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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 5227
IMEV 3318.4
NIMEV TM 1505
The burn is this world blind
Christ’s appeal from the Cross — thirteen 6-line tail-rhyme stanzas with 3-line burden: ‘Cum ouer the borne Bessey / my lytyll prety bessey / comme ouer the bourne to m[e]’
Note: All texts show some variations. Cf. 5066;For a secular version see 3644; for late sixteenth-century political adaptations see Rollins (1924), 56, 205, Nos. 587, 2377.
Subjects: Christ, appeal of, to man
Versification: — six-line



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 176 (SC 6659), f. 100
First Lines:
This borne ys the world blynd
& bessy she ys mankynd…
Last Lines:
…christe standeth & clepeth
come over the borne bessye to me
Note: One stanza and refrain.
2.Source: Cambridge UK, Emmanuel College 263, ff. i-iiv
First Lines:
The berne hys the world blynde
And bessey is mankynd…
Last Lines:
…the water nowe fallythe
Crist standethe & callythe
Note: Hand-written on flyleaves of printed book, Bernardi Granollachs Barchinonensis Lanarium, n.d.; shelf number S1.5.37.
Editions:
Brie, Friedrich W. D. “Skelton-studien.” Englische Studien 37 (1907): 1-86: 25 (extract only).
3.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.2.53 (1157), ff. 55-56
First Lines:
The borne is this word blynde
And besse ys mankynde…
Last Lines:
…The water hit fallyth
And Crist stondyth & callyth
Come ouer the borne besse
Note: 12 stanzas; also copy of first stanza and first three lines of second, crossed out, on f. 54v.
Editions:
Wright, Thomas, ed. The Nutbrowne Maid. London, 1836: 25 (extract only).
4.Source: London, British Library Addit. 5665, f. 143v
Note: Burden and stanza 1 only.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. Captain Cox., His Ballads and Books. Ballad Society 7 (1871); repr. New Shakespeare Society, 1890: clxxxi.
Pearce, Charles William. A Collection of Songs and Madrigals by English Composers of the close of the 15th Century. Plainsong and Medieval Music Society. London: Quaritch, 1891: no. 2.
Stevens, John, ed. Music and Poetry in the Early Tudor Court. London: Methuen, 1961: 348.