Pearl (Middle English)
1 Perle, pleasaunte to prynces paye
2 To clanly clos in golde so clere,
3 Oute of oryent, I hardyly saye,
5 So rounde, so reken in vche araye,
6 So smal, so smoþe her syde3 were,
7 Quere-so-euer I jugged gemme3 gaye,
8 I sette hyr sengeley in synglere.
9 Allas! I leste hyr in on erbere;
10 Þur3 gresse to grounde hit fro me yot.
11 I dewyne, fordolked of luf
12 Of þat pryuy perle wythouten spot.
“Pearl” in Translation
Pearl favor worthy of nobility,
A match for gold, this treasure.
From the East, this wonder be.
No gem can meet its measure.
Perfect circle–splendid curiosity,
Dainty, shining–mine forever.
I set her down in silken luxury.
Wherever I roamed she gave me pleasure.
But in one spec of eternity,
Four brigands stole her from my sack.
Now, I will not fear what dangers be
Until I bring my pure, pearl back!