Saturday, 10 December 2011

A Medieval Love Lament: Now Springes the Spray

A sad little song from c.1300 (for which this picture entitled 'Broken Vows', though entirely unmedieval, seems nonetheless appropriate).

Now springes the spray,

All for love I am so seek
That slepen I ne may.

Als I me rode this endre day
O' my pleyinge,
Seih I whar a litel may
Began to singe:
"The clot him clinge!
Way es him i' love-longinge
Shall libben ay!"

Son I herde that mirye note
Thider I drogh:
I fonde hire in an herber swot
Under a bogh,
With joye enough.
Son I asked, "Thou mirye may
Why singes tou ay?"

Than answerde that maiden swote
Midde wordes fewe
"My lemman me haves bihot
Of love trewe!
He changes anewe.
Yiif I may, it shall him rewe
By this day!"


Now the leaves begin to spring,
I am so sick, all because of love,

That I cannot sleep.

As I rode out the other day
To amuse myself,
I saw a young woman
Begin to sing:
"May the earth [of the grave] cling to him!
Alas for the one who in love-longing
Must live for ever!"

As soon as I heard that merry tune
I went in that direction:
I found her in a pretty arbour
Under a bough,
With joy enough. (this is irony: i.e. with no joy at all)
Soon I asked, "You merry maid,
Why are you singing?"

Then answered that maiden sweet
With few words:
"My lover promised to me
True love!
He has changed his mind.
If I can, I shall make him regret it
By this day!"

No comments: