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I

Versus sancti Patricii episcopi de mirabilibus Hibernie

Incipit de signis et prodigiis.

Plurima mira malum signantia signa futurum Siue bonum dederat clemens deus arbiter orbis, Ut terreret eos quos illa uidere uolebat. Omnia pene loca in quibus hec iam facta fuere, Tempora cuncta simul, breuitas intacta reliquit. Tres simul in celo uisi sunt currere soles. Terribilem quedam tellus effuderat ignem. Maxima pars noctis fulgebat luce diei. Ecce lapis cecidit de celo magnus in amnem. Circulus et solem circumdedit aureus altum. Agnus in Egipto mire fuit ore locutus. Bos loquitur Rome stimulanti uoce prophete:

'Copia farris erit uobis hominesque peribunt.' Spicas turba hominum iam uidit in arbore natas. Panibus incisis sanguis quoque fluxit abunde Coram conuiuis, quos signum terruit illud. Bos peperit dudum multis cernentibus agnum. Armatas multis acies equitesque diebus Aere pugnantes crudeliter arma mouere Ante quidem ciues uiderunt tempora belli. Natus equa fuerat totus homo tempore nostro Atque homine, hinnitum faciens quoque moris equini, Tam comedens fenum quam panem et cetera edebat. Natus erat dupplex homo uiuens tempore longo, Quadrimanus bipes atque biceps et pectore bino, Atque duas animas unum uentremque gerebat. Quorundam pars posterior noua uerba sonabat, Tunc mirabiliter cantans modulamina quedam. Uox auis audita est dicentis talia uerba:

'Mane nouo surgens dominum laudabo potentem.'

5

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IS

viii

ix

x

xi

20

xii

xiii

25

xiiii

3 0

Manuscripts: 0, VI, V'.

Title: V' has Incipit de signis et prodigiis et de quibusdam Hybemie admirandis

conjecture ofRiese 9 ampne V': amne V, 12 simulanti V,

17 in l'tis conuentibus V, inlicitis

7 quondam 13 nobis V,

IS

Panibus abscisis V'

I

Verses of the holy bishop Patrick on the Wonders of Ireland

ON

SIGNS AND WONDERS I

Many wondrous signs, that are signs of future ill Or of good, has God given us in His mercy, Lord of the world:

That He might frighten those whom He willed to see them. Wellnigh all the places in which these signs have been wrought And all the times my brevity has left untouched. 5 Three suns have been seen to course the sky together.

A certain land poured forth fearful fire.

The greater part of the night has shone with the light of day.

Lo, a great stone fell from Heaven into the river.

A ring of gold has encircled the high sun. 10

A lamb in Egypt in wondrous wise has uttered speech.

An ox speaks in Rome at the bidding of a prophet's voice>:

'Ye shall have abundance of corn, yet shall men die.'

A host of men have seen ears of corn sprouting on a tree.

Loaves of bread have been cut, and blood has flown freely IS

Before guests whom this sign has scared. An ox has brought forth a lamb before many witnesses.

For many days armed hosts of foot and horse,

Fighting grimly in the air with clash of arms, Have.citizens seen shortly before time of war. 20

A man, whole and entire, was born in our time of a mare

And a man, who neighed like a horse And ate hay like bread and all other food. A double man was born, who lived for a long time, Having four hands, two feet, two heads, two trunks,

25

Two souls he had, and one belly. Of some men the hinder part uttered strange words, Then wondrously singing sweet tunes. The voice of a bird was heard, saying these words:

'At early dawn I will rise and praise the mighty Lord.'

30

I For the prologue of vv. I-30, see below, Appendix I, p , 131. z Perhaps 'with the stirring voice of a prophet'.

Riese 21 equus V'. In V' a later hand has added (incorrectly) a gloss on 'tem- pore nostro' : scilicet in Hibernia

Versus sancti Patricii episcopi

DE

REBUS IDBERNIE

ADMIRANDIS

His ita prodigiis signisque per omnia dictis Nunc quoque describam patrie miracula nostre, Nomine que proprio uocitatur Hibernia cuntis.

i

Finibus in nostris famosa est insula parua Que satis exanimes corruptos impedit esse Vel putridos tabo: carnem sic efficit omnem. IIIic cernit auum quisquam retinere figuram, Cuius ibi crescunt ungues simul atque capilli.

11

Terraque nostra tenet stagnum quod continet istam

V un

Post tamen annorum,' ceu dicunt, tempera septem.

ill

Est aIiud stagnum cui fons quoque mirus adheret, Quinque pedum spacio tantum qui distat ab iIIo. Siue igitur crescat de largis imbribus iIIud Seu nimio feruore magis decrescat, habebit Quinque pedum spacium semper distancia tantum.

qua ligna solent lapides mox esse sub undis,

iiii

35

40

45

Cernitur a muItis aIius fons more probatus Qui facit, ut dicunt, canos mox esse capiIIos.

v

F ons aIius si tactus erit aut uisus ab

Efficit ingentes pluuias, quas fundere celum Non cessat si non oblatio sacra repellat.

uIIo

VI

50

Fons est (si uerum) cernentis tempora signans. Nam saIit eruetans cum signat tempora longa:

At silet attestans cernentem mox moriturum.

Vll

Fons est duIcis aque constans in uertice montis, More maris retinens accessum siue recessum.

55

Sub-title: 0 inserts this sub-title here; V' after v, 33

31 V' ends with this verse

49 uel uisus 0

52 signa~V,

de mirabilibus Hibernie

ON

THE

WONDERS

OF

IRELAND

59

Having thus told of all these signs and wonders I shall now describe the marvels of our country, Which is known to all men by its true name, Ireland.

Within our borders there is a far-famed small island

Which hinders the dead from being wholly corrupt Or putrid from decay: such is its action on all flesh.

A man may there see his ancestor with form unchanged,

With nails and hair still growing in the grave.

11

35

Our country has a pool which has this power:

Wood is soon turned to stone beneath its waters After the lapse of seven years, as men say.

ill

There is another pool near which lies a wondrous fountain, No more than five feet distant from the pool. Whether the pool spreads wide after heavy rain

Or shrinks from too great heat, yet the fountain

Is ever five feet distant from it, and no more.

l111

45

Another fountain, seen by many, is proved such by experience That straightway, as men say, it turns hair white.

v

Another fountain, if touched or seen by man, Causes mighty rain in downpour from the sky, Which ceases not unless some holy offering ward it off.

50

vi

There is a fountain, if truth be told,

For it leaps up spouting when it marks long life, But is still when foretelling the onlooker's speedy death.

that marks the onlooker's age:

vii

There is a fountain of fresh water on the top of a mountain That, like the sea, keeps ebb and flow.

I For other versions of these 'Wonders of Ireland', see below, Appendix 1.

55

60 Versus sancii Patricii episcopi

Vl1l

Dicunt esse duos fontes contraria agentes. Alter namque necem potatus perpetrat: alter Non aufert uitam, Neuter cognoscitur ullo. Tangere non audent iccirco utrumque periti.

IX

Proximus esse mari modicus quoque fertur aceruus lam lapidum, quiddam mirabile quique ministrat, N on magis apparens fluctu fugiente marino Quam solito cursu quando mare littora replet, Ocultante mari illic que magis alta uidentur.

x

60

65

Est aliquod saxum mirabile. Namque repente Si fuerit uirga percussum suscitat imbres:

Iliquo tempestas oritur sequiturque caligo.

xi

proprium nomen

Antea Temoriam sedem rex quisque tenebat Scottorum, fuerant ubi tres res maxime mire. Nam lapis atque puer paruus nanique sepulcrum. Nam lapis, ut fertur, calcatus rege sonabat lam rugiens. Prolem genuit septennis et ille Paruulus. Ac lectus numeratur ab omnibus eque Quinque pedum spacio: breuior non addidit unquam Quem numerum; fuerat qui non maiore minutus.

Xli

Illa nimis miranda quidem piscina leprosos Que facit intrantes omnes se illicque lauantes. Est tamen hec eadem non noxia parte sequente, Que solito cursu petit ac sic intrat in ipsam. Inter utramque tamen partem distancia parua Esse pedum spacio binorum pene uidetur.

Xll1

7 0

75

80

Continet hec hominis cuiusdam terra sepulcrum Femineas turbas fallentis more doloso.

58 nee ~t V'

nanque V'

67 fuerat V,

60 utrunque V'

68 Ilieo V,

6z quidam V'

temoria V,

63 retra-

66

7X Non

aclectusnominaturV'

hente VI, with a marginal gloss (by the same hand as in v. zx): vel retrorsum

aliquid V,

lapisV' namque sepulcrum V'

69 At ea V'

74numeratur] nunriarur 0

de mirabilibus Hihernie

Vl1l

6r

They say there are two fountains of contrary action. The one, when drunk from, causes death: the other Does not take life. But no man knows one from the other,

And therefore those who are wise dare not touch either. 60

IX

'Tis said that near the sea is a small heap Of stones, which works a strange wonder:

For as the sea's tide ebbs it is no more visible Than when the tide once more fills the shore in its due course,

Although the sea hides things that are of greater height.' 65

x

There is a certain wondrous stone: for straightway, If struck with a rod, it causes showers of rain:

A storm breaks suddenly and a mist follows.

Xl

Of old every king of the Scots held seat in Tara, Where three most wondrous things were found: 70

A stone, a small boy, and a dwarf's tomb.

For they tell that the stone, when trod by a king's foot, Roared loudly. The boy, small and seven years old, Begat a son. And the tomb-stone is measured by all equally

Five foot of space: a short man never added 75 To this measure, it was never lessened by a tall man.

xn

There is also a wondrous pool that makes lepers Of all who enter and wash in its waters. But part of this pool does no harm, flowing

And thus entering in due course the main pool. 80 Yet between these two parts there hardly seems to be More than the small distance of two feet.

Xll1

This land holds also the tomb of a man Who deceived in treacherous wise hosts of women.

I The Latin text is here obscure, but the sense is plain from the Irish text: 'Wonders',

viii,

77 quidem 0, V' que V'

Momrnsen prints wrongly 'quidam'

81 utrunque, corr, utran-

62 Versus sancti Patricii episcopi

Ille etenim numerum ingentem uiolauit earum:

Fine tamen fuerat felici crimina deflens. Ergo modo miro mulier, si uiderit illud, Pedere uel ridere solet cemendo sepulcrum:

Tormine iam resonat quod si non rideat illa.

85

XlV

De infantibus sanctum Patricium inuocantibus

Ex utero matris quondam sunt ista locuti Infantes: 'Nos, sanete ueni Patrici, bene salua'.

xv

De sancto Kienano

Sanetus in hac patria quidam uir nomine Kyenan Pennanet incorruptus, habens nunc integra membra:

Mortuus ante tamen quingentos circiter annos. Eiusdemque loci defuncti quique putrescunt.

xvi

De hominibus qui se uertunt in lupos

9 0

95

Sunt homines quidam Scottorum gentis habentes Miram naturam maiorum ab origine duetam, Qua cito quando uolunt ipsos se uertere possunt

uel more

N equiter in fonnas lacerantum dente luporum.

Unde uidentur oues occidere sepe gementes:

Sed cum clamor eos hominum seu cursus eorum

i. ut ueri Iupi

100

Fustibus aut armis terret, fugiendo recurrunt,

i. propria

Cum tamen hec faciunt, sua corpora uera relinquunt

i. suis mulieribus

Atque suis mandant ne quisquam mouerit illa.

i. ut moueantur

ad propria corpora

Si sic eueniat, nee ad illa redire ualebunt. Si quid eos ledat, penetrent si uulnera queque,

i, a persequentibus eos

lOS

Uere in corporibus semper cemuntur eorum.

i, ouium quas deuorant

Sic caro cruda herens in ueri corporis ore Cernitur a sociis: quod nos miramur et omnes,

92 The rubric for this title

in V'is: De s(aneto)JKieJna(n)Jq(uo)da(m)?

Quam cito V' 99 0 has no gloss V' has: dente Mommsen prints: dente

86 crimana V,

89 Dormine 0

Tormine V,

Mommsen prints: Kienan,

vel in ore (?)

98

uel more

de mirabilibus Hibernie

For he raped them in countless numbers:

But at the end he wept for his crimes and found peace. Wondrous to tell, any woman that sees this tomb Breaks wind or laughs as soon as she sets eye upon it:

Loudly it rumbles if she does not laugh.

XlV

85

Of the children who called upon Saint Patrick

Of old some children spoke thus from their mother's womb: 90 'Come, holy Patrick, save us happily.'

xv

Of Saint Kienan

A holy man in this our country named Kyenan Remains incorrupt, with all his limbs whole,

Though he has lain dead for some five hundred years:

Yet all the dead in the same burial-place rot away.

XVI

95

Of men who turn themselves into wolves

There are some men of the Scottish race Who have this wondrous nature from ancestry and birth:

Whensoever they will, they can speedily turn themselves Into the form of wolves and rend flesh with wicked teeth:

Often are they seen slaying sheep that moan in pain. 100 But when men raise the hue and cry,

Or scare them with staves and swords, they take flight like true wolves. But whilst they act thus, they leave their true bodies And give orders to their women not to move them:

If this happens, they can no longer return to them.

If any man hann them or any wound pierce their flesh, The wounds can be plainly seen in their own bodies:

Thus their companions can see the raw flesh in the jaws Of their true body: and we all wonder at the sight.

l05

l02-4 0 has the first and third glosses; V' has all three glosses. They are omitted by Mommsen, l05 eueniant V' 0 and V' have both glosses: omitted by Mommsen, l07-8 0 has no glosses. V, has the gloss 'i. a persequentibus eos'

Both are omitted

above 'uulnera queque' in v. l06, and the second gloss over v, l08. by Mommsen.

Versus sancti PatriC£i episcopi

XVll

De homine decollato capite per .vii. annos uiuente

Decollatus erat quidam languore doloris. Postea septenos fertur uixisse per annos:

Gutture namque miser poscebat aperto alimentum.

XVlll

De muliere cum corpore a demonibus rapta Bee res mira solet numero celebrantibus addi. Vir bonus et uerax aliquid mirabile uidit. Quodam namque die uolucres in :flumine cemens Proiciens lapidem percussit uulnere cignum:

Prendere quem cupiens tunc protinus ilie cucurrit. Sed properante uiro mire est ibi femina uisa, Quam stupido uisu aspiciens hec querit ab ilia:

Unde fuit? quid ei accidit? aut quo tempore uenit? Hec 'lnfirma fui', inquit ei, 'et tunc proxima morti, 'Atque putata meis sum quod defuncta uidebar:

'Demonibus sed rapta fui cum came repente.' Hanc uix credibilem rem tunc audiuit ab ilia. Quam secum ducens saciauit ueste ciboque, Tradidit atque suis credentibus esse sepultam. Qui quod erat factum uix credere iam potuerunt.

X1X

De naui que uisa est in aere

Rex fuit in theatro Scottorum tempore quodam Turbis cum uariis, cum milibus ordine pulcris. Ecce repente uident decurrere in aere nauim, De qua post piscem tunc unus iecerat hastam:

Que ruit in terram, quam natans ilie retraxit. Ista quis auditurus erit sine laude tonantis?

IIO

II5

120

1 2 5

13 0

xx

De muliere elemosinam in Hibernia agente

i. turonicam

Martini quidam peregrinus uenit ad urbem,

i, in hibernia

.

 

Cuius erat genitrix propria in regione relicta:

135

 

L in honore sancti martini

 

Predicti in feria que inopes saciare solebat.

lIO 0

omits

'per' in rubric title

117 quam V'

129 Inilitibus V'

133 V,

ends here with the words 'Ista quis auditurus'. The rest of the page is blank

de mirabilibus Hibernie

XVll

Of a man who lived seven years beheaded

A man's head was once struck off, with lingering pain:

. For the unhappy wretch begged food with open throat.

"Tis said that he lived seven years afterwards,

.

XVll1

IIO

Of a woman who was snatched away in her body by the devils

This wonder also often is added by those who tell the tale:

A good man and truthful once saw a strange sight.

One day he was watching birds on a river, II5 And throwing a stone he wounded a swan. Eager to catch it, he ran swiftly towards it:

But as he hastened, to his wonder, a woman appeared.

Gazing on her astonished he asked of her:

'Whence art thou? What has passed? When didst thou come?' 120 But she replied: 'I lay sick, and was nigh to death,

And my friends thought that I seemed dead already:

But suddenly I was snatched in the :fleshby the devils.' The man heard this tale from her, hard to believe:

He brought her with him, gave her food and clothing, 125 And handed her back to her own, who thought her buried, Who could now scarce believe what had happened.

her buried, Who could now scarce believe what had happened. 13 0 Of a ship that

13 0

Of a ship that was seen in the air

There was once a king of the Scots at a show With a great throng, thousands in fair array. Suddenly they see a ship sail past in the air, And from the ship a man then cast a spear after a fish:

The spear struck the ground, and he, swimming, plucked it out. Who can hear this wonder and not praise the Lord of Thunder?

xx

Of a woman who gave alms in Ireland

A pilgrim once came to the city of Martin, Whose mother had been left behind in her own country:

And she was wont to feed the poor on Martin's feast.

B~65

F

135

66 Versus sancti Patricii episcopi

eo die

Ille igitur matrem uidit tunc tradere carnem Pauperibus cum lacte bono, sed uasis aperti

s. ille peregrinus

Abstulit occulte mirans et traxit operclum.

ad hiberniam

Postea sed rediens matri monstrauerat iliud.

s, mater

140

Protinus ergo uidens recolit, sed querit ab ilio:

Unde habuit? Qui dixitei: 'Tua teque uidebam Munera in urbe uiri Martini scilicet almi Certe corporeis oculis in luce diei.' Quod multum miratur anus, miratur et ille. Est celebranda piis hec res, que mira uidetur, Exemplumque bonum, quia uerum est, tempore longo.

xxi

De insula quadam satis admiranda Est quoque in hac patria mirabilis insula parua, Quam fugiunt omnes uolucres nee adire uolentes Feminei generis, nequeunt quia tangere terram Sanctam seu frondes: sexus sed uisitat alter. In qua more hominum est auium diuisio rnira. Illic nemo mori peccator seu sepeliri

potest

145

IS°

Quit, soli sed rite uiri qui ascendere possunt

meritis

Ad celum: exemplis multis quod sepe probatur.

xxii

De molendino die dominico non molente nisi necessitate

hospitis furtumque respuente

Ecce molendinum his mirum in regionibus extat. Namque die domini nulla ui posse moueri Dicitur, excepto spacio cum uenerit hospes. Tunc id enim uertit pistrinum sepe molare Cursus aque retrahens: aliter tunc posse negatur. Preterea furtum semper bene respuit illud:

Nil molit en etenim cui furti crimen adheret.

xxiii

155

160

De ipsa Hibernia in qua non uiuunt serpentes Insula serpentem nullum iam continet ista, Quam patriam Scotti certe cernuntur habere:

154 0

has a gloss 'potest' over 'quit'; and a gloss 'meritis' against v. 155, but

apparently glossing 'qui ascendere possunt ad celum' in v, 154

de mirahilibus Hibernie

He then saw his .mother give meat there And good milk to the poor: but he marvelling Stole secretly the lid of the vessel she had opened. Later, coming home, he showed this lid to his mother:

She, seeing it, knew it at once and asked him:

"Whence hast thou this?' He answered: 'I saw thee, Giving gifts in holy Martin's city:

With my own eyes I saw thee in full light of day.' The old woman was amazed, he also was amazed. This wonder should be praised by all devout folk

As a good example for long ages, since it is true.

xxi

Of a very wonderful island

145

There is also in our country a small wonderful island, Which is shunned by all female birds, nor will they approach it:

They are unable to touch its holy ground

Or its boughs: but birds of male sex visit it. Here in this strange division birds follow the ways of men. No sinner can die there nor there be buried,

But those only who lawfully may rise by their merits To Heaven, as is often proved by many examples. 155

ISO

xxii

Of the mill that works not on Sunday, save for the needs of a guest, and that rejects a theft

Lo! there is a wondrous mill in our country:

No force can move it, so 'tis said, on Sunday, Save only at a time when some guest arrives. Then does the water's flow, dragging to and fro,

Turn the mill-stone: otherwise, they say, no power can move it. Moreover, always rightly it rejects a theft. 161 For 10, it grinds not for him to whom clings the guilt of theft.

XXlll

Of Ireland in which no serpents live

This island holds no serpents Which the Scots are known to have as their country:

68 Versussancti Patricii episcopi

Sed certe moritur mox sin aliunde feratur, Nee ranas nullasque feras de more nocentes Vulpibus atque lupis exceptis gignit alitue.

16 5

de mirabilibus Hibernie

If any is brought from abroad, it soon dies.

Nor does the toad breed there, nor is any harmful beast

Nurtured there, save the fox and the wolf.

69

16 5

XX1lll

De lapide sanguinem aliquando fluente

Sancti in sede lapis cuiusdam mirus habetur Sanguine sepe fluens, rubrum fundensque cruorem, Cum locus ilIe uiris certe spoliatur iniquis. 17 0

XX1lll

Of a stone that sometimes oozes blood

In the home of a holy man is found a wondrous stone That often oozes blood and pours a red stream of gore, Whenever wicked men rob this place.

170

xxv De fonte qui mutat fraxineam uirgam in nuceam

Quidam fons mutat uirgarum sepe uirentum Naturam, ceu fama est, que merguntur in ilIo. Nam qui fraxineam uirgam modo mittit in ilium, Is nuceam mire paulo post abstrahit ilIo.

xxv Of a fountain that turns an ash-plant into

a nut-bough.

Another fountain often changes the nature, so 'tis said, Of green boughs that are dipped in its waters:

For he who dips an ash-plant in its waters Soon after draws out, wondrously, a nut-bough.

xxvi

De eo qui extinguit flammam labiis et lingua

XXV!

Of a man who quenchesflame with his lips and tongue

Ecclesie princeps cuiusdam tempore semper 175 The ruler of a certain church at Christmas-tide Natalis domini quiddam mirabile monstrat.

Magnam nam labiis et lingua extinguere flammam Cernitur a populo stupido speetante lucerne, In nullo lesus tamen igne piramidis alte. Sanetus namque suis Colmanus iussit amicis Hoc semper fieri mirum indubitabile uerum. Donee namque poli numerentur sidera summi, Quis numerare potest sanetorum facta uirorum Mira, deus gentem per quos saluauerat istarn?

to this race. I

175

Always shows forth a wondrous power.

For he is seen to quench with his lips and tongue The flame of a torch before the people's astonished gaze:

Though the flame leaps high, he is in no way hurt. For holy Colman bade his friends 180 Ever to work this undoubted wonder. For man shall sooner count the stars on high Than number the wondrous deeds of holy men,

By whom God has given salvation

XXVll

Of God's wondrous nature

180

xxvii

De admiratione dei

Qui magis est mirus mirandis omnibus istis

18 5

He is more wonderful than all these wonders In countless ways, more than a thousand: in all of which He easily surpasses all our marvels. For God is known to the bright hosts of angels As wonderful, so wonderful that after many thousand years

185

Innumeris non mille modis, quibus

Cunta satis superat certe miracula nostra. Scilicet angelicis quod tarn uideatur acutis Agminibus mirus deus, ut post milia multa

Non minus annorum mirentur ament et adorent 19 0 They cease not to marvel, to love, to worship 190

omnibus unus

175 In the title of xxvi 0 has 'quod' for 'qui'

1 Apparently the

phrase 'gentem istam" refers to the Irish people.

70 Versus sancti Patricii episcopi

Quam cum principio ceperunt cemere primo:

Nam secus assiduo posset uilescere uisu. Quid magis hoc mirum uel mirum equale uidetur? Gloria sit patri, domino quoque gloria Christo, Gloria spiritui sancto per secula cunta. Amen.

I95

Finiunt uersus sancti

Patricii episcopi de mirabilibus Hibernie. I

I92 0 has 'cecus' for 'secus'

I This colophon has been copied out of place in 0, f. 80 v (at foot of page).

de mirabilibus Hibernie

As when they :firstgazed on Him at the beginning of time:

For otherwise He might grow common by constant sight. What can seem equal in wonder or be greater than this? Let there be glory to the Father, glory to the Lord Christ, Glory to the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.

I95

Here end the verses of the holy bishop Patrick on the wonders of Ireland.

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