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Nou skrinketh rose ant lylie-flour: notes
London, British Library, Harley MS 2253, f. 80rb

1. skrinketh: MS skrnketh.

11. Petresbourh: Peterborough, in Cambridgeshire; the location suggests that the lyric travelled to reach the West-Midland scribe of Harley 2253 (see also note on line 34 below).

19. the lothe hous: i.e. from Hell.

29. We: MS whe.

34. From Catenas into Dyuelyn: Brook (1968) sees Scandinavian influence here, noting that both Caithness (at the Northern tip of Scotland) and Dublin were areas of Viking settlement; Peterborough (see note on line 11) was part of the Danelaw in the later Anglo-Saxon period.

45. gent ant smal: a stock phrase for ladies in secular lyric and romance; cf. note on The Owl and the Nightingale line 204.

46. hyr ioies fyue: the five joys of Our Lady (the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Resurrection, the Ascension, and the Assumption) were a popular object of devotion and meditation in the later Middle Ages. Vernacular prayers on the five joys often figure in later medieval Books of Hours; one of the earliest surviving examples of these prayers can be found in Part 1 of the early thirteenth-century rule for recluses Ancrene Wisse, as part of the anchoresses' devotional routine.

58. vs: Brook (1968), notes that me here would restore the missing rhyme. For the alternation of singular and plural pronouns, reflecting an oscillation between individual meditation and communal exhortation, cf. the introduction to When Y se blosmes springe.


Set up by Bella Millett, enm@soton.ac.uk. Last updated 30 July 2003 .