Back to top

Art. 62, I syke when Y singe


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).

9 The wounds weep as wounds and eyes. Compare the explanatory note for Song on Jesus’ Precious Blood (art. 56).

17 clyngeth. “Recoil, shrink in fear or sorrow, be disheartened”; see MED, clingen (v.), sense 3.

32 This line may refer to an apocryphal legend of the smiths who forged the nails for the Crucifixion. See MWME 11:4194, 4348.


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.

38 mournynde. So MS, Bö, Br, Sa, Mi, Tr. W3: to-mournynde.

47 my. So MS, W3, Bö, Br, Sa. Mi, Tr: mi.

48 smerte. So MS, Bö, Br, Sa, Mi, Tr. W3: swerte.













¶ I syke when Y singe
   For sorewe that Y se,
When Y, with wypinge,
   Biholde upon the tre
Ant se Jesu the suete:
Is herte blod forlete
   For the love of me;
Ys woundes waxen wete;
Thei wepen, stille ant mete.
   Marie, reweth the.

Heye upon a doune
   Ther al folk hit se may,
A mile from uch toune,
   Aboute the midday,
The rode is up arered;
His frendes aren afered
   Ant clyngeth so the clay.
The rode stond in stone;
Marie stont hire one
   Ant seith, “weylaway.”

When Y the biholde
   With eyyen bryhte bo,
Ant thi bodi colde,
   Thi ble waxeth blo,
Thou hengest al of blode,
So heye upon the rode
   Bituene theves tuo —
Who may syke more?
Marie wepeth sore
   Ant siht al this wo.

The naylles beth to stronge;
   The smythes are to sleye;
Thou bledest al to longe;
   The tre is al to heyye;
The stones beoth al wete!
Alas, Jesu the suete,
   For nou frend hast thou non
Both Seint Johan mournynde,     
Ant Marie wepynde,
   For pyne that the ys on.

Ofte when Y sike
   Ant makie my mon,
Wel ille thah me like,
   Wonder is hit non,
When Y se honge heye,
Ant bittre pynes dreye,
   Jesu, my lemmon!
His wondes sore smerte;
The spere al to is herte
   Ant thourh is sydes gon.

Ofte when Y syke,
   With care Y am thourhsoht;
When Y wake, Y wyke;
   Of serewe is al mi thoht.
Alas, men beth wode
That suereth by the rode,
   Ant selleth him for noht!
That bohte us out of synne,
He bring us to wynne,
   That hath us duere boht.
¶ I sigh when I sing
   For sorrow that I see,
When I, with weeping,
   Look upon the tree
And see Jesus the sweet:
His heart’s blood shed
   For the love of me;
His wounds grow wet;
They weep, quiet and proper.
   Mary, it grieves you.

High upon a hill
   Where all folk may see it,
A mile from any town,
   About midday,
The cross is raised up;
His friends are afraid
   And recoil like the clay.
The cross stands in stone;
Mary stands alone
   And says, “wailaway.”

When I behold you
   With both keen eyes,
And see your body cold,
   Your face grows ashen pale,
You hang all blood-strewn,
So high upon the cross
   Between two thieves —
Who may sigh more?
Mary weeps mournfully
   And saw all this agony.

The nails be too strong;
   The smiths are too skilled;
You bleed all too long;
   The tree is all too high;
The stones be all wet!
Alas, Jesus the sweet,
   For now you have no friend
Except Saint John mourning,
And Mary weeping,
   For the pain that you are in.

Often when I sigh
   And utter my lament,
Though I like it very ill,
   Wonder is it none,
When I see hung high,
And bitter pains suffered,
   Jesus, my lover!
His wounds sorely hurt;
The spear all through his heart
   And through his sides gone.

Often when I sigh,
   With care I am pierced through;
When I awake, I weaken;
   Of sorrow is all my thought.
Alas, men are crazed
Who swear by the cross,
   And sell him for nought!
He who redeemed us out of sin,
May he bring us to bliss,
   Who has us dearly bought.

(see note)

(see note)

(see note)



Go To Art. 63, Nou skrinketh rose ant lylie-flour, introduction
Go To Art. 63, Nou skrinketh rose ant lylie-flour, text