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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 6265
IMEV 3921
NIMEV 3921
When Adam delve and Eve span spur if thou will speed
A warning of the transitoriness of life — six 6-line stanzas (aaaabb) with internal rhyme and an ‘I and E’ refrain
Subjects: transitoriness, of life
Versification: — six-line — aaaabb



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Dd.5.64, Part III, f. 35v
Note: Nineteenth-century transcription is London, British Library Egerton 2257, f. 99.
Editions:
Horstmann, Carl, ed. Yorkshire Writers. 2 vols. London, Sonnenschein; New York: Macmillan, 1895-96: 1.73.
Brown, Carleton Fairchild, ed. Religious Lyrics of the XIV Century. Oxford: Clarendon, 1924. 2nd ed., rev.: G. V. Smithers, Oxford, 1952: 96-7.
Davies, Reginald Thorne. Medieval English Lyrics: a critical anthology. London, 1963; Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1964: 143-6.
Silverstein, Theodore, ed. Medieval English Lyrics. York Medieval Texts. London: Edw. Arnold, 1971: 66-8.
2.Source: Lincoln, Lincoln Cathedral Library 91 [Robert Thornton MS], Part III, f. 213
Note: 8 stanzas.
Editions:
Horstmann, Carl, ed. Yorkshire Writers. 2 vols. London, Sonnenschein; New York: Macmillan, 1895-96: 1.367.
Halliwell-Phillipps, James Orchard. Nugae Poeticae: Select Pieces of Old English Popular Poetry, Illustrating the Manners and Arts of the Fifteenth Century. London: J. R. Smith, 1844: 39-42.
Perry, George G., ed. Religious Pieces in Prose and Verse from R. Thornton’s MS. EETS o.s. 26 (1867); repr. 1973: 88-91.
Heuser, Wilhelm. “With an O and an I.” Anglia 27 (1904): 283-319: 307-10.
Sisam, Celia, and Kenneth Sisam, eds. The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970: 404-8.