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· From that day forward have the Jews conspired
Out of the world this Innocent to chase;
And to this end a Homicide they hired,
That in an Alley had a privy place,
And, as the Child ’gan to the School to pace,
This cruel Jew him seized, and held him fast
And cut his throat, and in a pit him cast.
• I say that him into a pit they threw,
A loathsome pit, whence noisome scents exhale ;
O cursed folk ! away, ye Herods new !
What may your ill intentions you avail?
Murder will out; certes it will not fail ;
Know, that the honour of high God may spread,
The blood cries out on your accursèd deed.
O Martyr 'stablished in virginity! Now mayest thou sing for aye before the throne, Following the Lamb celestial,' quoth she, • Of which the great Evangelist, Saint John, In Patmos wrote, who saith of them that go Before the Lamb singing continually, That never fleshly woman they did know.
• Now this poor widow waiteth all that night
After her little Child, and he came not ;
For which, by earliest glimpse of morning light,
With face all pale with dread and busy thought
She at the School and elsewhere him hath sought,
Until thus far she learned, that he had been
In the Jews' street, and there he last was seen.
• With Mother's pity in her breast enclosed
She goeth, as she were half out of her mind,
To every place wherein she hath supposed
By likelihood her little Son to find;
And ever on Christ's Mother meek and kind
She cried, till to the Jewry she was brought,
And him among the accursèd Jews she sought.
She asketh, and she piteously doth pray
To every Jew that dwelleth in that place
To tell her if her child had passed that way;
They all said Nay ; but Jesu of his grace
Gave to her thought, that in a little space
She for her Son in that same spot
cry Where he was cast into a pit hard by.
O thou great God that dost perform thy laud
By mouths of Innocents, lo! here thy might;
This gem of chastity, this emerald,
And eke of martyrdom this ruby bright,
There, where with mangled throat he lay upright,
The Alma Redemptoris 'gan to sing
So loud, that with his voice the place did ring.
The Christian folk that through the Jewry went Come to the spot in wonder at the thing; And hastily they for the Provost sent; Immediately he came not tarrying, And praiseth Christ that is our heavenly King, And eke his Mother, honour of Mankind : Which done, he bade that they the Jews should bind.
• This Child with piteous lamentation then
Was taken up, singing his song alway;
And with procession great and pomp of men
To the next Abbey him they bare away;
His Mother swooning by the Bier lay:
And scarcely could the people that were near
Remove this second Rachel from the Bier.
· Torment and shameful death to every one
This Provost doth for those bad Jews prepare
That of this murder wist, and that anon:
Such wickedness his judgments cannot spare ;
Who will do evil, evil shall he bear;
Them therefore with wild horses did he draw,
And after that he hung them by the law.
Upon his Bier this Innocent doth lie Before the Altar while the Mass doth last: The Abbot with his Convent's company Then sped themselves to bury him full fast ; And, when they holy water on him cast, Yet spake this Child when sprinkled was the water, And sang, O Alma Redemptoris Mater!
• This Abbot, for he was a holy man,
As all Monks are, or surely ought to be,
In supplication to the Child began
“O dear Child! I summon thee
In virtue of the holy Trinity
Tell me the cause why thou dost sing this hymn,
Since that thy throat is cut, as it doth seem.”
My throat is cut unto the bone, I trow,” Said this young Child, “ and by the law of kind I should have died, yea many
ago; But Jesus Christ, as in the books ye find, Will that his glory last, and be in mind; And, for the worship of his Mother dear, Yet may I sing, O Alma! loud and clear.
• « This well of mercy Jesu's Mother sweet
After my knowledge I have loved alway,
And in the hour when I my death did meet
To me she came, and thus to me did say,
• Thou in thy dying sing this holy lay,'
have heard ; and soon as I had sung Methought she laid a grain upon my tongue.
““ Wherefore I sing, nor can from song refrain,
In honour of that blissful Maiden free,
Till from my tongue off-taken is the grain ;
And after that thus said she unto me,
My little Child, then will I come for thee
Soon as the grain from off thy tongue they take,
Be not dismayed, I will not thee forsake!'