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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 924
IMEV 561
NIMEV 561
By a forest side walking as I went
‘A tretyse of Parce michi domine’, Allegory of the bird with four feathers — 240 lines in 8-, l2-, up to 20-line stanzas, with this refrain
Note: For another version see 5909; cf. also 4344.
Title(s): ‘A tretyse of Parce michi domine’; The Bird with Four Feathers
Subjects: allegories; dream visions; birds, as speakers/narrators; transitoriness, of life
Versification: — eight-line, twelve-line — ababcdcd, ababcdcdefef



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 596 (SC 2376), ff. 21v-24v
First Lines:
By a forest syde walking as I went
Disport to take In o mornyng…
Last Lines:
…And Parce geteth godis pyte
And scheweth to vs his blesses face
Attributed Title: Here bygynnith the tretys of Parce michi domine (f. 21v)
Editions:
Brown, Carleton Fairchild, ed. Religious Lyrics of the XIV Century. Oxford: Clarendon, 1924. 2nd ed., rev.: G. V. Smithers, Oxford, 1952: 208-15.
Fein, Susanna Greer. Moral Love Songs and Laments. Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University for TEAMS, 1998.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Douce 322 (SC 21896), ff. 15rb-16vb
First Lines:
By a forest syde walkyng as I went
Disporte to take in o mornyng…
Last Lines:
…And parce geteth goddys pyte
And sheweth to vs hys blessed face
Attributed Title: Here begynneth A tretyse of Parce michi domine (f. 15rb)
Editions:
Kail, J., ed. Twenty-Six Political and Other Poems…from Bodleian MSS Digby 102 and Douce 322. EETS o.s. 124 (1904; repr. 1973): 143-9.
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Lat. misc. e.85, ff. 79-81
First Lines:
In a forest [ ] I we[ ]
[ ]rt to take in a morny[ ]
ye fond a place with bowys [ ]ent…
Last Lines:
…My thyrd fether strengeþe hyt hythe
Parce mihi domine
My name was knowyn no ulk a syde…
Note: 9 stanzas; first 9 lines copied again by the same hand on f. 82v.
4.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.3.21 (601), ff. 34-37v
First Lines:
By a forest side walkyng as I went
Disport to take in o mornyng
A place I fond shadid with boughis bent
I sette aboute with flowris swete smellyng…
Last Lines:
…And Parce getith goddis pite
And shewith to vs his blissed face
Attributed Title: Here bigynnyth a treatise of Parce michi domine (f. 34)
5.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.9.38 (1450), ff. 24-25
First Lines:
By a foreste syde walkynge as y went
Dysporte to take yn a mornyng…
Last Lines:
…God grawnte vs all to se thy blessyd face
That seyth Parce michi domine
Attributed Title: Parce miche domine (f. 24)
6.Source: London, British Library Harley 1706, f. 16
7.Source: London, British Library Royal 18 A.X, ff. 119v-123
First Lines:
By a forest syde walkyng as I went
Desport to take in a mornynge…
Last Lines:
…And seyde hiȝe gode in mageste
I þanke þe of þi sonde
Parce michi domine
8.Source: Stonyhurst, Stonyhurst College 23, f. 60v
9.Source: San Marino, CA, Henry Huntington Library HM 906 [olim W. H. Robinson Cat. 12 (Newcastle 1925), n. 750], f. 60v
Transcription:
Be on fayre forest syde
And by the wase wandrying os that I went
my sportes be for to take thus in a may mornyng
ffor and I fond a place of gentyll bowris gay…
Note: Prozaicized version of lines 1-3, among pentrials in a book of Statutes; written as prose.
Editions:
Hanna, Ralph, ed. “The Index of Middle English Verse and Huntington Library Collections: A Checklist of Addenda.” Publications of the Bibliographical Society of America 74 (1980): 235-58: 241.