poem index

Adam Lay Ibounden

Anonymous
Adam lay ibounden,
     Bounden in a bond;
Four thousand winter
     Thoght he not too long;
And all was for an appil,
     An appil that he tok,
As clerkes finden
     Wreten in here book.
Ne hadde the appil take ben,
     The appil taken ben,
Ne hadde never our lady
     A ben hevene quene.
Blessed be the time
     That appil take was.
Therefore we moun singen
     "Deo gracias."

Pre-1400, United Kingdom

Anonymous

by this poet

poem
The man cut his throat and left his head there.
The others went to get it.
When they got there they put the head in a sack.
Farther on the head fell out onto the ground.
They put the head back in the sack.
Farther on the head fell out again.
Around the first sack they put a second one that 
   was thicker.
But
poem
The maidens came 
   When I was in my mother's bower;
I had all that I would.
   The bailey beareth the bell away;
   The lily, the rose, the rose I lay.
The silver is white, red is the gold;
The robes they lay in fold.
   The bailey beareth the bell away;
   The lily, the rose, the rose I lay.
And through the
poem
O Insewn God--born from Zeus' thigh--
   some folk say in Drakanon,
some in windy Ikaros,
   others say in Naxos,
or by the deep-eddying river Alpheos,
pregnant Semele bore you to thunder-loving Zeus.
Others say you were born in Thebes, Lord,
but all of them lie:
   the father of men and gods gave birth to you