Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1918/Blow, Northern Wind

Blow, Northern Wind

c. 1300

ICHOT[1] a burde[2] in boure bryht,
That fully semly is on syht,
Menskful[3] maiden of myht;
    Feir[4] ant fre to fonde;[5]
In al this wurhliche[6] won[7]
A burde of blod ant of bon
Never yete y nuste[8] non
    Lussomore in londe.[9]
        Blow northerne wynd!
        Send thou me my suetyng![10]
        Blow northerne wynd! blow, blow, blow!

With lokkes lefliche[11] ant longe,
With frount ant face feir to fonge,[12]
With murthes[13] monie mote heo monge,[14]
    That brid[15] so breme[16] in boure.
With lossom eye grete ant gode,
With browen blysfol under hode,
He that reste him on the rode,[17]
    That leflych lyf honoure.
        Blow northerne wynd!
        Send thou me my suetyng!
        Blow northerne wynd! blow, blow, blow!

Hire lure[18] lumes[19] liht,
Ase a launterne a-nyht,
Hire bleo[20] blykyeth so bryht,
    So feyr heo is ant fyn.
A suetly swyre[21] heo hath to holde,
With armes, shuldre ase mon wolde,
Ant fingres feyre for to folde,
    God wolde hue[22] were myn!
        Blow northerne wynd!
        Send thou me my suetyng!
        Blow northerne wynd! blow, blow, blow!

Heo is coral of godnesse,
Heo is rubie of ryhtfulnesse,
Heo is cristal of clannesse,[23]
    Ant baner of bealté.
Heo is lilie of largesse,
Heo is parvenke[24] of prouesse,
Heo is solsecle[25] of suetnesse,
    And lady of lealté

For hire love y carke ant care,
For hire love y droupne ant dare,[26]
For hire love my blisse is bare
    Ant al ich waxe won.[27]
For hire love in slep y slake,
For hire love al nyht ich wake,
For hire love mournynge y make
    More then eny mon.
        Blow northerne wynd!
        Send thou me my suetyng!
        Blow northerne wynd! blow, blow, blow!

  1. Ichot] I know.
  2. burde] maiden.
  3. menskful] worshipful.
  4. feir] fair.
  5. fonde] deal with.
  6. wurhliche] noble.
  7. won] multitude.
  8. y nuste] I knew not.
  9. lussomore in londe] lovelier on earth.
  10. suetyng] sweetheart.
  11. lefliche] lovely.
  12. fonge] take between hands.
  13. murthes] mirths, joys.
  14. mote heo monge] may she mingle.
  15. brid] bird.
  16. breme] glorious.
  17. rode] 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.
  26. dare] am in dismay.
  27. won] wan.