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Art. 60, Stond wel, moder, under rode


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).

11–12 Mary asserts that the spear prophesied by Simeon has figuratively struck her heart, a reference to Luke 2:35.

13 Jesus’ pleading to his mother for mercy is a striking moment of reversal.

23 erne. “Flow”; see irennen (v.), sense 2.(b).

28 byswongen. “Tormented, afflicted”; see MED, biswingen (v.).

47 Anachronistically, Mary sees herself as an intercessor even at the scene of the Passion.

48 fol wymmon. “Sinful woman.” The word fol opens a semantic range: “foolish, stupid, ignorant, lecherous, wanton, impious, imprudent.” On this phrase in this line, see MED, fol (adj.), sense 3, “prostitute, wanton woman”; and Dobson and Harrison: “‘foolish’, doubtless in the sense ‘morally loose’” (p. 159).

61–67 The last stanza reverses the order of the stanza-by-stanza dialogues when the speaker prays first to Mary and then to Jesus.


ABBREVIATIONS: As: Aspin; Bö: Böddeker; Bos: Bossy; Br: Brook; BS: Bennett and Smithers; BZ: Brandl and Zippel; B13: Brown 1937; B14: Brown 1957; 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.

8 monkynde. So MS, Bö, Br. W3: mankynde.

28 byswongen. So Bö. MS, Br, W3: byswngen.

29 honden. So MS, W3, Br. Bö: honde.

















¶ “Stond wel, Moder, under rode,   
Byholt thy sone with glade mode;
   Blythe moder myht thou be.”
“Sone, hou shulde Y blithe stonde?   
Y se thin fet, Y se thin honde
   Nayled to the harde tre.”

“Moder, do wey thy wepinge.   
Y thole deth for monkynde;
   For my gult thole Y non.”
“Sone, Y fele the dede stounde.   
The suert is at myn herte grounde
   That me byhet Symeon.”

“Moder, merci! Let me deye   
For Adam out of helle beye
   Ant his kun that is forlore.”
“Sone, what shal me to rede?   
My peyne pyneth me to dede;
   Lat me deye the byfore.”

“Moder, thou rewe al of thy bern;   
Thou wosshe awai the blody tern.
   Hit doth me worse then my ded.”
“Sone, hou may Y teres werne?   
Y se the blody stremes erne
From thin herte to my fet.”   

“Moder, nou Y may the seye,   
Betere is that Ich one deye
   Then al monkunde to helle go.”
“Sone, Y se thi bodi byswongen,   
Fet ant honden thourhout stongen —
   No wonder thah me be wo.”

“Moder, now Y shal the telle   
Yef Y ne deye, thou gost to helle;
   Y thole ded for thine sake.”
“Sone, thou art so meke ant mynde;   
Ne wyt me naht — hit is my kynde
   That Y for the this sorewe make.”

“Moder, nou thou miht wel leren   
Whet sorewe haveth that children beren,
   Whet sorewe hit is with childe gon.”
“Sorewe, ywis, Y con the telle;   
Bote hit be the pyne of helle,
   More serewe wot Y non!”

“Moder, rew of moder kare,   
For nou thou wost of moder fare
   Thou thou be clene mayden-mon.”
“Sone, help at alle nede,   
Alle tho that to me grede,
   Maiden, wif, ant fol wymmon.”

“Moder, may Y no lengore duelle:   
The time is come, Y shal to helle;
   The thridde day Y ryse upon.”
“Sone, Y wil with the founden;   
Y deye, ywis, for thine wounden.
   So soreweful ded nes never non!”

When he ros, tho fel hire sorewe;        
Hire blisse sprong the thridde morewe:
   Blythe moder were thou tho!
Levedy, for that ilke blisse,
Bysech thi sone, of sunnes lisse;
   Thou be oure sheld ageyn oure fo.

Blessed be thou, ful of blysse;
Let us never hevene misse
   Thourh thi suete sones myht.
Louerd, for that ilke blod
That thou sheddest on the rod,
   Thou bryng us into hevene lyht!
¶ “Stand well, Mother, under rood,   
Behold your son with gladness;
   Joyful mother may you be.”
“Son, how may I stand happily?   
I see your feet, I see your hands
   Nailed to the hard tree.”

“Mother, cease your weeping.   
I suffer death for mankind;
   I suffer nothing for my own guilt.”
“Son, I feel your death’s wound.   
The sword is piercing my heart
   As Simeon promised me.”

“Mother, mercy! Let me die   
In order to redeem Adam out of hell
   And his kindred who are lost.”
“Son, what am I to do?   
My pain tortures me to death;
   Let me die before you.”

“Mother, you suffer much for your child;   
Wash away your bloody tears.
   It pains me worse than my death.”
“Son, how may I hold back tears?   
I see the bloody streams flow
   From your heart to my feet.”

“Mother, now I may explain to you,   
It’s better that I die one day
   Than for all mankind to go to hell.”
“Son, I see your body tormented,   
Feet and hands pierced through —
   It’s no wonder I’m distraught.”

“Mother, now I will tell you   
That if I don’t die, you’ll go to hell;
   I suffer death for your sake.”
“Son, you are so gentle and kind;   
Don’t reproach me — it’s my nature
   That I express this grief for you.”

“Mother, now you may well know   
What sorrow have they who bear children,
   What sorrow it is to go with child.”
“Sorrow, indeed, I can tell to you;   
Unless it be the pain of hell,
   More sorrow I cannot imagine!”

“Mother, have pity for mothers’ worry,   
For now you know a mother’s plight
   Though you are a clean virgin.”
“Son, help all who are in need,   
All of those who call to me,
   Maiden, wife, and sinful woman.”

“Mother, I may remain no longer:   
The time has come, I will go to hell;
   Upon the third day I will rise.”
“Son, I wish to go with you;   
I die, indeed, for your wounds.
   So sorrowful a death was never!”

When he arose, then her sorrow ceased;   
Her bliss sprang up on the third morrow:
   Joyful mother were you then!
Lady, for that same bliss,
Beseech your son, for joy of your son;
   Be our shield against our foe.

Blessed be you, full of bliss;
Let us never heaven miss
   Through your sweet son’s might.
Lord, for that same blood
That you shed on the rood,
   Bring us into heaven’s light!


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Go To Art. 61, Jesu, for thi muchele miht, introduction
Go To Art. 61, Jesu, for thi muchele miht, text