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Early Middle English for today

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The Owl and the Nightingale (lines 201-300)

in a normalised Early Middle English (East Midland dialect c 1200)

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"Ic grante wel that he_ us de_me,
for theah he_ weare hwi_lum bre_me,
and le_f him weare nihte`gale,
and o_ther wihtes gente and smale,
ic wa_t he_ is nu_ swi_the a`co_led. 205
Nis he_ for the_ noht afoled,
that he_, for thi_ne a_lde lufe,
me_ a`du_n legge and the_ bufen:
ne scalt thu_ neafere swa_ him cwe_me,
that he_ for the_ fals do_m de_me. 210
He_ is him ri_pe and fast-reade,
ne listeth him nu_ to_ na_ne un`reade:
nu_ him ne listeth na_ ma_re pleye,
he_ wile ga_n on rihte weye."
The nihte`gale was al yare, 215
hyo hadde i`lerned wel eay`hweare:
"U_le," hyo seyde, "seye me_ so_th,
hwi_ do_st thu_ that un`wihtes do_n?
thu_ singest a`niht and noht a`day,
and al thi_n sa_ng is wey-la_ wa_. 220
Thu_ miht mid thi_ne sa_nge a`fearen
alle that i`he_ren thi_ne i`beare:
thu_ scri_kest and yellest to thi_ne i`fe_re,
that hit is grislic to_ i`he_ren:
hit thinketh ba_the wi_se and sne_pe 225
noht that thu_ singe, ak that thu_ we_pe.
Thu_ fle_hst a`niht and noht a`day:
thear`of ic wundere and wel may.
for eafric thing that scuneth riht,
hit lufeth the_ster and hateth liht: 230
and to_ eafric thing that is le_f mis`de_de,
hit lufeth the_ster to_ his de_de.
A wi_s word, theah hit be_ un`cleane,
is of fele manne a`mu_the i`meane,
for Alfred King hit seyde and wra_t: 235
"He_ scuneth that him fu_l wa_t."
Ic we_ne that thu_ do_st alswa_,
for thu_ fle_hst nihtes eafer ma_.
An o_ther thing me_ is a`we_ne,
thu_ hafest a`niht wel brihte se_n; 240
bi_ daye thu_ art stare-bli_nd,
that thu_ ne sehst ne bo_h ne stri_nd.
A`day thu_ art bli_nd other bisene,
thear`bi_ me seggeth a fore`bisene:
"Riht swa_ hit farth bi_ the un`go_de 245
that noht ne se_th to na_ne go_de,
and is swa_ ful of ifele wrence
that him ne may na_ man at`prence,
and can wel the the_stere wey,
and the brihte leateth a`wey." 250
Swa_ do_n that ba_th' of thi_ne ki_nde,
of lihte nabben hi_ na_ne i`mingde."
The u_le lisnede swi_the la_nge,
and was of`te_ned swi_the stra_nge:
hyo cwath "Thu_ hattest nihte`gale, 255
thu_ mihtest bet ha_ten gale`gale,
for thu_ hafest to_ maniye tales.
Leat thi_ne tunge habben spale!
Thu_ we_nest that this day be_ thi_n a_gen:
leat me_ nu_ habben mi_ne thra_ge: 260
be_ nu_ stille and leat me_ speken,
ic wille be_n of the_ a`wreken.
and lisne hu_ ic can me_ bi_`tellen,
mid rihte so_the, withu_ten spelle.
Thu_ seyst that ic me_ hi_de a`day, 265
thear`to_ ne segge ic ne ic ne naye:
and lisne ic telle the_ hwear`fore,
al hwi_ hit is and hweare`fore.
Ic habbe bile sti_f and stra_nge,
and go_de cliferes scarp and la_nge, 270
swa_ hit be`cumeth to_ hafekes kinne;
hit is mi_n hihte, hit is mi_ wine,
that ic me_ drage to mi_ne ki_nde,
ne may me_ na_ man thear`fore scenden:
on me_ hit is wel i`se_n, 275
for rihte ki_nde ic am swa_ ke_ne.
Forthi_ ic am la_th to_ smale fugeles
that fle_gen bi_ gru_nde and bi_ thi_fele:
hi_ me_ be`cirmen and be`greaden,
and here flockes to_ me_ leaden. 280
Me_ is le_f to_ habben reste
and sitten stille in mi_ne neste:
for neare ic neafer na_ the betere,
yif ic mid cefeling and mid citer`e
hem scende and mid fu_le worde, 285
swa_ herdes do_n other mid scit-worde.
Ne listeth me_ with the screawes ci_den;
forthi_ ic wende fram hem wi_de.
Hit is a wi_se manne do_me,
and hi_ hit seggen wel i`lo_me, 290
that me ne ci_de with the gidiye,
ne with the ofene me ne yi_ne.
At sume si_the he_rde ic tellen
hu_ Alfred seyde on his spelles:
"Lo_ke that thu_ ne be_ theare 295
thear cefeling be_n and ceaste yare:
leat sottes ci_den and forth thu_ ga_."
and ic am wi_s and do_ alswa_.
and ye_t Alfred seyde on o_ther si_de
a word that is i`sprungen wi_de: 300