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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 5286
IMEV 3353
NIMEV 3353
The foremost of these beasts three
Three dangerous beasts, the lion, the bear and the dragon, eleven to fifteen lines—mixed rhyme schemes, couplets and short lines abba (the first two lines not in Furnivall).
Subjects: heraldry; dragons
Versification: — two-line, four-line — aa, abba



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: London, British Library Harley 7322, f. 163r1
First Lines:
þe formest of þese bestres þre
is worst of alle as tou mait se…
Last Lines:
…I wile ȝou alle swelewe wit outin oni loth
dot some wile y saue & some wile y noth
Note: Written as prose inserted into Latin, the couplets separated by Latin text
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: 237; rev. ed. 255-6.
Sisam, Celia, and Kenneth Sisam, eds. The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970: 555-6.