The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 5077
IMEV 3238
NIMEV 3238
Sweet Jesu now will I sing
A song of love to Jesus — in monorhyming quatrains
Note: This is a combination of 2899 and 5075. The texts differ materially in arrangement and length in all MSS. Cf. 2876 and 5835; also promise of grace for saying this prayer, 6622
Author(s): Richard Rolle (attrib.)
Subjects: Christ, love toward; composite texts
Versification: — four-line, monorhyme — aaaa

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Eng. poet. a.1 (SC 3938) [Vernon MS], ff. 298ra-299rb
First Lines:
Swete Ihesu now wol I synge
To þe a song of loue longinge…
Last Lines:
…But pees & Ioye with gret lykynge
Swete Ihesu þerto vs bringe. Amen.
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.
Horstmann, Carl, ed. Yorkshire Writers. 2 vols. London, Sonnenschein; New York: Macmillan, 1895-96: 2.9-24.
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. The Minor Poems of the Vernon Manuscript, Part 2. EETS o.s. 117 (1901; repr. 1973): 2.449-62.
2.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 8, f. 222
Ihesu crist My Soule bote
In myn hert þu sette a rote
of þy sone þat ys so souute
ant grante þat þer yt greuwe mote
Note: Stanza 4 only; added to blank flyleaf at end of volume by a hand of the fifteenth century, followed by Latin couplet by same hand: Crimen mortale dum desplicit est veniale / In nece quisque iacet dum ueniale placet
Coxe, Henry Octavius. Catalogus codicum mss. qui in collegiis aulisque oxoniensibus…. Oxon: e Typographeo academico, 1852: 3.
Brown, Carleton Fairchild. A Register of Middle English Religious & Didactic Verse. 2 vols. London: Oxford University Press for the Bibliographical Society: 1916-20: 1.131.
Robbins, Rossell Hope. “Private Prayers in Middle English Verse.” Studies in Philology 36 (1939): 466-75: 470.
3.Source: London, British Library Addit. 22283 [Simeon], ff. 89ra-89vc
First Lines:
SWete Ihesu nou wol I synge
To þe a song of loue longinge…
Last Lines:
…But pes and Ioye with gret lykynge
Swete Ihesu þer to vs bringe
Digital Facsimile of British Library MS Add. 22283 (‘Simeon’). 2014;
4.Source: London, British Library Addit. 37787, ff. 146v-156v
First Lines:
Swete ihesu nou wul I syng
To þe a song of loue longyng…
Last Lines:
…But þes & Ioye wiþ gret likyng
Swete ihesu þere to vs bryng. Amen
Baugh, Nita Scudder. A Worcestershire Miscellany, compiled by John Northwood, c. 1400, edited from British Museum MS. Add. 37,787. Philadelphia, 1956: 129-42.
5.Source: London, British Library Royal 17 B.XVII, ff. 13v2-19
First Lines:
Swete Ihesu now wil I synge
To þe a songe of luf longynge…
Last Lines:
…but ioy & blis & ful likyng
Swete Ihesu þer to vs bryng
Note: This version with 6622 preceding as prologue stanza. Last sixteen lines written by a different scribal hand from preceding lines.
Horstmann, Carl, ed. Yorkshire Writers. 2 vols. London, Sonnenschein; New York: Macmillan, 1895-96: 2.9-24.
6.Source: Longleat, Marquess of Bath MS 29, ff. 55-56v; 58
First Lines:
Ihesu swet nowe wil I synge
To the a songe of loue langynge…
Last Lines:
…Bot pitte & ioy with gret lykynge
Swete ihesu þer to vs brynge
Note: 100 quatrains with eight ‘Mary’ quatrains added in margins
Ogilvie-Thomson, J. S., ed. Richard Rolle: Prose and Verse. EETS 293 o.s. 293 (1988): 50-63.
7.Source: San Marino, CA, Henry Huntington Library EL 34.B.7, ff. 83v-85v
First Lines:
Jesu swete now wyll I syng
To þe a song of love longyng…
Last Lines:
…Send it socowr and comfortyng
þat it dreede noo wycked thyng
Note: 31 quatrains. One prayer addressed to Jesus and two to Mary; portions addressed to Mary begin ff. 84v (‘Mary lady moder bryght / thow darst thow wylt thow artt of myght…’) and 85 (‘Mary þat slakyst all woo / hell paynes kepe vs froo…’)
Attributed Title: Carmen cristo Ihesu (f. 83v)
Legg, J. Wickham, ed. The Processional of the Nuns of Chester. Henry Bradshaw Society, 1899: 30-3.
8.Source: Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 155, pp. 109-119
First Lines:
Ihesu swete now wole iche syng
to þe a song of luf longyng…
Last Lines:
…but pees & myrþ wiþ gret lykyng
swete Ihesi þerto vs bryng
Note: 68 quatrains