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Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century



Blow, Northerne Wynd

Aquilo, North Wind, from an early modern map
ICHOT 1 a burde 1b in boure bryht,1c
     That fully semly is on syht,2
Menskful 3 maiden of myht;
     Feir 4 ant fre to fonde; 5
In al this wurhliche 6 won 7
A burde of blod ant of bon
Never yete y nuste 8 non
     Lussomore in londe 9 .
           Blow northerne wynd!
           Send thou me my suetyng! 10
           Blow northerne wynd! blow, blow, blow!
With lokkes lefliche 11 ant longe,
With frount ant face feir to fonge, 12
With murthes 13 monie mote heo monge, 14
     That brid 15 so breme 16 in boure.
With lossom16b eye grete ant gode,
With browen blysfol under hode,
He that reste him on the rode, 17
     That leflych lyf honoure.
           Blow northerne wynd, etc.
Hire lure 18 lumes 19 liht,
Ase a launterne a-nyht,
Hire bleo 20 blykyeth so bryht,
     So feyr heo is ant fyn.
A suetly swyre 21 heo 22 hath to holde,
With armes, shuldre ase mon wolde,
Ant fingres feyre for to folde,
     God wolde hue were myn!
           Blow northerne wynd, etc.
Heo is coral of godnesse,
Heo is rubie of ryhtfulnesse,
Heo is cristal of clannesse, 23
     Ant baner of bealté.
Heo is lilie of largesse,
Heo is parvenke 24 of prouesse,
Heo is solsecle 25 of suetnesse,
     Ant lady of lealté.25b
For hire love y carke26 ant care,
For hire love y droupne ant dare, 26b
For hire love my blisse is bare
     Ant al ich waxe won. 27
For hire love in slep y slake,28
For hire love al nyht ich wake,
For hire love mournynge y make
     More then eny mon.
       Blow northerne wynd!
       Send thou me my suetyng!
       Blow northerne wynd! blou, blou, blou!

1 Ichot: "Ich wot", I know (of).
1b burde: maiden.
1c boure bryht: bright bower.
2 fully semly... syht: very pleasing to sight.
3 menskful: worshipful.
4 feir: fair.
5 fonde: deal with.
6 wurhliche: worthy.
7 won: multitude.
8 y nuste: I knew not.
9 lussomore in londe: lovelier on earth.
10 suetyng: sweetling, sweetheart.
11 lefliche: lovely.
12 fonge: finger, take between hands.
13 murthes: mirths, joys.
14 mote heo monge: may she mingle.
15 brid: bird.
16 breme: glorious.
16b lossom: lovesome, lovely.
17 rode: the rood, the cross.
18 lure: face.
19 lumes: beams.
20 bleo: colour.
21 suetly swyre: darling neck.
22 hue, heo: she.
23 clannesse: cleanness, purity.
24 parvenke: periwinkle.
25 solsecle: sunflower.
25b lealté: loyalty.
26 carke: care, worry.
26b dare: am in dismay.
27 won: wan.
28 slake: lessen.

Audio Excerpt from the John Fleagle CD
World's Bliss - Medieval Songs of Love and Death

For the direct .MP3 file, click here.

thumbnail of 'Blow, Northerne Wynd' MS facsimile
Mamuscript image of BL MS Harley 2253.

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