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"Alas!" said I, "howbeit my flesh be weak,

I now am comed; thy tears are not in vain. My spirit is strong and willing for to fly :

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O leave me not, but for Thy mercy's sake, Perform Thy word, or else for dool I die! I fear no pain, since I should walk with Thee;

The way is long; yet bring me through at last. [He,

"Thou answer well, I am content," said "To be thy guide, but see thou grip me fast."

XXI.

Then up I raise, and made no more delay,
My feeble arm about his arm I cast:
He went before, and still did guide the
way,

Though I was weak, my spriet did follow fast.

Through moss and mires, through ditches deep we past,

Through pricking thorns, through water, and through fire;

Through dreadful dens, whilk made my heart aghast :

He bore me up when I begouth to tire.

XXII.

Some time we clamb on craggy mountains high,

And sometimes stayed on ugly braes of sand;

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2 Banks.

They were sae stay that wonder was to see, But when I feared, He held me by the hand: Through thick and thin, through sea and eik by land,

Through great deserts we wandered on our way;

When I was weak, and had no force to stand,

Yet with a look He did refresh me aye.

XXIII.

Through waters great we were compelled

to wyde,?

Which were so deep that I was like to drown;

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best,

Gif thou desires to see that pleasant land." Some time I sank, but yet my gracious Though I was weak, I raise at His command

guide

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And held Him fast; at length He let me see That pleasant place, whilk seemed to be at hand:

"Take courage now, for thou art near," said He.

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Out through yon trance' together we maun2
go:

The gait is low, remember for to lout,3
Gif this were past we have not mony mo."

XXIX.

I held Him fast as He did give command, And through that trance together then we went;

Where in the mids great pricks of iron did stand,

Wherewith my feet was all betorn and

rent.

This stately stair it is not made for thee, Hold thou that course, thou shall be thrust aback."

"Alas!" said I, "lang wandering wearied

me,

Whilk made me run the nearest way to tak."

XXXII.

Then He began to comfort me again, And said, "My friend, thou mon not enter there :

Lift up thy heart, thou yet mon suffer pain;

The last assault, perforce, it mon be sair. Take courage now," said He, "and be This godly way, although it seem sae fair,

content

To suffer this; the pleasure comes at
last."

I answered not, but ran incontinent
Out oure them all, and so the pain was
past.

XXX.

When this was done, my heart did dance
for joy,

I was so near, I thought my voyage ended;
I ran before and sought not his convoy,
Nor speired the way, because I thought I
kend it;

On stately steps most stoutly I ascended,
Without his help, I thought to enter there;
He followed fast, and was right sair
offended,

And hastily did draw me down the stair.

XXXI.

"What haste," said He, "why ran thou so before?

Without my help, thinks thou to climb so high?

It is too high, thou cannot climb so stay;1
But look below beneath that stately stair,
And thou shall see ane other kind of way."

XXXIII.

I looked down, and saw ane pit most black,

Most full of smoke, and flaming fire
most fell;

That ugly sight made me to fly aback,
I feared to hear so many shout and yell;
I Him besought that He the truth would
tell.

Is this," said I, "the papist's purging
place,

Where they affirm that silly souls do dwell, To purge their sin, before they rest in peace?"

XXXIV.

"The brain of man most warely did invent That purging place," He answered me again;

"For greediness, together they consent To say that souls in torment mon remain, Till gold and goods relieve them of their pain :

Come down again, thou yet mon suffer O spiteful spreits that did the same begin!

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"Alas!" said I, "I have nae force to Gifany there should press to do me wrong.

stand,

For fear I faint to see that ugly sight; How can I come among that bailful' band? O help me now, I have nae force nor might!"

XXXVI.

"Oft have I heard, that they that enter there,

In this great gulf, shall never come2 again." "Courage" said He, "have I not bought you dear?

My precious blood it was not shed in vain : I saw this place, my soul did taste this pain,

Or ever I went into my Father's glore ; Through mon thou go, but thou shall not remain.

Thou needs not fear, for I shall go before."

XXXVII.

"I am content to do Thy haile command," Said I again, and did Him fast embrace : Then lovingly He held me by the hand, And in we went into that fearful place. "Hold fast thy grip" said He; "'in any case Let me not slip, whatever thou shall see: Dread not the death, but stoutly forward press,

XXXIX.

Into that pit, when I did enter in,

I saw ane sight whilk made my heart aghast ;

Poor damned souls tormented sair for sin, In flaming fire were frying wonder fast; And ugly spreits; and as we through them past,

My heart grew faint, and I begouth to

tire.

Or I was ware, ane grippèd me at last, And held me heich 2 above ane flaming fire:

XL.

The fire was great, the heat did pierce me

sore,

My faith grew weak, my grip was wondrous small;

I trembled fast, my fear grew more and

more,

My hands did shake, that I Him held withall :

At length they loosed, then they begouth to fall,

I cried, "O Lord!" and caught them fast again;

"Lord Jesus come, and red 3 me out of thrall."

For Death nor Hell shall never vanquish "Courage!" said He, "now, thou art past

thee."

XXXVIII.

His words so sweet did cheer my heavy

heart;

Incontinent I cuist 3 my care aside.

the pain."

XLI.

With this great fear I staggered and awoke, Crying "O Lord! Lord Jesus, come again."

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