The Devonshire Manuscript/how shold I

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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to my meshap alas I ffynd what nedythe lyff when I requyer
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 43r

f. [43r]

1    how shold I
2    be so plesent
3    in my semblent
4    as my ffelws be

5    not long ago
6    yt chancet so
7    as I walkyt alone
8    I hard a man that1
9    that now and then
10    hym selff thys ded bemone

11    alas he sayd
12    I am betrayt2
13    and ovterly vndwne
14    hovm I ded trust
15    and thynk so Iust
16    another man has wone

17    my sarwes due3
18    and hart so tru
19    on her I ded bestow
20    I never ment
21    ffor to repent
22    in welth nor yet in wo

23    love ded asyen
24    her to be myn
25    and nat to love non nwe
26    but who can bynd
27    ther ffe [] ffeckell kynd
28    that never wyll be tru

29    the western wynd
30    has tovrnyt her myd4
31    and blone her clen away
32    wher be my welth
33    my merth my helth
34    ys turnd to gret decay

35    wher ys the trowth
36    wher ys ^5the owth
37    that ye to me ded geve
38    seche craffty words
39    and wyly bords
40    let no yovng man beleve

41    how shold I
42    be so plesent
43    in my semblent
44    as my ffelos be


Notes & Glosses edit

     1. It is likely that the writer started the next line, realized the error, and crossed out the mistake.
     2. This phrase resonates with Henry VIII's "Heard a may most pitiously."
     3. Note the same spelling as that which Mary Shelton uses, for instance on her "undesired service" remark.
     4. There is no macron to supply the word "mynd."
     5. This is an inverse caret.

Commentary edit

Attributed to Sir Thomas Wyatt,[1] this poem was entered by Margaret Douglas. The poem's genre derives from the medieval French chanson à personnages in which the speaker listens to the complaint of a young woman or male lover.[2] In this case the speaker overhears a complaint about the fickleness and changeability of women. Two instances of this poem appear in the manuscript. The second version was entered into the manuscript by H8; it is nine lines longer and titled "howe shulde I" (77r).

Works Cited edit