Saturday, 11 June 2011

A Happily-Married Medieval Couple

From the Middle English romance Havelok the Dane (ll.2963-74):

Havelok bilefte with joye and gamen
In Engelond and was therinne
Sixty winter king with winne,
And Goldeboru queen, that I wene
So mikel love was them bitwene
That all the werd spak of hem two;
He lovede hir and she him so
That neither other might be
Fro other ne no joye see
But-yif he were togidere bothe;
Nevere yete no weren he wrothe
For here love was ay newe.

Easier spelling, at the expense of the rhythm:

Havelok remained with joy and celebration
In England, and was therein
Sixty winter king with winne [joy],
And Goldeboru the queen; and I ween
So great a love was them between
That all the world spake of those two:
He loved her and she him so
That neither of them might ever be
Away from the other, nor any joy see
But if they were together both;
They were never at odds, nor were they wroth
For their love was ever new.

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