« AnteriorContinuar »
seeking of the clergy, and were corruptly stigmatised as Lollards, and the men who withdrew from the Church, set aside their duties, and deserved the name. Thus he wrote on the text
PLAIN TRUTH. “Si veritatem dico quare non creditis mihi; qui ex Deo est, terba Dei audit; idco non auditis quia ex Deo non estis." ;
EGO SUM PASTOR BONUS.
The ground of all goodness curates should be the cause,
And knit them kindly together all the clergy, And leave their lewdness and their lust and learn Godys
laws With their cunning and cleannes deadly sinners destroy, Both the flesh and the fiend, false covetise defy,
With mercy and with meekness the truth for to teach,
For ye ben shepherds all one ;
That they perish never one."
For I have touched the truth, I trow I shall be shent,
And said sadly. 6 the truth without flattering ; Hold me for no party that beth here present,
I have no liking ne lust to make no leasing, For Favel, with his fair words and his flattering,
He will preach the people apert them for to pay,?
At my most need.
If ye will take hecd.
To a poem of his on the nine virtues he thus adds his name :
“ I made this with good intent,
In hope the rather ye would repent,
My name it is the blind Awdelay."
The prophecy of the prophetus all now it doth appear,
That sometime was said by the clergy, That lewd men, the Law of God thai should love and lere,
For curates, for their covetise, would count not thereby, But to talk of their tithys I tell you truly;
And if the secular say a sooth, anon they ben y-shent,
They dare none other do:
And burn them after too.
Let us turn now to John Lydgate, the good monk of Bury, who supplied the generation living after Chaucer's death with the best English poetry that time produced. The following poem ascribed to him, but perhaps by one of his contemporaries,' is that upon which Robert Henryson founded his “ Abbey Walk :”—
THANK GOD FOR ALL.
Well sore I sorrowed, for sighing sad,
Mourning me made almost mad
That well was written on a wall,
That alway said " Thank God for 10 all!"
DE VOBIS QUI DICITIS MALUM BONUM, ET BONUM
If he withdraw his duties from Holy Church away,
And hear his matins and his mass upon the haliday, And believes not in the Sacrament, that it is God veray,
And will not shrive him to a priest, on what death he die,
And false in his fay;
Never for him pray.
And yet I read furthermore,
Full good intent I took theretill, Christ may well your state restore,
Nought is to strive against his will; He may us spare and also spill,
Think right well we ben his thrall, What sorrow we suffer, loud or still,
Alway thank God for all.
This, of course, is not the doctrine of Langland, whose charity would seek to win the sinner back, but Audelay simply follows opinion of Churchmen at the beginning of the fifteenth century. With these lines he closes his little series of admonitory poems based on Scripture texts :
5“ If I speak truth, why do ye not believe me? He who is of God heareth God's words; ye, therefore, hear them not because ye are not of God." (John viii. 47.)
6 Sadly, seriously.
9 “ Thonke God of all” is on leaf 68 of a collection of Old English Poems made in a handwriting of the 15th century (Cotton. MSS, Caligula, A. ii.), which includes Lydgate's " Churl and the Bird," with other of his pieces, and the old poems of Eglamor of Artois, Y pots Isumbras, Chevalier Assigne, The Stations of Roine, &c. Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps has included it in his volume edited for the Percy Society of the Select Minor Poems of Jolin Lydgate.
10 For: oj in original, throughout.
1 “I am the Good Shepherd."
ALL STANDS IN CHANGE.
Of treasure, riches, nor of sapience,
Counsel, comfort, discretion, and prudence. Provision for sight and Providence,
Like as the Lord of Gracé list dispose; Some man hath wisdom, some man eloquence;
All stant in change like a midsummer rose.
For Christés lové so do we,
He may bothé give and take, In what mischief that we in be,
He is mighty enow our sorrow to slake; Full good amends he will us make
And ' we to him cry or call
Yet alway thank God for all.
Or any distress men do thee bede, For Christés love yet be stedfást
And ever have mind on thy creed; Think He faileth us never at need,
The dereworth duke that deem us shall ; When thou art sorry thereof take heed,
And alway thank God for all.
Though thy friendés fro thee fail
And Death by rene hend their life, Why should'st thou then weep or wail,
It is nought again God to strive; Himself makéd both man and wife,
To His bliss He bring us all, How ever thou thole or thrive,
Yet alway thank God for all.
What divers sonde that God thee send,
Here or in any other place, Také it with good intent
The sooner God will send His grace ;
1 And, if.
Where is Tullius with his sugared tongue ?
Or Chrysostemus with his golden mouth? The aureate ditties that be read and sung,
Of Omerus in Greece, both north and south, The tragediés divers and uncouth
Of moral Senec the misteries to unclose, By many an example is full couth
All stant on change like a midsummer rose.
Laurear of martyrs founded on holiness 110
White was made red their triumphs to disclose;" The whité lilye was their chaste cleanness
Their bloody sufferance was no summer rose.
3 The douze piere. The twelve peers of Charlemagne, set forth 3 old romance.
* Sir John Mandeville tells us that in the field Floridus, near Berde lehem, a fair maiden falsely accused was to be burnt. As the fre une about her she prayed to God, and immediately the burning fra became red rose-bushes, and the unkindled ingots became * rose-bushes. And thus came the first roses into the world.
1 Maketh flovrés dare, makes them unable to stir. were said to "dare larks" by use of a mirror.
2 Gery, changeable. From French "girer," to turn.
It was the rose of the bloody field
This to seyne who list lere 3
That virtue mak’th a man conquere
The high heaven in many wise 'Splayed in the banner at Jerusalem.
To which kind * may not suffice
To claim there possessión
But she be guided by reason,
Which to virtue is maistress
To lead her also and to dress 5
Above the starrés clear and bright:
For other way could I not see translation of the first part of a French poem by
To enter by in that citee." Guillaume de Guilevile, who was born at Paris about the year 1295, became prior of the Bernardine Abbey of Chalis, and died about the year 1360. Guilevile Guilevile then sought staff and scrip, and rushed out says that the popularity of the “Roman de la Rose”. of his house, weeping and lamenting, to know where suggested to him the writing of his “Romaunt des he should find them. Then came to him a lady of Trois Pélerinages" ("* Romance of the Three Pilc | great beauty, who seemed to be the
great beauty, who seemed to be the daughter of an grimages "), namely, of Man in this Life; of the Soul | Emperor, and asked him why he wept. This is severed from the Body; and of Our Saviour Jesus Gracedieu, the Grace of God. She learns his desire, Christ, in the form of a Monotessaron. Lydgate and says that she is sent by the Lord of the Way to translated into English verse the “ Pilgrimage of guide the weak but willing pilgrims, and open the Man in this World” for Thomas Montacute, Earl of eyes of the blind. She warns him of the dangers Salisbury, in the year 1426. Guilevile's work was of the road, and bids him fix his eyes on the strait well known in England in the fifteenth century, and gate, which none enter until they have put off their its sections of the “ Pilgrimage of Man ” and “ Pil clothing. “Homme vestu n'y pouvait passer;" the grimage of the Soul” had more than one translator soul must put off its garment of the flesh. Gracedieu between 1413, the date of the earliest MS. trans then takes the pilgrim to her House—the Churchlation of the “ Pilgrimage of Man," and 1483, the built 1330 years ago, where Scripture is interpreted. late of Caxton's printed English version of the “Pil- But the pilgrim comes to a stream without ferry or grimage of the Soul." Le Pélerinage de l'Homme | bridge, before the entrance of the Church, which reprebegins by saying, that in the year 1330 the writer, sents the water of baptism. Why, he asks, must then a monk at Chalis, dreamed that he saw, as in a he bathe in this water? He is told; he is helped mirror, the reflection of the Heavenly Jerusalem. out on the other side; enters the House, where He was stirred to become a pilgrim to it, and to seek Moses represents the Law, and Reason, Prudence, to enter by the narrow wicket-gate, of which Lydgate Nature, Sapience, Repentance, Love, are personified. thus translated his description :-
It is here that the scrip and staff for his pilgrimage
are given to him : the name of the scrip is Faith; “ For such as died for his love
the staff is Hope, on which he is told that he may By wickets entered in above,
lean in all slippery places. l'p the gate high aloft,
And yet he must not go until he has been armed. Though there the passage was not soft; He is then girt with a girdle of righteousness, a The porter list them not to let,
writing is given him, which is the Creed in rhyme. And there pencillis 2 up they set
And, as Lydgate translates-
“* Come near,' quoth she, and ha no dreed,
Look up on high, and take good heed:
Upon this perch the harness see
Wherewith that thou wilt arméd be
Pertinent to thy viage
And needful to thy pilgrimage.'
Then saw I helms and habergeons,
Plate and mail for champions,
Gorgets again all violence,
And jackés stuffési of defence,
Targets and shieldés large and long,
And pavyss also that were strong
For folk to maké resisténce
To all that would them don offence."
3 Lere, learn.
5 Dress, direct. For virtue doth to a man assure
& Habergeons, breast plates; from “hals," the neck, and " bergen,” Things denied by natúre,
7 Jackés stuffes, stuffs for the jack or horseman's upper garment,
quilted and covered with strong leather. La, binder. 2 Pencillis, pennons.
8 Pavys, bucklers. French “ pavois."
The coat of mail is Patience, the helmet Temperance,
I find in him no breath at all, the gorget is Sobriety, the gauntlets are named
But dead and cold as a stone wall. Continence; the sword is Justice, and the true name
And when I did all this espy, of its scabbard is Humility. The pilgrim finds the
His governance I gan defy." arms too heavy for him, and asks to go forth like David. He does finally go forth with a sling only, The Pilgrim proceeds on his way till he comes bearing the pebbles David had in his scrip when to a place where the road divides into two paths. he went forth to meet Goliath, and having Memory
Industry, making nets, sits by the one, Idleness by as armour-bearer, to equip him in the time of need. | the other. He is taught that in the way of IdleThe pilgrim, when Memory first comes to him, is ness perils are greatest; the way of Industry is safe surprised to find her without eyes, and is told that to those who persevere in it, but many break through her eyes are behind. But again he is told that he | the hedge into the other road. Idleness describes her must wear his armour. Why then, he asks, did I way,—the Idler's way of life,—and her enemy Reput it off, only to put it on again ? He put it off | pentance is said to have set the hedge, so that if any because he was too fat. He carries about and wished to turn from the other road into hers, they nourishes an enemy. It was his body that rebelled could not do so without being pierced with thorns. against the armour's weight. After teaching him
The Pilgrim takes the way of Industry; has encounof the light of the soul seen dimly through the ters with Gluttony, Wrath, who carries a hawk called cloud of flesh, Gracedieu says to the pilgrim, in
Murder; descends a hill, and is met by Tribulation, Lydgate's version of the poem
but he leans upon his staff, Faith, and escapes the
danger. He meets afterwards with Heresy, Satan, * But for thy sake, anon right,
Dame Fortune, and Gladness-of-the-World, a syren I shall assayen and provide
by a wild square tower, whence issued smoke and Thy body for to leyn aside,
flame, while the whole tower
“Turned about as a wheel
Upon the floodés enviroun,
With the wavés up and down.
Somewhile as I coudé know
The highest party was most low,
And also eke I saw full oft
The lowest party set aloft ;
And thus by transmutacyoun
It turned alway up so down.
And in this while ever among
I heard a melodious song"--
That was the voice of Worldly-Gladness, by whom,
after dialogue, the Pilgrim was seized, and cast Me sempte that I took my flight,
into the midst of the great sea. He reached the And was ravished into the air,
shore of the perilous island, forsaken by Youth, who A placé delitáble and fair,
had been his companion, and pursued no more hy And methought eke in my sight
Worldly-Gladness, who had gone off with Youth for
her comrade. Then
“Even amid of all my pain
I saw amiddes of the sea
A shippé sail towardés me;
And even above upon the mast-
Wherefore I was the less aghast-
I saw a cross stand and not tiit,
And thereupon a dové sit,
White as any milk or snow,
Whereof I had joy enow.
And in this ship, again all showers
There were castles and eke towers
Wonder diverse mansiouns
And sundry habitaciouns
By resemblance and seeming
Like the lodging of a King.
And as I took good heed thereat,
All my sorrows I forgat."
Gracedieu comes out of the ship to the Pilgrim's
aid, and he learns that the name of the ship is 10, one
Religion. The allegory of the “ Pilgrimage of Man's