Story of Genesis and Exodus,


ABOUT A.D. 1250.







[Second and Revised Edition, 1873.]








The Editor of the present valuable and interesting record of our old English speech will, no doubt, both astonish and alarm his readers by informing them that he has never seen the manuscript from which the work he professes to edit has been transcribed.

But, while the truth must be told, the reader need not entertain the slightest doubt or distrust as to the accuracy and faithfulness of the present edition; for, in the first place, the text was copied by Mr F. J. Furnivall, an experienced editor and a zealous lover of Old English lore; and, secondly, the proof sheets have been most carefully read with the manuscript by the Rev. W. W. Skeat, who has spared no pains to render the text an accurate copy of the original.[1] I have not been satisfied with merely the general accuracy of the text, but all doubtful or difficult passages have been most carefully referred to, and compared with the manuscript, so that the more questionable a word may appear, either as regards its form or meaning, the more may the reader rest assured of its correctness, so that he may be under no apprehension that he is perplexed by any typographical error, but {vi}feel confident that he is dealing with the reading of the original copy.

The editorial portion of the present work includes the punctuation, marginal analysis, conjectural readings, a somewhat large body of annotations on the text of the poem, and a Glossarial Index, which, it is hoped, will be found to be complete, as well as useful for reference.

The Corpus manuscript[2] is a small volume (about 8 in. × 4½ in.), bound in vellum, written on parchment in a hand of about 1300 A.D., with several final long ſ's, and consisting of eighty-one leaves. Genesis ends on fol. 49b; Exodus has the last two lines at the top of fol. 81a.

The writing is clear and regular; the letters are large, but the words are often very close together. Every initial letter has a little dab of red on it, and they are mostly capitals, except the b, the f, the š, and sometimes other letters. Very rarely, however, B, F, and Š are found as initial letters.

The illuminated letters are simply large vermilion letters without ornament, and are of an earlier form than the writing of the rest of the manuscript. Every line ends with a full stop (or metrical point), except, very rarely, when omitted by accident. Whenever this stop occurs in the middle of a line it has been marked thus (.) in the text.


Our author, of whom, unfortunately, we know nothing, introduces his subject to his readers by telling them that they ought to love a rhyming story which teaches the "layman" (though he be learned in no books) how to love and serve God, and to live peaceably and amicably with his fellow {vii}Christians. His poem, or "song," as he calls it, is, he says, turned out of Latin into English speech; and as birds are joyful to see the dawning, so ought Christians to rejoice to hear the "true tale" of man's fall and subsequent redemption related in the vulgar tongue ("land's speech"), and in easy language ("small words").

So eschewing a "high style" and all profane subjects, he declares that he will undertake to sing no other song, although his present task should prove unsuccessful.[3] Our poet next invokes the aid of the Deity for his song in the following terms:—

"Fader god of alle šhinge,

Almigtin louerd, hegeſt kinge,

šu giue me ſeli timinge

To thaunen šis werdes biginninge,

še, leuerd god, to wuršinge,

Quešer ſo hic rede or ſinge!"[4]

Then follows the Bible narrative of Genesis and Exodus, here and there varied by the introduction of a few of those sacred legends so common in the medięval ages, but in the use of which, however, our author is far less bold than many subsequent writers, who, seeking to make their works attractive to the "lewed," did not scruple to mix up with the sacred history the most absurd and childish stories, which must have rendered such compilations more amusing than instructive. It seems to have been the object of the author of the present work to present to his readers, in as few words as possible, the most important facts contained in the Books of Genesis and Exodus without any elaboration or comment, and he has, therefore, omitted such facts as were not {viii}essentially necessary to the completeness of his narrative;[5] while, on the other hand, he has included certain portions of the Books of Numbers and Deuteronomy,[6] so as to present to his readers a complete history of the wanderings of the Israelites, and the life of Moses their leader.

In order to excite the reader's curiosity, we subjoin a few passages, with a literal translation:—


Lamech is at še sexte kne, Lamech is at the sixth degree,
še ſeuende man after adam, The seventh man after Adam,
šat of caymes kinde cam. That of Cain's kin came.
šiſ lamech waſ še firme man, This Lamech was the first man
še bigamie firſt bi-gan. Who bigamy first began.
Bigamie is unkinde šing, Bigamy is unnatural thing,
On engleis tale, twie-wifing; In English speech, twi-wiving;
for ai was rigt and kire bi-forn, For aye was right and purity before,
On man, on wif, til he was boren. One man, one wife, till he was born.
Lamech him two wifes nam, Lamech to him two wives took,
On adda, an nošer wif ſellam. One Adah, another wife Zillah.
Adda bar him ſune Iobal, Adah bare him a son Jubal,
He was hirde wittere and wal; He was a [shep-]herd wise and able;
Of merke, and kinde, and helde, & ble, Of mark,[7] breed, age, and colour,
ſundring and ſameni[n]g tagte he; Separating and assembling taught he;
Iobal iſ brošer ſong and glew, Jubal his brother poetry and music,
Wit of muſike, wel he knew; Craft of music, well he knew;
On two tableſ of tigel and braſ On two tables of tile and brass,
wrot he šat wiſtom, wiſ he was, Wrote he that wisdom, wise he was,
šat it ne ſulde ben undon That it should not be effaced

If fier or water come šor-on.

If fire or water came thereon.
Sella wuneš oc lamech wiš, Zillah dwelleth also Lamech with,
ghe bar tubal, a ſellic ſmiš; She bare Tubal, a wonderful smith;
Of irin, of golde, ſiluer, and bras Of iron, of gold, silver and brass
To ſundren and mengen wiſ he was; To separate and mix, wise he was;
Wopen of wigte and tol of griš, Weapon of war and tool of peace,
Wel cuše egte and ſafgte wiš. Well could he hurt and heal with.
 —(ll. 444-470.)


Lamech ledde long lif til šan Lamech led long life till then
šat he wurš biſne, and haued a man That he became blind and had a man
šat ledde him ofte wudeſ ner, That led him oft to woods near,
To scheten after še wilde der; To shoot after the wild deer (animals);
Al-so he miſtagte, alſo he ſchet, As he mistaught, so he shot,
And caim in še wude iſ let; And Cain in the wood is let;
His knape wende it were a der, His knave (servant) weened it were a deer,
An lamech droge iſ arwe ner, And Lamech drew his arrow near
And letet flegen of še ſtreng, And let it fly off the string,
Caim unwar[n]de it under-feng, Cain unwarned it received,
Gruſnede, and ſtrekede, and ſtarf wiš-šan. Groaned, fell prostrate (stretched) and died with-that.
Lamech wiš wreše iſ knape nam, Lamech with wrath his knave seized,
Vn-bente iſ boge, and bet, and slog, Unbent his bow, and beat and slew,
Til he fel dun on dedeſ ſwog. Till he fell down in death's swoon.
Twin-wifing and twin-manſlagt, Twi-wiving (bigamy) and twi-slaughter (double homicide)
Of his ſoule beš mikel hagt. On his soul is great trouble (anxiety).
 —(ll. 471-486.)


Ghe brogte him bi-foren pharaon, She (Thermutis) brought him (Moses) before Pharaoh,
And šiſ king wurš him in herte mild, And this king became to him in heart mild,
So ſwide faiger was šiſ child; So very fair was this child;
And he toc him on ſunes ſtede, And he took him on son's stead (instead of a son),

And hiſ corune on his heued he dede,

And his crown on his head he did (placed),
And let it ſtonden ayne ſtund; And let it stand a stound (while);
še child it warp dun to še grund. The child threw it down to the ground.
Hamoneſ likeneſ was šor-on; Hamon's likeness was thereon;
šiſ crune is broken, šiſ iſ miſdon. This crown is broken, this is misdone.
Biſſop Eliopoleos The Bishop of Heliopolis
ſag šiſ timing, & up he roſ; Saw this circumstance, and up he rose;
"If šiſ child," quad he, "mote šen, If this child, quoth he, might thrive (grow up),
He ſal egyptes bale ben." He shall Egypt's bale be.
If šor ne wore helpe twen lopen, If there had not helpers 'tween leapt,
šiſ childe adde šan ſone be dropen; This child had then soon been killed;
še king wiš-ſtod & an wiſ man, The king with-stood and a wise man,
He ſeide, "še child doš alſ he can; He said, The child doth as he can (knows);
We ſulen nu witen for it dede We should now learn whether it did
šiſ witterlike, or in child-hede;" This wittingly, or in childishness;
He bad šis child brennen to colen He offered this child two burning coals
And he toc is (hu migt he it šolen), And he took them (how might he bear them?)
And in hiſe muth ſo depe he iſ dede And in his mouth so deep (far) he them did (placed)
Hiſe tunges ende iſ brent šor-mide; His tongue's end is burnt therewith;
šor-fore ſeide še ebru witterlike, Therefore said the Hebrew truly,
šat he ſpac ſišen miſerlike. That he spake afterwards indistinctly.
 —(ll. 2634-2658.)


Bi šat time šat he was guš, By that time that he was a youth (young man),
Wiš faigered and ſtrengthe kuš, For beauty and strength renowned,
folc ethiopienes on egipte cam, Ethiopian folk on Egypt came,
And brende, & ſlug, & wreche nam, And burnt, and slew, and vengeance took,

Al to memphin šat riche cite,

All to Memphis that rich city,
And a-non to še reade ſe; And anon to the Red Sea;
šo was egipte folc in dred, Then was Egypt's folk in dread,
And aſkeden here godes red; And asked their gods' advice;
And hem ſeiden wiš anſweren, And they said to them in answer,
šat on ebru cude hem wel weren. That one Hebrew could them well defend.
Moyſes was louered of šat here, Moses became leader of that (Egyptian) army,
šor he wurš šane egyptes were; There he became then Egypt's protector;
Bi a lond weige he wente rigt, By a land-way he went right,
And brogte vn-warnede on hem figt; And brought unwarned on them fight;
He hadden don egipte wrong, They had done Egypt wrong,
He bi-loc hem & ſmette a-mong, He compassed them and smote among,
And ſlug šor manige; oc ſumme flen, And slew there many; but some fled
Into ſaba to borgen ben. Into Sheba to be saved.
Moyſes bi-ſette al šat burg, Moses beset all that borough (city),
Oc it was riche & ſtrong ut-šhurg; But it was rich and strong out-thorough (throughout);
Ethiopienes kinges dowter tarbis, Tarbis, the Ethiopian king's daughter,
Riche maiden of michel priſ, Rich maiden of great renown,
Gaf šiſ riche burg moyſi; Gave this rich city to Moses;
Luue-bonde hire ghe it dede for-ši. As love-bond's hire she did it, therefore.
šor iſe fon he leide in bonde, There his foes he laid in bond,
And he wurš al-migt-ful in šat lond; And he became all-powerful in that land;
He bi-lef šor(.) tarbis him ſcroš, He remained there, Tarbis him urged,
šog was him šat ſurgerun ful loš; Yet was to him that sojourn full loath;
Mai he no leue at hire taken May he no leave of her take
but-if he it mai wiš crafte maken: Unless he it may with craft make:

He waſ of an ſtrong migt [&] wiſ,

He was of a strong might and wise,
He carf in two gummes of priſ He carved in two gems (stones) precious,
Two likeneſſes, ſo grauen & meten, Two likenesses alike carved and depicted,
šis doš šenken, & šošer forgeten; This one causes to remember, and the other to forget;
He feſt is in two ringes of gold, He fastened them in two rings of gold,
Gaf hire še ton, he was hire hold; Gave her the one, he was dear to her;
[And quan awei nimen he wolde [And when depart he would
Gaf hire še tošer, he was hire colde] Gave her the other, and was distasteful to her]
Ghe it bered and šiſ luue iſ for-geten, She it beareth and this love is forgotten,
Moyſes šus haued him leue bi-geten; Moses thus hath for himself leave begotten;
Sone it migte wiš leue ben, Soon it might with leave be,
Into egypte e wente a-gen. Into Egypt he went again.
 —(ll. 2665-2708.)


And aaron held up his hond And Aaron held up his hand
to še water and še more lond; To the water and the greater land;
šo cam šor up ſwilc froſkes here Then came there up such host of frogs
še dede al folc egipte dere; That did all Egypt's folk harm;
Summe woren wilde, and ſumme tame, Some were wild, and some tame,
And šo hem deden še moſte ſame; And those caused them the most (greatest) shame;
In huſe, in drinc, in metes, in bed, In house, in drink, in meats, in bed,
It cropen and maden hem for-dred; They crept and made them in great dread;
Summe ſtoruen and gouen ſtinc, Some died and gave (out) stink,
And vn-hileden mete and drinc; And (others) uncovered meat and drink;
Polheuedes, and froſkes, & podes ſpile Tadpoles and frogs, and toad's venom
Bond harde egipte folc un-ſile.[8] Bound hard Egypt's sorrowful folk.
 —(ll. 2967-2978.)

The reader must not be disappointed if he fails to find many traces in this work of our pious author's poetic skill; he must consider that the interest attaching to so early an English version of Old Testament History, as well as the philological value of the poem, fully compensates him for the absence of great literary merit, which is hardly to be expected in a work of this kind. And, moreover, we must recollect that it is to the patriotism, as well as piety, of such men as our author, that we owe the preservation of our noble language. The number of religious treatises written in English during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries proves that the dialect of religion approached more closely to the speech of the people than did the language of history or romance. And it is a curious fact that the most valuable monuments of our language are mostly theological, composed for the lewed and unlearned, who knew no other language than the one spoken by their forefathers, and who clung most tenaciously to their mother tongue, notwithstanding the changes consequent upon the Norman invasion, and the oppression of Norman rule, which, inasmuch as it fostered and kept up a patriotic spirit, exercised a most important and beneficial influence upon Early English literary culture and civilization.


The mere examination of an Early English work with respect to its vocabulary and grammatical forms, will not enable us (as Price asserts) to settle satisfactorily the date at which it was written. The place of composition must also be taken into consideration, and a comparison, if possible, must be made with other works in the same dialect, the date of which is known with some degree of certainty. The date of the text before us must not, therefore, be confounded with that of the manuscript, which is, perhaps, a few years earlier {xiv}than A.D. 1300. A careful comparison of the poem with the Bestiary, written in the same dialect, and most probably by the same author[9] (and printed by Mr Wright in the Reliquię Antiquę, p. 208, and by myself in an Old English Miscellany), leads me to think that the present poem is not later than A.D. 1250.[10]

The vocabulary, which contains very few words of Romance origin,[11] is not that of Robert of Gloucester, or of Robert of Brunne, but such as is found in Laȝamon's Brut, or Orm's paraphrases, and other works illustrating the second period of our language, i.e. the twelfth and earlier part of the thirteenth centuries.

The employment of a dual for the pronouns of the first and second persons marks an early date (certainly not much later than the time of Henry III.) even in works composed in the Southern dialect, which, it is well known, retained to a comparatively late period those Anglo-Saxon inflections that had long previously been disused in more Northern dialects.

The Corpus manuscript is evidently the work of a scribe, to whom the language was more or less archaic, which accounts for such blunders as šrosing for šrosem, waspene for wastme, lage for vn-lage, insile for vn-sile, grauen for šrauen, etc.

The original copy of Genesis most probably terminated with ll. 2521-4:


"And here ended completely

The book which is called Genesis,

Which Moses, through God's help,

Wrote for precious souls' need."

The concluding lines, in which both the author and scribe are mentioned, seem to me to be the work of a subsequent transcriber:

"God shield his soul from hell-bale,

Who made it thus in English tale (speech)!

And he that these letters wrote,

May God help him blissfully,

And preserve his soul from sorrow and tears,

Of hell-pain, cold and hot!"

The Ormulum is the earliest[12] printed Early English work which has come down to us that exhibits the uniform employment of the termination -en (-n) as the inflection of the plural number, present tense, indicative mood; or, in other words, it is the earliest printed example we have of a Midland dialect. I say a Midland dialect, because the work of Orm is, after all, only a specimen of one variety of the Midland speech, most probably of that spoken in the northern part of the eastern counties of England, including what is commonly called the district of East Anglia.

Next in antiquity to the Ormulum come the Bestiary, already mentioned, and the present poem, both of which uniformly employ the Midland affix -en, to the exclusion of all others, as the inflection of the present plural indicative.

There are other peculiarities which these works have in common; and a careful comparison of them with the Ormulum induces me to assign them to the East Midland area; but there are certain peculiarities, to be noticed hereafter, which induce me to believe that the work of Orm represents {xvi}a dialect spoken in the northern part of this district, while the Story of Genesis and Exodus, together with the Bestiary, exhibits the speech of the more southern counties of the East Midland district.[13] Thus, if the former be in the dialect of Lincoln, the latter is in that of Suffolk.[14]

The chief points in which the present poem and the Bestiary agree with the Ormulum are the following:—

I. The absence of compound vowels.

In the Southern dialects we find the compound vowels ue, eo, ie, ea (yea). In the Ormulum eo occurs, but with the sound of e, and ea in Genesis and Exodus is written for e.

II. The change of an initial š (th) into t after words ending in d, t, n, s, that is to say, after a dental or a sibilant.[15]

"šanne iſ tis fruit wel ſwiše good."—(Gen. and Ex., l. 334.)

"še firſt moned and te firſt dai,

He ſag erše drie & te water awai."—(Ibid., l. 615-6.)

"šin berg and tin werger ic ham."—(Ibid., l. 926.)

"at te welle[n]."—(Ibid., l. 2756.)

This practice is much more frequent in the Bestiary, which is a proof, perhaps, that the present poem has suffered somewhat in the course of transcription.

"neddre is te name."—(O.E. Miscellany, p. 5.)

"it is te ned."—(Ibid., p. 6.)

"šis lif bitokneš še sti

šat te neddre gangeš bi,

and tis is še širl of še ston,

šat tu salt šurg gon."—(Ibid., p. 7.)

"at tin herte."—(Ibid., p. 7.)

III. Simplicity of grammatical structure and construction of sentences.[16]


1. The neglect of gender and number in nouns.

2. The genitive singular of substantives end in -es in all genders.[17]

3. The absence of the gen. pl. of substantives in -ene.

4. The employment of an uninflected article.[18]

5. The use of šat (that) as a demonstrative adjective, and not as the neuter of the article. The form šas (those), common enough in the fourteenth century, does not occur in this poem or in the Ormulum.

6. No inflection of the adjective in the accusative singular. The phrase 'godun dai,' good day, in l. 1430, p. 41, contains a solitary instance of the accusative of the adjective, but it is, no doubt, a mere remnant of the older speech, just like our 'for the nonce' (= for then once), and is no proof that the writer or his readers employed it as a common inflection. The form godun is a corruption of godne, as it is more properly written in works in the Southern dialects as late as the middle of the fourteenth century.

7. Adjectives and adverbs with the termination -like.

The Southern form is, for adjectives, -lich (sing.), -liche {xviii}(pl.); for adverbs -liche. Thus the adoption of this affix really (though at first it appears a matter of no importance) marks a stage in the language when the distinction between the sing. and pl. form of adjectives was not very strictly observed, and was, moreover, a step towards our modern -ly, which is adjectival as well as adverbial.

Even in this poem adjectives occur in -li, as reuli = piteous, which is the earliest example I have met with. Orm employs double forms in -like and -liȝȝ (= ly?). -ly has arisen not out of -lich or -liche (which would have become lidge or litch), but out of some such softened form as liȝ.

8. The tendency to drop the initial y, i (A.S. ge) of the passive participles of strong verbs.

The Ormulum has two or three examples of this prefixal element, and in our poem it occurs but seldom.

IV. A tendency to drop the t of the second person of verbs, as as, hast; beas, beėst; findes, findest.

Examples of this practice are very common in the Bestiary and Genesis and Exodus, but it occurs only four times in the Ormulum.[19] It was very common for the West-Midland to drop the -e of 2nd person in strong verbs. See Preface to O.E. Homilies, 1st Series.

V. The use of arn, aren, for ben of the Midland dialect, or beš of the Southern dialect.[20]

VI. The employment of the adverbs thethen, hethen, quethen (of Scandinavian origin),[21] instead of the Southern thenne (thennen), thence; henne (hennen), hence; whanne (whanene), whence.

VII. The use of oc, ok (also, and), a form which does not occur in any specimen of a Southern, West-Midland, or Northern dialect that has come under my notice. The use of {xix}on, o, for the Southern an or a, as onlike, olike, alike, on-rum, apart, on-sunder, asunder, is also worth noticing.

VIII. The coalition of the pronoun it with pronouns and verbs, as get (Bestiary) = she it (ȝhöt in Ormulum; cf. žüt = thu itt, thou it); tellet = tell it; wuldet = would it; ist = is it, is there; wast, was it, was there, etc. žit = že + hit = who it, occurs in O.E. Homilies, 2nd Series.

The Ormulum, the Bestiary, and Genesis and Exodus have some few other points of agreement which will be found noticed in the Grammatical Details and Glossary. There are, however, grammatical forms in the latter works which do not present themselves in the former, and which, in my opinion, seem to indicate a more Southern origin. (See Preface to O.E. Homilies, 2nd Series.)

I. Plurals in n.

I do not recollect any examples of plurals in n in the Ormulum, except ehne, eyes; in this poem we have colen, coals; deden, deeds; fon, foes; sišen, sides; son, shoes; steden, places; sunen, sons; tren, trees; teten, teats; wunen, laws, abilities, etc. (see p. xxii.)

II. The pronoun is (es) = them.[22] In the fourteenth century we only find this form is (hise) in pure Southern writers.[23]

"Diep he iſ dalf under an ooc."[24]—(Gen. and Ex., l. 1873, p. 54.)

"For ſalamon findin iſ ſal."[25]—(Ibid., l. 1877, p. 54.)

"He toc iſ."[26]—(Ibid., l. 2654, p. 76.)

"Alle hise fet steppes šer he steppeš,
 After him he filleš, Ošer dust ošer deu,
 Drageš dust wiš his stert  šat he ne cunne is finden."[27]
(O.E. Miscell., p. 1.)

Our author, however, employs this curious pronoun in a way quite peculiar to himself, for he constantly joins it to a pronoun or a verb,[28] and the compound was at first rather perplexing. Hes = he + is, he, them; wes = we + is, we, them;[29] caldes, called them; dedis, did (placed) them; settes, set them; wroutis, wrought them, etc.

"Alle hes hadde wiš migte bi-geten."[30]—(Gen. and Ex., l. 911, p. 26.)

"Vndelt heſ leide quor-so heſ tok."[31]—(Ibid., l. 943, p. 27.)

"Še culuer haueš costes gode,

alle wes ogen to hauen in mode."[32]—(O.E. Miscell., p. 25.)

"Bala two childre bar bi him,

Rachel caldes dan(.) neptalim;

And zelfa two sunes him ber,

Lia calde is(.) Gad(.) and asser."[33]—(Gen. and Ex., l. 1700, p. 49.)

"še tabernacle he dedis in."[34]—(Ibid., l. 3830, p. 109.)

"He settes in še firmament."[35]—(Ibid., l. 135, p. 5.)

In the Kentish Ayenbite of 1340 he never coalesces with hise (them), e.g.:—

"He (the devil) is lyeȝere and vader of leazinges, ase he žet made že verste leazinge, and yet he hise makež and tekž eche daye."—(Ayenbite of Inwyt, p. 47.)

(He is a liar and the father of leasings, as he that made the first leasing, and yet he them, i.e. lies, maketh and teacheth each day.)


In Old Kentish Sermons (Old Eng. Miscell p. 28) has = ha + es = he them.

III. The pronoun he, they (Southern hii, heo; Northumbrian thay). Orm uses žeȝȝ, as well as žeȝȝer (their), žeȝȝm (them).[36]

IV. hine, hin, in = him. This form occurs as late as 1340, and still exists under the form en, un, in the modern dialects of the South of England, but is not employed by Orm; nor do we find any traces of whan (whom), another very common example of the -n accusative inflection, either in the Ormulum or the present work.

V. The substitution of n for a vowel-ending in nouns. Dr Guest has noticed this peculiarity, but he confines this substitution to the nominative case of nouns of the n declension,[37] and to the definite form of the adjective, which has, no doubt, given rise to the O.E. himseluen, etc., bothen (both), as well as, perhaps, to ouren (ours), heren (theirs), etc.

In the present poem, however, the n seems added to the vowel-ending of all cases except the possessive, in order to rhyme with a verb in the infinitive, a passive participle, or an adverb terminating in -en, and is not always limited to nouns of the -n declension, but represents in A.S. an a or e: 'on boken,'[38] on book, l. 4; 'on soše-sagen,' on sooth-saw, l. 14; meten, (acc.) meat, l. 2255, (nom.) 2079; sunen, (nom.) son, l. 1656; 'of luuen,' of love, 635; 'after še wunen' (after the custom), l. 688; steden, (nom.) place, 1114; 'for on-sagen,' for reproach, 2045; wliten, (nom.) face, 3614, (acc.) 2289; 'wiš answeren,' in answer, 2673; bileuen, (acc.) remainder, 3154; uuerslagen, (acc.) lintel, 3155.

Dr Guest considers this curious nunnation to be a {xxii}Northern peculiarity, but as we do not meet with it (as far as I know) in any Northumbrian work, his statement is rather doubtful. On the other hand, it is well known that the plurals bretheren (brošeren[39] in Shoreham), calveren[40] (calves), children,[41] doren (doors),[42] eyren (eggs),[43] honden (hands),[44] kine,[45] lambren (lambs),[46] soulen (souls)—very common forms in the Southern dialects in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries—are examples of the substitution of n for, or in addition to, the vowel-ending, and were unknown in the Northern dialect.

The Southern dialect could drop or retain, at pleasure, the n final in the past participles, the preterite plurals, and infinitive mood of verbs.

VI. A very small Norse element in the vocabulary.

The only words of undoubtedly Norse element that occur in the present poem, and were unknown to Southern English, are—fro (from), ille (bad), for-swešen (to burn), flitten (to remove), laše (barn), lowe (flame), mirk (dark), ransaken (to search), swaše (flame), til (to), uglike (horrible), werre (worse).[47]

The Ormulum, being more Northern, contains a larger number of words that must be referred to one of the Scandinavian idioms:[48]afell (strength), afledd (begotten), beȝȝsc (bitter), *blunnt (blunt, dull), bracc (noise), *braž (angry), *bražže (anger), *brodd (shoot), brodden (to sprout), brožžfall (fit), *bun (ready, bound), *clake (accusation), *croc (device), *derf (bold), *dill (sluggish), *eggenn (to urge, egg on), *egginng (urging), *ettle, *flittenn (to remove, flit), *flitting {xxiii}(change, removal), *forrgart (opposed, condemned), *forrgloppned (disturbed with fear, astonishment), *gate (way), gowesst (watchest), *haȝherr (dexterous), haȝherleȝȝc (skill), *haȝherrlike (fitly), hof (moderation), hofelęs (immoderately), *ille (bad), *immess (variously), *kinndlenn (to kindle), *lasst (crime, fault), leȝhe (hire, pay), *leȝȝtenn (O.E. layte, inquire, seek), o-loft (aloft), *loȝhe (fire), *mune (must, will), naže (grace), nowwt (cattle, O.N. naut; the Southern form is neet, nete, A.S. neįt), *ploh (plough), *radd (afraid), *ros (praise), *rosen (to boast), *rosinng (boast), rowwst (voice), *scaldess (poets, O.E. scald, a great talker, boaster, E. scold), *sit (pain), *sket (quickly), *skirpežž (rejecteth), *slož (track, path), smikerr (beautiful, Eng. smug), sowwžess (sheep), stoffnedd (generated, O.E. stoven, trunk, stem), *summ (as), *till (to), *tór (hard, difficult), *trigg (true), uppbrixle (object of reproach, O.E. brixle, reproach), usell (wretched), *wand (rod), *wandraž, O.E. wandreth (trouble), *werre (worse).

As most, if not all, of the words in the foregoing list are not found in works written in the Southern dialect,—so far as we at present know them—we may reasonably suppose that they indicate fairly the Danish element in the English literature of the 12th and 13th centuries. In the Northumbrian, and the West, and East-Midland productions of a century later this element prevails to a much larger extent, and Herbert Coleridge's list of such words may be largely increased (Phil. Soc. Trans., 1859, p. 26-30).


I. Nouns.

1. Number.—The plural is generally formed by adding -es to the singular. Some few nouns make the plural in -en, as feren[49] (companions), fon (foes), goren (spears), loten (features), {xxiv}sunen (sons), teten (teats), tren (trees), weden (garments), wunen (laws). The plurals of brother and child are brethere and childere. Der (deer), erf, orf (cattle), got (goat), neat (oxen), sep (sheep), scrud (garbs), wrim (reptiles), of the neuter gender, are uninflected in the plural. Winter, ger (year), and nigt (night), are plural as in Anglo-Saxon.

2. Gender.—As a general rule the names of inanimate things are of the neuter gender. The names of towns, however, are considered as masculine.

3. Case.—The genitive singular and plural of masculine and feminine nouns end in -es. Occasionally proper nouns form the genitive in -is. The means or instrument occasionally stands in the genitive without the preposition: 'deades driuen,' influenced by death; 'swerdes slagen,' slain of the sword; 'teres wet,' wet with tears. Cf. 'floures bred,' bread made with flour; 'bredes mel,' meal consisting of bread; 'wines drinc,' drink consisting of wine.

Corresponding to the modern word kinsmen we have such forms as 'daiges-ligt' (daylight), 'hines-folk' (servants), 'wifeskin' (women). The genitive is used adverbially, as newes, anew; liues, alive.

We have a few traces of the genitive in -e in the following examples: 'helle nigt,' l. 89 (hell's night); 'helle bale,' l. 2525 (hell's bale); 'sterre name,' l. 134 (star's name); 'safte same,' l. 349 (shame of form); 'werlde nigt,' l. 1318 (world's night).[50]

The genitive of fader and moder is, as is very seldom the case in Early English writers, fadres and modres.

An n is often added to the final -e (representing an A.Sax. {xxv}vowel-ending) in the nom., dat., and acc. of nouns. For examples, see p. xxi.

II. Adjectives.

1. Adjectives have a definite and an indefinite form; the former is used when the adjective is preceded by the definite article, a demonstrative adjective, or possessive pronoun.

Indef. wis (wise),  god (good).
Def. wise, gode.

2. Number.—The plural is formed by the addition of e to the singular.

fet (fat), fette.
gret (great), grete.
other, othere.
tother, tothere.

But the -e (pl.) is seldom added to the past participle of irregular verbs. This forms the plurals thes (oblique cases these), this (thise). Tho is the plural of that.

Cases.One makes the genitive ones; as, 'ones bles,' of one colour. The gen. pl. -re occurs in ald-re (= alre), of all; as, 'hure aldre bale,' the bale of us all; 'here aldre heuedes,' the heads of them all.

Degrees of comparison.—The comparative ends in -ere (-er), the superlative in -este (est).[51] Very few irregular forms occur in the present poem.

ille, werre. ——
lite, lesse, leist.
brace leng,
brace mo,
neg, —— neste.
old, eldere, eldeste.

Numerals.—The Northumbrian forms in -nde have superseded the Southern ones in -the; as, seuende (seventh), egtende (eighth), tende (tenth).[52]

III. Pronouns.

1. The first personal pronoun Ic is never found softened into Ich as in Laȝamon's Brut, the Ancren Riwle, and other Southern works. I is found only once or twice throughout the poem.

2. The first and second personal pronouns have a dual as well as a plural number; as, wit, we two; unc, us two; gunc, you two; gunker, of you two.

3. Hine (hin, in) (acc.) occasionally occurs, but more frequently him (dat.) does duty for it.

4. Ge, ghe,[53] she, represents the A.Sax. héo (O.E. heo, ho, and hi). The curious form sge (= sye), as well as sche, occurs for she, the earliest instance of which is scę in the A.Sax. Chronicle.

5. The neuter pronoun is written it and not hit, and is frequently used as a plural. It coalesces with the pronoun ge, ghe[54] (she), and with the preterite of verbs terminating in -de or -te,[55] and with some few irregular verbs; as, sagt (saw there), p. 37, l. 1301. The curious form negt (in l. 3964, p. 112) = neg + it = nigh it.


6. The A.Sax. hi (they) is represented by he = hie.[56] He is common enough in the Romance of Havelok the Dane.[57]

The pronouns, as has already been shown, coalesce with the plural (acc.) is (them), and give us the compounds hes, he + them; wes, we + them;[58] mes = me + hes = one + them.[59]

Not satisfied with joining he (they) to the pronoun is, the author of this poem occasionally employs the more perplexing combination hem = he + hem, he, them.

bred kalueſ fleiſ, and flures bred,

Roasted calves' flesh, and flour-bread,

And buttere, hem šo sondes bed,

And butter, he them the messengers offered.—(l. 1014.)

In ſichem feld ne fonde hem nogt,

In Shechem field found he them not.—(l. 1933.)

Šo ſette ſundri hem to waken,

Then set sundry he them to watch.—(l. 2551.)

šo ſeide šuſ quanne hem cam dun,

Then said thus when he to them came down.—(l. 4022.)

In l. 2673 hem seems to stand for he + hem, they + them.

And hem ſeiden wiš anſweren,[60]

And they to them said in answer.

The Southern me, one (Fr. on), is absent from this poem as well as from the Ormulum; its place is supplied by man and men[61] used with a verb in the singular number. še is frequently used as a relative pronoun as well as šat, but uninflected; quo (who), quat (what), are interrogative; whether signifies which of two.



Nom. Ic, I šu
Gen. min šin
Dat. me še
Acc. me še
brace brace
Nom. wit we —— ge
Gen. —— ure gunker gure
Dat. —— us —— gu
Acc. unc us gunc gu
Nom. He ge, ghe (sge, sche) It
Gen. His Hire Is, His
Dat. Him Hire It
brace Hin
Hire It
Masc. Neut. Interrogative.
Nom. He It Quo
Gen. Here Here
Dat. Hem It ——
Acc. Hem It Quam

The third personal pronoun is occasionally used reflexively; as him = himself. Self is used adjectively in the sense of own, very, and the form selven (from the A.Sax. sylfa) is joined to the personal pronouns; as šeselven, himselven, etc.

The independent possessives are min, šin, his (hise), hire (hers), ure (ours), gure (yours), here (theirs).[62]

IV. Verbs.

Infinitive Mood.—The infinitive terminates in -en, which is seldom dropped.


There are no infinitives in -y or -ie, as in Southern English writers, nor do we find them in the Ormulum, or in Robert of Brunne's "Handlyng Synne," and they were, most probably, wholly unknown to the East Midland district.

The t in the 2nd pers. sing. pres. is occasionally dropped, as beas (= best), art, betes, beatest, findes, findest, etc.; but not in the preterite of regular verbs.

There are no instances of the 3rd pers. sing. present in -es in this poem.

The final e of the first and third persons (sing.) of the preterite tense is often dropped before a vowel or an h,[63] and, in a few cases, through the carelessness of the scribe,[64] it is unwritten before a consonant, where we should expect to, and do, find it in the majority of instances.

Some few strong verbs have become weak, as grapte (grasped, felt), gette (poured), smette (smote).

Imperative Mood.—Verbs forming the past tense in de or te take no inflexion in the 2nd pers. sing. imperative.

Participles.—1. The active or imperfect participle ends in -ende or -ande, the former being the Midland and the latter the Northumbrian form. The Southern affix is -inde, from which we have the modern -ing (O.E. -inge).

Our author rhymes specande with lockende, and in the Bestiary we find that the participle in -ande rhymes with an infinitive in -en,[65] and this accounts for such forms as stinken = stinkende, brennen = brennende, in the present poem.

2. The passive or perfect participle of regular or weak verbs terminates in -ed; of irregular or strong verbs in -en. In bigote (begotten), funde (found), geue (given), the absence of the n is probably an error of the scribe.

3. The prefix i- or y- (A.S. ge-) is not of frequent {xxx}occurrence either in this poem or in the Bestiary; in the former we have i-wreken (avenged), i-wrogt (wrought), ybiried (buried), y-oten (called); and in the latter we find i-digt (arranged).

There are two conjugations of verbs, regular (weak) and irregular (strong). The regular verbs form their past tense in -ede, -de, or -te; the past participle ends in -ed, -d, or -t. Irregular verbs form their past tense by a change of vowel, and the past participle terminates in -en.


I. Class. Infinitive MoodLoven, love.


Singular. Plural.
1. love, 1. loven,
2. lovest, 2. loven,
3. loveš. 3. loven.
Singular. Plural.
1. lovede, 1. loveden,
2. lovedest,  2. loveden,
3. lovede. 3. loveden.


Singular. Plural. Singular. Plural.
love, loven. lovede, loveden.


Singular. Plural.
1st form. 2nd form.
2. love. loveš, love.[66]



II. Class. Infinitive MoodHeren, hear.


Singular. Plural. Singular. Plural.
1. here, heren, 1. herde, herden,
2. herest, heren, 2. herdest, herden,
3. hereš. heren. 3. herde. herden.


Singular. Plural.
here. heren. (Like the Indicative.)


Singular. Plural.
1st form. 2nd form.
2. her. hereš. here.[67]



III. Class. Infinitive MoodSeken, seek.


Singular. Plural. Singular. Plural.
1. seke, seken, 1. sogte, sogten,
2. sekest, seken, 2. sogtest, sogten,
3. sekeš. seken. 3. sogte. sogten.


Singular. Plural.
seke. seken. (Like the Indicative.)


Singular. Plural.
1st form. 2nd form.
2. sek. sekeš. seke.




A. (no change of vowel in the plural preterite.)

Infinitive MoodHolden, hold.


Singular. Plural. Singular. Plural.
1. holde, holden, 1. held, helden,
2. holdest, holden, 2. helde,[68] helden,
3. holdeš. holden. 3. held, helden.


Singular. Plural. Singular. Plural.
holde. holden. helde. helden.


Singular. Plural.
1st form. 2nd form.
2. hold. holdeš. holde.



B. (change of vowel in the preterite plural.)

Infinitive MoodHelpen, help; singen, sing.


Singular. Plural.
1. helpe, singe, brace helpen, singen.
2. helpest, singest,
3. helpeš. singeš.
Singular. Plural.
1. halp, sang, brace holpen, sungen.
2. holpe,[69] sunge,[69]
3. halp. sang.


Singular. Plural.
helpe, singe. holpen, sungen.


Singular. Plural.
1st form. 2nd form.
2. help, sing. helpeš, singeš. helpe, singe.


helpande, singande, brace holpen, sungen.
helpende, singende,



 Present. Preterite. Passive Participle.
Class I. Loven (to love), lovede, loved.
 etc.   etc.   etc.
Class II. (a) Callen (call), calde, cald.
Feden (feed), fedde, fed.
Greden (cry), gredde, gred.
Heren (hear), herde, herd.
Leden (lead), ledde, led.
Sriden (clothe), sridde, srid.
Wenen (think), wende, wend.
 etc.   etc.   etc.
(b) Bimenen (lament),  bimente,  biment.
Bitiden (betide), bitidde, bitid.
Delen (divide), delte, delt.
Demen (judge), dempte, dempt.
Kepen (keep), kepte, kept.
Wenden (go), wente, went.
Class III. Bigen (buy), bogte, bogt.
Biseken (beseech), bisogte, bisogt.
Biteche (assign), bitagte, bitagt.
{xxxiv} Cachen (drive), kagte, kagt.
Lachen (seize), lagte, lagt.
Sellen (sell), solde, sold.
Tellen (tell), tolde, told.
Worchen (work), wrogte, wrogt.



Class I. (a) Beren (bear),
brace bar,
Bidden (bid), bad, beden.
Bi-speken (speak), bi-spac,  bi-speken.
Bigeten (beget), bigat,
brace bigeten.
Breken (break), brac, broken.
Cumen (come), cam,
brace cumen.
Eten (eat), at, eten.
Forgeten (forget), forgat, forgeten.
Giuen (give), gaf,
brace geven.
Nimen (take, go), nam,
brace nomen.
Seren (shear), —— soren.
Stelen (steal), stal, stolen.
Sweren (swear), swor, sworen.
Beten (beat), bet, beten.
Class II. Bidden (ask, entreat),  bed, boden.
brace (promise),
brace bihet,
Drepen (slay), —— dropen.
Fallen (fall), fel, fallen.
Forhelen (hide), —— forholen.
Hingen (hang), heng, hangen.
{xxxv} Holden (hold), held, holden.
Lepen (leap), lep, lopen.
Leten (leave), let, leten.
Slepen (sleep), slep, slepen.
Wepen (weep), wep, wepen.
Wassen (wash), weis, wassen.
Waxen (wax), wex, waxen.
Wreken (avenge), wrek,
brace wroken.
Class III. Dragen (draw),
brace drog,
Faren (go), for, faren.
Forsaken (forsake), forsoc, forsaken.
Graven (bury), —— graven.
Slon (slay),
brace slog,
Standen (stand), stod, standen.
Taken (take), toc, taken.
Waken (wake), woc, waken.


Class I. At-winden (depart), at-wond.  ——
Abreden (awake), abraid. ——
Bergen (protect), barg,
brace borgen.
Binden (bind), bond, bunden.
Bresten (burst), brast,
brace brusten.
Biginnen (begin), bigan, bigunnen.
Delven (buy), dalf, dolven.
Drinken (drink), dranc, drunken.
Figten (fight), fagt, fogten.
Finden (find),
brace fand,
{xxxvi} Gelden (requite),
brace gald,
Helpen (help), halp, holpen.
Melten (melt), malt, molten.
Scrišen (invite), scroš. ——
Singen (sing), sang, sungen.
Sinken (sink), sanc, sunken.
Springen (spring), sprong, sprungen.
Sterfen (die), starf, storven.
Stingen (sting), stong, stungen.
Wergen (defend), warg. ——
Werpen (throw), warp, worpen.
Šresten (thrust), šrast. ——
Class II. At-witen (go, depart),  atwot. ——
Biten (bite), bot, biten.
Driven (drive), drof, driven.
Gliden (glide), glod, gliden.
Risen (rise), ros, risen.
Sinen (shine), son, sinen.
Smiten (smite), smot, smiten.
Writen (write), wrot, writen.
Class III. Beden (offer),
brace bed,
Crepen (creep), crep, cropen.
Chesen (choose), ches, chosen.
Dregen (suffer), dreg, drogen.
Flegen (fly),
brace fleg,
Fleten (float), flet, floten.
Forlese (lose),
brace forles,
Scheten (shoot), schet. ——
Segen (see),
brace seg,
{xxxvii} Sešen (boil), seš, soden.
Stigen (ascend), steg, stigen.
Ten (go), teg, togen.
Šen (thrive), šeg, šogen.

Anomalous Verbs.

Cunen (can), 3 pers. sing. can, pl. cunen, pret. cuše, p.p. cuš.

Daren (dare), pres. pl. duren, pret. durste.

Mogen (may), 3 pers. sing. mai, pl. mogen, mowen, pret. migte (2 pers. pret. migt).

Mot (may), pret. muste.

Ogen (owe, ought), 3 pers. sing. og, pl. ogen, pret. ogte.

Sal (shall), 2 pers. sing. salt, pl. sulen, pret. sulde, pret. pl. sulden.

Witen (know), 3 pers. sing. wot, pret. wiste.

Wilen (will), pret. wulde; nile = will not; nolde = would not.

The verb ben, 'to be,' is conjugated after the following manner:—


Singular.  Plural.
1. am,
2. art, beas, best,
3. is, beš,
brace ben, arn[70] (aren).
Singular.  Plural.
1. was,
2. wore,
3. was,
brace weren, worn (woren, wore).

V. Adverbs.

The adverbs hence, thence, whence, do not occur, being superseded by the Norse forms hešen, šešen, quešen.

Adverbial Terminations.—Adverbs are formed from adjectives by the addition of e; as long (adj.), longe (adv.).

-um (dative) occurs in whilum and seldum.

-es (gen.) in lives, alive, newes, anew.

-en in abouten, aboven, binnen, biforen (foren), bisiden, uten, wišouten.

VI. Prepositions.

Fro (Northumbrian fra) takes the place of the Southern fram (from), and til (unknown to Southern writers) occurs frequently for to.



The essence of the system of versification which the poet has adopted is, briefly, that every line shall have four accented syllables in it; the unaccented syllables being left in some measure, as it were, to take care of themselves.

The words which Coleridge prefixed to his poem of "Christabel" are by no means inapplicable here. He says, "I have only to add, that the metre of the 'Christabel' is not, properly speaking, irregular, though it may seem to be so from its being founded on a new (?) principle: namely, that of counting in each line the accents, not the syllables. Though the latter may vary from seven to twelve, yet in each line the accents will be found to be only four."

The normal form of the line of the present poem is that simple one of eight syllables, consisting of four (so-called) iambics, which is so common in English poetry. But it should be remembered that this line is at all times convertible with one of seven syllables, generally described as consisting of three trochees and a long syllable. This is easily exemplified by taking the first two lines of the Conclusion to the Second Part of Coleridge's "Christabel."

breve macron   breve macron   breve macron   breve macron
A lit | tle child | a lim | ber elf ||
macron breve   macron breve   macron breve   macron
Singing | dancing | to it | self ||

This is adopting the common form of scansion given in English prosodies, which is far from being a very correct method; since to make trochaic and iambic metres convertible is to introduce all sorts of confusion.

The fact is, that the seven-syllable line, though trochaic to the ear, is really an iambic line, of which the first syllable is deficient, i.e., supplied by a pause; and the truer scansion is,

A lit | tle child | a lim | ber elf ||

— Sing | ing danc | ing to | itself ||

At any rate, to adopt this latter method (of beginning to mark off the feet from the end, instead of from the beginning of the line) will be found to be far more convenient in practice; since the accented {xl}syllables, instead of drifting about, will thus always be placed at the end of a foot. We should thus, for instance, introduce the same marking off of syllables in the line,

Įnd | še séx | te dį | is ligt || l. 167,

as we have in the line,

šo cįm | še fķf | te dį | is ligt || l. 158.

Examples of couplets containing a line of each kind are not uncommon; thus, ll. 29, 30:—

Fį | der gód | of įl | le šhķnge ||

Almķg | tin lóu | erd hég | est kķnge ||

Also lines 289, 290.

And gét | ne kś | še hé | nogt blķnne ||

Fór | to dón | an óš | er ſķnne ||

See also ll. 309, 310; 439, 440, etc.

The introduction of these seven-syllable lines, far from being a defect, is a natural and agreeable variation, adopted by all our best poets.

The next chief variation to be noted is that two very rapid syllables are often (as in other English metres) substituted for an unaccented one, as in l. 88:—

Ór | še nķgt | and įf | ter še dįy ||

Ór | še nķgt | and įf | tie

Again, in l. 93:—

On an óš | er daķ | šis mķd | del érd ||


and in l. 474:—

To sché | ten įf | ter še wķl | de dér ||

To sché | ten įf | tie

See also ll. 321, 503, 505, 656, etc.; and compare the line from "Christabel:"

"That shį | dowy in | the moon | light shone ||"

That shį | tie

The syllables thus most frequently slurred over—the term elided is but weak and improper, explaining nothing—are the final syllables -en, -er, -et, etc., as in ll. 96 and 116:—

Įl | abś | ten šis wįlk | ne sént ||

Įl | abś | tie

Was wį | ter and érše | o ſśn | der ſįd ||

Was wį | tie

Some lines—and these sound rather harshly—require a little forcing to make them conform to the strict type; as, e.g., l. 66, which, to make it agree with the rest, must be written,

Ķn | to šis šhķſ | terneſſe hér | bi-néšen ||

Ķn | tie šhķs | tie

A poet's business is, in fact, to take care that the syllables which are to be rapidly pronounced are such as easily can be so; and that the syllables which are to be heavily accented are naturally those that ought to be. If he gives attention to this it does not much matter whether each foot has two or three syllables in it.


A man is master of his art when he can write—

Come in | to the gar | den, Maud ||

For the black | bat, night, | has flown ||

And the wood | bine spi | ces are waf | ted abroad ||

And the musk | of the rose | is blown ||

With respect to the final -en, it should be further noted—

(1) That it is sometimes fully pronounced, as in ll. 87 and 91

fró | šat tķme | we tél | len įy ||

šo gįn | hem dį | gen wél | iwķſſe ||

(2) That it is sometimes rapidly slurred over, as in l. 96, already cited; and

(3) That (especially after an r) it is often so pronounced as to be incorporated with the syllable preceding it, so that the whole word, supposing it a dissyllable in appearance, becomes monosyllabic in pronunciation; as in l. 514

Matś | ſalé | was bóren | iſ ſśne ||

and, again, in l. 655

Wóren | ſtalwśr | ši bóren | bi tįle ||

Thus, we may find the same word written and pronounced as a dissyllable—

Wó | ren šįne | don ſóne | a-nón ||   l. 3591;

and, in another place, written and pronounced as a monosyllable—

In geu | eléngšh | e wórn | it mįd ||   l. 147.

Thus, the n must have been very slightly touched, as is shewn also by the riming of e and en. Examples, ll. 11, 12; 363, 364, etc.

As to the final -e, it may be observed that it is most frequently pronounced just when it is most essential, viz., when it marks a grammatical inflexion, or an adverbial form, as, e.g.:—

Til ihé | sus béš | on Ró | dč dón ||   l. 386;


Wél | he ſeķ | den and ſwķ | šč wél ||   l. 1645.

In the second place, it is very liable to be slurred over before a vowel following, as in l. 148

In Ré | ke-fķl | le on ſśn | der ſhįd ||

In Ré | ke-fķl | tie

and, thirdly, it is frequently added to words without cause, and is therefore mute, as in l. 60

šat éu | ere ſpróng | in wérld | wķd ||

It seems to be sometimes mute after -ed, when -ede forms part of a verb. See ll. 1396, 1433, etc.

Attention to the metre may detect errors in the text. Thus, in l. 75, the word dais is missing:—

forš glód | šat fķr | me [dį | is] lķgt ||

See l. 113, which proves the point.


In l. 1846 the definite form of the adjective is required, and strong should be stronge

še stróng | e gód | of żs | raél ||

It has been noted that the first foot of a line sometimes consists of one syllable only, and that one accented. By a bolder license, this is sometimes the case not only with the first foot, but with other feet, e.g. with the third foot. Line 2572:—

Quan é | bru chķld | ſśld | be bóren ||

Again, with the last foot, as in l. 3580, unless we read duste:—

And ſtķred | it įl | to dśſt | ſir ||

Very many other curious variations occur, which the reader will probably observe for himself with some interest. Thus, in l. 60, just above cited, the question arises whether or not the r in werld was pronounced with so strong a burr as to render the word dissyllabic, as is often the case in Scotch poetry with words containing rl, rn, etc.


A.S. Anglo-Saxon.

Da. Danish.

Du. Dutch.

Allit. Poems, Early English Alliterative Poems (Ed. Morris).

O.E. Old English.

Prov. E. Provincial English.

Fr. French.

Fris. Frisian.

Ger. German.

Goth. Gothic.

M.H.Ger. Middle High German.

O.H.Ger. Old High German.

Laȝ. Laȝamon's Brut (Ed. Sir F. Madden).

Met. Hom. Metrical Homilies (Ed. Small).

O.N. Old Norse.

Orm. Ormulum.

P. of C. Hampole's Pricke of Conscience (Ed. Morris).

Prompt. Parv. Promptorium Parvulorum (Ed. Way).

S.Sax. Semi-Saxon.

Sw. Swedish.


My obligations to Mr Skeat (in whose accuracy and judgment I have the fullest confidence) are numerous; and I am indebted to him, among other obligations, for the description of the manuscript, and for some interesting remarks upon the metre of the poem. My thanks are also due to the Rev. J. R. Lumby, who most kindly and readily re-collated the text with the manuscript.


It is thus described—wrongly, of course, as to age—in the printed catalogue of the Corpus manuscripts:—"ccccxliv. A parchment book in 8vo., written in the xv. century, containing the history of Genesis and Exodus in Old English verse."


From lines 19-26 we might infer that our author intended to include in his song much more of the Bible narrative than we have in the present work.


Father, God of all things, Almighty Lord, highest of kings, Give thou me a propitious season (enable thou me successfully), to show this world's beginning, Thee, Lord God, to honour, whetherso I read or sing.


The following are the chief omissions:—1. Genesis, chapters ii. 10-14; ix. 20-27, x. 2-7, 10-32; xxiii. 3-20; xxx. 1-5, 14-16, 37-43; xxxi. 1-17; xxxvi.; xxxviii.; xlviii.; xlix. 1-27. 2. Exodus, chapters xii. 40-51; xiii. 1-16; xx. 20-26; xxi.; xxii.; xxiii.; xxv.; xxvi.; xxvii.; xxviii.; xxix.; xxx.; xxxi.; xxxiii. 12-23; xxxiv. 1-32; xxxv.; xxxvi.; xxxvii.; xxxviii.; xxxix.; xl.


Numbers, chapters xi.; xii.; xiii.; xiv.; xvi.; xvii.; xix.; xx.; xxi.; xxii.; xxiii.; xxiv.; xxv.; xxvi.; xxvii.; xxxi. Deut. xxxiv.


Natural marks?


MS. in-sile.


The Bestiary presents not only the same grammatical and verbal forms which distinguish the Genesis and Exodus from other Early English compositions, but also its orthographical peculiarities, e.g. ſ for sch; š for th; g for y and ȝ (gh), etc. The editor assigns this poem to the early part of the thirteenth century.


Warton assigned it to the reign of Henry II. or Richard I.; Sir F. Madden to the time of Henry III. (1216-1272).


Those employed (about fifty altogether) are more or less technical—aucter, auter, astronomige, arsmetrike, bigamie, bissop, crisme, charité, canticle, circumcis, corune, crune, desert, graunte, gruchede, holocaust, hostel, iurnee, iusted (allied), lecherie, lepre, mount, mester, meister, neve (nephew), offiz, pais, plente, pore, present, prest, pris, prisun, promissioun, prophet, roche, sacrede, scité (city), spirit, spices, suriurn (sojourn), swinacie (quinsy), serue, seruice, ydeles, ydolatrie.


Since writing the above I have printed for the Early English Text Society "Old English Homilies, 2nd Series," which are earlier than the Ormulum, and contain many East Midland peculiarities. "The Wooing of Our Lord" in Old English Homilies, 1st Series, contains some peculiarities of the West Midland dialect.


See Preface to O.E. Hom., 2nd Series.


It must be recollected that the Ormulum is much earlier than the Story of Genesis and Exodus.


See Ormulum, Introduction, p. lxxviii., note 105; lxxxi., note 112.


While agreeing with the editor of the Ormulum, that the simplicity of grammatical forms may fairly be considered as indicating a less artificial, and therefore advanced, stage of the language, I cannot adopt his theory, that "the strict rules of grammar" were therefore abandoned, and thereby was anticipated, to a certain extent, a later phraseology and structure; or that Orm, or any other O.E. writer, ever sacrificed "the more regular for a simpler, though more corrupt, structure and style." It must always be borne in mind that our earlier writers always speak of their language as English; but it was the English of the district in which they lived. In some districts, as in the Northumbrian, for instance, the language underwent certain changes at a very early period, which more Southern dialects did not adopt for more than a century afterwards: thus, in works of the 14th century, we find the Midland more archaic than the Northumbrian, and the Southern more archaic than either. Authors seeking to become popular would write in the dialect best understood by their readers, without considering whether it was simple or complex. Thus the Ayenbite of Inwyt (A.D. 1340), written for the men of Kent, contains far more of the older inflectional forms than the Ormulum of the twelfth century.


Southern writers before 1340 formed the g.s. of fem. nouns in -e and not in -es.


In the Southern dialect the article had separate forms for the nominative fem. (theo, tho), and neuter (thet, that); the fem. gen. sing. (thar, ther), and the masc. acc. (than, then).


See Ormulum, Introduction, p. lxxviii., note 105.


Sinden, are, occurs in the Ormulum and the Bestiary, but is not employed in the present poem.


These forms occur in O.E. Hom., 2nd Series.


In O.E. Hom., 2nd Series, we find hes = them. See Moral Ode, l. 186, O.E. Hom., 2nd Series: "wel diere he hes bohte."


Robt. of Gloucester, Shoreham, Dan. Michel's Ayenbite of Inwyt.


Deep he them buried under an oak.


For Solomon find them shall.


He took them.


All his footsteps after him he filleth, draweth dust with his tail where he steppeth, or dust or dew (moisture), that they are not able to find them.


I have in one case taken the liberty of separating the pronoun from the verb (for the convenience of the reader), giving the MS. reading in the margin; but I am sorry now that I did not let them stand as in the original copy.


Mes = me + es = one, them, occurs in O. E. Hom., 2nd Series.


All he them had (he had them all) with might begotten (obtained).


Undealt (undivided) he them laid, whereso he them brought.


The dove hath habits good,

All we them ought to have in mind

(i.e. we ought to have them all in mind).


Bilhah two children bore by him,

Rachel called them Dan, Naphtali;

And Zilpah two sons to him bore,

Leah called them Gad and Asher.


The tabernacle he put them in.


He set them in the firmament.


šei occurs once only in the present poem, žeȝȝr, žeȝȝm, not at all; it occurs twice in O.E. Hom., 2nd Series.


Philolog. Soc. Proceedings, vol. i. pp. 73, 261. Almigtin, almighty, p. 2, l. 30, is the only adjective I find with this termination.


The dative of the A.S. bóc was béc.


gebrošeren (A.S. brošru) occurs in the Semi-Sax. Gospels.


A.S. cealfru.














greiše (prepare), kipte (seized), lit (stain), liše (listen), mal (speech), witterlike (truly), are found in Southern English, and may be the remains of the Anglian element in the A.Saxon.


Those marked * thus constantly occur in Northumbrian and Midland works (with Northern peculiarities) of the 14th century.


fere occurs for feren, so senwe = sinews (A.S. sinu, sing., sina, pl.).


As a rule fem. nouns, and nouns of the n declension, take the inflexion -es; as, 'sinnes same' (sin's shame), 'sowles frame' (soul's profit), 'helles male' (hell's mail), 'werldes drof' (world's assembly). The Bestiary contains the following genitives in -e:—'nese smel' (O.E. Miscell., p. 1), 'welle grund' (Ib., p. 3), 'kirke dure' (Ib., p. 6), 'soule drink' (Ib., p. 7), 'soule spuse' (Ib., p. 23), 'helle pine' (Ib., p. 24).


The forms in -er, -est, are properly adverbial and not adjectival.


tigše = tithe, tenth, occurs in l. 895, and tigšes in l. 1628.


Orm uses the more Northern ȝho (Northumbrian sco).


get = she it: "al get bit otwinne," she biteth it all in two (Bestiary, O.E. Miscell., p. 9).


See p. xix.


šei occurs but once only.


O.E. Hom., 2nd Series.


See pp. xix, xx.


See Preface to O.E. Hom., 2nd Series.


If godes = god's, seiden (pl.) may be an error for seide (sing.), and hem will then = he + hem, he them.


Chaucer constantly uses men with a verb in the singular number, third person. See Notes and Queries for Feb. 8th, 1873, where I have shown that the West-Midland substituted men for the Southern me.


The genitive and possessive are denoted by one form; as, ure, of us; gure, of you; here, of them.


Because elided in these cases.


The Bestiary is far more accurate in this respect.


gangande rhymes with standen (O.E. Miscell., p. 21, ll. 654, 655).


This form is used when the pronoun follows.


Followed by the pronoun.


The second person of irregular verbs (pret.) does not occur in the poem. In the Ormulum the inflection is -e, which is occasionally dropped.


These forms do not occur in the poem.


Sinden = are, occurs in the Bestiary and the Ormulum. Sinde and senden in O.E. Hom., 2nd Series.



MAn og to luuen šat rimes ren,
še Wiſſeš wel še logede men,
hu man may him wel loken

Man ought to love those who instruct the lewd,
šog he ne be lered on no boken,
Luuen god and ſeruen him ay,
For he it hem wel gelden may,
And to alle criſtenei men
so that he who is not book-learned may love and serve God.
beren paiſ and luue bi-twen;
šan ſal him almightin luuen,
Her bi-nešen and šund[71] abuuen,
And giuen him bliſſe and ſoules reſte[n]
God shall love all Christian men, and give them soul-rest
šat him ſal earuermor[72] leſten.
that shall last evermore.
Ut of latin šis ſong is dragen
on engleis ſpeche, on ſoše ſagen;
Out of Latin is this song turned into English speech.
Cristene men ogen ben ſo fagen
ſo fueles arn quan he it ſen dagen,
šan man hem telled soše tale
Wid[73] londes ſpeche and wordes ſmale,
Christian men ought to be as glad as birds are of dawn to hear the story
Of bliſſes dune, of ſorwes dale;
Quhu lucifer, šat deuel dwale,
[Brogte mankinde in sinne and bale]
of man's bliss and sorrow,
And held hem ſperd in helles male
til god ſrid him in manliched,
dede mankinde bote and red,
and how salvation came through Christ,
And unſpered al še fendes ſped,
And halp šor he ſag mikel ned.
and destroyed the power of Satan.

read gund?


So in MS.


read wiš



Biddi[74] hic ſingen non ošer led,
šog[75] hic folgen idel-hed.
FAder god of alle šhinge,
Almigtin louerd, hegeſt kinge,
 [Fol. 1b.]
Father, God of all things,
šu giue me ſeli timinge
To thaunen šis werdes biginninge,
še, leuerd god, to wuršinge,
Quešer ſo hic rede or ſinge!
enable thou me to sing this world's creation,
Wit, and wisdam, and luue godd,
And fer ear bišohte al in his modd,
wrought with wit, wisdom, and good love.
In his wiſdom was al bišogt
Ear šanne it was on werlde brogt.
In firme bigini[n]g, of nogt
In the Creator's wisdom was all devised ere it came into being.
Was heuene and erše ſamen wrogt;
šo bad god wuršen ſtund and ſtede,
šis middes werld šor-inne[76] he dede,
Heaven and earth were wrought when God bad exist time and place.
Al was šat firme šroſing in nigt,
Til he wit hiſe word made ligt;
First all was night.
Of hiſe word, šu wiſſike mune,
Hiſe word, šat is, hiſe wiſe ſune,
še was of hin fer ear bi-foren
Light came by God's word, that is, His Son.
Or ani werldes time boren;
And of hem two šat leue luuen,
He existed long before time.
še welden al her and abuuen,
šat heli luue, ša[t] wiſe wil,
šat weldet alle šinge wit rigt and [ſ]kil;
These two rule all things with wisdom.
Migt bat wit word wuršen ligt,
(Hali froure welt oc šat migt;
In the Godhead there are three persons of one counsel and might.
for šhre perſones and on reed,
On migt and on godfulhed.)
 [Fol. 2.]
šo ſo wurš ligt ſo god it bad,
fro šiſterneſſe o ſunde[r] ſad;
Light came at the divine command.
šat waſ še firme morgen tid,
šat euere ſprong in werld[e] wid.
Then was the first morning time that ever sprang in the world.

read bidde


'may' is inserted between 'šog' and 'hic' in a later hand.


MS. īme.



wid šat ligt worn angles wrogt,
And in-to newe heuene brogt,
With that light were angels made,
šat iſ ouer dis[77] walkenes turn,
God hem quuad šor ſeli ſuriurn;
and brought into a new heaven.
Summe for pride fellen šešen,
In-to šis šhiſterneſſe her bi-nešen;
Some for pride fell thence into nether darkness.
Pride made angel deuel dwale,
šat made ilc ſorge, and euerilc bale,
And euerilc wunder, and euerilc wo,
šat iſ, or ſal ben euere mo.
Pride turned angels into devils, who became the source of every sorrow, bale, and woe.
He was mad on še ſunedai,
He fel out on še munendai;
(šis ik wort in ebriſſe wen,
He witen še ſoše šat iſ ſen.)
The devil was made on the Sunday and fell out on the Monday.
forš glod šat firme [dais] ligt,
And after glod šat firme nigt;
Forth glided the first light, and afterwards the first night.
še daigening cam eſt[78] a-gon,
The dawning came again.
His firme kinde dei was a-gon,
On walkenes turn wid dai and nigt
Of foure and twenti time rigt;
Thus in the welkin's course comes day and night "of twenty-four hours right."
šes frenkis men o france moal,
it nemnen "un iur natural;"
 [Fol. 2b.]
And euere gede še dai biforn,
ſišen šat newe werld was boren,
So ever came the day first,
Til ihesus criſt fro helle nam,
Hiſ quemed wid[79] eue and adam;
till Christ brought his saints from hell.
fro šat time we tellen ay,
Or še nigt and after še day,
From that time we ever reckon first the night and then the day.
for god ledde hem fro helle nigt
to paradises leue ligt;
šo gan hem dagen wel iwiſſe,
Quan god hem ledde in-to bliſſe.
For God led them from Hell's might into Paradise's bright light.
On an ošer dai šiſ middel-erd,
waſ al luken and a-buten ſperd;
šo god bad ben še firmament,
Al abuten šis walkne ſent,
On the second day the earth was enclosed by the firmament,

read šis


read eft


read wiš



Of watres froren, of yſeſ wal,
šis middel werld it luket al;—
by frozen waters and wall of ice.
May no fir get melten šat yſ;
He še it made iſ migtful and wis,—
No fire has ever yet melted this ice.
It mai ben hoten heuene-Rof;
It hiled[80] al šis werldes drof,
And fier, and walkne, and water, and lond,
Al iſ bi-luken in godes hond,
This enclosure may be called Heaven-roof.
Til domeſ-dai ne ſal it troken.
Al middel-erd šer-inne is loken,
It shall last until Doomsday.
watres ben her šer-under ſuuen,
And watres šor a-buuen;
 [Fol. 3.]
And ouer šat ſo ful i-wis,
An ošer heuene ful o blis,
And ful o lif še leſted oo,
wo may him ben še fel šor-fro.
Above this is another heaven full of bliss and life.
Forš glod šis ošer daiſ nigt,
šo cam še šridde dais ligt:
Thus passed this second day's night.
še šridde dai, ſo god it bad,
Then came the third day's light.
was water and erše o ſunder ſad;
God bi-quuad watres here ſtede,
Water and earth became separated.
And erše brimen and beren dede;
Ilk gres, ilc wurt, ilc biršheltre,
Hiſ owen ſed beren bad he;
The earth did bring forth grass, herb, and fruit tree.
Of euerilc ougt, of euerilc ſed,
Waſ erše mad moder of ſped.
še šridde dai was al šis wrogt,
And eršes fodme on werldes brogt;
An euerilc fodme his kinde quuemešen.
Thus was earth made mother of wealth.
šo was it her fair bi-nešen,
Then was all fair here below.
God ſag his ſafte fair and good,
And bliſcede it wid[81] milde mood.
God saw that it was so, and blessed it.
Forš glod šis šridde daiſ nigt,
šo cam še ferše daiſ ligt.
še ferše dai made migt
Sunne, and mone, and ilc ſterre brigt,
Then came the fourth day's light, and Might made the sun and moon and each bright star.

read hileš


read wiš



walknes wuršinge, and erdes frame,
He knowned[82] one ilc ſterre name,
 [Fol. 3b.]
He ſettes in še firmament,
God set them in the firmament.
Al abuten šis walkne went;
še ſeuene he bad on fligte faren,
He let them be
And toknes ben, and times garen.
for signs and for seasons.
Sunne and mone še moſte ben
Of alle še toknes šat men her ſen;
Sun and moon are the greatest of all these tokens.
še mone iſ more bi mannes tale,
šan al šis erše in werldes dale;
The moon is greater than the earth.
And egeſt ſwilc še ſunnes brigt,
Iſ more šanne še mones ligt.
The sun's brightness is greater than the moon's light.
še mones ligt is moneš met,
šor-after iſ še ſunne ſet;
The moon's light is the measure of a month.
In geuelengšhe worn it mad,
In Reke-fille, on ſunder ſhad;
In the equinox was it made.
Two geuelengšhes timen her,
And two ſolſtices in še ger.
Two equinoxes and two solstices are in the year.
On four doles delen he
še ger, ilc dole of moneš šhre;
Euere ſchinen šo toknes brigt,
And often giuen iſ on erše ligt;
wel wurše his migt lefful ay,
še wroutis on še ferše day!
Forš glod šis ferše daiſ nigt,
šo cam še fifte dais ligt;
In four parts the year is divided, each part being of three months.
še fifte day god made ywis
of water, ilc fuel and eruerilc[83] fiſ,
And tagte fuel on walkene his fligt,
Ilc fiſ on water his flotes migt,
On the fifth day, God made of water each fowl and fish,
 [Fol. 4.]
And bliſced hem, and bad hem šen
And tuderande on werld[e] ben.
and bad them multiply.
Šiſ fifte dai held forš his fligt,
And forš endede šat fifte nigt;
This fifth day took its flight,
And [cam] še ſexte dais ligt,
So made god wid[84] witter migt,
and on the sixth day God made all cattle, reptiles, and wild deer (beasts).

read knoweš


So in MS.


read wiš



Al erue, and wrim, and wilde der,
Qwel[85] man mai ſen on werlde her.
God ſag bi-fore quat after cam,
šat ſingen ſulde firme adam,
And him to fremen and do[86] frame,
God knew that Adam would sin,
He made on werlde al erue tame,
še ſulde him her, in ſwinkes ſtrif,
to fode, and ſrud, to helpen še lif;
And him to pine, and loar her,
so He made tame cattle to help him in his labour and to give him food and clothing.
God made wirme and wilde der.
He pine man wid[87] ſorwe and dred,
And don hem[88] monen hiſ ſinfulhed,
šat iſ him loar quan he ſeš,
šan he for ſinne in ſorwe beš.
God made the wild deer to trouble man with sorrow and dread and cause him to moan his sinfulness.
Ilk kinnes erf, and wrim, and der
Was mad of erše on werlde her,
Each kind of cattle, reptile, and beast was made of earth.
And euerilc on in kinde good,
šor quiles adam fro ſinne ſtod;
 [Fol. 4b.]
All were good while Adam was pure.
Oc der and wrim it deren man
fro šan šat he ſingen bi-gan;
In še moſte and in še leſte he forleſ
Hiſ louerd-hed[89] quuanne he miſ-cheſ;
But reptiles and wild beasts hurt man as soon as he became sinful.
Leunes and beres him wile to-dragen,
Lions and bears tear him in pieces.
And fleges ſen on him non agen;
Hadde he wel loked him wiš ſkil,
Ilc beſte ſulde don hiſ wil;
Flies have no awe of him.
Erf helpeš him šurg godes meš,
Hiſ lordehed[90] šor-onne he ſeš.
And for hiſe ſinne oc he to munen,
šat moſte and leiſte him ben binumen.
Cattle help him through God's mercy.
Šiſ ſexte dai god made Adam,
And his licham of erše he nam,
On this sixth day God made Adam of earth,
And blew šor-in a liues blaſt,
and blew into his body a "life's blast,"
A likneſſe of his hali gaſt,
"a likeness of His Holy Ghost,





read wiš




louerd-hel in MS.


read louerd-hed



A ſpirit ful of wit and ſckil;
šor quiles it folgede heli wil,
God ſelf šor quile liket iſ,
An un-liſ quuanne it wile miſ.
a spirit full of wit and skill."
[I]N feld damaske adam was mad,
And šešen fer on londe ſad;
In Damascus field Adam was made.
God bar him in-to paradiſ,
An erd al ful of ſwete bliſ;
God bore him into Paradise, an abode full of sweet bliss.
fol wel he wid[91] him šor dede,
 [Fol. 5.]
bi-tagte him al šat mirie ſtede;
Oc an bodeword šer he him forbed,
if he wulde him ſilden fro še ded,
He intrusted to him all that pleasant place.
šat he ſulde him šer loken fro
A fruit, še kenned wel and wo,
But forbad him to touch the fruit which taught "weal and woe."
And hiegt him ded he ſulde ben
If he šat bode-word ne gunne flen.
Dead should he be if he broke this command.
God brogt adam šor bi-forn
Ilc kinnes beſte of erše boren,
and fugel, an fiſ, wilde and tame,
God brought all beasts of the earth, fowl, and fish unto Adam,
šor gaf adam ilc here iſ name;
Ne was šor non lik adam.
who gave to each a name.
God dede dat[92] he on ſweuene cam,
And in šat ſweuene he let him ſen
Mikel šat after ſulde ben.
God caused a sleep to come upon Adam, and in that sleep he saw much that should hereafter be.
Ut of his ſide he toc a rib,
And made a wimman him ful ſib,
And heled him šat ſide wel
šat it ne wrocte him neuere a del.
Out of his side God took a rib, and out of it made a woman.
Adam abraid, and ſag šat wif,
Name he gaf hire dat[93] iſ ful Rif;
Adam awoke and saw his wife.
Iſſa waſ hire firſte name,
šor-of šurte hire šinken no ſame;
Issa was her first name,
Mayden, for ſche was mad of man,
Hire firſt name šor bi-gan;
because she was made of man.
Sišen ghe brocte us to woa,
Adam gaf hire name eua.
After she brought us to woe Adam called her Eva.
 [Fol. 5b.]

read wiš


read šat


read šat



Adden he folged godes red,
Al man-kin adde ſeli ſped;
for ſinne he šat bliſſe for-loren,
šat derede al šat of hem was boren;
It is her-after in še ſong,
Hu adam fel in pine ſtrong.
For sin they lost the bliss of Paradise.
Forš glod šiſ ſexte dais lig[t],
After glod še ſexte nig[t];
The sixth day passed and
še ſeuendai morgen ſpro[n]g,
šat dai tokenede reſte long;
šis dai waſ forš in reſte wrogt,
Ilc kinde newes ear waſ brog[t];
the seventh morning sprung. That day betokened long rest.
God ſette šis dai folk bitwen,
Dai of bliſſe and off reſte ben,
for šat time ear fear bi-forn,
God ordained this day a day of bliss and rest.
Til ihesus was on werlde boren,
And til he was on še rode-wold,
And biried in še roche cold.
And reſtede him after še ded,
šat ilke dai god aligen bed.
So it remained until Christ rose from the cold rock.
Sišen for-leſ šat dai iſ priſ,
for ihesus,[94] god and man ſo wis,
Roſ fro ded on še ſunenday,
Then the Sunday from that time forth became hallowed for ever.
šat is forš ſišen woršed ay;
 [Fol. 6.]
And it ſal ben še laſte tid,
Quan al man-kinde, on werlde wid,
Sal ben fro dede to liue brogt,
And ſeli ſad fro še forwrogt,
An ben don in bliſſe and in lif,
fro ſwinc, and ſorwe, and deades ſtrif.
So shall it remain until Doomsday.
Wiſdom še made ilc šing of nogt,
quuat-ſo-euere on heuone or her iſ wrogt.
Wisdom made each thing of nought.
Ligber he ſridde a dere ſrud,
An he wurše in him-ſeluen prud,
Lucifer waxed proud,
An wid šat pride him wex a nyš,
šat iwel weldeš al his ſiš;
and with that pride came envy.

MS. ihc.



šo ne migte he non louerd šhauen,
šat him ſulde šhinge grauen:[95]
"Min fligt," he ſeide, "ic wile up-taken,
"My flight," he says, "I will up take,
Min ſete norš on heuene maken,
And šor ic wile ſitten and ſen
Al še šhinges še in wer[l]de ben,
Twen heuone hil and helle dik,
And ben min louerd geuelic."
and make my seat north of heaven, and therein will I sit and see all things.
šo wurš he drake šat ear was knigt,
šo wurš he mirc šat ear was ligt,
Then became he dragon that ere was knight;
And euerilc on šat helden wid[96] him,
šo wuršen mirc, and ſwart, and dim,
all that held with him became dark, dim, and black,
And fellen ut of heuones ligt
In-to šis middil walknes nigt;
and fell out of heaven's light.
And get ne kuše he nogt blinne
for to don an ošer ſinne.
 [Fol. 6b.]
Yet would Satan not cease to commit sin.
Eſten[97] he ſag in paradiſ
Adam and eue in mike[l] priſ,
Newelike he was of erše wrogt,
And to šat mirie bliſſe brogt;
He saw Adam and Eve in Paradise in great bliss and honour.
šowgte šis quead, "hu ma it ben,
Adam ben king and eue quuen
Of alle še šinge in werlde ben.
Hu mai it hauen, hu mai it ſen,
Of fiſ, of fugel, of wrim, of der,
Of alle šhinge še wunen her,
Euerilc šhing haued he geue name,
How may it be, thought he, that Adam is king and Eve queen of all things in the world,
Me to ſorge, ſcaše, and ſame;
for adam ſul šus and his wif
In bliſſe šus leden leſteful lif;
for alle šo, še of hem ſule cumen,
while I am in sorrow, scathe, and shame.
ſulen ermor in bliſſe wunen,
And we še ben fro heuene driuen,
Evermore shall they remain in bliss,
ſulen šuſſe one in ſorwe liuen;
Get ic wene I can a red,
šat hem ſal bringen iwel ſped;
while we must live in sorrow. Yet I think I know of a plan to bring them into sin.

read žrauen?


read wiš


read eften



for gef he don šad[98] god for-bead,
šat ſal hem bringen to šo dead,
For if they do what God forbiddeth they shall die.
And ſal get šis ilke dai,
šor buten hunte if ic mai
This I will without delay bring about to-day.
Ic wene šat ic and eue hiſe wif
ſulen adam bilirten of hiſe lif.
Ic wene šat ic and eue
ſulen alle is bliſſe dreue."
 [Fol. 7.]
I think that Eve and I shall deprive Adam of his life."
Šus he šhogte, and up he ſteg,
And eſten[99] til dat[100] erš he teg,
Thus he thought, and up he went, and to the earth he came.
Wente in to a wirme, and tolde eue a tale;
And ſenkede hire hure aldre bale.
He went into a "worm" and told Eve a tale.
"Eue," ſeide he, šat neddre bold,
"Quat oget nu šat for-bode o-wold,
šat a tre gu forboden is,
"Eve," he said, "what meaneth it that a tree is forbidden you,
šat ouer alle ošre bered pris?
for iſ fruit ſired mannes mood,
a tree that surpasses all others,
To witen bošen iwel and good,
Sone ge it šor-of hauen eten,
Al ge it ſulen witent[101] and nogt forgeten,
which shall teach you evil and good,
And ben ſo wiſe alle euene
So šo še wunen a-buuen in heuone."
and make you as wise as those who dwell above in heaven?"
Šanne šogte eue on hire mod,
šanne iſ tiſ fruit wel ſwiše good,
fair on ſigšhe and ſofte on hond,
Of šiſ fruit wile ic hauen fond.
When Eve saw that it was fair to the sight and soft to the hand,
Sum ghe šer at, and ſum ghe nam,
And bar it to her fere adam;
So manie times ghe him ſcrošt,
she ate thereof, and took some and brought it to Adam.
Quešer so him was lef or lošt,
for to foršen iſ fendes wil,
 [Fol. 7b.]
At he dat[100] fruit, and dede unskil;
Sone it was under breſt numen;
He ate that fruit and did foolishly.
Dedes two bondes on hem ben comen;
Then death's two bonds came upon them.

read šat


read eften


read šat





Vn-buxumhed he hauen hem don,
Vn-buxumhed iſ hem cumen on;
Vn-welde woren and in win,
Here owen limes hem wiš-in.
Weakness and sorrow troubled their limbs.
fleſſes fremeše and ſafte ſame
bošen he felten on here lichame;
šo gunen he ſame ſriden,
They were ashamed of their nakedness,
And limes in leues hiden.
Nu wot adam ſum-del o wo,
Her-after ſal he leren mo.
and shrouded themselves in leaves.
After šiſ dede a ſteuone cam,
"šu, nu, quor art, adam, adam?"
"Louerd, quat ſame iſ me bi-tid,
for ic am naked and haue me hid?"
"Quo ſeide še dat gu[102] wer[e] naked;
šu haues še ſorges ſigšhe waked,
After this deed a voice came, saying, "Where art thou, Adam?" Quoth Adam, "I am naked, and hid myself."
for šhu min bode-word haues broken,
šhu ſalt ben ut in ſorge luken,
Then said God, "Because thou hast broken my command,
In ſwinc šu ſalt tilen ši mete[n],
šin bred wid ſwotes teres eten,
thou shalt till thy meat with toil, and eat thy bread with sweat and tears,
Til gu[102] beas eft in to erše cumen,
Quer-of gu[102] beaſ to manne numen;
until thou come again to the earth.
And wif ſal under were wunen,
In heuerilc biršhe ſorge numen;
 [Fol. 8]
Woman shall be under man, and have sorrow in every birth.
And nišful neddre, loš an lišer,
ſal gliden on hiſe breſt nešer
And erše freten wile he mai liuen,
The adder shall glide on his breast and eat earth.
And atter on is tunge cliuen;
Poison shall cleave to his tongue.
And niš, and ſtrif, and ate, and ſan,
Sal ben bi-twen neddre and wimman;
And get ſal wimman ouercumen,
His heued under fote bi-numen."
Envy, strife, hate, and shame shall be between the adder and the woman."
Two pilches weren šurg engeles wrogt,
And to adam and to eue brogt,
Two pilches the angels wrought for Adam and Eve,
šor-wiš he ben nu bošen ſrid,
And here ſame ſumdel is hid.
so that their shame might be hid.

read šu?



He ben don ut of paradiſ,
šat erd al ful of ſwete bliſ;
He ben don ut of bliſſes erd,
They were turned out of Paradise.
Cherubin hauet še gateſ ſperd;
Cherubim closed the gates.
Ne ſulen it neuere ben un-don,
Til ihesus beš on Rode don;
Ne ſulen it neuermore ben opened,
Til ihesus beš on rode dead.
Never shall they be undone till Christ is crucified.
Iff mikel is ſorge, and more care,
Adam and eue it wite ful gare;
Of paradiſ hem šinkeš ſwem,
Thus Adam and Eve became acquainted with sorrow and care.
Of iwel and dead hem ſtondeš greim.
On ſundri šhenken he to ben,
And neišere on ošer ſen,
Til angel brogte adam bode,
 [Fol. 8b.]
Evil and death troubled them. They thought that they must never look upon one another.
bodeword and tiding fro gode:—
Message came from God,
"Adam, šhu knowe eue šin wif,
And leded ſamen gunker lif;
"Adam, know Eve, thy wife, and live together.
Summe ſulen of gu to kumen,
Sulen ben in to reſte numen;
Summe ſulen folwen fendes red,
And ben in ſorwe after še dead;
And get ſal godeſ dere ſune
Some that shall be born of you shall come to bliss, others shall be in sorrow after their death.
In gure kin in werlde wunen,
And he ſal bringen man a-gen
In paradiſ to wunen and ben."
God's dear Son shall bring man again into Paradise."
Swilc tiding šhugte adam god,
And ſumdel quemeš it his ſeri mood.
Šiſ angel is to heuone numen,
These tidings partly softened Adam's sorry mood.
And adam iſ to eue cumen,
More for erneſte dan[103] for gamen;
Adam and eue wunen ſamen,
Adam and Eve lived together.
And hadden childre manige i-wiſ,
Mo šan of telleš de geneſis;
Children had they, many more than Genesis tells of.
for fiftene ger hadde adam,
šan caim of eue cam,
After fifteen years Cain was born,

read šan



And ošer fiftene al-ſwilc ſel,
Quane eue bar rigt-wiſe abel.[104]
and afterwards Eve bore righteous Abel.
Abel an hundred ger waſ hold,
šan he was of iſ brošer wold;
An hundred ger after iſ dead,
 [Fol. 9.]
Abel was a hundred years old when he was slain by his brother.
Adam fro eue in ſrifte abead.
To hundred ger and .xxx.ti mo
was adam hold and eue šo,
After this Adam from Eve in shrift abode one hundred years.
šan bor ghe ſeht in še ſtede
Of caym šat abel for-dede;
Or or midleſt, or after šo
Bar eue of adam manige moo.
Seth was born when Adam was 230 years old.
Šor quiles šat adam ſorge dreg
for abel, caym fro him fleg,
wiš wif and hagte, and wurš ut-lage,
wiš dead him ſtood hinke and age.
Cain fled from his home and became an outlaw.
He ches a ſtede toward eden,
And to him[105] ſameden ošer men,
He chose an abode near Eden.
wallede a burg, e-no bi name;
He built a city, Enoch by name.
šeft and reflac šhugte him no ſame,
for šat he made him manige fon,
šor he šhogte he ſtonden agon.
Theft and robbery was no sin to him; many foes he made.
Met of corn, and wigte of fe,
And merke of felde, first fond he.
Tellen ic wile ſo birše bad,
Adam, caym, enos, iraab,
Malaleel, matusale;
Lamech is at še sexte kne,
Measure of corn, weight of goods, division of land, taught he first.
še ſeuende man after adam,
šat of caymes kinde cam.
šiſ lamech waſ še firme man,
 [Fol. 9b.]
The seventh man after Adam, of Cain's kind, was Lamech.
še bigamie firſt bi-gan.
Bigamie is unkinde šing,
On engleis tale, twie-wifing;
He first began bigamy.

At the bottom of fol. 8b is the catchword—Abel a hundred.


him is by a later hand.



for ai was rigt and kire bi-forn,
On man, on wiſ, til he was boren.
Lamech him two wifes nam,
On adda, an nošer wif ſellam.
Two wives he took—Adah and Zillah.
Adda bar him ſune Iobal,
Adah bare Jabal.
He was hirde wittere and wal;
Of merke, and kinde, and helde, & ble,
He was a cunning shepherd.
ſundring and ſameni[n]g tagte he;
He taught separation and assembling.
Iobal iſ brošer ſong and glew,
Wit of muſike, wel he knew;
Jubal, his brother, wise in song and glee,
On two tableſ of tigel and braſ
wrot he šat wiſtom, wiſ he was,
šat it ne ſulde ben undon
If fier or water come šor-on.
wrote on tile and brass.
Sella wuneš oc lamech wiš,
ghe bar tubal, a ſellic ſmiš;
Zillah bare Tubal, a mighty smith.
Of irin, of golde, ſiluer, and bras
To ſundren and mengen wiſ he was;
Iron, gold, silver, and brass he well knew how to separate and to mix.
Wopen of wigte and tol of griš,
wel cuše [106]egte and ſafgte[106] wiš.
He was skilled in making weapons of war and household tools.
Lamech ledde long lif til šan
 [Fol. 10.]
šat he wurš biſne, and haued a man
šat ledde him ofte wudes ner,
To ſcheten after še wilde der;
Al-so he miſtagte, alſo he ſchet,
And caim in še wude iſ let;
Lamech at last became blind. He had a man to lead him to the woods in search of wild deer.
His knape wende it were a der,
An lamech droge iſ arwe ner,
The knave mistook Cain for a deer.
And letet flegen of še ſtreng,
Caim unwarde it under-feng,
Lamech let fly an arrow,
Gruſnede, and ſtrekede, and ſtarf wiš-šan.
Lamech wiš wreše iſ knape nam,
which struck Cain and killed him.
Vn-bente iſ boge, and bet, and slog,
Til he fel dun on dedeſ ſwog.
Lamech beat and slew his servant.
Twin-wifing ant twin-manſlagt
Of his ſoule beš mikel hagt.
Thus was he guilty of twi-wiving and twin-slaughter.

read fegte and sagte?



Of hiſe endinge ne wot ic nogt,
oc of iſ kinde woren brogt
Of his death we know nothing.
On werlde ſeue and ſeuenti šhuſant men,
Or or flum noe ſpredde hiſ fen;
Quešer ſo it šhogte hem iuel or good,
Alle he drinkilden in šat flood.
His descendants were all destroyed by Noah's flood.
Of ſeth, še waſ adam-iſ ſune,
cam enos; he gan ali wune
Of bedes, and of godefrigtihed,
for liues helpe and ſoules red.
Of Seth came Enos, who was prayerful and God-fearing.
Ic wile rigt tellen, if ic can,
 [Fol. 10b.]
Adam, ſeth, enos, caynan,
Malaleel, iareth, enoch,
for alied[107] god ſelf him toch
fro mannes mene in to šat ſtede
šat adam forles for iuel dede;
God took Enoch to Himself,
get liueš enoch wiš-vten ſtrif,
In paradiſ in ſwete lif;
to dwell with Him in Paradise.
Get he ſal cumen or domeſ-day,
And wenden iewes, if he may,
To še witteneſſe of ieſus criſt,
And tholen dead vnder antecrist;
Sišen ſal antecriſt ben ſlagen,
And man and angeles wuršen fagen.
chirches ben wurſiped mor and mor,
And fendes dregen ſorge and ſor.
Enoch shall come before Doomsday to turn the Jews to Christ.
Or enoch wente [fro] werldes wune,
Matuſale waſ boren iſ ſune,
Before Enoch went from the world Methuselah was born.
And lamech of matuſale,
Lamech came of Methuselah.
And of lamech rigt-wiſe noe.
Lamech begat Noah.
Metodius, ali martyr,
Adde in his herte ſighe[108] ſir;
Alſo he god adde ofte bi-ſogte,
Wiſlike was him in herte brogt
šis midelerdes biginning,
And middel-hed, and iſ ending;
Methodius, holy martyr, knew much of this world's beginning, middle, and ending.

read halihed


read sigšhe



He wrot a boc dat manige witen,
Manige tiding šor-on iſ writen;
šor iſ writen quat agte awold,
dat[109] šiſ werld waſ water wold.
Fif hundred ger of šat šuſent
šat mankin was on werlde ſent,
 [Fol. 11.]
He wrote a book, well known to many.
Caymes ſunes wrogten vn-lage,
Wiš brešere wifes hore-plage;
And on še ſexte hundred ger
Cain's kind wrought against law.
Wimmen welten wereſ meſter,
And ſwilc woded wenten[110] on,
Golhed hunkinde he gunnen don;
And še fifte hundred ger,
Women waxed evil, unchaste, and unnatural.
wapmen bi-gunnen quad meſter,
bi-twen hem-ſeluen hun-wreſte plage,
A šefis kinde, a-genes lage.
Two hundred ger after šo wunes,
Men began to addict themselves to wretched practices.
Mis-wiuen hem gunnen ſešes ſunes,
Agenes šat adam for-bead,
And leten godeſ frigti-hed;
Seth's sons made marriages contrary to Adam's commands.
He choſen hem wiwes of caym,
And mengten wiš waried kin;
Of hem woren še getenes boren,
They chose wives of Cain's seed, and mixed with the accursed kind.
Migti men, and figti, [and] for-loren;
He wrogten manige [sinne] and bale,
Of šat migt [nu] is litel tale;
Of them were giants born who wrought many evils.
for šat he god ne luueden nogt,
šat migt iſ al to ſorge brogt;
 [Fol. 11b.]
for ſwilc ſinful dedes ſake,
ſo cam on werlde wreche and wrake
for to bliſſen ſwilc ſinnes ſame,
šat it ne wexe at more hun-frame.
For their great sin there came wrath and vengeance upon the world.
Šo wex a flod šis werlde wid-hin,
and [o]uer-flowged men & deres kin,
A flood drowned man and beast.
wiš-vten noe and hise šre ſunen,
Sem, Cam, Iaphet, if we rigt munen,
Noah and his family were saved in an ark.

read šat


wentem MS.



And here foure wifes woren hem wiš;
šise .viij. hadden in še arche griš.[111]
Šat arche was a feteles good,
ſet and limed a-gen še flood;
The ark was a good vessel.
šhre hundred elne waſ it long,
Naild and ſperd, šig and ſtrong,
Three hundred ells was it long,
And .l.ti elne wid, and .xxx.ti heg;
šor buten noe (.) long ſwing he dreg,
fifty wide, and thirty high.
An hundred winter, euerilc del,
welken or it was ended wel;
Of alle der še on werlde wunen,
And foueles weren šer-inne cumen
A hundred winters was Noah in building it.
Bi ſeuene and ſeuene, or bi two & two,
Al-migtin god him bad it ſo,
And mete quorbi šei migten liuen,
šor quiles he woren on water driuen.
Clean animals entered the ark by seven and seven, unclean by two and two.
Sexe hundred ger noe was hold
Quan he dede him in še arche-wold;
Two šhuſant ger, ſex hundred mo,
And ſex and fifti forš to šo,
weren of werldes elde numen
šan noe waſ in to še arche cumen.
 [Fol. 12.]
Six hundred years old was Noah when he entered the ark.
Ilc watereſ ſpringe here ſtrengše undede,
And Reyn gette dun on euerilk ſtede
fowerti daiſ and fowerti nigt,
So wex water wiš magti migt;
So wunderlike it wex & get
The water springs undid their strength. Rain poured down on every place.
šat fiftene elne it ouer-flet,
Ouer ilk dune, and ouer ilc hil,
šhurge godes migt and godes wil;
And ošer fowerti šore-to,
Daiſ and nigtes ſtodet ſo;
Fifteen ells it overflowed, over every hill and vale.
šo waſ ilc fleiſ on wer[l]de ſlagen,
šo gunnen še wateres hem wiš-dragen.
Then was all flesh destroyed.

At the end of the line in the margin 'Se archa Nœe.'



Še ſeuend moned[112] waſ in cumen,
And ſeuene and .xx.ti dais numen,
IN armenie šat arche ſtod,
šo waſ wiš-dragen šat ilc flod.
In the seventh month and the twenty-seventh day the ark stood in Armenia.
Šo še tende moned[112] cam in,
So wurš dragen še watreſ win;
Dunes wexen, še flod wiš-drog,
It adde leſted longe a-nog
When the tenth month came the waters withdrew.
Fowerti daiſ after šiſ,
Arches windoge undon it iſ,
še Rauen ut-fleg, hu ſo it gan ben,
Ne cam he nogt to še arche a-gen;
 [Fol. 12b.]
Forty days after this the ark's window is undone, the raven out flew, and came not again to the ark.
še duue fond no clene ſtede,
And wente a-gen and wel it dede;
The dove found no clean place, and came again to the ark.
še ſeuendai eſt ut it tog,
And brogt a grene oliues bog;
Seue nigt ſišen euerilc on
After seven days the dove left the ark and returned with an olive bough.
He is let ut flegen, crepen, and gon,
wiš-uten ilc ſeuend clene der
še he ſacrede on an aucter.
Sex hundred ger and on dan[113] olde
Seven nights after all are let out of the ark.
Noe ſag ut of še arche-wolde;
še firſt moned[112] and te firſt dai,
He ſag erše drie & te water awai;
get he waſ wiſ and nogt to rad,
Noah looked out of the ark and saw that the earth was dry.
Gede he nogt ut, til god him bad.
Še tošer moneš was in cumen,
And ſeuene and twenti dais numen,
šo herde Noe wol bliše bode
Yet went he not out till he was bidden by God.
Of a ſteuene, še cam fro gode;
He and hiſe wif wenten ut fre,
Hiſe ſunes and here wifes šre;
At God's command he and his family left the ark.
He made an aucter on godeſ name,
And ſacrede he šor-on, for ſowleſ frame,
Noah made an altar and sacrificed thereon.
Ilc ſeuende der of clene kin,
še waſ holden in arche wiš-hin,
 [Fol. 13.]
The seventh deer was offered up,

read moneš


read šan



And leten še ošre to liue gon,
of hem ben tudered manigon.
the others were allowed to escape alive.
Often he [bad] wid[114] frigti bede,
šat ſwiulc wreche ſo god šo dede
Ne ſulde more on werlde cumen,
Quat wreche ſo šor wurše numen.
Noah besought God that he would no more send such destruction upon mankind.
God gat it a token of luuen,
Taunede him in še wa[l]kene a-buuen
God granted his request, and shewed him the rain-bow as a token of His love.
Rein-bowe, men cleped[115] reed and blo;
The rain-bow is called red and blue.
še blo tokeneš de[116] wateres wo,
šat iſ wiš-uten and is gon;
The blue denotes the water that drowned all flesh.
še rede wid-innen[117] toknet on
wreche šat ſal get wuršen ſent,
wan al šis werld wurše brent;
And al-ſo hege še lowe ſal gon,
So še flod flet de dunes on;
fowerti ger or domeſ-dai,
šiſ token no man ne ſen mai.
The red betokeneth the destruction of the world by fire.
Of[118] noe ſišen an iſ šre ſunen,
ben boren alle še in werlde wunen,
From Noah and his three sons all mankind have come.
And or he waſ on werlde led,
His kinde waſ wel wide ſpred;
Al it iſ writen ic tellen mai
Of his kin bi hiſ liue dai;
Before his death his family were widely spread.
vten childre and vten wimmen,
wel fowre and .xx. šhuſent men
woren ſtalwurši boren bi tale,
wiš-uten wif-kin and childre ſmale;
.ix. hundred ger and fifti told,
or or he ſtarf, noe waſ old.
 [Fol. 13b.]
They numbered, excluding women and children, 24,000 stalworth men.
Nembrot gat hiſe feres red,
for šat he hadde of water dred,
To maken a tur, wel heg & ſtrong,
Of tigel and ter, for water-gong;
Nimrod had dread of water, so he advised his followers to make a tower high and strong.
Twelwe and ſexti men woren šor-to,
Seventy-two men were employed about it.

read wiš


read clepeš


read še


read wiš-innen.


Oſ MS.



Meiſter men for to maken it ſo.
Al waſ on ſpeche šor bi-foren,
All spoke one speech before.
šor woren ſundri ſpeches boren;
šo wuršen he frigti and a-griſen,
for dor[119] waſ ſundri ſpecheſ riſen,
Now sundry tongues arose and sorely terrified the workmen.
Sexti lond-ſpeches and .xii. mo,
weren delt šane in werlde šo.
Seventy-two land-speeches were then spoken.
Babel, šat tur, bi-lef un-mad,
That tower was called Babel.
šat folc iſ wide on lon[de] ſad;
Nembrot nam wiš ſtrengšhe šat lond,
And helde še tur o babel in hiſ hond.
The folk became scattered afar upon the earth.
Beluſ king waſ nembrot ſune,
Nilus hiſ ſune gan ille wune;
Belus wurš dead, and nilus king
Made likeneſſe, for muni[gin]g[120]
Belus was Nimrod's son, and after him reigned Nilus, who set up an image in remembrance of his father.
After hiſ fader, and he ſo dede,
He it ſetten on an mirie ſtede;
 [Fol. 14.]
Euerilc man he gaf lif and friš
šat to šat likeneſſe ſogte griš;
for šat friš šat hem [gaf] še king,
He boren šat likneſſe wuršing,
Nilus rewarded all that honoured this likeness.
Calden it bel, after belum;
After šis cam ſwilc ošer ſum,
They called it Bel, after Belum.
Manie man, iſ frend for to munen,
Made likneſſe after še wunen,
Many made likenesses of their friends.
Bel was še firſte, and after him
Sum higte beland, ſum balim,
And ſum bel, and ſum bal;
fendes fleišing wex wiš-al,
To wenden men fro godes reed,
To newe luue and to newe dred;
Bel was the first, and hence the names Bal or Balim.
Ydolatrie šuſ waſ boren,
for quuam mani man iſ for-loren.
Of ſem, and of še folc še of him cam,
luue and dred under gode nam;
Of šis kinge wil we leden ſong,
Thus was idolatry introduced, by which many are destroyed.

read šor


see l. 1623



Cristes helpe be us amonge!
Noe, ſem, arfaxath, ſale,
Heber, phaleth, še ſexte iſ he,
Reu, ſaruch, nacor, thare,
šiſ iſ še tende fro noe.
The family of Shem.
Šis ošer werldes elde iſ ſo,
A šhuſent ger ſeuenti and two.
 [Fol. 14b.]
še šridde werldeſ elde cam,
Quanne thare bi-gat abram;
for he bi-gat a ſune aram,
Nachor midleſt, laſt abram;
The third age of the world began when Terah begat Abram.
Aram bi-gat loth, and ſarray,
And melcham, and waſ ſort leui
Haran begat Lot and Sarai and Milcah.
In lond caldea, hur hicte še tun,
Quor deades ſtrenge warp him dun;
They dwelt in Ur of the Chaldees.
šor fader, and brešere, and childre, and wif,
Him bi-ſtoden wiš ſorwes ſtrif;
šo šogte thare on hiſ mod,
Much strife was there between father and brother, children and wife.
long bigging iſ here nogt god.
Nachor he gaf wif melcam,
And trewe ſarray abram.
Terah did not care to remain long in this town.
Quanne abram wurš wiſ and war
šat ſarray non childre ne bar,
He toc him loth on ſunes ſtede;
He waſ hiſe neve, wol wel he dede.
Abram having no children adopted Lot as his son.
Thare let hur, and šešen he nam,
And wulde to lond canahan,
Cam into a burgt[121] šat het aram,
In londe meſopothaniam.
Terah left Ur and came to Haran in Mesopotamia.
Wiš him ledde he nachor, melcam,
Sarray, loth, and abram.
With him he took his sons and daughters.
Tho[122] hundred ger and fifue mo,
 [Fol. 15.]
Thare waſ old, ſtarf he šo.
Tereſ gliden for herteſ ſor
fro loth, and abram, and nachor;
Terah died when he was two hundred and five years old.
Thare liš biried in aram.
He lies buried in Haran.

read burg


read two



God ſeide wurd to abram:—
"Abram, šu fare ut of lond and kin
To a lond ic še ſal bringen hin."
Sex ger and fiftene mo,
Adde Abram on iſ elde šo.
God then commanded Abram to leave Haran.
Abram tok loth wiš ſarray,
Hiſe agte, and erue he ledde him bi,
For in to lond cananeam,
He departed, taking with him Lot and Sarai.
And in-to ſichem, a burgt, he nam,
And šešen he nam to mirie dale;
fif burgeſ were šor-inne bi tale,
First he came to Sichem,
šer-fore it higte pentapolis,
Of weledeſ[123] fulſum and of bliſ,
Nov iſt a water of lošlic ble,
and afterwards to Pentapolis (the five cities of the plain),
Men calliš it še dede ſe;
Ilc šing deieš šor-inne iſ driuen;
Ne may no fiſ šor-inne liuen;
where now stands the Dead Sea.
for mannes ſinne šus it iſ went,
brent wiš brimfir, ſunken and ſhent.
God quad to abram, "al šiſ lond
ſal cumen in to iſ kinneſ hond."
The cities were destroyed for man's sin.
šor god him taunede, made habram
An alter, and fro šešen he nam.
 [Fol. 15b.]
An ošer alter abram ſeli
Made bi-twen betel and ai.
Abram raised an altar between Bethel and Ai.
At damaſke iſ še šridde ſtede,
Quer abram iſ bigging dede,
And šeden for he, for hunger bond,
Damascus was the third place where Abram dwelt.
feger ut in to egipte lond;
šor he ſeide šat ſarrai
Famine drove him to Egypt.
waſ hiſ ſiſter, al for-ši
for he dredde him to leten iſ lif
If he wiſten ghe wore iſ wif;
To save his life he said that Sarai was his sister.
for ghe waſ fai[ge]r witter-like,
And šat folc luuede lecherlike.
Quan abram was to egipte cumen,
Sarai was fair and Egypt's folk were lecherous.




Sone him waſ ſarrai binumen;
Sone him waſ ſarray bi-lagt,
And [124]pharaon še kinge bi-tagt;
Soon was Sarai taken from Abram, and brought to king Pharaoh.
God ſente on him ſekeneſſe & care,
And lettede al his lecher-fare.
Sarray liuede in clene lif,
God plagued the king with sickness.
And še king šholede ſorges ſtrif
Til he wiſte al šat ſtrif
Cam him on for abram wif;
Pharaoh at last became aware that all this strife was on account of Sarai,
šo ſente he after abram,
And bi-tagte he him iſ leman,
so he restored her to her husband,
And gaf him lond, and agte, and fe,
And leue, šor quiles his wille be,
To wune egipte folc among,
And frišen him wel fro euerilc wrong,
Bad him to god hiſ erdne beren,
 [Fol. 16.]
and gave Abram land and cattle.
šat ywel him ſulde nunmor deren.
šor wunede abram in welše and in friš,
In Egypt the patriarch abode in security.
Egipte clerkes woren him wiš,
And hem lerede, witterlike,
Aſtronomige and arſmetike;
He was hem lef, he woren him hold.
Egypt's clerks held him in high honour.
God gaf him šor ſiluer and gold,
And hird, and orf, and ſrud, and ſat,
Vn-achteled welše he šor bi-gat.
God greatly increased his riches.
Vt of egipte, riche man,
Wente abram in to lond canaan;
And loth hiſe neue and ſarray
bileften bi-twen betel and ay,
šor he quilum her wiſten wunen,
Or he weren to egipte cumen.
Out of Egypt Abram went to Canaan, and abode between Bethel and Ai.
So wex here erue, and ſo gan šen
An twen here hirdeſ ſtriuing gan ben;
Strife arose between Abram and Lot's herdsmen.
Loth him cheſ, bi leue of abram,
šat herše hende še flum iurdan;
Lot, by leave of his uncle, chose the plains of the

w in MS. But the w is much like p.



In mirie dale hiſe bigginge he ches,
šat he ſišen twie for-les.
Jordan for his dwelling-place.
Abram let loth in welše and wale,
 [Fol. 16b.]
And ferde a-wei to mambre dale;
šor wunede abram henden ebron,
šat burge an ošer man liš on,
Abram dwelt in Mamre-dale, towards Ebron.
It atteš cariatharbe,
On engle ſpeche fowre cite;
fowre arbe cariatht arn in,
This city is called Kirjatharba, i. e. four cities.
for šat fowre biried šor ben;
Four lie buried there.
šor waſ leid adam and eua,
Abram ſišen and ſarra;
šor yſaac and rebecca,
And iacob and hiſe wif lia.
There was laid Adam and Eve, Abram and Sarai, Jacob and Leah.
MAmbre, wiš excol and anel,
šor luueden Abram ful wel;
He woren brešere of kinde boren,
And abram woren he brešre ſworen.
Quor abram wunede, šor wex bi
An ok' šat waſ of gibi,
Mamre, Eschol, and Aner were sworn brothers with Abram.
šer het god abre šat tagte lond
Sal cumen al in hiſ kinneſ hond,
And eſt and weſt, and ſuš and norš;
Al šat god wile ſal wel gon forš.
God promised that Abram's seed should possess the land wherein he was a stranger.
Šo wuršen waxen ſo wide and ſpred,
pride and giſcinge of louerd-hed;
Then was pride widely spread, and desire of sovereignty.
Neg ilc burge hadde iſe louereding,
Sum waſ king, and ſum kumeling;
Nearly every city had its ruler.
Sum waſ wiš migte[125] ſo forš gon,
šat hadden he under hem mani on.
 [Fol. 17.]
Fif burges of pentapoliſ,
Adama, bala, Seboyſ,
And ſodoma wiš gomorra,
še kinges welten burges šoa,
The five cities of Pentapolis, ruled over by their own kings,

The MS. has migt; but migte is at the bottom of p. 16 b in the catchwords—"Sū waſ wiš migte."



On-kumen was cadalamor,
king of elam, wiš ferding ſtor;
were conquered by Chedorlaomer, and paid him tribute.
.xij. ger he weren under iſ hond,
And gouen him gouel of here lond;
Twelve years they were under his hand.
.xiij. ger gan ſo forš gon
wulde he giuen him gouel non;
In the thirteenth they rebelled,
šre kinges haued he wiš him brogt,
wiš here-gonge hiſe gouel ſogt;
He ben cumen to mirie dale,
An šere he werken ſckaše and bale;
Chedorlaomer and other three kings made war upon the cities.
fowre on-ſeken and fifue weren,
Oc še fowre še fiue deren;
wunded šor waſ gret folc and ſlagen,
še fifwe flen, še fowre ben fagen;
Much sorrow they wrought. The four kings conquered the five.
še fifwe up to še dunes flen,
še fowre in to še tuneſ ten;
wifwes, and childre, and agte, and ſrud,
The five flee to the hills, and the four to the cities of the plain.
He ledden a-wei wiš herte prud.
Loth and iſ agte, childre and wif,
ben led a-wei bunden wiš ſtrif;
They led away with them Lot, his goods, children, and wife.
oc on of hem, še flogen a-wei
 [Fol. 17b.]
Told it abram šat ilke deai.
šre hundred men and .xiij. wigt,
Alle ſtalwurši and witter of figt,
wiš mambre, and excol, and anel,
Abram let him tunde wel;
šat hird he folged[126] alſ to šan,
On heued-welle of flum iordan,
šor he wenden ben ſiker on nigt;
Abram he brogte wel newe figt.
But one escaped and told Abram, who armed 313 servants and pursued the enemy.
He woren drunken and ſlepi,
Abram[127] folc made hem dredi;
ſo heg, ſo long, ne ſpared hem nogt,
Abram found them drunk and sleepy.
Alle he ben šor to gronde brogt,
wiš-šuten šo še cuden flen;
He brought them all to ground.

folgel in MS.


An is is inserted by a later hand.



get ne migten he ſiker ben,
for magnie[128] of šo woren ouer-taken,
Abram cude hem to ſorwe maken.
Henden damaſk, til burgt oba,
Abram hem folwede and wrogte woa;
He pursued them unto Hoba, near Damascus.
wifes, and childre, and ſrud, and ſat,
He brogte agen and mikel he bat;
And tol, and takel, and orf, he dede
wenden hom to here ogen ſtede,
Much spoil he took.
for loteſ luue fel him šuſ rigt,
Borwen he ben wel of dat[129] figt.
All this he did for love of Lot.
Sodomes king in kinge dale,
Mette abram wiš feres wale,
In še weie še ligiš to ſalem,
še ſišen iſ cald ieruſalem.
 [Fol. 18.]
The king of Sodom went out to meet Abram.
Melchiſedech, ſalameſ king,
dede abram šor mikel wuršing;
He frošer[ed]e him, after iſ ſwinc,
wiš bredeſ fode and wines drinc;
Melchizedek brought him bread and wine.
Habram gaf him še tigše del
Of alle iſ bigete, and dede šor wel,
And bliſcede dor[130] godeſ migt,
šat bargt abram wel of šat figt;
Abram gave him a tenth of the spoil.
for he waſ bošen king and preſt,
of elde moſt, of wit hegest;
Melchizedek was both priest and king.
wiſte no man of werlše šo,
Quat kinde he waſ kumen fro;
None knew from what family he sprung.
Oc ſumme ſeiden šat it waſ ſem,
šiſ preſt and [oc] king of ſalem,
or or še flod waſ long bi-forn
of noe bi-geten, of[131] iſ wif born,
Some said that this king of Salem was Shem,
And fro ſo longe šor bi-foren
Liuede til yſaac waſ boren.
who lived until the birth of Isaac.
Sodomes king bed dor[132] abram
Al agte and erf, wiš-uten man,[133]
Alle heſ hadde wiš migte bi-geten,
The king of Sodom offered Abram the goods and cattle taken from the enemy.

read manige


read šat


read šor


MS. oſ.


read šor


? nam



wolde he nogt him hiſ ſwinc for-geten,
oc abram dede šor mešelike wel,
wid-held he šor-of neu[er]e on del,
oc al šat euere fel him to,
 [Fol. 18b.]
The patriarch would accept of nothing.
Sac-les he let hin welden it ſo.
Ebruiſ ſeigen, wune hem wex her
To algen ilk fiftene ger,
for loth waſ fifti winter hold,
Quan abram him bi-told.
Then first began the custom of keeping the 15th year holy.
Abel primiceſ firſt bi-gan,
Abel first began first-fruit.
And decimas first abram;
Nu iſt ſo boden and ſo bitagt,
Quo-ſo hiſ alt him bi agt.
Abram tithes.
After šiſ ſpac god to abram:—
"šin berg and tin werger ic ham.
šin ſwinc še ſal ben gulden wel,
wid[134] michel welše in good[e] ſel."
After this God spake to Abram, saying, "I am thy safety and thy defence, thy toil shall be requited."
Quad he, "quat ſal me welšes ware,
Quane ic child-leſ of werlde fare;
Damak eliezereſ ſune,
In al min welše ſal he wunen?"
Quoth Abram, "What avails wealth, seeing that I am childless, and that Eliezer's son shall inherit my wealth?"
Quat god, "ſo ſal it nogt ben,
Of še ſelf ſal šin erward ten."
Abram leuede šiſ hot in ſped,
dat[135] waſ him [told] to rigt-wiſhed.
God said, "Of thyself shall thine heir come."
šre der he toc, ilc šre ger hold,
And ſacrede god on an wold;
Abram took three deer each three years old and offered them as a sacrifice.
of godeſ bode he nam god kep,
 [Fol. 19.]
A net, and a got, and a ſep;
Euerilc of šeſe he delte on two,
And let hem lin on ſunder ſo,
Vndelt heſ leide quor-ſo heſ tok;
An heifer, a goat, and a sheep he took, and divided them in two and set them apart.
And šor a duue and a turtul ok
Sat up on-rum til heuene he tok,
And of šo doles kep he nam
The dove and the turtle he divided not.
Gredi foueles fellen šor-on,
Greedy fowls fell upon the carcases.

read wiš


read šat



šat šogte abram wel iwel don,
kagte iſ wei, quan it waſ nigt,
šo cam on him vgging and frigt;
Abram drove them away. Then came on him fear and fright.
A michel fier he ſag, and an brigt,
gliden šor twen šo doles rigt.
A great and bright fire he saw glide down between the pieces.
God ſeide him šor a ſoše drem
še timinge of iſ beren-tem,
And hu he ſulde in pine ben,
And uten erdes ſorge ſen;
fowre hundred ger ſulden ben gon,
In a dream God showed Abram the future condition of his descendants.
Hor he ſulden wel cumen a-gon,
oc ſišen ſulde in here hond,
bi-cumen šat hotene lond.
Canaan is promised as his inheritance.
šo wiſte abram wel michel mor
Quat waſ to cumen šan he wiſte or.
Then knew Abram much more of what was to come than he ever knew before.
Sišen bi-fel šat ſarrai,
for ghe waſ longe untuderi,
Sarai, being barren, gives Hagar to Abram.
Ghe bitagte abre maiden agar;
Ghe wurš wiš childe and hem two bar;
forš ſišen ghe bi abram ſlep,
 [Fol. 19b.]
Of hire leuedi nam ghe no kep;
And ſarrai wuldet nogt šolen
šat agar wore šuſ to-bolen;
Hagar having conceived, despised her mistress.
Ghe held hire hard in šralleſ wune,
And dede hire ſorge and anger mune;
Sarai afflicts her thrall.
šo fleg agar fro ſarray,
wimman wiš childe, one and ſori,
In še diſerd, wil and weri,
And an angel cam šor hire bi,
wiſte hire drogen ſori for šriſt,
Hagar flees from Sarai into the desert homeless and weary.
At a welle quemede hire liſt,
And bad hire ſone wenden agen,
And to hire leuedi buxum ben;
An angel commands her to return and be buxom to her lady.
And ſeide ghe ſulde ſunen wel
And timen, and clepen it ſmael,[136]
He tells her of her child.

A metrical licence for "iſmael."



And he ſulde ben man migti,
And of him kumen folc frigti;
Ghe wente agen, and bar šat child,
And abram wurš wiš hire milde.
Hagar returns, and Ishmael is born.
lxxx. gere and ſexe mo
Hadde abram on hiſ elde šo,
And .xiii. ger šor after told,
Abram was then fourscore and six years old.
ix. and nigneti[137] ger he waſ old,
When Abram was ninety-nine years old God changed his name to Abraham.
Quuanne him cam bode in ſunder run,
fro gode of circumcicioun.
His name šo wurš a lettre mor,
Hiſ wiueſ leſſe šan it waſ or,
for šo wurd abram abraham,
 [Fol. 20.]
And ſarray ſarra bi-cam;
And al šat euere še louered bad,
dede abraham redi and rad.
Sarai's name is also changed to Sarah.
He him ſelf wurš šanne circumciſ,
And yſmael hiſ ſune iwiſ;
And of iſ hird euerilc wapman
wurš circumciſ, al-so he it bi-gan,
Circumcision is instituted.
Quuo ne bar šanne iſ merk him on
fro godes folc ſulde he be don.
Whoso bore not this mark upon him was to be cut off from God's folk.
Sišen, in še dale of mambre,
ſag abraham figures šre,
Sondes ſemlike kumen fro gode;
Abraham he broghten wel bliše bode.
Abraham he[m] ran wel ſwiše agon,
Afterwards in the dale of Mamre Abraham saw figures three, seemly messengers from God.
And of še šre he wuršede še ton,
še god him dede in herte ſen,
še waſ wurši wuršed to ben;
Abraham entertains the angels.
bred, kalueſ fleiſ, and flures bred,
And buttere, hem šo sondes bed;
He set before them calves flesh, bread and flour and butter.
for šat he bad wiš herte fre,
He it nomen in charite;
What he offered with a free heart his guests took in charity,
So malt šat mete in hem to nogt,
So a watreſ drope in a fier brogt.
 [Fol. 20b.]
though it was but as a drop of water in a fire.

read nigenti



Abraham ſtod and quamede hem wel,
Hiſ good[e] wil was hem good mel.
Quuad šiſ on, "šiſ time ošer ger,
Sal ic me to še taunen her;
Bi šan ſal ſarra ſelše timen,
šat ge ſal of a ſune trimen."
Abraham is promised a son.
šanne herde ſarra ſwilc tiding,
And it hire šogte a ſelli šhing,
for ghe waſ nigenti winter hold,
Abraham on wane of an hundred told;
Sarah heard the words of the Lord.
Ghe glente and šhogte, migte it nogt ben,
And ghe šat ſulde her wiš childe be ſen;
She did not believe them.
And Abraham trewid it ful wel,
And it wurš ſoš binnen ſwilc ſel.
Abraham, however, trowed it full well.
Fro mambre dale wente šo šre,
to-ward ſodome geden he;
Quad še louered, "wile ic nogt ſtelen,
Then the three went towards Sodom.
Ne min dede abraham helen;
Ic cume to ſen šat ſinne dwale
šat iſ me told of mirieſ dale."
The destruction of Sodom is revealed to Abraham.
šo adde abram iſ herte ſor,
for loth hiſ newe wunede šor.
He is in great grief on account of Lot.
"Louerd," quad he, "hu ſaltu don,
If šu ſalt nimen wreche šor on;
He intercedes for the wicked cities.
Salt šu nogt še rigt-wiſe weren,
Or for hem še tošere meš beren?"
 [Fol. 21.]
Quad god, "find ic šor ten or mo,
Ic ſal mešen še ſtede for šo."
Durſte Abraham freinen nunmor,
God promises to spare the cities for the sake of five righteous.
Oc wente agen wiš herte ſor;
And god at-wot in-to hiſe ligt,
šo to gon to ſodome rigt.
Abraham departs sore at heart.
Sunne iſ weſt under erše numen,
Quuanne he ben to ſodome cumen;
At even two angels came to Sodom.
Get ſat loth at še burges gate,
After ſum geſte ſtod him quake;[138]
Lot sat at the city's gate, and seeing them,

read quate



He roſ, and lutte, and ſcroš him wel,
And bead hem hom to iſ oſtel
To herbergen wiš him šat nigt,
šo ſwete angeles, faier and brigt;
And he ſo deden alſ he hem bead,
He wiſten him bergen fro še dead;
he invited them to his home to stay with him that night.
And loth hem ſerued faire and wel,
And he him gulden it euerilc del.
Oc al šat burgt folc šat helde waſ on,
še migte lecher crafte don,
Lot served his guests fair and well.
To lothes huſ he cumen šat nigt
And bi-ſetten it redi to figt;
The wicked Sodomites beset Lot's house.
He boden him bringen ut o-non,
šo men šat woren šidir in-gon.
They bade him bring out the strangers.
Loth hem bead iſ dogtres two,
for to frišen hiſe geſte ſwo;
Oc he ne wulden hiſ dogtres nogt,
 [Fol. 21b.]
Lot offered them his daughters.
for wicke and feble waſ here šogt.
šat folc vn-ſeli, ſinne wod,
šo ſori wrecches of yuel blod
wulden him šor gret ſtrengše don,
Til wreche and letting cam hem on.
The wicked folk sought to harm Lot.
šis angels two drogen loth in,
And ſhetten to še dure-pin.
The angels drew Lot in.
Wil ſišen cam on euerilc on,
šo wrecches še wiš-vten gon,
for al šat nigt he ſogten šor
Blindness came upon the Sodomites,
še dure, and fundend[139] neuere mor.
šo ſeiden šiſ angeles to loth wiš ſped,
and they sought the door in vain.
If šu frend haueſt and wi[l]t don red,
Bid him, or day, redi ben,
And ſwiše ut šiſ burgeſ flen,
elles ſulen he brennen and for-faren,
If he ne bi time heše[n] waren.
Two šor werren quam him šogte ear
To wedden hiſ two dogtres šear;[140]
Lot is commanded to leave the city with his friends before daybreak.

So in MS.


read dear



Loth hem warnede, wiſlike and wel,
Oc he ne troweden him neuere a del.
Lot warned his sons-in-law in vain.
On morgen quan day cam hem to,
Loth and hiſ dogtres two
The angels led Lot and his family out of Sodom,
Ledden šiſ angeles ut in ſel,
 [Fol. 22.]
And boden hem and tagten wel,
šat here non wente agen,
for non šhing he migte ſen.
and bade them turn not back.
Loth waſ wanſum, and šugte long
vp to šo dunes še weie hard and ſtrong;
Lot thought the way to the hills hard and strong.
"Louerd," quat he, "gunde under dun,
mot hic ben borgen in šat tun!"
šo angeles ſeiden, "we ſulen it ſren,[141]
šor quile šu wilt šor-inne ben;
He intreated that he might dwell in Segor.
Ai waſ borgen bala-ſegor
šor quile šat loth dwelledde šor;
This city was safe while Lot abode there;
Oc ſišen loth wente ut of hine,
brende it šhunder, ſanc it erše-dine.
Sone ſo loth ut of ſodome cam,
when he left it, it was destroyed.
brend-fier-rein še burge bi-nam;
Hardere wreche šor waſ cumen
šan ear was vnder flode numen;
Sodom was destroyed by fire,
for men šor ſinne un-kinde deden,
ſo for-ſanc and brente šat ſteden;
So bitter-like iſ it for-don,
Ne mai non dain waſſen šor-on;
So for-ſanc šat folc ſinful šor,
ſwilc ſinful ſinne wex šer nunmor.
for sin and "unkind deeds."
Šo lotes wif wente hire a-gon,
Sone ghe ſtod, wente in to a ſton;
Lot's wife turned back, and "went into a stone."
So iſt nu forwent mirie dale
In to dririhed and in to bale,
še ſwarte flum, še dede ſe,
Non fiſ, non fuel šor-inne mai be.
šat water iſ ſo deades driuen,
 [Fol. 22b.]
Thus is this merry dale turned into a swarthy lake.
Non šing ne mai šor-inne liuen;
Nothing may live therein.

? fren



Men ſeiš še treen šat šor henden ben
Waxen in time, and brimen, and šen,
Oc quane here apples ripe ben,
Trees on its banks produce apples,
fier-iſles man mai šor-inne ſen;
šat erd iſ oten ſaltes dale,
Maniman šor-of holdet litel tale.
which contain ashes only.
Loth wuned litel in ſegor,
for he dredde him for to forfare šor;
Wiš hiſe two dowtres ut he teg,
Lot soon left Segor.
And for dred to šo dunes he fleg;
And šor he biggede in a caue[n],
še waſ šor in roche grauen.
For fear he fled to the hills, and dwelt in a cave.
šo meidenes herden quilum ſeien,
šat fier ſulde al šis werld forſwešen,
And wenden wel šat it were cumen,
And fiereſ wreche on werld numen,
And šat man-kinde wore al for-loren
but of hem šre wore man boren.
Lot's daughters thought all mankind had perished, and that, unless they had children, the world would come to an end.
šis maidenes redden ſone[142] on-on
Quat hem two wore beſt to don,
They consulted as to what was best to be done.
Hu he migten vnder-gon
 [Fol. 23.]
Here fader, šat he ne[143] wore šor gon;
Wiš wineſ drinc he wenten iſ šhogt,
So šat he haueš še dede wrogt,
And on eišer here a knaue bi-geten,
šiſ ne mai nogt ben for-geten.
šiſ maidenes deden it in god dhogt,[144]
še fader oc drunken ne wiſte he it nogt.
They made their father drunk so that he wrought the deed, and each begot a child.
še firſte him bar moab šat ſune,
Of him beš folc, [in] moab it wune;
še leſſe him bar a ſune amon,
Amonit folces fader on.
The first bore Moab, the other Ammon.
NV bi-oueš uſ to wenden a-gen,
And of abraham ſong under-gon.
Now turn we to Abraham.
Abraham up on morgen ſtod,
Wiš reuli lote and frigti mod;
On the morrow he looked toward Sodom,

MS. ſono.


MS. hene.


read šogt.



To-ward ſodome he ſag še roke
And še brinfires ſtinken[145] ſmoke,
and saw that the city had been destroyed.
And wente a-wei fro mambre dale,
So ſore him reu of šat bale.
For sorrow he left Mamre's dale
Sušen he wente & wunede in geraris,
bi-twen cade and vr, y-wis;
and went and abode in Gerar.
šor he ſeide eft, for luue of lif,
šat ſiſter wore ſarra his wif.
Quilum of[146] er [147]pharraon hire toc,
Nu takeš abimalech hire oc;
There he said Sarah was his sister.
Sene it was šat ghe waſ fair wif,
Quan ghe waſ luued in ſo long lif.
Abimalech wurš ſek on-on,
 [Fol. 23b.]
Abimelech took her to wife.
And ošer wreche iſ folc cam on;
Nogt wif-kinnes non birše ne nam,
šor quiles he šor wiš-helš ſaram.
On dreme him cam tiding for-quat
Sickness fell on him and on his folk.
He šrowede and šolede un-timing šat;
Al it waſ for abraham-iſ wif,
šat he hire held šor wiš ſtrif;
šo bi-šhogte him ful wel,
And ſente after abraham šat ilc ſel,
The cause of this evil was made known to him in a dream.
And bi-tagte him hiſ wif a-non,
And hiſ yuel ſort[148] waſ ouer-gon.
He sent back Sarah,
His wif and ošere birše beren,
ša še ſwinacie gan him nunmor deren.
Abimalech gaf abraham
Gold, and ſiluer, and lond for-šan;
his wife and others bore children, and the quinsy no more troubled him.
A šhuſant plates of ſiluer god
Gaf he ſarra šat faire blod,
Bad hire šor hir wiš[149] heuod ben hid,
for ſwilc timing was hire bi-tid.
Šo wulde god bi-ſewen ſo
of olde abraham and o ſarra ſo.
Ghe wurd wiš child, on elde wac,
Plates of silver he gave to Sarah.
And trimede and cleped it yſaac.
The birth of Isaac.

for ſtinkende


read aſ?


MS. w


fort in MS.


read šor wiš hir



še egtende dai šat he waſ boren,
 [Fol. 24.]
Circumciſed he waſ, a-buten ſchoren;
šor-of holden še ieuwes lay,
Circumciſed on še egtende day.
Arabit folc of yſmael,
He was circumcised on the eighth day,
After him don he it al ſwilk ſel,
Quane he .xiii. ger ben old;
Of yſmael here time iſ told.
which custom the Jews follow.
Šre ger woren yſaac on,
Quane he waſ fro teding don;
Michel geſtninge made abraham
Quane he šat ſune to borde nam.
Wintres forš-wexen on yſaac,
When Isaac was three years old Abraham made a great feast.
And yſmael waſ him vn-ſwac;
Of-ten it gan yſaac un-framen,
And yſmael pleide hard gamen;
Ishmael often mocked Isaac,
Sarra waſ šor-fore often wroš,
Hir waſ yſmaeles anger loš;
which caused Sarah to be very wroth.
Ghe bi-mente hire to abraham,
And ſumdel ligtlike he it nam
Til god him bad iſ wiues tale
Liſten, and don a-wei šat dwale.
Abraham rapede him ſone in ſped
for to fulfillen godeſ reed;
She complains to Abraham.
He flemede agar and yſmael
In ſumertid, In egeſt ſel;
Abraham banishes Hagar and her son.
Bred, and a fetles wiš water fild,
Bar agar wiš hire and wiš še child;
 [Fol. 24b.]
Bi še deſert a-wei che nam,
In ard weie and hete gram;
Wiš ſwinc and hete hem wexon šriſt,
By the desert they took their way.
še water ſleckede še childeſ liſt;
Tid-like hem gan šat water laken,
They became very thirsty.
šo gan agareſ ſorwe waken;
Wantede šit child faierneſſe and migt,
Hiſ moder wurš neg dead for frigt.
The water in the bottle became spent.


Ghe leide še child under a tre,
fer šešen ghe gede, ſo it gan be,
še child ne mai ghe for ſorge ſen;
Bi al-ſo fer ſo a boge mai ten,
Hagar placed her child under a tree,
šor ſat hiſ moder in ſik and ſor,
and sat as far as a bow-shot off.
wende ghe it coueren neuere mor.
Goddeſ merci dede hire reed,
She thought it could not recover.
An angel mešede hire šat ned,
Tagte hire šor a welle ſpring,
šat waſ hire šor ſeli timing;
An angel showed her a well-spring,
šor ghe gan fremen yſmael
Wiš watreſ drinc and bredeſ mel,
and she gave the lad drink and bread.
filt hire feteleſ, and nam fro šan
forš to še deſert of [150]pharan;
Forth they went and dwelt in Paran.
šor wunede yſmael and agar.
Ghe cheſ him a wif še childre bar;
Ishmael married an Egyptian woman.
.xii. ſuneſ he auede bi hiſ wif,
Of him cam kinde mikil and rif.
Nabachot waſ hiſ firſt ſune,
 [Fol. 25.]
Twelve sons he had, of whom sprang great nations.
In arabie hiſ kinde wune
fro še riche flod eufrate,
Wid and fer to še rede ſe;
In Arabia they dwelt.
Of hiſ ošer ſune cedar,
A ku[n]griche hiſ name bar;
Kedar gave name to a kingdom.
And of duma hiſ ſexte ſune,
A ku[n]gdom dirima šu mune;
Hiſ .ix. waſ tema for-šan,
From Dumah came the kingdom of Dirima.
Iſ šor a ku[n]glond teman;
And .xii. of še cedima,
Het a guglond[151] eſten fro ša.
Flemd waſ agar and yſmael,
and yſaac wex and šehg wol wel.
Teman gets its name from Tema.
Abimalech ſag abraham,
Hu welše him wex and migte cam,
He bad him maken ſiker pligt
Of luue and trewše, in frendeſ rigt,
Abimelech makes a covenant with Abraham,

w MS.


read kunglond



šat ne ſulde him nogwer deren,
Oc him and hiſe helpen and weren;
He gaf him a welle and a lond fre,
Abraham it clepede berſabe;
šor ben he bošen feren pligt
šat here neišer ſal don ošer un-rigt.
and gives him the well of Beersheba.
Abraham gan šor longe ben,
And tillede corn and ſette treen,
 [Fol. 25b.]
šog [it] waſ nogt iſ kinde lond;
Richere he it leet šan he it fond.
Iff ioſephus ne legeš me,
šor quiles he wunede in berſabe,
Abraham left the land much richer than he found it.
ſo waſ yſaaceſ eld told
xx. and fiwe winter old;
When Isaac was twenty-five years old,
šo herde abraham ſteuene fro gode,
Newe tiding, and ſelkuš bode:—
God's word came to Abraham,—
"Tac šin ſune yſaac in hond,
And far wiš him to ſišhingeſ lond,
"Take Isaac thy son,
And šor šu ſalt him offren me
On an hil šor ic ſal taunen še."
fro berſabe iurneſ two
Waſ šat lond šat he bed him two;[152]
and offer him on a hill that I shall show thee."
And morie, men ſeiš, waſ šat hil,
šat god him tawne[de] in his wil;
Moriah that hill was called.
Men ſeiš šat dune-iſ ſišen on
Was mad temple ſalamon,
And še auter mad on šat ſtede
šor abraham he[153] offrande dede.
Upon this hill was afterwards built Solomon's temple.
Abraham waſ buxum o rigt,
Hiſe weie he tok ſone bi nigt;
še šrid[d]e day he ſagt še ſtede
še god him witen in herte dede;
Abraham was obedient to God's commands.
šan he cam dun to šo duneſ fot,
Non of hiſ men foršere ne mot,
But yſaac iſ dere childe,
 [Fol. 26.]
He came to the hill and sent his servants away.
He bar še wude wiš herte mild,
Isaac bare the wood,

read to


read še



And abraham še fier and še ſwerd bar;
šo wurš še child witter and war
šat šor ſal offrende ben don,
Oc ne wiſte he quuat, ne quor-on;
and Abraham the fire and the sword.
"fader," quaš he, "quar ſal ben taken
še offrende šat šu wilt maken?"
"Where," quoth Isaac, "is the offering that thou wilt make?"
Quat abraham, "god ſal bi-ſen
Quor-of še ofrende ſal ben;
Quoth Abraham, "God will provide the offering.
Sellik šu art on wer[l]de cumen,
Sellic šu ſalt ben hešen numen;
Wiš-uten long šhrowing and figt,
God wile še taken of werlde nigt,
In a wonderful manner thou camest into the world, and so shalt thou depart hence.
And of še seluen holocaustum hauen,
šanc it him šat he it wulde crauen."
God requires thee as an offering."
Yſaac waſ redi mildelike,
Quan šat he it wiſte witterlike.
Oc abraham it wulde wel
quat-ſo god bad, šwerted he it neuer a del;
Isaac was ready to be sacrificed.
Yſaac waſ leid šat auter on,
So men ſulden holocauſt don;
Isaac was placed upon the altar.
And abraham šat ſwerd ut-drog,
And waſ redi to ſlon him nuge,[154]
Abraham drew out his sword to slay his son, but an angel forbad him to harm the child.
Oc angel it him for-bed,
And barg še child fro še dead;
šo wurš abraham frigti fagen,
for yſaac bi-leaf un-ſlagen;
Bi-aften bak, aſ he nam kep,
 [Fol. 26b.]
faſte in šornes he ſag a ſep,
šat an angel šor-inne dede;
It waſ brent on yſaac ſtede.
A ram is offered instead of Isaac.
And, or abraham šešen for,
God him šor bi him-ſeluen ſwor
šat he ſal michil hiſ kinde maken,
And šat lond hem to honde taken;
Good ſelšhe ſal him cumen on,
for he šiſ dede wulde don.
Ere Abraham departed God swore to him that his seed should inherit the land.

read nog?



He wente bliše and fagen agen,
To berſabe he gunne teen,
Sarra waſ fagen in kindes wune,
šat [hire][155] bilef šat dere ſune.
Abraham went home joyful and glad.
Šor quiles abraham wunede šor,
Him cam good tiding of nachor,
šat melca bar him egte ſunen;
While at Beersheba he heard good tidings of Nahor.
Huſ waſ eldeſt, if we rigt munen.
Huz was Nahor's first-born.
Rigt-wiſ iob cam of hiſ kin,
Hus lond he waſ riche wid-hin;[156]
Job came of his kin.
Of[157] buz, hiſ brošeres kin, cam
Buzites, Eliv, Balaam.
Of Buz came the Buzites, Eliv and Balaam.
Abraham, riche of welše and wale,
wente a-gen in to manbre dale;
 [Fol. 27.]
Abraham went again to Mamre.
Sarra šo ſtarf, an hundred ger old
And ſeuene and .xx. winter told.
Sarah died being 127 years old.
Abraham ſente eliezer
to lond meſopotanie fer,
To caram šor iſ fader lay,
(Or he cam šor waſ manie day)
Abraham sent Eliezer to Mesopotamia,
To fechen yſaac hom a wif,
Of hiſ kinde še šor waſ in lif.
to fetch a wife for Isaac.
Ten kameles ſemeš[158] forš he nam,
Ten camels he took with him.
Wiš michel ſwinc he šider cam
At a welle wiš-uten še tun;
šor he leide hiſe ſemes dun,
Eliezer came to a well without the city.
šor he wulde him reſten and ben,
Sum good tiding heren or ſen.
"Louerd god," quaš he mildelike,
"min erdne šu forše ſelšhelike,
šiſ dai me lene hire to ſen,
šat ſal yſaaces leman ben."
He there prayed to God to send him good speed.
He bad hiſe bede on good ſel.
Rebecca, bi-geten of batuel,
He offered his prayer in a good time.

MS. hire is written over in the later hand.


read wiš-hin


MS. "Ob."


read ſemede?



Of nachor bi-geten, of melca boren,
Cam to šat welle šor him bi-foren,
Rebekah came to that well,
And him and ilc-on his kamel
Wiš watres drinc ghe quemede wel.
and she gave him and his camel water to drink.
Ošere maidenes wiš hire cumen,
Ne wor nogt ſo forš šeuwe numen.
 [Fol. 27b.]
Eliezer lerede šor
šat batuel cam of nachor;
Of batuel šis maiden cam
ghe waſ forš nifte of abraham;
Eliezer learned that she was of the family of Nahor.
šogte he, šiſ maiden wile ic hauen
And to min louerdes bofte bi-crauen;[159]
for kindes luue he waſ hire hold,
Thought he, this maiden will I have as a wife for Isaac.
Wiš beges and ringes bošen of gold,
Aſkede here if ghe migte taken
Herberge for hire frendes ſake[n].
Maiden rebecca šanne ran,
And kiddit to hire brošer laban,
He gave her ear-rings and bracelets of gold.
And laban cam to šat welle ner,
faiger welcumede he šer eliezer,
And[160] fond good griš and good hostel,
Him, and hiſe men, and hiſe kamel.
Laban came to the well, invited him home, and entertained him well.
Eliezer, or he wulde eten,
Wulde he nogt hiſe erdene for-geten;
Al he tolde hem fro quešen he cam,
And for quat erdene he šider nam;
Tolde hem tiding of abraham,
Quilc ſelše and welšhe him wel bi-cam,
Eliezer would not eat till he had told his errand;
Sent he waſ šider, for kinde wune,
After a wif to yſaac hiſ ſune.
how he had been sent by Abraham to seek a wife for Isaac.
ſeide he, "rebecca wile ic hauen,
To yſac-iſ bi-ofte wile ic crauen.
 [Fol. 28.]
Laban and hiſ moder wiš-šan
fagneden wel šiſ ſondere man;
Laban and the mother were well pleased with the messenger.

read bi-ofte crauen? v. l. 1408.


Anš MS.



(Quan god haueš it ſo bi-ſen,
Alſe he ſendet, alſ it ſal ben.)
Wiš gold, and ſiluer, and wiš ſrud,
šiſ ſonde made še mayden prud;
With gold and silver and raiment Eliezer made the maiden proud.
še brošer and de[161] moder oc
Riche gifteſ eliezer še[162] toc.
Sone o-morwen he gan him garen,
Gifts also he gave to the brother and mother.
And crauede hiſ erdene, and wolde hom faren,
for ſcriš, ne mede, ne wold he šor
Ouer on nigt drechen nunmor;
And šo gan šat moder and laban
No longer than one night would he delay his errand.
Rebecca freinen šor for-šan,
And ghe it grantede mildelike,
And he hire bi-tagten blišelike.
Rebekah's consent was first asked and obtained.
Sišen men hauen holden ſkil,
firſt to freinen še wimmaneſ wil,
Or or men hire to louerd giue,
for wedding or for morgen-giwe.
For this reason men ask the woman's will before she is given in marriage.
Eliezer iſ went hiſ wei
And haueš hem boden godun dai.
Or he wel homward cumen was,
Yſaac waſ cume to geraſis,
Eliezer takes his departure, wishing all a good day.
And wunede šor in šogt and care,
for moderes dead and ſondes fare.
In a weie an time he cam,
And to a welle, ſigande, he nam,
šohgteful he waſ on felde gon;
Eliezer him cam a-gon,
 [Fol. 28b.]
Isaac mourned for the death of his mother.
Eššede hiſ ſorge, brogt him a wif
Of faiger waspene,[163] of clene lif.
He fagnede hire wiš milde mod,
Here ſameni[n]g was clene and god;
Eliezer brought him a wife by whom he was comforted.
He luuede hire on-like and wel,
And ſge ne bi-ſpac him neuere a del.
Isaac loved Rebekah well, and she never contradicted him.

read še


read šo?


An error for wasteme.



Get men seyn[164] šat abraham,
ſišen calde agar ceturam,
Men say that Abraham called Hagar Keturah.
And ſge bar him ſišen ſex ſunen;
Abraham dede hem ſišen ſundri wunen;
fer eſt fro cratonidé,
Weren he ſpred to še rede se.
Yſaac he let al hiſ god,
for he waſ bi-geten of kinde blod.
She bore him seven sons.
An hundred ger hold and ſeuenti
And .v. he waſ leid ſarram bi.
bošen yſaac and yſmael
Him bi-ſtoden wurlike and wel.
Abraham died at the age of 175.
On hundred ger and .xxxvij.
Liuede yſmael and waſ šor bi.
Ishmael was 137 years old when he died.
Yſaac waſ hold .xl. ger
Quanne rebecca cam him ner;
Longe it waſ or ghe him child bar,
 [Fol. 29.]
Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife.
And he bad god, quanne he it wurš war,
šat he ſulde fillen šat quede
šat he[165] abraham quilum dede.
šo wurš rebecca childre bere,
Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, who was barren.
šat ghe felte ful time in gere;
At on burdene ghe under-stod
two še weren hire ſibbe blod;
Alſe šhute hire day and nigt,
Rebekah conceived.
Alſe he wrogten and[166] figt,
Quešer here ſulde biršen bi-foren.
The children struggled together within her.
Oc eſau waſ firmeſt boren,
And iacob ſone after, ic wot,
for šat he heldim bi še fot.
Esau was the first born, and Jacob was born soon after.
Sexti ger yſaac waſ old,
Quan šiſ tidi[n]g him waſ told;
Ghe[167] was abraham liues her,
After šiſ, fiftene ger.
Sixty years was Isaac at this time.

seyn is at the side in a later hand.


In a later hand at the side.


read an?


read get



Wexen boden yſaac ſunes,
And šhogen, and adden ſundri wunes;
Isaac's sons grew up and had different occupations.
Eſau wilde man huntere,
And Iacob tame man tiliere.
Esau was a hunter, and Jacob a husbandman.
še fader luuede eſau wel,
for firme birše & ſwete mel;
Isaac loved Esau for that he was the eldest.
še moder, iacob for tamehed,
And for še ali gaſteſ red.
Iacob An time him ſeš a mete
 [Fol. 29b.]
Rebekah loved Jacob because of his peaceful disposition.
šat man callen lentil gete,
Jacob sod pottage.
And eſau fro felde cam,
Sag šis pulment, hunger him nam.
Esau came from the field hungry.
"Brošer iacob," quat eſau,
"Of šiſ warme mete šu gif me nu,
for ic ham mattilike weri."
Iacob wurš war he waſ gredi;
"Brother," said he, "give me of this warm meat, for I am weary."
"Brošer," quad he, "ſel me šo wunes,
še quešen ben še firme ſunes,
šat ic šin firme biršehe gete,
If ic še fille wiš šiſ mete."
Jacob said, "Sell me thy birthright, and I will fill thee with meat."
Quad eſau, "ful blišelike,"
And gafe it him wel ſikerlike.
Esau consented full blithely.
firme birše waſ wurši wune
še fader dede še firme ſune;
še firme ſune at offrende ſel
Waſ wune ben ſcrid ſemelike and wel,
The eldest son was highly honoured.
And ſulde auen še bliſcing
Or or še fader dede hiſ ending;
And at heg tide and at geſtning,
še gungere[168] ſune geuen še bliſcing,
At his father's death he had the blessing.
And hauen mete šan at iſ mel,
More or še gungere twinne del;
At meat he had a double portion.
And quanne še fader were grauen,
two doles of ereward riche auen.
 [Fol. 30.]
His inheritance was twice as much as the younger's share.

An error for eldere.



An time dede hunger yſaac flen,
And he wulde to egipte then,[169]
Oc god him ſente reed in wis
šat he bi-lef in geraſis;
A famine banished Isaac to Gerar.
šor he was for hiſ fadreſ luue[n]
Holden wuršelike a wel a-buuen.
An hundred ſo mikel wex hiſ tile,
So may god friše šor he wile.
For his father's sake he was highly esteemed.
Nišede šat folk him fel wel
And deden him flitten hiſe oſtel.
At berſabe he wunede beſt,
And šor wurš wiš him trewše feſt
The folk of Gerar envied Isaac, so he left them and went to Beersheba.
Abimalech, and luue ſworen,
So he waſ or iſ fader bi-foren.
And helde gede on yſaac,
Abimelech made a covenant with Isaac.
Wuršede ſighteleſ and elde ſwac;[170]
He bad eſau, hiſ firme ſune,
Isaac became old and sightless.
fechin him fode, aſ he waſ wune;
If he toke him šat he wulde eten,
He sends Esau for venison,
Hiſ ſeli bliſcing ſulde he bi-geten.
Šor quiles eſau ſogte and ran,
and promises him his blessing.
Rebecca iacob reden gan;
Two kides he fette and brogtes hire,
And ghe knew wel še faderes kire,[171]
Rebekah instructs Jacob how to obtain the blessing.
And made ſwiše on ſele šat mete,
ſwilc ghe wiſte he wulde eten;
 [Fol. 30b.]
Sridde ghe iacob and made him ru
šor he was bare(.) nu lik eſau;
And he ſeruede hiſ fader wel
She made him rough like Esau.
Wiš wines drinc and ſeles mel.
Yſaac wende it were eſau,
for he grapte him and fond him ru;
šanne he wiſte him on gode ſel,
He him bliſcede holdelike and wel;
Jacob obtained the blessing from his father.

read ten?


read eldes wac


Glossed wune in later hand.



"Heuene dew, and eršeſ fetthed,
Of win and olie fulſum-hed,"
And bad him of hiſ kindes louerd ben,
In welše and migt wuršinge šen.
Wel bliše and fagen was iacob šo,
for bliſced he wente hiſ fader fro.
The dew of heaven, the fatness of the earth, plenty of corn and wine, and the lordship over his brethren.
Quan yſaac it under-nam
šat eſau to late cam,
And šat iſ brošer, af-ter boren,
Waſ kumen and hadde iſ bliſcing bi-foren,
Wel ſelkušlike he wurš for-dred;
When Isaac understood that Esau came too late he was seized with great fear.
And in šat dred hiſ šogt waſ led
In to ligtneſſe for to ſen
Quow god wulde it ſulde ben.
In his dread he saw how God would that it should so be.
šo ſeide yſaac to eſau,
To Esau thus he spoke:
"šin brošer iacob waſ her nu,
"Thy brother was here just now, and has taken thy blessing, and he shall be blessed."
And toc šin bliſcing lišer-like,
And he wurš bliſced witterlike."
Quad eſau, "rigt iſ hiſ name
hoten iacob, to min un-frame;
 [Fol. 31.]
Or he min firme birše toc,
Nu haued[172] he ſtolen min bliſcing oc;
šog, fader dere, bidde ic še,
šat ſum bliſcing gif šu me."
Esau intreats for one blessing.
šo gan eſau šengen[173] and ſen
Quilc iſ bliſcing migte ben;
In heuene deu, and eršes ſmere,
Gatte him bliſcing šat him waſ gere;
Isaac promises him that his dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth and of the dew of heaven.
for ydumea, šat fulſum lond,
Of lewſe god, was in hiſe hond.
Idumea became Esau's inheritance.
Quad eſau, "grot ſal bi-cumen,
And wreche of iacob ſal binumen."
Oc rebecca wiſte šat šhogt,
šat hate waſ in hiſe herte brogt,
Esau threatens Jacob.
for-ši ghe iacob warnen gan,
And ſente him to hiſ brošer laban;
Rebekah warns Jacob of his brother's intentions.

read haueš


read šenken



"be šu šer," quat ghe, "til eſau
Eše mošed [be], še wrešed nu,
And šu ſalt še betre ſped,
If it beš bi šin faderes red."
Quad rebecca to hire were,
"Eſau wifuede uſ to dere
Rebekah complains to Isaac of Esau's marriage and connection with the Canaanites.
Quan he iuſted & beš ſo mat,
Toc of kin še canaan bi-gat,
For-ši he maked him ſtiš & ſtrong,
For he beš mengt šat kin among;
If iacob toke her alſo a wif,
Ne bode ic no lengere werldeſ lif.
 [Fol. 31b.]
Yſaac bad iacob him garen,
Isaac blesses Jacob,
And forš ſwiše to laban faren;
Iacob liſtenede šo frendes red,
Fro berſabe he ferde wiš ſped;
and sends him to Padan-aram.
Long weie he gan to-ward aram,
bi cananeam forš he nam,
Jacob went a long way about,
And wulde nogt šat folc bi-twen
Herberged in here huſes ben.
in order to avoid the houses of the Canaanites.
He lay bi luzan ut on nigt,
A ſton under hiſe heued rigt,
At Luz he tarried all night.
And ſlep and ſag, an ſoše drem,
fro še erše up til heuene bem,
A leddre ſtonden, and šor-on
In a dream he saw a ladder reaching from earth to heaven,
Angeles dun-cumen and up-gon,
And še louerd šor uppe a-buuen
Lened[174] šor-on; and [Jacob] wurš ut-ſuuen,
angels ascending and descending, and the Lord stood above it.
Herde šat he quad, "god ic am
še luued yſaac and abraham;
"I am," He said, "the God of Abraham and of Isaac;
And šis lond ic ſal giuen šin ſed,
And in šis weige don še red;
this land will I give thee, and in thy seed shall all mankind be blessed."
And i ſal bringen še a-gen,
And of šin kinde bliſced šu ſalt ben."
 [Fol. 32.]

read leued = remained?



Iacob abraid, & ſeide frigtilike:—
"God in šis ſtede iſ wittirlike,
Her, dredful ſtede, her, godeſ hus,
Her, heuenegate amonguſ[175] us;
Jacob awoke. "Surely," he said, "here is God's house.
Louerd, if ic mote a-gen cumen,
Of šis ſtede ic ſal in herte munen;"
(Sette he up šat ſton for muniging,
And get on olige for tok-ning)
If I may come again to my father's house,
"He ſal euere min louerd ben,
šat dede me her šis ſigt[e] ſen,
the lord shall be my God,
Her ic ſal offrendes here don
And tigšes wel gelden her-up-on;
And wel ſal luz wuršed ben,
for ic gan her šis ſigšhe ſen."
here I shall brake offerings, and yield tithes."
Iacob calde šat ſtede betel;
Quor-fore he it dede, he wiſte wel.
Longe weie he ſišen ouer-cam,
Jacob called the place Bethel.
And longe time or he ſag tharam.
Quane he cam ner, fond he šor-on
Jacob pursues his journey.
A welle wel helid under a ſton,
And šre flockes of ſep dor-bi,[176]
He finds a well at Haran; three flocks of sheep were lying by it.
šat šor abiden al for-ši;
šor waſ nogt wune on & on,
šat orf šor to water gon,
The cattle did not go to water one by one, but were all collected together at one time.
Oc at ſet time he ſulden ſamen,
šor hem-ſelf & here orf framen.
 [Fol. 32b.]
Iacob šes hirdes freinen gan,
Hu fer iſt hešen to laban;
Wel he ſeiden and ſwiše wel,
Jacob asks the herdsmen the way to Laban's house.
"loc! her hiſ dogter rachel."
Sep he driuen šiſ welle ner,
for ghe hem wulde wattre šer.
They answered, "Here is Rachel his daughter." She came to bring the sheep to the well.
Iacob wiš hire wente šat ſton,
And let hire ſep to water gon;
Jacob rolled the stone from the well's mouth.
And kidde he was hire mouies ſune,
And kiſte hire aftre kindes wune;
He made known his relationship to Rachel.

So in MS.


read šor-bi



Rachel was bliše and forš ghe nam,
And kiddit to hire fader laban.
Laban fagnede him in frendes wune,
feren ſwunken yſaaces ſunen.
Iacob tolde him for quat he ſwanc
So fer, and laban herte ranc;
He cuše him šer-of wel gret šhanc,
Laban welcomes his nephew and brings him to his house.
And dede him eten and to him dranc,
And ſeide to him, "bi min blod,
šin come iſ me leflike and good."
He entertains him well.
Laban bi-tagte him, ſišen to ſen,
Hiſ hirdeneſſe šat it wel ben.
Jacob abode with Laban for one month,
And quanne a moneš was ouer-meten,
"Iacob," waš he, "quat wiltu bi-geten?
after which time Laban said to him,
Quat-ſo [177][šu] wilt for hire crauen,
Aſke it wiš ſkil and šu ſalt hauen."
 [Fol. 33.]
"Tell me what shall thy wages be."
Quat iacob, "ic ſal, for rachel,
Seruen še ſeuene winter wel."
Luue wel michil it agte a wold,
Swilc ſeruiſe and ſo longe told.
Jacob covenanted for Rachel.
forš geden ſeuene ger bi tale,
And laban made him hiſ bridale;
Seven years passed away and Laban made a feast.
Iacob wurš drunken, and euen cam,
Laban bi nigt tog him liam;
And a maiden waſ hire bi-tagt,
Zelfa bi name, šat ilke nagt.
Iacob gan hire under-fon,
When even came Jacob was deceived with Leah.
O morgen šugte it him miſ-don.
Quat laban, "long wune iſ her driuen,
firmeſt on elde, firſt ben giuen:
And loš me waſ ſenden rachel
So fer, for ic luuede her wel;
Laban says that it was not the custom to marry the younger before the first-born.
Oc ſerf me ſeuene ošer ger,
If šu ſalt rachel ſeruen her;
Jacob agrees to serve other seven years for Rachel.

At bottom of Fol. 32b is the catchword—"quat ſo šu wilt."



Seue nigt ſišen forš ben numen
Or rachel beš to iacob cumen,
And laban made a feſte oc
Quanne iacob wid[178] rachel toc;
And for ghe šanne cam him ner,
ſeruede he him ſišen ſeuene ger.
Jacob marries Rachel.
Rachel adde, after londes kire,[179]
maiden balaam to ſeruen hire.
 [Fol. 33b.]
LIa moder of fowre was,
Ruben, ſymeon, leui, iudas;
Leah was the mother of four sons.
for rachel non birše ne nam,
Sge[180] bi-tagte iacob balaam;
Rachel was barren.
bala two childre bar bi him,
Rachel cald es[181] dan(.) neptalim;
Bilhah, her handmaid, bare Dan and Naphtali.
And zelfa two ſunes him ber,
Lia calde iſ(.) Gad(.) and aſſer;
Zilpah bare Gad and Asher.
Lia ſišen two ſunes bar,
Zabulon(.) laſt(.) or yſakar;
Lia bar laſt dowter dinam,
Sichem, ſišen, hire ille bi-nam.
Leah afterwards bare Zebulun, Issachar, and Dinah.
Last of rachel iosep was boren,
Beſt of alle še ošere bi-foren.
Longe haued[182] nu iacob ben her,
wiš laban fulle .xiii. ger;
At last Joseph was born of Rachel.
Leue aſkede hem hom to faren,
Wiš wiues and childre šešen charen,
Jacob desires leave of Laban to depart.
But-if laban him šelde bet
Hiſe ſeruiſe, and wiš-holde him get;
ſerue he ſcrišed šat .vij. ger,
šat he bi-leue and ſerue him her;
Laban would not let him depart.
Wel he ſeiš him šat he ſal hauen
for hire, quat-ſo he wile crauen.
He promises him to give him for hire whatever he shall ask.
forward iſ mad of alle ſep,
Of oneſ bles[183] iacob nim kep,
 [Fol. 34.]
And if of šo ſpotted cumen,
Jacob is to have all the speckled



Glossed wune in a later hand.




caldes MS.




fles MS.



šo ſulen him ben for hire numen;
Sep or got, haſwed, arled, or grei,
Ben don fro iacob fer a-wei;
and spotted cattle for his hire.
šog him boren šes oneſ bles
Vn-like manige and likeles.
The flocks produced many speckled and spotted.
šo ſag laban šat iacob bi-gat
Michil, and him miſlikede šat;
Laban was greatly displeased.
bi-tagte him šo še ſunder bles,
And it him boren ones bles.
He changed Jacob's hire.
Ten ſišes šus binnen .vi. ger,
Shiftede iacob hirdeneſſe her,
And ai was labaneſ herte ſor,
for hiſ agte wex mor & mor.
Ten times within six years he shifted the cattle.
Šo ſag iacob laban wurš wroš,
Vnder him ben leng iſ him loš,
Jacob saw that Laban was unfriendly towards him,
And wiš iſ wiues he takeš red,
And greišet him dešenward[184] wiš ſped.
so he determined to leave Padanaram.
Laban ferde to nimen kep,
In clipping time to hiſe ſep,
fro caram in-to vten ſtede,
šor quiles iacob šiſ dede dede;
Wiš wiues, and childre, & orf he nam,
Laban had left Haran to shear his sheep.
And to še munt galaad he bi-cam;
Jacob came to mount Gilead,
šanne fleg he to meſopotaniam,
 [Fol. 34b.]
And drog to-ward cananeam.
And Rachel adde hid and for-olen
and drew towards Canaan.
Hire faderes godes of gold, & ſtolen.
Laban it wiſte on še šridde dai
Rachel had stolen her father's gods.
šat iacob waſ šus flogen a-wei;
He toc, and wente, and folwede on,
And šhogt in mod iacob to ſlon,
Laban, hearing of Jacob's flight, pursues him.
Oc god in ſweuene ſpac him to,
šat he ſulde iacob non yuel do.
God, in a dream, forbids Laban to harm Jacob.
vij. nigt forš-geden and dais oc,
Or laban iacob ouer-toc;
Laban overtakes Jacob on the seventh day.




So waſ he frig[t]ed ear in drem,
šus mešelike ſpac šiſ em:
"Qui wore šu fro me for-holen,
And qui aſ šu min godes ſtolen?
Min mog, min neue, and felage,
Me ne agtes šu don ſwilc [vn-]lage."
"[I]c was for-dred še migte timen,
fro me šine doutres bi-nimen,
He complains of the wrong done to him.
fro here childre šhogt hem ſor,
mor for me bi-leuen šor;
ſtalše ic for-ſake, šat iſ min red,
wiš quam šu iſ findes, šat he be dead."
Jacob denies that he has been guilty of theft.
Of al šat laban haued[185] iſ ſogt,
So woren it hid, ne fond he is nogt.
Laban searched for his idols, but found them not.
Šo [q]waš iacob, "yuel iſt bi-togen,
Min ſwinc a-buten šin holše drogen;
šu me ranſakes alſ an šef,
And me was šin wuršing lef."
 [Fol. 35.]
Then said Jacob, "What is my sin that thou ransackest me as a thief?"
šo quat laban, "frend ſule wit ben,
And trewše pligt[186] nu unc bi-twen,
And make we it her an hil of ſton,
Name of witneſſe be šer-on;"
šor-on he eten bliše and glaš,[187]
Quoth Laban, "Friends will we be and plight troth between us."
šat hil iſ hoten galaaš;
Laban hem bliſcede, & on nigt
This covenant was made at Gilead.
wente a-gen-ward, or it waſ ligt;
And iacob waſ of weie rad,
Raše he was fer fro laban ſad.
Laban departed before daylight.
Alſ he cam ner cananeam,
Engel wirš a-gen him cam,
Als it were wopnede here,
Redi to ſilden him fro were;
As Jacob drew near to Canaan, he was met by the angels of God.
šat ſtede he calde manaim,
šor šis wird of engeles metten him.
šor he bi-lef, and ſente šeden[188]
That place he called Mahanaim.
Sondere men to freinen and quešen
Jacob sends messengers to Esau.



wligt MS.







If eſau wulde him ogt deren,
šog wiſte wel god ſulde him weren;
šor him cam bode him for to ſen,
šat eſau him cam a-gen;
Word came to him that Esau was on his way to meet him.
And iacob ſente fer bi-foren
him riche loac, and ſundri boren,
And iordan he dede ouer waden,
Orf & men, wiš welše laden;
And he bi-lef šor on še nigt
to bidden helpe of godeſ migt.
 [Fol. 35b.]
Jacob sends a rich present to Esau.
And šor wreſtelede an engel wiš,
Senwe ſprungen fro še liš;
He wrestled with an angel,
(wulde he non ſenwe ſišen eten,
Self his kinde nile šat wune forgeten.)
and the sinew shrank from the thigh.
Get held he wiš šis angel faſt,
Til še daning up eſten it braſt;
šo ſeide še engel, "let me get ben,
še daining her nu men mai sen."
Jacob would not let the angel go,
Quad iacob, "še ne leate ic nogt,
Til šin bliſcing on me beš wrogt."
until he had blessed him.
Šo quad še angel, "ſal tu nummor
ben cald iacob, ſo šu wore or,
Oc šu ſal ben hoten iſrael,
for šu še weries ſwiše wel;
Quan še še migt wiš angel weren,
Hu ſal ani man še mugen deren?
Ear iacob and nu iſrael."
Jacob prevailed, and his name was called Israel.
šat ſte[de] was cald phanuel,
for he nam ouer phanuel;
And it wurš ligt and he ſag wel
This place was called Penuel.
Quor eſau a-gen him cam,
And bi-foren a-gen him nam;
And ſeue ſišes he fell him bi-foren,
And wurše him ſo firmeſt boren;
 [Fol. 36.]
The meeting of Jacob and Esau.
And eſau šo ran him to,
And kiſſede, and wept, šo rew him ſo.
The brothers become reconciled to each other.


"Brošer," quad he, "šu and šin trume
ben here in šiſ place to me welcume;
Haue and bruc wel al šin preſent,
šat šu to me bringeſt and haueſt ſent."
Iacob was wo šat he iſ for-ſoc,
Esau welcomes Jacob,
And ſcroš him ſo(.) šat ſum he šor tok.
Here luue šo wurš hol and ſchir,
accepts his present,
And eſau ferde forš šeden[189] to ſeyr;
šat newe burg waſ him to frame,
Mad and cald of iſ owen name.
and departs unto Seir.
Iacob fro šešen wente, ic wot,
tgelt on a ſtede, and cald it[190] ſochot;
fro ſochot ſišen to ſichem,
From thence Jacob went to Succoth,
And wune šor-inne ſalem,
and afterwards to Shalem,
šor him ſolde an lond kinge emor,
And he drog šider and wunede šor;
wiš newe alter wuršed he wel
še ſtrong god of yſrael.
where he bought a piece of land from Hamor.
Hiſ dowter dina šor miſ-dede,
ghe nam leueles fro šat ſtede,
Here his daughter Dinah "mis-did."
To ſen de werld šhugte hire god,
šat made hire ſišen ſeri-mod,
for-liſtede hire owen red;
 [Fol. 36b.]
She went out to see the world.
Sichem tok hire maiden-hed;
Emor his fader, ſišen for-ši,
And hiſ burge-folc fellen in wi;
Shechem took her maidenhead.
Symeon and leui it bi-ſpeken,
And hauen here ſiſter šor i-wreken;
folc of ſalem šor-fore waſ ſlagen,
wiwes, and childre, and agte up-dragen;
Oc iacob ne wiſte it nogt,
Simeon and Levi slew the Shechemites and spoiled the city.
Til šat wreche to bale was wrogt,
Oc michil he frigtede for-ši,
bošen ſymeon and leui.
Jacob reproved Simeon and Levi for their cruelty.
Henden ſichem ne durſten he wunen,
šat folkes kin god bad him ſunen,
They durst not dwell longer at Shechem, but went to Bethel.



caldit MS.



And šeden[191] faren to betel,
And he folgede iſ red on ſel;
Agte unclene ne wulde he beren,
for he dredde him it ſulde him deren;
Godes šat rachel hadde ſtolen,
And ay til šan wiš him for-holen,
Their unclean goods they bore not with them.
And ošre ydeles brogt fro ſichem,
Gol prenes and ringeſ wiš hem,
Diep he iſ dalf under an ooc,
Made him non giſcing in herte wooc.
Their idols and gold rings they buried under an oak.
Longe it weren šor for-hid;
Men ſeiš for-ši waſ ſo bi-tid,
for ſalamon findin iſ ſal,
And hiſ temple ſrišen wiš-al.
Iacob wente fro šeden[192] in ſped,
 [Fol. 37.]
Long they remained buried, until Solomon found them and decked his temple with them.
God ſente on šat erdfolc ſwilc dred,
šan[193] here non iacob ſcaše ne dede;
Quane he wente a-wei fro šat ſtede,
God sent a fear upon the folk round about, so they did no hurt to the sons of Jacob.
He made an alter at betel,
Alſ he god bi-het, šor he geld wel.
Jacob makes an altar at Bethel.
Sišen šo beniamin was boren,
Benjamin is born.
Rachel adde še life for-loren;
Iacob dalf hire and merke dede,
šat iſ get ſene on šat ſtede.
Rachel dies.
Šor quiles he wunede at tur ader,
Ruben miſdede wid[194] bala šer.
At Edar Reuben "misdid" and lay with his father's concubine.
Sišen cam iacob to ebron,
And fond his moder of werlde gon;
Starf yſaac quan he waſ hold
Jacob arrives at Hebron, and finds his mother gone from this world.
.ix. ſcore ger and fiue told,
And was doluen on šat ſtede,
šor man adam and eue dede.
So riche were growen hiſe ſunen,
šat he ne migte to-gider wunen;
Isaac dies at the age of nine score years.
Oc eſau, ſeyr [and] edon
Lond ydumeam wunede on;
Esau dwells in Edom,










Of edon ſo it higte ša,
 [Fol. 37b.]
for it was hoten ear bozra.
Hear haued[195] moyſes ouer-gon,
šor-fore he wended eft a-gon.
xii. ger or yſaac waſ dead
which was before called Bozra.
Iacobes ſunes deden un-red;
Jacob's sons did wickedly.
FOr ſextene ger ioſeph was old,
Quane he was in-to egipte ſold;
He was iacobes gunkeſte ſune,
Joseph was sixteen when sold into Egypt.
Bricteſt of waſpene,[196] and of witter wune,
If he ſag hiſe brešere miſ-faren,
Hiſ fader he it gan vn-hillen & baren;
He wulde šat he ſulde hem ten
šat he wel-šewed ſulde ben;
Joseph informed his father of his brethren's misdeeds.
for-ši wexem[197] wiš gret niš
And hate, for it in ille [herte] liš.
šo wex her hertes nišful & bold
Quanne he hem adde iſ dremeſ told,
šat hiſ handful ſtod rigt up ſoren,
His brethren envied him on account of his dreams.
And here it leigen alle hem bi-foren;
And ſunne, & mone, & ſterres .xie.[198]
wuršeden him wiš frigti luue;
šo ſeide hiſ fader, "hu mai šis ſen
šat šu ſalt šuſ wuršed ben,
The vision of the sun, moon, and eleven stars.
šat šine brešere, and ic, and ſhe
šat še bar, ſulen luten še?"
Jacob reproached his son, yet he believed it should be so.
šuſ he chidden hem bi-twen,
šoge šhogte iacob ſiše it ſulde ben.
 [Fol. 38.]
Hiſe brešere kepten at ſichem
Hirdneſſe, & iacob to ſen hem
The sons of Jacob kept flocks at Shechem.
ſente ioſeph to dalen ebron;
And he was redi his wil to don.
In ſichem feld ne fonde hem nogt,
Joseph was sent to see how they fared.
In dotayin he fond hem ſogt;
He knewen him fro feren kumen,
His brethren knew him from afar,





So in MS.


For endluue?



Hate hem on ros, in herte numen;
Swilc niš & hate roſ hem on,
He redden alle him for to ſlon.
"Nai," quad ruben, "ſlo we him nogt,
and took counsel to slay him.
Ošer ſinne may ben wrogt,
Quat-ſo him drempte šor quiles he ſlep,
In šiſ šiſterneſſe,[199] old and dep,
Get wurše[200] worpen naked and cold,
Quat-ſo hiſ dremeſ owen a-wold."
šiſ dede waſ don wid[201] herte ſor,
Reuben advised them to throw Joseph into an old and deep pit.
Ne wulde ruben nogt drechen šor;
He gede and ſogte an ošer ſtede,
Hiſ erue in bettre lewſe he dede;
Reuben left his brethren to seek better pasture for his cattle.
Vdas dor[202] quiles gaf hem red,
šat was fulfilt of derne ſped;
fro galaad men wiš chafare
Sag he šor kumen wid ſpices ware;
Judah gave them bad advice,
To-warde egipte he gunne ten.
Iudas tagte hu it ſulde ben,
 [Fol. 38b.]
Ioseph ſolde še brešere ten,
for .xxx. plates to še chapmen;
Get waſt bettre he šuſ waſ ſold,
dan[203] he šor ſtorue in here wold.
and Joseph was sold for thirty pieces of silver.
Šan ruben cam šider a-gen,
to šat ciſterneſſe[204] he ran to ſen;
He miſſed Ioseph and šhogte ſwem,
Reuben came thither again and found Joseph gone.
wende him ſlagen, ſet up an rem;
Nile he blinnen, ſwilc ſorwe he cliued,
Til him he ſweren šat he liued.
šo nomen he še childes ſrud,
še iacob hadde mad im[205] in prud;
Great was his outcry, which did not cease until he was assured that Joseph lived.
In kides blod he wenten it,
šo waſ šor-on an rewli lit.
Sondere men he it leiden on,
Joseph's coat was dipt in kid's blood,



he is inserted in the later hand.








MS. cifterneſſe.


madim in MS.



And ſenten it iacob in-to ebron,
And ſhewed it him, and boden him ſen
If hiſ childes wede it migte ben;
Senten him bode he funden it.
šo iacob ſag dat[206] ſori writ,
and sent to Jacob at Hebron.
He gret, and ſeide šat "wilde der
Hauen min ſune ſwolgen her."
"Evil beasts," said Jacob, "have swallowed my son."
Hiſ clošes rent, in haigre ſrid,
Long grot and ſorge is him bi-tid.
Long was his lamentation and sorrow.
His ſunes comen him to ſen,
And hertedin him if it migte ben;
 [Fol. 39.]
"Nai! nai!" quat he, "helped it nogt,
Mai non herting on me ben wrogt;
ic ſal ligten til helle dale,
And groten šor min ſunes bale."
Jacob would not be comforted for the loss of Joseph.
(šor was in helle a ſundri ſtede,
wor še ſeli folc reſte dede;
šor he ſtunden til helpe cam,
In hell was a separate abode where the righteous rested,
Til ihesu crist fro šeden[207] he nam.)
še chapmen ſkiuden here fare,
till Christ took them from thence.
In-to egipte ledden šat ware;
wiš putifar še kinges ſtiward,
He maden ſwiše bigetel forward,
So michel fe šor iſ hem told,
He hauen him bogt, he hauen ſold.
The merchants took their ware to Egypt.
Putifar waſ wol riche man,
And he bogte ioſeph al foršan
Potiphar bought Joseph.
He wulde don iſ lechur-hed
wiš ioseph, for hiſe faire-hed,
Oc he wurš šo ſo kinde cold,
To don ſwilc dede adde he no wold;
He entertained impure desires towards him,
ſwilc ſelše cam him fro a-buuen,
God dede it al for ioſeph luue[n].
Biſſop in eliopoli[208]
Men ſeiš he was ſišen for-ši,
but Joseph was strengthened from above.





In [H]Eliopolis; the words are run together.



šog had he šo wif(.) and bi-foren
Childre of him bi-geten and of hire boren,
Oc after šis it ſo bi-cam,
Ioseph iſ dowter to wiue nam.
 [Fol. 39b.]
Putifar luuede ioſeph wel,
bi-tagte him hiſ huſ euerilc del,
And he wuršede riche man an heg,
Potiphar loved Joseph well.
vnder ioſeph hiſ welše šeg.
Hiſ wif wurš wilde, and nam in šogt
His wealth prospered under Joseph's care.
vn-rigt-wiſ luue, and ſwanc for nogt,
One and ſtille šogt hire gamen
wiš ioſeph ſpeken and plaigen ſamen;
His wife sought to lead Joseph astray.
Ghe bed him gold, and agte, and fe,
To maken him riche man and fre,
wiš-šhan šat he wiš here wile;
Oc him mislikede šat ghe wile;
for ſcriš, ne šret, ne mai ghe bi-geten
for to don him chaſthed for-geten;
For gold nor for wealth of any kind would he "forget his chastity."
Often ghe šrette, often ghe ſcroš,
Oc al it was him o-like loš.
An time he was at hire tgeld,
šo ghe him his mentel for-held;
Neither threats nor intreaties prevailed.
for he wiš hire ne wulde ſpeken,
Ghe šhenkeš on him for to ben wreken;
Sone ghe mai hire louerd[209] ſen,
Ghe god him bitterlike a-gen,
Wherefore she sought to be revenged upon Joseph.
And ſeiš ioſeph hire wulde don,
šat ghe ne migte him bringen on;
"šiſ mentel ic wiš-held for-ši,
To tawnen [še] še ſoše her-bi."
še wite iſ hiſe(.) še right iſ hire,
God al-migtin še ſoše ſhire.
 [Fol. 40.]
She accused him falsely to Potiphar,
Pvtifar trewiš hiſe wiwes tale,
And haued[210] dempt ioſep to bale;
He bad [him] ben ſperd faſt dun,
who, believing his wife's tale,
And holden harde in priſun.
threw Joseph into prison.

MS. loruerd.


? haueš.



An litel ſtund, quile he waſ šer,
So gan him luuen še priſuner,
And him de[211] chartre haueš bi-tagt,
The gaoler loved Joseph.
wiš šo priſunes to liuen in hagt.
Or for miſdede, or for on-ſagen,
šor woren to šat priſun dragen,
In this prison, either for misdeed or bad words,
On šat še kingeſ kuppe bed,
And on še made še kingeſ bred;
were placed the chief butler and baker.
Hem drempte dremes bošen onigt,
And he wuršen ſwiše ſore o-frigt;
Ioſeph hem ſeruede šor on ſel,
At here drink and at here mel,
Both dreamt dreams in one night,
He herde hem murnen(.) he hem freinde for-quat;
Harde dremes ogen awold šat.
which caused them to become very sorrowful.
šo ſeide he to še butuler,
"Tel me šin drem, mi brošer her.
Joseph inquired the reason of their grief.
Quešer-ſo it wurše ſofte or ſtrong,
še reching wurš on god bi-long."
 [Fol. 40b.]
"Me drempte, ic ſtod at a win-tre,
The butler's dream.
šat adde waxen buges šre,
Oreſt it blomede, and ſišen bar
A vine with three branches
še beries ripe wurš ic war;
še kinges [kuppe] ic hadde on hond,
bore grapes;
še beries šor-inne me šhugte ic wrong,
And bar it drinken to pharaon,
Me drempte, alſ ic waſ wune to don."
the juice the butler squeezed into Pharaoh's cup, and gave him to drink as he was wont.
"Good is," quaš Ioſeph, "to dremen of win,
heilneſſe an bliſſe iſ šer-in;
"Good it is," said Joseph, "to dream of wine.
šre daies ben get for to cumen,
šu ſalt ben ut of priſun numen,
And on šin offiz ſet agen;
In three days thou shalt be restored to thy office,
Of me šu šhenke šan it ſal ben,
Bed min herdne to pharaon,
ša[t] ic ut of prisun wurše don,
then think of me and bear my errand to Pharaoh,
for ic am ſtolen of kinde lond,
and her wrigteleſlike holden in bond."
for I am here wrongfully held in prison."




Quaš šis bred-wrigte, "lišeš nu me,
me drempte ic bar bread-lepes šre,
And šor-in bread and ošer meten,
Quilke ben wune še kinges to eten;
The "breadwright's" dream.
And fugeles hauen šor-on lagt,
šor-fore ic am in ſorge and hagt,
Fowls seized on the baskets of bread intended for the king,
for ic ne migte me nogt weren,
 [Fol. 41.]
Ne šat mete fro hem beren."
"Me wore leuere," quad Ioſeph,
"Of eddi dremes rechen ſwep;
and he could not keep the meat from them.
šu ſalt, after še šridde dei,
ben do on rode, weila-wei!
And fugeles ſulen ši fleis to-teren,
šat ſal non agte mugen še weren."
Soš wurš ſo ioſeph ſeide šat,
"In three days," said Joseph, "thou shalt be hanged, and fowls shall tear thy flesh in pieces."
šis buteler Ioſeph ſone for-gat.
The butler soon forgat Joseph.
Two ger ſišen was Ioſeph ſperd
šor in priſun wiš-uten erd;
After two years,
Šo drempte pharaon king a drem,
Pharaoh dreamt a dream.
šat he ſtod bi še flodes ſtrem,
And šeden[212] ut-comen .vii. neet,
Euerilc wel ſwiše fet and gret,
And .vii. lene after šo,
še deden še .vii. fette wo,
He stood by the river, and there came seven "neat" fat and great, and seven lean after,
še lene hauen še fette freten;
šiſ drem ne mai še king for-geten.
An ošer drem cam him bi-foren,
which ate up the fat ones.
.vii. eares wexen fette of coren,
On an busk ranc and wel tidi,
And .vii. lene rigt šor-bi,
welkede, and ſmale, and drugte numen,
še ranc he hauen šo ouer-cumen,
Seven full ears of corn sprang up "on a rank bush," and then came seven withered ears,
To-ſamen it ſmiten and, on a ſtund,
še fette šriſt hem to šo grund.
še king abraid and woc in šhogt,
šeſ dremes ſwep ne wot he nogt,
 [Fol. 41b.]
which smote the others to the ground.




Ne was non ſo wis man in al hiſ lond,
še kude vn-don šis dremes bond;
None were found able to interpret the dreams.
šo him bi-šhogte šat buteler
Of šat him drempte in priſun šer,
And of ioſeph in še priſun,
And he it tolde še king pharaun.
The butler bethought him of Joseph.
Ioſeph waſ ſone in priſun šo hogt,
And ſhauen, & clad, & to him brogt;
Joseph is taken from prison,
še king him bad ben hardi & bold,
If he can rechen šis dremeſ wold;
and brought before Pharaoh,
He told him quat him drempte o nigt,
And ioſep rechede his drem wel rigt.
who related to him his dreams.
"šis two dremes bošen ben on,
God wile še tawnen, king pharaon;
šo .vij. ger ben get to cumen,
"The two dreams," answered Joseph, "are one."
In al fulſum-hed ſulen it ben numen,
And .vij. ošere ſulen after ben,
"Seven years of plenty
Sori and nedful men ſulen iſ ſen;
Al šat šiſe firſt .vii. maken,
Sulen šiſ ošere .vii. roſpen & raken;
shall be followed by seven years of famine.
Ic rede še king, nu her bi-foren,
To maken lašes and gaderen coren,
I advise thee to make barns and store up corn, that thy folk perish not."
šat šin folc ne wurš vnder-numen,
Quan šo hungri gere ben forš-cumen."
King pharaon liſtnede hiſe red,
šat wurš him ſišen ſeli ſped.
 [Fol. 42.]
He bi-tagte ioſep hiſ ring,
And his bege of gold for wuršing,
Pharaoh gave Joseph his ring,
And bad him al hiſ lond bi-ſen,
And under him hegeſt for to ben,
And bad him welden in hiſ hond
His folc, and agte, & al his lond;
and bad him rule the whole land.
šo waſ vnder him šanne putifar,
And hiſ wif šat hem ſo to-bar.
Ioſep to wiue his dowter nam,
Ošer is nu quan ear bi-cam;
Then were Potiphar and his wife under him.


And ghe šer him two childer bar,
Or men wurš of šat hunger war,
first manaſſen and effraym;
He luueden god, he geld it hem.
Before the famine came two sons were born to Joseph.
še .vii. fulſum geres faren,
Ioſep cuše him bi-foren waren;
šan coren wantede in ošer lond,
šo ynug [was] vnder his hond.
The years of plenty pass away.
Hvnger wex in lond chanaan,
And his .x. ſunes iacob for-šan
The famine was felt in Canaan.
Sente in-to egipt to bringen coren;
He bilef at hom še was gungeſt boren.
Jacob sent his ten sons to Egypt to buy corn.
še .x. comen, for nede ſogt,
To Ioſep, and he ne knewen him nogt,
 [Fol. 42b.]
And šog he lutten him frigtilike,
Anš ſeiden to him mildelike,
"We ben ſondes for nede driuen
To bigen coren šor-bi to liuen."
Though they honoured Joseph,
(Ioſep hem knew al in his šhogt,
Alſ he let he knew hem nogt.)
"It ſemet wel šat ge ſpies ben,
yet he pretended not to know them.
And in-to šiſ lond cumen to ſen,
And cume ge for non ošer šing,
but for to ſpien ur lord še king."
"Nai," he ſeiden euerilc on,
He accused them of being spies.
"Spies were we neuer non,
Oc alle we ben on faderes ſunen,
For hunger doš es[213] hider cumen."
"Oc nu ic wot ge ſpieſ ben,
for bi gure bering men mai it ſen;
They declared that they were true men, the sons of one father.
Hu ſulde oni man[214] poure for-geten,
ſwilke and ſo manige ſunes bigeten?
for ſeldum bi-tid ſelf ani king
ſwilc men to ſen of hiſe ofſpring."
"Only kings," said Joseph, "had so many sons."

došes MS.


MS. Hu suld sulde oninan.



"A louerd, merci! get iſ šor on
migt he nogt fro his fader gon;
He iſ gungeſt, hoten beniamin,
for we ben alle of ebriſſe kin."
"One," the brethren said, "is at home with his father."
"Nu, bi še feiš ic og to king pharaon,
ſule ge nogt alle ešen gon,
Til ge me bringen beniamin,
ša gungeſte brošer of pore[215] kin."
For šo waſ Ioſep ſore for-dred
šat he wore oc šhurg hem for-red;
He dede hem binden, and leden dun,
 [Fol. 43.]
Quoth Joseph, "Ye shall not all go hence, until ye bring me Benjamin."
And ſperen faſte in his priſun;
še šridde dai he let hem gon,
Al but še ton brošer ſymeon;
šiſ ſymeon bi-lef šor in bond,
To wedde under Ioſepes hond.
šes ošere brešere, ſone on-on,
Token leue and wenten hom;
He kept them in prison, and on the third day let them all go except Simeon.
And ſone he weren šeden[216] went,
Wel ſore he hauen hem bi-ment,
And ſeiden hem šan šor bi-twen,
The others bemoaned their ill-luck.
"Wrigtful we in ſorwe ben,
for we ſinigeden quilum or
On hure brošer michil mor,
for we werneden him merci,
Nu drege we ſorge al for-ši."
Wende here non it on hiſ mod,
Oc Ioſep al it under-ſtod.
They thought of their sin towards Joseph.
Ioſepes men šor quiles deden
Al-ſo Ioſep hem adde beden;
Joseph's men did, meanwhile, as they were commanded,
šo brešere ſeckes hauen he filt,
And in euerilc še ſiluer pilt
šat šor was paid for še coren,
And bunden še mušes šor bi-foren;
Oc še brešere ne wiſten it nogt
Hu šis dede wurše wrogt;
 [Fol. 43b.]
and filled the brothers' sacks, and placed in them the money paid for the corn.






Oc alle he weren ouer-šogt,
And hauen it ſo to iacob brogt,
And tolden him ſo of here ſped,
And al he it liſtnede in frigtihed;
Unopened they brought them to Jacob and told him how they had sped.
And quan men šo ſeckes šor un-bond,
And in še coren šo agtes fond,
Alle he woren šanne[217] ſori ofrigt.
Iacob šus him bi-meneš o-rigt,
Great was their fear when they saw the money in the sack's mouth.
"Wel michel ſorge is me bi-cumen,
šat min two childre aren me for-numen;
"Much sorrow," says Jacob, "is come upon me,
Of Ioſep wot ic ending non,
And bondes ben leid on ſymeon;
If ge beniamin fro me don,
Dead and ſorge me ſegeš on;
since my two children are taken from me.
Ai ſal beniamin wiš me bi-lewen
šor quiles ic ſal on werlde liuen."
šo quaš iudas, "us ſal ben hard,
If we no[218] holden him non forward."
Benjamin shall remain with me."
Wex derke,[219] šis coren iſ gon,
Iacob eſt[220] bit hem faren agon,
The corn is soon consumed, and Jacob bids them go to Egypt for more.
Oc he ne duren še weie cumen in,
"but ge wiš uſ ſenden beniamin;"
 [Fol. 44.]
šo quaš he, "quan it iſ ned,
And ne can no bettre red,
Jacob is persuaded to send Benjamin.
Bereš dat[221] ſiluer hol agon,
šat hem šor-of ne wante non,
He sends back the silver,
And ošer ſiluer šor bi-foren,
for to bigen wiš ošer coren;
and other corn-money,
fruit and ſpices of dere priſ,
Bereš šat man šat iſ ſo wiſ;
God hunne him eši-modes ben,
And ſende me min childre agen."
together with a present of fruit and spices for Joseph.
šo nomen he forš weie rigt,
Til he ben cumen in-to egypte ligt;
The brethren come again to Egypt.
And quanne Ioſep hem alle ſag,
Kinde šogt in his herte was [šag].
Joseph treats them kindly,

MS. šanno











He bad hiſ ſtiward gerken iſ meten,
He ſeide he ſulden wiš him alle eten;
He ledde hem alle to Ioſepes biri,
Her non hadden šo loten miri.
"Louerd," he ſeiden šo euerilc on,
and bids his steward prepare a feast for them.
"Gur ſiluer iſ gu brogt a-gon,
It was in ure ſeckes don,
Ne wiſte ur non gilt šor-on."
"Beš nu ſtille," quad ſtiward,
"for ic nu haue min forward."
They tell Joseph that they have brought back the silver which they found in their sacks.
šor cam šat brošer ſymeon
And kiſte iſ brešere on and on;
Wel fagen he was of here come,
for he was numen šor to nome.
 [Fol. 44b.]
Simeon was brought out unto them.
It was vndren time or more,
Om cam šat riche louerd šore;
And al šo brišere, of frigti mod,
Joseph came home about noon,
fellen bi-forn šat louerd-iſ fot,
And bedden him riche preſent
šat here fader hi[m] adde ſent;
And he leuelike it under-ſtod,
for alle he weren of kinde blod.
and the brethren offered him their present.
"LIueš," quad he, "šat fader get,
šat šus manige ſunes bi-gat?"
He inquires after his father.
"louerd," he ſeiden, "get he liueš,
Wot ic šor non šat he ne biueš;
They answer that Jacob is well,
And šiſ iſ gunge beniamin,
Hider brogt after bode-word šin."
šo Iosep ſag him šor bi-foren,
Bi fader & moder brošer boren,
and that Benjamin stands before him.
Him ouer-wente his herte on-on,
Kinde luue gan him ouer-gon;
Joseph was overcome.
Sone he gede ut and ſtille he gret,
šat al his wlite wurš teres wet.
He went out and wept secretly.
After šat grot, he weiſ iſ wliten,
And cam šan in and bad hem eten
After a while he returned to them and bade them eat.


He dede hem waſſen and him bi-foren,
And ſette hem aſ he weren boren;
Get he šhogte of hiſ faderes wunes
Hu he ſette at še mete hiſe ſunes;
 [Fol. 45.]
He made his brethren sit before him according to their age.
Of euerilc ſonde, of euerilc win,
moſt and beſt he gaf beniamin.
In fulſum-hed he wuršen glaše,[222]
Ioſep ne šoht šor-of no ſcaše,
Oc it him likede ſwiše wel,
Of meat and wine, the best he gave to Benjamin.
And hem lerede and tagte wel,
And hu he ſulden hem beſt leden,
Quene he comen in vnkinde šeden;
Joseph gave them good counsel,
"And al še bettre ſule ge ſpeden,
If ge wilen gu wiš treweiše leden."
and advised them to act truthfully.
Eft on morwen quan it waſ dai,
Or or še brešere ferden a-wei,
Here ſeckes woren alle filt wiš coren,
And še ſiluer šor-in bi-foren;
On the morrow they depart.
And še ſeck šat agte beniamin
Ioſepes cuppe hid was šor-in;
And quuan he weren ut tune went,
Ioſep haueš hem after ſent.
Joseph's cup is hid in Benjamin's sack.
šis ſonde hem ouertakeš raše,
And bi-calleš of harme and ſcaše;
Joseph's messenger overtakes them,
"Vn-ſeli men, quat haue ge don?
Gret vn-ſelšehe iſ gu cumen on,
and accuses them of theft.
for iſ it nogt min lord for-holen,
ša[t] gure on haueš iſ cuppe ſtolen."
š[o] ſeiden še brešere ſikerlike,
 [Fol. 45b.]
"Vp quam šu it findes witterlike,
He ſlagen and we agen driuen
In-to šraldom, euermor to liuen."
The brethren assert their innocence.
He gan hem ranſaken on and on,
And fond it šor ſone a-non,
And nam šo brešere euerilk on,
And ledde hem ſorful a-gon,
They are ransacked one by one,

= glade.



And brogte hem bi-for ioſep
Wid reweli lote, and ſorwe, and wep.
šo quat ioſep, "ne wiſte ge nogt
and brought before Joseph,
šat ic am o wol witter šogt?
Mai nogt longe me ben for-holen
Quat-ſo-euere on londe wurš ſtolen."
who reproaches them for their crime.
"Louerd!" quad Iudas, "do wiš me
Quat-ſo ši wille on werlde be,
Wiš-šan-šat šu friše beniamin;
ic ledde [him] ut on trewthe min,
šat he ſulde ef[223] cumen a-gen
to hiſe fader, and wiš him ben."
Judah tells Joseph of his promise to his father.
šo cam ioſep ſwilc rewše up-on,
he dede halle ut še tošere gon,
And ſpac un-ešes, ſo e gret,
šat alle hiſe wlite wurš tereſ wet.
Joseph commands all, except his brethren, to leave him, and makes himself known to them.
"Ic am ioſep, dredeš gu nogt,
for gure helše or hider brogt;
Two ger ben nu šat derke[224] iſ cumen,
Get ſulen .v. fulle ben numen,
šat men ne ſulen ſowen ne ſheren,
So ſal drugte še feldes deren.
 [Fol. 46.]
Rapeš gu to min fader a-gen,
And ſeiš him quilke min bliſſes ben,
And doš him to me cumen hider,
Tells them to hasten to his father,
And ge and gure orf al to-gider;
Of lewſe god in lond gerſen
ſulen ge ſundri riche ben."
Euerilc he kiſte, on ilc he gret,
Ilc here was of iſ teres wet.
and return with their cattle to Egypt.
Sone it was king pharaon kid
Hu šis newe tiding wurš bi-tid;
And he was bliše, in herte fagen,
šat Ioſep wulde him šider dragen,
for luue of Ioſep migte he timen.
Soon did Pharaoh learn the new tidings.
He bad cartes and waines nimen,
He bad them take carts and






And fechen wiues, and childre, and men,
And gaf hem šor al lond gerſen,
And het hem šat he ſulden hauen
More and bet šan he kude crauen.
wains and fetch their wives and children.
Ioſep gaf ilc here twinne ſrud,
Beniamin moſt he[225] made prud;
Joseph gave them changes of raiment.
fif weden beſt bar beniamin,
šre hundred plates of ſiluer fin,
Al-ſo fele ošre šor-til,
 [Fol. 46b.]
He bad ben in is faderes wil,
And .x. aſſes wiš ſemes feſt;
Of alle egiptes welšhe beſt
Gaf he iſ brešere, wiš herte bliše,
He bad them take presents for Jacob,
And bad hem rapen hem homward ſwiše;
And he ſo deden wiš herte fagen.
Toward here fader he gunen dragen,
and hasten homeward.
And quane he comen him bi-foren,
Ne wiſte he nogt quat he woren.
When they came home, Jacob scarcely recognized them.
"Louerd," he ſeiden, "iſrael,
Ioſep šin ſune greteš še wel,
And ſendeš še bode šat he liueš,
Al egipte in hiſ wil cliueš."
"Lord Israel," they said, "Joseph liveth and greeteth thee well."
Iacob a-braid, and trewed it nogt,
Til he ſag al šat welše brogt.
"Wel me," quaš he, "wel iſ me wel,
šat ic aue abiden šuſ ſwil[c] ſel!
Jacob believed not till he saw the presents.
And ic ſal to min ſune fare
And ſen, or ic of werlde chare."
Then he said, "I shall go to my son ere I turn from the world."
[I]Acob wente ut of lond chanaan,
And of iſ kinde wel manie a man;
Ioſep wel faire him vnder-ſtod,
And pharaon šogte it ful good;
Jacob and his family left Canaan.
for šat he weren hirde-men,
 [Fol. 47.]
He bad hem ben in lond gerſen.
Iacob waſ brogt bi-foren še king
for to geuen him hiſ bliſcing.
Pharaoh gives them the land of Goshen to live in. Jacob is brought before Pharaoh,

MS. be.



"fader derer," quaš pharaon,
"hu fele ger be še on?"
"An hundred ger and .xxx. mo
Haue ic her drogen in werlde wo,
šog šinkeš me šor-offen fo,
and tells him of his age,
šog ic iſ haue drogen in wo,
ſišen ic gan on werlde ben,
Her vten erd, man-kin bi-twen;
So šinked[226] euerilc wiſ man,
of his many sorrows,
še wot quor-of man-kin bi-gan,
And še of adames gilte muneš,
šat he her uten herdes wuneš."
and how all suffer for the sin of Adam.
Pharaon bad him wuršen wel
in ſofte reſte and ſeli mel;
He and hiſe ſunes in reſte dede
In lond gerſen, on ſundri ſtede;
Sišen šor waſ mad on ſcité,
še waſ y-oten Rameſé.
Pharaoh bad him rest in peace.
Iacob on liue wunede šor
In reſte fulle .xiiij. ger;
Jacob lived one hundred and forty-four years.
And god him let bi-foren ſen
Quilc time hiſe ending ſulde ben;
God showed him the time of his death.
He bad ioſep hiſe leue ſune,
On šhing šat[227] offe wel mune,
šat quan it wurš mid him don,
 [Fol. 47b.]
Jacob bad Joseph promise
He ſulde him birien in ebron;
And witterlike he it aueš him ſeid,
to bury him in Hebron,
še ſtede šor abraham was leid;
So was him lif[228] to wuršen leid,
Quuor ali gast ſtille hadde ſeid
where Abraham was laid,
Him and hiſe eldere(.) fer ear bi-foren,
Quuor ieſu criſt wulde ben boren,
And quuor ben dead, and quuor ben grauen;
He šogt wiš hem reſte to hauen.
and his elders before him.
Ioſep ſwor him al-ſo he bad,
And he šor-of wurš bliše & glad.
Joseph swore to do as his father wished.








Or šan he wiſte off werlde faren,
He bade hiſe kinde to him charen,
And ſeide quat of hem ſulde ben,
Hali gaſt dede it him ſeen;
In clene ending and ali lif,
So he for-let šis werldes ſtrif.
Before he died Jacob called his sons before him, and "said what of them should be."
[I]Oſep dede hiſe lich faire geren,
Waſſen, and riche-like ſmeren,
And ſpice-like ſwete ſmaken;
Joseph caused his father's body to be embalmed.
And egipte folc him bi-waken
xl. nigtes and .xl. daiges,
ſwilc woren egipte lages.
Egypt's folk "bewaked" Jacob for forty nights and forty days.
first .ix. nigt še liches bešen,
And ſmeren, and winden, and bi-quešen,
And waken iſ ſišen .xl. nigt;
šo men ſo deden še adden migt.
 [Fol. 48.]
The first nine nights they bathe, anoint, etc., the body.
And ebriſſe folc adden an kire,
Nogt ſone deluen it wiš yre,
The Hebrews had a different custom;
Oc waſſen it and kepen it rigt,
they wash the body,
Wiš-vten ſmerles, ſeuene nigt,
And ſiden[229] ſmered .xxx. daiges.
Criſtene folc haueš ošer laiges,
He ben ſmered šor quiles he liuen,
and keep it unanointed for seven nights.
Wiš criſme and olie, in trewše geuen;
for trewše and gode dedes mide,
šon[230] ben šan al šat wech-dede;
Sum .on. ſum .šre. sum .vii. nigt,
Sum .xxx., ſum .xii. moneš rigt;
And ſum euerilc wuršen ger,
šor quiles šat he wunen her,
Christian folks are anointed with chrism and oil in their life-time.
don for še dede chirche-gong,
elmeſſe-gifte, and meſſe-ſong,
And šat iſ on še weches ſtede;
Wel him mai ben dat[231] wel it dede!
For the dead they perform alms-gift and mass-song.
Egipte folc aueš him waked
xl. nigt, and feſte maked,
Jacob's sons kept a "wake" of thirty days.








And hiſe ſunes .xxx. daiges,
In clene lif and ali daiges;[232]
So woren forš .x. wukes gon,
get adde Iacob birigeles non.
And pharaon king cam bode bi-foren,
 [Fol. 48b.]
So ten weeks passed away and Jacob had no burial.
šat Ioſep haueš his fader ſworen;
And he it him gatte šor he wel dede,
Pharaoh heard of Joseph's oath to his father,
And bad him nimen him feres mide,
Wel wopnede men and wiſ of here[n],
dat[233] noman hem bi weie deren;
šat bere iſ led, šiſ folc iſ rad,
he foren a-buten bi adad;
ful ſeuene nigt he šer abiden,
And bi-mening for iacob deden;
So longe he hauen šešen numen,
and gave him leave to bury his father, and to take with him "weaponed" men.
To flum iurdon šat he ben cumen,
And ouer pharan til ebron;
šor iſ šat liche in biriele don,
And Ioſep in-to egipte went,
Wid[234] al iſ folc ut wiš him ſent.
They crossed the Jordan, and laid the body in a tomb, and Joseph returned to Egypt.
Hiſe brešere comen him šanne to,
And gunnen him bi-ſeken alle ſo;
"Vre fader," he ſeiden, "or he was dead,
Vs he šiſ bodewurd ſeigen bead,
Hure ſinne šu him for-giue,
Wiš-šanne-šat we vnder še liuen."
His brethren came to him to seek forgiveness,
Alle he fellen him šor to fot,
To bešen meše and bedden oc;
and fell down there before his feet, and he forgave and loved them kindly.
And he it for-gaf[235] hem mildelike,
And luuede hem alle kinde-like.
 [Fol. 49.]
[I]Oſep an hundred ger waſ hold,
And hiſ kin wexen manige-fold;
Joseph waxed old;
He bad ſibbe cumen him bi-foren,
Or he waſ ut of werlde boren;
he bad his relations come before him ere he died,







At the bottom of fol. 48b is the catchword—"And he it for-gaff."



"It ſal," quaš he, "ben ſoš, bi-foren
šat god haš ure eldere ſworen;
He ſal gu leden in hiſ hond
Hešen to šat hotene lond;
for godeſ luue get bid ic gu,
Leſted it šanne, hoteš it nu,
and told them of God's promise to their elders.
šat mine bene ne be for-loren,
wiš gu ben mine bones boren."
He it him gatten and wurš he dead,
God do še ſoule ſeli red!
He asks them to bear his bones with them, when they leave Egypt.
Hiſe liche waſ ſpice-like maked,
And longe egipte-like waked,
And šo biried hem bi-foren,
And ſišen late of londe boren.
Hiſe ošre brešere, on and on,
Woren ybiried at ebron.
The death of Joseph.
An her endede to ful, in wiſ,
še boc še iſ hoten geneſis,
še moyſes, šurg godes red,
Wrot for lefful ſoules ned.
Here endeth the book called Genesis, written by Moses, through God's counsel.
God ſchilde hiſe ſowle fro helle bale,
še made it šus on engel tale!
And he šat šiſe lettres wrot,
 [Fol. 49b.]
God shield his soul from hell-bale, who translated it into English!
God him helpe weli mot,
And berge iſ ſowle fro ſorge & grot
Of helle pine, cold & hot!
And alle men, še it heren wilen,[236]
May God help and protect him from hell-pain, cold and hot!
God leue hem in hiſ bliſſe ſpilen
Among engeles & ſeli men,
Wišuten ende in reſte ben,
And luue & pais uſ bi-twen,
And god ſo graunte, amen, ameN!
And all men who will hear it, God grant that they may dwell in bliss among angels for ever!

MS. welin.



GOdes bliſcing be wiš vs,
Her nu bi-ginned[237] exodus.
Here beginneth Exodus.
Pharao kinges rigte name
Vephres, be dede še ebriſ frame;
And bi ošere ſeuene kinges ſel,
Under Pharaoh, and the seven kings who succeeded him,
Wexen he šore & šogen wel.
the Israelites increased and prospered.
še egtenede king amonaphis,
Agenes šis folc hatel is;
The eighth king treated them harshly,
And egipte folc adden niš,
for ebriſ adden ſeli ſiš.
Quuaš šis ging[238] wiš hem ſtille in red,
"šis ebris waxen michil ſped,
and the Egyptians became jealous of them.
Bute if we eraflike[239] hem for-don,
Ne ſulen he non eige ſen uſ on."
 [Fol. 50.]
Šo ſette ſundri hem to waken
His tigel and lim, and walles maken,
burges feten; and rameſen
šurge here ſwinc it walled ben;
They made slaves of them, and set them to build walls.
Summe he deden in vn-šewed ſwinc,
for it was fugel and ful o ſtinc,
Some they made to do foul work,
Muc and fen ut of burgeſ beren,
šuſ bitterlike he gun hem deren;
še šridde ſwinc was eui and ſtron[g],
to carry "muck and fen out of the city,"
He deden hem crepen dikes long,
And wide a-buten burges gon,
and to creep along dikes.
And cumen šer ear waſ non;
And if šat folc hem wulde deren,
še dikeſ comb hem ſulde weren.
for al šat ſwinc heui & ſor,
The comb of the dike serves them as protection against their enemies.
Ay wex šat kinde, mor & mor,
And šhogen, & ſpredden in londe šor,
šat made še kinges herte ful ſor.
For all that labour, the folk increased and spread.
Šo bad monophis pharaun
wimmen ben ſet in euerilc tun,
Then bad Pharaoh,
And šat he weren redi bi-foren,
Quan ebru child ſuld be boren,
that every Hebrew male child should be put to death as soon as it was born.








And še knapes to deade giuen,
And leten še mayden childre liuen.
Oc he it leten fro godeſ dred;
Get šo childre wexen in ſped,
And quane he komen to še king,
 [Fol. 50b.]
The midwives saved the children's lives,
He wereden hem wiš leſing;
He ſeiden še childre weren boren
and lied to the king, saying,
Or he migten ben hem bi-foren.
God it geald šeſe wifes wel,
On hom, on hagte, eddi ſel!
that the children were born ere they arrived.
Šo bad šis king al opelike,
In alle burges modilike,
Euerilc knape child of šat kin
ben a-non don še flod wiš-in.
Pharaoh then bad that every "knave child" should be drowned.
BI šat time waſ moyſes boren,
So het abraham dor[240] bi-foren;
And his moder het Iacabeš,
Ghe was for him dreful and bleš,
By that time was Moses born.
wel is hire of bird[241] bi-tid.
šre moneš haueš ghe him hid,
durſte ghe non lengere him for-helen,
Ne ghe ne cuše še wateres ſtelen;
His mother hid him for three months.
In an fetles, of rigeſſes wrogt,
Terred, šat water dered it nogt,
Then she made an ark,
šiſ child wunden ghe wulde don,
placed the child in it,
And ſetten it ſo še water on;
and set it on the water.
Ghe adde or hire dowter ſent,
Miriam was sent to watch what became of it.
To loken quider it ſulde ben went;
Maria dowter ful feren ſtod,
And ghe nam kep to-ward šiſ flod.
 [Fol. 51.]
Teremuth kinkes[242] dowter šor cam,
šor šis child on še water nam;
Ghe bad it ben to hire brogt,
And ſag šis child wol fair[e] wrogt,
The king's daughter came and saw the child on the water.
Ghe wiſte it was of ebrius kin,
And šog cam hire rewde[243] wiš-in;
She wist it was of Hebrew kin,










God haued[244] ſwilc fair-hed him geuen,
šat ſelf še fon it leten liuen.
but let it live for its beauty.
Egipte wimmen comen ner,
And boden še childe letten šer,
Oc he wente it awei wiš rem,
Of here bode nam he no gem.
Egyptians wanted her to destroy the child.
ŠO quad maria to teremuth,
"wilt šu, leuedi, ic go fear out,
And take ſum wimman of šat kin
šor he waſ bi-gote & foſtred in?"
Miriam, at Teremuth's bidding,
Teremuth ſo bad, & ſche forš-ran,
And brogt hire a foſtre wimman,
On waſ tette he ſone aueš lagt,
fetches a "foster woman" for the child.
And teremuth haueš hire him bi-tagt.
Iakabeš wente bliše agen,
šat ghe še gildesſ[245] foſtre muſte ben;
Ghe kepte it wel in foſtre wune,
Ghe knew it for hire owen ſune;
Teremuth consigned Moses to Jochabed, who returned home blithely.
And quane it ſulde ſundred ben,
Ghe bar it teremuth for to ſen;
Teremuth toc it on ſunes ſtede,
And fedde it wel and clošen dede;
And ghe it clepit moyſen,
Ghe wiſte of water it boren ben.
 [Fol. 51b.]
When old enough, the child was adopted by Teremuth, who called it Moses.
An time after šat šiſ was don,
Ghe brogte him bi-foren pharaon,
And šiſ king wurš him in herte mild,
So ſwide[246] faiger was šiſ child;
And he toc him on ſunes ſtede,
And hiſ corune on his heued he dede,
And let it ſtonden ayne ſtund;
She brought him before Pharaoh, who placed the royal crown on his head.
še child it warp dun to de grund.
The child soon threw it to the ground.
Hamonel[247] likeneſ was šor-on;
šis crune is broken, šiſ iſ miſdon.
Hamon's likeness was thereon.
Biſſop Eliopoleos
ſag šiſ timing, & up he roſ;
The Bishop of Heliopolis saw this, and said,










"If šiſ child," quad he, "mote šen,
He ſal egyptes bale ben."
If šor ne wore helpe twen lopen,
šiſ child adde šan ſone be dropen;
še king wiš-ſtod & an wiſ man,
He ſeide, "še child doš alſ he can;
We ſulen nu witen for it dede
šiſ witterlike, or in child-hede;"
"If this child be allowed to thrive, he shall become Egypt's bale."
He bad šis child brennen to colen
And he toc is hu migt he it šolen,
And in hiſe muth ſo depe he iſ dede
Hiſe tunges ende iſ brent šor-mide;
šor-fore ſeide de[248] ebru witterlike,
šat he ſpac ſišen miſerlike;
 [Fol. 52.]
The king offered the child two burning coals (to eat), and he put them in his mouth, and burnt the end of his tongue therewith, and spake indistinctly.
Oc ſo faiger he waſ on to ſen,
šat migte non man modi ben.
šor quiles he ſeweden him up-on,
Mani dede b[i]leph un-don
In šat burg folc bi-twen,
So waſ hem lef on him to ſen.
So fair was he to look upon, that none might be angry with him.
Bi dat[249] time šat he was guš,
Wiš faigered and ſtrengthe kuš,
folc ethiopienes on egipte cam,
And brende, & ſlug, & wreche nam,
Al to memphin dat[250] riche cite,
And a-non to še reade ſe;
By the time that he became renowned for beauty and strength, the Ethiopians invaded Egypt, and burnt and slew as far as the Red Sea.
šo was egipte folc in dred,
And aſkeden here godes red;
And hem ſeiden wiš anſweren,
šat on ebru cude hem wel weren;
Teremuth un-ešes migte timen
The Egyptians ask counsel of their gods, who tell them that a Hebrew shall deliver them.
šat moyſes ſal wiš hire forš-nimen,
Or haue he hire pligt & ſworen,
šat him ſal feiš wuršful ben boren.
Moses is permitted by Teremuth
Moyſes was louered of šat here,
šor he wurš šane egyptes were;
 [Fol. 52b.]








Bi a lond weige he wente rigt,
And brogte vn-warnede on hem figt;
He hadden don egipte wrong,
to lead the Egyptians against their enemies.
He bi-loc hem & ſmette a-mong,
He smote and slew them.
And ſlug šor manige; oc ſumme flen,
Into ſaba to borgen ben.
Moyſes bi-ſette al šat burg,
Oc it was riche & ſtrong ut-šhurg;
Many fled to Sheba.
Ethiopienes kinges dowter tarbis,
Riche maiden of michel priſ,
The king of Ethiopia's daughter, for love,
Gaf šiſ riche burg moyſi;
Luue-bonde hire ghe it dede for-ši.
šor iſe fon he leide in bonde,
gave this rich city to Moses,
And he wurš al-migt-ful in šat lond;
He bi-lef šor(.) tarbis him ſcroš,
who waxed mighty in the land.
šog was him šat ſurgerun ful loš;
Mai he no leue at hire taken
His sojourn there was distasteful to him,
but-if he it mai wiš crafte maken:
He waſ of an ſtrong migt wiſ,
but by craft he brought it to an end.
He carf in two gummes of priſ
Two likeneſſes, ſo grauen & meten,
He carved upon two gems two likenesses;
šiſ doš šenken, & šoš[251] forgeten;
He feſt is in two ringes of gold,
the one caused remembrance, the other forgetfulness.
Gaf hire še ton, he was hire hold;
Moses gave her the one which caused her to forget her love,
Ghe it bered[252] and šiſ luue iſ for-geten,
Moyſes šus haued[253] him leue bi-geten;
Sone it migte wiš leue ben,
 [Fol. 53.]
Into egypte e[254] wente a-gen.
and so he came again to Egypt.
AN time he for to lond gerſen,
to ſpeken wiš hiſe kinnes men;
And ſone he cam in-to šat lond,
A modi ſtiward he šor fond,
Betende a man wid[255] hiſe wond;
šat šhugte moyſes michel ſond,
On a time he went to Goshen, and found a "moody steward" beating a Hebrew.
And hente še cherl wiš hiſe wond,
And he fel dun in dedes bond;
He seized the churl, slew him, and buried him in the sand.







MS. ewente.





And moyſes drug him to še ſtrond,
And ſtille[256] he dalf him [in] še ſond;
wende he šat non egipcien
šat hadde it wiſt, ne ſulde a ſen;
He thought that none had wist it.
Til after šiſ on ošer day,
He ſag chiden in še wey
two egypcienis, modi & ſtrong,
šiſ on wulde don še tošer wrong;
And moyſes nam šer-of kep,
And to hemward ſwide[257] he lep,
And vndernam him šat it agte awold.
On the second day he saw two men chiding, and reproved them.
And he him anſwerede modi & bold;
The wrong-doer thus answered him,
"Meiſter(.) moyſes, quo haueš še mad?
šu art of dede and o word to rad.
"Moses, who made thee master?
we witen wel quat iſ bi-tid,
Quuow giſter-dai waſ ſlagen and hid;
še bode iſ cumen to pharaun,[258]
 [Fol. 53b.]
We know well how yesterday one was slain and hid.
Get ſal šin pride fallen dun."
Soon shall thy pride fall down."
Šo bi-thowte him moyſes,
And his weige šešen ches;
šurg še deſerd a-wei he nam,
Then Moses fled
And to burge madian he cam,
And ſette hi[m] šor vten še town,
and came to Midian,
Bi a welle šo ſprong šor dun.
Raguel Ietro šat riche man,
Was wuniende in madian,
where dwelt Jethro,
He hadde ſeuene dowtreſ bi-geten;
šor he comen water to feten,
who had seven daughters.
And for to wattren here ſep;
(Wimmen šo nomen of here erf kep,
These maidens took care of cattle.
Pride ne cuše bi šat dai
Nogt ſo michel ſo it nu mai).
Hirdes wulden še maidenes deren,
Pride was not so great then as now.
Oc moyſes šor hem gan weren,
And wattrede here erue euerilc on,
And dede hem tidelike to tune gon;
Moses helped the maidens to water the flocks.

MS. ſtalle, corrected to ſtille.




MS. pharaum.



And ben ſone hom numen;
And b[i]foren here fader cumen,
And gunen him šore tellen,
They told their father
Hu a gunge man, at te welle[n],
šewe and wurſipe hem dede;
 [Fol. 54.]
how a young man at the well had protected them.
And ietro geld it him in eſtdede,
Sente after him, freinede hiſ kin,
Helde him wuršelike iſ huſ wiš-in;
Of ali kinde he wiſte him boren,
And bad him šor wunen him bi-foren,
Jethro sent after him and kept him in his house,
Gaf him iſ dowter ſephoram;
To wife in lage he hire nam,
And bi-gat two ſunes on hire šer,
firſt gerlon, ſišen eliezer.
Egipte king to late waſ dead,
še še childre ſo drinkelen bead.
and gave him his daughter to wife, who bore him two sons.
And moyſes waſ numen an ſel
In še deſerd depe ſumdel,
for te loken hirdneſſe fare;
Riche men šo kepten ſwilc ware.
On a time Moses went into the desert with his flocks, for rich men then kept such ware.
šo ſag moyſes, at munt ſynay,
An ſwiše ferli ſigt šor-bi,
fier brennen on še grene leaf,
By Mount Sinai he sees a wondrous sight,
And šog grene and hol bi-leaf;
forš he nam to ſen witterlike,
Hu šat fier brende milde-like;
a bush burning, and nevertheless green and whole.
Vt of šat buſk, še brende and šheg,
God ſente an ſteuene, brigt and heg;
Out of that bush God's voice was heard, clear and high,
"Moyſes, moyſes, do of šin ſon,
šu ſtondes ſeli ſtede up-on;
'Moses, Moses, take off thy shoes, for thou standest on holy ground.
Hic am god še in min geming nam
Iacob, yſaac, and abraham;
 [Fol. 54b.]
I am the God of Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham.
ic haue min folkes pine ſogen,
šat he nu longe hauen drogen;
I have seen the affliction of my people,
Nu am ic ligt to fren hem šešen,
And milche and hunige lond hem quešen;
and have come down to deliver them,


An .vii. kinge-riches lond
Ic ſal hem bringen al on hond.
and to bring them into the land of seven kingdoms.
Cum, šu ſalt ben min ſondere man,
Ic ſal še techen wel to šan;
Come, thou shalt be my messenger,
šu ſalt min folc bringen a-gen,
And her šu ſalt min migte ſen;
And šu ſalt ſeien to faraon,
šat he lete min folc ut-gon;
and bid Pharaoh release my people.
If he it werne and be šor-gen,
Ic ſal še techen hu it ſal ben;
for ic ſal werken ferlike ſtrong,
If he refuse, I shall work great marvels,
And maken min folc frelike ut-gong;
Ge ſulen cumen wiš feteles & ſrud,
and cause my people to go out freely.
And reuen egipte šat iſ nu prud.
Werp nu to token dun šat wond."
And it warp vt of hiſe hond,
And wurš ſone an uglike ſnake,
And moyſes fleg for dredes ſake;
As a sign, throw down thy wand." The wand then became an ugly snake.
God him bad, bi še tail he it nam,
And it a-non a wond it bi-cam,
God bade Moses take it by the tail, and anon it became a wand.
And in hiſe boſum he dede his hond,
Quit and al unfer he it fond;
 [Fol. 55.]
He put his hand into his bosom and it became leprous.
And ſone he dede it eft agen,
Al hol and fer he wiſte it ſen.
He put it in again and it became whole and sound.
"If he for šiſe tokenes two
Ne liſteše ne troweš to,
Go, get še water of de[259] flod
On še erše, and it ſal wuršen blod."
"If they believe not these tokens, pour out the water of the flood on the earth, and it shall become blood."
"Louerd, ic am wanmol, vn-reken
Of wurdes, and may ic Iuel ſpeken.
Nu iſ forš gon še šridde dai,
Sende an ošer; bettre he mai."
"Lord! I am not eloquent, and cannot speak well," said Moses.
"Quo made domme, and quo ſpecande?
Quo made bisne, and quo lockende?
Quo but ic, šat haue al wrogt?
Of me ſal fultum ben še brogt."
Quoth God, "Who made the dumb, the speaking, the blind, and the seeing?"




"Louerd, ſent him šat iſ to cumen,
Vgging and dred me haueš[260] numen."
"Aaron šin brošer can wel ſpeken,
šu ſalt him meten and vnſteken
Him bodeword min, and ic ſal red
Gunc bošen bringen read and ſped."
"Aaron, thy brother can speak well, thou shalt meet him, and make known to him my words."
Moyſes, frigti, šo funden gan
to ſpeken wiš ietro šat riche man,
And aſkede him leue to faren and ſen,
If hiſe brešere of liues ben;
Moses asks leave of Jethro to visit his brethren.
šog drechede he til god ef[t] bad,
And brogte him bode še made him glad,
šat pharaun, še wulde him ſ[l]en,
Waſ dead and hadde iſ werkes len.
 [Fol. 55b.]
Moses delayed until God's message again came to him.
MOyſes and hiſe wif ſephoram,
And hiſe childre wiš him nam;
And šat on waſ vncircumciſ.
Then he departed with his wife and children.
He nam ſo forš, ſoš it is;
An angel, wiš an dragen ſwerd,
In še weie made him offerd,
for šat he ledden feren ſwike,
še ſulden him deren witterlike;
One child was uncircumcised, and the angel in the way sought to slay him.
Sephora toc šiſ gunge knaue,
And dede circumciſe haue,
And gret, and wente frigti a-gen,
Zipporah circumcised her son.
And let moyſes forš one ten.
He bar hiſe gerde forš in iſ hond,
And nam a weie[261] bi deſerd lond;
Moses pursued his way alone.
To mount ſynai forš he nam,
Aaron hiſe brošer a-gen him cam;
Eyšer [h]ere was of ošer fagen;
Moyſes him haueš iſ herte[262] vt-dragen,
At Mount Sinai he meets with Aaron.
And he ben in-to egypte numen,
And a-mong folc ebriſſe ben cumen;
Moyſes tolde hem šat bliše bode,
They come into Egypt.
And let hem ſen tockenes fro gode;
The people believe them.

MS. haued.


MS. aweie.


MS. herše.



He redden ſamen he ſulden gon
wiš[263] wiſe men to pharaon.
 [Fol. 56.]
"God," he ſeiden, "of iſrael
še bode ſente, and greteš wel,
Moses and Aaron come before Pharaoh,
šat, bi ši leue, hiſe folc vt-fare,
šre daiges gon and ben šor gare,
In še deſerd an ſtede up-on,
Hiſ leue ſacrifiſe to don."
Quad pharaun, "knowe ic[264] him nogt,
Bi quaſe read haue ge šiſ ſowt?"
and deliver their message.
Seide moyſes, "ic am ſonder man,
Egipte folc me knowen can,
for ic am šat ilc moyſes,
Moses says that he is well known to the Egyptians,
še egypte folc of ſorge les,
šan ethiops woren her cumen;
ic warc al šat šu was binumen,
And ſwanc and michel ſorwe dreg,
having delivered them from the Ethiopians,
Get iſt vnſene hu ic it bi-teg?
Ic haue ben ſišen at munt ſyna,
Godes bode-wurd bringe ic šor-fra."
and that he brings God's message from Mount Sinai.
Qvaš pharaun, "šu art min šral,
šat hidel-like min lond vt-ſtal;
Sum ſwike-dom doš it nu ben,
šat šu beſt cumen nu eft agen;
Pharaoh chides Moses,
šiſ folc, šat šu wilt me leden fro,
ſal ben luken in more wo."
and declares that the Israelites shall suffer still greater woe.
Še king it bad, and [it] wurš don;
 [Fol. 56b.]
More ſwinc šo was hem leid on.
Hem-ſeluen he fetchden še chaf
še men šor hem to gode gaf,
And šog holden še tigeles tale,
And elten and eilden,[265] grete & ſmale.
More labour is laid upon the Israelites.
Šo fleg šiſ folc wiš moyſen,
And [he] to god made hiſe bimen.
"Louered, qui waſ ic hider ſent?
šin folc iſ more in ſorwe went."
Moses complains to God.

MS. wid.


MS. ic hic.


? eldren and children?



God quaš, "ic ſal hem leſen fro,
And here fon weren wiš wo;
Abraham, yſac, and hiſe ſunen
Woren to min šhunerg wunen,
šog ne tagte ic hem nogt for-ši
Min mig[t]ful name adonay;
God renews his promise by his name Adonai,
Min milche witter name eley
He knewen wel, and ely;
šat ic še haue hoten wel,
Ic it ſal leſten euerilc del."
which was unknown to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Moyſes told hem šiſ tidding;
šog woren he get in ſtrong murni[n]g.
Sišen ſpac god to moyſen,
and tagte him hu it ſulde ben.
Moses told the Hebrews these tidings, and yet were they in great anguish.
fowre ſcore ger he waſ hold,
And aaron šre more told,[266]
Moses was now fourscore years old.
Quanne he šat[267] bodewurd ſpoken,
And deden še firme token.
 [Fol. 57.]
AAron šor warp vt of hiſ hond
Moyſeses migtful wond,
And it wurš bi-foren pharaon
Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh.
An Iglic ſnake ſone on-on;
še king ſente after wiches kire,
It became an ugly snake.
Wapmen še weren in ſowles lire,
še ferden al bi fendes red,
fendeſ hem gouen ſinful ſped;
And worpen he šor wondes dun,
The sorcerers, by the devil's help, did the like.
fro euerilc šor crep a dragun;
Oc moyſes wirm hem alle ſmot,
Each of their rods became a dragon.
And here aldre heuedes he of bot;
šog deden wicheſ šo men to ſen
On ošere wiſe or ſoše ben;
for šo fendes or he[m] bi-foren
Hadden šo neddres šider boren;
Moses's serpent bit off their heads.

At the bottom of this page is the catchword—"Quanne he šat bodewurd."


MS. dat; see the catchword.



And pharaon ſtirte up a-non,
And for-bed šiſ folc to gon.
ŠO ſeide moyſes to araon,
"Quat redeſ tu, broder, ſule wit don?
šiſ king him his[268] wel wišer-ward
Agen šis folc, and herte hard;
Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go.
Go we and ſpeken wiš hem get,
And fonden wiš šiſ token bet."
Moses and Aaron again came before Pharaoh.
And ſo deden [he] ſone a-non,
And comen bi-foren pharaon,
Quad aaron, "nu ſaltu ſen
Quilc godes migtful ſtrengšes ben."
 [Fol. 57b.]
He ſmot on šat flod wiš šat wond,
Aaron smote on the flood with his wand;
Sone anon blod men al it fond;
soon anon it became blood,
And še fiſſes, in al šat blod read,
floten a-buuen and wuršeden dead;
and the fish in it died.
In euerilc welle, in euerilc trike,
men funden blod al witterlike,
In every well and pool blood was found,
But-if it were in še lond gerſen,
šor-inne woree[269] še ebriſſe men.
šis wreche, in al egypte rigt,
except in Goshen.
Leſtede fulle ſeuene nigt;
šo waſ šiſ king ſumdel for-dred,
This plague lasted seven nights.
And het hem he ſulden vt ben led;
And moyſes šiſ pine vn-dede,
And water wurš on blodeſ ſtede.
Pharaoh then promised that the Hebrews should depart.
šan pharaon wurš war šis bot,
šiſ folc of londe funden ne mot;
Iannes and mambres, wicheſ wod,
Him šhugte he maden water blod;
When the plague was removed he would not release them.
It waſ on fendes wiſe wrogt,
for to bi-tournen[270] še kingeſ šogt.
Moyſes lerede god, ſpac him mide,
Al šat iſ brošer aaron dede.
Mad sorcerers misled the king.
Eft he comen to pharaon,
And he wernede šiſ folc ut-gon.
 [Fol. 58.]

read is.




MS. bitoueren.



And aaron held up his hond,
to še water and še more lond;
šo cam šor up ſwilc froſkes here
še dede[271] al folc egipte dere;
Aaron held up his hand towards the water, and up came a host of frogs.
Summe woren wilde, and ſumme tame,
And šo hem deden še[272] moſte ſame;
Some were wild and some tame.
In huſe, in drinc, in metes, in bed,
It cropen and maden hem for-dred;
Some crept into houses, drink, meat, and bed.
Summe ſtoruen and gouen ſtinc,
And vn-hileden mete and drinc;
Some died and stank.
Polheuedes, and froſkes, & podes ſpile
Bond harde egipte folc [273]in ſile.
šiſ king bad moyſes and aaron,
šat he ſulden god bone don;
Tadpoles, frogs, and toads afflicted Egypt's folk.
And ſone ſo moyſes bad iſ bede,
šiſ wirmes ſtoruen in še ſtede;
The frogs died,
And quane še king wurš war šis dead,
Anon šis folc fore he for-bead.
Še šridde wreche dede aaron
Bi-foren še king pharaon;
but the king forbad the departure of the Hebrews.
He ſmot wiš šat gerde on še lond,
And gnattes hird šor šicke up-wond,
ſmale to ſen, and ſarp on bite,
In al egypte fleg šiſ ſmite.
The third plague of gnats, small to look at, but sharp in biting.
And šo dede men and herf wo,
Anger and tene, ſorge and wo.
 [Fol. 58b.]
Quošen šo wiches clerkes(.) "šiſ
fortoken godeſ gaſtes is."
The sorcerers said, "This is token of God's ghost,"
Her hem wantede migt and ſped,
to ſwilc šing cušen he non red;
šiſ toknes dede aaron.
for they lacked might to do this.
God ſente ſišen hem ošere on,
for euere eld šiſ king on-on,
And wernede šiſ folc vt to gon.
Šo ſeide god to moyſen,
"Go šu gund pharaon agen;
Pharaoh remained obstinate,

MS. šede.


MS. de.


? un-sile.



Sei him, if min folc ne mote gon,
fleges kin ſal hin ouer-gon,
And al hiſ lond to ſorge ten;
Oc lond gerſen ne ſal non ben."
and was punished by a plague of flies.
And šuſ[274] it was, and al šiſ ſor
Sag pharaun, and dredde him šor.
He gaf hem leue šo vt to faren
wiš-šanne-šat he to londe ef[t] charen;
And moyſes bad meše here on,
Then gave he them leave to depart,
And šiſ fleges fligt vt iſ don;
And pharaon wroš[275] herte on hard,
And vn-dede hem šat[276] forward.
Moyſes ſpac ſišen wiš gode,
and the flight of flies was removed.
And he brogte pharaun šiſ bode;
Message comes to Pharaoh of a great plague.
"To-morgen, bute he mugen vt-pharen,
Egyptes erf ſal al for-faren."
 [Fol. 59.]
He wiš-held[277] hem and, al-ſo he it b[e]ad,
Al še erf of egipt wurš dead;
And get ne migte šiſ folc vt-gon,
ſwilc har[d]neſſe iſ on pharaon.
After šiſ time, it ſo bi-cam,
šat moyſes aſkes up-nam,
The murrain among the cattle.
And warpes vt til heuene-ward;
šo wex vn-ſelše on hem wel hard,
dolc, ſor, and blein on erue and man;
The plague of boils and blains.
še wicches hidden hem for-šan,
Bi-foren pharaun nolden he ben,
The sorcerers hid themselves, and would not come before Pharaoh,
So woren he lodelike on to ſen;
At laſt, quan it waſ ouer-gon,
Hadde moyſes šo leue non.
Sišen ſente še louerd gode,
so loathsome were they to look upon.
bi moyſes, to šiſ king bode;
"for-ši lete ic še king her ben,
Men ſal, šurg še, min migte ſen,
And knowen ſal ben, še to un-frame,
In euerilc lond min migte name.
God's message to Pharaoh.

MS. duſ.




MS. dat.


MS. wid-held.



ſwilc hail was her or neuere nomen
So ſal šiſ ſel to-morgen cumen;
Do men and erue in huſe ben,
If šu wilt more hem liues ſen."
He threatens the king with hail-storm.
šo men, še weren in eige and dred,
ben borwen, and erue, šurg šiſ red.
 [Fol. 59b.]
O morgen, al ſwilc time al ſir,
šhunder, and hail, and leuenes fir,
Cam wel vnghere; al šat it fond
On the morrow came thunder, hail, and lightning.
Bergles, it ſloge in šat lond;
Treeſ it for-brac, and greſ, and corn,
šat waſ up-ſprungen šor bi-foren;
Oc še ebrius in lond gerſen
ne derede it, coren, ne erf, ne men;
šo ſeide še folc to pharaon,
It slew many men, broke down trees, grass, and corn.
"Nu ic wot we haue miſ-don;
Moyſes, do šiſ weder charen,
And gu ſal [ic] leten ut-faren."
Moyſes gede vt, helde up iſ hond,
And al šiſ vnweder šor atwond,
The Egyptians beseech Moses to remove this plague.
And wurš šiſ weder ſone al ſtille,
And al after še kinges wille.
The storm ceased,
šiſ weder iſ ſofte, And šiſ king hard,
And brekeš him eft šat forward.
MOyſes ſišen, and aaron,
but though the weather was soft, the king's heart was hard.
Seiden bi-foren pharaon,
Then said Moses,
"To-morgen ſulen greſſeoppes cumen,
And šat ail ša bileaf ſal al ben numen;
So ſal šin hardneſſe ben wreken,
šat men ſulen longe šor-after ſpeken."
"To-morrow shall the grasshoppers come into the land."
"Goš vt," quaš he, "red ic ſal taken,
And gu ſišen i ſal anſwer maken."
 [Fol. 60.]
Qvaš šiſ folc, "beter iſt laten hem vt-pharen,
Al ſal egipte elles for-faren."
The Egyptians advise the king to let the Israelites go.
He calde hem in; quad pharaon,
"Quilc ben šo še ſulen vt-gon?"
Pharaoh is at first inclined to let them go,


Quaš moyſes, "but alle wapmen,
wiš erf, and childre, and wimmen."
"Hu! haue ge wrong," quad pharaon,
"Gu wapmen giue Ic leue to gon;
Of erf and wimmen leue ic nogt,
Ear one of wapmen waſ bi-ſogt."
Ef[t] šiſ andſwere, ben vt-gon
moyſes forš and aaron;
but would only grant permission to the men.
MOyſes held up hiſ hond,
A ſušen wind iſ flig[t] up-wond,
And blew šat day and al šat nigt
And brogte egipte an newe figt;
Moses held up his hand, and a southern wind uprose,
šiſ wind hem brogte še ſkipperes,
He deden on greſ and coren deres.
which brought the locusts.
šat lond was ful, and šiſ king wo,
He ſente after še brešere šo.
Quad pharaon, "ic haue miſ-numen,
Then was the king full of woe,
Wreche iſ on vs wiš rigte cumen;
Bi-ſek get god, šis one ſiše,
šat he vs of šiſ pine friše."
and besought Moses to turn from them the evil.
And ſo [he] dede, and on wind cam
fro weſten, and šo opperes nam,
And warpes ouer in-to še ſe;
šo pharaun ſag iſ lond al fre,
 [Fol. 60b.]
A western wind took away the locusts.
Hiſ herte šo wurš šwert and hard,
And al he brac hem [šat] forward.
MOyſes ſišen held up iſ hond,
Pharaoh broke his covenant.
And šhikke šherkneſſe cam on šat lond,
šat migte non egipcien
Abuten him for mirkneſſe ſen;
Manige šor ſorge on liue bead,
The plague of thick darkness.
And manige weren rewlike dead;
Quor-ſo še folc waſ of yſrael,
Many died from fear.
He adden ligt and ſowen wel.
šo quad pharaon to moyſen,
The Israelites had light.
"Led vt al šat iſ boren of man,
The king tells them to go, and


And let her hen boden er[f] & ſep,
ic wile šor-on[278] nimen kep."
Quad moyſes, "la! god it wot,
to leave their flocks and herds behind.
ſal še[r]-of bi-leuen non fot,
Al we ſulen iſ wiš vs hauen;
'Wold,' quad god, 'wile šor-of crauen.'"
Quaš pharaon to moyſen,
Moses will not consent to this arrangement.
"Nu ic rede šat ge flen;
for ſe ic gu more-ouer nu,
dead ſal be[279] wreken ouer gu."
Moses and Aaron are driven out from the presence of Pharaoh.
MOyſes fleg to lond gerſen,
šor wuneden hiſ kinnes men.
 [Fol. 61.]
Quaš god, "get ic ſal pharaon,
Or ge gon vt, don an wreche on,
(Nu ſal ic in-to egipte gon,)
Swilc wreche waſ ear neuere non;
God tells Moses of his final vengeance upon the Egyptians.
Deigen šor ſal ilc firme bigeten
Of men and erf, non forgeten;
Oc among gu, dredeš gu nogt,
to gu ne ſal non iuel ben ſogt,
Ne ſal ic gu nog[t] loten
Of šat ic haue gu bi-hoten."
Each first-born shall be destroyed.
Sišen quaš god to moyſen,
"šiſ ſal gure firmeſt moneš[280] ben,
šoo gune men še mone ſen
The year shall begin,
In april Reke-fille ben."
šanne he lereden hem newe wunen;
when in April the new moon is seen.
"Euerilc ger, more to munen,
Euerilc huſ-folc še mai it šauen
The institution of the Passover.
On ger ſep ošer on kide hauen;
še tende dai it ſulde ben lagt,
And ho[l]den in še tende nagt,
And [slagen] on še fowrtende dai;
So mikil hird ſo it noten mai,
Ben at euen folc ſum to ſamen,
A lamb or kid of the first year is to be taken and slain by each household on the fourteenth day of the month,
And ilc folc iſ to fode framen,
and to be roasted whole.

MS. dor-on.


MS. me.


MS. moned.



And eten it bred, and non bon breken,
 [Fol. 61b.]
And nogt šor-of vt huſe wreken,
Oc ſod and girt, ſtondende, and ſtaf on hond,
None of it is to be taken out of the house.
Ilc man after his owen fond,
It is to be roasted whole,
Heued and fet, and in rew mete[n],
leſen fro še bones and eten,
Wiš[281] wrišel and vn-lif bread;"
and eaten with bitter herbs, and unleavened bread.
še bi-leuen brennen he bead.
"še dure-tren and še uuerſlagen,
wiš yſope še blod ben dragen;
šat nigt ſal ben feſt paſche,"
forš-for, on engle tunge, it be.
The remainder is to be burnt, and the blood is to be sprinkled upon the door-posts.
ON midel ſel, šat[282] ilc nigt,
So cam wreche on egipte rigt;
Vengeance came upon the Egyptians.
Ilc firme bigeten, of erf and man,
was ſtoruen on morwen and dead foršan;
šo waſ non biging of al egipte
lich-leſ, ſo manige dead šor kipte.[283]
The first-born of man and beast were slain.
šo wurš phara[o]n nede driuen
And haueš[284] hem šane leue giuen;
And egipte folc bad hem faren,
And ſwiše a-weiward hem garen.
Pharaoh consented to let Israel go.
Quat-ſo he boden, ſrud[285] or ſat,
Egipte folc hem lenen šat;
Waſ hem nogt werned šat he crauen,
for here ſwinc-hire he nu hauen;
The Egyptians gave the Hebrews whatever they asked.
Gold and ſiluer he hauen vt-brogt,
 [Fol. 62.]
še tabernacle šor[286]-wiš wurš[287] wrogt;
He woren ſexe hundred šhuſent men,
wiš-vten childre and wimmen;
Al erf-kin hauen he ut-led,
Egipte folc hem hauen ut-ſped.
The Israelites numbered 600,000 men.
Almost redi waſ here fare,
moyſes bi-šogt him ful gare
Of šat še iſ kin haueš ſworen,
Moses thought of the oath sworn to Joseph.
Ioſepes bones ſulen ben boren;
Joseph's grave could not be found.

MS. wid.


MS. dat.




MS. haued.


MS. ſruš.


MS. dor.


MS. wurd.



Oc še ail haueš[288] ſo wide ſpiled,
šat hiſ graue iſ šor vnder hiled,
On an gold gad še name god
Iſ grauen, and leid up-on še flod;
A golden rod with the name of God upon it was laid upon the flood.
Moyſes it folwede šider it flet,
And ſtod šor še graue under let;
šor he doluen, and hauen ſogt,
And funden, and hauen up-brogt
še bones ut of še erše wroken,
Moses followed its course, and thus discovered the grave.
Summe hole, & ſumme broken;
He dede iſ binden & faire loken
Alle še bones še he šor token.
Some of the bones were whole and some broken.
Quane he geden egipte fro,
It wurš erše-dine, and fellen šo
When Israel left Egypt there was an earthquake.
fele chirches and ideles mide,
Miracle it was šat god šor dede.
Many temples fell down.
Gon woren .vii. ſcore ger
Sišen[289] ioſep waſ doluen šer;[290]
And .xxiii. ſcore fro šan
šat god it ſpac wiš[291] abrahram.
 [Fol. 62b.]
Seven score years were gone since Joseph was buried.
fro Rameſe to ſokoht ſtede
Non man on hem letting dede,
For ſwinc and murning hem was on,
fro še liches in-to še erše don;
And manige of šo greten forši
šat he adden ben hard hem bi.
The Israelites journey from Rameses to Succoth.
To burg ethan fer fro ſokoth,
And šešen he ten to pharaoth;[292]
šor he ſtunden for to ſen
quilc pharaon wiš hem ſal ben.
From Succoth they go to Etham, and thence to Pihahiroth.
Pharaon bannede vt hiſ here,
Iſrael he šhogte to don dere;
Pharaoh called out his army.
Sex hundred carte-hird i-wrogt[293]
vt of egipte he haueš[294] brogt;
On horſe fifiti šhusent men,
x ſcore šhusent of fote ren;
Six hundred chariots he brought out of Egypt, fifty thousand horsemen, and ten score thousand men of foot.

MS. haued.


MS. Siden.


MS. der.


MS. wid.


MS. pharaofh.


MS. hirdi wrogt.


MS. haued.



Alle he ledde hem vt forši
šat folc ebru to werchen wi.
Šiſ godes folc waſ under-numen,
Quan he ſegen šiſ hird al cumen,
Sore he gunen for-dredde ben,
for ne cušen ne[295] gate flen,
When the Israelites saw the Egyptian host they became sore afraid.
And if he šore ben bi-ſet,
 [Fol. 63.]
Ille he ſulen ben hunger gret;
He ne mogen figten a-gen,
for they were without weapons.
for [he] wiš-vten wopen ben;
šanne he šuſ woren alle in dred,
On moyſen he ſetten a gred.
"Beš nu ſtille," quaš moyſes,
They chided Moses.
"šor god wile(.) iſ non helpeles;
Ge ſulen ſen šiſ ilke dai
Quat godes migt for gu mai."
He bad šiſ folc dregen wiš ſkil,
And he bi-ſogte godes wil.
Moses promises them God's assistance.
Qvaš god, "quor-at calles šu me?
Hold up šin gerde to še ſe
And del it ſo on ſundri del,
šat gu ben garknede weigeſ wel."
God instructs Moses to stretch out his rod over the sea.
šo moyſes helde up hiſ hond,
Moses did so.
A wind blew še ſe fro še ſond;
On twel[fe] doles delt iſt še ſe,
A wind blew the sea from the sand,
xii. weiges šer-in ben faiger and fre,
šat euerilc kinde of iſrael
Mai šor hiſ weige finden wel.
and twelve thoroughfares were made for the people.
še water up-ſtod, šurg godes migt,
On twinne half, alſo a wal up-rigt;
Moyſes bad hem, alſo he ben boren,
še eldeſt kindes gon bi-foren;
The water stood up as a wall on both sides.
Oc moyſes gede in bi-foren,
And šo še kinde of iuda boren;
On and on kin, alſ herte hem cam,
šat folc ilc in his weige nam;
 [Fol. 63b.]
Moses went first, and then the men of Judah.

? he no-gate



Bi-foren hem fleg an ſkige brigt
šat nigt hem made še weige ligt;
Egiptes folc gunnen šiſ ſen,
A cloud went before them.
And wenden šat he wode ben.
Šis bode herde king pharaon
And him šuhte ſellic šer-on,
Garkede his hird & after nam,
Pharaoh pursued the Israelites,
And to še ſe bi nigte he cam;
and to the Red Sea he came.
In ferde šiſ hird after šiſ king,
And šo ſprong še daiening.
šhunder, and leuene, and rein šor-mong
God ſente on šat hird, ſtiš and ſtrong;
In went this host after the king.
šo quošen he, "wende we a-gen,
An[d] iſrael folc lete we ben."
šor-quiles ben šo kinges[296] cumen
Some were for going back.
Ouer, and hauen še londes numen;
Egipcienes woren in twired wen
quešer he ſulden folgen or flen;
And moyſes ſtod up-on še ſond,
The Israelites reached the land,
God him bad helden up hiſ hond
to-ward šiſ water, in a morgen quile
še ſe luked, ſo god it wile,[297]
and God bade Moses stretch his rod over the sea.
And on and on, ſwiše litel ſtund,
Egypcienes fellen to še grund;[298]
 [Fol. 64.]
The sea covered the Egyptians,
Of hem alle bi-leaf non fot
Vn-drincled in šat ſalte ſpot.[299]
Švs iſ iſrael of hem wreken,
And here welše iſ to londe weken,
Wepen, and ſrud, ſiluer, and gold;
wel hem mai ben še god beš hold!
and not one remained undrowned in that salt spot.
Moyſes šor made a newe ſong,
And tag[t]e it al šat folc a-mong;
Moses made a new song, and taught it to the people.
And ilke dai šat ſeuen nigt,
Ones he šor it ſungen rigt;
Each day for a week it was sung over.



At the bottom of this page is the catchword—"And on and on."


MS. grunš.


MS. ſwot.



šor-of in eſterne be we wunen
Seuene ſišes to funt cumen.
Šor quiles he weren in še deſert,
God tagte hem weie, wis and pert;
A fair piler ſon hem on o nigt,
And a ſkie[300] euere on daiges ligt.
In memory of which are we wont to come seven times to the font at Eastertide.
Še fifte ſuriuren šat he deden,
In še deſert ſur, on drie ſtede;
The fifth sojourn was in the wilderness of Shur;
šre dages weren he šider gon,
šat he ne funden water non;
three days the people were without water.
A welle he funde at marath,[301]
še water was biter and al wlath;[302]
A funden trew šor-inne dede
At Marah the waters were bitter, but
Moyſes, and it wurš ſwet on še ſtede.
a tree rendered them sweet.
Še ſexte ſuriuren at elim,
xij welle-ſpringes weren on him,
An[d] then[303] and ſexti palme tren
bi šo welles men migte ſen;
He maden ſišen, fro elim,
 [Fol. 64b.]
The sixth sojourn was at Elim,
Mani ſuriuren in še deſert ſin.
Bi-twen elim and ſinay,
and from thence to Sin.
bred wantede, hem was wo forši;
šat was on še šrittiše[304] dai,
šat here wei fro egypte lay,
šor he woren hungur for-dred;
Bread fails them.
"Ille," he ſeiden, "haue we ſped,
Bet uſ were in egipte ben,
Bred and fles šer[305] we muwen ſen."
Moyſes wurš war še folc was wroš,
And here gruching šo god was loš.
"ſtille," quaš he, "and on-dreg,
Godeſ fulſum-hed iſ gu ful neg."
They murmur against Moses.
At euen cam a fugel-fligt,
fro-ward arabie to hem rigt;
šor migte euerilc man fugeles taken,
So fele so he wulden raken;
God sends them a flight of fowls,

MS. aſkie.


read marach.


read wlach.




MS. šrittide.


MS. der.



On morgen fel hem a dew a-gein.
firſt he wenden it were a rein,
knewen he nogt šiſ dewes coſt;
and on the morrow a dew,
It lai šor, quit als a rim[306] froſt,
like rime frost;
He še it ſogen,[307] ſeiden, "man hu,"
Manna for-ši men clepeš it nu.
"Man-hu," said they, wherefore they called it Manna.
Quad moyſes, "loc! her nu [iſ] bread,
Ille gruching iſ[308] gu for-bead."
A met šor was, it het Gomor,
 [Fol. 65.]
Ilc man iſ he bead, and nunmor,
Him gaderen or še ſunne-ſine,
Elles he ſulden miſſen hine.
Each man gathered an omer of it before the sun shone,
for it malt at še ſunne-ſine,
Oc ošer fir for-hadede hine.
for it melted at the sunshine.
To duſt he it grunden and maden bread,
šat huni and olies šef he bead;
Quo-ſo nome up forbone mor,
it wirmede, bredde, and rotede šor.
When ground and made into bread, it tasted like wafers made with honey.
Moyſen dede ful še gomor,
In a gold pot, for muning šor.
Held it ſundri in clene ſtede,
Moses filled an omer of the manna,
And in še tabernacle he it dede.
Wiš šiſ mete weren he fed,
fowerti winter vten leš,[309]
Til he to lond canaan
Comen(.) šat god hem giuen gan.
and placed it in the tabernacle.
Forš nam šiſ folc, ſo god tagte him,
to še deſert of rafadim;[310]
Forth came this folk, and came to Rephidim,
Tidlike hem waſ šat water wane,
šor he grucheden for šriſt hane;[311]
where they murmured for thirst, and did chide with Moses.
Harde he bi-haluen šer moyſes,
And to god he made is bi-men.
"Louered," quad he, "quat ſal ic don?
He ſulen me werpen ſtones on."
 [Fol. 65b.]
Quaš god, "go šu to erebiſ ſton,
And ſmit wiš šin gerde šor-on."
God sent him for water to a rock in Horeb.

MS. rin.


MS. logen.


? ic.




MS. rafaclim.


MS. haue.



It was a ſtede henden šor-bi,
On a ſyde of munt ſynay;
And he ſmot wiš his wond šor-on,
And water gan šor-vten gon;
Moses smote the rock,
Anog adden he šanne drinc,
Redi funden wiš litel ſwinc;
and the people had enough to drink without toiling for it.
šat ſtede waſ cald temptatio,
for he šo god fondeden so.
This place was called Temptation.
Amalec, yſmaeles ſune,
Was šor hende rafadim[312] wune,
He welte šor ſtone and iaboch,
šat herdes folc him louerd toch;
Wopened he ben a-gen iſrael.
Amalek comes to war against Israel.
Moyſes ear it wiſte wel,
And ſente agen hem king ihesum,
wiš folc iſrael wopened ſum;
He let bi-aften še[313] more del,
Moses sends Joshua with the army to fight with Amalek.
To kepen here šing al wel.
He, and aaron, and hur ben gon,
Heg up to a dune ſone o-non;
Moses, accompanied by Aaron and Hur, goes up to the top of a hill, and prays for the folk of Israel.
Moyſes bad [for] folc yſrael,
And hiſe benes hem holpen wel;
Ai quiles he up iſ hondes bead,
 [Fol. 66.]
Amalechkes folc fledde for agte of dead,
And quane he let[314] iſ hondes nišer,
Amalech folc fagt hard and wišer;
Quane it wurš war, vr[315] and aaron
He iſ under-leiden wiš an ſton,
Til ſunne him ſeilede in še weſt;
Amalek is overcome by the holding up of Moses' hands.
šus fagt Moyſes šor alšer-beſt.
Amalech fleg, and iſrael
Hadde hegere hond, and timede wel.
šo ſente god to moyſen,
wiš šis timing to muning ben,
Thus Moses fought best of all.
"Get ſal še kinde of amalech
Ben al fled dun in deades wrech."
The future destruction of Amalek.

MS. rafaclim.


MS. de.


MS. leth.


MS. ut.



Moyſes made šor alter on,
"Min bliſ" iſ name šor-one don.
Moses raises an altar.
ŠO cam ietro to moysen,
To ſpeken him and šo kinnes-men,
Jethro visits Moses,
And ſephora, moyſes wif,
And hire two ſunes of faiger lif;
Ietro liſtnede moyſes tale,
bringing with him Zipporah and her two sons.
Of him and pharaon še dwale,
And šhankede[316] it almigten wel,
šat waſ bi-tid for iſrael;
Moses relates to him the destruction of Pharaoh.
And at wiš moyſen feſtelike,
 [Fol. 66b.]
And tagte him ſišen witterlike
Vnder him helpes ošere don,
šat folc ſtering to ſtreng[t]hen on.
Jethro counsels Moses to appoint rulers of the people,
Al bi šhuſenz šiſ folc was told,
Ilc šhuſent adde a meiſter wold;
And vnder šiſ tgen[317] ſteres ben,
rulers of thousands,
Ilc here on hundred to bi-ſen;
Vnder šis ilc two ſteres wunen,
rulers of hundreds,
And vnder hem fif ošere numen;
rulers of fifties,
Ilc of še .v. ſteres-men
Vnder hem welden in ſtere tgen.[317]
and rulers of tens.
If ymong .x. wurš ogt miſ-don,
Here ſtere rigten [ſulde] šor-on,
And if he ne mai it rigten wel,
An appeal to be made from the ruler of ten,
Taunet iſ meiſter euerilc del;
And if he rigten it ne can,
to the ruler of hundreds,
He taune it al hiſ ouer-man,
Ai ſo forš fro man to man,
Til he it here, še rigten can;
and thence to the superior ruler.
If it ne mai or rigted ben,
ſo ſal it cumen to moysen.
The final appeal to be made to Moses.
He bad him cheſen ſtereſ-men
Migti, še gode-frigti ben,
še ſoš-faſtneſſe lef ben,
And še nišing [and] giſcing flen.
These rulers were to be able men, god-fearing, lovers of truth, and haters of covetousness.

MS. šahankede.





šiſ red šhugte moyſes ful god,
And leuelike it under-ſtod.
Ietro wente in-to his lond a-gen;
Al[ſ] he redde, al-ſo gan it ben.
 [Fol. 67.]
Moses accepts the counsel.
Še šridde moneš in iſ cumen,
To ſynay šiſ folc iſ numen;
še ſeuene and forwerti dai
šat he nomen fro egipte awei,
In the third month of the year Exodus, and in the forty-seventh day after they left Egypt,
Vnder šiſ munt he funden ſteden,
And here teldes šor he deden.
On ošer daiges morgen quile,
God tauned[318] moyſi quat he wile.
"Sei šiſ folc šat nu šolen,
the people come to the desert of Sinai.
for iſ here šhogt nogt me for-holen;
'If ye liſten lefful to me,
Ic wile min folc owen be.'"
And moyſes tolde šiſ iſrael,
And him heten euerilc del,
šat hem bideš, ſulen he don.
God dede moyſes šiſ bodeword on,
God's message by Moses unto the people out of the mount.
"Clenſe šiſ folc wel šiſ to daiges,
And bidde hem leden clene la[i]ges;
Abute šiſ munt šu merke make,[319]
If erf or man šor-one take,
The people are to be prepared against the third day.
It dead šolen, wiš ſtones ſlagen,
Or to dead wiš goren dragen;
The mountain must not be touched.
šiſ frig[t]ful [folc] šus a-biden,
Quiles šiſ daiges for[š] ben gliden."
 [Fol. 67b.]
Še šridde daiges morge quile,
šunder and leuene made ſpile,
On šiſ munt ſtod, and ſkies caſt,
And dinede an migtful hornes blast;
On the third day there were thunders and lightning and a thick cloud upon the mount.
Smoke up-rekeš and munt quakeš,
Slep šor non še[320] šane up-wakeš;
Ai was moſes one in šis dine,
šiſ folc wende hauen for-loren hine;[321]
Smoke up reeked and the mount quaked.

? tauneš.


MS. made.


MS. de.


MS. himine.



Oc he cam faiger and fer him to,
And gan wiš hem ſpeken ſo;
"Ilc gure wel in herte mune,
Ne iſt nogt moyſes, amrame ſune,
Moses addresses the people.
še ge ſulen to dai here ſpeken;
Oc he še ſlog, gu for to wreken,
Egypte, an weige made in še se,
And let adam fonden še tre
še noe barg, and abraham
He reminds them of their deliverance from the Egyptians,
Ledde vt in-to lond canaan;
Of olde abraham and of ſarra bigeten
Dede yſaac, of olde teten;
še gaf yſaac so manige ſunen,
še Ioſep dede ſo riche wunen;
His word gu wurše digere[322] al-ſo lif,
Digere[322] or eišer child or wif.
and of God's kindness to their ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and Joseph.
Cumeš her forš, and beš alle reken,
And lereš wel quat he ſal ſpeken."
 [Fol. 68.]
He ledde hem to še muntes fot,
Non but non[323] foršere ne mot,
And on iſ brošer aaron;
God bad hem šat merke ouer-gon;
šo ſo ſpac god ſo brigt-like,
šat alle he it herden witterlike.
Moses leadeth the people to the foot of the mount.
LOke šat šu god ošer ne make,
Ne ošer šan me šat šu ne take.
for ic am god, gelus and ſtrong,
Min wreche iſ hard, min šole iſ long.
The Ten Commandments.
First Commandment.
Tac šu nogt in idel min name[n],
Ne ſwer it les to fele in gamen,
Ne let šu nogt min wuršfulhed
for-faren in še fendes red.
Third Commandment.
Min hali dai šu halge wel,
An do šin dede on ošer ſel.
Fourth Commandment.
Wurš šin fader and moder ſo,
šat šu hem drede and helpe do.
Fifth Commandment.

= dgere = diere = dere.


? Nun.



Ne ſlo šu nogt wiš hond ne wil,
Ne rend, ne beat nogt wiš vn-ſkil;
Help de nedful, šat he ne be dead
for truke of šin helpe an[d] read.
Sixth Commandment.
Oc horedom šat šu ne do,
Ne wend no lecherie to.
Seventh Commandment.
Loke še wel šat šu ne ſtele,
Ne reflac, ne šefte, for-hele.[324]
 [Fol. 68b.]
Eighth Commandment.
Falſe witneſſe šat[325] šu ne bere,
Ne wiš še leſe non ma[n][326] ne dere.
Ninth Commandment.
Ne giſce šu nog[t] šin neſtes šing,
Huſ, ne agte, ne wif, in šin giſcing;
For if šu it gernes and giſſe,
šu tines vn-ended bliſce."
Tenth Commandment.
Šiſ for-frigted folc figeren ſtod,
dredful, and bleš, and ſori mod;
Herden šat dredful beames blaſt,
Sogen šat figer, dred held hem faſt.
šo ſeiden he to moyſen,
The Israelites at the foot of the mount are in great dread and fear.
"Be šu nu god and us bi-twen,
Her nu quat god ſal more quešen,
And tellet uſ ſišen her bi-nešen."
And moyſes ſteg up a-non,
They intreat Moses to stand between them and God.
God hem bad bodes manige on
And lages; and hu he ſulen maken
še tabernacle, and wor-of taken
God gave to Moses many commandments and laws,
še gold, and ſiluer, and še bras,
še ſyšen don šor-on[327] was,
And nemeld it beſeel,
instructed him concerning the making of the Tabernacle,
And two ošere to maken it wel;
And gaf to[328] tabeles of ſton,
And .x. bodeword writen šor-on.
and gave him two tables of stone upon which were written the Ten Commandments.
Šor quiles moyſes was up wiš gode,
And liſtenede al šat leue bode,
 [Fol. 69.]

MS. for for hele.


MS. dat.


MS. ma.


MS. dor-on.





Swilc wod-hed šiſ folc[329] cam on,
šat he ſeiden to aaraon,
The people, in the absence of Moses, said unto Aaron,
"Mac vs godes foren us to gon,
of moyſes haue we helpe non."
Aaron and vr ſtoden a-gen,
And boden hem ſwilc šhowtes leten;
šat wod folc šor ur of dage
"Make us gods to go before us,"
Brogten, and deden aaron in age;
Here faigere ringes he boden taken,
And don in fier, and geten, and maken
An calf of gold, and [an] alter
Made šat folc, and lutten it šer,
and compelled him to make a molten calf,
And šat calf ofrendes deden,
And made gret feſt in šat ſtede[n].
Šo ſeide god to moyſen,
which they worshipped.
"Go šu nu dun šin folc to ſen,
He hauen ſineged and miſdon,
Let me taken wreche šer-on."
God is angered thereby.
"LOruerd,[330] merci!" quad moyſes,
"get ne let hem nogt helpe-les;
If he nu her wuršen ſlagen,
Egipte folc ſal šor-of ben fagen,
And ſeyen šat he ben bi-ſwiken,
In še deſert wel lišerlike;[331]
Moses intreateth for them.
And šenk, louerd,[330] quat ben bi-foren
Abram, and yſaac, and iacob ſworen."
 [Fol. 69b.]
God liſtnede wel[332] al šis anſwere;
šat he šis folc al šer[333] ne dere.
And moyſes gan nešer-ten,
God listeneth to Moses, and is appeased.
And Ioſu cam him a-gen,
Alſ he was ilc dai wune to don,
quil moyſes šat munt was on.
Quat Ioſue to moyſi,
"Ic wene he figten dun her-bi,"
Moses came down with the tables,

MS. has "šiſ folc" twice over.


MS. louerš.


MS. liderlike.


MS. wel and wel.


MS. alšer.



"Nai, for gode," quad moyſes,
"It iſ a ſong wikke and redles."
Moyſes cam ner and ſag šiſ plages,[334]
And šiſ calf, and šiſ ille lages;
So wurš he wroš, o mode ſarp,
Hiſ tables broken dun he iſ warp,
and seeing the idolatry of the people, he brake them in pieces.
And dede šat calf melten in fir,
And ſtired it al to duſt ſir,
And mengde in water and forš it of,
And gaf šat folc drinken šat drof.
šo wiſte he wel quilc hauen it don,
Sene it was here berdes on.
šo gredde he lude, "goš me to,
Alle še god luuen so."
The calf he burnt and ground to powder, and mixed it with the water they drank.
Frend ne brošer ne ſpared he nogt
On of hem šat haued šiſ wunder wrogt;
Moses caused the idolaters to be put to death.
Of šo še weren to šiſ red,
 [Fol. 70.]
.xxx. hundred to še dead
woren šane don ſone a-non,
šurg ſtrengše of moyſes and aaron;
On ošer ſtede men writen ſen,
xxiii. šhusent šat šor ben;
The number slain were about 3000.
Šo woren on liue ſumdel les.
On ošer dai quad moyſes,
"Michel ſinne haue še[335] don,[336]
Ic ſal gon ſeken bote her on."
On the morrow, Moses reminded the people of their sin.
Eft he ſteg up to munt ſynay,
for to bi-ſeken god merci.
"Louerd," quad he, "šin meše iſ god,
Merci get for šin milde mod![337]
Or šu šiſ folc wiš milche mod,[338]
Or do min name ut of šin boc."
He returned to Mount Sinai to seek God's mercy.
God anſwerede, "of ſal ic don
Hem, še arn nogt to ben šor-on;
Go, led šiſ folc, min engel on
God promises to send his angel before the people.

MS. wlages.




MS. Michel ſinne quaš haue še don.


? milde-hod.


MS. moš.



Sal ic don še bi-foren gon."
Ebrus ſeigen it waſ michael
Engel še ſišen ledde hem wel.
Moyſes faſtede ſišen to pligt
xl. daiges and xl. nigt;
Ošere tables he brogte eft(.) writen,
And ſunne-bem brigt ſon iſ wliten
Moses received other tables.
šat folc on him ne migte ſen
But a veil wore hem bi-twen.
 [Fol. 70b.]
Šo waſ šiſ folc frigti and rad
To don al šat moyſes hem bad;
Offreden him ſiluer and golde,
And ošer metal ſwilc he wolde;
The Israelites offer Moses gold and silver for the tabernacle.
He it bi-tagte beſſeleel,
And eliab, he maden wel
še tabernacle alſ hem was tagt,
Goten and grauen wiš witter dragt;
Bezaleel and Aholiab are appointed for the work of the tabernacle.
.vii. moneš šor-buten he ben,
And here ſwinc wel he bi-ten;
for ſwilc huſ was ear neuere wrogt,
Ne ſwilc ſafte her on werlde brogt;
Seven months they were about it.
God it tagte al ear moyſen
Wiſlike hu it wrogt ſulde ben,
Quilc ſrud, quat offrende, quilc[339] lage,
And quat for luue, and quat for age.
God taught Moses the fashion of it.
Aaron biſſop, ošere of šat kin,
Sette he hem for to ſeruen šor-in.
Bokes he wrot of lore wal,
Hu šiſ folc hem rigt leden ſal,
Betten miſ-dedes, and clene lif
Leden, wiš-uten [h]ate and ſtrif.
Aaron and others of his kin were appointed to serve in the tabernacle.
Twelf moneš forš ben alle cumen,
Or he fro ſynay ben forš numen;
Twelve months passed ere the people departed from Sinai.
On šat ošer twentiše[340] dai,
of še oše[r] moneš[341] tagte he wei;
šat brigte ſkie bi-foren hem fleg,[342]
 [Fol. 71.]
On the twentieth day of the second month (in the second year),

MS. quil.


MS. twentide.


MS. moned.


MS. flegt.



And šiſ folc šor after teg.
šre dages and nigtes faren it gan
the Israelites departed from Sinai,
And wiš-ſtod in še deſerd pharan;
šiſ folc iſ after ſofte togen,
and came into the wilderness of Paran.
And hauen ſwinc in weige drogen;
for šat ſwinc he grucheden šor,
šor-fore hem cam on more ſor.
For their complaining,
fier iſ on hem bi-ſiden ligt,
fele it brende and made o-frigt,
the fire of the Lord consumed them,
Moyſes it bleſſ[ed]e wiš his bede,
And brenninge he calde šat ſtede.
Here hine-folc še waſ hem mide,
And ſumme of hem šor ille dede,
but is quenched by the prayers of Moses.
He gerneden after ošer mete[n],
Of manna he ben for-hirked to eten;
He greten up-on moyſen,
And he to god made his bi-men.
The people lust for flesh and loathe manna.
"Loruerd!" quad he, "šiſ folc iſ šin,
And al šis ſorge nu iſ min;
But ic haue an ošer[343] read,
Šu ſalt me raše don[344] šolen dead."
Moses complains of his charge.
Quaš god, "ches še nu her ſeuenti
Wiſe men to ſtonden še bi,
God commands him to choose seventy wise men to help him in the government of the people.
And ic ſal hem geuen witter-hed,
And he še ſulen don helpe at ned;
And šin folc ſal to-morgen bi-geten
ynog fles(.) into a moneš[345] for to eten."
Moyſes was bliše an glad[346] of šis,
 [Fol. 71b.]
And ches šo men [še] god made wiſ;
waſ here non of herte dim,
prophetis he weren and holpen him.
Fro lond ortigie cam a wind,
The appointment of seventy elders.
And brogte turles michel mind;
It flogen longe, and šikke, and wel
Abuten še folc of yſrael;
Quails are sent in wrath at Kibroth-Hattaavah.
Two daiges hem ben fugeles cumen,
For two days the fowls came.

MS. oder.


MS. šon.


MS. moned.


MS. glaš.



So fele he wilen, he [h]auen numen,
And dried and holden to eten;
Oc god ne wile[347] it nogt for-geten;
šat gruching hauen he derre bogt,
fier haueš[348] on hem še wreche wrogt,
Brend and doluen waſ šat folc ſoth;
šat ſtede beš cald šor-fore cabroth.
The Lord smote the people with a plague because of their murmuring.
FOrš he nomen to aſſaroth,
The people come to Hazaroth.
šor wurš maria ſumdel ſoth,[349]
for ſche šor haueš wiš moyſes fliten;
Miriam speaks against Moses,
šor wurš ghe šanne wiš lepre ſmiten,
And vten ſundred .vii. nigt,
In grot and in ſrifte, ſore offrigt;[350]
and is smitten with leprosy.
Moyſes bi-ſogte, and ſche wurš fer
And frend, and cam šat[351] brošer ner.
 [Fol. 72.]
FOrš nam šiſ folc ſišen fro šan
fele iurnes in-to pharan;
Forš waſ gon al šeſe ošer ger,
šo he woren at ſyon-gaber;
The people remove from Hazaroth and come to Paran.
Fro šešen[352] he ſente forš to ſen,
Quilc šo riche londes ben,
šat god hem ſulde bringen in;
Men are sent to search the Land of Promise.
On man he ſente of ilc kin.
xii. ſondere men šor vte faren,
šiſ hoten lond šurg-vt he charen,
One is sent from each tribe.
xl. daigeſ faren ben;
Bi šanne quanne he wenten a-gen,
In-to cades še folc was ſogt.
šeſ .xii. šider hem hauen brogt
The spies having been away forty days,
Of še plenteš še god šor gaf,
An win-grape on an cuuel-ſtaf,
And tolden hem še lond iſ god,
ful of erf and of netes brod;
return bringing with them of the plenty of the land.
Oc burges ſtronge and folc v[n-]frigt,
ſtalwurši to weren here rigt;
In Hebron they found walled cities, stalworth men, and giants.

MS. wile he.


MS. haued.


? sot.


At the bottom of the page is the catchword—"Moyſes bi-ſogte, &."


MS. dat.


MS. šeden.



And geteniſſe men ben in ebron,
Quilc men mai get wundren on.
šiſ folc šo ſette up grot and gred,
And ſeiden he folwen iuel red;
The Israelites murmur at the news.
"Betre iſ vs get we wenden agen
And in egipte šralles ben,
šan we wuršen her ſwerdeſ ſlagen,
 [Fol. 72b.]
And ure kin to ſorge dragen;[353]
An loder-man we wilen us ſen,
And wenden in-to egipte agen;
"A captain," said they, "we will make, and return into Egypt."
Šo quad Ioſue and calef,
"Leateš ben ſwilc wurdes ref,
And doš nogt god almigten wrong,
Iſ milce iſ mikel, iſ ſtrenge iſ ſtrong."
Joshua and Caleb endeavour to still them.
šor šrette god hem alle to ſlen,
If moyſes ne wore šor agen;
God threatens them.
Oc for iſ benes and for iſ ſake[n],
get he ſal wiš hem milche maken,
For Moses' sake he spareth them.
Oc alle he ſulen wenden a-gen,
And in še deſert longe ben;
And on še .xx. winter hold
or mor ut of egipte told,
šat hauen šuſ often fand,
Ne ſulden welden šat leue land,
The murmurers are deprived of entering the land.
Wiš-vten Ioſue & calef,
Here rigt-wiſed waſ gode lef.
Joshua and Caleb are excepted.
Moyſes told hem al šis anſwere,
And he ben ſmiten in ſorweſ dere;
Much sorrow came upon the people.
Get he ſulen .xxx.vii. ger
In še deſert ben vten her.
Yet thirty-seven years shall they be in the desert.
Agen he maden here dragt,
Al-ſo šat ſkie haueš[354] tagt.
Oſwas was moyſes eam,[355]
And chore was iſ bernteam;
 [Fol. 73.]
Ille niš iſ herte wexe on
A-gen moyſen and aaron,
Korah, with two hundred and fifty princes, rebel against Moses.

MS. šragen.


MS. haued.


MS. cam.



Hem two .ii. hundred men,
And two[356] šo .xl. and ten;
He ſeiden he weren wurši bet
to šat ſeruiſe to ben ſet;
And two migtful he hauen taken,
Meiſtres princes he wolden hem maken,
They said they were more worthy to perform the services of the Tabernacle.
On dathan(.) an ošer Abiron.
Moyſes it herde and ſeide a-non,
"To-morwen beš her alle redi,
Dathan and Abiram were joined to Korah.
And ilc gure ošer ſtonde bi;
And ilc gure hiſe reklefat,
And fier šor-inne and timinge on šat,
And šan ſulde we brigte ſen,
Quilc gure ſal god quemest ben."
And šuſ it waſ on morgen don,
Moses' directions to the company of Korah.
Ne wulde he, dathan(.) ne abiron,
For orgel pride forš šor cumen;
Moyſes wiš[357] folc iſ to hem numen,
In here teld he ſtonden a-gen
Moyſes and vr, [&] ne wulde gon;
Dathan and Abiram would not obey the command of Moses.
Moyſes šor gret and bad iſ bede,
 [Fol. 73b.]
And erše denede[358] ſone in šat ſtede,
And opnede vnder [h]ere fet;
Held up neišer ſton ne gret,
Alle he ſunken še erše wiš-in,
Wiš wifes, and childre, and hines-kin,
Swilc endeſiš vn-bi-wen hauen;
The earth swallowed up Korah.
darš[359] noman ſwinken hem to grauen,
šiſ erše iſ to-gidere luken,
Als it ne were neuere or to-broken.
FOr chore wel wiſte šat
None had need to toil in burying them.
Gret fier wond vt of is reclefat,
And of iſ fere on and on,
A fire came from God,
And for-brende hem šor euerilck on;
Oc aaron al hol and fer,
Cam him no fieres ſwaše ner;
and burnt the two hundred and fifty men.



MS. wid.


MS. deuede.


MS. šarš.



Of šo Reklefates for wuršing,
Woren mad, and for muning,
Corunes at še alter of bras,
še at here tabernacle was.
Of the censers were made crowns for the altar of brass.
For al šiſ, ošer day šor waſ neſt,
Agenes moyſes and iſ prest
Gan al šiſ folc wiš wreše gon,
And wulden hem werpen ſtones on;
To še tabernacle he ben flogen,
šor [h]aueth a ſkie hem wel bi-togen;
On the morrow the people murmured against Moses and Aaron, who fled to the Tabernacle.
A fier magti šat folc feſt on,
And haueš manige šor for-don.
šan bad moyſes aaron,
wiš hiſe Rekelefat, to šat fir gon;
And he it dede[360] alſ he him b[e]ad,
 [Fol. 74.]
A fire slew many of the people.
Ran and ſtod tuen[361] liues and dead,
And šiſ fier bleſſede and wiš-drog,
It [h]adde or ſlagen manige ynog;
Aaron stays the plague.
.xiiii. šhusent it haueš ſlagen,
And .iiii. ſcore of liue dragen.
Šog šiſ folc miše a ſtund for-dred,
Fourteen thousand and eighty were thus slain.
šog he ben get in ſunder red,
Get he aglen on here red(.) and wen
šat it mai loked betre ben;
šog šiſe brende ben for-ſaken,
šog he wenen šat god ſal taken
The Israelites do not recognise Aaron's authority,
Of šo .xii. tribuz ſumme mo,
To ben šor he for-hu-gede šo,
Or ynog raše of euerilc kin,
He wile šat ſumme ſerue šor-in.
"Childre," quat moyſes, "gure ſtrif
but think that others are fitted for the service of God.
dereš še ſowle and greueš še lif;
Do we uſ alle in godes red,
Moses addresses the people,
Vs ſal timen še betre ſped;
Ilc prince me take hiſe wond,
And do we us here in godes hond;
and directs each prince of the tribes to take a rod, and to write every man his name upon it.

MS. šede.


MS. tiren.



And on [ilc] wond writen ſal ben
še kindes name še šor to tgen;
God ſal to-morgen token don,
Quilc kinde he wile šiſ meſter on.
 [Fol. 74b.]
šuſ it was don, and on a wond
Wiš-uten[362] šo wrot he wiš hond
še twelfte names of šat kin;
The rods were written upon,
še tabernacle he dedis in,
And šor he iſ haued god bi-tagt,
And let iſ ben šor al šat nagt.
and laid before the Lord in the Tabernacle.
O morgen quan he com a-gen,
Quat was bitid he let hem ſen;
Ilc wond he fond of euerilc kin
Alſ ſwilc alſ he iſ dede šor-in;
On the morrow the rods were examined,
Oc on, še was of aaron,
(Writen was name leui šor-on),
It was grene and leaued bi-cumen,
And nutes amigdeles šor-onne numen;
šo wiſten he šat[363] aaron
and Aaron's rod, of the house of Levi, had budded, blossomed, and brought forth almonds,
Was hem biſſop šurg god don;
To ſen gode witneſſe šor-on,
šat wond was in šat arche don.
[I]N še deſert he wuneden šor
so it was seen that God had appointed Aaron as bishop.
.xxx.vii. winter and mor;
Longe abuten munt ſeyr,
folgede hem šat ſkie ſcir,
Thirty-seven years and more the people abode in the desert,
And often to še ſe šor-bi,
And often to še munt ſynay;
Her and gund šor he biried lin,
 [Fol. 75.]
wandering about from place to place,
Alle he[364] olde deden šor fin.
And at še laſte ne-še-les,
Eft he come ſone to cades,
and all the old ones died.
šor was moyſes ſiſter dead;
šat folc šor .xxx. daiges a-bead,
And after wune faire hire bi-stod,
wiš teres, rem, and frigti mod;
At Kadesh Miriam died,

MS. wid-uten.


MS. dat.





Hire lich iſ biried in munt ſin,
Hire ſowle iſ reſted ſtede wiš-in.
It bi-tidde after hire dead
and her body was buried in Mount Zin.
šat šis folc ſorge in šriſte abead.
And šer roſ wrešše and ſtrif a-non
Agen moyſen and aaron;
The people murmur for water.
God [bad] ſemelen folc and gon,
And foren hem ſmiten on še ſton
And ſeide, ut of še ſmiten ſton
Ynog hem ſulde water gon;
He and hiſ folc comen šer-to,
Ic wene frigtlike šat he do;
Ones he ſmot šor on še ſton,
Moses is commanded to gather the people before the rock at Meribah.
And miſte, and ſag še water gon;
An ošer ſiše he went iſ šogt
Betre and ſoftere, and ne miſte nogt,
Moses smote the rock twice, and the water flowed forth,
šo flew šor[365] water michil and ſtrong,
Al folc and erue a-nog a-mong.
 [Fol. 75b.]
and the folk and cattle had enough.
Švrg lond edom ne migten he faren,
šor-fore he ſulen a-buten charen
Bi še deſert of arabie lond;
Long weige and coſtful he šor fond,
forš bi archim šat meiſter burg;
še deſert aren he walkeden šurg,
The people are denied a passage through Edom.
Til šat[366] he comen to munt hor;
Aaron šo wente of liwe šor,
They come to Mount Hor,
Eleazar, iſ ſune, him neſt
Was mad biſſop and meiſter preſt.
where Aaron dies.
xxx. daiges šat folc in wep
Wiš bedes, and gret, and teres wep;
Get iſt ſene, on še munt on šat ſtede,
Quor men aaron in birieles dede;
Thirty days the folk mourned for him.
vii. ſcore ger and .iii. told,
šor he liš doluen on šat wold.
Forš šešen he comen to ſalmona,
The age of Aaron.
for-weried grucheden he šoa,
The people murmur,

MS. dor.


MS. dat.



šor-fore hem cam wrim-kin among,
šat hem wel bitterlike ſtong;
Non ošer red šor don ne waſ,
and are plagued with serpents.
Moyſes šor made a wirme of bras,
And henget hege up-on a ſaft,
šurg godes bode and godes craf[t];
They, repenting, are healed by a serpent of brass,
Quat ſtungen man so ſag šor-on,
šat werk him ſone al was vn-don;
 [Fol. 76.]
Digere it was al šat berem-tem,[367]
figer ſišen in-to ierusalem;
oc ſišen it waſ to duſte don,
for šat folc miſleuede šor-on.[368]
which long afterwards was worshipped in Jerusalem.
Frigti nam forš šis folc and bleš,
Til he comen to flum iareth;
šiſ water him on-ſunder drog,
And let hem ouer, drige ynog;
The people come to Zered.
King ouer(.) amor(.) reos(.) ſeon,
for to figten cam hem ageon;
šiſ folc him ſlog and hiſ lond tok,
Suš fro arnon, norš to iabok,
And weſten al to flum iordan;
Sihon, king of the Amorites, comes out against Israel and is overcome.
Oc he ſlugen king of baſaan.
To lond moab drugen he ſo,
šor nu iſ a burg, ierico.
Balaac king was for-dred for-šan,
And ſente in to lond madian,
To hiſe frend še ben him neſt;
The king of Bashan is slain.
And ſente after balaam še preſt,
Wiš riche men an[d] giftes oc,
for to ſtillen hiſe [vn-]eše mod,
And bad him cumen for to don
Balak sends after Balaam,
fol[c] of yſrael hiſ curſing on.
to curse the folk of Israel.
Balaam wiš-[h]eld him šor šat nagt
 [Fol. 76b.]
To witen quat him ſal wuršen tagt;
Al waſ iſ fultum and hiſ ſped
The failure of the first message.



For this see 2 Kings, xviii. 4.



Bi-luken ille, in fendes red.
On nigt him cam ſonde fro gode,
Agen šiſ kinges[369] red for-bode,
And šat he ne curſe non del
šiſ folc šat god bliſcede wel.
O morgen ſeide he, "fare ic nogt,
for bode iſ me fro gode brogt."
God forbids Balaam to curse the Israelites.
Balaac ſente richere an[d] mo
Medes, and ošer men to šo.
"Sondes, ſondes," quaš balaam,
Or he šeſe ošere medes nam,
Balak's second message to the prophet.
"Šog balaac king me goue hold,
Hiſ huſ ful of ſiluer and of gold,
Ne mai ic wenden her bi-nešen;"
Godes wurd iſ cumen alſ it iſ quešen;[370]
Oc or or ge wenden agen,
šiſ nigt ic ſal fonden and ſen."
Quat tiding so it cam on še nigt,
On morgen, at še daiges ligt,
Balaam's answer to the messengers.
Vp-on hiſe aſſe hiſ ſadel he dede,
To madian lond wente he hiſ ride,
And wente iſ herte on werre šhogt;
Wicke giſcing it haueš[371] al wrogt.
He consents to go with the princes of Moab,
šuſ rideš forš šiſ man for-loren,
being influenced by covetousness.
An angel drog an ſwerd him bi-foren,
šiſ aſſe wurš ſo ſore of-dred,
Vt of še weige it haueš him led.
Sellic šogte balaam for-ši,
And bet and wente it to še ſti
Bi-twen two walles of ſton;
 [Fol. 77.]
An angel meets him in the way. The ass is frightened,
Eft ſtod šiſ angel him a-gon,[372]
šiſ aſſe iſ eft of weige ſtired,[373]
So šat balames fot iſ hird;[374]
and turns aside to the wall,
And he wurš šo for anger wroš,
And šiſ prikeš and negt ſloš;
so that Balaam's foot is crushed.

MS. ginges.


MS. queden.


MS. haued.


? agen.


? stirt.


? hirt.



forš and narwere šiſ aſſe him bar,
And še šridde ſiše wurš še angel war.
šo ne migte šes aſſe flen,
The angel went further, and stood in a narrow place,
Ne he ne durſte foršere ten,
Oc fel šor dun(.) šan šis was don,
and the ass fell down under Balaam,
Balaam it ſpureš and ſmit šor-on;
And god vndede šiſ aſſes muš,
who smote her with his staff.
So ſoš it iſ(.) ſo it is ſelcuš.
Quuaš šiſ aſſe šus wiš vn-miše,
"Qui betes šu me šis šridde ſiše?"
Quaš balaam, "for šu tregeſt me;
Had ic an ſwerd, ic ſluge še."
God opened the mouth of the ass, and she spoke to her master.
So was šis were to wunder brogt,
šhog še aſſe ſpac, frigtede he nogt;
Nevertheless this infatuated man was not frightened.
še let god[375] him šat angel ſen,
 [Fol. 77b.]
wiš še ſwerd dragen him agen.
Quaš še angel, "šin weige iſ me loš,
The angel tells Balaam,
šor-fore am ic wiš še šuſ loš;[376]
If šin aſſe ne were wiš-dragen,
Her ſuldes šu nu wuršen ſlagen."
that but for the ass he would have slain him.
Quaš balaam, "quane ic haue miſ-faren,
If šu wilt, ic agen ſal charen."
The prophet offers to return.
"far forš," quaš še angel, "oc loc še wel,
for-bi min red, quaš šu non del."
He is cautioned by the angel.
forš-nam balaam, and balaac king
Cam him a-gen for wuršing,
Gaf him giftes of mikil priſ;
And balaam ſeide him to wiſ,
"Sal ic non wurd[377] mugen forš-don,
Vten šat god me leiš on."
Balak entertains Balaam.
Balaac him leddede[378] heg on an hil,
And .vii. alteres wrogte in his wil,
On ilc alter fier alšernešer,
Balak causes seven altars to be built.
And šor-on an calf and a wešer,
And he bad balaac ſtonden šor-bi,
And gede on-rum qui[379] bute for-ši,
On each altar was offered a bullock and a wether.

MS. goš.




MS. wurš.







fro abuuen cam to him bi-nešen,
Word in herte šat[380] he ſal quešen;
Quan he cam to balaac a-gen,
Swilc wurdes he let vt-ten.
God's word comes to Balaam,
"Hu mai ic šat folc curſen on,
 [Fol. 78.]
šor louerd haueš[381] bliſcing don?
šiſ folk ſal waxen wel and šen,
And ouer al ošer migtful ben,
Hiſ lif beš bliše, hiſ ending ſal,
še timeš al-ſo šiſ timen ſal."
and he blesses Israel.
Balaac miſliked al šiſ queše,[382]
And ledde hem šešen on ošer ſtede,
To munt faga, for to ſen wel
Of folc iſrael še ošer del.
Balak is greatly displeased.
He wente on ošer ſtund or ſtede,
Betre timing šor-fore he it dede,
And wende wenden godes šogt,
Oc al he ſwinked him for nogt.
He brings the prophet to another place.
Hef[t] haueš he mad her .vii. alter,
And on ilc brend eft twin der.
Gede eft balaam up on-rum,
šo ſeide šuſ quanne hem cam dun,
Again seven altars were raised, and offerings made.
"šis folc, ſprungen of iſrael,
Iſ vnder god timed wel;
Al-ſo leun iſ migtful der,
The parable of Balaam.
So ſal šiſ folc ben migtful her;
šiſ leun ſal ošer folc freten,
Lond canaan al preige bi-geten."
Israel is compared to a lion.
Ille liked šanne balaac
Euerilc word še preſt balaam ſpac.
Balak was ill pleased with the priest's words.
Get he ledde him to munt fegor,
And efte he ſacrede deres mor;
šor[383] ſpac balaam mikel mor
Of šiſ folckes migt, or he dede or.
"folc ebru," quaš he, "šat ic ſe,
 [Fol. 78b.]
Balak brings Balaam to Mount Peor.
Bliſced ſal ben še bliſcede še;
Again he blesses the Israelites,

MS. dat.


MS. haued.




MS. dor.



And quuo-ſo wile curſing maken,
Ille curſing ſal him taken;
Of še ſal riſen ſterre brigt,
And a wond še ſal ſmiten rigt
Moab kinges, and under-don
Al ſedes-kin šiſ werld up-on."
and prophesies their future happiness and greatness.
Manie tiding quad balaam šor,
še made balakes herte ſor;
Oc šan balaam wente a-gen,
Such tidings made Balak's heart sore.
Tagte he balaam quat migte ben
šiſ folc to dere, and gaf him red
šat brogt iſrael iwel ſped.
Balaam teaches Balak how to injure the Israelites,
"še ginge wimmen of šin lond,
faiger on ſigte an[d] ſofte on hond,
And brigte on hewe, on ſpeche glad,
Wiš šgere[384] ſal ic ſondes ſad,
še šu ten vt gen šiſ men,
by sending out young women fair of face and soft of speech,
še cunen[385] brewen herte-bren,
wiš win, and wlite, & bodi, & dwale,
Luue[li]ke and wiš ſpeche ſmale,
who should "brew heart-burning and love,"
To wenden hem fro godes age
To ši londe godes and vre lage;
Bute-if šu migt foršen šiſ red,
And hem fro godes luue led,
 [Fol. 79.]
and so turn the people from God.
And fonde to wenden šuſ here šhogt,
for wi ne wopen ne helpeš[386] nogt."
forš-nam balaam, šat ille qu[e]ad
še gaf šiſ read of ſoules dead.
For war nor weapon had no power to harm them.
šuſ it was don, and bi šat ſel
This counsel was followed,
In ſichin ſingede iſrael,
And for luue of šiſ hore-plage
Manie for-leten godes lage,
And wrogten šor ſwilc ſoules for
and thus it fell that Israel sinned in Shittim,
šat he šor lutten belphegor.
Šo ſeide god to moyſen,
"še me[i]ſtres of šiſe hore-men,
and worshipped Baal-peor.



MS. cumen.


MS. helped.



še fendes folgen and me flen,
še bidde ic hangen šat he ben;
Ben šeſe hangen še ſunne agen,
šise ošer[387] folc ſal meše ſen."
God commands the chief men to be hanged.
Godes wreche šor haueš of-ſlagen
xx.iii. šuſent of dagen.[388]
Twenty-three thousand were slain.
finees waſ a ſeli man,
še godes wreche foršen gan;
He ſlug Zabri for godeſ luuen,
Hiſe hore bi-neše and him abuuen;
Phinehas kills Zimri and Cozbi
šurg and šurg bošen he ſtong
wiš hiſe giſarme ſarp & long.
God moysen nemnen bead
 [Fol. 79b.]
with his long and sharp pike.
Hiſ folc še was firmeſt fro dead,
Or .xx. winter or more hold,
še in egypte or ne weren told;
God commands Moses to take the sum of the people above twenty.
On and .vi. hundred šuſent šor,
And .vii. hundred and .xx. mor
Moyſes fond and eliazar;
Was non of hem told in tale or,
It was found to be 601,720.
šo moyſes tolde hem and aaron,
šan [h]e gunnen fro egipte gon.
Vten ioſue and caleph,
Alle elles he driuen in deades weph;
Alle šiſe wapmen šor[389] god let liwen,
še lond hoten ſal hem ben giuen.
God moyſes clepede and quad to him,
Of those who were numbered at Sinai, all died except Joshua and Caleb.
"ſtig hege up to munt Abarim,
And ic ſal don še šešen[390] ſen
še lond še ſal šiſ folc[e]s ben;
šer šu ſalt ben of werlde numen.
In to šat lond ſalt šu nogt cumen."
"Louerd, merci!" quad moyſes,
Moses being told of his death,
"Let šu šin folc nogt helpe-les,
And good let oc šu hem bi-ſe,
Alſwilc alſ hem bi-hu[f]lik bee."
intreats God not to let the people be "helpless."

MS. oder.


MS. šagen.


MS. dor.


MS. šeden.



God hem andſwerede, "ioſue
Ic wile ben loder-man after še;
Tac him bi-foren eleazar,
šat al šin folc wurš war,
And šine hondes ley him on,
Sey him on šin ſtede to gon."
Alſ it is boden, alſo he dede,
Ioſue wurš ſet on hiſe ſtede.
 [Fol. 80.]
Joshua is appointed to succeed him.
Šo moyſes was on abarim,
šat lond hoten god tawned him.
šor quiles him leſten liue dages,
Hiſ he tagte leue lages,
When Moses was on Abarim, God showed him the promised land.
And writen hem, haueš[391] iſ hem bitagt,
Bute-if he iſ loken hem beš agt,[392]
Erše and heuene he wittneſſe tooc,
And wrot an canticle on šat booc,
Moses' song, setting forth God's vengeance
šat šreated šo men bitter-like
še god ne ſeruen luue-like.
šo .xii. twelue kinderedes, on and on,
upon those who would not serve Him truly.
He gaf bliſcing bi-leue gon;
At munt nemboc on šat knol faſga,
Wane he was ſtigen šešen šoa,
Sag še lond of promiſſion,
šurg god[393] him was ſišen šat on.
The blessings of the twelve tribes.
šer he ſtarf inne. še moab lond,
His bodi was biried wiš angeles hond,
Moses dies in Moab, and is buried by angels' hands.
šer non man ſišen it ne fond,
In to lef reſte hiſ ſowle wond.
Ebrius ſeigen, šuſ waſ bi-tid,
 [Fol. 80b.]
No man ever found his body.
šat moyſes waſ hem šuſ hid,
for, migten he finden še ſtede,
It was thus hid,
Quor engel-wird hiſ liche dede,
fele ſulden him leuen on,
And leten god; šat were miſ-don.
that the people might not afterwards worship it.

MS. haued.


MS. beš beš agt.


MS. goš.



Ydolatrie, šat waſ hem lef,
ofte vt-wrogte hem ſorges dref.
MOyſes iſ faren, on elde told
fulle ſex ſcore winter old;
Although Moses was 120 years old,
And šog him leſtede hiſe ſigte brigt,
And euerilc toš bi tale rigt.
.xxx. daiges wep iſrael
for hiſ dead(.) and bi-ment it wel.
yet his eyesight remained bright, and every tooth was "by tale right."
Swilc prophete in folc of iſrael
Roſ non, ne ſpac wiš god ſo wel;
Eſdras iſ witneſſe of [hiſ] ſage,
He was wel wiſ of še olde lage.
Such a prophet in Israel rose none.
Bi-ſeke we nu godes migt,
šat he make ure ſowles brigt,
Beseech we now God's might,
And ſhilde us fro elles nigt,
And lede us to bliſſe and in-to ligt;
In ſwilc šewes lene[394] us to cumen,[395]
šurg quat we ben to liue numen,
that he shield us from Hell's night,
And in-to bliſſe wiš ſeli men;
Wiš muš and herte ſey we, Amen!
 [Fol. 81.]
and bring us all into bliss. Amen!

? leue.


MS. cunen.



P. 1. ll. 1-2

Man og to luuen šat rimes ren,

še Wisseš wel še logede men.

og, another form of agh, = ow = ought. ren = run = rune, song, story.

"Nalde ha nane runes

Ne nane luue runes

leornen ne lustnen."—(St. Kath. 108.)

logede = lay. It is not necessarily unlearned, ignorant, etc., for O.E. writers frequently use the term in contradistinction to clergy. See Ayenbite, p. 197. "Vor all manere of volk studiež in avarice, and (both) great and smale, kinges, prelates, clerkes, an lewede and religious."—(Ayenbite, p. 34.)

"And bathe klerk and laued man

Englis understand kan,

That was born in Ingeland."—(Met. Hom. p. 4.)

3 loken, to take care of oneself, to direct one's course of life, keep from sin. See Ayenbite of Inwyt, pp. 1, 197, 199, 201.

"Ac alneway hit is nyed to leawede men

that hi ham loki vram žise zenne (avarice)."—Ayenbite, p. 31.

10 šund is evidently an error for gund = yond, yonder, over. Cp. gu for šu, ll. 365, 366.

"& žeond žat lond he heom to-draf (B. & ouer al žat lond he drof heom)."—(Laȝ. i. 68.)

12 earuermor = eauermor = evermore. 14 soše-sagen = soše-sage = sooth-saw = sooth-saying, true saying.


Cristene men ogen ben so fagen,

so fueles arn quan he it sen dagen.

Christian men ought to be as fain (glad)

As fowls (birds) are when they see it dawn.

17 telled = telleš = telleth. 20 devil-dwale = devil-deceiver, devil-heretic = arch-deceiver, arch-heretic. See l. 67. Cf. maȝȝstredwale = master heretic = arch-heretic, in the following passage:—

"Off all žis laže lęredd follc

Žat we nu męlenn ummbe

Wass maȝȝstredwale, an defless žeww,

Žat Arrius was nemmnedd."

Of all this loathsome learned folk

That we now talk about

Was an arch-heretic, a devil's serf

That Arius was named.

—(Orm. i. p. 258, l. 7454.)


til god srid him in manliched,

till god shrouded (clothed) himself in manhood.

srid = sridde.


24 bote and red, salvation and counsel. 25 And unspered al še fendes sped = undid all the fiend's successful work (luck). 26 halp = Old and Middle Eng. holp = helped, assisted.

P. 2. l. 27 Biddi, an error for bidde?


šu giue me seli timinge,

To thaunen šis wer[l]des biginninge,

še, leuerd god, to wuršinge,

Quešer so hic rede or singe!

Give Thou me a propitious opportunity

To show (declare) this world's beginning,

Thee, Lord God, for honour,

Whether-so-ever I read or sing!

thaunen = taunen, show, exhibit.

"Ful wel he [Crist] taunede his luue to man,

Wan he šurg holi spel him wan."

—Bestiary (O.E. Miscell. p. 24, l. 767.)

The word is very uncommon in O.E. writers. Cp. O.Du. tōnen, to show. See ll. 1022, 2034. wuršinge = for worship, honour. wuršinge is a noun, not a participle or gerund. See l. 133. 38 Ear šanne = ere that.


šo bad god wuršen stund and stede,

When God bad exist time and space.

43 šrosing seems to be an error for šrosim or šrosem = fog, mist, chaos. Cf. waspene in l. 1440, p. 41, where the correct form is wasteme. ašrusemen, to suffocate, occurs in Ancren Riwle, p. 40.

wķte žoliaš

hįtne heašo-welm

helle to-middes

brand & brįde lķgas

swilce eįc ža biteran récas,

žrosm and žystro,

torment they suffer

burning heat intense

amidst hell,

fire, and broad flames;

so also the bitter reeks

smoke and darkness.

(Caedmon, p. 21, 18.)

45 šu wislike mune = do thou wisely bear in mind. 47 hin = hine = him. 48 or, another form of ar, = ere, before. 49-56 The meaning of these lines may be expressed as follows:—"And of them two [God the Father and God the Son] that dearly love, who wield all here and above, proceeds that holy love, that wise will [the Holy Ghost], that wieldeth all things with right and skill [reason]. Might bad with word light exist; also that might [the Holy Ghost] wieldeth holy consolation, for there are three persons and one counsel, one might, and one godhead." 54 Hali froure = holy comfort, an allusion to the office of Holy Ghost as the comforter.

"Hire uoster moder wes an že frourede hire."

= Her foster mother was one who comforted her.—(St. Marherete, p. 8.) 58 o sunde[r] sad = on sunder shad, i. e. a-sunder shed = divided apart, separated. It still exists in water-shed, Ger. wasser-scheide. Cf. l. 116. See Hampole's Pricke of Conscience, p. 271, l. 32. Cp. "the schedynge of tonges." (Trevisa's Translation of Higden's Polychron., p. 251.) "The longages & tonges were ischad & to-schift."—Ib. p. 251.


P. 3. l. 63 šis walkenes turn = this welkin's course. See l. 79. 64 quuad = biquuad = bequeathed, ordained. See l. 117.


And euerilc wunder, and euerilc wo.

And every evil and every woe.

Wunder = misfortune, evil. S.Saxon wundre, mischief, hurt.

"hare lust leadeš ham to wurchen to wundre."

= their lust leadeth them to work to mischief.—(St. Marh. p. 14.)

(See Sir Gawaine and the Green Knyght. Ed. Morris, l. 16.)

71-72 Our ancestors had some strange chronological theories. In the Cursor Mundi we read that Adam was made at undern-tide, at mid-day Eve was drawn from his side, and at noon they both ate the apple, and were thus only three tides in bliss.[396]


šis ik (ilk?) wort in ebrisse wen.

This same word is in Hebrew opinion (tradition). The true form is wene, "a wene" = in supposition. See Laȝ. l. 18752; Orm. l. 4326; Owl and Nightingale, l. 237.

77 a-gon = agen = again. 78 a-gon = gone. It is our word ago. Grammarians, therefore, altogether err in making the a in ago = the prefixal element ge (y) as in yclept. agon and ago = the A.Saxon agįn = af-gįn, gone by, past. We have abundant examples in O.E. writers of the verb agon (ago) = to go. The past participle is agon or ago, in conformity to the rule that the past participles of verbs with this prefix do not take the initial y. 81 o france moal; in French speech; moal = mel = speech. S.Saxon męlenn, to speak. See Orm. vol. i. l. 99, 253. mol also signifies tribute. See O.E. Hom. 2 S. p. 179; O.E. Miscell. p. 151, l. 161. 87 tellen = reckon. 88 or = ar = first.

P. 4. l. 102

It hiled [= hileš] al šis werldes drof.

= It surrounds (encloses) all this world's drove (assemblage).

drof = A.S. drįf, company.


Til domes-dai ne sal it troken.

Till doomsday it shall not fail.

troken = S.Saxon truken, O.E. trokie.

"Ah for nauer nare teonen

Nulle we že trukien."

But never for no injury

Will we fail thee.

—(Laȝ. i. p. 186.)

"Ah nauest žu neuere nenne mon.

. . . . . .

Že cunne węrc makien.

Že nauere nulle trukien."

But thou hast never no [any] man

. . . . . .

Who can make a work,

That never will fail.

The later copy reads "žat neuere nolle trokie." See St. Kath. 1814.

107 suuen = shoven, i. e. thrust, prest, driven.

111 oo = O.E. aa = ai = ever.

119 biršheltre, fruit tree, from biršel, fruitbearing. Adjectives in -el, -ol, are not uncommon in O.E. See O.E. Hom. 2 S. p. 131.

Cp. "šare bwys bowys all for byrtht."

Their boughs bend all for fruit.—(Wyntown, i. p. 14.)

124-5 fodme. When we find, as on p. 2, l. 43, šrosing for šrosim, {122}we must not be surprised at learning that fodme is an error for fodinge, production; A.S. fadung, dispensation, order, production, from fadian, gefadian, to dispose, order, produce. "Hwęt is se Sunu? He is žęs Fęder Wisdom, and his Word, and his Miht, žurh žone se Fęder gesceop ealle žing and gefadode."—(Ęlfric—"De Fide Catholica"—Thorpe's Analecta, p. 65.) "An Scyppend is ealra žinga, gesewenlicra and ungesewenlicra; and we sceolon on hine gelyfan, foržon že hé is soš God and įna Aelmihtig, seše nęfre ne ongann ne anginn nęfde, ac hé sylf is anginn, and hé eallum gesceaftum anginn and ordfruman forgeaf, žaet hķ beon mihton, and žęt hķ hęfdon agen gecynd, swa swa hit žęre godcundlican fadunge gelicode."—(Ibid, p. 63.)

125 quuemešen = quemeden, pleased. See l. 86.

P. 5. l. 133

walknes wuršinge, and erdes [eršes?] frame.

welkin's glory and earth's advantage.

frame = advantage, gain, profit. See Handlyng Synne, ll. 5, 4249.

"Twifold forbisne in šis der [the fox]

To frame we mugen finden her."—(O.E. Miscell. p. 14, l. 425.)

"Summwhatt icc habbe shęwedd ȝuw

till ȝure sawle nede,

ȝiff žat ȝe willenn follȝenn itt

& ȝuw till frame turrnenn."—(Orm. vol. i. p. 31.)

"Manne frame = men's advantage."—(O.E. Miscell. p. 2, l. 39.)

"Jhesu, do me that for thi name

Me liketh to dreȝe pyne ant shame

That is thy (the?) soule note ant frame,

Ant make myn herte milde ant tame."—(Lyric Poetry, p. 71.)


He knowned (= knoweš) one ilc sterre name.

He alone knoweth each star's name.

135 He settes = He set (placed) them. Cf. l. 156, where wroutis = wrought them. The pronoun is or es = them. See Prefaces to Ayenbite of Inwyt, O.E. Hom. 1st and 2nd SS. 136 šis walkne went = this welkin's course. See l. 63. 141 bi mannes tale = by man's reckoning. 143 egest = hegest = highest. še sunnes brigt = the sun's brightness. 145 moneš met, measure of a month. Cp. O.E. metwand. 148 Reke-fille (see l. 3136) = reke-filleš (cp. O.E. winter-fylleš = October. See Menologium, p. 62, ed. Fox), April (the vapoury or watery month).


wel wurše his migt lefful ay.

Well worth his might ever holy!

Cf. "wo worth the day!" etc. lefful = O.E. geleįfful, faithful, holy. O.E. Miscell. p. 23, l. 713. 160 eruerilc = eauerilc = every. 162 his flotes migt = his floating (swimming) power. Cp. "a flote," a float, Rob. of Brunne, p. 169, l. 13. 163 šen = to prosper, be successful. Cf. the O.E. phrase, "so mot I the." 164 tuderande = propagating, fruitful.

"Ža gyt drihten cwęš

. . . . .

wórd to Noe

tymaš nu & tiedraš."

Again the Lord spake

. . . . .

words to Noah:—

Teem now and propagate.

—(Cęd. p. 91.)


"I was borenn her

Off faderr & off moder.

. . . . .

Ža žeȝȝre time wass all gan

To tiddrenn & to tęmenn."

I was born here

Of father and mother.

. . . . .

When their time was all gone

To propagate and to teem.

—(Orm. ii. p. 284.)

See O.E. Hom. 2nd S. p. 177, where tuder = offspring.

168 So, an error for šo?

P. 6. l. 169 wrim = wirm = reptiles. 170 Qwel = qwelc; quilc = which.

172 singen, to sin. It is not an error for sinnen, but a genuine form (contracted from sinigen), and not uncommon in O.E. writers. See sineged in l. 3555, p. 101.

"He su[n]ggeden and sorgeden and weren in šogt."

They sinned and sorrowed and were in thought.

(O.E. Miscell. p. 22, l. 682.)

"Že verže manere to zeneȝi in chapare is to zelle to tyme."

—(Ayenbite, p. 33.)

"Alsuo may he mid his oȝene wyue zeneȝi dyadliche.—(Ibid. p. 36.)

Sunegi = to sin, occurs in the "Owl and Nightingale," 926.

See Sunegie, sunehi, in O.E. Miscell. pp. 67, 68, 78, 79, 193.


to fremen and do frame,

to serve and do good.—(See l. 133.)

"Heo scullen me mon-radene mid mo[n]scipe fremmen."

They shall me homage with honour perform.—(Laȝ. ii. 586.)

See St. Kath. 288; Anc. Riwle, p. 284.

Freme and frame are radically the same words, the former being of A.Saxon and the latter of Norse origin. In the Ayenbite, p. 91, vreme = freme = frame is used exactly in the sense of frame: "We wyllež wel žet we be yvonded (tempted) vor hit is oure vreme ine vele maneres, vor we byež že more ymylded and že dredvoller and že more wys ine alle žinges and že more worž and že more asayd." 197 oc = og = ow, ought.

P. 7. ll. 204-6

Whilst it (the soul) followed holy will,

God's self the while is pleased,

And displeased when it loves sin.

un-lif is evidently an error for un-lief = displeased = O.E. unleōf. In the MS. the f has a long tail, and might almost stand for an incomplete k. 217 kiegt = hight = threatened, literally promised. 222 ilc here = each of them. Cf. the expressions her non, non her = none of them. 228 sib = akin, related; still preserved in gossip, originally godsib. See Ayenbite, p. 36. 230 wrocte = wrogte = pret. of worken, to ache, pain, hurt. Cf. A.S. rop-weorc = stomach-ache; weorcsum, irksome. In the Reliq. Antiq., p. 51, a receipt is given "for evel and werke in že bledder." On p. 54 of the same work we have a receipt for the "seke man" whose "heved werkes." 234 šurte, an abbreviated form of šurfte = behoved. This verb is used with the dative of the pronoun. (See Handlynge Synne, l. 5826.)

"Whyne had God made us swa

Žat us thurt never haf feled wele ne wa."

—(Hampole's P. of C. 6229.)


P. 8. l. 240 seli sped may be regarded as a compound, and printed seli-sped = good speed, prosperity. Cf. l. 310, where iwel sped = iwel-sped = misfortune. Cf. O.E. gode-happe, prosperity, and ille-happe, mishap. 247 seuendai = seuend dai = seventh day. 250 newes = a-new, a genitival adjective used adverbially. Cf. our modern adverb needs, O.E. nedes, of necessity; lives, alive. (R. of Gloucester, 301, 376. Owl and Nightingale, 1632.) deathes = dead. (R. of Gl., 375, 382. Owl and Nightingale, 1630.) 255 rode-wold = rode tree. I have printed rode-wold and not rode wold, because the two expressions are widely different in meaning. In the latter phrase the word wold = put to death, slain; in the former it is a suffix = -tree, -beam; so that rode-wold corresponds exactly to the O.E. rode-tre = rood-tre = the cross.

"Že ille men in manhed sal hym [Christ] se,

Anly als he henged on že rode-tre," etc.

—(Hampole's P. of C., l. 5260.)

Cf. dore-tree, Piers Pl. 833, and the phrases "hanged on a tree," "the gallows tree," etc. O.E. Tre = tree = wood, beam (and treen = wooden), still existing in axle-tree, saddle-tree, etc. The -wold in rode-wold must therefore = -tre = wood, beam, which we still preserve in threshold. O.E. threshwald, threshwold (A.S. thersc-wald, thyrscwold). The affix -wold fortunately occurs again in lines 576 and 614 in the word arche-wold = ark-board.

Sexe hundred ger noe was hold,

Quan he dede him in še arche-wold.—(l. 576.)

Sex hundred ger and on dan olde

Noe ſag ut of še arche-wolde.—(l. 614.)

A passage in Cędmon's poems furnishes us with the very term ark-board by which we have rendered arche-wold.

"Lęd swa ic še hate

under earce-bord

eaforan žine."

Lead so I thee hete (command)

under the ark-board

thy progeny.

—(l. 23, p. 80.)

"Him ža Noe gewat

swa hine nergand het

under earce-bord."

Noah then departed

as him the preserver bad,

under the ark board.

—(l. 4, p. 82.)


Sišen for-les šat dai is pris

Afterwards lost that day its honour.


And seli sad fro še forwrogt.

And the righteous separated from the wicked (accursed).

Seli constantly occurs in O.E. writers in the sense of good, and unseli, with the opposite meaning of bad, wicked. At first sight it would appear that the for in forwrogt is the same prefix which we have in forbid, forsake, O.E. for-worth, "good for nothing;" but forwrogt in O.E. = overworked, and, hence, fatigued. Forwrogt seems to be connected with the O.H.Ger. foruuerget, cursed; O.E. weried, cursed. The first interpretation, however, is supported by the Goth. verb fra-vaurkjan; Ger. verwirken, sündigen.



Ligber he sridde a dere srud.

Lucifer he shrouded (clothed) in dear (precious) shrouds (vestments).

Ligber is evidently Ligtber = Lucifer. It occurs in the Ayenbite, p. 10:—"And verst we willež zigge of že zenne of prede, vor žet wes že verste zenne and že aginninge of alle kueade, for prede brek verst velaȝrede and ordre, huanne Liȝtbere the angel for his greate vayrhede and his greate wyt wolde by above že ožre angeles and him wolde emni to God žet hine zo vayr an zuo guod hedde ymad."


And he became in himself proud,

And with that pride upon him waxed envy

That evilly influenced all his conduct;

Then might he no lord tolerate,

That should in any wise control him.

P. 9. l. 275 šhauen = suffer, endure, tolerate. S.Saxon šafen, išeuen; O.E. thave.

"Že sexte bede žatt mann bitt

Uppo že Paterr Nossterr

Žatt iss, žatt Godd ne žole nohht

Ne žafe laže gastess.

To winnenn oferrhand off uss

Žurrh heore laže wiless."

The sixth petition that one prayeth

in the Pater Noster is that God should

not suffer nor permit loathsome spirits

to gain the upperhand of us

through their loathsome wiles.

—(Orm. i. p. 188.)

"& Hengest hine gon werien.

& nalde it noht ižeuen [žolie]."

And Hengest gan him defend

And would not suffer it.

—(Laȝ. vol. ii. p. 215.)

276 šhinge = place, office, duty; it seems to be here used adverbially in the sense of "any wise," "at all." 276 grauen is perhaps an error for žrauen, to compel, control. Cf. gu for šu, p. 11, ll. 365, 366, and šund for gund. If grauen be the original reading then it is equivalent to greven. O.F. grever, Lat. gravare, to injure, grieve.


Min sete norš on heuene maken.

"Sette," he (Lucifer) said, "mi sete I sal

Gain him žat heist es of alle;

In že north side it sal be sette,

O me seruis sal he non gette."—(Cursor Mundi, fol. 4b.)

282 geuelic = geuenlic = like. Cf. the A.S. ge-efenlęcan, to be like, to imitate. O.E. euening = equal.

"And šešen he sal cumen eft,

and thence he shall come again,

. . . . . .

for to demen alle men,

for to judge all men,

oc nout on-geuelike.

but not a-like."—(O.E. Miscell. p. 23.)

"It (the law) fet še licham and te gost oc nowt o geuelike."

It feedeth the body and the spirit but not alike.

—(Ibid. p. 10.)


295 šis quead = this wicked one. In Early English writers we meet with several derivatives of this word, as kueadliche, wickedly, kueadvol, sinful. (See Ayenbite of Inwyt, p. 4, and extract in Note to l. 271, p. 125.)


Euerilc šhing haued [haueš] he geue name,

To everything hath he given name.

309-310 Yet I ween I know of a device, that shall bring them misfortune.

P. 10. l. 314 šor buten hunte, there without search, or hunting, without delay; or thereabout to hunt or search. 316 bilirten, to deprive of by treachery, to cheat a person out of a thing.

"ša herodes gesęgh for-šon bisuicen

[& bilyrtet] węs from dryum, [& tungul

cręftgum] uraš węs suiše."

(Matthew ii. 16, Northumbrian version.)

"Listneš nu a wunder,

šat tis der doš for hunger:

goš o felde to a furg,

and falleš šar-inne,

in eried lond er in erš-chine,

forto bilirten fugeles."

Listeneth now to a wonder,

That this deer (fox) doth for hunger:

Goeth a-field to a furrow,

And falleth therein,

In eared land or in earth-chink,

For to deceive fowls.

—(O.E. Miscell. p. 13, l. 403.)

318 dreue = trouble, disturb. Cf. O.E. drove, to trouble, droving, tribulation. "Ža Herodes žęt gehyrde, ža wearš he gedrefed,[397] & eal Hierosolim-waru mid him."—Matt. ii. 3.

"& for-ži žatt he sahh žatt ȝho

Was dręfedd of his spęche

He toc to froffrenn hire anann."—(Orm. i. p. 74.)

"And because that he saw that she was troubled at his word, he took to comfort her anon." Southern writers, by metathesis, formed from dreuen (dreue) the vb. deruen (derue), thereby confounding it with another vb. deruen or derue, pret. dorue, p.p. doruen (A.Sax. deorfan, pret. dearf, p.p. dorfen), to labour, perish, be in trouble. Dreue is a transitive vb. of the weak conjugation, while derue is intransitive and of the strong conjugation, nevertheless we find derue (pret. dorue), taking the signification of dreue. "Stute nu earme steorue ant swic nuše lanhure swikele swarte deouel, žat tu ne derue me na mare."—(Seinte Marherete, p. 12.) "Stop now, poor stern one, and cease now at once, deceitful swart devil, that thou harm me no more." In Laȝamon we find not only pret. drof = distressed, but derfde, and the p.p. iderued. In the Owl and Nightingale (ed. Wright), p. 40, we find the p.p. idorve = troubled, injured.

"Other thou bodest cualm of oreve (orve),

Other that lond-folc wurth i-dorve."


And senkede hire hure aldre bale

= And poured out to her the bale of us all,

i. e. gave her the cup of sorrow, of which we all drink; senkede = schenkede, to pour out, to give to drink, to skink. See Orm. ii. 181. Laȝ. ii. 202, 431; Alys. 7581; Owl and Nightingale, p. 70.



Quat oget nu šat for-bode o-wold

= What does now that prohibition signify?

i. e. What is the meaning of the prohibition; oget = has, possesses o wold = a wold = in force, in signification. Cp.

Quat-so his dremes owen a wold

= What-soever his dreams do mean.

In ll. 1671, 2122 wold occurs as a noun = interpretation, meaning. The connection between the idea of power, and meaning, interpretation, is not, after all, so very remote. Do we not speak of the force of a word, its power, use, etc., in an expression? See Ormulum, p. 56, l. 11815.


for is fruit sired [sireš?] mannes mood,

= for its fruit enlighteneth (cleareth) man's mind.

330 witent for witen it = know it. 333 on hire mod = in her mind. 339 scrošt = scroš = solicited; the pret. of scriše. The original meaning of the verb is, (1) to go; (2) to cause to go, to urge; (3) to solicit.


for to foršen is fendes wil,

for to further (do) his foe's will.

"For up he rigteš him

redi to deren,

to deren er to ded maken

if he it muge foršen."—(O.E. Miscell. pp. 5, 6.)


At he šat fruit, and dede unskil,

Ate he that fruit and committed sin.

unskil, literally, signifies indiscretion, folly, and by an easy transition, sin, crime. (See Ormulum, vol. i. p. 12. Cf. O.E. unskilwis = irrational.)

P. 11. l. 345 Vn-buxumhed = disobedience; but in line 346 it signifies weakness, un-lithesomeness.


Vn-welde woren and in win

Here owen limes hem wiš-in.

Their own limbs within them

Were powerless and in strife.

vnwelde = unwieldy = the S. Saxon vniwęlde, heavy.—(Gower i. 312.)

"——hise limes arn unwelde."—(O.E. Miscell. p. 3.)

(i. e. weak with age); in win, in strife, conflict.

"and wiš al mankin

he (the devil) haueš niš and win" (envy and strife).

(O.E. Miscell. p. 8.)

"šis fis wuneš wiš še se grund,

and liueš šer eure heil and sund,

til it cumeš še time

šat storm stireš al še se,

šanne sumer and winter winnen (strive)."

(O.E. Miscell. pp. 16, 17.)

"Žar aros wale and win."

There arose slaughter and strife.—(Laȝ. i. 18.)


flesses fremeše and safte same

bošen he felten on here lichame.

Lust of flesh, and shame of form

both they felt in their bodies.

fremeše seems connected with fremen and frame. In the translation I have connected fremeše with O.E. frim, vigorous; but it may be another form of O.E. frumše, beginning. Then the translation of l. 349 would be 'the beginning of flesh and shame of form.'



šu haues še sorges sigšhe waked.

Thou hast for thyself a sight of sorrow roused.

sigšhe = sight, but if it be an error for sišhe it will signify adversity, mishap. 362 ut luken = shut out. 363 tilen ši mete[n] = earn thy food. tilen (till), earn, procure.

"Ne maig he tilen him non fode."

He is not able to procure food for himself.

(O.E. Miscell. p. 3.)

364 wid = wiš, with. swotes teres = tears of sweat, i. e. drops of sweat. We may, however, by spoiling the metre, read swotes & teres, for in O.E. writers swot is frequently used in the singular and makes the plural swotes.

365, 366

Til gu beas eft into erše cumen,

Till thou art again into earth come.

beas = be'st = art. The present has also a future signification.

369 nišful = envious.

"O nyth žare springes mani bogh,

Žat ledes man to mikel wogh,

for nithful man he luuves lest,

Že quilk he wat es dughtiest."

—(Cursor Mundi, MS. Cott. Vesp. A iii. fol. 153b.)

loš an lišer, loathsome and vile.


And atter on is tunge cliuen,

And poison on his tongue shall cleave.

373 san = schand, disgrace, shame. Did the scribe originally write sam = shame? 377 pilches. This word answers to the "coats of skin" in our English version of the Scriptures. In modern English pilch is merely the flannel swathe of an infant, but it formerly signified a fur garment. Cf. Ital. pellicia, pelizza, any kind of fur; also Fr. pelisse (pelice), a furred garment.

"Here kirtle, here pilche of ermine,

Here keuerchefs of silk, here smok o line,

Al-togidere, with both fest,

Sche to-rent binethen here brest."—(Seven Sages, 473.)

P. 12. l. 384.

Cherubin hauet [haueš] še gates sperd,

Cherubim have the gates bolted (barred, fastened).

391 swem = sorrow, grief. See Gloss. to Allit. Poems, s.v. swemande. Legends of Holy Rood, pp. 135, 201.


Of iwel and dead hem stondeš greim

Of evil and death they stand in awe.

A similar phrase occurs in l. 432, p. 13. The phrase stande awe is not uncommon in O.E. writers.

"Than sal be herd the blast of bem,

The demster sal com to dem,

That al thing of standes awe."

(i. e. stands in awe of.)

—(Met. Hom. p. xii.)

"For Crist com sal be sa bright

Žat thoru žat mikel lauerd might

Him sal of stand sa mikel au,

Žat alle že filthes of his maugh

{129}Sal brist ute at his hindwin,

For dred he sal haf of drightin."

—(Antichrist and the Signs of the Doom,

in Jahrbuch für Romanische und Englische Literatur,

1863, p. 203, l. 408.)

"Thereof ne stod him non owe."—(Seven Sages, 1887.)

See Havelok the Dane, p. 9, l. 277.

393 on sundri = asunder = apart, separate.


And leded (ledeš) samen gunker lif.

And lead (pass) together your (two) lives.

leded = ledeš, is a verb in the imperative mood; gunker, the A.S. incer (dual) = your two, of you two. Cf. ȝunkerr bažre = of you both.—(Orm. i. 214.)


And sumdel quemeš it his seri mood

And somewhat it cheereth his sorry mood.


More for erneste dan [šan] for gamen,

More for necessity than for pleasure.

P. 13. l. 417 al swilc sel = all such time.


šan he was of is brošer wold,

When he was by his brother killed.

421, 422

An hundred ger after is dead,

Adam fro eue in srifte abead.

A hundred years after his death,

Adam from Eve in shrift (penance) abode.

(i. e. on account of the death of Abel.)

"A hundred winter of his liue

fra žan forbar Adam his wiue,

for soru of Abel žat was slayn."—(Cursor Mundi, fol. 8.)

See Legends of the Holy Rood, pp. 20, 21.

431 and wurš ut-lage = and became an outlaw.


wiš dead him stood hinke and age.

Of death he stood in dread and fear.

hinke = inke, doubt, dread. See note on l. 392.


šeft and reflac šhugte him no same,

theft and robbery appeared to him no shame.

Reflac = robbery with violence, rapine. (See Laȝ. i. 172, 272, 424; ii. 526.)

"Že first sin is o covatise

Žat revis mani man žair praise,

O žis cumes blindnes and tresun,

Reuelaic, theft, extorsiun."

—(The Seven Deadly Sins: Cursor Mundi, Cott. MS. Vesp. A iii.)

438 stonden agon = withstand, oppose. Cf. O.E. again-stande, to oppose.


Met of corn, and wigte of fe,

Measure of corn, and weight of goods.

The only objection against explaining fe by goods or money is that in the poem it signifies cattle, the proper term for goods, etc., being agte. In Laȝamon fe, however, has the meaning of goods, money.


And merke of felde, first fond he,

And he first devised division (boundary) of fields (lands).


444 at še sexte kne = at the sixth degree. Kne in this sense is used by Robert of Gloucester, p. 228:—"He come of Woden že olde louerd, as in teže kne" (i. e. tenth generation). 450 On engleis tale = in English speech.

P. 14. l. 451 kire, modesty, purity. See Laȝ. l. 8077. K. Horn, l. 1446.


He was hirde wittere and wal.

He was herdsman wise and experienced (skilful).

See Gloss. to Allit. Poems, s.v. wale.


Of merke, and kinde, and helde, & ble,

sundring and sameni[n]g tagte he.

He taught of (concerning) the character, breed, age, colour [of cattle], the keeping them asunder, and the matching them together. merke refers, perhaps, to the form, shape, etc., of the cattle, and kinde to their pedigree. 459 glew, music, still exists in glee, gleeman, etc., O.E. gleowinge = singing. gleu, to amuse by singing.

"Bi a piler was he žar sett

To gleu žaa gomes at žair mete."—(Cursor Mundi, fol. 40b.)

Cf. gleo, music.—(Laȝ. i. 298.) gleo-cręften = glee-crafts, arts of music.—(Ibid. i. 299.) gleo-dreme = glee-sound.—(Ibid. i. 77.) gleowen, gleowien, to chant, play.—(Ibid. ii. 382, 429.) 466 a sellic smiš, a wonderful (rare) smith. 468 To sundren and mengen = to separate (the ore from the dross) and to mix (alloy).


Wopen of wigte and tol of griš

= weapon of war and tool of peace.

wigte = wig = war. Wigte may signify sharpness; it usually = strong, brave.


wel cuše egte and safgte wiš.

This line seems to be very corrupt and to stand in need of some emendation. I would propose to read as follows:—

wel cuše he fegte and sagte wiš

= well could he fight [i. e. with the wopen of wigte] and heal with [the tol of griš]. If this interpretation be right tol of griš would refer to some curative agents. 472 wurš bisne, became blind.

"Žis Lamech was called Lamech že blind,

Caym he slogh wit chaunce we find."—(Cursor Mundi, fol. 10.)


Al-so he mistagte, also he schet,

As he mistaught, so he shot.

477 wende = weened, thought. 480-481 Cain unwarned, received it (the arrow), groaned, and stretched (fell prostrate), and died with that (immediately). unwarde may be an error for unwarnde = unwarned, or for unwared = A.S. unwered = unprotected. 484 dedes swog = death's swoon. Swog = O.E. swowe, swoughe.

"Aswogh (in swoon) he fell adoun

An his hynder arsoun (rise of the saddle),

As man that was mate."—(Lybeaus Disconus, 1171.)

The verb to swoon occurs often in English under the form swoghen (p.p. yswowe),

"The king swoghened for that wounde."—(Kyng Alys., 5857.)

Cf. Laȝ. 130, "he fel iswowen;" i. 192, stille he was iswoȝen (the later copy reads iswoȝe).



Of his soule beš mikel hagt.

On his soul is much sorrow.—(See l. 2044, p. 59.)

The literal signification seems to be thought, care. (See Agte in l. 3384.)

P. 15. l. 490 or or, etc. = first ere, etc. = first before, etc. fen = mud, dirt.

"Man here is nathyng elles

Bot a foule slyme, wlatsom til men,

And a sekful of stynkand fen."

—(Hampole's P. of C., l. 566.)

See R. of Gloucester, 6; Ps. (in Surtees' Psalter) xvii. 43. 492 drinkilden = were drowned; drinkil is a derivative of O.E. drinke, to drown, a softer form of which is drenche, which often signifies in O.E. a drink, potion (R. of Gl., p. 151; Ayenbite, p. 151, deažes drenche), as well as to drink and to drown. See Laȝ. i. 64.

"& att te lattste drunncnenn žeȝȝ

ža wrecchess, žat hemm trowwenn.

And at the last drown they

The wretches who them trow (believe)."—(Orm. ii. 181.)

"The see him gon adrynke

That Rymenil may of-thinke."—(Kyng Horn, 978.)


he began holy custom

Of prayers, and of god-fearing-ness,

for life's help and soul's comfort (counsel).

500 alied = halihed = holiness; toch = toc = took. 501 fro mannes mene, from man's fellowship, society. The usual form of mene in O.E. is ymene, ymone = common, general. 503-510 From Hampole's Pricke of Conscience, pp. 122-126, we learn that both Enoch and Hely (Elijah) shall come before doomsday to turn the Jews from following Antichrist to the Christian law:—"For 1260 days, or three years, shall they continue to preach. Antichrist, in great wrath, shall put the two prophets to death in Jerusalem, where their bodies shall lie in the streets for three days and a half, after which they shall ascend to heaven in a cloud. After their death Antichrist shall only reign fifteen days, at the end of which time he shall be slain before the Mount of Olivet." Some "clerks" affirm that he shall be slain by St Michael in Babylon, "that great hill." (See "Antichrist and the Signs before the Doom," in Jahrbuch für Romanische und Englische Literatur, 1863.) 517 Metodius. In the "Polychronicon Ranulphi Higdeni," p. 23, ed. by Churchill Babington, 1865, amongst the "auctores names" we find mention made of "Methodius etiam martyr et episcopus, cui incarcerato revelavit angelus de mundi statu principio et fine." 518 sighe sir = sigšhe sir = sheer insight, clear fore-knowledge.

P. 16. l. 525 quat agte awold = what should happen. 526 water wold, destroyed by water. wold may = walled, flooded, from wallen. 530 hore-plage, whore-play, whoredom. Cf. O.Sax. hor-uuilo; O.H.G. huorgilust. In O.E. hore (not whore) was an epithet applicable to men as well as women. It occasionally signifies adultery. It is found in combination as a qualifying term in hore-cop, horesone, a bastard; hore-hous, a brothel. The O.E. horwed, defiled, unclean; horowe, foul (Chaucer); hori, ouri, dirty; Provincial E. horry (Devonshire), seem to belong to another family of words.



Wimmen welten weres mester

Women wielded a man's art.—(See Rom. i. 26.)

See Allit. Poems, p. 46, ll. 269-272.


And swilc woded wenten on,

And such madness (folly) went on.

woded = wodhed. Cf. alied = alihed = holiness (l. 500, p. 15). "Že ožer ontreuže žet comž of prede is wodhede, me halt ane man wod žet is out of his wytte, in huam skele is miswent."—(Ayenbite, p. 12.)


Golhed hunkinde he gunnen don,

Unnatural lust they did commit.

Golnes = lust, lasciviousness, occurs in the Owl and Nightingale, l. 492. Ancren Riwle, p. 198. Ps. lxvii. 14.

"Non lest (listen) on man do amys

Thorȝ hys oȝene gale (lust)."—(Shoreham, p. 107.)

hunkinde = unkinde, unlawful, unnatural. 536 quad mester, wicked craft (practices). See Allit. Poems, p. 46, ll. 265-268. Quad takes several forms and meanings in O.E.; as qued, wicked (Kyng Alys., 5619; evil, 4237); the devil (R. of Gl., 314); quead, wickedness (Ayenbite, p. 4); quathe, wothe, wathe, evil, harm (Hampole's P. of C., 2102, 4558; Allit. Poems, B. 885).

"De quāt deit, de schuwet gźrn dat licht."—(Reynard the Fox.)

537 hun-wreste plage, wicked lust; hun-wreste = unwreste, weak, frail, and hence wicked.

"Męrling vnwęrste [onwreste] man

Whu hęuest žu me žus idon."—(Laȝ. ii. 228.)

"Ženne žat hęfd (leader) is unwręst [onwrest]

Že hęp (host) is žę wurse."—(Ibid. vol. ii. 259.)

"Thanne aȝte men here wyves love,

Ase God doth holy cherche;

And wyves nauȝt aȝens men

Non onwrestnesse werche,

Ac tholye,

And nauȝt onwrest opsechen hy

Ne tounge of hefede holye."—(Shoreham, p. 57.)

See Orm. i. 168-9. A.Sax. Chron., 1052. Wright's Lyric Poems, 37. Kyng Alys., 878. Owl and Night., 178. 538 A šefis kinde = in thief's kind, in sodomy. thief in O.E. was a general term of reproach. Perhaps in šefis we have an allusion to Cain.


And leten godes frigti-hed

And forsook the fear of God.


And mengten wiš waried kin

And intermixed with accursed kin.


Of hem woren še getenes boren

Of them were the giants born.

—(See Genesis vi. 4.)


Migti men, and figti, for-loren

= Migti men, figti and forloren,

Mighty men, warlike and forlorn (doomed).

548 litel tale, little account (worth). 553 blissen = lessen = be-lessen (?) or bi + leschen, to soften. Cf. blinnen and linnen = to cease. See ll. 3653, 3803.



šat it ne wexe at more hun-frame

lest it should grow to greater evil.

hun-frame = unframe, loss, disadvantage. 556 deres kin = animals.

P. 17. l. 560 griš, protection, safety.

"he wuneden (dwelt) seoššen (afterwards) here

inne griše and inne friše (peace)."—(Laȝ. ii. 50.)

"Lauerd, lauerd, ȝef (give) me griš."—(Ibid. iii. 35.)

Cf. greth, quarter (Sir Cleges, 292). grith-bruch, breach of the peace (Owl and Nightingale, 1043). grith-sergeant (Havelok, 267). 561 feteles, a vessel, a fat or vat.

"že firrste fetless wass

Brerdfull off waterr filledd."—(Orm. ii. 148.)

"Sex feteles of stan war thar stan[d]and,

Als than was cumand in the land

And Crist bad thaim thir feteles fille

Wit water, and thai did son his wille."

—(Met. Hom. p. 120.)

562 set, made, formed. limed, daubed, pitched. 564 sperd, sparred, barred. See Orm. D. 261; H. i. 142, ii. 68; Havelok, 448. spere or sparre signifies also to lock, shut up. Chaucer, Troilus and Creseide, v. 455; Bone Florence, 1774. šig = šic, thick.


šor buten noe(.) long swing he dreg.

Thereabout Noah endured long toil.

swing = swinc, toil, labour. 568 welken, pass away, literally to fade, wither; and usually applied to plants and flowers.

"It wites als gresse areli at dai,

Areli blomes and fares awai;

At euen doun es it brogt,

Un-lastes, and welkes, and gas to noght."—(Ps. lxxxix. 6.)

See Hampole's P. of C. l. 707. 576 arche-wold. See note to l. 255. 582 gette or get, poured down. gette is the preterite of geten or gete. See l. 585. Cf. O.E. yhete (ȝete); pret. yhet; p.p. yhoten (iȝote).

"Yhet over žam ži wreth."—(Ps. lxviii. 25.)

See Ps. xli. 5, lxxiii. 21. Percy's Reliq. vol. ii. 81. Cf. "a metal geoter," a metal caster, Kyng Alys. 6725. out-yhetted, poured out, Hampole's P. of C. 7119. See Gloss. to Allit. Poems, s.v. Gote. 592 moned = moneš = month.

P. 18. l. 598 dragen by metrical license for wiš-dragen, withdrawn. še watres win = the water's force (strife). Winne in O.E. has the signification of to fight, contend with, strive, and hence to get. Cf. O.E. wunne, victory; wan, contrivance, remedy. See l. 347.

"Alle we atter dragen off ure eldere,

še broken drigtinnes word šurg še neddre;

šer-šurg haueš mankin

bošen niš and win."—(O.E. Miscell. p. 11.)

607 est = east. Probably only an error for eft = again. 614 arche-wolde. See note to l. 255. 617 Rad = hasty, rash. Literally it signifies ready, and frequently occurs in O.E. writers with this meaning. Cf. O.E. gerād, rędlīce, rędliche, radely, radly, promptly, quickly, suddenly. {134}See l. 2481, and Owl and Nightingale, ll. 423, 1041, 1279; Laȝ. 25603; St Marh. p. 10; Avow. Arth. xix. 6.

P. 19. l. 630 tudered (see note to l. 164).


Often he prayed with timid prayer,

That such vengeance as God then did

Should no more on the world come,

What vengeance so ever there should be taken.

God granted it in token of love,

Showed him in the welkin above

A rainbow, they call it, red and blue.

so after swiulc is a true relative, as in the oldest period.

635 gat = granted. It is the preterite of a verb gate, to grant.

"Fourti dais he sal [tham] yate

Žat fallen ar ute o žair state

Žoru foluing o žat fals prophet,

Žat žai mai žam wit penance bete."

—(Antichrist, in Jahrbuch für Romanische und Englische Literatur,

1863, p. 204, l. 428.)

gate or yate, pret. yatte, is the Northern form of the word, the corresponding southern term is ȝete, pret. ȝette.

"& ȝho ne wass nohht tęr onnȝęn,

Acc ȝatte hemm hĕre wille

& ȝatte žatt ȝho wollde ben

Rihht laȝhelike fesstnedd

Wižž macche, swa summ i žat ald

Wass laȝhe to ben fesstnedd."—(Orm. i. 80.)

"& že king him ȝette

swa Hengist hit wolde."—(Laȝ. ii. 172.)

"& že king him ȝette

al žat he ȝirnde."—(Laȝ. i. 189.)

See Seinte Marherete, p. 18. Allit. Poems, p. 17, l. 557. a = an = in. 637 men cleped = one calleth it; cleped = clepet = clepe + et; et = it. We have a similar construction in l. 1082:

"for al šat nigt he sogten šor

še dure, and fundend neuere mor."

fundend = funden + ed = founden + et = found it. The author of the poem constantly joins the pronoun et = it to the preterite of weak verbs. See line 479, where letet = let it. 590 stodet = stod it = it stood. 1654 kiddit = kidd it = showed it. As the plurals of the present indicative do not end in -ež or -et in the poem, but in -en (-n), cleped may be an error for clepeš or clepeth = calls, and men = O.E. me = one. See line 750.


And as high the flame shall go,

As the flood flowed on the downs (hill).

lowe, a northern term (of Norse origin) for flame, the southern form (of A.Sax. origin) is leie. Religious Songs in Old Eng. Miscell., pp. 67, 182.

"Of his neose-žurles

cumeš že rede leie."


See also Legend of St Brandan, 512.

"Žair throtes sal ay be filled omang

Of alle thyng žat es bitter and strang,

Of lowe and reke with stormes melled,

Of pyk and brunstane togyder welled."

—(Hampole's P. of. C., l. 9431.)

653 vten = wiš-vten, without, besides. See l. 656. Cf. l. 596, with l. 598. 655 bi tale, in number.

P. 20. l. 676 gan ille wune, began wicked practices. 678 muni[gin]g = remembrance. 692 fendes fleišing, fiends' strife. Probably fleišing = flitting, contention, strife. The phrase fendes fleathe = ? fendes fleišing, occurs in Shoreham's poems, p. 97.

"ȝyf thou rewardest thyne eldrynges nauȝt

A-lyve and eke a-dethe,

That were wel besy to brynge the forthe,

. . . . . . . .

ȝyf thou hy gnaȝst and flagȝst eke,

Ryȝt hys that fendes fleathe."

P. 21. l. 713 hicte = higte, was called, named. 724 wol wel = wel wel = very well, extremely well. Cf. the O.E. expressions wel ald, wel lang, etc., very old, very long, etc.; wol wel corresponds exactly to the O.H.G. and M.H.G. vil wol; Mod. Ger. sehr wohl. See Erec. (ed. Haupt. 1839), 2017.


Thare let hur, and šešen he nam,

Terah left Ur, and thence he went.

let (pret. of lete) = left; nam, literally took, and hence took the way, departed, went. See ll. 744, 745. 727 burgt, an error for burg.

P. 22. l. 743 for, went. See l. 763.


Of weledes fulsum and of blis Rich of (in) wealth and of (in) bliss.

weledes is an error for welšes; it may = werldes = world's; fulsum = rich, plenteous, bountiful, occurs in O.E. fulsumhed (see l. 1548), fulsumly.

749 ist = is it, is there.


Each thing dieth that therein is cast.

753 šus it is went = thus is it turned or changed. 754 brimfir, if not an error for brin-fire (burning fire; see l. 1164), signifies wild-fire, i.e. brimstone. Cf. A.Sax. cwic-fyr = fire of brimstone. 763 hunger bond. We ought, perhaps, to read hunger-bond, corresponding to the German hungersnoth, famine, dearth. Cf. luue-bond, l. 2692, force of love. 764 feger = feyer, far. 767 to leten = to lose.

P. 23. l. 787 erdne = ernde, errand, prayer, petition, message.

"Ih scal iu sagen imbot,

gibot ther himilisgo Got,

Ouh nist ther er gihorti

so fronsig arunti."—(Otfried's Evangelienbuch.)

to god erdne beren = to intercede with God. Ernde occurs in Lyric Poetry, p. 62, in the sense of to intercede. 792 arsmetike = arsmet[r]ike = arithmetic.


He was hem lef, he woren him hold,

He was dear to them, they were true to him.


795 sat = schat, treasure, still existing in scot, shot. 796 vn-achteled, unestimated, immense; from achtel, to estimate, reckon. See Stratmann, s.v. ahtlien.


šor he quilum her wisten wunen,

Where they formerly wished to dwell.

P. 24. l. 813 atteš = hatteš, is called.


šer het god abre šat tagte lond, etc.

There God promised Abraham that promised land, etc.

tagte = bitagte, literally, assigned, appointed. 832 giscinge of louerd-hed = desire of lordship, greed of dominion. Giscinge = covetousness; the correct form is gitsing (ȝitsung, ȝittsung), but ȝissinge is found in Laȝ. ii. 227. Cp. yssing, O.E. Miscell. p. 38. icinge, Ayenbite, p. 16, and see Orm. i. 157.

"Al his motinge (talk)

was ful of ȝitsinge."—(Laȝ. i. 280.)


Neg ilc burge hadde ise louereding,

Nigh each borough (city) had its lord.

834 kumeling is literally a stranger, foreigner, but here signifies a king or ruler not of native blood, one of foreign extraction. See Comeling in Prompt. Parv. p. 89.

"For I am a commelyng toward že

And pilgrym, als alle my faders was."

—(Hampole's P. of C., 1385.)

"Wande ein chomelinch ih bin mit dir unde ellente also alle uatere mine."—(Wendb. Ps. xxxviii. 22.)

P. 25. l. 842 ferding stor, a great army. See O.E. Hom. 2nd S. p. 189.

844 gouel, tribute, tax. Later writers use the word gauel or gouel in the sense of usury. See Ayenbite, p. 35; O.E. Miscell. p. 46. Cf. gaueler, usurer. Ayenbite, p. 35; Ps. cviii. 11. 847 haued = haueš, hath. 848 here-gonge, invasion.

"For ich am witi ful iwis,

And wot (knoweth) al that to cumen is:

Ich wot of hunger [and] of hergonge."

—(Owl and Nightingale, l. 1189.)

851 fowre on-seken and fifue weren = four attack and five defend. on-seken = attack.

"heo wenden to beon sikere. They weened to be secure

žeo Belin heom on-sohte." when Belin attacked them.

—(Laȝ. i. 241.)

864 witter of figt = skilled in fighting. See Gloss. to Allit. Poems, s.v. wyter, and Laȝ. i. 260, 409; ii. 247.


Abram let him tunde wel,

Abram caused himself to be well surrounded (well guarded).

869 wenden, thought.


wiš-šuten [= wišš-uten] šo še cuden flen

= except those who could flee.

P. 26. l. 882 bat = bad = bead = literally offered, and hence restored. bat = bette occurs in Legends of Holy Rood for amended, restored, p. 210, l. 6. 886 Borwen, delivered, rescued, the p.p. of bergen (O.E. berȝe, berwen).


"Žis boc is ymad vor lewede men

vor vader and vor moder and vor ožer ken

Ham vor to berȝe vram alle manyere zen

žet in hare inwytte ne bleve no voul wen."

—(Ayenbite, p. 211.)

"And huo žat agelt ine enie of že ilke hestes him ssel žer-of vor-žench, and him ssrive, and bidde God merci yef he wyle by yborȝe."—(Ibid. p. 1.) Orm uses berrȝhenn, to save, preserve, from which he forms the derivative berrhless, salvation. 888 feres wale, brave companions (allies). Wale signifies select, choice, worthy, and hence brave. See Gloss. to Allit. Poems, s.v. Wale.


He frošer[ed]e him after is swinc.

He comforted him after his toil.

Herbert Coleridge (Gloss. Index, p. 33) connects frošere with the A.Sax. frofrian, to comfort. Of course there is nothing to be said against the interchange of f and th (cf. afurst, thirsty; afyngred, hungry, etc.); but the A.S. freošian, to protect, render secure, is nearer in form, and there is the O.E. vrežie (Ayenbite) to prove that this verb had not gone out of use. 895 še tigše del = the tenth part. tigše = tithe = tenth. 898 bargt = barg (the pret. of bergen) preserved. 910 wiš-uten man = except the men. The rhyme seems to require us to read nam; the meaning would then be "without exception or reserve."


Alle hes hadde wiš migte bi-geten.

He had them all with might begotten (obtained).

hes = he + es = he + them. The combination hes occurs again in l. 943. es or is = them, as in l. 949. See Note to l. 135, and Preface to O.E. Miscell. p. xv, and O.E. Hom. 2nd S. p. xii.

P. 27. l. 913 mešelike wel, with great moderation, very meetly. Cf. unmeašeliche in Seinte Marherete, p. 10. mešeliche in O.E. Hom. 2nd S. p. 7. mešleas, Ancren Riwle, p. 96. 918 algen = halgen = hallow. 920 bi-told (rescued) should be the pret. of a vb. bitellen, but no such word occurs in the poem. See O.E. Hom. 1st S. p. 205. Owl and Night. l. 263. Laȝamon uses bi-tellen, to win.

"Ac wih him we scullen ure freoscipe (freedom)

mid fehte bitellen."—(Vol. i. p. 328.)

"Bi-šencheš eow ohte (bold) cnihtes

to bi-tellen eoweore rihtes."—(i. 337.)

The editor explains bitellen by to win, but regain would suit the context.

"Nu žu hauest Brutlond,

Al bi-tald to žire hond."—(Vol. ii. p. 335.)

"Nu ich mi lond habben bi-tald."—(Vol. iii. p. 258.)


Quo-so his alt him bi-agt

= Whoso them (goods) holdeth, him it behoveth (yield as tithes).

His = is = es, them. 927 gulden wel, requited well.


Of še-self sal šin erward ten,

Of thyself shall thine heir come.

erward = eruweard, heir. 939 nam god kep = took good heed to, attended carefully to. kep = care. See R. of Gl. 177, 191. Owl and Night. l. 1226. Hampole's P. of C. ll. 381, 597. 941 Euerilc, each, every one. euerilc is the same as the O.E. euerich, Mod. Eng. every.



Vndelt hes leide quor-so hes tok,

Undivided he laid them where-so he took (brought) them.

This line refers to the "duue and a turtul," in the following line. See Genesis xv. 10. 945 on-rum the same as a-rum, apart, aside.

"Tho Alisaundre sygh this,

Aroum anon he drow, ywis,

And suththe he renneth to his muthe (army)."

—(Kyng Alys., 1637.)


And of šo doles kep he nam.

And of the pieces care he took.

P. 28. l. 949 kagte is wei, drove them away. kagte is the pret. of kache, to drive.

"And he ansuered als he war medde,

And said, Allas and wailewaye.

That ever I com at yon abbaye,

For in na chaffar may I winne

Of tha lurdanes that won tharinne

For likes nan of thaim my play,

Bot alle thar kache me away."—(Met. Hom. p. 151.)

953-954 God said to him in true dream, the future condition of his seed. beren-tem = barn-teem, offspring, descendants.

"We are alle a (one) man barn-teme."—(Cursor Mundi, fol. 27b.)


And uten erdes sorge sen.

And in foreign lands sorrow see (experience).


"Outen sones to me lighed žai,

Outen sones elded er žai."—(Ps. xvii. 46.)

"Filii alieni mentiti sunt mihi, filii alieni inveteraverunt."

Cf. uten stede, l. 1741. O.E. utenlande, a foreigner. Havelok, l. 2153. 958 Hor = or, before. 960 šat hotene lond, that promised land. 964 untuderi, barren. The usual O.E. term is unberand, unbearing. See O.E. Hom. 2nd S. p. 177. 965 abre = to Abram. 969-971 And Sarai would not suffer it, that Hagar were thus swollen (with pride). She held her hard in thrall's wise (treated her as a slave). 974 one and sori, solitary and sad. 975 wil and weri, lonely and weary. Wil literally signifies astray, wild, from the verb wille, to go astray. See Gloss. to Allit. Poems, s.v. Wyl.

"He is hirde, we ben sep;

Silden he us wille,

If we heren to his word

šat we ne gon nowor wille."—(O.E. Miscell. p. 2.)

"And child Jesus willed them fra."—(Met. Hom. p. 108.)


wiste hire drogen sori for šrist.

Knew her to be suffering sorely for thirst.

drogen may be an error for drogende = suffering. sori as an adjective is not sorrowful, as most editors interpret the word, but heavy, painful, and hence anxious, etc. See l. 974.

"Quen thai him (Jesus) missed, thai him soht

Imang thair kith and fand him noht,

And forthi Joseph and Mari

War for him sorful and sari."—(Met. Hom. 108.)


978 quemede hire list, satisfied her desire.

P. 29. l. 984 folc frigti, formidable folk, frigti does not here signify, as in other parts of the poem, afraid, but to be feared. 991 in sunder run, secret speech or secret communing, private conversation. See O.E. Hom. 2nd S. p. 29. 1010 še ton = the one. ton = that one the first; tošer = that other, the second.

P. 30. l. 1019 quamede = quemede, pleased.


Quoth this one, "this time next year,

Shall I appear to thee here;

By that time shall bliss befall Sarah,

That she shall of a son conceive."


And it hire šogte a selli šhing,

And it appeared to her a marvellous thing.

1028 on wane, wanting one, i.e. one less. "In žis burh was wuniende a meiden swiše ȝung of ȝeres, two wone of twenti."—(St. Kath. 69.)


And it wurš soš binnen swilc sel,

And it became so (came to pass) within such time.

1035 stelen = go away stealthily or secretly.


Ne min dede abraham helen, Nor my deed from Abraham hide.

1037 sinne dwale = complaint of sin (see l. 1220); dwale may be taken as an adj. = grievous, mischievous. 1038 miries dale, an error for mirie dale = pleasant dale. See l. 1121.


šo adde abram-is herte sor,

for loth his newe wunede šor,

Then had Abraham's heart grief,

For Lot, his nephew, dwelt there.

1041-4 "Lord," quoth he, "how shalt thou do (this), if thou shalt take vengeance thereon; shalt thou not the righteous protect (spare), or for them (for their sake) to the others mercy bear (show)?" meš beren = to bear mercy, to show mercy to. See ll. 1046, 1242.


Ic sal mešen še stede for šo,

I shall have mercy upon the place for those (for their sake).

Mešen signifies to use gently, act with moderation towards any one, to compassionate, to show mercy to. (See Allit. Poems, p. 45, l. 247; p. 51, l. 436; p. 54, l. 565; O.E. Hom. 2nd S. p. 153.) 1049 at-wot, departed. There is no such verb as ęt-wķtan, to depart, in Bosworth's A.Sax. Dict. The only meaning given to atwiten by Stratmann is to reproach, twit. At-wot may be a blunder for at-wond, departed. See l. 3058. Laȝ. l. 87. We have the O.E. at-flegen, at-gon, at-scape, etc. The simple verb wite is not uncommon in Early English authors.

"The first dai sal al the se

Boln and ris, and heyer be

Than ani fel of al the land,

. . . . . . . . .

And als mikel the tother day

Sal it sattel and wit away."—(Met. Hom., p. 25.)

"When this was sayd, scho wyte away."—(Ibid., p. 169.)

1054 quake is evidently an error for quate = wait, look for.


P. 31. l. 1055

He ros, and lutte, and scroš him [hem?] wel.

He rose, and bowed, and urged (invited) them well.


He wisten him bergen fro še dead.

They wished to preserve him from death.

bergen is literally to preserve, but it may be here used passively, as the infinitive often is by O.E. writers, and we must then render the line as follows:—"They wished him to be preserved from death."


And he him gulden it euerilc del.

And they him requited it every whit.


Oc al šat burgt folc šat helde was on.

But all that townsfolk that were old enough.


šat folc vn-seli, sinne wod.

That wretched folk, mad with sin.

1076 wreche and letting = vengeance and failure.


Wil sišen cam on euerilc on.

Blindness or bewilderment afterwards came on every one.

1082 fundend = funden + id = funden + it = found it. 1084 don red = do (obey) counsel, i.e. take advice.

P. 32. l. 1095 in sel = in time, timely, opportunely.


šat here non wente agen.

That none of them should turn back.

1101 gunde under dun, under yond hill. 1103 sren, if correct, might signify screen, but it seems to be an error for fren, to set free, and hence to save.


Ai was borgen bala-segor.

Aye was saved Bela Zoar (little Bela).

See Gen. xiv. 2; xix. 20, 22. 1107 hine = him, the name of the town being regarded as of the masculine gender. 1108 erše-dine = earthquake.

"Į hundyr į thowsand and seẅyntene yhere

Frį že byrth of our Lord dere,

Erddyn gret in Ytaly

And hugsum fell all suddanly,

And fourty dayis frį žine lestand."—(Wyntown, p. i. 289.)

The verb dinne in O.E. has not only the sense of to din, but to shake, quake. See Seinte Marherete, p. 20.

"Že erth quok and dind again."

—(Cursor Mundi; Cott. MS. Vesp. A. iii. fol. 11b.)

1109 Sone so, as soon as. 1110 brend-fier-rein, rain of burning fire.


Ne mai non dain wassen šor-on,

None may dare to wash therein.

dain, if not an error for darin = daren, dare, venture, may = šain, a man, a servant, or = duen, avail. 1119 wente hire a-gon, turned her aback. See l. 1097. 1120 wente in to a ston, turned into a stone.


So ist nu forwent mirie dale,

So is there now changed merry (pleasant) dale.

ist = is + it, is it, there is. 1125 deades driuen, held (influenced) of (by) death.

P. 33. l. 1127 They say the trees that are near it, come to maturity in time, and {141}bring forth fruit and thrive, but when their apples are ripe, fire-ashes one may see therein. fier-isles, fire-ashes. For the meaning of isle, see Gloss. to Allit. Poems, s.v. Vsle. 1131-2 That land is called dale of salt, many a one taketh thereof little heed (account).

"Of thair schepe thai gif na tale,

Whether thai be seke or hale."—(MS. Harl. 4196, fol. 92.)

1137 biggede, dwelt. It signifies more properly to build. 1139-40 Here is an allusion to the destruction of the world by fire mentioned in lines 640-644, p. 19. Those maidens erewhile heard some say that fire should all this world consume. 1140 forswešen, to burn up entirely, from the O.E. swethe or swithe, to burn, scorch. See Ancren Riwle, p. 306 (footnote). Gloss. to Allit. Poems, s.v. swythe. 1142 fieres wreche, vengeance (plague) of fire. 1143-4 The Cursor Mundi says that Lot's daughters seeing only their father, thought that all men had perished.

"Bot Loth him held žat cave wit-in,

He and his doghtres tuin;

For žai nan bot žair fadre sau,

Žai wend alle men war don odau,

Thoru žat ilk waful wrak;

Že elder to že yonger spak:

'Sister to že in dern I sai,

Žou seis že folk er alle awai;

Bot Loth our fader es carman (male) nan,

Bot we twa left es na womman;

I think mankind sal perist be,

Bot it be stord wit me and že.'"—(fol. 18.)

1147 vnder-gon, (1) to go under, (2) to cheat, deceive. In line 1160 under-gon = to undertake, take up again.


"ȝet our by-leave wole onder-gon,

That thyse thre (Persons of the Trinity) beth ryȝt al on."

—(Shoreham, p. 142.)

"Ope the heȝe eȝtynde day

He onder-ȝede the Gywen lay."—(Ibid. p. 122.)

"And tus adam he [Christ] under-gede,

reisede him up, and al mankin,

šat was fallen to helle dim."—(O.E. Miscell. p. 22.)

1151 eišer here, each of them. Cf. O.E. eišer eȝe, each eye, both eyes. 1159-60 Now behoveth us to turn back and take up the song concerning Abraham.


Wiš reuli lote and frigti mod.

With mournful cheer and frightened mood (mind).

reuli = sad, rueful, from the verb rue, to pity, compassionate, grieve for. Cf. O.E. rueness, compassion; Ruer, a merciful person; reuthe, pity.

"He saith 'we ben ybore euerichone

Making sorwe and reuly mone.'"—(MS. Addit. 11305.)

lote, fare, cheer.

"Žis isah že leodking

grimme heore lates."

The king saw this,

their grim gestures.

—(Laȝ. ii., 245.)


"Žat freond sęiše to freonde,

mid fęire loten hende,

'Leofue freond, węs hail!'"

That friend saieth to his friend

With fair comely looks,

"Dear friend, wassail!"

—(Ibid. ii., 175.)

P. 34. l. 1163 Roke, East Anglian for reke, smoke. See Prompt. Parv. p. 436; Beve's, l. 2471.


And še brinfires stinken smoke,

And the sulphur's stinking smoke.

stinken = stinkende, stinking. 1166 him reu. The verb rewe is used impersonally in O.E. 1167 sušen = southwards. (See Gen. xx. 1.) 1171-2 Erewhile as first Pharaoh her took, now taketh Abimelech her also. 1177 wif-kinnes, womankind. 1178 wiš-helš = wiš-held. 1179-80 In dream to him came tidings why he suffered and underwent that misfortune. 1180 untiming is literally that which is unseasonable. We have the same notion expressed in O.E. unhap (mishap), misfortune; E. happen, happy, and E. hap, happen, etc. Cp. untime, in Ancren Riwle, p. 344. 1184 šat il sel, that same time, immediately.


And his yuel sort was ouer-gon,

And his evil lot was passed.


ša še swinacie gan him nunmor deren,

When the quinsy did him no more vex (annoy).

Our author or his transcriber is certainly wrong about the "swinacie;" for the punishment of "lecher-craft" was meselry (leprosy), the quinsy being the penalty for gluttony. The seven deadly sins were thus to be punished in Purgatory:—

1. Pride, by a daily fever.
2. Covetousness,   " the dropsy.
3. Sloth,   " the gout.
4. Envy,   " boils, ulcers, and blains.
5. Wrath,   " the palsy.
6. Gluttony,   " the quinsy.
7. Lechery,   " meselry or leprosy.

1192 šat faire blod, that fair woman. blod in O.E. was used as a term of the common gender, as also were such words as girl, maid, etc. See Gloss. to Allit. Poems, s.v. blod.


Bad hire šor hir wiš heuod ben hid

= Bad hire šor-wiš hir heuod ben hid?

Bad her there-with her head to be hid,

(That is, she was to buy a veil for her head).

1194 timing, good-fortune, happiness. See note to line 1180. 1195 bi-sewen, be seen. so in this line seems an unnecessary addition of the scribe's. 1197 wurd = wurš, became; on elde wac, in age weak (feeble). Woc = weak; the older form is wac. See Laȝ. ii. 24, 195, 411.

"Forr icc amm i me sellfenn wac,

& full off unntrummnesse."—(Orm. ii. 285.)

"Vor nout makeš hire woc but sunne one."

For nought maketh hir weak but sin only.

—(Ancren Riwle, p. 4.)

See O.E. Miscell. p. 135; ll. 581, 595.


1198 trimede is, perhaps, for timede = teemed = brought forth; if not it must be referred to O.E. trumen. See trimen in l. 1024.

P. 35. l. 1200 a-buten schoren = about shorn, is merely the explanation of circumcized.

"O thritte yeir fra he was born,

was ysmael wen he was schorn."—(Cursor Mundi, fol. 16b.)

1201 lay is another form of law. Cf. O.E. daye and dawe. 1204 al swilk sel, even at such time. 1206 is told, is reckoned. 1208 fro teding don, removed from his mother's care (?). teding = tending (?), nursing, care, not tešing = teething. "fro teding don" in the Cursor Mundi is expressed by the phrase spaned fra the pap = weaned from the breast.


Michel gestninge made abraham,

great feasting or entertainment made Abraham.

gestninge (feasting) seems to be the same as the S.Saxon gistninge, a banquet. The original meaning is hospitality; O.E. gesten, to entertain a guest; S.Sax. gistnen, to lodge. See Ancren Riwle, p. 288a, 414. Laȝ. ii. 172.


And ysmael was him vn-swac,

And Ishmael was to him (Isaac) disagreeable.

vn-swac, displeasing, distasteful. There is no such word as un-swęc to be found in the A.Sax. glossaries, but we have swęc, savour, taste, from which I have deduced the meaning here given to un-swac. See Ancren Riwle, p. 48, where spekung = swekung, and cp. swęc, stenc, and hrepung, in Ęlfric's Hom. i. 138.

1213 un-framen, to annoy, from O.E. frame, to benefit, to profit.

1216 Hir was ysmaeles anger loš, To her was Ishmael's anger displeasing.

1217 Ghe bi-mente hire to abraham, She bemoaned her to Abraham. bimente = pret. of bimene, to complain, lament.

"bimene we us, we hauen don wrong."—(O.E. Miscell. p. 25; see R. of Gloucester, p. 490.)

1220 dwale, complaint, grief. See l. 1037.

"Be žu neuere to bold, to chiden agen oni scold,

ne mid mani tales to chiden agen alle dwales."

(O.E. Miscell., p. 127. See p. 126, l. 414.)

1221 rapede, hastened, hurried away. See Rich. Cœur de Lion, 2206.

"The wretche stiward ne might nowt slape;

Ac in the morewing he gan up rape."—(Seven Sages, l. 1620.)

"The king saide, 'I ne have no rape (I am in no hurry)

For me lest yit ful wel slape.'"—(Ibid. l. 1631.)


In sumertid, In egest sel,

In summer time, in the highest time (the hottest season) of the year.

Cp. 'in a hyȝ seysoun.'—Allit. Poems, p. 2, l. 39. 1228 hete gram, fierce heat. 1229 wexon šrist. The sense requires us to read wex on šrist, with fatigue and heat thirst waxed on them.


Tid-like hem gan šat water laken,

Soon did that water fail them.

P. 36. l. 1238

Bi al-so fer so a boge mai ten,

By as far as a bow may reach.

1239 sik and sor, sighing and sadness. 1241 dede hire reed, brought her help.


An angel mešede hire šat ned,

An angel alleviated her distress.

hire is the dative of the personal pronoun. 1244 seli timing, a fortunate occurrence. See note to l. 1180. 1247 nam fro šan, went from that {144}place. fro šan = Sc. fra thine, from thence. 1252 mikil and rif, great (powerful) and wide-spread. 1254 In Arabia his kin dwell. 1258 kungriche = kineriche, kingdom. Cf. kungdom = kunedon = kingdom, l. 1260. kunglond, kunelond = kinglond, kingdom, l. 1262. guglond = kunglond, kingdom, l. 1264.


His ninth son was Tema,

Wherefore is there a kingdom called Teman.


Het a guglond esten (eften ?) fro ša,

Was called a kingdom afterwards from that time.

esten fro ša = eastwards from those other kingdoms. 1269 siker pligt, firm, sure pledge.

P. 37. l. 1275 feren pligt, pledged fellows.


šog [it] was nogt is kinde lond,

Nevertheless it was not his native land.


Richere he it leet šan he it fond,

richer he left it than he found it.


On an hil šor ic sal taunen še,

on a hill where I shall show thee.

1292 šat he bed him two [to ?], that he commanded him to go to. two, an error for to. See l. 3752. 1295-6 They say on that hill's side was made the temple of Solomon. 1295 dune-is sišen = dune-is siden, down's (hill's) sides. 1299 buxum o rigt, rightly obedient. 1301 sagt, an error for sag (saw). See l. 1334.

P. 38. l. 1308

šo wurš še child witter and war,

Then became the child wise and wary.


Wonderfully art thou in the world come,

Wonderfully shalt thou be hence taken;

Without long suffering and fight (struggle)

God will thee take from world's night,

And of thyself holocaust have,

Thank Him that He would it crave (demand).

1317 šhrowing = throe, suffering, agony.

"šrowwinge and pine."—(Orm. ii. 174.)

"Vor soš wisdom is don euere soule-hele biuoren flesches hele: and hwon me ne mei nout boše holden somed, cheosen er licomes hurt žen žuruh to stronge vondunges, soule žrowunge."—(Ancren Riwle, p. 372.) For true wisdom is ever to put soul-health before flesh-health, and when one may not hold both together, to choose rather bodily hurt than, through too strong trials, soul-agony (death). 1323 Supply don after wulde. 1328 nuge = nog, now. 1331 frigti fagen may be either frigti and fagen, timid and glad, or else frigti-fagen, timidly glad.

1332 for ysaac bi-leaf un-slagen, for Isaac remained unslain.

1333 Bi-aften, behind, abaft.

"Tacc žęr an shep bafftenn žin bacc

and offre itt forr že wennchell."—(Orm. ii. 156.)

1336 on ysaac stede, instead of Isaac.

P. 39. l. 1345

Sarra was fagen in kindes wune, Sarah was naturally glad.

in kindes wune = after the manner of kinde (nature); kindes wune = kind-wise, kin-wise. 1365 semeš is an error for semes, burdens, loads, or for semed, burdened, loaded. See l. 1368. seme is properly a load for a pack-horse.


"An hors is strengur than a mon,

Ac for hit non i-wit ne kon,

Hit berth on rugge grete semes,

And draȝth bi-vore grete temes."

—(Owl and Nightingale, ed. Wright, p. 27.)

1372 min erdne šu forše selšhelike, mine errand do thou perform, accomplish successfully. forše = foršen. See Orm. l. 1834; Ancren Riwle, p. 408; Laȝ. l. 31561. 1373 lene, grant, still exists in lend, loan, etc.


He bad hise bede on good sel,

He offered his prayer (in good time) opportunely.

P. 40. l. 1379 ilc on = each one.


Ne wor nogt so forš šeuwe numen,

The custom had not been so forth (up to that time) practised.

1388 bofte = bi-ofte, behoof; cf. O.E. byefže, bi-ofže. See l. 1408. 1390 beges = bracelets, armlets, probably from A.Sax. bugan (= beogan), to bow, to bend. The original meaning of beg is crown. In Piers Ploughman 346, beighe signifies a collar. In the Middle High German version of the Book of Genesis (ed. Diemer) it is stated that Eliezer, for love, gave Rebekah

"Zwźne ōringe

und zuźne arm-pouge

ūz alrōteme golde."

1391 ghe seems to be an error for he. 1394 kiddit = made it known, showed it. 1397 good griš = good entertainment. 1398 Him (the dative of the personal pronoun), for him.


Quilc selše and welšhe him wel bi-cam,

What prosperity and wealth had well befallen him.

1409 wiš-šan, with-that, thereupon.


fagneden wel šis sondere man,

welcomed well this messenger.

fagnen is literally to make fain or glad, to welcome, entertain; sondere man. The proper form is sondes-man. Ancren Riwle, p. 190. Cf. loder-man for lodes-man, l. 4110, p. 117; and sander-bodes, O.E. Hom. 2nd S. p. 89.

P. 41. ll. 1411-12

When God hath it so ordained,

As he sendeth so it shall be.

1417 garen, to prepare (to set out), to make yare, to get ready.


For entreaty nor meed not would he there.

Over one night delay no (any) more.

drechen is (1) to trouble, annoy, (2) to hinder, delay.

(1) "Sir Pilates wife dame Porcula

Tille hir Lord thus gan say—

'Deme ȝe noght Ihesus tille ne fra,

Bot menske him that ȝe may

I have bene drechid with dremes swa,

This ilk night als I lay.'"

—(Gospel of Nichodemus, Harl. MS. 4196.)

(2) "Quhen Claudius že manhed kend

Of že Brettownys, he message send

Tyl Arẅyragus, žan že kyng

{146}Žat Brettayne had in governyng,

For til amese all were and stryfe,

And tak his dochtyr til his wyfe,

And to Rowme žat Tribwte pay

Wycht-owtyn drychyng or delay."—(Wyntown, vol. i. p. 92.)

In the Cursor Mundi we are told that wanhope (despair) causes

"Lathnes to kirc at sermon here

Dreching o scrift (delay of shrift)," etc.—(Cott. MS. Vesp. A. iii.)

1427 Or or first ere, i.e. before. 1428 morgen-giwe = morgen-giue, nuptial gift, the morning gift, the gift of the husband presented to the wife on the morning after marriage. See Ancren Riwle, p. 94. Hali Meid. p. 39. 1430 godun dai, good day. godun = godne, the accusative of the adjective.

"He let clipie že saterday:

Že freres bifore him alle

And bed alle godne day."—(St Dunstan, l. 200.)

1434 sondes fare, the journey of the messenger (Eliezer). 1437 on felde = the O.E. afelde. 1439 Eššede = ešede, alleviated, is connected with the O.E. eže (eaš), easy, and literally signifies softened. 1440 Of faiger waspene, of fair form; waspene is evidently an error for wasteme or wastene. "He seh žeos seli meiden marherete ... že schimede ant schan al of wlite (face) ant of wastum (form)."—(Seinte Marherete, p. 2.) "In žis burh was wuniende a meiden swiše ȝung of ȝeres, two wone of twenti, feir ant freolich o wlite & o westum."—(St Kath. p. 69.) 1442 Here samening, their union, intercourse.


And sge ne bi-spac him neuere a del.

And she contradicted him never a whit.

bispeke in O.E. also signifies to threaten. See Castle of Love, l. 221.

P. 42. l. 1448

Abraham dede hem sišen sundri wunen,

Abraham assigned them afterwards sundry abodes.


Him bi-stoden wurlike and wel,

Mourned for (bewailed) him worthily and well.

See ll. 716, 3857. wurlike = wuršlike, worthily. 1461-4 Long it was ere she him child bare, And he entreated God, when he became aware of it (i.e. that Rebekah was barren), That he should fulfil that promise, That he to Abraham erewhile made. 1463 fillen, to fulfil, accomplish. See Orm. i. 91. quede, promise, saying, is the same as the O.E. quede, a bequest, quide, a saying, from queše, to say, still existing in quoth. See Laȝ. i. 38, 43; ii. 151, 197, 613 ; iii. 3; Orm. ii. 321.


At one burden she bore

Two, who were to her akin of blood.

sibbe blod = O.H.G. sippe-bluot, blood relatives. Perhaps this line was inserted by the author on account of the popular belief at this time, that the birth of twins was an indication of unfaithfulness on the part of the woman to her husband. 1469-71 Also it seemed to her day and night, As (though) they wrought in fight (struggling, conflict), Which of them should first be born. 1470 "And the children struggled together within her."—(Gen. xxv. 22.) The following curious paraphrase of this passage occurs in the Cursor Mundi, fol. 20b:—


"His wiif (Rebekah) žat lang had child forgane,

Now sco bredes tua for ane,

Tuinlinges žat hir thoght na gamen,

Žat in hir womb oft faght samen.

Swa hard wit-in hir wamb žai faght,

Žat sco ne might rest dai ne naght;

At pray to Godd ai was sco prest,

To rede hir quat žat hir was best;

Žat hir war best he wald hir rede.

Hir liif was likest to že ded (death).

Strang weird was giuen to žam o were,

Žat žai moght noght žair strif forbere

Til žai had o žaim-seluen might

To se quarfor žat žai suld fight.

Fra biginning o že werld

O suilk a wer was never herd,

Ne suilk a striif o childer tuin

Žat lai žer moder wamb wit-in.

Žair strut it was vn-stern stith,

Wit wrathli wrestes aižer writh.

Bituix unborn a batel blind,

Suilk an was ferli to find.

He žat on že right side lai

Že tother him wraisted oft awai;

And he žat lay upon že left,

Že tother oft his sted him reft."

1470 and = an = in; or else figt must be an error for fagt = fought; and nigt = nagt. 1477 Ghe is evidently an error for ghet or get, yet. liues = alive. Cf. newes, anew, etc.

P. 43. l. 1484 swete mel, sweet meal (food), not sweet speech. "And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison."—(Gen. xxv. 28.) 1487 seš a mete, sod a meat. "sod pottage."—(Gen. xxv. 29.) 1493 mattilike weri = mattilike and weri, overcome (faint) and weary. Mattilike is connected with the O.E. mat, mote, faint, half dead. See Allit. Poems, p. 12, l. 386.


Iacob wurš war he was gredi,

Jacob became aware that he (Esau) was hungry.

—(See Gloss. s.v. Gredi.)

1495-6 "Brother," quoth he, "sell me those privileges Which are said to be the first (eldest) son's." 1499 blišelike, quickly; blithelike has often this sense in O.E. writers. 1501 wurši wune, a worthy (high, great) privilege. 1503 offrende sel, offering time.


Was wune ben scrid semelike and wel,

Was wont to be clothed seemly and well.

1506 dede his ending, came to his end (died). 1507 heg tide, hey (high) days. 1510 twinne del, two-fold. 1511-12 And when the father were (should be) buried, to have two portions of hereditary property. ereward = erfeward, is properly the guardian, keeper of the erfe or inheritance, and hence the heir, so that instead of ereward riche we ought to read {148}ereward-riche, corresponding to the A.Sax. yrfe-land, hereditary land. The -riche is the affix found in O.E. heven-riche, heaven kingdom; kine-riche, a kingdom; E. bishoprick. The -ward (in ereward) = warder, keeper, is found in O.E. gate-ward, dore-ward (door-keeper), bat-ward (boat-keeper); hey-ward (farm-yard keeper); sti-ward (steward, the officer who originally had care of the highways or sties?).

P. 44. l. 1514 then, an error for ten, to go. 1515 in wis, in wise, so that; but may we not read in-wis = i-wis, indeed, truly? See l. 2521. 1518 Holden wuršelike, esteemed honourably, held in honour, respect; a may be for and, or for aa = aye, ever.


A hundred times as much waxed his honour,

So may God prosper where he will.


Nišede šat folk [šat] him fel wel,

That folk envied him because he prospered.

1522 And made him change his abode; flitten is to remove, to flit.

"O land he (Noe) had ful grette plenté,

For him and for his sons thre;

Mast to tilth he gave him žan,

To flitt že breres he bigan;

Sua lang wit flitting he žam sloght,

Žat wine-treis he žam wroght."

—(Cursor Mundi, fol. 13.)

1524 trewše fest, troth-fast, pledged by troth or plighted faith; fest has usually the sense of confirming, pledging, in O.E.

"Žis neu forward (covenant) was festened žan."

—(Cursor Mundi, fol. 23.)


And age came upon Isaac,

He became sightless and weak of (with) age.

elde swac = eldes wac, weak of (with) age. 1531 šat, what. 1535 brogtes, brought them. 1536 And she well knew the father's choice; kire answers exactly to the later gloss, wune = what is chosen, selected; S. Sax. cure, choice.

"Žer stoden in žere temple

ten žusend monnen

žet wes že bezste cure

Of al Brut-londe."—Laȝ. i. 345.

1537 And made exceedingly good, or very opportunely, that meat; on sele = on-sele, good, literally timely, opportunely; S.Sax. on sele, safely. See note on l. 1542.

"Cnihtes fuseš me mid

leteš slępen žene king

And fare we on sele."—Laȝ. i. 32.

sę-men ęfter

fóron flód-wége

folc węs on salum.

The sea men after

marched the flood way

the folk prospered (was in prosperity).

—(Cędmon, 184, 13.)

1539 Clothed she Jacob and made him rough. 1542 seles mel, an error for selie mel, good (timely) meal? Cf. miries dale for mirie dale, l. 1038, p. 30. See Laȝ. i. 75; ii. 173.


"And žas word saide

Brutus že sele (the good)."—Laȝ. i. 30.

"haueš mi fader bi žęre sę

Castel swiše sęle."—(Ibid. ii. 14.)

1544 For he handled him and found him rough. 1545 When he knew him, opportunely he blessed him, faithfully and well. on gode sel, in good time, opportunely. See note to l. 1542.

P. 45. ll. 1547-8

Heaven's dew and earth's fatness,

Abundance of wine and oil.

1550 Supply and after migt.


Quoth Esau, "right is his name

Called Jacob, to my disadvantage."


Nevertheless, dear father, intreat I thee

That thou give me some blessing.

1573 eršes smere, earth's fatness; smere is properly fat, grease, butter. In the Orm. ii. 106 it is used in the sense of ointment. 1574 granted him blessing that was precious to him; gere is evidently an error for dere, beloved, dear, precious.


For Idumea, that rich land,

Of pasture good, was in his hand.

lewse, cf. O.E. leswen, to pasture; lezzer[398] (Shropshire), a pasture-land. (Wicliffe, 1 Kings xvi. 11; 1 Cor. ix. 7; Luke viii. 34.) "If ony man schal entre by me, he schal be saved; and he schal go yn, and schal go out, and he schal fynde lesewis." (Wicliffe, St John x. 9.) "Egipte aȝenst kynde of ožer londes haž plenté of corn; he is bareyne of lesue, and whan he haž plenté of lesue it is bareyne of corn." (Trevisa's translation of Higden's Polychronicon, vol. 1, p. 131.)


Quoth Esau, "The time of mourning shall pass away,

And I shall take vengeance of (on) Jacob."

1577 grot is a noun formed from the vb. to grete (to weep, mourn), just as wop is from wepe (weep). It is the same as the O.E. gret, grete, cry, outcry.

P. 46. ll. 1583-4

"Be thou there," quoth she, "till Esau

Appeased be, who rages now."

Eše-mošed (= eše-moded) is literally easy-minded, humble, mild, and hence soft-mooded, appeased. S.Sax. edmod, eadmodied, edmodie. See Laȝ. ii. 554; Ancren Riwle, 246, 278. The insertion of be is necessary to the metre as well as to the sense.


Esau married in order to annoy us

When he allied (himself to kin of Canaan) and is so foolish.


Wherefore he maketh him stubborn and strong,

For he is mixed amongst that kin.


Ne bode ic no lengere werldes lif,

I could endure (abide) no longer world's life.

1605 an soše drem, in true dream. 1606 heuene bem = heaven-beam (?), the sun (?). 1610 Lened = leaned; but the MS. also sanctions leued = remained; and [Jacob] wurš ut-suuen, and Jacob became cast out of {150}(aroused from) his sleep. 1615 i = ic, I. It is common to find i before sal, instead of the fuller ic.

P. 47. l. 1620 amongus = amonges = amongst. 1621 a-gen cumen = agen-cumen, return. 1623 for muniging = for a memorial. 1624 And get on olige = and poured on oil; olige = the O.E. olie, elye = oil; anelye, to anoint. 1636 A well well-covered under a stone. 1638 abiden (= abode) is the pret. pl. of abide. 1641 sulden samen = should assemble.


Iacob wiš hire wente šat ston,

Jacob for her removed that stone.

wiš in O.E. signifies in, for, against, etc.


And he made known he was her aunt's son,

And kissed her after kins-wise (as a relative).

mouies is properly a female relative; S.Sax. mawe, moȝe, mowe, and must be distinguished from męi, mey, may, etc., a male relative. "Žis ȝet žuncheš me wurst žęt tu že ane hauest ouergan ži feder ant ti moder, meies ba ant mehen." (St Marherete, p. 16.)

"Nu is afered of že

ži mei and ži mowe;

Alle heo wereš že weden

žat er weren žin owe."—(O.E. Miscell. p. 178.)

We occasionally, as in this instance, meet with the word in a more limited sense.

"Annd hire meȝhe Elysabaež

Wass gladd inoh & bliže

Off hire dere child Iohan,

And lefliȝ ȝho himm fedd."—(Orm. i. 109.)

"Has žou her," žai said, "ani man,

Sun or dogter, mik or mau

To že langand, or hei or lau."—(Cursor Mundi, fol. 17.)

We even find a confusion between the two terms, as in l. 1761, p. 51, and in the following passage:

"Loth went and til his maues (sons-in-law) spak."

—(Cursor Mundi, fol. 17.)

P. 48. ll. 1655-6 Laban welcomed him (Isaac's son travelled from afar) in friend's wise (friendly); feren = S.Sax. feorren, afar, far, from a distance. (See Ancren Riwle, p. 70, l. 3888.)

"The sonne, and monne, and many sterren

By easte aryseth swythe ferren."—(Shoreham, p. 137.)

1658 and laban herte ranc = and Laban's heart was wrung (with pity)? for ranc read wranc = wrang. 1666 waš = quaš, quoth, spoke. 1668 wiš skil, in reason, reasonably.


Luue wel michil it agte a-wold

Love so great it ought prevail.

agte awold, have in power, prevail, avail. Cp. "Žerfore everyche Romayn overcomež ožer is overcome wiž flaterynge and wiž faire wordes; and ȝif wordes faillež, ȝiftes schal hym awelde." (Trevisa's translation of Higden's Polychronicum, vol. i. p. 253.) 1676 tog = toc = took.


long wune is her driuen,

long custom is here held (practised).

P. 49. l. 1693 londes kire, custom of the land (country). 1700 caldes, called them. Cf. calde is in l. 1702. 1706 ille bi-nam, foully ravished. 1712 charen, {151}to depart, literally to turn. 1713 šelde an error for gelde = should requite.


Unless Laban should reward better

His service, and withhold (retain) him yet.

1715 serue he scrišed = he entreated him to serve.


Covenant is made of all sheep,

Jacob should take charge of those of one colour,

And if of those, spotted ones came,

Those should be taken for hire (wages).

Sheep or goat, speckled, streaked, or gray,

Are placed from Jacob far away;

Nevertheless those of one colour

Bore many unlike and dissimilar.

P. 50. l. 1723 haswed = haswe, "livid, a sad colour mixed with blue." It also signifies rugged, shaggy. 1726 vn-like = unlike in colour. It may be, however, an error for on-like = alike; likeles, unlike, dissimilar in form. 1729 še sunder bles, the diverse coloured ones. 1736 To be under him longer is displeasing to him. 1740 clipping time, shearing time. See Allit. Poems, A. 802. 1747 for-olen = for-holen, secreted.

P. 51. l. 1758

šus mešelike spac šis em,

thus kindly (mildly) spake this uncle.


My relative, my nephew, my fellow (companion)

Thou oughtest not to do me such unlawfulness (wrong).

mog. See note to l. 1651.


I was afraid it might occur to thee

To take thy daughters from me.

1765 fro an error for for (?).


Theft I deny, that is my advice,

That he be dead (put to death) with whom thou findest them (thy gods).

1768-9 is = them. 1771 yuel ist bi-togen, evil is there accused = wrongfully has accusation been made, i. e. I am accused of a crime. bitogen, the p.p. of biteon, signifies also befallen. bitogen may be an error for bilogen. 1772 My labour about thy property is drawn (taken up), i. e. I am troubled about thy property. 1774 And to me was thine honour dear; wuršing = honour, respect, good opinion. 1775 fend sule wit ben, friends shall we two be. 1776 And troth plight (pledge) now us two between. 1779 glaš = glad. 1782 Turned backward ere it was light. 1783 of weie rad, quickly away. of liues = alive; of kin = akin. 1784 Soon was he far from Laban separated. 1786 Engel-wirš = engel-wird, a troop, multitude of angels.

"Žer wes Bruttene weored

baldeliche isomned."—(Laȝ. ii. 412.)

1787 wopnede here, a weaponed (armed) host.

"iwepned wel alle

heo wenden to žan walle."—(Laȝ. i. 401.)

"& sone anan se žiss wass seȝȝd

Žurrh an off Godess enngless,

A mikell here off enngležeod

{152}Wass cumenn ut of heoffne,

& all žatt hirdeflocc hemm sahh

& herrde whatt teȝȝ sungenn."—(Orm. i. 115.)

"He comuth with so gret here

Wondur is the ground may heom beore."—(Kyng Alys., p. 91, l. 2101.)

P. 52. l. 1797-8

And Jacob sent far before

Him rich gifts, and sundry bearers.

1798 loac = lac, loc, a gift, present.

"še riche reošeren

& scheop & bule,

hwa se mihte

brohten to lake."—(St. Kath. 63.)

"And bi žatt allterr wass že lac

O fele wise ȝarkedd."—(Orm. i. 34.)

"Alle hii nemen žat lock."—(Laȝ., later copy, ii. 320.)

boren = bearers. A.S. bora. 1804 The sinews sprang from the limb. liš = member, limb. See Hampole's P. of C. 1917.


Would they (Jacob's kin) no sinews thenceforth eat,

His own kin will not forget that usage.

1808 Till the dawning up from the east burst. 1811 leate = lete, relinquish. 1818 How shall any man be able to hurt thee? 1826 And honoured him as the first-born; wurše should be wurš[ed]e. 1828 šo rew him so, then had he such compassion upon Jacob.

P. 53. l. 1829 trume, host. (See Guy of Warwick, p. 291; Laȝ. iii. 73, 107.)

"And he arayeth hare trome

As me (one) areyt men in fyȝt."—(Shoreham, p. 108.)

Cp. shel-ter = or scheltron = schild-trume. 1833 Jacob was sorrowful that he forsook (refused) them (the presents). 1835 hol and schir = whole and sound; schir = sheer, pure, undefiled. 1837 him to frame = for his own use. 1840 tgelt = tyelt = encamped. Cf. Ger. zelt; Eng. tilt. 1843 There King Emor sold him a piece of ground. 1848 She departed leave-less (without permission) from that place. 1851 Her own counsel misled (ruined) her. We might read

for hire listede hire owen red,

for her own counsel pleased her.


And his burge-folc fellen in wi,

And his people (borough-folk) fell in war.

wi = wig = war. Cf. Semi-Sax. wiȝe, battle, conflict. (Laȝ. i. 201; ii. 260; iii. 5.) wi-ax, wi-eax, a battle-axe. (Laȝ. i. 67, 96, 166, 286.) 1855 bi-speken, blamed. Cf. bi-spac, l. 1444, p. 41.

P. 54. l. 1872 Gol prenes = golde prenes = gold brooches. Prene is connected with O.E. preonne, to sew up. (See O.E. Miscell, p. 172, l. 68.) Sc. prin, a pin.


Deep he them buried under an oak,

No covetousness made him weak (disobedient) in heart.


For Solomon shall find them,

And his temple deck withal.

1887 merke dede, set up a mark (monument).

P. 55. ll. 1901-2

Of Edom so it was named then,

For it was before called Bozra.


1906 deden un-red = committed sin; unred, want of wisdom, miscounsel, folly, wickedness. (See Owl and Nightingale, 161.)

"For unręd is swiše ręh (rash)."—(Laȝ. i. 278.)

1910 Brictest of waspene (wasteme), brightest of form; witter wune = skillwise, skilful, of good abilities. 1912 vn-hillen & baren, discover and lay bare (disclose); vnhillen = O.E. unhelen. (See Surtees, Ps. xxviii. 9.)

1914 wel-šewed, well conducted, well behaved.


for-ši wexem wiš gret niš;

unless wexem = wex hem, we should perhaps read,

for-ši he wexen wiš gret niš,

Wherefore they increased in great envy (jealousy).

wiš = in. 1919 soren = shorn = reaped. Shear is still an E.Anglian term for to reap.

"And I sal say til men scherande,

Gaderes the darnel first in bande,

And brennes it opon the land,

And scheres sithen the corn rathe,

And bringes it unto my lathe."

—(Met. Hom. p. 146.)

1920 here = theirs. Cf. ure = ours. 1923 hu mai šis sen, how may this appear (be seen). 1928 siše = sišen = afterwards. 1934 In Dothan he found them come. sogt = sought = come, arrived? 1935 fro feren = from afar.

P. 56. l. 1942 šisternesse = cisternesse = cistern. (See l. 1960.) Cistern occurs in the Middle High German Book of Genesis and Exodus, ed. Diemer, p. 75.

"Nu sehet ze dem trōmęre, er bringet nivmare

Slahen wir den selben hunt,

Werfen in in der zisterne grunt."


In this pit, old and deep,

Yet shall he be cast, naked and cold,

What-so(ever) his dreams may signify.

1943 wurše = wurš e = wurš he (?) = he shall be. 1950 derne sped = secret haste. I should prefer derue sped = derfe sped, bold (wicked) haste. 1952 spices ware = spices-ware = spicery. 1958 Than he should there die in their power. 1961 šhogte swem = appeared grieved = was sorrowful.


Believed him to be slain, set up a cry

He will not cease, such sorrow he endured.

1962 rem, cry, outcry.

"šanne remen he alle a rem,

so hornes blast ošer belles drem (noise)."

—(O.E. Miscell., p. 21.)


In kid's blood they turned it,

Then was there-on a piteous stain.

1968 lit = stain.

"Ah wiš se swiše lufsume leores

Ha leien, se rudie

{154}& se reade i-litet (coloured)

eauereach leor

as lilie i-leid to rose,

Žęt nawhit ne žuhte hit

Žęt ha weren deade."—(St. Kath. l. 1432.)

"Saide Laverd of Basan torne, torne sal I,

In depnesse of že se for-ži;

Žat ži fote be lited in blode o lim,

Že tunge of ži hundes fra faas of him."—(Ps. lxvii. 24.)

P. 57. ll. 1975-8

He wept, and said that "wild beasts

Have my son swallowed here."

His clothes rent, in hair (cloth) shrouded,

Long mourning and sorrow is him befallen.

1977 haigre.

"Žai sal be, als že appocalips spekes,

In harde hayres clende and in sekkes."

—(Hampole's P. of C., 4530.)

1980 hertedin, consoled; literally encouraged him (to hope that his son was still alive). 1982 herting = consolation. 1989 skiuden for skinden = went. 1992 They made quickly a gainful covenant. 1995 wol = wel = very.

1999, 2000

But he became then so naturally cold,

To do such deed had he no power.

2004 The author of the poem seems to have confounded Potiphar with Poti-pherah, the priest of On. (See Gen. xli. 45.)

P. 58. l. 2011 an heg for and heg = and high. 2015 One and stille, alone and secretly. 2019 Provided that he would with her wanton; wile seems to be the same as wigele, to play, sport. May we not supply plaige, play, before wile? 2020 But what she desired was displeasing to him. 2024 But it was to him all alike displeasing. 2025 tgeld = tyeld = tent. Cf. tilt (of a cart). 2030 god = goš = goes.


And saith Joseph would do to her,

What she might not prove (or bring) against him.

2031 seiš, says.


The blame is his, the right is hers,

May God almighty discern the truth.

wite, blame, still exists in twit; O.E. at-wite.

P. 59. l. 2043 chartre for cwartre = prison.

"Forr nass nohht Sannt Johan ȝėt ta

Intill cwarrterrne worrpenn."—(Orm. ii. 270.)

2044 in hagt, in sorrow. We might translate ll. 2042-4 as follows:—"The gaoler did love him, and hath entrusted him the prison to live in care with the prisoners." 2045 on-sagen = un-sagen = O.E. mis-saw, opprobrious language. 2047 One that the king's cup presented (the butler). 2049-50 onigt = anigt, by night; o-frigt = afrigt, in fright, affrighted. 2054 Hard (troublesome) dreams would cause that (i. e. cause them to mourn). 2057 softe or strong = pleasant or unpleasant. 2058 The interpretation will on (to) God belong. 2059 win-tre, a vine.

"Me thoght I sagh a win-tre,

A bogh žar was wit branches thre;

{155}O žis tre apon ilk bogh,

Me thoght hang winberis inogh."—(Cursor Mundi, fol. 26.)

2060 That had full grown boughs three; waxen = full grown, explains Shakespear's man of wax. 2061 First it bloomed, and afterwards bore. 2062 Of the berries ripe became I aware. 2073 Present my petition (intercede for me) to Pharaoh; herdne = ernde. Cf. O.E. wordle = world.

"Bute heore almesdede

heore ernde schal bere."

But their alms-deed

Shall intercede for them.

—(O.E. Miscell. p. 164.)

2075 kinde lond, native land. 2076 And here wrongfully held in bond; wrigteleslike = wrigte-les-like, fault-less-ly; wrigte = wrihhte, a fault, crime.

"For niss nohht Godess grižž wižž ža

Žatt wižžrenn Godd onnȝęness,

Acc helle-wawenn iss till ža

All affterr žeȝȝre wrihhte."—(Orm. i. 136.)

P. 60. l. 2077 lišeš nu me, listen now to me. 2078 bread-lepes = bread-baskets. Cf. O.E. bar-lepe, a basket for keeping barley in. See Townley Myst., p. 329; Wicliffe, Exod. ii. 3. Leep, or baskett (lepp. K). Sporta, calathus, corbis.—(Prompt. Parv.)


It were preferable to me (I had rather) quoth Joseph,

Tell the meaning of pleasant dreams.

2086 rechen = recken = to tell, explain; swep = force, stroke. Cf. the use of bond, wold, ll. 2114, 2122. 2088 ben do[n] on rode, be put on the cross (be crucified).


And fowls shall tear away thy flesh,

That no wealth shall be able to save thee.

2094 wiš-uten erd, in a foreign land. 2105 On a bush full grown and very beautiful (seasonable? well-seasoned, prime?). 2107 welkede = withered. drugte numen, seized with drought (dryness).

P. 61. l. 2114 Who could explain the meaning of these dreams. 2119 šo hogt. Is hogt an error for logt = lagt, taken, or for sogt = sought? 2122 šis dremes wold = this dream's meaning. Wold signifies (1) power, (2) force, (3) meaning. 2130 nedful = grievous; the O.E. ned often signifies grief, trouble. 2132 rospen and raken, rasp and rake, diminish and scatter. The Swedish raka signifies to clip, shave, shear. 2134 lašes, barns. (See note to l. 1919.) Chaucer uses the word in the Reve's Tale. "Berne or lathe, Horreum."—(Prompt. Parv.) 2136 hungri gere, famine years. 2146 so to-bar, so falsely accused him. (See baren in l. 1912.) In the Castle of Love to-beren = disagree; to-boren, at enmity, l. 49.

P. 62. l. 2153

The seven years of plenty pass away.

Joseph himself knew how to provide beforehand.

2161 for nede sogt, sought, come by compulsion. (See l. 2165.) 2163 he lutten him, they did obeisance to him.


Joseph knew them all in his thought (mind),

He made as if he knew them not.

2176 For hunger doth (causes) them (Jacob's sons) hither to come.


2178 bi gure bering, by your behaviour. 2181 For seldom betideth even any king.

P. 63. l. 2190 ša = šat; pore is evidently an error for gure = your.


For then was Joseph sore afraid

That he were also through them deceived.

2196 še ton = the one. 2198 to wedde = in pledge, as hostage.

"He said, 'Forsothe, a tokyne to wedde

Salle thou lefe with me.'"—(Sir Perceval of Galles, p. 19.)

2204 Wrigtful = sinful. (See note to l. 2076.) 2209 For we denied him mercy; werneden = denied, refused.

"God schewes in his godspelle

Of že riche man and laȝarus,

How žat he warned him almus,

Žarfor God warned him agayne

A drope of water, to sloken his payne

In že fire of helle when he was žan."

—(Cott. MS. Tib. E. vii., fol. 37.)

2214 pilt = O.E. pult, thrown, placed (R. of Gloucester, 3376, 459; Lay le Freine, 136).

P. 64. l. 2219 ouer-šogt, over-anxious. 2224 šo agtes = the monies. 2232 Death and sorrow come on me; segeš = sigeš, cometh, alighteth, falleth.

"& ži wracche (wretched) saule

[Scal] siȝen to helle."—(Laȝ. ii. 186.)

2233 bi-lewen = bi-liuen = remain.


Then quoth Judah, "It will go hard with us,

If we do not keep our agreement with him."

Famine increased, this corn is gone,

Jacob again biddeth them go again (to Egypt).


Then quoth he, "When (since) it is necessary,

And I know no better plan."

2249 God grant that he may be kindly disposed (towards you); eši-modes = eše-moded (see note to l. 1584). 2252 ligt = soon; literally easily, without difficulty. 2254 Kind thought (natural affection) was in his heart then; šag = ša = šo = then, is necessary for the sense and the rhyme.

P. 65. l. 2255 gerken = O.E. ȝarke, Mod. Eng. yark, prepare, get ready.

"He lętte bi sę flode

ȝearkien scipen gode."—(Laȝ. i. 111.)

2258 None of them had then merry cheers (countenances). 2262 ur non, none of us; ur should be properly ure. Cf. l. 2260, where we have gur for gure.


Very glad (fain) he was of their coming,

For he was held there as a prisoner.

to nome may have the same signification as the phrase to wedde = as hostage, as security; nome (nom?), derived from nimen, to take, capture, signifies seizure. Cf. wop from wepe (weep), grot from grete (lament, cry), lop (flee) from lepe (leap, run), etc. 2269 vndren time = A.Sax. undern-tid; vndren is the Prov. aandorn, oandurth, orndorn. It literally denotes {157}"the intervening period, which accounts for its sometimes denoting a part of the forenoon, or a meal taken at that time, and sometimes a period between noon and sunset."—(Garnett.) 2275 And he willingly accepted it. 2279 Know I that none of them but what trembles.


Soon he went out, and secretly he wept,

That all his face became wet with tears.

After that weeping, he washed his face.

P. 66. l. 2295 of euerilc sonde, of every dish, of every mess; sond signifies a dish, mess, meal. S.Sax. sonden, sunde, viands.

"wanliche (bad) weoren ža sonden."—(Laȝ. iii. 32.)

"žas beorn ža sunde

(žes beare že sondes)

from kuchene to žan kinge."—(Laȝ. ii. 611.)

"Hwer beoš žine disches

midd žine swete sonde?"—(O.E. Miscell., p. 174.)

2297 In abundance they became glad. 2302 šeden = peoples. 2311 weren ... went = had gone. 2316 vn-selšehe = vnselše, misfortune, evil.

"Her waas unnseollže unnride inoh

Till an mann forr to dreȝhenn."—(Orm. i. 165.)

"Ah ich heom singe, for ich wolde

That hi wel understonde schulde

That sum unselthe heom is i-hende (near)."

—(Owl and Nightingale, p. 43.)

Later writers use the word in the sense of wickedness. (See Shoreham's Poems, p. 43.) 2314 bi-calleš, accuses. See Ywain and Gawin, p. 21, l. 491. 2318 gure on = one of you. 2320 vp = vpe = upon.

"Moni of žisse riche

žat wereden foh and grei,

An ridež uppe stede

and uppen palefrai,

Heo schulen atte dome,

suggen weilawei."—(O.E. Miscell., p. 164.)

P. 67. l. 2335 Provided that thou spare Benjamin. 2341 so e gret = so he gret, so he wept. 2342 That all his face became wet of (with) tears. See l. 2356. 2354 sundri = on-sundri, apart. 2356 Ilc here, each of them.

P. 68. l. 2367 twinne srud, two changes of raiment. 2369 fif weden, five garments. 2373 wiš semes fest, with burdens loaded. 2380 He knew not who they were (on account of their princely garments). 2384 All Egypt in his power is placed (fixed). 2390 or ic of werlde chare, ere I from the world go (turn) = ere I die.

P. 69. l. 2399 derer, an error for derė = beloved. 2400 How many years are on thee. 2403 fo = few; O.E. fowe. Cp. Northern fon, few, in Hampole's P. of C. 2404 Although I have passed (suffered) them in woe. 2406 her vten erd = here in foreign lands. See l. 2410. 2412 seli mel, good sustenance (food). Cf. l. 1542. 2416 y-oten = y-hoten, called.


So was it pleasing to him to be laid,

Where the Holy Ghost secretly had said

{158}To him and his elders, far ere before,

Where Jesus Christ would be born,

And where be dead, and where be buried.

P. 70. l. 2435 Or šan = ere that.


Joseph caused his body to be honourably prepared (for burial),

To be washed, richly anointed,

And with spices to be scented.

Smaken usually signifies to taste, savour, but here means to scent, to be scented. Smac in the Owl and Night., 821, is used for scent, while in the Ayenbite of Inwyt it has the sense of flavour.

"Zalt yefž smac to že mete."

See Gloss. to Allit. Poems, s. v. Smach.


And Egypt's folk him bewaked,

Forty nights and forty days,

Such were Egypt's laws;

The first nine nights the bodies they bathe,

And anoint, and shroud, and bewail