Manuscripts and Special Collections

WLC/LM/4, f. 74v: Robert of Gretham, 'Mirur’, lines 2925-2947 (composed c.1250, Anglo-Norman)


E ne redutent deu ne gent.
D unc deit lur char estre forsmise
D e comune de sainte eglise.
K e par lur male cumpaignie.
N e seit la bone gent hunie.
E tant deiuent dehors gisir.
D eskil se uoillent repentir.
D unc deuient il al prestre uenir.
L ur pecche e lur estre mustir.
K ar repentance uent par de.
D unt li pecchez est pardune.
M ais sachez li pecchez recoure.
K i al prestre ne de descoure
E tut seit li mals pardune.
S i deit li hom estre pene.
P ur ses grant mesfaiz remenbrer.
E pur en auant chastier.
K ar chascun serreit des laez.
S il ne fust unkes chastiez.
E chastiez ne poet nuls estre.
F ors par le conseil de sun prestre.
L i prestres nel poet conseiller.
S i il de quei nel uolt mustrer.


When one is not afraid of God nor man, then their bodies will be put outside of the community of the holy church so that their wicked company will not defile the good men. And they will be placed outside of the church until such time that they wish to repent. They must then come before the priest to lay bare their sins and their lives. For repentance comes from God, by which sins are forgiven. But know that sins will be regained if all is not recounted to the priest. All sins may be forgiven if the man is punished, and by such punishment for his great misdeeds he will remember his wrongdoing and for having been chastised. For if not chastised, each would be overcome if he is never admonished, and no-one can be reformed except by the advice of the priest, and they [the priests] cannot give guidance about anything that he [the sinner] is not willing to set out before the priest.

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