skip to content


Early Middle English for today

full menu

The Owl and the Nightingale (lines 201-300)

original text

view normalised text
"Ich granti wel t`at he us deme,
vor t`ey` he were wile breme,
& lof him were niy`tingale,
& ot`er wiy`te gente & smale,
ich wot he is nu sut`e acoled. 205
Nis he vor t`e noy`t afoled,
t`at he, for t`ine olde luue,
me adun legge & t`e buue:
ne schaltu neure so him queme,
t`at he for t`e fals dom deme. 210
He is him ripe & fast-rede,
ne lust him nu to none unrede:
nu him ne lust na more pleie,
he wile gon a riy`te weie."
T`e niy`tingale was al y`are, 215
ho hadde ilorned wel aiware:
"Hule," ho sede, "seie me sot`,
wi dostu t`at unwiy`tis dot`?
t`u singist aniy`t & noy`t adai,
& al t`i song is wailawai. 220
T`u miy`t mid t`ine songe afere
alle t`at iheret` t`ine ibere:
t`u sch[ri]chest & y`ollest to t`ine fere,
t`at hit is grislich to ihere:
hit t`inche[t`] bot`e wise & snepe 225
noy`t t`at t`u singe, ac t`at t`u wepe.
T`u fliy`st aniy`t & noy`t adai:
t`arof ich w[u]ndri & wel mai.
vor eurich t`ing t`at schuniet riy`t,
hit luuet` t`uster & hatiet liy`t: 230
& eurich t`ing t`at is lof misdede,
hit luuet` t`uster to his dede.
A wis word, t`ey` hit bo unclene,
is fele manne a-mut`e imene,
for Alured King hit seide & wrot: 235
"He schunet t`at hine [vu]l wot."
Ich wene t`at t`u dost also,
vor t`u fliy`st niy`tes euer mo.
An ot`er t`ing me is a-wene,
t`u hauest aniy`t wel briy`te sene; 240
bi daie t`u art stare-blind,
t`at t`u ne sichst ne bov ne strind.
Adai t`u art blind ot`er bisne,
t`arbi men segget a uorbisne:
"Riy`t so hit fart` bi t`an ungode 245
t`at noy`t ne sut` to none gode,
& is so ful of vuele wrenche
t`at him ne mai no man atprenche,
& can wel t`ane t`u[str]e wai,
& t`ane briy`te lat awai." 250
So dot` t`at bot` of t`ine cunde,
of liy`te nabbet` hi none imunde."
T`os hule luste sut`e longe,
& was oftoned sut`e stronge:
ho quat` "T`u [h]attest niy`tingale, 255
t`u miy`test bet hoten galegale,
vor t`u hauest to monie tale.
Lat t`ine tunge habbe spale!
T`u wenest t`at t`es dai bo t`in oy`e:
lat me nu habbe mine t`roy`e: 260
bo nu stille & lat me speke,
ich wille bon of t`e awreke.
& lust hu ich con me bitelle,
mid riy`te sot`e, witute spelle.
T`u seist t`at ich me hude adai, 265
t`arto ne segge ich nich ne nai:
& lust ich telle t`e wareuore,
al wi hit is & wareuore.
Ich habbe bile stif & stronge,
& gode cliuers scharp & longe, 270
so hit bicumet` to hauekes cunne;
hit is min hiy`te, hit is mi w[u]nne,
t`at ich me dray`e to mine cunde,
ne mai [me] no man t`areuore schende :
on me hit is wel isene, 275
vor riy`te cunde ich am so kene.
Vort`i ich am lot` smale foy`le
t`at flot` bi grunde an bi t`uuele:
hi me bichermet & bigredet`,
& hore flockes to [m]e ledet`. 280
Me is lof to habbe reste
& sitte stille in mine neste:
vor nere ich neuer no t`e betere,
[y`]if ich mid chauling & mid chatere
hom schende & mid fule worde, 285
so herdes dot` ot`er mid schit-worde.
Ne lust me wit t`e screwen chide;
fort`i ich wende from hom wide.
Hit is a wise monne dome,
& hi hit segget wel ilome, 290
t`at me ne chide wit t`e gidie,
ne wit t`an ofne me ne y`onie.
At sume sit`e herde [I] telle
hu Alured sede on his spelle:
"Loke t`at t`u ne bo t`are 295
t`ar chauling bot` & cheste y`are:
lat sottes chide & uort` t`u go."
& ich am wis & do also.
& y`et Alured seide an ot`er side
a word t`at is isprunge wide: 300