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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 5707
IMEV 3612
NIMEV 3612
This is Gods own complaint
The Complaint of God — eleven 12-line stanzas (ababababbcbc) with refrain, ‘Whi art þou to þi frend vnkinde’
Note: See also 5704.
Title(s): The Complaint of God
Subjects: God, appeal of, to man; dialogues, God and man
Versification: — twelve-line — ababababbcbc



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 596 (SC 2376), ff. 12-14
First Lines:
This is goddes owene compleynt
ffro man to man þat he hath bogh…
Last Lines:
…Or wepyng we mowe sey allas
Why were we to oure lord vnkynde
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Rawlinson C.86 (SC 11951), ff. 67-69
First Lines:
Thys is goddis avne compleynte
ffro man to man þat he hath wrouȝt…
Last Lines:
…Or Wepynge w shall seye alas
That euer we were to oure frende vnkynde
3.Source: London, British Library Addit. 39574, ff. 54-57
First Lines:
THis is goddis owne compleynt
ffro man to man þat he haþ wrouȝt…
Last Lines:
…Or wepynge we mown seye allas
Why were we to oure freend vnkynde
Editions:
Day, Mabel, ed. The Wheatley Manuscript: Middle English Verse and Prose in British Museum MS. Additional 39574. EETS o.s. 155 (1921; repr. 1971): 69-73.
4.Source: London, British Library Harley 2380, ff. 71v-72v
First Lines:
[Þ]is gods awn complaynt fro man to man þat he as w…
Þus he says vs to Ateynt Myn haun pepyll qwat haf…
Last Lines:
…Or we moun syng and say a lays
Þat we haf ben so lange vnkynd
Note: Space left for ornamental inital Þ, which was left blank. Two verse lines per manuscript line. Some manuscript damage to line endings. Folio number reflects the most recent foliation.
5.Source: Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates’ 34.7.3, ff. 75-76v; 77-77v
First Lines:
This is goddis awne complaint
fro man to man that he has boucht…
Last Lines:
…or wepand we mone say allace
þat we bene til our freind vnkynd
Note: Another three stanzas on ff. 77-77v added by a later hand, the missing stanzas from this copy: beginning, ‘Man I haue bocht thi luf full deir’; Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Library La.III.450/1 [olim Laing 450], ff. 83-83v, 84v-85, 84-84v is nineteenth-century transcript by Laing.
Editions:
Laing, David, ed. Early Metrical Tales, including the History of Sir Egeir, Sir Gryme and Sir Gray-Steill. Edinburgh: Laing, 1826: 299 (nine stanzas only).
Stevenson, George. Pieces from the Makculloch and the Gray MSS. together with The Chepman and Myllar Prints. Scottish Text Society 65. Edinburgh, 1918: 46-50.
Laing, David. Select Remains of the Ancient Popular and Romance Poetry of Scotland. Edinburgh: 1822; rev. J. Small , Edinburgh: Blackwood, 1885; rev. W. C. Hazlitt , “Early Popular Poetry of Scotland” , London: Reeves and Turner, 1895: 1.309-12.
6.Source: London, Lambeth Palace Library 306, ff. 145-147
First Lines:
This is the comepleynt off god
ffro man to man that he haþe bouȝte…
Last Lines:
…that we mowe with weepyng crye alas
for that wee were to oure frende onkynde
Explicit
Attributed Title: the Complaynt of Criste (f. 145)
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: 160-69; rev. ed. 190-9.
7.Source: London, Lambeth Palace Library 853, pp. 81-88
First Lines:
THis is goddis owne complaynt
To euery man þat he haþ bouȝt
And þus he seiþ to hem ataynt
Myne owne peple what han ȝe wrouȝt…
Last Lines:
…A blissid lady fair of face
Help for we be fer bihynde
Þat we wiþ wepynge moun crie alas
ffor þat we were to oure freend vnkind AMEN
Note: Written as prose.
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: 160-69; rev. ed. 190-9.
Stevenson, George. Pieces from the Makculloch and the Gray MSS. together with The Chepman and Myllar Prints. Scottish Text Society 65. Edinburgh, 1918: 298-301.
8.Source: Cambridge MA, Harvard University, Houghton Library, Eng. 530, ff. 1ra-4
First Lines:
In Almys dar thow do no thyng
for drede thow falle in to pouert
In wordys [and] in veyne spekyng
What euer thow wastyst thow mery art…
Last Lines:
…Now Ihesu lord þou well vs wysse
Wyth angelys world with owte ende
That to Thy choson ordeynyd ysse
That leevyn synne and hem amende
Note: In eight-line stanzas, roughly abababab.