Manuscripts and Special Collections

WLC/LM/9, f. 16v: ‘Speculum Vitae’, lines 1025-1036 (composed mid-14th century, English)

Transcript

Žo žrid is halow wel žyn holy day
Žat is žus myche forto say
Žou schalt kepe žo sonnedays clene
And alle solempne festes žat bene
Žat are ordeyned thorow holy chirche
Fro alle werkes of seruage to wyrche
Žat is to say werkes fro of body
And fro werkes of synne and foly
For synne is a wrecched žraldome
Žat somme men haunten be custome
Žis comaundement ordeynež most
A man to god žo holy gost

Translation

The third [commandment] is to worship well the holy days. That is to say, you shall keep Sundays, and all solemn feasts that are ordained by the Holy Church, unpolluted from all works of service. That is to say, free from physical labour and from acts of sin and wrong-doing, because sin is a wretched enslaver that some men resort to frequently.

This commandment disposes man to God the Holy Ghost, the most.

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