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John the Blind Audelay, Salutations


1 Here begin salutations to the blessed virgin Mary. Take care not to pass by here without first saying ave

2 “May they always be without woe who to me say ‘ave.’” This sentence contains a pun upon sine ve “without woe” and ave/a ve “hail”/“without woe.”

3 Here begins the song of Magnificat. This poem paraphrases and expands Luke 1:46–55.

4 He hath put down the mighty from their seat. Luke 1:52.

5 Here begins a salutation to Saint Bridget, virgin, and how the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to her physically and gave her his blessing, says Audelay

6 Hail, with the works of mercy you obtained reward [for] yourself, surely

7 Hail, I shall confirm your status by bull that supersedes the pope’s

8 Thus the pope sanctified her place and hallowed it to Christ’s purpose

9 And Bridgit made herself of nuns another blessed convent

10 Lines 138–39: Hail, he granted royal dispensation to that holy place and called it Bridget Syon (i.e., Syon Abbey). / The pope confirmed that by papal bull through his special grace

11 All England is much obliged to pray for King Henry [V’s soul]

12 For they shall never show nor depict an image of a face

13 Readily they arise with great reverence scarcely out of their sleep

14 Lines 172–73: For it fares not by spiritual goods as [it] does by temporal — / [As when] men possess a part of it, each portion is less

15 But remove here the power of those who wars will awake

16 Here begins a salutation to Saint Winifred, virgin

17 Hail, the blessing of Beuno (Winifred’s uncle), thy healing was by grace

18 Pious virgin Winifred, mighty in miracles, / Cleanse us by your presence from the stain of sins, / And defend us from all the little hazards of life. / Pray for us, blessed Winifred, / Because through you grace is given to us

19 God, who commanded that by thy might the blessed virgin Winifred be brought back to life after the cutting off of her head, make us also [whole], we pray, by her interceding, [in our] present life and future assembly before thy very self through Christ our Lord. Amen

20 Whoever devoutly says this salutation every day in honor of Saint Anne, mother of Mary, will assuredly not die a wicked death

21 Rejoice, you brought forth that birth that did gladden all the world

22 Rejoice, here, so that that lady could illuminate all the world

23 Rejoice, she saved all mankind [for whom] death for sin was prepared

24 Pray for us, blessed Anne, because from the fruit of your womb grace has been given to us. Let us pray together

25 God, who wanted to make fruitful the blessed Anne, long sterile, with a glorious and salvific offspring for the human race, grant that all venerating in love the son and mother may deserve in the hour of death to rejoice in the presence of both, through thee, Jesus Christ, savior of the world, king of glory. Amen

26 Whoever has devoutly said this salutation in honor of the Savior for twenty days in a row, Pope Boniface IV has granted to those who have truly confessed all and are contrite, full remission of all sins, and this has been written at Rome in the church of Saint Peter before the altar of the savior

27 The light of thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us. Thou hast given gladness in my heart. Psalm 4:7.

28 God, who wished to leave signed for us as a memorial of thy countenance thy likeness stamped on the sudarium at the impetus of Veronica, grant by thy passion and cross that we may now on earth be able to vener­ate, honor, and worship him (i.e., Christ) through a glass in an obscure manner, just as then we [will see] thee, coming as judge over us, when we see face to face our Lord Jesus Christ thy son. Amen. Compare 1 Corinthians 13:12: Videmus nunc per speculum in enigmate tunc autem facie ad faciem, “We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face.”


Abbreviations: CT: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales; NHC: Northern Homily Cycle; NIMEV: The New Index of Middle English Verse, ed. Boffey and Edwards; For manuscript abbreviations (ED, A, D, G, L, V), see the Introduction.

This four-part devotion consists of:
(1)    An innovative salutation in honor of Mary, the five joys, and Christ’s Incarnation;
(2)    A prayer benediction recalling Doomsday;
(3)    A prayer on the five joys;
(4)    An instructional couplet advocating daily remembrance of the five joys.
The sequence opens with Mary’s punning invitation to say “ave” and be without woe. After Scribe A copies the salutation, Scribe B copies the prayers and instructions that follow. Both prayers recall topics emphasized in the salutation, in layered form: Jesus and judgment at its nucleus; Mary and her joys in its frame. Anticipation of Doomsday and the longed-for sight of God’s face unite this devotion with the closing salutation sequence to the Holy Face.
incipits The two incipits are written in red by Scribe B on three lines. The first is a general opening and instruction to say “Ave.” The second one (which occupies its own line) conveys Mary’s words directly to the reader or spectator of her effigy. The salutation thus opens as a dialogue with Mary, who speaks first and actually requests the poem. Mary’s words, moreover, contain a pun: “May they always be without woe (sine ave) who to me say ‘Hail’” (ave = a ve, “without woe”); compare Prayer on the Joys of the Virgin, lines 11–12. I am indebted to Radd Ehrman for detecting the pun.

This opening salutation initially addresses Mary as Virgin Mother, and then it addresses Jesus as Redeemer. Direct access to Jesus is achieved gradually by means of worship of Mary and a contemplation of her five joys (lines 81–88). The poem itself mimics human mother-and-child form by embedding the anaphoric salutation to Jesus (“O Jhesu,” lines 91–153) inside an anaphoric salutation to Mary (“Hayle,” lines 1–90, 154–59). There are two different 2-line refrains: one for the Mary section and another for the Jesus section. Joined by meter — and by having one salutation nestled inside the other — the two parts of this poem operate as a single unit, the child enfolded in the mother. Citation of the five joys seems to cue a spiritual advance from Mary to her Son directly. Audelay’s Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love illustrates how fifteenth-century orthodox religion held that access to God was best achieved through the saints, a view challenged by Lollardy (Richmond, “Religion,” pp. 188–90; Hudson, Premature Reformation, pp. 311–13).

[Fols. 22vb–23va. IMEV, NIMEV 1068 (listing this item as joined to the next three items). Hands: Scribe A, poem in black; Scribe B, incipits in red (see above). Initials: Large H in blue with red filigree (three lines high) and medium O in red (two lines high), with face drawn in it (at line 91). Meter: Sixteen 10-line stanzas, ababbcbcDD4, with stanza 15 lacking its tenth line (see explanatory note to line 149). Edition: E. Whiting, pp. 149–54, 244.]
5–8 The salutation begins, appropriately, upon ideas of Jesus’s miraculous conception in the womb.

18 sowke. The word puns subtly with socur in line 14 above, underscoring Mary’s nurturing support. The idea of the sinner receiving divine succor, or grace, runs through the poem. Jesus will later be called “both solans and socour” (line 107) and one who can “sokore” the petitioner’s soul (line 128).

24 styyng. For the sense “growing,” see MED stiing(e, ger., where the usual sense is “ascending,” but compare stien, v. 6(c), “increase.”

33–34 The petitioner trembles as a sinner before Christ as Judge, the role of God that emerges forcefully in lines 141–54. There is also here a sense of approaching the mother to ask her to assuage the wrath of the Father.

54 Maré Mawdlen. An example of the saved sinner, which Audelay uses several times in The Counsel of Conscience. Compare Visiting the Sick and Consoling the Needy, line 145; Seven Hours of the Cross, line 35; and the Latin prose incipit His dicit Dominus Deus that concludes The Vision of Saint Paul.

56 he me. A verb may be left out; compare line 64, “He me save.”

61 Compare Salutation to Mary, line 74.

62 medicyn of al our syne. See Citrome’s discussion of Mary as female healer, where he cites this line and Salutation to Mary, line 101 (Surgeon, pp. 100–02, at 102).

71 On the formula of falling into sin through frailty, see explanatory note to Audelay’s Epilogue to The Counsel of Conscience, line 154.

81–88 This stanza recounts the Five Joys of the Virgin, a subject repeated in the prayer-poem that follows. The subject provides the penitent’s admittance to Jesus in line 91, “fore these joys v.” For a survey discussion of Middle English lyrics to the Virgin and her joys, see Woolf, English Religious Lyric, pp. 274–308.

91 The embedded salutation to Jesus, with new refrain, begins here. The enlarged initial O is drawn in red and contains a face (denoting direct address to God; compare Pope John’s Passion of Our Lord, line 89, and Deus qui beatam Annam, line 1). The salutation to Jesus is composed in lines that are tauter than the surrounding lines in address to Mary.

91–94 The syntax must be read as if the anaphoras — “O Jhesu” — are emotive exclamations interrupting the sentence, from which they are separate. The meaning here is: “For these Five Joys, which thy mother had of thee — she who was both virgin and wife — thus was none more honored than she.”

98 The allusion to “thi tabernakil in heven toure” suggests Jesus being addressed in the womb. Such allusions continue in the next stanza.

107 On Jesus as socour, see explanatory notes to lines 18 and 128.

114 Rewere. The MED confirms that the meaning is “Merciful One” in reference to God (reuer(e, n.[a]), not “river,” as glossed by E. Whiting.

128 sokore. This word culminates an intense appeal for mercy (lines 112–20), and then intense hope for salvation (lines 121–28), suggesting, with a play on the previous pun (line 18), that Jesus through his mother will be the penitent’s own maternal nurturer. Bodily metaphors for spiritual transformation emerge in the next stanza (lines 134–38), and they culminate in the penitent’s hoped-for re-“birth,” which is termed a release from “secounde deth” (line 146).

131–34 Audelay understands the mystical tradition of inverted bodily metaphor: to cleanse his heart, he must both receive Christ within it and enter Christ’s heart. Such metaphors of enclosing and being enclosed exploit and mix physical signs of gender, sexuality, pregnancy, and wounds, here in a poem that mimics in its very form the Incarnation in Mary’s womb. For background on the tradition in Middle English, see my edition of In a Valley of This Restless Mind (Fein, Moral Love Songs, pp. 57–86) and McInerney’s article on Julian of Norwich (“In the Meydens Womb”).

146 secounde deth. See explanatory note to line 128.

149 The second refrain line, “O Jhesu, fore thi moder love, mayde Mary,” is expected after this line, but the copyist (Scribe A) omits it. In compensation for the absent line, however, the c- and d-rhymes match, and the a-rhyme of the next stanza is also the same. Thus the omission of the final line about Mary may be meant to partake in a crescendoed approach toward Jesus, just before the salutation to Mary returns at lines 154–59.

150 The professed hope is for sight of God’s Holy Face, as enacted at the climax of the salutation section of the Audelay manuscript (see Salutation to the Holy Face, and also Seven Bleedings of Christ, lines 67–72). In this line the penitent anticipates his own resurrection / rebirth, ascending from the earthly filth of sin (line 147) via Jesus and Virgin, who reemerges now as Queen of Heaven, Lady of the World, and Empress of Hell (lines 154–56).

151 Domysday. Doomsday provides a thematic frame that joins the poems on Christ in Audelay’s salutations section. Compare Salutation to the Holy Face, line 24.

PRAYER RUBRIC          [W19]
This piece recalls the climactic scene of “dredful Domyday” in Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love, line 151, in its prayer for mercy. Its second line anticipates the exact words that close the salutations section (Salutation to the Holy Face, line 24), thus pointing to Audelay’s artistic construction of this whole section.

[Fol. 23va. Not in IMEV, NIMEV as a separate item (see 1068). Hand: Scribe B, poem in red. Meter: Two tetrameter couplets. E. Whiting mistakenly combines this item and the next two with the Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love. Edition: E. Whiting, p. 154.]
2 Graunt mercy tofore thy Jugement. This phrase is common in Audelay’s poetry. Compare Our Lord’s Epistle on Sunday, lines 194–95, and Salutation to the Holy Face, lines 23–24 (the final English lines in the salutations section).

This piece recalls the five joys of Mary (Nativity, Resurrection, Ascension, Assumption, Coronation), which Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love has demonstrated to be an access point to direct contemplation of Jesus’ divinity in incarnate form.

[Fol. 23va. Not in IMEV, NIMEV as a separate item (see 1068). Hand: Scribe B, poem in black with red initial. Initial: Medium O in red (two lines high). Meter: One 12-line stanza, ababbabaacac4. Edition: E. Whiting, pp. 154–55.]
1 O. E. Whiting mistakenly attaches this capital to the preceding line. Because hand and meter change and a capital is inserted, it is altogether surprising that she mistook this prayer as part of Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love. For other treatments of the five joys in MS Douce 302, see Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love, lines 81–88, and (less overtly) Joys of Mary.

11–12 On deliverance from sorrow through Mary’s five joys, compare Mary’s words to the penitent at the opening of this sequence: “May they always be without woe who to me say ‘ave.’”

This instructional couplet is a mnemonic tag found in various forms elsewhere in MS Douce 302. Compare Instructions for Prayer 1; Prayer on Christ’s Passion, line 37; and Seven Words of Christ on the Cross, line 109.

[Fol. 23va. Not in IMEV, NIMEV as a separate item (see 1068). Hand: Scribe B, poem in red (as one cramped line). Meter: One tetrameter couplet. Edition: E. Whiting, p. 155.]
Two salutations separated by E. Whiting are actually placed in sequence by the scribes. Both laud Mary in 12-line stanzas, though metrically they are quite distinct from each other. The first one, with “Haile” anaphora, has the medieval petitioner praise the Virgin as a way, ultimately, to petition her to be his “mayn-paroure” (line 118), that is, legal surety, on the Day of Judgment. The second one is a beautiful hymn of the Annunciation, in which Gabriel as proto-saluter addresses the Virgin with “Haile!”
This Marian lyric reiterates the subject of the last salutation, but with more direct and sustained attention to the Virgin herself. Again, Audelay emphasizes Mary as virgin and mother. Employing a refrain and ornamental alliteration, the stanza form matches that of Pearl and many Vernon lyrics (Fein, “Twelve-Line Stanza Forms,” pp. 382–97, especially p. 385). Moreover, the 12-line stanza was a frequently chosen medium for poems to the Virgin. Two other copies of this salutation are extant; Audelay’s version is the oldest and longest. A 12-line Vernon lyric in eleven stanzas, with the refrain “Þow prey for vs to þi sone so fre” (Horstmann, Minor Poems of the Vernon MS, pp. 134–37), is similar in form, alliteration, and “Hail” anaphora, but not in phrasing or content. Similar phrases may, however, be found in Audelay’s Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love. On Middle English lyrics with anaphoric “haile,” see Driver, “John Audelay and the Bridgettines,” pp. 192–95, 209–10n4. Woolf, English Religious Lyric, pp. 274–308, discusses the Middle English tradition of lyrics to the Virgin (with little mention, however, of Audelay).

[Fols. 23va–24rb. IMEV, Suppl., NIMEV 1083 (compare IMEV, NIMEV 1041). Hands: Scribe A, poem in black; Scribe B, incipit and explicit in red. Initial: Medium H in blue with red filigree (two lines high). Meter: Ten 12-line anaphoric stanzas with a refrain, ababababbcbC4 (i.e., the meter of Pearl), often with ornamental alliteration. Seven-Stanza Variant: Cambridge, CUL Ff.2.38, fols. 31v–32r (Person, Cambridge Middle English Lyrics, pp. 11–13 [no. 10]); Cambridge, Magdalene College MS Pepys 1584, fols. 102v–104r. Edition: E. Whiting, pp. 155–59, 244–45.]
1 fond. This word means “created, made”; see MED founden, v.(2) 4). E. Whiting glosses it mistakenly as the preterite of the verb finden, i.e., “found.”

4 Compare the carols that associate Mary with the Tree of Jesse: Saint Anne Mother of Mary, lines 36–39, and Jesus Flower of Jesse’s Tree.

23 The “haile” anaphora usually addresses Mary, but a few lines are directed to Christ, as here.

33 norcheles. See MED norcheles, n., where the only citation is this line from MS Douce 302: “one without a nurse or protector.”

37–39 Compare Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love, line 21.

46 silour. See MED celure, n., “canopy,” where this line is the only example of a figurative usage, “shelter.” Compare An Honest Bed, line 38.

50 a, waiful wyght! The punctuation is to make sense of the sudden shift to a singular noun after naming the guilty heretics.

78 This line refers to the sword of sorrow that pierced Mary’s heart at the Crucifixion, derived from Luke 2:35 (Simeon’s prophecy). It is a common feature of Marian piety.

80 thi Breder. I.e, Christ in his humanity. This line twists the usual formula that views the Virgin, paradoxically, as mother to her Father and spouse to her Son. Here she is Joseph’s wife and spouse, and sister in flesh to Jesus.

89–95 These lines allude to the Harrowing of Hell, the freeing of the patriarchs in hell made possible by Christ’s Incarnation in Mary’s body. The stanza plays on a metaphor of jewels and their light (embodied in Mary, engendered in her) bringing about an illumination through Christ of the dark regions of hell.

98 Compare Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love, line 2.

101 medycyne that ale may mend. See Citrome’s discussion of Mary as female healer, where he cites this line and Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love, line 62 (Surgeon, pp. 100–02, at p. 102).

106 Compare Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love, line 98.

115–19 Like Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love and Salutation to the Holy Face, this poem ends with contemplation of Doomsday.

118 mayne-paroure. The MED defines main-pernour, n.: “One who offers himself as surety that another (especially a prisoner to be released on bail) will fulfill his legal obligation to appear in a court when required.” The spelling found in MS CUL Ff.2.38 is maynpurnoure (line 82; see Person, Cambridge Middle English Lyrics, p. 13).

Stevens, “Angelus ad virginem,” analyzes Audelay’s poem in relation to the Latin hymn. He notes how Audelay “omits the whole of Stanza 3 of the standard Latin version,” taking instead a stanza unique to Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Digby 147 (p. 310).

Said to be composed by Gabriel, Audelay’s poem begins in dramatic suspense, the reader made privy to the Annunciation in terms that speak delicately, almost erotically, of Mary. “Quakyng” upon Gabriel’s entry, she is destined to become the gate of heaven (line 11). After Gabriel’s salutation “Haile!” stanzas 1 and 2 portray the biblical dialogue (Luke 1:34–35). In stanza 3 Mary’s womb increases for nine months, and, as soon as the Son emerges, he punishes “oure dedly foo” (line 36) in manly fashion, the Passion occurring virtually at once. Stanza 4 celebrates the central miracle — “A maydon to ber a barne!” (line 48). The final stanza conveys the sense of that joy to mankind, praying Mary to intercede for us, allowing us to be included “afftur thys owtlary” (line 60), thus realizing her maternal destiny as the gate of heaven for all mankind.

[Fol. 24rb–va. IMEV, Suppl., NIMEV 3305. Hands: Scribe A, first portion of poem in black (most of stanzas 1–3); Scribe B, remainder of poem in black (lines 36–60), and incipit and explicit in red. (The scribes rarely divide the task of redaction in this manner, but compare Day of the Lord’s Circumcision and Chastity for Mary’s Love.) Initial: Medium T in blue with red filigree (two lines high). Meter: An exquisite Annunciation hymn composed in five 12-line stanzas in an intricately modulated pattern, a4b3a4b3cc4dde2f3-4e4f3, with occasional unevenness. The a-rhyme matches the f-rhyme in the third stanza. The meter is modeled on the Latin original, and was surely fitted to the same music (see Stevens, Music and Poetry, pp. 40–43, who sets stanzas 1, 3, and 5 to the tune). Latin Source: Angelus ad Virginem (Dearmer et al., Oxford Book of Carols, pp. 106–08 [no. 52]; compare Mone, Lateinische Hymnen, 2:55). Middle English Analogue: Brown, English Lyrics of the XIIIth Century, pp. 75–76 (no. 44). Editions: E. Whiting, pp. 159–60, 245–46; Saupe, pp. 47–48, 174–76. Both previous editors have combined lines 7–9 of each 12-line stanza (following the manuscript).]
1 In setting this line to the medieval music for Angelus ad virginem, Stevens, Music and Poetry, p. 40, elides a syllable: “Th’angel.”

4–5 Compare Mary Flower of Women, line 13.

11 Rendering the poem in its musical setting, Stevens, Music and Poetry, p. 40, shortens the phrase thee the to the (= “thee”).

21 In the manuscript this line is written alone, which E. Whiting calls a mistake, but it is an indication of the actual 12-line meter.

25 According to Stevens, Music and Poetry, p. 40, the musical meter elides a syllable: “Th’angel.”

31 outyed. See MED outyede, v.(a), “went out, departed,” though the examples provided there do not include instances of childbirth.

35 knok. Here indeed is a vigorous image of Christ’s birth. The moment is fully conflated with the Passion. Emerging from the womb in battle mode, Jesus bears the cross on his bruised shoulders and delivers the Devil a sound blow. The energy of this startling conceit is somewhat like the violently compressed religious metaphors in The Dispute between Mary and the Cross (see Fein, Moral Love Songs, pp. 87–160, especially lines 1–13, 290, 508–15).

36 Scribe B copies this line and the final two stanzas.

41 sydus sere. For the definition “womb affording safety,” see Putter, “Language and Metre,” p. 509n51. Though the context confirms that Christ is blessing Mary’s literal sides, the phrase suggests the idiom on sydes sere; see MED ser(e, adj.(2)(d), “entirely, all around, in all ways.”

60 Compare Saint Anne Mother of Mary, line 58: “That he wyl affter this outleré,” and the analogous Latin burden of a carol found in MS Balliol 354: “Mater, ora Filium / Vt post hoc exilium / Nobis donet gaudium / Beatorum omnium” (Greene, Early English Carols, p. 119 [no. 178]).

This poem, a biblical paraphrase, is Mary’s salutation to her Son and Lord. Its placement by Audelay after Gabriel’s salutation continues the narration of events from Luke 1. Moreover, as a salutation voiced by the Virgin herself, it completes a laudatory “conversation” on Mary in this sequence of praise-poems initiated at Mary’s own request (see incipit to Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love). Other Middle English paraphrases of the Song of the Magnificat are by James Ryman (Greene, Early English Carols, p. 162 [no. 257]) and John Lydgate (in Life of Our Lady, though sometimes copied separately; see IMEV, NIMEV 2574).

[Fols. 24va–25ra. IMEV, Suppl., NIMEV 2271 (erroneously listed as eight 13-line stanzas). Hands: Scribe A, poem in black; Scribe B, incipit and explicit in red. Initial: Medium M in blue with red filigree (two lines high). Meter: Thirteen 8-line stanzas with a Latin refrain, ababbcbC4. Edition: E. Whiting, pp. 161–64, 246.]
19 you. Compare Luke 1:48: “Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed” (italics added). The text changes the pronoun from me to you, which may be scribal error. I have left the reading and punctuated so that Mary utters the phrase as God’s own regard and discourse, which seems the only way to interpret the pronoun you.

37 here stat and here degré. See the explanatory note to True Living, lines 130–33.

42 sparpil. See MED sparplen , v. “scatter, disperse.”

49–56 This medieval exemplum is set anachronistically within Mary’s speech, where it illustrates the biblical line on the mighty being cast down from their thrones; see Powell, “John Audelay and John Mirk,” p. 101. On Robert of Sicily, the subject of a Middle English romance, see Hornstein, “King Robert of Sicily,” especially p. 13n2; MWME 1:171–72 [115]; and E. Whiting, p. 246. Audelay seems to know the romance, or at least its legend of Robert’s hearing the Magnificat sung and then questioning that God can put down the mighty and exalt the humble (Luke 1:52).

77 On the formula of falling into sin through frailty, see explanatory note to Audelay’s Epilogue to The Counsel of Conscience, line 154.

91 word of wordis. “forever and ever, to all eternity.” The MED provides many examples of this Middle English phrase deriving from translation of the Vulgate phrases “in saeculum,” “in saeculum saeculi,” “in saecula saeculorum”; see world, n.6(b). Audelay uses the phrase elsewhere in Our Lord’s Epistle on Sunday, lines 99, 142, and God’s Address to Sinful Men, line 259.

A married mother of eight, Bridget of Sweden (c. 1303–73) was canonized as saint in 1391. Characterizing Audelay’s salutation to her as “simultaneously heartfelt, eccentric in form, and full of obscure historical reference,” Driver notes how it also provides “important witness” to the historical founding of the Bridgettine order in England (“John Audelay and the Bridgettines,” p. 191). This establishment of the order at Syon Abbey was by royal decree of Henry V in 1415, and its founding built political as well as spiritual capital for the Lancastrian dynasty (Warren, Spiritual Economies, pp. 118–30; Catto, “Religious Change under Henry V,” pp. 110–11; B. Morris, St. Birgitta of Sweden, p. 171). Audelay formally compliments “[o]ur gracious Kyng Herré the V” for this deed (lines 136–48). On the unusual metrics of this piece, see the explanatory note to Salutation to Saint Winifred. Audelay composed these two salutations in the same verse form.

[Fols. 25ra–26rb. IMEV, Suppl., NIMEV 1058. MWME 9:3123. Hands: Scribe A, poem in black; Scribe B, incipit in red. Initial: Large H in blue with red filigree (three lines high). Audelay Signature: Line 202 (Scribe A). Meter: Twenty-three alliterative 9-line stanzas, abab4-5c2-3ddd3-4c2-3 (compare Salutation to Saint Winifred and Marcolf and Solomon). Middle English Prose Life of Bridget: “The Lyfe of Seynt Birgette” (Blunt, Myroure of Oure Ladye, pp. xlvii–lix). Editions: Cumming, pp. xxxi–xxxvii; E. Whiting, pp. 164–71, 246–47.]
10–18 Bridget’s status as “wedow, wyfe, and may” elevates her to a state similar to Mary’s triune mystical essence (mother, wife, and maiden). The reference here to Mary’s appearance before Bridget stems from The Revelations of Saint Birgitta (see, e.g., Cumming, pp. 106–07). Mary’s early appearance in Audelay’s poem offers transition from the preceding group of salutations and prayers featuring praise of the Virgin. On the curiosity of Bridget’s postmaternal virginity, see Driver, “John Audelay and the Bridgettines,” pp. 191, 195–99.

22 This line resembles Marcolf and Solomon, lines 280 and 316.

35 On “word, will, deed, and thought,” repeated in line 38, see explanatory note to Audelay’s Epilogue to The Counsel of Conscience, line 115.

57 Pope Urban. “Pope Urban V confirmed the Rule of St. Bridget’s congregation in 1370” (E. Whiting, p. 246). See also Cumming, p. xxvi.

63 playn remyssion. A theological term for complete remission of sin, though Audelay seems to use the adj. plein for Anglo-French plener. See MED plenere, adj.(b), and remissioun, n. 2. plenere ? , “full forgiveness of sin; also, remission of punishment (by an indulgence).”

74 mendist. This is the verb minden, “to mention” (MED minden, v.), not menden, “to amend, improve,” as emended by E. Whiting.

84 gemfulli. MED glosses “gemfulli” here to mean “in a caring manner.”

136 Chene. “Sheen (Richmond), in Surrey, the royal manor at which Queen Anne of Bohemia died. After her death Richard [II] destroyed the house but Henry V rebuilt it and founded there the Carthusian house of Sheen” (E. Whiting, p. 246). On the influence of Saint Bridget in England, see Cumming, pp. xxix–xxxix.
136–49 This passage on the founding of Syon Abbey in 1415 honors Henry V for his piety and military prowess on behalf of the nation and reminds Audelay’s readers to pray for the soul of the king who founded the convent within his manor of Isleworth on the Thames, opposite Sheen. On the political importance of Henry V’s foundation of Syon, see Warren, Spiritual Economies, pp. 111–33. Compare, too, lines 195–97 on Henry VI. For a possible Syon connection elsewhere in MS Douce 302, see the explanatory note for An Honest Bed.

140–43 The Vincula Indulgence (in commemoration of Saint Peter’s freedom from prison) was given on Lammas Day (August 1), a festival associated with harvest and the collection of rents. Driver notes the interesting connection between this detail and the book of Margery Kempe: “The Lammas Day pardon given by the Bridgettines to pilgrims to Syon is known to modern scholars mainly because Margery Kempe famously visited Sheen in about 1434, ‘three days before Lammas Day to purchase her pardon through the mercy of the Lord’” (“John Audelay and the Bridgettines,” p. 206).

145 ihold. This reading agrees with E. Whiting; alternatively, one might read, as does Cumming, I hold, “I maintain.”

154–71 These stanzas recount some regulations of the rule of Saint Bridget (modified from the Augustinian rule). See further Aungier, History and Antiquities of Syon Monastery, pp. 249–409.

163 See MED unethes, adv.2a.

182 obey obedyans. See explanatory note to Marcolf and Solomon, line 32.

195–97 These three lines invoke a communal prayer for young King Henry VI’s safety.

This sequence is part of a broad series of salutations that venerate female saints (Mary, Bridget, Winifred, Anne, and Veronica) for their virginity or chastity, and the miraculous healing powers associated with their sanctity.

The sequence of devotions to Winifred consists of:
(1) A salutation to Winifred in carol form (the only carol outside the carols section of the manuscript);
(2) A second salutation, in an alliterative meter that matches Salutation to Saint Bridget;
(3) A Latin verse prayer;
(4) A Latin prose prayer.
The seventh-century Welsh Saint Winifred was, for Audelay, a local saint, her relics having been transferred from Wales to Shrewsbury (four miles north of Haughmond Abbey) in 1138. Holywell was the site of her miraculous spring and a popular destination for pilgrims. It is interesting to note that Saint Winifred’s effigy stands among those carved in the outside arches of the chapter house at Haughmond Abbey. She is there depicted with her foot upon the head of Prince Caradoc, the king’s son who attacked her for her chastity. On the presence of an extended devotion to this saint in MS Douce 302, Melissa Jones, “Swete May, Soulis Leche,” p. 3, notes that “Audelay, consistently fervid about matters of faith throughout his poetry, expresses an authentic appreciation for Winifred’s chastity and healing powers, and the double treatment of her legend indicates the intensity of his devotion.” Winifred’s status and popularity were heightened in 1415 when her feast day was made binding throughout England (Duffy, Stripping of the Altars, p. 44; compare p. 163).
The way the scribes share the copying of this carol is different from the pattern found in the carol sequence. There Scribe A always copies the burden, and Scribe B later inserts a title. The Saint Winifred Carol does not receive a title, but Audelay does name its genre, and it does have carol form. Its length may suggest that it was not meant to be sung; Audelay refers to it as being read (line 176).

Audelay’s hagiographic carol combines all three types of the genre: vita, passio, and miraculum. It recounts how the young virgin fled from Prince Caradoc, who, catching hold of her, violently decapitated her. This murderous attempt (for it was ultimately unsuccessful) initiated a host of miracles at the crime scene when a well sprang up from dry land. Several miracles are enumerated, including how Winifred’s life was preserved: her uncle Saint Beuno reset her head on her neck so that only an attractive pearl-like necklace of white skin remained (lines 23–28); henceforth, according to tradition, her name changed from Brewafour to Winifred, “white thread.” For other treatments of Winifred in MS Douce 302, see Salutation to Saint Winifred and Chastity for Mary’s Love, line 19.

[Fol. 26rb–vb. IMEV, NIMEV 413. MWME 6:1992 [317]. Hands: Scribe A, poem in black; Scribe B, burden in red. Initial: Small A in red (1.5 lines high). Audelay Signature: Line 120 (Scribe A). Meter: Thirty 6-line stanzas, aaab3-4BB4, with 2-line tetrameter burden. The same 6-line stanza form appears frequently in Audelay’s carol sequence, though none of his carols there matches this one in length. Other English Lives of Winifred: John Mirk, Festial, “De Solempnitate Sancte Wenefrede” (Erbe, pp. 177–82); William Caxton, The Golden Legend (Ellis, 6:127–32). Editions: E. Whiting, pp. 171–75, 247–48; Greene, Early English Carols, pp. 191–93, 420–21 (no. 314).]
16 dry valay. The dryness of the valley precedes the coming of the miraculous spring. Greene cites a parallel passage in prior Robert of Shrewsbury’s Latin legend of Winifred: “Locus vero ubi sanguis illius effusus est primitus sicca vallis dicebatur” (Early English Carols, p. 421). See Robert of Shrewsbury, Admirable Life, pp. 58–59.

23–28 The name Winifred means “white thread,”’ a reference to this visible sign of her passion. The 1635 translation of Robert of Shrewsbury’s legend by recusant I. F. recounts the story thus: “And when the people had cryed with great deuotion, Amen vnto [Beuno’s] prayer, the Virgin as newly wakened from sleep, wiped her eyes & face, besmeared with sweat and dust before, as hauing tumbled on the ground, filling all present, and her Parents there amongst them, with joy and admiration; observing also, as they more fixedly beheld her, a pure white circle, no bigger then a small threed, to remayne in her faire Necke, shewing the place where it had ben cut off before, and was miraculously then to her body conioyned; which because it euer afterwards remayned conspicuously seene after the same manner, Brewa, her name before, is said to haue ben changed by the peoples great veneration, and loue towards her, into Wenefride by Wen, which doth signify white in the old British tongue” (Robert of Shrewsbury, Admirable Life, pp. 56–57).

49–60 The first miracle described by Audelay is of a child swept away in a river who wondrously escapes harm from the millwheel. This account is the first record of a local Holywell tradition associated with Winifred. A similar miracle was recorded in 1608. There a joiner’s four-year-old daughter escaped injury after dangerously falling into the river flowing from the well and being swept under the millwheel. Her mother and Thomas the miller served as witnesses, and Thomas further affirmed that “he knew five other children, that in the same manner had been violently carried under the sayd wheele and had no harme at all thereby” (De Smedt, “Documenta de S. Wenefreda,” p. 318). E. Whiting, pp. 247–48, notes that an analogous story appears in the life of Thomas à Becket.

61–66 The second miracle is somewhat sketchy. Melissa Jones, “Swete May, Soulis Leche,” p. 3, offers this understanding: “a man drops a groat down Winifred’s well and recovers it later, apparently in a different well.” As Greene, Early English Carols, p. 420, notes, some miracles recounted by Audelay are otherwise unknown and probably based “on tradition local to Shrewsbury rather than on a particular written source.”

67–96 Melissa Jones, “Swete May, Soulis Leche,” p. 3, explains the third miracle as follows: “Winifred’s well suddenly and mysteriously ceases to flow when a quantity of wine is stored in her chapel. The water begins to flow again when the wine, which turns out to be poisoned, is cast into the street, and a man taken ill by drinking it is miraculously cured.” Like the incident of the lost groat, this story survives only in Audelay’s narrative.

93 plumys. Greene, Early English Carols, and E. Whiting both gloss this word “pumps,” but that meaning seems contrary to the workings of a natural well. The meaning is “plumes,” with an image of the well waters shooting up as feathery spray. Winifred’s well is a metonym for her head; she communicates by means of its miraculous waters. Hedus bere means, therefore, “head’s gesture.” See MED bere, n.(9)(b), “bearing, gesture, manner.”

157–60 Greene, Early English Carols, p. 421, observes that “There may be a reference here to the natural gratification of Shrewsbury people at the order of 1391 for the feast of St. Winifred to be observed throughout the province of Canterbury.”

165 soulis leche. Melissa Jones, “Swete May, Soulis Leche,” p. 5, suggests that Audelay’s devotion to Winifred may be, in part, a personal appeal from the afflicted chaplain to her miraculous healing capacities

169–74 This stanza is adapted and repeated in Saint Francis, lines 67–70.

172 pray. E. Whiting’s emendation to fray is unnecessary and changes the sense (Greene, Early English Carols, p. 421). The phrase Fyndis pray occurs in Audelay’s Day of the Lord’s Circumcision, line 8. For Fyndis fray, see Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love, line 68, and Saint Francis, line 51.

176 Redis this carol. Greene, Early English Carols, p. 420, comments: “The use of ‘Redis’ instead of ‘Singis’ in the last stanza might be taken to show recognition by Audelay that he was in this case writing a literary narrative instead of a lyric to be sung. But the word is similarly used in [Audelay’s Saint Francis], and the rhyming of the fourth line of each stanza with the burden leaves no doubt that the piece is intended as a true carol”; see also Copley, “John Audelay’s Carols and Music,” pp. 211–12. Compare Saint Francis, lines 73–78.

As a salutation to Winifred, this piece is a companion to the preceding carol. Metrically, however, it belongs with Salutation to Saint Bridget. Both employ heteromorphic alliterative meter in the long lines and a “Haile” anaphora. The alliteration is sometimes irregular, with aa/bb alliterative patterns permitted, as in much stanzaic alliterative verse (see, e.g., The Four Leaves of the Truelove [Fein, Moral Love Songs, pp. 171–73]). The stanza is a 9-line variant of that used (in thirteen lines) by Audelay in Marcolf and Solomon and Over-Hippers and Skippers. The chief differences rest in the absence of one long-line quatrain and the presence of the anaphora. The chaplain may have been familiar with a late fourteenth-century practice of composing saints’ hymns in 14-line alliterative stanzas (compare the hymns to Saints Katherine, John the Evangelist, and John the Baptist [Ruth Kennedy, ed., Three Alliterative Saints’ Hymns]; two of these hymns employ anaphora).

[Fol. 26vb–27rb. IMEV, NIMEV 1084. Hands: Scribe A, poem in black; Scribe B, incipit and explicit in red. Initial: Medium H in blue with red filigree (two lines high). Meter: Seven alliterative 9-line stanzas, abab4-5c2-3ddd3-4c2-3 (compare Salutation to Saint Bridget and Marcolf and Solomon). Edition: E. Whiting, pp. 175–78, 248.]
30 chere. E. Whiting notes that this verb is a preterite with final d omitted.

33 servys. E. Whiting notes the use here of the present tense for the preterite (and provides other manuscript examples).

56 Grownder. This word recurs in a similar context in Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost, line 11, and the MED cites Audelay for its earliest known usage. See grounder, n., “originator; basis, origin.”

[Fol. 27rb. Hands: Scribe A, poem in black; Scribe B, incipit in red. Initials: Black initial letters of each line marked in red. Edition: E. Whiting, p. 178.]
This prayer emphasizes the saint’s miraculous restoration to bodily wholeness, which pertains to her power to heal others.

[Fol. 27rb. Hands: Scribe A, incipit (Oremus) and poem in black; Scribe B, incipit (collecte) in red. There is a blue paraph before the word Oremus. Initial: Medium D in red (two lines high), with quatrefoil drawn inside it. Each letter of the final A. M. E. N. is marked in red. Edition: E. Whiting, p. 178.]
This sequence consists of an English verse salutation and a Latin prose prayer. Audelay emphasizes in both parts the miracle of Saint Anne’s fruitful womb, which gave birth to Mary after a long period of barrenness. As with Saint Winifred, Audelay composed both a salutation and a carol in honor of Saint Anne, mother of Mary; see Saint Anne Mother of Mary in the next section.
Woolf, English Religious Lyric, p. 296, calls Audelay’s style in this gaude poem “a pleasing example of how well limpid simplicity of style can carry complexities of story or thought.” In its use of the imagery of the Tree of Jesse, it links with Audelay’s two carols that play upon that theme, Saint Anne Mother of Mary and Jesus Flower of Jesse’s Tree. The wondrous quality of Saint Anne’s unexpected fertility, leading to the birth of Mary and later the Messiah, contributes to a conceptual thread of miraculous healing that runs through the salutations. For references to other Middle English treatments of Saint Anne, see Parker, Middle English Stanzaic Versions, pp. x–xi. On the legend of Saint Anne, see Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend (trans. Ryan, 2:149–58). Useful modern studies of the cult of Saint Anne include Duffy, Stripping of the Altars, pp. 181–83; Ronan, S. Anne; Ashley and Sheingorn, Interpreting Cultural Symbols; and Nixon, Mary’s Mother.

[Fol. 27rb. IMEV, NIMEV 894. Hands: Scribe A, poem in black; Scribe B, incipit in red. Initial: Medium G in blue with red filigree (two lines high). Meter: Six septenary 4-line stanzas, abab7, with Latin anaphoras “Gaude, felix Anna” (line 1) and “Gaude” (lines 2–4). Edition: E. Whiting, pp. 178–79, 248.]
4 frelé Food. A common phrase for a noble child or baby. See MED freli, adj.1(a), and fode, n.(2) 1. (a). Many examples refer to the Christ Child.

5–8 Compare Saint Anne Mother of Mary, lines 36–38, and Jesus Flower of Jesse’s Tree, lines 3–4. The development of Mary as a branch of Jesse features in those two carols and in Salutation to Mary, line 4. On Anne’s iconographic place in this tradition, see Sheingorn, “Appropriating the Holy Kinship,” pp. 170–71, and Sautman, “Saint Anne in Folk Tradition,” p. 85. On the Tree of Jesse tradition in general, see Watson, Early Iconography of the Tree of Jesse.

9–12 The consonance of the rhyme words in these lines resembles the style found in Paternoster and Three Dead Kings. According to Putter, “Language and Metre,” p. 514, Audelay’s effort here — compared to the pyrotechnics of those poems — is “mere child’s play.”

13–16 On Anne’s long period of barrenness, compare Saint Anne Mother of Mary, lines 15–18.

14 clene. Woolf, Early English Lyric, p. 296, comments: “The precise meaning of ‘clene’ is not plain: it could refer either to the legend that St. Anne miraculously conceived at the moment when she and Joachim embraced at the Golden Gate or, more probably, to the less fanciful belief, that Mary, being begotten at God’s command in the passionless quiet of old age, was born without any taint of lust. Whatever the interpretation, the verse shows the purity of the Virgin reflected in the chaste circumstances of her conception and her pre-eminence emphasized by supernatural intervention in the natural course of procreation.”

[Fol. 27rb–va. Hands: Scribe A, long incipit and prayer in black; Scribe B, word collecte, in red. Initials: Medium D in red (two spaces high), with face drawn inside it. In the long incipit the black letters O (Ore), q (quia), and O (Oremus) are marked in red. Edition: E. Whiting, p. 179.]
1 Red initial D has a face drawn inside it, as elsewhere when a prayer opens with an address to God. Compare Pope John’s Passion of Our Lord, line 89, and Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love, line 91.

This sequence consists of:
(1) Latin prose instructions, which identify the salutation as carrying an indulgence from Rome, granted by Pope Boniface IV and designed to be said twenty days in a row;
(2) A drawing of Christ’s Face on the Veronica Shroud, a visual meditative site to accompany the verbal exercise;
(3) A salutation to the Holy Face;
(4) A closing prayer in Latin prose.
The sequence of salutations brings one to this point of climax, as if rehearsing the much-anticipated sight of God’s holy face on Doomsday itself. The overarching devotional logic possesses an aesthetic wholeness: from God incarnate in Mary’s womb (Salutation to Jesus for Mary’s Love) to God upon the sudary of Veronica. In each, God is imaged in human form and made accessible by the mediation of female sanctity. Thus God’s miraculous Incarnation is experienced as real and translatable into spiritual grace for the sinner. In a climate of Lollard challenges regarding prayer to saints, a greater turn toward Christocentric piety led orthodox believers to use figures of the body of Christ — the Veronica, for example — as a means to approach God (Richmond, “Religion,” pp. 188–90; Hudson, Premature Reformation, pp. 311–13; Pollard, Late Medieval England, pp. 218–19).

[Fol. 27va. Hands: Scribe B, in red. Edition: E. Whiting, p. 179.]
incipit Bonefacia papa. The incipit explains that the salutation carries an indulgence authorized by Boniface IV, pope from 608 to 615.

The drawing resembles one of a series commonly found on indulgence rolls, with lyrics to go with each illustration (the Arma Christi; NIMEV 2577), as reproduced in R. Morris, Legends of the Holy Rood, pp. 170–93, especially pp. 170–71. Sometimes the lyrics migrated into manuscripts, but their primary medium was probably the pocket-size velum roll; compare London, BL MSS Addit. 22029 and Addit. 32006 (both rolls) with London, BL MS Royal 17 A.27, fol. 80r–v, and MS Addit. 11748, fols. 144v–157r (both manuscripts, the latter one lacking the illustrations). A poem often appended to the Arma Christi explains that viewing this image of the Vernicle will grant pardon (NIMEV 1370; R. Morris, pp. 194–96, lines 216–18; see also the alternate ending printed on p. 192). On the Arma Christi rolls, see Robbins, “‘Arma Christi’ Rolls”; Gray, “Middle English Illustrated Poem,” pp. 187–89; and A. Nichols, “O Vernicle.” For a provocative essay on the tradition in general, see Hirsh, Boundaries of Faith, pp. 124–49, especially pp. 129–36. Elsewhere, Audelay uses the tradition in Seven Bleedings of Christ, an indulgence prayer-poem.

[Drawing: Fol. 27va. Hand: The drawing, in black ink, with mouth colored red, was probably made by Scribe B. The red ink matches the Latin instructions copied immediately above. This drawing does not appear in E. Whiting's edition. Salutation: Fol. 27va. IMEV, NIMEV 3073. Hand: Scribe A, in black. Initial: A black D in the explicit (Dedisti) is marked in red. Meter: Four 6-line stanzas, aa7b3aa7b3, with Latin anaphora “Salve” marking the first and fourth lines. Even though the scribe has marked every three lines with paraphs, the rhymes indicate 6-line stanzas. Edition: E. Whiting, pp. 179–80, 248 (poem printed in 3-line stanzas).]
5 Veroneca. On the legend of Veronica, which stresses the healing power of the cloth and its image, see Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend (trans. Ryan, 1:212). Compare too Audelay’s Seven Bleedings of Christ, lines 67–72 (another prayer indulgence). Citrome discusses the perceived healing power of Veronica’s veil, which features in The Siege of Jerusalem and many charms (Surgeon, pp. 64–65). On the popularity of the Vernicle in English medieval devotions, see Duffy, Marking the Hours, pp. 14–15, 28, 54. A bas-de-page scene of Veronica receiving the image of Christ on her veil (perhaps the earliest example in England) appears in the Carew-Poynz Hours (Fitzwilliam Museum MS 48, fol. 75; reproduced by Binski and Panayotova, Cambridge Illuminations, p. 195). I am indebted to Ann Nichols for this reference.

13 On the formula of falling into sin through frailty, see explanatory note to Audelay’s Epilogue to The Counsel of Conscience, line 154.

22 nuye grimsli. “Harm grimly.” See MED grimsli, adv., where this line is the only passage cited.

[Fol. 27va. Hands: Scribe A, incipit (Oremus) and prayer in black; Scribe B, incipit (collecte), in red. Initials: Medium initial D in red (two lines high), with quatrefoil drawn inside it. The black O in the incipit is marked in red. Other Manuscripts: Boulogne-Sur-Mer, Bibliothèque Municipale MS 93, fol. 6v (Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts, vol. 1, fig. 24). Edition: E. Whiting, p. 180.]


The following notes record readings of the manuscript at those points where other editors have made different assessments of the textual evidence, as well as at points of important physical detail.

In general, Scribe A copied texts, and Scribe B later added incipits and explicits and acted as proofreader. Wherever Scribe B played a significant, uncharacteristic role in the textual copying, the affected lines are noted. Not noted, however, are the many correcting marks made by the scribes. Wherever final readings are determinate, those readings are adopted without comment. On how the scribes divided their work on particular items, see the explanatory notes.

Modernized editions with altered spellings and wordings (Chambers and Sidgwick 1907, Davies, Haberly, Sisam and Sisam, and Sitwell) are not recorded in the textual notes. Hands that date later than those of the two scribes are also not recorded. In MS Douce 302 there are two significant early hands, both probably medieval:
(1) An inexperienced writer who copies stray phrases in the margin (fols. 16rb, 16va, 29ra, 34rb, and 35ra).

(2) A doodler, whose simple drawings and occasional crosses appear most frequently on upper recto pages, b-column, perhaps to record his reading progress (fols. 3rb, 5rb, 6rb, 7rb, 9rb [two marks], 10rb, 11rb, 13rb, 18rb [the climax of The Vision of Saint Paul], 27vb, and 28va). The involvement of this reader is evident in his drawing of a sleeved hand pointing to the word “assencion” in Salutation to Christ’s Body, line 26 (fol. 10rb), a line that marks the raising of the host in the Levation.
There are also two modern readers whose hands appear on the pages of MS Douce 302:
(1) A reader who notes the correspondence of True Living, line 78, and Chastity of Wives, line 8, by inserting in fine-line black ink the cross-reference in the margins of fols. 1rb and 30va. This may be the same hand that numbers the folios in the upper right-hand corners. It may also be the hand that “corrects” the reading Hontis in Three Dead Kings, line 11.

(2) A reader who marks texts in pencil, using left-hand marginal crosses and long vertical squiggles to highlight passages of interest. This reader was perhaps an early cataloguer. He is especially interested in political comments and in Audelay’s self-identifications in signatures and autobiographical moments. His hand pervades the book, appearing beside the texts of True Living, Marcolf and Solomon, Visiting the Sick and Consoling the Needy, Instructions for Reading 2, Audelay’s Prayer Explicit to Pope John’s Passion, Our Lord’s Epistle on Sunday, The Vision of Saint Paul, Audelay’s Epilogue to The Counsel of Conscience, Song of the Magnificat, Salutation to Saint Bridget, Saint Winifred Carol, King Henry VI, Joys of Mary, Virginity of Maids, Chastity of Wives, Dread of Death, Saint Francis, Over-Hippers and Skippers, An Honest Bed, Paternoster, Three Dead Kings, and Audelay’s Conclusion.
In addition to these extraneous hands, the book contains a few marks of early ownership. Erased notes on fol. 35rb (visible by ultraviolet light) record that a Coventry minstrel named William Wyatt once possessed the book, and that he passed it on to an Augustinian canon named John Barker in Launde, Leicestershire. These transactions likely took place in the fifteenth century. On fol. 35v, which looks like an original outside cover of the book, the name “John” appears many times amid doodles and verse jottings unrelated to the contents of MS Douce 302. A much later owner was late eighteenth-century bibliophile Richard Farmer, master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, whose handwritten sheet catalogue was bound with the book in 1803 by Francis Douce, its next owner. Douce contributed the woodcut pasted into the back inside cover of the bound book, which makes reference to Three Dead Kings (Fein, “Life and Death,” pp. 90–91; Fein, “John Audelay and His Book,” pp. 5, 24n13). Later, in 1834, Douce’s vast collection of manuscripts, charters, books, and antiquarian holdings transferred to the Bodleian Library, Oxford. A detailed history of ownership and printed descriptions of MS Douce 302 is provided in Fein, “John Audelay and His Book,” pp. 4–15.

Abbreviations: C: Cumming; CS1: Chambers and Sidgwick 1910; CS2: Chambers and Sidgwick 1911; Di: Dickins (lexical comments); Do: Doyle; F1: Fein 1985; F2: Fein 1994; G1: Greene 1962; G2: Greene 1977; Ha: Halliwell; Hi: Hirsh 2005; K: Kaiser; M: McIntosh (lexical comments); Mo: R. Morris 1872; MS: Douce 302; P: Priebsch; Pu: Putter; R: Robbins 1959; S: Sandys; Sa: Saupe; Si: Silverstein 1971; SJ: Storck and Jordan; St: Stanley 2009 (lexical comments); T: Turville-Petre 1989; W: Whiting.


incipits Written by Scribe B on three lines.


3 Hale. So MS. W: Hayle.

8 swet. So W. MS: swe.

25 Hayle. So MS (Haly, with e interlined above the a and l). W: Hayl.
synnys. So W. MS: synnyis (i interlined).

41 hert. So MS. W: hort.
myn. So W. MS: mynt.

44 ale. So MS. W: al.
moner. So W. MS: noner.

45 grace. So W. MS: gra.

81 lady. So W. MS: lad.

121 stidfast. So W. MS: sidfast.

124 these. So W. MS: þe.

128 ye. MS, W: He.

141 I. So W. MS: omitted.

143 make. So MS (e abbreviated). W: mak.


28 vergyns. So W. MS: vergyng (er abbreviated).

50 wyght. MS: iyõt. W: wiyõt.

51 to. So W. MS: ton (n abbreviated).

68 Too. So MS. W: To.

82 us. So MS. W: ys.


7 schal. MS, W, Sa: schalt. Emended for rhyme.

11 thee the. MS, W: þe þe. Sa: the thee.

16 stedfast. So W, Sa. MS: sedfast.

21 This line is written alone, which W calls a mistake, but it is an indication of the actual 12-line meter.

25 this. So MS. W, Sa: thie.

33 the. So W, Sa. MS: þ.
floke. So MS (e abbreviated). W, Sa: flok.

35 holé. So W, Sa. MS: hohole.

36–60 Scribe B copies this line and the final two stanzas.

42 ded. So MS. W, Sa: did.

43 ber. So MS, W. Sa: ther.

52 leene. So MS. W, Sa: leane.


4 vergyn and. So MS (& interlined). W: vergyn (reads vergyng).

16 mea. So W. MS: mead.

17 makenes. So MS. W: mekenes.

23 mangefygat. So MS. W: mangnefygat.

31 the. So MS (þe). W: ye.

50 be. So MS. W: he.

57 pittis. So MS. W: putis.

69 hor. So MS. W: her.

76 is. So MS. W: His.

80 mea. So W. MS: omitted.


incipit illi suam. So C, W. MS: illa suam.
benedictionem. So W. MS, C: benedictionem suam.

3 thi. So MS, W. C: þu.

15 tere. So W. MS, C: chere.

18 and. So MS (&), W. C: ond.

22 Hayle. So C, W. MS: Hay.

28 tresour. So W. MS, C: tesouur.

30 never. So MS, W. C: omitted.

31 faythfullé. So MS, W. C: fayþfully.

36 schuld. So MS, C. W: chuld.

38 wil. So MS, W. C: will.

43 dystré. So MS, W. C: distre.

50 he. So MS, W. C: omitted.

51 grace. So C. MS, W: crace. Emended for alliteration.

52 plase. So MS, W. C: place.

56 fere. So MS, W. C: fore.

60 Peters. So C, W. MS: Petrs.

65 becawse. So MS, W. C: be-cause.

69 schal. So MS, W. C: schall.

76 worthelé. So W, C. MS: wo...þele.

84 gemfulli. So MS, W. C: gracfulli.

88 chryven. So MS, W. C: chryve.

94 reverens. So W. MS: reuerent. C: reuerenc.

104 pardoun. So MS (ar abbreviated), W. C: perdon.

106 vesityn. So MS, W. C: veset yn.

108 everechon. So MS (er abbreviated), W. C: euerchon.

110 Governoure. So C. MS, W: couernoure. Emended for alliteration.

116 Treneté. So MS, W. C: trenite.
recomend. So MS, W. C: recommend.

123 Thus. So MS (us abbreviated), W. C: Þer.

127 prelat. So MS (re abbreviated), W. C: prelet.

132 werchip. So MS, C. W: worchip.

134 joi. So W, C. MS: oi.

143 pardon. So MS (ar abbreviated), W. C: perdon.

144 part. So MS (ar abbreviated), W. C: a pert.

151 pardon. So MS (ar abbreviated), W. C: perdon.

156 no. So MS, W. C: omitted.

158 the. So C, W. MS: he.

161 the. So W. MS, C: þer.

163 onethus. So W. MS: oneþtus (us abbreviated). C: oneþtes.

166 prevé. So MS (re abbreviated), W. C: prive.
Prynce. So W. MS, C: Priynce (ri abbreviated).

167 nyght. So MS, W. C: niõt.

172 gostelé. So MS, W. C: gotele.

173 part. So MS (ar abbreviated), W. C: pert.

175 part. So MS (ar abbreviated), W. C: pert.

179 lasce. So MS, C. W: lasse.

180 Bot. So C, W. MS: Bo.

192 worthé. MS, W, C: worþ.

195 Kyng. So W. MS: knyg.

196 nyght. So MS, W. C: niõt.

201 hom. So MS, W. C: hem.

205 reverens. So C, W. MS: reuers.


1 As. So W, G2. MS: Aas with capital A written in blue in the margin.

19 Then. So W, G2. MS: Þe.

31 han. So MS, G2. W: had.

46 numerus. So MS, G2. W: immens.

50 a myl-wele. So MS (wele interlined), G2. W: myl.

52 might. So MS (i interlined), W. G2: meght.

93 plumys. So W, G2. MS: pulmys.

124 vestementus. So MS, G2. W: vestementis.

130 then. So W, G2. MS: þe.

172 pray. So MS, G2. W: fray.


7 mervell. So MS. W: mervelle.

10 charité. So MS. W: charete.

38 Haile. So MS (written in margin). W: omitted.

42 eswem. So W. MS: yeswem.

49 Haile, him to love. So W. MS: phrase written twice.

56 Governour. MS, W: Covernour. Emended for alliteration.


5 Quia per te. Written in the left margin. The e of est is marked in red.


vergenem. So MS (er abbreviated). W: virgenem.
interveneente. So MS. W: interveniente.
conveneente. So MS. W: conveneante.
ipsissem. So W. MS: ipisse.


5 bere. So W. MS: here.
blesful. So W. MS: besful.

18 Gaude. So W. MS: Gauede.


incipit collecte. So W. MS: collecta.

venerantes in hora mortis. So W. MS: venerantes in hore morte in hora mortis.
salvatur. So MS (ur abbreviated). W: salvator.


2 papa. MS: word seems to have been crossed out and then restored. W: omitted.


2 schynth. So W. MS: schynþt.

10 us. So MS. W: omitted.

23 grant. So MS. W: graunt.

explicit in corde. So W. MS: phrase written twice.


1 instanciam So MS. W: infanciam.

2 nunc. So W. MS: nuc.


Hic incipiunt salutaciones beate Marie virginis. Hic transire cave nisi primo dicis ave.1

“Sint semper sine ve qui michi dicit ave.”2; (see note); (t-note)




























































































Hayle, Maré, to thee I say,
Hayle, ful of grace, God is with thee.
Hale, blessid mot thou be, thou swete may,
Hayle, among al wemen, so mot hit be.
Hayle, blessid be the froyt of thi body.
Hayle, the Holé Gost thee lyght withyn.
Hayle, the moder of Crist thou art trewly.
Hayle, thou bare swet Jhesus. Amen.
Hayle, mayd! Hayle, moder! Hayle, vergyn swete!
Hayle, grawnt ham the grace that thus con thee grete.

Hayle, mayd merceful. Hayle, fayryst of face.
Hayle, ale our hope of help al hone.
Hayle, meke. Hayle, myld, myghtfulst of grace.
Hayle, solans and socur to synful mon.
Hayle, vergyn. Hayle, moder to Crist Godis Son.
Hayle, ye dysservydyn, I say, honly,
To be a moder unknowyn to mon,
Hayle, and to gef thi Sun sowke so mervesly.
Hayle, mayd! Hayle, moder! Hayle, vergyn swete!
Hayle, grawnt ham thi grace that thus can thee grete.

Hayle, quene and empers of angelis ale.
Hayle, cumfordor of wreschis, ywis.
Hayle, cumford me yif I in sorow fale,
Hayle, fore my synns that styyng is.
Hayle, socore me in al synnys.
Hayle, gif not thi worchip fro me away.
Haile, moder of mercé. Hayl, makeles.
Hayle, quene of heven, I thee pray.
Hayle, maid and moder! Hayle, vergyn swete!
Hayle, grawnt ham thi grace that thus gan thee grete.

Hayle, gracyous lady. Excuse ye me
To Crist, thi Sune, thou swete may.
Hayle, I drede his wrath in hert hylé.
Hayle, I trembil fore fere both nyght and day.
Hayle, I have synyd to him, I say.
Hayle, vergyn Mary, wil not ye
Be wroth with me foreever and ay?
Hayle, ful of hevenlé grace and of peté.
Hayle, mayd! Hayle, moder! Hayle, vergyn swete!
Hayle, grawnt ham thi grace that thus con thee grete.

Hayle, be ye keper of hert myn.
Hayle, with dred of God marke ye me.
Hayle, gif me lyve of consians clene
And ale moner of onesté.
Hayle, grawnt me grace my synnus to fle,
Hayle, fore to love al ryghtwysnes.
Hayle, vergen swete, blest mot ye be.
Hayle, seche another was never, ne is.
Hayle, maid! Hayle, moder! Hayle, vergyn swete!
Hayle, grawnt ham thi grace that thus con thee grete.

Hayle, among al wemen that ever were bore,
Hayle, thi Sun, Maker of al thyng,
Hayle, he ches thee his moder hom before.
Hayle, that Maré Mawdlen, that synful thyng,
Hayle, he clansid here clene of here giltyng.
Hayle, he me, throgh your prayere,
He wype away al my synyng,
Hayle, fore love of thee, his moder dere.
Hayle, mayde! Haile, moder! Hayle, vergyn swete!
Hayle, grawnt ham thi grace that thus con thee grete.

Hayle, the rose without thorne.
Hayle, medicyn of al our syne.
Hayle, pray the Sun of thee was borne,
Hayle, he me save fro temptacion then.
Hayle, of this word that wyckid ben
That steren me both nyght and day,
Hayle, everé our to dedlé syn,
Hayle, save me fro the Fyndis fray.
Hayle, mayd! Hayle, moder! Hayle, vergyn swete!
Hayle, grawnt ham thi grace that thus con thee grete.

Hayle, yif I fal throgh my frelté,
Haile, grawnt me grace to ryse anon.
Haile, lest the Fynd, is myn enmy,
Hayle, bryng me into disperacion.
Hayle, grawnt me trew confession,
Hayle, and veré repentans,
Hayle, and ful satisfaccion,
Hayle, and fore my synys to do penans.
Haile, mayd! Haile, moder! Haile, vergyn swete!
Haile, grawnt ham thi grace that thus can thee grete.

Haile, lady, for thi Fyve Joys swete,
Hayle, thou hadist of thi dere Sune,
Haile, when Gabryel con thee grete,
Haile, and of his blisful burth ale one,
Hayle, and of gloreus Resureccion,
Hayle, and of his Assencion mervely,
Hayle, and of the joyful Assumsioun,
When angelis thee bere to heven on hie.
Hayle, moder! Haile, maide! Haile, vergyn swete!
Haile, grawnt ham thi grace that thus can thee grete.

             O Jhesu, fore these Joys Fyve,
             O Jhesu, thi moder had of thee,
             O Jhesu, that was both mayd and wyfe.
             O Jhesu, so was no mo bot che.
             O Jhesu, with al laudabeleté,
             Thou crownd here quene, that blisful floure,
             O Jhesu, with alle onorabeleté,
             Within thi tabernakil in heven toure.
             O Jhesu, thi grace and thi mercy,
             O Jhesu, fore thi moder love, mayde Mary!

             O Jhesu, the Sun of the Fader on hye,
             O Jhesu, fore the love of thi moder,
             O Jhesu, that bere thee of here body,
             O Jhesu, and fed thee with gret onour,
             O Jhesu, bere that blesful floure.
             O Jhesu, our help to us ye be,
             O Jhesu, both solans and socour,
             O Jhesu, to the soulis in purgatori.
             O Jhesu, thi grace and thi mercy,
             O Jhesu, fore thi moder love, mayde Mary!

             Thagh I be gilté, Lord, I thee pray,
             O Jhesu, thou have mercé on me.
             O Jhesu of mercé, have mercé I say.
             O Jhesu, a Rewere foresoth bene ye.
             O Jhesu, my synys away do ye.
             O Jhesu, clanse my hert within.
             O Jhesu Crist of al peté,
             O the Sun of God, have mercé then.
             O Jhesu, thi grace and thi mercy,
             O Jhesu, fore the love of mayd Mari!

             And grawnt me stidfast hope and trew beleve,
             O Jhesu, and parfid charité,
             O Jhesu, and good endyng without repreve.
             O Jhesu, of al gifftis blest these be.
             O Jhesu, yet more grawnt ye me
             Fore the love of thi moder:
             O Jhesu, in oure when we schul dye.
             O Jhesu, my soule that ye sokore.
             O Jhesu, thi grace and thi mercy,
             O Jhesu, fore the love of thi moder Mari!

             O Jhesu, then clanse my herte within,
             O Jhesu, my soule thou take to thee,
             O Jhesu, that I may worthlé then,
             O Jhesu, ressayve thi blessid body.
             O Jhesu, thi wrath greve hit not me.
             O Jhesu, thi blod wasche me withyn,
             Both bodé and soule, fore thi mercé,
             O Jhesu, fro the fulthe of dedlé syn.
             O Jhesu, thi grace and thi mercé,
             O Jhesu, fore thi moder love, mayde Mary!

             O Jhesu, in that our that I schal dye,
             O Jhesu, my good angel to me cum.
             O Jhesu, make him my keper be,
             O Jhesu, to lede me to thi kyngdam.
             O Jhesu, when deth my body hath slayne,
             O Jhesu, the secounde deth toche not me,
             When flesche and bons in erth rotyn.
             O Jhesu, my soule hit ryst with thee.
             O Jhesu, thi grace and thi mercé!

             O Jhesu, when I schal ryse up thee to se,
             O Jhesu, at dredful Domysday,
             O Jhesu, me grawnt perpetualy
             Joy and blys foreever and ay!

O thou moder of God, quene of heven, I say,
O thou lady of the word, of hele empers,
O thou moder of mercé, I thee pray,
Thou grawnt me part of paradyse!
Hayle, maydyn! Haile, moder! Haile, vergyn swete!
Hayle, grawnt ham the grace that thus con thee grete.


I pray thee, Fadur Omnipotent,
Graunt mercy tofore thy Jugement,
And alle that don yow here servyse,
Thou graunt hom part of paradyse.


O allmyghty God everlastynglé,
For holy Gabryel salutacion,
And for thy blesful Nativité,
And for thy gloryouse Resurexcion,
And for thy merveles Ascencion,
And for the Assumpcion of oure Ladye,
And for thes Joyes and Coronacion
That Mary, thy modur, heo had of thee,
For heere love to us, graunt ye
To have forgevenes of oure syn,
And from alle sorowes delyvered to be,
And to have everlastyng joyes. Amen.


Wel ys hym that wil and may
Say this prayere every day.



Alia oracio de Sancta Maria virgine.

Haile, the fayrst ther ever God fond.
Haile, maid and moder. Haile, mayd fre.
Hayle, the floure of Josep wand.
Hayle, the froyte of Jesse.
Hayle, blossum that our bale unbonde.
Haile, mans bot was borne of thee.
Haile, our beleve in thee can stonde
Whan Crist was raght on rode-tre.
Hayle, rose on ryse. Haile, lellé.
Hayle, swet, swettist of savore.
Hayle, hygh princes of peté.
Haile, blessid froyt! Haile, swet floure!

Haile, tabirnakil the Trewth con tyelde.
Haile, garden ther grace gan spryng.
Haile, scheltyrne schours to schyelde.
Hayle, bryghtnes ever-chynyng.
Haile, yonketh that never schal yilde.
Haile, beuté ever-duryng.
Haile, thi Barne in blis thi boure cun bilde.
Haile, grace and goodnes ever-growyng.
Haile, fresche and no fadyng.
Haile, of Charité the paramour.
Haile, Love. Haile, Leche. Haile, hie Kyng.
Haile, blessid froyt! Haile, swet flour!

Haile, prayerys of the postilis alle.
Haile, the martyrs gladenes.
Hayle, comford confessours on to calle.
Haile, of vergyns the clennes.
Haile, the Sun that ever chyne schale.
Haile, maide of worchip makeles.
Haile, of worthénes the walle.
Haile, perseverens of holénes.
Haile, moder to the norcheles.
Haile, to the synful mon socore.
Haile, moder to the helples.
Haile, blest froyt! Ayle, swete flour!

Haile, quene of hevenryche blis.
Haile, ladé of this worde wide.
Haile, of hel the hy emperes.
Haile, fallere of the Fyndis pryde.
Haile, the joy of paradise,
Thi wil schal never be denyed.
Haile, angelis done thee servyse.
Haile, perré patrearkis to gyde.
Haile, dissire prestis to abyde.
Haile, silour of our Saveour.
Haile, pardun throgh whom our pes is criud.
Haile, blessid froyt! Haile, swete flour!

Haile, solans to ham that bene sory.
Haile, to ertekes — a, waiful wyght! —
Haile, help to hom that ben gulté.
Haile, hope to thayme that grace is dyght.
Hale, wel of worchip and mercé.
Haile, thi peté on us thou pyght.
Haile, thou bildist ful beselé
To al that leven here in thi myght.
Haile, bussche. Hayl, blase brenyng bryght,
Yet was not blemyschid thi colour.
Haile, berel the blynd to lyght.
Haile, blest froyte! Haile, swete flour!

Ryght as the lelé is freschist in hew,
Haile, beuté passeth, as maydyns clene,
Haile, so, vergyn, vertu and trew.
Thou worchipist alle that ever han bene.
Haile, the Olde Law and the New
Opon thiselve hit was sene —
Was never bot ye that monkynd knew
Too bere a child, and maide clene!
Haile, deystere. Haile, saver chene.
Haile, diamand delycious of odour.
Haile, ryal rebé. Haile, crownyd quene.
Haile, blessid froyt! Haile, swete floure!

Haile, onex. Haile, olif. Haile, vyne vertuys.
Haile, the rose without thorne.
Haile, gresse on grownd most gloreous.
Haile, bryghtter then sun on somyr morowe.
Haile, gude gladlé. Haile, gracious.
Haile, hert that with a swerd was chorne.
Haile, Joseps wyf. Haile, Joseps spous.
Haile, thi Breder thou hast eborene.
Was never non seche beforen,
Moder and maid us to honour.
Haile, helpe to hom that were forelorne.
Haile, blist froyt! Haile, swet floure!

Haile, chif chosyn charbokil stone.
Haile, ryal rygal, thi reme to lyght.
Haile, athamond that God and Mon
Thou drew into thi blessid bodé bryght.
Haile, lyghter of lymbo, were never sun chone,
Bot darker then the myrke mydnyght.
Haile, glader of Adam and moné mo
That to damnacion thai were dyght —
Fyve thousand yere thai se never syght,
Lyyng in longyng in here langure —
Abydyng, in grace, thi mekil myght.
Haile, blest froyt! Haile, swet flour!

Thus, haile to thee, thi Sun to send,
With haile, myghtfulst of grace.
This word hit may not comprehend,
Fore of thi body borne he was!
Haile, medycyne that ale may mend.
Haile, kever in everé case.
Haile, tapere that ever is tent.
Haile, lamp lyghtand in everé place.
Hayle, most fayryst of fygure and face.
Haile, tabyrnakil of heven toure.
Hayle, moder of mercé withouton manse.
Hayle, blessid froyt! Hayl, swete floure!

These halowne — al the sayntis in heven,
Angelis, patrearchis, and prophet,
The postilis al, with marters steven,
The confessours, with vergyns swete —
Al that was made in days seven!
Us aght thee love, love of Grete.
When hellis and dalis thai schal be even,
Ther bodé and soule in fere schal met.
When Jhesu schal schew his wondis wete,
Maré, thou be our mayne-paroure,
With these sayntis to have a sete.
Her haile, blest froyt! Haile, swete flour!



Hec salutacio composuit angelus Gabrielus.

The angel to the vergyn said,
       Entreng into here boure,
Fore drede of quakyng of this mayd,
       He said, “Haile,” with gret honour.
             “Haile be thou, quene of maidyns mo.
             Lord of heven and erth also
                    Consayve thou schal,
                    And bere withale
                           The Lord of myght,
             Hele of al monkyn.
             He wil make thee the gate of heven bryght,
                    Medesyne of al our syn.”

“How schuld I consayve and gete?
       No syn never I knew.
How schuld I breke that I have forehete
       Of thought stedfast and trewe?”
             “The grace al of the Holé Gost
             Schal bryng ale forth, without boost.
                    Ne drede thou take,
                    Bot joy thou make,
                           Serten and sere.
             This message he send to thee,
             To dwel withyn thee ful pere
                    Throgh myght of his Fader fre.”

The angel went this ladé fro.
       This womons wombe with wele
Hit wax gret, as odur do,
       This blessid burthe of hele.
             He was in here wome, I wene,
             The nombur ful of monethis nene.
                    Hent he outyed,
                    Batelis bede
                           To al the floke,
             Beryng on his chulderis bloo
             The holé cros that kene a knok
                    Unto oure dedly Foo.

Thys may bare Chyelde with mylde chere;
       This Chylde bede kepe hyer chaast.
Goddus Sone heo broght us forthe and bere,
       Geffing hym wombe and waast.
             Then he blessud here sydus sere,
             And so he ded here pappus dere,
                    For thay ber that
                    Thay nyst nott hwat
                           In law, as we fyende.
             How these werkus wroght arne,
             Hit was agaynes al monkynde —
                    A maydon to ber a barne!

Make joy, modir of oure Lorde,
       That Cryst concevedust cleene;
Angelus, men, and al this worlde,
       God, pes and rest us leene!
             Mary, thy Son thou for us pray,
             As ye beth ful of mercy ay,
                    And send us to,
                    And soo to do
                           Away oure syn,
             And gef us helpe of thee,
             Heven blys we may dwel in
                    Afftur thys owtlary.



Hic incipit psalmus de Magnificat.3

“My soule, my Lorde hit mangnefyth,”
Our lady thus to here Sun con say.
“Fore he me here gloryfyd,
To be his moder, vergyn and may;
He hath me chosyn — hit is no nay —
To lyver his pepil fro thraldam.
Mangneficat, herefore I say,
Anima mea Dominum.

“My speryt hit joys in my God;
He is my hele, my sustynans,
That is so graceous and so good;
He hath me prevelid to his plesans,
Fore to make delyverans
Of al that before our fader Adam
Had cast into cumbyrrans.
Mangnificat anima mea Dominum.

“Fore the makenes of his mayd he hath behold:
‘Lo, herefore, forsoth I say,
Me schul worchip you, yong and hold,
Al generacons in uche cuntré,
That I was boren, hit is no nay,
Into this word that I come.’
Now ‘mangefygat,’ syng thai mai.
Anima mea Dominum.

“Fore he hath made me gret throgh his pouere —
Forewy al myght in him hit is —
And his holé name, when I him bere
To bryng his pepul unto his blis.
With his precious blod, iwys,
He hath here payd heere rawnson,
Fore to amend the ded mys.
Mangneficat anima mea Dominum.

“For now his mercé is knowyn ful wyde
Throgh generacions in uche cuntré —
To al that dreden hym, on uche a syde,
And sechen his grace and his mercé,
And kepe here stat and here degré,
And to his lauys thay bene buxum,
The ayrs of heven, foresoth, thay be!
Mangneficat anima mea Dominum.

“His myght has made, in his pouere,
Proud men to sparpil from his face
With the mynd of his hert, fere and nere;
That nyl not seche mercé and grace,
Ne hem amend wile thai han space,
Thai schul be cast fro his kyngdam,
And have no part within that place.
Mangnificat anima mea Dominum.

“Thenke on Kyng Robart Sesel:
He went no lord had be bot he,
Yet sodenlé downe he felle
And was put into a folis degré!
An angel was set apon his se,
Fore he had these verse in his scornyng —
Deposuit potentis de sede4
And sayd in heven ther was no Kyng.

“Thus myghté men God pittis ful loue,
And meke men he liftis ful hye,
That his grace and his goodnes here wil knowe,
And seche his grace and his mercé,
And no nother sekyrly —
At the dredful Day of Dome,
Here dedis schal deme ham hopynly.
Mangneficat anima mea Dominum.

“The pore and hongré he had fulfillid
With his grace and his goodnes,
And ryche men, he am revylid,
And let ham ly in here lewdnes,
That trustyn al in hor reches
And not in the joy that is to cum —
Thai schal have seche here as thai ches.
Mangneficat anima mea Dominum.

“Fore he hath takyn up Yrael,
That is child of ryghtwysnes;
In recordacion he had everé dele,
His grace, is mercé, and his goodnes,
Fore thagh he fel throgh freelnes,
He hath foregifyn ham, al and sum,
And schal have that blis that is endles.
Mangneficat anima mea Dominum.

“Ryght as our fader Abraam
Had spokyn to our Fader beforne,
And to al the sede that com fro ham,
To multepli ham foreevermore,
Fore was never mon yet here forelorne
In his defawte in Cresendam;
Into his kyndam he wyl ham restore.
Mangnificat anima mea Dominum.

“Now joy be to the Fader and to the Sun
And to the Holé Gost, al thre efere,
That in the word of wordis togeder thai won,
That is now and was and schal be ever,
In wom hit is now al pouere,
Mercé, grace, al wit, wysdam,
That is that Prynce without pere.
Mangneficat anima mea Dominum.”

Mangneficat,” our ladi thus can say
To here Sun both leve and dere;
Blessid mot heo be, that swete may,
And that berthe when heo him bere!
Heo graunt us grace in our prayoure
Here to worshyp with hert gladsum,
With “mangnifycat,” wen we ben here,
"Anima mea Dominum.”



may; virgin; (t-note)

fruit; (see note)
alighted within thee


them; who

all one (i.e., whole)
solace; help

you alone deserve
unknown to man (i.e., a virgin)
suck; marvelously; (see note)

comforter; wretches, indeed
on account of my growing sins; (see note)
take not thy esteem from me
matchless [one]

greatly; (see note)


heart; (t-note)

[a] life of clean conscience
all manner of honesty; (t-note)


before them (i.e., all other women)
Mary Magdalene; (see note)
cleansed; guilt
he [may do so for] me; (see note)

(i.e., either Mary or Christ); (see note)
(see note)
[who] of thee


frailty; (see note)

[who] is

true repentance

(see note); (t-note)

did [i.e., Annunciation]
birth all whole (i.e., Nativity)


(see note)

none was so [honored] more than she; (see note)

tabernacle; heaven’s tower; (see note)

who bore
flower (i.e., Mary)

solace; (see note)

Dispenser of Mercy; (see note)


[may] succor; (see note); (t-note)

(see note)

grieve me not with thy wrath
[with] thy blood


hour; (t-note)
[let] my good angel

second death (i.e., damnation); (see note)
[let] it rest
(see note)

(see note)
(see note)

world; empress of hell


(see note)
who give you their worship


everlastingly; (see note)


(see note)




Another prayer concerning the Blessed Virgin Mary

created; (see note)

(see note)


stretched out
branch; lily


did build
where; did
shelter to shield [one] from showers
youth; yield (i.e., grow old)
beauty everlasting
Child; bower did build

(see note)

prayers; apostles

comfort [of]; upon [which we can] call
cleanness; (t-note)

unnurtured; (see note)

blissful kingdom of heaven; (see note)
high empress

do worship thee
jewel to guide patriarchs
awaited desire of priests
shelter; (see note)
peace; declared

solace to those who are penitent
heretics; ah, woeful creature; (see note); (t-note)
them; (t-note)
for [whom] grace is prepared
[have] set
nurture; busily
bush; blaze burning
beryl; illuminate

lily; freshest
beauty [that] surpasses [all], as [do] pure virgins
honor (i.e., fulfill)

Mankind never knew anyone but you
[remain] clean; (t-note)
daystar; lovely savor


onyx; olive; virtuous vine

grass (or herb)
summer morning
[one who is] gladly good

cut [see Luke 2:35]; (see note)
Brother; borne; (see note)

[for] us; (t-note)

choicest carbuncle
royal regal [one]; realm
adamant (i.e., diamond)

illuminator; where; shone; (see note)
darker (referring to limbo); murky
gladdening source for

most mightily full; (see note)

(see note)
taper; tended to

tabernacle; (see note)

These [ones sing] praise

martyrs’ voices

(i.e., all of creation)
We should love thee, beloved [one] of Great [God]
hills; dales; (see note)
Where; together; meet
legal surety; (see note)

The end


The angel Gabriel composed this salutation

(see note)

[see Luke 1:28]; (see note)


Health; mankind
(see note); (t-note)

get [with child]

[see Luke 1:34]
break what I have contracted

entirely [see Luke 1:35]

Certain and sure; (see note); (t-note)


departed from this lady; (see note); (t-note)
health (i.e., salvation)
nine months
Until he emerged; (see note)
[And] battles commanded
flock [of followers]; (t-note)
shoulders [black and] blue
gave a keen knock; (see note); (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)

maiden bore; sweet demeanor
promised to keep her chaste
she brought forth [for] us and bore
Giving; waist
womb affording safety; (see note)
dear breasts; (t-note)

Who; chastely

loan; (t-note)
[to] thy Son

outlawry (i.e., life outside God’s law); (see note)

The end


her Son did say


deliver; servitude

My soul doth magnify the Lord [Luke 1:46]

health; sustenance

prevailed upon; liking


meekness; beheld (and said); (t-note)

Men shall honor; old; (see note)


pregnant; power

their ransom
misdeed; (t-note)

every country

estate; (see note)
laws; obedient

scatter; (see note)

[They] that will not seek
Nor amend themselves

Robert of Sicily; (see note)
thought; [ever] existed; (t-note)

fool’s position
had scorned this verse

puts very low; (t-note)

no other certainly


reviled them
them lie; ignorant ways
riches; (t-note)


he remembered [them] in every way
[With] his; (t-note)
they; frailty; (see note)

[they] shall



lack; Christianity

forever and ever; dwell; (see note)

whom it; power

beloved and dear
may she


The end

  Hic incipit salutacio Sancte Brigitte virginis et quomodo Dominus Jhesu Christus apparuit illi corporaliter et dedit illi suam benedictionem quod Awdelay.5; (t-note)



























































































Hayle, maydyn and wyfe, hayle, wedow Brygytt,
Hayle, thou chese to be chast and kepe charyté.
Hayle, thi special spouse kyndlé to thee knyt,
Hayle, he consentyd to the same by concel of thee
             To be relegyous.
       Hayle, fore the love of Jhesus Crist,
       Ye foresake your fleschelé lust —
       Therfore be ye both eblest
             In the name of swete Jhesus!

Haile, the moder of God to thee con apere.
Haile, he told thee of his Passion and of his spetus payne.
Hayle, ye wepit fore wo togeder when ye were,
Hayle, for his dolful deth that so was eslayne.
             Our Ladé to thee gan say:
       “Hayle, blessid Bregit, let be the tere,
       And thonke my Sun fore his deth dere,
       That has egeven thee powere
             To be wyfe, wedow, and may.”

Haile, seche a kyndlé coupil can no mon herekyn.
Hayle, ye foresoke reches and ryal aray.
Hayle, ye hopid hilé in your hert then,
Hayle, al the worchip of this word wol sone wynd away
             Within a lytil stownd.
       Haile, this wordlé honour,
       Hit fallis and fadis as a flour;
       Today is fresche in his colour;
             Tomorow he gyrdis to grownd.

Hayle, ye betoke your tresour to the Trineté,
Fore he is trusté and trew without treynyng.
Hayle, he dissayvyd never no soule with no sotelté,
Hayle, faythfullé, that ye fond at your endyng,
             The sothe fore to say!
       Hayle, other tresoure have we noght,
       Out of this word when we be broght,
       Bot good word, wil, dede, and thoght,
             When we schuld wynd away.

Hayle, with these four feythfully ye boght youe heven blis,
With good word, wil, dede, and thoght, to obey Godis bidyng.
Hayle, with the werkis of mercé ye geten you mede, iwis.6
Haile, ye foresoken flesschelé lust, the Fend, false covetyng,
             That were your thre enmys.
       Haile, thai settyn al here sotelté
       Houe mons soule thai mow dystré,
       With pride, lechory, and glotonye,
             And cursid covetyse.

Haile, blessid Bregid fore thi benyngneté,
Haile, the perles Prynce to thee con apere.
Haile, he grownded thee in grace in thi vergeneté.
Haile, spesialy he speke with thee oft in thi prayere.
             Haile, to the pope he thee send
       Fore to grawnt thee his special grace,
       And to al that vesid thi holy plase,
       To assoyle ham of here trespas,
             That here mysdedis wol amend.

Haile, he bed thee bild a plas o relygion,
Haile, blessid Bregid, fere fro oné plase:
“Haile, to Pope Urban, to Rome, thou shalt goon,
That is my veker in erth to grawnt thee his grace,
             To have the same pardon
       That is in Peters Cherche at Rome,
       To al the pilgrems that to thee cum,
       That vesid thee in Cristis name,
             To have playn remyssion.”

Haile, he said: “Yif that pope wil grawnt thee no grace
Without moné or mede, becawse of covetys,
Haile, the Fader of Heven schal prevelege thi place.
Haile, I schal conferme thi bul that above him is,7
             That schal he yknow.
       Haile, my moder my sele schal be,
       My witnes al the sayntis of heven on hye,
       My blessyng the Holé Gost I betake to thee.
             The pope schal lout ful low.”

Haile, to that perles prelat, to the pope when thou come,
Haile, thou mendist thi mesage in a meke manere.
Haile, faythfulli that fader ful reverenly at Rome,
Haile, he welcumd thee worthelé with a wonder chere
             Into that holé place.
       “Haile,” he said with myld steven,
       “Welcum be ye fro the Kyng of Heven;
       Now blessid be thai that in thee leven,
             That ever thou borne was.

“Haile, mervelus maide ful of mekenes.
Haile, helé the Holé Gost is lyght thee within.
Haile, God hath grouned thee gemfulli in his goodnes.
Haile, to be saver of soulis and seser of syn,
             Be his ordenans.
       Haile, I grawnt to al remyssioun
       That chryven hem clene with contrichon,
       And wil do here satisfaccion;
             I reles here penans.

“Haile, to al that worthely vesetyn the holé place.
Haile, that sechen thi socor, schal have salvacion.
Haile, fore sake of that Sofren that thee to me send had.
Haile, in reverens of that Lord I grawnt hem remyssion
             Of al here trespace.
       Haile, to thi pilgrems perpetualy
       That worchipen thi place graciously
       With prayers, selver, gold, lond of fe,
             I grawnt ham this special grace.”

“Now, gramarcé, gracious fader, of your blessyng I you pray.”
“Mi blessid suster Bregit, my blessyng gif I thee;
Here I graunt thee this grace, specialy I say,
Withowton moné or mede, I make hit to thee fre,
             This special pardoun:
       To al the pilgrems fer and nere
       That vesityn thi place in good manere,
       To here gostelé fader I grawnt pouere
             To asoyle ham, everechon.

“Haile, to that pereles Prynce, Bregit, fore me pray,
That hath groundid thee in grace and is thi Governoure.
Haile, my blessid doghter, thi blessidnes hit may
At the day of my deth my soule then socour;
             And gif me wil and wit
       Mi mysdedis here to amend,
       Out of this word or that I wynd.
       To the Treneté I thee recomend.
             Farewel, blessid Breget.”

Thus the pope prevelegd here place and haloud hit to Cristis entent.8
Anon hure holé husband a covennt to him con take,
And Bregit mad here of maydyns another blest covent,9
That foresoke here fleschlé lust fore Jhesu Cristis sake,
             In the name of the Treneté.
       Thus thai disceverd hem to —
       Hure husbond to his bredern con go,
       And to hure susteres heo whent him fro
             To leve in chastité.

Haile, thus this perles prelat fro thee passid away,
When he with his benyngneté had geven thee his blessyng.
Haile, at the day of our deth that settis no day,
Haile, then, blessid Bregit, our soulis to blis bryng,
             And graunt us thi special grace
       In erth that we mowe werchip thee;
       After in heven we may thee se,
       In joi and blis perpetualy,
             Within that blisful place.

Beside the Chene, sothly, seven myle fro Lundun,
Our gracious Kyng Herré the V wes founder of that place.
Haile, he let prevelege that holé place and callid hit Bregit Sion.
The pope conferme therto to his bul throgh his special grace,10
             In the worchip of Saint Bregit,
       To al here pilgrems an Lammes Day,
       And also Myd-Lentyn Sunday,
       This pardon to last foreyever and ay.
             God graunt us part of hit.

Mekil is al Ynglan ihold to pray for Kyng Herré,11
That so worthelé our worchip in everoche place,
Both in Fraunce and in Breten and in Normandy,
That our faders had lost before he get agayn be grace;
             And, moreover, speciali,
       To make soche a house of relegioun,
       And to preveleche therto that gracious pardon,
       Al Ynglond to have remyssioune.
             Now Crist on his soule have mercé.

Was never a holeer order preveleged in no plas
Fore to red al the rollis of relegyown,
Fore thai schal never schew no chappe ny fygure of face,12
Ne without lycence or leve, speche speke thai non,
             Bot the warden be present.
       Nother fader ne moder, ne no mon levyng,
       Schal speke to hom no erthlé thyng,
       Without the warden be ther hereng,
             And know both here entent.

Redlé thei rysun with gret reverens onethus out of hure rest,13
Devoutelé with devocion here servys to syng and say,
And crucefyen here caren and slen here fleschelé lust,
With prevé prayers and penans the Prynce of Heven to pay,
             Devotlé day and nyght.
       Thai prayn to God specialy
       Fore al that thai here levyng be,
       In masse, in matyns, in memoré,
             To that Lord of myght.

Fore hit fars noght be gostelé goodis as doth be temperale —
The men that han part therof so lasse is uche dole,14
Bot he that delis gostlé goodis, hit is so spiritual,
That uche mon that hath his part hath fullé the hole.
             Ensampil chul ye se:
       Alse moné men as may here a mas,
       Uche mon his parte holé he has,
       And yet the masse is never the lasce,
             Bot so more of dyngneté.

Pray we to God specialy to save that spiritual plas,
That thai obey obedyans that thay be bound to;
Fore thay may throgh here precious prayoure purches here our grace,
Have we never in this word wroght so moche wo —
             Thai han that pouere —
       Fore al that here wele done,
       Crist wil graunt hem here bone,
       Thai wot never hou sone
             He hers here prayere.

Crist that was crucefid on cros, and cround with thorne,
And ched his blesful blod fore oure syns sake,
Let never this worthé lond, Lord, be forelorne,
Bot puttis doune here pouere that werris wil awake,15
             And sese al males.
       Fore yong Kyng Herré now we pray,
       That Crist him kepe both nyght and day,
       And let never traytor him betray,
             And send us rest and pes.

Al that redis reverenly this remyssioune,
Prays to blisful Bregit, that merceful may,
Fore hom that mad this mater with dewocion,
That is both blynd and def, the synful Audelay.
             I pray youe, specialy,
       Fore I mad this with good entent,
       In the reverens of this vergyn, verement,
       Heo graunt youe grace, that beth present,
             To have joy and blis perpetualy. Amen.



       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

As thou were marter and mayd clene,
Therfor thou hadist turment and tene;
A princes love thou myghtis have bene,
             A lady of ryal aray.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Bot to that syn thou woldist noght sent;
To kepe thee chast was thyn entent,
Therfore of Cradoc thou wast echent;
             Anon he thoght thee to betray.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

He was ful cursid and cruel,
And dred not God ne no parel;
Smot of thi hede; thou knelist ful stil;
             Hit ran into a dry valay.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Then Bewnou, thin unkul, with gret peté,
Set thi hede to thi body;
Thou levedust after merwesly
             Fiftene yere — hit is no nay!
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

About thi nek hit was esene,
The stroke of the swerd that was so kene,
A thred of perle as hit had bene,
             Hit besemyd thee wel, sothlé to say.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

When Cradoc han don this cursid dede,
The erth him swoloud in that stede;
The foyre of hel hit was his mede,
             Therin to be foreever and ay!
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

A wonderful wel ther sprong anon —
Seche on se never Cristyn mon! —
Thi blod was sparpild on everé stone;
             No water myght wasche hit away.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Ther ben mesis at that wel,
That bene swete and sote of smel,
And yet ther is a more marvel —
             Hevenlé bryddis in numerus aray!
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Be the streme of that fayre wel
Ther went a myl-wele, as I you tel;
Hit bere down a child with gret parel;
             The wele stod stil, might not away.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Then the moder cryd out and yeld:
“Alas, my child! He is spillid!”
Be the ladlis he him huld,
             And logh and mad gomun and play.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

A mon, a grote downe he felle
Out of his hond into the well;
He se hit then al other wel;
             Thai myght not tak the grote away.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Also ther was a gret marvel;
Wyne was couchid in here chapel;
The wel stod styl, ran never a del;
             Hit trobild as hit had bene with clay.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Ther was no fuyre, treulé to tele,
Myght hete the water of the wel,
To seth ne dyght no vetel,
             Wile that wyne in that chapil lay.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Then thai west wel afyne
Of Wynfryd hit was a syne;
Anon thai hurled out the wyne
             Into the stret, on dele way.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Anon a merekel fel in that plas;
A mon of that wyne enpoysund was,
That was savyd throgh Godis grace,
             And Wynfryd, that holé may.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Anon this wel began to clere;
The streme ran forth as hit dede ere;
The plumys thai mad a hedus bere,
             When thai began to play.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Fore ye chuld make no marchandyse
In Holé Cherche in no wyse;
God himselve he ded dispyse,
             And drof hom forth in here aray.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Fore hit is a house of prayore,
Hold hilé to Godis honour,
To worchip therin our Saveour
             With mas, matens, nyght and day.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Ther hath be botynd moné a mon,
Blynd and crokid, that myght not gon,
Seke and sorouful, moné hone,
             Ther at that wel there hur heed lay.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Then Wynfred anon chorun che was,
Echosun fore chefe to be abbas,
Fol of vertu and of grace,
             And servyd God both nyght and day.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Then Bewnow toke his leve anon,
And betoke here this tokyn:
“Over the se schal swem a stone
             To bryng vestementus — ther ys noo nay!”
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

“Yif that stone abyde with thee,
Then wit wel that I schal dye;
God of my soule he have mercy;
             Have mynde on me then, I thee pray.”
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Then Wenfred heo knelid adowne,
And toke mekelé his benesoune;
This monke he toke his way anon
             Over the se to his abbay.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

When that Bewnew he was dede,
The ston styl with here hit levyd;
Then anon heo prayud,
             He schul pas on his chornay.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Son after Wenefred heo dyid then,
At Shrosberé men dedon here schryne;
Moné a merakil ther hath be syne,
             Of dyvers pepul in fer cuntré.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Moné a merakil heo hath edo,
Presonars feters ibroke atwo,
Blynd and crokid helid moné mo,
             That were in rewful aray.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Glad mai be al Schrosberé
To do reverens to that lady;
Thai seche here grace and here mercy
             On pilgrymage ther everé Fryday.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

Wynfrede, we thee beseche,
Now ryght with herfilly speche,
That thou wilt be our soulis leche,
             Thee to serve, both plese and pay.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

We prayn thee, al that beth present,
Save thyn abbay and thi covent,
That thai be never chamyd ne chent
             With wykkid mon ne Fyndis pray.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.

I pray youe al, pur charyté,
Redis this carol reverently,
Fore I hit mad with wepyng ye.
             Mi name hit is the Blynd Awdlay.
       Wenefrede, thou swete may,
       Thow pray for us bothe nyght and day.


Hic incipit salutacio Sancte Wenefrede virginis.16

Hayle, Wenefryd, that worchipful with thi vergeneté.
Hayl, mervelus marter and merceful may.
Haile, meror of meraclys, our medecyne to be.
Haile, solans to the seke, here soker, I say,
             Treuly in trouth!
       Thi grace, thi goodnes, I con not telle,
       Thi merakels and thi gret mervell,
       Bot woso wil go to thi welle,
             Ther may thai se the soth.

Haile, thou chese to be chast and kepe charité.
Haile, Cadoc the curst cast thee in care.
Haile, he smot of thi hede without peté.
Haile, fallere of his foly fore alle his false fare.
             Fore sodenlé he felle
       Fore love and lust of lechoré,
       To have payne perpetualy,
       With sorow and care and turmentré,
             Into the fuyre of helle.

Haile, the blessyng of Bewnow, thi botynyng was be grace.17
Haile, that merceful munke savyd thee mercefully,
Haile, when thi hed fro thi halse, hent away hit was;
Haile, set hit save and sound to thi body,
             The soth fore to sayn!
       Ther was moné a wepyng ye
       Of men and wemen that hit se;
       When Bewnow blessid thee gracyously,
             Thou ros to lyfe agayne.

Haile, our Lord lenketh thi lyfe fiftene yere,
Haile, after thi holé hede hent of hit was.
Haile, Bewnow the blest, anon he thee chere.
Haile, thou were chosun to be chef, to be here abbas.
             With hert and good entent
       Thou servys thi God in that place;
       Ful of vertuys and of grace,
       A good ensampil thou was
             To al thi covent.

Haile, lover of that Lord with laudabeleté.
Haile, preysere of his Passion, with peté nyght and day.
Haile, servand to that Soveren, I sai thee sothly.
Haile, he hath joynd thee to joy in heven fore ay.
             Thre giftis geven thee has:
       A ston to eswem over the se;
       The stonus in the wel, blodé to be;
       And al that seche sokor to thee
             To have mercé and grace.

Haile, the kyngdam of this word, thou hit refusust.
Haile, reverens and reches and ryal aray.
Haile, fore the love of Jhesus Crist, hit thou dispisist,
Haile, him to love. Haile, hym to plese and pay
             Herefore with gret reverens.
       Fore thou foresoke this wickid word
       Fore the love of thi Lord,
       In heven thou hast thi reward,
             Icrownd in his presens.

Haile, to that perles Prynce for us now thee pray.
Haile, he was Grownder of thi grace and thi Governour.
Haile, Wenefryd, thi worthenes, I wot wele hit may,
At the dai of our deth our soulis then socour,
             And put us out of drede.
       Out of this word or that we wynd,
       Our mysdedis that we mow mend,
       That we be never chamyd ne chend,
             We pray thee, Wenefryde.

Explicitur salutacio.


Hic incipit oracio.

Virgo pia Wynfryda, pollens in myraculis,
Tua presentia nos emunda a peccatorum maculis,
Et cuntis parvis vite defende peryculis.
Ora pro nobis, beata Wenefryda,

Quia per te est nobis gracia data.18


Oremus collecte.
joined; (t-note)

did appear; (see note)
she; cruel

who; slain

cease crying; (t-note)

maiden; (t-note)

natural; hear of

hoped fervently
world; pass; (see note); (t-note)

[he who] is
dashes to ground

took; (t-note)
trustworthy; deceit
deceived; trickery; (t-note)
you were found faithful until death; (t-note)

(see note)
shall; (t-note)


destroy; (t-note)


peerless; did appear

grace; (t-note)
visit; (t-note)
their misdeeds

bid you to build a place of
far; (t-note)
Pope Urban [V]; (see note)


complete remission; (see note)

money or fee; (t-note)

my mother shall be my seal; (t-note)


peerless prelate
mentioned; (see note)

worthily; wondrous demeanor; (t-note)



miraculously; alighted
crowned you with gems; (see note); (t-note)

Who confess (shrive) themselves; (t-note)

release [them from] their penance

seek the succor

land rents

grant mercy
sister; give

far and near
visit; (t-note)
spiritual father (i.e., priest); power
absolve them, every one; (t-note)

Governor; (t-note)


her devout; convent

separated themselves; (t-note)

she went

peerless prelate (i.e., Pope Urban); (t-note)
holy manner
happens on no determined day



Sheen (now Richmond, in Surrey); (see note)
Henry V

(see note)
(August 1)


(see note)
worthily [deserves]

privilege [it]; [by] that; (t-note)
[So that] all England [might] have

holier; place; (see note)
read; rolls of religion
permission; speech speak
Unless; (t-note)

any earthly thing
there [within] hearing; (t-note)

(see note); (t-note)
mortify their flesh; slay; desire
private; satisfy; (t-note)

all who live here [on earth]

But when he (i.e., God) doles out
each; has fully the whole; (t-note)
Example shall
many; mass
less; (t-note)
But [instead is] so much greater in dignity; (t-note)

place (i.e., Syon Abbey)
religious vows; (see note)
created so much woe
[have] done well
know; soon

shed; blessed

cease all malice
Henry VI; (see note); (t-note)

him who made; (t-note)

truly; (t-note)




martyr; virgin; (t-note)


by Caradoc; disgraced

Smote off your head; quietly
It rolled; valley; (see note)

Beuno; uncle; compassion; (t-note)
lived afterwards miraculously

(see note)

thread of pearl
complemented; truly

swallowed; place
fire; reward

Such a one saw
might wash

a greater marvel
Heavenly birds in immense numbers; (t-note)

By; (see note)
mill wheel; (t-note)
bore down a child [who fell in]; peril
mill wheel stood still; (t-note)

floatboards of the waterwheel; held
laughed and made [it a] game

groat (i.e., a coin); dropped; (see note)

[in] another well

(see note)
stored; her (i.e., Winifred’s)
grew muddy

boil nor prepare any food

knew; finally

every bit away

miracle; place

did before
plumes; head’s gesture; (see note); (t-note)

should; business transaction

drove them (i.e., the moneylenders) out

[see Mark 11:15–17]
Conducted reverently

mass, matins

have been healed
many a one
where her head

soon chosen she
Chosen as leader; abbess

took his leave
gave her
sea; swim
holy vestments; (t-note)

know well

thee (i.e., Winifred); (t-note)

received meekly; blessing


[That] he; journey

Shrewsbury; established her shrine
miracle; seen
By diverse people from many countries

she has done
Prisoners’ fetters broke in two
lame healed
a pitiful state

(see note)

heartfelt speech
physician; (see note)

thee (i.e., Winifred); (see note)

shamed nor ruined
By; prey; (see note); (t-note)

(see note)


mirror of miracles
solace; their succor

see the truth

chosen; (t-note)
Caradoc (Winifred’s betrayer) the accursed
off; pity
conqueror; folly; actions
lecherous desire


head; neck, cut
[Beuno] set it safe; [back] on


cut off
cheered; (see note)
chief; their abbess

served; (see note)

One who praises; (t-note)
[He] has given you three gifts
stone; swim; sea; (t-note)
seek succor from

world; refuse
honor; riches; royal attire

crowned; presence

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

before we pass
may amend
shamed or disgraced

[Here] ends the salutation


Here begins a prayer



Let us pray together
  Deus qui beatam vergenem tuam Wenfredam post capitis absisionem tua potencia reddevivam fyere precepis et fac nos quaesimus ea interveneente presente vite et future conveneente ad ipsissem per Christum Dominum nostrum. A. M. E. N.19; (t-note)




  Quicumque hanc salutacionem in honore Sancte Anne matris Marie cotidie devote dixerit sine dubio mala morte non morietur.20





Gaude, felix Anna, the moder of Mari,
Gaude, thou broghtis forth that borth that al the word con glade,21
Gaude, that here Crist Jhesu, heo bere of hur body.
Gaude, heo fed that frelé Food, that Floure that never schal fade!

Gaude, felix Anna, that bere that blesful floure,
Gaude, that gracious graff that sprong out of Jesse,
Gaude, that blessid brange, hit bere our Saveour;
Gaude, he growndid here in grace to graunt us al mercé!

Gaude, felix Anna, oure blis to us thou broght,
Gaude, here, that al the word that ladé heo gan lyght;22
Gaude, that maiden mercéful, our wele heo hath ewroght;
Gaude, heo savyd al monkynd fore syn to deth was dyght!23

Gaude, felix Anna, the moder of Messee,
Gaude, thou consayvyst clene be Joachym, that holé man,
Gaude, that long tyme before baren thou hadist be;
Gaude, thou broghtist furth that burth was our salvacion!

Gaude, felix Anna, thou bere of thi body,
Gaude, the moder of Jhesu Crist, that al the word hath wroght,
Gaude, that fore our love soche a deth wold dye,
Gaude, with hes pressious blod fro bale to blis us boght!

Gaude, felix Anna, fore us now thou pray,
Gaude, to the quen of even and to here blisful Sun;
Gaude, this salutacion to thee here we say,
Gaude, thou graunt us of thi grace to have remyssioun!

Rejoice, fruitful Anne

noble Nursling; (see note)

(see note); (t-note)
graft; sprung
grounded her

(see note)

weal; brought about

Messiah; (see note)
chastely by; (see note)
barren you had been
birth [that] was our salvation

world; (t-note)


  Ora pro nobis beata Anna quia de fructu ventris tui est nobis gratia data. Oremus collecte.24; (t-note)

Deus qui beatam Annam diu sterilem prole voluisti gloriosa et humano genere salutifera fecundare, da ut omnes amore filium matrem venerantes in hora mortis utiusque precencia gaudere mereantur per te, Jhesu Christe, salvatur mundy, rex glorie. Amen.
25; (see note); (t-note)




  Quicumque hanc salutacionem in honore Salvatoris per xx dies continuo devote dixerit, Bonefacius papa quartus concessit omnibus vere confessis et contritus plenam remissionem omnium peccatorum et hoc scriptum est apud Romam in ecclesia Sancti Petri coram altare salvatoris.26; (see note); (t-note)


[not in W]
  [Webmaster's note: Figure 1, The Holy Face (University of Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Douce 302, fol. 27v), has not been reproduced here, as we do not have permission to reproduce the image electronically. To see the image, check the printed volume.]







Salve, I say, Holé Face of our Saveour,
       In the wyche schynth to us an hevenly fygure,
             An graceus on to se!
Salve, thou settis thi prynt on lynin cloth of witlé coloure,
       And betoke hit Veroneca fore love and gret honoure
             Upon here sudoré —

Salve, the fayrnes of this word, a myrrore of holé men,
       That dissiren fore to se Heven Spirit hen,
             In heven on hie,
Salve, delyvers us fro the bond o wyckidnes of syn,
       And joyns to the compané of tho that holé bene,
             Fore thi mercy.

Salve, our joy here in this lyuf, graunt us of thi grace;
       Yif we fal throgh frelté, foregif us our trespace,
             Lord, we thee pray.
Salve, led us to that cuntré that holé fygure in was,
       That we may se of Jhesu Crist his clene, pured Face,
             Foreever and fore ay!

Salve, we now thee beseche, be our helpe in everé place,
       And be our sokore and refyte and alle our solas,
             Lord Omnipotent,
Salve, lest he us nuye grimsli, our enmy Satanas,
       And grant us al thi mercé in heven to have a plas,
             Tofore thi Jugement.

shines before us a heavenly image; (t-note)
One gracious to behold
imprint; linen; whitish
gave it [to]; (see note)
sudary (i.e., humeral veil)

word (i.e., sign); mirror for
Heaven’s Spirit (i.e., God) hence
of; (t-note)
joins [us]; those who are holy

life; (see note)
If; frailty; forgive

lead; country [where]

succor; refuge; solace

horribly harm us; (see note)

  Signatum est super nos lumen vultis tui Domine. Dedisti leteciam in corde meo.27; (t-note)



Oremus collecte.

Let us pray together


Deus qui nobis signatum vultis tui memoreali tuum ad instanciam Veronece ymaginem tuam
sudareo impressam relinquere voluisti, per passionem et crusem tuam tribue ut iam nunc in
terris per speculum in enigmate ipsam venerare honorare adorare valiamus, ut te tunc,
judicem super nos venientem, facie ad faciem se cum videamus Dominum nostrum Jhesum

Christum filium tuum. Amen.28

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