Herken, lordynges, and her tel
Of rabettes lyvynge in a del.
Rabettes four and moþir dere
Lyvede al in muchel fere
For þer was a gardyner bī
Hadde eten þer faþir in a pi.
Flopsen, Mopsen and Coton-taille
Went gaderyng buries wyþ ther paille
Wheras Peter, nawghty rabet
Went ynto þe gardyn undir wyket.
Latacan he ete, and muchel bene,
And rædic, mo þan þou hast sene
Þen sykeneth he and, felynge sore
Wante to fynde petrosilij flore.
Hwæt! Þe manne bi cucumer
Ys McGregore, fersome gardyner!
“Arrete, þeef!”, þe man did crie.
Peter herde and he did flie!
He forȝat his sho in cabochis,
Þe tothir in þe plantis,
Hys cote was token bi þe manne,
Þen hid he in a vatir-canne.
Þe water prouoked hym to snese;
Þe gardynyr fonde hym wyth ese.
Bot down þe gardyn Peter gaeth
And saȝe a Mous wiþ fode in moueth
And gaeth som mo and saȝe a Cat
And þenne, enfin, he saȝe þe gat!
Peter went home, wyþ joie and wo,
Had Camamille and noþynge mo.
Written on Beatrix Potter’s birthday, 28th July 2016
Detail from London, British Library, Royal MS 3 D vi, f. 234