In a Valley of this Restless Mind
IN A VALLEY OF THIS RESTLESS MIND: FOOTNOTES
1 No matter how exaltedly you may long for love, / My love is greater than yours may be
2 In gladness and in woe I am forever able to support [you]!
IN A VALLEY OF THIS RESTLESS MIND: NOTES
L MS Lambeth 853. [Base text.]
C MS Cambridge University Library Hh.4.12.
Editions based on L:
Fu[L] Furnivall (1903). [A diplomatic text.]
CS Chambers and Sidgwick (1926). [Omits stanzas 4, 6-8.]
Ka Kaiser (1958). [Omits stanzas 8-9, 12-13, 15-16.]
Re Reeves (1965). [Omits stanzas 12-16.]
Wi Wimsatt (1978). [Fragmentary; adopts C order.]
Ri Riddy (1989).
Editions based on C:
Fu[C] Furnivall (1903). [A diplomatic text.]
Co Cook (1915). [Omits stanzas 4-16.]
NL Nicholson and Lee (1917).
Com Comper (1936).
Ce Cecil (1940).
Do Donaldson (1950).
SS Sisam and Sisam (1970).
Gr Gray (1975). [Adopts L order.]
St Stevick (1994). [Adopts L order.]
Du Duncan (1995). [Adopts L order.]
Variants from C are listed in the following notes, as are the emendations made by editors (aside from modernized spellings). Most editions based on one MS incorporate some readings from the other one; these editorial decisions are recorded below.
1 a valey of this. C: the vaile of. The overt psychologizing of the landscape, as part of the narrator's "restless mind," is exceptional among early English lyrics. Stouck describes this opening as "marvelously evocative, Dantesque," and glosses the valley as the narrator's "state of separation from God, but . . . not so far from Him as to be in a state of sin." She finds the scene "reminiscent of courtly love dream visions" and compares it to Chaucer's Book of the Duchess (p. 9). The traditional chanson d'aventure opening may cause one both to visualize the narrator as a man about to embark on a love adventure (Hill, p. 460) and to expect an overheard dialogue or complaint (Gray , p. 126). Beyond these conventions, however, the figure of lovelorn seeking strongly evokes the lyric voice heard in Canticles (see, for example, 3.1-2, 4.6, 5.6, and 6.1).
2 mede. L: myde; C: mede, adopted by CS, Ka, Re, Ri. On the punning development of the word, from the site of searching to the sought-for reward, see note to line 122.
3 a trewelove. The narrator is engaged in the same sort of ambiguous search as is the lovelorn maiden in the opening of The Four Leaves of the Truelove. He seeks "truelove," an abstract (and divine) quality, or a secular lover, or, in the naturalism of the setting, a cross-shaped plant (herb Paris) known by this popular name and commonly sought as a sign of good luck in love. As in Truelove, the end of the search is found to exist unambiguously in the figure of Christ crucified.
4 Y took. C: toke I, adopted by Re.
6 huge. C: gret.
7 how. Adopted by Com; omitted in C.
8 Canticles 2.5 (2.8, Vulgate). A contemporary gloss of the phrase exists in Richard Rolle's Form of Living (ed. S. J. Ogilvie-Thomson, pp. 15-25), further elaborated in Ego dormio (pp. 26-33). See also the phrase as refrain in In a Tabernacle of a Tower and allusions to it in English couplets embedded in Latin homilies (ed. Carleton Brown, Register of Middle English Religious and Didactic Verse, vol. 1 [Oxford: University Press for the Bibliographical Society, 1916], p. 131).
9 hil. C: mownt. The hill with the tree is to be associated with the Cross on Calvary. In the topography of the poem, it contrasts with the valley (perhaps the "shadow of death," Psalm 23.4). The narrator's discovery of it signifies his moving closer to God. The hill remains a focal point throughout, a locus of stillness, unlike the wandering — by restless narrator and Mannis Soule — that takes place around it.
10 the. C: thys.
10-11 Here the secular signifiers for "truelove" dissolve into sacramental ones of increasing religious valence: a search for the cruciform plant (or, an earthly lover) leads to the Tree-cross, and then to the prostrate, wounded stranger (the five wounds and Cross coalesce in meaning and form). On the iconographic theme "Christ in distress," see Woolf (1968), p. 188, and Deirdre Kessel-Brown, "The Emotional Landscape of the Forest in the Mediaeval Love Lament," Medium &AELIG;vum 59 (1990), 244-45.
12 sigh. C: saw.
13 ben. Adopted by St; C: be.
14 graciouse. This word is important. It bears both its courtly sense of refinement as well as its full religious weight, "filled with grace." It is the narrator's looking into the stranger's face that brings about his own expression of compassion and initiates the erotic encounter. Here is where the narrator, as Mannis Soule, begins to respond to Christ's love. (There is the possibility of an herbal pun, too; compare Truelove, note to line 515.)
loken. C: loke.
15 whi. C: how he (adopted by Watts).
17 The stranger, who identifies himself by the name Truelove, has assumed Christ's features. Even as he names himself as "the one the speaker seeks," he is also the alter-ego of the narrator, that is, "someone who searches and languishes for love even as he does" (Astell, pp. 147-48).
18 On the Bride as sister, see Canticles 4.9-12 and 5.1-2.
19 we. C: I, adopted by Wi (and Watts).
19 discevere. C: dissevere, adopted by Wi.
21 for hir a paleis. C: hyr a place full; Gr, Du: hyr a paleis; Re: her a palace full. The references to Christ's Incarnation ("leaving his kingdom") and to heaven (a "palace") are couched in courtly terms.
22 C: She flytt I folowyd I luffed her soo, adopted by Wi, Re (and Watts). Segar's modernized text mimics the preterites of C: She fled, I followed.
23 I suffride this peyne. C: That I suffred thes paynes; Re: That I suffered this pain.
25 spouse . . . love. C: love . . . spouse, adopted by Re.
25-26 The lines contain resonances of the Canticles account of the Bride, who is fair (1.8, 1.16, 5.9, 6.1) and who suffers beatings from the watchmen as she seeks the Bridegroom (5.7).
26 These vividly contrastive reproaches of Christ are based on the improperia in the liturgy for Good Friday. Astell sees a purifying effect in these reproaches (p. 148). See also Stouck, pp. 6-7; and Wimsatt (1978), pp. 336-37.
28 scherte. Adopted by St; C: surcote. A symbolic reference to Christ's scourged back and wounded side. Gray notes that each manuscript provides a reading that fits with the Lover-Knight motif, but he prefers surcote as "the more obviously knightly word" (, p. 126).
29 longynge of love yit wolde Y. C: langyng love I will. St, following C, emends will to wol.
30 are. C: be; St: ben. The r in L is misformed, causing Fu[L] to read axe; Ka, Ri print are. The letter lacks the diagonal descender present in the scribe's x elsewhere. The scribe may have intended to write a capital R (an example appears in L, top of p. 113).
31 hir evere, as Y hir het. C: over als I hett; Fu[C] emends: ever als I hett, which all editors of C adopt.
39 C: Ask than no moo questions whye; Re: Ask me then no question why (as in Segar's translation).
40 C: But precedes the refrain. Stouck notes that here and at line 49, Christ addresses the narrator and audience directly, while he consistently refers to the Soul in third person; she feels that this rhetoric keeps narrator and soul distinct (p. 9). The distinctions are not, however, so clear-cut; the boundary lines of individual identities are constantly shifting and blurring. Christ's first words addressed the narrator (and reader) as "dere Soule" (line 7), so in naming his beloved "Mannis Soule" (line 18), he implicitly ties her identity to that of the narrator/reader. These addresses to "Man" repeat the effect.
41-45 The gloves symbolize Christ's wounded hands. This image may derive from medieval christological commentaries upon Canticles (Wimsatt , p. 337 n. 34).
42 yove. C: geven; St: yeven.
43 ben. Adopted by St; C: be.
44 hem. Adopted by St; C: them.
broughte. Adopted by Do; C: bowght, an interesting variant that alludes to the sacramental meaning of Christ's suffering.
45 wole. Adopted by St; C: wyll.
loose. Adopted by Com; C: lefe.
hem. Adopted by St; C: them.
46 hem. Adopted by St; C: them.
47 for hir so freendli. C: full frendly for hyr.
50 Se. C: My.
schod. C, adopted by Ri; L: sched.
51 Boclid. C: She boklyd.
52 naile. C: nailes, adopted by Re.
52 lo! Adopted by Do; C: well, adopted by Re.
54 Alle. C: For all.
myn humours. C: my membres, adopted by Re, Wi, Ri (and Watts). Hill explicates the C reading: "Christ speaks of `opening' his `membres' for `mannys soule', and the locus of erotic contact is the wound in Christ's side, an opening within which Christ and `mannys soule' may enjoy erotic contact" (p. 461). The reading in L is also sensual, although maybe less erotic; the humours denote Christ's bodily fluids — that is, blood, water, and milk — accessible through the wound. As in lines 58-61, the emphasis in L is on the wetness of God's wounds, in which the soul will be washed and reborn, as in baptism. Eucharistic meanings are also implicit; see Rubin, pp. 302-06.
55 C: My body I made hyr hertys baite, adopted by Re, Wi. Wimsatt reads lines 54-55 as the transition point between a "Passion meditation" and "Christ's active wooing of the soul" (, p. 337). On this striking figure, Gray comments, "The poet's bold imagination does not shrink from extreme images" (, p. 144).
57 The meditation upon the Passion and Christ's crucified body have been leading to this climactic entering into that body through the wound. Even as Christ describes this spot where the Soul will find refuge, he urges the narrator/reader (the two are now merged) to "look in" and visualize it. On the meaningful symbolism of such devotion, see Beckwith, pp. 58-63.
neste. The allusion is to Canticles 2.14 ("My dove in the clifts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall"), which medieval commentators interpreted as the Bride-Soul making her nest in Christ's wounded side; see Eric Colledge, The Mediaeval Mystics of England (London: John Murray, ), pp. 11-13; Gray (1963), pp. 85, 129; Wimsatt (1978), pp. 338-40. Citing the mystical meanings attached to the Canticles verse by Bede and Bernard of Clairvaux, Stouck claims that the English poet's aim is more purely devotional than mystical: "The associations are primarily with refuge and retreat rather than with upward-moving contemplation" (p. 7). Wimsatt maintains, however, that This Restless Mind is one of the rare Middle English poems that is wholly mystical (, p. 82).
58 in. Adopted by St, Du; C: in me.
58 weet. C: wyde, adopted by Re, Wi, Ri (and Watts). But weet, like humours in line 54, emphasizes the wound as a site in which the soul may bathe and cleanse herself (line 61). Wetness also is compatible with the blended sexual imagery that the poet attaches to the sacramental wound of Christ: erotic lovemaking, gestation in the womb, breastfeeding.
61 Washing in the blood of Christ's wounds, removing the filth of natural birth and sin, is the subject of A Meditation of the Five Wounds of Jesus Christ in Oxford, Univ. Coll. MS 97. The meditant is asked to contemplate each wound in order and "clecch up the watir" from each "well." The devotional exercise culminates in the fifth wound:
Out of the largest and deppest welle of everelastyng lif, in the moste opene wounde in Cristys blessed syde, cleech up deppest and hertyliest watir of joye and blisse withouten ende, biholdyng theere inwardly how Crist Jhesu, God and man, to brynge thee to everlastynge lyf, suffrede that harde and hydous deeth on the cros and suffrede his syde to be opened and hyself to be stongyn to the herte with that grisly spere, and so with that deelful strook of the spere theere gulchide out of Cristys syde that blysful floode of watir and blood to raunsone us, watir of his syde to wasshe us, and blood of his herte to bugge us. For love of thise blessede woundes, creep in to this hoot baath of Cristys herte-blood, and theer bathe thee. (ed. Horstmann, p. 441)See also the bathing allegory in Ancrene Wisse, Pt. 7: "[The Lord] makes a bath of his blood for us . . . he loves us more than any mother her child" (ed. and trans. Bella Millett and Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, Medieval English Prose for Women [Oxford: Clarendon, 1990], p. 119); and in A Talking of the Love of God, pp. 347-48.
62 sete. C: sucour. On the meaning "abiding place for soul," see MED sete n.(2), sense 4.(b).
63 whanne sche wole. C: if she will.
65 wole. Adopted by St; C: will.
65-80 Stouck sees in these stanzas an expression of "Christ's mercy, protectiveness, and love-longing" (pp. 3-4, 8), comparable to the conception of Christ found in Julian of Norwich's Shewings (see especially pp. 123-26, 150-51).
66 I wole hir sue if. Adopted by SS, Gr; C: I will to hyr send or. St, following C, emends will to wol, or to er.; Do, following C, emends or to if.
67 wole. Adopted by St; C: will.
gredi. Adopted by NL, Do; C: redy, adopted by Ri. Gredi may be translated "forward, overanxious." Seger in her translation substitutes the word steady.
68 daungerus. A descriptive word drawn from the conventional language of court poetry. Other examples are leel (line 93) and unkyndeli (line 95). See Gray (1972), p. 144; Wimsatt (1978), p. 340; and Stouck, p. 3.
wole. Adopted by St; C: will.
69 wepe. C: do wepe, adopted by Ri.
hide Y ne. C: byd I, adopted by Ri; Re: bide I ne. Riddy glosses the phrase in C as "I beg [her] to stop." The meaning for hide, "withdraw," is common in biblical language. See O.E.D. hide v.1, sense 1.c.
70 her highed. L: her hired; C: ben spred, adopted by Re, Ri. Riddy notes that Christ's spread arms evoke the "posture of the crucifixion as well as that of embrace" (p. 419). S substitutes a modernized gloss: are outstretched. The verb hiren in L does not yield good sense, but the verb highed ("raised") would accord with C. An error of r for yogh (= gh) is plausible. Christ's arms upon the Cross were likened to a mother's ready embrace in several meditative treatises from fourteenth-century England: see especially A Talking of the Love of God, p. 347; The Monk of Farne, ed. Hugh Farmer (Baltimore: Helicon, 1961), p. 64; and other texts cited by Heimmel, pp. 38-45. The pose is compared to a lover's embrace in the fourteenth-century English hymn Sweet Jesus, Now Will I Sing (ed. Horstmann, p. 15, lines 181-84). The two ideas — love embrace, maternal embrace — are combined in the English translation of Aelred of Rievaulx's De institutione inclusarum appearing in the Vernon MS (ed. John Ayto and Alexandra Barratt, EETS o.s. 287 [London, 1984], p. 35, lines 380-83).
me. Adopted by SS; omitted in C.
71 Soule. C: sowle, misprinted by Fu[C] as soule. It is possible to interpret the speaker of Y come in either of two ways, as the soul's cry or as Christ's response. Modern punctuation forces a choice, and I have taken the words to be Christ's faithful answer. Compare Isaiah 30.19: "at the voice of thy cry, as soon as he shall hear, he will answer thee." Editors who have agreed: Re, SS, Ga, Gr, Ri; those with the other interpretation: NL, CS, Ce, Do, Du. Furnivall, who printed both texts, punctuated both ways. Astell finds in this line a revelatory identification of listener with Bride: "Now [Christ] no longer speaks to the man about his Bride; rather, he speaks to his Bride in the man" (p. 150).
73 this. C: an.
73-80 Even as this stanza allows development of an image of Christ as hunter, the Soul as his prey, the activity and passivity of the two roles are strangely blended. Christ's pursuit is active (line 22), yet his method is to lie in wait, his body as bait (line 55). Here he sits and observes his spouse's running movements, even as he "runs before" her as protector (line 78). Eventually the Soul's restless movements are housed (line 99) and then chambered (line 105), as she grows still and sleeps within the wound. The Soul too is a kind of hunter, in causing the wounds of Christ. On the imagery of hunting and of movements in the poem, see Hill, pp. 460-61, and also Wimsatt (1978), p. 340. (For an opinion that the logic is flawed, see Stevick, p. 110.)
74 into the valey. C: to the vayle.
to. Adopted by St; C: I.
75 yit come sche me neer. C: now cummyth she narre, a reading parallel to the line's first half (and adopted by Segar). Du, following C, emends cummyth to come. The L reading is the more subtle one, with its idea that even as the soul flees "awayward," she sometimes approaches nearer. The soul seems to know less about her path than does Christ who observes her.
76 be. So Ri; L: flee. The line in C reads: Yet fro min eye syght she may nat be.
77 hir1. Adopted by St; C: ther.
to2. Omitted in C.
77-78 "Some await their prey to make her flee [into capture], but I run in front of her, in order to vanquish her foe (i.e., to save her from capture)." The imagery of masculine hunter is conflated with the actions of a divine protector. The mention of others (Summe) evokes the contrastive actions of ordinary lovers or hunters — or even the devil (her foe) as hunter.
78 bifore and fleme. C: tofore to chastise; St: to-fore to fleme.
79 Returne. Adopted by St; C: Recover.
spouse. C: soule. This variation between the two manuscripts recurs at lines 85 and 94.
81 Fair love. C: My swete spouse.
lete us go pleye. Adopted by St; C: will we goo play.
81-104 Christ's words to Mannis Soule in stanzas 11-13 enact a process of seduction; she is now "near enough for Christ to address her directly in passionate and richly charged imagery drawn from the Canticum canticorum" (Hill, pp. 461-62). On the scriptural imagery, see Wimsatt (1978), pp. 340-41. Stouck finds little mystical rigor in these stanzas, because they "stress the ease, comforts, and rewards of meditation rather than its demanding nature by insisting on the passive nature of the Soul" (p. 9). However, the ease felt here is only transitional; after the union of Christ and Bride, the espoused Soul will be constantly tested by adversity (line 119).
82 See Canticles 5.1: "Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat the fruit of his apple trees."
83 thee clothe. Adopted by St; C: clothe the. Wimsatt suggests echoes from Canticles 5.3 and 5.7, but Riddy points to the stronger portrayal of new garments in Revelations 19.8, where the Bride of the Lamb is "arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the white linen is the righteousness of saints."
84 Canticles 5.1: "I am come into my garden . . . I have eaten . . . my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk."
85 Fair love. C: Now dere soule (adopted by Watts).
digne. C: dyne, adopted by Wi. The spelling is influenced by OF.
86 crippe. Adopted by Gr; C: skrypp, adopted by Wi (and Watts). Crippe, a rare variant of scrippe, "bag, pouch, pilgrim's wallet," is adopted in Gray's edition based on C (, p. 127). It serves as another figure for Christ's wound (Wimsatt , pp. 341-42). Astell notes an allusion to the Eucharist (p. 151).
87 thou not, my. C: not now; Ri: thou not.
89 thee make. C, Com, Gr: make; St, SS, Du, following Fu[C], emend: make thee. Other editors (NL, Ce, Do) adopt this emendation of C without comment.
89-91 The contrasts within these lines, in which Christ explains the healing, cleansing powers of his blood, recall in form the improperia of stanzas 4 and 5.
91 moorne ought. C: owght morne.
thee meene. Adopted by Ce, St, Du; C: bemene; Com emends: thee be-mene.
92 Whi wolt thou not, fair love. C: Spouse why will thow nowght. Fu[F] mistakenly prints faire for fair. Com, Ce, Du emend C's will to wilt. St emends will thow to wyltow.
93 Foundist thou evere. C: Thow fowndyst never.
94 C: What wilt thow sowle that I shall do; St emends wilt thow to wyltow.
95 not unkyndeli. C: of unkyndnes.
97 do. C: do now.
fair. Omitted in C.
98 C: Abyde I will hyre jantilnesse. Com blends the two MS readings: But abide her will of my gentleness.
99 Til that sche loke. C: Wold she loke onys, adopted by Wi. Com blends the two MS readings: Till that she look once out of her house.
100 affeccioun. C: affeccions. The "house of fleshly affection" refers to the body and its desires.
Love myn sche is. C: and unclennesse. The half-line variant in C continues the idea of worldly corruption.
101 blis. Adopted by Do, SS; C: in blysse, adopted by Wi.
102 is ther non moo. C: suche ar no moo, adopted by Wi. Using C as evidence, I interpret the phrase in L to mean that the chamber is incomparable. R and CS punctuate the phrase as a question, and do not gloss its meaning.
103 on me. Omitted in C, and by Ri.
at the. Com emends: of thy.
wyndow. C: wyndows, adopted by Wi. Canticles 2.9: "Behold, he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices." Wimsatt explains that "`Our wall' was usually seen as the house of the body, the windows as the senses or the eye of reason" (1978), p. 342.
104-09 The silent space between these stanzas "marks the moment of conversion" (Hill, p. 462). Another aspect of Christ is revealed; He changes from Bridegroom to nurturing Mother. The Soul, initially in erotic contact with Christ's wound, becomes the infant nursing her (or his) mother's breast. A metaphoric impregnation, gestation, and birth has occurred in the space of lines 103-05, and now "the wound in Christ's side becomes the breast which feeds the soul with spiritual milk" (Wimsatt , p. 343). On the concept of Jesus as mother, central to the piety of Julian of Norwich and the author of the Ancrene Wisse, see discussions in Bynum, pp. 129-35; Heimmel, pp. 34-45; Woolf (1968), pp. 189-91; Stouck, pp. 8-9; and Astell, pp. 152-53. A further source comes from commentaries on Canticles 1.3, "where the bride speaks of `remembering thy breasts more than wine.' The commentaries discuss the beneficent milk which flows from these breasts" (Wimsatt , 343). Bernard of Clairvaux calls it "the milk of inward sweetness" (On the Song of Songs, vol. 1, p. 58; see also Hill, p. 462).
105 love. Adopted by Com; C: spouse.
hir. Omitted in C.
youre. St: thy. See note to line 106.
105-20 The order of stanzas 14 and 15 is reversed in C. Gray, who edits C, adopts the order of L; Hill's interpretation, based upon Gray's text, thus follows the order of L, not C (as he mistakenly states, p. 466 n. 3). Wimsatt, using his own text based on L, prefers the order of C (1978), p. 336, n. 25.
106 ye. Omitted in C; compare also line 110. Taken with youre (line 105), the three pronouns of formal address in this stanza distance the reader from the intimacy taking place between Christ and Mannis Soule. The trope of narrator has disappeared; it has yielded partially, as Mannis Soule, to God's intimacy, and it has also remained partially distanced as the voyeuristic reader. Christ's rhetorical shift to pronouns of intimate address in stanza 15 ("thow," "thee," "thin") marks his final drawing in of the reader. It is an appeal to the reader to let go of the boundaries of self that distinguish between Mannis Soule, narrator, and reader, and that separate him (and her) from God. See also Canticles 2.7 and 8.4 (formal pleas not to awaken the Bride).
107 Y wolde not were in. C: shall sofre noo.
108 may. R emends: wolde.
109 With. C: For with. The reference to Christ's breast appears to have embarrassed Segar in 1915; she prints, without comment, a substituted line: With watchful care I shall her keep.
110 Ne merveille ye not. C: No wondyr.
111 be. C: ben.
113 Longe thou for love. C: Long and love thow.
114 My love is. C: Yit is my love.
115 wepist . . . gladist. C: gladdyst . . . wepist.
116 C: Yit myght thow spouse loke onys at me.
116-18 All previous editors have read these three lines as a single sentence, joining lines 117-18 into a question. Lines 116-17 should instead be read as a declaration of Christ's constancy: "I will always take care of you." Compare Julian of Norwich:
For He [Jesus] hath not all to don but to entendyn about the salvation of hir Child. It is His office for to saven us. It is His worship to don it, and it is His will we knowen it . . . (p. 126)The rest of the stanza declares the parental manner: not perpetually fed baby food, the maturing soul will be reared with adversity. On the "food of children," see discussions by Wimsatt (1978), p. 344; and Stouck, pp. 4, 8-10. Heimmel offers a good summary of biblical passages on God's parental rearing of the soul, pp. 8-11.
117 Schulde. C: Spouse shuld.
118 children. C: childys.
119 wole preve thi. Adopted by St; C: pray the; SS, Gr, Du: preve thi; Do: preve thee.
121 wiif. C: dere wyfe.
122 mede. The promise of receiving a sought-for reward, mentioned here and in line 127, reshapes, in retrospect, the meaning of the narrator's opening search "in mounteyne and in mede." There is a subtle pun upon mede, "meadow," and mede, "reward."
it to lyve evere. C: aye to lyffe.
123 In. C: For in.
regne. C: ryn. The variant has led several C-based editors to a different interpretation. SS, Ga gloss ryn more ryfe as "run (to help) more quickly"; Do as "run more often."
124 Oftetymes. L: Ofttymes; C: Ofter tymes, adopted by Wi. The meter would seem to require that a medial syllable be pronounced.
125 C: In welth in woo ever I support.
126 Than, dere Soule. C; L: Myn owne wiif. The reading in L repeats the first line of the stanza. C's reading is better, directing the discourse back to the opening "narrator" — by now whatever remains distinct in this persona has merged with the reader. Nonetheless, this figure for wayward, restless, truth-seeking mankind was addressed as "dere Soule" in the first stanza (line 7).
not. C: never.
128 C: In blysse is added before the refrain. SS, Gr, Du omit the phrase.
In a valey of this restles mynde,
I soughte in mounteyne and in mede,
Trustynge a trewelove for to fynde,
Upon an hil than Y took hede:
A voice Y herde — and neer Y yede —
In huge dolour complaynynge tho:
"Se, dere Soule, how my sidis blede,
Quia amore langueo."
Upon this hil Y fond a tree,
Undir the tree a man sittynge,
From heed to foot woundid was he,
His herte blood Y sigh bledinge:
A semeli man to ben a king,h
A graciouse face to loken unto;
I askide whi he had peynynge,
He seide, "Quia amore langueo.
"I am Truelove that fals was nevere.
My sistyr, Mannis Soule, Y loved hir thus.
Bicause we wolde in no wise discevere,
I lefte my kyngdom glorious.
I purveide for hir a paleis precious;
Sche fleyth; Y folowe. Y soughte hir so,
I suffride this peyne piteuous,
Quia amore langueo.
"My fair spouse and my love bright,
I saved hir fro betynge, and sche hath me bet!
I clothid hir in grace and hevenli light,
This bloodi scherte sche hath on me sette!
For longynge of love yit wolde Y not lette —
Swete strokis are these, lo!
I have loved hir evere, as Y hir het,
Quia amore langueo.
"I crowned hir with blis, and sche me with thorn;
I ledde hir to chaumbir, and sche me to die;
I broughte hir to worschipe, and sche me to scorn;
I dide hir reverence, and she me vilonye.
To love that loveth is no maistrie;
Hir hate made nevere my love hir foo.
Axe me no questioun whi —
Quia amore langueo.
"Loke unto myn hondis, Man:
These gloves were yove me whan Y hir soughte —
Thei ben not white, but rede and wan,
Onbroudrid with blood. My spouse hem broughte.
Thei wole not of; Y loose hem noughte.
I wowe hir with hem whereevere sche go —
These hondis for hir so freendli foughte,
Quia amore langueo.
"Merveille noughte, Man, though Y sitte stille:
Se, love hath schod me wondir streite,
Boclid my feet, as was hir wille,
With scharp naile, lo! Thou maiste waitenails;
In my love was nevere desaite —
Alle myn humours Y have opened hir to —
There my bodi hath maad hir hertis baite,has
Quia amore langueo.
"In my side Y have made hir neste.
Loke in: How weet a wounde is heere!
This is hir chaumbir. Heere schal sche reste,
That sche and Y may slepe in fere.
Heere may she waische if ony filthe were;
Heere is sete for al hir woo.
Come whanne sche wole, sche schal have chere,
Quia amore langueo.
"I wole abide til sche be redy;
I wole hir sue if sche seie nay;
If sche be richilees, Y wole be gredi,
And if sche be daungerus, Y wole hir praie.
If sche wepe, than hide Y ne may —
Myn armes her highed to clippe hir me to:
Crie oonys! Y come. Now, Soule, asay!
Quia amore langueo.
"I sitte on this hil for to se fer.
I loke into the valey my spouse to se.
Now renneth sche awayward, yit come sche me neer,
For out of my sighte may sche not be.
Summe wayte hir prai to make hir to flee,
I renne bifore and fleme hir foo.
Returne, my spouse, ayen to me!
Quia amore langueo.
"Fair love, lete us go pleye —
Applis ben ripe in my gardayne;
I schal thee clothe in a newe aray;
Thi mete schal be mylk, hony, and wiyn.
Fair love, lete us go digne —
Thi sustynaunce is in my crippe, lo!
Tarie thou not, my fair spouse myne!
Quia amore langueo.
"Iff thou be foul, Y schal thee make clene;
If thou be siik, Y schal thee hele;
If thou moorne ought, Y schal thee meene.
Whi wolt thou not, fair love, with me dele?
Foundist thou evere love so leel?
What woldist thou, spouse, that Y schulde do?
I may not unkyndeli thee appele,
Quia amore langueo.
"What schal Y do with my fair spouse
But abide hir, of my gentilnes,
Til that sche loke out of hir house
Of fleischli affeccioun? Love myn sche is!
Hir bed is maade: hir bolstir is blis;
Hir chaumbir is chosen, is ther non moo.
Loke out on me at the wyndow of kyndenes,
Quia amore langueo.
"My love is in hir chaumbir. Holde youre pees!
Make ye no noise, but lete hir slepe.
My babe Y wolde not were in disese;
I may not heere my dere child wepe;
With my pap Y schal hir kepe.
Ne merveille ye not though Y tende hir to:
This hole in my side had nevere be so depe,
But Quia amore langueo.
"Longe thou for love nevere so high,
My love is more than thin may be: 1
Thou wepist, thou gladist, Y sitte thee bi —
Yit woldist thou oonys, leef, loke unto me,
Schulde I alwey fede thee.
With children mete? Nay, love, not so! —
I wole preve thi love with adversitè,
Quia amore langueo.
"Wexe not wery, myn owne wiif.
What mede is it to lyve evere in coumfort?
In tribulacioun I regne moore riif,
Oftetymes, than in disport —
In wele and in woo Y am ay to supporte! 2
Than, dere Soule, go not me fro!
Thi meede is markid whan thou art mort,
Quia amore langueo."
meadow; (see note)
took notice; (see note)
nearer I approached
sadness; then; (see note)
See; (see note)
Because I am sick for love; (see note)
found; (see note)
heart's; saw; (see note)
handsome enough to be a king; (see note)
suffering (lit., paining); (see note)
who; (see note)
in no way part company; (see note)
prepared; palace; ; (see note)
flees; (see note)
piteous pain; (see note)
beating; beaten; (see note)
shirt; (see note)
give up; (see note)
always; promised; (see note)
one that loves; hard task
Ask; (see note)
given to me; (see note)
are; discolored; (see note)
Embroidered; (see note)
will not come off; (see note)
woo; goes; (see note)
as a friend; (see note)
shod; very tightly; (see note)
Buckled; (see note)
You may know; (see note)
has been made bait for her heart; (see note)
wet; (see note)
wash; any; (see note)
shelter; woe; (see note)
welcome; (see note)
wait; (see note)
pursue; say; (see note)
uncaring; forward; (see note)
aloof; entreat; (see note)
withdraw; (see note)
here raised; embrace; (see note)
once; attempt [it]; (see note)
so that I may see far; (see note)
she runs away; nearer; (see note)
await their prey; (see note)
run; drive away her enemy; (see note)
fashion; (see note)
food; wine; (see note)
dine; (see note)
bag; (see note)
Delay; (see note)
at all; comfort; (see note)
loyal; (see note)
do you wish; (see note)
accuse; (see note)
wait for her, out of courtesy; (see note)
body; (see note)
bolster; (see note)
none other [like it]; (see note)
discomfort; (see note)
breast; feed her; (see note)
attend; (see note)
been; (see note)
rejoice; (see note)
dear one; (see note)
baby food; (see note)
prove (i.e., test); (see note)
Grow; (see note)
reward; (see note)
powerful; (see note)
pleasant times; (see note)
reward; determined; dead