The Paper Bag Princess (with apologies to Robert Munsch)

We redeth oft and findeth y-write

Tales of lordes and levedyes diʒtes.

Layes that ben in harping

Yfounde of merveyliouse þyng

Qwer þe knyʒtes fiers & wlonk

Funde maidens dystressynge bi a bonk

Andso, aftir þei monstren sle

Þei plyʒte troþes. Wel, Y tel þe

A tale þat ys better yet:

Þe Tale of Dame Eliʒabet.

 

Eliʒabet, þat maiden milde

Livede yn castel, þe kynges childe.

To Ronald wold she plyʒt hir trowþe

Bot for ane dragun þat wyþ hits mowthe

Didde þe castel al destroie

And tokke Ronald, þe princli boy.

Eliʒabet walde han him backe.

Clothyd nat, sche tokke an sacke

Parid off papir, þat sche bore

Like þat hit wer clothys y-wore

Þanne lokyd sche for dragonet,

Forto princli Ronald gette.

 

Þe maiden travailyd longe & fer

To caaf quer Ronald closyd wer.

Sayde Dragun, “þou art faire & swete.

For supir Y wold Princesse ete

Bot þat ydo nat hungren nou.

Com yn þe morn. Ywol ete yow.”

 

Saide þe maiden, “Y her tel

Þou brunneth alle wodes & del

Wyþ hete fram þi fieri mowþe.

Y þynke nat, bi mi trowþe!”

Þe dragoun burned fifti wode

Þanne fifti mo, schewynge he xulde,

Þanne funde þat he hadde no hete

To cokken een smale mete.

 

Saide þe maiden, “ist verili so

Þat rounde þe londe þou couldst flo

Bifor þat Y wolde end a praier?”

Þe dragun fle ynto þe aire.

“Bi mi trow, tis gode,” sayde sche,

“Do hit aʒen!”, so he didde fle.

Þe dragun fel vpon an hep

& gan to snoren yn hys slepe.

 

Liz fund Rolandus yn hys wo.

“Yhaf þe saufed, so nou we go.”

Rolandus starid ful ghastlye:

“Y cannot trewli gan wyth þe!

Þin clothys aren nobbut ane sacke,

Þi visage ys brennt & blacke,

Þi lokkes vnfreli, bi mi fei,

Y cannot goo wyth þe to-daye!”

 

Sayde Liz, “þin lokkes & beauté mak þe clers

Bot verili þou art an ers.”

Qwhat folowen, þe tale forʒat

Bot þis Y knawe: þe mariede nat.

 

Written 28th September 2017

 

dragon2

From London, British Library, Arundel MS 66, f. 33v

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