I didn’t know much about Richard Rolle until I had a search on the internet. He was a religious writer and hermit (a hermit is someone who lives separate from society). What is important about this man is that he wrote many poems and other writings and these writings were very popular in 1400’s – and in fact were translated into many different European languages. This is amazing because it was before printing was invented.
This is one of his poems written in old English… it is a bit difficult to read because the spelling of words is different. But I will make an attempt to put it into modern English.
What is Heaven?
And ther is youthe without ony elde;
And ther is alle manner welthe to welde:
And ther is rest without ony travaille;
And ther is pees without ony strife,
And ther is alle manner lykinge of lyf:—
And ther is bright somer ever to se,
And there is nevere wynter in that countrie:—
And ther is more worshipe and honour,
Than ever hade kynge, other emperour.
And ther is grete melodie of angeles songe,
And ther is pressing hem amonge.
And ther is all manner frendshipe that may be,
And ther is ever perfect love without charite;
And ther is wisdom without folye
Ans ther is honeste without vileneye.
Al thes a man may joyes of hevene call:
Ac yutte the most sovereyn joye of alle
Is the sighte of Goddes bright face,
In wham resteth alle manere grace.