Art. 28, Ichot a burde in a bour ase beryl so bryht
ART. 28, ICHOT A BURDE IN A BOUR ASE BERYL SO BRYHT: 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).
10 charbocle. “A precious stone, a gem.” See MED, carbuncle (n.).
15 cunde. This word is a playful pun on “nature” and “cunt,” meant as an enthusiastic compliment. The naming of a private body part matches the directness found in the Harley fabliaux; see the explanatory note to The Knight Who Made Vaginas Talk (art. 87), line 12. In English, the pun is possible and allows the coarser word to adopt a facade of decorum, as in The Life of Saint Marina (art. 32), line 217 (see explanatory note). On the interpretation and the critical history of this line, see Fein 2000c, p. 356.
18 celydoyne. Celandine, a plant used medicinally. See MED, celidoine (n.(1)), and, elsewhere in MS Harley 2253, Heliotrope and Celandine (art. 112).
20 solsecle. The marigold. This flower is also used to describe a woman’s beauty in Blow, Northern Wind (art. 46), line 67, and it appears as an herbal item in Heliotrope and Celadine (art. 112; see explanatory note).
sauve. “Heal, cure.” For the verb here and at line 34, see MED, saven (v.), sense 11.(a), and compare salven, (v.).
21–30 The stanza on birds seems filled with playful sexual innuendo, as each bird is “in” something and seems willing to frolic with the speaker. Compare the refrain of A Beauty White as Whale’s Bone (art. 36). For the translation of in pyn in line 21, I accept Hough’s interpretation, “in a pine” (pp. 174–75), instead of the standard editorial interpretation “for pain, for torment.”
23 thrustle. See explanatory note to A Beauty White as Whale’s Bone (art. 36), burden.
29 an note. The riddle’s answer in plain sight is that her name is Annot. Her name is a fitting conclusion to the stanza on birds. For a similar flattering, perhaps erotic analogy of women to birds, see ABC of Women (art. 8), lines 161–65 (and explanatory note). For antifeminist analogies, see The Blame of Women (art. 77), lines 41–45; and Women and Magpies (art. 78).
34 saveth. See explanatory note to line 20.
35 bayeth. The verb is baithen, “to inquire, ask, grant,” and the word here is often emended to baytheth by editors.
36 in dayne. “In daytime.” Brown 1932 is the only editor who reads the phrase as the word indayne, “unworthy,” which the MED follows; see indigne (adj.).
41 medicyne. The emendation is adopted by Brook and by Turville-Petre 1989. The MED accepts the manuscript reading of medierne (as do several editors), even though it is poorly attested. See med-yern (adj.) ~ might, “?desirous of power.”
42–48 The identities of these names are obscure, but they appear to be taken from Scandinavian or Celtic romance lore.
48–49 me . . . me. The word means “one, mankind in general." See MED, me (pron.(1)), and compare Song of the Husbandman (art. 31), line 19 and the explanatory note. By line 49, the word could mean “me,” having shifted in sense from the general to the specific.
50 Jonas. Breeze suggests that the original reading was Iason, referring to Jason of the Argonauts (2004).
Jon. This word names the speaker and poet.
ART. 28, ICHOT A BURDE IN A BOUR ASE BERYL SO BRYHT: 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.
5 on. So MS, W3, B13, Br, St, Tu, Mi. Bö: omitted.
6 diamaund. So MS, Bö, B13, Br, St, Tu, Mi. W3: diamaunde.
9 mai. So MS, Bö, B13, Br, St, Tu, Mi. W3: may.
10 ches. So MS, W3, B13, Br, St, Tu, Mi. Bö: chos.
13 peruenke. So MS (er abbreviated; an e before the u is marked for deletion), B13, Br, St, Tu, Mi. W3: parvenke. Bö: paruenke.
20 sauve. MS, Br, St, Tu, Mi: sauue. W3, Bö, B13: sanne.
22 To. So MS, W3, B13, Br, St, Tu, Mi. Bö: þou.
23 in. So MS, W3, Bö, B13, Br, St, Mi. Tu: ant.
25 dernest. So MS, W3, B13, Br, St, Tu, Mi. Bö: derrest.
30 roune. So MS, Bö, B13, Br, St, Tu, Mi. W3: ronne.
31 thourh. So Bö, B13, Br, St, Tu. MS, W3: þouh. Mi: thorh.
33 Lyne. So MS, B13, Br, St, Tu, Mi. W3: lyve. Bö: lyue.
34 saveth. So MS, W3, Bö, Tu. B13, Br, St, Mi: saneþ.
35 bayeth. So MS, Bö, B13. W3, Br, St, Tu, Mi: bayþeþ.
36 dede is in dayne. So MS, W3. B13: dede is indayne. Bö: dedis in dayne. Br, St, Tu, Mi: dedis in day.
37 in greve. So MS (re abbreviated), B13, Br, St, Tu, Mi. W3, Bö: in grene.
41 medicyne. So Br, Mi. MS, W3, Bö, B13: medierne. St, Tu: medicine.
43 Tegeu. So MS, B13, Br, St, Tu, Mi. W3, Bö: Tegen.
44 oft. So B13, Br, St, Tu, Mi. MS, W3: of. Bö: omitted.
47 carf. So MS, W3, B13, Br, St, Tu, Mi. Bö: þat carf.
50 heo. So MS, B13, Br, St, Tu, Mi. W3, Bö: he.
Go To Art. 29, Bytuene Mersh ant Averil, introduction
Go To Art. 29, Bytuene Mersh ant Averil, text