And is this song y-made in reverence
Of Cristes moder? sayde this innocent;
Now certes I wol do my
To conne it al, ere Cristemasse has went;
Though that my spelling shal be al for went,
And I shal
be thrice beaten in an hour,
I wol it conne, our lady to honoúre.
His felaw taught him home-ward privily
From day to day, til he it knew by rote,
And then he sang it wel
Twice on the day it passèd through his throte,
From word to word accordyng to the note,
school-ward and to home-ward when he went;
On Cristes moder set was his entent.
As I have sayd, throughout the Jewerye
This litel child as he cam to and fro,
Ful merily than wold he synge
O alma redemptoris, evermo;
The swetness hath his herte piercèd so
Of Cristes moder, that to hir
He can not stynt of syngyng by the way.
Oure firste foe, the serpent Sáthanás,
That hath in Jewes hert his waspes nest,
Upswelled and sayde: O
Hebrew peple, allas!
Is this a thing to you that is honést,
That such a boy shal walken as he list
despyt, and synge of such sentence,
Which is against your lawes reverence?
From thennesforth the Jewes have conspirèd
This innocent out of this world to chase:
An homicide therto,
yea, have thay hiréd.
That in an alley had a privy place;
And as the childe gan forth for to pace,
Jewe him caught and held ful faste,
And kitte his throte, and in a pit him caste.
I say that in a pitte they him threw,
Wher as the Jewes purgen their entraile.
O cursed folk! O Herodes al
What may your evil entente you availe?
Morther wil out, certeyn it wil nought faile,
And chiefly where
the honoúr of God shulde spreade,
The blood out crieth on your cursed dede.
O martir servaunt to virginitee,
Now mayst thou synge, folowyng ever alone
The white lamb celestial,
Of which the grete evaungelist saint John
In Patmos wrote, which seith that thay have gone
the Lamb, and synge a song al newe,
That never in this worlde wommen knewe.
This pore widowe wayteth al this night,
After this litel child, but he cometh nought;
For which as soone as
it was dayes light,
With face pale, in drede and busy thoughte,
She hath at schoole and every-wher him
Til fynally she gan so far espýe,
That he was last seen in the Jeweire.
With modres pitee in hir brest enclosèd,
She goeth, as she were half out of hir mynde,
To every place,
wher she hath supposèd.
By liklihoode her childe for to fynde;
And ever on Cristes moder meke and kynde
cried, and at the laste thus she wroughte,
Among the cursed Jewes she him soughte.
She axeth, and she prayeth piteously
To every Jew that dwellèd in that place,
To telle hir, if her child is
went ther by;
They sayden nay; but Jhesu of his grace
Put in her thought, withinne a litel space,
that place after her sone she cryde,
Wher he was casten in a pit bysyde.
O grete God, that pérformest thy laude
By mouth of innocents, lo, here thy might;
This gemme of chastitee,
And eke of martirdom the ruby bright,
Where he with throte y-carven lay upright,
redemptoris gan to synge.
So loude, that al the place bigan to rynge.
The Cristen folk, that through the strete went,
In comen, for to wonder upon this thing;
And hastily for
the provóst they sent.
He cam anon, withoute tarying,
And prayséd Crist, that is of heven Kyng,
And eke His
moder, honour of mankynde,
And after that the Jewes did he bynde.
This child with piteous lamentacioún
Up taken was, syngyng his song alway;
And with honoúr of grete processioún,
caried him unto the next abbáy.
His moder swoonyng by the biere lay;
And scarcely mighte the peple that
This newe Rachel bringe fro the biere.
With torment and with shameful deth each one
This provost made these Jewes for to die,
That of this
morder wist, and that anon;
He wolde allowe no such crueltie;
Evel shal have, that evyl doth alway.
with wilde hors he did them drawe,
And after that he hung them by the lawe.