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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 5392
IMEV 3424
NIMEV 3424
The Mass is of so high dignity
Against swearing by the Mass — six quatrains (aaaa) and burden (bb): ‘Y concell yow both more and lasse / Beware of swerynge by the masse’
Subjects: oaths, criticism of; mass; carols, of religious counsel
Versification: — four-line, monorhyme — aaaa



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 354, pp. 4811-482
First Lines:
The masse is of so high dignytee
Þat no thyng to it comprehendid may be…
Last Lines:
…Þat whan þe erth hath couered thy face
Thy sowle in hevyn may haue a place
Explicit
Note: Six stanzas, including one not in Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.9.38 (1450).
Facsimiles:
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University: Facsimile of Oxford, Balliol MS 354. (http://image.ox.ac.uk/show?collection=balliol&manuscript=ms354).
Editions:
Flügel, Ewald. “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts….” Anglia 26 (1903): 94-285: 263-4.
Dyboski, R., ed. Songs, Carols and Other Miscellaneous Poems from Balliol MS. 354, Richard Hill’s Commonplace Book. EETS e.s. 101 (1908); repr. 1984: 42-3.
2.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.9.38 (1450), f. 69v
First Lines:
The masse ys of suwch dygnyte
Nothyng to hyt comprysyd may be…
Last Lines:
…ffor when erth hath coueryde thy face
Then all that ys turnyd as hyt wasse
Editions:
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 226-7; 1977, 201-2.