The Devonshire Manuscript/my hart ys set nat to remowe

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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blame not my lute for he must sownde I ame not she be prowess off syt
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 65r

f. [65r]

1    my hart ys set nat to remowe
2    ffor wher as I lowe ffaythffully
3    I know he welnot slake hes lowe
4    nor never chang hes ffantecy

5    I hawe delyt hym ffor to plese
6    in hal hall that tovchet honesty1
7    who ffeleth greve so yt hym hes
8     plesyt doth well my ffantesy

9    and tho that I be banysht hym ffro
10    hys speket hes syght and compayy
11    yet wyll I in spyt off hes ffo
12    hym lowe and kep my ffantasy

Notes & Glosses

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     1. Note the different spelling of this phrase in the internal witness.


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Written in Margaret Douglas's hand, this poem remains unattributed and is unique to this manuscript. A longer version of the poem entered by Douglas appears on 58v-59r, "my hart ys set not remove". The speaker asserts that despite the adversity found in loving her beloved, nothing will change her feelings for him.

The poem may be related to the poem found immediately below, “I ame not she be prowess off syt” (64v), written in Mary Shelton's hand. The two poems have a similar rhyme scheme, meter, and sentiment. This poem sequence could present another instance of Margaret Douglas and Mary Shelton playing at one another’s texts. For other examples of this textual play, see the lyrics lamenting former happier times (e.g. "When I bethynk my wontet ways" (58r-59r)); professing steadfast love in the face of adversity (e.g. “My hart is set not to remove” (58v) and "Lo in thy hat thow hast be gone" (59r)); and the need and/or difficulty to conceal actual feelings (e.g. “I am not she be prowess off syt” (65r) and “Myght I as well within my song be lay” (65v)).

Douglas's writing increases in size over the three stanzas and many smudges appear on the page; these two features seem to appear in a number of Douglas’s transcriptions.

Textual Notes

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Texts Collated

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1 nat to] not LDev087 remowe] remove LDev087
2 lowe] love LDev087 ffaythffully] ffathfully LDev087
3 welnot] wyll not LDev087 slake] slak LDev087 hes] hys LDev087 lowe] love LDev087
4 ffantecy] ffantesy LDev087
6 in hal] yn LDev087 hall] all LDev087 tovchet] tocheth LDev087 honesty] onesty LDev087
7 who ffeleth greve] hou felyth gref LDev087 hes] ese LDev087
8 plesyt] plesyth LDev087
9 banysht] banest LDev087 ffro] fro LDev087
10 hys speket] hes spech LDev087 compayny] company LDev087
11 yet] yt LDev087 in] yn LDev087 off] of LDev087
12 lowe] love LDev087 ffantasy] fantesy LDev087
13 ] do what they wyll and do ther warst worest LDev087
14 ] ffor all they do ys wanetyvanity LDev087
15 ] ffor a sunder my hart shall borst LDev087
16 ] soworer then change my ffantesy LDev087