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The Marian Lyrics of Jacopone da Todi and Friar William Herebert: The Life and the Letter

From: Franciscan Studies
Volume 55, 1998
pp. 221-238 | 10.1353/frc.1998.0050

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

The Marian Lyrics of Jacopone da Todi and Friar William Herebert:
The Life and the Letter
Kathryn J. Ready
University of Ottawa


  1. 1. An Orison to the Blessed Virgin

    _ou wommon boute uere_yn oune uader bere.Gret wonder _ys was_at on wommon was moderTo uader and hyre bro_er —So neuer o_er nas.

    _ou my suster and moderAnd _y sone my bro_er —Who shulde _oenne drede?Who-so hauet _e kyng to broderAnd ek _e quene to moderWel auhte uor to spede.

    Dame, suster and moder,Say _y sone my bro_er,_at ys domes-mon,_at uor _e _at hym bere,To me boe debonere —My robe he haueth opon.

    Soeth_e he my robe tokAlso ich finde in bokHe ys to me y-bounde;And helpe he wole ich wot,Vor loue _e chartre wrot,_e enke orn of hys wounde.

    Ich take to wytnessinge_e spere and _e crounynge,_e nayles and _e rode,_at he _at ys so cunde,_ys euer haueth in munde,_at bouhte ous wyth hys blode.

    When _ou zeue hym my wede,Dame, help at _e noedeIch wot _ou myth uol wel,_at uor no wreched gultIch boe to helle y-pult —To _e ich make apel.

    Nou, dame, ich _e bysecheAt _ylke day of wrecheBoe by _y sones trone,When sunne shal boen souhtIn werk, in word, in _ouht,And spek uor me _ou one.

    When ich mot nede apereVor mine gultes hereTo-uore _e domes-mon,Suster, boe _er my uereAnd make hym debonere,_at mi robe haueth opon.

    Vor habbe ich _e and hym_at markes ber_ wy_ hym_at charite him tok —_e woundes al blody,_e toknes of mercyAse teche_ holy bok —_arf me no_ing drede,Sathan shal nout spedeWy_ wrenches ne wy_ crok. Amen.

  2. 2. Ave Maris Stella

    Heyl, leuedy, se-stoerre bryht,Godes moder, edy wyht,Mayden euer vurst and lateOf heueneriche sely zate,_ylk aue _at _ou vonge in spelOf _e aungeles mouh_ kald Gabriel.In gryht ous sette and shyld vrom shome,_at turnst abakward eues nome,Gulty monnes bond vnbynd,Bryng lyht tyl hoem _at boeth blynd,Put vrom ous oure sunneAnd ern ous alle wynne.Shou _at _ou art moder one,And he vor _e take oure bone_at vor ous _y chyld by-comAnd of _e oure kunde nom.Mayde one _ou were myd chyldeAmong alle so mylde.Of sinne ous quite on hasteAnd make ous meoke and chaste,Lyf _ou zyf ous clene,Wey syker ous zarke and lene_at we iesus y-soeAnd euer bly_ boe.To uader, cryst and holy gost beo _onk and heryinge;To _reo persones and o god, o menske and worshypinge.

  3. 3. Alma redemptoris mater

    Holy moder, _at bere crystbuggere of monkunde,_ou art zat of heuene blisse_at prest wey zyfst and bunde._ou sterre of se, rer op _e uolk_at rysing haueht in munde.In _e _ou bere _yn holy uader,_at mayden were after and ra_er,Whar-of so wondreth kunde.Of gabrieles mou_e/_ou uonge _ylke 'Aue';Lesne ous of sunne nou_è,/so woe bisecheth _e.Amen.


1. Marina Warner, Alone of All Her Sex (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976), 37.

2. See St. Ambrose's De Officiis 1.18.68-69, and St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Contra Gentiles, 4.34.

3. "Numquam autem legitur quod verbum Domini factum sit vel Moyses, vel Ieremias, vel aliquis aliorem. Hoc autem modo singulariter unionem Dei Verbi ad carnem Christi designat Evangelista, dicens [Ioan. I, 14], Verbum caro factum est, ut supra [cap. praec] expositum est." The Latin text is taken from the Leonine edition, as reproduced in St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, trans. R. Bernier and F. Kerouanton (France: P. Lethielleux, 1957), 194, and the English translation from St. Thomas Aquinas, On the Truth of the Catholic Faith: Summa Contra Gentiles: Book Four: Salvation, trans. Charles J. O'Neil (Garden City, New York: Image Books, 1957), 165.

4. Think, for instance, of Robert Campin's fifteenth-century painting of the...