The Devonshire Manuscript/Yff reason govern fantasye

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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Too yoye In payne my will What helpythe hope of happy hape
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 45r
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 45v
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 46r

 f. [45r] 

1    Yff reason govern fantasye
2    Soo that my fansy gugjugge a right
3    of all pleasurs to man erthlye
4    The cheist pleasur{{s}8} of delyght
5    ys only this that I resight
6    ffor frenshipe shoid to fynd at end
7    the frendshyp of a faythfull frend

8    Yff this be trewe trew ys this too
9    In all this pleasant enenes
10    the most displeasur{{s}8} chaunce may doo
11    ys onkendnes shoyd for kendnes
12    ffor frendly frendshyp frowernes
13    lykk as theon case plesant ys
14    lykwise A paynfull case ys this

15    Thes too Aprovyde aprove the thurde
16    That ys to say my self to be
17    In wofull caes for at A worde
18    Wher I sho frendshype & wold See
19    ffore frendshyp : frendshyp shoyd to me1
20    Ther fynd I frendship So fare fayntyd
21    That I ska skantly may Seme aquantyde

f. [45v] 

22    By this word frendshpp now here sayde{d,}
23    my menyng to declare trewlye
24    I mene no whyt / the bornyng brayde{d,}
25    of ragyng love most Amoroslye
26    but onnest frendly com{_o}pany
27    And other love than this I knowe
28    here self nor yett no nother can show

29    And Sens here self no farder knowit
30    nor I my self but As I tell /
31    thowght fals report doth grass as growith2
32    that I loue here excedynde well
33    And that I loveshe takythe my love as yell
34    Sens I in ded mene no Such thyng
35    What hurt cold honest frendshyp bryng

36    Noo staryng eye nor herkenyng ere
37    cane hurt in this except that she
38    haue other frendes{es} that may not bare
39    In here preasens : preasens of me
40    And that for that here pleasur{{s}8} be
41    To sho vnkyndnes for non nother
42    But banyshe me to bryng in other

f. [46r] 

43    But sens that fancy /3ledes{es} here soo
44    And ledes{es} my frendshyp from the lyght
45    and walkyth me darlyng to and froo
46    wyell other frendes{es} may walk in Sight
47    I pray for paciens in that spyt
48    And this fullfyllyd here apetyd
49    I shall example be I trowe
50    or frendes{es} sho frendshypp frendes{es}  to knowe

finis T. H.

Notes & Glosses[edit]

     1. This may be the only instance of the use of a colon-type mark within the manuscript.
     2. This phrase is resonant.
     3. The virgule is a vertical bar.

Commentary[edit]

Entered by TH1, the initials "T H" and "T. How" on 46r attribute the composition to Thomas Howard. The speaker describes the comfort of honest friendship, the disapproval of this friendship by others, and the quick growth of “fals report” by the lady’s “frendes” who cannot bear his presence by her. The grafted and rotten bough image is a common image in courtly lyrics. For other examples of this image in the manuscript, see "This rotyd greff will not but growe" (47v), “Nowe fare well love and theye lawes forever” (75r), and "Tanglid I was yn loves snare" (79v-80r).

TH1 makes later corrections in a different ink. Small flourishes shaped like the number two with a long tail appear at the end of almost every line.