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Item 25, The Feasts of All Saints and All Souls


1 Lines 385–87: God sent them goods and great abundance / To use, and they did not choose / Either to give or to lend

2 Lines 417–20: So that for those who no friends have, / This [day] can help, without their asking, / To pardon them from punishment / In order to come to salvation.


Abbreviations: CT: Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales; MED: Middle English Diction­ary;

Title The title in the manuscript, Festum Omnium Sanctorum, is written in Rate’s slight­ly larger display script. The modern title has been chosen as more descrip­tive. The text begins two-thirds down the page of fol. 73r.

12 kalender. The kalendar was included in many service books and lists saints days and other feast days, such as those dedicated to the Virgin Mary and to events in the life of Jesus.

21 A dubull fest. A double or “duplex” feast day took precedence over other feasts that might fall on the same day and had an elaborate liturgy.

37 Panteon. The Pantheon was built c.27 B.C. and rebuilt by the Emperor Hadrian c.125 A.D. after a fire destroyed the original. As its name suggests, the Pantheon was intended as a temple for all the gods, including those celebrated by non-Roman subjects of the empire. Its impressive dome was among the few major Roman monuments to survive the Middle Ages. This was largely due to the fact that it was converted into a Christian church in 609, when the Byzantine Emperor Phocas gave the building to Pope Boniface IV.

42 to have ther cours. A “procedure or practice established by law or custom.” See MED, “cours” n. 11a.

45 forth pope. In fact, Boniface IV was the third pope after Pope Gregory I (St. Gregory or Gregory the Great, one of the doctors of the Church).

74 In the worschyp of Seynt Mary. The church at the Pantheon was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the martyr saints; it retains this function today.

106 At evensong, matyns, ourys, and messe. These are some of the various church offices performed throughout the day; on certain feast days such as All Saints Day, the devout would attend more than one service.

129 In a hous of relygeon. In some versions of the legend, the holy man is a canon of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome.

203 so neyghe above. Presumably the line should read so neyghe the trone, thus preserv­ing the rhyme; Horstmann’s reading, a bone, makes little sense.

233 Now pray I God. As Blanchfield suggests, lines 233–38 seem to be a clear exam­ple of Rate’s habit of mistaken anticipation: the angel dismisses the monk with his instructions, only to announce rather suddenly in lines 239–40 that the vision is not yet over (“Idiosyncratic Scribe,” pp. 95–96).

251 In the water som were ine. The following lines, describing sinners standing in various depths of water, are taken directly from the popular vision of St. Paul which circulated in Latin, French, and Middle English versions; see Saint Paul’s Visions of the Pains of Hell (in Horstmann, Minor Poems, pp. 251–60). There, however, these punishments appear in hell, not purgatory.

269 Bryght and suete of savour. The description of beds and seats as sweet-smelling may seem odd, suggesting that several lines mentioning other traditional de­lights of heaven (flowers, clear springs, etc.) may have been lost here. But the sanctity of heaven is often presented in terms of floral scent, especially in saints’ lives. Compare the odor of roses and lilies in Chaucer’s Second Nun’s Tale, CT VIII(G) 246–52, with its allusion to 2 Corinthians 2:14–16 on the good odor of Christ, figured there as the odor of roses and lilies that permeates heaven.

319 seys the letter. This is an emendation; the manuscript reading is never the late, which makes little sense and renders the rhyme defective.

320 Seys he passyd fyre and water. This refers to Psalm 65(66):12, a crucial line for the medieval theologians who sought biblical support for the doctrine of purgatory.

321 Lord and thi wyll. It is not clear whether these two lines are meant to be a further quotation of one of the many pleas for mercy from David’s Psalms, or the inter­jection of the narrator.

382 hemselve wold not ken. For this sense of “ken” as “commend” or “recommend,” see MED, “kennen” v.1, 6b.

434 The fyrst at matens. Matins were performed in the early hours of the morning, before dawn.

491 A comforth us. This use of “a” for the pronoun “he” is extremely unusual for Rate’s scribal dialect but is commonly used in various Middle English dialects in instances when the pronoun appears in unstressed positions.

505 He schewyd to hym. Pope Boniface interrogates the monk about his vision, but this is not necessarily an expression of doubt. The pope is simply following an estab­lished set of criteria to determine whether the vision has been divinely inspir­ed or is the work of evil spirits, who could also create dream visions. Macrobius’s Dream of Scipio was the most influential account of dreams in the Mid­dle Ages, though other, competing sets of distinctions existed as well; see, for example, Chaucer’s House of Fame, book 1, lines 1–52.

600a AMEN. The colophon is followed by drawings of a grinning fish and an eight-petaled flower, which separate this text from the following one, The King and His Four Daughters.


Abbreviations: see Explanatory Notes

1 MS: Initial J is four lines tall.

17 Ne be wryten. MS: Ne wryten.

44 Bonyfase. MS: Bonyfe.

45 forth. MS: fort.

77 vergynes. MS: vergnynes.

80 The fyrst. MS: T fyst.

82 All Hallow Dey. MS: Hall Hallow Dey.

95 Fro any. MS: Fore any.

115 MS: Initial C is two lines tall.

141 blyssfull. MS: blistfull.

145 hyr. MS: hys.

148 saluted. MS: salute.

206 doyth. MS: doyt.

222 fynde. MS: fyne.

253 Turmentyd. MS: Turment.

266 Setys. MS: Sytes.

319 seys the letter. MS: never the late.

327 had not fullfylled. MS: had fullfylled.

340 be for saules . MS: be sales.

344 jugement of Owre Lord. MS: jugement Owre Lord.

356 Joy and blys. MS: Joy and joy and blys.

360 wey . MS: dey.

365 saw men in fyre . MS: saw in fyre.

381 Thei be . MS: The be.

384 Therfor . MS: Thefor.

387 to gyff nether. MS: to to gyff never.

417 they that no frendys have. MS: they no frendys have.

426 When fro the body. MS: When the body.

428 hem. MS: hym.

450 sette. MS: feste.

453 solempne. MS: solenpne.

490 spak. MS: spap.

500 now. MS: no.

504 MS: he schewyd appears in the margin as a catchphrase.

509 And after. MS: An anter.

539 be. MS: he.

542 toke to my. MS: toke my.

546 hys. MS: hyll.

561 Thei. MS: The.




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Festum Omnium Sanctorum
Jhesu Cryst of myghtys most,
Fader, Sone, and Holy Gost,
Be at our begynneng,
And save mans kynd fro spyllyng.
And gyfe us grace after to fynde,
Holy Chyrch to have in mynde,
And do therafter and to wyrche
As teches us Holy Chyrch.

Feyr it is on to se
Of holy seyntys that have be,
And have ther festys in the yere
As is wryten in kalender.
Som be halowyd and are sought
And sum also be halowyd nought.
Many thousandys, as I fynd,
In kalender have no mynd,
Ne be wryten hye ne low i.e.,
Ther holy deys for to know.
Oute-take one thei knaw all:
All Halow Dey that men call,
A dubull fest and ever schall be
Thorowout all Chrystyanté.
Wele aught we halow this fest deye
Of All Seyntys that lastys aye.
In heven thei be befor Jhesus,
And as we do, thei pray for us.
Lystins now, for Godys grace,
How this feste com into place,
How it is fond, on what maner,
And dubull holy among us here.

In Rome, that holy cyté, som tymes
Was a temple of Saryzens,
Of pagaynus and Saryzens stoute and stern,
And all that were of myssebelevyn.
To that temple thei gan draw
To wyrschyp ther godys in ther law.
That temple was callyd Panteon;
In all this werld was not sych one.
Panteon is, to sey in Greke,
Of all godys and devellus eke.
Thus was ordeynd this temple hous
Of all devyllus to have ther cours.
In the syté of Rome that tyme was
The holy Pope Bonyfase.
He was the forth pope, sothly,
After Seynt Gregory.
Of this errour he han envy
For to destrew that mawmentry
That was ageyn the ryght beleve
And Holy Chyrch began to greve.
That temple son in that cyté,
He thought it schuld amendyd be.
He com befor the emperour
And prayd, for hys grete honour,
Grante hym this temple, withouten more,
In the syté that was ther,
To do therwith what he wold,
That no man lete hym schuld,
Crystindom to encres sone
And that fals errour to fordone.
Than the emperour and kyng
Grantyd the Pope hys askyng
For to have ever fre
To Holy Chyrch and Chrystianté.
Pope Bonyfas son anon
To that place he gan gone,
And toke hys clergy and hys power
For to make that temple clere,
And pute oute all that tyrandry,
And sette therin hys clergy.
He wessche the temple within and owte,
And halowyd the cherch all aboute.
Thys holy chyrch he made holy
In the worschyp of Seynt Mary,
Angellus, patriarkys, prophetys mo,
Apostellus and martyres also,
Confessorys, vergynes that holy were.
All Hallow Chyrch was made ther
As Crystenmese Dey holy in the yere,
The fyrst dey of Novembyre,
And dowbull fest for to last ay,
And was callyd All Hallow Dey.
The Pope and hys clergy wyse
Ordeyned for that dey servys.
Als Holy Chyrch berys wytnes,
The Pope sang ther the fyrst mes
Of All Hallowys and gafe perdon
Thorow the grete cyté of Rome.
Thys fals errour gan to sese,
And Crystendom for to encres.
Thrughe the werlyd, in every lond,
Pope Bonyfas sente his sond.
He commandyd to kepe hys heste:
All Hallow Dey a dowbull feste
Fro any seculer werkys told,
Withouten ende for to be hold.
For grete skyll ordend it was
For them that had don trespas
Ageyn the commandmentys of Holy Chyrch,
That on the holy dey dyde wyrche
Slauth in Godys servys and in fastyng,
In byddyng ther bedys and in lettyng.
Thys All Hallow Dey be skyll;
He may amend hym if he wyll
To com to Holy Chyrch in clenesse
At evensong, matyns, ourys, and messe.
All trespas befor than is forgyffen,
And he be in gode lyffe and clen schryfen.
All gode seyntys, for to sey,
To Jhesu Cryst schall for hym pray
To com to the joy aboven
That thei be in with Cryst alon.
The joy and blys within that place,
God grante us for his holy grace.

Crystyn man, for Godys ore,
Herkens now and here more:
The solempnyté of this feste,
How hye it is thorow Godys heste.
As I fynd in boke and rede,
God was payd with that dede.
And that it schuld ever be do,
Of his grace he grantyd therto.
To save mans saule fro pyne and sorow,
All Saule Dey uppon the morow
Was ordenyd, as ye may here,
To be a fest on this maner.
In Rome that tyme, as I yow tell,
A holy man ther dyd duelle
In a hous of relygeon,
A munke of grete devocyon.
He lovyd God and kepyd hym clen,
And God lovyd hym, and that was sene.
Of All Hallow Evyn in honour,
As he ley in hys dortour
With hys brether in slepyng,
Ther com an angell fro heven kyng,
And toke the saule of hys bodye
And bere it into hevyn on hye
Befor God in magesté,
And bade hym loke aboute and se.
He saw ther a blyssfull thyng:
In magesté a worthy kyng.
Forthermore he dyd sene
Befor the kyng ther com a quen —
Upon hyr hede a crowne of gold,
And with hyr meydens manyfold.
When sche was com before the kyng,
Sche saluted hym in thankyng
With grete honour in that tyde,
And stude by the kyngys syde.
Sethyn the meydens dyd them schew
And worschyped the kyng on a rew.
Joy and blys among them was;
They stude up and toke ther place.
Semly men cum sone twelve,
And worschyped the kyng be themselve.
And fore thei wold be nyghe at hond,
Besyde the kyng thei gan stond.
Therafter, sone ryghtys,
Com a compeny of knyghtys
And stode together in a rowte
And worschyped the kyng aboute.
Anon after the saule gane se
Of clerkys a grete compené.
In whyte was all ther clothyng;
They knelyd done befor the kyng
And worschyped hym and dyd hym grete,
And after stude upon ther fete.
The angell stud the saule besyde
And seyd to hym in that tyde,
And bad he schuld not adrede be,
For the joy of God he schuld se.
The prinsypall of the twelve than
Matyns of the dey began.
Than was the fest of them all
To worshype God in hys halle.
A joyfull servys was seyd ther
Of all the seyntes that ther were.

With joy and myrth in that nyght
The saule had a joyfull syght,
Yit he wold wyte more.
The saule seyd to the angell ther,
“What may all thys mervellus be
Of this peple that I se?”
The angell seyd to hym anon,
“Thys kyng that thow seys in trone
Is Jhesu Cryst, owre savyour,
That all the peple doys honour.
The quen that stondys hym bye
Is hys modour Seynte Marye.
Fore all mankynd sche do praye
That worschype hyr this ilke deye.
Thes meydens that with hyr geyth
Be holy vergyns that sofferd deth
And kepyd them clen in chastyté;
In heven therfor thei ever schall be.
Some in erth hath no mynd,
Ne fest dey among mankynd
Bot this dey that is holy;
Therfor thei make this melody
And pray for them in all wys
That worschype this dey servys.
Thes twelve that stond so neyghe above
Be apostellus with God alone.
The Holy Gost is with them, sothe;
They pray fore them that worschype doyth.
The feyre knyghtys that thow sene,
Holy martrys thei bene,
And sofferd in erth mekyll angwys;
Therfor thei be here in blys.
Clerkys, in clothyng whyte as floures,
Be holy byschopys and confessoures
That kepyd them ever in clenes
And pute ther bodys in grete destres,
In wakyng, fastyng, and in prayer;
Therfor thei be in joys here
And pray for them to our lord Jhesus
That worschype them in erth thus.
More now yit I schall tell thee
Of many seyntys that here be
And hafe no fest dey in mynde
Bot this fest dey, as I fynde,
Among all crystynd that ther is.
Therfor thei make this joy and blys
And pray to God soverandly
Of all crystend to have mersy,
In worschype of them that hallow aye
In clen lyfe All Hallow Deye.
He that begynes matyns of the twelve
Is Seynt Peter all hymselve.
All crystend be in hys power,
And all chyrches ferre and nere.
Now pray I God of hys grace
Restore the saule into hys place
To the body that it was ine,
To have the strenghe of mankyne,
And tell the pepull, to and fro,
What thou hast herd and sen also.
Bot yit or thou departe fro me,
Mo mervellus thou schall se.”

To a place of mervellyng
The angell dyde the saule bryng,
Als he wold at hys wylle,
And brought hym to a hye hylle;
Aboute the hylle he gan ryn.
Water and fyre together gan bryn;
It myght be no wey be slakyd.
Many men ther were in nakyd,
Overall thyke every dele
As in the se is gravelle.
In the water som were ine
Depe pute unto ther chyn,
Turmentyd so thei had no reste.
And sum stond up to the breste,
Som unto the fete were schove,
And som unto the kneys aboven.
Thus he merveld of that syght.
The angell led hym forth ryght;
To another hylle wente he
Mo merveyles for to se.
Ther was joy inowghe to sene:
A suete medew feyr and grene.
It was closyd for the nonys
All aboute with presyous stones.
In this medew was to behold
Setys schyneng all of gold.
Beddys of gold many ther were
That were ordeynd to be ther —
Bryght and suete of savour
More than any lycour.
The sall merveyled of this aray.
As he stud, thus more he sey:
Of feyr yong men grete compeny
Com into this medew sothanly,
All of an age, for to abyde.
Thyke thei com in every syde,
Al so thyke semyd they
As the sterres in the sky.
They pleyd and song among;
Of joy and myrth was all ther song.
To sytte in the setys some caste,
And sum in the beddys for to reste.
Joy and blys over all was
In that medew in every plas.
As thei were glad in ther setys,
Ther were ordeynd dyverse metes.
Full suete metys delysyous
Com befor them in every course;
Ther couth no man telle aryght
The kynd of that mete how it was dyght.
As thei sate and ete there,
Sothanly com them before,
When thei were most in ther gladyng,
Mekyll peple come on begyng.
So many thei were in dele
That no man myght tell them wele.
They stude withoute the medew clos;
For to bege was ther pourpos.
They begyd fast and cryed herd;
No man toke of them werd,
Bot lete them stond ther alon —
For them made no man mone.
Than seyd the saule with grysly chere,
“Lord God, what do I here?
So many mervellus be schewyd me to
I know not how it is do.”
Than spake the angell to hym anon,
“I schall thee schew everychon.
Thys medew that is so gren this tyde
Is paradys with grete delyte.
Ther Adam the fyrst fader was;
He was pute oute for hys trespas.
Thys men that thou seys in water here
Be saulys to make hem clere.
Water and fyre that thow hast sene,
Of pourgatory it is the peyne.
Holy wryte therof hath mynde:
In the Sauter, as we fynde,
David the prophete, seys the letter,
Seys he passyd fyre and water:
‘Lord and thi wyll be,
Thy mersy thou grante me.’
Every man, when he schall dyghe,
Hys saule fro the body schall flye,
And if he be in gode speranse
And underfonge gode penans
That his body had not fullfylled,
The saule he schall have the gylte.
In this fyre he schall be so,
To his penans be all do.
When it is don, all entere,
And the saule be made clere,
He schall com to the wele,
Into paradys of hele —
The medew that thow se befor
That all this men in were.
They be saules that clene be
In paradys that is so fre.
Thes setys and beddys of ryches,
They be for saules of bodys.
Ther schall ther saules be hente
To the dey of jugement.
When this dey is com so neghe,
Of jugement of Owre Lord so fre,
Than schall thei all, God wote whyder,
Body and saule cum togeder.
All maner men that ever were,
Or ever schall be, lesse or more,
That dey thei schall cum thus,
Body and saule, befor Jhesus.
All that have servyd on this wyse
Go into the joy of paradys.
They schall have onour of hys —
In hys blys, befor hys face —
Aye lastyng lyfe and God ther frend,
Joy and blys withouten ende.
All that dyde not on this wyse
In pourgatory and in paradys
Deservyd never for to com.
Other wey thei schall be nome,
Depertyd fro God that ilke dey,
To the peyne of hell that lastys aye.”
The angell seyd the saule untylle,
“In the fyre thou saw are-whyle,
Thow saw men in fyre up to the breste
And other penans — thei had no reste.
In erth thei have frendys trew
That thynke of them and of them rew,
In almus dede and offeryng,
In prayng and messe synging,
And other god dedys that they fynd
Of ther frendys that be kynd.
That makys ther saules soner slake
And to paradys the wey take.
Ther thei be, as I sey how,
In merth and in joy inow.

“Thes men that stond and fast callys
Withoute paradys wallys,
That be nedfull of beggyng
And no man bed them nothing,
Thei be the saules of thes men:
In erth hemselve wold not ken,
Ne to ther neyghbourus wold be kynd;
Therfor no man have of hem mynd.
God send them catell, grete plenté,
To do with, and thei wold not se
Nether to gyff nether to lene1
To helpe ther neyghborys that were pore men,
Nether gyffe ther tythes to Holy Chyrche —
They lovyd that not for to wyrch.
For Godys love, thei myght not spede
That were pore men that had nede.
Riches and catell was all ther thought,
And for seke men and pore thei had nought.
Thys was ther lyfe to the ende;
Therfor here have thei no frende.
The bodys be dede, the catell ago,
Ther saules be in care and wo.
In defaute of helpe and prayer
They stond and bege in myscheff here
Withouten paradys gate —
To bege here it is to late.”

Than seyd the angell the saule tylle,
“I have thee schewyd all thi wylle.
Now pray I God, most of myght,
Into thy body thi saule myght lyght
And go and tell the holy Pope
What thou hast sene with gode hope.
As he hath ordeyned All Hallow Dey
To be wyrschyped ever and aye,
So onne the morne, among mankynd,
All Crysten saules to have ther mynd,
Ther dey to be halowyd so,
And namely to servys be do.
It is Godys wyll and hys beheste
Crysten saules to have ther feste,
So that they that no frendys have
Thys is helpe withouten crave
Of ther peynes to have pardon
To com to salvasyon.”2

Anon the angell, as he thought,
To the body the saule he brought
And lefte them ther alyfe togyther,
And toke hys wey, God wote whyder.
Of this monke, the holy man,
When fro the body the saule was tane
In tyme of All Hallow Nyght,
The monkes to the chyrch hem dyght,
Als thei were wonte ther bokys brynge
To sey ther matyns and to syng.
Or thei began ther servys than,
They myssed ther brother, that holy man.
For every nyght that usyd he
The fyrst at matens he wold be.
For wyrschype of hym and honour,
They sought hym in ther dortour.
When thei come to hys caban
Ther thei fond this holy man
Feyre colouryd whyte and rede,
And ley as he had ben dede.
The body was dede, it was non other;
They made grete sorow for ther brother.
And as thei wepe and handys wrong,
They toke ther consell them among
Where thei wold this body berye,
That was so holy and so merye.
In serteyn place thei toke ther wytte,
And dyged ther and made a pytte.
When this pytte was redy ther
They sette the body on a bere
And sete it done the pytte besyde,
And seyd ther servys in that tyde.
With solempne devosyon
As is the maner of relygeon,
They stode all aboute the bere
And made full grete dole ther.
When thei had ther servys seyd,
The body schuld in grave be leyd.
His saule into the body lyght
And stude up quyke anon ryght.
Thes monkys were adred sore
And wold have go ther wey therfore.
He seyd unto them lovelyke,
And seyd, “Breder, I ame now quyke;
Be no aferd that I ame thus —
It is the grace of our lord Jhesus.
I praye you all or that we gone
Brynge me to the Pope anone.
Where I have bene, in what maner,
I schall you tell all in fere.”

The abot anon and hys covent
With ther brother forth thei wente.
To the Popys palys wente he
With full grete solempnyté.
When thei com befor hys face,
The holy Pope Bonyfas,
The munke knelyd son adoune.
The Pope gafe hym hys benyson.
Anon the abote in knelyng
Told the Pope of ther comyng:
“Reverand fader,” seyd he,
“Thys monke, our broder, that ye se,
On this holy All Hallow nyght,
When we were to our matyns dyght,
We myssed hym at that stond —
Dede in our dortour we hym fonde.
We couth non other our state to save,
Bot seyd hys dyregy and mad his grave.
When we schuld into the grave hym do,
He rose up quyke and spak us to.
A comforth us with a gode chere
And bad us bryng hym to you here.
We mervellyd gretly in this case:
What he wold and why it was.
He has lovyd God ever in clenesse;
At evynsong, matyns, oures, and messe
Fyrst at the cherch he wold be.
Oft tyme be hymselve we myght se
In his bedys and hys prayers.
Wyte ye hys wyll now he is here?”

Thys holy Pope Bonyface
Was amervylled of that case:
How this munke schuld be blyve
When he was dede to cum to lyve.
He schewyd to hym with grete wyte
And spake to hym of holy wryte,
Namly, for hys saule evyn,
Yiff he were in gode belevyn,
And after if any wyked sprete
Had brought hym in myssedelyte.
The munke ansuerd and seyd this thyng:
“I beleve in God all weldyng,
Fader and Son and Holy Goste.
I beleve that God is moste;
He made this werld all of nought.
Message fro hevyn I have brought —
Holy Fader, I tell thee ryght.
As I ley this All Hallow nyght
In oure dortour in sclepyng,
Ther com an angell fro heven kyng.
The saule he toke fro my body
And lede it into hevyn onne hye
Befor God in hys magesté,
And all seyntys ther I se.
Grete joy thei made of that feste
That is ordand at thy beheste.”
Thus the munke all hys wey
To the Pope he gan sey:
Of joy and peynes, all in fere,
All together as ye may here,
And as the angell dyde hym charge
To the Pope he seyd large.
“Holy Fader,” seyd he,
“The angell bade me sey to thee
As thou hast ordeynd All Hallow Deye
To be wyrschyped and halowyd aye,
So on the morne among mankynd
All crystynd saules to have in mynd
And ther dey be ordend faste.
Thys word he send at the laste,
After he made me with hym gon,
And toke to my body the saule anon
And made us ther togeder quyke,
And went hys wey privylyke.
Hys message now I do fullfylle —
God gyf us grace to do hys wylle!”

Thys holy Pope Bonyface
Of this tydingys glad he was.
He knelyd doune on hys kne
And thankyd God in Trinyté
That he wold have rememorans
Of that grasyos ordynans.
He sought after ferre and ney,
After all his grete clergy,
To all the bysschopys that were wyse,
Thys dey to orden the servyse.
When thei were com togeder clene,
The Pope ther he held hys sene
And told them of this encheson
Of ther congregasyon.
Thei were glad of this tyding
And thankyd God, heven kyng,
That seyntes ther schuld have ther mynd
And all saules among mankynd.
Ryght as the Pope wold do,
All thei assentyd therto.
The Pope anon, be all asent,
Ordeynd be hys comandment
Thorowoute all Crystyanté
All Halow Dey to halowyd be.
Double fest to be ever more
The fyrst dey of November,
Men for to hallow fro all werkys
To here servys of prestys and clerkys.
All Salle Dey be onne the morow
Fro peynes of purgatory them borow,
And ever more among mankynd
To praye for them and have in mynd.
As all seyntys be halowyd ryght
To pray for us to God allmyght,
So all saules in ther maner
Be relesyd throw prayers here,
And com to joy of paradys clere,
Ther to lyve ever in fere
To that it be Domes Dey,
And than to be in other aray —
The saule with body throught Godys heste —
And cum befor hym at ther feste.
In heven above, ther he is,
That is full of joy and blysse.
Ther is no tong that may telle
The joy and blys ther is to duelle.
God grante us all here to do
That we may cum that joy unto,
Into that joyfull place
That he hath ordend with his grace
For lufe to save all mankyne,
Withouten ende to duell therine.
Wyth gode hert that it so be,
Sey we Amen, for charyté.
Feast of All Saints; (see note)

receive grace afterwards

that have been
liturgical calendar; (see note)
sought [in pilgrimage]

no description (memorial)
anywhere; (t-note)

Except for one [day]

double; (see note)


is established

at one time

Pantheon; (see note)

devils also

have their customs; (see note)

fourth; (see note); (t-note)

was hostile to
destroy; idol worship

without delay

hinder him
increase (spread) quickly

free (from other claims)

legal authority (military force)

evil authority (outrage)


(see note)


As holy as Christmas Day

[a] service



any kind of secular business; (t-note)

merit (power)
those who

praying their prayers; neglect
powerful (effective)

(see note)

If; confessed

mercy; (t-note)

God’s commandment

so that it should always be done

on the next day

i.e., a monastery; (see note)

himself pure
In honor of All Hallows’ Eve



thanksgiving; (t-note)

Then; brought themselves forth
honored in an orderly way

Handsome; soon came




soul (i.e., the monk)

greet (salute)


Morning services

know (learn)



have no memorial


all ways

(see note)

do; (t-note)

anguish (pain)


in remembrance

baptized people
always revere

(see note)

yet before

to go
slaked (extinguished)

thick in every way (i.e., crowded)

(see note)



enclosed for the occasion

Seats shining; (t-note)

smell; (see note)

soul; decoration

the same age



in number
outside the meadow’s walls

i.e., no one listened

No man lamented on their behalf
unhappy mood

how it is done (i.e., what it means)


Holy writ (the Bible); recalls
Psalter (Psalms)
scripture; (see note); (t-note)
(see note)
(see note)

hope (trust, faith)
soul it shall [pay for] the guilt

Until; done

health (forgiveness)


knows from where

in this way



taken; (t-note)

saw earlier


good deeds

sooner relieved


      would not recommend themselves; (see note)


lend; (t-note)

did not like to do that
Those who were

property gone


to the soul
explained all you wished for


So [too] on the morning after

be reserved for worship


God knows where

from the body the soul was taken; (t-note)

took themselves to church; (t-note)


he was accustomed
(see note)


not otherwise

so excellent
they made their decision

bier; (t-note)



alive immediately

i.e., run away
[in a] friendly [manner]

before we depart



ready for our matins

knew no other way to keep our honor
Dirige (funeral Mass)

He comforted; (see note)

hours (daily prayers)

[Will] you learn his desire; (t-note)

willing (able)
examined; (see note)

orderly soul
then; spirit; (t-note)
sinful pleasure

all mighty


all his journey

all together

spoke freely (at length)

have memorial




this message (news)

gracious command
far and near (everywhere)

ordain the service


by everyone’s agreement

[He ordained] All Souls’ Day to be
to rescue them


Judgment Day
by God’s command


(see note)
Go To Item 26, The King and His Four Daughters, introduction
Go To Item 26, The King and His Four Daughters, text