AA (1000-1950 / United States)

Blow, Northern Wind

Blow, northerne wynd,
Send thou me my suetyng!
Blow, northerne wynd,
Blou, blou, blou!

Ichot a burde in bour{.e} bryht,
That fully semly is on syht,
Menskful maiden of myht,
Feir ant fre to fond{.e};
In al this wurhlich{.e} won,
A burde of blod and of bon
Never yete y nust{.e} non
Lussomore in lond{.e}.

With lokk{.e}s lefliche and long{.e},
With frount and fac{.e} feir to fong{.e},
With murth{.e}s moni{.e} mote heo mong{.e},
That brid so breme in bour{.e};
With lossom ey{.e}, grete ant god{.e},
With browen blysfol under hod{.e};
He that reste him on the rod{.e}
That leflich lyf honour{.e}!

Hire lur{.e} lum{.e}s liht
Ase a launterne a nyht,
Hire bleo blykyeth so bryht:
So feyr heo is ant fyn!
A suetly suyre heo hath to hold{.e},
With arm{.e}s, shuldr{.e}, ase mon wold{.e},
Ant fyngres feyr{.e} fort{.e} fold{.e},
God wolde hue wer{.e} myn!

Middel heo hath menskful smal;
Hire loveliche cher{.e} as cristal;
They{.e}s, legg{.e}s, fet, ant al,
Ywraht is of the best{.e}.
A lussum ledy last{.e}les
That sweting is, and ever wes;
A betere burd{.e} never nes
Yhery{.e}d with the hest{.e}.

Heo is der{.e}worthe in day,
Gracious{.e}, stout, and gay,
Gentil, jolyf so the jay,
Worhlich{.e} when heo waketh.
Maiden murgest of mouth;
Bi est, bi west, by north and south,
Thér nis fithel{.e} ne crouth
That such murth{.e}s maketh.

Heo is coral of godness{.e},
Heo is rubie of ryhtfulness{.e},
Heo is cristal of clanness{.e},
Ant baner of bealté;
Heo is lilie of largess{.e},
Heo is paruenke of prouess{.e},
Heo is solsecle of suetness{.e},
Ant ledy of lealté.

...
For hir{.e} love y carke ant car{.e},
For hir{.e} love y droupne ant dar{.e},
For hir{.e} love my blisse is bar{.e},
Ant al ich wax{.e} won;
For hir{.e} love in slep y slak{.e},
For hir{.e} love al nyht ich wak{.e},
For hir{.e} love mournynge y mak{.e}
Mor{.e} then eny mon.

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Comments (2)

Middle English lyrics are short poems, almost all anonymous, written in English during the 13th,14th and early 15th centuries. Their themes are generally love, nature or religious devotion.
1 Ichot: Ich wot, I know (of) . 1b burde: maiden. 1c boure bryht: bright bower. 2 fully semly... syht: very pleasing to sight. 3 menskful: worshipful. 4 feir: fair. 5 fonde: deal with. 6 wurhliche: worthy. 7 won: multitude. 8 y nuste: I knew not. 9 lussomore in londe: lovelier on earth. 10 suetyng: sweetling, sweetheart. 11 lefliche: lovely. 12 fonge: finger, take between hands. 13 murthes: mirths, joys. 14 mote heo monge: may she mingle. 15 brid: bird. 16 breme: glorious. 16b lossom: lovesome, lovely. 17 rode: the rood, the cross. 18 lure: face. 19 lumes: beams. 20 bleo: colour. 21 suetly swyre: darling neck. 22 hue, heo: she. 23 clannesse: cleanness, purity. 24 parvenke: periwinkle. 25 solsecle: sunflower. 25b lealté: loyalty. 26 carke: care, worry. 26b dare: am in dismay. 27 won: wan. 28 slake: lessen.