6095 Un’avisun oï mustrer maistre Fermin :
Ainz que sainz Thomas fust ocis el saint mustier,
Grant processiun vit aler lez le clochier :
El senestre reng vit saint Thomas chevalchier,
E un clerc luinz de lui, mais nel solt entercier ;
6100 Le rei de l’altre part desur un grant destrier.
Une corune d’or out a la croiz pendant ;
Cil la porta mult halt ki ala tut devant.
Une voiz unt oïe desus en l’air criant :
Qui a la croiz metreit gemmes e or luisant,
6105 Corune d’or avreit el ciel a parmenant.
La voiz fu bien oïe. Sainz Thomas l’escuta
E s’il puet a nul sens, a la cruiz ateindra ;
Car corune del ciel durement desira.
Sur un grant cheval fu ; e cele part ala :
6110 Mult gemmes e mult or esmeré i posa.
Lungement après ço s’est li reis purpensez :
S’il n’avient a la croiz, mult en ert vergundez.
Sur un grant cheval fu ; a la cruiz est alez :
Mult i mist pures gemmes e or ki fu provez ;
6115 Mais n’i mist mie tant cum li bons ordenez.
Idunches s’en ala li clers repurpensant
Coment i avendra ; mais la vint chevalchant :
Mult i aveit mis gemmes e mult or reluisant,
E mult bien i avint ; mais n’i mist mie tant
6120 Cum li uns des dous fist ki offrirent avant.
La processiun vait, li munz est en decurs.
Li plus i vunt a pié, car poi beent aillurs.
Sainz Thomas li martyrs nus face veir sucurs !
Mais jo vus di pur veir : uncor vendra li jurs
6125 Li reis larra pur Deu les seculers honurs.
Car nuls ne seit qu’il ad en sun quer enbracié ;
Mais la muableté le truble de sun sié,
E si enfant ki sunt de sens poi esforcié.
E li dit Merlin l’unt durement esmaié ;
6130 Li fol espositur l’en unt pi aveié.
Car li fol conseil furent vers Bretaigne forgié
Par ki fut enfrenez e bien pres mis a pié.
Or guart coment l’eglesse i aveit l’or culchié.
Plus de treis feiz e treis ad ja nidifïé ;
6135 Del tierz ni d’Engleterre ad oü sun quer lié.
De celui e des altres, se Deu plaist, s’esjoira.
Mais ja de cele eglesse li reis mar dutera :
Ja mais en altre liu ne nidifiera,
Car sa plume ad perdue ; ja ne recovera.
6140 Mais encor guard la terre, kar grant mestier en a !
Mais bien sache li reis, e jo pur veir li mant,
Si fiz erent produme e forcible e vaillant ;
S’il se tienent ensemble, plus en erent puissant ;
Mult les criendrunt Engleis, Peitevin e Normant,
6145 E tels en plorera qui or s’en vait riant.
Tant cum s’entre – amerunt e li fiz e li pere
E il dui amerunt e la broiz e la mere,
Tant cum tendrunt ensemble li enfant cume frere
E li reis ert sur els e reis e emperere :
6150 Ki metlera la salse, mult la bevra amere.
Deu pri e le martir, que j’ai servi maint jur,
Qu’il mette pes el regne, e tienge en bon’amur
E le pere e le fiz e la broiz e l’oisur,
E lur doinst joie e vie senz change de seignur,
6155 E lur mette en curage que me facent honur.
Guernes li Clers del Punt fine ici sun sermun
Del martir saint Thomas e de sa passiun.
E mainte feiz le list a la tumbe al barun.
Ci n’a mis un sul mot se la verité nun.
6160 De ses mesfaiz li face li pius Deus veir pardun !
Ainc mais si bons romanz ne fu faiz ne trovez.
A Cantorbire fu e faiz e amendez ;
N’i ad mis un sul mot qui ne seit veritez.
Li vers est d’une rime en cinc clauses cuplez.
6165 Mis languages est bons, car en France fui nez.
L’an secund que li sainz fu en s’iglise ocis,
Comenchai cest romanz, e mult m’en entremis.
Des privez saint Thomas la verité apris :
Mainte feiz en ostai ço que jo ainz escris,
6170 Pur oster la mençonge. Al quart an fin i mis.
E ço sacent tuit cil qui ceste vie orrunt
Que pure verité par tut oïr purrunt.
E ço sacent tuit cil qui del saint traitié unt,
U romanz u latin, e cest chemin ne vunt :
6175 U el dient que jo, contre verité sunt.
Or prium Jesu Crist le fiz sainte Marie,
Pur amur saint Thomas, nus doinst la sue aïe,
Que rien ne nus suffraigne a la corporal vie,
E si nus esneium de seculer folie
6180 Qu’al muriant aium la sue conpaignie.
Ici fine la Vie saint Thomas le Martyr.
... . I have heard a vision that Master Firmin had. 6095
Before St.Thomas was murdered in the cathedral, he [ Master Firmin] watched a great procession pass by the clocktower. He saw that St. Thomas was mounted on a horse in the left file, and there was a cleric further away from him whom he was not able to recognize. The King was on the other side mounted on a large destrier. 6100
1221 There was a cross with a golden crown hanging from it, which was being carried up on high before all who were in the procession. A voice was heard from above, proclaiming that the one who put gems and glistening gold upon the cross would forever have a golden crown in heaven. 6105
The voice was heard well [by all]. St. Thomas paid heed to it and he tried by every means possible to reach the cross, for he eagerly desired the crown of Heaven. He was mounted on a large horse; and riding forward he placed before it a great quantity of gems and pure gold. 6110
For a long time after this the King thought about it. If he did not go up to the cross, great would be his dishonour. He was mounted on a large horse, and to the cross he rode, placing before it a great quantity of gems and proof gold, but not as much as had been put there by the good priest. 6115
Then the cleric came forward and wondered how he might also reach the cross. Riding his horse up to it, he placed upon the cross a great number of precious stones and glistening gold. Well did he succeed in this but he did not put there as much in offerings as the other two who had come before him. 6120
The procession continuesalong its path, but the world is on the wane. Most men proceed on foot, because they are few those who aspire to be elsewhere. May St. Thomas, the martyr, bring us true deliverance! But let me tell you the truth, the day will yet come when the king abandons worldly honors for those of God. 6125
As no one knows what he had embraced within his heart, but the inconstancy, the troubles affecting his kingdom [throne], which his own children, who have little sense, have forced upon him, and those foretellings of Merlin which have long troubled him, which the fools [those deprived of reason] who have tried to interpret them have done little to enlighten us. 6130
In fact this moronic plan was conceived on the way towards Britain [Brittany?] by those who wanted to rein him [the King] in and this well nearly brought him to his feet. Now look at how the [female] eagle has laid her gold there, more than three times [and] three she made her nest there; and with the third nest, in England, look how this brought gladness to her heart. 6135
[The female eagle is clearly Eleanor of Aquitaine, and her three sons her three golden eggs.]
From this and others, if it so pleases God, so it will be happy. But now, however, the king would be wrong to fear her: she will never make her nest in another place for she has shed her feathers and will never be covered again. But let the king watch guard over his land, for he is the Grandmaster in it. 6140
Indeed the king well knows, and truly I say to him if his sons behave like brave loyal men, both bold and valiant, if they hold together, they will be even more powerful. The English, the Poitevins, and the Normans will much fear them, and such as those who might laugh at them will be in tears. 6145
As long as there is love between them both, the son and the father and the two love the brothers and the mother; as long as the children hold togethe like brothers, the king above all others may rule as king and emperor: but whosoever stirs up the sauce will drink the waters of much bitterness. 6150
I pray to God and the Martyr, whom I have served for many a day, that He brings peace to the kingdom, and in the good name of love supports both the father and the son, and the brothers and the wife, and gives to them joy and [long] life without need to change the sovereign. And may God give them courage to do me the honour [and make me proud]. (6155)
Guernes de Pont[-Sainte-Maxence], the cleric, here ends his sermon on the martyrdom and passion of Saint Thomas. Many times has he read it by the tomb of our hero. In it is not one word which is not the truth. For any sins he has committed he begs forgiveness with true piety from God. 6160
Never will you be able to find or compose so good an account. It has been both produced and corrected at Canterbury. In it there is not one single word which is not true. The verses are a rhyme of five line couplets. My language is good because I was born in France. 6165
During the second year after the saint had been killed in his church I began this narrative [Life of Becket], and [have since] put a great deal of effort into it. From St Thomas' own private circle [of companions] I learned the truth: many times I have erased what I had previously written, in order to remove the untruths. In the fourth year I finished it. 6170
And let all those who listen to this Life [of Becket] know that they are listening to nothing but the pure truth. And let them also know that all those who have composed [a Life of] the Saint in either the Romance or Latin languages and who did not follow the same path as me, know that where they tell his story differently from me, they are in error. 6175
Now let us pray to Jesus Christ, son of St Mary [the Virgin], that for the love of St. Thomas that He will gives us His help, so that we will suffer nothing during our corporeal life, and when we are cleansed of worldly folly, as we die, we may have His companionship 6180
Here Ends the Life of St. Thomas the Martyr
Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence); Emmanuel Walberg (1936). Les Classiques français du Moyen Age. Librarie Honoré Champion. pp. 187–.
St. Thomas of Canterbury, his death and miracles, Abbott, Edwin Abbott Volume II pp 5-6 Visions - §592
La vie de saint Thomas le martyr, publ. par C. Hippeau. pp215-7