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The Lancaster Tales

An entry for the Lancaster Winter Festival poetry competition, in Renaissance Kingdoms. I looked up what writing was really like around 1456, and used that as a basis for my own.

When that December with his cold so sore
November's fogs hath frozen to the core
And bathed every vein in such licour
Of which virtue engendered is the flower
When Boreus with his icy breath
Inspired hath in every holt and heath
The bare branches; and the old sun
From the Archer to the Goat hath run
And smalle beasts make nut trees bare
That sleepen all the winter in their lair
Like drowsy bears in their caverns
Then longe folke to go to taverns
And drinkers for to seek strange brands
To try their luck in sundry lands
And specially, from every shires' end
Of Engleand, to Lancaster they wend
The corn, and bread and meat for to seek
That them hath holpen, when that they were weak.

and here's the original for comparison, from the Gutenberg Project

WHEN that Aprilis, with his showers swoot*, *sweet
The drought of March hath pierced to the root,
And bathed every vein in such licour,
Of which virtue engender'd is the flower;
When Zephyrus eke with his swoote breath
Inspired hath in every holt* and heath *grove, forest
The tender croppes* and the younge sun *twigs, boughs
Hath in the Ram his halfe course y-run,
And smalle fowles make melody,
That sleepen all the night with open eye,
(So pricketh them nature in their corages*); *hearts, inclinations
Then longe folk to go on pilgrimages,
And palmers for to seeke strange strands,
To *ferne hallows couth* in sundry lands; *distant saints known*
And specially, from every shire's end
Of Engleland, to Canterbury they wend,
The holy blissful Martyr for to seek,
That them hath holpen*, when that they were sick. *helped


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