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1 Lines 14-15: I have often watched, longing for that precious thing / That used to be able to dispel my sorrow

2 Lines 17-18: That does nothing but pierce my heart sharply, / Swell and burn my breast painfully

3 Otherwise no wheat could be gained (harvested) for homes

4 Lines 77-78: Like burnished silver the leaves slide over / That quiver densely on each branch

5 And hedge-rows and stream-banks and lovely river-meadows

6 With a whispering murmur flowing straight on

7 Lines 115-16: As streaming stars when country folk sleep / Gaze in the heavens on winter night

8 Lines 139-40: I thought the water was a division / Between joys, made by bodies of water

9 Lines 153-54: And all the time it seemed to me I should not hesitate / For fear of harm where joys were so delightful

10 Lines 225-26: I believe no tongue could manage, / Nor describe that sight in fitting speech

11 That has clearly made for you something of nothing

12 You have no idea what a single one of them means

13 Lines 307-08: You, who love nothing but what you see, / Set His words completely awry

14 Lines 333-34: Now I do not care if I fall from prosperity / Nor how far from the land men banish me

15 Lines 339-40: For clamor of grief over lesser losses / Often many a man loses the greater [reward]

16 We meet so seldom by stump or stone (i.e., anywhere)

17 If you would tell me, in a serious way (lit. in a quiet agreement)

18 Lines 451-52: And would wish their crowns five [times as valuable] / If their improvement were possible

19 Lines 489-90: Of a countess, damsel, by my faith, / It would be proper [for you] to hold the rank

20 About the third hour (i.e., 9 am) the lord goes to market

21 Lines 523-24: Whatever fair wage is accrued by evening, / I will pay you in deed and in intention (fig. fully)

22 I.e., I do not want to shortchange you

23 One should by no means claim more than the contract

24 And though their labors are spent with little result

25 Lines 599-600: Then those who work less are entitled to take more, / And ever the longer the less [they do], the more [they get]

26 Whatever He deals, pleasant or hard

27 Or streams of a current that has never stopped flowing

28 Lines 609-10: His generosity is large; those who lurked in dread / From Him that makes rescue from sin

29 Where did you ever know any man to bow down

30 Lines 629-31: Soon the day, inlaid with dark, / Draws to the night of death / Those that never did wrong before they departed

31 Lines 671-72: But he that never glanced at guile / As an innocent [he] is saved and sanctified

32 Lines 680-81: He Himself is not slow to answer: / "He who did no evil handling harm

33 Lines 699-700: Lord, never draw Your servant to judgment, / For no living person is justified before You

34 The one who made your clothing was most skillful

35 Lines 759-60: He chose me for His spouse, although inappropriate / Sometimes might seem that match

36 For us He let Himself be torn and bent down (i.e., by the Cross)

37 Lines 855-56: For they could never imagine quarreling / Who bear the crest (heraldic) of spotless pearls

38 On one death (i.e., Christ's) our hope is fully placed

39 Unless false (lit. less) you believe my wonderful story

40 Like voice of many waters run together in a torrent

41 Lines 981-82: Beyond the brook, across from me descended / That [city] shining brighter than the sun shone with shafts of light

42 Because of luminous transparency nothing hindered any sight

43 Lines 1072-73: Why should the moon climb her circuit there / And compete with that noble light

44 Lines 1093-94: Just as the powerful moon rises / Before the day-gleam sinks completely down

45 Though they were many, no crowding in their ordering

46 Lines 1139-40: Any breast ought to have burned up for grief / Before he had delight in that

47 Lines 1195-96: But always would man grasp more good fortune / That rightly could belong to him

48 On this mound I grasped this chance (had this experience)

49 May He grant us to be His loyal (lit. household) servants


Abbreviations: A: Anderson's edition; AW: Andrew and Waldron's edition; C: Cawley's edition; G: Gollancz's edition; Gor: Gordon's edition; H: Hillmann's edition; MS: British Library, MS Cotton Nero A.x.; V: Vantuono's edition. See Select Bibliography for full references.

1 Perle. The pearl is the text's central object and symbol. Pearls were luxury items, widely used to decorate expensive clothing and precious objects: the Breviaire de Belleville that Richard II received in 1396 as a gift from Philip the Bold had a cover studded with pearls, as described by Jeanne Krochalis, "The Books and Reading of Henry V and His Circle," Chaucer Review 23 (1988), 59-60. The immense popularity of pearls as decorative items in the fourteenth century is attested by the inventory of Alice Perrers, mistress of Edward III, when her goods were seized in 1379, listing 21,800 pearls and 30 ounces of seed pearls (Frederick Devon, Issues of the Exchequer; Being a Collection of Payments Made out of His Majesty's Revenue, from King Henry III to King Henry VI Inclusive. With an Appendix. Extracted and Translated from the Original Rolls of the Ancient Pell Office, Now Remaining in the Custody of the Right Honourable Sir John Newport, Bart. Comptroller-General of His Majesty's Exchequer. Vol. 2 [London: J. Murray, 1837], pp. 209-10; cited in Donkin, p. 268). The most valuable pearls were imported from the far east ("Oute of Oryent," line 3) via the Mediterranean. The analogy between the pearl of price and the kingdom of heaven, explicated in lines 732-35, derives from the parable in Matthew 13:45-46, and was a popular allegorical theme for medieval theologians. Pearls were also conventionally equated with the pure soul and virginity, as described in the etymology opening the legend of St. Margaret in the immensely popular Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine, and with the Virgin Mary, the star of the sea (stella maris). For gems in late fourteenth-century court culture, see Riddy, in Brewer and Gibson; Barr; and Bowers, "Pearl in Its Royal Setting"; and for pearls, see Donkin, "Pearls in the Medieval World," pp. 250-75; Lightbown, pp. 30-31; and R. Allen Shoaf's edition of Usk's The Testament of Love (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1998), pp. 8-10, with frontispiece reproductions of the Virgin Mary and babe, the pearl as both star of the sea, and a pearl oyster in the sea, from MS Bodley 602, fol. 34. In The Apocryphal New Testament, ed. M. R. James (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953), pp. 209-16, Mary at the moment of her Assumption is compared to a pearl: "Then the Saviour spoke [to Mary], saying: 'Come, thou most precious pearl, enter into the treasury (receptacle) of eternal life.'"

paye. Used as a verb paye means both "to please" and "to pay." Paye, with its suggestions of both worldly commerce and also spiritual rewards, is the link-word of the final stanza group and the last word of the poem.

2 To clanly clos. Unpunctuated, as is the whole manuscript, this line has been variously interpreted: "too chastely set in gold" (G), "for a splendid setting" (V), or "to set radiantly in gold so clear," as other editors, myself included, have read the line. Clanly is also used in Middle English in the sense of "cleanly," "chastely."

3 Oute of Oryent. I.e., where the best pearls come from. See note to line 1.

4 Ne . . . never. Double negatives are equivalent to single negatives. "I never found her precious peer (equal in value)."

5 reken. As an attribute of person, reken can mean "capable" or "righteous."

araye. Pertains to forms of display or ordering and can range in meaning from the concrete to the abstract.

6 sydes. The term appears elsewhere in the poem to denote a feature of landscape, as in hill side (line 73) or the side of a river (line 975), but in Middle English syde is often anatomical and a standard of courtly rhetoric for denoting a woman's figure or clothing; see sydes as features of the Pearl-maiden's garment, lines 198 and 218. The use of the term in the opening stanza foreshadows the metonomy that will link pearl with maiden. For discussions of gender and embodiment in Pearl, see Bullon-Fernandez; Cox; and Stanbury, "Feminist Masterplots" and "The Body and the City."

8 synglure. I.e., "unique." A and Gor emend to synglere; G to syngulere. I follow the MS reading, since -ure rhymes with -ere in words of French origin, as H notes.

9 erbere. The MED gives as its first definition for herber a "pleasure garden," which is borne out here by the description of spice plants and flowers. See Luttrell.

10 hit. Gor explains that conventions in Middle English for indicating gender were, to an extent, case-dependent. Whereas "poetic license" might allow interchange between masculine and feminine pronouns when a word is used as a direct object or object of a preposition, in subject position a pronoun signals a clear mark of gender - or its absence. Hence the uses of the feminine "hyr" as direct agent in lines 4, 6, 8, and 9, but the neuter hit as subject of the verb in line 10. As both Gor and AW note, the uses of "hyr" hint at the pearl's feminine apotheosis, even as the neuter hit returns us to the gemstone.

yot. I follow H and AW in reading yot as derived from yette, "to pour, tumble"; see OED yet. Other editors have read the unusual yot as a variant spelling of yode, past tense of the verb gon, "to go." "Tumble," coupled with the subsequent "sprange" in line 13, suggests the pearl's vivacity and even agency.

11 fordolked. G emends to fordokked.

luf-daungere. Apparently a unique compound in Middle English, luf-daungere is a term from courtly love and evokes desire for the unattainable as well as feudal service to the lady, from OF daungere, "feudal power," as AW note. Compare Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Prologue, where Alisoun says her fifth husband"was of his love daungerous to me" (CT III[D]514). In Le Roman de la Rose Dangiers signifies the lady's refusal; see lines 2831-32.

12 pryvy. From OF privé, it has the sense of personal, intimate, or one's own.

spot. The link-word of the first stanza group, spot conveys the double senses of blemish and place that remain in contemporary usage. For link-words see Macrae-Gibson and Tomasch.

17 That. I.e., pondering and wishing, which only cause pain.

herte. MS: hert. G also emends for the sake of meter.

19 swete a sange. The orchestration of sound into song is a central component of the narrator's vision of the landscape and of the New Jerusalem, as in lines 91-94, 877-88, and 1123-28. As Gor notes, the song is also the lyric and text of Pearl itself.

23 juele. G emends to mele, i.e., a "merry theme," yoking song and pearl. Subsequent editors have not followed suit. Riddy, in Brewer and Gibson, p. 147, notes that Middle English juele means not only a gemstone but also a precious art object. See also Barr.

25 mot. In the MS only the t is clear. Editors have emended to mot.

26 runne. MS: ruen (runnen). Editors, except V, emend.

28 schyne. MS: schyne3. I follow AW who emend to schyne to correct for grammatical agreement. Schyne and "sprede" (line 25) both depend on "mot nedes" (line 25) a reading consistent with the stanza's picture of natural conditionality: that spot must be overgrown with spice plants; flowers must shine. This stanza imagines the cycle of decay and regeneration in the "erber"; the fourth stanza will then move to direct experience when the narrator recounts his entrance into the garden. Note the uses of the conditional and the convoluted negatives that mark this stanza's exposition of regeneration.

29 fede. Most editors read as "faded" from OF fade, with the vowel a modified to e by poet or scribe for rhyme. My reading accords with G, who translates as "rotted" or "decayed" from the ON feyja, a reading supported by the MED as well as the stanza's display of rot and regeneration as a causal cycle.

31-32 This proverbial phrase is based on I Corinthians 15:34-38 and John 12:24, as Gor notes.

35 spryngande. MS: sprygande. I accord with A, AW, G, and Gor who emend to spryngande; H and V retain MS reading and divide spryg ande.

39 hygh seysoun. In medieval texts dates are customarily identified by the event celebrated in the religious calendar, rather than by the lunar calendar as in modern practice. Here the high season may refer to the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin on August 15; the Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ on August 8; or Lammastide, on August 1, a harvest festival in which bread made from the first harvested grain was offered in the churches; see Christina Hole, English Traditional Customs (London: Batsford, 1975), p. 89. The following line defining hygh seysoun through the actions of the harvest supports Lammastide, as G first argued.

43-44 All the flowers named are highly aromatic and had uses as spices in the Middle Ages, adding to the picture of the "erber" as a pleasure garden. See Stern; as G first noted, the list of plants is reminiscent of the spice garden in Le Roman de la Rose; compare Chaucer's translation, lines 1367-72. In the Romaunt, the spices are after-dinner condiments: "And many a spice delitable / To eten whan men rise fro table" (lines 1371-72).

44 powdered. To powder or to scatter also suggests decorative illustration, often in heraldry as in OED powder, v.1, sense 4, "to ornament with spots or small devices scattered over the surface," as V notes. Terms describing the landscape in the language of manuscript illumination also appear in lines 77-78, 106.

45 hit. I.e., the "spot" (line 37), "erber" (line 38), and "huyle" (line 41) where the pearl was lost.

46 fayr reflayr. AW suggest that word division in the MS is unreliable and that fayrre flayr, the conditional/comparative construction gives a more logical reading. But Cleanness, line 1079, gives "Þer wat3 rose reflayr where rote hat3 ben ever," which suggests that the MS reading in Pearl is probably correct. See MED reflair(e) n.

47 wot and wene. A verse tag and alliterative formula.

49 spenned. MS: sped (spennd). V reads spenud; AW retain spennd.

53 penned. MS: speed (spenned). I follow AW and G in emending to penned ("imprisoned") on the basis of alliteration and the grounds that the poet normally avoids repeating rhymes.

54 fyrce. MS: fyrte. Editors, except H and V, emend. See note to line 675.

59 slepyng-slaghte. Slaghte is derived from OE slæht, meaning slaughter or a violent stroke, and normally means a sudden blow in Middle English; see AW and Gor.

60 precios. MS: p5cos (precos). Editors, except V, emend.

61 in space. AW, Gor, and H read in space as "in a space of time." I accord with other editors in favoring reading space as location, though both meanings may well apply.

62 sweven. Dreams are conventional points of departure for many philosophical or political verse narratives (dream visions) in the Middle Ages. Although truth of dreams was much debated, majority opinion appears to have taken seriously their prophetic and revelatory potential. See Lynch, pp. 1-46, but also pp. 163, 193; and Nolan, pp. 156-204. Chaucer gives a vivid replay of the debate in The Nun's Priest's Tale.

68 ryche. MS: rych. G also emends.

71 webbes. Throughout the text the poet frequently makes analogies between natural forms and works of art or craft (here textiles); see for instance lines 76, 77, and 114.

72 adubbemente. MS: adubmente. My emendation accords with AW, G, and Gor. A and V emend to adubbement.

77 on slydes. MS: onslyde3. My reading agrees with A, AW, and Gor, who read as two separate words, "slide over each other."

81 gravayl that. G emends to gravayl that I.

89 flowen. MS: floyen, with y changed to w by scribe.

91 sytole-stryng. The citole was a plucked instrument similar to the lute, and a precursor to the cittern.

gyternere. A gittern was a guitar-like instrument, usually with four strings.

95 gracios. MS: gracos. Editors, except V, emend.

gle. Also means "mirth," "entertainment."

103 feier. G and H emend to feirer.

105 reveres. Although reveres usually means "rivers" in alliterative poetry, the word can also mean "meadows along a streambank," a sense more in keeping with the logic of the dreamer's movement toward a body of water, as Gor notes. H and V gloss as "rivers."

106 bukes. Editors, except V, have emended as bonkes. The word in the MS is either bukes or bnkes. Although u and n are virtually indistinguishable in the MS, editors have added o to read bonkes, "steep banks." V argues for a reading of bukes as variant spelling of bek, "small stream." Streams sparkling as spun gold makes far more sense than river banks sparkling.

113 stonden. AW emend to stoden, "shone."

stepe. As Gor notes, stepe is often used in Middle English to refer to eyes "staring" or "glaring," though it is also used to convey the sense of "brilliant." "Staring" evokes the action of visual rays that is also suggested in "stremande" (line 115) and "[s]taren" (line 116). The passage as a whole animates place with extromissive powers of vision, even as the people sleep. For vision in medieval aesthetics, see Michael Camille, Gothic Art: Visions and Revelations in the Medieval World (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1996), pp.16-25; Norman Klassen, Chaucer on Love, Knowledge and Sight (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1995), pp. 53-74; and Stanbury, Seeing the Gawain-Poet, pp. 12-41.

115 As. MS: a. Editors, except V, emend.

strothe-men. The term is uncertain. Gor argues that stroth had the meaning of "marshy land (overgrown with brushwood)," and strothe-men likely means "men of this world." Ralph W. V. Elliott, "Some Northern Landscape Features in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," in Iceland and the Mediaeval World: Studies in Honour of Ian Maxwell, ed. Gabriel Turville-Petre and John S. Martin (Melbourne: Organising Committee, 1974), pp. 132-43, notes that in Old Icelandic storth carries the sense of a young wood or plantation and hence proposes"country folk, woodlanders." Evidently the poet is juxtaposing extremes from the stars on high to swamp dwellers at the bottom through which distance the wondrous light streams.

117 pyght. Pyght is frequently used in the poem to describe adornment with pearls or gems; see lines 192, 205, 217, 229, 240, and 241.

119 alle. H emends to all.

122 wlonke. MS: wlonk. G also emends.

129 fraynes. A, Gor, and H translate fraynes as "makes trial" or "puts (men) to the test." I accord with G and V in translating as "wishes," a gloss the MED supports.

131 her wylle. AW emend to his, believing her to be a scribal error for his, and read the lines, "the man to whom she sends his desire seeks to have more and more (of it)." As I read the lines, her wylle conveys the sense of fortune as the catalyst of the will, which in turn incites desire, "ay more and more" (line 132).

waynes. H reads as "gains": "the mortal for whom she gains her intent."

132 Hyttes. AW gloss as "seek, wish"; A, G, and Gor gloss as "comes, chances, attains as a result"; H reads as "is likely." "Casts" in the sense of "thrusts," might also be implied. The more that fortune sends is further specified in the next stanza.

134 I tom. G emends to tom I.

138 over. MS: oþ5 (other). Editors emend to over, except H and V, who retain MS reading.

139-40 Most editors generally accord with Gor: "I thought the stream was a division made by pools, separating the delights" - i.e., the delights on both sides of the water. G emends line 140 to Bytwene meres by Myrthe made. D. C. Fowler, "On the Meaning of Pearl, 139-40," MLQ 21 (1960), 27-29, offers the suggestion, "I thought that the water was a deception / Made by meres among the delights."

142 hoped. MS: hope. Editors, except H and V, emend.

144 ay. MS: a. Editors, except H and V, emend.

154 wo. G emends to wothe.

161 faunt. The MED gives "young child" and "infant" for faunt (from OF enfaunt), though H translates as "youthful being."

165 The comparison is to sheets of gold leaf, consistent with a pattern of analogy between the sights of the dreamer's vision and manuscript illumination.

166 schore. Gor emends to shore.

172 AW read: "as had been but little wont to do so before," as do A and G. I accord with V and H in reading lyttel as a duration of time: "as a short while ago was wont thereto" (H). Gor notes both readings are possible.

179 astount. MS: atount. I follow AW and G and in emending to astount on the basis of alliteration.

184 hawk in halle. A courtly hunting image, consistent with his fears of her escape ("eschaped") in line 187.

185 hoped. MS: hope. Editors, except H and V, emend.

192 precios. MS: p5cos (precos). Editors, except V, emend.

197 beau biys. MS shows five minims, or vertical strokes, between a and y. A, AW, and Gor read as beau biys, "beautiful white linen garment," after Revelation 19:8, where the bride of the lamb is arrayed in splendid "byssinum." As Riddy, in Brewer and Gibson, p. 144, notes, citations in the MED make it clear that biys is a luxury cloth. G, H, and V read as beaumys, with be as "around" and mys derived from Latin amice, "cape" or "surcoat": hence "mantle or surcoat."

199 at my devyse. Editors have read at my devyse as "in my opinion," a common expression in Middle English. It is possible the phrase may also refer to a heraldic emblem or coat of arms, i.e., "after my device," and hence the daughter's dress as a heraldic gown. OED "device," sense 9, gives "an emblematic figure or design . . . heraldic bearing." In line 856 the Pearl-maiden speaks of her pearls as a heraldic crest. Froissart mentions the dresses of ladies attending the jousts in Smithfield as decorated with the livery of Richard II. In Confessio Amantis, Gower describes a group of ladies dressed after the new fashion introduced by Anne of Bohemia, "the new guise of Beme," as dressed in clothing embroidered with fanciful devices; see Camden's Remains, p. 197, cited in J. R. Planché, History of British Costume, from the Earliest Period to the Close of the Eighteenth Century (London: George Bell and Sons, 1874), pp. 178, 179-80. An unmarried daughter could be represented as bearing the paternal arms. In a miniature in the Luttrell Psalter, fol. 202v (c. 1325-35), Agnes Sutton and Beatrice Scrope are both represented in heraldic gowns showing the signs of their husband and father, respectively; see Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England, 1200-1400, ed. Jonathan Alexander and Paul Binski (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1987), p. 58. See also the fifteenth-century stained-glass portraits in Long Melford Church, where the dresses of the Clopton women are decorated with both the paternal and marital coats of arms (Mapping Margery Kempe,, s.v., Parish and Cathedral). On heraldic badges, see Lightbown, pp. 196-201.

200 yyen. G and Gor emend to ene.

201 wot and wene. Verse tag. See line 47.

210 here-leke. MS: lere leke. I agree with Gor, who reads as here leke, "her hair enclosed her." H reads lere leke as "face-radiance, radiance of countenance"; G reads here heke; A, AW, and V read lere-leke as "wimple," lit. "face-linen." Since the stanza emphasizes her unbound hair and lovely complexion, she would have been unlikely to be wearing a wimple. The description is evocative of late medieval depictions of the virgin martyrs, who rarely wear face linen and most often have unbound hair. For images, see Karen Winstead, Virgin Martyrs: Legends of Sainthood in Late Medieval England (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997).

215 depe colour. A, AW, and Gor translate as "glowing whiteness" (G as "glowing beauty"), whereas H and V follow A. S. Cook," Pearl, 212ff," Modern Philology 6 (1908), 197, who argues that depe colour stands for "wide collar." "Collar" follows the logic of the top-to-toe description and makes sense of "porfyl," "embroidered border," in line 216.

225 tonge. MS: tong. G also emends.

229 pyse. G and Gor emend to pyece; H to pece.

233 nerre then aunte or nece. Nerre can imply either location or relationship, as in contemporary usage, though the sense here is clearly filiative.

235 spyce. G, Gor, and H emend to spece, "person." As V notes, emendation is unnecessary, since e is a normal variant with i (y). Spyce also means "spice plant," certainly within the metaphoric register of the poem, especially since in stanzas 2 and 3 the poet describes how the spice plants of the "erber" are fertilized by the decay of the girl's body.

236 wommon lore. Editors have translated wommon lore as "woman's way" or "in womanly fashion." By far the commonest uses of lore in Middle English concern teaching, instruction, or doctrine. MED, sense 2a, offers examples of the possessive; e.g., Chaucer's "Christes lore" (The General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, line 527). Lore as "counsel" follows logically from her speaking in the preceding line.

241 quoth. Gor and H render as quod. The manuscript abbreviation for this word gives no indication of present or past tense. I expand throughout to quoth.

244 thee. MS: þe. I have followed METS policy of differentiating the pronoun from the article on grounds that they were probably pronounced differently in the fourteenth century; so too in lines 263, 266, 267, 268, 274, 316, 341, 343, 385, 397, 402, 474, 558, 560, 700, 707, 743, 747, 764, 910, 967, 973, 975, and 1199.

245 aglyghte. A, AW, Gor, and V translate as "slipped away," G as "glided," but I prefer H's more literal "glittered away," in keeping with the kinetic and lapidary imaging of loss throughout the poem.

250 daunger. See line 11, and note on luf-daungere.

252 jueler. MS: juelere. I have emended so that the spelling corresponds with the other end-words of stanzas in this fitt.

254 graye. The eyes of beautiful women are conventionally described as gray in English courtly love poetry.

259 cofer. Usually a "strong box for storage of valuables," but also with secondary meaning of "coffin." Both senses are at play here.

260 gracios gaye. AW read gracios gay as an adjective modifying garden: "charmingly fair garden." Gracios gaye may also mean "gracious fair one," as in line 189. The grammatical construction is ambiguous.

262 nee. G emends to ne.

nere. MS: here. H and V retain here. I follow A, AW, G, and Gor in emending for logic.

271 kynde of the kyste. The maiden speaks enigmatically of roses, chests, and pearls to introduce ideas of death and transfiguration. Kyste can also suggest a reliquary.

274 oght of noght. I.e., has made a pearl out of an ephemeral rose.

277 geste. The MED cites this line for geste as "one newly arrived in a place." The meaning of gesta, "story, tale," which alliterates with juel, may also pertain.

283 ma feste. "Make a festival," i.e., "make merry."

286 broght. MS: bro3. Editors, except V, emend.

blysse. MS: blys. G also emends.

288 joyfol. Gor reads ioyful.

302 loves. Most editors emend to leves here and in line 308. I agree with V in retaining MS loue3. The dreamer's love of the visible world is central to the story. As V notes, loves also builds effective word-play with the two uses of leve in the stanza.

307 westernays. For a summary of the debate on this much-debated term, see V. Westernays does not appear elsewhere in Middle English, and may be the poet's neologism from OF bestorner, e.g., "wrongly turned," as when a church faces west rather than east.

312 dem. G emends to deme. The link word of this stanza group, dem covers a broad range of actions under the general rubric "judge," from God's judgment to human acts of evaluation, consideration, and critique.

319 counsayle. MS: cosayl (counsayl). G's emendation, followed by Gor.

323 man. MS: ma. G, H, and V do not emend.

331 gares. G emends to gare.

335 perle. MS: perle3. Editors, except H, emend.

342 in wele and wo. MS: & wele & wo. Editors, except V, emend.

345 daunce as any do. The image is a hunting metaphor and describes the agonal moment.

351 mendes. H translates as "opinions," taking mendes as a variant for mynde: "Your opinions mount to not a mite." V translates after OED mend, sb., sense 2, "remedy."

353 Stynst. A, AW, G, and Gor emend to stynt. As G notes, the scribe also used a similar form in Cleanness, line 359. V cites H. L. Savage's review of Gordon's edition of Pearl (MLN 71 [1956], 127), who argues that stynst is a correct form.

358 And thy. G emends to that alle thy.

fleme. MS: leme. Along with A, C, and AW, I follow Gor's emendation to fleme, "banish." Other editors retain leme, "And through thy losses gently gleam" (H).

359 marre. G emends to marred.

mythe. As V notes, most editors have read mythe as "conceal." Mythe from Middle English mouthen, "to say, speak, pronounce," and hence "mutter" or even "mouth off," is more consistent with the thought of the stanza.

363 rapely I rave. MS: rapely raue. Editors, except V, emend.

365 Early editors joined lines 365 and 366, "as water gushing from a stream / I put myself at his mercy," but following the suggestion by Gor I have joined lines 364-65: "my heart was afflicted with loss / As water welling from a spring." Although water flowing from a spring would be expected to be redemptive (baptismal waters), the irruptive emotions in this stanza are all on the side of grief. Hence the image of spring-water is ironically placed - on the side of grief but belonging properly to consolation.

368 endorde. G reads "adored one," but as AW note, Gert Rønberg, "A Note on 'Endorde' in Pearl (368)," English Studies 57 (1976), 198, argues that it is from OF endorer, "to invest with gold or a gold-like quality."

369 kythes. MS: lyþe3. Following G, editors, except H and V, emend.

375 wothe. G reads "path," H reads "search," and other editors "dangers." My reading follows G's "path" from OE wath, "hunting ground, hence generically, place."

380 by stok other ston. As H notes, this common phrase in alliterative poetry can also be a mild oath.

381 carpe. MS: carp. G also emends.

382 maneres. MS: marere3. G emends to maneres, "manners," and is followed by A, AW, and Gor. H derives mareres from mare res, "great eloquence"; V retains mareres, "vitality," as variant spelling of marrow.

385 blent. I.e., "blended in bliss," "set in joy."

395 hyghe gate. Most editors have read as "highway," after OED gate, sense 1b, which gives the line as an example of the meaning of gate as road: "the highway of all my joy." The more common meaning of gate in Middle English is the modern sense; that meaning may pertain as well - e.g., the main gate, a reading that evokes the gates of the New Jerusalem in lines 1034 ff.

396 in. A emends to and.

399 byde. V reads as uyde, "wade."

407 My Lorde the Lamb. This is the first of many references to Christ as the Lamb of God.

410 stage. G glosses as "degree of advancement," after OED stage sb., sense 3. The attention to hierarchical ordering anticipates the dreamer's intellectual and emotional crisis concerning the Pearl's place in the hierarchy of heaven, as V notes.

416 wage. G argues that wage must come from French "wager," and here must be used in the sense of "to be assured." Gor emphasizes the mercantile in "continue securely" or "bring reward," anticipating the material rhetoric of line 417 and later of the vineyard parable.

418 Hys lef is. For logic there must be a stop, however unusual the mid-line caesura, following is.

419 pyese. I accord with V who argues that what editors have read as prese, "value," is in fact pyese, "maiden," rendering lines 417-19: "And endowed with all His heritage / Is His beloved. I am entirely His, / His maiden, His honored one; and His lineage . . ." Pyece for maiden appears in lines 192 and 229. The maiden's description of her marriage echoes the mystical marriage of St. Katherine in the many late medieval versions of the legend. When pressed to marry, Katherine finally agrees, but sets the condition that her bridegroom must be the richest, the most beautiful, and the most noble (compare parage, also in line 419) man in the world - adding, in some versions, that he also has to be born of a virgin. See for example, St. Katherine of Alexandria: The Late Middle English Prose Legend in Southwell Minster MS 7, ed. Saara Nevanlinna and Irma Taavitsainen (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1993), p. 73, and Katherine J. Lewis, The Cult of St. Katherine in Late Medieval England (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2000).

426 vyrgyn flour. H emends to vyrgynflor.

430 Fenyx of Arraby. Christ is often compared to the phoenix, a symbol of rebirth; in this case the phoenix represents Mary's immaculate conception. As G notes, Blanch is compared to the Fenix of Arabye in Chaucer's Book of the Duchess (lines 980-81).

431 freles. AW follow H and emend to fereles, "without equal," in keeping with the emphasis in the stanza on the Virgin's uniqueness. "Flawless," however, is consistent with the metaphor of the phoenix as a sign of the immaculate conception.

432 quen of cortaysye. I.e., the Virgin Mary.

433 sayde. MS: syde. Editors, except V, emend.

434 folde. I.e., folds her face in her hands or, as G (also H) suggests, her garment. A, AW, and Gor translate as "upturned."

441 emperise. I.e., Mary the "quen of cortaysye" (line 432).

hevens. H emends to hevenes.

445-52 Compare The London Lapidary of King Philip: "nyne ordres of angeles that lyven in that joye that noon hath envye of othre, that is the life corouned, in the which shal noon entre but he be kyng corouned or quene, for all be corouned be name" (English Medieval Lapidaries, ed. Joan Evans and Mary S. Sargeantson, EETS o.s. 190 [London: Oxford University Press, 1933], pp. 19-20, as noted by Robert J. Blanch, "Color Symbolism and Mystical Contemplation in Pearl," Nottingham Medieval Studies 17 [1973], 74). See also V.

450 fayn of otheres hafyng. The maiden describes heaven as egalitarian and without envy, with each queen or king (i.e., saved soul) rejoicing in the hafyng or possessions of the others.

457 Saynt Poule. The definition of courtesy that follows is an exposition of St. Paul's analogy in I Corinthians 12:12-31. The image of the corporate body describes the ordering of heaven and of the soul as an idealized courtly society, an organism of egalitarian hierarchy.

460 tryste. MS: tyste. Editors, except V, emend.

461 sawle. MS: sawhe. Editors emend, though V claims that MS indicates correction to sawle.

464 I.e., exists between your limbs.

469 Cortaysé. G emends to cortaysye.

472 Line missing in MS. G supplies, Me thynk thou spekes now ful wronge, and V suggests, To speke of a new note I long.

473 over hygh. The dreamer objects to the beatitude of one so young, noting that the same reward is given to one who suffers "in penaunce" all his life (line 477).

479 he. MS: ho. Editors, except V, emend.

480 cortaysé. G emends to cortaysye. AW and H read cortayse as a noun, "courteous one."

485 Pater ne Crede. The dreamer's point that the Pearl-maiden's two-year sojourn in "oure thede" (line 483) was too short to learn the Paternoster (Lord's Prayer) or Creed suggests that she was a child, as most readers have assumed. H suggests that she was a novitiate, as does Staley, "Pearl and the Contingencies of Love and Piety." Mother Angela Carson, O.S.U., "Aspects of Elegy in the Middle English Pearl," Studies in Philology 62 (1965), 17, argues that the lines indicate she was a foreigner.

486 fyrste. MS: fyrst. G also emends.

497 As Mathew meles. The parable of the vineyard, lines 497-500, is from Matthew 20:1-16. The poet's changes to the biblical source give the parable application to fourteenth-century social conditions, and perhaps even specifically to the Statute of Laborers of 1388, according to Bowers, "The Politics of Pearl"; and Watkins.

499 In sample. G and V join words as insample for ensample, "parable."

504 dere the date. The time of year is March and the activity is the pruning of vines, as in the March entry in the Très Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry. Date as link-word juxtaposes church time and merchant time; see Barr, pp. 71-72.

505 thys. G emends to hys.

hyne. A, AW, and Gor translate as "laborers." I translate as "households" because the uses of hyne in the poem (lines 632, 1211) refer broadly to members of a household or even God's household, rather than to laborers, as G notes.

510 pené on a day. G omits on.

512 man hit clos. I.e., tie up the pruned vines.

523 resonabele. G emends to resnabele.

524 pay. MS: pray. Editors, except H and V, emend.

527 nw. G emends to new.

529 date of day. MS: day of date. Editors, except V, emend.

532 hem. MS: hen. Editors, except V, emend.

535 yemen. Editors, except V (ye men), write as one word.

538 and. MS: & &. H and V retain and and, "and when."

542 meyny. G emends to meny.

543 owe. G emends to awe.

544 reprené. G emends to repreny.

547 lowe. G emends to lawe.

550 hade. H emends to had.

555 Matthew 20:12 reads: Hi novissimi una hora fecerunt ("These last have worked but one hour"). This verse is paraphrased in line 551, but here houres two effectively recalls that the maiden "lyfed not two yer in oure thede" (line 483), as noted in V.

557 on. MS: om, with the third minim crossed out.

558 waning. MS: wanig. Editors, except H, emend.

564 aske. MS: ask. G also emends.

565 louyly. G emends to leuyly.

565-68 As G notes, these lines paraphrase the Vulgate and seem to echo uncannily the Wycliffite Bible, Matthew 20:15: "'Whether it is not leueful to me to do that that Y wole? Whether thin iye is wicked, for Y am good?'"

570-72 These lines paraphrase Matthew 20:16.

572 called. MS: calle. Editors, except H and V, emend.

574 wore. I follow V's reading of MS wore as variant of ware, "expend." Other editors have translated as past of verb "to be," i.e., "were."

581-88 I.e., though she died early, she was received fully into heaven.

586 longe. MS: long. G also emends.

588 to-yere. Most editors have translated "this year," but as G notes, to-yere carries the colloquial sense of "for a long time."

596 pertermynable. G, Gor, and H expand the abbreviation to read pretermynable.

603 inlyche. Editors, except H and V, have translated as "alike, the same." As V comments, in note to line 546, "fully" "suits the interpretation of the parable of the vineyard more exactly, since each soul receives 'fully' the reward of salvation, even though there are ranks in the hierarchical system of heaven."

609-10 dard. The word may derive from OE darian, "lurk in dread," or from OE durran, "dare," as Gor notes in a comment on the difficulty of these lines. Most editors have followed G in rendering "His privilege is great who always stood in awe / Of Him who brings salvation from sin." My reading accords with AW, "His (God's) generosity is great (or abundant): those who at any time in their lives submitted to Him who rescues sinners - from them no bliss will be withheld."

615 com. A and H emend to come.

616 fere. MS: lere. G emends to here ("wage"); H and V retain MS lere ("lure, compensation" - usually a term from hunting). My reading accords with A, AW, and Gor, reading fere which carries meanings in Middle English of "company," or "rank" or "reward."

617 bourne abate. The sense of the maiden's argument here is that everybody sins and forfeits heaven, but God's grace can save them.

630 niyght. G and H read as myght, which makes good sense; niyght is more consistent with the pattern of imagery.

635 hym. A, C, G, and Gor emend to hem. V points out that hym is occasionally used as the plural form in this MS.

fyrste. MS: fyrst. G also emends.

fyne. Most readers have read as adverb, "at the first in full." I accord with the suggestion by Carter Revard, "A Note on 'at the fyrst fyne' (Pearl 635)," English Language Notes 1 (1964), 164-66, who interprets fyne as a noun according to MED senses 6-11 (legal terms related to contracts) and translates"as according to the original contract."

645 theron com. MS: þer on com. G joins the verbal: ther oncom.

astyt. MS: as tyt. H and G write as two words; other editors, and myself, as one, "immediately."

649 out. MS: out out. Editors emend.

652 deth secounde. The first redemption over death, determined by Adam's fall, is baptism; the second is in Christ's resurrection.

656 inne. G emends to in.

665 con not. A emends to con noght.

672 As. MS: at. G retains and emends: At inoscence, is saf by ryghte, "In innocence, is saved by right"; Gor emends to And. My emendation accords with H, C, A, and AW.

673 thus. MS: þ3 þ3 (thus thus). Editors emend.

674 God. A, G, and Gor interpret this as "good," but, following suggestion by H, other editors, myself as well, have read as God.

675 face. As V notes, in MS t and c are often difficult to distinguish. Editors have read face. See also line 672 for editors' uncertainties over "inoscent[c]e," and also "fyrce," line 54, where MS may read "fyrte."

677 Sauter. A Psalter, or collection of the psalms. Collections of the psalms were among the few prayer books normally owned by the laity; the term "psalter" could also mean a book of hours or a type of compilation prayer book commonly owned by non-clerical or lay people, often exquisitely illuminated. Many were owned by women. The passage paraphrases Psalm 14:1-3 or Psalm 23:3, 4. For the history and use of books of hours, see John Harthan, Books of Hours and Their Owners (London: Thames and Hudson, 1982).

678 hyghe. MS: hy3. G also emends.

hylle. MS: hylle3. Editors emend.

683 stepe. MS: step. G also emends.

688 nieghbor. G emends to neghbor.

689 sas. G, Gor, H, and V translate word as "sees," but "says" makes far more sense with the biblical source. AW emend to sayz, a change that, as V shows, is not necessary.

690 How kyntly oure Koyntyse hym con aquyle. MS: how kyntly oure con aquyle. Although V retains line as written in MS, most editors agree that there is clearly a scribal error. AW emend: Hym Koyntyse oure con aquyle. A and Gor emend: How Koyntise onoure con aquyle. H emends: How kyntly onore con aquyle. My emendation follows the suggestion by G that the scribe dropped two words, koyntyse hym, from the middle of the line. The source of the passage is Wisdom 10:10: Haec profugum irae fratris iustum deduxit per vias rectas, et ostendit illi regnum Dei ("She [Wisdom] conducted the just, when he fled from his brother's wrath, through the right ways, and showed him the kingdom of God").

691 he. Gor and H emend to ho, i.e., "wisdom," a female personification. As G notes, Wisdom would have suggested Christ to a medieval reader; hence the pronoun he to indicate Wisdom as Christ.

697-700 See Psalm 142:2.

698 sey. G and Gor emend to syz.

700 For. MS: sor. All editors emend.

701 com. G emends to come.

702 tryed. AW and G emend to cryed, in part to further alliteration and in part to avoid use of two repeating end-words in the same stanza. Yet the stanza is striking for its lack of alliteration; and, as V notes, occasionally end-words are repeated within stanzas, as in the repetition of "clere" in lines 735 and 737. C also follows the MS.

703 Allege. Early editors read allege as an imperative, "renounce your claim." Following Gor, editors have read allege as conditional subjunctive, "if you plead," i.e., "if you try to plead your case before God, you might get trapped by the same kind of talk," entrapment, that is, in legalisms. For use of legal terms, see Silar.

711-24 Passage is based on Luke 18:15-17, Matthew 19:13-15, and Mark 10:13-16.

714 touch. Some editors read touth, then emend. But see note to line 675.

715 hym. A, G, and Gor emend to hem. Most editors read hym as legitimate variant spelling for "them," i.e., the people bringing their children to be healed by Christ's touch. My reading of syntax and punctuation in this line accords with AW. Other editors translate the line with indirect speech, "asked them to let (Christ) be."

721 Jesu. This line is the only place in the poem where the concatenation fails. AW substitute ryght for Jesu, "justice," as a personification of Jesus.

730-35 The story of the pearl of price comes from Matthew 13:45-46.

733 makelles. G emends to maskeles, and also in line 757, to preserve the continuity of the link words. But by alternating makeles with maskeles the poet plays on the equivalence of spotlessness and peerlessness.

735 hevenesse clere. G emends to hevenes spere, "heaven's sphere," to avoid repeating clere as rhyming word twice in one stanza. H and V translate as "heaven's brightness," whereas other editors, and myself, translate clere as an adjective modifying the noun hevenesse, "heaven."

739 ryghtwys. MS: ry3 tywys. Editors emend.

740 stode. V accords with G in reading stode as a noun meaning "place": hit stode, "its place." Other editors, myself included, understand stode as a verb meaning either "stood" or "shone." Stode, which appears frequently in the MS, almost always is in the form of the verb. One possible meaning of the term as noun, however, is MED sense 4, s.v., stod, "an ornamental boss on a garment."

750 Pymalyon paynted. The contrast between the work of nature and of art is conventional; see Le Roman de la Rose, 16013 ff. As Ovid tells the story, Pygmalion carved an image of a beautiful woman and then fell in love with it. The story was often used in the Middle Ages to signify the seductions of art and idolatry. For discussion and illustrations, see Michael Camille, The Gothic Idol: Ideology and Image-making in Medieval Art (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 316-38; and D. W. Robertson, Jr., A Preface to Chaucer: Studies in Medieval Perspectives (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969), pp. 99-103, 157-58. Chaucer uses the trope as a debate between art and nature in The Physician's Tale, lines 8-38.

752 carpe. A, AW, G, and Gor emend to carped. The use of present tense, retained by H and V, is consistent with the movement from past to present in the stanza as a whole.

propertes. G emends to propertys.

755 ostriys. The reading of this word has been the subject of a long debate. G emends to of triys, "of peace, truce." Gor reads the word as offys, "office," a reading that has been followed by subsequent editors; so too AW, A, and C. The issues over interpretation are based on the central letters of the word: are they ff or st followed by a scribal abbreviation for ri? My vote for "oyster" has been swayed by the argument of E. T. Donaldson that ostriys is acceptable on orthographic, syntactic, and textual/symbolic grounds; "Oysters, Forsooth: Two Readings in Pearl," in Studies Presented to Tauno F. Mustanoja on the Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday, Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 73 (1972), 75-82. While the abbreviation mark indicating ri could possibly be read as the top of an f that missed its connection with the stroke, as Davis argues in his defense of a reading of the term as offys (Norman Davis, review of Gordon's edition of Pearl, Medium Aevum 23 [1954], 98-99), the word presents in the MS very clearly, and the letter in question is unlike f as written elsewhere in the MS. V says that "the tops of f's are not always securely joined in the MS" - but the example he gives, of in line 752, is not convincing, for in that example the top is much closer to the stroke.
"Oyster," which can be derived without emendation, can also be defended on textual grounds. As Donaldson argues, introducing an oyster at this point in the poem would be entirely what one might expect of both poet and dreamer. This stanza in particular is remarkable for its density of metaphor, full of supposition and grounded in localizing particulars as the dreamer asks the pearl who formed her and what bears her. In medieval natural history, pearls were believed to be produced from dew drops swallowed by the oyster, a belief that contributed to the rich symbolism of pearls. See Donkin, pp. 1-22.

761 wete. I accord with A, AW, G, and Gor who translate as "wet," e.g., "dismal" - a characterization of the world that also perhaps answers, tongue-in-cheek, the narrator's question about her origin as oyster. Other editors have proposed very different translations: H reads as noun, "woe," and V the very plausible adjective "mad," derived from wede,"to go insane."

763 The language is from the Song of Songs 4:7-8: Tota pulchra es, amica mea, et macula non est in te. Veni de Libano, sponsa mea . . . ("You are fair, my love, there is no flaw in you. Come with me from Lebanon, my bride . . ."). The verse was widely used in medieval literature, and in both sacred and fully profane contexts.

768 And pyght me. G emends to He pyght me.

769 bryd. Both meanings of "bride" and "bird" are implied. The use of bryd, "bird," for a girl is conventional in Middle English love poetry.

775 anunnder. AW, G, and Gor read first letter as o, on-uunder (AW: onuunder). H emends to onunder. My reading accords with A and V.

776 I.e., have lived in much strife as virgin martyrs, as suggested by Morton Bloomfield, "Some Notes on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (lines 374, 546, 752, 1236) and Pearl (lines 1-12, 61, 775-776, 968)," in Studies in Language, Literature, and Culture of the Middle Ages and Later: Studies in Honor of Rudolph Willard, ed. E. Bagby Atwood and Archibald A. Hill (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1969), p. 302; or as "career virgins," as argued by Watson, in Brewer and Gibson, p. 302. For virgin martyrs, see Karen A. Winstead, Virgin Martyrs: Legends of Sainthood in Late Medieval England (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997).

778 maryag. G emends to maryage.

785 Lambes. Gor emends to lambe3.

786 A hondred and forty thowsande flot. G and Gor emend the number to a hondred and forty fowre thowsande for consistency with Revelation 14:1, 3. In lines 869-70 the number of brides is given as 144,000.

792 The new cyté o Jerusalem. This is the first of many references to the New Jerusalem, references that increase in intensity up to the climactic or chthonic moment when the dreamer sees the Lamb in the middle of the city. Representations of the New Jerusalem, the mystical and heavenly city as distinct from the material city of "Jerusalem, Jordan, and Galalye" (line 817) that the maiden describes in the next stanzas (lines 793-840) appear in illustrations of the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse). Illuminated manuscripts of the Apocalypse were popular items among wealthy patrons in the high and late Middle Ages. See Introduction, pp. 15-17; on political appropriations of Apocalypse imagery in late medieval England, see Bowers, "Pearl in Its Royal Setting."

802 lande nem. MS: lande men, though l can easily be read as h, as Gor has noted. A, AW, and Gor emend to hande nem, "took hold of." V leaves as is, translating "as a lamb that the shearers appraise in fields." My emendation accords with G and H, "takes hold of in the field," emending minimally for logic and rhyme while preserving alliteration. The prophecy of Christ as a lamb silent before the shearers derives from Isaiah 53:7.

803 query. G emends to quere.

805-06 Jesus' scourging and carrying of the Cross to Calvary were popular subjects, illustrated widely in English panel painting and alabasters and described in countless ways in lyrics, in devotional literature, and in the medieval drama. A powerful dramatization of the nailing of Christ to the Cross appears in the York Crucifixion.

811 I.e., "for the sake of sin He set His own life as totally unimportant."

815 lomp. G emends to lomb. As Gor notes, Appendix 2, p. 93, lomp is a legitimate West Midland variant spelling for lomb. The poet uses both spellings in the MS, perhaps to play as well on the metonymy between lamb and light.

817 Most editors add In: In Jerusalem, etc. H and V retain the line as in MS, as do I for metrical reasons.

818 According to the Gospels John baptized in Jordan, not in Jerusalem and Galilee.

819 Ysaye. See Isaiah 53:7, where Christ's silence before his accusers is prophesied.

824 upon. V reads as adverb, "openly," but most editors follow G, who has made a more convincing case for upon as a "preposition placed after the pronoun it governs," "upon that," i.e., "at which all this world has worked," or colloquially, "that all this world has committed."

825 wroghte. MS: wro3 t. G also emends.

829 swete. MS: swatte. Editors, except H and V, emend for rhyme.

From this point until the last stanza group much of the imagery and language is taken from the Book of Revelation.

829-30 I.e., was perceived as a lamb by "ayther prophete" (line 831), both John the Baptist and Isaiah, as named in lines 819-20.

833 The thryde tyme. I.e., first by Isaiah (53:7), then by John the Baptist, then (the third time) by St. John the Evangelist (Revelation 5:6).

836 John. MS: ioh. MS abbreviates John variously in the many appearances of the word. V expands, unaccountably, to Johan here and in following appearances. I follow practices of former editors in rendering according to modern usage.

saw. MS: sayt3. Editors, except H and V, emend.

837 leves sware. In Revelation John reads a scroll. Leves sware suggest he reads a book, as Gor notes.

838 in seme. G joins inseme, "together."

841 This stanza group contains six stanzas, unlike the five stanzas in each of the other nineteen stanza-groups. The additional stanza, which brings the total lines of the poem to 1212, furthers the play on the number twelve throughout the text: twelve lines per stanza, twelve gem-like foundation layers of the New Jerusalem (lines 993-1021); twelve degrees of the New Jerusalem (lines 1021-32); twelve gates of the New Jerusalem (line 1035). See Introduction, p. 5, and Peck, pp. 15-64. Peck, pp. 44-51, considers structural and symbolic uses of 12 in Pearl.

pechche. Most editors translate as "stain." My reading as "patch" accords with G, H, and V.

843 masklle. G emends to maskelle.

848 nouther. MS: non oþ5 (non other). G emends as nother; V writes as no nother; H retains MS. My emendation accords with A, AW, and Gor.

856 tha. A, AW, C, G, and Gor emend to that. Tha is similarly used in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, line 877, as V notes; it also makes a more musical line.

861 Lombe. MS: lonbe. G reads loumbe.

865 tale. MS: talle. Editors, except AW and V, emend. Tale would be glossed as "story." Talle might mean "account," as in "tally." The catch phrase at the bottom of the previous page reads: "leste les þow leue my tale far," which supports the emendation.

865-900 See Revelation 14:1-5 for biblical source.

867 the. H emends to tha.

869 maydennes. In his biblical commentary, widely read in the fourteenth century, Augustine glosses "maidens" to mean virgins generically - i.e., either female or male, as AW note. In the Latin Vulgate Bible, however, "virgins" are explicitly male - i.e., "they who were not polluted by women." For virginity in the Middle Ages see Barbara Newman, From Virile Woman to WomanChrist: Studies in Medieval Religion and Literature (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995), pp. 28-35. Although mayden may designate a male who has abstained from sex, it is a common term in Middle English love poetry, and the person named as such is almost invariably female. For the virginity tradition and Pearl, see Watson, in Brewer and Gibson, p. 301.

873 fro. Gor emends to from.

873-75 The destructive scenes of the Book of Revelation are not evoked in Pearl. These lines alone convey something of the sense of destruction, or at least natural forces at work, so common in many medieval visual renderings of the Book of Revelation, from illuminated apocalypse manuscripts to tympani, carved scenes over doorways, on medieval parishes and cathedrals. See Introduction, pp. 15-17. For a richly illustrated introduction to the topic, see Jonathan Alexander, with Michael Michael and Martin Kauffmann, "The Last Things: Representing the Unrepresentable," in The Apocalypse and the Shape of Things to Come, ed. Frances Carey (London: British Museum Press, 1999), pp. 43-98.

874 laden. G emends to leden.

886-87 fowre bestes . . . aldermen. The four beasts are the Evangelists, represented in medieval iconography as lion (Mark), ox (Luke), eagle (John), and man (Matthew). Aldermen doubtless signifies the twenty-four elders. Scenes representing God enthroned and surrounded by the four evangelists and by elders with musical instruments appear frequently in illuminated Apocalypse manuscripts. For the biblical sources for the imaging of beasts, elders, and enthroned God, see Revelation 4:4, 7, and Ezekiel 1. The term aldermen may give this description a particularly familiar and urban cast. A chronicle entry for 1392 recounts that the Mayor of London was summoned with "24 aldermannis" (among others) to a council with the king; Knighton's Chronicle 1337-1396, ed. and trans. G. H. Martin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), p. 544.

892 that. MS: þay. Editors, except H and V, emend.

meyny. Used here as in lines 899 and 960, meyny describes a lord's retinue in terms consistent with late fourteenth-century aristocratic practice.

swe. Probably from sue, "follow," but perhaps from sough and meaning "the swell of praise," in keeping with the emphasis on music and sound.

894 newe fryt. Compare the fruits in the transformed garden at the beginning of the poem, lines 87 and 104.

895 hit. I.e., the "meyny" or "retinue" of virgins singing in praise of and in likeness to the Lamb.

896 lote. The word may signify either voice or appearance, as may hwe; compare line 873, where "hue" refers to the cry sounded in heaven. The evocation of sound is consistent with the emphasis on voice and melody in these stanzas. Editors translate hwe as "hue" (color); I prefer "sound" in keeping with references to song earlier in the stanza.

905 mokke and mul. Mul, "dust" or "mud," recalls "moul" of line 23, and here specifically suggests the difference in social class between the pearl and himself. As Barr notes, mud is often used in medieval texts to designate peasants (pp. 60, 74n17).

among. G emends to amonc.

911 blose. Blose is a hapaxlogomenon. I agree with most editors in translating as"churl." G emends to wose, "wild man of the woods"; AW emend to bose, "boss" or "a lump of a man"; V reads blose as an alteration of blas, "gust of wind."

912 vayle. MS: vayl. G also emends.

918 won. G emends to wone.

920 David. David was the conqueror of Jerusalem and second king of Israel, 1000-962 BCE.

922 note. A term that suggests both a dazzling undertaking as well as musical sound. As Osgood points out, in St. Erkenwald the new building of St. Paul's is also "a noble note."

923 under mone. I.e., on earth. The phrase also implies a contrast between the maiden's spotlessness and the changeable nature of the moon - its spottiness: see line 1070.

925 moteles meyny. A pun on "homeless" and "spotless," evoking the similarly uneasy pun developed in the uses of "spot" in the first stanza group.

932 I se. MS: & I se, retained by H and V. Other editors emend.

934 gracious. MS: g5co3 (gracous). Editors, except V, emend.

935 bygynges. Whether the first letter of the word is a b or l is uncertain. G and H read MS: lygynges, "lodgings"; A, AW, and Gor read as lygynges and emend to bygynges, a common Middle English word meaning "a large house." V argues convincingly that MS reads bygynge3.

943 new. New may refer to the new law (Christianity) or to the new Jerusalem. The maiden explains that the literal Jerusalem is the city of the old law, remade figuratively as the new or heavenly Jerusalem through the crucifixion, the event enacting the new law - i.e., that humans can win eternal life.

sonde. Sonde may alternatively be read as a noun, as in AW and V who translate sonde as "embassy" and "dispensation": "but the new, that descended by God's embassy."

945 Lompe. G emends to lombe. As in line 1046, the pun links light and the Lamb that is Christ.

952 Ceté of God. Used in the Old Testament and in biblical exegesis to denote both old and new Jerusalems.

Syght of Pes. Also visio pacis; denotes more directly the new or heavenly city.

953 at ene. Editors translate variously: G and H as "formerly"; A, AW and Gor as "was made secure"; V as "immediately."

958 flesch. MS: fresth or fresch. Editors, except V, have emended to flesch, "flesh." V argues for retaining MS fresch, "young bodies," but the line then becomes a tongue twister.

967 aquylde. Editors translate variously: AW as "obtained permission" and V as "prevailed upon." S.v., aquylde MED gives "obtain" as well as"flush, track, pursue," meanings that continue a pattern of hunting references that appears throughout the poem, e.g., lines 184 and 345.

969 cloystor. "Cloister," "enclosure," as metonym for "city," but with sense of enclosure, emphasizing the idea that heaven is an ideal cloister.

970 fote. Editors have differed on whether we are to take fote as a measure of distance or as the body part. Its placement as final word in the line leaves both possibilities in play.

977 I. Added by editors, except V. G emends to wolde I ther.

979-81 In Revelation 21:10. John is taken by the angel to a mountain, where he sees the city descending from heaven.

992 bauteles. Editors read banteles. Michael Thompson, "Castles," in Brewer and Gibson, p. 121, argues that banteles should properly be read bauteles and describe small arched machicolations, a tiered feature of castle fortification that would date the poem after 1360. Thompson's argument also applies to bauteles in Cleanness, lines 1458-59.

994-1020 The natural and mystical properties of each of these stones are detailed in medieval lapidaries; see Robert J. Blanch, "Precious Metal and Gem Symbolism in Pearl," in Sir Gawain and Pearl: Critical Essays, ed. Robert J. Blanch, pp. 86-97; and Riddy, in Brewer and Gibson, pp. 143-55. Except for the ruby of line 1007, the catalogue follows closely the account in Revelation 21.

995 ilke. MS: ilk. G also emends.

997 John. Supplied by editors.

998 name. G emends to names.

999 Jasper. As AW and Gor note, not the modern jasper, but a brightly colored and especially green chalcedony.

fyrste. MS: fyrst. G also emends.

1003 calsydoyne. Probably a kind of white quartz. See note in Gor.

1004 thrydde. MS: thryd. G also emends.

1007 rybé. G emends to sarde, after Revelation.

1012 twynne-hew. MS: twye how (twynne how). A, AW, and Gor emend to twynne-hew. As notes in G and Gor explain, the twin-hue of the topaz may derive from the lapidaries or from a commentary on the Apocalypse, such as Bede (Migne, PL 93.200): topasius . . . duos habere fertur colores; unum auri purissimi, et alterum aetherea claritate relucentem [topaz . . . is said to have two colors; one of the purest gold, and the other reflecting ethereal clarity].

1014 jacyngh. A, AW, G, and Gor emend to jacynght. I accord with H and V, who note that the scribe dropped final -t before words beginning with th - likely a practice that reflected pronunciation.

1015 tryeste. MS: gentyleste. Along with AW, I follow G's emendation, which attempts to correct for what G labels an obvious scribal error, repeating gent from the preceding line.

1017 bautels. See note to line 992.

bent. G emends to brent, "steep." Other editors have retained and translated as "attached," but bautels would logically be bent or "curved"; see note to line 992.

1018 Of. Editors, except V, read o. A small f is inserted above the line between o and j. Osgood argued the f is in a later hand, but V notes it is in the same brown ink, a reading with which I concur.

1026 glayre. Egg-white fixative used in manuscript illumination.

1027 wones wythinne. As G notes, Revelation 21 says nothing of dwellings within the city.

1028 perre. A, AW, Gor, and V write perré. I retain as perre for metrical regularity.

1030 Twelve forlonge. Revelation 21:16 has 12,000 furlongs. G omits space and adds thousande. He is probably correct that 12 represents a scribal error and that the line was somehow initially rendered to convey 12,000, in keeping with the biblical source. Charles Moorman, however, argues that 12 furlongs accords with the dimensions of a medieval manor, "manayre" (line 1029). See "Some Notes on Patience and Pearl," Southern Quarterly 4 (1965), 72-73. Revelation 21 also makes no mention of "wones wythinne" (line 1027), a detail added to both familiarize and domesticate the New Jerusalem.

1032 I.e., measured by the angel with the measuring rod of Ezekiel 40-44.

1035 poursent. H reads n as u: pourseut, "in succession."

1036 ryche. MS: rych. G also emends.

1041 byrth-whates. G emends to byrthe-whates. The idea that the names of the children of Israel are written on the gates of the city derives from Revelation 21:12; that they appear according to the order of their birth, from Exodus 28.

1046 selfe. MS: self. G also emends.

lambe-lyght. Lombe or lambe is unclear in the MS, but looks more like lambe. A and V read lambe; other editors read lombe. G emends to lompe.

1050 syght. MS: ly3t. With AW, I follow G's emendation, on the grounds that the poet is unlikely to have repeated the same rhyming word in one stanza. These lines may pun on lamb and lamp.

1052 apparaylmente. The term likely refers to the elders and evangelists, as H argues, as the maiden has described in lines 885-87.

1058 As. MS: a. Editors, except H and V, emend.

flet. Editors have translated variously as "tidal estuary" (V) and as the verb "flowed" (H). Flet, from "floor, ground" accords most closely with the sense of the source in Revelation: "flowing from the throne of God," a scene depicted in some illuminated manuscripts, i.e., the Trinity College Apocalypse, which shows the river flowing out of the room in which God is enthroned. See the illustration in Jonathan Alexander, "The Last Things: Representing the Unrepresentable," in The Apocalypse and the Shape of Things to Come, ed. Frances Carey, p. 77.

1063 mynster. MS: mynyster. AW, Gor, H, and V also emend.

1064 refet. MS: reget. I accord with A, AW, and Gor in emending to refet, "refresh."

1069 ff. The stanza describes the miraculous, God-generated light of the New Jerusalem, a brilliance that eclipses other celestial bodies, i.e., moon and sun.

1076 selfe. MS: self. G also emends.

1077-80 See Revelation 22:2.

1081 gret. Gor emends to great.

1083 bayle. MS: baly. G, Gor, and H also emend to bayle. V argues emendation is unnecessary, since y varies with e, but in this case bayle is preferable for rhyme.

1086 freuch. A and AW emend to frech; Gor to frelich.

1092 wer. Gor emends to were.

1093 maynful. Compare the expression "might and main," in Middle English a conventional formula, "myghty and maynful."

1097 enpryse. MS: enpresse. I accord with A, G, Gor, and H in emendation for rhyme.

1098-1100 See Revelation 14:4.

1099 vergynes. See note to line 869.

1104 with gret. MS: wtouten. Emendation for logic accords with A, AW, C, G, and Gor. V follows MS.

1106 See Revelation 21:21.

1107 See Revelation 5:11

1108 livrés. G emends to livre. Most editors translate as "dress." Livrés also means the official garb of a group or guild, which would seem to be the sense intended here. For a discussion of livery badges in the court of Richard II and in the Wilton Diptych, see Riddy, in Brewer and Gibson, p. 153n; Bowers, "Pearl in Its Royal Setting," pp. 136-39; and Barr, pp. 67-68. See also note to line 199.

1110 See Revelation 14:1-4.

1111 golde. MS: glode. Editors emend. See Revelation 5:6.

1112 wedes. G emends to wede.

1117 that. G emends to that ther.

1125 thurgh the urthe. H emends to thurgh urthe.

1126 Vertues. One of the nine orders of angels.

1133 Hys. G emends to hyse.

1135 wounde ful wyde. The image is of the sacrificial Lamb, Christ crucified. Field and Whitaker discuss the medieval pictorial traditions for the image; for a psychoanalytic reading of the wound, see Stanbury, "Feminist Masterplots."

1156-59 These lines present many possibilities for interpretation. In line 1156, walte has been read as "held, set," from Middle English wale or welde, by A, AW, G, and Gor; as "kept" by C; and as "vexed" by H and V. The MED suggests "chosen," p. ppl. of walen, a reading with which I concur: i.e., although she has already been claimed or chosen by the Lamb, the dreamer still wants to hurl himself into the stream.

1157-59 G connects fech me bur (line 1158) with the dialect phrase "to take one's birr," i.e., to gather momentum for a leap, and translates: "Nothing, methought, might hinder me / From fetching birr and taking off; / And noght should keep me from the start." A reads: "I thought that nothing might hinder me from gathering my strength and taking possession (of the Maiden) for myself." My reading of the lines approximates that of AW: "I thought that nothing could harm me by dealing me a blow and offering obstruction to me." Bur appears frequently in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the sense of a martial "blow." This stanza and the following are rich in abrupt monosyllabic words conveying suddenness and violence.

1170 brathe. MS appears to have þ written over h, but it is uncertain. G, H, and V write brathe; A, AW, and Gor write braththe. Both spellings were in use in the fourteenth century.

1174 raxled. I.e., in the sense of awakening from a swoon.

1179 quyke. MS: quyke3. Editors emend.

1185 If. MS: f. Editors emend.

1186 stykes. AW and G emend to strykes, "who come," i.e., "you who come in a fair crown."

1190 gyven. MS: geven. I accord with A, G, and Gor in emending for the sake of rhyme.

1196 moghten. A, AW, G, and Gor emend to moghte. I retain MS reading for metrical reasons.

1205 lote. Lote, Middle English lot, which some editors translate as "experience," carries connotations of chance or luck. AW note that lote can also mean "speech" or "word": "I received this word."

1206 enclyin. Editors translate "lying prostrate" - i.e., the dreamer. I accord with V in following MED suggestion that term is an adjective, enclin, modifying the pearl, "bowed down, humble, submissive."

1208 In Krystes dere blessyng and myn. This phrase appears frequently in addresses from parent to child in the late Middle Ages, as observed by Norman Davis, "A Note on Pearl," in Conley, ed., pp. 325-34.

1209 forme of bred and wyn. I.e., the visual display of the host during the Mass. The phrase, part of the prayer at communion, was, as Margaret Aston says, "the laconic lay equivalent for transubstantiation in all its complexities." See Faith and Fire: Popular and Unpopular Religion, 1350-1600 (Rio Grande, Ohio: Hambledon Press, 1993), pp. 46-47. For uses of the formula, see also John Mirk's Instructions for Parish Priests, ed. Edward Peacock, EETS o.s. 31 (London: Trübner & Co., 1868; Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, 1996), p. 8, line 246, and p. 291. The formula also appears frequently in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century debates about the Eucharistic rite: see for example the "Testimony of William Thorpe" in Two Wycliffite Texts: The Sermon of William Taylor 1406: The Testimony of William Thorpe 1407, ed. Anne Hudson, EETS o.s. 301 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 31.
Most editors understand That as a reference to Christ. Phillips, p. 479, argues that That refers to the pearl ("hit" of line 1207) and both refer to the Eucharistic wafer.

1211 homly hyne. The term homly defies precise translation in modern English. It refers literally to the "homely," to things of the household and private life, with the implication that homly hyne are trustworthy and trusting household servants, allied with the lord or head of household in a harmonious hierarchical relationship.




















































































































































































































































Perle, plesaunte to prynces paye
To clanly clos in golde so clere,
Oute of Oryent, I hardyly saye,
Ne proved I never her precios pere.
So rounde, so reken in uche araye,
So smal, so smothe her sydes were,
Queresoever I jugged gemmes gaye
I sette hyr sengeley in synglure.
Allas, I leste hyr in on erbere;
Thurgh gresse to grounde hit fro me yot.
I dewyne, fordolked of luf-daungere
Of that pryvy perle withouten spot.

Sythen in that spote hit fro me sprange,
Ofte haf I wayted, wyschande that wele
That wont was whyle devoyde my wrange 1
And heven my happe and al my hele.
That dos bot thrych my herte thrange,
My breste in bale bot bolne and bele. 2
Yet thoght me never so swete a sange
As stylle stounde let to me stele;
Forsothe, ther fleten to me fele
To thenke hir color so clad in clot.
O moul, thou marres a myry juele,
My privy perle wythouten spotte.

That spot of spyses mot nedes sprede
Ther such ryches to rot is runne:
Blomes blayke and blwe and rede
Ther schyne ful schyr agayn the sunne.
Flor and fryte may not be fede
Ther hit doun drof in moldes dunne;
For uch gresse mot grow of graynes dede,
No whete were elles to wones wonne. 3
Of goud uche goude is ay bygonne -
So semly a sede moght fayly not
That spryngande spyces up ne sponne
Of that precios perle wythouten spotte.

To that spot that I in speche expoun
I entred in that erber grene
In Augoste in a hygh seysoun
Quen corne is corven wyth crokes kene.
On huyle ther perle hit trendeled doun
Schadowed this wortes ful schyre and schene:
Gilofre, gyngure, and gromylyoun,
And pyonys powdered ay bytwene.
Yif hit was semly on to sene
A fayr reflayr yet fro hit flot.
Ther wonys that worthyly, I wot and wene,
My precious perle wythouten spot.

Bifore that spot my honde I spenned
For care ful colde that to me caght.
A deuely dele in my hert denned
Thagh resoun sette myselven saght.
I playned my perle that ther was penned
Wyth fyrce skylles that faste faght.
Thagh kynde of Kryst me comfort kenned,
My wreched wylle in wo ay wraghte.
I felle upon that floury flaght -
Suche odour to my hernes schot,
I slode upon a slepyng-slaghte
On that precios perle wythouten spot.


Fro spot my spyryt ther sprang in space -
My body on balke ther bod in sweven.
My goste is gon in Godes grace
In aventure ther mervayles meven.
I ne wyste in this worlde quere that hit wace
Bot I knew me keste ther klyfes cleven.
Towarde a foreste I bere the face
Where ryche rokkes wer to dyscreven.
The lyght of hem myght no mon leven,
The glemande glory that of hem glent,
For wern never webbes that wyyes weven
Of half so dere adubbemente.

Dubbed wern alle tho downes sydes
Wyth crystal klyffes so cler of kynde;
Holtewodes bryght aboute hem bydes
Of bolles as blwe as ble of Ynde.
As bornyst sylver the lef on slydes
That thike con trylle on uch a tynde; 4
Quen glem of glodes agayns hem glydes
Wyth schymeryng schene ful schrylle thay schynde.
The gravayl that on grounde con grynde
Wern precious perles of Oryente.
The sunnebemes bot blo and blynde
In respecte of that adubbement.

The adubbemente of tho downes dere
Garten my goste al greffe forgete.
So frech flavores of frytes were
As fode hit con me fayre refete.
Fowles ther flowen in fryth in fere
Of flaumbande hwes bothe smale and grete;
Bot sytole-stryng and gyternere
Her reken myrthe moght not retrete,
For quen those bryddes her wynges bete
Thay songen wyth a swete asent.
So gracios gle couthe no mon gete
As here and se her adubbement.

So al was dubbet on dere asyse
That fryth ther fortwne forth me feres.
The derthe therof for to devyse
Nis no wyy worthé that tonge beres.
I welke ay forth in wely wyse,
No bonk so byg that did me deres:
The fyrre in the fryth, the feier con ryse
The playn, the plonttes, the spyse, the peres;
And rawes and randes and rych reveres 5
As fyldor fyn her bukes brent.
I wan to a water by schore that scheres -
Lorde, dere was hit adubbement.

The dubbemente of tho derworth depe
Wern bonkes bene of beryl bryght.
Swangeande swete the water con swepe
Wyth a rownande rourde raykande aryght. 6
In the founce ther stonden stones stepe
As glente thurgh glas that glowed and glyght,
As stremande sternes quen strothe-men slepe
Staren in welkyn in wynter nyght. 7
For uche a pobbel in pole ther pyght
Was emerad, saffer, other gemme gente -
That alle the loghe lemed of lyght
So dere was hit adubbement.


The dubbement dere of doun and dales,
Of wod and water and wlonke playnes,
Bylde in me blys, abated my bales,
Fordidden my stresse, dystryed my paynes.
Doun after a strem that dryyly hales
I bowed in blys, bredful my braynes.
The fyrre I folwed those floty vales
The more strenghthe of joye myn herte straynes.
As fortune fares theras ho fraynes,
Whether solace ho sende other elles sore,
The wyy to wham her wylle ho waynes
Hyttes to have ay more and more.

More of wele was in that wyse
Then I cowthe telle thagh I tom hade,
For urthely herte myght not suffyse
To the tenthe dole of tho gladnes glade.
Forthy I thoght that Paradyse
Was ther over gayn tho bonkes brade.
I hoped the water were a devyse
Bytwene myrthes by meres made. 8
Byyonde the broke, by slente other slade,
I hoped that mote merked wore;
Bot the water was depe, I dorst not wade,
And ever me longed ay more and more.

More and more and yet wel mare
Me lyste to se the broke byyonde,
For if hit was fayr ther I con fare
Wel loveloker was the fyrre londe.
Abowte me con I stote and stare;
To fynde a forthe faste con I fonde.
Bot wothes mo iwysse ther ware
The fyrre I stalked by the stronde,
And ever me thoght I shulde not wonde
For wo ther weles so wynne wore. 9
Thenne nwe note me com on honde
That meved my mynde ay more and more.

More mervayle con my dom adaunt;
I sey byyonde that myry mere
A crystal clyffe ful relusaunt;
Mony ryal ray con fro hit rere.
At the fote therof ther sete a faunt,
A mayden of menske ful debonere.
Blysnande whyt was hyr bleaunt.
I knew hyr wel, I hade sen hyr ere.
As glysnande golde that man con schere,
So schon that schene anunder schore.
On lenghe I loked to hyr there -
The lenger, I knew hyr more and more.

The more I frayste hyr fayre face,
Her fygure fyn quen I had fonte,
Suche gladande glory con to me glace
As lyttel byfore therto was wonte.
To calle hyr lyste con me enchace
Bot baysment gef myn hert a brunt.
I sey hyr in so strange a place,
Such a burre myght make myn herte blunt.
Thenne veres ho up her fayre frount,
Hyr vysayge whyt as playn yvore,
That stonge myn hert ful stray astount -
And ever the lenger the more and more.


More then me lyste my drede aros;
I stod ful stylle and dorste not calle.
Wyth yyen open and mouth ful clos
I stod as hende as hawk in halle.
I hoped that gostly was that porpose;
I dred onende quat schulde byfalle
Lest ho me eschaped that I ther chos,
Er I at steven hir moght stalle.
That gracios gay wythouten galle,
So smothe, so smal, so seme slyght,
Ryses up in hir araye ryalle,
A precios pyece in perles pyght.

Perles pyghte of ryal prys
Ther moght mon by grace haf sene
Quen that frech as flor-de-lys
Doun the bonke con bowe bydene.
Al blysnande whyt was hir beau biys,
Upon at sydes and bounden bene
Wyth the myryeste margarys, at my devyse,
That ever I sey yet with myn yyen;
Wyth lappes large, I wot and wene,
Dubbed with double perle and dyghte,
Her cortel of self sute schene
Wyth precios perles al umbepyghte.

A pyght coroune yet wer that gyrle
Of marjorys and non other ston,
Highe pynakled of cler quyt perle
Wyth flurted flowres perfet upon.
To hed hade ho non other werle,
Her here-leke al hyr umbegon.
Her semblaunt sade for doc other erle,
Her ble more blaght then whalles bon;
As schorne golde schyr her fax thenne schon
On schylderes that leghe unlapped lyghte.
Her depe colour yet wonted non
Of precios perle in porfyl pyghte.

Pyght was poyned and uche a hemme
At honde, at sydes, at overture,
Wyth whyte perle and non other gemme,
And bornyste quyte was hyr vesture.
Bot a wonder perle wythouten wemme
Inmyddes hyr breste was sette so sure,
A mannes dom moght druyyly demme
Er mynde moght malte in hit mesure.
I hope no tonge moght endure,
No saverly saghe say of that syght, 10
So was hit clene and cler and pure,
That precios perle ther hit was pyght.

Pyght in perle, that precios pyse
On wyther half water com doun the schore.
No gladder gome hethen into Grece
Then I quen ho on brymme wore.
Ho was me nerre then aunte or nece;
My joy forthy was much the more.
Ho profered me speche, that special spyce,
Enclynande lowe in wommon lore,
Caghte of her coroun of grete tresore
And haylsed me wyth a lote lyghte.
Wel was me that ever I was bore
To sware that swete in perles pyghte.


"O perle," quoth I, "in perles pyght,
Art thou my perle that I haf playned,
Regretted by myn one on nyghte?
Much longeyng haf I for thee layned
Sythen into gresse thou me aglyghte.
Pensyf, payred, I am forpayned,
And thou in a lyf of lykyng lyghte
In Paradys erde, of stryf unstrayned.
What wyrde has hyder my juel vayned
And don me in thys del and gret daunger?
Fro we in twynne wern towen and twayned
I haf ben a joyles jueler."

That juel thenne, in gemmes gente,
Vered up her vyse wyth yyen graye,
Set on hyr coroun of perle orient
And soberly after thenne con ho say,
"Sir, ye haf your tale mysetente
To say your perle is al awaye
That is in cofer so comly clente
As in this gardyn gracios gaye,
Hereinne to lenge forever and play
Ther mys nee mornyng com never nere.
Her were a forser for thee, in faye,
If thou were a gentyl jueler.

"Bot, jueler gente, if thou schal lose
Thy joy for a gemme that thee was lef,
Me thynk thee put in a mad porpose
And busyes thee about a raysoun bref.
For that thou lestes was bot a rose
That flowred and fayled as kynde hyt gef;
Now thurgh kynde of the kyste that hyt con close
To a perle of prys hit is put in pref.
And thou has called thy wyrde a thef
That oght of noght has mad thee cler. 11
Thou blames the bote of thy meschef.
Thou art no kynde jueler."

A juel to me then was thys geste
And jueles wern hyr gentyl sawes.
"Iwyse," quoth I, "my blysfol beste,
My grete dystresse thou al todrawes.
To be excused I make requeste;
I trawed my perle don out of dawes.
Now haf I fonde hyt, I schal ma feste
And wony wyth hyt in schyr wod-schawes
And love my Lorde and al His lawes
That has me broght thys blysse ner.
Now were I at yow byyonde thise wawes,
I were a joyfol jueler."

"Jueler," sayde that gemme clene,
"Wy borde ye men? so madde ye be!
Thre wordes has thou spoken at ene;
Unavysed, for sothe, wern alle thre.
Thou ne woste in worlde quat on dos mene - 12
Thy worde byfore thy wytte con fle.
Thou says thou trawes me in this dene
Bycawse thou may wyth yyen me se.
Another - thou says in this countré
Thyself schal won wyth me ryght here.
The thrydde - to passe thys water fre.
That may no joyfol jueler.


"I halde that jueler lyttel to prayse
That loves wel that he ses wyth yye,
And much to blame and uncortoyse
That leves oure Lorde wolde make a lyye
That lelly hyghte your lyf to rayse
Thagh fortune dyd your flesch to dyye.
Ye setten Hys wordes ful westernays
That loves nothynk bot ye hit syye; 13
And that is a poynt o sorquydryye
That uche god mon may evel byseme -
To leve no tale be true to tryye
Bot that hys one skyl may dem.

"Deme now thyself if thou con dayly
As man to God wordes schulde heve.
Thou says thou schal won in this bayly.
Me thynk thee burde fyrst aske leve -
And yet of graunt thou myghtes fayle.
Thou wylnes over thys water to weve;
Er moste thou cever to other counsayle.
Thy corse in clot mot calder keve,
For hit was forgarte at Paradys greve;
Oure yorefader hit con mysseyeme.
Thurgh drwry deth bos uch man dreve
Er over thys dam hym Dryghtyn deme."

"Demes thou me," quoth I, "my swete,
To dol agayn, thenne I dowyne.
Now haf I fonte that I forlete,
Schal I efte forgo hit er ever I fyne?
Why schal I hit bothe mysse and mete?
My precios perle dos me gret pyne.
What serves tresor bot gares men grete
When he hit schal efte wyth tenes tyne?
Now rech I never for to declyne
Ne how fer of folde that man me fleme; 14
When I am partles of perle myne,
Bot durande doel what may men deme?"

"Thow demes noght bot doel dystresse,"
Thenne sayde that wyght, "why dos thou so?
For dyne of doel of lures lesse
Ofte mony mon forgos the mo. 15
Thee oghte better thyselven blesse
And love ay God in wele and wo,
For anger gaynes thee not a cresse.
Who nedes schal thole be not so thro;
For thogh thou daunce as any do,
Braundysch and bray thy brathes breme,
When thou no fyrre may to ne fro
Thou moste abyde that He schal deme.

"Deme Dryghtyn, ever Hym adyte,
Of the way a fote ne wyl He wrythe.
Thy mendes mountes not a myte,
Thagh thou for sorwe be never blythe.
Stynst of thy strot and fyne to flyte
And sech Hys blythe ful swefte and swythe;
Thy prayer may Hys pyté byte
That mercy schal hyr craftes kythe.
Hys comforte may thy langour lythe
And thy lures of lyghtly fleme.
For marre other madde, morne and mythe,
Al lys in Hym to dyght and deme."


Thenne demed I to that damyselle,
"Ne worthe no wraththe unto my Lorde
If rapely I rave, spornande in spelle.
My herte was al wyth mysse remorde
As wallande water gos out of welle.
I do me ay in Hys myserecorde;
Rebuke me never wyth wordes felle
Thagh I forloyne, my dere endorde,
Bot kythes me kyndely your coumforde,
Pytosly thenkande upon thysse:
Of care and me ye made acorde,
That er was grounde of alle my blysse.

"My blysse, my bale, ye han ben bothe;
Bot much the bygger yet was my mon
Fro thou was wroken fro uch a wothe.
I wyste never quere my perle was gon;
Now I hit se, now lethes my lothe;
And quen we departed we wern at on.
God forbede we be now wrothe -
We meten so selden by stok other ston! 16
Thagh cortaysly ye carpe con
I am bot mol and maneres mysse.
Bot Crystes mersy and Mary and Jon,
Thise arn the grounde of alle my blysse.

"In blysse I se thee blythely blent,
And I a man al mornyf mate;
Ye take theron ful lyttel tente
Thagh I hente ofte harmes hate.
Bot now I am here in your presente
I wolde bysech, wythouten debate,
Ye wolde me say, in sobre asente, 17
What lyf ye lede erly and late.
For I am ful fayn that your astate
Is worthen to worschyp and wele, iwysse;
Of alle my joy the hyghe gate,
Hit is in grounde of alle my blysse."

"Now blysse, burne, mot thee bytyde,"
Then sayde that lufsoum of lyth and lere,
"And welcum here to walk and byde,
For now thy speche is to me dere.
Maysterful mod and hyghe pryde
I hete thee arn heterly hated here.
My Lorde ne loves not for to chyde
For meke arn alle that wones Hym nere,
And when in Hys place thou schal apere
Be dep devote in hol mekenesse.
My Lorde the Lamb loves ay such chere;
That is the grounde of alle my blysse.

"A blysful lyf thou says I lede;
Thou woldes knaw therof the stage.
Thow wost wel when thy perle con schede
I was ful yong and tender of age,
Bot my Lorde the Lombe, thurgh Hys Godhede
He toke myself to Hys maryage,
Corounde me quene in blysse to brede
In lenghe of dayes that ever schal wage.
And sesed in alle Hys herytage
Hys lef is. I am holy Hysse -
Hys pyese, Hys prys; and Hys parage
Is rote and grounde of alle my blysse."


"Blysful," quoth I, "may thys be trwe?
Dyspleses not if I speke errour.
Art thou the quene of hevenes blwe
That al thys worlde schal do honour?
We leven on Marye that grace of grewe,
That ber a barne of vyrgyn flour.
The croune fro hyr, quo moght remwe
Bot ho hir passed in sum favour?
Now for synglerty o hyr dousour
We calle hyr Fenyx of Arraby
That freles flewe of hyr fasor
Lyk to the quen of cortaysye."

"Cortayse quen," thenne sayde that gaye,
Knelande to grounde, folde up hyr face,
"Makeles moder and myryest may,
Blessed bygyner of uch a grace."
Thenne ros ho up and con restay
And speke me towarde in that space,
"Sir, fele here porchases and fonges pray
Bot supplantores none wythinne thys place.
That emperise al hevens has
And urthe and helle in her bayly,
Of erytage yet non wyl ho chace
For ho is quen of cortaysye.

"The court of the kyndom of God alyve
Has a property in hytself beyng;
Alle that may therinne aryve
Of alle the reme is quen other kyng;
And never other yet schal depryve,
Bot uchon fayn of otheres hafyng
And wolde her corounes wern worthe tho fyve
If possyble were her mendyng. 18
Bot my lady of quom Jesu con spryng
Ho haldes the empyre over uus ful hyghe,
And that dyspleses non of oure gyng
For ho is quene of cortaysye.

"Of courtaysye, as says Saynt Poule,
Al arn we membres of Jesu Kryst.
As heved and arme and legg and navle
Temen to Hys body ful trwe and tryste,
Ryght so is uch a Krysten sawle
A longande lym to the mayster of myste.
Thenne loke what hate other any gawle
Is tached other tyyed thy lymmes bytwyste;
Thy heved has nauther greme ne gryste
On arme other fynger, thagh thou ber byghe.
So fare we alle wyth luf and lyste
To kyng and quene, by cortaysye."

"Cortaysé," quoth I, "I leve,
And charyté grete be yow among.
Bot my speche that yow ne greve,
. . . . .
Thyself in heven over hygh thou heve
To make thee quen that was so yonge.
What more honour moghte he acheve
That hade endured in worlde stronge
And lyved in penaunce hys lyves longe
Wyth bodyly bale hym blysse to byye?
What more worschyp moght he fonge
Then corounde be kyng by cortaysé?


"That cortaysé is to fre of dede
Yf hyt be soth that thou cones saye.
Thou lyfed not two yer in oure thede;
Thou cowthes never God nauther plese ne pray
Ne never nawther Pater ne Crede -
And quen mad on the fyrste day!
I may not traw, so God me spede,
That God wolde wrythe so wrange away.
Of countes, damysel, par ma fay,
Wer fayr in heven to halde asstate 19
Other elles a lady of lasse aray -
Bot a quene! Hit is to dere a date."

"Ther is no date of Hys godnesse,"
Then sayde to me that worthy wyghte,
"For al is trawthe that He con dresse
And He may do nothynk bot ryght.
As Mathew meles in your Messe,
In sothfol gospel of God almyght,
In sample He can ful graythely gesse
And lyknes hit to heven lyghte.
'My regne,' He says, 'is lyk on hyght
To a lorde that hade a vyne, I wate.
Of tyme of yere the terme was tyght
To labor vyne was dere the date.'

"That date of yere wel knawe thys hyne;
The lorde ful erly up he ros
To hyre werkmen to hys vyne
And fyndes ther summe to hys porpos.
Into acorde thay con declyne
For a pené on a day, and forth thay gos,
Wrythen and worchen and don gret pyne,
Kerven and caggen and man hit clos.
Aboute under the lorde to marked tos 20
And ydel men stande he fyndes therate.
'Why stande ye ydel?' he sayde to thos,
'Ne knawe ye of this day no date?'

"'Er date of daye hider arn we wonne,'
So was al samen her answar soght.
'We haf standen her syn ros the sunne
And no mon byddes uus do ryght noght.'
'Gos into my vyne, dos that ye conne,'
So sayde the lorde and made hit toght.
'What resonabele hyre be naght be runne,
I yow pay in dede and thoghte.' 21
Thay wente into the vyne and wroghte
And al day the lorde thus yede his gate
And nw men to hys vyne he broghte
Welnegh wyl day was passed date.

"At the date of day of evensonge,
On oure byfore the sonne go doun,
He sey ther ydel men ful stronge
And sade to hem, wyth sobre soun,
'Wy stonde ye ydel thise dayes longe?'
Thay sayden her hyre was nawhere boun.
'Gos to my vyne, yemen yonge,
And wyrkes and dos that at ye moun.'
Sone the worlde bycom wel broun,
The sunne was doun and hit wex late.
To take her hyre he mad sumoun;
The day was al apassed date.


"The date of the daye the lorde con knaw;
Called to the reve, 'Lede, pay the meyny!
Gyf hem the hyre that I hem owe
And fyrre, that non me may reprené,
Set hem alle upon a rawe
And gyf uchon inlyche a peny.
Bygyn at the laste that standes lowe
Tyl to the fyrste that thou atteny.'
And thenne the fyrst bygonne to pleny
And sayden that they hade travayled sore.
'These bot on oure hem con streny!
Uus thynk uus oghe to take more.

"'More haf we served, uus thynk so,
That suffred han the dayes hete
Thenn thyse that wroght not houres two -
And thou dos hem uus to counterfete.'
Thenne sayde the lorde to on of tho,
'Frende, no waning I wyl thee gete. 22
Take that is thyn owne and go
And I hyred thee for a peny agrete.
Quy bygynnes thou now to threte?
Was not a pené thy covenaunt thore?
Fyrre then covenaunde is noght to plete. 23
Wy schalte thou thenne aske more?

"'More, wether louyly is me my gyfte
To do wyth myn quatso me lykes?
Other elles thyn yye to lyther is lyfte
For I am goude and non byswykes.'
'Thus schal I,' quoth Kryste, 'hyt skyfte:
The laste schal be the fyrst that strykes
And the fyrst the laste, be he never so swyft.
For mony ben called thagh fewe be mykes.'
Thus pore men her part ay pykes
Thagh thay com late and lyttel wore;
And thagh her sweng wyth lyttel atslykes, 24
The merci of God is much the more.

"More haf I of joye and blysse hereinne,
Of ladyschyp gret and lyves blom,
Then alle the wyyes in the worlde myght wynne
By the way of ryght to aske dome.
Whether welnygh now I con bygynne,
In eventyde into the vyne I come.
Fyrst of my hyre my Lorde con mynne;
I was payed anon of al and sum.
Yet other ther werne that toke more tom,
That swange and swat for longe yore,
That yet of hyre nothynk thay nom -
Paraunter noght schal to-yere more."

Then more I meled and sayde apert,
"Me thynk thy tale unresounable.
Goddes ryght is redy and evermore rert
Other Holy Wryt is bot a fable.
In Sauter is sayd a verce overte
That spekes a poynt determynable:
'Thou quytes uchon as hys desserte,
Thou hyghe kyng ay pertermynable.'
Now he that stod the long day stable
And thou to payment com hym byfore -
Thenne the lasse in werke to take more able,
And ever the lenger the lasse, the more." 25


"Of more and lasse in Godes ryche,"
That gentyl sayde, "lys no joparde,
For ther is uch mon payed inlyche
Whether lyttel other much be hys rewarde.
For the gentyl Cheventayn is no chyche;
Quether-so-ever He dele, nesch other harde, 26
He laves Hys gyftes as water of dyche
Other gotes of golf that never charde. 27
Hys fraunchyse is large; that ever dard
To Hym that mas in synne rescoghe, 28
No blysse bes fro hem reparde,
For the grace of God is gret inoghe.

"Bot now thou motes, me for to mate
That I my peny haf wrang tan here;
Thou says that I that com to late
Am not worthy so gret fere.
Where wystes thou ever any bourne abate, 29
Ever so holy in hys prayere,
That he ne forfeted by sumkyn gate
The mede sumtyme of hevenes clere?
And ay the ofter, the alder thay were;
Thay laften ryght and wroghten woghe.
Mercy and grace moste hem then stere,
For the grace of God is gret innoghe.

"Bot innoghe of grace has innocent.
As sone as thay arn borne by lyne
In the water of babtem thay dyssente.
Then arne thay boroght into the vyne.
Anon the day, with derk endente,
The niyght of deth dos to enclyne
That wroght never wrang er thenne thay wente. 30
The gentyle Lorde thenne payes hys hyne;
Thay dyden hys heste, thay wern thereine.
Why schulde he not her labour alow -
Yys, and pay hym at the fyrste fyne?
For the grace of God is gret innoghe.

"Inoghe is knawen that mankyn grete
Fyrste was wroght to blysse parfyt;
Oure forme fader hit con forfete
Thurgh an apple that he upon con byte.
Al wer we dampned for that mete,
To dyye in doel out of delyt
And sythen wende to helle hete
Therinne to won withoute respyt.
Bot theron com a bote astyt;
Ryche blod ran on Rode so roghe
And wynne water then at that plyt.
The grace of God wex gret innoghe.

"Innoghe ther wax out of that welle,
Blod and water of brode wounde;
The blod uus boght fro bale of helle,
And delyvered uus of deth secounde.
The water is baptem, the sothe to telle,
That folwed the glayve so grymly grounde,
That wasches away the gyltes felle
That Adam wyth inne deth uus drounde.
Now is ther noght in the worlde rounde
Bytwene uus and blysse bot that he wythdrow,
And that is restored in sely stounde,
And the grace of God is gret innogh.


"Grace innogh the mon may have
That synnes thenne new, yif hym repente;
Bot wyth sorw and syt he mot hit crave
And byde the payne therto is bent.
Bot resoun, of ryght that con not rave,
Saves evermore the innossent.
Hit is a dom that never God gave
That ever the gyltles schulde be schente.
The gyltyf may contryssyoun hente
And be thurgh mercy to grace thryght,
Bot he to gyle that never glente
As inoscente is saf and ryghte. 31

"Ryght thus I knaw wel in this cas
Two men to save is God, by skylle;
The ryghtwys man schal se Hys face,
The harmles hathel schal com Hym tylle.
The Sauter hyt sas thus in a pace,
'Lorde, quo schal klymbe Thy hyghe hylle
Other rest wythinne Thy holy place ?'
Hymself to onsware He is not dylle:
'Hondelynges harme that dyt not ille, 32
That is of hert bothe clene and lyght -
Ther schal hys stepe stable stylle.'
The innosent is ay saf by ryght.

"The ryghtwys man also sertayn
Aproche he schal that proper pyle
That takes not her lyf in vayne
Ne glaueres her nieghbor wyth no gyle.
Of thys ryghtwys, sas Salamon playn,
How kyntly oure Koyntyse hym con aquyle.
By wayes ful streght he con hym strayn
And scheued hym the rengne of God awhyle,
As quo says, 'Lo, yon lovely yle!
Thou may hit wynne if thou be wyghte.'
Bot hardyly, wythoute peryle,
The innosent is ay save by ryghte.

"Anende ryghtwys men, yet says a gome,
David in Sauter if ever ye sey hit,
'Lorde, Thy servaunt draw never to dome,
For non lyvyande to Thee is justyfyet.' 33
Forthy to corte, quen thou schal com
Ther alle oure causes schal be tryed,
Alegge the ryght - thou may be innome
By thys ilke spech I have asspyed.
Bot He on Rode that blody dyed,
Delfully thurgh hondes thryght,
Gyve thee to passe, when thou arte tryed,
By innocens, and not by ryghte.

"Ryghtwysly quo con rede,
He loke on bok and be awayed
How Jesus Hym welke in arethede,
And burnes her barnes unto Hym brayde
For happe and hele that fro Hym yede.
To touch her chylder thay fayr Hym prayed.
His dessypeles wyth blame, 'Let be!' hym bede,
And wyth her resounes ful fele restayed.
Jesus thenne hem swetely sayde,
'Do way, let chylder unto me tyght;
To suche is hevenryche arayed.'
The innocent is ay saf by ryght.


"Jesu con calle to Hym Hys mylde
And sayde Hys ryche no wyy myght wynne
Bot he com thyder ryght as a chylde
Other elles nevermore com therinne.
Harmles, trwe, and undefylde,
Wythouten mote other mascle of sulpande synne -
Quen such ther cnoken on the bylde,
Tyt schal hem men the gate unpynne.
Ther is the blys that con not blynne
That the jueler soghte thurgh perré pres
And solde alle hys goud, bothe wolen and lynne,
To bye hym a perle was mascelles.

"This makelles perle, that boght is dere,
The joueler gef fore alle hys god,
Is lyke the reme of hevenesse clere -
So sayde the Fader of folde and flode -
For hit is wemles, clene, and clere,
And endeles rounde and blythe of mode,
And commune to alle that ryghtwys were.
Lo, even inmyddes my breste hit stode!
My Lorde, the Lombe that schede Hys blode,
He pyght hit there in token of pes.
I rede thee forsake the worlde wode
And porchace thy perle maskelles."

"O maskeles perle, in perles pure,
That beres," quoth I, "the perle of prys,
Quo formed thee thy fayre fygure?
That wroght thy wede, He was ful wys. 34
Thy beauté com never of nature;
Pymalyon paynted never thy vys,
Ne Arystotel nawther by hys lettrure
Of carpe the kynde these propertes.
Thy colour passes the flour-de-lys;
Thyn angel-havyng so clene cortes -
Breve me, bryght, quat kyn ostriys
Beres the perle so maskelles?"

"My makeles Lambe that al may bete,"
Quoth scho, "my dere destyné,
Me ches to Hys make, althagh unmete
Sumtyme semed that assemblé. 35
When I wente fro yor worlde wete,
He calde me to Hys bonerté:
'Cum hyder to me, my lemman swete
For mote ne spot is non in thee.'
He gef me myght and als bewté;
In Hys blod He wesch my wede on dese
And coronde clene in vergynté,
And pyght me in perles maskelles."

"Why, maskelles bryd, that bryght con flambe,
That reiates has so ryche and ryf,
Quat kyn thyng may be that Lambe
That thee wolde wedde unto Hys vyf?
Over alle other so hygh thou clambe
To lede wyth Hym so ladyly lyf.
So mony a comly anunnder cambe
For Kryst han lyved in much stryf,
And thou con alle tho dere out dryf
And from that maryag al other depres -
Al only thyself so stout and styf,
A makeles may and maskelles."


"Maskelles," quoth that myry quene,
"Unblemyst I am, wythouten blot,
And that may I wyth mensk menteene,
Bot 'makeles quene' - thenne sade I not.
The Lambes uyves in blysse we bene,
A hondred and forty thowsande flot
As in the Apocalyppes hit is sene.
Sant John hem syy al in a knot
On the hyl of Syon, that semly clot;
The apostel hem segh in gostly drem,
Arayed to the weddyng in that hyl-coppe,
The nwe cyté o Jerusalem.

"Of Jerusalem I in speche spelle;
If thou wyl knaw what kyn He be,
My Lombe, my Lorde, my dere juelle,
My joy, my blys, my lemman fre,
The profete Ysaye of Hym con melle
Pitously of Hys debonerté:
'That gloryous gyltles that mon con quelle
Wythouten any sake of felonye,
As a schep to the slaght ther lad was He,
And as lombe that clypper in lande nem,
So closed He hys mouth fro uch query'-
Quen Jues Hym jugged in Jerusalem.

"In Jerusalem was my lemman slayn
And rent on Rode wyth boyes bolde.
Al oure bales to bere ful bayn,
He toke on Hymself oure cares colde;
Wyth boffetes was Hys face flayn
That was so fayr on to byholde.
For synne He set Hymself in vayn
That never hade non Hymself to wolde.
For uus He lette Hym flyye and folde 36
And brede upon a bostwys bem;
As meke as lomp that no playnt tolde
For uus He swalt in Jerusalem.

"Jerusalem, Jordan, and Galalye,
Ther as baptysed the goude Saynt Jon,
His wordes acorded to Ysaye.
When Jesu con to hym warde gon,
He sayde of Hym thys professye:
'Lo, Godes Lombe, as trwe as ston,
That dos away the synnes dryye
That alle thys worlde has wroght upon.'
Hymself ne wroghte never yet non
Whether on Hymself He con al clem.
Hys generacyoun quo recen con
That dyyed for uus in Jerusalem?

"In Jerusalem thus my lemman swete
Twyes for lombe was taken there,
By trw recorde of ayther prophete,
For mode so meke and al Hys fare.
The thryde tyme is therto ful mete,
In Apokalypes wryten ful yare.
In mydes the trone there sayntes sete,
The apostel John Hym saw as bare,
Lesande the boke with leves sware
There seven syngnettes wern sette in seme;
And at that syght uche douth con dare
In helle, in erthe, in Jerusalem.


"Thys Jerusalem Lombe hade never pechche
Of other huee bot quyt jolyf
That mot ne masklle moght on streche,
For wolle quyte so ronk and ryf.
Forthy uche saule that hade never teche
Is to that Lombe a worthyly wyf,
And thagh uch day a store He feche
Among uus commes nouther strot ne stryf,
Bot uchon enlé we wolde were fyf.
The mo the myryer, so God me blesse!
In compayny gret our luf con thryf,
In honour more and never the lesse.

"Lasse of blysse may non uus bryng
That beren thys perle upon oure bereste,
For thay of mote couthe never mynge
Of spotles perles tha beren the creste. 37
Althagh oure corses in clottes clynge
And ye remen for rauthe wythouten reste,
We thurghoutly haven cnawyng;
Of on dethe ful oure hope is drest. 38
The Lombe uus glades, oure care is kest;
He myrthes uus alle at uch a mes.
Uchones blysse is breme and beste -
And never ones honour yet never the les.

"Lest les thou leve my tale farande, 39
In Appocalyppece is wryten in wro:
'I seghe,' says John, 'the Loumbe Hym stande
On the Mount of Syon ful thryven and thro,
And wyth Hym maydennes an hundrethe thowsande
And fowre and forty thowsande mo.
On alle her forhedes wryten I fande
The Lombes nome, Hys Faderes also.
A hue fro heven I herde thoo,
Lyk flodes fele laden runnen on resse, 40
And as thunder throwes in torres blo
That lote, y leve, was never the les.

"'Nautheles thagh hit schowted sharpe
And ledden loude althagh hit were,
A note ful nwe I herde hem warpe;
To lysten that was ful lufly dere.
As harpores harpen in her harpe,
That nwe songe thay songen ful cler
In sounande notes, a gentyl carpe.
Ful fayre the modes thay fonge in fere
Ryght byfore Godes chayere,
And the fowre bestes that Hym obes,
And the aldermen so sadde of chere -
Her songe thay songen never the les.

"'Nowthelese, non was never so quoynt
For alle the craftes that ever thay knewe,
That of that songe myght synge a poynt
Bot that meyny the Lombe that swe.
For thay arn boght, fro the urthe aloynte,
As newe fryt to God ful due,
And to the gentyl Lombe hit arn anjoynt
As lyk to Hymself of lote and hwe.
For never lesyng ne tale untrwe
Ne towched her tonge for no dysstresse.
That moteles meyny may never remwe
Fro that maskeles mayster never the les.'"

"Never the les let be my thonc,"
Quoth I, "my perle, thagh I appose.
I schulde not tempte thy wyt so wlonc
To Krystes chambre that art ichose.
I am bot mokke and mul among,
And thou so ryche a reken rose
And bydes here by thys blysful bonc
Ther lyves lyste may never lose.
Now, hynde, that sympelnesse cones enclose,
I wolde thee aske a thynge expresse,
And thagh I be bustwys as a blose,
Let my bone vayle never the lese.


"Neverthelese cler I yow bycalle
If ye con se hyt be to done.
As thou art gloryous, wythouten galle,
Wythnay thou never my ruful bone.
Haf ye no wones in castel walle,
Ne maner ther ye may mete and won?
Thou telles me of Jerusalem, the ryche ryalle,
Ther David dere was dyght on trone -
Bot by thyse holtes hit con not hone,
Bot in Judee hit is, that noble note.
As ye ar maskeles under mone,
Your wones schulde be wythouten mote.

"Thys moteles meyny thou cones of mele,
Of thousandes thryght, so gret a route -
A gret ceté, for ye arn fele,
Yow byhod have wythouten doute.
So cumly a pakke of joly juele
Wer evel don schulde lyy theroute;
And by thyse bonkes ther I con gele
I se no bygyng nawhere aboute.
I trowe alone ye lenge and loute
To loke on the glory of thys gracious gote.
If thou has other bygynges stoute,
Now tech me to that myry mote."

"That mote thou menes in Judy londe,"
That specyal spyce then to me spakk.
"That is the cyté that the Lombe con fonde
To soffer inne sor for manes sake.
The olde Jerusalem, to understonde,
For there the olde gulte was don to slake.
Bot the nwe that lyght, of Godes sonde,
The apostel in Apocalyppce in theme con take.
The Lompe ther wythouten spottes blake
Has feryed thyder Hys fayre flote,
And as Hys flok is wythouten flake,
So is Hys mote wythouten moote.

"Of motes two to carpe clene
And Jerusalem hyght bothe, nawtheles -
That nys to yow no more to mene
Bot 'Ceté of God' other 'Syght of Pes' -
In that on oure pes was mad at ene.
With payne to suffer the Lombe hit chese.
In that other is noght bot pes to glene
That ay schal laste wythouten reles.
That is the borgh that we to pres
Fro that oure flesch be layd to rote;
Ther glory and blysse schal ever encres
To the meyny that is wythouten mote."

"Moteles may, so meke and mylde,"
Then sayde I to that lufly flor,
"Bryng me to that bygly bylde
And let me se thy blysful bor."
That schene sayde, "That God wyl schylde!
Thou may not enter wythinne Hys tor.
Bot of the Lombe I have thee aquylde
For a syght therof thurgh gret favor.
Utwyth to se that clene cloystor
Thou may, bot inwyth not a fote;
To strech in the strete thou has no vygour
Bot thou wer clene wythouten mote.


"If I this mote thee schal unhyde,
Bow up towarde thys bornes heved,
And I anendes thee on thys syde
Schal sue tyl thou to a hil be veved."
Then wolde I no lenger byde,
Bot lurked by launces so lufly leved
Tyl, on a hyl, that I asspyed,
And blusched on the burghe as I forth dreved.
Byyonde the brok, fro me warde keved
That schyrrer then sunne wyth schaftes schon. 41
In the Apokalypce is the fasoun preved
As devyses hit the apostel John.

As John the apostel hit syy with syght,
I syye that cyty of gret renoun,
Jerusalem so nwe and ryally dyght
As hit was lyght fro the heven adoun.
The borgh was al of brende golde bryght,
As glemande glas burnist broun -
Wyth gentyl gemmes anunder pyght,
Wyth bauteles twelve on basyng boun,
The foundementes twelve of riche tenoun.
Uch tabelment was a serlypes ston,
As derely devyses this ilke toun
In Apocalyppes the apostel John.

As John thise stones in Writ con nemme,
I knew the name after his tale:
Jasper hyght the fyrste gemme
That I on fyrst basse con wale.
He glente grene in the lowest hemme;
Saffer helde the secounde stale.
The calsydoyne thenne wythouten wemme,
In the thrydde table con purly pale.
The emerade, the furthe, so grene of scale;
The sardonyse, the fyfthe ston,
The sexte, the rybé, he con hit wale
In the Apocalyppce the apostel John.

Yet joyned John the crysolyt
The seventhe gemme in fundament;
The aghtthe, the beryl cler and quyt,
The topasye twynne-hew, the nente endent.
The crysopase, the tenthe is tyght,
The jacyngh, the enleventhe gent.
The twelfthe, the tryeste in uch a plyt,
The amatyst, purpre wyth ynde blente.
The wal abof the bautels bent
Of jasporye as glas that glysnande schon.
I knew hit by his devysement
In the Apocalyppes, the apostel John.

As John devysed yet saw I thare;
Thise twelve degres wern brode and stayre.
The cyté stod abof ful sware,
As longe, as brode, as hyghe ful fayre;
The stretes of golde as glasse al bare -
The wal of jasper that glent as glayre -
The wones wythinne enurned ware
Wyth alle kynnes perre that moght repayre.
Thenne helde uch sware of this manayre
Twelve forlonge space, er ever hit fon,
Of heght, of brede, of lenthe to cayre,
For meten hit syy the apostel John.


As John hym wrytes yet more I syye;
Uch pane of that place had thre gates,
So twelve in poursent I con asspye.
The portales pyked of ryche plates
And uch gate of a margyrye,
A parfyt perle that never fates.
Uchon in scrypture a name con plye
Of Israel barnes, folewande her dates -
That is to say, as her byrth-whates.
The aldest ay fyrst theron was done.
Such lyght ther lemed in alle the strates,
Hem nedde nawther sunne ne mone.

Of sunne ne mone had thay no nede;
The selfe God was her lambe-lyght,
The Lombe her lantyrne, wythouten drede.
Thurgh Hym blysned the borgh al bryght.
Thurgh wowe and won my lokyng yede,
For sotyle cler noght lette no syght. 42
The hyghe trone ther moght ye hede
Wyth alle the apparaylmente umbepyghte,
As John the appostel in termes tyghte;
The hyghe Godes self hit set upone.
A rever of the trone ther ran outryghte
Was bryghter then bothe the sunne and mone.

Sunne ne mone schon never so swete
As that foysoun flode out of that flet;
Swythe hit swange thurgh uch a strete
Wythouten fylthe other galle other glet.
Kyrk therinne was non yete -
Chapel ne temple that ever was set.
The Almyghty was her mynster mete,
The Lombe the sakerfyse ther to refet.
The gates stoken was never yet,
Bot ever more upen at uche a lone.
Ther entres non to take reset
That beres any spot anunder mone.

The mone may therof acroche no myghte;
To spotty ho is, of body to grym,
And also ther ne is never nyght.
What schulde the mone ther compas clym
And to even wyth that worthly lyght 43
That schynes upon the brokes brym?
The planetes arn in to pouer a plyght
And the selfe sunne ful fer to dym.
Aboute that water arn tres ful schym
That twelve frytes of lyf con bere ful sone;
Twelve sythes on yer thay beren ful frym
And renowles nwe in uche a mone.

Anundre mone so gret merwayle
No fleschly hert ne myght endeure
As quen I blusched upon that bayle,
So ferly therof was the fasure.
I stod as stylle as dased quayle
For ferly of that freuch fygure,
That felde I nawther reste ne travayle
So was I ravyste wyth glymme pure.
For I dar say, wyth conciens sure,
Hade bodyly burne abiden that bone,
Thagh alle clerkes hym hade in cure
His lyf wer loste anunder mone.


Ryght as the maynful mone con rys
Er thenne the day-glem dryve al doun, 44
So sodanly on a wonder wyse
I was war of a prosessyoun.
This noble cité of ryche enpryse
Was sodanly ful, wythouten sommoun,
Of such vergynes in the same gyse
That was my blysful anunder croun.
And coronde wern alle of the same fasoun,
Depaynt in perles and wedes qwyte.
In uchones breste was bounden boun
The blysfyl perle with gret delyt.

With gret delyt thay glod in fere
On golden gates that glent as glasse.
Hundreth thowsandes, I wot ther were,
And alle in sute her livrés wasse;
Tor to knaw the gladdest chere.
The Lombe byfore con proudly passe
Wyth hornes seven of red golde cler.
As praysed perles His wedes wasse.
Towarde the throne thay trone a tras.
Thagh thay wern fele, no pres in plyt, 45
Bot mylde as maydenes seme at mas
So drov thay forth with gret delyt.

Delyt that hys come encroched,
To much it were of for to melle.
Thise aldermen, quen he aproched,
Grovelyng to his fete thay felle.
Legyounes of aungeles, togeder voched,
Ther kesten ensens of swete smelle.
Then glory and gle was nwe abroched;
Al songe to love that gay juelle.
The steven moght stryke thurgh the urthe to helle
That the Vertues of heven of joye endyte.
To love the Lombe His meyny in-melle,
Iwysse I laght a gret delyt.

Delit the Lombe for to devise
With much mervayle in mynde went,
Best was He, blythest, and moste to pryse
That ever I herde of speche spent.
So worthly whyt wern wedes Hys,
His lokes symple, Hymself so gent;
Bot a wounde ful wyde and weete con wyse
Anende Hys hert thurgh hyde torente.
Of His quyte syde his blod outsprent.
Alas, thoght I, who did that spyt?
Ani breste for bale aght haf forbrent
Er he therto hade had delyt. 46

The Lombe delyt, non lyste to wene;
Thagh He were hurt and wounde hade,
In His sembelaunt was never sene,
So wern His glentes gloryous glade.
I loked among His meyny schene,
How thay wyth lyf wern laste and lade.
Then saw I ther my lyttel quene
That I wende had standen by me in sclade.
Lorde, much of mirthe was that ho made
Among her feres that was so quyt!
That syght me gart to thenk to wade
For luf longyng in gret delyt.


Delyt me drof in yye and ere -
My manes mynde to maddyng malte.
Quen I sey my frely, I wolde be there
Byyonde the water, thagh ho were walte.
I thoght that no thyng myght me dere,
To fech me bur and take me halte,
And to start in the strem schulde non me stere
To swymme the remnaunt, thagh I ther swalte.
Bot of that munt I was bitalt.
When I schulde start in the strem astraye,
Out of that caste I was bycalt;
Hit was not at my Prynces paye.

Hit payed Hym not that I so flonc
Over mervelous meres so mad arayde.
Of raas, thagh I were rasch and ronk,
Yet rapely therinne I was restayed.
For ryght as I sparred unto the bonc,
That brathe out of my drem me brayde.
Then wakned I in that erber wlonk;
My hede upon that hylle was layde
Ther as my perle to grounde strayd.
I raxled and fel in gret affray,
And sykyng to myself I sayd,
"Now al be to that Prynces paye."

Me payed ful ille to be outfleme
So sodenly of that fayre regioun -
Fro alle tho syghtes so quyke and queme.
A longeyng hevy me strok in swone,
And rewfully thenne I con toreme,
"O perle," quoth I, "of rych renoun,
So was hit me dere that thou con deme
In thys veray avysyoun!
If hit be veray and soth sermoun
That thou so stykes in garlande gay,
So wel is me in thys doel-doungoun
That thou art to that Prynses paye."

To that Prynces paye hade I ay bente
And yerned no more then was me gyven,
And halden me ther in trwe entent
As the perle me prayed that was so thryven -
As helde, drawen to Goddes present,
To mo of His mysterys I hade ben dryven.
Bot ay wolde man of happe more hente
Then moghten by ryght upon hem clyven. 47
Therfore my joye was sone toriven
And I kaste of kythes that lastes aye.
Lorde, mad hit arn that agayn Thee stryven
Other proferen Thee oght agayn Thy paye.

To pay the Prince other sete saghte,
Hit is ful ethe to the god Krystyin.
For I haf founden Hym, bothe day and naghte,
A God, a Lorde, a frende ful fyin.
Over this hyul this lote I laghte 48
For pyty of my perle enclyin;
And sythen to God I hit bytaghte
In Krystes dere blessyng and myn,
That in the forme of bred and wyn
The preste uus schewes uch a daye.
He gef uus to be His homly hyne 49
And precious perles unto His pay.
Amen Amen

pleasing; pleasure; (see note)
To set elegantly; (see note)
firmly; (see note)
I never discovered; equal; (see note)
lovely; each setting; (see note)
(see note)
apart as unique; (see note)
lost; a garden; (see note)
grass; it tumbled from me; (see note)
I languish, wounded by unrequited love; (see note)
special; (see note)

Since; it sprang from me

increase my luck; well-being
(see note)

I thought; (see note)
As a still time let steal over me
Indeed; flew; many [songs]
earth; mar a pretty; (see note)

spice plants must be overgrown; (see note)
Where; are run; (see note)
must shine; brightly against; (see note)
withered; (see note)
Where it sank in clods of brown earth
each plant must; from dead seed; (see note)

each good thing; always begun
lovely; could not fail
springing; would not shoot up; (see note)


festival; (see note)
cut; sickles sharp
mound where
plants; bright; shining
Gillyflower, ginger; gromwell; (see note)
peonies; everywhere; (see note)
lovely to look on; (see note)
lovely fragrance also; floated; (see note)
lives; noble one; believe and know; (see note)

clasped; (see note)
seized on me
desolating grief; lay deep
Though reason would have reconciled me
mourned; trapped; (see note)
With vehement arguments that contended fiercely; (see note)
nature; taught
will; struggled
slid; sudden sleep; (see note)
(see note)

(see note)
mound; remained; dream; (see note)
quest; marvels happen
did not know; where; was
But I knew myself cast where cliffs cleave
made my way
to be seen; (see note)
gleaming; glinted
For never were fabrics that people weave; (see note)
adornment; (see note)

Adorned were; hillsides
bright by nature
Woods; them lie
tree trunks; indigo
(see note)

bright patches [of sky]
brightly they shone
(see note)

pale and blind (fig. dark and dim)

hills splendid
Caused; spirit
scents; fruits
did completely refresh me
Birds; flew; wood together; (see note)
glowing colors
citole-string; gittern player; (see note)
Their lovely; imitate

music could; (see note)

adorned; manner
wood; takes
splendor; describe
There is no person
walk; blissful state
hill; hindrance
further; fairer; (see note)
(see note)
gold thread their streamlets glistened; (see note)
came; flows
lovely was its adornment

splendid depths
banks pleasing

bottom; stood; staring; (see note)
flashes through glass; glinted
(see note)

pebble; pool; fixed; (see note)
sapphire; noble
pool gleamed; (see note)

lovely meadows; (see note)
Built up; sorrows
Abolished; distress
continually flows
went; brimful
further; watery
she wishes; (see note)
she; sorrow
person; she sends; (see note)
Seeks; (see note)

happiness; state
could; leisure had; (see note)
be adequate
part; delights
over against; broad; (see note)
(see note)

slope; valley
believed; walled city was situated; (see note)

ever I longed always; (see note)

still more
I desired; beyond the brook
where I was going
Even lovelier; more distant
did I stop
ford; eagerly I tried
dangers; more indeed
further; stepped; shore

(see note)
matter came to my notice

stunned my reason
saw; pleasant water
splendid; rose up from it
child; (see note)
courtesy; gracious
Gleaming; silk clothing
can cut; (see note)
fair [maiden]; at the foot of the cliff; (see note)
For a long time; at her

after; noticed
gladdening; glided
As a little before used to [come to me]; (see note)
desire drove me
shock gave; blow
blow; stun my heart
raises she; forehead
face; polished ivory
dazed in bewilderment; (see note)

More than I wished my fear arose
courtly; (see note)
thought; spiritual; quarry; (see note)
concerning what
escaped; looked at
for a meeting; stop [for a moment]
lovely [creature]; flaw

being; decorated; (see note)

There might one by good fortune have seen
fair; lily (i.e., lovely one)
bank came directly
beautiful garment; (see note)
Open; beautifully
loveliest pearls, in my opinion ; (see note)
(see note)
hanging sleeves; believe and know; (see note)
Adorned; trimmed
kirtle; matching
Adorned; trimmed

[With] high pinnacles
With perfect flowers figured upon it
On her head; covering
hair-enclosure; all around; (see note)
dignified; duke or earl
complexion; white
lay unbound loosely
wide collar; nothing; (see note)
embroidered border

wrist; sides; [neck] opening

burnished white
In the middle of
man's judgment; be utterly baffled
Before his mind might take its measure
(see note)

precious being; (see note)
across the stream
man from here to Greece
when she was on the bank
nearer to me; (see note)
addressed me; creature; (see note)
Bowing; in woman's counsel; (see note)
Took off
greeted; glad word
answer; sweet one

(see note)
Grieved; me alone at
concealed; (see note)
glittered away from me; (see note)
Sorrowful, broken; wasted away
pleasure joyful
land; untroubled
fate; here; brought
put; sorrow; heartache; (see note)
Since we were forced apart and separated
(see note)

Raised; face; (see note)

did she

strong box so handsomely riveted; (see note)
So as to be in this garden a gracious fair one ; (see note)
Where neither loss nor mourning; (see note)
Here would be a coffer for you, truly

was dear to you

And trouble yourself about a fleeting course
that which you lost
as nature allowed it
chest; enclosed; (see note)
has proved to be
(see note)
remedy for your misfortune

visitor/story; (see note)
Well; excellent one

believed; out of existence
rejoice; (see note)
live; bright groves
near; (see note)
with; waves
(see note)

Why joke
at the same time
Ill-considered, truly

has fled
believe; valley

third; noble

what he sees with [his] eyes; (see note)

faithfully promised

(see note)

of pride
believe; test
individual reason; judge; (see note)

have conversed
dwell; realm
you ought to
wish over; pass
First; submit to another plan; (see note)
body; ground; sink more coldly
ruined; grove
Each man must make his way through dire death; (see note)
water; God allows

grief; pine away
found; lost
again; before ever I die

makes; weep; (see note)
again; pains lose

deprived; (see note)
What may men expect but endless grief


cross yourself
(see note)
cress (i.e., not a straw)
Whoever must suffer should not be so stubborn
writhe; doe; (see note)
Struggle; agonies wild

He will not turn aside a foot from the path
rewards increase; (see note)
Even if you in [your] sorrow
Stop complaining; quit wrangling; (see note)
seek; mercy; swiftly and earnestly
So that; powers show
misery relieve
And your sorrows quickly drive off; (see note)
[whether you] lament; rave, mourn; mutter; (see note)

Let it be no offense to my Lord
rashly; stumbling; speech; (see note)
loss afflicted
welling; spring; (see note)
put myself; mercy
go wrong; gold-adorned [one]; (see note)
send; (see note)

You made sorrow familiar to me
You who ever were

Since; removed; path; (see note)
knew never where
softens; sorrow
were parted
(see note)
can speak; (see note)
dust; manners lack; (see note)

blended; (see note)
sorrowfully dejected
suffer; sorrows burning

i.e., all the time
glad; rank
Has become [one of] honor
highway; (see note)
at the ground of; (see note)

Now happiness, man, may come to you
lovely [one]; limb; face
(see note)

assure; fiercely

devout; total
demeanor; (see note)

station; (see note)
know; fell

continue; (see note)
endowed with; inheritance
beloved; wholly; (see note)
maiden; honored one; lineage; (see note)

Blissful one
Do not be displeased

believe; from whom grace grew
child; (see note)
Unless she surpassed her in some noble quality
singularity of; sweetness
Phoenix; (see note)
flawless; from her creator; (see note)
(see note)

(see note)
covering; (see note)
Spotless; maiden

after that interval
many strive [for] here and receive a prize
empress; (see note)
Both; realm
Yet from inheritance will she drive no one

living; (see note)
its own nature

each one glad; possession; (see note)


(see note)

head; navel
Are joined to; faithfully; (see note)
soul; (see note)
A limb belonging; spiritual mysteries
attached; between; (see note)
resentment; spite
ring (or bracelet)
behave; love and desire

believe; (see note)

But that my words may not offend you
(see note)
too; exalt (yourself); (see note)
yourself queen

all his life
torment to buy himself happiness
he receive; (see note)
Than to be crowned king through courtesy; (see note)

too liberal in action

never knew how to
Paternoster nor Creed; (see note)
queen made; (see note)
believe, so God me speed (mild oath)
turn; wrongly away [from right]

Or else; lesser
exalted; goal


tells; Mass; (see note)
parable; aptly conceive; (see note)
on high
vineyard, I know (interj.)
season was come
cultivate; good; season; (see note)

these households; (see note)


They come to an agreement
penny a day; (see note)
Toil; labor
Cut; tie up; make it secure; (see note)

I.e., Do you not know what time it is?

Before dawn; come
together; given

anything at all
Go; do what
firm (i.e., a contract)
(see note)
(see note)
went his way
new; (see note)
Almost until

time; (see note)
One hour
tone; (see note)

their hire; arranged
laborers; (see note)
what you can
(see note)
daytime was all over

overseer; My good man; hired hands; (see note)
payment; (see note)
further; find fault with me; (see note)
(see note)
worked; (see note)
a single hour; worked

deserved, we think
(see note)
make them equal to us
one of those; (see note)
loss; grant; (see note)

Since; all together
Why; complain
contract then

(see note)

Moreover, is not my own right to give lawful; (see note)
my own whatever pleases me
Or else is your eye turned to evil (i.e., bitterness)
Because; cheat no one
who comes; (see note)
however swift he is
chosen [ones]; (see note)
share always get
expend; (see note)

bloom of life
If they asked for an award according to justice
Even though I began just now; (see note)

My Lord thought of my wages first
immediately in full
toiled; sweated; long before; (see note)
That still received nothing for their work
Maybe nothing; for a long time; (see note)

spoke; plainly

prompt; supreme

Psalter; verse plain (open)
reward each according to
supreme; (see note)

exists (lies) no uncertainty
fully; (see note)

Ruler; skinflint

pours out; dike

(see note)

will be withheld

But now you argue, in order to shame me
wrongly taken
(see note)
reward; (see note)
(see note)

some kind of way
more often; older
left; did wrong

baptism; descend

(see note)

command; there (i.e., the vineyard)
them according to the first contract; (see note)

it is well known


die in grief
go to hell's heat

But for it came a remedy immediately; (see note)
Cross so cruel
precious; plight

flowed; (see note)

(see note)

spear; sharpened
guilts cruel
With which Adam drowned us in death; (see note)

he (Adam) took away
blessed hour

grief; must it implore
endure; penalty; set
that cannot deviate from justice; (see note)

guiltless; punished
guilty; grasp

(see note)

(see note)
God is to save two men, for certain; (see note)
(see note)
innocent man; to
Psalter; passage; (see note)
(see note)

remain fixed; (see note)

fine stronghold
their (i.e., his) life
backbites; (see note)
righteous one, says Solomon; (see note)
naturally our Wisdom welcomed him; (see note)
led; (see note)
Like one who says; realm
assuredly; risk

Concerning; man; (see note)
Psalter; saw; (see note)

(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
If you plead righteousness; trapped ; (see note)
Painfully; pierced
Should allow you to go free

Let him look; instructed
Himself walked in olden times; (see note)
people their children; brought
luck and healing (coll. good luck); went
(see note)
disciples sharply; commanded them; (see note)
their objections many [people] restrained
to them

gentle ones; (see note)
kingdom; person

knock; building
cannot cease
gems precious; (see note)
wool and linen

peerless; (see note)
For which the jeweler gave all his goods
realm of heaven; (see note)
land; sea
serene; character
(see note)
exactly; (see note)

advise; senseless

face; (see note)
Speaks of the nature of these properties; (see note)

angelic bearing; refined
Tell; oyster; (see note)


wet; (see note)
sweetheart; (see note)
clothing; dais

adorned; (see note)

bride; brightly; shines; (see note)
royal honors; abundant
kind of
So many a beauty (lit. fair one under headdress); (see note)
(see note)
And you drive out all those worthy ones
exclude; (see note)
Except for; strong; firm

honor maintain
wives; (see note)
in company; (see note)

saw; throng

(see note)


sweetheart noble
charge (e.g., criminal)
slaughter; led
shearers; takes hold of; (see note)
(see note)

(see note)
slit open on Cross by thugs
Ready to take on all our troubles


as nothing; (see note)
That never had any Himself

stretched; strong
lamb; (see note)

(see note)
Where; (see note)
agreed with Isaiah; (see note)
went towards him

(see note)
committed; (see note)
And yet; claimed
ancestry; recount

(see note)
i.e., both
manner; demeanor
third; fully consistent; (see note)
Amid; where; sat
very clearly; (see note)
Opening; leaves (pages) square; (see note)
seals; on the border; (see note)
creature bowed down

patch; (see note)
white bright
To which neither spot nor stain might adhere; (see note)
white; abundant

supply [of wives]
dispute; (see note)
But each one singly we would wish were five


Less; no one

(see note)
cry out; pity
We have complete understanding

cast out; (see note)
Each one's; intense
And yet never is one's honor any the less

(see note)
a passage
saw; (see note)
lovely; noble
(see note)


cry; then; (see note)
(see note)
rolls; thunderheads dark
clamor I believe

rang out
din of voices
wonderfully delightful

melodious; discourse
melodies; sang together
obey; (see note)
elders; dignified; expression


phrase (of music)
Except for the retinue that follow the Lamb; (see note)
redeemed; earth far removed
(see note)
they are joined; (see note)
voice; sound; (see note)

retinue; depart

Never consider my gratitude any the less
test; superb
dust; (see note)
noble; splendid
shore (bank)
life's pleasures
gracious one, that encloses simplicity

blustery; churl; (see note)
request prevail; (see note)

call upon
If you can see [how] it may be done

Refuse; request
manor; live; (see note)
kingdom royal
Where; placed; (see note)
woods; be situated
enterprise ; (see note)
spotless under the moon; (see note)
dwellings; stain

company; do speak of; (see note)
thronged; retinue

I.e., It were unfortunate if they should be outside
did stroll
building; (see note)
believe; linger; bow low
stream; (see note)
stately; (see note)
lead; city/castle


sought out
that is to say
brought to an end
But the new that descended, of God's sending; (see note)
as a theme
Lamb/Lamp; (see note)
carried; flock
court; stain

were named
That is to mean to you no more
than; (see note)
In that one our peace was made secure; (see note)
chose it
city; hurry toward
Since; (see note)

Spotless maiden
pleasant dwelling
shining one; prevent
petitioned; (see note)

From outside; (see note)
within; smidgen; (see note)

city; reveal
Go; stream's head
follow; brought
(see note)
moved furtively past branches; leafed
Until, from a hill, I saw [it]; (see note)
gazed; city; went

form shown

royally adorned
As [if] it had descended
burnished bright
With twelve arches arranged on the foundation; (see note)
tiers; joinery work
Each tier (of foundation); single; (see note)
same town; (see note)

Scripture; named; (see note)
account; (see note)
was called; (see note)
base perceived
It; step
Sapphire; place
chalcedony; flaw; (see note)
translucently gleamed; (see note)
ruby; perceive; (see note)


eighth; white
ninth inlaid; (see note)
cyrosophrase; fastened
jacinth; eleventh noble; (see note)
truest; array; (see note)
indigo blended
arches curved; (see note)
jasper; (see note)

steps; steep

shone; enamel; (see note)
decorated; (see note)
kinds gems; be there; (see note)
furlong; ended; (see note)
measured; saw; (see note)

enclosing wall; (see note)
adorned; metal plates; (see note)
Each one; inscription expressed
children, according to their
fortunes of birth; (see note)
oldest always first was done (written) thereon
gleamed; streets
They needed

lamplight; (see note)
wall; dwelling; went
(see note)
the hosts of heaven arranged around; (see note)
expressly expounded
river from

copious; room; (see note)
Swiftly; rushed
Church; moreover
temple fitting; (see note)
refresh; (see note)
open; roadway
no one; refuge

moon; steal; (see note)

river's surface

(see note)
bright; (see note)
fruits; quickly
times; abundantly

(see note)

when I gazed; castle wall; (see note)
marvelous; appearance

In amazement; vivid vision; (see note)
So that I felt
Had a man in the body experienced that boon
learned men; care
(see note)

powerful; (see note)
wonderful way
renown; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
[maiden] beneath

Adorned; clothes white
fastened firmly
(see note)

proceeded together
streets; (see note)
(see note)
alike their livery; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
precious; (see note)
made their way


coming brought; (see note)
scattered incense
poured out
sound; earth; (see note)
Which the Virtues of heaven chant in joy; (see note)
retinue among
Truly I took


to esteem
described in speech
(see note)

wet/bloody showed; (see note)
Near; torn
gushed out

No one would doubt the Lamb's delight

charged; filled

believed; valley
companions; white
made me; wade [across]

human; madness dissolved
saw; noble one
chosen; (see note)
hinder; (see note)
deal a blow; hold me back
plunge; restrain
aim; shaken
intention; summoned

pleased; would fling myself
In rushing; impetuous
quickly; checked
sprang; bank
violence; yanked; (see note)
garden lovely

awoke; agitation; (see note)

driven out

vivid; pleasant; (see note)
sorrowfully; cried out

spoke of
true vision
true speech; (see note)
who are set; (see note)

yearned; (see note)

As most likely; presence

(see note)
torn apart
cast from lands that last forever
they are
offer You anything

please; to be reconciled
most excellent
(see note)
humble; (see note)
committed it
mine; (see note)
(see note)

(see note)