - how they should be kept disciplined and lean, not allowed to grow fat in pleasure.
Linking of Soul and Body (3.231-64). Now the discussion turns to what we might call the mystery of soul and body - why such an exalted thing as the soul is tied to the dead clump of the body.
Taming the Body (3.265-308). The anchoress must tame her body and chant through the night like the night bird since such discipline benefits the entire church through the efficacy of her prayers. Holding vigils and remaining vigilant (like both the nightbird and the sparrow) is another discipline, and eight reasons to stay awake follow (lines 290-308).
Hiding in the Anchorhold (3.309-83). Like Esther, the true anchoress remains hidden in the anchorhold (another characteristic of the night bird), and this section shows the danger of revealing an anchoress' inner life through a series of images (the fig tree, shouting peddlers, etc.) and exempla (Moses' hand).
The Importance of the Solitary Life (3.384-626). This core argument of Part Three is built carefully, starting with the idea of the solitary sparrow and moving on to a series of exempla from the Old and New Testaments, how figures like Isaac, Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and even Christ himself sought solitude. After the exempla come eight reasons to pursue the solitary life (3.504-626):  safety,  preservation of virginity,  the reward of heaven,  proof of nobility,  proof of generosity,  intimacy with the Lord,  brightness of spirit, and  swiftness of prayer. No anchoress should, like Shimei or the foolish thief, wish to venture out from her refuge (3.583-626).
The Falling Sickness - a Link to Part Four (3.627-40). This last section points out that besides living solitary lives, sparrows have the tendency to suffer from the falling sickness, and so the anchoress will suffer from various bodily illnesses and temptations which cause her to "fall" into humility. These tame her flesh and humble her, so that she will not fall further into pride.
5 ff. In the bestiaries and Psalm commentaries, the pelican usually stands for Christ, whose dead chicks (the lost) are revived by the blood of his crucifixion. Maybury, however, points out that at least two naturalist writers allegorize the pelican in a way similar to AW: Hugh of Folieto in his De Avibus ("On Birds," PL 177, cols. 29-30) and Alexander Neckham in De Naturis Rerum ("On the Natures of Things"). The latter parallel is close enough in wording, Maybury believes, to be a direct source for this passage in AW: "The nature (of the pelican) in these things represents a man who kills his good works through sins, who afterwards led to penance, rejects the adornment of clothing, and crucifying himself, expresses great inner sadness with sighs. His heart opens in confession, and by the heat of love the works which were done before in charity come back to life" (as cited by Wright, p. 119). See T. H. White's A Book of Beasts for an accessible translation of an important Latin bestiary produced in twelfth-century England.
32 Ira furor brevis est. As Savage and Watson note, the Latin version of AW adds a further quotation from Gregory's Moral Discourses on Job, both here and at 3.61-62 (p. 361nn9 and 13)
50 hwet is word bute wind? Dobson points to a similar passage in Moralities on the Gospels (p. 134): "For a word is nothing but a certain wind. Therefore whoever topples angry at any word shows himself (or, herself) to be very weak indeed."
55 Seint Andrew. The Apostle Andrew, son of a fisherman and brother to St. Peter, was, according to tradition, crucified on an x-shaped cross. Peter himself is said to have been crucified upside-down in Rome.
57 Sein Lorenz. St. Lawrence (d. 258) was one of the deacons of Rome during a time of terrible persecution under the emperor Decius. He was martyred on a red-hot griddle, but before he died, he answered the mockings of Decius with the famous phrase, "Look, wretch, you have me well done on one side, turn me over and eat!" (Ryan, Golden Legend, vol. 2, p. 67).
57-58 Seinte Stefne. Stephen (martyred c. 35), a charismatic preacher active in the earliest days of the church, was killed by stoning and thus became the first martyr of the Christian church. His story is told in Acts 6-7.
64 the hali mon i Vitas Patrum. See The Lives of the Desert Fathers 7.3 (PL 73, col. 1029).
78 for thear as muche fur is, hit waxeth with winde. Proverbial. See Whiting, F191.
101 Eft upon other half, pellican . . . is aa leane. Compare Alexander Neckham's description in De Naturis Rerum ("On the Natures of Things"): "Indeed this bird is lean; thus, the penitent person should vex (or, make lean) his or her body" (Wright, p. 119). See also Hugh of Folieto's On Birds (PL 177, col. 30).
111-12 The foxes beoth false ancres, ase fox is beast falsest. The following comparison of anchoresses to foxes relies on Hugh of Folieto's On Beasts and Birds, 2.7 (PL 177, col. 59).
122 as dude Saul into hole. As Savage and Watson (p. 362n20) explain, Saul is linked to the preceding account of foxes through the hole (which can be either a hole in the ground or a cave - see the glossary). This hole symbolizes the anchorhold.
150 spreadeth hare wengen ant makieth creoiz of ham-seolf. Dobson points to a similar passage in Moralities on the Gospels (p. 134).
153 The strucion. As Maybury points out, the ridiculous spectacle of the plump ostrich flapping its wings furiously, pretending to fly, may come from Gregory the Great's Moral Discourses on Job (39.13), where the ostrich becomes a symbol for the hypocrite (p. 98). But Alexander Neckham also uses the ostrich to symbolize the hypocrite: "This bird flies low and briefly although it is equipped with wings. To all appearances it is capable of high flight. [The ostrich], indeed, represents the hypocrite, who although he or she puts forward the face of a contemplative person, nevertheless refrains from spiritual flight" (Wright, p. 101). As Dobson points out, the ostrich is also a symbol for the hypocrite in Moralities on the Gospels (p. 135). See also Hugh of Folieto's On Birds 1.27 (PL 177, cols. 35-39).
178 fortitudinem meam. Savage and Watson note that this verse "is often cited as a proof of the need to exercise discretion in self-mortification" (p. 363n29).
192 ff. "achate" hatte. In medieval lore, gemstones were thought to have a number of medicinal and quasi-magical properties. Information about such stones was collected in books called lapidaries. The agate in particular was thought to act as an antidote to snake venom. Dobson points to a passage in Moralities on the Gospels in which an eagle carries an agate stone for a similar purpose (p. 136). For a history of medieval lapidaries, see Joan Evans' Magical Jewels of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
225 Salt bitacneth wisdom. See Colossians 4:6.
256-57 curre is kene on his ahne mixne. Proverbial. See Whiting, H567.
265 ff. The niht-fuhel. In bestiaries, the nictorax is usually, but not always, identified with the owl. Maybury thinks that its treatment here is "basically in accord with much traditional exegesis of Psalm ci.7" (pp. 98-99).
272 ff. As Savage and Watson explain, "there is a dynamic opposition between two principles: while the holiness of anchoresses gives stability to the whole church, it is nonetheless of vital importance that it be concealed from everyone, or else it ceases to be holiness" (p. 364n39).
279-80 The characteristics of the sparrow are allegorized here as well as in 3.384-89 and 3.627 ff. See Explanatory Note to 3.627 ff.
290 ff. Most of the eight reasons to stay awake are also treated in Sawles Warde (see Savage and Watson, p. 365n43).
296-97 The author of AW certainly knew Anselm's Meditation 1, a terrifying contemplation of hell and final judgment designed as Anselm says "to stir up fear." Further excerpts from this meditation appear in 5.70-73, 5.267-69, and 5.429 ff. For a full text in English, see The Prayers and Meditations of Saint Anselm, translated by Benedicta Ward, pp. 221-24.
330 Moyseses hond. Dobson points to a similar treatment in Moralities on the Gospels (p. 137).
340 ff. The allegory of the fig tree is based in part on Joel 1:7, but also on Matthew 21:18-22, where Christ curses a fruitless fig tree and it withers on the spot. As Maybury suggests (p. 99), the specific application here may depend on Gregory the Great's Moral Discourses on Job (chapter 8).
371 A sapere the ne bereth bute sape ant nelden yeiyeth hehe thet he bereth. This comparison is based ultimately on a famous passage from the tenth satire of Juvenal (line 22), as Savage and Watson point out (p. 366n51).
391 ff. The following discussion on the importance of the solitary life seems to be freely adapted from Guigo's Consuetudines - see Barratt, "Anchoritic Aspects" (pp. 46-53) for a detailed comparison. Guigo's work (c. 1128) codifies the practices of the Carthusians, and may demonstrate how Carthusian customs influenced those of the Augustinians and, in turn, the Dominicans.
406 Bi Moysen ant bi Helye. For the stories of Moses, see Exodus chapters 3-4 and 19, and for Elijah see 1 Kings 19. Savage and Watson comment: "It is notable that [the author] assumes the anchoresses will 'hear' of these stories rather than reading them for themselves; they do not, in other words, have personal access to a Bible" (p. 367n58).
489-90 Pawel ant Antonie, Hylariun ant Benedict, Sincletice ant Sare. With the exception of Benedict, these saints were recluses and hermits of the Egyptian desert (see Explanatory Note to Pref.99-101).
Hilarion (c. 291-371), a Palestinian educated in Alexandria, became the companion of St. Anthony. Later he returned to Gaza and took up a hermitage near Majuma. Distracted by the admiring people clamoring to see him, Hilarion fled first to Egypt, then Sicily, Dalmatia, and Cyprus - each time he was found out and the faithful began to flock around him.
St. Benedict (c. 480-547), the founder of the Benedictine order, is included here because he lived for a time as a hermit in a cave near Subiaco. He emerged reluctantly from his solitude to become abbot of the monastery in Vicovaro, where his prescriptions were so strict that the monks there tried to poison him.
For the other saints listed here, see Explanatory Note to Pref.99-101.
496-99 The anecdote about St. Arsenius comes from a part of The Lives of the Desert Fathers known as The Sayings of the Elders 3.190 (PL 73, col. 801): "Having withdrawn to the solitary life he made the same prayer again and he heard a voice saying to him, 'Arsenius, flee, be silent, pray always, for these are the source of sinlessness'" (Ward, p. 9).
504-05 Yef a wod liun urne yont te strete, nalde the wise bitunen hire sone? Dobson points to a similar story about a dangerous lion in Moralities on the Gospels (pp. 139-40).
511-12 The other reisun is . . . bute ha fol were? Compare Aelred, "Bear in mind always what a precious treasure you bear in how fragile a vessel and what a reward, what glory, what a crown the preservation of your virginity will bring you" (chapter 14, p. 63).
524 Virginem virgini commendavit. See Bede's Retractatio in actus apostolorum ("Reconsideration of the Acts of the Apostles") 8.72, where this phrase applies to the entrusting of the Virgin to the virginal John.
546 ff. The word relef "donation" is understood here in its etymological sense as "something left behind."
566 as is i-seid th'ruppe. See 2.541-50.
601 the ethele fif wittes. Savage and Watson note, "As part III draws to a close, themes from part II, to which this part has been a companion-piece, are deliberately reintroduced" (p. 368n78).
627 ff. Spearewe haveth yet a cunde. Maybury writes, "The three symbolic characteristics of the sparrow discussed in the Riwle are its watchfulness, its solitariness, and its humility. The first two are considered to some extent in traditional interpretations of Psalm ci.8, but the third is not" (pp. 99-100). The general meaning of this third comparison, bizarre as it may be, is clear enough: the anchoress should be like the sparrow, which as people say, has the "falling sickness" (3.638-39) - that is, the anchoress should let herself fall into low humility in the same way that sparrows fall sick or dead to the ground. The "falling sickness," the medieval term for epilepsy, may refer to some actual disease of sparrows which caused them to drop from the sky. Alexander Neckham (De Naturis Rerum) says of the sparrow that "this bird is frequently vexed by epileptic sickness (morbo epilemtico)," and this may be a folk belief since he goes on to say "what is known to the common folk I do not blush to commit to writing, provided that I may guide the morals of my reader" (Wright, p. 109).
ANCRENE WISSE, PART THREE: TEXTUAL NOTES
57-58 Seinte Stefne tholede the stanes thet me sende him. MS: Seinte Stefne þet te stanes þet me sende him. The text is corrupt, with no verb in the main clause. Dobson remarks, "þolede is required; author's MS must have used an ad hoc abbreviation (probably þ.; cf. m.b. for muchele blisse), miscopied from the start as þet. Otherwise Scribe A's text is correct; Corpus goes wrong here" (Cleo., pp. 99-100n19). This edition substitutes þolede for the þet after Stefne and emends the definite article te to þe (since no dental immediately precedes it). Corpus substitutes sende "to direct at, hurl" (see senden in the MED, def. 8e), for Cleo.'s steanede "stoned," and though this is less vivid, it probably represents a genuine revision, especially since Corpus omits wið. [Cleo.: Seinte stefne þet þe stanes þet me steanede him wið; Titus: Saint Steuene þet te stanes. þet mon stanede him wið; Nero: ðet te stones þet me stenede him mide; Vernon: Saint steuene. þat þe stones. þat me stenede him wiþ; Pepys: seint Steuene whan men stoneden hym in þe mouþe and oueral; Caius: Seinte steuene þat þe stanes þat me stenede him vid; Vitellius: Seint esteuene qi les pieres dunt len li lapida; Trinity: Seinte estefne au-sint soffri ke les peres dont lem le la-pidout le sus leuerent en haut au ciel; Lat.: Beatus Stephanus, quod lapides quibus lapidatus est.]
58-59 MS: bed for ham þe ham senden him. Though other versions have various readings here, it is possible to make sense of Corpus: "prayed for them who sent (or, hurled - see glossary) them (i.e., the stones) at him." The reading in Cleo. is clearer, though itself probably an ad hoc attempt to revise a very early corruption in the text: ant bed for ham þe schenden him ("and pray for those who dishonored him"). [Cleo.: bed for ham þe schenden him; Titus: bed for ham þat ham senden him; Nero (lacking); Vernon: beed for hem. þet þren3 on him. so fele stones; Pepys: badd wiþ folden honden for her enemyes; Caius (lacking); Vitellius: pria pur ceaux qi les li enueierent; Trinity: pria pur ceus ke le lapiderunt; Lat.: pro lapidantibus orauit.]
87 ure rancun. MS: ura rancun. The clearly mistaken ura is emended to ure "our" (see Tolkien, p. 67, fol. 34r, line 28). [Cleo.: ure ranceun; Titus: vre rauncun; Nero: ure raunsun; Vernon: ure ransum; Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking).]
153, 159 strucion(s). MS: strucoin(s). Both Tolkien (p. 70, fol. 35v, lines 12, 20) and the MED think that this spelling is a mistake for strucion(s) (from OF estrucion) and accordingly it is so emended here. The word must have been obscure to the scribes, prompting some of them to grope for substitutes. [Cleo.: strucion(es); Titus: ostrice(s); Nero: steorc, strorkes; Vernon: storken, storkens; Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: estruction.]
160 i-lich. MS: ilihc. A clear mistake for ilich "like" (Tolkien, p. 70, fol. 35v, line 21).
216 Mi leof is i-featted. MS: Mi leof is ifeatteð. The scribe has mistakenly substituted an ð for a d, a common mistake. [Cleo.: Mi leof is ifatted; Titus: Mi leof ifatted; Nero: Mi leof is ivetted; Vernon: 3if my leof is i fattet seiþ ur lord; Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: Mon ami est engressi; Trinity (recast); Lat.: Dilectus meus est inpinguatus.]
218 MS: Þis featte kealf haueð þe feond strengðe. The inverted word order of this sentence "This fat calf (obj.) has the fiend (subj.) the power to weaken," confused scribes in the other versions. Perhaps an attempt at correction was underway in Cleo. before it went horribly wrong and was scrapped. Dobson comments: "The es subpuncted by A himself. It is not clear what was happening; he omits here þe feond" (Dobson, p. 109n3). [Cleo.: þis fatte calf haueð es strengðe; Titus: Þis calf haues te feond vn-strengðet; Nero: þis fette kelf haueð ðe ueondes strencðe; Vernon: þis fatte calf. hath the fendes strengthe; Pepys (recast); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: Cest graas veel ad lenemi poer; Trinity: Sour ceo cras ueel si en ad li maufez force; Lat.: Hostis habet potestatem infirmandi istum crassum vitulum.]
254-55 ne hwuch ha schal thunche yet in hire ahne riche. MS: ne hwuch / ha schal þunche 3et in hire ahne cunde riche. The scribe first wrote cunde "nature, kind" but canceled it with a stroke through the word.
286 MS: wakieð ant ibiddeð ow þet schal don ow stonden. Tolkien believes that an ant has fallen out between ibiddeð ow and þet, due to unusual crowding on this folio (p. 75, fol. 39r, line 26). The MS reading is retained, however, since the ant is not necessary for sense. If any word were to be restored, the better candidate might be for (see Cleo.). [Cleo.: wakieð ant biddeð ou for þet schal don ou stonden; Titus (folio lost); Nero: wakieð and ibiddeð ou; and tet schal makien ou stonden; Vernon: wakeþ and bidde ou. þet schal don ou stonden; Pepys (recast); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: veillez et priez ceo qe vous fra esteer; Trinity: ueilliez. e orrez. e ceo vus fera resteer; Lat.: sic vigilate et orate; hoc faciet vos stare.]
318 thet tu hefdest i-don privement. MS: þet tu hefdest idon priuement darnliche. A later reader has canceled priuement "secretly" (from OF) and substituted the apparently more comprehensible English equivalent darnliche above the canceled word.
324 MS: magna uerecundia est. Tolkien thinks that: uerecundia is a mistake for uecordia (p. 77, fol. 40r, line 20). However, the MS form is retained since it is a legitimate word and not a copying error. [Cleo.: uecordia; Titus: uecoardia; Nero: uerecundia; Vernon: uerecundia; Pepys: verecundia; Caius (lacking); Vitellius: uecordia; Trinity: uerecundia; Lat.: verecundia.]
347 ne nowther ne bereth hit frut. MS: no nowðer ne bereð hit frut. Tolkien rightly points out that no should read ne "not" (p. 78, fol. 40v, line 23). [Cleo.: Ne nouðer hit ne bereð frut; Titus: ne nowðer hit ne beoreð fruit; Nero: ne nouðer hit ne bereð frut; Vernon: ne nouþer ne bereþ hit frut; Pepys: noiþer it ne bereþ fruyt; Caius: ne nouþer. ne beret hit na frut; Vitellius: ne nuldur ne porte ele fruit; Trinity: e si ne porte point de fruit; Lat.: nec fert postea fructum.]
364 as Sein Gregoire seith. MS: as sein geegoire seið. A clear mistake for gregoire.
417 MS: Vt lugeant. Tolkien: "sic for lugeam" (p. 81, fol. 42v, line 2). The MS reading is retained here since it is grammatically sound, though not in agreement with the Vulgate. Tolkien often cites as mistakes any deviations from the Vulgate, even though slight adaptations in biblical citations are common in AW. [Cleo.: ut lugeam; Titus: V(t) lugeam; Nero: ut lugeam; Vernon: Ut lugeam; Pepys: Vt lugeam; Caius (lacking); Vitellius (lacking); Trinity: ut lugeam; Lat. (lacking).]
431 MS: percuscienti. Tolkien: "sic (sc for c/t = ts as in vernacular spelling)" (p. 82, fol. 42v, line 22). Since this spelling reflects a native orthographic convention, the MS reading is allowed to stand instead of emending to percucienti. [Cleo.: percucienti; Titus: percutienti; Nero: percucienti; Vernon: percucienti; Pepys: percucienti; Caius (lacking); Vitellius: percucienti; Trinity: percucienti; Lat.: percucienti.]
441 bathe siker ant biheve. MS: bathe 7 siker 7 biheve. The first ant is a mistaken addition. [Cleo.: is baðe siker 7 biheue.]
443 al were he thurh miracle of baraigne i-boren. MS: al were he þurh miracle of bereget iboren. The form bereget is difficult to understand as a mistake, though it must be related to the OF baraigne "barren" in some way. If we could assume that the -et of bereget is a mistake for -n (both with two minims), we would have the form beregn which is much closer to the attested English forms barain and baraigne. It seems likely that the form as it appeared in the ancestor of Cleo. must have been puzzling enough for Scribe A to omit it altogether in that MS. Perhaps the best remedy here would be to supply the word in a form which preserves MS: g.: baraigne. Diensberg tries to make sense of MS bereget by deriving it from OF bereing "barren" + -et (a derivational suffix seen in words like baret and verset). He suspects that a macron (the abbreviation for a nasal) over the second e has unintentionally fallen out, and so would restore the word to berenget. The difficulty here is that this word would mean something like "barrenness," a reading which would go against the extant English versions, as well as the French and Latin versions which translate "a barren woman." [Cleo.: al were þurch Miracle iboren; Titus: Al were he þurh miracle iborn of barain 3e; Nero: al were he þuruh miracle of barain iboren; Vernon: Al Were he þorw miracle. of Bareyne iboren; Pepys: þei3 al were he þorou3 myracle bi3eten; Caius (lacking); Vitellius: tout fust il par miracle conceu de femme baraigne; Trinity: e tot nasquist il par miracle de femme baraigne; Lat.: licet fuisset miraculose ex sterili natus.]
446-47 MS: leste he wið speche sulde his cleane lif. Tolkien: "blending of fulen, sulien (probably linguistic)" (p. 83, fol. 43r, line 13). The MS reading makes sense and is well supported by other authoritative versions. [Cleo.: leoste he wið speche schulde cle his cleane lif for fulen; Titus: leste he wið speche schulde his cleane lif fuilen; Nero: leste he mid speche fulde his clene lif; Vernon: leste he wiþ speche foulede his clene lyf; Pepys: lest he schulde haue filed his lippes þorou3 foule speche; Caius (lacking); Vitellius: qil par parole ne soillast sa nette vie; Trinity: ke il par orde parole ne soillast sa nette uie; Lat. (lacking).]
466 MS: preminences. Tolkien: "for preeminences" (p. 83, fol. 43v, line 6). To judge from the other versions, the prem- spelling (for pre-em-) seems to have caused little difficulty and hence the MS reading is allowed to stand. [Cleo.: pre eminences; Titus: preminences; Nero: be3eaten; Vernon: preminences; Pepys (recast); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: preminentes; Trinity: preminences; Lat.: preeminencias.]
485 ne desturbin his god, he thah. MS: ne desturbin his goddhe þah. As Tolkien points out, the scribe has canceled the second d of goddhe, though has not added a point to indicate the syntactical break (p. 84, fol. 44r, line 4). [Cleo.: ne his good to sturben. he þach; Titus: ne desturben his god; he þah; Nero: ne desturben him of his god. he þauh; Vernon: ne distorben his god; Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: ne desturber son bien. il nepurquant; Trinity: ne puet son bien amenuser ne de ses prieres tant ne quant destou(r)ber; Lat.: nec suum bonum perturbare.]
489 Hylariun. MS: hy/larium. Tolkien: "sic for hilariun" (p. 84, fol. 44r, lines 9-10). Again, though we usually resist Tolkien's tendency to standardize an eccentric spelling which may be a legitimate variant, mistaking a final m for an n after a series of three minims (iu) seems paleographically plausible, though there is no need to change y to i. [Cleo.: yllarium; Titus: hylarun (Zetterseten: sic "for hylariun"); Nero: hilariun; Vernon: Hillarii; Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: hyllarion; Trinity: Hyllarion; Lat.: Hillarius.]
499 MS: i sum stude ut of monne.Tolkien: "omission, if any, probably early; the versions vary" (p. 85, fol. 44r, line 22). [Cleo.: in sum stude (from monne); Titus: isum stude ut of monnes floc; Nero: in sume stude; ut of monne sihðe; Vernon: in sume stude out of peple; Pepys: in o stede stedfastlich out of Men; Caius (lacking); Vitellius: en ascun lieu hors des gent; Trinity: en aucun liu hors de la compaignie. e hors de la presse de genz; Lat.: in aliquo loco extra tumultum hominum.]
515 other eft[er] meith-lure. MS: oðer eft meiðlure. Eft "again" is apparently a mistake for efter (Tolkien, p. 86, fol. 44v, line 13). [Cleo.: oðer efter meidene lure; Titus: oðer after meidenlure; Nero: oðer efter meidelure; Vernon: after maydenhodes lure; Pepys (recast); Caius: oðer efter maidlure; Vitellius: ou apres del pucellage; Trinity: ou apres le despuceler; Lat. (recast).]
515-16 [is] bruchel as is eani gles. MS: bruchel as is eani gles. Though Tolkien (p. 86, fol. 44v, line 14) suggests that as and is have been transposed here, Cleo., Nero, and Vitellius indicate that an is had dropped out of Corpus before bruchel. [Cleo.: is bruchel as is ani gles; Titus: bruchel as ani glas; Nero: is bruchelure þene beo eni gles; Vernon: bruchel as eny glas; Pepys: wel brotiler þan þe glas; Caius: bruchel as is eni gles; Vitellius: est freignant ausi come vn verre; Trinity: si en est plus frelle e plus brisable. ke ne soit nul uerre du siecle; Lat.: fragile est ut vitrum.]
540 mid te sothe sunne. MS: mið te soðe Sunne. Tolkien: "sic (mid half altered to wið)" (p. 87, fol. 45r, line 18). It is perhaps easier to explain this form, though, not as an incomplete correction to wið but as a mistake of ð for d, a common mistake - it is so emended here. [Cleo.: mid þe soðe sunne; Titus: mid te sunne; Nero: mid te soðe sunne; Vernon: wiþ þe soþe sonne; Pepys: in soþe. Sunne þat is ihesus crist; Caius: mið þe seoðe sunne; Vitellius (lacking); Trinity: du uerrai soillel; Lat.: vero sole.]
541-42 ne beoreth nane packes. MS: ne beoreð nanes packes. The -s at the end of nane "none" is grammatically impossible and probably a mistaken anticipation of the -es of packes. Thus it is emended to nane. [Cleo.: ne beoreð nane packes; Titus: ne beoreð na(ne) bagges; Nero: ne bereð nout packes; Vernon: ne bereþ nout (last word smudged); Pepys: bere none purses ne bagges; Caius: ne beored none packes; Vitellius (lacking); Trinity: nen a portent point de fardeus; Lat.: non ferunt sarcinas.]
549 kinge[s] ant keisers habbeth. MS: kinge ant keisers habbeð. As Tolkien points out (p. 87, fol. 45v, line 1), kinge should appear as a plural, an emendation adopted here. [Cleo.: kinges ant caisers habbeð; Titus (lacking); Nero: kinges and kaisers; Vernon: kynges and Caysers. habbeþ; Pepys (lacking); Caius: kinges and kaisers. habbeð; Vitellius (lacking); Trinity (lacking); Lat.: reges et principes victum habent]
554 for-te folhi [the] ec into the blisse of heovene. MS: forte folhi ec in to þe blisse of heouene. Tolkien: "þe probably omitted between folhi [and] ec" (p. 87, fol. 45v, line 8). The context as well as the other MSS bear out this reading, which we adopt. [Cleo.: forto fole3e þe ec into þe blisse of heouene; Titus: for to folhi þe ec ito þe blisse of heuene; Nero: uor te uoluwen ðe ec; into ðe blisse of heouene; Vernon: forte folwen þe ek. in to þe blss (sic) of heuene; Pepys (lacking); Caius: forte folihi þe ec into þe blisse of heuene; Vitellius (lacking); Trinity: e iloc unkore vus suieroms; Lat.: ut sequamur te in gaudium celeste.]
558-59 MS: famíliarite. muche cunredden. The MED suggests that cun-redden "kindred" may be a mistake for cuð-reden "familiarity, acquaintance." Though this seems at first a plausible suggestion, confirmed by Titus and Caius, it is likely that the early meaning of familiarite was still very much dependent on Latin familia "household, family." It could very well be that cun-redden is the intended form, despite the cuð-reden reading in Titus and Caius (for which, see the glossary). The AW author often glosses French-derived words such as familiarite with their native English equivalents, but the absence of the English explanation in Cleo. and Nero may indicate that it was originally an interlinear or marginal gloss. [Cleo.: familiarite. þet is to beo priuee; Titus: Familiarite. Muche cuðredne. for to be priue; Nero: familiaritate. þet is. forte beon priue; Vernon: ffamiliarite. muche felaweschupe; Pepys (lacking); Caius: familiarite. Muchel cudþradden. forte beon priue; Vitellius (lacking); Trinity: la grant familiarite de deu e la tres grant drurerie pur estre priuez; Lat.: desiderium familiaritatis cum Deo.]
569 ha wes the King Assuer over al i-cweme. MS: ha wes þe cwen (king) assuer ouer al icweme. The scribe first mistakenly wrote cwen "queen" but canceled this word and inserted king above as an interlinear correction.
578 totreode ham. MS: totreoden ham. Tolkien thinks that this phrase "(to) trample them" should be singular (p. 89, fol. 46r, line 12). Though Cleo.'s reading solves the problem of the infinitive totreoden, it is probably best to follow Tolkien here in emending totreoden to the singular subjunctive (parallel to the preceding "breoke") totreode. [Cleo.: ha ach to treoden ham; Titus: to treoden ham; Nero: to trede ham; Vernon: to treden þe schomelese; Pepys (recast): totreden þe schemeful; Caius: tetroden ham; Vitellius (lacking); Trinity: e les despisent tantost e reuillent; Lat.: ipsum contempnendo.]
588 he folhede ham ant wende ut efter ham. MS: he folhede ham ant brec (wende) ut efter ham. The scribe has written wende directly above brec, but without canceling brec. By itself, brec makes sense: "he followed them and broke out after them," though wende was probably the reading in the exemplar and brec an inadvertent repetition of brec from the previous line. [Cleo.: he fole3ede ham. wende ut ham efter.]
615-16 For nis ower nan thet nere. MS: for nes ower nan þet nere. Nes "was not" is probably a mistake for nis "is not," as the other versions suggest. [Cleo.: nis ower nan þet nes; Titus: for nis owre nan þet nere; Nero: nis non of ou þet nes; Vernon: ffor ther nis non that nis otherwhile godes thef; Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking).]
623-24 as spearewe deth [thet is] ane. MS: as spearewe deð ane. Tolkien: "before ane is omitted þet is" (p. 91, fol. 46v, line 19). This is a plausible suggestion since Cleo. is slightly muddled, and deð and ðet, with the sequence of d's and ð's, appear to have confused the scribe of Nero. [Cleo.: as þe sparewe þe deað ane; Titus: As sparewe þet is ane; Nero: as speruwe ðeð ðet is one; Vernon: as sparwe doþ one; Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius (lacking); Trinity: si com li m moisson (fet ki est seul); Lat.: sicut passer solitarius.]
631 to wel leoten of [hire-seolven]. MS: to wel leoten of. Tolkien: "hire seoluen omitted after leo/ten of " (p. 91, fol. 47v, lines 1-2). Though Dobson doubts that hire seluin was the original reading (it was inserted much later into Cleo. by Scribe D), it does complete the sense which otherwise may be lacking. [Cleo.: to wel leten of (hire seluin); Titus: to wel leten of; Nero: leten to wel; of hire suluen; Vernon: to wel leten of; Pepys: leten to wel of oure seluen; Caius (lacking); Vitellius (lacking); Trinity: eles trop . . . grant pris de eus memes ou de eles; Lat.: de se nimium reputaret.]
Lessons from Nature
Mine leove sustren, alswa as ye witeth wel ower wittes ute-with, alswa over
alle thing lokith thet ye beon in-with softe ant milde ant eadmode, swete ant
swote i-heortet ant tholemode ayein woh of word thet me seith ow, ant werc
thet me misdeth ow, leste ye al leosen. Ayein bittre ancres Davith seith this vers: Similis
factus sum pellicano solitudinis, et cetera. "Ich am," he seith, "as pellican the wuneth
bi him ane." Pellican is a fuhel se wea-mod ant se wreathful thet hit sleath ofte o grome
his ahne briddes hwen ha doth him teone, ant thenne sone th'refter hit wurth swithe
sari, ant maketh swithe muche man, ant smit him-seolf with his bile thet he sloh ear his
briddes with, ant draheth blod of his breoste, ant with thet blod acwiketh eft his briddes
i-sleine. This fuhel, pellican, is the wea-mode ancre. Hire briddes beoth hire gode werkes
thet ha sleath ofte with bile of scharp wreththe. Ah hwen ha swa haveth i-don, do as
deth the pellican: ofthunche hit swithe sone, ant with hire ahne bile beaki hire breoste -
thet is, with schrift of hire muth, thet ha sunegede with ant sloh hire gode werkes -
drahe thet blod of sunne ut of hire breoste - thet is, of the heorte thet sawle lif is inne
- ant swa schulen eft acwikien hire i-sleine briddes, thet beoth hire gode werkes. Blod
bitacneth sunne, for alswa as a mon bibled is grislich ant eatelich i monnes ehe, alswa is
the sunfule bivore Godes ehe. On other half, na-mon ne mei juggi wel blod ear hit beo
i-colet. Alswa is of sunne. Hwil the heorte walleth in-with of wreaththe nis ther na riht
dom, other hwil the lust is hat toward eani sunne, ne maht tu nawt te hwiles deme wel
hwet hit is, ne hwet ter wule cumen of. Ah let lust overgan, ant hit te wule likin. Let thet
hate acolin as deth the wule iuggi blod, ant tu schalt demen ariht the sunne ful ant ladlich
thet te thuhte feier, ant uvel se muchel cumen th'rof, yef thu hit hefdest i-don hwil thet
hate leaste, thet tu schalt deme wod te-seolf tha thu ther-toward thohtest. This is of
euch sunne soth - hwi blod hit bitacneth - ant nomeliche of wreaththe. Impedit ira
animum ne possit cernere verum. "Wreaththe," hit seith, "hwil hit least, ablindeth
swa the heorte thet ha ne mei soth i-cnawen." Maga quedam est transformans
naturam humanam. Wreaththe is a forschuppilt, as me teleth i spelles, for ha reaveth
mon his wit ant changeth al his chere, ant forschuppeth him from mon into beastes
cunde. Wummon wrath is wulvene; mon, wulf other liun other unicorne. Hwil thet
eaver wreaththe is i wummone heorte, versaili, segge hire ures, Avez, Paternostres, ne
deth ha bute theoteth. Naveth ha bute - as theo thet is i-went to wulvene i Godes ehnen
- wulvene stevene in his lihte earen. Ira furor brevis est. Wreaththe is a wodschipe.
Wrath mon - nis he wod? Hu loketh he? Hu speketh he? Hu feareth his heorte in-with?
Hwucche beoth ute-with alle hise lates? He ne cnaweth na-mon. Hu is he mon thenne?
Est enim homo animal mansuetum natura. "Mon cundelich is milde." Sone se he
leoseth mildheortnesse, he leoseth monnes cunde, ant wreaththe, the forschuppilt,
forschuppeth him into beast, as ich ear seide. Ant hwet yef eni ancre, Jesu Cristes
spuse, is forschuppet into wulvene? Nis thet muche sorhe? Nis ther bute sone forwarpe
thet ruhe fel abute the heorte, ant with softe sahtnesse makien hire smethe ant softe, as
is cundeliche wummone hude, for with thet wulvene fel na thing thet ha deth nis Gode
Lo, her, ayeines wreaththe, monie remedies, frovren a muche floc ant misliche boten.
Yef me misseith the, thench thet tu art eorthe. Ne totret me eorthe? Ne bispit me eorthe?
Thah me dude swa bi the, me dude the eorthe rihte. Yef thu berkest ayein, thu art
hundes cunnes. Yef thu stingest ayein, thu art neddre cundel, ant nawt Cristes spuse.
Thench - dude he swa? Qui tanquam ovis ad occisionem ductus est et non aperuit
os suum. Efter alle the schendfule pinen thet he tholede o the longe Fri-niht, me leadde
him ine marhen to hongin o weari-treo, ant driven thurh his fowr limen irnene neiles, ah
"na mare then a schep," as the Hali Writ seith, "cwich ne cweth he neaver."
Thench yet, on other half, hwet is word bute wind? To wac ha is i-strengthet thet a
windes puf, a word, mei afellen ant warpen into sunne, ant hwa nule thunche wunder of
ancre wind-feallet? On other half yetten, ne schaweth ha thet ha is dust ant unstable
thing, the with a lute wordes wind is anan toblawen? The ilke puf of his muth, yef thu
hit wurpe under the, hit schulde beore the uppart toward te blisse of heovene, ah nu is
muche wunder of ure muchele meadschipe. Understondeth this word. Seint Andrew
mahte tholien thet te hearde rode heve him toward heovene, ant luveliche biclupte hire.
Sein Lorenz alswa tholede thet te gridil heve him uppardes with bearninde gleden. Seinte
Stefne tholede the stanes thet me sende him ant underveng ham gleadliche ant bed for
ham the ham senden him, with hommen i-falden - ant we ne mahe nawt tholien thet te
wind of a word beore us towart heovene, ah beoth wode ayeines ham the we schulden
thonkin as the ilke the servith us of muche servise, thah hit beo hare unthonkes. Impius
vivit pio velit nolit. Al thet te unwreaste ant te uvele deth for uvel, al is the gode to god:
al is his biheve ant timbrunge toward blisse. Let him - ant thet gleadliche! - breide thi
crune. Thench hu the hali mon i Vitas Patrum custe ant blescede the othres hond the
hefde him i-hearmet, ant seide se inwardliche cussinde hire yeorne, "i-blescet beo eaver
theos hond, for ha haveth i-timbret me the blissen of heovene." Ant tu segge alswa bi
hond the misdeth the, ant bi the muth alswa the ewt misseith the, "i-blescet beo thi
muth" - sei, "for thu makest lome th'rof to timbri mi crune. Wel me is for mi god ant
wa thah for thin uvel, for thu dest me freame ant hearmest te-seolven." Yef ei mon
other wummon misseide other misdude ow, mine leove sustren, swa ye schulden seggen.
Ah nu is muche wunder, yef we wel bihaldeth, hu Godes halhen tholeden wunden on
hare bodi, ant we beoth wode yef a wind blawe a lutel toward us! Ant te wind ne
wundeth nawt bute the eir ane, for nowther ne mei the wind - thet is, thet word thet
me seith - ne wundi the i thi flesch, ne fule thi sawle, thah hit puffe up-o the, bute the-
seolf hit makie. Bernardus: Quid irritaris quid inflammaris ad verbi flatum, qui
nec carnem vulnerat, nec inquinat mentem? Wel thu maht underyeoten thet ter wes
lute fur of chearite, thet leiteth al of ure Laverdes luve, lute fur wes ther thet a puf
acwencte, for thear as muche fur is, hit waxeth with winde.
Ayein mis-dede other mis-sahe, lo her on ende the beste remedie - ant cunneth this
essample. A mon the leie i prisun other ahte muche rancun ne o nane wise ne schulde ut,
bute hit were to hongin, ear he hefde his rancun fulleliche i-paiet - nalde he cunne god
thonc a mon the duste uppon him of peonehes a bigurdel for-te reimin him with ant
lesen him of pine, thah he wurpe hit ful hearde ayeines his heorte? Al the hurd were
foryeten for the gleadnesse. O this ilke wise we beoth alle i prisun her, ant ahen Godd
greate deattes of sunne; for-thi we yeiyeth to him i the Paternoster: et dimitte nobis
debita nostra. "Laverd," we seggeth, "foryef us ure deattes, alswa as we foryeoveth
ure deatturs," woh thet me deth us, other of word other of werc. Thet is ure rancun thet
we schule reimin us with ant cwitin ure deattes toward ure Laverd - thet beoth ure
sunnen. For withute cwitance up of this prisun nis nan i-numen thet nis anan ahonget,
other i purgatoire other i the pine of helle. Ant ure Laverd seolf seith, dimittite et
dimittetur vobis. "Foryef, ant ich foryeove the," as thah he seide, "thu art endeattet
toward me swithe with sunnen, ah wult tu god foreward? Al thet eaver ei mon misseith
the other misdeth the, ich wulle neomen on-ward the deatte the thu ahest me." Nu
thenne, thah a word culle the ful hearde up-o the breoste ant, as the thuncheth, on earst
hurte thin heorte, thench as the prisun walde the the other hurte sare with the bigurdel,
ant underveng hit gleadliche for-te acwiti the with, ant thonke the the hit sent te, thah
Godd ne cunne him neaver thonc of his sonde. He hearmeth him ant freameth the, yef
thu hit const tholien. For as Davith seith swithe wel with alle, "Godd deth in his tresor
the unwreaste ant te uvele, for-te hure with ham as me deth with gersum theo the wel
fehteth." Ponens in thesauris abyssos. Glosa: crudeles quibus donat milites suos.
Eft upon other half, pellican, this fuhel, haveth an-other cunde, thet hit is aa leane.
For-thi, as ich seide, Davith eveneth him ther-to in ancre persone, in ancre stevene:
Similis factus sum pellicano solitudinis. "Ich am pellican i-lich, the wuneth bi him
ane." Ant ancre ah thus to seggen, ant beon i-lich pellican onond thet hit is leane. Judith
clausa in cubiculo jejunabat omnibus diebus vite sue, et cetera. Judith bitund inne,
as hit teleth in hire boc, leadde swithe heard lif - feaste ant werede here. Judith bitund
inne bitacneth bitund ancre the ah to leaden heard lif as dude the leafdi Judith, efter hire
evene - nawt ase swin i-pund i sti to feattin ant to greatin ayein the cul of the axe.
Twa cunnes ancren beoth thet ure Laverd speketh of ant seith i the Godspel: of false
ant of treowe. Vulpes foveas habent et volucres celi nidos. Thet is, "foxes habbeth
hare holen ant briddes of heovene habbeth hare nestes." The foxes beoth false ancres,
ase fox is beast falsest. Theose habbeth, he seith, holen the holieth in-ward eorthe with
eorthliche untheawes ant draheth into hare hole al thet ha mahen reopen ant rinnen.
Thus beoth gederinde ancres of Godd i the Godspel to voxes i-evenet. Fox ec is a frech
beast ant freote-wil mid alle, ant te false ancre draheth into hire hole ant fret, ase fox
deth, bathe ges ant hennen. Habbeth efter the vox a simple semblant sum-chearre, ant
beoth thah ful of gile. Makieth ham othre then ha beoth, ase vox, the is ypocrite. Weneth
for-te gili Godd as ha bidweolieth simple men, ant gilith meast ham-seolven. Gealstrith
as the vox deth, ant yelpeth of hare god hwer-se ha durren ant mahen, chafflith of idel,
ant se swithe worltliche i-wurtheth thet on ende hare nome stinketh as fox ther he geath
forth. For yef ha doth uvele, me seith bi ham wurse.
Theos eoden into ancre-hus as dude Saul into hole, nawt as Davith the gode. Ba ha
wenden into hole, Saul ant Davith, as hit teleth i Regum, ah Saul wende thider in for-te
don his fulthe th'rin, as deth bimong monie sum unseli ancre-went into hole of ancre-
hus to bifule thet stude, ant don dearnluker th'rin fleschliche fulthen then ha mahten yef
ha weren amidde the worlde. For hwa haveth mare eise to don hire cweadschipes then
the false ancre? Thus wende Saul into hole to bidon thet stude, ah Davith wende thider
in, ane for-te huden him from Saul thet him heatede ant sohte to sleanne. Swa deth the
gode ancre, the Saul - thet is, the feond - heateth ant hunteth efter. Ha deth hire in to
huden hire from hise kene clokes. Ha hud hire in hire hole, ba from worltliche men ant
worltliche sunnen. Ant for-thi ha is gasteliche Davith - thet is, strong toyein the feond
- ant hire leor lufsum to ure Laverdes ehnen - for swa muchel seith this word
"Davith" on Ebreische ledene. The false ancre is "Saul," efter thet his nome seith. Saul:
abutens sive abusio. For Saul on Ebreisch is "mis-notunge" on Englisch, ant te false
ancre mis-noteth ancre nome ant al thet ha wurcheth. The gode ancre is Judith, as we
ear seiden, thet is, bitund as heo wes, ant alswa as heo dude, feasteth, waketh, swinketh
ant wereth hearde. Ha is of the briddes thet ure Laverd speketh of efter the voxes, the
with hare lustes ne holieth nawt dune-ward ase doth the voxes - thet beoth false
ancres - ah habbeth on heh ase brid of heovene i-set hare nestes - thet is, hare reste.
Treowe ancres beoth briddes i-cleopede, for ha leaveth the eorthe-thet is, the luve of
alle worltliche thinges - ant thurh yirnunge of heorte to heovenliche thinges fleoth
uppart toward heovene. Ant tah ha fleon hehe with heh lif ant hali, haldeth thah the
heaved lah thurh milde eadmodnesse, as brid fleonninde buheth thet heaved, leoteth al
noht wurth thet ha wel wurcheth, ant seggeth as ure Laverd learde alle hise: Cum
omnia benefeceritis, dicite: "Servi inutiles sumus." "Hwen ye al habbeth wel i-
don," he seith, ure Laverd, "seggeth thet ye beoth unnete threalles." Fleoth hehe ant
haldeth thah thet heaved eaver lahe. The wengen the uppard beoreth ham - thet beoth
gode theawes thet ha moten sturien into gode werkes, as brid hwen hit fleo wule stureth
hise wengen. The treowe ancres yetten, the we to briddes evenith - nawt we, thah, ah
deth Godd - ha spreadeth hare wengen ant makieth creoiz of ham-seolf as brid deth
hwen hit flith - thet is, i thoht of heorte ant i bitternesse of flesch beoreth Godes rode.
Theo briddes fleoth wel the habbeth lutel flesch, as the pellican haveth, ant feole
fitheren. The strucion, for his muchele flesch, ant othre swucche fuheles, makieth a
semblant to fleon, ant beateth the wengen, ah the vet eaver draheth to ther eorthe.
Alswa fleschlich ancre the liveth i flesches lustes ant folheth hire eise - the hevinesse
of hire flesch ant flesches untheawes bineometh hire hire fluht, ant tah ha makie semblant
ant muche nurth with wengen - othres, nawt hiren - thet is, leote of as thah ha fluhe,
ant were an hali ancre. Hwa-se yeorne bihalt, lahheth hire to bismere, for hire vet eaver
as doth the strucions - thet beoth hire lustes - draheth to ther eorthe. Theos ne beoth
nawt i-lich the leane fuhel pellican, ne ne fleoth nawt on heh, ah beoth eorth-briddes, ant
nisteth on eorthe. Ah Godd cleopeth the gode ancres "briddes of heovene," as ich ear
seide. Vulpes foveas habent, et volucres celi nidos. "Foxes habbeth hare holen, ant
briddes of heovene habbeth hare nestes." Treowe ancres beoth ariht briddes of heovene,
the fleoth on heh ant sitteth singinde murie o the grene bohes - thet is, thencheth
uppart of the blisse of heovene the neaver ne faleweth, ah is aa grene - ant sitteth o this
grene singinde murie - thet is, resteth ham i thulli thoht, ant ase theo the singeth,
habbeth murhthe of heorte. Brid, tah, other-hwile for-te sechen his mete, for the flesches
neode, lihteth to ther eorthe. Ah hwil hit sit on eorthe, hit nis neaver siker, ah biwent him
ofte ant biloketh him aa yeornliche abuten, alswa the gode ancre. Ne fleo ha neaver se
hehe, ha mot lihten other-hwiles dun to ther eorthe of hire bodi: eoten, drinken, slepen,
wurchen, speoken, heren of thet hire neodeth to of eorthliche thinges. Ah thenne, as the
brid deth, ha mot wel biseon hire, bilokin hire on euch half thet ha no-hwer ne misneome
leste ha beo i-caht thurh sum of the deofles grunen, other i-hurt summes-weis, the hwil
ha sit se lahe.
"Theos briddes habbeth nestes," he seith, ure Laverd. Volucres celi nidos. Nest is
heard ute-with of prikinde thornes, in-with nesche ant softe - swa schal ancre ute-
with tholien heard on hire flesch ant prikiende pinen, swa wisliche thah ha schal swenche
thet flesch, thet ha mahe seggen with the Psalm-wruhte, fortitudinem meam ad te
custodiam, thet is, "ich chulle wite mi strengthe, Laverd, to thine bihove." For-thi beo
flesches pine efter euch-anes evene. Thet nest beo heard withuten, ant softe ant swete
the heorte withinnen. Theo the beoth of bitter other of heard heorte, ant nesche to hare
flesch, ha makieth frommard hare nest, softe withuten, ant thorni withinnen. This beoth
the wea-mode ant te estfule ancres - bittre withinnen, as thet swete schulde beon, ant
estfule withuten, as thet hearde schulde beon. Theos i thulli nest mahen habben uvel
rest hwen ha ham wel bithencheth, for leate ha schulen bringe forth briddes of swuch
nest - thet beoth gode werkes the fleon toward heovene. Job cleopeth nest the ancre-
hus, ant seith as he were ancre: In nidulo meo moriar. Thet is, "ich chulle deien i mi
nest, beon ase dead th'rin - for thet is ancres rihte - ant wunien athet death th'rin,
thet ich nulle neaver slakien, hwil the sawle is i the buc, to drehen heard withuten -
alswa as nest is - ant softe beo withinnen."
Of dumbe beastes leorne wisdom ant lare. The earn deth in his nest a deore-wurthe
yim-stan, "achate" hatte, for nan attri thing ne mei the stan nahhin, ne hwil he is i the
nest hearmin his briddes. This deore-wurthe stan, thet is Jesu Crist, ase stan treowe ant
ful of alle mihtes over alle yim-stanes - he is the achate thet atter of sunne ne nahhede
neaver. Do him i thi nest - thet is, i thin heorte. Thench hwuch pine he tholede on his
flesch withuten, hu swote he wes i-heortet, hu softe withinnen, ant swa thu schalt
driven ut euch atter of thin heorte ant bitternesse of thi bodi. For i thulli thoht - ne beo
hit neaver se bitter pine thet tu tholie for the luve of him the droh mare for the - schal
thunche the swote. Thes stan, as ich seide, afleieth attrie thinges. Habbe thu thes stan
in-with thi breoste, ther Godes nest is. Ne thearf thu noht dreden the attri neddre of
helle. Thine briddes - thet beoth thine gode werkes - beoth al sker of his atter.
Hwa-se ne mei thes yim-stan habben ne halden i the nest of hire heorte, lanhure i the
nest of hire ancre-hus habbe his i-liche - thet is, the crucifix. Bihalde ofte th'ron ant
cusse the wunde-studen i swote munegunge of the sothe wunden the he o the sothe
rode thuldeliche tholede. Se vorth se ha mei, beo Judith - thet is, libben hearde, beon
cnawen ofte to Godd his muchele godlec toward hire, ant hire fawtes toward him,
thet ha him yelt hit uvele. Crie him yeorne th'rof mearci ant are, ant schrive hire i-lome.
Thenne is ha Judith, the sloh Oloferne. For Judith on Ebreisch is "schrift" on Englisch,
thet sleath gasteliche then deovel of helle. Judith: Confessio. For-thi seith ancre to
euch preost, Confiteor on alre earst ant schriveth hire ofte, for-te beo Judith ant slean
Oloferne - thet is, the deofles strengthe. For ase muchel seith this nome Oloferne as
"stinkinde in helle." Secundum nominis ethimologiam Olofernus "olens in inferno,"
secundum interpretationem "infirmans vitulum saginatum." On Ebreische ledene
Oloferne is "the feond the maketh feble ant unstrong feat kealf" ant to wilde - thet is,
thet flesch the awildgeth sone se hit eaver featteth thurh eise ant thurh este. Incrassatus
est dilectus et recalcitravit. "Mi leof is i-featted," he seith, ure Laverd, "ant smit me
with his hele." Sone se flesch haveth his wil, hit regibeth anan ase feat meare ant idel.
This featte kealf haveth the feond strengthe to unstrengen ant buhen toward sunne, for
swa muche seith this nome "Oloferne." Ah ancre schal beo Judith thurh heard lif ant
thurh soth schrift, ant slean as dude Judith thes uvele Oloferne, temie ful wel hire
flesch, sone se ha i-feleth thet hit awilgeth to swithe, mid feasten, mid wecchen, with
here, with heard swinc, with hearde disceplines - wisliche thah ant wearliche. Habete,
inquit, sal in vobis. Item: In omni sacrifitio offeretis michi sal. Thet is, "in euch
sacrefise," he seith, ure Laverd, "offrith me salt eaver. Veaste, wecche ant othre swucche,
as ich nempnede nu, beoth mi sacrefises." Salt bitacneth wisdom, for salt yeveth mete
smech, ant wisdom yeveth savur al thet we wel wurcheth. Withute salt of wisdom
thuncheth Godd smechles alle ure deden. On other half, withute salt flesch gedereth
wurmes, stinketh swithe fule ant forroteth sone. Alswa withute wisdom flesch, as
wurm, forfret hire ant wasteth hire-seolven, forfeareth as thing the forroteth ant sleath
hire on ende. Ah thulli sacrefise stinketh ure Laverd.
Thah the flesch beo ure fa, hit is us i-haten thet we halden hit up. Wa we moten don
hit as hit is wel ofte wurthe, ah nawt fordon mid alle. For hu wac se hit eaver beo,
thenne is hit swa i-cuplet, ant se feste i-feiet to ure deore-wurthe gast, Godes ahne
furme, thet we mahten sone slean thet an with thet other. Augustinus: Natura mentis
humane que ad ymaginem Dei creata est, et sine peccato est, solus Deus major
est. Ant tis is an of the measte wundres on eorthe, thet te heste thing under Godd -
thet is, monnes sawle, as Seint Austin witneth - schal beo se feste i-feiet to flesch, thet
nis bute fen ant a ful eorthe, ant thurh thet ilke limunge luvien hit se swithe, thet ha for-
te cwemen hit in his fule cunde, geath ut of hire hehe heovenliche cunde, ant for-te
paien hire, wreatheth hire Schuppere, the scheop hire efter him-seolf thet is king ant
keiser of eorthe ant of heovene. Wunder over wunder ant hokerlich wunder! thet se
unimete lah thing - fere nichil "for neh nawt," seith Seint Austin - schal drahen into
sunne se unimete heh thing ase sawle is, thet Seint Awstin cleopeth fere summum -
thet is, "for neh hest thing," withute Godd. Ah Godd nalde nawt thet ha lupe i prude, ne
wilnede to climben ant feolle as dude Lucifer, for he wes bute charge, ant teide for-thi
a clot of hevi eorthe to hire as me deth the cubbel to the ku, other to the other beast thet
is to recchinde ant renginde abuten. This is thet Job seide: Qui fecisti ventis - id est,
spiritibus - pondus. "Laverd," he seith, "thu havest i-maket fother to fetherin with
the sawlen" - thet is thet hevie flesch thet draheth hire dune-ward. Ah thurh the
hehschipe of hire, hit schal wurthe ful liht, lihtre then the wind is, ant brihtre then the
sunne, yef hit folheth hire her, ne ne draheth hire to swithe into hire lahe cunde. Leove
sustren, for his luve thet ha is i-lich to, beoreth hire menske, ne leote ye nawt the lahe
flesch meistrin hire to swithe. Ha is her in uncuththe i-put in a prisun, bitund in a
cwalm-hus, ne nis nawt edscene of hwuch dignete ha is, hu heh is hire cunde, ne
hwuch ha schal thunche yet in hire ahne riche. Thet flesch is her ed hame, as eorthe the
is in eorthe, ant is for-thi cointe ant cover. As me seith, thet curre is kene on his ahne
mixne. Ha haveth to much meistrie, wei-la-wei, o monie. Ah ancre, as ich habbe i-seid,
ah to beon al gastelich yef ha wule wel fleon as brid thet haveth lutel flesch ant feole
fitheren. Nawt ane yet tis, ah teke thet ha temeth wel hire ful-itohe flesch ant strengeth
ant deth menske the wurthfule sawle - teke this, ha mot yet thurh hire forbisne ant
thurh hire hali beoden yeoven strengthe othre, ant uphalden ham, thet ha ne fallen i the
dunge of sunne. Ant for-thi Davith anan efter thet he haveth i-evenet ancre to pellican,
he eveneth hire to niht-fuhel the is under evesunges. Simlis factus sum pellicano
solitudinis; factus sum sicut nicticorax in domicilio.
The niht-fuhel i the evesunges bitacneth recluses the wunieth for-thi under chirche
evesunges, thet ha understonden thet ha ahen to beon of se hali lif, thet al Hali Chirche-
thet is, Cristene folc - leonie ant wreothie upon ham, ant heo halden hire up, with hare
lif halinesse ant hare eadie bonen. For-thi is ancre "ancre" i-cleopet, ant under chirche
i-ancret as ancre under schipes bord, for-te halden thet schip, thet uthen ant stormes hit
ne overwarpen. Alswa al Hali Chirche, thet is schip i-cleopet, schal ancrin o the ancre,
thet heo hit swa halde thet te deofles puffes-thet beoth temptatiuns - ne hit overwarpen.
Euch ancre haveth this o foreward, ba thurh nome of ancre ant thurh thet ha wuneth
under the chirche: to understiprin hire yef ha walde fallen. Yef ha breketh foreward, loki
hwam ha lihe, ant hu continuelement, for ha ne stureth neaver. Ancre wununge ant hire
nome yeieth eaver this foreward, yet hwen ha slepeth.
On other half, the niht-fuhel flith bi niht ant biyet i theosternesse his fode. Alswa
schal ancre fleon with contemplatiun - thet is, with heh thoht, ant with hali bonen bi
niht toward heovene - ant biyeote bi niht hire sawle fode. Bi niht ah ancre to beon
waker ant bisiliche abuten gastelich biyete. For-thi kimeth anan th'refter, Vigilavi et
factus sum sicut passer solitarius in tecto. Vigilavi, "Ich wes waker," seith Davith
in ancre persone, "ant i-lich spearewe under rof ane." Vigilavi, "ich wes waker" - for
thet is ancre rihte muchel for-te wakien. Ecclesiasticus: Vigilia honestatis tabefatiet
carnes. Na thing ne awealdeth wilde flesch, ne ne maketh hit tomre, then muche wecche.
Wecche is in Hali Writ i feole studen i-preiset. Vigilate et orate ne intretis in
temptationem. "Alswa as ye nulleth nawt fallen into fondunge," he seith, ure Laverd,
"wakieth ant i-biddeth ow" - thet schal don ow stonden. Eft he seith, Beatus quem
invenerit vigilantem. "Eadi is the ilke, thet hwen ure Laverd kimeth i-fint wakiende."
Ant he him-seolf sum-chearre pernoctavit in oratione, "wakede i beoden al niht." Ant
swa he tahte us wecche, nawt ane with his lare, ah dude with his dede.
Eahte thinges nomeliche leathieth us to wakien eaver i sum god ant beo wurchinde:
this scheorte lif; this stronge wei; ure god, thet is se thunne; ure sunnen, the beoth se
monie; death, thet we beoth siker of, ant unsiker hwenne; thet sterke dom of Domes-
dei ant se nearow mid alle, thet euch idel word bith ther i-broht forth, ant idele thohtes
the neren ear her i-bette. Dominus in Ewangelio: de omni verbo otioso, et cetera.
Item: et capilli de capite non peribunt - id est, cogitatio non evadet inpunita.
Anselmus: Quid faties in illa die quando exigetur a te omne tempus inpensum
qualiter sit a te expensum, et usque ad minimam cogitationem. Loke nu hwet beo
of unwreaste willes ant sunfule werkes. Yet the seovethe thing the munegeth us to
wakien, thet is the sorhe of helle. Ther bihald threo thing: the untaleliche pinen, the
echnesse of euch-an, the unimete bitternesse. The eahtuthe thing: hu muchel is the
mede i the blisse of heovene, world buten ende. Hwa-se waketh her wel ane hond-
hwile, hwa-se haveth theos eahte thing ofte in hire heorte, ha wule schaken of hire slep
of uvel slawthe. I the stille niht hwen me ne sith na-wiht, nowther ne ne hereth thet lette
the bone, the heorte is ofte se schir, for na thing nis witnesse of thing thet me thenne
deth, bute Godes engel, the is i swuch time bisiliche abuten to eggin us to gode. For ther
nis nawt forloren as is bi dei ofte. Hercnith nu, leove sustren, hu hit is uvel to uppin, ant
hu god thing hit is to heolen god-dede, ant fleo bi niht as niht-fuhel, ant gederin bi
theostre - thet is, i privite, ant dearnliche - sawle fode.
Oratio Hester placuit regi Assuero - thet is, "Hesteres bone, the cwen, wes the
King Assuer lic-wurthe ant i-cweme." "Hester" on Ebreisch, thet is "i-hud" on Englisch,
ant is to understonden thet bone ant other god-dede thet is i-don on hudles is Assuer i-
cweme - thet is, the king of heovene. For "Assuer" on Ebreisch is "eadi" on Englisch
- thet is, ure Laverd the is eadi over alle. Davith speketh to ancre the wes i-wunet in
hudles wel for-te wurchen, ant seoththen o sum wise uppeth hit ant schaweth: Ut quid
avertis manum tuam et dexteram tuam de medio sinu tuo in finem - thet is,
"hwi drahest tu ut thin hond, ant yet ti riht hond, of midde thi bosum?" In finem - "on
ende." Riht hond is god werc. Bosum is privite, ant is as thah he seide, "the riht hond
thet tu heolde, ancre, i thi bosum" - thet is, thi gode werc thet tu hefdest i-don privement,
as thing is dearne i bosum - "hwi drahest tu hit ut in finem-on ende?" - thet is, thet
ti mede endi se sone, thi mede thet were endeles yef thi god-dede i-hole were. Hwi
openest tu hit ant nimest se scheort mede, hure thet is agan in an hond-hwile? Amen
dico vobis receperunt mercedem suam. "Thu havest i-uppet thi god," he seith, ure
Laverd, "witerliche thu havest undervo thi mede." Sein Gregoire awundreth him ant
seith thet men beoth wode the trochith swa uvele: Magna verecundia est grandia
agere et laudibus inhiare. Unde celum mereri potest, nummum transitorii favoris
querit. "Muchel meadschipe hit is," he seith, "don wel ant wilni word th'rof, don
hwer-thurh he buth the kinedom of heovene, ant sullen hit for a windes puf of wordes
here-word of monnes herunge." For-thi, mine leove sustren, haldeth ower riht hond in-
with ower bosum, leste mede endeles neome scheort ende. We redeth in Hali Writ thet
Moyseses hond, Godes prophete, sone se he hefde i-drahen hire ut of his bosum, bisemde
the spitel-uvel ant thuhte lepruse, thurh hwet is bitacnet thet god-dede i-drahe forth
nis nawt ane forloren thurh thet uppinge, ah thuncheth yet eatelich bivore Godes ehe, as
spitel-uvel is eatelich bivore monnes sihthe. Lo, a feorli god word thet te hali Job seith:
Reposita est hec spes mea in sinu meo. "I mi bosum," he seith, "is al min hope i-
halden," as thah he seide, "hwet god se ich do, were hit ut of bosum i-uppet ant i-drahe
forth, al min hope were edslopen. Ah for-thi thet ich hit heole ant hude as i bosum, ich
hopie to mede." For-thi yef ei deth eani god, ne drahe ha hit nawt ut-ward ne yelpe na-
wiht th'rof, for with a lutel puf, with a wordes wind hit mei beon al toweavet.
Ure Laverd i Johel meaneth him swithe of theo the forleoseth ant spilleth al hare god
thurh wilnunge of here-word ant seith theos wordes: Decorticavit ficum meam nudans
spoliavit eam et projecit. Albi facti sunt rami ejus. "Allas," seith ure Laverd, "theos
the schaweth hire god haveth bipilet mi fier, i-rend al the rinde of, despuilet hire steort-
naket, ant i-warpen awei, ant te grene bohes beoth fordruhede ant forwurthen to drue,
hwite rondes." This word is dosc, ah neometh nu yeme hu ich hit wulle brihtin. Fier is
a cunnes treo the bereth swete frut thet me cleopeth "figes." Thenne is the fier bipilet
ant te rinde i-rend of hwen god-dede is i-uppet. Thenne is the lif ut; thenne adeadeth the
treo hwen the rinde is awei; ne nowther ne bereth hit frut, ne greneth th'refter i lufsume
leaves, ah druhieth the bohes, ant wurtheth hwite rondes - to na thing betere then to
fures fode. The boh, hwen hit adeadeth, hit hwiteth ute-with ant adruheth in-with ant
warpeth his rinde. Alswa god-dede the wule adeadin forwarpeth his rinde - thet is,
unhuleth him. The rinde the writh hit is the treoes warde, ant wit hit i strengthe ant i
cwicnesse. Alswa the hulunge is the god-dedes lif, ant halt hit i strengthe. Ah hwen the
rinde is offe, thenne as the boh deth hwiteth hit ute-with thurh worltlich here-word, ant
adruheth in-with ant leoseth the swetnesse of Godes grace, the makede hit grene ant lic-
wurthe Godd to bihalden. (For grene, over alle heowes, frovreth meast ehnen.) Hwen
hit is swa adruhet, thenne nis hit to nawt se god, as to the fur of helle, for the earste
bipilunge, hwer-of al this uvel is, nis bute of prude. Ant nis this muche reowthe thet te
fier the schulde with hire swete frut - thet is, god-dede - fede Godd gasteliche, the
Laverd of heovene, schal adruhien rindeles thurh thet hit is unhulet ant wurthen buten
ende helle fures fode? Ant nis ha to unseli the with the wurth of heovene buth hire helle?
Ure Laverd i the Godspel seolf eveneth heove-riche to gold-hord, the "hwa-se hit fint,"
as he seith, "hudeth hit." Quem qui invenit homo abscondit. Golt-hord is god-dede,
the is to heovene i-evenet, for me hit buth ther-with, ant this golt-hord, bute hit beo the
betere i-hud ant i-holen, hit is forlore sone. For as Sein Gregoire seith, Depredari
desiderat qui thesaurum puplice portat in via. "The bereth tresor openliche i wei
thet is al ful of reaveres ant of theoves, him luste leosen hit ant beon i-robbet." This
world nis bute a wei to heovene other to helle, ant is al biset of hellene mucheres the
robbith alle the golt-hordes thet ha mahen underyeoten thet mon other wummon i this
wei openeth. For ase muchel wurth is as hwa-se seide ant yeide as he eode, "Ich beore
golt-hord! Ich beore golt-hord! Lowr hit her read gold, hwit seolver inoh ant deore-
wurthe stanes!" A sapere the ne bereth bute sape ant nelden yeiyeth hehe thet he bereth.
A riche mercer geath forth al stille. Freinith hwet i-tidde of Ezechie the gode king, for-
thi thet he schawde the celles of his aromaz, his muchele thinges, his deore-wurthe
tresor. Nis hit nawt for nawt i-writen i the hali Godspel of the threo kinges the comen to
offrin Jesu Crist the deore threo lakes, procidentes adoraverunt eum, et apertis
thesauris suis obtulerunt, et cetera, thet tet ha walden offrin him, ha heolden eaver
i-hud athet ha comen bivoren him, tha earst ha unduden the presenz thet ha beren. For-
thi, mine leove sustren, bi niht as the niht-fuhel, thet ancre is to i-evenet, beoth yeorne
sturiende. Niht ich cleopie privite. This niht ye mahen habben euch time of the dei, thet
al the god thet ye eaver doth, beo i-don as bi niht ant bi theosternesse, ut of monnes ehe,
ut of monnes eare. Thus i niht beoth fleonninde, ant sechinde ower sawle heovenliche
fode: thenne ne beo ye nawt ane, pellicanus solitudinis, ah beoth ec nicticorax in
Vigilavi et factus sum sicut passer solitarius in tecto. Yet is ancre i-evenet her to
spearewe thet is ane under rof as ancre. Spearewe is a chiterinde brid, chitereth aa, ant
chirmeth. Ah for-thi thet moni ancre haveth thet ilke untheaw, Davith ne eveneth hire
nawt to spearewe the haveth fere, ah deth to spearewe ane. Sicut passer solitarius.
"Ich am," he seith bi ancre, "as spearewe thet is ane." For swa ah ancre hire ane in
anlich stude as ha is chirmin ant chiterin eaver hire bonen. Ant understondeth leofliche,
mine leove sustren, thet ich write of anlich lif for-te frovrin ancren, ant ow over alle.
Hu god is to beon ane, is ba i the alde lahe ant i the neowe i-sutelet. For i bathe me i-
fint thet Godd his dearne runes ant heovenliche privitez schawde his leoveste freond -
nawt i monne floc, ah dude ther ha weren ane bi ham-seolven. Ant heo ham-seolf alswa
as ofte as ha walden thenchen schirliche of Godd ant makien cleane bonen ant beon in
heorte gasteliche i-hehet toward heovene - aa me i-fint thet ha fluhen monne sturbunge,
ant wenden bi ham ane, ant ther Godd edeawde ham ant schawde him-seolf to ham ant
yef ham hare bonen. For-thi thet ich seide thet me i-fint tis ba i the alde testament ant ec
i the neowe, ich chulle of ba twa schawin forbisne.
Egressus est Ysaac in agrum ad meditandum - quod ei fuisse creditur
consuetudinarium. Ysaac the patriarche, for-te thenche deopliche, sohte anlich stude
ant wende bi him ane, as Genesys teleth. Ant swa he i-mette with the eadi Rebecca -
thet is, with Godes grace. Rebecca enim interpretatur, "multum dedit et quicquid
habet meriti preventrix gratia donat." Alswa the eadi Jacob, tha ure Laverd schawde
him his deore-wurthe nebscheft ant yef him his blesceunge ant wende his nome betere,
he wes i-flohe men ant wes him al ane. Neaver yete i monne floc ne cahte he swuch
biyete. Bi Moysen ant bi Helye, Godes deore-wurthe freond, is sutel ant edscene hwuch
baret ant hu dredful lif is eaver i-mong thrung, ant hu Godd his privitez schaweth to
theo the beoth privement ham ane. Me schal, leove sustren, theose estoires tellen ow,
for ha weren to longe to writen ham here, ant thenne schule ye al this brihte understonden.
Set et Jeremias solus sedet. The eadi Jeremie seith he sit ane ant seith the reisun for-
hwi. Quia comminatione tua replesti me. Ure Laverd hefde i-fullet him of his
threatunge. Godes threatunge is wontreathe ant weane i licome ant i sawle, worlt buten
ende. The were of this threatunge, as he wes, wel i-fullet, nere ther nan empti stude i the
heorte to underfon fleschliche lahtren. For-thi he bed wealle of teares. Quis dabit
michi fontem lacrimarum? Thet ha ne adruhede neaver na mare then wealle for-te
biwepe slei folc - thet is, meast al the world thet is gasteliche i-slein mid deadliche
sunnen. Ut lugeant interfectos populi mei. Ant to this wop, lokith nu, he bit anlich
stude: Quis michi dabit diversorium viatorum in solitudine ut, et cetera, the hali
prophete, for-te schawi witerliche thet hwa-se wule biwepen hire ahne ant othres sunnen,
as ancre ah to donne, ant hwa-se wule i-finden ed te nearewe domes-mon mearci ant
are, a thing thet let him meast is beowiste - thet is, wununge bimong men - ant thet
swithest furthreth hit, thet is anlich stude, mon other wummon either to beon ane. Yet
speketh Jeremie of anlich stude mare. Sedebit solitarius et tacebit. "Me schal sitten,"
he seith, "him ane ant beo stille." Of this stilnesse he speketh ther-bivoren lutel: Bonum
est prestolari cum silentio salutare Dei. Beatus qui portaverit jugum Domini ab
adholescencia sua. "God hit is i silence i-kepen Godes grace, ant thet me beore Godes
yeoc anan from his yuhethe," ant thenne kimeth th'refter: Sedebit solitarius et tacebit,
quia levabit se supra se. Hwa-se swa wule don, "ha schal sitten ane ant halden hire
stille, ant swa heoven hire-seolf buven hire-seolven" - thet is, with heh lif hehi toward
heovene over hire cunde. Teke this, hwet other god cume of this anlich sittunge thet
Jeremie speketh of, ant of this seli stilthe, kimeth anan efter: Dabit percuscienti se
maxillam et saturabitur obprobriis. "Ha wule," he seith, "the swa liveth, ayeines the
smitere beode forth the cheke ant beo thurh-fullet with schentfule wordes." Her beoth
i theos word twa eadi theawes to noti swithe yeorne, the limpeth ariht to ancre:
tholemodnesse i the earre half, i the leatere, eadmodnesse of milde ant meoke heorte.
For tholemod is, the thuldeliche abereth woh thet me him deth. Eadmod is, the tholie
mei thet me him mis-segge. Theos the ich habbe i-nempnet her weren of the alde
testament. Cume we nu to the neowe.
Sein Juhan Baptiste - bi hwam ure Laverd seide, Inter natos mulierum non
surrexit major Johanne baptista, thet "bimong wives sunen ne aras neaver herre" -
he kenneth us openliche bi his ahne dede thet anlich stude is bathe siker ant biheve. For
thah the engel Gabriel hefde his burde i-bocket, al were he i-fullet of the Hali Gast anan
in-with his moder wombe, al were he thurh miracle of baraigne i-boren ant in his i-
borenesse unspende his feader tunge into prophecie - for al this, ne durste he yet
wunie bimong men, se dredful lif he seh th'rin, thah hit nere of nawt elles bute of
speche ane. Ant for-thi hwet dude he? Yung of yeres, fleh awei into wildernesse, leste
he with speche sulde his cleane lif, for swa is in his ymne:
Antra deserti teneris sub annis
civium turmas fugiens petisti,
ne levi saltem maculare vitam
He hefde, as hit thuncheth, i-herd Ysaie, the meande him ant seide, Ve michi quia
homo pollutis labiis ego sum. "Wumme, wa is me," he seith, the hali prophete, "for
ich am a mon of sulede lippen," ant seith the acheisun hwer-vore: Quia in medio
populi polluta labia habentis ego habito. "Ant thet is for-thi," he seith, "thet ich
wunie bimong men the suleth hare lippen mid misliche spechen." Lo, hu Godes prophete
seith he wes i-sulet thurh beowiste bimong monne. Swa hit is sikerliche: beo neaver se
briht or, metal, gold, seolver, irn, stel, thet hit ne schal drahe rust of an-other thet is i-
rustet, for-hwon thet ha longe liggen togedere. For-thi fleh Sein Juhan the feolahschipe
of fule men, leste he were i-fulet. Ah yet for-te schawin us thet me ne mei the uvele
fleon bute me fleo the gode, he fleh his hali cun, i-coren of ure Laverd, ant wende into
anli stude ant wunede i the wildernesse. Ant hwet biyet he ther? He biyet thet he wes
Godes baptiste. O, the muchele hehnesse thet he heold i fulluht under hise honden, the
Laverd of heovene, the halt up al the world with his anes mihte! Ther the Hali Trinite -
"thrumnesse" on Englisch - schawde hire al to him: the Feader in his stevene, the Hali
Gast i culvre heow, the Sune in his honden. In anlich lif he biyet threo preminences:
privilegie of preachur, merite of martirdom, meidenes mede. Theos threo manere men
habbeth in heovene, with overfullet mede, crune up-o crune. Ant te eadi Juhan, in anlich
stude as he wes, alle theose threo estaz ofearnede him ane.
Ure leove Leafdi, ne leadde ha anlich lif? Ne fond te engel hire in anli stude al ane?
Nes ha no-wher ute, ah wes biloken feste, for swa we i-findeth: Ingressus angelus ad
eam dixit. Ave Maria, gratia plene, Dominus tecum; benedicta tu in mulieribus.
Thet is, "the engel wende into hire." Thenne wes heo inne in anli stude hire ane. Engel
to mon i thrung ne edeawede neaver ofte. On other half, thurh thet no-wher in Hali Writ
nis i-writen of hire speche bute fowr sithen, as is i-seid th'ruppe, sutel prufunge hit is
thet ha wes muchel ane, the heold swa silence.
Hwet seche ich other? Of Godd ane were inoh forbisne to alle, the wende him-seolf
into anli stude, ant feaste ther-as he wes ane i wildernesse for-te schawin ther-bi thet
bimong monne thrung ne mei nan makien riht penitence. "Ther in anli stude him
hungrede," hit seith, ancre to frovre thet is meoseise. Ther he tholede thet te feond
fondede him feole-weis, ah he overcom him, alswa for-te schawin thet te feond fondeth
muchel theo the leadeth anlich lif, for onde thet he haveth to ham. Ah he is ther overcumen,
for ure Laverd seolf ther stont bi ham i fehte ant bealdeth ham hu ha schulen stonden
strongliche ayein, ant yeveth ham of his strengthe. He, as Hali Writ seith, thet na nurth
ne thrung of folc ne mahte letten him of his beoden, ne desturbin his god, he thah no-
the-leatere, hwen he walde beon i beoden, he fleh nawt ane othre men, ah dude yet his
halie deore-wurthe apostles, ant wende ane upon hulles, us to forbisne thet we schule
turne bi us-seolf ant climben with him on hulles - thet is, thenchen hehe ant leaven lahe
under us alle eorthliche thohtes hwiles we beoth i bonen. Pawel ant Antonie, Hylariun
ant Benedict, Sincletice ant Sare, ant othre swucche, monie men ant wummen bathe,
fondeden witerliche ant underyeten sothliche the biyete of anlich lif, as theo the duden
with Godd al thet ha walden. Sein Jerome nu leate seith bi him-seolven: Quotiens inter
homines fui, minor homo recessi. "As ofte as ich eaver wes," he seith, "bimong
men, ich wende from ham leasse mon then ich ear wes." For-thi, seith the wise
Ecclesiasticus, Ne oblecteris in turbis; assidua est enim commissio - thet is, "ne
thunche the neaver god i-mong monne floc, for ther is eaver sunne." Ne seide the
stevene - to Arsenie - of heovene, Arseni, fuge homines et salvaberis? "Arseni, flih
men ant tu schalt beon i-borhen." Ant eft hit com ant seide, Arseni, fuge, tace, quiesce -
thet is, "Arseni, flih, beo stille, ant wune stude-vestliche i sum stude ut of monne."
Nu ye habbeth i-herd, mine leove sustren, forbisne of the alde lahe ant ek of the
neowe hwi ye ahen anlich lif swithe to luvien. Efter the forbisnes, hereth nu reisuns hwi
me ah to fleo the world, eahte ed te leaste. Ich ham segge scheortliche - neometh the
The forme is sikernesse. Yef a wod liun urne yont te strete, nalde the wise bitunen
hire sone? Ant Seinte Peter seith thet helle liun rengeth ant reccheth eaver abuten for-te
sechen in-yong sawle to forswolhen, ant bid us beo wakere ant bisie in hali beoden leste
he us lecche: Sobrii estote et vigilate in orationibus, quia adversarius vester diabolus
tanquam leo rugiens circuit querens quem devoret. This is Seinte Petres word thet
ich ear seide. For-thi beoth ancren wise the habbeth wel bitund ham ayein helle liun for-
te beo the sikerure.
The other reisun is - the bere a deore licur, a deore-wurthe wet as basme is, in a
feble vetles, healewi i bruchel gles, nalde ha gan ut of thrung bute ha fol were? Habemus
thesaurum istum in vasis fictilibus dicit apostolus. This bruchele vetles, thet is
wummone flesch, thah no-the-leatere the basme, the healewi is meidenhad thet is th'rin
other eft[er] meith-lure, chaste cleannesse. This bruchele vetles [is] bruchel as is
eani gles. For beo hit eanes tobroken, i-bet ne bith hit neaver, i-bet ne hal as hit wes ear,
na mare thene gles. Ah yet hit breketh mid leasse then bruchel gles do. For gles ne
tobreketh nawt bute sum thing hit rine, ant hit, onont meith-lure, mei leosen his halnesse
with a stinkinde wil, swa vorth hit mei gan ant leaste se longe. Ah this manere bruche
mei beon i-bet eft ase hal allunge as hit wes eaver, halest thurh medecine of schrift ant
bireowsunge. Nu the preove her-of: Sein Juhan Ewangeliste - nefde he brud i-broht
ham? Nefde he i-thoht tha - yef Godd nefde i-let him - meithhad to forleosen?
Seoththen thah, nes he meiden neaver the unhalre, ah "wes meiden bitaht meiden to
witene." Virginem virgini commendavit. Nu as ich segge, this deore-wurthe healewi
i bruchel vetles is meithhad ant cleannesse in ower bruchele flesch, bruchelure then eani
gles, thet yef ye weren i worldes thrung, with a lutel hurlunge ye mahten al leosen as the
wrecches i the world the hurlith togederes ant breoketh hare vetles ant cleannesse
schedeth. For-thi ure Laverd cleopeth thus: In mundo pressuram in me autem pacem
habebitis. "Leaveth the world ant cumeth to me, for ther ye schulen beon i thrung, ah
reste ant peis is in me."
The thridde reisun of the worldes fluht is the biyete of heovene. The heovene is
swithe heh. Hwa-se wule biyeoten hit ant areachen ther-to, hire is lutel inoh for-te
warpen al the world under hire fotes. For-thi alle the halhen makeden of al the world as
a scheomel to hare vet to areache the heovene. Apocalypsis: Vidi mulierem amictam
sole et luna sub pedibus ejus. This is Sein Juhanes word, Ewangeliste, i the Apocalipse:
"Ich i-seh a wummon i-schrud mid te sunne ant under hire vet the mone." The mone
woneth ant waxeth, ne nis neaver stude-vest, ant bitacneth for-thi worltliche thinges
the beoth as the mone eaver i change. Thes mone mot te wummon halden under hire
vet - thet is, worldliche thinges totreoden ant forhohien - the wule heovene areachen
ant beo ther i-schrud mid te sothe sunne.
The feorthe reisun is preove of noblesce ant of largesce. Noble men ant gentile ne
beoreth nane packes, ne ne feareth i-trusset with trussews, ne with purses. Hit is
beggilde riht to beore bagge on bac, burgeise to beore purse - nawt Godes spuse, the
is leafdi of heovene. Trussen ant purses, baggen ant packes beoth worltliche thinges:
alle eorthliche weolen ant worltliche rentes.
The fifte resiun is, noble men ant wummen makieth large relef, ah hwa mei makie
largere then the other theo the seith with Seinte Peter, Ecce nos reliquimus omnia et
secuti sumus te. "Laverd, for-te folhi the, we habbeth al forleavet." Nis this large
relef? Nis this muche lave? Mine leove sustren, kinge[s] ant keisers habbeth hare liveneth
of ower large relef thet ye i-leavet habbeth. "Laverd, for-te folhi the," seith Seinte Peter,
"we habbeth al forleavet," as thah he seide, "we wulleth folhi the i the muchele genterise
of thi largesce. Thu leafdest to othre men alle richesces ant makedest of al relef ant lave
se large. We wulleth folhi the. We wulleth don alswa, leaven al, as thu dudest, folhi the
on eorthe i thet ant in other-hwet - for-te folhi [the] ec into the blisse of heovene, ant
yet tear over al folhi the hwider-ward se thu eaver wendest, as nane ne mahen bute ane
meidnes: Hii secuntur agnum quocumque ierit, utroque scilicet pede, id est,
integritate cordis et corporis.
The seste reisun is hwi ye habbeth the world i-flohen - familiarite, muche cun-
redden, for-te beo prive with ure Laverd. For thus he seith bi Osee: Ducam te in
solitudinem et ibi loquar ad cor tuum. "Ich chulle leade the," he seith to his leofmon,
"into anli stude, ant ter ich chulle luveliche speoke to thin heorte, for me is lath preasse."
Ego Dominus, et civitatem non ingredior.
The seovethe reisun is for-te beo the brihtre ant brihtluker seon in heovene Godes
brihte nebscheft, for ye beoth i-flohe the world ant hudeth ow for hire her. Yet ter-teken
thet ye beon swifte as the sunne gleam, for ye beoth with Jesu Crist bitund as i sepulcre,
bibarret as he wes o the deore rode, as is i-seid th'ruppe.
The eahtuthe reisun is to habben cwic bone - ant lokith yeorne hwer-vore. The
eadmode cwen Hester bitacneth ancre, for hire nome seith "i-hud" on Englische ledene.
As me ret in hire boc, ha wes the King Assuer over al i-cweme, ant thurh hire bone
arudde of death al hire folc, the wes to death i-demet. This nome Assuer is i-spealet
"eadi," as is ear i-seid, ant bitacneth Godd eadi over alle. He yetteth Hester the cwen -
thet is, the treowe ancre, thet is riht Hester, thet is riht "i-hud" - he hereth ant yetteth
hire alle hire benen, ant sawveth thurh ham muche folc. Monie schulde beo forloren the
beoth thurh the ancre benen i-borhen, as weren thurh Hesteres, for-hwon thet ha beo
Hester ant halde hire as heo dude, Mardochees dohter. "Mardoche" is i-spealet amare
conterens inpudentem - thet is, "bitterliche totreodinde thene scheomelese."
Scheomeles is the mon the seith eani untu other deth bivoren ancre. Yef eani thah swa
do, ant heo breoke bitterliche his untohe word other his fol dede, totreode ham anan-riht
with unwurth tellunge, thenne is ha Hester, Mardochees dohter, bitterliche breokinde
thene scheomelese. Bitterluker ne betere ne mei ha him neaver breoken then is i-taht
th'ruppe with narraverunt michi, other mid tis vers: Declinate a me maligni et
scrutabor mandata Dei mei, ant wende in-ward anan toward hire weovede ant halde
hire ed hame, as Hester, the "i-hudde." Semei i Regum hefde death ofservet, ah he
criede mearci ant Salomon foryef hit him, thah thurh swuch a foreward: thet he ed
hame heolde him i Jerusalem as he wunede ant hudde him in his huse, yef he o-hwider
wende ut - swuch wes the foreward - thet he were eft al ful ant to death i-demet. He
thah brec foreward thurh his unselhthe. His threalles edfluhen him ant edbreken him ut,
ant he folhede ham ant wende ut efter ham - hwet wult tu mare? - wes sone forwreiet
to the king, Salomon, ant for the foreward tobroken wes, fordemet to deathe.
Understondeth yeorne this, mine leove sustren. Semey bitacneth the ut-warde ancre,
nawt Hester, the "i-hudde." For Semey seith audiens, thet is "herinde" on ure ledene -
thet is the recluse the haveth asse earen, longe to here feor, thet is hercninde efter ut-
runes. Semeis stude wes Jerusalem, thet he schulde in huden him yef he walde libben.
This word "Jerusalem" spealeth "sihthe of peis" ant bitacneth ancre-hus. For th'rinne
ne thearf ha seon bute peis ane. Ne beo neaver Semei - thet is, the recluse swa swithe
forgult toward te sothe Salomon - thet is, ure Laverd. Halde hire ed hame i Jerusalem
thet ha na-wiht nute of the worldes baret. Salomon yetteth hire blitheliche his are, ah yef
ha entremeateth hire of thinges withuten mare then ha thurfte, ant hire heorte beo ute-
with, thah a clot of eorthe - thet is, hire licome - beo in-with the fowr wahes, ha is
i-wend with Semei ut of Jerusalem alswa as he dude efter his threalles. Theos threalles
beoth the ethele fif wittes, the schulden beon et hame ant servin hare leafdi. Thenne ha
servith wel the ancre, hare leafdi - hwen ha notieth ham wel in hare sawle neode: hwen
the ehe is o the boc, other o sum other god, the eare to Godes word, the muth in hali bonen.
Yef ha wit ham uvele ant let ham thurh yemeles etfleon hire servise ant folhi ham ut-wart
with hire heorte - as hit bitimeth eaver meast thet gan the wittes ut, the heorte geath ut
efter - ha breketh Salomon foreward with the unseli Semey ant is to death i-demet.
For-thi mine leove sustren, ne beo ye nawt Semey, ah beoth Hester, the "i-hudde,"
ant ye schule beon i-hehet i the blisse of heovene. For the nome of Hester ne seith nawt
ane abscondita - thet is, nawt ane "i-hud" - ah deth ther-teken, elevata in populis
- thet is, "i folc i-hehet." Ant swa wes Hester, as hire nome cwiddeth, i-hehet to cwen
of a povre meiden. I this word "Hester" beoth "hudunge" ant "hehnesse" i-feiet togederes,
ant nawt ane "hehnesse," ah "hehnesse over folc" for-te schawin witerliche thet teo the
hudeth ham ariht in hare ancre-hus - ha schulen beon in heovene over othres cunnes
folc wurthliche i-hehet. Ba Hesteres nome ant hire hehunge pruvieth thet ich segge. On
other half understondeth: ye beoth i Jerusalem. Ye beoth i-flohe to chirche grith. For nis
ower nan thet nere sum-chearre Godes theof. Me weiteth ow - thet wite ye ful yeorne
- withuten, as me deth theoves the beoth i-broke to chirche. Haldeth ow feaste inne.
Nawt te bodi ane, for thet is the unwurthest, ah ower fif wittes ant te heorte over al, ant
al ther the sawle lif is. For beo ha bitrept ute-with, nis ther bute leade forth toward te
geal-forke - thet is, the weari-treo of helle. Beoth ofdred of euch mon alswa as the
theof is, leste he drahe ow ut-wart - thet is, biswike with sunne - ant weiti for-te
warpen upon ow his cleches. Bisecheth yeornliche Godd as theof i-broke to chirche,
thet he wite ant wardi ow with alle the ow weitith. Chiterith ower beoden aa as spearewe
deth [thet is] ane, for this an word is i-seid of anlich lif, of anlich stude, ther me mei
beon Hester, i-hud ut of the world, ant do betere then i thrung euch gastelich biyete.
For-thi eveneth Davith ancre to pellican thet leat anlich lif, ant to spearewe ane.
Spearewe haveth yet a cunde thet is biheve ancre, thah me hit heatie - thet is, the
fallinde uvel. For muche neod is, thet ancre of hali lif ant of heh habbe fallinde uvel. Thet
uvel ne segge ich nawt thet me swa nempneth, ah fallinde uvel ich cleopie licomes
secnesse other temptatiuns of flesches fondunges hwer-thurh hire thunche thet ha falle
dune-ward of hali hehnesse. Ha walde awilgin elles other to wel leoten of [hire-seolven],
ant swa to noht i-wurthen; the flesch walde awilgin ant bicumen to ful-itohen toward
hire leafdi - yef hit nere i-beaten - ant makie sec the sawle - yef secnesse hit ne
temede with uvel other with sunne.
The licome ne the gast - yef hare nowther nere sec, as hit timeth seldene, orhel
walde awakenin, thet is the measte dredfule secnesse of alle. Yef Godd fondeth ancre
with ei uvel ute-with, other the feonde in-with with gasteliche untheawes, ase prude,
wreaththe, onde, other with flesches lustes, ha haveth thet fallinde uvel, thet me seith is
spearewe uvel. Godd hit wule for-thi thet ha beo eaver eadmod ant with lah haldunge of
hire-seolven falle to ther eorthe, leste ha falle i prude.
Nu we hurteth, leove sustren, to the feorthe dale, thet ich seide schulde beon of feole
fondunges, for ther beoth uttre ant inre, ant either moni-valde. Salve ich bihet to teachen
toyeines ham ant bote, ant hu hwa-se haveth ham mei gederin of this dale cunfort ant
frovre toyeines ham alle. Thet ich thurh the lare of the Hali Gast mote halden foreward,
he hit yetti me thurh ower bonen.
Go To Part Four