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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 720
IMEV 439
NIMEV 439
At the reverence of Saint Margaret / My purpose is
John Lydgate, Life of St Margaret — seventy-seven stanzas rhyme royal including an eleven-stanza prologue and three-stanza Envoy
Note: Ringler Jr. (1992), TM 223; for a version in short couplets see 1192.
Author(s): John Lydgate
Title(s): Life of St Margaret
Subjects: saints’ lives; Margaret, saint, life of; prologues; envoys
Versification: — seven-line — ababbcc



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 686 (SC 2527), ff. 193v-200
First Lines:
At the reuerence of seint margarete
My purpos is hir lyf to compile…
Last Lines:
…Til atte last in vertu complet gode
ffor cristes sake she shedde hir herte blode
Attributed Title: Here begynneth þe prologe of þe holy seynt seyn Margarete compendiously compiled in balade by lydgate Dan Iohn Monke of Bury. Anno viii henr viti (f. 193v); Here endeth þe prologe of Seynt Margarete And nexte folowyng begynneth hir storye (194v); Here endeth þe life of seynte Margarete And begynneth þe lyfe of the glorious martir seint George (f. 200)
2.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Ll.5.18, ff. 29v-41v
First Lines:
At the Reuerence of Seint Margarete
My purpos ys hyre lyfe to Compyle…
Last Lines:
…Tyll at þe last in vertu complete goode
ffor cristes sake she shedde here chast blode
Attributed Title: Here begynythe the lyff off Pe holy virgine & martyr Seynt Margarete (f. 29v); Explicit Vitae sancte Margarete (f. 41v)
3.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.3.20 (600), pp. 178-195
First Lines:
At þe Reuerence of saynte Margarete
My pourposishir lyf for to compyle
Þoughe þat I haue no Rethorykes swete
Nor colour noon tenbelisshe with my style…
Last Lines:
…But chaast gemme þy servantes sette at eese
And bee þeyre help in mescheef and diseese
Note: Tenth stanza added by later hand to margin, p. 180; Latin and English marginal glosses.
Attributed Author: Made by daun John Lidegate (RT)
Attributed Title: And heere begynneþe þe Lyff of þe hooly virgyne seynte Margarete translated oute of þe legent in to oure englisshe tonge by Lidegate daune Johan þe Munk of Bury at þe Request of my lady of huntyngdon some tyme þe Comitasse of þe March (added, p. 178); Þe Lyff of Sainte Margarete Made by daun John Lidegate (RT)
4.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.3.20 (600), ff. 170v-177v
Attributed Title: the lyffe of saynt margret translated in to englysshe by…lidgate…at the request of my lady of huntingeton (f. 170v)
5.Source: London, British Library Addit. 29729, f. 170v-177v
First Lines:
Atþe reuerence of seynt margret
my purpose is hir lyffe for to compyle…
Last Lines:
…but chast gemme thy servauntes sett at ease
but be ther helpe in myscheffe and disease
Note: Ends ‘finis’ (f. 177v).
Attributed Author: daune Iohn lidgate munke of berye (f. 170v)
Attributed Title: Here begynneth þe lyffe of saynt margret translated in to engelyshe by daune Iohn lidgate munke of berye at þe request of my lady of huntingeton some tyme þe countes ofþe marche (f. 170v)
6.Source: London, British Library Harley 367, f. 80-83v
First Lines:
To the reverence of seynt margarete
my purpose is hir lyfe to compile…
Last Lines:
…but chaste geme thy sereaunts set at ease
and be theyr shils in mischefe and dysease
Note: Heading ‘lenvoye’ before last three stanzas; ends ‘Explicit’ (f. 83v); written by hand of John Stow.
Attributed Author: lidgate dan Iohn monke of burye (f. 80)
Attributed Title: here beginnythe the prologe of the holy saint margaret compentiowsly compiled in balade be lidgate dan Iohn monke of burye in the 8 yere of kynge henry the v (f. 80)
7.Source: Durham, Durham University Library Cosin V.ii.14, ff. 97v-106
First Lines:
AT the Reuerence of seynt Margarete
My purpos is hir lyfe to compile…
Last Lines:
…But chaste gemme thi servauntes sette at ese
And be her shelde in myschief and dissese
Attributed Author: lidgate Dan John (f. 97v)
Attributed Title: Here begynneth the prolog of the holy seynt seynt Margarete compendyously compiled in balade by lidgate Dan John Monk of Bury Anno viiio henrici viti (f. 97v); Explicit vita sancte Margarete before Envoy, f. 105v)
Editions:
Horstmann, Carl. Altenglische Legenden: Neue Folge. Heilbronn: Henninger, 1881: 446-53.
MacCracken, Henry Noble, ed. John Lydgate: The Minor Poems, Vol. I: Religious Poems. EETS e.s. 107 (1911; repr. 1961): 173-92; the Envoy alone is printed by Cohen (1915), 255.
8.Source: Manchester, Chetham’s Library 6709 [Mun. A.4.104], ff. 180-192v
First Lines:
At the Reuerence of seynt Margarete
My purpos Is her lyffe to Compyle
Though I have no Rethorytes swete
Nor Colowre noon to Embelyssh with my style…
Last Lines:
…But Chaste gemme In myschef & disease
[ ] ther sheelde thy seruauntes sette at ease
Attributed Author: Johannes lydgate (f. 180)
Attributed Title: Hic Incipit Vita Sancte Margarete Compen[ ] Compilata per Dompnum Johannem lygd lydgate Monachum de Bury Anno viiio henrici Sexti (f. 180)
9.Source: New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library, Takamiya Deposit 24 [olim Chatsworth, Duke of Devonshire], ff. 275-282v
First Lines:
AT the reuerence of Seint Margarete
My purpos is hir lif to compile
Thouȝ I haue non Rethorik swete…
Last Lines:
…But chast gemme thi seruauntes set at ese
And be ther sheeld in mischef and disese