Lowlands-L Anniversary Celebration

The Project

Language lists
Languages A–Z
Language Groups
Audio Files
Language information
Wish list

About Lowlands
Meet Lowlanders!
Project Team
Site map
Offline Resources
The Crypt
Language Tips
Members’ Links
Lowlands Shops
  · Canada
  · Deutschland
  · France
  · 日本 Japan
  · United Kingdom
  · United States
Recommended now!

What's new?

Please click here to leave an anniversary message (in any language you choose). You do not need to be a member of Lowlands-L to do so. In fact, we would be more than thrilled to receive messages from anyone.
Click here to read what others have written so far.

About the story
What’s with this “Wren” thing?
   The oldest extant version of the fable we are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology of Low Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”) collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read more ...


Early Modern English


Do you wish you could hear this? Click here to find out more!


Translation: Reinhard F. Hahn

Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

Language information: [Click]Click here for different versions. >

Help: Rest your cursor (without clicking) on difficult words or phrases to see their meanings in Modern English.

The Wren

As sun-shine vrgeth each some-times tender spring
To summer-laden flush on euery bush and winde
Birds that not long agone in dalliance did sing
Proceede to nesting, kindling to secure their kinde.
On a faire day, on one of Spring’s nigh last,
Pass’d an occurrent that a Fellow’s proof approueth
Not alone courage for his progenie to shelter fast
But courage that his very self-conceited aspect moueth.
Such is the Story of the Wren that ye find here related,
A tale that in a humble waggon-shed beginn’th
Whence the old Wrens had flown to see their nestlings sated
When they aback repaired with morsells each one winn’th
In yet more kindling chares in groues they call’d their owne,
And all this while their tender Brood sat in their nest alone.

Doth not a Father bird that sustenance home bringeth
Bear natural expect of his Brood’s iolly cheere?
’T is but surmis’d that each young fainely springeth.
But lo! The selfe-same Brood was stirr’d like hunted deere,
Thronged on the nest-home’s inmost edge in coil,
Too feared for silence spite of keener wit,
And adding to their Father’s burden vtmost toil.
―What hath betided, peats? What geare is it
From which arose such fright?―enquired he.
Quoth they―a gyant Bugbeare fear’d vs here
With hungry eyes. He would devoure vs with glee!―
Go to! What rotten dare! Sone shall he rue such gere!
But say ye, peats, where might the Scuruie Monster be?
Down yonder now? Abide! Ile seize that pilch!―quoth he.

Passing the corner in Pursuit his right resolue to proue
He saw a Lyon yond with plodding pawes and monstrous mow.
But anger bolds. Vnto the Lyon’s back in one swift moue,
He rightly ratedBackare! Get thee gone, thou cat-mow’d crow!
What’s thy intendment gallowing my aery with thy stare?―
Bore him no minde the Lyon, plodding farther on his way.
Iump ill and bale!―quoth fierced the Wren,―Of that I’m ware.
No rightfull purpose hast thou there, false fiend, I say!
Shouldst thou againe be seen in these parts, well, I sweare,
Not fainely would I violent, though forced iwis I would.―
With this our minimus raised one Foote in the aire,
―I would thus frush and knap thy Back! With ease I could.―
With this he flew aback and quoth―My peats, no feare!
I lesson’d well that Lowne. Ne’er more will he come here. I sweare.―

© 2011, Lowlands-L · ISSN 189-5582 · LCSN 96-4226 · All international rights reserved.
Lowlands-L Online Shops: Canada · Deutschland · France · 日本 · UK · USA