Amoryous and Cleopes: Footnotes

Print Copyright Info Purchase

Amoryous and Cleopes: Footnotes

by: John Metham (Author), Stephen F. Page (Editor)
from: Amoryus and Cleopes  1999


1[Headnote: be, by; qwyche, who; qwyche was an, which was one, fote, feet; clepyd; called]

2 And loyalty [of those] in servitude is seldom seen

3 That he could treat each person with respect according to their rank because of [his] educated nobility

4 Continuing [to write about] her fate, governed by fortune, under furious Mars

5 But [when] truth is spoken, blind Bayard does not take precautions against any dangers

6 Lines 243-45: . . . she might wish the harmonious silver pipe [of fame] so small / To sound, so that the brazen trumpet of oblivion, / Because of my lack of refinement, make no discord before any audience

7 Which is dim to uneducated people, I truly believe

8 And to the bowl of wax with a wick used as a nightlight he went to see how far it had burned (i.e., how much wax it had consumed) [N.b. OED mortar 2 and waste ab. 8 a & b.]

9 The night cantor, the cock, his first psalm [crowing] attempted (raised up ?)

10 By an exclusive right, [you give to them] that can faithfully please you

11 Lines 284-86: All terrestrial actions [you] constrain unfailingly / By [your] deified progeny, who have descent [from you] / In fire, air, land, and sea

12 Lines 288-89: Your children, who having over these elements unshared power, were praised; may you and also they together be [praised]

13 Lines 299-300: For masculine fury in response to feminine showers / Among the gods is ascribed as cruelty

14 Lines 312-13: Every sign is regulated by an invariable ordinance / So that each [god, i.e., planet] reigns for a time [in its mansion], keeping its course and its exalted rank

15 Warming their horses by walking them up and down in the courtyard

16 Lines 350-51: And when Palamedon saw they would have it no other way / But that they would go forth [with him and Amoryus]

17 Lines 369-70: AYes brother," said Amoryus, "I believe that you have followed the steps / Of love's dance, for on the first day of the month you meditate all morning

18 There was calculation of perils [by astrology] and removing of many a doubt

19 Was called the College of the Gods, in imitation of the poets' name [for it]

20 Which at it rising above the eastern horizon might be seen above by star gazers

21 But because of the uproar [the report of this vision might cause] among the people, keep it to yourself

22 On the eighth and final day [as stipulated by Palamedon, q.v. lines 477-78], when the dedication should take place

23 That he so went about; and near as he dared, he always went nearby the enclosure

24 He proceeded to have been cured, the more his heart grew faint

25 Lines 793-94: There was no idea then left unexplored, in truth, / To resolve under what means they might become acquainted

26 Lines 807-08: But it does not fall to me to explain why it was portrayed, / But only to [tell of] the ingenious device that expressed [this] woman's plan

27 First, he did by nurture obeisance to that [statue] in pagan fashion

28 As soon as the estates (people of rank) had taken their [appropriate] seats on the tiered viewing platform

29 Lines 921-22: But their complaining did not help at all, for, before he left that place, / He taught them a new lesson in jousting

30 Lines 970-71: As a symbol he exhibited it (his strange dress) so that men should be able to distinguish / The background color (field) of all the coats of arms of the kings

31 Lines 990-92: Without coloring: his armor for his upper arm, and his throat armor, / His helmet, and his armored gloves; for he intended at that time / To have the rest of his armor entirely colored

32 Lines 1000-02: And so shot (threw violently) over his horse onto the plain - / Dead, as one who Pride's servant must be, / Who for arrogance has regard for no one else

33 Toward that place he had come from

34 That someone made about her as he lay on the ground

35 But the more they mused about it, the more painfully it burned

36 and how they do harm according to their nature

37 And also it seemed to us that you were there

38 Who showed us, undeserving, her mercy

39 Out of the temple, which in their departure created the church's final purpose

40 It is the failure of their writing rather than [a lack of] matter [about which to write]

41 [Who] up to his era [generation] is reckoned to be fifty-second in direct descent

42[Stapleton], setting wisdom before all [other concerns] in each task

43 I now here spare you from a similar story of the Stapletons

44 Lines 2153-54: That men call the de la Poles; according to kinship, / The direct niece of Duke William [though they were actually first cousins]

45 And in order that they - who are yet unborn -

46 And to commend that [quality of hers] most in remembrance

47 Praying heartily for the reader [to have] patience


Abbreviations: Barber: Richard Barber, ed. & trans. Beastiary: Being an English Version of . . . M.S. Bodley 764, with all the Original Miniatures Reproduced in Facsimile. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell (for the Folio Society), 1993; Chaucer: Larry D. Benson, et al., eds. The Riverside Chaucer, third ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987; Craig: Hardin Craig, ed. The Works of John Metham; Trevisa: M.C. Seymour, et al., eds. On the Properties of Things: John Trevisa's Translation of Bartholomaeus Anglicus "De Proprietatibus Rerum," 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon: Oxford University Press, 1975; Whiting: Bartlett J. Whiting and Helen W. Whiting. Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases from English Writings Mainly Before 1500. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1968.

Manuscript Description

The manuscript of the poem is ruled for twenty-eight lines of text on each page. The decorated initial "T," which begins the text, extends from the first line to the eighth and from the left margin to the center of the text area. It contains the armorial shield of the Stapleton and de La Pole families. A floriated border of painted acanthus leaves frames the text along the top, bottom, and left margins. The top margin of the manuscript has been trimmed. Other initial capitals, two-lines high, occur at lines 1, 71, 232, 248, 325, 724, 1024, 1779, and 1807. Those at lines 71 and 248 also have roughly drawn profiles of grotesque human heads facing the left margin and extending upward into a blank space in the preceding line. The capital "N" at line 724 has some crude, unfinished tendrils extending several lines down the margin. Other stanzas begin with one-line high initials that vary in color and usually extend into the left margin. These serve to mark off the beginning of the stanzas, which in the manuscript are not separated from one another by a blank line as they are in this edition. All the other lines of text begin with a minor capital, and a yellow wash over the initial capital of each line extends vertically down the page.

Headnote. an hundred. MS: C. So too in lines 502, 1140, 1182, 1197, and 1294.

1-7 See the Introduction. The first stanza of Chaucer's Troilus reads as follows:


The double sorwe of Troilus to tellen,
That was the kyng Priamus sone of Troye,
In lovynge, how his aventures fellen
Fro wo to wele, and after out of joie,
My purpos is, er that I parte fro ye.
Thesiphone, thow help me for t'endite
Thise woful vers, that wepen as I write.

8 This line duplicates Troilus II.50. The stanza is a conventional description of spring.

13 Nero. Nero is not known to have conquered Asia. Perhaps he functions here simply as a figure of tyranny, conquering the world.

14 Kyng Camsyre. Craig suggests Darius? (p. 179), or possibly a name formed from Cam and Cyrus "after the pattern of such words as Cambucean and Cambyses, the first syllable carrying with it some idea of lordship; or it may be an ignorant imitation" (p. 159).

16 Medys. Media is an ancient kingdom, sometimes a province of Persia, located in what is now northwestern Iran.

18 pleyn of Pansopherys. An imagined space in the exotic East where battles take place; perhaps akin to Persepolis, as Craig suggests (p. 159).

29 In the MS, the initial letter of that is a thorn, overwritten with the contemporary y form of the letter; a similar emendation has been made to the initial letter of line 37. The scribe writes the y form almost everywhere else. (Both types of thorns have been expanded to th in this edition.)

35 too. MS: ii written above too or to, here and elsewhere, to indicate number, not reduplication. So too in lines 1101, 1103, 1113, 1643, 1920, 2126, and 2146.

40 MS reads pysauns, but this is certainly a scribal or authorial error for Pyramis, Amoryus' counterpart in Ovid's tale.

44 Daryus. Presumably the one time "Camsyre" of Persia and Media. See note to line 14.

45 Fyrage. Metham names the fictitious source of his work, Fyrage, here and at line 1915; see the Introduction.

50-54 Metham's narrator casts himself as a imperfect writer needing the editorial help of other writers. This was a common motif in fifteenth-century poetry formed on the model of Chaucer's Parson's Prologue (X[I]55-57) and Troilus (III.1331-36).

55-56 Proverbial expressions; see Whiting, T465 and M754. MS: qwete. The scribe's normal orthography of modern sw- is sqw-, as in sqwete (sweet) and sqwerd (sword), but in the manuscript the spelling sqwete occurs two other times (lines 1566 and 1824) and qwerd occurs five times (lines 1497, 1639, 1717, 1758 and 1760). Each of the qw- spellings has been silently emended to sqw-.

67 Norwyche. Norwich, in northeastern Norfolk, was at the time of Metham's writing one of largest and most important towns in England and the site of the episcopal see for Norfolk and Suffolk. The Stapleton family maintained a townhouse in Norwich, about 15 miles from their manor at Ingham.

89 Tessaly. Thessaly is a region of eastern Greece, and one of the areas conquered by Alexander the Great.

92 MS: after sone, and is marked for deletion.

96-98 In The Clerk's Tale, Chaucer describes Walter as "ful of honour and of curteisye; / Discreet ynogh his contree for to gye" (IV[E]74-75). Of mene stature might suggest balanced proportions as well as average size. Criseyde "mene was of hire stature" in Troilus V.806.

110 moreovyr. MS: moreovyer.

heldyng a frame. Holding a [model of?] a structure, presumably the new temple (frame: "a structure of any kind; a framework" [MED]).

125 dysmayd. MS: dysmanyd.

138 I have retained Craig's reading of lest, but the s has a cross-stroke and therefore could be an f.

142 aucte. The c is written above the t. Craig interprets this as an abbreviation for -gh, but aucte also occurs at line 427.

148-52 The comparison of the beautiful heroine to Phoebus, the sun, is conventional. The terms that the narrator here employs - creature, stature, womanly - are all words that Chaucer uses to describe Criseyde (Troilus I.281-87).

159 That. MS: Tat.

161 Mars furyus. Chaucer uses the same collocation in The Complaint of Mars (line 123), though the idea is a commonplace.

163-68 Classical Latin poets, rhetoricians, and their medieval followers advocated brevity as one of the virtues of style, but attestations of brevity often became merely empty formulae in narratives which amplified source material instead of condensing it. See Ernst Robert Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, trans. Willard R. Trask (1953; rpt. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973), pp. 487-94.

169-75 The poet here has engaged in a rhetorical device for the condensing of narration or description, called occupatio, by which he makes an excuse for not writing about something. In typical Chaucerian fashion, the occupatio actually does what it claims not to do, in this case elaborate on the construction and fabrication of the temple. E.g., see The Knight's Tale, I[A]2919-66, or The Squire's Tale, V[F]67-68.

172 as chaudrunnys and fylateryis (such as cauldrons and phylacteries). Phylacteries are amulets used for protection or repositories for a holy relic (OED 2 and 3).

178 twenty. MS: xxti. So too in line 1371.

185 hys hynes. MS: hysnes; I follow Craig's emendation.

186 MS: wryte between this and wyse is marked for deletion.

232-38 Metham invokes the modesty topos, derived from classical authors and a commonplace among medieval authors, including Chaucer and Lydgate. Here Metham uses his dull poyntel or stylus for writing or engraving as a metaphor for his unrefined verse. See Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, pp. 83-85.

237-38 Bayard was a common name for a horse, and "blind bayard" is a proverbial example of foolish pride (see Whiting, B71). Chaucer uses the name several times (see especially Troilus I.218-24 for the proverbial use), as does Lydgate.

239 This stanza, which begins with a two-line high capital, is preceded by three blank lines. The result of the blank lines is to make the following pages alike in that each has four complete stanzas per page up through folio 39a.

240 in specyal. "in particular." Chaucer regularly uses the term as a component of his empiricism. The singularities (i.e., that which is in specyal) are what make discretion possible if the knower is to avoid being lost in the general. See Boece V.m.3.

241-45 Chaucer's narrator in The House of Fame describes the goddess as arbitrary, like Lady Fortune. For those supplicants to whom she grants fame, Aolus, god of the winds, blows a golden trumpet of praise; either a hellish horn of slander or silent oblivion is reserved for others (HF 1559-1688).

249 Aurora is the goddess of the Dawn.

250 ruschyng of a chest. Craig suggests moving of a chest, but ruschyng is also the "noise accompanying rapid movement" and "the rustling of a tree" (OED). The phrase could refer to heavy breathing or perhaps the rustling of a chestnut tree, with chest taken as a clipped form for the purpose of rhyming.

250-261 Metham gives us an insight into what amounts to a fifteenth-century night light and clock as well as speculation on strange sounds in the night and ways of reassuring oneself.

259 appryse. Possibly a scribal error for up rise.

264-65 Latona is the mother of Apollo and Diana by Jupiter, though Metham seems to have in mind Diana, the moon, following Chaucer (Troilus V.655).

265 Boetes. Boötes, the constellation of the Plowman, containing the bright star Arcturus.

266-67 systyrrys . . . sterrys sevyn. Both refer to the Pleiades, the cluster of seven bright stars in the constellation of Taurus. According to Trevisa, the sun takes its course by the Pleiades in June, causing rain and "fairnesse of floures" (1:505). Astronomical/astrological treatises of classical origin were increasingly common in Christian libraries from the ninth century on, abetted in the twelfth century by Arabic works. Such treatises often contained diagrams of the universe and illustrations of the figures of the constellations. Nicholas' Almageste in The Miller's Tale (I[A]3208) is such a book.

267 sevyn. MS: vii. So too in lines 463, 599, 606, 909 (with vii written over Sevyn), and 1596.

270 fyry goddes. Venus is the fiery goddess because she seems brightest when low in the heavens just before dawn and because, in her glow, she excites the passions of lovers. See Robert Henryson's celebrated example of her bright and potent beams in The Testament of Cresseid, lines 11-28. See The Poems of Robert Henryson, ed. Robert L. Kindrick (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1997), pp. 156-57.

275 at debat. "in conflict." Mars and Venus have opposite attributes: war and love, dry and moist, male and female, guilefulness and truthfulness, etc., but Venus is said to abate Mars' malicious influence. According to Trevisa, during months of fair weather, Venus is the morning star and announces the sunrise (1:481-82). In The Knight's Tale (I[A]2438-41), Venus and Mars argue over which of their wor-shipers, Palamon or Arcite, should win the tournament. See also Chaucer's Complaint of Mars, where Mars and Venus abide for a time in the same house and debate why Venus must leave so soon.

277 this mysery refers to the medieval commonplace that life in the physical world is full of pain and suffering, relieved only by death and the passage of the soul to heaven. The key treatise on this topic is De Miseria Humane Conditionis by Pope Innocent III. See On the Misery of the Human Condition, ed. Donald R. Howard, trans. Margaret Mary Dietz (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1969).

279 hevyn crystallyne. That is, the Ptolemaic universe, envisioned as a series of concentric crystalline spheres containing the seven planets and the stars. See C.S. Lewis, The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967), p. 96.

283-89 hye Saturne, the oldest of the gods, is depicted with a scythe, representative of his association with sowing and harvesting. Being furthest from earth (the seventh and slowest sphere, and thus the highest) he is said to have the most baleful effect on human affairs. He devoured all his children except Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto, and Juno sprung forth from his head. These later gods, of course, represent the four elements.

289 MS: yow canceled, thow with th- rather than the y-thorn written above the line, apparently to clarify the syntax of the clause. One possible example of the past participial prefix, which, when it was not dropped completely in later Middle English texts, was simply i- or y-, is retained in iheryid (lines 289 and 303); but the prefix with the present participle Iheryng (line 1524) suggests that this was the scribe's habitual spelling of the word.

298 the mone is written above the line.

304-10 deyfyid sygnys. The Zodiac, with its twelve equal divisions, each distinguished by a constellation which represents a figure of terrestrial origin, such as a ram (Aries), or weighing scales (Libra), or the Water Carrier (Aquarius), referred to here. The fyx or fixed stars include those of the constellations and all others which retain their spatial relationship relative to one another (unlike the seven planets), in the eighth crystalline sphere.

305 mancionnis. Mansions or houses are the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Each of the planets has two houses, one day and one night, in which they exert their greatest influence (OED I.8.b).

306 cateracte is one of the floodgates of heaven.

307 poolys. MS: polys with superscript o.

311 colegyat (collegiate). The sense of college was broader in Middle English, not necessarily referring to an educational institution, but "an organized society of persons performing certain common functions and possessing special rights and privileges" (OED 1; see also 2).

314-15 Metham is referring to the influence of planets as they pass through their "houses" of the Zodiac in which they have the most influence (on human affairs), and can consequently be said to "reign" at those times.

318 The line begins with a capital "A," which is canceled. Alna is probably for Al Nasl, a yellow star in the Sagyttary, that is, Sagittarius, the constellation of the Archer, a centaur that stands with his bow aimed at the heart of Scorpio. This star marks the head of the arrow. It appears in the summer sky in the Northern Hemisphere.

319 exorte. "Ascendant," in astrology, the "degree of the zodiac, which at any moment (especially e.g., at the birth of a child) is just rising above the eastern horizon" and which was thought "to exercise a special influence on the life of a child then born" (See MED, exorte; and OED, ascendant B.I.1).

330 pepyllyng is from the verb pipple: "To blow with a gentle sound, to pipe or whistle softly, as the wind" (OED).

333 erthe. MS: orthe, with superscript e.

339 palfrey. MS: palffraey.

370 for of the kalendys ye muse the prime. Kalends is the first day of the Roman month, and prime the second of the seven daily canonical services, or generally, the morning hours from six to nine a.m., or the first hour after sunrise.

376 Craig's emendation for the MS begynne moun cure chauntes.

381-401 A narrator walking in the woods and overhearing a lover's complaint to Fortune about the loss of his lady is reminiscent of Chaucer's Book of the Duchess and Lydgate's Complaint of the Black Knight. See the Introduction.

387-88 In medieval cosmology, the goddess Fortune, signifying chance, mutability, and instability, ruled everything under the circuit of the moon, including the physical world and human events. She was usually depicted with her wheel on which humans rise and fall. The key text on the nature of Fortune is Boethius' late classical treatise The Consolation of Philosophy. English translations are attributed to King Alfred and Chaucer, and Boethian ideas inform much of Chaucer's writing and that of his fifteenth-century followers as well, usually through Chaucer's translation.

399 sqwownyng. MS: sqwownyg.

404 feinere. MS: f einere, the scribe avoiding an imperfection in the vellum between the f and the first e.

423 Marginal note: How Palamedon was receyvyd.

429 Craig expands the abbrevation to mancion, but two superlinear marks indicate -ioun.

450 Craig misnumbers this line as 451; the correct numbering sequence begins again at line 513 in his edition.

456 hem. MS: he.

477 eght. MS: viii (with eght written over viii). See also lines 692, 899 (with viii written over Heght), 912 (with viii written over eght), 1598 and 2068. It is interesting that in St. Erkenwald, with which Amoryus and Cleopes bears a number of likenesses (particularly in the conclusion), the number eight has a significant function in the renewal of St. Paul's cathedral. Perhaps it is a sign of new beginning here, as well, be the custummys olde, this eighth day being a time suitable for the new dedication.

483 Marginal note: How the nygromancyer with spyrtys made the spere.

507 Marginal note: The mervulus werkyng off the spere.

520 swyft. MS: wyft.

521 MS marks in for deletion.

522-27 Applanos, literally, "without a plane surface"; here, a perfect sphere. Craig expands empor' to emperor, but Metham may have in mind the celum empireum, the first and highest of seven "heavens" or spheres named by Alexander the Great in his trip through the heavens. According to Trevisa, the celum empireum is a "place of aungels," and the brightest and most shining of the spheres (1:447, lines 454-55). As Craig pointed out (p. 160), Metham is likely working from memory at this point.

523 Haly ('Ali) refers to the eleventh-century Moslem astronomer known as Albohazen Haly in Latin translations of his widely circulated work, The Distinguished Book on Horoscopes from the Constellations.

532 dessendyng. MS: dessendynd.

534 denominacion. MS: donominacion.

535-41 The syntax and the nomenclature make the exact sense of this stanza difficult to determine. doutyr of Lycaon is Calisto, a nymph devoted to Diana who had a son by Jupiter. For her transgression, Calisto was transformed into a bear, and later, along with her son, Arcas, into the constellations of the Great and Little Bears, Ursa Major and Minor, respectively. The passage makes more sense if Artos is a scribal error for Arcos or Arcas, that is, Ursa Minor, where the Pole Star is located. Artophylax, the constellation of the Bear Watcher, is apparently ready to fight the serpent, now generally identified with the constellation Draco, which in some manuscript representations envelopes both of the bears in its folds. Arcton may be a misnomer for either Arcas, as above, or Arctos, a common name for Ursa Major. The story of the bears in Ovid's Metamorphoses is retold in the Ovide Moralisé and by Boccaccio and Gower (Confessio Amantis 5:6225-358), and briefly summarized by Chaucer in The Knight's Tale (I[A]2056-61).

542-43 Adryagne, that is Ariadne, who fell in love with Theseus and then was abandoned by him after he killed the Minotaur in the Labyrinth. Bacchus took her crown and tossed it into the heavens to cheer her.

544-48 Hercules is a constellation represented as standing with one foot on Draco and the other next to Artophylax. It is best seen in the Northern Hemisphere in summer. Representations of the constellation conventionally presented Hercules carrying a club and wearing a lion's skin, but here merely embraces the skin, and the club has given way to the more refined spear or lance.

547 nynetene. MS: xix.

549 Marginal note: Off the harp off Orphe with qwyche he harpyd hys wy[f] fro helle.

549-52 the harp musycal of Orphé, that is, the constellation Lyra, or the Harp. In the Ovidian story of the musician Orpheus, the hero enters the underworld and reclaims his dead wife Eurydice by playing his harp, only to lose her again when he looks back, violating Pluto's interdiction. Like the legend of Pyramus and Thisbe, the story of Orpheus was widely known and incorporated in Latin grammar lessons in the later Middle Ages. The story is reworked in the Middle English romance Sir Orfeo. See The Middle English Breton Lays, ed. Anne Laskaya and Eve Salisbury (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1995).

553 sqwan, that is, the constellation Cygnus. It is associated with the story of Leda, who was impregnated by Jove in the form of a swan.

556 The constellations Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, and Pegasus (ridden by Perseus). In Greek mythology, Perseus slew the Medusa, the mother of Pegasus, and rescued Andromeda, the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia, from a sea monster. Marginal note: The enamelyngys off the vestyture off goddys.

557 Opylenk involvyd wyth a serpent. Ophiuchus, or the Serpent Holder, a summer constellation in the Northern Hemisphere, is identified with a physician who was so skilled he could bring the dead back to life. "Serpents were always associated [with physicians] as symbols of prudence, renovation, wisdom, and the power of discovering healing herbs" (R. H. Allen, Star Names and their Meanings [1899; rpt. New York: G. E. Stechert, 1936], p. 298), and the modern symbol for medicine derives from this.

558-61 The constellation of Aquila, the Eagle, is represented in early diagrams as carrying an arrow. In Greek ornithology, eagles and vultures were often confused; thus, the eagle became associated with the sixth labor of Hercules, to destroy the cannibal birds of Lake Stymphalis. The dolphyn, or Dolphin, is Delphinus, a summer constellation in the Northern Hemisphere. Pegasus is the flying horse which Bellerophon rode to Mount Helicon, where a kick of the horse caused the spring of Hippocrene, the fountain of the Muses, to flow. Boyse is Boeotia, a district in central Greece. The triangyl is a constellation just south of Andromeda.

570-76 Phebus twelve dwellyng placys. That is, the twelve signs or "houses" of the solar Zodiac: the Ram, Aries; the Qwyght Bole, Taurus; the Tweyn Bredyr of Grekys Lynage: Gemini; the Crab: Cancer; the Lyon: Leo; the Vyrgyne: Virgo; the Weghtys: Libra; the Scorpyon: Scorpio; the Sagyttary: Sagittarius; the Capricorn: Capricorn; the Aqwry: Aquarius; the Fysschys: Pisces.

572 twelve. MS: xii.

577-83 the Octyan is the South Pole. The names of the constellations that follow are generally winter constellations in the Northern Hemisphere: the Qwalle: Cetus; Padus, the celestial river Eridanus; the Hare: Lepus; Oryon: Orion; the sqwyf Grehound, and fers Prochyon: Canis Major and Canis Minor; the schyp of Argus: Argo Navis; the Centaure or the monstyr of Chyryon: Centaurus; the serpent namyd Ydra: Hydra; the Pese (from Anglo-Norman Peise): Libra; the Crow: Corvus; the fysch clepyd Serus: Piscis Australis, the Southern Fish.

591 MS: h written in above owre.

593 translat. MS: tranlat.

603 syngulere. "Separate from others by reason of superiority or pre-eminence" (OED III. 9).

604 theyr. MS: thereyr.

608 syxt. MS: vi.

609 fyfte. MS: v. So too in line 1322 (fifth).

611 fourth. MS: iiii. So too in line 1321.

617 thryd trone. Venus' sphere, the third in the sequence moving outward from earth. Mercury's sphere (line 621) is the second; the moon's (line 622), the first.

618 Bylyd. MS has only "B" in the text, but bylyd in the left margin.

619 The association here of Mercury with merchants would appear to be based on specious medieval etymology. As the god of eloquence, science, and mathematics, he is useful in persuasion and in the calculating of accounts and, therefore, he is called the god of merchants. Also he is mercurial - quick to appear, and quick to disappear.

624 clepe. MS has the past participle marker i- written in above the line. Diane is called goddess of the sea because of her recognized power over tides.

625 MS repeats her, one above the other.

638 ye have made. MS: made ye have made.

650 Nay. MS: nay.

651 one. MS: i. So too in lines 737, 741, 930, 947, 1871 (o with i written above), 1872 (one is spelled out, with i above), 1894, 1982, and 2087.

661 Marginal note: The vysyon off the secret[ary] off Venus how the spere schuld be destroyd qwan [Christ] schuld take possessyon.

690 Cherycos or Circius, is the northwest wind, though here Metham seems to have in mind simply the compass direction.

705 slavennys. A slavin is a pilgrim's mantle worn here as a ceremonial robe.

724 This "N" is two lines high, suggesting a major division of the poem.

731 yed up and downe. Chaucer often uses similar phrases to describe the hero and heroine in Troilus and Criseyde. Troilus' love for Criseyde begins with a similar temple scene, one which Metham follows here in a number of details. See Introduction, pp. 12-15.

736 fyllyng the champ, perhaps meaning "filling the open area or field" of the temple, but also possible is "beating the cloth or ground." fyllyng may be a spelling variant of fulling, "the process of beating or treading on cloth in water for the purpose of cleaning and thickening"; and "to trample down" (MED a., c.). champ can also refer to the cloth which forms the ground on which the embroidery is worked (OED sb. 1, 3).

738 Marginal note: The fyrst aqueynttauns off Amoryus and Cleopes in the tempyl off Venus.

748 rolle. "A quantity of material esp. cloth, rolled or wound up in a cylindrical form" (OED II. 6). Metham has in mind the Islamic practice of kneeling in prayer.

756 Appollo. MS: Venus.

763 closet is a chapel or section of pews reserved for a lord and his family (MED).

771 Nonsense words (Smsmatm mas m m spm may grem) make up an eighth line to this stanza, to fill out the 28-line page, apparently made short by an omission in the preceding stanza. Dots underneath the line indicate it should be omitted. Craig prints but does not count this line.

796 A proverbial expression also employed in Chaucer's Troilus (IV.936 and 1261-65); see Whiting, W531.

798 To save her worchyp (to save her honor, reputation). Cleopes' concern is the same as Criseyde's. See Troilus II.468.

800 Marginal note: Off a straunge conseyt portrayd in Cle[o]pes boke.

800 There. MS: Hher

800-06 hynde is a female red dear; hert/hart: heart, but with punning on hart, the male red deer, especially after its fifth year when the crown antlers have formed. Conventional allegories of love often employed the female deer as the object of a knight's hunt; see, for example, Chaucer's The Book of the Duchess.

803 on stonys. This detail is unusual; it likely reflects Metham's familiarity with the mid-fourteenth century tomb of Sir Oliver Ingham (d. 1344) in the chancel of the Church of the Holy Trinity at Ingham. The sepulcher depicts a knight in repose on a ground of rounded cobbles, a motif employed by the same sculptor on two other tombs, one in Repham, Norfolk, near Ingham, and one in Cambridgeshire. Cleopes' book is a pagan version of a Christian devotional manual - a Book of Hours or a Primer - which were common among the upper-class laity by the mid-fifteenth century.

804 that. MS: the.

trw lovys
. Herba paris, a plant with four cloverlike leaves, often associated with pairs of lovers. For elaborate explication of the metaphysical implications of true loves see the popular late fourteenth-century "The Four Leaves of True Love," copied several times in the fifteenth century and printed in Susanna Fein's splendid edition, Moral Love Songs and Laments (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1998), pp. 161-254. Fein includes two illustrations: one, a drawing of the plant itself (p. 163), and a second of a pair of lovers holding true loves (p. 169).

813 Amoryus yt gan aspye. MS: per Amoryus; see also the note to line 820. The figure of lovers discovering their intentions to each other through a "go-between" book is not uncommon in medieval literature, witness Paolo and Francesca (Dante's Inferno V.127-38) reading together that Galetto (pandering) romance of Lancelot; but seldom has the device been used more charmingly than here.

818 Venus was born foreby. This describes a processional with a statue of the goddess in imitation of medieval processions of images of Christian saints. Such processions were common throughout Europe before the Reformation.

820 Craig expands the abbreviation to Amoryus, but the word is clearly Peramus and thus represents a mental lapse by the author or by a knowledgeable scribe.

826 demonstracion. MS: demostracion.

827 menyng. MS: menyg.

828 to and fro is used several times by Metham; this phrase occurs frequently in Chaucer's Troilus and Lydgate's Troy Book.

837 yowr. MS: you. So too in line 1353.

838 pray. MS: play.

841 prime. See above the note to line 370. MS reads A. Off.

844 MS reads but after behold.

858 a qwarter brede is a width of cloth, equivalent to 9 inches or a quarter of a yard.

866 entré. The ceremonial gathering place for the lists.

868 place in this context specifically refers to the open area where the knights engage in the tournament's battles and is distinct from the scaffolding and other areas from which the spectators view the action. Chaucer uses the same term in The Knight's Tale (I[A]2399).

879 perand, perhaps a Northern dialectal form of the present participle, has been taken as the aphetic form of appearing, but the context here suggest peering, "to look narrowly esp. in order to discern something indistinct or difficult to make out," a sense which is not in use, according to the OED, until 1590; but see also the verb pire.

883 emperourys knytys. MS: emperour knytys. So too in lines 886 and 1019. Perhaps the scribe treats the phrase as a compounded noun, in which case emendation is unnecessary.

884 stagys. Medieval manuscript illuminations suggest that such scaffolding could be elaborate.

902 lyklenes. MS: lykenes.

915 knyght. MS: knygh. So too in lines 927 and 1126.

917-18 coursere is the heavy, powerful horse used in battle or tournaments; trappere is a protective covering of leather for such a horse, probably envisioned here as ornately decorated. harnes could refer to other trappings of the horse but probably refers to Amoryus' own armor.

926 Marginal note: How ther come a knyght aventerus chalengyng to juste with Amoryus.

940-42 In his challenge, the knight's use of the second person singular familiar pronouns, rather than the polite plural pronouns, indicates his contempt of Amoryus. In line 942, Craig reads thou as you - either reading is possible - but the singular pronoun suits the context. See line 1842 with similar syntax, and for which Craig renders the initial letter of the pronoun as th-.

alle poyntys of armys
. This may simply mean in complete armor, or, alternatively, that the knight wants combat, on horse and then on foot, with lance, sword, and perhaps mace, battle ax, knife, and so forth. His challenge is bold, but in some ways insidious too, in that Amoryus has been fighting all day, first individually, then taking on the whole field, and thus must be near exhaustion.

967 That over-hasty man wantyd never woo is proverbial; see Whiting, M97.

970 MS reads he yt dyd. Craig supplies schew (which I follow), but omits the pronoun.

971 feld. In heraldry, the field is "the surface of an escutcheon or shield on which the 'charge' is displayed" (OED II.13.a). The field colors borrowed by the knight were common ones in armorial bearings and would not by themselves indicate the countries in which he fought.

975-80 rampaund. In heraldry, rampant refers to a beast standing on the left hind leg, with both forelegs elevated, the right above the left, and the head in profile (OED A.1.b). sabatouns are armored foot coverings. Arge is probably Argos. passaund. In heraldry, passant refers to an animal walking and looking toward the right side, with three paws on the ground and the right fore-paw raised (OED 4). grevys. Greaves are pieces of "armor for the leg below the knee" (OED, greave 2.1). gerundy or gyronny means "having gyrons." In heraldry, a gyron is a diagonal line in an escutcheon creating a triangular form, having one side at the edge of the field and the opposite angle usually at the centerpoint (OED). cuschew or cuisse is a piece of armor for protecting a soldier's thigh (OED).

984-87 vambracys are armor for the forearm; rerebracys are armor for the upper arm.

996 Marginal note: How Amoryus dyd slee the knyght aventerus.

1024 The heading appears as a marginal note; the apostrophic "O" is a two-line-high capital.

1024-28 The exact sense is unclear. The haphazard punctuation of the manuscript is unrevealing, and at the beginning of line 1026 the abbreviation for That has been squeezed into the text area. The sense of the passage seems to be that the poet commands the cloudy sky of ignorance to clear, and implores the precyus modyr ("precious mother" - in other contexts, an epithet for the Virgin Mary) to sweep the cinders from his eyes that have for too long, to tell the truth, prevented him from achieving the white hair that signifies wisdom. sky has several Middle English senses, including the "celestial heavens" and "cloud"; Metham is alluding to the widely circulated Cloud of Unknowing, a late medieval mystical treatise. Aqwilo, or Aquilo, is the North Wind, also known as Boreas, which brings tempests. Metham has in mind Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy: "Thus, whan the nyght was discussed and chased awey, dirknesses forleten me, and to myn eien repeyred ayen hir firste strengthe. And ryght by ensaumple as the sonne is hydd whan the sterres ben clustred (that is to seyn, whan sterres ben covered with cloudes) by a swyft wynd that hyghte Chorus [the north-west wind], and that the firmament stant dirked with wete plowngy cloudes; and that the sterres not apeeren upon hevene, so that the nyght semeth sprad upon erthe: yif thanne the wynde that hyghte Boreas, isent out of the kaves of the cuntre of Trace, betith this nyght (that is to seyn, chaseth it awey) and discovereth the closed day, thanne schyneth Phebus ischaken with sodeyn light and smyteth with his beemes in merveylynge eien (Boece I.m3).

1030 The narrator invokes his muse again, the Lanyfica, or Fates; see the Introduction.

1031a The heading appears as a marginal note.

1037 Amoryus' penance, of course, is owed to Love. Here, and in line 1432, as in other places with the word knyght, the scribe leaves the -t off myght. See note to line 915. Also bryght, lines 1066 and 1313, which lacks the -t; and fyght, in line 1297.

1047 Syghyng. MS: Sygyng.

1059 Such references to spoken performances appear to acknowledge that literature was often read aloud or recited.

1078 for sum mystery. MS: ssum.

1085 MS reads at for and2.

1106 MS reads o off; this same walle in a different, smaller hand.

1114 Marginal note: The fyrst metyng and talkyng betwene Amoryus and Cleopes thru ryvyng off a ston walle.

1121 my trwth I plyght is a phrase which was also part of the marriage ceremony and other contractual agreements requiring an oath of faithfulness, truthfulness, or loyalty.

1153 knowe. MS: kowe.

1177 Marginal note: How ther come tydyngs to Palamedon off a mervulus dragon the qwyche dystroyd the cuntre.

1184-90 serra. According to bestiary lore, the serra is a winged sea monster, perhaps a flying-fish, that races ships and tries to becalm them or rip their hulls with its "serrated" crown (Barber, p. 205). Metham's serra is a horned (cornuta) variety, and clearly a terrestrial dragon with a poisonous, acid-like venom rather than a fiery breath. The pronouns in this stanza and Amoryus' response in the next indicate that this stanza is a direct address to Palamedon. The stavys, staves, indicate the citizens' impending departure; the pilgrim or traveler traditionally carried a walking staff.

1191 And. MS: AAnd.

1193 MS reads yeow.

1215 It. MS: In.

1218 That. MS: Than.

1228 for fulle ernest (because of his intense passion); for an entirely serious purpose; for a complete foretaste (of love) (OED, earnest, sb. 1 and sb. 2).

1230 Marginal note: How [Amoryus] mette the same evyn with Cleopes and teld her howe [he] had take batyel with a dragon. In the MS, Palamedon is canceled, and sche is written for he.

1238 plate ner haburgun. "plate armor nor habergeon," the latter a high-necked, sleeveless jacket of chain-mail armor.

1245 of gret and smal is a line filler.

1249 Marginal note: The kendys off serpentes and remedyiis ayens ther venym.

1249-52 cokatrycys (pl.). Trevisa identifies the cockatrice with the basilisk, a beast said to be able to kill with its fiery breath or with the mere glance of its eyes. It flees from the weasel (which men use against it) because the weasel's bite is fatal to it (2:1153-54). In some bestiaries the basilisk is reputed to hatch from an egg produced by an old rooster, hence the name cockatrice and a bifurcation into two animals. Illustrations in medieval bestiaries represent it as part rooster, part snake, which kills the heedless sinner (Barber, p. 185).

1253-55 draconia. According to Trevisa, the flying dragon is the largest of all the serpents. Its venom is not fatal; rather it kills its victims with "sawing" teeth and a powerful, constricting tail, which it uses to kill the elephant by binding its feet and strangling it (2:184-86). The dragon is the only animal that flees from the sweet breath of the panther (2:1234); the venom of a poisonous toad is a remedy for other venoms (2:1155). The dragon is allegorized as the Devil (Barber, pp. 183-84).

1255 myght. MS: aight.

1259 jaculus. "a flying serpent. . . . They perch in trees and when their prey approaches, they throw themselves down on it and kill it" (Barber, p. 192). Trevisa likens it to a dart (2:1128).

1267 thei purvey wysely. An idea that Palamedon raised earlier, whereby the wise hunter carries remedies with him.

1268 The idea of precious stones having magic or divinely provided powers is an ancient one. Biblical reference to such stones, particularly in Exodus (28:17-21), where Moses commands Aaron to make a breastplate with twelve precious stones, and in Revelation (21:19-21), where twelve stones adorn the foundations of the Heavenly City, were key texts in supporting allegorical interpretations and discussions of their powers. Their attributes were compiled in medieval lapidaries and encyclopedic works like Trevisa's. See, for example, Joan Evans and Mary S. Sergeantson, English Medieval Lapidaries EETS o.s. 190 (London: Oxford University Press, 1960).

1269 cumbrus. "Full of trouble because of its size" (OED).

1270 aspys (pl.). According to Trevisa, the asp is the worst of adders and has the most venomous bite. When an enchanter tries to lure it out of its den, the asp puts one ear to the ground and closes the other with its tail so that it cannot hear the charms. (See Gower's Confessio Amantis I.463-80.) There are a number of types of adders, but the dragon adder is not one Trevisa lists.

1272 MS: ffro hys den added above the line.

1281 A proverbial expression; see Whiting, W105.

1284 drynk. MS: dryk.

jacynctys and orygaun. Hyacinth and wild marjorum, the latter reputed in medieval lore to be an antidote against the venom of serpents.

1290 chyldrynys (pl.), a water adder, which according to Trevisa, infects the places where it glides, causing cloudy vision in humans (2:1128); ydrys (pl.), hydra, a many-headed water snake, one of which was killed by Hercules; ypotamys (pl.), a sea horse beset with scales like a dragon, which, according to Topsell, can fly and has teeth like a swine (possibly confused with a walrus).

1291 egestyon of bolys (the dung of bulls); humans bitten by the hydra swell up, but they may be healed by the application of cattle dung (Barber, p. 190).

1295 serra cornuta. See the note to lines 1184-90.

1312 on sted of yowr helme (on the surface of your helmet). MS reads in for on. A bugyl is a buffalo, ox, or young bull. Line 1353 indicates that the bugyl is a sculpted or painted image of the animal, and line 1489 suggests it is probably a helmet crest. See also line 1369. Such heraldic crests, initially for the purposes of identification in tournaments, began to be used in the early fourteenth century and became extravagant pieces of decoration. Depictions in art, such as the Manasseh Codex (c. 1300-30) from Germany and funeral effigies like that of Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick (d. 1439) in St. Mary's Church, Warwick, attest to the long and widespread use of such devices. (See, for example, Maurice Keen, Chivalry [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984], pp. 17, 18, 22, and 36). Why the bugyl should be gapyng is not clear, but an ox-like animal is the crest of the Yorkshire Methams. According to Trevisa, the bugyl is either black or red, and its milk "is ful good ageins smytynge of serpente" (2:1151).

1313 According to the lapidaries the carbunkyl (carbuncle), or ruby, is one of the twelve precious stones that God named to Moses, consequently signifying the second of the Ten Commandments, and is said to have been in the River of Paradise. It is held to be the most virtuous of stones, according honor to those who possess it and comforting the anguished who look upon it. Sick animals that drink water in which a ruby has been immersed will be made well. It is likened to a burning coal, and because of its gleaming brightness, it is said to light the darkness and therefore signifies Jesus Christ.

1314 Cleopes' gifts are reminiscent of Medea's gifts to Jason in Gower's Confessio Amantis V.3559-3622 and in Lydgate's Troy Book (I.2988 ff.). Medea gives Jason a ring, a silver image, a vial of liquid to protect him against the oxen and serpent that guard the Golden Fleece. Medea's knowledge of the liberal arts, necromancy, illusions, astronomy, so eloquently popularized by Gower and Lydgate, perhaps provided Metham with some inspiration for his heroine's character.

ylke. MS: yche. The scribe makes the same mistake in reading his exemplar in line 1641.

1315 The lapidaries treat the smaragdus, or emerald, in some detail. They point out, for example, that the Apocalypse of St. John identifies the emerald as the fourth foundation stone of the New Jerusalem, Heaven, and therefore it signifies the four Evangelists of the New Testament. By similar allegorical interpretations, it also symbolizes true faith and the Trinity. Emerald is the greenest of all green things, and is also one of the stones found in the River of Paradise, located in Syria. It has a number of medicinal purposes and moral significations, and encourages one to be chaste and to love good works.

1320 orytes, also called corinth in the lapidaries, protects its bearer from the venomous bites of evil beasts or adders, and attacks by other wild animals in the wilderness. It also causes infertility and miscarriages in humans.

1321 third. MS: iii.

1321-22 The lapidaries identify ligure, or lyncurium, as stone from India that is engen- dered in river gravel and protected or hidden by the lynx or the ox. The oxen that tills the ground and hides the stone signifies the preparation of Christ's land, which is tilled by holy prophecy and good preachers. God gave this stone many virtues: it cures jaundice, gout, and staunches bleeding wounds; it makes lecherous men chaste. Demonius is mentioned in Vincent of Beauvais' Speculum Naturale as a stone that counteracts poison (Craig, p. 169). Although the lapidaries treat Agapys (also called agatten) and acates as different minerals, they appear to be variant terms for agate. The two stones share the common property of being a remedy against the sting of scorpions and the bite of serpents. The Peterborough Lapidary indicates that agapys should be ingested with white wine.

1325 Mugwort (Modyrwort) is a plant formerly thought to have medicinal value; rue (rwe) is "a perennial evergreen shrub . . . having bitter, strong scented leaves which were formerly much used for medicinal purposes" (OED), and Trevisa writes that serpents hate the smell of rue, which inhibits their ability to flee (2:1132); red mallow (red malwys) is a variety of mallow with a dark crimson flower; mountain calamynt (calamynt mownteyn) is a "genus of aromatic herbs," which according to Turner's Herbal (1568) "is good for them that ar byten of serpentes" (OED).

1326 For Orygannum, see above, line 1284. Trevisa writes that seed of fennel (fenel), if "ydronk with wyne helpith ageins bytyng of serpentes and styngyng of scorpiouns" (2:960). Dragon's wort (dragannys), named for its speckled stalk, is supposedly like the coloration of serpent's skin; if the juice of this plant is ingested or used as a balm, it drives away serpents with its smell (Trevisa, 2:943; see also OED, dragon, 14).

1360 MS: extraneous s before same; so too on stedfastenes, line 2099.

1362 A proverbial expression; see Whiting, W389 and W45.

1371 besechyng. MS: besechyn.

1379 and wyth. MS: and a with.

1383 honesté. MS: honeste oneste.

1420 schynyng. MS: schynyg.

1423 phylatery. Amoryus' potion used "for the cure of venomous diseases" (OED 2, Blancard's Physical Dictionary, 1693). See also the note to lines 169-75.

1435 reisyd. MS: reisysyd.

1438 Schuld . . . devour. MS: Schul . . . devouryd.

1442 sqwyftly. MS: qwyftly.

1454 MS: e written above the a in slayn.

1462 MS: extraneous c after ye.

1464 MS duplicates odyr, the second marked for deletion.

1470 Craig places the phrase And on the goddys alle on a separate but unnumbered line, giving the appearance of an eight-line stanza. In the MS, the phrase follows directly after falle on the same line.

1471 Sche. MS: che.

1487 I may this wrytyng on the phylysophyr vouche. Metham is apparently referring to some bestiary or encyclopedic work.

1491 confusde. MS: confude.

1493-4 A proverbial expression; see Whiting, S408 and S409.

1506 glyde. "Said of the mode of progression of reptiles" (OED 2).

1512 Hys brystylyd mosel gan blwe wer as ony led. His bristled muzzle became as blue as lead. blwe: "livid, leaden-colored" (OED, blue 2).

1517-19 MS: Fyl doune that as an erthen the ground schake. Craig emends schake to quake so that the rhyme word in line 1519 will not be duplicated, but the syntax is still corrupt. I have emended the rhyme word of line 1519 from the MS reading of schake to qwake. The poet himself qwake[s] for fere twice (lines 1568 and 1657).

1531 wundyr. MS: wyth undyr; to supplied.

1535 mynstrelsy. Minstrels were primarily musicians, but they also provided other kinds of entertainment, including singing, dancing, and the recitation of poetry. Medieval documents indicate that minstrels did at times accompany various processions.

1541 lyvys. MS: lyverys.

1545 memoratyf dart, that is, Cupid's dart or arrow, calling to mind his love.

1549 veneryan. "Venereal," pertaining to sexual desire (OED, venerian 2). MS: flamme.

1556 MS: That. Craig emends to Than.

1560 Orphe. See notes to lines 549-52.

1562 Parys. Paris, the son of the Trojan king Priam; Paris' abduction of Helen from the Greeks led to the destruction of Troy by the Greeks and his own death. Various versions of the Troy story were widely circulated in Latin, French, and English versions in the Middle Ages. At least part of John Lydgate's Troy Book was familiar to Metham, and Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde served in a number of ways as a model for Amoryus and Cleopes (see Introduction).

1564 Metham here invokes the inexpressibility topos, a commonplace of medieval rhetoric. The words rhetorician or rhetoric were often used to praise Chaucer in the fifteenth century and consequently may also be equated with our notion of poet or poetry.

1584 redres. The verb had a number of senses available in the fifteenth century, some now obsolete. Among these are "to direct or address (a thing) to a destination or in specified course" (OED 5); "to cure, heal, relieve (a disease, wound, etc.)" (OED 10.b); and "to rise, to become erect" (OED 1.c). Metham then may be alluding to the "disease" of love's sickness as well as creating a double entendre.

1589 MS reads ther speke with a canceled e above the th-, and the speke changed to speche.

1590 qwyle. MS: qwylk.

1593 A reference to the doctrine of God's foreknowledge of all events, widely disseminated from Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, Books 4 and 5.

1596 systyrrys sevyn. Sisters seven, that is, the star system of the Pleiades.

1598 Marginal note: Qwat a lemyng sterre betokynnyth qwan tho apperyth.

1603 same morw. MS: same agan morw, with agan marked for cancellation.

1606 posterin yate is a private or rear entrance, distinct from the main gate.

1614 chas. A chase is "a tract of unenclosed land reserved for breeding and hunting wild animals" or simply "unenclosed park land" (OED).

1621 hyinde is a female deer, after its third year.

1626 kerchyf is from the French couvrechef. The early twelfth-century romance of Piramus et Tisbé and the Ovide Moralisé use the word guymple; its English form is wimple, used by Chaucer in his version of the story in The Legend of Good Women. Metham's version of the poem has derived from second and later textual tradition that uses the more fashionable article of clothing, the kerchyff.

1632 MS has c changed to a k.

1642 desteny. MS: dyesteny, with superscript first e.

1643 MS has thei wyth changed to ther.

1645 ony. MS: in.

1646 Craig incorrectly numbers this line as 1645. Corresponding line numbers in this edition will therefore differ from those in his until line 2084, for which, see below.

1655 espys. The genitive of asp, a tree of the poplar family, "the leaves of which are specially liable to tremulous motion" (OED).

1663 conseyt. "A (morbid) affection or seizure of the body or mind" (OED).

1664 mornyng. MS: mornyg.

hys. MS: ys.

1665 most trw is repeated and canceled.

1676 hert. A hart is a male red deer.

1679 Companeus is a chief in the Greek army at the siege of Troy. He boasted that even Zeus could not stop him from gaining his objective. Chaucer writes in the Troilus: "Capaneus the proude / With thonder-dynt was slayn, that cride loude" (V.1504-05). MS reads slow ca Companeus with ca canceled.

1684 Marginal note: Pluto god of helle and erthe.

1685-86 Amphyorax knew he would die if he went to the siege at Thebes, so he hid, only to be revealed by his wife. At the siege, he is swallowed up by the earth. Chaucer refers to the story several times (see, for example, Troilus V.1500), and Lydgate narrates Amphyorax's demise in his Siege of Thebes (3:4023-84), where he goes to Hell for his idolotry and necromancy. The fact that Amoryus and Cleopes refers to both Campaneus and Amphyorax in such close proximity, as does Chaucer in the Troilus, suggests Metham might have had a copy of Chaucer's work at hand, perhaps through the Earl of Suffolk, who had a number of Chaucer manuscripts in his keeping.

1698 MS duplicates and marks for cancellation a second alone after wrecche.

1698-99 In Book IV of the Metamorphoses, the same book where the story of Pyramus and Thisbe occurs, Ovid relates the story of Juno's travels to the underworld seeking the three Furyis, sister goddesses of vengeance, who viciously attack those guilty of some breach of kinship obligations. Amoryus' use of the word onkend (unkind) - meaning unnatural, wicked, unfilial, undutiful, or faithless - in line 1705 alludes to obligations of kinship; Cleopes uses the same word in a similar context (line 1750). Juno also encounters Cerberus, the three-headed dog (hence Metham's Tricerberus) that guards the entrance to the Hell.

1700 thow. Craig reads yow, but the letter is clearly an old-style thorn, not the scribe's typical y-shaped letter that can be either y or thorn.

1711-15 Metham's use of anaphora echoes a favorite device of Chaucer. See Troilus V.1828ff. and V.1849ff.

1717 pomel. A pommel is the knob at the end of the hilt of the sword.

1752 O, Saturne. In the epilogue to Troilus (V.1809) most Chaucer manuscripts locate Troilus' placement after his death in the seventh sphere. Modern editors prefer the eighth sphere, since that is where Arcite goes in Boccaccio's Teseide, which is Chaucer's source for that passage and which seems a more likely place if Troilus is to look down on earth "with ful avysement" (V.1811). But it is almost certain that any manuscript of Troilus and Criseyde that Metham might have seen would have read "seventh sphere" (i.e., Saturn's sphere) and thus the place and the patron Cleopes would invoke in her desire to join her lover in the sphere where Saturn might him deyfy (line 1753).

1753 spere (sphere). See above the notes to line 279 and lines 304-10.

1754 soulys leche, soul's physician, a common epithet for Christ.

1759 MS reads sey, with superscript a above the e.

1763 nede. "These dire circumstances," but the sense may suggest Cleopes' obligation to act (OED I.9 and II.12).

1770 eld tyme paynymmys yt dyd for a memoryal. It is conceivable that Metham gets his idea for rejecting the cursed pagan rite from Chaucer's epilogue to Troilus (esp. V.1849-53), where Chaucer then turns to a Christain theogony for his conclusion.

1773-78 The excuse for lack of finesse in writing was commonplace in the later Middle Ages, but Metham here excuses his lack of rhetorical skills by employing one, the occupatio.
1782 synderesys. "The faculty of the mind which judges and recommends moral conduct" (MED).

1783 oryens sol justycye. "the rising sun of justice," an epithet for Christ, with the commonplace pun on sun/Son and the allusion to His rising at the Resurrection. In this prologue, the narrator turns to a Christian muse rather than the classical ones invoked earlier.

1790 Craig reads Adamyrgyk, for which he suggests "Adam's servitude" based on a tenuous etymological connection. What Craig sees as an r is really a ligature of the recurved tail of the first y and scribe's punctuation mark, which looks like a modern colon. A similar ligature of a letter with a recurved tail and the punctuation mark occurs in line 1793. An abbreviation stroke above the m, which usually signals an m or n, may be employed here to indicate the s.

1791 After the Crucifixion, Heaven became open to the souls of the righteous, who before were automatically confined to Hell because of Adam's sin. In the Harrowing of Hell following the Crucifixion, Christ confronted Satan, and forced the release of the righteous, who then accompanied him to Heaven.

1803 lyvyth. MS: lyvyh.

wyth spyryte or grennes. Perhaps the sense is "whether animated or vegetable," but the sense is difficult. Two forms of life seem to be the point.

1807a [Here Endyth the Prolog and Begynnyth the Laste Boke]. The heading does not appear in the MS, but the word Amoryus in the next line begins with a 2-line-high capital letter as the text turns from invocation to narration.

1809 Ore. Suggested by the Latin verb orare, meaning to speak oratorically, to pray.

1810 hermyte. According to Jacques Le Goff, "The model holy man was the isolated hermit, the man who in the eyes of the lay masses truly realized the solitary ideal, and who was the highest manifestation of the Christian ideal" (Medieval Civilization 400-1500, trans. Julia Barrow [London: Blackwell, 1988], p. 184); a number of hermits were elevated to sainthood. Fictional hermits appear in many chansons de geste and romances, including the French Yvain, the German Parsifal, and the English Guy of Warwick and Stanzaic Morte Arthur.

1853-55 Mary's role as an intercessor on behalf of sinners to save them from God's damnation was a key one and greatly contributed to the widespread and sanctioned cult of the Virgin in the later Middle Ages.

1863 Marginal note: How the ermyght reysyd Amoryus and Cl[e]opes fro deth to lyffe.

1866 And thow I be noght wurthy of my merytys. The hermit is referring to the theological doctrine of merits, which posits that good works entitle a person to a reward from God. His assertion that he is not worthy and lacks merit demonstrates his humility rather than any want of goodness.

1867 wemme. In addition to meaning "injury" (OED 2), wem can also mean "scar" (OED 3) or "moral defilement; (stain of sin)" (OED 1). In the case of Amoryus and Cleopes, the last sense would apply to the absolution of the mortal sin of suicide. Also, the lovers later prove their resurrection by showing their scars.

1871 voys. MS: voy.

1875-76 Salve . . . regina mater misericordye. The first line of a famous medieval antiphon sung at compline, the last canonical office of the day. This antiphon was also the subject of sermons and other hymns, and appeared in Books of Hours.

1877 qwene and modyr of mercy. Commonplace epithets for Mary, who was often referred of as Queen of Heaven, and who, because of her intercessory role, was often appealed to for mercy. The spontaneous singing of the Marian anthem places the story of resurrection of the lovers within a large body of medieval tales in which the Virgin intercedes for sinners, including suicides. See, for example, "The Good Knight and his Jealous Wife," in Beverly Boyd, ed., The Middle English Miracles of the Virgin (San Marino, CA: The Huntington Library, 1964), pp. 92-104.

1888 memoryal. MS: memoryl.

1898 At the end of this line the MS reads and. As the start of line 1899 begins with And, I have omitted the apparently superfluous and in line 1898.

1906 faryth as a feyre, ever onstabyl echoes Troilus V.1840-41: "and thynketh al nys but a faire, / This world that passeth soone as floures faire."

1909 thise transytory thingys onstabyl. See note to lines 387-88.

1910-11 This is a paraphrase of Matthew 19:22-23.

1922 But vertuus love of God was never denyid. The ideas of virtuous heathens receiving grace despite their alien birth is popular from the later fourteenth century on. See, for example, the salvation of Trajan in Piers Plowman B 11.135-67 and B 12.210ff., and in The Trentals of St Gregory; see also the elaborate salvation of the virtuous pagan lawyer in St. Erkenwald.

1929 thinkyth yow. The impersonal verb with its object, addressed to Cleopes in the polite plural.

1933 Wele. MS: Wwele.

1936 haruyd helle. See above the note to line 1791.

1961 MS reads Qhan, canceled; Than added in the margin.

1981 An awkward stroke above ye suggests some scribal hesitancy about whether the form yen or ye, the one representing the plural elsewhere, the latter supplying a correct rhyme.

1982 Wyth. The only instance of the non-abbreviated form of the preposition in the poem. This spelling is common in other manuscripts from Norfolk.

1987 Marginal note: How the hermyght destroyid the image off Venus.

1993 mankend. MS: manked.

mansyon. The word has astrological significance, related to the domicile of a planet. See note to line 305.

2011 Marginal note: How the hermyght dyssolvyd the spere.

2015 envye. MS: evye.

2022 as the smoke of a fere is proverbial; see Whiting, S414.

2029 krystyn. MS: kyrstyn.

2031 This is the first time in the poem that the temple is referred to as a church.

2039 fulfyllyd. MS: fulfully.

2046 A proverbial phrase; see Whiting, M695.

2054 Cleopes. MS: Clopes. So too in line 2082.

2066 Marginal note: How Amorius and Cleopes wre mariid.

2078 prosperyté. MS: properyte. So too in line 2117.

2084 Craig misnumbers this line 2085. The discrepancy between the numbering of lines in Craig's edition and in this one, begun at line 1646, is thus resolved here.

2087 MS reads Clopes, but Craig incorrectly emends to Cloepes. Marginal note: How Amoryus and Cleopes dyid and were byryid togydyr.

2092 wrytyn. MS: wrytys.

2094 Flowre of knyghthod is a proverbial epithet; see Whiting, F311

2106 eldtyme. MS: heldtyme.

2113 hundred and two. MS: cii. An "l," perhaps for Roman numeral 50, has been added above cii. Why this particular length of time was chosen is unclear, but if the figure 102 is intended, that would indicate the year 1346/1347, and perhaps allude to the famous English victory against the French at Crécy in France. On the date of the composition of this poem, see the note to line 2177 below.

2122-23 Proverbial; see Whiting, T464, and above note to lines 55-56.

2126 fyfty. MS: l.

2128 he ys an hole reme to have in governauns. The narrator ascribes the same ability to Amoryus in line 98.

2129-31 Sapyens is the apocryphal Book of Wisdom, attributed to Solomon. Metham is referring to Wisd 8:6-7, "And if prudence worke; who of all that is a more cunning workeman than [Wisdom]?" The first line may also allude to Proverbs 24:27, also attributed to Solomon.

2136 Waxham, a town on the Norfolk Broads, near Stapleton's manor at Ingham.

Gyldenerrys are Flemings. There were a number of Fleming enclaves in Norfolk in the fifteenth century, and there were often tensions between the English and these "foreigners," mainly engaged in cloth manufacture and mercantile trade, the primary industry of late medieval East Anglia.

2138 MS reads thei in the text, but the is added in the margin.

2139 King Cassyon is unknown.

2141 Corbellyon. Craig suggests Corbeil, a town in northern France which was occupied by English forces during the Hundred Years War.

2144 Alexander Macedo. That is, Alexander (the Great) of Macedon. Chaucer mentions "Alixandre Macedo" in his House of Fame (line 915), referring to an episode in Alexander romances in which Alexander voyages through the heavens. Metham's reference may refer to a complete Alexander romance, not just the celestial voyage. Literature relating to Alexander was among the most popular and widespread in the late Middle Ages.

2145 Josue is probably Joshua, Moses' successor who led the Israelites into the Promised land. See Exodus 17:9; Numbers 27:18-23; and Joshua 1-24.

could refer to any of a number of medieval romances or histories, including the story of Joseph of Arimathea, or perhaps the "Forray de Gadderis," the first part of the Middle Scots Buik of Alexander (1438 AD) by Sir Gilbert Hay, which takes place in the Vale of Josephus. Another possibility is that it refers to the story of Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian who commanded the Israelites in a war with the Romans (66 AD). Chaucer refers to this Josephus in the House of Fame (3:1429-40). None of these works by Metham has survived.

2150-56 Katherine Stapleton, Sir Miles' second wife, was the first cousin of William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk (see the Introduction).

2155 markeys. Marquis is a title of the peerage between those of earl and duke. William had been the chief advisor to Henry VI during the 1440s; he was murdered in 1450, apparently not long after Amoryus and Cleopes was written.

2170 Crysaunt is another of Metham's lost works. It is possibly a translation of Petrus de Crescentiis' (1233-c. 1320) De Omnibus Agriculturae Partibus et Plantarium Animalique, an encyclopedia of farming and raising livestock. Although such a work would have been useful for a large landowner like Stapleton, it is unlike the other narratives that Metham claims to have written.

2172 degré. MS: dregre.

2173 qwene Eleyne. Helen of Troy, whom Chaucer mentions in several of his works and whose beauty was a medieval commonplace. Cresseyd is Chaucer's heroine in Troilus and Criseyde. A much longer list of exemplary women occurs in a poem ascribed to Lydgate, "The Floure of Curtesy," deriving from the Balade in the Prologue to The Legend of Good Women. See The Minor Poems of John Lydgate, ed. Henry Noble MacCracken, EETS o.s. 192 (1934; rpt. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1961), pp. 440-48.

2174 Polyxchene is Polyxena, one of King Priam's daughters. Chaucer's Troilus compares the three women, thinking that Criseyde "fairer was to sene / Than evere were Eleyne or Polixene" (I.454-55). Grysyld is Griselde, the heroine of The Clerk's Tale, who is praised for her "vertuous beautee" (line 211) and especially for her patience in suffering the outrageous trials of her husband. Penelopé, the wife of Odysseus, is mentioned in several of Chaucer's works as a model of fidelity. Craig (p. 163) argues on the basis of these two lines that Metham did not know Chaucer's works well, but his argument is based in part on Skeat's edition of Chaucer.

2177 the sevyn and twenty yere of the sext Kyng Henry. MS: xxvii. The twenty-seventh year of King Henry VI's reign, that is, 1448/49; "but Metham is probably using the regnal dates, as was common, to refer to the calendar year 1449" (Derek Pearsall, John Lydgate [London: Routledge, 1970], p. 299n7).

2178 Go now, lytyl boke is modeled on Chaucer's famous phrase Go, litel bok, go at the end of his Troilus (V.1786). Verbatim borrowings from and variations on Chaucer's expression were commonplace among fifteenth-century English poems.

2183 undyr correccion. "subject to correction." Chaucer's Parson puts his "meditation" under the correction of other clerics (line 60), and the narrator of the Troilus subjects his words to the correction of lovers as they see fit (III.1331-35). This subjection to superiors, a form of the humility topos, was a widespread motif in fifteenth-century poems.

2193 Jon Lydgate was a monk at the important Abbey of St. Edumund, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. He was one of the most prodigious and most influential writers of the fifteenth century. The word sumtyme and line 2199 indicates that Metham knew of Lydgate's death which occurred in 1449.

2195 half chongyd Latyne (half-changed Latin), referring to Lydgate's aureate diction.

2213-22 Craig observed in his edition that there were ten lines erased at the end of the manuscript. The use of ultraviolet light now makes these last ten lines of the manuscript partially visible. Because of a careful erasure and a thin vellum, some portions of the deletion are still illegible. The erased lines follow directly on the preceding stanza, as is typical in the manuscript; but the ten lines violate the seven-line rhyme royal scheme of the poem, perhaps providing a rationale for the erasure, although some reader may simply have objected to Metham's autobiographical conclusion. See the Introduction.

2219 Decendyd. MS: Decedyd.