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Ancient wisdom

17 Jan 16 - 06:29 PM (#3766410)
Subject: Ancient wisdom
From: Paul Burke

The hart lovyt þe wood, the hare lovyt þe hyll,
The knyth lovyt hys sword, the carll lovyt hys byll;
The fowlle lovyt hys folly, the wysseman lovyt hys skyll,
The properte of a schrod qwen ys to have hyr wyll.

The hart loves the wood, the hare loves the hill,
The knight loves his sword, the churl loves his bill,
The fool loves his folly, the wise man his skill:
A shrewd woman's way is to have her will.

Century MXIV

17 Jan 16 - 06:53 PM (#3766417)
Subject: RE: Ancient wisdom
From: Paul Burke

Man in merthe, hath meser in mynd,
For meser ys treser whan merthe ys behynd,
Better yt ys to suffer and fortyn to a-byd,
Than hey for to clyme and sodenly for to slyde.

"Myrthe" - happiness, success.
"Meser"- measure- restraint.
"fortyn"- fortune.

Don't get carried away when you're on a roll; treat success and failure in a provisionary Kipligesque manner.

17 Jan 16 - 07:22 PM (#3766422)
Subject: RE: Ancient wisdom
From: Paul Burke


Fresh rosmary, tyme, betany, nepe, iȝope, selendyn. safurun, long pepur, clowes, grennys, hony, tarmaraks, nutmygges, and greynys, and long peper, senamun and clowes, masys.

17 Jan 16 - 08:37 PM (#3766432)
Subject: RE: Ancient wisdom
From: frogprince

You can find some preserved here

I particularly liked the medieval book of medicine which includes several distinct recipes for cooking up mice, each as a treatment for a specific illness.

17 Jan 16 - 09:28 PM (#3766438)
Subject: RE: Ancient wisdom
From: GUEST,leeneia

Thanks, Paul. That's interesting.

I'm impressed that you can type that sign for the double ss in hyssop.

18 Jan 16 - 06:14 PM (#3766529)
Subject: RE: Ancient wisdom
From: Anne Lister

At our wedding ceilidh a friend sang a version of the song in the first post on this thread, which he'd learnt at Forest Camps. I haven't seen it anywhere else - where does it come from?

Oh the hart he loves the green wood, and the hare he loves the hill,
And the knight he loves his broadsword ....(memory fades)
dum de dum but ending with
And the lady loves her will.

There were, I think three verses. I'd have to watch our wedding video again to find the words!

20 Jan 16 - 09:30 AM (#3766923)
Subject: RE: Ancient wisdom
From: Mr Happy

'The hart he loves the high wood,
The hare he loves the hill
'Tis a jolly morn to wander, to wander at will
Oh joy of the springtime, the springtime so gay
And [something, something, something,
Will last all the day'

Some lines of a scarce remembered song from BBC radio's 'Singing Together' in primary school in the 1950s

20 Jan 16 - 10:07 AM (#3766929)
Subject: RE: Ancient wisdom
From: GUEST,leeneia

"the lady loves her will." But who doesn't?
Re:"the carll lovyt hys byll"

I looked up 'byll' in my big dictionary but didn't find it.

Under 'bill' I found two possible meanings that would fit this poem.

bill - a pickax or mattock
bill - a billhook (for pruning or cutting branches)

(A bill could also be a broadsword, but a carll would not own a sword.)

The translator said 'carll' means 'churl', but that is not strictly accurate. Today a churl is a bad man, coarse and mean; in the 1300's, a carll was merely a commoner, probably a laborer.

The names Carl and Charles come from carll.

20 Jan 16 - 11:33 AM (#3766952)
Subject: RE: Ancient wisdom
From: GUEST,Paul Burke

No skill, leenia, just cut and paste.

Lots more here for the browsing: Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse.

I'll stand by my churl (there's probably a mediaeval song in that)- carl or ceorl meant just peasant, with no more pejorative than not being gentle or noble (in the rank sense), but that would spoil the look of the verse.

20 Jan 16 - 07:39 PM (#3767050)
Subject: RE: Ancient wisdom
From: Stanron

The status of the carl or churl was different before the Norman conquest. He was a free man and quite likely would have owned a sword. Pre Norman there were slaves and free men. After the conquest they were mainly all serfs.

20 Jan 16 - 10:10 PM (#3767079)
Subject: RE: Ancient wisdom
From: GUEST,leeneia

Thanks for the link, Paul.