The Devonshire Manuscript/What dethe is worsse then this

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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comforte thy self my wofull herte I am not ded altho I had a falle
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 74r

f. [74r]

1    What dethe is worsse then this
2    when my delight
3    my wordelye worldly  Ioye and blise /
4    is from{_o} my sight
5    both daye and night
6    my lif alas I mis

7    wfor tho I seme alyve
8    my herte is hens
9    thus booteles for to striue
10    out of presens
11    of my defens
12    towardes{es} my dethe I dryve

13    harteles alas what man
14    maye long endure
15    alas how lyve I than
16    sins no recure
17    maye me assure
18    my lif I maye well banne

19    Thus doth my tormen{_e}t gro.
20    yn dedelye drede
21    alas who might lyve so.
22    alyve as ded
23    alif to leade
24    a dedelye liff in woo

fs /

Commentary edit

Attributed to Sir Thomas Wyatt,[1] this poem was entered by H8. H4 enters another version of this poem on 39v, "What deth ys worse then thys /". The speaker in this poem laments the fact that he is more dead than alive because his beloved is far from his sight. The speaker plays on the figurative and literal meaning of “harteles” by portraying himself as at once living and dead.

H8 uses large capital letters in order to initiate each stanza and does not put a space between stanzas. He or she also begins the first line of stanzas 2, 3, and 4 slightly left of the following lines.

Works Cited edit

Textual Notes edit

Texts Collated edit

LEge45, LDev057

Collation edit

1 dethe] deth LDev057 LEge45 is] ys LDev057 worsse] worse LDev057 LEge45 this] thys / LDev057
2 delight] delyght // LDev057
3 wordelyeworldly] wordly LDev057 wordlywele my LEge45 Ioye] Ioy LDev057 and] my LDev057 & my LEge45 blise /] blysse / LDev057 blys LEge45
4 is] ys LDev057 sight] syght / LDev057
5 both] boeth LEge45 daye] day LDev057 and] & LEge45 night] nyght / LDev057 nyght LEge45
6 lif] lyff LDev057 liff LEge45 mis] mys / LDev057 mys LEge45
7 for] For LDev057 ffor LEge45 tho] though LEge45 alyve] A lyve / LDev057
8 herte] hert LDev057 LEge45 is] ys LDev057 hens] hens / LDev057
9 booteles] botles LDev057 LEge45 striue] stryve / LDev057 stryve LEge45
10 out] owt LDev057 oute LEge45 of presens] off presens / LDev057
11 of] off LDev057 defens] defens / LDev057
12 towardes] toward LDev057 towerd LEge45 dethe] deth LDev057 LEge45 dryve] dryve / LDev057
13 harteles] Hertles LDev057 LEge45 alas] Alas LDev057 man] man / LDev057
14 maye] may LDev057 LEge45 long] longe LDev057 endure] endure / LDev057
15 alas] Alas LDev057 LEge45 than] than / LDev057 then LEge45
16 sins] syns LDev057 LEge45 recure] recure / LDev057
17 maye] may LDev057 LEge45 assure] Assure / LDev057
18 lif] lyff LDev057 liff LEge45 maye] may LDev057 LEge45 well] wele LDev057 banne] ban / LDev057 ban LEge45
19 Thus] Thys LDev057 doth] doeth LEge45 gro.] groo LDev057
20 yn dedelye] in dedly LDev057 LEge45 drede] dreede LDev057 dred LEge45
21 alas] Alas LDev057 might] myght LDev057 LEge45 so.] so / LDev057
22 alyve] Alyve LDev057 as] As LDev057 ded] deed LDev057 LEge45
23 alif] A lyffe LDev057 alyve LEge45 leade] leed LDev057 lede LEge45
24 a] A LDev057 dedelye] deedly LDev057 dedly LEge45 liff] lyffe LDev057 lyff LEge45 woo] woo / LDev057