Thursday, December 25, 2008

I Syng of a Mayden

I first read this Middle English lyric over thirty years ago when I was taking a class in Medieval literature. I've always loved it and thought I would share it with you today. Merry Christmas!

I syng of a mayden
That is makeles;
King of alle kynges
To here sone she ches.

He cam also stylle
Ther his moder was
As dew in aprylle,
That fallyt on the gras.

He cam also stylle
To his moderes bowr
As dew in aprille
That fallyt on the flour.

He cam also stylle
Ther his moder lay
As dew in aprille,
That fallyt on the spray.

Moder and mayden
Was never non but sche;
Wel may swych a lady
Godes moder be.

I sing of a maiden
Who is matchless/mate-less;
The king of all kings for her son she chose.

He came as still
Where his mother was
As dew in April
That falls on the grass.

He came as still
To his mother's bower
As dew in April
That falls on the flower.

He came as still
Where his mother lay
As dew in April
That falls on the spray (branch or twig).

Maiden and mother
None was but she;
Well may such a lady
God's mother be.


[Original from A Middle English Anthology, edited by Ann S. Haskell. The modern English "translation" is mine. I read this poem over thirty years ago in a Medieval literature class I took in college.]

2 comments:

Sherwood said...

That is lovely!

I LOVE YOU said...
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