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Nu, 10 broperr Wallterr, broßerr min

Affterr þe flæshess kinde; & broberr min i 12 Crissteắndom

þurrh fulluhht 13 & þurrh trowwpe; 14 & broßerr min i 12 Godess hus,

Gēt 015 þe pride 16 wise, 17 þurrh þatt witt 18 hafenn 19 tăkenn ba 20

An 21 rezhellboc 22 to follzhenn,23 Unnderr kanunnkess 24 had 25 & lif,

Swa summ 26 Sannt Awwstin sette; Icc hafe 28 don swa summ 26 þu badd,29

& forbedd 30 te 31 bin wille, Icc hafe 28 wennd 32 inntil 33 Ennglissh

Goddspelless hallëhe lare, 34 Affterr þatt little witt 35 tatt

Min Drihhtin hafebb lenedd 37 þu þohhtesst tatt 36 itt mihhte wel

Till 39 mikell frame 40 turrnenn, Giff 41 Ennglissh follk, forr lufe off Crist,

Itt wollde jerne 42 lernenn, & follzhenn 23 itt, & fillenn 43 itt

Wibb pohht, " wibb word, wibb dede. & forrpi 45 zerrndesst 46 tu þatt icc

piss werrc *7 be shollde wirrkenn; & icc itt hafe forbedd 30 te, 31

Acc 43 all þurrh Cristess hellpe; & unnc birrþ 49 babe 50 þannkenn Crist

þatt itt iss brohht till 39 ende. Icc hafe sammnedd 52 biss boc

pa Goddspelless neh 53 alle

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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And aye






16 O

þatt sinndenn'o the messeboc 2

Inn all þe zer 3 att messe. & azi * affterr þe Goddspell stannt 6

þatt tatt 6 te Goddspell menebb,? þatt mann birrþ spellenn 8 to be follc

Off þezire : sawle nede; & Zet tær tekenn mare inoh 10

þu shallt tæronne 11 findenn Off þatt tatt 6 Cristess hallëhe bed 12

Birrþ 13 trowwenn 14 wel & follzhenn.15 Icc hafe sett her biss boc

Amang Goddspelless wordess,
All þurrh me sellfenn,17 maniż word
Þe rime

to fillenn;
Acc þu shallt finndenn þatt min word,

E33whær þær 20 itt iss ekedd,21 Maži hellpenn ba þatt redenn itt

To sen & tunnderrstanndenn 23 All þess te bettre hu þezzm birrþ 24 !

Þe Goddspell unnderrstanndenn; & forrbi 25 trowwe icc þatt te 26 birrb

Wel þolenn 27 mine wordess, E33 whær þær 20 þu shallt findenn hemm 28

Amang Godspelless wordess.

That all the year at mass are found
Within the holy massbook.

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.


19 swa



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Mid unimete folke,
Væie thah hit weore.1

Uppe there Tambre
Heo tuhte 2 to-somne;3
Heven here-marken;
Halden 5 to-gadere;
Luken sweord longe,
Leiden o' the helmen;
Fur ut sprengen,

28550 Speren brastlien: 9 Sceldes gonnen scanen,10 Scaftes to-breken.11 Ther faht 12 al to-somne Folc unimete. Tambre wes on flode 14 Mid unimete 15 blode. Mon i than fihte Non 16 ther ne mihte I-kenne nenne kempe, No 18 wha dude 19 wurse, no wha bet,20 Swa. that withe 21 wes imenged; 28562 For ælc 23 sloh 24 adun riht, Weore he swein,25 weore he cniht.26 Ther wes Modred of-slawe 27 And idon of lif-dawe 28


With army unnumbered,
Doomed though they all were.

By the river Tamar
The troops came together;
Raised their royal standards;
Rushed there together;
Long swords locked they,
Laying blows on helmets;
Sparks they struck out,
Spears did rattle;
Shields were a-shaking,
Shafts were a-breaking.
There fought all together
Folk beyond counting.
Tamar was a flood
With measureless blood.
Of men in the fight there .
Nobody might there
Distinguish any warrior,
Nor who did better, who did worse,
So was that conflict mingled;
For each struck adown right,
Were he yeoman, or were he knight.
There was Modred stricken,
And life in him did sicken.





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in than fihte.
Ther weoren of-slawe 27
Alle tha snelle,30
Arthures hired-men,31
Heye and lawe,32
And tha Bruttes 33 alle
Of Arthures borde, 34
And alle his fosterlinges 35
Of feole kineriches, 36
And Arthur forwunded
Mid wal-spere brade. 37
Fiftene he hafde
Feondliche wunden;
Mon mihte i thare lasten 39
Twa gloven ithraste.40

Tha 41 nas ther na mare
I than fehte to lave 42
Of twa hundred thusend monnen 43
Tha 44 ther leien 45 to-hauwen 46
Buten 47 Arthur the king ane
And of his cnihtes tweien.49

in that conflict. There fell in that battle All of the brave ones, Arthur's own henchmen, The high and the lowly, And all the Britons Of Arthur's board too, And all his fosterlings Of foreign nations many, And Arthur sorely wounded With broad blade of war-spear. Fifteen times was he Fiendishly wounded ; Even into the smallest Two gloves might one have thrust.

Then were there in that battle Left among the living Of two hundred thousand soldiers Who lay there slaughtered But Arthur the king only And two of his warriors.

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1 fey though they were ? they came together * raised battle-standards 5 rushed blocked long swords ? laid on, struck upon 8 made fire leap out

10 shields did shiver 11 shafts broke to pieces 12 fought 13 together 14 a-food 15


measureless no man in the fight 17 recognize no warrior

nor 19 did 20 better 21 conflict 22 confused 23 each

Irattled spears

24 struck 25 yeoman 26 knight 27 slain 28 and put from life-days

A line or more is missing here. 30 the brave 31 retainers high and low 33 the Britons 34 table 35 wards 36 many kingdoms 37 with broad slaughter-spear dreadful wounds 39 in the least 40 thrust 41 then 42 in the fight remaining 43 men 44 who 45 lay 46 hewed to pieces

47 but 48 alone 49 two




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Arthur wes for-wunded
Wunder ane swithe.
Ther to him com a cnave 2

The 3 wes of his cunne; 4
He wes Cadores sune,
The Eorles of Cornwaile.
Constantin hehte 5 the cnave;
He wes than 6 kinge deore.
Arthur him lokede on,
Ther he lai on folden,
And thas word 8 seide
Mid sorhfulle heorte:
Constantin, thu art wilcume ! 28600
Thu wcore ! Cadores sone !
Ich the bitache here 10
Mine kineriche;"
And wite 12 mine Bruttes
A to thines lifes ; 13
And hald heom 14 alle tha lawen 15
Tha habbeoth istonden a mine dawen,16
And alle tha lawen gode
Tha bi Utheres dawen stode.
And ich wulle varen 17 to Avalun 28610
To vairest 18 alre 19 maidene,
To Argante there 20 quene,
Alven swithe sceone;
And heo 22 scal mine wunden
Makien alle isunde,23
Al hal 24 me makien
Mid haleweiye drenchen.25
And seothe 26 ich cumen wulle
To mine kineriche 27
And wunien 28 mid Brutten

28620 Mid muchelere wunne.” 29

Æfne than worden 30
Ther com of se wenden 31
That wes an sceort bat lithen,
Sceoven mid uthen;
And twa wimmen ther-inne
Wunderliche idihte. 34
And heo nomen Arthur anan,35
And an eovste hine vereden,36
And softe hine adun leiden,

28630 And forth gunnen lithen.37

Tha 38 wes hit iwurthen 39 That Merlin seide whilen, 40 That weore unimete care 41

Arthur was wounded
Wondrous severely.

To him came a child then
Who was of his kindred;
He was Cador's first-born,
Who Earl was of Cornwall.
Constantine his name was;
He was to the king dear.
Arthur looked upon him,
As he lay on the ground there,
And these words spake he
With heart full of sorrow:
“Constantine, welcome art thou !
Thou wert Cador's first-born!
To thee do I commit here
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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11 kingdom

I wondrously much ? young man 3 who'kin was named to the "the ground 8these words thou wert 10 ( commit to thee here 12 defend

ever during thy life 14 keep for them 15

customs, laws 16 that have stood in my days 17 I will go fairest 19 of all 20 the 21 elf very beautiful 22



25 with healing draughts 25 afterwards kingdom 28 dwell 23 with great joy cven with these words 31 from the sea moring 32 that was a short boat gliding 33 impelled by the waves

34 wondrously attired 35 they took Arthur at once and in haste bore him 37 did glide 38 then 39 iulfilled 40 whilom, formerly él that there should be measureless sorrow



22 she 23

well 24


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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.



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 Mar was, then ancre; ne none-weis mei heo 32 beon 33 Marie mid grithfulnesse 34 of heorte. Vor theonne mot 36 heo thenchen 37 of the kues 38 foddre and of heordemonne 39 huire, 40 oluhnen 41 thene #2 heiward,43 warien hwon 45

pünt hire, and yelden,48 thauh,49 the hermes. 50 Wat 51 Crist, this is lodlich 52 thing hwon 45

46 maketh mone in tune 51 of ancre 55 eihte.27

27 Thauh,49 yif 56 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 chefiare 65

ne drive ye.

Ancre thet is cheapild, 66 heo cheapeth 61 hire soule the chepmon 68 of helle. Ne wite 69

ye nout in oure 70 huse 71 of other




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1 death ? believe yet 3 is alive * dwells 5 of all 6 shall come 7 is never of never no (i.e. of no) lady chosen who can 10 the truth

say more wizard 14 named

announced sayings true come for a help to the English 19 The Nuns’ Rule 20 dear 21 sisters 22 shall 23 have 24 beast only

property seems housewife no-ways




37 think 38 cow's herdsmen's hire 41 flatter 42 the 43 heyward, bailiff 44 curse 47 impounds 48

49 рау

nevertheless 50 damages 51 knows 52 hateful 53 complaint town, farm a nun's 56 if


disturb be fastened ought bargain bargainer

68 tradesman 69 keep, take care of 10

71 your




58 look


60 harm





may draw





29 rather

26 a nun



67 sells


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