LIBER QUARTUS REGUM.
[AHAZIAH TURNS TO IDOLATRY, IS REBUKED BY ELIJAH (1:1–18)]
In this Faurt Boke of Kynges to ken
wher lykyng and wher luf lyse,
Us nedes to nevyn the names of men,
of kynges, of dukes, of prinsese of price,
And of ther werkyng wher and qwen
by dyverse dedes forto devyse.
Insampels sere sall we se then
how grett relefe therof may ryse;
For as lerned men may loke,
Sant Paule telles old and yyng:
“All that is wryttyn in boke
is lefed for our lernyng.”
Kyng Occozi was Acab sun
and had his welthis all in his weld.
And yf the fader a foyle war fun,
the sun was more fole, and that he feld.
To make hym godes he has begun,
os paynyms used in yowth and eld.
To gud God wold he not be bun,
bot Belsabub he made his beld,
Was god of Acaron,
a nacion not to nevyn.
Hys hope was all hym on.
He toke no hed to Hevyn.
So lang in lust his lyfe he lede
hym lyst to lere no lefull layre.
The dome of God nothyng he dred,
bot ever he dyd myse more and more.
Fro a hegh sted — thor was he sted —
he fell and hurt hymself full sore
So that he lay seke in his bed,
and fast thus ordand he therfore:
His messyngers he send
to Belsabub at wytt
Whedder his seknes suld mend,
or he suld dy on yt.
And als thei went, befor fand thei
the prophett Ely in a playn.
He asked wheder thei ware on way,
and thei sayd hym the soth certayn
All how ther lord in langur lay.
He bad them boldly turn agayn:
“And to your lord salfly ye say:
of this seknes he sall be slayn,
Bycause he hopes his hele
of Belsabub forto have
And leves Hym that is lele
and all seknes may save.”
The messyngers agayn con wend
this bodword boldly forto bere.
Thei told hym all that tale tyll end
as thei with Ely warned were.
Then was Kyng Occozi yll tend;
full grett othes then con he swere
Old Ely with shame forto shend
so that his demyng suld noyght dere.
He cald his steward strang
this forward to fulfyll
And bad hym wyghtly gang
and bryng Ely hym tyll.
“He sall be pyned in my palas
and lernyd swylke lesynges forto tell.”
The steward hastely sembled has
fyfty folke, both ferse and fell.
To Ely playnly con he pase
and moved this mater them omell
How that the kyng yll angred was,
and that he myght not byd ne dwell
Bot wyghtly wend hym to
and fand to ese his hert.
“And yf thou wyll not so do,
with greve thou sall be gert.”
The prophett answerd sone and sayd,
“Thi manase may not marre to me,
For all thi fayre I am not flayd;
therfor a fote I wyll not flee.
And that God is with me wele payd,
ensampyll here sone sall thou see.
Thou sall be brent for all thi brayd
and all this cowrt that come with thee.”
By this word was end,
God wold do hys desyre.
A fyre from Hevyn dyscend
and brent them bone and lyre.
Unto the kyng com non of tho
to tell hym how this werke was wroyght.
Bot when he wyst, he was full wo
and sayd yt suld be full dere boyght.
He ordand men ose mony moo
and bad the prophet suld be broyght.
Bot thei ware ryght sone served so
as the fyrst fyfty that hym soyght.
Thei ware brent ylkon
with fyre that on them fest.
Then was the kyng wyll of woyne;
he wyst not what was best.
Thore in that cyté wonned a man
that Moyses Law wold never lett.
The kyng to hym commawnd then
the prophett with fayrnes to fett.
He went and warly to hym wan
within his sell whore he was sett.
As curtasly ose ever he can
and with grett gladnes he hym grett
And sayd, “Ser, have mercy
on me and my meneye!”
Then to hym sayd Ely,
“What is thi wyll with me?”
“A, ser,” he says, “full wele I knaw
God goverence thee in word and dede.
We ar charged with full grett aw
unto the kyng thee forto lede.
And thou wyll se tyll our saw,
so may thou make us mekyll mede;
And yf thou wyll not ydder draw,
we mun be ded withoutyn drede.
We sall noyght do ne say
in this gate thee to greve.
Bot, gud ser, and thou may,
have mynd of our myscheve!”
The prophett saw thei sorewd so
and herd them carpe so curtasly.
He graunt hym with them to go.
so wentt thei same to Samary.
Then went Ely with other mo
to carpe with the kyng Occozi.
He fraynd yf he suld flyt ther fro
or els of that same sekenes to dy.
He sayd, “Sen thou takes rede
of Belsabub, the fend,
Als sone thou sall be ded
and with that warlow wend.”
So sodanly he mad endyng
aftur his werkys wele worthy wore.
He had non ayre, old ne yyng,
his state ne his sted to restore.
His brother Joram was crowned kyng
and lord of Israel, lese and more.
He was wele wars in all thyng
then any had bene hym before.
He melled with mawmentry
and lyfed in lust of flesch.
Acab ne Occozi
was never to fylth so fresch.
make known; (t-note)
fool was found [to be]
himself gods; (t-note)
pagans used [to do] all the time; (t-note)
Baal-zebub; comfort; (t-note)
desired to learn no lawful lore
die of it
fierce and cruel
dwelled; (see note)
cell; (see note)
(i.e., Elijah); counsel
meddled in idolatry
[ELIJAH TAKEN INTO HEAVEN (2:1–25)]
In this mene tyme that I of tell
was gud Ely, Goddes prophett trew,
Rayvesched up in flesch and fell
in a chare byrnand, bryght of hew,
And in Paradyse dyght to dwell
with Eunoke that our elders knew.
With Antecryst sall the mete and mell.
and aftur hym leved Elysew,
A prophett proved of price,
to nevyn in ylk nede,
In word and werke full wyse,
als we sall aftur rede.
flesh and skin (whole body)
placed; (see note)
they meet and fight
[JEHORAM AND JEHOSHAPHAT’S WAR AGAINST MOAB (3:1–27)]
Kyng Joram was a gentyll knyght,
all yf he lyfed unlafully,
Aftur his fader, that Acab heygh,
and aftur his brother, Kyng Occozi.
He geydderd folke, for he wold fyght
agayns the kyng of Moaby
Of hym forto recover his ryght,
and this was his encheson why:
The Moabyse ware bun
to gyf Kyng Acab clere,
For thei in pese suld wun,
two hunderth shepe be yere.
And now thei say, what so yt ment,
that thei wyll pay swylk payn no more.
The kyng thynkes loth to lose his rent,
wher his fader was fest before.
Unto Jerusalem has he sent
to Josaphat, that was kyng thore,
And prayd hym forto take entent
and help his ryght forto restore.
Josaphat says, “I sall
helpe all that ever I may.”
And same so went thei all
in full ryall aray.
Bot qwen the gayre was gudly grayd
and thei all redy forto ryde,
Kyng Joram then the prophett prayd
forto tell them what suld betyde.
Elysew answerd hym and sayd,
“I am not sent to save thi syde.
With Josaphat is God wele paid;
His helpe fro hym He wolle not hyde.
I say yow sothfastly
that for his luf alone
Ye sall have the vyctory
of your enmys ylkone.”
Then went thei furth with mekyll glee.
syght of ther enmys sone thei have.
Als the prophett sayd that yt suld be,
sone ware thei skomfett, knyght and knave.
Thei conquerd sone all that cuntré
and mad ther rebels to ryn and rave.
The kyng for ferd was fayn to fle
tyll a cyté hymselfe to save.
And ther he wund with wo,
for Ebrews all abowt
Besegede that cyté so
that he suld never wyn owtt.
And when he saw he suld be shent,
a sotelté full sone he dyght.
Unto the walles wyghly he went
wher Ebrews of hym myght have syght.
His eldest sun in hand he hent
and heved his sword hegh apon hyght.
He bretynd hym forto be brynt
als sacrafyce to God Almyght.
Ebrews con on hym loke;
in hert thei had pyté.
That sege sone thei forsoke
and went to ther cuntré.
even if; unlawfully
Moabites were required
peace should live
sheep each year; (see note)
they were discomfited; (t-note)
win [a way] out
cut him into pieces to be burned
[JEHOSHAPHAT DIES; ANOTHER JEHORAM REIGNS (8:16)]
Kyng Josaphat agayn ys gone
to Jerusalem the redy way.
Sone aftur seknes has hym tone
so that he dyed that aghtdane day.
For hym was mad full mekyll mone,
for lely lufed he Godes Lay.
Joram, hys sun, full sone on one
resaved his reme by ryght aray.
Now be we ware for wathe
to tell thire kynges twa,
For Joram heygh thei bathe,
of Israel and of Juda.
Bot this Joram that I now of tell
had wedded a wyf heyght Godolé,
Doyghhtur of Kyng Acab and Jezabell
and systur unto Kyng Occozé.
And Joram, the kyng of Israel,
brother unto hyr was he;
Therfor was frendschep them omell
with beld os brether aght to be.
Now leve we ther two kynges
that governd all Ebrew,
And tell furth ferly thynges
of the prophett Elysew.
on the eighth day
aware to be cautious; (see note)
these kings apart
Athaliah; (see note)
[ELISHA’S MIRACLE TO HELP THE WIDOW OF OBADIAH (4:1–7)]
He sojornd then in Samary,
and mony of seknes con he save
And be poyntes of prophecy
what any man wold aftur crave.
A woman come with carfull crye
that hoped of hym helpe to have.
Scho sayd, “Ser, have of me mercy!
Bot thou me red, els may I rave.”
“Dame,” he sayd, “be styll
and putt wepyng away!
Say me what is thi wyll,
I sall helpe and I may.”
“A, ser,” scho says, “full wele thou knew
my husband that heyght Obedias,
That in his tyme to God was trew,
now is he ded, my lord, allas!
When Jezabell Goddes prophetes slew
that in this land then wonnand was,
One hunderth held he hale of hew
whyls all perels con overpase.
He sold up all his gud
and broyght hym in grett dett
For to fynd them ther fode
and fro greve them to gete.
“In a seler he dyd them sytt
whore that non sargandes suld them see.
Now is he ded and the dett unqwyte,
and ylka man askes his dett of me.
And wele wars tythandes tell thei yett:
my sun that is full fayr and free,
Thei say thei sall have hym forfett.
Then are we lorn, both I and he.
And, ser, sen all this dede
was done for our Goddes sake,
Unto my harme take hede
and help my sytt to slake!”
“Dame,” he sayd, “I sall thee tell
thrugh myght of God to mend thi mode.
What has thou in thi howse at sell?”
“Sertes, ser,” scho sayd, “non erthly gud
Bot a lytell oyle in a vessell
to fynd me and my chyld oure fud,
Als lang os we sall same dwell.”
He says, “I wold thou understod.
Go home and fand to gete
into thin howse this day
Of vessell small and grett
ose mony as ever thou may.
“Borow of thi neghtbours nere and ferre
all that ar tume, both tub and tune.
Wend into thi hows, thi dore thou spare
and be within, thou and thi sun.
When that thi vessell ordand are,
lett sum oyle into ylkon run,
And sone thou sall thi mornyng marre,
for Goddes fuson sall thore be fun.”
Scho wroyght, and als God wyld
hyr kare full kyndly cover,
All tho vessels ware fyld
so full that oyle went over.
Then was the woman ferly fayn,
And to the prophett fast scho rane.
Scho sayd hym all the soth certayn,
and to hyr he commawnd thane,
“Wend home unto thi howse agayn,
sell oyle and pay ever ylk man.
And lyf thou and thi lytyll swayn
furth of the remnand as ye cane.”
Thus was hyr oyle encrest
that all hyr dett was payd,
And so hyr sorow sest
als Elysew had sayd.
Unless; advise, I may go mad
Obadiah; (see note)
[of them] he kept healthy of skin (i.e., alive)
put himself; debt
mourning cease; (t-note)
[ELISHA’S MIRACLES OF A CHILD IN SHUNEM (4:8–37)]
A man wunned with his wyf to weld
besyd that cyté of Samary
Whor Elysew oft toke his beld;
and his wyf drowped oft drerely
Bycawse scho was gone in gret eld
and had no barn hyr husband by.
When Elysew to hyr beheld,
he sent his servant Gyezi
And bad bryng hyr hym tyll
hyr sorowyng forto say,
For he wold with gud wyll
amend yt yf he may.
Scho come to hym os he hyr bad,
and told hym all hyr purpase playn:
“Chyld with my husband never I had,
therfor my hert hath mekyll payn.”
“Dame,” he sayd, “be blyth and glad,
and here I hete thee for certayn
That with a sun thou sal be sted
or tyme I com eft here agayn.”
Scho sayd, “For grett Goddes sake,
gud ser, dyseve me noght!”
He says, “I undertake
God wyll that this be wroyght.”
Gud hope in hyr hert scho hang
that all his saws suld suth be fun,
And with hyr husband or oght lang
consayved scho and bare a sun.
Then mad thei grett myrth them amang
and kepyt yt warly whor thei wun
To tyme that it couth speke and gang,
and then new grevance is begun.
The chyld toke evyll and dyed
thre yeres fro yt was born.
The mother wept and cryd,
“Alas, now am I lorn!”
Scho went furth als a wod woman
for the prophett by fyrth and fell,
And at the last to hym scho wan
whore he wund on the Mount Carmele.
“A, ser,” scho sayd, “no red I con;
my myschef now may no man tell.
Alas, the whyle that I began
to aske a chyld with me to dwell!
I wened when I yt bare
to make me myrth ever more.
Now is my mornyng mare
then ever yt was before.
“Ser, for a chyld I con thee pray,
noyght forto gab me ne begyle.
Then wold I thou had sayd me nay
lever then to lyf so schort a whyle.
And yf thou be prophett verray,
as schews thi mervelys mony a myle,
Geyte me my sun; els wyll I say
that yt was wroyght with wekyd wyle.”
The prophett had pyté,
swylk mone that woman ment.
To his servant sayd he,
“Gyezi, thou take entent!
“Have here my stafe and wend thi way
with this woman fast on thi fete.
Apon hyr sun doun thou yt lay
and fand yf thou fele any hete.
Yf he ryse noyght by this aray,
com thou agayn me forto mete;
And then sall I myself assay
on Goddes behalf hyr bale to bete.”
He wentt with pase full playn,
and aftur his word he wroyght;
Bot sone he come agayn
and sayd he rose noyght.
Then Elyse this pase thus purvayd.
he voyde all pepyll owt of that place.
The chyld unto his body he layd,
hand to hand and face to face,
And unto God hertly he prayd.
The chyld has lyf in lytyll space.
“Have here thi sun, dame, now,” he sayd,
“and love God gudly of grace!”
Then was hyre hert full lyght,
to love Hym was hyr lyst.
So con God schew His myght
to them that in Hym tryst.
took his rest
fell often into depression
before the time; (t-note)
words should be found truthful
as a mad woman
a true prophet
misery to relieve
[ELISHA’S MIRACLES OF THE LOAVES AND THE HEALING OF NAAMAN (4:38–5:19)]
Aftur this tym began to be
grett hungur over all that land
And pestilence in sere cuntré
for fawt of fode that no man fand.
And Elysew that tym was he
in wyldernese allway wonnand.
To hym soyght pepyll grett plenté;
fro Hevyn helpe was in his hand.
With erbys and other gud
God ordand for that spence,
So that non fayle fode
in that prophett presence.
A man that wonned that forest by
purvayd the prophett to rehete.
To his fode ordand he forthi
a lytell seke full of fayr qwete,
And ten lovys bare he hym in hy
of the same flour for his awn mete
And twenty other of barly.
We may wele wytt thei ware not grette.
“Vowchesave, gud ser,” he sayd,
“to take this gyft of me.”
The prophett was wele payd,
and thus then ordand he.
His servant to hym con he call
and bad hym gare the folke go sytt
And part this bred amang them all
so that ylkon have sum of yt.
The servant sayd, “Ser, so I sall,
bot in that werk wyll be not wytt.
To swylk a pepyll yt is full small
yf ylkon suld have bot a bytt.
Me thynke, ser, yt ware nede
to take sum other red,
For here is folke to fede
a hunderth that fayles bred.”
The prophett sayd, “Go herdely,
for yf thei hungur never so yll,
God is of myght to multyplye
to ylk man his mete at wyll.”
Als he commawnd, dyd Gyezi;
he served them full fayr and styll.
When all war fed, ther leved by
als mony folk mo forto fyll.
Thus sendes God socur sone
to them that His Laws wyll lere.
Bot mekyll more was done,
als men may aftur here.
In Syry landes of Sarsynes
wund a kyng, Benadab his name,
And a prince proved of grett prowes,
Naman nevynd, of nobyll fame.
He was renownd of grett ryches
and non so hend haldyn at hame.
Bot defawt felyd he in his flesch,
with lepur was he lath and lame.
That was grett harm to here,
for his lord lufed hym wele
And folk both ferre and nere
grett helpe on hym con fele.
His wyfe was fayre of flesch and fell
and of gud maners mekyll more,
And with hyr wund a damsell
that fro Ebrews was stolyn before.
Scho sayd, “Thor wuns in Israel
a prophett that may sayfe all sore.”
This tale oft tyms con scho tell
and sayd, “Wold God my lord ware thore!
For certes he suld be hale
or he past that provynce.”
The lady told this tale
untyll hyr lord the prince,
On qwat maner the maydyn yyng
sayd how that his bote suld be.
When he herd tell of this tythyng,
full mekyll myrth in hert had he.
He went and told unto the kyng
and sayd, “Lord, yf thi lykyng be
To gyf me leve a lytyll thyng
that myght be medcyn unto me!”
The kyng sayd, “Tell us tyll
what consell that thou hath kend.
I sall help with gud wyll
thi myrth forto amend.”
He says, “Ser, with my wyf at hame
dwellys a lytyll damsell,
And scho hath told unto hyr dame
a prophett is in Israel
That be nevynyng of his goddes name
hath myght of maystres forto mell
And forto lech ylk lame,
whedder yt be maynd or mesell.”
Kyng Benedab says, “I am kend
with Joram, kyng of Jews.
Unto hym sall I send
to traw thi tales in trews.”
He mad a lettur to be lele
in thies wordes wrschypfully:
“I, kyng of Syry, under my seall
sendes worschep, os wele is worthy,
To Joram, the kyng of Israel,
as frend that I fast in affy
At helpe my servand to have hele,
Naman, chefe of my chyvalry.
Of his lepur leche hym so
faythfully withoutyn fayle
As thou wyll ever I do
thyng that may thee avayle.”
Naman ordand full rych aray:
somers with cloghes, sylke and satayn,
Ten payr of garmentes gud and gay
with pyrry and with pure ermyn,
Talentes of sylver of assay,
sex milia besantes of gold fyne,
The prophett forto plese and pay.
He hoped to have his medcyn.
With full clene cumpany
that he had ever at hand
He soyght to Samary,
ferre owt in Ebrews land.
So with this letters is he went
full wrschypfully, this may we wene.
Kyng Joram told he his entent
and toke hym letturs them betwene,
And sone in hand he has them hent.
And when he all the suth had sene,
His ryche robes he rofe and rent
and sayd, “Alas! what may this mene?
Wenes the kyng of Syry
that I have God at wyll
To do all my desyre
men forto spare and spyll?
“Occasions sekes he now, I se,
how he may make my lordschep lese,
And thus he says be a sotelté
so for to dryfe me to dystres.”
When Elysew herd how that he
had ryfyn his wedes so in wodnese,
He sayd, “Send Naman unto me,
then sall thei se that suthnes.
In Israel er prophettes lele,
mo then is ned to nevyn,
That his seknes sall hele
thrugh the helpe of God of Hevyn.”
Kyng Joram that before was rad
now wex he lyxsom of his late,
And the prince Naman was full glad
that the prophett heyght to amend his state.
With all the harnays that he thore had
to hym he toke the gayneste gatte.
Then Elysew to his servand bad
go speke with hym withoutyn the gatte.
“And when thou sees hym com,
say I tell hym this tale:
To wasche hym in the flom
sevyn sythys, he sal be hale.”
Then com this nobyll prince Naman
full playnly to the prophett place.
Bot Gyezi sone unto hym wan
and sayd, “My maystur this message mase:
Go wesch thee in the Flom Jordan
sevyn sythys in certayn space,
And so he says thou sal be than
salved of seknes that thou hase.”
Then was the prynce not payd.
He cald his men togeydder,
And to them thus he sayd,
“Wherto ar we comyn hydder?
“Ar not at hame in our land
als clene waturs that we com fra,
In Damaske and in Syrry rynnand,
both Farfar flud and Abbana?
I wened the prophett with his hand
suld have helyd me betwyx us twa.
His warke ys noyght, now I warrand,
therfor agayn fast wole we ga.
Folke sayd, or we come here,
that he cowth bete all bales.
Thus may men lyghtly lere
forto trow wemens tales.”
He removed sone all his aray,
for in hert was he angerd yll.
Sum of his men can to hym say,
“Ser, yf that yt ware thi wyll,
Of this poynt we wole thee pray:
the prophettes consell to fulfyll.
For thrugh his myght, mend yf it may,
harme may non towch thee untyll.
Yf he had gyfyn grett thyng
to do for thi releve,
Thou suld noyght make grochyng
for dred his god to greve.
“And this thyng that he now of ment
is lytyll and may be for the best.”
Unto ther sawes then he assent,
and to the flom the cowrse thei kest.
He wesch hym ther with gud entent
sevyn sythes or ever he rest,
And hertly hele sone has he hent,
that no fowle fylth on his flesch was fest.
Bot evyn os a yyng chyld
ys soft and semly sene,
So was his flesch unfyled
of all that corupcion clene.
Thus when he was be sythes sevyn
weschyn clene both flesch and fell,
So mekyll joy myght no man nevyn
os ther was mad them omell.
He cryd and sayd with stabyll stevyn,
“Now wyll I say wherso I dwell:
Ther is no god in Erth ne Hevyn
bot only God of Israel,
Ne non that myght may schew
to save men of sekenes
Bot only Elysew.
A prophet proved he es.”
Than counsayld all that cumpany,
because that thei so comforth ere,
At wend agayn to Samary
the prophett presand forto bere.
The prince proferd hym in hy
sylver and gold and other gere.
The prophett sayd, “Gramercy,
bot swylke welthes aw us non to were.
Sen God heled thee thus,
thanke Hym of His gud dede!
Yt falys noyght untyll us
therfor forto take mede.
“And, ser, I say thee for certayn:
the werkes that God here wyll have wroyght
By His myght and His power playn,
aw nawder to be sold ne boyght.
Sen thou ys hale, wend hom agane,
and thanke Hym hertly in thi toyght!”
The prince says, “Certes, so wyll I fayn;
all other goddes to nevyn ar noyght.
His trewth I take me tyll
als lang os I may lyfe;
And, ser, for that same skyll
I pray thee me to gyfe
“Two horssus lade of erth of this land
in privay place yt forto lay.
That I theron may stably stand
my Cryatur when I sall pray.
For I wott He is all-weldand
and that His lordschep sall last ay
That me hath heled both hede and hand.
Ther ar no mo that men mend may.
Bot when the kyng of Syry
sees this werke on this wyse,
I wott he wyll desyre
forto make sacrafyce
“To Beall that is blake and blo,
in whom he hopes to have releve.
And bot I gladly with hym go,
agayns me wyll he malyce meve.
Then yf I wend with other mo
forto eschew a more myschefe,
Pray thou thi God betwyx yow two
so that He take yt not to greve.
Fore my hert sall be hale
to hym that salves all sare.”
The prophett says, “I sall
pray fast for thi wele fare.”
loaves; in haste
other [loaves]; (t-note)
who need bread
Syria; Saracens; (t-note)
lived; Ben-hadab; (t-note)
before he left; (t-note)
maimed or leprous
precious stones; ermine; (t-note)
ripped and tore
lessen my authority
are true prophets; (t-note)
cheerful in his mood
healed of the sickness
the Pharpar and Abana rivers
triumph over all ills
learn; (see note)
their words; assented
[GEHAZI’S GREED AND PUNISHMENT (5:20–27)]
The prince so turnes hym home in hy;
full mery ware his men ylkon.
Elysew convayd hym curtasly,
bot ryches wold he resave none.
Therfor his servant Geezi
toyght yt was ungraydly gone.
Full fast he ordand hym forthi
at have sum to hisself alon.
Aftur them radly he ran;
hym had bettur bene styll.
The prince persayved hym than
and sayd, “What is thy wyll?”
“A, ser,” he sayd, “sen ye con wend,
ar new men with my maystur lyght,
Two of his kyn of lang tym kend,
and both thei byde with hym all nyght.
And for he wold ther myrth amend,
he bad me ryn aftur yow ryght,
And prays yow that ye wold hym send
two cloghes and two besandes bryght
His frendes with forto plese.
This may hym gretly gayn.”
To do that hym myght ese
the prince was farly fayn.
Two somers charge be lyve he bad
with dyverse drewres forto dele.
“Bot I hym mensk, els am I mad,
and thanke hym hertly of myn hele.”
Then Gyezi was wunder glad
for wynyng of this werldly wele.
Unto his awn howse he yt had
so fro his maystur yt forto fele.
For prively he yt keped
and wend all had bene wele.
Bot bettur hym ware have slepyd,
his maystur wyst ylk dele.
And sone his knave to hym he cald:
“Gyezi, whore has thou bene?”
“Maystur,” he sayd, “here I me hald
to wayte your wyll, wele may ye wene.”
“Bewsir,” he sayd, “Thou ert to bald
and says not soth, that sal be sene.
I herd the tales all that thou told
unto the prince yow two betwene.
I saw ferre in the feld
when thou toke gold and fee.
Bot thou sall never yt weld
with wyn, I warn yt thee.
"Thou wyst I wold no welthys wyn
when he swylke bewtes to me con bede.
Thou herd me say how yt was syn
for Godes werke to take mede.
The same seknes that he was in,
for thou hath done swylk dede,
Sall come to thee and all thi kyn
ever more persewand in thi sede.”
Full sone was Gyezi
then aftur his maystur dome
Maynhed with mesellri
and all that of hym come.
We have herd how that prince Naman
was saved of all seknes sere,
And Gyezi was mad messell than
and aftur hym all his kyn clere.
So se we how God wyll and con
ordand well for His frendes dere,
Als He with Elysew began.
Bot mekyll mor yett men may here.
And sen sere ferles fell,
yt is gud to saye sum.
Of on wyll we tell,
was sene besyd the flum.
kinsmen; acknowledged; (see note)
what might ease him (Elisha); (t-note)
packhorses quickly; (t-note)
knew every part of it
master’s doom (proclamation)
Crippled with leprosy; (t-note)
since such wonders occurred
[ELISHA’S MIRACLE OF THE AXHEAD (6:1–7)]
Sant Elysew, Goddes prophet gud,
and other that wold with hym byde,
Toyght fayre forto be nere the flud
to soyjorn in that somer tyd.
He ordand wryghes and ydder yode
and chese ther place by the flome syde
And hewed down trese swylk os thor stod
to make a howse them forto hyde,
Whore thei myght wynly wun
fro wynd and wedders wete
And also fro the sun,
that thor gafe full grete hete.
A tree ther on the banke con stand
that to a balke was bowand best.
A wryght when he that faceon fand,
to hew yt down wold he have no rest.
His ax, that he ther had ordand,
fayled and was noyght fully fest.
Therfor the hed owt of his hand
fell whore the watur was depest.
Then was he wyll of wytt,
so all his felows wore.
Bot he had borowd yt,
his mornyng was the more.
Unto the prophett fast he hym ment,
at fall to fete he wold not fyne.
“Maystur, mercy, I mun be shent
bot yf I have Goddes helpe and thin.
Myn ax hed in the watur is went,
therfor my tym now mun I tyne,
And like more harme forto hent
becaws I wot yt was not myne.
I borowd yt at my frend,
and bot he may it have,
He wyll hold me unhend.
Gud ser, helpe me to save!”
The prophett sayd, “Con thou me tell
about the place betwyx us two?”
“Yay, ser, forsoth,” he says, “yt fell
in the myddes of the flud o ferre me fro.”
Thei went and wold no lengur dwell,
the prophett prayd ever os thei go.
The watur boyld up os a well;
the hevy yrn com up also
Evyn unto the prophett hand.
Then was the wryght full glade.
The word went all that land
how he his axhed hade.
others who; dwell
carpenters; there went
trees such as there
for a beam was very suitable; (t-note)
may I lose
heavy iron; (t-note)
[ELISHA THWARTS AN ARAMEAN ATTACK (6:8–23)]
Sone aftur this the kyng of Syry,
Ser Benedab, that we of tell,
Was moved in anger and in yre
agayns the kyng of Israel.
He cald Phylysteyns fell ose fyre
and moved his malyce them omell.
To stroy Joram was his desyre,
bot with quayntyse he wold hym quell.
He wyst a privay strayt
wher Joram oft con gang.
Ther bad he them go wayte
and murther hym them amang.
Forto fulfyll this fals entent
his kenest knyghtes he cald by name.
Unto that way wyghtly thei wentt,
als he had sayd to do that same.
Sant Elysew wyst how thei ment.
Kyng Joram forto sheld fro shame
His message sone to hym he sent
and bad he suld hold hym at hame
And pase noyght owt of toun
fro dred of more myschefe,
For his enmys ware bown
with hatred hym to grefe.
When Kyng Joram wyst of this wrang,
that he was warned, he was full fayn.
The knyghtes when thei had lygen lang
in wayte, then went thei hame agayn.
Kyng Benedab of sorow sang
when he wyst his warke was in vayn,
And sayd his men themself amang
his privay consell couth noyght layn.
He sware who yt ascryd
that his wyll was unwroyght,
Fro yt myght be aspyd
with bale yt suld be boyght.
The knyghtes themself sakles knew
and herd hym make slyke manasyng,
Sayd, “Ser, we sal be fown trew
and no consell to bere ne bryng.
Thor is a prophett Elysew
that at his wyll may wytt all thyng.
And thei both are of Ebrew,
we wott well he hath warned the kyng.
He dwels in Dotaym,
a cyté here nere besyde.
Bot yf yt ware by hym,
thi spech myght never be spyde.”
Then bad the kyng go grett plenté
and that this fatur fast ware feld.
“Sett a sege to that same cyté
whore in thei sayd the prophett dweld,
And bryng that mawment unto me
that of swylke maystres has hym meld.
He sall be hanged heygh on a tre
bycause he has our consell teld.”
To Dataym then thei soyght,
and seged yt sone thei have.
Bot all ther werke was noyght,
God wold His sonderman save.
Fell on a morn the prophett man
luked furth, and in the feld he fand
Wele mo men then we nowmer can,
harnest full wele both heuyd and hand.
Unto his maystur fast he ran,
“Alas, alas!” full lowd cryand,
“That we ware born, now may we ban
bot we be lyve may lefe this land.
For sertes sone we be ded,
our enmyse are so nere.”
The prophett says, “I red
that thou mend thi chere.
“Hopes thou not that I may have
os mony men and more of myght
Fro all Sarsyns me forto save
and forto maynten me in my ryght?”
Then forto loke he led his knave:
on that other syd a selcowth syght.
He saw no sted to styre his stave
for baners and for basnettes bryght.
Then sayd the prophett, “Loo!
Thies men are at my wyll
Whatso I byd them do
with forse yt to fulfyll.”
His servant sayd, “The kyng of Syre
myght never rayse so rych aray.”
The prophett says, “Wele mo then thire
may I have redy ylka day
To do whatever I wyll desyre.”
Then unto God thus con he pray
Thyr hethyn folk, fulfylled of yre,
sone of ther syght be tane away.
Hastely he had his bowne:
God so his sand has sent.
Thei fayled syght as sone
and wyst not whore thei went.
The prophett then began to go
to them that waytt hym with wrang.
He and his man withoutyn mo
went all ther enmys evyn amang.
He sayd to them, “Who seke ye so?”
Thei sayd, “To take a traytur strang,
On Elysew, hym sall we slo.”
He says, “So may ye lygg full lang!
He went fro this cyté
sythyn a sevyn nyght past.
And ye wyll wend with me,
we sall fynd hym at last.
“Yow forto led I sall not layn
tyll ye se hym all opynly.”
Thei say, “We sall ye sew certayn,
for that carll we wold fayn com by.”
He led them furth with pase full playn
into the cyté of Samary.
Of that fayr was Kyng Joram fayn,
for thei had wayte hym with envy.
The gates full sone ware sperd,
thei wend all had bene feld.
Of Ebrews noyce thei hard,
then was ther comforth keld.
The prophett then Sant Elysew
prayd God to graunt agayn ther syght.
Sone ylkon of them other knew;
then ware thei mased all owt of myght.
Ylkon trowd other was untrew
to lede them so withoutyn lyght.
Abowt was mony bold Ebrew
to welcom them, os yt was ryght,
With mony upbraydynges brayd
and skornyng wordes gud wone.
In bale thore thei abade,
and comforth kene thei none.
Thei saw how thei ware broyght in bale
and clossed evyn in ther enmys hend.
The kyng asked the prophett counsayle
how thei myght best of them make end.
Sant Elysew con say, “Sauns fayle,
that thei be dede, I dyffend.
Thou hath noyght wun them in batell,
ne aftur them no sand thou send.
Sen God thus hath them sent
by His myght us amang,
Yf thei suld here be shent,
me thynke then werke we wrang.
“And, ser, also thei trespast noyght
sen tyme thei com to this cuntré.
Aftur myself thei say thei soyght,
that mater lyges alon to me.
I red thei be to beldyng broyght
for this nyght in this same cyté,
And to morn mete unto them boyght,
and aftur fode lete them go free.
So sall we wrschep wyn
of all thir men ever more,
And other all of ther kyn
to do us favour therfor.”
The kyng sayd, “Ser, I vouchsave
that thei be led os thou wyll lere.”
The prophett gart them herber have
and bad no noye suld neght them nere,
And on the morn both knyght and knave
had mete and drynke and meré chere,
And nothyng for ther cost to crave,
bot bad them wend furth all in fere.
To ther cuntré thei come
withoutyn lake of lym.
The prophett went hym home
agayn to Dotaym.
Thei went full fast unto thei fynd
Kyng Benedab with dukes hym by.
Thei told hym how thei ware mad blynd
with Elysew, the prophett myghty,
And how he them as presoners pynd
within that cyté of Samary.
And sythyn he held them noyght behynd,
bot convayd them all curtasly
And so with beld them broyght
owt of ther enmyse hand.
The kyng grett wounder toyght
that thei slyke frenschep fand.
He sayd, “The prophett is myghty
that so wele owt of wo may wyn.
Bot Kyng Joram, our yll enmy,
he sall aby or ever we blyn.
Yf we persew hym prevely,
the prophett sall sett debate therin.
With opyn batell wende wyll I
and dyng hym doun for all his dyn.”
His barons sayd also,
“We sall ye never forsake.
Full gladly wyll we go
this vyag forto take.”
fierce as fire
did go; (t-note)
what they meant to do
very glad; (t-note)
knew they were innocent
Unless it was through him
traitor quickly was killed; (t-note)
[It] befell; prophet’s servant
side [they saw] a strange
Many more than these
awaited; (see note)
a week ago
a very quick pace
sounds they heard
Without doubt; (see note); (t-note)
trouble come near them
[ARAMEAN SIEGE OF SAMARIA (6:24–7:20)]
So sayd his Sarsyns all be dene
that fro that ded thei wold not dwell.
So grett an ost was seldome sene
os thei sone ordand them omell
Of erlys, barons, and knyghtes kene,
and commyn folk full ferse and fell.
So went thei furth by cuntres clene
unto the land of Israel.
And charyottes with vytale
gate thei full grett plenté,
For that thei wold noyght fayle
of Samary cyté.
Unto the cyté rayked thei ryght
and sone enseged yt all about.
Kyng Joram when he saw that syght,
forto be ded he was in dowtt.
His enmyse dered hym day and nyght
with full scharpe shetyng and with schowt.
Unto tho men he had no myght,
ne to no place he myght pase owt.
When ther vytels ware gone,
began hungur full grett.
Then ware thei wyll of wone,
for no more myght thei geytt.
When whette and wyn and oyle con pase,
then ete thei up all ther fee.
Thei myght sell the hed of an asse
for aghtene pennys of moné.
Of two wemen grett pyté was
that samyn wund in that cyté.
That on of them cryd, “Alas!”
fell doun before the kynges kne.
The kyng wened that hyr wyll
had bene mete forto crave.
He sayd, “Woman, be styll!
of me thou may non have.
“Yt may not helpe on me to crye,
I have no mete to mend thi chere.”
“A, lord,” scho sayd, “I aske mercy
and a ryghtwyse dome for Dryghten dere.
Another woman, lord, and I,
when fode fayled both ferre and nerre,
We made connand of cumpany
to ete our barnys both in fere.
And, lord, my barn is etyn,
and I for hungur spyll.
Away hyrs has scho gettyn
and wyll noyght forward fulfyll.”
When Kyng Joram herd hyr thus say,
that care com to his hert full cold.
He says, “Woman, wend hens away!
My sorow is more by mony-fold.
The prophett that wyll noyght for us pray
and myght amend us and he wold,
He sall be done to dede this day
for all the tales that he has told.”
Wyght men he bad furth wend
stryke of his hed at home.
Bot God was ever his frend
and warned hym or thei come.
He told to other prophettes mo
that samyn ware wonnand with wyn:
“The kyng hath sent men me to slo,
bot when thei come this close within,
Spere our gattes, lett them not go!
Thei sall not dere us with ther dyn.
The kyng sall sone come aftur so,
and then sall we make his bale to blyn.”
Evyn als he sayd was done:
tho men ware haldyn styll.
The kyng com aftur sone
and sayd the prophett untyll:
“Us thynke, ser, thou dos noyght thi dett,
that wyll not pray to God for me
And sees how that I am umsett
with fellows folke and may not flee.”
And with tho wordes for gref he grett,
the prophet of hym had pyté.
He sayd, “Ser kyng, thi mornyng lett!
To have helpe hastely I hete thee.
Befor this tym to morn,
here in this same cyté,
Of wyn and oyle and corn
sall all men have plenté.”
The kyng was of that word full fayn
and his gud Ebrews yyng and old
Bycause thei had oft sene certayn
all trew that he befor had told.
Bot on ther was spake ther agayn
and brast owt with thir wordes bold.
He sayd, “Bot God fro Hevyn yt rayn,
slyke welth may not com in our wold.”
The prophet says, “Thou sall se
this same that I of mell.
Bot for thou trows noyght me,
ther with thou sall not dele.”
Als the prophett sayd, sone aftur fell,
for he askyd nothyng God to greve.
Besyde that same cyté con dwell
faur messell men in gret myscheve.
Ylkon con to other tell,
“We wun here owt of all releve.
The hethyn men is myrth omell,
to them for mete is best we meve.
For yf thei wyll us slo,
that suld to us be levere
Then thus to wun in wo
and fele defawt forever.
“And yf thei with mete mend our chere,
then have we not wast all our way.”
So went thei furth all faur in fere
agayns the evyn on the sam day.
The hethyn oft, or thei com nere,
ylkon con untyll other say,
“The Ebrews comys in armys clere.
The feldes ar full of rych aray.”
And sone sum other sayd,
als yt semed unto ther syght,
“All Ebrews ar arayd
us forto fell with fyght.”
Kyng Benedab fast mad hym boun
to lett all be withoutyn beld.
He sayd, “I hard never swylke a sownd
of folke sen fyrst I was a chyld.
I warrand Egyp is comyn doun
with Arabys full wod and wyld.
Fast wyll I flee and take sum toun,
for, and we byde, we be begyld.”
He hyed hym fast before
and left all his aray.
Them toyght thei wysest ware
that fyrst myght wyn away.
Thei ware so mased in ther mode
that of ther tressour toke thei none.
Thei forgatte all ther erthly gud,
that greved noyght when thei ware gone.
The faur seke men full softly yode,
thei wend have fon men mony one.
Ther lyst was most to lyfes fode,
and therof fand thei full gud wone.
Thei ete and dranke ther fyll,
to warn them was no wyght.
And thore thei held them styll
and rested all that nyght.
Thei ware up erly on the morn
and trussed togeydder gold and fee.
And to ther howse thei have it born
with other gud full grett plenté.
Then went thei furth the gattes beforn
and told semers of that cyté:
“The hethyn has ther loges lorn,
and thei ar went, this warrand we.”
Tho kepers told the kyng
how the faur seke men sayd.
He was glad of that tythyng,
and hastely he purvayd.
The chef of all his chevalry
he bad then wend in wyll and toyght
Aftur this spech forto spyre and spye
whedder thies sawes bene soth or noyght.
“Thay may lyg in a buschement by
tyll we out of our beld be broyght,
And fall on us so sodanly.
Therfor is gud the soth be soyght.”
His knygh went and fand,
als the seke men con say,
All welthes wele ordand
and the men went away.
Thei fand in chambers and in hall
sylver and gold and garmentes gud
And garners full, both grett and small,
with whette and flour for mannys fode.
Grett vessels in ther cayves we call,
with wyn and oyle full styll thei stod,
And stalworthy stedes in ther stall
with charyottes charged as thei yode.
Thei fand ther vitaylyng
to releve all that land.
Unto Joram the kyng
this was joyfull tythand.
Kyng Joram wyst by sawes sere
that his enmys war went away.
No mervell yf he had gud chere
that lang had fun so fell affray.
Sone gart he crye be clarions clere
and to his Ebrews con he say
That thei suld pase furth fast in fere
and ylkon geyte gud that he may.
Then, both by hors and man,
grett ryches have thei broyght.
Every on had plenté then
that befor had ryght noyght.
No ferly yf tho folke ware fayn,
and thei thanked God, os was worthy.
And als thei enturd in agayn
into the cyté of Samary,
The man that sayd, bot God yt rayn,
ther mete suld never so multyply,
Evyn in the entryng was he slayn.
So was fulfylled the prophecy
Qwylk Elysew by word wroyght,
that sayd he suld yt se,
Bot for he trowd yt noyght,
no help therof had he.
fierce and strong; (t-note)
did pass away
eighteen pence; money
judgment from the Lord; (t-note)
eat our children all together
together were dwelling with joy
sorrow to cease
because; believe; (t-note)
Arabs; (see note); (t-note)
if we remain; deceived
they found a great amount
packed up; (t-note)
look and see; (t-note)
ambush nearby; (t-note)
many signs; (t-note)
long; experienced such terrible fear
as one; (t-note)
[A DIGRESSION ON DESPAIR, AND THE EXAMPLE OF JUDAS]
Heyre may we fynd by fygur fayre
exsempyll schewd to our syght
That no man suld be in dyspare
of Goddes mercy, ne of His myght.
For als He made both erth and ayre
and with His Word all wardly wyght,
So is His myght to amend or payre
aftur ther wyll is wrang or ryght.
Who in dyspare makes end
so fro all fayth to fayle,
Thei fayr furth with the Fend
to byde ever in his bayle.
This case was kend by cursed Judas,
qwylke sold his Lord that all may sayve.
He trowd not trew for that trespase,
therfor he wold no mercy crave.
He was so sett with Satanas
that with a cord that cursed knave
Hanged hymself. And so he has
his home in Hell and ever sall have.
What syn so we have done,
yf we to trowth wyll tent,
God wyll forgyf als sone
as we wyll ryght repent.
Also we may exempyll se
and by swylke case have knawyng clere:
All yf ourself so synfull be
that God wyll not our prayers here,
Of holy men then here wyll He
that for us profers ther prayer.
Then is yt gud wysdome that we
send our saynges by sanctes sere
And speke, whyls we have space,
to them we wott are wyse,
Of God to gett us grace
sone of our syns to ryse.
The Fend is qwaynt us forto qwell
bot yf we lefe his lare lyghtly.
For and we in his donger dwell,
he makes our myse to multyply,
As yt with Judas fyrst befell.
For he mystrest in Goddes mercy,
He hanged hymself and is in Hell
with wo, as his werke was worthy.
God graunt us spech and space
sone to forsake our syne,
And so to gete His grace
that we to welth may wyne!
(see note); (t-note)
prayers by many saints
(time on earth)
cunning; destroy; (t-note)
if we; power
[THE DEATH OF BEN-HADAD (8:7–15)]
Now forthir of this same to see
our processe playnly to declare:
Kyng Benedab com to his cuntré
and herd tell of this ferly fare,
How four messell mad hym to flee
and all wyght men that with hym ware.
Swylk schame ther in his hert had he
no comforth myght hym cover of care.
For he so fayntly fled
and lefed all in that sted,
He lay seke in his bede
in dowt forto be ded.
With no kyns medcyns wold he mell,
so was he angred inwardly.
He cald a prince heygh Azabell,
and bad hym take tressour and cumpany,
And wend furth fast, for nothyng dwell,
unto that cyté of Samary,
And pray the prophett hym forto tell
whedder he sall lyfe or dy.
The prince the cuntré knew;
he went, and sone he fand
The prophett Elysew
and proferd hym his presand.
“Syr, the kyng of Syry certayn
is seke, and hydder he hath me send
To wytt sum certayn of his payn,
wedder yt sall sesse or sone make end.
He prays thee take this presand playn.”
The prophett says, “That may not me amend.
Bot have yt home with thee agayn
and say hym als thou sall be kend.
Lere hym that he sall lyfe
and in that poynt hym plese;
Els may thou mater gyf
to do hym more dysese.
“Bot hardely I to thee hete:
within few days his ded is nere.”
The prophett then began to grete
and forto mon and make yll chere.
When Azaell saw hym so lete,
the cause full fast he con enquere.
He sayd, “For thou sall make thee mete
to wayte Ebrews with sorows sere.”
Azaell answerd ryght,
“That ded I wyll deny.
I am no man of myght
forto make swylke maystry.”
The prophett hert was hevy os led.
He sayd, “In thiself this I se.
The kyng of Syry sall sone be ded,
in lyfe no langer last sall he.
And thou sall stand furth in his sted
as crownd kyng of that cuntré.
Then sall thou werke by weked red
and stroy this reme, that rewys me.
Bot I am fayn forwhy
I sall noyght se that syght.
For of grett eld am I,
me fayles both mynd and myght.”
The prince agayn his gate has grayd
als glad a man as he may gang.
Unto the kyng of Syry he sayd,
“Ser, thou sall fare well and wax strang.”
Bot yll lechyng for hym he layd
so that his lyf last not lang,
And with the paynyms so he purvayd
that he was mad kyng them amang.
He rewled them so in rest
and mad ther myrthes more.
Thei sayd he was the best
of all that had bene before.
relieve of sorrow; (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
ambush; many; (t-note)
through wicked advice
road has taken
doctoring; (see note); (t-note)
[REIGN OF JORAM OF JUDAH (8:16–24; 2 CHRONICLES 21:4–20)]
Now lefe we this Azaell
that kyng of Syré hymself con ma,
And Joram, kyng of Israel;
a lytyll tyme we lefe them twa.
Of that other Joram wyll we tell,
kyng of Jerusalem and of Juda.
He wedded the doyghtur of Jezabell
and Kyng Acab doyghtur alswa.
Hyr name was Godolé,
als clerkes may clerly knaw.
Thrught hyr ordanyng was he
to lef God and His Law.
For scho was comyn of paynyms kyn,
scho mad hym on hyr mawmentes mene.
When he to govern con begyn,
he slogh up all his kynred clene,
Fyrst his brethyr, he wold not blyn,
and sythyn his dukes dughty be dene.
Hym toyght no wrschep more to wyn
then greve them that gud men had bene.
Thus may gud womans wyll
to God full gretly plese,
And als whore thei ar yll
gare do full grett dysese.
To tyrantré so con he tent,
no gaine myght hym bettur glad.
Sant Elysew unto hym sent
a byll that his maystur had made.
Ely, whyls he in land was lent,
mad prophecy in bokes brad,
And of this mater then he ment
to bye, all yf yt long abad.
For all behoved be done,
poyntes of ther prophecys,
Auder sythyn or sone.
The wrytt was on this wyse:
“Joram, for thou has left the Law
that Moyses in his lyf con lere,
And unto dewlys thi dedes doos draw
and of Hevyn has no hast to here,
And for thou has kylled, as we knaw,
thi brethyr and thi dukes dere,
Her is assygned in this saw
how thou sall suffer sorows sere.
Enmys sall on thee fall
and defoule thee before
Thi wyfes and wemen all
that thou wold wrschept wore.
“Thi suns and thi doyghturs sall be slone,
als thou hath kyld other of thi kyn,
And sythyn thiself sall be tone
with wo that thou sall never owt wyn.
Thi lygham and thi lyms ylk one
sall rankell and thou royte within,
And medcyn sall thou never have none
bot fall to fylth for thi syn.
And so sall thou make end
with wo, as ys worthy.”
All this care was contened
with poyntes of prophecy.
And for all suld wurth on swylke wyse
as God by prophettes purvayd has,
With Ethyopes and Arabyse
sone all his wyfes unwrschept was.
And all his suns with doles dyes
bot one, the eldest, Occozias.
Hymself royted and myght not ryse,
with hydows payn so con he pase.
For unlafull lyfyng
thus was his endyng vyle.
Then Occozi was kyng,
bot he lest lytyll whyle.
did make; (t-note)
(i.e., Jehoram); (t-note)
Athaliah; (see note)
to practice her idolatry; (t-note)
brave dukes forthwith
Elisha; (see note)
tarried long (took a long time to occur)
desired to be honored
happen in such ways
Ethiopians and Arabs; (see note)
He himself (i.e., Joram) rotted
(i.e., contrary to the Law)
[JORAM OF ISRAEL WOUNDED (8:25–29; 2 CHRONICLES 22:4–6)]
Now lefe we the kyng Occozi.
of other Joram wyll we tell
That soyjornd kyng in Samary
and led that land of Israel.
He geydderd hym grett cumpany
with Kyng Benedab more forto mell,
Bycause he had wun with maystry
Ramatha and thor con he dwell.
Joram wold wyn agayn
that cyté yf he myght;
Bot his werke was in vayn,
that boldenese dere he boyght.
To Ramatha he con persew
and seged yt on ylka syd.
And sone ther had he note all new:
with a dart a wound full wyde.
He feled yt so that few yt knew,
bot ther he myght no langer byde.
He had a steward that heyygh Jew,
to hym he toke his ost that tyd.
He went to Jezeraell
softly, for he was sare.
Thore wonned Qwene Jezabell,
his moyder we ment of are.
With hyr with lechyng thor he lay,
for nerre home he myght not pase.
Kyng Occozi, his cosyn, herd say
how that his eme yll wounded was.
He ordand hym full rych aray
of hors and harnes that he has.
To Jezeraell he toke the way,
and of his fare full fast he as.
So sojorn thei in fere
with Jezabell, the qwene.
Full sone ther sall thei here
that sall turn them to tene.
Ben-hadad (see note); interfere; (see note)
cost him dearly
received it [in such a way]; (t-note)
who was named Jehu; (t-note)
host at that time
spoke of earlier
closer to home
what shall; sorrow; (t-note)
[JEHU PURGES ISRAEL’S ROYAL HOUSE AND RELIGION (9:1–10:36)]
The nobyll prophett Elysew,
als God ordand them two omell,
He sent another prophet trew
and bad hym go and tythynges tell
Unto the dughty duke ser Jew
in the ost whore he con dwell,
And that he suld anoynt hym new
forto be kyng of Israel:
“Say God hath ordand so
that he that forse sall fell
And venge hym on them two:
Joram and Jezabell.
“And bad hym stroy up all the kyn
of Kyng Acab in elka eld,
For he to Nabot dyd grett syne
that slogh hym falsly for his feld.
And Jesabell gart all begyn,
and sythyn scho gart with spere and scheld
A hunderth prophettes lyfes to twyn
for all the welth that thei had in weld.”
The prophett went to Jew
and told hym all this chaunce,
How the prophett Elysew
bad hym go take vengance.
And when he had sayd his errand
betwyx them two full prevely,
Thore he anoynt hym with his hand
and cald hym kyng of Samary
And of all els in Israel land,
and then he wendes his way in hy.
The pepyll asked to understand
what this sendyng suld sygnyfye.
The duke told them tythyng
how Joram suld be ded,
And how he suld be kyng
and stand furth in his sted.
Then was grett myrth to see them mete,
so wylly to that warke thei wore.
Thei spred ther cloghes befor his fete
and raysed hym kyng, ose fell therfor,
And holy unto hym thei hete
to be his men forevermore.
And then thei gate the gaynest strett
to Jezarell, for Joram was thore.
When Kyng Joram hard say
hys ost com on swylke a wyse,
He wend full wele that thei
had overcomyn his enmyse,
And therfor was he ferly fayn.
All yf his wound werkyd hym yll,
He rayse and went Duke Jew agayn
to welcom hym with word and wyll.
Tyll Nabod feld he passed playn,
and in that sted then stod he styll,
And with a dart thor was he slayn
the propfecy to fulfyll.
Lyke to his fader before,
forto venge Nabod blod
Hys body left thei thore
to bestes and foules fod.
Kyng Occozi, his cosyn, saw
how that his eme to ded was dyght.
Therfor on dregh he con hym draw
and ordand hym full fast to flyght.
Bot als he rayd furth by a raw,
the dukes men of hym had syght,
And to hym thrast thei in a thraw
so that he lost his lyves lyght.
Hys men his body bare
to Jerusalem cyté.
That comyng was grett care
to his moyder Godolé.
Duke Jew with his clene cumpany
enturd the cyté of Jezeraell.
“Welcom, our kyng!” the folke con crye
and mad hym homeg them omell.
All this was care and contrarye
unto the fals Quene Jezabell.
To a hygh tour con scho hy,
and thore scho cast out wordes fell.
Scho cryd to the duke, “Ser Jew,”
and oft scho con record,
“Thou fals traytur untrew
sakles hath slayn thi lord.”
Scho wered hym with wordes kene.
He spyrd who spake tho wordes bold.
Thei sayd, “Ser, Jezabell, the quene,
Kyng Acab wyf ye knaw of old.”
Then at hyr wordes he was full tene.
He bad two men that wyghtly wold,
“Go cast hyr down yow two betwene,
so sall hyr sayng sowr be sold.”
To that werke ware thei prest
and hasted them full fast.
Over the wall thei hyr kest
that all hyr bowels brast.
The duke was sett in Joram se,
resavyd with alkyns reverence ryfe.
Thei mad grett fest with mekyll gle,
and all thei love God of His lyfe.
On Jezabell yett mynd had he,
all yf scho had styrd mekyll stryf.
He bad hyr cors suld bered be
because scho was a kynges wyfe.
Bot with hundes was scho etyn
or any man com thare.
To bereyng was noyght gettyn
bot nayles and banes bare.
Kyng Jew then cald his princese of price
and sayd, “Sers, loke ye mervell noyght
That I have wroyght now in this wyse,
both kyng and qwene tyll end broyght.
This is for nokyns covetyse,
that sall ye wyt wele in your toyght.
Bot God in whom all lordschep lyse,
He wold that vengance suld be soyght
For Nabod, that nobyll man,
that was slayn for his feld.
For Sant Elysew sayd then
bestes suld ther bodes weld.”
Then answere all that folke in fere,
“Ser, of this fare ar we full fayn.
For sen God wold that yt so were,
no gud man suld say thor agayn.”
Then sent he folke both fere and nere
to seke on ylka syd certayn
Kyng Acab kynred to conquere.
Thei sessyd not or all ware slayn.
Both man and chyld and wyfe
full wyghtly had ther wage.
Thei left not on on lyfe
that langed to that lynage.
To hym was told then prevely
that ther was sexty chylder yyng,
Kyng Acab suns, in Samary
to soyjorn thore in save kepyng.
And to that cyté he sent forthy
and bad men suld byd for nothyng
Bot stryk of all ther hedes in hy
and unto hym be lyve them bryng.
To hym tho hedes ware fette,
and sone he wold not blyn
Bot on the walles them sett
in sygne of Acab syn.
Kyng Jew then wold no langer lend
in Jezeraell so styll to stand.
To Samary then wold he wend,
the chefe cyté of Israel land.
All folke that were to Acab frend,
he feld them down wher he them fand,
And all fals prophettes he schope to shend
that Jesabell thor had ordand.
And all by a sotell sleght
ordand he yt suld be.
He gart cry all on heght
throught owt all that cuntré
That he wold make thor sacrafyce
to Beall, that was god of Tyre.
And all that wold werke on that wyse
he sayd suld have his helpe to hyre.
The fals prophettes full fast con ryse,
to do that ded was ther desyre.
And sone thei soyght for that assysse
to Samary, both sun and syre.
The kyng this forward fest,
when thei ware samned so,
Who so lufed Beall best
into the tempyll at go.
He sayd, “Tho that have bene abowt
to wrschep hym with word and wyll,
Within the tempyll sall thei hym lowt
and all ther sacrafyce thor fulfyll.
All other folk sall byd ther owt
and pray to hym be stevyn full styll.”
All this was done withoutyn dowt.
Who lufed hym best sone lyked yll.
The fals prophettes ylkon
with wyfes and chylder yyng
Into the tempyll ar gone
at bydyng of the kyng.
When all the fals prophettes ware past
into the tempyll of ylk eld,
The dures and wyndows spered he fast,
and when he them wele festyd feld,
Att ylka corner gart he cast
als mekyll wod os men myght weld,
And brynt all up with wyndes blast
that non myght be tyll other beld.
Yf any withoutt ware leved
that to Beall had tone,
He gart strykke of ther hed.
so ware thei stroyd ylkon.
Then gart he layte thurgh all that land
who wold be boun unto Beall,
And mawmentes, that ware made with hand
of sylver and gold and gud metall,
He stroke all down and lete non stand
with the belders in bowre and hall,
So that the folke no favour fand
bot in grett God that governs all.
Both be est and west
thei wrschept God allway.
Then regned he in gud rest
and rewled in ryght aray.
brave; Jehu; (t-note)
of every age; (t-note)
caused all to begin
the land of Israel
took the most direct route
in such a way
rose; [to meet] Duke Jehu
as food for beasts and birds
unto death was struck
Athaliah; (see note)
homage among them
without cause; (t-note)
talking be bitterly rewarded
Joram’s seat (i.e., throne)
every kind of
even though she had stirred
ordered that her corpse; buried
burying; retrieved; (t-note)
[anything] but; bones; (t-note)
no kind of covetousness
know well; mind; (t-note)
Elisha; (see note); (t-note)
people as one
speak against it
far and near; (t-note)
not delay at all
strike off; haste
caused to die
ordained (i.e., by her actions)
caused it to be cried out
son and father (i.e., all of them)
submit to him; (t-note)
doors; barred; (t-note)
he had them well enclosed
as much wood
given [honor]; (t-note)
destroyed every one
[ATHALIAH’S REIGN OVER JUDAH (11:1–3; 2 CHRONICLES 22:10–12)]
Kyng Acab doyghtur Godolé
held all Juda in hyr awn power.
Yt was grett sorow hyr forto se
hyr sun body broyght on bere.
Hyr brother Joram, ded was he,
and Jezabell, hyr moyder dere,
And all hyr kyn in that cuntré.
This was full herd to hyr at here.
Therfor grett athes scho sware
to venge hyr vilansly
And to stroy les and mare
the kynred of Kyng Davy.
Scho sayd, “Sen thei thus begyn
Kyng Acab kynred forto sla,
Ther sall never none of David kyn
lyf to be kyng of Juda.”
Scho gart dystroy both more and myn
that scho wyst ware comyn of that kyn swa.
Bot a yyng chyld away con wyn
by helpe of Byschop Joiada.
He was hyd with his wyf
in a chamber full fast,
And so thei sayved his lyf
unto sex yer was past.
son’s body; bier
very hard for her to hear
Jehoiada; (see note); (t-note)
(I.e., the boy); his (Jehoiada’s); (see note)
six years were
[JOASH ANOINTED AND ATHALIAH OVERTHROWN (11:4–21; 2 CHRONICLES 23:1–27)]
The chyldes name was cald Joas,
Kyng Acaze sun forsoth was he.
Bot thore wyst no mo how yt was
bot Joiada and his mene.
He thynkes with all the helpe he has
to sett hym in Kyng David se
Over Juda with power to pase,
qwylke that tyme governs Godolé.
He sent clerkes that he knew
thurghowt all that cuntré
To prestes and prophettes trew
and dekyns in sere degré.
He bad thei suld com certan day
to Jerusalem at make offerand.
Unto hys sand durst non say nay,
for he was byschop of that land.
To Jerusalem the toke the way,
redy to do all his commawnd.
When all ware geydderd in gud aray,
he sayd, “Sers, ye sall understand:
God heyght to Kyng David
and furth to hys barn teme
To be kynges of this kyth
of Juda and Jerusalem.
“And in this tym is so betyd
als Godlé hath ordand evyn:
Of David kyn may non be kyd,
bot thei be stroyd aftur hyr stevyn.
Here is a chyld that I have hyd
and noryscht now yeres sevyn.
That he be kyng, this wold I byd,
for nere that kyn is non to nevyn.
And so sall God be payd,
for els is all owt gone.”
Be all assent thei sayd,
“Ser, we ar payd ylkon.”
Into the Tempyll thei toke the gate,
and Joas for ther kyng thei ken.
Thei raysed hym up in kynges astate,
in David se thei sett hym then.
The byschope bad men yeme the gate
for Godolé and for hyr men,
And, yf thei com to make debate,
to slo them and thei ware slyke ten.
Scho gate hyr men of myght
unto the Tempyll to gang.
To ded thore was scho dyght;
sum toyght scho lyfed overlang.
The gud byschop than Joiada
cast down the tempyll of Beall
And other mawmentes mony ma
that men had mad of sere metall.
Then all the kynred of Juda
gart he sone togeydder call,
And Joas for ther kyng thei ta
and sett hym in Kyng David stall.
He lyfed in pese and rest
and wed a worthy wyfe.
To pay God was he prest
whyls Joiada last in lyfe.
Ahaziah’s son truly
deacons of every rank
pleased each one
[HAZAEL THREATENS JERUSALEM; JEHOAHAZ REIGNS IN ISRAEL (12:17–13:9)]
Bot aftur sone so yt befell
that in his trewth he wex untrew,
Als we sall sone here aftur tell,
bot fyrst we wyll nevyn noyes new.
The kyng of Syre, ser Azell,
with mony Sarsyns con persew
To stroy Kyng Jew of Israel
by the prophecies of Elysew.
Thei brynt town and cyté
to Samary on ylka syde.
Kyng Jew was fayn to flee
and fro ther harm hym to hyd.
He regned twenty-sevyn yer,
full ryall kyng in rych aray,
And then he dyed with sorows sere,
when all his welth was went away.
And Joacas, hys sun so dere,
was crowned kyng aftur his day.
Bot he was noyght, als men may lere,
lyke to his fader in lefull lay.
Kyng Jew sun Joacas
now leve we renand thore,
And of yyng Kyng Joas
now wyll we muster more.
Saracens (i.e., pagans)
[DEATHS OF JEHOIADA, HIS SON, AND JOASH (12:19–21; 2 CHRONICLES 24:15–27)]
Grett wrschep in his yowth he wan
ay whyls he in God con trow.
Bot Joiada, that nobyll man,
dyed aftur then in lytyll thraw,
And Zacary, his sun, was than
ordand byschop of ther law.
Kyng Joas sone aftur begane
to yll dedes hym forto draw.
He forsoke Goddes servyce
and lyfed in mawmentry.
All wroyght on that same wyse
that used hys cumpany.
The laws of God hym lyst not lere.
That was foly, and so he fand.
Bot for hys werkes to God ware dere
whyls Joiada had lyf in land,
He warned hym by prophettes sere
his yll lyf to lef of hand.
And Zacary was byschop nere;
he styrd hym most, I understand.
And for he proved hym playn
how he his myse suld mende,
In the Tempyll was he slayn
evyn at the auter ende.
To serve God as he con stand,
so was he kyld with Kyng Joas.
All the grett favour that he fand
in Joiada forgettyn he has.
And for he was to God grocheand,
his powere sone gun payre and pas,
And full hard hape com hym on hand
with grett were, os he worthy was.
The kyng of Syre, Azaell,
that we spake of before,
With grett ost on hym fell
and stroyd up all that store.
He cast down castels, townes, and towrs,
ther myght no strenght agayn hym stand.
He brynt ther burghes, hales, and bowrs
and all ther frutt wher he it fand.
Kyng Joas than full lowly lowrs,
and lever he was to lefe of hand
All ryches and erthly honowrs
then forto lose his lyf in land.
He gafe them all the thressour
and all the vessel of price
That his elders before
had sett to Godes servyce.
Phylysteyns then ware ferly fayn
for goddes that thei togeydder brast.
Kyng Azaell went hom agayn
with tressour all withoutyn taste.
Kyng Joas lyfed with mekyll payn,
for Jerusalem was roved and rast.
Sythyn with hys awn men was he slayn,
for all that cyté so had he wast.
Of yeres aght and fawrty
regned he befor his dede.
Then his sun Amazi
was crownned in his sted.
in a short time
it pleased him not to follow
to let go
destroyed all that possession
halls, and homes
very glad; (t-note)
goods; packed up
forty-eight years; (see note)
[ELISHA’S DEATH AND HIS FINAL MIRACLE (13:10–21)]
Long aftur this so yt befell:
another kyng that heygh Joas
Governd that land of Israel
aftur his fader, Kyng Jocas.
Sant Elysew then thor con dwell,
and in that same tyme seke he was.
Kyng Joas when he herd so tell,
to vysett hym grett hast he has.
His seknes so sore he plenyd
and sayd, “Ser, and thou dy,
My strenght mon be restrened;
therfor I am sory.”
The prophett comforth than the kyng
and sayd, “The soth we sone sall knaw
Wher thou sall lang lyf in lykyng
and be owt of thi enmys aw.”
A bow he gart unto hym bryng
and bad the kyng bend yt and draw
And schote arows at his desiring
evyn as hym lyst both hegh and law.
Thre arows schott he sone,
the bow than down he layd,
And when he so had done,
the prophet was noyght payd.
He sayd, “Ser, had thou schott all thies,
thou suld have had lordschep in land
And overcomyn all thin enmyse,
the Phylysteyns, whore thou them fand;
And now bycause thou schott bot thryse,
bot thre tyms thou getes the overhand.”
When he had sayd on this wyse,
the kyng went home full sore wepand.
Then dyed Sant Elysew,
and for he lufed His Lay,
God sent full grett vertu
for hym aftur his day.
When he was dede, his cors thei dyght
in a grave stalworthy of stone.
A man was murdred on a nyght
with thefes that had his tressour tone.
And for he suld be owt of syght
that of ther werkyng wytt suld none,
That ded cors thei had hid full ryght
thor Elysew was layd alone.
And when yt neghted nere
to the cors of Elysew,
Yt rayse up hole and fere
and told this tale for trew,
How that he was with enmys slayn
and stylly stokyn under the stones,
And how God gaf hym lyf agayn
by vertu of tho blessed bones.
So may men see yt was certayn
that he lyfed nobly for the nones,
When God wold schew swylke power playn
aftur his ded ofter then ones.
For oft tyms seke and sore
that to that place persew,
Full wele waryscht thei wore
and hole of hyd and hew.
(see note); (t-note)
if you die
all these [arrows]; (t-note)
you will get the upper hand
thieves; goods stolen
none should know; (t-note)
dead body; (t-note)
approached near; (t-note)
rose; whole and healthy
all the time
more often than once
made completely whole
[JEHOASH AGAINST ARAM; AMAZIAH OF JUDAH (13:22–14:22; 2 CHRONICLES 25:1–28)]
The kyng of Syre, Ser Azaell,
that named was an nobyll man,
Dyed aftur sone, and so befell
that aftur hym regned his sun Adan.
Joas, the kyng of Israel,
wered on hym and thryse wrschep wan,
Als Elysew before con tell
by thre arows that ware schott than.
All that was lost before,
both cytés, town, and toure,
By strengh he con restore
and gate full grett honoure.
The kyng of Jerusalem Amasy,
a herdy man of hert and hand,
Toyght he wold have the maystry
of hethyn folke whore he them fand.
He sembled sone grett cumpany
of harnest men thryty thowssand,
And to Kyng Joas of Samary
sent he a full fayr presand
Of sylver and of gold,
a thowsand besandes bryght,
And prayd hym that he wold
help hym with folke to fyght.
Kyng Joas was of this presand payd.
Therfor be lyve to hym he lent
A thowsand men ryght wele arayd
to wend with hym whorso he went.
And when thei ware full redy grad,
God told Kyng Amazi His entent:
The folke that Kyng Joas had purvayd,
He bad thei suld agayn be sent.
For and thei with hym yode,
He sayd yt suld bewarre:
“Ther lyfyng is not gud,
therfore led them no ferre.”
This commawndment fro he had knawn,
for he wold gare no grevance grove,
Tho men he dyd sone be withdrawn;
that toyght them was grett reprove.
And furth he went than with his awn,
to Moabyse fast con he move.
He stroyd all that was sett or sawn
and gatt gold to his awn behove
More then men myght tell,
and went home agayn.
The folk of Israel
therfor ware nothyng fayn.
Bot grett dyspyte them toyght therby
that he had swylke hape in his hende,
For he refused ther cumpany
and wold not lett them with hym wend.
Then this prowd Kyng Amazi,
when God had hym swylke socur send,
He lad his lyf in lechery
and in Goddes Law hym lyst not lend.
And when prophettes hym blamed,
in tene he told them tyll
Thei suld be shent and shamed
bot yf thei held them styll.
So hegh pride in his hert he has
hym thynke no prince suld be his peyre.
He sent unto the Kyng Joas
letturs mad in this manere
That he and all that with hym was
suld serve hym on sydes sere;
Or els with playn ware wold he pas
hym and his kyndome to conquere.
Kyng Joas sent agayn
he was noyght ferd therfore;
Yf he ware mekyll of mayn,
he sayd Goddes myght was more.
To tell of all ther toyle that tyd
wold take long tym or all ware told.
Kyng Amazi for his grett pride
was putt to myschef mony-fold.
How he had herme, is not to hyde,
when Kyng Joas had hym in hold.
His awn men gatt hym so on syd
that he was kylled with cares cold.
Thei broyght hym to bereyng
in Jerusalem wrscheply,
And after hym was kyng
his sun that heyght Ozi.
fully made ready; (t-note)
should be sent back
cause; [to] grow
caused quickly to be
Moabites; (see note); (t-note)
he cared not to follow
great in strength
struggle at that time
in his control
Uzziah; (see note); (t-note)
[JEROBOAM II BECOMES KING OF ISRAEL (14:23–28)]
Sone aftur this the kyng Joas
dyed in the cyté of Samary.
Jeroboam, his sun, than was
kyng crowned of that cumpany.
Unto hym come a prophett Jonas
and told to hym by prophecy
Agayns the kyng of Syre to pase,
for sone he suld have vyctory.
He ordand hym and yode
with baytell ryght arayd,
And all was done in dede
evyn als the prophet sayd.
[STORY OF JONAS (JONAS 1:1–4:11)]
Now in this tym is forto tell
how God to men musters his myght,
And of grett ferlys that befell
to this prophet that Jonas hyght,
And how God unto hym con tell
of Ninivé that day and nyght
Unto His resons ware rebell.
And for He wold rewle them ryght,
He bad Jonas go preche
to tho men evyn and morn
And His Law to them teche
so that thei ware noyght lorn.
Jonas herd tell of Nynyvé
and of the folke so fell thei wore
And yll-doers in all degré,
therfor he dred hym to come thore.
He gate hym schypmen over the se
and ordand hym full fast therfore
In sum fere cuntré forto be,
that God and he suld mete no more.
This was a foull foly
when he so fondly dyd.
God ys ever Allmyghty,
from Hym may noyght be hyd.
With maryners full sone he mett
that sayd thei suld sayle to Cecile.
Gud hyre to have thore he them hett
to helpe hym to that uncouth yle.
Bot in the se when thei ware sett
and fro the land full mony a myle,
Swylke stormes blew and on them bett
thei wened to be lorn in lytyll whyle.
The merchandes them amang
cast owt the ryches fele,
Bot the storme was so strang
thei had no hope of hele.
So when thei ware thus stratly sted
in poynt that perell never to pase,
Thei kest lotes als ther counsel red,
and sone the lote fell on Jonas.
Thei layted whore he lay on a bed,
and asked hym what he done has.
He sayd, “Fro God thus am I fled,
and all this wo for me yt was.
I knaw to God my gylt
and all my weked toyght.
Bettur ys that I be spylt
then tho that trespast noyght.”
When thei this herd, thei had pyté
that his lyf suld no langer last.
Bot for yt myght no bettur be,
into the se thei have hym cast.
Then sayled thei fast to ther cuntré,
and fro all perels are thei past.
And with a whalle sone hent was he
that nawder flesch ne bon brast.
Thre days and thre nyghtes
was he within that whalle.
So con God schew His myghtes
apon His frendes to fall.
When thre days and thre nyghtes ware gone,
that fysch unto the banke hym broyght
And in that land leved hym alon
whylke God bad fyrst he suld have soyght.
With mornyng then he mad his mone
and wyst he had unwysly wroyght.
Another tyme God hath hym tone
and told unto hym eft His toyght:
“Wende unto Nynyvé
and tell to more and myn:
Both thei and ther cyté
sall synke down for ther syne
“In faurty days bot yf thei pray
and do swylke penance as to Me pays.”
Then Jonas went wyghtly his way,
he durst no langer make delese.
That cyté was, als we here say,
so mekyll and so wyde of ways
That unethes that any man may
a fote pase thrugh yt in thre days.
Jonas enturd within,
als God had hym purvayd.
To preche con he begyn
and thus to them he sayd:
“Your Savyour thus has me send
to warn yow how His wylles wore:
‘Bot yf ye wyll your myse amend
and graunt to greve your God no more,
Or faurty days ben comyn tyll end,
sall ye have sorows sere and sore.
To Hell your cyté sall dyscend,
als other fyfe hath done before.
Thei used unkyndly syn,
als ye werke now all ways.
Be lyve bot yf ye blyn,
your cyté synkes,’ He says.”
Sone all tho folke of Nynyvie,
qwen thei herd of this carfull cry,
Graunt ther gylt with grett pety
and mekly asked of God mercy.
And the kyng of that same cyté,
the qwene, and all ther cumpany
Laft all ther ray of ryalté,
and sekes and hayres thei hent in hy.
And so cled sat thei down
full low both more and lese,
And cast powder over ther croun
in maner of meknese.
When thei ware then thus stratly sted,
the kyng gart be his commawndment
That all folk suld in sekkes be cled
and to mete suld thei take no tent.
Yyng barns also suld not be fed
bot that the lyf ware in them lent,
Nore bestes also suld not be led
to fude or faurty days ware went,
So that both man and best
suld pray and fast fro mete
Of syns to be releschest
and forgyfnes to gete.
When God saw them so benly bow
and do His bedyng bowsomly
And holly heyght in Hym to trow
and forsake all ther mawmentry,
Ther lyfyng then He con alow
and graunt them grace and gud mercy.
This schewys to uus all holly how
all sall have welth that are worthy.
As the prophet Jonas
was thre days in the se,
So Cryst in erthe here was
bered be days thre.
Then stalked he fro that cyté styll,
and the pepyll fast with penance prayd.
He luged hym heyght under a hyll
to se what suld be aftur grayd.
And ay he loked that cyté untyll
when yt suld synke, os he had sayd.
And for yt stud, hym angerd yll,
bot God was of ther pennance payd.
And thayr prayer Hym plessed,
therfor had thei ther boune.
Jonas was yll dysplessed
with hete of the sun full sone,
Als yt in somer seson is sene.
Bot God, that sone may send all seele,
He mad an yvyn grofe grene,
that umbrayd hym ever ylk dele.
So sat he styll two hyllys betwen;
that all suld wast, he wend full wele.
And to hymself he sayd in tene,
“This fayr is fals, fully I fele.”
Bot on the morn be prime
then wex his mervell more.
The son was clere that tyme,
and the yvyn was noyght thore.
Then had he tene for that the tre
was so away went on that nyght.
God sayd to hym, “Why greves thou thee
for thyng that is not in thi myght?
Me lykes to sayve now Nynivé
because thei ar repentand ryght.”
Then sayd he, “Lord, have mynd of me
that I myght sone to ded be dyght
And fro this lyfe be reft!”
Thus leve we of ther thynges
And tell furth whore we left
to end the Boke of Kynges.
is called Jonas
evildoers in every way
hired for himself shipmen
Sicily; (see note)
Good wages; promised
believed they would be dead
in dire straits
cast lots as their beliefs advised
whale soon seized
nor bone were broken
mourning; moan; (t-note)
knew; worked unwisely; (t-note)
Once more; taken
more and less (i.e., everyone)
on foot; (t-note)
Before; are come to an end
Unless you quickly cease
Abandoned; array of royalty
sackcloth and hairshirts they seized in haste
be clad in sackcloth; (t-note)
Young children; (t-note)
wholly promise; trust
show to us
set himself high
ever; unto that city
ivy grow green; (t-note)
covered; every part
knew full well
by [the hour of] prime
It pleases me
death be taken
[ZACHARIAH AND UZZIAH (14:29–15:7; 2 CHRONICLES 26:1–23)]
Kyng Jeroboam we told of before
of Israel and of Samary,
He dyed when he myght lyf no more,
when faurty yeres ware gone fully.
And in his sted was crowned thor
his eldest sun heyght Zacary.
Hym wyll we lefe now styll in store
and carpe furth of Kyng Ozi.
Jerusalem and Juda
begane he to governe wele.
Bot sythyn he fayled ther fra
with foly, that con he fele.
Ay whyls he was a nobyll man,
all had daynteth with hym to dele.
He wered on Sarsyns and so wan
grett wrschep and grett werdly wele.
To by and byg fast he began
borows fayre and cetys fele,
And wele lufed was he than
ay whyls he was of lyvyng lele.
Goddes Tempyll ryght he arayd
and mad gret cost theron,
Evyn as yt was purvayd
in tyme of Salamon.
He was chefe of all chevalry
whore so he come in all cuntré.
On mold was no man so myghty,
ne none so grett of gold ne fee.
So was he sett in surquidry
he held non half so gud os he.
Therfor he fell in fond foly
and past all over his awn degré.
The Jews used ylk yere
to make a fest of price
And hald that day full dere
with solempne sacrafyce.
And so befell on that same day
Kyng Ozi wyll no langer byd.
Into the Tempyll he toke the way,
and to the auter he hym hyed.
He revescht hym in ryche aray,
as byschopes used in that tyd.
“I sall gyf sens,” thus con he say,
so was he sett in pomp and prid.
To the sensurs he brayd
and gaf sens full gud sped.
The prestes ware not apayd
and blamed hym for that ded.
“Syr kyng,” thei say, “to sayve thi grace,
swylk offyce is not unto thee.
Non aw at entur into this place
bot connand clerkes of dygnyté,
As prelates that the power has
and prestes and dekyns of degré.”
Unto ther tales no tent he tas;
that boyght he sone, all men myght se.
God toke vengance in hye
and sent on hym ryght thore
The evyll of meselry.
so foule was none before.
He was so lothly on to loke
that none had lyst with hym to lend.
Bot frendes and felows hym forsoke
themself fro seknes to dyffend.
The lordes and knyghtes that counsell toke
owt of the cyté hym to send.
And thor he wonned with wo and woke
and so in myschef mad his end,
For he tent not to
presthed ne to prelate,
And putt hymself to do
that fell not for his astate.
Be this ensampyll may we se,
sen vengance thore so sone was sene,
Us ow to honour ylke degré
of Holy Kyrke that kept is clene,
And noyght to wene ourself that we
be worthy swylk maters to mene,
Bot als thei deme in dew degré
to drese our dedes on days be dene.
God graunt us well to werke
and so to lyfe and end
In trowth of Holy Chyrche
that we to welth may wend!
speak forth; Uzziah; (see note); (t-note)
warred against the Arabs
honor; worldly wealth
towns; cities strong
loyal [to God]
On the earth
in that time
he takes no heed
he does not listen to
example; (see note)
since; there; soon; seen
We ought; each rank; (t-note)
Except as they judge; manner
arrange; deeds; straightway; (t-note)
EXPLICIT LIBRI REGUM.