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Nu, 10 broperr Wallterr, broperr min
Affterr þe flashess kinde;

& broperr min i 12 Crissteńndom
þurrh fulluhht 13 & purrh trowwpe; 14
& broperr min i 12 Godess hus,
Set 015 be pride 16 wise,17

purrh patt witt 18 hafenn 19 tǎkenn ba 20 An 21 rezhellboc 22 to foll henn,2 Unnderr kanunnkess 24 had 25 & lif,

Swa summ 26 Sannt Awwstin sette; Icc hafe 28 don swa summ 26 bu badd,29 & forpedd 30 te 31 pin wille, Icc hafe 28 wennd 32 inntil 33 Ennglissh Goddspelless hall;he lare,34



Affterr þatt little witt tatt me

Min Drihhtin hafeþþ lenedd 37 pu pohhtesst 38 tatt 36 itt mihhte wel Till 39 mikell frame 40 turrnenn,



diff Ennglissh follk, forr lufe off Crist, Itt wollde erne 42 lernenn,

& foll henn 23 itt, & fillenn 43 itt


Wipp pohht, wipp word, wipp dede. & forrpi 45 zerrndesst 46 tu þatt icc

piss werre be shollde wirrkenn;

& icc itt hafe forbedd 30 te,31

Acc 48 all þurrh Cristess hellpe;

& unnc birrp 49 babe 50 pannkenn Crist patt itt iss brohht till 39 ende.

O biss boc

Icc hafe sammnedd 51 52

pa Goddspelless neh 53 alle




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Now, brother Walter, brother mine
After the fleshly nature;

And brother mine in Christendom
Through baptism and through fealty;
And brother mine in God's own house
In still another manner,

In that we two have taken both
One book of rules to follow,
Within the life of canonhood,
Just as St. Austin ordered;
As thou didst bid me, I have done,
Thy will for thee fulfilling;

For into English I have turned
The gospel's holy teaching,
According to the little wit

With which my Lord endowed me. Thou thoughtest that it might full well Be turned to mickle profit

If English folk, for love of Christ,

It zealously would study,

And follow it, and it fulfil,

With thought, with word, with action. And therefore thou didst yearn that I

This book for thee should render;

And I for thee have finished it,

As Christ the Lord did help me;

And now behooves us both thank Christ That it is brought to ending.

I have collected in this book

Now nearly all the gospels

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turned 33: 3 into 34 holy lore



that my Lord has lent 40 great benefit 41 if eagerly 43 fulfil 44 with thought 45 therefore 46 desiredst 47 work 48 but 49 us two it behooves 50 both 51 collected 52 in 53 nigh, near

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& a3 affterr þe Goddspell stannt patt tatt te Goddspell menepp,7 patt mann birrp spellenn 8 to be follc Off bere sawle nede;


& let tær tekenn mare inoh 10

pu shallt tæronne 11 findenn

Off patt tatt Cristess hall he þed 12
Birrb 13 trowwenn 14 wel & foll❜henn.15
Icc hafe sett her o 16 piss boc

Amang Goddspelless wordess,
All þurrh me sellfenn,17 mani3 word
De rime 18 swa 19 to fillenn;

Acc þu shallt finndenn þatt min word,
E3whær þær 20 itt iss ekedd,21
Ma hellpenn þa 22 þatt redenn itt
To sen & tunnderrstanndenn 23
All þess te bettre hu þeim birrp 24:
pe Goddspell unnderrstanndenn;
& forrpi 25 trowwe icc patt te 26 birrh
Wel polenn 27 mine wordess,
E33whær þær 20 þu shallt findenn hemm 28
Amang Godspelless wordess.



That all the year at mass are found
Within the holy massbook.
And aye after the gospel stands

That which the gospel meaneth,
Which must be told unto the folk,
Because the soul doth need it;
And still within it thou shalt find
Enough and more there written
Of what the holy flock of Christ
Must well believe and follow.
I have set down here in this book,
Among the words of gospel,
All of myself full many a word,

To fill the measure merely;
But thou shalt find here that my word,
Wherever it is added,

May help the people who shall read

To see and understand too

The better how it them behooves
To understand the gospel;

And therefore trow I that thou must
Endure my words with patience,
Wherever thou shalt find them set
Among the words of gospel.

LAYAMON (c. 1205)



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Ich the bitache here 10

Mine kineriche; 11

And wite 12 mine Bruttes

A to thines lifes;


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1 wondrously much young man 2 3 who kin 5 was named to the 7the ground 8 these words 9 thou wert 10 I commit to thee here kingdom defend 13 ever during thy life 14 keep for them 15 customs, laws 16 that have stood in my days 17 I will go 18 fairest 19 of all 20 the 21 elf very beautiful 22 she 23 24 well whole

The care of my kingdom;
And guard well my Britons
Ever whilst thou livest;

And keep thou all the customs
That loved were in my life-time,
And all the customs splendid
That Uther's reign attended.
And I will fare to Avalon
To the fairest of all maidens,
Where Queen Argantè tarries,
Most beautiful of fairies;
And she shall every wound
Make both whole and sound,
All whole shall she make me
With health-giving potions.
And come shall I hereafter
Back to my kingdom
And abide with my Britons
With bliss forever.

E'en as he was speaking
There came from sea speeding
A very small boat gliding
Before the waves a-riding;
And women twain within it
Wondrously attired.



And they raised up Arthur anon, And aboard rapidly bore him,

And adown softly they set him, And forth went they sailing.


Then was fulfilled there

What Merlin said aforetime, That infinite grieving

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Ye, mine leove 20 süstren,21 ne schulen 22 habben 23 no best 24 bute kat one.25 Ancre 26 thet haveth eihte 27 thüncheth 28 bet 29 husewif,30 ase Marthe was, then ancre; 26 31 ne none-weis ne mei heo 32 beon 33 Marie mid grithfulnesse 34 of heorte. Vor theonne 35 mot 36 heo thenchen 37 of the kues 38 foddre and of heordemonne 39 huire, oluhnen " thene 2 heiward,43 warien 44 hwon 45 46 me pünt 47 hire, and yelden,48 thauh, 49 the hermes.50 Wat 5 Crist, this is lodlich 52 thing hwon 45 me 46 maketh mone in tune of ancre 55 eihte.27 Thauh,49 56 yif eni mot 36 nede habben 57 ku, loke 58 thet heo 32 none monne ne eilie 59 ne ne hermie; ne thet hire thouht ne beo 61 nout ther-on ivestned. 62 Ancre ne ouh 63 nout to habben 57 no thing thet drawe 64 utward hire heorte.



None cheffare 65 ne drive ye. Ancre thet is cheapild, heo cheapeth 67 hire soule the chepmon 68 of helle.

Ne wite 69 ye nout in oure 70 huse 71 of other

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Ye, my dear sisters, shall have no beast but a cat only. A nun that has property seems rather a housewife, as Martha was, than a nun; and in no wise may she be Mary, with peacefulness of heart. For then must she think about the cow's fodder and the herdsmen's wages, flatter the constable, curse when the cow is put in the pound, and pay the damages nevertheless. God knows, it is a hateful thing when complaint is made in the village of a nun's property. However, if anyone must needs have a cow, let her see to it that it disturbs or harms no man; and that her heart be not fastened upon it. A nun ought to have nothing that will draw her heart outward to the world.

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29 rather peacefulness

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property no-ways 32 she 33 be 34


64 ought

may draw

67 sells

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68 tradesman

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