|Anon.||trans. Marie Borroff (from Middle English)|
Sunne ne mone schon neuer so swete
As şat foysoun flode out of şat flet;
Swyşe hit swange şurgh vch a strete
Withouten fylşe oşer galle oşer glet.
Kyrk şerinne watz non yete,
Chapel ne temple şat euer watz set;
Şe Almyghty watz her mynster mete,
Şe Lombe şe sakerfyse şer to refet.
Şe yatez stoken watz neuer yet,
Bot euermore vpen at vche a lone;
Şer entrez non to take reset
Şat berez any spot anvnder mone.
The mone may şerof acroche no myghte;
To spotty ho is, of body to grym,
And also şer ne is neuer nyght.
What schulde şe mone şer compas clym
And to euen wyth şat worşly lyght
Şat schynez vpon şe brokez brym?
Şe planetez arn in to pouer a plyght,
And şe self sunne ful fer to dym.
Aboute şat water arn tres ful schym,
Şat twelue frytez of lyf con bere ful sone;
Twelue syşez on yer şay beren ful frym,
And renowlez nwe in vche a mone.
Anvnder mone so gret merwayle
No fleschly hert ne myght endeure
As quen I blusched vpon şat baly,
So ferly şerof watz şe fasure.
I stod as stylle as dased quayle
For ferly of şat frech fygure,
Şat felde I nawşer reste ne trauayle,
So watz I rauyste wyth glymme pure.
For I dar say with conciens sure,
Hade bodyly burne abiden şat bone,
Şagh alle clerkez hym hade in cure,
His lyfe wer loste anvnder mone.
Sun nor moon shone never so fair
As that flood of plenteous waters pure;
Full it flowed in each thoroughfare;
No filth or taint its brightness bore.
Church they had none, nor chapel there,
House of worship, nor need therefor;
The Almighty was their place of prayer,
The Lamb the sacrifice all to restore.
No lock was set on gate or door
But evermore open both night and noon;
None may take refuge on that floor
Who bears any spot beneath the moon.
The moon has in that reign no right;
Too spotty she is, of body austere;
And they who dwell there know no night -
Of what avail her varying sphere?
And set beside that wondrous hght
That shines upon the waters clear
The planets would lose their lustre quite,
And the sun itself would pale appear.
Beside the river are trees that bear
Twelve fruits of life their boughs upon;
Twelve times a year they burgeon there
And renew themselves with every moon.
Beneath the moon so much amazed
No fleshly heart could bear to be
As by that city on which I gazed,
Its form so wondrous was to see.
As a quail that couches, dumb and dazed,
I stared on that great symmetry;
Nor rest nor travail my soul could taste,
Pure radiance so had ravished me.
For this I say with certainty:
Had a man in the body borne that boon,
No doctor's art, for fame or fee,
Had saved his life beneath the moon.
Trans. Copyright © W.W.Norton & Co. Inc. 2001, 1977, 1967 - publ. W.W.Norton. Original with acknowledgements to University of Exeter Press.