Art. 66, Blessed be thou, Levedy

ART. 66, BLESSED BE THOU, LEVEDY: EXPLANATORY NOTES


ABBREVIATIONS: AND: Anglo-Norman Dictionary; ANL: Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (R. Dean and Boulton); BL: British Library (London); Bodl.: Bodleian Library (Oxford); CCC: Corpus Christi College (Cambridge); CUL: Cambridge University Library (Cambridge); IMEV: The Index of Middle English Verse (Brown and Robbins); IMEV Suppl.: Supplement to the Index of Middle English Verse (Robbins and Cutler); MED: Middle English Dictionary; MWME: A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050–1500 (Severs et al.); NIMEV: A New Index of Middle English Verse (Boffey and Edwards); NLS: National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh).

17 shene, sterre cler. This epithet for Mary corresponds to the Ave Maris Stella hymns of the fourteenth century (compare IMEV, NIMEV 1082, 1235; ed. Brown 1952, pp. 58–59 [no. 45], 22–23 [no. 20]).

32 oftelle. “Express, speak of, mention”; see MED, oftelle (v).


ART. 66, BLESSED BE THOU, LEVEDY: TEXTUAL NOTES


ABBREVIATIONS: As: Aspin; Bö: Böddeker; Bos: Bossy; Br: Brook; BS: Bennett and Smithers; BZ: Brandl and Zippel; B13: Brown 1932; B14: Brown 1952; DB: Dunn and Byrnes; Deg: Degginger; Do: Dove 1969; Gr: Greene 1977; Ha: Halliwell; Hal: Hall; Hol: Holthausen; Hor1: Horstmann 1878; Hor2: Horstmann 1896; Hu: Hulme; JL: Jeffrey and Levy; Ju: Jubinal; Kel: Keller; Ken: Kennedy; Le: Lerer 2008; Mc: McKnight; Mi: Millett; MR: Michelant and Raynaud; Mo: Morris and Skeat; MS: MS Harley 2253; Mu: H. M. R. Murray; Pa: Patterson; Pr: Pringle 2009; Rei: Reichl 1973; Rev1: Revard 2004; Rev2: Revard 2005b; Ri1: Ritson 1877; Ri2: Ritson 1885; Ro: Robbins 1959; Sa: Saupe; Si: Silverstein; St: Stemmler 1970; Tr: Treharne; Tu: Turville-Petre 1989; Ul: Ulrich; W1: Wright 1839; W2: Wright 1841; W3: Wright 1842; W4: Wright 1844; WH: Wright and Halliwell.

3 Preyye. So W3, Bö, Br. MS: prereyõe (first re abbreviated). Sa: Preyghe.

16 suete. So MS, Bö, Br, Sa. W3: to suete.

29 welle. So MS, W3, Bö, Br. Sa: well.

30 felle. So MS, W3, Bö, Br. Sa: fell.

 
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Art. 66, Blessed be thou, Levedy

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¶ Blessed be thou, Levedy, ful of heovene blisse,
Suete flur of parays, moder of mildenesse;
Preyye Jesu, thy sone, that he me rede ant wysse
So my wey forte gon that he me never misse.

Of the, suete Levedy, my song Y wile byginne;
Thy deore suete sones love thou lere me to wynne.
Ofte Y syke ant serewe among — may Y never blynne!
Levedi, for thi milde mod, thou shilde me from synne.

Myne thohtes, Levedy, maketh me ful wan;
To the Y crie ant calle — thou here me for thi man!
Help me, hevene quene, for thyn ever Ych am.
Wisse me to thi deore sone — the weies Y ne can!

Levedy Seinte Marie, for thi milde mod,
Soffre never that Y be so wilde ne so wod
That Ich her forleose the that art so god,
That Jesu me tobohte with is suete blod.

Bryhte ant shene, sterre cler, lyht thou me ant lere
In this false, fykel world myselve so to bere
That Y ner at myn endyng have the feond to fere.
Jesu, mid thi suete blod, thou bohtest me so dere!

Levedi Seinte Marie, so fair ant so briht,
Al myn help is on the bi day ant by nyht;
Levedi fre, thou shilde me so wel as thou myht,
That Y never forleose heveriche lyht.

Levedy Seinte Marie, so fayr ant so hende,
Preye Jesu Crist, thi sone, that he me grace sende
So to queme him ant the, er Ich henne wende,
That he me bringe to the blis that is withouten ende.

Ofte Y crie, “Merci!” Of mylse thou art welle.
Alle buen false that bueth mad bothe of fleysh ant felle!     
Levedi suete, thou us shild from the pine of helle —
Bring us to the joie that no tonge hit may oftelle.

Jesu Crist Godes Sone, Fader, ant Holy Ghost,
Help us at oure nede, as thou hit al wel wost;
Bring us to thin riche, ther is joie most.
Let us never hit misse for non worldes bost!
¶ Blessed are you, Lady, full of heaven’s bliss,
Sweet flower of paradise, mother of mildness;
Pray Jesus, your son, that he may guide and teach me
How to go on my way so that he’ll never forget me.

Of you, sweet Lady, my song I will begin;
Teach me how to win your dear sweet son’s love.
Often I sigh and all the time lament — may I never cease!
Lady, for your gentle bearing, guard me from sin.

My thoughts, Lady, make me very pale;
To you I cry and call — hear me as your man!
Help me, heaven’s queen, for I am ever yours.
Guide me to your dear son — the ways I cannot find!

Lady Saint Mary, for your gentle bearing,
Let me not be so wayward nor so mad
That here I lose you who are so good,
For Jesus bought me with his sweet blood.

Fair and beautiful, clear star, illuminate and teach me
In this false, fickle world how to bear myself
So that I’ll never at my end have to fear the fiend.
Jesus, with your sweet blood, you bought me so dearly!

Lady Saint Mary, so fair and so bright,
All my help is fixed on you by day and by night;
Noble Lady, protect me as well as you are able,
So that I’ll never lose the heavenly kingdom’s light.

Lady Saint Mary, so fair and so gracious,
Pray Jesus Christ, your son, that he send me grace
So to please him and you, before I pass on hence,
That he may bring me to the bliss that’s without end.

Oft I cry, “Mercy!” Of mercy you are the fount.
All is false that is made both of flesh and skin!
Lady sweet, shield us from the pain of hell —
Bring us to the joy that no tongue may express.

Jesus Christ God’s Son, Father, and Holy Ghost,
Help us at our need, as you know it very well;
Bring us to your kingdom, where joy is fullest.
Let us never forfeit it for any worldly pride!


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