Happy New Year

Wyle Nw Ȝer watz so ȝep þat hit watz nwe cummen,
Þat day doubble on þe dece watz þe douth serued.
Fro þe kyng watz cummen with knyȝtes into þe halle,
Þe chauntré of þe chapel cheued to an ende,
Loude crye watz þer kest of clerkez and oþer,
Nowel nayted onewe, neuened ful ofte;
And syþen riche forth runnen to reche hondeselle,
Ȝeȝed ȝeres-ȝiftes on hiȝ, ȝelde him bi hond,
Debated busyly about þo ȝiftes;
Ladies laȝed ful loude, þoȝ þay lost haden,
And he þat wan watz not wrothe, þat may ȝe wel trawe.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
          Þerfore of face so fere
          He stiȝtlez stif in stalle,
          Ful ȝep in þat Nw Ȝere
          Much mirth he mas withalle.

That is to say,

While the New Year was new, but yesternight come,
This fair folk at feast two-fold was served,
When the king and his company were come in together,
The chanting in chapel achieved and ended.
Clerics and all the court acclaimed the glad season,
Cried Noel anew, good news to men;
Then gallants gather gaily, hand-gifts to make,
Called them out clearly, claimed them by hand,
Bickered long and busily about those gifts.
Ladies laughed aloud, though losers they were,
And he that won was not angered, as well you will know.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
          The stout king stands in state
          Till a wonder shall appear;
          He leads, with heart elate,
          High mirth in the New Year.

May you have a Happy New Year, and may no scary Green Wonder intrude upon your feasts.

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Filed under In Other Words, Medieval

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