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I am Mercury the mighty Flos Florum
Sapientia Patris — in couplets
Note: Part of this poem occurs as part (ch. 36 seqq.) of the Liber Patris Sapientiae, in Ashmole (1652), 194-209.
Title(s): Sapientia Patris
Subjects: alchemy
Versification: — two-line — aa
Macaronic: Latin



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1490 (SC 7010), ff. 46-46v
First Lines:
I am Mercury the mighti flos florum
I am most royall and Richest singulorum…
Last Lines:
…Seke me wher I may be found
And thou shalt find me worth many a pound
Note: 78 lines; at the end: ‘finis’.
Attributed Title: Tractatus de mercurio ipso (f. 46)
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1490 (SC 7010), f. 143
First Lines:
I am Marcury the mighti flos florum
I am moste worthy of all singularum…
Last Lines:
…All is done in howars .3.
this may be called gods pryvitie
Note: Second occurrence in MS; written as prose.
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1441 (SC 7624), Part II, pp. 89-91
First Lines:
I am {Mercury} the mighty flos florum
I am most ryal and richest of singulorum…
Last Lines:
…Seke forth folys as ye haue sowght
For in al other thinges fynde you hym nowght
Note: 62 lines. At the end: ‘Finis’. Contains interlineary notes in Latin.
4.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1441 (SC 7624), Part II, pp. 107-108
Note: 59 lines; second occurrence in MS.
5.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1445 (SC 7630), Part V, ff. 21-21v
First Lines:
All you that fayne woulde be speade
Listen to my gentle dawghter Meg…
Last Lines:
…and growe to gether weebes seaven
blessed be almightye god of heaven
Note: 46 lines.
6.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1445 (SC 7630), Part VIII, ff. 21-22v
First Lines:
I am Mercury þe mightiest flos florum
Most royall & richest of all Singulorum…
Last Lines:
…And her Calcinacoun is a 1000-fold
Unto all Mettalls as precious & sweete as Gould
Note: 102 lines.
7.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1445 (SC 7630), Part VIII, f. 50
Note: 18 lines.
8.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1480 (SC 7644), ff. 61v-62
First Lines:
I am mercury that mightye flose flower
I am moste ryall and richiste Singuler…
Last Lines:
…Seke it fourther as I haue soughte
for other of me you gett right noughte
Note: 61 lines; at the end: ‘fynes’.
9.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1451 (SC 8343), Part II, ff. 62v-63v
First Lines:
I am mercury the myghty flos florum
I am moste Ryall and rychest of singlorum…
Last Lines:
…Seke forthe folys as ye haue sought
For in all other thynge ye fynde hym nowght
Note: 62 lines.
Attributed Title: A fragment of a tratise which (I here say) is called Sapientia Patris (f. 62v); this title is according to Black’s Ashmole Catalogue, in Dr. Dee’s hand)
10.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library e Musaeo 63 (SC 3652), ff. 70-71
First Lines:
I am Mercury the myghtie fflos fflorum
most riall and Richest aboue all ore…
Last Lines:
…and her calcination ys a thousand ffould
Vnto all mettalls as precious & swete as gold
Attributed Title: The Bost of Mercury (f. 70)
11.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.2.15 (1119), ff. 90v-91v
First Lines:
I am Mercury the might flos florum
I am most royall and richest of all singulores
Last Lines:
…Of thy desine then may it not miss
And also of heauen that sweet bliss. Finis
Note: 42 lines
12.Source: London, British Library Sloane 1092, f. 13v
First Lines:
I am {Mercury} the mightye flos florum
I am moste owrthyest of all singulorum…
Last Lines:
…moother & lotrix of all wourckynge
In my dawghter theare been hydd cc
Note: 13 lines.
13.Source: London, British Library Sloane 1098, ff. 7v-8v
14.Source: London, British Library Sloane 1098, ff. 38-38v
15.Source: London, British Library Sloane 3667, f. 117v
16.Source: Boston, MA, Massachusetts Historical Society Winthrop 20 C, ff. 25v-26
17.Source: New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library Osborn fa.16, ff. 5ra-5vb
First Lines:
I am {mercury} the hyghty flos florum alone
I am most richest & ryall of althyng
for of gold & siluer I am gouernore…
Last Lines:
…sek furth foles as ye haue sought
for in all other thynges ye fynd right noght
Note: Begins with imperfect rhymes, but develops into couplets; pages numbered 41, 42; written by a hand of the sixteenth century; ends ‘Explicit’.
Attributed Title: The boest of {mercury}(f. 5ra)
18.Source: Copenhagen, Royal Library, Copenhagen Gl. kgl. S. 1727, ff. 63-64