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: Francis Lee Utley, "The Choristers' Lament," Speculum 21 (1946): 194-202 at 196-97. Used by permission.

[-196-] Un-comly 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 gowlende a-bowte . also dos a goke
Mani is the sorwfol song . it singge vpon mi bok.
I am holde so harde . vn-nethes dar i loke
al the mirthe of this mold . for god i for-soke

I gowle on mi grayel . and Rore als a Roke
Listel wiste i ther-of . qwan I therto toke
Summe notes arn shorte . and somme a long noke
Somme kroken a-weyward . 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 has thu don dawn Water . sin saterdai at non.
thu holdest nowt a note by god in riht ton.

Wayme leue 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 a-son-der bequarre . for bemol i the blame

Wey the leue Water . thu werkes al to wondre
als an old cawdrun . bigynnest to clondre
thu tuchest nowt the notes . thu bites hem on-sonder
Hold vp 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
'god it wot' seys William . 'ther-of haddi nede
now wot i qwou Judicare . was set in the crede

Me is wo so is the be . that belles in the walmes
I donke vp-on dauid . til me tonge talmes.
I ne rendrede nowt . sithen men beren palmes
Is it also mikel sorwe . in song so is in salmes'

[-197-] 'ya bi god thu reddis and so it is wel werre
I solfe and singge after and is me neuere the nerre
I horle at the notes and heue hem al of herre
Alle that me heres wenes that i erre

Of bemol and of bequarre . of bothe i was wol bare
Qwan i wente out of this word and lifte til mi lare
Of effauz and elami ne coudy neuer are
I fayle faste in the fa it files al mi fare

Zet ther ben other notes sol and vt and la
and that froward file . that men clipis fa.
Often he dos me liken ille and werkes me ful wa.
Mizti him neuere hitten in ton for to ta.

Zet ther is a streinant witz to longe tailes
ther-fore has vre mayster . ofte horled mi kayles
ful litel thu kennes qwat sorwe me ayles
It is but childes game that thu witz dauid dayles.

Qwan ilke note til other lepes and makes hem a-sawt
that we calles a moyson . in gesolreutz en hawt.
il hayl were thu boren . zif thu make defawt.'
thanne sais oure mayster 'que vos ren ne vawt.'

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