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Archive for March, 2018

Delit þe Lombe for to deuise

Wyth much meruayle in mynde went

Best wat3 he blyþest and moste to pryse

Þat euer I herde of speche spent

So worþly whyt wern wede3 hys

His loke3 symple, hymself so gent

Bot a wounde ful wyde and weete con wyse

Anende hys hert þur3 hyde torente

Of his quyte syde his blod outsprent

Alas, þo3t I, who did þat spyt

Ani breste for bale a3t haf forbrent

Er he þerto hade had delyt

AgnusDei

To devise such delight the Lamb

went with much marvel in mind.

Best was he, happiest, and most to praise,

that ever I heard of in speech that was spent.

So worthily white were his clothes –

his looks simple, himself so noble.

But a very wide and wet wound could be seen

near his heart, torn through his skin.

From his white side his blood sprayed out.[i]

Alas, I thought, who did that spiteful deed?[ii]

Any breast for sorrow ought to have broken

before he had any delight from that.

(trans. Jane Beal)

[i]  This wound has its direct parallel in the piercing of Christ’s side on the cross.

[ii] It is significant that the Dreamer phrases this line as a question.  According to the gospels, historically, Christ’s side was pierced by a Roman soldier, but spiritually, according to Church doctrine, Christ’s sufferings on the Cross were caused by the sinful deeds of all humanity.

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