Gods Speed the Plow (Middle English)

New English translation by Þórbeorht Línléah


The merthe of alle this londe

The mirth of all this land

maketh the gode husbonde,

maketh the good husband

With erynge of his plowe.

With earing of his plough.

I-blessyd be Cristes sonde,

I-blessed be Ing’s send

that hath us sent in honed

that hath us sent in hand

merthe & ioye y-nowe.

mirth and joy ye-now.


The plowe goth mony a gate,

The plough goeth many a gate,

Bothe erly & eke late,

Both early and eke late,

In wynter in the clay.

In winter in the clay.

Aboute barly and whete,

About barley and wheat,

That maketh men to swete,

That maketh men to sweat,

God spede the plowe al day!

Gods speed the plough all day!


Browne, morel, & sore

Brown, morel, and sorrel

Drawen the plowe ful sore,

Drawn the plough full-sore,

Al in the morwenynge.

All in the morning.

Rewarde hem therfore

Reward them therefore

With a shefe or more,

With a sheaf or more,

Alle in the evenynge.

All in the evening.


Whan men bygyne to sowe,

When men beginneth to sow,

fful wel here corne they knowe,

full well their corn they know,

In the mounthe of May.

In the month of May.

Howe ever Ianyuer blowe,

However January blow,

Whether hye or lowe,

Whether high or low,

God spede the plowe all way!

Gods speed the plough always(s)!


Whan men bygyneth to wede

When men beginneth to weed

The thystle fro the sede,

The thistle for the seed,

In somer whan they may;

In summer when they may;

God lete hem wel to spede

Gods let them well to speed

& longe gode lyfe to lede,

and long good life to lead,

All that for plowemen pray.

All that for plowmen pray.