A Devout Prayer of the Passion

Jesu, that hast me dere iboght,
Write thou gostly in my thoght,
That I mow with devocion
Thinke on thy dere Passion.
For thogh my hert be hard as stone
Yit maist thou gostly write theron
With naill and with spere kene,
And so shullen the lettres be sene.

Write in my hert with speches swete
Whan Judas, the traitour, can thee mete:
That traitour was ful of the Feende,
And yit thou caldest him thy frende.
Swete Jesu, how might thou soo
Cal him thy frend, so fel and foo?
Bot sethen thou spake so lovely
To him that was thine enemy,
How swete shulle thy speches be
To ham that hertely loven thee,
Whan they in Hevin with thee shall dwelle,
Iwis, ther may no tonge telle.

Write how thou were bounde sore
And drawen forth Pilate before;
And how swetly thou answard tho
To him that was thy fel foo.

Write how that fals enqueste
Cried ay withouten reste,
" Honge him on the Rode Tree,
For he will kinge of Jewes be."

Write upon my hert boke
Thy faire and swete, lovely loke,
For shame of har hiddous crye
That wolden of thee have no mercy.

Write how whan the cros was forth broght,
And the naill of iron wroght,
How thou began to chever and quake:
Thine hert was woo thogh thou ne spake.

Write how downward thou can loke
Whan Jewes to thee the cros betoke:
Thou bare it forth with reuthly chere;
The teres ran down by thy lere.

Jesu, write in my hert depe
How that thou began to wepe
Tho thy bak was to the Rode bent,
With rogget naill thy handes rent.

Write the strokes with hameres stout,
With the blood renninge about;
How the naill stint at the bone
Whan thou were ful wo-begone.

Jesu, yit write in my hert
How bloode out of thy woundes stert;
And with that blode write thou so ofte
Mine hard hert, til it be softe.

Jesu, that art so miche of might,
Write in my hert that reuthful sight,
To loken on thy moder fre
When thou were honged on Rode Tree.

Write thy swete moderes woo
Whan sho saw thee to the deth goo:
Iwis, thogh I write all my live,
I sholde never hir woo discrive.

In mine hert ay mot it be,
That hard, knotty Rode Tree;
The naill and the spere also
That thou were with to deth do;
The crown, and the scourges grete
That thou were with so sore ibette;
Thy wepinge and thy woundes wide;
The blode that ran down by thy side;
The shame, the scorne, the grete despite,
The spottel that defouled thy face so white;
The eisel and the bitter galle
And other of thy peines alle:
For while I have ham in my thoght
The Devil, I hope, shall dere me noght.

Jesu, write this that I might knowe
How michel love to thee I owe:
For thogh that I wolde fro thee flee
Thou folwest ever to save me.

Jesu, whan I thinke on thee,
How thou were bound for love of me,
Wel owe I to wepe that stounde
That thou for me so sore were bounde.
Bot thou that bare upon thy handes
For my sinnes so bitter bandes,
With love bandes bind thou so me
That I be never departed fro thee.

Jesu, that was with love so bounde,
That soffred for me dethes wounde,
At my deyinge so visite me,
And make the Fend away to flee.

Jesu, make me glad to be
Simple and pouer for love of thee,
And let me never, for more ne lasse,
Love good too miche, that sone shal passe.

Jesu, that art Kinge of life,
Tech my soule, that is thy wif,
To love best no thinge in londe
Bot thee, Jesu, hir dere housbonde.
For other blisse and other beaute,
Be it foule and sorow to see:
For other joy and other blisse,
Woo and sorow, forsoth, it is,
And lesteth bot a little while,
Mannis soule for to begyle.

Jesu, let me fele what joy it be
To suffere wo for love of thee;
How myry it is for to wepe;
How softe in hard clothes to slepe.
Lat Love now his bow bende
And love arowes to my hert send,
That it mow percen to the roote,
For suche woundes shold be my bote.
Whan I am lowe for thy love
Than am I moste at mine above:
Fastinge is feest, murninge is blis;
For thy love, povert is richesse.

The hard here shold be more of pris
Than softe silk, or pelur, or bis.
Defaut, for thy love, is plente,
And fleishely lust wel loth shold be.
Whan I am with woo bestadde,
For thy love, than am I glad;
To suffre scornes and grete despite,
For love of thee, is my delite.

Jesu make me oo night to wake
And in my thoght thy name to take,
And whether the night be short or longe,
Of thee, Jesu, be ever my songe.
Let this prayere a chaine be
To draw thee down of thy se,
That I mow make thee dwellinge
In my hert at thy likinge.

Jesu, I pray thee forsake nat me,
Thogh I of sin gilty be:
For that thef that henge thee by,
Redily thou yaf him thy mercy.

Jesu, that art so corteisly,
Make me bold on thee to cry:
For wel I wot, without drede,
Thy mercy is more than my misdede.

Jesu, that art so lef and dere,
Hire and spede this pouer prayere.
For Poul, that was so fel and wode
To spil Cristen mennis blode,
To thee wold he no prayere make,
And thou woldest nat him forsake.
Than maist thou noght forsake me,
Sethen that I pray thus to thee.
At my deyinge I hop, iwis,
Of thy presens I shall noght misse.
Jesu, make me than to rise
From deth to live, on such a wise
As thou rose up on Estre Day,
In joy and blisse to live aye.
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