The Leper Lily is an online bookpress of Medieval literature in Latin from what is now Switzerland.


It presents:




A trilingual edition (Latin, German and English) of the Liber Ymnorum (the “Hymnbook”) of Notker, called Balbulus or the Little Stammerer, (St. Gall 881 – 887), and




An edition in Latin and English of the epistolary exchange between Notker and his pupil Hartmann that resulted in the (fragmentary) Metrum de vita S. Galli (St. Gall 890), the “Metrical Life of St. Gall”.

May Day 2020


The bookpress is called after one of the traditional names for the Snake’s-head Fritillary (fritillaria meleagris).

Like the playing of the sunbeams on a solitary harp
Is the music of her laughter, never flat and never sharp,
And as regards the motion and the swing of Heaven's gait
It is Miriam's enchanting as a Judith keeps her date
With myriad cypressed children in the hollows of the palms
Of Him who has created both the pilgrims and their psalms,
But so freely and so smoothly and so gracefully she flows
That aromatic cedars, the fragrance of the Rose,
The Lily's loveliness, the liquefaction leafed of trees
A-shimmer on the Eventide but half bespeak the ease
And allure of her enchantments which are married to The Voice
Whose Gregorian songs, so filled with Peace, bid all in One rejoice.


John Bradburne (1921 – 1979)

leperlily.org is a “lockdown” project of Mr. Richard L. Hewitt (Kamuzu Academy, Malawi). It was last revised on 31st August 2021.