MARY MEDIATRIX: FOOTNOTES1 Lines 3-4: Receive (accept) your Godric, shield him, help him,/Received, bring him solemnly with you into God's kingdom
2 Wherever I am on earth, that he never fail me
3 Unless I shall have help from you, I have no other
4 That I never for fiend's sake forgo your true light
5 Lines 21-24: Bright and radiant queen of heaven, I bid your mercy [for my] sins. / The sins that I have known, I regret them sorely; / I have often forsaken you; I will never do so again, / Lady, for your sake, true fiends forsake
6 Lines 27-28: Wherever on earth I may be before I go on / That I might dwell eternally in Paradise
7 Lines 31-32: That I have no fiend to fear at my ending-day. / Jesus, with your sweet blood you bought me full dearly
8 Lines 33-36: Jesus, Saint Mary's son, you hear your mother's prayer. / I dare not call on you; to her I make my plea; / For her sake, make me so pure / So that I am not exiled from your sight at Judgment Day
9 Bright and shining star clear, illuminate and teach me
10 All are sinful who are made of flesh and skin
MARY MEDIATRIX: NOTES§54
I pray thee, lady, the moder of Crist. Index no. 1340. MS: Bodl. 11755 (Rawlinson B.408), fol. 6a (c. 1450). Editions: Andrew Clark, The English Register of Godstow Nunnery, EETS o.s. 129 (London: Kegan Paul, 1905), p. 11; Patterson, no. 19; B15, no. 43.
3 John Baptist. John the Baptist, a cousin of Jesus (see Luke 1:39-56), is the prophet who foretells Christ's coming (Matthew 3:11-12; Luke 3:15-18; Mark 1:7-8).
6 participacioun. Augustine argued that while humankind does not have the capacity to know God, in grace and moments of faith, or what he termed "divine illumination," they can participate in God's presence. On this process, see Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, Book III.
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis / O moder mylde, mayde undefylde. By James Ryman. Index no. 2527, O moder mylde mayde undefylde. MS: Cambridge University Ee.1.12, fol. 5a (1492). Editions: Zupitza, Archiv 89 (1892), 327, notes Archiv 97(1896), 143-44; EEC, no. 220; Stevick, no. 90.
This piece appears with six others (see next item) employing the Ora pro nobis refrain; Ryman's experiments with the form involve repetition and variation of the phrases in this one.
4 hys. Those Christ has chosen - the elect.
7 trace. A theological term indicative of the idea of the creator marked in the effects of his creation. St. Bonaventure, for example, in the second chapter of The Mind's Road to God, explores "the reflection of God in His traces in the sensible world." God is contemplated in the "mirror of sensible things . . . not only through them, as by His traces, but also in them, in so far as He is in them by essence, potency, and presence" (trans. George Boas [Indianapolis: The Liberal Arts Library Press, 1953], pp. 14-21).
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis / O tryclyn of the Trinité. By James Ryman. Index no. 2575. MS: Cambridge University Ee.1.12, fol. 6a (c. 1492). Editions: Zupitza, Archiv 89 (1892), 329-30, notes Archiv 97 (1896), 145; EEC, no. 224.
2 tryclyn. According to the OED, a triclinium is "a dining-room with three couches" or "a couch, running round three sides of a table, on which to recline at meals; a table-couch." The image, then, is an elaboration on the image of Mary as "chamber of the Trinity."
10 emperesse of helle. An epithet from the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Prymer: "Marie queene of hevene; lady of the word: empresse of helle" (Maskell, 2:78). The implication is that Mary is beyond the power of Satan and his hordes. Her dominion exceeds theirs, which makes her intercession all the more potent. Compare §43, line 294; §69, line 2, and §85, line 20.
15 chast bowre. Mary's womb. Compare §11, lines 5 and 53; §13, line 10; and §49, line 2.
Sainte Marie, virgine. Attributed to St. Godric. Index no. 2988. MS: BL Royal 5.F.7, fol. 85a (with music) (=A; early fourteenth century). The poem is found in several other MSS: Bodl. 970 (Laud Misc. 413), fol. 39b (=B; first stanza only, early thirteenth century); BL Harley 153, fol. 26a (=C; late sixteenth century); Cambridge University Mm.4.28, fol. 149a (=D; c. 1200); BL Harley 322, fol. 74b (=E); Bodl. 21781 (Douce 207), fol. 125b (=F; c. 1300); BL Cotton Otho B.5, Part 2, fol. 32b (=G; mid-fourteenth century); Corpus Christi College Cambridge 26, p. 259 (=H; thirteenth century); BL Cotton Nero D.5, fol. 150b (=I; thirteenth century); BL Harley 1620, fol. 172a (=J); Lambeth 51, cap. cliiii (=K; early thirteenth century); and Bodl. 3886 (Fairfax 6), fol. 185 (=L; fourteenth century); Paris Bibliothèque Mazarine 1716, fol. 207b (=M, late thirteenth century). Editions: MSS A-L and composite text: Zupitza, "Cantus Beati Godrici," Englische Studien 11 (1888), 415-21. Editions of Royal 5.F.7: Joseph Ritson, Bibliographia Poetica (London: C. Roworth for G. W. Nicol, 1802), pp. 1-4; J. W. Rankin, "The Hymns of St. Godric," PMLA 38 (1923), 700; Joseph Hall, Selections from Early Middle English Literature, 1130-1250 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1920), 1:5. Editions of Harley 322: Ritson, pp. 1-4. Editions of Bodl. 21781: Joseph Stevenson, Libellus de Vita et Miraculis S. Godrici, Heremitae de Finchale, Surtees Society 20 (London: J. B. Nichols, 1847), 119; R. M. Wilson, The Lost Literature of Medieval England, second ed. (London: Methuen, 1970), pp. 159-60; Henry G. Hewlett, The Flowers of History, by Roger of Wendover, vol. 1, Rolls Series 84 (London: Longman, 1886), 73. Edition of Corpus Christi 26: Davies, no. 1. Edition of Cotton Otho: Hewlett, p. 73. Edition of Cambridge 4.28: Brown, Register 1:199. Composite text: Patterson, no. 58. Edition of Paris: Alexandra Barratt, "The Lyrics of St Godric: A New Manuscript," Notes and Queries 32 (1985), 439-45.
On the textual history of the piece, particularly the garbled transmission of texts through linguistic and orthographical confusion, see Barratt's article, cited above.
1 virgine. F, H, I, J: clane virgine. G: clene virgine.
2 Jhesu. F: Crist.
3 Onfo. C: un fo. E: on fong. M: on sang. Barratt suggests that M has been garbled by "at least one scribe, and possibly also a translator, to whom Middle English was a foreign language" (p. 443).
schild. C: child. F: sciso.
help. Omitted in H, I, J.
Godric. According to the history by Reginald of Durham in which this poem appears, Godric, a hermit who died in 1170, learned this song from the Virgin Mary herself when she appeared to him in a vision. She promised that she would come to him whenever he sang it.
4 heghilich. B: eghhtlech. F, G: heali. H: hoeali. I: hali. J: halili.
with. MS: thith. F, H, I, J: widh. G: thidh. M: piz.
5 Cristes bur. The allusion is to Mary's womb, Christ's dwelling place, his home on earth. M: tristes bur.
5-8 Omitted in B, C, D, E.
6 clenhad. J: cleuad.
7 Dilie. F: Delivere. Rankin bases his gloss, "destroy," on the Latin texts of the poem. The OED gives "blot out, erase." But the MED gives dilie as a form of delen, to separate or divide. Perhaps the sense is "remove"; Godric wants to be emptied of sin, filled with Mary's goodness, so that he might, like her, be a "bower" or vessel for Christ.
rix. F: regne.
8 winne. G: wunne. H, I, J: thinine. F: blisse. Winne is a particularly evocative term since it connotes the heavenly bliss that Godric yearns for, but might also hint at the struggle (OE winn, labor, struggle, contention).
with the selfd God. Literally, "with the very God." G, H, I, J: widh self god. F: wit thiself god. Self(d) is used here as an intensifying pronoun; see MED self, 1.b.
Ave maris stella. Index no. 454. MS: BL Sloane 2593, fol. 27a (c. 1450). Editions: Wright, Songs (Warton Club), pp. 77-78; Fehr, Archiv 109 (1902), 66; CS p. 209; B15, no. 18; Rickert p. 8.
This prayer is inspired by the Latin hymn Ave maris stella (see note to §9), the source of the four titles with which the poet here addresses Mary.
5 Gabriel. See Luke 1:26-38.
5-6 In the MS, these lines precede lines 3-4; the two couplets are marked for transposition.
9 withoutyn dedly synne. See §75, note to line 4.
10 Forty dayis of pardoun. A reference to the Church's practice of granting partial indulgences (remission of sins) for prescribed acts of penance.
Marie moder, wel thee be. Index no. 2119. MS: Bodl. 15834 (Rawlinson liturg. g.2), fols. 4b-6a (late fourteenth century). Editions: B14, no. 122; Stevick, no. 46. The verses occur in the Speculum Christiani (a late-fourteenth-century instructional work, probably by an English Franciscan), which survives in more than thirty MSS, as well as separately in more than fifteen MSS (see Index and Supplement for complete listing). Editions of BL Harley 6580, fol. 35b, Lansdowne 344, fol. 36b, and Lambeth 559, fol. 19a: Gustaf Holmstedt, Speculum Christiani, EETS o.s. 182 (London: Oxford University Press, 1933; rpt. Kraus, 1971), pp. 160-69. Edition of St. Cuthbert's College 28: T. E. Bridgett, Our Lady's Dowry (third ed., London, 1890), p. 34. Edition of Bodl. 6922 (Ashmole 61), fol. 22b (late fifteenth century): Rossell Hope Robbins, "Private Prayers in Middle English Verse," Studies in Philology 36 (1939), 468-69. Edition of Cambridge University Ff.5.48, fols. 74b-75b (a late variant): Wright and Halliwell, 2:212-13. Editions of BL Harley 2382, fol. 86b; Thomas Warton, History of English Poetry, 4 vols. (1774-81; rpt. New York: Johnson Reprint Corp., 1968), 3.153; Patterson, no. 60. Edition of BL Addit. 39574, fol. 58a: Mabel Day, The Wheatley Manuscript, EETS o.s. 155 (London: Oxford University Press, 1921), pp. 74-75. Edition of Chetham Library 8009, fol. 121a: Max Förster, "Kleinere Mittelenglische Texte," Anglia 42 (1918), 172-75.
Patterson comments: "This prayer to Mary shows no influence of the chanson d'amour, but seems rather to belong to the more commonplace poetry that succeeded the chansons in the fifteenth century in France. The stylistic trick of Anaphora [the repetition of initial words], so prominent in this poem, was very popular in French poetry of the time. Though this poem in its general origin owes much to late French poetry, there can be little doubt that in this instance the anaphora has been ultimately influenced chiefly by the Litany, and this fact in turn suggests that perhaps the constant use of the Litany in the Middle Ages has much to do with the widespread popularity of this mannerism" (p. 193).
8 out of dette, for charité. See note to §31, line 20.
31 wrathe. One of the seven deadly sins; or, perhaps, God's wrath. In either case, the speaker is praying for the souls of enemies as well as friends.
46 Schrift and hosel at myn endyng day. I.e., the last rites administered to the dying. Confession and absolution are required before partaking of Holy Communion.
Thou wommon boute vere. Possibly by William Herebert. Index no. 3700. MS: BL Addit. 46919, fols. 206b-07a (early fourteenth century, Southwest Midlands). Editions: Wright and Halliwell, 2:227-28; B14, no. 16; Kaiser, p. 287; LH, no. 184; Davies, no. 28; Helen Gardner, ed., The Faber Book of Religious Verse (London: Faber, 1972), pp. 34-35; Reimer pp. 118-19.
Friar William Herebert's name appears in the margin of this text, and Reimer speculates that the piece may be an original composition. The MS contains many emendations that appear to be authorial. Brown compares the opening stanzas to the hymn Virgo gaude speciosa, for which he prints partial lyrics (B14, p. 248).
7 suster and moder. MS: suster and my moder, with my marked for deletion. The prominent back vowels (sunne for sin, monne for man) are characteristic of the southern dialect.
7-12 These lines appear in the bottom margin, with a line indicating their insertion after line 6.
8 thy sone my brother. MS: thy sone is my brother, with is marked for deletion.
10 Whoso. MS: Who so, with so possibly marked for deletion (one dot under the word; usually there are two).
12 vor to. For to commonly functions as the stem in fourteenth-century infinitive constructions.
18 My robe he haveth opon. Christ's taking of human form makes him representative of and sympathetic to the human condition. Compare Piers Plowman B.18.22-23, in which Christ jousts in Piers' armor: "This Iesus of his gentries wol Iust in Piers armes, / In his helm and in his haubergeon, humana natura" (ed. George Kane and E. Talbot Donaldson [London: Athlone Press, 1975]). Davies, p. 319, notes additional biblical and medieval references to Christ's robe.
23 love the chartre wrot. On the metaphor of Christ's crucified body as a legal charter of salvation, see Mary Carol Spalding, The Middle English Charters of Christ (Bryn Mawr: Bryn Mawr College, 1914). Compare §43, lines 187-99.
24 MS: And the enke orn with And marked for deletion.
32 help at the noede. MS: help me at the noede, with me marked for deletion.
42 In the MS, the word Amen appears at the end of this line; lines 43-48 appear in the bottom margin, marked for insertion.
46 Suster, boe ther. Reimer interprets marks in the MS to indicate a transposition: Ther, Suster, boe.
Suster. The r is written above the line.
Marie, yow quen. Index no. 2125. MS: BL Harley 2316, fol. 26a (late fourteenth century). Editions: Halliwell and Wright, Reliquiae Antiquae, 2:120; Patterson, no. 59.
Patterson notes: "These ejaculatory verses to Mary seem to have been well known. A variant is found as an inlaid stanza to Mary in the Vernon MS. of the long poem on the passion of Jesus, beginning, Swete Jhesu, now wol I synge." Those lines read:
Marie ladi, Mooder briht, —
Thou darst, thou wolt, thou art of miht, —
Myn herte love, my lyf, my liht,
Thou prey for me bothe day & niht.
(Furnivall, EETS o.s. 117, p. 454)
Levedie, ic thonke thee. Index no. 1836. MS: Trinity College Cambridge 323 (B.14.39), fol. 42b (thirteenth century). Editions: B13, no. 27; LH, no. 183; Sisam, Oxford, no. 29; Davies, no. 11.
11 herdie. Sisam emends to erndie, from ME ernden, "to intercede."
16 deyen. MS: dethen. Brown's emendation to suit the rhyme.
Blessed beo thu, lavedi, ful of hovene blisse. Index no. 1407. MS: BL Egerton 613, fol. 2a-b (thirteenth century). Also in BL Harley 2253 (see §64). Editions: Mätzner, p. 54; Böddekker, 457-59; Wright and Halliwell, 1:102-03; Morris, EETS o.s. 49, pp. 195-96; Patterson, no. 65; B13, no. 55.
This follows §83, "Of on that is so fayr," in the same hand.
21 hore. Morris identifies this as a form of or(e) (MED n.2), which means "mercy," "pardon," "forgiveness," "compassion," "pity," "favor," "grace."
27 wende. MS: thende. So emended by all editors.
Blessed be thou, levedy, ful of heovene blisse. Index no. 1407. MS: BL Harley 2253, fol. 81a-b (early fourteenth century). Also in BL Egerton 613 (see §63). Editions: Böddekker, pp. 216-17; Wright, Specimens, pp. 93-94; Brook, no. 26; LH, no. 189.
3 Preyghe. MS: prereyghe. Brook's emendation.
29 of mylse thou art well. Written over erasure.
30 fleysh ant fell. "Flesh and skin." A common phrase in Middle English, meaning "the whole substance of the body" (see OED flesh, sb.I.1.c; and OED fell, sb.1.2: "said of the human skin, rarely of the skin covering an organ of the body").
36 worldes. The first letter is written over erased oþ.
Mary, modur of grace, we cry to thee. Index no. 2114. MS: Gonville and Caius College Cambridge 71/38, fol. 17b (c. 1400). A translation of a prayer which appears in Anselm's Admonitio morienti (PL 158, col. 687), this poem appears in the Fasciculus morum I, ix, "Quibus est humiliandum," in ten MSS. Edition of Caius 71: Rossell Hope Robbins, "Popular Prayers in Middle English Verse," Modern Philology 36 (1939), 345. Edition of Bodl. 12514 (Rawlinson C.670), fol. 15b: Silverstein, no. 52. Edition of Rawlinson C.670: Woolf, p. 120. Edition of Canterbury Cathedral Lit. D.14: Fasciculus morum, pp. 72-73.
3 Put. Wyte in Rawlinson.
7-8 The lines are transposed in Rawlinson.
10 The omission of the subject (here "I") is common in Middle English syntax.
I pray thee, lady, the moder of Crist,
Praieth youre sone me for to spare
With al angels, and John Baptist,
And all youre company that now ys thare.
Al holichurch, for my welfare,
Graunt me of youre merites a participacioun,
And praieth oure Lorde for my salvacyon.
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis.
O moder mylde, mayde undefylde,
Thatte we so wylde be notte begylde
And evere exylde fro Crist and hys,
Ora pro nobis.
O quene of grace most fayre of face,
Of alle solace ledyng the trace,
Of the highe place thatte we nott mys,
Ora pro nobis.
O lady fre of high degré
Thatte we may se thy sone and thee,
And ever to be where alle joy ys,
Ora pro nobis.
Thatte Crist us sende grace to amende
Oure tyme myspende or we hense wende,
And atte oure ende to graunte us blys,
Ora pro nobis.
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis.
O tryclyn of the Trinité,
Replete with alle divinité,
O flowre of alle virginité,
Ora pro nobis.
O blessid quene of heven blys,
Wherof the joye eternalle is,
Of the whiche blis thatte we not mys,
Ora pro nobis.
O emperesse of helle alsoo,
Into thatte place thatt we not goo
Where is derkenes and endles woo,
Ora pro nobis.
O spowsesse of Crist, oure savyowre,
The whiche restyd in thy chast bowre,
Thatte he kepe us fro alle dolowre,
Ora pro nobis.
O sweete lady so meke and mylde,
Unto Jesu, thy blessid chylde,
Fro blysse thatt we be notte exylde,
Ora pro nobis.
Holy moder of Crist Jesu,
Thatte is the Lorde of alle vertu,
Thatte he with grace may us renu,
Ora pro nobis.
Holy virgyn of virgyns alle,
Thatt thy sweete sone Jesus may calle
Us unto hym, bothe grete and smalle,
Ora pro nobis.
Thatte we, which be terrestrialle,
May leve this lyff so bestialle
And come to blysse celestialle,
Ora pro nobis.
Sainte Marie, virgine,
Moder Jhesu Cristes Nazarene,
Onfo, schild, help thin Godric,
Onfang, bring heghilich with thee in Godes riche. 1
Sainte Marie, Cristes bur,
Maidenes clenhad, moderes flur,
Dilie min sinne, rix in min mod,
Bring me to winne with the selfd God.
Ave maris stella, the sterre on the see,
Dei mater alma, blyssid mot ye be,
Atque semper virgo, prey thi sone for me,
Felix celi porta, that I may come to thee.
Gabriel, that archangyl, he was massanger,
So fayre he gret our lady with an Ave so cler.
Heyl be thu, Mary, be thu, Mary,
Ful of Godis grace and qwyn of mercy.
Alle that arn to grete withoutyn dedly synne
Forty dayis of pardoun God grauntyt hym.
Marie moder, wel thee be,
Marie mayde, thenk on me.
Moder and made was never non
Togeder, ladi, bote thou alon.
Marie moder, mayde clene,
Schilde me fro sorwe and tene;
Marie, out of synne help thu me,
And out of dette, for charité.
Marie, for thine joies five,
Help me to leve in clene live,
For the teres thou lete under the rode,
Sende me grace of lives fode,
Wherwith I may me clothe and fede
And in treuthe mi liif lede.
Help me, ladi, and alle myne,
And schilde us alle fro helle pyne.
Schilde me, ladi, fro velanye,
And fro alle wikkede companye;
Schilde me, ladi, fro widded schame
And fram alle widdede fame.
Swete ladi, thou me were
That the fend noughth me dere
Bothe bi day and bi nyghth,
Help me, ladi, with thi righth.
For myne frendes I bidde thee,
That high mote amended be,
Bothe to soule and to lyve,
Marie, for thyne joies fyve.
For myne fomen I bidde also
That they mote heer so do,
That they in wrathe hy ne deye,
Swete lady, ich thee preye.
Hy that ben in goode lyve,
Marie, for thine joies fyve;
Swete ladi, therinne hem holde
Bothe the yonge and the olde.
And that ben in dedlich synne,
Ne lete hem nevere deie therinne
Marie, for thine joies alle,
Lete hem nevere in helle falle.
Swete ladi, thou hem rede,
That thei amendi of here misdede;
Bysek thi sone, hevene kyng,
That he me graunte good endyng,
And sende me, as he wel may,
Schrift and hosel at myn endyng day,
And that we mote thider wende
Ther joie is withouten ende.
Thou wommon boute vere
Thyn oune vader bere.
Gret wonder thys was,
That on wommon was moder
To vader and hyre brother:
So never other nas.
Thou my suster and moder
And thy sone my brother:
Who shulde thoenne drede?
Whoso havet the kyng to broder
And ek the quene to moder
Wel auhte vor to spede.
Dame, suster and moder,
Say thy sone my brother
That ys domes mon
That vor thee that hym bere
To me boe debonere;
My robe he haveth opon.
Soeththe he my robe tok
Also ich finde in bok
He ys to me ybounde;
And helpe he wole, ich wot,
Vor love the chartre wrot,
The enke orn of hys wounde.
Ich take to wytnessinge
The spere and the crounynge,
The nayles and the rode,
That he that ys so cunde
Thys ever haveth in munde
That bouhte ous wyth hys blode.
When thou geve hym my wede,
Dame, help at the noede:
Ich wot thou myth vol wel
That vor no wreched gult
Ich boe to helle ypult;
To thee ich make apel.
Nou, dame, ich thee byseche
At thylke day of wreche
Boe by thy sones trone
When sunne shal boen souht —
In werk, in word, in thouht —
And spek vor me, thou one.
When ich mot nede apere,
Vor mine gultes here,
Tovore the domesmon,
Suster, boe ther my vere
And make hym debonere
That mi robe haveth opon.
Vor habbe ich thee and hym
That markes berth wyth hym,
That charité him tok,
The woundes al blody,
The toknes of mercy
Ase techeth holy bok.
Tharf me nothing drede;
Sathan shal nout spede
Wyth wrenches ne wyth crok.
Marie, yow quen, yow moder, yow mayden briht,
Yow wilt, yow canst, yow art of miht:
Yow lyf, yow love, yow hope of blisse,
In sinne, in sorwe, in nede, us wisse.
Levedie, ic thonke thee
Wid herte suithe milde,
That gohid that thu havest idon me
Wid thine suete childe.
Thu ard god and sute and brit,
Of alle otheir icorinne;
Of thee was that suete wight
That was Jesus iboren.
Maide milde, biddi thee
Wid thine suete childe
That thu herdie me
To habben Godis milce.
Moder, loke one me
Wid thine suete eyen;
Reste and blisse gef thu me,
Mi levedi, then ic deyen.
§63 (Egerton MS)
Blessed beo thu, lavedi, ful of hovene blisse,
Swete flur of parais, moder of mildernisse.
Thu praie Jesu Crist thi sone, that he me iwisse
Ware alond al swo ihc beo, that he me ne imisse. 2
Of thee, faire lavedi, min oreisun ich wile biginnen,
Thi deore swete sunnes love thu lere me to winnen.
Wel ofte ich sike and sorwe make, ne mai ich nevere blinnen,
Bote thu, thruh thin milde mod, bringe me out of sunne.
Ofte ihc seke merci, thin swete name ich calle,
Mi flehs is foul, this world is fals; thu loke that ich ne falle.
Lavedi freo, thu schild me fram the pine of helle,
And send me into that blisse that tunge ne mai tellen.
Mine werkes, lavedi, heo makieth me ful won;
Wel ofte ich clepie and calle, thu iher me forthan
Bote ic chabbe the help of thee, other I ne kan, 3
Hel thu me ful wel thu mist; thu helpest mani a man.
Iblessed beo thu, lavedi, so fair and so briht,
Al min hope is uppon thee, bi dai and bi nicht.
Helpe thruh thin milde mod, for wel thu mist,
That ich nevere for feondes sake furgo thin eche liht. 4
Briht and scene quen of hovene, ich bidde thin sunnes hore.
The sunnes that ich habbe icun, heo rewweth me ful sore;
Wel ofte ich chabbe thee fursaken; wilich never eft more,
Lavedi for thine sake, treuwen feondes lore, 5
Iblessed beo thu, lavedi so feir and so hende:
Thu praie Jesu Crist thi sone, that he me isende,
Whare alond alswo ich beo er ich honne wende
That ich mote in parais wonien withuten ende. 6
Bricht and scene quen of storre, so me liht and lere,
In this false fikele world so me led and steore,
That ich at min ende-dai ne habbe non feond to fere.
Jesu, mit ti swete blod thu bohtest me ful deore. 7
Jesu, Seinte Marie sone, thu iher thin moder bone.
To thee ne dar I clepien noht; to hire ich make min mone;
Thu do that ich, for hire sake, boe imaked so clene
That ich noht at dai of dome beo flemed of thin exsene. 8
§64 (MS Harley 2253)
Blessed be thou, levedy, ful of heovene blisse,
Suete flur of parays, moder of mildenesse,
Preyghe Jesu thy sone that he me rede ant wysse
So my wey forte gon that he me never misse.
Of thee, suete levedy, my song y wile byginne:
Thy deore suete sones love thou lere me to wynne;
Ofte y syke ant serewe among, may y never blynne
Levedi, for thi milde mod, thou shilde me from synne.
Myne thohtes, levedy, maketh me ful wan,
To thee y crie ant calle, thou here me for thi man
Help me, hevene quene, for thyn ever ycham;
Wisse me to thi deore sone; the weies y ne can.
Levedy, Seinte Marie, for thi milde mod
Soffre never that y ben so wilde ne so wod
That ich her forleose thee that art so god
That Jesu me to bohte with is suete blod.
Bryhte ant shene sterre cler, lyht thou me ant lere 9
In this false, fykel world myselve so to bere
That y ner at myn endyng have the feond to fere;
Jesu, mid thi suete blod thou bohtest me so dere.
Levedi, Seinte Marie, so fair ant so briht,
Al myn help is on the bi day ant by nyht;
Levedi fre, thou shilde me so wel as thou myht,
That y never forleose heveriche lyht.
Levedy, seinte Marie, so fayr ant so hende,
Preye Jesu Crist, thi sone, that he me grace sende
So to queme him ant thee er ich henne wende
That he me bringe to the blis that is withouten ende.
Ofte y crie "Merci": of mylse thou art well;
Alle buen false that bueth mad bothe of fleysh ant fell; 10
Levedi suete, thou us shild from the pine of helle,
Bring us to the joie that no tonge hit may of telle.
Jesu Crist, Godes Sone, Fader ant Holy Gost,
Help us at oure nede as thou hit al wel wost;
Bring us to thin riche, ther is joie most;
Let us never hit misse for non worldes bost.
Mary, modur of grace, we cry to thee,
Moder of mercy and of pyté,
Put us fro the fendes fondying,
And help us at oure last endying,
And to thi sone oure pes thou make,
That he of us no wreke take.
To yow I cri wyth mylde steven,
All the halowes that are in heven
Helpe that Criste my gylth forgyve,
And will hym serve will I lyve.
Ask; to spare me
(i.e., in heaven)
Saint Mary, pray for us
wayward be not misled
exiled; his [elect]; (see note)
Pray for us
comfort excelling; pattern; (see note)
So that we do not miss the high place
noble of high degree
misspent before we go hence (die)
Holy Mary, pray for us
triclinium; (see note)
Pray for us
which (heaven's); miss
Who rested; chaste bower; (see note)
from all sorrow
From; not exiled
Receive, shield; (see note)
bower; (see note)
Maiden of maidens, flower of mothers; (see note)
Deliver [me from] my sin; reign in my heart; (see note)
bliss; God himself; (see note)
Hail sea star (Mary Star); sea
Beloved mother of God, blessed are you
And ever virgin; beseech
Joyful gate of heaven
messenger; (see note)
greeted; clear (pure)
who pray to you without deadly sin; (see note)
them; (see note)
No one was ever mother and virgin
Shield; from sorrow; suffering
debt; (see note)
live; pure life
tears; shed; cross
shield; hell's pain
fiend does not harm me
I pray to you for my friends
in soul and in living
might so do here
do not die in wrath; (see note)
I [to] you
They who live virtuously
they who are in deadly sin
Do not let them die therein
them; fall into hell
they amend their wrongdoing
grant to me
Confession; Holy Communion; (see note)
might go there
own father bore
was never any other
has; as/for brother; (see note)
ought to prosper; (see note)
Who is judge
for you who
i.e., God wears man's flesh; (see note)
As I; book (Bible)
wrote; (see note)
ink flowed from; (see note)
clothing/garment (the flesh)
[time of] need; (see note)
know; might full well
be dragged into hell
you alone intercede for me; (see note)
must needs appear
Before the judge
companion; (see note)
him (Jesus the judge)
Suffer me; to fear
By hook or by crook
You will, you can, you are able
You [are] life; you [are]
sorrow; guide us
Lady, I thank you
With; so very mild
[For] that good; done
With your beloved
You are good; delightful; bright
From you; sweet one
I pray you
shelter; (see note)
have God's mercy
look upon me
beloved (gracious) eyes
Give me rest and joy
when I die; (see note)
pray [to]; know
orison (prayer) I will
dear; son's; teach; enjoy
Unless you; sin
free (noble); shield; from; pain
tongue may not tell
deeds; they make me full wan
I address; hear; then
You may lead me full well
by day and by night
beautiful; illuminate; teach
fickle; lead; guide
hear; mother's prayer
Pray; guide; teach; (see note)
sigh and grieve; stop
I am ever yours
Guide; ways I do not know
Suffer (Permit); I be; wild nor so mad
I here forfeit you; good
bought; his sweet blood
fickle; bear (conduct)
never; fiend; fear
free (noble); shield
forfeit heavenly light
serve (please); go hence
Often I cry; mercy; [the] well; (see note)
all know best
not miss; any wordly boast; (see note)
mother; to you
Keep us from the fiend's temptation; (see note)
So that he takes no vengeance on us
humble voice; (see note)
while; (see note)
Go to Pentitential Poems