The Pride of Life

THE PRIDE OF LIFE: FOOTNOTES


1 My speech shall [be] pleasing [to] you, [my] sworn retainers

2 Then, having closed the curtain, the Queen speaks privately with the messenger
 

THE PRIDE OF LIFE: NOTES


Abbreviations: CT: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales; MED: Middle English Dictionary; OED: Oxford English Dictionary; s.d.: stage direction; Whiting: Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Pro­verbial Phrases.

4 Although the fragmentary manuscript of the play survived to modern times among the archives of the Augustinian priory of the Holy Trinity, the fact that the playwright invites both the “lered” and the “lewed” to enjoy the play would argue strongly in favor of a public performance, rather than a cloistered audience. Alan J. Fletcher has shown that the priory was involved in other modes of public perform­ance as well (Drama, Performance, and Polity, p. 84).

10 The reference to the weather would seem to imply an outdoor performance.

15–112 It is common for medieval drama to present a summary of a play (or cycle), called the banns, before the action begins. The banns were often used as an adver­tise­ment, not unlike a modern movie trailer, to generate interest in the play and to announce the performance. Banns were also shouted to spread official news, as in line 459 (“My banis for to crye”). See Introduction, p. 3, and note to line 503.

60 a wommanis tal. Coldeway’s gloss, “an old wive’s tale,” has merit, providing an early example of that idiom. OED cites Marlowe’s Faust V.133 as the earliest in­stance of the gendered saying.

69 couthe. I have followed Norman Davis’ gloss here (“could”), though Coldeway’s “knew” works well too, especially given the sense of chout in line 68.

73 tham. MS yam. Holthausen, following Brandl, reads ham. Davis and Coldeway: than.

97 The banns do not make it clear if the Virgin Mary’s prayers and the king’s sub­sequent redemption actually formed a part of the play, but to make sense of the argument it would seem that they must have done so.

98 There are many dialogue poems consisting of a debate between the body and the soul, both in Middle English and in other European vernaculars. It is not clear in the banns whether this description is intended to describe such a debate on stage or simply to indicate that it is the body’s pride (line 95) by which the soul is damned (line 96).

98, 100 Holthausen transposes these two lines; Coldeway follows the transposition, the sense of lines 97–100 thus being: “Through the prayers of Our Lady mild / She would repay all goodness; / She will pray to her son so mild, / [That] the soul and body shall part ways.” Davis glosses “dispyte” as “dispute, contend,” but “part ways” gets better at the sense, since the next two stanzas present just such a sever­ance as the body learns the pains of death (lines 101–04) while Mary would reclaim the soul from the fiends so that it might abide (lines 105–08).

110 “Place” here likely has the specific sense of the Latin “platea” (see also line 470 s.d.), the neutral space on the ground which must be constantly renegotiated between actors and audience. The line’s meaning then would be: “Don’t inter­fere with our playing area.”

126 This is the first break between sections of text in the manuscript in which text has been lost; the faulty rhyme scheme shows that at least two lines of the stanza have disappeared between the blocks of text, as well as the following speech heading.

135 knytis. MS: kyntes.

213 undir myne eye. Rex evokes courtly conventions whereby all in the king’s presence bow to his authority. Death is viewed here as a member of the court and thus stands in awe of the king’s purview.

263 The king’s messenger is variously called “Mirth” (Pleasure) and “Solas” (Com­fort). He is the king’s principal servant, while the two soldiers, Strength and Health, represent the king’s protection. Mirth represents the king’s primary interests in life, pleasure and creature comforts.

285 Berewik upon Twede. A town in the far northeast of England, just south of the Scottish border. Mirth will travel great distances in his king’s service.

301 Many suggestions have been made for the identity of “Gailispire on the Hill,” most of them in England. Fletcher has shown that the reference is very likely to Gilt­spur, in the northern part of County Wicklow, not far south of Dublin. In the eighteenth century it was known as Gilsper or Gillspur Hill, and the Augustinian canons of Dublin owned land in the area (Drama, Performance, and Polity, pp. 84–86).

302 The earldom of Kent reverted to the crown in 1407, and it is possible that this line could imply a date for the play prior to this, when the title was still in pri­vate hands; or after, if Rex Vivus is the king of England, as he again has Kent to give as a reward.

303 The king asks Strength to draw the cord which pulls a curtain across a space on the stage, likely an inner room or booth. In its simplest form, this would have been the back part of the stage, separated from the front by the curtain and cord to which he refers. It might well have contained a couch or bed on which the king can take his rest (as in line 304).

322, s.d. There is no indication of what song Mirth might sing, but any popular tavern song of a secular nature would be appropriate, and the decision might well have been left to the actor. Unfortunately, this is exactly the type of song that is least likely to survive, and no appropriate songs from the later fourteenth century have come down to us. See Appendix 2 for a suggestion.

326 This is the second place where a break between two text blocks also seems to indicate a loss of some text. It might be quite a substantial loss here, since Mirth the messenger needs to explain his errand to the bishop.

327–90 The bishop’s complaint is derived from a well-known poem usually called “The Abuses of the Age.” Two representative versions are printed in Appendix 1.

332 Streyint. The bishop’s complaint is not likely a reference to the first soldier, also called “Strength” (line 143 s.n.), but to brute force.

343 Slet. The manuscript reads “Slot,” which could be an error either for “slet,” an un­usual word meaning “crafty” or “wise” (cognate with modern English “sleight”), or for “sot,” which would be an orthographic variant of “soth” (“true”).

362 gret eteit the smal. Proverbial; see Whiting G 444. Compare F 232 (“great fish eat the small”) and D 146 (“mickle feer heve the little”).

380 A writ of “supersedeas” suspends a court’s proceedings, generally in favor of a participant’s involvement in a case in a higher court. The legal terminology re­minds all that they have an irrevocable date with death.

390, s.d. In the missing lines (see note to line 326), the bishop must have returned to the king, who has emerged from behind the curtain (line 303). The ser­mon is likely for the king as well as the audience.

401–02 Det is not the man . . . wil spar. Coldeway glosses: Death is not “the kind of man / Who will spare you anything.”

442 Then artou but a page. The bishop suggests the king’s power is useless against death, that the king is as powerless against death as a page is to the king.

456 Solas. There is only one messenger, alternately named Mirth (lines 263 and 279), later called Solas (lines 295, 321, and 456). This is not a second messenger.

502 I have followed Davis and Coldeway in placing a period at the end of this line despite the fact that the manuscript simply breaks off here.

503 The banns give some indication of the rest of the play, though their description of the action is not entirely clear. Mirth delivers his message to Death, who ac­cepts the king’s challenge. In the following battle — defined in the banns as a battle between Life and Death — the King of Life is killed, and his soul is seized by devils. The soul prays to the Virgin Mary for deliverance. The banns do not indicate whether the king’s soul is a speaking character, nor whether the soul’s prayers to Mary are successful (though the action of the rest of the play would suggest that they are). It is also not clear whether Mary herself appears at the end of the play; although the playwright notes that she “will pray to her son” (line 99) and “will reward goodness” (line 100), the banns do not specify that these are actions which take place as part of the play.





















 

 
Print Copyright Info Purchase

The Pride of Life






5





10





15





20






25





30





35





40






45





50





55





60






65





70





75





80






85





90





95





100






105





110







115





120






125






130






135





140






145





150







155





160





165





170






175





180





185





190






195





200





205





210






215





220





225





230






235





240





245





250







256




260





265





270







276




280





285





290







296




300





305







310






315





320







325







330






335





340





345





350






355





360





365





370






375





380





385





390








395





400





405





410






415





420





425





430







436




440





445





450








455





460





465





470








475





480





485





490






495





500     




PROLOCUTOR   Pees, and herkynt hal ifer,
[Ric] and por, yong and hold,
Men and wemen that bet her,
Bot lerit and leut, stout and bold.

Lordinges and ladiis that beth hende,
Herkenith al with mylde mode
[How ou]re gam schal gyn and ende.
Lorde us wel spede that sched his blode!

Now stondith stil and beth hende,
[And ter]yith al for the weder,
[And] ye schal or ye hennis wende
Be glad that ye com hidir.

Here ye schullin here spelle
Of mirth and eke of kare;
Herkenith and I wol you telle
[How this our gam] schal fare.

[Of the Kyng of] Lif I wol you telle;
[He stondith] first biffore
[All men that beth] of flessch and fel
[And of woman i]bore.

[He is, forsoth, ful] stronge to stond,
[And is] bycomin of kinge,
[Giveth] lawis in eche a londe,
[And nis] dradd of no thinge.

[In] pride and likinge his lif he ledith,
Lordlich he lokith with eye;
[Prin]ce and dukis, he seith, him dredith,
[He] dredith no deth for to deye.

[He] hath a lady lovelich al at likinge,
Ne may he of no mirth mene ne misse;
He seith in swetnisse he wol set his likinge
And bringe his bale boun into blisse.

Knytis he hat cumlic
In bred and in leint;
Not I nevir non suc
Of stotey ney of strynt.

Wat helpit to yilp mucil of his mit
Or bost to mucil of his blys?
[For] sorou may sit on is sit
[And] myrt[h m]ay he not miss.

[Here ek is the] ladi of lond,
[The fa]inist a lord for to led;
[Glad] may he be for to stond
[And b]ehold that blisful bled.

[Tha]t ladi is lettrit in lor
As cumli becomit for a quen,
And munit hir mac evirmor,
As a dar for dred him to ten.

Ho bid him bewar or he smert,
[F]or in his lond Det wol alend;
[As] ho lovit him gostlic in hert
[Ho b]it him bewar of his hend.

[Ho] begynit to charp of char
Thes wordis wytout lesing:
“Det dot not spar
Knytis, cayser, ne kyng.

Nou lord, lev thi likynd
Wyc bryngit the soul gret bal.”
This answer ho had of the kyng;
“Ye, this a wommanis tal.”

The kyng hit ne toke not to hert
For hit was a womanis spec
[And y]et hit mad him to smert
[W]an him mit help no lec.

[The] quen yit can hir undirstond
Wat help thar mit be,
And sent aftir the bicop of the lond
For he chout mor than he.

He cham and precit al that he couthe,
And warnit him hal of his hind;
[H]it savrit not in the kyngis mout,
Bot hom he bad him wynd.

Wan the bicop is tham wend
Fram that kene stryf
[To Det a me]ssenger than send
[Hat] the Kyng of Lif.

[For he] him wold do undirstond
[That al] he may del and dit:
[He] wold cum into his owin lond
On him to kyt his mit.

Deth comith, he dremith a dredfful dreme —
Welle aghte al carye;
And slow fader and moder and then heme:
He ne wold none sparye.

Sone after hit befel that Deth and Life
Beth togeder itaken;
And ginnith and strivith a sterne strife
The King of Life to wrake.

With him drivith adoun to grounde,
He dredith nothing his knightis;
And delith him depe dethis wounde
And kith on him his mightis.

Qwhen the body is doun ibroght
The soule sorow awakith;
The bodyis pride is dere aboght,
The soule the fendis takith.

And throgh priere of Oure Lady mylde
The soule and body schul dispyte;
Scho wol prey her son so mylde,
Godenisse scho wol qwyte.

The cors that nere knewe of care,
No more then stone in weye,
Schal wit of sorow and sore care
And thrawe betwene ham tweye.

The soule theron schal be weye
That the fendis have ikaghte;
And Oure Lady schal therfor preye
So that with her he schal be lafte.

Nou beith in pes and beith hende,
And distourbith noght oure place,
For this oure game schal gin and ende
Throgh Jhesu Cristis swete grace.

Rex Vivus incipiet sic dicendum:

[REX]    Pes, now, ye princis of powere so prowde,
Ye kingis, ye kempis, ye knightis ikorne,
Ye barons bolde, that beith me obowte;
[Sem] schal yu my sawe, swaynis isworne.1

Squieris stoute, stondit now stille,
And lestenith to my hestis, I hote yu now her,
Or I schal wirch yu wo with werkis of wil
And doun schal ye drive, be ye never so dere.

King ic am, kinde of kingis ikorre,
Al the worlde wide to welde at my wil;
Nas ther never no man of woman iborre
Ogein me withstonde that I nold him spille.

Lordis of lond beith at my ledinge,
Al men schal abow in hal and in bowr;
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[REGINA]   Baldli thou art mi bot,
Tristili and ful treu;
Of al mi rast thou art rot,
I nil chong fer no new.

REX    Al in wel ic am biwent,
May no grisful thing me grou;
Likyng is wyt me bilent,
Alyng is it mi behou.

Strent and Hel, knytis kete,
[Douti], derrist in ded,
Lok that for no thing ye let
Smartli to me sped.

Bringit wyt you brit brondis,
Helmis brit and schen;
For ic am lord ofir al londis
And that is wel isen.

PRIMUS MILES, FORTITUDO
Lord, in truthe thou mit trist
Fethfuli to stond
Thou mit liv as thee list,
For wonschildis thu fond.

Ic am Strent, stif and strong,
Nevar is suc non,
In al this world brod and long,
Imad of blod and bon.

Hav no dout of no thing
That evir may befal;
Ic am Streynt thi derling
Flour of knitis al.

SECUNDUS MILES, SANITAS
King of Lif, that berist the croun,
As hit is skil and righte
I am Hele icom to toun,
Thi kind curteyse knighte.

Thou art lord of lim and life,
And king withouten ende;
Stif and strong and sterne in strif,
In londe qwher thou wende.

Thou nast no nede to sike sore
For no thing on lyve;
Thou schal lyve evermore:
Qwho dar with thee strive?

REX   Strive? Nay, to me qwho is so gode?
Hit were bot folye;
Ther is no man that me dur bode
Any vileynye.

Qwherof schuld I drede
Qwhen I am King of Life?
Ful evil schuld he spede
To me that wroght strive.

I schal lyve evermo
And croun ber as kynge;
I ne may never wit of wo,
I lyve at my likinge.

REGINA    Sire, thou saist as thee liste,
Thou livist at thi wille;
Bot somthing thou miste,
And therfor hold thee stille.

Thinke, thou haddist beginninge
Qwhen thou were ibore;
And bot thou mak god endinge
Thi sowle is forlore.

Love God and Holy Chirche,
And have of him som eye;
Fonde his werkis for to wirch
And thinke that thou schal deye.

REX   Douce dam, qwhi seistou so?
Thou spekis noght as the sleye.
I schal lyve evermo
For bothe two thin eye.

Woldistou that I were dede
That thou might have a new?
Hore, the devil gird off thi hede
Bot that worde schal thee rewe!

REGINA   Dede, sire? Nay, God wote my wil,
That ne kepte I noghte;
Hit wolde like me full ille
Were hit thareto broghte.

[Yet] thogh thou be kinge
Nede schalt have ende;
Deth overcomith al thinge
How so ever we wende.

REX   Ye, dam, thou hast wordis fale,
Hit comith thee of kinde;
This nis bot women tale,
And that I wol thee finde.

I ne schal never deye
For I am King of Life;
Deth is undir myne eye
And therfor leve thi strife.

Thou dost bot mak myn hert sore,
For hit nel noght helpe;
I prey thee spek of him no more.
Qwhat wolte of him yelpe?

REGINA   Yilpe, sire? Ney, so mot I the;
I sigge hit noght therfore,
Bot kinde techith bothe thee and me,
First qwhen we were bore,

For doute of Dethis maistri,
To wepe and make sorowe;
Holy writ and prophecye
Therof I take to borowe.

Therfor, qwhile ye have mighte
And the worlde at wille,
I rede ye serve God Almighte
Bothe loude and stille.

This world is bot fantasye
And ful of trechurye;
Gode sire, for youre curteysye
Take this for no folye.

For, God wot the sothe,
I ne sey hit for no fabil;
Deth wol smyte to thee,
In feith loke thou be stabil.

REX   Qwhat prechistou of Dethis might
And of his maistrye?
He ne durst onis with me fight
For his bothe eye.

Streinth and Hele, qwhat say ye,
My kinde korin knightis?
Schal Deth be lord over me
And reve me of mightis?

I MILES   Mi lord, so brouke I my bronde,
God that me forbede
That Deth schold do thee wronge
Qwhile I am in thi thede.

I wol withstonde him with strife
And make his sidis blede,
And tel him that thou art King of Life
And lorde of londe and lede.

II MILES   May I him onis mete
With this longe launce,
In felde other in strete,
I wol him give mischaunce.

REX   Ye, thes be knightis of curteisye
And doghti men of dede;
Of Deth ne of his maistrie
Ne have I no drede.

Qwher is Mirth my messager,
Swifte so lefe on lynde?
He is a nobil bachelere
That rennis bi the wynde.

Mirth and solas he can make
And ren so the ro;
Lightly lepe ovre the lake
Qwher so ever he go.

Com and her my talente
Anone and hy the blyve:
Qwher any man, as thou has wente,
Dorst with me to strive?

NUNCIUS   King of Lif and lord of londe,
As thou sittis on thi se
And florresschist with thi bright bronde,
To thee I sit on kne.

I am Mirth, wel thou wost,
Thi mery messagere;
That wostou wel, withoute bost,
Ther nas never my pere

Doghtely to done a dede
That ye have for to done,
Hen to Berewik upon Twede
And com ogein ful sone;

Ther is nothing thee iliche
In al this worlde wide
Of gold and silver and robis riche
And hei hors on to ryde.

I have ben bothe fer and nere
In bataile and in strife;
Ocke ther was never thy pere,
For thou art King of Life.

REX   Aha! Solas, now thou seist so,
Thou miriest me in my mode;
Thou schal, boy, ar thou hennis go
Be avaunsyd, bi the Rode.

Thou schal have for thi gode wil
To thin avauncemente,
The castel of Gailispire on the Hil,
And the erldom of Kente.

Draw the cord, Sire Streynth,
Rest I wol now take;
On erth in brede ne leynth
Ne was nere yet my make.

Et tunc clauso tentorio dicet Regina secrete nuncio:2

REGINA   Messager, I pray thee nowe
For thi curteysye,
Go to the bisschop, for thi prowe,
And byd him hydir to hye.

Bid him be ware before,
Sey him that he most preche;
My lord the King is ney lore
Bot he wol be his leche.

Sey him that he wol leve noght
That ever he schal deye;
He is in siche errour broghte
Of God stont him non eye.

NUNCIUS   Madam, I make no tarying
With softe wordis mo;
For I am Solas, I most singe
Overal qwher I go.

Et cantat.

Sire Bisschop, thou sittist on thi se
With thi mitir on thi hevede;
My lady the Qwen preyith thee
Hit schold noght be bilevyd.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

EPISCOPUS   The world is now, so wo lo wo,
In suc bal ibound
That dred of God is al ago
And treut is go to ground.

Med is mad a demisman,
Streyint betit the law;
Geyl is mad a cepman
And truyt is don of dau.

Wyt is now al trecri,
Othis fals and gret;
Low is nou al lecuri
And corteysi is let.

Play is now vileni,
Cildrin bet onlerit,
Halliday is glotuny —
This lawis bet irerit.

Slet men bet bleynd
And lokit al amis;
He bicomit onkynd
And that is reut, iwis.

Frend may no man find
Of fremit ne of sib;
The ded bet out of mind,
Gret sorw it is to lib.

Thes ricmen bet reuthyles,
The por got to ground,
And fals men bet schamles,
The sot ic hav ifound.

It is wrong the ric knyt
Al that the por dot;
Far that is sen day and nit
Wosa wol sig sot.

Paraventur men halt me a fol
To sig that sot tal;
Thai farit as ficis in a pol —
The gret eteit the smal.

Ricmen spart for no thing
To do the por wrong;
Thai thingit not on hir ending
Ne on Det that is so strong.

Nothir thai lovit God ne dredit
Nother him no his lawis;
Touart hel fast him spedit
Ageins har ending daws.

Bot God of his godnis
Gif ham gras to amend,
Into the delful derknys
The got wytout hend.

Ther is dred and sorow
And wo wytoutin wel;
No man may othir borow
Be ther nevir so fel.

Ther ne fallit no maynpris,
Ne supersidias;
Thay he be kyng or iustis,
He passit not the pas.

Lord, that for his manhed
And also for his god,
That for lov and not for dred
Deit oppon the Rod,

Gif ou gras or lif to led
That be your soulis to bot;
God of Hevin for his godhed
Lev that hit so mot. Amen.

Tunc dicet regi:

Schir Kyng, thing uppon thin end
And how that thou schalt dey,
Wat wey that thou schalt wend
Bot thou be bisey.

And eke that thou art lenust man,
And haddist begyning,
And evirmor hav thout opon
Thi dredful ending.

Thou schalt thing thanne —
And mac thee evir yar —
That Det is not the man
For nothing thee wil spar.

Thou schalt do dedis of rit
And lernen Cristis lor,
And lib in hevin lit
To savy thi soul fro sor.

REX   Wat! Bissop, byssop babler,
Schold Y of Det hav dred?
Thou art bot a chagler —
Go hom thi wey, I red.

Wat! com thou therfor hidir
Wit Deth me to afer?
That thou and he bot togidir
Into the se scot wer.

Go hom, God gif thee sorow,
Thou wreist me in my mod.
War woltou prec tomorou?
Thou nost ner, bi the Rod!

Troust thou I wold be ded
In mi yyng lif?
Thou lisst, screu, bolhed;
Evil mot thou thrive.

Wat schold I do at churg, wat?
Schir bisop, wostou er?
Nay, churc nis no wyl cat,
Hit wol abid ther.

I wool let car away,
And go on mi pleying.
To hontyng and to othir play
For al thi long prechyng.

I am yyng, as thou mit se,
And hav no ned to char
The wyle the Quen and [mi me]iné
About me bet yar.

EPISCOPUS   Thynk, Schir Kyng, one othir trist —
That tyng misst son.
Thot thou lev now as the list,
Det wol cum rit son,

And give thee dethis wounde
For thin outrage;
Within a litil stounde short time
Then artou but a page.

Qwhen thou art graven on grene,
Ther metis fleys and molde,
Then helpith litil, I wene,
Thi gay croun of golde.

Sire Kyng, have goday,
Crist I you beteche.
REX   Fare wel, bisschop, thi way,
And lerne bet to preche.

Hic adde.

Now, mafay, hit schal be sene,
I trow, yit to daye,
Qwher Deth me durst tene
And mete in the waye.

Qwher artou, my messagere,
Solas bi thi name?
Loke that thou go fer and nere,
As thou wolt have no blame,

My banis for to crye
By dayis and bi nighte;
And loke that thou aspye,
Ye, bi al thi mighte,

Of Deth and of his maistrye
Qwher he durst com in sighte,
Ogeynis me and my meyné
With force and armis to fighte.

Loke that thou go both est and west
And com ogeyne anone.
NUNCIUS   Lorde, to wende I am prest,
Lo, now I am gone.

Et eat pla[team]

Pes and listenith to my sawe,
Bothe yonge and olde;
As ye wol noght ben aslawe
Be ye neuer so bolde.

I am a messager isente
From the Kyng of Life;
That ye schal fulfil his talente
On peyne of lym and lif.

His hestis to hold and his lawe
Uche a man on honde;
Lest ye be henge and todraw,
Or kast in hard bonde.

Ye wittin wel that he is king
And lord of al londis,
Kepere and maister of al thing
Within se and sondis.

I am sente for to enquer
Oboute ferre and nere,
Yif any man dar werre arere
Agein suche a bachelere.

To wrother hele he was ibore
That wold with hym stryve;
Be him sikir he is ilore
As here in this lyve,

Thegh hit wer the King of Deth
And he so hardy were;
Bot he ne hath might ne meth
The King of Lif to afere;

Be he so hardy or so wode
In his londe to aryve,
He wol se his herte blode
And he with hym stryve.

If . . .
listen all together
old
who are here
Both educated; uneducated (lewd); strong; (see note)

at hand
kindly disposition
play; begin


be attentive
stay (tarry); because of the weather; (see note)
before you go hence
here

shall hear a story
also
(see note)
play; go



skin
born

truly
born of a royal line

afraid

pleasure
Commandingly
fear him
fears

pleasure
complain about

sorrow quickly to

handsome
breadth; height
I have never known such
bravery nor of strength

complain bitterly; power
too much
his seat
lack

also
most beautiful

lovely creature

educated; wisdom
fittingly
reminds; husband always
she dares; anger

She; before; dies
Death; come
loves; profoundly
bids; ending

speak; care
falsehood
Death does
emperor

leave; pleasure
Which; pain
she
idle speech; (see note)


speech
feel pain
When; might; doctor

further
might
bishop
knew more than she

came; preached; could; (see note)
thoroughly; end
It does not taste good in the king’s mouth
home; commanded; to go

gone; (see note)
bitter
Death; then sent
Has

would cause him to understand
control; govern
[Death] should come
Upon him to show his power


ought all to be afraid
slew; then [his] uncle
spare


Happen to come together
begin; fierce struggle
ruin

vigorously [Death] drives him
[Death] fears not at all

manifests



body’s pride is dearly bought
devils seize

prayer; (see note)
part ways (be in dispute); (see note)

reward

body; never experienced grief
than a stone in the road
know
suffer between the two of them

weighed
devils; caught

[the soul] shall remain

rest in peace and be attentive
stage; (see note)
play; begin


The King of Life begins, speaking thus

KING
warriors; chosen
who attend me



orders; command; here
punish you with firm measures
[be] driven; courageous

descended from famous kings
control
born
Against; could not; destroy

command
bow down in hall; private apartment; (see note)


QUEEN; Assuredly; protector
Faithfully
comfort; root
will not change for

gone
terrible; grieve
Pleasure; come to me
Altogether; benefit

Strength and Health, bold knights; (see note)
Brave, boldest in deed
nothing hinder you
Quickly to attend me

bright swords
Helmets; shining

very clear

FIRST SOLDIER, STRENGTH
may trust [me]

please
defenders; have found

Strength, steadfast
such a one

Made




Flower; knights

SECOND SOLDIER, HEALTH
wears
reasonable
Health


body

Steadfast; unwavering
where; go

have not any need; sigh


Who

[compared] to me who

dares threaten me with





offers strife


wear
know any woe
for my pleasure

wish
according to your
omitted



born
unless
lost


them; fear
Try; do
be mindful

Sweet lady; say you
wise

your two eyes

Do you wish I were dead
[So] you; new [husband]
Whore; strike off
regret

knows
That [thought]
please
brought to pass


Necessity; come at last

go

many words
naturally
nothing but women’s talk
show



in awe of me; (see note)
arguing


will not

brag

Brag; thrive
said
nature


fear; power

scripture
as evidence



advise







truth
fiction

steadfast

do you preach
power
dares not once
both his eyes


gracious chosen

deprive

as I wield my sword


country




people

once

or
bad luck


brave
power


(see note)
as a leaf on the lime tree
young man
runs like

comfort
run like the roe deer
stream


desire
Quickly and hurry immediately
Whether; wherever you have gone
Dares

MESSENGER
seat
sword
I kneel

know

you know
equal

Bravely; do

From here; (see note)


equal


tall



But; peer


Comfort
make merry; mind
before; hence
promoted; Cross


As your promotion
(see note)
(see note)

curtain string; (see note)


never; equal





profit
hurry



almost lost
Unless

believe

such
he has; fear



Comfort; must
Everywhere; (see note)

And he sings

seat
miter; head

neglected; (see note)



BISHOP; alas; (see note)
such evil
gone
truth; laid low

Bribery; judge
Strength overcomes; (see note)
Deceit; merchant
truth is put to death

treachery
Oaths
Law; lechery
hindered

villainy
are uneducated
Holy days
These; are established

Wise; blinded; (see note)
see everything
They; unnatural
pity; truly


Unrelated nor related
are
live

pitiless
are destroyed
are
truth I


do
Far and wide; seen
Whoso will speak truth

Perhaps; consider
speak that true tale
live like fish
eat; (see note)

spare

think
Nor on Death

Neither
nor
Towards hell; hasten
Before their last days


Gives them grace
terrible
Which lasts


without
rescue
many

be available; bail
(see note)
Though; judge
passage (death’s door)


goodness

Died; Cross

Give you grace
For your souls’ salvation

Permit; may be so; (see note)

Then he says to the king

Sir; think

go
Unless; take care

also; very frail

thought
fearful

think (remember)
make yourself; ready
Death; your servant; (see note)
will spare you

justice
wisdom
live; heaven’s light
save; pain

What
Should I fear Death
windbag (jangler)
advise


frighten
both together
sea thrown

give
anger; mind
Where will you preach
don’t know at all; Cross

Believe
young
lie, villain, idiot


church
do you know
wild
stay

worry (care) [go] away
concentrate on

long-winded


be worried
While; retinue
are ready

Believe; otherwise
will fail soon
Though; live; you please
very soon


presumption

servant; (see note)

buried
come together flies and mold
believe



commend you to

better

Here he leaves

by my faith

dares trouble



(see note)



proclamation; shout

find out


power
Whether he dares
Against; retinue



again
go; ready


He goes into (or through) the place

my words

If you would; slain




desire


orders; uphold
Each; here
hanged and disembowelled
bondage

know


From coast to coast

ask

If; dare raise war
young man

misfortune

certain; lost


Although

power nor ability
frighten

insane
arrive
see his own life-blood
If; (see note)

(see note)

Go To Wisdom