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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 5331
IMEV 3382
NIMEV TM 1538
The higher men climbeth the sorer is the fall
‘The mene ys the beste’ — three quatrains (abab) with refrain, ‘The mene ys best as semeth me’ and burden: ‘In euery state in euery degre / The mene ys the beste as semeth me’ (repeated)
Note: Cf. 1863.
Title(s): ‘The mene ys the beste’
Subjects: carols, of moral counsel; precepts
Versification: — four-line — abab



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: London, British Library Addit. 5665, ff. 14v-15
First Lines:
The hyere men clemmeth the sorere ys the falle
Banckes that lawe buthe sone ouerflowe…
Last Lines:
…Les in thy yee ther falle a chyppe
The mene ys best as semeth me
Attributed Title: ad placitum (f. 14v; repeated f. 15)
Editions:
Fehr, Bernhard. “Die Lieder der Hs. Add. 5665 (Ritson’s Folio-MS).” Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 106 (1901): 262-85: 267.
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 236; 1977, 210.