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stung or pierced.


Jesus, that was mild and free,

Was with spear y-stongen ;
He was nailed to the tree,

With scourges y-swongen.
All for man he tholed shame,
Withouten guilt, withouten blame,

Bothé day and other. 1
Man, full muchel he loved thee,
When he woldé make thee free,

And become thy brother.


The simplicity, the tenderness, the devotion of these lyrics is to me wonderful. Observe their realism, as, for instance, in the words: “The stones beoth al wete;" a realism as far removed from the coarseness of a Rubens as from the irreverence of too many religious teachers, who will repeat and repeat again the most sacred words for the merest logical ends until the tympanum of the moral ear hears without hearing the sounds that ought to be felt as well as held holiest. They bear strongly, too, upon the outcome of feeling in action, although doubtless there was the same tendency then as there is now to regard the observance of church-ordinances as the service of Christ, instead of as a means of gathering strength wherewith to serve him by being in the world as he was in the world.

From a poem of forty-eight stanzas I choose five, partly in order to manifest that, although there is in it an occasional appearance of what we should

1 I think the poet, wisely anxious to keep his last line just what it is, was perplexed for a rhyme, and fell on the odd device of saying, for “ both day and night,” “ both day and the other.”



consider sentimentality, allied in nature to that worship of the Virgin which is more a sort of French gallantry than a feeling of reverence, the sense of duty to the Master keeps pace with the profession of devotedness to him. There is so little continuity of thought in it, that the stanzas might almost be arranged anyhow.

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I shall next present a short lyric, displaying more of art than this last, giving it now in the old form, and afterwards in a new one, that my reader may see both how it looks in its original dress, and what it means.

Wynter wakeneth al my care,
Nou this leves waxeth bare,
Ofte y sike ant mourne sare,

When hit cometh in my thoht
Of this worldes joie, how hit goth al

to noht.

sigh : sore.


Now hit is, ant now hit nys,

it is not.
Also hit ner nere y-wys, 1
That moni mon seith soth hit ys, 2

Al goth bote Godes wille,

Alle we shule deye, thah us like ylle. though it pleases us ill.
Al that gren me graueth grene,3
Nou hit faleweth al by-dene;

grows yellow: speedily. Jhesu, help that hit be sene,

Ant shild us from helle;
For y not whider y shal, ne hou longe

her duelle. 4



I will now give a modern version of it, in which I have spoiled the original of course, but I hope as little as well may be.

Winter wakeneth all my care ;
Now the trees are waxing bare ;
Oft my sighs my grief declare 5

When it comes into my thought
Of this world's joy, how it goes all to nought.


1 “ All as if it were not never, I wis.”
2 “So that many men say— True it is, all goeth but God's will."

I conjecture “ All that grain (me) groweth green.” 4 Not is a contraction for ne wot, know not. “For I know not whither I must go, nor how long here I dwell.” I think y is omitted by mistake before duelle.

5 This is very poor compared with the original.



Now it is, and now 'tis not -
As it ne'er had been, I wot.
Hence many say—it is man's lot :

All goeth but God's will ;

We all die, though we like it ill.
Green about ine grows the grain ;
Now it yelloweth all again :
Jesus, give us help amain,

And shield us from hell;

For when or whither I go I cannot tell. There were no doubt many religious poems in a certain amount of circulation of a different cast from these ; some a metrical recounting of portions of the Bible history—a kind unsuited to our ends; others a setting forth of the doctrines and duties then believed and taught. Of the former class is one of the oldest Anglo-Saxon poems we have, that of Caedmon, and there are many specimens to be found in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. They could, however, have been of little service to the people, so few of whom could read, or could have procured manuscripts if they had been able to use them. A long and elaborate composition of the latter class was written in the reign of Edward II. by William de Shoreham, vicar of Chart-Sutton in Kent. He probably taught his own verses to the people at his catechisings. The intention was, no doubt, by the aid of measure and rhyme to facilitate the remembrance of the facts and doctrines. It consists of a long poem on the Seven Sacraments; of a shorter, associating the Canonical Hours with the principal events of the close of our Lord's life ; of an exposition of the Ten Commandments, followed by a kind


S.L. IV.

of treatise on the Seven Cardinal Sins : the fifth part describes the different joys of the Virgin; the sixth, in praise of the Virgin, is perhaps the most poetic ; the last is less easy to characterize. The poem is written in the Kentish dialect, and is difficult.

I shall now turn into modern verse a part of “ The Canonical Hours,” giving its represented foundation of the various acts of worship in the Romish Church throughout the day, from early in the morning to the last service at night. After every fact concerning our Lord, follows an apostrophe to his mother, which I omit, being compelled to choose.

Father's wisdom lifted high,

Lord of us aright-
God and man taken was,

At matin-time by night.
The disciples that were his,

Anon they him forsook;
Sold to Jews and betrayed,

To torture him took.

At the prime Jesus was led

In presence of Pilate,
Where witnesses, false and fell,

Laughed at him for hate.
In the neck they him smote,

Bound his hands of might ;
Spit upon that sweet face

That heaven and earth did light.
“Crucify him ! crucify !”

They cried at nine o'clock ;
A purple cloth they put on him-

To stare at him and mock.
They upon his sweet head

Stuck a thorny crown ;
To Calvary his cross he bears,

Pitiful, from the town

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