Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader/A Blickling Homily

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[From the Homilies contained in a manuscript in the library of Blickling Hall, Norfolk.]

Þisses middangeardes ende nēah is.

Men þā lēofostan hwæt! nū ānra manna gehwylcne ic myngie ond lǣre, ge weras ge wīf, ge geonge ge ealde, ge snottre ge unwīse, ge þā welegan ge þā þearfan, þæt ānra gehwylc hine sylfne scēawige ond ondgyte, ond swā hwæt swā hē on mycclum gyltum oþþe on medmycclum gefremede, þæt hē þonne hrædlīce gecyrre tō þām sēlran ond tō þon sōðan lǣcedōme; þonne magon wē ūs God ælmihtigne mildne habban, for þon þe Drihten wile þæt ealle men sȳn hāle ond gesunde, ond tō þon sōþan andgite gecyrran, swā Dāuid cwæþ: 'Þā ēaðmōdan heortan ond þā ondrǣdendan heora Scyppend, ne forhodaþ þā nǣfre God nē ne forsyhþ; ah heora bēna hē gehȳreð, þonne hīe tō him cleopiað ond him āre biddaþ.'

Magon wē þonne nū gesēon ond oncnāwan ond swīþe gearelīce ongeotan þæt þisses middangeardes ende swīþe nēah is, ond manige frēcnesse ætēowde, ond manna wōhdǣda ond wōnessa swīþe gemonigfealdode; ond wē fram dæge tō ōþrum geāxiað ungecyndelīco wītu ond ungecyndelīce dēaþas geond þēodland tō mannum cumne; ond wē oft ongytaþ þæt ārīseþ þēod wiþ þēode, ond ungelimplīco gefeoht on wōlīcum dǣdum; ond wē gehȳraþ oft secggan gelōme worldrīcra manna dēaþ þe heora līf mannum lēof wǣre, ond þūhte fæfer ond wlitig heora līf ond wynsumlīc; swā wē ēac geāxiað mislīce ādla on manegum stōwum middangeardes, ond hungras wexende; ond manig yfel wē geāxiaþ hēr on līfe gelōmlīcian ond wæstmian, ond nǣnig gōd āwunigende, ond ealle worldlīcu þing swīþe synlīcul ond cōlaþ tō swīþe sēo lufu þe wē tō ūrum Hǣlende habban secoldan, ond þā gōdan weorc wē ānforlǣtaþ þe wē for ūre sāule hǣle begān sceoldan. Þās tācno þuslīce syndon þe ic nū hwīle big sægde be þisse worlde earfoþnessum ond frǣcnessum, swā Crīst sylfa his geongrum sægde, þæt þās þing ealle geweorþan sceoldan ǣr þisse worlde ende.

Uton wē nū efstan ealle mægene gōdra weorca, ond geornfulle bēon Godes miltsa, nū wē ongeotan magon þæt þis nēalǣcþ worlde forwyrde; for þon ic myngige ond manige manna gehwylcne þæt hē his āgene dǣda georne smēage, þæt hē hēr on worlde for Gode rihtlīce lifge, ond on gesyhþe þæs hēhstan Cyninges. Sȳn wē wūmmōde þearfendum mannum, on earmum ælmesgeorne, swā ūs God sylfa bebēad þæt wē sōþe sibbe hēoldan, ond geþwǣrnesse ūs betwēonon habban. Ond þā men þe bearn habban, lǣran hīe þǣm rihtne þēodscipe, ond him tǣcean līfes weg ond rihtne gang tō heofonum; ond gif hīe on ǣnigum dǣle wōlīce libban heora līf, sȳn hīe þonne sōna from heora wōnessum onwende, ond fram heora unrihtum oncyrron, þæt wē þurh þæt ealle Gode līcian, swā hit eallum gelēaffullum folcum beboden standeþ, næs nā þām ānum þe Gode sylfum underþēodde syndon mid myclum hādum, biscopas ond cyningas ond mæsseprēostas ond hēahdiaconas, ac ēac sōþlīce hit is beboden subdīaconum on munecum. Ond is eallum mannum nēdþearf ond nytlīc þæt hīe heora fulwihþādas wel gehealdan.

Ne bēo nǣnig man hēr on worldrīce on his geþōhte tō mōdig, nē on his līchoman tō strang, nē nīþa tō georn, nē bealwes tō beald, nē bregda tō full, nē inwit tō lēof, nē wrōhtas tō webgenne, nē searo tō rēnigenne. Ne þearf þæs nān man wēnan þæt his līchama mōte oþþe mæge þā synbyrþenna on eorþscrafe gebētan; ah hē þǣr on moldan gemolsnaþ, ond þǣr wyrde bīdeþ hwonne sē ælmihtiga God wille þisse worlde ende gewyricean, ond þonne hē his byrnsweord getȳhþ ond þās world ealle þurhslyhþ, ond þā līchoman þurhscēotaþ, ond þysne middangeard tōclēofeð, ond þā dēadan ūp āstandaþ; biþ þonne sē flǣschoma āscȳred swā glæs: ne mæg ðæs unrihtes bēon āwiht bedīgled. For þone wē habbaþ nēdþearfe þæt wē tō lande ne fylgeon unwitweorcum, ac wē sceolan ūs geearnian þā siblecan wǣra Godes ond manna, ond þone rihtan gelēafan fæste staðelian on ūrum heortum, þæt hē ðǣr wunian mæge ond mōte, ond þǣr grōwan ond blōwan. Ond wē sceolan andettan þā sōþan gelēaffulnesse on ūrne Drihten Hǣlende Crīst, ond on his ðone ācendan Suna, ond on ðone Hālgan Gāst, sē is efnēce Fæder ond Sunu. Ond wē sceolan gehyhtan on Godes þā gehālgodan cyricean, ond on ðā rihtgelēfedan. Ond wē sceolan gelȳfan synna forlǣtnessa, ond līchoman ǣrīstes on dōmes dæg. Ond wē sceolan gelēfan on þæt ēce līf, ond þæt heofonlīce rīce þæt is gehāten eallum þe nū syndan Godes wyrhtan. Þis is sē rihta gelēafa þe ǣghwylcum men gehyreð þæt hē wel gehealde ond gelǣste, for ðon þe nān wyrhta ne mæg gōd weorc wyrcean for Gode būton lufan ond gelēafan. Ond ūs is mycel nēdþearf þæt wē ūs sylfe geðencean ond gemunan, ond þonne geornost þonne wē gehȳron Godes bēc ūs beforan reccean ond rǣdan, ond godspell secggean, ond his wuldorþrymmas mannum cȳþan. Uton wē þonne georne teolian þæt wē æfter þon ðē beteran sȳn ond þē sēlran for ðǣre lāre ðe wē oft gehyrdon.

Ēalā men ðā lēofostan, hwæt! wē sceolan geðencean þæt wē ne lufian tō swīþe þæt þæt wē forlǣton sceolan, nē þæt huru ne forlǣtan tō swīþe þæt wē ēcelīce habban sceolan. Gesēo wē nū for georne þæt nǣnig man on worlde tō ðæs mycelne welan nafað, nē tō ðon mōdelīco gestrēon hēr on worlde, þæt sē on medmycclum fyrste tō ende ne cume, ond þæt eall forlǣteð þæt him ǣr hēr on worlde wynsumlīc wæs, ond lēofost tō āgenne ond tō hæbbenne. Ond sē man nǣfre tō ðon lēof ne bið his nēhmāgum ond his worldfrēondum, nē heora nān hine tō þæs swīþe ne lufað þæt hē so_na syþþan ne sȳ onscungend, seoþþan sē līchoma ond sē gāst gedǣlde bēoþ, ond þincð his nēawist lāþlīco ond unfæger. Nis þæt nān wundor; hwæt biþ hit lā elles būton flǣsc, seoððan sē ēcea dǣl of biþ, þæt is sēo sāwl? hwæt biþ lā elles sēo lāf būton wyrma mete? Hwǣr bēoþ þonne his welan ond his wista? hwǣr bēoþ þonne his wlencea ond his anmēdlan? hwǣr bēoþ þonne his idlan gescyrplan? Hwǣr bēoþ ðonne þā glengeas ond þā mycclan gegyrelan þe hē þone līchoman ǣr mid frætwode? hwǣr cumaþ þonne his willan ond his fyrenlustas ðe hē hēr on worlde beēode? Hwæt! hē þonne sceal mid his sāule ānre Gode ælmihtigum riht āgyldan, ealles þæs þe hē hēr on worlde tō wommum gefremede. Magon wē nū gehēran [secg] gean be [sumum welegum men] ond worldrīcum; āhte hē on þysse worlde mycelne welan ond swīðe mōdelīco gestrēon ond manigfealde, ond on wynsumnesse life. Þā gelamp him þæt his līf wearð geendod ond fǣrlic ende on becōm þisses lǣnan līfes. Þā wæs his nēhmāga sum ond his worldfrēonda þæt hine swȳþor lufode þonne ǣnig ōþor man; hē þā for þǣre langugnga ond for þǣre gēomrunga þæs ōþres dēaþes, leng on þām lande gewunian ne mihte, ac hē unr_tmōd of his cȳþþe gewāt ond of his earde, ond on þǣm lande feala wintra wunode; ond him nǣfre sēo langung ne getēorode, ac hine wīþe gebyrde ond þēade. Þā ongan hine eft langian on his cȳþþe; for þon þæt hē wolde gesēon eft ond scēawian þā byrgenne, hywlc sē wǣre þe hē oft ǣr mid wlite ond mid wæstmum fæsgerne m... geseah. Him þā tō cleopodon þæs dēadan bān, ond þus cwǣdon: 'For hwon cōme þū hider ūs tō scēawigenne? Nū þū miht hēr gesēon moldan dǣl ond wyrmes lāfe, þǣr þū ǣr gesāwe godweb mid golde gefāgod. Scēawa þǣr nū dūst ond drȳge bān, þǣr þǣr þū ǣr gesāwe æfter flǣsclīcere gecynde fægre leomu on tō sēonne. Ēalā þū frēond ond mīn mǣg, gemyne þis ond ongyt þē sylfne, þæt þū eart nū þæt ic wæs īo; ond þū byst æfter fæce þæt ic nū eom. Gemyne þis ond oncnāw þæt mīne welan þe ic īo hæfde syndon eall gewitene ond gedrorene, ond mīne herewīc syndon gebrosnode ond gemolsnode. Ac onwend þē tō þē sylfum, ond þīne heortan tō rǣde gecyr, ond geearna þæt þīne bēna sȳn Gode ælmihtigum andfenge.' Hē þā swā gēomor ond swā gnorngende gewāt from þǣre dūstscēawunga, ond hine þā onwende from ealre þisse worlde begangum; ond hē ongan Godes lof leornian ond þæt lǣran, ond þæt gāstlīce mægen lufian; ond þurh þæt geearnode him þā gife Hāliges Gāstes, ond ēac þæs ōþres sāule of wītum generede ond of tintregum ālēsde.

Magon wē þonne, men þā lēofstan, ūs þis tō gemyndum habban, ond þās bȳsene on ūrum heortan staþelian, þæt wē ne sceolan lufian worlde glengas tō swīþe nē þysne middangeard; for þone þe þēos world is eall forwordenlīc ond gedrōfenlīc ond gebrosnodlīc ond feallenlīc, ond þēos world is eall gewitenlīc. Uton wē þonne geornlīce geþencean ond oncnāwan be þuses middangeardes fruman; þā hē ǣrest gesceapen wæs, þā wæs hē ealre fægernesse fyll, ond hē wæs blōwende on him sylfum on swȳþe manigfealdre wynsumnesse. Ond on þā tīd wæs mannum lēof ofer eorþan, ond h_alwende ond hāl syltnes wæs ofer orþan, ond sibba genihtsumnes, ond tūddres æþelnes. Ond þēs middangeard wæs on þā tīd tō þon fæger ond tō þon wynsumlīc þæt hē tēah men tō him þurh his wlite on þurh his fægernesse ond wynsumnesse fram þon ælmihtegan Gode. Ond þā hē þus fæger wæs ond þus wynsum, þā wisnode hē on Crīstes hāligra heortum, ond is nū on ūrum heortan blōwende swā hit gedafen is. Nū is ǣghwonon hrēam on wōp; nū is hēaf ǣgwonon, ond sibbe tōlēsnes; nū is ǣghwonon yfel ond slege; ond ǣghwonon þēs middangeard flȳhþ from ūs mid mycelre biternesse, ond wē him flēondum flygeaþ, ond hine fealendne lufiaþ. Hwæt! wē on þām gecnāwan magon þæt þēos world is scyndende ond heononweard. Uton wē þonne þæs geþencean, þā hwīle þe wē magon [ond] mōton, þæt wē ūs georne tō Gode þȳdon. Uton ūrum Drihtne hȳran georne, ond him þancas secggan ealra his geofena ond ealra his miltsa ond ealra his ēaðmōdnessa ond fremsumnessa þe hē wiþ ūs ǣfre gecȳþde, þǣm heofonlīcan Cininge þe leofað ond rīxaþ ond worlda world aa būton ende on ēcnesse.