by William Dunbar (1465 - 1520?)

Richt arely one Ask Wedinsday
Language: Scottish (Scots) 
Richt arely one Ask Wedinsday
Drinkande the wyne sat cummaris tua.
The tane couthe to the tothir complene,
Granand ande suppand couth sche say:
"This lang Lentrin it makis me lene."

One couch befor the fyir sche sat.
God wait gif sche was gret and fat,
Yet to be feble sche did hir fene,
Ay sche said, "Cummar, lat preif of that:
This lang Lentrin makis me lene."

"My fair suet cummar," quod the tothir,
"Ye tak that megirnes of your modir.
Ale wyne to tast sche wald disdene
Bot malwasy, and nay drink uthir:
This lang Lentryn it makis me lene."

"Cummar, be glaid baith evin and morrow,
The gud quharevere ye beg or borrow.
Fra our lang fasting youe refrene
And lat your husband dre the sorrow.
This lang Lentryn it makis me lene."

"Your counsaile, commar, is gud," quod scho.
"Ale is to tene him that I do;
In bed he is nocht wortht ane bane.
File anis the glas and drink me to:
This lang Lentryn it makis me lene."

Of wyne out of ane chopin stoip
Thai drank tua quartis, bot soip and soip,
Of droucht sic axis did thame strene,
Be thane to mend thai hed gud hoip,
That lang Lentrin suld nocht mak thaim lene.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with William Dunbar: The Complete Poems, edited by John Conlee. Robbins Library Digital Projects, TEAMS Middle English Texts. Item 82

Modernized version (used by Scott):
Richt earlie on Ash Wednesday,
Drinkin’ the wine sat kimmers tway;
The tane couth to the tother complene,
Sichin’ and suppin’ couth she say,
“This lang Lentren makis me lean.”

On couch beside the fire she sat,
God wit, gif she was great and fat,
Yet to be feeble she did fein,
And ay she said, “Let preif o’ that,
This lang Lentren makis me lean.”

“My fair, sweet kimmer,” quo’ the tother.
Ye tak that niggertness o’ your mother;
All wine to taste she wad disdane
But Mavsey, she bad nane other.

Kimmer, be glad both e’en and morrow
Though ye suld baith beg and borrow,
Fra ower-lang fasting see you refrain,
And let your husband dree the sorrow.”

“Your counsel, kinner, is guid,” quo’ she,
“All is to tene him that I do,
In bed he is not worth a bean;
Fill the cup, kimmer, and drink me to;
This lang Lentren makis me lean.”

Of wine out of ane choppin stoup,
The drank twa quartis, soup and soup;
Sic drouth the kimmers did constene,
Be than to mend they had guid houp,
That Lentren suld not mak them lean.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Iain Sneddon [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2018-11-27
Line count: 30
Word count: 212