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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 3871
IMEV 2411
NIMEV 2411
O death how bitter is the mind of thee
The bitterness of Death, an elegy for the tomb of Ralph, Lord Cromwell, circa 1450 — eight 8-line stanzas (ababbaba; only two rhymes used throughout)
Subjects: death, meditations on; elegies; epitaphs; Cromwell, Ralph, lord Treasurer
Versification: — eight-line — ababbaba



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: London, British Library Cotton Caligula A.II, ff. 57v-58
First Lines:
O deth how byttere ys þe mynde of the
That menere art of mornyng & mone…
Last Lines:
…Vs to preserue fro all owre gostly fon
And send vs pees yn perpetuyte
Note: Seven stanzas. ‘Amen ffor charite’ by scribe at end (f. 58).
Attributed Title: O mors quam amara est memoria tua (f. 57v, by scribe in upper margin); Another poeme O mors quam amara est memoria tua (f. 1, sixteenth-century list of contents)
Editions:
Varnhagen, Hermann. “Die kleinere gedichte der Vernon und Simeon handschrift.” Anglia 7 (1884): 280-315: 85.
2.Source: London, British Library Harley 116, f. 152v
First Lines:
O deth hough better ys the mynde of the>
That mover arte of moornynge & of moone…
Last Lines:
…Hem to preserue from all hir gostely foon
And send heme pees inperptuite
Attributed Title: O mors quam amara est memoria tua’ (rubric, top folio 152v)
Editions:
MacCracken, Henry Noble. “A Meditation upon Death for the Tomb of Ralpyh, Lord Cromwell (c. 1450), Lord Treasurer of England.” Modern Language Notes 26 (1911): 243-4: 243.
Brown, Carleton Fairchild, ed. Religious Lyrics of the XVth Century. Oxford: Clarendon, 1939: 243-5.