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I syke when Y singe: text and translation
London, British Library, Harley MS 2253, f. 80ra


I syke when Y singe
For sorewe that Y se,
When Y with wypinge
Biholde vpon the tre


I sigh when I sing
for the sorrow that I see,
When I, shedding tears,
Look at the Cross,

5   Ant se Iesu the suete
Is herte blod forlete
For the loue of me.
Ys woundes waxen weete,
Thei wepen stille ant mete;
And see sweet Jesus
Shed his heart's blood
For my love.
His wounds grow wet,
They weep quietly and gently;
10   Marie, reweth the.

Heghe vpon a doune
Ther al folk hit se may,
A mile from vch toune,
Aboute the midday,

Mary, it grieves you.

High on a hill
where everyone can see it,
A mile from any town,
About midday,

15 The rode is vp arered;
His frendes aren afered
Ant clyngeth so the clay.
The rode stond in stone;
Marie stont hire one
The cross is raised up;
His friends are frightened
And are chilled with fear.
The cross stands in stone;
Mary stands alone
20 Ant seith 'Weilawei!'

When Y the biholde
With eyghen bryhte bo,
Ant thi bodi colde,
Thi ble waxeth blo;

And says 'Alas!'

When I look at you,
With two bright eyes,
And your body is cold,
Your face grows pale;

25 Thou hengest al of blode
So heghe vpon the rode
Bituene theues two.
Who may syke more?
Marie syketh sore
You hang covered in blood
So high on the cross,
Between two thieves.
Who can sigh more?
Mary sighs deeply
30 Ant siht al this wo.

The naylles beth to stronge,
The smythes are to sleye,
Thou bledest al to longe,
The tre is al to heyghe,

And sees all this suffering.

The nails are too strong,
The smiths are too skilled,
You bleed far too long,
The cross is far too high,

35 The stones beoth al wete;
Alas! Iesu the suete,
For non frend hast thou non
Bote Seint Iohan mournynde,
Ant Marie wepynde
The stones are all wet;
Alas! sweet Jesus!
For you have no friend at all
Except for St John grieving,
And Mary weeping
40 For pyne that the ys on.

Ofte when I syke
Ant makie my mon,
Wel ille thah me like
Wonder is hit non

For the torment you suffer.

Often when I sigh
And make my lament,
If it gives me pain
It is no wonder

45 When Y se honge heghe
Ant bittre pynes dreghe
Iesu my lemmon;
His wondes sore smerte,
The spere al to is herte
When I see hanging high
and suffering bitter pains
Jesus my lover;
His wounds hurting cruelly,
The spear piercing straight to his heart
50 Ant thourh is sydes gon.

Ofte when Y syke
With care Y am thourhsoht;
When Y wake, Y wyke;
Of serewe is al mi thoht.

And through his sides.

Often when I sigh
I am pierced through with grief;
When I lie awake, I pine;
All my thoughts are of sorrow.

55 Alas, men beth wode
That suereth by the Rode
Ant selleth him for noht
That bohte vs out of synne.
He bring vs to wynne
Alas, those men are mad
Who swear by the Cross
And betray him for nothing
Who redeemed us from of sin.
May he bring us to bliss
60 That hath vs duere boht.

Who bought us dearly.


Set up by Bella Millett, enm@soton.ac.uk. Last updated 28 July 2003 .