William Dunbar: Off Februar the fyiftene nycht (1443 words)


William Dunbar’s “Off Februar the fyiftene nycht”, better known by the title given to it by editors as “The Dance of the Sevin Deidly Synnis”, was probably composed in 1507 for the entertainment of the court of king James IV of Scots. It is upon this poem and two others (“The Thrissil and the Rois” and “The Golden Targe”) that Dunbar’s reputation as an outstanding lyric poet was re-established in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The earliest extant record of the poem is the section preserved with three other Dunbar poems in the Asloan manuscript (1515-25; NLS MS 16500). This manuscript may have been written during the life of Dunbar, or alternatively shortly …

Citation: Davis, Graeme. "Off Februar the fyiftene nycht". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 November 2017 [https://staging.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=38796, accessed 01 December 2022.]

38796 Off Februar the fyiftene nycht 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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