A Night with a Holy-Water Clerk

Alas! alas! the while,
Thought I on no gile,
So have I god chance.
Alas! alas! the while,
That ever I coude dance.

Ladd I the dance a Midsomer Day:
I made smale trippes, soth for to say.
Jack, oure haly-water clerk, com by the way,
And he lokede me upon—he thought that it was gay.
Thought I on no gile.

Jack, oure haly-water clerk, the yonge strippeling,
For the chesone of me he com to the ring,
And he trippede on my to and made a twinkeling—
Ever he cam ner, he spared for no thinge.
Thought I on no gile.

Jack, I wot, preyede in my faire face:
He thought me full werly, so have I god grace.
As we turnden oure dance in a narw place
Jack bed me the mouth—a kussinge ther was.
Thought I on no gile.

Jack tho began to roune in mine ere,
‘Loke that thou be privey and grante that thou thee bere
A peire whit gloves, I ha to thine were.’
‘Gramercy! Jacke’, that was mine answere.
Thought I on no gile.

Sone after evensong Jack me mette:
‘Com hom after thy gloves that I thee bihette.’
Whan I to his chambre com, down he me sette—
From him might I nat go whan we were mette.
Thought I on no gile.

Shetes and chalones, I wot, a were ispredde:
Forsothe tho Jack and I wenten to bedde.
He prikede and he pransede, nolde he never linne.
It was the murgest night that ever I cam inne.
Thought I on no gile.

Whan Jack had don, tho he rong the bell:
All night ther he made me to dwelle.
Of itrewe we hadden iserved the reaggeth Devil of helle:
Of other smale burdes kep I nout to telle.
Thought I on no gile.

The other day at prime I com hom, as I wene:
Met I my dame, copped and kene.
‘Sey thou, stronge strumpet, whare hastu bene?
Thy tripping and thy dancing well it will be sene!’
Thought I on no gile.

Ever by on and by on my damme reched me clot,
Ever I ber it privey while that I mouth,
Till my gurdle aros, my wombe wax out.
Evil ispunne yern ever it wole out!
Thought I on no gile.
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