The Devonshire Manuscript/What deth ys worse then thys /

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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Somtyme I fled the fyre that me brent / thy promese was to loue me best
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 39v
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 39r

f. [39r] 
f. [39v] 

1    What deth ys worse then thys /
2    when my delyght //
3    my wordly Ioy my blysse /
4    ys from my syght /
5    both day and nyght /
6    my lyff alas I mys /

7    For tho I seme A lyve /
8    my hert ys hens /
9    thus botles for to stryve /
10    owt off presens /
11    off my defens /
12    toward my deth I dryve /

13    Hertles Alas what man /
14    may longe endure /
15    Alas how lyve I than /
16    syns no recure /
17    may me Assure /
18    my lyff I may wele ban /

19    Thys doth my torment groo
20    in dedly dreede
21    Alas who myght lyve so /
22    Alyve As deed
23    A lyffe to leed
24    A deedly lyffe in woo /

Commentary[edit | edit source]

Attributed to Sir Thomas Wyatt,[1] this poem was entered by H4. The speaker laments the fact that he is more dead than alive because his beloved is far from his sight. H8 also enters this poem as "What dethe is worsse then this" (74r).

H4 uses large capital letters to initiate each stanza and does not put a space between stanzas. For another example of the scribe's use of capitalization for stanzaic divisions, see "Tho I can not yowr cruelte constrayne" (37r).

Works Cited[edit | edit source]

Textual Notes[edit | edit source]

Texts Collated[edit | edit source]

LDev138, LEge45

Collation[edit | edit source]

1 deth] dethe LDev138 ys] is LDev138 LEge45 worse] worsse LDev138 thys /] this LDev138 LEge45
2 delyght //] delight LDev138 LEge45
3 wordly] wordelyeworldly LDev138 wordlywele my LEge45 Ioy] Ioye LDev138 LEge45 my blysse /] and blise LDev138 & my blys LEge45
4 ys] is LDev138 LEge45 syght /] sight LDev138 LEge45
5 both] boeth LEge45 day] daye LDev138 LEge45 and] & LEge45 nyght /] night LDev138 nyght LEge45
6 lyff] lif LDev138 liff LEge45 mys /] mis LDev138 mys LEge45
7 For] for LDev138 ffor LEge45 tho] though LEge45 A lyve /] alyve LDev138 LEge45
8 hert] herte LDev138 ys] is LDev138 LEge45 hens /] hens LDev138 LEge45
9 botles] booteles LDev138 stryve /] striue LDev138 stryve LEge45
10 owt] out LDev138 oute LEge45 off] of LDev138 LEge45 presens /] presens LDev138 LEge45
11 off] of LDev138 LEge45 defens /] defens LDev138 LEge45
12 toward] towardes LDev138 towerd LEge45 deth] dethe LDev138 dryve /] dryve LDev138 LEge45
13 Hertles] harteles LDev138 Alas] alas LDev138 LEge45 man /] man LDev138 LEge45
14 may] maye LDev138 longe] long LDev138 LEge45 endure /] endure LDev138 LEge45
15 Alas] alas LDev138 than /] than LDev138 then LEge45
16 syns] sins LDev138 recure /] recure LDev138 LEge45
17 may] maye LDev138 Assure /] assure LDev138 LEge45
18 lyff] lif LDev138 liff LEge45 may] maye LDev138 wele] well LDev138 LEge45 ban /] banne LDev138 ban LEge45
19 Thys] Thus LDev138 LEge45 doth] doeth LEge45 groo] gro. LDev138 LEge45
20 in dedly] yn dedelye LDev138 dreede] drede LDev138 dred LEge45
21 Alas] alas LDev138 LEge45 myght] might LDev138 so /] so. LDev138 so LEge45
22 Alyve] alyve LDev138 LEge45 As] as LDev138 LEge45 deed] ded LDev138
23 A lyffe] alif LDev138 alyve LEge45 leed] leade LDev138 lede LEge45
24 A] a LDev138 LEge45 deedly] dedelye LDev138 dedly LEge45 lyffe] liff LDev138 lyff LEge45 woo /] woo LDev138 LEge45