The Devonshire Manuscript/yf chaunse assignid

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The Devonshire Manuscript
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Ceaser whan the traytor of egipte perdye I saide yt not
The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 70v

 f. [70v] 

1    yf chaunse assignid
2    ware to my mynde
3    bye very kinde of de
4    of1 destenye
5    yet wolde I crave
6    nought els to have
7    but onlye lif & librte

8    then ware I sure
9    I might endure
10    the dispeleasure displeasure 
11    of crueltye
12    where nowe I plaine
13    alas in vayne
14    lacking my lif for libretye /

15    for with{w+t+}out ton
16    tother is gone
17    and there can none
18    yt remedye /
19    yf ton be paste
20    tothr dothe waste
21    and all for lack of libretye /

22    and so I dryve / as yet alyve
23    as yet alyve
24    altho I stryve
25    with{w+t+} miserye
26    Drawing my brethe
27    loking for dethe
28    & losse of lif for libretye
29    But thou{{th}+u+} that still
30    maiste at thy will
31    turne all this ill
32    aduer{u'}sitye
33    for the Repaire
34    of my welfare
35    graunte me but lif & librtye

36    And if not so
37    then let all goo
38    to writchid woo
39    and lett me dye
40    for ton or tother
41    there ys none othr
42    my deth or lyf with{w+t+} librtyes


Notes & Glosses edit

     1. The word "of" may have been added retroactively.
     2. A majuscule letter in miniscule size marks stanza break.

Commentary edit

Attributed to Sir Thomas Wyatt,[1] this poem was entered by H8. R. A. Rebholz notes that the poem's interpretation depends on three different meanings of "life" and "liberty"; if a reader interprets the poem as the speaker's complaint to a lady for rejecting his love, "life" and "liberty" signify a renewed vitality when the speaker gains freedom to declare his love—thus enabling him to maintain his strength if she rejects him. "Life" and "liberty" may also signify the speaker's freedom from loving the lady. Alternatively, if a reader interprets the poem politically, "life" and "liberty" may represent the speaker's freedom from restraint or imprisonment.[2]

H8 uses a majuscule letter in minuscule size to mark the stanza breaks.

Works Cited edit

Textual Notes edit

Texts Collated edit

DBLa08, LEge13

Collation edit

1 yf] If DBla08 LEge13 chaunse] chaunce DBla08 LEge13 assignid] assygnyd DBla08 assynd LEge13
2 ware] wer DBla08 were LEge13 mynde] mynd DBla08
3 bye] by DBla08 LEge13 kinde of de] kynd DBla08 LEge13
4 destenye] destine DBla08 destyne LEge13
5 wolde] wold DBla08 would LEge13 crave] crave DBla08
6 nought els to have] DBla08
7 but onlye lif & librte] DBla08 onlye] LEge13 lif] liff LEge13 librte] libertie LEge13
8 then] Then LEge13 then ware I sure] DBla08 ware] were LEge13
9 I might endure] DBla08 might] myght LEge13
10 the dispeleasuredispleasure] DBla08 dispeleasuredispleasure] displeasure LEge13
11 of crueltye] DBla08 crueltye] crueltie LEge13
12 where nowe I plaine] DBla08 nowe] now LEge13 plaine] plain LEge13
13 alas in vayne] DBla08 vayne] vain LEge13
14 lacking my lif for libretye /] DBla08 lif] liff LEge13 libretye /] libertie LEge13
15 for] ffor LEge13 for without ton] DBla08 without] withoute LEge13 ton] thone LEge13
16 tother] thothre LEge13 tother is gone] DBla08
17 and there can none] DBla08
18 yt] it LEge13 yt remedye /] DBla08 remedye /] remedy LEge13
19 yf] if LEge13 yf ton be paste] DBla08 ton] thone LEge13 paste] past LEge13
20 tothr] thothre LEge13 tothr dothe waste] DBla08 dothe] doeth LEge13 waste] wast LEge13
21 and all for lack of libretye /] DBla08 libretye /] libertie LEge13
22 and] And LEge13 and so I dryve / as yet alyve] DBla08 dryve /] dryve LEge13 as yet alyve] LEge13
23 as yet alyve] DBla08
24 altho] all tho LEge13 altho I stryve] DBla08
25 with miserye] DBla08 miserye] myserie LEge13
26 Drawing] drawing LEge13 Drawing my brethe] DBla08 brethe] breth LEge13
27 loking] lowking LEge13 loking for dethe] DBla08 dethe] deth LEge13
28 & losse of lif for libretye] DBla08 lif] liffe LEge13 libretye] libertie LEge13
29 But thou that still] DBla08
30 maiste] maist LEge13 maiste at thy will] DBla08
31 turne] torn LEge13 turne all this ill] DBla08
32 aduersitye] DBla08 aduersitie LEge13
33 for the Repaire] DBla08 the Repaire] ye repare LEge13
34 of my welfare] DBla08
35 graunte] graunt LEge13 graunte me but lif & librtye] DBla08 lif] liff LEge13 librtye] libertie LEge13
36 And if not so] DBla08
37 then let all goo] DBla08
38 to writchid woo] DBla08 writchid] wretched LEge13
39 and lett me dye] DBla08 lett] let LEge13
40 for ton or tother] DBla08 ton] thone LEge13 tother] thothre LEge13
41 there ys none othr] DBla08 ys] is LEge13 othr] othre LEge13
42 my deth or lyf with librtye] DBla08 lyf] liff LEge13 librtye] libertie LEge13