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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
DIMEV 202
IMEV 111
NIMEV 111
Abide I hope it be the best
Think before you act — five 2-line stanzas and 4-line burden: ‘Abyde Y hope hit be the beste [repeated twice] / Sith hasty man lakked neuer woo’
Subjects: precepts, moral; carols, secular
Versification: — two-line, four-line — ab, aaab



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Arch. Selden. B. 26 (SC 3340), f. 29 v
First Lines:
AByde y hope hit be þe beste
Sith hasty man lakked neuer woo…
Last Lines:
…ffor longe tyme ȝour hert shal breste
Abyde y consayl ȝow do soo
Editions:
Fuller-Maitland, John Alexander, and William Smyth Rockstro. English Carols of the Fifteenth Century. London: Leadenhall Press; New York: Scribner’s, 1891: 19.
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 231; 1977, 206.
Stevens, John, ed. Mediaeval Carols. Musica Britannica 4. London: Stainer and Bell, 1952, 2nd ed. 1958: 31.
2.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.3.58 (1230), a roll, no. 9
First Lines:
Abyde I hope it be þe beste
Syn hasty man wantyth neuere woo
Lat euery man þat wil han reste
Euere ben auysyd qwatt he schall do…
Last Lines:
…Proue er þu take þink er þu feste
In weel be war er þu be wo
Abyde I hope it be þe beste
Syn hasty man wantyth neuere woo
Note: Burden and stanzas 1-2 only.
Facsimiles:
Stainer, Sir John, John Stainer, C. Stainer, and Edward Williams Byron Nicholson. Early Bodleian music; sacred & secular songs, together with other MS. compositions in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, ranging from about A.D. 1185 to about A.D. 1505. London, 1901; repr. Farnborough, Hants, England: Gregg, 1967: no. xc.
Editions:
Stainer, Sir John, John Stainer, C. Stainer, and Edward Williams Byron Nicholson. Early Bodleian music; sacred & secular songs, together with other MS. compositions in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, ranging from about A.D. 1185 to about A.D. 1505. London, 1901; repr. Farnborough, Hants, England: Gregg, 1967: 2.161-2.
Chambers, Edmund Kerchever, and Frank Sidgwick. Early English Lyrics…. London: Buller, 1907, 1911 et seq: 189.
Padelford, Frederick Morgan. “English songs in manuscript Selden B.26.” Anglia 36 (1912): 79-115: 114.
Stevens, John, ed. Mediaeval Carols. Musica Britannica 4. London: Stainer and Bell, 1952, 2nd ed. 1958: 31, 8.