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The Anglish Moot

English Tales/The Farmer's Wife and the Raven

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Betwixt her swagging windles' load
A Farmer's Wife to chepping rode.
And slow runneth forth, with thoughtful care,
tallied the gains off her ware;
When starting from her silver dream *,
Thus far and wide was heard her scream.
"That Raven on yon left hand oak,
swore on his ill betiding hoarse throat,
Bodes me no good." No more she said.
When arm blind Bob, with unsteady tread,
Fell down; overwended the windles' lay.
And her mashed eggs bestrewed the way.
She, sprawling on the yellow road,
Rapped, swore, and damned: "You hoarse throated Toad,
An addle take your devil throat;
I knew mistide in the devil note *."
"M'lady," quoth the Raven, "spare your oaths.
Unclench your fist, and wipe your clothes.
But why on me those  oaths  thrown?
Goody, the dwild was all your own;
For had you laid this brittle ware
On Dun, the old sicker-footed Mare,
Though all the Ravens of the hundred
With hoarsely-steven had your tongue out-thundered.
Stead-footed Dun had kept her shanks.
And you, good Woman, nered your eggs."

  • Dream: In OE, mirth, joy; also music.
  • Neet: In OE, brook, use, work, employment.

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