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Art. 30, With longyng Y am lad


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).

23 menske. “Love or honor as mistress or wife.” See MED, mensken (v.), sense 3.

38–40 Woolf calls this ending “an extravagant but probably conventional hyperbole” (1970, p. 287). It resembles the endings of Alysoun, The Fair Maid of Ribblesdale, and A Beauty White as Whale’s Bone (arts. 29, 34, 36). On the phrase brihtest under bys, see Fein 2000c, p. 357.


ABBREVIATIONS: As: Aspin; Bö: Böddeker; Bos: Bossy; Br: Brook; BS: Bennett and Smithers; BZ: Brandl and Zippel; B13: Brown 1937; B14: Brown 1957; 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.

19 nul Y. So MS, BS. W3, Mo, Bö, B13, Br, St: nuly.









¶ With longyng Y am lad;
On molde Y waxe mad;
   A maide marreth me.
Y grede, Y grone, unglad,
For selden Y am sad
   That semly forte se.
   Levedi, thou rewe me!
To routhe thou havest me rad!
Be bote of that Y bad:
   My lyf is long on the!

Levedy, of alle londe
Les me out of bonde —
   Broht Ich am in wo!
Have resting on honde —
Ant sent thou me thi sonde,
   Sone, er thou me slo!
   My reste is with the ro.
Thah men to me han onde,
To love nul Y noht wonde,
   Ne lete for non of tho.

Levedi, with al my miht,
My love is on the liht,
   To menske, when Y may.
Thou rew ant red me ryht!
To dethe thou havest me diht:
   Y deye longe er my day!
   Thou leve upon mi lay!
Treuthe, Ichave the plyht
To don that Ich have hyht
   Whil mi lif leste may.

Lylie-whyt hue is,
Hire rode so rose on rys,
   That reveth me mi rest;
Wymmon war ant wys,
Of prude hue bereth the pris:
   Burde, on of the best.
   This wommon woneth by west,     
Brihtest under bys.
Hevene Y tolde al his
   That o nyht were hire gest!
¶ With longing I am led;
On earth I go mad;
   A maiden injures me.
I wail, I groan, unhappy,
For seldom am I satisfied
   By sight of that fair one.
   Lady, pity me!
You’ve brought me to grief!
Be the cure for which I’ve prayed:
   My life depends on you!

Lady, from everywhere
Release me from bondage —
   I am brought to woe!
You have relief in hand —
And send me your response,
   Soon, before you slay me!
   I am restless as a roe.
Though men are envious of me,
I’ll not hesitate to love,
   Nor cease for any of them.

Lady, with all my might,
My love is settled on you,
   To honor, when I may.
Pity and guide me justly!
To death you’ve condemned me:
   I die long before my time!
   Believe my song!
In truth, I’ve pledged to you
To do what I have promised
   While my life may last.

She is lily-white,
Her cheeks like rose on stem,
   Who robs me of my rest;
Among women cautious and wise,
She takes the prize for pride:
   This lady, one of the best.
   This woman lives to the west,        
Radiant under linen.
I'd consider heaven entirely his
   Who one night were her guest!


(see note)

(see note)

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