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DIMEV 4312
IMEV 2711.5
NIMEV 2714
Our gracious God prince of pity
William Lychefelde, ‘Complaint of God’ — sixty-eight 8-line stanzas (abababab)
Author(s): William Lichfield
Title(s): ‘Complaint of God’
Subjects: dialogues, God and man
Versification: — eight-line — abababab



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Corpus Christi College 237, ff. 137v-146
First Lines:
Pure gracius god prynce of pyte
Whoys myghte who Whois goodnesse neuer began…
Last Lines:
…And to a byde with þe in blys
Thate euyr schall laste with owtyn ende
2.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Ff.2.38, ff. 3ra-6ra
First Lines:
…And þerfore man whyles þu may
Make amendys or þat þou dye
I wot wele lord from ȝeere to ȝeere
fful gretely greued the y haue…
Last Lines:
…That to þe chosen ordeyned ys
That leuen synne and þen amende
Note: Missing lines 1-158 due to loss of folios 1-2.
Attributed Title: Here endyth þe compleynt of god… (f. 6)
Facsimiles:
McSparran, Frances, and Pamela R. Robinson. “Introduction.” Cambridge University Library MS Ff.2.38. London: Scolar Press, 1979.
Editions:
Halliwell-Phillipps, James Orchard. The Poems of John Audelay. Percy Society 14. London: Richards, 1844: 87-8.
3.Source: Cambridge UK, Gonville & Caius College 174/95, pp. 469-480
First Lines:
Oovre gracious god prynce of pite
That all this worlde fyrst be gan…
Last Lines:
…That to thy chosyn ordeyned ys
Þat leve there synne & them amende
Attributed Title: Explicit tractatus compilatus per Magistrum Willelmum lychefelde doctorem Theologie (p. 480)
Editions:
Borgström, Edvard. “The Complaint of God to Sinful Man and the Answer of Man by William Lichfield.” Anglia 34 (1911): 498-525: 508-25.
Person, Henry Axel. Cambridge Middle English Lyrics. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1953; rev. ed. 1962: 3-4 (lines 385-448 only, treated as a separate work).
4.Source: Cambridge UK, Magdalene College Pepys 1584, ff. 1v-13v
First Lines:
Oure gracious god prince of pite
Whois myght and godenes neuer be gan
At whois wyll all by houyth to be
compleynyth hym thus to synfull man…
Last Lines:
…That to þi chosyn ordenyd is
That lenyth syn and them amend
Note: Roughly 68 stanzas, most of 8 lines, but some of 6 and some of 4 lines.
Attributed Title: The compleynt of god (Tab. of Contents, f. 1); The complaynt of god (RT); Here endith the compleynt of god (f. 13v)
5.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.3.21 (601), ff. 182-189
First Lines:
Oure gracious god prince of pyte
Of whom all grace & goodnes began
At whos wyll all thyng behoueth to be
Compleyneth hym thus vnto synfull man…
Last Lines:
…And aftyr thys lyfe bryng yow and me
Vnto euerlastyng ioy
Note: 72 eight-line stanzas.
Attributed Author: Lydgate (added by later hand, then crossed through, f. 182); William lichefeld doctor of diuinitie (added by hand of the sixteenth century, f. 182); Iohn Lydgate (added by later hand, then crossed through, f. 189); quod lychefeld doctor theologie Here endith þe complaynte betuyxt god & man that was made by magister Willyam lychefeld which was person of all halows þe more in thamis strete in london on whos soule god have mercy… (added by hand of John Stow, f. 189); …he deied in anno 1449 1447 on þe xxiiij of october and made in his tyme 3083 sermons as apered by his owne hand writinge & were found when he was deade (added by later hand of the sixteenth century, f. 189)
6.Source: London, British Library Harley 2339, ff. 82-100v
First Lines:
Oure gracious god ful of pite
Whos myȝte & goodnes neuer bigan…
Last Lines:
…Þat to þi chosene ordeyned is
Merci ihesu I wole amende
Attributed Title: Here sueþ þe complaynte of god of euery synful man & woman (rubricated, f. 81v)
7.Source: London, British Library Addit. 36983 [olim Bedford Public Library], ff. 275rb-279va
First Lines:
Owre gracious god prince of pyte
Whos miȝte whos goodnesse neuer [began]…
Last Lines:
…Þat to pain chosen & ordeyned ys
Þat leuyn synne & hem Amende
Note: Manuscript damaged.
8.Source: Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates’ 19.3.1, ff. 158-170v
First Lines:
…Bot lord þu knowet mannus freltynes
How freyll he is & hasse byn aye…
Last Lines:
…þat to þyn chosen ordyned his
þat levyon hor syn & wolle A mende
Note: Stanzas 1-6 wanting; immediately followed by 2940 as if same work.
Facsimiles:
Hardman, Phillipa. The Heege Manuscript: A Facsimile of National Library of Scotland MS Advocates 19.3.1. Leeds Texts and Monographs, n.s. 16. Leeds: School of English, 2000.
9.Source: London, Lambeth Palace Library 306, ff. 147-152
First Lines:
Thus oure gracious god prince of pyte
whos myght whose goodenes neuer bygan…
Last Lines:
And but I wole vse wrenchis wylys
to comyn wyse as I shall nat stryve
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. Political, Religious and Love Poems, from Lambeth MS. 306 and other sources. EETS o.s. 15 (1866); repr. 1962; rev. ed. 1903: 198-232.
10.Source: London, Lambeth Palace Library 853, pp. 193-225
First Lines:
THus oure gracious god prince of pitee
Whos miȝt whos goodnes neuere bigan
At whos wil al bihoueþ to be
Compleyneth him þus to synful man…
Last Lines:
…Þat we may bide wiþ þee in blis
& wiþ aungils world withouten eende
Þat to be chosen ordeyned ys
To leeue al synne & hem ameende
Amen Amen amen Amen
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. Political, Religious and Love Poems, from Lambeth MS. 306 and other sources. EETS o.s. 15 (1866); repr. 1962; rev. ed. 1903: 198-232.
11.Source: Cambridge MA, Harvard University, Houghton Library, Eng. 530, f. 1
Note: Lines 1-138 wanting.
12.Source: San Marino, CA, Henry Huntington Library HM 144 [olim Huth 7], ff. 1-9v
First Lines:
O My graciouse god prynce of pite
Off whom all grace and goodnesse begann…
Last Lines:
…And after this lyf bryng you and me
In to euerlastynge Ioy Amen
Attributed Author: Made by William Lichefield doctor of divinitie parson of all hallows in Thamis strete who deceased 1447 (added by later hand, f. 1); Her endithe the complaynte of god to man and was made by magister william lichefield doctor of divinitie and was parson of allhallows the more in thamis strete in london he died in anno 1447 the 14 of october and made in his tyme 3083 sermons as apered by his owne hand writinge and were found whan he was deade (added by later hand, f. 9v)
Attributed Title: Here begynnyth the Compleynte betwene God and Man (f. 1)



Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 20881.3. Lichfield, William, The remors of conscyence Here begynneth certayne demonstracyons by our lorde to all synfull persones with the remors of mannes conscynce to the regarde of the bounte of our lorde, [London: Wynkyn de Worde, ca. 1510] , ff. 2-6v
First Lines:
OUr gracyous god moost in magnyfycence
His mercyfull eyen casteth from heuen on hy…
Last Lines:
…And there as I haue done amys
Mercy Ihesu I wyll amende
Note: Formerly listed separately as 2711.5; Camb. Univ. Lib. shelfmark Sel.5.6
Attributed Title: The remors of conscyence (f. 1); Hee begynneth certayne demonstracyons by our lorde to all synfull persones with the remors of mannes conscyence to the regarde of the bounte of our lorde (f. 1)