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Homily 4, Fourth Sunday in Advent


1 Fourth Sunday in the Advent of the Lord according to John

2 Latin rubric (John 1:19–28): And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and Levites to him, to ask him: Who art thou? And he confessed and did not deny: and he confessed: I am not the Christ. And they asked him: [What then? Art thou Elias? and he said: I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered: No. They said therefore unto him: Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? What sayest thou for thyself? He said: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaias. And they that were sent, were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him: Why then dost thou baptize, if thou be not Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? John answered them saying: I baptize with water; but there hath stood one in the midst of you, whom you know not. The same is he that shall come after me, who is preferred before me: the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose. These things were done in Bethania, beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.]

3 Lines 231–32: Why, tell me, James, how / He might die any more in my service?


Abbreviations: AT: Alphabet of Tales, ed. Banks; CT: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales; MED: Middle English Dictionary; NHC: Northern Homily Cycle; NIMEV: The New Index of Middle English Verse, ed. Boffey and Edwards; Tubach: Index Exemplorum, ed. Tubach; Whiting: Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences and Proverbial Phrases from English Writings Mainly Before 1500. For manuscript abbreviations (ED, A, D, G, L, V), see the Introduction.

Once again the Gospel text, this time taken from John, focuses on John the Baptist, whose humility in denying that he is the Messiah is the first of two important themes emphasized in the homily. The second theme expands on the Baptist’s command to “make straight the way” by drawing on Jesus’ comparison of the narrow gate that leads to life, and the broad way that leads to destruction. Always, we are told, Satan is waiting like “a thief in the pass” to waylay us, as we struggle to keep to the paths of righteousness; this image brings the poet to his exemplum, the very widespread legend of the pilgrim who, having sinned with a woman, falls into despair and accedes to the devil’s counsel first to castrate himself and then to commit suicide. Sin and despair are set against repentance and the ever-present possibility of God’s forgiveness as the devil vies with Saint James and the Virgin Mary for the man’s soul.

NIMEV 3789, 1642. Manuscripts: ED: fols. 22v–24r; A: fols. 15r–19r; G: fols. 19r–23r; D: fols. 48v–52r; L: fols. 6r–7v.

15 Elye. The Old Testament prophet, Elias (Elijah in modern versions of the Bible). It is said by the angel who comes to Elisabeth, to foretell the birth of her son, John the Baptist, that he “shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias” (Luke 1:17). Elias is also prophesied by Malachius to be a forerunner of the Messiah at his second coming. Malachius 4:5: “Behold I will send you Elias the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”

19–21 criand stevin . . . Ysaye. Isaias 40:3: “The voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the wilderness the paths of our God.”

107 Davy. David’s last utterance, in 2 Kings 23, was traditionally understood as pro­phetic.

109–10 Lauerd, thou scheu me / The wai that ledes man to thee. David’s quoted words doubt­less come from the Psalms, which were all attributed to him, and where this idea is frequently expressed, as, for instance, in Vulgate Psalm 24:4–5: “Shew, O Lord, thy ways to me, and teach me thy paths. Direct me in thy truth, and teach me; for thou art God my Saviour . . . .”

116–22 Als Crist us schawes in our Godspel. Compare Matthew 7:13: “Enter ye in at the nar­row gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat.”

133 He bes ful redi, als outlawe. According to Morey, the idea expressed in this passage has secular as well as religious overtones (“Legal and Spiritual,” pp. 326–35). The homilist, Morey believes, was familiar with a native legal tradition that the highway provided sanctuary for anyone remaining on it, whereas those who strayed were in danger of being taken for outlaws.

135 nais. According to MED, this word is found only in the expressions naked and nais, and nais and naked. NHC is cited, and the meanings “ashamed” and “desti­tute” are provided, the latter of which is preceeded by a question mark. The only other citation comes from Cursor Mundi. A, G, and D all read quite differently.

136 Gregorie. Although Gregory bases his Fourth Homily on the same Gospel pericope as does the NHC-poet, and though he too discusses the need for humi­lity, the two homilies are not otherwise very similar and there is nothing comparable to this passage in the Fourth Homily. However, Gregory writes fre­quently about Satan, and the NHC-poet could have taken this image directly from his Moralia, where he says, for example, “[M]an, whom he once led astray to consent, he now drags away, even while man resists, and through violence, he nearly kills the one who has been conquered by the pleasures of his corruption” (Moralia 15.15.19, quoted by Straw, Gregory the Great, p. 121). Equally likely, the image could have been taken from one of the distinctiones, or collections of sayings which the NHC-poet doubt­less used for much of his ho­miletic material.

157 I wille you tel of a pilgrim. Tubach 3788: Pilgrim, limbs of amputated. The exemplum of the pilgrim to Saint James was enormously popular during the Middle Ages and is found widely in Latin, French, and English: Legenda Aurea (chapter 99, vol. 2, pp. 7–8), AT (375–76), and many collections of Miracles of the Virgin all have versions. The story in all known forms can be traced back to Cluny, and many versions claim the authority of Abbot Hugh of Cluny himself, who told the story to Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury during a visit by the latter c. 1100. It was another Anselm, the nephew of the archbishop of Canterbury, who was responsible for the earliest collection of Miracles of the Virgin, which formed the basis for so many later versions and which includes the tale of the pilgrim to Saint James (Southern, “English Origins,” pp. 188–89, 198–200).

159–60 It was a man als ic herd say, / That til Sain Jamis hit the way. According to late tradi­tion James, one of the original twelve apostles, led a preaching mission to Spain following the Crucifixion. After his relics were found at Compostela in the ninth century, the site became a pilgrimage center, ranking with Jerusalem and Rome in importance. Its popularity is witnessed through many references in medieval writings, including those by Chaucer in his General Prologue (CT I[A]465–66): “At Rome she hadde been, and at Boloigne, / In Galice at Seint-Jame, and at Coloigne,” and Langland (Piers Plowman, C.Prol.47–48): “Pilgrymes and palmers plighten hem togyderes / To seke seynt Iame and seyntes of Rome.”

180 worthe a leke. Proverbial. See Whiting M739, where, however, the only illustration comes from Chaucer’s Prologue to the Wife of Bath’s Tale: “I holde a mouses herte nat worth a leek / That hath but oon hole for to sterte to” (CT III[D] 572–73). While the many additional citations for the phrase listed in MED are perhaps not indicative of full proverbial status, a leek was evidently a very frequent indicator of value, more often negative, as in Lydgate, Capgrave, the Towneley Plays, e.g., but sometimes almost positive, as in Chaucer’s Merchant’s Tale: “That every man that halt hym worth a leek, / Upon his bare knees oughte al his lyf / Thanken his God that hym hath sent a wyf” (CT IV[E]1350–52).

193 And quen thou havis thiselvin slan. Suicide was forbidden by the Church from an early date: Augustine set out the classic arguments against it in City of God (1.1.17–27, ed. McCracken, pp. 77–117), and in the sixth century it was ruled that funeral rites were to be denied those who killed themselves.

197–98 And he schar al awai ful rathe, / His members and his penndanz bathe. Self-mutilation was condemned at the Council of Nicaea in 325, but the Church’s attitude to­wards sexuality and sexual temptation generated an often complex response to this act. The third-century theologian Origen, for example, was said to have in­terpreted literally the words of Jesus (“For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it” [Matthew 19:12]), and to have castra­ted himself in order to avoid temptation. The prevailing opinion of the Church Fathers from the fourth century on was that Jesus had not called for self-castra­tion but for self-imposed continence (Bullough, “Introduction,” pp. 1–2). Nonetheless, “despite the extremity, illegality and moral condemnation of castration, it continued to have an inescapable lure, both metaphorically and literally, perhaps because it provided certainty in the face of unreliable and weak flesh” (J. Murray, “Mystical Castration,” p. 75). A further illustration can be seen in Gregory the Great’s admiring description of a young man who, after pray­ing fervently for help in controlling his sexual desire, was castrated through the miraculous intervention of an angel (J. Murray, “Mystical Castration” p. 75). How, then, might the NHC-poet’s lay audience have respond­ed to the pilgrim’s acts? At the simplest level perhaps, acceptance of the Church’s teaching: self-mutilation and suicide are forbidden, and the pilgrim’s ignorance is both stupid and culpable. More simply still, medieval audiences loved to hear about the mi­racles of the Virgin. Insofar as one might argue for a broader psychological di­mension, then might the fact that the pilgrim is saved in the end have provoked the audience to react with sympathy as well as disapproval — both for the initial weakness of the flesh, and the self-revulsion that follows? Might the audience have grasped the further lesson that while one can repent for sinning with a wo­man, there is no way back from self-mutilation and suicide? At the very least, the poet may have wished to encourage his audience to be thoughtful in weighing their sins, with the understanding that they can best be dealt with by confessing to a priest and not by taking the reme­dy into one’s own hands.

213 Wit riht and resoun he es mine. “With reason right” is a common phrase in alliterative verse. “It was the general consensus of early medieval writers, following the fathers, that as a result of original sin humanity was in the power of the Devil . . . The question was whether this power of the Devil was merely a description of the state into which we had entered as a result of original sin or whether it represented a real, legal right. On this the tradition was ambiv­alent” (Russell, Lucifer, p. 104). Satan uses legal language here and elsewhere in this exemplum to press his claim, but his insistence will have unexpected conse­quences later in the tale. Although questions about the “devil’s rights” provoked a good deal of theological speculation and disagreement in the later Middle Ages, the NHC-poet is less interested in doctrinal arguments (and probably less knowledgeable) than in dramatizing the devil’s continuing interactions with humanity. See Marx, Devil’s Rights, for a full discussion of late medieval theology of the devil.

238 Gon we til dom of our Leuedye. The medieval tradition of the Virgin Mary as the special enemy of the devil (and therefore especially efficacious against him) de­rives from Jerome’s mistranslation of Genesis 3:15–16 (“she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel”), which was interpreted as a prefiguration of Mary’s defeat of evil, and by association, the devil (Warner, Alone of All Her Sex, pp. 245–46).

259 Havid reft him wit riht jogement. Satan’s insistence on his legal rights has led to this satisfyingly ironic reversal: through the appeal of James and Peter to the “dom” of Mary, justice, the legal validity of which even Satan must acknowledge, has been achieved.

293 wanhop. Despair, in its theological meaning, represents a serious sin against God, who wills salvation for man: hence the poet’s claim that despair is a prison which leads ultimately to hell.


Abbreviations: MED: Middle English Dictionary; Nevanlinna: Nevanlinna, The Northern Homily Cycle; NHC: Northern Homily Cycle; Small: English Metrical Homiles, ed. Small. For manuscript abbreviations (ED, A, D, G, L, V), see the Introduction.

27 thou ert. So A. MS: ert.

49 es. MS omits.

70 Bot he amende hym ore he wende. So G. MS omits and A has two quite different lines.

112 heuin. MS: heui.

125 full evene. So A. MS: til heuin.

141 gerne. So A. MS: ger.

150 men ware sorow es ay. So G. MS: til waharmes aye. Small, who let the MS read­ing stand but provided G’s reading in his notes, evidently could find no good meaning for waharmes (p. 182). The MED does not list it and it is not found in any of the other MSS.

178 Saynte Jame that. So A. MS: sain jac (a nickname for James) or sain jat.

185 that he Sain. MS: he added at end of line with caret to mark point of insertion.

187 For to be. So A. MS: For be.

210 for his sinnis. MS: his added at end of line with caret to mark point of insertions.

219 wend. MS: wend wend.

242 right. So A. MS omits.

264 this. So A. MS: tis.

277 Sathanas. So A. MS: Satenans.

316 and. MS: ad.
Dominica iiii. in Adventu Domini secundum Johannem.1

Miserunt Judei ab Jerosolymis Sacerdotes et Levitas ad Johannem ut interrogarent eum: Tu quid es. Et confessus est, et non negavit: et confessus est: Quia non sum ego Cristus. Et interrogaverunt eum. et cetera.
































































   Today sais Jon, the god Godspellere,
In our Godspel, als ye mai here,
That Jowes thair messager send
Tille Jon the Baptist, for thai wend
That he havid ben Crist, for he
Baptized al that baptized wald be.
Thir messagers Sain Jon fand,
And said til Sain Jon thair erand.
Bot first quat he was, askid thai,
And he igain to thaim gan sai:
“Crist that ye sek am I noht,”
And thus he schewed quat thai thoht,
For thai wend wel that he havid ben
Crist, that baptized folc biden.
Thai asked yef he war Elye,
Or man that couthe of prophecye.
And he ansuerd and said nay,
Bot quat he was, he gan thaim say:
“Ic am,” he said, “a criand stevin,
I bid you mac the gates evin
To Crist, als said Saint Ysaye,
For Cristes messager es I.”
Thir messagers was Pharisenes,
That “sundered men” on Englys menes.
Thai war sundered of comun lif,
And wit Sain Jon gan thai to strife,
And said, “Sine thou ert noht Elye,
No Crist, no prophet, sai us quye
Baptizes thou tha folc biden,
And makis thaim of sinne clen?”
And Sain Jon ansuerid thanne:
“I mai noht baptize bot als manne,
For Goddhed haf I in me nan,
Bot Goddes sun manhed havis tan;
And you wit water baptiz I,
He sal baptiz you gastily,
Imang you wonand he isse,
Bot ye no knaw him noht, iwisse,
He es Crist that bifor me
Was Godd, and es, and ai sal be.
He es sa god and derworthi,
That I meself es noht worthi
Bifor him for to sit on knes,
The binding of his scho to les.”
Betani was cald that land
Thar Sain Jon was than baptizand,
Quen thir Jowes til him yed,
To spir of him and of his dede.
This es the strenketh of our Godspelle,
Als man wit Englis tung kan telle.

In this Godspelle mai we wel knawe
Gret meknes in Sain Jones sawe,
For thar man wend that he war Crist,
He wald that thai the sothe wist,
And granted son that he was noht
The Lauerd that thai thar soht.
Her may ye alle ensampel tak,
Ongart and rosing to forsak,
For mani man him better mas
Than he es in ilke place,
And geres men wen that he be
Mar worthé than other thre:
He roses him of his cumly kinde,
He wenes his mak mai na man find,
He wald be haldin derworthi
Thoru hendelaic and curtaisy;
His wordes mas him man ful hend,
Wit lesing serves he the fend,
That sal him rewli rif at eend,
Bot he amende hym ore he wende.
Thus did noht Sain Jon the Baptist,
For he said that he was noht Crist.
Cristes nam wald he noht tak,
No bettir than he was him mak.
Haf we forthi in word meknes,
Als Sain Jon havid in wildernes;
Mak we us bettir noht than we er,
For Godd no mai we nangat der.
In our Godspelle wille we se yete,
Qui Sain Jon him prophet nitte,
And said, “Prophet nan am I,”
Als qua sai, I openly
Ken you till him of quaim I spek,
That salle the fendes bandes brek;
Bot sua did never prophet are,
Forthi bird you trou me the mare,
For ic am selven in wildernes
To graithe the gat of rihtwisnes.
Als qua sai, Crist cries in me,
And biddes al folc rihtwis be,
For rihtwis gates graithes he
That loues Godd in Trinité,
Bathe in thoht and word and dede,
For this gat ledis man to mede;
And in this gat mai thai wel sped
That wille thair lif in lewté led.
That es at say, if man till nehbor do,
That he wald he did him to.
This es the gat that Sain Jon kend,
Sinful mannes lif to mend.
This es the gat of rihtwisnes,
That ledes man til joi and pes.
Yef we hald us in this gate
Ful redi sal we haf inlate
Into that blis that lastes ay,
For thider ledes Godes way.
Gern prayed Davy the prophet,
That God suld wisse him to that stret,
And said, “Lauerd, thou scheu me
The wai that ledes man to thee.”
   Forthi I red we hald this gate,
Ai til we cum til hevin yate.
This gat biddes Sain Jon us grathe
Wit ded, and lef the waies laythe
That ledes man til pin of hel,
Als Crist us schawes in our Godspel.
Thar he sais, “Brad es that gat that ledes
Til hel, wit sin and wik dedis,
This gat es stany and thornye
Wit covaitys, and glotounye,
Wit prid, and nithe and licherye,
And mani foles gas tharbye.”
And forthi I red wel that we leete
This gat, and tak the hey strete,
That ledis god men full evene
Wit penanz to the blis of hevin.
Bot Satenas our wai will charre,
Forthi bihoves us bewarre
That we ga bi na wrange sties,
For Satenas ful gern us spies.
For ef this thef mai us met
Out of this forsayd hey stret,
He bes ful redi, als outlawe,
To harl us into wod schawe,
And mak us bathe nakid and nais.
Als Sain Gregorie us says:
Ilk dai mak we a jorné
Till hevin, ef we god men be.
Bot in our gat lis Satenas
Wit his felawes, als thef in pas,
And spies ful gerne ef we straye,
And haldes noht the riht way.
That es at sai, ef we lef
Riht livelad, he mai us ref
Meknes, faithe, and chastité,
Buxumnes, and charité,
And yef he haf of us pousté,
He wil ref us al our lewté,
And led us in that werid waye,
That ledis men ware sorow es ay.
Of this wai riht nou I spake,
Forthi I red we it forsak,
And hald we us in rihtwisnes,
That riht gat tillward hevin es.
Bot for I said that Satenas
Waites us als thef in pas,
I wille you tel of a pilgrim,
Hou Satenas bigiled him.

   It was a man als ic herd say,
That til Sain Jamis hit the way,
And that day that he suld wend,
He mad a fest til al his frend.
Fel auntour that he was sa gladde,
That Satenas mad him ful madde,
And gert him dedeli sinne
Wit a womman, that was tharinne.
Quen he havid his sin don,
Apon his way he went him son,
And he that gert him falle in blam,
Met him in liknes of Sain Jam,
And askid him quider he wald wende,
Bot he wist noht it was the fende,
And said, “I mac mi vaiage,
Til Sain Jam in pilgrimage.”
The fend ansuerd and said sone,
“No wat thou noht quat thou havis done
In licheri igaines me?
Ic es Saynte Jame that spekis wit thee,
Thou ert unworthi me to seke,
Thi vayage es noht worthe a leke.
Wend thou thi sin fra me to hide?
Quen thou it did, I was biside.
Thi vaiage may noht pai me,
Bot ef thou do that I bid thee.”
This man wend that he Sain Jam ware,
And said, “Lauerd, ic am al yare
For to be boxom you to.
And do al that ye sai me to.”
“Ga swithe,” he said,” and geld thee,
That I thi repentanze mai se,
And scher thi thort in tua riht son,
For havis thou mi wille don;
And quen thou havis thiselvin slan,
Til hevin salle I ger thee be tane.”
This pilgrim wend to pai Sain Jam,
And did himselvin mikel scham:
And he schar al awai ful rathe,
His members and his penndanz bathe,
And sithen he schar his throt in tua.
And son quen he hafede don sua,
Satanas was ful redie,
And tok that sawel gredilye,
And mad ful gret joi of his prai,
And tilward helle he tok the wai.
Sain Peter and Sain Jam him mette,
And bathe thai gan his wai to lette,
And Sain Jam said to the fend:
“Quider wil to wit mi pilgrim wend?”
And he ansuerd and said, “Til helle,
Thar he sal for his sinnis duel,
For he was his awen ban,
Forthi in him part haf ye nan,
Wit riht and resoun he es mine,
To wend wit me til helle pine.”
Than ansuerd Sain Jam for his man,
And said, “Thou lies, traytour Satan,
Thou wat wel, thef, thou havis the woh,
For in my nam himself he sloh,
He wend wel that thou havid ben I,
Quen thou gert him do his folye;
In deed was he til me bowxom,
And forthi sal he wit me com.”
The fend said, “That mai noht be,
Wit riht and law mai thou se
That he es min thoru jogement,
For quen he on his vayage went,
He filed his sawel dedelye
Wit the filth of licherye;
And sithen wit his awen knife
He set him selvin of his life.
Wy, sai me, Jam, on quatkin wisse
Moht he mar dey in mi servise?3
Loc quether I wit riht and lawe,
May him wit me til helle drawe?”
Sain Jam ansuerd and said him to:
“Wrang no wille I nan thee do,
Bot yef we wil the sothe treye,
Gon we til dom of our Leuedye,
And als scho demes sal it be,
For that es riht als think me.”
And Sain Peter, his felawe
Said, “This think me right and lawe;
Mari,” he said, “es god justise,
Scho wil do wrang on nane wyse.”
   Quen thai com bifor ur Leuedye,
Scho demid son wit hir mercye:
At that sawel til the bodie
Suld turn, and penance do worthi;
And said, “This sawel, als it nou isse,
Mai nangat cum til hevin blis,
Ar it be clensed in bodye
Of sin, wit penanze worthi.
Forthi for jugement gif I,
That it turn til the bodye,
And clens it wit penanze,
And yem it sithen fra meschanze.”
The fend for this dom was sarie,
And ille payed that our Leuedye
Havid reft him wit riht jogement
That man that he wit gil had schent.
   Quen this sawel was cumen igain
To the bodi, this man was fain,
And monc in Cluny he him yald,
And this tal til his abbot tald,
Hou he was schent thoru gilri,
And saved thoru our Leuedi.
Georard he hiht, and fra that tim
That Satenas hafd gabbed him,
Hali man he was and god,
And servid Godd wit miht and mod;
Bot thar his throt was scorn wit knif,
A red merk was al his lif,
And thar his members was bifore,
Havid he noht sithen bot a bore.
   Bi this tale har may we se,
That wis and warr bihoves us be,
That Sathanas ne ger us rayk
Fra rihtwisnes, to sinful laik,
For yef he find us out of stret,
He bindes us bathe hand and fete:
That es at say, ef he us find
In dedeli sin, he may us bind
Wit wik will, and ger us wend
Fra sin to sin, and sua us schend.
For als he gert this pilgrim ga
Fra sin to sin, and himself sla,
Sua gers he man ga gastilye,
Fra glotouny to licherye,
Fra lychery to covaytye,
And sua to prid and envye,
And at the last in his prisoun
He dos him, als thef in prisoun,
Quen he gers him in wanhop falle —
For wanhop his prisoun I calle,
For qua sa cumes anes tharinne,
Tharof may he noht lihtli winne;
For qua deyes in that prisoun,
His sawel es broht til a donjoun,
Thar it witouten end sal lend,
Wit al faas, witouten frend;
For it bes felaw wit the fend,
That snellik sal it scham and schend,
And quen this werd bes broht til end,
Than sal the bodi thider wend,
Wit that sari sawel to lend,
Thar wormes sal it rewli rend;
Thar sal it bi that sari sinne,
That it no wald noht hir blinne;
That soru mai na tung telle,
That it sal drey wit fendes felle.
Hald we us forthi in stret,
That Satenas may us noht met,
That es at sai, in rihtwisnes,
Quarof Sain Jon in wildernes
Spac, and bad us graythe that way
That ledis man til gamen and play.
Our Lauerd in this wai us lede
Til hevin, and yeld us thar our med. Amen.


wanted to be

if; Elias; (see note)

crying voice; (see note)
ways; straight

That means “separated men” in English
with; argue
Nor; why; (t-note)
people as a group

human nature; taken

Among; dwelling

so good; precious



whereas; thought
acknowledged at once

Arrogance; boasting
makes himself
makes; think

boasts; gracious lineage
thinks; equal
cruelly tear apart
Unless he make amends before he departs; (t-note)

Nor; himself
Let us therefore have meekness in our speech

Before God may we in no way dare [to do] that

denied [that he was a] prophet

Direct you
thus; before
ought; believe
I am myself
prepare; way


loyalty; lead

That which he wishes

readily; entrance

Eagerly; David; (see note)
guide; path
(see note)

entrance; (t-note)
deeds; abandon; loathsome

(see note)

covetousness; gluttony
pride; envy; lechery

high road
straight; (t-note)

change our course
we need to beware

is; (see note)
ashamed; (see note)
(see note)
Every; journey

path lies
eagerly; (t-note)
keep not to
Righteous behavior; deprive us of





(see note)

(see note)
made his way

feast for
It happened
drove him out of his wits
made him sin mortally

where he was going

Do you not realize
lechery against
I am; (t-note)
leek; (see note)
Do you think

thought; (t-note)
obedient; (t-note)


cut your throat in two immediately

killed; (see note)
make you be taken

(see note)
penis; testicles
as soon as



Where are you going with my pilgrim

because of; dwell; (t-note)
own slayer
share; none
(see note)

know; blame
thought; (t-note)


defiled; mortally

killed himself


judgment; (see note)
it seems to me


in no way


in no way

protect it then from mischance
deprived; (see note)
[Of] that man; guile; ruined
became a monk at Cluny

was called

strength and heart
where; cut

nothing; hole
we need to be wise and wary
make us turn aside; (t-note)
[correct] way

wicked intent; make us proceed
so destroy us


despair; (see note)

whoever; once
Out of there; escape

For it [ the soul] is companion to the devil
quickly; destroy

fiercely tear apart
pay for; wretched
would not here cease

suffer; cruel
Let us remain; path

Of which
[May] our Lord
grant; reward

[Homily 5 not included in this edition. See Explanatory Notes.]

Go To Homily 6, First Sunday after the Nativity