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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 6003
IMEV 3768.6
NIMEV Dunbar
To speak of science craft or sapience
William Dunbar, ‘Learning vain without guid lyfe’ or ‘Dunbar at Oxenfurde’ — three 8-line stanzas with refrain, ‘A paralous lyfe is vain prosperitie’
Author(s): William Dunbar
Title(s): ‘Learning vain without guid lyfe’; ‘Dunbar at Oxenfurde’
Subjects: advice, moral; learning, value of
Versification: — eight-line — ababbcbc



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Ll.5.10, f. 10v
First Lines:
To speik of science craft or sapience
Off vertew morall cunning or doctryne…
Last Lines:
…ȝour maist accusar is ȝour awin cuning
And perrelous is vane prosperitie
Note: 3 x 8, ababbcbc, incl. refrain, ‘Ane perrelous lyf is vain prosperitie’.
Attributed Author: Quod dunbar (f. 10v)
2.Source: Cambridge UK, Magdalene College Pepys 2553, pp. 9-10
First Lines:
To speik off science craft or sapience
off vertew morall cuning or doctryne…
Last Lines:
…¡our maist accusar is ȝour awin cuning
Ane peralows seiknes is vane prosperite
Attributed Author: Quod dumbar (p. 10)
Editions:
Pinkerton, John, ed. Ancient Scottish Poems Never Before in Print. 2 vols. London and Edinburgh, 1786: 1.106.
Laing, David. The Poems of William Dunbar. 2 vols. Edinburgh: Laing and Forbes, 1834; Supplement, 1865: 1.109.
Paterson, James. The Works of William Dunbar. Edinburgh: Stillie, 1863: 159.
Small, John, Ae. James George Mackay, George Powell McNeill, and Walter Gregor, eds. The Poems of William Dunbar. 5 pts. Scottish Text Society 2, 4, 16, 21, 29. Edinburgh, 1884-93: 2.224.
Ellis, George, ed. Specimens of the Early English Poets. London: Edwards, 1790; 3 vols, 1801; 5th ed., London: Washburne, 1845; rev. ed., 1 vol., 1863: 1.378.
MacKenzie, William Mackay. The Poems of William Dunbar. Edinburgh, 1932: 104.
Kinsley, James. William Dunbar, Poems. Oxford: Clarendon, 1958; repr. 1979: 69-70.
Craigie, William Alexander. The Maitland Folio Manuscript, Containing Poems by Sir Richard Maitland, Dunbar, Douglas, Henryson, and others. 2 vols. Scottish Text Society n.s. 7 (1919), 20 (1927); Edinburgh and London: Blackwood, 1919, 1927: 1.9.
3.Source: Cambridge UK, Magdalene College Pepys 2553, pp. 317-318
First Lines:
To Speik of science craft or Sapience
off vertew morall cwnnyng or doctrene…
Last Lines:
…ȝour maist accusar salle ȝour awin cwnning
A parolus seiknes is vane prosperite
Note: Second occurrence in MS.
Attributed Author: Quod Dumbar at oxinfurde (p. 318)
Editions:
Craigie, William Alexander. The Maitland Folio Manuscript, Containing Poems by Sir Richard Maitland, Dunbar, Douglas, Henryson, and others. 2 vols. Scottish Text Society n.s. 7 (1919), 20 (1927); Edinburgh and London: Blackwood, 1919, 1927: 1.379-80.
Schipper, Jakob. The Poems of William Dunbar. Vienna: Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1894: 322-3.
Schipper, Jakob, ed. The Poems of William Dunbar. 4 vols. Denkschriften der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophische-Historische Klasse 40/2; 40/4; 41/4; 42/4. Vienna, 1892-93: 19-21.
Baildon, Henry Bellyse. The Poems of William Dunbar. Cambridge: University Press, 1907: 165.