The Devonshire Manuscript/Sum summ say I love sum say I moke

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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O myserable sorow withowten cure my hart ys set not remove
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 58v

f. [58v]

1    Sum summ{_m} say I love sum say I moke
2    summ{_m} say I can not my selfe refrane
3    Sum say I was wraped in mynin a whoman semoke smock 
4    sun some  say I hau plesure{r'}sun I hau payn  some 
5    yt yet  on my fayth yf yow wel be lewf me
6    non knw so wel as I wher my shwe grewe me1, 2

Notes & Glosses[edit | edit source]

     1. The rhyme is ababcc: mock, refrain, smock, pain, believe me, grew me.
     2. This may be a riddle, referring to a specific occurrence. It matches the mood of love and mockery with the mention of unveiling, disguise, and cross-dressing.

Commentary[edit | edit source]

Possibly written in H1.1's hand, this poem remains unattributed. The poem describes hidden motives that are interpreted differently by different people (“some say”). Although the reference to being wrapped in a woman’s smock may be metaphorical, this image could also refer to a specific incident that may have been known to the members of the coterie.

Six poetic lines appear on eight graphical lines and the rhyme scheme is ababcc: mock, refrain, smock, pain, me, me. The placement of the text, the break in the lines, the repetition of words, and other factors suggest that this poem may have been composed and recorded simultaneously.