Back to top

Art. 57, Marie, mere al Salveour: Introduction

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).

Mary, Mother of the Savior, an Anglo-Norman salutation to Mary, is situated between a French poem that honors the blood of Jesus and an English one that honors the name of Jesus (arts. 56, 58). Its metrics resemble the English one. Moreover, its idiom of compliment to Mary’s goodness, mercy, and sweetness (douçour) flows seamlessly into the next poem’s praise of Jesus’ sweetness. The poem enacts the medieval Christian’s belief in Mary as intercessor, addressing God’s mother as a preliminary step to uttering praise directly to Jesus. A similar juxtaposition of address, first to Mary and then to Jesus, occurs in The Joys of Our Lady and Sweet Jesus, King of Bliss (arts. 49, 50). It is interesting how, in each instance, Mary is approached in French before Jesus is named, petitioned, and praised in English.

[Fol. 77va. ANL 795. Långfors, p. 215. Vising §184/78. Scribe: B (Ludlow scribe). Quire: 8. Meter: Thirteen monorhymed quatrains, 8aaaa. Stanza 2 has two rhymes, 8aabb, and stanza 12 has a fifth line. Layout: Right side of a double-column page. Editions: Wright 1842, pp. 65–67 (no. 24); Dove 1969, pp. 288–89. Other MSS: None. Translations: None.]

Go To Art. 57, Marie, mere al Salveour