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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 6098
IMEV 3820
NIMEV 3820
Under a forest that was so long
‘Asay þi frend or þu haf nede’ — six quatrains (abab) including refrain, ‘Asay a frend or þu haue nede’, plus burden (bb): ‘Man be ware & wise in dede / & assay a frend or þou haue nede’
Subjects: chansons d’aventure ; carols, satirical; birds, as narrators
Versification: — four-line — abab



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Eng. poet. e.1 (SC 29734), ff. 23v-24
First Lines:
Vnder a forest þat was so long
As I me rod with mekyll dred…
Last Lines:
…for thus she sang when she gan flyȝe
A say þi frynd or þou haue ned
Editions:
Wright, Thomas, ed. Songs and Carols from a manuscript…of the Fifteenth Century. Percy Society 23. London: Richards, 1847: 28-9.
Chambers, Edmund Kerchever, and Frank Sidgwick. Early English Lyrics…. London: Buller, 1907, 1911 et seq: 193-4.
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 259-60; 1977, 229-30.
Greene, Richard Leighton, ed. A Selection of English Carols. Clarendon Medieval and Tudor Series. Oxford: Clarendon, 1962: 140.
2.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 354, pp. 4833-484
First Lines:
Thorow a forest þat was so long
As I rode with mekyll drede…
Last Lines:
…She toke her flight away she yede
Thus she said whan she songe last
Assay a frend or þou haue nede
Explicit
Note: Burden and stanzas 1-3, 5, 4, 6.
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: 267.
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: 47-8.
Sisam, Celia, and Kenneth Sisam, eds. The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970: 534-5.