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He followed swiftly as he might;
To hear a lying word from thee,
460 The morrow at the noonė tide Sir Orpheo bade his Queen there bide, He took his harp and right anon Into the town he straight is gone. And when he came to the citie,
465 Many a man him came to see, Men and wives and maidens fair, Gathered fast to see him there; And marvelled much as him they view, How thick the moss upon him grew;
470 “His beard is grown right to his knee, His body is withered as a tree." Then his own Steward did he meet, Passing in state adown the street, And Orpheo fell upon his knee And said: “Lord help, for charitie, A minstrel I of Heathènesse, Lord help me now in this distress." The Steward said: “With me come home, And of my goods thou shalt have some, For Orpheo's sake once Lord to me, All minestralles shall welcome be." Anon they went into the hall, The Steward and the lordės all. The Steward washed, and went to meat, And all the lordės down were set, Then was there music in the hall, But Orpheo sat against the wall. When all are still, the music done, He took his harp of sounding tone,
490 And fast on it he played the glee; The Steward looked, and 'gan to see, For well he knew that harp belive;25 24 Many times.
They ate and drank and made them glad,
They bore themselves full proud and high, And, in the twinkling of an eye, 11 Their souls were all forlorn.
"Minstrel,” he said, “as thou mayst thrive,
UBI SUNT QUI ANTE NOS FUERUNT?
Ladies rich in bowers fair,
5 Rosy-bright of face. ** Unknown. · Has come in.
? Now. * Starts, springs.
• Harbors in the green. 1 Where are those who lived before us?
Queen of heaven, mother, maid,
Help us from sin and shame to flee,
That we thy Son at last may see, In joy without an end!
Amen! 2 Together.
And fey : I'll fall adoun.
(c. 1300) Spring is come to town with love With blossom and with bird in grove,
That all this bliss now bringeth.
Each bird song singeth.
When woodrow springeth.
Till all the woodland ringeth.
With good-will grow,
Fair lilies blow.
As stream that trickles slow,
Unchecked must flow.
And birds sing well.
Their tale to tell;
On field and fell.
And banished dwell.
BLOW, NORTHERN WIND
Blow, Northern Wind,
Blow, Northern Wind, blow, blow, blow.
Blow, Northern Wind,
Blow, Northern Wind, blow, blow, blow.
25 So fair is she and fine. Her neck is slender to enfold, Her loving arms bring joy untold, Her little hands are soft to hold, Would God that she were mine.
30 Blow, Northern Wind, Send thou me my sweeting
Blow, Northern Wind, blow, blow, blow. 2 Distracted, mad. 1 Bower,
(c. 1300) In days of March and Averil 1 When the spray begins to spring, Each little bird hath her own will In her own speech to sing. And I-I live in love longing For one most fair of everything. To me she bliss may bring: To serve her is my boon. A happy lot to me is sent, I know from heaven 'tis to me lent, From women all my love is bent And fixed on Alysoun. In hue her hair is fair to see, Her brows are brown, her eyes are black, With loving laugh she looked at me! Her waist is small, of slender make, Unless as hers she will me take To be her mate, my life I'll break, My life itself I will forsake
1 A spring flower; the woodruff. 1 April
She is coral of goodnessė,
Dearest one, I humbly pray, love me a little Ruby she of rightfulnessė,
soonė. She is crystal of cleannéssė,
I now will plain my song,
To her to whom it doth belong.
There's a maid in a bower, as beryl most bright, Send thou me my sweeting
As sapphire in silver set seemly in sight, Blow, Northern Wind, blow, blow, blow. As jasper the gracious that gleameth with light,
As garnet in gold, and as ruby most right; For her love I mourn and moan,
As onyx she is held up at a height;
5 For her love I grieve and groan,
As diamond the clear when in day she is dight; For her love my good is gone
She is coral, well kennèd of Kaiser and Knight, And I wax all wan.
As emerald at morning this maid beareth might, For her love in sleep I sigh,
The power of the pearl hath she in her grace For her love I wakeful lie,
For carbuncle I choose her, by form and by · For her love I droop and cry,
face. More than any man.
Her bloom is as red as the rose on the tree, Blow, Northern Wind,
With the white of the lily most lovesome is she: Send thou me my sweeting
Than periwinkle more pleasing, or primrose of Blow, Northern Wind, blow, blow, blow.
Alexanders, or parsley, or fragrant anice. WHEN THE NIGHTINGALE SINGS Quaint as a columbine, graceful and gay, 15 (Early 14th Century)
Člad in rich furs and in garment of grey;
Her face is a flower, she's fairest in blue, When the nightingálė sings, the woodės waxen As celandine or sage, -you yourself know it's greenė,
true. Leaf and grass and blossom springs, in Averil I Who looks on her beauty to bliss he is weenė,
brought, And love is to my heartė gone, with a spear so He follows the sun, to tell all words are keenė,
naught. Night and day my blood it drinks, mine heartés death to teenė. 1
She is popinjay abaiting my torment and bale,
True dove in a tower, I tell thee my tale; I have lovėd all this year, that I can love no
She is throstle so gentle that singeth in hall, morė,
She is the wild laverock and the witwall; I have sighed many sighs, Lady, for thine orė,2
She is falcon in forest, dearest in dale: Ne'er my love comes near to thee, and that me
With every man gladdest in song and in tale: grieveth sorė.
She is wisest of all from Wye to Wyrhale; 1 Sweetest Lady think on me, I loved thee of yorė.
The nightingale's note tells her name to the
In his note is her name, nameth it none? Sweetest Lady, speak I pray, one word of love
Whoso reads it aright,- let him whisper to
30 While in this wide world I stay, I'll seek for none but thee,
10 Your kind love might give me bliss, from pain SONG OF THE SCOTTISH MAIDENS might set me free,
AFTER THE BATTLE OF BANNOCKA sweet kiss of thy dear mouth, might my
BURN (1314)1 surgeon be.
Maidens of Engelande sore may ye mourn
For the loss of your true-loves at Bannockės Sweetest Lady, here I pray, one boon of love
With heve-a-lowe!? If you love me, as men say, as I, dearest, knowė,
What? Weened the King of Engelande If you will it, look on me, just a look will To have gotten Scotland? showė,
With rumbylowe!? So much have I thought of thee, I all ghastly 1 The Wirral, the land between the rivers Dee and growė
Mersey, in Cheshire.
1 This ballad is found in an old Chronicle, The Brut of Between Lincoln and Lindėsey, North-Hamp
Engelonde, (c. 1350) where we are told that “the maid
ens made a songe therefore in that cuntre of Kynge toun and Lóndounė,
Edwardle of Engelonde and in this manner thei songe.' I wot not of so fair a may,' by tower, dale, or
Then follows the song. tounė,
2 These phrases "probably indicate the occurrence
of a dance movement emphasized by special gestures, 1 Trouble. 2 Grace. 8 Maid.
or the beating of musical instruments."
Child, thou'rt not a pilgrim, 60 (Early 14th Century)
But a helpless guest.
Thy day already told, Lullay, lullay, little child!
Thy lot already cast. Why weepest thou so sore?
Whether thou shalt wend Needės must thou weep,
North, or East, or West,
65 Thou wert doomed of yore
Death shall thee betide, Ever to live in sorrow,
With itter bale in breast. Ever to sigh and strive,
Lullay, lullay, little child! As thy fathers did ere this
Child lullay, lullow! Whilst they were alive.
To this unknown world
70 Lullay, lullay, little child!
Sadly come art thou. Child lullay, lullow!
10 To this world unknown Sadly come art thou.
Ave maris stella, Beasts and birds and cattle,
The star upon the sea, The fishes in the flood,
Dei mater alma, And each thing that liveth
Blessed mayest thou be! Made of bone and blood,
Atque semper virgo, When into the world they come
Pray thy son for me, They do themselves some good,
Felix celi porta, All but that poor imp
That I may come to thee. That is of Adam's blood.
Gabriel, that archangel, With care art thou beset;
He was messenger;.
10 Thou knowest naught of this world's wild
So fair he hailed our Lady, That is before thee set.
With an Ave so clear.
Hail be thou, Mary, Child, if it betideth
Be thou, Mary,
15 Think how thou wert fostered
And queen of all mercy! On thy mother's knee;
All that are to greets Ever mind thee in thine heart
Without deadly sin, Of those thingės three,
Forty dayės of pardoún Whence thou camest, where thou art, 30
God granteth them,
Lullay, lullay, little child!
A DESCRIPTION OF WILLIAM THE With sorrow thou camest to this world,
CONQUEROR With sorrow shalt wend away.
(From the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, translated by O! trust not to this world,
J. A. GILES)
If any would know what manner of man The poor man sick alsó.
King William was, the glory that he obtair It turneth woe to weal,
and of how many lands he was lord; then will And also weal to woe.
we describe him as we have known him, we, Trust not man this changing world
5 who have looked upon him, and who once lived While it turneth so.
in his court.' This King William, of whom we Lullay, lullay, little child!
are speaking, was a very wise and a great man, The foot is on the wheel,
and more honored and more powerful than any How 'twill turn thou knowest not,
of his predecessors. He was mild to those good Whether to woe or weal.
10 men who loved God, but severe beyond measure Child, thou art a pilgrim
towards those who withstood his will. He In wickedness yborn;
founded a noble monastery on the spot where Thou wanderest in this false world,
50 God permitted him to conquer England, and he Look thou well beforn.
established monks in it, and he made it very Death shall come with sudden blast
In his days the great monastery at Out of the darkness hoar,
1 Hail star of the sea.
: Dear Mother of God. Adam's children down to cast,
3 Yet ever a virgin.
4 Blessed gate of heaven. Adam he slew before.
5 To supplicate, to greet Mary with an Ave. Lullay, lullay, little child!
i The portion of the Chronicle given here is included Adam did woes oppress
in the entry for 1087: the year of the death of William
the Conqueror. The passage is presumably the work In the land of Paradise,
of a contemporary who writes (as he declares) from perThrough Satan's wickedness.