The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
A thousand stories I could me rehearse
John Lydgate, ‘Balade in Commendation of Our Lady’ — twenty stanzas rhyme royal
Note: Ringler Jr. (1988), TP 50.3.
Author(s): John Lydgate
Title(s): ‘Balade in Commendation of Our Lady’
Subjects: Virgin Mary, songs in honour of
Versification: — seven-line — ababbcc

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 59 (SC 6943), ff. 39v-41
First Lines:
A Thowsande stories I kouþe to you reherce
Of olde clerkis touchyng þe matere
Howe þat Cupide cane mens hertes presse
Of hees servantes setting þeire hertes a fayre…
Last Lines:
…Vnknowing him bare Tryste by gret myracle
And of Ihesus manhode truwe tabernacle
Note: Wanting stanzas 10-18.
Attributed Author: By þe Poete Lidegate… (RT); …by Lidegate of Bury… (f. 39v)
Attributed Title: A devoute Invocacioun to oure ladye By þe Poete Lidegate (RT); Here foloweþe nexst a devoute balade by Lidegate of Bury made at þe reverence of oure lady Qwene of mercy (f. 39v)
Schirmer, W. F. Der Stil in Lydgates religiöser Dichtung, Kleine Schriften. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1950: 50.
2.Source: London, British Library Sloane 1212, ff. 101-102v
First Lines:
A thowsand storiis kowde I me reherse
Off olde Poetis touchyng this matere…
Last Lines:
…Vnknowyng hym childyng be myrakyll
And of oure mar figure tabyrnakyll
Note: Signed ‘Lucas’ in right margin, owner-scribe(?) of MS.
Attributed Title: Pallas the dowtyr off Jupiter / goddesse and gouernour of Venus verre (f. 101, by scribe, in space above first line)
MacCracken, Henry Noble, ed. John Lydgate: The Minor Poems, Vol. I: Religious Poems. EETS e.s. 107 (1911; repr. 1961): 254-60.

1.Source: Long Melford, Suffolk, Church of the Holy Trinity, Clopton Chapel, wall paintings around edge of ceiling and on ceiling, (west wall).
…O sterre of sterres with […]
Sterre of the […] to shipmen lyght and gide
[…] most pleasant to app[…]
[…] may not hide
Note: Single, fragmentary copy of the fourth stanza.
Griffith, David. “A Newly Identified Verse Item by John Lydgate at Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford, Suffolk.” Notes and Queries 58 (2011): 364-7: 366.

Print Witnesses:
1.Source: Geoffrey Chaucer, Workes, Thynne, 1532 , ff. 374ra-375va
First Lines:
A Thousande stories coude I mo reherce
Of olde poetes touchyng this matere…
Last Lines:
…Ayenst saynt Valentynes day
for I haue chese that neuer forsake I may
Attributed Title: …here after foloweth a balade in commendation of our Lady (f. 374ra)
Stowe, John, ed. The Workes of Geffrey Chaucer…with diuers addicions, with the Siege of Thebes, compiled by J. Lidgate. London, J. Kyngston for J. Wight, 1561 (STC 5075).
Chalmers, Alexander, ed. The Works of the English Poets from Chaucer to Cowper. London, 1810; repr. New York: Greenwood, 1969: 1.546-8.
Anderson, Robert. The Works of the British Poets, or, Complete Edition of the Poets of Great Britain. 13 vols. Vol. 1. Edinburgh, 1793; London, 1795: 1.575-7.
Skeat, Walter William, ed. The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. 7 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1894-7: 7.275-80.