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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 2089
IMEV 1264
NIMEV 1264
How should I now thou fair may fall upon a sleep
Dialogue between the Virgin Mary and her Child — four 12-line stanzas with refrain, ‘It is my fader wyll’ and 4-line burden: ‘Lullay lullay my lityl chyld / Slepe & be now styll / If thou be a lytill chyld / Yitt may thou haue thi wyll’
Subjects: carols, lullaby; Virgin Mary, dialogue, with Christ; dialogues, Virgin and Christ
Versification: — twelve-line, four-line — ababababcdcd



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Addit. A.106 (SC 29003), ff. 14v-15
First Lines:
How suld I now þu fayre may fall apon a slepe
Better me thynke þat I may fall apon & wepe
Fore he þat mad both nyght & day cold & also hette
Now layd I am in a wispe of hay I can noder go nore crepe…
Last Lines:
…Bot well I wat as well I may slepe & be now styll
Suffre þe paynes þat I may it is my fader wyll
Note: 26 lines.
Editions:
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 101; 1977, 90-1.
Brown, Carleton Fairchild, ed. Religious Lyrics of the XVth Century. Oxford: Clarendon, 1939: 3-4.
Silverstein, Theodore, ed. Medieval English Lyrics. York Medieval Texts. London: Edw. Arnold, 1971: 107-9.
Tydeman, William, ed. English Poetry 1400-1580. London: Heinemann, 1970: 48.