Back to top

Ancrene Wisse: Part Seven


1-3 flesches pinsunges . . . the heorte, all mortifications of the body (lit., flesh) and bodily toils - all is as if nothing against (or, in comparison to) love, which purifies and brightens the heart.

3-4 Exercitio corporis . . . ad omnia, "The exercise of the body is good for little; godliness however is good in all things" (adapted from 1 Timothy 4:8).

4 licomlich bisischipe, physical activity.

5-8 Si linguis hominum loquar . . . prodest, "If I speak (lit., will have spoken) with the tongues of men and angels," etc. "If I give over my body thus that I may burn (i.e., be burnt)," etc. "If I give away all my means for food for the poor, if however I do not have love, it profits me nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

8 Thah ich cuthe . . . englene, "Though I knew," he says, "the language of men and of angels."

9 tholien, suffer, endure.

10 nefde luve ther-with, did not have love along with it.

11 al were i-spillet, everything would be destroyed; abbat, abbot.

11-13 al thet heard . . . the heorte, all the hardship which we suffer in the flesh, and all the good which we ever do, all such things are nothing but tools to work with the heart (or, with which to cultivate the heart).

13 ne kurve, did not cut.

13-14 ne spitel-steaf . . . to halden? or [if] the shovel did not dig, or [if] the plowshare did not plow, who would care to keep them?

14-19 Alswa as na mon . . . worltliche thinges, Just as no one loves tools for themselves, but does [so] for the things people make with them, just so no suffering of the flesh (or, body) is to be loved (luvien = passive inf.) except for the reason that God may look the more readily in that direction (lit., thitherward) with His grace and make the heart pure and of bright sight, which no one can have (or, possess) with a mixing (i.e., contamination) of faults, nor with earthly love of worldly things.

19-20 For this mong . . . sihthe, For this mixture so confuses the eyes of the heart, that they cannot know God, nor be glad in His sight.

20-22 Schir heorte . . . his biheve, As St. Bernard says, two things make a pure heart, that you, [in] all that you do, may do it either 1) for the love of God alone, or 2) for another's good and for his benefit.

22-24 Have in al thet tu dest . . . sit uvele, In everything that you do have one of these two intents, or both together, for the latter falls (or, leads) into the former. Always have a pure heart and so do everything that you want; have a confused heart, [and] everything [will] suit (lit., sit) you badly.

24-25 Omnia munda mundis . . . (Apostolus), "To the clean all things are clean; truly to the polluted nothing is clean" (the Apostle) (Titus 1:15).

25-26 Item, Augustinus . . . videlicet rationis, Again, Augustine: "Have love, and do whatever you will - of course, according to the inclination of reason" (Augustine, On the Epistle of John 7 [PL 35.2033] and Confessions 10.29 [PL 32.796]).

27 bisie, diligent (or, busy).

28-31 Ich hit habbe i-seid ear . . . of i-godet, I have said it earlier, that is that you neither desire nor love anything except God alone and [that you love] for God the very things which help you towards Him - I say to love them for God, and not for themselves: for example (lit., as is) food or clothing, a man or woman through whom you are done good (or, have benefited).

32-33 Minus te amat . . . te amat, "He loves You less who loves something before (i.e., more than) You, because he does not love [You] for Yourself" (Augustine, Confessions 10.29 [PL 32.796]).

33-34 leasse ha luvieth the . . . for the, they love you less who love anything but You, unless they love it for You.

34 Schirnesse of heorte . . . ane, Purity of heart is the love of God alone (i.e., loving God only).

35 religiuns, religious professions; Plenitudo . . . dilectio, "Love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:10).

35-36 fulleth the lahe, fulfills the law.

36 Quicquid precipitur . . . solidatur, "Whatever is commanded, is made firm in love alone" (Gregory, Homilies on the Gospels 2.27 [PL 76.1205]).

37 heastes, hests (or, commands); i-rotet, rooted.

38 i-leid Seinte Mihales weie, laid in St. Michael's scales (or, balance).

38-39 Theo the meast luvieth . . . overweieth, Those who love most will be most blessed, not those who lead the hardest life: for love outweighs it.

39-41 heovene stiward . . . hiren were, heaven's steward because of her great generosity, because she does not withhold anything, but gives everything which she has and also [gives] herself - otherwise God would not care (or, have regard for) what might be hers (Shepherd [p. 54n20 ff.]: God would not set any store in her offices).

42-43 Godd haveth ofgan . . . mare bihaten, God has gained our love in every kind of way. He has done much for us, and has promised more.

43-45 Muchel yeove . . . weren forgulte, A large gift wins (lit., draws forth) love. But He gave us all the world in Adam, our original father, and everything that is in the world He cast under our feet, beasts and birds, before we had become guilty.

45-47 Omnia subjecisti . . . semitas maris, "You have subjected all things under his feet, all sheep and cattle, and in addition the beasts of the field, the birds of the heaven, and the fish of the sea, which wander about the paths of the sea" (Psalm 8:8-9; see Genesis 1:28).

47-48 as is th'ruppe i-seid . . . sunne, as is said above (see 3.62-64), serves the good for [their] soul's benefit, yet (or, even so) the earth, sea, and sun serve the evil.

49 yef us nawt ane . . . him-seolven, gave us not only from [what is] His, but gave (lit., did) all of Himself.

49-50 Se heh yeove . . . wrecches, So high a gift was never given to such low wretches.

50-51 Apostolus: Christus dilexit . . . pro ea, The Apostle: "Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her" (based on Ephesians 5:25).

51 leofmon, leman (or, lover); yef, gave.

52 pris, price.

52-53 Neometh nu gode yeme . . . luvien, Pay (lit., Take) good attention, my dear sisters, why one ought to love Him.

53-55 Earst as a mon . . . i-sealet, At first, like a man who woos, like a king who loved a noble, poor lady from a faraway land, he sent his messengers before (or, in advance) - they were the patriarchs and the prophets of the Old Testament - with sealed letters.

55-58 On ende he com . . . luve wealden, Finally He came Himself and brought the Gospel like letters patent (i.e., public letters confirming a grant) and wrote a salutation with His own blood to His lover, a greeting of love to woo her with and to possess her love.

58 Her-to falleth . . . forbisne, Thereby hangs a tale (lit., concerning this [there] falls a tale), a hidden parable (or, an exemplum with a hidden meaning).

59-60 A leafdi wes . . . castel, There was a lady besieged by her enemies on every side (lit., all about), her land completely destroyed, and she completely poor inside an earthen castle.

60-63 thah biturnd upon hire . . . hire castel, nevertheless directed towards her, so immeasurably strongly, that he for wooing (i.e., in his wooing) sent her his messengers, one after the other, often many together, sent her jewels both many and fair, supplies of food, the help of his splendid army to hold her castle.

63-65 Heo underfeng al . . . tu mare? She received everything as if in indifference, and was so hard-hearted that he could never be the nearer to her love. What more do you want?

65-69 He com him-seolf . . . al thet he ahte, He came himself in the end, showed her his fair face, as he who was the fairest of all men to look on, spoke so very sweetly, and [with] words so delightful that they might raise the dead to life, performed many miracles and did great deeds before her eyes (lit., eye-sight), showed her his power, told her of his kingdom, offered to make her queen of all that he owned.

69-71 Al this ne heold . . . on ende, All this did no good - was this disdain not strange? For she was never worthy to be his servant (or, handmaid), but because of his kindness love had so overcome him that he said in the end.

71-75 Dame, thu art i-weorret . . . secheth, Madam, you are attacked and your enemies (lit. foes) are so strong that you cannot without my help in any way escape their hands [so] that they [will] not put you to a shameful death after all your suffering. I will for [my] love of you take the fight upon me and save you from them who seek your death.

75-78 Ich wat thah . . . naldest lives, I know, though, truly (i.e., for a fact) that I will receive (lit., take) death's wound among them, and I will do it gladly (lit., heartily) in order to win your heart. Now then I beg you, for the love that I reveal to you, that you at least love me after the deed (lit., this same deed), [when I am] dead, since you would not [while I was] living.

78-80 Thes king . . . to live, This king did everything just so: saved her from all her foes, and was himself horribly tormented and slain (i.e., put to death) in the end - though by a miracle [he] arose from death to life.

80-81 Nere theos ilke leafdi . . . her-efter? Would not this same lady be of an evil sort of character (or, nature) if she did not love him after that (lit., hereafter) above all things?

82-83 wohede ure sawle . . . biset, wooed our soul, which devils had besieged.

83-89 as noble wohere . . . up-o the other, like a noble wooer after many messengers and many good deeds came to prove His love and showed through chivalry that He was worthy of her love, as knights sometimes were used to do - put Himself in the tournament and for the love of His beloved as a bold knight in the fight had His shield pierced on every side. His shield, which covered His Godhead (or, divinity), was His beloved body which was stretched on the Cross, broad as a shield above (or, at the top) with His outstretched arms, narrow beneath since the one foot - according to the opinion of many - sat (i.e., was placed) upon the other.

89-91 Thet this scheld . . . Godspel seith, The fact that this shield does not have sides is to symbolize (lit., for the symbolizing) that His disciples, who should have stood by Him and should have been His sides all fled from Him and left Him like a stranger, as the Gospel says.

91-92 Relicto eo omnes fugerunt, "He having been abandoned, they all fled" (based on Matthew 26:56).

92 i-yeven, given.

93 Dabis scutum cordis laborem tuum, "You will give [them] a shield of heart, your labor" (Lamentations 3:65).

93-94 Nawt ane this scheld . . . in heovene, Not only does this shield us from all evils, but [it] does still more, [it] crowns us in heaven.

94 Scuto bone voluntatis, "With the shield of good will [you have crowned us]" (Psalm 5:13).

96 for willes he tholede . . . tholede, for willingly He suffered all that He suffered.

96-97 Oblatus est quia voluit, "He was offered up because He wished [it]" (Isaiah 53:7).

98-100 "Me, Laverd" . . . deore bohte, "But, Lord," you say, "could He not have saved us with less suffering (lit., grief)?" Yes, certainly, [He could have] very easily, but He did not want to. Why? To deprive us of each excuse [we might give] to Him for [not giving] our love which He bought so dearly (or, expensively).

100-02 Me buth . . . se sare, One buys cheaply a thing which one loves little. He bought us with His heart's blood - there was never a dearer (or, more expensive) price - in order to win (lit., draw forth) from us our love for Him, which cost Him so heavily.

103 treo, wood; litunge, coloring, painting.

104 thet, the (old neuter def. art.); licome, body.

105 heowede hire se feire, colored it (lit., her, the cross/shield) so fairly (or, beautifully); Eft, In turn.

105-06 efter kene cnihtes death . . . his mungunge, after a brave knight's death, the people hang his shield high in the church in his memory.

107-08 i swuch stude . . . o rode, in such a place where one [may] see it soonest (i.e., most easily), in order to think, through it (lit., thereby), of Jesus Christ's chivalry which He did on the Cross.

108-09 His leofmon . . . openin his side, Let His lover see in it (lit., thereon) how He bought her love, [how He] let His shield be pierced, His side be opened.

110 inwardliche, deeply (or, sincerely); to ofdrahen, to draw forth (or, win).

112-13 Fowr heaved luven . . . ant sawle, Four main (or, chief) loves one finds (i-find = reduced form of i-findeth) in this world: between good companions, between man and woman, between a woman and her child, between body and soul.

114 leofmon, leman (or, lover); overgeath, surpasses.

115-17 Ne teleth me him . . . of Giwene honden, Does one not account him (i.e., that person) a good companion who lays his pledge (i.e., collateral) in Jewry (i.e., among Jewish moneylenders) to acquit his companion out [of debt]? God almighty laid Himself for us in Jewry (i.e., in the hands of the Jews) and put His precious body up [as a pledge] to acquit (or, release) His beloved out of the hands of the Jews (Giwene = genitive pl.).

117-18 Neaver fere . . . his fere, Never did a friend do such a service for his friend.

119-21 ah thah ha were i-weddet him . . . kepte hire nawt, but even though she were wedded to him, she might become so worthless and she might prostitute herself with other men so long that even though she would want to come back [to him], he would not care for her.

122-24 for thah the sawle his spuse . . . then deovel, for even though the soul his spouse might prostitute herself with the devil in mortal sin, for many years and days, His mercy is always ready for (or, available to) her when she wants to come home and leave the devil (then = old masc. accusative def. art.).

124-26 Si dimiserit vir . . . dicit Dominus, "If a man has sent his wife away", etc. "But you have prostituted [yourself] with many lovers; even so, return to Me, says the Lord" (Jeremiah 3:1).

126-27 Yet he yeiyeth . . . beo me, Continually He cries all day, "you who have acted so wickedly, turn (reflex.) and come back - you will be welcome to Me."

127-28 Immo et occurrit prodigo venienti, "Yes, and he runs to meet the prodigal [as he is] approaching" (based loosely on Luke 15:20).

128-29 "Yet he eorneth . . . swire," "Still he runs," it says, "at her return (lit, again-coming) and throws [his] arms immediately around her neck."

129-31 Hweat is mare milce? . . . neowe meiden, What is greater forgiveness (i.e., is there any greater forgiveness)? Yet here [is an even] more joyful marvel: be His beloved (i.e., even if His beloved is) ever so prostituted with so many deadly sins, as soon as she comes to Him again He makes her a new virgin.

132-33 swa muchel is bitweonen . . . wif meiden, there is so much [difference] between God's approach and man's approach to woman, that man's approach makes a wife of a virgin, and God makes a virgin of a wife.

133-34 Restituit, inquit Job, in integrum, "He restores," says Job, "to its former condition (lit., in whole)" (Job 12:23).

134 Gode, Good.

135 meithhad i sawle, virginity in the soul.

136-38 Child thet hefde . . . him makien, [Imagine a] child that had such a disease that it needed (lit., it behooved him) a bath of blood before it would be healed - the mother [would] greatly love it, who would want to make it this bath.

138-39 the weren se seke . . . ther-with, who were so sick with sin and so polluted (lit., sullied) with it.

140 His luve maketh us beath th'rof, His love makes us a bath of it (i.e., of His blood).

141-42 he greithede . . . cleane cluppunges, He prepared for His dear lover (or, beloved) in order to wash her (or, to wash herself) in them so white and so fair that she would be worthy for His chaste embraces.

142-44 The earste beath . . . the othre, The first bath is baptism. Tears are the second, inner or outer, after the first bath, if she pollutes herself. The third is Jesus Christ's blood which hallows both the others.

145 Qui dilexit nos . . . sanguine suo, "[He] who loved us washed us in His blood" (Revelation 1:5).

146-47 Nunquid potest mater . . . obliviscar tui, "Can a mother ever forget the son of her womb? And if she should forget, I will not forget you" (adapted from Isaiah 49:15).

148-49 ich ne mei the foryeoten, I cannot forget you.

149 In manibus meis descripsi te, "I have depicted (or, carved) you in my hands" (Isaiah 49:16).

150 depeint, painted; swa he dude mid read blod, so he did with red blood.

151-53 Me cnut his gurdel . . . his honden, A person knots (i.e., puts a knot; cnut = reduced form of cnutteth) in his belt to have thought of (i.e., remember) a thing, but our Lord, because He did not want ever to forget us, made a mark of piercing, in our memory (i.e., as a reminder of us), in both of His two hands.

154-57 luveth the licome . . . of heovene, loves the body very much, moreover, and that is evident in the parting (or, separation) - for dear friends are sorry when they must part - but our Lord willingly separated His soul from His body to join both of ours together, world without end (i.e., forever and ever) in the joy of heaven.

158 other cleane sawle, or the chaste soul.

159 overkimeth the fowr measte luven . . . eorthe, surpasses (lit., overcomes) the four greatest loves that one finds (i-find = reduced form of i-findeth) on earth.

160 yetten he woheth hire, continually He woos her.

162 other hit is . . . with strengthe, either it is to be given completely, or it is to be sold, or it is to be plundered and to be taken by force.

163 biteon, bestow; Nam ich thinge feherest? Am I not the fairest (or, most beautiful) of things?

163-64 kinge richest, the most powerful of kings.

164 hest i-cunnet, the highest born; weolie wisest, the wisest of the wealthy; monne hendest, most courteous of men.

165 thinge freoest, the most generous of things.

165-66 For swa me seith . . . i-thurlet, For so people say about a generous man who cannot hold back that he has holes in his hands, as I do (lit., that he has the hands pierced, as mine are).

166 alre thinge, of all creatures (or, things).

167 hwi me ah to yeove, why one ought to give.

168 nomeliche, especially.

168-69 bute ha hire halde, unless she keep her (i.e., chastity).

169 ha is threo-vald . . . heste, she (i.e., chastity) is threefold: in widowhood, in marriage (lit., spouse-hood), in virginity, the highest.

170-72 Yef thi luve . . . na thing elles, If your love is not to be given (passive inf.), but you wish that one should buy her (i.e., love) - Buy her? How? Either with another love or with something else. One fittingly sells love [in exchange] for love and so (i.e., in this way) one ought to sell love, and for nothing else.

172-73 Yef thin is swa . . . othre, If yours is thus to be sold I have bought it with a love beyond all others.

173-74 For of the fowr . . . ham alle, For of the four greatest loves, I have shown towards you the greatest of them all.

174-76 Yef thu seist . . . thi luve, If you say you will not allow so cheap a bargain for it (lit., thereon), but want still more, name what it will be. Set a price on your love.

176 Thu ne schalt seggen . . . mare, You will not say so much that I will not give more.

177 Wult tu, Do you want; wealden, to rule, possess.

177-78 Ich chulle do the betere . . . heove-riche, I will do you [one] better, make you, in addition to all this, queen of the kingdom of heaven.

178 seove-vald, sevenfold, seven times.

179 Nan uvel . . . wonti the, No evil (or, disease) will come near you. No joy will be lacking to you; wil, will (or, desire).

180 i-wraht, wrought, performed.

180-82 Ne schal neaver heorte . . . mare, Never will the heart imagine such happiness that I will not give for your love immeasurably, incomparably, infinitely more.

182 Al Creasuse weole, All [of] Croesus' wealth.

183-84 Absalones schene wlite . . . seolver i-weiet, Absalom's shining beauty, who, as often as his hair was cut, the clippings were sold (lit., as one cut his hair, [one] sold the clippings), the hair that he cut off, for two hundred shekels of weighed silver (see 2 Kings 15:25-26).

184-85 Asaeles swiftschipe . . . of urn, Asael's speed, who strove (or, competed) with the stag in running (or, with the stag's speedy running: of-urn) (see 2 Kings 2:18 ff.).

185-86 the sloh a thusent . . . bute fere, who slew a thousand of his foes all at one time, and alone, without a companion (see Judges 16).

186 Cesares freolec . . . heale, Caesar's generosity. Alexander's reputation (lit., praise-word). Moses's vigor (see Deuteronomy 34:7).

187 Nalde a mon . . . he ahte? Would a man not give all that he owned for one of these [things]?

187-92 Ant alle somet . . . world abuten ende, And all together, against (i.e., in comparison to) my body, [these things] are not worth a needle. If you are so very stubborn and so out of your mind that you, to lose by nothing (i.e., in fear of losing any of these blessings), refuse such a benefit, along with happiness of every kind, look, I hold here a fierce sword at your head to separate life and soul, and sink them both into the fire of hell, to be the devil's whore, in shame and in sorrow (lit., shamefully and sorrowfully), world without end (i.e., for ever and ever).

192-94 Ondswere nu . . . muchele biheve, Answer now (imper.) and protect yourself, if you can, against me, or grant me your love which I yearn for so powerfully - not for mine, but for your own great benefit.

195-97 Nis ha to heard . . . as heo is? Is she not too hard hearted whom such a wooer cannot turn (or, convert) to His love, [especially] if she considers these three things well: what He is and what she is, and how great is the love of so high a person as He is toward so low a person as she is?

198 Salm-wruhte, Psalmist (lit., Psalm-maker); Non est qui se abscondat a calore ejus, "There is no one who can conceal himself from His flaming heat" (Psalm 18:7).

199 mahe edlutien . . . luvien, can hide so that she does not have to love Him.

199-201 The sothe sunne . . . leoves heorte, The true sun had for this reason climbed on high at the third hour (see Mark 15:25), onto the high Cross, in order to spread everywhere [His] hot love-rays. Thus, He was eager, and is to this day, to kindle His love in His beloved's heart.

202 Ignem veni . . . ut ardeat? "I have come to send fire on the earth, and what do I want except that it may burn?" (Luke 12:49).

203 bearninde, burning.

204-05 ant hwet yirne ich . . . him lath, and what do I desire (lit., yearn ) but that it blaze? Lukewarm love is hateful to Him.

205-06 Utinam frigidus esses . . . ore meo, "Would that you were either cold or hot! But because you are lukewarm, I am about to (lit., will begin to) vomit you out of My mouth" (Revelation 3:15-16).

206 Ich walde, I would wish.

207 other, either; allunge, completely; mid alle, completely.

208-09 ah for-thi thet tu art ase wlech . . . wurthe hattre, but because you are as if lukewarm, between [these] two, neither hot nor cold, you make Me gag (or, feel disgusted), and I will spew you out unless you become hotter.

210-11 Nu ye habbeth i-herd . . . to luvien, Now you have heard, my dear sisters, how and why God is very much to be loved (passive inf.).

211-12 For-te ontenden . . . spealeth "ontendunge," In order to ignite yourself well, gather (imper.) wood for that [purpose] (lit., thereto) with the poor woman of Sarephta, the town which (i.e., whose name) means "igniting."

212-13 En inquit colligo duo ligna (Regum iii), "Look!" she said, "I am gathering two sticks [that I may go in and prepare it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die]" (3 Kings [17:12]).

213 Helye, Elias; gederi twa treon, gather two pieces of wood (lit., two woods).

214-15 Theos twa treon . . . deore rode, These two pieces of wood - the one piece which stood upright and the other which went crosswise - make the symbol of (lit., symbolize) the dear Cross.

215-16 Of theos twa treon . . . towart ham, With these two pieces of wood you should kindle the fire of love within your heart. Look often towards them.

216-18 Thencheth yef ye ne ahen . . . his heaved, Consider whether you should not easily love the King of joy, who so spreads out His arms towards you, and bends His head downward as if to offer a kiss.

218-22 Sikerliche ich segge hit . . . Sarepte, I say it confidently: if the true Elijah - that is, almighty God - finds (i-fint = reduced form of i-findeth) you gathering these two pieces of wood (lit., finds you to gather), He will lodge (or, be a guest) with you and multiply in you His precious grace, as Elijah did her food and lodged with her whom he found gathering (lit., to gather) the two pieces of wood in Sarephta.

223-24 Grickisch fur . . . acwenchen, Greek fire (i.e., burning pitch used as a weapon) is made from a red man's blood, and nothing but urine, and sand, and vinegar, as people say, can quench it.

226 i-readet, reddened; ahne, own.

226-27 wes inread . . . weneth, was very ruddy (or, red) by nature also, as people believe.

227-30 for ow i-sched . . . luve acwenchen, shed for you upon the earlier (i.e., previously mentioned) two pieces of wood, will make you Sarephtans - that is, ignite [you] with this Greek fire, which as Solomon says, no waters - those are worldly tribulations, no temptations either inner or outer - can quench this love.

230-31 Nu nis thenne . . . acwencheth, Now there is not anything [to do] in the end but protect yourself cautiously against everything that quenches it.

232-33 O sond . . . this fur, In sand no good thing grows and [it thus] symbolizes idleness. Idleness cools and quenches this fire.

233 Sturieth ow cwicliche, Always stir (or, busy) yourself quickly (or, vigorously).

234 heaten, heat (verb); ant ontenden this fur . . . sunne, and ignite this fire against the burning of sin.

234-36 For alswa as the an neil . . . heorte, For just as the one nail drives out the other, just so the burning of God's love drives out the burning of foul love from the heart.

236 eisil, vinegar.

236-37 sur heorte . . . onde, a sour heart of spite or of envy.

237-39 tha the nithfule Giws . . . Consumatum est, when the spiteful Jews offered our Lord this sour present (i.e., vinegar) upon the Cross, then He said the sorrowful words, "It is finished" (John 19:30).

239-42 "Neaver," . . . of his hure, "Never," He said, "before now was I fully tortured," not by the vinegar, but by their envious spite which the vinegar symbolized which they made Him drink, and is just (lit., like) as though a man who had long toiled and [who] came short of (or, failed to get) his pay after long labor.

242-43 Alswa ure Laverd . . . to hure, Just so our Lord for more than thirty-two years toiled for (or, strove after) their love, and for all His painful toil wanted nothing but love as pay.

243-45 Ah i the ende . . . bitter onde! But in the end of His life, which was as if in (i.e., like) the evening-time when one pays workmen their day's wages, look how they repaid Him: for the spiced wine of honey love [they gave Him the] vinegar of sour spite and gall of bitter envy!

246 tha, then.

247-48 ne sweameth . . . i-don habbe, does not pain or trouble me at all in comparison to this - that I give away (i.e., am giving away) everything I have done in this way.

248 This eisil thet . . . mi pine, This vinegar which you offer Me, this sour pay, completes (or, consummates) My pain.

249 thonc, thought; acwencheth, quenches.

251 ha is Giwes make, she is a Jew's equal (or, companion).

251-52 thurhfulleth onont hire, fulfills as [it] regards her, (or, as far as she is concerned).

252-53 Me warpeth . . . overkimeth ham, One throws Greek fire on his enemies (lit., foe-men) and so one overcomes them.

253-54 Ye schule don alswa . . . weorre, You (pl.) must do likewise when God raises up for you any attack from any foe.

254 Hu ye hit schule warpen . . . teacheth, How you should throw it Solomon teaches.

254-56 Si esurierit inimicus tuus . . . caput ejus, "If your enemy be hungry, feed him; if he be thirsty, give him drink. Thus you truly heap burning coals over his head" (Proverbs 25:21-22; see Romans 12:20).

258 yef him fode of thine beoden . . . are, give him the food of your prayers that God may do (i.e., grant) him grace.

259-60 "rukelin . . . gleden," "pile up burning embers on his head."

260-61 thu schalt ontenden . . . luvie the, you will ignite (or, set on fire) his heart to love you.

261-62 For heorte is . . . dome, For the heart is to be understood in Holy Writ by "head." In such a way will God say at the Judgment.

263 ha luveden me! they loved me!

263-64 "Ye . . . to yelden," "Indeed," He will say, "you repaid what you owed. Here I do not have anything much to repay to you."

264-66 Yef thu maht ondswerien . . . yelden, If you could answer, "they did every misery to me, and I owed them no love, but, sir, I loved them for Your love" - [then] that love He owes you, for it was given to Him and He will repay it to you.

267 Migge, Urine.

267-68 is stinkinde flesches luve . . . bitacneth, is the stinking love of the flesh, which extinguishes spiritual love, which Greek fire symbolizes.

269 Ant thah, And nevertheless.

270 Nisi ego abiero . . . ad vos, "Unless I go away, the Paraclete (i.e., the Holy Spirit) will not come to you" (John 16:7).

271 Bute, Unless.

272 ich chulle, I will.

273-75 Hwen Jesu Cristes ahne deciples . . . bathe togederes, When Jesus Christ's own disciples, while they loved Him bodily (or, in the body), near Him they went without (lit., forwent) the sweetness of the Holy Spirit, nor might they have both together.

275-77 Demeth ow-seolven . . . his speche? Judge for yourselves: is not he insane - or she - who loves too much her own body or [who loves] any man physically so that she [may] yearn too much for the sight of him or his talk (or, conversation)?

277 Ne thunche hire neaver wunder . . . frovre, [Let it] not seem strange to her if the Holy Ghost's comfort is lacking to her (i.e., if she lacks the comfort of the Holy Spirit).

278-79 Cheose nu . . . mot leten, [Let] each one now choose from (i.e., between) these two - earthly and heavenly strength - to which she will hold, for she must leave the other.

279-80 For i the tweire monglunge . . . heorte, For, in the mixture (or, contamination) of the two, she can nevermore have purity of heart.

281 grithful, peaceful.

282-83 a meistrie bivoren alle othre . . . ahne, a power above all others; for everything that she touches, everything she turns to herself, and makes everything her own.

283-84 Quemcumque locum . . . vester erit, "Whatever place you set your foot on" - the foot, clearly, of love - "will be yours" (Deuteronomy 11:24, with gloss).

284-85 Deore walde moni . . . his ahne, Many a man would buy such a thing dearly (i.e., at a high price) [so] that everything he might touch against [it], everything would be his own.

285-87 Ant ne seide hit th'ruppe . . . thin ahne god, And [was] it not said far above (see 4.1271-74), simply by the fact that you love the good that is in another, with the [Midas] touch of your love, you make without [any] other work his good your own good.

288 the ontfule, the envious; Streche thi luve, If you stretch (or, extend) your love.

289 Rin him, Touch Him (imper.); sum mon, for some man (or, person).

289-90 sum-chearre . . . wilnest, sometime, He is yours to do everything with that you will.

290-91 thet leaveth hit . . . is wurth? who leaves it (or, gives it up) for less than it is worth (i.e., for something that is worth less)?

291 Nis Godd betere . . . the world? Is God not incomparably better than everything that is in the world?

291-92 Chearite is cherte . . . deore, Love (lit., charity) is the cherishing of a beloved and precious thing.

292-94 Undeore he maketh Godd . . . he ane, He (i.e., that person) makes God cheap (lit., un-dear) and too worthless by far, who for any worldly thing slackens in his love, for nothing can be loved (passive inf.) rightly, but He alone (or, no creature can love rightly, except He alone).

294-96 Swa overswithe . . . moste nede, So excessively He loves love that He makes her His equal. Yet I dare say more - He makes her His master and does all that she commands as though He must needs [do it].

296 Ye, witerliche ich, Yes, certainly I [can prove it].

297 the monne meast him luvede, who of [all] men loved Him most.

297-98 In Numeri . . . dicit preces, In Numbers: "I have pardoned according to your word" (Numbers 14:20) - [note that He does not say "prayers."]

298-99 "Ich hefde . . . i-forthet," [God to Moses:] "I had," He said, "resolved to wreak my anger on this people. But you say I must not. Let your word be furthered (or, advanced)."

299-300 Me seith, They say.

300-01 witerliche luve bint . . . leave, certainly, love binds (bint = reduced form of bindeth) our Lord in such a way (lit., so) that He can do nothing except by love's permission.

301 Nu preove . . . wunder, Now [here is] the proof for this, since it seems strange.

302 Domine, non est . . . teneat te, "Lord, there is no one who rises up and lays hold of You (i.e., prevents You)" (Isaiah 64:7).

303-04 "Wei-la-wei! . . . to smiten," "Alas! You might well [do it] - there is no one who could hold (or, stop) You," as though he said, "if anyone loved You rightly, he could hold you and prevent You from smiting (lit., to smite)."

304-06 In Genesy, ad Loth . . . fueris illinc, In Genesis, [God] to Lot: "hurry, etc. I will not do anything there until you will have left that place" (Genesis 19:22).

306-08 tha ure Laverd . . . don ham, when our Lord wanted to sink Sodom where Lot his friend was (lit., was in), "Rush yourself," he said, "out from here (lit., outward). For while you are among them (i.e., the Sodomites), I cannot do anything to them."

308 Nes thes . . . i-bunden? Was He (lit., this one) not bound by love?; Hwet wult tu mare? What more do you want?

309 chamberleng, chamberlain; thet he ne mei nawt heole with, whom He can hide nothing from.

310 In Genesy . . . gesturus sum? In Genesis: "Can I conceal from Abraham what I am about to do?" (Genesis 18:17).

311 Mei ich . . . to donne? "Can I," says our Lord, "hide from Abraham the thing that I think to do?"

312-14 Nu con thes . . . worldliche tungen, Now this person can love (or, knows how to love), who speaks this way and acts thus to all who trust and love Him inwardly (or, spiritually). The joy which He prepares (or, is preparing) for them, just as it is incomparable (i.e., cannot be compared) to all the world's joys, likewise it is indescribable to (i.e., cannot be described by) worldly tongues.

315-16 Ysaias: Oculus non vidit . . . audivit, Isaiah: "The eye has not seen O God except You, what You have prepared for those who love You" (Isaiah 64:4); The Apostle: "Eye has not seen, or ears heard [nor has it entered into the heart of man what things God has prepared for those who love Him]" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

316-17 Ye habbeth . . . elles-hwer, You have, concerning these joys, [something] written elsewhere [in this book].

318-19 Confitebor tibi . . . cor suum, "I will confess to You in uprightness" - that is, the regulation - "of the heart" (Psalm 118:7). "Reproach of the wicked, a generation which did not regulate its heart" (Psalm 77:8).

319-20 leafdi riwle, lady rule.

320-22 Ant ane for hire sake . . . eahtuthe dale, And only for her sake it is commanded (lit., one commands) to love them (i.e., the other rules). I put little importance on them, as long as this one be reverently (lit., preciously) kept. You have them (i.e., will find them), though, briefly in the eighth part.



    With Part Seven, AW reaches the core of the inner rule. As Shepherd shows, AW's idea of love is very much influenced by Cistercian devotion and more particularly by Bernard's thinking (pp. xviii-li). Bernard's writings on divine love incorporate and develop a long tradition of commentary on the Song of Songs (see Ann Astell's The Song of Songs in the Middle Ages). The author employs a number of bizarre and audacious analogies - Christ as an abusive lover, God's love as spiritual napalm, etc. It is fair to say, though, that AW takes a less mystical approach to the love of God than later texts like The Book of Margery Kempe and the Divine Showings of Julian of Norwich. Although there are a few hints at mystical union with the divine, for the most part Christ delivers his embassy of love to an indifferent lady. In fact, Part Seven spends more time imagining what might harden an anchoress' heart to the lover-knight than in placing her in his arms and even imagines the rage which the reluctant beloved will endure for rejecting his love. Most scholarly work on this section has focused Christ as the lover-knight. Elizabeth Robertson argues that the romance elements imply a passive spirituality for women (Early English Devotional Prose, p. 72), an idea which Catherine Innes-Parker modifies by reading the parable of the lover-knight less in terms of medieval romance and more through the "affective mysticism of Bernard" ("The Lady and the King," p. 511). See also Woolf, "The Theme of Christ the Lover-Knight," and Rygiel, "The Allegory of Christ."


    Introduction (7.1-41). The opening establishes forcefully the theme of Part Seven and the culmination of AW: the overriding importance of love, which brightens the heart.
    God as Lover: How He Won Our Love (7.42-111). An account of how God won our love with noble gifts (7.42-53) leads naturally into the comparison of Christ to a human lover (7.53-58) who woos his beloved with letters and gifts. The attention turns next to the beloved herself, a lady besieged in the earthen castle (her body), but who is indifferent to the attentions of her lover (7.59-81). A full allegorical analysis follows (7.82-97) along with an answer to the question, "Could not He have saved us with less grief?" (7.98-111).
    The Four Chief Loves (7.112-60). After outlining the four kinds of human love, this section shows how Christ's love surpasses them all: [1] love between friends (7.115-18), [2] love between man and woman (7.119-35), [3] love between mother and child (7.136-53), and [4] love between body and soul (7.154-57). Christ's love for his bride surpasses these (7.157-60).
    The Wooing of Our Lord (7.161-209). Now Christ's love is revealed in a more dramatic mode - he woos his beloved in direct speech, sometimes offering the richest possible gifts (7.171-87), sometimes threatening force (7.188-94).This section ends with an account of Christ's fervent, burning love and why the anchoress should return this love with hot, not lukewarm love (7.195-209).
    The Fire of Love (7.210-317). Picking up on the images of heat in the last section, the topic turns now to a comparison between God's love and fire, with a startling allegory of spiritual love as Greek fire (a kind of medieval napalm) and the ways it can be extinguished (7.223-68). The anchoress must choose between earthly and spiritual love - it is impossible to have both (7.268-82). Earthly love seems paltry compared to the unbelievable richness of spiritual love (7.282-95), and besides, God's love is so extreme that He cannot help doing anything his beloved asks (7.295-318).
    Conclusion and Transition to Part Eight (7.317-22). Here the author reaffirms the sovereignty of the inner rule of love over the more or less inconsequential outer rule, which will be treated briefly in Part Eight.
    For a slightly different outline of this section, see Rygiel's "Structure and Style in Part Seven of Ancrene Wisse."

1-2 alle uttre heardschipes, alle . . . al. Shepherd notes that this rhetorical repetition (as well as that in 7.11-12) echoes the repetition of al at the beginning of Part Six (p. 52).

11 the hali abbat Moyses. Not the Old Testament Moses, but one of the desert fathers. In The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Ward provides this biography: "Moses, called the Robber or the Negro, was a released slave who lived as a robber in Nitria; late in life he became a monk and was trained by Isidore the priest and become one of the great fathers of Scetis. On the advice of Macarius he retired to Petra; he was martyred with seven others by barbarian invaders" (p. 138). The title abbat "abbot" translates the Greek abba "father," often used for the desert fathers (amma "mother" was applied to holy women). Shepherd thinks that Abba Moses came to the attention of the AW author through Cassian's Collations (1 and 2), where he is the central figure, though it is also likely that the author knew of him from the Verba Seniorum ("The Sayings of the Elders") section of The Lives of the Desert Fathers (see Explanatory Note to 2.310). In The Lives of the Desert Fathers, the story of the holy man terrified of the demon army is told about Abba Moses (see 4.659-63).

20 ff. twa thinges. Shepherd (p. 53) traces this idea to Bernard's Tractate on the Office and Duty of Bishops, chapter 3 (PL 182, col. 817).

25-26 Augustinus: Habe caritatem . . . voluntate videlicet rationis. Shepherd points out that a number of twelfth-century writers (including Aelred, Adam the Scot, and Peter of Blois) quote this phrase. Since a misinterpretation of the phrase is possible - the author adds an important condition (p. 53).

32-33 Minus te amat qui preter te aliquid amat, quod non propter te amat. This phrase from Augustine's Confessions appears in a number of medieval texts (Shepherd, p. 53).

34 Schirnesse of heorte. As Savage and Watson point out (p. 398n6), this is the first of several echoes from the Author's Preface (see Pref.33 ff.).

38 Seinte Mihales weie. St. Michael the archangel (mentioned in Daniel 10:13 ff., 12:1, Jude 9, Revelations 12:7-9) appeared in a number of apocryphal works in which he guided Moses and Isaiah to heaven. As The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church points out, "In connexion with the Scriptural and apocryphal passages he was early regarded in the Church as the helper of Christian armies against the heathen, and as a protector of individual Christians against the devil, esp[ecially] at the hour of death, when he conducts the souls to God" (Cross and Livingstone, p. 913).

42 ff. Godd haveth ofgan ure luve. Shepherd traces a number of texts which treat this theme (why God is to be loved) similarly (p. 54). See in particular Alcher of Clairvaux's On the Love of God (PL 40, col. 861).

53 ff. as a mon the woheth. The idea of Christ as lover comes ultimately from the Song of Songs and its medieval commentaries (including a famous one by Bernard - see Ann Astell's The Song of Songs in the Middle Ages). Shepherd traces a number of analogues to AW's treatment in various writers including Origen, Aelred, Anselm, and Hugh of St. Victor (p. 55), while Dobson points out some parallels in the Moralities on the Gospels (pp. 173 ff.) but thinks that many of the details are of the author's own invention. Savage and Watson note that the famous passage from Piers Plowman in which Christ jousts on the Cross is the climax of this tradition (p. 399n12).

55-56 leattres i-sealet . . . leattres i-openet. Letters sealed with wax, bearing the imprint of a signet ring were private communications, while letters patent (i.e., "opened letters"), as the OED explains, are "usually from a sovereign or person in authority, issued for various purposes, e.g., to put on record some agreement or contract, to authorize or command something to be done, to confer some right, privilege, title, property, or office; now, especially, to grant for a statutory term to a person or persons the sole right to make, use, or sell some invention." Letters patent proclaim a privilege publicly. Millett and Wogan-Browne point out that the Old Testament as a "sealed" letter is "an apt metaphorical expression of the idea that the Old Testament allegorically foreshadowed the New" (Medieval English Prose, p. 158).

60 an eorthene castel. The castle represents the body, also made of earth (see Genesis 2:7 and 1 Corinthians 4:7), while the lady symbolizes the soul (see 7.59 and 7.81).

73 to scheome death. Literally, to a death of shame - scheome is a possessive noun (see glossary).

86-89 Shepherd traces a similar image of Christ's crucified body as a shield (wide at the top and narrow at the bottom) to Bernard's Sermon 5 on Psalm 91 (see Saïd's translation, p. 141). Crucifixes with one nail through both feet seem to have become popular around the year 1200 - see Shepherd (p. 57). Savage and Watson point out that the "older images depict two nails in his feet, which are often also placed on a small stand, giving a sense of Christ's physical control and power at this critical moment in his battle with the devil. The newer ones depict Christ's feet crossed over on another and driven through with a single nail, so that his body seems twisted with suffering - and is also 'narrow beneath.' The new iconography evolved in parallel with a new focus, not on Christ's victory at the passion, but on his suffering" (p. 399n15). See Moralities on the Gospels (pp. 176-79) for further analogues.

105 the thridde reisun. Exactly what the first two reasons are is somewhat unclear. R. A. Waldron, analyzing the AW author's tendency to number his arguments, offers the following explanation: "The three answers which he gives to this question [see 7.98-99] are (i) to deprive us of all excuse for refusing Him our love . . . [7.99-100], (ii) to attract our own love by the price He paid for it . . . [7.102], and (iii) to demonstrate His love openly [7.110]" ("Enumeration in Ancrene Wisse," p. 87).

108 ff. Both Anselm's Meditation on Human Redemption (see Ward's translation, pp. 230-37) and Bernard Sermons on the Song of Songs 11.7 (PL 183, col. 827) advance similar arguments for the necessity of the crucifixion (Savage and Watson, p. 399n17).

112 ff. Fowr heaved luven. Dobson points to a very close parallel between the four loves as described here in the Moralities on the Gospels (pp. 173 ff.), while Rouse and Wenzel (in their review of Dobson's Moralities on the Gospels) point to other analogues, among them in the Summa brevis of Richard Wetheringsette. Edward Wilson also identified a close parallel to the four loves in a sermon preserved in a late fifteenth-century manuscript (Lincoln Cathedral, MS 50). Shepherd lists a number of more general analogues (p. 59).

115 ff. Behind this story of the loyal friend lies the memory of the legendary friends Damon and Pythias. Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is a later handling of the same folkmotif. Though the antisemitism in this passage is drearily commonplace, there may be an echo of contemporary developments. As Shepherd writes, "The Jews in Henry II's reign had had a recognised place in the national economy and were much used by the king in the collection of money. From the beginning of Richard I's reign (1189), outrages directed against the financial monopoly of the Jews were numerous. Hatred was intensified by the fall of Jerusalem and during the preparation for the Third Crusade (1189-92)" (pp. 59-60). For more recent accounts of Christian-Jewish relations in this period, see Anna Sapir Abulafia's Christians and Jews in the Twelfth Century Renaissance and Andrew Colin Gow's The Red Jews: Antisemitism in an Apocalyptic Age, 1200-1600.

128-29 "Yet he eorneth . . . swire." The English translation is based not on the Latin paraphrase of Luke immediately preceding, but directly on the Vulgate text.

131 as Seint Austin seith. Though the exact reference to Augustine has not been identified, Millett and Wogan-Browne (Medieval English Prose, p. 159) point to a passage in De symbolo (PL 40, cols. 1191-92) and another in his Sermon 188 (PL 38, col. 1005).

136-37 beath of blod. The bath of blood seems to be a folktale motif. See Shepherd (p. 24) for analogues in secular literature.

157 ff. Cecily Clark detects a complex rhetorical pattern in the following passage, tracing its use of embedded parallelisms and to the style of St. Augustine in particular ("As Seint Austin Seith," pp. 212-13).

161 ff. Shepherd lists some parallels to this passage in the writings of Bernard (On the Love of God) and Gerard of Liège (p. 61). In some ways, the passage echoes the sentiments of Þe Wohunge of Ure Lauerd (see the edition by W. Meredith Thompson), where the soul sings a love song to Christ, cataloging His excellencies (see particularly lines 165 ff.). As Savage and Watson note, "The fierceness of Christ, especially in the threatening final sentences of his speech, is part of his knightly persona as well as being a feature of his divine authority, and is perhaps intended to produce a mixture of fear and awe, spiritual longing and erotic excitement" (p. 400n25).

161-62 for-te yeoven . . . to sullen . . . to reavin . . . to neomen. This series of verbs are passive infinitives - that is, they have a passive sense: "to be given, "to be sold," etc.

176 ff. Wult tu castles. Shepherd believes that a passage in Anselm's Proslogion (perhaps as adapted by Honorius of Autun) underlies this section on the gifts which the blessed will receive in heaven (pp. 62-63). For further details of Honorius' text, see Shepherd's article, "All the Wealth of Croesus . . . : A Topic in the 'Ancrene Riwle.'"

184-85 Asaeles swiftschipe . . . of urn. The word of urn may be a compound meaning "swift running," perhaps "greater speed in running" (Bennett and Smithers, p. 543) or a prepositional phrase of urn "in running." In the first case, the sentence would read "who strove with the swift running of the hart" (heortes must be genitive singular). The alternative, to take of urn as a prepositional phrase, would yield "who strove with harts in running."

189 thurh nawt to leosen. The meaning of thurh in this phrase is puzzling. Shepherd suggests that it blends two meanings, "in consequence of having nothing to lose" and "even though you have nothing to lose" (p. 63). The translation of this line in Vitellius, pur nule rien perdre, suggests that thurh nawt to leosen here might mean "in order to lose nothing," and may be an instance where French usage (pur as infinitive marker) has influenced the English syntax.

210 ff. Shepherd lists similar interpretations of the woman of Sarephta from Hugh of St. Victor, Augustine, Baldwin of Ford, and Peter Blois (p. 64).

218 as to beoden cos. Savage and Watson point out that the "kiss of Christ's mouth" is a motif which appears frequently in Bernard's Sermons on the Song of Songs (particularly sermons 1-8) (p. 401n32).

223 Grickisch fur. Greek fire was a kind of ancient napalm, a flaming liquid either sprayed onto enemy ships via hand-powered pumps or poured onto hostile armies from the battlements of a stronghold. This secret weapon of the Byzantine empire (hence the name "Greek" fire) was first employed in the seventh century against an invading Arab fleet. Medieval Europeans probably first heard about Greek fire from the reports of returning Crusaders, and relative to the date of AW perhaps from veterans of the sack of Constantinople in 1204. Recipes for Greek fire survive in Greek, Arabic, and Latin, but there is considerable scholarly debate about the original composition of Greek fire (Bert Hall's introduction to J. R. Partington's A History of Greek Fire and Gunpowder offers a good summary of this debate). Many of the recipes, however, call for some combination of sulphur, naptha, petroleum, as well as other ingredients, possibly saltpeter (linking Greek fire to the later invention of gunpowder).

Marcus Graecus' recipe in his Liber Ignium ad Comburendos Hostes (The Book of Fires for Burning Enemies) (see Partington, pp. 42-63) holds special interest for readers of AW since it mentions urine, vinegar, and sand as extinguishers of Greek fire: "You will make Greek fire in this way. Take live sulphur, tartar, sarcocolla and pitch, boiled salt, petroleum oil and common oil. Boil all these well together. Then immerse in it tow and set it on fire. If you like you can pour it out through a funnel as we said above. Then kindle the fire which is not extinguished except by urine, vinegar, or sand" (Partington, p. 50). Urine, vinegar, and sand may seem to be rather eccentric counter-agents for Greek fire, but as Partington points out, "Ancient fire extinguishers were water, sand, dry or moist earth, manure, urine (which contains phosphates), and especially vinegar, which was considered to be particularly cold. Plutarch said vinegar 'conquers every flame'" (p. 5).

AW's "recipe," unlike that in Marcus Graecus' handbook, is clearly not practical since it says rather mysteriously that Greek fire is made of the "blood of a red man," a jumping off point for the allegory, since Christ is the man made red by his bloody suffering. An odd passage in a thirteenth-century Latin romance, De Ortu Waluuanii (On the Rise of Gawain), also mentions the blood of a red man as an ingredient (one of many) in Greek fire. A long passage giving a recipe for Greek fire interrupts a description of a sea battle in which the Knight of the Surcoat uses Greek fire to destroy the remaining ships of a scattered enemy fleet. Bruce, the editor of the romance, calls this long digression an "outrageously burlesque receipt" (p. 384). And indeed, the list of ingredients does seem more than a little fanciful: toads fed on honey, dove's flesh, the milk of a freshly delivered cow, the venom of an asp, the hide and testicles of a wolf, the head, heart, and liver of a crow. The next ingredient is the blood of a red man, which is collected from a youth with a red beard and hair. He is fattened for a month and given women to gratify him sexually. Finally, he is stretched out on the floor, with food and drink unpurged from his body, surrounded by burning coals, and slowly bled (to death). His blood goes into the pot with the other ingredients. It seems likely that all these operations (digestion, sex, and fire) are intended to increase the heat of the blood. Next comes the blood of a red dragon, and then the known ingredients of Greek fire - sulphur, naptha, etc. It is difficult to know what to make of this recipe, but it may be that "red man" and "red dragon" are alchemical code words which here have been interpreted fancifully. In later alchemical writings, "red man" referred to sulphurized mercury (OED), and in his classic study (Mysterium Conjunctionis), Jung connects it to the production of the philosopher's stone itself (p. 492). For an accessible text of On the Rise of Gawain, see Mildred Leake Day's translation in Wilhelm's The Romance of Arthur, pp. 383-86.

The Moralities on the Gospels mentions Greek fire but uses it as a metaphor for lust, not divine love: "Exemplum concerning Greek fire and the sin of luxury (or, lust): Therefore, just as Greek fire is extinguished by vinegar, so also the flame of lust is extinguished by recollecting the blood of Jesus Christ" (Dobson, p. 182). Ian Bishop cites another analogue, a thirteenth-century love lyric, "De Ramis Cadunt Folia" (The Leaves Fall from the Boughs), whose last stanza uses Greek fire as a metaphor for the fire of love kindled by the eye and touch of a maiden: "Greek fire is extinguished/ right away with wine most sour;/ but that love (i.e., the love for a maiden) is not extinguished in the most wretched;/ rather, it is actually fed by abundant remedies" (p. 198).

238 ff. This account of Christ's receiving vinegar to drink is also treated in 2.683 ff.

297-98 In Numeri . . . dicit preces. This added gloss on Numbers stresses that Moses commanded God with his word, not that he made a request through prayer, thus supporting the idea that God's love is so intense that He allows himself to be mastered by it.

319-21 the leafdi riwle . . . i-halden. See Pref.27-29.



3 MS: Exercitio. Tolkien would emend to Exercitatio (p. 195, fol. 104r, line 5), as a corrector did at p. 25, but the form appears to be a legitimate one for late Latin. [Cleo.: exercicio; Titus: Excercitatio; Nero: excercitio; Vernon (lost); Pepys: Exercitacio; Caius (lacking); Vitellius: Exercitacio; Trinity: Exercitacio; Lat.: Excercitatio.]

17 loki mid his grace ant makie the heorte schir. MS: loki mid his grace ant maketh the heorte schir. As Millett and Wogan-Browne point out, maketh should probably read makie (the subj. form) to make it parallel to loki. As it stands, the text reads, "no suffering of the flesh is to be loved except for the reason that God may look the more readily in that direction with His grace and may make (MS: makes) the heart pure." The only other version which unambiguously corroborates Corpus is Nero, though in Cleo. lokeð and makeð are expanded from abbreviations. [Cleo.: lokeð mid his grace ant makeð þe heorte schir; Titus: loke wið his grace. ant make þe herte schir; Nero: loke þideward mid his grace. and makie ðe heorte schir; Vernon (lost); Pepys: lokeþ þiderward wiþ his grace and makeþ þe hert schire; Caius (lacking); Vitellius: regarde od sa grace. et fet le queor pur; Trinity: gardereit landreit par sa grace. e par ceo fereit le quor tut cler; Lat.: per graciam suam respicit et facit cor serenum.]

38 MS: seinte Mihales weie. Tolkien would regularize to Mi[c]hales (p. 197, fol. 104v, line 20), but since the form without c was acceptable to at least two scribes - those of Titus and Nero - it seems to represent a legitimate spelling, and thus we retain it. [Cleo.: seinte Michales weie; Titus: seinte mihales weie; Nero: seinte miheles weie; Vernon (lost); Pepys: seint Mi3els wei3e; Caius (lacking); Vitellius: la balance seint michel; Trinity: en balance seint michel; Lat.: beati Michaelis libra.]

50 wrecches. MS: wrecch/ces. As Tolkien points out, this inadvertent misspelling for wrecches "wretches" was probably encouraged by the line break (p. 198, fol. 105r, lines 7-8).

55 proph[et]es. MS: prophes. An -et- is missing from this word. Tolkien prints the corrected form prophetes in the text, putting the mistaken MS form, prophes, in the note (p. 200, fol. 105r, line 14) - as Käsmann points out. Here it is emended to proph[et]es.

113 bi[tweone] wif ant hire child. MS: bi / wif ant hir child. As Tolkien (p. 200, fol. 106v, line 3) and Millett and Wogan-Browne (p. 116) point out, the scribe fails to copy the rest of bitweone ("between") after the line break.

117 MS: swuch fordede. Tolkien's note: "for or derived from forðdede (OE. forðdæd)" (p. 201, fol. 106v, line 9). The MS reading, fordede "service, or deed of assistance," however, is most probably correct since both Nero and Titus (which often recast difficult passages) retain the form. The prefix here is presumably not the pejorative for- as in for-don "to destroy," but a prefix meaning "in behalf of." The MED thinks the word was formed on the basis of MLat. profecti. [Cleo.: swich forðdede; Titus: swuch fordede; Nero: swuch fordede; Vernon (lost); Pepys: swich a fordede; Caius: swuch fordede.]

132 swa muchel is bitweonen Godes neoleachunge. MS: Swa muchel is bitweonen. bituhhen godes neoleachunge. Shepherd notes that "bitweone(n) is the usual form in AW; bituhhen occurs occasionally. The double writing is probably a scribal slip" (p. 60n23/36). A sensible emendation adopted here, though Millett and Wogan-Browne make sense of the repetition by bracketing the phrase with dashes: "Swa muchel is bit-weonen - bituhhen Godes neoleachunge ant monnes to wommon - thet . . ." (p.118). [Cleo.: Swa muchel is bitwenen. bituch3e godes neolechunge; Titus: Swa muchel is bitwene godes neohleachinge; Nero: So muchel is bitweonen godes neihlechunge; Vernon (lost); Pepys: so Michel Departyng is bitwene knowleching of Man and womman. and god and his lemman; Caius: Swa muche is bitwenen godes nehunge and mones to wummon; Vitellius: Tant i ad de difference entre la renouelure de dieu; Trinity: Tant est entre la conisance deu e homme e femme; Lat.: Tanta est dif(f)erencia inter coniugium Dei.]

141 weschen hire. MS: weschen him (re). The scribe first wrote him but canceled the m and interlined re above it to give hire "her."

149 MS: resun. Tolkien believes this a mistake (p. 202, fol. 107r, line 19), and indeed the word reisun "reason" is spelled very consistently with ei in Corpus. However, on the chance that the form represents a phonological or orthographical phenomenon and not a copying error, it is retained here. [Cleo.: reisun; Titus: reisun; Nero: reisun; Vernon (lost); Pepys: resoun; Caius: reisun; Vitellius: reisone; Trinity: resoen.]

164 MS: nam ich weolie wisest. Tolkien believes that weolie is a mistaken form: "weolie, sic; original word probably weore 'of men' (as Tolkien). L peritorum suggests intermediate stage weote, weotie" (p. 202, fol. 107r, line 9). Thus Tolkien believes that an intermediate adaptation of weore was weote "witty or expert," the translation of Latin peritorum. Shepherd retains the MS reading and defines weolie as "of rich men," taking the word as plural adjective (in the genitive) functioning as a noun, the best, least intrusive course. [Cleo.: nam ich weolie wisest; Titus: Nam i weore wisest; Nero: nam ich weolie wisest; Vernon (lost); Pepys: ne am ich wisest; Caius: Nam ich weolie wisest; Vitellius: Ne sui ieo de touz le plus sage; Trinity: e li plus sages; Lat.: Num peritorum sapientissimus.]

170-71 buggen hire? [Hu?] Other with other luve. MS: bugge hire; bugge hire? oðer wið oðer luue. Though it may be possible to accept the MS reading (as Shepherd does), it seems best to follow Millett and Wogan-Browne (p. 120) who show that text is muddled here by the omission of a hu "how" after the second bugge hire "buy her!" - an emendation supported by Cleo. and Vitellius in particular. [Cleo.: bugge hire. buggen hire. hu; oðer wið oðer luue; Titus: buggen hire. hu oðer wið oðer luue; Nero: bugge hire; do seie hwu; oðer mid oþer luue; Vernon (lost); Pepys: buggen it 3if it schal be selde it owe forto be bou3th wiþ loue; Caius: bugge hire. buggen hire; hu? oþer wið ower luue; Vitellius: len achate. achatez le. comment. ou od altre amour; Trinity: lem achate; dites coment vus la uoleez doner. Cest adire ou par amurs; Lat.: ematur, quomodo potest emi? aut alio amore.]

171-72 Me suleth wel luve [for luve] ant swa. MS: Me suleð wel luue; ant swa. As Tolkien (p. 203, fol. 107v, lines 18-19) and Millett and Wogan-Browne (p. 120) point out, the scribe has inadvertently dropped two words, for luue, after wel luue. [Cleo.: Me sulleð wel luue for luue. ant swa; Titus: Mon selles wel luue for luue. And swa; Nero: Me sulleð wel luue uor luue. and so; Vernon (lost); Pepys: Men sellen wel loue for loue and so; Caius: Men sulled wel luue for luue; Vitellius: Len vent bien amour pur amour. et issi; Trinity: Lem uent amur pur amur; Lat.: Amor venditur pro amore et sic.]

180-81 MS: Ne schal neauer heorte þenchen hwuch selhðe. Millett and Wogan-Browne emend hwuch ("whatever, any") to swuch ("such"), the reading in all the other versions. It seems possible, though, to accept hwuch as a minor variation which changes the meaning of the sentence only slightly. [Cleo.: Ne schal neauer heorte þenche swich selchðe; Titus: Ne schal neauer heorte þenche swuch selhðe; Nero: ne schal neuer heorte þenchen swuch seluhðe; Vernon (lost); Pepys: ne schal neuer þink so mychel; Caius: Ne schal neauer heorte þenchen swuch selehþe; Vitellius: Ja ne pensera queor tiele beneurte; Trinity: Ia quer ne purra penser nule si ouruse chose; Lat.: Non poterit cor cogitare tantam felicitatem.]

190-91 MS: todealen lif ant sawle. ant bisenchen ham ba. It is difficult to tell whether to is an infinitive marker (to dealen lif ant sawle "to separate life and soul") or a verb prefix (todealen lif ant sawle) - if it is a prefix, there seems to be a missing infinitive marker. Tolkien would emend as follows: [to] todealen lif ant sawle, and assumes that a to dropped out at a very early stage in the MS transmission (p. 204, fol. 108r, line 15), but other versions must interpret to as an infinitive marker since the following parallel phrase also begins with a to (as inf. marker). It seems best then to allow the MS reading to stand. [Cleo.: to deale lif ant saule ant to bisenchen ham boa; Titus: to deale lif ant sawle. ant to bisenchen ham baðe; Nero: to dealen lif ant soule. and to bisenchen botwo; Vernon (lost); Pepys: to todelen lyf and soule and caste hem boþe; Caius: to dealen (inf.) lif and saule. and bisenchen ham ba; Vitellius: pur seuerir vie et alme et pur tresbucher ces dous; Trinity: a de partir uostre alme de uostre cors. e a engeter amedeus dekes en feu de enfern; Lat.: ad separandum vitam et animam et ad vtraque submergendum.]

191 MS: to beon deofles hore. Millett and Wogan-Browne point out (p. 120), that most of the other versions insert the adverb þer ("there") between beon and deofles, but since the sense of the passage is not affected, the Corpus text is reproduced unchanged. [Cleo.: to beo þer deofles hore; Titus: to beo þer deoueles hores; Nero: uorto beon þer deofles hore; Vernon (lost); Pepys: to be þe deuels hore; Vitellius: pur estre la puteine al diable; Trinity: pur estre illoc la uoutre le diable; Lat.: vt ibi sis meretrix diaboli.]

201 ontenden his luve i his leoves heorte. MS: ontenden his luue. ant his leoues heorte. Although Corpus' reading "ignite his love and his beloved's heart" makes a certain amount of sense on its own, the other versions show that ant must originally have read i or in ("ignite his love in his beloved's heart"). The text here is restored to i because it seems to be a spelling more easily confused with the abbreviation (7) for ant. [Cleo.: ontenden his luue in his leoues heorte; Titus: entenden his luue in his leoues heorte; Nero: ontenden his luue in his leoues heorte; Vernon (lost); Pepys (recast); Caius: tenden his luue in his leoues heorte; Vitellius: alumer et esprendre samour en le queor samie; Trinity: pur enbracer sa amur en quer de sa amie; Lat.: amorem suum accendat in corde sue dilecte.]

238-39 MS: Consumatum est. The spelling should be consummatum "finished, completed," with two m's, to avoid confusion with the verb consumatum "consumed, eaten up." Though the other versions all have the correct spelling, the Corpus scribe repeats the spelling in line 246, making it unlikely that the spelling is an inadvertent mistake. It may be that in the exemplar for Corpus consum-matum was written with an abbreviation in place of one of the m's, an abbreviation easily overlooked. [Cleo.: Consummatum est; Titus: Consummatum est; Nero: consummatum; Vernon (lost); Pepys: Consummatum est; Caius (lacking); Vitellius: Consummatum est; Trinity: Consumatum inquit est and Consummatum est; Lat.: Consummatum est and Consummatum est.]

252 Jesues pine o rode. MS: iesues pine o rode. Though it looks a bit strange, iesues "Jesus'" probably should stand as is, especially since it occurs with this spelling in Cleo. Tolkien, though, thinks it is an error (p. 206, fol. 109v, line 7). See the similar form iesuse (6.14). [Cleo.: Iesues pine on rode; Titus: iesues pine o rode; Nero: godes pine o rode; Vernon (lost); Pepys (recast): al my pyne on rode; Caius (lacking); Vitellius: la peine ihesu en la croiz; Trinity: la peine iesu crist; Lat.: eius penam in cruce.]

278 Cheose nu euch-an of thes twa. MS: Cheose euchan of / (thes twa). A scribe or reader has added thes twa "these two" in the margin after of. Tolkien rightly points out that the addition of "these two" in a smaller script running into the margin is an unnecessary later addition, since euchan "each one" is an adequate subject for Cheose and the other MSS lack it (p. 208, fol. 110r, line 10). However, since it is an early scribal addition which sharpens the tone of the passage, it is retained here. Shepherd separates euchan into two words: Cheose euch an of thes twa "[Let] each choose one of these two," though this reading goes against the orthography of the MS which clearly shows euchan as one word. [Cleo.: Cheose nu euch an of eorðlich elne; Titus: Cheose nu euch an of earðlich elne; Nero: cheose nu euerichon of eorðlich elne; Vernon (lost); Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: Eslise ore chescune de terreine confort; Trinity: Ore donc elise checun de terrien confort; Lat.: Eligat nunc quilibet de terestri solatio.]

285 MS: al þet he rine to. Both Tolkien (p. 208, fol. 110r, line 19) and Millett and Wogan-Browne (p. 126) detect a missing adverb, þerwið, after rine. If restored, the text would read "everything that he touched against with it." Though this suggestion would bring Corpus into line with the other MSS, it seems that the reading here, al þet he rine to "everything that he touches against," is perfectly understandable in its own right. A similar construction occurs in another AB text, Seinte Juliene, where the blades on the wheel of torture are "kene to keoruen al þet ha rinen to" (Bodley version, lines 547-48) - that is, "sharp to cut everything that they touch against." And thus, rine to probably represents a revision or valid variation rather than an error. The MS reading is retained here. [Cleo.: al þet he rine þer wið; Titus: al þet he roan þer wið; Nero: al ðet he arinede þere mide; Vernon (lost); Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: tout ceo qil en adessast; Trinity: // (p. 159); Lat. (recast): per quam quicquid optarent.]

314 alswa ha is untalelich. MS: alswa as ha is untalelich. Millett and Wogan-Browne detect a problem with alswa as which is the second part of a comparison. Unemended, the text would read, "as the joy of heaven is incomparable to all the world's joys, just as [alswa as] it is indescribable." Alswa as usually functions as the first part of a comparison: "Just as . . . so." As Millett and Wogan-Browne point out, all the other versions omit the as after alswa. And indeed alswa ("likewise, so") makes much better sense of the phrase. Perhaps the scribe mistakenly construed this clause as the first rather than the second part of a comparison. [Cleo. (lost); Titus: Alswa ho is untaleliche; Nero: Also heo is untalelich; Vernon (lost); Pepys (lacking); Vitellius: ausi est ele nient contable; Trinity: ausi est ele non contable; Lat.: ita est inenarrabile.]

320 me hat ham to luvien. MS: me hat ham to luuien. Tolkien: "hat, sic for ah" (p. 209, fol. 11r, line 7). The Corpus reading seems to represent a legitimate revision or variation of hat "commands" for ah "ought" rather than a mistake. [Cleo. (lost); Titus: man ah ham to luuien; Nero: me ham ouh forto luuien; Vernon (lost); Pepys (lacking); Caius (lacking); Vitellius: dut lem les altres amer; Trinity (lacking); Lat. (recast).]


N, T
N, T
N, T  

Part Seven


Seinte Pawel witneth thet alle uttre heardschipes, alle flesches pinsunges,
ant licomliche swinkes - al is ase nawt ayeines luve, the schireth ant
brihteth the heorte. Exercitio corporis ad modicum valet; pietas autem
valet ad omnia. Thet is, "licomlich bisischipe is to lutel wurth, ah swote ant schir
heorte is god to alle thinges. Si linguis hominum loquar et angelorum, et cetera.
Si tradidero corpus meum ita ut ardeam, et cetera. Si distribuero omnes
facultates meas in cibos pauperum, caritatem autem non habeam, nichil michi
. "Thah ich cuthe," he seith, "monne ledene ant englene, thah ich dude o
mi bodi alle pine ant passiun thet bodi mahte tholien, thah ich yeve povre al thet
ich hefde, yef ich nefde luve ther-with, to Godd ant to alle men in him ant for him,
al were i-spillet. For as the hali abbat Moyses seide, al thet wa ant al thet heard
thet we tholieth o flesch, ant al thet god thet we eaver doth, alle swucche thinges
ne beoth nawt bute as lomen to tilie with the heorte. Yef the axe ne kurve, ne
spitel-steaf ne dulve, ne the sulh ne erede, hwa kepte ham to halden? Alswa as na
mon ne luveth lomen for ham-seolf, ah deth for the thinges thet me wurcheth with
ham, alswa na flesches derf nis to luvien bute for-thi, thet Godd te reathere thider-
ward loki mid his grace ant makie the heorte schir ant of briht sihthe, thet nan ne
mei habben with monglunge of untheawes, ne with eorthlich luve of worltliche
thinges. For this mong woreth swa the ehnen of the heorte, thet ha ne mei cnawen
Godd, ne gleadien of his sihthe. Schir heorte, as Seint Bernard seith, makieth twa
thinges, thet tu al thet tu dest do hit other for luve ane of Godd, other for othres
god ant for his biheve. Have in al thet tu dest an of þes twa ententes, other ba
togederes, for the leatere falleth into the earre. Have eaver schir heorte thus ant
do al thet tu wult; have wori heorte, al the sit uvele. Omnia munda mundis;
coinquinatis vero nichil est mundum (Apostolus). Item, Augustinus: Habe
caritatem, et fac quicquid vis - voluntate videlicet rationis
. For-thi, mine
leove sustren, over alle thing beoth bisie to habben schir heorte. Hwet is schir
heorte? Ich hit habbe i-seid ear, thet is thet ye na thing ne wilnin ne ne luvien,
bute Godd ane ant te ilke thinges for Godd, the helpeth ow toward him - for
Godd, ich segge, luvien ham, ant nawt for ham-seolven, as is mete other clath,
mon other wummon, the ye beoth of i-godet. For ase seith Seint Austin ant speketh
thus to ure Laverd: Minus te amat qui preter te aliquid amat, quod non propter
te amat. Thet is, "Laverd, leasse ha luvieth the, the luvieth eawt bute the, bute ha
luvien hit for the." Schirnesse of heorte is Godes luve ane. I this is al the strengthe
of alle religiuns, the ende of alle ordres. Plenitudo legis est dilectio. "Luve fulleth
the lahe," seith Seinte Pawel. Quicquid precipitur, in sola caritate solidatur.
"Alle Godes heastes," as Sein Gregoire seith, "beoth i luve i-rotet." Luve ane
schal beon i-leid i Seinte Mihales weie. Theo the meast luvieth, schulen beo meast
i-blisset, nawt theo the leadeth heardest lif: for luve hit overweieth. Luve is heovene
stiward for hire muchele freolec, for heo ne edhalt na thing, ah yeveth al thet ha
haveth ant ec hire-seolven - elles ne kepte Godd nawt of thet hiren were.
    Godd haveth ofgan ure luve on alle cunne wise. He haveth muchel i-don us, ant
mare bihaten. Muchel yeove ofdraheth luve. Me al the world he yef us in Adam,
ure alde feader, ant al thet is i the world he weorp under ure fet, beastes ant fuheles,
ear we weren forgulte. Omnia subjecisti sub pedibus ejus, oves et boves
universas insuper et pecora campi, volucres celi, et pisces maris, qui
perambulant semitas maris
. Ant yet al thet is, as is th'ruppe i-seid, serveth the
gode to sawle biheve, yet te uvele servith eorthe, sea, ant sunne. He dude yet
mare, yef us nawt ane of his, ah dude al him-seolven. Se heh yeove nes neaver i-
yeven to se lahe wrecches. Apostolus: Christus dilexit ecclesiam et dedit semet
ipsum pro ea. "Crist," seith Seinte Pawel, "luvede swa his leofmon thet he yef
for hire the pris of him-seolven." Neometh nu gode yeme, mine leove sustren, for-
hwi me ah him to luvien. Earst as a mon the woheth, as a king thet luvede a gentil
povre leafdi of feorrene londe, he sende his sonden bivoren - thet weren the
patriarches ant te proph[et]es of the alde testament - with leattres i-sealet. On ende he
com him-seolven ant brohte the Godspel as leattres i-openet ant wrat with his
ahne blod saluz to his leofmon, luve-gretunge, for-te wohin hire with ant hire
luve wealden. Her-to falleth a tale, a wrihe forbisne.
    A leafdi wes mid hire fan biset al abuten, hire lond al destruet, ant heo al povre
in-with an eorthene castel. A mihti kinges luve wes thah biturnd upon hire swa
unimete swithe, thet he for wohlech sende hire his sonden, an efter other, ofte
somet monie, sende hire beawbelez bathe feole ant feire, sucurs of liveneth, help
of his hehe hird to halden hire castel. Heo underfeng al as on unrecheles, ant swa
wes heard i-heortet, thet hire luve ne mahte he neaver beo the neorre. Hwet wult
tu mare? He com him-seolf on ende, schawde hire his feire neb, as the the wes of
alle men feherest to bihalden, spec se swithe swoteliche, ant wordes se murie,
thet ha mahten deade arearen to live, wrahte feole wundres ant dude muchele
meistries bivoren hire eh-sihthe, schawde hire his mihte, talde hire of his kinedom,
bead to makien hire cwen of al thet he ahte. Al this ne heold nawt - nes this
hoker wunder? For heo nes neaver wurthe for-te beon his thuften, ah swa thurh
his deboneirte luve hefde overcumen him, thet he seide on ende, "Dame, thu art i-
weorret ant thine van beoth se stronge thet tu ne maht nanes-weis withute mi
sucurs edfleon hare honden, thet ha ne don the to scheome death efter al thi weane.
Ich chulle for the luve of the neome thet feht up-o me ant arudde the of ham the thi
death secheth. Ich wat thah to sothe thet ich schal bituhen ham neomen deathes
wunde, ant ich hit wulle heorteliche for-te ofgan thin heorte. Nu thenne biseche
ich the, for the luve thet ich cuthe the, thet tu luvie me lanhure efter the ilke dede
dead, hwen thu naldest lives." Thes king dude al thus: arudde hire of alle hire van,
ant wes him-seolf to wundre i-tuket ant i-slein on ende - thurh miracle aras thah
from deathe to live. Nere theos ilke leafdi of uveles cunnes cunde, yef ha over alle
thing ne luvede him her-efter?
    Thes king is Jesu, Godes sune, thet al o thisse wise wohede ure sawle, the deoflen
hefden biset. Ant he as noble wohere efter monie messagers ant feole god-deden
com to pruvien his luve ant schawde thurh cnihtschipe thet he wes luve-wurthe, as
weren sum-hwile cnihtes i-wunet to donne - dude him i turneiment ant hefde for
his leoves luve his scheld i feht as kene cniht on euche half i-thurlet. His scheld,
the wreah his Godd-head, wes his leove licome thet wes i-spread o rode, brad as
scheld buven in his i-strahte earmes, nearow bineothen as the an fot - efter mon
ies wene - set up-o the other. Thet this scheld naveth siden is for bitacnunge thet
his deciples the schulden stonden bi him ant habben i-beon his siden fluhen alle
from him ant leafden him as fremede, as the Godspel seith: Relicto eo omnes
fugerunt. This scheld is i-yeven us ayein alle temptatiuns, as Jeremie witneth:
Dabis scutum cordis laborem tuum. Nawt ane this scheld ne schilt us from alle
uveles, ah deth yet mare, cruneth us in heovene. Scuto bone voluntatis. "Laverd,"
he seith, Davith, "with the scheld of thi gode wil thu havest us i-crunet." "Scheld"
he seith "of god wil," for willes he tholede al thet he tholede. Ysaias: Oblatus est
quia voluit.
    "Me, Laverd," thu seist, "hwer-to ne mahte he with leasse gref habben arud
us?" Yeoi, i-wiss, ful lihtliche, ah he nalde. For-hwi? For-te bineomen us euch
bitellunge ayein him of ure luve thet he se deore bohte. Me buth lihtliche thing
thet me luveth lutel. He bohte us with his heorte blod - deorre pris nes neaver -
for-te ofdrahen of us ure luve toward him, thet costnede him se sare. I scheld
beoth threo thinges: the treo, ant te lether, ant te litunge. Alswa wes i this scheld
the treo of the rode, thet lether of Godes licome, the litunge of the reade blod thet
heowede hire se feire. Eft the thridde reisun: efter kene cnihtes death, me hongeth
hehe i chirche his scheld on his mungunge. Alswa is this scheld - thet is, the
crucifix - i chirche i-set i swuch stude ther me hit sonest seo, for-te thenchen
ther-bi o Jesu Cristes cnihtschipe, thet he dude o rode. His leofmon bihalde th'ron
hu he bohte hire luve, lette thurlin his scheld, openin his side, to schawin hire his
heorte, to schawin hire openliche hu inwardliche he luvede hire, ant to ofdrahen
hire heorte.
    Fowr heaved luven me i-find i this world: bitweone gode i-feren, bitweone mon
ant wummon, bi[tweone] wif ant hire child, bitweone licome ant sawle. The luve
thet Jesu Crist haveth to his deore leofmon overgeath theos fowre, passeth ham
alle. Ne teleth me him god fere the leith his wed i Giwerie to acwitin ut his fere?
Godd almihti leide him-seolf for us i Giwerie ant dude his deore-wurthe bodi to
acwitin ut his leofmon of Giwene honden. Neaver fere ne dude swuch fordede for
his fere.
    Muche luve is ofte bitweone mon ant wummon, ah thah ha were i-weddet him,
ha mahte i-wurthen se unwreast, ant swa longe ha mahte forhorin hire with othre
men thet thah ha walde ayein cumen, he ne kepte hire nawt. For-thi Crist luveth
mare, for thah the sawle his spuse forhori hire with the feond under heaved-sunne,
feole yeres ant dahes, his mearci is hire eaver yarow hwen ha wule cumen ham ant
leten then deovel. Al this he seith him-seolf thurh Jeremie: Si dimiserit vir ux-
orem suam, et cetera. Tu autem fornicata es cum multis amatoribus; tamen
revertere ad me, dicit Dominus
. Yet he yeiyeth al dei, "thu thet havest se
unwreaste i-don, biturn the ant cum ayein - welcume schalt tu beo me." Immo et
occurrit prodigo venienti. "Yet he eorneth," hit seith, "ayein hire yein-cume ant
warpeth earmes anan abuten hire swire." Hweat is mare milce? Yet her gleadfulre
wunder: ne beo neaver his leof forhoret mid se monie deadliche sunnen, sone se
ha kimeth to him ayein he maketh hire neowe meiden. For as Seint Austin seith,
swa muchel is bitweonen Godes neoleachunge ant monnes to wummon, thet monnes
neoleachunge maketh of meiden wif, ant Godd maketh of wif meiden. Restituit,
inquit Job, in integrum. Gode werkes ant treowe bileave - theose twa thinges
beoth meithhad i sawle.
    Nu of the thridde luve. Child thet hefde swuch uvel thet him bihofde beath of
blod ear hit were i-healet - muchel the moder luvede hit, the walde this beath him
makien. This dude ure Laverd us the weren se seke of sunne ant swa i-sulet ther-
with thet na thing ne mahte healen us ne cleansin us bute his blod ane, for swa he
hit walde. His luve maketh us beath th'rof. I-blescet beo he eavre! Threo beathes
he greithede to his deore leofmon for-te weschen hire in ham se hwit ant se feier
thet ha were wurthe to his cleane cluppunges. The earste beath is fulluht. The
other beoth teares inre other uttre, efter the forme beath, yef ha hire suleth. The
thridde is Jesu Cristes blod thet halheth ba the othre, as Sein Juhan seith i the
Apocalipse: Qui dilexit nos et lavit nos in sanguine suo. Thet he luveth us mare
then eani moder hire child - he hit seith him-seolven thurh Ysaie: Nunquid potest
mater oblivisci filii uteri sui? Et si illa obliviscatur, ego non obliviscar tui.
"Mei moder," he seith, "foryeoten hire child? Ant thah heo do, ich ne mei the
foryeoten neaver" - ant seith the resun efter: In manibus meis descripsi te. "Ich
habbe," he seith, "depeint te i mine honden" - swa he dude mid read blod up-o
the rode. Me cnut his gurdel to habben thoht of a thing, ah ure Laverd, for he
nalde neaver foryeoten us, dude mearke of thurlunge, in ure munegunge, i ba twa
his honden.
    Nu the feorthe luve: the sawle luveth the licome swithe mid alle, ant thet is
etscene i the twinnunge - for leove freond beoth sari hwen ha schulen twinnin -
ah ure Laverd willeliche totweamde his sawle from his bodi for-te veien ure bathe
togederes, world buten ende i the blisse of heovene. Thus, lo, Jesu Cristes luve
toward his deore spuse - thet is, Hali Chirche other cleane sawle - passeth alle
ant overkimeth the fowr measte luven thet me i-find on eorthe. With al this luve
yetten he woheth hire o this wise:
    "Thi luve," he seith, " - other hit is for-te yeoven allunge, other hit is to sullen,
other hit is to reavin ant to neomen with strengthe. Yef hit is for-te yeoven, hwer
maht tu biteon hit betere then up-o me? Nam ich thinge feherest? Nam ich kinge
richest? Nam ich hest i-cunnet? Nam ich weolie wisest? Nam ich monne hendest?
Nam ich thinge freoest? For swa me seith bi large mon the ne con nawt edhalden,
thet he haveth the honden, as mine beoth, i-thurlet. Nam ich alre thinge swotest
ant swetest? Thus alle the reisuns hwi me ah to yeove luve thu maht i-finden in
me, nomeliche yef thu luvest chaste cleannesse. For nan ne mei luvie me bute ha
hire halde. Ah ha is threo-vald: i widewehad, i spushad, i meidenhad, the heste.
Yef thi luve nis nawt to yeovene, ah wult thet me bugge hire - buggen hire?
[Hu?] Other with other luve other with sum-hweat elles. Me suleth wel luve [for
luve] ant swa me ah to sulle luve, ant for na thing elles. Yef thin is swa to sullen
ich habbe i-boht hire with luve over alle othre. For of the fowr measte luven, ich
habbe i-cud toward te the measte of ham alle. Yef thu seist thu nult nawt leote
th'ron se liht chap, ah wult yette mare, nempne hweat hit schule beon. Sete feor o
thi luve. Thu ne schalt seggen se muchel thet ich nule yeove mare. Wult tu castles,
kinedomes? Wult tu wealden al the world? Ich chulle do the betere, makie the,
with al this, cwen of heove-riche. Thu schalt te-seolf beo seove-vald brihtre then
the sunne. Nan uvel ne schal nahhi the. Na wunne ne schal wonti the. Al thi wil
schal beon i-wraht in heovene ant ec in eorthe - ye, ant yet in helle. Ne schal
neaver heorte thenchen hwuch selhthe thet ich nule yeoven for thi luve unmeteliche,
unevenliche, unendeliche mare. Al Creasuse weole, the wes kinge richest.
Absalones schene wlite, the as ofte as me evesede him, salde his evesunge, the her
thet he kearf of for twa hundret sicles of seolver i-weiet. Asaeles swiftschipe, the
straf with heortes of urn. Samsones strengthe, the sloh a thusent of his fan al ed a
time, ant ane, bute fere. Cesares freolec. Alixandres here-word. Moysese heale.
Nalde a mon for an of theos yeoven al thet he ahte? Ant alle somet, ayein mi bodi,
ne beoth nawt wurth a nelde. Yef thu art se swithe ane-wil ant swa ut of thi wit
thet tu, thurh nawt to leosen, forsakest swuch biyete, with alles cunnes selhthe, lo,
ich halde her heatel sweord up-o thin heaved to dealen lif ant sawle, ant bisenchen
ham ba into the fur of helle, to beon deofles hore schentfulliche ant sorhfulliche
world abuten ende. Ondswere nu ant were the, yef thu const, ayein me, other yette
me thi luve the ich yirne se swithe - nawt for min ah for thin ahne muchele
    Lo, thus ure Laverd woheth. Nis ha to heard i-heortet thet a thulli wohere ne
mei to his luve turnen, yef ha wel thencheth theose threo thinges: hwet he is ant
hwet heo is, ant hu muchel is the luve of se heh as he is toward se lah as heo is?
For-thi seith the Salm-wruhte: Non est qui se abscondat a calore ejus. "Nis nan
thet mahe edlutien thet ha ne mot him luvien." The sothe sunne i the under-tid wes
for-thi i-stihen on heh, o the hehe rode, for-te spreaden over-al hate luve-gleames.
Thus neodful he wes ant is athet tes dei to ontenden his luve i his leoves heorte,
ant seith i the Godspel: Ignem veni mittere in terram, et quid volo nisi ut ardeat?
"Ich com to bringen," he seith, "fur into eorthe" - thet is, bearninde luve into
eorthlich heorte - "ant hwet yirne ich elles bute thet hit bleasie?" Wlech luve is
him lath, as he seith thurh Sein Juhan i the Apocalipse: Utinam frigidus esses aut
calidus! Set quia tepidus es, incipiam te evomere de ore meo. "Ich walde," he
seith to his leofmon, "thet tu were i mi luve other allunge cald, other hat mid alle,
ah for-thi thet tu art ase wlech bitweone twa, nowther hat ne cald, thu makest me
to wleatien, ant ich wulle speowe the ut bute thu wurthe hattre."
    Nu ye habbeth i-herd, mine leove sustren, hu ant for-hwi Godd is swithe to
luvien. For-te ontenden ow wel, gederith wude ther-to with the povre wummon of
Sarepte, the burh the spealeth "ontendunge." En inquit colligo duo ligna (Regum
iii). "Laverd," quoth ha to Helye the hali prophete, "lo, ich gederi twa treon."
Theos twa treon bitacnith - thet a treo thet stod upriht, ant thet other the eode
thwert-over - o the deore rode. Of theos twa treon ye schulen ontende fur of
luve in-with ower heorte. Biseoth ofte towart ham. Thencheth yef ye ne ahen
eathe to luvien the king of blisse, the tospreat swa his earmes toward ow, ant
buheth, as to beoden cos, dune-ward his heaved. Sikerliche ich segge hit: yef the
sothe Helye - thet is, Godd almihti - i-fint ow theose twa treon bisiliche gederin,
he wule gestnin with ow ant moni-falden in ow his deore-wurthe grace, as Helie
dude hire liveneth ant gestnede with hire thet he i-fond the twa treon gederin i
    Grickisch fur is i-maket of reades monnes blod, ant thet ne mei na thing bute
migge ant sond ant eisil - as me seith - acwenchen. This Grickisch fur is the
luve of Jesu ure Laverd, ant ye hit schule makien of reade monnes blod - thet is,
Jesu Crist i-readet with his ahne blod o the deore rode - ant wes inread cundeliche
alswa, as me weneth. This blod, for ow i-sched up-o the earre twa treon, schal
makien ow Sareptiens - thet is, ontende mid tis Grickisch fur, thet as Salomon
seith, nane weattres - thet beoth worldliche tribulatiuns, nane temptatiuns, nowther
inre ne uttre - ne mahen this luve acwenchen. Nu nis thenne on ende bute witen
ow warliche with al thet hit acwencheth - thet beoth migge, ant sond, ant eisil, as
ich ear seide. Migge is stench of sunne. O sond ne groweth na god ant bitacneth
idel. Idel akeldeth ant acwencheth this fur. Sturieth ow cwicliche aa i gode werkes
ant thet schal heaten ow ant ontenden this fur ayein the brune of sunne. For alswa
as the an neil driveth ut then other, alswa the brune of Godes luve driveth brune of
ful luve ut of the heorte. The thridde thing is eisil - thet is, sur heorte of nith
other of onde. Understondeth this word: tha the nithfule Giws offreden ure Laverd
this sure present up-o the rode, tha seide he thet reowthfule word, Consumatum
est. "Neaver," quoth he, "ear nu nes ich ful pinet," nawt thurh thet eisil, ah thurh
hare ondfule nith thet tet eisil bitacnede thet heo him duden drinken, ant is i-lich
as thah a mon thet hefde longe i-swunken, ant failede efter long swinc on ende of
his hure. Alswa ure Laverd mare then twa ant thritti yer tilede efter hare luve, ant
for al his sare swinc ne wilnede na thing bute luve to hure. Ah i the ende of his lif,
thet wes as i the even-tid hwen me yelt werc-men hare deies hure, loke hu ha
yulden him: for piment of huni luve, eisil of sur nith ant galle of bitter onde! "O,"
quoth ure Laverd tha, Consumatum est. "Al mi swinc on eorthe, al mi pine o
rode ne sweameth ne ne derveth me na-wiht ayein this - thet ich thus biteo al thet
ich i-don habbe. This eisil thet ye beodeth me, this sure hure thurhfulleth mi pine."
This eisil of sur heorte ant of bitter thonc over alle othre thing acwencheth Grickisch
fur - thet is, the luve of ure Laverd - ant hwa-se hit bereth i breoste toward
wummon other mon, ha is Giwes make. Ha offreth Godd this eisil ant thurhfulleth
onont hire Jesues pine o rode. Me warpeth Grickisch fur upon his fa-men ant swa
me overkimeth ham. Ye schule don alswa hwen Godd areareth ow of ei va eani
weorre. Hu ye hit schule warpen Salomon teacheth: Si esurierit inimicus tuus,
ciba illum; si sitierit, potum da illi. Sic enim carbones ardentes congeres su-
per caput ejus
- thet is, "yef thi fa hungreth, fed him. To his thurst, yef him
drunch." Thet is to understonden, yef he efter thin hearm haveth hunger other
thurst, yef him fode of thine beoden thet Godd do him are. Yef him drunch of
teares. Wep for his sunnen. "Thus thu schalt," seith Salomon, "rukelin on his
heaved bearninde gleden" - thet is to seggen, thus thu schalt ontenden his heorte
for-te luvie the. For heorte is in Hali Writ bi heaved understonden. O thulli wise
wule Godd seggen ed te dome: "Hwi luvedest tu the mon other the wummon?"
"Sire, ha luveden me!" "Ye," he wule seggen, "thu yulde thet tu ahtest. Her nabbe
ich the nawt muches to yelden." Yef thu maht ondswerien, "alle wa ha duden me,
ne na luve ne ahte ich ham, ah, sire, ich luvede ham for thi luve" - thet luve he ah
the, for hit wes i-yeven him ant he hit wule the yelden.
    Migge - as ich seide - thet acwencheth Grickisch fur, is stinkinde flesches
luve, the acwencheth gastelich luve, thet Grickisch fur bitacneth. Hweat flesch
wes on eorthe se swete ant se hali as wes Jesu Cristes flesch? Ant thah he seide
him-seolf to his deore deciples, Nisi ego abiero, paraclitus non veniet ad vos.
Thet is, "Bute ich parti from ow, the Hali Gast - thet is, min ant mines feaderes
luve - ne mei nawt cumen to ow. Ah hwen ich beo from ow, ich chulle senden
him ow." Hwen Jesu Cristes ahne deciples, hwil thet ha fleschliche luveden him,
neh ham foreoden the swetnesse of the Hali Gast, ne ne mahte nawt habben bathe
togederes. Demeth ow-seolven: nis he wod, other heo, the luveth to swithe hire
ahne flesch, other eani mon fleschliche swa thet ha yirne to swithe his sihthe other
his speche? Ne thunche hire neaver wunder yef hire wonti the Hali Gastes frovre.
Cheose nu euch-an of thes twa - eorthlich elne ant heovenlich - to hwether ha
wule halden, for thet other ha mot leten. For i the tweire monglunge, ne mei ha
habben neaver mare schirnesse of heorte - thet is, as we seiden ear, thet god ant
te strengthe of alle religiuns ant in euch ordre. Luve maketh hire schir, grithful ant
cleane. Luve haveth a meistrie bivoren alle othre; for al thet ha rineth, al ha turneth
to hire, ant maketh al hire ahne. Quemcumque locum calcaverit pes vester -
pes videlicet amoris - vester erit. Deore walde moni mon buggen a swuch thing,
thet al thet he rine to, al were his ahne. Ant ne seide hit th'ruppe feor, ane thurh
thet tu luvest thet god thet is in an-other, with the rinunge of thi luve thu makest
withuten other swinc his god thin ahne god, as Sein Gregoire witneth? Lokith nu
hu muchel god the ontfule leoseth. Streche thi luve to Jesu Crist, thu havest him i-
wunnen. Rin him with ase muche luve as thu havest sum mon sum-chearre, he is
thin to don with al thet tu wilnest. Ah hwa luveth thing thet leaveth hit for leasse
then hit is wurth? Nis Godd betere unevenlich then al thet is i the world? Chearite
is cherte of leof thing ant of deore. Undeore he maketh Godd ant to unwurth mid
alle, thet for ei worltlich thing of his luve leasketh, for na thing ne con luvien riht,
bute he ane. Swa overswithe he luveth luve, thet he maketh hire his evening. Yet
ich dear segge mare - he maketh hire his meistre ant deth al thet ha hat as thah he
moste nede. Mei ich pruvien this? Ye, witerliche ich, bi his ahne wordes, for thus
he speketh to Moyses the monne meast him luvede: In Numeri: Dimisi juxta
verbum tuum, non dicit preces. "Ich hefde," quoth he, "i-munt to wreoke mine
wreaththe i this folc. Ah thu seist I ne schal nawt. Thi word beo i-forthet." Me
seith thet luve bindeth; witerliche luve bint swa ure Laverd thet he ne mei na thing
don bute thurh luves leave. Nu preove her-of, for hit thuncheth wunder. Ysaias:
Domine, non est qui consurgat et teneat te. "Laverd, thu wult smiten," seith
Ysaie. "Wei-la-wei! Thu maht wel - nis nan thet te halde," as thah he seide, "yef
ei luvede the riht, he mahte halden the ant wearnen the to smiten." In Genesy, ad
Loth: festina, et cetera. Non potero ibi quicquam facere, donec egressus fueris
. Thet is, tha ure Laverd walde bisenchen Sodome ther Lot his freond wes
inne, "hihe the," quoth he, "ut-ward. For hwil thu art bimong ham, ne mei ich
nawt don ham." Nes thes with luve i-bunden? Hwet wult tu mare? Luve is his
chamberleng, his conseiler, his spuse, thet he ne mei nawt heole with, ah teleth al
thet he thencheth. In Genesy: Num celare potero Abraham que gesturus sum?
"Mei ich," quoth ure Laverd, "heolen Abraham thing thet ich thenche to donne?
Nai, o nane wise." Nu con thes luvien the thus speketh ant thus deth to alle the
him inwardliche leveth ant luvieth. The blisse thet he yarketh ham, as ha is
unevenlich to alle worldes blissen, alswa ha is untalelich to worldliche tungen.
Ysaias: Oculus non vidit Deus absque te que preparasti diligentibus te.
Apostolus: Oculus non vidit, nec auris audivit, et cetera. Ye habbeth of theos
blissen i-writen elles-hwer, mine leove sustren. This luve is the riwle the riwleth
the heorte. Confitebor tibi in directione - id est, in regulatione - cordis.
Exprobatio malorum, generatio que non direxit cor suum. This is the leafdi
riwle - alle the othre servith hire. Ant ane for hire sake me hat ham to luvien.
Lutel strengthe ich do of ham, for-hwon thet theos beo deore-wurthliche i-halden.
Habbeth ham thah scheortliche i the eahtuthe dale.

Go To Part Eight