King Edward and the Shepherd
KING EDWARD AND THE SHEPHERD: FOOTNOTES
KING EDWARD AND THE SHEPHERD: EXPLANATORY NOTES
4 lovys of melody. This is an unusual use of the preposition of with an intransitive sense of love.
4–9 The syntax is very loose but can be understood this way: “May God grant a share of heaven’s bliss (and shield their souls from peril) to all who love a song, who are worth telling tales of kings that are not vile at feasts and banquet.”
19 Con (occasionally can) is sometimes used as a past tense marker in this poem: con he mete means “he met.” But very often too the poet uses the word con meaning “know” or “learn.”
35–36 Thay take my bestis and don thaim slone, / And payen but a stik of tre. “Thay,” the king’s servants, seize the shepherd’s animals and have them butchered, giving in exchange a tally-stick that the shepherd should theoretically be able to redeem for payment. The tally-stick system was to record the amount of debt: a stick would be scored with notches for each unit of debt, and then the stick split in half lengthwise. One half would be kept by the person selling goods, and the other half should have been given to the king’s steward or other financial officer. The person owed money should have been able to turn up at court with his half of the stick, and when its notches matched or tallied with the notches on the half held by the steward, the steward should have paid the money owed. But the shepherd has apparently not been able to convert the tally-stick into the money he is owed.
67 Owe he. “In the Northern dialect, in the present indicative (except for the second singular), the verb had no ending when it was immediately preceded or followed by a personal pronoun” (Mossé, Handbook of Middle English, §93 II).
73 Seynt Edmonde. St. Edmund was a king of East Anglia; he died in 870, martyred by invading Danes. His remains were eventually placed in the custody of monks in a location that is now known as Bury St. Edmunds. See “Edmund the Martyr, St.,” NCE. Adam is swearing by a widely revered English king who died fighting against invaders of his kingdom. Ironically, as history turns out, the historical Edward III was just about to contribute to the de facto demotion of St. Edmund from national saint, when he chose St. George as patron saint of the Order of the Garter. But the cult of St. Edmund continued to flourish: he was, with John the Baptist and Edward the Confessor, one of the patron saints of Richard II, as can be seen in the Wilton Diptych (though the angels carry a banner of St. George).
77 Of hasill I mene that hit is. Why does the shepherd complain that the stick is made of hazel? Perhaps because hazel sticks were rods of choice for beating people, and the shepherd feels that he is being abused; or perhaps because the hazel’s flexibility makes it a comparatively flimsy and impermanent record-keeping device, an excuse of at least metaphorical force for the king’s officers who fail to find confirmation of the king’s debt to the shepherd.
85–87 The king asks the shepherd his name and where he lives so that he can follow through on his promise and therefore not be blameworthy.
102 Whene she thar shuld be is ambiguous: “when she was to be there,” or “she was to be queen there.” The whole passage is a series of cues that the speaker is Edward III: his father was Welsh (i.e., Edward II, the first English Prince of Wales); his mother is Isabel, who lived in the castle; as he told us before, he was born in Windsor; he was loved by Edward II; he travels overseas a good deal; and he has a son who is with the queen.
118 undur. Undern is one of the hours of the solar day, and therefore its clock time varies according to the time of year. More confusingly still, the term undern was applied in the middle ages to the third canonical hour (roughly, nine in the morning), the sixth canonical hour (noon), and even later. Here it must mean roughly nine in the morning.
121 Seynt Thomas of Ynde. The apostle Thomas was said to have traveled to India and proselytized there, where he was eventually martyred.
124 Why the name “Joly Robyn”? We do not have Robin Hood poems that survive from this early, but the epithet Jolly is used with Robin in later Robin Hood poems that we do have (Robin Hood and the Tanner, The Jolly Pinder of Wakefield, Robin Hood and the Shepherd, and Robin Hood’s Chase), and it is possible that this is an early (and heavily ironic) adoption of the outlaw’s name by a king who had a great deal of trouble with outlaws. The phrase Joly Robyn is used late in the fourteenth century by Pandarus in an expression of skepticism in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, 5.1174–75:
From haselwode, there joly Robyn pleyde,But both Chaucer and the King Edward and the Shepherd poet could be merely using the name Robin as one sometimes used in poetry for a peasant.
Shal come al that thow abidest here.
129 Soo faire hym mot befalle. Like the phrase so mot he the, a type more frequent in this poem, this simply strengthens the wish: “as he hopes for good things to happen to him.”
141 be Seynt Jame. The more usual St. James to swear by is the apostle James, son of Zebedee. In the Middle Ages, Santiago de Compostela in Spain was a major pilgrimage site (as it still is, to a lesser degree); the remains of St. James were said to have been returned there, to the scene of his proselytizing, after his martyrdom in Judea (see “James [Son of Zebedee], St.,” NCE). The form “Jame” as opposed to “James” is common in medieval English, not a simple concession to rhyme: note line 146.
157–60 These lines are an allusion to the earlier wave of outlawry in the 1320s and 1330s (led by the Folville and Coterel gangs; see the introduction to King Edward and the Shepherd) and an acknowledgment of renewed activity. Edward's absence at Calais sparked a major rise in bandit activity in 1346 (Stones, “Folvilles of Ashby-Folville,” p. 130), not long before a possible composition and performance date for the poem. At that time the only remaining Folville brother was Eustace (who, like the bandits in the poem, was a known robber and rapist), the others having died, for the most part, unapprehended despite the poem’s allusion to previous capture and hanging at lines 157–58, and the historical attempt to pursue and prosecute the outlaws in 1332. It is notable that not only did Edward’s absence enable Eustace but that Eustace had actually received a pardon in 1333 for service in Edward’s Scottish campaign. In fact, the king pardoned Folvilles in 1327, 1329, and 1333, even though each pardon was preceded and followed by violent criminal behavior.
166 The plural “thei” and the violent home invasion of the context strongly suggest that this is a gang rape. Yet at line 597 the narrator mentions the daughter’s “lemman,” as if she merely had a lover among the robbers, and at 830 Adam speaks of “He that be my doghtur lay” as if, whether by rape or consent, only one man was involved. These three different possible scenarios trigger an extremely wide range of reactions among modern readers, from an appalled sympathy for the daughter to some resentment at her for enjoying herself with her lover while her parents are abused and humiliated. For us it is impossible to reconcile the passages or overlook their discrepancy from one another. But it is quite possible that these scenarios did not seem so grotesquely irreconcilable to the poet and his original audience, for whom the emotional point may have been sympathy with Adam, the man whose honor has been grossly violated by his daughter’s involvement in illicit sexual acts, whether voluntary on her part or not.
193–204 This stanza is garbled and hard to reconstruct. French and Hale’s footnote proposes an original rhyme on benke/shenke at lines 196–97: “An archery bank was a butt, a pyramidal mound of earth on which a paper bull’s-eye was fixed; and shots which hit the mound and missed the bull’s-eye counted as misses. The general sense may have been, ‘I propose as terms that whoever first hits the bank (misses) is to order poured out for the other whatever he will drink’” (Middle English Metrical Romances, 2:957n196). This is a desperate reconstruction of a desperate passage. All that seems clear is that Adam is prepared to bet, both ale and his head (and maybe also a hawk, if the word haut is emended for rhyme; though why would a lowly peasant have a hawk?), on his winning a contest between any archer in the land and himself with his sling, with the object of the contest being to hit a target soonest; and he swears by his own death that he will take on the bet right away even in the shade.
225 Seynt Gyle provides a useful rhyme, but also has an interestingly apposite legend: his constant companion was a deer, which was then attacked by the king’s hunters; one of their arrows missed the deer and wounded St. Giles, but he was ultimately befriended by the king himself.
263 come to ryng. Literally, “join the dance”; figuratively, be hunted by Edward.
264 Therwith to make me a frende. That is, to have meat to give away to gain others’ favors in return.
268 Wode has erys, fylde has sight. This is a proverb cited by Whiting, F127: “Field has eyes and wood ears.”
269 forster. The forester’s job is to enforce forest law and to make sure that the game is protected from being taken by anyone but the king or his agents.
275–76 A loge is dight / Full hye upon an hill which serves presumably as a lookout from which the forester and his assistants can watch for poachers.
304–07 All these birds are waders (heron, spoonbill, curlew, bittern) or waterfowl (mallard, swan). They, and the crane of line 295, are precisely the sorts of bird that nobles would hunt with falcons or hawks when they went rivering, hunting along the banks of a river. That is what Edward is understood to be doing at the beginning of this poem:
Oure kyng went hym in a tydeThe birds (especially swan) featured as showy prize dishes at medieval nobles’ meals. Edward was particularly fond of rivering; he is represented in Wynnere and Wastoure as wearing a belt embroidered appropriately:
To pley hym be a ryver side
In a mornyng of May.
Full gayly was that grete lorde girde in the myddis:In a note to line 100, editor Warren Ginsberg remarks, “Edward was known for his love of hawking.” Wild swans, one of which Adam has had baked in line 307, belonged to the king. Later in Edward’s rule (20 June 1356) he granted under his privy seal to his newly founded collegiate church at Windsor seven years’ control over wild swans on the Thames: “to the warden and college of the king’s free chapel of Wyndesore of all swans flying not marked within the water of Thames between Oxford and London Bridge, as fully as these should pertain to the king by reason of his right and prerogative” (Calendar of the Patent Rolls, 30 Ed.III., pt. 2, m. 20 [vol. 10, p. 406]). Adam has obviously been violating Edward’s “right and prerogative.”
A brighte belte of ble broudirde with fewles,
With drakes and with dukkes - daderande tham semede
For ferdnes of fawkons fete, lesse fawked thay were.
And ever I sayd to myselfe, "Full selly me thynke
Bot if this renke to the revere ryde umbestonde."
306 The maudlart and hur mech. The term mallard, if it distinguishes the sex of the duck concerned, usually signals a male. But here the mallard is the female.
317 passilodion: This is a nonce word, attested only in this poem. MED gives it a derivation from Medieval Latin: “ML passiludium, from passum ‘raisin wine’ & ludium ‘game, contest’; prob. a jocular coinage modeled on hastiludium.”
320 berafrynde. MED gives the sense “Bottom’s up!” but with the qualifier “?Nonsense word.” It’s possible that we should understand the word as “barley-friend.” Bere was the Middle English term for barley, a component of beer and malt liquors of various kinds. Both times the word occurs in rhyming position with an –ende.
321 Leve upon my ley. Literally, “Believe in my religious law.”
325–36 The game is a simple one: the first player says “passilodion,” drinks, and then refills the cup. The second replies with “berafrynde,” empties the cup, and fills it again before returning it to the first person.
333 Seynt Mighell. The archangel Michael.
365–67 The implication of these lines stressing Adam’s white skin, good origins, and holy descent may be (somewhat snidely) that he is the son of a priest (who has comparatively high social status, but who should be celibate and may not marry) rather than of a peasant.
370 Nether fer ne hende. Literally, “Neither far nor close.”
404 come be mone-light. The implication is that the illicit venison was brought secretly to Adam at night.
446 Lanycoll. Adam’s name for his drinking cup, a huge one made out of maple. Spelled Lonycoll at line 470, the word is an invented one. Possibly it is to be understood as a compound of loan ( from Old Norse lan) and accoll meaning “embrace”: because the cup is meant to be passed back and forth among drinkers, it is on loan and has to be returned, and because it is well loved for what it holds (Adam expresses his own love for the cup at lines 471–72), it is warmly embraced rather than just held.
457 The godeman, sir, or ye? This is odd, because Adam is most easily thought of as the goodman in this context, in the senses of the householder, the host. But the goodwife is unlikely to be asking the visitor who should get the cup first, and indeed Adam answers. So perhaps we are to understand that goodman applies to the merchant and is taken here in the sense of citizen of a town, a burgess.
468 wordis kene. But there is not really anything sharp about his words; the rhyme is more influential here than the meaning.
490 wyne so claré. Clary was a sweet mixture of wine, honey, and spices.
509 Hakderne is another of Adam’s playful coinages. Derne means “secret”; hak may be a variant form of hatch (from Old English hæc), meaning “a small door.” Adam’s underground storage room is well hidden.
545 What fowle that sittis or flye. Note that the verb forms do not match. The form flye must be subjunctive (whatever bird that might fly), but the verb sittis is indicative (whatever bird that sits).
550 For alle the fedurt schafte. Bows and arrows are much more advanced technology than slings and stones: the arrowhead cuts, the feathered shaft stabilizes flight, and the bow is easier to aim. The historical Edward encouraged the use of the bow and arrow. In 1363 he was to make archery practice compulsory for all able-bodied men between sixteen and sixty years of age. English archers were critical to his victories on the Continent. In this poem he already champions the virtues of the bow, urging Adam to take up archery so that he can poach deer (lines 413-19), but Adam tells him he can kill deer by using the larger of his two slings (420-30). Here Adam closes the discussion by disparaging what he must see as unnecessary technology, the feathered shaft that stabilizes the flight of the arrow. If a man is as good with a sling as Adam has just demonstrated himself to be, why would he bother to change to a bow and arrows?
565 His dogge lay ther full stille. Adam’s sheepdog is well trained and has been keeping the sheep safely in one place all day while its master is off drinking and hunting with Joly Robyn.
576 Many man is his tresirere. That is, many people owe him money.
579–80 The tother Edwart, Edward II, was whole and sound until his capture, deposition, and murder in 1326–27.
581 The first of Edward III and Queen Philippa’s eight sons, Edward of Woodstock, now called the Black Prince, was born in 1330. He was the only one of the eight to have been created a prince, becoming Prince of Wales in 1343.
590 a blak furred hode. Frédérique Lachaud argues “that the idea of a strict hierarchical view of society expressed by the means of dress was a fourteenth-century phenomenon, which culminated in the sumptuary laws of the reign of Edward III” (“Dress and Social Status in England,” p. 119). Here Adam's fur hood challenges the king's authority by violating a sumptuary ordinance set out by Edward III in 1337, which forbids any subject with less than £100 in earnings per year to “wear any fur. . . in or on any of his clothes, under pain of incurring the above-mentioned penalty [being punished at the ‘king’s will’].” See F. E. Baldwin, Sumptuary Legislation and Personal Regulation, p. 31, quoting Statutes of the Realm, 11 Edward III c. 2, vol. I, pp. 280–81. But his russet clothing mentioned at line 588 is quite appropriate to his peasant status. Russet is homespun.
593 mytans clutt. “Mytans” is “mittens” or “mittens’,” “clutt” is “clout” or “rag,” but the word order is problematic and the sense is uncertain.
644 Then onswerid that erle balde. At the time that the story seems to be set, Sir Ralph Stafford was not yet an earl (see the introduction to the poem). At line 611 above, the king addresses two earls, and later we hear of those two as the earl of Lancaster and the earl of Warren; Stafford is addressed as “Sir Ralph of Stafford” and never referred to in the poem as earl of Stafford. The term earl is used anachronistically, perhaps introduced later than the time of the poem’s composition.
647 felow. As a term of address, fellow would be used by people of high rank to people of low rank. Adam the Shepherd is oblivious to the social gaffe he is committing in calling Sir Ralph of Stafford, steward of the Royal Household (1327), seneschal of Aquitaine (1345), eventually a founding knight of the Garter (1348) and the first earl of Stafford (1350), “felow.” See Carole Rawcliffe, “Stafford, Ralph” (ODNB). Adam is similarly oblivious to the social rules that require him to doff his hood or hat in the presence of a superior and those that require him to give up his weapons before entering the court.
662 “wel mot thou be!” A warm greeting, literally “May you be well.”
677–78 The earl of Lancaster is Henry of Grosmont, second cousin to the king. Heir to a very powerful earldom, he gained even more power, land, and wealth by his services in war and diplomacy to Edward III. His father Henry became blind, so the younger Henry took over many of his political obligations from about 1330, when as a young man of roughly twenty he was knighted and took his father’s place in parliament. Edward raised him to the status of earl in 1337, when he received one of his father’s titles, earl of Derby. Then in 1345, he succeeded his father as earl of Lancaster. In the years leading up to the composition of the poem his great victories were in the south of France, at Auberoche (1345) and at Poitiers (1346), and his service to Edward at the successful end of the siege of Calais (1347). Around 1347–48, the time during which the poem was written, he had probably begun construction of the magnificent Savoy Palace in London, using his profits from his campaigns. Edward made him a founding member of the Order of the Garter in 1349, and in 1351 raised his title to duke of Lancaster. One of his many services to the king was to stand hostage for Edward’s debts in the Low Countries in 1340–41; it is because of his commitment of his own resources to Edward as security for a loan that we know about his gold statue of Tristram and Isolde (see Vale, Edward III, appendix 11), a possession that suggests not only his immense wealth but also his interest in literature. Later in life he was to compose the Anglo-Norman spiritual treatise called Le Livre des seintz medicines. See W. M. Ormrod, “Henry of Lancaster, first duke of Lancaster (c.1310–1361),” ODNB.
Edward’s relations with John de Warenne, earl of Surrey, were rather different. Whereas Edward and Henry were about the same age, and both eager to establish their chivalric prowess on the battlefield and in tournament, John de Warenne was an older man. Born in 1286, he died in 1347, probably then just before the poem was written. At the time of the deposition of Edward II, John had urged the former king to abdicate but could not persuade him. John’s service to Edward II led him into conflict with Thomas, then earl of Lancaster, Henry of Grosmont’s uncle; John was even on the panel of judges appointed by Edward II to put Thomas to death. That John de Warenne and Henry of Grosmont feature together in this poem is a tribute to the harmony at the court of Edward III. John attended the coronation of the younger Edward, and served on his regency council. In subsequent years he served Edward III in a number of administrative roles and some military ones. Though he was never as prominent as Henry of Grosmont, his service was in different forums: the Scottish wars rather than the French ones, administration in England rather than on the Continent. For example, “In 1345 Warenne was one of the councillors appointed to advise the regent, Edward's second son, Lionel” (Scott L. Waugh, “Warenne, John de, seventh earl of Surrey (1286–1347),” ODNB, for the quotation and other information on John de Warenne). In the financial crisis of 1340, John stood up to the enraged king in Parliament about who should be present to advise him, but he was not usually confrontational. Edward rewarded him well and clearly considered him a valuable advisor. He died in late June of 1347. Perhaps it was the recentness of his death that prompted his inclusion as one of the figures of the poem.
736 Also mot thou thynne. That is, “also mot thou theen,” “as you hope to prosper.”
755 The marshal (who seems to be a domestic officer in charge of the arrangements for the feast rather than the officer of state, the marshall of England), has been given instructions to pass along to the steward (again, the steward seems to be a domestic officer rather than a high officer of state). At 756 the steward comes back to the king with him, lowers his hood respectfully in the king’s presence at 757 (in contrast to Adam), and at 761 tells the king that the money is ready.
762 I know hym not. That is, “I can’t tell who he is because I don’t know him.”
be Oure Lady. “Our Lady” is the Virgin Mary.
775 So fayre mot me befalle. Another phrase underlining sincerity, literally “As I hope good things will happen to me.”
782–83 Here is the flaw of the tally-stick system: if the steward does not want to pay the debt the king’s household has incurred, it is easy enough to deny having a match to Adam’s stick.
791–802 The notion of a shepherd tipping the king and advising him to put some money into new clothing would have been an amusing one. Edward paid careful attention to courtly display, for example, taking care that his lavish behavior on the Continent helped to bolster his grand claims to the throne of France.
805 I swere be Seynt Martyne. St. Martin of Tours was a fourth-century Roman soldier (see "Martin of Tours, St.," NCE). He is famous for cutting his cloak in half to share it with a naked beggar, an event that was followed by a vision of Christ and a dedication of the rest of his life to Christianity. The king would doubtless prefer to see himself as a benefactor, like St. Martin, rather than as someone who, according to modern conceptions, is taking a kickback. At any rate he would not care to see himself as someone whose cloak was the gift of a poorly dressed churl, a St. Martin in reverse.
806 “Be God,” seid the scheperde, “yys!” The word yes here implies “to the contrary” like French si; simple agreement was signaled by ay or yea, as below (line 821), ya.
865 As thei wolde be his frynde. That is, friendship with the king is dependent on being polite to Adam the Shepherd.
869 His mytans hang be his spayre. His mittens hung beside his ?: The “spayre” (MED speier(e, OED † spare, n.2) is evidently an opening in the clothing, in this case predictably enough present that it can be identified as “his spayre” rather than “a spayre.” I am tempted to think it might be the equivalent of a modern-day fly.
872 And when the waytis blew lowde hym be. The waits are wind musicians who are signaling mealtime. They are not necessarily trumpeters, and indeed since Adam thinks he has heard a fiend, perhaps they are playing bagpipes.
885 Thou shalt sitte here above. “Here above” would be at the high table, on the dais. Joly Robin is to occupy the seat of honor.
896 A tabul dormant that he begynne. Adam is being honored by being asked to take the head of a table dormant, a table that is a fixed piece of furniture rather than one of the trestle tables that would be set up for the less-important diners.
905–10 Adam is impressed with the reception Joly Robin has arranged for him and resolves both to keep the terms of their relationship secret and to pay Joly Robin back (or else, let Adam be hanged).
914 Surketis overal he con holde. The surcoats would display the heraldic arms of their wearers and so would make a colorful and impressive display. This also underscores the nobility of Adam’s company.
934 Unto his scole a stage. The king proposes to have the prince taken to Adam for instruction.
970 As have I rest and roo. A phrase underlining sincerity, literally “As I hope to have rest and peace.”
1000 When any cuppe yede amys. Everyone laughed at Adam when any cup, presumably that he was drinking from, went amiss.
1013 French lingered as the language of high culture at the court, and thus the language of much literature, such as Henry of Grosmont’s Livre des seintz medicines. The role of Anglo-Norman heritage was reinforced at court by repeated royal marriages to French-speaking noblewomen, such as Edward II’s to Isabella of France and Edward III’s to Philippa of Hainault. And Latin continued to be an important third language, among clerics particularly. But English was widely used at court too. Edward may have adopted a French motto for his Order of the Garter (“Honi soit qui mal y pense,” “Shame on him who thinks evil of it”), but he had several other mottoes in use for ceremonial occasions, and they were English ones: “It is as it is,” “Syker as the wodebynd” (Vale, Edward III, p. 65), “Hay hay the wythe swan by goddes soule I am thy man” (Vale, Edward III, p. 175). Adam is disturbed, though, by hearing the other two languages used.
1018 The lady is, of course, the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom late medieval Christians reverenced as a kind intercessor who would intervene on their behalf.
1040–41 He toke the wyne and laft the spice; / Then wist thei wel that he was nyce. Adam has his own drinking customs, but he is not used to the court custom of drinking wine and eating spices after a meal. He drinks the wine but leaves the spices, betraying his lack of courtly polish.
1046–48 “Joly Robyn,” he thoght, “wo thou be / That tyme that I ever met with thee, / Er ever that I thee seye. The lines are somewhat garbled grammatically, but the general sense that Adam regrets meeting Joly Robin is clear. “Wo is me” would be more idiomatic than, make more sense than, and work as well with the rhyme scheme as, “wo thou be.”
colophon Non finis sed punctus. “Not complete, but at an end.” There is plenty of room for more text left on the page in the sole manuscript, but the exemplar from which the scribe was copying must have been lacking the last folio, probably no more than one since the plot is nearing its probable end.
KING EDWARD AND THE SHEPHERD: TEXTUAL NOTES
Abbreviations: MS: manuscript, here referring to the copy-text.
title There is no title in the MS.
1 MS reads: God that sittis in Trinite, in very large letters and underlined in red, like lines 226 and 377.
32 MS reads: that I most fle fro my wony< >g. Gap in MS.
66 MS reads: A M £ pounde and mare. £ is above the M.
74 MS reads: Me is owand iiij li pounde.
151 MS reads: thei goo aboute be viij or nyn<.>e.
178 MS reads: had I helpe of sum lordyngis. Emendation for rhyme.
181 MS reads: ffor other iii felowes and I.
226 MS reads: Do way quod Adam let be that, in very large letters and underlined in red, like lines 1 and 377.
278 MS reads: But ride now forth in my blessyn. The last letter is cut off.
293 MS reads:ii peny ale he brouõt with all.
340–41 The stanza is defective and may have been so in the scribe’s exemplar. Here the scribe has two lines that are perhaps borrowed from the next stanza, lines 350–51.
342 Two lines required by the stanza form are missing after line 342. No gap in MS.
375 MS reads: With alkyn denteyth welbested. Emendation for sense.
377 MS reads: I shalle the whyte be hode myne; in very large letters and underlined in red, like lines 1 and 226.
421 MS reads: To wynne me a bridde. Emendation for rhyme and sense.
436 MS reads: And fy fryndes make I me.
487 MS reads: Moo bourdis wold he
512 MS reads: This is no man this place con wrye. Emendation for sense.
553 MS reads: I vouchesafe wels more. Emendation for sense, but the reading is uncertain.
589 MS reads: In kyrtil and in surstbye. Emendation for sense.
609 MS reads: And than be thaire gammen iwis. Emended for sense.
631–33 appear in the wrong order in the MS, thus:
Whilke bourdis I wolde ful fayn seEmended for sense and stanza form.
And telle me how hit is
Gladly lord so mot I the.
683 MS reads: the scheperde seid sir god blesse yew. Emendation for sense.
740 MS reads: He is cum to aske iiij pounde.
789 The last two letters are cut off.
810 MS reads: Then speke a worde or ii the fore.
841 MS reads: That stode lang ore be my me.
911 MS reads: And when the hall was rayed oght. Emendation for rhyme and sense.
1015 MS reads: And drow hym ever alove. Emendation for sense and rhme.
1043 MS reads: He ete the spyce, the wyne he dran. End of the line cut off.
1060 MS reads: When heris of that tythyng. Emendation for sense.
1064 Hit shalle hym meve al to gode: French and Hale read: Hit shalle hym mene al to gode. The letters u and n are indistinguishable.
1086 MS reads: I knaw the not be oure lady. Emendation for sense.
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