The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 2335
IMEV 1402
NIMEV 1402
I would witen of some wise wight / Witterly what this world were
‘This World Fareþ as a ffantasy’, based on Ecclesiastes — eleven 12-line stanzas with refrain, ‘ffor þis world fareþ as a fantasye’
Title(s): This World Fareth as a ffantasy
Subjects: transitoriness, of world; Worthies, Nine; death; scripture, paraphrases of
Versification: — alliterative, twelve-line — ababababbcbc

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Eng. poet. a.1 (SC 3938) [Vernon MS], ff. 409rc-409va
First Lines:
I wolde witen of sum wys wiht
Witterly what þis world were…
Last Lines:
…And her we stunteþ but a stounde
ffor þis world is but fantasye
Doyle, I. A., ed. The Vernon Manuscript. A Facsimile of Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS Eng. poet.a.1, with an introduction by A. I. Doyle. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1987.
Scase, Wendy, and Nick Kennedy, eds. A facsimile edition of the Vernon manuscript: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Eng. Poet. A. 1. Oxford: The Bodleian Library, 2011.
Varnhagen, Hermann. “Die kleinere gedichte der Vernon und Simeon handschrift.” Anglia 7 (1884): 280-315: 310-13.
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. The Minor Poems of the Vernon Manuscript, Part 2. EETS o.s. 117 (1901; repr. 1973): 692-6.
Brown, Carleton Fairchild, ed. Religious Lyrics of the XIV Century. Oxford: Clarendon, 1924. 2nd ed., rev.: G. V. Smithers, Oxford, 1952.
Sisam, Celia, and Kenneth Sisam, eds. The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970: 354-5.
Bad Key: Burrow1977: 250.
2.Source: London, British Library Addit. 22283 [Simeon], fF. 130vc-131rb
First Lines:
I Wolde wolde witen of sume wis wiht
Witterly what þis world were…
Last Lines:
…And here we stunteþ but a stounde
ffor þis world is but ffantasye
Attributed Title: Explicit A song þis world is ffantasye (f. 131rb)
Digital Facsimile of British Library MS Add. 22283 (‘Simeon’). 2014;
Gray, Douglas, ed. A Selection of Religious Lyrics. Clarendon Medieval and Tudor Series. Oxford: Clarendon, 1975: 85.