The Devonshire Manuscript/wan I be thyng my wontyd was

Introduction  |  Contributors  |  Textual Introduction
The Devonshire Manuscript
Bibliography A-M  |  Bibliography N-Z  |  Encoded Materials

my hart ys set not remove lo in thy hat thow hast be gone
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 59r

f. [59r]

1  ways  wan I be thyng think  my wontyd was
2 how I anon hawe spent my tym
3 and se how now my gay dekas
4 and ffrom my welth how I or myn
5  such be leffe believe  my ffryndes that swch assais
6 doth kaa me plan not off the spelen spleen 
7 pot but  morn I may thys wery das
8 that har apoyntyd to be myn

Commentary edit

Written in Mary Shelton's hand, this poem remains unattributed. Margaret Douglas also enters another version of this poem on 58r. Notably, both authors use different word choices: Douglas's version, for instance, uses “or thys,” “joy,” and “declyn,” while Shelton's version uses “anon,” “gay,” and “or myn” (see lines 2,3, and 4). Taken together, Mary Shelton’s and Margaret Douglas’s verses (on folios 58r to 59r, and again on 65r to 68v) appear as if they support one another in similar themes: lamenting former happier times (“When I bethink my wontet days” (58r and 59r); professing steadfast love in the face of adversity (“My hart is set not to remove” (58v and 65r) and “Lo in thy hat thow hast be gone” (59r)); and concealing actual feelings (“I am not she be prowess off syt” (65r) and “Myght I as well within my song be lay” (65v)). In the case of this particular set of two poems (58r and 59r), Margaret and Mary may have been echoing one another’s poignant sorrow over the loss of happier times and the “wery days/ that [were] apoyntyt to be” theirs.

Textual Notes edit

Texts Collated edit


Collation edit

0.1 ] when I bethynk my ways LDev084
1 wan] when LDev084 be thyngthynk my wontyd wasways] bethynk my wontet ways LDev084
2 how] who LDev084 anon] or thys LDev084
3 how] who LDev084 gay dekas] yyoIIoy decays LDev084
4 welth] whelth LDev084 how] who LDev084 or myn] declyn LDev084
5 be leffebelieve] be leve LDev084 ffryndes] fFrynds LDev084 swchsuch assais] suche affrays LDev084
6 kaas] case LDev084 plan] playn LDev084 not] nat LDev084 spelenspleen] splen LDev084
7 potbut] but moren LDev084 morn] moren LDev084 thys] thous LDev084 das] days LDev084
8 har apoyntyd] ar a poyntytappointed LDev084