As I was (easiest praise)
one day of summer
under trees between mountain and field
4 awaiting my soft-spoken girl,
she came (it's worthless to deny)
to where she had promised, an undeniable moon.
We sat together (splendid topic,
8 a hesitant thing), the girl and I;
I exchanged (before a claim should fail)
words with an excellent girl.
And as we were thus (she was modest)
12 the two of us understanding love,
there came (a feebleness bereft of [good] nurturing)
with a cry (some stinking feat)
a small ugly noisy (the bottom of a sack [making] a sound)
16 creature in the guise of a shepherd.
And he had (hateful declaration)
a rattle-bag, angry, with a whithered cheek [and] harsh-horned.
He sounded (yellow-bellied lodger)
20 the rattlebag; woe to the scabby leg!
And then without gaining satisfaction
the fair girl was frightened, woe me!
When she heard (breast made brittle by a wound)
24 the winnowing of the stones, she would stay no more.
Under Christ, there was never a sound in Christendom
(a sow's fame) as harsh:
a bag sounding on the end of a stick,
28 a bell's sound of small stones and gravel;
a shaking vessel of English stones making a sound
in a bullock's skin;
a basket of three thousand beetles,
32 a surging cauldron, a black bag;
guardian of a meadow, cohabitor of grass,
black-skinned [and] pregnant with dry wood-chips.
It's voice [is] hateful for an old roebuck,
36 a devil of a bell, with a pole in its crotch.
A scarred scab with a stone-bearing gravel-womb,
may it be buckle-laces.
[May] coldness be on the shapeless churl,
40 (amen) who frightened my girl.