Friday, February 17, 2017


A Scholar's Fantasy

London, British Museum Add. 12195, fol. 64v (15th century; tr. Peter Dronke):
Once there was a lady,
very rich and famous,

and she loved a lad,
a very handsome lad.

And he went into the chamber,
kissing his lady-love.

'Scholar, scholar, do you know—
what you must do now?

You've got to take me now
three times, in any way you like!'

When he had done his mistress' will,
the clerc began to weep.

'Quiet, quiet now, my clerc—
I want to pay you now.

I'll give you lots of daytime clothes,
some woollies and some shirts.'

The scholar became quiet at last,
because he liked this well.
The Latin:
Erat quedam domina
Valde dives et clara,

Et dilexit puerum,
Iuvenum pulcherimum,

Et intravit cameram
Osculando dominam—

'Scis tu, scis tu, clerice,
Quid tu debes facere?

Debes me supponere
Velud vis ter opere.'

Quando factum fuerat
Clericus ploraverat.

'Tace, tace, clerice,
Volo tibi solvere;

Dabo tibi tunicas,
Tractas et camisias.'

Clericus tunc tacuit,
Quia sibi placuit.
I think this is also in Bryan Gillingham, Secular Medieval Latin Song: An Anthology (Ottawa: The Institute of Mediaeval Music, 1993 = Musicological Studies 60/1), but the book is unavailable to me.

I tried to find an image of the manuscript page here, but there wasn't one.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?