The Devonshire Manuscript/Suffryng in sorow in hope to attayn

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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I lowe lovyd and so doithe she My ferefull hope from me ys fledd
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 6v
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 7r

 f. [6v] 

1    Suffryng in sorow in hope to attayn
2    fforget thys        desyryng in fere & dare not com{_o}playn
3    trew of beleffe in whome ys all my trust
4    do thow apply to ease me off my payn
5    els thus to ser{{s}8}ve & suffer styll I must

6    yt ysworhyHope ys my hold / yet in dyspayre to speke
7    I dryve from tyme to tyme & dothe not Reke
8    how long to lyve thus after loves lust
9    in studye styll of that I dare not breke
10    wherfore to ser{{s}8}ve & suffer styll I must

11    Encrease of care I fynd bothe day & nyght
12    I hate that was sum{_u}tyme all my delyght
13    the cawse theroff ye know I have dyscust
14    & yet to Reffrayn yt passythe my myght
15    wherfore to ser{{s}8}ve & suffer styll I must

16    Love who so lyst at lengthe he shall well say
17    to love & lyve in fere yt ys no play
18    Record that knowythe & yf thys be not Iust
19    that where as love dothe lede there ys no way
20    But ser{{s}8}ve & suffer euer styll he must

f. [7r] 

21    Then for to leve with{w+t+} losse of lybertye
22    at last per{p+}chawnce shall be hys remedye
23    & for hys trewthe requit with{w+t+} fals mystrust
24    who wold not rew to se how wrongfullye
25    thus for to ser{{s}8}ve & suffer styll he must

26    Vntrew be trust oftymes hathe me betrayd
27    mysvsyng my hope styll to be delayd
28    fortune allways I have the{{th}+e+} fownd vnIust
29    & so with{w+t+} lyke rewarde now am I payd
30    that ys to ser{{s}8}ve & suffer styll I must

31    Neuer{u'} to cesse nor yet lyke to attayn
32    as long as I in fere dare not complayn
33    trew of beleff hathe allways ben my trust
34    & tyll she knowythye the cawse of all my payn
35    content to ser{{s}8}ve & suffer styll I must
               on [] sarwes
                    ondesyard sarwes
                    reqwer no hyar
                       May Mary Shelton


Commentary edit

Scholars have attributed two possible authors to the poem "Suffryng in sorow in hope to attayn." In 1922, Eleanor Prescott Hammond attributed the poem to Sir Thomas Wyatt, noting evidence of his "literary 'gallantry.'"[1]. In the same vein, R.A. Rebholz has attributed the poem to Sir Thomas Wyatt and has included it in his edition of Wyatt's works.[2] This poem has also been attributed to Thomas Clere, who was Mary Shelton’s admirer in the 1540s.[3]

The poem appears on the page as an acrostic entered by H2 on 6v and 7r. The first letter of every stanza, taken together, forms the name "SHELTVN."[4] A response appears at the bottom of the page, which Siemens et al. have attributed to Mary Shelton's hand: “ondesyred sarwes / reqwer no hyar / may mary shelton" [undesired service / requires no hire] (7r).[5] While the poem includes all the elements of a standard complaint of a lover to his love, this unsympathetic response, coupled with the marginalia "fforget thys," recognized as Margaret Douglas' hand, indicates an active reading and engagement with the poem. Indeed, Shelton replies to Douglas' response with "yt ys worthy [sic]," thereby arguing in favour of the poem's literary merits.[6] Elizabeth Heale argues that Shelton's original dismissive response could simply be part of "the conventional exchange of courtly verse."[7]

Works Cited edit

Textual Notes edit

Texts Collated edit


Collation edit

1      sorow] sorrowe DBla18     attayn] attayne DBla18 
2      desyryng] Desyring DBla18     fere &] ffeare I DBla18     dare] dar DBla18     complayn] complayne DBla18 
3      trew] trowe DBla18     of] in DBla18     beleffe] belyefe DBla18 
4      thow] thou DBla18     apply] aplye DBla18     off] of DBla18     payn] payne DBla18 
5      els] for elys DBla18     thus]  DBla18     serve] serue DBla18     & suffer] and ssuffyr DBla18 
6      Hope] Hoppe DBla18     /]  DBla18     to] I DBla18     speke] speake DBla18 
7      from] ffrom DBla18     to tyme]  DBla18     dothe] do DBla18     Reke] recke DBla18 
8      lyve] love DBla18     loves] louys DBla18 
9      studye] stody DBla18     dare] dar DBla18     breke] brake DBla18 
10      wherfore] wherffore DBla18     serve] serue DBla18     &] and DBla18     suffer] suffyr DBla18 
11      Encrease] Increas DBla18     fynd] ffynd DBla18     &] and DBla18 
12      hate] hat DBla18     was]  DBla18     sumtyme] sometyme DBla18     all] was DBla18     delyght] most delyght DBla18 
13      cawse] cause DBla18     theroff] therof DBla18     have] haue DBla18     dyscust] dyscost DBla18 
14      &] and DBla18     Reffrayn] reffrayne DBla18 
15      wherfore] Wherfor DBla18     serve] serue DBla18     &] and DBla18 
16      lengthe] lenthe DBla18     say] saye DBla18 
17      &] and DBla18     lyve] leve DBla18     fere] feare DBla18     play] playe DBla18 
18      Record] record DBla18     knowythe] knowith DBla18     &]  DBla18     thys] this DBla18     not] notyd DBla18 
19      where] wher DBla18     way] nay DBla18 
20      But] but DBla18     serve] serue DBla18     &] and DBla18     euer styll he] styll allwaye I DBla18 
21      for] ffor DBla18     leve] lyve DBla18 
22      perchawnce] perchaunce DBla18     shall be] shalbe DBla18     hys] his DBla18 
23      & for hys trewthe] and ffor his truthe DBla18     requit] qud DBla18     fals] ffals DBla18     mystrust] mistrust DBla18 
24      to] t DBla18     how] when DBla18     wrongfullye] wrongffullye DBla18 
25      for]  DBla18     serve] serue DBla18     &] and DBla18     he] I DBla18 
26      Vntrew be trust] Vntruthe by trust DBla18     oftymes] oft tymes DBla18     betrayd] betrayed DBla18 
27      mysvsyng] misvsyng DBla18     hope] hoppe DBla18     delayd] delayed DBla18 
28      allways] allway DBla18     have] haue DBla18     vn Iust] vniost DBla18 
29      lyke] lyk DBla18     rewarde] reward DBla18     am I] hast thou me DBla18     payd] payed DBla18 
30      serve] serue DBla18     suffer] suffyr DBla18 
31      Neuer to cesse nor yet lyke to attayn]  DBla18 
32      as long as I in fere dare not complayn]  DBla18 
33      trew of beleff hathe allways ben my trust]  DBla18 
34      & tyll she knowythye the cawse of all my payn]  DBla18 
35      content to serve & suffer styll I must]  DBla18