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Harley 27

A courtly/religious lyric

The text is lightly glossed; see the glossary in the Riverside Chaucer for words not glossed here.




























































As I me rod this ender day,
By grene wode to seche play
Mid herte I thoghte al on a may,
Swetest of alle thinge;
Lithe and ich ou telle may
Al of that swete thinge.

This maide is swete and fre of blod
Bright and feir, of milde mod;
Alle heo may don us god
Thurh hire besechinge
Of hire he tok fleish and blod
Jesu, hevene kynge.

With al mi lif I love that may
Heo is my solas night and day,
My joie, and eke my beste play,
And eke my love-longinge
Al the betere me is that day
That ich of hire singe.

Of alle thinge I love hire mest,
My dayes blis, my nightes rest;
Heo counseileth and helpeth best
Bothe elde and yinge.
Nou I may, yef I wole,
The fif joyes minge.

The furst joie of that wymman:
When Gabriel from hevene cam
And seide god shulde bicome man,
And of hire be bore,
And bringe up of helle pyn
Monkind that wes forlore.

That other joie of that may
Wes o Cristesmasse day,
When god wes bore on thoro lay
And broghte us lightnesse;
The star wes seie bifore day;
Thise hirdes bereth witnesse

The thirdde joie of that levedy,
That men clepeth the Epiphany,
When the kinges come wery
To presente hire sone
With myrre, gold, and encens,
That wes mon bicome.

The furthe joie we telle mawen:
On Estermorewe, when hit gon dawen,
Hire sone that wes slawen
Aros in fleish and bon
More joie ne mai me haven,
Wif ne maiden non.

The fifte joie of that wymman:
When hire body to hevene cam,
The soule to the body nam,
As hit wes woned to bene.
Crist, leve us alle with that wymman
That joie al forto sene.

Preye we alle to oure levedy,
And to the saintes that woneth hire by,
That heo of us haven merci,
And that we ne misse
In this world to ben holy
And winne hevene blisse.
other
seek
maiden

Listen . . . can tell you


noble of birth

She can do us all good





She


That day to me is all the better


most

She
young
yef = if
call to mind




born
pain
lost


o = on


seen
shepherds

lady

weary


That = To Him who

may tell

slain

me = one




took
accustomed to be
grant
To see all that joy

lady
live
she



This text has been heavily regularized and glossed from the edition by Karl Boeddeker, Altenglischen Dichtungen des Ms. Harl. 2253. Berlin, 1878 [12414.13]. (Better edition is G.L. Brook, Harley Lyrics. Manchester, 1956 [PR1203 .H34].)
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Last modified: May, 12, 2000
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Gold Texts on this page prepared and maintained by L. D. Benson (ldb@wjh.harvard.edu)