The Devonshire Manuscript/my hart ys set not remove

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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Sum summ say I love sum say I moke wan I be thyng my wontyd was
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 58v
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 59r

f. [58v]

1    my hart ys set not remove
2    ffor wher as I love ffathfully
3    I know he wyll not slak hys love
4    nor never chang hes ffantesy

5    I hawe delyt hym ffor to plese
6    yn all that tocheth onesty
7    hou felyth gref so yt hym ese
8    plesyth doth well my ffantesy

f. [59r] 

9    and tho that I be banest hym fro
10    hes spech hes syght and company
11    yt wyll I yn spyt of hes ffo
12    hym love and kep my fantesy

13    do what they wyll and do ther warst worest
14    ffor all they do ys wanety vanity 
15    ffor a sunder my hart shall borst
16    soworer then change my ffantesy


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Written in pencil in Margaret Douglas's hand, this poem remains unattributed. The speaker asserts that despite the adversity found in loving her beloved, nothing will change her feelings for him. Due to its emphasis on truthfulness, this poem may be a response to the poem immediately preceeding it, “Sum summ say I love sum say I moke” (58v), which speaks of deceit. Douglas also enters another shorter version of the poem on 65r, "my hart ys set nat to remowe".

Most standard witness indexes indicate only the three-stanza version of "my hart ys set nat to remowe" (65r). The additional stanza found on "wan I be thyng my wontyd was" (59r) is particularly subversive when viewed in light of Douglas' and Thomas Howard's plight. Notably, “Do what they wyll and do ther warst” appears to be a cry of defiance to the powers that have separated the lovers.

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