An ABC

By Geoffrey Chaucer

ABC 1 Almighty and al merciable queene,
ABC 2 To whom that al this world fleeth for socour,
ABC 3 To have relees of sinne, of sorwe, and teene,
ABC 4 Glorious virgine, of alle floures flour,
ABC 5 To thee I flee, confounded in errour.
ABC 6 Help and releeve, thou mighti debonayre,
ABC 7 Have mercy on my perilous langour.
ABC 8 Venquisshed me hath my cruel adversaire.
ABC 9 Bountee so fix hath in thin herte his tente
ABC 10 That wel I wot thou wolt my socour bee;
ABC 11 Thou canst not warne him that with good entente
ABC 12 Axeth thin helpe, thin herte is ay so free.
ABC 13 Thou art largesse of pleyn felicitee,
ABC 14 Haven of refut, of quiete, and of reste.
ABC 15 Loo, how that theeves sevene chasen mee.
ABC 16 Help, lady bright, er that my ship tobreste.
ABC 17 Comfort is noon but in yow, ladi deere;
ABC 18 For loo, my sinne and my confusioun,
ABC 19 Which oughten not in thi presence appeere,
ABC 20 Han take on me a greevous accioun
ABC 21 Of verrey right and desperacioun;
ABC 22 And as bi right thei mighten wel susteene
ABC 23 That I were wurthi my dampnacioun,
ABC 24 Nere merci of you, blisful hevene queene.
ABC 25 Dowte is ther noon, thou queen of misericorde,
ABC 26 That thou n’ art cause of grace and merci heere;
ABC 27 God vouched sauf thurgh thee with us to accorde.
ABC 28 For certes, Crystes blisful mooder deere,
ABC 29 Were now the bowe bent in swich maneere
ABC 30 As it was first of justice and of ire,
ABC 31 The rightful God nolde of no mercy heere;
ABC 32 But thurgh thee han we grace as we desire.
ABC 33 Evere hath myn hope of refut been in thee,
ABC 34 For heer-biforn ful ofte in many a wyse
ABC 35 Hast thou to misericorde receyved me.
ABC 36 But merci, ladi, at the grete assyse
ABC 37 Whan we shule come bifore the hye justyse.
ABC 38 So litel fruit shal thanne in me be founde
ABC 39 That, but thou er that day correcte [vice],
ABC 40 Of verrey right my werk wol me confounde.
ABC 41 Fleeinge, I flee for socour to thi tente
ABC 42 Me for to hide from tempeste ful of dreede,
ABC 43 Biseeching yow that ye you not absente
ABC 44 Thouh I be wikke. O, help yit at this neede!
ABC 45 Al have I ben a beste in wil and deede,
ABC 46 Yit, ladi, thou me cloth. with thi grace.
ABC 47 Thin enemy and myn — ladi, tak heede —
ABC 48 Unto my deth in poynt is me to chace!
ABC 49 Glorious mayde and mooder, which that nevere
ABC 50 Were bitter, neither in erthe nor in see,
ABC 51 But ful of swetnesse and of merci evere,
ABC 52 Help that my Fader be not wroth with me.
ABC 53 Spek thou, for I ne dar not him ysee,
ABC 54 So have I doon in erthe, allas the while,
ABC 55 That certes, but if thou my socour bee,
ABC 56 To stink eterne he wole my gost exile.
ABC 57 He vouched sauf, tel him, as was his wille,
ABC 58 Bicome a man, to have oure alliaunce,
ABC 59 And with his precious blood he wrot the bille
ABC 60 Upon the crois as general acquitaunce
ABC 61 To every penitent in ful creaunce;
ABC 62 And therfore, ladi bright, thou for us praye.
ABC 63 Thanne shalt thou bothe stinte al his grevaunce,
ABC 64 And make oure foo to failen of his praye.
ABC 65 I wot it wel, thou wolt ben oure socour,
ABC 66 Thou art so ful of bowntee, in certeyn,
ABC 67 For whan a soule falleth in errour
ABC 68 Thi pitee goth and haleth him ayein.
ABC 69 Thanne makest thou his pees with his sovereyn
ABC 70 And bringest him out of the crooked strete.
ABC 71 Whoso thee loveth, he shal not love in veyn,
ABC 72 That shal he fynde as he the lyf shal lete.
ABC 73 Kalenderes enlumyned ben thei
ABC 74 That in this world ben lighted with thi name,
ABC 75 And whoso goth to yow the righte wey,
ABC 76 Him thar not drede in soule to be lame.
ABC 77 Now, queen of comfort, sith thou art that same
ABC 78 To whom I seeche for my medicyne,
ABC 79 Lat not my foo no more my wounde entame;
ABC 80 Myn hele into thin hand al I resygne.
ABC 81 Ladi, thi sorwe kan I not portreye
ABC 82 Under the cros, ne his greevous penaunce;
ABC 83 But for youre bothes peynes I yow preye,
ABC 84 Lat not oure alder foo make his bobaunce
ABC 85 That he hath in his lystes of mischaunce
ABC 86 Convict that ye bothe have bought so deere.
ABC 87 As I seide erst, thou ground of oure substaunce,
ABC 88 Continue on us thi pitous eyen cleere!
ABC 89 Moises, that saugh the bush with flawmes rede
ABC 90 Brenninge, of which ther never a stikke brende,
ABC 91 Was signe of thin unwemmed maidenhede.
ABC 92 Thou art the bush on which ther gan descende
ABC 93 The Holi Gost, the which that Moyses wende
ABC 94 Had ben a-fyr, and this was in figure.
ABC 95 Now, ladi, from the fyr thou us defende
ABC 96 Which that in helle eternalli shal dure.
ABC 97 Noble princesse, that nevere haddest peere,
ABC 98 Certes if any comfort in us bee,
ABC 99 That cometh of thee, thou Cristes mooder deere.
ABC 100 We han noon oother melodye or glee
ABC 101 Us to rejoyse in oure adversitee,
ABC 102 Ne advocat noon that wole and dar so preye
ABC 103 For us, and that for litel hire as yee
ABC 104 That helpen for an Ave-Marie or tweye.
ABC 105 O verrey light of eyen that ben blynde,
ABC 106 O verrey lust of labour and distresse,
ABC 107 O tresoreere of bountee to mankynde,
ABC 108 Thee whom God ches to mooder for humblesse!
ABC 109 From his ancille he made the maistresse
ABC 110 Of hevene and erthe, oure bille up for to beede.
ABC 111 This world awaiteth evere on thi goodnesse
ABC 112 For thou ne failest nevere wight at neede.
ABC 113 Purpos I have sum time for to enquere
ABC 114 Wherfore and whi the Holi Gost thee soughte
ABC 115 Whan Gabrielles vois cam to thin ere.
ABC 116 He not to werre us swich a wonder wroughte,
ABC 117 But for to save us that he sithen boughte.
ABC 118 Thanne needeth us no wepen us for to save,
ABC 119 But oonly ther we dide not, as us oughte,
ABC 120 Doo penitence, and merci axe and have.
ABC 121 Queen of comfort, yit whan I me bithinke
ABC 122 That I agilt have bothe him and thee,
ABC 123 And that my soule is worthi for to sinke,
ABC 124 Allas, I caityf, whider may I flee?
ABC 125 Who shal unto thi Sone my mene bee?
ABC 126 Who, but thiself, that art of pitee welle?
ABC 127 Thou hast more reuthe on oure adversitee
ABC 128 Than in this world might any tonge telle.
ABC 129 Redresse me, mooder, and me chastise,
ABC 130 For certeynly my Faderes chastisinge,
ABC 131 That dar I nouht abiden in no wise,
ABC 132 So hidous is his rightful rekenynge.
ABC 133 Mooder, of whom oure merci gan to springe,
ABC 134 Beth ye my juge and eek my soules leche;
ABC 135 For evere in you is pitee haboundinge
ABC 136 To ech that wole of pitee you biseeche.
ABC 137 Soth is that God ne granteth no pitee
ABC 138 Withoute thee; for God of his goodnesse
ABC 139 Foryiveth noon, but it like unto thee.
ABC 140 He hath thee maked vicaire and maistresse
ABC 141 Of al this world, and eek governouresse
ABC 142 Of hevene, and he represseth his justise
ABC 143 After thi wil; and therfore in witnesse
ABC 144 He hath thee corowned in so rial wise.
ABC 145 Temple devout, ther God hath his woninge,
ABC 146 Fro which these misbileeved deprived been,
ABC 147 To you my soule penitent I bringe.
ABC 148 Receyve me — I can no ferther fleen.
ABC 149 With thornes venymous, O hevene queen,
ABC 150 For which the eerthe acursed was ful yore,
ABC 151 I am so wounded, as ye may wel seen,
ABC 152 That I am lost almost, it smert so sore.
ABC 153 Virgine, that art so noble of apparaile,
ABC 154 And ledest us into the hye tour
ABC 155 Of Paradys, thou me wisse and counsaile
ABC 156 How I may have thi grace and thi socour,
ABC 157 All have I ben in filthe and in errour.
ABC 158 Ladi, unto that court thou me ajourne
ABC 159 That cleped is thi bench, O freshe flour,
ABC 160 Ther as that merci evere shal sojourne.
ABC 161 Xristus, thi sone, that in this world alighte
ABC 162 Upon the cros to suffre his passioun,
ABC 163 And eek that Longius his herte pighte
ABC 164 And made his herte blood to renne adoun,
ABC 165 And al was this for my salvacioun;
ABC 166 And I to him am fals and eek unkynde,
ABC 167 And yit he wole not my dampnacioun —
ABC 168 This thanke I yow, socour of al mankynde!
ABC 169 Ysaac was figure of his deth, certeyn,
ABC 170 That so fer forth his fader wolde obeye
ABC 171 That him ne roughte nothing to be slayn;
ABC 172 Right soo thi Sone list as a lamb to deye.
ABC 173 Now, ladi ful of merci, I yow preye,
ABC 174 Sith he his merci mesured so large,
ABC 175 Be ye not skant, for alle we singe and seye
ABC 176 That ye ben from vengeaunce ay oure targe.
ABC 177 Zacharie yow clepeth the open welle
ABC 178 To wasshe sinful soule out of his gilt.
ABC 179 Therfore this lessoun oughte I wel to telle,
ABC 180 That, nere thi tender herte, we were spilt.
ABC 181 Now, ladi bryghte, sith thou canst and wilt
ABC 182 Ben to the seed of Adam merciable,
ABC 183 Bring us to that palais that is bilt
ABC 184 To penitentes that ben to merci able. Amen.