Room on the Broom (with more apologies to Julia Donaldson)

Þe wycche hadde a catte

Ond much Michel hatte

Ond lockes hor þat honge lyke a matte.

Þe wycche smilut whan catte grucchen.

On brom, in wyndes blast, þei went flitteren.

Bot hélas! And weilawo!

Þe hatte wyþe þe wynde did flo!

“Doun!” Crie þe wycche, fleoninde to grounde.

“Wer ys þe hatte?” Bot hatte watz nat founde,

Vntil it watz þer, in mouþ of an hounde!

“Mi name ys Dogge, y am gode & kene.

Can y com on brom, wyth yow flien?”

“Yis”, saith þe wycche, so on þei fleande

Vntil, hélasm sche lost ribande.

“Doun!” crie þe wycche, fleoninde to grounde.

Ond wyþe vayne þei gan seche

Tyll þer was Byrd, wyþ lace in beke.

Byrd saith “Y am Byrd & Y am grene.

Can y com on brome, flien?”

“Yis”, saith Wycche, son birde sat vpon

Þe brom, þen wyth sorcerye þei wer gon.

Þer was muchel weder, þe Wyche waffe her honed

Ond down ynto strem went wiccan wande.

Þen þer watz Frogge. Y forȝat whi.

Þei al sat on brom and awai did flei.

Ouer þe montaynes þei flo awa

Þen þe frogge did hoppe and brom clofed in twa!

Doun þei fel, by cause of Frogge

Ond þei londe yn stynkeande bogge.

Þe wycche þe stounde flo ynto cloude

Ond herde a Noys gret and lowde.

A dragonet, fiers and gret!

“Ywol yow byrne, þen schal y ete!”

“Halpen me! Oh welawai!”,

Cried þe wycche, “He woll eten me!”

Þe dragonet wulde gan his fest

Whan outen bogge aros an beste.

Blak and hore and eyen eyȝte…

“Reless þe wycche!” þe monstre grucchyd.

Þe dragon was fered. “Y most flo awai.

Wel met, Wycche, Ywol nat ete þis dai!”

Þe monstre was monstre na more

Bot he watz þe creaturs fowre.

Þei al mad a pocion for a brom,

Sat þerin, þen flo þei hom.


Written 31st October 2016



Detail of a cat and dog from London, British Library Additional MS 18684, f. 53v


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