An illustration in the
Sherborne Missal, c. 1399-1407
Inclined toward praying, fasting, giving alms,
This maiden languished once her father died.
When pains from pious grief intensified,
She trusted a stepmother with no qualms
About misleading one by man unknown.
Juthwara was advised it would be best
To place a soft cheese on each unripe breast;
She did, then carried on as she was prone.
The older woman soon informed a son
The younger woman had become defiled
And dared to bear a loverís bastard child.
Enraged, he went to do what must be done:
Her clothing damp, his sword was swift and deft;
The virgin stooped, picked up her head, and left.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Jane Blanchard would be pleased to hear them.