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And fulfylled hit in fayth to þe fyrre ende.

1732 To teche þe of Techal, þat terme þus menes : Þy wale rengne is walt in weztes to heng, And is funde ful fewe of hit fayth-dedes. And Phares folges for pose fawtes, to frayst þe

trawþe; In Phares fynde I forsobe pise felle sa zes: Departed is by pryncipalte, depryved bou worbes, Þy rengne rafte is þe fro, and razt is þe Perses, Þe Medes schal be maysteres here, and bou of menske schowved.'






Þe kyng comaunded anon to clebe þat wyse
In frokkes of fyn clob, as forward hit asked.
Þenne sone watz Danyel dubbed in ful dere porpor,
And a coler of cler golde kest umbe his swyre.
Þen watz demed a decre bi pe duk selven:
Bolde Baltaza (r] bed þat hym bowe schulde
Þe comynes al of Calde bat to be kyng longed,
As to þe prynce pryvyest preved þe þrydde,
Hezest of alle oper, saf onelych tweyne,
To boz after Baltazar in borze and in felde.
Þys watz cryed and knawen in cort als fast,
And alle þe folk þerof fayn þat folged hym tylle.

Bot how so Danyel watz dygt, þat day overzede,
Nygt nezed rygt now wyth nyes fol mony,
For dazed never anoper day þat ilk derk after,
Er dalt were þat ilk dome þat Danyel devysed.
Þe solace of be solempnete in þat sale dured
Of þat farand fest, tyl fayled be sunne;
Þenne blykned be ble of þe brygt skwes,



1744 MS., M. cloler; Mi coler.—1746 MS. baltaza; M. Baltaza[r]. — 1747 MS., M. alof; M. note aloft(?); M. a lof; Fi. al of. — 1759 MS., M. blykned; M. note blaykned (?), accepted by Fi.

Morkenes þe mery weder, and þe myst dryves 1760
Þorz Þe lyst of þe lyfte, bi þe loz medoes.
Uche haþel to his home hyzes ful fast,
Seten at her soper and songen þerafter;
Þen foundez uch a felazschyp fyrre at forý nagtes. 1764
Baltazar to his bedd with blysse watz caryed,
Reche pe rest as hym lyst, he ros never þerafter. [85b]

For his foes in þe felde in flokkes ful grete,
Þat longe hade layted þat lede, his londes to strye, 1768
Now ar þay sodenly assembled at þe self tyme,
Of hem wyst no wyze þat in þat won dowelled.
Hit watz þe dere Daryus, þe duk of þise Medes,
Þe prowde prynce of Perce and Porros of Ynde,

1772 Wyth mony a legioun ful large, wyth ledes of armes, Þat now hatz spyed a space to spoyle Caldeez. Þay þrongen þeder in þe þester on þrawen hepes, Asscaped over be skyre watteres, and sca[1]ed þe walles,

1776 Lyfte laddres fui longe and upon lofte wonen, Stelen stylly be toun er any steven rysed. Wythinne an oure of be [n]yzt an entre pay hade, Zet afrayed bay no freke; fyrre pay passen And to be palays pryncipal þay aproched ful stylle. Þenne ran þay in on a res, on rowtes ful grete; Blastes out of brygt brasse brestes so hyze, Ascry scarred on pe scue þat scomfyted mony. 1784 Segges slepande were slayne er þay slyppe mygt, Uche hous heyred watz wythinne a hondewhyle; Baltazar in his bed watz beten to debe, Þat bobe his blod and his brayn blende on be clopes; 1788 The kyng in his cortyn watz kazt bi þe heles, Feryed out bi pe fete, and fowle dispysed, Þat watz so dozty bat day and drank of be vessayl; Now is a dogge also dere þat in a dych lygges. 1792


1776 MS., M. scaþed, B. sca[l]ed.—1779 MS. mygt.

For þe mayster of þyse Medes on þe morne ryses, Dere Daryous þat day dygt upon trone, Þat cete seses ful sounde, and sa ztlyng makes Wyth alle þe barounz þeraboute, þat bowed hym after. 1796 And þus watz bat londe lost for þe lordes synne, And be fylþe of be freke þat defowled hade Þe ornementes of Goddez hous þat holy were maked. He watz corsed for his unclannes, and cached perinne, 1800 Done doun of his dyngnete for dedez unfayre, And of þyse worldes worchyp wrast out for ever, [86] And zet of lykynges on lofte letted, I trowe, To loke on oure lofly Lorde late bitydes.

1804 Þus upon þrynne wyses I haf yow þro schewed, Þat unclannes tocleves in corage dere Of þat wynnelych Lorde þat wonyes in heven, Entyses hym to be tene, tel[des] up his wrake; 1808 Ande clannes is his comfort, and coyntyse he lovyes, And þose þat seme arn and swete schyn se his face. Þat we gon gay in oure gere þat grace he uus sende, Þat we may serve in his sygt þer solace never blynnez.

Amen. 1812

1808 MS., M. telled; M, note telles (?).


1-4. 'He who could fittingly commend Purity, and recount all the arguments (in her praise) that are justly due her, might find fair themes to aid his discourse, but in (undertaking) the contrary (i. e. the praise of Impurity) he would find great difficulty and trouble.' For ‘rekken up alle be resounz, compare Alex. C 1280, where Arestes, reporting to Alexander, “rekens hym be resons,' i. e. 'gives him an account of those that have been slain in battle.

5. þe Wy3 þat wrozt alle binges. For similar periphrases in the poet's works, see Introd., pp. xvii ff.

7-16. This is the only passage in all the poet's works where he alludes to the vices of the clergy; and it should be observed that even here his condemnation of wicked priests is quite different from the violent denunciations of the author of Piers Plowman, since he is careful to contrast impartially the behavior and reward of righteous priests (12) with the sin of those who are vile and hypocritical

9. Cf. Pat. 316: 'Efte to trede on þy temple, and teme to þy seluen,' and Erken. 15: 'He turnyd temples þat tyme bat temyd to be deuelle.'

10. reken wyth reverence. Cf. 1318, and Gaw. 251: ‘And rekenly hym reuerenced.'

16. lobe. M. read boþe, but this leaves God and his gere without any construction; a verb is obviously required, and the confusion of bo and lo elsewhere (e. g. borde, 452, 467) makes it certain that the scribe either intended loþe or mistook it for boþe. The vile priests 'hate God and all that pertains to him, and (consequently) drive him to wrath.'

non scape lovied. The combination of negatives in this line is puzzling; it may be paraphrased, 'If he were not scrupulous in his abhorrence (of evil), and (if it were not true that he) loved no sin, it would be very strange.'

24. Cf. Pat. I1: ‘Azt happes he hem hygt, & vche on a mede.' With this whole passage (23-8) should be compared the lines on the beatitudes, Pat. 9-33.

25 ff. as Maþew recordez. Matt. 5. 8: ‘Beati mundo corde, quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt.' After paraphrasing this verse (27-8), the text on which the whole poem is based, the poet states it conversely in 29-30, since he is to develop and illustrate his theme by contraries, and intends to set forth, not so much the joys that


await the pure in heart, as the terrible doom that falls upon those who violate purity. For the doctrine of the Beatific Vision, implied in these lines, see Osgood's note on Pearl 675. As Osgood notes, the poet alludes to it again and again (reverting naturally in Purity to his text); cf. Pur. 176, 178, 552, 576, 595, 1055, 1112, 1804-12;

Pat. 24.

32. May not byde þat bur[n]e bat hit his body nezen. A difficult line. M. in his second edition thought that burre, not burne, was perhaps intended by the scribe, and paraphrased as follows: ‘May not abide (suffer) that man (?blow), that it (?he) should approach his body.' The expression (a)byde þe bur occurs, it is true, Pat. 7, Gaw. 290 and 374, but it throws no light on the present passage. M. found difficulty in reading burne, because he considered it the antecedent of hit, and interpreted the second þat as a conjunction. It is really a relative pronoun, which, combined with his, is the usual means of expressing whose in ME., as in 1109: bus is he kyryous and clene þat þou his cort askes' (for þat

his = whose, see Mätzner, Engl: Gram. 3. 549; Kellner, Histor. Outlines of Engl. Synt., p. 66). Hit does not refer to burne, but to fylþe of the previous line. The difficulty of construing negen still remains, and one must either supply an auxiliary verb, 'whose body it, i. e. filth, (may) approach,' or emend to nezes or neze.

The whole becomes clear in the light of the context. The poet has just explained (29-30) that no one attains to the sight of our Lord who has any taint of impurity. He now gives the reason for this statement (31-32): 'For he bat flemus uch fylbe fer fro his hert,' etc., i. e. 'Christ, who banishes everything vile far from himself, cannot endure the man whose body is stained with sin.' This idea that no sinner can approach the presence of the Lord because he is himself spotless in his purity is restated in 1109-12; cf. 17 ff. for periphrases similar to ‘he þat flemus,' etc., see Introd., pp. xvii ff.

33-48. These lines lead to the introduction of the parable of the Wedding Feast, and anticipate the situation of the man without a wedding garment, recounted in due course in 11. 133-60.

40. traschez, defined by Morris (and Stratmann) as 'trousers,' was explained by Skeat in 1892 (Notes on Engl. Etym., p. 305) as the plural of trash, meaning simply “rags.' NED. plausibly suggests, s. v. trash, that trasches may here mean 'old worn-out shoes,' as in modern dialects, though no other instance of this meaning has been found before 1746.

41. totez. Skeat in 1892 (see Notes, p. 303) gave the following explanation of this word: ‘Dr. Morris says that totez is merely a form of 'toes,' which I cannot accept.

The word is surely

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