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Mayden moder milde: introduction
London, British Library, Harley MS 2253, f. 83r

The poem is a macaronic hymn to the Virgin, with alternate lines in Middle English and Old French; although the tone has a hint of courtliness (lines 9-10), the main focus is on the story of the Passion.  That the speaker is a generic sinner rather than a particular individual is clear from the last stanza, where the poem itself speaks: 'Whoever is willing to sing me / will receive great forgiveness'.

Brook (1968), pp. 86-87, links the opening stanza with the short English prayer which concludes Dan Michel of Northgate's moral treatise Ayenbite of Inwit (Canterbury, 1340; London, British Library, Arundel MS 57, f. 96v):

Mayde and moder mylde,
Uor loue of thine childe
Thet is God an man,
Me that am zuo wylde,
Uram zenne thou me ssylde,
Ase Ich the bydde can.

Mild virgin and mother,
For the love of your child
Who is God and man,
Protect me, who am so wild,
From sin,
As I ask you.

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