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Art. 61, Jesu, for thi muchele miht: 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).

As a verse meditation on the Passion, Jesus, by Your Great Might belongs with the manuscript’s series of religious lyrics on Mary and the Passion that began with the Anglo-Norman Song on Jesus’ Precious Blood (art. 56). Its meditative focus is fixed on divine and human incarnation. The penitent contemplates Christ’s wounds and physical death, setting these beside his own desire to remain whole after death and beyond Doomsday. An English lyric of similar metrics and theme is On leome is in þis world ilist (IMEV, NIMEV 293; ed. Brown 1932, pp. 34–37). For commentary, see the bibliography in MWME 11:4347; and Durling, p. 288.

[Fol. 79vb. IMEV, NIMEV 1705. MWME 11:4194 [21]. Scribe: B (Ludlow scribe). Quire: 9. Meter: Five 10-line stanzas, a4b3a4b3cc4d3ee4d3. Layout: Right side of a double-column page; lines 1–4 of each stanza are written as two lines, as in next poem. Editions: Wright 1842, pp. 83–85 (no. 28); Böddeker, pp. 208–10; Brown 1932, pp. 150–52 (no. 84); Brook, pp. 57–59 (no. 21). Other MSS: None.]

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