Incipit Lazarus


Ihesus. Commes now brethere and go With me:

We Will pas furth untill Iude.


To betany will we Weynde,

To vysit lazare, that is our freynde.


Gladly I wold we with hym speke;

I tell you sothely he is seke.

Petrus. I red not that ye thider go:

The Iues haldon you for thare fo.

I red ye com not in that stede,


ffor if ye do, than be ye dede.

Iohannes. Master, tryst thou [not] on the Iue,

ffor many day sen thou thaym knewe;

and last tyme that we were there

We wenyd till haue bene ded therefor.

Thomas. When we were last in that contre,

This othere day both thou and we,

We wenyd that thou ther shuld haue bene slayn.

Will thou now go thider again?

Ihesus. Herkyn, breder, and takys kepe:


lazare oure freynde is fallyn on slepe.

The way till hym now will we take,

To styr that knyght and gar hym wake.

Petrus. Sir, me thynke it were best

To let hym slepe and take his rest,


and kepe that no man com hym hend.

ffor if he slepe, then mon he mend.

Ihesus. I say to you: Withoutten fayll,

No kepyng may till hym availl,


Ne slepe may stand hym in no stede.

note 30

I say to you sekerly, he is dede.

Therfor, I say to you now at last:

leyfe this speche. go we fast.

Thomas. Sir, What so euer ye bid vs do,

We assent vs well therto.


I hope to god ye shall not fynde

None of vs lefe behynde.

ffor any parell that may befall,

Wend We With oure master all.

Martha. Help me, lorde, and gif me red:


lazare, my broder, now is dede,

That was to the both lefe and dere.

he had not dyed, had thou bene here.

Ihesus. Martha, martha, thou may be fayn:

Thi brothere shall rise and lif agayn.

Martha. lorde, I wot that he shall ryse

And com before the iustyce,

ffor at the dredfull day of dome,

There mon ye kepe hym at his come,

To loke What dome ye Will hym gif.


Then mon he rise; then mon he lyf.

Ihesus. I warne you, both man and wyfe,

That I am rysyng, and I am life;

And whoso truly trowys in me—

That I was euer, and ay shall be—


Oone thyng I shall hym gif:

Though he be dede, yit shall he lif.

Say thou, Woman, trowys thou this?

Martha. yee, for sothe, my lord of blys

Ellys were I greatly to mysprase.


ffor all is sothefast that thou saye.

Ihesus. Go tell thy sister, mawdlayn,

That I com; ye may be fayn.

Martha. Sister, lefe this sorowful bande.


Oure lorde commys here at hand,


And hys apostyls with him also.

Maria. A, for godys luf, let me go.

Blissid be he that sende me grace,

That I may se thee in this place.

lorde, mekill sorow may men se


Of my sister here, and me.

We ar heuy as any lede

ffor oure broder that thus is dede.

had thou bene here and on hym sene,

dede, for soth, he had not bene.

Ihesus. hider to yon commen we ar,

To make you comforth of youre care.

Bot loke no fayntyse ne no slawth;

Bryng yon out of stedfast trawthe—

Then shall I hold you that I saide.


lo, where haue ye his body laide?

Maria. lorde, if it be thi Will,

I hope be this he sauers ill,

ffor it is now the iiii day gone

sen he Was laide vnder yonde stone.

note 85
Ihesus. I told the right now ther thou stode,

that thi trawth shuld ay be goode.

And if thou may that fulfill,

All bees done right at thi Will.

Et lacrimatus est ihesu dicens

ffader, I pray the, that thou rase


lazare, that was thi hyne,

And bryng hym oute of his mysese,

And oute of hell pyne.


When I the pray, thou says allwayse,

my Will is sich as thyne.


Therfor Will we now eke his dayse.

To me thou Will inclyne.

Com furth, lazare, and stande vs by:

In erth shall thou no langere ly.

Take and lawse hym foote and hand,


And from his throte take the bande,

And the sudary take him fro,

And all that gere, and let hym go.

Lazarus. lorde, that all thyng maide of noght,

louyng be to the,


That sich Wonder here was Wroght:

Gretter may none be.

When I was dede to hell, I soght,

And thou, thrugh thi pauste,

Rasid me vp and thens me broght.

note 110

Behold, and ye may se.

There is none so styf on stede,

Ne none so prowde in prese,

Ne none so dughty in his dede,

Ne none so dere on deese


No kyng, no knyght, no Wight in wede,

ffrom dede haue maide hym seese—

Ne flesh he was wonte to fede:

It shall be Wormes mese:

youre dede is Wormes coke.


youre myrroure here ye loke,

And let me be youre boke:


youre sampill take by me.

ffro dede you cleke in cloke;

sich shall ye all be.

note 125

Ilkon in sich aray,


With dede thai shall dight

And closid in clay.

Wheder he be kyng or knyght

ffor all his garmentes gay


that semely were in sight,

his flesh shall frete away

With many a wofull wight.

Then wofully sich wightys

Shall gnawe thise gay knyghts:


Thare lunges and thare lyghtys,

Thare harte shall frete in sonder.

Thise masters most of myghtys

Thus shall then be broght vnder—

Vnder the erthe ye shall


Thus carefully then cowche

The royse of youre hall;

youre nakyd nose shall towche.

Nawther great ne small

To you will kneele ne crowche.


A shete shall be youre pall.

Sich todys shall be youre nowche.

Todys shall you dere.

ffeyndys will you fere.

youre flesh that fare was here


thus rufully shall rote.

In stede of fare colore,

sich bandys shall bynde youre throte,

youre rud that was so red,

youre lyre, the lylly lyke,


Then shall be wan as led—

And stynke as dog in dyke.

Wormes shall in you brede

As bees dos in the byke

And ees outt of youre hede.


Thusgate shall paddokys pyke

To pike you are preste

Many vncomly beest;

Thus thai shall make a feste


Of your flesh and of youre blode.

note 165

ffor you then sorowes leste

The moste has of youre goode;

youre goode ye shall forsake,

If ye be neuer so lothe,

And nothyng With you take


But sich such a wyndyng clothe.

Youre Wife sorow shall slake,

youre childer also both,

Vnnes youre mynnyng make,

If ye be neuer so wrothe:


Thai myn you With nothyng

That may be youre helpyng,

Nawthere in mes syngyng,


Ne yit with almis dede.

Therfor in youre leuyng,

note 180

Be wise and take good hede,

Take hede for you to dele

Whils ye ar on life.

Trust neuer fryndys freyle,

Nawthere of childe then Wife,


ffor sectures are not lele,

Then for youre good Will stryfe;

To by youre saules hele,

There may no man thaym shrife.

To shrife man thaym may


After youre ending day:

youre saull forto glad

youre sectures Will swere nay,

And say ye aght more then ye had.

Amende the man Whils thou may:


let neuer no myrthe fordo thi mynde.

Thynke thou on the dredefull day

When god shall deme all mankynde.

Thynk thou farys as dothe wynde:

This warlde is wast & will away.


Man, haue this in thi mynde,

And amende the Whils that thou may.

Amende the man whils thou art here,

Agane thou go anothere gate,

When thou art dede and laide on bere,


Wit thou well, thou bees to late.

ffor if all the good that euer thou gate

Were delt for the after thi day,

In heuen it wolde not mende thi state.

fforthi amende the Wils thou may.


If thou be right and ryall in rente

As is the stede standing in stall,

In thi harte knowe and thynk

That thai are goddys goodys all.

he myght haue maide the poore and small,


As he that beggys fro day to day—

With thou well accountys, gif thou shall,

Therfor amende the whils thou may.

And if I myght with you dwell,

To tell you all my tyme,


fful mekill couthe I tell,

That I have harde and sene,

Of many a great meruell,

Sich as ye wolde not wene,

In the paynes of hell,


Theras I haue bene.

Bene I haue in wo;

Therfor kepe you ther fro

Whilst ye lif—do so

If ye will dwell with hym,


That can gar you thus go

And hele you lith and lym.

he is a lord of grace;

Vmthynke you in this case,

And pray hym full of myght,


he kepe you in this place

And haue you in his sight.


Explicit lazarus