The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 2536
IMEV 1503.5
NIMEV Dunbar
In May as that Aurora did upspring
William Dunbar, ‘The Merle and the Nichtingaill’ — fifteen eight-line stanzas with alternating refrains, ‘A lusty lyfe in luves seruice bene’ and ‘All luve is lost bot vpone god allone'’
Author(s): William Dunbar
Title(s): ‘The Merle and the Nichtingaill’
Subjects: birds, as narrators
Versification: — eight-line — ababbcbc

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Cambridge UK, Magdalene College Pepys 2553, pp. 165-168
First Lines:
In may as aurora did vpspring
with cristale ein chaissing the cloudis sabill…
Last Lines:
…To think how sang this merle and nichtingale
All luif is lost bot vpon god allone
Note: Missing lines 17-32.
Attributed Author: ffinis quod dunbar (p. 168)
Craigie, William Alexander. The Maitland Folio Manuscript, Containing Poems by Sir Richard Maitland, Dunbar, Douglas, Henryson, and others. 2 vols. Scottish Text Society n.s. 7 (1919), 20 (1927); Edinburgh and London: Blackwood, 1919, 1927: 1.188-91.
2.Source: Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates’ 1.1.6 [Bannatyne MS], ff. 283-284v
First Lines:
In may as that aurora did vpspring
With cristall ene chasing þe cluddis sable…
Last Lines:
…To think how song this merle and nychtingaill
All lufe is lost bot vpone god allone
Attributed Author: ffinis quod dumbar (f. 284v)
Dalrymple, Sir David, Lord Hailes. Ancient Scottish Poems. Edinburgh, 1770; repr. London, 1815: 112-17.
Morison, Robert, ed. Select Poems of Wil Dunbar, Part First from the MS of George Bannatyne. Perth: Morison, 1788: 93-8.
Laing, David. The Poems of William Dunbar. 2 vols. Edinburgh: Laing and Forbes, 1834; Supplement, 1865: 1.216-20.
“Ancient Scottish Poetry.” Blackwood’s Magazine 37 (1835): 287-318: 316-18.
Murdoch, James Barclay. The Bannatyne Manuscript. 4 vols. in 11 parts, paged continuously. Hunterian Club 16, 32, 40, 46, 50, 55-56, 64-67 Glasgow: Anderson, 1873-1896: 4.822-6.
Paterson, James. The Works of William Dunbar. Edinburgh: Stillie, 1863: 43-7.
Small, John, Ae. James George Mackay, George Powell McNeill, and Walter Gregor, eds. The Poems of William Dunbar. 5 pts. Scottish Text Society 2, 4, 16, 21, 29. Edinburgh, 1884-93: 2.174-8.
Baildon, Henry Bellyse. The Poems of William Dunbar. Cambridge: University Press, 1907: 178-82.
Ritchie, W. Tod, ed. The Bannatyne Manuscript. 4 parts in 4 vols. Scottish Text Society 3rd ser. 5 (1928); n.s. 22 (1928); n.s. 23 (1930); n.s. 26 (1934) Edinburgh and London: Blackwood, 1928-34; ed. by Ritchie et al: 4.87-91.
Arber, Edward. The Dunbar Anthology, 1401-1508. London, New York: Frowde, 1901: 1-6.
MacKenzie, William Mackay. The Poems of William Dunbar. Edinburgh, 1932: 134-7.
Conlee, John W., ed. Middle English Debate Poetry: A Critical Anthology. East Lansing, MI: Colleagues Press, 1991: 179-85.