The Queen's Court Manuscript with Other Ancient Bohemian Poems/The Strawberries

For other English-language translations of this work, see The Strawberries.

THE STRAWBERRIES.

My love went gath’ring strawberries,
Where green the pine-trees grow;
Her tender foot a thorn hath pierced,
That grew so sharp below,
And now my true-love can no more
Upon her white foot go.

O why hast thou, thou thorn so sharp,
Thus wrought the maiden pain?
For this shalt thou, thou thorn so sharp,
Out of the wood be ta’en.

O come, my love, into the shade,
All under the greenwood tree!
I’ll to the meadow go and fetch
My steed so white to see.

The steed upon the meadow roams,
On the thick grass feedeth he;
My love’s beneath the cool, cool shade,
For her lover tarries she.

My love in the pine-wood half aloud
’Gins plaining, as afraid:
“O what will mother say to me,
“To me, unhappy maid!

“My mother bade me evermore
“Of young men to beware,
“But why of young men heedful be,
“When they good people are?”

Then up I rode upon my steed,
Like snow that was so white,
Dismounted, tied him to a branch
By the silver bridle bright.

I clasp’d and press’d her to my heart,
I kiss’d her lips so sweet,
And the lovely maid forgets the thorn,
That pains her tender feet.

We kiss’d and lov’d each other there,
Till the setting of the sun:
“Come, hasten homewards, love,” she said;
“The day is almost done.”

Then quick I sprang upon my steed,
That was as white as snow,
I took my true-love in my arms,
And with her home did go.