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Mediæval Bæbes:Undrentide Lyrics

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Mediæval Bæbes
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This song is performed by Mediæval Bæbes and appears on the album Undrentide (2000).

Old English lyricsEdit

Befell so in the comessing of May,
When mirry and hot is the day
Oway beth winter shours
And every feld is full of flours
And blosme breme on evry bough
Overall wexeth mirry anough,
This ich quene Dame Heurodis
Took two maidens of pris
And went in an undrentide
To play by an orchard side,
To see the floures sprede and spring
To here the fowles sing.
They set hem down all three
Under a faire impe-tree,
And wel sone this faire quene
Fell on slepe opon the grene.

The maidens durst hir nought awake
Bot lete hir ligge and rest take.
she slepe till after none,
That undrentide was all ydone
Ac as sone (as) she gan awake
She cried and lothly bere gan make;
She froted hir honden and hir feet
And cracched hir visage, it blede weet;
Hir riche robe hie all to-rett
And was reveyd out of hir wit.

The two maidens hir beside
No durst with hir no leng abide
Bot urn to the palais full right
And tolde bothe squier and knight
That her quene awede wold,
And bad hem go and hir athold.
Knightes urn and levedis also,
Damisels sexty and mo.
In they orchard to the quene hie come
And hir up in her armes nome
And brought hir to bed atte last
And held hir there fine fast
Ac ever she held in o cry
And wolde up and owy.

English translationEdit

It happened like this in early May,
When balmy and temperate is the day,
And winter showers have gone away,
And every field is full of flowers,
And every branch is bright with blossom,
And everything is growing merrily,
This same queen, Dame Heurodis
Took two virgins - highly prized -
And all went together in the noontide
To play and sport by an orchard's side;
To see the flowers unfurl, and spring
Forth from the earth, and to hear the birds sing.
They sat them down, all three,
Under a grafted fairy-tree,
And soon the lovely Queen
Fell asleep upon the green.

To wake her up, the maidens dared not do.
They let her lie and take her rest
And so she slept til noontide passed -
Until that midday was over at last.
But as soon as she started awake
She cried aloud with a hateful wailing
Wringing her hands, and her feet
And clawing her face until it was wet with blood;
She tore her rich robe into shreds
And was driven out of her mind in grieving.

Her two attendant virgins
Dared not stay longer at her side,
But they raced to the palace
And told the knights and squires
That the Queen was on the brink of madness,
And told them to go and restrain her.
The knights, and the ladies too,
And the damsels (sixty or more) ran to the Queen.
They reached her, at the orchard,
And took her up in their arms.
They bore her to her bed
And bound her tightly there -
But she kept on crying out the same thing,
That she wanted to be up and away.

Note: The Middle English text is an extract from the 14th century English narrative poem Orfeo "Sir Orpheo", an adaptation of the Orpheus myth.

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