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Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century



The Garden of Love, c.1420
Giovanni di Francesco Toscani. "The Garden of Love", c. 1420.

MS Harl. 2253, f71v.

Lenten ys come with love to toune,
With blosmen & with briddes roune,
    That al this blisse bryngeth;
Dayes eyes in this dales,
Notes suete of nyhtegales;
    Uch foul song singeth.
The threstelcoc him threteth oo;
Away is huere wynter wo,
    When woderove springeth.
This foules singeth ferly fele,
Ant wlyteth on huere wynter wele,
    That al the wode ryngeth.

The rose rayleth hire rode;
The leves on the lyhte wode
    Waxen al with wille.
The mone mandeth hire bleo;
The lilie is lossom to seo,
    The fenyl & the fille.
Wowes this wilde drakes;
Miles murgeth huere makes,
    Ase strem that striketh stille.
Mody meneth, so doth mo;
Ichot ycham on of tho,
    For love that likes ille.

The mone mandeth hire lyht,
So doth the semly sonne bryht,
    When briddes singeth breme;
Deawes donketh the dounes,
Deores with huere derne rounes
    Domes forte deme;
Wormes woweth under cloude,
Wymmen waxeth wounder proude,
    So wel hit wol hem seme,
Yef me shal wonte wille of on,
This wunne weole y wole forgon
    Ant wyht in wode be fleme.


Spring has come with love to town,
With blossoms and with birds' rounds,o
    Which all this bliss bringeth;
Daisies in these dales,
Notes sweet of nightingales;
    Each fowl a song singeth.
The threstlecock he scoldeth aye;
Away is their winter woe,
    When woodruff springeth.
These fowls singeth fairly much,
And look back on their winter weal,o
    So that all the wood ringeth.

The rose puts on her red;
The leaves on the trembling trees
    Grow forth with eagerness.
The moon sends forth her brightness;
The lily is lovely to see,
    The fennel and chervil.
Woo these wild drakes;
Beasts entertain their mates,
    As streams which ever flow.
Sad ones moan, so do many more;
I know I am one of those,
    Who are ill-pleased with love.

The moon sends forth her light,
So doth the pleasing sun bright,
    When birds sing lustily;
Dews drench the hills,
Lovers with their secret songs
    Their own laws to make;
Wyrms woo underground,
Women grow wondrously proud,
    Which seems so becoming to them;
If I shall lack the goodwill of one,
This wondrous wealth I will forgo
    And this wight in the woods be banished.


well-being (ironical)

Audio Excerpt by
Briddes Roune

For the direct .MP3 file, click here.

Transcribed from the manuscript by Anniina Jokinen.
Translation and glosses Anniina Jokinen.

Manuscript image of British Library Harleian MS. 2253, fol. 71v.

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