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Early Middle English for today

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Ancrene Wisse (Temptations)

in a normalised Early Middle English (East Midland dialect c 1200)

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The pru_de be_n his be_mer`es, dragen wind in-ward with wereldlic heri-word, and eft with i_del yelp piffen hit u_t-ward als the be_mer`es do_n, maken noise and lu_d dream to_ sceawen here orgel. Ak yif hi_ wel thohten of Godes be_mer`es, of the engeles be_mes, the sculen on fower halfes of the wereld be`foren the grirefule do_m grisli_ce bla_wen, "A`ri_seth, deade! A`ri_seth! Cumeth to_ Drihtenes do_m for-to_ be_n y`de_med!" thear na_ pru_d be_mer`e ne scal be_n y`borgen - yif hi_ thohten this wel, hi_ wolden i`no_h-rathe in the de_feles servise dim`li_cer be_men. Of thise be_mer`es seyth Ieremiah, Onager solitarius in desiderio anime sue attraxit fentum amoris sui. Of the wind "dragende in for lufe of heri-word," seyth Ieremiah als ic seyde.

Sume yugleres be_n the ne cunnen serven of na_n o_ther gle_ bu_ten maken cheres, wrencen the mu_th mis, sci_len with e_gen. Of this mester serven the un`se_liy andfule in the de_feles curt, to_ bringen on lahtere here andfule la_ferd. Yif eay seyth wel other de_th wel, ne mugen hi_ na_nes weyes lo_ken thider with riht e_ge of go_d herte, ak winken on that half and be`ha_lden on lift yif thear is awiht to_ ed`wi_ten, other la_thli_ce thider`ward sci_len mid eayther. Hwanne hi_ i`he_ren that go_d, sleaten the eares a`du_n, ak the list a`yean that ifel is eafer wi_d open. Thanne he_ wrenceth the mu_th, hwanne he_ turneth go_d to_ ifel, and yif hit is sum-deal ifel, thurh ma_re _lastinge wrenceth hit to_ werse. Thise be_n fore`cwidderes, here a_gene prophetes. Thise boden be`foren hu_ the atellice de_feles sculen ye_t a`ga_sten hem with here grenninge, and hu_ hi_ sculen hem-self grennen and snifelen and maken su_r semblant for the micele angoise in the pi_ne of helle. Ak for-thi_ hi_ be_n the leasse to_ meanen that hi_ be`foren-hand lernen here mester to_ maken grim chere.

The wrathfule be`foren the fe_nd skirmeth mid cni_fes and is his cni_f-werpere, and pleyeth mid swerdes, bereth hem bi_ the scarp ord upon his tunge. Swerd and cni_f eayther be_n scarpe and kerfende wordes that he_ werpeth from him and skirmeth to_`ward o_there, and he_ bodeth hu_ the de_feles sculen pleyen with him mid here scarpe aweles, skirmen with him abu_ten and dusten als pilece-clu_t ealc to_`ward o_ther, and with helle-swerdes a`sneasen him thurh-u_t - tha_t be_n ke_ne and atellice and kerfende pi_nes.

The sla_we liyth and sle_peth on the de_feles barm as his de_re de_r`ling, and the de_fel leyth his tu_tel du_n to_ his eare and tu_teleth him al that he_ wile. For swa_ hit is sikerli_ce to_ hwam-se is i_del of go_d: matheleth the fe_nd yerne, and the i_dele under`fo_th lufeli_ce his la_re. I_del and yemeleas is this de_feles bearnes sle_p, ak he_ scal on Do_mes-day grimli_ce a`breyden with the dreadfule dream of the engeles be_mes, and in helles wandrathe e_celi_ce waken. Surgite! - aiunt - Mortui, surgite! et venite ad judicium Salvatoris.

The yi_tsere is his asce`bathere, fareth abu_ten ascen and bisiyli_ce stireth him to rukelen to_`gederes micele and maniye rukes, bla_weth thear`in and blende him-self, pother`eth and maketh thear`in figures of augrim, als thise rekener`es do_n the habben micel to_ rekenen. This is al the cankedes blisse and the fe_nd be`ha_ldeth this gamen and lahheth that he_ bersteth. Wel under`standeth, ealc wi_s man, that gold ba_ and selfer, and ealc erthlic ahte, nis bu_ten erthe and ascen the a`blendeth ealc man the hem in bla_weth - that is, the bilgeth him thurh hem in herte pru_de. And al that he_ rukeleth and gadereth to_`gederes and at`ha_ldeth of eay thing that nis bu_ten ascen ma_re than hit ne_deth, scal in helle werthen him ta_des and naddres. And ba_, als Isaiah seyth, sculen be_n of wurmes - his cuvertur and his hwi_tel - the nolde thear-with ne_dfule fe_den ne scru_den. Subter te sternetur tinea et operimentum tuum vermis.

The yi_fer`e gluton is the fe_ndes manciple, ak he_ stiketh eafer in celer other in kicene. His herte is in the disces, his thoht al in the nappes, his li_f in the tunne, his sa_wele in the cro_ge. Cumeth be`foren his la_ferd be`smitted and be`smerwed, a disc in his a_n hand, a skale in his o_ther. Matheleth mis wordes, wiggleth as for`drunken man the hafeth y`mint to_ fallen, be`ha_ldeth his greate wa_mbe - and the de_fel lahheth. Thise threateth thus God thurh Isaiah: Servi mei comedent et vos esurietis, et cetera. "Mi_ne men sculen eten, and yow scal eafer hungeren, and ye_ sculen be_n fe_ndes fo_de wereld bu_ten ende." Quantum glorificavit se et in deliciis fuit, tantum date illi tormentum et luctum. In Apocalipsi: Contra unum poculum quod miscuit miscete ei duo. Yef the calic-cuppe wallende bras to_ drinken, ye_t in his wi_de throte that he_ swelte in-with. "A`yean a_n, yef him twa_." Thillic is Godes do_m a`yean yi_fere and drunken-wille in the Apocalypse.

The lechers in the de_feles curt habben riht here a_gene name, for in thise micele curts, tha_ me clepeth lechers the habben swa_ for`loren scame that hem nis na_`wiht of scame, ak se_cen hu_ hi_ mugen meast vilainie wircen. The lecher in the de_feles curt be`fu_leth him-selfe fulli_ce and his felages alle, stinketh of that filthe and paieth wel his la_ferd with that stinkende breath betere than he_ sculde with eaniy swo_te re_cels. Hu_ he_ stinke to_ God, in Vitas Patrum the engel hit sceawde, the he_ld his nose tha_ thear com the pru_de lecher ri_dende, and noht for that rotede li_c that he_ halp the ha_liy hermite to_ be`biryen! Of alle o_there thanne habben thise the fu_leste mester in the fe_ndes curt, the swa_ be`do_n hem-selfen. And he_ scal be`do_n hem, pi_nen hem with e_ce stenc in the pit of helle.

Nu_ ye_ habben a_ne da_le y`he_rd, mine le_fe susteres: of tha_ the me clepeth the sefen mo_der-sinnes, and of here teames, and of hwilce mesters thise ilke men serven in the fe_ndes curt, the habben i-wi_fed on thise sefen hages, and hwi_ hi_ be_n swi_the to_ haten and to_ scunen. Ye_ be_n ful ferr fram ha_m, u_re La_ferd be_ y`thanked! Ak that fu_le breath of this latest`e un`theaw - that is, of lecherie - stinketh swa_ swi_the ferr, for the fe_nd hit sa_weth and to_`bla_weth ofer al, that ic am sum-deal of`dread the leaste hit leape sum-cerre into_ yower hertes nose. Stenc sti_geth up`ward, and ye_ be_n he_ge y`clu_mben thear the wind is micel of stra_nge temptatiuns. U_re La_ferd yefe yow strengthe wel to_ with`standen.