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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 4210
IMEV 2656
NIMEV 2656
Of Spain take the clear light
On preparing the Philosopher’s Stone, ascribed in Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.2.16 (1120) to Richard Carpenter (cf. Thorndike (1934), 4.351-3) — generally forty-eight couplets, but numerous variants
Note: See also 5920, and the related verses for Ripley’s Emblematical Scroll, 2278; Singer (1928), 817. Formerly included under 2278.
Author(s): Richard Carpenter (attrib.)
Subjects: alchemy; philosopher’s stone; illustrations, verse accompanying
Versification: — two-line — aa



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 759 (SC 6954), ff. 125-126v
First Lines:
Of spayn take thou thy clere light
The redde gomme that is so bright…
Last Lines:
…Aduyse the wele er thowe begynne
Or elles litell shalte thou wynne
Note: With 12 additional lines of which only six of them are visible; the rest are erased. The first and last readable lines are: ‘Our gold and our siluer is no ocen plate / But a sperme out of a body take… / …And all comyth out of on ymage / But water of wode makith the mariage.’
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1394, Part XI.iii (SC 7596), p. 81
First Lines:
Of þe sonne take the clere light
the Red ston tat is so bright…
Last Lines:
…yf thow willt have þt you haste sought
beware ye spirit Escape ye nought
Note: 10 lines.
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1416 (SC 7611), ff. 148v-150v
First Lines:
Of spayne take þe clere light
the reed gomme þat is so bright…
Last Lines:
…Avise ye well or ye begynne
or els ful litle shall ye wynne
Note: With ten additional lines (see Ringler Jr. (1992), TM 158). On f. 148v: ‘Telos’.
4.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1418 (SC 7613), ff. 101v-102v
First Lines:
In fayre mountayns our stone doth growe
some in highe and some in lowe…
Last Lines:
…He is kinge of medicins most
Given by the vertue of the holy ghost
Attributed Title: Et sic est finis sint laudes deo: gratias (f. 102v)
5.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1441 (SC 7624), p. 110
First Lines:
Off sonne take the lighte
The red gume þat is so brighte…
Last Lines:
…And other names many mor
Of him draw out a Tincture
Note: 10 lines.
6.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1442, Part VI (SC 7625), pp. 15-16
First Lines:
Off the sonne take þe cleare light
The Redd gum þat is so bright…
Last Lines:
…As I sayde to thee before
till knowest þou littell of this lore
Note: Twenty additional lines.
7.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1478, Parts I, II (SC 7642), Part I, f. 2v
First Lines:
Of Spayne tak þou clere Lyghte
The red gume þat ys so bryghte…
Last Lines:
…And all brynge in to this house
This noble stone so precious
Note: 56 lines.
Attributed Title: Elyxer magnum (f. 2v)
8.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1480 (SC 7644), f. 12v
First Lines:
Off the sune take the lyghght
the red gum þat ys so bryght…
Last Lines:
…tyll thy have engendryd a stone
In all þe worlde ys no such one
Note: 42 lines.
9.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1486 (SC 7004), Part II, f. 17v
First Lines:
Off the sune take the lyght
the Red gumme that is so bryȝht…
Last Lines:
…With body & sowlle & spryȝht of lyff
the whych we cawlle spowse & wyffe
Note: Ten additional lines, on 17v; 8 lines on 18v; at the end: ‘Deo gracias’.
Attributed Title: Nota: Orlon et Rosarius (f. 17v)
10.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1486 (SC 7004), Part II, f. 18v
First Lines:
Off spayne take þe clere lyght
þe Red gume that is so bryȝht…
Last Lines:
…by twen þe husband & þe wyffe
espowsed with þe spryȝt of lyffe
laudes deo
Note: Second occurrence in MS.
11.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1490 (SC 7010), f. 47
First Lines:
Take the clear lighte
The red gum that shineth brighte…
Last Lines:
…Which is found in every place
Who soe ever findes him might have grace
Note: 47 lines, at the end: ‘finis’.
12.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole Rolls 40 (SC 8447), first item on roll
First Lines:
Of the sunne take the lyght
the red gume that is soe bright…
Last Lines:
…tyll they haue ingendrid a ston
In all þe worlde is not such a one
Note: 20 couplets.
13.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole Rolls 52 (SC 7662), first item on roll
First Lines:
Of the soune th[ ] thy lythe
the rede gome that is so brythe…
Last Lines:
…and othere names many moo
of hem draw ovt a tynter
Note: 9 lines only, on Ripley Emblematical Scroll.
14.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library e Musaeo 63 (SC 3652), ff. 67-69
First Lines:
Of Spayne take the clere light
The redd gume that is so bright…
Last Lines:
…That no man that lyveth can departe that
hit wil not be for colde nor hete of the fyer
15.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Rawlinson D.1046 (SC 13799), ff. 5-6v
First Lines:
Of Spaine take the Cleare light
The redd gum þat is soe bright…
Last Lines:
…That no man þat liveth can depart that
It will not be for colde nor heat of the fire
Note: 266 lines; post-medieval hand.
16.Source: Oxford, Corpus Christi College 226, f. 57ra-57rb
First Lines:
Take of spayne clere light
Of the red gumme that is so bright…
Last Lines:
…Avis were good or he begyne
Or ell he shal but litil wynne
Attributed Title: Por[logus] lapis philosophorum (f. 57ra); Explicit lapis philosophorum (f. 57rb)
Editions:
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Secular Lyrics of the XIV and XV Centuries. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1955: 82-4.
17.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Dd.4.45, Part II, ff. 10-11v
First Lines:
Of Spayn take the clere light
Þe rede gume þat is so bright
Of philosophres þe sulphur rif
Called gold wiþ outen strif…
Last Lines:
…Avise þe well er þou begynne
Or ellis litel shalt þou wynne
18.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.14.45 (916), ff. 4-5
First Lines:
Of the schynyng sonne take klere lyȝthe
The rede gom þat ys soo bryȝthe…
Last Lines:
…And than art þu rychere than þe kynge
But yf he have the same thynge
Note: 43 lines: 20 couplets and one triplet; signed ‘K’.
19.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.14.45 (916), ff. 80v-82v
First Lines:
Of the schynyng sune take klere lyOf the schynyng sune take klere lytȝthe
The rede gomme þat ys so bryȝthe…
Last Lines:
…All bryngyn to thyn house
Thys nobyll stone soo presius…
Note: Eleven lines on f. 80v, and continued after an intervening prose treatise with 22 lines on f. 82v; see Singer (1928), 850.
20.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.2.16 (1120), Part I, ff. 66v-67v
First Lines:
Of spayne take þe clere lyȝt
The rede gomme þat ys so bryȝt…
Last Lines:
…A vyse þe wel or þe by gynne
Or lytyl wol be yowre wynne
Attributed Title: Notabili Versus quod Ricardus Carpenter
21.Source: Cambridge UK, Fitzwilliam Museum 276*, roll
Transcription:
Of the soune take thy lythe
The rede gome that is so brythe
And of the moune do all so
The wythe gome there bothe to
The felossyuir svster wyte
Thys I callyd voyth owttyn strife
kibrt and a kibrt I callid also
And othere names many moo
Of hem draw ovt a tynter
A…
Note: Ends imperfectly after only 4½ couplets; variant first line.
22.Source: London, British Library Addit. 32621, roll
First Lines:
Of the sonne take the lighte
The Redde goume that is so brighte…
Last Lines:
…Till they haue ingendred a stone
In the worlde there not such a one
Note: Ascribed to James Standysh. Very richly illuminated.
23.Source: London, British Library Harley 2407, ff. 91-93
24.Source: London, British Library Sloane 1098, ff. 10; 25v-26
Note: 12 lines.
25.Source: London, British Library Sloane 3747, ff. 116-117v
26.Source: London, Wellcome Historical Medical Library 519, ff. 62-63
First Lines:
Of þe Sonne take þe lighte
þe Red gum þat is so brighte…
Last Lines:
…Of þe whyte stone & of þe Redd
[?] is truly þe very dede
finis
27.Source: Edinburgh, Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh Ripley Scroll, first item
First Lines:
Of the sonne take the lighte
the redd goume that is soe brighte…
Last Lines:
…Till they haue engendered a stone
[ ] is not such one
Note: Twenty-two couplets in two columns of 11 x 2 each, first verse on roll (closest to top); part of last line lost in crease where one piece of vellum joined to another.
Editions:
McCallum, R. I. “The Ripley Scroll of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.” Vesalius 2:1 (June, 1996): 39-49: 39-46.
28.Source: Boston, MA, Massachusetts Historical Society Winthrop 20 C, ff. 140va-142rb
First Lines:
Of Spane take þe cleare lyghte
The Red gumme þat ys so bryght…
Last Lines:
…Þat no man þat lyveth can departe thar
It wyll not be for cold nor hete of þe fire
Note: 260 lines, written as if quatrains.
29.Source: New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library Mellon 41
30.Source: Princeton, Princeton University Library 93, first item
First Lines:
Off the sonn take thy lyght
The rede gome þat ys so bryght…
Last Lines:
…And other names many moo
And ovt of them draw howt a tyntor…
Note: Incomplete; 9 lines only.
Editions:
Ashmole, Elias. Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum. London: J. Grimond, 1652: 275-7 (source uncertain).
31.Source: San Marino, CA, Henry Huntington Library HM 30313 [olim Dyson Perrins, Sotheby’s Dec. 1958, lot 42; Sotheby’s Sale, 29 Nov. 1960, Lot 147; Kraus Cat. 100, item 32], roll
First Lines:
Of the Sunne take the light
The red Gum that is so bright
And of the Moone doe allsoe
The white gum there keepe to…
Last Lines:
…But in the Matrix wher the bee put
Looke never the vessell bee unshut
Till they haue ingendred a Stone
In all the woorld is not such a one
Note: Variant, 42 lines.