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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 5095
IMEV 3249
NIMEV 3249
Take earth of earth earths brother
Verses on the Elixir, ascribed to Pearce the Black Monk — in couplets
Note: See also 4236; for a variant prose version see Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 759 (SC 6954), f. 124r-v (same first few lines only). All texts show extreme variations, some MSS are followed by further couplets. Further variants exist in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century MSS: see Singer (1928), 857.
Author(s): Pearce the Black Monk (attrib.)
Subjects: alchemy
Versification: — two-line — aa
Bibliographic Ghosts: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1280 (SC 8216), pp. 23-30: this MS all Latin texts; Bristol, Clifton College Norton’s Ordinal of Alchemy , now lost; previously ed. bad key, vi-vii; Ashmole (1652), 269-74 (variant).



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 759 (SC 6954), ff. 127-128
First Lines:
Take erth of erth erthis broder
Water and erth it is non other…
Last Lines:
…Vppon venus and mercury
Which medecyn wold make the mery
Note: 72 lines; followed by 4236.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1445 (SC 7630), ff. 19v-20v
First Lines:
Take earthe of earthes and earthes brother
and water of earthe that is another…
Last Lines:
…therfore there is no other waye
but take thy beades and goe praye
Note: 87 lines; continues ff. 20v-21v with repetition of last portion of text, beginning ‘In Arsnike a waye there is straighte…’, turning to prose at end.
Attributed Author: Arnoldus de uilla noua (f. 19v)
Attributed Title: Elixer Arnoldi de uilla noua (f. 19v)
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1445 (SC 7630), Part VIII, ff. 26v-28
First Lines:
Make Earth of Earth, Earths owne Brother
And þe Watir of Earth which is an other…
Last Lines:
…With Sunne and Moone equall take
To helpe vs in our necessity
Note: 70 lines, incorporating 37 lines of 4236. At the end: ‘Laus Deo’, ‘Telos’ (‘Telos’ written in Greek letters).
Attributed Author: Arnoldus de uilla noua (f. 19v)
Attributed Title: Elixer Arnoldi de uilla noua (f. 19v)
4.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1445 (SC 7630), Part VIII, ff. 49-52v
First Lines:
Take Eearth of earth Earths Brother
And water of the earth that is another …
Last Lines:
…Now haue you heard the making of our Stone
The beginning & ending is all one
Note: 184 lines, divided into seven parts, with later emendations in Ashmole’s hand.
Attributed Author: Piearcie the Black Monke upon þe Elixir. Seene of many but knowne to a few (f. 49)
5.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1450, Part VII (SC 7628), pp. 23-27
First Lines:
Take earthe of earthe earthes brother
water and earthe it is none other…
Last Lines:
… nowe haue ye hearde the making of our stone
the begynning and thende & all is one
Note: 105 lines; immediately followed by 4236 as if part of same work.
6.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1480 (SC 7644), f. 59v
First Lines:
In arsnick sublymed ther is a waye strayghte
white mereur calsyned ‧9‧ tymes his weighte…
Last Lines:
… nowe haue heard the making of or stone
the begynyng and endyng all is one
Note: Fragment, last 24 lines only.
7.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1485, Part III.ii (SC 7652), ff. 47v-50
First Lines:
Take earthe of earthe earthes brother
and water of earthe that is another…
Last Lines:
……and all the richesse that ye of speede
to doe god worshippe with almes deede
Note: 56 lines; addition to usual text continues ff. 48v-50 with repeated fragment, beginning, ‘All ye that haue soughte many a daye…’ for 110 more lines.
Attributed Author: An Allegorye supposed to be made by Thomas Norton (f. 47v)
8.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1486 (SC 7004), Part I, f. 18vb
Transcription:
Take erth of erth erþis broþer
water of erth is þe other
ffyer of þat beris þe pris
but of þi erth loke þu be wyse
Note: Fragment: 4 lines only. Occurs among additional sets of verses which follow 4210.
9.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1490 (SC 7010), ff. 142-143
First Lines:
Take Earthe of Earthe is brother
And water of Earth That is another…
Last Lines:
…And it muste and more me Dissayuable to mans body
Note: 148 lines written as prose, including the additional portion beginning, ‘In Arsnick sublimed a waie ther is streighte’ also found in some other copies.
10.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1492 (SC 7657), Part VIII, pp. 127-129
First Lines:
Take Earth of Earths & Earths Brother
Water & Earth it is none other…
Last Lines:
…Now haue you heard the making of our stone
The beginning & the End all is one
Note: 104 lines; immediately followed by 4236 as if part of same work.
11.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.14.56 (925), ff. 86-87v
First Lines:
Take earthe of earth earthes brother
Water & earthe it is none other…
Last Lines:
…Nowe have you hard the makinge of or stone
The begynninge & ende & all is one
Note: 105 lines, written in 16th century; immediately followed by 4236 as if part of same work.
12.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.2.15 (1119), ff. 81v-82
First Lines:
Tak earth of earth earth brith ner
And water of the Earth þat is an other…
Last Lines:
…Now haue you herd the making of our stone
The beginning and the end and all is on
Note: 105 lines; immediately followed by 4236 as if part of same work.
13.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.2.15 (1119), ff. 83v-86
First Lines:
Tak earth of Earth earth brethren
And water of the Earth yt is an other…
Last Lines:
…Nowe haue ye heard the making of our stone
The beginning and ending all is one
Note: Second occurrence in MS, 56 lines of the usual text plus the variant second portion beginning, ‘Al yee that haue sought many a daye’ (133 lines).
14.Source: London, British Library Sloane 288, f. 99
First Lines:
Take earth of earth earthes brother
And water of earth that is another
And fire of earth that beareth þe price
And of the earth looke thou be wise…
Last Lines:
…And drawe from him a water cleere
the which water hath no peare
Note: Abbreviated variant; 28 lines written two verse lines per line in the MS.
15.Source: London, British Library Sloane 288, ff. 164-164v
First Lines:
Take Earthe of Earthe Earthes brother
And water of Earthe that is an other…
Last Lines:
…And all cometh of one image
But water of the wood maketh the mariage
Note: 52 lines.
Attributed Author: Ex rotula Richardi Hypesley
16.Source: London, British Library Sloane 317, f. 94ra-94rb
First Lines:
Take earthe owt of earthe earthes brother
And water of earthe that is an other…
Last Lines:
…holie ghost thie gyft this is
graunt it to vs wt heaven blisse
Note: 64 lines, at end ‘Amen’.
17.Source: London, British Library Sloane 320, f. 1
Transcription:
Take earthe of earthe, earthes brother
water of earthe is the other
ffyer of that beares the pryce
But of þe earthe loke þu be wyse
Note: Fragment or abbreviated form, 4 lines only, written 16th century.
18.Source: London, British Library Sloane 1091, ff. 105-108
First Lines:
Take erth off erth the whych is erthis brother
and water off the erth that is no other…
Last Lines:
…Now haue ye hard þe makyng off our ston
The begynyng and endyng all is oon
Note: Variant text, 183 lines, at end ‘explicit dei gratias’.
19.Source: London, British Library Sloane 1092, ff. 3v-5v
First Lines:
Take erth of erth & erthes brother
Water & erthe it is no other…
Note: Immediately followed by 4236 as if part of same work.
20.Source: London, British Library Sloane 1092, f. 62
First Lines:
Take earthe of earthe earthes brother
& water of earthe that is an other…
Last Lines:
…& drawe from hym a water cleere
the which water hathe no peere
Note: Imperfect: 28 lines only.
21.Source: London, British Library Sloane 1098, ff. 19v-21
First Lines:
Take earthe of earthe & earthes brother
water of earthe yt ys no other…
Note: Immediately followed by 4236 as if part of same work.
22.Source: London, British Library Sloane 1098, f. 22
First Lines:
Take earthe of earthe, earthes brother
water of earthe þat ys an other…
Last Lines:
…& drawe from him a water cleere
the whiche water hathe no peere
Note: Abbreviated version, 28 lines only.
Attributed Title: Aliud exemplari
23.Source: London, British Library Sloane 1098, f. 47
First Lines:
Take Earthe of earthe wyth hys brethren
that is water & ayre wyth mo wyth them…
Last Lines:
…When thou haste water of ayre & ayre
of fyre & fire of earthe then haste thou tharte
Note: Abbreviated variant: 20 lines only.
24.Source: London, British Library Sloane 1842, ff. 11-12
First Lines:
Take Earthe of Earthe Earthes brother
And water of Earthe that is an other…
Last Lines:
…And all commeth of one Image
But water of þe wood makethe þe mariadge
Note: 52 lines.
Attributed Author: Ex rotula Ric. Hipseley
25.Source: London, British Library Sloane 1842, ff. 18-18v
First Lines:
…I haue a daughter that highte saturne
of my daughter without any dread…
Note: Fragment, 37 lines, immediately followed by 4236 as if part of same work.
26.Source: London, British Library Sloane 2170, ff. 74v-76v
First Lines:
…I haue a daughter that highte saturne
of my daughter without any dread…
Note: Immediately followed by 4236 as if part of same work.
27.Source: London, British Library Sloane 3580 B, ff. 181-182
First Lines:
Of all thynges there needethe no
butt 4 in generall I saye so…
Last Lines:
…This ys þe makinge of our stone.
The truthe I haue tolde you euery chone
Note: 68 lines, followed by 4236.
28.Source: London, British Library Sloane 3667, ff. 118-119v
First Lines:
Take Earth of Earths Earths brother
water & Earth yt is non other…
Note: 105 lines; immediately followed by 4236 as if part of same work.
Attributed Author: Raymonde lully (added by later hand)
29.Source: London, British Library Sloane 3688, ff. 74v-78
First Lines:
Take earthe owt of earthe Earthes Brother
And Water and Earthe it is non other…
Last Lines:
…Nowe have ye harde þe makinge of our Stonne
The Begynnynge and Endinge all is one
Note: 198 lines.
Attributed Author: Arnoldus de villa nova
Attributed Title: De mango opera of Arnoldus de villa nova
30.Source: London, British Library Sloane 3747, ff. 106v-108
First Lines:
Take erth of erth erthes broder
Water and erth it is non other…
Last Lines:
…Nowe haue ye herde the makyng of our stone
The begynnyng and ende and all is on
Note: 105 lines, followed by 4236.
31.Source: London, Wellcome Historical Medical Library 519, ff. 69v-72v
First Lines:
Take Earthe of Earthe Earthes brother
water & earthe it is none other…
Last Lines:
… & all þe Riches þat is spede
to do god worshippe with almes dede
finis
Note: 156 lines.
32.Source: London, Wellcome Historical Medical Library 577, ff. 52v-53v
First Lines:
Take earth of earth earthes brother
and water of earth that is another…
Last Lines:
…And all commeth of one Image
but the water of the wood maketh the mariag
Note: 52 lines.
33.Source: Petworth House, Lord Leconfield MS 99 [sold 23 Apr. 1928, lot 5], ff. 13-16
34.Source: Boston, MA, Massachusetts Historical Society Winthrop 20 C, ff. 154rb-155rb
First Lines:
Take erth of earth Earths Brother
And water of Earth þat ys an other…
Last Lines:
…Now haue ye here þe makyng of owr stone
The begynnyng & endyng & all ys on
Note: 186 lines.
Attributed Title: Explicit erth of erth Elyxeare (f. 155rb)
35.Source: New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library Osborn fa.16, ff. 3ra-3vb
First Lines:
Tak earth out of erthe erthes awn broþer
And watter of that earth thene as another…
Last Lines:
…now haue ye hard the makyng of our stone
the begynyng & end all is one
Note: 177 lines, with portions of 4236; folios marked pages 37, 38, 39, 40; written by a hand of the sixteenth century; ends ‘fynis Explicit’.
36.Source: Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Library Codex 111 [formerly Smith 4], ff. 76-77v
First Lines:
Take earthe of earthe earthes Brother
Water & earthe it is none other…
Last Lines:
…& all þe Riches þat is spede
to God worshipe is almes dede
37.Source: Copenhagen, Royal Library, Copenhagen Gl. kgl. S. 3500 8o , ff. 18-20
Note: Immediately followed by 4236.
38.Source: Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 389, ff. 101-103v
First Lines:
Take earth of earth earthes brother
and water of earth that is none other…
Last Lines:
…Now haue yow heard the making of our stone
begynnig and endnig and all is one
Note: 196 lines.
Attributed Title: The verses (f. 101)