The Devonshire Manuscript/Bownd am I now & shall be styll

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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Yowre ferefull hope cannot prevayle Farewell all my wellfare
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 8v
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 9r

 f. [8v]

1    3# Bownd am I now & shall be styll
2    euer my lyff contynually
3    she shall be sure off my good wyll
4    so shall none els but she onlye
5    enduryng payne In hope of pyttye

6    Trusty & true she shall me fynd
7    in worde & dede neuer to offend
8    alas accepte myn Inward mynd
9    altho my power do not extend
10    I wyll be trew to my lyves end

11    Oh what payn yt ys to me
12    yf chawnce I cum in her pre{p'}synce1
13    when I wold speke yt wyll not be
14    my hart ys there my wyttes{es} be thence
15    I am in fere with{w+t+}owt offence

16    Marvell yt ys to se the lyff
17    whyche I do lede from day to day
18    my wyttes{es} & wyll allways in stryff
19    I know not what to do nor say
20    but yeld me to her gra{gA}race allway

f. [9r]

21    A thowsand hartes{es} yff that I had
22    she shuld be sure of them all
23    ther were nothyng cold make me sad
24    yff in her favowre I myght fall
25    who hathe my hart & euer shall

26    sso fervently I do her love
27    as hart can thynke or tong expresse
28    my paynes{es} they ar all other above
29    thus love putes{es} me to grett dystresse
30    & noways can I fynd Relesse

31    How shuld I do my paynes{es} to cesse
32    alas whyche dare not me me com{_o}playn2
33    Ryght sore my sorows shall encrease
34    vnles I may her love optayn
35    I must endure allways in paynfynys


Notes & GlossesEdit

     1. This is an unusual form of abbreviation.
     2. This is an older form of macron although still in use in the late 15th century.[1]


Entered by H2, this poem remains unattributed and may be an original creation unique to this manuscript. Typical of late medieval and Tudor courtly love poetry, this poem depicts the speaker's longing at unrequited love: "my paynes{es} they ar all other above / thus love putes{es} me to grett dystresse" (28-9).

The capital letters that begin each stanza could be considered small size majuscules.

Works CitedEdit