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Full text of "Folio of Old English ballads and romances"

Of this Edition of 'I'hc Percy Folio of Old English Ballads 
and Romances 320 Copies have been printed on Hand-made 
paper and 5 011 Real Vellum. The Vellum Copies and 300 on 
H.iiui-madc paper arc for sale in England. 



No. 136 



THE KING'S LIBRARY 

EDITED BY PROFESSOR I. GOLLANCZ, LITT.D. 

THE DE LA MORE PRESS FOLIOS 

IV. THE PERCY FOLIO 

FROM THE TEXT OF DR. F. J. FURNIVALL 
AND PROFESSOR J. W. HALES VOLUME III 



The Publishers and Goteral Editor of "The King's IJi/niry" desire 
lo express their thanks to Dr. /•'. J. Furnivall and Prof. J. f^K Hales 
for kindly allou-ing the use of their text for the present issue. 



THE PERCY FOLIO 
OF OLD ENGLISH 
BALLADS AND 
ROMANCES VOL.111 




LONDON 
AT THE DE LA MORE PRESS 



1907 



5- / g" 2. 



MSI 



v.'i 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME III. 

PACE 

Younge Andrew _____ j 

A Jigge ------- 7 

Eglamore --_--__ g 

The Emperour and the Childe - - - 50 

Sittinge Late - - - - - - 56 

Libius Disconius - - - - - 58 

Childe Maurice - - - - - -127 

Phillis Hoe - - - - - -132 

Guy and Colebrande - - - - -134 

John de Reeve - - - - - -156 

Sir Cavvline - - - - - -187 

Sir Degree - - - - - -195 

Death and Liffe - - - - - -221 



1. 



THE PERCY FOLIO 



YOUNGE ANDREW 



As I was cast In my ffirst sleepe, 

A dreadffull draught in my mind I drew, 

ffor I was dreamed of one yong man, 

Some men called him yonge Andrew. 

The moone shone bright, and itt cast a ffayre light ; 

Sayes shee, "Welcome, my honey, my hart, and 
my sweete ! 
For I have loved thee this seven long yeere, 

And our chance itt was wee cold never meete." 

Then he tooke her in his armes two, 

And kissed her both cheeke and chin; lo 

And twise or thrise he pleased this may 

Before they tow did part in twinn ; 

Saies, " Now, good Sir, you have had your will, 

You can demand no more of mee ; 
Good Sir, remember what you said before. 

And goe to the church and marry mee." 

" ffliirc maid, I cannott doe as I wold 

Till I ajn got to my ow?i cotmtry ; 
Goe home and fett thy fithers redd gold. 

And He goe to the church and marry thee." 20 

This ladyc is gone to her ffathcrs hall, 

And well she knew where his red gold [he] lay[nes], 
And counted fforth five hundred pound 

Besides all other juells and chaines, 



And lirouglit itt all to youiigc Andrew; 

Itt was well eoijiueil upon his knee. 
Then he tooke her by the lillve white hand, 

And led her iij) to one hill soe live; 

Shee had upon a gowne of hlaekc velvett ; — 

A j)ittyt]ull sight after ycc shall sec; — 30 

" Put ol thy clothes, bonny wcnchc," he saycs, 

" For noe tioote further tlioust gang with mcc." 

Hut then shee put of her gowne of velvctt 
With many a salt tcarc from her eye, 

And-in a kirtle of fTine breaden silkc 

Shee stood befrore young Andrews eye. 

Sais, "O put ot^ thy kirtle of silkc ; 

f^or some and all shall goc with mee : 
And to my owne lady I must itt beare, 

Who I must needs love better then thee." 40 

Then shee put of her kirtle of silkc 

With many a salt teare still fTrom her eye ; 

In a pcticoatc of scarlctt redd 

Shee stood before young Andrcwcs eye. 

Saics, " O put of thy pcticoatc ; 

For some and all of itt shall goc with mee ; 
And to my owne lady I will itt beare, 

Which dwells soe ffarr in a strange countrye." 

But then shee put of her pcticoatc 

With many a salt teare still from her eye; 50 

And in a smockc of brave white silkc 

Shee stood before young Andrews eye. 



Saies, " O put of thy smocke of silke ; 

For some and all shall goe with mee ; 
Unto my owne ladye I will it beare, 

That dwells soe ffarr in a strange countrye." 

Sayes, " O remember, young Andrew ! 

Once of a woman you were borne ; 
And ffor that birth that Marye bore, 

I pray you let my smocke be upon ! " 60 

" Yes, ffayre ladye, I know itt well ; 

Once of a woman I was borne ; 
Yett ffor noe birth that Mary bore. 

Thy smocke shall not be left here upon." 

But then shee put of her head geere ffine ; 

Shee hadd billaments worth a hundred pound ; 
The hayre that was upon this bony wench head 

Covered her bodye downe to the ground. 

Then he pulled forth a Scottish brand, 

And held itt there in his owne right hand ; 70 

Saies, "Whether wilt thou dye upon my swords point, 
ladye. 

Or thow wilt goe naked home againe ? " 

" My liffe is sweet, then. Sir," said shee, 

" Therforc I pray you leave nice with mine ; 

Before I wold dye on your swords point, 
I had rather goe naked home againe. 

" My ftather," shee sayes, " is a right good erle 

As any remaines in his countrye ; 
If ever he doe your body take. 

Your sure to fBower a gallow tree ; 80 



" Aiul I liiivc seven brcllircn," shcc saycs, 

" Aiul tlicy arc all hardy men and Ixjld j 

Ciirt ever they doc your body take, 

\ Ou must never gang quicke over tlie mold." 

" II vour tlalher he a right good erle 

As any remaines in his owne countrye, 

Tush ! he shall never my body take, 
He gang soe ffast over the sea! 

" If you have seven brethren," he saycs, 

" If they be never soe hardy or bold ; 90 

Tush ! they shall never my body take ; 

He gang soe ffast into the Scottish mold ! " 

Now this ladye is gone to her fathers hall 
When every body their rest did take ; 

But the erle, which was her ffathcr [good], 
Lay waken for his decre daughters sake. 

" But who is that," her tiather can say, 

"That soe privilye knowcs that pinn ? " 

" Its Hellen, your owne deerc daughter, leather ! 

I pray you rise and Ictt me in." 100 

" Noe, by my hood ! " quoth her ffather then, 
" My house thoust never come within, 

Without I had mv red gold againe." 

" Nay, your gold is gone, leather! " said shee. 
" Then naked thou came into this world, 
And naked thou shalt returne againe." 



" Nay ! God fforgave His death, father ! shee sayes, 
" And soe I hope you will doe mee." 

" Away, away, thou cursed woman ! 

" I pray God an ill death thou may dye! " i lo 

Shee stood soe long quacking on the ground 

Till her hart itt burst in three. 
And then shee ffell dead downe in a swoond ; 

And this was the end of this bonny ladye. 

Ithe morning when her ffather gott upp, 
A pittyffuU sight there he might see ; 

His owne deere daughter was dead without clothes ! 
They teares they trickeled fast fFrom his eye; 

Sais, " Fye of gold, and ffye of ffee ! 

For I sett soe much by my red gold 120 

That now itt hath lost both my daughter and mee ! " 

But after this time he neere dought good day. 

But as flowers doth fade in the flrost, 
Soe he did wast and weare away. 

But let us leave talking of this ladyc, 

And talke some more of young Andrew, 

ffoT ft'alse he was to this bonny ladye ; 

More pitty that itt had not bccne true. 

He was not gone a mile into the wild forrest, 

Or halfe a mile into the hart of Wales, 130 

But there they cought him by such a brave wyle 
'Hiat hee must come to tell noc more talcs. 

ffuU soone a wolfe did of him smell, 

And shee came roaring like a beare. 
And gaping like a fl'cend ot hell ; 



Soc lIicv Hcju^Iu together like two lyons thcre^ 
Aiul fire hetvveene them two glashet out ; 

They raught eche other siicli a great rappe, 

'riiat there young Andrew was slainc, well I wott. 

IJui now young Andrew he is dead ; 140 

l^ut he was never huryed under mold ; 

I'or ther as the woKe devoured him 

There lyes all this great erics gold. 



ffin 



IS 



4. 



A JIGGE 



" Margrett, my sweetest Margett ! I must goe ! 

Most dere to mee that never may be soe ; 

As ffortune willes, I cannott itt deny." 

" Then know thy love, thy Margarett, shee must dye." 

" Not ffor the gold that ever Croessus hadd, 
Wold I once see thy sweetest lookes soe fade; 
Nor ffor all that my eyes did ever see, 
Wold I once part thy sweetest love from mee ; 

" The King comands, and I must to the warres." 

" Thers others more enow to end those cares." lo 

" But I am one appointed ffor to goe, 

And I dare not ffor my liffe once say noe." 



" O marry mee, and you may stay att home ! 
ffull thirty weekes you know that I am gone." 
" Theres time enough ; another ffather take ; 
Heele love thee well, and not thy child forsake." 



*' And have I doted over thy sweetest f^ce.? 

And dost infring the things I have in chase — 

Thy ffaith, I meane ? but I will wend with thee." 

" Itt is to ffir ffor Pcgg to goe with mee." 20 

" I will goe with thee, my love, both night and day. 
And I will beare thy sword like lakyncy ; lead the way ! " 
" But wee must ryde, and will you ffollow then 
Amongst a troope of us thats armed men ? " 



" lit- hcarc- tliy laiuc, ami griiulc thy stirropp too, 
Ilf nil) thy horssc, aiul more then that He doo." 
" lUit Margretts flingars, they he all to Hine 
To stand and waite wjien shee shall sec mcc dine." 

'' He sec you dine, and waytc still att your hackc, 
He give you wine or any thing you laeke." 30 

" But youle repine when you shall see inee have 
A dainty weneli that is both Hine and brave." 

*' He love thy wench, my sweetest love, I vow, 
He watcli the time when shcc may pleasure you! " 
*' Rut you will greeve to see us lye in hedd ; 
And vou must watch still in anothers steedc." 

'^ He watch my love to sec you take your rest; 
And when you sleepe, then shall I thinke mc blest." 
" The time will come, delivered you must bee ; 
Then in the campe you will discredditt mee." 40 

*' He goe ffrom thee belTor that time shalbee ; 
When all liis well, my love againc He see." 
" All will not serve, ffor Margarett may not goe ; 
Then doe resolve, my love, what else to doc." 

" Must I not goe -f' why then, sweete love, adcw ! 
Needs must I dye, but vet in dying trew ! " 
"A! stay, my love! I love my Margarett well, 
And heere I wow with Margarett still to dwell ! " 

" Give me thv hand! thv Margarett lives againe!" 

" Heercs my hand! He never breed thee paine ! 50 

I kisse my love in token that is soe ; 

Wee will be wedd : come, Margarett, let us goe." 

ffinis 
8 



EGLAMORE 



[First Part] 

Jesus Christ, heaven King! 
Grant us all his deere blessinge, 

And builde us in his bower! 
And give them jqye that will heare 
Of elders that before us were, 

That lived in great honor. 
I will tell you of a knight 
That was both hardye and wight. 

And stiffe in everye stower ; 
And wher any deeds of amies were, lo 

Hee wan the prize with sheeld and speare, 

And ever he was the fflower. 



In Artoys the knight was borne. 
And his ftather him beforne ; 

Listen ; I will you say. 
Sir Prinsamoure the erle hight; 
And Eglamorc they hight t/ie knight 

That curteous was alway ; 
And he was for a man verament. 
With the erle was he bent, 20 

To none he wold say nay. 

The erle had noe child but one, 
A maiden as white as whalles bone. 

That his right heyre shold bee ; 
Christabell was the ladyes name ; 
A ftairer maid then shee was ane 

Was none in Christentye. 



CJirist;il)tll soc well licr hnrc ; 
The cric lovcil nothing more 

Then his dniighter tlree ; 30 

Soe tlici that gentle knight 
rli:it was soe full of might ; 
It was the more pittye. 

The knight was both hardy and snell, 
Ant! kneu the lad ye loved him well ; 

Listen a while and dwell. 
Lords came ffrom many a land 
Her to have, I understand, 

With fforce ffold and fiell. 
Sir Prinsamoure then did cryc 40 

Strong justing and turnamentrye 

For the love of Christahell. 
What man that did her crave, 
Such stroakcs Eglamore him gave. 

That downe ritrht he ftell. 

To his chaniherlaine then gan he sa[y], 
" ftrom thee I cann hydc nought away," 

(Where they did together rest ;) 
" ffaire ffrand, nought to laine. 
My councell thou wold not saine ; 50 

On thee is all my trust." 
" Master," hee said, " per ma tay, 
What-soever you to me say, 

I shall itt never out cast." 
" The erles daughter, soe God me save, 
The love of her but that I have, 

My liffe itt may not last." 

" Master," said the young man ffrec, 
" You have told me your privitve ; 

I will gi\e you answerc 60 

10 



To this tale : I understand 
You are a knight of h'tle land, 

And much wold have more ; 
If I shold to that ladye goe 
And show your hart and love, 

Shee lightlye wold let me fare 
The man that heweth over hye. 
Some chipp ffalleth on his eye ; 

Thus doth it ever fare. 



"Remember, master, of one thing, 70 

That shee wold have both erle and king, 

And many a bold barron alsoe ; 
The ladye will have none of those, 
But in her maidenhead hold ; 
ffor wist her fFather, by heaven King, 
That you were sett on such a thinge. 

Right deere itt shold be bought. 
Trow yee shee wold king fforsake, 
And such a simple knight take, 

But if you have loved her of old ? " 80 



The knight answerd ftull mild : 
" Ever since I was a child 

Thou hast beene loved of mec. 
In any justing or any stower, 
Saw you me have any dishonor 

In battell where I have bee ? " 
" Nay, master, att all rights 
You are one of the best knights 

In all Christentye ; 
In deeds of armes, by God alive, 90 

Thy body is worth other five." 

" Gramcrcy, Sir," sayd hce. 

II 



Mglatnorc sighed, aiul saiil noc more, 
Hut to his chanilKT gaii hcc Hare, 

'I hat riehelye was wrought. 
To (]nd his hands he held up soonc, 
'' l.ord ! " lie said, " grant me a hoonc 

As I hon on roode me bought! 
The eries daughter, tlaire and Bree, 
That shee may my witie bee, lOO 

rtor shee is most in mv thought; 
That I may wed lier to my wirfe, 
And in joy to lead our liffe; 

From care then were I brought." 



On the morrow that maiden small 
Eate with her ffather in the hall, 

'I Iiat was soe fairc and bright. 
All the knights were at mcatc save hce; 
The ladye said, " For Gods pittyc, 

Where is Sir Eglamorc my knight?" i lo 

His squier answerd with hcavye cheere, 
" He is sicke, and dead ffull neerc, 

He praycth you of a sight; 
He is now cast in such a care, 
But if he mends not of his fare 

He liveth not to night." 



The erle unto his daughter spake, 
" Damsell," he said, " for God sake 

Listen unto mee ! 
After me doe, as I thee hend ; 120 

To his chamber see thou wend, 

ffor hee was curtcous and ffree ; 
ffull trulye with his intent, 
With justing and in turnament, 

12 



He said us never nay; 
If any deeds of armes were, 
He wan the prize with turnay cleere ; 

Our worshippe for ever and aye." 

Then after meate that ladye gent 

Did affter her fathers comandement, 130 

Shee busked her to wend. 
Forth shee went withouten more. 
For nothing wold shee spare, 

But went there as hee lay. 
" Master," said the squier, " be of good cheere, 
Heere cometh the erles daughter deere, 

Some words to you to say." 

And then said that ladye bright, 

" How fareth Sir Eglamore my knight, 

That is a man right ffaire? " 14.0 

" Forsoothe, Ladye, as you may see, 
With woe I am bound for the love of yee. 

In longing and in care." 
" Sir," shee said, " By Gods pittye. 
If you be agrreeved ffor mee, 

Itt wold greeve me full sore ! " 
" Damsell, if I might turnc to liffe, 
I wold have you to my wifie. 

If itt your will were." 

" Sir," shee said, " soe mote I tlice, 150 

You are a noble knight and ffrce. 

And come of gentle blood ; 
A manfull man you are in ffcild 
To win the gree with spcare and shccld 

Nobly by the roodc ; 

13 



Sir, ;itt my fTatlicr read you witt, 
And sec what liee will say to itt ; 

Oi il his will hee gooti, 
Ami il that hee he att assent, 
As I am true- ladie and gent, i6o 

My will it shalhe good." 

The knight ilcsired noe other hlisse 
When he had gotten his grantessc, 

Hut made royall eheere ; 
lie comanclcil a stjiiier to goe 
To Beiteh gold, a hinulred or towe, 

And give the maidens cleere. 
Sir J'.tjlamore said, " Soe have I blisse ! 
To your marriage I give vou this, 

flor yee never come heere yore." 170 

The lady then thanked and kissed the knight ; 
Shee tooke her leave anon-right, 

" Farwell, my true sonne deere." 

Then homeward shcc tooke the way. 
" Weleomc ! " sayd the Erie, " in ffay, 

Tell mee how have yee doone. 
Say, my daughter as white as any flower, 
How fl^lireth my knight Sir Eglamore?" 

And shee answered him soone : 
" fl<)rsooth, to mee he hartilye sware 180 

He was amended of his care, 

Good comfort hath hee tane ; 
He told me and my maidens hende, 
That hee unto the river wold wend 

With hounds and hawkes right." 

The erle said, " Soe mote I thee. 
With him will I ryde that sight to sec, 
To make mv hart more light." 



H 



On the morrow, when itt was day, 

Sir Eglamore tooke the way igo 

To the river ffull right. 
The erle made him redye there, 
And both rode to they river 

To see some iTaire fflight. 
All they day they made good cheere : 
A wrath began, as you may heare. 

Long ere itt was night. 

As they rode homeward in the way, 
Sir Eglamore to the erle gan say, 

" My lord, will you now heare? " 200 

" All ready, Eglamore ; in ffay. 
Whatsoever you to me say, 

To me itt is ffull deere ; 
ffor why, the doughtyest art thou 
That dwelleth in this land now. 

For to beare sheeld and speare." 
" My lord," he said, " of charitye, 
Christabell your daughter ffree, 

When shall shee have a ffeere? " 

The erle said, " Soe God me save, 210 

I know noe man that shee wold have. 

My daughter faire and cleere." 
" Now, good lord, I you pray. 
For I have served you many a day. 

To give me her withouten nay." 
The erle said, " By Gods paine. 
If thou her winne as I shall saine, 

By deeds of amies three. 
Then shalt thou have my daughter deere, 
And all Artois ffarr and neere." 220 

^' Gramcrcy, sir! " said hee. 

15 



Sir I'.glainorc swarc^ " Soc mote I tlicc, 
Alt my journey ffaiiic wold I he!" 

Right soone he maiie liim yare. 
The erie said, " Here hy west 
Dwelleth a gyant in a fVorrcst, — 

flowler never saw I ere; — 
Therin he trees flaire and h)ng, 
'1 hici- harts run them amonge, 

The hiirest that on f^not gone. 230 

Sir, might yee bring one away, 
Ihen ilurst I boldly say 

That yec had bcenc there." 



" fforsooth," said Eglamore then, 
" If that hec be a Christyan man, 

I shall him never fi^orsake." 
The erle said in good eheerc, 
"With hini shalt thou ffight in fee re ; 

His name is Sir Marroceke." 
The knight thought on Christabell ; 240 

He swore by Him that harrowed hell, 

Him wold he never fforsake. — 
" Sir, keepe well my lady and mv land ! " 
Therto the erle held up his hand. 

And trothes they did strike. 



Then afterwards, as I you say, 
Sir Eglamore tooke the way 

To that ladye soe ffree : 
" Damsell," hee said to her anon, 
" ffor your love I have undertane 250 

Deeds of armes three." 
" Good sir," shee said, " be merry and glad ; 
ffor a worsse journey you never had 

16 



In noe Christyan countrye. 
If God grant ffrom His grace 
That [y]ee may ffrom that journey apace, 

God grant it may be soe ! 

" Sir, if you be on hunting ffound, 
I shall you give a good greyhound 

That is dun as a doe; 260 

ffor as I am a true gentle woman, 
There was never deere that he att ran 

That might scape him ffroe : 
Alsoe a sword I give thee. 
That was ffound in the sea ; 

Of such I know noe moe. 
If you have happ to keepe itt weele, 
There is no helme of iron nor Steele 

But itt wold carve in two. 



Second Parte 



Eglamore kissed that lady gent; 270 

He tooke his leave, and fforth hee went. 

His way now hath hee tane ; 
The hye streetes held he west 
Till he came to the fforrcst ; 

ffarrer saw he never none. 
With trees of cypresse lying out. 
The wood was walled round abowt 

With strong walles of stone ; 
fi^orthe he rade, as I understand, 
Till he came to a gate that he ffand, 280 

And therin is he gone. 



D 



I lis lioriu- 111- hlfw in tliat tytli-' ; 
Harts start iip|> on i-vcry side, 

And a noble deere Hull prcst. 
The hounds att the deere gan bay ; 
With that heard the gvant where he lay ; 

Itt lett him of his rest ; 
" Methinketh, by iiounds that I hearc, 
That there is one hunting my deare ; 

It were better that he eease ! 290 

By Him tiiat wore the erowne of thorne, 
In a worse time lie never blew a home, 

Ne dearer bought a mcsse ! " 



Marrocke the gyant tooke the way 
rhorrow the fforrest were itt lay ; 

To the gate he sett his baeke. 
Sir Eglamore hath done to dead, 
Slainc a hart, and smitten oi{ his head ; 

The prize he blew tlull shrill ; 
And when he came where the gyant was, 300 

" Good Sir," he sayd, " Ictt mc passe, 

If that itt be your will." 
" Nay, traitor, thou art tane ! 
My principall hart thou hast slaine ! 

Thou shalt itt like ffuU ill." 



The gyant att the chase, 
A great clubb up hee takes. 

That villanous was and great ; 
Such a stroke hee him gave 
That into the earth went his staffe, 310 

A ffoote on every side. 
" Traitor! " he said, " what doest thou here 
In mv fforrest to slay my deere? 

18 



Here shalt thou now abyde." 
Eglamore his sword out drew, 
And in his sight made such a shew, 

And made him blind that tyde. 

How-be-itt he lost his sight, 

He ffought with Sir Eglamore that knight 

Two dayes and some deale more; 320 

Till the third day att prime 
Sir Eglamore waited his time. 

And to the hart him bare. 
Through Gods might and his kniffe. 
There the gyant lost his liffe ; 

ffast he began to rore. 
ffor certaine sooth, as I you say. 
When he was meaten there he lay. 

He was fifteen ffoote and more. 

Through the might of God, and his kniffe, 330 

Thus hath the gyant lost his liffe ; 

He may thanke God of his boone ! 
The gyants head with him hec bare 
The right way as hee ffound there, 

Till hee came to the castle of stone. 
All the whole court came him againe ; 
" Such a head," they gan saine, 

" Saw they never none." 
Before the erle he itt bare, 
" My lord," he said, " I have beene there, 340 

In witnesse of you all ! " 

The erle said, " Sith itt is done, 

Another journey there shall come soonc, — 

Buske thee and make tliee yare, — 
To Sattin, that countryc, 

19 



fFor tlicrin may noe man hic 

For doubt ot a bore ; 
His tuskcs arc a yard long; 
What fllcsh that they doc come among, 

Itt covercth never more ; 3 50 

Both man and heast itt shiyeth. 
All that ever hee over-taketh, 

And giveth them wounds sore." 



Sir Eglamore wold not gaine-say, 
He tooke his leave and went his way, 

To his journey went hee. 
Towards Sattin, I understand, 
A ffortnight he went on land, 

And alsoe soe long on sea. 
Itt rt^ell againe in the even tvde, 360 

In the fforrest he did ryde 

Wheras the bore shold bee ; 
And tydings of the bore soonc hee ftoimd ; 
By him men lay dead on many a land, 

That pittye itt was to see. 



Sir Eglamore tliat knight awoke. 
And privilye lay under an oke ; 

Till morrow the sun shone bright, 
In the fforrest ffast did hee lye; 
Of the bore he hard a crye, 370 

And neerer he gan gone right, 
ffaire helmes he ffound in fere 
That men of armes had letlt there, 

That the bore had slaine. 
Eglamore to the cliffe went hee, 
He saw the bore come from the sea. 

His morne draught had he tane. 

20 



The bore saw where the knight stood, 
His tuskes he whetted as lie were wood, 

To him he drew that tyde. 380 

Sir Eglamore weened well what to doe. 
With a speare he rode him to 

As ffast as he might ryde. 
All if hee rode never soe ffast. 
The good speare assunder brast, 

It wold not in the hyde. 
That bore did him woe enoughe. 
His good horsse under him he slough ; 

On ffoote then must hee byde. 



Eglamore saw no boote that tyde, 390 

But to an oake he sett his side 

Amongst the trees great; 
His good sword he drew out then. 
And smote upon the wild swine 

Two dayes and some deale more ; 
Till the third day att noone 
Eglamore thought his liffe was doone 

For ffightting with that bore ; 
Then Eglamore with egar mood 
Smote of the bores head ; 400 

His tuskes he smote of thore. 



The King of Sattin on hunting fare 
With fifteen armed men and more ; 

The bore loud hard he yell ; 
He camanded a squier to ffirc, 
" Some man is in his perill there! 

I trow to long wee dwell." 
No longer wold the sq[ui]cr tarry. 
But rode fast thither, by St. Marye, 



21 



Ill- WHS thcrto tVuU Micll ; +'^ 

Up to the clifl'c rode hee thore ; 
Sir Kglainore Bouglit ftast with the hore 

With stroakes fteirce ami Bell. 

The squier stood and heheUl tliem two, 
Hee went againe and (old soe, 

*' fForsooth the bore is shiine/ 
''Lord! Saint Mary! how may this bee ? " 
" A knight is yonder eertainlyc 
That was the bores bane; 
Of gold he beareth a seemly sight, 420 

In a ffeeld of azure an armed kmght, 

Ic) battell as hee shold gone ; 
And on the crest upon the head is 
A ladye made in her likencssc ; 

His spures arc sable cchc one." 

The King said, " Soe mote I thee, 
Those ricli armers I will see : " 

And thither hee tooke the way. 
By that time Sir Eglamore 
Had overcome the sharp stoure, +3^ 

And overthawrt the bore lay. 
The King said, " God rest with thee! 
" My Lord," said Eglamore, " welcome be yee, 

' Of peace now I thee pray ! 
I have soe ffoughten with the bore 
That ccrtainlye I may noe more ; 
This is the third day." 

They all said anon-right, 

" Great sinn itt were with thee to fhght. 

Or to doe thee any tecne ; ++° 

ManffuUy thou hast slaine this bore 

22 



That hath done hurt sore, 

And many a mans death hath beene 
Thou hast manfully under sheeld 
Slaine this bore in the ffeild, 

That all wee have seene I 
This have I wist, the sooth to say. 
He hath slaine forty on a day 

Of my armed knights keene ! 



Meat and drinke they him brought, 450 

Rich wine they spared nought, 

And white clothes they spread. 
The King said, " Soe mote I thee, 
I will dine for love of thee ; 

Thou hast been hard bestead." 
" Forsoooth," then Sir Eglamore saies, 
" I have ffought these four dayes. 

And not a ffoote him ffledd." 
Then said the King, " I pray thee 
All night to dwell with mee, 460 

And rest thee on a bedd." 



And after meate, the soothe to say. 
The King Sir Eglamore did pray 

' Of what country hee was.' 
" My name," he said, " is Sir Eglamore : 
I dwell alsoe with Sir Prinsamoure, 

That erle is of Artoys." 
Then lords to the King drew, 
" This is hee that Sir Marroccke slew, 

The gyants brother Mamasse. 470 

" Sir," said the King, " I pray thee 
These three dayes to dwell with mee. 

From mee thou shalt not passe ; 

23 



"llicrc (luvllctli a gyaiit licrc iK-sicic ; 
My ilauglucr that is of micklcll pride, 

He wold have me Broe ; 
I tlare to n«> place goe out 
But men ot'armes he nie ahout, 

l-'or ili\;ul of my toe. 
TIk- hore thou iiast slaine here, 4^^ 

That hath lived here this tilteeii yeere 

Christen men for to sloe. 
Now is he gone with sorrow enough 
To heryc his brother that thou slough, 

That cvyrmorc be hym woo ! " ' 

To break the bore they went fFull tyte; 
There was noc kni^e that wold him bitte, 

Soe hard of hyde was hee. 
" Sir Eglamore, thou him sloughe ; 
I trow thy sword be good enough ; +9° 

Have done, I pray thee." 
Eglamore to the bore gan gone, 
And clave him by the ridge bone, 

That joy itt was to see ; 
" Lordings," he said, " great and small. 
Give me the head and take you all ; 

For why, that is my ffee." 

The King said, " Soe God me save! 
The head thou shalt have ; 

Thou hast itt bought full deere! " 5°^ 

All the countrye was ftaine, 
For the wild bore w\as slaine. 

They made ffuU royall cheere. 
The Queene said, " God send us from shame! 
ffor when the gyant cometh honie, 

New tvdings shall be here." 

2+ 



Against even the King did dight 
A bath ffor that gentle knight, 

That was of erbes good. 
Sir Eglamore therin lay 510 

Till itt was light of the day, 

That men to mattins yode. 



Third Part 

By the time he had heard masse. 
The gyant to this place come was. 

And cryed as hee were wood ; 
" Sir King," he said, " send unto mee 
Arnada thy daughter ffree. 

Or I shall spill thy blood." 

Sir Eglamore anon-right 

In good armour he him dight, 520 

And upon the walles he yode ; 
He camanded a squier to beare 
The bores head upon a speare. 

That the gyant might itt see. 
And when he looked on the head, 
" Alas! " he said, " art thou dead? 

My trust was all in thee ! 
Now by the law that I live in, 
My litle speckelcd hoglin, 

Deare bought shall thy death bee!" 530 

The gyant on the walls donge ; 
Att every stroke fycr out spronge ; 

For nothing wold he spare. 
Towards the castle gan he crye, 
" False traitor, thou shalt dye 

For slaying of my bore! 

E 25 



Y(jur strong walks I iloc downc iling, 
Ami with my hamls I shall the hangc 

lire that I tViirther passe." 
Hilt through the grace ot Ciod almight, 54.0 

Ihc gyaiit had his flill of light, 

Ami therto some deale more. 



Sir I'.glainorc was not agast ; 

On might-tRill (iod was all his trust, 

Anil on his sword soe good. 
To liglamore said the King tlien, 
" Best is to arme us evcrye man ; 

This theele, I hold him woode.' 



Sir Eglamore sware by the roode, 

" I shall hini assay it hcc were wood ; 550 

Mickle is Gods might I " 
He rode a course to say his steed, 
He tooke his helme and forth hec yeede ; 

All men pravcd for that knight. 



Sir Eglamore into tlic t^eild taketh ; 
The gyant see him, and to him goeth ; 

" Welcome," he said, " my ffeere ! 
Thou art hee that slew my bore ! 
That shalt thou repent llull sore, 

And buy itt wonderous deere ! " 560 

Sir Eglamore weened well what to doe ; 
With a speare he rode him to. 

As a man of amies cleere. 
Against him the gyant was redy bowne, 
But horsse and man he bare all downe, 

That dead he was ffull nere. 

26 



Sir Eglamore cold noe better read, 
But what time his horsse was dead, 

To his ffoote he hath him tane ; 
And then Eglamore to him gan goe ; 570 

The right arme he smote him froe, 

Even by the sholder bone ; 
And tho he had lost his hand, 
All day hee stood a ffightand 

Till the ssun to rest gan goe ; 
The sooth to say, withouten lye. 
He so b[l]ed and was soe drye 

That liffe him lasteth none. 



All that on the walles were. 

When they heard the gyant rore, 580 

ffor joy the bells they ring, 
Edmond was the Kings name,'- 
Swore to Sir Eglamore, " By St. Jame, 

Here shalt thou be king ! 
To-morrow thow shalt crowned bee. 
And thou shalt wed my daughter ffree 

With a curyous rich ringe ! "" 
Eglamore answered with words mild : 
" God give you joy of your child ! 

ffor here I may not abyde longe." 590 

" Sir Eglamore, for thy doughtye deede 
Thou shalt not be called lewd 

In noe place where thou goe ! '' 
Then said Arnada, that swectc thing, 
" Have here of me a gold ring 

With a precyous stone ; 
Where-soe you bee on water or land. 
And this ring upon your hand. 

Nothing may you slone." 

27 



** Graincrcy ! " sayd l-.glaiiiorc ffrcc. 600 

" rliis hftccii yccrcs will I abytic ihcc, 

Soc that you will nic wed •, 
'I'his will I swcarc, soc (J(h1 nic save, 
King lie prince nor none will have, 

If iliey be eomlye elackl ! " 
" Dain^ell," he said, " by my ffay, 
By that time I will you say 

I low that I have spedd." 
lie tooke the gyants head and the bore, 
And towards Artoys did he Bare, 610 

God helpe [him] att neede ! 

By that seven weekes were comen to end, 
Even att Artoys he did lend, 

Wheras Prinsamoure was. 
The erle therof" was greatly faine 
That Eglamore was come againe ; 

Soc was both more and Icsse. 
When Christabell as white as swan. 
Heard tell how Eglamore was come, 

To him shee went full yare ; 620 

The knight kissed that lady gent, 
Then into the hall hee went 

The erle for to tcene. 
The erle answered and was l^ull woe 
"What devill! may nothing thee sloe? 

Forsooth, right as I weene, 
Thou art about, as I understand, 
For to winn Artoys and all my land, 

And alsoe my daughter cleane." 

Sir Eglamore said, " Soe mote I thee 630 

Not but if I worthy bee ; 

Soe God tjive me Q-ood read ! '' 

28 



The erle said, " Such chance may ffall, 
That one may come and quitt all, 

Be thou never so prest." 
" But, good lord, I you pray, 
Of twelve weekes to give me day, 

My weary body to rest." 
Twelve weekes were granted then 
By prayer of many a gentleman, 640 

And comforted him with the best. 

Sir Eglamore after supper 
Went to Christabells chamber 

With torches burning bright. 
The ladye was of soe great pride, 
Shee sett him on her bedside, 

And said, " Welcome, Sir knight ! " 
Then Eglamore did her tell 
Of adventures that him befell, 

But there he dwelled all night. 650 

*' Damsell," he said, " soe God me speed, 
I hope in God you for to wedd ! " 

And then their trothes they plight. 

By that twelve weekes were come and gone, 
ChristabbcU that was as faire as sunn. 

All wan waxed her hewe. 
Shee said unto her maidens ffree, 
" In that yee know my privitye, 

Looke that yee bee trew ! " 
The erle angerlyc gan ffare, 660 

He said to Eglamore, " Make thee yare 

For thy journey a-ncw ! " 
When Christabcll thcrof heard [say], 
Shee mourned night and day. 

That all men might her rue. 

29 



Tlic crlc s:iiil, '* There is mcc told long, 
Hcsidc Rooinc there is a ilragon strong; 

Forsooth as I v'ou say, 
The dragon is of such renownc 
There ilare noe man come neere the towne 670 

liy five miles and more ; 
Arme thee well anil thither wend ; 
Looke that thou slay him with thy hand, 

Or else bay mec nay." 

Sir Eglamore to the chamber went, 
Anil tooke his leave of the ladye gent, 

White as fflower on rfeelde ; 
" Damsell," he said, " I have to doonc ; 
I am to goc, and come againe right soone 

Through the might of Marry mild. 680 

A gold ring I will give thee; 
Kccpe itt well for the love of mee 

If Christ send me a child." 
And then, in Romans as wcc say, 
To great Roome he tooke liis way, 

To secke the dragon wild. 

If he were never soc hardy e a knight, 
When of the dragon he had a sight, 

His hart began to be cold. 
Anon the dragon waxed wrothe, 690 

He smote Sir Eglamore and his steed bothe. 

That both to ground they ffell. 
Eglamore rose, and to him sett. 
And on that ffowle worme hee bett 

With stroakes many and bold ; 

The drao;on shott hre with his mouth 

Like the devill of hell ; 
Sir Eglamore neere him gan goe, 

30 



And smote his taile halfe him ffroe ; 

Then he began to yell, 700 

And with the stumpe that yett was leaved 
He smote Sir Eglamore on the head ; 

That stroake was ffeirce and ffell. 



Sir Eglamore neere him gan goe, 
The dragons head he smote of thoe, 

IForsooth as I you say, 
His wings he smote of alsoe. 
He smote the ridge bone in two, 

And wan the ffeild that day. 
The Emperour of Roome lay in his tower 710 

And ffast beheld Sir Eglamore, 

And to his knights gan say, 
"Doe cry in Roome, the dragons slaine! 
A knight him slew with might and maine. 

Manfully, by my ffay ! " 
Through Roome they made a crye. 
Every officer in his baylye, 

" The dragon is slaine this day! " 



And then the Emperour tooke the way 

To the place where Eglamore lay, 720 

Beside that ffoulc thing. 
With all that might ride or gone. 
Sir Eglamore they have up tane, 

And to the towne they can him bring ; 
ftor joy that they dragon was slaine. 
They came with procession him againe. 

And bells they did ringc. 
The Emperour of Roome brought liini soone, 
Constantine, that was his name, 

A lord of great longinge. 730 

31 



All that ever saw his head, 

Thcv said tliat I.glaniore was but deati, 

That kiiiglit Sir I\glanif)rc. 
The Fmperour had a daiigliter bright, 
Shcf uiuiertooke to heale the knight ; 

I Iff name was Vvardiis. 
With good salves shee healed his jieail 
Ami saved him ftrom the dead. 

That ladv of great valours : 
And there within a little stond 741 

Shee made Sir Eglamore whole and sound ; 

God give her honor ! 



Fourth Parte 

Anon wortl eame to Artois 
How that the dragon slaine was : 

A knight that deede had done. 
Soe long at the leeehc-craft he did dwell, 
That a ffaire sonne had Christabcll 

As white as whales bone. 
Then the crle made his vow, 
" Daughter! into the sea shalt thou 750 

In a sliipp thy selfe alone! 
Ihy younge sonne shall be thy fere, 
Christendome ijetteth itt none here ! " — 

Her maidens wept echc one. 

Her mother in swoone did tiall, 
Richt soe did her fFreinds all 

That wold her any good. 
" Good lord," she said, " I vou pray, 
Let some prcst a gospel 1 say, 

ffor doubt of ffeendes in the fflood. 760 



0- 



ffarwell," shee said, "my maidens ffree ! 
Greet well my lord when you him see." 

They wept as they were woode. 
Leave wee now Sir Eglamore, 
And speake wee more of that ladye fflower 

That unknown wayes y[o]de. 

The shipp drove fforth night and day 
Up to a rocke, the sooth to say, 

Where wild beasts did run, 
Shee was ffuU ffaine, I understand; 770 

Shee wend shee had beene in some [known] land, 

And up then gan shee wend. 
Noe manner of men ffound shee there, 
That ffoules and beasts that were there, 

ffast they ffled ffrom land. 
There came a griffon that rought her care ; 
Her younge child away hee bare 

Into a countrye unknowne. 

The ladye wept, and said ' Alas 

That ever shee borne was! ' 780 

" My child is taken me ffroe ! " 
The King of Isarell on huntinge went; 
He saw where the ftoule lent ; 

Towards him gan he goe. 
A griffon, the Booke saith that he hight, 
That in Isarell did light. 

That wrought that ladye woe. 
The ffoule smote him with his hill. 
The child cryed and liked ill ; 

The griffon then lefft him there. 790 

A gentlewoman to that [child] gan passe. 
And lappt itt in a mantle of Scarlett was. 
And with a rich pane. 



The child w:is large of liin and lythe, 
A girdle of gold itt was bound with, 

With w(jrsse cloth itt was cladd. 
The King swore by the root!, 
" The child is come of gentle blood, 

Whersoever that hee was tane ; 
And for In- Hroc the grition fJell, 8oo 

TIkv named the chiKI Degrabell, 

rliat lost was in wilsome way. 

The King wold hunt noe more that tyde, 
Ikit with the child homeward gan ryde, 

Tliat ffrom the griffon was hent. 
" Madam," lie said to his Queene, 
" ffull oft 1 have a hunting beene ; 

This day God hath me lent." 
Of that child he was blythe ; 
After nurses shee went belive ; 810 

The child was lovelye gent. 
Leave wee now of this chvlde, 
And talke wee of his mother mild, 

To what land God her sent. 

All that night on the rocke shee lay ; 
A wind rose upon the day. 

And i^rom the land her driveth. 
In that shipp was neither mast nor ore, 
But every streame upon other 

That fTast upon her driveth. 820 

And as the great Booke of Roome saies, 
Shee was without meate hve dayes 

Among the great clif?es. 
By that live dayes were gone, 
God sent her succour soone ; 

In iEgipt shee arrived. 



The King of iEglpt lay in his tower, 
And saw the ladye as white as fflower, 

That came right neere the land ; 
He comanded a squire ffree 830 

To " Looke what in that shipp might bee 

That is upon the sand." 
The squier went thither ffull tite 
On the shipbord he did smite, 

A ladye up then gan stand ; 
Shee might not speake to him a word, 
But lay and looked over the bord, 

And made signes with her hand. 

The squier wist not what shee ment ; 

Againe to the King he went, 840 

And kneeled on his knee : 
" Lord, in the shipp nothing is. 
Saving one in a womans likenesse 

That ffast looked on mee. 
But on shee be of fflesh and bone, 
A ft'airer saw I never none. 

Save my Ladye soe ffree ! 
Shee maketh signes with her hand ; 
Shee seemeth of some ffarr land ; 

Unknowen shee is to mee. 850 

Sir Marmaduke highet the King, 
He went to see that sweet thing. 

He went a good pace. 
To the ladye he said in same, 
" Speake, woman, on Gods name!" 

Against him shee r[a]sc. 
The lady that was soe meeke and milde, 
Shee had bewept sore her child, 

That almost gone shee was. 

35 



Home to the court they licr ledd, 860 

Witli good meates they lier tkiKl ; 
With good will shee itt taketh. 

" Now, gooil damsell," said the King, 

" W'Ikk.- were you borne, my sweet thing? 

^'(.•c• are soe bright of hlee." 
" Lord, in Artois borne I was; 
Sir Priiisanioure my father was, 

rh;it lord is of that countrve : 
I and inv maidens went to play 
By an arme ot the sea; 870 

Jocund wee were and jollye: 
Thev wind was lithe, a bote there stood, 
I and my squier in yodc, 

But unchristened was hee. 

" On land 1 Icfft my maidens all, 
My younge squier on sleepe gan tJall, 

My mantle al on him I threw ; 
A griffon there came that rought me care, 
My younge squier away hcc bare, 

Southeast with him hee drew." 880 

" Damsell," he said, " be of good cheere, 
Thou art my brothers daughter deere." 

ffor joy of him shee louge ; 
And there shee did still dwell 
Till time that better beffell, 

With joy and mirth enoughc. 

[Fifth Parte] 

Now is Eglamore whole and sound, 
And well healed of his wound ; 

Homeward then wold hee i^are. 
Of the Emperour he tooke leave, I-wis, 890 

;6 



of the daughter, and of the Empresse, 

And of all the meany that were there. 
Christabell was most in his thought: 
The dragons head hee home brought ; 

On his speare he itt bare. 
By that seven weekes were come to end, 
In the land of Artoys can he lend, 
Wheras the Erie gan ffare. 



In the court was told, as I understand. 

How that Eglamore was come to land 900 

With the dragons head. 
His squier rode againe him soone, 
" Sir, thus hath our lord doone ; 

ffaire Christabell is dead ! 
A ffaire sonne shee had borne ; 
Bothe they are now fforlorne 

Through his ffalse read ; 
In a shipp hee put them two. 
And with the wind let them goe." 

Then swooned he where hee stood. 910 



*' Alas! " then said the knight soc ffree, 
" Lord ! where may my maidens bee 

That in her chamber was ? " 
The squier answered him ffuU soone, 
" As soone as shee was doone, 

Ech one their way did passe." 
Eglamore went into the hall 
Before the squiers and knights all : 

" And thou, Erie of Artoys! 
Take," he said, " the dragons head! 920 

All his mine that here his lead ! 

What dost thou in this place ? " 

37 



Great ilolc it I w.u to Iiccrc 

Wliin he tailed (^Iiristahcll his fcrc : 

"What! art thou drowiiccl in the sea? 
God that dvcci on the rood hitterlye, 
On thy soule have mertye, 

And on that yoiingc child soe flree!" 
The Erie was soe feard of Hglamore 
'i'hat he was ffaine to take his tower; 930 

That evermore woe him bee! 
I'.glamore saitl, " Soe God me save, 
All that the order of knight-hoode will have, 

Rise up and goe with mee ! " 



Thev were ffull faine to do his will ; 
Up they rose, and came him till ; 

He gave them order soone. 
The while that he in hall abode, 
Thirty-two knights he made, 

ffrom morne till itt was noonc. 940 

Those that living had none, 
He gave them living to live upon, 

ffor Christabell to pray soone. 
Then anon, I understand, 
He tooke the way to the Holy Land, 

Where God on the rood was done. 



Sir Eglamorc, as you heare. 
He dwelled there fifteen yeere 

The heathen men amonge ; 
ffull manffullyc he there him bare, 950 

Where any deeds of armes were, 

Against him that lived wronge. 
In battell or in turnament 
There might no man withstand his dent, 

38 



But downe right he him thronge. 
By that fifteen yeeres were gone, 
His Sonne that the griffon had tane, 

Was waxen both stiffe and stronge. 

Now was Degrabell waxen wight ; 

The King of Isarell dubbd him a knight 960 

And prince with his hand. 
Listen, lords great and small, 
Of what manner of armes he bare. 

And yee will understand : 
He bare in azure, a griffon of gold 
Richlye portrayed in the mold. 

On his clawes hanginge 
A man child in a mantle round 
And with a girdle of gold bound. 

Without any leasinge. 970 

The King of Isarell, hee waxed old ; 
To Degrabell his sonne he told, 

" I wold thou had a wiffe 
While that I live, my sonne deere ; 
When I am dead, thou hast noe ffere. 

Riches is soe riffe." 
A messenger stoode by the King : 
*' In ^gipt is a sweet thing, 

I know noe such on live ; 
The King, fforsooth, this oath hath sworne, 980 

There shall none her have that is borne 

But he winne her by striffe." 
The King said, " By the rood, 
Wee will not lett if shee bee good ; 

Have done, and buskc us swythe." 
Anon-right they made them yare. 
And their armour to the shipp they bare, 

To passe the watter bclive. 

39 



By tthat seven daycs were tumcii to end, 

In /EgijH Lain! tliey gan leml, 990 

riic uiuoiithe costes to see. 
Messengers went before to tell, 
" Here eoinetli the King of Isarell 

Willi a Haire nieany, 
And the prinee with many a kniglit, 
ffor Lo have your daughter bright, 

If itt your wil be." 
The King said, " I trow I shall 
riind lodging Bor you all ; 

Riglit welcome yee are to mee! " 1000 



Then trumpetts in the shipp rose, 
And every man to land goes ; 

The knights were clothed in pall. 
The younge knight of fifteen yeere, 
He rydeth, as yee may hecrc, 

A fToote above them all. 
The King o{ Isarell on the land, 
The King of -^gipt takes him by the hand. 

And ledd him into the hall : 
" Sir," said the King, " f^'or charitye, 10 10 

Will you lett mee your daughter see. 

White as bone of whall ? " 



The lady fTrom the chamber was brought ; 
With mans hands shee seemed wrought 

And carved out of tree. 
Her owne sonne stood and beheld : 
" Well worthye him that might weld ! " 

Thus to himselfc thought hee. 
The Kincr of Isarell asked then 
If that she might passe the streame, 1020 

40 



C( 



His sonnes wifFe ffor to bee. 
Sir," said the King, " if that you may 
Meete me a stroake to-morrowe. 
Thine asking grant I thee." 



Lords in hall were sett. 

And waites blew to the meate. 

They made all royall cheere; 
The two kings the desse began. 
Sir Degrabell and his mother then, 

The two were sibb ffull neere. 1030 

Then knights went to sitt, I-wis, 
And every man to his office. 

To serve the knights deere ; 
And affier meate washed they. 
And clarkes grace gan say 

In hall, as you may heere. 

Then on the morrow, when day sprong, 
Gentlemen in their armour throng, 

Degrabell was dight ; 
The King of vEgipt gan him say 1040 

In a ffaire ffeeld that day 

With many a noble knight. 
What time the great lord might him see, 
They asked, ' what lord that might bee 

With the griffon soe bright.' 
The ruler of that game gan tell, 
" This is the Prince ot Isarcll ! 

Beware ! ffor he is wight." 



The King of ^gipt tooke a shafft ; 

The Prince saw that, and sadlye sate, 1050 

If he were never soe keene. 



41 



Against tlic King lie iiuulc him bovvnc, 
Ami on the grouiui lie cast him downe, 

The ground that was soe greene. 
They King said, " Soe God me save, 
Thou art worthy her to have!" 
Soe said they all hv-dcene, 

Everyc lord gan other assay, 
And scjuiers on the other day, 

That doughtye were oi deede. 1060 

Sir Degrahell his troth hee plight; 
And Christabell, that ladye bright, 

To church they her ledd. 
Through the might ot God he spedd. 
His owne mother there he wedd. 

In Romans as wee reade. 
Shee saw his armcs him beforne ; 
Shee thought of him that was forlorne, 

Shee wept like to be dead. 

"What cheere," he said, " mv lady cleercr " 1070 

What weepe you, and make such heavye cheere? 

Methinkes you arc in thought." 
" Sir, in your armcs now I see 
A ffoule that [rafte] on a time ffrom mee 

A child that I deere bought. 
That in a scarlett mantle was wound. 
And in a girdle of gold bound 

That richely was wrought." 
The King of Isarell said ffuU right, 
" In my fforrest the ffoule gan light; 1080 

A griffon to land him brought." 

He sent a squicr ffull hcnd. 
And bade him ffor the mantle wende 
That hee was in layd. 



+2 



BefFore him itt was brought ffull yare, 
The girdle and the mantle there, 

That richly e were graved. 
" Alas ! " then said that lady ffree, 
" This same the griffon tooke ffrom mee." 

In swoning downe shee braid. 1090 

" How long agoe ? " the King gan say. 
" Sir, fifteen yeere par ma ffay." 

They assented to that shee said. 

" fforsooth, my sonne, I am afraid 
That too sibb maryage wee have made 

In the beginninge of this moone." 
" Damsell, looke,— soe God me save ! — 
Which of my knights thou wilt have." 

Then Degrabell answered soone, 
" Sir, I hold your erles good, 1 100 

And soe I doe my mother, by the roode, 

That I wedded before they noone ; 
There shall none have her certainlye 
But if he winne her with maisterye 

As I my-selfe have doone." 

Then every lord to other gan say, 
" ffor her I will make delay 

With a speare and sheeld in hand ; 
Who-soe may winne that lady clere 
ffor to be his wedded ffere, 1 1 to 

Must wed her in that land." 



[Sixth Parte] 

Sir Eglamore was liomward bowne, 
He hard tell of that great renowne, 

And thither wold hee wend. 
Great lords that hard of that crye. 



43 



They rode iliitlicr liastilyc, 

As ffast as tlicy might tiarc. 
I Ik King of Sattin was there alsoe, 
Ami other great lords nianv more 

That royall armes hare. 1120 

riicn ringes were made in the Heeld 
That lords might therin wcKl ; 

They husked and made them yare. 
Sir Eglamore, tiioe he lame last, 
He was not worthy out to he east; 

Tliat knight was elothed in eare. 



ffor that Cliristabcll was put to the sea, 
New armes beareth hec, 

I will them deserye : 
He beareth in a/,urc a shipp of gold, 11 30 

fFull riehlyc portrayed on the mold, 

ti'ull well and worthylve; 
The sea was made both grim and bold ; 
A younge child of a night old. 

And a woman lying there by ; 
Of silver was the mast, of gold the ffane ; 
Sayle, ropes, and cables, eche one 

Painted were worthy lye. 



Heralds of armes soone on hye. 

Every lords armes gan deserye 1140 

In that f¥celd soe broade. 
Then Christabell as white as filower, 
She sate upon a hye tower ; 

iTor her that crye was made. 
The younge knight of fifteen yeere old 
That was both doughtve and bold. 

Into the fleeld he rode. 



4+ 



Who-soe that Sir Degrabell did smite, 
With his dint they ffell tyte, 

Never a one his stroake abode. 1 150 

Sir Eglamore hoved and beheild 
How the folke in the feild downe feld 

They knights all by-deene. 
When Degrabell him see, he rode him till. 
And said, " Sir, why are you soe still 

Amonge all these knights keene ? " 
Eglamore said to him, I-wis, 
" I am come out of heathenesse, 

Itt were sinne mee to meete." 
Degrabell said, " Soe mote I thee! 1160 

More worshipp itt had beene to thee. 

Unarmed to have beene." 

The ffather on the sonne lough ; 
" Have yee not justing enoughe 

Where ever that you bee ? 
That day ffall have I seene. 
With as bigg men have I beene. 

And yett well gone my way. 
And yett, fforsooth," said he then, 
" I will doe as well I can, 1 170 

With you once to play." 
Heard together they knights donge 
With great spearcs sharpe and longe ; 

Them beheld eche one. 
Sir Eglamore, as itt was his happ. 
Give his sonne such a rappe 

That to the ground went hee. 

*' Alas ! " then said that lady ffree, 
*' My sonne is dead, by Gods pittye ! 

The keene knight hath him slaine ! " 1180 

45 



Tlicii im-ii vaiil uliolv on mold, 
" I Ik- kniglit (hat licarcs the shipp of gold 
I lath wotinc her on the plaiiie." 

Herallds of armes cryed then, 

*' Is there now any manner of man 

Will make his liody good, 
1 hat will just any more? 
Say now while wee he here! " 

Then a while thev still stoode. 
Degrabell said, " By Gotl almight! i 190 

Methii'.kes that I durst with him ffight, 

If he were neyer soe wood." 
Lords together made a yow, 
" f^-orsooth," they said, " best worthy art thou 

'J"o haye thy fireelye fiood ! " 

ffor to unarmc him lords gan goe ; 
Clothes of gold on him they doe, 

And then to mcate thev wende. 
Sir Eglamore then wan the gree. 
Beside the lady sett was hee : 1200 

Shee frencd him as her ffrcind, 
' f^or what eause that he bore 
A shipp of gold, with mast and ore,' 

He said with words hende, 
" Damsel 1, into the sea was done 
My lady and my younge sonne ; 

And there they made an ende." 

Knowledge to him tooke shee thoe ; 
" Now, good sir, tell me soe, 

Where they were brought to ground?" 12 10 

" While I was in f^arr eountrye 
Her fTather put her into the sea. 

With the waves to confounde." 

46 



With honest mirth and game 
Of him shee asked the name ; 

And he answered that stond, 
" Men call mee, where I was bore. 
Of Artoys Sir Eglamore, 

That with a worme was wound." 

In swooning ffell that lady fFree; 1220 

" Welcome, Sir Eglamore, to mee ! 

Thy love I have bought full deere ! " 
Then shee sate, and told full soone 
How into the sea shee was doone ; 

Then wept both lesse and more. 
Minstrills had their giffts ffree, 
Wherby they might the better bee ; 

To spend they wold not spare, 
ffull true itt is, by God in heaven. 
That men meete att unsett steven, 1230 

And soe itt beffell there. 

The King of Isarell gan tell 

How that hee found Sir Degrabell ; 

Lordings, listen then : 
Sir Eglamore kneeled on his knee, 
" My lord! " he said, " God yeeld itt thee! 

Yee have made him a ma[n]." 
The King of Isarell said, " I will thee give 
Halfe my kindome while I doe live, 

My deere sonne as white as swan." 1240 

" Thou shalt have my daughter Arnada," 
The King of Sattin sayd alsoe, 

" I remember, since thou her wan." 

Eglamore prayed the Kings three 
Att his wedding ffor to bee. 

If that they wold vouchsafe. 

47 



All granted Iiiin tliat there were, 
I-itle, lessc, and more; 

r.ord Jesus Christ them have! 
Kings, erles, I understand, 1250 

With many dukes of other lands, 

V\'itii joy and mirth enoughc. 
The trumpetts in tlie sjiipp hhnves, 
T hat every man to shipp goes, 

Tlic winde them over blew. 

I'hrough Gods might, all his meany 
In good liking passed the sea ; 

In Artois they did arrive. 
The erle then in the tower stoode, 
He saw men passe the fflood, 1260 

And f^ast to his horsse gan drive. 
When he heard of Eglamore, 
He Bell out of his tower 

And broke his nccke belive. 
The messenger went againe to tell 
Of that case, how itt beffell : 

With God may no man strive. 

Thus in Artois the lords they lent ; 
After the Empcrour soone thev sent, 

To come to that marryage ; 1270 

In all thev land they mad crye, 
Who-soe wold come to that ffeast worthyc, 

Riixht welcome shold thev bee : 
Sir Eglamore to the church is gone, 
Degrabell and Arnada thev have tane, 

And his lady bright of blee. 
The King of Isarell snid, " He give 
Halfe my land while I live ; 

Brooke well all after mv dav." 

48 



With mickle mirth the feast was made, 1280 

Forty dayes itt abode 

Amonge all the lords hend ; 
And then forsooth, as I you say. 
Every man tooke his way 

Wherin him liked to [wend]. 
Minstrells had good great plentye. 
That ever they better may they bee. 

And bolder ffor to spend. 
In Romans this chronickle is. 
Dere Jesus! bring us to thy blisse 1290 

That lasteth without end ! 



ffini 



IS 



H 49 



'iiii I'.MPi ROUR wn inr riiir.DE 



Whilliin the CIrrc v:in laiul some time did dwell 
Am I.inperoiir, whose name did fTar excell ; 
1 le tooke to wi^Ve the Lady Hellefaimt, 
Tile only sister to the Kiiige of ffranee, 
With whome he HvliI in pleasure and delight 
Uiitill that fFortune eanie to worke them spight. 
ffor within the eourt a hishoj-jpe there did re^t, 
The whieh the Kmperour heltl in great request; 
His envious hart itt was soc sore enfflamed 
Upon the Kmpresse, that gallant dame, lo 

That he wold perswade her many ;i wile 
Her husbands marriage bed for to defile. 
But shcc denyed that unehast request, 
As to her honor did besceme her best ; 
Which when the bishopp saw, away he went 
Untou the Emperour with a fell intent. 
And then most f^alselye her he did accuse. 
How that shec wold his marryage bed abuse ; 
And therupon he swore the same to prove, 
Which made her husbands love in wrath to prove. 20 
Then the Emperour went to her with speed, 
ffor to accuse her of this shamefull deede. 
And when shee saw how shee was bctrayd, 
Her inocency shee began to pleade ; 
But then her husband wold not heare her speake. 
Which made her hart with sorrow like to breake ; 
But straight the Emperour he gave command 
That shee shold be banished out of his land. 
But when that shee iTrom them did goe. 
Before them all shee did reccount her woe, 30 

And sail! that shee was banished wrongffullye ; 
And soe shee went with sorrow Hke to dye. 

50 



Now is shee gone, but with one squier alone, 

Unto her brother in fFrance to make her mone. 

And being come within the realme of ffrance, 

O there belTell a very heavy chance ! 

ffor as shee travelled through a wild fforrest, 

The labor of childhood did her sore oppresse. 

And more and more her paines increased still 

That shee was fforced to rest against her will. 40 

Now att the lenght her travell came to end, 

ffor the Lord two children did her send, 

The which were jffaire and proper boyes indeed. 

Which made her hart with joy for to exceede. 

But now behold how ffortune gan to lower. 

And turned her joy to greefe within an hower! 

fior why, shee saw an ugly beare as then. 

The which was come fforthe of some lothesome den ; 

And when the beare did see her in that place. 

He made towards her with an egar pace, 50 

And ffrom her tooke one of her children small, 

A sight to greeve the mothers hart with-all. 

But when shee saw her child soe borne away, 

Shee laid the other downe, and did not stay. 

And ffollowed itt as ffast as ever shee might ; 

But all in vaine ! of itt shee lost the sight. 

But soe itt chanced, att that verry tyde 

The King of ffrance did there a hunting ryde ; 

And in the fforrest as he rode up and downe. 

The other child he ffound upon the ground. 60 

And when he saw the child to be soe faire, 

To take itt up he bade his men take care, 

And keepc itt well as tho itt were his owne, 

Untill the ffather of the child where knowne. 

The Empresse returned there backe againe, 

When as shee saw the beare within liis den; 

But when shee saw her other sonne was lost, 

Her hart with sorrow then was like to burst. 



51 



I Irii clownc shcc sate Iicr with a heavy hart, 
And wishes death to ease htT ol her smart; 70 

Shee wrong her hands with many a sigh full deepe 
'Ihat wolii have made a tllyntye hart to weepe. 
Tiien shee de|)arled Irom that woetull plaee, 
Ami florth ol Hranee shee went away apaee ; 
Hor why, as yett shee wold not there he knowen 
Untill some newes of her young sonnes were shone. 
Hut shee beheld a castle tfaire and stronge, — 
Shee had not travelled tlrom that place not long, — 
Wheratt shee knoeket, some succour for to hnd. 
Hut itt Hell out contrary to her mind ; 80 

ffor why, with-in that castle dwelt as then 
A monstrous gyant, beared of all men, 
Who tooke this ladye into his prison strong. 
And there he kept her ffast in prison long. 
r>ut when he saw her lookes to be soe sadd, 
And having knowen what sorrowcs she had had, 
He kept her close, but he hurt her not ; 
And soe shee lived in prison long, God wotte. 
The child the which the bcare had borne away. 
Amongst her younge ones was brought up alway, go 
And soe brought up untill att length as then 
He there became a monstrous huge wild man, 
And daylyc ranged about the fTorrest wilde. 
And did destroy man, woman, beast and child, 
And all things else which by his den did passe. 
Which to the country great annoyance was. 
The other child which they King had ftound. 
He christened was, and Valentine was his name ; 
And when he grew to be of ripe yeeres. 
He was beloved both of King and peeres ; 100 

In Ideates of^' armes he did himselfe advance. 
That none like him there cold be f^ond in iTrance ; 
And iTor that same, the King did dub him knight ; 
He allwaies was soe vallyant in his tight. 

52 



Then to the court did many pore men come 

To show what hurt the wild man there had done ; 

But when the King did heare the moane they made, 

He sent fforth men the monster to invade ; 

But all in vaine ; ffor why, hee crusht them soe 

That none of them with-in his reach durst goe. i lo 

Then Valentine unto the King did sue 

That he might goe the monster to subdue. 

Then fforthe he went the monster ffor to see. 

Whom he saw come bearing a younge oke tree ; 

And when the wild man of him had a sight, 

He went unto him and cast him downe right. 

And when he saw his strenght cold not prevaile, 

He praid to God his purpose might not ffayle ; 

Then a poinard presently he drew out. 

And peirct his side, wherwith the blood gusht out. 120 

But when the wild man did behold his blood. 

He quicklye brought him ffrom his ffuryous mood ; 

Then ffrom the fforrest both together went 

Towards the Emperour, and with ffull intent 

Oi him desired leave by sea to sayle 

Into an ile that lyeth in Portingall, 

Wheras they hard with-in a castle was 

A ladye ffaire that kept a head of brasse, 

The which cold tell of any questyon asket. 

And thither came brave Valentine att last; 130 

And when that they to the castle came. 

They thought ffor to have entered the same ; 

But itt ffell out not unto their mind. 

Because the porters there were much unkind ; 

ftor why, they found two gyants att the gate, 

With whome they ffought or they cold in theratt. 

Then went they upp wheras they head did stand ; 

And by itt sate the bewtyous Claramande, 

Whom, when the noble Valentine did see. 

He swore his hart ffor ever there shold bee. 140 

53 



Tijcii dill slice spcakc unto tlit- }k:u1 of hrassc, 
And l);ulc ilt tell whose sonne \'alentine was, 
And whom the wild man there shold bee. 
To whom the head gave answer presentlye : 
'■'■ llirst he it knowen, he is thy brother deere, 
And you are both sonnes to the CIreeyan peere ; 
And your mother wrongBullye banished was, 
And you were both borne in a wild Borrest ; 
And that by a beare Ursin was nurst upp, 
And Valentine In his unekles court \ 150 

Anil your mother Keth in prison stronge 
With King tieragus, where shee hath bccne long. 
Alsoe I say, looke under Ursines tounge ; 
There shall you tlind a string both bigg and stronge; 
(>ut that in tow, and then his speech shall breake ; 
And this is all ; and I noe more can speake." 
Then Ursin to his speeche restored was hee, 
And Valentine had Claremonde soe ffrec. 
Soe al together on their journey went 
Towards their mother being in prison pent; 160 

And soe they came unto the place att last 
Wheras their mother was in prison ffast ; 
And him they slew that did their mother keepe. 
And soe they brought her out of prison deepe. 
And when that thev were al together come. 
Unto their mother they then made them knowne ; 
Which when shee saw her owne sonnes sett her firee. 
No joye to her there might compared bee. 
Then presentlye they purpose to take read. 
Into the land of Greece to hye with speed. 170 

And when that they had many a storme ore past, 
I'hey did arrive within that land att last ; 
Then on their journey towards they court they went, 
And to the Emperour a messenger thev sent. 
To tell him ffreinds of his were comen upon land, 
And did intreat some ffavor att his hand. 



5 + 



When the Emperour was come unto them there, 
And knew the woman to be his wiffe most deere, 
And that the other two were his owne deare sonncs, 
He then bewailed their happ with bitter moanes, i8o 
ffirst that because his wiffe was wronge exilde, 
And ffor the greeffe when as shee traveled with child. 
And so att lenght, in spigh of ffortunes happ, 
They lived in joy, and fteared noe after clappe. 



ffi 



nis 



55 



Sn riNGK LATE 



Sittingc late, my ^c-lfc alone, 

To hcarc tlic hirds swcctc harinoiiyc. 
One sighed sore with maiiv ;i grone, 

" Mv witle will still mv master bee!" 
Mis sighes eeelipseil bright Phebiis beames, 

Ilis hart diil biirne like ^Etna hill, 
I I In teares like Nilus fHowing streames, 

His cryes ditl peirce the eccho shrill. 
With that I drew my eare aside 

To heare him thus complaine of ill ; lo 

His greefe and mind were both a-like, 

That Ginnye his ffilly wold have her owne will. 

The King of Sirya mad a law, 

That every man with-in his land. 
That he shold lordlyc kcepe in awe 

His wifJe, and those that tlid with-stand. 
Which acte is cleane gone out of mind 

Of all degrees, and will be still; 
Pore silly husbands are soe kind. 

They let their wives have their owne will, 20 

When princely Paris, pride of Troye, 

Had stolen away King Menelaus wifFe, 
Ten y ceres oi warr was all his jov, 

And afterwards bereaved of lifie. 
By this wee see that kings are tved, 

As well as subjects, to much ill ; 
Why shold wee poore men thinkc itt scorne 

To let our wives have their owne will : 

All that lookcs blacke, diggs not ffor coles ; 

How shold our chymneys then be swept .^ 30 

56 



And he that thinkes to jumpe ore Powles, 
May once a yeare be well out-leapte ; 

ffor Vulcan wore a head of home 

When least misprision was of ill. 

Lett no man living thinke itt scorne 

To let his wiffe have her owne will ! 

But shee that lives by nille and tape, 

And with her bagge and lucett beggs, 
Oft makes her husband many a scape 

Although shee goes in simple raggs ; 40 

fFor hungry doggs will alwayes range, 

And unsavory meate will staunch their ffill ; 
And they that take delight in change 

Will, nolens volens, have their owne will. 

But he that goes fFrom dore to dore. 

And cryes " Old buskins ffor new broome" ; 
Althoe his living be but poore. 

Another must supply his roome. 
" Old bootes and buskins ffor new broome ! 

Come buy, ffaire maids, and take your ffill! 50 
There are no cucholds made att Roome ; 

Pope Jone hath sett itt downe by will." 

The carman whistles up and downe ; 

Another cryes " Will you buy any blacke? " 
The countryman is held a clowne. 

When better men have greater lacke. 
Thus whiles they cards are shuffled about. 

The knave will in the decke lye still ; 
And if all secretts were found out, 

I doubt a number wold want their will. 60 



ffinis 
57 



I.IIUl'S DISCONIL'S 



Jfsus (Christ, Christen RiiiL^c, 
Ami his mother that swccic tiling, 

Mclpc- thcni att their nccdc 
That will listen to my talc! 
Of a knight I will you tell, 

A doughtye man ot deeile. 
His name was cleped (Jinglaine ; 
Gotten he was ot Sir (Jawaine 

Under a fforrest side; 
A better knight without fTahle, lo 

With Arthur att the Round Table, 

Yee heard never ot read. 

Gingglaine was fFaire and bright, 
An hardye man and a wight, 

Bastard thoe hee were. 
His mother kept him with all her might, 
ffor he shold not ot noe armed knight 

Have a sight in noe mannere. 
But he was soe savage. 
And lightlye wold doe outrage 20 

To his fl^ellowes in tiere. 
His mother kept him close 
ifoT dread of wicked losse. 

As hend child and deere. 

ffoT hee was soe ffaire and wise, 
His mother cleped him Beutise, 

And none other name ; 
And himselfe was not soe wise 
That hee asked not, I-wis, 

What hee hight of" his Dame. 30 

58 



Soe itt beffell upon a day 
Gingglaine went to play, 

Wild deere to hunt fFor game ; 
And as he went over the lay, 
He spyed a knight was stout and gay, 

That soone he made ffuU tame. 

Then he did on that knights weede, 
And himselfe therin yeede. 

Into that rich armoure ; 
And when he had done that deede, 4.0 

To Glasenbury swithe hee yeede, 

There lay King Arthur. 
And when he came into the hall 
Amonge the lords and ladyes all, 

He grett them with honore. 
And said, " King Arthur, my lord ! 
Suffer me to speake a worde, 

I pray you par amoure : 

" I am a child uncouthe ; 

Come I am out of the south, 50 

And wold be made a knight. 
Fourteen yeere old I am. 
And of warre well I cann, 

Therfore grant me my right." 
Then said Arthur the King strong 
To the child that was soe younge, 

'' Tell me what thou hight ; 
For never sithe I was borne 
Sawe I never heere beforne 

Noe child soe ffaire of sio;ht." 60 

The child said, " By St. Jamc, 
I wott nott what is my name ! 
I am the more unwise ; 

59 



Bur wIkm I (.Iwclkti att home, 
My mother ir) her game 

Cleped mee Ik-aiifise." 
'J hen said Arthur the King, 
And said, " This is a wouderous thing. 

By (Jod and hv St. Uetiise, 
'I hat thou wold be a knight, -q 

And won nott what thou liiglu, 

And art soe Haire and wise! 



*' Now I will give thee a name 
Heere amonge all you in-same; 

For thou art soe flliire and f^ree, — 
I say, by God and by St. Jame, 
Soe cleped thee never thy Dame, 

What woman that ever shec bee ; — 
Call ye him all thius, 
Lybius Disconius; 80 

ffor the love of mee 
Looke yee eall him this name; 
Both in ernest and in game, 

Certes, soe hight shall hee." 

King Arthur anon-right 

With a sword ffaire and bright, 

Trulye that same day 
Dubbed that child a knight, 
And gave him armes bright ; 

florsooth as I you say, go 

Hee gave to him in that ilke 
A rich sheeld all over mite 

With a griffon soe gay 
And tooke him to Sir Gawaine 
ri^or to teach him on the plaine 

Of every princes play. 

60 



When hee was made a knight, 
Of the boone he asked right, 

And said, " My lord soe ffree, 
In my hart I wold be glad lOO 

The ffirst battell if I had 

That men asked of thee." 
Then said Arthur the King, 
" I grant thee thine askinge, 

Whatt battell that ever itt bee ; 
But ever methinke thou art to y[i]ng 
ffor to doe a good fighting. 

By ought that I can see." 



When he had him thus told, 

Dukes, erles, and barons bold, iio 

Washed and went to meate ; 
Of wild ffoule and venison. 
As lords of great renowne, 

Inoughe they had to eate. 
They had not sitten not a stoure. 
Well the space of halfe an hower, 

Talking att their meate, 
There came a damsell att that tyde, 
And a dwarffe by her side, 

All sweating ffor heate ; I20 



The maidens name was Hellen ; 
Sent shee was unto the King, 

A ladyes messenger. 
The maiden was ware and wise. 
And cold doe her message att device, 

Shee was not to fiere ; 
The maid was ffaire and sheene, 
Shee was cladd all in grecne ; 



6i 



Aiui flurrcil uitli MaiiiuleiiKrc ; 
Her saildlc was ovcr^iltc, I -^O 

Ami well honlcTcd with silkc, 

Aiul white was her distcrc. 

'] he liwartc was c ladci with scarlclt fhiic, 
And fliircd well with good crniiiic \ 

Stout he was and kccnc ; 
Amongc all (Christen kind 
Such another might no man find ; 

His ccTcott was of grecne ; 
His haire was yellow as lllower on mold, 
To his ginile hang shining as gold, i^o 

The sooth to tell in veretye ; 
All his shoone with gold were dight, 
All as gay as any knight, 

There sseemed no povertye. 

Teddelvne was his name. 
Wide sprang of him the fame, 

East, west, north and south ; 
Much he cold of game and glee, 
fHdle, crowde, and sowtrye, 

He was a merry man of mouth ; 150 

Harpe, ribble and sautrye, 
He cold much of minstrelsve, 

He w^as a good jcstoure, 
There was none such in noe country ; 
A jolly man fTorsooth was hee 

With ladyes in their bower. 

Then he bade maid Hellen 
i^or to tell her tale by-deene. 

And kncele before the Kin^. 
The maid kneeled in the hall 160 



62 



Among the lords and ladyes all, 

And said, " My lord, without leasing 

" There is a strong case toward ; 
There is none such, nor soe hard. 

Nor of soe much dolour. 
My Lady of Sinadone 
Is brought to strong prison. 

That was of great valoure ; 
Shee prayes you of a knight 
ffor to win her in ffight 170 

With joy and much honor." 
Up rose that younge knight. 
In his hart he was fFull light. 

And said, " My lord Arthur, 

" My covenant is to have that fight 
ffor to winne that lady bright, 

If thou be true of word." 
The King said without othe, 
" Thereof thou saiest soothe. 

Thereto I beare record; 180 

" God thee give strenght and might 
ffor to winne that ladye bright 

With sheeld and with speare dint ! " 
Then began the maid to say, 
And said, " Alas that ilke day 

That I was hither sent ! " 
Shee said, " This word will spring wyde ; 
Sir King, lost is all thy pride. 

And all thy deeds is shent. 
When thou sendest a child i 90 

That is wittlesse and wild, 

To deale doughtilie with dint ! 

63 



Thou hast knights of niicklc mainc, 
Sir PcTc ivall and Sir Clavvainc, 

Hull uisi- ill turiianicnt." 
Tho thf (IwarHc witli great error 
Went untn King Arthur, 

Ami ^aiil, "Sir! \eranient 

"This chilli to l)c a uarrvour, 

Or to doe such a labor, 200 

Itt is not worth one Earthing! 
Or hee that ladve inav see, 
Hee shall have hattells five or three 

Trulye without any leasinge ; 

" Att the Bridge of Perill 

Beside the Adventurous Chappell, 

There is the ffirst beginuig." 
Sir Lybius anon answered 
And said, " I was never aHeard 

ffor no mans threatninge ! 210 

" Somewhat have I lerd 
fFor to play with a swcrd 

There men hath beene slowe. 
The man that tBecthc ffor a threat 
Other by way or by strcete, 

I wold he were to-draw. 
I will the battell undertake ; 
I ne will never fforsake, 

ffor such is Arthurs lawe." 
The made answered alsoe sncll, ;. 220 

And said, " That beseemeth thee well ! 

Who-soc looketh on thee may know 

*' Thou nc durst for thy berde 
Abvid the wind of my swerde, 
By ought that I can see ! " 

64 



Then said that dwarfFe in that stond, 
" Dead men that lyen on the ground, 

Of thee affrayd may bee ; 
But betweene ernest and game, 
I counsell thee goe souke thy dame, 230 

And winne there the degree." 
The King answered anon-right, 
And said, " Thou gettest noe other knight. 

By God that sitteth in Trinytye ! 

If thou thinke he bee not wight, 
Goe and gett thee another knight 

That is of more power." 
The maid ffor ire still did thinke, 
Shee wold neither eate nor drinke 

ffor all that there were ; 240 

Shee sate still, without ffable, 
Till they had uncovered the table. 

She and the dwarffe in ffere. 
King Arthur in that stond 
Comanded of the Table Round, 

Four knights in ffere, : 

Of the best that might be found 
In armes hole and sound. 

To arme that child ffull right ; 
And said, " Through the might o Christ 250 

That in fflomc Jordan was baptiste. 

He shold doe that he hight, 
And become a champyon 
To the Lady of Sinadon, 

And ffell her ffoemcn in ffight." 
To arme him they were ffainc. 
Sir Percivall and Sir Gawaine, 

And arrayed him like a knight ; 

K 65 



TIr- tliiril was Sir Agravaiiic, 
Ami the loiirth was Sir I'.waiiu-, 260 

Thcin right fior to iK-hoKI. 
Ihcy cast on him right gootl silkc, 
A scrcotc as white as any rnilkc 

Thai was worth twenty of goltic ; 

Alsoc an hawhcrkc Hairc and bright, 
Wliich was rtull richclyc dight 

With naylcs good and tfinc. 
Sir (iawainc, his ownc Bather, 
Ilange about his necke there 

A sheeld with a griffon, 270 

And a helme that was Bull rich, 
In all the lanil there was none such. 

Sir Percivall sett on his crownc. 
Sir Agravaine brought him a speare 
That was good everv where 

And of a ffell ffashion. 
Sir Ewaine brought him a steede 
That was good in every neede. 

And as ffeirce as any lyon. 
Sir Lybyus on his steede gan springe, 280 

And rode fforth unto the King, 

And said, " Lord of renowne ! 

" Give me your blessinge 
Without any letting ! 

My will is fforth me to wend." 
The King his hand upp did liilt. 
And his blessing to him gave right 

As a knight eurteou[s] and hende. 
And said, " God that is of might. 
And his mother Marry bright, 290 

That is fflowre of all women, 

66 



Give thee gracce fFor to gone 

ffor to gett the overhand of thy fone, 

And speed thee in thy journey ! Amen ! " 



Second Parte 

Sir Lybius now rideth on his u^ay, 
And soe did that ffaire may, 

The dwarfFe alsoe rode them beside, 
Till itt beffell upon the third day 
Upon the knight all the way 

ffast they gan to chide, 300 

And said, " Lorell and caitive ! 
Tho thow were such ffive, 

Lost is all thy pride ! 
This way keepeth a knight 
That with every man will ffight, 

His name springeth wyde ; 

" His name is William de la Braunche, 
His warres may noe man staunche, 

He is a warryour of great pride ; 
Both through hart and hancli 310 

Swithe hce will thee launche, 

All that to him rides." 
Then said Sir Lybius, 
" I will not lett this nor thus 

To play with him a ffitt ! 
ffor any thing that may betide, 
I will against him ryde 

To looke if that he can sitt ! " 

They rode on them all three 

Upon a ffiire causye. 320 

Beside the Adventurous Chappell 

67 



A knl^bt anon they can sec 

With urnK-^ ^>^>^^^/;* ^^^7;,,,,iu 

Upon the BrulgcnfUrnli. 
He barl a sheeM all .>f greene 
With tlucc Ivons ot goia shecnc, 

RiMu rich and precyous. 
Well aruK-a was that km^ht 

As he shoia goc to Higlit, 330 

As itt was his use. 

WlK-n U- saw Sir l,yl>iu. with sight, 
Anon he went to nm .rr.glu. 

A ,„1 Still to Imn t'^'-'^'^' . , 

, ,V here hv ii.>v "^ "'g'"' 

" Wlio (vasscth here n) 

Certefsl with me must ffight, _ 

Or leave his lumcsse here. 
•Ihcn answered Sir Libyus 
i„cl said, " ft- the love of esus 

Lett us passe now here! ^^o 

Wee be ftar ffroe our rtretnd, 
And have ferr ffor to wend , 
I and this mayden m tere. 

^"' S^eVJ give .- good rest, 

Thow and I will, or wee goe, 
SX stroakes beuveene us tow 

A litle here by west 
Sir Libyus sayd, " Now I see ,5 

T-l ,, itt will none other bee , 
^•^•"Gorfforthanddoethyb^sf, 

Take thv eourse with thy shaftt 
Sou can well thy crartt,, 
ffor 1 ame here all prest. 



68 



Then noe longer they wold abyde, 
But the one to the other gan ryde 

With greatt randaun. 
Sir Libyus there in that tyde 
Smote Sir WiUiam on his side 

With a speare ffelon ; 360 

But Sir WilHam sate soe ffast 
That his stirropps all to-brast, 

He leaned on his arsowne; 
Sir Lybius made him stoupe, 
He smote him over the horse croupe 

In the ffeeld a-downe ; 

His horsse ran ffrom him away. 
Sir William not long lay, 

But start anon upright, 
And said, " Sir, by my-in ffay, 370 

Never beffore this day 

I ffound none soe wight ! 
Now is my horsse gone away ! 
ffight on fool\, I thee pray, 

As thou art a knight worthye." 
Then said Sir Lybius, 
" By the leave of sweete Jesus 

Therto ffull ready I am." 

Then together they went as tytc. 

And with their swords they gan smite; 380 

They ffought wonderous longe ; 
Stroakes together they lett fflinge 
That they ffyer out gan springe 

fFrom of their helmes strong. 
But Sir William de la Braunche 
To Sir I.ybius gan he launchc. 

And smote on his shcild soe ffast 

69 



That one cantcll Bell to tlic ground ; 
Ami Sir Lybiiis att that sonde 

In his hart was agast. 390 

'1 lun Sir Lyhius with all his might 
Defended him anon right, 

Was warryour wight and slye ; 
Coyle and i rest downe right, 
He made to fflv with great might, 

Ot Sir W'ilhams hehiie on hve ; 
And with the jioint of his sword 
He eut of Sir WiUiams heril. 

And touehed him i^iill nve. 
Sir WilHam smote Sir I.yhius thoc 400 

As that his sword hrast in tow 

That many men mi^ht see with eye. 

Then Sir William began to erye 
And savd, " ffor the love of Marrye, 

On live let mce weelde ! 
Itt were great villanye 
ffor to make a knight dye 

Weponlesse in the fTeeld." 
Then spake Sir Lybius 
And sayd, " By the leave of Jesus ! 4.10 

Of lifTe gcttcst thou no space 
But if thou wilt sweare anon, 
Or thou out of the ffelld gone, 

Here before my ftace, 

" And on knees kneele downe, 
And swere by my sword browne 

That thou shalt to Arthur wend, 
And say, ' Lord of great renowne ! 
I am in battell overthrowne ; 

A knight me hither doth send 420 

70 



That men cleped thus, 
Sir Lybius Disconius, 

Unknowen knight and hend.' " 
Sir William mett him on his knee ; 
And the othe there made hee, 

And fforward gan he wend. 

Thus departed all the rout. 
Sir William to Arthurs court 

He tooke the ready way ; 
A sorry case there gan ftall : 430 

Three knights proude and tall 

Sir William mett that day ; 
The three knights all in ffere 
Where his emes sonnes deere, 

Stout they were and gay. 
When they saw Sir William bleed, 
And alway hanged downe his head, 

They rode to him with great array. 

And said, " Cozen Will[iam] ! 

Who hath done to you this shame? 440 

And why bleedest thou soe long ? " 
Hee said, " Sirs, by St. Jame ! 
One that is not to blame ; 

A stout knight and a stronge — 
Sir Lybius Disconius hee hight — 
To fFell his enemyes in ffight 

He is not ffarr to learne ; 
A dwarfe rydcth with him in fere 
As he was his squicr ; 

They ride away ffull yarne. 450 

" But one thing greeveth me sore, 
That he hath made me sweare 
On his sord soc bright, 

71 



That I slioKI never more, 
Till 1 come to King Arthur, 

Stint In' ciav nor night ; 
And alsoe to liini I amc vceldc 
As overcome into the tleeltic 

Hy power o( his might ; 
Nor against him t^or to heare 460 

Neither sheelii nor speare ; 

Thus I have him hiirht." 



Then said the knights three: 
" Well avenged slialt thou bee 

Certes without ftayle ! 
ffor hee one against us three, 
Hee is not worthe a fflec 

ffor to hold hattell ! 
Goe fforth and kcepe thine othe 
Though thou be never soe wroth ; 470 

Wee will him assayle. 
Or he this fforrest passe, 
Wee will his armour unlace, 

Tho itt were double maile." 

Theroff wist nothing that wight 
Sir Lybius, that gentle knight, 

But rode a well good pace ; 
He and that maiden bright 
Made together that night 

Game and great solace. 4H0 

Shee cryed him mercye 
ffor shee had spoken him villanye ; 

Slice prayed him to fforgive her that tyde ; 
The dwarffe was their squier, 
And served them both in ffere 

Off all that they had need. 

12 



On the morrow when itt was day, 
fforthe they rode on their way 

Towards Sinadowne. 
Then they say in their way ^go 

Three knights stout and gay 

Came ryding fFrom Caerleon ; 
To him they sayd anon-right, 
"Traitor, turne againe and ffight! 

Thou shalt lose thy renowne ! 
And that maide ffaire and bright, 

CD ' 

Wee will her lead att night 
Herby unto a towne." 

Sir Lybius to them gan crye, 

" ffor to ffight I am all read ye 500 

Against you all in-same." 
A prince proude of pride, 
He rode against them that tyde 

With mirth sport and game. 
The eldest brother then beere 
To Sir Lybius with a sperc. 

Sir Baner was his name. 
Sir Lybius rode att him anon 
And brake in tow his thigh bone. 

And lett him lye there lame. 510 

The knight mercy gan crye 
When Sir Lybius certainelye 

Had smitten him downe. 
The dwarffe that hight Teodline 
Tooke his horsse by the raine, 

He lept into the arsoone ; 
He rode anon with that 
Unto the mayd where shee sate 

Soe ftayre of ffashyon, 

L 73 



\ 



'1 lien l.m^licil ili.il iiuiitlcn bright, S^o 

And said, " tVorssootli this yt'H'ig knight 
Is a tVull good chainpyon! " 

The second brother, he iK-hcKl 
How [h]is brother lay in the Beihl 

And had lost strenght and might; 
He smote Sir Lybius in that tyde 
On the sheeld with much pride, 

With his spciire i\'u\\ rigiit. 
Sir I.ybius away gan beare 
With iiis good spcare 3^^ 

Ihe helme of that knight. 
The youngest brother then gan ride, 
And hitt Sir Lybius in that tyde 

As a man of much might. 

And said to him then anon, 
" Sir, thou art by St. John 

A f^ell champyowne; 
By God that sitteth in Trinitye, 
ffight I will with thee, 

I hope to beare thee downe." 5+° 

As warryour out of witt. 
On Sir Lybius then hee hitt 

With a ffell t^auchyon ; 
Soe stifflye his stroakcs hee sett. 
That through hclme and basenett 

He carved Sir Lybius crowne. 

Sir Lybius was served in that stead 
When hee ffelled on his head 

That the sword had drawen blood ; 
About his head the sword he waved, — 55^ 

All that hee hitt, fforsoothe hee cleeved. 

As warryour wight and good ■, — 



Sir Lyblus said swithe thoe, 
" One to ffight against two 

Is nothing good." 
ffast they hewed then on him 
With stroakes great and grim ; 

Against them he stifflye stood, 

And through Gods grace 

He smote the eldest in that place 560 

Upon the right arme thoe ; 
Hee hitt him soe in that place, — 
To see itt was a wonderous case, — 

His right arme ffell him ffroe. 
The youngest saw that sight. 
And thought hee had noe might 

To ffight against his ffoe ; 
To Sir Lybius hee did up-yeeld 
His good speare and sheeld ; 

Mercy he cryed him thoe. 570 

Anon Sir Lybius said, " Nay, 
Thou shalt not passe this away — 

By Him that bought mankind — 
But thou and thy brethren twayne 
Plight your trothcs without layine 

That yee will to King Arthur wende, * 

And say, ' Lord of great renovvne ! 
In battaill wee be overcome ; 

A knight us hither hath send 
ffor to yceld thee tower and towune, 580 

And to bee att thy bandowne 

Evermore withouten end.' 

" And but if you will doe soe, 
Ccrtes I will you sloe 

As I am true knight." 

75 



Anon they swarc to him tlioc ; 
'Ifiat thcv woKl to Artluir g<>c, 

Their trothcs anon thtv jiHght. 
Sir I-yl)ius ami that rtairc niav 
Roilc Bortli on the way 590 

rhithcr as they had higlit ; 
'I'ill itt liefVell on the tliircl ilay 
'riiey ffell together in game and plcv, 

I lee and tliat maiden bright. 

They rode ftorthe on west 
Into a vvyde fForrest, 

And might come to noc towne ; 
They ne wist what way best, 
ffor there they must needs rest, 

And there they Hght a-downe. 600 

Amonge the greene eves 
They made a lodge with bower and leaves, 

\^'ith swords bright and browne. 
Sir Lybius and that maiden bright 
Dwelled there all night. 

That was soe ffaire of ffashyon. 

Then the dwarfte began to wake, 
i^or noe theeves shold take 

Away their horsses with guile ; 
Then iiov ffeare he began to quake ; 610 

A great fFyer hee saw make 

ftrom them but a mile. 
"Arise," he said, "worthy knight! 
To horsse that wee were di^ht 

ffor doubt of more perill ! 
Certes I heare a great bost ; 
Alsoe I smell a savor of rost, 

By God and by Saint Gyle ! " 

76 



Third Part 

Sir Lybius was stout and gay, 

And leapt upon his palffrey, 620 

And tooke his sheeld and speare 
And rode fforth ffull ffast. 
Two gyants hee ffound at last, 

That strong and stout were. 
The one was blacke as any sole. 
The other as red as ffyerye cole, 

And ffoule bothe they were. 
The blacke gyant held in his arme 
A fFaire mayd by the barme. 

Bright as rose on bryar; 630 

The red gyant ffull yarne 
Swythe about can turne 

A wild bore on a spitt ; 
ffaire the ffyer gan berne. 
The maid cryed ffull yerne. 

For men shold itt witt ; 
Shee said, " Alas and ever away 
That ever I abode this day 

With two devills for to sitt ! 
Helpe, Mary that is soe mild, 640 

For the love of th[y] child, 

That I be not fforgett ! " 

Sir Lybius said, " By St. Jame ! 
ffor to bring that maid llrom shame 

Itt were ffull great price ; 
But ffor to fight with both in-same 
It is no childs game. 

They be soe grim and grise." 

77 



TTc tookc his course vviilj his sliaft 

As a man that cold his craHt, 650 

Ami lie rode by right assise : 
The l)lacke he smote all soe smart 
'I'Jirough the liver, long and hart, 

That he might never rise. 

Then filed that maiden sheene, 

And thanked Marye, heavens queene, 

Tiiat succour had her sent. 
'llien came mayd Kllen 
And the dvvarffe by-dene, 

And by the hand her hent, 660 

And went into the greaves. 
And lodged them under the leaves 

In a good entent ; 
And shec besought Jesus 
ffor to helpe Sir Lybius 

'J "hat hec was not shent. 

Tile red gy^int smote thore 
Att Sir Lybius with the bore 

As a woolfe that were woode ; 
His dints he sett soe sore, 670 

That Sir Lybius horsse theriore 

Downe to the ground yode. 
Then Sir Lybius with ffeirce hart, 
Out of his saddle swythe he start 

As spartle doth out oi fyer ; 
Feircely as any lyon 
He ffought with his ffawchyon 

To quitt the gy^mt his hyer. 

The gyants spitt sickerlye 

Was more then a cowle tree 680 

That he rosted on the bore; 

78 



He laid on Sir Lybius ffast, 
All the while the spitt did last, 

Ever more and more. 
The bore was soe hott then, 
That on Sir Lybius the grease ran 

Right ffast thore. 
The gyant was stiffe and stronge, 
Fifteen ffoote he was longe ; 

Hee smote Sir Lybius ffull sore. 690 

Ever still the gyant smote 
Att Sir Lybius, well I wott, 

Till the spitt brast in towe. 
Then as man that was wrath, 
ffor a trunchyon fforth he goth 

To ffight against his ftoe. 
And with the end of that spitt 
Sir Lybius sword in three he hitt. 

Then was Sir Lybius wonderous woe. 
Or he againe his staffe up caught, 700 

Sir Lybius a stroke him rought 

That his right arme ffell him ffroe. 

The gyant ffell to the ground, 
And Sir Lybius in that stond 

Smote of his head thoe : 
In a ffrencli Booke itt is ffound. 
To the other he went in that stond. 

And served him right soe. 
He tooke up the heads then 
And bare them to that ftairc maiden 710 

That he had woone in ffight. 
The maid was glad and blythe, 
And thanked God often sithe 

That ever he was made a knight. 

79 



sir Lyhiiis said, " Cicntic cl.iinc, 
Tell nic MOW what is y(nir name 

And wIktc that you were bonif." 
" Sir," she said, " hy St. Janic, 
My rtathcr is of rich Bamc, 

And du'cllcth here bctornc ; y20 

He is a li)rd of mut h might, 
An crlc and a nohlc knight; 

Mis name is Sir Arthore, 
Antl my name is Vyiett, 
That the gyant had besett 

I'\)r the castle ore. 



** As I went on my demeaning 
To-night in the eveninge, 

None evil! then I thought; 
The gyant, with-out leasing, 730 

Out of bush he gan spring, 

And to the fFyer me brought. 
Of him I had becne shent, 
But that God me succour sent 

That all this world hath wrought. 
Sir Knight! God yeeld thee thv meed, 
f^or us that on the roode did bleed, 

And with His blood us bought! " 

Without any more talking 

To their horsses they gan spring, 740 

And rode fTorth all in-same. 
And told the eric in every thing 
How he wan in fTiorhtiniX 

His daughter tlrom woe and shame. 
Then were these heads sent 
Unto King Arthur t^or a present 

With much mirth and game, 

80 



That in Arthurs court arose 
Of Sir Lybius great losse 

And a right good name. y^o 

The erle, ffor that good deede, 
Gave Sir Lybius for his meede 

Sheeld and armour bright. 
And alsoe a noble steede 
That was good in everye need, 

In travayle and in ffight. 



Fourth Parte 

Now Sir Lybius and his may 

Tooke their leave, and rode their way 

Thither as they had hight. 
Then they saw in a parke 760 

A castle stiffe and starke, 

That was ffull marvelouslye dight; 

Wrought itt was with lime and stone, — 
Such a one saw he never none, — 

With towers stiffe and stout. 
Sir Lybius said, " Soe have I blis! 
Worthy dwelling here itt is 

To them that stood in doubt ! " 
Then laughed that maiden bright. 
And sayd, " Here dwcllcth a knight, 770 

The best that here is about, 
Wlio-soe will with him fficlit, — 
Be he baron or be he knight, — 

He maketh him to loute. 

M . 81 



" Soc well lit- lovctli his Icman 
rliat is soc rtairc a woman, 

And a worthy in wccdc, 
Who-soc hringcth a flaircr then, 
A jolv rfawcon as white as swan 

He sliall have to his nieedc. 780 

And if shee he not soc l^right, 
With Sir Gerteron he must Hight ; 

And if he may not speed, 
His //^W shall he ffrom him take, 
And sett rtull hve ujion a stake, 

Trulye withouten dread. 

" The sooth \ ()U may see aiul heere ; 
There is on every corner 

A head or tow fluU right/' 
Sir Lvbius sayd al soe soone, 790 

" By God and by St. John ! 

With Sir Gefferon will I ffight, 
And chalenge the jollv ffiwcon, 
And say that I have one in the townc, 

A lemman al soe bright ; 
And if hec will her see, 
Then I will bring thee, 

Be itt day or bv night." 

The dwarffc savd, " By swcete Jesus! 

Gentle Sir Lybyus Diseoniys, 800 

Thou puttest thee in great pcrill. 
Sir Giffron la ffraudeus. 
In ffightino; he hath an use 

Knights ffor to beguile." 
Sir Lvbius answered and sware, 
And said, " Therof I have no care! 

Bv God and bv St. Gvle, 

82 



I will see him in the fface 
Or I passe out of this place, 

ffor all his subtulle wile ! " 8 lo 

Without any more questyon 
They dwelled still in the towne 

All night there in peace. 
On the morrow he made him readie 
ffor to winne him the masterye 

Certes withouten lease. 
He armed him ffull sure 
In the sayd armor 

That King Arthurs was, 
And his horsse began he to stryde ; 820 

The dwarffe rod by his syde 

To that strong palace. 

Sir Gyffron la ffraudeus 
Rose up, as itt was his use. 

In the morrow tyde 
ffor to honor sweete Jesus. 
Then he was ware of Sir Lybius ; 

As a prince of much pryde 
ffast he rode into that place. 
Sir Jeffron marvailed att that case, 830 

And loud to him did crye 
With voyce loud and shrill : 
" Comest thou ftor good or ill ? 

Tell me now on hye." 

Sir Lybius said al soe tyte, 
" Certes I have greate delight 

D to 

With thee ffor to ffigrht! 
Thou hast said great despite ;- 
Thou hast a leman, none so whyte 

By day or by night 84.0 

83 



As 1 have one in the lowiic, 
rtairer ol tlasliyoii 

I'or to sec with si^^ht. 
rhcrlore ihv j<>Hy Hawcowne, 
I o King Arthur with the crownc 
Bring I will hy right." 

Sir (Jertron said al soc right, 
"VV^iere shall wee see that sight, 

Whether the ftairer hec ? " 
Sir Lybius said, " Wee will flull riglit H50 

In Cardigan see that sight, 

'riicre all men niav itt see; 
In the middes of that markett, 
7'herc shall they both be sett 

To looke on them soe fJrcc ; 
And if my leman be brownc, 
ffor thy jolly i^awcowne 

Just I will with thee." 

Sir (Jet^ron said alsoe then, 

*' I wold ffaine as any man 860 

To-dav att vondertvde. 
All this I grant thee well, 
And out of this castcU 

To Cardigan I will ryde." 
Their gloves were there up yold. 
That fforward to hold, 

As princes proud in prvde. 
Sir Lvbius wold no longer blinn. 
But rode againe to his inn 

And wold no longer abvde. 870 



He said to maid Ellen 

That was soe bright and sheene, 

" Looke thou make thee bowne 



84 



I thee say, by St. Quintin, 

Sir Gefferons leman I will winn : 

To-day shee will come to towne, 
In the midds of this cytye, 
That men may you see, 

And of you bothe the ffashyon ; 
And if thou be not soe bright, 880 

With Sir Geffron I shall ffight 

To winne the jollye ffawcowne." 

The dwarffe answered, " For-thy 
That thou doest a deed hardye 

ffor any man borne. 
Thou wilt doe by no mans read. 
For thou fforest in thy child head 

As a man that wold be lorne ! 
And therfore I thee pray 
To wend fforth on thy way, 890 

And come not him beforne." 
Sir Lybius said, " That were great shame ! 
I had lever with great grame 

With wild horsses to be torne." 



Maid Ellen, ftaire and free. 
Made hast sickerlye 

Her ftor to attyre 
In kc[r]cheys that were white. 
For to doc all his delight. 

With good gold wyer. 900 

A vyolett mantle, the sooth to say, 
ffurrcd well with gryse gay, 

Shee cast about her Iyer ; 
The stones shee had about her mold 
Were precyous and sett with gold, 

The best in that shire, 

«5 



Sir Lybius sett that tl.iirc inav 
On a riglit good pah^rcv, 

Ami rode tiorth all tlircc. 
l.vtrv man to other gan say, Qio 

" llcere coineth a Baire may, 

And loveiye fJor to sec! 
Into the MKirkett hce rode, 
And holdlv there abode 

In the middes ot that eityc. 
Anon they saw (ieffron come ryde, 
And two squiers by his side, 

And na more meanve : 

He bare a sheeldc of grccne, 

Riehelye itt was to be scene; g20 

Ot gold was the bordure, 
night itt was with" fflowcrs 
And alsoe with rich colours, 

Like as itt were an Emperour, 
The squiers did with him ryde ; 
The one bare by his side 

Three shafts good and stoure, 
The other bare, his head upon, 
A gentle jolly Aawcon 

That was laid to wager; 930 

And after did a lady rvde, 
ffi\ire and bright, of much prvde, 

Cladd in purple pall. 
The people came flarr and wvde 
To see that ladyc in that tyde, 

How gentle shee was and small ; 
Her mantle was of purple f^ine. 
Well il'urred with good armine, 

Itt was rich and royall ; 

86 



A sercotte sett about her necke soe sweete 940 

With dyamond and with margarett, 
And many a rich emerall • 

Her colour was as the rose red ; 
Her haire that was on her head, 

As gold wyer itt shone bright; 
Her browes were al soe silke spread, 
ffaire bent in lenght and bread ; 

Her nose was ffaire and right ; 
Her eyen gray as any glasse ; 
Milke white was her fface. 950 

They said that sawe that sight, 
Her body gentle and small, 
' Her beautye ffor to tell all, 

Noe man with tounge might.' 

Unto the markett men gan bring 
Two chaires ffor to sitt in. 

Their bewtye ffor to descrye. 
Then said both old and younge, — 
fforssooth without leasing 

Betweene them was party e, — • 960 

Geffrons leman was ffaire and cleere 
As ever was any rose on bryer, 

fforsooth without lye ; 
Maid Ellen, the messenger. 
Seemed to her but a launderer 

In her nurseryc. 

Then said Sir Geffron la ffraudeus, 
" Sir Knight, by sweet Jesus, 

Thy head thou hast fforlore ! " 
*' Nay ! " said Sir Lybius, 970 

" That was never my use! 

Just I will therfore ; 

87 



And if thou l)c;irf inc downc, 
'lake my head on tliy Hawchyon, 

Ami home with tliee itt lead ; 
And if I heare dowiie thee, 
The ierfliuicon shall goe with niee 

Maugre thv Iiead indeed. 

" What nccekth us more to ehyde? 

But into the saddle let us glydc, 980 

To prove our mastery." 
Either smote on others shecld the while 
With crownacklcs that were of Steele, 

With great envye. 
Then their speares brake assunder ; 
The dints ffared as the thunder 

That eometh out of the skyc. 
Trumpetts and tabours, 
Herawdyes and good desoures, 

Their stroakes ffor to descrye. 99c 

Geffron then began to spcake : 

" Bring mc a spere that will not broke, 

A shaft with one crownall ! 
ffor this young ffe[r]ley l^reke 
Sittcth in his saddle steke 

As stone in castle wall. 
I shall make him to stoope 
Swithe over his saddle croope, 

And give him a great ffill, 
Tho he were as wight a warryour 1000 

As Alexander or Arthur, 

Sir Lancelott or Sir Percivall." 

Then the knidits both tow 
Rode together swithe thoe 
With great rendowne : 

88 



Sir Lybius smote Sir Geffron soe 
That his sheild ffell him iFroe 

Into the ffeeld againe. 
Then laughed all that was there, 
And said without more, loio 

Duke, erle, or barron. 
That " they saw never a knight, 
Ne noe man abide might 

A course of Sir GefFron." 

Another course gan they ryde : 

Sir Geffron was aggreeved that tyde 

ffor hee might not speede. 
He rode againe al soe tyte. 
And Sir Lybius he gan smite 

As a doughtye man of deed. 1020 

Sir Lybius smote him soe ffast 
That Sir Geffron soone he cast 

Him and his horsse a-downe ; 
Sir Jeffrons backe bone he brake 
That the ffolkes hard itt cracke ; 

Lost was his renowne. 
Then they all said, lesse and more, 
That Sir Geffrons had lore 

The white gerffawcon. 
The people came Sir Lybius before, 1030 

And went with him, lesse and more. 

Anon into the towne ; 

And Sir Geffron ffrom the ffeeld 
Was borne home on his sheild , 

With care and rueffull mone. 
The gerffiwcon sent was, 
By a knight that hight Chandas, 

To bring to Arthur with the crownc ; 

N 89 



Ami roK- to him all tli.it dead, 

And uitli liiin he gan to Icadc 1040 

rhc tlaucoii that Sir I.v'bius wan. 
When the King had heard itt read, 
He said to his knights in that stead, 

" Sir Lyhiiis well warr can! 
lie h.itli nie sent with Iionor 
That lie hath done hattells four 

Sinee that he began ; 
I will him send of my treasure, 
ffor to spend to his honor, 

As fialleth rtor sueh a man." 1050 

A hundred pounds ready prest 

Of fBoryins to spend with the best, 

He sent to Cardigan townc. 
'Jhen Sir Lybius held a feast 
lliat lasted forty dayes att least 

With lords of renownc. 
And att the sixth weeke end 
Hee tooke his leave, fTor to wend, 

Of duke, crle, and barron. 



Fifth Parte 

Sir Lybius and his f^aire may 1060 

Rode florth on their way 

Towards Sinadon. 
Then as they rod in a throwe, 
Homes heard they lowd blowe,- 

And hoinds of great game. 
The dwarlTe said in that throwe, 
" That home I well know 

Many yeeres agone ; 

9c 



" Thatt home bloweth Sir Ortes de Lile, 

That served my ladye a while 1070 

Seemlye in her hall ; 
And when shee was taken with guile, 
He fBed from that perill 

West into Worrall." 

But as they rode talking 
They saw a ratch runinge 

Overthwart the way. 
Then said both old and young, 
" ffrom the ffirst begining 

They saw never none soe gay." 1080 

Hee was of all couloures 
That men may see on flowers 

Betweene midsummer and May. 
The mayd sayd al soe soone, 
" Soe fiire a ratch I never saw none, 

Nor pleasanter to my pay ! 

" Wold to God that I him ought ! " 
Sir Lybius anon him caught, 

And gave him to maid Elen. 
They rode fforth all rightcs, 1090 

And told of ffighting with knights 

ffor ladyes bright and sheene. 
They had rydden but a while. 
Not the space of a mile 

Into that fforrest greene ; 
Then they saw a hind sterke. 
And two grayhounds that were like 

The ratch that I of meane. 

They hunted still under the lind 

To see the course of that hind 1 100 

Under the fforrest side. 



91 



Tlicrc bcsitic dwelled that knight 
That Sir Otcs dc Lilc hight, 

A man of niuch pride ; 
I le was cladti all in Inde, 
And rtast pursued alter the hind 

Uj)()n a hay distere; 
Loudc he gan his horne Mow. 
For the hunters shold itt kn(nv, 

And know where he were. r r i o 

As he rode by that woode right, 
There he saw that younge knight 

And alsoe that ffaire may ; 
They dwarfte rode by iiis side. 
Sir Otes bade they shoKl abydc, 

They ledd his ratch away : 
" fireinds," he said, *' why doc you soe? 
Let niv ratch ffrom you goc ; 

Good for you itt were. 
I say to you without lye, I i 20 

This ratch has beene my 

All out this seven yeere." 



Sir Lybius said anon tho, 

" I tookc him with my hands two, 

And with me shall he abyde ; 
I gave him to this maid hend 
That with me dothe wend 

Riding by my side." 
Then said Sir Otes de Lile, 
"Thou puttest thee in great pcrill 1130 

To be slaine, if thou abide." 
Sir Lybius said in that while, 
" I give right nought of thy wile, 

Churle ! tho thou chyde." 

9- 



Then spake Sir Otes de Lile, 
And said, " Thy words be vile! 

Churle was never my name ! 
I say to thee without ffayle, 
The Countesse of Carlile 

Certes was my dame; 1140 

" And if I were armed now 
As well as art thou, 

Wee wold ffight in-same. 
Or thou my ratch ffrom me reve. 
We wold play, ere itt were eve, 

A wonderous strong game." 
Sir Lybius said al soe prest, 
" Goe fforth and doe thy best ; 

Thy ratch with mee shall wend." 
They rode on right west 1 150 

Througe a deepe fforrest. 

Then as the dwarffe them kend. 

Sir Otes de Lile in that stower 
Rode home into his tower. 

And fFor his ffreinds sent. 
And told them anon-rights 
How one of Arthurs knights 

Shamely had him shent. 
And had his ratche away inome. 
Then they sayd all and some, 1 160 

That " Theese shall soone be tane ; 
And never home shall hce come 
Tho he were as grim a groome 

As ever was Sir Gawaine." 

They dight them to armes 
With gleaves and gysarmes, 

As they wold warr on take ; 

93 



Knights ;iiul squicrs 
I,ca|)i «>ii tlitir (listcTcs 

iVor their lords sake. * '7° 

Uj)()ii a hill trulye 

Sir LylMiis they can espye, 

Ryding a well good pace. 
To him gan they loiul crye, 
And said, "Thou shalt dye^ 

ftor thy great trespas! " 
Sir Lybius againc beheld 
How'ffuU was the Reild, 

For many people there was ; 
He said to maid Ellen, 
" fFor this ratch I wcene 

1\i us commeth a careful! case. 



1180 



" I rede that yee withdraw 
Yonder into the woods vvawc. 

Your heads for to hydc ; 
ffor here upon this plaine, 
Tho I shold be slaine, 

The battell I will abyde." 
Into the fforrest they rode ; 
And Sir Lybius there abode ^^9'=> 

Of hm-i what may betyde. 
Then they smote at him with crossebowes, 
With speare, and with bowes turkoys. 

That made him wounds wyde. 

Sir Lybius with his horsse ran. 
And bare downc horsse and man ; 

ffor nothing wold he spare. 
Every man said then 
That hee was the ffeend Sathan 

That wold mankind ffortare ; 

94 



1200 



ffor he that Sir Lybius raught, 
His death wound there he caught, 

And smote them downe by-deene. 
But anon he was besett, 
As a ffish in a nett, 

With groomes ffell and keene ; 

For twelve knights verelye 
He saw come ryding redylye 

In armes ffaire and bright ; 
All the day they had rest, 1210 

For they thought in the fforrest 

To see Sir Lybius that knight. 
In a sweate they were all twelve, — 
One was the lord himselfe 

In they Ryme to read right : — 
They smote att him all att once, 
ffor they thought to breake his bones 

And ffell him downe in'ffight. 

ffast together can they ding ; 

And round they stroakes he gan fflinge 1220 

Among them all in fere ; 
fforsooth without leasing 
The sparkells out gan springe 

Of sheeld and harnesse cleere. 
Sir Lybius slew of them three. 
And four away gan fflee 

And wold not come him nere ; 
The lord abode in that stoure. 
And soe did his sonnes four, 

To sell their .lives deere. 1-30 

Then they gave stroakes rive, 
He one against them five. 

And ffought as they were wood, 

95 



Nye dowiK- tlicy g:in hiiii bring; 
As the water of a sjirin^^ 

Of liiin ran tlic l^loode ; 
His sworil brake by the hike i 
Then was he neere spilt; 

Ik- was fiull nuukl of inootle. 
'Ilic lord a stroakc on him sett 1240 

Through hehiK- and basnett, 

In the skull itt stoode. 

1 hen in a swoone he lowted low e ; 
He leaned on his saddle bow 

As a man that was nye slake ; 
His four sonnes were all a bowne 
ffor to perish his acton, 

Double maile and plate ; 
But as he gan to smart, 
Againe he plucked up his hart, 1250 

As the kinde of his estate ; 
And soone he hent in his ffist 
An axe that hanged on his sadle crest. 

Almost itt was too late. 

Then he fFought as a knight ; 
Their horsses ffcll downe right, 

He slew att stroakes three. 
And when the lord saw the ffight, 
Of his horsse a-downe gan light. 

Away hee ffast gan fflee. 1260 

Sir Lvbius noe longer abode. 
But after him ffast he rode, 

And under a chest of tree 
There he had him killed ; 
But the lord him yeelded 

Att his will tfor to bee, 

96 



And ffor to yeeld him his stent, 
Treasure, land, and rent. 

Castle, hall, and tower. 
Sir Lybius consented therto 1270 

In fforward that he wold goe 

Unto King Arthur, 
And say, " Lord of great renowne ! 
In battell I am overthrowne ; 

And sent thee to honor." 
The lord granted theretill, 
ffor to doe all his will. 

They went home to his tower. 

And anon maiden Ellen 

With knights ffiveteene 1280 

Was ffeitched into the castle. 
Shee and the dwarffe by-deene 
Told of his deeds keenc. 

And how that itt befell 
That hee had presents four 
Sent unto King Arthur, 

That he had woone ffull well. 
The lord was glad and blythe. 
And thanked God often sithe 

And alsoe St. Michall, 1290 

That such a noble knight 
Shold ffor that ladye ffight 

That was soe ffaire and ffree. 
In the towne dwelled a knight : 
Att the ffull ffortnight 

Sir Lybyus gan bee, 

And did hcalc him of his wounds 
Bothe hole and sound 

By the six weekes end. 

o 97 



Then Sir Lyhiiis ami his may 1300 

Rocif florthc on their uav, 

10 Sinacloii to wciul ; 
And alsoc the lord ol that tower 
Went unto King Arthur, 

And prisoner him did \eeld, 
And toll! how a knight younge 
In fTighting hail him woonc, 

And overcome him in the Heeld ; 

And saitl, '' Loni of great renowne! 

I am in battell brought a-downe 13 10 

With a knight soe bolde," 
King Arthur Iiad good game, 
And soe had they all in-same 

That heard that talc soe told. 



Sixth Parte 

Now let us rest awhile 
Of Sir Otes de Lile, 

And tell wee other tales. 
Sir Lybius rode many a mile, 
Sawe adventures many and vile 

In England and in Wales, 1320 

Till itt beffell in the monthe of June, 
When the ffenell hangeth in the towne 

All greene in seemlvc manner. 
The midsummer day is liaire and long ; 
Merry is the ffoules songe, 

The notes of birds on brvar ; 



Sir Lybius then gan ryde 
Along by a river side, 

And saw a fEiire citye 



98 



With pavillyons of much pride, 1330 

And a castle ffaire and wyde, 

And gates great plentye. 
He asked ffast what itt hight : 
The maid said anon-right, 

" Sir, I will tell thee ; 
Men clepeth itt He Dore ; 
There hath beene slaine knights more 

Then beene in this countrye 

" fFor a ladye that is of price, 

Her coulour is red as rose on rise. 1340 

All this cuntry is in doubt 
i-Tor a gyant that hight Mangys, 
There is noe more such theeves ! 

That ladye hee lyeth about ; 
He is heathen, as blacke as pitch ; 
Now there be no more such 

Of deeds strong and stout ; 
What knight that passeth this brigg, 
His armes he must downe ligg, 

And to the gyant lout. 1350 

" He is twenty fFoote of lenght, 
And much more of strenght 

Then other knights jffive. 
Sir Lybius ! now bethinke thee. 
Hee is more grimmncr fior to see 

Then any one alive ; 
He beareth haires on his brow 
Like the bristles of a sow; 

His head is great and stout ; 
Eche arme is the lenght of an ell, 1360 

His ffists beene great and ffcll, 

Dints ftor to drive about." 



99 



Sir I,yl)ius said, " Maiilcii IriuI ' 
On our way wcc will wcmi 

tlor all his stroakcs ill. 
11 Cioil will nic grace send, 
Or this day conic to an cud 

I hope him flor to spill. 
Tho I hv \()ung anil lite, 
I will him sore smyte, '370 

And let God doe His will. 
I beseech God almight 
That I may soe with him iTlght, 

That giant ftor to kill." 

Then they rode f^orth all three 
Unto that ffaire cytye, 

Men call itt lie Dore ; 
Anon Mangy can they see 
Upon a bridge of tree, 

As grimm as any bore; 1380 

His sheild was blacke as ter; 
His paytrill, his crouper, 

Three mammetts there-in were ; 
They were gaylyc gilt with gold ; 
And a spere in his hand he did hold. 

And alsoe his sword in ffcre. 



He cryed to him in despite, 
And said, " ffellow, I thee quite! 

Now what thou art, mee tell ; 
And turne againe al soe tyte 1390 

ffor tliine ownc proffitt. 

It thou love thy selfc well." 
Sir Lvbius said anon-right, 
" King Arthur made me a knight; 

Unto him I made my vow 



100 



That I shold never turne my backe 
ffor noe such devill in blacke. 

Goe ! make thee readye now ! " 

Now Sir Lybius and Mangys, 

Of horsses proud of price 1400 

Together they rode full right ; 
Both lords and ladyes there 
Lay on pount tornere 

To see that seemlye sight, 
And prayed to God loud and still, 
' If that itt were His will, 

To helpe that Cristyan knight; 
And the vile gyaunt 
That beleeveth in Termagant, 

That he might dye in ffight! ' 1410 

Theire speres brake assunder. 
Their stroakes ffared as the thunder, 

The peeces gan out spring. 
Every man had great wonder 
That Sir Lybius had not beene under 

Att the ffirst begininge. 
Anon they drew sords bothe ; 
As men that were ffull wrothe. 

Together gan they dinge : 
Sir Lybius smote Mangyes thoe 1420 

That his sheild ffell him ffroc, 

In the ffeild he gan itt tBing. 

Mangyes gan smite in that stead 
Sir Lybius horse on the head, 

And dashed out his braine -, 
His horsse fell downe dyinge. 
Sir Lybius sayd nothing, 

But start up againc ; 



lor 



All axe in hi. Iiaiul he licijt anon 

That himgc on his sadlc arson, '+30 

And sniDtc a stroakc of mainc 
Thnnigh Mangis horssc svvirc, 
Carved liini throng long and Hver, 
and t|iiitt him well againe. 

Dcscrive the stroakes cold no man 
That were given hetwene them then ; 

To JK'dd peace was no boote thoc ; 
Decpe wounds there they caught, 
ffor they both sore ffonght, 

And cither was others ffoe. '4+o 

fTro : the howcr of prime 
Till it was evensong time, 

They ffought together thoe. 
Sir Lybius thirsted then sore. 
And sayd, " Mangycs, thine ore! 

To drinke lett mc goe ; 

" And I will grant to thee, 
What love thou biddest mee. 

Such happc il thee betyde. 
Great shame itt wold bee 1 + 50 

A knight flor thirst shold dve, 

And to thee litle prydc." 

Mangles granted him his will, 
ffor to drinke his ffill 

Without any more despite. 
As Sir Lybius lay over the banke, 
Through his helmc he dranke ; 

Mancyes G:an him smite 
That into the river he goes. 
But up anon he rose; 1460 

WonderffuU he was dight 



102 



With his armour every deale j 
" Now by St. Micaheel 
I am twise as Hght ! 

"What weenest thout ffeend fere? 
That I unchirstened were 

Or thou saw itt with sight? 
I shall, ffor thy baptise, 
Well quitte thee thy service. 

By the grace of God almight." 1470 

A new battell there began ; 
Either ffast to other ran, 

And stroakes gave with might. 
There was many a gentleman. 
And alsoe ladyes as white as swan, 

They prayed all ffor the knight. 

But Mangis anon in the ffeild 
Carved assunder Sir Lybius sheild 

With stroakes of armes great. 
Then Sir Lybius rann away 1480 

Thither were Mangis sheild lay ; 

And up he can itt gett, 

And ran againc to him ; 
With stroakes great and grim 

Together they did assayle ; 
There beside the watter brimne 
Till it waxed wondcrous dimm, 

Betwccnc them lasted that battell. 
Sir Lybius was warryour wight. 
And smote a stroke of much might; 1+90 

Through hawberke, plate and maile, 
Hee smote of by the shooldcr bone 
His right arme soone and anon 

Into the ffeild with-out ffaile. 



103 



Wlicii thf gy:iiit that gan slx* 
That Ik- slioltl slaiiic hcc, 

Hcc tiled with unit h niainc. 
Sir Lybiiis after him gan hyc, 
And with strong stroakcs mightyc 

Smote his hacke in twaiiic. 1500 

Thus was the gyant dead : 
Sir Lybius smote of his head ; 

'I'lieii was the peojile fFaiiic. 
Sir Lybius bare the head to the towne ; 
They mett hini with a ffaire proecssion, 

The people came him againe. 

A ladye white as the lyllyc fflowcr, 
Hight Madam de Armoroure, 

Received that gentle knight, 
And thanked him in that stoure 15 10 

That hee wold her succour 

Against that ffccnd to Hight. 
Into the chamber shec him ledd, 
And in purple and pall shec him clcdd, 

And in rich royall weede ; 
And profferred him with honor 
ffor to be lord of towne and tower, 

And her owne selfe to meedc. 

Sir Lybius fFrened her in hast, 

And love to her anon he cast, 1520 

ffor shee was ffaire and shcene. 
Alas, that hee had not beene chast! 
ffor afterwards att the last 

Shee did him betray and tcene. 
Twelve monthcs and more 
Sir Lybius tarryed thore, 

And his mayden with renowne, 



104 



That he might never out scape 
ffor to helpe and ffor to wrake 

The ladye of Sinadone ; 1530 

ffor that ffaire lady 
Told more of sorcery 

Then such other ffive ; 
Shee made him great melodye, 
Of all manner of minstrelsye 

That any man cold discreeve. 
When he looked on her fface, 
Him thought certainlye that hee was 

In Paradice alive, 
With ffantasye and ffayrye ; 15+0 

And shee bleared his eye 

With ffalse sorcerye. 



Seventh Parte 

Till itt beffell upon a day 
He mett with Ellen that may 

Betwene the castle and the tower ; 
Then unto him shee gan say, 
" Thou art ffalse of thy ffay, 

Unto King Arthur ! 
ffor the love of that ladye 
That can soe much curtesye, '550 

Thou doest thee dishonor ! 
My ladye of Sinadon 
May long lye in prison. 

And that is great dolour ! " 

Sir Lybius hard her speake. 
Him thought his hart wold breake 
ffor sorrow and ffor shame. 



105 



Att :i jiostcrnc tlicrc 1)cskIc 
By night tlicy g;in out ryilc 

tVroni that gentle dame. > 5°° 

Hee tool-c witli liim liis good steede, 
His sheeld and his best weede, 

And rode tVorth all in-same; 
And the steward stout in Here, 
lie maile him his squier, 

Sir CJetVelett was his name. 



Thev rode fforth on their way, 
But lightly on their journey, 

On hay horsses and brownc ; 
'I'ill itt bertell upon a day 
They saw a citye Haire and gay, 

Men eall itt Sinadowne, 
With a castle hye and wyde, 
And pavillyons of much pride 

That were of fftiire ffashyon. 
Then said Sir Lybius 
" 1 have great wonder ot an use 

That he saw in the townc ; 



1570 



They gathered dirt and mire ffull fFast : 

Which befFore was out cast, ^5 ^ 

They gathered in, I-wis. 
Sir Lybius said in hast, 
" Tell me now, niayd chast. 
What betokeneth this ? 
They take in all their hore 
That was cast out beH:ore ! 

Methinke they doe amisse." 
Then sayd mayd Ellen, 
" Sir Lybius, without leasing 

I will tell thee why itt is. ^590 

io6 



" There is no king soe well arrayed, 
Tho he had before payd, 

That there shold take ostell, 
ffor a dread of a steward 
That men call Sir Lamberd ; 

He is the constable of the castle. 
But ride into the castle gate, 
And aske thine inne theratt 

Both ffaire and well ; 
And or he bidd thee nede, 1600 

Justing he will thee bedd. 

By God and by St. Michaell ! 

" And if he beare thee downe, 
His trumpetts shalbe bowne, 

Their beaugles ffor to blow; 
Then over all this towne, 
Both mayd and garsowne 

But dirt on thee shall throwe ; 
And but thou thither wend. 
Unto thy lives end i6io 

Cowarde thou shalt be know; 
And soe may King Arthur 
Losse all his great honor 

For thy deeds slowe ! " 

Sir Lybius sayd, " That were despite! 
Thither I will goe ffull tyte, 

It I be man on live ; 
ffor to doe Arthurs delight, 
And to make that lady quite. 

To him I will drive. 1620 

Sir Geftclett, make thee ready. 
And lett us now goe hastilyc. 

Anon that wee were bowne." 



107 



Thcv roilc llorlli on tlicir gate 
Till they tame to the castle gate 
That was of great renowne, 

And there they asked ostell 
In that Baire c astell 

rtor a venturous knight. 
Ihc porter ffaire and well 1630 

Lett them in tVull snell, 

And asked anon-right, 
" Who is your governor? " 
They said^ " King Arthur, 

A man of much might. 
To be a king he is worthye, 
He is the fflowcr of chivalrye, 

His ffone to ffell in ffight." 

The porter went witliout liable 

To his lord the constable, i ^+0 

And this tale him told : 
" Sir, without any ffable, 
Of Arthurs round table 

Be comcn two knights bold. 
The one is armed ffull sure 
With rich and royall armoure, 

With three lyons of gold." 
The lord was gladd and blythe. 
And said to them ffull swythe, 

Just with them hee wold: 1650 

" Bidd them make them yare 
Into the ffeeld ffor to ffare 

Without the castle gate." 
The porter wold not stent, 
But even anon went 

To them lightlye att the yate, 

108 



And sayd anon-rightes, 
" Yee adventurous knights, 

ffor nothing that yee lett ; 
Looke your sheelds be good and strong, 1660 

And your speres good and long, 

Sheild, plate, and basnett, 

" And ryde you into the ffeild ; 
My lord with speare and sheild 

Anon with you will play." 
Sir Lybius spake words bold, 
And said, " This tale is well told. 

And pleasant to my pay." 
Into the feld they rode. 
And boldlye there abode 1670 

In their best array. 
Sir Lamberd armed iTull weele 
Both in iron and in Steele 

That was both stout and gay ; 

His sheeld was sure and ffine. 
Three bores heads was therin 

As blacke as brond brent, 
The bordure was of rich armin, — 
There was none soe quent a ginn 

ffrom Carlile into Kent, — 1680 

And of the same paynture 
Was his paytrell and his armoure. 

In lande where ever he went. 
Two squiers with him did ryde, 
And bare three spearcs by his side 

To deale with doughtye dint. 

Then that stout stewared 
That hight Sir Lamberd 

Armed him ffull well and bright, 

109 



Ami roiic into tlu- ticild ward — 1690 

rtcirccly ^is ;inv lilibard 

'Ilicrc .iIkkIc him that knight, 
lliin tookc a spcarc of great sliapc ; 
Mc thought hi- canic to late. 

When he liiin saw with sight, 
Soone he rode to liini tliat stond 
With a speare that was round, 

As a man ot nuu h might. 

Either smote on others sheeld 

That the peeccs ffell in the ffeild 1700 

Of theire spearcs long. 
Every man to other tolde 
*' That younge knight is tTull bold." 

To him with a speare he fHoungc ; 
Sir Lamberd did stifBye ssitt : 
He was wrath out ot his witt 

ifov ire and fJor tcene. 
And sayd, " Bring mc a speare! 
ffor this knight is not to lerc, 

Soone itt shalbe scene." 1710 

Then thev tooke shaftes round, 
With crownalls sharpe groimd, 

And ffast to-gether did run ; 
Either proved other in that stond 
To give either theire deaths wound, 

With harts as fFeirce as any lyon. 
Lamberd smote Sir Lybius thoe 
That his sheeld ffell him ffroe 

Into the ffeild a-downe; 
Sir Lamberd him see hitt 1720 

That imnethes hee might sett 

Upright in his arsowme, 

1 10 



His shaft brake with great power. 
Sir Lybius hitt him on the visor 

That of went his helme bright ; 
The pesanye, ventayle, and gorgere, 
With the helme fflew fforth in fere, 

And Sir Lamberd upright 
Sate rocking in his sadle 
As a chyld in a cradle 1730 

Without maine and might. 
Every man tooke other by the lappe, 
And laughed and gan their hands clappe, 

Barron, burgesse, and knight. 

Sir Lamberd, he thought to sitt bett ; 
Another helme he made to ffett, 

And a shaft ffull meete. 
And when they together mett, 
Either other on their helmes sett 

Strokes grim and great. 1 740 

Then Sir Lamberds speare brast. 
And Sir Lybius sate soe l^ast 

In the saddle there hee sett. 
That they constable Sir Lamberd 
ffell of his horsse backward, 

Soe sore they there mett. 

Sir Lamberd was ashamed sore. 
Sir Lybius asked if he wold more. 

He answered and said, *' Nay ! 
ffor sithe that ever I was bore, 1750 

Saw I never here beffore 

None ryde soe to my pay ! 
By the faith that I am in, 
Thou art come of Sir Gawayines kin, 

Thou art soe stout and gay. 



Ill 



If lIkmi wilt tlight rtor my l.ulyc, 
Welcome ihoii art to mcc, 
Hy my trotii I say ! " 

Sir I,yhius sayil, " Sikcrlyc 

I will flight for mv hulvc ; 1760 

I promised sou to K\n^ Arthur; 
But I IK- NS'ott ]\n\v nc whv, 
Who docs her that villanyc, 

Nc what is her dolor ; 
But this maid that is her meseiiger, 
Certes has brought me here 

Her fior to succour." 
Sir Lamherd said in that stoiid 
^' Welcome, Sir Knight of the Table Rouml, 

Into my strong tower!" '770 

Then mayd Ellen anon-rightes 

Was f^c'itched t^'orth with five knights 

Bcf^ore Sir Lamherd. 
Shee and the dwarfFe by-deene 
Told of six battells kccne 

That he had done thitherward : 
They savd that Sir Lybius then 
Had fTought with strong men, 

And beene in stowers hardyc. 
Then they were glad and blythe, 1780 

And thanked God alsoe sithe 

That he were soe mio;htve. 

They welcomed him with mild cheere, 
And sett them to supper 

With much mirth and game. 
Sir Lybius and Sir Lamberd in llere 
Of ancyents that befTore were 

Talked both in-same. 



r 12 



Sir Lybius sayd, " With-out ffable, 

Tell me now, Sir Constable, ^790 

What is the knights name 
That hath put in prison 
My ladye of Sinadon 

That is soe gentle a dame ? " 

Sir Lamberd said, " Soe mote I gone, 
Knights there beene none 

That dare her away lead ; 
Two clark.es beene her fFone, 
ffull ffalse in body and in bone, 

That hath done this deed. 1800 

They be men of masterye 
Their artes ffor to reade of sorcerye ; 

Mabam they hight one in deede. 
And Iron hight the other verelye, 
Clarckes of nigromancye, 

Of them wee haue great dread. 

" This Mabam and Irowne 
Have made in the towne 

A palace of quent gin ; 
There is no erle ne barron 18 10 

That has hart as lyon 

That dare come therin ; 
Itt is all of the ffaierye 
Wrought by nigromancye, 

That wonder it is to winne. 
There they keepe in prison 
My ladye of Sinadowne, 

That is of knights kinn. 

" Oftentimes wee her crye ; 

ffor to see her with eye, 1820 

Therto we have no might. 

Q 113 



I Ilis Mah.iin ami Iioii triilvc 
I l.ul suorcnc to cicatli triilvc 
I Itr dcatli iYor to cliglit, 
But if slice grant iiiitill 
rtor to do Mahanis will, 

Aiul give liiin all her right 
Ol all that tlukedonie Bayrc, 
Theroi is my hulye hevre 

'J hat is soc iiuuh of mi('ht. 



1H30 



" Shcc is soc meeke and soe flaire; 
Therfore wee he in dispayre 

f^or the dolour that shces in." 
Then sayd Sir Lvbius, 
"Through the heipe of Jesus, 

That ladye I will winne ; 
And Mabam and Iron, 
Smite of there anon 

Theire heads in that stoure, 
And wine that lady bright, , 3 , q 

And brinff her to her rieht 

With joy and much honor." 

Then there was no more tales to tell 
In that strong castle. 

To supp and make good cheere, 
The barrons and burgesse all 
Came to that seemlye hall 

iTor to listen and heare 
How Sir Lybius had wrought ; 
And if the knight were ought, 1850 

His talking for to harke. 
They iTound them sitting in fTere 
Talking, att their supper, 

Of knights stout and starke. 

11 + 



Eighth Parte 

And after they went to rest, 

And tooke their likeing as them list 

In that castell all night. 
On the morrow anon-right 
Sir Lybius was armed bright ; 

ffresh he was to ffight. i86o 

Sir Lamberd led him algate 
Right unto the castle gate ; 

Open they were ffull right ; 
No man durst him neere bringe 
fForsooth, with-out leasing, 

Barron, burgess, ne knight. 

But turned home againe. 
Sir Gefflet his owne swaine 

Wold with him ryde. 
But Sir Lybius ffor certaine 1870 

Sayd he shold backe againe, 

And att home abyde. 
Sir Gefflett againe gan ryde 
With Sir Lamberd ffor to abyde ; 

And to Jesu Christ they cryed, 
ffor to send them tydings gladd 
Of them that long had 

Destroyed their welthes wyde. 

Sir Lybius, knight curteous. 

Rode into that proud palace, 1880 

And att the hall he lidu. 
Trumpetts, homes, and shaumes, ywis, 
He ffound beffore the hye dese. 

He heard, and saw with sight. 

115 



A ffayrc ffvi-T tlicrt- was stout aiul stowrc 

^ t ^ 

In the iiiiclds of tlir llorc, 

lirrning Hairc aiul bright. 
1 hen Hurthcr in hee yeed, 
And tookc with him his stecde 

That helped him to flight. 1890 

fliirthermore lie began to passe, 
And beheld then cvcryc place 

All about the hall ; 
Of nothing, more ne lessc, 
He saw no bodv that there was, 

But minstrells clatlde in pall, 
With harpe, ffidlc and [r]ote, 
And alsoe witli organ note, — 

(Jreat mirth they ma(ie all, — 
And alsoe fiddle and sautrye ; igco 

Soe much of minstrelsye 

Ne say he never in hall. 

Before every man stood 
A torch ffayre and good, 

Brening \{u\\ bright. 
Sir Lybius evermore yode 
fFor to witt with egar mood 

Who shold with him ffight. 
Hee went into all the corners. 
And beheld the pillars 19 10 

That scemelye were to sight ; 
Of jasper fHne and cristall, 
All was ^Flourished in the hall ; 

Itt was i^ull flaire and bright. 

The dores were all ot brasse. 
And the windowes of ifaire glassc, 
That ymagyrye itt was drive. 

116 



The hall well painted was ; 
Noe ffairer in noe place ; 

Marvelous ffor to descrive. 1920 

Hee sett him on the hye dese : 
Then the minstrells were in peace 

That made the mirth soe gay, 
The torches that were soe bright 
Were quenched anon-right, 

And the minstrells were all away ; 

The dores and the windowes all. 
They bett together in the hall 

As it were strokes of thunder ; 
The stones in the castle wall 1930 

About him downe gan ffall ; — 

Thereof he had great wonder ; — 
The earth began to quake, 
And the dese ffor to shake 

That was him there unnder ; 
The hall began for to breake. 
And soe did the wall eke. 

As they shold ffall assunder. 

As he sate thus dismayd, 

He held himselfe bctrayd. 19+0 

Then horses heard hee nay : 
To himselfe then he sayd, 
" Now I am the better apayd. 

For yett I hope to play." 
Hee looked fforth into the fieild. 
Saw there with speare and sheild 

Men of armes tway. 
In purple and pale armoure 
Well harnished in that stoure. 

With great garlands gay. 1450 

117 



I lu niK I , line ryiling into tlic hall, 
And to liiin thus gan call, 

"Sir Knight advciuuroiis ! 
Sni h a case tlurc is hftall ; 
1 ho thou hcc jiroiicic in pall, 

flight thou inust with us. 
I hold thcv ijucnt ol ginnc 
If thou my ladyc wiiinc 

That is in prison." 
Sir Lvbius saiil anon-right, i960 

" All'ffrcsh I am ffor to Bight, 

With the hclpc ot (Joddcs Sonne." 

Sir Lybvus with gooti hart 
ffast into the saddle he start; 

In his hand a speare he hent, 
And ffcircly he rode him till, 
His enemy es ilor to spill ; 

ffor that was his entent. 
But when they had together mett, 
Eitlier on others helme sett ^97° 

With spearcs doughtye dent. 
Mabam his speare all to-brast ; 
Then was Mabam evill agast, 

And held him shamefiuUy shent. 

And with that stroke ftelowne 
Sir I^vbius bare him downe 

Over his horsse tayle ; 
rior Mabams saddle arsowne 
Brake there-with, and tell downe 

Into the ffeild without tlayle. 1980 

Well nve he had him slone ; 
But then came ryding Iron 

In a good hawberke ot mayle ; 

118 



All ffresh he was to ffight, 
And thought he wold anon-right 
Sir Lybius assayle. 

Sir Lybius was of him ware, 
And speare unto him bare, 

And left his brother still. 
Such a stroke he gave hime thore 1990 

That his hawberke all to-tore ; 

That liked him ffull ill. 
Their speares brake in two ; 
Swords gan they draw tho 

With hart grim and grill, 
And stifflye gan to other ffight ; 
Either on other proved their might, 

Eche other ffor to spill. 

Then together gan they hew. 

Mabam, the more shrew, 2000 

Up he rose againe ; 
He heard and alsoe knew 
Iron gave strokes ffew ; 

Therof he was not ffaine ; 
But to him he went ffijU right 
ffor to helpe Iron to ffight. 

And avenge him on his enemye. 
Tho he were never soe wroth, 
Sir Lybius fought against them both 

And kept himselfc manlye. 2010 

When Mabam saw Iron, 
He ffought as a lyon 

The knight to slay with wreake. 
Beffore his ffiirdar arsowne 
Soone he carved then downe 

Sir Lybius steeds necke. 

119 



Sir Lyhius was a worthy warrymir, 

Aiul smote a (WO his thyc in that stoiirc, 

Skiiic, hone, aiul l>lootl. 
Then hcliK-cl him not liis clcrgyc, 2020 

Neither his Balse soreeryc, 

lUit tlowiic he rtell with sorry moode. 

Sir Lvlnus of liis horsse aUght, 
Witli Mahani flor to ffight. 

In the rteild botli in ffere 
Strong stroakes they gave with might, 
'I'liat sprakeles sprang out ffuH bright 

ffrom helme and harnessc clecre. 
As either ffast on other bett, 
Rotli their swords mett, 2030 

As yec may now hcarc. 
Mabam, that was the more shrew, 
'I'hc sword of Sir Lybius he did hew 

In two quite and cleare. 

Then Sir Lybius was quite ashamed. 
And in his hart cvi[l] agramed 

flor he had lost his sword, 
And his steed was lamed. 
And he shold be defamed 

To King Arthur his lord. 2040 

To Iron lithelye he ran, 
And hent up his sword then 

That sharpe edge had and hard, 
And ran to Mabam right 
And fFast on him gan ffight, 

And like a madman he feared. 

But ever then ffought Mabam, 
As he had beene a wyld man, 
Sir Lybius ffor to sloe. 



120 



But Sir Lybius carved downe 2050 

His sheild with that ffawchowne 

That he tooke Iron ffroe : 
True tale ffor to be told, 
The left hand with the sheild 

Away he smote thoe. 
Then sayd Mabam him till 
" Sir ! thy stroakes beene ill ! 

Gentle knight, now hoe, 

" And I will yeeld me to thee 

In love and in loyaltye 2060 

Att thine owne will. 
And alsoe that lady ffree 
That is in my posstee. 

Take her I will thee till ; 
ffror through that shrueed dint 
My hand I have tint ; 

The veinim will me spill ; 
fforsooth without othe 
I venomed them both. 

Our enemyes ffor to kill." 2070 



Sir Lybius sayd, *' By my thrifft 
I will not have of thy gift 

ftor all this world to winn ! 
Thcrfore lay on stroakes swythc ! 
The one shall cut the other blythe 

The head of by the chin ! " 
Then Sir Lybius and Mabam 
ftought together ffast then. 

And lett ftor nothing againe ; 
That Sir Lybius that good knight 2080 

Carved his helme downe right. 

And his head in twaync. 

R 121 



Xiiitli I'.irtc 

Now is M;il)am slaine ; 

And to Ironi he went againc, 

With sword (irawiR- to fhght ; 
fTor to have cloven his braiiic, 
I tell ynu rtor eertaiiie 

He went to hini rtull right; 
Hut when he came there, 
Away he was bore 2090 

Into what place he nist. 
He sought him rfor the nones 
Wyde in many woones ; 

To fifight more him list. 

As he stood, and him bctiiought 
That itt wold be deere bought 

That he was ffrom him tare, 
ffor he wold with sorccrve 
Doe much tormen[tr]ye, 

And that was much care. 2100 

He tooke his sword hastilve, 
And rode upon a hill hye. 

And looked round about. 
Then he was ware of a \allev ; 
Thitherward he tooke the way 

As a Sterne knight and stout. 



As he rode by a river side 
He was ware of him that tvde 

Upon the river brimm : 
He rode to him ffull hott, 21 10 

And of his head he smote, 

ffast by the chinn ; 

122 



And when he had him slaine, 
i^st hee tooke the way againe 

For to have that lady gent. 
As soone as he did thither come, 
Of his horsse he light downe, 

And into the hall hee went 

And sought that ladye ffaire and hend, 

But he cold her not find; 2120 

Therfor he sighed ffull sore. 
Still he sate mourning 
ffor that ladye ffaire and young ; 

For her was all his care ; 
He ne wist what he doe might ; 
But still he sate, and sore he sight. 

Of joy hee was ffull bare. 

But as he sate in that hall, 

He heard a window in the wall, 

ffaire itt gan unheld ; — 2130 

Great wo?uier there with-all 
In his hart gan ffall ; — 

As he sate and beheld, 
A worme out gan pace 
With a womans ffice 

That was younge and nothing old. 
The wormes tayle and her wingcs 
Shone fiayre in all thinges. 

And gay ffor to beholde. 

Grislye great was her taile, 2140 

The clawes large without fiayle ; 

Lothelye was her bodye. 
Sir Lybius swett for heate. 
There sate in his seate 

As all had beene a ffire him by. 



123 



1 Irii was Sir Lvl>iiis cvill agast, 
Aiui thought Ills hoilv wold hrast. 
I hen shcc- iiclghcd hidi iicrt- ; 
Aiul or Sir Lyhius lit wist, 

The wornic with month him kist, 2150 

Ami colled about iiis lyre. 

And after that kissing, 
riie wormes tayle and Ikt wing 

ftell away her Hroe ; 
She was ffaire in all thing, 
A woman without leasing ; 

Fairer he saw never or thoe. 
Shee stood upp al soe naked 
As Christ had her shaped. 

Then was Sir Lybius woe. 2 i 60 

Shec sayd, " God that on the rood gan bleed. 
Sir Knight, quitt thee thy meede, 

i\ov thou my t^onc wold sloe. 

" Thou hast slaine now ftull right 
Two clarkes wicked of might 

That wrought by the fleende. 
East, west, north and south. 
They were masters of their mouth ; 

Manv a man they have shend. 
Through their inchantment, 2170 

To a worme they had me meant, 

Ne woe to wrapp mc in 
Till I had kissed Sir Gawaine 
That is a noble knight certaine. 

Or some man ot his kinn. 

ffor thou hast saved my lifFe, 
Castles hftv and ffive 

Take to thee I will, 



124 



And my selfe to be thy wifFe 

Right without striffe, 2180 

If itt be your will." 

Then was he glad and blythe, 
And thanked God often sythe 

That him that grace had sent, 
And sayd, " My [lady] faire and ffree, 
All my love I leave with thee, 

By God omnipotent ! 
I will goe, my ladye bright. 
To the castle gate ffull right, 

Thither ffor to wend 2190 

fFor to feitch your geere 
That yee were wont to weare. 

And them I will you send. 

" Alsoe, if itt be your will, 
I pray you to abyde still 

Till I come againe." 
" Sir," shee said, " I you pray 
Wend fforth on your way, 

Therof I am ffaine." 

Sir Lybius to the castle rode, 2200 

There the people him abode ; 

To Jesu Christ gan they crye 
ffor to send them ty dings glad 
Of them that long had 

Done them tormentrye. 
Sir Lybius is to the castle come. 
And to Sir Lamberd he told anon, 

And alsoe the barronye, 
How Sir Mabam was slaine 
And Sir Iron, both twayine, 22 10 

By the helpe of mild Marye. 

125 



when that knight sol- kccnc 
Had tolil how itl had hcciic 

To thcrn all hy-tlcciic, 
A rich rohc good and time, 
Well rtiirrcd with good ermine, 

Jrlc i)cnt that ladyc shccnc ; 

Kcrchcrs and garlanils rich 
He sent to her privilichc, 

That mavd ho woKl home bring. 2220 

And when sIkc was readyc dight, 
Thither they went anon-right, 

Both old and young. 

And all the tVolke ot Sinadowne 
With a rtaire procession 

The ladyc home tliey tlett. 
And when they were come to towne, 
Of precyous gold a rich crowne 

There on her head they sett. 

They were glad and hlythe, 2230 

And thanked God often sithe 

That ffrom woe them had brought. 
All the lords of dignitye 
Did him homage and ffealtye, 

As of right they ought. 

They dwelled seyen dayes in the tower 
There Sir Lambcrd was goyernor, 

With mirth, joy, and game ; 
And then they rode with honor 
Unto King Arthur, 2240 

The knights all in-same. 



G 



ffinis 
126 



CHILDE MAURICE 



Childe Maurice hunted ithe silven wood 
He hunted itt round about, 

And noebodye that he ffound therin, 
Nor none there was with-out. 



And he tooke his silver combe in his hand, 

To kembe his yellow lockes ; 
He sayes, " Come hither, thou litle ffoot page, 

That runneth lowly e by my knee ! 
ffor thou shalt goe to John Stewards wiffe 

And pray her speake with mee. lo 

" And as itt £Falls out many times. 

As knotts beene knitt on a kell. 
Or marchant men gone to leeve London 

Either to buy ware or sell, 

" I, and greete thou doe that ladye well. 

Ever soe well ffroe mee, — 
And as itt ffalles out many times 

As any hart can thinke, 

" As schoole masters are in any schoole house 

Writting with pen and iinke, — 20 

ffor if I might, as well as shee may, 

This night I wold with her speake. 

" And heere I send her a mantle of grcene. 

As grcene as any grasse, 
And bidd her come to the silver wood 

To hunt with Child Maurice ; 



127 



" Ami there I send licr a ring of gold, 

A ring of prccyous stone, 
And liiiid lier come to the silver \vof)d ; 

Let rtor no kimi of man." 30 

One whilr thi^ litle hoy he yotle, 

Another while lie ran ; 
Until he came to John Stewarils hall, 

I -wis, he never hlan. 

And of nurture the child had go(id ; 

Hce ran up hall and bower Brec, 
And when he came to this lady fiaire, 

Saycs, " God vou save and see ! 

" I am come fFrom C'.hild Maurice, 

A message unto thee ; 40 

And Child Maurice, he grcetes you well, 

And ever soe well lirom mee. 

" And as itt ffalls out oftentimes, 

As knotts beene knitt on a kell, 
Or marchant men gone to leeve London, 

Either ffor to buy ware or sell, 

" And as oftentimes he greetes you well 

As any hart can thinke, 
Or schoolemasters in any schoole 

Wry ting with pen and inke ; 50 

" And heere he sends a mantle ot greene, 

As greene as any grasse. 
And he bidds you come to the silver wood, 

To hunt with Child Maurice. 

128 



" And heere he sends you a ring of gold, 

A ring of the precyous stone, 
He prayes you to come to the silver wood, 

Let ffor no kind of man." 

" Now peace, now peace, thou litle ffootpage, 

ffor Christes sake, I pray thee! 60 

fFor if my lord heare one of these words. 
Thou must be hanged hye ! " 

John Steward stood under the castle wall. 

And he wrote the words everye one, 
And called unto his horskeeper, 

" Make readye you my steede ! " 
I, and soe hee did to his chamberlaine, 

" Make readye then my weede ! " 

And he cast a lease upon his backe. 

And he rode to the silver wood ; 70 

And there he sought all about, 

About the silver wood. 

And there he ffound him Child Maurice 

Sitting upon a blocke. 
With a silver combe in his hand 

Kembing his yellow locke. 

He sayes, " How now, how now, Child Maurice? 

Alacke ; how may this bee?" 
But then stood up him Child Maurice, 

And sayd these words trulye : 80 

*' I doe not know your ladye," he said, 

" If that I doe her see." 
" ffor thou hast sent her love tokens. 

More now then two or three ; 



129 



" ffor thou hast sent her a mantle ofgreenc, 

As greeiie as any grasse, 
Ami bade her come to the silver woode 

To hunt with Child Maurice; 

"And tliou Aast sent her a ring of gold, 

A ring of prec yoiis stone, go 

And hade her come to the silver wood. 

Let Bor noe kind of man. 

*' And by my fJaith, now, Child Maurice, 

The tone of us shall dye ! " 
" Now be my troth," sayd Child Maurice, 

And that shall not be I." 

But hce pulled forth a bright browne sword 

And dryed itt on the grasse, 
And soe ffast he smote att John Steward, 

I-wisse, he never rest. lOO 

Then hce pulled fforth his bright browne sword, 

And dryed itt on his sleeve ; 
And the ffirst good stroke John Stewart stroke. 

Child Maurice head he did cleeve ; 

And he pricked itt on his swords poynt, 

Went singing there beside, 
And he rode till he came to that ladye ftiire 

Wheras this ladvc lyed ; 

And saves, " Dost thou know Child Maurice head 

If that thou dost itt see ? 1 1 o 

And lapp itt soft, and kisse itt offt, 

tior thou lovcdst him better then mee." 



130 



But when shee looked on Child Maurice head, 

Shee never spake words but three, 
" I never beare no child but one, 

And you have slaine him trulye." 

Sayes, " Wicked be my merrymen all, 

I gave meate, drinke, and clothe! 
Bur cold they not have holden me 

When I was in all that wrath? 120 

"fFor I have slaine one of the curteousest knights 

That ever bestrode a steed ! 
See have I done one ^the fairest ladyes 

That ever ware womans weede ! " 



ffi 



nis 



131 



I'llII I Is IfO!' 



Slu-pardcs, hoc! slicphanls, hoc! 

1 larkcs how Pliillis callcs thcc! La: La: La: 

Phili , hoc: Philhs, hoc! 

" Sliall I lose my PliilHs? noc, noc, noc ! " 

" What ailcs thcc, shcpanl, that thou lookc soc sadd ? 

Where is thy lovely lasse shold make thcc ghuld ? " 

Ay inc ! my mistress proves untrue, 
\iul mv l()\cly lasse hidds mc adew!" 



(( 



" Shcpards, ffye ! Sheperds, ffyc ! 

Doe not wrong thy lasse, and noe cause whye." lo 

" Phillis, noc, PhilHs, noe! 

But it shee prove light in love, He let her goe." 

Thus wee poorc mayds must beare the blame. 

Which inconstant men deserve the same. 

n ought be ill, tis our amisse, 

But a womans word is noe judge in this. 

" Come away ! Come away I 

Sec ! the lovelye lasse tripps ore the lay." 

" Lett her goe ! lett her goe ! 

Never more shall my love say mee noe." 20 

" ffyc shepard ! thou thy love dost wrong! 

rtor maides, thev dare not doe amidst a throng." 

" O, beg I did but one pore kisse ; 

But shee with coy disdainc said noe bv Ivs." 

" Jelous love, jelous love, 

Hcraftcr doth unconstant prove." 

" Many ffind, many ffind 

Women and their words arc like the winde. 



i"^2 



Men sweare they love, and do protest ; 

But when a woman sweares, shee doth but jest. 30 

Who jestes with love, playes with a bayte 

That doth wound the hart with slye deceipte." 

" Shepards swaine, shepards swaine. 

Let thy lasse injoy thy love againe ! 

Iff maids pray, if maids pray. 

Women in their wants will have noe nay ; 

Thus women they must learne to wooe, 

When men fforgetts what nature bidds them do." 

" If women wooe, tis much abuse, 

Tho cuningly they coyne a coy excuse." 40 

" Haples shee, hapless shee 

That doth love soe base a swaine as thee ! " 

"Happye I, happye I: 

That ffortune have such ffolly for to fflye ! 

Base minds to basenes still will fflee. 

But honor in an honored hart doth lye. 

Tho base, my mind true honor brings ; 

Wee shepards in our loves are as coy as kings." 



ffi 



nis 



133 



(;UY AND COIJ liRANDH 



[First Part] 



When : nuatc ;iiul drinkc is great plcntyc, 
Then lords and ladyes still wilbc, 

Ami ^itt, anil solace lythe ; 
Then itt is time rtor iiiec to speake 
Of kcciic knights and kempes great, 

Such carping ffor to kythe, 

How they have conquered, for Knglands right: 
With helme upon head, with halbcrt bright, 

ffull oft and many a sithc 
They have burnt by dale and downe, lo 

Cityc, castle, tower, and towne. 

And made bearnes unblythe ; 

Made ladyes ffor to weepe with dreery mood, 
When theire ffreinds ought ay led but good, 

Their hands to wring and writhe. 
Of all cronicles ffarr and neere, 
Were any deeds of armes wecre. 

The most I prayse Sir Guy 

Of Warwicke ! that noble knight 

Oft times ffor Englands right 20 

Hath done ffull worthy lye ; 
Yett hee kept itt as privilye 
As tho itt had never beene hee, 

Without noyse or crye. 

13 + 



And when he came over the salt ffome 
ffrom Sir Terrey of Gorwaine, 

A knight of maine and moode, 
ffor ffeare lest any one shold him know, 
He kept him in silly beggars rowe 

Where ever hee went or stood; 30 

And ever he sperred privilicke 
How they i?ared att Warwicke, 

And how they lived there. 
King Athelstone, the truth to say, 
Att the towne of Winchester there he lay 

With one soe royall a ffare. 

The King of Denmarke, Avelocke, 
He into England brought a fflocke 

Of bearnes as breeme as beare ; 
And with him a Gyant stiffe and starke, 40 

A lodlye devill out of Denmarke : 

Such another you never saw yore : 

Hee was rayed richlye with royall plate 
Both legg and arme, you may well wott. 

In armor bright to be scene ; 
He brought weapon, — who list ffor to read — 
More then any cart could lead, 

To ding men downc by-deene ; 

And swore othes great and grim. 

That all England shold hold of him, 50 

Or he would kindle their care. 
Then in England there was never a knight 
That once with him durst ffight, — 

ffull sore he did them dread, — 



135 



Neither with Avclockc nor Athelstonc. 
Then our King, to (^hrist he made his moanc, 

And to His mother bright to he secne. 
1 hen one night as our King lay in a vision, 
There came an angell downe iiroiu heaven 

To Ictt him understand : 60 



TTr vivd, " Rise u|> in the morning hy prime, 
And goe to tlie gates in a good time; 

An old man shall you ffind there, 
Both with his scripp and his pike, 
As that hee were palmer like, 

Lo wring under his here. 
Upon thy knees, Sir King, lookc thou kneclc him to, 
And pray him the battel 1 to doe, 

ffor His love that Marry bore." 

With that the angell vanished away. 70 

But more of this Gyant I have to say. 

As I have heard my ciders tell. 
He was soe ffoule and soe great course, 
'Ihat neither might beare him steed nor horsse ; 

Men thought he came ffrom hell. 

Then bespake a squier privilye : 

" Where is the knight men call Sir Guy, 

Some time in this land did dwell ? 
Or Sir Arrard of Arden alsoe ? 
The one of these might thither goe 80 

The Gyant ffor to quell." 

Then bespake him an erle in that while, 
And sais, " Sir Guv is now in exile. 

No man knowes whither or where ; 

136 



He had but one sonne, and he hight Rainborne ; 
A merchant stold him ftroni Wallingford towne, 

Over the seas with him to ffare ; 
The Erie and the Countess beene both dead. 
Dame ffelix is sore adread 

Of her lord, Sir Guye. 90 

" Her ffather and mother beene dead her ffroe ; 
And soe shee thinkes Sir Guy is alsoe, 

The flower of knighthood bold." 
Then earlye, as soone as itt was day, 
Our King to the gates tooke his way, 

His fForward iTor to hold. 



Right certaine truth to tell. 

He ffound a man in the same apparell 

As the angell before had him told. 
Upon his knees the King kneeled him to, 100 

And prayd him the battel 1 doe, 

BoT his love that Judas sold. 



Then answered the Palmer right, 

And sayd, " In England you have many a knight 

The battell that may doc. 
I am bruscd in my body, and am unveeld ; 
Alas, I may no wepons weldc ! 

Behold, and take good heede ! " 

Our King sayd the Palmer untill, 

" Well 1 wott itt is Gods will 1 10 

You shold helpc mc in my need ! " 
" If that be soe," the Palmer did spcake, 
" By the might of Christ I shall thee wrcake. 

If I had armour and sheild." 



137 



Our King ol this lice w;is rtull Baiiic, 
Aiul soc were all his lords certaiue. 

in a ehainber they cold liiin lead; 
1 hey sought up armour bright and flairc, 
luough rtor any king to have in store, 

And they best they did him bidd. 120 

Hut meete for his body tiiere was none, 
He was soe large of blood and bone, 

I he fferssest that ever was rtcikl. 
The tlay of battell drew neere hand ; 
But five daves before, as I understand, 
Our king was sore at^rayd. 

Then bespake the Palmer privilyc, 

" Where is the knight men call Sir Guye? 

Sometimes in this land he dyd dwell ; 
Once I see him beyond the sea; 130 

His armoure I thinke wold serve mee 

In battell stifBye to stand." 

The King did thereto assent ; 

The Kings messenger to Warwickc went, 

rhe Countesse soone he tl^ound. 
Before her he kneeled him on his knee. 
Prayed her of the armor belonged to Sir Guy 

When he was a-live Hvande. 

Shee saught up armoure fFaire to bee seene : 

Sir Guyes sword was sharpe and keene, 140 

Himselfe was wonnt to weare. 
To the towne of Winchester they did itt bring ; 
ffull gladd therof then was the King, 

And many that with him there were. 

138 



Then they rayed the Palmer anon-right 
With helme upon head, with halbert bright ; 

They raught him sheild and speare. 
Then he lope on horsebacke with good entent, 
And fforth of the gates hee went, 

His ffoes ffor to ffeare. 150 

Then al be-spread was the ffeild 
With helme upon head, with shining sheild. 

As breeme as any beare. 



And when the Palmer all the armes sawe. 
He lighted downe, and list not lauge, 

But he mad his prayers arright : 
" Christ ! that suffered wounds five. 
And raised Lazarus ffrom dath to liffe, 

To grant mee speech and sight, — 
And saved Danyell the lyons ffroe, 160 

And borrowed Susanna out of woe, — 

To grant us strength and might. 



"That I may England out of thraldome bring 
And not let under the Danish King 

Have litle England att his will." 
Then without any stirropp verament 
Into the saddle he sprent, 

And sate there sadd and still. 



Our King said, " by Gods grace 

This riscth ftrom a light livernes, 170 

And of an egar will. 
I never kneww no man that soc cold have done. 
But old Sir Guy of Warwicke towne. 

That curteous knight Jiimselfe." 

139 



Sccoiul I'.irtc 



llu- Gyant was the ffirst that tookc the place; 
Uglyc he was, and ffoiile of fTlu e ; 

The Danish men began to smile. 
He wold neither runne nor leape, 
Hut lavd all his weapons upon a lieape, 

And drvd himselle for guile, i8o 

That he might c hoose of the best, 
That who-soever with tiiem hee hitt, 

Which warr that hard while. 



Trumpetts made steeds to stampe and stare j 
The King of Denmarke, he was there, 

The King ot England alsoe. 
Then the King ot Denmarke a Booke out breade, 
And sware theron, as the Story sayes, — 

Behold and take good heed : — 



" If the Gyant had the warre, 190 

Of England he wold never cleame more, 

Neither nye nor fFurr." 
The Kinge of England was there alsoe ; 
The same othe he sware alsoe, — 

Behold and take good heede, — 



" If the pore Palmer had the wore. 

Of England he wold never claime more. 

While his lifi-e daves last wold." 
And thus their trothes together they strake. 
They said their povntment shold not slake, 200 

Nor exile out oB: Arr. 



140 



Then the Gyant loud did crye : 

To the King of Denmarke these words says hee, 

" Behold and take good heede ! 
Yonder is an iland in the sea ; 
ffrom me he can-not scape away, 

Nor passe my hands indeed ; 

" But I shall either slay him with my brand, 
Or drowne him in yonder salt strand ; 

ffro me he shall not scape away. 210 

Then I will with my owne hand 
Crowne thee King of litle England 

ffor ever and ffor aye." 

That was true, as the King of Denmarke thought ; 
Comanded two barges fForth to be brought, 

And either into one was done. 
The Gyant was the ffirst that ore did passe, 
And as soone as hee to the iland come was. 

His barge there he thrust him fFrom j 

With his ffoote and with his hand 220 

He thrust his barge ffrom the land. 

With the watter he lett itt goe. 
He let itt passe ffrom him downe the streame. 
Then att him the Gyant wold ftreane 

Why he wold doe soe. 

Then bespake the Palmer anon-right, 
"Hither wee be come ffor to ffight 

Till the tone of us be slainc ; 
Two botes brought us liithcr. 
And therforc came not both together, 230 

But one will bring us home. 

141 



" fTor thy bote thou hast yonder tvtic, 
Over in thv bote I trust to rvdc ; 

Aiul ihcrforc-, Clvaiu, hcwarc ! " 
Trumpctts blew, and hade them goc tootc, 
1 he one on horshackc, the other on ftoote ; 

JBuL Guy t(i God was darrc. 



Sir Guy wccncd uell to doo, 

He tookc a strong speare and rode hini tof), 

He was in a good intent : 240 

Althoe he rode never soe ffast, 
His strong spcare on the Gyant hee brast, 

That all to shivers itt went. 



And then Sir Guy anon-right 

Drew out his sword that was soe bright, 

That manv a man beheld, 
And on the Gyant he smote soe 
That a quarter of his sheild fell him flroe. 

Even untill the fTeild. 



The Gyant against him made him bowne ; 250 

Horsse and man and all came downe 

Upon the gjround soe greene. 
Throughout Sir Guves steede 
'Jlie Gyants sword to tlie ground yeed ; 

Such stroakes have seldome beene scene. 

Then Sir Guy started on his feete liull tvte. 
And on the Gyant cold hee smite 

As a man that had beene woode ; 
And upon the Gyant he smote soe i?ast 
That the Gyants strong armour all to-brast ; 26c 

There-out sprang the bloode. 

142 



Then the Gyant hitt Sir Guy upon the helme ; 
Above on his head the stroake itt fFell ; 

Itt was with stones sett, 
Itt was with precyous stones made ; 
Sir Guys helmett neere assunder yode ; 

Such stroakes of men beene drade. 



Then the Gyant thirsted sore ; 
Some of his blood he had lost thore ; 

And this he sayd on hye : 270 

" Good sir, and itt be thy will, 
Give me leave to drinke my ffill, 

ffor sweete St. Charytye ; 

" And I will doe thee the same deede 
Another time, if thou have neede, 

I tell the certainlye." 
" Why, upon that covenant," Sir Guy can sayine, 
" Goe and drinke thy ffill, and come againe, 

And heere lie abyde thee." 

Beside them there the river ran; 280 

The Gyant went and reffresht him then. 

And came ftull soone againe. 
ffrom that itt was lowe prime 
Till itt was hye noonc. 

They delten strokes with maine. 

But the sword that Sir Guy had lead. 
Therewith he kept his head, 

Stoodc oft in point ffor to be slaine. 
Then Sir Guy thirsted sore ; 
He had rather have had drunke there 290 

Then have had England and Almaignc : 

H3 



** Ciooil sir, itViit he thy will, 

I-ctt iiu- got- MOW :uul (Irinkc niv tfill, 

hcilorc as I ilid thcc-." 
*' Nay, ' then sayd the C»vant, " I were to hiamc 
Unlesse that I knew thv name, 

I tell tiiee certainly." 

" Why then," quoth hee, " He never swieke ; 
Mv name is (luy ot Warwieke ; 

What shoid I longer layne to thee?" 300 

'J he Gyant said, " Soe might I swinke, 
Docst thou thinke He let thee drinkc? 

No! not ffor all Cristentye! 

" Ah ha ! " quoth the Gyant, " have I Sir Guv here? 
In all this world is not a peere. 

ilor ought that thou can doc or deale, 
'Ihy head / shall present my lady the Quccne, 
I tell thee certainlye hedcejicy 

Tlien Sir Guy towards the river came. 

The Gyant was not hght, but after him went; 310 

The Gyant laid after Guy with strokes strong. 

But Guy was Hght, and lope againe to the land ; 
l^or ere he cold any stroke of Sir Guy woonc, 
Guy had beene in the river to the chune. 

And dranke that did him (jaine. 

And up he start, and sayd there : 

*' Thou ftoule traitor ! I will thee love noe more ! 

llor thy trechery, traytor, thou shalt abuv ! " 
These words spake good Sir Guy, 
And lifted up his swordd on hve, 320 

And saies, " Good stroakes tliou shalt ffeele." 



I++ 



Then Sir Guy att the Gyant smote 
A dint that wonderffull byterlye bote : 

He smote assunder iron and Steele ; 
Sir Guys sword through the basnett ran, 
And glased upon his braine pan, 

And the Gyant began to kneele. 

And then the Gyant att Sir Guy smote 
A dint that wonderffull bitterlye bote ; 

He smote Sir Guy downe to the ground. 330 

Sir Guy was never soe discomffitted before ; 
But through the might of Him that Marye bore, 

Releeved him againe in that stonde. 

He thought on Christ that suffered wounds five, 
And raised Lazarus ffrom death to liffe. 

And upon the crosse was wound. 
To give him grace to quitt that. 
And then his sword in his hand he gatt, 

And narr the Gyant did hee stand, 

And att the Gyant there he smote 340 

A dint that wonderffull bitterlye bote ; 

Through his brest-platc his sword he stake. 
And as Sir Guy wold have wrested itt out. 
His good sword broke with-out all doubt. 

Within the hikes itt brake ; 
And theratt loughe the Danish King, 
And Athelstone made much mourning 

To heare how the Gyant spake : 

" Now thou hast broken thy sword and thy shccld, 
Here is no wepons ftor to weld ; 350 

Therforc yceld thee to mee swythe, 

u 1+5 



And I will thy arraiul soc iloo, 

And to Avclockc our King lie spcakc ffor thcc, 

To grant thcc laiui and liBc, 
riiat thou durst Hor thv chivalryc 
13c i>()c bold as ffight with mcc 

That am so stific and stitlic."' 



" Nay ! " said Sir Guv, '* hy heaven Quccnc, 
That sight hy nic shall never he scene, 

Forsooth I do thee tell. 360 

ffor I shall kindle thv kings cares: 
Jhrough the might of Him that Marry hare, 

With stroakcs I shall thcc ffcU." 



The Gyant laught, and loud gan cryc, 
" Whv speakest thou masterl^ullvc ? 

Hcarke what I shall thcc tell: 
Thou hast broken thy sword and thy sheeld. 
And thou hast noc weapons thy selfc to weld, 

Nor here is none to sell." 



" No," sayd Sir Guv, " I know better cheape ; 370 

Yonder lyes a great cart-load on a heape, 

That thou thy-sclfe hither did bringe." 
" Then they would laugh me to scorne, my lords manve, 
If of my wepons I shold let thee take anve, 

My selfe downe ffor to dinge." 

Then Sir Guy to the weapons went : 
A Danish axe in his hand hce hcnt, 

And lightlye about his head he can itt ffling. 
The Gvant upon the sholder he smote ; 
The sword and arme ftell to hys iToote, 380 

This was noe leasinge. 

146 



Then as he wold have stooped, as I understand, 
To have taken up his sword in his other hand 

To have wreaked him of that wrathe, 
Sir Guys axe was sharpe, and share. 
The Gyants head he smote of there, 

Bremelye in that breath. 

And then the Danish men gan say 
To our Englishmen, " Well-away 

That ever wee came in your griste! " 390 

They ran and they rode over hill and slade ; 
Much haste home-ward they made 

With sorrow and care enough. 

They hyed them over the salt ffome 
To bring the King of Denmarke hame 

With sorrow and mickle care ; 
fFor they have left behind them slaine 
A ffull fFoule lodlye swayne, 

Both of head and hayre. 

ffor their trothes they had truly plight, 400 

That ' as they were true king and knight. 

Of England never to clayme more.' 
And then to the body they sett his head ; 
His sword in his hand was lead. 

The strongest that ever man bore. 

The Gyants blood was blacke and red. 
His body was like the beaten lead, 

And stanke as did the tyke. 
Then they layd the head to the corse, 
And the arme againe to the bodye alsoe, 410 

And buryed them both in a diche. 



+: 



(JrcMt havockc our liigli^litucn made 

or the great eart-loade of weapons that were made ; 

I hey hnighe, ami good game they made. 
That the axe out of Deiimarke was brought, 
1 he (i\aiits liead of to smyte, 

They thanked Christ that tyde. 

And ihi n the King hefTore the I'ahner liid kneeele, 
Sayes, " 1 liou art blest, I uott itt weele, 

OlCiod and our Ladvc" 420 

The pahuer, in his liart hee was full sore 
When he saw our King kneele him before; 

" Stand up, my lord! '' sayd hee, 
" ht'or well I wott itt was his deede 
That f^or us upon a crossc did bleedc 

Upon the mount of Calvarye." 

And then our Kinge after that, 
In the honor of this battell great, 

This deed hee caused to be done : 
Gard them to take up the axe and the sword, 430 

And keepe them well in royall ward, 

And bring them to Winchester towne, 

And hang them up on St. Swvthens church on hve 
That all men there may see. 

Thither if they wold fTare. 
I tell you the weapons be there and thore ; — 
But of this matter He tell you more, 

Hastylye and soone. 

Third Parte 

Then all religious of the towne, 

They mett the King with f^aire procession ; 440 

And other psalmcs amonge, 

148 



Te Deum was theire song, 
And other praises there amonge, 

That plaused the lords to pray. 
They profferred the Pahiier att that tyde, 
Castles hye and towers wyde, 

Good horsses to assay. 
" Nay," sales he, " give me that is mine, 
My scripp and my pike and my slaven. 

And lett me wend my way." 450 

ffor all they profferred him there. 

He fforsooke them : wold have no more 

But that with him he brought. 
And then our King with him forth on his way went j 
To know his name was his entent ; 

" But all," he sayd, " is ffor nought, 
Without you wilbe sworne unto me, 
ffor twelve monthes in councell itt shalbe. 

By Him that all this world has wrought." 
And when our King had sworne him too, 460 

"Why, my name," he sayes, "is Guy of Warwicke, loe ! 

And this ffor thee I have ffought." 

" O," sayd our King, " Sir Guy, abyde with mee, 
And halfe of England I will give thee. 

And assunder wee will never." 
" Nav, I thanke you my lord curteous and kind, 
I have a pilgramage great to wend, 

ffrom sinne my soulc to cover. 
Sometimes I was one of your erles wight, 
But now age and travell hath me dight ; 470 

ffirwcll, my lord, ffor ever! 
For to Warwicke wend will I, 
To speake with fayre ffcelix, my wiffc, before I dye. 

For nothing I had leaver." 

149 



fic IkhI 1)cciic ill baltcll stiHc ami strong, 
Aiul smitten with wcjioiis that were long, 

And hiclikn many a drearyc day : 
When thev parted, they both did weej)e. 
Sir Gny held downe the hye street. 

In Warwieke where he lay. 480 

Anil wlu'ii he came to Warwieke towne, 
His owne lountesse to dinner was howne 

Anil all masses were sayd. 
i\'or fl'eare lest any man shold him ken, 
He sett him downe amonge the poorc godsmen, 

And held him well pleased. 

His owne ladye everye day att her gate 
Thirteen palmers in cold shee take 

To dine with her att noone. 
Sir Guy was leane of chceke and chin, 490 

And thereffore the porter Ictt him in, 

And twelve after him did goe. 

The ladvc see hee was ill att ease ; 
Shee ffounded ffast him to please, 

y^pu/ dill him make good c/iccrc ; 
Shee ffett him a pott of her best wine : 
He dealt itt about him at that time. 

All to his ffellowes there. 

Then after dinner, as saith the Booke, 

Leave of his owne ladye he tooke 500 

Before them in the hall. 
The ladye called her steward unto ; 
Shee sayd, " My bidding looke thou doe." 

" Madam," hee sayd, " I shall." 

150 



" why then, goe to yonder pore Palmer, 
And bidd him come everye day to dinner 

Before me in this hall ; 
ffor an honest man he hath beene 
When he was younge and kept cleane, 

As may be well seene." 510 



The steward wold no longer abyde, 
But went after the Palmer that tyde. 

And did as the ladye him bede ; 
Says, " Well greetes you my ladye mild of cheere, 
Prayes you every day to come to dinner, 

Giffe that itt be your will." 



The Palmer made answer her steward unto; 
Say, " I pray to Christ grant her that meede 

That welds both welth and witt ! 
A litle ffurther I have to ffare, 520 

To speake with an hermitt here, 

Giff I can with him hitt." 



"An hermitt is dead, I understand, 
And here a hermitage stands vacand. 
As / doe understand." 



And there he lived, the truth to say. 
Till itt was his ending day. 

And served Christ our King ; 
He never cate other meate 
But herbes and rootes greate, 530 

And dranke the water of a springe. 

151 



I hcii he hvrcil liini a litlc page 
Tliat was Init thirteen veeres ot age, 
lie was hoth tlayre and Beate ; 
And everv dav when the iiooiie bell rang, 
The litle ladd to the towne must gang, 
lO lleiteh tlie hidyes liveryc. 

The hulve was gladil, as I iiiulerstand ; 
Shee gave itt with lier owne handes, 

And ghuld itt soe shoKl bee. 54.0 

Hut there he lived, as sayth the Booke, 
Till a sieknessc there him tooke. 

That necdlye he must dye. 

One night as Sir Guy lav in vysion. 
There came an angell downe fFrom heaven 

To lett him understand. 
He was as light as anv leame, 
As hrisht as anv sunn beames. 

With that wakened Sir Guy. 

He saves, " I conjure in the power of Jesus Christ 550 
To tell me wether thou be an evill angell or a good ! " 

He sayd, " I hett Michall. 
I came ffrom Him that can both loose and bind 
Both mee, and thee, and all mankind, 

Both heaven, earth, and hell.'' 

And then Sir Guv his ring out raught 
To the litle ladd, and him taught. 

And bidd he shold " Goe snell 
To her that hath becne true to mee, 
And prav her to come, mv end and see; 560 

ffor nothing that shee dwell." 

152 



The litle lad made him bowne 
Till he came to Warwicke towne. 

The countesse soone hee ftound ; 
Before her he kneeled on his knee ; 
Saith, " Well greeteth you my lord, Sir Guy! 

But he is dead neere hand, 



" And heere he hath sent to you his ringe, — 
ffull well you know this tokeninge, — 

And bidds you hye him till." 570 

A squier wold have brought her a palffrey, 
But shee tooke a neerer stay ; 



ffor knight ne squier none wold shee have, 
But ffollow shee did the litle knave; 

The way was ffayre and drye ; 
ffollow shee did the litle ffoot page 
Till shee came to the hermitage 

Wheras her lord did lye ; 



And then the lady curteous and snell, 

Upon his bed-side downe shee ffell 580 

With many a greevous grone, 
Hee looked upon her with eyes two, 
He never spake more words but these, 

Saying, " Madam, lett be thy ffarc ! " 



A man that had scene the sorrow shee had, 
And alsoe the contrition that shoe made 

ffor her lord. Sir Guy, 
They wold have shed many salt tearcs : 
Soe did all that with them were. 

Both lords eke and ladyes. 590 

X 153 



Then slice lolil tlicin how they luid loved long, 
Aiul were marryeil together when thev were vounge, 

And lived together hut d;iyes forty : 
And afterward shee never him sec, 
By no knowledge that cold bee, 

Of thirty winters and three. 

Then shee told them oi miK h mf)rc woe: 
1 hcire younge child was stolen them froe ; 

They had never none hut one. 
Sir Arrarde of Arden after him went 600 

To seckc the child with good intent, 

That was true of borne blood. 



And as shoe can these talcs tell, 
In swooning downe shee ffell 

Upon the ground soe greene ; 
And when shee was revarted againe, 

Shee wold never rest nor rowe 
Till shee come our King unto, 

Her to wishe and read. 
Before our King when shee was brought, 610 

The King told her how Sir Guy had fought 

And smitten of the Gyants head : 

" liast his name I did fTreane, 
But he sware me that I must leane 
tfor a twelve month and a day." 

The King said, " Soe Christ me save! 
This Erie to Winchester I will have ; 
His body there I will interre." 

15 + 



But all that about him there cold stand, 
They cold not remove him with their hands 620 

Nor ffurther thence him beare. 



A new purpose there they tooke ; 
They made a grave, as saith the Booke, 

Before the hye altar, 
And buryed him in Warwicke, the truth to say. 
The ladye lived after him but dayes forty : 

And there was buryed alsoe. 

And then they ffounded a ffayre abbey. 
And monkes ffor them to singe. 

• ••■••• 

Thus came the knight out of his cares, 630 

That had beene in land wyde where. 
That came to England safe againe. 

Now all you that have heard this litle jest, 
I betake your soules to Jesus Christ, 

To save fro7}i e?id/ess paj?i^ 
And that wee may on Doomcsday 
Come to the blisse that shall ffor aye. 

With angells to remaine. 



ffin 



IS 



155 



JOHN 1)1 Rl 1 \H 



God : through thv might and thy mercy, 
All I hat h)vcth game and glee, 

rheir soules to heaven hringc! 
Best is mirth of all solace; 
Tlierfore I hope itt betokens grace, 

or mirth who hath likinge. 

As I heard tell this other yeere, 
A clarke came out ol Lancashire: 

A rolle he had reading, 
A bourdc written therein he Bound, lo 

That some time ffell in England, 

In Edwards dayes our K.ing. 

By east, west, north, and soothe, 
All this realme well run hee cowthe. 

Castle, tower, and towne. 
Of that name were kings three ; 
But Edward with the long shankes was hee, 

A lord of great renowne. 

As the King rode a hunting upon a day, 

Three l^iiwcons fflew away ; 20 

He ffollowed wonderous ffast. 
They rode upon their horsses that tvde, 
They rode forth on every side. 

The country they out cast ; 

ffrom morning untill eveninge late. 
Many menn abroad they gate 
Wandring all alone ; 

156 



The night came att the last ; 
There was no man that wist 

What way the King was gone, 30 



Save a Bishopp and an Erie ffree 
That was allwayes the King ffuU nye, 

And thus then gan they say : 
" Itt is a ffolly, by St. John, 
ffor us thus to ryde alone 

Soe many a wilsome way ; 



" A King and an Erie to ryde in hast, 
A Bishopp ffrom his coste to be cast, 

ffor hunting sikerlye. 
The whether happned wonderous ill, 40 

All night wee may ryde unskill, 

Nott wotting where wee bee." 



Then the King began to say, 
" Good Sir Bishopp, I you pray 

Some comfort, if you may." 
As they stoode talking all about. 
They were ware of a carle stout : 

" Good deene, ffcllow! " can they say. 



Then the Eric was well apayd ; 

" You be welcome, good ffcllow! " hec sayd, 50 

" Of rtcllowshipp wee pray thee ! " 
The carle ffuU hye on horssc sate. 
His leggs were short and broad. 

His stirropps were of tree ; 

''SI 



A payrc ol sIk^cjcs ucrc stiHc ami store, 
On his licclc a rustyc spurrc, 

rlius rforwarils rydctli hcc. 
rlic Hish()j)[) rode alter on his jialfrey : 
" Abvcle, good rt'ellow, I thee pray, 

And take us home witli thee!" 60 



1 he carle answered him that tvde, 
" BVoni me thou gett ok noc other guide, 

I svveare by sweete St. John! " 
Then said the l{rlc ware and wise, 
"Thou canst litle of gentrise! 
Say not see ffor shame ! " 

The carle answered the trie unto, 

" With gentlenessc I have nothing to doc, 

I tell thee by my ffay." 
The weather was cold and even roughc ; 70 

The King and the Erie sate and loughe, 

The Bishopp did liim soe pray. 

The King said, " Soe mote I thee! 
Hee is a carle, whosoever hee be ! 

I readc wee ryde him neere." 
They sayd with words hend, 
" Ryd saftlye, gentle ffreind, 

And bring us to some harbor." 

Then to tarry the carle was lothe. 

But rode forth as he was wrothe, 80 

I tell you sickcrlye. 
The King sayd, " By Mary bright, 
I troe wee shall rvde all this night 

In wast unskilWullye; 

.58 



" I ffeare wee shall come to no towne ; 
Ryde to the carle and pull him downe 

Hastilye without delay." 
The Bishopp said soone on hye, 
*' Abyde, good ffellow, and take us with thee ! 

ffor my love, I thee pray." 90 

The Erie said, " By God in heaven! 
Oft men meete att unsett Steven ; 

To quite thee well wee may." 
The carle sayd, " By St. John 
I am affraye of you eche one, 

I tell you by my ffay ! " 

The carle sayd, " By Marye bright, 
I am afrayd of you this night ! 

I see you rowne and reason, 
I know you not and itt were day, 100 

I troe you thinke more then you say, 

I am afFrayd of treason. 

" The night is merke, I may not see 
What kind of men that you bee. 

But and you will doe one thinge, 
Swere to doe me not desease. 
Then wold I ffaine you please. 

If I cold, with any thinge." 

Then sayd the Erie with words ffree, 

" I pray you, ffellow, come hither to mee, 110 

And to some towne us bringe ; 
And after, if wee may thee kenn, 
Amonge lords and gentlemen 

Wee shall requite thy dealinge." 

159 



*' of lorcis," saycs Ikc, " spcakc no more! 
VVitli tlitin I have nothing to doc, 

Nor never ihinkc to have; 
llor I had rather he brought in hale, 
My hooil or tliat I woKl vayle, 

On them to crouch or crave." i 2o 

The Kiim said eurtcouslyc, 

" Wliat manner of man aree vee 

Att liome in vour duelliniie ? " 
" A husbandman, Borssooth I am, 
And tlie Kings bondman ; 

Thereof I have good likinge." 

"Sir, when spake you with our King?" 
" In f^aith, never, in all my living! 

He knoweth not mv name ; 
And I have mv eapull and mv erofit ; 130 

If I speake not with the King oft, 

I care not, by St. Jame ! " 

" What is thy name, ffellow, by thy leave? " 
" Marry," quoth hee, " John de Reeve ; 

I care not who itt heare ; 
fTor if you come into my inne, 
With beef^e and bread you shall beginn 

Soone att your supper; 

" Salt bacon of a veere old, 

Ale that is both sower and cold, — 140 

I use neither bra2:2:att nor beere, — 
I Ictt vou witt withouten lett, 
I dare eate noe other meate, 

I sell my wheate ech yeere." 

160 



" why doe you, John, sell your wheate? " 
" ffor / dare not eate that I gett. 

Therof I am ffull wrothe ; 
ffor I love a draught of good drinke as well 
As any man that doth itt sell, 

And alsoe a good wheat loffe. 150 

" ffor he that ffirst starveth John de Reeve, 
I pray to God hee may never well cheeve, 

Neither on water nor land. 
Whether itt be sherriffe or King 
That makes such statuinge, 

I outcept never a one ! 

" ffor and the Kings penny were layd by mine, 
I durst as well as hee drinke the wine 

Till all my good were gone. 
But sithence that wee are mett soe meete, 160 

Tell mee where is your recreate, 

You seeme good laddes eche one." 

The Erie answered with words ffiiire, 
" In the Kings house is our repayre, 

If wee bee out of the way." 
" This night," quoth John, " you shall not spill ; 
Such harbour I shall bring you till : 

I hett itt you to-day. 

" Soe that yee take itt thankeffullye 

In Gods name and St. Jollye, 170 

I aske noe other pay ; 
And if you be sturdy and stout, 
I shall garr you to stand without, 

ffor ought that you can say. 

y 161 



/ 



** For I li;ivc two ncighhors won hv mcc 
Of tin- s;iiiK- rtVcclcdj^c tliat am I, 

Of old haiul-shipp arc wcc : 
I lie l^isli()j)|) ol Durham this townc owctli, 
'J he i'^rlc ofGlostcr -who-soc him knowcth — 

Lord of the other is hcc. i 80 

" Wist my neighbors that I were thratt, 

I vow to Cfod they wold not lett 

tlor to come soone to mee ; 

II any wrong were to mee done, 

Wee three durst ffight a whole afternoone, 
1 tell you sikerlye." 

The King sayd, "John, tell us not this tale; 
Wee are not ordayned ffor battell, 

Our weeds are wett and cold ; 
Hecre is no man that yee shall greeve. 190 

But helpe us, John, by your leave, 

With bright a ffeeare and bold." 

" Ifaith," sayd John, " that you shall want, 
fFor fFuell heere is wonderous scant, 

As I heere have yee told. 
Thou getteth noe other of John de Reeve; 
ffor the Kings statutes, whilest I live, 

I thinke to use and hold. 

" If thou hnd in my house payment ffine, 

Or in my kitchin poultry slaine, 2CO 

Pcradventure thou wold say 
That John Reeve his bond hath broken : 
I wold not that such words weere spoken 

In the Kings house another day, 

162 



" ffor itt might turne me to great greefFe ; 
Such proud ladds that beare ojffice 

Wold danger a pore man aye ; 
And or I wold pray thee of mercy longe, 
Yett weere I better to lett thee gange 

In twentye twiine devills way." 210 

Thus they rode to the towne : 
John de Reeve lighted downe 

Beside a comlye hall. 
Four men belive came wight ; 
They hasted them ffuU swyft 

When they heard John call ; 
They served him honestly and able, 
And led his horsse to the stable, 

And lett noe terme misfall. 



Some went to warne their dame 220 

That John had brought guests home. 

Shee came to welcome them tyte 
In a side kirtle of greene, 
Her head was dight all by-deene. 

The wiffe was of noe prydc ; 

Her kerchers were all of silke. 
Her hayre as white as any milkc. 

Love-some of hue and hyde \ 
Shee was thicke, and some deal broad, 
Of comlye fFlishyon was shee made, 230 

Both belly, backe, and side. 

Then Jolm called his men all, 
Sayes, " Build me a ffirc in the hall. 
And give their capulls meate ; 

163 



I-ay bclorc llicm tonic and hn\ ; 
ffor rnv love riihh of the clay, 

rtor ihcy hccnc weary ami uctt ; 

" Lay uiiticr tlicni straw lo tlic knee, 
ffor coiirtvc[r]s cornonly wold be jollyc, 

And iiave but litle to spend." 240 

Then lice said, " By St. John, 
You are welcome every one, 

If you take itt thankcfullye ! 
Curtesye I learned never none, 
But after mee, ffellowes, I read you gone." 

Till a chamber they went all three \ 

A charcolc tfirc was burning bright, 
Candles on chandlours liglit, 

Eche ffreake might other see. 
"Where are your sords ? " quoth John de Reeve. 250 
The Erie said, " Sir, by your leave, 

Wee weare none, pardye." 

Then John rowned with the Erie soe ffree : 
" What long ffellow is yonder, " quoth hee, 

" rhat is soe long of lim and lyre? " 
The Erie answered with words small, 
" Yonder is Peeres Pay-ffor-all, 

The Queenes cheefe ffiiwconer." 

" Ah, ah ! " quoth John, " ffor Gods good, 

Where gott hee that gay hood, 260 

Glitering as gold itt were ? 
And I were as proud as hee is like, 
There is no man in England rvke 

Shold garr mc keepe his gleads one yeere. 

164 



" I pray you, sir, ffor Gods vverke, 
Who is yond in yonder serke 

That rydeth Peeres soe nye ! " 
The Erie answered him againe, 
" Yonder is a pore chaplaine, 

Long advanced or hee bee; 270 

" And I my selfe am a sumpter man, 
Other craft keepe I none, 

1 say you withouten misse." 
" You are ffresh ffellowes in your appay. 
Jolly jetters in your array, 

Proud ladds, and I trow penyles." 

The King said, " Soe mote I thee. 
There is not a penny amongst us three 

To buy us bread and fflesh." 
" Ah, ha! " quoth John, " there is small charge; 280 
ffor courtye[r]s comonlye are att large, 

If they goe never soe ffresh. 

" I goe girt in a russett gowne. 
My hood is of homemade browne, 

I weare neither burnett nor greene. 
And yett I troe I have in store 
A thousand pounds and some deale more, 

ftor all yec are prouder and ffine ; 

" Therfore I say, as mote I tlicc, 

A bondman itt is good to bee, 290 

And come of carles kinne ; 
ffor and I bcc in taverne sett. 
To driukc as good wine I will not lett. 

As London Edward or his Queene." 

165 



rlie I'.rlc saytl, " I'.v (ioils inii^lit, 
John, tliou art a coiuly knight, 

And sturdy in cvcrvc rtray." 
" A knight ! " quoth John, " doc away, ffor shame! 
I am the King's bondman. 

Such wast words doc away ! 300 



" I know you not in vour estate; 
I am misnurtured, well I wott ; 

I will not therto say nay. 
But il any such doe me wrong, 
I will Hight with him hand to hand, 

When I am clatld in mine array." 

'1 he Bishopp sayd, "You secme sturdyc : 
Travelled you never beyond the sea?" 

Jhon sayd sharplye " Nay ! " 
I know none such strange guise, 310 

But att home on my owne wise 

I dare hold the hye way ; 

" And that hath done John Reeve scath, 
ffor I have made such as you wrath 

With choppes and chances yare." 
" Jolm dc Reeve," sayd our King, 
" Hast thou any armouringe, 

Or any weapon to weare r " 

" I vow, sir, to God," sayd John thoe, 

" But a pikefforke with graines two — 320 

My ffather used never other speare : — 
A rusty sword that well will byte, 
And a handffull, a thyttille syde 

That sharplye will stare, 

166 



" An acton and a habargyon a ffoote side ; 
And yett peradventure I durst abyde 

As well as thou, Peeres, ffor all thy painted geere." 
Quoth John, " I reede wee goe to the hall. 
Wee three ffellowes ; and Peeres Pay-for-all 

The proudest before shall fare." 330 

Thither they raked anon-wright : 
A charcole jffyer burning bright 

With manye a Strang brand. 
The hall was large and some deale wyde, 
There bords were covered on everye syde. 

There mirth was comanded. 



Then the good wiffe sayd with a seemlye cheere, 
*' Your supper is readye there." 

" Yett watter," quoth John, " letts see." 
By then came John's neighbors two, 340 

Hobkin long and Hob alsoe : 

The ffirst ffitt here ffind wee. 



Second Parte 



John sayd, " For want of a marshall, I will take the wand : 
Peeres ffauconer before shall gauge ; 

Begin the dish shall hee. 
Goe to the bench, thou proud cliaplaine. 
My wiffe shall sitt thee againe ; 

Thy meate-fellow shall shee bee." 
He sett the Erie against the King; 
They were ffaine att his bidding. 350 

Thus John marshalled his meanye. 

167 



'I Ikii Joliii sj)irrc(l ulitrc his daughters were: 
" rlic flairiT shall sitt hv the Bawconcre ; 

I If is the best fiarraiul man : 
The other shall the sompter man have." 
The I'.rle sayd, " Soe (uh\ me save! 
Of eurtesye, John, thou can." 

" II my selle," quoth John, " he bound," 
Yett my daughters beene well ffarrand, 

I tell you sickerlye. 360 

I'ecres, and thou had wedded John daughter Reeve, 
There were no man that durst thee grcevc 

Neither fior gold nor fiee. 

" Sompter man, and thou the other had. 
In good ffaith then thou were made 

f}or ever in this cuntrye ; 
Then, Pccrcs, thou might bcarc the prize. 
Yett I wold this chaplaine had a benehze, 

As mote I tharive or thee ! 

" In this towne a kirke there is; 370 

And I were king, itt shold be his, 

He shold have itt of mee ; 
Yett will I helpe as well as I may." 
The King, the Erie, the Rishopp, can say, 

" John, and wee live wee shall quitte thee." 



When his daughters were come to dease, 
" Sitt ffarthcr," quoth John withouten leaze, 

" ffor there shalbe no more. 
These strange ffellowes I doe not ken ; 
Perad venture thev may be some gentlemen; 380 

Therfore I and my neighbors towe, 

168 



" Att side end bord wee will bee, 
Out of the gentles companye : 

Thinke yee not best soe? 
ffor itt was never the law of England 
To sett gentles blood with bound ; 

Therfore to supper will wee goe." 



By then came in beane bread, 
Salt bacon rusted and redd, 

And brewice in a blacke dish, 390 

Leane salt beefe of a yeere old. 
Ale that was both sower and cold ; 

This was the ffirst service : 



Eche one had of that ylke a messe. 

The King sayd, " Soe have I blisse. 
Such service nerest I see." 
Quoth John, " Thou gettest noe other of mee 

Att this time but this." 



" Yes, good fellow," the King gan say, 

" Take this service here away, 400 

And better bread us bringe ; 
And gett us some better drinke ; 
We shall thee requite, as wee thinke. 

Without any letting." 

Quoth John, '' Beshrew the morsell of bread 
This night that shall come in your head 

But thou sweare me one thinfje ! 
Swere to me by Booke and bell 
That thou shalt never John Reeve bettell 

Unto Edward our Kinge." 410 



169 



Quoth the King, " 1 thee nn truth I j>ligljt, 
He shall nott witt our service 

No more then lie doth iiowe, 
Never while wee three live in land." 
*' rherto," cjuoth Johii, " hokl up thv hand, 

And then I will thee troe." 

" Loe, ' quoth the King, " my haml is heere ! " 

" Soe is mine!" quoth the Erie with a merry eheere, 

" Thereto I give (lod a vowe." 
" Have heere mv hantl ! '' tlie Bishopp sayd. 420 

*' Marry," quoth John, " thou may hold thee well apavd, 

rtor itt is f^or thy power. 

" Take this away, thou Hohkin knig, 
And let us sitt out ot the throng 

Att a side bords end ; 
These strange ftellowes thinke uncouthlye 
This night att our cookerye, 

Such as God hath us sent." 

By them came in the payment bread, 

Wine that was both white and redd 4 >o 

In silver cuppcs cleare, 
" A ha! " quoth John, " our supper begins with drinke! 
Tasste itt, ladds ! and looke how yee thinke, 

ffor my love, and make good eheere ! 

" Of mcate and drinke you shall have good ffare ; 
And as ffor good wine, wee will not spare, 

I goe you to understand, 
ffor everye yeere, I tell thee thoe, 
I will have a tunn or towe 

Of the best that may be ffound. 440 

170 



" Yee shall see three churles heere 
Drinke the wine with a merry cheere ; 

I pray you doe you soe ; 
And when our supper is all doone, 
You and wee will dance soone ; 

Letts see who best can doe." 

The Erie sayd, " By Marry bright, 
Wheresoever the King lyeth this night, 

He drinketh no better wine 
Then thou selfe does att this tyde." ^^o 

" Infaith," quoth John, " soe had leever I did 

Then live ay in woe and payne. 

" If I be come of carles kinne, 
Part of the good that I may winne. 

Some therof shall be mine. 
He that never spendeth but alway spareth, 
Comonlye oft the worsse he fliireth ; 

Others will broake itt ffine." 



By then came in red wine and ale, 

The bores head into the hall, ^.6o 

Then sheild with sauces seere ; 
Capons both baked and rosted, 
Woodcockes, venison, without host. 

And dish meeate dight Iflill deere. 

Swannes they had piping hott, 
Coneys, curleys, well I wott. 

The crane, the hearne in ffcre. 
Pigeons, partridges, with spicerye, 
Elkes, fflomes, with IfVoterye. 

John bade them make good cheere. 470 

171 



The I'!rlc sayd, " Sdc mote I thcc, 
John, you serve us royallvc! 

If yee liaii dwcllcil att Loiulou, 
If King Mdwarti where here, 
lie might he a-payd with this supper, 

Sueli rtreiiulshipp wee liave rfouncl." 

" Nay," sayd John, '' hy (jods graec, 
And Mdward wher in this place, 

Hee shold not tone h this tonne. 
Hee woKl 1k' wrath with John, 1 h()})c ; 480 

I'hercllore 1 heshrcw the soupc 

That shall come in his mouth ! " 



'i heratt the King laughed and made good ehcere, 
The Bishopp sayd, " Wee tare well heerc ! " 

The Erie sayd as him thought. 
They spake Lattine amongst them there : 
" Infavtii," quoth John, "and ye greeve mee, 

ffull tlcere itt shalbe bought. 

" Speake English everye-eche one. 

Or else sitt still, in the devills name! 490 

Such talke love I naught. 
Lattine spoken amongst lewd men, 
Thcrin noe reason ffind I can ; 

ffor ffalshood itt is wrought. 



" Rowning, I love itt neither young nor old ; 
Therefore yee ought not to bee to bold, 

Neither att meate nor meale, 
Hee was liaise that rowning began ; 
Theeriore I sav to vou certaine 

I love itt never a dealer ;oo 



1 " '> 



" That man can nought of curtesye 
That lets att his meate rowning bee, 

I say, soe have I seile." 
The Erie sayd right againe, 
*' Att your bidding wee will be baine, 

Wee thinke you say right weele." 



By this came up ffrom the kitchin 
Sirrups on plates good and ffine, 

Wrought in a ffayre array. 
" Sirrah," sayth John, " sithe wee are mett, 510 

And as good ffellowes together sett, 

Lett us be blythe to-day. 

" Hodgkin long, and Hob of the lath, 
You are counted good jffellowes both. 

Now is no time to thrine ; 
This wine is new come out of ffrance ; 
Be God ! me list well to dance, 

Therfore take my hand in thine ; 

" fFor wee will ffor our guests sake 

Hop and dance, and revell make." 520 

The truth ffor to know. 
Up he rose, and dranke the wine : 
" Wee must have powder of ginger therein," 

John sayd, as I troe. 

John bade them stand up all about, 
" And yee shall see the carles stout 

Dance about the bowlc. 
Hob of the lathe and Hodgkin long, 
In ffayth you dance your mcsures wrong ! 

Methinkes that I shold know. 530 



^11 



*' Ycc dance iicitlaT gallyartl nor liawc, 
Trat f nor true nicsurc, as I trowc, 

Ikit liopp as ycc were woodc." 
Wlicn thcv began of ftootc to f^avle, 
They tiiinhlcil top over taylc, 

And master and master they yode. 

rtorth they stepped on stones store; 
Iloh of the latlie hiy on the fflore, 

His lirow brast out of blood. 
"Ah, ha!" quoth John, "thou makes good game I 540 
Had thou not flailed, wee had not laught ; 

Thou gladds us all, by the rood." 

John hent up Hobb by the hand, 

Sayes, " Methinkes wee dance our measures wrongc. 

By Him that sitteth in throne." 
'1 hen they began to kicke and wince, 
John hitt the Kinir over the shinnes 

With a payre of new clowted shoone. 

Sith Kin<2: Edward was mad a knicrht, 

Had he never soe merry a night 550 

As he had with John de Reeve. 
To bed they busked them anon. 
Their livcrvcs were served them up soone 

With a merry chcere ; 

And thus thev sleeped till morning att prine 
In t^ull good shectes of line. 

A masse he garred them to have, 
And after they dight them to dine 
With boyled capons good and ifine. 

The Duke sayd, " Soe God me save, 560 

174 



If ever wee come to our abone, 
We shall thee quitt our barrison : 

Thou shalt not need itt to crave." 



Third Parte 

The King tooke leave att man and mayde ; 
John sett him in the rode way ; 

To Windsor can hee ryde. 
Then all the court was ffull faine 
That the King was comen againe, 

And thanked Christ that tyde. 

The jerfawcons were taken againe 570 

In the fforrest of Windsor without laine, 

The lords did soe provyde, 
They thanked God and St. Jollye. 
To tell the Queene of their harbor[ye] 

The lords had ffull great pryde. 

The Queene sayd, " Sir, by your leave, 
I pray you send ffor that noble Reeve, 

That I may see him with sight." 
The messenger was made to wend, 
And bidd John Reeve goe to the King 580 

Hastilye with all his might. 

John waxed unfiine in bone and blood, 
Saith, " Dame, to me this is noe good, 

My truth to you I plight." 
" You must come in your best array." 
" What too," sayd John, " sir, I thee pray.? " 

" Thou must be made a knight." 

175 



*' A kniglit," snyil John, " hy Marry mylil, 
I know right well I am hcguilcci 

With the guests I harl^ord hite. 59O 

'ID debate they will ine bring; 
YeU east I inee tlor nolhinge 

Noc sorrow Hior to take i 

" Alliee, ffeitch mec downe my side aeton, 
My rounii jKillett to my erowne, 

Is made of Millayne plate, 
A piteh-rtorke and a svyord." 
Shee sayd shee was ahfrayd 

This deede wold make debate. 



Alliee ffeitehed downe his acton syde ; 600 

Hee tooke itt ffor no litle pryde, 

Yett must hee itt vyeare. 
The seabcrd was rent withouten' doubt, 
A large handfull the bleade hanged out : 

John the Reeye sayd there, 

" Gett lether and a nayle," John can say, 
" Lett me sow itt a chape to-day, 

Lest men scorne my geere. 
Now,'' sayd John, " will I see 
Whether itt will out lio;htlye 610 

Or I meane itt to weare." 



John pulled ifast att the blade: 

(1 wold hee had kist my arse that itt made !) 

He cold not jjett itt out. 
Alliee held, and John draughe. 
Either att other flast loughe, 

I doe yee out of doubt. 

176 



John pulled att the scaberd soe hard, 
Againe a post he ran backward 

And gave his head a rowte. 620 

His wiffe did laughe when he did ffall, 
And soe did his meanye all 

That were there neere about. 



John sent after his neighbors both, 
Hodgkine long and Hobb of the lath. 

They were beene att his biddinge. 
Three pottles of wine in a dishe 
They supped itt all off, as I wis. 

All there att their partinge. 

John sayd, " And I had my buckler, 630 

Theres nothing that shold me dare, 

I tell you all in ffere. 
ffeitch me downe," quoth he, " my gloves ; 
They came but on my hands but once 

This two and twenty yeere. 

" ftcitch mee my capull," sayd hee there. 
His saddle was of a new manner. 

His stirropps were of a tree. 
*' Dame," he sayd, " ffeitch me wine ; 
I will drinke to thee once againe, 640 

I troc I shall never thee see. 

" Hodgkin long, and Hob of the lathe, 
Tarry and drinke with me bothe, 

Ifor my cares are ffast commannde." 
They drankc five gallons verament : 
" ffirwell ftcllowes all present, 

ftor I am ready c to gauge ! " 

2 A 177 



John was soc comhrcd in his gccrc 
Hcc coKl not gctt upon his tnarc 

I ill I loilgkinn iicavc up iK-hind. 650 

" Now Harwell, sir, by the roodcl " 
To iicitlur knight nor Ixirron good 

ilis hatt he wold not vaylc 
Till he eame to the Kings gate: 
The porter wold not lett him in theratt, 

Nor eonie within tlie walle, 

Till a knight eanie walking out. 

They sayd, " Yonder standeth a carle stout 

In a rustieall arraye." 
On him they all wondred wright, 660 

And said he was an unseemelye wight, 

And thus to him they gan say : 

" Havle, ffellow! where was thou borne? 
Thee beseemeth ffull well to weare a home ! 

Where had thou that ffliire geere ? 
I troe a man might seekc full long, 
One like to thee ar that hee Round, 

'Jho he sought all this yeere." 

John bade them kisse the devills arse : 

" ffor you my geare is much the worsse ! 670 

You will itt not amend, 
By my llaith, that can I lead ! 
Upon the head I shall you shread 

But if you hence wende ! 

" The deyill liim speede upon his crowne 
That causeth me to come to this towne. 
Whether he weare Jacke or Jill ! 

178 



What shold such men as I doe heere 
Att the Kings manner? 

I might have beene att home still." 680 

As John stoode fflyting ffast, 

He saw one of his guests come at the last; 

To him he spake ffull bold, 
To him he ffast ffull rode, 
He vayled neither hatt nor hood ; 

Sayth, " Thou hast me betold ! 

" Full well I wott by this light 
That thou hast disdainde mee right ; 

ffor wrath I waxe neere wood ! " 
The Erie sayd, " By Marry bright, 690 

John, thou made us a merry night ; 

Thou shalt have nothing but good." 

The Erie tooke leave att John Reve, 
Sayd, "Thou shalt come in without greefc ; 
I pray thee tarry a while." 

The Erie into the hall went. 
And told the King verament 

That John Reeve was att the gate ; 
" To no man list hee lout. 
A rusty sword gird him about, 700 

And a long ffawchyon, I wott." 

The King said, " Goe wee to meate, 
And bringe him when wee are sett ; 

Our Dame shall have a pkiy." 
" He hath ten arrowes in a thonge, 
Some are short and some are long. 

The sooth as I shold say , 

179 



** A rusty sallctt upon his crownc, 
His h()(»(i were made home hrowne ; 

There may nothing him dare; 710 

A thvtill lue Iiath Hast in his hand 
'I'hat hangeth in a peake hand, 
Ami sharplyc itt will share. 

" Hr hath a poueh hanging fTull wvdc, 
A rusty Iniekeler on the other syde, 

Mis mittons are ot bhieke elothe. 
Wiio-soe to him sayth ought hut good, 
/ swear it to you hy the rood^ 

ffull soone hec wilbe wrothc." 



Then John sayd, " Porter, lett mec in ! 720 

Some of my goods thou shalt win; 

I loye not ffor to pray." 
The porter sayd, " Stand ahacke ! 
And thou eome neere I shall thee rappe, 

Thou carle, by my fFay ! " 

John tooke his fforke in his hand, 
He bare his iforke on an end. 

He thought to make a ffray ; 
His capuU was wight, and eorne ffedd ; 
Upon the porter hee him spedd, 730 

And him had welnye slaine. 

He hitt the porter upon the crowne, 
With that stroke hee ffell downe, 

fforsooth as I you tell ; 
And then hee rode into the hall. 
And all the doggs both great and small 

On John llast ean they yell. 

180 



John layd about as hee were wood, 
And four hee killed as hee stood ; 

The rest will now be ware. 7^0 

Then came fforth a squier hend, 
And sayd, "John, I am thy ffreind, 

I pray you light downe heere." 

Another sayd, " Give me thy fforke," 

And John sayd, " Nay, by St. William of Yorke, 

ffirst I will cracke thy crowne ! " 
Another sayd, " Lay downe thy sword ; 
Sett up thy horsse ; be not affeard ; 

Thy bow, good John, lay downe ; 

" I shall hold your stirroppe ; 750 

Doe of your pallett and your hoode 

Ere they ffall, as I troe. 
Yee see not who sitteth att the meate ; 
Yee are a wonderous silly ffreake. 

And alsoe passing sloe ! " 

" What devill," sayd John, " is that ffor thee? 
Itt is my owne, soe mote I thee ! 
Therfore I will itt weare." 

The Queene beheld him in hast : 

" My lord," shee sayd, " ffor Gods ffast, 760 

Who is yonder that doth ryde? 
Such a ffellow saw I never yore ! " 
Shee saith, " Hee hath the quaintest geere. 

He is but simple of pryde." 

Right soe came John as lice were wood ; 
He vayled neither hatt nor hood. 
He was a ft[er]ley ftrcakc j 

181 



TTc tf)()kc his rtorkc as luc wold just; 
Up to the (lease- tiast he itt tluiist. 

The Qiieeiie rfor fleare dici speake, 770 

Ami sayil, " Lorils, beware, Bor Gods graec ! 
ffor hee will BVowte some in the Bace 

li yee take not good heede!" 
'riK-y laughed without doubt, 
Ami soe did all that were about. 

To sec John on his steede. 

Then sayd John to our Queene, 

" Thou may St be proud, Dame, as 1 wecue, 

To have such a ffawconer I 
ffor he is a well ffiirrand man, 780 

And much good manner hee can, 

I tell you sooth in llere. 
|« • • • • • • 'J 

" But, lord, hee sayd, " mv good, its thine; 
Mv body alsoe, ffor to pine, 

ffor thou art King with crowne. 
But, lord, thy word is honorable. 
Both stedffist, sure, and stable, 

And alsoe greatc of renownc ! 

" Thertbre have mind what thou me hight 

When thou with me harboj-d ^ night, 790 

A warryson that I shold have." 
John spoke to him with sturdve mood, 
Hee vavled neither hatt nor hood. 

But stood with him checkmate. 

The King savd, " Fellow mine, 
ffor thv capons hott, and good red wine. 
Much thankes I doe give thee." 

182 



The Queene sayd, " By Mary bright, 
Award him as his right ; 

Well advanced lett him bee! " 800 

The King sayd untill him then, 
"John, I make thee a gentleman; 

Thy manner place I thee give. 
And a hundred pounds to thee and thine, 
And every yeere a tunn of red wine 

Soe long as thou dost live." 

But then John began to kneele : 

" I thanke you, my lord, as I have soule, 

Therof I am well payd." 
Thee King tooke a coller bright, 810 

And sayd, " John, heere I make thee a knight 

With worshippe," When hee sayd. 

Then was John evill apayd, 

And amongst them all thus hee sayd, 

" ffull oft I have heard tell 
That after a coller comes a rope ; 
I shall be hanged by the throate ; 

Methinkes itt doth not well." 

" Sith thou hast taken this estate, 

That every man may itt wott, 820 

Thou must begin the bord." 
Then John therof was nothing ffiiine — 
I tell you truth with-outen laine, — 

He spake never a word, 

But att the bords end he sate him downe ; 
ffor hee had leever beene att home 

Then att all their ffrankish ffare; 

. i«3 



Hnr tluTL- was wiiic, well I uoit; 
Royall incatcs ol tiic JKst sortcs 

Were sett before him there. H30 

A gnlinn nf wine was put in a liislie ^ 
Joliii slipped itt of, both more and Icsse. 

'' tleitch," quoth the King, " such more." 
'* Bv Jiiv Ladv," cpioth John, " this is good wine! 
Let us make merry, f^or now itt is time ; 

Christs curse on him tliat doth itt spare! " 

With that came in the porter hend 
And kneeled downe before the King, 

Was all berunnen with blood. 
Then the King in Iiart was woe, H40 

Sayes, " Porter, who hath dight thee soe? 
Tell on • I wax neere wood." 

" Now infaith," sayd John, " that same was I, 
For to teach him some curtesve, 

ffor thou hast taught him noe good. 
For when thou came to my pore place, 
With mee thou found soe great a grace, 

Noe man did bidd thee stand without ; 

" i{'oT if any man had against thee spoken, 

His head ffull soone I shold have broken," .S50 

John sayd, " with-outen doubt. 
Therfore I warne thy porters flree. 
When any man comes out of my countrye, 

Another //wf lett tliem not be soe stout. 

*' If both thy porters goe walling wood, 
Bcgod I shall reave their hood, 
Or goe on ffoote boote. 

184. 



But thou, Lord, hast after me sent. 
And I am come att thy commandement 

Hastilye withouten doubt." 860 

The King sayd, " By St. Jame ! 
John, my porters were to blame ; 

Yee did nothing but right." 
He tooke the case into his hand; 
Then to kisse hee made them gange ; 

Then laughed both King and knight. 
" I pray you," quoth the King, " good ffellovvs bee." 
" Yes," quoth John, " soe mote I thee, 

We were not wrathe ore night." 

Then they Bishopp sayd to him thoe, 870 

" John, send hither thy sonnes two ; 

To the schoole I shall them ffind, 
And soe God may for them werke. 
That either of them have a kirke 

If ffortune be their ffreind. 



" Also send hither thye daughters both ; 

Two marryages the King will garr them to have. 

And wedd them with a ringe. 
Wen[d] fforth, John, on thy way, 
Looke thou be kind and curteous aye, 880 

Of meate and drinke be never nithing." 

Then John tooke leave of King and Quecne, 
And after att all the court by-deenc, 

And went fforth on his way. 
He sent his daughters to the King, 
And they were wedcd with a ringe 

Unto two squiers gay. 

2 B 185 



Ills soiuKs Iwitli hartlyc ami wight, 
Tlif OIK- of thetn was niailc a knight, 

Ami fresh in every Hray ; 8qo 

'\\\c other a parson of a kirke, 
Gotls service fior to worke, 

lo (ioil serve night ami clay. 

Thus John Reeve ami his vvifTe 
With mirth and jolty ledden their lihle ; 

To (Joel they made laudinge. 
Hodgikin long and llobh ol the lathe, 
They were made fFrecmcn hothc 

Through the grace ol the King hcnd. 

Then thought J^o/j/i on the Bishopps word, 900 

And ever after kept open bord 

fl'or guests that God him send ; 
Till death ffeitcht him away 
To the blissc that lasteth aye : 

And thus John Reeve made an end. 

Thus endeth the tale ol Reeve soe wight, 
God that is soe fFull ot might, 

To heaven their soules bring 
That have heard this litle story. 

That lived sometimes in the south-west countrye 910 
In long Edwardes dayes our King. 



ffinis 



186 



SIR CAWLINE 



Jesus : Lord mickle of might, 

That dyed ffor us on the roode 

To maintaine us in all our right, 
That loves true English blood. 

ffor by a knight I say my song. 
Was bold and ffull hardye ; 

Sir Robert Briuse wold fforth to ffight 
In-to Ireland over the sea ; 



And in that land dwells a king 

Which over all does beare the bell, lo 

And with him there dwelled a curteous knight. 

Men call him Sir Cawline. 



And he hath a ladye to his daughter. 

Of ffashyon shee hath noe peere ; 
Knights and lordes they woed her both, 

Trusted to have beene her peere. 

Sir Cawline loves her best of ony, 

But nothing durst hee say 
To discreeve his councell to noe man. 

But deerlye loved this mayd. 20 

Till itt beffell upon a day. 

Great dill to him was dight; 
The maydens love removed his mind. 

To care bed went tlic kniglu; 

187 



Aiul OIK" while he spreiul liis arnies him Broc, 

Ami c rved soe pittv'oiislvc 
" ffor the maydeiis love thai I have mobt inindc, 

This (lav may eomfort mee, 
Or else ere iioone I shalhe dead!" 

Thus can Sir Cawlinc say. 30 



When our parish masse that itt was done, 

And our King was bowne to dine, 
lie sayes, " Where is Sir Cawline 

IJiat was wont to serve me with ale and wine? " 



But then answered a eurtcous kni<rht 

ffast wringinge his hands, 
*' Sir C'awlines sieke, and like to be dead 

Without and a good lecdginge." 

" ffeiteh yee downe my daughter deerc, 

Shee is a leeche ffull ffine ; 40 

I, and take you doe and the baken bread, 
And eenc o[f] the wine soe red, 
And looke no davntinesse ffor him to deare, 

For ftull loth I wold him teene." 



This ladye is gone to his ehambcr, 

Her maydens ffollowing nye, 
" O well," shee sayth, " how doth my lord ? " 

" O sicke ! " againe saith hee. 

" I, but rise up wightlye, man, tor shame! 

Never lye soe cowardlve here! 50 

Itt is told in my ffiithers hall, 

ffor my love you will dye." 

188 



" Itt is ffor your love, fFayre ladye, 

That all this dill I drye. 
fFor if you wold comfort me with a kisse, 
Then were I brought ftrom bale to blisse ; 

Noe longer here wold I lye." 

*'Alas! soe well you know, sir knight, 

I cannott bee your peere." 
" ffor some deeds of armes ffaine wold I doe 60 

To be your bacheeleere." 

" Upon Eldrige hill there growes a thorne 

Upon the mores brodinge ; 
And wold you, sir knight, wake there all night 

To day of the other morninge ? 

" ffor the Eldrige King that is mickle of might 

Will examine you beforne ; 
And there was never man that bare his liffe away 

Since the day that I was borne." 

" But I will ffor your sake, ffaire ladye, 70 

Walke on the bents soe browne. 
And lie either bring you a readye token 

Or He never come to you againe." 

But this ladye is gone to her chamber. 

Her may dens following bright; 
And Sir Cawlins gone to the mores soe broad, 

ffor to wake there all nieht. 



to 



Unto midnight they moonc did rise, 

He walked up and downe. 
And a lightsome bugle then lieard he blow 80 

Over the bents soe browne. 
Sales hee, " And if cryance come uniill my hart, 

I am ffirr i-lrom any good towne ; " 

189 



Aiul lie spycd cue ;i litlc him by, 
A tViirvou^ king and a Hell, 
And a hulyc hriglit Ins brydlc Icii, 
rluit sccnilyc itt was to sec; 

And soc fast hec callcil upon Sir Cawlinc, 

" Oh man, T redd thee tHye ! 
Bor if c ryanee come iintill thy hart, 90 

I am a-feard least thou mun dye." 



He sayes, " No cryancc comes to my hart, 
Nor ifaith I Beare not thee ; 

ffor because thou mingetl not Christ before, 
Thee lesse me dreadeth thee." 



But Sir Cawline he shooke a speare. 

The King was bold, and abode, 
And the timber these two children bore 

Soe soone in sunder slode, 
fFor they tooke and two good swords, 100 

And thev lavden on o-ood loade. 

But the Eldridge King was mickle of might, 

And stiffly to the ground did stand ; 
But Sir Cawline with an aukeward stroke 

He brought him ffrom his hand, 
I, and fflying oyer his head soe hye, 

ffell downe of that lay land : 

And his lady stood a litle thereby, 
ffast ringing her hands : 
For they may dens loye that you haye most meed, 1 10 
Smyte you my lord no more. 



(( 



190 



" And heest never come upon Eldrige Hill 

Him to sport, gamon, or play, 
And to meete noe man of middle earth, 

And that lives on Christs his lay." 

But he then up, and that Eldryge King, 

Sett him in his sadle againe. 
And that Eldryge King and his ladye 

To their castle are they gone. 

" And hee tooke then up and that Eldryge sword 120 

As hard as any fflynt, 
And soe he did those ringes hve. 

Harder then ffyer and brent. 

ffirst he presented to the Kings daughter 

They hand, and then they sword. 
" But a serrett buffett you have him given. 

The King and the crowne ! " shee sayd. 
" I, but four and thirty stripes 

Comen beside the rood." 

And a gyant that was both stiffe <^;/('/ strong, 130 

He lope now them amonge. 
And upon his squier five heads he bare, 

Unmackley made was hee. 

And he dranke then on the Kings wine, 

And hee put the cup in his sleeve ; 
And all they trembled and were wan 

ftor feare he shold them greeffe. 

" He tell thee mine arrand, King," he saycs, 
" Mine errand what I doe heerc ; 



191 



rtor I will hrcii thy temples Iiyc, 14O 

Or lie h;ivc thy daughter cleere ; 
In, or else upon, voiul more soe brood 

'Jhou sjialt fliiui inee a ppeare." 



'Hie King he turned him round about, 
(Lord, in his lieart he was woe!), 

Says, " Is tiiere noe knight of the Rountl I able 
This mutter will undergoc? 



" I, and liec shall have my broad lands, 

And keepe them well his live; 
I, and soc hce shall my daughter dcerc, 150 

To be his weded wiRe." 



And then stood up Sir Cawline 

His owne errand tior to say : 
" Itaith, I wold to God, sir," sayd Sir Cawline, 

That Soldan I will assay. 

*' Goe, ffeitch me downe my Eldrige sword, 

ffor I woon itt att a liray/' 
" But away, away ! " sayd the hend Soldan, 

" Thou tarryest mee here all day ! " 

But the hend Soldan and Sir Cawline 160 

They H^ought a summers day : 
Now has hee slaine that hend Soldan, 

And brouirht his hve heads awav. 

And the Kins^ has betaken him his broade lands 
And all his venison. 



192 



" But take you too and your lands soe broad, 

And brooke them well your liffe, 
iFor you promised mee your daughter deere 

To be my weded vviffe." 

" Now by my ffaith," then sayes our King, 170 

" ffor that wee will not striffe ; 
ffor thou shalt have my daughter dere 

To be thy weded wiffe." 

The other morninge Sir Cawline rose 

By the dawning of the day, 
And untill a garden did he goe 

His mattins ffor to say ; 
And that bespyed a ffalse steward — 

A shames death that he might dye ! — 

And he lett a lyon out of a bande, 180 

Sir Cawline ffor to teare ; 
And he had noe wepon him upon. 

Nor noe wepon did weare. 

But hee tooke then his mantle of greene. 

Into the lyons mouth itt thrust ; 
He held the lyon soe sore to the wall 

Till the lyons hart did burst. 

And the watchmen crycd upon the walls 

And sayd : "Sir Cawlincs slaine ! 
And with a beast is not Ifull litle, 190 

A lyon of mickle mayne." 
Then the Kings daughter shee ffell downe, 

" For pecrlcsse is my payne! " 

2 c 193 



** O pc;u c, my lady I " saycs Sir Cawlinc, 
" I have |-){)ught tliy love ftull dccrc, 

" O peace, my lady," sayes Sir Cawline, 
'* Peace, ladv, ffor I am lieere!" 



Then he did marry this Kings daughter. 
With gold and silver bright. 

And hfteen sonnes this ladye heere 
To Sir C>a\v]iiR- the knight. 



200 



ffinis 



19+ 



SIR DEGREE 



[First Part] 

Lordings, and you will hold you still, 

A gentle tale I will you tell, 

All of knights of this countrye 

The which have travelled beyond the sea, 

As did a knight called Sir Degree, 

One of the best was ffound him before. 

That time in England dwelled a king, 

A stout man in manners and all thinge. 

Both in armour and on the sheeld 

He was much doubted in battell and in ffeild. lo 

There was noe man in verament 

That justed with him in turnament 

That out of his stirropps might stirr his ffoote, 

He was soe strong without doubt. 

The King had no more children but one, 

A daughter white as whales bone ; 

That mayd hee loved as his liffe ; 

Her mother was dead, the Queene his wiffe ; 

In travell of chyld shee dyed, alas ! 

And when this mayd of age was, 20 

Kings sonnes her wooed then, 

Empcroures, dukes, and other men. 

For to have had her in marryage 

For love of her great heritage. 

But then they King he made answer, 

'That never man hoc shold wedd her 

With-out hee might with stout justinge 

The King out of his sadlc bringe. 

To make him loose his stirropps too.' 

Many one assayd, and cold not doe; 30 

195 



But every yccrc, as riglit itt wold, 
A great tVeast the King did hold 
Upo'i his Qiieenes mourning day, 
The uhith was buryed in an ahhey. 
Soe upon a day the King wold rydc 
Unto an abbey there besyde, 
To a ilirges and masses both. 
The pore to Heeti, anil the naked to eloth. 
Mis owne daughter shee with him rode, 
Antl in the Borrcst shee still abode, 40 

And sayd, ' downe slice must light. 
Better her elothes to amend right.' 
A-downe they be light all three 
Her damsells, and soe did shee. 
A rtull long stond they there abode 
Till all they men away rode. 
They gatt up, and after they wold, 
But they eold not they right way hold ; 
The wood was roughe and thieke, I-\vis, 
And thev tooke their wav all amissc. 50 

They rode south, they rode west. 
Unto the thickc of that fforrest. 
And unto a bane they came att last. 
Then varryed they wonderous ffast, 
ffor they wist amisse they had gone, 
And downe they light every one. 
The wheather was hott affore none ; 
They wist not what was best ffor to have done, 
But layd them downe upon the greene. 
Some of them fFell on sleepe, as I weene, 60 

And thus they fell on sleepe everye one 
Saving the Kings daughter alone. 
And shee went fforth to gather fflowers 
And to heare the song of the small ffowles. 
Soe long shee did fforth passe 
Till that shee wist not where itt was. 

196 



Then can shee cry wonderous sore, 

Shee weeped and vvrange her hands thore, 

And sayes, " alacke that I was borne ! 

Her in this fforrest I am fforlorne, 70 

And wilde beasts will me rende 

Or any man may mee ffind ! " 

They way to her damsells shee wold have came, 

But shee wist not how to come. 

Then shee was ware of a joyfull sight : 

A-fore her there stood a ffayre knight 

That was well-favoured of ffoote and hand ; 

There was not such a one in all the land ; 

And by the rich clothing that hee had on, 

Hee seemed to be a gentleman. 80 

Soe stout a man then was hee. 

He sayes, " Madam, God yee see! 

Be yee dread arright of nought ; 

I have noe armour with me brought. 

But I have loved you this many a yeere, 

And now that I have ffound you here 

You shall bee my lemman ere I goe. 

Whether itt turncs to wayle or woe ! " 

But then no more adoe cold shee. 

But wept and cryed, and cold not fBee. go 

Anon he began her to behold. 

And he did with her whatsoever hee wold, 

And there hee bereft her of her maydenhead. 

And right before her the knight stoode : 

And hee sayes, "Madam gentle and iTree, 

Now with child, Madam, I doe thinke you bee. 

And well I wott hee will be a knave ; 

I'herfore my good sword he shall have, 

My sword heere upon my hand. 

Therewith the last I did kill a gyant, 100 

And I brake the poynt of itt in his head, 

And here in the fforrest I have him layd. 

197 



'1 akc ill up now, Daiiic, Bor itt is hccre ; 

Thou spcakcs not with mic this many a yccrc ; 

Yctt pcradvcntiirc thty time may come 

That I may speake with my ovvne sonne, 

And hy tliis sword I may liim ken," 

Hcc kist liis love, and went then ; 

Tlie knight passed as hee come. 

All weeping the ladye the sword up nume, i lo 

And shee went fJorth sore weeping, 

And there shee fJound her mavds sleeping. 

Shee hid the sword as well as shee might, 

Aiul called them up anon-right, 

And tooke their horsses everyc one, 

Anil began to ryde ftorth anon. 

Then they were ware att the last. 

Many a knight came pricking ffast ; 

fFrom they King they were sent 

To witt which way his daughter went. 120 

They brought them into the right way. 

And redden tiayre unto the Abbey. 

There was done service and all thinge. 

With many a masse, with rich offeringe ; 

And when these masses were all done. 

And come to passe the hye noone, 

The King to his pallace did ryde. 

And much people by his syde, 

And after, every man was glad and blythe. 

This ladye swooned many a sithe. 

And ever her belly waxed more and more ; 

Shee weeped and wrang her hands ffull sore. 

Soe upon a day shee can sore weepe. 

And a mavd of hers tooke ijood heede, 

And said, "Madam, ffor St. Charytye, 

Why weepe yee soe sore ? tell itt mee ! " 

" Maydcn, It I shold tell itt before. 

If thou shold mee beraye I were but lore : 

198 



130 



55 



ffor ever I have beene meeke and mild, 

And trulye now I am with chyld ; 140 

And if any man itt under-yeede, 

Men wold tell in everye steade 

That mine owne ffather of mee itt wan, 

ffor I never loved any other man. 

And if my ffather he might know itt, 

Such sorrow his hart wold gett 

That hee wold never merry bee, 

ffor all his love is layde on mee. 

" O gentle lady, greeve itt nought ; 

Stilly itt shall bee fforth brought ; 150 

There shall none know itt certainlye. 

Truly, madam, but you and I." 

The time was come that shee was unbound, 

And delivered whole and sound. 

A ffayre man chylde there was borne ; 

Glad of itt was the lady fforlorne. 

This mayd served her att her will, 

And layd the child in a cradle, 

And wrapped him in clothes anon, 

And was ready till have gone. 160 

Then was this child to with mother hold ; 

Shee gave itt twenty pounds in gold. 

And ten pounds in silver alsoe j 

Under his head shee can itt doe ; 

And much itt is that a child behoves. 

With itt shee gives a payre of gloves. 

And bade the child wed no wiffe in lande 

Without those gloves wold on her hand ; 

And then the gloves would serve no where. 

Saving the mother that did him beare. 170 

A letter with the child put shee, 

With the gloves alsoe perdye : 

Then was itt in the letter writt, 

Whosoever itt found, shold itt witt, — 



199 



' tlor (toil's love, if ativ good man 
Tliis litlc chilli fliml can, 

CfCtt liiiii to Ik- I liristcncil of the j)reists hand, 
And hclpe him ffor to live on land 
Witli this silver that is hearc, 

'lill the time that hee may armoure heare : i Ho 

And helpe him with his ownc good, 
flor hee is come of a gentle blood.' 
And when that they had all this downc, 
The mayd shcc tookc her way right soonc : 
With this child in the cradle, and all thinge, 
Shcc stale away in an evcninge, 
And went her way, and wist not where, 
Through thii ke and thinn, and through bryar. 
Then shcc was rcadylyc ware anon 

Of an hermitage made in stone, 190 

A holy man that there was wooninge. 
And thither shcc went without leasinge. 
And when shee came to the hermitts dore, 
Shee sett the cradle there before. 
And turned againe anon-right, 
And came araine the same ni^ht. 
The hermitt wakened in the morrow, 
And eke his knave alsoe. 

The hermitt sayd, " Lord, I crye thee mercye ! 
Methinke I heare a younge chyld crye." 200 

This holy man his dore undid, 
And f^ound the child in that stead. 
There he lift up the sheete anon. 
And looked on the litle groome ; 
Then held he up his right hand, 
And thanked Jesus Christ in that stond. 
And bare the child into the chappell. 
ffor joy of him hee wronge the bell. 
And lavd up the gloves and the treasure, 
And christened the child with much honor, 210 



200 



And in the worshipp of the Holy Trinytye 

He called the childs name Sir Degree ; 

ffor Degree, to understand, I-wis, 

A thing that almost lost itt is ; 

As a thing that was almost lost agoe, 

Therfore he called his name soe. 

The hermitt he was a holy man of lijfFe, 

And he had a sister which was a wiffe, 

And sent this child to her full rave 

With much mone by his knave, 220 

And bade that shee shold take good heede 

The litle child to nourish and ffeede. 

This litle chyld Degree, 

Unto the cytye borne was hee. 

The goodman and the wiffe in ffere 

Kept the child as itt their owne were 

Till the time ten winters were come and spent; 

Then to the hermitt they him sent. 

The hermitt longed him to see ; 

Then was he a ffayre child and a ffree, 230 

And he taught this child of clarkes lore 

Other ten winters without more ; 

And when hee was of twenty yeere, 

Hee was a man of great power, 

A staleworth man in everye worke, 

And of his time a well good clarke. 

Then he tooke him his fflorcnce and his gloves 

That he had kept ffrom him in his house, 

And gave him his owne letter to reade. 

Hee looked therc-in the same stcade ; 24.0 

" Hermitt," hee sayd, " ffor St. Charytye, 

Was this letter found by mee ? " 

" I, sir," hee sayes, " by Him that mcc deemc shall, 

Thus I you ffound ; " and told him all. 

He sett him on his knees ffull blythe, 

And thanked the hermitt often sythe ; 

2 D 201 



And he gave tlie lierniilt lialle of the guide ; 
And the remnant iij) liid Iiee ttoulde. 



SccoikI I'artc 

'1 hen saves Degree, '' I will not hlinne 

Till I have Hound my Bather or some of my kinne." 250 

" To seeke thv kinne thou mayst not endure 

Witliout horsse or good armour." 

Then said Degree, " by St. John, 

Horsse nor harnesse lie have none, 

But a good bitter in my hand. 

Mine enemyes therewith to withstand, 

A full good sapline of an oke ; 

And home therewith 1st sett a stroke, — 

Have hee never soe good armour him on, 

Or be hee never soe tall a man, — 260 

I shall him fTell to the ground 

With this same batt in that stond." 

The ehild kissed the hermitt thoe. 

And alsoe tooke his leave to goe. 

i^'orth went Degree, the sooth to say, 

Throughout a florrest halfe a day ; 

He heard noe man, nor saw none. 

Till itt passed the hye noone ; 

Then heard hee great stroakes ffall 

That made great noyse withall. 270 

ffuU soone he thought that thing to see, 

To witt what the stroakes might bee. 

There was an Erie stout and gay 

Was come thither that same day. 

To hunt ffor a deere or a doe. 

But his hounds were gone him Hvoe. 

And there was a dragon ffeirce and grim, 

ffull of ffver and alsoe of venim, 



202 



With a wyde throate, and tushes great, 

Upon the Erie can he beate ; 280 

And as a lyon were his ffeete ; 

His tayle was long and ffuU unmeete ; 

Betweene his head and his tayle 

Twenty-two ffoote without ffayle. 

His belly was like a whole tunn, 

Itt shone fFuU bright againe the ssunn. 

His eyen as bright as any glasse, 

His scales as hard as anye brasse ; 

And therto hee was necked like a horsse, 

And bare his head upp with great fforce ; 290 

Hee was to looke on, as I you tell. 

As thoe hee had beene a ffeende of hell ; 

Many man hee had shent. 

And many a horsse hee had rent ; 

And to this Erie hard battell he began. 

But hee defended him like a man, 

And boldly e stroke on him with his sword ; 

But of his stroakes he was not affeard, 

ffor his skin was as hard as anye stone, 

Where-ffore hee cold him noe harme done. 300 

And when the Erie Degree see. 

He sayd " helpe, ffor Charytye!" 

Then answered Sir Degore, 

" Gladlye ! " he sayes, " and God before." 

When the dragon of Degree had a sight, 

Hee left the Erie, and came to him right. 

Then the child that was soe younge 

Tooke his staffe that was soe stronge. 

And smote the dragon on the crowne 

That in the wood hee ffcll downe. 310 

The dragon recovered anon-right. 

And hitt the child with such might 

With his tayle in that tydc. 

That hee flell downe upon his side. 

203 



1 lieu Dc^^rcc rccovcrcii anon-riglit, 

And liclciulctl \nm with nuich might ; 

With his static that was soc h)iigc 

He lirokc of him rtoote and lioiie 

That itt was woiuler rfor to see. 

Ike was soc tauglie hee might not dye, 320 

^ ett hee hitt him on the erowne soe hyc 

That hee maiie his braines out Hyc. 

Then the Erie was glatl and blythe, 

Ami thanked Degree often sithc, 

And he prayed him hee wold with him ryde 

Unto the pal lace there beside ; 

And there he made him a knight, 

And made him good checre that night ; 

Rents, tresure, and halfc of his land 

Hee wold have seized into his hand, 330 

And alsoe his daughter to be his wiffe. 

And all his lands after his lit^e. 

And then Sir Degree thanked him hartilye, 

And prayed him, 'of his eurtesye 

To lett his women affore him come, 

Wives, mayds, more and some,' 

"And alsoe your daughter eke ; 

And if my gloves be Hot them meete. 

Or will upon of any of their hands, 

Then wold I be f?liine to take mv lands ; 340 

And if my gloves will not doe soe, 

I will take my leave and goe." 

All the women were out brought 

That thereabout might be sought. 

And all assay d the gloves then. 

But they were ffitt for no woman. 

Sir Degree tooke his gloves thoe, 

And alsoe tooke his leave to goe. 

The Erie hee was a lord of gentle blood, 

Hee gave Sir Degree a steede iTuU good, 350 

204. 



And therto gave him good armour 

Which was ffaire and sure, 

And alsoe a page his man to bee, 

And a hackney to ryde on trulye. 

Then fforth went Sir Degree, the sooth to say, 

Many a mile upon a summers day. 

Soe upon a day much people he mett ; 

He hoved still, and ffayre them grett ; 

He asked the squier what tydinge. 

And wence came all those people rydinge. 360 

The squier answered verament, 

He sayd, "they came ffrom the parlament. 

And when they parlaiment was most planere, 

The King lett cry both farr and nere 

' If any man durst be soe bold 

As with the King just wold, 

He shold have his daughter in marryage, 

And all his lands and his herytage.' 

Itt is a land good and ffiiyre. 

And the King thereto hath no heyre. 370 

Certaine no man dare grant thereto ; 

Many a man assayd, and might not doe. 

For there is no man that rides to him 

But hee bcates them with stroakes grim ; 

Of some hee breakes the necke anon ; 

Of some he brakes backe and bone ; 

Some through the bodye hee glyds ; 

And some to the death hee smites. 

Unto him may a man doe nothinge. 

Such a grace ever hath our Kinge." 380 

Sir Degree stood in a study then. 

And thought hee was a mighty man, 

" And I am in my youngc blood ; 

And I have horsse and armour goode, 

And as I trow I have a good steede ; 

I will assay if I can specdc ; 

205 



Ami il I I an hc.irc thai King tlownc, 

I shalhc a man of great rciiownc ; 

Ami if lifc mcc ffcll can, 

'I'licrc knovvcs no hotly who I am," 390 

Thus in the cityc his innc he takes ; 

He rested hini, and merry makes. 

Soe on a day the King hee mett, 

Ik- kneeled downe, and iaire him grett, 

And savd, '' my lord, thon K'um of much might! 

Mv lord hath sent mee to thee right 

To warne you how itt must he : 

My lord will come and ffight with yce ; 

To just with thee my lord hath nomm." 

The King sayd, " hee shalhe welcome, 400 

Be hee knight or harrowne, 

Erie, duke, or cluirle in towne : 

Theres no man lie fforsake ; 

Who all may vvinn, all let him take." 

Soe on the morrow the day was sett. 

The Kino; advised much the bett, 

But there was not any living man 

That Sir Degree trusted upon ; 

But to the church that day went hee 

To heare a Masse to the Trinitye ; +10 

And to the ffather hee offered a ffloren, 

And to the Sonne another ffine ; 

The third to the Holy Ghost hee offered ; 

The priest in his Masse ffbr him hee prayed. 

And when the Masses were done. 

Unto his inne hee went ffull soone. 

Where hee did arme him well indeed 

In rich armor s^ood att need. 

Plis good steed he began to stryde ; 

He tooke his speare, and fforth gan ryde. 420 

His man tooke another spere, 

And after his master did itt beare : 

206 



Thus in the ffeild Sir Degree abode then, 
And the King came with many men. 



Third Parte 

Many came thither readylye 

ffor to see their justing trulye ; 

And all that ever in the iTeild were, 

They sayd and did sweare 

That ' ere that time they never see 

Soe ffayre a man with their eye 430 

As was that younge knight Sir Degree ; ' 

But no man wist ffrom wence came hee. 

They rode together att the last 

Upon their good steeds ffull ffast : 

To dashe him downe he had meant, 

And in his sheild sett such a dint 

That his good speare all to-brast ; 

But Sir Degree was strong, and sate fast. 

Then sayd the King, "Alas, alas! 

This is a wonderfFull case. 440 

There was never man that I might hitt 

That might ever my stroake sitt ! 

This is a man ffor the nones ! 

He is a man of great bones ! " 

They rode together then with great randome. 

And he had thaught to have smitten the child downe, 

And he hitt Sir Degree soone anon 

Right upon the brest bone, 

That his horsse was reared on hye. 

And Sir Degree he was ffallcn nye, 450 

And yett Sir Degree his course out yode, 

And waxed angryc in his moode ; 

He sayd, " Alackc ! I have mist yett. 

And hec hath mce twyse hitt ; 

207 



Ry G(hI, I will atlvisc- letter, 
I uill not long he his dchtor!" 
I hen they rode together with mueh might, 
Ami in their shields their speres pight ; 
Anil in their sheeKIs their sjK-res all to-broke 
Unto their hands with that stroke. 460 

And then the King began to speake, 
" Give me a speare that will not breakc, 
Anil he anon shall be smitten downe 
Ilhee were as strong as Sampson. 
And if hee bee the devill of hell, 
I shall him downe ftell ; 
And if his necke will not in too. 
His backe shall, ere I doe goe." 
The King tookc a sperc stifFe and strong. 
And Sir Degree another strong and longc, 470 

And stoLitlye to the King hee smitt. 
T/:c King ffayled ; Sir Degree him hitt, 
He made the Kings horsse turne up his ffcete. 
And soe Sir Degree him beate. 
Then there was mueh noyse and crye ; 
The King was sore ashamed welnye, 
And well I wott his daughter was sorrye, 
ffor then shee wist that shee must marrye 
Untill a man of a strange countrye 

The which before shee never see, 480 

And to lead her live with such a one 
That shee never wist ffrom whence hee came. 
The King sayd then to Sir Degore, 
" Come hither, my ftavre sonne, me before, 
fFor if thou were as a gentle a man 
As thou art seeming to looke upon. 
And il thou coldest witt and reason doe 
As thou art dough tye man too, 
I wold thinke mv lands well besett 
If itt were five times bctt ; 490 

208 



ffor words spoken I must needs hold. 

Afore my barrons that beene soe bold, 

I take thee my daughter by the hand, 

And I cease thee into my land 

To be my heyre after mee, 

In joy and blisse ffor to bee." 

Great ordinance then there was wrought. 

And to the church dore they were brought. 

And there were wedd in verament 

Unto the holy Sacrament. 500 

And looke what ffolly hapened there ! 

That he shold marry his owne mother, 

The which had borne him of her syde ! 

And hee knew nothing that tyde ; 

Shee knew nothing of his kinne. 

Nor yett shee knew nothing of him. 

But both together ordayned to bed. 

Yet peradventure they might be sibb. 

This did Sir Degree the bold, 

Hee weded her to have and hold. 510 

Itt passed on the hye time of noone. 

And the day was almost done ; 

To bed were brought hee and shee 

With great myrth and solempnytye. 

Sir Degree stood and behold then. 

And thought on the hermitt, the holy man. 

That hee shold never wed ffor-thy 

Neither wydow nor ladye 

With-out shee might the gloves doe 

Lightlye on her hands towe. 520 

"Alacke! " then sayes Sir Degree, 

"the time that ever I borne shold bee! " 

And sayd anon with heavy cheere, 

"Rather then all my kingdome heere 

That is now ceazed into my hands, 

That / were fay re out of this /a?icie" 

2 E 209 



Tlic King thc^c words liard tlioc, 

Anil saycs, "my sonnc, why sayst thou soc? 

Is tlicrc- ought against thy will 

Kithcr clone or sayd, that doc thcc ill, 53° 

Or any man that iiath misdoonc r 

'Icll mcc, and itt shall be amended soone." 

"No, lord," sayes Degree then, 

♦' \h\t tor this marryage done has heene, 

I will not with no woman meddle, 

Neither wifte, widdovv, nor damsell. 

Without shee may these gloves doc 

Li<ditlv upon her hands tow." 

And when they Lady can that heere, 

Anon shee changed all her chcere, 5+° 

For shee knew that the gloves longed to her, 

And sayes, "give me the gloves, fayre Sir." 

Shee tooke the gloves in that steede, 

And lightly upon lier hands them did. 

Then shee fell downe and began to cry ; 

Says, " Lord God, I aske thee mercy ; 

I am the mother that did you beare, 

And you are mine owne sonne deere ! " 

Sir Degree tooke her up thoe 

ffull lightly in his armes towe. 55° 

Then cither of other were ffull blythe. 

And kissed together many a sithe. 

The King of them had much marveile. 

And at the noyse without tayle. 

And w-is abashed of their weepinge. 

"Daughter! what meanes this thing?" 

"Father," shee sayd, "will you itt heere? 

You wend that I a may den were. 

No, truly, ftather, I am none 

For itt is twenty winters a-gone ! 

This is my sonne, God doth know. 

And by these gloves see itt, lowe ! " 



6o 



2IO 



Shee told him altogether there 

How hee was begotten of her. 

And then bespake Sir Degree, 

"O sweet mother! " sayd hee, 

"Where is my fathers wooninge, 

Or when heard you of him any tydinge ? " 

" Sonne," shee sayd, " by heaven Kinge 

I can tell you of him no tydinge. 570 

But when thy father from me went, 

A poyntles sword he me lent, 

And hee charged me to keepe itt then 

Till that time thow wert a man." 

Shee feicth the sword anon tho. 

And Sir Degree itt out drew : 

Long and broad itt was, pardye ; 

There was not such a one in that country. 

"Now truly," sayes Degree then, 

"Hee that weelded itt was a man! 580 

But if God of heaven hee may keepe. 

Night nor day I will not sleepe 

Till that time I may my father see. 

In Christendome if that hee bee." 



Fourth Parte 

He made h'un merry that ilk 7iight^ 

And on the morrow, when itt was day light, 

Hee went to the Chirch to heare a Masse, 

And made him ready for to passe. 

The King sayd, "my next kinne, 

I will give thee knights with thee to winne." 590 

"Gramercy, lord," sayes Degree then, 

" But with me shall goe no other man 

But my knave, that may take heede 

Of my armour and of my steede." 

211 



Hcc leapt (Jii his liorssc, tlic sooth U) say, 

And forthc lie roile on his journey. 

Many a mile ami many a way 

Hee rode forth on his palfrey, 

And evermor hee rode west 

Until hee came to a forrest. 600 

There wiKl beasts came him hv, 

And fovvles song therto merrely. 

They rode soc long that itt grew to night; 

They sun went ilowne, and favled light. 

So(jne after they found a castell cleere, — 

A lady truly dwelleil there, — 

A fay re castle t)f lime and stone, 

But other towne there was none. 

Sir Degree sayd to his knave tliat tvdc, 

"Wee will to yonder castle ryde, 610 

And all night ahyde will wee, 

And aske lodging ilor charity." 

The bridge itt was undrawen thoe. 

They gates they stood open alsoe. 

Into they castle they can speede. 

But first they stabled up their steede, 

And they sett up their hackney. 

Enoughe they found of corne and hay. 

They yode about and began to call 

Both in the court and in the hall ; 620 

But neither for love nor awe, 

Livinge man they none sawe ; 

But in the middst of the hall floore 

They found a iayre fyer in that hower. 

His man sayes, "leave Sir, 

I have wonder who hath made this fTyer } " 

" But if hee come againe to night, 

I will him tarry, as I am true knight." 

Hee sett him downe upon the desse. 

And hee made him well att ease. 630 



212 



Soone after hee was ware of one 

That into the dore gan to come : 

Three maydens ffayre and ftree 

Were trussed up above the knee ; 

Two of them bowes did beare, 

And other towe charged were 

With venison that was soe good. 

Then Sir Degree up stoode, 

And blessed them anon-wright. 

But they spake not to the knight, 640 

But into a chamber they be gone, 

And they shut they dore fFull soone. 

Anon then after that withall 

A dwarffe came into the hall : 

Four foote was they lenght of him ; 

His visage was both great and grim ; 

The hayre that on his head was, 

Looked as yellowe as any glasse ; 

With milke white lace and goodly blee, 

ffull stoutly then looked hee; 650 

Hee ware a sercote of greene. 

With blanchmere itt was ffringed, I weene ; 

Hee was well cladd and well dight. 

His shoes were crooked as a knight ; 

And hee was large oi ffoote and hand 

As any man within the land. 

Sir Degree looked on him thoe. 

And to him reverence he did doe ; 

But he to him wold not speake a word. 

But made him ready to lay the bord. 660 

He layd on clothe, and sett on bread, 

Alsoe wine white and red ; 

Torches in the hall hee did light. 

And all things to supper he did dight. 

Anon then witli great honor 

There came a lady forth of her bower, 

213 



And with Irt slice luul niaytU tiltccii 

That were some in reil, ami some in grecne. 

Sir Degree followed anon-right, 

But they spake not to the knight ; 670 

Tliev vode and washed every one ; 

' ' 111 

And then to super wold shec gone, 

That Bayre lady that was soc bright. 

Att midtlest ol the messe shec sate dcnvnc right. 

And of every side her maydens five, 

fiayre and goodlye as any were alive. 

" liy God," then saycs Sir Degree, 

*'I have you blessed, and you not mee ; 

But you seeme dumbe ; by St. John 

I will make you speakc and I can! " 6^0 

Sir Decrree cold of curtesyc ; 

He went and sett him before the ladye. 

And when hee had taken his seatc, 

Hee tookc his kniffe and cut his meate. 

ffull litle att supper eatcs hec, 

Soe much hee beholds this mayden hfrce ; 

Hee thought shce were the fiyrest ladye 

That ever before hee did see. 

And when that they had supped all. 

The dwarffc brought watter into the hall ; 690 

They yode and washed every one. 

And then to chamber wold shee gone. 

"Now trulye," sayes Degree, "and alter I will 

To looke on this ladye all my ffill." 

Soe upon the stayres the way hee nome, 

And soone into the chamber hee come. 

The lady that was ffayre and bright, 

Upon her bed shee sate downe right, 

And harped notes sweete and ffine. 

Her mayds ffilled a peece ot wine; 700 

And then Sir De<Trce sett him downe 

ffor to heare the harpe sound ; 

21 + 



And through the notes of the harp shrill 

He layd him downe and slept his ffill. 

That ffaire lady that ilke night 

Shee bade cover the gentle knight; 

And rich clothes on him they cast, 

And shee went to another bed att last. 

And soe on the morrow when itt was day, 

The lady rose, the sooth to say, 710 

And into the chamber they way can take. 

Shee sayd, "Sir Knight, arise and wake! " 

And then shee sayd all in game, 

"You are worthye ffor to have blame! 

ffor like a beast all night you did sleepe ; 

And of my mayds you tooke no keepe." 

And then bespake Sir Degree, 

"Mercy, madam, and fforgive mee ! 

The notes that thy harpe itt made, 

Or else the good wine that I had. 720 

But tell me now, my ladye hend. 

Ere I out of this chamber wend. 

Who is lord in this lande. 

Or who holds this castle in his hand. 

And whether you be mayd or wifFe, 

And in what manner you lead your liffe. 

And why you have soe manye women 

Alone with-out any men." 

"Sir," shee sayd, "I wold you tell 

And if you wold amend itt well. 730 

My ffather was a bold barron. 

And holden lord over tower and towne. 

And hee had never child but mee, 

And I am heyre heere in this countrye ; 

And there hath woed me many a knight 

And many a squicr well dight ; 

But there then woones there beside 

A stout Gyant, and hee is iTull of pryde, 

215 



Alul lice hath mc desired long and yore; 

Ami him to love I can never more; 740 

And liee liatli slaine mv men eehe one, 

All saving my sorry dwarlle alone." 

As shee stood talking, shee fell to the ground 

And swooned there in that stond. 

And then her damsells about her come 

And comfort her, and her uj) nomc. 

The ladve wakened, and looketl on Sir Degree. 

"Oh leave Dame!" then sayes hee, 

"Ik- not adread wliile I am here; 

ffor I will heipe thee to my power." 750 

*'Sir," shee sayes, "all my lands 

I doe itt ceaze into your hands, 

Antl all my goods I will thee give, 

And alsoe my body while I doc live. 

And iTor to bee at your ownc will 

I'^arlyc, late, lowdc, and still. 

Yea and your Icman {\ov to bee, 

To wreake mee upon my enemyc." 

Then was Sir Degree ffaine to ffight 

To defend this ladye in her wright, 760 

And f^or to sloe the other knight, 

And winne the ladye that was soe bright. 

And as they stood talkingr in l^eere. 

Her damsells came with a heavy cheere, 

And bade "draw the bridge hastilve; 

For yonder comes your enemye ; 

Without you itt draw soone, anon 

Hee will destroye us everye one." 



Fifth Parte 

Sir Degree hee start up anon 

And thought to make him readve soone, 770 

216 



And out of a window hee him see ; 

Then to his horsse ffull soone did hye. 

Soe stout a man, as hee was one, 

In armor sa[w] shee never none. 

Then Sir Degree rode fForth amaine 

ffor to ryde this Gyant againe : 

They smote together hard in sooth 

That Sir Degrees horsse backe brake in two. 

"Thou hast," sayes Sir Degree, "slaine my good steede, 

But I hope Isl quitt well thy meede ! 780 

To sloe thy steed nought I will. 

But fEght with thee all my ffill." 

Then they ffoughten on ffoote in ffeere 

With hard strokes upon helmetts cleere. 

The Gyant hee gave Sir Degree 

Huge strokes that were great plentye, 

And Sir Degree did him alsoe 

Till his helmett and basenett were burst in two. 

The Gyant hee was aggreeved sore 

Because he had of his blood fforlore, ygo 

And such a stroke he gave Sir Degree thoe 

That to the ground he made him goe. 

Sir Degree recovered anon-right 

And such a stroke hee gave that Knight, 

And upon the crowne soe hee itt sett. 

That througe his hclme and basenett 

He made his sword to goe through his head. 

And then the Gyant ffcll downe dead. 

This ladye lay in her castle. 

And shee saw the whole battel 1, 800 

And shee was glad to see that sight 

As ever the bird was of daylight. 

Then Sir Degree came into the hall, 

And against him came the damsell, 

And shee thanked him ffor his good deed, 

And into her chamber shee did him lead, 

2 F 217 



Ami unaniieil liiin anon tlioc, 

Ami kist a liuiuircd times and moc, 

Ami savii, " sir, now all my lands 

I doc ccazc int(j thv hands, 8io 

Ami all niy goods I do tlicc give, 

Ami niv I)()il\c the whilest I live, 

Ami tior to hee att your owne will 

Karlye, late, lowd, and still." 

He savd, "Madam, gotlamercye 

rtor all the flavour you have granted mce ! 

But I must into ffarr countrvce, 

More adventures flor to see 

Until this twelve monthes be agoc, 

And then I will come you toe." 820 

Hee betooke her to the Heaven King. 

The ladye wept att their departinge. 

Hee leaped on his horsse, the soothe to say, 

And rode fforth on his journey ; 

And evermore he rode west 

Till a lane he ffound in a fforrest, 

And there came to him prickitig a knight 

That well was armed, and on his horsse dight 

In armour that wold well endure, 

With ffine gold and rich azure, 830 

And three bores heads where therin. 

The which were of gold ffine; — 

Itt might well bee his owne, soones ffell, 

ffor once hee woone them in battell ; — 

And he savd, "villaine! what dost thou here 

Within my fforrest to sloe my deere ? " 

Sir Degree answered him with words meeke, 

And sayes, " of thy deere I take noe keepe. 

But I am an adventurous knight, 

And I am goinge to seeke warr and ffight." 840 

His ffiither answered and sayd sans ffell, 

"If thou be come rf^or to seeke battell. 



218 



Buske thee shortlye in a stonde, 

ffor thy ffellow thou hast ffounde." 

Then looke what ffolly happened that tyde! 

The Sonne againe the ffather did ryde, 

And neither knew of other right ; 

And thus they began to ffight. 

They smote together soe hard in soothe 

That their horsses bacckes brake bothe; 850 

And then they ffought on fFoote in fere 

With hard strokes upon helmetts cleere. 

And this his ffather amarveyled was 

Of his sword that was poyntles, 

And sayd to him anon-right, 

" Abyde awhile, thou gentle knight ! 

Where was thou borne, in what land ? " 

" Sir," hee sayd, " in England. 

A kings daughter is my mother; 

But I cannott tell who is my ffather." 860 

" What is thy name? " then sayes hee. 

" Sir, my name is Degree." 

" O, Sir Degree, thou art right welcome! 

ffor well I know thou art my sonne. 

By that sword I know thee heere ; 

The poynt is in my potevere." 

Hee tooke the poynt and sett itt tooe, 

And they accorded both tooe. 

Soe long they have spoken together. 

Both the Sonne and the ffather, 870 

That they have both accorded att one. 

The ffithcr and the sonne alone. 

Then went fforth Sir Degree 

With his owne ffather trulye. 

Untill they might England see. 

They drew thither as they wold bee; 

And when they to the Kings palace were come. 

They were welcome with all and some. 

219 



And there tlicv Ladvc sin'ci! tlicm over a wall. 

Ami to thcni slice began to call, HHo 

And slice sayd, " my deere sonne, Sir i degree, 

Thou hast thy ffather hrcnight with thee!" 

*' Now thankes he to CJod ! " sayd the Kinge, 

** Bor now I know with-out leasinge 

Who is Degrees Bather indcedc." 

The Ladye swooned in that steadc. 

'J'hen slice and her sonne were parted in twaine, 

rtor hee and slice were to nyc of kinne ; 

And then this Knight wedded that fJayrc Ladvc 

Before all the lords in that countrye. 890 

And then went i^orth Sir Degree, 

And soc did the King anil all his mcanyc ; 

Unto the castle they roden in fierc — 

With a companye right fTayre — 

\\'liere dwelled this Ladye bright 

Which before he wan in fficht. 

And there Sir Degree marryed that gav Ladve 

Before all the nobles in that countrye. 

And thus came the Knight out of his care. 

God grant us all well to ffare I 900 



ffini 



IS 



220 



DEATH AND LIFFE 

[First ffitt] 

Christ, Christen King • that on the Crosse tholed, 
Hadd paines and passyons • to deffend our soules, 
Give us grace on the ground • the greatlye to serve 
For that royall red blood • that rann ffrom Thy side, 
And take away of Thy winne word • as the world asketh. 
That is richer of renowne • rents or others. 
For boldnesse of body • nor blythenesse of hart, 
Coninge of clearkes • ne cost upon earth ; 
But all wasteth away • and worthes to nought. 
When death driveth att the doore * with his darts keene, i o 
Then noe truse can be taken • noe treasure on earth, 
But all lordshipps be lost • and the lifFe both. 
If thou have pleased the Prince • that paradice weldeth, 
There is noe bearne borne * that may thy blisse recon ; 
But if thou have wrongffully wrought • and will not amend. 
Thou shalt byterlye bye * or else the Booke ffayleth. 
Therfore begin in God • to greaten our workes. 
And in His ffaythffull Sonne • that ffreelye Him followeth 
In hope of the Holy Ghost * that yeeld shall never. 
God that is gracyous * and governe us all, 20 

Bringe us into blisse * that brought us out of ball ! 
Thus ffarcd I through a ffryth • were fflowers were manye. 
Bright bowes in the banke • breathed ffuU sweete. 
The red rayling roses • the riches[t] of fBowcrs, 
La[y]d broad on their bankes • with their bright leaves, 
And a river that was rich • runn over the greene 
With still sturring streames • that streamed ffull bright. 
Over the glittering ground • as I there glodc, 
Methought itt Icnglitcncd my liffe • to looke on the 

bankes. 
Then among the fayre flowers • I settled me to sitt 30 



*1 ^~, I 



Under :i huge h.iwthoriie • tliat Ikjfc was of blossoincs ; 
I bent inv backe to the hole • and blenched to the 

4 

blieamcs. 
Thus prest I on apaie ■ under the greene hawthorne. 
ffor brenie of the birds • and breath ot the Hlowers, 
And what lor waehing and wakingc ' and wandering 

about, 
In niv seate where I sate • I saycd a sleepe, 
Lying eiigelong on the ground • Ii[f]t all my sclven, 
Deepe dreamcs and dright • ilrove nice to hart. 
Methought walking that I was • in a wood stronge, 
Upon a great niountaine • where mores were large, 40 
That I might see on everyc side * seventeen miles, 
l^oth ot woods and wasts • anil walled townes, 
Comelye castles and cleare * with carvcn towers, 
Parkes and pallaces • and pastures ffull manv, 
All the world full of welth • winlyc to behold. 
I sett me downc softlyc • and sayd these words: 
" I will not kere out of kythc • before I know more." 
And I wayted me about ' wonders to know, 
And [me] ffiiyrlye beffell • soe fayre me bethought ; 
I saw on the south syde • a seemelye sight, 50 

Of comelye knights full keene • and knights fFull noble, 
Princes in the presse ' proudlye attyred, 
Dukes that were doutrhtye • and many decre erles, 
Sweeres and swaynes • that swarmed fFull thicke ; 
There was neither hill nor holte • nor haunt there beside, 
But itt was planted fFull of people • the plaine and the 

rough e. 
There over that oste * estward I looked 
Into a boolish banke • the brightest of other. 
That shimered and shone • as the sheere heaven 
Throuizhc the lieht of a Ladve • that lono;ed therin. 60 
Shec came checreing ffull comlve • with companye 

noble, 
Upon cleare clothes * were all of cleare gold, 

222 



Layd brode upon the bent • with brawders fFull riche, 
Before that ffayre on the ffeeld • where shee fforth passed. 
Shee was brighter of her blee • then was the bright sonn, 
Her rudd redder then the rose • that on the rise hangeth, 
Meekely smiHngwith her mouth • and merry in her lookes, 
Ever laughing for love • as shee like wold. 
And as shee came by the bankes • the boughes eche one 
They lowted to that Ladye • and layd forth their 

branches. 70 

Blossomes and burgens • breathed ffull sweete, 
fflowers fflourished in the frith " where shee fforth stepedd, 
And the grasse that was gray • greened belive ; 
Breme birds on the boughes • busilye did singe, 
And all the wild in the wood • winlye they joyed. 
Kings kneeled on their knees • knowing that Ladye, 
And all the princes in the presse • and the proud dukes, 
Barrons and bachelours • all they bowed ffull lowc ; 
All profrereth her to please • the pore and the riche. 
Shee welcometh them ffull winlye • with words ffull 

hend, 80 

Both barnes and birds • beastes and fowles. 
Then that lowly Ladye • on land where shee standeth, 
That was comelye cladd • in kirtle and mantle 
Of goodlyest greene • that ever groome ware. 
For the kind of that cloth • can noe clarke tell ; 
And shee the most gracyous groome • that on tlie crnnind 

longed ; 
Of her drurycs to deeme • to dull be my witts. 
And the price of her perrie ' can no person tell ; 
And the colour of her kirtle • was carven ffull lowe, 
That her blisfull breastes • bearnes might behold, 90 
With a naked necke • that neighed her till. 
That gave light on the land • as [l]eames of tlie sunn. 
All the kings christened • with their cleere gold 
Might not buy that ilkc broche • that buckcled her 

mantle, 



223 



Ami the crowiic on lier laail ' was carvcn in heaven, 

With a scepter sett in her hand • of selcoth gemmes : 

Thus lovelve to looke upon • on huu! shee abvtleth. 

Merry were the ineanye • of men that shee had, 

Hlyth bearnes of hlee • bright as the sunn : 

Sir Condort, that Knight • when the court dineth, loo 

Sir lli»pe and Sir Ilinil • [that] sturdyc beene botli, 

Sir LiBe and Sir Likinge • and Sir Love alsoe, 

Sir (lunninLre ami Sir Curtesye • that curteous were of 

deeds, 
And Sir Honor over all ' under her selven, 
A stout man and a staleworth • her steward, I-wis^e. 
Shee had hulycs of love • longed her about: 
Dame Mirth, and Dame Meekenes • and Dame Mercy 

the hynd, 
Dallyance and Disport • two damsells fJull sweete. 
With all bcawtye <7/;c/ blisse " bearnes to behold. 
There was minstrelsye made • in full many a wise, — i lo 
Who-soe had craft or cuninge • kindly to showe, — 
Both of birds and bcastes • and bearnes in the leaves ; 
And ffishes of the fflood • ffeine of her were ; 
Birds made merrye with their mouth • as thcv in mind 

cold. 
Tho I was moved with that mirth • that marvell mee 

thought ; 
What woman that was • that all the world lowtcd, 
I thought speedylye to spye • spcede if I might. 
Then I kercd to a knight * Sir Comfort the good. 
Kneeling low on my knees • curteouslye him prayed. 
I willed him of his worshipp • to witt me the sooth i 20 
Of yonder Ladyc of Love • and of her royall meanye. 
Hce cherished me cheerlye • by cheeke and by chin, 
And sayd, "certes, my sonne • the sooth thou shalt knowe. 
This is my Lady Dame LilTe • that leadeth us all, 
Shee is worthy and wise * the welder of joye, 
Greatlye governeth the ground • and the greene grasse, 

22+ 



Shee hath ffostered and ffed thee • sith thou was ffirst 

borne, 
And yett beffore thou wast borne • shee bred in thy hart. 
Thou art welcome, I-wisse • unto my winn Ladye. 
If thou wilt wonders witt • feare not to fFraine, 130 

And I shall kindlye thee ken • care thou noe more." 
Then I was fearfull enoughe • and ffaythffullye thought 
* That I shold l[e]ng with Dame Liffe ' and love her for 

ever. 
There shall no man upon mold • my mind from her take 
For all the glitteringe gold • under the God of heaven.' 
Thus in liking this livinge • they longed the more 
Till that itt neighed neere noone • and one hower after 
There was rydinge and revell • that ronge in the bankes ; 
All the world was full woe • winne to behold. 
Or itt turned from twelve • till two of the clocke, 140 
Much of this melodye • was maymed and marde : 
In a nooke of the north . there was a noyse hard. 
As itt had beene a home . the highest of others. 
With the biggest here • that ever bearne wist. 
And the burlyest blast • that ever blowne was, 
Throughe the rattlinge rout • runge over the ffeelds. 
The ground gogled for greeffe • ot that grim dame ; 
I went nere out of my witt ' for wayling care ; 
Yett I bode on the bent ■ and boldlye looked ; 
Once againe into the north • mine eye then I cast. 150 
I there saw a sight • was sorrowfull to behold. 
One of the uglyest ghosts • that on the earth gone. 
There was no man of this sight ' but hee was affray d, 
Soe grislye and great • and grim to behold, 
And a quintfull queene • came quakinge before. 
With a carved crowne on her head • all of pure gold, 
And shee the ffoulest ffreake • that formed was ever, 
Both of hide and hew • and heare alsoe. 
Shee was naked as my nayle • both above ami belowc, 
Shee was lapped about * in linenn breeches. 160 

2 G 225 



A more fcarrtiill face ' no frcakc might hcliolil ; 
For slice was long, and leane • ami lodlye to sec; 
There was noe man on the mold * soe mightve of 

strenght, 
But a looke of that lady • and his lifTe passed. 
His eyes larden as the fyer • that in the furnace hurnes; 
Tiiey were iiollow in her head • with full heavye hrowes ; 
Her cheek.es were leane • with lipps full siile, 
With a marvelous mouth • full of long tushes, 
Ami the nchh of her nose • to her na\ell hanged, 
And her Icrc like the lead • that latelve was beaten. 170 
Shee bare in her right hand • an unrid weapon, 
A bright Inirnisht blade • all bloody beronen. 
And in the left hand ■ like the legg of a grypc, 
With the talents that were touchinge • and teenfuU 

enoughe. 
With that shee burnisht up her brand • and bradd out 

her geere ; 
And I for feare of that freakc • f^ell in a swond. 
Had not Sir Comfort come • and my care stinted, 
I had beene slaine with that sight • of that sorrowful! 

ladyc. 
Then he lowted to me low • and learned me well, 
Sayd, " Be thou not abashed • but abyde there a 

while; 180 

Here may thou sitt and see • selcothes Hull manye. 
Yonder damsell is Death • that dresseth her to smyte. 
Loe, Prvde passeth before • and the price beareth, 
Many sorrowtl'ull souldiers • following her fast after : 
Both Envye and Anger • in their yerne weeds, 
Morninge and Mone • Sir Mischeefe his f?ere, 
Sorrow and Sicknesse • and Sikinge in hart ; 
All that were lothingc of their litTe • were lent to her 

court. 
When shee draweth up her darts • and dresseth her to 

smite, 

226 



There is no groome under God • may garr her to 

stint. 190 

Then I blushed to that bearne • and balefullye looked : 
[S]he stepped forth barefooted • on the bents browne, 
The greene grasse in her gate • shee grindeth all to 

powder, 
Trees tremble for ffeare • and tipen to the ground, 
Leaves lighten downe lowe • and leaven their might, 
Fowles faylen to ffl.ee • when they heard wapen. 
And the ffishes in the fflood • ffaylen to swimme 
ffor dread of Dame Death • that dolefullye threates. 
With that shee hyeth to the hill • and the heard ffindeth : 
In the roughest of the rout • shee reacheth forth 

darts. 200 

There shee fell att the first fflappe • fifteen hundred 
Of comelyes queenes with crowne • and kings full noble, 
Proud princes in the presse • prestlye shee quellethe ; 
Of dukes that were doughtye • she dang out the braynes ; 
Merry maydens on the mold * shee mightilye killethe ; 
There might no weapon them warrant • nor no walled 

towne. 
Younge children in their craddle • they dolefullye dyen ; 
Shee spareth ffor no specyaltye * but spilleth the gainest; 
The more woe shee worketh • more mightye shee 

scemeth. 
When my lady Dame Lifte • looked on her deeds, 210 
And saw how dolefullye • shee dunge downe her people, 
Shee cast up a crye • to the hye King ot heaven ; 
And He hearkneth itt hendlye • in His hye throne, 
Hee called on Countenance • and bade his course take, 
" Rydc thou to the rcschew ' of yonder wrought ladye. 
Hee was bowne att His bidd * and bradd on his way. 
That wight, as the wind • that wappeth in the skye, 
He ran out of the rainebow • through the ragged clowds, 
And light on the land * where the lords lav slaine. 
And unto doletuU Death • he dresses him to speakc ; 220 

227 



Savth : " Tlioii wrathclull quccnc ■ lliat ever uoc uorkctli, 
(ieasc of tliv sorrow • thy soveraigine comniandeth, 
Ami let thy hiirnisheil blade • on the bent rest, 
That my laily Dame Lift'e • her likinge may have." 
'Jheu Death glowed and gran • for gryme of h[is] talke, 
But shee did as shee ilaiiied • durst shee noc other; 
Shee pighi tlie poynt ol her sword • in the plaine earth, 
And with a looke full layeth • shee looked on the hills. 
Then my lady Dame Lihf'e • shee looketh lull gay, 
Kyreth to Countenance • and him comelye thankes, 230 
Kissed kindlye that knight • then carped shee no more. 
But unto dolefull Death • shee dresseth her to speake, 
Sayth : " Thou woetuU wretch • wcaknessc of care, 
BoKl birth full of bale • bringer ot sorrowe, 
Dame daughter of the Devil • Death is thy name; 
But if tiiy fare be th[e] fairer • the feend have thy soule. 
Couldest tiiou any cause ffind • thou kaitifie wretch. 
That neither reason nor wright • may raigne with thy 



name ? 



Why kills ilum the body • that never care rought? 
The grasse nor the greene trees • greeved thee never, 240 
But come fforth in their kinds • Christyans to helpe. 
With all beawtye and blisse ■ that barne might devise. 
But of my meanye thou marreth • marveild I have 
How thou dare doe them to death • eche day soe manye, 
And the handv worke of Him • that heaven weldeth ! 
How keepeth thou His commandements • thou kaytirt^e 

retch ? 
Wheras banely Hee them blessed • and biddeth them 

thrive, 
Waxe fforth in the word • and worth unto manve. 
And thou lett them of their leake • wuth thy lidder turnes ! 
But with wondering and with woe • thou waiteth them 

full yornc, 250 

And as a thecfe in a rout • thou throngeth them to death. 
That neither nature, nor I • ffor none of thy deeds 

228 



May bring up our bearnes * their bale thee betyde ! 
But if thou bhnn of that bine • thou buy must full deere ; 
They may wary the weeke • that ever thou wast fformed." 
Then Death dolefullye • drew up her browes, 
Armed her to answer • and upright shee standeth, 
And sayd: "0,lovelye Liffe • [l]ea[v]e thou such wordes! 
Thou payneth thee with pratinge • to pray me to cease. 
Itt is reason and right • that I may rent take 260 

Thus to kill of the kind • both kings and dukes, 
Loyall ladds and livelye • of ilke sort some ; 
All shall drye with the dints • that I deale with my 

hands. 
I wold have kept the commandement • of the hye King 

of heaven, 
But the bearne itt brake • that thou bred up fhrst 
When Adam and Eve • of the earth were shapen, 
And were put into Paradice • to play with their selves. 
And were brought into blisse • bidd if they wold. 
He warned them nothing in the world • but a wretched 

branche 
Of the ffayntyest ffruit • that ever in ffrith grew ; 270 
Yett His bidding they brake • as the Booke recordeth. 
When Eve ffell to the ffruite • with ffingars white. 
And plucked them of the plant * and poysoned them 

both, 
I was ftaine of that fFray • my ffawchyon I gryped, 
And delt Adam such a dint • that hee dolve ever after. 
Eve and her ofspring • I hitt them, I hope. 
For all the musters that they made • I mett with them 

once. 
Therfore, Liffe, thou me leave • I love thee but a litle ; 
I hate thee and thy houshold • and thy hyndes all ! 
Mee gladdeth not of their glee • nor of their gay 

lookes ; 280 

Att thy dallyance and thy disport * noe dayntye I have ; 
Thy ffayre lifFe and thy ffairenesse • ffearcth me but litlt 



ic 



229 



Thy blissc is my hale ; hrcvclyc of others, 
There is no game iiiuler heaven * soe ghuilye I wislie 
As to ha\e a slapi) with niv rtauehvon • att thy tayre 
state." 



Sccoiul tintt 

Then Litle on the hind • ladylike siiee speakes, 
Savth : " I hcse words thou hast wasted • waytc thou no 

other ; 
Shall thy bitter brand never • on my body bvte. 
I am grounded in God ' and grow for evermore ; 
But to these men of the mold • marvell me thinketh 290 
In whatt hole of thv hart " thou thv wrath kecpeth. 
Where joy and gentlcnesse • are joyned together 
Betweene [a] wight and his wirte • and his winnc children, 
And when l^aith and t^ellowshipp • are fastened fjor ave, 
Love and charitye • which our Lord likethe, 
Then thou waleth them with wracke • and wratheffullv 

beginneth ; 
Uncurteouslve thou cometh • unknownc of them all, 
And lacheth away the land • that the lord holdeth. 
Or woryes his wiffe • or waits downe his children. 
Mikle woe thus thou wakcth • where mirth was 

before. 300 

This is a deed of the Devill • Death, thou usest ; 
But if thou leave not thy lake • and learne thee a better, 
Thou wilt lach att the last • a lothelich name." 
" Doe away, damsell," quoth Death • " I dread thee 

nouirht ! 
Of my losse that I losse • lay thou noe thought ; 
Thou prove[s]t mee lull prestlye • of many proper thinge; 
I have not all kinds soe ill • as thou me upbrayde<t ; 
Where I wend on my way • the world will depart, 
Bearnes wold be over bold • bales ffor to want. 



230 



The Seven Sinnes for to serve • and sett them full 

ever, 310 

And give no glory unto God * that sendeth us all grace. 
If the dint of my dart • deared them never, 
To lett them worke all their will • itt were litle joy. 
Shold I for their fayrnesse • their ffoolishnes allowe, 
My Liffe (give thou me leave) • noe leed upon earth 
But I shall master his might • mauger his cheekes 
As a conquerour keene • biggest of other. 
To deale dolefull dints • and doe as my list ; 
For I fayled never in fight * but I the ffeild wan, 
Sith the ffirst ffreake * that formed was ever, 320 

And will not leave till the last bee • on the beere layd. 
But sitt sadlye, [mjy Liffe • and soothe thou shalt know. 
If ever any man upon mold • any mirth had, 
That leaped away with thee, Liffe • and laughed me to 

scorne, 
But I dang them with my dints * unto the derffe earthe. 
Both Adam and Eve • and Abell, I killed ; 
Moyses and Methasula • and the meeke Aronn 
Josua and Joseph • and Jacob the smoothe, 
Abraham and Isace • and Esau the roughe ; 
Sauell, for all his [sljingers • I slew with my hands, 330 
And Jonathan, his gentle sonne • in Gilboa hills ; 
David dyed on the dints • that I delt oft, 
Soe did Salomon his sonne • that was sage holden. 
And Alexander also * to whom all the world lowted ; 
In the middest of his mirth • I made him to bow ; 
The hye honor that he had • helped him but litle ; 
When I swang him on the swire • to swelt him behoved. 
Arthur of England * and Hector the kecne. 
Both Lancclott and Leonades • with other leeds manye, 
And Galla[had] the good knight • and Gawaine the 

hynde, 340 

And all the rowtc I rent • ffrom the Round Table : 
Was none soe hardye nor soe hye • soe holy nor soe wicked, 

231 



Rut I hurst thi-ni uitli inv brand • and hrought ihcin 

assuiulcr. 
How shold any wiglit wccnc ' to wiini mc on ground' 
Have not I justed gcntlvc * with Jcsu of heaven? 
He was fravd of mv fiace • in f^reshcst of time, 
Yett I knocked I Mm on the Crosse * and carved throughc 

his hart." 
And with tliat shee cast ol her erowne * and kneeled 

downe lowe 
When shee [nemjned the name • of that noble Prince; 
Soe did Lirtc upon huul • and her leeds all 350 

Both of heaven ami of earth • and of hell f}eends, 
All they lowted downe lowe • their Lord to honor. 
Then LifJe kneeled on her knees • with her crownc in 

her hand, 
And looketh up a long while • towards the hve heaven; 
Shee riseth upp rudlye ■ and dresseth her to spcake, 
Shee calleth to her companvc • and biddcth them come 

neere, 
Both kings and queenes ' and comclye dukes : 
" Worke wiselye by your witts ■ my words to heare 
That I speake fTbr vour speed • and spare itt noe longer." 
Then shee turneth to them . and talketh these 

words, 360 

Shee savth : " Dame Death, of thy deeds • now is thv 

doome shapcn 
Through thv wittles words • that thou hast carped, 
Which thou makest with thv mouth • and mightvlve 

avowes. 
Thou hast blowen thv blast • breemlve abroade 
How hast thou wasted this world * sith wights were hrst. 
Ever murthered and marde • thou makes thv avant. 
Of one point lett us prove * or wee part in sunder : 
How didest thou just att Jerusalem ' with Jesu my 

Lord, 
Where thou deemed his death • in one daves time ? 



232 



There was thou shamed, and shent ' and stripped fFor 

aye! ^ ^ 370 

When thou saw the King come • with the Crosse on 

His shoulder ; 
On the top of Calvarye • thou earnest Him against ; 
Like a traytour untrew • treason thou thought ; 
Thou layd upon my leege Lord • lotheHche hands, 
Sithen beate Him on His body • and buffetted Him 

rightlye. 
Till the railinge red blood • ran from His sides, 
Sith rent Him on the rood • with ffull red wounds. 
To all the woes that Him wasted • I wott not ffew, 
Tho[u]deemedst to have beene dead • and dressed forever. 
But, Death, how didst thou then • with all thy derffe 

words, 380 

When thou prickedst att His pappe • with the poynt of 

a speare. 
And touched the tabernackle • of His trew hart 
Where my bower was bigged * to abyde for ever? 
When the glory of His Godhead • glented in thy face. 
Then was thou feard of this fare • in thy filse hart ; 
Then thou hyed into hell hole • to hyde thee belive ; 
Thy fawchon flew out of thy fist • soe fast thou thee 

hyed ; 
Thou durst not blushe once backe • for better or worsse, 
But drew thee downc ffull • in that deepe hell. 
And bade them barre bigglye • Belzehuh his gates. 390 
Then they told them tydands • that teened them sore, 
How that King came • to kithen His strenght, 
And how Hee had beaten thee on thy bent • and thy 

brand taken. 
With everlasting liffc • that longed Him till. 
Then the sorrow was ftull sore • att Sathans hart ; 
Hee threw fieends in the ffyer • many ftell thousands ; 
And, Death, thou dange itt on • whitest thou dree might ; 
For ffalte of thy fiawchyon * thou fought with thy hand. 

2 H 233 



liost this never of thy red ileeil>> • thou ravished liitche ! 
'J hoii iiKiv shriiike for sliaine • when the sooth 

heares. 400 

rhcn I leapt to my Lord • that caught me upj) sooiic, 
Aiui all wounded as Hee was • with weapon in hand 
He fastened footc upon earth • ami fioUowed thee Bast 
Till I le c ame to the eave ' that cursed was holdcn. 
He abode before Barathroii • that bearne, while He liked, 
That was ever merke as midnight • with mourninge and 

sorrowe ; 
He cast a light on the land • as [l]eamcs ()[f] the sunn. 
Then crved that King ■ with a cleere Steven, 
*' Pull open your ports • you princes within! 
Here shall come in the King • crowned with joy, 410 
Which is the hyest burne • in battel 1 to smite." 
There was fHeringe of ffeends • throughc the fycr gaynest, 
Hundreds hurled on heapes • in holes about ; 
The broad gates, all of brasse • brake all in sunder, 
And the King with His Crosse * came in before. 
He leapt unto Lucifer • that Lord himselte, 
Then He went to the tower • where chaynes were manve. 
And bound him soe biglye • that hee for bale rored. 
Death, thou daredst that day ' and durst not be scene 
ftbr all the glitering gold • under God himselven. 420 
Then to the tower Hee went • where chancs are many : 
Hee tooke Adam and Eve • out of the old world, 
Abraham and Isacc • and all that Hee wold, 
David, and Danyell • and manv deare bearnes 
That were put into prison • and pained llull long. 
He betooke me the treasure • that never shall have end. 
That never danger of death • shold me deere after. 
Then wee wenten iTorth • winlye together. 
And left the dungeon of devills • and thee, Death, in 

the middest. 
And now thou prickes ffor pride • praising thy 

selven! 430 



23+ 



Therfore bee not abashed • my barnes soe deere, 
Of her ffauchyon soe ffeirce * nor of her ffell words. 
Shee hath noe might, nay no meane • no more you to 

greeve, 
Nor on your comelye corsses ■ to clapp once her hands. 
I shall looke you ffull livelye • and latche ffull well, 
And keere yee ffurtherof this kithe "above the cleare skyes. 
If yee love well the L[ord] • that light in the Mayden, 
And be christened with creame • and in your creede 

beleeve. 
Have no doubt of yonder Death • my deare children ; 
For yonder Death is damned • with devills to dwell, 440 
Where is wondering, and woe • and wayling ffor sorrow. 
Death was damned that day • daring ffull still. 
Shee hath no might, nay no maine • to meddle with 

yonder ost. 
Against everlasting Liffe • that ladye soe true." 
Then my lady Dame Liffe • with lookes soe gay. 
That was comelye cladd • with christall and mantle. 
All the dead on the ground • doughtilye shee rayseth 
Fairer by two ffold • then they before were. 
With that shee hyeth over the hills • with hundreds ffull 

manye. 
I wold have ffollowed on that faire ■ but no further 

I might ; 450 

What with wandering and with woe • I waked bclivc. 
Thus fared I throw a ftrith • in a ffresh time, 
Where I sayd a slccpc • in a slade greene ; 
There dreamed I the dreame • which dread all befricfhtcd. 
But Hee that rent all was on the rood • riche itt himsclvcn, 
And bring us to His blisse • with blessings enowe ! 
Therto Jesu of Jerusalem • grant us Thy grace. 
And save there our howse • holy lor ever ! Amen ! 



ffin 



IS 



END OF THIRD VOLUME 



PR 
1181 
P465 
V.3 



Percy, Thomas 

Folio of Old English 
ballads and romances 



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