Art. 36, A wayle whyt ase whalles bon
ART. 36, A WAYLE WHYT ASE WHALLES BON: EXPLANATORY NOTES
ABBREVIATIONS: AND: Anglo-Norman Dictionary; ANL: Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (R. Dean and Boulton); BL: British Library (London); Bodl.: Bodleian Library (Oxford); CCC: Corpus Christi College (Cambridge); CUL: Cambridge University Library (Cambridge); IMEV: The Index of Middle English Verse (Brown and Robbins); IMEV Suppl.: Supplement to the Index of Middle English Verse (Robbins and Cutler); MED: Middle English Dictionary; MWME: A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050–1500 (Severs et al.); NIMEV: A New Index of Middle English Verse (Boffey and Edwards); NLS: National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh).
incipit Wose wole of love be trewe, do lystne me. Omitting this line from his text, Degginger explains it as a heading to the song when it was inscribed on a single leaf. This explanation makes sense. The line ought to be included with the poem, however: as the incipit, it demonstrates how a minstrel expected to call out to his audience, commanding silence and attention, even before the opening Herkneth me of his song.
burden In form, this poem is a carol. As reconstructed here, the first five unnumbered lines constitute the burden, that is, the carol’s external refrain, which was sung at the beginning of each stanza. See also art. 46.
threstelcok. The bird named is a male song thrush. See MED, throstel-cok (n.), and also Spring (art. 43), line 7. The translation here is “throstle-cock” to retain the playful pun. The female of the species is named in Annot and John (art. 28), line 23.
38 ybrad. Here translated “entangled,” but the meaning “tormented” is also possible. The line is cited under both senses in the MED; see breden (v.(1)), sense 2, and breiden (v.(1)), sense 9(d).
48 thryven ant thro. “Excellent one.” For this expression, see MED, thriven (v.), sense 1(e).
84 Ne half so freo. Degginger omits this line in his reconstructed poem, but an extra-metrical line in a final stanza is not uncommon in the lyrics of MS Harley 2253. They reveal how jongleurs liked to close a musical or declamatory performance with a rhetorical flourish.
ART. 36, A WAYLE WHYT ASE WHALLES BON: TEXTUAL NOTES
ABBREVIATIONS: As: Aspin; Bö: Böddeker; Bos: Bossy; Br: Brook; BS: Bennett and Smithers; BZ: Brandl and Zippel; B13: Brown 1932; B14: Brown 1952; DB: Dunn and Byrnes; Deg: Degginger; Do: Dove 1969; Gr: Greene 1977; Ha: Halliwell; Hal: Hall; Hol: Holthausen; Hor1: Horstmann 1878; Hor2: Horstmann 1896; Hu: Hulme; JL: Jeffrey and Levy; Ju: Jubinal; Kel: Keller; Ken: Kennedy; Le: Lerer 2008; Mc: McKnight; Mi: Millett; MR: Michelant and Raynaud; Mo: Morris and Skeat; MS: MS Harley 2253; Mu: H. M. R. Murray; Pa: Patterson; Pr: Pringle 2009; Rei: Reichl 1973; Rev1: Revard 2004; Rev2: Revard 2005b; Ri1: Ritson 1877; Ri2: Ritson 1885; Ro: Robbins 1959; Sa: Saupe; Si: Silverstein; St: Stemmler 1970; Tr: Treharne; Tu: Turville-Petre 1989; Ul: Ulrich; W1: Wright 1839; W2: Wright 1841; W3: Wright 1842; W4: Wright 1844; WH: Wright and Halliwell.
incipit Wose. So MS, BS. W3, Bö, Br, St: Whose. Mi: Wo-se. Deg’s reconstruction omits this line.
burden ¶ A wayle whyt ase whalles bon / A grein in golde that godly shon / A tortle that min herte is on / In tounes trewe / Hire gladshipe nes never gon / While Y may glewe / When heo is glad / Of al this world namore Y bad / Then beo with hire myn one bistad / Withoute strif / The care that Ich am yn ybrad / Y wyte a wyf / A wyf nis non so worly wroht / When heo ys blythe to bedde ybroht / Wel were him that wiste hire thoht / That thryven ant thro / Wel Y wot heo nul me noht / Myn herte is wo / Hou shal that lefly syng / That thus is marred in mournyng / Heo me wol to dethe bryng / Longe er my day / Gret hire wel that swete thing / With eyenen gray / Hyre heye haveth wounded me ywisse / Hire bende browen that bringeth blisse / Hire comely mouth that mihte cusse / In muche murthe he were / Y wolde chaunge myn for his / That is here fere / Wolde hyre fere beo so freo / Ant wurthes were that so myhte beo / Al for on Y wolde geve threo / Withoute chep / From helle to hevene ant sonne to see / Nys non so yeep / Ne half so freo / Wose wole of love be trewe do lystne me / Herkneth me Y ou telle / In such wondryng for wo Y welle / Nys no fur so hot in helle / Al to mon / That loveth derne ant dar nout telle / Whet him ys on / Ich unne hire wel ant heo me wo / Ych am hire frend and heo my fo / Me thuncheth min herte wol breke atwo / For sorewe ant syke / In Godes greting mote heo go / That wayle whyte / Ich wolde ich were a threstelcok / A bountyng other a lavercoke / Swete bryd / Bituene hire curtel ant hire smoke / Y wolde ben hyd.
24 godly. So MS, W3, Br, Deg, BS, St, Mi. Bö: goldly.
61 eyenen. So MS (e3enen), W3, Bö, BS, Mi. Br, Deg, St: e3en.
84 Ne half so freo. Deg’s reconstruction omits this line.
Go To Art. 37, Gilote e Johane, introduction
Go To Art. 37, Gilote e Johane, text