Vernacular song in English, c. 1170

While researching for my MA thesis, I have come across a nice passage in Roger of Wendover’s chronicle (mid-13th century) quoting a vernacular English song (“canticum illud Anglico idiomate”) whose composition Roger ascribes to the early 1170s and mentions in connection with an apparition of the Virgin to St. Godric. He then gives the Latin translation.

“Seinte Marie, clane virgine,
Moder Jesu Christ Nazarene,
Onfo, scild, help thin Godrich,
On fang, bring heal with the in Godes rich.
Seinte Marie, Christes bour,
Meidenes clenhed, moderes flour,
Delivere mine sennen, regne in min mod,
Bringe me to blisse wi thi selfe God”

Hoc canticum potest hoc modo in Latinum transferri;

“Sancta Maria, virgo munda,
mater Jesu Christi Nazareni,
Suscipe, adduc, sancta, tecum in Dei regnum
Sancta Maria, Christi thalamus
Virginalis puritas, matris flos, dele mea crimina,
Regna in mente mea
Duc me ad felicitatem cum solo Deo”

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