Book Of Judith

BOOK OF JUDITH: EXPLANATORY NOTES


ABBREVIATIONS: CA: Gower, Confessio Amantis; CM: Cursor mundi; CT: Chau­cer, Canterbury Tales; DBTEL: A Dic­tionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature, ed. Jeffrey; HS: Peter Comes­tor, Historia Scholastica, cited by book and chapter, followed by Patrologia Latina column in paren­theses; K: Kalén-Ohlander edition; MED: Middle English Dictionary; NOAB: New Oxford Annotated Bible; OED: Oxford English Dictionary; OFP: Old French Paraphrase, British Library, MS Egerton 2710, cited by folio and column; Whiting: Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Pro­verbial Phrases; York: York Plays, ed. Beadle. For other abbreviations, see Textual Notes.

As with several books of the Bible (see, e.g., Tobias), there are significant differences be­tween the Vulgate text of Judith and that found in many other versions of the Bible, like the NRSV. In the case of Judith, there are four extant Greek versions, two Latin ones, one in Syriac, and at least three later versions in Hebrew. Though I have found no direct cor­relations between it and the present work, it is also of note that the story of Judith survives as one of the most famous surviving works of Old English, an incomplete verse epic in the Beowulf-manuscript.

The Paraphrase-poet’s manipulation of the figure of Judith has been studied at length by Squires, who argues that the Paraphrase, “by its linguistic choices and by its emphases, transmutes the biblical figure, reducing the sense of her beauty and sexuality, and moul­ding her to fit acceptable contemporary stereotypes . . . to de-fuse the threat that her powerful femi­ninity poses” (“Treatment,” pp. 189, 196). I make references to Squires’ work through­out the notes that follow.

17007–08 Wherfore fowle vengance on hym fell / to lyfe als best with grouand grese. As Squires points out (“Treatment,” p. 197n13), the poet here “conflates the Nebu­chad­nezzar of the Book of Judith with that of Daniel” as the latter’s end, recorded in Daniel 4:33, is transferred to the former: “This indicates the non-scholarly nature of the text,” Squires writes, because “Comestor cer­tainly distinguishes” them.

17037–40 The Jewys that were dwelland / in Jerusalem cyté / Myght loke over all that land / and full grett soroyng see. Peck notes the oddness of the implication in these lines — and subsequent references to the Temple — that the city around which the main action of the story takes place is Jerusalem: the Vulgate clearly gives the name of the besieged city as Bethulia, an otherwise un­known location. The poet’s confusion between locations might well be due to Comestor’s lack of clarity on the matter, however, and it is certainly not specific to the Paraphrase: Chaucer’s Monk places the story in Bethulia (CT VII[B2]2551–74), while Gower’s Mirour de l’Omme places it in Jerusalem (lines 17461–72). Further clouding our ability to be certain what location was on the Paraphrase-poet’s mind is his reference, in line 17112, to Holo­fernes shut­ting off a watercourse coming “fro Jerusalem,” which hardly makes sense if Jerusalem is besieged but would, perhaps, be fitting of a nearby town.

17038 cyté. Peck maintains the general capitalization of the noun throughout Judith, wondering whether this is meant to “focus attention on the Jews’ special dwelling place,” thus relating it to Jerusalem (see note to lines 17037–40, above). I have chosen not to follow suit, given that the word is capitalized elsewhere in the base manuscript of the Paraphrase, where such implication cannot be inferred.

17080 Abymalech. Peck notes that the poet seems to have confused Amalech, from the Judith 4:12 in the Vulgate, with Abimelech, from Genesis 20–26.

17112 fro Jerusalem. See note to lines 17037–40.

17179 Sho wold yt wast with womans wytt. Squires observes that “the phrase ‘woman’s wytt’ is curiously ambiguous since it would appear to refer to her use of fem­i­nine wiles to defeat Holofernes but in the context of her ‘wise woman’ desig­nation and her immediate behaviour towards Ozias and the Beth­ulians this is far from obvious” (“Treatment,” p. 191).

17181–82 To the Tempyll rayked scho ryght / and cald tho folke in fere. Squires points out that “[f]rom the moment that she enters the action her voice is one of authority” (“Treatment,” p. 191). “Indeed once Judith has entered the action, with the exception of one speech of sixteen lines of Holofernes, four lines of excla­mation when Holofernes’ body is discovered and one stanza (1473) of dia­logue between Judith and the victorious warriors, all direct speech belongs to Judith” (p. 198n21).

17183–84 up sho stud on heyght / so that thei suld hyr here. Judith “does not discuss the matter of the city’s proposed surrender with the leaders in private (as in the Bible) but, standing in a prominent position, rebukes their leader . . . in pub­lic . . . for the policy he has proposed. Her tone has the uncompro­mi­sing ring of the female saint or female authority figure like the Pearl mai­den” (Squires, “Treatment,” p. 191).

17211 Job and Thoby. Judith’s connection of present circumstance to those of the books of Job and Tobias is not biblical, nor can I find any other telling of the story in which she does so. It is fitting here, however, given the proximity of those tales to hers in the Paraphrase; the poet’s characters thus aid him in making his work more unified. The fact that, despite these efforts and traditional orders to the contrary, the poet nevertheless places Esther be­tween Job and Tobias and the present book is yet more evidence that he is faithful to a source with this order already in place, which could be, though is not necessarily, Cassiodorus. See the introduction.

17223 Now, sers. Squires notes Judith’s shift in tone after the capitulation of the male authorities to her will, as “she responds more politely” to them in this subsequent speech (“Treatment,” p. 192).

17241–50 sho hyr arayd / in garmentes gud and gay . . . to make hyr semly unto se. Squires makes much of the Paraphrase-poet’s keen interest in the material aspect of Judith’s appearance: “the chief emphasis of this text is not on Judith’s beauty but rather is transferred onto the richness of her clothing” (“Treat­ment,” p. 190). See note to line 17250.

17250 semly unto se. Though I have glossed semly as “beautiful,” Squires notes that the vocabulary “not only reduces markedly such explicit reference to her beauty but uses language for it which converts it from the sexually dan­gerous to the socially acceptable. . . . It is not a vocabulary choice which sug­gests the beauty of the seductress but the outer beauty which matches and mirrors the inner beauty of spirit” (“Treatment,” p. 189). Such obser­va­tions aside, we might note, too, that it is not Judith herself who is "semly" in this text: it is her clothing, a transference that further reduces the threat of her sexuality. See note to lines 17241–50.

17321–22 forto marre hym more in myght, / full flatt unto the grownd sho fell. Squires points out that Judith’s “behaviour towards Holofernes at their first meeting seems to play more on Holofernes’ sense of power than on his lust, and to relate to Judith’s social status rather than her physical desirability” (“Treat­ment,” p. 191). Again and again she presents herself as submissive to his authority, while at the same time appearing, both in her speech and gar­ments, to be a woman “of grett degré” (line 17332), which pleases Holofer­nes greatly.

17455–60 Bot to slepe was sho never unclede. Squires observes that the poet “contrasts [Judith’s] labour with the luxury that Holofernes is offering her. . . . Far from revelling in the physical luxury as would a Delilah, she does not even undress but deprives herself of sleep and engages in hard labour for the good of her people” (“Treatment,” p. 193). In addition, one might note that the observation that Judith never undresses further underscores her devo­tion to God’s Law and the celibacy that it requires of her. See, too, the note to lines 17525–40.

17461–70 While in the Bible Judith goes to the well to purify herself and pray to God for support, here in the Paraphrase she goes to the well to bring water to the water-starved city. Peck notes: “in romance tradition the woman normally needs a guar­dian for her well (e.g., Chrétien de Troyes’ Yvain). Here Judith tends the well herself for the benefit of the whole city” (Heroic Women from the Old Testament, p. 152n1456.1–10).

17525–40 The Bible makes no mention of Judith ever leaving Holofernes’ side be­tween the banquet and his beheading. The poet’s addition of having her tem­porarily leave the bedchamber, however, ensures his audience that Judith never comes close to compromising the celibacy of her widowhood.

17556 wyghtly went ther way. Peck glosses wyghtly as “manfully,” presumably echoing the Douay-Rheims translation of Joachim’s praise of Judith’s actions at Judith 15:11. While I have not followed the gloss — the Middle English is not necessarily as gendered — it is an interesting consideration, especially in light of the tale’s deep interests in issues of gender. See, too, notes to lines 17577–604 and 17675.

17575 scho schewed hyr releke ryght. “Although the word ‘releke’ can be used without religious connotations . . . there does seem [to be] deliberate irony in the choice of this term. The beheading of Holofernes and removal of his head forms an interesting parallel to martyrdoms which require decapitation to kill a saint. For example in the legend of St Margaret of Antioch . . . her head [is] taken to Paradise in the embrace of angels while her body re­mains behind as a relic working healing miracles. Holofernes’ fate is almost a parody of this: his head is borne into Bethulia/Jerusalem in Judith’s food bag and his body remains behind to perform the ‘miracle’ of sending his invincible army in headlong flight” (Squires, “Treatment,” p. 198n24).

17577–604 Judith’s speech, which begins, as Squires notes, “with a series of impera­tives,” marks her as “the sole authority figure” in the city. “Judith as God’s representative and instrument has become both the civil and religious leader of her people,” a “figure of the powerful female” that the poet will sub­sequently work to mediate (“Treatment,” p. 192).

17651–78 Thei fand all safe certayn . . . that thei not stryfe. This sequence, in which the Assyrian camp remains untouched by the victorious Jews until they have brought Holofernes’ personal goods to Judith and received her wise direc­tion regarding the orderly division of the spoils, stands against the known texts of the biblical tale. In the Bible, the camp is plundered even as the Assyrians are fleeing, and details about specific treasures being set aside for Judith are not given until the triumphant return of all to the city. One obvious result of the Paraphrase’s different account, for which I can find no source, is that the Jewish forces are presented as remarkably controlled and orderly from beginning to end. They are loyal to the social authoritative structures of their world — especially those associated with religion, whether rooted in the traditional location of the Temple or the quite nontraditional location of the figure of the uncompromising Judith.

17675 To make us mery evermore. Both extant manuscripts read To make us men ever­more (see textual note). While I have followed previous editors in emending the line, it is not without some hesitation; the manuscript reading presents a very interesting admission on the part of those speaking (presumably the town elders): Judith’s gender-infused victory, and its subsequent trium­phant spoils, have restored a traditional gender balance to the community: the men have now resumed their masculine roles, and Judith will return once more to her widow’s weeds. See note to lines 17703–35.

17703–36 Unlike the Bible, which presents the fact of Judith’s widowhood at the mo­ment of her first appearance, the Paraphrase only mentions it here, at the end of the narrative. The alteration provides the poet with an oppor­tunity to focus the whole of his conclusion on a portrayal of Judith as “not the wise and commanding leader, nor, exactly, the wealthy and noble ‘lady,’ but an even more acceptable development of that image, the pious, chaste, chari­table and retiring widow who remains content with devotion to the memory of a single husband.” Thus the Paraphrase-poet “makes it appear that the dramatic events of the narrative had no permanent effect on Judith. As soon as her role as God’s agent is complete, she immediately retires to her ‘pro­per’ female role of managing her house and her servants, and caring for the poor” (Squires, “Treatment,” p. 195).

17707–08 sho weryd hyr wedow wede / bot in soverane sesons of the yere. The detail that she did not wear her widow’s weeds during holidays, derived from Judith 16:27 in the Vulgate, does not appear in all versions of the Bible due to the mul­tiple recensions of the book of Judith. It is lacking, for instance, in the NRSV. See headnote.

17715–16 Manasses . . . that lordly lyf before had led. Squires wonders at the fact that the Paraphrase makes no mention of the manner of Manasses’ passing: “Is this because his death while working in the fields at harvest does not match the image of a wealthy landowner for the poet?” (“Treatment,” p. 198n19).


BOOK OF JUDITH: TEXTUAL NOTES


ABBREVIATIONS: L: MS Longleat 257; H: Heuser edition (partial); K: Kalén-Ohlander edition; O: Ohlander’s corrigenda to K; P: Peck edition (partial); S: MS Selden Supra 52 (base text for this edition).

16957, 59 Lines indented to leave space for an initial capital; first letter of line 16957 writ­ten in the middle of the space.

16969 with. So L, K. S, P omit.

16970 of. So L, K, P. S: on.

16972 our. So L, K, P. S: fell.

16987 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 156r): Judyth.
them. So L, K, P. S omits.


16999 not. S: t inserted above the line.

17001 On. So L, K, P. S: Of.

17013 then. So L, K, P. S: þem.

17023 folke. So L, K, P. S: foke.

17041 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 156v): Judythe.

17044 dyght most. So L, K, P. S: most dy3t.

17047 ther. So L, K, P. S omits.

17054 forto. So L, K, P. S: to.

17072 deme in. So K. S, P: deme. L: do in.

17079 of Moyses. So L, K, P. S omits.

17089 he. S: inserted above the line.
them. So L, K. S: þan. P omits.


17097 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 157r): Judyth.

17101 thei. So S, P. L: they.

17105 ryn. S: rynd ryn.

17107 lowt. So L, K, P. S: bowt.

17118 them. S: þen þem.

17128 cummand. So L, K, P. S: cumnand.

17129 Tempyll. S: inserted above pepyll.

17130 God all. So L, K, P. S: all god.

17134 nevenand. So L, K, P. S: nevan and.

17138 land. So L, K, P. S: sand.

17144 this. S: s inserted above the line.

17151 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 157v): Judyth.

17168 to. S: l to.

17170 Marginalia in S (at right of fol. 157v): Judyth.

17195 us. So L, K, P. S: was.

17207 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 158r): Judyth.

17208 fayle. S: fall fayle.

17220 graunted. S: al graunted.

17221 them. S: to þem.

17222 both. So L, K, P. S omits.

17247 pellour. So L, K, P. S: plessour.

17249 of. So L, K, P. S omits.

17258 then. S: inserted above down.

17259 God. So L, K, P. S omits.

17263 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 158v): Judyth.
yll. S: corrected from ell.


17266 lyght. S: scho ly3t.

17280 fand them sone. S: sho fand þem sone. L, P: toke theym sone. K: [sone] fand þem.

17281 Thei. So S. L, P: They.

17282 semly. S: sembly.

17284 geyre. S: y inserted above the line.

17286 so late. So L, K. S: solace.

17300 ere therin. So L, K, P. S: þer ere in.

17315 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 159r): Judyth.

17331 geyre. So L, K, P. S: gyrde.

17336 sho. So L, K, P. S omits.

17338 them. So L, K, P. S: þen.

17341 here. S: lere here.

17350 how thou. So L, K, P. S: how þat þou.
his. So L, K, P. S omits.


17360 of fode fall. So L, K, P. S: fell.

17367 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 159v): Judyth.

17388 bryng. S: by bryng.

17396 amend. So L, K, P. S: mend.

17403 thy. So L, K, P. S omits.

17417 when. So L, K, P. S omits.

17423 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 160r): Judyth.

17425 unto hym may heve. So L, P. S: vnto þe may heue. K: to hym may be leue.

17437 cummand. So L, K, P. S: cumnand.

17442 hyr stand. So L, K, P. S: hyr suld stand.

17444 cummand. So L, K, P. S: cumnand.

17449 a. So L, K, P. S omits.

17453 that. S: inserted above þar.

17460 Ebrews. So L, K, P. S: Ebrew.

17462 Ebrews. So L, K, P. S: Ebrew.

17469 within. So L, K, P. S omits.

17471 win. So L, K, P. S: in.

17481 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 160v): Judyth.

17498 presciosly. So L, K, P. S: presciosusly.

17508 over. So L, K, P. S: our.

17512 wele. So L, K, P. S omits.

17533 and wepe. S: inserted above line.
wepe. So L, K, P. S: vepe.


17537 warnd. S: warrnd.

17538 sho. So L, K, P. S: no man.

17543 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 161r): Judyth.

17548 so. So L, K, P. S: & so.

17549 synow. So L, K, P. S: syn.

17554 whore. So L, K, P. S omits.

17579 To. So L, K, P. S: canceled.

17584 thar. So L, K, P. S: þan.

17588 do. So L, K, P. S omits.

17595 For. S: ffr ffor.

17598 bot. So L, K, P. S: bo.

17603 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 161v): Judyth.

17642 ryche. So L, K, P. S: ryches.

thei rafe. So L, K. S, P: all rafed.


17646 ther. S: l þer.

17661 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 162r): Judyth.
broght. So L, P. S: borogh. K: brogh.


17666 hyr. S: h hyr.

17667 wun. S: wone wun.

17671 therwyth. So L, K, P. S: wyt.

17672 goveren. So L, K, P. S: goveren yt.

17675 mery. So K, P. S, L: men.

17682 thei. So L, K, P. S omits.

17700 ther. S: letter canceled before.

17702 were. So L, K, P. S: wene.

17707 wede. S: hede wede.

17719 Marginalia in S (at top of fol. 162v): Judyth.

17733 hyr. S: inserted above the line.

17738 power. S: inserted above the line.

17748 us. So L. S, K, P: to.
 
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Book Of Judith


 
JUDYTH.
 

 
[NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S PRIDE AND POWER (1:1–16)]
 




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1414.
Dame Judyth was a gentyll Jew
   and woman wyse whore sho suld wende.
Now wyll we nevyn hyr story new,
   for to sum men yt myght amend
To see how sho in trewth was trew
   als lang als sho in lyf con lend
And lufed the Law als lele Ebrew
   that Moyses tyll hyr kynred kend.
That law forto mayntene
   sho ordand in all thyng,
Als insampyll was seyn
   and wyttenest in werkyng.

1415.
Bot to mell with this mater more
   this lady now wyll we leve of hand,
And tell of fare that fell before,
   als our faders before us fand.
A kyng, Nabogodhonosour,
   in Bablion he was dwelland.
All other kynges and lordes wore
   full stably at his stevyn to stand.
All that lufed paynyms law
   and lyfed by mawmentry
Aftur his dedes con draw
   and lowted hym fast forthi.

1416.
He had this werld sett at his wyll;
   hym toyght no noye suld neght hym nere,
For all his forwardes to fulfyll
   all hethyn folke were full fayn in fere.
With Ebrews oft hym angerd yll,
   for them lyst not his lare to lere.
Oft sythys he spyed them to spyll
   with engynys and with sawtes sere.
By sere cautels he kest
   how he myght bryng them down,
Bot whyls thei lufed God best,
   to beld them ay was He bown.

1417.
This kyng was strang in ylke stoure,
   and in all were he wan degré;
And so he gat to grett honowre
   and conquered kynges in sere cuntré,
Wherfor he fell in fowle errowre,
   als men may be exempyll see.
He couth not knaw his creatore
   bot hoped ther was no god bot he.
On payn of lyf and lyme
   he warnd his men ylkon
And bad thei suld hald hym
   ther god and other none.

1418.
So in this errour con he dwell
   als maystur most of more and lese,
Wherfore fowle vengance on hym fell
   to lyfe als best with grouand grese.
Bot here we have no tym to tell
   the poyntes that proves all the procese.
Furth with our maters wyll we mell
   how Jewys ware doyne to grett dystrese.
For then the kyng ordand
   his ost with playn powere
To dystroy ylka land
   that his law wyll not lere.
 

noble; (t-note)
wise wherever she went
invoke her
some
truth was true
so long as she in life remained
loved; as a loyal Hebrew
to her people taught


As example
witnessed in [her] behavior


speak; (t-note)
leave aside (for a time); (t-note)
events; happened
found; (t-note)

Babylon; dwelling

steadfastly; command
loved pagan
lived in idolatry

bowed to him fast therefore



annoyance; approach
agreements
glad together

desired not; teaching to learn
times he desired; destroy; (t-note)
siege engines; many assaults
crafty devices


comfort; ever; committed


powerful; every battle
warfare; victory




(t-note)
but himself
limb; (t-note)
each one






(see note)
live as a beast upon growing grass


speak

(t-note)
army; naked power
each land
obey

 
[NEBUCHADNEZZAR SENDS HOLOFERNES AGAINST THE JEWS (2:1–7:18)]
 




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1419.
And to fulfyll all this in dede
   to semble folke he wold not sese.
He ordand on his ost to lede,
   a dughty duke heyght Olyfernes,
And bad all men to hym take hede
   and with hym wend in were and pese.
The folke were fayn and with hym yede,
   and for ther cheftan thei hym chese.
The kyng bad them not spare
   bot dyng down all be deyne
That wold noyght luf ther lare,
   tyll all be conquered cleyne.

1420.
This dughty duke that I of ment
   fro his werke wold no langer abyde.
With full grett ost furth is he went
   with mynstralsy and mekyll pride.
Cytes and burghes both thei brent,
   the Jewys to harme full fast thei hyed.
Cornes and wynes shamly thei shent.
   Thor was no trews to take that tyde.
The Jewys that were dwelland
   in Jerusalem cyté
Myght loke over all that land
   and full grett soroyng see.

1421.
When thei had so dystroyd and strayd
   and fuld the folke be fyrth and fell,
A sege to that cyté thei layd
   whore Jews was dyght most forto dwell.
“We sall not sese, for soth,” thei sayd,
   “or all the chylder of Israel
With all ther godes to ground be grayd.
   So sall thei never of maystry mell.”
Thei loged them thore to lend
   and lyfyd at ther lykyng
Full fawrty days tyll end
   that burgh in bale to bryng.

1422.
Bot folke within full wysly wake
   ther cyté fast forto dyffend
With allablasters and with bows of brake
   ay redy bown forto be bend.
With gunys grett styfly thei strake,
   within ther dynt durst no man lend.
And ever to God ther mayn thei make
   ther mornyng with his myght to mend.
Within that cyté ere
   prestes to pray plenté,
And knyghtes full wyse of were
   to govern ther degré.

1423.
Bot ther degré was not to deme
   all yf thei were dughty of dede.
Ther enmyse were so bold and breme,
   to them thei durst not batell bede.
Ther byschope heyght Elyachym,
   and unto hym holy thei yede
And prayd hym say how yt suld seme
   them forto deme in swylka drede.
He commawnd then that thei
   suld both with hert and hend
Mekly unto God pray
   ther myschefe to amend.

1424.
“For so,” he says, “ye sall encrese
   and nothyng of your rebels reke.”
He sett ensampyll of Moyses
   and of the grett Abymalech:
“He putt his pepyll fast in prese,
   to fell Goddes folke thei were full freke.
Bot ay whyls Moyses prayd for pese,
   God sett ther noys in ther enmys neke.
Yf we werke on swylke wyse
   and faynd our God to plese,
Then sall non yll enmyse
   unto us do dysesse.”

1425.
Thei were full redy, os he them red,
   forto aray aftur his resown.
Full bowsomly, os he them bed,
   on the bare erth thei sett them down.
In hayrys and sekkes sone were thei cled
   and kest powder apon ther crown.
All yf ther enmyse wele were fed,
   to fyght then had thei no fusyown.
Ser Olyfernes toyght
   thei lay ther full lang whyle.
Sere soteltes he soyght
   to wyn them be sum wyle.
 


assemble; tarry
one [man] his army
named Holofernes

go in war and peace
glad; went; (t-note)
declare

strike; everyone at once
love their teaching
utterly


brave leader; mentioned
desist
army

towns; burned
hastened
Cornfields and vineyards; destroyed
truce; at that time
dwelling; (see note)
(see note)

sorrowing


scattered; (t-note)
despoiled; woods and hills
siege
were most prepared; (t-note)
stop; they [Holofernes’ army]
until
destroyed; (t-note)
victory tell
remain


city in grief


wisely are vigilant
their; defend; (t-note)
crossbows; winches and racks
always prepared to be cocked
great cannons powerfully
range; remain
their complaint
their mourning
are

learned in warfare
maintain their position


judge
whether they were all doughty warriors
fierce
engage
Joakim
as a group they went

judge under such terror; (t-note)

heart and hand (i.e., word and deed)
Meekly




enemies reckon
(t-note)
(see note)
conscription
destroy; bold

prayers
work in similar manner
endeavor
no wicked enemies
harm


as he advised them; (t-note)
to array [themselves]; reason
obediently; commanded

hairshirts; sackcloths; clad
cast ashes; heads
Even
provisions
(t-note)

Many subtleties
stratagem

 
[HOLOFERNES CUTS OFF WATER TO THE CITY; DESPAIR SETS IN (7:19–28)]
 





17105




17110






17115




17120




 
1426.
He wyst wele thei wold have no dawt
   whyls thei had welth of waters clere.
Therfor he gart spare ylk spowte
   whore any wels of watur were.
He mad ther bekkes to ryn abowt
   that non suld negh that cyté nere.
So menes he forto make them lowt
   and be full blyth his lay to lere.
Then were the Jews in wo,
   when thei saw stopped ylke streme
Fro the cyté of Jerico
   and fro Jerusalem.

1427.
Thei saw ther wellys wex all dry,
   thei fand no tast in town ne feld.
No wounder yf thei were sory,
   for wyn was wasted all that thei weld.
Ther price prophett then heyght Ozi,
   that in batell them best wold beld.
To hym thei come with carfull crye
   and bad he suld ther bodes yeld.
“Our lyfes so forto save,
   for, sothly, ser,” thei say,
“Bettur is our hele to have
   then dye all on a day.”
 

knew well; doubt; (t-note)
while
made rare each drop
wells
brooks to be diverted; (t-note)
come near
submit; (t-note)
eager his law to learn



(see note)


grow


spoiled; possessed
best; Uzziah
protect; (t-note)

homes surrender

truly
health

 
[UZZIAH’S PRAYER AND PROMISE IN THE TEMPLE (7:29–32)]
 

17125




17130




17135






17140




17145






17150




17155




17160






17165




17170


 
1428.
When Ozi herd them sorowyng so
   and lyke to lose all that land,
He weped and wrang his hend for wo,
   and unto them thus he cummand
Unto the Tempyll all forto go
   and pray ther God all-weldand
“Us forto wyn out of this wo,
   sen all our hele henges in His hand.”
Full prestly thore thei pray,
   nevenand grett God be name,
And thus hymself con say,
   for thei suld say that same:

1429.
“Lord God that mad kyrnell and corne
   and all may save be land and see,
That fed our faders fare beforn
   and fro Kyng Pharo mad them free!
Sene Thee lykes noyght that thei be lorn
   that trewly trows and treystes in Thee,
Have mercy on us evyn and morn.
   Save Thi servandes and this cyté!
We wott full wele us aw
   for syn swylke lyf to lede,
Bot Thi mercy we knaw
   is more then our mysdede.

1430.
“We wott wele Thou is all-weldand
   and all may govern gud and yll.
Agayn Thi stevyn may nothyng stand,
   all states may Thou steme and styll.
Chasty us, Lord, with Thi hand
   that our enmyse say not this skyll:
‘Ther god was wunt them to warrand,
   now wyll he not tent them untyll.’”
Then all that pepyll prayd
   full lowly, lese and more.
And forto make them payd
   to them thus sayd he thore:

1431.
“I rede we fast fyve days to end
   with all wrschep we may weld,
And see yf God wyll socour send
   us forto save under His sheld.
And yf no comforth then be kend,
   this cyté sone then sall I yeld
Our enmyse to have in ther hend,
   so that thei hete to be our beld.”
Thei sayd, “We all assent
   this forward to fulfyll.”
And so ther ways thei went
   ylkon at ther awn wyll.
 


likely
hands
(t-note)
(t-note)
almighty; (t-note)

since; welfare holds
earnestly
naming; (t-note)
[Uzziah] himself did



seed and grain
by; sea; (t-note)
fathers in former times

Since; be lost
believes and trusts
night and day
(t-note)
know; we ought
such

greater than




voice; (t-note)
contain and silence
Chasten
these words
did formerly protect them
care for them so long

meekly
satisfied



advise
devotion; wield


shown
surrender
their power
promise; protection; (t-note)

agreement; (t-note)


 
[JUDITH’S ANGRY RESPONSE TO UZZIAH’S PROMISE (8:1–36)]
 



17175




17180






17185




17190




17195






17200




17205






17210




17215




17220







17225




17230

 
1432.
Bot then this wyse woman Judyth,
   when scho herd of ther tythyng tell,
How Ser Ozi had ordand yt
   ther cyté and therselfe to sell,
And how he made that mesure fytt
   to dome of God fyve days to dwell,
Sho wold yt wast with womans wytt,
   and furth scho went that fare to fell.
To the Tempyll rayked scho ryght
   and cald tho folke in fere,
And up sho stud on heyght
   so that thei suld hyr here.

1433.
To Ozi fyrst hyr mone sho mase
   als to most maystur tho men amang.
Sho says, “O myse thou takes thi trace,
   and to my wytt thi werke is wrang.
How dere thou sett in certayn space
   the wyll of God to come or gang,
Sene He is gyfer of all grace
   sone forto leve or to last lang!
This is more lyke to greve
   our God, that most may gayn,
Then us oght to releve
   at put us fro this payn.

1434.
“Therfor is gud that we begyne
   of this grevance to geyte relese,
And say: this sorow is sent for syn
   that we have wroyght and wold not sese,
Als was with elders of our kyn,
   Abraham, Ysaac, and Moyses.
Thei had wo, for God wold them wyn
   aftur ther payn to endlese pese
And also forto prove
   with teyne and with trayveyle
Whedder thei wold last in love
   or fro Hym fayntly fayle.

1435.
“And for thei wold not groche agayn
   bot schewed ay meknes more and more,
Als Job and Thoby dyde sertayn
   that were assayd with seknes sore,
To Goddes bydyng ay were thei bayn;
   therfor ther guddes He con restore
And put them into power playn
   more fast then ever thei wore before.
The same then sall us fall
   and we this fare fulfyll.”
Then Ozi and thei all
   graunted to werke hyr wyll.

1436.
Thei prayd hyr forto tell them to
   hyr purpase both by nyght and day.
“Now, sers,” sho sayd, “sen ye wyll so,
   all myn entent I sall yow say.
This nyght I wyll wende furth yow fro
   in other place my God to pray,
And pray ye that God with me go,
   and lokes none wayte eftur my way.
I kepe no cumpany
   bot my servand sertayn.
Kepes this cyté seurly
   tyll God send us agayn.”
 


heard word of these happenings
proclaimed
their

demand of God results in five days
would undo it [their plans]; wit; (see note)
plan to squelch
she strode at once; (see note)
called those people together
(see note)
should hear her


complaint she makes
most important figure those
Amiss; your course

dare; specific time
go
Since; giver

liable to anger
who may help most
find relief; (t-note)




to earn release
sin
cease


win them
their; peace

suffering and travails
abide; (t-note)
(t-note)


because; complain
ever showed meekness
(see note)
tried; sickness
obedient
did restore
manifest power
secure

if; mission

(t-note)


(t-note)
(t-note)
since; (see note)

journey


be sure that no one follows

except my loyal servant
Guard; securely
sends us back

 
[JUDITH PREPARES HERSELF TO SAVE THE CITY (9:1–10:5)]
 



17235




17240






17245




17250




17255






17260




17265



 
1437.
Sho sett yyng men to yeme the gate
   and bad thei suld be redy bown
To kepe hyr in the evyn late,
   for that tyme wold scho wend o town.
Then to hyr howse scho toke the gate
   and gart hyr servand in that sesown
With bawme and with bathes hate
   clense all hyr cors fro fote to crown.
And sythyn sho hyr arayd
   in garmentes gud and gay,
And ever to God sho prayd
   to wyse hyr in hyr way.

1438.
With sylke and sendell and satayn
   and baulkyn bettur non myght be,
Hyr pellour all of pure armyne,
   with pyrry plett full grett plenté,
With gyrdyll and garland of gold fyne
   to make hyr semly unto se.
Hyre maydyn bare both bred and wyne
   to fynd them fode for days thre.
God wyst wele that sho went
   to save His pepyll exprese.
Therfor to hyr He sent
   both favour and fayrnese.

1439.
When hyr aray was all redy,
   down on hyr knesse sho kneled then,
And sayd, “My Lord God Allmighty,
   that wyll and toyght may clerly kene,
Sen in Thee lygges all vyctory,
   to me, Thi servand, myght Thou lene
Forto overcom our yll enmy
   and save this cyté and Thi men.”
Scho prayd to God thus gaite
   tyll lyght of day con sese.
Then wentt scho to the gate
   full prevely to prese.
 

young; guard
readily prepared
To attend to her; evening
depart from town
(returned home)
made her servant; time
ointment; hot baths
body from foot to head
then; dressed herself; (see note)


guide


silk and fine silk and satin
brocade
furs; ermine; (t-note)
precious stones adorned
girdle; (t-note)
beautiful to look upon; (see note)

provide them with food
knew well






knees she kneeled; (t-note)
(t-note)
whose; understand
Since; lies
incline
wicked enemy; (t-note)
people
in this way
was gone; (t-note)

secretly to go forward

 
[JUDITH AND HER SERVANT DEPART AND ARE CAPTURED QUICKLY (10:6–22)]
 


17270




17275




17280






17285




17290






17295




17300






17305




17310




17315

 
1440.
When sho come ydder, redy sho fand
   Ozi and other to tent ther toure.
Sho bad that thei suld stably stand
   that cyté to save and socoure,
And that prestes suld pray with hert and hand
   that God suld be hyr governoure.
So went sho furth with hyr servand
   to enmys that were strang in stoure.
Ever to God sho prays
   to be hyr helpe and beld.
Wach men that kepes ways
   fand them sone in the feld.

1441.
Thei merveld of hyr rych aray,
   for so semly had thei sene none.
Sum of them ware prowd of that pray,
   for gay geyre had sho full gud woyne.
The asked wher scho was o way
   and why sho welke so late allon;
And to them sothly con scho say,
   “Sers, fro my frendes thus am I gone.
I com to yow in trewse,
   and that sall ye here and see.
I am on of the Ebrews
   that wuns in this cyté.

1442.
“To fle ther fro I am full fayn
   and leve both catell, kyth, and kyn.
For wele I wott my self certayn
   that ye and yours sone sall yt wyn.
To your prince is my purpase playn,
   and I sall tell hym, or we twyn,
To wyne yt wele withoutyn payn
   and dystroy all that ere therin.
Sen thei wyll not them yeld
   to men that may them save,
Yt is no boyte to beld
   them that no helpe wyll have.

1443.
“Unto my hele I wyll take hede
   and to my servand that is here.
And, sers, I pray yow me to lede
   unto your prince that has no pere.”
Thei herd hyr spech was for ther sped,
   therfor thei were full fayn in fere.
To Olyfernes so thei yede
   and fand hym syttand with solace sere.
That lady in thei lad
   and told thei fand hyr flayd
And fro hyr frenschep fled,
   and how sho to them sayd.
 


to guard their tower
steadfastly




powerful in battle

comfort
Watchmen who patrol the ways
found; soon; field; (t-note)


(t-note)
beautiful; (t-note)
prey
fancy dress; great plenty; (t-note)
going
walked so late alone; (t-note)
truly she did say
from
truce
hear
one
dwells


eager
abandon; family; kin

soon shall conquer it

before we depart
How to win it easily
are; (t-note)
Since; surrender themselves

profit to help



welfare; heed

lead
peer
good fortune
glad together
went
found him sitting; apart
led
terrified
their; (t-note)

 
[JUDITH AT HOLOFERNES’ TENT (10:23–12:4)]
 




17320




17325






17330




17335




17340






17345




17350






17355




17360






17365




17370




17375






17380




17385






17390




17395




17400






17405




17410






17415




17420






17425




17430




17435






17440




17445



 
1444.
When Olyfernes saw this syght
   and herd ther tayles how thei con tell,
In hyr hys hert was ravyscht ryght
   and demed that sho suld with hym dwell.
Than, forto marre hym more in myght,
   full flatt unto the grownd sho fell.
He commawnd men that wer full wyght
   to take hyr tyte up them omell.
Then on hyr knese sho kneled
   and prayd his helpe to have.
He sayd he suld hyr beld
   in oght that scho wold crave.

1445.
Sho thanked hym frendly, noyght at hyde,
   and ryght glad in his hert was he.
He saw hyr geyre of so heygh prid,
   he trowed sho was of grett degré.
He made hyr sytt hymself besyd,
   that was ryght semly syght to see.
Thei fell in talkyng so that tyde
   that mery sho mad als his meneye.
Yt was solace sertayn
   to se them syt togeydder,
And fyrst he con hyr frayn
   cause of hyr comyng ydder.

1446.
Sho sayd, “Ser, and yow lyke to here,
   I am an Ebrew ald and yyng.
My menyng is to mend your chere
   by gud bod word that I yow bryng.
I wyll maynteyn in my manere
   Nabogodhonosour, your kyng,
And his law wyll me lyke to lere
   when we have endyd other thyng.
And, ser, fully I fynd
   how thou has in his sted
Power to lowse and bynd
   als lord of lyfe and ded.

1447.
“And, ser, I se the soth certayn:
   Ebrews, whyls thei may wepyns weld,
Wyll hold yond ceté thee agayn
   and never assent yt forto yeld.
Therfor to fle I am full fayn
   to thee, that best may be my beld.
For wele I wott thei sal be slayn,
   for fawt of fode fall fay in feld.
And sen thei wyll not crye
   to thee, that may them save,
I hald them wele worthy
   swylk hydows herm to have.

1448.
“And therfore come I to thee here
   by certayn sygnes thee to say
How thou sall all that kynd conquere
   lyghtly withoutyn lang delay.
Thei may not last, thus I thee lere,
   because ther watur is haldyn away.
I herd them say with sympyll chere
   that all suld fayle or the faurt day.
And I saw, or I yode,
   how thei ther bestes sloght
For thryst to drynke the blod,
   bot non had half enogh.

1449.
“And when I saw that thei dyd so
   and that yt wold no bettur be,
I hyde me fast to fle them fro
   so to save my servand and me.
Sen thei wyll not beware with wo
   to save themself and ther cyté,
Yt was Goddes wyll that I suld go
   and tell ther tythynges unto thee.
Lo, ser, this is,” sho sayd,
   “the cause of my comyng.”
Then was the prince wele payd.
   The wyn he bad them bryng.

1450.
He dranke and bed hyr furth by raw.
   Sho thanked hym with hert and hende:
“Ser, me behovys lyfe eftur my Law
   tyll this bargan be broyght tyll ende.
We have ordand, als Ebrews aw,
   fode ther faur days forto spend.
And, ser, by that day sall we knaw
   how wele our myrth sal be amend.
For als lang als I dwell
   His Law sadly to save,
Then wyll my God me tell
   how we sall helpyng have.

1451.
“And, ser, so sall I tell thee tyll
   to make asawt by sotell gyne
To weld the cyté at thy wyll
   and esely forto entur therin.
And, ser, than may thou spare or spyll
   the Ebrews ylkon or thou blyn,
And, yf thee lyke, to lend thor styll
   or home agayn with wrschep wyn.”
With gawdes thus scho hym glosed
   to have hyr purpase playn.
Hyr sawys soth he supposed,
   and thus he glosed agayn:

1452.
“I gyfe thee leve to make thi mese
   of mete and drynke at thi lykyng,
For thou ow wele thi god to plese
   that out of bale wyll thee bryng.
And when we sall the ceté sese,
   thou sall have chose of all thyng
And lyfe ever then at thin awn ese
   with Nabogodhonosour, the kyng.
For and I fynd yt fyne
   that thou says in thi saw,
Then sall thi god be myne
   and I wyll luf thi law.

1453.
“And all that unto hym may heve
   byd I thou do both nyght and day.
Yt is not gud that thou hym greve,
   sen he all soth to thee wyll say.”
Sho sayd, “Then bus thou gyfe me leve
   forto have rowm and redy way
Evermore at mydnyght forto meve
   to certayn place my God to pray.”
Of hyr wyll noyght he wyst;
   therfor he graunt sone
To lyf at hyr awn lyst
   tyll all thier dedes be done.

1454.
And to his kepers cummand he
   o payn to lose both lyf and land
That thei suld to hyr bowsom be
   and holy held unto hyr hand
And make uschew and entré,
   so that no stekyll agayn hyr stand.
Thei graunt ylkon in ther degré
   kyndly to do als he them cummand.
Full mery was ylk man
   and full glad of ther gest.
So depart thei than
   and rede them all to rest.
 


heard
heart

in order to deceive him; (see note)

strong
quickly between them
knees

comfort
whatever; desire


there’s no hiding it

apparel; high; (t-note)
believed

time
company
(t-note)

(t-note)
did ask her
there


if you wish to hear; (t-note)
old and young
intention
good advice
adhere; behavior [to]

learn


have; place; (t-note)
loose; bind
death


see the absolute truth
weapons carry
against
yield

protection

default of food fall dead; (t-note)



such hideous harm



signs to tell you
people; (t-note)

advise
withheld

before the fourth
before I departed
beasts slaughtered






hastened myself




their circumstances


well pleased
wine; (t-note)


invited her to do so in turn

it behooves me to live
until
ought
food these

(t-note)






when
assault by subtle device
conquer; (t-note)
easily

each one before you cease
to stay there still
return home; honors
flatteries; deceived

words true
flattered her in return


permission; food

ought
sorrow
capture; (t-note)
choice


if; true
speech
(t-note)



pertain; (t-note)

grieve
since
must
leeway; ready access
go

intention he knew nothing

live according to her desire
these deeds


guards; (t-note)

be obedient
wholly
exit and entry
doorbar against; (t-note)
each one
(t-note)

guest

prepare themselves

 
[JUDITH’S FOUR DAYS IN HOLOFERNES’ CAMP (12:5–9)]
 


17450




17455




17460






17465




17470


 
1455.
Then to a chamber thei hyr led
   that was with alkyns wrschepe wroyght.
All bewtese both for burd and bed
   with mekyll blyse was ydder broyght;
And in that sted so was sho stede
   with alkyns solace sere unsoght.
Bot to slepe was sho never unclede,
   of other thyng was mare hyr toyght.
Ylke nyght scho toke hyr way
   ferre down into a dale.
Thor menys sho, and sho may,
   to hald the Ebrews hale.

1456.
In that ylke dale was dyght a well
   with Ebrews that before had bene.
Thorof thei dranke whore thei con dwell,
   and thorin ware thei weschyn clene.
And thore scho and hyr damsell
   trayveld so them two betwene.
Thei mad a spryng that fro yt fell
   at the cyté syde forto be sene,
So that thei that wund within
   ware warescht wele of thryst.
Thus myght sho wende with win
   and lend at hyr awn lyst.
 

(t-note)
all manner of splendor
beauteous things; board

placed; (t-note)
all manner of unsought comforts
for sleep; undressed; (see note)
more
Each night
far
There she intends, if
keep; healthy; (t-note)


same; a well had been dug; (see note)
by; in years past; (t-note)
Thereof; where; went
therein were

labored


dwelled; (t-note)
were relieved
return with joy; (t-note)
remain; own pleasure

 
[JUDITH INVITED BACK TO HOLOFERNES’ TENT (12:10–13:5)]
 



17475




17480






17485




17490




17495






17500




17505






17510




17515




17520






17525




17530






17535




17540




 
1457.
So trayveld scho be tyms thre
   into that place hyr God to pray.
Scho had fre eschew and entré,
   and so befell on the faurt day:
Olyfernes bad his men suld be
   ay redy in ther best aray.
For on the fyft day hoped he
   the Ebrews folke to fell for ay;
For so had Judyth sayd.
   he gart ordan forthi
A soper gudly grayd
   for hyr sake soveranly.

1458.
When all was poynted with pomp and pryd,
   a knyght then unto hyr sent he
Forto com and sytt hym besyde
   thar maner of solace forto se.
The knyght hyr told so in that tyd.
   sho thanked hym with wordes free
And sayd, “I sall not lang abyde,
   for at his bydyng wyll I be.”
Rychly sho hyr arayd
   to seme fayr in ther syght.
The pepyll were full wele payd,
   and the lord was most lyght.

1459.
Befor hymself hyr sett was wroyght
   full presciosly forto apere.
Hyr ryalnes rayvyschyd his toyght;
   he bede hyr mete with meré chere.
Sho ete mete that hyr maydyn broyght,
   and toke that coupe with wyn full clere
And made semland and dranke ryght noyght.
   bot Olyfernes for that fere
Of myghty wyne dranke more,
   for myrth that thei were mett,
Then ever he dranke before.
   So hymself he over sett.

1460.
When Judyth saw that yt was so,
   of that werke was sho wele payd.
Sho made talkyng betwyx them two
   tyll he wyst noyght wele what he sayd.
He bad all men to bed suld go
   and radly to ther rest arayd,
And that none suld take tent hym to,
   for at his lyst he wold be layd.
He thynkes that he sall have
   that lady hym forto plese.
Bot God wyll ever more save
   His servand fro dysese.

1461.
Unto his bed fast con he hye
   hys foly fare forto fulfyll.
He bad that lady com lyg hym by,
   for all the doreys ar stokyn styll.
Sho sayd, “Ser, I sall be redy
   with word and werke to wyrke thi wyll.
Bot to my chamber wend wyll I,
   and full sone sall I come thee tyll.”
To hyr chambre scho wentt
   and prayd God specially,
Als he knew hyr entent,
   to kepe hyr fro velany.

1462.
Unto God thor sho prayd and wepe
   forto vouchsave hyr sorow to slake.
Sone Olyfernes fell on slepe,
   for dronkyn man may not wele wake.
Sho warnd hyr servand to take kepe
   that no kyns noyse suld sho make,
And prevely als sho couth crepe
   hyr way to his bed con sho take.
Thor kneled sho on the ground
   and prayd God with Hys wyll
To strengh hyr in that stownd
   hyr forward to fullfyll.
 

journeyed

exit




to destroy forever
(t-note)
gave orders therefore
banquet superbly prepared



appointed



at that time



dressed herself

well pleased
wantonly cheerful


seat was made
(t-note)
queenliness
ordered her to eat; merry gladness
ate food

semblance but drank nothing
companion
strong wine
joy; together

overwhelmed; (t-note)



well pleased

knew not; (t-note)

promptly
take heed to him
desire



distress


hasten
foolish fancy
lie
doors were firmly barred
(see note)

go
very quickly



villainy


there; wept; (t-note)
allay


pay attention; (t-note)
no kind of noise; (t-note)
quietly as she could creep

There she kneeled

strengthen; moment; (t-note)
promise

 
[JUDITH BEHEADS THE SLEEPING HOLOFERNES (13:6–10)]
 

17545




17550




17555

 
1463.
Sho drogh his sword full sone sertayn,
   qwylke sho fand standand in that sted,
And with that brand sho brest his brayn;
   so with that dynt sone was he ded.
Then cutted sho sunder synow and vayn,
   and fro hys halse hewed of hys hed
And putt yt in a poket playn,
   whore thei befor had born ther bred.
Sho bad hyr maydyn yt bere
   whore als thei were wunt to pray.
Thei geydderd sayme ther geyre
   and wyghtly went ther way.
 

drew
which; place
sword; burst
blow; (t-note)
asunder sinew; vein; (t-note)
neck hacked off
simple bag
their bread

wont; (t-note)
gathered together their gear
boldly; (see note)

 
[JUDITH AND HER SERVANT ESCAPE TO THE CITY (13:10–20)]
 




17560




17565






17570




17575




17580
 
1464.
To have ther hele thei hastyd fast
   and made no tareyng in that tyde.
Tyll tyme thei were all perels past,
   thei wyst yt was no boyte to byde.
Yf yt were late, so at the last
   thei neghted nere to the cyté syde.
To the kepers a crye scho cast
   and bad them opyn the wekett wyde.
Hyr voyce full wele thei knew,
   for fayn full fast thei wepe.
Full mony a bold Ebrew
   com thore hyr forto kepe.

1465.
Thei lete hyr in with torches lyght
   and lowtyng low, is not to layn.
Thei were full glad to se that syght,
   for wele thei wend sho had bene slayn.
Sho stud up in a sted of hyght
   that all men myght se hyr certayn.
And thore scho schewed hyr releke ryght,
   the hede out of hyr poket playn.
“Loves God,” sho sayd sadly,
   “that for you hath ordand
To sett your vyctory
   in a wake womans hand.”
 

To secure their welfare
time
perils
use to tarry

approached near

wicket

joy; wept





bowing low, it is no lie

thought
high place
see her for sure
revealed her relic; (see note)
head
Love; (see note)

(t-note)
weak

 
[JUDITH’S ORDERS FOR THE CITY (14:1–10)]
 





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17595




17600




 
1466.
Then all the pepyll in that place
   down on ther knese low thei knele.
Thei thanked grett God of His grace
   that kyndly so thar care wold kele.
When thei saw Olyfernes face,
   no wonder yf thei lyked yt wele.
Then Judyth spake furth in that space
   how thei suld do ever ylke dele.
Sho sayd, “In this same day
   be lyve loke ye be bowne
All in your best aray
   to dyng your enmys downe.

1467.
“Set up this hed over the gate,
   so that your enmyse may yt se.
For fro thei wyt, full wele I wayte,
   that ther prince so perysched be,
His men wyll make no more debate
   bot fayn to cayre to ther cuntré.
Then sall ye folow on them fote-hate
   and fell them or thei ferre flee.
Thei sall lefe welth gud woyne,
   bot lokes non tent thertyll.
When thei ere fled and sloyn,
   then may ye fang your fyll.”
 


knees

their sorrows would relieve; (t-note)



every part; (t-note)

quickly; ready

strike your enemies down




For when they know, full well I know; (t-note)


be eager to return to their; (t-note)
hotfoot (quickly)
destroy; before they flee far
leave much desirable wealth
but pay no attention to that
slain; (t-note)
seize your fill

 
[THE ASSYRIANS DISCOVER HOLOFERNES’ DEATH AND FLEE (14:11–15:7)]
 

17605




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17615






17620




17625






17630




17635




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17645




17650






17655




17660




 
1468.
Evyn als sho demed was done in hye:
   the hede was sone sett up on the heyght.
Then mad thei myrth and melody
   with bemys, als thei were bown to fyght.
And when the hethyn hard them crye
   and saw a sygne sett in ther syght,
Thei ware full yll abayst therby.
   To warne ther prince thei went full wyght.
To his chambre thei hyed
   and bad his servandes say
How the Ebrews them ascryde
   forto have dede that day.

1469.
The chamberer durst make no dyne
   for ferd yt suld turn hym to teyne.
He wend the woman were within,
   and that thei both on slepe had beyne.
Bot with hys handes he con begyn
   to wakyn them be cowntenance cleyne.
And sythyn he come to the curtyn,
   thore was no segne of solace seyne.
Then nere the bed he yode
   and fand rewfull aray:
A body laped in blod,
   bot the hed was away.

1470.
Full lowd he cryd, “Alas! Alas!
   Our lyves ere lorn, my lord is ded.”
“How is yt so?” ylkon thei asse.
   He sayd, “Se here, he has no hede.”
To Judyth chamber con thei pase
   and saw hyr stollyn out of that sted.
Then wyst thei wele that werkyng was
   by hyr wyles and hyr wekyd red.
Thore was no boyte to byde
   there welthes o way to wyn,
Bot ylkon to ryn and ryd
   and forsake kyth and kyn.

1471.
Thus of ther rest thei were remeved,
   ther ryche robes thei rafe and rent.
Ther restyng thore full sore them rewed,
   withoutyn welth away thei went.
The Ebrews prestly them persewed:
   all lost ther hedes that thei myght hent.
Thor tho all that this bargan brewed,
   full shortly were thei shamed and shent.
Then come Ebrews agayn
   whore ther enmyse had beyne.
Thei fand all safe certayn;
   ther was no solpyng seyne

1472.
Bot only of Olyfernes blod
   that out of his body was bled.
Thor ware garmentes of gold full gud
   and gold in bages abowt that bed.
The body thei kest to bestes fud
   and fowles therwith forto be fede.
Thresour thei toke and hame thei yode,
   non other welth with them thei led.
Non other thyng thei broght
   bot of gold full gud woyn.
To Judyth sone thei soyght
   and thanked hyr ever ylkon.
 

Just as she ordered; haste

trumpets; prepared
heard


abashed thereby
quickly
hastened

cried out
to have battle


dared; noise
fear it should get him in trouble
presumed
been



pleasures seen
went
found rueful
lapped




are lost
ask

did they go


wiles and her wicked counsel
no use to take time
their loot to take away
each one did run and ride



comforts
tattered and tore; (t-note)
rued

quickly pursued them
all they seized lost their heads; (t-note)
There all those; siege dreamed up
destroyed

where their; been
(see note)
defiling seen






cast out as food for beasts
fowls; to be fed
Treasure; home they went

(t-note)
except; in abundance

each and everyone

 
[JUDITH’S TRIUMPH (15:8–16:25)]
 

17665




17670




17675






17680




17685






17690




17695




17700






17705




17710






17715




17720






17725




17730




17735






17740




17745     



 
1473.
Thei broyght hyr gold in bages bun,
   and bed themself at hyr wyll to be.
Thei say, “We wott we have yt wun
   with wyll of God and wyt of thee.”
Scho says, “Sen God thus has begun
   to save yourselfe and your cyté,
His Tempyll sall therwyth be fun
   and goveren ever in gud degré.”
Thei say, “We have leved thore
   of erthly welth to wyn
To make us mery evermore
   and comforth all our kyn.”

1474.
Sho bad them wyghtly wend ther ways
   to steyr tho folke that thei not stryfe.
“And partyes the mobyls, sers,” sho says,
   “be mesure both to man and wyfe.”
And so thei dyd by thryty days
   or thei that ryches myght up ryfe.
Tho that before were pore to prayse
   wer then relyfed for all ther lyfe.
Grett myrth was them amang;
   thei loved God of His grace
With solace and with sange
   full specially that space.

1475.
And when that space was sped and spend
   that thryty days were fully gone,
Then Judyth bad them with hyr wend
   unto ther Tempyll ever ylkon
And love God thor with hert and hend,
   that swylke thressour had to them toyne.
And thei dyd evyn als sho them kend,
   thei offerd gold ther full grett wone.
Sho bad them love only
   God, that is all-weldand,
That sett Hys vyctory
   and ther helpe in hyr hand.

1476.
Als sho wold deme, thei dyd in dede,
   als worthy was withoutyn were.
Then home to hyr hows scho yede,
   and pepyll past to ther places sere.
A lades lyfe then con sho led,
   and Goddes Law lyked hyr ever to lere.
And furth sho weryd hyr wedow wede
   bot in soverane sesons of the yere.
Then wold sho be more gay
   to syght and more honest
In purpas God to pay
   for wrschepe of that fest.

1477.
Sho had enogh of rent and land
   in ylke sted whore sho was sted
Aftur Manasses, hyr husband,
   that lordly lyf before had led.
And of all that sho had in hand
   over honest spence that suld be sped,
Ther with pore folke sho fed and fand
   and beldyd both to bake and bede.
Sho ocupyed so hyr sted
   in pennance and in prayer
Fro hyr husband was dede
   a hunderth and fyve yere.

1478.
Hyr servandes, man, maydyn, and knave
   mad sho to goveren gud degré.
Then dyed scho as God vochedsave,
   for fro that fytt may no man flee.
By hyr husband thei can hyr grave
   full solemply in that cyté,
And by sevyn days sorowyng thei have,
   als costome was in that cuntré.
The Jews makes hyr in mynd
   evermore to be on ment,
For scho comforth ther kynd
   when thei in bale were bent.

1479.
Now be this werke wele may we wytt
   how God wyll pupplysch His power
In wemen forto fall als fytt
   als in men on the same manere.
Thus endes the Boke of Judyth,
   als clerkes may knaw by clergy clere.
God graunt hym hele that hath turned yt
   in Ynglysch lawd men forto lere!
Insampyll may men here se
   to be trew in trowyng.
God graunt us so to be
   and to His blyse us bryng!
 

bound
offered themselves; (t-note)
won; (t-note)
your intelligence
Since

supplied; (t-note)
governed; (t-note)
left there [in Holofernes’ camp]
material wealth
(see note); (t-note)



bade; quickly go
guide those folk; bicker [among themselves]
divide the movable goods
by just proportion
for thirty days
gather up; (t-note)
Those who; poor to account
relieved


song



over and past

go


treasure; given
advised
great amount

all-powerful

(t-note)


deed
doubt; (t-note)
went; (see note)
their various places
lady’s
learn (follow)
wore her widow’s weeds; (see note); (t-note)
except during festival seasons of the year


please
feast




(see note)


expense; paid
supplied; (t-note)
provided; clothes and lodging


From [the time]






fate
buried her



(t-note)
remembered

misery were afflicted


by; know
publish (make known); (t-note)
women; fitting


as clerks may know by good scholarship
health who has translated it
English [for] unlearned; to learn
Examples
loyal in belief

(t-note)

 

Go to Second Book of Maccabees 7