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Weping haueth myn wonges wet
London, British Library, Harley MS 2253, f. 66r



Weping haueth myn wonges wet
For wikked werk ant wone of wyt;
Vnblithe Y be til Y ha bet
Bruches broken, ase bok byt,


I have been in floods of tears
For my bad behaviour and lack of sense;
I will be miserable until I've made amends
For offences, as the book commands,

Of leuedis loue, that Y ha let,
That lemeth al with luefly lyt.
Ofte in song Y haue hem set
That is vnsemly ther hit syt.
Hit syt ant semeth noht
Against the love of ladies, which I have lost,
Who are all radiant with beauty.
I have often described them in song
Which gives an unfair account of them.
It is a quite unfair account
10  Ther hit ys seid in song;
That Y haue of hem wroht,
Ywis, hit is al wrong!

Al wrong Y wrohte for a wyf
That made vs wo
in world ful wyde;

Where it has been said in song;
What I have said about them
Is certainly quite wrong!

I did all this wrong because of a woman
Who caused us trouble
across the world;

15  Heo rafte vs alle richesse ryf
That dur[ft]e vs nout in reynes ryde.
A stythye stunte hire sturne stryf
That ys in heouene hert in hyde;
In hire lyht on ledeth lyf,
She deprived us all of great riches,
Not needing to ride us in reins.
Someone brave put a stop to her trouble-making,
Hidden in the heart of heaven;
The lord of life descended into her,
20 Ant shon thourh hire semly syde.
Thourh hyre side he shon
Ase sonne doth thourh the glas;
Wommon nes wicked non
Seththe he ybore was.
And shone through her beautiful side.
He shone through her side
As the sun does through glass;
No woman was ever bad
From the time that he was born.
25  Wycked nis non that Y wot
That durste for werk hire wonges wete;
Alle heo lyuen from last of lot
Ant are al hende ase ha[u]k in chete.
For-thi on molde Y waxe mot
There is no-one that I know so bad
That he would dare to upset them;
They all lead blameless lives
And are as well-behaved as a hawk in hall.
And so I am very sorry
30 That Y sawes haue seid vnsete,
My fykel fleish, mi falsly blod;
On feld hem feole Y falle to fete.
To fet Y falle hem feole
For falslek fifti-folde
For the ill-bred things I have said,
My fickle flesh, my false blood;
I fall down to the ground at their feet.
I fall down at their feet
For the fifty-fold falsehood
35 Of alle vntrewe on tele
With tonge ase Y her tolde.

Thah told beon tales vntoun in toune,
Such tiding mei tide, Y nul nout teme,
Of brudes bryht with browes broune,

Of all the slanderous lies
That I have spoken here.

Although indecent stories may be passed around,
Such news may spread, I will not confirm it,
Of radiant girls with dark eyebrows;

40 Or blisse heo beyen, this briddes breme.
In rude were roo with hem roune
That hem mihte henten ase him were heme.
Nys kyng, cayser, ne clerk with croune
This semly seruen that mene may seme.
They may earn bliss, these beautiful women.
It would be pleasant to whisper with them apart
For a man who could choose one as it suited him.
There is no king, emperor, or tonsured cleric
Who would be demeaned by serving these beauties.
45 Semen him may on sonde
This semly seruen so,
Bothe with fet ant honde,
For on that vs warp from wo.

Nou wo in world ys went away,

It would be a suitable errand for him
To serve these beauties accordingly,
Waiting on them hand and foot,
For the one who saved us from harm.

Now harm has vanished from the world,

50 Ant weole is come ase we wolde,
Thourh a mihti, methful mai
That ous hath cast from cares colde. 
Euer wymmen Ich herie ay,
Ant euer in hyrd with hem Ich holde,
And happiness has come as we would wish,
Through a powerful, gentle virgin
Who has rescued us from our troubles.
I constantly praise women,
And always take their side in the household,
55 Ant euer at neode Y nycke nay
That Y ner nemnede that heo nolde.
Y nolde ant nullyt noht
For nothyng nou a nede
Soth is that Y of hem ha wroht
And I always deny if I have to
That I ever said anything they disapproved of.
I would not and will not at all,
For now, necessarily,
Nothing I have written about them is true,
60 As Richard erst con rede.

Richard, rote of resoun ryht,
Rykening of rym ant ron,
Of maidnes meke thou hast myht;
On molde Y holde the murgest mon.

As Richard has already said.

Richard, source of true reason
In judging rhyme and song,
You have power over gentle maidens;
I think you're the happiest man on earth.

65  Cunde comely ase a knyht,
Clerk ycud that craftes con,
In vch an hyrd thyn athel ys hyht,
ant vch an athel thin hap is on.
Hap that hathel hath hent
Well-bred in nature as a knight,
A renowned and accomplished scholar,
Your excellence is famous in every household,
And your good fortune is to have every excellence.
That man has received good fortune
70"" With hendelec in halle;
Selthe be h[i]m sent
In londe of leuedis alle!


Through courtesy in hall;
May he be granted happiness
Everywhere, by all ladies!

Set up by Bella Millett, enm@soton.ac.uk. Last updated 31 July 2003 .