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DIMEV 6879
IMEV 4282
NIMEV 4282
Your eyen two will slay me suddenly
Geoffrey Chaucer, ‘Merciles Beaute’ — a triple roundel, thirty-nine lines
Author(s): Geoffrey Chaucer
Title(s): ‘Merciles Beaute’ (Chaucer)
Subjects: roundels; lovers, addresses to beloved
Versification: — roundel



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Cambridge UK, Magdalene College Pepys 2006, pp. 390-391
First Lines:
Yowr two yen woll sle me sodenly
I may the beaute of them not sustene
So wondeth it þorow out my herte kene
And but your word woll helen hastely
Mi hertis wound while that it is grene
Syn I fro loue escaped am so fat…
Last Lines:
…I neuer thenk to ben in his prisoun lene
Syn I am fre I counte hym not a bene
Facsimiles:
Edwards, A. S. G. “Introduction.” Manuscript Pepys 2006: A Facsimile. Magdalen College, Cambridge. Norman, OK: Pilgrim, and [Woodbridge, Suffolk]: Boydell and Brewer, 1985.
Editions:
Percy, Thomas. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. 3 vols. London: J. Dodsley, 1765, and subsequent editions.
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. More Odd Texts. Chaucer Society 1st ser. 77. London: Trübner, 1886; repr. New York and London: Johnson, 1967.
Mätzner, Edouard Adolf Ferdinand. Altenglische Sprachproben, I: Poesie. Berlin: Wiedmann, 1867: 1.347.
Chambers, Edmund Kerchever, and Frank Sidgwick. Early English Lyrics…. London: Buller, 1907, 1911 et seq: 23-6.
Fitzgibbon, Henry Macaulay. Early English and Scottish Poetry. London, New York, and Melbourne: White, 1888: 50-1.
Robinson, F. N., ed. The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. Oxford: Clarendon, 1933; 2nd ed. 1957: 638; 1957, 542.
Davies, Reginald Thorne. Medieval English Lyrics: a critical anthology. London, 1963; Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1964: 138-9.
Sisam, Celia, and Kenneth Sisam, eds. The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970: 315-16.
Pace, George B., and Alfred David, eds. The Minor Poems of Geoffrey Chaucer: A Variorum Edition of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer vol. 5, part 1. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1982: 175-8.
Benson, Larry Dean, ed. The Riverside Chaucer. 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987: 659.
2.Source: London, British Library Addit. 38179, f. 51
First Lines:
Your two yen wille sle me sodenly
I may þe beaute of them not sustene…
Last Lines:
…And he is strike out of my bokes clene
For euer mo this is non othir mene
Note: MS source unknown; seventeenth-century transcript by Ainsworth is London, British Library Addit. 38179, Part II, f. 5; apparently derived from Cambridge UK, Magdalene College Pepys 2006 or its source. Two lines are added in a different hand from rest of text.
Attributed Title: Mercilesse Beaute (f. 51)