A Disputacion bytwene þe bodi and þe soule
Laud Misc. 108
001 Is I lay in a winteris nyt,
002 In a droukening bifor þe day,
003 Vor soþe I sauȝ a selly syt:
004 A body on a bere lay,
005 Þat hauede ben a mody knyȝt,
006 And lutel serued god to payȝ.
007 Loren he haued þe liues lyȝt;
008 Þe gost was oute and scholde away.
009 Wan þe gost it scholde go,
010 Yt bi wente and withstod,
011 Bihelod þe body þere it cam fro,
012 So serfulli with dredli mod.
013 It seide, "Weile, and walawo!
014 Wo worþe þi fleys, þi foule blod.
015 Wreche bodi, wȝy listouȝ so,
016 Þat ȝwilene were so wilde and wod?
017 "Þow þat were woned to ride
018 Heyȝe on horse, in and out,
019 So koweynte knit ikud so wide,
020 As a lyun fers and proud.
021 ȝwere is al þi michele pride,
022 And þi lede þat was so loud?
023 ȝwi listou þere so bare side,
024 Ipricked in þat pore schroud?
025 "ȝwere beon þi castles and þi toures,
026 Þi chaumbres and þi riche halles
027 Ipeynted with so riche floures,
028 And þi riche robes alle?
029 Þine cowltes and þi couertoures,
030 Þi cendels and þi riche palles?
031 Wrechede it is nouȝ þi bour,
032 Tomoruwe þouȝ schalt þerinne falle.
033 "ȝwere ben þi murdli wedes,
034 Þi somers with þi riche beddes?
035 Þi proude palefreys and þi stedes
036 Þat þouȝ haddest in dester leddes;
037 Þi faucouns þat were nouȝt to grede,
038 And þine houndes þat þou ledde?
039 Me þinkeþ god is þe to gnede,
040 Þat alle þine frend beon fro þe fledde.
041 "ȝwere ben þine cokes snelle,
042 Þat scholden gon greiþe þi mete
043 With speces swete for to smelle.
044 Þat þouȝ neuere werere fol of frete,
045 To do þat foule fleys to suwelle
046 Þat foule wormes scholden ete?
047 And þouȝ hauest þe pine of helle
048 With glotonye me bigete."
049 "For god schop þe aftir his schap
050 And gaf þe boþe wyt and skil,
051 In þi loking war I laft
052 To wisse aftir þin oune wil;
053 Ne toc I neuere wychecraft,
054 Ne wist I ȝwat was guod nor il,
055 Bote as a wretche dumb and mad,
056 Bote as touȝ tauȝtest þer til.
057 "Set to seruen þe to queme,
058 Boþe at euen and a moruen,
059 Siþin I was þe bitauȝt to ȝeme
060 Fro þe time þat þouȝ was born;
061 Þouȝ þat dedes couþest deme
062 Scholdest habbe be war biforn
063 Of mi folye as it semet,
064 Nouȝ wiþ þiselue þouȝ art forlorn."
065 Þe gast, it seyde, "Bodi be stille.
066 ȝwo haþ lered þe al þis wite,
067 Þat giuest me þese wordes grille,
068 Þat list þer bollen as a bite?
069 Wenestouȝ, wretche, þor þouȝ fille
070 Wid þi foule fleichs a pite
071 Of alle dedes þouȝ didest ille,
072 Þat þouȝ so litel schalt be quite.
073 "Wenestou nou gete þe griþ,
074 Þer þouȝ list roten in þe clay,
075 Þey þouȝ be rotin pile and pid,
076 And blowen wiþ þe wind away.
077 ȝeot schaltouȝ come wiþ lime and lyþ
078 Agein to me on domesday,
079 And come to court and I þe wiþ
080 For to kepen our harde pay.
081 "To teche ȝwere þouȝ me bitauȝt;
082 Ac ȝwan þouȝ þouȝtest of þe qued
083 Wiþ þi teþ þe bridel þouȝ lauȝt,
084 Þouȝ dist al þat I þe forbed,
085 To sunne and schame it was þi drauȝt
086 Til vntid and til wikkedehed;
087 Inouȝ I stod ageyn and fauȝt,
088 Bot ai þouȝ nome þin oune red.
089 "Wan I þe wolde teme and teche
090 ȝwat was uuel and ȝwat was guod,
091 Of Crist ne kirke was no speche,
092 Bote renne aboute and breyd wod.
093 I nouȝ I miȝte preye and preche,
094 Ne miȝte I neuere wende þi mod,
095 Þat þouȝ woldest god knouleche,
096 Bot don al þat þin herte stod.
097 "I bad þe þenke on soule nede,
098 Matines, masse, and euesong;
099 Þouȝ mostist first don oþere dede,
100 Þou seidist al was Idel gong.
101 To wode, and water, and feld þouȝ edest,
102 Or to cour to do men wrong,
103 Bote for pride or grettore mede,
104 Lutel þouȝ dust guod among.
105 "Nouȝ mouwe þe wilde bestes renne
106 And lien vnder linde and lef,
107 And foules flie be feld and fenne,
108 Siþin þi false herte clef;
109 Þine eiȝene are blinde and connen nouȝt kenne,
110 Þi mouth is dumb þin ere is def,
111 And nouȝ so lodly þouȝ list grenne,
112 Fro þe comeþ a wikke wef.
113 "Ne nis no leuedi, briȝt on ble,
114 Þat wel weren iwoned of þe to lete,
115 Þat wolde lye a niȝth bi þe,
116 For nouȝth þat men miȝte hem bihete;
117 Þouȝ art vnsemly for to se,
118 Vncomli for to cussen suwete;
119 Þouȝ ne hauest frend þat ne wolde fle
120 Come þouȝ st?e?rtlinde in þe strete."
121 Þe bodi, it seide, "Ic seyȝe
122 Gast, þouȝ hast wrong iwys,
123 Al þe wyt on me to leye
124 Þat þouȝ hast lorn þi mikil blis.
125 Were was I, bi wode or weyȝe,
126 Sat, or stod, or dide ouȝt mys,
127 Þat I ne was ay vnder þin eyȝe?
128 Wel þouȝ wost þat soth it ys.
129 "Wedir I ede vp or doun,
130 Þat I ne bar þe on my bac,
131 Als þin as fro toun to toun,
132 Als se þouȝ me lete haue rap and rac;
133 Þat tou ne were and red roun,
134 Neuere did I þing ne spac.
135 Here þe soþe se men mouen,
136 On me þat ligge here so blo and blac.
137 "For al þe wile þouȝ were mi fere,
138 I hadde al þat me was ned;
139 I miȝte speke, se, and here,
140 I ede, and rod, and drank, and et.
141 Lodli chaunched is my chere,
142 Sin þe tyme þat þouȝ me let;
143 Def and dumb, I ligge on bere,
144 Þat i ne may sterin hand ne fet.
145 "I scholde haue ben dumb as a schep,
146 Or as an ouwe, or as a suyn,
147 Þat et and drank, and lai and slep,
148 Slayn and passid al his pin;
149 Neuere of catel he ne kep,
150 Ne wyste wat was water, ne wyn,
151 Ne leyn in helle, þat is so dep,
152 Neuere ne wist I of al þat wast in."
153 Þe gast, yt seide, "Is no doute
154 Abouten, bodi, þouȝ me bar;
155 Þou mostist nede I was wiþoute,
156 Hand and fot, I was wel war;
157 But as tou bere me aboute,
158 Ne miȝt I do þe leste char,
159 Þorfore most I nede loute,
160 So doth þat non oþer dar.
161 "Of a wymman born and bredde,
162 Body, were we boþe tvo,
163 Togidre fostrid fayre and fedde,
164 Til þou couþist speke and go.
165 Softe þe for loue I ledde,
166 Ne dorst I neuere do þe wo,
167 To lese þe so sore I dredde,
168 And wel I wiste to getin na mo.
169 "For me þou woldest sum wat do
170 Wȝile þou were ȝong a litil first,
171 For frendes eyȝe þat þe stod to,
172 Þe wile þou were betin and birst;
173 Or wan þouȝ were þriuen and þro
174 And knewe honger cold and uirst,
175 And ȝhwilk was eyse, rest and ro,
176 Al þin oune wil þou dist.
177 "I sau þe fair on fleychs and blod,
178 And al mi loue on þe i kest,
179 Þat þou þriue me þouȝte guod,
180 And let þe hauen ro and rest;
181 Þat made þe so sturne of mod,
182 And of werkes so vnwrest,
183 To fiȝte with þe ne was no bot,
184 Me þat þouȝ bar in þi brest.
185 "Gloterie, and lecherie,
186 Prude, and wicke coueytise,
187 Niþe, and onde, and enuie,
188 To god of heuene and alle hise,
189 And in vnlust for to lye,
190 Waste wane non of þise;
191 Þat I schal nouȝ ful dere abye
192 A weyle sore may me grise.
193 "Þou was warned her bifore
194 ȝwat boþe scholden haue;
195 Idel tale held tou þat þore
ȝwat weþou sauȝ fele bi dun in graue.
197 Þou dist al þat þe werld þe bad.
198 And þat þi fleys þe wolde craue;
199 I þolede þe and as mad,
200 To be maister and I þi cnaue."
201 "I weneste þouȝ, gost, þe geyned out,
202 Forto quite þe wiþ al,
203 Þouȝ þat was so wordly wrouȝt,
204 To seye I made þe my þral.
205 Dud I neuere on liue nouȝt,
206 I ne rafte ne I ne stal,
207 Þat furst of þe ne kam þe þouȝt,
208 Abyyt þat abyȝe schal.
Line 209 is incorrectly marked by the scribe as ending on the word "wrong"; to maintain the rhyme scheme, this first line should have ended with "or rith," which currently begins line two of stanza twenty-seven209 "ȝwat wist I wat was wrong,
210 Or rith wat to take or ȝwat to schone,
211 Bote þat þouȝ pottist in mi siȝth,
212 Þat al þe wisdom scholdest cone;
213 ȝwanne þouȝ me tauȝtist on vntiȝth,
214 An me gan þeroffe mone,
215 Þanne dud I al my miȝth,
216 Anoþer time to haue my wone.
217 "Oc haddist þouȝ þat Crist it ovþe,
218 Giuen me honger, uurst, and cold,
219 And þouȝ witest me þat no guod couþe,
220 In bismere ȝwan I was so bold;
221 Þat I hadde vnder nomen in ȝouþe,
222 I hauede holden old,
223 Þou let me reykin, north and south,
224 And hauen al my wille on wold.
225 "Þouȝ scholdist for no lif, ne for lond,
226 Ne for non oþer worldes winne,
227 Haue soffrid me to lein on hond,
228 Þat hauede tornd to schame or sunne.
229 Oc for I þe so eise fond,
230 And þi wretche with so þunne,
231 Þat ay was wriþinde as a wond,
232 Þe fore couþe I neuere blinne.
233 "To sunne þouȝ wistist was my kinde,
234 As mankinne it is also,
235 And to þe wreche world so minde,
236 And to þe fend þat is ore fo;
237 Þouȝ scholdest er haue late me binde,
238 Wan I misdede and don me wo.
239 Ac ȝwanne þe blinde lat þe blinde,
240 In dike he fallen boþe two."
241 Þo bigan þe gost to wepe,
242 An seide, "Bodi, allas, Allas!
243 Þat I þe louede euere ȝete,
244 For al mi loue on þe I las.
245 Þat tou louedest me þouȝ le,
246 And madest me an houue of glas,
247 I dide al þat þe was sete,
248 And þouȝ my traytor euere was.
249 "Ho may more trayson do,
250 Or is louerd betere engine,
251 Þan he þat al is trist is to,
252 In and ouȝt, as ovne hyn?
253 Ay seþþe þouȝ was þriuen and þro,
254 Mittis ded I alle mine,
255 To porueȝe þe rest and ro,
256 And þouȝ to bringe me in pine.
257 "Þe fend of helle þat haueþ enuiȝe,
258 To mankune and euere haþ had,
259 Was in vs as a spie
260 To do sum god ȝwan I þe bad.
261 Þe werld he toc to cumpayniȝe,
262 Þat mani a soule haued forrad,
263 Þey þre wisten þi folye,
264 And madin, wretche, þe al mad.
265 "ȝwan I bad þe reste take,
266 Forsake sunne ay and oo,
267 Do penaunce, faste, and wake,
268 Þe fe seide, 'þouȝ schalt nouȝt so
269 Þos sone al þi blisse forsake;
270 To liuen ay in pine and wo
271 Ioyȝe and blisse I rede þouȝ make;
272 And þenke to liue ȝeres mo.'
273 "ȝwan I bad te leue pride,
274 Þi manie mes, þi riche schroud,
275 Þe false world þat stod bi
276 Bad þe be ful quoynte and proud;
277 Þi fleychs with riche robes schride,
278 Nouȝt als a beggare in a clouȝt,
279 And on heiȝe horse to ride,
280 With mikel meyne in and ouȝt.
281 "ȝwan I bad þe erliche to rise,
282 Nimon me þi soule kep,
283 Þouȝ seidest þou miȝtest a none wise,
284 Forgon þe murie morweslep;
285 Wȝan ȝe hadden set þour sise,
286 Þe þre traytours sore I wep,
287 Þe ladde me wid oure enprise,
288 As te boþelere doth is schep.
289 "ȝwan þre traitours at o tale,
290 Togidere werein agein me sworn,
291 Al þe maden troteuale,
292 Þat I haued seid biforn.
293 ȝe ledde me bi doune and dale,
294 As an oxe bi þe horn,
295 Til þer as him is browen bale,
296 Þer his þrote schal be schorn.
297 "For loue, þi wille I folwede al,
298 And to min oune deth I drouȝ,
299 To foluwe þe þat was mi þral,
300 Þat euere were false and frouȝ.
301 Þouȝ it dist, and I forhal,
302 We wistin wel it was wouȝ;
303 Þerfore mote we kepe ore fal,
304 Pine and schame and sorewe i nouȝ.
305 "Þeiȝ alle þe men nouȝ vnder mone,
306 To demen weren sete on benche,
307 Þe schames þat vs schullen be done,
308 Ne schuldin haluen del biþenke,
309 Ne helpeþ vs no bede ne bone,
310 Ne may vs nou no wyl towrenche.
311 Hellehoundes cometh nou sone,
312 For bi ne mouwe we noyþer blenche."
313 ȝwan þat bodi say þat gost,
314 Þat mone and al þat soruwe make,
315 It seyde, "Allas, þat my lif hath last
316 Þat I haue liued for sunne sake!
317 Min herte þat anon ne hadde toborste
318 ȝwan I was fram mi moder take,
319 I miȝte haue ben in erþe kest,
320 And ileiȝen and iroted in a lake.
321 "Þanne haude I neuere lerned
322 ȝwat was vuel ne ȝwat was guod,
323 Ne no þing with wrong ȝernd,
324 Ne pine þoled as I mot,
325 ȝwere no seint miȝte beren ore ernde
326 To him þat bouȝte vs with is blod;
327 In helle ȝwanne we ben brend,
328 Of sum merci to don vs bot."
329 "Nay, bodi, nouȝ is to late
330 For to preiȝe and to preche,
331 Nou þe wayn is ate ȝate,
332 And þi tonge haþ leid þe speche.
333 O poynt of ore pine to bate,
334 In þe world ne is no leche,
335 Al tegidere we gon o gate
336 Swilk is godes harde wreche.
337 "Ac haddest þouȝ a lutel er
338 ȝwile vs was lif togidre lent,
339 Þo þat was so sek and ser,
340 Vs schriuen and þe deuel schent,
341 And laten renne a reuly ter,
342 And bihiȝt amendement;
343 Ne þorte vs haue friȝt ne fer,
344 Þat god ne wolde his blisse vs sent.
345 "Þey alle þe men þat ben o lyues
346 Weren prestes, messes to singe,
347 And alle þe maidenes, and þe wyues,
348 Wydewes, hondene for to wringe,
349 And miȝte suweche fyue,
350 Als is in werld of alle þinge,
351 Siþen we ne mouwen vs suluen schriue,
352 Ne schulde vs into blisse bringe.
353 "Bodi, I may no more duelle,
354 Ne stonde for to speke with þe;
355 Hellehoundes here I ȝelle,
356 And fendes mo þan men mowe se
357 Þat comen to fette me to helle,
358 Ne may I noweder fro hem fle;
359 And þouȝ schalt comen with fleys and felle,
360 A domesday to wonie with me."
361 Ne hauede it non er þe word iseyd
362 Þat wiste ȝwider it scholde go,
363 In abreken at a breid,
364 A þousend deuelene and ȝet mo.
365 ȝwan þei haddin on him leyd
366 Here scharpe cloches alle þo,
367 Yt was in a sori pleyt,
368 Reuliche toyled to and fro.
369 For þei weren ragged, roue and tayled,
370 With brode bulches on here bac,
371 Scharpe clauwes, longe nayled,
372 No was no lime withoute lac;
373 On alle halue it was asayled
374 With mani a deuel, foul and blac,
375 Merci criende lutel auailede
376 ȝwan Crist it wolde so harde wrac.
377 Some þe chaules it towrasten,
378 And ȝoten in þe led al hot,
379 And bedin him to drinke faste,
380 And senke a bo?w?uten him a brod.
381 A deuil kam þer ate laste,
382 Þat was maister, wel I wot,
383 A colter glowende in him he þraste,
384 Þat it þoruȝ þe herte it smot.
385 Gleyues glowende some setten,
386 To bac, and brest, and boþe sides,
387 Þat in his herte þe poyntes mettin,
388 And maden him þo woundes wide;
389 And seiden him, fol wel he lette,
390 Þe herte þat was so fol of pride,
391 Wel he it hadde þat men him bihette,
392 For more scholde it bitide.
393 Wordly wedes for to were,
394 Þei seiden þat he louede best,
395 A deueles cope for to bere,
396 Al brennynde on him was kest.
397 With hote haspes imad to spere,
398 Þat streite sat to bac and brest,
399 An helm þat was lutel to here,
400 Anon him kam an hors al prest.
401 Forth was brouȝt þere with a bridel,
402 A corsed deuel als a cote,
403 Þat grisliche grennede and ȝenede wide,
404 Þe leyȝe it lemede of his þrote;
405 With a sadel to þe midside,
406 Fol of scharpe pikes schote,
407 Alse an hechele onne to ride,
408 Al was glowende ilke a grote.
409 Opon þat sadil he was sloungen,
410 As he scholde to þe tornement,
411 An hundred deuel on him dongen,
412 Her and þer þan he was hent;
413 With hote speres þoruȝ was stongen,
houleswiþ oules al torent,
415 At ilke a dint þe sparkles sprongen,
416 As of a brond þat were forbrend.
417 ȝwan he hadde reden þat rode,
418 Opon þe sadil þer he was set,
419 He was kast doun as a tode,
420 And hellehoundes to him were led
421 Þat broiden out þo peces brode
422 Als he to helle ward was fet;
423 Þer alle þe fendes fet it trode
424 Men miȝte of blod foluwe þe tred.
425 He beden him hontin and blowen,
426 Crien on Bauston and Bewis,
427 Þe ratches þat him were woned to knowen,
428 He scholden sone blowe þe pris;
429 An hundred deuels ratches on a rowe,
430 With stringes him drowen vn þanc his,
431 Til he kome to þat lodli lowe,
432 Þer helle was, I wot to wis.
433 Wȝan it cam to þat wikke won,
434 Þe fendes kasten suwilk a ȝel,
435 Þe erþe it openede anon,
436 Smoke and smoþer op it wal;
437 Boþe pich and brumston,
438 Men myȝte fif mile haue þe smel.
439 Louerd wo schal him be bigon,
440 Þat haþ þeroffe þe tenþe del.
441 Wȝan þe gost þe soþe isey,
442 Wȝide it scholde it kaste a cri,
443 And seide, "Ihesu Crist þat sittest on hey,
444 On me þi schap nouȝ haue merci.
445 Ne schope þouȝ me þat art so slyȝ,
446 Þi cre?a?ture al so was I,
447 Als man þat sittes þe so ny,
448 Þat þou hauest so wel don by.
449 "Þouȝ þat wistest al bifor,
450 Wȝi schope þou me to wroþerhele,
451 To be þus togged and totoren,
452 And oþere to hauen al mi wele?
453 Þo þat scholden be forlorn,
454 Wretches þat tou miȝtest spele,
455 A weile wȝi lestouȝ hem be born
456 To ȝeue þe foule fend to fele?"
457 Agein him þe fendes gonnen criȝe:
458 "Caitif, helpeþ þe na more
459 To calle on Ihesus, ne Marie,
460 Ne to crie Cristes ore!
461 Loren þouȝ hauest þe cumpainye,
462 Þou hauest serued vs so ȝore,
463 Þarfore nou þou schalt abye
464 As oþere þat leuen on oure lore."
465 Þe foule fendes þat weren fayn,
466 Bi top and tail, he slongen hit,
467 And kesten it with myȝt and mayn,
468 Doun into þe deueles pit.
469 Þer sonne ne schal neuere be seyn,
470 Hemself he sonken in þermit;
471 Þe erþe hemsulf it lek aȝeyn,
472 Anon þe donge it was fordit.
Sou ke parla cely, ki ceste auision aueit weu e dit isse
473 Wȝan it was forth þat foule lod,
474 To helle wel or it were day,
475 On ilk a her a drope stod,
476 For friȝt and fer þer as I lay.
477 To Ihesu Crist with mild mod,
478 ȝerne I kalde and lokede ay,
479 ȝwan þo fendes hot fot,
480 Come to fette me away.
481 I þonke him þat þolede deth,
482 His muchele merci and is ore,
483 Þat schilde me fram mani a qued,
484 A sunful man as I lai þore;
485 Þo þat sunfol ben I rede him red,
srschriuen hem and rewen sore,
487 Neuere was sunne idon so gret,
488 Þat Cristes merci ne is wel more.
Sa grace ly doine Ihesu Crist,
Ki ce dite de meins escrit,
De li server de quer parfit,
A tous otreie ly seint espirit.