July 2009

Whoso List to Hunt, I Know where is an Hind

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind ,
But as for me, alas, I may no more.
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
I am of them that farthest cometh behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
Sithens in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain
There is written, her fair neck round about:
Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.

—Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)

Ich Am From Irelande

Ich am of Ireland
And of the holy londe
Of Ireland.
Gode sire, preye ich thee,
For of saynte charite
Come and dance with me
In Ireland.

This Middle English lyric is by one of my very favorite poets, Anonymous. She's quite prolific, and exceedingly long-lived. "Ich am of Ireland," or "I am of Ireland" is from c. 1400, and is preserved in a single manuscript, Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson D.913.

Here's the same thing in Modern English: