The myght of gods mercy , that might vs wel amend
The miȝt of goddes mercy þat miȝt vs alle amende
¶ Allas thouȝte I þo þat is a longe a-bydynge . These three lines are from alpha. They are judged by
Kane-Donaldson as well as by Schmidt to be spurious. Kane-Donaldson hypothesize loss of the
authentic lines through similarity of line heads (KD16.270 = Allas I;
KD16.274 = I). This rationale seems unlikely and also depends on the
assumption that alpha later noticed the loss and generated the spurious lines as a
replacement. In reality, the alpha version of these lines was probably deliberate, motivated
by censorship of material deemed to be theologically dangerous (in beta, sin is said to be
able to hinder the might of God's mercy). Beta (as well as the C
version, in a slightly revised form) reads:
Allas I seyde þat synne so longe shal lette
Þe myȝte of goddes mercy
þat myȝt vs alle amende
I wepte for his wordes with þat sawe I an other
Rapelich renne forth þe riȝte waye went.
The last of these four lines was
omitted by alpha. The text of alpha is not entirely clear, since R differs significantly from
F, which reads as follows:
Allas þowhte y þoo þat is a long a-bydynge
& oon on foote sewede hym
for he softely wente
& he be-took hym þe targe as tyȝt trewly to me it
¶ Allas þowhte y þoo / þat is / a long a-bydynge These three lines are from alpha. They are properly judged by Kane and Donaldson as well as by Schmidt to be spurious,
probably motivated by censorship of material deemed to be theologically dangerous. Beta manuscripts read:
Allas I seide þat synne so longe shal lette
The myght of goddes mercy þat myȝte vs alle amende
I wepte for hise wordes wiþ þat sauȝ I anoþer
Rapeliche renne forþ þe riȝte wey he wente.
The last line was omitted by alpha. The reading of alpha is not entirely clear, since F differs significantly from R which
reads as follows:
Allas thouȝte I þo þat is a longe a-bydynge.
And sued hym for he softe ȝede.
Þat he toek vs as tit ac trewly to telle.