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THE WORSHIP OF APOLLO.
To reckon by row, pe rodys is the moste.
With wallis vp wroght, wyn to beholde,
here Appollo, the pure god, was principally
Delos, who demys hit, is duly to say
4268 Shortly to shalkes,—' a shewyng on opun';
And fro pat soile, for sothe, the sun first aperit,
4272 pat in pat bare yle bothe borne were þai first.
The pure sun in hir pride, appollus doughter;
4276 The mone in his myldnes, pai menyt to hat
Of pis mater nomore but meue to our tale.——
In this Temple was a tor ymage, all of triet gold, 4280 In honour of Appolyn, þat I ere saide.
hof it defe were & doumbe, dede as a ston,
4284 And worshippit hom wofully, for hom wit lacket
4288 And fellen vnto fals goddes, & faithly honourt
4292 Spekand to specyals, pat spede for to aske, Thurgh falshede of fyndes pe folke to dissayue, And to ert hom in errour euermore to lenge.
I will tell here a tale, er I turne ferre,
(fol. 67 a.)
Delos signifies "open."
The sun and the moon sprang from Delos.
With worship on all wise as weghis vppon lyue; "ends" deceive
(MS. has "pes.")
("gabs not,"lies not.)
came into Egypt
the false gods
fell to the ground.
The Jews held that Ishmael was the first who made idols; and the Gentiles, that it was Prometheus.
But no one in particular is to be blamed; for all men are naturally given to idolatry.
4296 Of pe fyndyng of false goddes, & the foule vse; How sprittis in hom spake to qwho pat spirre wold,
And how fowle þat þai faylit at the ferre end. Throgh the glorious gyfte of goddes son of heuyn, 4300 That come to our kynde throgh a cleane
All maumentre in myddelerthe myrtlit to peses
As the gospell of God, pat gabbis not, says.
Cryste purgh his curstnes, as pe clause tellus,
Sent fro pe souerayn þat in Celé dwelles,
4308 To take the childe for a chaunse & his choise
And euyn into Egypt entre on his way.
When Criste in pat contre come with his dame,
4312 Bothe Mawhownus & maumettes myrtild in
Isai also oponly tellus,
When Jesu Egipte Joynit with in,
All Symylacres for sothe soghten to ground.
4316 þat was a tokyn, he tellus, fro tyme of his come,
Ne comyn with cristenmen, ne on Criste leuyn;
OFF BEALL THE GOD & BELSABUB.
4332 On Delus, a derfe Kyng þat deghit in eld,
BEL OR BEELZEBUB.
An ymage a noble anon gert he make,
All grauyn of gold, & of good stonys,
Vne of mesure & mykyll, of his myld fader.
He brought hym to berynes on his best wise,
With solempne sepulcre, sothely wroght.
And for his fader shuld faithly be fer in his that he might
duly honour and commemorate his father, erected a golden image of life size; and commanded the people to worship it as a god.
Entrid in þat ymage, & onswaret the pepull. Who pat any thing asket after his dissyre, bere onswaret opunly the aungell of helle: And so the ledis of the lond lyuely hym cald, 4356 Sum beall, sum belus, sum bell þe god,
Sum belphegor, & belsabub, as hom best likes.
Ninus, son of
(fol. 68 a.)
bat the gome was a god groundet in blisse.
And so the ffigur of his fader was falsly honouryt,
By assent of hym selfe pat the soile aght;
And pen the fynde, with his falshed & his fer The “fiend
entered into this
image and answered the people:
hence, some called it Baal;
some, Belus; some, Bel the god, &c.
The sun was called Apollo, and was so worshipped in Delos.
Then the chief
called Venus and Mercury;
(fol. 68 b.) and the moon
was called Diana.
In ensample of pat same sithyn other folke
4360 Did honour to dedemen, & for dere holdyn.
And pan Venus the worthy is worshippit with
hat of planettes of prise has hor pure nome. þen mercury, a mighty god, is most in honour, þat þai saidon was sun sothely to Jobiter. Then the mone was most made for to please, That Diana full duly pai demyt to hat. And pus in costes & cuntreis of pe cursit gentils, 4372 hai sought with sacrifice vnto sere goddes. In Egipt was honourt Ysum as god,
An in the cuntre of Crete cald vpon Jubiter. The men of Mawsom most honret ymbane, 4376 And pe latyn lede loutid to faawn.
At Rome pai Reuerenst vppon riche wise
On Volcaun þai worshippit on pere wise most. 4384 At Vaxor þe vayn pepull voidly honourit. Bachian, a bale fynde, as a blist god.
And at Delphon, duly, for derrest of other,
4388 In yche yle vppon erthe, eftur hor deuise,
And honourit ouer all thyng as pere belefe askit.
Thus purgh falshed of pe fendes pe folke was
4392 Vnder daunger of pe dule droupet full longe,
God fourmet hym so faire, as I fynd here, 4408 pat mony legions his light launchet aboue.
(But pe fader, þat first fourmyt all thinge,—
God, who made the angels his
4396 Both the ayre, & Element, & Angells in heuyn, ministering
Water, & wynde, & welkyn aboue,
In the highest heuyn, as holy writ sais,
4400 And set hom in seruice hym seluyn to honour.
But on the oddist of other ordant our lord,
Of whom the proffet of prise plainly can say,
4416 Mony legion pere light vnto laithe fendes With lucifer, pat lyuet in delites aboue, bat wofully welt & woundid to the dethe.
Thus the gospell of God of pat grym tellis,— 4420 'I segh satan hym selfe slippe out of heuyn, As pe leuenynges light, þat laches to ground.' This fende was the first þat felle for his pride, And lost has his lykyng, pat lyuyaton is cald. 4424 And for the case is vnknowen be course to pe
(Ps. ciii. 20, 21.)
(Heb. i. 4.)
God set Lucifer highest of the angels, but through pride he fell from that
Thurgh his fairhede as fast he felle into pride,
Euynyng in all thing euyn with hym selfe,
(Is. xiv. 13.)
and many legions
(Luke x. 18.)
Satan is called