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Till finally she 'gan so far espy
That he last seen was in the Jewery.
With mother's pity in her breast enclosed,

She go’th, as she were half out of her mind, To every place where she hath supposed

By likelihood her little child to find ;

And ever on Christès mother meek and kind She cried, and at the lastè thus she wrought, Among the cursed Jewès she him sought. She feyneth ? and she prayèth piteously

To every Jew that dwelt in thilke place To tell her if her child went ought forth by ;

They saiden, Nay ; but Jesu of his grace

Gave in her thought, within a little space,
That in that place after her son she cried,
There 3 he was casten in a pit beside.
O great God, that performest thy laud

By mouth of innocents, lo here thy might ! This gem of chastity, this emeraud,

And eke of martyrdom the ruby bright,

There he with throat ycarven 4 lay upright, He Alma Redemptoris 'gan to sing, So loud, that all the place 'gan to ring. The Christian folk that through the streetè went In comen for to wonder

upon

this thing, And hastily they for the provost sent :

He came anon withouten tarrying,

And herieth 5 Christ, that is of heaven king, And eke his mother, honour of mankind, And after that the Jewès let he bind.

1 Discover.
4 Cut.

2 Asketh.
5 Praiseth.

3 Where.

THE PRIORESS'S TALE.

57

This child with piteous lamentatiòn

Was taken up, singing his song alway, And with honour and great processiòn

They carrien him unto the next abbèy ;.

His mother swooning by the bière lay : Unnethes might the people that was there This newè Rachel bringen from his bier.

With torment and with shameful death each one

This provost doth these Jewès for to starve 2 That of this murder wist, and that anon :

He n' oldè 4 no such cursedness observe ; 5

Evil shall he have that evil will deserve; Therefore with wildè horse he did them draw, And after that he hung them by the law.

Upon his bier aye li'th this innocent

Before the altar while the massè last, And after that, th' abbot with his convent

Have sped them for to bury him full fast;

And when they holy water on him cast, Yet spake this child, when sprent 6 with th' holy water, And sang, 0 Alma Redemptoris Mater!

This abbot, which that was a holy man,

As monkès be, or elles ought to be, This youngè child to conjure he began,

And said : 66 O dearè child! I halsè ? thee,

In virtue of the holy Trinity,
Tell me what is thy causè for to sing,
Since that thy throat is cut, to my seeming."

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My throat is cut unto my necké bone,"

Saidè this childe, “ and as by way of kind I should have died, yea longè time agone ;

But Jeşu Christ, as ye in bookès find,

Will that his glory last and be in mind, And for the worship of his mother dear, Yet may I sing 0 Alma loud and clear.

66 This well? of mercy, Christès mother sweet,

I lovèd alway, as after my conning 3 ; And when that I my lifè would forlete 4

To me she came, and bade me for to sing

This anthem verily in my dying, As ye

have heard ; and when that I had sung, Me thought she laid a grain upon my tongue.

“Wherefore I sing, and sing I must certain,

In honour of that blissful maiden free,
Till from my tongue off taken is the grain.

And after that thus saidè she to me :
• My little child, then will I fetchen thee,
When that the grain is from thy tongue ytake :
Be not aghast, I will thee not forsake.'

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This holy monk, this abbot him mean I,

His tongue out caught, and took away the grain, And he gave up the ghost full softily.

And when this abbot had this wonder see

His saltè tearès trill'd adown as rain, And groff he fell all plat upon the ground,5 And still he lay as he had been ybound.

2

" In the course of nature. 4 Forsake.

Spring. 3 Ability. 5 Flat on the ground.

CHARACTER OF THE HAPPY WARRIOR.

59

The convent lay eke on the pavement

Weeping and herying 1 Christès mother dear; And after that they risen, and forth been went,

And took away this martyr from his bier,

And in a tomb of marble stonès clear
Enclosen they his little body sweet :
There he is now God lene 2 us for to meet.

CHARACTER OF THE HAPPY WARRIOR.

Wordsworth.

Who is the happy warrior ? Who is he
That every man in arms should wish to be ? -
It is the generous spirit, who, when brought
Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought
Upon the plan that pleased his childish thought :
Whose high endeavours are an inward light
That makes the path before him always bright:
Who, with a natural instinct to discern
What knowledge can perform, is diligent to learn ;
Abides by this resolve, and stops not there,
But makes his moral being his prime care :
Who, doomed to go in company with Pain,
And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable train !
Turns his necessity to glorious gain ;
In face of these doth exercise a power
Which is our human nature's highest dower;
Controls them and subdues, transmutes, bereaves
Of their bad influence, and their good receives :
By objects which might force the soul to abate
Her feeling, rendered more compassionate ;

1

Praising.

2 Grant.

Is placable, - because occasions rise
So often that demand such sacrifice;
More skilful in self-knowledge, even more pure,
As tempted more ; more able to endure,
As more exposed to suffering and distress;
Thence, also, more alive to tenderness.
'T is he whose law is reason; who depends
Upon that law as on the best of friends;
Whence, in a state where men are tempted still
To evil for a guard against worse ill,
And what in quality or act is best
Doth seldom on a right foundation rest,
He labors good on good to fix, and owes
To virtue every triumph that he knows :
Who, if he rise to station of command,
Rises by open means; and there will stand
On honorable terms, or else retire,
And in himself possess his own desire :
Who comprehends his trust, and to the same
Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim ;
And therefore does not stoop, nor lie in wait
For wealth, or honors, or for worldly state ;
Whom they must follow; on whose head must fall,
Like showers of manna, if they come at all :
Whose powers shed round him in the common strife,
Or mild concerns of ordinary life,
A constant influence, a peculiar grace ;
But who, if he be called upon to face
Some awful moment to which Heaven has joined
Great issues, good or bad for human kind,
Is happy as a lover, and attired
With sudden brightness, like a man inspired;
And, through the heat of conflict, keeps the law
In calmness made, and sees what he foresaw;
Or, if an unexpected call succeed,
Come when it will, is equal to the need :

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