Medieval Lyric: Middle English Lyrics, Ballads, and Carols / Edition 1

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Medieval Lyric is a collection of lyrical poems, carols, and traditional British ballads written primarily between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, together with some twentieth-century American versions of the ballads. The volume introduces readers to the variety of Middle English poetry and include poems of mourning, and of celebration, poems dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and to Christ, poems inviting or disparaging love, poems about sex and more.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A very attractive anthology, notable for its variety and the careful and expert way it has been designed for the use of students."
Douglas Gray

"Students will particularly value the range of critical material cited."
—Valerie Edden, University of Birmingham, Modern Language Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405114820
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/20/2004
  • Series: Blackwell Critical Biographies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,306,230
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

John C. Hirsh is Professor of English at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. His previous publications include Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales (Blackwell, 2003), The Boundaries of Faith: The Development and Transmission of Medieval Spirituality (1996), The Revelations of Margery Kempe: Paramystical Practices in Late Medieval England (1989), and Hope Emily Allen: Medieval Scholarship and Feminism (1988). He has also edited Barlam and Iosaphat (1986) for the Early English Text Society.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations.


List of Abbreviations.


I. Poems of Mourning, Fear, and Apprehension.

1 O Glorius God, redemer of mankynde.

2 Mirie it is while sumer i-last.

3 Now goth sonne vnder wod.

4 If man him bithocte.

5 Wen the turuf is thy tuur.

6 As I went in a mery mornyng.

7 Thegh thou habbe casteles and toures.

II. Poems of Joy and Celebration.

8 Svmer is i-cumen in.

9 Adam lay i-bowndyn.

10 My gostly fadir, Y me confesse.

11 Lett no man cum into this hall.

12 Witte hath wondir that resoun ne telle kan.

III. Poems Inscribed to the Blessed Virgin.

13 I syng of a mayden.

14 Of on that is so fayr and brigt.

15 Haill, Quene of Hevin and Steren of Blis.

16 I saw a fayr mayden.

IV. Poems of Narrative Reflection.

17 In the vaile of restles mynd.

18 Alas, alas, and alas, why.

19 I wolde witen of sum wys wiht.

V. Poems Whose Meanings Are Hidden (but Not Necessarily Unknown).

20 Maiden in the mor lay.

21 Foweles in the frith.

22 Ich am of Irlaunde.

23 I seche a youthe that eldyth noght.

24 He bare hym vp, he bare hym down.

VI. Poems about Christ’s Life and Passion.

25 A child is boren amonges man.

26 Al other loue is lych the mone.

27 Wose seye on rode.

28 O man vnkynde.

29 Ihesu, my spowse good and trewe.

30 Causa materialis huius rubricacionis est.

VII. Poems Inviting or Disparaging Love.

31 Bytuene Mersh and Aueril.

32 Goe, lytyll byll, and doe me recommende.

33 I haue a yong suster.

34 Goo, lyttell ryng, to that ylke suehte.

35 Vnto you, most froward, this lettre I write.

36 O fresch floure, most plesant of pryse.

VIII. Poems about Sex.

37 Westron wynde, when wyll thow blow.

38 Al nist by the rose, Rose.

39 I haue a gentil cok.

40 Ladd Y the daunce.

IX. Ballads.

41 Sir Patrick Spens.

Patrick Spencer (American version).

42 Bonnie Barbara Allan.

Barbara Allen (American version).

43 Lord Randal.

Jimmy Randal (American version).

44 The Unquiet Grave.

The Wind Blew Up, the Wind Blew Down (American version).

45 The Three Ravens.

Willie McGee McGaw (American version).

X. Carols.

46 Go day, Syre Cristemas, our kyng.

47 I shall you tell a gret mervayll.

48 Off seruyng men I wyll begyne.

49 Owre kynge went forth to Normandy.

50 As the holly grouth grene.

Appendix A. Some Lyrics of Geoffrey Chaucer.

A1 Truth.

A2 The Complaint of Chaucer to his Purse.

A3 To Rosamounde.

A4 Lak of Stedfastnesse.

A5 Embedded Lyric A.

A6 Embedded Lyric B.

A7 To Adam, My Scribe.

Appendix B. Poems of William Hereberet, Richard Rolle, and John Audelay.

B1 Alma Redemptoris Mater (Holy Moder, that bere Cryst).

B2 Jesus Our Ransom (Iesu our raunsoun).

Richard Rolle.

B3 A Song of Love-Longing to Jesus (Ihesu, God sone, Lord of Mageste).

B4 A Prose Lyric: Spiritual Joy in Jesus (Gastly gladnes in Ihesu).

B5 Embedded Lyric A (Ihesu, be thou my ioy).

B6 Embedded Lyric B (A, Lord, kyng of myght).

B7 Embedded Lyric C (To loue the).

John Audelay.

B8 Of the Love of God (I haue a loue is heuen kyng).

B9 Of Our King, Henry VI (A! Pereles Pryns to the we pray).

Appendix C. Three Poems from the Findern Anthology.

C1 Where Y haue chosyn, stedefast woll Y be.

C2 Whatso men seyn.

C3 Continvaunce.


A Short Bibliography of the Middle English Lyric.

First Line Index.

Manuscript Index.

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