The Liflade ant te Passiun of Seinte Margarete


ABBREVIATIONS: AW: Ancrene Wisse, ed. Hasenfratz; B: Bodleian Library MS Bodley 34 [base text]; BT: Bosworth and Toller, Anglo-Saxon Dictionary; H: refers to a series of sixteenth-century scribbles in various hands (see Introduction, p. 22); HM: Hali Meithhad; M: Mack edition (1934); MED: Middle English Dictionary; MWB: Millett and Wogan-Browne edition (1990); OED: Oxford English Dictionary; R: British Library MS Royal 17 A XXVII; SJ: The Liflade ant te Passiun of Seinte Juliene; SK: The Martyrdom of Sancte Katerine; SM: The Liflade ant te Passiun of Seinte Margarete.

Header Seinte Margarete. St. Margaret probably was never an historical person. According to M, if she had existed, her martyrdom would have taken place in Antioch in Pisidia (what is today central Turkey) in the first decade of the fourth century under the joint rule of Diocletian and Maximian (p. ix). Her legend was extremely popular, especially in England and even before the Norman Conquest, as is attested by two surviving accounts of her passion in Old English (see Clayton and Magennis, Old English Lives). She was a patron saint of childbirth and many in labor either invoked her name or wore amulets that referred to her. See Farmer, Oxford Dictionary of Saints, for a summary of her legend, which exists in both prose and verse versions in the vernacular (for a list of the versions and languages see Spencer, “Legend,” p. 198). Margaret’s legend is also present in the eastern church, where she is known as St. Marina, a circumstance that was noted as early as the tenth century, when Surius quotes Symeon Metaphrastes’ note on Marina, quam latinae ecclesiae Margaritam vocant [Marina, who the Latin churches call Margaret] (Spencer, “Legend,” p. 197). For more on the Marina-Margaret connection, and on the curious differences in their iconography and roles as saints, see Larson, “Cults of Sts Margaret and Marina.”

1.1 Efter ure Lauerdes . . . icrunet to Criste. This opening, as is common in the legends of virgin martyrs, places the saint’s life clearly within the context of Christ’s passion and resurrection. For further discussion of this life as an imitatio Christi, see Cadwallader, “The Virgin, the Dragon and the Theorist,” pp. 72–117.

2.2 Ich, an Godes theowe, Teochimus. Teochimus, the narrator, claims both to have gathered the sources for Margaret’s legend and to have been an eye-witness to her encounter with the dragon. This presence of an eye-witness serves the purpose both of authorizing the text as his-torically “real” as well as providing a lens through which the reader can view the text; i.e., Teochimus, a spectator of the dragon-fight and the martyrdom, not only negotiates the story through his pen but through his eye, and thus personalizes as well as authenticates the text. See the opening Prologue to Capgrave’s Life of St. Katherine for an elaborate use of this authorizing device — there, the narrator receives his source texts for Katherine’s biography not only through Athanasius, the supposed original author of the Katherine legend, but through the anonymous English priest who wrote the first part of Katherine’s life in the “straungeness of his derk langage” (ed. Winstead, Prologue, line 62). See also explanatory note 73.1. McFadden reports that, in the Old English lives of St. Margaret, Teochimus is not only the author of her story, but her foster-father as well, thus bringing his participation in the narrative to an even more personal level (“‘Books of Life’,” p. 479).

moni mislich leaf. See MED lef (n.1), sense 2a: “a leaf of a book, page, sheet.” Teochimus’ assertion that he has both read and written many pages guarantees his literacy — a quality not necessarily shared by his audience. The comment also calls to mind the opening of Laʒamon’s Brut: “Laweman þes bokes bieolde an þe leues tornde / he ham loueliche bi-helde” (ed. Brook and Leslie, lines 24–25), in which the “leaves” represent the book in its particulars, rather than simply an abstract idea of literacy or knowledge.

2.4 eorthliche limen. See MED lim (n.1), sense 4a, where “limen” is explained as an extension of the literal body of Christ, whose "limbs" constitute those followers of the true faith. In return, the followers of the devil, or those wicked agents who work his will on earth, are his “limbs,” as in 28.1 of SJ, where Juliana refers to Eleusius and his torturers as “deofles limen.”

3.1 Hercneth! While this text may have originally been composed with a listening audience in mind, it is not clear whether this version was read or listened to; see Millett’s discussion of the audience of the Katherine Group in “Audience of the Saints’ Lives.”

3.2 widewen with tha . . . te meidnes nomeliche. Winstead considers this address clear evidence that the text was written for a female audience. She also notes that at specific places (see 27.7 and 30.5) the translator has adjusted his adaptation from the gender-neutral Latin text to involve women directly, which does not happen in SK or SJ (Virgin Martyrs, p. 35).

the we munneth todei. See 74.1: “Julium o Latin, o the twentuthe dei” (20 July). Douglas Gray suggests that the text “was written after the establishment of St. Margaret’s Day as a major feast day in the English church by the Council of Oxford in 1222” (Middle English Literature, p. 281).

thet seli meidnes . . . echeliche in Heovene. Compare Apocalypse 14:3–4.

4.1 ant hire flesliche feder Theodosie hehte. Winstead points out that in the Latin version, it is clear that Margaret’s pagan father despises her: “Odiosa erat suo patri, et dilecta erat Domino Iesu Christo” (M, p. 128) [She was hated by her father, and beloved by Lord Jesus Christ] (Virgin Martyrs, p. 62n107). The translator here has omitted any mention of animosity between father and daughter (Virgin Martyrs, p. 62).

4.3 to welden with al hireseolven. See MWB’s translation: “on her own account” (p. 47). We have tried to follow a more literal sense here; but the idea still is that Margaret has bestowed not only her virginity, but also the keeping of her worldly goods on God. While this would seem a nonsensical idea, Robertson suggests that throughout the legend, Margaret relies on not just a “spiritual commitment . . . to Christ” but a bodily one as well (“Corporeality,” p. 274).

4.4 hire fostermodres hahte. hahte is a translation of the Latin oves and according to M is the “earliest recorded use of O[ld] E[nglish] eoht with the meaning of ‘live-stock’,” (M, p. 60n4/30). As Margaret has commended herself so thoroughly into God’s keeping, she is the ideal shepherd for not just the literal flock of sheep but the spiritual flock, the rest of Christianity.

moder-bern. M describes this word as “a genitive compound not elsewhere recorded in M[iddle] E[nglish]” but which survives in our phrases “every mother’s child,” or “every mother’s son” (M, p. 60n6/3).

5.2 schireve leads to our modern word “sheriff.” See MED shir-reve. The Latin text reads prefectus.

5.3 seh this seli meiden Margarete. Wogan-Browne discusses Olibrius’ destructive gaze in “Virgin’s Tale.” Compared to the dragon and his brother demon, it is easy to overlook the centrality of Olibrius’ villainy in this tale. However, as in note 2.4 above, Olibrius represents one of those “limbs” of the devil who become the actual agents through which evil is worked on earth. Wogan-Browne states that “his gaze [upon Margaret is] as prehensile as the dragon’s tongue” (“Virgin’s Tale,” p. 180). It is because of this gaze that she is seized and thrown into prison, the initial swallowing that precedes the swallowing by the dragon. An interesting comparison on looking is Part II of AW, which advises against anchoresses allowing their faces to be visible in the window of the cell. It elaborates on the plight of Dinah (Genesis 34:1 ff.): “al thet uvel of Dina thet ich spec of herre, al com nawt for-thi thet te wummen lokeden cangliche o wepmen, ah for heo unwriyen heom in monnes ech-siththe ant duden hwar-thurch ha machten fallen in sunne” (ed. Hasenfratz, p. 102, lines 96–98) [all the evil of Dinah which I spoke of above, all came not because the women looked foolishly on men, but because they uncovered themselves in man’s sight and did that through which they might fall into sin].

6.2–3 Yef heo his . . . thet Ich welde. While Olibrius’ prurient intentions here do not explicitly constitute a sexual threat, his rage at her refusal suggests a kind of rape-wish. However, Wogan-Browne downplays this sexual threat: despite Olibrius’ sexual interest, Margaret remains inviolable (“Virgin’s Tale,” p. 176). Indeed, she becomes the violator in her assaults on the dragon, Ruffin, and his unnamed demon brother late in the text. Some critics have argued that the rape threat here is displaced into the dragon episode, as Margaret is involuntarily subjected to the powerful force of male appetite (see explanatory note 31.3 below).

6.3 ant wel schal . . . thet Ich welde. The Latin text reads: et bene ei faciam in domo mea (M, p. 129/16) [and I will do well for her in my house/holdings]. Mi translates “iwurthen” as “reward” while the sense of the word is much more similar to “faciam.” The writers, both of the Latin and the English text, speak by implication here — if she is a slave, and ends up being Olibrius’ concubine, she will have a much better life because of his great power and possessions than she would as a slave working in the fields tending sheep.

7.2 the beoth al blodi biblodeget of sunne. Margaret’s description of the sinners evokes the image of her own body, which will be completely covered in blood later on in the tale. However, Margaret’s “biblodeget” body is a sanctifying one, which affects the spectators (and the audience) with pity, and thus moves them toward devotion. Robertson also brings up another possibility, whereby the image of the sinners, covered in a bloody mess from their sin, evokes images of “birth, whose blood and pain are the result of femininity” (“Corporeality,” p. 275). Margaret’s choice of words, Robertson argues, demonstrates the corporeal type of spirituality accorded to female saints.

7.5 gimstan. Jewels are conventionally associated with virginity in saints’ lives. The specific associations of Margaret with a pearl (Latin margarita), according to MWB, dates from Jacobus de Voragine’s thirteenth-century version of Margaret’s life in his Golden Legend: “Margaret comes from margarita, which is the Latin name for a pearl; and this precious gem is shining, white, small, and endowed with virtue. So Saint Margaret was shining white by her virginity, small by her humility, and endowed with the power to work miracles” (Golden Legend, p. 351; see also MWB, p. 154). For further discussion of the earliest appearances of the words pearl and margarite in English see M, p. 60n6/28. Earl argues that the associations of St. Margaret with pearls is the inspiration behind the Middle English Pearl-maiden (“Pearl Maiden”).

7.7 unwiht. This word, literally translated as “un-being,” refers to the devil, who has undone himself (we have initially translated as “Un-Being” and thereafter translated the word as “fiend”). The MED reports the vast majority of uses of the term in the thirteenth century (almost all of them are from the B manuscript), with one reported in the fifteenth-century Pater Noster of Richard Ermyte (unwight (n.)).

9.1 changede his chere. MWB translates as “his countenance darkened” (p. 49). The Latin reads: immutavit vultum faciei sue [changed the expression of his face] (M, p. 130/5).

12.1 Ich hehe, quoth . . . ase on Lauerd. Wogan-Browne (“Powers of Record,” p. 80) describes the Katherine Group saints’ lives as a “feminized nuptial romance,” in which the heroine, who represents the “ideal solitary self,” focuses entirely on her Bridegroom in an “eroticization of waiting.” These observations are particularly apt here, where in Margaret’s first public proclamation of her spiritual and sexual allegiances, she contextualizes herself in not just a hagiographical but a romance narrative as well.

16.3 the schal wel iwurthen. See explanatory note 6.3 above. MWB has again translated as “I shall reward you,” smoothing over the literal sense of “iwurthen.”

17.1 the haveth iseilet . . . ant mi meithhad. The seal is an image fraught with scriptural references, as those who were claimed by God are stamped with His seal; in the New Testament, see in particular John 3:33 and 6:27, 1 Corinthians 9:2, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 4:30, and 2 Timothy 2:19. Most significant for our text, however, is the Canticle of Canticles 4:12: “My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up”; and, especially, 8:6: “Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy as hard as hell, the lamps thereof are fire and flames.” Compare 55.1 and the corresponding explanatory note.

to. See M’s gloss of “to” that refers to this line: “as the object of” (p. 116).

17.4 swotest to smellen. Holiness is conventionally associated with sweet smells; this tradition extends to Chaucer’s Second Nun’s Tale and Malory’s Morte D’Arthure, where the appearance of the Holy Grail is always accompanied by a pleasant smell. See also SK explanatory note 37.3. For a discussion of the odor of sanctity, see Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Ancient Christianity and the Olfactory Imagination.

19.6 iseiled with His in-seil. See explanatory note 17.1 above.

unc. A clear marker of the AB dialect’s strong Anglo-Saxon roots, this is a first person pronoun in the dual form, meaning “we two” (BT, unc (dat.), sense 1). The dative case makes for difficult translation, but we have treated the verb “twemen” as taking the dative as object. See also 68.7, which features the second person form of the dual: “thet glit of Inc bathe” [which proceeds from you both].

21.5 softe me mi . . . Ich derf drehe. Dendle explains some basic premises of hagiographical writing in terms of the extent to which the martyrs feel or complain about the presence of physical pain. In some of the earliest saints’ lives, the martyrs explicitly suffer but are “able to ignore the pain because of inner fortitude” (“Pain and Saint-Making,” pp. 41–42). Clearly, Margaret is aware that she will suffer pain, but prays for invincibility.

22.1 reve bute rewthe. As opposed to the infinitely merciful Drihtin to whom Margaret has been praying. A consistent contrast has been set up here between the lordly governor, who rules without proper judgment and is thus an extension, a “limb” of the devil, and the heavenly governor, the ruler who assists his subjects when they are in need. In a sense this contrast perfectly encapsulates not only the problem of personal spiritual governorship versus earthly living but also the key problem of early Christianity, where Roman rulers saw the Christians’ allegiance to another “lord” as a threat. The Roman Emperor is not only the supreme political power but also the supreme spiritual power, whereas for Christians the two are to be separated; earthly power and riches must be disdained in favor of spiritual riches.

24.1–6 “O,” quoth ha . . . . monnes hond imakede. In response to the spectators’ attempt to read her body, Margaret directs or almost preaches that they should interpret her suffering differently. For discussions of this issue, see Lewis, “‘Lete me suffre’,” and Sarah Salih, “Performing Virginity.” Compare also 54.1–3, and the corresponding explanatory note.

24.6 nan of ower . . . monnes hond imakede. Katherine describes idols in similar terms. See SK 10.9.

25.1–4 Ah thu wurchest . . . gleadie buten ende. Margaret’s words here are spirited, aggressive, and disruptive. Illustrations of these increasingly hostile dialogues between the saint and Olibrius survive in the Queen Mary Psalter, where a fourteenth-century English illustrator has accompanied a saints’ calendar with drawings depicting various moments in the legend. See plates 307–14 and plate 259 (b and c) of the Queen Mary’s Psalter facsimile for these illustrations (ed. Warner). See also pp. 92–98 of Virgin Martyrs for Winstead’s excellent discussion of the iconography of feminine disruption that is present in the drawings depicting Margaret’s interrogations.

25.4 swelten. See MED swelten (v.1), sense 1a: “to cease living, perish, die.” While this is the more common meaning of the word, we have translated as “swelter” according to swelteren (v.), sense a: “to become weak or faint from heat, swelter; faint.” The words are etymologically related, and “swelter” more accurately conveys both the sense that Olibrius, forever suffering in hell, is not in fact dying, but rather enduring eternal torment. “Swelter” also implies the kind of environment Olibrius will have to endure.

27.4 Lowse me, Lauerd . . . an-ihurnde hornes. Compare Vulgate Psalm 21:22: “Save me from the lion’s mouth; and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns.”

an-ihurnde. Literally, “one-horned.” Unicorns, traditionally trapped by virgins, in whose lap the beast calmly lays its head while the hunters wait in ambush, are an important part of religious symbolism; e.g. Luke 1:69: “[He] hath raised up an horn of salvation to us, in the house of David his servant.” For a comprehensive discussion of the iconography of the Virgin and the Unicorn in medieval and Renaissance art, see Lyall, The Lady and the Unicorn. Christ is frequently associated with the unicorn because of the beast’s legendary power to resurrect itself after it has been slaughtered, and because of the purifying power of its horn. See T. H. White, Bestiary, pp. 20–21. The dangerous unicorn of Daniel is most likely the inspiration for the unicorn of AW, which is associated with anger (ed. Hasenfratz, p. 225, lines 283–93), although this may reflect the frequent conflation of the gentle but powerful unicorn and the more fierce, dangerous monoceros (or rhinoceros) in the bestiary material. See also MWB’s note on p. 154.

27.5 thet mi bone mote thurh-thurli the Heovene. According to the MED thirlen (v.), this is the only occurrence of the verb “thurh-thurlen” to mean “pierce [the heavens],” in prayer. However, other texts refer to the capability of prayer to pierce Heaven. See chapter 38 to the Middle English Cloud of Unknowing: “And whi peersith it heven, this lityl schort preier of o litil silable?” (line 1386). Margaret’s prayers are anything but “o litil silable”; indeed, she proves much more loquacious than Olibrius and the devil put together. The fervent devotion of Margaret’s prayers, though, serve the same purpose of the later Cloud’s single syllable-prayers: that is, the quality of the prayers “preyed with a fulle spirite” (Cloud, line 1387) and serve to drown out other dialogues with God “unmydfuly mumlyd in the teeth” (Cloud, line 1383). The fierceness of Margaret’s prayers serve to drown out the droning and potentially distracting background noise of Olibrius, the misdirected commentary of the spectators (see 23.1–4), and the soft-spoken manipulations of the devil.

27.6 culvrenene. The dove signals the end of the flood of Genesis 8. See also Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, and John 1:32 for the appearance of the dove (the Holy Spirit) at the baptism of Jesus. However, the dove’s frequent appearance in the Canticle of Canticles makes it the perfect messenger for Margaret, as the Bride and the Bridegroom (Christ) frequently describe each other in terms of doves or turtledoves: see Canticle of Canticles 1:9, 1:14, 2:10, 2:14, 4:1, 5:2, 5:12 and 6:8.

29.7 Bed. We have translated as “He ordered [the executioners],” as the object is explicitly missing here, but are understood to be the same servants who have been torturing Margaret.

bi lives coste. Literally, “by the cost of [their] life.” MWB has translated as “on pain of death” (p. 57). There is a growing sense that, as the knights who originally seize Margaret expressed reservations on account of her fervent devotion to her faith (see 8.1), these “cwelleres” may not have the eagerness to destroy her that Olibrius does.

29.8 Ant wes as . . . in to cumene. According to MWB, in the synoptic gospels, darkness descends during Christ’s crucifixion from the sixth hour through the ninth hour; see, for example, Matthew 27:45 (p. 154).

30.1–7 Deorwurthe Drihtin . . . Thi meiden. See MWB p. 154n56/19–26 and 56/23 for Vulgate Psalms containing these same motifs.

31.2 eilthurl. This window represents both the diegetic boundary between Margaret and her audience (both the literal audience and the readerly audience) but also the real physical world of the anchoress, who is provided for by her community through a window. Meanwhile, “she, in turn, supports and inspires [that] community through her prayers, her faith, and her heroic resistance to temptation. The anchoress’s contact with the outside world, like Margaret’s, is through a window” (Winstead, Virgin Martyrs, pp. 38–39).

31.3–32.18 Ant com ut . . . Healent in Heovene. See K. Smith, “Snake-Maiden,” for a discussion of Margaret’s battle with the dragon as a folk motif. See also Spencer, “Legend,” p. 198, on medieval and late classical hagiographers’ skepticism regarding this section.

31.3 ane drakes liche. “Like a dragon” rather than simply a dragon. Medieval dragons are frequently synonymous with enormous snakes; in addition to the biblical as-sociation between dragons and satanic forces (see Apocalypse 12, 20), McFadden notes that “Serpents are traditional enemies of virgins, so the serpentine dragon . . . hints more strongly at the sexual nature of Olibrius’s offer” (“‘The Books of Life’,” p. 483). We would also add that there is a kind of resolution to the threats of rape in this scene. Earlier, Margaret prays for her virginity to remain intact. Here she is literally raptus in the dragon’s jaws — that is, her very body seized against her will, and she is helpless in the grasp of an aggressive, masculine, and, building on McFadden’s point, sexualized force. However, the higher power of the sign of the Cross prevents this raptus from being completed (i.e., her being wholly consumed by the dragon). In the process of this interruption, the dragon is feminized in a sense, in that his body becomes the locus of the classic vaginal wound, which is violently penetrated by the emerging Margaret in a conflation of rape- and birth-images.

ham gras. An impersonal construction that takes the dative, literally meaning “It was horror to them” or, translated more smoothly, “they were horrified.”

with thet sehen thet unselhthe glistinde. See M, p. 66n20/21: “wið þet would form a conjunctive phrase, ‘by reason of the fact that,’ or perhaps better ‘when that, when’ (they saw that wicked creature glistening).”

31.5 brade ase bascins. Robertson discusses the implications of the imagery of washbasins in the eyes of the dragon, who is not only “a figure of wonder” but evocative of “the everyday world of the female contemplatives for whom this work was written” (“Corporeality,” p. 278).

31.6 sperclede. MWB translates as “flickered,” which perhaps captures the image better. We have translated more literally, since the sense is that fire is “belching out” of the dragon’s mouth; however this sense of the verb “sparkle” was still in use as late as 1864 in Tennyson’s Aylmer’s Field: “Or when some heat of difference sparkled out” (Works, p. 150, line 705).

threste. “Pressed out” or “issued forth.” MWB translates as “streamed out.”

31.11 ne nawt ne . . . ituthet hire bone. The frequent occurrence in Middle English of multiple negatives makes a literal translation of this line nearly impossible. Multiple negatives often imply emphasis; here, the triple negative emphasizes the fact that Margaret, in her initial terror at the sight of the dragon, completely forgot that God, in sending the dragon to her, grants her prayer that she might see her enemy face to face.

32.1–14 Unseheliche Godd, euch . . . blesci me nuthe. This prayer is infused with motifs taken from Vulgate Psalms 68:35; 103:19–32; 145:6; and 148:3–10.

32.5 merkest. This word is clearly in the present tense, but we have translated it as imperfect to maintain consistency with “havest iwraht” of 32.4.

32.14 Ich blesci me. The sense is “I cross myself” but we have translated it as “bless” in order to preserve the alliteration; the sense is that Margaret draws the symbol of the cross.

32.16 mid tet ilke. MWB usefully glosses this phrase as “at that moment.” Literally the phrase translates as “with that same.”

forswelh into his wide wombe. Although Margaret has prayed to Christ to deliver her from the dragon, she has instead been delivered “to him . . . experienc[ing] complete submersion in her prison within a prison,” exemplifying “the descent-return archetype” (Dendle, “Pain and Saint-Making, p. 49) typical of romance narratives. In addition, this entrance into the dragon’s mouth evokes images of Christ’s entry into the Hell-mouth in the account of the Harrowing; another literal swallowing that results in a glorious rebirth as the Hebrew patriarchs are rescued and brought to Heaven. K. Smith makes an argument for the connection between the St. Margaret material and the folk-motif of the Snake-Maiden, which encompasses both the Melusine legend and the serpent-kissing episode in the Book of John Mandeville (ed. Kohanski and Benson, lines 304–41). See “Snake-Maiden,” pp. 259–63, for a discussion of the two stories as cognates.

33.1 blackre then eaver eani blamon. See MED blo-man (n.) which refers to a “black-skinned African, an Ethiopian, blackamoor.” The majority of the lines cited refer to the “blo-man” coming from Africa, or, more specifically, Ethiopia. See the Early South-English Legendary, which describes a “deuel . . . / . . . swarttore þane euere ani blouʒman” (p. 372, line 174–76). While it seems more likely that the author is here thinking of a comparison with a black African (rather than a Muslim), what is important to note is the idea of racial alterity here, which frequently conflated black Africans and Muslims together. This idea of racial difference, coupled with the religious difference of the ever-threatening Muslim expansion, merged with satanic imagery later in the Middle Ages, to produce numerous examples of traditionally evil or satanic characters (such as King Herod and the demon Belyall in the N-Town plays) in literature praying to “Mahoun” (Mohammed) — another name for Satan.

34.9 monslahe. The term itself is rare, and this is the only recorded instance, to our knowledge, of it used as an epithet for the devil. See OED manslaghe (n.), “man-slayer” [murderer]; MED mon-slaʒe (n.), sense b, “one who destroys the soul”; and BT’s Old English mann-slaga (n.), “homicide, man-slayer.” The Old High German cognate manslago has the same meaning as the Old English term (see OED).

34.18 toturn. M refers to the occurrence of this word in the text as the “only occurrence in English” (p. 117). The MED provides this line as the only place where the word is used.

mel-seotel. MWB translates as “seat at the feast” or “banqueting seat.” M glosses as “meal-seat,” which I have followed here.

35.3 merren with his . . . of thi meithhad. The fiend’s words here further confirm Wogan-Browne’s claim that the saint’s body is essentially inviolable (“Virgin’s Tale”). But also see Savage, “Translation of the Feminine,” pp. 184–85, for a discussion of the virgin martyr’s “female body as a literal element which it is impossible to interpret further.”

35.4 munde. See MED minde (adj.), sense a, “present in consciousness or concern,” which cites this line.

35.6 Thet milde meiden . . . his ruhe swire. Margaret’s treatment of the demon here is mild compared to other versions of her legend. In particular, see the Old English life (in Old English Lives of St Margaret, ed. Clayton and Magennis, pp. 124–25), where she “gegrap þane deofol þa be þæm locce and hine on eorþan awearp and his swyþran ege utastang and ealle his ban heo tobrysde” [grabbed the devil by the hair and threw him to the ground and she put out his right eye and shattered all his bones] (ed. Clayton and Magennis, pp. 124–25). Dendle points out the increased violence of the Old English versions over other vernacular versions of the Margaret legend: “Margaret is not as interested in learning about demons as she is in pummeling them” (“Pain and Saint-Making,” p. 49).

40.4 Rufines. A conventional name for the devil. St. Jerome wrote a treatise called Contra rufinum (see D, p. xxv), and the demonic dragon of the Old English legend of St. Margaret is called “Ruffus” (Price, “Virgin and the Dragon,” p. 339). Most important for this text, though, is the reference in AW to the character: “Nabbe ye alswa of Ruffin the deovel, Beliales brother, in ower Englische boc of Seinte Margarete?” [“Do not you also have [the story] of Ruffin the devil, Belial's brother, in your English book of St. Margaret?”] (ed. Hasenfratz, p. 261, lines 4:795–96). The reference to the story reveals two important details: first, that the AB version of Margaret’s story was most likely in circulation before the composition of AW; and second, that while there are some indications that Margaret was written to be read aloud, the private ownership of the book may indicate private reading by an anchoress. See Hasenfratz’s explanatory note to these lines in the AW. For a useful discussion of the dragon in various incarnations of the Margaret legend, as well as insight into medieval understandings of demonology, see Price, “Virgin and the Dragon.”

43.1–7 Monie Ich habbe . . . ha hamseolven overcumen. Hassel notes that “This depiction of a sexual temptation that is always at issue in social relations between men and women cautions women to avoid such contact altogether” (Choosing Not to Marry, p. 66). See also SJ 48.2–5. Elliott (“Women and Confession,” p. 42) points out “the potential dangers that might arise from the privileged rapport between confessor and penitent.” While the text here does not explicitly refer to a male clergyman and his female confessee, it is likely that a “cleane mon [and] . . . a cleane wummon” (43.1), both virgins, are both professional religious. These relationships between religious men and women are necessary because only male religious can hear confession. Elliott further illustrates medieval anxieties about these relationships by describing Thomas of Cantimpré’s Concerning Bees, which addresses the problem that “many clerics are more tempted by women who appear to have embraced a religious way of life. Likewise women, who would automatically spurn the attractions of secular men . . . frequently cannot resist the allure of holy men, monks, or other ecclesiastics” (“Women and Confession,” p. 42).

43.5 thudde. While the sense of the term, according to MED thudden (v.), sense c, is to force or impose thoughts upon the object, the sexual nature of the language (we have translated it as “to thrust” according to sense b) is unmistakable, and perfectly fitting given the temptations that the devil is setting before chaste men and women.

44.4 the seoth ham . . . laheste in helle. Further discussion of this idea of the maiden falling from her high tower to the lowest pit of Hell can be found in HM, 2.5, 14.3–5, 17.4.

44.5 thenchen hu swart . . . et te dome. A brief rhymed verse which is echoed, with some variation, in AW (ed. Hasenfratz, p. 258, lines 749–57). The author of AW recommends that the female contemplative use this verse as an aid to meditation. These lines represent the second explicit connection between the two texts (see also explanatory note 40.4 above).

44.7 gulteth.“Gulteth” is the present third singular, but because of the plural “ha” and because of the previous context, we have translated in the plural sense.

44.15 ha schulen ham sclepinde sulen. The reference is to nocturnal orgasm, a subject of some interest to theologians given the uncertain level of willing involvement of the subject. Writers of the penitentials and of confessional treatises often discussed the question of whether a man who had experienced nocturnal emission could receive the Eucharist, or whether he had to undergo penance beforehand. For an extended discussion of this question, see Pierre J. Payer, Sex and the Penitentials, pp. 49–52. The penitentials are silent on the subject of women’s nocturnal orgasm, however.

49.3 i Jamemes ant i Manbres bokes. According to legend, the two sorcerers who opposed Moses and Aaron of Exodus 7:11–12; see Price, “Virgin and the Dragon,” p. 345 and p. 356n27. The two characters are mentioned briefly in several Old English texts, including that of Ælfric, who refers to their practicing of “deofles cræft” (Price, p. 356n27). See also M, p. xxix, and MWB, p. 155n72/6–7.

49.5 ant ure weies . . . with the windes. MWB translates as “our ways that we travel are up among the winds.” We should understand “weie” here as “street” or, more specifically, “the route along which someone or something is moving” (MED wei (n.), sense 2a, which cites this line). See MWB, p. 155n72/9, for references to the origin of the demons’ dwelling place.

49.7 For Jesu Crist . . . thet we ahten. The devil explains here that he especially hates female virgins because Christ was born of a virgin. Thus, this text emphasizes the distinctive power virginity affords women.

49.17 For Salomon the . . . in a tunne. Solomon was believed to have power over the Jinn who he confined to a jar. In the pseudo-epigraphical Old Testament book The Testament of Solomon, king Solomon summons forth countless demons, interrogates them about divine matters, forces them to construct the Temple of God, and finally imprisons them in leather flasks sealed magically with Solomon’s signet-ring (Testament of Solomon, trans. Conybeare, p. 42). See also note 49.3 above. For discussion of the SM-author’s knowledge of demonology, see M, pp. xxviii–xxix.

54.1–3 Him bigon to . . . . sehen thet rewthe. Wogan-Browne (“Virgin’s Tale,” p. 177) discusses the particular tortures that Margaret undergoes as a “formulaic . . . beating [which] outlines the virgin’s body as the locus of argument in a manner different from the represented torture of male saints, in which tortures are addressed to a more fully articulated body (heads, hands, feet etc.) as part of juridical argument and contest.” See also p. 191n44 for specific examples of male martyrs whose hands and feet are pierced in comparison to Margaret, whose body suffers as a whole. However, in the lines that follow, Margaret forcibly re-creates this torturing fire as a holy fire through her prayers, “a personal female Pentecost, more eloquent and more searing than ever in her love for God” (“Virgin’s Tale,” p. 179). Some scholars read the torment episodes in the saints’ lives as voyeuristic sexualized violence which perhaps constitutes a sadistic rape narrative. See, for example, Innes-Parker, “Sexual Violence”; Gravdal, Ravishing Maidens; and Gaunt, Gender and Genre. However, see Salih, Versions of Virginity, pp. 80–98, for her discussion of ways that contemporary criticism (especially that of Laura Mulvey) potentially obscures medieval evaluations of pain. While we cannot deny the sexual nature of the violence done to Queen Augusta of SK (52.2), whose nipples are pierced before her breasts are torn off her body, Katherine’s, Margaret’s, and Juliana’s bodies are not tormented in such female-specific locations on the body. While the spectacle of the naked, bleeding female body certainly evokes notions of sexual violence, the ways in which the saints use their torment, and command their torment to be read by spectators, suggests that torture in these narratives functions as well to reflect on the bestial nature of their tormentors and as pedagogical tool for educating the audience, in that the image evokes the theater of the naked, bleeding body of Christ.

54.3 Ant hire leofliche . . . sehen thet rewthe. See explanatory note 21.5. Dendle does not discuss the actual pain that Margaret herself goes through in his essay; however, this scene of brutal torture deflects the physical pain from Margaret to the spectators who watch her. Whereas in earlier saints’ lives, such as those of St. Andreas, Conon of Nazareth, and Blandina of Lyons, physical suffering enables the saints themselves to become spiritually stronger (see Dendle, “Pain and Saint-Making,” pp. 39–42), here, the physical torment enables the onlookers to develop “rewthe” — that sorrow that is the first step of spiritual growth.

55.1 Ant heo bigon to bidden Davithes bone. This particular prayer is never explicitly articulated by David in the Bible, though repeated references to God as purgative or purifying fire (Malachi 3:1–3, Hebrews 12:29, and 1 Corinthians 13–16) abound, as well as descriptions of God’s judgment by fire (e.g., Isaias 66:16). However, Margaret’s description of love as fire, and of love of God as erotic (in her loins) echoes the words of the Beloved in the Canticle of Canticles: “love is strong as death . . . the lamps thereof are fire and flames (8:6) This reference makes sense in that the Canticle was often considered a lovesong between David and Bathsheba (despite the fact that the Bride speaks here). In addition, because the Bride sings these verses, the prayer further emphasizes Margaret’s role as sponsa Christi (bride of Christ).

59.1 Alre Kingene king . . . The ant herien. Compare Vulgate Psalm 115:16–17.

59.3–4 o Thi blisfule . . . . awei eaver-euch sunne. Hassel examines the connection between baptism imagery and Margaret’s status as the patron saint of childbirth in Choosing Not to Marry. See particularly p. 68.

59.4 Brudgume. Here and at 67.11 the Latin Mombritius version, as well as Jacobus de Voragine’s version, have no corresponding mention of the spousal devotion shared between Margaret and God. Postlewate, in her study on the Old French versions of Margaret’s legend, describes the same choice of vocabulary in the French, also based on the Mombritius version: “she is Christ’s espouse and amie” (“Vernacular Hagiography,” p. 118). This change in both vernacular adaptations from the Latin text may reflect either a later common Latin version that served as a basis for both translations, or the independent incorporation, on the part of both translators, of contemporary trends in theology. Astell refers to the renewed interest in the Song of Songs during the twelfth century; the metaphor of the Bride came to reference not simply the church, but “the new Eve, the woman within each one, the Bride of God” (Song of Songs, p. 7), and as a result, individual devotion began to reflect the importance of a more personal, intimate relationship with God.

59.10 Feierlec ant strengthe . . . ant semliche sitten. Compare Vulgate Psalm 92:1.

63.1 Malcus. Malchus, Margaret’s executioner, appears abruptly here; he consistently appears in the same role in Latin and vernacular versions of the saint’s life. Their revealing conversation continues at 69.1; despite his reluctance to execute Margaret, Malchus functions as an instrument of God, one that Margaret herself arguably wields. In John 18:10–11, Malchus is named as the servant of the Jewish high priest Caiaphas who participated in the arrest of Jesus. One of the disciples, Simon Peter, in order to interfere with the arrest, cuts off the servant’s ear which, in Luke (22:50–51) only, is said to have been healed by Jesus. See also note 71.8 below.

66.4 merkedest the heovene . . . icluhte the eorthe. Compare Vulgate Wisdom 11:21–22 on God’s ordering of the world.

66.6 hwa se hit . . . hare sunnen foryevene. Postlewate identifies this as “the crucial moment in the use of the saint’s life as exemplum. The members of the audience, by the very act of reading and listening to the saint’s story, discover that they are engaged in an act of devotion that will protect them” (“Vernacular Hagiography,” p. 128). Margaret does not directly address the reading (or listening) audience of her life, but her prayer here enfolds them into the ongoing devotional momentum of her story. In some ways, Margaret dictates here how her own sainthood should be read. Compare 24.1–6; see also the explanatory note to those lines.

66.8 I thet hus . . . her hire bene. Margaret is first associated with women and childbirth by Wace in his French version of the legend. See M, p. 79n46/34 ff. for the history of St. Margaret as the patron saint of childbirth. Most likely the association grew out of the safe “rebirth” of Margaret from the dragon’s “wide wombe” (32.16), though the subsequent explosion of the dragon would not necessarily give hope to laboring mothers. Larson explores the history of Margaret’s role as intercessor in childbirth (“Who is the Master”). Accounts of the legend which call into question the veracity of the dragon-story (such as the version by Jacobo de Voragine) also omit Margaret’s benediction of children and laboring mothers.

67.3 Ant te meiden . . . to ther eorthe. This action is a conventional sign of abjection before God as well as a part of clerical ordination.

67.4 Eadi art tu, meiden, bimong alle wummen. Compare Luke 1:28. The echoing here of Gabriel’s words to Mary at the Annunciation further confirms Margaret’s role as spouse of God.

benen ant i thine eadie beoden. In translating as “petitions” we have followed MWB, as “benen” and “beoden” are essentially the same thing — prayers.

67.11–14 Cum nu . . . . i wald ah. This passage in which Christ beckons Margaret to join him as his bridegroom echoes Song of Songs 4:8: “Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon. Descend from the crest of Amana . . . from the lions’ dens and the mountain haunts of the leopards.”

67.14 tu schalt wealde . . . i wald ah. Here, Christ clearly echoes Olibrius’ numerous temptations of not just material wealth but temporal power: “ant wel schal hire i-wurthen . . . with al thet Ich welde” (6.3). Now (as opposed to earlier in the text), Margaret will rule over her Heavenly domain and reap the reward for bestowing her virginity on Christ.

68.7 Inc. See explanatory note 19.6 (unc).

68.8 Ye, threo ant . . . an Godd unagin. Margaret’s prayer here echoes the Athanasian Creed, as she reaffirms the trinitarian doctrine of the Church in her final blessing and prayer. The Athanasian Creed is similar to the Nicene Creed. See SK explanatory note 7.5.

71.8 Ant feol of fearlac adun on hire riht halve. The collapse of Malchus on Margaret’s right side here clearly parallels that of Dismas, whose story is based on Luke 23:39–43. The apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus identifies the Good Thief as Dysmas, who is crucified on the right side of the Lord (see James, Apocryphal New Testament, p. 104). After his execution, Dysmas became the patron saint of prisoners, thieves, and especially condemned prisoners. While this is the last we read of Malchus in our text, Nicholas Bozon, in his Anglo-Norman life of Saint Margaret offers some kind words as to the penitent executioner’s fate: “Meix par cele pleyne de vertuwe / Jeo crey k’il prist bon fin” [Because of her full of virtue, / I think he came to a good end] (“La Vie Sein(te) Margaret(e),” trans. Klenke, lines 306–07, p. 41).

72.5 Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaot. The author quotes the Sanctus of the Mass, which draws on the song of praise heard by Isaiah in Isaiah 6:3.

73.1 Com Ich, Teochimus. The re-entry of Teochimus into the text is abrupt, and serves as a kind of structural end-bracket for the narrative and passion of the saint. However, unlike Teochimus’ initial self-introduction (2.2–4), here he explains not only his role in writing the life of Margaret, but his actual participation in her story. McFadden suggests that “Theotimus [sic] fulfills the literal and mimetic levels of the narrative by participating in the martyrdom, recording the events for future use, and leaving physical artifacts to point to her narrative.” This fulfills the purpose of personalizing the narrative as well as “giv[ing] the text a sense of immediacy” (“‘Books of Life’,” p. 479).

74.1 ald Englis. This is the first recorded use of the term “Old English” to describe the pre-Conquest vernacular (see MED English (n. (orig. adj.)), sense 2c). It signals the author’s self-consciousness as both an English author and one trained in Latin.

75.1–4 thear ha schineth . . . in an itheinet. The text again lapses into verse in this prayer. For the first instance of verse, see 44.8.


ABBREVIATIONS: B2: later scribal hand in MS; H: a series of sixteenth-century scribbles in various hands (see Introduction, p. 22); M: Mack edition (1934); MS: Bodleian Library MS Bodley 34 [base text]; MWB: Millett and Wogan-Browne edition (1990); R: British Library MS Royal 17 A XXVII; SM: The Liflade ant te Passiun of Seinte Margarete.

SM presents some complications as a later scribe (B2) reviewed the beginning of the text and made corrections. When possible we have adapted these corrections. We have closely consulted M (1934) for a faithful transcription of Bodley 34 as well as R, and we refer readers who wish to examine the Royal manuscript version of this text to this edition, which provides a parallel text transcription from both manuscripts. In addition, we have examined MWB’s helpful edition and translation, which bases its more liberal emendations on R.

Header Written in red by a different hand. Biginneth. So M, MWB. MS: biginned.

1.1 Efter. MS: large rubricated capitial E, 1.5 cm.

steah. So MS, with a inserted above the line.

2.1 Theyet. MS: large rubricated capital Þ, 2.3 cm.

Beginning on fol. 18v, a second scribe (designated here as B2) has inserted numerous corrections to the text, possibly based on a copy similar to R.

of stanes and of stockes. So MS, M, MWB. B2 has corrected to: of stockes ant of stanes ant of stockes. R: of stockes ant of stanes.

2.2 theowe. So MS, with o inserted above the line.

habbe iredd ant araht. So B2, MWB. MS, M: redde ant arahte. R: habbe ired ant araht.

as hit deh Drihtin, bute. So B2, R. MS, M, MWB: as drihtin deh to donne.

blinde. So B2, MWB, R. MS, M omit.

dreheth for Him. So B2, MWB, R. MS, M: drehen.

2.3 thet beoth of Crist icleopet. So B2, MWB, R. MS, M omit.

2.4 fulhet. So MS, corrected from folhet.

almihti. So M, MWB, R. MS: al mihtei.

ant o the witti Sunes nome. So MWB, R. B2: and o þe witti suns nome. MS, M omit.

ilke. So B2, MWB, R. MS, M omit.

3.1 Hercneth. MS: space has been left for a large capital H that was never inserted.

4.1 This. MS: space has been left for a large capital Þ that was never inserted.

4.3 the hefde. Corrected from the ha hefde by B2. So MWB. M, R omit.

hire2. So B2, MWB, R. MS, M omit.

hire wil ant . . . i wald hahte. So M, MWB. MS: the entire line has been canceled. R omits.

4.4 áá meiden. B2 has deleted MS’s alre mild and inserted a meiden in the right margin. R: an meiden. M, MWB retain alre milde.

for rihte bileave. So B2, MWB, R. MS, M omit.

drohen ant drehheden. So B2, MWB. MS: drohen, which M reads as drehen. R: drohen.

5.1 Bitimde. MS: space has been left for a large capital B that was never inserted.

5.3 a dei. So B2, MWB, R. MS, M omit.

fostermodres. So M, MWB. MS: fostmodres.

6.2 is. MS: his. Emended to avoid confusion with pronoun his.

7.1 Have. MS: space has been left for a large capital H that was never inserted. We have generally followed MS’s paragraph markings, adding additional breaks to clearly define dialogue. In addition, we have consulted MWB’s paragraph divisions when in need of clarification.

7.4 Thu. So B2, MWB, R. MS, M omit.

flesliche. So B2, MWB, R. MS, M: ulche.

hwile. So MWB, R. MS, M: while.

7.6 bereth. So M, MWB, R. MS: the word is smudged and very difficult to read; only b, r, and the top of the ð are clear.

7.7 hit is2. So B2, MWB, replacing MS’s & (ant), retained by M. R: hit is.

thertoward with alles. So B2, R. M, MWB. MS: thertoward with willes with werkes with alles, with cancellation most likely by B2.

7.8 wite hit ever. So M, MWB, R. MS: wit me ever; with hit inserted above.

7.11 i luthere mennes. So M, MWB. MS: ilutheres menne. Emended for sense, following R’s i luthere monne.

8.1 The. MS: space has been left for a large capital Þ that was never inserted.

10.1 thah. B2: ant thah. MS, M omit. MWB: am, ant þah Godes. R: ant tah.

11.1 ah. MS: ah is inserted above the line.

12.1 leve on ase on Lauerd. So B2, MWB. MS, M: leve ase lauerd. R: leue as on lauerd.

13.1 Ye. So B2, R, corrected from MS’s hu dele. M, MWB retain hu dele.

lude. So B2, MWB, R. MS, M omit.

15.1 ant i cwalhus. So MS, with ant i inserted in the margin.

16.1 seggen. So MWB, R. MS, M: segen.

Meiden. MS: space has been left for a large capital M that was never inserted. In this case the indicator letter has been partially trimmed off.

16.3 ant2. So B2, MWB, R. MS, M omit.

17.1 him. So B2, MWB, R. MS, M omit.

In the top margin of fol. 21r, H: In the Name of god ?u on I georg.

Margarete. MS: a2 inserted above the line.

wel the. MS: wel he þe.

iseilet. So M, MWB, R. MS: iseiset.

to Himseolf me ant. So MS2, MWB, MS. B, M: me to himseolf ant. R: to him me seolf.

meithhad. MS: meidhad.

nanes. So MWB, R. MS, M: nans.

Between fols. 20a and 21 there is a small strip of parchment, known as fol. 20b, which contains corrected text on one side, written by B2. See the textual note to 19.1–3 below.

wrenchen ut of. MS: ut inserted above the line.

17.3 buheth. So M, MWB, R. MS: buhed.

ant beieth. So B2, MWB, R. MS, M omit.

17.4 He is leoflukest lif forto. So B2, MWB, R. MS: he leoflukest to. M: he is leoflukest to.

ne His swote . . . ne His makelese. So B2, MWB, R. MS, M omit.

lufsumlec. MS: his lufsumlec. This his becomes redundant with B2’s insertion.

never mare ne mei. So MS. Corrected by B2 to never mare ne mei neaver mare.

18.1 Let. MS: space has been left for a large capital L that was never inserted.

wurth. So MWB, R. MS, M: wurhth.

18.3 Ich i wald. So B, with i inserted above the line.

19.1–3 Ich ileve the . . . ant thin eie. MS: e leove qð ha hwar to luste þe warpen al awei þi ne hwile. Space has been left for a capital M (for the deleted phrase Me leove) that was never inserted. The indicator letter has been cropped. Following MS, the narrative jumps straight from Olibrius’ offer to marry Margaret to her declaration that she will undergo any sort of bodily torment so long as she is able to keep her place in heaven. From R, it is apparent that fol. 20br, pasted between leaves 20 and 21, belongs between these two speeches, and we have inserted the text in place of the canceled line, following MWB. M transcribes the text insert on p. 12n4.

19.1 beheaste. So B2, with aste inserted above the line.

19.2 leovere. So MWB, R. B2: leovevere.

19.3 thine hwile. So MWB, R. B2: thine thine hwile. Redundant thine removed.

quoth ha. B2: inserted above the line.

olhnung. So MWB, R. B2: olhnigi.

21.1 Lauerd. MS: space has been left for a large capital L that was never inserted.

hope. MS: mine hope ant min hu.

21.3 luvieth. MS: luvied.

The. So M, MWB, R. MS: þe he.

22.1 Olibrius. MS: space has been left for a large capital O that was never inserted. The indicator letter has been cropped.

23.1 In the top margin of fol. 22r, H: I Rychard Vnet of ledbury In the com. In the right margin the name Anne is faintly distinguishable and slightly below it Ry, both written by H.

meanden. MS: a inserted above the line.

25.4 In the top margin of fol. 22v, H: Iohn Altermonger the worste that ever. In the left margin; H: This, followed by unclear scribble filling up the rest of the margin.

liun. So M, MWB, R. MS: lim.

tu2. MS: ?u. A smudge on the page makes the first letter impossible to read.

unmuclin. So M. Emended based on R’s unmuchelin. MS: unmutlin, retained by MWB.

26.1 wraththe. MS: wradðe.

hire2. MS: hire leo.

26.2 seggen. MS: there is a long decorative mark between segge and n.

27.1 Helle-hundes. MS: space has been left for a large capital H that was never inserted.

27.3 reowfule. MS: o inserted above the line.

hundes. So M, MWB, R. MS: hondes.

bute. So M, MWB, R. MS: but?. The last letter is garbled and may have been modified from an a. M states that the original letter was a u.

27.6 Send. So MS, corrected from sende.

27.8 iblesced. So M, MS, with s inserted above the word and d appearing to have been corrected from t. MWB, R: iblescet.

áá. MS: áá ius.

27.9 Amen. So R. MS omits.

28.1 Hwil. MS: space has been left for a large capital H that was never inserted. The indicator letter has been cropped.

In the right margin of fol. 23r, H: very faint scribbling.

hudden. MS: huden; d2 is inserted above the line.

iheortet. MS: i heorttet.

28.5 hwen. MS: h is inserted above the line.

29.1 Me. MS: space has been left for a large capital M that was never inserted.

29.2 eorthe. MS: leorthe.

29.6 warth. So MWB, R. MS, M omit.

30.1 Deorewurthe. MS: space has been left for a large capital D that was never inserted.

30.10 In the top margin of fol. 24r, H: To hi[?] lord got that made bothe see and.

31.1 Hire. MS: space has been left for a large capital H that was never inserted.

cwalmhus. MS: h is inserted above the line.

bi livede. So M, MWB, R. MS: bilevide.

31.3 ane. So M, MWB, R. MS: ana.

31.4 swart. So M, MWB, R. MS: the word might be sward. The last letter has been altered from d to t or vice versa.

31.7 scharp sweord. MS: sweord scharp, but corrected via markers a and b; a appears over scharp and b over sweord to indicate the word order should be reversed.

31.11 then. MS: inserted above the line.

ant3. So MWB, R. MS omits.

with. MS: inserted above the line.

32.1 Unseheliche. MS: space has been left for a large capital U that was never inserted.

wreaththe. So M, MWB. MS: wreadðe.

mi Lauerd. So M, MWB. MS: mi la lauerd. At the turn of the line, MS has an extra la which has been omitted here.

32.3 heastes. So M, MWB. MS: heastest.

32.4 iwraht. So MS, with r inserted above the line.

neavre. So MS, with a inserted above the line.

32.13 In the bottom margin of fol. 25v, upside down, H: This bill th.

32.18 Heovene. MS: decorative lines are inserted between e2 and n, and between n and e3.

eaver-euch. MS: eavereuch sor.

33.1 As. MS: space has been left for a large capital A that was never inserted. The indicator letter in the margin appears to be written by a later hand.

ant1. MS: inserted above the line. M, MWB, R omit.

33.2 Healent. MS: decorative lines are inserted between e2 and n, and n and t.

34.1 In the top margin of fol. 26r, H: ?ee a Rychard Sebourne of.

Brihtest. MS: space has been left for a large capital B that was never inserted.

34.6 murhthen. So MWB, R. MS, M: murhden.

34.10 ferliche. So R, M. MS, MWB: earheliche.

34.12 eoli. MS: e is inserted above the line.

34.13 isehen. So MWB, R. MS, M: sehen.

34.15 thoncki. MS: þonki; c is inserted above the line.

34.18 sorhfule. MS: sorfule; h is inserted above the line.

thing. So M, R. MS, MWB omit.

Godd. MS: godð.

35.1 As. MS: space has been left for a large capital A that was never inserted.

35.2 biddest. So MWB, R. MS, M: bidest.

35.3 In the bottom margin of fol. 27r, upside down, H: This bill made the, followed by two incomplete letters.

meithhad. So M. So MWB, R. MS: meidhad, though the ink is blurred and the d is unclear.

35.6 Margarete. So MWB, R. MS, M: margarte.

36.1 Stute. MS: space has been left for a large capital S that was never inserted. The indicator letter in the left margin appears to be written by a later hand.

36.2 worldes. So M, MWB, R. MS: worldess, though M reads as an unfinished worldest.

is ihwer. MS: iwer; is and h are inserted above the line.

36.3 biwite. MS: wite, with bi inserted above the line.

36.5 monslahe. So M, MWB, R. MS: monslae.

heonnevorth. So M, MWB, from R’s heonneforð. MS: heonnevord.

36.7 He. So MS, corrected from ha.

36.9 blissen. MS: rubricated decorative line filler follows this word to the end of the line.

37.1 Hwil. MS: rubricated large capital H, 1.5 cm. With this capital, the work of the first rubricator resumes off and on throughout the rest of the manuscript. The second rubricator does not return.

speatewile. So MS, with a inserted above the line.

Rode. MS: rode t.

38.1 unwiht. MS: rubricated decorative line filler follows this word to the end of the line.

Cuth. MS: rubricated large capital C, 1 cm.

forcuthest. So MWB, R. MS, M: forcudest.

40.1 speokene. MS: rubricated decorative line filler follows this word to the end of the line.

Wult. MS: rubricated capital wynn with decorative flourish at the bottom, total 3 cm.

40.2 beo. MS: beo ihe, with ihe partially erased.

40.4 rehest. So M, MWB, R. MS: rehe.

40.5 wuneth. So M, MWB, R. MS: wuned.

40.7 leometh. So M, MWB, R. MS: leomed.

42.1 leafdi. So M, MWB. MS: leasdi. R: lefdi.

42.3 fulthen. So M, MWB, R. MS: fulden.

43.1 Monie. MS: space has been left for a large capital M that was never inserted.

nawhit. So M, MWB. MS: nawt; hi is inserted above the line.

43.6 leade. MS: a redundant ich, in a later hand, has been inserted prior to this word above the line; R duplicates this syntax but does not include the earlier ich at the beginning of the sentence. Both M and MWB omit.

43.8 notheles. So MS, with n inserted above the line.

44.1 This. MS: space has been left for a large capital Þ that was never inserted.

sterclukest. So MS, with c inserted above the line.

44.4 ec. So MWB, R. MS: hec is inserted above the line in a later hand (not B2); M retains MS’s reading.

44.9 muchelin. So R. MWB, MS: mutlin. M: muclin.

hit ischawet. So M, MWB, R. MS: hit is ischawet, with is inserted above the line. There remains the possibility that bith is a mistake for with, which would accompany the following birewsinde far more smoothly.

44.11 thear. MS: þer; a is inserted above the line.

seggen. MS: segen; g is inserted above the line.

44.13 forwurtheth. So MWB, R. MS, M: forwurdeth.

ahten to. So M, MWB, R. MS omits.

44.14 ha1. So M, MWB, R. MS: ah.

hwen. So MS, with h inserted above the line.

wurthschipe. So MWB, R. MS, M: wurdschipe.

44.16 ed te nuthe. So M, MWB, R. MS: edten ende.

45.1 In the bottom right corner of fol. 30v, upside down, H: I The I.

Margarete. MS: space has been left for a large capital M that was never inserted.

iwurthen. So MWB, R. MS, M: iwurden.

45.7 ant. So M, MWB, R. MS: ah, with h inserted above the line.

46.1 Stew. MS: space has been left for a large capital S that was never inserted. The indicator letter in the left margin is in a later hand.

48.2 In the top margin of fol. 31r, H: Tomy h on? My own ffrind I pray yow[?] followed by faint scribbles. The right margin contains very faint marks that are impossible to decipher. In the bottom right corner of the page, H has written I The, upside down.

48.3 unofservet. So MWB, R. MS, M: unoservet.

49.2 Sathanas. MS: space has been left for a large capital S that was never inserted. MS contains two indicator letters in the left margin, one contemporary and one in a later hand.

49.7 meithhad. So M, MWB, R. MS: meidhad.

49.8 we1. So MS, inserted above the line.

49.9 weorith. So MS, M. MWB: weorrið. R omits.

49.10 hofles. So M, MWB, R. MS: holes.

iwurtheth. So MWB, R. MS, M: iwurdeth.

49.15 sulliche. So M, MWB, R. MS: susliche, with s possibly modified to l.

50.1 Stille. MS: space has been left for a large capital S that was never inserted. The indicator letter in the left margin is in a later hand.

50.3 feond. So M. MS: the last letter appears to have been altered from t. MWB: feont. R: þing.

50.4 ilke. So MWB, R. MS, M: illke.

51.1 Ine. MS: space has been left for a large capital I that was never inserted.

52.1 Meiden. MS: space has been left for a large capital M that was never inserted.

53.2 selcuthe. So MWB. MS, M: selcude.

Godd2. So M, MWB, R. MS: goð.

54.1 Him. MS: space has been left for a large capital H that was never inserted.

55.1 frovre, fure. So M, MWB, R. MS: frovre, frovre.

let. So M, MWB, R. MS omits.

56.1 Lef. MS: space has been left for a large capital L that was never inserted. The indicator letter in the left margin is in a later hand.

57.4 haveth1. So M, MWB, R. MS: haved.

58.1 death. So M, MWB. R: deð. MS: deah.

59.1 Alre. MS: space has been left for a large capital A that was never inserted. The indicator letter in the left margin is in a later hand.

59.2 echelich. So M, MWB, R. MS: eche lif.

59.6 eorthe. So MWB, R. MS: eorde. M reads MS as eorthe.

cwakien. MS: corrected from chakien.

59.7 ant brohte. So M, R. MS, MWB omit.

59.8 wurthmunt. So MWB, R. MS, M: wurdmunt.

59.9 cutheth. So MWB. MS, M, R: cudeð.

60.1 Cum. MS: space has been left for a large capital C that was never inserted.

stevene. MS: steavene.

61.1 O. MS: space has been left for a large capital O that was never inserted. The edge of the indicator letter in the left margin is visible; the rest has been cropped.

turnden. So R. MS, M, MWB: turden.

murhthe. So MWB. MS, M: murhde. R: murhðen.

62.1 The. MS: space has been left for a large capital Þ that was never inserted.

warth. So M, MWB. MS: ward. R omits.

62.2 schimminde. So M, MWB, R. MS: schimninde.

with2. So M, MWB. MS: wid. R omits.

63.1 Meiden. MS: space has been left for a large capital M that was never inserted.

64.1 thet. MS: inserted above the line.

65.1 quoth he. So M, MWB, R. MS omits.

66.1 Drihtin. MS: space has been left for a large capital D that was never inserted. The indicator letter in the left margin is written in a later hand.

thah. So M, MWB. MS: thetah. This word mistakenly begins with a crossed thorn.

dearne. MS: derne; with a is inserted above the line.

66.3 al. So M, MWB, R. MS: a.

66.6 iwriten. MS: iwritent.

66.7 ham3. So R. MS, M, MWB: him.

66.8 mi nome. So MWB, R. MS, M: þi nome.

66.10 In the bottom margin of fol. 34v, upside down, H: This indenture made the xv / he sc he that in ? ? ?. (The cursive, here, is partially illegible.)

Ant hwa. MS: the descender on the wynn goes nearly to the bottom of the page.

Laste. So M, R. MS: lelaste. MWB: leaste.

him. So MWB. MS: ham.

67.1 With. MS: space has been left for a large capital wynn that was never inserted.

67.4 thine eadie. MS: þene corrected to þine; eadie inserted above the line.

67.7 other2. So MWB, R. MS, M: oder.

67.8 hus. So M, MWB, R. MS: thus.

67.13 abit. So MWB, R. MS, M: abitd.

68.1 The. MS: space has been left for a large capital Þ that was never inserted. In the space remaining in the left margin, þ has been written in a later hand.

blithest. So MWB. MS, M: blidest. R omits.

68.2 quoth ha. MS: inserted above the line.

ye2. So MWB, R. MS: ge. M reads as ʒ.

68.3 mi2. So M, MWB, R. MS: ni.

68.6 Ich. So MS, with c inserted above the line.

68.8 In the bottom margin of fol. 35v, upside down, H: A medycyn for.

threo. MS: þeo; r is inserted above the line.

heheschipe. So M, MWB, R. MS: he hehschipe.

68.9 Wurthschipe. So MWB, R. MS, M: wurdschipe.

69.1 Efter. MS: space has been left for a large capital E that was never inserted.

71.2 dale in. MS: dale wið in.

71.3 smertliche. So M, R. MS: smeetliche. MWB: smeortliche.

71.4 schuldren. So MWB, R. MS: scluldren. M reads as schildren.

ant te bodi beah. So MS, with te bodi inserted in the right margin.

71.5 Heovene. MS: heovne; e2 is inserted above the line.

72.1 Comen. MS: space has been left for a large capital C that was never inserted.

lihtinde. So M, MWB, R. MS: lihtinte.

72.9 bearnes. MS: bearnnes.

73.1 Com. MS: large rubricated capital C, 1.1 cm. At the end of this line re heale (from hare heale, 72.11) has been bumped from the previous line, as indicated by a red colophon mark.

73.3 hwer. MS: wer, with h added above the line.

73.4 yont te worlde. MS: worlde is placed on the next line directly below yont te.

74.1 Thus. MS: large rubricated capital Þ, 2.1 cm.

balesith. So MWB, R. MS, M: balesið (p. 52, line 35).

euch wa. MS: following this phrase, decorative rubricated line filler continues to the end of the line.

75.1 Alle. MS: large rubricated capital A, 2.1 cm. The indicator letter has been cropped.

muth. So M, MWB, R. MS: mud.

75.2 Ant. So MWB. M, MS: an. R omits.

75.3 bituhe. So MS, with i inserted above the line.

singen. MS: following this word, decorated rubricated line filler continues to the end of the line.

75.4 Igret. MS: large rubricated capital I, 1.4 cm. The indicator letter has been cropped.

75.5 AMEN. MS: this word is all in capitals.

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The Liflade ant te Passiun of Seinte Margarete


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I the Feaderes ant i thes Sunes ant i thes Hali Gastes nome, her biginneth
the Liflade ant te Passiun of Seinte Margarete.

(1) Efter ure Lauerdes pine ant His passiun, ant His death o Rode ant His
ariste of death, ant eft er His upastihunge, as He steah to Heovene, weren monie
martyrs, wepme ba ant wummen, to deathes misliche idon for the nome of
Drihtin; ant, as icudde kempen, overcomen ant akeasten hare threo cunne van,
the veont, ant teos wake worlt, ant hare licomes lustes, ant wenden of theos
weanen to weole ant to eche wunne icrunet to Criste.

(1) Theyet weren monie ma thene nu beon misbilevede | men, the heheden
ant hereden hethene maumez, of stanes ant of stockes wrecches iwrahte. (2) Ah
Ich, an Godes theowe, Teochimus inemed, ilered i Godes lei, habbe iredd ant
araht moni mislich leaf, ant neaver i nan stude ne mahte Ich understonden
of nan the were wurthe forto beon iwurget as hit deh Drihtin, bute the hehe
Healent an thet is in Heovene, the wunede hwil His wille wes amonc worldliche
men, ant bottnede blinde, the dumbe, ant te deave, ant te deade arerde to
leome ant to live; ant cruneth His icorene, the deth dreheth for Him other eni
neowcin. (3) Ant alle Cristene men, thet beoth of Crist icleopet, swa yef ha nutteth
hare nome, hafeth ilened thet lif thet echeliche lesteth. (4) Ich, fulhet i font o the
almihti Fedres nome ant o the witti Sunes nome ant o thes Hali Gastes, wes i the
ilke time liviende i londe tha thet eadie meiden, Margarete bi nome, feht with the
feond ant with his eorthliche limen, ant overcom ant acaste ham, ant biyet hit
iwriten of the writers tha, al hire passiun ant hire pinfule deth thet ha dreh for

(1) Hercneth! (2) Alle the earen ant herunge habbeth, widewen with tha
iweddede, ant te meidnes nomeliche, lusten swithe yeorliche hu ha schulen luvien
the liviende Lauerd ant libben i meithhad, thet Him his mihte leovest, swa thet
ha moten, thurh thet eadie meiden the we munneth todei with meithhades
menske, thet seli meidnes song singen with this meiden ant with thet heovenliche
hird echeliche in Heovene. |

(1) This meiden thet we munieth wes Margarete ihaten, ant hire flesliche
feder Theodosie hehte, of thet hethene folc patriarche ant prince. (2) Ah heo, as
the deorwurthe Drihtin hit dihte, into a burh wes ibroht to veden ant to vostrin,
from the muchele Antioche fiftene milen. (3) Tha ha hefde of helde yeres fiftene, ant
hire moder wes iwend the wei thet worldliche men alle schulen wenden, ha warth
theo the hefde iwist ant iwenet hire swa lengre swa levere, ant alle hire luveden
thet hire on lokeden, as theo thet Godd luvede, the heovenliche Lauerd, ant yef
hire the grace of the Hali Gast, swa thet ha ches Him to luve ant to lefmon, ant
bitahte in His hond the menske of hire meithhad, hire wil ant hire werc, ant al
thet heo eaver i the world i wald hahte, to witen ant to welden with al hireseolven.
(4) Thus ha wes ant wiste, meokest áá meiden, with othre meidnes o the feld hire
fostermodres hahte, ant herde on euich half hire hu me droh to deathe Cristes
icorene for rihte bileave, ant yirnde ant walde yeorne, yef Godes wil were, thet ha
moste beon an of the moni moder-bern thet swa muchel drohen ant drehheden
for Drihtin.

(1) Bitimde umbe stunde thet ter com ut of Asye towart Antioche the veondes
an foster, to herien i the hehe burh hise hethene godes. (2) Olibrius hehte,
schireve of the lond, thet alle the lefden o the liviende Godd fordude ant
fordemde. (3) As he wende a dei his wei, seh this seli | meiden Margarete as ha
wes ant wiste upo the feld hire fostermodres schep, the schimede ant schan al of
wlite ant of westume.

(1) He het his hird hetterliche: “Nemeth hire swithe! (2) Yef heo is freo
wummon, Ich hire wule habben ant halden to wive. (3) Ant yef heo theowe is, Ich
cheose hire to chevese, ant hire wule freohin with gersum ant with golde; ant wel
schal hire iwurthen for hire lufsume leor with al thet Ich welde.” (4) As the knihtes
wolden warpen honden on hire, ha bigon to clepien ant callen to Criste thus:

(1) “Have, Lauerd, milce ant merci of Thi wummon. (2) Ne ne let Tu neavre
mi sawle forleosen with the forlorene, ne with the luthere mi lif, the beoth al blodi
biblodeget of sunne. (3) Jesu Crist, Godes Sune, beo Thu eaver mi gleo ant mi
gledunge; the mot Ich áá mare hehen ant herien. (4) Hald, hehe Lauerd, min
heorte, Ich biseche The, in treowe bileve, ant biwite Thu mi bodi — thet is al
bitaht to The — from flesliche fulthen, thet neaver mi sawle ne isuled beo in
sunne thurh thet licomes lust thet lutle hwile liketh. (5) Lauerd, lustu to me. (6)
Ich habbe a deore gimstan, ant Ich hit habbe iyeve The — mi meithhad I mene,
blostme brihtest i bodi the hit bereth ant biwit wel. (7) Ne let Tu neaver the
unwiht warpen hit i wurthinc, for hit is the leof, hit is him thinge lothest, ant
weorreth ant warpeth ever thertoward | with alles cunnes wrenches. (8) Lauerd,
Thu were me ant wite hit ever to The. (9) Ne thole Thu never the unwiht thet he
wori mi wit ne wonie mi wisdom, ah send me Thi sonde, Helent, of Heovene, thet
cuthe me ant kenne hu Ich onswerie schule thes schuckes schireve. (10) For Ich
iseo me, Lauerd, bistepped ant bistonden ase lomb with wedde wulves, ant ase the
fuhel the is ivon in thes fuheleres grune, ase fisc ahon on hoke, ase ra inumen i
nette. (11) Heh Helent, help me, ne leaf Thu me never nu i luthere mennes

(1) The knihtes, for ha spec thus, charden euchan ayein ant cwethen to hare
lauerd: “Ne mei thi mihte habben na man with this meiden, for ha ne heheth nan
of ure hethene godes, ah leveth o the Lauerd the the Gius fordemden ant drohen
to deathe, ant hethene hongeden ant heven on Rode.”

(1) Olibrius the luthere, tha he this iherde, changede his chere, ant het bilive
bringin hire biforen him. (2) Sone se ha icume wes, he cleopede to hire thus:
“Cuth me,” quoth he, “yif thu art foster of freomon other theowe-wummon.”

(1) The eadi meiden Margarete sone him ontswerede, ant softeliche seide:
“Freo wummon Ich am thah ant Godes thewe.”

(1) “Ye,” quoth he, “ah hwet godd hehest ant herestu?”

(1) “Ich hehe,” quoth ha, “Heh-Feader, Healent in Heovene, ant His
deorwurthe Sune, Jesu Crist hatte; ant Him Ich habbe, meiden, mi meithhad
iyettet, ant lu|vie to leofmon ant leve on ase on Lauerd.”

(1) “Ye,” quoth he lude. (2) “Levestu ant luvest te the reufulliche deide ant
reuliche on Rode?”

(1) “Nai,” quoth ha, “ah theo the wenden to fordon Him, thine forthfedres,
beoth forfaren reuliche ant forloren lutherliche; ant He liveth, Kine-bern icrunet
in His kinedom, Keiser of kinges, echeliche in Heovene.”

(1) The wari of theos wordes wearth utnume wrath, ant het hire kasten in
cwarterne ant i cwalhus athet he hefde betere bithoht him o hwucche wise he
walde merren hire meithhad, ant ferde him thenne swa forth into Antioche ant
hehede hise hethene godes as hit lomp ant lei to his luthere bileve. (2) Het hire
i the other dei bringen bivoren him.

(1) Ha wes sone ibroht forth, ant he bigon to seggen: “Meiden, have merci ant
milce of the seolven. (2) Nim yeme of thi yuhethe ant of thi semliche schape, of
thi schene nebschaft. (3) Wurch efter mi wil ant wurge mine maumez, ant the
schal wel iwurthen bivoren the heste of min hirt, with al thet Ich i world hah ant
i wald habbe.”

(1) Margarete, mildest ant meidene meokest, ontswerede him ant seide: “Wite
hit tu nu yif thu wult — for He hit wat ful wel the haveth iseilet to Himseolf me
ant mi meithhad — thet tu ne maht nanes weis, with weole ne
with wune, with wa ne with wont|rethe, ne with nan worldlich thing, wenden me
ne wrenchen ut of the wei thet Ich am in bigunne to ganne. (2) Ant unwurth thet
wite thu me beoth thine wordes, for Him ane Ich luvie ant habbe to bileve the
weld ant wisseth with His wit windes ant wederes, ant al thet biset is with se ant
with sunne. (3) Buven ba ant bineothen, al buheth to Him ant beieth. (4) Ant to-
eke this: thet He is se mihti ant se meinful, He is leoflukest lif forto lokin upon
ant swotest to smellen; ne ne His swote savour ne His almihti mihte ne His
makelese lufsumlec never mare ne mei lutli ne aliggen, for He ne alith never, ah
liveth áá in are, ant His muchele mihte lesteth áá mare.”

(1) “Let!” quoth Olibrius, “Ne beoth thes wordes noht wurth. (2) Ah an-hwet
wite thu: bute yif thu swike ham, mi swerd schal forswelten ant forswolhen thi
flesc, ant therefter thine ban schulen beon forbernde o berninde gleden. (3) Ah
yif thu wult leve me, thu schalt beon mi leofmon ant min iweddede wif, ant welden
ase lefdi al thet Ich i wald hah ant am of lauerd.” |

(1) “Ich ileve the,” quoth ha, “wel of thine biheaste. (2) Ah have thu hit, ant ti
luve, for Ich habe a leovere thet Ich nulle for nan leosen ne leaven. (3) Thu swenchest
the to swithe, ant warpest me is wa fore awei thine hwile, for al me is an,” quoth ha,
“thin olhnung ant thin eie. (4) | Ich wulle bitechen mi bodi to eaver- euich bitternesse
thet tu const on bithenchen, ne bite hit ne se sare with thon thet Ich mote meidene
mede habben in Heovene. (5) Drihtin deide for us, the deorwurthe Lauerd, ant ne
drede Ich na deth forto drehen for Him. (6) He haveth His merke on me iseiled with
His in-seil; ne mei unc lif ne deth nother twemen otwa.”

(1) “Na?” quoth he, “Is hit swa? | (2) Neometh hire swithe,” quoth he to his cwel-
leres. (3) “Strupeth hire steort-naket ant hongeth hire on heh up, ant beteth hire bere
bodi with bittere besmen.” (4) Tha awariede werlahen leiden se lutherliche on hire
leofliche lich thet hit brec overal ant litherede o blode. (5) Thet eadie meiden ahef
hire heorte heh up towart heovene ant cleopede to Criste:

(1) “Lauerd, in The is al min hope. (2) Hald me mi wit wel swa, ant mi wil, to
The, thet hit ne forwurthe naut for wa thet me do me ne for wele nowther. (3) Ne
lef Thu never mine fan — the feondes, I mene — habben ne holden hare hoker
of me, as ha walden yef ha me mahten awarpen; ah swa ne schulen ha never me
ne nan other thet ariht luvieth The. (4) Heovenliche Lauerd, Thin nome beo
iblescet. (5) Lauerd, loke to me ant have merci of me; softe me mi sar swa ant
salve mine wunden thet hit ne seme nohwer ne suteli o mi samblant thet Ich derf
drehe.” (6) The cwelleres leiden se lutherliche on hire lich thet tet blod bearst ut
ant strac adun of hire bodi as streem deth of welle.

(1) Olibrius the luthere, reve bute rewthe, hwil me yerdede hire thus
yeomerliche, yeide: “Stute nu ant stew thine unwitti wordes, ant hercne, meiden,
mi read, ant wel the schal iwurthen.”

(1) Alle the thear weren, wepmen ant wum|men, remden of reowthe ant
meanden thes meiden, ant summe of ham seiden: “Margarete, Margarete, meide
swa muche wurth yef thu wel waldest, wa is us thet we seoth thi softe leofliche lich
toluken se ladliche! (2) Weila, wummon, hwuch wlite thu leosest ant forletest for
thi misbileave! (3) The reve is reowliche wrath, ant wule iwis fordo the. (4) Ah luve
nu ant lef him ant tu schalt, wummone meast, wunne ant weole wealden.”

(1) “O,” quoth ha, “wrecches, unweoten bute wit! (2) Weila, hwet wene ye? (3)
Yef mi lich is toloken, mi sawle schal resten with the rihtwise. (4) Sorhe ant
licomes sar is sawulene heale. (5) Ah leve ye, Ich reade ow, o the liviende Godd,
mihti ant meinful ant euch godes ful, the hereth theo the Him cleopieth to, ant
heovene-getes openeth! (6) For ow nulle Ich iheren, ne heien nan of ower godes,
the dumbe beoth ant deave, ant blinde ant bute mihte, with monnes hond

(1) “Ah thu wurchest,” quoth ha tha to Olibrium the luthere, “thine feader
werkes, the feondes of Helle. (2) Me, thu heathene hund, the hehe Healent is min
help. (3) Yef He haveth iyettet te mi licome to teluken, He wule, thu heatele reve,
arudde mi sawle ut of thine honden ant heoven hire into Heovene, thah thu hongi
me her. (4) Ant tu, grisliche gra, thu luthere liun lath Godd, thi mihte schal
unmuclin ant melten to riht noht, ant tu schalt eaver i sar | ant i sorhe swelten,
hwen Ich gomeni with Godd ant gleadie buten ende.”

(1) He o wraththe warth forneh ut of his witte, ant het swithe bitterliche
hongin hire ant heoven up herre then ha ear wes, ant with sweord scharpe ant
ewles of irne hire freoliche flesch toronden ant torenden. (2) Ant heo biseh on
heh up, ant bigon to seggen:

(1) “Helle-hundes, Lauerd, habbet bitrummet me, ant hare read thet heaneth
me haveth al biset me. (2) Ah Thu, hehe Healent, beo umbe me to helpen.
(3) Arude, reowfule Godd, mi sawle of sweordes egge ant of hundes hond, for
nabbe Ich bute hire ane. (4) Lowse me, Lauerd, ut of the liunes muth, ant mi
meoke mildschipe of the an-ihurnde hornes. (5) Glede me, Godd, with Thi gleo
ant yef me hope of heale, thet mi bone mote thurh-thurli the Heovene. (6) Send
me Thi sonde i culvrenene heowe, the cume me to helpe, thet Ich mi meithhad
mote wite to The unwemmet. (7) Ant lef me yet iseon, Lauerd, yef Thi wil is, the
awariede wiht the weorreth ayein me — ant cuth Thi mahte on me, almihti Godd,
thet Ich him overcume mahe, swa thet alle meidnes eaver mare thurh me the
mare trusten on The. (8) Beo Thi nome iblesced, alre bleo brihtest, in alre
worldene worlt, áá on ecnesse. (9) Amen.

(1) Hwil thet ha spec thus, me tolec hire swa thet te luthere | reve, for the
stronge rune of the blodi stream, ne nan other thet ter wes ne mahte for muche
grure lokin thiderwardes; ah hudden hare heafden, the heardeste-iheortet, under
hare mantles for thet seorfule sar thet heo on hire isehen. (2) Yet spec ant seide
Olibrius the luthere: “Hwet bihalt, meiden, thet tu ne buest to me, ne nult habbe
milce ne merci of the seolven? (3) Ye, ne felest tu thi flesch al tolimet ant toluken
thurh thet Ich hit hate? (4) Ah buh nu ant bei to me ear then thu deie o dreori
deth ant derf, for yef thu ne dest no, thu schalt swelten thurh sweord ant al beo
limmel toloken. (5) Ant Ich wulle tellen, hwen thu al totoren art, in euchanes
sihthe the sit nu ant sith the, alle thine seonewwen.”

(1) “Me, heateliche hund,” quoth ha tha, “thah thu al swa do, me schendest
tu nawt. (2) Hwen mi sawle bith bivoren Godes sihthe in Heovene, lutel me is hwat
me do mid mi bodi on eorthe. (3) Ah the schulde scheomien, thu scheomelese
schucke (yef thu scheome cuthest) the thulli mot haldest with a yung meiden, ant
spillest al thi hwile ant ne spedest nawiht. (4) For yef Ich wrahte the wil of the
flesch thet tu fearest as thu wult with, mi sawle schulde sinken, alswa as thu schalt,
to sorhen in helle. (5) Ah for|thi Ich wulle wel thet mi flesch forfeare her, thet
softe Jesu cruni mi sawle i the selhthen of Heovene, ant efter Domesdei do ham
ba togederes, to weolen ant to eche wunnen thurh-wuniende.” (6) He warth se
wrath thet forneh wod he walde iwurthen. (7) Bed, bi lives coste, keasten hire i
cwalmhus, ant swa me dude sone. (8) Ant wes as thah hit were the seovethe time
of the dei thet me droh hire thus into dorkest wan, ant wurst in to cumene. (9) Ant
heo hef up hire hond ant blecede al hire bodi with the taken of the Hali Rode.
(10) As me reat hire inwart, ha bigon to bidden theos bone to ure Lauerd:

(1) “Deorewurthe Drihtin, thah Thine domes dearne beon, alle ha beoth
duhtie thah. (2) Alle heovenliche thing, ant heorthliche bathe, buheth The ant
beieth. (3) Thu art hope ant help to alle thet Te herieth. (4) Thu art foster ant
feader to helplese children. (5) Thu art weddede weole, ant widewene warant, ant
meidenes mede. (6) Thu art wunne of the world, Jesu Crist, Kine-bern, Godd
ikennet of Godd, as liht is of leome. (7) Loke, Lauerd, to me, mi lif, mi luve, mi
leofmon, ant milce me, Thi meiden. (8) Min ahne flesliche feader dude ant draf
me awei, his anlepi dohter, ant mine freond aren me for Thi luve, Lauerd, famen ant
feondes. (9) Ah The Ich halde, Healent, ba for feader ant for freond. (10) Ne forlet
Tu me nawt, | liviende Lauerd. (11) Bihald me ant help me, ant lef me thet Ich mote
legge mine ehnen o the luthre unwiht the weorreth ayein me, ant lef me deme with
him, Drihtin of dome. (12) He heaneth me ant heateth, ant Ich neaver nuste thet he
ewt of min hearm eaveryete hefde. (13) Ah swuch is his cunde, ant swa is ful of atter
his ontfule heorte, thet he heateth euch god, ant euch hali thing ant halewinde is him
lath. (14) Thu art, Drihtin, Domesmon of cwike ant of deade. (15) Dem bituhen unc
twa, ne wraththe Thu The, mi wunne, for sahe thet Ich segge. (16) For an thing I
biseche The eaver ant overal: thet Tu wite to The mi meithhad unmerret, mi sawle
from sunne, mi wit ant mi wisdom from unwitlese wiht. (17) In The is, min Healent,
al thet Ich wilni. (18) Beo Thu áá iblescet, Ordfrume ant Ende, bute ende ant ord, áá
on ecnesse.”

(1) Hire vostermoder wes an thet frovredee hire, ant com to the cwalmhus ant
brohte hire to fode bred ant burnes drunch thet ha bi livede. (2) Heo tha ant monie
ma biheolden thurh an eilthurl as ha bed hire beoden. (3) Ant com ut of an hurne
hihendliche towart hire an unwiht of helle on ane drakes liche, se grislich thet ham
gras with thet sehen thet unselhthe glistinde as thah he al overguld were. (4) His
lockes ant his longe berd blikeden al of golde, ant his grisliche teth semden of swart
irn. (5) His twa ehnen | steareden steappre then the steoren ant ten gimstanes, brade
ase bascins in his ihurnde heaved on either half on his heh hokede nease. (6) Of his
speatewile muth sperclede fur ut, ant of his nease-thurles threste smorthrinde
smoke, smecche forcuthest. (7) Ant lahte ut his tunge, se long thet he swong hire
abuten his swire, ant semde as thah a scharp sweord of his muth scheate, the
glistnede ase gleam deth ant leitede al o leie. (8) Ant al warth thet stude ful of
strong ant of stearc stench, ant of thes schucke schadewe schimmede ant schan al.
(9) He strahte him ant sturede toward tis meoke meiden, ant geapede with his ge-
now upon hire ungeinliche, ant bigon to crahien ant crenge with swire, as the the
hire walde forswolhe mid alle. (10) Yef ha agrisen wes of thet grisliche gra, nes na
muche wunder. (11) Hire bleo bigon to blakien for the grure thet grap hire, ant
for the fearlac offruht, foryet hire bone thet ha ibeden hefde, thet ha iseon moste
then unsehene unwiht, ne nawt ne thohte thron thet hire nu were ituthet hire
bone, ah smat smeortliche adun hire cneon to ther eorthe, ant hef hire honden
up hehe toward Heovene, ant with theos bone to Crist thus cleopede:

(1) “Unseheliche Godd, euch godes ful, hwas wreaththe is se gromful thet helle
ware ant heovenes, | ant alle cwike thinges cwakieth therayeines — ayein this eisfule
wiht thet hit ne eili me nawt, help me, mi Lauerd. (2) Thu wrahtest ant wealdest alle
worldliche thing. (3) Theo thet Te heieth ant herieth in Heovene ant alle the thinges
the eardith on eorthe — the fisches the i the flodes fleoteth with finnes, the flihinde
fuheles the fleoth bi the lufte, ant al thet iwraht is, — wurcheth thet Ti wil is ant halt
Thine heastes, bute mon ane. (4) The sunne reccheth hire rune withuten euch reste;
the mone ant te steorren the walketh bi the lufte ne stutteth ne ne studegith,
ah sturieth áá mare, ne nohwider of the wei thet Tu havest iwraht ham ne
wrencheth ha neavre. (5) Thu steorest the sea-strem, thet hit flede ne mot fir then
Thu merkest. (6) The windes, the wederes, the wudes ant te weattres buheth The
ant beith. (7) Feondes habbeth fearlac, ant engles, of Thin eie. (8) The wurmes
ant te wilde deor thet o this wald wunieth libbet efter the lahe thet Tu ham havest
iloket, luvewende Lauerd. (9) Ant Tu loke to me ant help me, Thin hondiwerc, for
al min hope is o The. (10) Thu herhedest Helle ant overcome ase kempe the
acursede gast the fundeth to fordo me. (11) Ah her me nu ant help me, for nabbe
Ich i min nowcin nanes cunnes elne bute Thin ane. (12) With this uvel wite me,
for Ich truste al o The, ant Ti wil iwurthe hit, deorwurthe Lauerd, thet Ich thurh
Thi strengthe mahe stonden with him, ant his muchele overgart thet Ich hit mote
afeallen. (13) Low, he fundeth swithe | me to forswolhen, ant weneth to beore me
into his balefule hole ther he wuneth inne. (14) Ah o Thin blisfule nome Ich blesci
me nuthe.” (15) Ant droh tha endelong hire, ant thwertover threfter, the
deorewurthe taken of the deore Rode thet He on reste. (16) Ant te drake reasde
to hire mid tet ilke, ant sette his sariliche muth, ant unmeathlich muchel, on heh
on hire heaved, ant rahte ut his tunge to the ile of hire helen ant swengde hire in
ant forswelh into his wide wombe — ah Criste to wurthmund ant him to wrather
heale. (17) For the Rode-taken redliche arudde hire thet ha wes with iwepnet, ant
warth his bone sone, swa thet his bodi tobearst omidhepes otwa. (18) Ant thet eadi
meiden allunge unmerret, withuten eaver-euch wem, wende ut of his wombe,
heriende on heh hire Healent in Heovene.

(1) As ha biheold, ant lokinde upon hire riht half, tha seh ha hwer set an
unsehen unwiht, muche deale blackre then eaver eani blamon, se grislich, se
ladlich, thet ne mahte hit na mon redliche areachen, ant his twa honden to his
cnurnede cneon heteveste ibunden. (2) Ant heo, tha ha seh this, feng to thonkin
thus ant herien hire Healent:

(1) |“Brihtest bleo of alle thet eaver weren iborene, blostme iblowen ant
iboren of meidenes bosum, Jesu Godd, Godes bearn, iblescet ibeo Thu. (2) Ich am
gomeful ant glead, Lauerd, for Thi godlec, Keiser of kinges, Drihtin undeadlich.
(3) Thu haldest ant hevest up treowe bileave. (4) Thu art welle of wisdom, ant
euch wunne waxeth ant awakeneth of The. (5) Thu art englene weole, thet
wealdest ant witest ham withuten wonunge. (6) Me gomeneth ant gleadeth al of
gasteliche murhthen. Me, mihti Godd makeles, is thet eani wunder? (7) Ye, iseo
Ich, Lauerd, blowinde mine bileave. (8) Ich habbe isehen hu the feond the wende
to fordo me tofeol efne atwa, ant felde hu his fule stench strac ant sturede
aweiwart. (9) Ich habbe isehen the wurse of Helle her awarpen ant te monslahe
islein, the stronge thurs astorven. (10) Ich habbe isehen his overgart ant his egede
orhel ferliche avellet. (11) Ich habbe isehe the Rode the arudde me se redliche of
his reowliche rake, hu ha thet balefule wurm ant thet bittre beast makede to
bersten. (12) Ich habbe isehen hali ant halwende eoli as hit lihte to me, ant Ich me
seolf smelle of The, swote Jesu, swottre then eaver eani thing thet is on eorthe.
(13) Ich habbe isehen blisse ant Ich blissi me throf. (14) I weole ant i wunne is nu
thet Ich wunie, ne nes me neaver se wa as me is wel nu. (15) The Ich hit thoncki,
tholemode Lauerd. (16) Ich habbe adun | the drake idust ant his kenschipe akest,
ant he swelteth thet me wende to forswolhen. (17) Ich am kempe ant he is cravant
ant overcumen. (18) Ah The Ich thonki throf, the kingene King art, echeliche
icrunet, sorhfule ant sari ant sunfule toturn, wondrinde ant wrecches ant wonlese
wisent, castel of strengthe ayein the stronge unwiht, meidenes murhthe ant martyrs
crune, mel-seotel softest ant guldene yerde, alre gold smeatest ant glistinde gimstan,
of alle seheliche thing ant unseheliche ba swotest ant swetest, alre schefte
Schuppent, thrumnesse threovald ant anvald the-hwethere, thrile i threo hades ant
an in an hehschipe, heh hali Godd, euch godes ful, beo Thu eaver ant áá iheret ant
iheiet bute linnunge.”

(1) As ha hefde iheret thus longe ure Lauerd, com thet grisliche gra creopinde
hire towart, ant heold hire bi the vet, ant ase sorhfulest thing sariliche seide:
“Marherete, meiden, inoh thu havest ido me. (2) Ne pine thu me na mare with the
eadie beoden thet tu biddest se ofte, for ha bindeth me swithe sare mid alle, ant
makieth me se unstrong thet Ich ne fele with me nanes cunnes strengthe. (3) Thu
havest grimliche ibroht mi brother to grunde ant islein then sleheste deovel of
Helle, the Ich o drake liche sende to forswolhe the ant merren | with his muchele
mein the mihte of thi meithhad, ant makien thet tu nere na mare imong moncun
imuneget on eorthe. (4) Thu cwenctest ant acwaldest him with the hali Rode, ant me
thu makest to steorven with the strengthe of thine beoden, the beoth the se munde.
(5) Ah leaf me ant let me gan, leafdi, Ich the bidde.” (6) Thet milde meiden
Margarete grap thet grisliche thing, thet hire ne agras nawiht, ant heteveste toc him
bi thet eateliche top ant hef him up ant duste him dunriht to ther eorthe, ant sette
hire riht fot on his ruhe swire ant feng on thus to speokene:

(1) “Stute nu, earme steorve, ant swic nuthe lanhure, swikele swarte deovel, thet
tu ne derve me nawt mare for mi meithhad. (2) Ne helpeth the nawiht, for Ich habbe
to help min Healent in Heovene, ant te worldes Wealdent is ihwer mi warant. (3)
Thah thu strong were tha thu weorredest me, He wes muchele strengre the hefde to
biwite me.” (4) With this, tha thudde ha o the thurs feste with hire fot with euchan of
theose word: “Stute nu, uvele gast, to gremie me mare. (5) Stute nu, alde monslahe,
thet tu ne slea heonnevorth Cristes icorene. (6) Stute nu, wleatewile wiht, to astenche
me with the stench the of thi muth stiheth. (7) Ich am mi Lauerdes lomb, ant He is
min Hirde. (8) Ich am Godes theowe ant His threl to don al thet His deore wil | is. (9)
Beo He áá iblescet thet blithe haveth imaked me in endelese blissen.”

(1) Hwil thet ha spec thus o thet speatewile wiht, se ther lihtinde com into the
cwalmhus a leome from Heovene, ant semde as thah ha sehe i the glistende glem the
deorewurthe Rode reache to the heovene. (2) Ant set a culvre thron ant thus to hire
cleopede: “Meiden eadi an, Margarete, art tu, for Paraise yeten aren yarowe iopenet
te nu.” (3) Ant heo leat lahe to hire leove Lauerd, ant thonkede Him yeorne with
inwarde heorte.

(1) Thet liht alei lutlen, ant heo biturde hire tha ant cweth to thet unwiht: “Cuth
me,” quoth ha, “swithe, forcuthest alre thinge, of hweat cunde thu beo.”

(1) “Leafdi,” quoth he, “leowse thi fot thenne of mi necke ant swa lanhure
leothe me, meiden an eadiest, thet Ich ethie mahe; ant Ich mot nede (notheles
min unwilles hit is) don thet ti wil is.”

(1) The milde meiden dude swa — lowsede ant leothede a lutel hire hele —
ant he bigon to breoken on speatewilliche thus to speokene: “Wult tu witen,
lufsume leafdi, hu Ich hatte? (2) Ah hwet se of mi nome beo, Ich habbe efter
Belzebub meast monnes bone ibeon, ant forswolhen hare swinc, ant to aswinden
imaket the meden thet ha moni yer hefden ham iyarket with sum of mi|ne
wiheles, thet Ich wrencte ham adun hwen ha lest wenden. (3) Ne neaver yet ne
mahte me overcume na mon bute thu nuthe. (4) Thu haldest me i bondes, ant
havest her iblend me, ant art mi brotheres bone, Rufines the rehest ant te
readwisest of alle theo in Helle. (5) Crist wuneth in the, forthi thu wurchest with
us al thet ti wil is. (6) Ne nawt nart tu, wummon, othre wummen ilich. (7) Me
thuncheth thet tu schinest schenre then the sunne, ah over alle thine limen the
leitith of leome, the fingres se freoliche (me thuncheth), ant se freoliche feire, ant
se briht blikinde, thet tu the with blescedest ant makedest te merke of the mihti
Rode the reavede me mi brother, ant me with bale bondes bitterliche bindest, thet
Ich lokin ne mei, swa thet liht leometh ant leiteth, me thuncheth.”

(1) “Thu fikest,” quoth ha, “ful wiht! Ah cuth me thet Ich easki.”

(1) “Wumme, leafdi!” quoth he tha. (2) “Wa me mine lives, bute Ich hit am
thet weorri áá with rihtwise. (3) Of the unseli sunfule me thuncheth Ich am al
siker; ah the gode Ich ga áá bisiliche abuten, ant ham Ich folhi neodelukest, the
cunnith to beon cleane withuten monnes man ant fleoth flesches fulthen, yef Ich
mahte eanies weis makien ham to fallen ant fulen hamseolven.

(1) “Monie Ich habbe awarpen the wenden mine wi|heles ful witerliche
etwrenchen, ant o thisse wise: Ich leote otherhwiles a cleane mon wunien neh a
cleane wummon, thet Ich nawhit towart ham ne warpe ne ne weorri, ah leote ham
al iwurthen. (2) Ich leote ham talkin of Godd ant tevelin of godlec, ant trewliche
luvien ham withuten uvel wilnunge ant alle unwreste willes, thet either of his
ahne, ant of the othres ba, treowliche beo trusti, ant te sikerure beon to sitten bi
hamseolven ant gominen togederes. (3) Thenne thurh this sikerlec seche Ich earst
upon ham, ant scheote swithe dearnliche ant wundi, ear ha witen hit, with swithe
attri healewi hare unwarre heorte. (4) Lihtliche on alre earest, with luveliche lates,
with steape bihaldunge either on other, ant with plohe-speche sputte to mare, se
longe thet ha toggith ant tollith togederes. (5) Thenne thudde Ich in ham luvefule
thohtes, on earest hare unthonkes, ah swa waxeth thet wa, thurh thet ha hit
theavieth, thet ham thuncheth god throf. (6) Ant Ich thus, hwen ha leoteth me,
(ne ne letteth me nawt ne ne steorith hamseolf ne ne stondeth strongliche ayein)
leade ham i the leiven ant i the ladliche lake of thet suti sunne. (7) Yef ha
edstonden wulleth mine unwreste wrenches ant mine swikele swenges, wreastlin
ha moten ant witherin with hamseolven, ne me akeasten ha ne mahen ear ha |
hamseolven overcumen. (8) Lath me is ant notheles nedlunge Ich do hit — cuthe
the hu ha mahen best overcume me. (9) Lowse me the hwile, leafdi, ant leothe me.

(1) “This beoth the wepnen thet me wurst wundith, ant witeth ham unwemmet
ant strengeth ham sterclukest ayein me ant ayein hare wake lustes. (2) Thet beoth:
eoten meokeliche ant meatheluker drinken, do thet flesh i sum derf, ne neaver
ne beon idel, hali monne bone for ham, with hare ahne beodefule thohtes thet ha
schulen thenchen bimong hare benen, ayein hare unwerste thohtes thet Ich in
ham thudde, thenchen hit is thurh me thet hare lust leadeth ham to wurche to
wundre, thenchen yef ha beieth me, to hu bitter beast ha buheth, ant hwas luve
ha forleteth. (3) Hu lufsum thing ha leoseth, thet is, with meithhad meidenes
menske, ant te luve of the luveliche Lauerd of Heovene ant of the lufsume cwen,
englene leafdi. (4) Ant henlunges makieth ham with al thet heovenliche hird, ant
unmenskith hamseolf bimong worldliche men, ant forleoseth the luve nawt ane
of heh in Heovene ah of lah ec on eorthe, ant makieth the engles murne ant us
of muche murhthe to lahhe se lude, the seoth ham lihte se lah of se swithe hehe,
from the heste in Heovene to the laheste in Helle. (5) This ha moten ofte munien
bi hamseolfen, |
            thenchen hu swart thing ant suti is thet sunne,
            thenchen of helle-wa ant of heoveriche wunne,
            hare ahne death ant Drihtenes munegin ful ilome,
            ant te grisle ant te grure thet bith et te dome.
(6) Thenchen thet te licunge of thet fleschliche lust alith se swithe sone, ant te pine
thervore leasteth áá mare. (7) Ant sone se ha gulteth eawiht, gan anan vorthriht,
thet ha ne firstin hit nawt, to schawen hit i schrifte, ne beo hit ne se lutel ne se liht
sunne. (8) For thet is under sunne thinge me lathest, thet me ofte eorne to schrift
of his sunne. (9) For thet lutle Ich mei makien to muchelin unmeathliche yef me hut
ant heleth hit; ah sone se hit ischawet bith birewsinde i schrifte, thenne scheometh
me therwith, ant fleo ham from schuderinde as Ich ischend were. (10) Thah se feor
ant se forth ha mahen beon istopen in sotliche to luvien thet nanes weis ne schulen
ha stewen hare heorten, ne etstutten ne etstonden the strengthe of mine swenges
hwil thet ha somet beoth. (11) Ne nis thear na bote bute fleo thenne, thet nowther
ne beo nohwer ane with other, ne seon ham ne sompnin ne sitten togederes
withuten wittnesse thet mahe iseon hweat ha don ant heren hwet ha seggen. (12) Yef
ha thus ne letteth me | ah theavieth me ant tholieth, ant weneth thah to
edwrenchen, Ich leade ham with leas luve lutlen ant lutlen into se deop dunge thet
ha druncnith therin; ant sperki in ham sperken of lustes se luthere thet ha
forberneth inwith ant thurh thet brune ablindeth, thet ha nabbeth sihthe hamseolve
to biseonne. (13) Thet mein of hare heorte mealteth thurh the heate, ant forwur-
theth hare wit ant woreth hare wisdom, swa thet nulleth ha nawt wite thet ha ahten
to witen wel. (14) Loke nu hwuch wunder: ha beoth se cleane overcumen, ant swa
Ich habbe iblent ham, thet ha blindlunge gath forth ant forseoth Godd ant ham-
seolven foryeoteth, swa thet ha lutherliche, hwen ha lest weneth, ferliche falleth fule
ant fenniliche i flescliche fulthen, ant for a lust thet alith in an hondhwile, leoseth
ba the luve of Godd ant te worldes wurthschipe. (15) Ah theo the stealewurthe beoth
ant sterke toyein me, swa thet ha ham with me wecchinde werien, se uvel me
thuncheth throf thet al Ich am dreori athet ha beon thurh me sumdel idervet, ant
am in hare beddes se bisi ham abuten thet summes weis ha schulen ham sclepinde
sulen. (16) Ah the Rode-merke merreth me overal, ant meast ed te nuthe.” (17)
Ant with this ilke bigon to yeien ant to yuren:

(1) “Margarete, meiden, to hwon schal Ich iwurthen? | (2) Mine wepnen,
wumme, allunge aren awarpen. (3) Yet were hit thurh a mon, ah is thurh a
meiden! (4) This yet me thuncheth wurst, thet al thet cun thet tu art icumen ant
ikennet of beoth alle in ure bondes, ant tu art edbroken ham — alre wundre
meast, thet tu the ane havest overgan thi feader ant ti moder, meies ant mehes ba,
ant al the ende thet tu ant heo habbeth in ieardet, ant Crist ane havest icoren to
leofmon ant to lauerd. (5) Beatest us ant bindest ant to death fordemest. (6) Wei!
(7) Wake beo we nu ant noht wurth mid alle, hwen a meiden ure muchele overgart
thus avealleth.”

(1) “Stew the!” quoth ha, “sari wiht, ant sei me hwer thu wunest meast, of hwet
cun thu art ikumen of, ant ti cunde cuth me, ant thurh hwas heaste heane ye hali
men ant hearmith, ant weorrith hare werkes.”

(1) “Ah sei me, seli meithen, hweonne is the ilenet i thine leothebeie limen se
stealewurthe strengthe? (2) Of hwet cunde kimeth the thi luve ant ti bileave, thet
leith me se lahe? (3) Cuth me nu ant ken me hwi the worldes Wealdent wuneth,
wummon, in the, ant hu He com into the, ant Ich chulle makie the war of alle
mine wiheles.”

(1) “Steu the ant stille beo,” quoth ha, “of thin easkunge. (2) Ye nart tu nawt
wurthe, awariede ful wiht, to here mi steavene ant hure to understonden se
dearne ant se derf thing of Godes dihel|nesse. (3) Ah hwet se Ich am ant hwuch
se Ich am, thurh Godes grace Ich hit am — wilyeove unofservet, thet He haveth
me iyettet, for yelde hit Himseolven. (4) Ah swithe cuth me ant ken thet Ich easki

(1) “Ye,” quoth he, “Ich mot nede. (2) Sathanas the unseli, the for his prude
of parais lihte se lahe; he is keiser ant king, icrunet of us alle. (3) Ant hwerto
schulde Ich telle the ant with talen tealen, lufsume leafdi, of ure cunde ant ure
cun, thet tu cost the seolf iseon i Jamemes ant i Manbres bokes ibrevet? (4) Swuch
fearlac Ich fele for sihthen thet Ich iseo Crist seche to the thet speoken I ne dear
nawt, ah diveri ant dearie, drupest alre thinge. (5) Thah, hwen thu wult witen, we
livieth bi the lufte al thet measte deal, eadi meiden, ant ure weies beoth abufen
with the windes. (6) Ant beoth áá wakere to wurchen al thet wa thet we eaver mahe
moncun, ant mest rihtwise men ant meidnes, as thu art. (7) For Jesu Crist, Godes
bern, wes of meiden iboren, ant thurh the mihte of meithhad wes moncun
iborhen, binumen ant bireavet us al thet we ahten. (8) Nu thu wast, leafdi, thet tu
wite waldest: hwer we meast wunieth ant hwi we meast heaneth ant heatieth the
meidnes. (9) Yet yef thu wite wult hwi we weorith meast rihtwise theines, Ich the
onswerie: for onde thet et áá ant eaver ure heorte. (10) We witen | ha beoth
iwrahte to stihen to thet stude thet we of feollen; ant us thuncheth hokerlich ant
swithe hofles throf, swa thet teone ontent us, ant we iwurtheth wode thurh the
grome thet us grometh áá with the gode. (11) For thet is ure cunde thet I the
schulde kennen. (12) Beon sorhful ant sari for euch monnes selhthe, gomenin hwen
he gulteth, ne neaver mare ne beo gleade bute of uvel ane. (13) This is ure cunde,
makelese meiden. (14) Ah, deore Drihtines lomb, leothe me a lutel ant leowse,
leafdi, thi fot the sit me se sare. (15) Ich halsi the o Godes half, heh heovenlich
Feader, ant o Jesues nome, His an sulliche Sune, thet mon ne wummon ne mahe
neaver mare heonnevorth warpe me heonne. (16) Ah thu, brihte burde, bind me on
eorthe, ant ne warp thu me nawt neother into Helle. (17) For Salomon the wise,
hwile he her wunede bitunde us in a tunne. (18) Ant comen Babilones men ant
wenden forte habben golthord ifunden, ant tobreken thet feat, ant we forth ant
fulden tha the widnesse of the worlde.”

(1) “Stille beo thu stille,” quoth ha, “earmest alre thinge! (2) Ne schalt tu, alde
schucke, motin with me mare. (3) Ah flih, sorhfule feond, of min ehsihthe, ant def
thider as thu mon ne derve na mare.” (4) With thet ilke the eorthe totweamde ant
bitunde him, ant | he rarinde rad ruglunge into Helle.

(1) Ine marhen sende hise men Olibrius the luthere to bringen hire bivoren
him, ant heo blescede hire ant com baldeliche forth. (2) Striken men thiderward of
eaver-euch strete forto seo thet sorhe thet me walde leggen on hire leofliche bodi
yef ha to the reves read ne buhe ne ne beide.

(1) “Meiden,” quoth he, “Margarete, yet Ich bidde ant bodie thet tu wurche mi
wil ant wurthgi mine maumez, ant te tide ant te time schal beon iblescet thet tu
ibore were.”

(1) “Nai,” quoth ha, “ne kepe Ich nawt thet me blesci me swa. (2) Ah hit were
thi gein ant ti god bathe thet tu, the geast unblescet, efter blesceunge ga ant heie
Godd almihti, heh heovenliche Feader, ant His selcuthe Sune, Jesu Crist, thet is
soth mon ant Godd notheletere. (3) Ah thu witlese wiht wurchest as thu art
wurthe, blodles ant banles, dumbe ant deave bathe. (4) Ant yet tu wurchest wurse,
for the unsehene unwihtes wunieth ham inwith, ant tu ase thine lauerdes luvest
ham ant heiest.”

(1) Him bigon to gremien, ant o grome gredde: “Strupeth hire steort-naket
ant heoveth hire on heh up, swa thet ha hongi to mede of hire hokeres, ant
ontendeth hire bodi with bearninde teaperes.” (2) The driveles unduhtie swa
duden sone, thet te hude snawhwit swartede as hit sner|cte, ant bearst on to
bleinin as hit aras overal. (3) Ant hire leofliche lich reschte of the leie swa thet alle
remden thet on hire softe siden sehen thet rewthe.

(1) Ant heo bigon to bidden Davithes bone: “Heh Healent Godd, with the
halewende fur of the Hali Gast, moncune frovre, fure min heorte, ant let te lei of
Thi luve leiti i mine lenden.”

(1) Yet him cweth Olibrius, revene lutherest: “Lef, meiden, mi read: wurch
thet Ich wilni ear then thu thet lif lutherliche lete.”

(1) “Lutherliche Ich livede,” quoth ha, “yef Ich the ilefde. (2) Ah yef Ich thus
deie, mi death is deorewurthe, ant dure into eche live. (3) Thu swenchest te swithe
ant ne spedest nawiht; forte wurchen on me, meiden an thet Ich am, ah wergest
the seolven. (4) Mi Lauerd haveth mine limen sunderliche iseilet, ant haveth,
to mi gimstan thet Ich yettede Him, iyarket ant iyeve me kempene crune.”

(1) Tha warth he swithe wod, ant bed o wreththe bringen forth a vetles ful of
weattre, ant binden hire bathe the fet ant te honden, ant dusten to the grunde,
thet ha death drohe ant druncnede therinne. (2) Me dude as he don het; ant heo
biheold on heh up ant cleopede towart Heovene:

(1) “Alre Kingene king, brec mine bondes, thet Ich ant alle thet soth hit heien
The ant herien. (2) This weater mote iwurthe me wunsum ant softe, ant lef me
thet hit to me beo beath of blisse ant fulluht of font|stan, halhunge ant leome of
echelich heale. (3) Cume the Hali Gast o culres iliche, the o Thi blisfule nome
blesci theos weattres. (4) Festne with fulluht mi sawle to Theseolven, ant with thes
ilke weattres wesch me withinnen ant warp from me awei eaver-euch sunne, ant
bring me to Thi brihte bur, Brudgume of wunne. (5) Ich undervo her fulluht o
deore Drihtines nome, ant on His deorewurthe Sunes, ant o thes Hali Gastes; on
Godd i godlec ituinet ant untodealet.” (6) Nefde bute iseid swa thet al the eorthe
ne bigon to cwakien ant to cwavien. (7) Ant com a culvre beornind se briht as thah
ha bearnde, ant brohte a guldene crune, ant sette hire o thet seli meidenes
heaved. (8) With thet ilke breken ant bursten hire bendes, ant heo, ase schene ase
schininde sunne, wende up of the weater, singinde a loft-song thet Davith the
witege wrahte feor therbivoren Criste to wurthmunt. (9) “Mi lufsume Lauerd,”
quoth ha, “He cutheth ase King thet He rixleth ariht. (10) Feierlec ant strengthe
beoth Hise schrudes, ant igurd He is ham on, thet a cumeliche fearen ant
semliche sitten.”

(1) “Cum,” quoth the culvre with schilinde stevene, “ant stih to the wunne ant
to the weole of Heovene. (2) Eadi were thu, meiden, tha thu chure meithhad, the
of alle mihtes is cwen. (3) Forthi thu schalt áá bruken in blisse buten ende crunene
brihtest.” |

(1) O thet ilke time turnden to ure Lauerd fif thusent men yet withuten itald chil-
dren ant wummen, ant alle weren ananriht, as the reve het hit, o Cristes kinewurthe
nome hefdes bicorven, in a burh of Armenie Caplimet inempnet, alle heriende Godd
with up-aheve stevene, ant stihen — alle martyrs — with murhthe to Heovene.

(1) The reve rudnede al of grome se him gromede, ant warth swa wrath ant swa
awed thet he al o wodschipe demde hire to deathe. (2) Ant het on hot heorte thet me
hire heved with schimminde ant scharp sweord, with blikinde ant bitel brond to-
tweamde from the bodie. (3) Leiden honden on hire theo the ihaten weren, ant bun-
den hire thet tet blod bearst ut et te neiles, ant withute the burh ledden to biheafdin.

(1) “Meiden,” quoth Malcus, “streche forth thet swire scharp sweord to undervon,
for Ich mot thi bone beon (ant thet me is wa vore) yef Ich mahte therwith, for Ich iseo
Godd Seolf with His eadie engles bitrumme the abuten.”

(1) “Abid me thenne, brother,” quoth ha, “hwil thet Ich ibidde me, ant biteache
Him mi gast ant mi bodi bathe, to ro ant to reste.”

(1) “Ibide the,” quoth he, “baldeliche hwil the god liketh.” (2) Ant heo bigon on
hire cneon forte cneolin adun, ant blithe with theos bone ber on heh iheven up
honden towart Heovene:

|(1) “Drihtin, leodes Lauerd, duhtie thah ha dearne beon ant derve Thine
domes. (2) Me is nu death idemet her, ant with The lif ilenet — Thi milde milce Ich
thonki hit. (3) Thu, folkes Feader of frumscheft, schuptest al thet ischepen is. (4)
Thu, wisest wurhte of alle, merkedest the heovene ant mete with Thi strahte hond,
ant with The icluhte the eorthe. (5) Thu, steoresmon of sea-stream, Thu, wissent ant
wealdent of alle wiht the iwrahte beoth, seheliche ant unsehene, buh Thine earen,
Healent Godd, ant bei to mine benen. (6) Ich bidde ant biseche The, thet art mi
weole ant wunne, thet hwa se eaver boc writ of mi liflade, other biyet hit iwriten,
other halt hit ant haveth oftest on honde, other hwa se hit eaver redeth other thene
redere blitheliche lusteth, Wealdent of Heovene, wurthe ham alle sone hare sunnen
foryevene. (7) Hwa se on mi nome maketh chapele other chirche, other findeth in
ham liht other lampe, the leome yef ham, Lauerd, ant yette ham of Heovene. (8) I
thet hus ther wummon pineth o childe, sone se ha munneth mi nome ant mi pine,
Lauerd — Lauerd, hihendliche help hire ant her hire bene. (9) Ne i the hus ne beo
iboren na mislimet bearn, nowther halt ne hoveret, nowther dumbe ne deaf ne
idemet of deofle. (10) Ant hwa se eaver mi nome munegeth with | muthe, luveliche
Lauerd, et te Laste Dom ales him from deathe.”

(1) With this tha thuhte hit as thah a thunre dunede. (2) Ant com a culvre, se
briht as thah ha bearnde, of Heovene with a rode leitinde of liht ant of leome. (3)
Ant te meiden duvelunge feol dun to ther eorthe. (4) Ant com the culvre ant ran
hire ant rihte up with the Rode ant seide hire sweteliche to, with swotest a steavene:
“Eadi art tu, meiden, bimong alle wummen, thet eoli halwende havest ant halsum
isoht efter, ant alle sunfule men imuneget i thine benen ant i thine eadie beoden.
(5) Bi Meseolf Ich swerie, ant bi Min heovenlich hird, thet tine beoden beoth the
treoweliche ituthet, ant for alle theo iherd the thu vore ibeden havest. (6) Ant
muche mare is iyeven to theo the munieth thi nome, ant iyettet moni thing thet
nu nis nawt imuneget. (7) Hwer se eaver thi bodi other ei of thine ban beon, other
boc of thi pine, cume the sunfule mon ant legge his muth therupon, Ich salvi him
his sunnen. (8) Ne ne schal nan unwiht wunien in the wanes ther thi martyrdom
is iwriten inne, ant alle of the hus schulen gleadien i Godes grith ant i gasteliche
luve. (9) Ant alle the the biddeth, to yarkin Ich yetti ham of hare bruchen bote.
(10) Ant tu art eadi, ant te stude thet tu on restest, ant alle theo the thurh the
schulen turne to Me. | (11) Cum nu, for Ich kepe the, brud to thi Brudgume. (12)
Cum, leof, to thi lif, for Ich copni thi cume. (13) Brihtest bur abit te — leof, hihe
the to me! (14) Cum nu to Mi kinedom, leaf thet leode se lah, ant tu schalt wealde
with Me al thet Ich i wald ah.”

(1) The stevene stutte ant heo stod up, alre burde blithest, ant bigon to
bidden theo the hire abuten weren ant hire death biwopen thet ha schulde
tholien. (2) “Leoteth nu ant leaveth,” quoth ha, “ower ladliche nurth, ant
gleadieth alle with me the me god unnen — for ye habbeth iherd (yef ye
hercneden riht) hwet te hehe Healent haveth me bihaten. (3) Ant as ye luvieth ow
seolf, leofliche Ich ow leare thet ye habben mi nome muchel ine munde, for Ich
chulle bidden for theo blitheliche in Heovene the ofte munneth mi nome ant
munegeth on eorthe. (4) With blithe heorte beoreth me genge forte herien the
King thet haveth icore me, worldes Wurhte ant Wealdent of alle iwrahte thinges.
(5) The Ich thonki throf; The Ich heie ant herie, heovenliche Healent. (6) For Thi
deorewurthe nome Ich habbe idrohe nowcin, ant neome death nuthe, ant Tu nim
me to The, Godd, of al thet god is ordfrume ant ende. (7) Beo Thu áá iblescet, ant
Ti blisfule Sune, Jesu Crist bi His nome, with the Hali Gast, thet glit of Inc bathe.
(8) Ye, threo ant tah an, in hades totweamet, in | heheschipe untodealet, iteit ant
itunet, an Godd unagin. (9) Wurthschipe ant wurthmunt wurthe to The ane from
worlde into worlde áá on ecnesse.”

(1) Efter theos bone tha beah ha the swire, ant cweth to the cwellere, “Do nu,
brother, hihendliche thet te is ihaten.”

(1) “Nai!” quoth he. (2) “Nulle Ich no, for Ich habbe iherd hu Drihtines deore
muth haveth with the imotet.”

(1) “Thu most!” quoth the meiden. (2) “Nedunge don hit, for yef thu ne dest
no, ne schalt tu habbe with me dale in Heoveriche.” (3) Ant he with thet hef up
hetelest alre wepne ant smat smertliche adun, thet te dunt defde in. (4) Ant thet
bodi beide ant thet scherpe sweord scher hire with the schuldren, ant te bodi beah
to ther eorthe. (5) Ant te gast steah up to thet istirrede bur, blithe to Heovene. (6)
He the thene dunt yef yeide mit tet ilke: “Drihtin, do me merci ant milce of this
dede! (7) Of this sunne, Lauerd, loke me salve!” (8) Ant feol of fearlac adun on
hire riht halve.

(1) Comen lihtinde tha the engles of leome, ant seten ant sungen on hire bodi
bilehwit ant iblesceden hit. (2) The feondes the ther weren, deadliche idorven,
fengen to yeien: “Margarete, meiden, leothe nuthe lanhure ant lowse ure bondes.
(3) We beoth wel icnawen thet nis na lauerd bute Godd, the thu on levest.” (4)
Turnden tha thurh this to Crist swithe monie | ant comen dumbe ant deave to
hire bodi as hit lei, and botneden alle. (5) The engles, as ha beren the sawle in
hare bearmes, sihen towart heovene, ant sungen ase ha stuhen up with sweteste
stevene: “Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaot, (et cetera). (6) Hali is, hali
is the Lauerd of heovenliche weordes! (7) Heovene is ful, ant eorthe, of Thine
wurthfule weolen! (8) Alre wihte Wealdent in hehnesse, heal us! (9) lblescet beo
the bearnes cume the com i Drihtines nome — heale in hehnesse!” (10) With thet,
tha bigunnen the gastes of Helle to theoten ant to yellen. (11) Ant tuhen alle to
hire bodi the untrume weren ant hefden hare heale.

(1) Com Ich, Teochimus, ant toc hire leofliche lich, ant ber ant brohte hit
ayein into Antioches burh with murthe unimete, ant dude hit i grave-stan in hire
grandame hus, the wes icleopet Clete. (2) Ich ah wel to wite this, for Ich, i pine of
prisun ther ha wes iput in, font hire flutunge ant fedde flesches fode. (3) And Ich
iseh hwer ha feaht with the ferliche feond ant hire bonen that ha bed wrat o boc-
felle, ant hire liflade al lette don o leave. (4) Ant sende hit sothliche iwriten wide
yont te worlde.

(1) Thus the eadi meiden, Margarete bi nome, i the moneth thet ure ledene
— thet is, ald Englis — Efterlithe inempnet, ant Julium o Latin, o the twen|tuthe
dei, deide with tintrohe ant wende from thes weanen to lif thet áá lesteth, to blisse
bute balesith, to wunne buten euch wa.

(1) Alle theo the this iherd heorteliche habbeth: in ower beoden blitheluker
munneth this meiden, thet ha with the bonen thet ha bed on eorthe bidde yet for
ow i the blisse of Heovene,
thear ha schineth seovevalt schenre then the sunne,
i sy ant i selhthe mare then eani muth cuthen hit cunne.
(2) Ant i thet englene hird singeth áá unsulet,
thet mon ne wummon ne mei thet his flesch-fulet.
(3) Ant we bituhe the engles, thurh hire erndunge,
moten yet iseo hire ant heren hire singen.
(4) Igret iwurthe Godd Feader, ant His Sune iseinet,
the Hali Gast iheiet, theos threo in an itheinet
of engles ant of eorthmen withuten ende. (5) AMEN.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, here begins
the Life and the Passion of St Margaret.

(1) After our Lord’s pain and His passion, and His death on the Cross and his
resurrection from death, and after His ascension, as He rose to Heaven, there were
many martyrs, both men and women, wrongly put to death in the name of the
Ruler; and, as well-known warriors, they overcame and cast down their three kinds
of foes, the fiend, and this weak world, and the lusts of their bodies, and they went
from these woes to prosperity and everlasting joy, crowned to Christ.

(1) Even then, there were many more false believers than there are now, who
extolled and praised heathen idols, wretched things wrought from stones and sticks.
(2) But I, God’s own servant, named Teochimus, learned in God’s law, have read
and interpreted many kinds of books, and never in any place might I comprehend
any who were worthy to be worshiped as it befits the Ruler, except the lofty Savior
who is in Heaven, who dwelled while it was His will among worldly men, and cured
the blind, the dumb, and the deaf, and raised the dead to light and to life, and
crowns His chosen, who endure death or any hardship for Him. (3) And
he has granted to all Christian people who are called so after Christ, if they profit
by their name, that life which lasts forever. (4) I, baptized in the font in the
almighty Father’s name and in the wise Son’s name and in the Holy Ghost’s, was
at that same time living in a land where that blessed maiden, Margaret by name,
fought with the fiend and with his earthly followers, and overcame and cast them
down, and I gained hold of that which was written by the writers then concerning
all her suffering and her painful death that she endured for the Ruler.

(1) Listen! (2) All who have ears and hearing, widows with the wedded and the
maidens especially, let them listen very eagerly to how they should love the living
Lord and live in virginity, which to him is the best-loved virtue, so that they may,
through that blessed maiden whom we commemorate today, with the strength of
virginity, sing that holy maiden’s song both with this maiden along with that
heavenly host forever in Heaven.

(1) This maiden that we commemorate was called Margaret, and her fleshly
father called Theodosius, of that heathen folk patriarch and prince. (2) But she,
as the dear Lord ordained it, was brought into a city to be nurtured and fostered,
fifteen miles from Antioch the Great. (3) When she was fifteen years of age, and
her mother was gone the way that all worldly ones must go, she became, to her
who had raised her and weaned her, increasingly dear over time, and all loved her
who looked on her as she whom God loved, the heavenly Lord, and who had
given her the grace of the Holy Ghost, so that she chose Him as love and beloved,
and delivered into His hand the honor of her virginity, her will and her work, and
all that she ever owned in the world in her keeping, to keep and to rule over
entirely for her. (4) Thus she tended and looked after, ever the meekest maiden,
with other maidens in the field, her foster-mother’s sheep, and heard on every
side of her how Christ’s chosen ones were being put to death for true belief, and
she yearned and wished earnestly, if it were God’s will, that she might be one of
the many mother’s children who suffered and endured so much for the Ruler.

(1) It befell after a time that there came out of Asia towards Antioch the
fiend’s own foster-child, to honor his heathen gods in the capital city. (2) Olibrius
he was called, the governor of that land, who condemned and killed all who
believed in the living God. (3) As he went his way one day, he saw this holy
maiden Margaret in the field, who shimmered and shone all of face and form, as
she pastured and guarded her foster-mother’s sheep.

(1) He ordered his men fiercely: “Seize her at once! (2) If she is a free woman,
I will have her and marry her. (3) And if she is a slave, I choose her as a
concubine, and will free her with treasure and with gold, and it shall go well for
her because of her lovely countenance, with all that I rule over.” (4) As the knights
would lay hands on her, she began to cry and call to Christ thus:

(1) “Have, Lord, compassion and mercy on your woman. (2) Never let my soul
perish with the lost, nor my life with the wicked men, who are all stained bloody
with sin. (3) Jesus Christ, God’s Son, may You be ever my joy and my gladness,
who I may evermore honor and praise. (4) Hold, lofty Lord, my heart, I beseech
You, in true belief, and protect my body — which is completely given over to You
— from fleshly filth, so that my soul may never be sullied in sin through that
fleshly desire that pleases for a little while. (5) Lord, listen to me. (6) I have a
precious gemstone, and I have given it to you — my virginity I mean, the
brightest blossom in the body that holds and protects it well. (7) May you never
let the Fiend cast it into the mire, for (just as) it is dear to you, it is the most
loathsome thing to him, and he makes war and always attacks it with all kinds of
wiles. (8) Lord, defend me and hold it ever for Yourself. (9) May You never suffer
the devil to make war against my wit or lessen my wisdom, but send me Your
messenger, Healer, from Heaven, who may show me and make known to me how
I should answer this sheriff of the demon. (10) For I see myself, Lord, beset and
surrounded as a lamb among mad wolves, and like the bird that is caught in the
fowler’s trap, like a fish hung on a hook, like a roe taken in a net. (11) Lofty
Healer, help me, and may You never leave me in wicked men’s hands.”

(1) The knights, as she spoke thus, all returned and said to their lord: “No
man can have power against this maiden, for she worships none of our heathen
gods, but believes in the Lord whom the Jews condemned and put to death, and
whom the heathens hung and raised on the Cross.”

(1) The wicked Olibrius, when he heard this, changed his countenance, and
ordered her immediately to be brought before him. (2) As soon as she had come,
he spoke to her thus: “Tell me,” said he, “if you are the foster-child of a freeman
or a slave-woman.”

(1) The blessed maiden Margaret answered him right away, and softly said:
“I am a free woman though I am also God’s servant.”

(1) “Yes,” said he, “but what god do you praise and worship?”

(1) “I worship,” said she, “the High-Father, the Savior in Heaven, and his
precious Son, named Jesus Christ; and I, a maiden, have given my maidenhood
to Him, and love him as a beloved and believe in him as a Lord.”

(1) “Indeed,” said he loudly. (2) “You believe in and you love Him who
pitiably and miserably died on the Cross?”

(1) “No,” said she, “but those who thought to condemn him, your fore-fathers,
are miserably dead and wickedly damned; and He lives, a Prince crowned in His
kingdom, Ruler of kings, forever in Heaven.”

(1) At these words, the villain became exceedingly angry, and ordered her cast
into a prison and torture-chamber until he had better considered in what way he
might mar her maidenhead, and he went his way forth then into Antioch and
worshiped his heathen gods as it was fitting and proper for his wicked belief. (2)
He ordered her on the next day brought before him.

(1) She was soon brought forth, and he began to say: “Maiden, have mercy
and compassion for yourself. (2) Take care for your youth and for your seemly
shape, for your bright face. (3) Do according to my will and worship my idols, and
it shall go well for you, more than the best of my household with all that I own in
the world and have in possession.”

(1) Margaret, the mildest and meekest maiden, answered him and said: “Know
it now if you will — because He knows it full well who has sealed me to himself and
my virginity — that in no way may you, with wealth or with joy, with woe
or with wretchedness, nor with any worldly thing, turn or wrench me out of the
way that I have begun to follow. (2) And know that your words are worthless to me
for I love and hold my faith in Him alone, who rules and guides with his wit the
winds and weathers, and all that is surrounded with the sea and with the sun. (3)
Both above and below, all obey Him and pay homage. (4) And also this: because
He is so mighty and so powerful, He is the most lovely being to look upon, and
the sweetest to smell; nor can His sweet savor or His almighty power or His
matchless beauty ever lessen or cease, for He never ceases, but lives forever in
honor, and his great might lasts forevermore.”

(1) “Stop!” said Olibrius, “These words are worth nothing. (2) But know one
thing: unless you cease them, my sword will destroy and devour your flesh, and
thereafter your bones shall be burned up on burning coals. (3) But if you will
believe me, you will be my beloved and my wedded wife, and as a lady rule over
all that I keep in possession and am lord over.”

(1) “I believe,” said she, “that you are good for your promise. (2) But keep it
and your love, for I have a dearer one that I will not lose or leave for any other.
(3) You trouble yourself too much, and unfortunately waste your time, for it is all
one to me,” said she, “your flattery and your anger. (4) I will commit my body to
every cruelty that you can contrive, and may it bite never so sorely provided that
I may as a maiden have my reward in Heaven. (5) The Ruler died for us, the dear
Lord, and I am not afraid to endure death for Him. (6) He has sealed His mark
upon me with His seal, and neither life nor death can divide us in two.”

(1) “No?” said he. “Is it so? (2) Seize her at once!” said he to his executioners.
(3) “Strip her stark-naked and hang her high up, and beat her bare body with
cruel rods.” (4) Then the accursed scoundrels laid so miserably on her lovely body
that it burst forth overall and was lathered in blood. (5) That blessed maiden
heaved her heart up high toward Heaven and cried out to Christ:

(1) “Lord, in You is all my hope. (2) Protect well my wit, and my will also, to
You, so that it may not become enfeebled in any way for woe that anyone does to
me, nor for weal either. (3) Never allow my foes — the fiends, I mean — to have
or hold me in contempt, as they would if they could cast me down; but this they
will never do to me or to anyone else who loves You rightly. (4) Heavenly Lord,
may Your name be blessed. (5) Lord, look to me and have mercy on me, soften
for me my wound and also salve my wounds so that it may neither seem anywhere
upon my face that I endure pain.” (6) The executioners laid so miserably upon
her lovely body that the blood burst out and flowed down her body as a stream
does from a spring.

(1) Olibrius the wretched, the ruler without mercy, while she was beaten
cruelly, called out: “Stop now and stay your unwise words and listen, maiden, to
my advice, and it shall go well for you.”

(1) All who were there, men and women, cried out for pity and lamented this
maiden, and some of them said: “Margaret, Margaret, maid worth so much if you
wished for it well, it is woeful for us that we see your soft lovely body torn so horribly!
(2) Alas, woman, what a loveliness you lose and give up for your misbelief! (3) The
governor is cruelly angry, and will certainly destroy you. (4) But love him
and believe him now, greatest woman, and you will rule over joy and wealth.”

(1) “Oh,” said she, “wretches, fools without wit! (2) Alas, what are you
thinking? (3) If my body is torn apart, my soul shall rest with the righteous. (4)
Pain and suffering of the body is the soul’s salvation. (5) But believe, I advise you,
in the living God, mighty and powerful and full of everything that is good, who
hears those that call to Him, and the Heaven-gates will open! (6) For I will not
listen to you, nor worship any of your gods who are deaf and dumb, and blind and
without power, made by the hand of a human.

(1) “But you,” said she then to Olibrius the wicked, “work the deeds of your
father, the fiends of Hell. (2) But, you heathen hound, the high Savior is my help.
(3) If He has granted that my body be torn apart, He will, you hateful governor,
deliver my soul out of your hands and lift it into heaven, though you hang me
here. (4) And you, disgusting devil, wicked lion hateful to God, your power will
diminish and melt to nothing, and you will forever swelter in pain and in sorrow,
while I rejoice with God and be glad forever.”

(1) He went almost out of his mind from anger and immediately ordered her
cruelly hung up and raised higher than she was before, and her comely flesh cut
up and torn in pieces with sharp swords and awls of iron. (2) And she looked up
on high, and began to say:

(1) “Hell-hounds, Lord, have surrounded me, and the gathering of those who
afflict me has completely beset me. (2) But You, high Savior, be close to help me.
(3) Deliver, merciful God, my soul from the sword’s edge and from the hound’s
grasp, for I have only it. (4) Loose me, Lord, from the lion’s mouth, and my meek
mildness from the unicorn’s horn. (5) Gladden me God, with your bliss, and give
me hope of salvation, so that my prayer might pierce through to Heaven. (6) Send
me your messenger in the shape of a dove, which comes to help me, so that I may
preserve my virginity unblemished for You. (7) And allow me still to see, Lord, if
it is Your will, the accursed being which makes war against me — and show your
power in me, almighty God, so that I may overcome him so that all maidens
forever more may, through me, trust in You the more. (8) May Your name be
blessed, brightest face of all, world in all worlds, forever into eternity. (9) Amen.”

(1) While she spoke thus, she was torn apart to the extent that, because of the
strong running of the bloody stream, neither the wicked governor nor anyone else
who was there could look at her, because of the great horror; but hid their heads,
the hardest-hearted, under their mantles because of that terrible pain that they
saw her in. (2) Yet Olibrius the wicked spoke and said: “What do you see, maiden,
that you will not bow to me, nor will have pity or mercy on yourself? (3) Yea, do
you not feel your flesh completely dismembered and torn apart since I ordered
it? (4) But bow now and submit to me before you die in dreary and painful death,
for if you do nothing, you will suffer by the sword and be completely
dismembered limb from limb. (5) And I will count, when you are all torn apart,
in the sight of everyone who sits now and sees you, all your sinews.”

(1) “But, hateful hound,” said she then, “when you do all this, you shame me
not at all. (2) When my soul is before God’s sight in Heaven, it matters little to me
what anyone does with my body on earth. (3) But you should be ashamed, you
shameless devil (if you could understand shame) that you hold such a debate with
a young maiden, and waste all your time, and succeed at nothing. (4) For if I
worked the will of the body, which you will do what you want with, my soul would
sink, as yours will, to pains in hell. (5) But because of this I desire well that my
flesh perish here, so that sweet Jesus may crown my soul in the joys of Heaven,
and after Doomsday will reunite them together, to prosperity and to every joy
everlasting.” (6) He became so angry that he nearly went mad. (7) He ordered his
executioners, on the pain of death, to cast her in prison, and so it was done
immediately. (8) It was then at about the seventh hour of the day that she was
dragged like this into the darkest dwelling, and the worst one could enter. (9) And
she lifted up her hand and blessed her whole body with the sign of the Holy
Cross. (10) As she was drawn inward, she began to make this prayer to our Lord:

(1) “Dear Lord, although Your judgments are hidden, nevertheless they are all
worthy. (2) All heavenly things and all earthly things bow to and obey You. (3) You are
the hope and help to all who glorify You. (4) You are the foster-parent and father to
helpless children. (5) You are joy to the wedded, and protector of widows, and
maidens’ reward. (6) You are the joy of the world, Jesus Christ, royal Prince, God born
of God, as light from a flame. (7) Watch over me, Lord, to me, my life, my love, my
beloved, and pity me, Your maiden. (8) My own fleshly father sent and drove
me away, his only daughter, and my friends, because of Your love, Lord, are foes
and fiends. (9) But I hold You, Savior, both as father and friend. (10) Do not
forsake me, living Lord. (11) Watch over me and help me, and give me leave that
I might lay my eyes on the loathsome fiend who wages war against me, and give
me leave to argue with him, God of judgment. (12) He afflicts me and hates me,
and I never knew that he had any harm from me at any time before this. (13) But
such is his nature, and his envious heart is so full of poison, that he hates every
good thing, and every holy and sacred thing is loathsome to him. (14) You are,
Ruler, Judge of the living and the dead. (15) Judge between us two, but do not
become angry, my joy, for the words that I speak. (16) For one thing I beseech
you forever and over all else: that You keep to Yourself my virginity unmarred,
my soul from sin, my wit and my wisdom from the witless creature. (17) In You,
my Savior, is all that I wish for. (18) May You be forever blessed, beginning and
end, without end and beginning, forever in eternity.”

(1) Her foster-mother was one of those who comforted her, and came to the
prison and brought her bread for food and drink from the spring by which she
lived. (2) She and many more beheld her through a window as she made her
prayers. (3) And there came quickly out of a corner toward her a demon of hell
like a dragon, so frightening that they were horrified when they saw that evil
thing glistening as though he were all gilded over. (4) His locks and his long
beard gleamed all with gold, and his grisly teeth seemed made of blackened iron.
(5) His two eyes, broad as basins in his horned head on either side of his hooked
nose, stared brighter than the stars and gemstones. (6) From his disgusting mouth
fire sparkled out, and from his nostrils smoldering smoke pressed out, most
hateful of stinks. (7) And he darted out his tongue, so long that he flung it about
his neck, and it seemed as though a sharp sword, which glistened like a beam of
light does and burned all in flame, shot out of his mouth. (8) And everything in
that place was full of a strong and a foul stench, and everything shimmered and
shone from the reflection of this demon. (9) He moved and made his way toward
this meek maiden, and gaped with his mouth over her threateningly, and began
to stretch and arch his neck, as though he would swallow her completely. (10) If
she was frightened of that fearsome fiend, it was not a great wonder. (11) Her face
began to grow pale because of the horror that gripped her, and frightened
because of the terror, she forgot her prayer that she had made that she might see
that unseen devil, nor did she think about the fact that her prayer was now
granted to her, but she fell hard on her knees down to the earth, and lifted her
hands up high toward Heaven, and with this prayer to Christ cried out thus:

(1) “Invisible God, full of every goodness, whose wrath is so fierce that the
inhabitants of hell and heaven, and all living things tremble before it — help me,
my Lord, against this terrible creature, so that it does not harm me. (2) You
created and rule over every worldly thing. (3) Those that honor and glorify You
in Heaven, and all things which dwell on earth — the fish that swim with fins in
the flood, the flying fowls that fly in the air, and all that is created — do that
which is Your will and uphold your orders, except for humankind. (4) The sun
proceeds on course without any rest; the moon and the stars which move through
the firmament neither stay nor stop, but stir evermore, nor do they ever
turn aside anywhere from the way that You have made for them. (5) You stir the
sea-stream, so that it may not flow further than You have designed. (6) The winds,
the weathers, the woods, and the waters bow to You and obey. (7) Fiends and
angels are in fear of your anger. (8) The serpents and the wild beasts that dwell
in the forest live after the laws that You have ordained for them, beloved Lord.
(9) And may You watch over me and help me, Your handiwork, for all my hope
is in You. (10) You harrowed Hell and overcame as a champion the accursed spirit
that is trying to destroy me. (11) But hear me now and help me, for in my distress
I have no strength of any kind except for You alone. (12) Guard me against this
evil, for I trust all in You, and may it be Your will, dear Lord, that I through Your
strength may stand against him, and that I may cast down his great arrogance.
(13) Lo, he tries greatly to swallow me up, and thinks to bear me into his baleful
pit in which he dwells. (14) But in Your blissful name I bless myself now.“ (15)
And then she drew on herself downwards, and cross-wise thereafter, the beloved
token of the dear Cross that He rested upon. (16) And the dragon rushed to her
at that moment, and set his horrible mouth, immoderately great, on high above
her head, and stretched out his tongue to the hard skin of her heels, and swung
her in and swallowed her up in his big belly — but to Christ’s honor and
destruction to him. (17) For the Rood-token that she was armed with speedily de-
fended her and soon became his slayer, so that his body burst in two at the
middle. (18) And that blessed maiden entirely unharmed, without any spot, came
out of his belly, praising aloud her Savior in Heaven.

(1) As she watched, and looking upon her right side, then she saw that there
sat a strange fiend, a good deal blacker than ever any black person, so grisly, so
loathsome, that no one could readily recount it, and his two hands firmly bound
to his gnarled knees. (2) And she, when she saw this, began to thank and praise
her Savior thus:

(1) “Brightest face of all that ever was born, blossom bloomed and borne from
the maiden’s breast, Jesus God, God’s child, blessed be You. (2) I am joyful and
glad, Lord, for your goodness, Emperor of kings, immortal Ruler. (3) You guard
and lift up true belief. (4) You are the well of wisdom, and every joy wakes and
awakens from You. (5) You are the joy of angels, who rules over and protects
them without ceasing. (6) I rejoice and am glad all because of ghostly mirth. But,
mighty matchless God, is that any wonder? (7) Yea, I see, Lord, my belief
blossoming. (8) I have seen how the fiend, who came to destroy me, fell apart
exactly in two, and I felt how his foul stench flowed and moved away. (9) I have
seen here the devil of Hell cast down and the man-slayer slain, the strong demon
destroyed. (10) I have seen his arrogance and his foolish pride terribly laid low.
(11) I have seen the Cross which defended me so readily from his cruel jaws, and
how it made that baleful worm and that bitter beast burst. (12) I have seen holy
and healing oil as it descended to me, and I myself smell of You, sweet Jesus,
sweeter than ever any thing that is on earth. (13) I have seen bliss and therefore
I make myself blissful. (14) In wealth and in joy is now that place where I dwell,
and it was never so woeful for me as it is now well for me. (15) I thank You for it,
long-suffering Lord. (16) I have dashed down the dragon and cast down his
fierceness, and he who thought to swallow me suffers. (17) I am the champion and
he is defeated and overcome. (18) But I thank You for that, who are King of kings,
crowned eternally, a refuge for the sorrowful and the sorry and the sinful, a guide
for the wandering and the wretched and the hopeless, a castle of strength against
the powerful demon, maidens’ mirth and martyrs’ crown, softest seat at the feast
and golden scepter, purest of all gold and glistening gemstone, of all things both
seen and unseen the sweetest and most fragrant, the Creator of all creatures,
threefold Trinity and nevertheless one, threefold in three persons and one on
high, high holy God, full of every goodness, may You forever and ever be praised
and worshiped without end.”

(1) While she had long praised our Lord in this way, that fearsome fiend came
creeping toward her, and held her by the foot, and like the most sorrowful thing
sadly said: “Margaret, maiden, you have done enough to me. (2) Do not trouble
yourself anymore with the blessed prayers that you make so often, for they bind
me all up very painfully, and make me so weak that I do not feel any kind of
strength in me. (3) You have grimly brought my brother to ground and have slain
then the slyest devil of Hell, whom I sent in a dragon’s shape to swallow you and
mar with his great might the strength of your maidenhood, and make it so that
you would never more be remembered among humankind on earth. (4) You killed
and destroyed him with the holy Cross, and you are destroying me with the
strength of your prayers, which are so present in your mind. (5) But leave me and
let me go, lady, I pray you.” (6) That mild maiden Margaret gripped that grisly
thing, which did not terrify her in any way, and grabbed him cruelly, took him by
that hideous hair on his head, and heaved him up and flung him straight down
to the earth, and set her right foot on his shaggy neck and began to speak to him thus:

(1) “Stop now, wretched pestilence, and cease now at least, deceitful black
devil, so that you do not bother me any more because of my maidenhead. (2) It
does not help you in any way, since I have as my help the Savior in Heaven, and
the world’s Ruler is everywhere my protector. (3) Although you were strong when
you warred against me, He who protected me was much stronger.” (4) With this,
then she stamped hard on the demon with her foot with each of these words:
“Cease now, evil spirit, to anger me more. (5) Cease now, old manslayer, that you
slay not henceforth Christ’s chosen. (6) Cease now, disgusting creature, assailing
me with the stench that arises from your mouth. (7) I am my Lord’s lamb, and He
is my Shepherd. (8) I am God’s servant and his thrall to do all that is His dear
will. (9) May He be forever blessed who has made me happy in endless bliss.”

(1) While she spoke thus to that disgusting creature, so there came into the
prison a light descending from Heaven, and it seemed as though she saw in the
glistening gleam the beloved Cross reach to the heavens. (2) And a dove sat
thereon and called out to her thus: “You are a blessed maiden, Margaret, for the
gates of Heaven are now opened ready for you.” (3) And she bowed low to her
beloved Lord, and thanked him earnestly in her innermost heart.

(1) That light faded gradually, and she turned around then and said to that
demon: “Show me,” said she, “quickly, most loathsome of all things, what your
nature is.”

(1) “Lady,” said he, “loosen your foot then from my neck and so at least
release me, maiden most blessed, that I might breathe; and though it is against
my wishes, I must needs do what your will is.”

(1) The mild maiden did so — loosed and released her heel a little — and he
began to burst forth horribly to speak in this way: “Do you wish to know, lovely
lady, what I am called? (2) But whatever my name may be, I have after Beelzebub
been the slayer of the most men, and devoured their labor, and I made perish
with some of my wiles the rewards which they had for many years prepared for
themselves, from which I wrenched them aside when they least expected. (3) And
never yet could anyone overcome me except for you now. (4) You hold me in
bonds, and have here blinded me, and are the slayer of my brother, Ruffin, the
boldest and wisest of counsel of all those in Hell. (5) Christ dwells in you, so that
you work against us everything that is your will. (6) You are not anything, woman,
like other women. (7) It seems to me that you shine brighter than the sun, but
over all your limbs that the light blazes upon, the fingers are so fine, it seems, and
so beautifully fair, and shining so bright, with which you crossed yourself and
which made the mark of the mighty Cross which tore my brother from me, and
you have bound me bitterly with cruel bonds, that I may not look, since the light
gleams so and shines, I think.”

(1) “You flatter,” said she, “demon! But tell me what I ask.”

(1) “Woe is me, lady!” said he then. (2) “Woe betide my life for I am he who
wars always against the righteous. (3) Of the miserably sinful I think that I am
certain, but I go always busily about the good, and I follow most diligently those
who try to be chaste without sexual intercourse with anyone and flee the filths of
the flesh, if I might in any way make them fall and befoul themselves.

(1) “Many have I cast down who thought to entirely escape my wiles, and in
this way: I allow sometimes a chaste man to dwell near a chaste woman, whom I
in no way either attack or war against, but leave them be entirely. (2) I let them
talk of God and debate about goodness, and truly love each other without evil
desire or any wicked wills, so each may be truly confident of his own feelings, and
more secure to sit by themselves and rejoice together. (3) Then through this
security I first make an attack upon them, and shoot so secretly and, before they
know it, wound their unwary hearts with a very venomous drug. (4) Gently first
of all, with loving looks, with amorous gazing from one to the other, I incite them
on to more with playful speech, so long that they flirt and wrestle playfully
together. (5) Then I thrust upon them lustful thoughts, at first against their will,
but that evil grows so much, because they allow it, that to them it seems good. (6)
And thus I, when they let me (and they neither hinder me in any way nor restrain
themselves nor stand strongly against me) lead them into the bog and into the
loathly lake of that foul sin. (7) If they will withstand my evil tricks and my
deceitful strokes, they must wrestle and struggle with themselves, and they cannot
overthrow me before they overcome themselves. (8) It is loathsome to me and
nonetheless necessary that I do it — I make known to you how they may best
overcome me. (9) Release me meanwhile, lady, and loose me.

(1) “These are the weapons that wound me the worst, and guard them
unblemished and strengthen them most strongly against me and against their
weak lusts. (2) They are: to eat meekly and drink more meekly, to put the flesh
in some pain, and never be idle, for holy men to pray for them, with their own
spiritual thoughts that they should think during their prayers against their evil
thoughts which I thrust upon them, to think it is through me that their lust leads
them shamefully, to think that if they obey me, to how bitter a beast they bow, and
whose love they give up. (3) How lovely a thing they lose, that is, with
maidenhood the strength of maidens, and the love of the lovely Lord of Heaven
and of the beloved queen, the lady of angels. (4) And they make themselves vile
before that whole heavenly host, and dishonor themselves among worldly men,
and lose altogether not only the love of the high in Heaven, but also of the low
on earth, and they make the angels mourn and us laugh so loudly from much
mirth, we who see them descend so low from so very high, from the highest in
Heaven to the lowest in Hell. (5) This they should often call to mind by
            To think of how black and filthy a thing is that sin,
            To think of hell-woe and of heavenly joys,
            To call to mind very often their own death and the Ruler’s very often,
            And the horror and the terror that will be at Judgment Day.
(6) To think that the pleasure of that fleshly lust dies so very soon, and the pain that
results lasts forevermore. (7) And as soon as they sin in any way, they ought to
go straightaway at once to reveal it in confession so that they do not delay it at all, be
it never so little nor so light a sin. (8) For that is the most hateful thing to me under
the sun: when someone yearns to confess his sin frequently. (9) For that little sin I may
cause to increase immoderately if one hides and conceals it; but as soon as it is shown
in repentance in confession, then they shame me with that, and I flee from them
shuddering as if I were destroyed. (10) However they may be so far and so fully
advanced to love foolishly that in no way shall they restrain their hearts, nor withstand
or resist the strength of my tricks while they are together. (11) Nor is there any
remedy but flight then, so that neither should be anywhere with the other, nor should
they see each other nor meet together nor sit together without a third party who may
see what they do and hear what they say. (12) If thus they do not hinder me but
tolerate and allow me and think then to withstand me, I lead them with false love little
by little into the deep dung so that they drown therein; and kindle in them sparks of
lust so wicked that they burn up inside and through that burning go blind, so that
they do not have the sight to see themselves. (13) That power of their hearts melts in
the heat, and their wit grows weak and wars against their wisdom, so that they do not
wish to know in any way that they ought to guard themselves well. (14) Look now what
a wonder it is: they are so completely overcome, and I have blinded them so, that they
blindly go forth and forsake God and forget themselves, so that they wretchedly, when
they least expect, fall terribly and foully in fleshly filth, and for a desire that dies in an
instant, lose both the love of God and the world’s worship. (15) But those that are
stalwart and strong against me, so that they defend themselves vigilantly against
me, that seems so evil to me that I am completely cruel until they are through me
somewhat injured, and I am in their beds so busy about them that in some way
they will soil themselves sleeping. (16) But the sign of the Cross mars me all over,
and most of all now from you.” (17) And with this same speech he began to whine
and howl:

(1) “Margaret, maiden, what will become of me? (2) My weapons, alas, are
completely destroyed. (3) Yet it could be through a man, but is through a maiden!
(4) This I think is the worst, that all that family that you have come from are
entirely in our bonds, and you have escaped from them, and the greatest of all
wonders, that you have surpassed your father and mother, both kinsmen and
kinswomen, and all the region that you and they have dwelled in, and have
chosen Christ alone as your beloved and your lord. (5) You beat us and bind us
and condemn us to death! (6) Alas! (7) We are weak now and worth nothing at all,
when a maiden lays low our great arrogance like this.”

(1) “Shut up!” said she, “sorry creature, and tell me where you most often live,
of what kin you are born from, and show me your nature, and by whose command
you afflict and harm holy men, and make war against their works.”

(1) “But tell me, holy maiden, from whence is granted to you such stalwart
strength in your supple limbs? (2) From what nature comes to you your love and
your faith, which lays me so low? (3) Show me now and make known to me why
the world’s Ruler dwells, woman, in you, and how He came into you, and I shall
make you aware of all my wiles.”

(1) “Shut up and be still,” said she, “of your demand. (2) You are not worthy,
accursed foul creature, to hear my voice and especially to understand the secret
and hidden matter of God’s mystery.(3) But whoever and whatever I am, I am it
through God’s grace — an undeserved gift that He has given me to pay it back to
Him. (4) But show me immediately and tell me what I ask for.”

(1) “Yes,” said he, “I must necessarily. (2) Satan the unholy, for his pride of
Paradise fell so low; he is emperor and king, crowned by us all. (3) And for what
purpose should I speak with you and tell tales, lovely lady, of our kind and our kin
which you can see for yourself set down in the books of James and Mambres? (4)
In visions in which I see Christ coming to you I feel such terror that I dare not
speak, but shiver and quake with fear, most downcast of all things. (5) However,
since you wish to know, we live in the air for the most part, holy maiden, and our
ways are above with the winds. (6) And we are forever watchful to work all that woe
that we ever may against humankind, and for the most against righteous men and
maidens, as you are. (7) For Jesus Christ, God’s child, was born of a maiden, and
through the might of maidenhood was humankind born, and all that we owned
was taken away and robbed from us. (8) Now you know, lady, what you wanted to
know: where we dwell most often and why we most often afflict and hate the
maidens. (9) Yet if you want to know why we war against the righteous most, I will
answer you: because of envy that eats at our hearts forever and ever. (10) We know
that they are made to ascend to that place that we fell from; and we think it
disgraceful and very senseless, so that injury inflames us and we have become mad
through the rage that enrages us forever against the good. (11) For that is our
nature that I must make known to you. (12) We are sorrowful and sorry for each
man’s joy, we rejoice when he sins, and we are never more glad except for evil
alone. (13) This is our nature, matchless maiden. (14) Ah, dear lamb of God, release
me a little and loose, lady, your foot which sits upon me so sorely. (15) I entreat you
on God’s behalf, the high heavenly Father, and in Jesus’ name, His one wondrous
Son, that neither man nor woman may evermore henceforth cast me out of here.
(16) But you, bright lady, bind me on the earth, and do not cast me lower into Hell.
(17) For Solomon the wise, while he dwelled here confined us in a jar. (18) And the
men of Babylon came and thought to have found a gold-hoard and broke that vessel
in pieces, and we came forth then and filled the wideness of the world.”

(1) “Be silent forever,” said she, “most wretched of all things! (2) You shall not,
old devil, dispute with me more. (3) But fly, sorrowful fiend, out of my eyesight, and
dive down there so you can never injure man more.” (4) At that moment the earth
yawned open and swallowed him up, and roaring he rode backwards into Hell.

(1) In the morning Olibrius the wicked sent his men to bring her before him,
and she blessed herself and came boldly forth. (2) People made their way there from
every street to see what pain that would be inflicted on her lovely body if she neither
obeyed nor bowed to the governor’s advice.

(1) “Maiden,” said he, “Margaret, I still order and command that you work my
will and worship my idols, and the tide and the time that you were born shall be

(1) “No,” said she, “I do not care at all to be blessed like that. (2) But it would
be both to your gain and your good that you, who goes unblessed, should go
looking for a blessing and honor God almighty, the high heavenly Father, and
His wondrous Son, Jesus Christ, who is true man and God nevertheless. (3) But
you create a witless creature, as worthy as you are, bloodless and boneless, deaf
and dumb both. (4) And yet you do worse, for the invisible demons dwell within
them and you love them and worship them as your lords.”

(1) He began to grow angry, and in rage cried out: “Strip her stark-naked and
lift her up on high, so that she hangs as a reward for her mockeries, and burn her
body with burning tapers.” (2) The worthless drudges did so at once so that her
snow-white skin blackened as it scorched, and burst into blisters as it rose up
everywhere. (3) And her lovely body crackled from the flame so that all cried out
who saw that pitiful sight on her soft sides.

(1) And she began to make the prayer of David: “High Savior God, with the
healing fire of the Holy Ghost, humankind’s comfort, inflame my heart and let
the flame of Your love burn in my loins.”

(1) Again Olibrius spoke, the wickedest of governors: “Believe, maiden, my
advice: do what I wish before you lose your life cruelly.”

(1) “Wickedly would I live,” said she, “if I believed you. (2) But if I die thus,
my death is dear, and a door into everlasting life. (3) You work so hard and
achieve nothing for what you do to me, a maiden that I am, but you weary
yourself. (4) My Lord has specially sealed my limbs and has, for my gemstone
that I granted to him, prepared and given me the champion’s crown.”

(1) Then he became intensely maddened, and in wrath ordered a vessel full
of water brought forth, and bound her both by the feet and hands, and flung her
to the bottom so that she would be put to death and drowned therein. (2) It was
done as he had ordered; and she looked up on high and cried out toward Heaven:

(1) “King of all kings, break my bonds, so that I and all who see it may honor
and worship You. (2) May this water become pleasant and mild, and agreeable to
me and allow it to be a bath of bliss and baptism in the font, a hallowing and light
of eternal salvation. (3) May the Holy Ghost come in the likeness of a dove, which
in Your blessed name may bless these waters. (4) Fasten with baptism my soul to
Yourself, and with these same waters wash me within and cast away from me every
sin, and bring me to Your bright bower, Bridegroom of joy. (5) I accept here
baptism in the dear Lord’s name and in His dear Son’s and in the Holy Ghost’s:
one God in goodness enclosed and undivided.” (6) She had just said so when all
the earth began to quake and to quiver. (7) And there came a dove glowing as
bright as though it burned, and brought a golden crown, and set it on that blessed
maiden’s head. (8) At that moment her bonds broke and burst, and she, as bright
as the shining sun, came up out of the water, singing a praise-song that David the
prophet wrote long before that time to the glory of Christ. (9) “My beloved Lord,”
said she, “He makes known as King that He rules rightly. (10) Beauty and
strength are his garments, and He is girded in them so that they appear comely
and sit seemingly.”

(1) “Come,” said the dove with a ringing voice, “and ascend to the joy and to the
bliss of Heaven. (2) Blessed were you, maiden, when you chose virginity, which is
queen of all virtues. (3) Therefore you will enjoy the brightest of crowns forever in
bliss without end.”

(1) At that same time five thousand men turned to our Lord still without count-
ing children and women, and all were immediately, as the governor ordered it,
beheaded in Christ’s royal name, in a city of Armenie called Caplimet, all praising
God with uplifted voices, and ascended — all martyrs — with mirth to Heaven.

(1) The governor reddened completely from rage which enraged him, and
became so angry and so maddened that, entirely in madness, he condemned her to
death. (2) And in hot heart he ordered that her head be severed from her body with
a shining and sharp sword, with a bright and biting blade. (3) Those who were
commanded laid hands on her, and bound her so that the blood burst out at the
nails, and they led her outside of the city to be beheaded.

(1) “Maiden,” said Malchus, “stretch forth your neck to submit to the sharp
sword, for I must be your slayer (and that is grievous to me), if I might do it with this
sword, because I see God Himself with his blessed angels surround you.”

(1) “Wait for me then, brother,” said she, “while I make my prayers and give to
Him both my soul and my body both, to repose and to rest.”

(1) “Pray,” said he, “boldly while it pleases you.” (2) And she began to kneel
down on her knees, and with this prayer happily lifted her hands up on high
towards Heaven:

(1) “Ruler, Lord of men, though they are mysterious and difficult, your judg-
ments are excellent. (2) Now I am condemned to death here, and life with You
granted — for that I thank Your mild mercy. (3) You, the people’s father of
creation, created everything that is made. (4) You, the wisest creator of
everything, marked and measured out the heavens with your outstretched hand
and with Your clenched hand the earth. (5) You, steersman of the sea-stream,
You, guardian and ruler of all creatures that are created, seen and unseen, incline
Your ears, Savior God, and assent to my prayers. (6) I bid and beseech You, who
are my joy and my bliss, that whoever writes a book about my life, or obtains it
written, or holds it and has it often in hand, or whoever reads it or listens eagerly
to a reader, Savior of Heaven, may all their sins be forgiven of them immediately.
(7) Who so in my name makes a chapel or church, or provides in them light or
lamp, give them, Lord, and grant them the light of Heaven. (8) In that house
where a woman suffers in childbed, as soon as they call to mind my name and my
suffering, Lord — Lord, quickly help her and hear her prayer. (9) Nor may there
be born in the house any misshapen child, neither lame nor hunch-backed,
neither deaf nor dumb nor ordained for the devil. (10) And who so ever mentions
my name with mouth, lovely Lord, at the Last Judgment deliver him from death.”

(1) At this then it seemed as though a thunder-clap resounded. (2) And there
came a dove, as bright as if it burned, from Heaven with a cross gleaming with light
and with radiance. (3) And the maiden fell headlong down to the earth. (4) And the
dove came and touched her and raised her up with the Rood and said to her sweetly,
with the sweetest voice: “Blessed are you, maiden, among all women, who have
sought after that healing and hallowing oil, and who remembers all sinful men in
your prayers and in your blessed petitions. (5) By Myself I swear, and by My
heavenly host, that your prayers are securely granted to you, and heard for all
those for whom you have prayed. (6) And much more is given to those who
remember your name, and many things granted which are not mentioned now.
(7) Where so ever your body or any of your bones are, or a book of your passion
should the sinful man come and lay his mouth upon it I shall heal him of his sins.
(8) Nor will any demon dwell in the places in which your martyrdom is written,
and all the house will rejoice in God’s peace and in ghostly love. (9) And all who
pray to you to prepare them I will grant them remedy for their sins. (10) And you
are blessed and the place upon which you rest, and all those who through you will
turn to Me. (11) Come now, for I await you, Bride to the Bridegroom. (12) Come,
beloved, to your life, for I long for your coming. (13) The brightest bower awaits
you — beloved, hasten to me! (14) Come now to my kingdom, leave that lowly
people, and you shall rule with me all that I own in possession.”

(1) The voice ceased and she stood up, happiest of all women, and began to
pray for them who were about her and bewailed her death that they should endure
it. (2) “Cease now and leave off,” said she, “your loathly noise, and rejoice all with
me who wish me well — for you have heard (if you listened rightly) what the high
Savior has promised me. (3) And as you love yourself, lovingly I exhort you to have
my name much in mind, for I will happily pray for those in Heaven who often
remember my name and speak it on earth.(4) With a happy heart accompany me
to praise the King that has crowned me, the world’s Creator and the Ruler of all
created things. (5) I thank you for it; You I praise and worship, heavenly Savior.
(6) For Your dear name I have undergone hardship, and now suffer death, and
may You take me to You, God of all that is good, beginning and end. (7) May You
be blessed forever, and Your blissful Son, Jesus Christ by His name, with the Holy
Ghost which proceeds from you both. (8) You, three and nevertheless one,
divided into persons, undivided in glory, bound together and enclosed, one God
without beginning. (9) May honor and glory go to You alone from world into
world forever into eternity.”

(1) After this prayer then she bowed her neck, and said to the executioner:
“Do now, brother, quickly what you are ordered.”

(1) “No,” said he. (2) “I will not, for I have heard how the Lord’s dear mouth
has spoken with you.”

(1) “You must!” said she. (2) “Do it against your will, for if you do not you will
not have your share in the Heaven-kingdom.” (3) And with that he heaved up the
cruelest of all weapons and smote smartly down, so that the blow sank in. (4) And
that body gave way and the sharp sword sheared her at the shoulders, and the
body bowed to the earth. (5) And the spirit rose up to that starry bower, joyful to
Heaven. (6) Then he who gave the blow cried out at that moment: “Lord, grant
me mercy and compassion for this deed! (7) Behold, Lord, and heal me of this
sin!” (8) And from fear he fell down on her right side.

(1)There came descending then the angels of light, and they sat and sang over
her innocent body and blessed it. (2) The fiends who were there, severely injured,
began to cry out: “Margaret, maiden, release us now at least and loosen our
bonds. (3) We well know that there is no lord but God, in whom you believe.” (4)
Then through this a great many there turned to Christ, and the deaf and the
dumb came to her body as it lay, and all were cured. (5) The angels, as they
carried the soul in their bosoms, made their way toward Heaven and sang as they
rose up with the sweetest voices: “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts (and so on). (6)
Holy is, Holy is the Lord of heavenly hosts! (7) Heaven is full, and earth, of your
glorious joys! (8) Ruler of all creatures in glory, save us! (9) Blessed be the coming
of the child who comes in the Lord’s name — salvation in glory!” (10) With that
the spirits of Hell began then to howl and yell. (11) And all who were infirm
proceeded to her body and received healing.

(1) I, Teochimus, came and took her lovely body and bore it and brought it
again into the city of Antioch with immeasurable mirth, and placed it in a stone
coffin in her grandmother’s house, who was called Clete. (2) Truly I ought to
know this well, for I, during her suffering in the prison where she was put, found
her sustenance and fed her food for the body. (3) And I saw where she fought with
the fearsome fiend and her prayers that she made I wrote down on parchment,
and her entire life I had put down on the page. (4) And I sent it truly written
everywhere throughout the world.

(1) Thus the blessed maiden, Margaret by name, in the month that our
language — that is, Old English — calls Efterlithe, and Julium in Latin, on the
twentieth day died with torment and went from these woes to the life that lasts
forever, to bliss without suffering, to joy without any woe.

(1) All those who have devotedly listened to this: remember in your prayers
this maiden more happily, so that she with the prayers that she made on earth
may still intercede for you in the bliss of Heaven,
where she shines seven times brighter than the sun,
in victory and in more happiness than any mouth could tell it.
(2) And in that host of angels she sings forever unsoiled,
which no man or woman may who is flesh-fouled.
(3) And we among the angels, because of her intercession,
may yet see her and hear her sing.
(4) May God the Father be magnified, and His Son blessed,
the Holy Ghost glorified, these three in one,
served by angels and men on earth without end. (5) AMEN.

Go To The Liflade ant te Passiun of Seinte Juilene (The Life and Passion of Saint Juliana)