If “The Owl and the Pussy-Cat” were medieval nonsense, with apologies to Edward Lear

I recently got married, and as a result “The Owl and the Pussy-Cat” has been in my head for weeks. This is an attempt at a purge.

Ich was in one sumere dale

In one suþe diȝele hale,

Iherde ich holde grete tale

An hule and ane cat.

 

Þe hule wented ouer sees

Wyþ cat in ship als vert as pese

Wyþ med and monei, and to plese

Hys loffe, Hule sang to Cat:

 

“O! Lemman Cat! O! Cat loffe min!

O cat, þin beauté ys divin!

Y am nat dronke

Bot Y most saye

Þou art wlonke!”

 

Cat sayeth then to dere Hule,

“þou art an beautiose fuȝele

And þou singest wel and hale.

Y am, þou knawest, þin Cat.”

 

To plyȝt here trowþe þei had gret nede

For to do so wyþ gret spede.

Cherchyd þei both fer & wide

For an rynge for þe cat.

 

“O! bong-tre londe! Antoni Pigge!

Pigge þat yn wode has hys segge!

Rynge in nase-thril,

Wiltow me graunt?”

Quoth Pigge, “Ywol!”

 

Þe hule paied a schillyng dere

Fram monei þat þe ship did bere

And wente to hill, quere lyvede ther

A brydde, marien Cat.

 

Fested þei on myncyd mete

And wyþ spon didde et Quynsys swete

And on sande þei maide fete,

Þe Hule and þe Cat.

 

O! Hule and Cat! O mone so briȝt!

Dancyd thei in þe mones lyȝt

And herein endes

Þe tale of Hule and Cat.

Adieu, min frendes.

 

Written 21st August, 2018

owl
London, British Library, Harley 2887, f. 29
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