New Texts of 'Index of Middle English Verse' 3513

By Breeze, Andrew | Medium Aevum, Fall 1992 | Go to article overview

New Texts of 'Index of Middle English Verse' 3513


Breeze, Andrew, Medium Aevum


An intriguing Middle English snatch warns of a grey wolf who, though hooded as priest and set to learn psalms, remained a wolf in his habits. The verse, 3513 in the Index of Middle English Verse,(1) occurs as an English |inset' in fable of Liber Parabolarum, written c. 1219 by Odo of Cheriton (c. 1180-c 1246). IMEV' cites three instances of the verse:

a Thai thu Wlf hore hodi to preste,

tho thu hym sette Saimes to lere

evere beth his geres to the groveward. b Pey pou pe vulf hore hode to preste,

pey pou him to skole sette salmes to lerne,

Heuere bet hise geres to pe grove grene. c If al that the wolf vnto a preest worthe

and be set vnto book psalmes to leere;

yit his eve is euere to the wodeward.(2)

These are from (a) Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 441 (of the late thirteenth century, from Canterbury); (b) London, British Library, MS Add. 11579 (c- 1300-25); and (c) London, British Library, MS Harley 279 (early fifteenth century).

However, seven more examples of the verse in Odo's Liber Parabolarum are listed neither in IMEV nor in its Supplement.(3) d Pah pu pe wolf hore hodi to preste,

Sete him to boke and psalmes him leren,

aure biep his geres to pe wode ward. e Path pu pe wulf hore hodi to preste,

sette him to lep, and salmes lere

evre beth his geres to pe groveward. f Path pu pe uulf hore hodi to preste

sete him to lep and psalmes lere

euere bethe his geres to pe uode uuard g Pey po pan wold hor wwlff hode to prest

euer buth hes wiles att pe wode es enide h Pey meo [sic] e wolf hore hodi to prest,

and him to boke sete salmes to leren,

her beuth is eyen atte vodes hent. i Lat ve deulf hore hodi to preste,

secce to boke an psalmes to leren,

evez lokys hus geres to pe wodewar.(4) j Iff alle pat pe wolf vnto pe prest worthe,

and be sette onto boke salmes to lere,

3it is eure hys oune eve to pe wodeward.

These are from (d) Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 481 (c. 1225-50), p. 489; (e) Berlin, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Haus Unter den Linden), MS Phill. 1904 (thirteenth century, from Battle, Sussex); (f) Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 88, pp. 22-1; (g) Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, MS Llanstephan 4 (late fourteenth century), f. 551. [sup.v]; (h) London, British Library, MS Royal 4 (late fouteenth fourteenth-century miscellany from Ramsey, near Huntingdon); (i) Arras, Bibliotheque municipalc, MS 184 (c. 1400, from the Augustinian house of Mont-Saint-Eloi, near Arras); (j) Oxford, Bodlelan Library, MS Douce 169 (fifteenth century), f. 36. [sup.r-v.5] Text g occurs in the course of a translation of the Liber Parabolarum into Welsh, text i in the course of a translation into French.

In all versions, the verse concludes the sad tale of what happened when the wolf Isengrim became a monk:

Isengrim, penitent and lamenting his past sins, wished to become a monk, and this was allowed. He received the tonsure and the cowl, along with the other things pertaining to a monk. He was then placed in the school and taught in the first place to say the Pater Noster, but he repeated, |A lamb or a ram'. The monks taught that he should ever look to the Cross and the sacrifice, but he always turned his eves to the lambs and the rams.

Moral. Many monks are like this. They always repeat, |A lamb or a ram.' That is, they ask for good wine and always have their eyes on a loaded tray or a heaped-up dish. Whence it is often said in English ...

- and the English lines follow to make the point.(6)

Two general points may be made about IMEV 3513 - As the lines fall into |passable alliterative metre', it has been suggested that Odo is quoting from a contemporary English beast fable now lost, the variants of the English lines implying transmission in oral form. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

New Texts of 'Index of Middle English Verse' 3513
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.