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Chansons d'Aventure and Love Quests


Ase y me rod this ender day. Index no. 359. MS: BL Harley 2253, fol. 81b (West Midlands, early fourteenth century). Editions: Wright, Specimens, pp. 94-96; Böddekker, pp. 218-19; Wülcker, 1:48-49; B14, no. 11; Brook, no. 27; Davies, no. 20; LH, no. 194, Stevick, no. 33; Dunn and Byrnes, pp. 205-07; Cook, pp. 462-64; Otto Funke, A Middle English Reader, third ed. (Berne: A. Francke, 1966), pp. 49-51. Selected criticism: William McClellan, "Radical Theology or Parody in a Marian Lyric of Ms Harley 2253," Voices in Translation: The Authority of "Olde Bookes" in Medieval Literature; Essays in Honor of Helaine Newstead, ed. Deborah M. Sinnreich-Levi and Gale Sigal (New York: AMS, 1992), pp. 157-68.

1 Ase y me rod. A conventional opening for the chanson d'aventure. Index no. 360, "Now spryngeth the spray" (Stevick, no. 25, Davies, no. 19) shows the form's secular origins.

7 suete ant fre. Written over an erasure.

23 Stevick suggests emending to If that you leste (if it please you) or If that ye leste (If you will listen) for rhyme and meter.

25 wymman. Brook's and Brown's emendation. MS: wynman.

33 on thoro lay. Brook rejects Böddekker's reading of þore, emended to þorwe and glossed as "crib," as "phonologically unlikely." He concurs with Sister Mary Immaculate ("A Note on 'A Song of the Five Joys,'" Modern Language Notes 55 [1940], 249-54) that Brown's glossing of the phrase as "according to due law" or "in due form" is "theologically inappropriate," and agrees with her reading of lay as "light." He comments: "This explanation seems the most satisfactory in view of v. 35 and the passages quoted by Sister Mary Immaculate from sermons on the Nativity which stress the miraculous brilliance of the star; for example, St. Bernard says 'Nox enim ut dies illuminata est' (Migne, P.L. 183, col. 126)" (p. 86).

34 brohte us lyhtnesse. Brown calls attention to the line "Et erranti populo lucem protulist" ("And to a wandering people you proffered light") in Primum fuit gaudium, a Latin hymn of the five joys (p. 246).

35 The ster. MS: þest, followed by i above the line. Brook writes: "Brown's reading þe ster fits the sense much better than Böddekker's reading þestri, but the latter is probably the reading of the manuscript, since the hook used to represent er in this manuscript is much rounder than the short vertical stroke used here. It is therefore necessary to regard the reading þe ster as an emendation" (p. 86).

44 ff. On Estermorewe . . . . Accounts of Jesus' resurrection occur in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20.

50-51 When hire body to hevene cam, / The soule to the body nam. The legend of Mary's bodily assumption into heaven appeared first in fourth-century apocryphal writings. Jacobus de Voragine discusses several versions of the story in The Golden Legend; see 2:77-97. Some medieval mystery cycles incorporate the story; see, for example, "The Assumption of Mary" (based on the Golden Legend) in The N-Town Play, Cotton MS Vespasian D.8, vol. 1, ed. Stephen Spector (EETS s.s. 11 [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991], pp. 387-409), where Jesus receives Mary's soul in heaven, then returns to earth to place it again in her uncorrupted body. The two then re-ascend incarnate into heaven among choirs of singing angels.


Nou skrinketh rose ant lylie flour. Index no. 2359. MS: BL Harley 2253, fol. 80a (West Midlands, early fourteenth century). Editions: Wright, Specimens, p. 87; Böddekker, pp. 212 ff.; CS, no. 48; Patterson, no. 33; B14, no. 10; Brook, no. 23; Stevick, no. 31; Silverstein, no. 27, with commentary; Davies, no. 14; LH, no. 193; Sisam, Oxford, no. 51; Kaiser, pp. 288-89 (50 lines); Segar (part), no. 26.

The rose and the lily, traditional symbols of Mary, are here seen literally as earthly and transient; but they remind the speaker of the rose and lily who restores rather than withers, the life-giving Mary.

1 skrinketh. MS: skrnketh. Brook's emendation. Brown emends to skrynketh.

7 fleysh. The h is crossed with a horizontal stroke which, Brook suggests, may indicate a final e.

13 folie. Brook comments: "folie in Old French often means 'illicit love', and this may be the meaning here, cf. Handlyng Synne. vv. 12393 ff."(p. 85).

29 We. MS: whe. Brown and Brook emend.

30 medicine. Patterson calls attention to a line from the antiphon for Evensong: "Such a deeth under3ede the medicyn of liif" (Maskell, 2:64).

41 his. Sisam emends to hir.

51 dude is body. The sense might be "placed his body" instead of "died [with] his body," the implication being that Jesus as God took human form and put that body on the tree for "oure sunnes."
55-59 This is the MS reading. Brown rearranges the lines to fit the pattern of the previous stanzas:

Thah thou be whyt and bryth on ble
Thou thench on Godes shoures
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Falewen shule thy floures.
Jesu have merci of us
That al this world honoures.

Brook notes Brown's transposition, but comments: "there are other examples of differences of structure between the last stanza of a lyric and the other stanzas . . . and it is not necessary to assume that a line has been lost. As it stands in the manuscript v. 58 does not rhyme with any other line in the stanza, but the emendation of us to me restores the rhyme."

56 bryth. Brook emends to bryht.

58 us. CS and Sisam emend to me.


In a tabernacle of a toure. Index no. 1460. MS: Bodl. 21896 (Douce 322), fols. 8b-9b (c. 1400). Other MSS: Bodl. 6943 (Ashmole 59), fol. 66a (mid-fifteenth century); Bodl. 11951 (Rawlinson C.86), fol. 69b (late fifteenth century); Bodl. 21652 (Douce 78), fol. 1b (late fifteenth century); BL Harley 1706, fol. 9b (fifteenth century); BL Addit. 37049, fol. 25b (first 11 stanzas, with illustration of Mary holding infant Christ in "tabernacle" and monk praying before them: "O Maria the flowre of virgyns clere in al oure nede oure prayer thou here") (early fifteenth century); Lambeth 853, p. 4 (8 stanzas, c. 1430); Manchester Rylands Library 18932 (Latin 395), fol. 138a (stanza 11 only, late fifteenth century); Paris Bibl. Nat. Anglais 41 (Supplément Français 819), fol. 3b (10 stanzas). Editions of Douce 322: B14, no. 132; H. S. Bennett, Quia Amore Langueo, with engravings by Eric Gill (London: Faber and Faber, 1937); Davies, no. 62; Stevick, no. 49; Gray, Selection, no. 61; Silverstein, no. 50; LH, no. 196. Editions of Addit. 37049: Bennett. Editions of Lambeth 853: F. J. Furnivall, EETS o.s. 15, pp. 177-79; Quia Amore Langueo (London: Carridoc Press, 1902); Philip Warner, "Quia Amore Langueo and Richard de Castre's Prayer to Jesus," Medici Society Memorabilia 3 (1915), 9-32; Bennett. Edition of Bibl. Nat. Anglais: S. Segawa, The Paris Version of Quia Amore Langueo (N.p.: Kanazawa, 1934).

Of this poem, Silverstein comments: "Mary, at once man's mother and sister, treats of love in a family tie made intense by its figurative complexity . . . which yet permits her to voice the reason for her complaint - man's flight from God - movingly as a son's neglect of a woman's yearning devotion" (p. 72). But Rosemary Woolf criticizes the "curiosity" of the use of the Canticles imagery to refer to Mary's love for humankind rather than for Christ, arguing that "the language of love-longing is not fitting to a loving mother" (302). She says: "It was customary in both devotion and literature to transfer to the Virgin what was said of Christ: this poem is an example of such a transference not succeeding" (p. 302). Compare, however, line 95, "Take me for thy wyfe and lerne to synge," with Pearl XIII-XIV, in which Pearl, citing Apocalypse 14:1-5, explains that she is one of Christ's many virgin brides; marriage is, in Pearl and in this poem, a metaphor for spiritual devotion. For a similar poem, a chanson d'aventure in which Christ is the speaker, see Index no. 1463 (Stevick, no. 50).

1 A tabernacle is "a canopied niche or recess in a wall or pillar, to contain an image" (OED tabernacle, sb.4.b). Ashmole: tourret.

2 musyng on the mone. Typological readings provide associations between the moon and Mary; see Canticles 6:9: "Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon . . ." and the vision in Apocalypse 12:1 of a figure often associated with Mary, "a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet." The associations could be extended: if Christ is the sun, Mary is the moon, which "sends out its light without itself losing any of its brightness, just as Mary gave birth to her Child without forfeiting her virginity. It is smaller and weaker than the sun, but as a morning star it can announce the advent of the great light, just as Mary announces Jesus" (Hirn, pp. 322-23).

3 crouned. Ashmole: comly.

4 Apered in gostly syght ful sone. Rawlinson: I saw wittande high in a trone. Lambeth: Me thou3 te y si3 sittinge in trone.

8 Quia amore langueo. See Canticles 2:5 and 5:8.

11 I am hys moder - I can none other. Douce 78 and Rawlinson: Y am his mediatrice and his modur.

14 Though. Brown emends to Through.

15 Rawlinson and Ashmole read me, which Stevick adopts.
ryse. See MED risen, 5.c: "to rise to a higher or more perfect moral or spiritual state; arise after a moral or spiritual fall." Compare Cursor Mundi, line 25745: "Bot quen we fall, ai mai we ris, For es na man sa gret mai sin . . . that he ne his merci has in hij."

18 I love, I loke. Rawlinson: And busy I loke.

21 soule. Rawlinson: sonne.

23 my son forgave. Rawlinson, Ashmole, Lambeth: I forgave.

25-40 These two stanzas are reversed in Paris and Lambeth MSS.

30 thow stelest me fro. In Canticles, the bride repeatedly seeks the groom but never secures him for long, as he steals away while she sleeps.

31 Sewe: MS: shewe. Brown, Gray, and Stevick emend.

Sewe to me, synner, I thee pray. Rawlinson: Shew to me love sonne I the pray.

34 nedeth hit but. Addit. 37049: nedys it none; Douce 78: nedithe hit man.

41-48 Omitted from Paris and Lambeth MSS.

50 Mankynde ys bette for hys trespasse. Paris and Lambeth: Hys body was beten for this trespas. Stevick emends to My child is beten for thy trespas.

53-55 Paris and Lambeth MSS: My son is thi fader, thi [Paris: his] modur y was / He sucked my pappe, he lufd the so / He dyed for the, my hert thou has. The shift in point of address from Thow (sinner) to Thow (Jesus) in lines 53-54 is awkward, but it effectively dramatizes Mary's role as intercessor as she first addresses humankind and then Jesus. Addit. and Rawlinson give thy moder for hys moder; Addit. gives thow has for he has.

57 The Lambeth text ends with a stanza not found in Douce 322:

My sone deede for thi love,          died
His herte was persid with a spere
To bringe thi soule to hevene above,
For thi love so diede he here.
Therfor thou must be to me moost dere,
Sithen my sone loved thee so;
Thou praiest to me nevere but y thee here,          hear
   Quia amore langueo.

62 Why shulde I flee thee? Douce 78, Rawlinson, Ashmole: Why schuldest thou fle?

soo. MS: loo. Brown's emendation.

63 I helpe. Ashmole: thy helpe, which Stevick adopts.

65-72 Davies notes: "Paris MS. omits this and the last stanza but includes the intermediate stanzas in reverse order. B.L. MS. has a different version of this and the next stanza and omits the last."

70 were me fro. Ashmole: were foo.

76 he ys myne hosprynge. Compare §60, lines 7 ff.

79 For hym had I thys worshippyng. I.e., Mary's prominence - and her influence - result from what she has done for the sake of humankind.

86 me helpe. Douce 322: mercy.

87 kepe. Douce 322: helpe.

90 thus. MS reads thys; Brown and Gray emend.

92 wynge. Although Mary is never represented with wings, her robes function as shelter as a bird's wings might to her chicks. She is sometimes depicted as Mater Misericordia, with her mantle spread open to shelter Christians (see, for example, Plate C in this volume). John V. Fleming discusses this tradition in light of a thirteenth-century legend of a Cistercian monk who goes to heaven and sees none of his brothers; Mary opens her mantle and reveals a host of them, held close ("The Summoner's Prologue: An Iconographic Adjustment," Chaucer Review 2 [1967], 95-107).

94 Thys heritage ys tayled; sone, come therto. Davies glosses: "This inheritance is for yourself and your heirs - come quickly into it."

95 wyfe. Douce 78: modure.


Upon a lady my love ys lente. Index no. 3836. MS: BL Cotton Caligula A.2, fol. 91a (early fifteenth century). Editions: Wright and Halliwell, 2:255-56; Wülcker, 2:7; B15, no. 48; LH, no. 188.

This poem exemplifies the dedicated lover trope that is often brought into Marian lyrics. The first six stanzas declare the lover's erotic commitment to his beloved in all its exclusive intensity: she is the stabilizing force in his life, and his love for her dominates his desire, his heart, his strength, his vows. She is worthy of his complete devotion, gentle and meek, ready to serve, and attentive, and courteous. Mary is never named; her identity is only hinted at in her mothering (line 15) and in the range of her service (not just for a man, but for women and children too, line 19). She is revealed only in the last stanza as the supreme mediatrix between human needs and desires and God, through whom eroticism is transmuted to charyté (line 29).

11 vowes. MS: vowe. Brown emends for the sake of rhyme.

14 well. The speaker puns on well and weal: the lady in love poems is often the lover's well - his place of drink, nurture, and sustenance. She is also his weal - his sense of abundance, prosperity, being, wealth, and domain.

17 nyght. MS: nygh.


Maiden in the mor lay. Index no. 2037.5. MS: Bodl. 13679 (Rawlinson D.913), item 1b (early fourteenth century). Editions: R. L. Greene, "The Maid of the Moor in the Red Book of Ossory," Speculum 27 (1952), 504; Heuser, "Fragmente von Unbekanntenn Spielmannsliedern des 14.Jahrhunderts, aus MS. Rawl. D. 913," Anglia 30 (1907), 175; Sisam, Fourteenth Century, no. 188; R. H. Robbins, Secular Lyrics, no. 18; Auden and Pearson, 1:26; Kaiser, p. 471; Hughes and Abraham, p. 119; Speirs, p. 62; Davies, no. 33; Stevick, no. 38; Reiss, p. 98; Wilhelm, no. 277.

D. W. Robertson, Jr., reads this as a Marian poem ("Historical Criticism" in English Institute Essays 1950, ed. Alan S. Downer [New York: Columbia University Press, 1951] pp. 26-27); his interpretations are indicated in the notes below. R. J. Schoeck (TLS, June 8, 1951, 357), concurred with Robertson. This reading has been opposed by a number of critics, however, most notably E. Talbot Donaldson (who, however, allows that medieval audiences might have thought of Mary, "the paramount innocent maiden," in connection with the poem) in "Patristic Exegesis in the Criticism of Medieval Literature," Critical Approaches to Medieval Literature, ed. Dorothy Bethurum (New York: Columbia University Press, 1960), pp. 21-24. E. M. W. Tillyard argued instead that the maiden might be Mary Magdalene or Mary of Egypt (TLS, May 11, 1951, p. 293; see also David Fowler A Literary History of the Popular Ballad [Durham: Duke University Press, 1968], pp. 113-14). Others believe the poem has no Christian significance at all. When Greene found the opening line as an incipit indicating the tune for a Latin hymn (Peperit virgo, a Marian roundel, for which Greene prints the full text) in the Red Book of Ossory (see "The Maid of the Moor in the Red Book of Ossory," Speculum 27 [1952], 504-06), he argued that the Bishop of Ossory had composed the Latin hymn in order to replace the "profane" words with a sacred text. Dronke (pp. 195-96) argues that the moor-maiden is a version of German water sprite who sometimes takes human form and mingles with young men at village dances. Speirs argues that we need not know who the maiden is, but he points toward a tradition of well-worship in the Middle Ages and suggests that the maiden might be "the spirit of the well-spring," a fertility symbol (p. 63). For further criticism, see Mahmoud Manzalaoui, "Maiden in the Mor Lay and the Apocrypha," Notes and Queries 210 (1965), 91-92; Siegfried Wenzel, "The Moor Maiden - a Contemporary View," Speculum 49 (1974), 69-74; and Ronald Waldron, "'Maiden in the Mor Lay' and the Religious Imagination," Unisa English Studies 29 (1991), 8-12.

1 mor. Robertson: "The moor is the wilderness of the world under the Old Law before Christ came" (p. 27).

3 Sevenyst. Robertson: "The number seven indicates life on earth, but life in this instance went on at night, or before the Light of the World dawned. The day is this light, or Christ, who said 'I am the day.'" And it appears appropriately after seven nights, or, as it were, on the count of eight, for eight is also a figure of Christ" (p. 27). The dies octavus designates Easter and the Resurrection after the time of darkness under the Old Law. See glosses on Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; and John 20:1 in the CA.

8 was. MS: wat. Robbins' emendation.

10 primerole. Robertson: "The primrose is not a Scriptural sign, but a figure of fleshly beauty. We are told three times that the primrose was the food of this maiden, and only after this suspense are we also told that she ate or embodied the violet, which is a Scriptural sign of humility" (p. 27).

14 violet. See note to line 10.

15 MS omits was hire dryng. As supplied by Robbins.

17 water. Robertson: "The maiden drank the cool water of God's grace" (p. 27). The well is a natural symbol of life and rebirth; compare §53, note to line 5.

17-20 Robbins supplies these lines, abbreviated in MS.

22 bour. Robertson: "her bower consisted of the roses of martyrdom or charity and the lilies of purity with which late medieval and early Renaissance artists sometimes adorned pictures of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and, indeed, she is the Maiden in the Moor, the maiden who was at once the most beautiful of all women and the divinity whose humility made her the most accessible of all saints" (p. 27).

24-27 Robbins supplies these lines, abbreviated in MS.


Lulley, lulley, lully, lulley (The Corpus Christi Carol). Index no. 1132: He bare hym up, he bare hym down. MS: Balliol College Oxford 354, fol. 165b (c. 1500?). Editions: Ewald Flügel, "Liedersammlungen," Anglia 26 (1903), 175; Ewald Flügel, Neuenglische Lesebuch (Halle: Niemeyer, 1895), p. 142; CS, no. 81; R. Dyboski, Songs, Carols and Other Miscellaneous Poems from Balliol MS. 354, EETS e.s. 101 (1908; rpt. Millwood, NY: Kraus, 1973), p. 103; John J. Manly, English Prose and Poetry (1137-1892) (Boston: Gill, 1907), p. 94; Cook, p. 440; W. W. Greg, Review of English Studies 13 (1937), 88; EEC, no. 322A; Rickert, p. 193; Charles Williams, ed., New Book of English Verse (New York: Macmillan, 1936), p. 112; Niles, Carol Study Book, p. 35; Gilchrist (see below), p. 35; Segar, no. 11; Greene, Medium Aevum 29 (1960), 10-11; Chambers, p. 11; Mason, p. 146; Greene, Selection, no. 67a; Speirs, pp. 76-77; Davies, no. 164; Fowler, p. 58; Oliver, p. 108; Gray, Themes, p. 164; Sisam, Oxford, p. 524; William Tydeman, English Poetry 1400-1580 (London: Heinemann Educational, 1970), p. 53; Geoffrey Grigson, The Faber Book of Popular Verse (London: Faber and Faber, 1971), p. 308; Manning, pp. 115-16; Stevick, no. 99; Burrow, p. 303. Selected criticism: Greene's survey of interpretations (EEC, pp. 423-27) is indispensible. See also Annie G. Gilchrist, Journal of the Folk-Song Society 4 (1910), 52-66 [associates the poem with the grail legend]; Greene, "The Meaning of the Corpus Christi Carol," Medium Aevum 29 (1960), 10-21 [argues that the poem refers to Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, whose badge was the falcon]; and Stephen Manning, pp. 115-18 [reads the poem as Marian]. Greene, Selection, prints two nineteenth-century versions in which the Marian reading is explicit. On the riddling nature of the poem, see Peck, pp. 466-67.

2 fawcon. Some have interpreted the falcon as death, which meaning Greene believes is unlikely; see EEC, p. 246.

4 brown. Greene notes that "brown" may simply mean "dark," though it could suggest "autumnal" or "dying." Brown can mean "shining," however - see MED n.3 and adj.5 in its OE etymology - though usually that sense is restricted to armor and weapons, not orchards.

6 purpill and pall. Both designate a rich, perhaps royal, cloth; purple is the color of royalty.


Of on that is so fayr and bright. Index no. 2645. MS: BL Egerton 613, fol. 2a (thirteenth century). Also in Trinity College Cambridge 323 (B.14.39), fol. 24b. Editions of Egerton: Wright and Halliwell, 1:89-90; Mätzner, 1:53; Morris, EETS o.s. 49, pp. 194-95; CS, no. 46; Cook, p. 457; Segar, no. 33; Patterson, no. 32; B13, no. 17b; Kaiser, p. 285; William O. Wehrle, The Macaronic Hymn Tradition in Medieval English Literature (Washington: Catholic University of America, 1933), pp. 30-31; EEC, no. 191Ba; Bruce Dickins and R. M. Wilson, eds., Early Middle English Texts (Cambridge: Bowes and Bowes, 1951), pp. 125-26; Davies, no. 5; Stevick, no. 11; James J. Wilhelm, Medieval Song (New York: Dutton, 1971), p. 349; Karl Reichl, Religiöse Dichtung im Englischen Hochmittelalter (Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 1973), p. 293; Gray, Selection, no. 7; Bennett and Smithers, Early Middle English Verse and Prose, pp. 129 ff.; Sisam, Oxford, no. 13; Wilhelm, Lyrics, no. 272. Edition of Trinity: B13, no. 17a.

The stanzas are printed according to Greene's reading of margin instructions, which matches the order given in the Trinity MS. For a fifteenth-century version of this carol, see EEC, no. 191A.

5 Trinity: I crie be grace of the.

10 flour. Trinity: best.

10-18 This is stanza 4 in the Egerton MS, marked to move to the present location.

18 Es effecta. "You are the effect" (i.e., the best ever made, the ultimate creation, through which God Himself would be born).

19-27 This is stanza 2 in the Egerton MS, marked to move to the present location.

20 Felix fecundata. Stevick suggests an allusion to Elizabeth's greeting of the pregnant Mary to gloss: "i.e., blessed is the fruit of thy womb" (p. 15), though there is no direct verbal connection: Benedicta ta inter mulieres, et benedictus fructus ventris tui (Luke 1:42).

21 Of. Trinity: To.

23 Bisek. Trinity: Bihold.

29 Eva. Trinity: Thoru Eva.

30 Trinity: To forn that Jhesu was iborn.

32 With. Trinity: Thorou.

34 Salutis. "Of Salvation," from salus, salut/are, -arium, but with a possible pun in the fifteenth century on "greeting" or "salutation," the effect being that with Ave (line 32), dark night goes away and Salutis ("Voilà" or "Hello"), the day comes; in which case The welle in line 35 is a "well of light" as well as a spring of virtue (Virtutis, line 36); likewise, in line 37, a possible pun on son/sun along with connotations of light in blis / Superni (lines 42-43), and of darkness in Inferni (line 45).

37 he. Trinity: thou.

41 Trinity: So god and so milde.

42 He havet brout ous. Trinity: He bringet us alle.






Ase y me rod this ender day
By grene wode to seche play,
Mid herte y thohte al on a may,
   Suetest of alle thinge.
Lythe ant ich ou telle may
   Al of that suete thinge.
This maiden is suete ant fre of blod,
Briht ant feyr of milde mod;
Alle heo mai don us god
   Thurh hire bysechynge.
Of hire he tok fleysh ant blod,
   Jhesus hevene kynge.
With al mi lif y love that may;
He is mi solas nyht ant day,
My joie ant eke my beste play,
   Ant eke my lovelongynge.
Al the betere me is that day
   That ich of hire synge.
Of alle thinge y love hire mest:
My dayes blis, my nyhtes rest;
Heo counseileth ant helpeth best
   Bothe elde ant yynge.
Nou y may, yef y wole,
   The fif joyes mynge.
The furst joie of that wymman:
When Gabriel from hevene cam
Ant seide God shulde bicome man
   Ant of hire be bore
Ant bringe up of helle pyn
   Monkyn that wes forlore.
That other joie of that may
Wes o Cristesmasse day
When God wes bore on thoro lay
   Ant brohte us lyhtnesse.
The ster wes seie byfore day;
   This hirdes bereth wytnesse.
The thridde joie of that levedy:
That men clepeth the Epyphany,
When the kynges come wery 
   To presente hyre sone
With myrre, gold, ant encens,
   That wes mon bicome.
The furthe joie we telle mawen:
On Estermorewe wen hit gon dawen,
Hyre sone that wes slawen
   Aros in fleysh ant bon.
More joie ne mai me haven,
   Wyf ne mayden non.
The fifte joie of that wymman:
When hire body to hevene cam,
The soule to the body nam,
   Ase hit wes woned to bene.
Crist leve us alle with that wymman
   That joie al forte sene.
Preye we alle to oure levedy,
Ant to the sontes that woneth hire by,
That he of us haven merci
   Ant that we ne misse
In this world to ben holy
   Ant wynne hevene blysse. Amen.

Nou skrinketh rose ant lylie flour,
That whilen ber that suete savour,
   In somer, that suete tide;
Ne is no quene so stark ne stour,
Ne no levedy so bryht in bour,
   That ded ne shal byglyde.
Whose wol fleysh lust forgon
   And hevene blis abyde,
On Jesu be is thoht anon,
   That therled was ys side.
From Petresbourh in o morewenyng,
As y me wende o my pleyghyng,
   On mi folie y thohte.
Menen y gon my mournyng
To hire that ber the hevene kyng;
   Of merci hire bysohte:
Ledy, preye thi sone for ous,
   That us duere bohte,
Ant shild us from the lothe hous
   That to the fend is wrohte.
Myn herte of dedes wes fordred,
Of synne that y have my fleish fed
   Ant folewed al my tyme,
That y not whider i shal be led,
When y lygge on dethes bed,
   In joie ore into pyne.
On o ledy myn hope is,
   Moder ant virgyne;
We shulen into hevene blis
   Thurh hire medicine. 
Betere is hire medycyn
Then eny mede or eny wyn;
   Hire erbes smulleth suete.
From Catenas into Dyvelyn
Nis ther no leche so fyn
   Oure serewes to bete.
Mon that feleth eni sor
   And his folie wol lete,
Withoute gold other eny tresor 
   He mai be sound ant sete.
Of penaunce is his plastre al;
Ant ever serven hire y shal
   Nou and al my lyve.
Nou is fre that er wes thral
Al thourh that levedy gent and smal.
   Heried be hyr joies fyve.
Wherso eny sek ys, 
   Thider hye blyve,
Thurh hire beoth ybroht to blis
   Bo mayden ant wyve.
For he that dude is body on tre
Of oure sunnes have pieté,
   That weldes heovene boures;
Wymmon, with thi jolyfté,
   Thou thench on Godes shoures
Thah thou be whyt and bryth on ble
   Falewen shule thy floures.
Jesu have merci of us
   That al this world honoures.

In a tabernacle of a toure,
As I stode musyng on the mone,
A crouned quene, most of honoure,
Apered in gostly syght ful sone.
She made compleynt thus by hyr one,
For mannes soule was wrapped in wo,
"I may nat leve mankynde allone,
   Quia amore langueo.
"I longe for love of man my brother,
I am hys vokete to voyde hys vyce;
I am hys moder — I can none other — 
Why shuld I my dere chylde dispyce?
Yef he me wrathe in diverse wyse,
Though flesshes freelté fall me fro,
Yet must me rewe hym tyll he ryse,
   Quia amore langueo.
"I byd, I byde in grete longyng,
I love, I loke when man woll crave,
I pleyne for pyté of peynyng;
Wolde he aske mercy, he shuld hit have.
Say to me, soule, and I shall save,
Byd me, my chylde, and I shall go;
Thow prayde me never but my son forgave,
   Quia amore langueo.
"O wreche in the worlde, I loke on thee,
I se thy trespas day by day,
With lechery ageyns my chastité,
With pryde agene my pore aray;
My love abydeth, thyne ys away;
My love thee calleth, thow stelest me fro;
Sewe to me, synner, I thee pray,
   Quia amore langueo.
"Moder of mercy I was for thee made;
Who nedeth hit but thow allone?
To gete thee grace I am more glade
Than thow to aske hit; why wylt thou noon?
When seyd I nay, tel me, tyll oon?
Forsoth never yet, to frende ne foo;
When thou askest nought, than make I moone,
   Quia amore langueo.
"I seke thee in wele and wrechednesse,
I seke thee in ryches and poverté;
Thow man beholde where thy moder ys,
Why lovest thou me nat, syth I love thee?
Synful or sory how evere thow be,
So welcome to me there ar no mo;
I am thy suster, ryght trust on me,
   Quia amore langueo.
"My childe ys outlawed for thy synne,
Mankynde ys bette for hys trespasse;
Yet prykketh myne hert that so ny my kynne
Shuld be dysseased, o sone, allasse!
Thow art hys brother, hys moder I was;
Thow sokyd my pappe, thow lovyd man so;
Thow dyed for hym, myne hert he has,
   Quia amore langueo.
"Man, leve thy synne than for my sake;
Why shulde I gyf thee that thou nat wolde?
And yet yef thow synne, som prayere take
Or trust in me as I have tolde.
Am nat I thy moder called?
Why shulde I flee thee? I love thee soo,
I am thy frende, I helpe beholde,
   Quia amore langueo.
"Now, sone," she sayde, "wylt thou sey nay,
Whan man wolde mende hym of hys mys?
Thow lete me never in veyne yet pray:
Than, synfull man, see thow to thys,
What day thou comest, welcome thow ys,
Thys hundreth yere yef thow were me fro;
I take thee ful fayne, I clyppe, I kysse,
   Quia amore langueo.
"Now wold I syt and sey nomore,
Leve and loke with grete longyng;
When a man woll calle, I wol restore;
I love to save hym, he ys myne hosprynge;
No wonder yef myne hert on hym hynge,
He was my neyghbore — what may I doo? 
For hym had I thys worshippyng,
And therefore Amore langueo.
"Why was I crouned and made a quene?
Why was I called of mercy the welle?
Why shuld an erthly woman bene
So hygh in heven above aungelle?
For thee, mankynde, the truthe I telle;
Thou aske me helpe, and I shall do 
That I was ordeyned, kepe thee fro helle,
   Quia amore langueo.
"Nowe, man, have mynde on me forever,
Loke on thy love thus languysshyng;
Late us never fro other dissevere:
Myne helpe ys thyne oune; crepe under my wynge.
Thy syster ys a quene, thy brother ys a kynge,
Thys heritage ys tayled; sone, come therto,
Take me for thy wyfe and lerne to synge,
   Quia amore langueo."
Upon a lady my love ys lente,
Withowtene change of any chere,
That ys lovely and contynent
And most at my desyre.
Thys lady ys yn my herte pyght;
Her to love y have gret haste.
With all my power and my myghth
To her y make myne herte stedfast.
Therfor wyll y non othur spowese,
Ner none othur loves for to take,
But only to here y make my vowes,
And all othur to forsake.
Thys lady ys gentyll and meke;
Moder she ys and well of all.
She ys nevur for to seke
Nothur to grete ner to small.
Redy she ys nyght and day,
To man and wommon and chylde ynfere,
Gyf that they wyll awght to here say,
Our prayeres mekely for to here.
To serve thys lady we all be bownde
Both nyghth and day yn every place,
Where evur we be, yn felde or towne,
Or elles yn any othur place.
Pray we to thys lady bryghth
In the worshyp of the Trinité
To brynge us alle to heven lyghth:
Amen, say we, for charyté.
Maiden in the mor lay,
In the mor lay,
Sevenyst fulle
Sevenist fulle.
Maiden in the mor lay,
In the mor lay,
Sevenistes fulle ant a day.
Welle was hire mete:
Wat was hire mete?
The primerole ant the,
The primerole ant the,
Welle was hire mete:
Wat was hire mete?
The primerole ant the violet.
Welle was hire dryng:
Wat was hire dryng?
The chelde water of the,
The chelde water of the,
Welle was hire dryng: 
What was hire dryng?
The chelde water of the welle spring.
Welle was hire bour:
Wat was hire bour?
The red rose an te,
The red rose an te,
Welle was hire bour:
Wat was hire bour?
The rede rose an te lilie flour.

   Lulley, lulley, lully, lulley,
   The fawcon hath born my mak away.
He bare hym up, he bare him down,
He bare hym into an orchard brown.
In that orchard ther was an hall,
That was hanged with purpill and pall.
And in that hall ther was a bede,
Hit was hangid with gold so rede.
And yn that bed ther lythe a knyght,
His wowndes bledyng day and nyght.
By that bedes side ther kneleth a may,
And she wepeth both nyght and day.
And by that bedes side ther stondith a ston,
"Corpus Christi" wretyn theron.
Of on that is so fayr and bright,
   Velud maris stella,
Brighter than the dayis light,
   Parens et puella,
Ic crie to thee, thou se to me;
Levedy, preye thi sone for me,
   Tam pia,
That ic mote come to thee,
Levedi, flour of alle thing,
   Rosa sine spina,
Thu bere Jhesu hevene king,
   Gratia divina;
Of alle thu berst the pris,
Levedi, quene of parays,
Mayde, milde Moder,
   Es effecta.
Of kare, consell thou ert best,
   Felix fecundata;
Of alle wery thou ert rest,
   Mater honorata;
Bisek him with milde mod
That for ous alle sad is blod
   In cruce,
That we moten komen til him
   In luce.
Al this world was forlore
   Eva peccatrice,
Tyl our Lord was ybore
   De te genitrice:
With Ave it went away
Thuster nyth and comet the day
The welle springet hut of thee
Wel he wot he is thi sone,
   Ventre quem portasti;
He wyl nout werne thee thi bone,
   Parvum quem lactasti.
So hende and so god he his
He havet brout ous to blis
That haves hidut the foule put

(see note)
As I rode out the other day; (see note)
wood to seek pleasure
With; entirely; maiden
Sweetest; creatures
Listen and I may tell you
blessed one
gracious and noble; (see note)
Bright and fair; mind (temperament)
In every way she; good
Through her intercession
life; maiden
She; solace
also; pleasure
better [to] me
I; her sing
old; young
if I will; (see note)
five; recall
(see note)
her be born
from Hell's torment
Mankind; lost
second joy; maiden
Was on
in perfect light; (see note)
brightness/light; (see note)
star was visible; (see note)
These shepherds bear
Who was man
Easter morning; began [to] dawn; (see note)
Her son; slain
Arose; bone
More joy one may not have
Neither wife nor maiden
(see note)
it was accustomed to be
grant us
joy completely to see
saints; live with her
[do] not fail
win/enjoy; bliss

(see note)
wither; (see note)
earlier bore; fragrance
summer; sweet time
Nor; queen; strong nor powerful
lady; chamber
Who shall not die
Who will forgo physical pleasures; (see note)
live in heavenly bliss
his thought constantly
Whose side was pierced
one morning
went out for my pleasure
I thought of my foolishness; (see note)
Complaining I began my lament
her who bore
Of her [I] sought mercy
Who dearly bought us
And protect; hateful
for the fiend is built
My heart was terrified of death
I have fed my body
And followed all my life
I do not know where I shall be led
I lie
Into joy or into pain
shall [go] into heavenly bliss; (see note)
Through her; (see note)
Than any mead or any wine
herbs smell sweet
Caithness; Dublin
There is no physician so fine
sorrows; cure
Man who feels any pain/sorrow
wishes to abandon his folly
any other treasure
safe and content
plaster (bandage); (see note)
I shall always serve her
Now [everyone who] formerly was enslaved is free
through; lady gentle; slender
Praised; five joys
Where anyone is sick
To there (her) let him hurry
put his body on the cross; (see note)
sins; pity
rules; dwellings
think; suffering; (see note)
Though; bright; (see note)
Your flowers shall wither
(see note)

(see note)
niche; tower; (see note)
moon; (see note)
greatest; (see note)
Appeared in a vision; (see note)
on her own
Because I languish for love; (see note)
I am his advocate to eliminate his faults
I cannot do otherwise; (see note)
If; anger
flesh's frailty fall from me; (see note)
pity; arises; (see note)
pray; wait
look; ask (desire); (see note)
lament; suffering
If he would ask; should have it
(see note)
You never prayed to me; (see note)
miserable [people]; (see note)
against (in contrast to)
against my humble array
calls you; steal away from me; (see note)
Sue (Pray); (see note)
I was made mother of mercy for you
needs it but you alone; (see note)
win you grace
Than you to ask it; none
to anyone
nor foe
then I complain
prosperity; (see note)
made better despite; (see note)
grieves; near
Thou (sinner); (see note)
Thou (Jesus)
leave; then; (see note)
what you do not want
if you sin
you so; (see note)
(see note)
refuse; (see note)
correct himself; wrong-doing
see to this
you are welcome
Were you away from me a hundred years; (see note)
gladly; embrace
Cease and wait
will call; will restore
offspring; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
That which; appointed; (see note)
be mindful of
(see note)
Let; each other separate
own; (see note)
tallied (guaranteed in writing); (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
bestowed (lent)
Without; mood (i.e., steadfast)
the center of; desire
is placed in my heart
I; great
I make my heart
I desire no other spouse
Nor other love to take
her I; (see note)
is gentle and meek
is; well; (see note)
never far to seek
Neither too great nor
Ready; (see note)
If; will only to her
meekly; hear
are bound
in field
heaven's light
(see note)
moor; (see note)
,Seven nights; (see note)
Good; her food; (see note)
primrose and; (see note)
(see note)
drink; (see note)
cold; (see note)
bower; (see note)
and the; (see note)
lily flower

(see note)
falcon; mate/maker; (see note)
(see note)
rich curtains; (see note)
It; hung
in; there lay
kneels; maiden
bed's side; stands; stone
"Body of Christ" written
(see note)
As the star of the sea
Mother and maiden
look upon; (see note)
Lady, beseech
So devoted
I might
flower; all creation; (see note)
Rose without thorn
By divine grace
are most excellent
Chosen one 
Made (Created); (see note)
consolation; (see note)
Joyfulness made fruitful; (see note)
(see note)
Honored mother
Beseech; (see note)
Who; shed his blood
On the cross
might come to
In the light 
By the sinner Eve; (see note)
born; (see note)
By you his mother
Hail; (see note)
Dark night; comes
Of salvation; (see note)
springs out of you
Of virtue 
knows; (see note)
Whom you bore in your womb
refuse; prayer
The little one you suckled
courteous; good; is; (see note)
has brought; (see note)
Of heaven 
closed; pit
Of hell


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