Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1918/Alison

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3
3
Alison

c. 1300

BYTUENE Mershe and Averil
    When spray biginneth to springe,
The lutel foul hath hire wyl
    On hyre lud[1] to synge:
Ich libbe[2] in love-longinge
For semlokest[3] of alle thynge,
He[4] may me blisse bringe,
    Ich am in hire baundoun.[5]
An hendy[6] hap ichabbe y-hent,[7]
Ichot[8] from hevene it is me sent,
From alle wymmen my love is lent
    And lyht[9] on Alysoun.

On heu hire her[10] is fayr ynoh,
    Hire brow broune, hir eye blake;
With lossum chere[11] he on me loh;[12]
    With middel smal and wel y-make;
Bote he[13] me wolle to hire take
For to buen[14] hir owen make,[15]
Long to lyven ichulle forsake
    And feye[16] fallen adoun.
An hendy hap, etc.

Nihtes[17] when I wende[18] and wake,
    For-thi[19] myn wonges waxeth won,[20]

Levedi,[21] al for thine sake
    Longinge is y-lent me on.[22]
In world nis non so wyter mon[23]
That al hire bounté telle con;
Hire swyre[24] is whittore than the swon,
    And feyrest may[25] in toune.
An hendy hap, etc.

Ich am for wowyng al for-wake,[26]
    Wery so water in wore;[27]
Lest eny reve[28] me my make
    Ichabbe y-yerned[29] yore.
Betere is tholien whyle sore
Then mournen evermore.
Geynest under gore,[30]
    Herkne to my roun.[31]
An hendy hap, etc.


 
  1. on hyre lud] in her language.
  2. ich libbe] I live.
  3. semlokest] seemliest.
  4. he] she
  5. baundoun] thraldom.
  6. hendy] gracious.
  7. y-hent] received.
  8. ichot] I wot.
  9. lyht] alighted.
  10. hire her] her hair.
  11. lossum chere] lovely face.
  12. loh] smiled.
  13. bote he] unless she.
  14. buen] be.
  15. make] mate.
  16. feye] like to die.
  17. nihtes] at night.
  18. wende] turn.
  19. for-thi] on that account.
  20. wonges waxeth won] cheeks grow wan.
  21. levedi] lady.
  22. y-lent me on] come upon me.
  23. so wyter mon] so wise a man.
  24. swyre] neck.
  25. may] maid.
  26. for-wake] worn out with vigils.
  27. so water in wore] as water in a weir.
  28. reve] rob.
  29. y-yerned yore] long desired.
  30. geynest under gore] comeliest under robe.
  31. roun] voice.