The Devonshire Manuscript/blame not my lute for he must sownde

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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If that I cowlde in versis close my hart ys set nat to remowe
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 64r
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 64v

 f. [64r] 

1    3blame not my lute for he must sownde
2    of thes or that as liketh me
3    for lake of wytt the lutte is bownde
4    To gyve suche tunes as plesithe me
5    tho my songes be sumewhat strange
6    & spekes suche wordes as toche thy change
7    blame not my lutte

8    my lutte alas doth not ofende
9    tho that per{p+}forne he must agre
10    to sownde suche teunes as I entende
11    to sing to them that herth me
12    then tho my songes be song somewhat plain
13    & tochethe some that vse to fayn
14    blame not my lutte

15    my lute & strynges{es} may not deny
16    but as I strike they must obay
17    breke not them than soo wrongfully
18    but wryeke thy selff some wyser way
19    & tho the songes{es} whiche I endight
20    to qwytt thy change with{w+t+} rightfull spight
21    blame not my lute W

f. [64v] 

22    spyght askyth spight and changing changes{es}
23    and falsyd faith must indes{es} be knowne
24    the faute so grett the case so strange
25    of right it must abrode be blown
26    then sins that by thyn ovvn desartt
27    my soinges{es} do tell how trew thou artt
28    blame not my lute

29    blame but the selffe that hast mysdown
30    and well desaruide to haue blame
31    change thou thy way so evyll begown
32    & then my lute shall sownde that same
33    but of tyll then my fyngeres play
34    by they desartt thesr wontyd way
35    blame not my lutte

36    farwell vnknowne for tho thow brake
37    {w+t+}{es} my stryngees in spight with grett desdayn
38    yet haue I fownd owtt for thy sake
39    stringees{es} for to strynge my lute agayne
40    & yf perchance this folys he syme Rymyne
41    Do do make the blesthtblushe at any tym
42    blame natt my lutte

Commentary[edit]

Attributed to Sir Thomas Wyatt,[1] this poem was possibly entered by H1.1. Rebholz notes that the poem's meaning depends on the "defiance of expectation"; based on the first three stanzas, the speaker seems likely to take responsibility, but in the fourth and fifth stanzas he instead directs blame to the lady. "Art and the artist," in the words of Rebholz, "must present the truth, and the lady's infidelity is the truth."[2]

John Hall composed a moralizing parody of this poem, set to music, which also appears in his work The Court of Virtue (c. 1565). In both instances, Hall writes a clerical response to secular love poems (such as those composed by Wyatt) and his title is a deliberate parody of the book The Court of Venus, which was one of the earliest printed texts containing Wyatt's poems. This poem was also sung with a lute: MS 448.16, located at the Folger Library, preserves a lute score. Rebholz states that the composer did not produce the score specifically for Wyatt's poem, but based it from an older Italian musical pattern that was used for adapting poetry to music.[3]

Works Cited[edit]


Textual Notes[edit]

Texts Collated[edit]

LSlo3501

Collation[edit]

1 blame not my lute for he must sownde] blam not my luyt LSlo3501
2 of thes or that as liketh me] LSlo3501
3 for lake of wytt the lutte is bownde] LSlo3501
4 To gyve suche tunes as plesithe me] LSlo3501
5 tho my songes be sumewhat strange] LSlo3501
6 & spekes suche wordes as toche thy change] LSlo3501
7 blame not my lutte ] LSlo3501
8 my lutte alas doth not ofende] LSlo3501
9 tho that erforne he must agre ] LSlo3501
10 to sownde suche tennes as I entende] LSlo3501
11 to sing to them that herth] LSlo3501
12 me then tho my songes be song somewhat plain] LSlo3501
13 & tochethe some that vse to fayn] LSlo3501
14 blame not my lutte] LSlo3501
15 my lute & strynges may not deny] LSlo3501
16 but as I strike they must obay] LSlo3501
17 breake not them than soo wrongfully] LSlo3501
18 but wryeke thy selff some wyser way] LSlo3501
19 & tho the songes whiche I endight] LSlo3501
20 to qwytt thy change with rightfull spight] LSlo3501
21 blame not my lute] LSlo3501
22 spyght askyth spight and changing changes] LSlo3501
23 and falsyd faith must indes be knowne] LSlo3501
24 tho fautees so grett the case so strange] LSlo3501
25 of right it must abrode be blown] LSlo3501
26 then sins that by thyn ovvn desartt] LSlo3501
27 my soinges do tell how trew thou artt] LSlo3501
28 blame not my lute] LSlo3501
29 blame but the selffe that hast mysdown] LSlo3501
30 and well desaruide to haue blame] LSlo3501
31 change thou thy way so evyll begown] LSlo3501
32 & then my lute shall sownde that same] LSlo3501
33 but of tyll then my fyngeres play] LSlo3501
34 by they desartt thesr wontyd way] LSlo3501
35 blame not my lutte] LSlo3501
36 farwell vnknowne for tho thow brake] LSlo3501
37 my stryngees in spight with grett desdayn] LSlo3501
38 yet haue I fownd owtt for they sake] LSlo3501
39 stringees for to strynge my lute agayne] LSlo3501
40 & yf perchance this folys he syme Rymynne] LSlo3501
41 Do do make the blesthtblushe at any tym] LSlo3501
42 blame natt my lutte] LSlo3501