The Devonshire Manuscript/Cruell desire my master and my foo

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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Yf with complaint the paine might be exprest She sat and sewid that hathe done me the wronge
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 73r

f. [73r]

1    Cruell desire my master{m+r+}1 & my foo.
2    {{th}+u+}{_u} thy self so chaungid for shame how maist thousee
3    that{{th}+t+} I have sought dothe chase me to & froo
4    {{th}+u+}{_o} whomthou didist rule / nowe rulith the & me
5    What right is to rule thy subiectes{es} soo.
6    and to be ruled bye mutabilitye
7    lo wherebye the / I doubtid to have blame
8    even now bye dred againe I doubte the{{th}+e+} same /


Notes & GlossesEdit

     1. The abbreviation is highly stylized. Part of the m is uninked. See also a slightly different version on line 5 of "She sat and sewid that hathe done me the wronge" (73r). For the abbreviation, see Cappelli.[1]


Attributed to Sir Thomas Wyatt by R. A. Rebholz under the alternate title “Desire, alas, my master, and my foe,”[2] this poem was entered by H8. The poem also appears in Tottel's Miscellany, entitled “The louer blameth his instant desire” (item 112).[3] R. A. Rebholz observes that Wyatt's poem in the Devonshire Manuscript might be an earlier verison, and, if so, we can identify two stages of the poem's composition.[4] In the poem, Wyatt describes Desire as a tyrannical ruler: “What right is to rule thy subiectes soo/ and to be ruled bye mutabilitye” (5-6). This description may be interpreted topically with regards to the rule of Henry VIII; the personification of Desire as a tyrannical monarch is not unusual in the early Tudor period, however. H8 enters two other poems that personify Desire: "Greting to you both yn herte wyse" (79r) and “My nowne Iohn poyntz,” (85v-87r).

Works CitedEdit

Textual NotesEdit

Texts CollatedEdit

STC13860_04, LEge07


1 Cruell desire] Desire alas LEge07 DEsire (alas) STC_13860_04 master] master, STC_13860_04 &] and STC_13860_04 foo.] foo / LEge07 fo: STC_13860_04
2 thy self so chaungid for shame] so sore alterd thi sellff LEge07 So sore altred thy self STC_13860_04 maist] mayst LEge07 STC_13860_04 see] se? LEge07 see? STC_13860_04
3 that I have sought dothe chase] whome thousome tyme I did sekesowght / chaseththat dryvys LEge07 Sometime thou sekest, that drieues STC_13860_04 &] and STC_13860_04 froo] fro LEge07 STC_13860_04
4 whom thou didist rule / nowe rulith] whomesome tyme thow didst ule / ow lyththat ledythe LEge07 Sometime, thou leadst, that leadeth STC_13860_04 the &] thee, and STC_13860_04 me] me. LEge07 STC_13860_04
5 What right] tyranie itwhat reson LEge07 right] reason STC_13860_04 rule] rewle LEge07 soo.] so? LEge07 STC_13860_04
6 and to be ruled bye] by forcyd law & LEge07 and to be ruled bye mutabilitye] By forced law, and mutabilitie. STC_13860_04 mutabilitye] mutabilite LEge07
7 lo] for LEge07 For STC_13860_04 wherebye] where by LEge07 STC_13860_04 the /] the LEge07 thee STC_13860_04 doubtid] dowtyd LEge07 douted STC_13860_04 have] haue STC_13860_04 blame] blame: STC_13860_04
8 even] evyn LEge07 Euen STC_13860_04 bye dred] by hate LEge07 STC_13860_04 againe] agayne LEge07 again STC_13860_04 doubte] dowt LEge07 doubte the same /] dout thesamethe same. STC_13860_04 same /] same. LEge07

Last modified on 4 March 2014, at 19:07