The Devonshire Manuscript/To dere is bowght the doblenes

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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Wyly no dought ye be a wry for thylke grownde that bearyth the wedes wycke
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 59v

f. [59v]

1    To dere is bowght the doblenes
2    that perith owte in trowthe sted
3    for faut of faith newfangilnes
4    is cheff ruler in womanhed

5    for trusty love they vse hatred
6    and change is all ther stedfastnes
7    wherfor ho trustith to womans faith
8    folunn eine non desluet1


Commentary edit

Entered by H7, this poem remains unattributed. The poem concerns the fickleness of women and ends with a Latin quote, “folium eius non defluet,” which comes from Psalm 1:3 (“his leaf shall not fall off”). The first three verses of this psalm reads, in the Douay-Rheims translation from the Latin Vulgate, “Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the chair of pestilence. But his will is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he shall meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree which is planted near the running waters, which shall bring forth its fruit, in due season. And his leaf shall not fall off: and all whosoever he shall do shall prosper.”[1] If the Latin quote is read alongside the preceding line, then the motto ironically reveals that trusting in women's faith shall reap few valuable fruits (due to women's fickle nature).

Works Cited edit