School of Music
University of Nebraska--Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0100
(phone: [402] 472-2507; Internet: plefferts1@unl.edu)

Data entry: Jonathan Haupt
Checked by: Peter Slemon
Approved by: Peter M. Lefferts

Author: Anonymous
Title: A Chorister's Lament
Source: Moriz Haupt and Heinrich Hoffmann, Altdeutsche Bl├Ątter, 2 vols. (Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus, 1836-1840; reprint ed., Hildesheim: Olms, 1978), 2:145-46.

[-145-] Uncomly in cloystre i coure ful of care,
I loke as a lurdeyn and listne til my lare,
The song of the cesolfa dos me syken sare,
And sitte stotiand on a song a moneth and mare.
I ga gowlend a-bowte al so dos a goke,
Mani is the sorwfol song ic sigge upon mi bok;
I am holde so harde un-nethes dar i loke,
Al the mirthe of this mold for God i for-soke.
I gowle an mi grathel and rore als a roke,
Litel wiste i ther-of qwan i ther-to toke:
Summe notes arn shorte, and somme a long noke,
Somme kroken a wethward als a fleshoke.
Qwan i kan mi lesson mi meyster wil i gon,
That heres me mi rendre, he wenes i haue wel don:
'Qwat hast thu don, dawn Water, sin saterdai at non?
Thu holdest nowt a note, by God! in riht ton.
Wayme, leve Water, thu werkes al til shame,
Thu stomblest and stikes fast as thu were lame;
Thu tones nowt the note, ilke be his name,
Thu bitist asonder bequarre for bemol i the blame.
Wey the, leve Water, thu werkes al to wonder,
Als an old cawdrun bigynnest to clonder,
Thu tuchest nowt the notes, thu bites hem on sonder:
Hold up for shame, thu letes hem al under.'
Thanne is Water so wo that wol ner wil he blede,
And wendis him til William, and bit him wel to spede.
'Got it wot!' seys William, 'ther-of haddi nede:
Now wot i qwon judicare was set in the crede.
[-146-] Me is wo so is the be that belles inye walmes;
I donke upon David til me tonge talmes;
I ne rendrede nowt, sithen men beren palmes:
Is it also mikel sorwe in song so is in salmes.
Ya, bi God! thu reddis, and so it is wel werre:
I solfe and singge after, and is me nevere the nerre;
I horle at the notes, and heve hem al of herre:
Alle that me heres wenes that in erre.
Of bemol and of bequarre, of bothe i was wol bare,
Qwan i wente out of this word, and liste til mi lare;
Of effauz and clami ne coudy nevere are,
I fayle faste in the fa, it files al my fare.
Zet ther ben other notes, sol and ut and la,
And that froward file that men clepis fa,
Often he dos me liken ille, and werkes me ful wa,
Mizti him nevere hitten in ton for to ta.
Zet ther is a streiuant witz to longe tailes,
Ther-fore has ure mayster ofte horled in kayles;
Ful litel thu kennes qwat sorwe me ayles,
It is but childes game that thu witz David dayles.
Qwan ilke note til other lepes and makes hem asawt,
That we calles a moyson in gesolreutz en hawt;
It hayl were thu boren, zif thu make defawt,
Thanne sais oure mayster que wos ren ne vawt.'

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