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Longer South English Legendary Life of St. Frideswide


1 Her teacher was called Ailgive, who was a very good woman

2 Before this child was fully grown, her mother departed from this life

3 Lines 24-25: And abandoned her inheritance and all worldly business, / And afterward in this church, in order to please our Lord

4 More good deeds than she did, men knew no woman to do

5 Lines 40-42: " . . . The prints (steps) here of my feet that you have desired for a long time." / Now, do you not hear how slyly the villain (rascal/devil) knew how to contrive [a lie]? / Now may miserable luck fall on his head and on the company [of devils] behind [him]!

6 Lines 45-46:"Wretch," she said, "how dare you thus to promise other people / Something that you cannot reach yourself at all? . . . "

7 Lines 47-50: " . . . But you lost that through your sinful pride, / And I and everyone else would still be with you, / Sinful woman as I am, had not our Lord redeemed us, / To whom you [dare to] compare yourself! But you lie - you are no such thing"

8 Lines: 53-54: Let everyone say, "Now to hell with him, amen, / And may he never come in good circumstances into either church or hall!"

9 Lines 59-60: And lie with her carnally and take away from her also / Her nun's habit that she had solemnly received

10 I am betrothed to the King of Heaven. I will not violate my religious allegiance

11 Lines 69-72: With force they wanted to seize her then, and take [her] to the king, / But they were all suddenly blinded, right then and there. / Then might they be somewhat tamed and leave their violence; / They wished then they hadn't come there, despite all their proud appearance

12 Lines 77-78: Then they went back soon and reported before the king / How their sight was taken away because of their deed(s)

13 The king behaved as if he were mad, and swore a very great oath

14 Lines 81-85: "Since she has thus rejected me, I will commit a [sexual] wrong against her; / And when I have done all the lechery I desire with her, / I will give her to whoever wants her - [to] flagrant and bold lechers, / [So] that when she leaves me, she will be [a] common whore!" / He leaped upon his palfrey and took the way forward

15 Lines 97-98: He could seek for a very long time, but he was always at a disadvantage! / And he was exceedingly angry, because he didn't know where to find her

16 Wherever he went, he could say, "Watch out, here comes the blind [man]!"

17 And, since his eyes were lost in this way on account of his wrongdoing

18 Afterward toward Oxford she took the path homeward

19 And entreated Saint Frideswide that she should advise them about it

20 Lines 123-24: Then sprang up a very beautiful spring, very clear and pure, / That provided them all sufficient water [so] that they dared not complain

21 To his hands, so that he couldn't throw it away whatever he did

22 Among those who work on Sunday, too few are treated in this way!

23 That people of Oxford soon in great numbers came to meet her

24 This leper called out incressantly and cried for mercy and help

25 It seems to me that the virgin committed no sin, even though she was in a religious order

26 On St. Luke's Day, the Saturday, she had a grave (pit) made

27 And died at the exact time that the angel had told her before

28 And buried in the same place that she had chosen previously

29 Where there has often been great healing (deliverance) for love of her


3 Aboute seve hondred yer and sevene and twenti. This dating of her birth follows Latin Life B, but is presumably an error. Latin Life A actually gives 727 as the year of Frideswide's death, and most authorities accept this tradition.

6 Didan . . . Saffride. On the names, see explanatory and textual notes to line 3 of the shorter account. As Thompson points out, the version being edited here does not identify Frideswide's father as a king, but only as "Sire Didan" (21), a prosperous Christian gentleman who may be intended as a good example for fathers in general.

12-15 This account departs from both Latin Lives A and B, as well as from the shorter SEL account, by omitting the details about Frideswide's learning the Psalms and about the austerities of her daily life. In place of those monastic virtues, Frideswide is here credited with having exerted a holy influence on her father by persuading him to remain celibate after his wife's death (a decision not mentioned at all in the other accounts) and to devote much of the family inheritance to building a religious institution (a decision usually attributed elsewhere to his own initiative).

16 an chirche. See explanatory note to line 14 of the shorter account.

16-18 These lines can be read as saying either that the institution founded by Frideswide's father had a single church with a threefold dedication to the Virgin Mary, the Trinity, and All Saints, or that it had two or three separate churches with their own dedications. Blair claims that there were precedents for both patterns.

20 blake canouns. St. Frideswide's monastery was refounded in the early twelfth century as a house of Augustinian (or Austin) canons.

22 He feffede is doughter therwith. That is, he presented her with the lands that provided an annual income for the monastery. Latin Life A provides a little detail on these lands, quoted above in explanatory note to line 14 of the shorter account.

31-54 On the conventional aspects of this story, see explanatory note to lines 23-36 of the shorter account. The present account follows its source, Latin Life B, in giving an unusually extended and dramatic version of the debate between the saint and the devil. But it also adds some colorful touches of its own to the story - including the rhetorical question to the audience in line 41 and the curses on the devil in lines 42 and 53-54. This kind of exuberant story-telling, which invites listeners in effect to hiss the villains and cheer for the heroes, seems to have been a common feature in medieval popular literature. There are a number of additional examples in this text (see below, lines 71-72, 105-06, 136, 154, 174, and their notes) and more in some versions of the stanzaic Life of Margaret (see the explanatory notes to that text, lines 75, 243, 263, and 271-72).

41 the screwe. The noun shrew was used in Middle English to refer to a wide range of evil or injurious creatures and things, including devils, malignant planets, vices, and bad ideas, as well as wicked or troublesome human beings of either sex. According to the OED, it was not until the seventeenth century that the word came to be associated primarily with scolding women.

56 To the kyng he wende of Englond. By establishing this connection between the first two episodes in the legend, the longer SEL account makes it impossible to mistake the king for an ordinary suitor with whom a lay listener might sympathize. His desire for Frideswide is instigated by the devil, and what he has in mind is defined from the start not as marriage (as seems to be the case in the shorter account), but as the violation of the holy virgin. On the possible identity of this king, who cannot be the ruler of England as a whole, see explanatory note to line 39 of the shorter account.

63-78 For the conventions being used in this episode, see notes to lines 41-56 of the shorter account.

71-72 Like the curses against the devil earlier in this text, these lines seem designed to encourage a listening audience to participate emotionally in the narrative, deriving satisfaction from the villains' punishment and the lesson they were forced to learn.

87-90 In this text, as Thompson has noted, there is no angelic warning and no angelic boatman. Frideswide still escapes by the grace of God, but more can be attributed to her own initiative than in the shorter account.

90 Benteme. Also spelled "Bentone" (below in this text, line 109). Another town on the Thames, about 13 miles west of Oxford. The modern English form is "Bampton." Note the geographical difference from the shorter account, which had her supposedly hiding in Binsey woods.

95-108 This part of the narrative is noticeably clearer and more dramatic than in the shorter account. In this text the residents of Oxford either cannot or will not help the king find Frideswide, and he is about to retaliate against the city itself when he is miraculously struck blind. In short, Oxford has become identified with Frideswide. The miraculous punishment of the persecutor (who, unlike his messengers, is never healed) saves both the saint and her city, and no subsequent king dares to challenge her protection.

105-06 The colloquial exclamations in these lines seem to invite the audience to laugh at the sudden reversal of the king's fortunes.

108 Ther ne dar no kyng in Oxenford . . . come. There is at least one historical reference to this superstition: the chronicler Thomas Wykes reports that Edward I refused in 1275 to enter Oxford, although the city was already decorated in his honor and awaiting his arrival, because he was afraid of St. Frideswide's curse (Annales monastici, ed. H. R. Luard, vol. 4, pp. 263-64; cited by Michael Prestwich, Edward I [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997], p. 101).

111-26 This episode, first found in Latin Life B, seems to have served at least two purposes for Robert of Cricklade and the Priory of St. Frideswide in Oxford. As Blair explains, it resolves an obvious geographical error in the earlier Latin life, which had placed Binsey wood in Bampton, by explaining Frideswide's travels to one from the other, and it also serves to buttress the Priory's claim that the chapel and well in Binsey had always belonged to their monastery (pp. 84-85).

112 Bunseie. Binsey is a village less than two miles from Oxford with the remains of what may have been a monastic settlement. Blair suggests that Frideswide's community in Oxford may have used it as a retreat house (pp. 91-92).

117-24 The miracle in which the saint provides water for her complaining followers by appealing to God closely resembles a story in the well-known Life of St. Benedict by Gregory the Great (Gregory's Dialogues, II.5). Gregory's version, in turn, was modelled after the Biblical story in which Moses miraculously produced water from a rock in the wilderness (Exodus 17:1-7, Numbers 20:2-13) when the people of Israel were complaining of thirst.

127-36The miraculous punishment and later healing of the young man who was trying to work on Sunday, in violation of the commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy, is omitted from the shorter SEL account but appears in both Latin Lives of Frideswide. Its inclusion here suggests that the author of the longer SEL account, at least, regarded Sabbath-breaking as a problem that was still current in his own society. Indeed, line 136 places additional emphasis on this problem by inviting the audience to join in the wish that God would intervene more often to punish Sabbath-breakers.

141-53 Like Latin Life B, which it follows, this account gives a much longer and more dramatic narrative about the leper's healing than the version in the shorter SEL account and its source, Latin Life A. Here Frideswide encounters the leper in the context of her festive return to Oxford - a joyous occasion that is discordantly interrupted by his insistent cries for a kiss. The Latin version of this scene places great emphasis on the leper's repulsive appearance, explaining that his repulsiveness allows Frideswide to kiss him without any risk to her vow of chastity. The Middle English text chooses instead to emphasize the great modesty of the virgin saint and the embarrassment she feels at being thus publicly forced to kiss the man and to reveal her saintly power of healing at the same time.

160-64 Being given such advance notice of the date on which she will die places Frideswide in the privileged company of such earlier saints as John the Evangelist, Mary Magdalen, and Benedict. The date of her death, the fourteenth calends of November, falls on October 19.

168-69 Latin Lives A and B both explain that she had her grave prepared ahead of time because she knew she would die on Sunday and did not want anyone to be obliged to work on that day.

170 Our Loverdes flesc and Is blod. Medieval saints' legends rarely miss an opportunity to emphasize the importance of receiving the Eucharist as part of one's preparation for death.

172-76 Being escorted to heaven by a company of holy virgins, headed by two of her greatest predecessors in this vocation, is another privilege which the legend uses to suggest St. Frideswide's stature as a saint. Latin Life B explains the choice of Katherine and Cecilia by calling them "the virgins whom she most venerated"; but this is an obvious anachronism in the case of Katherine, whose cult seems not to have been known at all in England until the eleventh century.

174 ther was a suete sight! Another exclamation that seems intended to encourage the audience to participate vicariously in the narrative.

180-82 The miraculous fragrance is of course another proof of Frideswide's sanctity. A similar phenomenon is reported at the time of Mary Magdalen's death; see the early SEL version of her legend below, lines 618-19 and 638-39, and the explanatory note on the former lines.

183-84 Into hire owe churche . . . that heo wilnede byvore. Like Latin Life B, which it follows, this account says nothing about the translations of Frideswide's relics, the first and most important of which occurred in 1180. Blair uses the omission as evidence that Latin Life B must have been written before that date, since Prior Robert or his successor would certainly have mentioned the translation if it had already taken place.

185-86 Since chanorie in this context probably means a community of canons and priorie means a house of regular canons, governed by a prior, the difference of meaning between these two rhyme words is not easy to see. Presumably one of them is intended to refer to the building or buildings in which the canons live, and the other either to the men themselves or to the form of religious life they are following.


Abbreviations: A = Bodleian Library MS Ashmole 43 (SC 6924), fols. 155v-157v [base text]; B = Bodleian Library MS Bodley 779 (SC 2567), fols. 280v-282r; J = British Library MS Cotton Julius D.9, fols. 273v-275v; P = Magdalene College, Cambridge MS Pepys 2344, pp. 430-34.

9 vif. "Five." In the Southern dialect of the Legendary spirants (f) at the head of morphemes are voiced (v). Thus we find vif for "fif" ("five"); "vol" for "fol" (fully, line 13); "vor" for "for" (lines 25, 36, 67, 75, 78, 81, 107, 129, 134, 138, 141, 142, 146, 151, 187, 188); "vaste" for "fast" and "vasting" for "fasting" (lines 27, 96, 129, 133); "thervore" for "therefore" (line 29); "vair" for "fair" (lines 31, 66, 115, 123, 153, 185); "vorth" for "forth" (lines 35, 39, 148); "vorgeve" for "forgive" (line 74); "vorlore" for "forelore" (lost, lines 47, 78); "verde," "vare" for "fared," "fare" (lines 79, 158); "vorsake" for "forsake" (line 81); "ver" for "far" (line 119); "bivore" for "before" (lines 160, 166, 167, 184); "vel" for "fel" (line 162); and "underveng" for "underfeng" ("received," line 170).

11 Ailgive. Latin Life A gives this name as "Ælfgiva," which sounds like an authentic Anglo-Saxon name, "Ælfgifu"; the later Latin Life simplifies it to "Algiva."

13 that lif. This text preserves some inflected forms of the definite article from Old English - including the neuter form that with the historically neuter nouns lif, "child" (line 14), "maide" (lines 43, 75, 111), "folc" (lines 73, 99, 139, 141, 143), and "hous" (line 181).

43 maide. A: made.

47 Emended from the reading in A, Ac that thou vorlore were. The line is much harder to construe with the inclusion of were, and none of the other MSS has it (B: omits; P: while; and J: wolle.).

84 vorsaketh. A: vorsakth.
A: he.

85 then wei. A more conspicuous relic of Old English grammar than the recurrent use of "that" with neuter nouns (see textual note to line 13). Then, a form of the definite article that preserves the distinctive n of the masculine singular accusative in Old English, is correctly used here to modify wei, a masculine noun that is the direct object of the verb nom. There are several similar examples below in this text: "then wei" (line 111), "then Sonedai" (line 135), "then tyme" (line 137), "then Saterday" (line 168). Further examples occur in the early SEL version of the Mary Magdalen legend; see textual note to line 405 of that text, below.

93 A appears to have another word here, possibly wel.

95 kyng. A: kyn.

105 tame. A: came.

112 Bunseie. "Buneseia" in Latin Life B; "Bunsey," "Benseye," and "Biniseye" in other SEL MSS.

122 hem. Inserted in the margin in A.

123 cler. A: crer.

187 botnynge. Emended from bonynge, the reading in A, on the authority of B, J, and P.






































Seynte Fredeswide was her of Engelonde.
At Oxenford heo was ibore, as ic understonde.
Aboute seve hondred yer and sevene and twenti right
After that God was an erthe in Is moder alight,
This holi womman was ibore - Seynte Fredeswide.
Didan was hire fader name; hire moder het Saffride.
Cristene man hire fader was. This maide of hem tuo,
Seynte Fredeswide, com and hor eir was also.
   Tho this child was vif yer old and somwat more,
Mid an holi womman iset heo was to lore.
Ailgive het hire maistresse, that good womman was inough;1
This yonge child heo teighte wel and to godnesse hire drough.
Ar this child were vol woxe, hire moder let that lif.2
That child bed hire fader yerne that he ne nome no wif,
Ac that he arerde an chirche and in Godes service were.
   This gode mon at Oxenford an chirche let rere
In honor of our Levedi and of the Trinité
And eke of Alle Halwe, as the boc telleth me,
Theras of Seynte Fredeswide an chirche nouthe is
And an hous of religion of blake canouns, iwis.
   Tho this gode mon Sire Didan arered hadde this chirche,
He feffede is doughter therwith, Godes service to wurche.
This maide in this chirche bilevede in Godes service
And bilevede hire eritage and everiche marchaundise,
And seththe in this chirche, our Loverd vor te paie,3
Heo bilevede night and dai after hire fader daie
In vasting and in orsouns and in other godnesse also.
More godnesse then heo dude, me nuste no womman do.4
   Thervore the devel hadde gret envie therto.
He ne mighte wel tholie noght hire godnesse so.
To hire he com in a tyme, in vair abit inou,
With a company of develen that bihynde him drou.
He sede he was Godes sone Jhesus fram Hevene igon
And the develen with him angles were echon.
"My lemman, com vorth," he sede, "com vorth here anon,
Vor tyme it is that thou avonge with virgines mony on
The croune of joie, of blis that ilasteth ever bright,
That thou hast ofserved wel both dai and nyght.
Com vorth and knele adoun, and honoure as ic fare
The stapes here of myne fet that thou iwilned hast yare."
   Ne hure ye hou queynteliche the screwe it couthe bifynde?
Nou luther thrift on is heved and on the companye bihynde!5
   That maide hire bithoghte of this wonder cas;
Hire inwit hire sede sone that it the devel was.
"Wrecche," heo sede, "hou darstou bihote other men so
Thing that thou ne might noght thisulf come to?6
Ac that thou vorlore thoru thi sori prute,
And ic and alle other eke with thee were yute,
Sunvol womman as icham, yif our Loverd ous nadde iboght,
To wan thou evenest thee! Ac thou luxt: thou nart it noght."7
   The devel anon myd this word with wel sori bere
And with strong stench wende awei, and ne com na more there.
"Nou an alle devel wei, amen," seggeth alle,
"And ne come he never in gode stude in chirche ne in halle!"8
   Tho the screwe was overcome, sori he was and wo.
To the kyng he wende of Englond - Kyng Algar that was tho -
And ofte entised him in thoght and in metynge
That he scholde this maide of hire holi lif bringe,
And ligge bi hire flescliche and bynyme hire also
Hire abit of nonne that heo was inome to.9
   Thoru the develes poer the kyng was in such mod
That ar the dede were ido he was wel ny wod.
To Oxenford is messageris he sende, that hi soghte
This maide ware heo were ifounde and sone to him broghte.
   To this maide sone hi come, that ladde so good lif,
And in vaire manere hire bisoghte to be the kynges wif.
"Certes," quath this holi maide, "ye speketh al vor noght!
To the Kyng of Hevene icham ispoused. I ne breke my thoght."10
   Mid strengthe hi wolde hire nyme tho and to the kynge lede,
Ac hi ablende tho anon echon myd the dede.
Tho mighte hi somdel be itemed and bileve hor wildhede;
Hi nolde tho habbe icome ther, vor al hor prute wede!11
   That folc hadde deol of hem, and Seynte Fredeswide bede
Vorgeve hor folie and wissi hem and rede.
That maide bed vor hem anon, so that thoru Is grace
Our Lord hem sende agen anon hor sight in the place.
   Tho wende hi sone agen and tolde the kynge vore
In wuch manere vor hor dede hor sight was vorlore.12
The kyng verde as he were wod, and more oth suor therto13
That heo ne scholde noght ofscapie thoru wicchinge so.
"Vor heo me hath so vorsake, ichulle do bi hire folie;
And wen ichabbe bi hire ido my wille of lecherie,
Ichulle bitake hire hose wole, stronge lechors and store,
That wen heo vorsaketh me, heo schal be comun hore!"
   He lupte up is palefray and vorth then wei nom;14
As a man that were wod, to Oxenford he com.
Ac this holi maide tofore myd two sostren wende
Into Temese in a scip as God the grace sende.
As sone as hi were in this scip, sodeinliche hi were
Under the toun of Benteme - hi nuste hou hi come ther.
Tho wuste wel this holi maide that it was Godes wille
That heo bilevede ther. Heo wende hir up wel stille
And bilevede longe in Godes servise there
Mid hire felawes priveliche, that nonnon also were.
   The kyng com into Oxenford as man that were wod.
He soghte vaste her and ther this maide that was so good.
He mighte seche longe inou, ac ever he was bihinde!
And wroth he was inou, vor he nuste war hire fynde.15
He asked that folc after hire, ac non ne couthe him telle.
He suor bote hi tolde him other, mony mon to quelle,
And throwe al the toun up-to-doun and bringe al to wrechede.
He earnde to the North Gate to bigynne ther this dede.
   Anon he ablende ther, as he bigan this strif,
And bilevede ther the sori wreche, blynd al his lif,
And wende hom tame inou. Is prowesse was bihynde!
He mighte segge war he com, "War, her cometh the blynde!"16
And, vor is eyen were so vor is folie bynome,17
Ther ne dar no kyng in Oxenford yut to this dai come.
   That holi maide at Bentone bilevede in Godes lore.
Heo ne dradde nothing of the kyng, that he wolde hire seche more.
Seththe toward Oxenford then wei hamward heo nom,18
To the toun of Bunseie, as God wold heo com.
Thre yer with hire felawes heo bilevede there,
And to servy Jhesu Crist a chapel heo let rere,
Ther is yut a vair court and a chirche vair and suete,
Arered in honour of hire and of Seynte Margarete.
   As this maide wonede ther in holi lif and clene,
The maidens that with hire were gonne hire ofte bymene
That water was somdel to ver to al hor nede
And cride on Seynte Fredeswide that heo scholde hem therof rede.19
This maide Seinte Fredeswide bed our Lordes sonde
That He water thoru Is grace sende hem ner in londe.
Tho sprong ther up a wel vair welle, cler inou and clene,
That fond hem alle water inough that hi ne dorste noght hem bymene.20
That biside the chirche yut is, a lute in the west side,
That mony mon hath bote ido and that mony mon seche wide.
   A yong mon ther was in a tyme that was in fol thoght,
To wurche in a Soneday, ac he belou it noght.
Vor as he heu with is ax, is ax clevede vaste
To is honden, that vor nothing he ne mighte hire awei caste.21
Ther was sorwe and deol inou among is frend echon,
So that he was sone irad to the holi maide gon.
To hire he com and cride vaste, with is frend mony on;
This maide bad God vor him, and he was dilivered anon.
Ac he was iwar afterward then Sonedai worke to do.
Of hem that wurche Sonedai, to vewe me serveth so!22
   Ate laste this holi maide, tho heo then tyme isei,
Fram Bunseie wende to Oxenford, vor it was somdel nei.
That folc of Oxenford anon wel thicke agen hire drou23
And broghte hire to hire owe chirche with nobleie inou.
   As vor te honoure hire that folc so thicke wende,
Our Lord vor hire love a vair myracle sende.
A mesel com among that folc, swythe grisliche myd alle,
That hadde yare sik ibe and ne mighte no bote valle.
Loude he gradde and ofte inough, "Levedi, bidde ic thee,
Vor the love of Jhesu Crist, have mercy of me
And cus me with thi suete mouth, yif it is thi wille!"
   This maide was sore ofschame and eode evere vorth stille.
This mesel gradde evere on and cride "milce" and "ore,"24
So that this maide him custe and was ofscamed sore.
A suete cos it was to him, vor therwith anon
He bicom hol and sound, and is lymes echon,
And vair man and clene inou was, and of thulke cosse there
Me thencth the maide nadde no sunne, of ordre thei heo were!25
   This maide wende in Oxenford to hire churche sone
And ladde ther holi lif, as heo was iwoned to done.
Seththe tho heo hadde ilyved in holi lif yare,
And oure Loverdes wille was that heo scholde henne vare,
Heo bigon to febli, and an hevenesse hire nom.
And longe bivore hire deth an angel to hire com
And sede that heo deie scholde in the monthe of Octembre,
The fourtethe kalendes as vel of Novembre,
The nyght after Seynte Lukes Day, in an Sonenyght,
And wende after hire holi deth to the joie of Hevene right.
Glad was this maide tho, as heo mighte wel ethe,
That so longe was bivore iwarned of hire dethe.
   So that somdel bivore a fevere hire gan take,
A Seynte Lukes Day, then Saterday, an put heo let make26
Right in hire owe churche, and an sepulcre also.
Our Loverdes flesc and Is blod heo underveng therto.
Tho caste heo up hire eien toward hevene an hei;
The maide Seynte Katerine and Seynte Cecile heo sei
With othere virgines mony on toward hire alight
Fram Hevene wel mildeliche - ther was a suete sight!
This holi maide with hem spac, as hurde mony on,
And sede, "In youre companye ichulle wende anon."
   Heo bed hem alle good day that aboute hire were ther,
And deide right thulke tyme that the angel hire sede er,27
And to the joie of Hevene with this virgines wende.
Aboute hire ther as heo deide, our suete Loverd sende
So gret suotnesse into al that hous that the folc that was there
In so gret joie stode in Parais as thei hi were.
Into hire owe churche this maide was sone ibore
And bured in thulke stude that heo wilnede byvore,28
Theras nou arered is a vair chanorie
And a churche in hire name, and priorie,
Ther hath ibe vor hire love ofte gret botnynge.29
   Nou bidde we God, vor hire love, that He to Hevene ous bringe!
in this country
she; born
directly; (see note)
on; His

father's; was called; (see note)
from the two of them
their heir
When; five; (t-note)
With; placed; for instruction
she taught; drew; (see note)
asked her; eagerly; take
But; should erect; should be
caused to be built; (see note)
also; All Saints
Where; now
religious community; truly; (see note)
When; had built
endowed his; (see note)

remained; father's time
fasting; prayers

enmity toward her
could hardly endure
on one occasion; very fine-looking garb; (see note)
devils; went
devils; angels; all
darling; forth; at once
should receive; many
forever remains bright
deserved; at all times

(see note)

pondered; amazing occurrence; (t-note)
reason told her soon


very sad demeanor
foul stink went; came

When; villain; miserable
went; then; (see note)
tempted (enticed); dream
from her holy life take away

power; such a state of mind
until; done; nearly insane
his messengers; [so] that they; (see note)
they came
a courteous way
Certainly; for nothing

(see note)

The people; pity; asked
[To] forgive; guide; instruct
maiden prayed for; His
restored soon their

escape; witchcraft


beforehand; sisters; (see note)
the Thames; ship

they knew not; (see note)
Then knew
should remain; very quietly
remained; (t-note)
companions; nuns
(see note); (t-note)
eagerly here

the people; none; could
swore unless; otherwise; kill
upside-down; misery
went blind

chastened; fell short; (see note); (t-note)

dares; still; (see note)

seek further
(see note)
willed that she should come; (see note); (t-note)
serve; had built
[Where] there is still; courtyard
dwelled; (see note)
somewhat too far away for

asked; favor
should send; nearby; (t-note)

still; little
healed; from afar
once; foolish intention; (see note)
work; did not rejoice over it
hewed; stuck fast

great lamentation; his friends
advised; to go
cried earnestly
prayed to God
warned [against]

when she saw the opportunity
rather near

great ceremony
in such a crowd; (see note)
pleasing; granted (sent)
leper; very hideous indeed
for a long time; remedy acquire
cried out

ashamed; walked; quietly

kissed; sorely ashamed
all his limbs
with regard to that kiss

accustomed to do
After; for a long time
go hence (die)
grow weak; numbness came over her
(see note)

fourteenth; occurred (fell)
on a Sunday night
with good reason

somewhat before
(see note)
received; (see note)
on high
saw; (see note)
very graciously; sweet; (see note)
spoke; many people heard


(see note)
sweetness (fragrance)
as though they were in Paradise
carried; (see note)

Where; established; community of canons; (see note)
a priory
let us ask