¶ Whan þe heye kynge of heuene sent his sone to erthe
. Beta omits these lines. The differences between F's version of these
lines and that attested in R are sufficiently numerous to make full citation of F's passage
here advisable (cf. Appendix 1, R15.551-68, for details and any cross-references to the C version):
Whan þe hyȝe kyng of heuene / sente his sone to erþe.
he wroghte / man for to turne.
In ensaumple þat sholde seen / þat by sad resoun.
Men myghte not ben savid / but þorghȝ mercy & grace.
penaunce & passioun / & parfyȝt beleve.
& by-cam of a mayde / & metropolitanus after.
& was baptyzed & y-sygned / with þe blood of his herte.
Alle þat wilned &
wolde / with wit be-leve it.
Manye a seynt sytthen / haven suffred to dyȝen.
Al for to ferme þe fayȝþ / in fele contrees dyȝen.
In yȝnde in
Alysaundre / in Armonye in spayne.
& in doolful deþ þey dyeden / for þeyre feyþis
In savacioun of þe fayþ / seynt Thomas was y-martred.
vnkyȝnde cristene / for cristis he dyȝede.
& for þe ryght of al þis
rewme / & alle rewmes cristene.
Holy chirche ys honoured / hyȝlyche
þorghȝ his dyȝenge.
He is be-leve to alle bisschopis / & a bryght
& souereynly to swiche / þat of surrye beren þe name.
Whan þe hyȝe kyng of heuene / sente his sone to erþe. These lines are attested only in alpha. For further discussion, see Ralph Hanna, III, Pursuing History: Middle English Manuscripts and Their Texts (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996), pp. 215-29. Some corroborative evidence for Hanna's position is provided by
Stephen Justice, "Introduction: Authorial Work and Literary Ideology," in Written Work: Langland, Labor, and Authorship, eds. Stephen Justice and Kathryn Kerby-Fulton (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997), pp. 5-9.