Back to top

Art. 58, Dulcis Jesu memoria


ABBREVIATIONS: AND: Anglo-Norman Dictionary; ANL: Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (R. Dean and Boulton); BL: British Library (London); Bodl.: Bodleian Library (Oxford); CCC: Corpus Christi College (Cambridge); CUL: Cambridge University Library (Cambridge); IMEV: The Index of Middle English Verse (Brown and Robbins); IMEV Suppl.: Supplement to the Index of Middle English Verse (Robbins and Cutler); MED: Middle English Dictionary; MWME: A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050–1500 (Severs et al.); NIMEV: A New Index of Middle English Verse (Boffey and Edwards); NLS: National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh).

8 a luviere. Wright 1842 and Böddeker read these words as alumer, a word that has entered the MED as a nonce word: “One who enlightens.” But see also lovere (n.(2)), sense 1.(a), the variant found in Glasgow, University of Glasgow, MS Hunterian 512.

49–52 The first two lines of this stanza are missing. Horstmann 1896 suggests a gap of six lines here. Wright 1842 prints lines 45–52 as a 6-line stanza. The half-stanza of lines 51–52 was probably invented by the scribe: “To create a balanced look to the page [beside the column containing Mary Mother of the Savior], the scribe topped column b with the title and inserted two unmetrical lines at the base of that column” (Fein 2007, p. 84 n. 45).

51 bac. “Crown (of thorns).” The word appears to derive from Old French bague, “bundle.” It is the only attestation listed in the MED.

53 tocknynge. “Example, model.” See MED, tokninge (ger.), sense 7.(b).

54–56 The depiction is of Christ on a crucifix, arms spread out, head down, with his posture reinterpreted, in mystically erotic terms, as the welcome of a lover.

65 gretyn. “Attack, strike.” This word is emended from manuscript gredyn (“call out, shout”), which suits neither context nor rhyme. See MED, greten (v.(2)), sense 2.(b).

66 blod to sueten. “To bleed,” literally, “to sweat blood.” See MED, sweten (v.(1)), sense 1.(c).

70 tacheth. “Bind, arrest,” with a legal connotation; see MED, tachen (v.(1)), sense 2.(b).

72 fon thre. The three foes are the Flesh, the World, and the Devil. Compare The Three Foes of Man and The Sayings of Saint Bernard (arts. 27, 74).

74 opene. The MED reads this word as a verb, but it is an adverb.

87 The general import of this line is obscure. See MED, note (n.(2)), sense 1.(a), “benefit, profit, advantage,” and frame (n.(1)), sense 1, “profit, benefit, advancement.”

100 O. I interpret this word as an interjection; Horstmann defines it “till” (1896, 2:19).

119 treufole ant tholemod. “Obedient and submissive”; see MED, treuful (adj.), sense (a), and thole-mode (adj.), sense (a).

121–24 Because of the mixed rhyme in this stanza, Horstmann 1896 thinks lines may be missing here.

133 froreth. “Comforts, cheers, encourages”; see MED, frovren, -ien (v.).

148 blac. “Pale, livid”; see MED, blak (adj.), sense 6.(a).

150 Note the reversal in who drinks whose blood.

152 drede for no flod. The idiom here is revealed in the MED Middle English term flod-drede (n.), “dread of change or instability.”

183 weryyng. “Protection”; see MED, weringe (ger.(1)).

187 Atscapen. “To escape,” a verbal form attested only here; see MED, atscapen (v).


ABBREVIATIONS: As: Aspin; Bö: Böddeker; Bos: Bossy; Br: Brook; BS: Bennett and Smithers; BZ: Brandl and Zippel; B13: Brown 1932; B14: Brown 1952; DB: Dunn and Byrnes; Deg: Degginger; Do: Dove 1969; Gr: Greene 1977; Ha: Halliwell; Hal: Hall; Hol: Holthausen; Hor1: Horstmann 1878; Hor2: Horstmann 1896; Hu: Hulme; JL: Jeffrey and Levy; Ju: Jubinal; Kel: Keller; Ken: Kennedy; Le: Lerer 2008; Mc: McKnight; Mi: Millett; MR: Michelant and Raynaud; Mo: Morris and Skeat; MS: MS Harley 2253; Mu: H. M. R. Murray; Pa: Patterson; Pr: Pringle 2009; Rei: Reichl 1973; Rev1: Revard 2004; Rev2: Revard 2005b; Ri1: Ritson 1877; Ri2: Ritson 1885; Ro: Robbins 1959; Sa: Saupe; Si: Silverstein; St: Stemmler 1970; Tr: Treharne; Tu: Turville-Petre 1989; Ul: Ulrich; W1: Wright 1839; W2: Wright 1841; W3: Wright 1842; W4: Wright 1844; WH: Wright and Halliwell.

3 may. So MS, W3, Bö. Hor2: me may.

8 a luviere. So MS. W3, Bö: alumere. Hor2: a lover.

14 pine. So MS, W3, Hor2. Bö: 3ine.

22 yeve. Suggested by Hor2. MS, W3, Bö, Hor2: seõe.

23 thou madest. So MS, W3, Bö, Hor2 (who suggests 3e made).

30 askesd. So MS, W3. Bö, Hor2: askest.

41 my. So MS, Bö, Hor2. W3: mi.

62 heo. So MS, Bö, Hor2. W3: he.

65 gretyn. So Hor2. MS, W3, Bö: gredyn.

72 whosshe. So MS, W3, Hor2. Bö: wosshe.

87 thy. So MS, W3, Bö. Hor2: 3e.

98 mi likyng. So MS, W3. Bö: me like. Hor2: me likyn.
Y se. So MS, Hor2. W3: y-se. Bö: yse.

109 thi love. So MS, W3, Bö. Hor2: bi-leue.

114 the. So Hor2. MS, W3, Bö: me.

119 Tak. So MS, W3, Bö. Hor2: mak.
treufole. So MS, Bö, Hor2. W3: trenfole.

120 love-blod. So MS, W3, Bö. Hor2: loue-flod.

130 almyhti. So MS, W3, Hor2. Bö. almihti.

138 the. So MS, W3, Bö. Hor2: 3i.

144 me. So W3, Bö, Hor2. MS: mere (er abbreviated).

151 me maketh. So MS, Bö, Hor2. W3: maketh me.
swythe. So MS, W3, Bö, Hor2 (who suggests swete).

173 bohtest. So Bö, Hor2. MS, W3: bostest.

176 with. So MS, W3, Bö, Hor2 (who suggests in).

193 thi. So MS, Bö, Hor2 (who suggests 3er). W3: thy.











































¶ Jesu, suete is the love of the.
Nothing so suete may be:
Al that may with eyen se
Haveth no suetnesse ageynes the!

Jesu, nothing may be suettere,
Ne noht in eorthe blysfulere,
Noht may be feled lykerusere
Then thou, so suete a luviere.

Jesu, thi love wes ous so fre.
That we from hevene brohten the;
For love thou deore bohtest me,
For love thou hong on rode-tre.

Jesu, for love thou tholedest wrong,
Woundes sore ant pine strong;
Thine peynes rykene hit were long,
Ne may hem tellen spel ne song.

Jesu, for love thou dreyedest wo,
Blody stremes ronne the fro,
That thi bodi wes blake ant blo;
For oure sunnes hit wes so.

Jesu, for love thou stehe on rode,
For love thou yeve thin heorte blode;
Love thou madest oure soule fode;
Thi love us brohte to alle gode.

Jesu, mi lemman, thou art so fre
That thou deyedest for love of me.
Whet shal Y tharefore yelde the?
Thar nys noht bote hit love be.

Jesu my God, Jesu my kyng,
Thou ne askesd me non other thing
Bote trewe love ant eke servyng
Ant love-teres with suete mournyng.

Jesu my lyf, Jesu my lyht,
Ich love the, ant that is ryht;
Do me love the with al mi myht,
Ant for the mournen day ant nyht.

Jesu, do me so serven the
That ever mi thoht upon the be;
With thine suete eyen loke towart me,
Ant myldeliche myne, Y preie, al that thou se.     

Jesu, thi love be al my thoht,
Of other thing ne recche Y noht.
Y yyrne to have thi wille ywroht,
For thou me havest wel deore yboht.

Jesu, thah Ich sunful be,
Wel longe thou havest yspared me;
The more oh Ich to lovie the
That thou me havest ben so fre.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Thy bac of thornes, thy nayles thre,
The sharpe spere that thourh-stong the.

Jesu, of love-soth tocknynge:
Thin armes spredeth to mankynde,
Thin heued doun-boweth to suete cussinge,
Thin side al openeth to love-longynge.

Jesu, when Ich thenke on the,
Ant loke upon the rode-tre,
Thi suete body totoren Y se;
Hit maketh heorte to smerte me.

Jesu, the quene that by the stod,
Of love-teres heo weop a flod;
Thin woundes ant thin holy blod
Made hire huerte of dreori mod.

Jesu, suete love the dude gretyn;
Love the made blod to sueten;
For love thou were sore ybeten;
Love the dude thi lyf to leten.

Jesu, fyf woundes Ich fynde in the;
Thy love-sprenges tacheth me;
Of blod ant water the stremes be,
Us to whosshe from oure fon thre.

Jesu, my saule drah the to,
Min heorte opene ant wyde undo,
This hure of love, to drynke so
That fleysshliche lust be al fordo.

Jesu Crist, do me love the so
That, wher Y be ant what so Y do,
Lyf ne deth, weole ne wo,
Ne do myn huerte the turne fro.

Marie, suete mayde fre,
For Jesu Crist, byseche Y the:
Thi suete sone do lovie me,
Ant make me worthi that Y so be.

Jesu, do me that, for thi name,
Me liketh to dreye pyne ant shame,
That is thy soule note ant frame,
Ant make myn herte milde ant tame.

Jesu, al that is fayr to se,
Al that to fleyhs mai likyng be,
Al worldes blisse to leten me —
Graunte for the love of the.

Jesu, in the be al my thoht —
Al other blisse ne recch Y noht —
When Ich of the mai felen oht,
Thenne is my soule wel ywroht.

Jesu, yef thou forletest me,
What may mi likyng of that Y se?
Mai no god blisse with me be —
O, that thou come ageyn to me!

Jesu, yef thou bist yeorne bysoht —
When thou comest, ant elles noht —
No fleishliche lust ne wicked thoht
Into myn heorte ne be ybroht.

Jesu, mi soule is spoused to the;
Ofte Ych habbe misdon ageynes the;
Jesu, thi merci is wel fre.
“Jesu, merci!” Y crie to the.

Jesu, with herte thi love Y crave;
Hit bihoveth nede that ich hit have.
The deu of grace upon me lave,
Ant from alle harme thou me save.

Jesu, from me be al that thyng
That the may be to mislikyng;
Al that is nede thou me bryng;
To have thi love is my yyrnyng.

Jesu mi lif, of milde mod,
Mi soule hath gret neode of thi god;
Tak hire, treufole ant tholemod,
Ant ful hire of thi love-blod.

Jesu my soule, bidde Y the,
Everemore wel us be;
Jesu, almyhtful hevene kyng,
Thi love is a wel derne thing.

Jesu, wel mai myn herte se
That milde ant meoke he mot be;
Alle unthewes ant lustes fle
That felen wole the blisse of the.

Jesu, thah Ich be unworthi
To love the, Louerd almyhti,
Thi love me maketh to ben hardy,
Ant don me al in thin merci.

Jesu, thi mildenesse froreth me,
For no mon mai so sunful be,
Yef he let sunne ant to the fle,
That ne fynd socour at the.

For sunful folk, suete Jesus,
Thou lihtest from the heye hous;
Pore ant loye thou were for ous;
Thin heorte love thou sendest ous.

Jesu, forthi byseche Y the,
Thi suete love thou graunte me;
That ich thareto worthi be,
Make me worthi, that art so fre.

Jesu, thou art so god a mon!
Thi love Y yyrne al so Y con.
Tharefore ne lette me no mon,
Thah Ich for love be blac ant won.

Jesu al suete, Jesu al god,
Thi love drynketh myn heorte blod;
Thi love me maketh so swythe wod,
That Y ne drede for no flod.

Jesu, thi love is suete ant strong;
Mi lif is al on the ylong.
Tech me, Jesu, thi love song
With suete teres ever among.

Jesu, do me to serven the
Wher in londe so Y be;
When Ich the fynde, wel is me,
Yef thou ne woldest awey fle.

Jesu, yef thou be from me go,
Mi soule is fol of serewe ant wo.
Whet may I sugge bote “wolawo”
When mi lif is me atgo?

Jesu, thin ore! Thou rewe of me!
For whenne shal Ich come to the?
Jesu, thi lore biddeth me
With al myn herte lovie the.

Jesu mi lif, Jesu my kyng,
My soule haveth to the yyrnyng;
When thi wille is to the hire bryng,
Thou art suetest of alle thyng.

Jesu, that deore bohtest me,
Make me worthi come to the;
Alle mi sunnes foryef thou me,
That Ich with blisse the mowe se.

Jesu so feir, Jesu so briht,
That I biseche with al my myht,
Bring mi soule into the lyht,
Ther is day withoute nyht.

Jesu, thin help at myn endyng,
Ant ine that dredful outwendyng,
Send mi soule god weryyng,
That Y ne drede non eovel thing.

Jesu, thi grace that is so fre,
In siker hope do thou me
Atscapen peyne ant come to the,
To the blisse that ay shal be!

Jesu, Jesu, ful wel ben he
That yne thi blisse mowen be,
Ant fulliche habbe the love of the!
Suete Jesu, thou graunte hit me!

Jesu, thi love haveth non endyng;
Ther nis no serewe ne no wepyng,
Bote joie ant blisse ant lykyng!
Suete Jesu, thareto us bryng!
¶ Jesus, sweet is the love of you.
Nothing so sweet may be:
All who may with eyes see
Have no sweetness beside you!

Jesus, nothing may be sweeter,
Or nothing on earth more blissful,
Nothing may be felt more sensuous
Than you, so sweet a lover.

Jesus, your love for us was so gracious
That we drew you from heaven;
For love you dearly purchased me,
For love you hung on rood-tree.

Jesus, for love you suffered wrong,
Grievous wounds and hard pain;
To reckon your pains would be long,
None may tell them by story or song.

Jesus, for love you suffered agony,
Bloody streams flowed from you,
Until your body was black and pale;
For our sins it was so.

Jesus, for love you climbed on rood,
For love you gave your heart’s blood;
You made love our souls’ food;
Your love brought us to perfect good.

Jesus, my lover, you are so generous
That you died for love of me.
What shall I therefore give to you?
There’s nothing else but it be love.

Jesus my God, Jesus my king,
You asked of me no other thing
But true love and also service
And love-tears with sweet mourning.

Jesus my life, Jesus my light,
I love you, and that is right;
Let me love you with all my might,
And mourn for you day and night.

Jesus, let me so serve you
That always my thoughts be upon you;
With your sweet eyes look toward me,
And mildly remember, I pray, all you see.

Jesus, your love is my every thought,
Of other things I care nothing.
I long to have your will done,
For you have redeemed me most dearly.

Jesus, though I be sinful,
Quite long you have spared me;
The more ought I to love you
For you have been so gracious to me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Your crown of thorns, your three nails,
The sharp spear that pierced through you.

Jesus, example of love-truth:
Your arms spread out to mankind,
Your head bowed down for sweet kissing,
Your side all open for love-longing.

Jesus, when I think of you,
And look upon the rood-tree,
Your sweet body all torn I see;
It makes my heart feel pain.

Jesus, the queen that stood by you,
Of love-tears she wept a flood;
Your wounds and your holy blood
Made her heart feel sorrowful grief.

Jesus, sweet love did attack you;
Love made you to bleed;
For love you were cruelly beaten;
Love caused you to lose your life.

Jesus, five wounds I find on you;
Your love-fountains bind me;
Of blood and water the streams are,
To wash us from our three foes.

Jesus, my soul ventures to you,
Unfasten my heart open and wide,
In this hour of love, to drink so
That fleshly desire is quite vanquished.

Jesus Christ, let me love you so
That, wherever I am and whatever I do,
In life or death, weal or woe,
Let my heart never turn from you.

Mary, sweet noble virgin,
For Jesus Christ, I beseech you:
Let your sweet son love me,
And make me so that I be worthy.

Jesus, let me, for your name,
Desire to suffer pain and shame,
[For] your soul’s benefit and profit,
And make my heart mild and tame.

Jesus, all that is fair to see,
All that appeals to flesh,
All worldly bliss may I reject —
Grant this for the love of you.

Jesus, in you are all my thoughts —
I care nothing about all other joys —
When I may feel anything of you,
Then is my soul entirely complete.

Jesus, if you forsake me,
What sights may please me?
There would be no good joy for me —
O, that you come again to me!

Jesus, if you are eagerly besought —
When you come, or else not —
No fleshly desire nor wicked thought
Into my heart can be brought.

Jesus, my soul is espoused to you;
Often I have sinned against you;
Jesus, your mercy is very generous.
“Jesus, mercy!” I cry to you.

Jesus, fervently I crave your love;
It is essential that I have it.
The dew of grace wash upon me,
And may you save me from all harms.

Jesus, withdraw everything from me
That may be to your displeasure;
All that’s necessary bring to me;
To have your love is my longing.

Jesus my life, of gentle demeanor,
My soul has great need of your goodness;
Take her, obedient and submissive,
And fill her with your love’s blood.

Jesus my soul, I pray you,
That we be well evermore;
Jesus, almighty king of heaven,
Your love is a very private thing.

Jesus, well may my heart see
How mild and meek one must be;
All wicked impulses must flee from
He who would feel the bliss of you.

Jesus, though I be unworthy
To love you, Lord almighty,
Your love makes me feel strong,
And sets me wholly in your mercy.

Jesus, your mildness comforts me,
For no one may be so sinful,
In he stops sin and turns to you,
That he cannot find succor in you.

For sinful people, sweet Jesus,
You alighted from your noble house;
Poor and humble you became for us;
You sent us your heart’s love.

Jesus, for that cause I beseech you,
Grant me your sweet love;
So that I may be worthy of it,
Make me worthy, you who are so gracious.

Jesus, you are so good a man!
Your love I desire as much as I can.
Therefore don’t let anyone hinder me,
Though I for love be pale and wan.

Jesus all sweet, Jesus all good,
Your love drinks my heart’s blood;
Your love makes me so entirely enraptured,
That I have no fear of any change.

Jesus, your love is sweet and strong;
My life wholly belongs to you.
Teach me, Jesus, your love song
With sweet tears all the while.

Jesus, cause me to serve you
Wheresoever I am on earth;
When I find you, I am well,
If you wish not to turn away.

Jesus, if you are gone from me,
My soul is full of sorrow and woe.
What may I say but “wailaway”
When my life is gone from me?

Jesus, your pardon! Have pity on me!
For when shall I come to you?
Jesus, your teaching asks me
With all my heart to love you.

Jesus my life, Jesus my king,
My soul feels longing for you;
When your will is to bring her to you,
You are sweetest of everything.

Jesus, who dearly redeemed me,
Make me worthy to come to you;
Forgive of me all my sins,
So that I with bliss may see you.

Jesus so fair, Jesus so bright,
Whom I beseech with all my might,
Bring my soul into the light,
Where there is day without night.

Jesus, grant your help at my death,
And in that dreadful passage outward,
Send my soul good protection,
So that I fear no evil thing.

Jesus, by your grace so generous,
In certain hope may you cause me
To escape pain and come to you,
To the bliss that always shall be!

Jesus, Jesus, very well is he
Who in your bliss may reside,
And fully have the love of you!
Sweet Jesus, grant it to me!

Jesus, your love has no end;
There is no sorrow and no weeping,
Only joy and bliss and pleasure!
Sweet Jesus, bring us there!


(see note); (t-note)





(see note)

(see note)

(see note)
(see note)


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

(see note)

(see note); (t-note)

(see note)

(see note); (t-note)


(see note)



(see note); (t-note)

(see note)


(see note)



(see note)

(see note)
(see note)



(see note)

(see note)


Go To Art. 59, Une petite parole, introduction
Go To Art. 59, Une petite parole, text