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Art. 73, God that al this myhtes may


Abbreviations: AND: Anglo-Norman Dictionary; ANL: Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (R. Dean and Boulton); BL: British Library (London); Bodl.: Bodleian Library (Oxford); CT: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales; CUL: Cambridge University Library (Cambridge); DOML: Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library; FDT: French Devotional Texts of the Middle Ages (Sinclair 1979); FDT-1French Devotional Texts of the Middle Ages, . . . First Supplement (Sinclair 1982); IMEV: The Index of Middle English Verse (Brown and Robbins); MED: Middle English Dictionary; MWME: A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050–1500 (Severs et al.); NIMEV: A New Index of Middle English Verse (Boffey and Edwards); NLS: National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh).

2 thy wille ys oo. Literally God’s will is “one,” i.e., “constant”; I have translated ys oo as “endure,” the sense being that God’s will is perpetual and the same both on earth and in heaven.

27 my loves trowe. “My trust in praise”; see Brook, p. 87. Loves is the genitive of OE lof, “praise.”

41 the bote. “You savior” (redeemer, and remedy). See MED, bote (n.(1)), sense 2.(e). Compare bote in line 47.

45 in crop ant rote. “In every way,” literally, “in plant and root.”


ABBREVIATIONS: As: Aspin; : Böddeker; Br: Brook; BS: Bennett and Smithers; BZ: Brandl and Zippel; B13: Brown 1937; Dea: J. M. Dean; Do: Dove 1969; Fl: Flood; : Förster; Fu: Furnivall; HB: Hunt and Bliss; Kem: Kemble; Ken: Kennedy; Mi: Millett; Mo: Morris and Skeat; MS: MS Harley 2253; Mu1: H. J. R. Murray; Mu2: J. A. H. Murray; NB: Noomen and van den Boogard; Pa: Patterson; Rev: Revard 2005a; Ri: Ritson 1877; Ro: Robbins 1959; SP: Short and Pearcy; Si: Silverstein; St: Stemmler 1970; Tu: Turville-Petre 1989; Ul: Ulrich; W1: Wright 1839; W2: Wright 1841; W3: Wright 1842; WH: Wright and Halliwell.

16 worst. So Bö, Pa. MS, W3, B13, Br. wrst.

21 Y stod. So MS, W3, B13, Br. Bö, Pa: ystod.

30 knowe. So MS, W3, B13, Br. Bö, Pa: knawe.

32 lowe. So MS, W3, B13, Br. Bö, Pa: lawe.

53 Unworth. So Bö, Pa. MS, W3, B14, Br: Unwrþ.












¶ God that al this myhtes may,
In hevene ant erthe thy wille ys oo.
Ichabbe be losed mony a day —
Er ant late Y be thy foo.
Ich wes to wyte, ant wiste my lay;
Longe habbe holde me therfro.
Vol of merci thou art ay;
Al ungreythe Ich am to the to go.

To go to him that hath ous boht,
My gode deden bueth fol smalle.
Of the werkes that Ich ha wroht,
The beste is bittrore then the galle.
My god Ich wiste. Y nolde hit noht;
In folie me wes luef to falle.
When Y myself have thourhsoht,
Y knowe me for the worst of alle.

God that deyedest on the rod,
Al this world to forthren ant fylle,
For ous thou sheddest thi suete blod.
That Y ha don, me lyketh ylle,
Bote er ageyn the stith Y stod,
Er ant late, loude ant stille.
Of myne deden fynde Y non god.
Lord, of me, thou do thy wille.

In herte ne myhte Y never bowe,
Ne to my kunde Louerd drawe;
My meste vo ys my loves trowe;
Crist ne stod me never hawe.
Ich holde me vilore then a Gyw,
Ant Y myself wolde bue knowe.
Lord, merci! Rewe me now!
Reyse up that ys falle lowe.

God that al this world shal hede,
Thy gode myht thou hast in wolde;
On erthe thou come for oure nede,
For ous sunful, were boht ant solde.
When we bueth dempned after ur dede
A Domesday, when ryhtes bueth tolde,
When we shule suen thy wounde blede,     
To speke thenne we bueth unbolde.

Unbold Ich am to bidde the bote;
Swythe unreken ys my rees;
Thy wille ne welk Y ner afote;
To wickede werkes Y me chees.
Fals Y wes in crop ant rote
When Y seyde thy lore was lees;
Jesu Crist, thou be mi bote —
So boun Ich am to make my pees.

Al unreken ys my ro.
Louerd Crist, whet shal Y say?
Of myne deden fynde Y non fro,
Ne nothyng that Y thenke may.
Unworth Ich am to come the to!
Y serve the nouther nyht ne day.
In thy merci Y me do,
God that al this myhtes may.
¶ God who wields all this might,
In heaven and earth your will endures.
I’ve gone astray many a day —
Early and late I am your foe.
I was to blame, and knew my faith;
I've long withheld myself from it.
Full of mercy you always are;
I’m all unready to go to you.

To go to him who’s bought us,
My good deeds are too meager.
Of the works that I’ve performed,
The best is more bitter than gall.
My good I knew. I wanted it not.
In foolishness I was happy to fall.
When I have fully examined myself,
I perceive myself the worst of all.

God who died on the cross,
All this world to benefit and perfect,
You shed for us your sweet blood.
What I have done, I little like,
For ever against you I firmly stood,
Early and late, at every turn.
Among my deeds I find none good.
Lord, with me, do your will.

I never bow down in heart or might,
Nor draw toward my kind Lord;
My greatest foe is my trust in praise;
I never stood in awe of Christ.
I consider myself baser than a Jew,
And I want myself to be known.
Lord, mercy! Pity me now!
Raise up that one who’s fallen low.

God whom all this world must heed,
You have control of your good might;
To earth you came for our need,
For sinful us, were bought and sold.
When we shall be judged by our works
On Doomsday, when justice shall be reckoned,     
When we shall see your wounds bleed,
To speak then we shall lack courage.

I lack the courage to call you savior;
Very unpleasant is my rashness;
I never walked afoot by your will;
I chose for myself wicked works.
False I was in every way
When I said your lore was lies;
Jesus Christ, be my remedy —
So ready I am to make my peace.

All uneasy is my rest.
Lord Christ, what shall I say?
In my deeds I find no relief,
Nor in anything else I can think of.
Unworthy I am to come to you!
I serve you neither night nor day.
Into your mercy I commit myself,
God who wields all this might.

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