MOSES He that made all thing of nought-- Heaven and earth, both sun and moon, Save all that his hand has wrought! All mighty God on heaven's throne, I am Moses that asks this boon. 5 I pray thee lord God with all my mind To us incline thy mercy soon, Thy gracious lordship let us find. Thee to please in all degree, Gracious God and lord over all, 10 Thou grant us grace whereso we be And save us, sound, from sinful fall. Thy will to work make us thy thrall. Inform and teach us all thy pleasance In pureness put us that never might fall 15 And ground us in grace from all grievance.
Here Moses sees a burning bush and, admiring it says
Ah, mercy, God, what meaneth yon sight? A green bush as fire doth flame And keeps his colour fair and bright Fresh and green without blame. 20 It signifies something of right great fame. I cannot see what it may be. I will go near in God's name And wisely look this bush to see. DEUS Moses, how, Moses 25 Hearken to me now at this sound. MOSES I am here lord without any lies Your gracious will to do I am bound. DEUS Thou take thy shoes anon full round Off thy feet in haste, let see. 30 Full holy is that place and ground Where thou dost stand, I say to thee. MOSES Barefoot now I do me make And pull my shoes from off my feet. Now my shoes I did off take. 35 What is your will, lord? Fain it I'd meet. DEUS Come near Moses with me to meet. These tables I give thee into thy hand. With my finger in them is writ All my laws, thou understand. 40 Look that thou preach all about Who so will have friendship of me To my laws look they bow That they be kept in all degree. Go forth and preach anon, let see. 45 Look thou not cease night or day. MOSES Your bidding, lord, all wrought shall be, Your will to work I walk my way The commandments and precepts of the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 6 The commandment of thy lord God, man, look thou keep Wherever thou walk, wake or sleep. 50 Every man take good heed And to my teaching take good intent. For God hath sent me now, indeed, You for to inform of his commandment. You to teach, God hath me sent, 55 His laws of life that are full wise. Them to learn be diligent Your souls they may save at the last Assise. The precepts that taught shall be Be written in these tables twain. 60 In the first are written three That touch to God. This is certain. In the second table are written full plain The other seven that touch mankind. Hark now well, man, what I maintain 65 And print these laws well in thy mind. The First Commandment: Thou shalt not have any other gods The first commandment of God, as I you say, Of the first table, forsooth, is this: Thou shalt have, neither night nor day, No other God but the king of bliss. 70 Understand well what meaneth this, Every man in his degree, And set never your heart amiss Upon this world's vanity. For if thou set thy love so sore 75 Upon riches and worldly goods, Thy worldly riches thou takest ever more Even for thy God as a man that is mad. Amend thee man and change thy mood Lose not thy soul for worldly wealth. 80 Love only him which bodily food Doth give all day and ghostly health. The Second Commandment: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain The second precept of the first table The name of God never take in vain. Swear no oaths by no false fable. 85 The name of God thou never distain. Beware of oaths for fear of pain Amongst fellowship when thou dost sit. A little oath, this is certain, May damn thy soul to hell pit. 90 Man, when thou art set at ale And hast thy language as it pleases thee, Look thine oaths be none--or small. And yet, always, look they true be. But swear not often, be advised by me. 95 For if thou art used often times to swear, It may engender custom in thee. Beware of custom, his ways do fear. The Third Commandment: Remember the sabbath to keep it holy The third commandment of God, as I read, Doth bid thee hallow well thy holy day. 100 Keep thee well from sinful deed And care not greatly for rich array. A right poor man, this I do say, Of simple estate, in clothes rent, May be better than a rich with garments gay 105 Oftimes keep this commandment. For rich men do show, often time, pomp and pride On holidays, as often is seen. When poor men pass and go beside, At worthy feasts rich men will have been. 110 Thy holy day thou keep not clean In gluttony to lead thy life, In God's house ye should be seen To honour your God, both maiden and wife. The Fourth Commandment: Honour thy father and thy mother Of the second table the first commandment 115 And in the order the fourth in faith I say He bids thee ever more with heart bent Both father and mother to worship alway. Though that thy father be of poor array And thou never so rich of gold and goods 120 Yet look thou worship him night and day From whom thou hast both flesh and blood. In this commandment included is The bodily father and mother also. Included also I find in this 125 Thy ghostly father and mother thereto. To thy ghostly father ever reverence do. Thy ghostly mother is Holy Church. These two will save thy soul from woe. Ever them to worship, look that thou work. 130 The Fifth Commandment: Thou shalt not kill The fifth commandment biddeth all us Slay no man. No wight that thou kill. Understand this precept thus: Slay no wight with word nor will. Wicked words work, oftentimes, great ill. 135 Beware, therefore, of wicked language. Wicked speech many a one doth spill. Therefore of speech do not outrage. The Sixth Commandment: Thou shalt not commit adultery The sixth commandment bids every man That no man follow a lecherous way. 140 Dally never with no woman Unless the law allow thy play. Trespass never with wife nor maid, With widow nor with none other wight. Keep thee clean, as I thee say, 145 For whom thou hast thy pledges plight. The Seventh Commandment: Thou shalt not steal Do no theft; no thing thou steal. The seventh precept bids thee full sore While thou art in wealth and weal. Ill gotten goods look thou restore. 150 Of hands and deeds be true, ever more. For if thy fingers slippery be Thou art but shent, thy name is lore In field and town and in all country. The Eighth Commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour The eighth precept doth thee bid 155 False witness look that thou not bear. The truth never more look that thou hide With false witness. No man thou injure Neither for love, nor dread, nor fear. Say none other than what truth is. False witness if that thou rear 160 Against God thou dost greatly amiss. The Ninth Commandment: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife etc. The ninth precept of the law of life Even thus doth bid every man. Desire not thy neighbour's wife 165 Though she be fair and as white as a swan And thy wife brown. Yet therefore, then, Thy neighbour's wife thou never rejoice. Keep thee clean as ever thou can To thine own wife and thine own choice. 170 The Tenth Commandment: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house nor his manservant nor his maid servant nor his ox nor his ass nor anything that is thy neighbour's et cetera The tenth commandment of God, and last, is this. Thy neighbour's house desire thou nought, Maiden nor servant nor nought of his, Desire then never in will nor thought, Ox nor ass that he hath bought 175 Nor anything that belongeth him to. God's laws must needs be wrought. Desire no thing thy neighbour from. The sixth commandment of lechery Doth exclude the sinful deed 180 But these two last most straitly Both deed and thought they do forbid. In will nor thought no lechery thou lead Thy thought and will thou must refrain All thy desire as I thee rede 185 In cleaness of life thyself restrain. Friends, these be the laws that you must keep. Therefore every man set well in mind Whether that thou do wake or sleep These laws to learn, truth to find, 190 And God's grace shall be thy friend. He succour and save you in wealth from woe. Farewell, good friends, for hence will I wend, My tale I have taught you. My way now I go. Explicit moyses
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