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An anonymous Thirteenth Century lyric

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With comment by John Birtwhistle

Wanne mine eyhnen misten, = When my eyes mist

And mine heren sissen, and my ears cease

And my nose coldet, and my nose colds

And my tunge foldet, and my tongue folds

And my rude slaket, and my face slacks

And mine lippes blaken, and my lips black

And mine muth grennet, and my mouth gurns

And my spotel rennet, and my spittle runs

And mine her riset, and my hair falls

And mine herte griset, and my heart fails

And my honden bivien, and my hands shiver

And mine fet stivien – and my feet stiffen –

Al to late! al to late! All too late! All too late!

Wanne the bere is ate gate. when the bier's at the gate.

Thanne y schel flutte Then I shall flit

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Translation by reference to Davies as cited below; Doyle as cited below; Sisam C, Sisam K The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse Oxford: Clarendon Press 1970: 46-7; and Luria M S, Hoffman R L Middle English Lyrics New York and London: Norton & Company, 1974: 224.

  • Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.