A Voyage to Compostella

[The glosses appear in italics; Furnivall's characteristically enthusiastic summary is printed in boldface.]


1 Men may leve all gamys You leave all fun behind you 
That saylen to Seynt Jamys, when you sail to St. James! 
For many a man hit gramys, (annoys, bothers) 
When they begyn to sayle. 
For when they have take the see Directly you get 
At Sandwyche or at Wynchylsee, on board 
At Brystow, or where that hit bee, 
Theyr hertes begyn to fayle. your heart fails. 
Anone the mastyr commaundeth fast 
10 To hys shypmen in all the hast  The shipmen make ready, 
To dresse hem sone about the mast,
Theyr takelyng to make. 
With "Howe! Hissa!" then they cry. halloo, 
What, howe, mate, thow stondyst too ny, order you out 
Thy felow may nat hale thee by, of their way 
Thus they begyn to crake. (speak, shout) 
A boy or tweyn anone upstyen
And overthwart the sayle-yerde lyen.  (climb up) 
Y-how, taylia! the remenaunt cryen,
20 And pull with all theyr myght.  and haul at the sails 
Bestowe the boote, boteswayne, anon, Put the boat ready; 
That our pylgryms may pley theron; our Pilgirms 
For som ar lyke to cowgh and grone will groan
Or hit be full mydnyght. ere night
Hale the bowelyne! Now, ware the shete! Haul up the bowline!
Cooke, make redy anoon our mete
Our pylgryms have no lust to ete, 
I pray god yeve hem rest. Storm's coming. 
Go to the helm! What, howe! No nere!
30 Steward, felow, a pot of bere! Steward, a pot of beer!
"Ye shall have, sir, with good chere 
Anon all of the best."
Y-howe, trussa! Hale In the brayles!
Thow halyst nat, by God, thow fayles! 
O, se howe well oure good shyp sayles!"
And thus they say among. 
Hale In the wartake! "Hit shal be done." 
"Steward, cover the boorde anon Steward, lay the cloth
And set bred and salt therone, Give them bread and salt
40 And tary nat too long!"
Then cometh oone and seyth: "Be mery, 
Ye shall have a storme or a pery." Storm's coming
Holde thow thy pese! Thow canst no whery,
Thow medlyst wondyr sore.
Thys menewhyle the pylgryms ly, The poor Pilgrims 
And have theyr bowles fast theym by, have they're bowle
And cry aftyr hot malvesy And cry out for hot Malmsey
To helpe for to restore.
And som wold have a saltyd tost,  they can eat neither 
50 For they myght ete neyther sode ne rost. boiled nor roast. 
A man myght sone pay for theyr cost
As for oo day or twayne. 
Som layde theyr bookys on theyr kne 
And red so long they myght nat se. 
Allas, myne hede woll cleve on thre, My head will split
in three, says one. 
Thus seyth another certayne.
Then commeth oure owner lyke a lorde, The shipowner comes 
And speketh many a royall worde, 
60 And dresseth hym to the hygh borde 
To see all thyng be well. to see that all's right 
Anone he calleth a carpentere, 
And byddyth hym bryng with hym hys gere 
And make the cabans here and there The cabins are 
With many a febyll cell. made ready. 
A sak of strawe were there ryght good, 
For som must lye theym in theyr hood. 
I had as lefe be in the wood (just as soon) 
Withoute mete or drynk. 
70 For when that we shall go to bedde,
The pumpe was nygh oure beddes hede; And the pump, 
A man were as good to be dede my goodness, 
As smell therof the stynk.  stinks enough to kill you! 
The text, here slightly regularized and glossed, is from the edition by F.J. Furnivall, The stacions of Rome and The pilgrims' sea voyage, with Clene maydenhod. A supplement to "Political, religious, and love poems," and "Hali meidenhad," Early English Text Society, vol. 25, 1867.