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Full text of "Early English poetry, ballads, and popular literature of the middle ages. Ed. from original manuscripts and scarce publications"

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EARLY ENGLISH POETRY, 
BALLADS, 

AND POPULAR LITERATURE 
OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 

EDITED FROM ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS 
AND SCARCE PUBLICATIONS. 

VOL. XV] 



PRINTED FOR THE PERCY SOCIETY, 
Bl ! RICH ^RDS 5 ! M \ R M\ S LAX I 

M.DCCC.XLVI. 



fi 



CONTENTS OF VOL XVI 



THE SEVEN SAGES, WITH AN INTRODUCTORY 
ESSAY. 

EDITED BT THOMAS WRIGHT, ESQ, M.\. P.5.A. 

THE ROMANCE OF SYR TRYAMOURE. 

EDITED 1. \ J, 0. HAM. I WELL, ESQ. F.S.A, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 



THE 



SEVEN SAGES, 



ENGLISH VERSE, 



EDITED FROM A MANUSCRIPT IN THE PUBLIC LIBRARY 
OF THE UNIVERSITY OP CAMBRIDGE 



THOMAS WRIGHT, ESQ., M.A., F.S.A. 

HOW. M. R.S.I,., ETC. 

CORRESPONDING HBHBBB OT THE INSTITUTE OP FRAM i 
(ACADEMES I»LS [NSCBIFTIONS BT BELLES LETTB1 S.] 



LONDON. 
PRINTED FOR THE PERCY SOCIETY, 

BY T. RICHARDS, 100, ST. MARTIN'S LANE. 
M IKCC.XI.N . 



COUNCIL 



Cfte $ercp ^>onct^. 



President. 

The Rt. Hon-. LORD BRAYBROOKE, F.S.A. 

THOMAS AMYOT, Esq. F.R.S. Tkeas. S.A. 
WILLIAM HENRY BLACK, Esq. 
WILLIAM CHAPPELL, Esq. F.S.A. 
J. PAYNE COLLIER, Esq. F.S.A. 
C. PURTON COOPER, Esq. Q.C., F.R.S., F.S.A. 
PETER CUNNINGHAM, Esq. 
JAMES HENRY DIXON, Esq. 
WILLIAM JERDAN, Esq. F.S.A., M.R.S L. 
CAPTAIN JOHNS, R.M. 
T. J. PETTIGREW, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A. 
LEWIS POCOCK, Esq. F.S.A. 
SIR CUTHBERT SHARP. 
WILLIAM SANDYS, Esq. F.S.A. 
WILLIAM J. THOMS, Esq. F.S.A. 
THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. MA. F.S.A., Secretary and 
Treasurer. 



The following text of the Seven Sages, one of 
the most remarkable collections of stories current 
during the Middle Ages, is printed from a MS. in 
the Bibl. Publ. Cantab, (known by the shelf-mark 
Dd. 1, 17), which appears to have been written 
about the end of the fourteenth century. It is 
an incorrectly- written MS., but is the only copy 
known which has not suffered mutilation. An 
Essay on the history of these stories, with a few 
notes on the text, will form another of the Society ''s 
publications, to be bound with the text at the 
end of the year ; and for that I reserve further 
observations on the subject. 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 



In Rome was an emperour, 

A man of swyth mikil honur, 

As tlie book tellys us, 

Is name was Deocclicius, 

Al the londe hadde to gye, 

And hadd a wyfe that bight Helie. 

Bitwene thaym twa come an ayer, 

A good child and a faire ; 

The emperour and is wif 

Lovenden the child as hare lyf. 10 

The einperour wax an old man, 

And on a day thynke he gan 

Uppon his sone that was so bolde, 

And was bot sevene wyntur olde. 

The emperour for-thoght sore 

Tha the child ware sette to lore ; 

After the seven sages he sent, 

And messangers anon thare went, 

And broghten the clerkes of honour 

Ryght byfore the emperour. 20 



30 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Into a chambir out of the lialle 
He toke thaym, and refreynde alle, 
Whilk of thaym he myght take 
Hys sone a wyes man to make. 

The heldest answerde the emperour, 
That whas a man of mykil honour, 
A lene oor man he was, 
Kyd was callid Baucillas ; 
He sayed to the emperour, 
" Woldestow do me that honour, 
To bytake thy sone to me, 
Thow scholdest bath here and see, 
Er thys seven 3er ware a-goon, 
He sholde conne hym self al on, 
By God Almighty that is in heven, 
Also mykyl as we sevene." 

The secunde mayster was nawt so holde 
Ase Baucillas, no nawt so bolde ; 
A man he was that loved pees, 
And whas callid Ancillees. 10 

" Sire emperoure, 3if it so bee 
Thow wille bytake thy sone to me, 
For thy love I wille hym teche, 
Into his hert fort reche 
Al the clergy undir sonne 
That we seven clerkes cunne. 
This I wile sikere the, 
Gyf he schal byleve with me." 

The thirde a lene man was, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 



50 



And coutlie mykil solas, 
And was callid Lentulus : 
Hee sayed to the empcrour thus, 
" Sire emperour, take nowt a-greef, 
Tak me thy childe that is te leve, 
And er ther passe thre and fyve, 
Yf he have wyt and his on lyve, 
He schal conne hym self alone 
As mykil wit as we ilkone." 

The fyrde mayster he roos and spake, 
He was nowthir whyit no blake, °° 

And hired man he was, 
And was callid Maladas ; 
" Sire," he sayde, " take me thyn heire, 
That his bothe good and faire ; 
Bote for sothe I wile for-sake 
That my felawes hase undirtake : 
A wondir thyng that were bygyne 
To teche hym that my felawes cune. 
Bot I walde teche hym, as I am a man, 
Also mykil good as I can." 70 

The fyfte mayster up araes, 
That of wisdom bare grete loos, 
He was boren in Rome toune, 
And was callid mayster Caton ; 
He sayd, " Sire emperour, i-wis, 
The sothe tale that his this, 
To teche hym that my felawes cane, 
A grete foly it were bygyne ', 

n2 



90 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Bote yf thow wilt bitakc hym me, 

I wille, for honour of the, 

As I am trewe mane, 

Hym teche the clergy that I can." 

The sexte was a 5ong man 
That no herd non bygane, 
And sayed, " Sire, bythoght fening, 
Take thy sone in my kypyng, 
And that wole do so by myn attente, 
That 3e no schal noujt repente." 
In this manere answerde he, 
And was callid maystir Jess . 

The sevent mayister answerd thus, 
And was hoten Marcius : 
" Sire, I have servyd the 3are, 
Sythen I couthe first of lare, 
Fram that day hidyr to, 
Al that evere I have done 
I queth 50U, sire emperoure ; 
"Woltow do me that honour, 
To take me thy childe to 3eme, 
And I wille teche hym the to greme." 10 ° 

The emperour with wordis stille 
Thaynked thaym with good wille ; 
" By the deth that I schal dee, 
I nylle party 30ure company, 
I nylle take my sone to one, 
I bytake hym 50W ilkone, 
To teche hym in chambyr and in halle, 



110 



THE SEVEN SACKS. 

That I be holden to 30-u alle." 
Thay thanked alle the emperour, 
That grauntyd hem that honour, 
To have in hare kepyng 
That he loved thorou al thyng. 
Thay token leve at the emperour, 
And ladde the childe with honour, 
The sevene mayster alle y-fere, 
Ther the childe schulde lere. 
Thau sayd maystir Catone, 
" Yf he dwelle here in the toune, 
Certes it may nought be 

That he schal here or see 120 

AVylen to don or speke with mouthe, 

And that nolde we nought that he couth. 

Sykyrly for to telle, 

There most he noujt dwelle." 

The seven maysteres thay hym nome 

I note how mykil out of Rome, 

For to ordayne and dyvise, 

Or the childe ware sette aprise, 

Ware thay my5te a stude make, 

A real, for the childes sake, 130 

Whare he myght of wit lere, 

And none vileny heere. 

A studie thay fonden swyth fayre, 

And a stude of good eeir; 

Fayre welles there wellyde fast, 

And fayre trees schadow to ka>t. 



{ 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 

In the fayrest place of alle 

They lete reren a halle; 

Nought as anothir halle it nas, 

Even four cornarde it was. ' '-" 

Thay late rere in ilce a syde 

Fayre chambirs many and wyde ; 

Every mayster hadde oone 

In to lygge and to goon. 

Than al togydir was wrought, 

Er the childe wer thydir brought, 

Fyrst ganien to bygynne, 

The sevene sciens payent therin. 

Whan al togydyr was wrought, 

The childe thar-in was brought, 15 ° 

Amyd the halle hys bede Avas made, 

When he lay ther-in naked, 

Hon ilce half he my3t byholde 

At ilke tyme whane he wolde, 

Uppon the wallis he myght see 

What hys lesson schulde bee. 

Alle hys maystirs were about, 

To teche hym, for hys fadir dout ; 

Evermore wil he wooke, 

When on levede, anothir tooke, 1,!0 

That or the sevene 3ere were goon, 

Of seven artis nastir noon 

That he no couthe good skil inne, 

Wastir noon to bygynne. 

Whan his maystirs taught noght, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 7 

He lernede of his owen thoght ; 

That on a day in the halle 

He disputide with ham alle, 

And thay were glad of that he couthe, 

And sayed ileon with othir to mouthe, 17 ° 

" The childe wax a wyes man ; 

Prove we more what he can." 

Thay were bythout in a wile 

For to do the childe a gyle, 

For to prove of hym more, 

How depe he was in lore. 

The childes bede was maked in stage, 

Of four postis as a kage ; 

Undir ilc post thay layden, 

Aste the clercus hem selven sayden, 1S0 

Four yven leves togydir knyt, 

For to proven of his wit. 

Uppon morwen, tho it was day, 

The childe awakid there he lay, 

He loked low, he loked hee, 

And kast wildeliche his hye ; 

He loked in ilce half of his bede, 

As a man thot ware adrad. 

Than come the maystir Baucillas, 

And askyde the childe what him was : 190 

" "Wy lokesttow so aboute thy bede? 

Artou of eny thyng adradc?" 

The childe answerde in his bede, 

" I am of no man adradc; 



1 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Bote a ly til I merveyle me 

Of a thyng that I see. 

This house that is so strange dy5t, 

The rofe hys sonkon to nyght, 

Or the flore his resyn on hye, 

Sythen I last the rofe see." - 00 

" Certys," quod Maladas, 

" That ware a wondir kas! 

For in noone kynne wyse, 

The flore ne may noujt aryse. 

The post been grete and nou5t sinal. 

How myjte the rofe awale? 

Hyt ne may on non wys be, 

Thyng that thow tellyst me." 

" By God, maister, I am noght dronken, 
Yf the rofe his noujt sonken, 210 

Ne the flore rysyn on hye, 
Sithen I last the rofe see, 
Than his my bede undir-layede ; 
That no may noujt bee wyt-sed." 
Thay noldeu no langer with hym 5ede, 
Ne suftVy langer ly gge in bede. 
Bote while he wente in solas, 
Maden the bedde as hit was: 
Ilkon sayed to other thus, 
" He his a wyse man y-wys."' - i0 

Wyl the childe at scole was, 
Hym byfel a harde eaes; 
Hys modir deyde. that hatte Elye, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. V 

As we schalle alle dye. 

Sone aftir that scho was dede, 

Hys fadir hadde anothir rede ; 

Grete lordis of honour 

Come anone to the ernperour, 

And sayden, " Thow hase londis y-now ; 

Hit were tyme for to wouwe, 230 

And to have anothir wyf, 

For to ledde with thy lif, 

Thou ne havest no childe bot hon, 

And mygtyst susteyne many oon." 

The emperour was jolyf of hlode, 

And hare councel undirstood ; 

And to thaym alle sayede hee, 

" Lordyngs, thanne aspye je 

A womman worthy to be my make, 

And with 50ure consel I wil hire take." 210 

Tho thay seen he wolde acente, 

For to seche anon thay wente, 

Of hye lynage and faire manere 

A lady for to be his feere. 

Alle the lordis soghten fast, 

And fande a lady at the last. 

At schorte wordis for to telle, 

The emperour ne wolde noi^t dwel, 

I lee wedded hirre ase the law was, 

And lyveden togydir in solas. 25 ° 

Bot it lastid bot a while, 

The wyf for-dide hit with a gyle. 



10 THE SEVEN' SAGES. 

The emperasse was sone tolde 

Of that child that was so bokle, 

That was the emperour eir, 

A good childe and a faire. 

He that tolde hire that tale, 

Broght hir in mykil bael; 

For ever more scho was in thoght, 

That the childe were to deth broght. '-"'"' 

In a myry morny[n]g of May, 
The emperour in his bedde lay, 
And the emperesse in feere; 
"What we saye now non schal here. 
" Sire," scho sayed, " hit is me tolde, 
That thou base a sone bolde, 
A good childe and a faire, 
That sal be oure bothe ayere. 
For sothe, sire, I hold hym myn, 
Also wel as thou dost thyn. 270 

Therefore I besyche the, 
For love thou ouwest to me, 
Send after hym, yf it his thy wylle, 
And late me spek with hym my fylle: 
Graunt my bone, and make me glade 
Hyt his the first that ever I badde." 
The emperour lay al stille, 
And lete hyre saye al hire wille ; 
Of falsnesse non heed he nam, 
Bot at the last out hit kame. - Stl 

The emperour answerde tho, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 1 1 

" Certis, dame, I have no mo, 
No child bot hym i-wis; 
And now. I wot how hit his 
That thow desyres hym to see, 
He schal come horn to the." 
The lady sayed thare, 
" Leve sire, this ilke daye 
Lat dyght messangers 3are, 

Aftir hym for to fare." 290 

Quod the emperour, and swor ther-to, 
" For soth, dame, hit sal be doom" 
Bot the emperour wist nought 
What was hire wikkyd thought. 
An evyl deth mot scho dey! 
Scho purchasede thourugt nigremancye, 
That seven dayes and seven nyght 
He no schold spek with no wyght, 
Yf ony word hym hadde sprong, 
That men myght here of his tong, ;?0 " 

Anon hys hert scholde to-breke, 
Ne schold he never eft more speke. 
This hadde the wikkid womman wrout, 
For brynge the childe to nowt. 
Than messangers were 3are, 
After the childe for to fare: 
He sayed to the messangeres, 
That ware bolde and feres, 
" To the seven sages $e sal wynde, 
And saye that I ham gretyng sonde, ^io 






12 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

And bidde thaym withouten delay 

Come withinne the thyxdde day, 

And bryng with thaym my sone dere 

That thay have for to lere." 

Thay nolden there longe dwelle, 

The messangers were ful snelle, 

Hastilich the way thay nomen, 

To the seven sages thay comen, 

And sayden, " Clerkis of honour, 

Wylle 30W gretis the emperour, 320 

And byddis 50W within this thrid day 

Come to hym, without delay, 

And bryng with jow his sone dere, 

That he betai^t 50U to lere." 

Thay were resayved with gret honour, 

For love of the emperour. 

The childe and his maisters alle 

Went dowen out of halle 

Into a herber to make solas, 

And there sawe a wondir kas; 330 

Hit neght fast toward nyght ; 

And the mone schone wil bryght, 

And thay byhelden towarde the scky, 

Uppon the mone that so hy3e, 

And on sternes there bysyde, 

Of thyng that affter wolde bytyde. 
Than byspake maystir Caton, 

" Felaus, I see in the mone, 

\V> have made us alle to-don. 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 13 

The emperour hase send us sonde, 3l0 

That we sclial brynge his sone alle to honde; 

And when he comes his fadir byfore, 

And he speke he his lore, 

His stepmodir hase thorug nigrimancyc 

So denied how the child schal dye, 

Yf he speke he his y-lore; 

And we schal by schend ther-fore. 

The emperoui', by swete Jhesus! 

Alle he wille wyten us." 

The childe kast hys heyn a-hey, 35 ° 

And sawe alle that Caton see; 
" Maystir," he sayde, " a ! see 50 
Another thyng that I se ? 
In a stere I see me lyche, 
And I myghte forbere speche 
Seven dayes and seven nyght, 
I scholde covere agayn my syght, 
And my woo turne to game, 
And 50 alle out of blame." 

Than sayd mayster Baucillas, 360 

" For soth this his wondir cas: 
Tharefore take counsel sone 
What his best to don, 
How we myghte overcome this wyf, 
For to save oure aler lyf. 
For bettir be avisemend, 
Certenlych we be schent." 
The childe answerd ther he stood, 



14 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

" I wyle gyf 50U counsel good; 

Seven dayes I mot forbere : *'<j 

That I ne gyf no answere; 

And yf I speke loude or stille, 

With the forme word I sal deye. 

And 3e both, $e maistires sevene, 

The wysesde I holde undir evene, 

Fondys ilkon, yf je may, 

For to holde my lyf a day 

With qweyntys of clergye; 

For 3e be schent yf I deye." 

Baucillas sayed, " If I may, aso 

I schal save thy lyf a daye." 

And alle the othir sayed, i-wys, 

That ilkon wolde be for hys, 

And ilc mayster toke hys day 

To kepe hit, withouten delay. 

Sonenday hadde Baucillas ; 

And ilkon wyst wylk his was. 

Thus thay were at on alle, 

And wenten agayen into the halle, 

And maden the messangers solas, 390 

And 3ede to bede wan tym was. 

O morwe, when the day was lyght. 

Thay hyeden that the childe were dijt, 

He went forth in mykil care, 

And left alle hys maysters thare; 

With hym toke he nevere 0011, 

Bot maistir Baucillas aloon. 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 15 

And anon, are the none, 

Ryght to the cite of Rome 

The childe into palayes kame, 400 

And into halle the way he name. 

And hys fadir he gan lowte 

And the lordyngs al abowt. 

Hys fadir askyd how he ferde, 
And the child nowt answerde, 
But lowtid to his fadir anon, 
And stod stille as a stoon. 

The emperour than wroth was, 
Spake to the maystir Baucillas, 
" Mayster, how his this game goone, *io 

That my sone speke wordis noone ? 
And tho I hym bytoke to 50W 
He spake langage good i-nowe, 
And now ne spakys he bettir no wors: 
Therefore have Godys curse." 

" Sire," quod maystir Baucillas, 
"For soth hit his a wondir cas: 
jyster day he spak as wel 
As ony of us, by saynt Myghel." 

"Wyle the emperour and Baucillas -120 

Spake of that wondir cas, 
To the emperesse the worde was broght, 
That the childe ne spake noght. 
Scho come a-doun into the halle, 
And hyre maydens with hire alle, 
And welkomede the childe auone. 



16 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

And he stod stille as a ston, 

And fayre he gan the lavydy loute, 

And hir mayden alle aboute. 

He stod stille and spake noughte: |:: " 

He wist ful wille hir wikyd thou5t. 

The lavedy sayed to the emperour, 

" Y grette thy sone for gret honour, 

And hys mouth whas fast stoke, 

He wolde never a word speke." 

Thanne sayede the emperour, 

" Dame, by saynt Saviour, 

He wolde nothyng spek with me, 

How scholde he, dam, spek with the?" 

The lavedy sayd, that thoi^t gile, 4i0 

" Sire, lete us twayne bee a wyle 

In a chambir togidir steke, 

And certis, yf he sal ever speke, 

I sal make hym speke, i-wys, 

Yf anny speche in hym ys: 

For soth I shal bee his leche, 

Yf ever more shal have speche." 

The emperour of alle the londe 
Tok hys sone by the honde, 
And sayed, "Dame, take hym here, i"'" 

And wende wydir $e wille i-fere; 
I vowch hym wylle save on the, 
To do what thy wylle bee." 
The emperesse of alle the londe 
Tok the childe by the honde, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 17 

And wonte into a chambyr i-fere, 

And ful cvyly, as $e mowe hyre, 

Ful sone scho hadde a lesyng wrou3t, 

For to bryng the childe to noujt. 

When scho into the chambur cam, 4ti0 

The childe by the honde scho nam, 

And sayed to hym, " Lemman dere, 

Men wenes I be thy faderes fere: 

By hym that made sone and mone, 

He ne hade nevere with me done, 

No nevere more he ne schal; 

My body, maydenhod and idle, 

I have tokyn hyt to the, 

To do with what thy wille bee." 

The childe stod and spake nought, 17 ° 

And was in swyth gret thought. 

Aboute hys neke hyre armees ho laved, 
And with hir fals tonge sayed, 
"Kys me, yf thy wylle bee, 
Alle my lyfe hys longe on the." 
The childe thoivjt on hevene blys, 
lie nolde nought the lavedy kys, 
And non othir thynge do, 
Bot crepe out of hire amies two. 
Anon as the lady see, 180 

Out of hire armes that he flee, 
Al that on hir bed was laved 
Scho brayd hit a-don at on brayd, 
To-rente hyre clothes and foule ferde, 
And cryde at the emperour herde ; 



18 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

For men scholde tak hed, 

Scho made hyre vysages for to bled. 

Than the emperour herde hyr crye, 

Into the chambir he gan bye; 

And anon has he cam, 490 

A grete scryke up ho nam, 

And sayde, " My lord, syre emperour, 

Lo hyre what a grete honour 

Thy sone walde have done the, 

Here he walde have strangyl me, 

Or he walde have lyen my by, 

Bot I hadde areryd cry. 

For soth he nys noi^t thy blode; 

Hit his a devel, and his wode: 

For sothe, bot he be bondon anon, ;50 ° 

He wil schende us ilc oon." 

The emperour was nere wode, 

"When he sawe hys wyfys bloode, 

Hire heved bare, hire clothes rente; 

He swore anon, by saynt Vyncent, 

" I schal nevere hete brede, 

Here the thyfe traytour by dede." 

Anon ryght the emperour 

Callid to hym a tormentour, 

And anothir, and the thyrde, 

And sayde, " I 30W bote and byde, 

Take thys thyf, and bynde hym fast, 

Whyle the cordis wyle laste, 

And ledis 50 hym thare thyfys hyng, 

Anon that he have hys endyng; 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 19 

And loke that he no tarye nou3t, 

Er lie be to cleth brought." 

None durste wyth-sytte hys heste, 

Nouthir the lest no the moste. 

Thay tokyn hym, and bandyn hym fast, 

Whyle the cordis wolde laste, 

Thourth the emperours comniandement, 

Thay laddyn hym toward juggement. 

Knyghtys and levedys in the halle, 

Squyers and may dens alle, 

Iladde wondire in hir thouth 

What wo was in the chambir wrought. 

Erlys and barrons in the halle 

Wenton to the emperour alle, 

And sayed, "Lord, syr emperour, 530 

Thow doost thy selfe lytil honour, 

For to suffyre thy sone by slawe, 

Withouten any proses of lawe. 

Lat hym leve al this nyght, 

Til to morwe that day by lyght, 

And than yf he schal by schent, 

Lat hym passe thottrgh juggement." 

Than answerde the emperour 

To the lordis of honour, 

"Lordyngs, I WH30W telle, 540 

For 30ure love he schal dwelle 

On lyve tyl to morwe day, 

And by than as hit may." 

Thay thank hit al the emperour, 

That hadde don ham that honour, 



20 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

That he grauntit ham that bone, 

And that thay hadden hit so sone. 

The emperour comandede anone, 

AfFtir the childe for to goon ; 

And thay brought hym into the halle, ,:i:il1 

Among the gret lordis all. 

The emperour comanded anone 

That he scholde to prison goon, 

And in prison he lay ale nyght, 

Til on the morwen the day lyjt. 

Now his the childe the prison broi^t; 

Mykile sorowe was in hys thout. 

God that sytys in mageste, 

Delyvere hym whan his wil bee! 

The emperes was sory in thout, 5fi0 

That the childe agayn was brogt; 

Scho morned and made mykil wo, 

Til the day was a-go, 

Than thay were in bed brought, 

For to change hir lordis thouht, 

When thay were in bede i-fere. ' 

"What scho sayed je schulle here, 

How ho brought hire lorde in wille, 

Er hit was daye, the childe to spille. 

Scho wippe and hir hondis wronge, 57( J 

And afte syked sore amange. 

The emperour laye and herde, 

And asked hyre why ho so ferde, 

And sayed, " Tel me anon 

^Yhy thow makyst al this mon." 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 21 

" Sire," quod the lady tho, 

" Hit his no wondir tho me be wo! 

Thow were bettir to be dede, 

Than wyrke eftyr sory rede. 

Thou brewest thy self mykil bale. 580 

To leve ilke mans tale: 

Also mote by tide the 

As dyde the fyne appul-tre, 

For a branche that sprange biside 

The grettir les alle hir pride." 

" Certis, dame," quod [the] emperour, 

"I woot thow lovyste my honour, 

And thare-fore, dame, I the bydde, 

Tel me how that bytydde, 

And latte us studye thare-uppon 590 

What his best for to doon." 

FYRST TALLE. 

Anon the lavedy hire tale bygan, 

And sayd, " Sire, hit was a man, 

As men sayen, hit was a kny3t, 

And hadde a herber fayr dyght ! 

Now schaltou here how hit bytyde. 

In the herber ryght amyde, 

Oppon the appul-tre thare stoode, 

A fayre tre and a goode ; 

Bothe harlyche and latte co ° 

The lorde was of tyme thare-atte, 

And gi'ette daynte he hadde 

The tree see fayre spradde. 

Withinne a wylle, hit i.s nou3t longe, 



22 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

A branche out of the tre spronge, 

And the knyght dayenteth hadde, 

How hit wax and fayre spradde. 

Oppon a day karu the knyght, 

And sawe hym crokyn a lytil wyght ; 

A bou of the grette tre 6, ° 

Lettyde hym that he myjt nout the. 

Quod the lorde to his gardinere, 

' Go feche an ax wil I ham here, 

And hew a -down this mykyl bowe, 

And latte the branche have rome y-now.' 

The gardiner was sone went 

To do the lordis commaundement. 

Thus he lette norische the 3ong 

That was out of the holde sprong, 

And of hold he lete hewe 62° 

Many bowes and nowght fewe. 

They lette the 3onge branche sprede, 

And the holde tre bygan to dede. 

" The gardiner sawe alle the rote, 
For sothe, sir, thare his no bote, 
Al the vertu ther scholde bee, 
Is lopon into the lytyl tre. 
1 Par fay T cpiod the lorde tho, 
Gardyner, when hit hys sooe, 
Ther nyl bee non other botte, r >"° 

Bot dyggyt up by the rote. 
Thus was the tre bodun wronge, 
For the braunche that of hym spronge. 
Than the mykil tree wax al badde, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 23 

And the lytil the maystre he hadde. 

Thus sal the branche that of the spronge 

Fondon for to do the wronge, 

And hewes thy bowys in ilke a syde, 

That hys thy power that spredis so wide; 

Thus when he bygynnys to bolde, 61 ° 

He wille brynge the a-down in olde." 

Thus whas the wykkyd womman tale, 
For to browe the childes bale. 
" Dame," quod the emperour, 
" By lorde saynt Savour, 
For alle the men that beres brethe, 
He sal to morwen thole dethe." 
On the morwen, tho hit was day bryjt, 
The emperour clepid a knyght: 
" To my pryson thou schalt goon, G - 50 

And say my tormentours anoon, 
Thay do my sone to tormentrie: 
Certis, this day he schal dee." 
The knyght was sory in hys thought, 
Bote withsaye hym dorst he nought, 
Bote bade the tormentours ilkon 
Do the childe to dethe anoone. 
Anoon the childe was lade to spyle, 
To doo the emperours wille. 
To-ward the deth as he was, <360 

He mette with mayster Baueillas. 
The childe was aferde to dee, 
A kast on hym a ruful hye. 
He rade forth and sayed nought; 






24 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

He wyst wylle the chiklis thought. 

For to save the childes honour, 

He come wille sone to the empcrour. 

" Sire," quod rnaystir Baucillas, 

" Certis, this his a wondir cas, 

That thow art in wille pytte, 

To sle thy sone withouten gylte." 

Thanne sayed the emperour anoon, 

" I have enchesone mo than oou. 

3e sevene have haddyn in 50ure powere 

My sone al this seven 3ere, 

To teche nortyre and wyt, 

And 3e have hys tonge cnyt. 

AVhan I prayd hym for charite, 

He walde nought speke a worde with me. 

And anothir cheson I have goode, ,;s " 

The fule thefe, the unky[n]de blode, 

He was ahoute my wyf to spyle, 

For he no most nought have hys wille 

To by hyr flesche lygge. 

He schal dee syrtnlyche, 

And je also, by Good in hevene, 

5e schal dee al sevene." 

Than sayde Baucillas, 

" A! sire emperour, alas! 

That thow grevest the so sore, 

Or thow haddyst queryd more. 

Certys, I dare lygge my lyf, 

Of that thow tellis of thy wyf, 

The childe no thought nought bot gode. 






THE SEVEN SAGES. 25 

"Wymman been of vvundyr mode." 

The [ernperour] that wroth was, 

Answerde Baucillas, 

" Baucillas, lat be thy fare, 

I see my wyfys hed bare, 

And hir clothes al to-rent, 

Afte the thef wold hir have schent." 

Baucillas answerd tho, 
For the childe hym wa[s] wo, 
And sayed, " Sire, for thy lyf, 
Bynym nought thy sonny s lyf; 
And yf thow dost, so mot byfalle, 
As fel the knyght in hys halle, 
That byname hys growhund lyf, 
That hadde savyd hys sonnys lyfe; 
And for the dule he made ther-fore, 71C 

The knyght hym selven he was for-lore." 
Quod [the] emperour than to Baucillas, 

" Tel me how that tale was." 

" Sire," quod Baucillas, " Wer-to? 

"Wat awantage were that to do ? 

Er the tale were tolde, 

The childes blode wolde bee colde." 

The emperour commande tho, 

AiFtir the childe for to goo. 

The childe, that glad was of sokur, 720 

Was brought byfore the emperour; 

Thourow the emperour commandement, 

Agayn to prison he was sende. 

Anoon as the childe was agoon, 

The mayster bygan hys tale anoon. 



26 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

A TALE OF THE MAYSTER. 

He sayed how ther was a knyght, 
A ryche man of gret myghte, 
And had a good womman to wyf, 
And a womman of good lyf. 
Bytwen thaym thare cam a ayer, '< ;u 

A good child and a fayre, 
And 5onge hagge hit was, 
A twelmowth holde it was. 
Ther was no thing syrcurliche, 
That the knyght lovyd so myche. 
The knyght hadde another juel, 
That he lovyd swyth wel, 
A grewhond that was good and snel, 
And the knyght lovyde hit wel, 
And was swyth good of dede. 7l " 

To alle bestis that he to 5ode; 
And for his godnesse he was lore, 
And the knyght was sory ther-fore. 
[The] knyght ordaynde a day, 
In a tyme, hit was in May, 
Eicon with othir wolde play, 
And fond to breke a schaft or twey. 
The knyght of hit [herde] tell, 
In his felde thay wolde dwelle, 
Byght a lytil frain his halle, 75 ° 

Ther thay were asembild alle; 
Al that in the court was. 
Wente to see the solas, 
Save the childes norises two, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 27 

Thay ne durst nower ware goo. 

Wen tliay seen al ware goo, 

And noman leved bot tkay two, 

And herdyn tronpe and taburne, 

Tliay forgate hare honoure; 

Thay left the childe anon tho, 76 ° 

And dyde ham bothe forth goo, 

In a toure thay clymbyd on hyghe 

Pryvyliche tha[t] no man see; 

Thare thay stode both stille, 

And seen the gam al at wille. 

In the court ther was wrowt 

An olde toure that servyd of nou5t, 

And in a crevas there was brede 

A nedder, and hadde there-in a bedde. 

Tho the nadder wok and herde 77 ° 

Al the pepyl how hit ferde, 

Trumpe, tabur, and melodye, 

And heraudis loude crye, 

The nadder sowt way ower alle, 

Til scho come out of the walle. 

Out of the walle scho came, 

Into the halle the way scho name, 

And drow hym toward the credile ther-byne, 

To sle the child that was ther-inne. 

Toward the credyl as he suythe, 780 

The good grew-hond lay and sy3e, 

And was swyth wrothe withalle 

That he cam into the alle. 

The grewhond stood uppe anon, 



28 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

And to the naddir lie gan goon; 

Ther thay faugthen togydir long, 

And ayther wondid othyr strong. 

As thay foghten, here je moun, 

The credyl went uppe-so-doun; 

The credyl uppone the pomels stoode, 7i " t 

The child hadde nought bote goode; 

Hyt no woke, no hyt no wyppe, 

Bote alle stille and sleppe. 

The grewhond 3ede the worme so nyghe, 

That into the 3erd the worme flyghe; 

The grewhonde sewed hym so faste, 

That he slew hym at the last. 

Tho the naddir was falle, 

The grewhonde layde hym in the halle, 

Evelle wo[n]dyd over alle, 800 

And for sothe he lay and 3a!. 

"When the justis were doon, 
The norise hiede ham in ful sone, 

Thay ne durst no langer dwelle, 

Thay fande the grewhond lye and 3elle, 

And ferd as he were wodde, 

And hys hed al by-bledde; 

Thay two norise was were and seghe, 

The credyl bothume turnyd on hyghe, 

And sawe the grewhond al by -bled, 81 

Thay war both sore a-drede. 

"Felaw," scho sayed, "be my blode. 

Thys grewhond his waxyn woode, 

And base eten the childe ther-fore: 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 29 

Alas! that ever we were bore!" 

The tother noris sayed i-wis, 
" Certis, felaw, sothe hit his: 
Alas! that stonde," sayde schoe, 
"That we 3eden justys to see!" 
Thay were ful of sorow and wo, s -° 

And dyde thayrn bothe for to goo. 
As thay flowen toward the felde, 
The lavydy lay and byhelde, 
And hyre herte bygane to colde, 
As womman herte sone wolde; 
And wondird wat hit myght bee, 
Tho he segh Lir noris flee; 
And elepid hir anoon a swayn, 
And badde hym faste fete the noris agayne. 
Byfore the lady thay were brought; 830 

The lavydy was sory in hire thoght. 
And askid ware the childe was. 
And thay veppe and sayed, alas! 
" Certis, dam," quod that oon, 
" As wel mow we telle anoon : 
My lordis grewhond his wexen wode, 
And hase etten hym flesche and blode." 
The lady swyth sory was, 
And bygan to cry, alas. 

The lord herde the lady erye, 840 

And thydirward he gan hye, 
And sayed, " Dam, wat is this fare? 
Tel me anoon, nought no spare." 

The lady, that was so woo, 



30 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Sayed to hyre lorde tho, 

" Sire," ho sayed, " sycurlyehe, 

The childe that thou lovedest so myche, 

Thy grewhond has waxen woode, 

And hase eten hym flesche and blood." 

Than was the lorde sory i-nowe; *•"'" 

In towarde the halle he hym drowe, 

And the lady with hym nam. 

Into the halle sone he kam: 

The grewhond hys lorde syghe, 

And sete bothe hys fete on hyghe 

Oppon hys brest to make solas; 

And the more harme was. 

The knyght tlrow out hys swerd anoon, 

And smot out the rygge boon. 

The knyght comanded anoon ryght, 860 

Bere the cradyl out of hys syght. 

Ther stood a man that was glad 

To do that the knyght bade, 

And bare the credyl out in hys arnie, 

And sawe the childe hadde no harme. 

In hys arme the childe he bent, 

And into the halle he went, 

And sayed, " Alas, thy good grewhond! 

Hire isti sone hole and sounde." 

Tbo that weren in the halle "'" 

Hadden grette wondyr alle, 

That the chylde on lyve was, 

And sayden hit was a wondir cas. 

At the last thay fanden alle, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 31 

How the cas was byfalle, 
How the naddir was y-slawe, 
That the grewhond hadde to-drawe. 
" Alas!" quod the knyght tho, 
" My good grewhond hys a-goo." 
The knyght was sory ther-fore, 8 80 

That hys grewhond was for-lore ; 
Into hys horehard thay way he nome, 
And to a fische-pole he come, 
And for dule of hys hounde 
He lepe in and sanke to gronde. 
" Sire," quod maystir Baueillas, 
" Now thow havest herde this cas, 
Yf thow wolt thy sone spille, 
For to suffyre thy wyves wylle, 
Also mote the byfalle S90 

As dyde the knyght in hys halle, 
That slew hys hounde and lyse hys lyfe, 
For a worde of hyse wyfe." 
Tho the emperour herde 
Of that tale, how hit ferde, 
He sayed, " Maystir Baueillas, 
Me ne schal noujt bytyde that cas 
For no word of my wyf. 
To day ne schal he lyse hys lyfe; 
No noivjt he ne schal by boundon so sore, 90 ° 

Arre I have inqueryd more." 
Thus thorow the maystir Baueillas, 
That day the cliilde savyd was. 
Myghte no man the lady glade, 



32 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Scho syghyd and sory semlant made, 
And was sory in byre thought 
That the childe agayne was brought, 
And bythought hire agayens nyght, 
And dyd thare-to alle hyre myghte, 
To brynge the emperour in wille 910 

Uppon morwen the childe to spylle. 
In bede than thay were brought, 
" Sire," scho sayed, " What have $e thoght? 
Ne see thou noujt with thyn even 
Were I was in poynt to deyen, 
As thy sone me wolde a schent, 
That hys agayn to prison sente. 
Also mote bytyde the, 
As dyde the bore undyr the tre, 
That was clavyd, and thought hit gode, !, -'° 

And lese ther-fore hys hert blode." 
Quod the emperour to hys wyfe, 
" Dame, lete be thy stryf, 
And tel me nowe, I the byde, 
Of the bore how hit bytydde. 
And 
Anoon hire tale by-gane. 



And sayed, " Syre, hit was a bore, 
And woned in a holde hor ; 

Ther was a tre in the forest 930 

That the bore loved best, 
To ete the fruyte that thare was oou. 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 33 

Every day that cam to maane 

He come thydyr aboute undiren, 

To ete the fruyte that laye ther-under. 

A h[e]rde man hadde a best lore, 

And mykyl dale made ther-fore; 

Longe nolde he nought abyde, 

He souglite hys best in hilk a syde. 

Into the forest the way he nam, 9I ° 

And byfore the tre he earn, 

There the bore was wont by fede, 

And her he 5ede he was a-drede. 

Hym thought that the fruyt was goode, 

And gadderd bret ful hys hoode. 

The bore come rennyng towarde the tree 

There hys mete was wounte to bee; 

Tho the knave hadde a fryjt, 

Of the bore he hadde a sy5t, 

And the bore neghyd nee; 9S0 

He clam uppon the tree on hyghe. 

The bore byhyde hym thydyr faste, 

And uvele spede at the laste. 

And has he come, ful wyle he syghe 

How the knave clam on hyghe, 

And bygan tothes to wette, 

And to the tre byre he fette, 

And layden as he were wode, 

Til hys mouthe famed of blode. 

And thau the tree were rote faste, 96 ° 

3yt was the knave agaste ; 

Of the fruyt that was browne 



34 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

The knave kast the bore a-doune, 
And he was for-ungrid sore, 
And ete, and nolde hew no more. 
Undir the tre he stode ful stille, 
And of the fruyt ete hys fylle. 
The knave stode uppon a bowghe, 
And kest a-downe fruyt i-noughe, 
When the bore base eten hys fylle, 
Undir the tree he stode ful stille. 
That knave kest hym fruyt y-nowe, 
And clam a-doune fra bough to boghe, 
And with hys on hond at the laste 
And with hys legges held hym fast; 
The tohir honde he lete doun glidde, 
And clavde the bore undir the syde. 
The bore lykyde the clavyng wele, 
And anoon to grounde felle, 
And lay slepyng stille as stoon. 
The knave drowe out a knyf anoon, 
And rent hys wombe with the knyf, 
And by nam the bore hys lyf. 
Thus schaltou be clovyd alse 
"With fykyl wordis and with false, 
An[d] thy sone the traytur 
Schal be madde a emperour: 
Thorugh thy false clerkis sevene 
Thow wylt by gylled, by Good in heven !*' 
Quod the emperour, " By saynt Brydde, 
That no sal me nou5t bytydde; 
He ne sal do no more sorowe, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 'So 

Certis, he sal dee to-morne." 

Oppon the morwen, wen hit was day, 

The eemperour made grete ray, 

And commaunde hys men anoon 

To slee the childe thay schuld gone. 

Thay took the childe out of prison, 

And ladde hym withouten toun: 

As thay ladde hym by the strete, 1000 

On of hys maystirs he gan mete, 

Toward the emperour he rode, 

And welne al to longe he bode. 

When he hadde the child mette, 

The maystir made hys hor go bete, 

For to save the childe fram schame. 

Ancillas was hys name. 
Ful hastylich the way he nam, 
Byfore the emperour he cam, 
A clerk he was of grete honour, 1010 

And gret anoon the emperour. 
The emperour answerde with ire, 
" Maugre have thow, bone sire, 
I 50W took my sone to teche, 
And 5e have raft hym hys spechc: 
By Jhesu Crist, that hys in hevene, 
5e sal to prison al sevene." 
"A! sire," quod mayster Ancilles, 
" God almighty send us pees! 
Sire, ne make 50W noujt so wroth, 1020 

Thow wost nowght alle how hit goth; 
And yf thy sone lyse hys lyfe, 

d2 



36 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

For the talys of thy wyfe, 

I bysyke God in hevene, 

For hys dyrworth niannys sevene, 

That 50 bytyde swilk a cas 

As bytyde Ypocras, 

That slow hys cosyn withouten gylt, 

And hym selven ther-fore was spylt." 

Quod the emperour to Aneilles, 1030 

" Certis, thou schalt never have pees, 
Er I wyt of that cas, 
That bytyde Ypocras." 
Quod Ancillas, " Sire, were-to? 
Wat avantage were that y-do? 
Er my tale wer tolde, 
The childys blode wolde be colde; 
Bote yf I mote hys lyf borowe 
Al thys nyght tyl to-morwen, 
Gyf he myght on lyf dwelle, 104 ° 

Of Ypocras I wylle telle." 
Anon the childe was aftir sent, 
Thorow the emperoures commandement. 
Than was the mayster a glad man, 
And anon hys tale bygane. 

A TALUS. 

" A nobile fysysian thar was, 

And was callid Ypocras; 

He hadde a cosyn of hys blode 

That longe walde leren no goode, 

Of the world lytyl he thought, 1050 | 






THE SEVEN SAGES. 37 

Bote at the laste he hym by thought, 

How and in what inanere 

He myghte any gooclys lere. 

Hys emys bokis he unselde, 

And ilk a day on thaym byhelde, 

And bycani a fysysian, 

Also good as anny mane. 

The kynge sone of Hungrye 

Hadde a woundir maladye: 

The kynge sent aftir Ypocras, 1060 

For to wyten wat hym was. 

Ypocras was ale olde, 

And hys blode wax ale colde, 

He let atyre wile a[nd] fyne, 

And sent thydyre hys cosyne. 

Anon as he was comen, 

By the hande he was nome, 

And he was ladde anoon, 

Also stille as a ston, 

Ther the kynge sone laye, 107 ° 

That hadde by syke many day. 

The childe couthe of fysenamye, 

That he saw wyl with hys eye, 

"When he hade a wyle syttyne, 

That the childe was mys-gettyne. 

Syche wyse clerkys were goo; 

Now no byther non of tho : 

Thay late be al the clergye. 

And tornys to pryde and lycherie. 

Thanne the childe were gode of lore, 10S0 



88 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

3yt he wokle aqwere more; 

Pram liyre may dens ten or twelve, 

He took the quene by hyre selvene, 

And sayde, ' Madame, be nought wroth, 

To telle 3e me thynke nowt lothe, 

Yf thou wilt have thy sone on lyve, 

For sothe, dame, thou most the schryve: 

Tel me how thow havest wroght, 

For sothe the kynge ne gat hym noujt, 

And bot thow telle how hit hys, 109 ° 

I may nought hel thy sone i-wys. 

Of hys hele he ase ne swat, 

Bot thow telle wo hym bygate.' 

The quen that was the kyngys wyf, 

"Was lothe to lesyn hyre sone lyfe, 

And sayd to hym privyliche, 

Bytwen thaym two spccialiche, 

' Thare was a prince hire bysyde, 

And oft sythes he wolde ryde 

With my lorde for to play, ] I()0 

And love wax bytwen us twey, 

And so [was] he getyn i-wys: 

Now thow wost how hit hys.' 

When he wyst al the cas, 

He tornyd hit al [to] solas, 

And the childe undirtoke, 

As taught hym Ypocras booke; 

And he helyd the childe ol and sound, 

And hadde ther-fore many a pound, 

And of the quene many gyftis fele, ' ' 10 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 39 

For he schulde hire counsel hele; 

And went hom to Ypocras, 

And told hyni al how hit was. 

Ypocras was welny wode, 

That hys cosin couthe so niykyl good, 

And thout anoon a wylkyd thout, 

For to bryng hys cosyn to nowt. 

Oppon a day thay went to pleye, 

He and hys cosyn thay twey, 

Into a swyth fayre ruede, 1120 

There fayre floure gan sprede. 

Ipocras stille stood, 

And saw a gras that was god: 

' Bon cosyn,' quod Ypocras, 

' I se a gras of grete solas, 

Were hyt dyggyd uppe by the rote, 

Of many thyngs hit rnyght be bote.' 

Than sayd the childe to Ypocras, 

' Leve syre, were hys that gras?' 

Quod Ypocras, ever vorthym wo, 1130 

' Loe, were hyt stondis at my too. 

Knele a-doun oppon thy knee, 

And dyggyd uppe and bryng hit me, 

And I wyl the telle, i-wys, 

What vertu ther-inne hys.' 

The childe knelid anoon a-doun: 

Ypocras drow anoon fauchon, 

And slow hys cosyn, the more arme was, 

"Wyle he dyggyd aftyr the gras. 

Tho went he hom anoon, 1140 



1150 



40 THE SEVEN SACKS. 

And bernyd liys bokys ilkon, 

In wrat, as a man that were wode, 

Tor nomau scliuld lerne of ham good. 

When lie hadde hys bokys brent, 

And hys cosyn was schent, 

lie fel in a maladye, 

That he was in poynt to dye. 

Than was ale hys bokys lore, 

And he ne couthe medycyne ther-fore: 

Tho hadde he slane hys cosyne, 

That couthe wel of medycyne; 

For faut of helpe he ferde amys, 

And at the laste he deyde, i-wys. 

" Thus was Ypocras dede, 
And, sire, ther-fore take thy rede. 
Thow no havest no sone bote oon; 
Yf thow lattis hym to deth gon, 
Whan helde byndys thy bones stoute, 
Thare hys bote fewe that wyle the doute. 
And y? thou havest thy sone bolde, 
For soth, were thow never so holde, 
For thy sone men wyle the drede, 
Let hym lyve, I wylle the rede." 

Quod the emperour, "By myn hede, 
To nyght no schal he nought be dede, 
Bytwene thys and to morwen day, 
Be thanne as hit be may." 
Al that in the palas was 
Maden myrth and solas, 
. Bothe more and the lesse; Ul ° 



1160 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 41 

Save the wykkyd emperesse, 
Seho syghed and swore amonge, 
Ala! alas! was hyre songge. 

The emperour herd hyre say, alas! 
And askyd hyre what hyre was. 
" Sire," scho sayed, " Wo hys rue! 
And al togydyr hit hys for the; 
Thare thow art both lorde and sire, 
And maystir over al the emperire, 
Thow arte abowte thy selven to spy lie ; 1180 

Yf thy elerkys have thare wylle, 
Thay wille make hym emperour, 
That thyf that lyes in the tour. 
And yf thou lovest hym more thane me, 
Also mote bytyde the, 
As hym that in the lym was dede, 
That made hys sone smyt of hys hede." 

Quod the emperour, " I the byde, 
Telle me how that bytydde." 

A TALE. 

The emperesse hire tale bygane, 119 ° 

And sayd, " Sire, hit was a mane, 
Emperour of Rome he was, 
And nowt lovyd no solas, 
13ot was about to fylle a toure 
Ful of golde and ryche tresour. 
Swylke seven elerkys hadde hee 
Undir hym as have $e. 
The seven clerkis that with hym were, 



42 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Alle at horn noujt thay were; 

Thorow the emperour coniandement, l'- 00 

The fyve were out wente, 

And the twa at home thay byeth, 

For to do that he thaym bydeth. 

That othir ladde myry lyf, 

And haddyn both childryn a[nd] wyf; 

Hit was a man withouten kare, 

And ryclych he wolde fare, 

What he spendid he noujt rought, 

And that hys nek sore abought. 

"When hys catel bygan to slake, , ~ 10 

And he ne myght no fest make, 

There felle a wyel in hys thoute, 

And ther-thourow he wente to nowt, 

And bitidde a wondir has, 

And 3e schal here how hit was. 

He adde a sone that was heyre, 

A good childe and a fayre; 

Thay wente and breken that tour, 

And bare away mykyl tresoure, 

And mad hym myry, and spendid faste, 1220 

Al the wylle that hit wolde laste. 

He that lokyd the tresour, 

Come a day into the tour, 

And over-al he keste hys syght, 

To loke whehir hit ferde ryght. 

He was freche, he was nought dronke, 

He saw the tresour was sonke; 

He lette remuc the tresour anonc, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 43 

And fand ware the thyf was goon. 

By fore tliare the hole was, 1230 

He sette a deppe caudron of bras, 

A manere of glowe he dyde thare-inne, 

To halden all that com thare inne, 

And helyd thare the cawdron stode, 

As thare were nought bot gode. 

He that the tresour stale, 

Hadde spendid hit and wastyd alle: 

He sayes, ' Sone, by Goddys sore, 

Of the tresour we wylle have more.' 

He and hys sone were at on, 12 40 

And thydyr-ward thay gan goon, 

In the wanyng of the mone; 

The fadir was desavyde sone. 

In at the hole the fadir crepe, 

And in the caudron sone he lepe, 

And anoon he styked faste. 

Than was hys sone sore agaste. 

' Sone,' he sayed, ' I ham hent; 

Fie anoon ar thow art schent.' 

'A! fadir,' he sayed, 'alas! 1250 

Certys thys hys a wondyr kas. 

For soth I can no rede nowe: 

Leve fadir, how reddyst thow?' 

' Certis,' he sayd, ' hit his no rede, 

Bot hastilich smyt of my hede, 

And god laysyr when thou myght have, 

Byrye hit in cristyne grave.' 

The childe was in grcte thought, 



44 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

To helpe his fadir he myght nou3t, 

And saw thare was non othir rede, 1260 

Bote smote of his fadir hede, 

And knyt hit in hys lappe onoon, 

And dyde hyra hastily che to goon; 

And anoon has he ham came, 

Out of hys lape the hede he name, 

And in a forme he let hit fale, 

And dyde a wykkyd torne withalle. 

Thane he hadde hys fadir gode, 

Thane wax he hote of blode; 

No sorow in hert he ne hadde, 1;70 

How foul deth hys fadyr hadde. 

Than he had that hys fadir gate, 

Hys fadir deth he al for-gat. 

Certis, sire, thus woltu fare: 

Ther-fore hys al my kare. 

Thou schalt lese thyn honour, 

And thy sone be emperour, 

As othir have doon thou schalt als, 

Thorow talys of thy clerkys fals." 

Quod the emperour to the emperesse, I280 

" So I ever here mas, 

My sone ne schale never do me that sorowe, 
Certys he schal dee to-morwen." 
Thus hys wyf, that cursyd lyfte, 
Brewed the childys deth that nyght. 
Uppe of the morwen lange are prime, 
The emperour ros by tynie, 
And thys was hys commandement, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 45 

That the childe anoon where schent. 

The tormentours wer ful ra'de 1290 

To do tha[t] the emperour bade; 

Thay ne made noon delay, 

Bot took the child, and went hare way, 

And toward the studye thay hym lede 

There men schulde the chylde byhede. 

Ryght as thay come atte the jate, 

Hys o maystir hym mette thare-atte, 

In hys hert was no game, , 

Lentulus was hys name. 

Oppon the childe he cast hys eie, 1300 

Hym thought for sorow he myght dee: 

Anoon the way he nam, 

And byfore the emperour cam, 

And sayed, " My lord, syr emperour, 

God the save and thyn honour!" 

The emperour answerde anoon, 

" A ! tratour, thow art that oon 

That I bytook my sone teche, 

And he hase loste hys speche, 

And wolde have lyne by my wyf : 131 ° 

He schal dee, by my lyf !" 

" Syre," quod maystir Lentulus, 

" I ne leve hit noujt, by my lyf, 

To do vylany by thy wyf; 

Bot yf thou brewyst thy childis bale, 

For hys stepmodir tale, 

So mote the bytyde in thy lyfe, 

As dyd the olde man in hys lyf." 



46 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Quod the emperour, " I the byde, 
Tel me how that cas bytyde." ' :! -''> 

" Sire," quod maystir Lentulus, 
" I nylle, by swet Jhesus, 
Bot thy chylde deth by let, 
That he ben agayen fet, 
And mot lyve al this nyght 
Til to-morwen til day be bryght." 
The emperour comaunde anoon 
Aftyr the childe for to goon : 
Thorow commaundement of the emperour 
The childe was ladde into the tour. 133 ° 

Lentulus was a glad man, 
And anoon hys tale bygane. 

A TALE. 

" Hyt was a man and hadde a wyfe, 
And loved hyre as hire owen lyf ; 
Scho was both 3ong and bolde, 
And the housband whas holde, 
Hys myrth in bede bygan to slake, 
And scho tooke another make. 
In bed as thay lay in fere, 

The wyf aros, as je moun here, 13i0 

Fram hire hosbonde thare he lay, 
A lytyl wyl byfore daye, 
"Witouten dore at the 3ate 
Scho mete hyre lemman thai'e-atte. 
The godman withinne a while 
Myssyd hys wyf, and thout gyle. 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 47 

He ros uppe as stille as a stone, 

And to the (lore he gane goone, 

And bygan ful stille to spye, 

And hei'de of hyre putrye, 1350 

And went hym stille as stoone, 

And steke to the dore anoone. 

When thay hadde done thayre wyle, 

And spoken togydir or fylle, 

The wyf fonde the dore faste ; 

Than whas scho sore agaste. 

Scho pute at the dore in hye, 

And bygan loud to crye, 

And badde the delve hys neke to breke 

That the dore hadde steke. v < m 

The sylyman lay and herde, 

And hys wyf answerd, 

' Dame,' he sayed, ' go thy way, 

Thow havest bygonne a sory play ; 

To morwen sal oppon the gonne 

As many men as been in toune.' 

Walaway scho gan to synge, 

And hyr hondis for to wryng : 

' Mercy, sii'e, I am thy spouse, 

For Goddys love lat me to house !' 137 ° 

Quod the godman anoon, 

' Goo thare thow hast to goon : 

So God almyghty gyf me wyne, 

Thou ne schalt to come hyre-ine, 

At alle our frendys ilkon 

Have gounde oppon thy body alon.' 



48 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Quod the wyf, ' So moti i-thryve, 

I wylle nought so lange be alyve.' 

Hastilich within a wylle, 

Scho was bythought oppon a gylle ; 13 80 

By fore the dore, as I 30W telle, 

Thare was a mykyl deppe welle, 

And a stoon lay thare- by 

As mykil as a manys the, 

As hit tellys in the booke, 

In hyr amies scho liit tooke, 

In the wel ho lette hit falle. 

The godmau herdit into the halle, 

And hadde reuthe of hys wenche, 

And wende ho wold hyre self adrynge, 139 

And ros uppe in hys serke anoon, 

And to the wel he gan goon, 

As man that was in good lyf, 

And thout for to save hys wyf. 

The wyf was ful wyly, 

And stod the dore swyth nee, 

Into the halle scho gan goon, 

And stek to the dore anoon. 

The godman was ful uvele myght, 

He sowt hys wyf in the pytte, 1400 

And hurt hym, and bent harnie, 

And scho lay in hyr bede warme. 

On evyl deth mote scho dee ! 

So bleryd the sely manys ee, 

And love hir so myehe, 

Ful falle alle syche. 



THE SEVEN* SAGES. 49 

When he fandir noxiyt in the welle, 

He walde ther no langer dwelle, 

At hys dore he wolde inne, 

And hit was stoken with a pyne. 1410 

He schof ther-onne, and bade undo: 

Scho lay stille and let hym doo. 

The lawe was than so harde bounden, 

Yf a housbond were in hurdorn founden, 

He schuld have a juggement, 

Were-thorow he schuld be sehent; 

And armyd men by nyght thare 3ede. 

The godman was ful sore agaste, 

That he fande the dore faste; 

He knokede, and was in mykyl kare. ^ 120 

The wyf askyd wo was there, 

The goodman was ful sore adrade, 

That herd hys wyf in hys bede, 

And sayed, ' Dame, I ham here, 

Thy spouse and thy trewe fere: 

Ai'ys uppe, and draw oute the pyne, 

Goode lef, -and let me inne.' 

' A! tray tour!' quod scho tho, 

' Ga bylyve were thou havest to go, 

To thyn hore there tho[u] were, 1430 

Go agayn and herborowe thare.' 

To speke fayre he to hede, 

For he saw hit was ned: 

' Dame, lete me in to my bede, 

And now be thow nought adrede; 

For by the Lorde saynt Nycolas, 



50 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

I wyl forgyve the thy trespas.' 

' Nay, traytour,' quod scho tho, 

' Cei'tis also wel thow myght goo; 

By Good that hys ful of myght, 1 "0 

Thow schal nowt come here-in to nyght.' 

As thay spoken lowde togyder, 

The wakmen herde and come thydyr; 

The toon sayed, ' Wat art thow, 

That standys here thys tyme nowe?' 

' A ! sire,' he sayed, ' mercy ! 

And I wille 50W telle resoune why: 

I hadde a spangel good of plyght, 

I have hit mysde al thys seven -nyght, 

And I not how hit ferde, 1450 

Me thought here-out I hym herde, 

And cam out to clepyn hym inne, 

And my wyf hase put in the pyne 

In the dore oppon hyre game: 

Go forth, a Godys name!" 

' Certis he lyes,' quod hys wyf, 

' Hyt hys a man of wykkyd lyfe. 

I have helyd, for I wende 

That he wolde somtyme amende; 

Ther-fore now $e have hym hent, 146 

Lat hym passe by juggement.' 

The wakmen nolde no lauger abyde, 

They token hym in ilke a syde, 

And lad hym into the toune, 

And put hym in prisone, 

And lay alle nyght in mykyl sorowe, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 51 

And hackle liys juggement a-morwen. 

Thus he hadde hys juggement, 

And thorow hys wyf he was schent. ] IT " 

So wyltou, sire emperour, 

Certis lese thyn honour, 

To bynym thy sonys lyf 

For a tale of thy wyffe." 

Quod the emperour, " By swet Jhesus, 
For thy tale, sire Lentulus, 
To day ne schal he lese the lyffe 
For no tale of my wyf." 
Than eommande the emperour 
Do hys sone into the tour. ■ 1480 

Thay dyden anoon as he bade : 
Tho was Lentulus glad. 
"When the emperes that undirstode, 
For wrat scho was welne wode, 
That the emperours thout was went, 
And the childe to prison sent. 
Al that day scho fonded hyre flygt, 
How scho myght agayens nyght 
Fonden a tale al newe, 

The childe deth for to brewe. ] |, '° 

Scho was al redy bythout, 
Wen scho was to bede brogt ; 
Of[t] sythes scho sygkyd sore, 
And stilly scho sayed, "Lord, thy 3ore!" 
The emperour lay and herde, 
And acsyd hyre why scho so ferde. 
" Sire," quod [the] emperesse tho, 

e2 



52 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

" It his no wondir tho me be wo : 

Now hys my wo to bygyne, 

Now we sal parten in twynne. 

I nylle no langer hyre abyde, 

To se the wo that je sal bytyde. 

By God Almyghty that hys in hevene, 

Thy sonne and thy clerkys sevene 

Thay ben alle at on asent ; 

Certys, syre, thow worst schent. 

And, syre, bot thow leve me, 

Also mote bytyde the 

As dyde the styward of hy[s] lyf, 

That gret gyng hys wyf." 

" Dame," quod the emperour, 151 ° 

" I bysyke the par amour, 

Tel me now of that kas, 

Whilk maner and how hyt was." 

A TAIXE. 

" Certis," quod the emperes, 

" Thow schalt here of wykkydnesse. 

In Pule was som tyme a kynge 

That hatyd wymmen of alle thyng ; 

Never jyt in alle hys lyf 

He nolde never have no wyf. 

In Romauns hyt tellys in a booke, 152 ° 

That a grete ivel hym tooke ; 

The ivel passyd over alle, 

That hys body al to-swal. 

That hys body was al to-blaw 

No man myght hys membris know. 

Into Salner he sent a man 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 53 

Aftyr a nobile fesisian ; 

Anoon has he was come, 

By the honde he was norne, 

Into the chambyr he was lade lvl,) 

For to make the kynge glade. 

When he saw the kyng pyne, 

He askyd anoon hys uryne; 

Anoon as he the uryne sawe, 

He wyst were hys ivel lay, 

And sayed, ' Sire, ne ainay the noujt, 

For soth thy bote hys broght.' 

When [he] herde thys thythyng, 

Thane comfordede the kyng. 

The mayster was wys and snel, 154 ° ^ 

And made hys medicyne w|ille, 

And anoon gaf he hit the kynge, 

And abatyd the swellyng. 

' Syre,' quod the fysisian, 

' The behoves have a womman 

To do thy wyl by a-nyght, 

Yf I sehal helle the aryght.' 

Quod the kyng, ' So mot I the, 

Astow wylt hyt schal bee.' 

The kyng callyd hys senescal, 1550 

That hadde hys hows to kepe alle, 

And sayed to hym, ' Thow moste aspye, 

And hastylich thou most hye, 

A fayr lady of colour bryght 

For to lygge by me a-nyght, 

And at scho be of he lynage, 



v^ 



54 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

And a lady of 5ong age.' 

' Sire,' quod the stivvarde anoon, 

' Al byssi schal I fynde oon : 

For los of thy malydye 166 ° 

Thay wille be aferd to dye.' 

Quod the kynge, ' Thow sayest thi wille, 

With gold and silver thow schal thaym tylle ; 

Gyf thaym golde and silvyr i-nowe: 

I am ryche man i-nowhe?' 

Than the styward undirstood 

The kyng wald gyve so mykyl good, 

He took hys lyve and horn he cam, 

And by the hond hys wyf name, 

And sayed, " By sayent Benedyght, 157 ° 

Tho[u] schalt ly by the kyng to nyght, 

Golde and sylver thow sehalt wynne, 

And ben asolyd of thy synne.' 

' Ceitis, syre,' quod hys wyfe, 

' Now thow lovest lytil my lyf.' 

For covetyse that he hadde, 

To the kynge hys wyf he ladde. 

He went unto the kynges bedde, 

And sayed, ' Syre, I have spede, 

I have a lady of hegh bloode, l580 

Bot scho wyl have mykyl good, 

And dyrke scho wolde that hit bee, 

Scho nylle that no man hyre see.' 

' Parfay!' quod the kyng anoon, 

' Lette quenche the torches ilkon.' 

Ho lette quenche the torche ilkone, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 55 

And took hys wyf by honde anoon, 

And dyde hyre to bed with [the] kynge, 

That covetous gadlyng. 

Al the nyght thare scho lay, I590 

Til a inyl byfor the day: 

Al nyght scho sykkyd and sorow made; 

The kyng no myghte hyre nothyng glade. 

The styward was of day adrede, 

And kam to the kynges bede, 

And sayed, ' Syre, on al wys, 

Thow most that lady ryse.' 

Quod the kyng, ' By saynt Jon, 

5yt no schal scho noi^t gon.' 

He heldyr thare tyl hit was day; lt50 ° 

And anoon as he saye 

Hyt was the stiward wyf, 

There bygan to ryse stryfe. 

Than sayed the kynge, 

That was wrothe som thyng, 

' Styward, so God the rede, 

"Who made the do thys dyde? 

Be thow in my court founde 

Whanne the sonne gos to grounde, 

Withouten ony othyr lawe 161 ° 

Thow schalt be angyd and to-drawe; 

Loke withouten ony delay 

That I see the never aftyr thys day.' 

The senescal drade thys wordys sore, 

He ne durst dwel ther no more; 

Out of the court the way he name, 



56 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Wyste thay never were he bycam. 

Lo, my lord syre emperour, 

How lie lese liys honour ! 

The sty ward for hys covetyse, l620 

Hys wyf he lost and hys servys. 

Certis, sire, so saltow alse, 

For covetyse of thy tales false 

That thynfals elerkys tellen; 

For soth y nylle noujt longe dwellen, 

That thou nult lese thyn honour, 

And thyn sone ben emperour. 

I the telle as hit his, 

Do now what thy wille hys." 

Quod the emperour to the emperesse, lti30 

" By hym that made matyns and messe, 

I nyll to morwen ete no brede 

Er the thef traytour be ded." 

O-morwen commande the emperour 

Tak hys sone out of the tour, 

And leden hym to hys juggement, 

Anon that he were schent. 

Withoutyn ony more chest 

Thay dyden the emperour best. 

Without the palas tho he was, mio 

He mete with hys maystyr Maladas. 

Into the halle the way he nam, 

Byfore the emperour he cam, 

And sayd, " Alas ! sir emperour, 

Thou dost thy self lytyl honour. 

That thy sone schal be slawe, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 57 

Withouten proses of lawe." 

" Certys," quod the emperour, 
" Bade men sle the wykkyd tratour, 
And thow thy felaws $e ben fals, 165 ° 

Thay schal ben hangede and thow alse." 
"Certys, syre," quod Maladas, 
" Thys hys a wondyr cas, 
To bynym thy sones lyf, 
For a tale of thy wyf ; 
And yf thou dost, syre emperour, 
God leve the falle swilk honour 
As the olde man hadde welne hent, 
Ne hadde hys wyf have had chastement, 
That hadde mynt, without respyte, 166 ° 

Have doon hire a ful despyte." 
Quod the emperour to Maladas, 

" Thow sal tel me of that cas, 

For I ne herde never in my ly ve 

Old man chasty 3ong wyf." 

" Sire," quod mayster Maladas, 

" Yf thow wylt here of that cas, 

By Jhesu Cryst omnypotent, 

The chylde schal ben aftyr sent." 

Thorow commandement of the emperour, 167 ° 

The childe was lade into the toure ; 

Ther-fore gladdyd many a man, 

And Maladas hys tale bygane. 

A TALE. 

" Sire," quod maystir Maladas, 
" Herkyn how fel that cas. 



58 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Ilyt was a man of olde lyfe, 

And hadde a 3ong womman to wyfe, 

And hya blode bygan to colde, 

And the wenche bygane to bolde. 

Than he slakyd of hys werke, 1680 

Scho bygan to love a clerke. 

day to the kyrke scho came, 
And hyr modyr in councel nam. 
And sayed to hyr modyr anoon, 

' My lordys merryghe hys welne gone, 
Now he slakys to lygge above ; 

1 wyl have another love.' 

' Dougter,' quod the moder tho, 

' I ne rede noujt thow do soe : 

Thow an old man holde hym stille, l69 ° 

Dougter, thou wost nought al hys wille. 

Ar thou do swylk a dede, 

Prove hym first, I wyle the rede.' 

The douter took hire leve anoon, 

And dyde byre hastylych to gon, 

And thout hyr lorde for to prove. 

The lorde hadde an hympe gode, 

Tha[t] in a fayr herber stood, 

And the lorde loved hit myche; 

For in his orcher nere non syche, 170 ° 

So nobil pers as hyt bare. 

Thare-of the wyf [was] ware, 

On of hyr men with hyr he nam, 

And to the hymp sone he cam, 

And dyde anoon as a schrewe, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 59 

On the tre gobettys lette hewe, 
And in the hallo let hit lygge, 
To loke what he wolde sygge. 

" When the lord in cam, 
Of the tre hed he nam; 171 ° 

' Dame,' he sayd, ' were grew this tre, 
That lyes thus hewen in trhe ?' 
' Sire,' scho sayed, ' in thyn erbei*, 
Hyt grewe nowthir fer no ner.' 
' Depardus! dame,' quod he tho, 
- Now hit hewen hys, let hit go.' 
In hys hert he was wroth, 
Bote to contak he was loth ; 
He ne sayed nou3t al that he thout. 
The dougter anoon the way nam, 17i0 

And to the modir sone he cam, 
And sayed, ' Modir, so mot I the, 
I have doon as thow bade me; 
Hys fayre hympe that thow see, 
That sprade so bi-ood and so heye, 
I lete hewyt by the more, 
And 5)'t was he nowt wroth ther-fore.' 

" ' Dogter,' quod the moder tho, 
• I walde red the, as I mot go, 
Prove hym 5yt anothir stouud, 1730 

Are love thow have to ard bound. 
Thow he were stille and spake noi^t, 
Thou wost never what hys thout.' 
5yt [scho] sewyd hyr modyr wylle, 
And went horn al ston ,-tille, 



\s- 



60 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

And bythout hire al by the way 

Oppon a schrewydschyp or tway. 

And anoon in the stude 

A gret schrewnes he dude. 

The lord a lytyl kenet hadde, 171 ° 

He loved hit wel the hit were bad. 

Hyt byfelle that ilke day 

The kenet on hir lappe lay ; 

God gyfe byre ivel happe! 

Sclio slowe the kenet oppon hire lappe. 

'Dame,' quod he, 'why dustou soo? 

That was nou3t wyl doo.' 

' Sire,' scho sayed, ' be nou5t wroth, 

Lo he base byfoulyd my clothes.' 

' Dame,' he sayed, ' by saynt Bycher, 175 ° 

Thou myghtyst drawe thy clothes nere, 

And late my hondis on lyf go: 

I pray the, dame, sle no mo, 

Thow thay lyge oppon thy clothe; 

Yf thou dost, I wylle be wrothe.' 

Scho thout tho, ' Thay that wil spare 

To have a lemman for hys fare.' 

That ilke day scho the way nam, 

And to hir modir sone he cam. 

' Dam,' scho sayed, ' So God my rede, 1' 6 

I have donn asstow me bede: 

Mi lorde hade a kenet fel, 

That he loved swyth wel; 

So God gyf me good happe, 

T hym .slow on nry lappe, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. (>1 

And made hym lese hys hert blode, 

And lie sayed noi^t bot good. 

I nylle wounde nowt i-wys, 

To love were my wille hys; 

For sothe, dame, I may wel, 177 ° 

I have spyde lie hys noujt fel.' 

' Dougter,' quod the modir tho, 

' I reed that thow do noi^t soo: 

Old men wille thole mykil wronge, 

Bot for soth hys wreche hys stronge; 

Ther-for my rede hys thys, 

Prove thrys ar thou doo amys.' 

' Dame,' quod the dogter tho, 

' Gladlyeh, so mot I goo; 

Bot thau he wrothe hym never so sore, 1780 

For sothe I nylle prove hym no more.' 

And at hir moder leve he nam; 

Toward hyr oune house ho cam, 

And by the way as scho 5ode, 

Scho thout oppon a schreud dede. 

" Sone aftyr hit bytydde, 
That the godman lete byde 
A swytbe fayre companye, 
And made a fayre manngerye. 
As thay sytten and mad ham glade, I70 ° 

The goodman fayre semlant made; 
The wyf fast hyre keyes wrothe, 
In the ende of the borde clothe, 
Scho roos uppe and dyde hyre to gone, 
And drow dorm coppys and dyschys ilkone, 



G2 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

And schent robys of ricbe grene, 

And broght al tbe gestis in tene. 

The goodman was ful wroth, 

And let castyn anothir cloth, 

And made hare clothes be wypit and dy5t, ,80 ° 

And solace tbaym as wel as he myght. 

"When alle hys gestys were a-goo, 

Than bygan to wakken wo; 

Bytwen the goodman and hys wyf, 

Than bygan to ryse a stryfe. 

' Dame,' he sayed, ' so mot I the, 

Thou havest don me despites thre; 

So God mak me good man, 

Thou schalt be chasted, yf I cane. 

Dame, thow havest ben thryes wode, ls, ° 

For soth thow shalt be latyn blode.' 

He ladde hyr into a chambyr, 

He and hys brothyr, 

And late the on arm blood tlier, 

And after thethothyr; 

He leved no blode in hys wyf, 

Bot a lytil to holde hyre lyf. 

"When sche hadde so blede, 

He layed hyre in a fay re bede. 

"When scho wok out of a swoune, '820 

He gaf hyre met and drynk anoone. 

And, ' Dame,' sayed, ' ly al stylle, 

Thou schalt have met and drynke at wile, 

And ever when thou waxist wode 

Thou schalt be latyn blood.' 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 63 

' Sire,' scho sayed, ' mercy, I aske 3ore, 
And I wylle wrathe the no more.' 
' Par fay, dame,' qnod he tho, 
' For-why that thou doo no moo 
Swilke trespas, while I leve, ,830 

This thre schal be forgyven.' 
Than walde sche no more 
Leven of the clerkis lore, 
For fere to be lat bloode; 
Bot heldir algat trew and good. 
" Sir," quod maystir Maladas, 
" Lo swilke a woundir kas 
Hadde welne bytyde the olde wise; 
Ne hadde he lerned to chatyse 
Hys wyf at hys comaundement, lsl " 

How evilliche he hadde ben schent. 
Sertis, sire emperour, 
Thus schaltou lese thyn honour, 
And thow suffry thy wywys wille, 
That thow wilt thy sone spille. 
Aftir that mysdyde scho wile do mo, 
And bryng the into more wo." 
Quod the emperour, " By saynt Martyn, 
That schal scho nowt, wyf hys scho myn: 
So I evere broke myn hede, 1850 

To day ne schal my sone be dede." 
Than the emperes herde this, 
Scho was swith sori i-wys, 
Scho syghyd, and sory chere made, 
Myght hyr that day no man glade. 
When scho was to bede broght, 



64 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Scho syghyd sore and sayed noght. 

The emperour, that lay fol softe, 

Herde hys wyf syghen ofte, , l86fl 

And sayed, " Dame, saye me thy wylle, 

"Why monies thou and syghys so stille?" 

Quod the emperes to the emperour, 
" Certys, sire, for thyn honour: 
Thow art smytyn in eovatyse, 
"Whare-of thy sorowe wylle aryse. 
Thou covetes in alle manere 
Thyn seven clerkis for to here. 
Thou schalt lese thyn honour, 
As dyde Crassus the emperour, 187fl 

That for covetyse was slawe 
Withouten any proses of lawe." 

Quod the emperour, " By saynt Jon, 
Thou schalt telle me anon 
How Crassus lese thonrow covetyse 
Is lyf, and on wilk wyse." 

A TALLE. 

The emperes hire tale bygane, 
And sayde, " Sire, hit was a mane, 
Merlyn he hatte, and was a clerk e, lvvl 

And bygan a wondir werke; 
He made in Rome thourow clergyse 
A piler that stode fol heyghe, 
Heyer wel than ony tour, 
And ther-oppon a myrrour, 
That schon over al the toun by nyght 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 65 

As hyt were flay lyght, 

That the wayetys myght see; 

Yf any man come to cite 

Any harme for to doon, 1890 

The cite was warnyd soone. 

Thare was contek ofte and lome 

By t wen Pule and the cite of Rome. 

The kynge of Pule hadde no myght 

To stele oppon the town by nyght, 

For the myrrour was so clere, 

That kest lyght fer and nere. 

Twa clerkys was in hys londe, 

Twa bryther, that token on honde 

For to kast the myrour down, 190 ° 

That lyght over al Rome toune. 

The kyng asked the clerk bathe, 

What he scholde gyf hem twae. 

That oon clerk sayed to the kynge, 

' Certis, sire, we wylle no thynge, 

Er the myrrour be broght a-doune, 

And than gyf us oure warrysoun.' 

Quod the kyng, ' So mot I the, 

I graunt wel at hit so be.' 

Thanne sayed the heldest brothir, 1910 

' Sire kynge, thou most do anothyr; 

Ale prevyliche and stille 

Twa coffyns thou most fylle 

Of golde and of preciouse stonnys. 

Let make the coffynys for the nones, 

Hye that thay were dyght, 



\s~ virc*. 



66 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

And the myrour schal lese hys lyght.' 
" The kynge hadde em redy dyght, 

And fylde thaym fulle that ilk nyght. 

Oppon the morne the way the nome, 1920 

Eyght to the cite of Rome. 

On morwen thay wenten messe to here, 

And after went to play i-fere; 

Into the felde the way thay nome, 

And lokyd that no man come, 

And maden lytyl pyttys twaye, 

And byrid the cofFyns bathe, 

And setten redy niarkys there 

Wydyr-out the coffyns were, 

A[nd] went forth as stille a ston, 1930 

And comen to the emperour anon, 

And sayed, ' We wyte, sire emperour, 

About this cite gret tresour, 

Undyr the erth hit hys hyde; 

And yf thou wylt, hyt schal be kyde. 

For a sweven us come to nyght, 

"Were the tresour hys undir erth dyght.' 
" Quod the emperour, ' By saynt Martyn, 

And I wole do wefor of myn.' 

Atte the emperour thay toke leve, 194 

Ant wenten horn tho hyt was even; 

On the morwen wen the day wa[s] bryjt, 

To the emperour thay come ful ryjt, 

And sayden, ' Certis, syre emperour, 

"We have aspyed wher hys the tresour; 

Therfore, sire, tak with ous a man, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 67 

That be wys man, ant can 

Stond by ous a lytil stounde, 

To save the tresour whan hit hys founded 

" The emperour toke with thaym a man anon, iea0 
And thay dydden ham to goon, 
And dolven a lytyl withinne the gi'ounde, 
And the tresour was sone founde. 
Thay wenten anoon to the emperour, 
And schewden hym that nobil tresour. 
The emperour was payed ful wel, 
And wende hit were al gospel 
That the clerkys dyden hym to wite, 
And al was fals every smyte. 
Tho hyt neghyt toward evene, 196 ° 

The twa clerkys token leve, 
And went toward hare in agayen, 
Thare thay haddyn al nyght layen. 
Wyth myche myrthe to bede thay 3ede, 
For thay hoppen for to spede. 
A-morwen when the day spronge, 
In thayr bede thay thought longe, 
To the emperour they gune hye, 
For to blere more hys eye. 

That on clerke sayed anoon, 1970 

' Par fay, syre, we moten goon, 
That the tresour were fete, 
That we have of to ny5t mete: 
Let senden a man the tresour to bede, 
As he that instay with ous 3ede. 
Ham to-lywryd a man anon, 

f 2 



68 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

And tbider fast thay gone gone; 
Thay ne dyggyd bot a lytil stounde, 
The coffyn was ful sone founde, 
Hyt was no need depe to delve, 1980 

He may wel fynde that hyde hym selven. 
Thay brogten anoon the tresour 
Ryght byfore the emperour. 
The emperour was glad tho, 
That he hadde sylke clerkys two, 
That wyste ware to fynde so evene 
Ware were tresour hyd so evene. 
Tho the emperour herde thaym lye, 
And wend hit were al profecye, 
And grete love to ham kaste, 19ft0 

And al was lorne at the laste. 
Tho hyt neghit toward hevene, 
The clerkys token anoon hare leve, 
Ant went horn with myche honour, 
And louhe to scorne the emperour, 
And made ham at ese that nyght, 
Til on morwen the day bryght. 
On the morwen, tho the day sprong, 
Thaym thought in hare bed ful longe; 
Alle both thay goon goon 200 ° 

To the emperour anoon. 
The ton sayed, ' Sire emperour, 
Undir the pyler that berys merour, 
Ther hys a golde hord bygune, 
One the noblest undir sone.' 
" ' Certis,' quod the emperour. 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 69 

' I wolde nought for half the tresour 

That the myiTOur fel a-down, 

Hyt helpis for to save the toun.' 

' Sire,' quod that ou clerke, 2010 

' We conne ordeyn so our werke, 

Of the tresour to have oure wille, 

And late the myrrour stande stille.' 

Quod the emperour, ' By sayent Myghel, 

To swylke a for war de I graunt wel; 

Go, and God almyghty 30ue spede, 

And to the myrrour take hede.' 

The clerkys take mynours anoon, 

And to the piler thay goon; 

Thay bygune to dygge faste, 2020 

Than thay sayen at the laste 

How the piler stode in bras, 

And with sowdyng sowdyt faste. 

Than sayed the tone clerke, 

' Mynours, lat be joure werke.' 

When the mynours were goon, 

The clerkys made a fyre anoon, 

The pylar fot al about, 

And closyd the fyere al witont. 

When thay hadden thus doon, 2030 

Thay wentyn horn, and hyt was non, 

By fore the emperoure thay come, 

And anoon lef thay nome 

To whend horn into thayr in, 

To ordayn and dyvyse a gyne, 

For to holde the piler up-ryght, 



70 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

And the myrrour that was so ly3t. 

The emperour gaf thaym leve; 

And thay wolde no langer byleve, 

To hare in son thay come, 2 "'" 

And at thayre ostage leve thay nome. 

The fyere was hote and bernyd faste, 

And malt the soudyng at the last; 

Thay were hot a lytil withouten toun, 

That the pyier fel a-doun. 

Alle the lordys of the cite 

"Were ful sory, and myghte wel be; 

Thay wente anoon to the emperour, 

And asked of the myrour, 

Why he let kast a-doun *'- ,n 

That help for to save the toune. 

Non answere couth the emperour, 

Bot for covetyse of tresoure, 

For to wyte of the wundyre, 

Wat tresour was hyd ther-undyre. 

Al that in Eome was, 

Riche and pore, none ther na3, 

That thay nere al at on 

To sle the emperour anoon; 

And a wyle yf $e wille dwelle, 206 ° 

How he was slawe I wyl 50W telle. 

For he let falle the myrour 

For the covetyse of tresour, 

Thay were al at on red, 

Thourow tresour he scholde be dede. 

Thay token gold a grete bal, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 71 

And letten grynde hyt ryght smal, 

And pnttyn out hys eyen two, 

And fylden the hollys folle bothe, 

Hys eyen, hys nose, and hys throte, 2070 

Thay fylden wit golde every grote ; 

Thus thay were at on acent, 

For to gyfe hym that juggement." 

Quod the emperesse to the emperour, 
" Thus for golde and tresour 
The emperour was slawe, 
"Withouten any proses of lawe. 
Thus ar thou falle in covetyse also, 
Thorow thy clerkys tales false; 
Thou wylt by schent, by swyte Jhesus, 2080 

As was the emperour Crassus." 

Quod the emperour, "By sayent Colas, 
I ne schal noujt bytyde that cas, 
For no lesyng that thay men telle. 
My sone i-wys schal noujt dwelle 
On lyve lengur than to morwen, 
So Gode schilde me fra sorowe!" 
And anon has hyt was day, 
The emperour made non delay, 
To sla the childe he was ful rade, 2000 

He ferde as man that were made: 
He badde hys tormentours ilchon 
Doe thys childe to deth anoon. 
Thay dyden as the emperour bade. 
When the childe schulde dee, 
Tliare was many a wyppyng hee. 



72 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Ryght withouten the palyes y&te, 
Thay mete mayster Caton thare-ate; 
The childe lette hys [eyen] glyede 
Oppon hys maystyr al asyde. 2ino 

Mayistyr Caton that was wyse, 
Lokyd on hys prentyse; 
He loutyd to hym, and lete hym goon, 
Ant went to the emperonr anoon, 
And gret hym with gret honour, 
As men schidde an emperour; 
And he answerd ryght in the place, 
" Maugre have thou and male grace!" 
"A! sire," quod he, 

" Mercy per sfijjnt ckarite! 2110 

For Goddis love, syre emperoure, 
Hyi'e me speke for thyn honour." 
" Have doo, traytour," quod he, 
" Late see what thy resoon schal be." 
" Sire," quod mayster Caton, 
" Hyt hys al agayen reson, 
That a dome man schal bere juggment, 
And for lesyngs been schent. 
Yf thy sone to day hys slawe, 
Withouten any prossesse of lawe, 212 ° 

Also mote the befalle, 
As dyde the burgees in hys halle, 
That bynam hys byrdys lyf, 
For the tale of hys wyfe." 

Quod the emperour, " By seynt Colas, 
Thou schalt telle me of that cas, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 73 

That thou sayest that was hytyde, 
Of the burges and hys berde." 

" Sire," quod mayster Caton tho, 
" Thy sone that hys to dethe go, a130 

Lete a knyght or a swayn 
Anon brynge the cliylde agayne, 
And lete hym on lyfe dwelle, 
Whille that I my talle telle; 
Or by Good that alle wrought, 
I nylle telle the ryght nowt, 
Bot the childe be eftyr sent, 
That hys toward hys deth went.' 1 
The emperour comande anoon 
Aftyr the childe for to goon. 2140 

Than gladdyd many a man, 
And mayster Caton hys tale bygane. 



" Hit was a burgeis and hadde a wyf, 
And love byre as hys ouen lyfe; 
And hadde a popynjay at spake, 
And wyst by hys wyf a lake, 
And tolde hym when he ham cam, 
Anothyr lotby seho nam; 
And than bygane to wax stryfe 
Bytwen the godraan and hys wyfe. 3l5 ° 

The godman went a day to playe, 
Out on jornay or twae, 
To frendys that he sawe nowt 3ore, 
No wyste when he schulde more. 
When the goodman was went, 



74 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Than was the lemman after sent, 

And niadyn myrth and melodye, 

Ryght byfore the bryddys eie. 

The wyf she thout oppon a wylle 

For to do the birde a gyle, 2160 

And ful sone scho was thought 

How that gyle myght be wrought. 

Scho hadde a knave al at hyr wile, 

That wyst hyr privete loude and stille ; 

Scho madde hym sette a leddy[r] on hygh, 

And oppon the laddyr he styghe, 

A piger of watyr he fete 

And oppon the rof he hyt sette ; 

Oppon the rof he made an hole, 

He went don a[nd] bare uppe a cole, - 170 

And a torche up ther-myde, 

And as the wyf hym badde he dyde. 

"When thay were a-bede y-fere, 

The wyf and hyre topinyere, 

The knave hadde al hys thynge dyjt, 

He lokyd in and sawe lyght, 

And bygan onnoon hys rage, 

And cast watyr oppon the kage. 

AVhen he hadde caste twyes or thrvc 

He dyde anothyr maystrie, 21S0 

Grete blowen bladdyrs he brake, 

And thay gave a gret crake. 

He tende hys torche at a cole, 

And putte in ate the hole. 

The wyf sat oppon hire bede, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 75 

And made has sclio were a-drede ; 
Bote ofte sayed, ' Benedieite ! 
What thynge may thys be?' 

" Quod hire horlyng in the bede, 
'Ly stille a[nd] be nought a-drede; 2ieo 

Hyt hys lyghtyn, thondyr, and rayne: 
Ly doun in thy bede agayn.' 
The byrde stode and sawe and herde 
Al that gile hou hyt ferde, 
And whende hyt were soth that ho sayed, 
And bylle undyr wynge layede, 
And toke rest tyl hyt was daye, 
And the horlynge went hys way. 
When the godman hame cam, 
To the cage the waye he nam, 2200 

And askyd the byrde how hyt ferde; 
And the byrde answerde, 
And sayed, ' sythyn I sawe the laste, 
I have been ful sore agaste.' 

" Quod the goodman to hys birde, 
' Tel me what was the bytydde.' 
' Sire/ he sayed, ' when thou wer gon, 
Oure dame lemman cam anoon, 
He was sent aftyr fol sone, 

And dyde as was to done — 2210 

And the nyght that was 
There byfel a wondyr cas, 
Hyt raynyd and lygnyd and thonryd fast, 
And alle we were sore agaste.' 
The godman went to hys wyf, 



76 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

And abrayder of hyr lyf, 

That scho liadde don wil he was oute, 

And callyd hys wyf foule scout. 

' Alas! sire,' quod the wyf, 

' Why schul we lede thys lyf ? 2220 

Thou lovest to myche thy byrdys lore, 

And al he lyees, by Goddy[s] hore.' 

' Dame,' he sayed, ' by my hals, 

Now thow schalt be proved fals: 

While I was out he was here, 

And in my chambyr $e lay i-fere, 

And that nyght the wedyr was strong, 

Hyt laytyd, thondred, and reynned among, 

Al that nyght til hyt was day, 

Thyn horlyng in that bede lay.' 2230 

" ' A! sire,' quod scho, and was bolde, 
' He that that lesyng hase tolde, 
He lyed, by Good that alle hase wroght, 
Hyt raynyd ne thondryd ne layt nout 
Sythen thou wentyst out of thys toune, 
And by neghbours prove 3c moune.' 
1 Certis,' quod the godman, 
' I wil foundyn yf I can 
Prove the fals ryght anoon.' 
He clepyd hys neghburs ilkon. 2240 

When thay were al come, 
In concel thay were al nome, 
Whethyr anny rayn, thondyr, or lyjt 
Hadde be of al that seven -nyght. 
Than the neghbours answerd anoon, 
' Swylk wedyr wastyr noon 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 77 

Of al thys seven-nyght and more.' 

Than for-thout the burges sore, 

That lie hadde hys wyf myssayde, 

And dyde anoon a lyther brayed; 225 ° 

Ryght in that ilke selve rage 

He slowe the byrde in the cage. 

Thus the burges thowrow hys wyf 

Bynam hys good byrd hys lyfe. 

So woltou, sire emperour, 

Do thy self lytyl honour, 

For the wordys of thy wyf 

To bynyme thy sonne lyfe." 

Quod the emperour anon, 

" For love of hym, by Saynt Symon, 22ao 

That was so foule bleryd hy[s] eye, 

To day no schal my sone dee." 

Tho the emperes herde telle 
That he scholde on lyf dwel 
Al that nyght tyl on morwen, 
Than madde scho mykyl sorowe; 
Al that day to nyght come 
Alas! was ofte oppe y-nome; 
When thay comen to bede y-fei-e, 
The lady made sory chere. 227t) 

Quod the emperour, "How may this be? 
Dame, what hys wyth the?" 
" Sire," scho sayed, " no thyng goode, 
For soth thou makest me welny wode. 
Thou art about thy selve to greve, 
For thou wyl no concel leve, 



78 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

No good concel unclir hevene, 

Bot of thyn fals clerkis sevene. 

Therfore I ware the sykirlich, 

Thou Avylt love ham so myche, 228 ° 

That thou wilt [lese] thyn honour, 

As dyde Herode the emperour, 

That levyd concel agayn hys prowe, 

Of seven clerkis, as dostou." 

Quod the emperour, " By Goddis belle, 
Of that cas thou most me telle." 
" Gladlich," sayed scho, 
" The bettyr yf hyt wylle bee." 
For to brew the childes bale, 
Anon scho bygan hyr tale. 229 ° 

A TALE. 

Scho sayed, " Hit was a emperour, 
A man of ful mykil honour, 
And hadde seven clerkys wyse, 
And broghten up a usage, 
That dyde swyth gret damage. 
Who so anny swevene by nyght, 
O morne when the clay was bryght, 
And rych gyftis with hym nam, 
For the clerkis schuld telle 

Of the sweven that walde byfalle, 230 ° 

And wannyn riches to hare byhove, 
And broghten men in mysbyleve. 
And the emperour for wynne, 
Mayntend horn in synne, 
At lete ham have al hare wille, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 79 

And ate the last specklyn ille. 

The emperour hadde a raaladye, 

A wondyrful for the maystry; 

Whan he wolde by any way 

Out of Rome wende to play, 231 ° 

Withouten toun as he come, 

Anon hys syght hym was bynom. 

Thare-fore he was sore agremed, 

And oft sythes sore aschamed. 

Of hys clerkis cautel he toke, 

And badde ham loke in hyr booke, 

Yf thay myghten with ony clergye, 

Hele hym of that maladye. 

Bot thare was non of ham that couthe 

Telle hym no thyng with mouthe, 2320 

How he myghte hele wyne 

Of that maladye that he was inne. 

At the last hyt was hym tolde 

Of a wys clerke and a bolde, 

That was hotyn Merlyn, 

That couthe many a medicyn; 

And anon he was sought, 

And byfore the emperour broght. 

Merlyn onon with gret honour 

Gret anon the emperour. 233 ° 

Ate schortys wordys for to telle, 

The emperour wolde no langer dwel, 

Bot tolde Merlyn al hys cas, 

Wych maner and how hit was. 

' Sire,' quod Merlyn, that was bolde, 



1/ 



80 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

' Of thynges that thou haves tolde, 

Cawe unto thy chambyr y-fere, 

And in skyle $e schal here 

Why and whare-fore hyt hys, 

That 30ure syght fares amys.' 

The emperour and Merlyn anoon 

Into the chambyr thay gonne gone; 2340 

When thay were in chambyr brought, 

Merlyn told hym of hys thought, 

And sayed, ' Syre emperour, i-wys, 

Undyr thy bede a caudron hys, 

That buyles both day and nyght, 

And that revys the thy syght, 

And thy lyf there-fore hys worthy forlore, 

Bot any medicyne ben don ther-fore; 

And yf thow levest nought me, 

Remou tlii bed and thow mayst se.' 235 ° 

The bed was remoude sone; 

Bot thare was more fyrst to doon, 

Er the caudron wer founder 

Hyt was depe withinne the grounde. 

The emperour sawe atte the laste, 

That the caudron boylyd faste; 

And anoon undirstood 

Merlyn was trew and couthe gode, 

And sayed, ' Merlyn, par charite, 

What mervyle may thys bee?' 2360 

' Sire,' quod Merlyn, 'i-wys 

I wyll telle the how hyt hys. 

Thys sevene walmes sygnyfye 



THK SEVEN SAGES. 81 

Seven (levels in thy companye, 

That hen thy seven clerkys. 

That wyssys the to wykkyd werkys. 

Thay been ryeher of tresour 

Than artou, sire emperour. 237(} 

Thou havest maynted thaym ther-ine, 

And God hys wroth for that synne.' 

' Maystyr,' quod the emperour, 

' Myght we wet with ony tresour, 

With any eoncel arly or late, 

Thys sevene walmys for to abate?' 

' 3e, sire,' quod Merlyn, 

' Thow myght don hyt wylle a[nd] fyne. 

Thyn sevene clerkys in the halle, 

Sende aftyr the gretest mayster of alle, 23S0 

And smyte of hys hede, 

And anoon when lie hys dede 

Thow schalt fynde abatynge adone 

The gretyst walme of the caudrone.' 

The emperour taryd nowt, 

The grettest mayster in was broght, 

And fulfylde Merlyns rede, 

And lete smytte of hys hede; 

And went to the caudron anoon, 

Than was the maystyr walme agoon. 

"Quod [the] emperour, 'bysaynt Martyne, 
I fynde the trewe, mayster Merlyn; 
For oght that man kan save thare-to, 
As thou concels I wole doe. 5 

"Quod Merlyn, 'Sire, so mot I waxc, 

G 



82 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Thane most thou slae thy clerkys; 

For by the deth that I schal dee, 

Thou schal never see with eye 

Withoute Rome toune i-wys, 

Wille ony of ham on lyve hys.' -' i "" 

" Quod the emperour, ' So mot I thrvve. 
Thare schal none leve on lyve.' 
He clepyd hys tormentours anoon, 
And lete gyrde of the hedes ilkon, 
And went to the caudron tho; 
Than were the walmes a-goo. 
When thay were all slawe, 
Than the caudron was up-drawe. 

" Quod Merlyn to the emperour, 
'Sire, take knyghtes of honour, - Ml " 

And leppe to hors and wend to play 
Out of thys cite a jorne or twao, 
And say anon rvght 
How lykkys the nou thy syght.' 
The emperour wolde no langer abyde, 
He dyde hym anoon to ryde, 
And lopyn to hors ilkon, 
And wente out of the cite anoon. 
Tho the emperour come without the 3ate, 
Til he was lyght hym thought to late, 2420 

To knele and thanke the kynge of myght. 
That he hadde hys eyen syght. 
Than hadde Merlyn grete honour, 
And lafte with the emperour. 
Lo, sire," quod the emperesse, 






THE SEVEN SAGES. S3 

" Wylke a mykyl wykkcdncs 

The sevenc clerkys hadde welrie do, 

Ne hadde Merlyne take hede ther-to. 

By God almygty that hys in hevene, 

Thus wil thy clerkys sevene - M '" 

Do by the, or ellys worse, 

Yf thou lyvest, thow schal have cursse." 

Quod the emperour, "by Goddys bore, 
He schal never tene me more; 
He that makes al thys sorowe, 
Certys he schal be dede to morwen." 
The day was comen, and nyght gon, 
The emperour raes onr.oon, 
There ne most be no lete, 

Anon hys sone was forthe fete, Jn " 

And ladde ther he schulde dee; 
There was many a wepyng heye 
As the childe was forth ladde, 
Ryght als God almyghty bade. 

The sexte maystir than com be, 
That was hoten maystir Jesse, 
And sayed anoon, " Sire emperour, 
Certys thou dost lytil honour, 
For word of a womman 

To do deth swylk a man 2) •" 

And thy sone scholde bee, 
And he leve langer than 5c 
And yf thou lattys hym lese the lyfe 
For tales of thy wyf, 
Also mot the bytyde 



84 THE SEVEN SACKS. 

As dyde the knyght in hys pryde. 
That deyed for dole of hys wyfe 
Was woundyt wyth a lytyl knyfe." 

Quod the emperour, "By Goddys belle, 
That tale thou schalt me telle." 
" By God," quod mayster Jesse, 
" Thou schalt nout here a worde of me, 
Bot thy sone be after sent, 
That hys went to juggement." 
The emperour comauuded anoon 
After the childe for to goon. 
Than waster many a glad man, 
And mayster Jesse hys talle bygane. 



He sayed, '' Sire empei-our, i-wys, 
Hyt hys nowt lese, soth hyt hys, 
Hyt was a knyght a riche schyreve, 
That was lot hys wyf to greve. 
He sate a daye by hys wyf, 
And in hys honde helde a knyf, 
At schort wordis for to telle, 
In gamen bothe as thay felle, 
With a lytil croume knyfe 
The schyref woundyt hys wyf, 
And took to hym so myche sorowe, 
That he deyd oppon the morowen. 
For al so mykyl as he slew hym selven, 
In kyrke 3ar3e men wolde hym nout delve, 
He was beryd bon and fel 
Withouten the toun at a chapel. 



2190 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 85 

When in erth he was broght, 

Hys wyf wolde goo thyn nouit, 

Bot sayed for non wordlys wyne 

Schulde no man parte horn a-twyne. 

Of hyre frendys that were thare, 

Baden hire lat be hyre fare; 

At schort wordys, hyt was nought, 

Myghte no mane tome hyre thoght, 

Bote thare scho wolde be sykyrlyche 

With hym that lovyd hyr so nryche. 

Quod on of thaym that was thare, 

' Lete we been al thys fare, 

Letc hyr dwel al hyer scille, 

And when thys hete passid hys, 

Scho wille come horn hire selve, i-wys.' 

After clothes scho sent a knave, 2o00 

And made hyre bede bysyde the grave. 

At schort wordys for to telle, 

There moste no man with hir dwelle. 

The nyght was comen and day gon, 

Scho made a good fyer anoon, 

And sete hir doun thare bysyde, 

For hyt was colde wyntir tyde, 

Scho wype and hyr hondys wronge. 

Fram the ehappel a lytil wyght 

Ther hovyd a jong knyght, 

Bysyde galows were thare strange, 

Ther were thre thefys an hangede; 

That was hys rent for hys londe, 

For to take theves on ho 

To saven thaym with al hys myght, 



2510 



86 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

That no man stelle ham the forme ny5t. 
Than the knyght was both jonge and bolde, 

He was swith sore a-colde. 

And ate the chappel fyer he sawe lyght, 

And rode thyderward ful ryght. is ' 2 ' 

He lyght adoun of hys stede, 

And into the chappel 5ede, 

And the lavedy anoon he grete, 

And by the fyre he hym sete, 

And sayed, ' Dame, by the leve, 

To warme me a wylle I mot have leve. 1 

The lavedy than sayed, ' yac, 

Sire, welcome mot thou bee, 

Yf thow thynkyst non othyr harme, 

Bot to syt and make the warme.' 2530 

Than the knyght in hys atyre 

Was warm of that fyere, 

Hym tliout hyt was a fayer leef, 

And he was withouten a wyf, 

And bygan onnoon to wowe, 

And hyr hert bygan to bowe, 

And knew wel hym by syght, 

And wyst wel he was a knyght. 

And anoon the lady bygane 

To have love toward the mane; '- ,,|,! 

Er hyt was passyd mydde-nyght 

The lady was kast uppe-ryght, 

And the knyght lay above, 

And thus he wan the lady love. 

The knyght leppe uppon hys stede, 

For to wende and take hede 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 87 

Whethir the thefys hange stille, 

Wylle he was aboute hys wylle. 

Wylle he was aboute hys playe 

The ton thef was awaye. 2551) 

To the chappel he pryked anoon, 

And to the lady he made hys inone, 

And sayed, ' Dame, me hys wo, 

Myn on thef hys a-goo; 

I am ful sore agast thare-fore, 

Lest myn landys been lore.' 

' Sire,' quod the lady tho, 

' Ther-fore be nought wo, 

Ne make thou dole ther-fore, 

Ne schal nou5t thy lond be lore. ' 2d6 ° 

To thys beriel we wyl goone, 

And dyggyn uppe the cors anoone, 

And hangge hym in hys stede 

As fayer as the othyr dyde.' 

' Dame,' quod he tho, 

' On ilke half me hys wo : 

There the thefys was funde, 

The toon hadde a myche wounde ; 

He was woundyd, and no mo, 

And that body hys a-goo, 257 ° 

And yf he were founde, 

And he ne hadde no syche wounde, 

Thanne were my londys lore, 

And I were schent there-fore.' 

' Sire,' quod scho, ' lat be thy stryfe, 

Now havest thou bothe swerd and knyf ; 

Tak the toon or the tothir, 



88 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

And gyf hym swylk anotliir.' 

' Certis, damp,' quod he tlio, 

' Erst me schulde be fid wo, 258CJ 

Er I wolde been ate the rede 

To smyt a man that hys dede.' 

" ' Sire,' quod scho tho, ' ther-of al, 
And drew a knyf out of hire schete, 
Tbat was kenne aud scharpe grounde, 
And made in hys lied a wounde, 
And put up hyr a knyf anoon, 
And sayed, ' Sire, wel we goon.' 
* Dame,' quod he, ' verrament, 
3it myght I be sehent : 2590 

In a countek he hadde lore 
Twa of liys tetb byfore.' 
' Sire,' quod scho tho, ' by myn hede, 
Thare-to goos a good rede ; 
He schal be markyd as was he, 
Tak and bete out two or thre.' 
' Dame,' quod he, ' by sayent Joon, 
I nyl bet out never on.' 
' Sire,' quod scho, ' by sayent Marie, 
Yf thou ne wolt nowt than schal I.' 2000 

In liyr hoond scho took a stoon, 
And knockyd out twa teth anoon ! 
' Sire,' scho sayed, ' this char hys heved, 
Ilye that we hadden i-sped 
That he ware up drawe, 
Er any day bygan to dawe.' 
Thay token the corse anoon, 
And to the galowes gone goone. 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 89 

And hanged hym in that like stede 

Ryght thare that othyr dyde. 2610 

" Lo, sire," quod maystir Jesse, 
" Was nowt thys grete pyte. 
That he was schent thus for hys wyf, 
Tliat for hir love !ese hyse lyfe ? 
Thus wol thou, sir emperour, 
Certes, lese thyn honour, 
And thou byuyni thyn sone the lyf 
For the tales of thy wyf." 

Quod the emperour to mayster Jesse, 
" That cas no schaJ noujt betyd me ; 26 -° 

So ever I broke my hede, 
To day ne schal my sone be dede !" 
The emperesse, when scho hit wyste, 

at scho myght do scho no wyst ; 
So wo and so wroth scho was, 
Myght hyr glade no solas. 
To bede a even when scho cam, 
A gret sygh up scho nam, 
And saved, " Alas ! that harde stounde 
That evere I was to man bounde !" 263 ° 

The emperour lay and herde, 
And askyd hyr why scho so ferde. 
Quod the emperesse, " So mot I the, 
Al togyder hyt hys for the. 
I see the wounde, hyt hys so wente, 
Thourow thyn clerkys thow wil be schent ; 
Thay wylle gyle the wyth hare werke, 
As dyde Genever the clerke, 
That wyth qweyntyes and with bost 



90 the seven sages. 

Schend the kynge and hys hoste. ? ' 
Quod the emperour, " By saynt Colas, 
Thou schalt telle me of that cas; 
Hyt hys the wounderest that ever I herde, 
I wylle wetyn how that ferde." 

The emperesse bygan hyr tale, 
For to brew the childes bale. 



The emperesse, as $e mowe here, 
Bygane hyre tale in thys manere, 
And sayed, " Thre haythyn kynges thay comi 
Som tyme to bysege Rome; '■ 

And the pope thay walden have slawe, 
And a gyed Rome aftyr thayr lawe, 
And have been maystyrs of the toun, 
And broght crystondom adon. 
The haythyn men was ful strange, 
And segyde the town lange ; 
Seven clerkys were in Rome, 
And holpen for to take game, 
Both day and the nyght, 
That the cite were lokyd aryght. 
On ther was that was olde, 
And of speche he was bolde, 
And sayed. ' We been in thys cite 
Seven clerkys of grete bounte; 
Ilkon fonde, yf he may, 
Fram harm save the cite a day. 
Lete ilkon do what he can: 
And for I am an old man. 



TIIK SEVEN SACKS. 91 

Lete me have the last daye, 

And fonde to do what I may.' - C7 ° 

The hold man hythout hym faste 

How he myght at the laste 

Any thynge dyvyse 

To make the haythyn kyngys to gryse; 

And dyvysyde at the laste 

A gyn that made ham alle agaste, 

And alle was of hys oune thoi^t, 

And woundyrlych hyt was wroght. 

When hys day was come, 

Hys concel was sonne norae; *'" s " 

He comannded alle with mouthe 

Anne thaym al wel as thay couthe. 

Alle that in the cite were 

Dyden as the olde mane gan lere; 

And hym self anoon he styghe 

Into the heyghest tour on hyghe, 

And dyde oppon hym a wondir tyre, 

Alle hyt glowyd as fyere; 

In the othyr honde a swerde he tooke, 

As tellys the Bomauns hooke, - 1 '' 1 '' 

And turnyd toward that syde 

There the Sarsyns were strawyd wyde, 

And hygane to skyrme hylyve, 

As al the worlde schul to-dry ve; 

With a qweyntyse fyere he keste 

Ryght bytwene hys swyrdys in lenkthe, 

As tho he smytte hyt out with strenthe. 

The Sarsyns byhelde faste, 

And many were ful sore agaste, 



92 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

For nowt on of thaym thare wase 

That couthe dyvyse wat hyt was. 

The heythyn kyngys that there, were 

For-thought sore that thay com thare, 

For al thay were sore a-fryght, 

When thay seyen that woundir syght; 

Ilkon askyd othyr tho 

What thynge hyt was that ferde soe. 

Tha oon kynge was an olde mane, 

And hys reson thus bygane: 

' Lordys, ye schul here, y-wys, 

What me thynke that hyt hys; 

The crysten men hase nou myght 

Agayens us for to fyght, 

And hare gode hys of grete myglit, 

And hys into erth lyght, 

Certynlyehe that hys he. 

For sothe I rede that wefle; 

For certis and he come adoune, 

He wylle sle syre Mahoune, 

And oure othyr goddys ilkon, 

And leve of us on lyve nought on.' 

When the kynge hadde thus tolde, 

Thare was non of hem so bolde, 

That durst ianger abyde fyghte, 

And anon turnyd to flyght. 

When thay of Rome sawe that syght, 

That Sarzyns turnyd to flyght, 

Thay wenten out liarmyd ilkon, 

Al that myghten ryde or goon, 

And withinne a lytyl stounde 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 93 

The Sarsyns 5eden al to grounde. 

Thys Gynever the clerke, -"•"• ' 

With hys wylys and hys werke, 

Made to fle with hys boste 
Thre kyngys and hare hoste. 
Thus wyle tbyn clerkys false 
With hare wylys schende the alse; 
And thou schalt lese thyn emperyre, 
And thy sone be lorde and sire. 
Thus is thy concel wrought. 
For to brynge the to nought." 

Quod the emperour, " So mot I the, '-'"' l0 

Emperour schal he nought bee; 
Na schal hym no man lenger borowe ; 
Certys, he schal by dede to rnorowen." 
Than hadde the emperesse hire wylle ; 
Thay felle on slepe, and lay stille. 
O morwen he ne forgat hyt noi^t, 
The childe was outen of the toun broi^t, 
Toward the deth he was lade; 
Than was the emperes glade. 

The sevenet mayster rode bylyve, 2750 

For to holden hym on lyve, 
And was hoten Marcius, 
And sayed to the emperour thus: 

" Syre, ryghtwys emperour, 
Thou dost thy selven lytyl honour, 
Thou levest wykked concel i-wys, 
That makes the fare amys ; 
And yf thy sone hys don to dede, 
And slaue for thy wyfvys rede, 



94 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Gode, that tholyd deth on tree, 

Leve so bytyde the, 

As dyde hym that levyd more 

The falnesse of hys wyfvis lore, 

Thane that hym selven sawe and herde, 

And ther-fore he mys-ferde." 

Qnod [the] emperour, " By sayent Gervas, 
Thou schalt telle me of that cas." 

Quod Marcius to the emperour, 
" Nowt a word, by sayent Saveour, 
Bot thow slake thy sonnys sorowe, 
And late hym lybbe tyl to morwen." 

Quod the emperour, " By sone and mone, 
I not what hys best to doone ; 
5c be about to save my sonys lyffe, 
And yf hit hys sothe that saye.s my v:yf, 
Certes, mayster, $e were worthe 
To be sete qwyke in erthe." 

" Sire, sire," quod Marcius, 
' ; Hyt hys nowt so, by swet Jhesus ! 
That thou schalt wet by tyme 
To morwen lange or pryme." 
The emperour comandyd anon 
After the childe for to goon. 

A TALE. 

Than gladdyd maystyr Marcius, 
And bygan hys tale thus, 
To the emperour anoou ryght : — 
And sayed, " In Hungerye was a knyght, 
And mete a sweven byfore the daye, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 95 

That a levedy by hym laye ; 

Bot hyt was a wondir cas, 2790 

He wyst never wliat the lady was. 

When he wok, hyt was so faste 

Hys love oppon that lady caste, 

Tha[t] hym thout withine a prowe, 

And he see hyr, he couth hir knowe. 

" And the levedy, that self nyght, 
Mete ryght so of the knyght. 

" The knyght tok hors and arraes anon, 
And tok hys leve, and dyde hym to gon, 
To loke were he myght hir fet, 28f)0 

The levedy that he of met. 
He rode hys way thre wykkes and more, 
And oft sythes syghyde sore ; 
And hys way forth he name, 
Into Puyle than he came. 
As he rode in the londe, 
O day a toun he fande, 
And a castel was ther-inne, 
That was ivel for to wynne. 

The lorde of the castel 28io 

Haude swythe a fayere juwel, 
On the fayerest womman to wyfe 
That ever myght here lyfe; 
And the godman was gelous, 
And in a tour mad hyr a hous, 
And ther-in most no lyfe 
Bot a mayden and hys wyfe. 
And for he wolde of gyle be ware, 
Hys owen body the keye he bare ; 



96 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

And never more was the dore undo, 

Bot when [he] wolde comen hyr to. 

The knjght that met that sweven at nyglit, 

Of that lady was so bryght, 

Thorow the toun as he rode, 

A whyle lie hovede and abode 

Eyght a lytyl fram the toure 

Thare was the lady of honour 

That mete the sweven of the knyght, 

In bede thare scho lay al nyght. 

The knyght kest hys hee on hyghe, '-'■'" :>> ' 

And ate the wyndow the lady he see, 

And by the syght he wyst hir thoght, 

That was the lady that he hadde sowt ; 

And in the levedy hert hyt felle, 

That was the knyght that ho loved wel. 

Bothe thare hertys were ful lyghte, 

That hayther hadde of othyr syght. 

The knyght wente into the toune, 

And took hys ine, and lyght adoune ; 

Hys hoste he in eouncel nam, - s; ' 

And sayed, ' Who hys thys castel, 

That hys touryde and kernelde wel ?' 

" ' Sire,' quod he, ' by saynt Symyoun, 
Hyt hys the lordes of thys toun, 
A swythe godman y-wys, 
And in mykyle tene hys. 
In thys contre hys a knyght 
That werys on hym day and nyglit. 
And base done twa jere and more, 
And that groves hym ful sore. - '"•'" 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 97 

He mande hym wel ate the knyght 

Al the daye and al the nyght; 

On morwen the- the day came, 

Towarde the castel the waye he nam. 

And wyth the lorde sone he mete, 

And ful hendlych hym grete, 

And sayed, ' Syre, I am comen 

For were that thou havest nndirnome, 

For to helpe the for of thyne, 

Thy werre for to hende and fine.' 2860 

" Quod the lorde, ' So mot I the, 
Thou art ful welcome to me.' 
Atte schorte wordis for to telle 
He made the knyght with hym to dwelle ; 
And he was good werrour and wyes, 
And conquerd al his enmys. 
The lord lovyd hym as hys lyfe, 
And al hys good, so hys wyfe, 
He bytoke undyr hys hond, 
And made hym stywarde of al hys londe. 2870 

" Oppon a day he went to playe, 
Undir the tour he made hys waye; 
The lady loked oute on heygh, 
And in the face the kynghte scho see, 
And kende anoon that was hee 
That scho desired so mykyl to see. 
The knyght kest upe hys hee 
To the lady that sat so hye. 
The levedy durst speke nowte, 
Bot of a qweyntys scho was bythoute; 2880 



98 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

There were in hyr chanibyr y-nowe 

Fayer rescliys and longe growe, 

With that on and with that othir 

Scho putte ilke resche in other, 

And made a karole in a stounde, 

The ton hende touched to grounde, 

And the othir scho helde on heygh. 

And the knyght byhelde and see, 

And wyst wylle in hys thowt, 

Why that nicote was y-wroght. 2890 

The knyght privelyche and stylle 

Asayed alle the lordys wille, 

And thout wydyr-out and were, 

That he wolde a toure rere 

Lenand to the mykyl toure, 

To do in hys tresour. 

Thorow a qweyntyse he thout to wyne 

The lady that was loke there-inne. 

" Quod the lorde, ' Ne spare nought, 
Bot hye that hyt were wroght.' 2900 

Oppon a day stylle as stoon 
He sent eftyr masons anoon, 
Thay schuld ordeyn and dyvysse 
To make a waye with qweyntysse 
Out of on tour into that othyr. 
And a mason and hys brothyr 
Undirtoke anon ryght 
Hyt schulde be qwentlyche dyght, 
That he schulde with hir speke 
That was in the toure steke. 29, ° 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 99 

That on masson was a clei'ke, 
And made so qwentilich the werke, 
That to levedy come the knyghte, 
When he wolde, daye and nyghte, 
That no man myght the wyser be, 
Bote the levedy hyr selfe and hee. 
So qwej'iitlich hit was wroght, 
The lorde persaved hit nowt. 
O daye to hire he cam, 

And hys leve than he name 292 ° 

A rynge of hir fynger scho tooke, 
As tellys the Romans booke, 
And put hyt on hys, 
And, ' Lemman, were thou thys, 
And late my lorde see hit aryght, 
And brynge hyt me agayn er nyght.' 
lie dyde on the renge anoon, 
And took hys leve, and dyde hym to gon. 
Ate the met as he sate, 

The lorde the rynge undirrat, 2f,3 ° 

And hadde merveyle in hys thout 
How the rynge was thydir broght. 
After mete the way he nam, 
And to the levedy sone he cam; 
Tho the lorde hadde y-swore, 
3yt cam he in byfore, 
And kest the rynge in hyre barme, 
For to save horn bothe fra harme, 
And tok hys leve, and dyd hym to gon. 
And the lorde cam in anoon, 2940 

u 2 



100 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

And sayed, ' Dam, were hys thyn rynge, 

That was ate our bygynnyng 

The first gyfte that I gaf the, 

That rynge late me see.' 

' Sire,' scho sayed, ' thou myght wel, 

And many anothir juwel.' 

' Dame,' he sayed, ' lat ham bee, 

I wyl no mo than that see.' 

To hyre forcer scho gan goon, 

And broght the rynge anoon 295 ° 

That lay loken in hir tie; 

Thus scho bleryd hyre lordys eie. 

Anoon as the lorde was agoone, 

The sty ward come in anoon; 

Tho levedy tolde hym al that cas, 

How hyr lord bygylyd was, 

And sayed, ' Sire, doute the nowt, 

Al thy wylle schal be wroute, 

And I wylle telle the anoon 

AVhilke manere and howe. 

Saye thou havest in thyn contree 

Slane a man of grete bounte, 

There-fore were thy londys lore, 

And thou were outlawde ther-fore: 

And saye thou hase a leve wyfe, 

A lemman that hys nou5t thy wyfe, 

And scho hys comen in a message 

To come horn to thyn erytage; 

And he wylle besyche the 

That he mot thy lemman see. 



29GU 



2970 



THE SEVEN SAOES. 101 

And thou schalt graunt hym anon; 

And I wyl be redy to goon 

In anothir tyre than thys, 

To se me whan hys wyl hys. 

And whan he hase sene me hys fylle, 

Thanne mowe we haven oure wylle 

To gone wan we wyllen in fere, 

Thanne wylle he no talys here 

Nowthyr of me no of the, 

Bot wene that I thy lemman be.' 2980 

" Quod the stywarde, ' That may noujt fye, 
And he se the with hys eye, 
Anon as he haves a syght, 
He wyl knowe the anoon ryghte.' 

" ' Sire,' quod scho, ' be myn hede, 
My rynge schal make oure parti goode, 
That he on thy fynger see, 
And sythyn he fande hyt here on heye; 
Ther-fore dout the nought, 

Thys schal been al hys thought, 2 "° 

As a rynge was lyche anothyr, 
So may a womman be lyche anothir. 
There schal the knote of gyle be knyt, 
The rynge schal blynde hys wyt.' 
The styward went, and was glade, 
For to make hys lorde made, 
And tolde hym that hys pes was nome, 
And how hys lemman was comen, 
And hadde broght the messages 
To come home to ervtage; 3000 



102 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

And asked hym leve for to wende. 

And hys loverd was ful hende, 

And sayed, ' Yf thy lemman hys comen, 

For sotli scho hys welcome; 

Late hyre take to nyght rest, 

To morne scho sal be my geste.' 

On the morne to the mete scho cam, 

And by the bond the lorde hyre nam, 

And faste by hym he hyr sete, 

And made hyre to saye hys mete; 3U10 

And he karf hys mete with hys knyf, 

And sat and byhelde hys wyf, 

And in gret thout he was 

Where hyt were hys wyfe er hit nas. 

Alse he sat in mornynge, 

Anon he thout oppon the rynge, 

And thout anoon in hys thought 

That hys wyf was hyt nowt, 

Bot as a rynge was lyche anothyr, 

So was a womman liche anothyr, 3020 

And sate stille and made hym glade, 

And thus hys wyf made hym made. 

Whan the bordis were adoun, 

Scho made semlant for to swone, 

For scho wolde ben a-gon 

Into the toure anoon; 

And thyder scho was sone brought 

That hire lorde wyste hyt nowt. 

The lorde he ne forgat hyt nowt, 

Scho was algate in hys thought; 3030 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 103 

For the merveyle that he syghe, 

He went into the tour on hygh. 

To the levedy when he cam, 

In hir armes scho hym nam; 

He was hlyth as bxyde on bogh, 

And wende al wei*e god y-nowe, 

And dweld with hir al tha nyght 

Til on the morne the day was bright. 

The styward let take al hys good, 

And bere hit into se flood 3040 

Into a god schype and trewe, 

That was maked al newe. 

When the wynd was good to goon, 

The senescal tok hys leve anoon. 

The lorde was bothe good and hynd, 

And gaf hym leve for to wende, 

And hym self broght him in way 

Into the see a myle or tway, 

Wyth truppys and other mynstralcie, 

Wyth many maner of melodye. 3050 

The lord halpe with myrthe and playe 

Tollyd hys oune wyf away. 

Thay token leve and wente o-two, 

And cysten as love schulde do. 

The schyppe saylyd over the sonde, 

The lorde went agayn to londe ; 

Into the tour the way he nam, 

He lokyd both forth and bynne, 

And fande nonian ther-inne. 

Than gaf hym hys hert anoon 3030 



104 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

That hys wyf was goon 

With the senescal away: 

Than sayed he, walaway ! 

That ever was he man boren ! 

Than was al hys myrthe lorne. 

He lepe out of the tour anoon, 

And than brake hys neke boon. 

Thus was the goodman schent, 

And with hys wyvys wylys blent. 

Sire emperour," quod Marcius, 3070 

" Ryght on thys manere and thus 

Schal thy wyf bygile the, 

And thou leve hir, so mot I the. 

Hyre self with hyre wylys alone 

Haves gylyd my felawes ilcon, 

And me scho wille, yf scho may, 

Er to morwen that hyt be day, 

For to bryng thy sone to sorowe; 

Certys he schal speke to morowe, 

Thou schalt wyet er aut longe 30s0 

Whethir of thaym base the wronge." 

Quod the emperour to Marcius, 
' ' That were me lever, by swet Jhesus, 
Than any thyng that men telle couth, 
To here my sone speke with mouthe, 
For to see the ryght way, 
Who were gylty of thaym tway." 
" Sire," quod Marcius, " be stille, 
To morwen thou schalt have thy wille." 
When the lady herde thys, 3090 

Scho was swyth sory, i-wys ; 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 105 

Than wolde sclio telle no more, 

But al that nyght syghyd sore. 

Oppon morwen ryght at prime, 

The emperour thout tyme ; 

In the paleys withouten the halle 

Thare he lette asemhyle alle, 

Erlys, barouns, sympile knyghtys, 

For to here jugge the ryghtys 

Bytwen hys sone and hys wyfe, 3l0 ° 

Whethir schuld lese the lyfe ; 

For he hadden sworen hys hoth, 

Were he lyf, were he loth, 

He schuld dye withouten delay 

Who were founde gylty that day. 

When thay wystyn wat to doone, 

The pepyle was semyld sone, 

And ilke man hyed bylyve, 

For to have the childe on lyve. 

The emperour come out of hys halle, 3 "° 

And sete hym doun among thaym alle ; 

The emperes was broght with pryde, 

And set adoun by hys syde. 

The childe was anoon efter sent, 
To come byfore the parlement. 
The childe was forthe broght ; 
Many a man was glade in thought. 
Byfore hys fader he fal on knee, 
And cryed mercy for chary te; 
And sayed, " Fadyr, 1 have no gylte 3 *20 

Of thyng that hys oppon me pute, 



106 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Certys, no more than hadde he 
That hadde ben dronke on the see, 
Na hadde Goddys help ben neye, 
That broght hym to a roche on hye ; 
And thourow niyght of Godys sonde 
He was founden and broght to londe !" 
"Certys, sone," quod the emperour, 
' " Hyt were us lytil honour, 

Bot we myght on wyle dwelle, 3130 

And suffyre the thy tale telle." 
And thay sytyn stille ilke mane, 
And the childe hys tale bygane. 



" There was a man that was bolde, 
And hadde a vertu that was hyghe, 
Alle men lovede hym that hym syghe; 
Anothyr vertu Gode on hym layed, 
He wyst wat alle fouls sayed. 
Bysyde hys fadyr court a myle 
In the se was an ile, 314 ° 

And was no man in bot on, 
A hermete in a roche of ston. 
The fadyr and the sone o day 
Went thyder for to play, 
And thay rowed and were hot; 
Ryght byfore oppon the bote 
Thre ravenes lyghte adoun, 
And made a gret gargoun. 
The child was wys and of no bost, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 107 

And badde wyt of the Holy Gost, 3150 

And wat thay sayden he undirgat, 

And hadde mykyl wondir of that, 

And hys ore faste he drowe, 

And byhelde hys fadyr, and loughe. 

" Hys fadir asked, that by hym sate, 
Why he loge and at wat. 
' Fadir,' quod he, ' so mot I the, 
I louke ate the ravens thre, 
That sayden in bar gargoun, 
Anon as thay seten adoun, 316 ° 

That I schulde hyre-after be 
Man of so grete pouste, 
That thou schuldest by glad to fonde 
To gyf water to my honde, 
And myn moder glad to bye 
To brynge a towayl myn handys to drye.' 
The faders hert was ful of pryde, 
And thout hyt schulde nought so bytide, 
And tok hys sone by the hode, 
And threw hym into the salt flod. 317 ° 

When he was in the se kast, 
To dye he was sore agast; 
The wynde blew, the se was wod, 
And bare the childe into the flod. 
Thorow helpe of Gode that syt on bye, 
He negyd sone a roche nye; 
Out of the water he went anon, 
And clame uppon a roche of ston, 
And there he was ivel dyght 



108 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Twa dayes and twa nyght, 3180 

Ther he sat on the roche on hye, 

That no sokyr he no see. 

Jhesus gan sokur hym sende; 

Thare come a fyscher that was hende, 

When he come the roche nyghe, 

He kest up hys eyen and sygh 

The child oppon a roche harde, 

And drew hym fast thyderwarde. 

To the roche when he cam, 

The cbilde into the bot he nam. 3190 

Thar come a strem that was wode, 

And bare ham into the salt flode 

So fere fram there the childis was bore, 

That alle hys knowlech was lore, 

And he ary ved fayr and welle 

Undir a nobil castille. 

Out of the bot the childe he nam, 

And into the castle sone he came, 

To the warden of the castel, 

And solde hym the childe bone and fel. 3200 

Anoon aste the childe was knowen, 

He was byloved with he and lowe, 

Alle that in the castel were; 

And many wynter he dwelde there. 

In the londe thare he was, 

The kynge bytydde a woundir cas: 

Thre ravens with a lothly crye 

Sewyd the kynge ever ful nye, 

Were he rode or were he 3ede, 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 109 

That al the londe thare-of tok hede. 321 ° 

The kynge was schamyd ther-fore, 

That hym were levere ben unbore; 

Over alle hys lond hys bref was sente 

To aselen a coinuyn parlyment, 

To wyt conceyl of ham alle 

Of that kas that was byfalle. 

The warden of the castel 

Let atyren hym ful wel, 

And the child with hym nam, 

And to the parlement he cam. 322 

When the parlement was nome, 

And the pepyle al come, 

The kynge walde no lenger dwelle, 

Wat hym grevyd he gan telle, 

And to the pypyl he sayed this, 

' Who can telle me why hyt hys 

That the ravens on me crye, 

And brynge me out of that vylanye, 

That the ravens crye no more, 

Where-fore me schames sore, 3230 

I wyl gyf hym alf my londe, 

And sykyr hym trewly on honde, 

That I may gyf, by my lyf, 

And my dogter to ben hys wyf.' 

" The childe the fram the castel cam, 
These wordys undirnam, 
And that wyt God hym gafe, 
That on fouls lydyn he couthe; 
The childe hys mayster in concel nam, 



110 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

And sayed, ' Mayster, that I am 3240 

That can of the sothe telle, 
Why thys ravens crye and 3elle, 
And delyver the kynge 
Of alle hare lodly crying ?' 

" ' Sone,' he sayed, ' yf thou art bolde, 
To do that thou havest tolde, 
To the kynge wille I goon, 
And put forth thy nyddis anoon.' 
' Mayster,' he sayed hardylich, 
' Put forth oure nedys boldelych.' 
Hys mayster tok the way anoon, 
And bjfore the kynge he gan goon, 
And sayed, ' Sire, hire hys a mane 
That rydilich telle can 
Why the ravens on the crye, 
That dos the al that vylanye, 
And make ham take away thayr flyght, 
And thou wol holden that thow base hyght.' 
The kynge byhelde the childe faste, 
And gret love to hym cast, 3280 

And sayed, ' Certis, that have het 
I wylle holden, and jyt do bet.' 
Byfore alle the baronage 
He sykyrd hym of that mariage. 
Byfore the kynge he knelyd adoun, 
And by gan hys resoun, 
And sayed, ' Sire kynge, as $e moue see, 
3onder standys ravens thre, 
— Twa males and o femel ; 



THE SEVEN SAGES. Ill 

That to raven was ful holde, 3270 

In a wedyr that was colde, 

And for he was noujt of nryght 

To fynde hys make mete aryght, 

For glotonye he brake hys fayth, 

And bete hys make and drove hire awaye. 

Hys make flee best and weste, 

And fond for to do hir best, 

And met a raven that was bolde, 

A jonge raven and nowt holde, 

And soght a make and hadde noon, 3280 

And took hyr to hys make anoon, 

And over al abont he drowe, 

And fand hys make mete y-nowe. 

The colde weclirs was a-goo, 

Ungyr, colde, and al wo, 

The holde raven was bote of blode, 

And sowt hys make has he were wode, 

And fande ham both there thay were, 

Hire and hyr make y-fere ; 

He chalanged hire for hys, 3290 

The tohyr sayde he chalanged amys. 

Hyre fore thay cryen oppon the, 

That art kynge and havest pouste, 

And thay been in thy lond lent, 

And thou schalt gyfe the juggement; 

Whan the juggement hys gyven, 

Yf ever more wyl $e levene 

Hyre thaym anny more crye, 

Hardylich put out my eye.' 

Ever or he walde goon, 3300 



112 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

The kyngc gaf juggement anoon, 

' For the holde raven brak hys fayth, 

Wyth wronge drof hys make away, 

That juggement I gyfve, 

The 3onge that helpe hyr for to lyve, 

He schal have that he ekes, 

And the holde go makeless.' 

When the juggement was gyven, 

The 5onge raven schulde ben above, 

The kynge no sawe ham never more. 3310 

Than levede he the childys lore, 

And loved the childe as hys lyf, 

And gaf hym dogter to wyf, 

And was sesed with alle hys tliynge, 

And byleved with the kyng, 

And ferde swyth myry and wylle. 

And hys fader in powerte fel, 

In hys countreth, soth to telle, 

He ne myght nout for schame dwel, 

And wenten thyne hys wyf and hee :t:i -'" 

Fer into anothyr countre, 

And lyved thare, he and hys wyf, 

And lade swyth sympyl lyf. 

The childe let privelyche inquere 

In what stad hys fadyr were ; 

Thay fande hem that went to spye 

In the toun of Plecie. 

Than went he agayn anoon, 

As fast as he myght goon 

"With hys fet oppon the grounde, 3330 



THE SEVEN SAGES. 113 

And sayed, ' Sire, I Lave founde 

That thou byden aspye 

In the cite of Plecie.' 

The childe dyght hym rychliche, 

And went thydir astiliche ; 

Into Plecie when he was comen, 

Ner hys fadir hys in was nome. 

To mete when he was redy to gon, 

After hys fadir he sent anoon, 

And hys modir, a good wyf, 33!0 

For to gladen horn of hare lyfe. 

When thay comen into the halle, 

Thay fayer resavyde alle; 

The childe askyd watyr anoon, 

And hys fadir bygan to goon, 

And the water wolde have fet, 

Bot he was sone let. 

Hys modir wold the towel have broute, 

Bot othir wolde suffry hyt noujt. 

And the child al togydir syghe, ; ' 350 

And fadir and modir neghid nee, 

And by the honde both he nam, 

And sayed, ' For sothe, 30ure sone I am. 

Fadyr, nowe hyt hys byfalle 

That I herde the ravens telle; 

I tolde 5011 withouten lesyng 

What thay sayeden in hyr gavlyng : 

For I hire cryhyng undirstode, 

Thcr-fore thou puttyst me in the flod, 

Bot Jhesus held me by the bond, 330 ° 

And bro<j;ht me sonne to londe. 



114 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Fadir, hadde I than be dronken, 

And in the salt flod sonkyn, 

So God schild me from curs, 

Now thou myghtyst fare the wars .' 

Than walde the sone speke no mare, 

And kyst hym and hys modir in fere, 

And made thaym swyth fayer chere, 

And gaf thaym londe and tresour, 

And thay levedyn in mykyl onour." •'■ '■' ° 

Quod the emperour sone to the emperour, 
" Hyre fel the fadir lytil honour, 

That for a wylle of hyghe blode 
Put hys sone in the floode. 
'•' Fadyr, so hase thou talent 

To sla me without juggement; 

And certys I have no more gylte 

Than he that was in the see pute. 

Bot the emperes loves me nout, 

There-fore hit was hir thout, 

With wichecraft and with nygrimancie, 

Ordaynde that I schulde dee. 

Myn maysters loked in the mone. 

And tolde me wat was to doone; 

And sythen I was aftir sent, 

Hadde I spokyn I hadde ben schent. 

And my seven maysters also. 

Thus was my welle tornyd into wo; 

And alle was thorow thy wyvis rede, 

For scho wolde that I hadde ben dede. S33a 

Certys, sire, thus hyt hys; 

Do now what thy wille hys." 



THE SEVEN" SAGES. i I") 

The emperour was ful of godnesse, 
And sayed anoon to the emperes, 
"Dame," he sayed, "wat sayes thou? 
Avise the wille of thyn answere; 
For the hede that I bere, 
Bot thou may the fayrer skere 
Of that myn sone haves tolde here, 
For alle the men that beres breth, 
Thou schalt dye on schentfol deth." 
The emperes, sothe for to telle, 
Was eombird wit fynde of heile, 
That sclio myght nout forsake, 
That let the treson make, 
With wychecraft and felonye, 
For to make the childe to dye, 
And sayed, " My lord, sire emperour, 
For G-odys love and thyn honour, 
Ordeyn wat thy willys bee, 
Wat thou thynkest do by me, 
For, certis, I may forsake nowt 
The fame that on me hys broght. 
That thy sone haves sayed i-wys, 
Certeynlich soth hyt hys; 
Hyt was al togydir my red, 
For I wolde he hadde ben dede." 
Thus the thef the emperesse 
Knowleched byre wykkednese, 
Thorow the fyndys entysment; ;; - 

And anoon scho was schent, 
And bounden swyth fast, 
And hadde hire juggement at the last. 



116 THE SEVEN SAGES. 

Tims the childe wan hys lyf; 
And the emperesse lees hire lyf; 
And maynted hys son aryght 
Bothe by day and by nyght, 
And hys clerkys thre and fyve, 
Tha[t] holpyn to save hys sone on lyve 
With sevene talys that thay tolde, 
The sevene clerkys that were so bolde, 
Agayns the wyle traytoresse, 
Hys stepmoder the emperesse. 

There-fore the emperour 
Dyde thaym swyth niykyl honour; 
In alle thynges that he thout, 
By hare concel alle he wroght; 
And was wyduer al hys lyf, 

He wolde never have no wyf, 

That was algat in his thout; :?11 ' 

For tresoun that scho hadde wrogt, 

He ne durst dele with no mo, 

Lest thay wrogten more wo. 
To lyve gode lyf he bygane, 

And bycam a chast man, 

And paynyd hym with al hys myght 

To holde ilke man to ryjt, 

And lyvede in myrthe and solas, 

And dyed wan Godys wylle was, 

And went into heven-riche, :!l) 

Thare joye and blysse hys evere i-lyche. 

To that ilke blysse brynge us Gode, 

That never in erth 3ed schodde. 

Amen, amen, ff or charite. 



ROMANCE OF SYR TRYAMOURE. 



THE KOMAMT, 



SYR TRYAMOURE, 



FltOM \ MANUSCRIPT PRESERVED IN THE 



DNTVERSITY LIBRARY, CAMBRIDGE. 



EDITED BY 



JAMES ORCHARD HALLIWELL, ESQ. 

F.K.S., BON. M.B I A., HON, M.B.S.L., F.s A , ETC 



LONDON : 
PRINTED FOR THE PERCY SOCIETY, 

BY T.RICHARDS, 100, ST. MARTIN'S LANE. 
M.DCCC.XLV1. 



Council, 1845-6. 



President, 
The Rt. Hon. LORD BRAYBROOKE, F.S.A. 

THOMAS AMYOT, Esq. F.R.S. Tbeas. S.A 
WILLIAM HENRY BLACK, Esq 
WILLIAM CHAPPELL, Esq. F.S.A. 
J. PAYNE COLLIER, Esq. F.S.A 
BOLTON CORNEY, Esq 

T. CROFTON CROKER, Esq. F.R.S., M.R.I.A. 
JAMES HENRY DLXON, Esq 
FREDERICK VV. FAIRHOLT, Esq. F.S.A. 
J. O. HALLIWELL, Esq. F.R.S., FS.A. 
WILLIAM JERDAN, Esq. F.S.A., M.R.S.L. 
CAPTAIN JOHNS, R.M. 
T. J. PETTIGREW, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A 
WILLIAM SANDYS, Esq. F.S.A. 
W. J. THOMS, Esq. F.S.A. 

THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A., F.S.A., Secretary 
and Treasurer. 



TO THE KEADElx 



The text of the following romance if taken from 
the earliest cop) of it known to exist, contained 
in a large manuscript collection of* similar pieces, 
formed late in the reign of Henry VI., and pre- 
served in the Public Library of the University 
of Cambridge. Ff. ii. 38. A much later copy is 
contained in the Percy MS. There were at least 
two early editions of Syr Tryamoure, both 
printed by Copland. One of these has been re- 
printed in Mr. Utterson's Select Pieces of Earl) 
Popular Poetry. 1817, vol. i; but it is scarcely 
necessary to observe that it is of little value as a 
text compared with the more ancient and correct 
version now for the first time published. 

J. H. 



THE ROMANCE 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 



Heven blys that alle schalle wynne, 
Schylde us fro declly synne, 

And graunte us the blys of hcvyne ! 
Yf ye wylle a stounde blynne, 
Of a story y wylle begynne, 

That gracyus ys to nevyne; 
Of a kyng and of a quene, 
What bale and blys was them betwene, 

Y schalle yow telle fulle evyn: 
A gode ensaurapulle ye may lere, 10 

Yf ye wylle thys story here 

And herkyn to my stevyne. 
He was the kynge of Arragone, 
A nobull man and of grete renown, — 

Syr Ardus was hys name; 
He had a quene that hyght Margaret, 
Trewe as stele y yow be-hett, 

That falsely was broght in blame; 

B 



THE ROMANCE OF 

The kyngys steward Marrok kyght, 

False and fekylle was that wyght, 20 

That lady for to fame: 
He lovyd welle that lady gente, 
For scho wolde not to hym assente 

He dud hur mekylle schame. 
The kyng lovyd welle the quene, 
For scho was semely on to sene 

And trewe as stele on tree; 
Ofte tyme togedur can they ineene. 
For no chylde come them betwene, 

Sore syghed bothe sche and hee! 
Therfore the kyng, as y undurstonde, 
Hath made a vowe to go into the Holy Londe, 

To fyght and not to flee, 
That God Almyghty schulde helpe them so 
A chylde to gete betwene them two, 

That ther heyre myght bee. 
"When the kyng hys vowe had maked, 
And at the Pope the Cros takyd, 

To bedd then were they broght; 
That nyght on hys lady mylde, 40 

As God wolde, he gate a chylde, 

But they of hyt wyste noght. 
Sone on the morne, when hyt was day, 
The kyng wolde forthe on hys way 

To the londe there God was boght; 
Than begane the quene to morne, 
For he wolde no lenger soyorne, 

Prevy sche was in thoght. 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 3 

The kyng bad ordeygne hys armoryes, 
Knyghtys, squyers, and pallYays, °o 

Alle redy for to goo; 
He toke hys leve at the quene, 
At erlys and barons alle be-dene, 

And at syr Marrok alsoo. 
He comawndyd Marrok, on hys lyfe, 
That he schulde kepe wele the quene hys wyfe, 

Bothe in wele and in woo; 
Butwene the quene and the kyng 
Was grete sorowe and mornynge, 

When they schulde parte in twoo! 6 ° 

Now ys the kyng passyd the see, 
To hys enemyes gone ys he 

And warryth there a whyle; 
But than syr Marrok, hys steward, 
Was faste abowtewarde 

To do hys lady gyle. 
He wowyd the quene bothe day and nyght, 
To lye hur by he had hyt hyght, 

He dredyd no peryle; 
Feyre he spake to hur a-plyght, 70 

Yf he hur thoght turne myght 

Wyth wordys, hyt was hys wylle. 
The quene was stedfaste of wylle, 
Sche herde hys wordys and stode stylle 

Tylle he alle had sayde. 
Sche seyde, " Traytor, what ys thy thoght? 
Alle that thou spekyst hyt ys for noght! 

Owt upon the, thefe!" sche seyde in that 
brayde. b 2 



THE ROM ANTE OF 

" My lorde, when he went to the see, 

For specyalle tryste he toke me to the 80 

To have nndur holde; 
And now thou woldyst wondur fayne 
Be the furste to do me trayne! 

How darste thou be so bolder" 
He seyde, " Ye, be my lady gente, 
For now ys my lorde wente 

Agayne hys fone to fyght; 
And but the more wondyr bee 
Ye schalle nevyr more hym see, 

Therfore y rede yow ryght. '"' 

Now ys he gone, my lady free, 
In hys stede ye schalle take me; 

Am y not a knyght? 
And we schalle do so prevely, 
That whethyr he leve or dye, 

Ther schalle wete no wyght." 
Then was the quene wonder wrothe, 
And swere mony a grete othe, 

As sche was woman trewe! 
" Yf ye be so hardy 10 ° 

To wayte me wyth velanye, 

Fowle hyt schalle the rewe ! 

Y trowe y schalle never ete bred 
Tylle thou be broght to the dedd, 

Soche balys then schalle y the brewe? 

Y may evyr aftur thys 

That thou woldyst tyse me to do amys, 
No game schulde the glewe!" 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 5 

Marrok seyde, " Madam, mercy, 

Y seyde hyt for no velanye, J 10 

But for a fondynge; 
For y wolde wytt yowre wylle, 
Whethur that hyt were gode or ylle, 

And for no nothyr thynge; 
And now, madame, y may see 
That ye ar trewe as stele on tree 

Unto my lorde the kynge: 
And that ys me wondur lefe, 
Wherefore taketh hyt to no grefe 

Or wyckyd askynge." 120 

So excusyd he hym tho, 
The lady wende hyt had byn soo 

As Syr Marrokk sayde. 
He goth forthe and holdyth hys pese, 
More he thenkyth then he says, 

He was fulle evylle payde. 
Of the quene let we bee, 
And thorow the grace of the Trynyte 

Grete wyth chylde sche was! 
And of Kyng Ardus speke we, 13 ° 

Farre in hethennes ys he] 

To werre in Goddys grace; 
There he had grete chyvalry, 
He slewe hys enemyes with grete envy, 

Grete worde of hym aroos: 
In hethennes and yn Spayne, 
In Gaskyn and in Almayne 

Wyt they of hys loos, 



THE ROMANCE OF 

When he had clone hys pylgrymage, 

And maked alle hys message, 140 

With wordy s that ware not wyckydd, 
To fleme Jordon and to Bedlem, 
And to the borogh of Jerusalem, 

There God was dede and qwykk; 
Then longed he at home to bene 
And for to speke with hys quene, 

That hys thoght was ever upon, 
And he gate schyppys prevay, 
And to the sehypp on a day 

He thoght that he flewe anone. 15 ° 

So longe they drove upon the fome, 
That at the laste they come home 

To hys owne lande; 
When the kyng and the quene were togederagaA oe, 
They made mekylle yoye, gle and game, — 

Then tolde the kynge hur tythande. 
The kynge behelde the quene mylde, — 
And sawe that sche was wyth chylde, 

Then made he glad semland. 
Twenty tymys he dud hur kysse, 16 ° 

Then made they game and blysse, 

And he toke hur be the hande. 
But sone aftur come tythynges, 
Marrpk mett hys lorde kynge, 

And faste he can hym frayne. 
•• Syr," he seyde, "for Goddys pyne, 
Of a thyng that now ys ynne 

Whareof be ye so faync? 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 7 

Ye wene the chylde yourys be, 

Hyt ys not so, so mote y the, 17 ° 

The quene hath done the trayne! 
Another knyght, so mote y spede, 
Gat the chylde syth thou yede, 

And hath the quene for-layne!" 
'• Alias!" seyde the kyng, " what may that be? 
Betoke y not hur to the 

To kepe hur in weyle and woo? 
Sehe was undur thy kepeyng, 
Why letyst thou hur do that wyckyd thynge? 

Alias! why dud sche soo?" 180 

" Syr," seyde Syr Marrok, " wyte not me, 
For grete moone sche made for the, 

As sche had lovyd no moo; 

Y trowed in hur no false-hedd 
Tylle y fonde them with the dede, 

Togedur betwene them two. 
In the fyrste fourtenyght that ye were went, 

Y fownde them togedur verament, 

Or they ther wylle had done; 
To hym y rane with egur mode, 19 ° 

And slewe the knyjt there he stode, 

Be myn owne dome: 
Then wende sche sche schulde be schente, 
And me be-hett londe and rente, 

And hyght me to do my wylle, 
But y myselfe wolde noght, 
Ye were evyr in my thoght 

Bothe lowde and stylle!" 



THE ROMANCE OF 

" Alias!" seyde the kynge, " now y wondur, 
For sorowe my herte brekyth in sondyr, 200 

Why hath sche done amys? 

Y wot not to whom y may meene, 
For y have loste my comely quene, 

That y was wonte to kysse!" 
" Marrok," he seyde, " what ys thy rede, 
Whether that sche be done to dedd, 

That was my blysse? 
For sythen sche hath forsaken me, 

Y wylle hur no more see, 

Nor dwelle wyth hur y-wys." '-''" 

" Syr," seyde Marrok, " ye schalle not soo, 
Ye schalle hur nother brenne nor sloo, 

For dowte of synne; 
Bettyr hyt ys, syr, be my rede, 
Owt of yowre londe sche be flemyd in dede, 

And faste ye schalle hur comawnde to wynnc; 
But take hur an oolde stede, 
And an olde knyjt that may hur lede, 

Tylle sche be paste yowre realme, 
And gyf them some spendynge, 22 ° 

That them owt of thy londe may brynge, 

Y can no bettyr deme." 
" For, syr," he seyde, "hyt were not feyre, 
A horcop to be yowre hey re, 

But he ware of yowre kynne." 
Then seyde the kynge, " So mote y the, 
As thou haste seyde, so schalle hyt bee, 

Arste y schalle not Wynne." 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 9 

Then exylyd the kyng the quene, 

Sche had wonder what hyt myght meene, 230 

"What made hym so to begynne; 
No lenger he wolde gyf hur respyte, 
Nor no worde he wolde speke hur wyth, 

And that was grete synne! 
He let clothe hur in sympulle wede, 
And set hur upon an olde stede, 

That was bresyd and blynde; 
And toke to hur an olde knyght, 
That Syr Roger hyght, 

That curtes was and kynde, - 10 

And gaf them twenty dayes to passe, 
And ovyr that tyme hys wylle was, 

Yf men myght hur fynde, 
Sche schulde be takyn and be brente, 
And the knyght be there assente 

Schulde wayne wyth the wynde: 
Thretty florens to there spendynge 
He gaf them, withowte lesynge, 

And comawnded them to goo; 
The qwene for sorowe wolde dye, 25 ° 

For sche wyste not wherefore nor why 

That sche was flemed soo: 
Therfore sche had grete drede, 
And sche swownyd on hur stede, 

Hyt was no wondur thogh sche were wo. 
Syr Roger comfortyd the quene, 
And seyde, " At Goddys wylle inuste hyt bene, 

What helpyth hyt yow yf ye youre self< 
sloo?" 



10 tub: romance of 

Knyghtys, squyers and ladyes gente, 

Morned for the quene that was wente, 260 

The kynge had no chesowne, 
And the quene had grete care, 
For sche schulde fro hur lorde fare 

Wythowte ony resowne; 
But then they wente fro that stede, 
On ther way forthe they yede 

Ferre fro every towne, 
Into a grete wyldurnes, 
Fulle of wylde bestys hyt was, 

Be dale and eke be downe. 27 ° 

Marrok thoght utturly 
To do the quene a velanye, 

Hys luste for to fulfylle; 
He ordeygnyd hyni a companye 
Of hys owne meynye, 

That wolde assente hym tylle. 
To a wode they wente in hye, 
There the quene schulde passe by, 

And there stode they alle stylle. 
There had he thoght redyly 
To have do the quene a velanye, 

Fayne he wolde hur spylle! 
The quene and sir Roger come into the wode, 
Wote ye wylle thay thoght but gode 

To passe wythowtyn dowte; 
Then were they war of the steward 
Come i'\'l\ ng to them warde, 

Wyth a grete rowte. 



SYR TRYAMOIKK. 1 I 

" Here ys treson," seyde the quene. 

"Alias!" seyde Roger, " what may that bene? - ,J0 

TVe here be sett alle abowte! 
Syth we here schalle dye, 
Oure dedys fulle sore they schalle abye, 

Be they nevyr so stowte !" 
The steward Roger can ascrye, 
And seyde, " 3ylde the, for thou schalt dye, 

To us thou haste no myght !" 
Syr Roger seyde, " Traytur for-thy 
My dethe schalt thou dere abye, 

Yf that y wyth the fyght." soo 

There come they to hym in hye 
Syr Roger wyth grete envy, 

Kydd he was a knyght; 
They hewe on hym fulle boldely, 
Ther was none of alle that company 

So bolde nor so wyght. 
Syr Roger smote them on the. hede, 
That to the gyrdylle the swerde yede, 

Of hym were they qwyte; 
They hewe on hym faste as they were wode, 31(> 
On eche syde then sprong the blode, 

So sore on hym they dud smyte! 
Trewe-love, hys hownde so gode, 
Halpe hys maystyr and be hym stode, 

Byttyrly he can byte! 
Whylle they were togedur be-stedd, 
The quene passyd awey and fledd 

On fote, and lefte hur stede; 



12 THE ROMANCE OF 

Sche ranne to a thorne grene, 

Tyl sche come theder sche wolde not blyne, 3-2 ° 

And daryth there for drede; 
Syr Roger sche dydd beholde, 
He hewe on ther bodyes bolde, 

Hys hownde halpe hym at nede. 
Os hyt ys in the story tolde, 
xl". Syr Roger downe can folde, 

So qwyt he them ther mede; 
Had he bene armyd y-wys, 
Alle the maystry had byn hys; 

Alias! why wantyd he hys wede? 330 

As Syr Roger gaf a knokk, 
Behynde hym come Syr Marrok, 

Therfore evylle mote he spede! 
He smot Syr Roger with a spere. 
Thorow the body he can hym bere, 

Faste then can he blede; 
He hath an evylle wounde, 
That dynte hath brojt hym to the grounde, 

And fellyd hym on the grene ! 
Than he was slayne certenly; :!1 " 

They rode forthe with grete envy 

To seke aftur the quene. 
But they wyste not what they myfi sey, 
Hur stede they fonde, sche was awey, 

Then had that traytur tene; 
Ther jurney. then they thoght evylle sett, 
But they wyth the lady not mett, 

They wyste not what to mene; 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 13 

Ovyr alle the wode they hur soght, 

But, as God wolde, they fonde hur noght, :35 ° 

Then had they grete tene: 
When he ruyght not the lady fynde, 
He wente away as knyght unkynde 

To Syr Eoger there he lay; 
Thryes he styked hym thorow owt, 
Of hys dede he had no dowte, 

Alias ! that ylke clay ! 
When that traytur had done soo, 
He turnyd ageyne there he come fro, 

Unmanly for to say, 36 ° 

For hys company was alle gone, 
xl. he had chaunged for oone, 

Ther skaped but two away; 
The quene was aferde to be schente, 
Tyl sche sye that they were wente, 

And passyd owt of the slogh; 
Then rose sche up and come agayne 
To Sir Roger, and fonde hym slayne, 

Then had sche sorow y-nogh! 
" Alias!" sche seyde, " now am y spylte, 37 ° 

Thys false thefe, withowtyn gylte, 

Why dyd he the to slon? 
Syr Roger, thys haste thou for me! 
Alias! that evyr y schulde hyt see!" 

Wyth that sche felle in swowne. 
When sche myght ryse, sche toke hur stede, 
Sche durste no lenger dwelle for drede, 

That no man schulde fynde hur thorc; 



14 THE ROMANCE OF 

Sche seyde, " Roger, y see the blede! 
Alias! who may me wys and lede? 

For certen thou mayst no more!" 
Hys gode hownde, for weyle nor woo, 
"Wolde not fro hys maystyr goo, 

But lay lykyng hys woundys; 
He wende to have helyd hym agayne, 
Therto he dyd alle hys mayne, 

Grete kyndenes ys in howndys! 
He lykkyd hym tylle he stanke, 
Than he began and konne hym thanke 

To make a pytt of ston, 39 o 

And to berye hym was hys purpos, 
And scraped on hym bothe ryne and mosse, 

And fro hym nevyr wolde gone! 
Than levyd they stylle thare, 
The quene faste can sche fare 

For fere of hur foon; 
Sche had grete mornyng in hur herte, 
For sche wyste not whedur-warde 

That sche w r as beste to goone. 
Sche rode forthe noght for-thy '"" 

To the londe of Hongary, 

Tylle sche come thedur wyth woo; 
When sche come undur a wode syde, 
Sche myght no lenger abyde, 

Hur peynys were so throo; 
Sche lyghtyd downe, that was so mylde, 
And there sche travaylyd of a chylde, 

Hyrselfe allonc, withowtyn moo; 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 15 

Forth e sche went with sorowe y-nogh, 

And tyed hur hors to a bogh, 41 ° 

Tylle the throvves were alle y-doo. 
A fey re sone had sche borne, 
When sche herde the chylde crye hur beforne, 

Hyt comfortyd hur fulle svvythe; 
So when sche hurselfe myght styr, 
Sche toke up hur sone to hur 

And lapped hyt fulle lythe. 
What for febulnes, wery and woo, 
Sche felle aslepe and hur sone alsoo, 

Hur stede stode hur behynde. 430 

There come a knyght them fulle nere, 
That hyght sir Barnard Messengere, 

Huntyng aftur an hynde, 
And founde that lady lovely of chere, 
And hur sone slepyng in fere, 

Lyeng undur a lynde; 
He put upon that lady bryght, 
And sche loked upon that knyght, 

And was aferde fulle sore of hys comyug: 
He seyde, " What do ye here, madam ? 43 ° 

Fro whens come ye? what ys yowre name ? 

Why lye ye here nowe ?" 
" Syr," sche seyde, " yf ye wylle wytt, 
My name at home ys Margaret, 

Y swere be God a vowe! 
Here have y mekylle grefe, 
Helpe me now at my myschefe, 

At some towne that y were!" 



16 THE ROMANCE OF 

The knyght behelde the ladyes mode, 

And thoght sche was of gentylle blode, 41u 

That in the foreste was by-stadd there; 
He toke hur up fulle curtesly, 
And hur sone that lay hur by, 

And home he can them lede: 
He let hur have wemen at wylle, 
To tent hur, and that was skylle, 

And broght hur to bede; 
What so evyr sche wolde crave, 
Alle sche myght redyly hyt have, 

Hur speche was sone spedd. 4 "'° 

They crystenyd the chylde with grete honowre, 
And callyd hyt Tryamowre, 

Of hyt they were fulle gladd. 
A norse they gatt hyt untylle, 
Sche had mekylle of hur wylle 

They dud as sche them badd; 
Sche was bothe curtes and hynde, 
Every man was hur frynde, 

And of hur was fulle gladd. 
There dwellyd that lady longe, 460 

Moche myrthe was them amonge, 

But ther gamyd hur no glewc; 
Of hyr they were nevyr yrke, 
Sche techyd hur sone for to wyrke, 

And taght hym evyr newe; 
Hur sone that than dwellyd hur wyth, 
He was mekylle of boon and lyth, 
And feyre of hyde and hewe; 
Every man lovyd hym aftur ther estate, 



SYR TRYAMOURK. 17 

They had no chesone hym to hate, 47 ° 

So seyde alle that hym knewe. 
Leve we stylle at the quene, 
And of the greyhound we wylle mene 

That we before of tolde ; 
Vij. yere, so God me save, 
Kepyd he hys maystyrs grave, 
Tylle that he wexyd olde! 
Evyr on hys maystyrs grave he lay, 
Ther myght no man gete hym away 

For oght that they cowde do, 480 

But yf hyt were onys on the day, 
He wolde forthe to gete hys praye, 

And sythen ageyne he wolde goo : 
Vij. yere he levyd there, 
Tylle hyt befelle agenste the youle 

Upon the fyrste day, 
The hounde, as the story says, 
Ranne to the kyngys palays, 

AYythowt ony more delay ; 
As the kyng at the mete was than, -* 90 

Into the halle the hound can rene 

Amonge the knyghtys gay ; 
Alle abowte he can beholde, 
And when he sawe not that he wolde 

He dyd hym faste away; 
The hound rennyth evyr y-wys, 
Tylle he come there hys maystyr ys, 

He fonde not that he soght; 
The kynge wondurth in hys wede 
Fro when he come and whedur he yede, 500 



18 THE ROMANCE OF 

And who hym thedur broght: 
He thoght that he had sene hym thare, 
But he wyste not when nor whare, 

Forthy then seyde he noght: 
But faste be-thenkyth he hym then, 
For he thoght he schulde hym kenne, 

So syttyth he in a thoght; 
The tother day, on the same wyse, 
As the kynge fro the borde can ryse, 

The hownde spedd not thoo; 51 ° 

Alle abowte the halle he soght, 
But at that tyme he fonde hym noght, 

Than dyd he hym faste to goo. 
Then seyde the kyng that ylke stounde, 
" Me thynkyth that was Sir Roger hounde, 

That wente wyth hym thoo, 
When the quene was Seined owt of my londe." 
" Syr," they seyde, " we undurstonde 

For sothe that hyt ys soo!" 
The kyng seyde, " "What may thys mene? 620 
Y trowe Syr Roger and the quene 

Be comen to thys londe, 
For nevyr syth they went y-wys, 
Sawe y Syr Roger hounde or thys, 

That ys wondur tythand! 
When he goth, pursewe hym then, 
For evyrmore he wylle renne 

Tylle he come there hys maystyr ys." 
The tothyr day among them alle, 
To mete as they were sett in halle, 630 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 19 

Syr Marrok was there ferre withy nney-wys; 
Ami the hounde wolde nevyr blynne, 
But ramie abowte faste with wynne, 

Tylle he wyth hym rnetyth. 
He starte up verauient, 
The steward be the throte he hente, 

The hownd wrekyd hys maystyi'S dethe; 
The stewardys lyfe ys lorne, 
There was fewe that rewyd ther on, 

And fewe for hym wepyth; 540 

The greyhownde dyd hym sone to go, 
When hys maystyrs dethe he had venged soo, 

On hym that wroght hym trayne; 
Alle they folowed hym in that tyde, 
Some on horsys and some besyde, 

Knyghtys, squyers and swayne. 
Reste wolde he nevyr have 
Tylle he come to hys maystyrs grave, 

And then turned he agayne; 
They myght not gete hym therfro, 56 ° 

He stode at fence ageyne them tho, 

But they wolde hym have slayne: 
When they sawe no bettyr bote, 
They turned ageyne on hors and fote, 

Wyth grete wondur y wene. 
They tolde the kyng alle thus, 
" Alias!" seyde Kyng Ardus, 

" What may thys be to meene? 
Y trowe Syr Marrok, be Goddes payne, 
Have slayne Syr Roger be some trayne, 66 ° 

c 2 



20 THE ROMANCE OF 

And falsely flernyd my quene! 
The hound had not Sir Marrok slayne, 
Had not some treson byn, 

Be dereworth God, as y wene !" 
They wente agayne, bothe kny5t and knave, 
And founde Syr Roger in hys grave 

As hole as he was layde; 
They toke hym up and leved hym noght, 
The corse before the kyng was bro5t, 

That made hys herte sory, as men sayde. 570 
Hys hownde wolde not fro hym fare; 
" Alias!" seyde the kyng, " now have y care, 

Thys traytur hath me betrayed! 
For he hath slayn an awnturs knyght, 
And flemyd my quene withowten ryght, 

For false tales that he hath me telde!" 
The steward also tyte 
The kyng let drawe hym, with grete dyspyte, 

Wyth horsys thorow the towne, 
And hanged hym on the galowe tree, 580 

That al men myght hyt see, 

That he had done tresone! 
Syr Rogers corse wyth nobulle delay 
They beryed hyt the tothyr day, 

Wyth many a bolde barone; 
Hys hownde wolde not fro hym away, 
But evyr on hys grave he lay, 

Tylle deth had broght hym downe. 
The kyng let sende a messengere 
Fro towne to towne, ferre and nere, •''"' 

Aftur the quene to spye; 



SYR TRYAMOIRE. 21 

For nothyng that they cowde spere, 
They cowde nevyr of hur here, 

Then was the kyng sory: 
He seyde, " Now can y no rede, 
For welle y wot that y am but dede, 

For sorowe y wylle now dye! 
Alias! that sche evyr fro me wente, 
Owre false steward hath us schent 

Wyth hys false traytory!" eoo 

Thus leveth the kyug in sorowe, 
Ther may no hlys fro bale hym borowe 

Tylle he be broght to grounde; 
Soche lyfe he leved many a yere, 
With mekylle sorowe and evylle chere, 

Nothyng may make hym sounde; 
Hyt dothe the kyng mekylle payne 
When he thenkyth how sir Roger was slayne, 

And then halpe hys hownde; 
And of hys quene that was so mylde, 61 ° 

How sche went fro hym grete with chylde: 

He swownyd that ylke stownde! 

And at sir Roger 5ende we wylle dwelle, 
And of the cpiene we wylle telle, 

And of hur chylde Tryamowre; 
He was a moche man and a longe, 
In every lyiu styif and stronge, 

And semely of colowre; 
Men and vvemen dwellyd he among, 
5yt wrethyd he never non with wrong, 620 

That was hys owne honowre. 



22 THE ROMANCE OF 

Jn that tyme, certaynly, 
Dyed the kyng of Hungary, 

And was beryed y-wys; 
He had no heyre hys londes to welde, 
But a doghtyr of vij. yerys elde, — 

Hur name Helyne ys; 
Sche was whyte os hlossome on flowre, 
Mery and comely of colowre, 

And semely for to kysse: 63 ° 

When hur fadur was dede, 
Moche warre began to sprede 

Yn hur lande alle abowte; 
Therfore sche ys gevyn to rede, 
To take a lorde to rewle and to lede 

Hur londe wyth hys rowte; 
A nobulle knyght, that cowde or myght 
Rewle hur londe, wyth gode ryght, 

That men myght drede and dowte! 
Hur cownselle wylle that sche do soo, ° 10 

For grete nede cawsyth hur therto, 

And sche answeryd them there on hye, 
That they schulde faste hur with no fere, 
But he were prynce or prynceys pere, 

Or ellys chefe of chyvalry. 
Therfore that lady feyre and gente, 
Wyth them wolde sche assente 

A justyng for to crye; 
And at that justyng schalle hyt bee, 
Whoso evyr wynneth the gree 65 ° 

Schalle wedde hur wyth ryalte, 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 23 

A day of justyng was ther sett, 
Halfe a yere no lenger they lett, 

To be thore at that clay, 
That they myght have there a space, 
Knyghtys of dyvers a place 

And no lenger delay; 
Knyghtys of dyvers londys, 
When they harde of these tythandys, 

They gysed them fulle gay; 660 

Of every londe the beste, 
Thedur they rode withowten reste, 

Fulle wele arayed and dyght; 
Some therselfe for to assay, 
And some to wynne that feyre may, 

That semely was in syght; 
Mekylle was the chevalry 
That then come to Hungary, 

To go juste with ther myght. 
When Tryamowre herde telle of thys tythand, 67 ° 
Of that justyng in that londe 

Schulde hastely begynne, 
Yf he wyste that hyt wolde gayne, 
He wolde purvey hym fulle fayne 

That lady for to wynne; 
He had nothyr hors nor spere, 
Nor no wepyn hym with to were, 

That brake hys herte withy nne; 
Faste he be-thynkyth hym bothe evyn and morow 
Where hym were beste to borowe, 680 

Arste wolde he not Wynne; 



24 THE ROMANCE OF 

To liys lorde he can meene, 

And preyed hyni that lie wolde liym leene 

Wepyn, armowre and stede, 
" For at the justyng wolde y bene 
To kythe me with the knyghtys kene, 

My body for to blede !" 
Syr Barnard seyde, " What haste thou thoght? 
Of justyng canste thou ryght noght, 

For thou art not of age." 690 

" Syr," he seyde, " what wott ye 
Of what strenkyth that y bee, 

Or y be provyd in felde with the sage?" 
Barnarde seyde also hynde, 
" Tryaniowre, syn ye wylle wynde, 

Ye schalle wante no wede; 
For y schalle lende the alle my gere, 
Hors and harnes, schylde and spere, 

And helpe the at thy nede." 
Then was Tryaniowre fulle blythe, 70 ° 

He thanked Bernard fele sythe 

Of hys feyre proferynge; 
Before the justyng schulde bee, 
The chylde wente to hys modur free, 

And preyed hur of hur blessynge; 
Sche wolde have had hym at home fayne, 
But ther myght no speche gayne, 

Ther myght be no lettynge; 
Sone on the morne, when hyt was day, 
Tryaniowre was gysed fulle gay, "io 

Redyly armyd and dyght. 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 25 

When he was armed on a Steele, 
He was a mykelle man of brede 

And also moche man of myght; 
Tryarnowre to the felde rydeth, 
Barnard no lenger abydeth, 

But rode wyth hym fulle ryght; 
Ther was no prynce that day in felde 
That was so semely undur schylde, 

Nor bettur besemyd a knyght. 7 ' M 

Then was that lady sett 
Hye up in a garett, 

To beholde that play; 
There was many a nobulle knyght, 
And prynceys proved in that fyght, 

And them selfe to assay. 
"Wyth helmes and armowre bryght, 
That felde schon as candulle lyght, 

So were they dyght gay! 
There was mekylle pres in pryde, 73 ° 

When eche man began to ryde, 

Knyghtys of grete renowne; 
Hyt befelle Tryamowre in that tyde 
To be on hys fadurs syde, 

The kyng of Arragone. 
The fyrste that rode noght for thy, 
Was the kyng of Lumbardy, 

A man of grete renowne; 
And Tryamowre rode hym ageyne, 
Thogh he were mekylle man of mayne, 7i0 

The chylde broght hym downe! 



26 THE ROMANCE OF 

The kyngys sone of Armony 
On a stede, wyth grete envy, 

To Tryamowre he ranne; 
And Tryamowre turnyd forthy, 
And justyd wyth hyni pertly, 

And downe he bare hym than! 
Then seyde Barnard with gret honowre, 
"A Tryamowre! a Tryamowre!" 

That men myght hym kenne. 75 ° 

Maydyn Elyn, that was so mylde, 
More sche behelde that chylde 

Then alle othur men; 
Then was ther a bachylere, 
A prowde prynce withowtyn pere, 

Syr James he hyght, 
The Emperoure sone of Almayne, 
He rode sir Tryamowre agayne, 

And he kepyd hym fulle ryght; 
Ay ther on other sperys braste, 760 

But neyther to the grounde was caste, 

Bothe ware they men of myght; 
But syr James had soche a chopp, 
That he wyste not, be my toppe, 

Whethur hyt were day or nyght. 
Thus they justyd tylle hyt was nyght, 
Then they departyd in plyght, 

They had nede to reste; 
Sone on the morne when hyt was day, 
The knyghtes gysed them fulle gay, 770 

And proved them fulle presto. 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 27 

Then, withowtyn more abode, 
Every knyght to odur rode, 

And sykurly can they stryke aud threste: 
Tryamowre rode forthe in haste, 
And prekyd among the oost 

Upon the tother syde; 
The fyrste that rode to hym thon 
Was the kynge of Arragon, 

He kepeyd hym in that tyde: 7S0 

He gaf hys fadur soche a clowte, 
That hors and man felle downe withowt dowte, 

And sone he was dyscryed. 
Syr Asseryn, the kynges sone of Naverne, 
Wolde nevyr man hys body warne, 

He come hym ageyne; 
He hyt hym on the helrae soo, 
Soche a strokk he gaf hym tho, 

That alle men hyt syen. 
The blode braste owt at hys eerys, ~' 90 

And hys stede to grownde he berys: 

Then was sir Barnard fayne! 
Tlien that lady of grete honowre, 
Whyte os lylly flowre, 

Hur love was on hym lente: 
They sesyd not tylle hyt was nyght, 
And then they departyd them in plyglit, 

And to ther ynnys they wente. 

The ny3t was paste, the day was come, 
Every knyjt hys hors hath nome, 80 ° 

Some were wery and on wyldej 



28 THE ROMANCE OF 

The dewke of Syselle, sir Sywere, 
He was the furste in that were, 

That fared forthe to the felde. 
Syr Tryamowre toke to hym a spere, 
To the dewke he can hyt bere, 

And hyt hym on the schylde, 
And togedur they wente, 
That hyt bowed and bente, 

So ferse he was in felde! sl " 

And at that tyrne, as y yow hente, 
Many a lovely lady gente 

Fulle faste them behelde; 
The dewke of Lythyr, sir Tyrre, 
He prekyd forthe fulle pertly 

Tryamowre to assay le; 
Tryamowre turned hym belyve, 
To the dewke can he dryve, 

But lothe he was to fayle: 
Soche a strokk he gaf hym then, 820 

That the dewke bothe hors and man 

Turned toppe ovyr tayle! 
Then rode to hym the dewke of Aymere, 
He servyd hym on the same manere, 

Ther myght no thyng avayle! 
Kyng Ardus rode forthe in pres, 
The Emperours sone syr James, 

A spere spendyd he thare; 
He prekyd to the kyng with fors, 
And bare hym downe of hys hors, 830 

And hath hym hurted Bare. 






SYR TRYAMOURE. 29 

Then Tryamowre was fayne, 

Then he pryked to James of Almayne 

As kene as ony bore; 
So harde to hym can he caste, 
That schylde and spere alle to-braste, 

Then myght James no more. 
Tryamowre wolde nevyr have reste, 
But bare hym boldely to the beste, 

That was moost of honowre; 840 

To ylke a prynce he was preste, 
Hors and man downe he caste, 

So styrde he hym in that stowre. 
Ther was none so gode as he, 
Therfore they grauntyd hym the gree, 

That hyght Tryamowre. 
Than hath that lady gente 
Chosyn hym with cornyns assente, 

To be hur governowre. 
Than began the justyng to cese, 85 ° 

And Tryamowre wened to have had pese, 

And onarmed hym also tyte. 
The Emperours sone, syr James, 
With grete pryde aftur hym can pres, 

Of hym he had grete dyspyte; 
To Tryamowre can he crye, 
" Yelde the thefe, or thou schalt dye! 

Thou schalt not go qwyte!" 
Tho seyde Tryamowre, wyth grete envy, 
" Syth y am denied to dye, 860 

Some stroke wylle y smyte!" 



30 THE ROMANCE OF 

Ther was no lenger let, 

On ylke a syde they hym beset, 

And gaf hym many a wounde; 
Tryamowre sturde hym so there, 
That whosoever he come nere, 

He was nevyr aftur sownde. 
Syr Barnard was of myght, 
And halpe syr Tryamowre to fyght, 

And styrde hym in that stownde: 870 

Kyng Ardus of Arragone 
Come rydyng to the towne, 

And sawe them fyght in fere; 
Hyt dud the kyng mekylle grefe, 
When he sawe the chylde at myschefe, 

That was hym leve and dere ! 
Than halpe he Tryamowre, 
And broght hym gode socowre, 

Men that of myght were; 
Then began a strong stowi*e, 880 

Ther was no lenger socowre, 

But every man to hys pere. 
Syr James was prowde and preste, 
Among the knyghtys can he thruste, 

At Tryamowre had he tene; 
Styfly he stroke in that stownde, 
And gaf Tryamowre a wyckyd wounde 

Thorow owt the flanke, y wene! 
Then was Tryamowre owt of hys wytt, 
Syr James on the hedd he hytt, 890 

Tylle he felle downe at that stede; 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 31 

When Sir James to the grownd was caste, 
Hys men were aferde and fledd faste, 

And morned for drede: 
Tryamowre was hurte sore, 
That fyght myght he no more, 

So byttyrly can he blede; 
Tryamowre made no lenger lettyng, 
But takyth hys leve at the kyng, 

And thankyd hym for hys feyre dede; 90 ° 
And nevyr wolde he blynne, 
Tylle he come to sir Barnardes town withynne, 

And to hys modur he yede; 
That lady sorowed in hur wede, 
When sche sawe hur sone blede, 

That alle wan was hur blee and hur blode! 
Tryamowre kyssed hys modur in hye, 
And seyde, " Modur, let be yowre crye, 

Me eylyth nothyng but gode." 
A leche was sent aftur in that stownde, 91 ° 

For to serche the chyldys wounde, 

And for to stawnche the chyldys blode. 
Tryamowre he undurtoke belyve 
To save hym, upon hys lyfe; 

Then mendyd hys modurs mode. 
The tother knyghtys, the boke says, 
Prekyd to the palays, 

The lady for to here; 
Knyghtys apperyd to hur preste, 
Then myght sche chose of the beste, 92 ° 

Whych that hur wylle were: 



32 THE ROMANCE OF 

Tho knyghtys behelde that free, 
But Tryamowre can sche not see, 

Then chaungyd hur chere! 
Sche seyde, " Lordynges, where ys hee 
That 3ysturday wan the gree? 

I chese hym to my fere!" 
Alle that stode there thay soght, 
But Tryamowre fonde they noght, 

Then was that lady woo! 930 

Hur barons were before hur broght, 
Sche prayed them to graunt hur hur thoght, 

Respyte of yerys two. 
Sche seyde, " Lordynges, so God me save, 
He that me wan he schalle me have! 

Ye wot wele yowre crye was so!" 
The lordys assentyd wele ther tylle, 
For sche seyde nothyng but skylle, 

And that sche wolde no moo: 
When thys was grauntyd verament, 94 ° 

Of alle the folke the lady gente 

Wolde none but Tryamowre; 
Every prynce in hys present, 
Home to mete there thay went, 

There dyd they lytylle honowre. 
Syr James men were not fayne, 
For ther lorde was slayne, 

That was so strong in stowre; 
And in a chare they hym layne, 
And ladd hym home in to Almayne, 95 ° 

To hys fadur the Emperowre. 



SYR TRY A MOURE. 33 

The Emperowre felle downe in swownc, 
When they hys sone broght hym beforne, 

And seyde, " Who hath hym slayne?" 
They seyde, " We wott not what he ys, 
But Tryamowre he'hyght y-wys, 

Ther was none there so moche of mayne! 
The kyng of Arragon alsoo, 
He halpe hym yowre sone to sloo, 

And also alle hys pres!" 960 

" Alias!" seyde the Emperowre, 
" Tylle y be venged of Tryamowre, 

Schalle y nevyr cese! 
Kyng Ardus and Tryamowre, 
They schalle abye fulle sore 

The dethe of syr James!" 
The Emperowre verament, 
Aftur helpe he hath sente, 

Prynces proved in pres; 
The kyng then was sore adredd, 970 

For the Emperowre soche power hadd, 

And wolde hym batayle bede; 
He sawe hys londe ovyr spradd, 
To a castelle hymselfe fledd, 

And vetaylyd hyt for drede. 
The Emperowre was fulle stowte, 
And beseged the castelle abowte, 

And spradd hys baners in haste: 
And gaf asawte to the holde; 
Kyng Ardus was stowte and bolde, !,S|) 

And defendyd hym fulle faste. 



3-t THE ROMANCE OF 

Kyng Ardus fenclyd hys wonys: 
Wondur grete were the stonys 

That they thereowt cowde caste! 
They brake of some bothe back and bonys, 
So they farde every day onys, 

The sawte dud vi. dayes laste. 
The kyng thoght that fulle stronge 
To be beseged so longe, 

That he wyste not what to do: "° 

Two barons on hys message he sente, 
And to the Emperowre they went, 

And prayed hym of reste thoo. 
" Syr, ye wyte owi'e kyng with wronge, 
For he never sir James slowe at none honde, 

He wylle hymselfe qwyte fulle fayne; 
Nor he was not in present, 
Nor with hys wylle, nor with hys assent, 

"Was not syr James slayne: 
That wylle he do betwene yow two, 100 ° 

Yowreselfe and he yf ye wylle soo, 

Yf ye hy t on hym wylle say ; 
Or ellys to take yow a knyght, 
And he to take anodur to fyght, 

Be a certayne day: 
And yf yowre knyght happy n soo 
To be scowmfetyd or be sloo, 

Os hyt wylle be may, 
He wylle put hym yn yowre wylle, 
To make yowre pees, as hyt ys sky lie, 101 ° 

TVythowtyn more delay: 






SYR TRYAMOURE. 35 

And yf hyt so betyde, 

That the knyght of owre syde 

May sle yowrys be wyth chawnce, 
He preyeth yow that ye wylle cese, 
And let owre londys be in pees, 

Wythowtyn any dystawnce." 
The Emperowre, withowt fayle, 
Toke the day of batayle 

With the kyng at that chawnce ; 1020 

For he had a champyone, 
In every of londe of moste renowne, 

In hym was hys fyawnce. 
When pese was cryed and day tane, 
Kyng Ardus was a yoyfulle man, 

He trystyd on Tryamowre: 
He sende to seke hym withowtyn fayle, 
Agayne the day of batayle 

For hys dere socowre; 
The messengere ys come and gone, 1030 

But tydynges of Tryamowre herde he none, 

The kyng began to lowre; 
" Yf he be dedd," he seyth, " alias ! 
Who schalle fyght with Moradas, 

That ys so styffe in stowre?" 

Whan Tryamowre was hole and sownde, 
And coverde of hys grevus wounde, 

He busked hym to fare: 
" Modur," he seyde with mylde chere, 
" Wyste y who my fadur were, 1040 

The lasse were my care!" 

d 2 



36 THE ROMANCE OF 

" Sone," sche seyde, " wele schalt thou wytt, 
When thou haste done that thou hett, 

Be God that for us dye can!" 
" Modur," lie seyde, " yf ye wylle soo, 
Have gode day, for y wylle goo, 

And speke wyth my lemman." 
Tryamowre rode ovyr dale and downe 
Into the londe of Arragon, 

Awnturs to seke and see; 105 ° 

As he come rydyng in a foreste, 
He sawe many a wylde beste 

And had howndys thre: 
To a herte he let renne, 
xij. fosters djscryed hym then, 

That were kepars of that fee; 
They lapped hym in on every syde, 
Ther was no bote but to abyde, 

But loth was hym to flee; 
He bad a wedd nevyr the lesse, 10fi0 

And preyed them that he myght passe, 

Yf he had trespaste oght. 
Then swere the fosters alle twelve, 
They wolde no wedd but hymselfe, 

Oth ur we be hyt noght; 
Soche ys the lawe of thys londe, 
That ye muste lese yowre ryght honde, 

Othur may hyt be noght! 
Then seyde Tryamowre, with herte throo, 
" That wedd ys me lothe to for-goo, 1070 

But hyt be dei-e boght." 



SYR TRY A MOURE. 37 

There was nogbt ellys to say, 
But alle the fosters to hym cun lay 

"YVytli sterne worde and mode: 
But sone of pees they hym pray, 
Ther wente but oon on lyve a way, 

There had they lytylle gode! 
When they were betyn to the growndys, 
Tryamowre wente to seke hys howndys, 

And wolde not leve them soo, 10S0 

Tylle he come to a watur syde, 
Tliere he sawe the beste abyde, 

And had slayn hys howndys twoo; 
The tlirydd hownde fyghtyng he fyndys, 
The beste stroke hym wyth hys tyndys, 

And Tryamowre was fulle woo; 
He stroke hys hors in to the rever, 
Ho socowrd hys hownde and slew the dere, 

Hys bewgalle blewe he tho. 
The kyng soyournyd in that tyde 1090 

At a maner tliere besyde, 

And herde a bewgulle blowe! 
Alle that were in the halle 
Wondurd, bothe gret and smalle, 

For no man dud hyt knowe! 
Wyth that come a foster, 
Certenly with a fowle chere, 

Into the kyngys halle, y trowe; 
The kyng at hym can frayne, — 
" Syr," he seyde, " yowre men ar slayne, 110 ° 

Alle nyn on a rowe!" 



38 THE ROMANCE OF 

Than he tolde a tale trewe, 
That was he that the home blewe 

That thys wondur hath wroght! 
" Twenty men were fulle fewe 
To take the knyght, he ys soche a schrewe, 

But hyt were dere hoght!" 
Kyng Ardus seyde then, 
" Y have mystur of soche a man, 

God hath hym hedur broght! ' ' '" 

Fulle welle y am be-gone, 
Y trowe God hath me sent wone, 

That shalle Moradas bryng to noght!" 
The kyng callyd knyghtys fyve, 
And bad them go belyve 

And fynde hym at hys play; 
" No evylle worde to hym ye nevyn, 
But sey to hym with mylde stevyn, 

He wylle not sey yow nay!" 
Anon the knyghtys ther horsys hente, lla0 

And to the wode then they went 

To seke aftur the chylde; 
They fonde [hym] be a watur syde, 
He sate and fedd hys howndys in that tyde 

Wyth the beest so wylde; 
They seyde, " God be at yowre game!" 
He seyde, " "Welcome, alle same!" 

He lete hymselfe then be gylyd. 
They seyde, " Syr, ys hyt thy wylle 
To come and speke owre kyng tylle, 113 ° 

AVytli wordys meke and mylde?" 



SYR TRYAMOUIiE. 39 

Tryamowre asked them fulle hende, 

" Syr," he seyde, " what hyght yowre kyng, 

And what hyght hys londe?" 
" Thys londe," they seyde, " hyght Arragon, 
The kyng hyght Ardus wyth crowne, 

Hys place ys nere-honde." 
When Tryamowre come into the halle, 
He haylesed the kyng and sythen alle, 

He knewe hym at that syght; 114 ° 

The kyng toke hym be the hande, 
And made hym glad semelande, 

And asked hym what he hyght? 
" Syr," he seyde, " y hyght Tryamowre, 
Ye halpe me onys in a stowre, 

Ye feynyd yow not to fyght; 
Had ye not byn, y had be slayne 
Wyth the emperowrs sone of Almayne, 

Ye knewe wele that knyght." 
The kyng wyste wele that hyt was he, 1150 

He kyssyd hym tymes thre; 

And terys let he falle; 
He seyde, " Welcome ye bee! 
Grete blame y have sofurd for the!" 

And sythen he tolde hym alle. 
" Wyth the Emperowre y have takyn a day, 
To defende me yf y may; 

To Jhesu wolde y calle, 
Os y nevyr syr James sloo, 

He delyvyr me of woo, 116 ° 

And so y trowe he schalle!' 



40 THE ROMANCE OF 

Tryamowre seyde, " Y am fulle woo, 
That thou art for me anoyed soo, 

Yf y rayght byt amende, 
At the day of batayll forthy 
Ther schalle no man fyght but y, 

Take the grace that God wylle sende." 
Then was the kyng bothe blythe and gladd, 
And seyde, " For Moradas y am not adrad, 

To batayle when he schalle wende! 1I70 

Ofte y made men aftur yow to spere, 
But myght y not of yow here, 

My ryght schalle thou defende!" 
Than dwellyd they togedur same, 
Wyth mekylle yoye and game, 

Therof they wantyd ryght noght; 
They went on hawkyng be the rever, 
And other whyle to take the dere, 

Where that they gode thoght; 
Tylle the day of bataylle was comen, 118 ° 

That they had before nomen, 

Then the Emperowre thedur soght: 
With hym he broght kyng and knyght, 
And Moradas that was so wyght, 

To batayle was he broght; 
Bothe the partys there were harde, 
And sythen to the felde they farde, 

The place was barryd and dyght. 
The kyng comfortyd Tryamowre, 
Forsothe, or he went to the stowre, H90 

He made hym a knyght. 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 41 

The kyng kyste hym and seyde hym fulle feyre, 
" Tryamowre, y make the rnyn heyre, 

And for me thou schalt fyght!" 
" Syr," he seyde, " have thou no drede, 
Y tryste in God that he schalle me spede, 

He standyth wyth the ryght!" 
Then bothe the partyes swore 
To holde the covenaunt they made before, 

To Jhesu can they calle. 1300 

Syr Tryamowre and Moradas 
Were redy armed in that place, 

And broght among them alle; 
Ayther were armed on a stede, 
Of Tryamowre was grete drede, 

Ther was none so hynde in halle; 
Moradas was so styff in stowre, 
Ther myght no man hys dyntys dewre, 

But he made them to falle: 
Than rode they two togedur a-ryght, 121 ° 

Wyth scharp sperys and swerdys bryght, 

Thay smote togedur sore! 
Ther sperys they spendyd and brake schyldys, 
The pecys flewe into the feldys, 

Grete dyntys dud they dele thore. 
Alle had wondur that there were, 
Okie, yonge and chylde, y swere, 

So sore they dud smyte! 
Tryamowre thoght hyt schulde be qwytt, 
He fay lyd of hym, hys hors he hytt, 1220 

To hys herte hys spere can byte! 



42 THE ROMANCE OF 

Moradas seyde, " Hyt ys grete schame 
On a hors to wreke thy grame!" 

Tryamowre seyde as tyte, 
" Levyr y had to have hyt the, 
Have my hors and let me bee, 

Y am lothe to flyte." 
Moradas seyde, " Y wylle hym noght, 
Tylle thou have that strok boght, 

And wynne hym wyth ryght." 1230 

Than leved Tryamowre hys stede, 
He lyghtyd downe and to hym yede, 

On fote can they fyght; 
Tryamowre sparyd hym noght, 
But evyr in hys hert he thoght, 

" To day was y maked knyght ! 
Owthyr schalle he sle me sone, 
Or on hym y schalle wynne my schone, 

Thorow the grace of God Almyght!" 
Grete wondur hyt was to see them two, mo 

The strokys that were betwene them tho, 

So harde on helme they hewe; 
Moradas was for-foghtyn and for-bledd, 
Therfore ho was nevyr so sore a-dredd, 

Hym gamed ly tylle glewe. 
Tryamowre was then ferse, 
Thorow owt the armour into the flesche 

He gaf hym a wounde newe; 
Thorow hys herte the swerde ranne, 
The Emperowre was then a sory man, 1250 

And Moradas asked trewe: 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 43 

He kyssyd the kyng and was bys frende, 
And toke hys leve for to wende, 
No lenger wolde he dwelle. 
Kyng Ardus and Tryamowre 
Were ledd home wyth honowre, 

Forsothe as y yow telle; 
Alle that yn that cyte were, 
Bothe lesse and more, 

Hym pressed for to see: 126 ° 

There were they withowtyn care, 
Wyth glad semeland and welfare, 

Ther myght no bettur bee; 
Grete was the honowre and the renowne 
That he had in Arragone, 

For hys feyre dede. 
The kyng profurd hym fulle feyre, 
" Tryamowre, y make the myn heyre 

Of londe and of lede." 
" Syr," he seyde, " gramercy, nay, l270 

Efte togedur speke we may, 

Y aske yow but a stede: 
To other londys wylle y spere, 
More of awnturs for to here, 

And who dothe beste yn dede." 
There he dwellyd whylle he wolde, 
The kyng gave hym bothe sylver and golde, 

That ryche gyftys were; 
Gode horsys wantyd he noght, 
To take or to leve whethur he thoght, 12S(> 

And alle hys other gere. 



44 THE ROMANCE OF 

He toke hys leve at the kynge, 
And kyssed hym at hys party ng; 

The kyngys herte was fulle sore. 
He seyde, " Tryamowre, alle that ys niyne, 
When thou wylt hyt schalle be thyn, 

My londe lesse and more!" 
Now ys Tryamowre wente, 
Hymselfe ys in gode atente, 

For every man ys hys frende;. ] 290 

Ynto every londe, ferre and nere, 
Where he myght of awnturs here, 

Thedur can he wende: 
In alle londys he had the gree, 
Ther was none so gode as hee 

Of alle the knyghtys hende, 
Therfore gate he grete name, 
Yn every londe there he came, 

In alle placys where he can wende. 
Justyng and turnamentys let he bee, l 300 

And into Hungary wende wylle hee, 

For no man wylle he lett; 
Betwene two mowntayns was hys way, 
He went forthe as the strete lay, 

Wyth a palmer he met; 
He askyd hym gode for charyte, 
Tryamowre gaf hym with hert free, 

The palmer for hym can grete, — 
He seyde, " Syr, turne agayne, 
For or ye passe the mowntayne, 131 ° 

Ye schalle be slayne or bete!" 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 45 

Tryamowre asked hyin, " How soo?" 
" Syr," he seyde, " for brethur twoo 

That on thys mowntayn can dwelle; 
Therfore, y prey yow with herte fayne, 
That ye wylle turne ageyne, 

For drede hyt ys with them to melle !" 
Then seyde Tryamowre, "But they were moo, 
Owt of my wey wylle y not goo, 

Yf they were devyls of helle!" 13 *° 

He seyde, " Palmer, have gode day!" 
And went forthe on hys way 

As faste os he cowde ryde. 
He had not redyn but a whyle, 
Not the mowntans of a myle, 

Two knyghtys sawe he hove and abyde; 
The toon rode hym untylle, 
The tother hovedd on an hylle 

A ly tulle there besyde; 
The toon hoved, and behelde 1330 

The strokys they gaf undur schylde, 

Gret wondur had hee! 
Betwene them can he ryde, 
And preyed them to abyde, 

And sone then let they bee; 
To Tryamowre he seyde anone, 
" So strong a knyght sawe y never none, 

Thy name anone telle thou me." 
Seyde Tryamowre, " Then wolde y fayn wytt, 
Why ye two kepe thys strett, 1340 

And sythen y schalle telle the." 



46 THE ROMANCE OF 

The tother brothur seyde, " We schalle yow telle 
For thys chesone here we dwelle, 

And wroght alle thys woo. 
W r e had a brodur they callyd Moradas, 
"VVyth the Emperowre he was, 

A stalworth man y-nogh: 
In Arragon, for the Emperowre, 
A knyght they callyd Tryamowre 

In bataylle dud hym sloo! 1350 

Yf we wyth hym niett, 
Therfore kepe we thys strett.' 

And Tryamowre logh thoo! 
" And also, y say, another, 
Burlonde owre other brother, 

The mane moost of myght, 
He besegeth a lady, 
The kyngys doghtyr of Hungary, 

To w r edd hur hath he hyght, 
And so welle then hath he spedd, 13C0 

That forsothe he schalle hur wedd, 

Syr Burlonde that knyght, 
But yf sche fynde may, 
To defende hur, os y yow say, 

A man of armes bryght; 
Therfore sche hath takyn a day, 
Certenly, os y yow say, 

And waged hur glove for to fyght; 
And that same Tryamowre 
Loveth that lady peramowre, 1370 

As hyt ys me tolde, 



1380 



SYR TliYAMOURE. 

And sche hath aftur hym sente. 
And we have waytyd hym verament, 

And slayne hur harons bolde; 
And yf he wylle to Hungary, 
Thus forthe schalle hys way lye, 

And sle hym fayne we wolde. 
He hath hur socowre hett, 
Yf we may we schalle hym lett, 

Y trowe hyt schalle not holde; 
And yf sche at hur day fayle, 
Ther schalle no thyng hur avayle, 

But Burlonde schalle hur wedd, 
And Tryamowre noght we kenne, 
Wherefore ther passyth here no men, 

Wyth strenkyth but they be kedd: 
Now have we the cheson tolde, 
Thy ryght name wytt fayne we wolde, 

And be thou not adredd; 
Thou schalt dwelle here with us twoo, 1390 

And yf thou wylt not soo, 

Evylle then haste thou spedd!" 
" Spede," seyde Tryamowre, " as y may, 
Whylle y have be-hett yow for to say, 

My name schalle y not layne; 
Yowre jurnay may ye thynk welle sett, 
Wyth the man have ye mett 

That yowre brothur hath slayne! 
And ye wylle geve me leve to goo, 
Wyth Burlonde wylle y fyght so, 

For hur love that ye sayn!" 



11U0 



48 THE ROMANCE OF 

" Welcome," they seyde, " Tryamowre, 
Hur love thou schalt bye fulle sore, 

Nothyng may the gayne!" 
They smote togedur wyth hert throo, 
And he allone ageyne them twoo, 

To fyght he was fulle preste; 
Ther armowre myght not gayne, 
Bothe thorowowt back and bone, 

He made the blode to owt breste: ] (1 " 

Grete sti'okys they gaf amonge, 
And that lasted wondur longe, 

TYythowtyn any reste; 
So faste abowte conne they goo, 
That they wroght hym mekylle woo, 

As y yow say, be Goddys est! 
Tryamowrs hors was sekur y-wys, 
And hys schylde flewe alle to pecys, 

So harde to hym they yede; 
In that tyme ther was not soche thi*e, • ■'-" 

Gret wondur hyt was to see, 

So doghty they were in dede! 
But Tryamowre, at the laste, 
The too brothur downe he caste, 

Then had the tothur mekylle drede! 
No lengur there then wolde he byde, 
But rode forthe there a lytulle besyde, 

And hovedd on hys stede: 
Sone had Tryamowre slayn the tothcr, 
A sory man was hys brothur, J 13 ° 

And wolde be venged fayne, — 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 49 

"Take the grace that God wylle sende me, 
Me ys levyr to dye then flee !" 

Wyth that he turned agayne ; 
Wyth hys swerde to hym he yede, 
And slew sir Tryamowrs stede, 

Fulle mekylle was hys mayne ! 
Syr Tryamowre faght on fote, 
Wliat schalle we more of hym mote ? 

The tothur brothur was slayne ! ,44,) 

Tryamowre takyth the knyghtes stede, 
For that lady he was in drede, 

For sche besegedd lay : 
The lady had so grete thoght, 
For Tryamowre came noght, 

Sche wyste not what to say. 
The day was come that was sett, 
Lord us come, as they hett, 

Many oon stowte and gay : 
Burlonde was there redy dyght, 146 ° 

And bad bur brynge forthe hur kny5t, 

And sche seyde schortly, nay. 
In the castelle had sche hyt hyght, 
To defende hur with alle hur myght, 

So as hur counsayle radd ; 
"Certys, yf Tryamowre be on lyfe, 
With Goddys grace he schalle come belyve, 

Wyth enemyes y am bestadd ! 
For y trowe he loveth me wele, 
And trewe he ys as any stele ; 1460 

In Avorlde where ever he be bestedd, 



50 THE ROMANCE OF 

And he wyste of thys case, 
Hyddur he wolde take hys pase, 

My lyfe dar y lay to wedd !" 
And ryght with that come Tryamowre 
In the moost of that stowre, 

Then gamed hym no glee ; 
He asked a man what hyt myght meene, 
And he tolde hym alle be-deene, 

How the batayle schulde bee ; ■ l7 " 

He sawe Burlonde on hors hove, 
He rode to hym and waged hys glove, 

That lady chalenged hee ! 
Sayde Tryamowre, "Who so wylle fyght, 
Y am redy in my ryght, 

To slee hym or he mee !" 
The lady on a towre stode, 
And sche wende that he had ben wode, 

For sche knewe not hys myght ! 
Sche asked Barnarde then, u80 

" Syr, can not ye a knyght kennc, 

That ys to batayle dyght ? 
A kreste he beryth in blewe." 
Syr Barnarde* then hym knewe, 

And seyde at that syght, 
"Madam, God hath sent yow socowre, 
For yondur ys syr Tryamowre, 

That wyth Burlonde wolde fyght !" 
Then was that lady fulle fayne, 
Bothe to Jhesu can they prayne, 1490 

* In the printed edition the name of the person who recognised 
T yramowre is not mentioned. 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 51 

To gyf hym grace to specie ! 
Tryamowre to hym berys, 
And they alle to-braste ther sperys, 

That bothe to the grownde they yede : 
That ylke metyng was so throo, 
When bothe to the grownde conne goo, 

The rychest in wede. 
They settyd strokes of mode, 
"When they bothe to the grownde yode, 

They were bothe doghty in dede ! ' ""'" 

They start up bothe withyn a whyle, 
Ther stedys on the grownde lay fulle stylle, 

On fote they faght in fere ; 
Ther was none in felde thoo, 
That cowde chese the bettur of them twoo, 

So boldely they them bere ! 
The batayle lasted wondur longe, 
They seyde, "Be Burlonde never so stronge, 

He hath fonde hys pere." 
Wyth swerdys scharpe the faght faste, 1 " )1 " 

At ylke stroke the fyre owt braste, 

They nyghed wondur nere ; 
Tryamowre at hym conne mynte, 
Hys swerde felle fro hym at that dynte, 

To the grownde can hyt goo ! 
Then was Burlonde fulle gladd, 
And that lady was sore adradd, 

Knyghtys were fulle woo ! 
Tryamowre asked hys swerde agayne, 
But Burlonde faste can hym frayne, 1520 



52 THE ROMANCE OF 

Then seyde he to hym soo, 
"Telle trewly what thou hyght, 
And why thou chalangyst that lady bryght, 

And take thy swerde the too." 
Sayde Tryamowre, " On that covenaund,"* 
My ryght name schalle y not wande, 

Ware thou the devylle of helle ! 
Men calle me syr Tryamowre, 
Y wanne thys lady in a stowre, 

Wyth tonge as y the telle !" 153 ° 

Then seyde Burlonde, " Thou hyt was 
That slewe my brodur Moradas, 

A feyre chawnce there the befelle !" 
Tho seyde Ti-yamowre, with hert throo, 
"So y dud thy brethur twoo 

That dwellyd upon the yonder hylle ! " 
Then was Burlond alle preste, 
" Tryamowre, have thou no reste! 

Now am y welle bethoght ; 
Thy swerde getyst thou never agayne, 151 ° 

Tylle y be venged or be slayne, 

Sorowe haste thou soght !" 
Tho seyde Tryamowre, " Holde thou thy pese, 
That schalle the rewe or that we cese, 

Go forthe ! y drede the noght ! " 
Burlond to fyght was bowne, 
Hys fote schett and he felle downe, 

And Tryamowre wylyly wroght ; 
Tryamowre hys swerde he hente, 
And agayne to Burlond he wente, 1550 

And servyd hym on the newe gyse, — 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 53 

He smote Burlontl of be the kneys, 
And hevve hys leggys alle in pecys, 

Ryght as he schulde ryse ; 
"A lytulle lower, syr," seyde hee, 
''And let us sinalle go wyth thee, 

Now are Ave bothe at oon assyse ! " 
A lowde laghtur that lady logh, 
And syr Barnard was prowde y-nogh, 

And thanked God fele sythes ; l56 ° 

Burlonde on hys stompus stode, 
Wyte hym not yf he were wode, 

Then faght he wondur faste ! 
Tryamowre on the hedd he hytt, 
He had gevyn hym an evylle smytt, 

But hys swerde braste ; 
Tryamowre seyde to hym fulle sone, 
" Thy gode dayes are nere done, 

Thy power ys nere paste ! " 
Tryamowre at hym can stryke, l57 ° 

That hedd and fete lay bothe in lyke, 

To grownde was he caste ! 
Now ys Burlonde slayne, 
And Tryamowre, mekylle of mayne, 

To the castelle ys he wente : 
That lady that was so mekylle of my5t, 
At the yate she kepyd the knyght, 

And in hur armes hym hente. 
Sche seyde, " Welcome, syr Tryamowre ! 
Ye have boght my love fulle sow re ! 158 ° 

My love ys on yow lente !" 



54 THE ROMANCE "I 

Then seyde alle the barons boldo. 
"Of hym \vc wylle owre londes hoklc 

Be the comyns assent." 
Then was ther no nother to say, 
But takyn they have another day 

That he sehulde lmr wedd. 
Tryamowre had aftur hys modur sente, 
Barnard aftur hur was went, 

And to the cowrte hur ledd. l59 ° 

Tryamowre seyde to hys modur then, 
" Now y wolde my fadur kenne, 

For now have we welle spedd ! 
Tell me now, modur free, 
Who ys my fadur and what hyt hee ? 

For nothyng be ye adredd." 
Hys modur togedur hur fyngers can folde, 
And alle togedur sche hym tolde, 

And mekylle scbe can hym meene, 
"Kyng Ardus of Arragone, '''"" 

He ys thy fadur, and thou art hys sone, 

And y was hys weddyd qwene : 
And afturward y was delefully demydd, 
And owt of that londe y was flemydd, 

Y never wyste what hyt myght meene. 
Why hyt was, nothur wherefore, 
Nothur myght hyt wete lesse nor more, 

But y was broght in tene !" 
When Tryamowre thys tale herd' 
How he wyth hys modur farde, 161 " 

Letters be dudd wryte ; 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 55 

To the kyng he sente them tylle, 

And preyed hyiri, yf hyt were hys wylle, 

That he faylyd hym not at that tyde, 
But that he wolde come to Hungary 
For to worschyp that mangery, 

Ther of he hym besoght. 
Then was the kyng wondur gladd, 
The messengere gode gyftys hadd 

That the tythyngys hroght ; 1620 

The day was come that was sett, 
The kyng come as he hadd hett, 

Wyth mekylle pres in pryde. 
The lordys wolde no lenger lett, 
The maydyn forthe was fett, 

And erlys on ylke asyde : 
The lady to the churche they ledd, 
A byschopp togedur them to wedd, 

Yn herte ys not to hyde ; 
And sone aftur the weddynge, 1630 

They crowned Tryamowi-e kynge, 

They wolde no lenger abyde. 
Ye may welle wytt certeynly, 
That there was a grete mangery, 

There as so many were mett : 
Qwene Margaret began the deyse, 
Kyng Ardus, wyth owtyn lees, 

Be hur was he sett ; 
The kyng beheldc the qwene, 
Hym thoght that he schulde hur have seeno, 1640 

Wyth glad chere he hur grett : 



56 THE ROMANCE OF 

"Yf byt be yowre wylle," he seyde, "madam, 
Telle me wbat ys yowre name, 

For notbynge that ye lett." 
" Syr," seyde the qwene then, 
" Some tyme was ye eowde me kenne, 

And ye were welle bethogbt." 
The kyng spake not oon worde, 
Tylle men had etyn and draw en the borde, 

But stylle be sat in thoght ; 165 ° 

Then the kyng toke the lady gente, 
And to a chaumbur anon they went, 

Syr Tryamowre dud they calle. 
Sche seyde, " Here ys yowre sone, 
Knowe hym yf ye konne :" 

And sythen sche tolde hym alle. 
Sche tolde how Marrok wowyd bur in dedc, 
Aftur that hur lorde yede, 

For nothyng wolde he spare : 
" Y seyde he schulde be drawe, 166 ° 

For hys sory sawe, 

And he seyde he wolde no mare ! 
Aftur that, in that wode so wylde, 
He mett me and y wyth chylde, 

To fordo me thoght he thare, 
And sir Roger slewe of hys men xv., 
And y went away fulle clene, 

They wyste nevyr whare ! 
Sone aftur in a wode so wylde 
Y was dely vyr of a chylde, 1<57 ° 

Wyth mekyllc sorowe and care ; 



SYR TRYAMOURE. 57 

Then come Syr Barnard 
Aftur a dere fulle harde, 

And of me he was ware- 
He seyde, " Dame, what doyst thou here ?" 
And hym y tolde of my matere, — 

Then syghed he fulle sore ; 
He toke up my sone and mee, 
And ledd us home with herte free, 

And evyr sythen have we byn thore." 1680 
Then was there yoye and blys, 
To see them togedur kysse 

Fulle ofte, or they cowde cese ; 
Kyng Ardus was nevyr so blythe, 
He kyssyd Tryamowre twenty sythe, 

And for hys sone he hym chese : 
Then the qwene was fulle gladd, 
That sche soche a lorde hadd, 

Ye wott, wythowtyn lees. 
Sche seyde, "Y have welle sped, 1690 

That soche a lorde hath me wedd, 

That beryth the pryce in prees." 
Then dwellyd they bothe in fere, 
Wyth alle maner deynteys that were dere, 

Wyth solas on every syde ; 
Kyng Ardns toke hys leve and wente, 
And ledd with hym hys lady gente, 

Home rychely conne they ryde ; 
Alle hys londe was fulle fayne 
That the qwene was come ageyn, 1600 

The worde spronge fulle wyde. 



58 SYR TRYAMOURE. 

Kynge Ardus and hys wyfe, 

AVyth yoye and blys they ladd ther lyfe, 

Yn hert hyt ys noght to hyde. 
Kyng Tryamowrc and hys qwene, 
Mekylle yoye was them betwene, 

Man chylder had they twoo ; 
Aftur that hys fadur was dedd, 
Then he cowde no nothur redd, 

Y-wys he was fulle woo ! 171 ° 

Hys yongyst sone then ordeygned hee 
Aftur hys fadur, kynge to bee, 

God grawnt hym wele to reyoyse ! 
Here endyth Syr Tryamowre, 
That was doghty in every stowre, 

And evyr wanne the gree. 
God bryng us to that blys, 
That evyr schalle laste withowt mys ! 

Amen ! Amen ! for charytee ! 



NOTES. 



L. 1. — Hevyn blys that alle schatte wynne.] The early 
printed edition reads, — 

Now Jesu Chiyste our heven kynge 
Graunte you all bis dere blessynge, 

Ami live heven for to wynne; 
1 1' ye wyll a stourule lave to your eere, 
Of ailventres ye shall here, 

That wyll be to your lykynge. 

L. 15. — Syr Ardus.~\ Copland reads Syr Aradas. 

L. 27. — And trewe as stele on tree.] That is, on wood. 
This phrase is not very common in early poetry, and Cop- 
land alters it to, " as true as the turtel on tree." The same 
variation again occurs. 

L. 78. — Oct "/"in the.} " Owt upon the the," MS. 

L. 166. — Pyne.] " Byne,"' corruptly in Copland. 

L. 224. — Horcop.~\ That is, a bastard. The term occurs 
in Palsgrave. Copland has "another mannes chylde." 

L. 247. — Thretty.] Copland vends forty. 

L. 326. — Fourti.] " Fourtene," printed ed. " As it is in 
Romaynes tolde," which shows the present poem is a trans- 
lation. 

L. 330. — Why wantyd ht hys wede.] Copland reads, 
■ alas! lie lacked wede." 

L. 363.— Two.] ' l Four,'' printed ed. 



60 NOTES. 

L. 377. — Sche durste no lenger dwdle for drede.] " She 
no lenger there ahede," printed ed. 

L. 422. — Sir Barnard Messenyere.] " Barnardc Mause- 
wynge," printed ed. Copland then reads as follows : — 

Softely he wente nere and nere, 

He lyghted on fote and behelde her ehere, 

As a knyght curteese and kynde. 
He awaked that lady of beaute : 
She loked on full pyteously, 

And was aferde full sore. 
He sayde, what do you here, Madame? 
Of whens be you, and what is your name? 

Have ye your men forlorne? 
Syr, she sayde, yf ye wyll wete, 
I am named Margarete, 

In Aragon was I borne. 

L. 466. — Hur sone tliat.~\ Copland reads : — 

This chylde waxed wonderous well, 
Of grete stature both flesshe and fell, 

Every man loved hym truely ; 
Of his company all folke were gladde, 
None other cause in dede they hadde, 
The chylde was gentyll and bolde. 
L. 485. — Yotde.] Yule, or Christmas. 
L. 601. — Thus leveth the kyng.~] Copland reads, — 

Longe tyme thus lyved the kynge 
In grete sorowe and mournynge, 

And oftentymes dyde wepe ; 
He toke grete thought more and more, 
It made his herte wery sore, 

Hys syghes were sette so depe. 

L. 628. — Sc/ie was whyte.] Copland reads, — 
Sche was as whyte as lcly floure, 
And comely of her gaye eoloure, 

The fayrest of ony towne or towre ; 
She was well shapen of fote and hande, 
Pere had she none in no lande, 



NOTES. 61 

She was so I'resshe and so amerous ; 
For whan her fader was deed, 
Gret ware began to sprede 

In that londe aboute: 
Than that ladyes counsaile gave her rede 
To gete her a lorde her lande to lede, 

To rule the realme without doubte: 
Some myghty prynce, that well niyght 
Rule her land by reason and ryght, 

That all men to hyin niyght loute. 

L. 1049. — Arragon.] " Iragowne," printed ed. 
L. 1595.— Hgt.] That is, is called. 



The following fragment of this romance is contained in a 
MS. of the sixteenth century, comprising various poems, 
preserved in Rawlinson's collection. It agrees with no 
printed copy I have yet examined, and may very possi- 
bly be merely part of a more modern version of Copland's 
edition. At all events, it is worth printing as completing 
our materials for establishing the text of this romance : — 

And when they had saide alle that in stoure, 
The maide woulde none but Triamoure : 
Than the grete lordes there present, 
Home to Arragone thay wente, 

They were so stoute in stowre: 
Sir Jamys men were littille faine, 
For that their lorde thus was slaine, 

They had but smalle honowre. 
In a chare his body they laide, 
And led hym home into . . . , 

To his father the emperoure. 
We wot not what name he has, 
Syr Triamoure they said he was, 

So called they hym in the citie. 
The Kyng of Harngoune alsoo, 
He helpeth thy sonne to slow, 



(J2 NOTES. 

And alle hys grete men v. 
Alas! then saide the Emperoure, 
He shall abie, that vile traitoure! 

Nor willc 1 ever cease 
Till they he slaine in a sharp stoure, 
Bothe the kyng and Tryamoure, 

I swere it hy the mese ! 
Then Kyng Argos was fulle drad, 
When he these tythynges heard, 

And the hatayle in sothe : 
He wente his londes were lorne, 
And to a castelle he fled anone, 

His baner he gan to spredde. 
He gave assawte fulle holde, 
And Kyng Argos was at the holde, 

And ordered it fulle welle 
With gunnes and grete stones round 
He threw it downe to the gronnde, 
So sore he dyd them pelle (?) 
They brake many stronge bones, 
Every daye for the nones, 

With them did they melle : 
The Emperoure was hurt fulle sore, 
He was greved therefore, 

And his menne fulle ille. 
King Argos thought fulle longe 
That he was beseiged so strong 

With grete myght and mayne : 
Two lordes forthe on message he sente, 
And straight to the Emperoure wente. 

And when he could them see, 
Of pece they can hym pray, 
And take truce tille a certen daye: 
And sayde, the kyng sendes worde this daye 
That he never your sonne did slaye, 

So he wolde quit hym faine : 
He was not present*, 
Nor in no wise dide consente 

To that vour sonne was slaine 



NOTES. 63 

That wille he prove, yf ye wylle so, 
Yourself and lie betwixt the two, 

If he wille it layne. 
Or else take a knighte, 
And he wille another to fight 
Upon a certeine daye. 
If it shoulde chance so 

As I to you saye, 
Our kyng then wille do your wylle, 
And be [at] youre biddinge, both loude and still-- 

Withouten more delay. 
And als yf it should betide 
That youres do our stride 

Be slaine by any niischaunce, 
My lorde shalle make your war sese, 
And our londes be at pese, 

Withouten ony distaunce. 
The Emperoure sayd, withoute fayle, 
Sette a day of bataile, 

Bv the assente 



FINIS. 



RICHARDS, PEINTEE, MO, ST. MARTIN'S LANE. 



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