Here He Descryueth
the Feste of the Annunciacion of Oure Lady113
`Now shalle I seye the of
that other feste, whiche is holden more solempne
than these, for as moche as the Souerayne of
Soothfastnes fro the hyhe place of mydday descendyd
in this Mayden, as Gabryel brought hyr tydynge, for
he found in all the Zodyack no sygne so worthy as
the signe of Virgo, that is cleped the Mayden, where
it plesid the sonne soo hyely to abyden, that he
abode therynne more than thyrty dayes, whiche was
woned to be the space of abydynge of the sone within
`But he abode in the Vyrgyne fully nyne monethes, and so entred in to the signe of Gemini, that ben cleped Twynnes or Doubles. So was he newe clothed and couered with the cloude of humanyte abouen vpon his Godhede, soo was he for mannes loue made very man hym seluen. And yssuyng fro the Vyrgyne ful pryuely, that Nature hir seluen couthe it nought espye, ryght as the yonge spouse yssueth fro his chambre, so is he cleped Gemine gigas substancie114, a geaunt or champyon of double substaunce, myghty ynowe in Godhede, and worthy in his manheede for to taken this batayle for mannes saluacion.
`What [101r] throwest thou, by thy feythe, what tyme that this sonne in this wise was descended, what myrthe was in Heuen. No doute, that full besyly the Angels flewen aboute, syngynge in Heuene and in Erthe. There is no spiere in Heuen, that he ne tasted hony swete ioye. This had wel apperceyued the creatures that lyen in the bordure of Helle, and gonne for to synge and maken melodye. Soo is this feste euery yere sumed in mynde of the maryage that was made bytwene God and man. There is none Angel, no Seynt, whiche that is in Heuene, but he dothe his besynesse to synge and solempnyse this feste with alle the myghte and ioye that he can.
`The false Sathanas that day must goo hyden hym in his hote nest, for yf he herd of this myrthe, he must dye for angre and for malyce.
`At this day of maryage were cryed grete ioustes115 bynethen in the Erthely countre, soo that alle vertues were redy at the feste, armed, on horsebak, arayed for to iuste. There come pryke forthe sporles Humylyte, and ranne ageyne Pryde, and smartely he vnhorsed hym and bare hym to the erthe. And Charyte rood at Enuy with his armes sprad, and caught hym by the neck, and threwe hym to the ground. Anone come ryde Dylygence with an huge cours, and smote Slouthe soo sore, that he was waked of his sleep for many dayes after. Pacyence come pryckyng with a sobre chere, and hitte Ire in the helme, that it flewe a feld. Liberalite, of wonder large stature vpon a fayre courcyer, brydeled with gold, mete with Auaryce, and smote hym in the brest, that he spette blood many dayes after. And fayne he was to opene his coufre or that he left hym. And Abstynence the poure semyd soo feble, that he ne myght vnnethe sytte on horsback. Yet shewed he suche courage, that he cast downe Glotonye, and slowe hym for euer. Chastyte the shamfast smote soo Lechery, that he neuer throfe, ne neuer shalle herafter. Seynt Powle set vp the pryce, and told sykerly that who soo bare hym best, sholde haue a coroune for his mede.