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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 2420
IMEV 1436.5
NIMEV 1436.5
If thou wise be will / Six keep thou which I thee ken
Six rules against the sins of the tongue — one quatrain translating two Latin hexameters inserted in two MSS of the Book of Vices and Virtues, and also occuring separately
Note: See Walther (1963), no. 29126-7; Walther (1969), no. 17963; Whiting (1968), S75; for French text cf. New York, Pierpont Morgan Library M771, f.43.
Title(s): Book of Vices and Virtues
Subjects: tongue, destructive power of; advice, moral; translations
Versification: — four-line — abab



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: London, British Library Addit. 17013, f. 17vb
Transcription:
Ȝif þou wis be wil
sixe kepe þou whilke I þe kenne
What þou seist whom til
of whom how whi where whenne
Note: Written as prose
Editions:
Francis, Winthrop Nelson, ed. The Book of Vices and Virtues: A Fourteenth-Century English Translation of the Somme le Roi of Lorens d’Orleans. EETS o.s. 217 (1942); repr. 1987: lxii, 54.
2.Source: Oxford, Merton College Lat. 248, f. 167ra
Transcription:
If yow wise worze wille
þi sex kepen wylke I þe ken
Wat yow says and womme tys
of womme to womme ow and wen
Note: Occurs separately.
Editions:
Wenzel, Siegfried. “Unrecorded Middle-English Verses.” Anglia 92 (1974): 55-78: 64.
3.Source: Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates’ 18.7.21, f. 151va
Transcription:
ȝif þu wis worþe wel
Þese sex kep wich i þe kenne
Wat þu seyst wam til
Of wam & wy wer an wanne
Note: Occurs separately in John Grimestone’s sermon notebook, translating Si sapiens fore vis… which precedes it.
Attributed Title: De Sapientia (f. 151va)
Editions:
Wilson, Edward. A Descriptive Index of the English Lyrics in John of Grimestone’s Preaching Book. Medium Ævum Monographs n.s. 2. Oxford, 1973: 61.
4.Source: San Marino, CA, Henry Huntington Library HM 147 [olim Ingilby; Sotheby’s Sale 21 October 1920, lot 23; Maggs Cat. 404 (1921), n. 23], f. 21
Transcription:
ȝif þou wys be wil
six kep þou whilke I þe kenne
What þou seist whom til
of whom how why where whenne
Note: ritten as prose.
Editions:
Francis, Winthrop Nelson, ed. The Book of Vices and Virtues: A Fourteenth-Century English Translation of the Somme le Roi of Lorens d’Orleans. EETS o.s. 217 (1942); repr. 1987: lxii, 54.