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Jesus, fountain of compassion,
This vile heart to mourn with thee.
Holy Father, hear my crying,
Bid me feel his agony.
Since for me, by foes surrounded,
In his wounds some part I crave.
Let me by his cross lie weeping,
Let me in her anguish shar
There, by his blest Mother bending,
On my pathway to the grave,
Make me, each ill lust denying,
Of his stripes some impress wear.
Jesu! from the death eternal,
Save me in the day of doom ;
When the worms this flesh inherit,
Rest and light from toil and gloom.
PART THE FOURTH.
ECCLESIASTICAL CHARACTERS OF
IN THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY.
THER was also a Nonne, a Prioresse, That of hire smiling was full simple and coy; Hire gretest othe n'as but by Seint Eloy; And she was cleped' Madame Eglantine. Ful wel she sange the service devine, Entuned in hire nose ful swetely; And Frenche she spake ful fayre and fetisly, After the schole of Stratford attè Bowe, For Frenche of Paris was to hire unknowe. At metè was she wel ytaughte withalle; She lette no morsel from her lippès fall, Ne wette hire fingres in hire saucè depe. Wel coude she carie a morsel, and wel kepe, Thattè no drope ne fell upon hire brest. In curtesie was sette ful moche hire lest. Hire over lippè wiped she so clene, That in hire cuppe was no ferthing* sene Of gresè, when she dronken hadde hire draught. Ful semely after her mete she raught.”
3 Her pleasure.
4 Smallest spot.
And sikerly she was of grete disport,
But for to speken of hire conscience,
Ful semely hire wimple ypinched was;
Ful fetise® was hire cloke, as I was ware.
A Monk ther was, a fayre for the maistrie,
Gingeling in a whistling wind as clere, 1 Took pains.
5 Smartly, adv. 6 Straight.
2 To imitate.
And eke as loude, as doth the chapell belle,
The reule of Seint Maure and of Seint Beneit, ·
I saw his sleves purfiled at the hond With gris,' and that the finest of the lond. And for to fasten his hood under his chinne, He had of gold ywrought a curious pinne; A love-knotte in the greter end ther was. His hed was balled, and shone as any glas, And eke his face, as it hadde been anoint. He was a lord ful fat and in good point. His eyen stepe,' and rolling in his hed, That stemed as a fornëis of led. His botès souple, his hors in gret estat ; Now certainly he was a fayre prelàt. ? Mr. Tyrwhitt supposes that this should be righelles, i. e. out of the
5 Biddeth. 7 Wrought on the edge. 8 A fine kind of fur. 9 Deep in the
1 Gave. rules by which the monks were bound.
0 Hard rider.
He was not pale as a forpined gost.
A Frere there was, a wanton and a mery,
many a man so hard is of his herte,
His tippet was ay farsed' ful of knives,
1 A Limitour was a Friar who had a license to beg within a certain district. 2 Knew. 3 Have. 4 Poor.
5 Shriven. 6 Durst make a boast.
8 A stringed instrument.