Two Middle English Carols from an Exeter Manuscript

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It is in the nature of manuscript studies that one always finds more than one seeks. So it was that in the course of examining fifteenth-century English manuscripts known to contain medieval Latin rhetorical treatises, I came across a considerable number of Middle English lyrics, a few of which appear to have escaped prior notice. Neither of the poems printed below is recorded in The Index of Middle English Verse (IMEV) or in the Supplement to the Index of Middle English Verse (SIMEV). Two versions of the second poem are recorded in the IMEV, but each is shorter and in other ways different from the version printed here. According to Julia BofFey and Tony Edwards, neither of the texts printed here appears in any of the scholarship available to the compilers of the revised IMEV.1 Like so many late medieval lyrics, both have been written on an originally blank page at the beginning of a manuscript whose main contents have little to do with Middle English poetry. The poems themselves are of average quality, but they are worth printing as specimens of the language, forms, and themes of late Middle English religious verse.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-111
JournalMedium Aevum
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

Keywords

  • Poetry
  • Musical register
  • Medieval poetry
  • Libraries
  • Chaplains
  • Exons
  • Hems
  • Printing

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