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Lutel wot hit any mon / Hou derne loue may stonde: translation
London, British Library, Harley MS 2253, f. 128r-v


No-one fully realizes
The nature of secret love,
Unless it were a noble woman
Who had great experience of love.
Her love does not last at all long;
She has made promises to me, and blames me unfairly.
Constantly the one I love is in my thoughts;
I think about her whom I do not see often.

I would give her name today,

10  If I dared to mention her;
She is the most beautiful girl
Of her whole family.
Unless she loves me, she is treating me badly.
It is hard on the man who loves the love that he can never win..
15 Constantly, etc.

I fell down before her at once,
And cried out, 'Lady, have pity!
Lady, have pity on your man;
Don't believe any slander!

20 If you do, it will give me great distress;
Love makes me suffer so much that I can't live any longer.'
Constantly, etc.

It is pleasant in her tower,
With brave men and servants;

25 So is it in her chamber,
With games and with music-making.
If she does not love me, it will give me great distress.
It is hard on the man who loves a love who will never be faithful.
Constantly, etc.


30 Most beautiful creature alive,
My dear love, I send you greetings
As many times and often
As there are moist dewdrops,
As there are stars in the sky, and grasses sour and sweet.
Whoever loves someone unfaithful rarely has peace of mind.
Constantly, etc.


Set up by Bella Millett, enm@soton.ac.uk. Last updated 30 July 2003 .