Seinte Mari moder milde
A Song for the Virgin
Words: English Traditional from Trinity College Library, Ms. B. 14. 39. (James, no. 323), Cambridge
Compare: Saint Mary, Mother Mild (Rickert)
Music: Not Stated
Source: E. K. Chambers and F. Sidgwick, eds., Early English Lyrics (London: A. H. Bullen, 1907), #XLV, pp. 89-91
Seinte Mari moder milde
Seinte Mari moder milde,
Mater salutaris ;
Feirest flour of eni felde
Thorou ihesu crist thou were wid childe ; 5
Thou bring me of my thouhtes wilde
That maket me to dethe tee
Mi thounc is wilde as is the
Ho werchet me ful muchel wo
Bote yef he wole wende me fro,
Ic wene myn herte breket a two 15
Ic am ifaiht bo day ant naiht
Jhesu, thorou thi muchele
Omnia fecisti ; 20
The holi gost in Marie liht
Forthi he is icleped ur driht,
Ihesu, bring my thouht to Crist
That it be stable ant nout chaungable
Jhesu Crist, thou art on loft
Digno tu scandente ;
Hevene ant erthe thou havest iwrouht 30
Victore triumphante ;
Monkun wid thi bodi abouht,
Thou noldest lesen hym for nouht,
Ant yeve the blod that was so god 35
Suete levedi, flour of alle,
Thou be myn help that I ne fall,
Cunctis reparatrix ! 40
Mildest quene ant best icorn,
Niht ant day thou be me forn
Yef me grace to see thi face
Infantis ! 45
That I thorou thi suete bene,
Mot leven al this worldes tene,
Ant to the levedi mot I take, 50
And myn sunnes al fursake
That I ne misse of thine blisse
8. tee, go.
17. ifaiht, tamed.
23 driht, lord.
41 icorn, chosen.
46 bene, prayer.
Note to #XLV, p. 345.
T.C.C., B. 14. 39. We have not found this poem or any variant of it in print elsewhere. See notes on the following poem [Of On That Is So Fayr and Bright]. The Latin words are written in red.
The dialect is Southern.
2. James, i, 440, in giving the opening of the poem, prints ‘mater saluaturis’, perhaps misled by a hole in the vellum at this point.
"Saint Mary, Mother Mild" is found in Rickert, p. 3.
The reference to T.C.C. is to a manuscript at Trinity College, Cambridge. Chambers and Sidgwick have this note concerning this manuscript:
T.C.C., B. 14. 39, Notes. pp. 308-309.
Trinity College Library, Ms. B. 14. 39. (James, no. 323). Parchment, 7 1/8 x 5 3/8. XIII cent.; Skeat says ‘a Norman scribe.’ (Bound with B. 14. 40, James, no. 324, of the XIV and XV centuries.) Poems in English, Latin, and French.
Some items appear also in the contemporary MSS., Jesus College, Oxford, I. xxix, and Cottonian Calig. A. ix ; see Morris, O.E.M., 158-163. The whole MS., including B. 14. 40, was transcribed in 1843 by Sir Frederick Madden, which transcript is now B. 14. 40a. The MS. was missing from the library 1863-1896. It was used by Hickes for his Thesaurus. Extracts in Rel. Ant. On the French pieces in it, see MSS. Français de Cambridge by Paul Meyer in Romania (1903). Described, with list of contents, in James, i. 438. [Nos. XLV, XLVII, and note on XLVI.]
- Morris, O.E.M., 158-163
Richard Morris, ed., An Old English Miscellany (E.E.T.S., 1872), pp. 158-163. [Texts From Jesus College, Oxford, 1. 29, Cotton Calig. A. ix, Egerton 613, etc.]
- Rel. Ant.
Thomas Wright and James Orchard Halliwell, eds., Reliquiæ Antiquæ. Scraps from Ancient Manuscripts, illustrating chiefly Early English Literature and the English Laguage. Vol. 2 of 2 vols. (1841, 1843).
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