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Art. 81, Mon in the mone stond ant strit


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); CT: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales; CUL: Cambridge University Library (Cambridge); DOML: Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library; FDT: French Devotional Texts of the Middle Ages (Sinclair 1979); FDT-1French Devotional Texts of the Middle Ages, . . . First Supplement (Sinclair 1982); IMEV: The Index of Middle English Verse (Brown and Robbins); 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).

19 grey frere. “Gray friar,” that is, a friar of the Franciscan order.

30 dame douse. Turville-Petre 1989 and Ritson 1877 read douce as the wife’s proper name, “Sweetheart.”


ABBREVIATIONS: As: Aspin; : Böddeker; Br: Brook; BS: Bennett and Smithers; BZ: Brandl and Zippel; B13: Brown 1937; Dea: J. M. Dean; Do: Dove 1969; Fl: Flood; : Förster; Fu: Furnivall; HB: Hunt and Bliss; Kem: Kemble; Ken: Kennedy; Mi: Millett; Mo: Morris and Skeat; MS: MS Harley 2253; Mu1: H. J. R. Murray; Mu2: J. A. H. Murray; NB: Noomen and van den Boogard; Pa: Patterson; Rev: Revard 2005a; Ri: Ritson 1877; Ro: Robbins 1959; SP: Short and Pearcy; Si: Silverstein; St: Stemmler 1970; Tu: Turville-Petre 1989; Ul: Ulrich; W1: Wright 1839; W2: Wright 1841; W3: Wright 1842; WH: Wright and Halliwell.

1 strit. So MS, W3, Bö, B13, Br, BS, Tu. Ri: streit.

7 wytht. So MS (wyþt), W3, Ri, B13, BS, Tu. Bö, Br: wyht.
wen. So MS, W3, Ri, B13, BS, Tu. Bö, Br: when.

11 hithte. So MS (hiþte), W3, Ri, B13, Br, BS, Tu. Bö: hihþe.
sytht. So MS (syþt), W3, Ri, B13, BS, Tu. Bö, Br: syht.

20 crokede. So MS, W3, Ri, B13, Br, BS, Tu. Bö: crockede.

32 schule. So MS, Ri, Bö, B13, Br, BS. W3, Tu: shule.

35 Ich. So MS, W3, Bö, B13, Br, BS, Tu. Ri: ic.
heth. So MS (heþ), W3, Ri, BS, Tu. Bö, B13, Br: heh.

37 hosede. So MS, W3, Ri, B13, Br, BS, Tu. Bö: osede.

38 amarscled. So MS, W3, B13, BS, Tu. Ri, Bö, Br: amarstled.

39 teh. So MS, W3, Ri, B14, BS, Tu. Bö, Br: teþ.

40 cherld. So MS, W3, Ri, B14, BS, Tu. Bö, Br: cherl.









¶ Mon in the mone stond ant strit;
On is bot-forke is burthen he bereth.
Hit is muche wonder that he nadoun slyt —
For doute leste he valle, he shoddreth ant shereth.
When the forst freseth, muche chele he byd.
The thornes beth kene, is hattren totereth.
Nis no wytht in the world that wot wen he syt,
Ne, bote hit bue the hegge, whet wedes he wereth.

Whider trowe this mon ha the wey take?
He hath set is o fot is other toforen;
For non hithte that he hath, ne sytht me hym ner shake.     
He is the sloweste mon that ever wes yboren!
Wher he were o the feld pycchynde stake,
For hope of ys thornes to dutten is doren,
He mot myd is twybyl other trous make,
Other al is dayes werk ther were yloren.

This ilke mon upon heh, when-er he were,
Wher he were y the mone boren ant yfed,
He leneth on is forke ase a grey frere —
This crokede caynard, sore he is adred!
Hit is mony day go that he was here;
Ichot of is ernde he nath nout ysped.
He hath hewe sumwher a burthen of brere;
Tharefore sum hayward hath taken ys wed.

Yef thy wed ys ytake, bring hom the trous!
Sete forth thyn other fot! Stryd over sty!
We shule preye the haywart hom to ur hous,
Ant maken hym at heyse, for the maystry,
Drynke to hym deorly of fol god bous,
Ant oure dame douse shal sitten hym by.
When that he is dronke ase a dreynt mous,
Thenne we schule borewe the wed ate bayly.

This mon hereth me nout, thah Ich to hym crye!
Ichot the cherl is def! The Del hym todrawe!
Thah Ich yeye upon heth, nulle nout hye;
The lostlase ladde con nout o lawe.
Hupe forth, Hubert, hosede pye!
Ichot thart amarscled into the mawe!
Thah me teone with hym that myn teh mye,
The cherld nul nout adoun er the day dawe!
¶ The man in the moon stands and strides;
On his forked stick he bears his bundle.
It’s a great wonder that he doesn’t fall down —
For fear lest he fall, he trembles and veers.
When the frost freezes, he endures much cold.
The thorns are sharp, [they] tatter his clothes.
There’s no one in the world who knows when he sits,
Nor, unless it be the hedge, what clothes he wears.

Which way do you think this man’s taken his path?
He’s set his one foot in front of the other;
Despite any effort taken, one never sees him move.
He’s the slowest man that ever was born!
Where he’s in the field fastening stakes,
In the hope of closing his doors with his thorns,
He must make a bundle with his two-edged axe,
Or else all his day’s work there is lost.

This very man upon high, whenever he appears,
There in the moon where he was born and reared,
He leans on his forked stick like a gray friar —
This hunched idler, he’s terribly frightened!
It’s many days ago that he was here;
I know he’s not succeeded in his errand.
He’s hewn somewhere a burden of briars;
Therefore some hayward has taken his pledge.

If your pledge is taken, bring home the hedge-cuttings!
Set forth your other foot! Stride over the path!
We shall ask the hayward home to our house,
And put him at ease, in a comfortable manner,
Drink to him affectionately with very stiff drink,
And our gentle wife shall sit near him.
When he is as drunk as a drowned mouse,
Then we shall obtain the pledge from the bailiff.

This man hears me not, though I call out to him!
I think the churl is deaf! May the Devil pull him to bits!
Though I cry out on high, he won’t at all hurry;
The lazy lad knows nothing of the law.
Hop forth, Hubert, magpie in stockings!
I think you’re stuffed full in the stomach!
Though I’m so angry with him that my teeth grate,
The churl won’t come down before the day dawns!



(see note)

(see note)




Go To Art. 82, Le chevaler e la corbaylle, introduction
Go To Art. 82, Le chevaler e la corbaylle, text