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Ase y me rod this ender day: text and translation 
London, British Library, Harley MS 2253, f. 81va-b


Ase Y me rod this ender day
By grene wode to seche play,
Mid herte Y thohte al on a may
Swetest of alle thinge;


As I rode recently
Near a green wood to seek pleasure,
My heart was preoccupied with a maiden,
Sweetest of all things;

Lythe, ant Ich ou telle may
Al of  that suete thinge.

This maiden is suete ant fre of blod,
Briht ant feyr, of milde mod;
Alle heo mai don vs god

Listen, and I can tell you
Everything about that sweet creature.

This maiden is sweet and of noble blood,
Bright and beautiful and gentle;
She can do us all good

10  Thurh hire bysechynge.
Of hire he tok fleysh ant blod,
Iesus, heuene kynge.

With al mi lif Y loue that may;
He is mi solas nyht ant day,

Through her intercession.
From her Jesus, King of Heaven,
Took flesh and blood.

With all my life I love that maiden;
She is my comfort night and day,

15  My ioie ant eke my beste play,
Ant eke my loue-longynge;
Al the betere me is that day
That Ich of hire synge.

Of alle thinge Y loue hire mest,

My joy and also my greatest pleasure,
And also my desire;
I feel all the better on the day
When I sing about her.

I love her best of all things,

20 My dayes blis, my nyhtes rest;
Heo counseileth ant helpeth best
Bothe elde ant yynge.
Nou Y may, yef Y wole,
The fif ioyes mynge.
My joy by day, my rest by night;
She is the best at advising and helping
Both old and young.
Now I can, if I wish,
Recall the five joys.
25  The furst ioie of that wymman
When Gabriel from heuene cam
Ant seide God shulde bicome man,
Ant of hire be bore,
Ant bringe vp of helle pyn
The first of that woman's joys
Was when Gabriel came from heaven
And said that God would become man
And she would bear him,
And he would bring up from the torment of hell
30 Monkyn that wes forlore.

That other ioie of that may
Wes o Cristesmasse day,
When God wes bore on thoro lay
Ant brohte vs lyhtnesse;

Humanity, which had been ruined.

The second of that maiden's joys
Was on Christmas Day,
When God was born in radiant light
And brought us brightness;

35 The st[er] wes seie byfore day,
This hirdes bereth wytnesse.

The thridde ioie of that leuedy
That men clepeth the Epyphany,
When the kynges come wery

The star was seen before dawn,
The shepherds bear witness.

The third joy of that lady,
Which is called the Epiphany,
Was when the kings came wearily

40 To presente hyre sone
With myrre, gold, ant encenz,
That wes mon bicome.

The furthe ioie we telle mawen,
On Estermorewe w[h]en hit gon dawen,

To present her son,
Who had become man,
With myrrh, gold, and incense.

The fourth joy we can relate
Was on Easter morning at dawn,

45 Hire sone, that wes slawen,
Aros in fleysh ant bon---
More ioie ne mai me hauen,
Wyf ne mayden non.

The fifte ioie of that wymman,

When her son, who had been killed,
Arose in flesh and blood---
No-one can feel more joy,
No woman or girl.

The fifth joy of that woman

50 When hire body to heuen cam,
The soule to the body nam
Ase hit wes woned to bene.
Crist leue vs alle with that wymman
That ioie al forte sene!
Was that when her body came to heaven,
The soul was joined with the body
As it was accustomed to be.
May Christ grant us all 
To see all that joy with that woman!
55 Preye we alle to oure leuedy,
Ant to the sontes that woneth hire by,
That heo of vs hauen merci,
Ant that we ne misse
In this world to ben holy,
Let us all pray to our Lady,
And to the saints that live with her,
That they may have mercy on us,
And that we may not fail
To be holy in this world,
60 Ant wynne heuene blysse.
And achieve the bliss of heaven.

Set up by Bella Millett, enm@soton.ac.uk. Last updated 24 July 2003 .