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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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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.
Facsimiles:
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)
Facsimiles:
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)
Facsimiles:
Norton-Smith, John. “Introduction.” Bodleian Library MS Fairfax 16. London: Scolar Press, 1979.
Editions:
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)
Facsimiles:
Robinson, Pamela. “Introduction.” Manuscript Tanner 346: A Facsimile. Norman, OK: Pilgrim, and Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 1980.
Editions:
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)
Facsimiles:
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)
Editions:
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.