The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 6670
IMEV 4160
NIMEV 4160
Why is this world beloved that false is and vain
Cur mundus militat… — twenty couplets
Note: For another version see 5480.
Title(s): Cur mundus militat…
Subjects: paraphrases; transitoriness, of world
Versification: — couplets — aa

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 59 (SC 6943), f. 83
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1524, Part VI (SC 8180), Part VI, f. 11
Note: Lines 1-29 only.
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 220 (SC 2103), f. 106
4.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Laud misc. 23 (SC 655), ff. 112v-114
First Lines:
Whi is the word belouyd that fals is and veyn
Sithyn that hise welthis ben vncerteyn
Al so sone slidith his power away
As dooth a broke pot that fressh is and gay…
Last Lines:
…But for als moche as a man shal dye at the laste
It is no worshipe but a charge lordshipe to taaste
Note: Preceded by Latin, Gangere qui gaudes meretricem qualiter audes hoc in decretis / Palmis pollutis regem tractare salutis (f. 112v).
Gray, Douglas, ed. A Selection of Religious Lyrics. Clarendon Medieval and Tudor Series. Oxford: Clarendon, 1975: 89.
5.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College B.15.39 (181), ff. 169v-170
First Lines:
Whi is þe world biloued þat fals in is & vein
siþen þat is hise welþis ben vncertein
Also soone slideþ his power away
as doiþ a brokil pot þat freche freisch is and gay…
Last Lines:
…But for as miche aman muste die at þe laste
it is no worschip but acharge lordschip to taste
Attributed Title: Dispite of þe world (f. 169v)
Brown, Carleton Fairchild, ed. Religious Lyrics of the XIV Century. Oxford: Clarendon, 1924. 2nd ed., rev.: G. V. Smithers, Oxford, 1952: 237-9.
Davies, Reginald Thorne. Medieval English Lyrics: a critical anthology. London, 1963; Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1964: 173-5.
6.Source: London, British Library Addit. 37788, ff. 81v-83v
First Lines:
Whi is þe world biloued þat fals is & veyn
Siþe þat his welpis ben vncertein…
Last Lines:
…But for as muche as a man muste die at þe laste
it is no worschip but a charge lordschip to taste
Note: Written as prose.
7.Source: London, British Library Cotton Titus C.XIX, ff. 141v-143
First Lines:
WHy is the worlde belouede that fals is & veyn
Sithen his welthes ben so vncerteyn…
Last Lines:
…But for as muche a man must deye atte last
It is no worshpe but a charge lordshipe to taste
8.Source: London, British Library Harley 1706, f. 93
9.Source: London, British Library Harley 1706, f. 150
Horstmann, Carl, ed. Yorkshire Writers. 2 vols. London, Sonnenschein; New York: Macmillan, 1895-96: 2.374-75.
10.Source: London, Lambeth Palace Library 853, pp. 32-35
First Lines:
Whi is þis world biloued þat fals is & veyn
Siþen þat hise welþis be so vnserteyn…
Last Lines:
…It were ful ioieful & sweete lorschipe to haue
If so þat lorschip miȝte aman fro deeþ saue
But for as myche as a man schal deie at þe laste
It is noo worschip but a charge lordschip to taaste
Note: Written as prose.
Attributed Title: Omnia terrena. Per vices sunt aliena nescio sunt anus mea nunc. cras huius et huius Dic homo quid speres. li mundo totus adheres nulla tecum feres. licet tu solis haberes (p. 35, rubric)
11.Source: San Marino, CA, Henry Huntington Library HM 744 [olim Ashburnham 133; olim Gollancz], f. 13
Furnivall, Frederick James, ed. Hymns to the Virgin and Christ…and other religious poems. EETS o.s. 24 (1867); repr. 1973: 86-7.
Wülker, Richard Paul, ed. Altenglisches Lesebuch. 2 vols. in one. Halle: Lippert, 1874, 1880: 2.14-15.
12.Source: Cleveland, OH, Public Library Wq091.92 C468 [olim Aldenham; Goldschmidt Sales Cat. 55, item 59]
Moe, Phyllis. “A New Text of Cur mundus militat.” English Language Notes 7 (1969): 6-9: 6.
13.Source: Untraced, Present whereabouts unknown olim Tenison, ff. 135v-137v
Note: Hamer (1995) lists as Unidentified, Missing or Destroyed.