versions of the ballad texts are widely available on the Internet, and in many printed books a glossary of the most unusual terms is at the foot of this page
The Pynson Ballad
Of this chapell se here the fundacyon,Bylded the yere of crystes incarnacyon,A thousande complete syxty and one,The tyme of sent Edward kyng of this region. Beholde and se, ye goostly folkes all,Which to this place have devocyonWhen ye to Our Lady askynge socoure callDesyrynge here hir helpe in your trybulacyon:Of this hir chapell ye may se the fundacyon.If ye wyll this table overse and redeHowe by myracle it was founded indede.A noble wydowe, somtyme lady of this towne,Called Rychold, in lyvynge full vertuous,Desyred of Oure Lady a petycyowneHir to honoure with some werke bountyous,This blyssed Virgyn and Lady most gracyousGraunted hir petycyon, as I shall after tell,Unto hir worschyp to edefye this chapell.In spyryte Our Lady to Nazareth hir ledAnd shewed hir the place where Gabryel hir grette:"Lo doughter, consyder" to hir Oure Lady sayde," Of thys place take thou suerly the mette,Another lyke thys at Walsyngham thou setteUnto my laude and synguler honoure;All that me seke there shall fynde socoure,Where shall be hadde in a memoryallThe great joy of my salutacyon.Fyrste of my joys grounde and orygynallRote of mankyndes gracious redempcyon,When Gabryell gave to me relacyonTo be a moder through humylyte.And goddys sonne conceyve in virgynyte"This visyon shewed thryse to this devout woman.In mynde well she marked both length and brede;She was full gladde and thanked Oure Lady thanOf hir great grace never destytute in nede.This forsayd hous in haste she thought to spede,Called to hir artyfycers full wyse,This chapell to forge as Our Lady dyd devyse. All this, a medewe wete with dropes celestyallAnd with sylver dewe sent from hye adowneExcepte tho tweyne places chosen above allWhere neyther moyster ne dewe myght be fowne.This was the fyrste pronostycacyowneHowe this our newe Nazareth here shold stande,Bylded lyke the fyrste in the Holy Lande.Whan it was al fourmed, than had she great douteWhere it shold be sette and in what maner place,Inasmoche as tweyne places were founde outeTokened with myracle of Our Ladyes grace;That is to say, tweyne quadrates of egall spaceAs the flees of Gedeon in the wete beynge drye,Assygned by myracle of holy mayde Marye.The wydowe thought it most lykly of congruenceThis house on the fyrste soyle to bylde and arere.Of this who lyste to have experyence,A chapell of saynt Laurence standeth nowe thereFaste by tweyne wells, experyence doth thus lere,There she thought to have set this chapellWhich was begonne by Our Ladyes counsell. The carpenters began to set the fundamenteThis hevenly house to arere up on hye,But sone their werkes shewed inconvenyente.For no pece with oder wolde agre with geometrye;Than were they all sory and full of agonyeThat they could nat ken neither mesure ne markeTo ioyne togyder their owne proper werke.They went to reste and layde all thynge on syde,As they on their maystresse had a commaundement;She thought Our Lady, that fyrste was hir gyde,Wold convey this worke aftyr hir owne entent;Hir meyny to reste as for that nyght she senteAnd prayed Our Lady with devoute exclamacyon,And as she had begonne, to perfowrme that habytacion.All nyghte the wydowe remayninge in this prayer,Oure blyssed Lady, with hevenly mynystrys,Hirsylfe beynge here chyef artyfycer,Arerid this sayd house with aungellys handys,And nat only reyrd it but set it there it is,That is, two hundred fote and more in dystaunceFrom the fyrste place bokes make remembraunce.Erly whan the artyfycers cam to their travayleOf this sayd chapell to have made an ende,They founde eche parte conjoyned sauns fayleBetter than they coude conceyve it in mynde;Thus eche man home agayne dyd wynde,And this holy matrone thanked Oure LadyOf hir great grace shewyd here specyally.And syth here Our Lady hath shewyd many myracleInnumerable, nowe here for to expresseTo suche as visyte thys hir habytacle.Ever lyke newe to them that call hir in dystrsse.Foure hundreth yere and more the cronacle to witnesHath endured this notable pylgrymage,Where grace is dayly shewyd to men of every age. Many seke ben here cured by Our Ladyes myghteDede agayne revyved, of this is no dought,Lame made hole and blynde restored to syghte,Maryners vexed with tempest safe to porte broughtDefe, wounded and lunatyke that hyder have soughtAnd also lepers here recovered have beBy Oure Ladyes grace of their infyrmyte. Folke that of fendys have had acombraunceAnd of wycked spyrytes also moche vexacyonHave here be delyvered from every such chaunce,And soules greatly vexed with gostely temptacion,Lo. here the chyef solace agaynst all tribulacyonTo all that be seke, bodely or goostly,Callynge to Oure Lady devoutly.Therfore every pylgryme gyve your attendaunceOur Lady here to serve with humble affeccyon.Your sylfe ye applye to do hir plesaunce.Remembrynge the great joye of hir Annunciacion.Therwyth concevynge this brief complacyon.Though it halte in meter and eloquence.It is here wryten to do hyr reverence. All lettred that wyll have more intellygenceOf the fundacyon of this chapell here,If you wyll aske bokes shall you encenceMore clerely to undersclnde this forsayd matere;To you shall declare the cronyclereAll cyrcumstaunce by a noble processeHowe olde cronyclers of thys bere wytnesse. O Englonde, great cause thou haste glad for to be,Compared to the londe of promys syon,Thou atteynest my grace to stande in that degreThrough this gloryous Ladyes supportacyon,To be called in every realme and regyonThe holy lande, Oure Ladyes dowre;Thus arte thou named of olde antyquyte. And this is the cause, as it apereth by lyklynesse,In the is belded newe Nazareth, a mancyonTo the honoure of the hevenly empresseAnd of hir moste gloryous salutacyon,Chyef pryncypyll and grounde of oure salvacyon,Whan Gabryell sayd at olde Nazereth 'Ave',This joy here dayly remembred for to be. O gracyous Lady, glory of Jerusalem,Cypresse of Syon and Joye of Israel,Rose of Jeryco and Sterre of Bethleem,O gloryous Lady, our askynge nat repell,In mercy all wymen ever thou doste excell,Therfore, blissed Lady, graunt thou thy great graceTo all that the devoutly visyte in this place.