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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 2175
IMEV 1303.3
NIMEV TM 643
I have been a forester long and many a day
A ‘jolly forester’ song — two cross-rhymed quatrains with internal [middle rhymes with end] rhyme in second and fourth lines
Note: Cf. 2176; also ‘I have benne a lover’, Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 160, f. 113; pr. Muir (1961), 32.
Subjects: songs, popular; foresters
Versification: — four-line



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: London, British Library Addit. 5665, f. 53v
First Lines:
Y have ben a foster longe and meney day
My lokes ben hore foster woll y be no more…
Last Lines:
…I shall bygge me a boure atte the wodes ende
Ther to lede my lyffe att the wodes ende ther to lede my lyffe
Editions:
Wright, Thomas, and James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, eds. Reliquiae Antiquae. 2 vols. London: Smith, 1845: 2.199, lists folio as 50v.
Smith, John Stafford. Musica Antiqua: a Selection of Music …. London: Preston, 1812: 2.28-9.
Rimbault, Edward Francis. A Little Book of Songs and Ballads. London: J. R. Smith, 1851: 59.
Wright, Thomas, and James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, eds. Reliquiae Antiquae. 2 vols. London: Smith, 1845: 2.199.
Flügel, Ewald, ed. Neuenglisches Lesebuch. 1 Bd. Halle: Niemayer, 1895: 151.
Chambers, Edmund Kerchever, and Frank Sidgwick. Early English Lyrics…. London: Buller, 1907, 1911 et seq: 247.
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 451.
Stevens, John, ed. Music and Poetry in the Early Tudor Court. London: Methuen, 1961: 338.
Sisam, Celia, and Kenneth Sisam, eds. The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970: 523-4.