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Art. 85, A bok of swevenyng


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).

3 David. The scribe writes Dauid for Daniel, a simple error caused by the likeness of d to el.

77 wowe. This word could mean “wall” instead of “wave.” Compare MED, wough (n.(1)) and waue (n.). The dreamed house is either destroyed by flood or suffers its walls falling down.

111 gestes. “Guests.” Alternatively, this word could mean “adventures.” Compare MED, gest (n.) and geste (n.(1)).

144 Lattynge. “Injury, harm, trouble.” See MED, letting(e (ger.), sense 3.

174 eyl. “Health.” See MED, heil (n.).

238 This line is difficult to translate. See MED, led(e (n.(2)), sense 1.(a), “a person, a man” and 1.(c), “a prince, lord”; and swin(e (n.), sense 2.(a), “a lazy, dirty, lustful person” or 1(a), “a domestic pig.”


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.

4 gret. So MS, Fö. WH: grete.

6 gret. So MS, Fö. WH: grete.

27 bestes. So MS, Fö. WH: beste.

58 is. So MS (interlined), WH. Fö: omitted.

72 The scribe has written the word ydel in the right margin.

116 of. So MS, Fö. WH: to.

128 worth. MS, WH, Fö: wroth.

183 Drynke. So Fö, WH. MS: Dynke.

253 syth. MS, WH, Fö: syht.






































































¶ Her comenses a bok of swevenyng:
That men meteth in slepyng.
Thurth David hit yfounden ys,
That wes prophete of gret pris
Tho he was in a cyte
Of Babyloyne of gret pouste.
The princes him bysohten alle,
Bothe in toun ant in halle,
That he huere swevenes aredde,
That huem thothte anyht in bedde;
Ant undude huere swevenes ariht
Thurh the Holi Gostes myht.

Mon that bryddes syth, slepynde:
       Him is toward gret wynnynge.

Mon that meteth of lomb ant got:
       That tokneth confort, God yt wot.

Mon that thuncheth he breketh armes:
       That ywis bytokneth harmes.

Mon that syth tren blowe ant bere:
       Bitokneth wynnyng ant no lere.

Mon that styth on tre an heh:
       Gode tidynge him is neh.

Mon that syth the sky wes clere:
       Of somthing he worth yboden here.

Mon that syth briddes cokkynde:
       Of wraththe that is toknynge.

Mon that thuncheth him bestes dryven:
       His enimy wol with him striven.

Mon that of cartes met:
       Of dede mon tidyng he het.

Mon that shet ant bowe bent:
       Of somthing he worth ysend.

Mon that met of broche ant ryng:
       That bitokneth syker thyng.

Mon that broche other ryng forlest:
       He bith bitreyed alre nest.

Selver seon ant gold bryht:
       That is weder cler ant lyht.

Eysil drynke ant bittre thyng:
       Som serewe him is comyng.

Mon that to God doth offryng:
       Of gladnesse hit is tydyng.

Mon in albe other cloth whit:
       Of joie that is gret delit.

Armes ysen ant eke bataille:
       Hit is strif ant wrake, withoute faille.

Thilke that hath berd gret ant long:
       He worth of power gret ant strong.

Mon that thuncheth is berd ys shave:
       That bitokneth harm to have.

Armes habbe grete ant longe:
       That is power, Ich onderstonde.

Armes habbe sherte ant lene:
       That is feblesse ase at ene.

Gerlaund whose hath ant croune:
       Forsoth him worth honour in toune.

Mon that sith the hevene undon:
       To al the world hit is wycked won.

Buen yshrud in gode clothe:
       That is sykernesse ant counfort bothe.

Mon that wolde erne ah he ne may:
       That is seknesse, par fay.

Tapres make ant condle lyhte:
       That is joie, day ant nyhte.

Bokes rede other here reden:
       That is tidyng of god deden.

Mon that is in lokyng:
       Deceyte him is comyng.

With kyng speke other emperour:
       That is dignete ant honour.

Heren symphayne other harpe:
       That bitokneth wordes sharpe.

Ye that falleth toht other tweyn:
       Thi nexte frendes shule deyn.

Yef thou makest houses newe:
       Joie ant blisse the shal siwe.

Yef thin hous falleth mid the wowe:
       The worth harm ant eken howe.

Yef thou ridest on hors whyt:
       That is joie ant delyt.

Reed hors seon other ryden:
       Gode tidinge that wol tiden.

On blac hors ryden other seon:
       That wol luere ant tuene buen.

Mon that meteth himself sek ys:
       Of wommon accusynge that is.

That sith himself gomeninge ant wod:
       Bitokneth serewe ant no god.

With suerd other knif whose is smyte:
       Of tuene he shal eft ywyte.

Mon that thuncheth he hath feir face:
       Bitokneth god ant feir grace.

Mon that sith him in water cler:
       Of longe lyve he worth her.

Blac whose sith is oune face:
       Him worth blame in uche place.

Water passen cler ant stille:
       Bitokneth sikernesse ant wille.

In water thikke ant trouble buen:
       Bytokneth bo deceyte ant tuen.

In diches falle grete ant deope:
       From blame ne shal he him kepe.

In grete water ase Temese is throwe:
       Evel toward he may trowe.

Mon that syth gret snow ant hayl:
       Hit bitokneth gret travail.

With swerd other knyf fyhte:
       That is deceyte al aryhte.

Lombren suen other calf:
       Bytokneth plente on uch half.

Mon that sith gestes come:
       Ywayted he is to buen ynome.

Whose sith is fomon in bataille:
       Anguisse him tid withoute faille.

Lahtoun make ant todelve:
       Bytokneth joie of himselve.

Man yturnd into beste:
       That is wraththe ant eke cheste.

Mon that sith is hous bernynde:
       Ful gret peryl him is comynde.

Whose hym wossheth of cler water other welle:     
       Of joie ant wynnyng he shal telle.

That is hed is wyt whose meteth:
       Gret byyete hit bytokneth.

Whose thuncheth is hed is shave:
       Strong hit is from luere him save.

Whose meteth is her is long:
       He worth of poer gret ant strong.

On whan houndes berketh fele:
       Is fomon him foundeth tele.

Yef thou hast on newe shon:
       Thou shalt joie underfon.

Yef the meteth thin shon beth olde:
       In anguisse the worth yholde.

Yef the meteth me wossheth thin heued:
       Sunne ant peril the worth byreved.

Yef thou etest of thystles yurne:
       Thy fomon the freteth on uche hurne.

Yyf thou sist two mone:
       In pouste thou shalt waxe sone.

Yef the thuncheth thou sist the mone:
       Shapen of hard the worth to done.

Yef the thuncheth thou ybounden art:
       Lattynge the worth strong ant smart.

Yef thou hast a bed of pris:
       The worth a trewe wyf, ywis.

Yef thou sist the see ful cler:
       The is god toward ner ant ner.

Yef the see is yn tempeste:
       The tid anguisse ant eke cheste.

Whose foule sith is honde:
       He is fol of sunne ant shonde.

Whose meteth him lasse ymaked:
       Of is power he byth aslaked.

Yef thou more ant more wext:
       Of god poer thou shalt buen hext.

Yef mon thuncheth that he is wedded:
       Longe he worth seek in bedde.

Mon that thuncheth he ded ys:
       Newe hous ant confort shal buen his.

Yef thou with dede mon spext:
       Muche joie the is next.

Whose thuncheth himself adreint:
       Of desturbaunce he bith ateint.

Whose briddes nest hath yfounde:
       Good shal to him abounde.

Yef thou sist thyn hauek flen:
       In joie thou shalt weole ysen.

Brudale oper songes heren:
       Bytokneth plente to alle feren.

Yef the thuncheth thou gest barefot:
       Bytokneth serewe ant no god.

Yef the thuncheth thou takest veil:
       Bitokneth joie, god, ant eyl.

Tren with frut whose sith:
       Biyete, forsothe, that byth.

Eyr mysty whose syth:
       Desturbaunce that bith.

Of bestes him hated whose sith:
       Luere of frend that byth

Cartes urne whose sith:
       Wraththe of frend that byth.

Drynke eysil whose syth:
       To sothe, seknesse that bith.

Eryen lond whose him syth:
       Travail, forsothe, that bith.

Berd shave whose sith:
       Muche joie that bith.

Armes other legges misturnd wose syth:
       Langour ant mournyng that bith.

Croune underfonge whose syth:
       Heththe ant menske that byth.

Whit heued whose syth:
       Gret byyete that byth.

Heued shave whose syth:
       Wyte him wel, deceyte that bith.

Houndes berkynde whose syth:
       Proude von the speketh with.

With houndes biset whose him syth:
       Tuene of enymis that bith.

Wosshen is heued wose syth:
       Of sunne ant peril tolyvred he byth.

Thistles eten whose him syth:
       Evel speche of fon that byth.

Hevene yleyed wose syth:
       Harm in huerte, sothliche, hit byth.

Urne feintliche whose him sith:
       Seknesse that tokneth ant byth.

Caroles make ant condles lyhte:
       That is joie ant murthe bryhte.

With maide wedded whose him syth:
       Anguisse on soule mon saith that byth.

Mantel werie whose him sytht:
       Confort ant joie that byth.

Whose the dede speketh wyth,
Fader other moder whose hit bith:
       Ase the Latyn seith, ywis,
       That is muche joie ant blis.

Casten drynke other mete:
       That a mon hath er y-ete.

Other with soster have to donne,
Other soster taken him to monne:
       That is a bytokenyng
       Of sunne ant of mournyng.

His teth falle whose syth:
       Luere of frend Ychot that byth.

Wong-teth blede ant tharewith falle:
       Deth of cun we mowe calle.

Hous falle other berne whose syth:
       Sclaundre ne may he wyten him wyth.

White hors ant rede habbe:
       God tydynge, withoute gabbe.

Wondrynde whose hym syth:
       Mournyng that bytokneth ant byth.

Blake hors other falewe habbe:
       Apeyrement, Y nul nout gabbe.

Hymselve dronke whose syth,
Led drawen other swyn, therwyth:
       Feblesse of body that ilke byth.

Galded other seek whose hym syth,
Robbed other outlawed, therwyth:
       Wreynge ant gret blame that byth.

With yrne ysmite whose hym syth:
       Mournyng that illke byth.

His face in water whose syth:
       Long lyf that ilke byth.

Ys face feyr whose syth:
       Joie ant menske that ilke byth.

Ys face lodlych whose syth:
       Bytoknyng of sunne that byth.

Water cler whose syth:
       Bytoknyng of sykernesse that byth.

Water trouble whose syth:
       Wreynge, forsothe, that ylke bith.

Wallen suen ant of hem drynke,
Other in house walle sprynge:
       Joie ant biyete that is toknynge.

Water into hous ybore whose sith:
       Tocknynge of peril that byth.

Children bueren other habbe:
       That is harm, withoute gabbe.

Joie in swevenyng whose syth:
       Mournyng that tokneth ant byth

Mon yturnd into beste:
       He wraththed God, atte leste.

Uncomely to bataille gon:
       That is shome of is fon.

Whose thuncheth him in prisoun:
       That is chalenge ant raunsoun.

Whose him thuncheth ben peint on bord:
       That is long lif, at lut word.

The mone blody other doun falle:
       Travail ant peril me may calle.

Himself ybounde whose may sen,
Other in swymmynge ben,
Other wycchen, other weddyng:
       That is travail other gret lattyng.

Sheren shep whose syth:
       Sothliche, harm that byth.

Whose wepeth in swevenyng,
Other meteth of cussyng,
Other palmen may ysen:
       Joie ant blisse that wol ben.

The sonne cler whose syth:
       That bitokneth pes ant gryth.

The sonne derk whose may se:
       Peril of kynges that wol be.

The sonne reed whose syth:
       Shedyng of blod that tokne byth.

Sterren of the hevene falle:
       Gret bataille that is withalle.

Tueyn monen at eve ysen:
       Chaunge of kyng other prince that mai ben.

Thourne whose thuncheth he syth:
       That beth grete wordes ant styth.

The erthequaque whose may sen:
       Harm to thilke stude wol ben.

Whose geth on hontyng:
       That bytokneth purchasyng.

Whose thuncheth that he flyth:
       Chaunge of stude that ilke bith.

Whose sith clothes bernynde:
       Deceite is the bytoknynge.

Folle vesseles in house ysen:
       Plente that tokneth to ben.

Whose thuncheth he God sith,
Other out that to him biliht:
       That, ase suggeth this clerkes,
       Bytokneth gode werkes.
       Somme seggeth hit is ylle,
       Ant that be at Godes wille.

Gurdel wosshen whose syth:
       Choste, Ychot, that ylke byth.

Of alle swevenes that men metetht
Day other nytht, when hue slepetht,
No mon ne con that sothe thyng
Telle bote the hevene kyng.
He us wyte ant warde bo,
Ant ever shilde us from ur fo.
¶ Here commences a book of dreaming:
What people encounter in sleep.
It is composed by Da[niel],
Who was a prophet of high renown
While he dwelled in Babylon,
A city of great dominion.
All the princes sought him out,
Both in town and in hall,
So that he might interpret their dreams,
What they thought at night in bed;
And he correctly unraveled their dreams
Through power of the Holy Ghost.

One who, sleeping, sees birds:
       He will receive great reward.

One who dreams of lamb and goat:
       That betokens comfort, as God knows.

One who thinks he breaks his arms:
       That assuredly betokens injuries.

One who sees trees blown and bare:
       That betokens gain and no loss.

One who climbs a tree on high:
       His good tidings are nearby.

One who sees the sky was clear:
       He can expect something to happen here.

One who sees birds fighting:
       That is a sign of anger.

One who thinks himself chased by animals:
       His enemy will fight with him.

One who encounters carts:
       He summons news of someone dead.

One who shoots and bends a bow:
       He can expect something to be sent.

One who encounters brooch or ring:
       That signifies a sure thing.

One who loses a brooch or ring:
       Next of all he’ll be betrayed.

To see silver and bright gold:
       That means clear and sunny weather.

To drink vinegar and something bitter:
       Some sorrow is coming to him.

One who gives offering to God:
       It is a sign of gladness.

One clothed in an alb or other white cloth:
       That signifies great delight of joy.

To see weapons and also battle:
       It means strife and enmity, without doubt.

He who has a beard thick and long:
       He’ll gain power great and strong.

One who thinks his beard is shaved:
       That signifies a harm he’ll have.

Having weapons large and long:
       That means power, I understand.

Having weapons short and lean:
       That means weakness once and for all.

Whoever has a garland and crown:
       Truly he’ll experience public honor.

One who sees heaven undone:
       It means cruel disaster for all the world.

To be dressed in fine cloth:
       That means both security and comfort.

One who desires what he may not have:
       That signifies sickness, in faith.

Making tapers and lighting candle:
       That means joy, day and night.

Reading books or hearing them read:
       That means hearing of good deeds.

One who is peering in:
       Deceit is coming to him.

Speaking with king or emperor:
       That means dignity and honor.

To hear an instrument or harp:
       That betokens sharp words.

You who lose a tooth or two:
       Your nearest friends will die.

If you build new houses:
       Joy and bliss will follow you.

If your house falls amid the flood:
       You’ll receive harm and also distress.

If you ride on a white horse:
       That means joy and delight.

To see or ride a red horse:
       Good news that will come about.

To ride or see a black horse:
       That will mean peril and destruction.

One who dreams that he is sick:
       That is about blaming women.

He who sees himself silly and mad:
       That signifies sorrow and no good.

Whoever is struck with sword or knife:
       He will know repeated trouble.

One who thinks he has a fair face:
       It signifies good and fair grace.

One who sees himself in clear water:
       He’ll have here a long life.

Whoever sees his own face black:
       He’ll experience blame everywhere.

To cross water clear and still:
       Signifies safety and purpose.

To be in water dark and turbulent:
       Signifies both deceit and harm.

Falling into ditches large and deep:
       He’ll not keep himself from blame.

To be thrown into water vast as the Thames:
       He may believe that evil approaches.

One who sees great snow and hail:
       It signifies arduous effort.

Fighting with sword or knife:
       That means deceit very certainly.

To follow lambs or a calf:
       Betokens plenty on every side.

One who sees guests arrive:
       He may expect to be captured.

Whoever sees his enemies in battle:
       Anguish will come to him without fail.

To make and to dig up a garden:
       Signifies joy in oneself.

One turned into beast:
       That means anger and also strife.

One who sees his house burning:
       Extreme peril is coming to him.

Whoever washes himself in clear water or well:
       He will accrue joy and reward.

Whoever dreams his head is white:
       It signifies great profit.

Whoever thinks his head is shaved:
       It clearly indicates he’ll be saved from harm.

Whoever dreams his hair is long:
       He’ll have strength great and strong.

He at whom hounds often bark:
       His enemies will slander him.

If you have new shoes on:
       You will obtain joy.

If you dream your shoes are old:
       Anguish will take hold of you.

If you dream that someone washes your head:
       Harm and peril will be taken from you.

If you eat thistles eagerly:
       Your enemies threaten you everywhere.

If you see two moons:
       In power you will wax soon.

If you think you see the moon:
       Your actions will be full of hardship.

If you think you are restrained:
       You’ll experience hindrance sharp and painful.

If you have an expensive bed:
       You’ll have a true wife, indeed.

If you see the sea be quite clear:
       Good is approaching you nearer and nearer.

If the sea is in tempest:
       To you will come anguish and also suffering.

Whoever sees his hand look foul:
       He is full of sin and disgrace.

Whoever dreams himself made shorter:
       He is decreased in his strength.

If you grow more and more:
       You will be promised good power.

If one thinks that he is married:
       He will be long time sick in bed.

One who thinks he is dead:
       A new house and comfort shall be his.

If you speak with a dead man:
       Much joy is near you.

Whoever thinks himself drowned:
       Of a disturbance he’ll be convicted.

Whoever has found a bird’s nest:
       Good will abound to him.

If you see your hawk fly:
       In joy you’ll see good fortune.

To hear a wedding feast or songs:
       It betokens plenty for all mates.

If you think you go barefoot:
       It betokens sorrow and no good.

If you think you take veil [become a nun]:
       It betokens joy, virtue, and health.

Whoever sees a tree with fruit:
       That means, truly, procreation.

Whoever sees foggy air:
       That means disturbance.

Whoever sees beasts he hates:
       That means the loss of a friend.

Whoever sees carts run:
       That means a friend’s wrath.

Whoever sees bitter drink:
       Truly, that means sickness.

Whoever sees himself till land:
       That means, truly, suffering.

Whoever sees a shaved beard:
       That means great joy.

Whoever sees crooked arms or legs:
       That means illness and mourning.

Whoever sees a seized crown:
       That means health and honor.

Whoever sees a white head:
       That means great profit.

Whoever sees a shaved head:
       Take good heed, that means deceit.

Whoever sees dogs barking:
       You will speak with haughty foes.

Whoever sees himself surrounded by dogs:
       That means adversity from enemies.

Whoever sees his head washed:
       He’ll be delivered from harm and peril.

Whoever sees thistles eaten:
       That signifies the evil speech of foes.

Whoever sees heaven set on fire:
       It means, truly, heartache.

Whoever sees himself run feebly:
       That betokens and means sickness.

To make carols and light candles:
       That means joy and sparkling mirth.

Whoever sees himself wedded to a maiden:
       Anguish of soul they say that means.

Whoever sees himself wear a cloak:
       That means comfort and joy.

Whoever speaks with the dead,
Whether it be father or mother:
       As the Latin says, indeed,
       That means much joy and happiness.

Throwing away drink or food:
       That [means] one has previously eaten.

One who has to do with his sister,
Or his sister takes him physically:
       That is a sign
       Of sin and of grief.

Whoever sees his teeth fall out:
       I know that means loss of a friend.

Molars bleed and then fall out:
       We must receive the death of kin.

Whoever sees a house or barn fall down:
       He may not protect himself from slander.

Having a white and red horse:
       [Means] good tiding, without lie.

One who sees himself traveling:
       That betokens and means mourning.

Having a black or bay horse:
       [Means] injury, I will not lie.

Whoever sees himself drunk,
A tortured man or churl, as well:
       That means feebleness of body.

Whoever sees himself gelded or sick,
Robbed or banished, as well:
       That means denunciation and great blame.

Whoever sees himself struck by iron:
       Grief will that one have.

Whoever sees his face in water:
       Long life will that one have.

Whoever sees his face as fair:
       Joy and honor will that one have.

Whoever sees his face as ugly:
       That is a sign of sin.

Whoever sees clear water:
       That is a token of safety.

Whoever sees troubled water:
       Denunciation, truly, that one will have.

To see fountains and drink from them,
Or a fountain flow in a house:
       That is a sign of joy and profit.

Whoever sees water seeping into a house:
       That is a sign of peril.

To bear or have children:
       That means harm, without lie.

Whoever sees joy in dreaming:
       That signifies and means mourning.

One turned into a beast:
       He has angered God, at the least.

To go unprepared into battle:
       That means shame at the hands of his foes.

Whoever thinks he is in prison:
       That means accusation and ransom.

Whoever believes himself painted on a board:
       That means long life, to speak briefly.

The moon bloody or else fallen down:
       One may receive effort and peril.

Whoever may see himself restrained,
Or in the act of swimming,
Or bewitching, or marrying:
       That means effort or other hard hindrance.

Whoever sees sheep being sheared:
       Truly, that means harm.

Whoever weeps in dreaming,
Or dreams of kissing,
Or may see palm leaves:
       That will mean joy and happiness.

Whoever sees the clear sun:
       That signifies peace and lawful order.

Whoever may see the dark sun:
       That will mean danger to kings.

Whoever sees the red sun:
       That means shedding of blood.

Stars falling from the heaven:
       That means great battle overall.

To see two moons in the evening:
       That may mean a change of king or prince.

Whoever thinks he sees a thorn:
       That means proud and harsh words.

Whoever may see an earthquake:
       That will mean injury to this place.

Whoever goes hunting:
       That signifies acquisition.

Whoever thinks that he flies:
       That very dream means change of place.

Whoever sees burning clothes:
       Deceit is the betokening.

To see full vessels in a house:
       That betokens plenty.

Whoever thinks he sees God,
Or something that brings him illumination:
       That, as these clerks say,
       Betokens good works.
       Some say it is an ill omen,
       And that it is by God’s will.

Whoever sees a girdle washed:
       Chaste, I believe, that same one is.

Of all the dreams that men encounter
Day or night, when they sleep,
No one can tell the ultimate truth
Except for heaven’s king.
May he both guide and protect us,
And always shield us from our foe.

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Go To Art. 86, Ordre de bel ayse, introduction
Go To Art. 86, Ordre de bel ayse, text