The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 4229
IMEV 2662
NIMEV 2662
Of them that written us tofore
John Gower, Confessio Amantis, Fragments & Extracts — in eight Books and a Prologue: the longest version has about 34,000 lines
Note: See 4226 for the A Text, 4227 for the B Text, and 4228 for the C Text.
Author(s): John Gower
Title(s): Confessio Amantis
Subjects: tales; love
Versification: — two-line — aa
Macaronic: Latin

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Rawlinson D.82 (SC 12900), ff. 25-33v
First Lines:
UEnus which stante withoute lawe
In no certeyn but as men drawe…
Last Lines:
…Vpon the poynte þat I am shryue
I thenke bydde while I lyue
Note: Book 8, lines 2377-2970, and Conclusion only.
2.Source: Oxford, Trinity College 29, f. 190
Note: Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream only.
3.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 354, pp. 113-195; 364-371
First Lines:
Of a Cronyque in dayes gon
The which ys cleped pantheon…
Last Lines:
…The gravell with the small stones
To gold they torne all at ones
Note: Tales of Appolonius (8.271-2028=pp. 113-144), Constance and Perseus (2.587-1612=pp. 144-161); Phillip of Macedonia (2. 1616-1865=pp. 161-166), Adrian and Bardus (5.4937-5162=p. 166-170), Pirithous, Galba and Vitellius (6.485-595=pp. 170-172), Dives and Lazarus (6.975-1238=pp. 172-176), Constantine (2.3187-3507=pp. 176-182), Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream (1.2785-3066=pp. 182-186), Diogenes, Pyramus (3.1201-1502,1655-1672=pp. 186-192), Midas (5.141-312=pp. 192-195), and Three Questions (1.3067-3402=pp. 364-371).
Attributed Title: The tale of Antiochus & / Appolynes of Tyre (p. 113)
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University: Facsimile of Oxford, Balliol MS 354. (
4.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Ee.2.15, ff. 38-40v; 44-46v; 54-84v; 86-102v
First Lines:
The more he stonde ther of in dought
Tho knewe he wele the kyngys herte…
Last Lines:
…To oure requestys shall goodly condecende
A geyne alle oure enmyes thys lond for to dyffende
Note: Tales of Three Questions (1.3124-3315), Trump of Death (1.2083 and following).
Attributed Title: The tale of Antiochus and Appolynes of Tyre (f. 55)
5.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Ff.1.6 [Findern MS], ff. 3-5; 45-51; 81-95
First Lines:
Thow hast þy tyrannye y wroȝt
lo now yt ys sumdel y boȝt
& bet yt schall ffor off þy dede
þe wordle schall euere syng & rede…
Last Lines:
…Touchinge þis man of Tire
Hir hirt is hot as eny fire
Note: Tales of Tereus (5.5920-6052), Rosiphelee (4.1114-1466), Three Questions (1.3067-3425), Somnolence (4.2746-2926), Apollonius (8.271-846).
6.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College MS Fragments, Box 2, ff. 1ra-1vb
First Lines:
[…]uþe he noght
[…]which was þe beste
[…]he scholde chese algate
[…]aste longe and late…
Last Lines:
…Such w[…]wit haþ ou[…]
Þat what […]be[…]…
Note: A binding fragment: recto has all or parts of Book I, lines 1816-32, 1861-77; verso has all or parts of Book I, lines 1897-1909 plus 4 lines of Latin gloss (‘hic tractat…promittunt’), 1938-54. See Pearsall (2004), 76.
7.Source: London, British Library Harley 7333, ff. 120ra-121vb; 122ra-129vb
First Lines:
Ther was a Riall noble kynge
And riche of alle wordly thinge… (f. 120ra)
A worthi knyȝte in cristes lawe
Of grete rome as is þe sawe… (f. 122ra)
A Kyng whilom was yonge & wyse
which sette of his witt gret prise… (f. 126ra)
Off Iubiter þis finde I write
How whilom that he wolde wite… (f. 127va)
Whan Rome stode in noble plit
Virgile which was þe profite… (f. 127vb)
IN A Cronicle þis I rede
A boute A kynge is most nede… (f. 128vb)
SOmdele to this matere like
I fynde a tale how frederike… (f. 129rb)
Last Lines:
…Þi lust it may falle the thus
As it be fille of Thereus (f. 121vb)
…In hyndering of a noþer wyȝt
And yf þou wolt be tauȝt a ryȝt
kepe the wlle þerfroo
Or elles shame wolle come þe to (f. 126ra)
…And take humbles vpon thi syde
Þe more of grace þou shalt gete
In þin hert þis tale be not fogete (f. 127va)
…Of that I shall my broþer greve
Itt myȝt neuer wel a cheve (f. 127vb)
…It stode so as the thinges felle
I thinke a tale for to telle (f. 129vb)
…And thei lafte of hir evill speche
& mercy of hir kyng be seche (f. 1294b)
…Þis is þe comon of the strete
I Set nouȝt of his biȝete (f. 1294b)
Note: Tales of Tereus (5.5551-6052), Constance (2.587-1608), Three Questions (1.3067-3425), Travellers and Angel (2.291-372), Coveitise (5.2031-2272), The Two Coffers (5.2273-2390), The Beggars and the Pasties (5.2391-2498).
Attributed Title: A tale of Ouide what fell of Raueshing (f. 120ra, rubric); Explicit (f. 121vb, rubric); The tale of constaunce what ffelle
of Enuye of Bakbytinge (f. 122ra, rubric); Explicit (f. 126ra, rubric); A tale A gein Pride (f. 126ra, rubric); Explicit (f. 127va, rubric); A tale that fill be twix / Covetous & Enuy (f. 127va, rubric); Explicit (f. 127vb, rubric); A tale of A emperoure that was / distroied for coveting of golde (f. 127vb, rubric); A tale of the fortune of þe world (f. 128vb, rubric); A tale of two Beggers / of ffortune and Covetise (f. 129rb, rubric); Explicit (f. 129vb, rubric)
8.Source: Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury School Confessio Amantis frag., fragment, single sheet
Note: About 70 lines from the Prologue.
9.Source: New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library, Takamiya Deposit 32 [olim Penrose 6; prior Delamere], ff. 3rb-5ra; 5vb-8va; 8va-11va; 11vb-13rb; 13rb-14rb; 158ra-161ra; 161ra-162vb
First Lines:
A K… whilom wa…
whi… his wit sette…
Theer was a Ryall noble king
And Riche he was of all worldis thyng…
Thee heyghe creature of thynggis
Whiche is kyng of all kynggis…
LEve lordys and freendis dere
lestynyht a while and yee sch… here…
To speke of an vn kynde man
I fynde how whilum that Adrian
Of Rome whiche that a greet lord was…
The heyh all myghtty god of purviaunce
In whos eterne Remembravnce…
This king that was of mochel myght
Thee which Nabogodonosor hyght…
Last Lines:
And of … hath so w… [vnc?]closed
Thee poy[nn?]tes wheer… she was apposed
…And is thee bridde falssest of alle
I pray to god fayre mote vs by falle
…His fader wiche hym mys by gatte
Hee hym slowe a greet mys hap was thatte
…That hyndre wold any maner wyght
Ther fore I Rede thee with all thyn hool myght
Forto cvnsseyle every man to the best gyse
And ellis dare I seye thow doost nat as the wyse
Lord so full of grace sittynge in Mageste
Grawnte vs wit and space here to serve thee
And forto lyue [breaks off mid-line]
…Ageynst whiche that Resoun de batyht
And every gentell hertte hit hatyht
…As forto speken of this Matere
Which is no bote more offe forto here
…Ayenst all myghtty goddis lawe
To whom no man may been felawe
Note: Very stained and damaged in places. Tales of Three Questions (1.3067-3402), Tereus (5.5551-6048), Nectabanus (6.1789-2358; transcript is London, British Library Addit. 38181), Phebus, Athemas (2.1613-1864; transcript is London, British Library Addit. 38181), Adrian and Bardus (5.4937-5162), and Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream (Prologue [with 7-line Latin stanza] 585-1088, 1.2785-3042).
Attributed Title: H… gynniht a worthy thyng / …questionys of a king (f. 3); The iij questionys (RT); HEre be gynnyht Progne & Phelomene (f. 5v); Progne and Philomene (RT); Explicit Progne & Philomyne (f. 8v); […]lexavndre (f. 8v, margin); Alexaundre (RT); Kyng Phelip of Macedoyne (RT); Here bee gynnyht of an vnkynde man / of Rome that hyghtte sire Adrian (f. 13); Of an vn kynde man (RT); Explicit vn kyndnesse (f. 14); hic in cipit Nabugodonoser (f. 158); Nabugodonoser (RT); Explicit Nabugodonoser (f. 162v)
10.Source: London, University College, London Fragment Angl.1 [olim Phillipps 22914], ff. 1ra-4vb
First Lines:
Wher of may wel be iustifyed
þat þei may nought be deified…
Last Lines:
…And of Ninus king of Assire
I rede how þat in his Empire
Note: Four leaves bearing text from the ‘Religions of the World’ section: Book V: 775-966, 1159-1542, and 1735-1926 (i.e., both from a single quire, probably the second and middle bifolia, since the second bifolium is certainly a center and there are about 48 lines per column, c. 196 per folio).