The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 5299
IMEV 3361
NIMEV 3361
The God of love A benedicite
(?)John Clanvowe, The Book of Cupid, or The Cuckoo and the Nightingale, probably by Clanvowe — fifty-eight 5-line stanzas (aabba)
Note: Some MSS add a balade and/or envoy, 3954; non-source-specific editions by Urry (1721); Bell (1782); Anderson (1793), 1.?; ; Nicolas and Morris (1866), Bell (1854-5), 4; Wright (1880).
Author(s): John Clanvowe
Title(s): The Book of Cupid ; The Cuckoo and the Nightingale
Subjects: debates, bird; birds, as narrators; envoys; dream poems
Versification: — five-line — aabba

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Arch. Selden. B. 24 (SC 3354), ff. 138v-141v
First Lines:
The lorde of loue a.a. benedicitee
How mighty and how grete a lord Is he…
Last Lines:
…And though thou be for wo In poynt to dye
That schall full mikle lessing of thy pyne
Note: Lines 1-246.
Boffey, Julia, and A. S. G. Edwards, eds. Chaucer, Works. Bodleian Library MS Arch Selden B.24: Facsimile Edition. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1995.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 638 (SC 2078), ff. 11v-16
First Lines:
The god of loue a benedicite
how mighti & how grete a lorde is he…
Last Lines:
…Terme of life loue hath withhold me
so loude that with that songe I a woke
Attributed Title: The boke of Cupide god of loue (f. 11v); Explicit the boke of Cupyde god of loue (f. 16); The Boke of Cupyde (RT)
Robinson, Pamela. “Introduction.” Manuscript Bodley 638: A Facsimile. Norman, OK: Pilgrim, and Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 1982.
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Fairfax 16 (SC 3896), ff. 35v-39v
First Lines:
The god of love a benedicite
How myghty and how grete a lorde is he…
Last Lines:
…Terme of lyve love hath withholde me
So lovde that with that songe I awoke
Note: Adds a balade.
Attributed Title: The Boke of Cupide god of Loue (f. 35v); Explicit liber Cupidinis (f. 39v)
Norton-Smith, John. “Introduction.” Bodleian Library MS Fairfax 16. London: Scolar Press, 1979.
Vollmer, E. Das mittelenglische Gedicht The Boke of Cupid. Bonner Beiträge zur germ. und rom. Phil. 17. Berlin, 1898: 28-44.
Scattergood, V. John, ed. The Works of Sir John Clanvowe. Ipswich: D. S. Brewer, 1965; Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1975: 35-53 (with variants).
Symons, Dana M., ed. Chaucerian Dream Visions and Complaints. Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University for TEAMS, 2004.
4.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Tanner 346 (SC 10173), ff. 97-101
First Lines:
The god of loue a benedicite
Hov myȝti and hou gret a lord is he…
Last Lines:
…Terme of life love haþ withhold me
So loude þat I with þat song a woke
Note: Adds a balade, with envoy (3954).
Attributed Title: Of þe Cuckow & þe Nightingale (added, seventeenth century, f. 97)
Robinson, Pamela. “Introduction.” Manuscript Tanner 346: A Facsimile. Norman, OK: Pilgrim, and Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 1980.
Ellis, Frederick Startridge, ed. The Floure and the Leafe, and the Boke of Cupide, god of love, or The cuckow and the Nightingale. Hammersmith: Kelmscott, 1896.
Vollmer, E. Das mittelenglische Gedicht The Boke of Cupid. Bonner Beiträge zur germ. und rom. Phil. 17. Berlin, 1898: 1-46.
Conlee, John W., ed. Middle English Debate Poetry: A Critical Anthology. East Lansing, MI: Colleagues Press, 1991: 251-65.
5.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Ff.1.6 [Findern MS], ff. 22-28
First Lines:
the god of loue A benedicite
how myghty and howe grete a lord ys he
ffor he kan make of low hertys hye
And of hye lowe and lyke for to dye…
Last Lines:
…Terme of lyfe loue hath wytholde me
So lowde that I wyth that song be gan awake
Note: With two extra 7-line stanzas.
Attributed Title: Explicit Clanvowe (by scribe, f. 28); Geffrey Chaucers Poem of the Cuckow and the Nightingale (added seventeenth-eighteenth century, f. 22)
Beadle, Richard, and Alfred E. B. Owen. The Findern Manuscript: Cambridge University Library MS. F.1.6. London: Scolar Press, 1977.

Print Witnesses:
1.Source: Geoffrey Chaucer, Workes, Thynne, 1532 , ff. 378ra-380ra
First Lines:
The god of loue ah benedicite
Howe mighty & how gret a lorde is he…
Last Lines:
…Of grace I beseche alege let your writyng
Nowe of al good syth ye be best lyuyng
Note: Includes envoy of three rhyme royal stanzas and concluding prayer of one rhyme royal stanza.
Attributed Title: Of the Cuckowe and the Nyghtingale (f. 378ra)
Stowe, John, ed. The Workes of Geffrey Chaucer…with diuers addicions, with the Siege of Thebes, compiled by J. Lidgate. London, J. Kyngston for J. Wight, 1561 (STC 5075): (which is ed. by Chalmers (1810), 1.364-66).
Speght, Thomas, ed. The Workes of…Geffrey Chaucer. London, [A. Islip,] imp. G. Bishop, 1598; rev. ed. A. Islip, 1602 (STC 5077, 5080).
Skeat, Walter William, ed. The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. 7 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1894-7: 7.347-58.