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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
leeneia Origins: riddle song (I Gave My Love a Cherry) (67* d) RE: Origins: riddle song (I Gave My Love a Cherry) 23 Jun 21


Here's a text from "One Hundred Middle English Lyrics". Robert D. Stevick, editor. Poem is c. 1430

I have a yong suster [sister] fer biyonde the see;
many ben the drueries [gifts] that she sente me.

She sent me the chery wythouten any ston
And so she dide the dowve [dove] withouten any bon.

She sente me the brere [rose branch, briar?] withouten any rynde [bark]
She bad [bade] me love my lemman [sweetheart] wythouten longynge.

How sholde any chery ben wythouten ston?
And how sholde any dowve ben wythouten bon?

How sholde any brere ben wythouten rynde?
How sholde I love my lemman wythouten longynge?

When the chery was a flour, than hadde it non ston.
Whan the dowve was an ey, [egg] than hadde it non bon.

Whan the brere was unbred [was a seed] than hadde it non rynde.
Whan the mayden hath that she loveth, she is wythouten longynge.

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The editor notes that this is a unique text, but such paradoxes are common.


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