NauenThen

Oxford treasures

July 26, 2017

A faire felde ful of folke
"500 Years: Treasures from the Library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford" was the show we went to this afternoon at the Center for Jewish History. Early books—some handwritten, some printed—in Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Anglo-Saxon, & Middle English, that have survived for hundreds of years. Works about the King James bible, biology, astronomy. I was moved by much of what we saw, maybe especially this page from Piers Plowman, because I know some of it & in fact borrowed a line for my "found" manuscript of medieval baseball:

In a somer seson, • when soft was the sonne
The coche, gedraeg and heretoga • to the gamen-felde of baseball gonne
A hauene of habite • halewed by swete hey,
A meine riche in the reame ... • pytchers rowting reke their swevene.
I was were forwandred • and went me to reste
And sit by the midward-felde-gome • thrid aestandan side
I seigh a licht pytcher on a heigh-place • throwing ymaked palesye
To a betræpper there-inne • alrebest in bataile.
A faire felde ful of folke • fonde I there bytwene
Of alle maner of cnyssan-men, • the mighty and the mayme
Brucaning and cocking battes • as the coche asketh.
Some putten them neh the pytcher • for a claene anlepe pleyde.
In squatting and in swinging • swonken ther thikke alblast ful harde
Bifore a dampned noumpere • who deman to domesdaeg:
Hnitan aerest! Hnitan tueyne! • Hnitan alast! And oute!
Neist cnyssan-man hitte harde • to luft-felde: Home irun!

Among the watchers, • the wawe like a wal walters.
They standen and sitten • like a strand.
Neist a cnyssan-man of more conynge • clyppes to the comyns.
He bihotes to brothely • by-taht for the gedræg.
But the pytcher biloukes • the bryche segge in a bire,
With a fairehead of a falling sloder • fast to the egge of the plat.
A maistri withoutdyn mene • in midouernon,
Bitwix cleo-partie • with no hopand of speding.

Comments

  1. July 27, 2017 7:54 PM EDT
    As LRRH said, Gee, Grandma, what a good ear you have...
    - D.M.