In February

IN FEBRUARY: NOTES

ABBREVIATIONS: see Literature of Courtly Love: Introduction

12 whyche. Stow omits.
see of the day. The daisy is popularly known as the "eye of the day" or the "day's eye" (OE daeges eage) because it closes at evening. See Chaucer, LGW F184-86: "men it calle may / The 'daysye,' or elles the 'ye of day,' / The emperice and flour of floures alle."

13 a flowre whyte and rede. The European daisy (bellis perennis) has pink-tipped petals.

14 la bele margarete. On the tradition of French marguerite poetry, see Wimsatt, Marguerite Poetry, pp. 30-39; Nouvet, "'Marguerite,'" pp. 251-76; and Huot, "Daisy and the Laurel," pp. 240-51.

15 on. Stow: in.

18 diligence. T: dilig. Due to cropping here and at lines 18, 19, 32, 34, 35, 43, 44, 46, 47, and 49, the final words are truncated or missing; the readings are supplied from Stow. Fletcher judiciously cautions that "there is only a reasonable presumption that the page was whole in Stow's time" ("Edition of MS R.3.19," p. 357).

47 drope. T: drape.
 
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In February

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In the season of Feverer, when hit was full colde,
Frost and snowe, hayle, rayne hath dominacion,
Wyth chaungeable elementes and wyndys manyfolde,
Whyche hath ground flour and herbe, undyr jurysdiccion
For a tyme, to dyspose aftyr theyr correccion;
And yet Apryll, wyth hys plesaunt showres,
Dyssolveth the snow and bryngeth forthe hys flowres.

Of whos invencion ye lovers may be glad,
For they bryng yn the kalendes of May;
And ye, wyth countenaunce demure, meke and sad,
Owe forto worshyp the lusty flowres all way,
And inespeciall oone whyche ys callyd see of the day,
The daysé, a flowre whyte and rede,
And in frensshe callyd la bele margarete.

O commendable flour and most on mynde!
O flour and gracious of excellence!
O amyable Margaret, exaltyd of natyf kynd,
Unto whom I must resorte, wyth all my diligence,
Wyth hert, wylle, and thought, wyth most lowly obedience,
I to be your servaunt, and ye my regent,
For lyfe ne dethe, never to repent.

Of thys processe now forth wyll I procede,
Whyche happeth me wyth gret dysdayne,
As for the tyme therof I take leste hede,
For unto me was brought the soore payne.
Therfore, my cause was the more to complayne;
Yet unto me my grevaunce was the lesse,
That I was so nygh my lady and maystresse,

There where she was present in thys place.
I, havyng in hert gret adversyté,
Except only the fortune and good grace
Of hyr whos I am, the whyche relevyed me;
And my gret dures unlasyed hath she,
And brought me out of that ferefull grevaunce.
Yef hit were her ease, hit were to me gret plesaunce.

As for the whyche woo I dyd endure,
Hyt was to me a verrey plesaunt payne,
Seying hit was for that fayre creature,
Whyche ys my lady and soverayn,
In whos presence I wold be passyng fayne,
So that I wyst hit were hir plesure,
For she ys from all distaunce my protecture.

Though unto me dredefull were the chaunce,
No maner of gentylnes oweth me to blame;
For I had levyr suffre of deth the penaunce
Then she shuld for me have dyshonour or shame,
Or in any wyse lese oo drope of hyr good name;
So wysely God for Hys endelese mercy
Graunt every trew lover to have joy of his lady!
 
February

intense





action
beginning
serious
delightful
eye of the day; (see note); (t-note)
(see note)
(see note)

(t-note)

native species
adhere; (t-note)

ruler


course of events

little heed


injury
near





released

If; pleasure





very happy
knew
protector

event

rather

one; (t-note)



 
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