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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Author Unknown

A Twelfth-Century Lyric

Translation of Edward Tompkins McLaughlin

WILL ye attend me, while I sing

A song of love,—a pretty thing,

Not made on farms:

Nay, by a gentle knight ’twas made,

Who lay beneath an olive’s shade

In his love’s arms.

A linen undergown she wore,

And a white ermine mantle, o’er

A silken coat;

With flowers of May to keep her feet,

And round her ankles leggings neat,

From lands remote.

Her girdle was of leafage green,—

Spring foliage, with a fringing sheen

Of gold above;

And underneath a love-purse hung,

By bloomy pendants featly strung,

A gift of love.

Upon a mule the lady rode,

The which with silver shoes was shod;

Saddle gold-red;

And behind rose-bushes three

She had set up a canopy

To shield her head.

As so she passed adown the meads,

A gentle childe in knightly weeds

Cried, “Fair one, wait!

What region is thy heritance?”

And she replied: “I am of France,

Of high estate.

“My father is the nightingale,

Who high within the bosky pale,

On branches sings;

My mother’s the canary; she

Sings on the high banks where the sea

Its salt spray flings.”

“Fair lady, excellent thy birth;

Thou comest from the chief of earth,

Of high estate:

Ah, God our Father, that to me

Thou hadst been given, fair ladye,

My wedded mate!”