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Item 28, The Northern Passion


1 Lines 613–14: This man who stands here said / A wondrous thing that you may hear

2 Lines 988–89: To ask Pilate for / A prisoner to be released

3 Lines 1424–25: The nails will not be left unmade / On account of your infirmity

4 Lines 1564–65: There was not so much left for him / [As a place] whereon he might rest his head


Abbreviations: EETS: Early English Text Society; GL: Jacobus de Voragine, Golden Legend; MED: Middle English Dictionary; MWME: The Manual of Writings in Middle English; NIMEV: A New Index of Middle English Verse; NP: F. Foster, The Northern Passion; P: Cambridge, University Library MS Ff.5.48; PL: Patrologia Latina.

Title Passio Domini Nostri. “The Passion of Our Lord." The title is written in a slightly larger version of Rate’s regular script, and in lighter ink than the text itself, which suggests that he may have added it later. The text has long been known as The Northern Passion because of its connection to the Northern Homily Cycle (see introduction to this text) and its origins in the north of England, and to distinguish it from other Middle English accounts of the Passion. The text begins halfway down the page of fol. 87v.

12 Jhesu fastyd fourty deys. See Matthew 4:1–4.

13 Hys vertues thei sprong wyde. See Matthew 4:23–25.

21 Seryzens. Rate probably inherited this reading from his copy-text; the reading of British Library MS Additional 31042, “pharezenes" (Pharisees) is preferable. The following section is based on John 11:46–53.

32 Ye wate not what may befall. John 11:49.

42 That Romans com to do us wrong. The province of Judea had only recently (and violently) been incorporated into the Roman Empire and remained a restive region. Various Hebrew insurrections culminated in the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D. and the bloody suppression of the Bar Kochba revolt in 135 A.D.

59 To a cyté. This is Bethphage, on Mount Olivet. The following episode is based on Matthew 21:1–8.

93 He passyd forthe. The following episode is based on the interrelated accounts of Matthew 26:14–16 and John 12:1–8.

96 Lazer. The story of Lazarus is found in John 11. It also appears in all the cycle plays “as the greatest miracle of Christ’s ministry and a central antetype of the Resurrection" (Bevington, Medieval Drama, p. 470). See Sugano, N-Town Plays, pp. 193–204, for the N-Town “Raising of Lazarus."

109 Sche knelyd doune. The syntax of the following lines is slightly strained, due to the fact that Rate or his copy-text has transposed the lines of both this couplet and lines 111–12.

139 He was terrand and a theffe. Other accounts expand these accusations of Judas’s treachery prior to his betrayal of Jesus; GL claims that he stole one-tenth of all that was received by the disciples, and that he accepted the thirty pieces of silver to make up for the perceived “loss" of the ointment used by Mary (1:167–69). The version of The Northern Passion preserved in the “expanded" Northern Homily Cycle includes this account as well; see NP 1:19–21.

183 Syr, were wyll ye hold your feste. The following account of the preparations for the Last Supper is based on Luke 22:7–23 and Matthew 26:20–25.

219 He stole owte of hys lordys dyssche. As Foster notes, this detail seems to be an invention of the Old French Passion (the principal source of The Northern Passion), though other texts hint at Judas’s gluttony, and there are early associations of fish with the Last Supper (NP 2:63–64).

222 blessyd it with melady. This reading is unique to Rate’s text; most others read “blessyd it ful mildely" or “ful hendyly" or “ful bowsumly."

233–36 These lines do not appear in the other texts of The Northern Passion, but they do appear in the poem’s main source, the Old French Passion; see NP 2:105, lines 198–202, and 2:181. The ultimate source for these lines is 1 Corinthians 11:27; Rate may have interpolated this passage on the basis of that text, or his copy-text preserved a translation of the Old French Passion that uniquely included these lines. If the addition is Rate’s, it is certainly in keeping with the centrality of the Eucharist in many of the items of Ashmole 61, and its vigorous orthodoxy.

241 Als oft as I schall be take. I.e., as often as the sacrament of the Eucharist will be performed, Christ’s sacrifice will be mourned and commemorated.

273 Seynt John at the soper sate. The following account of John’s falling asleep on Jesus’ breast and dreaming of the Apocalypse is partially based on John 13:23–25 and partially taken from a long tradition that linked John the Evangelist with John of Patmos, author of the Book of Revelation. Early Church Fathers, including Augustine and Bede, claimed that John acquired secret knowledge from Jesus’ breast, and the legend as it appears here dates back to at least the twelfth century; see NP 2:62–63.

291 the Apocalyps. I.e., the Book of Revelation.

295 Als Jhesu sate at the cloth. The following episode is based on Luke 22:24–27 and John 13:4–15.

298 contek. Rate seems to have considered this a “hard" word (meaning “strife," “argument" or “battle"); this is the first of four occasions in this text in which he has substituted a less satisfactory word (in this case “counsell"). The readings have been emended in each case except for the last (see note to line 1826).

363 Of hyghe and law, more and les. Rate has inserted this couplet, adding further praise of “buxsumnes" that is entirely in keeping with the message of other works in Ashmole 61, including How the Wise Man Taught His Son and How the Good Wife Taught Her Daughter (items 3 and 4).

381 Than seyd Peter wordys fre. The prophecy of Peter’s denials and the detail of the two swords are taken from Matthew 26:31–35 and Luke 22:35–38.

407 Sytyh. This is the imperative plural, used occasionally by Rate elsewhere, as in the opening line of The Short Charter of Christ (item 29).

410 Bethany the Bate. This name for Bethany is obscure. The MED suggests that the epithet means “Bethany the lowly," a paraphrase of Bethany’s etymology, “house of the poor." This is the only instance of bate cited in this sense.

419 John and hys brother. I.e., John and James the Greater, the two “sons of Zebedee" mentioned in Matthew 26:37.

422 the Mounte of Olyvete. Mount Olivet (the Mount of Olives) lies to the east of Jerusalem, across the Kedron valley. The account of Jesus’ prayers and the comforting angel is based on Luke 22:39–46.

493 After that, they toke the strete. The following account of Jesus’ arrest is based on Matthew 26:47–56 and John 18:2–11.

587 John entryd with other mo. The episode of John and his mantle is based on Mark 14:51–52, combined with John 18:15–16; neither gospel names the disciple who flees, but tradition had long identified him as John.

607 Jhesu stod that ilke thraw. The episode of Jesus before Caiaphas is based on Matthew 26:57–75 and Luke 22:54–71.

662 For soth. P and other manuscripts read “Par ma fay thou hast mysgon." Rate’s translation of the French phrase (“By my faith") suggests that he did not expect his readers to understand it.

665 non other wone. “An alternative; a hope." See MED, “won(e)" n. 3, 1a, and 1b.

681 Malcus. Rate’s text is unique in naming Malchus at this point; the name appears in John 18:10.

759 Tell now who smote thee. Though this terse account of the buffeting of Jesus follows the text of Luke 22:63–65 quite closely, this scene might evoke a range of associations for a medieval audience, including the gruesome depictions of this same event in the York and Towneley cycle plays and the violent children’s games known as “blindman’s bluff" or “hot cockles"; see Kolve, Play Called Corpus Christi, p. 185.

773 Now at Judas I wyll duelle. The following account of Judas’s returning the pieces of silver and his suicide is based on Matthew 27:3–10 and Acts 1:18–19.

815 in two full skete. This is an emendation. The reading of the manuscript, “with a bow skete" might make sense as “bow sharp" (see MED “skete" [adj.], “swift, fierce" or “skete" [adv.], “swiftly, immediately"), but Foster’s gloss, “a bow shot," seems less likely. No bow is involved, and the action imagined is physically impossible. Rate’s reading is a corruption of the reading in British Library Additional MS 31042, “in twa full skete."

839 the Mounte of Calvery. Though the Old French Passion makes this same identification of the Field of Blood with Mt. Calvary, this connection is unusual, appearing only in The Northern Passion, the York cycle play, and other works derived from the same Old French source; see NP 2:83. For the customary location of the Field of Blood, see The Stations of Jerusalem (item 34), line 601 and note.

844 For-delyd was never none. The reading is corrupt but plausible. Other closely related manuscripts read “So besette was never none" (Cambridge University Library Ii.4.9), “For swa boghte was nevir nane" (British Library MS Additional 31042), and P reads “So bewunne was nevyr none." The sense of Rate’s reading is that the thirty pieces of silver shared a dark history.

852 On other thyngys I must duelle. The account of Jesus before Pilate and Herod is based on Matthew 27:11–26, Luke 23:1–25, and John 18:28–40.

886 Al so wyde as he hath bene. The sense of these lines is that Jesus has preached in an area as broad as the distance between Jerusalem and Galilee. Rate has badly garbled these lines by mistakenly transposing part of Pilate’s question, and this passage has been significantly emended on the basis of the closely related manuscripts (see the Textual Notes for the MS reading).

896 Wele I wote what longys therto. Pilate recognizes Herod’s jurisdiction over Galilee and uses this as a pretext for remitting the case against Jesus to Herod’s authority. Such a maneuver would be familiar to English medieval audiences; the different jurisdictions held by lords, ecclesiastical authorities, and the crown meant that many competing jurisdictions might overlap in a small area or single case.

939 Herod gan hym for to prechen. Most other manuscripts read “to threte." The loud ranting of actors who played the angry Herod was legendary; the rubric for a Coventry mystery play describes Herod raging in the street (see Craig, Two Coventry Corpus Christi Plays, p. 27).

1003 I wyll yow tell of Sathanas. The legend that Satan provided the impetus for the dream of Pilate’s wife dates back at least to Peter Comestor’s twelfth-century Historia scholastica (see PL 198.1628), and Satan’s appearance in her dream is described in very similar language by the Middle English Gospel of Nicodemus (Hulme, Middle English Harrowing of Hell, lines 189–92). The general idea that Satan feared the Redemption and attempted to avert it is even older; see Marx, Devil’s Rights and the Redemption. See also The King and His Four Daughters (item 26).

1093 schuld me were. Rate has mistakenly anticipated the following line; P reads “that ben full dere" (“that are dear to me").

1127 Thou schalt an a evyll deth dey. Rate shares this reading with P, but most manuscripts read “done an evyll dede todey."

1235 Of that tre I wyll you telle. The following legend of the Tree of the Cross is a composite of many similar legends dating back at least as far as the eleventh century; for a collection of some of the various legends surrounding the cross, see the Golden Legend’s entry for the Feast of the Holy Cross (GL, 1:277–84). For examples in Middle English, see Morris, Legends of the Holy Rood.

1261 Of sedyr was the fyrst rote. The Northern Passion inherited from the Old French Passion a confusing mixture of legendary descriptions of this tree and added further complications from other sources. Though lines 1246–53 seem to imply that one of the grafts came from an apple tree (the Tree of Knowledge), in lines 1261–63 most manuscripts of The Northern Passion identify the stock as cedar and the grafts as cypress, palm, and olive trees. This legend appears in Bernard of Clairvaux’s Vitis Mystica (PL 184.732–33) and also in some versions of Mandeville’s Travels; see NP 2:67–72. Rate has further confused the issue by changing the number of trees from four to three, eliminating the cypress.

1295 Ther werkys wex unslyghe. The miraculous inability of the Tree of the Cross to fit into Solomon’s temple is present in both the Old French Passion and in other legends of the cross. The episode foreshadows lines 1532–55, when Jesus’ body cannot be fitted to the cross without gruesome racking.

1332 The angell made that water flowe. This part of the legend refers to the Sheep Pool described in John 5:2–7; in that episode Jesus cures a crippled man who has come to bathe in the waters there.

1373 Than thei wantyd nayles thre. The following legend of the smith appears in the Old French Passion and may be alluded to in other works, though it is not a commonly repeated episode; see NP 2:64–65. Legends surrounding the nails used in the crucifixion multiplied in the fifteenth century; these included charms based on the “Measure of the Nails." See Duffy, Stripping of the Altars, pp. 274–75 and plates 110 and 112.

1379 foure nayles. This is a curious example of Rate’s scribal habits; all other manuscripts (and most descriptions of the Crucifixion elsewhere) mention three nails (as in line 1373), not four. Rate probably mistakenly read a Roman numeral as four, and then rewrote lines 1392–93 to cover his mistake. He continues the error in lines 1428–29. He then had an extra nail to account for, and thus alters line 1560 so that two nails (rather than the traditional one) are driven into Jesus’ feet.

1462 Jhesu sey women wepe sore. The following account of the journey to Calvary is based on Luke 23:26–32.

1522 Withouten seme hys clothys were. See John 19:23.

1528 They toke the rode with sturdy wyll. The following account of Jesus being racked on the cross is probably derived from the Dialogus beatae Mariae et Anselmi de passione Domini (PL 159.282–83); see NP 2:66, and Bestul, Texts of the Passion, p. 59. The Pinners’ Play of the Crucifixion in the York Cycle features a very similar episode (see Beadle, York Plays, pp. 315–23).

1583 So seys Seynt John. See John 19:19–22.

1588 mekly iwys. The sense of “mekly" here is presumably ironic. This is Rate’s misreading of “thus mycull iwisse" (as in P).

1598 The palme is a sympull tre. In some of the sources for The Northern Passion the palm wood forms part of the cross and the inscription is written on olive wood, a more traditional symbol of peace; see NP 2:69.

1615 Als it is wryte so it schall be. See John 19:22.

1620 The one theff gan to cry. See Luke 23:39–43.

1654 Than ther stode besyde the rode. See John 19:25–27.

1678 Ye that be this wey pas. This speech from the cross is based on Lamentations 1:12 and had long been associated with the Crucifixion, as in the influential Meditatio in passionem falsely attributed Bernard of Clairvaux (PL 184.744). It is the basis of several Middle English Passion lyrics; see, for example, NIMEV numbers 110, 2596, and 4263.

1708 Hely, hely. “O God, O God"; see Matthew 27:46–48 and Psalm 21:2.

1709 lamazabatany. “Why hast thou forsaken me?" See note to line 1708.

1730–45 A reference to the apocryphal Harrowing of Hell, where Christ rescued the virtuous Jews and pagans from hell.

1750 Centyr, that was hys name. See Matthew 27:54 and Luke 23:47; in the gospels, the centurion is an unnamed Roman military officer. Elsewhere, this figure is occasionally identified with Longinus, treated here as a separate character in lines 1782–1803. The legend that he later suffered martyrdom, alluded to in line 1753, is a very old one; see Peebles, Legend of Longinus.

1754 The other dey aboute none. Rate’s odd reading makes this needlessly confusing; most manuscripts read “That selve day" or “That same daye." But since Cambridge University Library MS Gg.5.31 also reads “The tothyr day," the error may have been in Rate’s copy-text.

1758 Joseph was hys name ryve. Joseph of Arimathea; see John 19:38.

1784 Longeus. Elsewhere, this legendary knight is named Longinus, a name given by legend to the soldier who pierces Jesus’ side in John 19:34 (on the basis of the Greek word for lance, “longe"). His legend was very popular, and appears in both Piers Plowman (B.18) and various cycle plays. See also Peebles, Legend of Longinus.

1826 a consyll. See note to line 298; since Rate’s substitution is more plausible here, it has not been emended.

1864 They kepyd that ston all the nyght. Rate has skipped over a passage of fourteen lines describing the knights guarding the sepulcher, an episode treated at greater length in The Legend of the Resurrection (item 36).

1874–77 Rate has inserted these two couplets referring to Jesus’ appearance to the Virgin Mary. The insertion is puzzling, since other texts of The Northern Passion (following Matthew 28:1–11) cite Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene as the first of the post-Resurrection appearances. Legends of Joseph of Arimathea date back to the early Church; the source for Rate’s allusion to his imprisonment and vision of Christ may be the Gospel of Nicodemus. For the Middle English verse translation of this episode, see Hulme, Middle English Harrowing of Hell, lines 769–1080. Legends of Christ’s appearance to the Virgin Mary date back at least as far as Ambrose (see PL 16.270). Jacobus de Voragine offers a systematic treatment of the appearances of Christ after the Resurrection (GL, 1:219–22).

1885 In his revision of this section, Rate has omitted a couplet present in P and other closely related texts: “And that I yede into Galilé / Lyvynge with greet dignité."

1896 Rate has omitted approximately eighty lines describing the account of the knights at the tomb, material treated in The Legend of the Resurrection (item 36); see the introduction to that text.

1905 hys names seven. The manuscript reads “joys seven," which is a mistake based on the well-known “Seven joys of Mary." The less well-known “Seven names of Jesus" may be those derived from Isaiah 9:6 and discussed in Bernard of Clairvaux’s fifteenth sermon on the Song of Songs (PL 183.843–48).

1907 Amen Amen for charyté. There is no explicit or other colophon; beneath the last line Rate has drawn a small sprig of flowers and a smiling fish in the bottom margin of fol. 105v.


Abbreviations: See Explanatory Notes

1 MS: Initial L is two lines tall.

13 sprong. MS: spong.

29 MS: Initial C is two lines tall.

57 The sexte. MS: Te sexte. MS: Initial T is two lines tall.

71 MS: Initial T is two lines tall.

74 asse. MS: as.

118 gryth. MS: grytht.

136 for to. MS: on to.

166 thought. MS: thouht.

189 gryth. MS: gryght.

190 wyth. MS: wyht.

196 dyssypullus. MS: dyssyullus.

203 were. MS: welle.

285 His wytte. MS: Is wytte.

295 Als Jhesu. MS: Also Jhesu. MS: Initial A is two lines tall.

297 stryfe. MS: styfe.

298 contek. MS: consell.

332 on hys kne. MS: on kne hys.

336 Thow schall not. MS: not added above rest of line.

436 loude. MS: lounde.

471 no dede. MS: after no dede.

479 Ye have. MS: They had.

493 MS: Initial A is two lines tall.

510 What. MS: wh what. thought. MS: thouht.

515 hevy as lede. MS: hevy lede.

518–19 Jhesu to them seyd his wyll / “What seke ye fast als ye have gon?" MS: To Jhesu thei seyd there wyll / What seke ye fast ye have gone? Rate’s line makes the passage incomprehensible, and derives from an inherited defective reading. The emendation has been supplied from F. Foster.

572 fare. MS: illegible.

574 were. MS: with.

607 MS: Initial J is two lines tall.

613 man. MS: men.

618 Reys it up new wele he may. MS: Reys it up now welell I may.

620 mouth. MS: mought.

631 MS: Initial J is two lines tall.

642 wytnes. MS: wynes.

651 He sey a fyre that was made on heye. MS: He seyd fore the was made a crye. Rate’s line makes the passage incomprehensible; cf. F. Foster.

683 Peter. MS: Jhesu.

689 Thy. MS: They.

709 MS: Initial B is larger than usual.

716 awght. MS: aw.

726 contek. MS: consell.

748 syde. MS: gyde.

752 fleme. MS: flene.

801 MS: Initial J is larger than usual.

802 spyll. MS: syll.

815 in two full skete. MS: with a bow skete.

824 contek thei dryve. MS: cotell thei drew blythe.

832 They toke. MS: The toke.

833 by lond. MS: bylong.

853 Of Jhesu. MS: Afor Jhesu. Initial A is two lines tall.

865 MS: Initial P is two lines tall.

885–94 The MS is garbled here, having transposed lines and omitted the reply to Pilate’s question about Jesus’ Galilean origin:
Pylat seyd to the Jues all
The wysest of them he gan calle
Weyteh sone and wern me
Iff he were born in Galyle
Than ansuerd one sone anone
Off hym he was avysed long gone
Al this thre yere as I wene
Also wyde as I have bene
That is now fro this syté
In to the lond off Galylé.
898 The reme. MS: That reme.

909 MS: Initial H is two lines tall.

919 seyd. MS: sey.

926 thy. MS: they.

931 Crokyd men. MS: Crokyd me.

935 MS: Initial J is two lines tall.

943 They clothyd. MS: The clothyd.

955 do thi wylle. MS: do ther wylle.

976 MS: Initial P is two lines tall.

1002 MS: Initial L is larger than usual.

1023 They schall. MS: The schall.

1050 MS: Initial P is larger than usual.

1052 They seyd. MS: They that.

1064 The bysschop. MS: Bisschop.

1067 that thee schall. MS: that schall.

1108 Pylat seyd, “I. MS: Pylat I. Initial P is larger than usual.

1118 I rede that we late hym go. MS: I reade that wee late off thy god father is written in a different, probably sixteenth-century, hand at the top of this folio.

1122 Sezars frend wyll. MS: Sezars wyll.

1127 an. MS: on.

1136 They. MS: The.

1137 toke scorgys strong. MS: toke stronge.

1144 Thei. MS: The.

1151 mercy with hem leved. MS: more with hem bot dede.

1162 Whens. MS: When.

1166 MS: Initial J is larger than usual and decorated with pen work.

1204 strange. MS: strang.

1222 Thei. MS: The.

1225 Bot. MS: Bo.

1232 Whens. MS: When.

1236 MS: Initial D is two lines tall.

1252 That. MS: The.

1253 time. MS: men.

1259 That. MS: The.

1310 Than. MS: Tha.

1319 flyte. MS: slyte.

1337 went. MS: weent.

1346 When. MS: Whe.

1366 withoutene. MS: with with.

1368 Thei thought God was mekyll. MS: The thought mekyll.

1390–91 MS: lines transposed.

1423 that. MS: at.

1445 contek. MS: cutell.

1462 MS: Initial J is two lines tall.

1474 we. MS: be.

1484 MS: Initial thorn is four lines tall.

1493 mette arte thou. MS: mette thou.

1514 They. MS: The.

1518 Thei dyspulyd hym all. MS: The dyspulyd all.

1520 Lottys. MS: Bot.

1522 seme. MS: synne.

1534 As. MS: Also.

1542 Thei. MS: The.

1548 Thei. MS: The.

1550 Thei. MS: The.

1552 Thei. MS: The.

1573 Thei. MS: The.

1581 grete myght. MS: grete.

1592 Grew. MS: Grwe.

1599 betokynys. MS: betokyngge.

1607 Thei. MS: The.

1608 MS: Initial B is two lines tall.

1624 myght he helpe. MS: myght helpe.

1628 seyd. MS: sey.

1632 grete. MS: gre.

1637 MS: Initial J is two lines tall.

1671 When. MS: Whe.

1683 be lykyd may. MS: be may.

1713 haste. MS: aste.

1718 Thei seyd. MS: The seyd.

1746 MS: Initial B larger than usual.

1749 woundys. MS: wordys.

1771 now. MS: inow.

1772–85 MS: In the left margin next to these lines there is a considerable amount of doodling that includes both letters and shapes.

1780 Thei. MS: The.

1802 seyd. MS: sey.

1805 MS: Nychodemus is written in the margin below this line as a catchword.

1807 To Jhesu he come with. MS: To Jhesu with.

1816 the body. MS: the the body.

1818 spysys. MS: sperysys.

1854 and lyfe. MS: and lyth lyfe (lyth is marked for deletion).

1858 knyghtys. MS: knyght.

1868 MS: Initial J is decorated with pen work and is larger than usual.

1882 Go to Mary my moder. MS: To Mary hys moder.

1905 names. MS: joys.






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Passio Domini Nostri
Lystyns lordyngys, I wyll yow tell
Of mekyll peté, I may you spell
Of Jhesu that us all hath wrought
And seth oure saules dere hath bought.
For he wold not oure saules tyne,
Withouten gylt he sofferd pyne.
Of hys Passyon I wyll you tell;
Theron I muste a stond duell.
As Marke and Mathew, Luke and John,
All thei acorde into one,
For to fullfyll the olde lawys,
Jhesu fastyd fourty deys.
Hys vertues thei sprong wyde,
Bothe fer and nere on ilke-a syde.
The Jues hade to hym envye
And sey he dyde grete felonye.
They gederyd hem togeder stylle
To speke of Jhesu all ther wylle.
They come together at a feste,
Riche and pore, most and leste.
Of Seryzens the prinsys alle,
The Jues dyde befor hem calle.
The most masteres of that lawys
Dyspysed Jhesu in ther sawys.
“If that we late hym thus gon,”
They seyd among them everychon,
“All our folke wyll leve on hym
And owre lawys schall be benyme.”

Cafas was bysschop in that tyme;
In prophesy he gan it ryme.
He seyd to the prinsys all,
“Ye wate not what may befall.
A man schall dyen us beforne
That the folke be not forlorne —
Thous seys the prophesye.”
The Jues toke it to envye.
Of hymselve he had it nought;
The Holy Goste hade it hym brought.
The Jues fro that ilke deye
Jhesu to sle thei thought aye.
“We wyll not,” thei seyd hem among,
“That Romans com to do us wrong.”
A grete feste ther was in hond
That Paske was callyd in that lond;
The Jues honouryd that ilke feste,
Riche and pore, most and leste.
At that feste thei spokyn same
Jhesu Cryste for to blame.
All thei thretyn hym to slo
And seth dyde hym to sofyr wo,
Bot thei seyd thei wold abyde
To that feste were over-glyde,
That no sclander schuld ryse
Among the folke in non wyse
That thei hade withouten rede
Do that dey a man to dede.

The sexte dey befor that tyme,
Jhesu, of whom is made this ryme,
To a cyté he gan draw
Ther he thought to duell a thraw.
Of hys dyssypullus he clepyd two
And bade thei schuld hys erand go,
“Into the myddys of yon syté
That ye may befor yow se.
Ther schall ye fynd withine the walle
A myld beste stondyng in stalle,
An asse bondyn with her fole,
To lowys hyr men schall you thole.
That best ye bryng hether to me
For I wyll wynd to yon syté.”

Than hys dyssypullus gan forth wend
To that syté feyr and hend.
They dyde as Jhesu them bade:
They dyde the asse befor hym lede,
Theronne sate Jhesu feyr and hend.
To that syté he gan wynd.
The chylder of Ebrew herd sey
That Jhesu schuld com that wey.
They com agen hym in the towne
With wele feyre processyon.
Som of them befor hym yede
Ther clotys befor hym to sprede.
They spred ther clothys hym ageyn —
Of hys commyng so were thei feyn.
Some brought flowres feyre and suete
To strew afore hym in the strete.
Tho pore men with herte so fre
Brake the branch of the palme tre.
They began to sey and crye,
“Save us, Lord, or that we dye!”
Jhesu lyght doune wele styll
And blyssed them with gode wylle.

He passyd forthe in the wey
To he com to Beteny.
Be a strete in that sythe
He resyd Lazer fro deth to lyve.
When he had Lazer reysed,
Therfor was he mekyll prased,
Of Martha and Mary Maudelen also,
For thei saw hym that dede do.
Jhesu and hys dyssipullus meke
Went to the toune ther mete to seke.
They com to a gode mans hous;
Hys name was Symon Leperous.
He fedde them ther, all bedene,
And ther come Mary Magdylene;
In holy wryte of hyr men redys
That sche had don synfull dedys.
Sche knelyd doune hyr bote to crave:
Of Jhesu sche wold mersy have.
With the terys that sche wepe
Sche sette hyr done and wessch hys fete,
And kyssed them with full gode wyll,
And for hyr trespas sche lyked yll,
And wypyd them with hyr here
And for hyr synne hyr herte was sore.
An oyntment sche brought hyr with;
Sche drew it oute with gode gryth.
Sche anoyntyd hys fete that were sore,
And ever sche cryed “Jhesu, thyn ore!”
Jhesu wyst hyr wylle full wele,
And forgaffe hyr ylke-a dele.
That untment it was so suete
That sche untyd onne hys fete,
In that hous it spred wyde
Overall aboute on ilke-a syde.
A dyssipull was therine,
He was combyrd all in synne:
Judas Scaryot was hys name.
He dyd hys lord mykell schame:
He spake to Jhesu with mastry
Wordys full of felony.
He seyd, “Jhesu, thou doyst ille
That thou latys thus this ontement spylle.
It myght be sold for penyes gode,
And gyfe pore men for to fode.”
Therfor Judas seyd it nought,
For onne the pore was not hys thought.
He was terrand and a theffe;
To geder penys he was full leffe.
Jhesu ansuerd to that saw
Wordys that were full of law:
“Pore men ye schall have
Your almus dede for to crave;
If ye wyll do after my wylle
Late them not for hungour spylle.
Me ye schall not have here long.
Agen this woman ye do wrong:
Sche hath don a well god dede;
It schall be hyrs at hyr nede.
Hyr lyve schall be wryten in story,
Ever to have in memory.”
Judas herd this wordys meke;
Hys awne sore he gan seke.
He mevyd and seyd in thought,
“All this schall helpe thee nought:
To the Jues I schall thee selle,
Sych masters for to telle.”
Judas wold no lenger duelle;
He sought the wey that ley to helle.
He yede and sought, and sone he fond
The most prinsys of that lond.
He seyd, “And ye wyll gyfe me mede,
Unto Jhesu I wyll you lede,
To Jhesu that I lufe nought.
To sell hym is my thought.”
When the Jues thes wordys herde,
With mekyll joy all thei ferde.
They gafe for hym, feyre and fre,
Thyrty platys of gode moné.
The platys sone anon he toke;
Ther was non that he forsoke.

When Judas had don that folye,
He sought Jhesu with grete envye.
When he was com to hys feloys,
They wyst not of hys pleys.
He sett hym doune among hem all
With hert byterer than the galle.
Of Paske was that feste hend
That Jhesu was betrayd and tened.
Hys dyssypullus com hym nere
And askyd hym with gode chere,
“Syr, were wyll ye hold your feste?
We wyll make redy your beheste.”
Jhesu ansuerd sone anone,
And clepyd hym Peter and John:
“Go,” he seyd, “and ye schall mete
A man with water in the strete.
The hous that he goth to with gryth,
Folow hym and go hym wyth.
The lord of that hous ye schall fynd
A sympull man of sely kynd.
To hym ye schall speke and sey
That I com sone in my wey
For to feste in the halle
And my twelve dyssypullus alle.
The dey is come, the tyme is nere,
Among my frendys to make my soper.
Ther I wylle my Paske make,
And at my frendys my leve take.
Ther ye schall dyght our mete
Of all gode as we may gete.”
Peter and John, thei were hende;
To the syté thei gan wende.
All thei fownd as Jhesu bade.
They dyde all with herte glade:
They ordeyned mete grete plenty
For Jhesu and hys meny.
Jhesu, when the bord was spred,
He turnyd as the boke us seyd,
And sette hym downe at the bord
And bade them sytte at a word.
They sette all withoutyn lettyng;
He dyde mete befor them bryng.
Judas saw them sytte all;
Befor hem he gan downe fall
That he myght with them ete —
Hys treson wold he not forgete.
He stole owte of hys lordys dyssche
The best morsell of fysche.
Jhesu toke brede and leyd hym by,
And blessyd it with melady.
After he brake it with hys handys
And gaffe it to hys gode frendys,
“Ete,” he seyd, “of this brede;
It schall yow save fro evyll dede.
It is my flesch that I yow gyffe;
Therfor ye may the better lyffe.”
Sethyn he toke the wyne clere
And blyssed it with myld chere.
“Drynke,” he seyd, “it doth you gode;
The drynke of lyfe, it is my blode.
Who so unworthy my flesch etys
Hys awne dampnacion he etys,
And drynkys my blode so hend
He schall be dampned withouten ende.
The body that ye here se
For yow betrayde it schall be
For to make you clen of synne
And other mo that be therine.
Als oft as I schall be take
Mournyng of me ye schall make.
The ryght law this schall be;
I wyll that ye hold it of me.
For with yow I ete no more
To I have ben wyde-where.
Ther ageyn may no man stryve,
For I schall sone be brought of lyve.
The prophesy seys of me
That I schall hong upon a tre.
The tyme is com that a trayter bold,
One of you, me hath sold.
For me be the penys takyn,
And one of you hath me forsakyn.
For soth I wern hym wele beforn
He were better be unborn.”
When hys dyssypullus herd this tale,
They were abayschyd, grete and small.
All thei caste up a cry,
And seyd, “Lord, that is not I!”
Than spake Jhesu wele styll,
And seyd anon after hys wyll,
“He it is that with me etys;
To fyll hys wombe he not forgetys.
Thorow hym trayd I schall be;
All ye may hym knaw and se.”
Als sone as Judas herd that word
He ros and sterte up fro the bord.
Judas anon he made a cry:
“Master,” he seyd, “was it ought Y?”
Jhesu ansuerd and seyd, “Iwys,
Thow it seys thiselve it ys.”

Seynt John at the soper sate;
Mete and drynke he forgate.
He lenyd hym to Jhesus breste,
For he sate hym alther nexte.
Sone anon he fell one slepe.
Of mekyll selcouth he gan mete:
An angell toke hys saule wele evyn
And bare it into the blys of hevyn,
And ther he lete hym se
Mekyll of Godys privyté.
He sey ther many wonder thyng
As he was in hys metyng.
His wytte, it was so gode
All that he sey he understode;
When he was wakyd feyr and wele,
He couth record it every dele,
And he it wrote in letter,
As clerkys have it in scryptour.
The boke is callyd the Apocalyps,
Full of selcuth thingys iwys.
On this I wyll no lenger duell;
Another thyng I wyll you tell.

Als Jhesu sate at the cloth,
Hys dyscypullus wex wroth.
Some of them began to stryfe
And gret contek for to dryfe
Whych of them schuld have mastrye,
Of mastry and of dygnyté.
Bot Jhesus godnes was not forgete:
He brought a chyld that was meke;
That chyld he sette hem among.
“Me thinke,” he seyd, “that ye do wrong,
For this stryffe may helpe you nought.
Ye must turne you to other thought.
For as myld ye behovys to bene
As this chyld that here is sene.
He that berys hym hyest of all,
Of his baly he sone schall fall.
I com not hyther with mastrye
To bere hey with invye.
He that berys hym feyre and styll
In the last schall have hys wyll.
I ame redy to serve you all
Of what thyng ye wyll to me call.
For ye must all buxsum be;
Take ye all exsampull be me.
Yow behovys to soffer pyne;
So I schall do for all myne.”
Jhesu spake with myld mode
To Seynt Peter ther he stode:
“When thou schall se that I ame takyn
And among my frendys forsakyn,
Comforthe thou thy brethyrn all
That non of them in synne fall.”
When Jhesu had seyd all this,
And all hade etyn iwys,
He gyrd hym with a cloth of lynne.
And seth he toke a feyre basyn
With water he brought afor them all,
And on hys kne he gan downe fall.
Afor Seynt Peter he wold sytte.
He seyd he wold wessch hys fete,
And Seynt Peter suere “Nay,
Thow schall not,” he seyd, “be this dey.
It fallys not, thinkys me,
Sych servys to have of thee.
Lord,” he seyd, “wessch not my fete,
Bot my hondys and my hede.”
“Peter, for soth I telle it thee,
Bot if thi fete wessch be,
Thou getys no parte of my blys.”
Peter seyd, “That wyll I not mys.”
Peter seyd and other mo,
“That parte wyll we not forgo;
Wessch fete and hondys, we pray thee,
That no thyng unwessch be.”
Jhesu Cryst swyth anon
Wessch ther fete everichon,
And seth he wyped them with a cloth —
That servys he was not loth.

When he had wessch ther fete bedene,
He sette hym downe hem betwene.
To them he seyd, as he downe sate,
“I have do ye wote not what.
Ye have callyd me your lord all,
Ye ne wote what schall befall.
If I be master and lord also,
Here I have you knelyd to.
So ye schall do iche man to other
As iche were other brother.
Of hyghe and law, more and les,
No thing is beter than buxsumnes.
Another I schall tell yow all
That among us schall befall:
Ye schall todey be sore dred
When I schall be fro you lede.
Ye schall sone fro me fle,
And som of yow forsake me.
When the herd goth fer besyde,
Hys bestys spred swyth wyde;
I ame the herd, ye be the schepe.
I schall be take or tyme of slepe;
For yow I schall be do to ded –—
Sych is now the Jues red.
I schall dyghe and breke the ley,
And ryse upon the thyrd dey.
Than ye schall me fynd and se
In the lond of Galylé.”
Than seyd Peter wordys fre:
“As thou seyst, Lord, may it not be.
I schall folow thee were thou wyll gon,
Among thy frendys or thi fone.
I wyll for thee grete peyne take,
To prison go for thy sake.
I wyll with thee take the dede —
Beryth with me no man that rede.”
And thus seyd the apostellus all,
That sate with Jhesu in that hall.
Jhesu ansuerd as he wele couth,
And spake to Peter awne mouth:
“Peter, for soth I tell it thee,
Thys nyght thou schall foresake me
(I wote wele here inow)
Thrys or the coke hym crow.
Bot do as I wyll thee telle;
It is for gode I schall thee spelle.
For dred of them that wyll yow dere,
Suerdys all ye schall bere.”
They seyd that sate hym neghe besyde,
“Syr, for thing that may betyde,
We have redy suerdys two
And other wepyns gode also.”
Jhesu ansuerd, feyre and fre,
“That is inoughe, if it so be.
Sytyh up and folow me —
Here wyll we no lenger be.”

To a towne thei toke the gate,
That men callyd Bethany the Bate.
Jhesu spake wordys stylle
To hys dyscypullus with god wylle:
“Here ye schall me abyde
Whyle I go here a lytyll besyde.
Ther I have a lytell to seyn;
When I have do, I com ageyn.”
He toke with hym thre men wele hend,
And with them he gan forth wende.
(Peter and John and hys brother,
He lovyd iche more than other.)
He led them forth with wordys suete
Onto the Mounte of Olyvete.
Than seyd Jhesu to them thre,
“Here ye schall abyde me.
Slepes not, bot be wakyng;
My flessch for dred is quakyng.”
When he was fro them gon,
On kneys he fell and kysyd the ston.
After sone he gan call
Hys Fader name, hyghest of all.
“Fader,” he seyd, “if it may be,
Thou late this deth passe fro me.
And if I may non other do
Bot that I must nedys therto,
I ame redy to do thi wyll
Her onne erth, bothe loude and styll.”
When this was done he syghed sore;
Hys angwys was mekyll the more.
The boke it seys, welle I wote,
Blod and swete ran doune to hys fote.
Ther com downe an angell bryght,
Fro heven to erth he lyght,
To comforth Jhesu well styll;
So it was hys Faderys wyll.
After that he rose anone;
To hys dyssypullus he gan gon.
They were wery of wakyng
And had take a grete slepyng.
When he found hem slepyng all,
Peter fyrst he gan call:
“Thys,” he seyd, “is not the dede
That I command you when I yede.
A lytell thraw may ye not wake
Of my sorow for to slake?
Wakys and pray heven Kyng
That ye fall not in foundyng.”
Thus he seyd. Son anone,
He toke the wey were he had gon,
To that hyll that he come fro;
He yede alone with other no mo.
On kneys he fell doune wepand,
For hys tyme was nygh comand.
He prayd hys Fader in Trinyté
That he myght that peyn fle.
Seth he rose and yede anon
To hys dysypullus: thei slepyd ichon.
Jhesu wold not them calle;
He yede and lete them slepe alle.
The thyrd tyme agene he yede
Hys erand fully for to bede.
“I have servyd no dede,
Bot do I wyll after thi rede.
If it may non other be,
Fader, do thy wyll with me.”
He yede myldly withall
Hys dyssypullus for to calle.
Fyrst he clepyd Peter and John;
After, he spake to hem ichon:
“Ye have restyd and slepyd wele,
Bot Judas slepyd never a dele.
To the Jues he hath me solde,
And for me be the penys tolde.
Syte up, for my sake;
I wote thei com that wyll me take.
Now Peter,” he seyd, “I rede thee
That thou be redy for to fle.
Sathanas is thi frend nought;
He wyll thee dryfe in wekyd thought.
When I have dyghed on the rode tre,
Mykell schall be feld of hys posté.
Bot ever what schall befalle,
Comforth thou thy brether alle.”

After that, they toke the strete
Ther thei schuld hys fo men mete.
Judas com wyth grete rowte,
And he sette Jhesu all aboute
With suerdys, gleyves, and masys gode,
And blew ther hornes as thei were wode.
In lanternes thei brought lyght,
For it was wele in the nyght.
The Jues seyd hem betwen
To that traytour Judas so kene,
“Wherby schall we thi lord knaw?
Som of us hym never saw.”
“Of hym,” seyd Judas, “Ye schall not mysse:
Take hym,” he seyd, “that I schall kysse.”
Jhesu wyst hys wyll full wele;
He soferd them every dele.
He yede among them — he dred hem nought.
He seyd then, “What have ye thought?”
They ansuerd hym that was meke,
“Jhesu of Nazareth we seke.”
“If ye wyll Jhesu aseyle,
I ame he, withouten feyle.”
For drede thei were so hevy as lede:
They fell doune as thei were dede.
Seth thei ros and stod styll.
Jhesu to them seyd his wyll:
“What seke ye fast als ye have gon?”
The Jues seyd, sone anon,
“Jhesu of Nazareth we seke.”
Than spake Jhesu wordys meke:
“I seyd yow fyrst that I ame he;
Ferther wyll I not fle.
Yiff I be sought with you in ylle,
Late thes men in pes go stylle.”
“Welcom, master,” Judas gan calle.
The Jues com aboute hym alle.
They leyd hondys on Jhesus clothys,
And suore hys deth with many othys.
Jhesu seyd to Judas,
“Thys treson procuryd thou has.
Thou hast betrayd me, iwys;
Wherto com thou me to kys?”
Hys dissypullus that were ther,
Iche one of them had gret care.
Fro Jhesu thei fled everychon,
All bot Peter and Seynt John.
Peter thought to do hym gode:
He drew hys suerd as he were wode,
And smote a man swyth sore,
And refte hym hys ryght ere.
Jhesu sey this dede idon.
He seyd to Peter sone anon,
“Pute up thy suerd and smyte no more;
Me for-thinkys that thou smytys so sore.
Whoso with suerd wyrch bale,
He schall have the same gale.
Trowys thou nought and I wold crave,
Help of angellus I myght have?
Twelve thousand of angellus bryght
I myght have here this same nyght
Fro my Fader me to defend,
And wele mo he wold me send
My party for to susten
Agen the Jues that be so kene.
Than were not the profesye
That seys of me that I schall dye;
It behovys, nedys to be,
All that ever is wryten of me.”
Jhesu yede hem beforn;
He toke the ere that was of-schorn.
He yede to hym that was bledand;
Hys ere he helyd, wele farand.
For all this thei lovyd hym nought;
Thei dyde with hym as thei ne rowght.
They bonde hys hondys faste,
Whyles the bondys myght laste.
Jhesu seyd, “Ye bynd me fast here
As I were a thefys fere.
To me ye don gret unryght
Thus to fare with in the nyght.
Ye do me schame, all that ye may;
Feyrer it were to do be dey.
Oft tyme I have befor you ben;
In all the tempull ye myght me sen.
Why had ye me not ther take?”
The Jues to hym nought thei spake.
They wold hym ansuer nought,
Bot dyd as thei had in thought.

They led hym a wele god pas
To the bysschop, Syr Cayfas,
And began to hym wrye
Of Jhesu, both styll and hye.
Peter folowyd sone anon
Hys lord Jhesu, so dyd Seynt John.
John entryd with other mo,
For he was ther long or tho.
Peter stod withoute the gate,
For no man wold hym in late.
Als sone as he was were of John,
He clepyd to hym sone anone.
John spake with the porter styll;
Ther Peter enteryd at hys wyll.
What thei wold to Jhesu do,
The one beheld, the other also.
John stude in a mantyll fold;
On hym the Jues gan behold,
And to hym thei gan chyd.
Als the Jues dyde hym besyde,
The lape of that mantyll gode
They drew as thei were wode.
John saw men wold hym take;
He had lever hys mantyll forsake.
He lepe awey with grete tene,
And set the mantyll hym betwen.

Jhesu stod that ilke thraw
Among the Jues on a raw.
Nought was fond hym within
Thing that touchyd unto synne.
Two Jues stode hym bye;
On Jhesu thei made a crye:
“Thys man seyd that stode here,
A wonder thyng ye may here:1
That he may fall done in a throw
Thys tempull that ye all knaw,
And sethyn within the thryd dey
Reys it up new wele he may.
Thys wytnes we well, for soth:
He seyd it with hys awne mouth!”
Cayfas seyd in that thraw,
And spake to Jhesu with hys law.
He seyd to Jhesu ther he stode,
“Thynke thou that this pleynt is gode?”
Jhesu ansuerd hym ryght nought,
For he was grevyd in thought.
Cayfas to Jhesu that dey
Cryed to hym sone on hey:
“If thou arte Godys awne sone,
Have now done and sey us sone!”

Jhesu spake with myld chere:
“Godys sone thou seyst here,
And for soth I sey thee,
In heven men schall me se
To deme men after ther dedys;
He is unwyse that it not dredys.”
Cayfas herd this wordys styll;
He thought it was not after hys wyll.
Hys clothys he brake for tene,
And after seyd wordys kene:
“Hys wordys,” he seyd, “is sone gon,
Bot other wytnes hath he none.
Jues,” he seyd, “what is your rede?”
All thei seyd, “Do hym to dede!”
They gon spyte on hym all,
All that stod in that hall,
And seth with palmes in that place
They bette Jhesu in the face.

Peter drew among them bold,
And the weder wex wele cold.
He sey a fyre that was made on heye;
Als he durst, he drew hym neye.
Among the Jues Peter stode styll
And wermyd hym after hys wyll.
Ther com a meyden sone anon
To loke what Jhesu schud be done.
Sche sey Peter stond at the fyre;
Sche lokyd on hym with evyll chere.
“Man,” sche seyd, “what arte thow?
Arte not thou a dyssypull of Jhesu?”
Peter ansuerd son anon:
“For soth,” he seyd, “thou hast mysgon
Of thyng that thou onne me leyst;
I ne wote what thou seyst.”
Peter thought non other wone,
Bot the meyd forth gan gone
To another sted ther besyde.
Ther he herd men gon chyde —
Of hys face he was werre —
And spake to hym wordys there.
“Sertys,” thei seyd, “thou arte one
That arte wonte with Jhesu gon.”
Peter began to suer nay,
He sey hym never to that dey.
Peter gan to stryve ille;
He wold have gon thens full stylle.
Prevyly he went out at the gate
Betwen two men that sate therate.
Ageyn hym com Jues kene,
The bysschopys men thei were, I wene.
Ther Malcus came hym beforn
That he had hys ere of schorn.
He spake to Peter wordys grete,
And he began hym to threte.
He seyd, “Felow, arte thou not he
That my ryght ere toke fro me
When we com thi master to take?
Thys may thou not forsake.
Thy master helyd it anone;
Therfor he wend quyte to gone.
I folowyd hym betwene;
I wys he is thy lord, I wene.”
Peter stod adred full sore;
He forthought that he com ther
As he stod in swevne streng.
“Man,” he seyd, “thou hast gon wrong.
I ne sey hym never yite,
Nor I knaw not that prophete.”
Than began the kokys to craw,
Wel sone, both hyghe and law.
Jhesu turnyd sone anone
And he lukyd Peter apone.
Peter sey Jhesu on hym blynke;
Anon he began hym to thinke
And that word in mynd gan take
That Jhesu seyd Peter schuld hym forsake.
Therof myght he do no more,
Bot wepyd fast and syghed sore.

Befor the bysschop Jhesu stode.
He was ever myld and gode.
He askyd Jhesu of hys dedys,
What he wrought and to whos nedys,
Of hys techyng and of hys lore,
And of hys dyscypullus that were ther.
“That thing myght not wele be hyde;
It awght to be rede wele wyde.
Wythin the tempull I have bene;
Erly and late ye myght me sene.
Men I taught of my sawys
For to kepe my Faders lawys.
In privyté aught it not be leyd,
For in scryptour it schall be seyd.
What askys thou sych thyng of me
When other men kane telle thee?”
Up than ros a felon theve;
To rayse contek he was leve.
He ros up as he were wode,
And smote Jhesu ther he stode,
And seyd, “Why ansuerys thou so
The bysschop that thou speke to?”
Jhesu stode wele styll that tyde
And lokyd on hym that dyd hym smyte.
He seyd to hym, “Evyll mote thou thé.
Agen the ryght thou smytys me.
If that I seyd ought yll,
Smyt me after thy wyll.
Seth that I seyd no thynge bot gode,
With wrong thou mengys my blode.”
Cayfas, upon that grownd,
Spake to Jhesu in that stond:
“Sey us now for soth, iwys,
If thou com fro heven blys.”
Jhesu seyd, “Bote is ther non
For to plete ageyn my fone.
It nede not tell yow no tyding —
Ye leve no word of my seyng.
Ye schall, so it may betyde,
Se me be my fader syde.
All the posty schall be myn
To deme after ther synne.
Than I schall my fo men deme
That wyll me now of lond fleme.”
When this was seyd, the Jues all
On Jhesu thei gan fast calle.
Anon thei gaff hym dyntys ther,
And gaff hym wondys sore.
Upon hym loud gan thei cry,
“What helpys now thy prophesy?
Tell now who smote thee,
And we schall leve on thee.”
Thus thei fayred all the nyght
Tyll it sprong the dey lyght.
When it was dey, thei toke rede
For to pute Jhesu to dede.
They bounde hym with ropys sore.
Ther thei wold duell no more;
Anon thei toke ther gate
To thei com to Sir Pylate.
Withouten hym thei durst not do
Thyng that fell the crowne unto,
For he was man of grete baly;
In all that lond he hade mastry.

Now at Judas I wyll duelle,
All of hys sorow for to telle.
For the treson that he made,
All hys games wex unglade.
When hys game was all agone,
In wanhope he fell anone.
He wolde of Jhesu no mersy crave,
For he wend non to have.
He yede to the Jues kene
And seyd to them all bedene,
“I have synned in envy,
I have don grete foly.
Sertys, Jhesu I forsoke
For the penys that I toke.
Withouten gylt I have hym sold;
My synne is turnyd manyfold.”
Than ansuerd the Jues all,
To Judas thei gan calle:
“We have nothing to do
Of thyng that thou spekys us to.
Whyll thou sey thyn awne dede,
Thow awys it most to drede.
If thou hast do hym unryght,
On thee fallys wrech aplyght.
When thou hym us sold,
Gode money for hym thou told.
Thou were payd and so were we;
Ther may non other mendys be.”
Judas herd this wordys ill;
Of hys lyve he gan to spyll.
Be the tempull ther he stode,
He gan to quake as he were wode.
The thryty platys that he toke,
Out of hyr lape he them schoke
And threw them awey
Befor the Jues on hyghe.
And sethyn he gan gon;
Anon he thought yll to done.
Into a privye stede he drewht,
Ther he had hys wyll inough.
Within a pytte of a privé,
He hong hymselff on elther tre.
Hys wombe cleft in two full skete;
Hys bowellus hong downe to hys fete;
Body and salle he was forlorn.
Alas that evyr he was born!
In wanhop hys saule is tent;
Withouten ende to hell he wente.
The Jues sey that sylver bryght;
They toke it up with herte lyght.
Sone anone thei gane to stryve,
And grete contek thei dryve
What were best therwith to do.
Som seyd ther rede, so and so,
Sum seyd it aught nought
Into the tempull to be brought,
Ne be done in tresory,
For it was full of felony.
That stryff was feld sone anone;
They toke counsyll everychon
With that sylver to by lond
For to hold in ther hond
To strew Jues for ther synne
When thei were fownd therine.
Furth thei went on this wyse
Anon thei made merchandys:
They bought the Mounte of Calvery
For to hold in ther baly.
Sethen on that ylke place
To hong men thei made a space.
That gode was ivell gete and gone,
For-delyd was never none.
Fyrst, therfor, were penys told
When Judas had Jhesu sold;
Sethyn therwith that place was bought
That Jhesu was unto deth brought.
That sted, who so understod,
Is callyd the Feld of Blod.

Of this I wyll no more telle;
On other thyngys I must duelle,
Of Jhesu that was herd besette,
And befor Pylate was fette.
The Jues began on Jhesu crye,
And grete lesyng on hym lye.
“We have,” thei seyd, “befor you brought
A man that mekyll wrong hath wrought.
He makys folke to beleve on hym;
Therof he wyll never blynne.
And yete he seys another thyng:
That he is God and of Jues kyng.
Every man that seys this thyng,
He spekys ageyn Sesar the kyng.”

Pylat spake with myld mode
To Jhesu Cryst ther he stode:
“If this wytnes be trew,
Thow speke and ansuer to us now.
Arte thou Godys sone of heven?”
Jhesu ansuerd with myld steven,
“Thow it seys I ame he;
I ame present here to thee.”
Pylate seyd a party lowde
To the Jues kene and prowde,
“Sykerly, be my leuté,
That Jhesu seys, it may welle be.
I fynd in hym no gylte
Wherfor that he schuld be spylte.”
The Jues thei gan to cry,
“Syr Pylat, thou seyst foly!
Owre folke were in beleve gode
And he hath changyd of ther mode.
Mych folke he hath turnyd us fro
In this cuntré and other mo
All this thre yere, as I wene,
Al so wyde as he hath bene,
That is now fro this syté
Into the lond of Galylé.”
Pylat seyd to the Jues all,
The wysest of them he gan calle,
“Wyteh ye sone and wern me,
If he were born in Galylé.”
Than ansuerd one sone anone
Of hym he was avysed long gone.
Pylat seyd, “If it be so,
Wele I wote what longys therto.
Kynge Herod of that lond
The reme he holdys in hys hond.
He is man of more posté;
The dome fallys not to me.
Lede ye hym to Herod the kyng,
And sey I send hym gretyng.
Byde hym do all hys wylle
Of this mater that ye wyll spelle.”
The Jues toke Jhesu anon,
And to Herod thei gan gon.
To hym thei com a wele gode pase
Into the cyté ther he was.

Herod sey Jhesu command;
He yede agen hym, wele lykand.
Mekyll he desyred hym to se,
More than I can tell thee.
The Jues cam rynnyng full tyte
And fell before Herodys fete,
And ther mesage thei gan tell —
Lothe thei were long to duell.
Befor Herod in hys hall
Ther wylle of Jhesu thei speke all.
Herod seyd, “Welcom, Jhesu;
I ame glad I se thee now.
I thanke hym that thee hether sente;
I schall quyte hym hys talente.
Pylat hath do now ryght wele;
My wreth I forgyff hym every dele.
And sethen thou arte com to me,
Sey me some dele of thy posté.
I have herd speke in callyng
That thou doyst many selcuth thing:
The blynd men thou doyst to seyn,
The dome to speke, the defe to heren;
Crokyd men thou makys to gone;
Wode men thou makys hole anone.
And now for the lufe of me,
Some meracle that I may se.”
Jhesu Cryst was grevyd sore.
He wold be taryd than no more.
He ansuerd not, bot stod styll;
He gaff not of Herodys wyll.
Herod gan hym for to prechen;
He dyd hym spoyll and seth beten.
When he was betyn of them all,
Herodys men that sate in the halle,
They clothyd Jhesu than with clothys,
And suore hys deth with grete othys.
Herod seyd, “Jhesu I forsake;
They that hym brought, thei schall hym take.
To Pylat agen ye schall hym lede,
For he knawys most of hys dede.
Of this man ye do your wylle,
Whether ye wyll hym save or spylle.”
The Jues anon toke ther gate
To thei com to Syr Pylate.
They told hym tyding glade,
How Herod and he were frendys made:
“Of Jhesu he bade thee do thi wylle,
Whether thou wylt hym save or spylle.”
Pylat anon gan calle
The masters and the princes alle.
He seyd to hem, “Ye be to blame;
Ye do Jhesu mekyll schame.
I canne nothing in hym fynd
Werefor men schuld hym bete or bynd.”
Pylat seyd, “Lystyns to me,
I wyll you tell wordys thre:
It is custom of this lond
Of Paske dey that is nere hand
If any man in prison be
For manys-slaughter or feloné
Of prison delyverd he schall be,
And withouten dome to pas fre,
And sethyn do hym of land fle.”
The Jues gan to cry lowde,
“Nyme hym of hys wordys prowde!
If that he dyd not ylle,
We wold not hym spylle.”
Pylat was a party grevyde,
For thei cryed lowde in hys hede.
He toke Jhesu and wente aboute,
And askyd hym thyng that was in dowte.
Jhesu ansuerd in evyn wey
To all that Pylate couth sey.
Whyll Jhesu and Pylate stod ther,
I wyll you telle of treson more.
The princys and the masterys alle,
Styll thei lystend in the halle.
They callyd forth the Jues kene
And toke concell hem betwene,
A delyverans for to have
Of Pylate for to crave.2
They had in prison Barabas:
Both tratore and thefe he was.
Delyver hym thei wold ichon,
Bot Jhesu Cryst thei wold slone.
Pylat anon com hem to:
He seyd to hem, “What wyll ye do?
If ye wyll do after me,
Jhesu schall delyverde be.”
The Jues cryed and seyd “Nay,
He schall dyghe this same dey.
Bot ther is Barabas the thefe —
Delyver hym as he is lefe.”

Lystyns now a lytell spas,
I wyll yow tell of Sathanas:
He thought wele that Godys sone
Was come in erth for to wone.
He wyst if Jhesu were not slone,
He schuld have saules many one.
For Jhesu with hys deth myght bye
All the saulys in hys balye.
A treson he thought to do,
If he myght have com therto.
All that nyght he yede styll;
Hys thought he soundyd to fullfylle.
He com to Sir Pylatys wyfe;
He wold have savyd Jhesus lyfe.
Ther sche ley in slepe faste;
A grysly loke he on hyr caste.
“Awake,” he seyd, “and speke with me.
Of thy herme I werne thee.
Byd thy lord with gode rede
That he do not Jhesu to dede.
The men that procure hym to fall,
They schall be confondyd all.
For he was take with no treson,
With wrong he was pute in prison.
He that this treson fyrst begane,
The peyn of hell he hym wane.”
Pylatys wyfe herd this wordys ther;
Sche durst not speke a word for fere.
Anon sche yede to Syr Pylate
Ther he sate in domes sete,
Als he schuld deme Jhesu.
“With Jhesu,” sche seyd, “what wylte thou do?”
Sche seyd, “I hold thee for wode
If thou do Jhesu ought bot gode.
Leve not on the Jues rede
For to do Jhesu to dede.
Slepand it come, I may you telle,
A gost — I wene he com fro helle.
Loythely he masyd me;
For Jhesu sake that dyde he.
They that brought Jhesu thee beforne,
Withouten end thei be forlorne.
That gost was well grysly;
Sey I never non so ugly.
I was never so sore adred
Seth I was of my moder fede.
Delyver anon Jhesu fro thee
So that the gost may love thee.”

Pylat herd the Jues alle,
How hy thei gan with wordys calle.
They seyd, “We wyll have our wylle
Of Jhesu that hath don ylle.
He seys us schame and schond,
And defame us in every lond.
And yit he seys other foly,
That he hath of us mastry.
Kyng of Jues he dyde hym calle;
Sych are hys dedys alle.”
Pylat seyd unto Jhesu,
“They love thee nought, what thei sey now.
In pes thou myght be for me,
Bot for the folke of this contré.
The bysschop of the law with envy
Thinkys to do thee vylonye.
No thing this fawte is in me,
And that thee schall sone se.”
He callyd forth a wyked squyre
And bade hym fete water clere.
When the water was to hym brought,
He wessch hys hondys as he thought.
He seyd to the Jues kene,
“Of this gylte I wyll be clene,
And in the spyllyng of hys blod.
I fynd in hym no thing bot gode.”
Than ansuerd the Jues kene,
“All hys blode on us be sene,
And all the synne myght falle
On us and of oure chylder alle.”
Than spake Pylat ther he stode
To Jhesu Cryst with myld mode.
“Jhesu,” he seyd, “behold and se
All this folke be hold onne thee
For thou teches new lawys
That were unseyd be olde deys.”
Jhesu seyd anon hys thought:
“Of your wordys I gyfe nought.
I wyll make her no mastrye;
In other sted is my balye.
My kyngdom is heven bryght,
Ther I was this same nyght.
Yiff that my kyngdom were here,
Angellus of heven schuld me were.
Agen the Jues thei myght me were,
That non of them schuld me dere.
Bot my reme is ferr me fro;
My Fader wyll it schall be so.”
Pylat seyd, “Than arte thou kyng
In this werld of all thyng?”
Jhesu seyd, “Thou seyst wele so;
In this werld I have to do,
And in this werld I was borne.
I com to seke that was forlorne,
Nother to fyght, nether to suere,
Bot of sothefastnes wytnes bere.
And every man that lovys sothnes
In me wones more and les.”

Pylat seyd, “I byde thee,
What is sothfastnes, tell thou me?”
At this word Jhesu stod stylle,
And seyd nether gode ne ille.
Pylat was full of thought;
What he myght do he wyst noght.
Anon he seyd the Jues to,
“What wyll ye with Jhesu do?
Synne it were to spyll his blode;
I fynd in hym nothing bot gode.
I rede that we late hym go
Into the lond that he com fro.”
The Jues seyd to Pylate,
“Yiff that thou late hym thus scape,
Sezars frend wyll thou not be.
For we have do as we told thee,
Deylver us Barabas the thefe
And pute Jhesu to peynes greffe.
Bot if thou do as we thee sey,
Thou schalt an a evyll deth dey.”
Pylat than dred them sore.
He toke Jhesu afor them ther,
He toke hym to the Jues all.
“Now loke,” he seyd, “what wyll befalle.”
Than began the Jues kene
Dyspoyle Jhesu hem betwene.
They pute of hym all hys clothys
And suore hys deth with many othys.
They bond hym to a pylere
And toke scorgys strong in fere.
They bete hym, whyll the schorgys laste.
The blod ran don by hym faste;
Jhesus body, ther he stode,
Was all coverde with hys blode.
Seth thei bonde hys fete faste
With strong cordys, whyll thei myght laste.
Thei honge on hym a purpull palle
And fell onne kneys befor hym alle.
All thei seyd in ther schorging,
“Welcom, Syr Jues Kyng!”
After thei toke thornes kene,
They made a garlond bedene
And sett it upon hys hede.
Ther was no mercy with hem leved.
The thornes made woundys grete;
The blode ran doune with grete hete.
They toke scorges and bete hym sore;
All that he sofferd and mych more.
Besyde Pylat Jhesu stode;
All he was berune with blode.
Pylat seyd, “I have mervell of thee
That thou bydys no man helpe thee,
And why thou makys no more crye
On them that doys thee this vylonye.
Whens arte thou? What is thi name?
Strong thou arte to sofer schame.
I rede thou cry us mersy all,
For thy profete so may befalle.”
Jhesu stod styll and seyd nought.
Pylat seyd “What is thi thought?
Ne gruche thou nought to speke with me
Whyll thou arte in my posté?
Wenyst thou not that I wele may
Do thee to deth this same dey?
Or I may do thee to the dede
As it is the Jues rede.
Of thy body I have posté
For to hong thee on a tre.”
Jhesu seyd to Pylat tho,
“All thi posté thou schall forgo.
Posty hast thou non of me,
Bot that fro heven is grantyd thee;
Therfor, he hath more synne
That gaff me to you herine.”
Pylat lede Jhesu withoute;
The Jues gatherd all aboute.
Anon Pylat lowde gan cry,
“Thys is your kyng in my baly.”
The Jues seyd, “We byde thee,
Gyff hym dome to hang on tre.”
Pylat seyd, “Is this your cry
To deme hym, bot ye wote why?”
The Jues, all that ther stode,
Cryed on hym as thei were wode;
All thei seyd with o voys,
“Gyff hym dome to hong onne cros.
Of the lawys we have rede,
The law wyll that he be dede.
He dyde all that to foly fallys
When he hym kyng of Jues callys.”
Pylat seyd, “I can no rede,
Bot do ye hym to the dede.”
Than ansuerd the folke of helle,
“It fallys us no man to quelle.
The dome fallys be gyne of thee:
Gyff thou hym dome to hong onne tre.”
Pylat seyd, “This is a strange thing.
Wyll ye sle your awne kyng?”
The Jues ansuerd sone,
“Other kyng than Sezar we have non.
Grante us hym for Sezar sake,
And Baraban out of prison take.”
Pylat seyd, “If it be so,
What wyll ye with Jhesu do?”
All thei seyd with o voys,
“Gyff hym dome to hong on cros.”
Pylat grantyd hem ther wyll.
Than gafe he dom Jhesu to spyll;
Barabas comandyd he
Anon delyverd for to be.
Purpull paull Jhesu stod ine;
Thei drew it of withouten wynne.
All hys clothys of thei gan take;
Agen thei clothyd hym for schame sake.
Thei drew hym as thei were wode,
And thretyn hym to hong on rode.
“The dom is gyfyn: hangyd is he,
Bot we have no rode tre.”
Than seyd hem Syr Pylate,
“Go,” he seyd, “fro gate to gate,
Tyll ye fynd some rode tre
Wereon he may hongyd be.”
Forth thei yede; at the laste
A long tre thei fownd in haste.
Whens that ilke tre com ther,
It is not told everywher.
Therfor, I wyll a stond duelle;
Of that tre I wyll you telle.

Davyd the kyng, in hys lyfe,
He sett that tre for to thryfe
Of thre branchys that he fownd;
The branchys all togeder he wond.
In a stoke of sedyr tre
He sett this branchys all thre.
The branchys were of grete price;
They com oute of paradys.
They were take withouten stryfe,
And were corve of the tre of lyfe.
On that tre that appull grew
That made us all to change new.
For that appull, thorow Evys rede,
Was Adam brought to dede;
Forthy it was a well gode thought
That deth was thorow the appull brought,
That lyfe schuld of that tre
In som time tokyn be.
David the kyng the branchys sette,
And in the rote togeder thei mette.
Be that the yere was all gon,
They stode and wex everychon.
Of thre maner treys thei were
That stode and wex together ther;
Therupon grew all our bote.
Of sedyr was the fyrst rote;
The sedyr and the palme tre,
The feyr olyff, I tell thee,
They wex together feyr and spred;
Therof the keng grete joy made.
Thyrty wynter all bedene
They wex feyr and lyke gren.
Within the tyme that I telle thee,
It was wax a well fayr tre.
Ther it stod and fast gon spred
Unto that Kyng Davyd was dede.
For hym was made grete mournyng;
Salamon after was made kyng.
He was hys son and of age;
Therfor he bore hys herytage.
Anon he thought to make a werke
To serve in both preste and clerke.
Men he had of mastery;
They made the werke to reys on hy.
In Jherusalem, that cyté bryght,
They made that werke a wele gode syght.
When the temple was up reysed,
Of a tre thei were deseyved.
Sone thei yede befor the kyng
And told hym of that thyng.
Salamon seyd he ne rowght;
Of that tre he was bethought.
In hys yerd, ther it grew,
All it was of one hew.
He sey that tre was long inowghe;
He dyd it fell, every boughe.
When it was feld thei gan it wyrche;
They bere it to the feyr chyrche.
Als thei drew that tre onne hyghe,
Ther werkys wex unslyghe:
The tre was schorter than the marke
Be four fote mette to take.
Grete wonder thei thought withall;
For tene thei lete it doun fall.
Bot yit thei thought hem among
They had take the mete wrong.
After thei gan mette to take,
Than was it lenger than the marke
Be thre fote large and more.
They suere that it schuld be ther.
As thei drew it up with mastrye,
Thei lokyd theronne ever on hye;
They wend to have sped wele.
The mette thei toke, it wold no dele:
Than it was schorter than the merke.
Awey thei drew it fro the werke.
They sought another thei myght;
To that werke it wold not ryght.
Another werke it wold abyde;
Ther fro myght no man it hyde.
Abyd it wold another honour:
To bere Jhesu, owre savyour.
Than it was layd over a pytte —
Then myght no man it flyte —
Over a strem of water clene,
In the sted of a bryge, I wene.
Sone after in a lytell stond,
It sonke doun into the grond,
And ther it ley long also;
Toke ther no man hede therto.
God that know of all dedys
Honoryd that tre for mans nedys.
God honoryd that ilke tre;
Also, I may telle thee,
Every dey fro heven lyght
God send thether an angell bryght;
The angell made that water flowe.
When he gan therin rowe,
Men that were that streme besyde
Therin thei se an angell glyde
At a tyme every dey;
When he hade done, he went awey.
Whoso myght anone ryght
Bathe hym after the angell bryght,
And yefe he were ryght seke withall,
Hys seknes schuld fro hym falle.
Of every maner evyll sore
Men had ther bote ther
For that holy treys sake,
For it was withouten make.

When the tyme was com of that tre,
The Jues it toke in ther posté.
They drew it up as thei were wode;
Anon thei made therof a rode.
With wordys sone, feyre and styll,
Of that rode tell you I wyll.
That rode anon the Jues gan make
That Jhesus lymes myght theron take.
Bothe the hondys thei schud take
To the rode withouten lake,
And both hys fete to the nether ende
They schuld be nayled, that were so hende.
Of what maner tre it was all,
Anon I you telle schall:
The over tre that hys armes ley onne
Of olyf it was purvyd anon,
For it was feyre and a bryght tre
That men myght it well ferre se.
The end on the grownd was seder gode,
For it schud not rote ther it stode.
They boryd holys theron withoutene wynne,
For it was to dryve nayles ine.
Thei thought God was mekyll and long also.
Borys thei toke no mette therto;
A bore to the one, a bore to the other,
A bore to bethe hys fete; wold thei non other.

When it was made for to se,
Than thei wantyd nayles thre.
The Jues thei made Jhesu wrothe;
To make the nayles forth thei gothe.
Than fond thei a smyth welle sone;
They bade hym, be sone and mone,
That he schuld hy hym well faste
To make foure nayles that wold laste
To nayle with Jhesu on the rode —
So thei cryed as thei were wode.
The smyth therfor was ryght wo
Aboute the nayles for to go;
To Jhesu he hade wyll full gode.
Jhesu he lovyd, and understode
That Jhesu was a trew prophete;
Loth he was to nayll hys fete.
He ansuerd with herte fre,
He thought Jhesus frend to be;
Thus seyd he to the Jues alle.
Another smyth thei behovyd to calle.
“Foure nayles we must have!
Of thee, smyth, we do crave.”
“Nay,” he seyd, “so mote I thé,
Thys dey gete ye non of me.”
In hys bosom he pute hys hond
And seyd he hurte it with a brond.
Than ansuerd the Jues kene
To the smyth with grete tene,
“Now we wote thou fenys thee:
Draw oute thi hond and late us se.
Draw oute thi hondys of thi clothys
Or that we suere be grete othys
Bot it be soth as thou hast suorne,
Thy lyve sone thou schalt lorne.”
Thus thei thret hym in ther saw;
Hys hondys thei made hym forth draw.
Than was ther in a lytell space
Gret tokenyng thorow Godys grace:
Hys hondys before had not sore bene;
God made sorys on them be sene.
It fared as it hade be sore,
Bot it was never the more.

Forth than com the smythys wyfe;
With mekyll care sche led hyr lyfe.
Befor the Jues ther sche stode,
Sche spake her husband lytell gode.
“Syr,” sche seyd and cryed on hye,
“How long hast thou had this maladye?
Yister evyn when the dey was gone
On thi hand had thou none.
Where hast thou ben among thi foys
Seth todey that thou roys?
The nayles for defaute of thee
They schall not unmade be.”3
Sche toke the wey to the stythé
Ther sche thought for to be.
Sche broke four pesys of the irene;
Therof sche made four nalys evyn.
Sche made the nalys to hyr wyll;
Durste non sey that sche dyde yll.
The Jues and the smythys wyffe
With the smyth were at stryffe;
The smyth durst sey ryght nought,
Bot cursyd hem in hys thought.
Forth the Jues yede ther gate;
Loth thei were to com overlate.
They com to Pylat ther he stode
And to Jhesu myld of mode.
Besyde them sate Jues kene
In a consyll them betwene.
Sone anon thei toke rede
For to do Jhesu to dede.
Than began thei fast to stryve
And grete contek for to dryve
Among them as thei were wode,
And askyd who schuld bere the rode.
Some seyd, “Who bot he
That theron schuld hongyd be?”
Than the Jues, everychon,
All thei acordyd into one:
Jhesu thei made the rode to bere —
Gode wyll thei had hym to dere.
They led hym withoute the syté;
Wold thei no mersy on hym se.
Two thevys thei lede also
That schuld with hym to deth go.
Men folowyd hym with grete route,
Sore wepand all aboute.
Wyfys and meydens wepyd sore;
For Jhesu thei couth do no more.
Jhesu sey women wepe sore.
He spake to them wordys ther:
“Women,” he seyd, “of Bethleme
And meydens of Jerusaleme,
Wepe ye not for me,
For nothing that ye on me se;
For yourselve ye may wepe,
And for your chylder terys lete.
The deys are comyng faste
That ye schall your joys caste.
Upon your faderys ye schall crye,
And onne your moderys with envye,
‘Fader, wherto were we borne?
Mych sorow is us beforne.
Moder whereto were we forth brought?
We were better to be nought.’
Ye schall to the montans sey,
Ther thei stond withouten nay,
‘Montaynus we wyll that ye fall
To felle us to deth all.’
And yit it may fall so kene,
More wonder with you schall bene.”

The Jues folowyd Jhesu with ire,
So dyde Pylate, the grete syre.
As thei lede hym in the strete
A bold man thei gan mete.
Symon was hys name, serteyn;
He com rynand, soth to seyne.
The Jues perseyved hym all;
Anon thei gan hym to calle.
“Master,” thei seyd, “thou hyest faste;
Well mette arte thou at the laste.
A man is here among us lede;
He is wery and all for-blede,
And berys hymselve that ilke tre
Wereon he schall hangyd be.
Wyll thou now, for oure sake,
Take the crosse on thy bake
And bere it ther it schall be,
And mekyll we wyll thanke thee.”
Symond ansuerd and seyd, “Ney,
I ne may be this dey.”
The Jues seyd sone anon,
“Of this herlote is grete scorne,
That thou forsoke to bere the tre
That we have iprayd thee.
Take up the cros and forth gone,
Or we schall breke thy bake bone.”
Symond sey non other bote;
At ther wyll forth he mote.
Symon toke the rode anone,
And leyd it onne hys schulder bone.
They made hym bere it with envye
To the Mounte of Calverye;
Ther thei sette the rode tre.
Of Jhesu had thei no pyté:
Thei dyspulyd hym all nakyde.
When thei hade that sorow makyde,
Lottys thei leyd of hys clothys
And suere hys deth with grete othys.
Withouten seme hys clothys were
That thei hade among hem ther.
Sethyn thei dyde Jhesu on rode;
Withoutyn gylt thei sched hys blode.
How he was on the rode done,
I wyll you telle ryght sone.

They toke the rode with sturdy wyll
And leyd it on the grounde well styll.
They toke Jhesu ther he stode
And leyd hym upon the rode.
To the borys thei leyd hys armys suete
For to loke if it were mete.
As thei gone ther merkys al so,
Hys armes myght not rech therto.
Be a fote, withoute lesyng,
They myght not hys armes bryng.
The Jues sey that and gan thynke
That thei had so lorn ther swynke.
They were loth other holys to make;
Therfor two ropys thei gane take.
Thei dyde ropys on hys hondys;
The blode broke out for strenthe of bandys.
They gan hys body all todraw
To thei myght bryng the handys therto.
The semys thei byrst also;
Lyth fro lyth thei were undo.
Thei toke the nayls told be tale,
And drew hym by the handys smale.
Thei lokyd to hys fete so bryght
And sey thei ley not aryght.
Thei toke a cord at the laste
And tyde it on hys fete wele faste,
Another on hys brest with grete wronge,
And drew hym to the pynnes longe.
Hys leggys blede — wo was he begone —
Pyté of hym hade thei none.
They toke hys fete that were clene
And leyd hem over the bore bedene.
They toke two nayles swyth grete
And drove them thorow both hys fete.
The blode rane of hys body tho;
Was never man so wobego.
Ther was not hym so mekyll levyd
Wheron he myght rest hys hede,4
Bot leyd it on the schulder bone.
Of hym mersy hade thei none.
Some of the Jues a cloth gan take
To hyll hys membyrs for schame sake.
And when that they hade thus done,
The rode thei hevyd up well sone.
Upon the Mounte of Calverye
Thei sette it up with grete invye
And ramyd it in a pytte,
For that non schuld it hene flytte.
Seth on kneys thei gon falle.
To Jhesu with scorne thei gan calle:
“Lyght doune,” thei seyd, “of that heyghe tre,
Kyng of Jues if that thou be,
And beleve we schall apon thee ryght
That thou arte man of grete myght.”
Anon Pylate a letter wrote
(So seys Seynt John that wele wote);
One a bord of palme tre
He dyde it festyn with herte fre.
He sette it aboven the rode tre
That men myght it rede and se.
That wryte seyd mekly iwys,
“Jhesu of Nazareth he is,
Kyng of Jues,” theron was wryte.
What it seys men may wele wyte.
Grew and Ebrew and Latyne
Was wryten ther in that perchemyne.
Nazaret was Grew, Jhesu Ebrew,
Kyng of Jues was Latyn to yow.
What Pylat betokyn in this wryte,
I wyll you tell all my wyte:
The palme is a sympull tre
That betokynys pes to be.
Pylat seyd with hys word
It schall be festynd on palme bord.
They thought when Jhesu was dede
That thei hade bene oute of drede,
That no folke schuld turne them fro,
Bot be in pes ever more so.
The Jues when thei the letter rede,
Thei were not payd of that dede.
Before Pylat thei gan crye,
“Thow hast wrote grete foly!
Wryte not that he is Jues kynge —
Who so it seys, it is lesynge.”
Pylat seyd, ther he stode,
To the Jues, “Ye be wode.
With wronge ye blame me;
Als it is wryte, so it schall be.”
Yit the Jues cursyd and kene
Made a stroblyng hem betwen.
They hong two thevys Jhesu bye
To do hym schame and vylonye.
The one theff gan to cry,
“Save me, Jhesu, when I dyghe!”
The other theve seyd anone,
“Helpe of hym getyst thou none.
How myght he helpe thee?
Hys awne deth he may not fle.”
Yit he cryed Jhesu mersy,
And spake to hys feley that hang hym by,
“Wrech,” he seyd, “thou arte wode.
That man dyde never thyng bot gode;
He is not worthy to sofure dede,
He is dampnyd with fals rede.
And we have don grete folye,
Ryght it ys that we abye.
For soth, this man is full of myght;
He may us grante heven bryght.”
He seyd, “Jhesu, I praye thee,
A place in heven thou grante me.”
Jhesu seyd myldly iwys,
“Thys dey I grante thee paradys.”
Of this I wyll no more telle —
The other theff toke the wey to helle.

Jhesu wyst all that was done
And that he schuld deyghe sone.
He seyd to the Jues thore,
“Sertys,” he seyd, “me thyrstys sore.”
The Jues herd hys wordys all;
Asell thei toke hym mengyd with gall.
They putte it up unto hys mouth;
That drynke was hym not couthe.
Jhesu forsoke that drynke so felle
That thei bede hym for to smelle.
He seyd to them, feyre and hende,
“Thys dede is don and brought to ende.”

Than ther stode besyde the rode
Thre maner women gode:
Jhesus modere, mayden clene,
So dyde Mary Magdelyne,
And Mary Cleophe, that suete wyght,
And Seynt Jon the Evangelyst.
And Oure Lady wepe wele sore;
Was ther non had sorow more.
Jhesu lokyd doune anone
And sey hys modere and Seynt John.
Jhesu seyd to John wordys new:
“Now behold thi modere trew.
Mary schall thi modere be,
And thou hyr sone after me.”
Mary herd this wordys suete;
Terys of blode sche gan lete.
Hyr eyghen were all hyd in blode
When sche beheld upon the rode.
Jhesus wordys John understod;
To Mary he had wyll full gode.
He toke Our Lady to kepe schen,
For thei were both vergyns clene.
Jhesu spake well myldly
To the folke that stode hym by:
“Ye that be this wey pas,
Abyde and behold my face,
And loke yff any other pyne
Be so bytter as is myne.”
The holy wryte seys nay,
No pyne to hys be lykyd may.
It was aboute the hyghe myddey.
Also, yow tell I may,
Bryght and feyr the son schon:
That forleste hys lyght anon.
Jhesu began grete pyne to thole.
The son wex blake as do the cole,
The dey turnyd into the nyght,
And the sterrys lest ther lyght.
Gret wonder befell allso:
The gret tempull cleft in two.
The elementys thei roffe that dey;
That was grete marvell for to sey.
The stonys thei broke for hete;
Strong it was, that storme so grete.
Men that were dede ther beforne,
A hundreth wynter or God was borne,
For that hete thei gan up ryse
Oute of ther graves on dyverse wyse
And yede forth to the syté
That men myyht hem both here and se.
All were this dedys done
Betwyx mydey and none.
That tyme of dey, Jhesu so gode,
Als he hong upon the rode,
Lowde he cryed, “Hely, hely,”
And also, “lamazabatany.”
What this wordys be to mene
I schall yow tell as I wene:
“Fader and God in Trinité,
Why haste thou forsakyn me?”
The Jues stode ther besyde;
They were schent in ther pride.
They wende he hade clepyd “Hely,”
That was a man of that contry.
Thei seyd yf Hely take hym done,
With schame schall he com to towne.
Yit seyd Jhesu meke and styll,
“Fader, I have don thi wyll.
Here I ame com thorow thi rede;
With wronge I ame pute to dede.
All my fo men wele thou knawyste;
Do them mersy yf thou awyste.
Fader, I take thee my goste,
For it is tyme, well thou woste.”
He bowyd hys hede done wele stylle.
Hys spryte passyd after hys wylle.
After, the wey he toke to helle;
Myght no thyng make hym hene duelle.
The gatys he broke that were stronge;
Agayn hym thei were schyte with wronge.
The devyllys of hym were sore drede;
If they myght thei wold have flede.
Sathanas he bonde fast
With chanys of iren that wold laste.
For soth he schall lye bondyn aye,
To that it be domys deye.
He toke with hym Adame and Eve,
And other mo that were hym leve.
Anon he lede them oute of helle;
How many thei were I cane not telle.
He lede them into paradys,
Ther joy and blys ever more ys.

Besyde the Rode ther stod a man,
Hys ryght name telle you I can.
A gret cry he gan make
When he sey the woundys slake.
Centyr, that was hys name;
For hys cry the Jues gane schame.
He seyd “This is Godys sone!”
Therfore thei dyd hym in prisone.
The other dey aboute none,
When that dey was all done,
Ther com a man of ryche se,
That duellyd in that contré.
Joseph was hys name ryve;
He lovyd Jhesu as hys lyve.
Forth anon he wente hys gate
To he com to Syr Pylate.
He seyd, “Syr Pylat, I praye thee,
Jhesus body thou grante me.
Soffer me to take hym done
Or that I hens gone.”
Syr Pylat seyd “I grante thee;
We wyll wyte fyrst if he dede be.”
He callyd forth knyghtys hende
With Joseph for to wende.
“Go,” he seyd, “unto Jhesu
And loke that he be dede now.
Yiff he be dede take hym doune stylle
And late Joseph have hys wylle.”
The knyghtys thei gan forth gone;
To the rode thei com anon.
Fyrst thei com the Jues to;
Bothe ther theys were broke in two.
Seth thei stode in that place
And beheld Jhesu in the face.
Thei sey well that Jhesu was dede;
To breke hys bonys it was no nede.
Besyde the rude stude a knyght
That longe hade forgon hys syght.
Longeus was that knyghtys name;
He was bothe blynd and lame.
They made hym under Jhesu stond
And pute a spere in hys hond.
They leyd the spere to Jhesu syde;
“Pute up,” thei seyd, “what so betyde.”

Longeus pute the spere hym fro;
To Jhesus herte it gan go.
The blode gan anon oute spryng
And the water anon oute wryng.
Fro synne we were with hys blod bought,
And fro hell than we were brought.
Longeus stode welle styll than;
By hys fyngerys the blode ranne.
With that blode he wyped hys face;
Than of hys syght he hade grace.
On hys kneys he gan doune falle
And of Jhesu mersy calle.
He seyd, “I wyst not what I dede,
Bot as other hade me bede.”
Joseph toke done the body anon
And leyd it in a feyr stone.
Nychodemus, a man well gode,
To Jhesu he come with myld mode.
He brought with hym spysery
And strewyd on the body sothly,
And an oyntment the body to smere,
That no wormys schuld do hym dere.
They toke hys body schene
And wond it in a sendell clene.
Joseph the sendell with hym brought;
He hade it with hys sylver bought.
He leyd the body in the grave;
He wold of Jhesu mersy have.
The spysys gode with suete odour
They leyd aboute our savyoure.
Aboven hym thei leyd a ston faste —
That was not lyght — on hym to caste.
When the body was in reste,
They went ther fro and dyde ther beste.

Seth agene the thyrd dey,
I cane yow tell and wele I may,
Of a consyll and of a stryfe
That was among the Jues ryve.
Nothyng seyd the knyghtys stylle.
Tyll that they wyst Pylatys wylle.
Anon thei toke ther gate
To thei com to Syr Pylate.
They seyd, “Pylate, bethynke thee now
Of a thyng we wern yow,
Jhesu seyd in hys lyve
That made us all for to stryve.
He seyd to hys desypullus all
A wonder thing if it befall:
That he schuld dyghe and breke the ley
And ryse agene the thyrd dey.
For this thyng we drede us alle;
Therfore, do men befor you calle
And late them wake that stone
To the thyrd dey be agone,
That hys dyscypullus with no reson
Make among them no treson
To stele hys body awey be nyght,
And bery it ther hem thinke lyght.
Than myght thei tell and sey
That he were resyn and went awey;
Than were this last dede
More than the fyrst to drede.”
Pylat ansuerd sone anon,
“Go kepe hym wele as ye can,
Upon lond and lyfe,
And upon shyld and wyfe.”
When thei were chergyd so sore,
Wordys thei durst speke no more.
They chesyd foure knyghtys gode
Among the Jues ther thei stod.
They dyde them arme swyth wele
Both in iren and in stele.
They gan forth to wend
The stone to kepe feyre and hend.
They kepyd that ston all the nyght
Tyll it sprang the dey lyght.
When it was nyght thei fell on slepe;
They had no power hym to kepe.

Jhesu in the systyrn ley,
And rose upon the thyrd dey.
The over-ston he pute besyde;
No lenger he wold therine abyde.
He toke the wey to Galylé
Ther men myght hym here and se.
To Joseph of Ramaty he schewyd hym sone
Ther he was put in prisone.
The secunde to hys moder dere,
And bade hyr be of gode chere.
The thyrd he schewyd schen
Onto Mary Magdelen.
Ther he spake to hyr anone
And bade sche schuld hys erand gone:
“Go to Mary my moder dere,
And to Jon hyr trew fere,
And tell the apostyllus everychon
That I ame ryse out of my stone.”

Mary began forth to gon
And dyd hys commandment anon.
Sche seyd to Peter and to Mary
Wordys of gret curtasy:
That Jhesu was reson out of the ston
And into Galylé he was gone.
“For soth, I you tell may —
I spake with hym this same dey.”
When hys dyscypullus this wordys herd,
With mykell joy all thei faryd.

Jhesu Cryst that is heven kyng,
Of whom is made all this spellyng,
Gyve us grace of hys peyn
In our thought to have serteyn
That it may our warant be
Agen the fend and hys posté,
That we may to that joy wend
That ever schall last withouten ende —
That is, to the blysse of heven.
Amen, for hys names seven.
And that it myght so be,
Amen, Amen, for charyté.
The Passion of Our Lord; (see note)
[A matter] of great pity; tell

since; dearly (at great price)
Because; lose

dwell a while

are in agreement

(see note)
were widely known; (see note); (t-note)
malice (envy)

gathered themselves privately
all their plans

heathens; (see note)

greatest masters; religion

believe in
taken away

Caiaphas; (t-note)

know not; (see note)

[So] that; lost

From himself

We do not want
(see note)
at hand (drawing near)

spoke together

then made him

Until; was past
no way
without judgment (a fair trial)
Put a man to death that day

sixth; (t-note)

(see note)
a while


release her; allow
will go



children of the Hebrews

to him
very elegant
went in front of him
before him


lest we die
dismounted; humbly

(see note)
Lazarus; (see note)



all together

holy scripture

to ask for relief; (see note)

for her sins she was ashamed

good will; (t-note)


in every way
[the scent] spread widely

mired in sin
Judas Iscariot


given in order to feed poor men; (t-note)
For that reason

cruel; (see note)


in her [time of] need
Her life; legend

own grief; sought
He considered



they went

coins; money

left behind


Passover; noble

where; (see note)

humility; (t-note)



from my friends
prepare our food

ready; (t-note)

taught us

at once
without delay
had food; brought

(see note)

set [it] near him
song; (see note)

(see note)


As often (see note)

Until; afar
Against this


to have been unborn

abashed; in every way



(see note)

nearest of all

great marvel[s]; to dream

God’s secrets


(see note)

(see note); (t-note)
grew angry
quarrel; (t-note)
to make a great argument; (see note); (t-note)

From his authority

act arrogantly; envy



wrapped; linen


It is not filling, it seems to me


get no share

each of them

not loath [to do]


You know not what I have done

know not

treat each other

low; (see note)

sorely afraid

shepherd goes far away
be taken before
put to death
Jews’ judgment
die; law

frank; (see note)


I will take death with you
[May] no man give me [other] advice

knew well
i.e., own face

I know well enough here
Thrice before the cock crows


may happen

Sit; (see note)

(see note)

am done

(see note)

(see note)

But what I must do

loud and silent (i.e., in all ways); (t-note)

well I know





coming near

escape that punishment

message (prayer) to deliver
deserved; [punishment of] death; (t-note)
according to thy judgment

not a bit


whatever shall happen

(see note); (t-note)
a great crowd
spears and maces

not miss

in everything


as heavy as lead; (t-note)

as fast as (so quickly)

in evil


very severely
cut from him
saw; done

I regret
works evil
meet the same fate
Do you not trust that if I asked

My friends; support

would not [be true]

cut off
acting well

cared not [for him]

thief’s companion
treat; (t-note)


soft and loud (i.e., in every way)

(see note)
long before then


they [i.e., the Jews]

wrapped in a cloak

chide (accuse)
took him aside
grabbed; crazy

rather abandon his cloak

same moment; (see note); (t-note)

Anything sinful


cast down an instant

He may raise it well anew; (t-note)




in high voice (i.e., loudly)

Have done with it and tell us now!


judge men according to their deeds

to his liking
tore in anger

are soon gone (i.e., empty)


weather grew cold
As he dared

warmed himself

what would be done to Jesus

have been mistaken; (see note)
accuse me of

no other hope; (see note)

aware (i.e., he hid his face)
[they] spoke to him

accustomed to go with Jesus

struggle unhappily

Up to him; fierce
I believe
(see note)
cut off
strong words; (t-note)

thought to leave unscathed

I believe


cocks to crow

looked upon Peter


for whose need



secret; kept

wicked thief
He was eager to raise trouble; (t-note)

May you fare evilly

according to your will

stir up my blood (i.e., provoke me)

time (place)

There is no remedy
plead; foes
as it may happen
judge according to

put to flight; (t-note)


(see note)
believe in

made the decision


pertained to the crown (royal authority)

(see note)

schemes turned out poorly





numerous (magnified)

You ought

vengeance in full


began to ruin; (t-note)

their flap

private place; drew

pit of a latrine
alder tree
immediately; (see note); (t-note)
bowels (intestines)
[In] body and soul; lost

despair; afflicted


quarrel they made; (t-note)

argument was settled
to own directly
put to death

a purchase
(see note)

evilly gained and spent
Divided; (see note)

Field of Blood

(see note)
fiercely afflicted; (t-note)



against Caesar




somewhat loudly

by my faith


in good belief
changed their minds

(see note)

Learn; tell

warned long ago

i.e., know what must be done; (see note)

realm; (t-note)



saw Jesus coming; (t-note)
He went to him, desiring much [to see him]



pay him his due

I completely forgive him for my anger

power; (t-note)

caused to see
dumb; hear
Crippled; (t-note)

delayed (hindered)

cared not for
exhort; (see note)
had him stripped and then beaten



near at hand

exile him from the land

Take him for

somewhat aggrieved; (t-note)

i.e., calmly
could ask

each one wanted

as he desires

little while; (t-note)
(see note)

to dwell

treacherous deed
be able to do so
traveled quietly
plan he examined


condemned (cursed); (t-note)

won (earned)

judgment seat



Sleeping it came

Loathsomely; frightened

lost (damned)



power over us


In no way is the blame upon me


set against you

in olden days

In another place is my jurisdiction

guard; (see note)


have to be

seek what was lost

to bear witness to truth



Caesar’s; (t-note)
have done

(see note); (t-note)
greatly feared them

took off from him

scourges (whips); together; (t-note)

fine cloth; (t-note)


left in them; (t-note)




You may fare better for that


to death


Except for that [power which] from heaven


Sentence him to

condemn; although you know not why

one voice

pertains to folly

I know no judgment

by your working





Fine purple cloth
off; joy

dragged; (t-note)

to them


a while
(see note)

planted; thrive
trunk; cedar


[Since] that death
Eventually be taken; (t-note)

By the time that the year

remedy (cure)
cedar (see note)




received his inheritance

For priests to perform services in

cheated (i.e., lacking)

cared not

had it felled

became inept; (see note)

By four feet [in] measure

For anger


looked on it on high
thought to have succeeded
would not [fit] at all

they might [use]
would not [fit] right

remove; (t-note)

mankind’s needs (i.e., redemption)

from heaven’s light

(see note)
to swim


if; sick



pulled it from the ground in a frenzy


without fail

olive; purveyed (made)

rot where
joy; (t-note)

tall; (t-note)
Boreholes; measurement

they would [make] no other

(see note)

by sun and moon
(see note)

truly upset (woeful)



so may I prosper



Before we swear


sign (miracle)

i.e., never afterwards


Last night

Since you rose today; (t-note)


four pieces

None dared say she worked badly

in conflict

took their way
They were loath to be late

make a great quarrel; (t-note)

agreed as one


in a great crowd

saw; (see note); (t-note)

shed tears for your children

cast [away]


without dispute

happen so cruelly


running; to tell the truth






disrobed; (t-note)

Lots (wagers); (t-note)

seam; (see note); (t-note)


placed on the cross

(see note)

holes; sweet
to see if they fit
made their measurements; (t-note)

lost their work


draw apart
Until they could
sinews; burst
Limb from limb; undone
as told in the story; (t-note)

noble; (t-note)




woebegone (miserable)

[he] laid

To cover


take it away

Jump down; from


who knows well; (see note)


sign said simply indeed; (see note)

Greek and Hebrew; (t-note)
parchment (text)

[with] all my intelligence
(see note)
betokens (promises) peace; (t-note)

turn against them

pleased with that deed; (t-note)

it is a lie

(see note)
distraction (quarrel)

(see note)

not escape


does not deserve to suffer death


I thirst sorely

Vinegar; mixed with gall

courteous to him

(see note)

sweet creature


eyes; covered


(see note)

can be compared; (t-note)

as a coal


split apart

before Christ

3:00 p.m.

Eli, Eli (see note)
lamma sabacthani (see note)




entrust you with my soul

according to his desire
(see note)
remain away

shut unjustly

bound perpetually
Until it is Judgment Day

dear to him


slacken; (t-note)
Centurion; (see note)

That day; (see note)

well known; (see note)


Before I go from here



i.e., the two thieves


Longinus (see note)

Raise [it] up; whatever may happen


i.e., he regained his sight

did; (t-note)
as others ordered me



wrapped; shroud



Then on the third day

an argument; (see note)
rife (widespread)

[Something that] Jesus said

break the law


So that; no cause
any plot

where they think it easy

i.e., More dangerous than the first

shield and wife
charged (commanded)

chose; (t-note)


(see note)

cistern (sepulcher); (t-note)

Joseph of Arimathea; appeared; (see note)


go on his errand

(see note)


i.e., were overjoyed

(see note)


(see note); (t-note)

(see note)

Go To Item 29, The Short Charter of Christ, introduction
Go To Item 29, The Short Charter of Christ, text