Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Riddle Song(2 I Have a Young Suster)

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The Riddle Song (2: I Have a Young Suster)

The Riddle Song (2: I Have a Young Suster)

I have a yong suster
Fer biyonde the see;
Many ben the drueries
That she sente me.

She sente me the chery
Wythouten ony ston,
And so she dide the dowve
Wythouten ony bone.

She sente me the brere
Wythouten ony rynde,
She bad me love my lemman
Wythouten longynge.

How sholde ony chery
Ben wythouten ston?
And how sholde ony dowve
Ben wyhtouten bon?

How shold any brere
Ben wythouten rynde?
How sholde I love my lemman*
Wythouten longynge?

Whan the chery was a flour
Than hadde it non stone;
Whan the dowve was an ey,
Than hadde it non bon.

When the brere was unbred,
Than hadde it non rynde;
When the mayden hath that she loveth,
She is wythouten longynge.

* manuscript reads "xuld love," i.e. "should
love"; the editors conjecture this to be the correct text.  From
MS. Sloane 2593 (c. 1430). The spelling has been regularized
(although it should be noted that at this time final "e" was NOT
silent, but could be sounded if needed for the metre).  partial
brere: briar, thorny stem of rose
dowve: dove
drueries: tokens, gifts
ey: egg
fer: far
flour: flower
lemman: lover
longynge: longing
ony: any
rynde: bark, rind
see: sea
ston: stone
suster: sister
unbred: not yet sprouted, in seed
wythouten: without

DT #847
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