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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 6503
IMEV 4068.6
NIMEV TM 1929
Wherefore should I hang up my bow
A ‘jolly forester:’ the lover still active — 4 stanzas in long-line couplets and 6-line burden: ‘I am a joly foster / I am a joly foster / And haue ben many a day / & foster will I be styll / For shote ryght well I may / For shot ryght well I may’
Note: For a companion piece, see 2176.
Subjects: carols, amorous
Versification: — two-line — aa



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: London, British Library Addit. 31922, ff. 69v-71
First Lines:
Wherfor shuld I hang vp my bow vpon the grenwod bough
I cane bend & draw a bow and shot well enough…
Last Lines:
…Wherfor shuld I tye vp my hownd vnto the grenwod spray
I can luge and make a sute as well as any in may
Editions:
Flügel, Ewald. “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts, Besonders aus der Zeit Heinrichs VIII.” Anglia 12 (1889): 225-72, 585-97: 245-6.
Flügel, Ewald, ed. Neuenglisches Lesebuch. 1 Bd. Halle: Niemayer, 1895: 151.
Chambers, Edmund Kerchever, and Frank Sidgwick. Early English Lyrics…. London: Buller, 1907, 1911 et seq: 246.
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 314; 1977, 284.
Stevens, John, ed. Music and Poetry in the Early Tudor Court. London: Methuen, 1961: 410-11.
Stevens, John, ed. Music at the Court of Henry VIII. Musica Britannica 18. London: Stainer and Bell, 1962: 50-1.