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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 6044
IMEV 3787
NIMEV 3787
To you my purse and to none other wight
Chaucer’s ‘Complaynt to his Empty Purse’ — three stanzas rhyme royal and 5-line Envoy
Note: Non-source-specific edition, Robinson (1933), 635; 1957, 539-40.
Author(s): Geoffrey Chaucer
Title(s): ‘Complaynt to his Empty Purse’
Subjects: complaints; envoys; money
Versification: — seven-line, five-line — ababbcc, aabba



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Fairfax 16 (SC 3896), ff. 193-193v
First Lines:
To yow my purse and to noon other wight
Complayn I for ye be my lady dere…
Last Lines:
…And ye that mowen alle myn harme amende
haue mynde vppon my supplicacioun
Attributed Author: The complaynt of Chaucer to his Purse (f. 193)
Attributed Title: The complaynt of Chaucer to his Purse (f. 193)
Facsimiles:
Norton-Smith, John. “Introduction.” Bodleian Library MS Fairfax 16. London: Scolar Press, 1979.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 3 vols. Chaucer Society 1st. ser. 21, 57, 58. London: Trübner, n.d. repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A One-Text Print of the Minor Poems. 2 pts. London: Trübner, 1871, 1880; repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
Skeat, Walter William, ed. The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. 7 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1894-7: 1.405-6.
Davies, Reginald Thorne. Medieval English Lyrics: a critical anthology. London, 1963; Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1964: 136-7.
Sisam, Celia, and Kenneth Sisam, eds. The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970: 314-15.
Luria, Maxwell Sidney, and Richard L. Hoffman, eds. Middle English Lyrics. New York: Norton, 1974: 11.
Pearsall, Derek, ed. Chaucer to Spenser: An Anthology of Writings in English 1375-1575. Oxford and Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1999: 180-1.
Pace, George B., and Alfred David, eds. The Minor Poems of Geoffrey Chaucer: A Variorum Edition of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer vol. 5, part 1. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1982: 128-32.
Benson, Larry Dean, ed. The Riverside Chaucer. 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987: 656.
2.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Ff.1.6 [Findern MS], f. 59
First Lines:
To yow my purs and to non othir wyght
Complayne I for ye bene my lady dere…
Last Lines:
…And ye that mowen all oure harmes amende
Have mynd vpon my supplicacioun
Note: Explicit Quod leweston
Attributed Author: lenvoy de Chaucer (f. 59)
Attributed Title: lenvoy de Chaucer (f. 59)
Facsimiles:
Beadle, Richard, and Alfred E. B. Owen. The Findern Manuscript: Cambridge University Library MS. F.1.6. London: Scolar Press, 1977.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 3 vols. Chaucer Society 1st. ser. 21, 57, 58. London: Trübner, n.d. repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
3.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Gg.4.27 (Part 1b), f. 35
Facsimiles:
Parkes, Malcolm B., and Richard Beadle. “Introduction.” Poetical Works. Geoffrey Chaucer. A Facsimile of Cambridge University Library MS Gg.4.27. 3 vols Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1979 (vol. 1); 1980 (vols. 2-3).
4.Source: Cambridge UK, Gonville & Caius College 176/97, p. 12
First Lines:
Now purse that be to me my lyvys light
And saveor as in this worde downe here…
Last Lines:
…And you that may all my mys amend
Haue mynde opon my supplicacion
Note: Significantly variant from usual first stanza; 1 x RR + 1 x 5, aabba; ‘lenvoye’ in left margin beside second stanza.
Editions:
MacCracken, Henry Noble. “An Odd Text of Chaucer’s Purse.” Modern Language Notes 27 (1912): 228-9: 228-29 (2 stanzas).
Pace, George B. “Four Unpublished Chaucer Manuscripts.” Modern Language Notes 63 (1948): 457-62: 461.
Pace, George B. “The Text of Chaucer’s Purse.” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia 1 (1948): 105-21: 117-18.
5.Source: Cambridge UK, Gonville & Caius College 176/97, p. 23
First Lines:
To you my purce and non other wyȝt
Complayne I for you be my lady dere…
Last Lines:
…Quene of comfort and of all company
Be hevy agayne or els most I dye
Note: First two stanzas only
Attributed Title: A B Nother balade (p. 23)
Editions:
MacCracken, Henry Noble. “An Odd Text of Chaucer’s Purse.” Modern Language Notes 27 (1912): 228-9: 228-29.
Pace, George B. “Four Unpublished Chaucer Manuscripts.” Modern Language Notes 63 (1948): 457-62: 461.
Pace, George B. “The Text of Chaucer’s Purse.” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia 1 (1948): 105-21: 117-18.
6.Source: Cambridge UK, Magdalene College Pepys 2006, pp. 388-389
First Lines:
To yow my purs and to non oþer wight
Compleyn I for ye be my lady dere…
Last Lines:
…And ye <that> mow all all harmes amend
Haue mynde <vp>on my supplicacyon
Attributed Author: A Compleint de Chaucer a sa Bourse Voide (p. 388)
Attributed Title: A Compleint de Chaucer a sa Bourse Voide (p. 388); lenvoie (p. 389)
Facsimiles:
Edwards, A. S. G. “Introduction.” Manuscript Pepys 2006: A Facsimile. Magdalen College, Cambridge. Norman, OK: Pilgrim, and [Woodbridge, Suffolk]: Boydell and Brewer, 1985.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 3 vols. Chaucer Society 1st. ser. 21, 57, 58. London: Trübner, n.d. repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
7.Source: London, British Library Addit. 22139, f. 138ra
First Lines:
To ȝou my purse and to non othre wight
Compleyn I for to be my Ladi dere…
Last Lines:
…But ȝit I pray vnto ȝoure curtesye
Be heuy agayn or ellis I dye
Note: lacks the 5-line envoy; followed immediately by 5277.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 3 vols. Chaucer Society 1st. ser. 21, 57, 58. London: Trübner, n.d. repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
8.Source: London, British Library Addit. 34360 [olim Phillipps 9053], f. 19
First Lines:
tO yow my purse and to nonother wight
Compleyne I for þow my lady deere…
Last Lines:
…ffor whiche vnto youre mercy I crye
Bieth hevy ageyne or ellis must I dye
Note: Lacks Envoy and adds ‘Complaint of a Prisoner against Fortune’ (1432) as if part of same poem.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. More Odd Texts. Chaucer Society 1st ser. 77. London: Trübner, 1886; repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
9.Source: London, British Library Cotton Otho A.XVIII (MS destroyed by fire; transcribed by William Thomas, 1721), f. 19
Note: Thomas’s transcript is British Museum Catalogue 643, m.4.
Editions:
Pace, George B. “Otho A.XVIII.” Speculum 26 (1951): 306-16: 307.
10.Source: London, British Library Harley 2251, f. 271
First Lines:
TO yow my purse and to nonother wight
Compleyne I for þow my lady dere…
Last Lines:
ffor whiche vnto yowre mercy I crye
Beth hevy ageyn or ellis must I dye
Note: Lacks Envoy and adds ‘Complaint of a Prisoner against Fortune’ (1432) as if part of same poem.
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 3 vols. Chaucer Society 1st. ser. 21, 57, 58. London: Trübner, n.d. repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
11.Source: London, British Library Harley 7333, f. 148ra1
First Lines:
TO yowe my purs se & to noon oþer wyght
Compleyne I ffor yee be my lady dere
Last Lines:
But yitte I pray vn to youre courtesye
Beeþe heui A geyne or elles mot I dye

Lenvoye

O conquerowre of brutes Albyone
Which þat by lyne and freo elleccioun
Beon veray kynge þis songe to yow I sende
And yee þat may all oure harmous amende
Haþe mynde vppon my supplicacioun
Attributed Title: A supplication to Kyng Richard by chaucier (f. 147vb)
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. A Parallel-Text Edition of Chaucer’s Minor Poems. 3 vols. Chaucer Society 1st. ser. 21, 57, 58. London: Trübner, n.d. repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
12.Source: Coventry, Coventry Archives Acc. 325/1, f. 76va
First Lines:
To you my purs and to you none oþer wight
Compleine I for ȝe be my lady dere…
Last Lines:
…But yit I praie vn to your curtesie
Beth hevie ayenne or els I mot die
Note: Only three stanzas; does not include envoy.
Attributed Title: Balade (f. 76va)
13.Source: New York, Pierpont Morgan Library M4, f. 77
First Lines:
To yow my purse and to none oþer wight
Compleyne y for ye be my lady dere…
Last Lines:
…ffor whiche vn to you mercy thus y Crye
Bethe hevy ayen or ell y must dye
Note: Only three stanzas; does not include envoy.
Attributed Author: The compleynt off Chaucers vn to his purse (f. 77)
Attributed Title: The compleynt off Chaucers vn to his purse (f. 77)
Editions:
Bühler, Kurt. “A New Lydgate-Chaucer Manuscript.” Modern Language Notes 52 (1937): 1-9: 6.



Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 5090. Chaucer, Geoffrey, [Thou fiers god of armes, mars the rede], [Westminster: W. Caxton, 1477?] , f. 77
Editions:
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. Odd Texts of the Minor Poems. 2 vols. Chaucer Society 1st ser. 23, 60. London: Trübner, 1868, 1880; repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
2.Source: Geoffrey Chaucer, Workes, Thynne, 1532 , f. 382
First Lines:
To you my purse and to non other wight
Complayne I for ye be my lady dere…
Last Lines:
…And ye that may al harmes amende
Haue mynde vpon my supplycation
Note: ‘Explicit’ after third stanza and heading, ‘Chaucer vnto the Kynge’ at beginning of envoy
Attributed Title: Chaucer vnto his empty purse (f. 382rb)
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. Anderson (1793), 1.579).