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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 1180
IMEV 717
NIMEV 717
Eight is my love if nine go before
Riddle on the word ‘HIESUS’, Jesus — three or four monorhyming or irregular lines
Note: Ringler Jr. (1992), TM 379; cf. 2576.
Subjects: riddles; Christ, name of
Versification: — four-line — aaaa



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Douce 257 (SC 21831), ff. 77-77v
First Lines:
Viij ys my loue ȝif ix go bifore
wer viij y gert a boue iij wer wel þer fore…
Last Lines:
…Water yf rorer and taymys broþer
So hat my lemman in non oþer
Editions:
Douce, Francis. Catalogue of the Printed Books and Manuscripts bequeathed by Francis Douce, Esq., to the Bodleian Library Oxford: UP, 1840: 41.
Wright, Thomas, and James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, eds. Reliquiae Antiquae. 2 vols. London: Smith, 1845: 2.112.
Silverstein, Theodore, ed. Medieval English Lyrics. York Medieval Texts. London: Edw. Arnold, 1971: 109.
2.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 354, p. 4592
Transcription:
8 is my trew love do beffore 9 put ynto 5 so wel it will beseme
8 twyse told 20 betwen he þat redith this a right wottith what I mene
this goth by þe letters of the [?] as [?]
Note: Four monorhyming lines. Last line partly illegible.
Facsimiles:
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University: Facsimile of Oxford, Balliol MS 354. (http://image.ox.ac.uk/show?collection=balliol&manuscript=ms354).
Editions:
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Secular Lyrics of the XIV and XV Centuries. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1955: 253.
Robbins, Rossell Hope. “Isabel: A Riddling Mistress.” English Language Notes 1 (1963-64): 1-4: 3.
3.Source: Cambridge UK, Magdalene College Pepys 1236, f. 128
Transcription:
In 8 is all my loue
& 9 be ysette by fore
so 8 be yclosyd aboue
than 3 is good therfore
Note: One quatrain, abab, in this MS; solution, ‘Ihesu’, written to right.
Editions:
James, Montague Rhodes. Bibliotheca Pepysiana: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Library of Samuel Pepys. Pt. III: Medieval Manuscripts. London, 1923: 3.11.
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Secular Lyrics of the XIV and XV Centuries. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1955: 80.
Luria, Maxwell Sidney, and Richard L. Hoffman, eds. Middle English Lyrics. New York: Norton, 1974: 121.
4.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College B.16.31 (394), f. ivv
Transcription:
viii is my trewloff do be fore ix
pot v thar to well will it reyme
xviii twysse told xx be tweyne
he that herith thys wot what I meyne
Note: Variant, added to flyleaf by a hand of early sixteenth century; followed by similar six lines in Latin on the wounds of Christ; ‘Ihessu’ written to right of text, and letters ‘h, I, e, ss, u’ written above the numbers.
Editions:
James, Montague Rhodes. Catalogue of the Western Manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. 4 vols. Cambridge: at the UP, 1900-1904: 1.530.
5.Source: York, York Minster Library XVI.O.10, f. 36v
Transcription:
On viii is all my lofe qwen ix goys before
qware viii is gyrd abofe iii is gude þerfore
A thowsand & on made mekyll moyne
qwen ten on a hundreth hanges hym all one
Note: Variant spelling ‘IHC’ and M[ary] and J[ohn] weeping when X[Crist] hangs on the C[ross].