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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 1432
IMEV 860
NIMEV 860
Fortune alas alas what have I guilt
‘Complaint of a Prisoner against Fortune’ — twenty or twenty-one stanzas rhyme royal
Subjects: prison/prisoners; Fortune, complaint against; complaints
Versification: — seven-line — ababbcc



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: London, British Library Addit. 34360 [olim Phillipps 9053], ff. 19-21v
First Lines:
Allas fortune allas what have I gilt
In prisoune thus to lye here desolate…
Last Lines:
…Now lady swete I can nomore now sey
But Rewe on me and help me whan I dey
Note: 20 stanzas; follows immediately after first three stanzas of Chaucer’s ‘Complaint to his purse…’ (6044) as if part of that poem; ends, ‘Amen’.
2.Source: London, British Library Harley 2251, ff. 271-273
First Lines:
Allas fortune alas what have I gilt
In prison thus to lye here desolate…
Last Lines:
…Now lady swete I cannomore now sey
But Rewe on me and help me whan I dey Amen
Note: Medieval folios 298-300; 20 stanzas; follows immediately after first three stanzas of Chaucer’s ‘Complaint to his purse…’ (6044) as if part of that poem.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. Originals and Analogues of some of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Chaucer Society 2nd ser. 7, 10, 15, 20, 22. London: Trübner, 1872-87: App. i-vi.
Hammond, Eleanor Prescott. “Lament of a Prisoner against Fortune.” Anglia 32 (1909): 481-90: 484-90.
3.Source: London, British Library Harley 7333, ff. 30va-31ra
First Lines:
FOrtune alas alas what haue I gylt
In prison thus to lye here desolate…
Last Lines:
…Now lady swete I can nomore now say
But rew on me and helpe me when I dey
Note: 21 stanzas.
Attributed Title: Here next folowith a litell Tretys by wey of complaint Agenis ffortune (f. 30va); Explicit le compleint Agein ffortune (f. 31ra)
Editions:
Hammond, Eleanor Prescott. “Lament of a Prisoner against Fortune.” Anglia 32 (1909): 481-90: 484-90.