SEARCH RECORDS
SEARCH MSS
PRINTED BOOKS
INSCRIPTIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHY
GLOSSARY
DIMEV HOME
The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
DIMEV 1170
IMEV 704
NIMEV 704
Earth out of earth is wonderly wrought
‘Erthe upon Erthe’, B-version — sixteen monorhyming quatrains
Note: Ringler Jr. (1992) TM 377; other MSS prefix a couplet: ‘When lyf is most louyd’, etc. — see 6369. For the A-version see 6292; for the C-version see 1171; for still others see 1167 and 6293.
Title(s): ‘Erthe upon Erthe’
Subjects: mortality; transitoriness, of life; transitoriness, of world; death, approach of
Versification: — four-line — aaaa
Bibliographic Ghosts: Cambridge UK, Trinity College B.15.39 (181) , f. 170: see 6369



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 220 (SC 2103), ff. 106v-107
First Lines:
ERthe oute of erthe ys wonderly wrought
Erthe of erthe hath gete a dignyte of nought…
Last Lines:
…Whanne þy soule ys went out and þy body on þe erth raked
Thanne þy body þat was so rank and loved of all men ys behated
Attributed Title: Erthe (f. 106v)
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Rawlinson C.307 (SC 12164), f. 2
First Lines:
Erthe opon erthe hath set all his thoght
How that erthe opon erthe may be hy broght…
Last Lines:
…þat when erthe vnto erthe shall be taken to
that þe saule of þis erthe suffre no wo
Note: Accompanied by Latin text, ‘Memento homo quod cinis es et in cinerem reuerteris’ (f. 2)
Editions:
Murray, Hilda M. R., ed. The Middle English Poem Erthe upon Erthe, printed from 24 manuscripts. EETS o.s. 141 (1911); repr. 1964.
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Selden Supra 53 (SC 3441), f. 159v
First Lines:
Erthe apon erthe wonderly wroth
Erthe apon erthe hath worschyp of noþch…
Last Lines:
…Now pray we god þat al erth wrowth
þat erth owt of erth to blys myth be browth
Editions:
Murray, Hilda M. R., ed. The Middle English Poem Erthe upon Erthe, printed from 24 manuscripts. EETS o.s. 141 (1911); repr. 1964.
4.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 354, pp. 434-435
First Lines:
Erth owt of erth is worldly wrowght
Erth hath goten oppon erth a dygnite of nowght…
Last Lines:
& pray to god vppon erth þat all þe erth hath wrowght
Þat erth owt of erth to blis may be browght
Amen
Facsimiles:
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University: Facsimile of Oxford, Balliol MS 354. (http://image.ox.ac.uk/show?collection=balliol&manuscript=ms354).
Editions:
Murray, Hilda M. R., ed. The Middle English Poem Erthe upon Erthe, printed from 24 manuscripts. EETS o.s. 141 (1911); repr. 1964.
Flügel, Ewald. “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts….” Anglia 26 (1903): 94-285: 217-19.
Dyboski, R., ed. Songs, Carols and Other Miscellaneous Poems from Balliol MS. 354, Richard Hill’s Commonplace Book. EETS e.s. 101 (1908); repr. 1984: 90-2.
5.Source: Oxford, Corpus Christi College 237, f. 240v
First Lines:
Erthe vp on erthe Is wondyrly wrowght
Erthe vp on erthe getith worship of nowght…
Last Lines:
…And pray god vp on erthe þat all erthe hathe wrowght
That erthe owed of þe erthe to blis may be browght
Attributed Title: Vanitas vanitarum & omnia vanitas (f. 240v)
Editions:
Förster, Max. “Die älteste Fassung des mittelenglishce Gedichtes Earth Upon Earth.” Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 138 (1919): 39-61: 55.
6.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Ll.5.10, f. 43v-44
First Lines:
Eird vpoun eird wonderfull is wrocht
eird hes gottin vpoun eird ane dignitie for nocht…
Last Lines:
…And pray to god vpoun eird þat maid all of nocht
That eird vpoun eird to blis may be brocht
Attributed Author: Quod dumbar (f. 44)
Editions:
Murray, Hilda M. R., ed. The Middle English Poem Erthe upon Erthe, printed from 24 manuscripts. EETS o.s. 141 (1911); repr. 1964.
7.Source: Cambridge UK, Magdalene College Pepys 2553, p. 338
First Lines:
Eyrd vpone eird wondirfullie is wrocht
Eird hes gottin vpone eird ane dignite for nocht…
Last Lines:
…And pray to god apone eird þat maid all of nocht
That eird vpone eird to blys may be brocht
Attributed Author: Quod marsar (p. 338)
Editions:
Murray, Hilda M. R., ed. The Middle English Poem Erthe upon Erthe, printed from 24 manuscripts. EETS o.s. 141 (1911); repr. 1964.
Craigie, William Alexander. The Maitland Folio Manuscript, Containing Poems by Sir Richard Maitland, Dunbar, Douglas, Henryson, and others. 2 vols. Scottish Text Society n.s. 7 (1919), 20 (1927); Edinburgh and London: Blackwood, 1919, 1927: 1.411-12.
8.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.3.21 (601), f. 33v1
First Lines:
Erthe vppon erthe so wondyrly wrought
Erthe opon erthe hath gete a dignite of noght
Erthe opon erthe hath set all hys thought
How erthe apon erthe may on hyght be brought…
Last Lines:
…And pray god opon erthe that all erthe hath wrought
That erthe oute of erthe to blysse may be brought
Note: Seven stanzas only
Editions:
Murray, Hilda M. R., ed. The Middle English Poem Erthe upon Erthe, printed from 24 manuscripts. EETS o.s. 141 (1911); repr. 1964.
9.Source: London, British Library Cotton Titus A.XXVI, ff. 153-153v
First Lines:
Erthe oute of erthe is wondirly wroght
Erthe of þe erthe hathe goten a dyngnyte of noght…
Last Lines:
…Lewe thy syne and lyffe in Ryght
And than shalt thou lyffe in heuyn as a knyght
Editions:
Murray, Hilda M. R., ed. The Middle English Poem Erthe upon Erthe, printed from 24 manuscripts. EETS o.s. 141 (1911); repr. 1964.
10.Source: London, British Library Harley 984, f. 72
First Lines:
How schulde erthe upon erthe be prud and gay
Note: A fragment of 6 lines
11.Source: Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales Porkington 10, f. 79v
Editions:
Murray, Hilda M. R., ed. The Middle English Poem Erthe upon Erthe, printed from 24 manuscripts. EETS o.s. 141 (1911); repr. 1964.
Fiedler, H. G. “Earth upon Earth.” Modern Language Review 3 (1908): 218-27: 225.
Halliwell-Phillipps, James Orchard. Early English Miscellanies in Prose and Verse. London: for the Warton Club, 1855: 40-3.
12.Source: Lincoln, Lincoln Cathedral Library 91 [Robert Thornton MS], ff. 279-279v
First Lines:
Erthe owte of erthe es wondirly wroghte
Erthe hase getyn one erthe a dignyte of noghte
Erthe appone erthe hase cett alle his thoghte
How þat erthe appone erthe may be heghe broghte…
Last Lines:
…ffor when þat erthe appone erthe es broghte with in brynke
Thane schalle erthe of erthe hafe a foulle stynke
Note: Five stanzas only; nineteenth-century transcript in London, British Library Egerton 2257, f. 100.
Attributed Title: Memento Homo Quod Cinis Es Et in cinerem Reuerteris (f. 279); Mors Soluit Omniam (f. 279v)
Facsimiles:
Brewer, Derek Stanley, and A. E. B. Owen. “Introduction.” The Thornton Manuscript (Lincoln Cathedral MS. 91). London: Scolar Press, 1975.
Editions:
Perry, George G., ed. Religious Pieces in Prose and Verse from R. Thornton’s MS. EETS o.s. 26 (1867); repr. 1973: 106.
Bad Key: Horstmann1895-6: 1.373-4.
Chambers, Edmund Kerchever, and Frank Sidgwick. Early English Lyrics…. London: Buller, 1907, 1911 et seq: 171.
Chambers, Edmund Kerchever, and Frank Sidgwick. Early English Lyrics…. London: Buller, 1907, 1911 et seq: 180.
13.Source: Manchester, W. Yates, Manchester sold 1893 (present location unknown)
Editions:
Murray, Hilda M. R., ed. The Middle English Poem Erthe upon Erthe, printed from 24 manuscripts. EETS o.s. 141 (1911); repr. 1964.
Bateman, William. Billyng’s Five Wounds of Christ. Manchester: Dean, 1814.
Montgomery, James, ed. The Christian Poet. Glasgow: Collins, 1827: 45.
Axon, William Edward Armytage. “The Symbolism of the ‘Five Wounds of Christ’.” Transactions of the Lancashire and Chesire Antiquarian Society 10 (1892): 67-77: 74-5.
Corser, Thomas. Collectanea Anglo-poetica. 5 vols. in multiple parts. Chetham Soc. o.s. 52, 55, 71, 77, 91, 100-02, 108, 108, 111 (1860-83): 1/2 (Pt. 2), 284.
14.Source: Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Lat. 33 [olim Harmsworth; olim Dewick; Sotheby’s Sale, Oct. 15, 1943, Lot 2053; Raphael King, Ltd. Sale Cat. 53, No. 215, Dec. 1951], f. 91v
First Lines:
Erthe oute of erth is wondyrly wroghte
Erthe vp on erthe gete nobley of novght…
Last Lines:
…And praye to god vpon erthe þat all the erthe wrouhte
Þat erthe oute of erthe to blys may be browthe
Note: Seven monorhyming quatrains with alternating notations ‘memento’ or ‘Nosce te ipsum’ to right of each; added by a fifteenth-century hand differing from that of main text.
Editions:
Murray, Hilda M. R., ed. The Middle English Poem Erthe upon Erthe, printed from 24 manuscripts. EETS o.s. 141 (1911); repr. 1964.
Fiedler, H. G. “Earth upon Earth.” Modern Language Review 3 (1908): 218-27: 219.
15.Source: London, British Library Addit. 37788
Note: See 6369-5.
16.Source: Untraced, Present whereabouts unknown [Davis and Orioli Sale Cat. 135 (1949), No. 2A]



Inscriptions:
1.Source: Stratford-on-Avon, Guild Chapel, Chapel Lane [NB: not Holy Trinity as in IMEV] Mural Inscription on west wall
Transcription:
…Erth apon erth wynnys castellys and towrys
Then seth erth vn to erth thys ys all owrys
When erth apon erth hath bylde hys bowrys
Then schall erth for erth soffur many hard schowrys
Why that erth loueth erth wondir me thynke
Or why that erth wold for erth other swett or swynke
When erth apon erth ys broght with yn the brynke
Then shall erth apon erth haue a fowll stynke
Erth goth apon erth as man apon worald
Lyke as erth apon erth neuer goo schold
Erth goth apon erth as gletteryng gold
And yet schall erth vn to erth rather then he wold…
Note: Behind wooden panelling; upper portion of mural destroyed, with loss of text at beginning and end (text copied in ‘U’ figure); above 6610.
Facsimiles:
Fisher, Thomas. A Series of Antient Allegorical, Historical, and Legendary Paintings Which Were Discovered in the Summer of 1804 on the Walls of the Chapel of the Trinity at Stratford upon Avon in Worcestershire. London, 1810.
Nichols, John Gough, and Thomas Fisher. A Series of Ancient Allegorical, Historical, and Legendary Paintings…at Stratford-upon-Avon…. London: Nichols, 1838.
Davidson, Clifford. The Guild Chapel Wall Paintings at Stratford-upon-Avon. New York: AMS Press, 1988: illus. #14, 15.
Editions:
Reeves, W. P. “Stray Verse.” Modern Language Notes 9 (1894): 101-3, 203: 203.
Bad Key: Murray1911: xiii.
Davidson, Clifford. The Guild Chapel Wall Paintings at Stratford-upon-Avon. New York: AMS Press, 1988: 48-9.
Mooney, Linne R. “Verses Upon Death and Other Wall Paintings Surviving in the Guild Hall, Stratford-Upon-Avon.” Journal of the Early Book Society 3 (2000): 182-90: 185.