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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 4917
IMEV 3133
NIMEV 3133
Sithen law for will beginneth to slacken
On the Degeneracy of the Times (5 lines, aabbb), a tag in the Fasciculus morum
Subjects: evils of the times; sermons, verse in
Versification: — five-line — aabbb



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 187 (SC 2090), f. 163ra
First Lines:
Syþþe lawe for wyl by gynnyþ to slake
And falsehede for slynesse ys y take…
Last Lines:
…And wantomnesse ys holdyn solas
þenne may yngelonde synge alas
Note: Written as prose.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 410 (SC 2305), f. 41v
First Lines:
Sythen þat lawe for wille bygynne to shaken
And falshed for sleyght is I taken…
Last Lines:
…And foul fals lecchery is pryuy solas
Now may Ingelond syngen alas
Editions:
Little, Andrew George. Studies in English Franciscan History. Manchester: Manchester UP; London: Longman’s, 1917: 155, n. 3.
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Laud misc. 213 (SC 1045), f. 60v
Transcription:
Stihen (sic) law for will bygynnyþ to slakyn
And falshede for slegheis turned and taken
robbynge and renyng is holden purchas
and alle maner synne mad solas
Englond may sing alas alas
Note: Written as prose.
4.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Rawlinson C.670 (SC 12514), f. 74v
Transcription:
Sithyn law for wyll bygynnyt to slakyn
And falsehed for [sleythe] is i takyn
Robbyng and reuyng ys holdyn purchas
And of vnthewes is made solas
Engelond may synge alas alas
Editions:
Silverstein, Theodore, ed. Medieval English Lyrics. York Medieval Texts. London: Edw. Arnold, 1971: 98.
5.Source: Cambridge UK, Gonville & Caius College 71/38, f. 50
Transcription:
Syn lawe for will begynnes to slaken
& falsed for sleyth now is taken
Robbyng & rewyng is holden purchas
& of vnclennes is made solas
Englond may say & syng Allas allas
Editions:
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Historical Poems of the XIV and XV Centuries. New York: Columbia UP, 1959: 145-6.
6.Source: Cambridge UK, St John’s College F.22 (159), f. 92
Transcription:
Sethen law for wylle begynnes to slakene
And falsode for sleȝt is itakene
Robbynge and renynge ys haldyn purchase
And of wantonese is mayden solase
Inglande may synge alas alas
Note: Written as verse.
7.Source: Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Library 82, ff. 89v-90
First Lines:
Syuthen lawe for wyll be gynnes to slaken
And falshede for sleyth is taken…
Last Lines:
…Robbyng and rewyng is halden purchas
And of on wantownes is maden solas
Engelonde may synge alas alas
8.Source: Lincoln, Lincoln Cathedral Library 44 (A.2.13), f. 190ra
Transcription:
Sythen law for wille by gynyþ to slakyn
& falsed for sleyth ys y taken
Robbyng and rewyng ys holden purchas
And of on þewys ys maden solas
Engelond may synge alas alas
9.Source: Spalding, Lincolnshire, Spalding Gentlemen’s Society M.J.B.14 [olim Maurice Johnson No. LIV], f. 79
Transcription:
Robbyng & reuyng is holden purchas
And of vnthewes is made solace
þerfore we may say alas alas
Note: Omits first two lines; written as prose.
10.Source: Worcester, Worcester Cathedral Library F.19, f. 191rb
Transcription:
Sythyn lawe for wille by gynuth to sclakyn
& falshede for sleyth is I takyn
Robbyng & reuyng his holdyn purchas
And of wirthe wys is mad solas
Engelond may synge alas alas
Note: Written as prose.
11.Source: Rome, Vatican Ottoboni 626, f. 44v