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Prik of Conscience: Part Five: Of the Day of Doom and of the Tokens that Before Shall Come


1 Lines 49–52: Tell us . . . what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the consummation of the world? And Jesus answering, said to them: Take heed that no man seduce you; For many will come in my name saying, I am et cetera. Matthew 24:3–5, but the following lines (down to 68) paraphrase to verse 12. See explanatory note.

2 Lines 187–88: Let Dan be a snake in the way, a serpent in the path, that biteth the horse’s heels that his rider may fall backward. Genesis 49:17

3 Lines 372–73: And his feet like unto fine brass, as in a burning furnace. Apocalypse 1:15

4 Lines 422–23: And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. Apocalypse 12:4. See explanatory note.

5 He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children. Malachi 4:6; compare Luke 1:17 [that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children]

6 Lines 572–73: And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved. Matthew 24:22

7 There shall be one fold and one shepherd. John 10:16

8 Lines 653–54: It is not for you to know the times or moments, which the Father hath put in his own power. Acts 1:7

9 Lines 685–92: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves; Men withering away for fear, and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved; And then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with great power and majesty. Luke 21:25–27, a section from the “synoptic apocalypse” also found in Matthew 24 and Mark 13.

10 Lines 713–16: And I will shew wonders in heaven; and in earth, blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood: before the great and dreadful day of the Lord doth come. Joel 2:30–31, with “horribilis” for “manifestus”

11 Lines 813–24: And as it came to pass in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat and drink, they married wives, and were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark: and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it came to pass, in the days of Lot: they did eat and drink, they bought and sold, they planted and built. And in the day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstome from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man shall be revealed. Luke 17:26–30. For Noah’s flood see Genesis 6; for Lot and Sodom see Genesis 19.

12 Lines 899–900: A fire shall go before him, and shall burn his enemies round about. Psalm 96:3

13 Lines 917–18: A fire shall burn before him: and a mighty tempest shall be round about him. Psalm 49:3

14 But a hair of your head shall not perish. Luke 21:18

15 Lines 1006–10: For the Lord himself shall come down from heaven with commandment, and with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead who are in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, shall be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ, into the air, and so shall we be always with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:15–16

16 Lines 1032–38: And the kings of the earth, and the princes, and tribunes, and the rich, and the strong, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of mountains: And they say to the mountains and the rocks: Fall upon us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. Apocalypse 6:15–16

17 Who will grant me this, that thou mayst protect me in hell? Job 14:13

18 Lines 1084–85: For as lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth even into the west: so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:27 (with the addition of the last four words)

19 Lines 1098–99: This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as you have seen him going into heaven. Acts 1:11

20 Lines 1112–13: I will gather together all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Josaphat. Joel 3:2. By tradition the Vale of Josaphat was associated with the Kidron valley near Jerusalem.

21 Lines 1118–19: Let them arise, and let the nations come up into the valley of Josaphat: for there I will sit to judge all nations round about. Joel 3:12

22 Behold a white cloud; and upon the cloud one sitting like to the Son of man. Apocalypse 14:14

23 Lines 1197–99: For neither doth the Father judge any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son. That all men may honour the Son, as they honour the Father. John 5:22–23

24 Lines 1340–41: And if the just man shall scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 1 Peter 4:18; see also Proverbs 11:31

25 The judgment sat, and the books were opened. Daniel 7:10

26 For thou writest bitter things against me. Job 13:26

27 Lines 1473–74: How long, O Lord (holy and true) dost thou not judge and revenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? Apocalypse 6:10, which reads “non iudicas et vindicas . . .”

28 Lines 1493–94: The children will complain of an ungodly father, because for his sake they are in reproach. Ecclesiasticus 41:10

29 Lines 1563–64: He shall call heaven from above, and the earth, to judge his people. Psalm 49:4

30 Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it. Matthew 12:36 (not exact)

31 Lines 1607–08: But I know their works, and their thoughts: I come that I may gather them together with all nations. Isaias 66:18 (not exact)

32 Lines 1630–34: Rejoice therefore, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart be in that which is good in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thy heart, and in the sight of thy eyes: and know that for all these God will bring thee into judgment. Ecclesiastes 11:9

33 [Thou] wilt consume me for the sins of my youth. Job 13:26

34 Lines 1654–55: And all things that are done, God will bring into judgment for every error, whether it be good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:14

35 My ignorances do not remember[. According to thy mercy remember thou me: for thy goodness' sake,] O Lord. Psalm 24:7

36 When I shall take a time, I will judge justices. Psalm 74:3

37 Lines 1688–89: For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink. Matthew 25:42. Feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty are two of the Seven Works of Bodily Mercy.

38 Lines 1784–85: Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, and the rod of correction shall drive it away. Proverbs 22:15 (not exact)

39 Behold I myself come upon the shepherds, I will require my flock at their hand. Ezechiel 34:10 (not exact)

40 So we being many, are one body [in Christ]. Romans 12:5

41 Lines 1858–59: As every man hath received grace, ministering the same one to another. 1 Peter 4:10

42 Freely have you received, freely give. Matthew 10:8

43 Lines 1937–38: You, who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of his majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matthew 19:28 (not exact)

44 For whosoever have sinned without the law, shall perish without the law. Romans 2:12

45 Lines 2028–29: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Matthew 25:34. Six of the Seven Works of Bodily Mercy follow.

46 Compare Matthew 25:40: “Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.” See also lines 2092–95 below.

47 Lines 2066–67: Depart from, me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. Matthew 25:41

48 Lines 2150-51: For he spoke, and they were made: he commanded, and they were created. Psalm 148:5

49 The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord. Psalm 32:5


Abbreviations: CT: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales; MED: Middle English Dictionary; OED: Oxford English Dictionary; PL: Patrologia Latina, ed. Migne.

14 propur persoune. His “own person,” a phrase that differentiates Christ from other members of the Trinity (see the opening lines of the Entre), emphasizing the personal and immediate quality of Christ’s role at Doomsday. See 5.933–36.

52 Cotton Galba E.ix includes the Latin verses that this poet omits.

83–84 The first line comes from 2 Thessalonians 2:3, and the second line paraphrases the marginal gloss from the Biblia Latina cum Glossa Ordinaria. Cotton Galba E.ix reads "Quoniam nisi venerit dissencio primum etc., id est, nisi prius dissenserint omnia regna a Romano Imperio, que prius erant subdita, non antea veniet antichristus" (ed. Morris, lines 4057–60). The lines down to 124 contain a fascinating triple focus on the Imperial Rome of the past, the Christian Rome of the present, and the Antichristian Rome of the apocalyptic future.

117 mount of Olyveete. A hill to the east of Jerusalem with eschatological associations. The scene in 5.49–52 takes place on the Mount of Olives, and Jesus goes on to describe signs of the last times. Zacharias 14:4 associates the Mount with the second coming, and it is where Christ ascended to heaven (Acts 1:12; see below, line 598).

140 Apollo and Hercules are not construed as planets but as pagan gods above whom Antichrist sets himself.

169–227 These lines are roughly paralleled in the Cursor Mundi, lines 22005–116.

173–77 The Devil cannot create life (see below, at 337-41), only enter a fetus that has already been conceived.

182 Corozaym. Corozain. See 5.217. The “great clerk” of line 178 is not identified.

187–88 Because Dan is not mentioned among the tribes in Apocalypse 7:5-8, he was further identified with the Antichrist (though the enumeration of the twelve tribes of Israel is not consistent).

200 “Ysed” is the past participle of the verb isen, “to see” (n.b., what Antichrist fails to see in line 202). Circumcision was a Jewish rite that established a covenant with God (see Genesis 17:10–14, Exodus 12:48). Paul interprets the practice spiritually (Romans 3:30, Ephesians 2:11). Cotton Galba E.ix gives the opposite sense: “Yhit sal he be circumcid / And thurgh þat his malice a whyle sal hid” (ed. Morris, lines 4187–88). Either way, the lines display Antichrist’s malice in the form of hypocrisy (“seeing” the outrageous appropriation of normative practice) and deception (“hiding” behind normative practice).

217 Matthew 11:21: "Woe to thee, Corozain, woe to thee, Bethsaida," 23: "And thou Capharnaum"; Luke 10:13: "Woe to thee, Corozain, woe to thee, Bethsaida," 15: "And thou, Capharnaum."

248–49 From Hugo Ripelin de Argentina, Compendium theologicae veritatis 7.6, an account of the coming of Antichrist based on Daniel 7. See Gow, Red Jews, p. 357.

291 See Apocalypse 20:8.

303–04 As happened at Pentecost, Acts 2.

320-21 As a “counterfeit” Christ, Antichrist engages in a perverse form of “imitatio Christi,” an otherwise pious practice wherein one replicates the life and actions of Christ. “Great earth” should be construed in the sense of being more important and consequential than the world of Antichrist. An analogous but nonpejorative logic governs the naming of “Great Britain” and “Brittany” (lesser Britain).

330–41 The Devil can assume any shape he pleases (“fygures seere”) but actually raising the dead is a power reserved to God alone. Whereas the Devil can only conjure “deed ymages” and animate “deed bodyse,” real human beings, created by God, are “parfyte” (completely formed and, by implication, real).

362–63 Matthew 24:24. Not exact.

370 a paarty. The spacing of “a paarty” would suggest that it means “in part,” but may derive from Latin “aperte,” an adverb well attested in Middle English that means “openly” or “plainly.”

398 Haymo of Auxerre (d. 855), a Benedictine monk who authored numerous biblical commentaries.

409 marke of Antycryste. For medieval interpretations of the Apocalypse and the Antichrist, see D’Angelo and Matter, “Apocalypticism,” 1:41–42.

422–23 The stars were elsewhere understood to be angels who fell in the heavenly rebellion; their proportion ranges from one-tenth (or at least one whole unnamed order of angels [Langland, >i B.I.105–06]) to one-third (Milton, Paradise Lost 2.692) to, if we can believe Satan, one-half (Milton, Paradise Lost 9.141).

451–53 Because neither Enoch nor Elijah died, they are permitted to return to earth as preachers against Antichrist at the end of time (see below line 497 ff.). Enoch was taken by God (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah ascended to heaven in a chariot of fire (4 Kings 2:11). Now, restored to human form, they may die in order to participate in the full glory of the resurrection of the dead and Christ’s grace at the Last Judgment. See the Chester Antichrist (play 23), where Enoch and Elijah are resurrected to join Michael in judgment against Antichrist and his demons. (Malachi 4:5 provides a scriptural basis.)

461 Apocalypse 20:8. The following connections to Caspia and the Queen of the Amazons derive from apocalyptic literature associated with a group known as the “Red Jews.” See Gow, Red Jews, p. 203.

484–87 See Ezechiel 38:2 and Apocalypse 20:8, and the marginal gloss to Apocalypse 20:8 in the >i (the “gloose of bokes,” ed. Froehlich and Gibson [4:574]). See Introduction, p. 8.

503 Enoch and Elijah are identified with the two prophets of Apocalypse 11:3. Compare Andrew Marvell’s invocation of this sign in “To His Coy Mistress”: “I would / love you ten years before the flood: / And you should, if you please, refuse / Till the conversion of the Jews” (lines 7–10).

515 Marginal gloss to Malachi 4:5–6 in Biblia Latina cum Glossa Ordinaria (ed. Froehlich and Gibson). See Innocent III, De sacro altaris mysterio (PL 217:848b).

525–27 According to Luke 3:23, Christ was about thirty years old when he began preaching, and according to tradition he died in his thirty-third year (thirty plus “thre yere”; see below, lines 587-88 and 961-62, with its “thritty wynter and two / And thre monethes eke”).

522-29 See Apocalypse 11:3 for the number of days (“a thousand two hundred sixty days”) and for the sackcloth; compare Apocalypse 12:6, where a woman glossed as holy church, or “our blessed lady,” is fed in the wilderness 1,260 days. Compare the legend of the Egyptian Mary, as well (see, e.g., Chaucer’s Man of Law’s Tale, CT II[B1]500–01, and the South English Legendary, 1:136–48).

550 Her enemyse. “Their enemies” here and in line 554 are the enemies of Enoch and Elijah, or in other words the forces of Antichrist.

587-88 See above, lines 525–27 and note.

598See above, line 117 and note.

605 N.b., Apocalypse 12:7 and Jude 9.

607 See 2 Thessalonians 2:8 where God slays Antichrist “with the spirit of his mouth” (Isaias 11:4), a practice which Hill, “When God Blew,” connects to the liturgical practice of exsufflatio, a form of exorcism by blowing.

622 The interlinear gloss at Daniel 9:23–24 in Biblia Latina cum Glossa Ordinaria (ed. Froehlich and Gibson) mentions respite for those who repent, but it does not specify the length of time.

665–67 Pseudo-Jerome, as quoted in the Regula monachorum (PL 30:417); see also the Vita Antiquior by Bruno the Carthusian (PL 152:484b). Sir David Lyndesay quotes a similar passage in his The Monarche (1552): Sanct Ierome thoucht continuallye On this Iugement, so ardentlye, He said, ‘quidder I eit, or drynk, Or walk, or sleip, forsuth me thynk That terrabyll Trumpat, lyke ane bell, So quiklye in my eir doith knell, As Instantlye it wer present, — Ryse, dede folk, cum to Iugement!’ (Skeat, ed., Specimens, p. 259, lines 5604–11) See also Heist, Fifteen Signs, pp. 40–41.

746 The fifteen signs before Doomsday are a widespread motif, possibly Irish in origin. The tradition exists in three Latin versions (the Pseudo-Bede type, the Comestor type, and the Aquinas type; see Heist, Fifteen Signs, p. 24) each claiming to derive from the otherwise unknown Annales Hebraeorum by Jerome. Heist doubts that such a work ever existed (p. 108), though the attribution of Jerome’s name to the tradition ensured its persistence. The version in the Prik of Conscience resembles Pseudo-Bede in order and most details (PL 94:555; see Heist, pp. 131–33, 197). All Saints Church, North Street, York, contains an early fifteenth-century stained glass window with pictures of each of the signs captioned by verses from the Prik of Conscience (see Gee, “Painted Glass”). The window represents, to my knowledge, the only example of Middle English poetry represented in a near-contemporary artistic medium.

755–58 The association of the tides with the moon was well known. Thus, at the beginning of time, before the Fall of Man, there were no tides (see above, 2.53–68 note).

760 “Wondursteful” is an unusual form for the superlative. The MED records the more usual form “wond(e)rest.”

786 See Isaias 40:4 on one of the signs.

793-95 On the account of the valley of the dry bones, see Ezechiel 37.

810 Compare Matthew 24:36, 44; Luke 12:40; Acts 1:7.

844 “Filius hominis,” the son of man (i.e., Christ), is here translated as “monnes soule.”

881 Genesis 7:20. Compare the forty cubits of line 750 above.

892 “Charity” is Latin caritas, the love of God for humanity, and vice versa (see C. S. Lewis, Four Loves, chapter 6). Lines 884–91 contain a simile comparing God’s destruction of the world by water in the time of Noah to his destruction of the world by fire at the end of time. The connection to lechery derives from the obscure verses concerning sexual intercourse between the sons of God and the daughters of men immediately preceding the flood story (Genesis 6:1–6). By post hoc ergo propter hoc, the flood was seen as the punishment for that union. God had promised not to destroy the world again, at least not by water (Genesis 9:11). Water quenches lechery just as fire will remedy the “coldness of charity.” The “firste comyng” (line 884) is Christ’s Incarnation; the “laste comyng” (line 888) is his return at the end of time.

894 That is, at the beginning of the Last Judgment, before Christ returns.

899–900 The use of fire in the preceding lines illustrates how the same phenomenon can be interpreted differently depending on context. Fire acts positively (in bono) insofar as it cleanses those who are ultimately saved; fire acts negatively (in malo) insofar as it punishes the damned.

938 See Apocalypse 8.

947–48 yghe twynkelyng. 1 Corinthians 15:52 (not exact).

949–91 These lines are roughly paralleled in Cursor Mundi lines 22816–952 (Cotton Vespasian A.iii).

962 See above, lines 525–27 and 587-88.

982 abate. See MED abaten (4.b), “to alleviate suffering.”

1000 Since it is not the place of saved souls to keep or care for Christ, “kepe” here probably means “to await” or “to greet” (MED kepen 17b); in line 1020 meaning 14a, “to take care of, watch over, attend, honor,” pertains.

1073 An antiphon for the first and third Sundays in Advent, frequently cited (e.g., Gregory, Liber antiphonarius [PL 78:643c]; Sicardus Cremonensis, De officiis ecclesiasticis summa [PL 213:201d]).

1124 vale navel. Central valley; the belly button of the world.

1146 In the medieval understanding, the world consisted of three great land masses: Europe to the north, Asia to the east, and Africa to the south (compare below, 7.1342–43). Thus Jerusalem was “amid” the world in the same sense that the Mediterranean Sea was “in the middle of the lands.” N.b., how the Vale of Josaphat is called the “navel” of the earth (line 1124). Calvary, as the site of the Crucifixion (Mark 15:22, Luke 23:33), marks the exact center. The poet associates Old Testament sites with Christian ones (compare Spenser’s technique in The Faerie Queene, 1.10.53–54).

1156 bytwene ox and as. None of the Gospel nativity stories mention these beasts, a standard feature of many nativity scenes. They derive from the prophetic implications of Isaias 1:3. Christ here narrates a synopsis of his life in a form similar to those found in Gospel harmonies and Lives of Christ (see Morey, Book and Verse, pp. 209–15, 333–43, and the nativity, block B of the Biblia Pauperum, p. 16).

1232–33 Gregory, Liber Responsalis (PL 78:803B).

1246 That Jewes hym to the rood faste. Cotton Galba E.ix does not designate who nailed Jesus to the cross. In the passion plays it is the soldiers who do the stretching and the nailing. To give that agency specifically to the Jews is less common.

1252 The insistence that the cross and various instruments of the Passion (see Matthew 27, John 19) were tokens, and not the things themselves, runs counter to the fascination with relics (ostensibly authentic) found throughout medieval Europe. It also anticipates Reformation controversies having to do with the real presence of Christ at Communion.

1266–69 Augustine, Sermones de Symbolo (PL 40:647); not exact.

1271 In happe. Both “fortasse” and “in happe” usually mean “perhaps” or “by chance,” but here the appearance of the stigmata is no accident.

1284 That creates a metonymy between the wounds and salvation. “The wounds that for you were always opened [i.e., “that salvation”] you would enter by no way.”

1305–08 John Chrysostom (late fourth century) is the man with the golden mouth, but these verses are not traced in his works.

1329–31 Vita Antiquior (PL152:484B) quoting Isaias 33:7 (not exact). The proverb finds another form in Chaucer’s “If gold rust, what shall iron do?” (an image from Lamentations 4:1, and paralleled in Gregory’s Pastoral Care [PL 77:40], “Aurum igitur obscurantur, cum terrenis actibus sanctitatis vita polluitur”).

1340–43 Si iustus vix saluabitur . . . Yif the ryghtwyse mon . . . Unnethe . . . shal saved be. 1 Peter 4:18; compare Proverbs 11:31. See also the pardon scene in Langland, Piers Plowman B-text, 12.279–80 (ed. Schmidt).

1367 The Last Judgment scene described here is based on biblical passages such as Matthew 25:31–34, 41, 46 and Apocalypse 20. It is frequently represented in medieval artwork such as the west rose window in Chartres Cathedral, the west portal tympanum by Gislebertus at St. Lazare, Autun, and many (much more modest) representations such as the board painting at St. Peter’s, Wenhaston, Suffolk.

1372-83 The fifteen accusers are as follows: 1. conscience, 2. sins, 3. holy writ, 4. Creation, 5. angels, 6. devils, 7. heathens, 8. martyrs, 9. other sufferers, 10. children, 11. the poor, 12. subjects, 13. benefits, 14. Christ’s torments, 15. God in Trinity.

1399 Paraphrased from the marginal gloss to the Biblia Latina cum Glossa Ordinaria (ed. Froehlich and Gibson, 4:574).

1460 the byddynges tenne. The Ten Commandments. See Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.

1529–32 A similar passage can be found in Stephen of Bourbon’s Tractatus, a large thirteenth-century compendium of exempla and other materials for preaching: “Ieronymus: ‘Quid facies aut quid dices, o peccator homo, cum contra te loquetur conscientia propria? Accusabunt elementa cum armabitur contra te omnis creatura. Crux Christi contra te perorabit, Christus per uulnera sua contra te allegabit, cicatrices contra te loquentur, claui de te conquerentur’” (1.6.1215–20, ed. Berlioz and Eichenlaub, p. 237). The quotation is not traced in Jerome. Note the rhetorical feature of prosopopoeia (objects speaking); compare Marc Antony in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “Show you sweet Caesar’s wounds, poor, poor, dumb mouths, / And bid them speak for me” (3.2.225–26), and also Swinburne’s poem “Before a Crucifix”: “Is there a gospel in the red / Old witness of thy wide-mouthed wounds? / From thy blind stricken tongueless head / What desolate evangel sounds / A hopeless note of hope deferred? / What word, if there be any word?” (lines 103–08).

1548 The second person of the Trinity is Christ. The shape of a cross, for obvious reasons, resembles the most elementary stick figure of a man. The dramatic impact of a speaking cross (another instance of prosopopoeia) is reminiscent of the Old English Dream of the Rood.

1583–85 Not traced in Bernard. See Luke 21:18.

1706 se. An unusual occurrence of the Old English pronoun for “she,” seo, instead of the more usual form “heo.”

1711 The exemplum is strained since the king (God, as it turns out) is to be faulted for not properly supervising his daughter. In Cotton Galba E.ix the king entrusts his daughter to his “ryfe” (“reeve,” line 5785), not the “reign” to the daughter.

1724 Not traced, but see Proverbs 4:5–13.

1741 Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermon 82 (PL 183:700A); also Peter Comestor, Sermon 49 (PL 198:1839C).

1850 connyng men. The category of “cunning” men is not clear, nor what kind of “conscience” they are making known; perhaps: “And wise men their moral sense to teach.”

1900 naeyte. Probably from the verb “naiten,” MED v(2), meaning “to deny” or “to refuse,” the sense here being legal: when called to account one has no way out. Naiten v(1) can mean “enjoy” (a) or “want, need, or desire” (c), which might apply, insofar as judgment constrains one’s will.

1901 cely. Usually spelled “sely,” from Old English sælig, “blessed.” It has now devolved to the Modern English word “silly.”

1908 shul be. Indicative of a range of possibilities; we would say “whether they be.”

1920 “privy with God”; that is, known only to God and to those with special access to him.

1971 For there is thing that may hem save. Cotton Galba E.ix reads “For nathyng may tham than save” (ed. Morris, line 6082) which seems to make more sense, but of course the point is that there is something — the grace of God — that can save them, if they were only to ask. See 5.2168–69. The same option is open to other medieval antagonists like the Sultan of Babylon, but refused; compare Marlowe’s Faustus.

1973 Sergeaunt, attourne, ny advocete. Differentiating among legal offices can be difficult. See the MED under “sergeaunte” (“a lawyer entitled to plead at the bar” [sense n 4]), “attourne” (“a person formally designated or appointed to represent a litigant in court” [sense 1]), and “advocat” (“a professional pleader in courts of law”).

2186–91 Not traced. For the inexhaustability of God’s mercy, see above, 4.1004. Compare the inversion of the metaphor in Chaucer’s Parson’s Tale, where venial sin, compared with the inexhaustability of God’s love, is compared to a drop of water that falls into “a fourneys ful of fyr” (CT X[I]383). The Parson cites “Seint Augustyn” as his source.

2208 No mercy will be granted because, at the end of time, it is too late to repent and the fates of souls are sealed.

2234 At the end of time the world is reborn in the pristine and stable state of the original Creation. See 2:53–72 concerning the changeability of the moon.

2252 See Isaias 40:4.


Ink blots, smudges, and other damage to the manuscript become more common in Books 5, 6, and 7 and will be noted only when readings are uncertain.

Abbreviations: see Explanatory Notes

115–16 These last two lines are recopied in a later hand in the bottom margin.

127 In an unusual spelling, the first word, “though,” begins and ends with a yogh.

130 But kynde men. The manuscript reads By kynde men.

179 forth. The manuscript reads for.

212 The “h” in “Capharnaum” is inserted above the line. A mark similar to the one in 4.938 sits above the “r.”

221 and. The manuscript omits.

232 there. The manuscript reads the.

335 sayse. Spelled “sayese,” but with an elimination point below the first “e.”

404 The running title to folio 65v was miswritten “The ferthe part” and then corrected.

416 Others. The manuscript reads “outher,” apparently a dittography from the previous line.

461 folke. The manuscript reads foke.

485 Gog. The manuscript reads God.

519 hem. The manuscript reads hen.

536 tho. The manuscript reads too.

572 finissent. The manuscript reads finssent.

642 byleue. The manuscript reads bylee

663 ay. The manuscript reads þay.

671 myn eres. The manuscript reads my neres.

696 and. A macron appears above the ampersand.

700 shul. The manuscript reads shu.

715 luna in sanguinem. The manuscript records an ampersand, again with a macron, for in.

720 and1. The manuscript reads an.

723 In the manuscript a dittographic “fal” follows “falle.”

787 men inserted above line.

803 thar. The manuscript reads tha.

824 haec. The manuscript reads hec.

902 enemyse. The second “e” is written over another letter.

919 Fyur. The manuscript reads Fuyr.

976 evangeliste. The “a” is written above the line.

1003 his inserted above line.

1099 vidistis. The manuscript reads vidists.

1101 flessh. A macron sits above the “h.”

1114 A dittographic “gedur” is erased but still visible at the end of the line and “grede” is written in the right margin.

1134 and. The manuscript reads ad.

1156 and as. An unusually large space separates these words.

1217 they. The manuscript reads the.

1271 happe appears twice (dittography).

1325 ryghtful. The manuscript reads ryghful.

1420 shal. The manuscript reads shla.

1494 ipsum. The “i” appears to be corrected from an “r.”

1505 grevouslye. The “r” is corrected from an “e.”

1516 here. A badly formed “d” is deleted by a subpunctus before this word.

1517 The running title to folios 83r, 89r, and 90r read “The fyueth part.”

1616 minime. The manuscript reads minne.

1703 specyally. The manuscript reads spcyally.

1735 be. The manuscript reads by.

1888 they. The manuscript reads the.

1903 sely. The manuscript reads slye.

1921 deme nought. The manuscript reads nought deme, but an “X” in the margin marks the failure in rhyme.

1939 folowed. The manuscript reads felowed.

2062 them. The manuscript reads the.

2112 swolow. The scribe has written around a naturally occurring hole between the “o” and the “l.”

2144 wondur no. The same hole as that at line 2111 separates these words.

2209 blade. The “b” appears to be written over an “s.”

2219 A premature running title for “The syxte part” appears at the top of 94r.

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The fyfthe part of the day of doom
And of toknes that byfore shul coom

Domes day now wol I of telle,
And of toknes byfore ful felle
In this ten thinges men moun rede
That touchen the greet day of drede
And som byfore that day shul be
Som atte thatte day as men shul se.
¶The fyrste are wondre tokenes sere
Byfore that day men shul se here.
¶The secounde of fyre that shal brenne
The worlde and alle that is therinne.
¶The thrid of rysyngge generalle
Of alle men both greet and smalle.
¶The ferthe of Crystes comyng doune
Al to deme in propur persoune.
¶The fyfthe is the certeyn steede
There Cryste shal deme quik and dede.
¶The syxte of the fourme of monne
In whiche Cryste shal shew hym thonne.
¶The seventhe is of accusours mony
That shul synful accuse openly.
¶The eyghte is of the rekenyng
That they shul yeelde of here lyvyng.
¶The nynthe that men aftur they wrought
Som shul be demed and som nought.
¶The tenthe of the doom generalle
When Cryste shal make ende of alle.
Of thes shul somme fallen I saye
Somme byfore and somme that daye.
Byfore that day shul tokenes come
Of whiche we may here fynd some
Of Antycryst and of hys poweste
And othur that byfore shulle be.
Tho tokenes men shul thinke harde
As men moune heren afturwarde
And whoso wole avyse hym wele
Uche day here may see and fele
Tokenes wherby to undurstande
That domes day is nyghe comande.
For mony thingus that shul be
Ageyne the ende nowe may we se
Thorow wheche greet clerkes con spye
That this worldes ende is wel nye,
Therfore we shul be redy heere
As the day of doom were comyng nere.
Cryste desciples wolde ha knowyng
Of tokne ageyn the laste endyng
And speken to Cryste on this manere
In the gospelle as ye moune here:
Dic nobis signum aduentus tui et consum-
macionis seculi. Et respondens, Ihesus dixit eis:
videte ne quis vos seducat: multi enim
venient in nomine meo dicentes quod ego sum etc.1
"'Sey us,'" quod thay, "'of thi comyng
Tokene and of the worldes endyng.'
Cryste thus onswered to hym thonne,
'Loketh that yow disseyve no monne
For mony shul comen in my name
That thus shul say 'Cryste I ame,'
And mony a mon thay shul bygyle
Bot thay shul regne bot a lytul while.
Men ageynes hem shulle ryse
And reaumes eke in the same wyse;,
Pestylence and hungur schal be
And erthe quaake in mony contré.
Alle this shal be bygynnyng harde
Of sorowe that shal comen afturwarde;
Wyckednessse shal ful thicke byfalle
Mennes charytee shal colde with alle.”
To his disciples thes tokenes seyde he
Byfore the worldes ende shulde be.
Somme of thes er this have bene
And somme of hem shul yit be sene.
¶Of Antycryste fyrst wole I saye
That shal come byfore domesdaye
That aftur the destruccyoun shal be
Of Romes empyre that yitte is free.
Somtyme alle londes aboute
Were thralle to Rome and undurloute
And certeyne tyme they gaf truage
As custome was thoo and usage.
Alle londe moste that custome do
As seyth Seynt Poul thus therto:
Quoniam nisi venerit discencio primum,
non antea veniet Antycristus
He seyth, "bot fyrste discencyoun come
That alle londes hoolde ageyne Rome
That hitte be putte to destruccioune
With hem that were in subjeccioune.
Antycryste er thenne shal not come
That shal come or the daye of dome.”
For that tyme shal no contree
In subjeccioune of Rome bee,
Ny thenne no mon shal be buxome
Ny obedyente to the chirche of Rome.
That empyre that was so myghtye
Is nowe destruyed a greet partye,
Bot at the laste as I sayde ore
Destruyed hit shal be wel more
Bot dygnyté that falleth ther to
Shalle not thenne perysshe also,
Bot hit shal dwelle withouten doute
In kyngdames over alle aboute.
Thus shal bygynnyng be atte Rome
For hit is heed of alle Cristendome;
When hit is putte to destruccyoune
Alle holy chirche shal be put doune.
Somme clerkes seyen that oon shal come
That holde shal the empyre of Rome
Alle hooly and his coroune beere
In ful pees withouten weere,
That emperoure the laste shal be
And moste of kynges of pousté.
He shal wele mayntene his state
And the empyre withouten debate
And aftur atte the laste ende
To Jerusaleem then shal he wende
And on the mount of Olyveete
The septre of Rome shal he leete.
His coroune he shal lay doun also
And leve hem there and fro hem go.
Thus shal ende the dygnyté of Rome
A lytul byfore Antycrystes come
As clerkes seyn by undurstondyng
Of Danyel and Seynt Poul seying.
¶Antycryste tyme then shal bygynne
That Poul calleth the mon of synne.
Though he be mon yitte nevere the les
He shalle be welle of wickednes.
The develes childe he shal be calde
But kynde men shuld not so hym halde
For his turnyng fro good to ille
The develes wille he shal fulfille.
Alle the powere of fendus of helle
And alle her witte shal with hym dwelle.
To Cryste he shal contraryouse bee
And to his lymes that he shal see
By pryde he shal hym hyghe holde
And boven alle the planetes tolde
That Jubiter is and Mercurye
And Apolyne and Erculye.
He shal hyghen hymselfe to be
Aboven the hooly Trynytee,
For creatures shulde more and lees
Honoure him over alle thing that ees.
Synful shal be his comyngge
And ful wondurful his lyvyngge
And his endyng shal be sodayn:
Thorowe myght of God he shal be slayne.
In his tyme shal be trybulacyoune
And eke so myche persecucyoune
That any unnethe shul dar graunt
That he is Cristene or Goddes servaunt.
More persecucyoune shal be thonne
Thenne evere was sithen the world bygonne.
Antycryste is thus myche to say
As he that is ageynus Crist aye.
Then may uche mon be calde by skil
Antycriste that doth ageyne Goddes wyl,
And alle mowe be Antycristes calde
That ageyne Goddes lawe wol halde.
By mony skilles we somme know may
That doon myche ageyne Goddes law ay,
Bot oon Antycryste seyth holy writte
Shal come here aftur that com not yitte
The moost tyraunt withouten pytee
That evere yitte was or evere shal be.
Therfore I halde thes mysdoeres
Antycriste lymes and forgoeres.

Of Antycristes byginnyng and endyng

Nowe whoso wole a while dwelle
A party here I wole yow tele
Maneres of Antycristes bygynnyng
And of his lyf and his endyng.
He shal be geten as clerkes tel con
Bytwene synful mon and womon
And aftur that he conceyved bee
The fende shal entre by his pousté
Into his moderes wombe sone.
A greet clerke seyth this shal be done:
By fendes myght he beth forth brought
And by hym wondres shul be wrought.
He is calde childe that shal be lorne,
And in Corozaym he shalle be borne
Of a woman of the kyrede of Dan;
Cristendome shal he have nan.
He shal be maliciouse with envye
As speketh of hym the prophecye:
Fiat Dan coluber in via cerastes in
semita mordens vngulas equi.2
He seyth that "Dan shal neddre be
Syttyng in way as men shul se
And shal byte hors by the hoof hard
To make the sitter to falle bakward.”
Of Antycryste is his meenyngge here
Shal sitte in waye as he neddre were
And smyte hem alle more and lesse
That walken by way of ryghtwisnesse
And shal hem sle thorow venym
And malyce that shal come of hym,
And yitte he shal be circumcised
The more his malyce to ben ysed.
¶And to hym shal assigned bee
A good aungelle that he shal not se
That shal haven of hym kepyng
Aftur his birthe in his bygynnyng,
Bot for he ageyne treuthe that es
Hardened shal ben in wyckednes
His good aungelle shal fro hym wende
And leve hym in kepyng of the fende.
¶He shal be lerud as I undurstande
And norysched and moste conversande
In Bethsayda that wicked cyté.
In Capharnaum als regne shal he
Whiche Bethsayda and Capharnaum
And Corozaym as I sayde whilum
God spake to thes thre citees thus
As the gospelle sheweth tyl us:
Ve tibi corozayum ve tibi bethsayda ve tibi capharnaum
"Wo to Corozaym” seyth he "mot come
And to Bethsayda and to Capharnaome”:
In the fyrste he shal be borne and bred,
In the secounde norysshed and regne in the thred.
He shal gedre unto hym thonne
Alle that of the develes crafte conne
As nygremaunceres and tregetoures
Wicches and fals enchaunteoures;
The develes crafte they shul hym ken
Wherthorowe he shal disseyve men.
And then thorowe the ledyng of the fende
To Jerusalem forthe shal he weende.
There shal he dwelle in that cytee
And make amyd the temple his se
And seye to alle that there shal wone
That he is verrey Cryste, Goddes sone
And make the folke hym to honoure
And saye he is her saveoure.
He shal saye ryght Cristene mon
Was nevere byfore his tyme bygon
Bot fals antycristes shal hem cal
And seye they leved in wrong treuthe al
That ha bene fro the bygynnyngge
Unto the tyme of his comyngge.
He shal be lusty and leccherous
And disseyvable and treccherous,
He shalle hym feyne fyrst ful holy
And sommewhat shewen of ypocrisye
To bygyle men Crestene and leel
As seyth the prophete Danyeel:
In aperto cum ypocrysy similabit sancti-
tatem ut facilius decipere possit
He seyth, "fyrste he shal apertely
Holynesse feyne with ypocrysy
The lyghtlyere menne to bygyle,”
Bot that tyme lasteth bot a while;
He shal kynges to hym drawe
And turne hem alle to his lawe.
By hym the peple shal turned be
In uche loonde and uche contree.
He shal walke in everyche plaas
That Cryste welke inne when he her waas;
In so greet pryde he shal falle
That he shal thinke hym lorde of alle.
Thorowe pryde he shal ageyne God ryse
And sklaundre and his werkes despise;
He shal turne folke to his lawe
And on foure maneres hem drawe.
Oon shal be thorow fals prechyng
Anothur by fals miracles shewyng;
The thrid with large giftes to geve
The ferthe thorow turmentes to greve.
By fals prechyng in uche contré
Mony to hym turned shul bee;
He shal sende in this worlde wyde
Prechoures to preche on every syde
That shul preche undur fals coloure
And say Cristes lawe is alle erroure.
Antycrystes lawe they shul comende
And ageyne sothefastnes defende.
They shul forbede uche mon to holde
That newe lawe that Crystene is toolde
And his mynystres shul bydde yitte
That noon shul epoune holy writte
To have thereinne undurstondyng,
For they shul saye hitte is leesyng
And make the peple to leve holy
That thay shul not be saved therby.
Thus shul thay bryng foolke to errour
By her prechyng and fals coloure;
His lawe shal passe and his powere
Bothe eeste and weste in this world here
And fro the south to the northe also
His powere and his lawe shal go.
¶He shal turne menne on othur manere
With fals myracles and wondres sere.
Shewe he shal wederes ful monye
By cursed crafte of nygramauncye
Pleynly to the peple to see
That by the fende al shal bee.
Of his wondres I shal tel some:
He shal do fyur fro heven come
That shal be bot an yvel spiritte
That from the eyre shal come alstite.
Among his disciples shal he lyght
With dyverse tonges to speke unryght
As to apostles dyd the holy goost
And this shal be in monnes syght most,
And his disciples that shul be toolde
Shul hem avaunte and hemself hoolde
Wel bettur and to God more der
Then ever were Cristes apostles her.
Also thorowe the develes myght
He shal seme deed alle in her syght;
The thrid day by the fendus reed
He shal hym feyne to ryse fro deed.
The devel shal then bere hym up even
In the eyre as he shulde stye to heven,
And ryght as he byfore was seene
As he had rysen so shul men wene
That he is up to eyre ravyste
And leve that he is verrey Cryste.
Antycriste thus shal counturfete
The wondres of Cryste in erthe grete.
Mo wondres grete worche shal he
That the peple shal pleynlye see:
He shal do trees that florysshe feyre
And chace wyndes up in the eyre,
Fro heven to fallen reyny shoures
And wateres do renne ageyne her coures
And trobul the see when he wylle
And atte his lykyng make hit stille.
He shal chaunge on wondre manere
Dyverse kyndes in fygures seere:
He shal make deed ymages some
To speke of thingus that be to come.
He shal also dede menne up reyse
To goon aboute as the booke sayse,
And alle thorowe the fendes queyntyse
For they shul entre in tho bodyse
And bere the deed bodyse aboute
That parfyte men shul be in doute
Whether he be verrey Cryste or nought;
Thus in erroure shul men be brought.
The thrid manere shal he bygyle
Mony by giftus in shorte whyle
And turne hem falsely for to leve
With large giftus that he shal geve,
For he shal fynde alle the tresore
That evere was hid yitte here bifore
Undur erthe or owhere ellus
That may not be gessed for men tellus
That more is undur the erthe ihyd
Then aboven is knowen or elles kid,
Of whiche he shalle hem ryche make
That Cristes law wolen forsake.
¶The ferthe manere aftur thonne
To hym shal he turne mony a monne
And do hem hooly folow her trace
With grete turmentes and manace
And drede of deth that sore may greve
Ellus he shal notte suffre hem leve.
Greet tribulacyoun he shal hem shew
As in the gospelle telleth Matthew:
Tanta erit tribulacio vt in errorem
inducatur si potest fieri eciam electi.
He seyth "so myche trybulacyoun
Shalle be to uche nacyoun
Thoroweoute the world fer and nere
That tho that God hath chosen here
Shul be brought in erroure soone
And God wol suffre hit be doone.”
Bot the Pocalipse a paarty
Of hym is sayde thus mistily:
Pedes eius similes auricalco
sicut in camino ardenti.3
"His feet are lyke to latoun bryght
As in a chymmenay brynnyng lyght,”
That was as Jon say in visioune
Of hym that semed the maydenes soune.
By his feet of latoun semande
Godes laste lymes moun be undurstand,
Parfite men that in charyté
In worldes ende shul martyred be
That is in tyme of Antycryste
Thorow whom mony shul be peryste.
That chymmeney brennyng with hete
Bytokeneth the tribulacyouns grete
That shul bee when he shal coome,
For thenne shul mony thole martirdome.
Antycriste shal be the mooste tyraunt
That evere was for he shalle haunt
Alle manere of turmentes keen
In whiche martyres byfore ha been,
Dyversely hem to turmente
That to his lawe wol not assente
And hem to deth putte at the last
That ay in trouthe dwellen stedfast.
And Cristene men in that contree
As Cryste welke mooste turment shul bee.
And Haymo sayth that greet clerke was
His tyrauntrye thorow the worlde shal pas
And fendes that nowe be bounden so
That thay may nouthur flee nor go
Ny noye so myche as thay woolde
Shul then be louse and not in hoolde.
Then shal preche no Cristene mon
Thay shul be holden as cursed thon,
Ny noon shal bye with hem ny selle
Ny felaushippe hoolde ny with hem dwelle
Bot with hem that have Criste forsaken
And to the marke of Antycryste taken,
For tho shalle al beren his merke
That Crist forsaken and his werke
And to the lawe loute of Antycrist low.
By her merk men shulle hem know
That they shul bere I undurstand
Outher in forhede or ryght hande
Others that wole not doo his reed
Shul be done to violence deed.
On foure maneres as I ha shewed
To hym shul drawe lerud and lewed
And Cristen lawes shul doun be leyde
As in the apocalippes thus is sayde:
Cauda eius terciam partem stellarum celi
trahebat et misit eas in terram.4
"With his tayle he drew doun even
Thrid parte of the sterres of heven
And into erthe he sent hem ryght
There they myght not shyne bryght.”
This was the tayle of the dragon
That Seynt Jon say in vysyoun.
The dragoun is undurstonden tho fende
And Antycriste the tayle atte the ende,
The thrid part of the sterres bryght
Ben undurstonden Cristen men ryght
Wheche he shalle fro treuthe drawe
And make hem holy holde his lawe.
Menne that thenne be coveytouse
Turne shal he with giftes precyouse,
He shal hem gyve that turned bee
Goolde and silver greet plentee.
He shal turne men of symple conyng
With merveyles and his prechyng;
Menne that to lawe of God assente
Turned shul be with greet turment
Mony on that shul seme ful wyse
Shul leve on hym and Criste despyse.
¶He shal come fyrste in myldenesse
And preche ageyne ryghtwysnesse,
By hym suche wondres shul be don
That resseyve hym shul Jewes sone
And to hym turnen alle hooly.
Ennok shal come then and Ely
To preche ageyne Antycryste ful harde
As ye moun heren afturwarde.
Antycriste shal bygyn then felley
And pursue men with tyrauntrye;
Greet persecucioun shal he wyrche
To Cristene menne and holy chirche.
Destrue he shal then Cristen lawe
And Gog and Magog to hym drawe
The wheche are holden as men telle
The werste folke in erthe that dwelle.
Som seyde they are closede hoolye
Within the mountenes of Capsye
Bot thay are not so closed aboute
That thay ne myght lyghtly come oute.
Bot a queen holdeth hem inne
By strengthe that thay may not out wyn
That is the queen of Amysounes
Undur whos powere that folke wones.
But atte the laste thay shul breke oute
And wende with Antycryste aboute.
¶For Jewes han suche a prophecye
And seyen among hem comunlye
That this folke atte the worldes ende
Unto Jerusaleem shal wende
With her Cryste and wondres wyrch
And thenne destruye al holy chyrch.
Som glose seyth as clerkes tellus
That Gog and Magog is nought ellus
Bot Antycrist oost that shal coome
Sodeyne ageyn the day of doome
And ageyne holy chirche werre ay
Hitte to distruye yif that thay may.
The gloose of bokes seyth also
By Gog are undurstonden al tho
Thorow whecche the fende oure enmy
Shal pursue Cristen men pryvely.
By Magog undurstonden moun be
Thorow whiche openly pursue shal he,
Or undurstoonden ben there bye
That in Antycristes tyme first privelye
And aftur shullen openly wyrche
Wickednes ageyne holy chyrche.
Gog is to saye bot as "coverte”
Ny Magog nouther bot "aperte.”
Thus shal hit be as sayen som
Bot Ennok and Ely byfore shul com
Ryght bytwene Antycriste comyng
And the tyme of his preechyng.
¶This mene tyme the prophetus two
In dyverse studes shul preche and go,
By her prechyng they shul drawe
And converte Jewes to Cristen lawe.
Thus seyth the prophete Malathye
In a booke of his prophecye
Conuertent corda patrum in filios.5
They shul turne by Goddes myght
The fadres herte into sones ryght
That is they shul turne the Jewerye
To Cristene lawe alle hoolye.
Then shul the Jewes that low holde
That they now have that Cristen are tolde,
As Crysten doon so shul they doo
Ryght as the glose acordeth therto:
Percipient fidem quam ipsi habuerunt.
"The Jewes shal take with herte glad
Treuthe that Cristene byforen had.”
Wherfore Jewes and Cristen men
As the prophetus shullen hem ken
Shul thorowe even entencyoun
Assente in Criste as oo relygyoun.
They shul preche the apocalippes sayes
A thousand and two hundred dayes
And syxty, men to see and here.
The glose telleth this is thre yere
As did Criste that vouched save
To preche the lawe that we have
They shul as the apocalippes spekes
Be clad in hayres and in sekkes
As who sayeth they shul penaunce preche
And thorowe ensaumple penaunce teche.
When Antycriste knoweth by her teching
That they turne Jewes to Cristen lyvyng
Thorowe her ensaumple and sermou
He shal do thenne grete persecucyoun
And grevously alle tho turmente
That to his lawe wole not assente
And hem to dethe do at the laste
That in treuthe wole be stedfaste.
Antycriste shalle thenne be so wrothe
He shal do take the prophetes bothe
In Jerusaloem by the fendus reede
He shal do hem bothe to the deede.
Then shul here bodyes the booke sayes
In streete lye stille thre dayghes
And an halfe on the erthe openlye,
For no mon shal dar hem burye
For drede that thay shul have then
Of Antycriste that wycked mon.
Her enemyse when thay be slayne
Shul of her deth be ful fayne.
When theay han leyn dede on this wyse
Ageyn to lyve then shul thay ryse
And here ennemyes a voys shul here
Spekyng of hem on this manere,
"Ennoke and Ely stirte up bothe
For yee ben paste alle manere lothe.”
And when thay han harde this steven
In a cloude thay shul styghe to heven
That alle the peple hit shal se,
This greet wondre to hem shal be.
Aftur her deth as the book sayes
Antycriste shal regne fyftene dayes
And turne alle tho to hym hooly
That turned to Ennok and to Ely
And tho that wole not be turned thon
Shul be to deth turment uche mon.
Antycriste in his tyrauntrye
Shal regne thre yeer and half fullye;
God shalle then abregge his dayes
As Matthew in the gospelle sayes,
Nisi abbreuiati finissent dies eius6
non erit salua omnis caro.
"Bot his dayes were shorted,” seyth he,
"Fewe men then saved shulde be.”
God his tyme wole bregge thon
As Gregory seith the holy mon:
Quia infirmos nos aspicit deus, dies malos quos
singulariter intulit misericorditer abbreuiabit.
He sayth, "for that God seeth ryght
That we be frele and feble of myght
The dayes of evel that beth hevye
Put to dyverse men syngulerlye
Atte the laste abregge shal he
Thorowe his mercye and his pyté.”
Antycriste then shal have no pere:
He shal lyve two and thritty yeere
And an halfe as clerkes con se;
Of so mony yeeres his eelde shal be
For he shal lyven as mony yeere
As lyved Criste in monhede here,
And when he hath thus long lyved
No mo by hym then shul be greved.
Then shal he fele Goddes vengeaunce
And withouten any repentaunce
He shal be slayne ful sodeynly
Thorowe Goddes strengthe almyghty
Upon the mount of Olyveete
In the stude there Criste sette his fete
When he styghe up to heven bryght
Thus shal he ende by Goddes myght.
¶Somme clerkes seyn yitte alsoo
That seynt Mychel shal hym slo
Thorowe Goddes byddyng in that stede
And there he shal be founden dede.
The book seyth als that thorow gost he
Of Goddes mouthe slayne shal be,
Bot whether hit be this is certeyne
By Goddes myght he shal be slayne.
His servauntes when he is deede
Shul make joye in uche a steede
And her delyte have nyght and day
And wyves wed and thus say,
"Though oure prynce be deed fro us
We han welthe ful plenteuous,”
But ryght as thay shul say thus alle
To sodeyn deth they shul falle
Thus shul thay ende alle sodeynlye
By the strengthe of God almyghtye.
Bot yitte when thay ben al fordoon
The doom shal not ben aftur soon
For the glose of Danyel seyth "God shal
Graunte fyve and fourty dayes al
To tho that shud desseyvede bee
Thorow Antycriste and his meyne
That thay may mende hem of her syn
And do penaunce er the doom bygyn.”
The Jewes shul then turned bee
To that trouthe that now have we.
God shalle fulfille in tho dayes
Thes wordes that the gospel sayes,
Et fiet vnum ouile et vnus pastor.7
"Alle foolke shul to oon folde falle,
And oon herde to kepe hem alle.”
By Jewes and Cristen this is tolde
Undur oon feyth in holy chirche folde,
For then shal holy chirche bee
In pees withouten adversytee.
The myght shal falle of the fende
Fro that tyme to the worldes ende;
He shal nouther tempte ny greve
Holy chirche in Cristen byleve,
Bot how myche space shal be thon
Til domes day ne wot no mon,
Ny noo prophete that mon con neven
Ny noo halow that is in heven
Myght never wyte that pryvetee
What tyme domes day shal bee,
For God wole that noon hit wite
Bot hymself that hath ordeyned hite.
To his disciple seyde he thus
As tellen the aposteles dedes to us:
Non est vestrum nosce tempora vel mo-
menta que pater posuit in sua potestate.8
"To know yowe ne falleth the tyme privé
That the Fadur hath sette in his pousté.”
Forthi no mon shulde aske ny say
Howe myche have we to demesday
Ny we shul not wylne to leere
Whether that hitte be fer or nere,
Bot we shul ever be redy alle
Ryght as tomorowe that day shuld falle
And ay thenke on that dredeful doom
As sayth the holy mon Seynt Jeroom:
Siue comedam, siue bibam siue aliquid fa-
ciam semper uidetur mihi illa tuba resonare in auri-
bus meis: surgite mortui venite ad iudicium.
He seyth, "whethur I eete or drinke
Or oughte ellus doo or thynke
The bemes blaste of domes daye
In myn eres thus souneth aye,
'Yee that are deed ryseth and come
Unto the greet dredeful doome.'”
Nowe have ye harde Antycristes comyng
And of his lyf and his endyng
That menne verrey tokenes calle
Agayne the day of doom shal falle.
Of tokenes byfore the doom
Mony mo tokenes men shul se
Er that dredeful day shalle bee
Bothe in erthe and eke in heven
As we heren the gospelle neven
Where Criste speketh of tokenes sere
That shul fallen on this manere:
Erunt signa in sole et luna et stellis,
et in terris pressura gencium pre confusione
sonitus maris, et fluctuum: arescentibus
hominibus pre timore et expectacione,
que suepervenient vniuerso orbi:
nam virtutes celorum mouebuntur et tunc vide-
bunt filium hominis venientem in nubibus
celi cum potestate magna et maiestate.9
Thes are the wordes of the Gospel
That Criste to his disciples con tel:
As he hath ordeyned to be doon
"Toknes shul be in sonne and moon
And in the sterres of heven to ken
And in erthe greet throng of men,
For mevyng and noyse of the se
And of flodes that then shul be.
Men shul wax wery in that dyn
For dred and long bydyng therin
That to the worlde shal come,” seyth he,
"For myghtes of heven shul styred be
Then shul they see the sone of monne
In cloudes of heven comyng thonne
With mychel myght and magestee,”
And then shal the greet doom bee.
Aftur the lettre is this toolde here
Yitte may hit be expouned on othur manere.
Also oure Loorde that alle knoweth wel
Seyth thus by the prophete Joel:
Et dabo prodigia in celo sursum et signa in terra,
deorsum sanguinem et ignem et vaporem fumi. Sol
convertetur in tenebras et luna in sanguinem, antequam ve
niat dies domini magnus et manifestus.10
He seyth, "I shal gyve wondres sere
Up in heven as men shul heere
And tokenes doun in erthe to loke
As blood and fyur and breth of smoke.
The sonne shal turne into merkenes
The mone to blood and be lyghtles
Er oure Lordes day shal falle
That openly shal be shewed to alle.”
That grete day is the day of dome
Ageyne whiche shul thes tokenes come
And by these tokenes men shul witte
Hit beth the moste day that evere was yitte.

Of the fiftene tokenesse

Yitte seyth the holy mon Seynt Jerom
Of fyftene tokenes that shul com
Byfore Cristes comyng he sayes
And shul fallen in fiftene dayes,
Bot where any othur day shal fal
Bytwene hem or thay shul al
Contynuely by day aftur day
Seynt Jerom seyth he con not say,
And for certeyn yit seyth not he
That tho fyftene dayes shul be
Bot he reherceth tokenes fyftene
As he hem fonde and writen had sene
In Ebrue bokes as hitte menes
That tho fiftene tokenes contenes.
In Ebrue bokes he hem foonde
And sayth as he say hem stoonde
Every day aftur othur evene
As ye may now here me nevene.
¶The fyrste day of tho fyftene dayes
The see shal ryse the booke sayes
Above the hexte hylle or mountayn
Fourty cubites large certeyne
And in his steed even up stand
As here doth hille upon the land.
¶The secounde day hit shal be low
That unnethe men shul hitte knowe.
¶The thridde day hitte shal seme pleyne
And stonde even in his course ageyne
As hit stood atte the bygynnyngge
Withouten rysyng or fallyngge.
¶The ferthe day thus shal hit bee
The wondursteful fysshes of the see
Shul come togedur and make roryng
Wondur hydous to monnes heryng,
Bot what that hit shal sygnyfie
Woot noon bot God allemyghtye.
¶The fyfthe day the se shal brynne
And wateres alle that be therinne
And laste fro the sonne rysyngge
Unto hir tyme of doune goyngge.
¶The syxte day shal spryng blody dew
On erthe on gras fully to shewe.
¶The seventhe day byldyng shal falle
And grete castelles and toures all.
¶The eyghte day roches and stones
Shul smyte togydur alle at ones;
Uche to othur shal smyte faste
So that uche oon shul doun be caste
And every stoon in sondry wyse
Shal be parted in thre partyese.
¶The nynthe day shal erthe dyn be
Ful generally in uche contree;
So greet thondur as shal be thon
Was never sythen the world bygon.
¶The tenthe day al for to neven
Erthe shal be maad pleyne and even
Hulles and dales shul turned be
And be maad even and pleyne to se.
¶The elleventh day men shul come oute
Of caves of heoles over al aboute
As wode men that no witte conne
And noon shal speke to othur thonne.
¶The twelfe day sterrus shal alle
And the sonne from heven doun falle.
¶The thrittenthe day shul mennes bones
Be sette togedre alle atte ones
And upon here graves stoonde:
This shal byfalle in uche a londe.
¶The fourtenthe day alle that lyven thon
Shul dyghe, childe mon and womon,
For they with hem shul rise ageyne
That dyed byfore to joye or peyne.
¶The fyftethe day shal thus bytyde
The worlde shal brenne on every syde
And the erthe thar we inne dwelle
Unto the utturmaste parte of helle.
Jerom telleth thes tokenes fyftene
As he in Ebrue bokes had seene
Bot for no tokne that mon shal se
There shal no mon yitte certeyn be
What tyme Criste shal come to dome
So sodeynly he shal doune come
As felle in Loth and Noe dayes,
So shal he come as Seynt Luke sayes,
Et sicut factum est in diebus Noe, ita erit
aduentus filii hominis. Edebant et bibebant,
vxores ducebant et dabantur ad nup-
cias, usque ad diem qua intravit Noe archam.
Et venit diluvium et perdidit om-
nes. Similiter factum est in diebus
Loth. Edebant et bibebant, emebant et
vendebant, plantabant et edificabant,
usque ad diem qua exiit Loth a sodo-
mis et pluit ignem et sulphur
de celo et perdidit omnes. Secundum autem
haec erit qua filius hominis reuelabitur.
Thes ben the wordes of the Gospelle
That ben on Ynglysshe thus to telle.
"As was in the dayghes of Noe
So monnes sone shal come,” seyth he,
"Men eten and dronken and were glade
And weddeden and brydales made
Tyl that tyme and day that Noe
Went to the shippe that maad had he.
Sodeynlye com the flood that tyde
And fordyd alle the worlde so wyde.
¶Also in dayes of Loth byfelle
Men eten and dronke shortly to telle
Uche oon with othur soolde and bought
And planteden and houses wrought
Tyl Loth away wente fro Sodome.
Goddes vengeaunce sodeynly come
Fro heven reyned fyur and brymstone
And loste hem alle that there lafte none.
Ryght thus shal falle as men shul see
When monnes soule shul shewed be.”

Of fyur byfore the doom

At the ende of the worlde byfore the dom
An hidouse fyre byfore shal com
That sodeynly the worlde shal bryn
And no thing spare that is therin,
For alle erthe shal bren withoute
And in the eyre elementes aboute
And alle that in the worlde wrought
Wasted shal be and brent to nought.
This fyur that of the worlde shal ryse
Shal then come fro dyverse partyse:
The fyur above withouten were
And undur erthe and above here
Shul mete togedur at ones thon
And holy brenne beest and mon,
And alle that groweth in erthe and eyre
Til alle be clensed and made feyre
And alle corrupcyouns that moun be
In erthe or eyre that men moun se.
This fyur as the booke us leeres
Shal brenne and worche on foure maneres:
Hit shal worche as fyur of hel
To pyne synful that there shul dwel
And as the fyur of purgatory
To clense alle venial synnes fully
And as the fyur of erthe heere
That alle shalle brenne fer and nere,
The bodyes shal bren of everymon
And alle thingus unto askes thon
And eke as fyur aboven heere
Elementes to make feyre and clere
And alle the eyre so bryght of hewe
And make hevenes to seme newe.
With thes fyures reykyng aboute
The face of erthe shal bren withoute,
The worldes shap shal fordon bee
As with the flood was of Noe;
And as hit paste cubites fiftene
Over all hilles that evere were sene
So hyghe and low shal that fyur pas
And fordo the worlde that was.
¶As God byfore his firste comyng
Wolde fordoo withoute lettyng
Alle the worlde thorow water oonly
Ageynes the fyur of leccherye,
Ryght so byfore his laste comyng
Of the worlde shal he make endyng
By fyur that shal so brennyng be
Ageyne the cooldenes of charyté.
This fyur atte the bygynnyngge
Shal come byfor Cristes comyng
The good men to clense and fyne
And wicked men harde to pyne
That loved her synne and thought hit swete,
As seyth Davyd the good prophete:
Ignis ante precedet et inflammabit ipsum
in circuitu inimicos eius.12
"Byfore hym fyre in diverse partyse
Shal brenne aboute hym his enemyse,”
Mennes bodyse then shal hitte bryn
The worlde and alle that is therin.
When alle is waasted as I ha tolde
Thennes shul men ryse yong and oolde
Oute of her graves soule and body
And to the doom so come hoolye.
Cryste oure Loorde shal com doun thon
And sitte in doom as domesmonne
And deme then bothe good and ille
As ye may here yif that yee wille.
And yitte that fyur shal in that tyde
Aboute hym brenne on evere syde
As the prophete beruth wittnesse
In the sauter where thus writen esse:
Ignis ante ipsum exardesset et in
circuitu eius tempestas valida.13
"Fyur shal brynne in his syght,” seith he,
"And aboute hym greet tempest shal be.”
As long as the doom shal last
That fyur shal bren aboute fast
And when the doom is brought to ende
Alle the dampned then shul wende
With that fyur that so shal bryn
To helle pyne and dwel therein.
And with hem that shal be swept adoun
Evene to helle alle corupcyoun
And worldes filthe everyche a dele
As afturwarde is shewed wele
When that fyur hath wast al thing
Hevenes shul sese then of mevyng.

Of monnes up rysyng

Also oure loord er he com doune
For to demen in propur persoune
Byfore shal sende his aungelles
In foure partyes as the boke telles
With her bemes so to blowe
That alle the world shal here and know,
Then shul they alle folke up calle
And byd hem tyte to doom com alle.
Thenne shul they ryse in flesshe and fel
With body and soule as clerkes tel
In as shorte tyme as mon may thinke
Or monnes yghe open or wynke,
The tyme that thay the doom shul here
As the apostle seyth on this manere:
Omnes resurgent in monumento
in ictu oculi in novissima tuba.
"Alle shul ryse in a tyme mevyng
As in space of an yghe twynkelyng
When they here the deolful blaste
Of that beem that blow shal fast.”
For then shal alle men up ryse
In shap and in the same bodyse
That thay here had in her lyf dayes
And in noon othur the boke sayes.
They shulde ryse in the same eelde thon
That Criste hadde here fully of mon
Namly when he up roos by myght
Fro deth as Seynt Austyn seyth ryght,
That was of thritty wynter and two
And thre monethes eke therto.
In that eelde they shul ryse at last
By heryng of an aungelles blast;
Thenne shul here bodyes be hole and sete
With alle her lymes smale and grete.
¶For though the bodyes of every mon
Were brente into askes al thon
And alle the askes of the bodyse
Were blowen in diverse partyse
In uche a londe and uche a contré
They shul togedre then gedred be.
They shul rise hole with body and hede
And her not wantyng in that stede,
So myche shal not then be periste
As seyth Seynt Luke the evangeliste,
Capillus de capite vestro non peribit.14
"Yow shal noon here perysche,” seyth he,
"That on youre heed falleth too be.”
Yif lymes ben here any unsemely
By unhappe of kynde forthy
God shal abate hitte by his myght
And make that lyme semely in syght;
Yif any lyme wante that shulde falle
Of monnes bodye or be to smalle
Thorowe kynde here then God wyle
Alle tho defautes hooly fulfyle
This shal be doon namely to tho
That shul be saved and to blis go.
Her bodyes shul be feyre and bryght
With clene lymes to alle syght.
Bot God shal not in noon wyse
Defautes amend of dampned bodyse;
Unsemely shulen her bodyse be
And foule and ogly upon to se.
Alle that good been and ryghtwyse
That shal be saved shul fyrst uprise
And into the eyre then be ravyste
Ageyn the comyng of Ihesu Criste
Hym for to kepe at his doun come
As verrey juge to sitte in dome.
The parfitest men shul Criste kepe
And come thenne in his felaushepe
And be with hym in body and soule
As the apostle seyth Seynt Poule:
Quoniam Christus dominus in iussu, et in uoce archangeli,
et in tuba dei, descendet de celo; et mortui qui in
Christo sunt resurgent primi. Deinde nos qui uiuimus
qui relinquimur simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus
obviam Christo in aera, et hic semper cum domino erimus.
"Oure Loorde,” he seyth, "shal come fro heven
In Goddes byddyng and aungels steven
And in the sowen of Goddes beem
Alle this worlde hooly to deem.
Alle that be deed in Criste thonne
They shul up ryse fyrste uche monne
And we als in the same maneere
That nowe lyven and are lafte here
With hem in cloudes shul be ravyst
Into the eyre to kepen Cryst
And with oure Loorde so shul we be
Fro that tyme forthe,” thus seyth he.
Bot synful that shul ryse that tyde
Doun in erthe shul Criste abyde
In drede and sorow charged with syn
For they moun not fro thethen wyn,
Hem were lever in helle be thonne
Thenne come byfore the domesmonne.
Feyn woolde they flee yif they myght
To hyde hem fro the lordes syght
Undur erthe or owhere ellus
As Jon in the apocalips tellus,
Reges terre et principes tribuni et
divites et fortes et omnis seruus et omnis liber
absconderunt se in speluncis et in petris
moncium, et dicent montibus et petris: cadite
super nos, et collibus abscondite nos a fa-
cie sedentis in trono et ab ira agni.
"Kynges of londe and princes sere
That cheveteyns that ben undur hem here
And riche men of uche a contree
And stalworthe men bonde and free
Wolde hem hyden in caves uche oon
And in cragges and roches of stoon
And sey to roches and hilles thus,
'On us ye falle and hydeth yee us
Oute of his syght that sitteth in throne
And fro the wratthe of the lombe sone.'”
To come byfore the domesmonne
Mony shul have greet drede thonne
Namely synful withouten hoope
For thus seyth the holy mon Joope:
Domine, quando veneris iudicare terram
vbi me abscondam a uultu ire tue
quia peccaui nimis in vita mea.

"Lorde,” he seyth, "when thou shal come
To deme the erthe and sitte in dome
Where shal I fro thi wratthe hide me
For I have synned ageynes thee
Ful greetly in my lyfe heere.”
As yitte seyth Job on this manere:
Quis mihi hoc tribuat ut in inferno protegas me?17
"Lorde who may gyve to me,” seyth he,
"That thow in helle myghtest hyde me
And cover me at that dredeful day
Tyl that thi wratthe be paste awaye?”
Thenne is no wondur as I sayde ere
Though synful mon have care and fere
That shal be dampned and peryst
To come into the syght of Cryste.

Of Cristes comyng to dom

Thus shal Criste come to deme thon,
As seyth Job the holy mon:
Ecce Dominus veniet et omnes sancti eius cum eo.
Criste then by his greet myght
Shal come doune fro heven bryght
As domes monne to sitte in dome.
A greet plentee shal with hym come
Of aungelles and of archaungels
And othur hooly as the booke telles.
Thus oure Lorde shal come to doom
And al halowes shul with him coom
And sodeyn he shal hym shewe
As seyth the gospelle of Matthewe:
Sicut fulgur exit ab oriente et paret in occiden-
te, ita erit aduentus filii hominis subitus choruscans et terribilis.18
"As layte gooth oute in a shorte tyde
From eest and sheweth in the weste syde
So shal the comyn of monnes sone be
Sodeyn bryght and dredeful to se.”
He shal come doune withouten lete
Anentes the mounte of Olyvete
Where in monhede he styghe up even
Fro his disciples ryght unto heven.
In suche fourme as he stye up thonne
Shal he come to deme uche monne
Good and wicke yong and oolde
As aungels thus disciples toolde:
Hic Ihesus qui assumptus est a nobis in celum,
sic veniet quemadmodum vidistis eum euntem in celum.19
"Jesus,” they seyde, "that is up goon
From yowe to heven in flessh and boon
So shal he come doun at the ende
As ye say hym to heven wende.”
In that same fourme shal he com thon
And sitte in doom as domesmon
When Criste is comen doune to the dome
In fourme of mon shal be his come.

Where the dome shal be

Thatte greet dome shal then be holde
In the vaale of Josephat toolde
There shul thay alle togedre mete
As wittenesseth Joel the propheete:
Congregabo omnes gentes et inducam
eos in vallem Iosephat.20
"Alle folke togedur I shal grede
And into the vale of Josephat lede.”
And eke thertoo yitte seyth he thus
The same prophete more to us,
Consurgent omnes et ascendent gentes in vallem
Iosephat quia ibi sedebo et iudicabo.21
"Rysen shul alle men to the dome
And into the vale of Josephat come,
For he shal sitten there namelye
To demen alle as they been worthie.”
Of erthe that vale navel men calleth
For amyddes the erthe hitte falleth,
Josephat is noughte ellus to saye
Bot stude of doom the laste daye.
Cryste shal not fully doun come
Upon the erthe to sitte in dome
Bot he shal in the eyre up sytte
On a white cloude seyth holy writte:
Ecce apparebit dominus super nubem candidam.22
"Lo oure Lorde shal sitte in syght
On a cloude feyre and bryght.”
Even above the vale namelye
There alle men shul see his bodye
And skil why he shalle there sitte
Menne may here fynde that wol witte,
For there is sette tha vallay swete
Bytwene the mount of Olyvete
And Jerusaleem on that othur syde
That stondeth amyddes the worlde wyde.
There is the mount of Calvarye
And the sepulcre faste there bye
In the contree of Bethleem
Not ful fer fro Jerusaleem.
¶Forthi Criste wolde sitte there that day
That he may on this wys say,
"Lo yee now here moun alle se
The vale of Josephat undur me
Where buryed was my modur in mynde
In whom for yow toke I monkynde.
"Lo here also as ye may see nowe
Bethleem there I was bor for yow:
Lapped in cloutes and leyde I was
In crubbe bytwene ox and as.
Lo here also ye moun se stoonde
Jherusaleem that is neere hoonde
Where I for yowe had mony buffette
And sore was with scourges bette.
Lo here the mount of Calvaarye
Thidur for yowe the cros bare I
Bytwene two theves heng I faste
Fro me my gooste there for yow paste.
Loo here ye mooun wel seen also
The sepulcre bot a litul ther fro
Where I was buryed in that steed
When I for yowe had suffred deed.
Lo here the mount of Olyvete
Where I steye to my fadur swete
And aungelles in mennes lykenesse
Tolden of my comyng that now es.”
Now have ye herde the skilles whi
That he shalle sitte above namely
The vale of Josephat that men calleth,
The whiche amyd the worlde falleth.
¶An othur skil yitte may this be
Of this comyng in that contré
For that he there come fyrste adoun
Only for monnes salvacyoun
When that he flesshe and blood tok
Of mayden Marye as seyth the bok.
Thus shal he come and sitte thore
To deme alle as I sayde byfore.
Criste ful austerne then shal bee
To synful men that hym shul se;
Dredeful and hydous seyth the boke
To here syght when they on hym loke
And ful delitable to the syght
Of ryghtful men that lyved ryght.

In what fourme Crist shal deme

Bot alle the persones of the Trinité
Shulle notte in Godhede shewed be
To wicked and to good there thonne
Bot Criste oonly in fourme of monne
Goddes sone then shal deme us,
There the apostle Seynt Jon thus:
Omne iudicium dedit deus filio
Vt omnes honorificent filium
Sicut honorificant patrem.
"God to his Sone hath gyven,” seyth he,
"Alle the domes that gyven shul be
That menne the Sone may honoure ryght
As they doon the Fadur ful of myght.”
Goode shul see hym in monhede thon
And in godhede as God and monne,
For that he shal not fro hem hyde
They shul see hym alle gloryfyde
And that shal be a blesful syght
So he shal then be feyr and bryght.
Wykked in monhede shul hym se
Oonly as he heng on the tree,
Blody and blo as he thenne was
When he dyed for monnes trespas.
To hem that syght shal be greet drede,
They shul not see of his goddehede
The wheche godhede is ful of blys
Therfore that syght shul they mys,
Bot in monhede sothe to saye
Shul they hym se there that daye
In fourme of monne he shal then seme
And in monhede he shal hem deme.
And he shal in his doune comyng
The token of the cros with hym bryng
On whiche bought us fro pyne,
For he wolde not oure soules tyne.
That tokne of cros al men shul se
For hitte shal ful delitable be
To ryght men and seme ful bryght
And dredeful to the synfulles syght.
This token shal be shewed thonne
As seyth the boke to uche a monne:
Hoc signum crucis erit in celo cum
dominus ad iudicandum uenerit.
"This token of the cros shal seme
When oure Lorde shal come and deme,”
That is to sey up in the eyre
To gode mennes syght ful feyre.
I trowe this token shal not be
The same cros ny the same tree
That Criste was nayled to fote and hand
Bot of that tre a token semand.
And somme say yitte and so may be
Tokene of the spere men shul se
That wente to Cristes herte roote
And of the nayles in honde and foot
That Jewes hym to the rood faste
And of the coroune that was thraste
On his heed that the blood oute ran
When thornes pryked the brayn pan,
And of the scourges that brast his hide
Tyl blood ran doune on every syde.
Thes tokenes shul then be shewed
Byfore alle men lerud and lewed.
Bot synful that shul dampned be
To here shenshippe shulen hem se.
Criste shal shewe his woundes wyde
In heed and foot in hand and syde
That fresshe shul seme and al bledande
To alle synful that there shul stande.
Shewe he shal to her confusyoune
Al the tokenes of his passyoune;
This shalle be doon thus openlye
To reprove alle synful therebye
That to her shenshippe shal be thonne
As seyth Austyne the holy monne:
Fortasse dominus custodit in corpore suo cicatrices
suas, ut in iudicio hostibus exprobraret vt con-
uincens eos dicat, 'Ecce homo crucifixistis, ecce
deus et homo quem credere noluistis.'

"Goddes Sone oure Lorde almyghtye
In happe hath kepte in his body
The shappes of his woundes sere
That for oure synne he tholed here
For to shewe unto his enemyse
When he shal deme as hye justyse
Hem to repreve at that laste daye
And to atteyne hem and saye:
¶'Lo now here in flesshe and blode
That for yowe honged on the rode
Bothe God and mon that yowe wrought
In whom byleve wolde yee nought.
Beholde the woundes that ye sticked
Se here the sedes that yee prycked,
That for yowe was opene ay
And ye wolde entre by no way.'"
Michel shenship shal this be
To synful men that shullen hit se
The whiche to hym dyd nought ageyn
That suffred for hem so myche peyn
And not tho that do no good oonlye
Bot tho that are ful of feloonye
That ay doon evel and no gode
And Goddes Sone ofte doon the rode;
In that in hem is with synne
Of whiche they nyle nevere blyn.
What moun they then onswere or say
Howe moun they hem excuse that day?
Excuse hem no thing may thonne
So ryghtwyse is the demesmonne.
In that day as the booke witnesse
Shal not be shewed bot ryghtwisnesse
With greet reddure to synful nomely
For here synne are peyne worthye.
Thay may defende hem by no weyes
As Jon with golden mouthe thus seyes,
Non erit tunc locus defensionis vbi
videbunt Christum exhibentem testimonia
et signa sue passionis.

"No stude of defense there shal be
Where they shulde openly see
Wittenes gyvyng and toknes certeyne
Of his passyoune and his peyne."
Alle shul have greet drede that day
Bothe good and evel as clerkes say;
There schal be neyther aungel ny mon
Bot they shul quake for drede thon.
Suche drede that day shul they have
Allethough they wyte to be save
Not for hemselfe that ben gultles
Bot for the reddure of ryghtwisnes
And for the grisly austerneté
That Criste shal shew that day to see
Ageynes the synful men nanely
That worthe dampned withoute mercy.
Syn ryghtful men that shul be save
And aungelles suche drede shul have
Ful greet drede aught synful be thon;
Therfore thus seyth the holy mon:
Si columpne celi contremiscent et pauent
adventum Christi, et angeli pacis amare flebunt,
peccatores autem quid facient?

He seyth, "yif pileres of heven bryght
As holy men that lyved han ryght
Shul Cristes comyng in monhede
And aungelles als ful gretely drede
And wepe ful bitturly eke therto
What shul synful men then do?"
That shul be spilte as I seyde ore
As seyth the holy mon yitte more:
Si iustus vix saluabitur, impius
et peccator vbi parebunt?24
"Yif the ryghtwyse mon," seyth he,
"Unnethe thenne shal saved be,
The synful and the wicked mon
Whidurwarde shul thay wend thon?"
Ryghtwise men as the book tellus
Shul thenne be saved and non ellus.
In monhede then oure lord schal sitte
Above synful seyth holy writte,
Wrothe and steerne with ful felle chere
And tret with wicked lyveres here.
Helle bynethen bothe wyde and depe
Shal then be opene hem to keepe,
The erthe that thay on shul stande
Schal for synne be tremblande
And unnethe hitte shal hem beere
So myche her syn shal hem dere.
On alle sides hem fendus schal stande
And aboute hem be fyre brennande;
Aboven hem heven schal smite soore,
Suche sorowe shal be among hem thore
With leytyng and thondur togedre,
They wolden flee bot they not whedre:
They shul be bysette on every syde
And no thing shal hem hyle ne hyde.

Wheche been oure accusoures

Accusoures mony shul there be thon
Hem to accuse to the domesmon.
I fynde writen as ye shul here
Of accusours fyftene ful seere
That shullen accuse that dredeful day
The synful men, that is to saye:
Conscience that is here Inwytte,
Her owen synnes, and holy writte,
Goddes creatures that we kenne,
Aungelles, develes, and hethen menne,
And martyres that had turmentes sere
And othur that wrong han tholed here,
And mennes children unchastised,
And pore that need myght not hyed,
Sogettes, and benefices taken here,
And alle Cristene turmentes sere,
And sovereyne Lorde in Trinitee --
Thes alle ageyne synful schul bee.
¶First shal here owen conscience
Accusen hem in Cristes presence
Openlye and not in pryvetee,
For no thing thenne shal hid bee:
Alle schal be shewed then openly
As Danyel seyth in his prophecye,
Sedit iudicium et libri aperty sunt.25
"The dome schal sitte and bokes open wyde."
This schal be knowen at that tyde.
The bokes ben conscience and not ellus
Ryght as the glese thereof us tellus,
Consciencie omnes reuelabuntur.
"Conscience," he seyth, "of every thing
Shal be shewed to monnes knowyng."
¶Hes synnes also bothe more and les
Hem schal accuse as bokes wittenes,
For with hem ever shul they laaste
As they to hem were bounden faaste
The whiche schul accuse that daye
So that they shul not ageynsaye.
As theef is greved with stole thing founden
When hit aboute his neke is bounden
So shul here synnes greve hem sore
As thay aboute here neckes wore.
The synnes thenne shul sey thus
To uche synful, "thou wroughtest us;
Thine we are withouten doute
Thow haste long boren us aboute."
¶Hem shal accuse eke holy writte
And hem namely that knowen hitte
And herde poyntes that longeth therto
And wole nought aftur hem doo.
¶Also schul Goddes creatures sere
Accuse hem on dyverse manere
As sonne and mone and the sternes
And elementes that us governes;
And alle the worlde shal be redye
The synful accusenne openlye.
Alle creatures hate hem shalle
When he is wrothe that made hem alle.
¶Fendes shul als accuse hem thore
Of alle here synnes lasse and more,
For alle synne they shul oute say
That to tysed hem nyght and day,
Of alle tho shul they accuse the sothe
As thefe his felow that thefte dothe
That hym accuseth of that ilke thyng
That he did hym do by his egging.
¶The fende to tempte that is bysye
At that doom shal been redye
For thay write synnes lasse and more
Of whiche they moune accuse hem thore.
Alle synnes they shul telle thonne
As Job reherseth the holy monne,
Scribis enim contra me amaritudines.26
"Thou suffreste Lorde be writen," seyth he,
"My byttur synnes ageynes mee."
¶Aungelles also as clerkes con say
Shul accuse synful men that day,
For God that to hem here soules toke
Here to kepen as seyth the boke
Thenn shal aske at his comyng
Acounte to yeelde of her kepyng.
Thenne shul the aungelles onswere therto
And sey oure Lorde, "wolde they not do
Bot here folyse wolden they use."
Thus shul aungelles synful accuse
And hethen men as seyth the booke,
That Cristendome never yit toke
As Jewes, Sarazenes, and peynymes
That wote not what Cristendom menes
Shul thenne accuse that men shul see
Fals Cristen men that dampned bee,
For hethenne men atte that assyse
Shul be holden as men ryghtwyse
To regarde of evel Cristen menne
That kepte not the byddynges tenne
Bot spendid alle here witte in veyne,
Therfore they shul have more peyne
In helle pytte that more shal greve
Thenne any folke of mysbyleeve.
¶The halowes shul accuse alle thoo
That shul be lefte and to hel goo
And namely martyres, Goddes knyghtes,
Shul accuse tho synful wyghtes
As tyrauntes that hem peyned and slow
And to mony turmentes hem drowe
On whom to God vengeaunce they crye
As the apocalippes sheweth thus openly:
Usquequo Domine sanctus et verus, non vindicas
sanguinem nostrum de hiis qui habitant in terra?27
"Thow holy lorde sothefaste and goode
How longe er thou venge oure bloode
Of oure enemyes in erthe that dwelles?"
Thus the apocalippes unto us telles
Sithe they to God ay vengeaunce crye
On hem that of here blood be gultye,
Howe shulde thay in tyme of wreche
Be stille ageyne hem of here speche?
¶Also al tho that tholed han theere
Falshede or wrong on any manere
Thay shul that day accuse hem sone
That hem have here suche wronges done.
¶And children that unchastised were
Shul fadur and modur accusen there
For thay were recheles and unwyse
And wolde not hem with aw chastise
And hem techen with good thewes
As in his boke the wyse mon shewes:
De patre impio conquerentur filii, quoniam
propter ipsum sunt in opprobrium.28
"The sone shal pleyne hym," seyth he,
"On his fadur and ageyne hym be
For defaute of hym aren thaye."
In greet repreve that is to saye
For in defaute of his disciplyne
Moun thay be demed to helle pyne;
The fadur also with hym be spylte
For he is cause of bothe her gylte.
¶Also pore shul pleyne with al ryght
Upon the ryche in Goddes syght
And hem accuse ful grevouslye,
For they of hem had no mercye
For to helpen hem in her nedes
Nouther for to clooth ny feede,
Bot lette here golde and silver ruste
Whereon thay hadden al her truste.
To pore thereof wolde thay not geve
When thay say hem in myscheve,
That rouste of that mouled monee
Ageynes hem witnes shal hit bee.
And wormes on the same manere
That in her clothes bredden here
Alle these shul be in witnes brought
For the pore that thay helpe nought.
¶And alle that sogettes to mon were here
Shul accuse hem on many manere;
Criste shal alegge ageynes hym sone
And shew what he hath for hem done
Of tho benefises bothe more and lesse
For to repreve her unkyndenesse.
¶Also turmentus of Cristes passyoun
That weren for oure salvacyoun
Shullen hem accuse at that doom,
Thus seyth the doctoure Seynt Jeroom:
Crucem propter te portabit Christus
vulnera sua contra te allega-
bit, cicatrices contra te loquentur,
claui de te conquerentur.

"The cros that God dyed on for mon
Shul styfly stonde ageynes mon,
And Cryst with his woundes wyde
Ageynes hym shal alegge that tyde
The erres of his woundes schal speke
Ageyn thee for to been awreke;
The nayles that in feet stak
On the ful greet pleynt shul mak."
¶Thenne at laste as moost of myght
God shal accusen hem wyth ryght
For they hym greved in her pousté
And al the persones in Trinité,
The Fadur and the Sone and the Holy Gost
This accusyng shal the moost.
¶The secounde persone then shal deem
That is croos that mon shal seem.
Alle shul come byfore hym thare
And yelde acountes er they then fare
Of alle here lyf here how they lyved.
Then shal be sene what they God greved
To alle the worlde hit shewed shal be
Openly and nought in pryveté
Byfore halowes and aungelles bryght
And fendes that ben ogly in syght
And byfore wicked menne also
That shul be dampned to endles wo,
For Crist that ryghtwyse domesmonne
Alle shal calle byfore hym thonne,
As beruth Davyd the prophete witnes
In the sautere there thus writen es:
Advocavit celum de sursum et
terram discernere populum suum.29
He seyth, "he shal byfore hym cal
The heven above and the erthe with al
His folke to demen ryght at that day."
This verse is thus myche to say
Heven he shal cal byfore hym tyte
That is to say holy men parfyte,
In doom with hym shul they sytte
And with hym deme seyth holy writte.
The erthe is nought ellus to telle
Bot wicked men and fendus of helle
Whiche he shal calle at his wille
And departe the good fro the ille.
Then shul men streyte acounte yelde
Of al here tyme in youthe and elde
Not oonly of oon or two yeere
Bot of alle here tyme lyved heere.
No tyme shal be unrekened thonne
As Bernarde seyth the holy monne,
Sicut non peribit capillus de capite,
ita non erit momentum de toto tempore
de quo sani non conquerentur.

"As not an here of alle here hede
That tyme shal peryssh in no stede,
Ryght so there shal be no moment
Of alle the tyme that God hath lent
Of whiche shal bee no pleynyng
In tyme of that harde rekenyng."
¶Als they shul yeelde acounte certeyn
Of alle wordes spoken in veyn
This to say that were fruytles
As holy writte beruth witnes,
De omnem verbo ocioso reddenda est racio.30
The boke speketh on this manere,
"Of uche evel worde spoken here
There shal be resoun yolden ryght"
That dredeful day in Goddes syght,
And not oonly of wordes sayde
Bot of thoughtes that God not payde.
Hem there excuse may thay nought
Nouther of ydel worde ny thought
Therfore oure Lorde God almyghty
Seyth by his prophete Ysaye:
Ego cogitaciones venio ut congregem cum gentibus
ad iudicandum sicut iudicabo gentes.31
"I come," he seyth, "togedre with men
Of hem the thoughtes that I ken
For to deme bothe more and les
As I shal men with ryghtwisnes."
Men aught wele to drede therfore
For why thus seyth Seynt Gregore:
Ergo sic Deus cuiuscumque vias considerat
ut ne minime cogitaciones que apud nos vsu
valuerunt in iudicio indiscusse remaneant.

"Oure God that alle wysdome conne
So byholdeth the weyes of monne
That the leest thought that in us hath he
Hit shal not undiscussedde be
And not oonly woorde and thought
Bot every wille that mon hath wrought."
¶Also ther shul acountes yeelde
Not oonly of greet dedus in eelde
Bot of smale dedus in here youth
Fro the tyme that they witte couthe
Of alle here dedes nyghtes and dayes,
Therfore Salomon thus sayes:
Letare iuvenis in adolescencia tua,
et in bono sit cor tuum in diebus iuven-
tutis tue, et ambula in viis cordis
tui, et in intuitu oculorum tuorum, et scito
quod pro omnibus hiis adducet te dominus in iudicium.
He seyth, "yong mon be glad and blythe,
And in thi youthe that passeth swythe,
Let thin herte be in good sted faste
While thi dayes of youthe may laste
In weyes of thin herte thou goo
And in syght of thine yghen two,
And wyte thou for alle thi youthehede
Oure Loorde shal thee into doom lede
Where resouns shul be yolden sere."
Therfore seyth Job on this manere:
Consumere me vis peccatis adolescencie mee.33
"Thou wolte Lorde wast me to nought
Thorow synnes that I in my youth wrought."
Men shul there yeelde acountes sone
Not oonly of that thay han done
Wyttyngly and with knowyng
Bot of that they dyd by erryng.
They shul be excusedde thonne
As wittenesseth the wyse monne:
Pro omni errato siue bonum siue malum
sit adducetur homo in iudicium.34
"For every thing that mysdoon es
Good or evel more or lees
Atte the laste day mon shal be led
Into the doom that moste is dred."
Forthi Davyd as he telleth us
Was ful dredyng when he seyde thus:
Ignorancias meas ne meminieris Domine.35
"Lorde," he seyth, "bythynke thee nought
Of my frele unknowyng thought."
¶Yitte shul they yeelde acountes with drede
Not oonly of uche open evel dede
Bot of uche yvel dede pryvé
That semed to syght good too be.
Som yvel dede semeth good here
As Gregory seyth on this manere:
sordet in oculo iudicis
quod fulget in oculo auditoris.
"Somme is foule in justyse syght
That semeth in hereres yghe ful bryght."
Atte doom shal that discussed bee
As in the sautere men moune see,
Cum accepero tempus, ego iusticias iudicabo.36
God seyth by the prophete Davyd
And othur that acorden therwyth,
"When I have tyme reseyved ryght
I shal doon ryghtfulnes by myght."
¶Also byhoveth men yeelde thonne
Acountes byfore the domesmonne
Not oonly for werkes here wrought
Bot of dedes that thay dyd nought
As werkes of mercy and of almus,
For the gospelle telleth thus:
Esurivi et non dedistis in manducare,
sitivi et non dedistis michi bibere.37
This is on Ynglysshe men moun here
Howe God shal say on this manere:
"I hongred and yee me not fedde,
I thristed and yee no drynk me bed."
Thus shal some be accused streytly
That did not the werkus of mercy,
Yitte men byhoven acounte to yelde
Of here owen soules that they welde
And have in kepyng while they lyve
Of whiche they shul acountes gyve.
For yif a kyng of kyngdome ryche
Had a doughtere that were hym lyche
Of beaté face and of hys bodye
And loved hire specyally
To make hyre queen of greet worship,
And he toke hire his regne to kepe
And yif se thenne kepte hyre mys
Me thinketh hit were no doute of thys
Bot the kyng wolde have rekenyng
And acounte of that myskepyng,
The recheleslyer that hee hire yemed
The more grevously to be demed.
What shal the kyng of heven do thon
To a synful mon or a womonne
To whom he toke the kepyng here
His doughtere to hymselfe and dere,
That is monnes soule hys lyckenes
While hit fro dedely syn kepte es
Whiche he thought to croune quene
In heven there joye shal ever bene?
He that is recheles and kepeth hit ylle
Shal be aresonned as hit is skille
Of myskepyng for that hee tooke.
Forthi Salamon seyth in his boke,
Custodi solicite animam tuam.
That is to say on this manere,
"Kepe thi soule bysilyche here."
Bot he is slye that thus may say
In tyme of deth at his last day,
"I yelde my soule in this deth stoure
To hym that is my saveoure."
¶Yitte shul men yeelde acounte streytly
Not of here soules within oonly
Bot of here bodyes eke withoute
That thay kepe and beren aboute.
A monnes body may wele be calde
A castel here whiche is to halde
That God hath gyven mon to kepe,
To his profite and Goddes worshepe
That enemyes ofte assaylen harde.
And therfore seyth Seynt Barnarde:
Bonum castrum custodit qui corpus suum custodit.
"He kepeth a castel good," seyth he,
"That kepeth his body in honesté."
¶Yitte shul men yeelde acountes also
Er thay fro the doom shalle go
That shal be taken of hem uche oon
And not oonly of soules alle oon
Ny of here bodyes oonly therebye,
Bot of bothe togedre joyntlye,
This is to say uche oon shul thenne
Yelde acountes of ful hole menne,
For monne is not propurly toolde
Bot body and soule togedre hoolde;
The soule by hitteself mon is noon
Ny the body by hitteselfe alle oon.
Mon may be called on twey manere
While the body and soule is heere.
Therfore clerkes that clergye conne
Callen inner mon and uttur monne:
Inner anentes the soule oonlye;
And uttur anentes the foule bodye.
Bot body and soule bothe tho two
Bot oonne mon maken and no moo.
Thus shul menne yeelde acountes namly
Bothe of the soule and of the body.
Men shul not oonly to acountes go
For hemselfe bot als for mo
That is to say for uche neyghebore
That fel to hem to doon socoure.
God bad uche mon helpen ryght
His neyghebore with alle his myght.
Tho that moune helpe and wole nought
Shul thenne to streyte acount be brought.
Fadur and modur at that day
Shul acounte yeelde that is to say
Of here children that they forthe brought
Whiche they here chastised nought.
And lordes eke of her meynye
That they lette unjustifyed bee
And maysteres of here disciples also
That they letten unchastysedde goo
And nolde hem chastyse ne leere,
As Salamon seyth on this maneere:
Virga discipline fugabit stulticiam
a corde pueri colligatam.38
"The yerde of disciplyne so smerte
Shal chace folye from childes herte."
Therfore thes maystres use the wande
To teche children undur her hande.
And also prelatus of dygnytee
Shul yeelde acounte in here degree
Of sogettes undur here powere
How they have reuled hem here
In whoos defaute the lyved not wele,
As seyth the prophete Ezechyele:
Ecce ego requiram gregem meum de manu pastoris.39
God seyth thus by the prophete,
"Lo I shal aske my flokke of shepe
Of herdes that hem had undur hand."
Thenne aught prelates be dredand.
Also men shul yeelde rekenyng sere
Of goodes that God hath lente hem here
Of godes of kynde of godes of grace
Of godes of hap that men purchace.
The goodes of kynde are myght and strengthe
Of semely shappe in breed and lengthe
Delyvernes and beauté of bodye
Thes godes of kynde here have manye.
¶Godes of grace thes moun bee
Mynd, witte, knowyng, and sotiltee
And vertues of greet devocyoune
And lof lyf of contemplacyoune.
¶Godes of happe are these to gesse
As honours, poweres, and rychesse
Of alle thes godes men byhoveth
To yeelde acounte the boke proveth,
And streyte onswere of hem alle
I trow mony in arerage shul falle
And to prysoun perpetuel gonge
For the dyspendyng of hem wronge,
For God hath gyven here no thyng
Bot that he wole have of rekenyng.
¶Somme shal yitte as I seyde ore
Yeelde acountes ful gretely thore
Of godes that they wold not bede
To othur that of hem hadde nede
For alle we been as oo body here,
As seyth the apostle on this manere:
Omnes enim unum corpus sumus.40
He seyth, "we alle aren oo bodye"
That hath dyverse lymes monye.
And as oo lyme of a body here
Is redy aftur hit hath powere
To serven othur more and les
Of that office that hit gyven es
Ryght so shulde every mon that lyveth
Of alle that God by grace hym geveth
Serven othur that there han neede
As he wole answere at day of drede.
Ful mony men lyven here of tho
That wele are holden for to do so,
¶As he that greet and myghty es
Shulde defende hem that been les,
And ryche men that han pleenté
Shulde helpe hem that pore be
And men of lawe shulde travayle
To counseyle hem that aske counsayl,
And leches yif they wyse wore
Shulde helpe bothe seek and sore,
And connyng men here conscience to ken
To hem that are unlered men,
And prechours Goddes worde to prech
And folke the wey of lyf to tech.
Thus been men holden in good entent
To helpe pore of that hem is sent
For Goddes love and for nought ellus
As the apostle Petre thus telles,
Unusquisque, sicut accepit graciam, in alte-
rutrum illam administrare debet.41
"Uche mon," he seyth, "that grace hath here
As he hitte toke on the same manere
He shulde hitte minystre and frely bede
To othur that thereof have nede."
Thus is uche mon holden to doo,
For in the gospel Criste seyth thertoo
Quod gratis accepistis, gratis date.42
This is "that yee of grace have free,
Frely receyved frely gif yee."
Thus shul men yeelde acountes sere
Of alle here lyf as is writen here
Of alle tymes spended in veyne
Of uche moment or tyme certeyne
Of ydel wordes and ydel thought
Of alle ydel werkes iwrought
Of dedus that they by erryng dyd
Of open werkes and of hyd
Of werkes wrought and unwrought
Of werkes of mercy that they dyd nought
Of here soules shul thay reken thare
And of here bodyes that hitte bare,
And not oonly of eyther thonne
Bot of bothe as of a monne
And not oonly of hemself alle
Bot of here neyghebores onswere they shalle
And fadur and modur mysavised
Of here children unchastysed
And lordes of here men namely
Whiche they wolde not justify,
And maysters of her disciples also
That they letten unchastysed goo,
Prelatus and prestus of uch soget
That they in good reule ne sette,
And al tho that in evel entent
Spended the godes that God hem sent
And of wrong holden godes sere
That they ne parted with othur here
Whiche had nede as they myght see
Of thes shul men aresouned bee.
Thus shal men yeeld acountes streyte
No thyng shul they there naeyte.
Now certus ful cely is that mon
That good rekenyng may gyve thon
And so sely moun ben alle thoo,
That hethen in parfyte charyté goo
For he that hath here good endyng
Shal passe there with good rekenyng.

Of the manere of doome

At that day as I have toolde
Alle men shul be yong and oolde
Good and yvel al scal come thidur
So myche fook com nevere togydur
That shul be demed aftur they wrought:
Somme shul demed and som nought,
Somme shul deme with domesmon,
For they shul not be demed thonn;
Somme shul be demed ryghtfully
That shul deme on noo party;
And othur mony shul there seme
That nouther shul be demed ny deme.
¶Tho that shul deme and demed not be
Are parfyte men with God pryvé.
¶That shul be demed and deme nought
Shul somme to heven blys be brought
And somme of tho to helle shal wende
There pyne is withouten ende.
¶Bot alle that leved not as doon we
Shul neyther deme ny demed be
For they ne wolde to ryght trouthe come
They shul to helle withouten dome.
¶Tho that with Criste shul deme that day
And not be demed are namely thay
That here forsoken worldly solace
And foleweden ryght Cristes trace
As his aposteles and othur moo
That for his love tholed angur and wo.
They shul deme with hym and noon elles
Ryght as he in the gospel tellus:
Vos qui secuti estis me sedebitis super sedes,
judicantes duodecim tribus Israel.43
"Yee that me folowed here lyvyng
Shul sitte on twelve setes demyng
The twelve kynredes of Ysrael,"
That is tho that God seen lel.
Somme shul not deme bot demed be
To blysse as men in charyté
That feyn dyden dedus of mercy
And kepte hem fro syn dedly.
¶Somme shul not deme bot be demed
To helle fro Goddes face flemed:
Tho are fals Cristenne menne
That kepte not the byddynges tenne
Ny here wolde not forsake her syn
Bot alle here lyf dwelled therin.
¶Somme shul not be demed that day
Bot wende to helle to wone ther ay,
Sarazynes peynymes that no law helde
For thay to Criste wolde nevere hem yelde,
They shul wende to pyne endeles
Withouten doom as writen es:
Qui sine lege peccauit sine lege peribit.44
"They that withouten law dyd syn
Withouten lawe shul perysshe therin."
For at that day of dom namely
Mon shal have as he is worthy.
An harde day men shul that see
Whenne al thing shal discussed be.
That day shal noon ben excused
Of nought that he here wrong hath used
That evel souned in any maneere
Of whiche he was not clensed here.
¶The synful shul no mercy have
For there is thing that may hem save,
Noon helpe there shul they geete
Sergeaunt, attourne, ny advocete;
¶Ny noon othur for hem to plete
Ny hem counseyle nor to rede
Nor no seynt shal for hem pray,
This may be calde a dredeful day.
For then shal as hitte writen es
Nought be shewed bot ryghtwisnes
And greet reddure and no mercy
Unto the synful men namely
That of here syn wolde nevere stynt,
For evere thenne they shul be tynt
Fro God withouten recovere
And be delivered to fendes powere.
And so to helle be put for ay
There men moun cal that day
The day of grete delyveraunce
The day of wreche and of vengeaunce
The day of wratthe and wrechednes
The day of bale and bytturnes
The day of plente and accusyng
The day of onswere and rekenyng
The day of jugement and justyse
The day of sorow and angwyse
The day of drede and of tremblyng
The day of wepyng and goulyng
The day of noyse and of deolful dyn
The day of mournyng without blyn
The day of fere and of affray
The day of partyng fro God away
The day of merryng and of merknes
The day that laste and moost es
The day that shal be eende of alle,
That day on this wyse men moun calle.

Of the general and laste doom

Crist that al shal se and wyte
At that dredeful day shal syte
As kyng and ryghtwyse domesmon
In doom to deme the worlde thon
Upon the sete of his majestee
When alle shul beforen hym be.
He shal sitte in doom sothefaste
And final doom geve at the laste
How he shal deme I shal shewe
As telleth the gospel of Matthewe;
His aungelles thenne aftur his wil
Shule parte the good from the ille
As herde doth shepe from the gayte
That shul be put to pasture strayte.
Undurstonde by the shepe we may
Gode men that shul be saved that day:
Undurstonde by the geet mowe we
Evele men that dampned shul be.
The good shul on his ryght hoonde,
The evel on his lyfte syde stonde;
Then shal oure Lorde sey thus that tyde
To hem that stonden on his ryght syde:
Venite benedicti patris mei possidete
paratum vobis regnum a constitucione mundi.45
He shal sey then, "cometh to me
Mi fadres children blessed ye be,
Weldeth the kyngdome to yow dyght
Suche the worlde was fyrst maad ryght.
When I hungred ye me fedde
I thristed and yee me drynke bedde;
When I greet need of herborow had
Yee herborowed me with hert glad.
Naked I was as yee myghten se,
Ye gaf me clothes and claudden me;
Ful seek I was in feble astate
Yee visete me eerly and laate,
I was in prysoune holden stille
To mee yee come with good wille."
¶Thenne shul the ryghtful at that day
To oure Lorde onswere and say,
"Lorde when se we the hongrye
And weren to gyve the mete redy,
When myght we the thristy see
To geve thee drynke with herte free,
Or of harborowe grete nede have
And thee to harborowe vouched save
When say we the naked and the cledde
Or seke or in prysoune so bestedde
To visete thee with good wille
Or to counforte as fel theretylle?"
Oure Lorde shal then onswere thus
As the gospel sheweth tyl us,
"Sothely I say so then ye wrought
That ilke tyme ye did oughte
Unto the leeste that ye myght se
Of myne then dyd yee to me."46
¶Then shal oure Lorde to al them say
That on his lyfte syde shul stand that day
And speke to hem with sturdy chere
Wordes that are ful hydous to here:
Discedite a me maledicti in ignem eternum
qui preparatus est diabolo et angelis eius.47
"Gooth doune ye cursed fro my syght
To endeles fyur unto yow dyght
That ordeyned is for the devel fully
And for the aungels of his compeny.
I hungred and had defaute of mete
Ye wolde me gyve no thing to ete
I thristed and of drink had nede
And yee wolde noon unto me bede;
In dyverse studes herborow I soght
Bot ye me wolde herborow nought;
Naked withouten clothes I was
And al clotheles ye let me pas.
Seke I was and bedereden lay
Yee viseted me nouther nyght ny day;
In prysoune I was wel wisten ye
And no tyme wolde ye come to me."
They shul ansere that men shul here
To oure Lorde then on this manere:
"When say we thee have hongur or thrist
Or of harborow have any bryst
Or naked or seek in prysoun to be
And we dyd no thing to thee?"
Then shal oure Lorde answere ageyn
And thus unto hem seye certeyn,
"I sey yowe now sothely thertoo
Al that tyme ye wolden not doo
To the leste of myn kidde
As longe to me nought ye didde."
¶Thus shal oure Lorde shew openly
To gode men the werkes of mercy
For to make hem openly kidde
To here worshipe that hem didde,
To that hem dyd not for his love
To grete shenshipe and myche reprove.
When he hath thus of al made ende
The synful shul with fendes wende
To helle fyre that nevere shal slake,
Ful hydous cri then shul they make
And say, "allas that we were wrought
In monnes shap that we were nought.
Why nad God fyrste maad us soo
To nouther have feled wele ny wo?
Now we brenne in fyur of helle
And ever more thereinne to dwel."
Helle shal hem swolow als tyte
Withouten any lenger respyte.
¶Thenne alle the fyur that evere was sene
And alle corrupcyouns that han bene
Alle the fulthe and alle the stynke
Of alle the worlde then shal hit synk
Doun with him to the put of helle
To eche here sorowe that there shul dwel.
Bot ryghtwyse men the boke wittenes
Shul go to blysse and lyfe endles
With God and his aungelles uch oon
Shynyng bryghtere then evere son shone.
¶Now have ye herde the worldes ende
As in this partye is wel contende
And how Cryste at his laste comyng
Discusse and deme shal al thing.
Here mow reden that have tome
Long processe of the day of dome,
Bot ye shul undurstonde and wyte
As men moun se in holy writte
That thorowe the witte and the vertue
And the myght of oure loorde Jhesue
The prees that shal be at that day
Of whiche any clerke telle may
So shortely shal be sped and sone
That in a moment al shal be done.
A moment is a tyme bygynnyng
As short as any yghe twynkelyng
A greet mervayle may this be kid
Among al wondres that evere God did
That he shal discusse and deme alle thing
In so shorte tyme at his metyng;
Bot wondur no mon lerud ny lewed
For als greet wondur God hath shewed,
Hit was grete wondur when he wrought
With oon woorde alle the worlde of nought.
Of this the prophete bereth wittenes
That seyth as here thus writen es:
Quia ipse dixit et facta sunt,
ipse mandauit et creata sunt.48
"He seyde and alle was doone
He bad and alle was maad soone."
In thus shorte tyme al thing made he
A more merveyle myght nevere be;
He may shortly maken endyng
Ryght as he maad the bygynnyng,
So myghty was and yitte is he
To hym may no thing impossible be.
Now have ye herde me speke and rede
Of wondur that thenne shal be and drede,
Bot though ye have herde me say
Of reddure that shal falle that day
To alle synful men namely
That shul be spylte withoute mercy
As men moun here writen wel se,
No mon therfore in despeyre be:
Alle that have mercy shul be save
And alle that aske hit shul hit have
Yif they seke here boodyly
And trewly triste in Goddes mercy
And wol her syn holy forsaake
And hem amende er deth hem take
And here doon mercye and charyté
Thenne gete they mercye save to be.
Thus may uche mon yif he wille
Have and do that falleth thertille.
Yif he did nevere so myche synne
And he amende he may hitte wynne;
Godes mercy so myche is here
Over alle hit recheth fer and nere,
For alle the synne that mon may do
Hitte may sleken and more therto.
Therfore seyth Seynt Austyn thus
A ful good worde to coumfort us:
Sicut sintilla in medio maris: sit
omnis impietas viri ad miseriam dei.
"Ryght as a sparke of fyur," seyth he,
"In mydward of the mychel see,
Ryght so al monnes wyckednes
Unto the mercy of God hitte es."
For gif a mon hadde doon here
Als mony and greet synnes sere
As alle men in the worlde ha done
Godes mercy myght fordo hem sone,
Then semeth hitte wel as men moun se
Of his mercy is greet plentee,
For hitte spredeth on every syde
In alle the worlde brode and wyde;
God hitte sheweth by mony weyes
As Davyd the prophete thus seyes:
Misericordia domini plena est terra.49
"The erthe is ful of Goddes mercy"
Then moun men fynde hitte plenteuously.
He that hath mercy er he wende
Criste wole atte the dome be his frende;
Where ryghtfulnes shal be haunted
And no mercy thenne be graunted.
Aftur that dome this worldes blade
Shal seme as hitte were newe made.
The erthe shal thenne be even alle
And shineth as clere as is cristalle;
The eyre above shal shyne bryght
Ever to be day and never nyght.
The elementes shul then be clene
And al corrupciouns that now are sene.
Then shal the worlde in all parties
Seme as hit were a paradyes:
The planetes and the sterres ucheoon
Shul bryghtere shine then ever son shoon,
The sonne shal be as clerkes demes
Seven so bryght as hit now semes
As bryght shal hit be as hitte was
Byfore er Adam dyd his trespas.
The mone shal be as bryght and clere
As sonne is now that shineth here;
In the eest the son shalle stande
Withouten mevyng ever shinande,
And als the mone even in the west
And ever be stylle shinyng in rest
As they were sette at the bygynnyng
When God hem maad and alle thing,
For tho they weren, for to avowe,
Ful myche bryghter then they be nowe.
¶The mevyng hevens withoute doute
Shul cees of turnyng then aboute;
No more in cours shul they wende
For of alle tho thinges shal be ende.
Bot nowe tho elementes ucheoon
Meven as they her cours mot goon,
As God hath ordeyned to serve mon
Of whiche servise they shul cees thon,
For alle men aftur domesday
Shul be there they shul byde ay
The good in blys with rest and pees
The yvel in pyne never to cees.
What nede were tho creatures thon
Suche servyse shewe more to mon.
Nouther shal growe herbes ny tre
Mounteynes ny hulles noon shul be
Nor roches ny dales noon certeyne
For erthe shal be alle evene and pleyne
And be al maade bothe feyre and clene
As any cristal that evere was sene.
¶Now have ye thus harde me reede
Of domesday and greet dreede
And of wondurful tokenes sere
That men byfore shul see and here
And how the worlde that we now se
Aftur the doom shal newed bee
As men may fynde whoso wole loke
In the fyfthe parte of this booke.
Hereon wole I no lenger stande
Bot to the syxte part go nexte felowande
That openly speketh as writen es
Of the peynes of helle endeles
Tho peynes be ful felle and harde
As ye moun here telle afturwarde
Uche mon may gryse yong and olde
To here hem be rehersed or tolde.



All to judge in his own person; (see note)
exact place
judge the living and the dead



according to [how] they




(see note)

realms also

subject (underling)

(see note)



for the most part




(see note)
put aside (give up)


consider; (t-note)



(see note)


scarcely any

against Christ always
for this reason

[To be]; limbs; predecessors

(see note)
In part

(see note)

at once


(see note)

(see note)

an adder

seen; (see note)



also reign; (t-note)


(see note)

third; (t-note)

necromancers and sorcerers


dwell; (t-note)

false antichristians

first feign himself to be full holy

Christian and loyal

(see note)


the more easily

walked; here

And slander and despise


against truthfulness defend [themselves]

shall bid (command) in addition

to believe wholly


(see note)


cause fire

(see note)

boast of themselves

fiend's advice


believe; verily

(see note)


run against their courses

(see note)



to believe

revealed (made known)


suffer them [to] live

(see note)



Apocalypse (biblical book) openly; (see note)

latten (alloy of copper and tin)
last limbs


carry out

walked most tormented
(see note)

loose; captivity

(see note)


either; [Apocalypse 13:16]
Others who will not follow his counsel; (t-note)

learned and uneducated

(see note)




Many a one
believe in

receive; shall [the] Jews at once

(see note)


(see note); (t-note)





with their Christ (Antichrist)



[wage] war always

(see note)



In the meantime

(see note)


(see note)

As the prophets shall make known to them; (t-note)
through common agreement

(see note)

hair(shirts) and sackcloth

those; (t-note)

cause to be taken; (i.e., Enoch and Elijah)
put them; death

(see note)

rise up
you are past all manner [of] loathed [thing]








(see note)

(see note)

(see note)
(see note)
But however it is (comes to pass)

shall not be over right away
(see note)



belief; (t-note)

know that secret

desires (wills)

[It] falls not to you to know; secret

much [time]
desire to learn

always think; (t-note)

(see note)

sounds always; (t-note)


Near the day of doom [that] shall happen








Hebrew books as it says

even (in order)
enumerate; (see note)


its place

it [the sea]
level; (see note)

(see note)

sea; burn



so to say

(see note)


happen; (see note)

where; (t-note)

(see note)




exposed; (see note)


[is] wrought (created)



teaches us



reeking (smoking)


(see note)


(see note)

(see note)

(see note)



wholly (in one piece)

judgment as judge





The tortures of hell

every single bit


(see note)



(see note)

(see note)


as man

(see note)




by chance of nature therefore
restore; (see note)
that should belong

await; (see note)


sound; trumpet

attend (honor)

[at] that time

may; thence escape
They would rather



at once


[Not in Job]

judge; judgment


[Not in Job; see note]; (see note)

judge of humankind

suddenly he shall show himself







call; (t-note)

center (navel); (see note)


[the] reason why

(see note)

in memorial

(swaddling) cloth
ass; (see note); (t-note)








[The] good (people)

[cause of] great fear




(see note)

sign seeming

With which Jews him to the cross secured; (see note)

(see note)


Who to their destruction shall be [put] then

(see note)

As it happens; (see note); (t-note)

suffered there

[see] here
[The] one who

sides; pierced
perpetually; (see note)
(see note)
Great shame

Who for him did nothing [good]

And not only those who do no good

often put on the cross (crucify again)
By [doing] that they are




(see note)




Who will be
Since; (t-note)

ought [to] be [to the] sinful then

(see note)



They (those ones)

(see note)



Wrothful and stern with full fierce cheer
deal with


they [know] not whither

them cover nor hide

(see note)


[Inward awareness of right and wrong]

know about



against; (see note)



commentary (gloss)

[To] conscience

(see note)



they enticed them to
disclose the truth


say [to]; 'they would not do it . . .'

Saracens and pagans


In comparison to
ten commandments; (see note)


tortured and slew them



at once



For lacking his


[the] poor shall complain


rust; moldy



at once


(see note)




[a] cross that looks like a man; (see note)






(see note)

hair; their

[did] not please God

[not traced]

[were] capable [of] understanding



reasoned judgments shall be presented

at once



[not traced]
in [the] sight [of] justice
in [the] hearer's eye



are obliged

And he gave her his reign to keep
if she then kept herself badly; (see note)

more recklessly; supervised
(see note)



ill (badly)
rebuked for good reason

(see note)


deadly struggle


(see note)

fully whole men

learning know
Speak of

that fell to him to give succor


would not; nor teach



Because [of] whose fault





love [of]

are required (obliged)




capable according to its power

that are bound to do so


know; (see note)


what you


that it [the soul] bore



various wrongfully held goods


deny; (see note)
blessed; (see note)

also blessed; (t-note)

whether [they] be; (see note)
all shall

according to what
Some shall [be] judged

familiar (on close terms); (see note)



be allotted to


those whom God sees loyal



ten commandments

dwell there always
saracens [and] pagans


That evil appeared

(see note)
(see note)





wailing (yowling)


marring and of murkiness

in this way



according to

As [a] shepherd does [the] sheep; goats







bestead (placed)

whenever you wrought
[At] the same time you did anything


harsh expression


places harbor



To the least of mine [who are] known


To those who did [the deeds]
harm; reproof

Why had not God

quickly; (t-note)


each one




So quickly shall be concluded and at once






(see note)

Compared to

destroy them (the sins) at once

before he departs

(see note)
glory; (t-note)


each one; (t-note)

Seven times brighter

also; moon

For then; as a certainty
(see note)

each one

abide always


(see note)



Go To Part 6 The Pains of Hell