And sytten so tyl euensonge , and songen somewhyle
And so setyn þey til euenesonge · and songen vmwhile
& sytten G.6.347:The G Cr R form sytten has been recorded as a variant reading (most B manuscripts read seten) because it may be in the present tense. However, preterites with medial i/y are possible. See MED sitten (v.). Though Cr23 share the G R spelling, their reading differs in other ways (they read so sytten they, cf. C Y so setyn þey). See also G.6.538. so tyll euvensong & songen some-wyle
And so setenO.5.351: O alone has so seten; variants include sytten so (Cr1GR), so satten (C2), so seten they (YC), so sytten they (Cr23), so þei setten (B), and seten so (WHmLMF) til euensong & sungen oþer-whyleO.5.351: OYC2C alone have oþer-while; most B manuscripts have vmwhile.
And sitten so til euesonge and syngenR.5.351:
The present tense, syngen, is unique to R; cf. F's sunge and beta's songen. R also shows a present-tense form earlier
in this line, sitten, where most B witnesses record a
past-tense form (but Cr and G agree with R). Context alone would suggest that the past tenses
are correct, but the unanimous witness of C manuscripts as well as the
attestation of a clear majority of A manuscripts in favor of these forms
decides the question. Cf. see the Introduction III.2.2.10 for a discussion of R's problematic tense marking. vmb-while .