The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 6380
IMEV 3997
NIMEV see 3452/3, 5, 7-10
When men hear tellen of that they love they haven joy and bliss [When men here tellen of thing þar thai louen Ioie thai]
The Nativity of Mary and Christ, including a section formerly considered a part of 3452, in the South English Legendary, prefixed by 376 (4 lines) which also serves for several other items
Note: Brown and Robbins (1943) and Robbins and Cutler (1965) considered this as a prologue to 3452, and listed the sections of this work separately; see Pickering (1973), 435, who identifies three distinct versions, listed as A/B/C below. For extra couplet see 2743.
Title(s): South English Legendary
Subjects: prologues
Versification: — two-line — aa

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 779 (SC 2567), ff. 255-257v
First Lines:
…Of a prophete I wil ȝouȝ telle his name was Ȝakarye
his wif hiȝte elyȝabeþ & goddus modir hyȝte maryȝe…
Last Lines:
…Now pray we him wit al oure myȝt þat wolde for vs so lowe alyȝt
soch grace þat he vs send þat we motin to heuene wend
Note: ‘C’ version, 251 line extract with a unique conclusion, four couplets. Lines 249-517, following heading on f. 254v with first 34 lines of 4537 crossed out on f. 254v.
Attributed Title: þe birþe of ihesu crist (f. 254v)
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Rawlinson poet. 225 (SC 14716), ff. 30-31v
First Lines:
Ioseph was born in bedlem In þe lond of Ivdee
With marie his wyf he wa in nazareth In þe lond of galile…
Last Lines:
…O tyme þei died thourgh al þe world A wikked deth echon
Of no suilk [ ] sethen our lord tok wreche non
Note: 754 lines, textually corrupt.
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Addit. C.220 (SC 29430), ff. 19-20v
First Lines:
…þe sone ononrede hym eke þat day also for in þat mydwynter day
þre sonen wel fer by este in hevene me say
Eche by oþer of grete leme & grete ȝeme men þer of nome
A lytul wyle to geder smyten & to one sone by come…
Last Lines:
…þe offoryng he toke of þe turtlen for lome nadde he nom
With colveren & with turteleyn to þe temple þey gone gon…
Note: ‘A’ version, 143 lines beginning at line 435.
4.Source: Cambridge UK, St John’s College B.6 (28), ff. 25-79
First Lines:
The prophetys tolden sumtyme in here prophessye
al þat was of oure lord & his moder seynte Marye…
Last Lines:
…but ȝif þei to cristendome here hertis wil wende
and ihesu for þi grete grace hem þerto sone sende
Note: 3900 lines in this MS, incorporating all or parts of 376, 443, 1546, 1801, 2120, 2707, 2717, 2724, 4373, 4662, 3559, 5879, 3997.
Attributed Author: Þus meche forward quod Rpsf [cipher for ‘Rose‘] (f. 21v); Amen quod Rose (f. 73); quod Rose (f. 79)
Attributed Title: Explicit temporale in Anglicis quod Rose (f. 79)
Pickering, Oliver S., ed. The South English Nativity of Mary and Christ. Middle English Texts 1. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag/ Carl Winter, 1975.
5.Source: Cambridge UK, St John’s College B.6 (28), f. 25
First Lines:
Qwan men here telle of þat þei loue þei hauyn ioyȝe and blys
With suyche talys men moun wete qwat þing lef man ys…
Last Lines:
…how we were to lyue brouȝt after we were for lore
And how swete ihesu þat vs bouȝt on erþe was here bore
Note: Prologue to 3452, 6 lines in couplets, prefaced by 376 (4 lines) which also serves other purposes in other MSS.
6.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.3.25 (605), ff. 179-183
Note: ‘C’ version, an extract of 382 lines; inserts 22 unique lines f. 182v.
7.Source: London, British Library Stowe 949, ff. 88v-100v
First Lines:
Whanne men heren telle of þing þat hii louen ioye þei habben & blisse
& by such tales me may best ywyte what þing a man lef is…
Last Lines:
…Heroudes huld is broþer wyf al is lyf daye
As is oune wyf wiþ vnriht aȝen þe iewn lawe
Note: Most complete, 816-line text.
Pickering, Oliver S., ed. The South English Nativity of Mary and Christ. Middle English Texts 1. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag/ Carl Winter, 1975.
8.Source: London, British Library Addit. 10626, ff. 9v-11v
First Lines:
Whanne men heren telle of þyng þat þey loven Ioye þey haviþ & blis
& by suche tales me may best y wyte wat &yng a man lef ys…
Last Lines:
…& of þat elde weren to have wyf & þat eche of hem bere
A bare ȝerde to þe auter as Biatar þe bischepe hem scholde lere…
Note: ‘A’ version, opening 146 lines only. Followed by catchword ‘& hose ȝerde’.
9.Source: London, Lambeth Palace Library 223, ff. 33r2-43
First Lines:
When men heren þat þai loven ioys þai han & blisse
Wiþ siche tales men may wete what a man lefe is…
Last Lines:
…And listnes wele to þis tale & þerto has wille
Ihesu for þi moder love he kepe from þe fyre of helle
Note: ‘C’ version, 718 lines, with additional couplets (376, 2743).
10.Source: Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates’ 19.2.1 [Auchinleck MS], f. 66ra
First Lines:
When men here telle of þing þat þai louen Ioie þai han & blis
Wiþ swiche a man may wite best What him leuest is…
Last Lines:
…Hou we were al to liue brouȝt After we were for lore
& hou þat swete ihesu On erþe was y bore
Note: Six lines, three couplets, written half lines per line of MS.
Pearsall, Derek, and I. C. Cunningham, eds. The Auchinleck Manuscript. National Library of Scotland Advocates’ MS. 19.2.1. London: Scolar Press, 1977.
Turnbull, William Barclay David Donald, ed. Legendae Catholicae. Edinburgh, 1840: 126.
11.Source: New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library, Takamiya Deposit 54 [olim Weld, sold Sotheby’s, lot 57, June 24, 1980], ff. 1-9v
First Lines:
As we do now to holy chirche of that we may wynne
That other deel they ȝaue to pouere men and wyues made also…
Last Lines:
…So that herode and pilate longe in wratthe were
Til oure lorde on the rode was done accorded neuere þei nere
Note: ‘A’ version, imperfect; incorporates Circumcision (6852) and Epiphany.
Attributed Title: De Natiuitate beate Marie Virginis (1r); De Annunciatione Angelica (3r); De Natiuitate domini nostri Ihesu Christi (5r); Circumcisio domini (6r); De Epiphania domini (6v); De purificatione beate marie (7r)