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The Four Leaves of the Truelove


1 Through a pleasant garden, saying my hours (i.e., prayers recited at the same time each day)

2 She cast off her kerchief, her netted headdress from her head

3 Of all the fortune in this world, indeed I enjoy none!

4 Fair bird, fail not [in] your words and instruction! / Your speech is [a] comfort to hearken and hear

5 Who rules this natural world both within and without (i.e., spiritually and physically)

6 He ordered messages to be made, and he sent [them] immediately

7 To [His] wicked enemies [who] wanted to see Him slain

8 When we have angered [these] three with our wayward deeds

9 We prefer not to believe it (that we will die) despite [warnings of] priest or friar, / Before we feel ourselves fall, with illness and swooning

10 But about that wretched body we would worry very little / If we were sure, concerning our souls, where we shall dwell

11 How cruelly nor how favorably (with pun: How much nor how far) it is allotted us to travel [after death]

12 When we have experienced that event, our pride is overcome

13 Then concerning all our sorrow, we may count on nothing certain, / Except trust in a Truelove, hoping for His mercy

14 Whenever we call to mind one (i.e., Doomsday), very fearfully we may tremble!

15 Then the living may quake when the dead (lit., quelled ones) arise

16 These justices and jewellers (i.e., appraisors) of law and of learning

17 So elegant and attractive, as displayed on their sides. / All that wealth disappears; heavenly mirth [is] much more!

18 My remarks do not refer solely to lords and ladies / But also to other [folk] that I find in great number: / These gaily dressed low-born fellows display [fashions of the] nobility / With haughty ladies, with whom men may meddle, / With embroidered borders and fur trims and very high headdresses — / Her body is in the middle of her property

19 When each one shall be judged according to his own deed (pun: after his death), / Then may we not remove ourselves and send forth our servant

20 That she will intercede compassionately on our behalf

21 May God, who died on a Cross, grant that grace (pun: truelove grass)


A Bodleian Addit. MS A 106. [Base text.]
T London Thornton MS (BL Addit. MS 31042).
W Wynkyn de Worde imprint (BL Huth 102).
G Gollancz edition (1901). [Based on T.]
GW Gollancz and Weale edition (1935). [Based on T.]

There are three extant copies of the poem, each of them complete in forty stanzas. Two of these, A and W, have received scant scholarly attention. My editorial procedure has been to adopt A as the base text with consideration of all variants in T and W, especially where they appear to restore sense, preserve a more difficult word, or supply an alliterative stave. A comparative edition of all three copies leads, in this instance, to a better text. The notes record meaningful variants and exclude only minor differences in orthography or verbal inflexion, physical losses supplied by T, and overt modernizations in W.

1 suld. A: schuld; T: sall; W: can. The verb suld denotes necessity, "must needs," and sprynge is used transitively, as in Otuel (c. 1330): "A yong knight, that sprong furst berd" (line 1445). The northern spelling suld is adopted in accord with the form that predominates in both A and T. The word often supports alliteration upon s (as in lines 255 and 366). Instances where the midland spelling schuld might support alliteration on sch- are all dubious (see notes to lines 158 and 443). The poet ends the poem with this opening line; see lines 519-20.

2 Blomes. W: Braunches.

3 well. A well, fountain, or spring is a convention of the garden setting. In addition, the details of well, maiden, tree, and bird foreshadow the central drama of the poem: the lamenting maiden is a type for Mary mourning the death of Christ; the bird on tree is like Christ on Cross. The well is one of many symbols associated with Mary (and her weeping); compare lines 346-48.

apon. A: of; TW: on. The A reading is probably an error caused by attraction to the preceding line. The emendation is based on evidence elsewhere that the poet uses apon as an equivalent for on to lengthen short half-lines (e.g., lines 149, 183, 187, 497). In line 183 he may have intended it to supply p-alliteration, as here.

4 byddyng. T: bedend; W: sayenge. The MED cites the reading of T under the verb beden, "offer, present," which is influenced somewhat by bidden, "to pray." The spelling in A indicates the latter verb.

owres. The narrator is engaged in a private, semi-liturgical devotional practice that imitates the regular office for the seven canonical hours (matins, prime, tierce, sext, none, vespers, and compline). He is reciting specific prayers, probably from a book of hours, which would have followed a standard sequence of event and image for the Hours of Mary or the Hours of the Cross. The sequence presented in stanzas 9-24 is evocative of such prayer regimens.

5 on the boghes. A: on the boght (scribal error); T: one bewes; W: full bysely. Bewes in T is a rare spelling of boghes, the reading apparently intended by the A scribe.

6 burjun. A: brujun (scribal error); T: burgeon; W: borgeon.

belde to the boures. A: belde to thare bores; T: belde to the bo . . . ; W: borde to the browes; G and GW emend: belde to the boures. The spellings of boures is emended for the rhyme. The verb is more likely belden, "to flourish," than bilden, "to construct," but the two ME words overlap in meaning. Oakden first proposed the former verb (p. 209); GW adopt the latter (p. 19). In A thare probably means "their" (referring to the boughs), but it is also frequently the northern form for the demonstrative adj. "these," preserved only in A (see note to line 140). Spelling boures has been adopted for rhyme.

7 may that made mournyng. Mourning maidens and May mornings (line 1) are commonplaces in lyric chansons d'aventure, but the turn of phrase to punningly unite them seems to be unique to this poem.

8 Syghand and sekand. T: sekand and syghande; W: She sate and syghed. The word order of A is superior, as Smithers noted (pp. 52, 54), because it depicts the maiden "seeking" a plant among the flowers. It also does not rule out another definition for sekand, "sickening, pining with yearning" (GW, p. 20; ME siccen). The word's primary meaning is "seeking"; its secondary one points to the maiden's withering health in the midst of blossoming nature.

the fayre. W; AT: thase. Alliteration in the b-verse appears in W (adopted here), but not in AT.

9 swyte. The adverb refers back to the maiden, to whom the narrator is sympathetically attracted.

11 me. A (adopted by G and GW); omitted in T; W: my herte.

wogh. T; A: rogh; W: woo. A's reading me conforms to the ME idiom to do (one) wough (OED wough sb.2, sense 2.a.), "to do someone harm." The spelling with r in A appears to be an error.
Echoes of a secular lyric, Nou Sprinkes the Sprai, pervade the first two stanzas of Truelove. There, a narrator out upon his "pleyinge" (line 5) overhears a maiden singing a love-lament; drawn by an erotic pleasure in discovering a pretty girl with a sweet voice (and callously ignoring her pain), the narrator recounts that "thider I drogh; / I fonde hire in an herber swot / under a bogh / with joie inogh" (lines 12-15). After lamenting that her own "lovve trew / he chaunges a newe," the maiden then adds — indicating her own degree of pragmatic inconstancy — that "yiif I mai, it shal him rewe / bi this dai" (lines 21-24). Thus the brief lyric song ends, strongly intimating that the narrator will find a way to console the maiden, and that "lovve trew" means little more than the sentiment of the moment. The secular lyric provides a perfect counterpoint to the moralizations of the Truelove poet. Here the narrator is piously occupied in prayer, and the maiden's lament arouses his compassion, not his lust.

12 To a derne. W; A: under a bogh; T: under a tree. W preserves the more difficult word, and the alliteration. The error in A and T, which both position the hiding narrator under a tree, appears to have been caused by a scribe either misconstruing or deliberately changing derne (to under). On derne as a noun, see MED derne adj., sense 6, and OED dern a. & sb., sense B.3., where W is cited.

13 wyll. The word probably means "desire, longing" (OE willa), but it could be here and at line 15 the rarer word meaning "distraction, bewilderment" derived from the adj. will (ON villr). See OED will sb.2

wyte. A: wytte; T: wete. Spelling adopted for rhyme.

14 Line omitted in A, supplied by T and W.

16 Scho kest of. T: Rafe scho; W: Then cast she. Smithers (p. 52) and Oakden (p. 209) both noted that the reading in A is superior to that in T.

17 hir. AW (adopted by G and GW); omitted in T.

18 right thou. TW; A: I aught to, an apparent scribal misreading of R; compare a similar misreading at line 190.

19 Of. T: For of.

iwys. A (adopted by G and GW); omitted in TW.

21 Som. T; A: priven; W: A. The reading in A is puzzling.

hafe. T; A: have. W's b-verse: I have it longe sought. One can deduce that the poet's dialect used unvoiced [f] rather than voiced [v] in the words hafe, lufe ("love"), and lefe ("leaf" and "belief"). Most of the time the scribes of A and T preserve these spellings. In the relatively few instances where they have not, I have emended. Haue is emended to hafe four times (lines 431, 433, 489, and 497); seven more times the spelling hafe is retained in T and adopted from there (lines 44, 45, 314, 330, 341, 390, and 391). On this spelling, note the rhyme-words in stanza 38, and compare note to line 136.

23 Than. TW; A: fortan.

turtyll. A standard item in medieval bestiaries, the turtledove was renowned for its affectionate nature and constancy. The ME bestiary in MS Arundel 292 glosses some meanings and associations of the bird in Truelove: devoted to her mate, she "holdeth luve al hire lif time" (line 696); like her, one should be faithful to Christ, the soul's spouse, who will judge all on Doomsday and take only his beloved to heaven (ed. Richard Morris, An Old English Miscellany, EETS o.s. 49 [1872; rpt. New York: Greenwood, 1969], pp. 22-23). The bird also figures in the story of Mary's purification forty days after the Nativity; John Lydgate explicated several of its meanings in The Lyfe of Oure Lady (contemplation, sorrow for sins ["with waymentyng"], love of eternal life, constancy to mate, etc.; see Lydgate's Purification Marie, ed. Turnbull, pp. 129-36). See also T. H. White, trans., The Bestiary, A Book of Beasts (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1954), pp. 145-46; and Louis Charbonneau-Lassay, The Bestiary of Christ, trans. D. M. Dooling (New York: Penguin, 1991), pp. 229-37.

a2. The article appears in all three texts, but may be scribal.

24 Wyth. TW; A: Of ryth, an apparent scribal misreading of W.

25 Bryght byrd for thi bewte. A: ..rd for thi bowte; T: Thou birde for thi beaute; W: Bryght byrde of bewte. W preserves an alliterating word, bryght, with echoes of syght and soghte in line 21.

26 sythes. T: syghys; W: syghest.

27 Thow fayr foule, fayle noghte thi speche nor thi spell. The texts read:
A: Thow fayr feule, fayle noghte thi speche and thi spell;
T: A thou faire foule faile noghte thi speche and thi spelle;
W: O fayre foule spare not thy speche nor thy spell.
The alliterating word spare in W is interesting, but less so than fayle in AT, which anticipates the f/l soundplay throughout the poem; see note to line 40. W's nor is, however, better than and; given secondary stress in the b-verse, it alliterates with noght.

28 here. A (adopted by G); T: to ...; GW emend: to here.

29 All my wyll and my wytt wald I the tell. The texts read:
A: All my wyll and my thoght wold I the tell;
T: All my hert and my thoughte walde I the telle (G adopts wyll);
W: All my wyll and my thoght wolde I the tell.
Of the a-verse variants wyll and hert, wyll is more likely correct, for it picks up the consonantal -lls in the line and it alliterates with wald in the b-verse. Thoght is taken to be a gloss for wytt, the obvious w-word that would pair with wyll. Compare line 53, where the maiden's distracted speech is called wytt, but also line 15, where the narrator seeks to know the maiden's wyll and thoght (a rhyme-word). For wald, the midland spelling with o is unusual in A; here and at lines 30, 31, 47, and 170 the spelling wald in T has been adopted. Compare line 186 and note to line 153.

30 wanderyng. T: wandrethe; W: wandrynge.

31 Lufly he lyghted. T: Than lufly he lyghtede; W: Then he lyghted lovely.

31-32 dwell / To comforth. "hesitate to console." For this sense of the verb dwellen, see MED, sense 1(a).

33 with buke and with bell. "completely." For this idiom see MED belle n.(1), sense 9(c).

34 And lufed owr Lady had send hir that fere. The texts read:
A: And loved that lady had send hir that fere;
T: And lovede that lady that sente hir that fere;
W: And loved our lady that sente her that fere.
The spelling loved has been emended here and at line 302. Luf(e) and Trewluf(e) always appear in A spelled with f; the verb lufys appears at line 320. A mix-up of that and our, both normal abbreviations, is a plausible error; the reading owr in W is better. The word Lady was probably pronounced "lef(e)di," supplying another echoing f; compare note to line 302. Send is probably not the original word. It may have replaced lend ("lent"), fand ("found"), or fett ("brought"), any of which fits the alliterative pattern and the form of send.

35 free. GW define this word as an adjective (p. 40), but the syntax and its position within the bob make it more likely to be an adverb.

36 that. Omitted in TW.

40 Fayr. AT: Thu fayr; W: O fayre. The variant words that open the line slow down the a-verse and are likely to be scribal.

foule full of lufe. The poet plays upon the sounds [l] and [f] in alliterative interplay, a recurring sound effect drawn from the emblematic trewlufe. Verbal play upon lufe and full may have been something of a fashion in the North. One of the six booklets that make up MS A is signed "Charke Plena amoris." According to William Dunn Macray, "Plenus-Amoris, or Fullalove, seems to have been a name of a family of scribes" (Annals of the Bodleian Library, Oxford [Oxford: Clarendon, 1890], p. 21). This intriguing surname or rhetorical tag crops up in many northern scribal signatures; in English it becomes the palindrome "FULALUF." See also Falconer Madan, A Summary Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, vol. 5 (Oxford, 1905), p. 541; Thomas J. Heffernan, "The Use of the Phrase Plenus amoris in Scribal Colophons," Notes and Queries 28 (1981), 493-94; and Friedman, pp. 67-72.

so mete. AT: so swete; W: swete. This adjective completes the alliterative phrase and well suits the moral turtledove. See MED mete adj., sense 1.

41 move of. W: medle on. Move ("mufe") participates in the soundplay on lufe.

may I. T: walde I; W: we may. As Smithers noted (pp. 52-53), T has lost the stave alliterating on m.

42 trewluf. A: trewful luf, with ful deleted. The maiden is searching for an herb reputed to cure love-longing. There is also a pun upon the abstract object of her search, i.e., "true love." On the scribe's correction of trewful to trewluf, compare line 319 (and note).

44 So fayr as I hafe soght, fand I nane fete. The texts read:
A: Als fayr as I have soght fand I none yitte;
T: Als ferre als I hafe soughte I fande nane yitt;
W: So ferre as I have sought sawe I none yet.
The word yitte cannot be the correct rhyme-word. Alliteration, rhyme, and sense indicate a rarer word: fete (from OF fait), "suitable, fitting, worthy"; see MED fet adj. W's reading So restores alliteration to the a-verse. The spelling fayr for "far" is not attested elsewhere, but the phrase identifies the sense (MED fer adv. 7[b]). The meaning "fairly, carefully" is also possible but less likely; compare the probable pun on fayr ("favorably, far") at line 369. For nane, the rhymes at lines 148 and 202 indicate the original northern spelling; the few other instances in A spelled non(e) have been emended (lines 161 and 354).

45 hafe I fonden. A (adopted by G and GW); T: hafe funden; W: I have founde.

46 bale. T: balis; W: sorowe.

bete. TW; A: bute. Emendation is adopted for rhyme.

48 ryght. W; A: ryg..; T: reghte.

51 fayntely. W: feble. The MED queries the meaning "rarely" for feintli adv. 3(c), citing only this occurrence. The attested meaning "feebly" seems suitable, however, and is supported by the reading in W and by GW (p. 40).

52 of. TW: on.

53 a woman. W: wymen (extending the attitude toward all women).

wonder. This word is formally a noun (genitive use), not the adjective "wondrous," as glossed by GW (p. 48); see Smithers, p. 56.

54 sary. T: sare; W: sory.

a. Omitted in T.

55 Al this syd may thou seke and never nan be nere. So A. The other texts read:
T: Alle thi sythe may thou sighe and never mare be nere;
W: All thy lyfe dayes may thou seke and never none be nere.
W offers a gloss of syd, "life days." The AW reading seke, "seek," puns on sike, "sigh"; T's reading glosses the original word (compare note to line 8). Smithers preferred the reading in A (p. 53). The AT reading nan is also better than T's mare.

56 knewe. The rhyme required the poet to use the past tense, when the present tense would seem better to suit the context. Perhaps the meaning "have known" was intended. GW comment on the difficulty of the preterite had (instead of present has) in the line (p. 21), but the verb is the subjunctive "(were) to have," expressing a hypothetical situation.

57 If thou be sett to seke it, sall I the lere. The texts read:
A: If thou be sett to seke yitte, sall I ye lere;
T: If thou be sett for to seke yit sal I the lere;
W: Yf thou be set to seke truelove I shall the lere.
My emendation of yitte to it follows W, which glosses yit(te) in AT as "truelove," that is, "it," rather than "yet, still," as glossed by GW. The word alliterates with I in the b-verse. Northern spelling sall appears consistently in AT; the few appearances of the midland form schal(l) are not supported by alliteration (compare note to line 1). A's ye is one of several confusions between thorn and yogh that afflicts both MSS; compare line 441, and see also lines 194, 375, 503 for confusion between yare and thare. In addition, both scribes sometimes interchange y for thorn (þ).
In T this line appears after line 60; both rhyme and meaning indicate that the order of AW is correct. The error in T was caused by the phrase if thou repeated at lines 56 and 57; when the scribe (perhaps Thornton) discovered the loss of the line, he copied it at the end of the octave. Smithers criticized G and GW for failing to note the error (p. 53).

58 spryngand and. A (adopted by G and GW); T: spryngande; W: spryngynge. The error in T is easy to explain: having written -and, the scribe left out the ampersand.

evermare. ATW: evermore. The word mare, and once evermare (line 507), is so frequently a rhyme-word that the original northern spelling with the vowel a is confirmed. The spelling is likewise changed at lines 141 and 170.

59 Withowt any fadynge. T: withowtten diffadynge; W: Without ony fautynge.

60 castyng of colour. "turning pale." This line in Truelove is the only example of this phrase cited in the MED (casting ger. 1c). It is, however, used to describe the condition of death in a ME Life of Saint John the Evangelist: "A while ye sall be faire als floures, / Bot forever ye sall cast colours" (lines 237-38; ed. Carl Horstmann, Altenglische Legenden, neue Folge [Heilbronn: Henninger, 1881], p. 37).

chanuyng. TW: changynge. A preserves a rare word, unrecorded elsewhere in ME and altered in T and W to a more familiar word. The MED records only two instances of derivatives of OF canüer, "turn gray." The full line delivers a strongly hued image of decay: "turning pale and graying."

63 luf. AW (adopted by G and GW); T: lyfe.

65 Bot. TW: Bot if.

66 grysse. T; AW: gresse. The plant popularly called truelove in medieval England is herb paris, defined in the OED as follows: "A dictyogenous plant found in moist woods, bearing a single greenish flower at the top of the stem, and just beneath it four large ovate leaves in the form of a cross." Its etymology is obscure but may derive from the genitive form of Latin pars, "equal, a mate, a pair," because its leaves are quite uniform in shape and size. John Gerard, the author of a popular Elizabethan herbal (1597), implies that the plant was commonly likened to either a Cross or a love-knot:
Herb Paris riseth up with one smal tender stalke two hands high; at the very top whereof come forth foure leaves directly set one against another in manner of a Burgundian Crosse or True-love knot: for which cause among the Antients it hath been called Herbe True-love. (Marcus Woodward, ed., Gerard's Herbal: The History of Plants [rpt. London: Senate, 1994], p. 101)
Trueloves frequently appear in medieval romances as an ornamental design woven into tapestries or costumes, or as a truelove knot, as in Sir Degrevant, Awntyrs off Arthure, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Rauf Coilyear, The Court of Love, and Emare (Sandison, p. 86). An illustration of the herb can be found in Strasburger's Text-Book of Botany, 5th ed. (Macmillan: London, 1921), p. 727. GW incorrectly identified the plant as the four-leaf clover (pp. xxiv, 20).

67 With four lefes is it sett ful lufly abowte. The texts read:
A: With four (iiij) lefes is it sett fully abowte;
T: With foure (iiij) es it sett full lovely aboute;
W: That with four (.iiij.) leves fully is set aboute.
Lufly has been adopted from T, the only text to preserve the characteristic f/l soundplay in the b-verse. G emends T by inserting lef (a misreading of A) after foure. Roman numerals appear often in the texts in place of cardinal or ordinal numbers; I have substituted the appropriate spelled-out words at lines 137, 140, 144, 155, 196, 209, 237, 274, 277, 278, 305, 313, 341, 342, 513, 514.
The English tradition of moralization upon the plant's four leaves is summarized by Fein (1991), pp. 302-10. The most important analogue exists in The Long Charter of Christ, both A- and B-Text (ed. Spalding, pp. 30, 63-65). While the Short Charter, which is earlier and northern in origin, has Christ asking mankind only for "trew luf" to pay his "rent" (the plant metaphor appears to be absent), the more Southern Long Charter develops "truelove" into an exemplum where the four parts are expounded as shrift, repentance, not sinning, and fear of God (Vernon).

68 to. AW (adopted by G); T: unto.

Kyng. A substitution of Lord would create aa/ax alliteration, but Kyng may be chosen for assonance (with Blys). Kyng is the more typical term used for God in the poem.

69 this wyld. T: alle this; W: all the. It is possible that the original reading was the more common phrase wyde world, especially in light of the readings in T and W. There is no necessity, however, to emend the line as it stands in A.

70-71 Heven, paradyse, and medyllerth refer to different parts of God's creation. Heven denotes the natural heavenly spheres surrounding the firmament; paradyse denotes the heavenly paradise, abode of God and angels; and medyllerth denotes the earth, situated between heaven and hell.

71 And this. TW; A: And all this, an apparent scribal error caused by attraction to al(l) in either line 70 or line 72.

72 hally. TW; A: fully. The reading in A has lost the alliteration upon h. The original phrase was perhaps ful haly; compare the emendation to line 67 and the phrase full haly at line 125.

73 for. T; omitted in AW.

lufe Hym, and. T; A: and love hym and (adopted by G); W: and lowe for to. Compare analogous phrasing in York Play 45 (ed. Beadle, p. 392), in which Thomas the apostle speaks: "Itt leres me full lely to love hym and lowte hym" (line 8).

75 lefe. A pun on "leaf" and "belief" is evident here, having been prepared for by the usages in lines 67, 68, and 73. The word is omitted in W.

thi. A (adopted by G); T: your; omitted in W. GW's argument in favor of the reading in T is strained: "the author here suddenly ceases to speak in the person of the turtle-dove to the girl and is now, in his double role as cleric and author, addressing a wider audience, viz. all the readers of his poem" (p. 22). The reading in A maintains the narrative fiction of bird speaking to maiden. There are signs elsewhere, however, that the poem was adapted to stress its didactic effectiveness (see note to line 510).

76 To. A (adopted by G); TW: Till.

may. TW; omitted in A (and by G and GW); the word may adds to the alternating alliterative effect on m, f, and l.

77 That trew luf and that kynd. T: Of that trewlufe and that kynde; W: The true love and kynde. GW mistakenly glossed kynd as the noun "kind, family, race," and attributed the poor sense to the poet's need for a rhyme (p. 22). As Smithers noted, kynd is an adjective, as is trew: "that steadfast and that gracious love" (p. 54). My editorial word-split between trew and luf emphasizes this sense, although, of course, the pun on trewluf is also present, allowing a reading of kynd as a substantive, "gracious one."

78 never. TW: never more.

79 The second lefe of the lufe I lykyn to God Son. The texts read:
A: By this ilke second lefe, I lykyn God Son;
T: Now bi this ilk seconde lefe I liken goddis sone;
W: The seconde lefe of the truelove I lyken to goddes sone.
Alliterating regularly on l and s, the line in W is best. It is adopted here, adjusted to spellings typical of A. For line length, W's truelove is shorthanded to lufe, a usage of the poet that may help to explain the variants. There is evidence that the many repetitions of ilke in A and T are scribal (see notes to lines 80 and 510). The phrase in AT, liken bi, is not listed in the MED; the usual construction is made with (un)to, as in lines 68 and 81. Numerous examples of the northern genitive form God are listed in the MED (see God n.[1] 4a[a]). Although only A records the form here, both MSS preserve it at line 128.

80 That to the. W; AT: Unto this ilk. The repetition of ilk here and in the last stanza does not appear in W. The repetition seems overly didactic and probably scribal, as if adopted for use with a diagram. In this line, moreover, it detracts from the alliterative meter. Compare note to line 510.

81 to. AW (adopted by G); T: unto.

thay won. AW (adopted by G and GW); T: are done.

82 All halesom in a Godhede and Persons sere. The texts read:
A: Thase thre ar sam in a God and Persons sere;
W: All hole in a godhede and persones thre.
Repetition at line 84 suggests the corrupt nature of A's Thase thre. W has an alliterating a-verse, but it lacks the word sam, which connects the half-lines. The line adopted here blends hole and sam, making northern halesom, "sound, healthy," a word fitting the context and medicinal metaphor; see OED halesome a. and wholesome a., sense 3, and MED holsom adj.
T omits these two lines and inserts new ones after line 86: Es no thynge in this werlde lyke to hym one / His gladenesse and his gudnesse comforthes vs here. The cause for omission can be detected in the identical opening of line 84, Thase thre, in an exemplar that matched A. A scribe skipped these two lines; a subsequent copyist (perhaps Thornton) fashioned new lines at the end of the octave.

84 ar. T; omitted in AW. The verb is needed to provide a vocalic lift, which alliterates with the o in withowtyn.

85 When that semly Syre is sett in Hys tron. The texts read:
A: When that comly kyng is sett in hys tron;
T: When that semly kynge es sett on his trone;
W: Whan the comly kynge is set in his trone.
T's reading semly is adopted because A's repetition of comly (see line 86) is probably an error; it provides alliteration with sett. Kyng is a shared error; what is indicated is a name for God beginning with s. Syre appears later in the poem at line 421 and fits the context of God as Creator.

86 and curtas of chere. T: curtase and clere.

87 For. T: off; W: with.

89 wyndes and waters. T: wynde and with water; G and GW emend: wynde and water.

90 And syne made He. T: And sythen he makede; W: Then he marked man. Everett preferred the reading in A because it provides a stanza link to line 92 (p. 119); stanza linking is not, however, a feature of the poem.

92 syn. T: sythen. The line modulates in a very interesting way the sounds [m], [d], [h], and initial vowels. The line in W, Fyrst he made Adam and then he made Eve, is less artful.

93 Putt. T: putt he; W: He put.

94 Forbed He tham nothyng. W: Forbyddynge nothynge to.

hym and hys wyfe. AW; T: als I bileve. The weak tag found in T is a scribal attempt to improve the rhyme with Eve (line 92).

96 Than. T: Bot than.

97 Weryd. T: ther weryede; W: cursed.

98 thai. T: tham.

that apill. The phrase provides an example of elided alliteration, upon t, in an axa/bb line.

101 full. T; omitted in AW. The reading in T is adopted because it improves the meter. Lines in the wheel typically have six or seven syllables. Full not only helps the line in length, but accords well with the alliteration on f, the recurrence of words ending in -ll, and the common f/l soundplay (note to line 27).

103 tyll. TW: to.

104 an appill. T: a nappill.

105 morn. The line lacks alliteration, although the l is to be picked up in the next line. Morn may be a substitute for an original word greve. Even so, morn here echoes one of the stanza's rhymes (line 112), and there is a link between "mourn" and "morning," as in stanza 1.

106 For his lufly handwarke that was forlorn. The texts read:
A: For lufe of hys handwarke that than was lorn;
T: For his lufly handwerke that he hade lorne;
W: For his holy handy werke that was forlorne.
A's a-verse is probably a gloss of T's a-verse, which best retains the alliterative soundplay on l, f, h, and w; W's b-verse resembles A's, but again excels it in alliteration. Everett preferred the a-verse in A over T because it accentuates the theme of love (p. 119), but T's meaning, "beloved handiwork," is similar.

107 aungell. Apparently the g is hard, as in OE; see OED angel, which explains that the g softened under the influence of French from the thirteenth century onwards. The line in W is short and corrupt: Gabryell to hym he dyd call.

108 comly. T: semely. As Smithers noted (p. 53), the A reading preserves the alliterating stave.

109 Unto. A (adopted by G); T: Goo to; W: He sayd to.

my message. A (adopted by G); T: my messagere; W: on message.

sall. T; A: schall; W: shall. The northern form found in T is typical of both MSS; see note to line 57.

110 Bere hir blythe bodword: Of hire be I born. The texts read:
A: Bere hir bodword of hire I wyll be born;
T: And bere hir blythe bodworde of hir will I be borne;
W: To bere her gladde tydynges of her I wyll be borne.
T's reading blythe is adopted to lengthen the a-verse and add alliteration; W supports the likelihood that an adjective has been lost. The texts' metrically odd b-verses seem to gloss a more difficult, better reading that simplifies the verb to be, which would express God's divine intention as both of the future and outside time. God's intent and actions here may be compared to a passage in Nicholas Love's Mirror:
When the plente of tyme of grace was come in the which the hie Trinite ordeynet to save mankynd that was dampnet thorh the synne of Adam, for the grete charite that he hade to mankynd, spiryng him his grete mercy, . . . [t]he fadere of heven called to him the archangel Gabriel and seid to him in this manere:
Go to oure dere doghter Marie the spouse of Joseph the which is most chere to us of alle creatures in erthe, and sey to hire that my blessed son hath coveyted hire shape and hire bewtye and chosen hire to his modere and therfore pray hir that she receyve him gladly. For by hir I have ordeynet the hele and the savacion of al mankynd, and I wole foryete and foryive the wrong that hath be done to me of him here before. (ed. Sargent, p. 21, lines 15-18, 21-29)
The word bodword, chiefly northern or north midland, means "promise, pledge" as well as "message." News-bearing represents a verbal counterpart to the theme of good versus sinful deeds. Other examples of bodword in the poem are God's forbidding the fruit in Eden, the Jews' accusations against Jesus, Christ's tidings brought to hell, Mary Magdalene's message of the Resurrection to the apostles, the unheard pleas for mercy from the damned souls, the repentant sinners' prayers to Mary, her acts of intercession, and, especially, the poem itself as a speech-act by bird to maiden and as a message to a meditant reader.

111 son. The syntax of the bob (which always connects it to the octave) seems to require that son refer to Gabriel. For scriptural authority in calling an angel a son of God, see Job 1.6. The alternate reading is, however, interesting: God acting as Father sending Son (Christ) from His dwelling to live in Mary and on earth. Stanzas 10-21 expound the scriptural events in terms of many separate-but-joined powers and actions of the Persons of the Trinity, and line 273 closes stanza 21 with another ambiguous reading.

112 on. T: in.

mery morn. Note the echo of the opening stanza, the theme of mourning being transformed in this stanza to the good news of Gabriel's Annunciation, and the wordplay on the name of Mary, who will shortly become the new "mourning may."

113 Hir. TW: and hir. Smithers preferred the more compact bob of A to that of T (p. 53).

114 face. For the meaning "person, personage," see MED face n., sense 3.(d), which cites this passage among several other examples. W glosses the line: Gabryell with the fayre face.

115 Sayd. T: Haylsede; G emends T: Hayl sede.

full of grace. These words by tradition mark the moment of conception through Mary's ear: "At that worde knot was knitte," according to the lyric Ecce ancilla Domini (ed. Chambers and Sidgwick, p. 114). The Incarnation "knits" man and God: "For this day was mankynd sovereynly wirchiped in that he was oned and knyt to the godhede in Crist without departyng" (Nicholas Love, Mirror, p. 27). God conceived as Trinity was also figured as a "knot," as in Dante's vision at the end of The Divine Comedy ("La forma universal di questo nodo / credo ch'i' vidi," Paradiso 33.91-92). So, to extend the truelove knot metaphor, the knot of the Trinity is knit to humankind in the Incarnation, tied as a knot by the words uttered here. It should also noted that Mary's becoming filled with grace parallels the ending of the poem, which gives "grace" to both maiden and reader (see note to line 515).

116 Pereles in ilka. T: Sayde pereles in alle; W: Pyerles in every.

119 All. T: and all.

was. A: wos, written over a deletion of the word bale; TW: bale. The northern spelling wa, appearing everywhere in the poem (often in rhyme position), was used for the plural was, which misled a scribe into writing bale (a plausible misreading of the letters; see note to line 444). Scribe A caught the error and supplied the obvious correction.

sall be bett. W: it shall be let.

120 I mot a cheld. A: I suld a cheld (adopted by G); T: that I a childe solde; W: and I a chylde sholde. Emending suld to mot is indicated by the m-alliteration of lines 120-21. The subjunctive form fits the context and gives consonance with the rhyme-words; compare the word at lines 38 and 313.

121 ne with man mett. T; A: with no man yitte. The reading in T is adopted because it provides better rhyme and alliteration. The word mette appears in stanzas 9 and 11 (lines 117, 134) in reference to the Incarnation, where it euphemistically refers to the conception of God in the Virgin. The usage here, though more carnal, is similar.

123 held. W: age. The spelling with h for the word eld is not recorded in the MED and is curiously unnecessary here for the alliteration with Elyezabeth. Thus one needs to note that there is a similar word meaning "grace, favor" (MED held[e] n.[2]). As GW point out, however, the meaning "eld" has scriptural basis; the word "corresponds to the Wyclifite elde, eelde, in the same context. Compare the Vulgate: 'in senectute sua"' (p. 23).

lett. W: led. The meaning here, "barren," is not recorded in the MED (letten v.).

124 The line in W reads: O lorde I am thy mayde sayd Mary so dere. Elsewhere in the stanza the W reviser adds the phrases she sayd (line 120) and he sayd (line 122) to distinguish speakers.

128 in lyght. This is the usual idiom to describe the Incarnation of Christ; see MED lighten v.(2), sense 4a(a) for many examples. Compare line 132.

129 Becom a. TW: Become.

131 is this ilk. A (adopted by G); T: this ilk; W: is the. The phrase may add through elision to the s-alliteration of the a-verse. It also gives emphasis to the second leaf at the point where the text would have commenced on a second folio (on the original lay-out, see the Introduction). On the word ilk elsewhere in MSS A and T (but not in W), see notes to lines 80 and 510.

owr. AW (adopted by G and GW); omitted in T.

132 that Lady. A (adopted by G and GW); T: a mayden; W: the lady. A and W preserve the alliterating word. T's error was apparently caused by the phrase in a mayden appearing at the same position in line 134.

133 so. Omitted in W.

traste. A: treste; T: trayste; W: tryste. This spelling (emended for rhyme) as well as the two MS readings are attested for the northern verb traisten, cognate with trusten. See OED traist v. and trest v.

135 Thys. T: It.

Gaste. T; AW: goste.

136 lefes of lufe. AT: leves of lufe; W: lefes of love. The spelling of the plural lefes, "leaves," varies in A, appearing with f six times and with v four times (here and lines 140, 144, and 164). These spellings have been made uniform because the soundplay upon [l] and [f] is important and pervasive (note to line 40). Lef(e), meaning "leaf" or "belief," is always spelled with f. Leve, meaning "leave, cease," is, however, typically spelled with a v (lines 185 and 224).

withowtyn any lette. This phrase is a formulaic tag meaning "truly, indeed," but the literal meaning is also appropriate, "without physical hindrance, without a break (in the design)." See MED lette n. (b).

137 a. T: the.

for chaste. Chaste is probably a noun, not an adjective (as cited by GW [p. 23] and the MED), meaning "chasteness, faithfullness." The MED lists this noun (derived from OF), but with a query and only two examples (chaste n.[3]). For the possibility that it is an adjective used as a noun, see M. Y. Offord's discussion of a similar phrase (for slepeles) in The Parlement of the Thre Ages, EETS e.s. 246 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967), pp. 42-43 n. 101; and M. L. Samuels, "Middle English 'wery forwandred': A Rejoinder," English Studies 36 (1955), 310-13.

138 another. TW; A: ane other.

139 bute. A: butte; TW: bote.

140 Thare. A: There; T: Thies followed by deleted thre; W: The. The word there/thare is a northern form meaning "these" with an obscure etymology; see MED thir(e adj. and OED thir dem. pron. & adj. Its earliest recorded appearance is in Cursor Mundi and other northern texts. Thornton has changed the word everywhere except at line 456 and possibly 341 (where he may have interpreted it to mean "there"); he typically substitutes the more familiar plural form, spelled theis or thase. W often has the where the MSS have a demonstrative adjective. The spelling thar(e) (or an abbreviation that omits the vowel) is the usual form in A for the words meaning "these" and "there."

141 evermare. AT: evermore; W: ever. See note to line 58.

sall. T; A: schall; W: shall. On the emended spelling, see note to line 57.

142 joyn. TW; A: grewyn (adopted by G). The word in T has the support of W and restores the alliteration. The poet alliterates words beginning in j with words beginning in vowels, h, and soft g.

144 Now has thre lufly lefes a fourte fela tan. The texts read:
A: Now has thar iij lefes a fourte fela tan;
T: Now all thies foure lovely leues a frende to tham hase tane;
W: Now hathe the thyrde lefe a swete felowe taken.
The adjective lufly has been adopted from T to restore alliteration in the a-verse. Evidence for thre appears in all three texts, even though scribes of T and W both read iij incorrectly. The meanings of T and W are also variant: in T, the four leaves have taken Joseph as their friend; in W, the Holy Ghost alone has joined with Mary.

148 an oxe and an asse. TW; A: a oxe and a asse. The reading of T and W provides alliteration on n with nan at the end of the line and anticipates the secondary play on n-sounds in the next three lines. The exemplar of A probably had a noxe and a nasse, which the A scribe tried to correct; compare the difference between A and T at line 104 (an appill).

149 barne. T; AW: chyld. Emendation adopted from T for alliteration.

a. T; A: the; omitted in W.

150 starn. T: sterne; W: sterre. A northern word; see MED stern n.(1) and OED stern sb2.

schaply schewed. T: hastily that schynede; W: stabely shewed.

151 caght. ATW: had. Alliteration and the pararhyming play upon syght and soght indicate the word for which had has substituted.

a. AW (adopted by G and GW); T: thay.

153 Him. A (adopted by G); TW: to hym.

wold. Almost everywhere else this word has the northern spelling wald (see note to line 29). While the midland spelling is used for the rhyme here, wald supplies the rhyme at line 186.

155 seven-fold. T: fele folde; W: many folde. It is difficult to determine whether the reading in W is a gloss of T or a mistake for the roman numeral vij found in A. Alliteration is weak in all three versions of the wheel.

157 Unhappy. W; AT: Unsely ("proud"). W preserves the alliterating word.

thase tythandes. T: this tythynges; W: the tydynges. The MSS disagree internally as to whether tythandes is to be construed as singular or plural. Here A gives it the plural demonstrative adjective thase, while T assigns it this. At line 288 A reads this tithandes and T reads thies tythynges. Both constructions are attested (OED tidings sb.).

158 A. TW: that a.

knaw-child. A (adopted by G and GW); TW: childe. A preserves alliteration on k. W's agreement with T is unimportant because it is congruent with a sixteenth-century modernization; W prints childe at line 118 and male children at line 160. The alliterative stresses fall upon knaw-child and born (a-verse) and kynge and bee (b-verse). Suld provides consonance with child but does not play a role in the alliterative meter, an observation that supports the originality of northern suld over midland schuld.

159 messages. T: message; W: messagers.

sent he. T; A: sent; W: sende them. The word omitted in A is either he or them; I have adopted the reading in T. Note the similar error at line 262.

160 To slee all knafe-chylder in that contré. The texts read:
A: To seke knafe chylder in that contre
T: To seke that knave childe in that cite;
W: To slee all male chyldren in that countre.
W's variant slee all is adopted because it is the more vivid phrase, and it continues a play upon the sounds s and l found in line 159. If an original word beginning with k has been lost, it was probably kell, "kill." G and GW emend T by adopting knafe-chylder from A.

161 Left he nan in wharte. T: Lefte he nane in qwarte; W: They lefte none alyve. Wharte means "alive, unharmed"; for the idiom, see MED quert(e) n. 1(b). The spelling wh- for qu- is a form frequently used by northern scribes of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. While the reading in W is clearly a modernization, it is interesting for the alliteration on l. Left may be a substitute for an original verb beginning with wh/qu.

162 Thai sputt tham on spere-poyntes — gret pyté to se. The texts read:
A: Thai putt tham on speres gret dole it was to se;
T: Thay spetide tham one speris grete dole for to see;
W: They spytted them on spere poyntes grete pyte was to se.
The emended verb sputt is derived from A's putt and the verb found in TW. W's spere-poyntes gives the sharpest effect, both visceral and alliterative. The emended b-verse blends the variants of T and W. W's pyte is obviously better than AT's dole. An alternate possibility for the b-verse — was pyte to se — would effectively echo the sp and t sounds of the a-verse, but it seems unwise to omit the word gret found in all three texts.

164 Bot. T: he.

166 Childer gon. A: There childer gon; T: Thase childre gane; W: The chyldren coude. Omitting the article, which is different in each text, makes the line more effective.

167 this. A: that corrected to this; T: that; W: the.

same. T; omitted in AW.

168 myrth. A: yogh corrected to r.

170 mare. T; AW: more. See note to line 58.

171 His awn. TW: For his.

172 lawe. T: lay.

173 Hym baptyste. A (adopted by G); T: Baptiste hym; W: crystened hym.

175 fell famen. T: fele famen; W: the Jewes.

wald fayne Hym hafe slane. AW: that wald Hym hafe slane; T: that fayne walde hym . . . . T preserves the alliterating word, but its syntactic position is atypical of the poet's half-verse style. Transposition and removal of a scribal explanatory that solves the problem and tightens the line.

176 sake. T: syn.

177 thai Hym knew. T; A: thai knew; W: was he knowen. T supplies the word lacking in A.

tytte. T; AW: son. The word in T preserves alliteration and is the more difficult variant. The reading in A and W is a gloss of tytte.

178 Alswa. ATW: Also. Both MSS read also, but the attested northern spelling wa for the rhyme-word elsewhere in the poem reveals this was probably the original spelling. The word has the same meaning as swa, "in the way or manner described" (distinct from so, "to such an extent"). See the note to lines 216-17, and compare alswa (spelling preserved in T) at line 470.

179 sorow. AT: dole; W: pyte. Sorow alliterates with see and picks up the w's in alswa and wa. Always spelled sorow or sorowe in ATW, the word may have been pronounced sorwe; it appears typically amidst s and w sounds (lines 248, 330, 384, 464, 489, 492). On the formula of the wheel, see note to lines 179-82.

179-82 The wheel follows a formula used again by the poet in stanzas 16 and 18, in which the first line expresses grief (lines 179, 205, and 231), and the third repeats "The second lefe of the thre" (lines 181, 207, and 233). The poet has created a temporary refrain upon mourning. The scribes recognized the refrain to the extent that they substituted the same noun in its first line: dole in T; pyte in W; dole twice, reuth once in A. It is inconceivable, however, that the poet did not use an alliterating noun, the obvious choices being grefe or sorow. I have followed the slight differences found in A and the contextual soundplays to choose sorrow for stanzas 14 and 18, grefe for stanza 16; see notes to lines 179, 205, and 231.

182 wa. ATW: wo. This original northern spelling is well attested in both MSS by the numerous uses of the word in a rhyming position. Compare line 101.

183 spake. W; AT: satt. The reading in W helps the sense of the passage because the phrase He sayde in line 185 is probably a scribal addition. The p in apon may support alliteration on p. The word justes, pronounced with an initial vowel phoneme, alliterates with hye; for other signs of j/h alliteration, see lines 146, 163, and 314.

185 Leve. AT: He sayde leve; W: He sayd loke. The explanatory phrase is probably scribal; compare note to lines 124 and 183. On the spelling of leve, see note to line 136.

the. T: a; omitted in W.

188 He cald hymself a kyng. Swylk bourdes be bald. The texts read:
A: He says hymself he is a kyng swylk wordes ar bald;
T: He said hymselfe he es a lynge slyk wordis are . . .;
W: He calleth hymselfe a kyng suche bourdes be to bolde.
Line 188 is a striking instance of A and T being in virtual agreement but demonstrably more corrupt than W. W preserves three alliterating words lost in AT:
(1) The verb callen in the a-verse: The preterite form (as in T) is indicated by the b-rhymes, with which it rhymes internally (for the form compare line 404). When sayen replaced the original verb callen in AT, the words he is were added for clarity. This phrasing of the accusation with the verb callen occurs twice in York Play 36 (lines 58, 75, and compare line 112). G adopted the a-verse of A.
(2) The noun bourdes, from OF borde, bourde, "jests, witty remarks": A scribal confusion between b and w is a plausible error; compare notes to lines 119 and 444.
(3) The verb be: Compared to ar, its effect is better.

189 If. W; A: & if; T: and if. The ampersand found in A, expanded in T, probably replaced an original, misread yogh.

189 today. W; AT: this day. W preserves an interesting wordplay in the b-verse. Analogous lines appear in York Play 36 (ed. Beadle, p. 324): "And cursedly he called hym a kyng. / To deme hym to dede it is diewe" (lines 58-59).

190 Ryght before. T; AW: Lowd before the; G and GW emend: Ryghte before the. The reading in T is adopted because it possesses alliteration on r, absent in AW. The second stave is apparently formed by elision, before preceding Emperowre. Ryght may be a substitute for a harder alliterative word, such as roydly (MED roid(e adj., sense 1.[c], "of an outcry: furious, vehement," and roidli adv. "boldly, brazenly"), or rathe (MED rathe adv., "immediately"; compare line 49).

191 dred. TW; A: dr . . .

193 Sais! I can say. T: I kane say yow; W: And sayd that he coude say. Sais is interpreted here to be the imperative plural "cease." W understands the word as "says," but T is ambiguous, with Pilate making a statement to cut off the accusers' voices. The verb "says" is elsewhere spelled says (line 124 and note to line 188). The spellings seesen, seisse, and seas(s)e are attested for cesen (MED). To read the word as "cease" avoids the redundancy of say appearing twice and shows Pilate's position of authority as judge.

194 red. W; AT: red that. The alliteration upon y is more apparent in the compact line of W.

yare. A (adopted by G and GW); T: thare; W: there. The error, common to both MSS, reflects the confusion between thorn and yogh that may derive from a common exemplar. Compare note to line 57.

196 leved. ATW: left. The emended spelling is based upon evidence elsewhere that this word was pronounced with two syllables (lines 202 and 275) and note to line 136).

allane. T: than allan.

198 scharpe. Omitted in T.

body. TW; A: & body. The ampersand in A is an obvious error.

199 Syne. T: Sythyn; W: Syth.
a2. A (adopted by G); omitted in TW.

200 hys handes and fett hard nales. T: his handis and his fete the nayles; W: his handes and fete herte. nayles. The reading in W indicates an alliterating word before nales. Herte makes little sense except as an altered form of hard.

201 bryght. T: bygg.

to. T: till.

brathely. T; A: baldly; W: sharpely. As the more difficult word, the reading in T is accepted. Most of the examples of this fairly rare word appear in alliterative verse (MED broth(e)li adv.).

202 bled. ATW: sched. Emendation is indicated by alliteration and the form of the substituting word. Compare the many collocations of bled and blod cited in the MED under bleden v., and the similar emendation at line 289.

lyfe leved. W; A: lyfe left; T: leved he. The meaning of T's reading is quite different: "he was left with none (i.e., blood)." The error in T can be seen to derive from the omission of lyf after luf because of the similarity of the two words.

nan. T; AW: non. Spelling adopted for rhyme.

203 served. A: bed; T: bedde; W: gave. One expects s-alliteration here. The reading in A is paleographically almost identical to ved and the preceding word thai is written as an abbreviation. It is possible that an abbreviated ser has dropped out. The reading in W supports the presence of an original v in place of b.

in. TW: for. The variants are semantically equivalent.

204 gall. A (adopted by G and GW); T: alle; W: gyle. In accepting the reading of A over T's meaningless tag, GW observe that it merely repeats the sense of attire, "gall," in line 203 (pp. 24-25). On the contrary, gall has a fuller semantic range (here meaning "maliciously"), and a play upon the two meanings of gall is present. The biblical reference is to Matthew 27.34.

205 Grett grefe was. A: Grett reuth was (adopted by G); T: It was gret dole for; W: It was grete pyte for. While sorrow would also supply alliteration, grefe is better in this context of g-alliteration. Compare greved at line 421, and Pearl, "The adubbemente of tho downez dere / Garten my goste al greffe foryete" (line 86). Grefe creates an interesting internal rhyme with lefe in the wheel's third line. On the formula of the wheel, see note to lines 179-82. The formula is varied (in A only) by omission of the words It was and for; the variation adds an interest not found in the rote sameness of T and W.

206 the. TW: a.

207-08 W reads: The seconde lefe sycurly / Dyed for us all.

208 Suld. T; A: Schuld; omitted in W. The northern spelling found in T, characteristic of both MSS, is adopted; see note to line 1.

falow. T; A: fayd; omitted in W. The reading of T, with the characteristic repetition of f and l sounds, is superior to the formulaic fayd and falle of A (which Oakden preferred because it is a tag phrase [p. 209]).

209 the lufe. T: that trewlufe; W: the loke. This syncopated form of trewlufe is usually expanded in T as if to avoid confusion, but it appears to be the poet's way to generalize the symbol. The same difference exists between the MSS at lines 274 and 313.

210 Wrange scho. A (adopted by G and GW); T: scho wrange; W: Wryngynge.

wepyd. T: wepe than; W: wepynge. Note the echo in this line to line 17; a description of the mournful Virgin has supplanted the secular lovelorn maiden of the opening stanzas.

211 a myld mode. T: with a drery mode. Myld mode is a formula for Mary's compassionate bearing, but mode also bears the meaning "grief, sorrow, distress" (MED mode n., 6[c]). Compare the same phrase at line 511, where the context has shifted to Mary's compassion for mankind.

212 wex al. T: wexe than all; W: wexed wonder.

213 Be. W: Downe by.

blank. ATW: whyt. The loss of a bl-word is obvious in the context of the preceding line and the word blode in the b-verse, which holds the position that often reinforces the alliteration of the a-verse. The word whyt has a French-derived alliterating synonym of greater difficulty. See MED blaunk adj. and OED blanch a.

215 the1. T: that. This line lacking in alliteration appears in all three texts.

216-17 that it suld twyn swa / So yare. "that it should break apart in such a way, so completely." The distinction between swa (OED so adv., significations grouped under I) and so (OED so adv., signfications grouped under III) is maintained in both MSS. Only swa appears in a rhyming position. This distincion holds as well for alswa (same meaning as swa) and affects editorial decisions at lines 178 (note) and 470.

219 Bot. A (adopted by G and GW); T: And; omitted in W.

stode hir by. W; A: was hir by (adopted by G); T: was by.

221 Was. T; AW: That was. The repetition of that is likely to be scribal.

222 Yitt. AW (adopted by G); T: than.

cuth. ATW: spake. Alliteration reveals the original word to have been a form of quoth pronounced with an initial hard c. See MED quethen v. — listing northern spellings cothe, cod, kod, and cuth — and OED quoth v.

a. T: that; W: the.

223 Unto. T: Until; W: To.

myld Moder. T: modir dere; W: moder so mylde. The readings in A and W preserve the alliterative adjective myld.

226 to thi moder, for to myrth the. W; A: to thi moder Mary to the. T: thi moder now to the; G emends: thi moder now moder to the; GW emend: mi moder now moder to the. The sense of the line — a problem in both MSS — is clarified by W, which was unknown to previous editors. The biblical reference is to John 19.26-27.

227 to abyde. TW: for to byde.

228 hert. T; A: syd; W: sydes. Hert offers the better alliterative a-verse. Even though the line has poor alliteration in itself, blode carries on the alliteration of the preceding line, and see begins s-alliteration in the next line. The variants in A and W can be explained as scribes supplying the usual tradition of blind Longinus, which told of his piercing the side of Christ and regaining eyesight when touched by drops of Christ's blood. The story is based upon John 19.34 and the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus, and it influenced the Holy Grail legend of Arthurian romance. See the ME Harrowing of Hell (ed. Hulme, pp. lxviii-lxix) and York Play 36 (ed. Beadle, p. 330).

228-29 These lines are out of place in T, where they are copied as the first two lines of the stanza (before line 222); G and GW emended by following the line order of A. That the arrangement of lines in A (and W) is better than in T can be seen by the syntax of the bob That day, which follows more logically upon line 229 than line 227. Such an error would match the pattern found in other cases of T's rearranged lines, in which omitted lines are inserted later in the octave. See notes to lines 57 and 513-15.

229 soght be a spere-schafte. AW: soght be a spere-schafte fra; T: rane by the spere-schafte fra. The reading in AW preserves alliteration, as Oakden noted (p. 210). However, the preposition fra, found in all three texts, makes sense only in T, "the blood ran down the spere from his wounds." In the other versions, Longinus's spear "seeks" or explores the wounds, the direct object of soght.

231 sorow. AT: dole; W: pyte. On the formula of the wheel, see note to lines 179-82.

235 ded on. T; A: on; W: take of.

236 lay. T: it lay.

237 The fourte for wa falowed and syghed full sare. The texts read:
A: The fourte fela for wa syghed full sare;
T: The ferthe lefe than falowede and syghede full sare;
W: The fourth for woo fell and syghed full sare.
The poet seems to prefer the pattern in TW (axa/bb) over the pattern in A (aax/bb). A and W point to the probability that for wa provided both a stave and soundplay with either felawe or falowed. The emendation adopted here relies on clues from all three texts; compare, too, line 274. G emends T by substituting fela for lefe.

238 Al the treuth of this world was in a trew may. T's line begins with the word And but otherwise agrees with A. W reads: With truth of the worlde was with the true maye. The elements of the opening situation have been recombined, the maiden's wayward distress (lines 16-22) transforming to Mary's stable faith. The phrase of this world repeats line 236; it and treuth may have replaced an original phrase, both alliterative and suitable in context: mirth of this mold; see MED mold(e n., sense 3(b).

239 If. T: thof; W: Thoughe. This usage of if ("even if, though") probably reflects the poet's usage (see also lines 353 and 423).

marde. ATW: ded. The word ded disrupts the meter; marde, past participle of mar, "hinder, stop, interrupt," gives a more nuanced meaning that fits the subject and provides soundplay with the rhyme-word mare. Compare Liffe's accusation of Death's boasting, concerning Christ's death, in the northern alliterative poem Death and Liffe: "How thou hast wasted this world sith wights were first, / Ever murthered and marde, thou makes thy avant" (lines 365-66; ed. Joseph M. P. Donatelli [Cambridge, Mass.: Medieval Academy of America, 1989], p. 50).

myghte. T: myghtis; G emends: myghtie.

241 it. T: thay; omitted in W.

242 and. T: with.

243 Ful yare. "very readily, eagerly." This sense for yare is not cited in the OED (yare), but it is easily construed from the adjective yare, "ready, prepared."

244 hand. TW: handis.

245 syne. T: sythen; W: sayth.

246 bale. T: balis.

248 sary. AW (adopted by G and GW); T: that sary.

was. W; A: wex (by attraction to next line); T: was full.

249 syght. A (adopted by G and GW); T: light; W: the syght.

wox unfayn. T: wexe al unfayne; W: was nothynge fayne. The x followed by a vowel creates the line's third s-alliterating stave.

250 bowes. ATW: comes. Form and alliteration strongly indicate this word has been supplanted by comes, a synonym that could be very similar in appearance.

trow. T: hope. This word may also be a substitution, and, if so, for a word beginning with w (wot, "think," or wen, "expect").

251 What art thou, fayr face?' fast gon Hym frayn. The texts read:
A: What art thou with thi fayr face gun he Hym frayn;
T: What art thou with thi fare faste gon he frayne;
W: What art thou with thy fayre face thus dyd hym frayne.
The differing interpretations are of interest. In A and W Satan asks Christ who he is, having such a fair countenance. In T Satan asks Christ who he is and what is his business (fare) in hell.

253 thar thou noghte layn. A (adopted by G); T: now thare the noghte layne; W: thou sholde not layne.

254 thi way. TW: away.

us. T: me.

al. The word is probably an adjective, "us all," rather than an adverb, "entirely mad." Compare line 326, mad us al fre.

257Kyng. A: Kynlg (scribal error).

259-60 barres . . . bandes. T: bandis . . . barres. The action can be visualized as follows: The fiends frantically bolt the doors with bars, the bars crack and break, and the doors burst from the hinges. The verbs accompanying the respective nouns — barres breke and bandes brast — seem to suit them and argue somewhat in favor of the word order found in A and W and against the T version. Compare, however, the same scene in different versions of the ME Harrowing of Hell (ed. Hulme, pp. 110-11); two MSS read bandes al brast where the other two read barres tobrast.

262 Al. W; AT: & al. The ampersand of A and T is a scribal addition.

He. T; A: he written after deleted th; W: them.

263 Tharof David, His derlyng, mad myrth imell. The texts read:
A: David, His derlyng, mad myrth tharof imell;
T: Davyd his derlynge made myrthe ther emelle;
W: Davyd his derlynge made myrthe them amonge.
Scansion of this line in all three texts suggests four lifts in the a-verse, a real peculiarity: aabb/xb. The emended version scans more regularly, axa/bb, with a secondary vocalic alliteration in His and imell. The source for David's epithet is 1 Samuel 13.14. The definition of imell is uncertain: (1) "concerning this, about this" (the MED's meaning, but redundant with tharof); (2) "in the midst" (N. Davis, ed., Sir Gawain and the Green Knight [line 1451], p. 198); or (3) "altogether, utterly" (the MED's meaning for the word in Gawain).

264 a. TW: an.

and well hedyd. T: and weldide it; W: he harped. For the verb, see MED heden v.(2), sense (d), "to heed, comply." The sense "headed up, took the lead" is rare before the seventeenth century and is cited only in transitive use; see OED head v., sense III.9, and the example from The Pistel of Swete Susan, line 188. Alternatively, hedyd is a mistake for he dyd, "he played [the harp]," as the line is understood in both T and W. The variants attest to scribal difficulty over the line.

265 retenew. An adjective seems missing from the a-verse. Possibilities include ryche, royall, or trew.

owt gon He tell. For the idiom tellen out, "separate out by counting," see OED tell v., senses under II, especially 23a, and MED tellen v., sense 17(b).

266 of. T: for.

267 snell. T: felle; W: wyde. The reading in A may be better than that in T because it adds alliteration on s (although a fourth alliterating stave is not metrically necessary). A confusion between calligraphic s and f is not unusual; it helps to account for variant readings at lines 340, 384, 408, and 481.

268 bon. T; AW: gud. The reading in T is adopted because it alliterates and is the more difficult word. Gud is likely to be a gloss upon its rare French-derived synonym.

boght. TW: broghte. With broght(e) occurring elsewhere in the stanza twice, boght is the stronger reading. It adds consonantal repetition, and it completes the metaphor couching the redemption of mankind in terms of a commercial transaction: I was sald . . . My bon chylder ar boght. Compare similar language at lines 245 and 333.

272 blyssed. Omitted in T.

273 holy gost. As GW note, "The reference is not to the Holy Ghost, . . . but to the soul of Christ, which . . . now returned to the body to raise it to life" (p. 26). Nonetheless, the poet may be inviting some ambiguity; compare line 111 and note.

274 lufe. TW: trewlufe.

falow is. T: falowede; W: was folden.

274-79 These lines summarize the persons of the Truelove, with the wordplay upon lef and luf ending on lyf in the sixth line. The titles given to Mary underscore her familial relationship to the Trinity: Mother of Christ, Maiden-Daughter of the Father, Wife of the Holy Ghost. The miracle of the Annunciation attains its end in the Harrowing. See Nicholas Love, Mirror, where the kinships willingly adopted by Mary are seen as necessary to man's reconciliation to God:
This day [Feast of the Annunciation] was chosen of the fadere of heven in to his dere douhter and of the Son in to his mylde modere, and of the holi gost in to his speciale spouse. This day is also a special solempnite of alle the blessed spirites of heven for this day was begunne the restoryng of hire company and felaschipe that felle done by synne of Lucifere. (ed. Sargent, p. 27, lines 8-11)
Mary's tie of dutiful kinship to God begins the process by which all humans can return to God as Father.

275 leved moder, mayden. W: lefte mayde moder.

276 wyghte. ATW: of myghte. "Strong, powerful"; see OED wight a. The error in all three texts ruins the alliteration of the a-verse. The original can be discerned not only from the form myght but also from the play on w existing in the b-verse and wyf (line 275).

278 Raysed Thai. W: They reysed up. The word raysed, from all three texts, is suspect. The b-verse suggests a word beginning with tw, such as twyght, "pulled or plucked up"; see OED twitch v.1.

betwen. T: bytwixe.

279 grace. T; A: the myghtht; W: myght. Alliteration is problematic in much of this stanza; the original of this line may have been: Thurght grace of the godhed, He growed unto lyf.

280 a. T: the. The a-verse is deficient in alliteration.

284 mett Mary. W; A: mete with Mary; T: mett with the. The version in A is hypermetric. The choice is between either W, adopted here, or T, which omits Mary. The scriptural authority for this episode is Mark 16.9.

286 lech. The word is part of the medicinal metaphor that informs the poem. See note to line 515.

gode. A: ful gu . .; TW: gude. Spelling is adopted for rhyme. The poet normally closes the wheel with a five-syllable line. When an intensifying adverb, such as ful, occurs in one version only, it may be an instance of scribal emphasis. T contains the adverb ful more often than does A (see notes to lines 101, 248, and 375), while A, in general, presents more compact readings. This line provides an exception to this tendency.

287 went. T: yode.

the. W: Mari.

and with. T: in hir.

287-99 The poet's account of the events of Christ's resurrection draws upon, and conflates for dramatic purpose, three separate biblical passages: Mark 16.11, in which Mary Magdalene tells the disciples of the event; John 20.25, in which Thomas doubted the other apostles; and Luke 24.10-11, in which the apostles would not believe the three women (see GW, p. 26). In the poet's narrative Thomas becomes the spokesman for all the disciples and Mary for all the women. For other ME treatments of Thomas's doubt, see York Play 45 (ed. Beadle, pp. 392-94); C. W. Marx, "The Virtues of Skepticism: A Medieval Interpretation of Thomas's Doubt," Neophilologus 71 (1987), 296-304; and Lawton (1989), 160-61.

288 this tithandes. T: thies tythynges; W: the tydynges. See note to line 157.

Thomas of Ynde. St. Thomas the Apostle, who according to medieval tradition preached in India.

289 How Crist is resyn all hale, that bled His hart blod. The texts read:
A: Crist is resyn agayn that sched his hart blod;
T: Criste es resyn alle hale that schede his hert blode;
W: How Cryst was rysen agayne that sched his hert blode.
The combined evidence of T and W helps to restore alliteration on h in the a-verse, and the phrase in T (alle hale) continues the medical metaphor of line 286. On the emendation of sched to bled, see note to line 202.

290 Trew now. T; A: Trew thou now, with thou interlined; W: Trave (= traw? The reading is uncertain because the top of the word has been cut off by the binder). The a-verse is more effective without the word added for emphasis by the A scribe.

291 Than. T: And than.

292 carpand. A (adopted by G and GW); T: of carpynge; W: be talkynge.

293 trew. T: leve; W: byleve. With some straining, one can find vocalic alliteration in this line: he/trew/it//Hymselfe/yode. None of the variants helps. The shift in this stanza (more apparent in A) from the verb lefe to the verb trew for "believe" may mark an emphasis on the theme of truth in stanzas 23-26.

or. T: that; W: tyll.

294 Apperyd. A (adopted by G); T: or he appered; W: And apered.

as clarkes has in mynd. For the idiom see MED mind(e) n.(1), sense 5. A different word, such as prestes, could, however, bring alliteration to the b-verse, and might be more specific to the subject of belief.

298 trewyd. T: levede; W: byleved.

300 Furth went. The weak opening of this stanza echoes line 287, the beginning of the preceding stanza. There is probably the loss of an s-word.

the soth for to say. T: a soth for to say. GW point out the important difference between this version, which expresses Christ's purpose, and the reading in T, which is a mere metrical tag (p. 27).

301 He soght. T: he yode to; W: To seke.

dyssyples. W; A: dyciplys; T: discypills. The reading is the same in all three texts, but the spelling in W is adopted because it best highlights the alliteration with soght.

taght thaim the treuth. T: and taghte tham trewthe; W: that ever were.

302 And syne to. T: And sythen to; W: Sayth to. There may be the loss of an l-word here. Perhaps syne to has replaced layted, "search for, seke," a form similar to the variant in W; see OED lait v.2 and MED leiten v.(2).

that Lady that He lufed ay. Perhaps the poet's pronunciation of Lady was "lef(e)di." If so, there is here a play upon the aural likeness to lufed aye. Similar, if less dramatic, soundplays would also occur in lines 34 and 145.

303 hurte. TW: hurtes.

304 The quiet constancy of Mary stands in direct contrast to several derogatory comments about the nature of women; compare, for example, the bird to the maiden (stanza 5), Thomas to Mary Magdalene (stanza 23), and the depiction of proud ladies (stanzas 36-37).

307 Syn. T: sythen; W: Then.

with gamen and glew. Adopted by G and GW; A: with gamen and with glew; T: gamen . . . glew . . .; W: myrthes ynowe. The a-verse has clearly lost alliteration.

308 even. TW; A: ev . . .

310 gode. AT: gud; W: good. The word elsewhere rhymes with yode, rod(e) ("rood"), flode, blod, and mode (lines 286, 329, 513). The spelling in A, consistently gud, has been emended throughout to gode.

312 Mary's ascension to heaven marks another moment of transcendent reunion: "when she was endlesly thorh plente of Charite knyt to hire blesed son Jesu and he to hire" (Love, Mirror, ed. Sargent, p. 29, lines 18-20); compare notes to lines 115 and 274-79.

313 lufe. TW: trewlufe.

314 The alliterative pattern suggests that j (which is vocalic) alliterates with h: hafe/ joy/hart//gentil/Chyld. The sounds are also paired in lines 146, 163, and 183 (see note).

316 bylde. W; A: belde; T: b . . . . Spelling emended for rhyme. For the verb, see MED bilden v., "to dwell, settle, live." The verb appears with the Holy Ghost in the context of the Annunciation in Ecce ancilla Domini: "Tho holy goste will in thee bildon" (ed. Chambers and Sidgwick, p. 113).

317 same. T: samen; W: hole.

and. T: thase.

Thre. ATW. An editorial error committed by GW has caused confusion about this line in the MSS. GW omitted the word thre, which appears in both MSS (as iij in T). Smithers noted the error and pointed out that G had printed the proper rhyme-word (p. 53). Wrenn checked A only, noted that it had the proper word, and criticized GW for not giving "greater attention to the Oxford text" (p. 376). Later, in an analysis of W, N. F. Blake wrote:
In one instance WW has a rhyme which may represent the original one not found in either of the extant manuscripts. At line 317 thre . . . is missing in both B.M. and Bod. But as the reviser has a line of his own very much like this one at line 82 and as he was attentive to the rhyme, we cannot be certain that this rhyme is original, though it seems probable. (p. 196)
Blake failed to determine that line 82 appears in A and that both A and T have the rhyme-word thre needed at line 317.

319 Trewfull. TW: trewlufe. This curious word recurs at line 326, and at line 339 scribe A wrote trewfull but corrected it to trewlufe. Possibly scribe A was mistaken here too and failed to correct himself. It is also possible, however, that this new word represents an authorial play upon ideas and sounds, analogous to the wordplay in ful lufly (line 67); for this reason the unique readings in A are retained. Trewfull would here mean "truthful one" (i.e., Christ). Truth has become a dominant theme throughout the depiction of Christ's Resurrection (compare note to line 293 and Christ's role teaching the treuth trew [line 301]). At line 326 the word may also contain a triple pun: "truthful one," "tree-full" (that is, the Cross bearing its burden), and "trefoil" (the Trinity). GW suggest the last meaning (see their notes to lines 42, 81, and 319). For a similar wordplay in other alliterative poems, compare Awntyrs 510: "Trifeled withe tranes [var.: trayfoyles, "trefoils"] and true-loves bitwene," and Plant-Names 49: "Tomesyn with trefoyles and trewlovys feyre."

320 lufys that. T: leves in ther; W: trysteth on that.

be begyld. T; AW: be gyled. The spelling found in T (bigyled) has been emended for rhyme; compare line 345.

322 ilka. T: ilk; omitted in W.

324 Whar. T: ther.

325 joy. TW; A: day. The reading in T and W preserves the vocalic alliteration. The error in A appears to derive from the occurrence of day in the preceding line.

326 hase. T; A: iase (scribal error); W: hathe.

326 Trewfull. TW: trewlufe. See note to line 319.

327 bodyes. ATW: saules. Alliteration indicates that the original word was bodyes. The change in meaning would seem to be insignificant, since bodies and souls both suffer death, and the argument is extended to souls in line 329. This error shared by all three texts shows an earlier reviser of the poem editing out alliteration for "improved" doctrine. The stanzas with the worst alliteration tend to be those that use the theology of the Trinity and Mary to explicate divine events. From a metrical point of view, one can suspect tampering at those points.

bondage. TW; A: bondag, dag written over deleted ga.

328 gyftys. T: giffes; W: gave.

329 owr awn gode. A: owr awn gud; T: our awen goode; W: ony worldes good. Spelling of gode is emended for rhyme; compare note to line 310.

332 Than. T: For than.

333 haly with His. W: with his holy.

hert blod. W; A: awn blod; T: hert . . . . The reading in TW preserves the better word for alliteration.

336 Byd. T: Bot; W: And byd.

339 Blyssyd. The original word may have been Belufyd.

Trewluf. TW; A: trewluf, originally trewfull, but scribe deleted full and wrote luf above it. If scribe A's copying of trewfull at lines 319 and 326 is correct, the poet's return here to the word truelove is appropriate, for now the reference is to the foursome of Mary and the Trinity, and to the four-leaved herb paris that carries the conceit.

340 in faye. T: at assaye. On this variant, see note to line 267.

341 wrethed. TW; A: grevyd. T and W preserve the alliterating word.

341 thre. W; AT: thar thre lefes; G reads T: the thre lefes. The length of the line in A and T, beside the compact line in W, suggests that an earlier scribe added superfluous words to make the conceit more explicit.

342 gode. AT: gud; W: good. See note to line 310.

for. W: us, an interesting variant that seems to add vocalic alliteration.

342-47 On the conception of Mary as queen and mediator, see GW's note, which lists several other significant instances in ME, including Pearl, lines 441-42 (pp. 28-29). To this list may be added The Dispute between Mary and the Cross, lines 456-59 (edited in this volume).

344 And sare wepes. W: Sore wepynge. Wepes might be a substitute for a synonym beginning with s, such as sobbes or sorows.

gray. The eye color is probably what we would call light blue. "Gray" is the standard color for beautiful eyes in ME literature. Eyn seems to alliterate with owr in the a-verse, even though owr may not receive primary stress.

345 grett. ATW: full. The loss of this synonym is indicated by the alliteration.

els whar we. A (adopted by G and GW); T: and ells were we; W: alas we were.

346 For. Omitted in TW.

pray. The context requires the definition "prey." The MED, however, cites no examples of the Virgin Mary winning prey, and only one of Christ. The predatory term is more commonly used of the devil, as one might expect. See MED prei(e) n.(2), sense 3(c). Another noun preie (a back formation from the verb preien), meaning a "request" or "a prayer," does not suit the context.

350 knele. TW; A: knell. Spelling emended for rhyme.

352 Nis no wyght in this werld so dern nor so dere. The texts read:
A: Thar is no wyght in this werld so dern nor so dere;
T: Now es no wighte in this werlde so dewe ne so dere;
W: There is none in this worlde so doughtye nor so dere.
The emended opening of the stanza effectively begins the negatives and n-alliteration carried on (secondarily) in the next two lines. The definition of dern wanted here, "trusted, discreet," is rare, but compare a line from Cursor Mundi, "This Moyses was ful dern and dere to Drightin" (line 6509). See MED derne adj., sense 4(a). G adopted the reading dern from A; GW define the reading in T, dewe, as "proper, true" (p. 29).

353 ne no. T; A: ne; W: nor. The reading in T is adopted for improved meter.

yf. T: thof; W: thoughe. Compare notes to lines 239 and 423.

354 Ne nan so. T; A: Ne no; W: Nor no.

355 Dede. T; AW: deth. The spelling in T is adopted because ded(e) is the northern form used everywhere else in the poem (lines 166, 279, 437, and 484 [a rhyme-word; see note]).

356 Us lyst. A (adopted by G and GW); T: liste us; W: Yet lyst us.

preste. TW; A: peste (mark for r omitted).

357 fele. TW; A: fell. Compare the emended spelling at line 350.

with swelt and with swown. A: with swelt or with swone; T: we swelte and we swoun; W: with swelte and with swowne. And has been adopted from TW and the spelling of swown adopted from W. The noun swelt, rare in surviving ME, appears to be a medical term (MED swelt(e n.).

360 fone. "few," a northern word. On the etymology, see MED fon num. The word does not appear in W, in which the bob has been embellished and added to line 362: Syth put in a pyt and erth upon us done.

362 syen. T: sythen; W: Syth.

pytt. T; A: pyte; W: pyt. T's spelling yields better rhyme.

363 whytt. ATW: qwytt. The spelling is emended in accord with the northern wh- found for qw- elsewhere in A; compare notes to lines 161 and 396. The emended word appears to add w-alliteration; compare lines 49 and 502, where when appears to alliterate with w-words.

365 For. W; AT: Bot for. Bot recurs in line 367, which would have been copied below this line. Many line-opening conjunctive words appear to be explanatory connectors that could be scribal in origin. Lines often read better without them.

366 Ware we. AW: And we ware; T: And we be. The word And (= "if") is again explanatory and probably scribal, added after these two words were inverted. The meter of the line does not require, but does point to, this emendation.

saules. W; A: sales (an aberrant spelling); T: saule.

we suld. A: we schuld; T: that we sall; W: they sholde. The northern spelling suld, characteristic of both MSS, is adopted; see note to line 1.

368 Ne. Omitted in T; W: Nor.

in. T: bi.

tharof. TW: that tharof.

369 How fell ne how fayr. T: how felle wayes ne how ferre; W: How ferre and how fele. The spellings in A suggest the presence of a pun ("cruelly/favorably" and "much/far"), while only the "much/far" interpretation appears in TW. See MED fallen v., sense 34a(c), for the idiom faire falles him, "he comes (to something) by luck or good fortune." On the spelling fayr for "far" (and another possible pun), compare note to line 44. GW translate the phrase in T as: "what hard ways nor how far" (p. 29) As they point out, the sense of contrast and the singular way found in A (lines 369-70) are more faithful to the biblical reference Matthew 7.13-14.

fare. TW; A: fayre. Spelling fare (which is typical elsewhere in A) is adopted for rhyme; compare line 374.

370 way is. T: wayes are; W: wayes is.

371 passes. AT: comes; W: cometh. The reading in ATW is a weak substitution for a verb probably beginning with p. This word is the likeliest candidate.

372 may. T; A: sal; W: shall. The interplay of m and w in the a-verse is typical of the style of the poem, making the variant in T the better choice.

374 fare. TW; A: fayre. See note to line 369.

375 thare. T: full yare; W: there. On the thorn/yogh confusion, see note to line 57.

377 paynes. The original word may have been the relatively rare northern word stanges, "stings, pains," which would offer soundplay with strang and lang, as well as alliteration. See MED stang n.(2), sense (c).

are so. W: be full.

378 gret fyres grym. W; AT: gret fyres and grym.

ar graythed. T; A: ar geder; W: be made. The frequent alliterative collocation of greithen and gate strengthens the likelihood that the reading in T is the original one. See MED greithen v., senses 1a and 5.

gate. TW; A: gayte. Spelling emended for rhyme.

379 Thar is. T; A: Is thar; W: Then is there. The lift on is, linking it to the vocalic alliteration of the b-verse, works best in the word order of T.

glasyng by. T; A: gladynge; W: glosynge. The meaning of the word found in T, "slipping by, missing the mark," is especially appropriate for the context, and W's reading lends support to its adoption. See MED glacen v. and glacinge ger. The reading in A has a weaker meaning, "rejoicing," and is plausibly a misreading of glasynge.

bus. "must." The word is a northern and north midland form of bihoves. See MED bihoven v.

382 cry efter. T: calle on oure.

kynred. A (adopted by G); T: kynredyn; W: kynne folke.

383 frayst of that fare, feld. T; A: of that fayr felled; W: felte the fyer fayled.

384 of. W (adopted by GW, who were unaware of W); AT: is. The cause for confusion is easily discerned in the physical similarity between es and of (see note to line 267). The alliterative pattern of the a-verse is vocalic: al/owre/ sorow.

no certan. T: na certayne ende. Certan continues the alliteration on s.

wate. The verb is the subjunctive first-person plural of wait, not the present first-person plural of wit, as glossed by GW (p. 47). The meaning is "may count on, expect."

385 trest. Syntactically parallel to wate, this verb is also the subjunctive, not the infinitive or noun, as suggested by GW (p. xiii).

mercy. The original word may have been treuth.

391 we hafe to. TW: that we hafe.

392 umbethynk. T: umthynke; W: remembre.

393 When that brym Lord above His bemes sall blaw. The texts read:
A: That gret lord and brym when his bemes sall blaw;
T: That gret lorde and that grym when his bemys sall blawe;
W: Whan the grete lorde above his bemes shall blowe.
The b-verse in AT violates the metrical rules for the number of dips between lifts (Duggan, pp. 570, 578 n. 29). By repositioning when, W provides a metrical reading; it also supplies the alliterating word above. The second alliterating word in the a-verse is to be found in A, brym. The variants can be explained as attempts, first, to gloss brym (AW), and, then, to correct alliteration in the a-verse (T).

394 And the Hy Justyse sall syt in His gret syse. The texts read:
A: And that Hy Justyse sall syte in His syse;
T: And the hey justys sall sytt apon a ful gret sysse;
W: And hye Justyse shall syt in his trone.
Adoption of gret from T improves the length of the b-verse. On the emended spelling sytt, compare notes to lines 284 and 362.
Here begins an extended metaphor of the Last Judgment as a legal courtroom proceeding; the analogy continues through stanza 35. GW cite several ME analogues to this very common medieval conception (p. 30).

395 folke. This word looks to be a substitute for a word beginning with r, w, or wr. The original word could have been wyghtes, "creatures" (see note to line 488), or rynks, "men, warriors" (OED rink sb.1). A medieval reviser has preferred a more homely term.

396 Than. AT; omitted in W.

whelled. ATW: ded. The word found in the texts must have been substituted for the synonym beginning in wh (qu) used by the poet at line 161.

upryse. TW: sal up rysse.

397 schrynk. ATW: lett. The word in the texts has the appropriate meaning, "refrain (from), hinder," but it lacks alliteration. The standard alliterative phrase is schrynkes for schame, "draws back in shame"; compare Death and Liffe, line 400; and Gologras and Gawain, line 1077.

scham. T: chance. A and W preserve the alliterating word. Smithers criticized GW for failing to adopt the superior reading from A (p. 53).

schaw. AT: schewe; W: showe. Compare line 416. The northern spelling is indicated by the rhyme.

398 maynpryse. This legal term refers to the release of a prisoner by somebody's undertaking to act as surety for his appearance at court. The reference to a fee implies the payment of bail as part of the maynpryse. The legal language is, of course, a figurative way to say that there is no release from the final reckoning. On the inability of kinfolk to help souls in this plight (in this and the last stanza) compare the general theme of kinship in the poem (note to line 274-79).

402 owre. TW: a. On the evidence of T and W, this word may be an error, caused by attraction to the word in the two preceding lines. There is, however, no need to emend.

crysom. Probably "christening robe," but the meaning is uncertain. The term usually refers simply to the cloth wrapped about the head of a newly baptized infant, but the context implies a garment of some sort. See MED crisme n., sense 2(a), where this line is cited.

alane. AW (adopted by GW); T: onane.

404 ar. W: be, an interesting reading because it may add a secondary alliteration upon b. Ar is worth retaining, however, for its support of h/vowel alliteration in the b-verse.

courte. AW (adopted by G); T: count. Both readings fit the context, but A and W more directly conform to the courtroom metaphor.

behoves us. T; A: us behoves; W: us behoveth. Duggan's note that the b-verse in T is unmetrical is in error; he probably meant the b-verse of line 405 (p. 578 n. 29), which is suitable in A. The b-verse of A in this line is, however, unmetrical, which is why T has been adopted.

405-06 T has two variant lines:
Ther all sall be soyttures bothe the bonde and the free
The saulles and the bodyes that lange hafe bene sere.
GW read hase for hafe. Soyttures, "petitioners," is another legal term; see MED sutour n., senses 2 and 3.

407 Tham behoves to be sam at that sembelee. The texts read:
A: Behoves to be sam at that sembelee;
T: Tham [behov]es samen come unto that semelye;
W: Behoveth to be present at the semble.
T's word tham has been adopted to improve the line found in A; it adds to the th/m consonance. The alliterative pattern is formally aab/xb: behoves/be/sam// that/sembelee. It is fascinating to note how in lines 405-08 a continuous interplay of the sounds [b] and [s] reinforces the subject of bodies and souls.

408 And ilke. T: ilk a; W: Every.

sall. T; A: sale (an aberrant spelling); W: shall.

to. T: at.

fett. T; A: seche; W: seke after. The reading in T is adopted because: (1) it is the harder reading; (2) it better suits the context (fetching the bodies, not searching for them, describes the souls' task); and (3) the error is attributable to the common confusion between s and f, more often found in A than in T (see note to line 267).

409 Then. ATW: Whan. Emended for sense.

411 And never sal sonder efter that day be. The other texts read:

T: And nevere sall sonderyng fra that day be;
W: Never more to sonder after that daye be.

413 and. A (adopted by G and GW); T: in.

scord. This verb apears to have been rare in the fourteenth century. See MED scoren v., sense (d), and OED score v., sense 13.

414 rowle of record. "document recording the official list, or material points, of a cause of law"; see OED roll sb.1, senses 2 and 3; MED rolle n., sense 1b). According to GW, "The phrase continues the conception of the Last Judgment as a trial of law, the 'roll' being the legal equivalent of 'the books' in Revelations xx. 12" (p. 31).

415 that ilke. W: the. On the word ilke elsewhere, see note to line 510.

416 schaply. AT; W: scharply; G and GW misread T and print scharply.

schaw. T; A: schew; W: showe. The spelling of T has been adopted for the rhyme. Compare note to line 397.

418 Tremland. T; A: tremband; W: Tremblynge. The northern variant spelling of T is adopted on the chance that the poet wanted the initial consonants of both syllables heard for alliteration, that is, both tr and l.

schakand. T: qwakande; W: quakynge.

on a. AW; T: appon.

419 When al the warld is umbsett with water and fire. The texts read:
A: When al is unbesett with with water and fire;
T: When alle umbsett with water and with fyre;
W: Whan all the world is set with water and fyre.
Again, the best line derives from combined evidence because none of the surviving texts exhibits a fully alliterating line. T's umbsett is emended by G to is umbsett, by GW to is unbesett. GW cite two other English representations of the world's ending in water and fire: Cursor Mundi and the OE Be Domes Dæge (p. 31).

420 fle. T: flye.

421 greved. TW; A: grewed (probably to be read grevved).

422 synfull saulles. AW: synfull wreches; T: a synfull wreche. Alliteration is lost; the word saulles restores it and fits with the play upon ll in the line. The error may have originated as an omission after synfull.

He. AW (adopted by G and GW); T: we.

thar sall. T: sall ther.

423 Dare. TW: than dare.

yf. T: thofe. The usage in W, when it was probably archaic, helps to confirm yf = "though" in the poet's usage; compare lines 239 and 353.

myght desyre. AW: wald desyre; T: wold gyff hyre. The auxiliary verb is changed to the form that alliterates; the error is common throughout the three texts. The reading in T is odd even in the context of the legal metaphor. Translating the phrase in T to mean "though she would give payment," GW remark that:
The idea may be that Mary would be willing to repay her faithful servitors by pleading for them at the Last Judgement, but, as the sentence stands, it seems to mean that Mary would be willing to bribe the Judge to have mercy on sinners. (p. 31)
424 to. T: till.

429 For. A (adopted by G and GW); T: Fo.

430 The. T: Than the.

warkes of mercy. That is, the Seven Corporal Works of Mercy (as distinguished from the Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy). The classification is medieval, but based upon Christ's words to his disciples at the Last Supper (Matthew 25.42-45), of which this stanza is a paraphrase. GW refer to two depictions of the motif in medieval art: Van der Weyden's triptych in the Madrid Museum and the illuminated Biblia sacra (pp. 31-32). For a collection of ME references, see MED merci n. 5(g).

He rakynys all seven. T; A: he sall rakyn tham seven; W: he wyll reken them seven. The b-verses in A and W are unmetrical, according to the rules extracted by Duggan (p. 570). In this line it appears that war- alliterates with r-, and the second syllable of mercy alliterates with seven, in the pattern axb/ab.

431 When. T: When that.

432 was thrysty. T: askede yow a drynk.

hard. T: ne harde.

433 When. T: and when.

434 me. TW: ye me.

even. AW (adopted by G and GW); T: never. See note to line 436.

435 vysett. TW: vesett me.

436 comforth. TW: comforthede me.

wald I here neven. A (adopted by G and GW); T: wolde ye here never; W: worde I here meven. T loses the rhyme words (even/neven) in line 434 and this line by substituting phrases of negative accusation that conform to the biblical reference, but these insertions do not fit the pattern of the stanza, which is interrogatory in the fashion of a legal proceeding.

437 beryall. TW: berying.

me by-sted. T; AW: had me sted. The reading in T provides alliteration.

439 whare. TW: when.

440 Ever. AW (adopted by G and GW); T: Everer.

441 The. TW; A: ye. A's reading is clearly incorrect and again exemplifies the confusion between thorn and yogh (see note to line 57).

443 wil schew. W; A: sal schew; T: schall schew. The reading in W preserves alliteration; A is a misreading. Thornton (or a predecessor) has tried to supply alliteration by writing the midland spelling schall, but this spelling is uncharacteristic of both MSS. Moreover, both sall and suld are used by the poet to alliterate with s; see notes to line 1 and 57.

us His. W; A: us; T: his. W preserves the best reading for this line, and, as a combination of the evidence in A and T, it has a degree of likelihood. Both pronouns are probably original, with the error in each case caused by the need to copy two short but similar words.

444 wytter. T; AW: bytter. The reading in T is the rarer, as well as the alliterating, word and is more likely original than the reading in A and W. A hastily formed w could have been mistaken for a b. For similar errors see notes to lines 119 and 188.

445 bus. T: than sall; W: must.

446 abyd. T: habyde. Compare line 4.

447 nane. AW (adopted by G and GW); T: for nane.

448 ne prelates nor persons. T: and persones and prelatis; W: nor prelates or persones; G emends persones: parsones. The inverted word order of T helps to confirm that persons is to be defined "parsons." The line depicts ecclesiastics of various rank.

449 Thar. T: Thies; omitted in W.

juellars. T; A: the domes men; W: juges; G and GW: mellarse (a misreading of T). The readings of A and W are glosses of the more difficult word in T, "jewellers," which is understood specifically as "appraisors, evaluators of worth." The contrast is between those who hold judgmental power over earthly things (judges and jewelers) and the power of God as the ultimate judge over them.

or. TW: and. The reading in A does not significantly differ in meaning from that of the variant.

452 Thar. TW; A: The. The reading in TW is adopted because it enhances the play upon the rhyme-sound -ar.

456 Rych ladyes ar arayed in robes full yare. The texts read:
A: There rych lades has robes full yare;
T: Thire ladyes are arayede in robys ful yare;
W: Ryche ladyes that hath robes full yare.
The superfluous word there breaks the crisp style of the alliterating lists in stanzas 35-36; it is most certainly scribal. While T has lost the alliterating word rych, it is the only text to preserve arayed ar along with the characteristic echoes in ar, continued from the preceding wheel and in the stanza's rhyme-words. The word yare is more likely an adjective modifying robes ("elaborate") than an adverb; this meaning, not in the OED, is easily construed from the word's semantic range. For other medieval critiques of female extravagance, see Knight of La Tour-Landry (chap. 47-49, 53) and Cursor (p. 1550).

457 Reveres and rybanes on gownes and gyd. The texts read:
A: Reveres and rybane gown and gyd;
T: Revers and rebanes with gownne and with gyde;
W: Ryches and rubyes with gownes full wyde.
Reveres, "parts of garments turned back so as to exhibit the under-surface," is a French-derived word of rare usage; see MED revers(e n. The plurals rybanes and gownes are adopted from T and W, respectively, because they better fit the context with line 458. The preposition on also fits the sense better than does with.

458 botonys. T; AW: meroures. T preserves the alliterating word.

459 perry. TW; A: perly. The word perry for "jewels" is standard in alliterative collocations; the word can also mean "pearl," which helps to explain the reading in A.

460 cowched on. T: at covere; W: that coucheth on. Both T and W agree on an added word that. In W, however, which keeps the word on, the word that may be an addition by the reviser to clarify the syntax. It is not necessary for sense.

461 schynand. T; A: semand; W: shynynge. W corroborates the word in T, which provides better alliteration than does the word in A. A's sem could plausibly have derived from a misread scin.

syd. T: hyde. The variant in T, meaning "skin," is of interest and preserves the rhyme, but it is somewhat inferior to syd, since the stanza concerns the ladies' external adornment. Moreover, syd contributes to the line's alliteration upon s.

462 myrth. TW: and myrthe.

463 unglad. AW (adopted by G and GW); T: ungladly.

465 to begyn. T: that we blyn. Both variants are attractive. T has a stronger sense of apocalyptic warning: "We had better stop now!" A is more gentle (and attuned to the pastoral spirit of the poem): "Let's begin to amend."

467 Thare no. T: ther es no; W: For then is nother. The verb es inserted between these words (found in both T and W) may represent the original reading, but it is not needed for sense or meter.

469 Be. "concerning"; GW are incorrect in glossing be as "against," as Smithers pointed out (p. 55).

ladyes. W; A: lades; T: ladys. Compare line 456.

noghte anely say I. A: noghte anely I say; T: not alle tell I; W: all I will not saye. GW cite the "better effect" of the reading anely in A, versus alle in T (p. 34), but they do not adopt it. Emendation of I say to say I is needed for rhyme.

470 alswa. T; A: also. The spelling of T is adopted because of evidence elsewhere that the poet differentiated the words so and swa. See notes to lines 178 and 216-17.

fele. T; A: fell; W: wele.

471 Thar galiard gedlynges kythes gentrye. The texts read:
A: This kaliard godlyng kythes gentrye;
T: Thies galiard gedlynges that kythes gentry;
W: The galande gedlynge that kithes gentry.
The reading in T has the better attested forms for gaillard adj. and gadeling n. (MED), and the plural number is better suited to the context. The demonstrative adjective has been emended to the northern plural form that is always used in A.

472 dengyouse. T: denyus; W: daynty.

thar. "with whom" (literally "where"). The suggestion is that these proud ladies have low moral standards.

may. T: many.

473 purfels and pelours. T: purfelle and peloure; W: purfels and perles.

hye. TW; A: hey. The spelling of T is adopted for the rhyme. Compare line 183.

474 Hir. TW; A: his. The sense requires this reading from TW; hir and the omission of in in A are apparently scribal errors. The poet has shifted from a generalized target (gedlynges and damesels) to a satiric depiction of one such overproud person.

in. T; omitted in A; W: the.

of. AW (adopted by G and GW); T: in.

475-77 On the kinship motif connecting this proud damsel with the maiden who opens the poem, see Fein (1992), p. 122.

477 hyde. T; A: hyed.

479 Sall no man scham. T: Than schames nane; W: No man shall schame.

his. TW: thair. The reading in A is grammatically better than the variant, but it is interesting that both T and W agree in the reading thair. It possibly derives from the same word in the next line.

480 sall. T: may tham. The repetitions of sall prepare for the alliterative linkage of syn and saule. It is unlikely that sall here and in line 479 was originally schall (midland form) to alliterate with scham; compare notes to lines 57 and 443.

481 saule. A: soule; T: full; W: foule. The reading in A echoes the alliteration on s (but the spelling with ou is unusual). Here the confusion between s and f appears to have caused the variants in T and W; see note to line 267.

482 dere. AT: sare; W: sore. The reading in ATW looks to be a substitute for a word alliterating on d; the obvious choice is dere, a similar-looking word. See MED dere adv.

483 al the tym past; T: tym paste. The line in all texts has lost alliteration. An original for past may have been myst (compare line 338), but this conjectural emendation still would not restore the line's full alliteration.

crafe. ATW: crave. For the rhyme-word spelling with f, which appears in knafe (line 485), see note to line 21.

484 ilka ane. A: ilka man; T: ilk man; W: every man. The original phrase probably did not contain man, but was something more akin to the northern form ilkane, which would accentuate the vocalic alliteration. See OED ilkane, ilkone pron.

efter his awn ded. The phrase is a pun. For ded, "death," see note to line 355; for ded, "deeds," compare mysded, "misdeeds," line 501 (spelling confirmed by rhyme).

485 may. T: may we.

stert. T: sytt.

486 clarkes can. W; A: clarkes (adopted by G and GW); T: theis clerkes. The half-line in A is deficient in meter and length; the word can in W improves the half-line metrically and echoes the secondary alliteration upon c.

487 And settes on His ryght hand the saules He wil safe. The texts read:
A: And settes on His ryght hand thase that he wil have;
T: He settis one his ryght hande that he will save;
W: He setteth on his ryght hande the soules that he wyll save.
In T the word sytt is deleted after He. Only W preserves the b-verse alliterating word soules. The rhyme-word hafe, found in A and repeated at line 489, is less likely to be original than safe, found in TW. For the spelling with f, see note to line 21.

488 wafull wreches. T: wafull wyghtis; W: synfull wretches.

wil. ATW: may. Emendation is made for alliteration.

sped. T: ther spede.

489 Thar sang is of sorow and swa sall thai hafe. From T. The other texts read:
A: Sal stand on His left hand and wa sal have;
W: Shall stande on his lefte hande awaye for to have;
G/GW emend: Sal stand on His left-hande and wa sall thay have.
The reading in T, adopted here, is the more difficult and vivid line. GW preferred A, observing that T "departs from the Biblical account [Matthew 25.33] and spoils the picture" of the damned divided from the saved (p. 35). But the reading in A lacks alliteration, while that in T preserves it. The wailing lost souls provide counterpoint to Mary's weeping and the Judge's severity.

492 scho sal se. T: that scho sees; W: that she shall se.

494 dole. W: mournynge.

sal be. T: es.

495 space. ATW: tym. Tym appears to substitute for this synonym supplying alliteration.

whoso. W: them that wyll.

496 And for to seke socours, and folys to flee. T: And for to seke socoure and folys for to fle; W: And seke after socoure and foly to flee. G and GW omit the second for in T.

498 sall. W: wyll.

499 dere Lady. W; AT: Lady Mary. W preserves the alliterating word lost in AT.

499-500 GW comment upon Mary's passive role here: "In this poem, Mary is not so much the queen, sure of her request being granted and saving her clients in spite of her Son's anger (as she is represented so often in medieval literature), but rather the gentle feminine advocate, influential indeed, but finally appalled into silence before the Judge's wrath" (p. 35).

500 to. T: till.

501 How may we axe mercy fore our mysded. Taken from W. The other texts read:
A: How myght thai have mercy fore thar mysdedes;
T: How may thay hafe mercy for thaire mydede.
Only W maintains the first-person plural pronouns of the rest of the stanza. It also possesses the more vivid verb axe. The rhyme in A is disrupted by the plural mysdedes.

502 when. T: when that.

503 yare. A (adopted by G and GW); T: thare; W: thore. A has the better reading; T's thare is redundant after tharto. W links the bob to line 504 for an entirely different meaning: There is no waye but two thore. On the confusion between thorn and yogh, see note to line 57.

505-06 These lines are transposed in W.

506 Wheder-swa sall we ga. AW: Wheder that we schall ga; T: Whethir so sall to ga; G and GW emend: Whethir-so sall we ga. The evidence of both A and T must be combined to recover the sparkling soundplay of lines 504-07. The original word swa is discernible in both T's so and A's that we. See OED whitherso adv., and notes to lines 178 and 216-17. On the original northern sall, see note to line 57.

507 fore. Omitted in T.

508 hys. T: this; W: the. Hys is a plausible and interesting reading, which reinforces the pastoral quality of the bird's speech. The maiden's blessing of the turtledove's "body, bones, and blood" (line 509) brings into focus its typological likeness to Christ. The word hys suggests the maiden's acquisition of the Truelove (i.e., Christ as Lover and Physician) through the bird's instructive words. Several situations of reciprocal verbal graciousness occur in this stanza: the bird counsels the girl, who, in turn, blesses the bird; repentant readers are bid to pray devoutly to Mary, who may, in turn, intercede for them. The line in W differs verbally: Thus the bryght byrde taught the true maye.

510 Unto this ilk. T: Unto that ilke; W: Unto the. The poet shifts from the sermon and story to the moral, which justifies the use of ilk here. The monotonous repetition in A and T of ilk is probably, however, part scribal addition. It appears in lines 512 (A only), 513 (both texts), and 515 (T only); compare notes to lines 79, 80, and 415. The word never appears in W.

red I. TW: I rede that.

511 That. A: At. At is a northern form of "that," which also appears in A at line 514, and in T at line 460. Because the texts lack other evidence of this form, it is here emended.

may do oure message. A: wyll do oure message. T: will bere oure message; W: wolde our message do. An m-word seems lacking in the a-verse; the most probable place for loss lies in the substitution of wyll for may. Note the similar usage in line 514, and compare the variants in line 41.

512 And. T: And that scho.

oure. T; A: that ilk; W: the. See note to line 510.

the. T: that.

513 thase ilk thre lefes. W: the thyrde lefe. The reading in W harms the conceit by illogically having Mary appeal solely to the Holy Ghost (the third leaf).

513-15 T reads:
Unto thase ilke thre leves that we may wyn with mode
That grace grauntede grete God that dyede on Gud Fryday
Unto that ilke ferthe lefe gracyouse and gude.
The reading found in T is a clear example of homoeteleuton: A scribe preceding Thornton omitted the words gracyous . . . lefes (lines 513-14) because of the repeated word lefes. Then he or a later scribe compensated for the error by tacking appropriate rhymes onto what he had and copying the omitted section in inverted form as a final line to the stanza. There is no physical evidence of revision in T. The resulting two final lines have different meanings. A and W end with a valedictory prayer, asking God's grace in winning the truelove and appropiately invoking the Cross (symbolic counterpart to the truelove). T ends with the special dispensation granted to Mary to act as intercessor on behalf of mortal sinners. The poor syntactic link between octave and bob in T supports the superiority of A.

gode. AT: gud; W: good. See note to line 310.

514 thase. W: the.

that. TW; A: at. See note to line 511.

515 grace. On the medicinal pun latent in this word ("herb" and "divine grace"), set up by the poet's botanical conceit, see Fein (1991), pp. 308-09. An analogous, if simpler, instance of putative herbal cures for spiritual diseases occurs in the interesting, highly alliterated lyric "As I Walked upon a Day" (ed. Brown, Rel. Lyr. XV, pp. 273-77, 347-48).

517 walay. T: lay; W: valaye. The variants are all of interest. Walay is an unrecorded form of wellaway, "lament" (see OED wellaway sb., sense B). It is the strongest reading. T has the word lay, "song," a genre that seems less specific to Truelove than walay. The exemplar of W must have read walay, too, but the sixteenth-century reviser changed its meaning and context: This I herde in a valaye walkynge (walkynge derives from the bob being affixed to the wheel-line).
In a mornynge of May when medose suld sprynge
Blomes and blossomes of bryght colours,
Als I went by a well apon my playnge,
Thurght a mery orchard, byddyng myn owres, 1
The birdes on the boghes began for to syng,
And bowes to burjun and belde to the boures;
Was I war of a may that made mournyng,
Syghand and sekand emange the fayre floures
          So swyte.
     Scho made mournyng enogh;
     Hyre wypyng dyd me wogh!
     To a derne I me drogh;
     Hir wyll wald I wyte.
Stilly I stalked and stode in that stede,
For I wald wyte of hir wyll and of hir wyld thoght:
Scho kest of hir kerchyfes, hir kell of hir hede; 2
Wrange scho hir handes and wrothly scho wroght!
Scho sayd: ''Myld Mary, right thou me red —
Of al the well of this warld, iwys I wald noghte! 3
Send me som solace, or son be I ded,
Som syght of that selcouthe that I hafe lang soghte
          With care."
     Than spake a turtyll on a tre,
     Wyth fayre nottes and fre:
     ''Bryght byrd for thi bewte,
     Whi sythes thou so sare?"
''Thow fayr foule, fayle noghte thi speche nor thi spell!
Thy carpyng is comforth to herkyn and here; 4
All my wyll and my wytt wald I the tell,
My wa and my wanderyng, wald thou com nere."
Lufly he lyghted, wald he noghte dwell
To comforth that comly and cover hir chere.
Scho blyssed his body with buke and with bell,
And lufed owr Lady had send hir that fere
          So free:
     ''When that I was sary,
     Besoght I owr Lady;
     Scho has sent me company;
     Blyssed mot scho bee!
''Fayr foule full of lufe, so myld and so mete,
To move of a mater now may I begyn:
A trewluf hafe I soght be way and be strete
In many fayre orchardes thar floures ar in;
So fayr as I hafe soght, fand I nane fete;
Fele hafe I fonden of mare and of myn.
Bryght bird of thi ble, my bale may thou bete,
Wald thou me wysse wysely a trewluf to wyn
          With ryght.
     When I wen rathest
     For to fynd lufe beste,
     So fayntely it is feste,
     It fares al of flighte!"
''The wytt of a woman is wonder to here!
Is al thi sary syghinge to seke a lufe trew?
Al this syd may thou seke and never nan be nere
Bot if thou had counsell of an that I knewe.
If thou be sett to seke it, sall I the lere
Whare it is spryngand and evermare newe,
Withowt any fadynge, full fayr and full clere,
Or castyng of colour, or chanuyng of hewe,
          So yare.
     Hardely dare I say
     Thare is no luf that lastes ay
     Withowtyn treson and tray
     Bot it begyn thare.
''Whar thou fyndes grewand a trewlufe grysse
With four lefes is it sett ful lufly abowte.
The fyrst lef may we lykyn to the Kyng of Blys
That weldes this wyld world within and withowte. 5
He wroght heven with His hand and al paradyse
And this mery medyllerth withowtyn any dowt.
All the welth of this world hally is Hys,
In wham us aw for to lefe, lufe Hym, and lowte
          Ful well.
     Hald this lefe in thi mynd
     To we may His felawes fynd —
     That trew luf and that kynd
     That never sall kelle.
''The second lefe of the lufe I lykyn to God Son,
That to the fyrst lefe is felawe and fere;
The third to the Holy Gost, togeder thay won,
All halesom in a Godhede and Persons sere!
Welder of water, of son, and of mon,
Thase thre lefes ar of price withowtyn any pere,
When that semly Syre is sett in Hys tron,
Comly of colour and curtas of chere
          For grace.
     Al this world He began
     With wyndes and waters wan,
     And syne made He man
     Efter Hys awn face.
''Fyrst made He Adam and syn mad He Eve;
Putt tham in paradyse in gret degré
Forbed He tham nothyng, hym and hys wyfe,
Bott a gren apyll that grewed on a tree.
Than sary Sathanas soght tham belyfe
For to waken owr wa. Weryd myght he be!
Toke thai that apill to stire mekyll stryfe;
The foule fend was fayn that syght for to se
          For tene.
     The first lefe was full wa
     When Hys flours fell hym fra;
     Hys frendes suld tyll hell ga
     For an appill gren.
''Than began the fyrst lefe to morn for us all
For his lufly handwarke that was forlorn.
Gabriell, that aungell, on hym gon He call;
Frurth com that comly and kneled Hym beforn:
'Unto mayden Mary my message thou sall;
Bere hir blythe bodword: Of hire be I born.'
Thus He sent Hys der son owt of Hys hye hall
Unto that myld mayden on a mery morn,
          Hir grette.
     Gabriell, that fayre face,
     Sayd, 'Mary, full of grace,
     Pereles in ilka place,
     With myrth ert thou mette.
'Thow sall consave a knaw-child comly and clere;
All the was of this world in the sall be bett.'
'That ware a mekyll mervayle I mot a cheld bere;
Was I never mayryed, ne with man mett.'
'Behald to thi cosyn: consaved has toyere
Elyezabeth in hir held, that lang has ben lett.'
'Lord, Thi handmayden,' says Mary, 'is here.
Full haly in Thi service is my harte sette
          So still.'
     Blessyd be that swete wyght,
     That God Son in lyght,
     Becom a man full of myghte
     With Hys Fader wyll.
''Now is this ilk second lef, for owr luf maste,
Lyght in that Lady that Gabriell grette;
Withowt any treson, so trew for to traste,
With myrth in a mayden is God and man mette.
Thys is the Fader and the Son and the Holy Gaste —
Thre lefes of lufe withowtyn any lette;
The fourte is a mayden chosen for chaste.
Swylke another trewluf was never in land sett
          For bute.
     Thare foure lefes may never fall,
     Bot evermare thai springe sall,
     So gently thai joyn all
     On a ryche rute.
''Now has thre lufly lefes a fourte fela tan —
For luf in owre Lady is owre Lord lyght.
Joseph hir wedyd and with hir gon gane;
In the borgh of Bethleem beldyd that bryght;
Betwyx an oxe and an asse, pride was thar nan:
A blyssed barne was thar born apon a Yolenyghte.
Thare rase a starn schaply schewed and schan;
Thre kynges of Colan tharof caght a syght
          And soght.
     Thai offerd Him, as thai wold,
     Myr, rekyls, and gold;
     He thanked tham seven-fold;
     To blysse He tham broght.
''Unhappy Herode thase tythandes hard tell:
A knaw-child was born, that kynge suld bee.
Gart he make messages, and sent he full snell 6
To slee all knafe-chylder in that contré.
Left he nan in wharte, bot all gon he whell;
Thai sputt tham on spere-poyntes — gret pyté to se!
Joseph, with his wedyd wyfe, wald he noght dwell,
Bot led hir into Egype with hir lefes thre
          To safe.
     Childer gon thar ded take,
     For this same trewluf sake;
     The mare myrth may thai make —
     Hymself wald tham hafe.
''Yitte wald He do mare for His frendes dere,
His awn haly handwarke, to hell wald He gan.
To sette us ensample, His lawe for to lere,
Saynte John Hym baptyste in flume Jordane.
For thirty penys was He sald thurght a fals fere
Unto fell famen wald fayne Hym hafe slane 7
All He sufferd for owr sake — Hymself was clere.
Thurght a kysse thai Hym knew and tytte was He tan
     It was gret sorow for to see
     When He suld blynke of His ble,
     The second lefe of the thre;
     The fourte was wa.
''Pylate was justes and spake apon hye,
For to dem Jhesu that Judas had sald:
'Leve, lordynges, the trewth for to trie;
That semely is sakeles, say what ye wald.'
The Jeuys apon Jhesu began for to cry:
'He cald Hymself a kyng. Swylk bourdes be bald!
If thou wyll not dem Hym today for to dye,
Ryght before Emperowre this tale sall be tald
          For dred.'
     A drery dom gafe he thare:
     'Sais! I can say na mare;
     I red ye take Hym yare
     And forth ye Hym led.'
''Allas! for that fourte lefe was leved allane,
When hir fayr felischipe was taken and torn,
Betyn with scharpe scourges body and bane,
Syne spred on a Crosse, crowned with a thorn;
Thurght Hys handes and fett hard nales go gan;
A bryght spere to Hys hart brathely was born.
He bled His blod for our luf; lyfe leved Hym nan.
Attire and aysell thai served Hym in scorn
          With gall.
     Grett grefe was to se
     When He was naled on the tre;
     The second lef of the thre
     Suld falow and falle.
''The fourte lefe of the lufe alanly scho stode;
Wrange scho hir handes and wepyd for wa,
With a mournande chere and a myld mode.
The Son blenked of His ble and wex al bla;
Be Hys blank sydes ran the red blode.
The hard roche gon ryfe the temple in twa.
Than swouned the fourte lefe and to the grond yode.
Allas for that trewlufe, that it suld twyn swa
          So yare.
     Scho saw hir der Son dye,
     Bot Sante John stode hir by
     And comforthed that Lady,
     Was casten in care.
''Yitt cuth that noble Kyng, was naled on a tre,
Unto His myld Moder, was mournande that tyde:
'Leve thi wepynge, woman, and mourne noghte for me;
Take John to thi son, that standes be thi syde.
John, take Mary to thi moder, for to myrth the,
To kepe and to comforth, your blys to abyde.'
The hate blod of His hert dyd Longeus to see,
That soght be a spere-schafte His woundes wyd
          That day.
     Itt was gret sorow for to see
     When He was taken of the tre;
     The second lef of the thre
          Was closed in clay.
''When He was ded on the Rod and delved so yare,
All the welth of this world in thre lefes lay.
The fourte for wa falowed and syghed full sare;
Al the treuth of this world was in a trew may.
If His manhed war marde, His myghte was the mare:
Upon His haly handwarke His hart was ay.
The saule with the godhed to hell gon it fare;
The body and the manhed abade the third day
          Ful yare.
     That He had with His hand wroght,
     And syne with His blod boght,
     Till thai war owt of bale broght,
          Hym langed full sare.
''Than sayd sary Sathanas, his sorow was sad,
For syght of that selcouthe he wox unfayn:
'Us bowes som bodword — I trow it be bad!
What art thou, fayr face?' fast gon Hym frayn.
'Kyng of Joy is my name, thi gystes to glad!
Lat me in for thar lufe — thar thou noghte layn!'
'Wend thi way with thi myrth! Thou makes us al mad!
What suld thou do in this pytt? Thou sees her bot payn
          So fast.'
     When thai hard the Kyng spek,
     Al the gattes gon thai steke,
     Bot son gon the barres breke
          And al the bandes brast.
''For Hys haly handwark heryed He hell,
Al broghte He out of bale that ever had ben His.
Tharof David, His derlyng, mad myrth imell;
He toke a harp in hys hand and well hedyd iwys;
And al Hys retenew, owt gon He tell,
And of His gret mercy forgafe tham thar mys.
'I was sald for your sake and sufferd wondes snell,
And al My bon chylder ar boght unto blys
          On Rod.'
     The soth is noghte for to layn:
     When thai war broght out of payn,
     Unto the blyssed body agayn
          The holy gost yode.
''The fourte lef of that lufe falow is for wa
When scho was lefed moder, mayden, and wyf.
The fyrst lef full wyghte, His will was swa,
Be assent of the third lef, was thar no stryfe.
Raysed Thai the second lef betwen Tham twa,
Thurght grace of the godhed, fro ded unto lyf.
He toke a crose in His hand and furth gon He ga;
With His flech and His fell and His wondes fyfe,
          He yode.
     When He was resyn agayn,
     He mett Mary Mawdelayn;
     No ferly yf scho war fayn!
          He was hir lech gode.
''Furth went the Mawdelayn with myrth and with mod.
Scho tald this tithandes to Thomas of Ynde,
How Crist is resyn all hale, that bled His hart blod:
'Trew now this, Thomas; thou sal it soth fynd!'
Than spake Thomas, in sted thar he stod:
'Women ar carpand. It comes thaim of kynd.'
Wald he never trew it or Criste Hymselfe yode,
Apperyd to the Apostels, as clarkes has in mynd,
          In hye.
     He pute his hand in Hys syd;
     And al He blyssed in that tyde
     That trewyd in His wondes wyd
          And saw tham never with eye.
''Furth went that Semely, the soth for to say;
He soght His dyssyples, taght thaim the treuth trew,
And syne to that Lady that He lufed ay,
Al hall of His hurte in hyd and in hew.
Scho was stable and stell and faled never fay.
Thase foure lefes of lufe springes all new!
Oure Lord stegh intil heven on Halow Thursday;
Syn folowyd His Moder with gamen and glew
          Ful even.
     Befor hir Son scho kneled down,
     With full gode devocoun;
     Apon hir hed He sett a crown
          And mad hir Quen of Heven.
''The fourte lef of that lufe, blyssed mot scho be!
Scho may hafe joy in hir hart of hir gentil Chyld.
Apon His Fader ryght hand, hir Son may scho see,
And the hend Holy Gost unto tham both bylde.
Now ar thay same in a God and Persons Thre,
And scho is Madyn of myght and Moder full myld.
Swylk another Trewfull grew never on tree!
Whoso lufys that Lufe sall never be begyld
          So hend.
     Bot well is that ilka wyght
     That may be sykere of that syght;
     Whar ever is day and never nyght,
          And joy withowtyn end!
''Thus hase this fayr Trewfull mad us al fre;
Owre bodyes owt of bondage He boghte on the Rode.
He commandes us for to kepe (and gyftys us posté)
Owr saules owt of syn, for owr awn gode.
Mekyll sorow wald we hafe myght we owre saules se
When thay ar sonkyn in syn, as farcost in flode.
Than byde we in bondage, in bale for to be,
That He has boghte haly with His hert blod
          To blys.
     Aske mercy whyls we may;
     Byd owr Lady for us pray,
     Or we be closyd in clay;
          Of myrth may we mys.
''Blyssyd be that Trewluf so meke and so myld,
Syker and stedfast and stabyll in faye.
When we hafe wrethed thre with owr warkes wild, 8
The fourte is gracyos and gode for to helpe ay.
Than kneles that Lady down befor hir dere Chyld,
And sare wepes for owr sayke with hir eyn gray.
Scho is ever grett of grace (els whar we begyld),
For scho wynnes with hir wepyng many fayre pray
          To kepe.
     Sen scho is well of owr wele,
     And al owr cares wyll scho kele,
     Allas, why gare we hir knele
          And for owre warkes wepe?
''Nis no wyght in this werld so dern nor so dere,
No kyng ne no caysor, yf thai ber crown,
Ne nan so fayr lady of colour so clere,
Bot comes dredfull Dede and drawes tham down.
Us lyst never lefe it for preste ne for freere,
Or we fele that we fall, with swelt and with swown. 9
Bot when owr bare body is broght on a bere,
Than fayles al felychepe in feld and in town
          Bot fone.
     In a cloth ar we knytte,
     And syen putte in a pytt;
     Of al this warld ar we whytt;
          Forgyttyn ar we son.
''For that catyfe cors is full lytyll care,
Ware we sykere of owr saules ware we suld dwell; 10
Bot now no wyght in this warld so wys is of lare,
Ne no clarke in his conyng tharof can tell,
How fell ne how fayr us falles for to fare; 11
Bot hard way is to heven and haste to hell.
In purgatory is payn, whoso passes thare.
Of mekyll wa may thai wytt, that tharin sal dwell
          Full lang.
     That we do ar we fare,
     Befor us fynd we thare;
     We may be syker of no mare
          When paynes are so strang.
''When gret fyres grym ar graythed in owr gate,
Thar is no glasyng by, bot in bus us glyd;
When we ar putt in that payn, so hard and so hate,
We seke efter socoure on everilka syd;
We cry efter kynred; thai com al to late!
When we hafe frayst of that fare, feld is owre prid. 12
Than of al owre sorow, no certan we wate,
Bot trest in a Trewlufe, His mercy to abyd 13
          With dred.
     Bot now ware tym to begyn
     That Trewlufe for to wyn,
     That al owr bales may blyn
          When we hafe most ned.
''Of al the days we hafe to dred, yitt aw us to knaw,
When we umbethynk us of ane, full sare may we gryse! 14
When that brym Lord above His bemes sall blaw,
And the Hy Justyse sall sytt in His gret syse,
And al the folke of this warld sall rys on a raw,
Than the whike may whake when the whelled upryse! 15
We may schrynk for no scham owre synnes fore to schaw;
Thar may no gold ne no fee make owre maynpryse,
          Ne kyn.
     Than is al owre prid gane,
     Owre robes and owre rych pane,
     Al bot owre crysom alane,
          That we ware cristened in.
''When we ar cald to that courte, behoves us to here;
Al sall be thar seyn, both bondmen and free;
The saule and the body, that lang has ben sere,
Tham behoves to be sam at that sembelee;
And ilke saule sall be sent to fett his awn fere,
Then Criste wyll us geder — a gret Lord is He! —
With owre flesch and owr fell, als we in warld were,
And never sal sonder efter that day be
          To knaw.
     Our warkes ar wretyn and scord
     In a rowle of record
     Befor that ilke gret Lord,
          Full schaply to schaw.
''We sall seke theder in symple atyre,
Tremland and schakand, as lefe on a tree;
When al the warld is umbsett with water and fire,
Thar may no wrynke ne no wyll wis us to fle;
When Criste is greved so sare, He is a grym Syre!
So many synfull saulles as He thar sall see,
Dare noghte His Moder, yf scho myght desyre,
Speke to hir dere Son — so dredfull is He;
          That day!
     Al the halowes of heven
     Sall be still of thar steven;
     Dare thay noghte a word neven,
          For no man to pray.
''The warkes of mercy He rakynys all seven:
'When I was hungré, how hafe ye me fed?
When I was thrysty, ye hard noght my steven?
When I was naked, how hafe ye me cled?
Or when I was houseles, herberd me even?
Or vysett in seknes, or soght to my bed?
Or comforth in preson? That wald I here neven.
Or broghte me to beryall when Ded me by-sted?'
          Thai say:
     'Lord, whare say we The
     Ever in swylke a degré?'
     'The leste, in the name of me
          That to yow myght pray.'
''He wil schew us His woundes blody and bare,
As He has sufferd for owre sake, wytter and wyd.
Kynges and kasors before Hym bus fare;
Byschoppes and barons and all bus abyd;
Erles and emperours, nane wyll He spare;
Prestes ne prelates nor persons of pride;
Thar justes and juellars of lawe or of lare, 16
That now ar full ryall to ryn and to ryd
          In land.
     Thar dome sall thai take thare,
     Ryght as thai demed are,
     When thay ware of myghtes mare,
          And domes had in hand.
''Rych ladyes ar arayed in robes full yare —
Reveres and rybanes on gownes and gyd,
Bendes and botonys, fylettes and fare,
Gold on thar garlandes, perry and pride,
Kelles and kerchyffes cowched on thar hare —
So schaply and schynand, to schew by thar syd.
Al that welth is away; myrth mekyll mare!17
Bot if we wyn that Trewlufe, unglad may we glyd
          For sorow.
     Betym is best to begyn;
     If we be fon full of syn,
     Thare no kyth ne no kyn
          Fra bale may us borow.
''Be lordes and be ladyes noghte anely say I,
Bot alswa be other I fynde full fele:
Thar galiard gedlynges kythes gentrye,
With dengyouse damesels, thar may men dele,
With purfels and pelours and hedes full hye —
Hir cors is in mydward of hir catele. 18
If men carpe of hir kyn, away wil scho wry;
Hir fader and hir moder fayn wald scho hele
          And hyde.
     Bot when that day sall begyn,
     Sall no man scham with his kyn,
     Bot al sall scham with thare syn,
          And with thar saule pride.
''The dom of that Trewlufe full dere may we dred;
For than is al the tym past of mercy to crafe.
When ilka ane sall be demed efter his awn ded,
Than may not owreself stert and send furth oure knafe. 19
He rekyns be resoun, als clarkes can red,
And settes on His ryght hand the saules He wil safe.
Thase wafull wreches that wil noghte sped,
Thar sang is of sorow and swa sall thai hafe
          For ay!
     Than wil oure Lady wepe sare,
     For sorow scho sal se thare,
     When scho may helpe no mare.
          Gret dole sal be that day!
''Bot now is space for to speke, whoso wil sped,
And for to seke socours, and folys to flee,
And noghte apon Domesday, when we hafe most ned;
For now is mekyll mercy, and than sall nane be.
When oure dere Lady dare noghte, for dred,
Speke to hir der Son, so dredfull is He,
How may we axe mercy fore our mysded
That wyll noghte folow tharto when it is fre
          And yare?
     Thare is no way bot twa:
     Unto wele or to wa;
     Wheder-swa sall we ga,
          We dwell fore evermare."
Thus this trew turtyll teches hys may.
Scho blyssed his body, his bane, and his blod.
Unto this ilk fourte lefe red I we pray,
That scho may do oure message with a myld mode, 20
And speke fore oure lufe before the last day
Unto thase ilk thre lefes, gracyous and gode,
The lufe of thase foure lefes that we wyn may.
That grace grante gret God, that died on a Rod, 21
          That Kynge.
     This hard I in a walay
     Als I went on my way
     In a mornynge of May
     When medouse suld sprynge.
meadows do sprout; (see note)
Blooms; (see note)
to amuse myself; (see note)
(see note)
boughs; (see note)
burgeon; flourish into leafy bowers; (see note)
I was aware of a maiden; (see note)
Sighing and searching; (see note)
sweetly; (see note)
Her weeping saddened me; (see note)
private place; drew; (see note)
I wanted to learn of her longing; (see note)
Quietly; place; (see note)
know; disordered
(see note)
sorrowfully; (see note)
advise me correctly; (see note)
(see note)
soon; dead
marvel; long; (see note)
turtledove; (see note)
notes; noble; (see note)
girl; beauty; (see note)
sigh; grievously; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
longing; thought; you; (see note)
distress; if you would; (see note)
Lovingly he perched; hesitate; (see note)
lovely [girl]; restore her happiness
completely; (see note)
who had given; companion; (see note)
generously; (see note)
When I was sorrowful; (see note)
bird; proper; (see note)
To broach a subject; (see note)
everywhere; (see note)
in which are flowers
far; found; fitting; (see note)
Many; more; less; (see note)
countenance; sorrow; relieve; (see note)
advise wisely
In the right way; (see note)
think most certainly
[That I shall] find love
feebly; fastened; (see note)
goes flying away; (see note)
hear; (see note)
painful; (see note)
lifetime; (see note)
Unless; one; (see note)
determined; teach you; (see note)
growing; fresh; (see note)
(see note)
graying; (see note)
So hardily [growing]
forever; (see note)
Unless; (see note)
growing; grass; (see note)
beautifully about [a center]; (see note)
leaf; liken; (see note)
(see note)
made; (see note)
middle-earth; doubt; (see note)
wholly; (see note)
ought to believe; bow down; (see note)
leaf (pun: belief); (see note)
Until; fellows; (see note)
gracious [love]; (see note)
diminish; (see note)
(see note)
companion; (see note)
dwell; (see note)
sound; separate; (see note)
Ruler; sun; moon
value; peer; (see note)
stately; throne; (see note)
appearance; courteous; face; (see note)
(see note)
dark-hued; (see note)
afterward; (see note)
In His own likeness
then made; (see note)
in high estate; (see note)
He forbade them nothing; (see note)
Except; grew
vile; quickly; (see note)
woe; Accursed; (see note)
stir much strife; (see note)
very woeful; (see note)
lowers; from him
had to enter hell; (see note)
Because of; (see note)
mourn; (see note)
lost; (see note)
did; (see note)
Forward; fair [angel]; (see note)
you shall [take]; (see note)
a glad message; (see note)
[Gabriel]; (see note)
pleasant morning; (see note)
In order to greet her; (see note)
fair creature; (see note)
(see note)
Peerless; every; (see note)
joined [with God]
conceive; boy-child
woes; in you shall be remedied; (see note)
great miracle; might; (see note)
married; (see note)
cousin; this year
old age; barren; (see note)
(see note)
In whom God's Son alighted; (see note)
Became; (see note)
same; love above all; (see note)
Alighted in; (see note)
trust; (see note)
(see note)
break [in the design]; (see note)
chastity; (see note)
rooted in ground; (see note)
remedy; (see note)
These; (see note)
sprout; (see note)
(see note)
strong root
fellow taken; (see note)
did go
town; dwelt; beauty
(see note)
child; (see note)
rose a star; shone; (see note)
Cologne; caught; (see note)
sought [it]
wished; (see note)
Myrrh; incense
(see note)
Ill-fated; heard; (see note)
boy-child; should; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
alive; he did kill; (see note)
impaled; (see note)
(i.e., the Trinity in her womb); (see note)
did receive their death; (see note)
(see note)
more gladness; (see note)
God Himself would receive them
(see note)
(see note)
provide; example; learn; (see note)
baptized; river; (see note)
sold; false friend
(see note)
All [this]; innocent; (see note)
quickly; seized; (see note)
In this manner; (see note)
(see note)
grow pale in complexion
fourth was [full of] woe; (see note)
judge; (see note)
Refrain; from putting on trial; (see note)
fair one is innocent
Such jests are bold; (see note)
condemn; (see note)
Directly; accusation; (see note)
Because of [our] fear; (see note)
dire judgment gave
Cease; nothing else; (see note)
command; without delay; (see note)
left; (see note)
Beaten; bone; (see note)
Afterward; (see note)
feet hard nails did go; (see note)
violently; thrust; (see note)
[but] life never left Him; (see note)
Gall; vinegar; (see note)
Maliciously; (see note)
Very grevious [it]; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
wither(see note)
alone; (see note)
Wrung; (see note)
compassionate sorrow; (see note)
paled in visage; lead-colored; (see note)
Along; white; (see note)
rock; split
swooned; fell; (see note)
break apart; (see note)
(see note)
sorrow; (see note)
quoth; [who]; (see note)
[who]; hour; (see note)
comfort you; (see note)
await; (see note)
hot; caused; Longinus; (see note)
examined; (see note)
(see note)
buried so thoroughly; (see note)
(see note)
withered; (see note)
maiden; (see note)
humanness; greater; (see note)
was [set] always
godhead; did it go; (see note)
awaited; (see note)
eagerly; (see note)
Those whom; made; (see note)
then; (see note)
torment; (see note)
He pined deeply
vile; profound; (see note)
wonder; grew displeased; (see note)
[To] Us comes some message; (see note)
quickly did ask of Him; (see note)
guests to make glad
you need not hide; (see note)
Go away; (see note)
here only
heard; (see note)
did they bolt [with bars]
bars broke; (see note)
hinges burst
delivered all; (see note)
rejoiced in the midst; (see note)
heeded [Christ's presence]; (see note)
He did separate out; (see note)
sins; (see note)
wounds painful; (see note)
good children; (see note)
By means of the Cross
truth; hide
(see note)
(i.e., Christ's soul) entered; (see note)
withered; from grief; (see note)
left alone [as]; (see note)
very strong; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
He = Christ; (see note)
skin (i.e., his whole body)
(see note)
No wonder she was joyful
physician; (see note)
vigor (devotion); (see note)
tidings; (see note)
whole; (see note)
Believe; true; (see note)
in the place where; (see note)
prone to chatter; naturally; (see note)
believe it before; came; (see note)
writers have recorded; (see note)
(see note)
Fair One; (see note)
disciples; (see note)
always; (see note)
whole; skin and complexion; (see note)
steadfast; meek; faith; (see note)
delight and rejoicing; (see note)
Straightaway; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
blessed may; (see note)
(see note)
gracious; dwells; (see note)
together; (see note)
miraculous power
Such; (see note)
deceived; (see note)
noble (modifies Love)
fortunate; same creature; (see note)
always; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
Our; Cross; (see note)
gives us the ability; (see note)
(see note)
Much; our [own] souls see
ship in the sea
remain; torment; (see note)
Whom; wholly; (see note)
For [heaven's] bliss
(see note)
Before; buried
[Or else] We may miss [heaven's] mirth
(see note)
Unfailing; faith; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
sake; eyes; (see note)
or else we would be beguiled; (see note)
prey; (see note)
Since; source of our prosperity
do we cause her to kneel; (see note)
weep for our deeds
trusted; beloved; (see note)
ruler; bear; (see note)
(see note)
Death; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
fellowship everywhere
few; (see note)
then; grave; (see note)
deprived; (see note)
Forgotten; soon
(see note)
(see note)
wisdom; foretell; (see note)
(see note)
hasty; (see note)
whoever; (see note)
much woe; learn, who; (see note)
What we do before we go; (see note)
Awaiting us we shall find there; (see note)
(see note)
prepared in our path; (see note)
slipping past; in must we glide; (see note)
succour; every side
kindred; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
With dred.
it is time
Who; woes; cease
yet ought we; (see note)
(see note)
stern; trumpets; (see note)
i.e., Christ; court (assize); (see note)
arise; row; (see note)
(see note)
not hold back; (see note)
bail; (see note)
fur-trimmed cloak
christening robe; (see note)
we must respond; (see note)
seen; (see note)
together; assembly; (see note)
each; fetch; body; (see note)
gather; (see note)
separate; (see note)
recorded; (see note)
roll; (see note)
(see note)
duly; (see note)
thither; attire
Trembling and quaking; (see note)
surrounded; (see note)
trick nor wile enable; (see note)
aggrieved; fierce; (see note)
(see note)
even though she; (see note)
(see note)
cease speaking
(see note)
reckons; (see note)
(see note)
thirsty; heard; petition; (see note)
clad; (see note)
sheltered; properly; (see note)
visit; came; (see note)
comfort [me]; spoken; (see note)
burial; Death; overcame; (see note)
saw; (see note)
such a condition; (see note)
least; (see note)
exposed; (see note)
manifest and large; (see note)
must go; (see note)
must await [judgment]; (see note)
(see note)
parsons; (see note)
(see note)
dignified; run
judgment; (see note)
Just as; judged
held jurisdiction
elaborate; (see note)
Lapels; ribbons; mantle; (see note)
Sashes; fillets; trappings; (see note)
coronets; jewels; finery; (see note)
Headdresses; arranged; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
Unless; glide [into hell]; (see note)
Right now; best [time]; (see note)
friends; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
talk about; turn; (see note)
eagerly; conceal
(see note)
be ashamed of; (see note)
(see note)
soul's; (see note)
grievously; (see note)
crave; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
justly; relate; (see note)
(see note)
prosper; (see note)
song; such; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
be fortunate; (see note)
assistance; sinfulness; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
available; (see note)
only two ways
(see note)
Whichever way; (see note)
(see note)
turtledove; maiden; (see note)
I advise that; (see note)
(see note)
for the sake of; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
heard; lament; (see note)