...to support a KASF Persona Pentathlon entry.
The Cambridge Songs date from the mid-eleventh century; they're golliardic verses found in a book given to a Canterbury monastery. Some are historical or novelistic; some are about spring. A few are in the feminine voice, and this one is mostly blotted out with ink. Words in brackets are part of a reconstruction:
gratam me [in]visere, et a et o et a et o
In languore pereo let a] et [o]
[venerem de]sidero let a et o et a] et o...
Si cure clave veneris, et a et o,
[mox] intrare poteris et a et o et a et o e.
(Come to me, dearest love.., visit me, and you'll
be pleased .... I die with desire... I long to make
love .... If you come with your key.., you will
be able to enter quickly .... )
This is reproduced in Clifford Davidson's "Erotic 'Women's Songs' in Anglo-Saxon England,' p. 452-462 of something else. He cites:
Lieder (Berlin: Weidmann, 1926), p. 107, with "Venerem" in 1.4 added from Peter
Dronke, Medieval Latin and the Rise of European Love-Lyric, 2rid ed. (Oxford: Claren-
don Press, 1968), I, 274.
It should also be noted that these are not the later Cambridge Songs recorded by Gothic Voices; those were preserved with music while these were not.
A stab at a rhymed translation:
What pleasures we'll discover, and ah and oh and ah and oh
I'm dying with desire, and ah and oh
To love-making I aspire, and ah and oh and ah and oh
So with your key come briskly, and ah and oh
My door will open quickly, and ah and oh and ah and oh
I translated the "et" in the refrain as "and" instead of as a nonsense syllable. Davidson calls it a nonsense refrain, which I think goes to a lack of imagination on his part.
Second couplet has an extra syllable; I'm thinking "to love" would be squeezed into the same metrical space as the first unstressed syllable of the other lines. So, two eight notes if the others are quarters.
Approximate rhyme in the third couplet; I'm rethinking that one.
Since "key" is the answer to one of the double entendre riddles, I thought I'd try to add in the others, with mixed results on a first draft:
In my garden it is growing
I have a tight small helmet
I'd like for you to wear it
The butter churn is shaking
With all the treats we're making
There's some problems with meter, with rhyme, but most importantly with tense; she's supposed to be anticipating her lover and I could only fit present tense verb in couplets 1 and 3.