Song and Legend From the Middle Ages
It is five year or more ago;
That it was May, thus dreamed me,
In time of love and jollity.
That all thing 'ginneth waxen gay,
In May, that it nill (17) shrouded been
These wood(e)s eek recover green,
That dry in winter been to seen; (20)
And the earth waxeth proud withal
For sweet dews that on it fall.
And the poor estate forget
In which that winter had it set.
And then becometh the ground so proud,
That it will have a new(e) shroud,
And maketh so quaint his robe and fair
That it had hews an hundred pair,
And many hew(e)s full diverse:
That is the robe, I mean, ivis, (22)
Through which the ground to praise(n) (23) is.
The birds that have(n) left their song,
While they have suffered cold so strong,
So glad(e), that they show in singing
That in (t)heir hearts is such liking, (27)
That they mote (28) sing(en) and be light.
Then doth the nightingale her might
To make noise and sing(en) blithe,
Then young(e) folk entend(en) (32) aye
For to be gay and amorous,
The time is then so favorous. (33)
Hard is the heart that loveth nought,
In May when all this mirth is wrought:
When he may on these branches hear
The small(e) bird(e)s sing(en) clear
(T)heir blissful, sweet song piteous,
When love affrayeth (35) all(e) thing.
The poet sees in vision the Garden of Love. He knocks at "a wiket smalle," which was finally opened by a maiden.
L.l. 539.--- Her hair was as yellow of hew
As any basin scoured new,
Her flesh tender as is a chick,
With bent brow(e)s, smooth and sleek;
And by measure large were
Her nose of good proportion,
Her eyen gray as is a falcon,
With sweet(e) breath and well savored,
Her face white and well colored,
With little mouth and round to see;
Her neck(e) was of good fashion (38)
In length and greatness of reason, (39)
From Jerusalem unto Burgoyne,
To feel how smooth and soft it is.
Her throat also white of hew
As snow on branch(e) snowed new.
Of body full well wrought was she;
Men needed not in no country
A fairer body for to seek,
A chap(e)let; so seemly one,
And fair above that chap(e)let
A rose garland had she set.
She had a gay mirror,
And with a rich(e) gold treasure
Her sleeves sewed fetisely, (48)
And for to keep her hand(e)s fair
Of gloves white she had a pair.
And she had on a coat of green,