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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 6172
IMEV 3868
NIMEV 3868
We readen oft and find I-write
Sir Orfeo — in couplets
Note: Opening lines closely resemble Lai de Freine, 6173
Title(s): Sir Orfeo
Subjects: romances; lais, Breton
Versification: — two-line — aa



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 61 (SC 6922*), ff. 151-156
First Lines:
Mery tyme is in Aperelle
That mekyll schewys of manys wylle
In feldys & medewys flowys spryng
In grouys & wodes foules syng…
Last Lines:
…And þat it may so be
Prey we All for charyte
Attributed Title: kyng orfew (f. 151); Explicet Orfew (at the end)
Editions:
Halliwell-Phillipps, James Orchard. Illustrations of the Fairy Mythology of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. London: Shakespeare Society, 1845: 36; rpr..
Hazlitt, William Carew. Fairy Tales, legends and romances…. London: Kerslake, 1875.
B., . “Syr Orfeo” Scottish Antiquary, or Northern Notes & Queries 16 (1901): 30-8: 30-8.
Bliss, Alan Joseph, ed. Sir Orfeo. Oxford: Clarendon, 1954.
Shuffleton, George. Ashmole 61: A Compilation of Popular Middle English Verse. Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University for TEAMS, 2008: 386-99; 579-87; 626-7.
2.Source: London, British Library Harley 3810, Part I, f. 1
Note: 510 lines.
Editions:
Ritson, Joseph, ed. Ancient English Metrical Romances. 3 vols. London, 1802; rev. Edmund Goldsmid and repr. Edinburgh: Goldlsmid, 1884: 2.248-69.
French, Walter Hoyt, and Charles Brockway Hale. Middle English Metrical Romances. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1930: 323-???.
Bliss, Alan Joseph, ed. Sir Orfeo. Oxford: Clarendon, 1954.
3.Source: Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates’ 19.2.1 [Auchinleck MS], ff. 300ra-303ra
First Lines:
…Orfeo was a king
In Inglond an heiȝe lording…
Last Lines:
…Þus com sir orfeo out of his care
God graunt ous alle wele to fare
Note: 604 lines in couplets; begins imperfectly, due to loss of most of leaf (f. 299a), of which only a stub remains.
Editions:
Cook, Albert Stanburrough. A Literary Middle English Reader. Boston and New York: Ginn, 1915: 88-107.
Zielke, Oscar, ed. Sir Orfeo. Breslau: Koebner, 1880: (602 lines).
Sisam, Kenneth. Fourteenth Century Verse and Prose. Oxford: Clarendon, 1921: 13 (604 lines).
Bliss, Alan Joseph, ed. Sir Orfeo. Oxford: Clarendon, 1954.
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: 1.64-80.
Ford, Boris. The Age of Chaucer, with an Anthology of Medieval Poems. Hammersmith, Melbourne, etc.: Penguin, 1954: 271-87.
Stevick, Robert D., ed. Five Middle English Narratives. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1967: 3-26.
Sisam, Celia, and Kenneth Sisam, eds. The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970: 76-98.
Spearing, A. C., and J. E. Spearing. Poetry of the Age of Chaucer. London: Edward Arnold, 1974: 50-7.
Laskaya, Anna, and Eve Salisbury, eds. The Middle English Breton Lays. Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University for TEAMS, 1995: 15-59.