The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 6586
IMEV 4112
NIMEV 4112
Who will be whole and keep him from sickness
John Lydgate, ‘A Doctryne for Pestilence’ — three 8-line stanzas followed without a break by 1356 except in U. S. National Library of Medicine MS E 4.
Note: Compare a similar poem in rhyme royal in the Secrees of Old Philisofres, Steele (1894), 41; see also in further editions of Shepheardes Kalendar, STC 22409-22423.
Author(s): John Lydgate
Title(s): ‘A Doctryne for Pestilence’
Subjects: pestilence; medicine
Versification: — eight-line — ababbcbc

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Laud misc. 683 (SC 798), ff. 62-62v
First Lines:
Who wil be hooll & kepe hym fro siknesse
And resist the strook of pestylence…
Last Lines:
…the morwe sleep callid gyldyn in sentence
gretly helpeth ageyn the mystis blak
Note: Preceded, not followed, by 1356.
Attributed Title: HEre begynneth a doctryne for pestilence (f. 62)
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Rawlinson C.48 (SC 11914), ff. 128v-130
First Lines:
who wil be hool and keep hym fro sekenesse
And resiste the stroke of pestilence…
Attributed Title: Doctrina patris ad ffilium (f. 128v)
3.Source: Cambridge UK, Jesus College Q.G.8 (56), f. 44
Note: With an extra stanza
4.Source: London, British Library Addit. 10099, f. 211
First Lines:
Who wyll be hole and kepe hym frome seknes
And Resiste the stok stroke of pestilence…
Last Lines:
…þe morowe slepe called gilden in sentence
Gretely helpith ayeyn mistis blake
Attributed Title: Incipit doctrina sana (f. 211)
5.Source: London, British Library Lansdowne 699, f. 85v1
First Lines:
Whoo will been holle & kepe hym from sekenesse
And resiste the strok of pestilance…
Last Lines:
…The morwe sleep callid gyldene in sentence
Gretly helpith a yeen the mystis blake
Note: Followed immediately by 1356.
Attributed Title: Incipit dietarium (f. 85v)
MacCracken, Henry Noble, ed. John Lydgate: The Minor Poems, Vol. II: Secular Poems. EETS o.s. 192 (1934); repr. 1961: 702.
Cohen, Helen Louise. The Ballade. New York: Columbia UP, 1915: 263.
Bühler, Kurt. “Lydgate’s Rules of Health in MS Lansdowne 699.” Medium Ævum 3 (1934): 51-6: 52.
6.Source: Bethesda, MD, National Library of Medicine MS E 4 [formerly 514; olim MS. 4], ff. 66v-67
First Lines:
Who woll bene holl & kep hym fro seknesse
And resiste þe stroke of pestelence…
Last Lines:
…The morow slepe called golden insentence
Grettely helpyth ageyns þe mystis blake
Note: Note that 1356 precedes 3588 rather than following here as is typically the case.
Digital Facsimile of U.S. National Library of Medicine (Bethesda, MD) MS E 4.
7.Source: San Marino, CA, Henry Huntington Library HM 183 [olim Hawkins], f. 5va1
Brydges, Sir Samuel Egerton. Censura Literaria. 10 vols. London: Longman, 1805-09; 2nd ed., 1815: 7.345-49 (new ser.).
8.Source: Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 537, p. 74
First Lines:
Who wilbe hole & kepe him selfe from sicknes
and easiste the stroke of pestilence
let him be glade & voide all hevines
flee wicked ayres eschewe the presence…
Last Lines:
…the morowe sleepe called golden sentence
greatly holpeth agaynste þe mystes blacke
Note: Followed immediately by 1356.
Attributed Title: Here followeth the governance of healthe (p. 74)
9.Source: Leiden, Leiden University Library Vossius Germ. Gall. Q.9, f. 98v
Note: Eight additional stanzas.

Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 12138. Gouernayle of Helthe, [Caxton, 1490?]
Blades, William, ed. The Gouernayle of Helthe. London: Blades, East & Blades, 1858; repr. Caxton, 1491.
2.Source: STC 12139. Gouernall of Helthe with the medecyne of the stomacke, de Worde, [1506?]
3.Source: STC 12139.5. The gouernall of helth, [London: Printed by Wynkyn de Worde, 1530?]
4.Source: STC 22408. Kalender of Shepherdes, R. Pynson, 1506
Sommer, Heinrich Oskar, ed. The Kalender of Shepherdes; the edition of Paris 1503 in facsimile, reprint of Pynson’s 1506. London: Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1892.
Brydges, Sir Samuel Egerton. Censura Literaria. 10 vols. London: Longman, 1805-09; 2nd ed., 1815: 7.345-49.