John Mirk, Sermon on St. Margaret
JOHN MIRK, SERMON ON ST. MARGARET: FOOTNOTES
2 thagh . . . hur name, although it is just a minor holiday, except where the church is dedicated to her.
3-4 that he wyl fasten hur evon, that he wishes (or, they wish) to fast on the evening before her feast day.
4-5 ye quyte yow not . . . a masse of hure, you do not behave to her as you should unless you [also] come to church the next day and hear a mass in her honor.
6 cun yow more thank to makyn a masse isayde, offer you more thanks for having a mass said.
8 joyeth, gladdens.
9 sokoreth, helps (succors); scharité, charity.
10 and no forthur, and no one else.
11 I wil schewen in party of hyr lyfe, I will tell a little of her life story.
14 leved on falce goddys and mawmentrye, believed in false gods and idolatry.
16 harde spekon, heard [people] speak.
17-18 thraldam of the fende, slavery to the devil (fiend).
19 harde, heard.
21 have parte of, have anything to do with; lyven in hur maydonhedde, would live in virginity.
23 forsoke hur, disowned her; despysid hur to the utmaste, scorned her entirely.
24 fyftene yere holde, fifteen years old.
26 os scheo satte be the way, as she sat beside the road.
29 gentyl of kynde, of gentle birth.
30 to lemman, as his mistress.
32-33 he made to henggyn hyr up, he ordered [his men] to hang her up.
33-34 rason hyr fayre body wyth euelys, tear her lovely body with hooks (awls).
35 til on the morowgh, until the next day.
37-38 that scheo moste sene . . . enemys ageynus hur, that she might see in bodily form the devil (fiend) that aroused such strong enemies against her.
38 herne, corner.
39 yonyd, opened his mouth wide (yawned).
40 laste doun to hur hele, reached down to her heel(s).
43 standyn in a hurne, alle matyd, standing in a corner, all defeated.
44 styrte, moved quickly.
45 alle hyr mythe, all her power (might).
46 lorne, now, lost, now [that].
48 nogh suche a noghtyng, now such an insignificant person.
49 Herefore where that Margrete is peyntyd oythur corvon, For this reason, wherever Margaret is painted or sculpted (carved).
50-51 be the vertu of the Cros scheo gate the victory of the fende, by the power of the Cross she vanquished the devil.
52 Holde thi janglyng, Stop your noisy chatter.
53 lynage, ancestry.
56 slowen, killed (slew).
57 made to do to deth, caused to be put to death.
58 made many on to slee othyr, caused many a person to kill another; avowtry, adultery.
59 leson here soules, to lose their souls; most levest me is, what pleases me best is.
60 whan he toke hys cristondam, when he received baptism.
60-61 say he was on of, said he was one of.
61 closyd, enclosed; hud, hid.
62 for men sen smok, since people saw smoke.
62-63 thei wendon for to a fowndon, they supposed they had found.
63 dyggon, dug down.
64 brekyn, broke.
65-66 don Cristen men the gref that we connyn and mowne, cause Christian people as much trouble (grief) as we know how and are permitted.
67-68 most synkon, might sink.
68 bodyus, people (bodies).
69 oponyd, opened; swellowod, swallowed.
70 the morowen, the next day.
70-71 for he myght be no way ovrecome hur, since he could not defeat her by any means.
71 made to fyllyn a grete fatte, had a great vessel filled.
73 that fatte moste ben hyr fonte, that vessel might be her baptismal font; lavyr and wassyng, [spiritual] cleansing and washing.
74 fowlowod in the noumbur, baptized into the company.
77 mylk-qwyte colvyr, milk-white dove.
78 brygh, bright; lygh, alighted.
80 turnent, torment.
83 wythoute wommen and chyldren, not counting women and children.
84 made anone to be hedon, caused to be beheaded immediately; fulwode in hur owne blode, baptized in their own blood.
85 yodon, went; commaunded to leden Margrete, ordered that Margaret be led.
87 made a chyrch, built a church.
88 fond any lyght, provided a lamp or set of candles.
89-90 don hem sokur radly, give them help quickly.
91 in travayle of chylde, in the pains of childbirth; muste, might.
92 come to cristyndom, live long enough to be baptized.
93 bone, request (boon).
94 turmentoures smotte hur hed of, executioner(s) struck off her head.
95 thei that stodon abowton seyne, they who stood nearby saw.
96 mylke-qwyte colvyr, milk-white dove; beron, carried.
JOHN MIRK, SERMON ON ST. MARGARET: EXPLANATORY NOTES
60-66 For this tradition about Solomon, see explanatory note to the stanzaic life of Margaret, lines 223-32.
97 etc. Some MSS specify the call to prayer with which the sermon is to end: Now schal ye knele adowne and pray Saynt Margret to kepe you from al myschevys and from the fyndys comburment [enticement to sin] so that ye may lyve and ende that ye may have the blysse that Jhesu boght you to. Amen (quoted from E; H 2403 and H 2417 have comburance in place of comburment, and end there). H 2391 has a different closing formula: Now trewly, frendes, sen it es so that this blessyd saynt, Saynt Margaret, askyd slyke a boon of God, me thynke that everylke Cristyn man and woman sulde have gret devocion to worschyp Saynt Margaret, that thurgh the wylke worschypyng we myght come to that blyse that never schall have end. Amen.
JOHN MIRK, SERMON ON ST. MARGARET: TEXTUAL NOTES
1 Gode men. Some MSS have Good men and women, or no salutation at all.
2 edyfyed. Other MSS have dedicated or deynt instead.
5 schulde. C has the form schuldo, presumably an error for either schulde or schulde do.
30 wolde. C: omits.
31 he wyst. C and most other MSS omit he.
33 Some MSS specify that he hung her up by the hair.
54 and. C: an.
60 he say. C: omits he. A few MSS have the fuller reading yeet he sayd more, which also appears in E's EETS edition.
64 leton. The reading is found in E's EETS edition and most of the MSS. C: beton.
71 C: bydon, which I have emended to byndon on the basis of other MSS' bynd or bonde.
77 pepul. C has the peculiar form pepully, perhaps by contamination from one of the nearby adverbs.
81 cryedon. C: cryened, which is presumably just an error for cryed or cryeden.
84 thei. C: the, an obvious slip.
86 to be beheded. C: to be heded hyre, which looks like a mixture of the idioms "to be beheaded" and "to behead her."
90 graunte. C: graunted, but the syntax obviously demands either an infinitive or present subjunctive.
96 and1. C: an.