Sworne godsoule and selpe me godM.5.380: While this b-verse has widely varying readings among B manuscripts, M is the only beta-family manuscript to share RF's syntax so help me god, in contrast to the other beta manuscripts which read so god me help. and halydome
Sworne gods soule , & so god me helpe & þe holidome
Sworen goddes soule . and so me god helpeW.5.378: W alone reads me god helpe. Most other B witnesses have god me helpe & (þe) holidome with minor variation.
Sworen god soule and and so god me helpe an holy-dome
swareG.6.378: The use of medial <a> in G sware probably reflects the influence of bare, the preterite of bear. See OED swear v. godes souvle & so god me helpe & halydome
Sworen godes soule and his sydesR.5.382:
Beta omits the entire R phrase for the end of the a-verse (and his sydes);
F reads an abbreviated version, & side. The C
reading is probably that of the X family (which agrees exactly with R's). The P family
reading (& sides) agrees with F's omission of the possessive but with
R's plural number. and so help me god & holy-domeR.5.382:
Beta appears to reverse a key alpha phrase (the latter being more colloquial), rendering
alpha's so help me god as so god me help. The C reading for the end of this b-verse is revised but its opening agrees
exactly with alpha's phrasing, so helpe me god. Beta's motive for revision
was probably metrical, but manuscript M somehow still agrees with alpha and displays a form
that may explain both Langland's intention and the apparent lapse in alliteration. Alpha and
M read the line as aliterating on /s/ (hence M's selpe) but beta judges
that it must alliterate on /g/ and generates the aformentioned phrase reversal to highlight
that possibility. .
& swore goddis sowle & sideF.5.378: Beta manuscripts lack the phrase "& side." R reads "and his sydes." / & so help me godF.5.378: Beta manuscripts have "god me help" for alpha's "help me god." & holy-dom.