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Art. 53, When Y se blosmes springe


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).

16 bileved. The verb is bileven (v.(1)), “to remain, hold back, or turn from,” not “believe” as glossed by Brook. The line expresses the superlative depth of Jesus’ suffering.


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.

2 foules. So MS, Bö, Br, Mi. W3: soules.

19 smerte. So MS, Bö, Br, Mi. W3: swerte.

26 the. So MS (3e), W3, Br. Bö, Mi: thi.
sone. So MS, W3, Bö. Br: swete. Mi: suete.

31 con. So Bö. Br, Mi. MS, W3: cou3e.

32 Turne. So MS, Bö, Br, Mi. W3: word printed at end of line 31.

40 yboht. So MS, W3, Bö, Br. Mi: ybroht.











¶ When Y se blosmes springe,
    Ant here foules song,
A suete love-longynge
    Myn herte thourhout stong
Al for a love newe
That is so suete ant trewe!
    That gladieth al my song:
Ich wot al myd iwisse
My joie ant eke my blisse
  On him is al ylong.

When Y miselve stonde
    Ant with myn eyen seo:
Thurled fot ant honde
    With grete nayles threo —
Blody wes ys heued —
On him nes nout bileved
    That wes of peynes freo!
Wel wel ohte myn herte
For his love to smerte,
    Ant sike ant sory beo.

Jesu, milde ant softe,
    Yef me streynthe ant myht
Longen sore ant ofte
    To lovye the aryht.
Pyne to tholie ant dreye
For the sone, Marye,
    Thou art so fre ant bryht!
Mayden ant moder mylde,
For love of thine childe,
    Ernde us heven lyht!

Alas, that Y ne con
    Turne to him my thoht,
Ant cheosen him to lemmon!
    So duere he us hath yboht
With woundes deope ant stronge,   
With peynes sore ant longe,
    Of love ne conne we noht!
His blod that feol to grounde,
Of hise suete wounde,
    Of peyne us hath yboht.

Jesu, milde ant suete,
    Y synge the mi song;
Ofte Y the grete
    Ant preye the among:
“Let me sunnes lete,
Ant in this lyve bete
    That Ich have do wrong.”
At oure lyves ende,
When whe shule wende,
    Jesu, us undefong.
¶ When I see blossoms spring,
    And hear birds’ song,
A sweet love-longing
    Pierces through my heart
Entirely for a new love
Who is so sweet and true!
    That gladdens my song:
I know quite certainly
My joy and also my bliss
    Wholly in him belongs.

When I myself stand
    And with my eyes see:
Pierced in foot and hand
    With three great nails —
Bloody was his head —
On him was nothing withheld   
    That was of noble suffering!
Very truly ought my heart
Feel pain for his love,
    And sigh and be sorry.

Jesus, mild and gentle,
    Give me strength and might
To desire deep and oft
    To love you truly.
And to suffer and endure pain
For your son, Mary,
    You are so free and bright!
Maiden and mother mild,
For love of your child,
    Obtain us heaven’s light!

Alas, that I cannot
    Turn to him my thought,
And choose him as lover!
    So dearly he has us bought
With wounds deep and strong,
With pains sore and long,
    By a love we understand not!
His blood that fell to ground,
From his sweet wound,
    With pain has redeemed us.

Jesus, mild and sweet,
    I sing to you my song;
Often you I greet
    And pray you all the while:
“Let me abandon sins,
And in this life atone
    For what I have done wrong.”
At our lives’ end,
When we shall pass on,
    Jesus, us receive.


(see note)





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