PRIMS Full-text transcription (HTML)

De Amico ad Amicam

A celuy que pluys eyme en mounde
Of alle þo þat I haue founde
[Salu[t]z] od treyé1 amour
With grace and ioye and alle honour
Sachez bien, pleysant et beele,
Þat I am ryȝt in goode heele
Laus Christo
And also þyn owene, nyȝt > and day,
In cisto2
Ma tresduce et [tresamé]
Nyȝt and day for loue of þe
Soyez permanent et leal
Loue me so þat I it fel
Jeo suy pur toy dolant et tryst
Thu me peynyst boþe day and nyȝt
Mortes hattȝ3 tost sun espey
Loue me wel er I deye
Ȝif I deye I clepe to þe
Et pur ceo jeo [vous [pur] creser]4
Loue me wel with outyn daunger
Et de vous enpense tut dyȝ5
Of al þe world þu berist þis
Allas þyn loue wele me sle
Cum mora
Cest est ma [volunté]
Þat I myȝte be with þe
Vostre amour en moun qoer
Brennyth hote as doþ þe fyr
Douce, bele, plesaunt chere
In al þis lond ne is þyn pere
Chaunchant ou la cler note
Þow art in mynt herte rote
Tost serroy joyous seyn
Ȝif þu woldist me ofteyn
Et tost serroy joyous et []
Þere nys no þyng þat shal me
Ma tresbele et [tresamé],
Ȝif þu wist I lete be
De cestis [portés] entendement
And in ȝoure herte takyþ entent
A vous jeo suy tut [doné]
Myn herte is ful of loue to þe
Et pur ceo jeo vous pry
Swetyng for þyn curteysy
Þe wordys þat here wretyn be
And turne þyn herte me toward
O a Dieu, que vous gard


A soun treschere et special
Fer and ner and overal
In mundo
Que soy ou [sal[u]]6 & gré7
With mouth, word and herte fre
Jeo [vous > [pry] sanz] debat
Þat ȝe wolde of myn stat
Sertefyes a vo jeo fay
I wil in tyme whan I may
Quaunt a vous venu serray
I ȝow swere be þis day
Pro certo
Mes jeo fuyss’en maladye
Ȝif ȝe me loue sikyrle
L amour de vous moy fayt dolent
But ȝe me love I am schent8
Sy suyre estoy de vostre amour
I were as lyȝt as þe flour
De moy jeo pry aues [pyté]
I falle so doþ þe lef on þe tre
Tot le mounde, longe et 9,
I wolde leue and take þe
Pur vostre amour, allas, allas,
I am werse þan I was
P̱̅er multa
Jeo suy dolorouse in tut manere,
Wolde God in ȝoure armys I were
Jeo a vous pleyne greuousement
Þat þyn loue haþ me schent
De moy, jeo pri, auez [peté]
Turnyth ȝoure herte and louyth me
A cestys ay maunde de vous ore
What bote ist to schent more
maunde vostre volunté
Ȝif I shal trewely troste þe
Vou estes ma mort et ma vye
I preye ȝow for ȝoure curteysye
Cesteȝ maunde, jeo vou pry,
In ȝoure herte stedefastly

About this transcription

TextDe Amico ad Amicam and its Responcio: a digital edition
Extent 3 pages of manuscript, beginning line 11 of folio 10v and finishing on 11v. Note: complete
ResponsibilityEdited with a translation by Rebecca Henderson. Note: This digital edition was made by Rebecca Henderson (1 June 1994 – 27 February 2019). Rebecca studied for a BA in English and Modern Languages at St Anne’s College, Oxford and then began studying for a MSt. in English 650-1550. This edition was made as part of her coursework for the MSt. It reflects her interest in the multilingual nature of medieval literature, and in making medieval literature accessible – here, by digital means. At the start of her MSt., Rebecca became seriously ill with cancer of the heart, had her heart removed, and returned to her studies the following year with a total artificial heart. Despite these extraordinary challenges, she managed to produce this digital edition, alongside other publications on medieval literature. Tragically, she died from complications after a heart transplant before she could finish the MSt.
EditionTaylor edition
SeriesTaylor Editions Manuscript
Additional notes



Transcribed from: Cambridge University Libraryshelfmark Gg.4.27 (part 1a) ff. 10v-11v. Images scanned from Cambridge University Library shelfmark Gg.4.27 (part 1a) ff. 10v-11v.

This is a facsimile and transcription of De Amico ad Amicam. Reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library. Shelf mark: Gg.4.27.

The transcription and translation were encoded in TEI P5 XML by Rebecca Henderson.

About the source text

Bibliographic information


Cambridge, University Library, MS. Gg.4.27


This manuscript contains 19 texts, including De Amico ad Amicum

  • Hi A, B, C or La Prier de nostre Dame (fol. 5r)
  • Litera directa de Icogon, per G.C (fol.7v)
  • A short ‘Balad de bone conseyl’ is added (fol. 8v)
  • No title, beginning ‘In May when every herte is lyʒt’
  • De Amico ad Amicum (fol. 10v)
  • Responcio (fol. 11r), beginning ‘A soun treschere et special’
  • The five Bookes of Troilus and Cresseid (fol.14r)
  • The Canterbury Tales (fol.123r), breaks off at fol.375v in the ‘Parson’s Prologue’
  • After a gap, the remained of the ‘Parson’s Prologue’ (fol.376r-412v)
  • The Prologue of the Legend of Good Women (fol. 413r)
  • The Legend of Cleopatra (fol. 420r)
  • The Legend of Tisbe of Babylon (fol. 422r)
  • The Legend of Dido, queene of Carthage (fol. 424r)
  • The Legend of Hipsiphile and Medea (fol. 430v)
  • The Legend of Lucrece of Rome (fol. 434v)
  • The Legend of Philomene (fol. 441r)
  • The Legend of Hypermestre (fol. 445v)
  • The Parliament of Fowls (fol. 448r)
  • The Temple of Glass (fol.458r)
  • Supplicatio Amantis (fol. 467), begins ‘Redresse of sorweful O Cytherea’

The following pieces are then inserted in a different hand:

  • A portion of the Romance of Florice and Blauncheflour, beginning abruptly ‘Heo tok forþ a wel fair þing’
  • Horn, begins ‘Alle beon he bliþe’
  • Asumpcion de nostre Dame, begins ‘Merie tale telle ihe þis day’

Physical description

Parchment: written in two hands: 203 x 105mm, i + 14 leaves, in single column. There are illuminated borders using gold, red, blue, and brown paint; there are a number of red and blue initials and flourishes scattered through out the book.


Written in England in the 15th cent. The original fifteenth-century portion contained 517 leaves, with 63 now missing. All seem to have been removed intentionally with a knife (perhaps not all at the same time), and knife marks appear on the following leaf. In almost every case the missing leaf occurs where we would expect to find illuminated borders and/or miniatures (there is decoration left behind on the stubs); in some instances, the removed leaves have been stitched back in.


Editorial statement

About the encoding

Created by encoding transcription from manuscript.

Editorial principles

Folios have been indicated as this corresponds to the labelling of pages in the manuscript (as can be seen in the top right hand corner of f.11r); this is also consistent with descriptions of the manuscript in catalogue entries and other scholarship. The other folios contain around 38 lines of writing in a single column aligned to the left of the page; lineation for transcription and translation is complicated by the mise-en-page here. At first glance, the poem appears to be written in rhyming couplets, with the first line in French, the second in English (bar the final couplet of De Amico ad Amicam, where the English comes first). Beside each couplet, almost interlineally, is a single Latin word: the scribe has shown the connections through a kind of bracket connecting rhyming words. As the scribe has visually drawn attention to patterns of rhyme, this is reflected in the transcription by the addition of breaks to divide the poems into stanzas of six lines. The Latin, placed after each rhyming couplet, is indented to show its spatial separation in the manuscript.

General principles of transcription:

  • All punctuation is editorial and is intended only due to facilitate reading due to the challenging syntax and sentence structure
  • All abbreviations have been expanded; expansions are italicised and follow the orthography of the scribe
  • Both r and s have only one form despite variation in the manuscript
  • & is used to represent the tironian nota. It is expanded to "et" in Latin and Anglo-Norman, and to "and" in Middle English
  • Rejected readings and linguistic points of interest appear in footnotes
  • Insertions have been indicated by square brackets
  • Scribal use of u/v and i/j has been retained.
  • é has been used to indicate a tonic e
  • Word division has been retained

Publication information

  • Taylor Institution Library, one of the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford,
Imprint 2018.
  • DIMEV 19
  • ORA ***put link to ORA data url here***
AvailabilityXML files are available for download under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Images are available for download under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.