Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1918/Spring-tide




c. 1300

LENTEN ys come with love to toune,[1]
With blosmen and with briddes roune,
    That al this blisse bryngeth;
Dayes-eyes in this dales,
Notes suete of nyhtegales,
    Uch foul song singeth;

The threstelcoc him threteth oo,[2]

Away is huere[3] wynter wo,
When woderove[4] springeth;
Thise foules singeth ferly fele,[5]
Ant wlyteth on huere wunne wele,[6]
That al the wode ryngeth.

The rose rayleth hire rode,[7]
The leves on the lyhte wode
Waxen al with wille;
The mone mandeth hire bleo,[8]
The lilie is lossom to seo,[9]
The fenyl and the fille;[10]
Wowes[11] thise wilde drakes,
Miles murgeth[12] huere makes[13]
Ase strem that striketh[14] stille.
Mody meneth;[15] so doth mo[16]
(Ichot ych am on of tho[17])
For loue that Jikes ille.

The mone mandeth hire lyht,
So doth the scmly sonne bryht,

When briddes singeth breme,[18]

Deawes[19] donketh[20] the dounes,
Deores[21] with huere derne rounes[22]
    Domes for to deme;[23]
Wormes woweth under cloude,[24]
Wymmen waxeth wounder proude,
    So wel hit wol hem seme,
Yef me shal wonte wille of on,
This wunne weole[25] y wole forgon
    Ant wyht in wode be fleme.[26]

  1. toune] the dwellings of men.
  2. him threteth oo] is aye chiding
  3. huere] their.
  4. woderove] woodruff.
  5. ferly fele] marvellous many.
  6. wlyteth etc.] whistle, in their wealth of joy.
  7. rayleth hire rode] clothes herself in red.
  8. mandeth hire bleo] sends forth her light.
  9. lossom to seo] lovesome to see.
  10. fille] thyme,
  11. wowes] woo.
  12. murgeth] make merry.
  13. makes] mates.
  14. striketh] flows.
  15. mody meneth] the passionate man makes moan.
  16. so doth mo] so do others.
  17. on of tho] one of them.
  18. breme] lustily.
  19. deawes] dews.
  20. donketh] make dank.
  21. deores] animals.
  22. huere derne rounes] their secret cries.
  23. domes for to deme] whereby they converse.
  24. cloude] clod.
  25. wunne weole] wealth of joy.
  26. fleme] fugitive.