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r^^ V, 







Metrical 3ieiomatUfj8; 



ancient s^mmtxv^in* 






Of all maner of minstrales 
And jestours that lelien tales 
Both of weeping and of giime 
And of all that longeth unto fame. 



Printed by George Ramsay and Company, 





,"' V T -r J 

V. I 







&c. &c. &c. 



HER ladyship's PERMISSION, 








Introduction, ix 

Appendix, Ixxiii 

'^ Kyng Alisaunder. Parti 1 

^. Part II 195 

Sir Cleges, 329 

Lay le Freine, 355 

Various Readings, 373 


The study of ancient English poetry in general, 
having very rapidly increased within these few 
years, and given occasion to a great number of 
publications and selections, it was thought that a 
second collection of metrical romances of the 
thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, ex- 
cluding all those which have already been pub- 
lished by modern editors, would be highly accept- 
able to the lovers of ancient literature. With all 
their imperfections, they are certainly to the full 
as amusing as the prolix and wire-drawn mora- 
lities and second-hand narrations of Gower, Oc- 
cleve, and Lydgate, though the works of these 
poets are generally spoken of with far greater re- 
spect. It is undoubtedly an evidence, that these 
tales, though dressed in the most homely garb, 
contain something very attractive, when we con- 


sider that they tovn,ed the favourite stndy of War- 
on and ,ha. .hey have been collected and It 
trated by ,ome of the ,ost polite scholars he 
present day. Nor should U,eir less disputed ti 

customs, and vernacular language of their age 
which, wuhout elucidations derived fron, thS 
-rce, would be involved in inexplicable obsc . 
2- he forgotten. Several of the romances, at 
present submuted to the public in their orig al 
en .re state, have been already analysed by Mr 

sTi 'V """"'; "'"'' '"' '="'' 'hem acces- 
sible to those readers, ho have not been initiated 
.nto the delightful sensations which the an" uty 
expenences, . labouring through the greatest di/ 
fioufes, occasioned by the combination of ,. 
c.entspe,g and antiquated words, nor can join 
n .he superior applauses bestowed on that edhor, 
ho copies and illustrates the ancient text with the 
greatest fidelity and diligence. 

It was originally the wish of the editor to res- 
cue a I the ancient English romances, or, at C 
all those w^ich merit preservation for any reason 
whatever, from their present precarious 
n manuscript, and difficult accessibility i public, and thus contribute his share to what L 
so very desirable for the study of the langa<re a 
regular series of English metrical composiSo'ns, 


and to collect materials for some future compiler 
of that great desideratum, a dictionary of the an- 
cient English tongue after the conquest. To his 
great mortification, however, he was obliged to 
give up his original plan, and to print a select 
portion only of the collections he had made and 
intended for publication. In selecting the poems, 
the principal object of preference was their intrinsic 
merit, and the popularity they were likely to obtain ; 
but regard was also had to exhibit specimens of 
the difference of language, style, and versification, 
which obtained in the three centuries during 
which English romances were produced. 

It has been usual with the different editors and 
illustrators of ancient English poetry, to prefix 
dissertations on the origin of that favourite spe- 
cies of fiction, called the romantic. But it is only 
necessary to consider the different ideas of writers 
who have formed hypotheses of their OM^n, and 
the fallacies which they have reciprocally detected 
in their several systems, to see the impropriety of 
deducing from one source, what in fact originated 
in the universal propensity of all nations for poe- 
try in general, and that species in particular which 
calls in the aid of marvellous fictions. The dei-r 
ties, nymphs, satyrs, and mythological metamor- 
phoses of the Greeks and Romans, and the genii 
and peries of the Oriental nations, are not less 


boldly imagined and hardily brought forward, than 
the most extravagant wonders of Bojardo, Arios- 
to, the French trouveurs, and the Spanish prose 
romances ; nor are the anachronisms, of which 
the poets of the middle ages have been guilty, 
much greater than some committed by the classi- 
cal writers of epic poetry. Poetical chronicles, 
often accurate to absurdity, were composed in 
both the great aeras of the world, though those 
of the middle ages can certainly not be compared 
with the productions of Lucan and Statius in 
point of poetical excellence. The giants of the 
Odyssey, and those of Turpin's Chronicle, of Sir 
Bevis, and of the Teutonic romances; the pyg- 
mies of Pliny, and those of the Scandinavians and 
Germans; the dragons of Medea, and those of 
romance; the enchantments of Calypso, Medea, 
Circe, Alcina, and Armida; in short, the oc- 
currence of fairies, monsters, and wonders of all 
kinds in the poetry of every nation renders their 
derivation from any one particular source not on- 
ly very uncertain, but almost preposterous. They 
undoubtedly came originally from Asia, the cradle 
of mankind; but all nations, in every age, ma- 
nifestly had a strong inclination to receive from 
their neighbours any popular and successful fic- 
tion which obtained among them, and to commu- 
nicate to them their own in return. 


^ While the origin of romance has engaged the 
attention of such numerous writers, the no less 
singular history of its decline has been scarcely 
touched upon. For an elaborate dissertation on 
the causes which gradually abstracted the atten- 
tion of all classes from these fascinating produc- 
tions, the editor is not prepared. But the fol- 
lowing short enumeration of some of the means by 
which they were gradually supplanted,, thrown to- 
gether without much regularity, may assist in form^ 
ing an opinion on the subject, and lead to a more 
complete and elaborate investigation. The prin- 
cipal reasons were, no doubt, the more general 
diffusion of science among all classes, shortly be- 
fore the reformation ; the unclosing those trea- 
sures of classic lore which had been confined in 
the monasteries ; the substitution of other models 
of imitation ; and, above all, the invention of 
printing. The nobles began to read, instead of 
listening to the recitation of strolling minstrels. 
A middle rank was formed, raised by the exten- 
sion of commerce and manufactures, owing to the 
sudden discoveries of other regions, and of new 
sources for employing human industry. Every 
thing began to assume a more regular and sys- 
tematical appearance. System was again intro- 
duced into poetry, after having been banished for 
many centuries : and the public and private uti- 


lity of each class of poems, which the knights and 
ladies of the feudal age had never inquired after, 
began to be investigated. Instead of being only 
amused, it began to be the fashion to ask after 
instruction also. Those poems of the earlier cen- 
turies, which conveyed some concealed significa- 
tion, were sought after and read with avidity, and 
none with greater relish than Reynard the Fox ; 
because the whole science of government was sup- 
posed to be conveyed in the wiles of Reynard, and 
tlie cunning with which he over-reached his op- 
ponents. But the introduction of these refine- 
ments required a considerable struggle. The 
higher ranks would still leave the new systemati- 
cal writers, for the works of mere imagination; and 
those of the lower classes, for a length of lime, 
listened with unabated delight to their old ro- 
mances reduced into the shape of ballads. The 
long admired heroes of romance were besides des- 
'ti^ed to sustain another signal defeat from a class 
whom they had treated with sovereign disdain. 
These were no other than illustrious robbers, 
rogues, and vagabonds. Arthur, Charlemagne, 
Guy of Warwick, Theodoric of Bern, and Or- 
lando, gave way to Robinhood and Little-John, 
the imaginary Doctor Faustus, and Eulenspiegel ; 
and the illustrious Amadis and Cid were laid on 
the shelf, while Don Juan, Gasman d'AIfarache, 


and Lazarillo, usurped their popularity. At length, 
the whole fabric of romance gave way. Though 
the poets still introduced dragons, and giants, and 
horrid monsters, the mind of the reader was not 
long kept in terror, when he discovered them to 
be no other than Antichrist, or some one of the 
vices personified. The reformers went so far, as 
to endeavour to persuade the public, that the 
light-minded Ariosto had shadowed forth the vir- 
tues and vices under the names and attributes of 
his heroes and heroines. Even the truly roman- 
tic mind of Spencer was not able to withstand the 
torrent of these conceits ; and, instead of produ- 
cing a romance which would have paralleled that 
of his favourite Ariosto, he has left us a poem, 
the perusal of which is even rendered painful, 
wherever we find ourselves unable to keep his mask 
of mystery out of sight. In short, romance was 
not immediately abandoned, but very injudicious- 
ly made the vehicle of allegory, which, in its turn, 
was banished, and followed by many successive 
systems of poetry, which this is not the proper 
place to enumerate. Fortunately, romance has 
at length regained a great share of its ancient po- 
pularity, and has been revived by several living 
poets, with a degree of success, not inferior to 
that which encouraged the humble minstrels of 


the middle ages in France, England, and Germa- 
ny, and the more dignified poets of Italy/ 

The inventive powers of the trouvAirs of the 
different European nations were pretty equally 
distributed, with the exception of those of Italy ; 

^/^t it was unfortunate for the English language, 
that the best poets, born in the island soon after 
the conquest, chose to write in French, at that 
time the language of the court. This will in 
some measure account for the curious circum- 
stance, that all the English romances, with the 
exception of the St Graal, Percival, and Laun- 
fal, are anonymou^ On the contrary, we have 
the names of matiy Englishmen, who chose to 
write French poetry for the English court, trans- 
mitted down to our days. The real existence of 
some of them has been doubted, while that of 
the romanciers born in France, Provence, Ger- 
many, and Spain, has never been called in ques- 
/For the reason just assigned, the English ro- 

/taances are generally (perhaps, in every case) 
translations from the French, and the jera of 
their production is at least a century later than 
that of their Gallic prototypes/ It would re- 
quire a longer disquisition, than the limited 
space allotted for this preface offers, to decide 


whether these tales have suffered, or been im- 
proved by their transfusion into the English lan- 
guage. yTn general, they have been shortened 
to at ^east one half of their original length, 
partly owing to the greater number of monosyl- 
lables, and perhaps also occasioned by the superior 
difficulty of rhyming, in a language so little culti- 
vated as that of this island had been at the time. 
We must also regret, that the choice of subjects 
for translation was not always the most judicious^'^ 
But too unlimited a judgment on this head shoufd 
not be formed, as we have evidence that some of 
the most romantic productions of the kind once 
existed in translations, and were lost*, while the 
dull wire-drawn history of Guy of Warwick, and 
the mystic lucubrations of such poets as Ham- 
pole and Occleve were carefully preserved. 

Another instance of strange want of judgment 
in the old poets, is their unaccountable neglect 
of the short and entertaining fabliaux and lays of 
the trouveurs, which exist in such numbers in the 
Imperial Library at Paris. The few ancient 
translations of them wjiich we possess may be 

One instance may suffice : a single leaf of tlie beautiful 
fairy tale of Partenopex has been recovered by Mr Douce. 
The beautiful paraphi-ase of this romance by W. S. Rose, Esq. 
may, however, in some degree console us for the loss. 


easily enumerated. Four will be found in the 
present collection, and a few more (as Sir Orfeo, 
Lanval, How tlie Merchant did his Wife betray, 
&c.) have been published by Ritson. To these 
may be added the comical tales of The Wife lap- 
ped in a Morrel's skin, the Friar and the Boy, 
and a few others still extant in black-leiter. ITie 
Germans, according to their innate rage for trans^ 
lating, made versions of many of the French fa- 
bliaux, and have, besides, innumerable others, 
founded upon native tales, mostly of the ludicrous 
kind. In the works of the honest and diligent 
shoemaker and poet Hans Sachs, several hundreds 
of the latter sort occur. 

The public are now in possession of a sufficient 
lumber of these romantic poems to appreciate 
their value ; and should more be required, they are 
ready to be communicated. The most valuable 
of them are no doubt King Alexander, Ywaine 
and Gawaine, and Sir Tristrem/ But most of 
them have something attractive ; and few, even 
of those w hich remain unpublished, are entirely 
worthless. In some of them the general cloud of 
dulness is now and then dissipated by a few bril- 
liant lines. Tliis is the case even in the ponderous 
gests of Guy of Warwick, Sir Bevis, and Merlin. 
Others, though their poetry and versification are 
geneially very mean, are rendered attractive by 


the romantic wildness of the tale, such as Sir 
Launfal, Le Beaus Desconus, Ipomidou, and 
Amis and Amiloun. All of them demand the at- 
tention of those who would form a true judg- 
ment of the manners, amusements, and modes of 
thinking which obtained in the darker ages, and 
of that, perhaps most wonderful of all human in- 
stitutions, the chivalrous and feudal system. 

I proceed to give an account of the several ro- 
mances included in the present selection, toge- 
ther with an enumeration of those written upon 
the same subjects in other languages. The ac- 
count may be considered by many too detailed; 
but it was thought that the reader, by seeing at 
one view the different, and frequently very nu- 
merous, romances, founded on one original story, 
would be better enabled to judge of their very 
extensive popularity. A particular account of the 
manuscripts of the several romances now publish- 
ed, particularly of those from which the text was 
formed, was of course indispensible. 



Before proceeding to make any observations 
on the English poem now presented to the 
public, a short account of poetical and prose 
romances, written in other languages, which ce- 
lebrate this extraordinary and chivalrous conquer- 
or, will tend to prove the astonishing popularity 
of the subject in the middle ages. My chief au- 
thorities are Fauchet, Quadrio, Warton, Herbe- 
lot, &c. &c. 

An authentic life of Alexander, composed by 
Callisthenes, an Olynthian, and often referred to 
by Strabo, Plutarch, and other writers of classical 
antiquity, has been long lost. A Greek biogra- 
phy, however, occurs very frequently in the li- 
braries, which is attributed generally to Callis- 
thenes, and by some to Antisthenes of Rhodes, 
who is known to have written a life of the Ma- 
cedonian conqueror. It has, however, been suf- 
ficiently proved, that the work was translated 
from the Persian by " Simeon Seth, styled nia- 
gister, and protovestiary or wardrobe-keeper of 
the palace of Antiochus at Constantinople, about 
the yeai- 1070, under the Emperor Michael Du- 


cas *." This is the prototype of most of the fa- 
bulous legends which exist in French, Italian^ 
English, and German. The Persians possess se- 
veral works on the subject, by the poets Nezami, 
Hatefi, and Ahmedi, entitled Iskander Nameh, 
and Aineh Iskenderi. A curious MS. of one of 
these, most splendidly illuminated, is in the pos- 
session of my friend, Francis Douce, Esq. W hich 
of them was the one translated by Simeon Seth, 
I am not prepared to decide. Another Pereian 
poem by Dahaloui, and also entitled Aineh Is- 
kenderi, or the Mirror of Alexander the Great, 
is rather a moral and political, than an historical, 
work. The Arabians -f and Turks also possess 
long poems on the subject J. A version in He- 

* Warton I. 129. A romantic liislory of Alexander, in 
twenty-four books, was written by the poet Arrian, and en- 
tilled Alessaudreis. According to Apuleius, Clement, who flou- 
rished under Antoninus Pius, and one Nestor, who lived in 
the reign of Severus, wrote Greek poems on the subject. 
One Demetrius Zeno, who flourished in 1530, translated the 
romance into politic verses, and his work was piinted at Ve- 
nice in 1629. 

t According to Leunclavins (Hist. Turc. lib. x.) Achnicl 
MoUa, or Meulana Achmet, that is, the Doctor Achmet, ce- 
lebrated the deeds of Alexander in Arabian verse, under the 
title of Emireis Suleiman, for which he was rewarded with 
magnificent presents. 

t Herbelot, I. 644. 


brew, immediately from the Latin, was made un- 
der the adopted name of Jos. Gorionides, called 
by Casaubon, Pseudo-Gorionides. 

A Latin translation of Simon Seth's history ap- 
peared very early, being mentioned by Giraldus 
Cambrensis, who flourished about the year 1 190 J 
professedly by one ^sopus, or Julius Vale- 
rius, and dedicated to Constantine the Great: 
no doubt artifices intended to stamp a high de- 
gree of antiquity and authenticity upon the work. 
An ancient MS. is in the valuable library of Mr 
Douce. It was printed without any author's 
name, at Strasburgh, in 1489 and 1494, and al- 
so occurs in the Variorum edition of Casar's Com- 
mentaries, published by Grasvius*. About the 
year 1236, Aretinus Qualichinus metrified the 
same in elegiac verse. He gives the exact date 
of his work in the following concluding tetrastic ; 

Historiam dictavit carmine qnidam 

Qni Qualicbinns nomine dictns erat. 
Post natnm Christum sunt anni mille ducenli 
Terquc daodeni, quando fit islud opus." 

The most classical poem on the subject of 
Alexander, was written about the year 1200 by 
Gaultier de Chatillon, and entitled Alexandreis. 
The author was provost of the canons of Tour- 

Panzer in his Annal. Typogr. mentions no less than eight 
editions in the fifteenth century. (Vol. V. p. 22.) 


nay, and his work, which may claim the first 
rank among the Latin poems of tlie middle ages, 
obtained a high degree of popularity *'. It is de- 
dicated to William, Archbishop of Rheims, who 
obtained that dignity in 1 17-5. 

The romances in French, relative to Alexan- 
der the Great, are extremely numerous ; and Mr 
Douce, in a valuable note, which will be found 
in the Third Volume of this work (p. 300.), has 
enumerated no less than eleven poets who have 
chosen this subject, and several might be added 
to the list {e. g. Chretien de Troyes, Guy de 
Cambrai, Aimes de Varennes, Sec.) The great 
romance of Alexander was composed about the 
year 1 200. One of the most perfect copies is pre- 
served in the Bodleian Library (264, fol.), and 
yields, in point of magnificence and splendour of 
illumination, to very few manuscripts. From a 
hasty perusal, to which the editor was obliged to 
confine himself, it appears to contain about 20,000 
lines, and to be divided into nine books. ^JThe 
verses are Alexandrines. The received opinion 
that the name of this metre was derived from its 
being employed in this great work, has often been 
questioned but never disproved. All the lines of 
a paragraph, which sometimes extend to above 

* Warton, I. Diss. ii. sign. i. .'?. 


a hundred, rhyme together *. The MS. begins 
in this manner : 

" Qni de richc estoire veult entendre et oir 

Pour prendre bon example et prouesce cueillir 

De coguoistre raison damer et de hair 

De ses amis garder et chieremeut tenir 

Des anemis greuer cans uen pnisse eslargir," &c. 

And ends thus : 

" Chi define li Romans du boin roi AHxandre 
Et le veu du Pauon. les accomplissemens 
Le Rcstor du Pauon. et le pris. qui fu prescript 
Le xviije. ior de Decembre. Ian m.ccc.xxxviij." 

After this, the illuminator thus annoimces his 
name, and the date of his having completed his 
work, from which it appears, as Mr Warton ob- 
serves, that he employed nearly six years upon the 
task, the transcriber having finished his part, as we 
have just seen, towards the end of the year 1338 : 
" Che liure fu perfais de le enluminure au xviij. 
jour dauryl. per Jehan de Grise. Ian de grace, 
m.ccc. xliiij." Then, in another hand : " Laus 
tibi sit Xpcs- qm. liber explicit iste nomen scrip- 
toris est Thomas plenus amoris Qui ultra querit 

" Roquefort (Dictionnaire de la Langue 

Romane, Paris, 1808, II. 755.) mentions ten dif- 

A specimen of this metre, as employed in the strange 
fabliau of Audigier, may be seen in M. Moon's valuable re- 
publication of Barbazan, (Tonic IV. p, 217.) 


ferent MSS. of this work, and its continuations, 
in the Imperial Library at Paris. It is very dif- 
ficult to determine which branches formed the 
original romance, and which were added in the 
13th and 14th centuries. Le Bure, in his cata- 
logue of the library of the Duke of La Valliere, 
gives an accurate account . of two MSS. extant 
there. The first (No. 2702.) is entitled, " Ci 
commence le geste de Alisan^re ;" it is on vellum, 
contains 87 leaves, and begins thus : 

" Moult parest icest siecle doleuz e periUeiis 
Fors a icels qui sement le hault rei glorius 
Qui por nus deliura le seon sane precius." 

And ends : 

" Li reis e li princes lur vies emperdirent 
Par la mort Alisandre kil a tort murdrirent 
Isci finist le romanz de lute chevalerie." 

ITiis ancient part is divided into two divisions^ 
the first of which contains the birth and youthful 
actions of Alexander, and the last those of his 
latter days, with the manner of his death *. In this 
MS. to which Le Bure, fixing the date in the 
12th century, probably attributes too high an an- 
tiquity, two names are mentioned, viz. Mestre 
Eustace, and Thomas of Kent, an Englishman. 
Another MS. mentions two other authors, and 

* The English romance is divided exactly in the same man- 

VOL. 1. c 


the manner in which they executed their task, in 
the following terms : 

" La verity de Tistoire si com li roys la fist 
Un clers de Chastiaudun Loanbera li Cora li mist 

Qui du Latin la trail et en romant la fist 

Alixandre nous dit que de Bemay * fa ner 

Et de Paris refu se sournoms apelles 

Qui or a les siens vers 6 les Lambert melles." 

Of the numerous continuations, Le Testament 
d' Alexandre, and La Vengeance d'Alexandre by 
his son Allienor, seem to have been the first. 
The former is the work of Perot de Saint Cloot, 
the author of the original Reynard the Fox, and 
the latter was produced by Jehan li Venelais, er- 
roneously called Nevelois by Fauchet. 

The branches of the romance composed in the 
fourteenth century are contained in the MS. 2703, 
Bibl. de la Valliere. It is divided into three parts, 
apparently written by three different authors. One 
of them, who lived in 1327, names himself Bri- 
sebarre. The subjects are the Vow of the Pea- 
cock, where Alexander returns to life and achieves 
various adventures, and the Restoration of the 
Peacock, of which subsequently two other con- 
tinuations were made. The whole contains 10,8 1 5 

Alexander de Bemay's work was printed, according f<| 
Quadrio, at Paris, in black-letter. 4. 


Tlie celebrated poet Chrestiens de Troyes, who 
flourished in 1150, among numerous romances, 
also wrote that of Cliget, Cliges, or Clyget, son 
of Alexander the Great. Another, entitled, 
" Histoire de faits et conquetes du noble roy 
Alexander le Grand," which began with the siege 
of Tyre, and ended in the llth book with the 
vengeance of Alyor for the death of Alexander, 
his father, was preserved in the abbey of St Vin- 
cent at Besanon ; it may possibly have been one 
of the former. Aimes, Aymar, or Aimons de 
Varennes, observing the general popularity of the 
chivalrous histories of Alexander, wrote the ro- 
mance of Floiremont, or Florimont, also called 
that of Philip of Macedon. It was composed, 
according to the Harleian MS. in 1224, accord- 
ing to others 1159, 1128, and 1180; but the first 
date is no doubt the true one, for it was profes- 
sedly written after the great romance of Alexan- 
der, as appears by the following lines : 

" Seignor, je sai assez de fi 

Que d'Alixandre avez oi : 

Mais ne savez encore pas 

Dont fu sa mere Olimpias j 

Del roi Filipout ne savez 

Qui fu son pere ct dont fu nez." . __ 

A person of the poet's name has also been as- 
certained to have lived in 12G8. His work con- 


tains nearly 1 4,000 lines. In the Limosin or Pic- 
tavian language, the conquests of Alexander were, 
also chosen for the subject of a poem by one Si- 
mon. (Fauchet, p. 77.) 

When the French metrical romances were turn- 
ed into prose, that of our hero was not forgotten ; 
but upon this subject I refer the reader to the 
very curious note of Mr Douce, already mention- 
ed above. Alexander is one of the chief heroes 
in the huge prose history of Perceforest, who, ac- 
cording to romance authority, was king of Eng- 
land, and Alexander's contemporary. 

The most ancient romance on the subject which 
I have met with in Italian, is a printed prose 
translation of the common Latin fabulous story- 
book, in the possession of George Ellis, Esq. 
which bears this title : " Commenza el Libro del 
fiascimento de la uita con grandissimi fatti. t 
della mort infortunato de Alexandre Magno." 
It is in small quarto, contains Q4 folios, and has 
the following colophon : " Finito a di xxviij. 
Luio mcccclxxvij. in Vcnesia." Domenico Fa- 
lugi Anciseno, who was laureated by Leo X. 
presented to him a poem on the subject, printed 
in Rome a. d. 1531, 4to. under this title : " Tri- 
onfo Magno, uel quale si contiene le famofie 
guerre de Alcssandro Maguo." Jacopo di Carlo 
also celebrated Alexander in octave rhyme. His 


work was printed at Venice in 1566, and at Mi- 
lan in 1581. From a stanza in this poem, it ap- 
pears that one Bartoccio (perhaps Attavante Bar- 
ducci) also rhymed on the subject. 

In Spanish there is also a curious romance of 
the Macedonian hero, which was written in the 
thirteenth century, by Joan Lorenzo Segura de 
Astorga, which is reraarkj^ble for its elegant 
versification. A specimen may be found in the 
notes to Southey's Madoc. 

The German minstrels of the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries were no less diligent in cele- 
brating the fame of Alexander than those of 
France *. The oldest romance extant on the sub- 
ject in that language is the Alexandreis, a poem 
in six books, preserved in the royal library at 
Munich, and composed by Rudolph Von Emse 
(Hohenems in Swabia), dienstmann (^. e. serving- 
man, retainer) at Montfort, who flourished be- 
tween the years 1220 and 1254. Besides the 
work alluded to, he also wrote the romances and 

* Alexander's conversation with the miracuioos trees, his 
coming to tiie end of the world, his \isit to the bottom of the 
sea, inclosed in a vessel of glass, and his soaring into the air 
on the back of dragons, are alluded to in the very ancient 
Teutonic rhythmical life of St Anno, bisliop of Cologpe. See 
Schiller's Thesaurus, Vol. I. verse 206-237. 


legends of the good Gerhard, Barlaam and Josa- 
phat, St Eustatius, William of Orlienz, from the 
French, and a poetical chronicle, formed on that 
of Geoffroi of Viterbo. Ulrich von Eschenbach, 
about the end of the thirteenth century, translated 
the Alexandreis of Gautier de Ch^tillon, in twelve 
books. Seyfried also wrote a poem on the actions 
of Alexander in the year 1352. Besides these, it 
appears from a passage in the first mentioned ro- 
mance, that three others, viz. Biterolf, Herbolz- 
heim, and Lamprecht, wrote the adventures of 
Alexander in verse. A German prose translation 
of the fabulous Latin history was very popular in 
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, having been 
printed in the years 1472, 1473, 1478, 1480, 
1483, 1488, 1493, 1503, 1509, 1514, 1575, &c. 
In the Lower German language (Platt-Deutsch) 
there also exists a prose translation of the four- 
teenth century, published in a collection of ro- 
mances in that dialect by Professor Bruns at 
Helmstaedt, 1798. 8. 

Ihre has several quotations from a Scandina- 
vian history of Alexander. ' And, as I am inform- 
ed by an ingenious correspondent, Anton-Maria 
del Chiaro, in his Istoria della Revoliizione della 
Vallachia, mentions one printed between the years 
1688 and 1713 in the Wallachian language. 


The most curious romance of Alexander in the 
English language, besides the great gest now first 
published, is contained in a volume printed in 
Scotland by one Alexander Arbuthnot, a copy of 
which (which is probably unique) is in the pos- 
session of W. Maule, Esq. of Panmure, M. P. 
It is evidently a translation of some of the French 
continuations enumerated above, and was the 
work of a Scotish anonymous poet of the fifteenth 
century. A short abstract of it will be found in 
the Appendix to this Introduction. 

At the end of the beautiful MS. of the French 
Roman d'Alexandre, in the Bodleian library, 
described above, a fragment in English is in- 
serted, containing about 1250 long lines, in the 
same alliterative measure which is used in Pierce 
Ploughman's Visions, and the Crede. It is un- 
fortunately very obscure, even more so than these 
allegories themselves. It contains an account of 
Alexander's adventures among the Gymuosophists, 
which had been omitted in the French romance, and 
which are only very slightly touched upon in the 
English gest. At the end of the third book of 
the former, the follov;ing note is added in the 
same hand as the English supplement : " Here 
fayleth a prossesse of this romaunce of Alixander, 
the wheche prossesse that fayleth ye schulle fynde 
at the ende of this bok, y-wrete in Engelyche ryme, 


and Avhanne ye have radde it to the eiide, turnetli 
hedur ayen and tiirneth ouyr this lef and bygyn- 
neth at this resoun, Che fu el mois de may qui li 
tans renouele, and so rede forth the rommance to 
the ende whylis the Frenche lasteth." Warton 
has given a large extract from this poem with his 
usual inaccuracy =* . The following is a list of 
the rubrics at the head of the chapters : 

" Hdw Alixandre partyd Ihennys. 

How Alixandre rcmewid to a flod that is called Phison. 

How King Dindimus sente lettres to King Alixandre. 

How Dindiuuis endlted to Alixandre of here leuyng. 

How he spareth not Alixandre to telle him of his gouer- 

How he telleth Alixandre of his manmentrie. 

How Alixandre sente answere to Dindimus by lettre. 

How Dindimus sendyd an answere to Alixandre by lettre. 

How Alixandre sente Dindimus another letter. 

How Alixandre picht a i>elyr of marbyl there." 

The last chapter is not filled up in the MS., 
M'hether owing to the transcriber or the poet it is 
impossible to discover. The poem is not a very 
attractive one, and hardly Avorthy of a revival. 

We come now to speak 6f the *' Lyfe of AJi- 
saunder" now published, which, for many reasons, 
may be considered as the most valuable, ^s it is 
one of the most ancient of the English romances. 

Hist. E. Po. I. 309. Tlie ten first lines, correctAl from 
he MS., will be found in the Notes to the present woA, 
Vol III. p. 321. 


Warton gave very numerous quotations from it, and 
pronounced, thai it " deserves to be published en- 
tire on many accounts ;" and Mr Ellis, in his ele- 
gant Specimens of the early English Poets, also 
very strongly recommended the publication of 
"^ There is n(J doubt, that few English romances 
can boast of a greater share of good poetry. The 
lines are less burdened with expletives, and ex- 
hibit far better versification, than those of other 
poems of the time, and frequently possess an en- 
ergy which we little expect. ^The descriptions of 
battles and processions, in particular, is often ani- 
mated to a degree, which would not disgrace the 
pages of Chaucer, and for which we look in vain 
in those of Gower, Lydgate, and their contempo- 
raries ; and the short descriptions of nature, inter- 
spersed without reference to the subject, are fre- 
quently very delicate and beautiful. In order not 
to burden the present introductory pages with 
quotations from the work itself, I will confine 
myself to the two following short passages, which 
will prove that the opinion of the old minstrels 
poetical powers just given does not want proofs. 
The first gives an excellent account of the prepa- 
rations before battle : , 

" Mony stedfe ther proudly leop : 

Stilliche mony on weop, , 


The rechclcs and the pronde song : 

The cowardis lieore hondis wrong. 

lltcre thou myghtcst hcore here : 

Mony faire pencel on spere, 

Mony knyght witli helm of stcil. 

Mony scheld y-gult fid vvcl, 

Mony trappe, mony croper, 

Mony queyntise on armcs clere. 

The eorihe qnakid heom nndur ; 

No scholde nion have herd the thoudnr, 

For the noise of tlie tabonres, 

And tlie tnimpoiirs and jangelours." (v. 3411-24.) 

For lines equally spirited with the four last of 
this extract, we might search volumes of ancient 
poetry in vain. Alexander's camp in the night is 
thus splendidly described : 

* Before the kyng honge a charbokcl-ston, 

And two thonsande laiimpes of gold and on, 

That caslcn also niycliel lighth, 

As by day the sonue brighth. 

The glevmen useden her tunge ; 

'rhe wode aqueightte so hy sunge. 

To a twenty railcn aboute 

Of barouns and knighttcs lasted the route." 

(v. 5252-59.) 

A singular circumstance in this poem is the 
great irregularity of the rhymes in many instances. 
The author frequently thinks it sufficient when 
the first syllable of a feminine termination rhymes 
to the correspondent male termination of the oilier 
Jine. For instance, v. 276 1 : 


Tho of Thebes fast foughte ; 

And tho of Grece as knyghtis doiighty." 

And again, v. 2813 : 

" He hette quyk his fotemen alle 

To brynge of Thebes doun the wallis." 

In other instances, he is still more licentious, 
often substituting mere assonance for legitimate 

Notwithstanding tlie great merit of this ro- 
mance, it was not printed at the time when Wyn- 
kyn de Worde, Pynson, Chapman, and others, 
gave to the world Richard Coeur de Lion, Guy of 
Warwick, Bevis, Degare, and even the wretched 
Eglamour of Artoys. The only direct allusion 
to our English romance, which I have been able 
to find, is in Sir David Lyndsay's Monarchic. 
Speaking of the third monarchy established by 
Alexander, he says : 

" As for tliis potent empreour, 

Alexander, the conquerour, 

Gif thow, at lenth, wald reid his ring. 

And of his crewell conqnessing, 

In Inglis toung, in his great buke, 

At lenth, his lyfe, thare thow may luke." 

Chalmers's edit. Vol. III. p. 61. 

The romance is unquestionably a free transla- 
tion from the French. Indeed, in one passage, 
(v. 2199), the poet professes that he had supplied 


tlje description of a battle, which was wanting in 
the French, from the Latin. Who the author was 
we have no evidence to determine. The following 
lines make it somewhat probable that he was of 
the clerical profession : 

" N'is sp fair a tliyiig, so Crist me blesse, 

So knyght in queyntise, 

Bote theprest in Godea serryser' 

Tanner has attributed the work to one i\dani 
Davie. Mr VVarton, and even Ritson himself, 
precipitately followed Tanner's opinion, which 
rests on the following very slender evidence. In 
the same MS., in the Bodleian Library, which 
contains a copy of this romance, besides other, 
chiefly religious, legends, a kind of mystical poem 
occurs, professedly written by " Adam Davie, the 
marchal of Stratford atte Bowe." It contains 
seven separate visions in about 250 lines, and be- 
gins thus : 

" To oure lord Jesu Crist in hcuene 

Ich to-day sliewe niyne sweuene, 

That ich mctte in one nighth 

Of a knighth of mychel raiglilh, 

His name is y-hote Sir Edward the kyng, 

Prince of Wales Engelonde tlie fairc thyng," &c. 

This is undoubtedly Edward II. But we are 
certainly not warranted to attribute all the vari- 
ous poems, collected by the monks into one folio 


volume, to one poet who happens to have written 
a single one of them, but whose name does not 
occur in any other. We must, therefore, discard 
the opinion of Tanner and Warton, and content 
ourselves with admiring the work of an anony* 
mous author. 

Only two copies of " the Lyfe of Alisaunder" 
are in our public libraries, besides a fragment^ 
containing about 200 lines of the conclusion, in 
the Auchinleck MS., agreeing very nearly with 
the other MSS. One of them is in the Bodleian 
MS. l^aud, I. 74. fol. It is evidently of the 
fourteenth century, and Mritten upon vellum, in a 
hand generally very plain. There are many parts, 
however, which have greatly suffered, and some 
passages are become entirely illegible. Others, 
for what reason I know not, have been-completer 
ly erazed. Fortunately they are supplied by the 
second copy, which exists in a MS., preserved in 
the library of Lincoln's Inn (No. 150), which, 
from the language, appears to be of an age not 
much, if at all, posterior to the former. It was 
copied, and intended for publication by Mr Park, 
but he was deterred from proceeding in the work, 
by discovering that a large portion, of above 1 200 
lines (v. 4772-5989), was entirely wanting, besides 
a great number of verses dispersed in differei^J: 
parts of the romance. These have been supplied 


from the Bodleian MS. by the editor, so that the 
present edition is as perfect as the two existing 
MSS. could make it. Mr Park's transcript, for 
the accuracy of which his well-known character 
as an antiquarian will be a sufficient warrant, had 
been enriched by numerous and valuable, chiefly 
glossarial, notes, by Mr Ellis and Mr Douce. 
The very curious illustrative annotations of the 
latter will be found in the third volume. The 
explanatory and etymological notes of these gentle- 
men have been incorporated with the glossary. 

In order to facilitate the perusal of so long a 
romance, subdivisions were rendered highly ne- 
cessary ; and fortunately, the poem itself furnish- 
ed them. It very evidently consists of two parts, 
one containing the early life of the hero, and the 
other the 4liventures of his latter days, with the 
manner of his death, in the same manner as the 
MS. No. 2702, in the library of the Duke of La 
Valliere, above described. The subdivision into 
chapters is also very evident, each of them being 
prefaced with a few descriptive or moral lines. 
For the sake of illustrating the progress of the 
tale, contents have been prefixed to each chapter, 
which the editor found ready drawn up by Mr 
Ellis, excepting those which occur in the part 
supplied from the Bodleian MS. 


To have given all the various readings of the 
two MSS. would have been a needless and use- 
less task. For this reason, those only have been 
noticed, where the text of the Lincoln's Inn MS. 
has been abandoned, and that of the Bodleian 


We have here a complete specimen of die 
real fabliau, few of which occur in tlie Eng- 
lish language. The style is certainly very mean, 
but the latter part of the story merits pre- 
servation, particularly as it coincides 50 nearly 
with the following abstract of one of Sacchetti's 
Novelle*, (Nov. cxcv, Firenze, 1724, Vol. IL 
p. 134.) Sacchetti was born about 1335, and 
died in 1400. His Novelliero was written about 
the year 3376, according to the opinion of Man- 

* I know not if it lias been before remarked, that the fourth 
novel of thb author is very similar to the popular ballad of 
King John and the Abbot. The original of the tale viras pro- 
bably some French fabliau. 


King Philip de Valois had a favourite hawk of 
great beauty and value. One day, after having 
taken several birds, the bird was pursuing another, 
but soared so high, that the king lost sight of it; 
and though eight of his squires were sent in 
search of the bird, they were unable to accomplish 
their design. The king now caused proclamation 
to be made, offering two hundred francs to any 
one who would bring the hawk, and threatening 
any person who detained him with the gallows. 
One day, the bird perched upon a tree, and a pea- 
sant, who happened to pass by, was so fortunate 
as to take him. By the fleurs de lis engraved on 
the bells, he discovered that he had caught a royal 
hawk, and, hearing the proclamation, set out for 
Paris in hopes of the reward. By the way, he 
met an usher qf the king's palace, who demanded 
the hawk of him. The clown was wary and re- 
fused : but by the threats of the usher, he was in- 
duced to promise one half of the profits to hin*. 
Having reached Paris, the king was so delighted, 
that be ordered the peasant to choose his own re- 
ward. The latter immediately demanded either 
fifty lashes, or else an equal number of bastina- 
does. The king very naturally asked the reason 
of such a whimsical choice. When the peasant 
had related the avaricious bargain which had been 
forced upon him, the poor ujsher received his share 


of the reward with great punctuality ; but the half 
which the clown had retained was converted into 
two hundred livres, with which he returned con- 
tented to his home. 

It is probable, that the novel of Sacchetti, as 
well as Sir Cleges, owed its origin to some 
French fabliau. The ingenuity of the trouveurs, 
in telling several stories upon the same original 
foundation, is well known to the readers of Bar- 
bazan and Le Grand. There is also a distant si- 
milarity between these stories and the fabliau, en- 
titled " Le Dit du Buffet," printed by Barbazan, 
(Edit. 1808, Vol. III. p. 264.) 

The only copy of Sir Cleges extant, to my 
knowledge, is in a folio MS., lately added to the 
Advocates' Library, on paper, apparently of the 
beginning of the fifteenth century, and containing 
besides Mandeville's Travels, and Occleve's Spe- 
culum Regis. The end of Sir Cleges is imper- 
fect in the MS. ; but as only part of one stanza 
seems to be wanting, the editor has attempted to 
supply the defect in the rough style of the origi- 
nal. His supplement will be found inclosed in 

w VOL. I. d 



Sir Cleg ES has afforded us a specimen of the 
fabliau ; in the same manner, we have here a beau- 
tiful specimen of the lay. It is a translation from 
the French of the Norman poetess Marie de 
France. " In point of language and versifica- 
tion," says Mr Ellis*, " it has more merit than 
any poem of the very early period at which it was 
written, and does not suffer by a comparison with 
Mary's original." The only existing copy is in 
the Auchinleck MS., in the Advocates' Library, 
Edinburgh ; but unfortunately, like every other 
poem in that valuable collection, it has suffered 
mutilation on account of the illumination prefixed 
to it. Thirteen lines in the middle, and a great 
part of the conclusion, have been lost in this 
manner. In order to render the perusal less un- 
pleasant, these defects have been supplied from 
the French original by the editor, as nearly as pos- 
sible in the style of the original. His attempt 
was kindly revised by Mr Ellis. 

The following genealogical tradition of the origin 
of the Guelphs, or Whelps, was perhaps the origin of 

* Specimens of Romances, III. 282. 


this poem, and of the others founded upon similar 
stories. It is related from the historical narra- 
tions of Bruschius, Enzelt, Reineccius, and others, 
in " C. F. Pauli's Allgemeiner preussischer 
Staats-Geschichte." Vol. II. p.. 7 10. At the 
end of the eighth century, Count Isenbard of AI- 
torf, one of Charlemagne's generals, espoused 
Irmengard, the sister of the empress Hildegard. 
Irmengard having one day heard that a woman 
had born three children at a birth, and conceiving 
that nothing but an adulterous intercourse could 
have produced them, persuaded her husband to 
order them to be drowned. Isenbard was sent 
upon an expedition, and left his wife pregnant. 
To punish her presumption, she was delivered of 
twelve boys at once. Terrified at the judgment 
she had passed upon herself, she persuaded an old 
nurse to drown eleven of the boys. In the mean- 
time, at the solicitation of Isenbard, the emperor 
unwillingly allowed him to return, and exclaimed, 
with some anger : " Go and see what young 
whelp, or wolf your spouse has brought you." 
On his return, he met the old woman going to 
do her office, and asked her what burden she had 
upon her back ? She answered they were young 
whelps, which she was ordered to drown. The 
count insisting on seeing them, the old wo- 
man confessed the whole aflfeir ; upon which he 


ordered her to conceal the discovery from his 
wife. The children were bred up at the house 
of a miller, vassal to the count. When they 
were six years old, the latter introduced them 
at a feast. Their similarity to the twelfth, who 
had been bred at home, greatly astonished the 
guests. Isenbard then demanded, in a stern man- 
ner, " What does the mother deserve who intend- 
ed the murder of her children?" Irmengard 
swooned at the feet of her husband, and prayed 
his forgiveness, which he granted to her. Tn 
commemoration of the adventure, he denominated 
his sons the young Whelps. Eleven of them died 
without heirs. The twelfth, who had been re- 
tained by his mother, was said to have been fa- 
ther to Judith, second spouse of Louis I., sue-, 
cessor to Charlemagne, of Conrad, ancestor of 
Hugo Capet, and of Rudolph, founder of the 
houses of Brunswick and Hohenzollem. 

Some beautiful ballads are founded upon a 
story very similar to that of Lai le Frain. In the 
valuable collection of Danish ballads, entitled the 
" Kaempe Viser," there occurs one, entitled 
" Skicen Anna," or Fair Annie, which has been 
elegantly and faithfully translated by my friend, 
Mr Jamieson, in his Popular Ballads and Songs. 
Scotish ballads, with nearly similar incidents, oc- 
cur, under the different denominations of Lady 


Jane, Burd Helen, and Lord Thomas and Fair 
Annie, in the collection just mentioned, and in 
the Minstrelsy of the Scdtish Border. 


If the " Life of Alexander" has greater at- 
tractions, on account of its poetical merit, the ro- 
mance of King Richard I., who may be consider- 
ed as the very king of chivalry, has as powerful 
claims on the score of interesting his countrymen 
of this day, by a recital of his romantic achievements, 
exaggerated, no doubt, but still bringing to recol 
lection his wonderful spirit, and the astonishing 
valour which he really displayed in his expedition 
to Palestine. Mr Ellis, in the following words, 
characterizes the poetry of this romance : " If 
merely considered as a poem, this romance pos- 
sesses considerable merit. The verse, it is true, 
is generally rough and inharmonious ; but the ex- 
pression is often forcible, and unusually free from 
the drawling epithets which so frequently annoy 
the reader in the compositions of the minstrels. 
As recording many particulars of the dress, food, 


and manners of our ancestors, it possesses rather 
more claims on our curiosity than other romances 
of the same period, because it was compiled with- 
in a very few years of the events which it professes 
to describe." 

There is no doubt that our romance existed be- 
fore the year 1300, as it is referred to in the 
chronicles of Richard de Gloucester and Robert 
de Brunne ; and as these rhymsters wrote for 
mere English readers, it is not to be supposed 
that they would refer them to a French original. 
The date of the composition of the English work, 
for this reason, is probably to be fixed, as War- 
ton conjectures, in the reign of Henry III. or 
Edward [. ; and Mr Ellis has given strong reasons 
for the latter period*. It is professedly a transla- 
tion. In the very prologue the minstrel says: 
" In Frenssche bookys this rym is wrought." 

And again, v. 50tiO : 

" The Frensche .... 

WhereofF is made this Ynglysche sawe." 

'ITie original probably occurs in the library of 
Bennet College, Cambridge ; and in case the 
MS. quoted below, really contains the work in 
question, it is4he only copy known to exist -f. 

*Spec. ofRom. II. 175. 

t 80. *' Ricardi I. bella contra Saracenos, Gallice." Cata- 
logue of MSS. 


It is much to be lamented, that no perfect MS. 
of the English romance has been discovered. 
The most ancient fragment is contained in the 
Auchinleck MS. in the Advocates' Library, con- 
taining ohly 350 lines ; the first twenty-four of 
which are in the popular twelve-line stanza, which 
is used in Amis and Amiloun, and many other 
romances. After this the common couplet is 
employed. It is a curious circumstance, that the 
fabulous beginning is entirely omitted, and that, 
after the prologue, the poem opens immediately 
with the account of the murder of Duke Renaud, 
in these lines : 

*' A Freyns knight, the Duke Miloun, 
And Douke Renaud, a bold baroun ; 
Thurch tresoun of the Count Joys, 
Surri was lorn of the holy croys." 

The two latter verses occur in the present copy, at 
verse 1305; and after that the MS. proceeds pretty 
uniformly with the others. Mr Ellis thinks it pro- 
bable, that the Auchinleck MS. contained the ori- 
ginal romance ; and that the fabulous parts just 
mentioned were foisted in subsequently. This 
cannot be determined without an inspection of the 
original ; but the Auchinleck fragment has much 
of the air of a mere abridgment. About one 
half of the romance, containing the latter part, 
occurs in a MS. now in the possession of the 


Marquis of Stafford, but .a, f .he leaves have 
ufferedso much as ,o be utterly illegible. Other 
fragments occur i No. 4C90 of L Harlln 
MbS., and m another in the possession of Mr 
Douce. The Itbra-y of Caius's College, Cam- 
bndge, contams the most perfect copy, wanth.., 

frZ'r ZT" '""^- """" '-"P' made 
from .h,s MS and supplied in one place from 

Mr Douce s fragment, and in three oLs from 

hepnnted copy, by Mr Ellis, who kindly pe" 

muted the edttor to retranscribe it, the cop^n 

the present work ha. been printed, 'the p^^L" 

-ppl.ed, will be found specified in the' r f^ 

eadtngs, and their loss in the Caius' College MS 

the less to be regretted, as, from some collations 

found to d,ff , ,tig b, , phraseology and 
'PeUmg, rather more modern in the latter Ac 

^ns of tins romance, one in 8VO, by Winkende 

Mf'J" !'**' """"'"'J 'he same in 4.0 
15S8, and a thtrd, without date, by W. C.-Rit^," 

hoove., w,.u, his usual scepticL, has do^^ted 

of XtT ' " "'"' "^'"''"^ '"^ -o-" 
, " "^"Py occurs in the Bodleian libnirv Richard Meber, Es,.sZ' 

"possession of one of the editions. 


The present romance, for the same reason as 
King Alexander, has been divided into parts and 
chapters, to prevent the fatigue of perusing such 
a number of hnes without interruption. 

The wars of Richard in Palestine, have been 
celebrated likewise in other languages. Joseph 
of Exeter, commonly called Josephus Iscanus, in 
his Antiocheis, which, excepting a few lines, is 
entirely lost, is said to have celebrated exploits of 
Richard, whom, as Camden assertSj he accom- 
panied to the Holy Land. Tanner says, that one 
Gulielmus Peregrinus, also accompanied the king, 
and under the title of Odoeporicon Ricardi Regis, 
sung his heroic deeds in Latin verse. The reign 
of our monarch's rival and enemy, Philip Augus- 
tus, king of France, was also written in hexame- 
ters by Guillaume le Breton, about the year 1230. 
Besides the original French romance in metre, 
mentioned above, another in prose is quoted by 
Du Cange, and entitled, " Histoire de la Mort 
de Richard, Roy d'Angleterre." In the Imperial 
library at Paris, a romance exists in MS., entit- 
led, " Histoire de Richard Roi d'Angleterre et 
de Maquemore d'Irlande, en rime." The story 
is shortly as follows : Dermot-Macmor-Ough, 
king of Leinster, had taken away the daughter of 

the Saracens, and the feast be prepared for the messengers of 
Soliman, are here omitted. 


a gentleman by violence ; for which deed he was 
attacked and put to flight by Roderick, another 
Irish king. He fled to England, where he not 
only obtained the promise of auxiliaries from King 
Henry II., but also the assistance of Richard, 
then called Earl of Pembroke, to whom he pro- 
mised his only daughter in marriage. By joining 
his forces to his English auxiliaries, Macmore was 
enabled to defeat Roderick, conquer Dublin, and 
to re-establish himself on his throne. The ro- 
mance does not refer to our lion-hearted king, 
but to Richard, Earl of Pembroke, in the reign 
of Henry II. Richard I. is the principal hero 
in Lope de Vega's unfortunate counterpart and 
sequel to Tasso's great epic poem, which he en- 
titled, " Jerusalen conquistata." The ancient 
German romance, of " Reinfried von Braunsch- 
weig," is said to contain the transactions which 
passed between Richard and Leopold, Duke of 
Austria ; and a modern epic poem by an anony- 
mous Austrian poet, turns on the same story, 
ending with Richard's liberation by Blondel, and 
not forgetting the traditionary legend of the lion. 
This seems to have been an extremely popular 
exploit. It is thus mentioned in the bastard Faul- 
conbridge's speech to his mother, in Act I. of 
Shakespeare's play of King John. 


Needs must you lay yonr heart at his dispose, 

Subjected tribute to commanding love, 

Against whose fury and unmatched force 

The awless lion could not wage the fight, 

Nor keep his princely heart from Richard's hand. 

He that perforce robs lions of their hearts, 

May easily win a woman's." 

And King Lewis, in next act, says of our royal hero : 

" Richard, that robb'd tlie lion of his heart. 
And fought the holy wars in Palestine." 


This highly romantic poem, which, owing to 
the comparatively modern language of the only 
MS. copy known to exist; the easy, and even 
fluent versification, the playful variety of the tale, 
and the very accurate idea which it conveys of the 
state of the later and more accomplished system of 
chivalry, might be recommended as a proper in- 
troduction to a perusal of the ancient metrical 
romances, was certainly translated from the 
French; and indeed Mr Tyrwhitt notices a poem 
in that language, written by Hue de Rotelande, 
(probably Rutland), which he supposes to be the 
original. The translation probably existed at the 

lii lNTROi)UCTlON. 

time the romance of Richard Coeur de Lion was 
put forth, as it is mentioned in the second part of 
the latter poem, (v. 6660). The MS. 2252, in the 
Harleian library, contains the only perfect copy 
of Ipomydon, from which the text is printed, [n 
the library of Lincoln cathedral, (Kk. 3. 10.) an 
imperfect printed copy, wanting the whole sheet A, 
occurs, as is mentioned by Warton (L 198). Mr 
Ellis, in his abstract, has divided the romance into 
two fyttes or cantos ; but the following line evi- 
dently indicates that the poet intended three : 

" Of chyld Ipomydon here is a space." (v. 528). 


This is the manner in which the names of 
these faithful brothers in arms are uniformly spelt 
ill the Auchinleck copy; which being the most 
ancient, has been followed in the present edition, 
as far as it goes. In a perfect MS. copy penes 
Mr Douce, they are called Amys and Amelion. 
From this MS., which appears to be about a 
century later, the defects of the former, consisting 
of the first 96 lines, and the conclusion (from v. 


2384, to the end), have been supplied by the kuid 
permission of its learned possessor. Both the 
copies agree in a manner which is seldom to be 
found in ancient manuscripts, and both of them, 
as far as the Auchinleck MS. goes, contain the 
same number of stanzas, which uniformly consist 
of twelve lines each ; the first, second, fourth, and 
fifth, rhyming together, as well as the third, sixth, 
ninth, and twelfth ; the seventh and eighth ; and 
the tenth and eleventh. This manner of versifi- 
cation, notwithstanding its apparent difficulty, was 
in great favour among the English minstrels, by 
whom it seems to have been invented ; for I have 
not discovered any instance of its use among the 
French romances. A bad copy of about one half 
of the poem, is contained among the Harleian 
MSS. (No 'ISSG, 42.) 

The present tale seems to have been honoured 
with an unusual degree of popularity in the mid- 
dle ages. In that enormous compilation, entitled. 
Speculum Historiale, collected by Vincent de 
Beauvais, it is related, and said to have happened 
in the reign of King Pepin. The MS. 37 IS, in 
the imperial library at Paris, is said to contain 
the poem of " Amis and Amilliou," in Latin 
verses. The French metrical romance, from 
which our text was probably translated, is pre- 
served in the British Museum, (MSS. Reg. 12. 


c. xii. 9.) and another copy at Bennet College, 
Cambridge, (Num. L. 1.) It was subsequently 
brought upon the French stage, as a morality, 
with this title, " Comment Amille tue ses deux 
enfans pour guerir Amis, son compagnon." Tlie 
romance was translated into German verse, by Con- 
rad of Wuerzburg, who flourished about the year 
1300. He chose to name the heroes Engelhard 
and Engeldrud. It was modernized and printed 
at Frankfort, in 1573. 

I'he romance, though no printed copy of our 
metrical version has yet been discovered, continu- 
ed its popularity for a long time. The story was 
pourtrayed on the tapestry of Nottingham castle, 
in the time of Henry VIII. At last, it dwindled 
into the shape of a street-ballad, a copy of which 
may be found in the late valuable republication of 
Evans's Old Ballads, Vol. I. p. 77. The knightly 
brothers Amis and Amiloun, are there transform- 
ed into Alexander and Lodowick, princes of 
Hungary and France, the Steward into Guido 
pi ince of Spain, and the part of the duke is given 
to Uie Emperor of Germany. 'J he story is in 
truth well put together, and the friendship of the 
two heroes very interesting, even more so than 
that of their classical prototypes, Pylades and 
Orestes. Though some very mean and even ludi- 
crous passages may be, and have been quoted 


from the poem, there can be no doubt that they 
by no means exhibit the general tenor of the poe- 
try, which is far from being contemptible, not- 
withstanding the difficulty of the stanza, and the 
multiplicity of the rhymes, which obliged the min- 
strel frequently to eke out the lines with unmean- 
ing epithets. But even in the latter common 
failing, he sins far less than his brethren who used 
the same kind of versification. 


Mr Ellis has given to his abstract of this po- 
pular collection of tales, the common title of 
" The Seven Wise Masters." As, however, the 
only perfect ancient copy extant bears the above 
title, it has been thought right to prefer it in an 
edition of the entire ancient poem. It has been 
found necessary to employ both the ancient copies 
in forming the present text. The Auchinleck 
copy is deficient at the beginning and end, but it 
is nearly a century older than the perfect one, con- 
tained in a folio MS. in the Cotton library, (Gal- 
ba, E. g.) which contains besides the beautiful 


romance of Ywaine and Gawaine, and which was 
judged by RJtson to have been written in the 
time of Richard II. The Auchinleck copy, 
though not of the first rate of minstrel poetry, is 
infinitely better than the other from which the 
first 134 lines, and the conclusion (v. 2781, to the 
end) have been supplied. The reader will imme- 
diately discover the contrast. The Cotton MS. 
is very evidently either translated by a Scotchman, 
or at least the language has been considerably al- 
tered by some former transcriber of that nation. 
The scribe, however, who copied the romance 
into the MS., was probably English ; for though 
he has retained the peculiarities of the Scotish 
dialect, he has considerably anglicized the spel- 
ling. The Auchinleck copy has no divisions, ex- 
cepting the usual blue and red marks of para- 
graphs: but the Cotton MS. has regular titles to 
the tales and prologues, such as, " The xiii. tale 
said the wyfe ;" " Here begins the xiv. proloug," 
&c. Instead of retaining this manner of division, 
it has been judged expedient, in the present edi- 
tion, to give short titles to the stories (most of 
which have been adopted from Mr Ellis's ab- 
stract), and to mark the beginning of the interven- 
ing prologues by an empty space. 

The ingenious method of connecting a number 
of stories into one continued dramatic narration. 


which Boccaccio and Chaucer have so admirably 
employed, and which has been followed by the 
numerous imitators of the former, undoubtedly 
took its origin from the east. We have examples 
of similar combinations of tales in the Arabic, at 
the head of which are the inimitable Thousand and 
One Nights. Another similar work of great anti- 
quity, is the original of the present romance, 
and of that work of universal vulgar popularity, 
" The Seven Wise Masters." Other oriental 
compilations on the same foundation, are the Turk- 
ish tales translated by Petit de St Croix, and the 
story of the king, his son, concubine and seven 
viziers, translated by Mr J. Scott, in his Tales, 
Anecdotes, and Letters, from the Arabic and Per- 
sian, (Shrewsbury, 1800, p. 38). l^he very dif- 
ficult literary history of the Seven Wise Masters 
has been traced, with great precision, by Mr 
Douce ; and the substance of his inquiries may 
be found in Mr Ellis's Specimens of Romances, to 
which work the reader is referred. The editor 
has it not in his power to add any thing to Mr 
Douce's account of the origin and the different 
versions of this work, excepting, that a German 
metrical translation, professedly from the Latin, 
was made in the fourteenth century, which exists 
in MS. at Erlangen, and was printed eight differ- 
voL. I. e 


ent times, the first time without date, the second 
in 1474, and the last irf 1549. 


Th e present romance, which has been printed 
chiefly on account of the singularity of its stanza, 
and its j^iving a curious specimen of the Hamp- 
shire dialect, nearly as it is still spoken, occurs in 
the Cotton library, (Calig. A. 12.) and among 
Bishop More's MSS. at Cambridge, (No. 690). 
The former,, from which the text is taken, was 
evidently written in the time of Henry VI. ; for a 
short chronicle which is contained in ii, ends with 
that monarch, though the date of his death, with 
the reigns of Edward IV. and Richard HI. have 
been added by other hands. The translation was 
probably made much earlier, as the romance is 
mentioned in that of Richard Coeur de Lion, and 
in the ancient book of Troy, falsely attributed to 
Lydgate. It is also alluded to, in William of 
Nassington's Treatise on the Trinity and Unity, 
written about 1480. All this proves, that the ro- 
mance obtained some share of popularity. The 


English translator refers in one place to a French, 
(v. 407.) and in another (v, 1359.) to a Latin ori- 
ginal. In the former language, it exists among 
the MSS. in the Bodleian library, where it 
is entitled, " Roniaunce de Otheniem, Empereur 
de Rome," containing about 5000 lines. A 
translation in prose forms at present one of the 
most popular story-books among the German 
peasants, though the oldest copy of which I have 
heard, is not later than 1587. Numerous incidents 
in this tale are very similar to others which oc- 
cur in older romances, such as the attachment of 
the Lion to his master, which will immediately 
remind the reader of the faithful companion of 
Sir Ywaine. The treacherous device of Octa- 
vian's mother, to blast the fame of his queen, is 
very similar to one in the ballads of Sir Aldingar 
and Hugh le Blond. (See Reliques of Ancient 
Poetry, (Ed. 1794, II. 50.) and Minstrelsy of the 
Scotish border, (Ed. 1810, II. ^65). Other coin- 
cidences might be easily pointed out. The anti- 
quity of the original romance was probably not 
very high ; the story being too full of adventures, 
particularly of the marvellous kind, to have been 
produced m the more ancient and more simple 
ages of romance. 

k iNTaoDtJCTioFr. 


This and th following poem are contained in 
a small quarto paper MS., lately purchased into 
the Advocates' library, (Jac. V. 7. 27.) and no 
other copy of either of them is known to exist. 
The MS. was probably written at the end of the 
fifteenth century, by some moi>k, for of thirty-seven 
articles which it contains, only three can be called 
romances, viz. Sir Ysenbras, Sir Gowther, and 
the present poem, which unfortunately wants the 
begiiming. The rest, with the exception of The 
Hunting of the Hare, are religious and satirical. 
The orthography is singularly uncouth, and proves 
that the transcriber lived in some remote comer 
of the king<lom, probably the north-west ; an as- 
pirate being frequently prefixed to words begin- 
ning with a vowel, (such as, ha, has, &c). His 
name, (if it is not that of the minstrel himself), is 
placed at the end of several of the articles in the 
MS., and appears to have been Henry Heeg or 
Hague. ^ 

The tale of Amadas is frequently alluded to by 
ancient poets. In the fabliau of Gautier d'Au- 
pas, " Idoine la mie d'Amadas" is mentioned. 


Le Grancts fabliaux. The Lay d'ldoine, it should 

be observed, has nothing in common with our 

romance. The same name occurs in the fabliau 

entitled Le Segretain Moine, printed in the new 

edition of Barbazan, (Vol. I. p. 242). Mr Ritson 

has proved, by several quotations, that Le Bure is 

mistaken in asserting that the adventures of La 

belle Ydoyne are contained in the Roman d'Aymeri 

de Narbonne, Ydoine being the name of the king 

of Arabia in that romance. (Metr. Rom. ilL 

325). Their loves were pourtrayed, together with 

those of Tristram and Isowde, and Florys and 

Blauncheflour, on a superb cloth, presented by 

the king of Cesyle to the Emperour Artyus in the 

beautiful romance of Emare, printed by Ritson ; 

** In that on korner made was 
Idoyne and Amadas 

With love that was so treue, 
For they loveden hem with honour. 
Portrayed they wer with trcwe-love flour, 

Of stones bryght of hewe, 
With carbunkull and safere, 
Kassydonys and onyx so clere, 

Sette in golde newe, 
Deamondcs and rubyes, 
And other stones of mychyli pryse, 

And menstrellys with her gle." 

In the prologue to a metrical collection of reli- 
gious legends, entitled, " Cursor mundi," quot- 
ed by WartoD, these lovers are enumerated 


amongst numerous other heroes of romance. And 

Gower in his sixth book, thus mentions them : 

" Myn ere with a good pitance 
Is fed, of redinge of romance, 
Of Idoyne. and of AmadaSj 
Tlmt wliilome were in cas, 
And eke of other many a score, 
That loved long ere I was bore." 

It is singular so popular a story should have 
fallen into such complete oblivion, that the un- 
couth copy now given to the public, should be 
the only one known to be extant, either in French 
or English. It is, however, as difficult to conceive 
how such a tale, which hi sooth is very silly, could 
ever have become so popular. The beginning is 
similar to that of Sir Cleges, printed in the first 
-volume ; and the punctuality with which Sir 
Amadas keeps the covenant which he had made 
with his sworn brother the ghost of the fner- 
chant, bears a strong resemblance to the friend- 
ship of Amis and Ameloun. The English 
copy seems to be very ill translated and abridged. 
The name of.Idoine is never mentioned. The 
principal reason for publishing it was the ma- 
nuscript's being a perfect unique, and the romance 
having been confounded with, and supposed to 
be the original of, the famous Amadis de Gaul. 



The editor was in hopes to have been enabled 
to present the lovers of ancient poetry with a 
greater number of comical romances, which are 
chiefly curious, in as far as they show what were 
the requisites which rendered such tales palatable 
to our ancestors, and had the effect of exciting 
laughter in the halls of the barons ; but he was 
disappointed in his search for some of them, was not 
enabled to obtain copies of others, and the legend of 
Cokkelbie Sow, in the Bannatyne MS., was found 
to be too licentious. The present tale, and the 
curious legend of the Rookby Sow, published in 
Whitaker's History of Craven, and reprinted in 
the thiid edition of Evans's Ballads, must have 
been highly relished by the ardent lovers of the 
chase among our ancestors; and no doubt, the 
minstrel who read or chanted these short mock- 
romances, obtained more cups of wine, and greater 
presents of robes and money, than the reciter of 
many, a tale of chivalry,- who often toiled for hours 
to amuse his audience. Their popularity, if we are 
warranted to judge from these two remaining spe- 
cimens, seems, however, to have been confined to 



tbe provinces, the more cuhivaled knights of ,l,e 
cour. probably preferring .he ^i, /, 
ness of the French fabliaus. 

In preparing these romances for the public it 

was the wish of the editor, without in'thell 
Asturbmg a s,ngle letter of tbe old text, to render 
the.r perusal as accessible to general readers as pos- 
. ble. For Uus reason, the longer one, were sub- 
Avded, as has been already mentioned, regular 
punctuation was introduced, capital letters were 
ujed o dtstmguish names of persous and places, 
the abbreviations were reduced to the peculiar 
sUndard of orthography, employed in each parti- 
cular romance, and the Saxon letters for th, gh 
andy, dtscarded. In all these points excep/ng 
Ae first the accurate Ritson has given an exam! 
P e o the editor: who, however, judged it expe- 
dient, by gomg a little further, to facilitate ihe 
reader s progress still more. For this reason, the 
pronoun I or Y, is always spelt with a capital 
ktter, and the ve,, common Saxon prefix y, has 
been separated by a hyphen from the word it is 
Mached to, as y-core, y-bumt, &c. Indeed, in 


many cases, there is an evident well-marked space 
left in the old MSS., particularly in the Auchin- 
leck MS. The negative prefixed to verbs has, 
in most cases, also been separated by an inverted 
comma, as in n'as, n'is, n'il, &c. And finally, 
when a word terminated with a single e, which it 
was necessary to pronounce, as for instance, cete 
for city, an accent has been placed over the last 
letter. The same course was adopted in cases 
where the accent, against the general rule, fell 
upon the last syllable. Where the pronoun thee 
is spelt, as it is generally in old poetry with a 
single e, it has been accented to distinguish it 
from the article. Without, in this manner, 
facilitating their perusal, it is in vain to expect 
that any but professed antiquarians should study 
the poems of the earliest centuries of English li- 
terature. Every one in the least acquainted with 
ancient MSS., will at once discover where these 
variations have been introduced. 

It would have been an easy task to have swel- 
led the notes to double the space which they at 
present occupy ; but the editor rather preferred 
retrenching many which he had collected, fearing 
to encroach upon the more immediate object of 
tlie work, the romances themselves, for the 
same reason, he was forced to be very concise in 
his explanations of the words introduced into the 


glossary, which he found to be numerous far be- 
yond his expectation. With regard to this last, 
and perhaps most important branch of his task, 
the editor feels the peculiar necessity of appeal- 
ing to the indulgence of etymological critics. 
Though he was so fortunate as to find the greatest 
number of words in the Lincoln's Inn MS. of 
Alexander ably explained by Mr Ellis and Mr 
Douce, yet his share of tlye labour, comprising 
the remainder of that romance, and all the others 
contained in the work, was no very easy one ; and 
he often found himself compelled, for want of 
authority, to substitute conjecture. In such a 
case, however, he has always stated his diffidence 
of opinion by a mark of interrogation. The 
number of words left entirely without an explana- 
tion, or only with a mere conjecture, from the 
context annexed to them, will, however, be found 
not to exceed fifteen or twenty. Many of these 
will, no doubt, find a successful interpretation 
from some subsequent glossarist. An indifferent 
person frequently hits at once upon a happy con- 
jecl'ire, where a word has long puzzled the com- 
piler of a glossary, whose mind is necessarily be- 
wildered by searching for the signification of such 
a multiplicity of words. As to etymological re- 
searches, they are clearly, as the learned Tyrwhitt 
has remarked, not a necessary branch of the duty 


of a glossarist. For this reason, the original lan- 
guage from which the word has been derived, has 
been merely mentioned ; which, with very few ex- 
ceptions, has been found to be one of those great 
fountains of the English tongue, the French, and 
the Saxon branch of the Teutonic. If that great 
and necessary work, a dictionary of old English, 
should ever be accomplished, several of the edi- 
tor's explanations will, no doubt, be refuted; 
others may, perhaps, be cavilled at in reviews, or 
in the similar works of his antiquarian brethren, 
who labour in the same vineyard ; but the editor has 
the consolation to reflect, that neither of those 
vehicles of abuse, though so liberally lavished up- 
on the works of Warton, Percy, and even Ritson 
himself, have been able from deterring that part 
of the public interested in the literature of our 
ancestors, from perusing them, and appreciating the 
pains and toil bestowed upon their illustration. 

Happy should the editor be, if he were called 
upon, in consequence of the present collection, 
to proceed in rescuing these ancient records of 
language, manners, and tradition from oblivion. 
The reader will find, in the note below*, an enu- 

* Artour and Merlin ; Sir Bevis of Hampton ; Sir Ferum- 
bras; Sir Eger, Sir Grahanie and Sir Graysteel j Charle- 
magne, (called by Mr Ellis, Roland and Fe'iragus) ; Otuel, 
with the continuation of Charlemagne ; Sir Triamoiue ; Sir 


meration of such as have been aheady transcribed 
by him for the press. And copies of many others, 
extant in public libraries, might be obtained, such 
as Percival, William and the Warwolf, the pon- 
derous Sir Guy, &c. In the present age, when 
so many a worthless book, printed prior to a cer- 
tain period, is dragged into notice, and honoured 
with extracts and long dfescriptions, the more pre- 
carious and frequently far more valuable stores, ex- 
isting in manuscript only, should surely not be for- 
gotten, though their publication is certainly at- 
tended with infinitely more labour. Many of the 
legends of saints have also considerable claims to 
public attention, not so much on account of their 
poetical merit, which is undoubtedly very incon- 
siderable, but as furnishing an interesting com- 
ment on the history of priestcraft, and, as they 
evince in many instances, that the monks could be 
as ingenious as the minstrels in inventing roman- 
tic fictions. 

It was the original intention of the editor, to 
annex to the present introduction a short history 

Eglamour; Sir Owaine ; Sir T>indale; Sir Degare; Sir 
Isumbras ; Sir Gowther ; Robert of Cisylc ; Roswal and 
Lillian ; Florice and Blanclieflour, Sec. It were also desirable 
that llie copies of Orfeo, and the Chronicle of England, in the 
Auchinleck MS., wliich are far better than Uiosc edited by 
Rilson, sitoiild be given to the public. 


of the Geiinan poetry of the middle ages, the ex- 
istence of which has hitherto been almost un- 
known in this country, or at least the knowledge 
of it has been nearly confined to the ancient spe- 
cimens of Teutonic, published by Schilter, such 
as the song of King Lewis, the biblical versions 
of Ottfried, the life of Saint Amio, 8cc. It has 
been known to few, that, besides very numerous 
translations of French romances and fabliaux, a 
particular third cyclus of romance, no less exten- 
sive than that of Arthur and of Charlemagnfe, pe- 
culiar to the Germans, and in part to the Scandina- 
vians, is in existence. Only a few fragments be- 
longing to this cyclus, have been noticed and ana- 
lysed from the Danish and Icelandic. These ro- 
mances have a very peculiar character, and are 
very evidently the production of a people less cul- 
tivated and refined than the French and Norman- 
English were. There is less of courtesy and love 
in them ; more of that insatiable revenge which 
th^ Gothic nations esteemed honourable, and 
more of those wild and fantastic fictions, like 
those of Boiardo and Ariosto, which, while we 
sometimes smile at their extravagance, take a 
strong hold, at other times, on our attention, be- 
wilder our imagination, and cause us to forget ihe 
monition of schoolmen, that we should throw 



thent aside and take up chaster models of imita- 
tion. The three principal romances, founded on 
this connected chain of fiction, the central hero of 
which (if I may so express myself) is Dieterich of 
Bern*, are the Nibelungen Leet, King Rother, 
and the Heldenbuch (Book of Heroes). The 
last mentioned is, however, not a single poem, 
but a congeries of several collected under that 
imposing title. 

Want of room, and a desire to give the in- 
tended dissertation more at large, and to make it 
more amusing by a short analysis of the romances, 
accompanied with translations of a few remark- 
able passages, induced the editor to defer his 
design for a future publication. He will then 
be enabled to extend his researches, and more 
accurately to investigate the curious but obscure 
question, whether the Teutonic or the Scandi- 
navian bards had the merit of giving origin to 
this cyclus of romance ? though, at present, he 
inclines more to assert the priority of the formpr, 

* Dietericl), means rich in people, governing numerous sub- 
jec!s, from diet, people, and rich or reich, rich. The name 
was subseqijently corrupted inio Tiieoderic by the historians 
of the darji ages, Bern is tlie Gotliic name of Verona, and is 
not to be confounded witli the present town of that name in 


as we are in possession of a regular metrical series 
in the Teutonic, and only of some ballads and 
prose fragments in the Scandinavian languages, 
relating to these GoUiic heroes, with the excep- 
tion of the great VVilkina- and Niflunga-Saga, the 
original of which was professedly brought from 
Germany in the thirteenth century *. 

In facilitating his 'collection of the romances 
included in the present work, and particularly in 
encouraging him to undertake the task, the editor 
was favoured, in a singular manner, by several 
gentlemen who have thp cause of ancient English 
literature most at heart. To George Ellis, Esq., 
the elegance of whose selections and abstracts of 
early poetry and romance has become quite pro- 
verbial, he is under most particular obligations. 
Besides the gift of the copy of King Alexander, 
illustrated by that gentleman and F. Douce, Esq. 
with valuable notes -f and glossarial explanations, 
and prepared for the press by Mr Park, he was 
permitted to copy numerous romances from the 

Some of the heroes and their adventures, but with cir- 
cumstances widely different, occur in the Edda, and the Wol- 
sunga-, and Norna-Gest's Sagas. 

t The reader will find the notes of Mr Ellis and Mr Douce 
distinguished from those of the editor by tlie initials of their 


accurate transcripts in the possession of Mr Ellis. 
His obligations to Mr Douce, the reader will 
find specified in several parts of the work. To 
the friendly encouragement which he received from 
Walter Scott, Esq., in this, as well as his other un- 
dertakings, the public are indebted for any degree 
of amusement and information they may receive 
from them. 


The following is a short sketch of the Scottish 
romance of Alexander, mentioned in p. xxxi of 
this Introduction *, which, from the conclusion, 
appears to have been translated from the French 
in the year 1438. The first part is entitled, " Heir 
beginnis the first part of this buik of the most 
noble and valiant conqueror Alexander the Grit, 
callit the Forray of Gadderis." 

Qohen Alixander in his empire 
Lay to assege the toun of Tire 
And ueir the wallis of the citie 
Vpon a craig was in the se 

* Not having been able to obtain a sight of the original, the 
editor was obliged to content himself with giving the follow- 
ing imperfect sketch only, which was made some years ago 
by a friend, without any view of its being published. 

VOL. I. / 


Au stalwart castcll gart he mak 
And garnbon and vittel tak 
And his gud fuson thedder send 
And stalwart men it to defend." 

During this siege, the king dispatches Emynedus 
de Archarde, his constable, Qaulus, Lyoun, Lica- 
nor, Antigonus, Floridas, with the flower of hb dii- 
valry, and all his " douze-peiris," excepting two, to 
forray in the vale of Josaphus. Here they are 
beset by duke Betys, with a very superior force, 
Emynedus applies to all his knights, but cannot 
prevail upon any one to leave the battle, in order 
to apprise the king of their perilous situation. At 
length, one of them consents to go, but not until 
he should receive such dints as should convince 
the king that he came from no " hirdis play." 
In the mean time, duke Betys assails them with 
all the army of Gaderis. A desperate battle en- 
sues, in which many are slain on both sides. - 
mynedus distinguishes himself on the part of the 
Grecians, and Gaudifer on that of the Gaderans. 
At length, the former called upon the knyght, 
who had consented to bear the message to Alex- 

-A A gude Arvest^ 

Thir folk hes set us hard this day 
And ze have fundiu be aiay 


ill sindre places woundit are ze 
All is bot blude that I can se 
Mine gentle knicht upon your hecht 
And se quhat way throw hard fecht 
That all your feiris demanit are 
That sum are deid sum wouudit sair 
An dwell * the king it may not fall 
That ane escape quick of us all 
Thairfoir shir for zour great bounte 
Have of thir folk reuth and pitie 
Ze beir sic takinnis tliat the king 
Sail se that it is na lesing 
Na ze sail never blamit be 
Nane laser mair to carp have we. 

Alexander, havibg been warned by Arveste in 
what perilous situation Emynedas and his knights 
were placed, marches to their assistance with all 
his army, and finally routs the Gaderans. But 
Gaudifer fights valiantly to cover their retreat, 
and unhorses Dauclene, Tholomeir, and others. 

Men knew weill that Graudifeir 
Be this that he was wicht in weir 
He sat vpoue ane nobill steid 
Tliat nane micht better be in neid 
To Graderis micht have gane his way 
Gif that he wald have fled that day 
As did his feiris in aue ling 
Bot he embraissit to great ane thing 

Qu. tell? 


Bot as aiie beist fair birth will drive 
Fra the wolf that wald tfaame rive 
His fellowis sa defendit he 
He trowit tlirow his great bounte 
For to be their defence that day 
And sa he was the suth to say 
> For war he outher tane or deid 

To help tliaine couth they na remeid. 

At length he encounters Alexander himself up- 
on his steed, Bursivale (Bucephalus), and un- 
horses him : but is finally slain by Emyne- 
dus. At the end of this first part is the colophon 
of Alexander Arbuthnot, and then follows the ti- 
tle of the second division," Heir beginnis the 
secound part of this buik, callit the Avowis of A- 

Alexander, lying with his army at Ters (Tar- 
sus), meets an old man, who proves to be the bro- 
ther of Gaudifer, and is named Cassamus. After 
some conversation, the old man informs the king, 
that the two children of his brother, Gaudifer the 
younger, and Belian, were besieged in the city of 
Ephesoun, a town of Chadee, because they would 
not bestow their beautiful sister, Fezonas, on Cla- 
ms, king of India. Alexander resolves to march 
to their relief. Cassamus passes forward, and, 
by crossing the deep river Phuron, which defend- 
ed the town of one side, gets into Eflfezoun, and 



communicates the news of Alexander's promised 
assistance to his nephews. The latter sally forth, 
and attack the army of Clarus, but are driven 
back, chiefly by the valour of Cassiel, king of Bau- 
deris or Media, called, in the romance, the Bade- 
rane, who was reputed to be the lover of Ideas, 
cousin to the besieged princes. Upon Alexan- 
der's arrival on the opposite banks of the river, 
the two brothers make another, and a more suc- 
cessful sally. They take the Baderane prisoner, 
who is treated with great courtesy, and presented 
to Ideas, whom he had never beheld, with many 
jokes from the aged Cassamus. The lady's apart- 
ment is called, " the chalmer of Dame Venus," 
where no discourse is allowed save of " amouris." 
Cassamus then returns to Alexander. 

Thay that were left quhen he wes gane 

On silkin carpets sat doun ilkane 

That strouit war with sindry floures 

Wele savorand of sere coloures 

Among thame made thay play and gamyn 

To solace and to sport thame samyn 

Thare was demandis and fare answeris 

Enquertis greting and prayers 

Of amomis and his worship all 

And of the gude thairof might fall 

Thay bourded and gamed fast 

Thare speche ordanit thay at last 

To the kyng that suld not be 

Thay chei^it Betys and hecht trewUe 

Ixxviii APPENDIX. 

And swore that he sold richtious be 

Qabiil he was in Ids majeste 

Than Idorns of rashes and strais 

Full fetusly % croun sho mais 

She crouiiit liim full courtesly 

And sat donn sone in cumpany. 

This " suthfast king" (king of truth) pursues 
the game, by asking questions of all the company, 
which they must answer faithfully. Ideas being 
interrogated on the state of her aiFections, con- 
fesses reluctantly that she loves, Fezonas swears 
by Jubiter," 

I have noutbcr Gilzeame nor Gauter 

I love na man in private 

Nor na man dedenzit to love me. 

The Bauderane, in his turn, confesses his pas- 
sion for Ideas. The subjects then try the " co- 
vine" of their monarch, each in turn asking him a 
question. In answer to Fezonas, he says, that 
hope and " umbethink" (contemplation) are the 
chief solace of lovers. When questioned by 
Ideas, he answered, that " yarning and radness" 
(desire and fear) are Love's greatest pains. Other 
responses of equal ingenuity follow. 

In the mean time, the four sons of Clarus, the 
Indian king, Caneus, Caleos, Saiphadin, and For- 
ms (Porus), return to the camp from the chace. 



Porrus was zonngest of thame all 

And maist douchty of tliatne great and small 

He was mlchty and stalwart to stand 

And hardy also of heart and hand 

And sicker of heart wilhouten faill 

And to endure that great battaill 

Best of his brethren he couth him steir 

At mellay qnhen that mister wer 

Stryke with sword and cover him with sheld 

And gar ane steid start in the feld 

And was wele taucht in all liaving 

And meit in courage in al) thing 

Bot he was not so fare suthly 

That men bird speke of him greatly 

For he was broun rede in visage 

Bot of body he was na page 

His limraes war baith great and square 

For his meiknes men luifit liim mare 

With vther gude that God him gaifF 

Courtessy was not to crave. 

The Indian leaders resolve, that Porus shall 
approach the gates with thirty companions, and 
an ambush be laid to intercept those who should 
sally against him from the town, so as to obtain 
some prisoners to exchange for the Bauderane, 
king of Mede. This counsel is betrayed to Cas- 
samus, who, with Gadifer, proceeds to consult 
with Alexander ; and by the road he explains to 
his nephew, that the forces of the Macedonian 
hero, though few, might be depended on, from 
their attachment to a generous leader, who 


gives them steidis and palfrayi 

Rouncins coursouris and hacknayes. 

They reach the pavilion of the king, where Ga- 
difer consents to hold his lands of him. This 
being told to Emynedus, he resolves to reconcile 
himself to the young prince, whose father, it must 
be remembered, he had slain at the foray of Gad- 
deris : 

And said he wald on kneis found 
To proffer hartily him till 
His help his service with hart and will 
In amendis of aid done deid 
Twelve feiris with him he will lede 
Bairshank hot belt in kirtle alane 
And their swords suld everilkane 
Hald be the point and say him syne 
Schir tak amendis at zoiir lyking. 

The reconciliation is accordingly effected. Alex- 
ander then sends five knights to the assistance of 
the city, the difficulty of passing the Phuroun 
preventing his coming in person. The knights arc 
introduced to the ladies : 

At the fute of the mekili tonr 
Under the flnrist siccamoor 
Was spread into ane iiarbur grene 
Carpettis of silk and silver schene 
Thar sat the knichtis of Grece I wis 
And the meydinnis that joli is - - 


The cbes was asked sone I hecht 

And meu tham brocht twelv at right 

Siccan a chekker that neucr ar 

Was sein an bettar seildia quare 

The leifis of gold war fare and fyne 

Subtyle wrought with ane engyne 

The poyntis of emeraudis schynand schyre 

And of rubeis bimand as fyre 

The ches of sapheris ware y-wy 

And of topaze that richest is 

Pigmeus thame maid with slicht 

Thay ware full fare to se with sicht. 

After a night spent in pleasure, a desperate 
skirmish is fought the following morning at the 
barriers, in which the sons of Clarus, with Mar- 
cian, another Indian prince, distinguish them- 
selves, but are repulsed. Betys, in following 
the chase, is unhorsed and taken by Porrus, who 
is himself made captive by Cassamus. 

This was in middes the moneth of May 

Quhen winter wedes ar away 

And foules singis of soundis seir 

And makes thame mirth on thare manere 

And graves that gay * were waxis grein 

As nature through his craftis kene 

Schroudis thameself with theire schouri 

Wei savourand of seir colouris 

Black blew blude rede alsua 

And Inde with other hewes ma. 

* Probably we should read, Greves that gray were. 



Pomis, whilst walking in the court, sees a 

With an stain-bow in hand all bent 
Qiihairwith he birdis and pyets slew. 

He borrows the bow, and taking aim at a pouu 
(peacock) who had perched on Venus' chalmer, 
kills it. The bird is dressed for dinner. 

Lordinges said auld Cassamus 
Be all our goddis and be Marcus 
I rede we to the paccek do 
Tiie usage that customit is thareto 
In this country the usage is 
That ilk man avow sail his avyse. 

The peacock is brought in state by the fjtir 
maiden Eliot, and 

An nienstrele playand wele gude spede 
Upon ane tympane playit weill 
And before Cassamus can kncill. 

Cassamus swears, that if the Greeks win the 
battle, and he sees Clarus on foot and at disad- 
vantage, he will relieve and remount him for the 
sake of Porrus, his son. Arvestes swears never to 
leave the city until it be relieved. Perdiccas 
OM's that, in the battle, he will alight and serve 
on foot among the " serjandis." Fezonas swears 
she will never marry nor have privy leman with- 

APPENDIX. Ixxxiii 

out the consent of Alexander. Porrus at first de- 
clines to swear on account of his imprisonment, 
and then makes a vow to just with Emynedus, 
and possess himself of his horse. Ideas swears 
that the image of the peacock shall be wrought 
in fine gold, and set upon a pillar of marble in 
memory of the vows. The Baderane vows to 
win the sword of Alexander by main force, and 
Cassamus (so printed in the original, but it should 
be Caulus) incensed at the presumption of the 
Baderane, swears to win his helmet or cut off his 
head. Dame Ydorus swears that since she has a 
true love. 

She sail him lave \rithout fautice. 

Lyoun or Lyonel swears to ride to Clarus' tent 
and just with his eldest son. Floridas, in resent 
ment of the Bauderane's vow, swears to make 
him prisoner or cleave him in two, were his body 
made of steel. 

Lordingis then said Cassamus 
That lykes me be our god Marcus 
This discorde is fair to se 
He that hales it shent mot he be. 

Lyonel sets forth to accomplish his vow. He 
is seen from Alexander's tent, who learns the na- 
ture of the " avowis." Caneus accepts Lyonel's 


challenge. The heralds, in expectation of gain- 
ing the rich sur-coat of Lyonel, call out, " Voydis, 
lords, voydis" (make room) ; and one touching 
the toat-armour says : 

I sail soone have lo my soldie 
Tone carpet tliat b fare ynench 
He bynt and to him dreuch 
With baith his handis hot the steid 
Startand can the noyes dreid 
And with his foot that vassale 
He hit qnhill he lay top our tayle. 

Both the knights are unhorsed, and Lionel re- 
turns to the city, having received a palfrey from 
Clarus, his own horse being lamed. It is agreed 
that Porrus should be exchanged against Betys, 
and the Bauderane is set at liberty by Cassamus 
on condition that a day of fight should be fixed 
between Alexander and Clarus, or else a peace 
concluded. Clarus refuses all terms of peace, 
and the captives are delivered, Porrus having pre- 
viously pledged his faith to Fezonas. Alexander 
enters Effezoun, and on the day appointed they 
sally to the field. 

Thare was many an broaden banerc 
And many ane pennon of seir manere 
Mony ane helm and mony ane scheid 
And mony aue steid qiiha tbame behId 


The baner of Massidone I wis 

On an great spere attachit it is - - - 

Pallas Elyachim it sent 

To Elexander into present 

Tlie queue of maydinnis tiiat was fre. 

" Here begynnis the great battle of EfFezoun 
stryken be Alexander the Great aganis auld Clarus 
King of Inde for the great outrage committed by 
him against Fezonas daughter to Gaudifer de 
Laris," &c. 

Emynedus, in the front of the battle, is encoun- 
tered by Porrus, in order to seize his steed Fer- 
rand, in which the Indian is successful, thus ac- 
complishing his vow. Perdiccas, on foot, pene- 
trates to Clarus amidst the conflict, and nearly 
slays him, but is prevented by Cassamus, who 
protects the Indian according to his vow, and gives 
him his horse Beausire. The Bauderane closes 
with Alexander, but is unsuccessful in attempting 
to wrest his sword from him, as Caulus clings 
around him to drag him oflF : but, by a desperate 
exertion, the helmet remains in the hands of the 
Grecian, and the sword in those of the Baude- 
rane : so both their vows are fulfilled. The battle 
continues desperate. Floridas accomplishes his 
vow, by taking the Bauderane prisoner. Gaudi- 
fer wins the standard of Clarus agreeable to his 
oath. Clarus and his son Salphadin endeavour 


to retrieve the battle. Emynedus encounters 
Porrus, and rect)vers his horse Ferrand. Alex- 
ander slays Caleos and Caneus, two of the sons 
of Clarus, who is himself killed by Cassamus. 
Porrus fights desperately, recovers Ferrand, and 
strikes down Alexander. He then rushes into the 
thick of the battle and slays Cassamus, but is at 
length overpowered and made prisoner. Alex- 
ander treats him nobly, offering Fezonas to him 
in marriage, and Ideas to the Bauderane. These 
terms are accepted, all parties reconciled, and the 
bridal of the princes celebrated with great pomp. 
The author then concludes : 

To sport thame that na Romanis can 

This buik to translait I begau 

And as I can I maid ending 

Bot thocht I failzeit of rliyniing 

Of meter or sentence for the nide 

Forgif me for my will was gude 

To follow that in Franche I fend writtin 

Bot thocht that I sevin zeir had sittin 

To make it on sa gude manerc 

So oppin sentence and sa clere 

As is thi> Frenche I micht have failzeit ... 

And ze may als weil if ze wil 

Do the gude and have luving 

As quliylum did this nobil king 

That zit b praised for his bounte 

The quitlier three hundret zcre was he 

Before the tyme that God was borne 

To sane our saullis that was forlome 


Sensyne is past ane thousand zeir 
Four hundred and threttie ihairto neir 
And auch and some dele mair I wis 
God bring us to his meikle bliss 
That ringes ane in Trinite 
Amen amen for charite. 



VOL. 1. 




JJiVERS is this myddel erde * 

To lewed men, and to lerid : 

Bisyhed, care, and sorowe, 

Is with mony uche a-morowe; 

Som for seknesse, and some for smerte, 

Som for defaute, other pov^rte ; 

* It will facilitate tlie reader's progress to observe that, 
throughout tliis romance, neo is used for not or noVf theo for 
the, heore for their, heo for he, they, or she, scheo for she, heom for 
him or them, &c. To distinguish the article Hie, from the 
pronoun thee, which is generally spelt tlie, an accent has been 
placed upon the latter in this as well as in the other romances. 
For the same reason the pronoun I is uniformly printed with a 
capital Y, to prevent its being confounded with the expletive y 
often prefixed to verbs, as y-armed, k.c. The latter has al- 
ways been separated from the verb, which will fecilitate any 
reference to the glossary. 


Som, for the lyves drede, 

That glyt away, as flour in mede. 

Ther n'ys lyves mon noon so slygh, 

That he neo tholeth ofte mony annye, 10 

In mony cas, in mony man^r, 

The vvhyle he lyveth on eorthe heir. 

Ac n'ys ther non, fool neo wys, 

Kyng, no duyk, neo knygt of pris, 

That neo desireth som solas, 

For to here of selcouth cas : 

For Caton seith, thes gode techere, 

" Other monis lif is owre schewere." 

Kotheles, ful feole and fille ^ 

Beoth y-founde, in heorte and wille, 20 

That hadde levere a ribaudye, 

Than to here of God, other of seynte Marie ; 

Other to drynke a coppe ful of ale. 

Than to here ony god tale. 

Soche Y wolde weore oute-bishett; 

For, sikerliche, hit weore nede. 

For they no haveth no joye, Y wot wel, 

Bote in the gutte, and the baiell. 

Now pais holdith, and leteth cheste, 
And ye schole here a noble jeste, 30 

Of Alisaundre, theo riche kyng, 
That dude by his maistres techy ng; 
And overcom, also Y fynde 
Darie of Pers, and Pore of Ynde, 


And mony other whyt and heynde, 

Into theo Est worldes eynde ; 

And theo wondres, of worm and best, 

Deliciouse hit is to lest : 

Yef ye wolen sitte stille, 

Fill feole Y >vol yow telle. 40 

CHAP 1. 


The earth is divided by philosophers into three parts, Europe, Asia, 
and Africa. Of these Asia is the most considerable. To Asia 
tee are indebted for the division of tlie year into twelve months, 
and of the zodiac into twelve signs, by means of which astrolo- 
gers arc enabled to look into futurity. A king of Egypt cal- 
led Neptanabus teas such a proficient in this science as to defy 
the power of all his neigltbours, till at length a league was 
formed against him by thirty kings, under the direction of 
Philip of Macedon. Neptaiuibus, discovering by magic tliat 
he should become the victim of this association, retires from 
Egypt in disguise, and conceals himself in the capital of his 
principal enemy. Here he professes the art of magic, and de- 
termines to revenge himself on Philip. 

Whilem, clerkes wel y-lerid, 
Faire y-dyght this myddel erde ; 
And clepid it, in here maistrie, 
Europe, Affryke, and Asyghe. 
At Asyghe al so muchul is. 
So Europe and Aflryk, Y wis. 


Wyse men fond also there, 

xij foddyng to thes yere, 

The yere to lede by right ars ; 

Thes furste was cleped Mars, 50 

That othir Averil, the thridde May, 

Thes furthe Junye, the longe day ; 

Theo fyfthe Julye, the six August, 

Theo vij Septembre, that myght beo trust ; 

Octobur viij, nyne November, 

Theo tenthe monith is December^ 

Genner was theo endlest tho, 

Feverel the tweolthe and no mo. 

Names of planetis they beon y-note, 

Some beon cold, and some beon hote, 60 

By heom mon hath theo saygyng on 

To lond, to water, to wyn, to corn ; 

And alle chaunce, nessche and hard, 

Knoweth by heom wol Y gred. 

Ye mote abide and thole me. 
Till eftsone Y come aye. 
For Y ne may, by Godis ore, 
Therof now telle no more : 
Ac why Y have this unliche steke. 
Ye schule me here after speke. 70 

Barounes weore whilem wys and gode, 
That this ars wel undurstode : 
Ac on ther was, Neptanamous, 
Wis in this ars, and malicious. 


Whau kyng, other eorl, cam on him to weorre, 

Quyk he loked in the steorre ; 

Of wax made him popetis, 

And made heom fyghte with battes, 

And so he leorned, jeo vous dy, 

Ay to aquelle his enemye, 80 

With charmes, and with conjurisons. 

Thus he asaied the regiouns, 

That him cam for to asaile ; 

In puyr maner of bataile, 

By cler candel, in the nyght, 

He made uchon with othir to fyght. 

Thus he leomed, Y yow telle, 

How he scholde his fomen quelle, 

Of alle manere naciouns. 

That comen by schip other dromouns. 90 

At the laste, of mony londe, 
Kynges therof haden great onde. 
Wei thrytty y-gedred beoth. 
And byspekith al his deth. 
Kyng Phelippe, of gret thede, 
Maister was of that feide. 
He was a mon of myghty hond, 
With him broughte, of divers lond, 
Nyne and twenty ryche kynges. 
To make on him bataylynges. 100 

Neptanabus hit undurstod ; 
Y-chaunged was al his mod : 


He was aferd sore of liarme. 

Anon he dude caste his charme : 

His ymage he made anon, 

And of his barouns everychon, 

And afterward of his ^one: 

He dude heom togedre to gon, 

In a basyn, al by charme ; 

He segh on him fel theo haraie; 110 

He seygh flye of his barouns, 

Of al his lond distinctiouns. 

He lokid, and kneow in the stene, 

Of alle this kynges theo grete weorre ; 

And sygh his deth, gif he abyde : 

Muche sorwe was him myde. 

He no couthe no beter dyght, 

Bote out of lond stal by nyght : 

Ther n'uste non that him was nygh. 

What tyme out of londe he fleygh. 120 

He disgysed him anon, 

That him no kneow freond neo fon. 

He fleygh away fro toun to toun, 

Thorugh mony strong regioun ; 

No sojomyng he no nam. 

To Macedoyne til he cam ; 

A riche cite, thow undurstonde, 

In thes heorte of gret londe. 

Neptanabus sore is anoyed, 

For Phelippe hath his lond distryed, 130 


And he is in Phelipes cite ; 

He thenkith to yeilde him his iniquity. 

Of gold he made a table, 

Al ful of steorren, saun fable, 

And thougte to seyn, amonges men. 

That he is an astromyen. 

For astronomye and nygremauncye ; 

No couthe ther non so muche discryghe. 



Philip, during his expedition into Egypt, had entrusted 
his queen Olimpias with the regency of his dominions. 
Neptanabus, seeing her at a solemn procession, becomes ena- 
moured of her beauty, and gazes on her with so much eagerness 
as to attract her attention. She speaks to him, He retires in 

AvERiL is meory, and longith the day; 

Ladies loven solas, and play ; 140 

Swaynes, justes ; knyghtis, turnay ; 

Syngith the nyghtyngale, gredeth theo jay ; 

The hote sunne chongeth the clay, 

As ye well y-seen may. 

In this tyme, I undurstonde, 
Phelip is in Neptanabus' londe, 
And hath y-do to theo sweord, 
Tho that n'olde with him acord. 
Olimpias, Y fynde in boke, 
Theo cit^ of Macedoyne scholde loke ; 150 


Kyng Phellppes quene scheo is, 
Theo fairest woman lyvyng y-wis. 
Neptanabus in the cite was, 
Ac herith now a selcouth cas. 

In this tyme, faire and jolif, 
Olimpias, that faire wif, 
Wolde make a riche feste. 
Of knyghtis, and ladies honeste ; 
Of burgeys, and of jugoleris, 
And of men of eche mesteris. 160 

For mon seith, by north and south, 
Wimmen buth ever selcouth : 
Muche they desirith to schewe heore body, 
Heore faire heir, heore fair rody, 
To have los and praisyng : 
Al hit is folic by Hevene Kyng ! 
So dude dame Olimpias, 
To schewe hire gentil face. 
Scheo hette marchal, and knyghtis, 
Greythen heom to ryde, anon ryghtis. 170 

And ladies, and damoselis, 
Maken heom redy, a thousand delis, 
In faire atire, in divers coyntise ; 
Monye ther riden in riche wise. 

A muyle, al so whit as mylk. 
With sadel of gold, semely of selk, 
Was y-brought to theo quene, 
With mony bellis, of selver schene, 


Y-fastened on orfreys of mounde, 

Tlial hongon adoun to theo grounde. 180 

Forth thei ferden, with heore roite, 

A thousand ladies of o swte. 

A speruer that was honeste, 

So was at theo ladies feste. 

Four trunipes to-fore hire bleow, 

Mony mon that day hire kneow : 

An hundred and wel mo, 

Alle abowed hire to. 

Al thes toun y-honged was, 

Ageynes theo lady Olimpias. IQO 

Orgies, tymbres, al maner gleo, 

Was di-yuen ageyn that lady freo. 

Withoute theo toun was myry: 

Was reised ther al maner pley ; 

There was knyghtis tumyng. 

There was maidenes carolying. 

There was champions skyrmyng. 

Of heom and of other wrastlyng ; 

Of liouns chas, of beore baityng, 

And bay of bor, of bole slatyng. 200 

Al theo cite was by-hong 

Of riche baudekyns, and pellis among. 

Dame Olimpias, among this pres, 

Sengle rod, al mantal-les; 

Al nakid theo heved, in a croune, 

She rod thorushout al the toune. 


Hire yolowe heir was faire atyred, 

With riche strynges of gold wyred, 

And wryen hire abouten al. 

To hire gentil niyddel smal. 210 

Bryght and fair was hire face, 

Uche maner faired in hire was. 

Of gent faired, lewd and lerid, 

Geven hire pris of the myddel erd. 

Neptanabus in theo way stod, 
With pollid hed, and of his hod. 
Of hire faired, saun faile, 
He hadde in hert gret mervaile ; 
On hire he lokid stikilliche. 

And heo on him, al outerliche. 20 

Heo heom avysed amoi^ theo play, 
For he was nought of that contray. 
Heo asked his beinge, an hast ; 
He was abasched, and agast. 
And thoughte, gef he with tale dwelle, 
A theof he scholde beon y-helde. 
** Dame," he saide, " beo thou nought loth, 
** Y am y-come to telle up otli." 
He was adrad he scholde telle 
Thyng of schame, and n'olde nought dwelle. 230 
More he thoughte than he spak ; 
Away he rod from heom god scbak. 
Heo thougte heo wolde him y-here. 
Whan heo was of more leisere. 




Olmpias sends for Neptanabus to a piivate conference. He de- 
clares himself to be an astrologer, and predicts to her that she 
sliall have a son by Amman, who will, on that very night, ap- 
pear to her in a dream. She doubts the truth of his prediction. 
Neptanabus retires, and has recourse to his incantations, in 
consequence of which, Olimpias dreams that the god has ap- 
peared to her in the shape of a dragon. She sends for the sor- 
cei'er, who informs her that her vision will be realized on the 

, following night. He assumes the appearance of the god, and 
eryoys Olimpias, who, believing him to be the messenger of the 
divinity, appoints him her chamberlain. The barons, per- 
ceiving symptoms of pregnancy in the queen, dispatch a mes- 
senger to Philip with an account of their suspicions. 

VTAME is good whil hit lastes; 
Ac hit fareth so wyndes blastes. 
The wreche man the mest gef the lest ; 
His love therinne west: 
For whan hit is best to hyde hit hast. 
Me wondreth that men neo beoth agast, 240 
And that some by other neo beoth y-chast. 
Olimpias hire heorte cast, 


After this game deliciouse, 

Scheo thoughte on Neptanabus. 

Scheo clepith to hire a swayn, 

That was hire undur-chaumburleyn, 

And Neptanabus after sent. 

The chaumburleyn is after went. 

Tq hire chaumbre he com in hast, 

Of hire faired he was ^gast. 250 

Byfore hire on kneo he sat, 

And scheo him say, with that, 

.*f Me thynkith," scheo saide, " maister, y-wis, 

" That in the sten-es thow art wys. 

" Sey," sheo saide, " for my love, 

** Who drough thee so heighe above, 

" Such maistrye th^ to teche r" 

" Dame," he saide, " n'ul Y th6 nought by-cache. 

'* By theo planetis, and by the steorres, 

.** Y can jugge alle weorres. 260 

" Alle plaies, in alle matynges, 

*' And on alle othir thynges. 

" Thorugh that art, Y say the, 

*' Y can Godes pryvet^." 

And Olimpias to him saide; tho, 

" Ac why byhuld thou me so, 

" Now to-fore in vis, 

" Tho Y rod to wynne pris ?" 

" O madame," he saide, " Olimpias, 

" An heyghmaister in Egipte Y was. 270 


" On a day, after redyng, 

*' To God Y made sacrefying. 

" On onswar was me y-said, 

'' Thow schalt therof nought beo anoyed, 

" Ac thonk my come, lady freo, 

" That Y cam hider to warae th^." 

Theo lady lyght on hire bedde 
Y-heoled wel with selkyn webbe ; 
Yn a chaisel smok scheo lay, 
And in a mantel of Dowayn. 280 

Of theo bryghtnes of hire face, 
Al aboute schon thes place. 
Seilde scheo spak, and nought loude. 
As wimmen that beon proude. 
That was wel in his heorte. 
Hit dude him good to dwelle, certes. 
His ars-table he tok out sone. 
Theo cours he tok of sonne and mone, 
Theo cours of the planetis seven, 
He tolde also undur heven ; Q,QO 

Theo sunne, he schewed heir, in al, 
Hadde colour of cristal ; 
Theo mone, in a propre nature, 
Of theo deamaunt bar the coloure. 
Theo lady he dude also konne. 
How he tok lyght of the sunne. 
Mars was swythe red ferliche ; 
Venus was theo saffer y-liche ; 

VOL. I. B 


. Mercury he made gras-grene ; 
And Jouv so made he schene. 300 

Theo lady saug al this, saun faile ; 
Therof heo hadde gret mervaile. 
And saide to him, " no beo the nought loth, 
" To telle me thyng that is soth. 
" Maistres han y-told me, bydene, 
*' That whan my lord is comen home, 
" That he wol away me dryve, 
" And take him a neowe wyve.'* 
He lokud in his ars-table, 

" Hit is soth, saun fable ! 310 

" Ac, on thyng Y nul th^ gabbe ; 
** A sone thow schalt arst habbe, 
" That schal beo clepud god of lond ; 
" He schal awreke al thy fon. 
" Of alle kynges he worth the beste ; 
*' The world he schal wynne into the Este. 
'* Amon, the god of Liybiye, 
" He schal com doun fro the skye, 
" To thy bed, lo ! God hit wot, 
*' And on thy body him bygete. 320 

" Greithe th^ now, and faire th^ kepe : 
** To nyght thou seiest in thy slepe." 

For foly hit heold al the quene. 
And saide, soth hit myght nought beon, 
And swor, by Adam and Eve, 
Scheo n'olde hit never leve : 


Ac, gef scheo hit sawgh in metyng, 
Heo wolde hit leve in alle thyng. 

His leve tok Neptanabus, 
To his yn, wel irrous. 330 

Herbes he tok in an herber, 
And stamped heom in a morter ; 
And wrong hit in a box : 
After, he tok virgyn wax, 
And made a popet after the quene. 
His ars-table he can unwreone ; 
The quenis name in the wax he wrot, 
Whil hit was sum del hot. 
In a bed he hit dyght, 

Al aboute with candel lyght ; 340 

And spreynd theron of the herbus : 
Thus charmed Neptanabus. 
The lady in hire bed lay. 
Aboute mydnyght, ar the day, 
Whiles he made conjuryng, 
Scheo saw fleo, in hire metyng, 
Hire thought, a dragon adoun lyght : 
To hire chaumbre he made his flyght. 
In he cam to hire hour, 

And crape undur hire covertour. 350 

Mony sithes he hire kust, 
And faste in his armes he hire preost ; 
And went away, so dragon wild. 
And giete he laft hire with child. 


Tho he lette redyng on a bok, 

Olimpias of slepe awok. 

Heo was agrisen, for the noues, 

That al quaked hire bones. 

Anon, by a messanger gent, 

After Neptanabus heo sent. 360 

Al that heo saw he hire told. 

" Sire," scheo saide, " God th^ foryeld, 

" On this maner hit ferde so. 

" No schaltow never fro me go, 

" Ac loke me, and bylef stille, 

" What Y wot thy lordes wille." 

He byleveth withoute sorwe, 

With that lady til amorwe. 

Hire bed was mad, forsothe. 

With pallis, and with riche clothis ; 370 

The chaumbre was hongid with cloth of gold : 

As that maister him wold. 

He voidud the chaumbre of many uchon. 

For he saide, in that nyght, Ammon 

Scholde come to theo lady. 

And beon hire leof amy. 

And himseolf was knyght and sweyn ; 

Bothe maide, and eke chaumburleyn. 

What hit feol that nyght, hit was. 

In bedde wok dame Olimpias, 380 

And aspyed, in uche maner, 

Yef scheo myght ought y-here. 


Whan that ilke god scholde come. 

Neptanabus his charme hath y-nome, 

And takith him haums of a dragon, 

From his scholdron, to his hele adoun. 

His heved, and his scholdron fram^ 

He dyghte in forme of a ram. 

On hire bed twyes he leped ; 

The thridde tyme yn he creped. 390 

Of he caste his dragouns hame, 

And with the lady plaied a game. 

Heo was tholmod, and lay stille : 

Theo falce god dude al his wille, 

AI so ofte so he wolde ; 

Theo game refuse scheo n'olde. 

Tho the cok crowe bygan, 

He saide to hire, " gentil leman, 

" Y have bygete on th^ a kyng 

" That schal beo Phelippes maisterlyng. 400 

" He schal conqueren mony kyng riche : 

" In eorthe no worth him non y-liche." 

And afterward in the dawenyng. 

He made efte his charmyng, 

And smot of hire bed to his. 

So hit n'ere nought y-wis. 

Tho his charme y-do was, 
Up hire ros Olimpias, 
And tellith to Neptanabous, 
Alle theo aferis of Ammon ; 410 


And he to hire, by word and 'cord, 

Alle the jestis of Ammon his lord. 

Yette he faileth mesanter he have. 

For he was bothe lord and knave. 

Olimpias stont byfore Neptanabus, 

Of hire neowe love wel desirous. 

So doth wymmen, after misdoyng. 

No connon no schame, no repentyng ; 

Over heo bylevith in folie. 

So in the lym doth the flye. 420 

Heo saide to him, " Maisteris flour, 

" How schal Y take on myn amour ? 

" Schal Y ever him y-seo ? 

" Y pray ye maister tel hit me ; 

" Gef he is god, he is kynde, 

" And wol ofte to me com heynde. 

*' His love is al so swete, y-wis, 

*' So ever is mylk or licoris ! 

" Eorthliche kuyght, or eorthliche kyng, 

" N'is so swete in no thyng. 430 

" Gef he is god he is mylde. 

** Now he hath y-brought me with childe, 

** He wol solace me and lythe, 

" And in this care make me blithe." 

" Care th^ nought," quoth the losynger, 

** Y am Ammonis messanger. 

** Tell me, a-morwe, thy wille freo, 

** Anyght he schal beo with th^. 



" Ac Y wol, with good skile 

*' Youre privete that thou hele, 440 

" For onde of knyght no of baroun, 

" That thou no wrye thy god Ammon !" 

Swithe blithe was Olimpias 
Of Neptanabus gileful has. 
Heo made him hire chaumburleyn, 
Over knyght and other swayn ; 
And him tok alle hire kayes, 
And hire warded by nyght and dayes. 
Neptanabus may do his wille, 
With Olimpias ever stille, 450 

Al so hit wore the gode Ammon ; 
The lady greted with yonge bon. 
Theo barouns haddyn suspecioun, 
And sentyn to say king Phelipoun. 
Herith now how sinful lyf 
Cometh to sorwe wo and stryf. 



The Queen, dlaitned at her situation, applm to Neptanabus, who 
assures her that Amnum will protect her from the fury of 
Philip.- He causes that King to dream a dream, which is ex- 
plained to him by his wise men to portend the supernatural birth 
of Alexander. He returns to Greece, and questions Olimpias, 
who avows to him her secret intercourse with Amnum. 
Philip proclaims a festival, and summons all his nobles, for 
the purpose of laying before them the iiifidelity of Olimpias. 
Numerous prodigies, which are explained to portend the future 
greatness of Alexander. Neptanabus attends Olimpias, and 
indicates the most auspicious moment fw her delivery. The 
birth and education of Alexander. A marvellous colt named 
Bulsifal (Bucephalus) it brought to Philip. Alexander, 
while receiving a lesson of astrology from Neptanabus, sud- 
denly throws him into a deep pit, and breaks his neck. The 
sorcerer, before his death, reveals to him the secret of his birth. 
Philip makes a sacrifice, and requests to be infmtned by the 
oracle whether Alexander or his other soti Philip shouhl be ap- 
pointed his successor. The oracle replies, that the a'oum is 
destined to the person wlio shall tame and bestride Bulsifal. 
Alexander alone atchieves the hazardous exploit. 

WiiAN corn ripeth in every steode, 
Mury hit is in feld and hyde ; 


Synne hit is and schame to chide ; 

Knyghtis woUith on huntyng ride ; 460 

The deor galopith by wodis side. 

He that can his time abyde, 

Al his wille him schal bytyde. 

The quene greteth, with quyk bon, 
By the false god Ammon. 
To Neptanabus heo made hire mon. 
And asked what hire was to don : 
Heo dradde hire lord Philipoun, 
Lest he hire forsake for that encheson. 
He bad hire make hardy chere ; 470 

He saide that Ammon was of powere, 
To kepe hire fro comburment, 
" And thy fruyt schal beo so gent, 
" That he schal th^ so awreke, 
*' That all men schule therof speke.'* 
The lady is comforted thus. 
That ilke nyght, Neptanabus, 
Made so strong sorcerye. 
And dressed hit by the skye, 
That hit com to the pavyloun, 480 

There as lay Kyng Phelipoun, 
Al so he lay in slepe by nyght. 
Him thoughte a goshauk with gret flyght 
Setlith on his beryng 
And yenith and sprad abrod his wyngyn, 


A dragon out of his den flyglh, 

Whan he the goshauk y-syth. 

And setled sone after thas, 

On the stude ther the quene was. 

So sone so he the quene fond, 49O 

In hire mouth he bleow a brond. 

There after noughth swithe lang, 

A lyoun at hire nauel out-sprang. 

A lion smot into the est, 

No durste withstonde no best. 

The griffon of him was agast, 

And awok him wel in hast. 

The kymg of his slepe awok ; 

AUe clerk, wise on bok, 

He dude of-send, mest and lest, 500 

To telle him this swevene in hast. 

The wisest clerk of everychon. 

His name was hoten Abyron. 

" Sire, he saide, here my stevene : 

" Swithe selcouth is thy swevene. 

" The goshauk, of whom th6 thought 

" Hit is thyseolue, wery of fought. 

*' Theo dragon is sum steome mon, 

" Other a god, so Y telle con, 

" That hath y-laye by the quene, 510 

'* And bygete on hire a steorne streone : 

" He schal beo kyng al above 

" Bytwene this and heven rove. 


" Whan thow comust to thy lond, 

" The sothe thou schalt undurfonge." 

The kyng hereof tok gret sorwe, 

And went hom on the morwe. 

He fond al soth, withoute no : 

He askid what hire greved so ? 

Scheo saide heo.was ameye \ 520 

To Ammon the god of pleye. 

The kyng was wroth, no wonder n'as. 

That his quene with childe was. 

Fewe wordis to hire he saide, 

Liouryng semblaunt on hire he made. 

He thoughte on hire awreke beon, 

Whan he myghte his tyme y-seon. 

Though Neptanabus n'olde speke, 

Wei he thoughte hire awreke. 

On a day, the kyng honeste, 530 

Wolde holdyn a feste, 

Of prynces^ dukis, knyghtis, and barouns, 

And other men of his regiouns ; 

And after, make bymenyng 

Of his wyves misdoyng. 

Ther com, to the kynges sond, 

Gentil men of divers lond ; 

To the mete they weoren y-set, 

No myghte men beo served bet, 

Neither of mete no of drynke ; 540 

Ther aboute n'ul Y swynke. 


Ac, tho they scholde here up the cloth, 

Eche of heom bycam wroth : 

For a dragon con yn Aeon, 

Swithe grisly on to seon. 

His taile was fyve fedme long ; 

The fuyr out at his mouth sprong ; 

By threo, by foure, with his taile. 

To the ground he smot, saun faile. 

With the mouth he made a bere, 550 

That al the halle was aferd. 

The kyng hadde full gret drede [and] how ; 

AUe his barouns to chaumbre flow. 

Theo lady gede to theo drake. 

He lette his rage for hire sake ; 

And laide his heved on hire barme, 

Withoute doyng of ony harme. 

AUe this folk aboute preoste. 

For to seo theo selcouth beste. 

Anem he cam, and out he fleygh, 560 

Into the skye, that uche mon sygh. 

Sone therafter, nought long, 

Feol a chans selcouth strong. 

Of wilde bcstis cam gret pray ; 

Tliey rannen thorughout the contray ; 

Afterward a flok of bryddis, 

And a faukon heom amyddes. 

An ay he laide, so he fleygh, 

That feol the kyng Phelip nygb. 


That to-brak, Y yow telle : 570 

A dragon crep out of the schelle. 

The bright sonne so bote hit schon, 

That the ay al to-coon. 

The dragon lay in the strete, 

Myghte he nought dure for bete ; 

He fondith to creope, as Y ow telle, 

Ageyn in to the ay-schelle ; 

Heo was to-broke, he no myght. 

And ther starf anon ryght. 

The kyng hit say and wondur badde : 580 

Alle his maistres he of-gradde. 

He saide he badde therof dotaunce, 

For hit was som signifiaurice : 

And bad beom of wiche thyng, 

That hit myght beo signifiyng ? 

On ther was, hette Autision, 

Wiser clerk no lyved non, 

In al this worldis regioun, 

In art of estellacioun. 

He saide, " Sire kyng, saun faile, 590 

" Here is y-falle a gret mervaile. 

" By this grete dragon, 

" Hit bytokenith theo quenis sone. 

" The ay is round, and signefieth, 

" He schal have the sourmouncie, 

" This is round the myddell erd, 

" Botlie of lewed and of lerid. 


** That he schal wende of londe feor, 

*' Grete and come neor and neor : 

" He schal beo poisond, saun return 600 

*' Of his owne traitour. 

*' That signifieth the dragonet 

" Neo may renne to his resset." 

Time is come the lady schal childe : 
Scheo bad that God beo to hire mylde. 
The thrawes hire afongon, 
Neptanabus byhalt his gynne. 
And saide to that lady, loude, 
*' Withhold ! and ageyu croude ! 
" Yef thou childest in this stounde, 610 

*' Thy child schal beo in sorowe y-bounde, 
" Cowart feynt, and nought worth : 
" Withhold th^ yette, and beor hit forth !" 
Scheo withheold, with al hire wo, 
So that heo childid nought tho. 
Ac, sone after, a thrawe hire cam, 
And othir seknesse the quene nam. 
" Now is wors !" quoth Neptanabus ; 
*' And thou childe in this hous, 
" Hit schal beo a thjug unwreste : 620 

" Heved of cok, breost of man, crop as best !" 
In hire sorow so scheo lowgh ; 
Of hire childyi^ heo withdrough. 
Ac, sone after, hire was so wo. 
Hire thoughte hire heorte barst on two, 


And tho, he loked the plan^te, 

Theo tyme him thoughte god and swete ; 

And saide anon to the quen, 

" Now, dame, lat go thy streone ! 

" For he schal beo crafty of lond, 630' 

*' God werryour, myghty of hond : 

" Theo hardyest lyvyng man 

" No schal him nought stonde ageyn." 

That tyme that scheo so gradde, 

A knave child scheo hadde. 

Alisaundre y-nempned he was. 

In his beoryng, so feol a cas, 
Theo eorthe schok ; the seo bycam grene ; 
Theo sunne withdrough schynyng schene ; 
Theo mone hire schewed, and bycam black ; 640 
Theo thondur made mony a crak ; 
Theo day bycam dark so the nyght ; 
Sore adrad was every wyght. 
Kyng Phelip saide to the modur, 
" Thou hast born a sori foder ! 
" Gef he libbe, ryde, and go, 
** Mony a mon he schal do wo !" 

Neptanabus tok on bysemare 
That theo kyng saide thare. 
He dude the child to have norices, 650 

Gentil ladies and maidenes. 
Theo weder bycam meory and bryght ; 
Att eise they made the lady bryght. 


The child wexeth a wyght yonlyng, 
Now herith geste and gevith listnyng. 

Alisaundre wexeth child of mayf, 
Maistres he hadde a dosayn : 
Some hiin taughte for to gon ; 
That othir his clothis doth him on ; 
Theo thridde him taughte to play at bal ; 660 
Theo feorthe afatement in halle ; 
The fyve him taught to skyrme and ride, 
And to demayne an horsis bridel ; 
The sevethen maister taught his pars, 
And the wit of the seoven ars : 
Aristotel was on therof. 
This n'is nought ramaunce of skof : 
A storie y-made of maistres wise ; 
Of this world they bar the prise. 

Was never, Y undurstonde, 670 

No bolder child in londe. 
Now con Alisaundre of skyrmyng, 
And of stedes disrayng, 
And of sweordis turnyng, 
Apon stede, apon justyng. 
And 'sailyng, of defendyng. 
In grene wode of huntyng. 
And of reveryng, and of haukyng. 
Of batail, and of al thyng. 

That wollith here a god romaunce, 680 

In his time feol a chaunce. 


Kyng Phelip plaied in a playn ; 

His men him brought, by a chayn, 

A grisly best, a ragged colt. 

They had hit laught in the holt. 

They presented hit to the kyng, 

Hit thougte heom a selcouth thyng. 

Hit hadde crop so an heort j 

His heved, so a bole smert ; 

An horn the forhed amydward, 690 

That wolde perce scheldis hard. 

Hit was more than any stede : 

With red whete men myght hit fede, 

Ac monnis flesch lever him was. 

Than ony corn that ony mon has. 

With jren cheynes men him bounde ; 

Hit stod no men nygh honde. 

Alle theoves, that scholde beo lore. 

Men brought that hors byfore. 

He had souner ete a man, 700 

Than two champiouns an hen. 

Bulsifal that hors het : 

Mony mon of lyve he fret. 

No mon no durst theryn come 

Bot Alisaundre the gode gome : 

No dorste no mon him bystryde ; 

Bote Alisaundre on him con ryde ; 

VOL. I. C 


To him hit wolde lye : 

He inoste on him ride and pleie. 

Neptanabus, apon a day, 710 

With Alisanndre wente to play. 
And taught him the cours of sunne and moue : 
And al thyng that was to-done 
By the steorres and by the iirmament. 
He him taughte verrament. 
Ac Alisaundre, or he hit wist, 
In a put doun him cast. 
His heved brak ageyn a ston, 
A-t\yo crak his nek bon ; 

To deth he was y-slawe, 720 

Hit was wondurly lowe. 
He spak to Alisaundere. 
" Thy fadir hastow tresond here ! 
" O gentil child beo Y knawe 
** For what thyng hast me y-slawe ?" 
" What ! quod child Alisaunder6, 
" Hastow bygete me ? 
" Myght thou nought in boke y-seo, 
" That thou schuldust to dethe teo ? 
" And who th^ scholde to dethe don ; 730 

*' Othir thy freondis other thy foon ? 
" By anothir men thou knowest afaunce, 
" And by the steorres telle his chaunce ! 
" No schaltow mo men bygile ; 
" Y have quyt the thy while : 


" Y wene of deth thou hast part ; 
" Thyn erbes failith and thyn art !" 
Ac Neptanabus him saide ageyn, 
" My sone, Y wist, scholde me slen." 


" Art thou my fadir ?" quod Alisaundre. 740 

" Ye," quoth he, " soth is the sclaundre. I 

" Y wol wel that thou hit wite :" | 

And tolde him hou he was bygete. / 

Alisaundre ran into iheo put / 

And dud him on londe fet ; - 

And bar him to Olimpias, ^ 

And tolde hire al the cas. 

Heo no myghte nought forsake j 

A pyt heo dude sone make, / 

And brought him into his longe hous : / 750 

Thus eyndid Neptanabus. / 

Soth hit is, in al thyng, 
Of eovel lif comuth eovel eyndyng J^ . 
Now is the kyng wroth and grym, 
Who schal beo kyng after him ; 
His sone Phelip, or Alisaundre, 
Of whom is falle suche a sclaundre. 
He dude his temple al by-honge^ 
With bawdekyn, brod and longe ; 
Oxen, schep, and eke kuyn, 760 

Mony on he dude slen. 
And after, he bad his godus fairC; 
He moste y-witen of his aire, 


Of Alisauudre or of Philipoun 

Whiche schold have the regioun ? 

A vois him onswerde in on ymdge, 

" Kyng, thou hast a colt savdge : 

" Who so may thereon skippe, 

" Beo hit Alisaundre or Phelipe, 

" He schal have every toun, 770 

" i^nd after th6 beore the croune." 

The kyng herde wel this soun, 

And so dude mony gentil baro6n. 

The kyng to court went, 

The children he of-sent. 

Bulsifal neied so loude, 

That hit schrillith into the cloude ! 

They wenten alle to the stable. 

There hit was tyghed in, saun fable ; 

For a thousand pound of gold 780 

Phelip hit nyghen n'olde; 

Ac Alisaundre leop on his rugge. 

So a goldfynch doth on the hegge : 

H it nionteth, and he let him gon. 

So of bowe doth the flon. 

Faste he sat, and huld the reyne, 

Up and doun he hit demeynith ; 

And doth hit turne in yerdis leynthe, 

And aforced hit by streynthe. 

He was bote tweol yeir old ; 790 

His dedis weore strong and bold. 


Feole at his lyghtyog there, 
Reverence they him here ; 
By that, hit was worthy thyng, 
He was next crouned kyng. 

? O 



Alexander is knighted by Philip, and associated in the govern- 
ment. Immediately after the ceremony, he undertakes an ex- 
pedition against Nicholas, king of Carthage. He disembarks 
in Africa, and meets Nicholas, who, after much offensive lan- 
guage, spits in his face. Ttte two kings prepare for a general 

MuRY time is the weod to sere ; 

The com riputh in the ere: 

The lady is rody in the chere ; 

And niaide bryght in the lere ; 

The knighttes hunteth after dere, 800 

On fote and on destrere. 

Kyng Phelip sat in his halle. 
Among eorles and barouns alle, 
That he hath sompund wyde, 
To beo to-fore him that tyde. 
For he wolde, in schort roune, 
Alisaundre his sone croune : 


That is, to seyn aryght, 

Geve him armes, and make him knyght: 810 

And make him couth, over al thyng, - 

After him he scholde beo kyng 

Kyng Phelip, that was his lord, 

Gurd him with a god sweord, 

And gaf him the tole aryght ; 

And bad, he scholde beo god knyght. 

At the issue of the doren, 

Tholomas dude on his sporen. 

Dubbed weore an hundrud knyghtis, 

For his love anon ryghtis. 

After theo servyse of the dubbyng, 820 

He goth to mete with the kyng; 

Wot ye wel, ther was gret plente, 

Of mete and drynk, gret deynte. 

Ac after mete, anon ryghtis, 

Theo kyng clepith gentil knyghtis, 

Y wot heo weoren his tresor6ris : 

He heote heom charge seone someris, 

Of riche red y-tried gold, 

And Alisaundre he hit geve wolde. 

They dude heore lordis comaundement ; 830 

He fongith faire that present. 

And departid hit, in gentil wise, 

Som, to knyghtis of hygh servyse, 

Som to marchal, and to botileris. 

To knyght, to page, and to jogoleris. 


AUe tho that fonge wolde, 
Ynowh hadde of that golde. 
Alisaundre god los 
Of that gevyng him aros. 

A kyng ther was sum del thanne, 840 

That had y-greved muchul his kynne ; 
He was y-hote Nicolas. 
Alisaundre makith his manas, 
He wol to him wende anon, 
And awreke his fadir of his foon ; 
And gradde aloud, with wordes kene, 
** Who me loveth now worth a-sene !" 
Theo stronge knytis of the halle, 
Anon ronnon to heore armes alle ; 
And trussed heore someris, 850 

And lopen on heore destreris. 
Mid heore atire, schipes and barge 
They gan mony for to charge ; 
And olifauns, and camelis, 
Weoren y-charged with vitailes. 
Alle to water doth heom blive : 
The thridde day they gan aryve. 
They swymmed with spreot, drawith with hond. 
And bryngith schipes to the lond. 
Mony knyght, with armes schene, SGO 

Anon lopon on the grene ; 
And madyn mony pavelouns, 
To Alisaundre and his barouns. 


Theo while Alisaundie him dighte, 
With a party of his knyghtis, 
And romed him apon the stronde, 
He mette the kyng of that londe. 
That het Nycolas of Sarage ; 
An hardy mon stout and savage. 
He saide to Alisaundre anon, 
" Who gef th^ leve hider to com ? 
** Quik do th^ hennes sone I 
" Thou hast noght here to done !" 
Alisaundre lokid a-skof, 
As he no gef nought therof. 
Nicolas him anoyed. 
With wraththe to Alisaundre he saide, 
*' What dostow here, unwrast gome ? | 
** For thyn harm thou art hider y-comep 
** He ! fyle asteynte horesone ! | 880 

" To misdo was ay thy wone. I 

" Quik tak thy wed for thy deth !" I 
Alisaundre, " nay !" onswerith, I 

" Wed no schalt thou have of me ! j 
" Ac Y wol have wed of the. / 

" Al this lond, that thou tellest thyq, 
" And thy croune schal beo myn. / 
Gef thou wolt, of londe fleo !" / 
" Fy on th^ !" quoth Nycolas : / 890 

...(And spitte amy dde his face) 


" May Y fynde th^, after this, 

" Y schal th^ do bynde, y-wis, 

" Thou schalt beo hongid, and to-drawe, 

" And quik of thy skyn y-flawe ; 

" And afterward to dust brenne!" 

And quyk away he is ronne 

For, hadde he biden ony thyng, 

Abought he hadde his spittyng. 

Alisaundre was sore awaped. 

That he was so ascaped ; 000 

And swor he schold sore abygge : 

The heved for that gult ligge. 

For al the gold of Cartage, 

Nolde he take othir gage. 

To his ost sone he went, 
Ful of ire and mahalent. 
That nyght heo restith litel, forsothe, 
Bote as men that beon wrothe : 
Wei heo wardith.heom bothe that nyght, 
Til heom sprong the day lyght. 910 



Description of the battle, in which Alexander kills Nicholas antt 
aftei'ward takes and sacks the toum of Carthage. During his 
absence Olimpias is accused of incontinence, and thrown mto 
prison by Philip, who, after determining on a divoD'ce, offers 
his hand to Cleopatra, the rich queen. Description of the fes- 
tival in honour of the intended man'iage. LMmentations of 
Olimpias in her prison. Alexander returns, proceeds to the 
palace, walks up to the high table, and places tlie crown of Ni- 
cholas on his father^s head, He is surprised at the absence of 
Olimpias, and inquires after her, but receives no answer, A 
knight, soon after, relates to Alexander the charges against 
her. Alexander kills him: sends aivay Cleopatra, notwith- 
standing hisfather''s opposition, takes Olimpias out of prison, 
and restores her to her rank. Ambassadors amve from the 
city of Mentana, and formally renounce their allegiance to 
Philip. Alexander undertakes to reduce the mutineers. The 
expedition described. Siege and blockade of the city. The 
inhabitants resolve to try tliefate of a battle. 

CvLERE and faire the somerys day spiyng, 
And makith mony departyng 
Bytweone knyght and his swetyng. 
Theo sunne ariseth, and fallith tlie dewyng ; 


Theo nessche clay hit makith clyng. 

Mony is jolif in the momyng, 

And tholeth deth or the evenyng ! 

N'is in this world so siker thyng 

So is deth, to olde and yyng ! 

The time is nygh of heore wendyng ! 920 

Alisaundre, in the momyng, 
Quik hath armed al his gyng ; 
And Nicolas is nought tarying ; 
With muche ost he is comyng. 
Ther was trumpyng, and taboiyng, 
Liepyng of stedis, and demaynyng. 
Mony a riche gult scheld 
That day schon apon the feld, 
And mony a baner, of gold and ynde, 
That day rotled with the wynde. 930 

With cryende, and stoute wordes, 
They metith heom with speris hordes. 
Mony doughty yong knyght, 
That ilke day, asaiyed his myght, 
che on othir, with great mayn, 
To threst lauuce in the playn. 
Some weore perced in arniur^s, 
Thorugh scheldis, and thorugh annes ; 
Som the throte, and soni the heorte 
Hadyn y-perced, and gonne smeorte. 940 

After launces, sweordis they drowe ; 
And mony knyght othir slowe. 


Mony ther was that eovel spedde, 

For he laide his hed to wedde : 

And som armes and hondyn lorn, 

Of som legges, with the sporn. 

Mony knyght, in litel stounde, 

Caughte there dethes wounde : 

Mony knyght starf in that pres ; 

And mony child was faderles : 950 

Mony lady les hire amoure. 

And mony maide her soco6re : 

Mony stedis drowen heore bridel : 

Who so wolde, myght ride, 

Withoute seolvire, withoute gold, 

Whiderwardis, so they wold. 

On bothe halve, in litel stounde, 

Was mony knyght laid to the grounde ; 

Ac the 'scoumfyt, and the damage, 

Feol on heom of Cartage. 960 

Nicolas sygh al this ; 

He made a neowe just, y-wis. 

And slough of Alisaundres men. 

Mo than Y you telle can. 

Tho Alisaundre sygh this grevaunce. 

He tok in hond a styf launce, 

And, amydward the place, 

He mette with Nycolas. 

Heyghe he bar scharpe spere, 

Thorugh the scheld he can hit beore ; 970 


Ac his armure Mas so strong, 

The spere n'olde him afong, 

Alisaundie that spere lette, 

And drough his sweord, al so sket : 

Nicolas he smot in the swored, 

That he laide his hed in wed : 

And saide to him, al so sket, 

" Thys, yusturday, Y th^ byhet, 

" Tho thou sprettest in my visage !" 

That othres flowen with gret rage. 930 

The people tok of the dede 

Hors, and armes god at nede. 

Alisaundre, quyk withalle, 

Of Cartage wan the walles, 

And slough doun withoute pite ; 

The spoile he tok of that cite, 

And the croune of the lond. 

And bar hit away in his hond. 

Gold and seolver, and othir thynges, 

They trussed to heore schepynges. 990 

The wynd is ryght god, saun faile ; 

They setten mast, and halen saile, 

And wenten to heore owne lond : 

Jesu Crist us sende his sonde ! 

While Alisaundre was in medley, 
To sle the folk of that contray, 
Come men of Grece, and [on] Alisaundre, 
And on Olimpias laide sclaundre. 


Heo saiden, " With wrong heo was quene^ 

" For heo had an hore beone." 1000 

Heo sweren, and saide veir, 

That Alisaundre was fals air. 

For this sclaunder that was so fyle, 

And eke for the grete perile, 

Kyng Phelippe, by al his regioun, 

Of-sent, duk, eorle, and baroun, 

That jugeth heom alle bytweone, 

Olimpias schulde beo quene. 

Ac heo no myghte no wors beo bet. 

In a castel heo was y-set, 1010 

And was deliverid liversoon, 

Skarschliche and nought foisoun. 

The kyng dude by his counsail ; 

He sent to Assire, saun fail, 

To Clorpatras, the riche quen, 

That scheo scholde his spouse beon. 

The messangers weore gentil barouns. 

Theo lady 'leved heore rounes ; 

And grauntid, by counsailyng, 

To beo spoused to Phelip the kyng. 1020 

The day was set, withoutyn assoyne. 

The thryttythe day, at Macedoyne. 

Tho this message was hom y-come, 
Ther was mony blithe gome. 
With rose, and swete flores, 
Was strawed halles, and bouris ; 


With samytes, and baudekyns, 

Weore cortined the gardynes. 

Alle the innes of the toun, 

Haddyn litel foisoun, 1030 

That day cam Clorpatras ; ; 

So muche people with hire was. 

Upon a mule, whyt so mylk ; 

Hire hameys gold, beten with selk. 

The prynce hire ladde of Sandas, 

And of Cydoyne sire Jonatas. 

Ten thousand barouns hire come myde, 

And to chirche they ryden. 

Spoused scheo is, and set on days. 

Now 'gynnith the geste of nobles : 1040 

At theo feste was trumpyng, 

Pipyng, and eke taboryibg, 

Sytolyng, and ek harpyng, 

Knyf pleying, and ek syngyng, 

Carolyng, and tumeieyng, - ^ . 

Wrastlyng, and ek skirmyng. 

Theo game goth nought ful blyve : 

Ther som helieth and som wyve. 

Olimpias herde al this 
In the tour ther scheo is. 1050 

Scheo weopith, and syngeth weil-a-way, 
That scheo ever abod that day. 
Scheo cleputh hireseolf ofte wreche. 
And bad deth scholde hire feche. 


And saide, " O sone Alisaundre, 

*' I have for th^ gret sclaundre ! 

" Sore of-thynkith me this cas, 

" That thou foughte with Nicolas : 

" Hadestow levyd in this lond 

" Y no hadde y-had this schond !" IO6O 

Myghte scheo have y-founde a knyf, 

Heo wolde have spilled hire lyf. 

" Alas," heo saide, " Y n'ere y-spilled ! 

" For men me cleputh quene afiled. 

" No may Y never eft yelpe, 

" Alisaundre, bote thou me helpe !" 

Thus heo gradde weyl-a-way, 

Til tyme of hygh mydday. 

At noon ariseth hire worschipes : 
Arived buth hire sone schipes ; 1070 

He w'xsi nought of this bridale. 
No no man tolde him the tale. 
He dyghte him in riche wedes, 
And dude drawe alond heore stedes. 
He leop up, and hadde sone doon, 
Apon a stede of faire bon ; 
He rod forth apon the lond, 
Theo riche croune in his bond, 
Of Nicolas that he wan : 

By side rideth a gen til man. 1080 

To the paleis they gonne ride, 
And fonde this feste in alle pruyde. 

VOL. I. D 


Forth goth Alisaundre, saun fable, 

Ryght to theo heygh table : 

The croune, of gold byweved. 

He set on his fadir heved. 

His fader praised his prowesse, 

Of the croune and of the richesse. 

Alisaundre con aboute seon, 

And sygh y-crouned a neowe quen ; 1090 

And saugh no wher Olimpias, 

That his owne modur was. 

In heorte he can chaunge mod ; 

And lokid als he weore wod. 

And saide, " Fadir, whan my moder is quen, 

" Thou schalt at hire bridale beon." 

They wascheth, and sitteth at the fest ; 

Men him served of the beste. 

A duyk ther was, that hette Lifias ; 
To Alisaundre he cam god pas, 1 100 

And tolde him of Olimpias. 
Alisaundre anvied was ; 
Over the table he gon stoupe, 
And smot Liiias with the coupe. 
That he feol doun in the flette : 
His eyghnen out of his hed sterte. 
For to awreke, kyng Phelip 
Over the table gan to schippe ; 
Ac he laught sone suche qued. 
He was y-bore forth for ded. 1110 


Alisaundre's folk forth gon flyng, 
Fyve hundred in a rynge : 
The tables weoren overthrowe. 
And mony knyght sone y-slawe. 

Alisaundre nom Clorpatras, 
And out hire hasted a swithe pas; 
And set hire upon a mule, 
And drof hire out of toun ful foule. 
Evel maign^ to hire was schape, 
Bot tho that myghte the deth aschape. 1120 

Clorpatras flough to hire lond, 
With gret leore, and with gret schond. 
Alisaundre hadde the beste, 
That was purveyede to that feste ; 
Gold and seolver, and riche clothes ; 
Tho that hit loste weore wrothe. 

Thus hit farith by feste unwise : 
After mete contek ariseth ! 
Wei is the modir that may forth fede 
Child, that helpith hire at nede. 1130 

Olimpias is now awroke, .. . ^ ., 

Ac yet heo is in prison stoke ; 
And wist hereof no thyng. 
Of Alisaundre's comyng. 
Ac Alisaundre undurstandt 
How al this contek is went. 
Hit is no ned here to dwelle, 
No longer tales for to telle ; 


His fadir he sette it reson : 

He is by-knowe he is his sone ; 1140 

And that he is ryght ayre, 

After him to reygne faire : 

And makith his modur pes, 

And alle sclaunder makith les. 

To hire the way he nom, 
Joyful is heo of his come. 
Heo gan him telle hire ille, 
Ac he bad hire beo stille : 
Quic he lad hire horn, 
And with him mony knyght and grom. 11 50 

There was 'gynnyng a neowe feste, 
And of gleomen mony a geste. 
Kyng Felip was in male ese; 
Alisaundre heold the deys: 
He dude serve Olimpias, 
In gold and seolver, in bras, in glas ; 
So riche a feste no mon no say, 
Sq Alisaundre heold that day. 
Kyng Felip theremyd was 

Acorded with Olimpias. 1 160 

Al so they sate at the gestuyng. 
Com message to Felip the kyng. 

Swithe mury hit is in halle, 
When the burdes wawen alle ! 
Messangeris conne flyng. 
Into the halle byfore the kyng, 


From a cite, on hors and fote, 
That was Mentana y-hote. 
They saiden him, at a word, 
They n'olde him holde for heore lord, 1170 

For heom defende he no myght ; 
Heore kyng and heore dukes wyght, 
N'olden more of him holde. 
The kynges veynes waxen colde ; 
And n uste never what he do myght. 
Ac, by counsail of his knyghtis, 
He tok Alisaundre this deray, 
For to amende gef he may. 
Alisaundre hit hath afonge ; 
At the table him thynkith longe. 1180 

After mete, meyntenaunt. 
To mouth he set his olifaunt ; 
He blowith smert and loude sones : 
Theo knyghtis armed heom at ones. 
Tliey understode that hit was nede, 
And comen to him armed on stede ; 
Ten thousand, al prest and yare. 
Into batail for to fare. 
And liftene thousand of fot laddes, 
That sweord and boceleris hadde, 1190 

Axes, speres, forkis, and slynges, 
And alle stalworthe gadelynges. 
Whan this was togedre yepe. 
On Bulsifall Alisandre leope. 


He touched him with the spore, 

And sproHg out at the halle dore. 

No scholde foul, gret no smal, 

Have }-siwed Bulsifall ! 

He broughte him al to wil ageyn, 

And hardneth al his men ; 1200 

He touchith his horn, and forth rideth, 

Mony mon him went myde. 

The ryghte way they nome. 

That heo to the cit6 come. 

Heore drawbrugge they drowe ate. 
And scheotten faste heore gates : 
Alisaundre heom asailed fast. 
And with mangnelis to heom cast. 
They into the walles stowe, 

And defended heom with howe ; 1210 

With alblastres, and with stones, 
They slowe men, and braken bones. 
With hot water, and other engyn. 
They defended heom therynne. 
Ac Alisaundre quic hoteth his hynen. 
Under heore walles to myne. 
With strong gynnes, and deth werres, 
The whiles the mynoris. 
Ac, by strenthe no by gynne. 
No myghte he heom that day wymie; 1220 

No that othir, no the thridde. 
No the feorthe he ne spedde. 


Ac tho Alisaundre seygh this, 
He stopped heore way, y-wis, 
That ther no niyghte, to heore fode. 
Come to heom no gode ; 
Knyght, no swayn, ne heore stren. 
No none wise myghte lieon. 
The folk, and the poraile, 

Weoren an-hungred, saun faile ; 1230 

And al day on the richer gradden. 
Theo riche of heom reuthe hadden, 
And saide they hadden, sikirliche, 
Leovere steorve aperteliche. 
Than thole soche wo and sorwe : 
And toke counsail on the morwe, 
Clepen bataile to wende to ; 
Riche and pore wolden so. 
Listenith now sire and dame. 
Now bygymiith a neowe game. 1240 



Desaiptixm of the battle. Alexander kills the king of MentanUf 
and destroys his city. Messengers arrive in Macedon with 
a demand of tribute from Darius. Alexander's speech to 
them. Pausanias, who had gained the affections of Olimpias, 
contrives with her the assassination of Philip, and executes his 
purpose while Alexander is employed in quellitig a distant re- 
bellion. Alexander returns, finds his father dying, wouttds 
Pausanias, and orders him to be beheaded in the presence of 
Philip. He then mounts the throne, assembles all the forces of 
his kingdom, and prepares for an expedition against Darius. 
Alexander embarks ; sails first to Thrace, which he subdues: 
next to Sicily, and afterward to Italy, which also he annexes 
to his dominions. Then, carrying with him the tribute as 
well as the numerous levies which he had collected in the con- 
quered countries, he embarks for Lybia. He stops for some 
time at Tripoli. Here he finds, in a temple dedicated to Ter- 
magaunt and Baal, a curious statue, inscribed with astrologi^ 
eal emblems. He inquires of the priest of the temple what is 
the meaning of that figure. The priest tells him that it is a 
magical statue, made by Neptanabus in honour of Jupiter. A- 
lexander then consults the priest respecting his real birth, and is 
assured that he is the true son of Philip. For this satisfac- 
tory assurance the priest is amply rewarded, 

Ofte springeth the bryghte morwe 
Mony to blisse, and mony to sorwe : 


Qued hit is muche to borwe : 
And worse hit is ever in sorwe. 
Tho that can nought beon in pes, 
Ofte they maken heoni evel at ese. 

The kyng of Mantona, and his knyghtis, 
Buth y-armed redy to fyghte, 
In bruny of stel, and riche weden ; 
They doth go swithe on steden, 1250 

The gate is up and they out-riden. 
The stedes ronnon with slak bridel. 
With launce they 'gynneth to flyng, 
Ac they found harde 'countryng. 
Of knyghtis thar was strong metyng ; 
Harde justes, scharpe brekyng ; 
In bothe half loude crying, 
Knyghtis thorugh stick ; steden lesyng. 
In litel while was mony y-slawe, 
And y-smyte thorugh wombe and mawe. 1260 
Alisaundre ful wel say, 
That hit was a dedly play. 
His horn he bleow thrie, 
His knyghtis to hardye. 
He seygh the kyng of that cite 
Slowe his folk withoute pite ; 
He griputh in bond a spere : 
Ageyns the kyng he gan hit beore. 
He smot him on the scheld y-gult, 
Thorughout the bord, thorughout the hilt, 1270 


Thorughout the bruny creopeth the egge ; 

And thorugh the heorte, Y th^ segge, 

The spere beorith, the kyng is falle : 

His knyghtis flowen swithe alle. 

That folk is slawe withoute pite, 

And forbrent is that cite. 

Alisaundre ageyn heom dyghtis, 

Blithe in heorte, and alle his knyghtis. 

Kyng Phelip hit undurstand, 

Wei blithe is heorte, and his talant. 1280 

Men tellen, in olde mone, 
" The qued comuth now her alone." 
Now, ye schule undurstonde, 
Cometh messangers of divers londe. 
And askith of Phelip trouage, 
Of lond, and water, and wode, by usage. 
Felip sore was anoied : 
Ac Alisaundre heom hath y-saide. 
** Lordynges, Y you telle, 

" He that made heven and helle, 1290 

" Aftwardes he made man, 
" Oure forme fadir Adam. 
*' To his ofspryng, so thynkith me, 
" Alle he made y-liche freo, 
" Watres, wodes, londes, playnes. 
" Gef Darie havith hit by maynes, 
" When Felip my fadir wrong, 
" I am elde more than strong, 


^' Ageyns Darie him so wreke, 

" That the world schal therof speke : 1300 

*' And Y withclepe and withstonde 

** Theo truage of Grece londe 

" Whiles Y may hors bystryde 

" Schal ther never non abide." 

Tho byspak the massengeris, 

(Alle weore men of on cheris) 

" Alisaundre !" they saide, " y-wis, 

" Thow schalt th^ holden for unwis, 

" Gif you thoroug folye, outher rage, 

" Withhaldest the dayes of truage. 1310 

" As gret storm is falle by a reyn, 

" Sone he wol daunte thy maigne ! 

" Some dure Darie manace, 

" That durre him nought seon in face. 

" We rede, thow lete thy maltalent, 

" And sende to Darie sum gret rent." 

Kyng Alisaundre swithe kene, 

Hoteth the messangers of his eyghnen. 

Anon they deliverid heom of Macedoyne, 

Passith by Tire, and by Cidoyne, 1320 

There woned sumwhile kyng Appolyn, 

Alle til they come to Babiloyne, 

And tolde Darie Alisaundre's yengthe. 

His host, his pruyde, his hardy streyngthe. 

Kyng Darie swor by his lay. 

He hit scholde abugge sum day. 


Alisaundre is in his lond, 
And hath sone a newe sonde, 
From a cite in the Est, 

Tliat n'ul no Phelippes heste. 1330 

Tliider he wendith with gret pres, 
Tliis stordy citeis for to dies. 
The whiles, herith a cas. 

A riche baroun in Grece was, 
His name was hote Pausanias, 
That loved muche Olimpias. 
So he yede, and so he sent. 
By writes, and by riche presenti?, 
That he dude, in bedde stille, 
By the lady al his wille. 1340 

And bytweone heom heo hadde y-spok. 
Of kyng Felip to beon awroke. 
Womanis herte is unwreste ! 
Heo wol beo wroke, othir to-berste ! 
By heore bothe compissement, 
Kyng Felip was wounded, verament, 
Dedly woundid thorugh the nape, 
That he no myghte deth ascape. 

Alisaundre, from his disray. 
Was comen hom that ilke day, 1350 

And herde of this noise and cry. 
To the paleys he com in hy : 
He fond ther stonde Pausanias, 
By the queue dame Olimpias. 


A brod gavelock he lette glide ; 

Hit smot him thorugh bothe side. 

The kyng Phelip he ladde him to. 

That his hed smot a-two. 

He thonkid alle therof, certes, 

And starf anon withoute smert. 1360 

Philip is ded, as kyng of werre, 
And richely is broughte to the eorthe. 
Thanne deth no myght he nought fleon, 
Seth the quen wolde awreke beon; 
And he that the treson dude, 
Was forhedid in that steode. 
Kyng Philip hath al that ryght 
That mon may do kyng or knyght. 
Kyng Alisaundre doth of-sende, 
Alle his dukes, and barounes hende, 1370 

Eorles, knyghtis, clerkis wise, 
Tliat of him holden into frise ; 
Of eche cite the burgeys. 
Of whom was name of nobleys ; 
And, gef ony saide no, 
The names they scholde sende of tho. 
His messangers, withoute doute, 
Rideth and goth ther abowte. 
The messangers come weoren ageyn ; 
Heom siwith mony gentil men, 1380 

Bothe on palfrey, and on stedis ; 
And clerkis eke, in riche wedis. 


Unto Coriiithe alle hy comen, 

Both the lord and eke his gomen. 

There bare Alisaunder coroune 

And to the feute of uche toune 

Of duke, erle, knighth, burgeys, baroun, 

That longed unto his coroun. 

There he made mony a knyght, 

That was hardy, strong and wyght : 1390 

And gaf eche lordyng gret honour, 

And parted heom his fadir tresour. 

Feste he made of nobleye, 

N'as nowher such y-seyghe. 

After mete, anon ryghtis. 

He dude noumbre his gode knyghtis ; 

And sent fiftene thousand and hundredis seven, 

Al of Grece y-bore, by heven : 

And seven and twenty hundredis asondre, 

Strong in felde, apon justers : 1400 

And also nyne and fifty thousynd, 

And fif hundred fot men, Y fynde. 

Tliat was Ix. m. and vij. hundred. 

Ac yet, me thynkith gret wondir, 

That he myghte, with so fewe, 

Al the world him undur thewe ; 

And that he so trust and undurstode, 

More a-wondrith al my blod ! 

Ac, soth hit is, cayser no kyng 

No may withstonde Godis helpyng! 1410 


To bataile-ward he gynneth to yarke : 
The somers buth trussed, the schipes buth charged. 
His folk, ful of orpedschype, 
Quicliche leputh to hepe ; 
Theo mariners crieth, and taleth ; 
Ancres into schip they halith ; 
They drowe sail to top of mast, 
And into Trace sailith in hast. 
Ther, quik fallith into his houd 
Alle the citees of that lond, 1420 

Eorles, knyghtis, and the barouns 
Of alle Trace regiouns. 
Ther he sette his owne acise, 
And made bailifs, and justices; 
And tok of heom v. m. knyghtis, 
And sailed forth anon ryghtis. 
The thridde day, withoute gyle. 
He aryved at Cysile. 
There heo hadde thought to done, 
Ac he hit aleyde sone : 1430 

Bothe with coyntise, and with vigor, 
He wan of that lond the honor. 
And mony noble batelur 
That dudun sethenis socour. 
In the lond he set his lawes ; 
And, after sojour of fewe dawes. 
His ost he encresed with six thousynd 
Of noble knyghtis, so Y fynde. 


And went into Lumbardie. 

Heipe us alle seynte Marie ! 1440 

At Venyse com up Alisaunder ; 
Pes men blewe and no loud sclaunder. 
His lettres he sent, withouten assoyne, 
Anon into Grace-Boloyne ; 
Into Paduie ; into Mothun ; 
And into Parme, that riche ton ; 
Into Pavie ; into Tremoun ; 
And into Plesance of gret renoun. 
Into Novarre ; and into Dole ; 
Into Versens, a cit6 of Scole ; 1450 

And into Melane, that the maistrie 
Beorith of al Lumbardie. 
Heore counsail was sone y-nome, 
To wende to that riche gome ; 
To holde of him al heore lond. 
The kaies they toke him in bond, 
Of heore citees, of heore honours, 
And made him heore eorthliche seignours. 
He bad of heom all tliat he wolde ; 
Stedis, armes, seolver and golde, 1460 

And mony strong weorriour. 
That seththe dude him gret honour. 

Thaimes he sent into Tuskane ; 
Thennes him com mony a mon. 
And from Florence, and from Cene, 
Mony knyght with armes schene, 


From Cortine, and from Ravenne, 

Him cam knyghtis muche wone ; 

From Curcinan, and from Acise, 

Him come knyghtis of gret prise. 1470 

From Gobyn, and fro Orbenette, 

From Viterbe, and fro Aretche, 

Him cam richesse, and gret sonde, 

And feole knyghtis to his honde. 

At the laste, his lettres come 

Into the cite of gret Rome. 

The riche people, and the senas, 

Spak togedre of this cas. 

Y yow segge, verrament, 

They assentyn, by on assent, 1480 

A riche croune of red gold, 

For he heore lord beo schold : 

And a thousand of noble knyghtis. 

That in bataile weore gode and wighte. 

Marcus he hette, that heom ladde ; 

Alisaundre non better no hadde ; 

And four thousand mark y-sende. 

For to beon of his freondreae. 

The Romayns him sent this pris, 

And gretyug, and redy to his servise. 1490 

He gretith the Romayns with chere blithe, 

And wendith out of londe blive; 

Nul he more beon anoied. 

No of his gret ost distruyed. 

VOL. I. E 


Anon he schipeth into Libie, 
With al his faire chivalrie. 
In al that grete regioun, 
N'is castel, cit6, no toun, 
That he no nam, by leve of myght. 
In lasse than in a fourtenyght. 1500 

Seththe passed he, y-wis, 
A water that com fro Paradys. 
Barouns, and knyghtis of that lond, 
Yolden heom to his hond, 
Withoute bataile, other dunt. 
That lond he wan, verrament, 
Heore ehte, and heore chivalrie, 
They yolden to his seignorie. 

Now hath Alisaundre so muche ginge 
That non hit wot bote heven kynge ! 1510 

Schipes he doth make, snel, 
Mony hundred, Y yow tel. 
He sojoniith, and his folk myd him, 
In a cite hatte Tripolyu. 
A temple ther was, amydde the market. 
Of Turmagaunt and of Balak : 
An ymage was therynne, 
Y-beten al with gold fyne ; 
Sonne and mone, steorren seven. 
Was purtreyed, and eke heven. 1520 

Theo kyng of-sent, Y undurstonde. 
Than the bysschop of that londe, 


And asked him " in whos honojur 

*' Was y-mad thai; vigour ?" 

Theo bysschop weop for ermyng, 

And thus he saide to the kyng : 

" Ther was sum while, over us, 

" A kyng that hette Neptanabus, 

" Curteis in halle, in weorre wight ; 

" He no gaf nought of no fyght, 1530 

" Kyng non, of no londe, 

" In batail no myghte him withstonde. 

" This ymage he made here, 

** In the honour of Jubitere. 

*' Sonne and mone, that beon in heven, 

" And the planetis al seven, 

*' And the cours of the streorren, 

*' In heom he juggeth al his weorren. 

" When any kyng wolde him asaile, 

*' He couthe therby seo, saun faile, 1540 

" And, by charmes muche wondur, 

" How he scholde his foos brynge undur. 

" At the last feol a cas, 

" Of feole kynges y-hated he was, 

** And quyk on uche half asailed : 

" He lokid in his ars, saun fable, 

" He say he scholde beo overcome : 

" By nyghte fley that gen til gome. 

"No mon no kouthe for no thyng 

" Seththe y-here of him tidyng." 1550 


Kyng Alisaundre teris gan stoppe, 
And thus he saide to the byschope : 
" Byschop," he saide, " there is a sclaunder, 
" Y-layd on me kyng Alisaunder, 
" Y scholde beo bygete amys : 
** Tel me who my fadir is, 
" Pryvely, bytweone th^ and me ! 
" Thy travaile schal Y yeilde th^." 
The byschop graunteth the kynges talent, 
And dude him on a vestement, 1560 

And made, on a sarsynes wyse, 
To Jubiter sacrifise. 
After longe the sacrefyeng. 
He cam, and saide to the kyng, 
How his fadir hette Felip. 
Stilliche, bytweone his lippe, 
Kyng Alisaundre in heorte lough ; 
And was in heorte glad ynough, 
Tho, aller furst, he undurstode. 
That he was lyght kyngis blod. 1570 

He gaf theo byschop, to gode hans, 
Riche beyghes, besans, and pans, 
Clothis, eyghtis, withoutyn eynde. 
Now bygymiith geste hende. 



Alexander meets with no resistance till he comes to Tyre. Dread- 
ful battle before the walls of that toum. The Macedonians are 
repulsed^ and forced to twn their siege into a blockade. In 
the meantime, the ambassadors from Persia retuiti to Darius, 
Their speech. Danus summons a council. His letter to Alex- 
ander, accompanied by the present of a top, a scourge, and a 
purse. Alexander, perceiving that his men are alarmed by the 
threats of Darius, and by his ewhlematical present, comforts 
them by interpreting it into an omen of success, and dismisses 
the ambassadors with a contemptuous answer. Their second 
speech to Darius, who orders all his subjects to join his army. 
Answei- of his Lieutenants. He sends another message to 
Alexander, which is again rejected with contempt. 

MuRTHE is gret in halle ; 
Damoselis plaien with peoren alle ; 
Teller of jeste is ofte myslike ; 
Ribaud festeth also with tripe. 
Alisaundre is a noble man ; 
His ost telle no wyght no kan, 1 580 


They schiputh alle, in schipes gode, 

The see ferde as hit weore wode. 

Kyng, prynces of feole lond, 

Anon they yoldyn heom to his hond. 

They broughten him jewelis, and riche gold, 

And heom to his wille yolde : 

So that he com to a cit6 that hette Tyre, 

Tlie beste cite of that empire. 

Alisaundre they dispises, 

His messangers, and his justices ; 1590 

Gates they schutte, and barbicans ; 

They mayntenid heom wel with mayne. 

Up they sette heore mangonelis, 

And alblastres with quarellis, 

And sendith, Alisaundre to say, 

" He go to Macedoyne and play ! 

" His herd schal hore, his folk schal sterve, 

** Or any mon of Tyre him serve." 

Whan this to Alisaundre was saide, 
Out of wit he was anoied : 1 600 

He hette quyk, without pite, 
His men to asaile that cite. 
Dieu mercy ! to mychel harme 
Many knighth there gan hym arme. 
There me myghte sone y-seon 
Many hors with trappen wreon, 
And knyghtis beore baner and scheld, 
Of heom schon the brode feld ! 


Tho that heo fond withoute the toun, 

Witli scharpe sweord they laide to grounde. I6IO 

The fotman, and tho on hors, 

Travaillid strongly heore cors. 

With launceynge and with rydyog, 

With throwyng, and with nymyng, 

And with wilde fuyr skyming, 

Muche wo they dudeu heore men. 

The walles to fallen on the playn : 

Ac the cit6-men weoren wel wyght, 

And ynough couthen of fyght. 

With peys, stones, and gavelok, 1690 

Heore fon they gave knokk ; 

With hot water, and wallyng metdl. 

They defendid heore wal. 

With longe billes, mad for the nones. 

They carve heore bones ; 

There lay monye, in litel stounde, 

That starf with dedly wounde. 

Of sum weore the brayn out-spat, 

Al undur theo iren hat : 

Som with pays was fronst, 1630 

Som with gavelolk al to-lonst : 

There was, in that pres, 

Mony child faderles ! 

Theo fiyght feol, withoute the wal, 

Apon Alisaundre folk nygh al. 


Tho Alisaundre sygh this, 

Aroiim anon he drow, y-wis, 

And suththe he lenneth to his muthe ; 

(To alle his folk he was couthe) 

AUe they lette heore 'sailyng, 1640 

And aboute him gan flyng. 

He bad heom make paveloun, 

Al aboute the riche toun ; 

Byd heom from the assaut drawe ; 

Mony of his weoren y-slawe. 

So they dude, and maden tent, 

Al abowte, riche and gent. 

Afterward, tho hit was nyght. 
They founde y-slawe, of heore knyghtis, 
Ten hundred, and sum del mo : 1650 

For heom was mad muche wo ; 
For they weore knyghtis of gret worthe, 
They weore faire brought in eorthe. 
Alisauuder heom solaced thus : 
*' Lordynges, no buth nought in angwysch, 
" Though ye have yor freondis lore ; 
" Lord and freond Y am heom fore. 
" Me mot bothe wynne and leose : 
" Chaunse no letith no mon cheose. 
" Heore thonkyng they mowe beo sikir, l660 
" Y schal heom yelde wel this bykir !" 

Now restith Alisaundre in his sigyng ; 
Ac herith now a wondur thyng : 


Herde ye havith, Y wol yow reherce, 

How messangeris comen from Perce, 

For trowage, and Felip anoiede, 

And how Alisaundre with-saide. 

Now at the erst, the messangers 

Buth y-come to heore emperis. 

And salued Darie heore lord, 1670 

And him saide this word : 

" Lord, we weoren in thy message, 

" In Grece after trowage ; 

" Ac hit is with-saide, in al thyng, . 

" By a yong knyght, thenkith beo kyng. 

" Worth ther non whiles he levith. 

" Other thou most hit al forgeve, 

" Other, he sent the to segge, 

" Distrene hit with sweordis egge !" 

Darie startled for this tydyng, I68O 

And makith a grym thretyng. 

He tok with him mony a duk, 

That byleved on Belsabuk, 

And goth with heom to an orchard ; 

Parlement they holdith hard. 

Y you telle, litel (y-wis) 

Of Alisaundre he holdith pris. 

By alle heore comune assent, 

A lettre they havith to him sent. 

By riche dukis threttene : I69O 

Bowes they bare of olyf grene. 


A duk ther was, of Ermonye ; 
Of Eschanome, and of Sulye ; 
Of Pyncenard, and of Mede ; 
Tbo of Ninivie gode at nede ; 
The Duk of Jaspes, and Tabarie; 
Tlie duk of Frise, and of Hongrie ; 
The duk of Moreb, and of Calberi^ ; 
And the duk of Palestenn^ : 
Theose comen, bond by bond, 1700 

To-fore Alisaundre in Tire-lond ; 
And eche, with a braunche of olyve, 
That was tokenyng of pes and lyve, 
To kenne him, that Darie him sent 
Threo thyngis to present : 
A scourge, and a top of nobleys, 
Ful of gold and an haumudeys. 
And a lettre par amours. 
Of whiche such was the treowes : 
" Darie, the kyng of alle kynges, 1710 

** The godis that hath to ederlyng ; 
*' For his neyce, Syble ; cosynes 
" Is Jubiter, and Appolyns; 
" Governor of lewed and lerid, 
" That beon with men of myddel erd, 
" Sente gretyng, withouten honour, 
" To the yonge robbour 
" Alisaundre ! thou coinoun wode, 
" In th^ spillith thy feyre blode, 


*' That hast withholde my trowage, 1720 

" AikI don me more outrage, 

*' Brent my townes, my men y-slawe, 

*' Thow weore worthy to be hongid and drawe. 

^' Notheles, thou konst no gode ; 

" Y wyt hit all thy yonge blode : 

** Therfore, Y have th^ y-sent, 

" A top and a scorge to present, 

" And with gold a litel punge, 

" For thow hast yeris yonge : 

" Wend thou horn therwith, and play, 1730 

" Y rede the, yonge boy ! 

" Other Y schal th6 bete and dynge, 

" With a fewe gadelyng ; 

" And, afterward, quyk th^ flen, 

" And al thy folk with sweord sleu. 

" Woldust thou have to me peer ? 

*' Nay, y-wis, thou wreche pautener ! 

" Y have mo knyghtis to weorre, 

" Than beon in welkyn steorris. 

" And mo men with stronge bones 1740 

" Then buth in the see stones. 

" Fleo thou now, gef thou beo sounde ! 

*' Other men schull the dryve with houndes." 

This was the writ that Darie sent 

To Alisaundre, and the present. 

Of Alisaundre ac ye schul here, 
How he hit turned in othre manere. 


Alisaundre ful wel seoth, 

That his knyghtis araayed buth : 

He laughwith, and swerith by the sonne, 1750 

Mede and Peirce he havith y-wonne ; 

** For this scourge signefieth 

" That Y schal wyiine the maistrie 

" Of Darie, and him so chase, 

" And his men, bothe more and lasse ; 

** The top, that is round aboute, 

" Signefieth, saun doute, 

" That the world, that round is, 

" Schal beo myn also, y-wis; 

" And hit bytokenith by this punge, 1760 

" That Y schal, of olde and yonge, 

" Of this myddel erd telle and fonge. 

" Seggith Darie that songe, 

" lliat Y nul with him acorde, 

" Bote with egge of sweorde !" 

This messangers herdyn this tale, 

Horn heo wendith, by doune and dale. 

Alisaundre, his nedes 
Ageyn to Tyre wel sone spedes. 
Theo misdoers he hath y-slawe, 1770 

And to that other he gevith the lawe. 
Y-flewe weore the grete lordynges. 
To Darie heore lord and kyng. 
Alisaundre set ther his bailif, 
To Darye-ward, al so blyve ; 


Ac lie was y-lat by the way, 
At mony a bataile Y yow say. 

Darie sat at mete, the riche kyng. 
And holdith riche gestnyng. 
Of dukes, eorles, amiraylis, 1780 

And of soudans with murie talis, 
Theo messangers alyghten alle, 
And hond by hond comen into halle. 
They gretith Darie, the riche kyng, 
And tolde him strong tidyng. 
" Sire," they saide, " n'ys no fol sclaunder, 
** That goth by way of Alisaunder ; 
" Hit is an hardy flumbardyng, 
** Wis, and war in alle thyng. 
" He hath y-wonne Egipte, and Libye, 1790 
*' Cicile, Rome, and Lumbardie, 
*' Calabre, Poyle, al to Burgoyne, 

*' Cipres also, and Aschavoyne. 

*' Him no may contray withstonde, 

" That he wol do to his honde. 

** By youre scourge, he saide, in hast, 

" That he wol you bete, and chast. 

** By the top, and by the purs, 

" Yete he saide muche wors ; 

" That he schal of the world, and th^, 1800 

" Take tole, and maister beo. 

" Tire is y-fall undur his hond ; 

" Comying he is to thy lond : 


" Fuyr and sweord is his acord : 
" We no gabbuth the no word !" 
Darie from him the table schette. 
That hit wende into the flette. 
He drawith leg over othir, 
And makith thretyng ful a fothir ; 
And of-clepith his chauuselere, 1810 

And hoteth him sende, fer and nere, 
To his justices, lettres hard, 
That the contrais beo aferd. 
To frusche the gadelyng, and to bete. 
And none of heom on lyve lete. 
The lettres to his justices come; 
Ac they him sent other sone, 
That " Alisaundre hadde, undur his hond, 
" -N^yg'^ y-wonne al that lond. 
" Men dredith him on uche an half, 1820 

" So kalf the beore, or schep the wolif. 
" Eche man hadde gret throwe, 
" For to loke that was his owe ; 
" To cite, castel, and to tour, 
" Uche mon soughte after socour : 
" And bote he dude by othir counsaiie, 
" Alisaundre was at his taile. 
" The lond was lorn, saun dotaunce, 
" Evermore, with the appertenaunce," 

Whan Darie al this imdurstod, 1830 

He was nygh of wit wod ; 


He sent a letter, withoute lesyng, 

To Alisaundre in gretyng ; 

** He scholde come as amye 

** And don him in his mercye 

" And amende his trespas by juggement 

" Goode scholde beo theo acordement,** 

Alisaundre sende him, to sigge, 

*' Ord of spere, and ord of egge, 

** Schal at heore acordement beon, 1840 

" And non othir, kyng no queue ;" 

And hotith his dukis, and his knyghtis. 

To tume on Darie anon ryghtis. 



Alexander (having taken the city of Tyre) proceeds toward Ara- 
bia, wasting tlie country with fire and sword. The Arabians 
in vain attempt to resist him. Their Duke flies with five 
hundred knights to Dariiis, whom he finds in Mesopotamia, 
and implores his assistance. Darius dispatches SalomS with 
forty thousand knights against Alexander, and follows wUh 
his whole army. Salojnd departs, confident of success; but 
haritig reconnoitred the enemy, returns without attacking tlwm. 
ArchHaus, king of Cappadocia, undertakes to lead the van 
of the Persian army. His speech. The Persian army pre- 
pares for a general engagement. 


jVluRY is in June, and hote, verreyment. 

Faire is carole of maide gent, 

Bothe in halle, and eke in tent. 

In justis and fyghtis n'ys non othir rent, 

Bote strokis, and knokkis, and hard deontis ; 

And that is Alisaundre's entent. 

Anon he doth his bemen blowe, 1850 

V. C. [500] on a throwe. 


His chymbe belle he doth rynge, 

And doth dassche gret taborynge ; 

Over all the ost he dotli cryghe. 

They wentyn on haste to Darie, 

And sette fuyre, and wilde bround, 

Anon in kyng Darie's lond. 

Heo brente castels, and eke cit^, 

Al ryght doun, withoute pit6. 

Anon was don the kynges heste, I860 

Y-charged mony a selconth beste, 

Olifauns, and eke camailes, 

With armure, and eke vitailes ; 

Long cartes with pavelouns, 

Hors and oxen with vensounes, 

Assen and muylyn, with heore etoveris ; 

The knyghtis redy on justers, 

Alle y-armed swithe well, 

Bruny, and launce, and sweord of stel ; 

Mony scheld ther was y-founde, 1870 

And mony baner was rotelande ; 

Mony stede loude neyghyng, 

And to Arabie-ward lepyng. 

The folk of Arabie lond, 
Havith this corayng undurstond ; 
Heo made diches, and walles. 
And scheotte the gate of the cite al. 

VOL. I. f 


With the power of eche contray 

That heo couthe to heom pray, 

To Alisaunder they gaven bikir, 1880 

And mony bataile sikir ;- 

Ac heipe hit nought no myghte, 

For Alisaundre, and his knyghtis, 

Heom to sakyn heo gon calle, 

So bocher the hog in stalle. 

Duyk, prynces, baroun, and knyghtis, 

That withstode him to fyghte, 

They weore to-froch, fro fot to croun, 

So is the hynde apon the lyon : 

And, so the tiger, that fynt y-stole 1890 

Hire weolp from hire hole, 

With mouth heo fretith best, and mon, 

Bote they brynge hit sone ageyn. 

Alle they sleth dpun with sweord, 

Bote tho that comen to acord, 

And yelde him castel and cit6, 

Heom they toke into pyt6, 

And over heom they sette god warde ; 

The tothre they slewe to deth harde. 

With fuyr brennyng, and with sweord, IQOO 

With ax, and mace, and speris ord. 

Sixty citees, in that quarter, 
Heo forbrente with wildefuyr ; 
And mony thousand was y-spillid, 
Knyghtis, sweynes, ladies, and child. 


The duk of that lond, with howe, 

To kyng Darie is y-flowe. 

Heo maden pleynt, and eke cry. 

On Alisaundre heore enemy ; 

Heo tolde the slaught, and the brennyng, 19 10 

And biddith him i^meortly helpyng : 

And he ofsent quyk socom* hende 

Al into the worldes eynde, 

Fyve c. knyghtis, saun faiLe, 

He haveth redy to bataile. 

Who so wol geve luste, 
Now bygynnith romaunce best. 

Darie, the soudan, maister of kyng, 
Is strongly anoied of this tidyng. 
He is y-set in a verger, 1920 

And with him mony a kayser ; 
Alle of Jude into Mount Taryn, 
And of Affrik, to the cite Garryn, 
Ther was mony a sarsyn, 
And long-berdet Barbaryn : 
Bytweone Tygre and Eufraten, 
Saten alle this hethen men. 
There was Jonas of Sclaveyne, 
And Joachim, duk of Coloyne, 
And Antiphilinns of Barbaric, 1930 

Of Capedoce, and Saturnyn ; 
And of Sab thp duk Mauryn ; 


He was of Kaymes kunrede ; 
His men no kouthe speke, no grede. 
Bote al, so houndes, grenne, and berke. 
So us tellith this clerkis. 

An hundrid thousand counselers 
Weore with Darie in the vergere. 
Of he dressed hed and swyre, 
And gan speke in this matire : 1940 

" Ore sa, tost, Salome, my cosyn, 
" And Archecan, of J opes lyn, 
" And of Calden the duk Tirine, 
" Ye seoth my wo, ye seoth my pyne, 
" Takith xl. M. knyghtis, 
*' Wei y-anned, anon rightis, 
*' And doth to-fore of ost myne, 
" And to the castel of Baryn. 
" Gef ye meteth the traitour robbour, 
" Geveth him messantoure ! 1950 

" Smyteth the hed his body fro, 
** And muche honour Y schal you do ! 
** Beoth hardy, and monly doth ; 
*' For after we comuth, forsoth." 

Salom^, and his felawe. 
This heste undurtoke fawe. 
The stedes thai gunnen by mane grope, 
And lepen on sadel withouten stirope. 
Fourty thousand of Hethen knyghtis 
With heore lord to weorre heom dyghtis. 19G0 


Hygh was the host, and the deray, 
That heo madeu that iike day ! 
There was mony gonfanoun, 
Of gold, sendel, and siclatoun : 
Mony faire hethen lady 
There les sone hire amy ! 
They wentyn quyk, heom thoughte longe ; 
They songyn mony joly songe, 
And everich saide, so he gan ride, 
That Alisaundre no durste heom abyde ; 
For gef he myghte beo founde, 1970 

They wolde him brynge to Darie y-bounde. 

Thus they went over the lond, 
Till they comen to a strond, 
In a medwe, undur a doune ; 
Ther they teilde paveloune. 
That nyght they restid thare, 
With wardes, bothe gode and warre. 

On morwe, whan the day was clere, 

Salom^ leop on his juster, 

Y-armed with a stelene brond ; 1980 

And dyghte him quyk over the strond ; 

And rideth swithe, so foul may fleon, 

Alisaundres ost for to y-seon. 

He hath perceyved by his syght, 

That they no havith ageyns him no myght. 

They rideth ageyn to Darie the kyng, 

And tolde him neowe tidyng. 


" Sire, heo saide, Alisaundre thy fo. 

" Is feol so lyoun, wilde so roo ! 1990 

" He liggeth nygh, with suche pray, 

** That he wrieth al the contray ; 

" Suche him thietith, no durre him seen. 

" By othir red ye mote beon. 

" Sendith Ymagu, youre standard, 

" And Archilaus in the furst ward !" 

Salom^ was a faire knyght, 
Faire in chaumbre, and strong in fyght, 
His hed was crolle, and yolow the here, 
Broune thereonne, and white his swere, 2000 
Plate feet, and longe honden, 
Pase faire, and body long. 
Darie was byhynde comyng. 
With fif [hondreth] thousyng. 

Of Capadoce, Archilaus 
Was a kyng, wel orgulous. 
Twenty thousand, of that lond. 
He hadde knyghtis to his bond. 
Thuse comuth to-fore Darie, 
And saiden, " Sire, no darst nought tarye ! 2010 
" Of Alisaunder Y schal Xhk wreke, 
" That the world schal therof speke. 
" Y wol him nyme, and faste bynde, 
"His honden his rug byhynde ; 
" And yeilde him to thy wille ; 
" Al his folk Y wol spille. 


" Gef me sire the fiirste bataile, 

** His owne body Y wol assaile ; 

" And do thyn newe conseillynge. 

*' Thyn homes blowe, thy bellen rynge ; 2020 

" And Turkeis, and tlie Arabiauns, 

" And let arme the Affrigauns, 

" And thy standard to, Amagone, 

" And al thyn ost ordeyn anone. 

" Fourty thousand, alle astore, 

" Olifauntes let go to-fore. 

" Apon everiche olifaunt a castel, 

" Theryn xii. knyghtis, y-armed wel. 

" They scholle holde the skirmyng 

" Ageyns Alisaundre the kyng." 2030 

Darie was wel apaiied 
Of that Archelaus haveth y-saide. 
Theo glove he geveth, heom bytweone, 
Kyng Alisaundre for to slene : 
Archelaus therof geveth graunt, 
Ac he brak that covenaunt. 

Daries folk is all ordeynt, 
And y-pavylounded in a pleyn. 
Over a water passed they buth. 
Every ost othir y-seoth. 2040 

Kyng Darie, and Salome, 
Haveth prechid heore maigne, 
Wel to fyghte, wel to stonde, 
Heore fon to dryve out of londe, 


And warde setteth til the morwe. 
Jesus shilde us alle from sorowe ! 
Listenith now, and letith gale, 
For now ariseth a noble tale. 



Enumei^ation of the forces in the army of Darius, and of tlievf 
leaders. Alexander, while occupied in a game of chess, is in- 
formed of the approach of the enemy, List of his p^-imnpal of- 
ficers. His speech to them. He begins the battle by killing 
the king of TysoUe. General desanption of the action. Par- 
ticular account of the exploits peiformed by the bravest knights 
on both sides. The Persians are at length throtvn into confu- 
sion. Darius flies, and, though pursued by Alexander, escapes 
under favour of the night, The Persian camp taken. 

In tyme of May hot is in boure ; 

Divers, in medewe, sprjngith floure ; 205O 

The ladies, knyghtis honourith ; 

Treowe love in heorte durith, 

Ac nede coward byhynde kourith ; 

Theo large geveth ; the nythyng loXirith j 

Gentil man his leman honourith, 

In burgh, in cite, in castel, in toure. 

Darie the kyng, and Salome, 
Haveth y-dyght heore maigue : 


The olifaiins to-fore they dyghtis, 

Erly, so the sonne him lyghtis ; 206b 

xl. M. castelis there ware, 

That xii., other xv. knyghtis baire : 

This scholde with-stonde hard, 

And si wen all the forward. 

Archelaus after him cam, 

(That of Darie an honde nam, 

Alisaundre him dude yeilde ;) 

With twenty thousant bryghte scheldis. 

Of Aufrik, kyng Tauryn, 

Al so feole broughte with him. 2070 

Aicoiphiliis was next, of Ynde, 

And hadde also xx. thousynd. 

Satumus, of Barbaric, 

Ladde after him xx. thousand hardy. 

Jonas broughte also, of Cartage, 

XX. thousand knyghtis savage. 

Mauryn brought after, of Ynde lond 

Twenty thousande of felle honde. 

Nicosar, prince of Nynyuen, 

XXX. thousand ladde after and ten. 2080 

Octiatus, Daries* odame. 

After theose ostes he cam ; 

Sixty thousand he ladde of knyghtis. 

In bataile strong and wyghte. 

Darje came after blyve, 

With his children, and with his wyve, 


KYN6 AL1SAUNDEE._^>.--*-'^ r Ql J 

And with his suster, and his menage : 

An hondur thousant knyghtis savage 

Ridith in his compaignye. 

Sa1om6 so doth him gye. 2090 

There was gret naygheing of stede ; 
Of gold and seolver, whit and rede ; 
There was mony word of pruyde, 
There was mony riche wede. 
Alisaundre sat in a samyt, 
And pleied at ches iq his delyt ; 
Not he nought of this comyng, 
Ac a knyght com sone rennyng, 
And saide, " Siie, up on hast ! 
" Here comuth Darie, and al his ost. 2100 

" He comuth with so gret here, 
" Wondur is the ground may heom beore !" 
The kyng cried, " Armes anon !" 
^o armes they went everichon. 
Mony thousant gentil knyghtis 
Weoren y-armed, anon ryghtis. 
Tolomeus was his styward ; 
N'as never y-founde coward, 
xii. M. he ladde to-fore, 

Gode knyghtis and doughty astore. 2110 

Antigonus his marchal was. 
No bolder knyght non ther n'as : 
This broughte, so Y fynde, 
After xii. thousand : 


Mark of Rome, and duk Tybere, 

Non better n'ere Y dar swere ; 

Theose xx. thousand ladde, 

N'as ther never on badde. 

Of Archade, Perdicas, 

Noble knyghtis in every cas, 2120 

XX. thousand ladde, saun faile ; 

Non better was in that bataile> 

Permeneo the last was, 

With Nyconar, and Philotas, 

The fadir and the sones twey ; 

Was non better in no contr^y. 

Theose broughte fourty thousand, 

And come softeliche byhynde. 

Alisaundre was wis, and war. 
Now he was here, now he war thar. 2130 

He bad heom be hardy, and nothyng drede, 
He wolde heom warante in every nede. 
" Knutte, youre fomen taile ! 
" Alle to slaught, and nought to spoile ! 
" Ye schul have, after bataile, 
" Alle the bygates, saun faile : 
" Y kepe nought, bote honour, 
** Al the bygate schal beo your. 
" Darie trusteth in his bataille, 
" Of his olifans, saun faile : 2140 

" Let heom passe, withoute assaile, 
" And siweth me at my taile. 


*' No schal [scape] non of this est : 
*' Siweth me thus al acost. 
" All that Y have Darie y-founde, 
" Than leggeth on to the grounde." 

Thus they passeth ost by ost, 
Withoute fyghtyng, other host, 
Till heo comen, saun faile, 

To the kynges ost of Tysoile. 2150 

This gan Alisaundre segge, 
And furst him mette with speris egge ; 
Through brunny and scheld, to the akedoun, 
He to-barst atwo his tronchon ; 
Ac Alisaundre hutte him, certe, 
ITiorugh livre, and longe, and heorte. 
Areches he hutte ; now he is ded, 
N'ul he no more ete bred. 
Alisaundre'is folk gan crye, 

And saiden in gret melodye, 21 60 

" Oure kyng hath this freke y-felde ; 
" Oure is the maistry of the felde !" 
Now rist grete tabour betyng, 
Blaweyng of pypes, and ek trumpyng, 
Stedes lepyng, and ek arnyng 
Of sharp speres, and analyng 
Of stronge knighttes, and wighth metyng ; 
Launces breche and increpyng ; 
Knighttes fallyng, stedes lesyng ; 
Herte and heuedes thorough kerunyg ; 2170 


Swerdes draweyng, lymes lesyng, 

Hard assaylyng, and strong defendyng, 

Stif witthstondjTig, and wighth fleigheyng, 

Sharp of takyug armes spoylyng : 

So gret bray, so gret crieyng, 

Ffor the folk there was dyeyng ; 

So muche dent, noise of sweord, 

The thondur blast no myghte beo herde ! 

No the sunne hadde beo seye, 

For the dust of the poudr6 ! 2180 

No the weolkyn seon me myght, 

So was arewes and quarels flyght ! 

Alisaundre ferde on eche half, 
So hit wore an hungry wolf, 
Whan he comuth amonges schep. 
With toth and clawes bygynnyth to frete. 

A joly kyng, me clepith Lauris, 
Aspieth Alisaundre of pris ; 
He sraot the stede, and lette the bridel, 
Ageyns him he gan ride. 2190 

Alisaundre he smot with the arme, 
That launce paced without harme : 
Ac Alisaundre him smot thorugh the brest, 
The spere thorugh the body threost ; 
To the grounde fel the cors ; 
Nym, who so wolde, his hors. 
Alisaundre and Bulsifal 
Sletb that heo metcth, al. 


Tliis batail destuted is, 

In the French, wel y-wis, 2200 

Therfore Y have, hit to colour, 

Borowed of the Latyn autour, 

How hent the gentil knyghtis ; 

How they conceyved heom in fyghtis ; 

On Alisaundre half, and Darie also, 

Gef ye lustneth me to, 

Ye schole here geste of mounde, 

No may non beter beo founde. 
Now tellith the geste, saun faile, 

So on the schyngil lyth the haile, 2210 

/!Every knyght so laide on othir : 
/ Mony mon ther les his brothir : 
i Mony lady hire amye, 

\ Mony maide hire drewery. ^^ 

\ Mony child is faderles, 

Gret and dedliche was that pres ! 
Among this tail, Hardapilon, 

On of Alisaundres fon. 

Saw Tolome, Alisaundris stiward, 

Brynge Daries folk donward; 2220 

A riche kyng, so was of Mede, 

With sporen he smot his gode stede. 

Aside he com, and smot lliolomew, 

That he of his hors threow. 

Tholomew on fote leope, 

Who him threow he nam good kepe ; 


He smot his stede in the mane, 

That hed fro the body chane. 

Hardapilon leop on fote, 

To Tolomew with sweord he smot ; 2^30 

A-two cleved his scheld, 

That hit fleygh into the feld. 

Tholom^ smot Hardapilon ; 

Helm and basnet, on ovenon, 

The scharpe sweord cark bothe, 

And thorugh the hed to the to the. 

He leop on his owne stede, 

And wyghtly gan abowte ryde ; 

Mony abowte it theretille 

That he of his hors feoll. 2240 

Antigone, over al. 

Was Alisaundres marchal. 

TTiis metith Ardomado, 

That mony mon hath don wo. 

Ardomado the spere let glide, 

Thorugh Antigones syde ; 

He hurte him sore, sikerliche, 

Ac nought dedliche. 

Antigone smot him bet : 

He hit him thorugh theo heorte put : 2250 

His fet he knutte on his owne hors, 

And to-drawe dude that cors. 

With Alisaundre so was Glitoun, 
An hardy duk of gret renoun; 


He was Antigones felawe, 

Monye he brought of lyf dawe. 

Now he mette with Tauryn, 

A duyk, a riche Sarsyn ; 

Even togedre they meten bothe, 

For whiche thyng they waxen wrothe 2260 

Heore hors hedlyng mette, 

That heo to grounde y-swowe sletten ; 

As Y you sey, bothe heore stede, 

Feollen to grounde dede. 

Glitoun tho gan furst of-dawen. 

And his lymes to him drawen. 

Tauryn, tho he say that. 

He gan drawe up his stat. 

Glitoun ros furst, so Y fynde. 

And smot Tauryn uprisynde, 2270 

On the helm with the sweord. 

That the dynt stod at the gird. 

With Darie was Nygusar, 
Kyng of Nynyve, wis, and war. 
The folk to-fore him fleygh, certis, 
Tofore the lyoun so doth the hertes. 
He smot Jonas apon the mound 
In to the sadel at on wounde ; 
Maglu he tok on the scheld, 
Al the syde fley into the feld ; 2280 

Fulbor he smot on the rugge. 
To theo navele cam the egge ; 

VOL. I. G 


Ramel he tok on the wombe, 

And rof him thorugh as a lombe : 

Ther n'as knyght in that syde. 

That his strok durste abyde. 

Gysarme and sweord bothe, 

Nygusar bar forsothe ; 

On bothe half, duyk and knyght 

He laide on, and slough doun ryght. 2290 

Philotas this sygh, and undurstod, 

How Nygusar faugh te as he weore wod ; 

He smot a strok dude him harme, 

For of he carf his ryght arme : 

Nygosar ful wel y-feled 

His ryght arme lay in the felde; 

With his lyft hand he hef his gysarme. 

And thought to do Philotas harme. 

A-two peces he hadde him gurd, 

No hadde Glitouu y-come, certes, 2300 

That pulte forth a stelene scheld, 

Nygusars dunt withhuld. 

Theo gysarme carf the steil hard, 

Feor over the mydward ; 

Als he hit toggid, out to habbe, 

Philot him gaf anothir dabbe, 

That in the scheld the gysarme 

Bylefte hongyng, and eke the arme. 

Nygosar tho from he schette, 

And with two knyghtis yet he mette. 2310 



With his heved, and with his cors, 
Yet he bai- heom of heore hors. 
Ac Philot was at his rugge, 
And smot with sweordes egge, 
That the hed feol adoiin, 
N'as in Perce suche a baroun. 
Wol he null he, ded he is : 
Al Peirce for him sorwith, y-wis. 

Permeneo, a duyk of Alisaundris est, 
Byside he aleyde muche bost : 
For he smot Fabular, the admirayl, 
Thortigh the brest brede, saun faile ; 
And Magu, with the seolve spere, 
Thorugh the wombe he gan him beore. 
Theo spere to-barst withoute doute : 
Four knyghtis him cam abowte. 
Myd launce in bond halle, 
He byleved, so a walle. 
As Y you sey, saun dotaunce, 
Alle foure they brekyn heore launces. 
Permeneo his sweord out drough, 
And a duyk then furst he slough ; 
For so he tok his basyn, 
That hit clevyd into the chyn. 
After he raughte x\gyloun, 
That he kutte his necke bon : 
The thridde, Gildas, faste hiked ; 
Ac thorugh the throte he him styked : 




The fiirthe, Marub, a fayr baroun. 

He cleved to the breste adoun. 2340 

His hors he gaf to Orest, 

That was to grounde y-preost ^ 

Orest he broughte on stede. 

And bad him don gode nede. 

Permeneo, in litel stounde, 

Td mony on gaf dedly wounde. 

Oxiatus hadde sones two. 
Fairer no myghte on grounde go. 
Darie the kyng was heore eme. 
Of his suster was that teme. 2350 

Theose flowen fro Permeneon, 
Ageyns Nycanor his sone. 
That on was clepid Amanas, 
That othir hette Aramadas ; 
Theose braken, at one fore, 
Heore launces on Nycanore : 
And he hitte Amanas, 
With his spere that scharp was, 
In the cubur of the eyghe, 

That bothe his eyghnen out fleyghe : 2360 

Theo tronchon barst in the brayn. 
That othir he tok with mayn. 
He claf hira with his sweord broun, 
Into the sadelis arsoun. 

Muche wo and gret weilyng, < 

Was y-mad for the yongelying. 


Of Oxiatus, and Darie also : 
Al Perce made for heom wo. 

On either half they laiden on 
So the mason on the ston. 2370 

Ther was mony stede y-schent, 
And mony god hawberk to-rent ; 
And mony knyght, with dethes wounde, 
G nodded gras on the grounde. 
Ac Alisaundre, and Tolomeus, 
With heom weore so vertuous. 
That the ost which they mette 
They broughte heom out of the flette, 
And, for heore prynces weoren y-swawe, 
They gan fleo and withdrawe. 2380 

To Ymago they turned pas, 
There the kynges standard was. 
And maden al aloud crying : 
" Socoure ows, Darie the kyng ! 
" Bote thou do us socoure, 
" Alayd is, Darie, thyii honoure !" 
Darie herith this tydyug ; 
His sporis he gynneth in hors thryng. 
And twenty thousand knightis with him, 
In heorte weore steorne and grym. 2390 

Darie, with a styf launce ryt, 
Drian, a baron of Grece, heo hitte 
Byneothe the scheld into the wombe. 
And thorugh him thorlith, so a lombe: 


With Alisaundrc n'ere, y-swere, 
Nought feole wyghtyore. 
Yete, no more of him to f^eke, 
They nedid heom him to awreke. 

Alle that Alisaundre hitte, 
Hors and mon doun he smyt. 2400 

He rod forth thorugh the pres, 
Was ther non to his prowesse. 
He hadde y-hud, so we fynde, 
Asyden, xx. thousand, 
That scholden come, on fresche steden, 
Heom to socoure at most nede. 
Alisaundre and Tholomous, 
With heom weore so vertuous, 
Tliat heo weore passed ostis two ; 
To the thridde they came tho. 2410 

Ther was mony baner feld, 
And mony bore thorugh the scheld. 
Ther was kut mony a kote, 
And mony a veyne y-lat blode. 
There was thurled mony a syde, 
And mony stede drough his bridel. 

Salom6 sygh, at that on half, 
Hou Alisaundre as a wolf. 
That feole dayghes hadde y-fast, 
Theo scheip to-draweth in the wast ; 2420 

So Alisaundre, among heore men, 
Sleth doun ryght by nyne and ten ; 


With faire ost he cumutli flyng, 

And launce arerid to batelynge. 

Thorughout he smot a barouu. 

That was y-hete Deogmoun ; 

Ded he threow him to groimde. 

He was a baroun of gret renoun ; 

His men weopith for heore loid. 

Salome quyk drough a sweord ; , 2430 

In litel stounde he slough, y-wis, 

Ten barounes of gret pris, 

Eche of his men a Gregeis, 

That weore knyghtis of nobleys. 

N'as ther non of heom that lowgh ; 

In heorte cam so muche sorowe. 

That of felde nygh they flowe, 

For fere nygh they weore y-swowe. 

So they weore cowardes alle, 

So heo ferden so deor in halle ; 2440 

And flodeden, so faren in feld. 

Theo folk of Perce gan abelde. 

Ac Tyberye so com acost, 
On gode stedis, byfore his ost, 
And hutte Salome with his spere, 
That of the sadel he gan him beore. 
Over the croupe to the grounde, 
Y-swowe he lay longe stounde, 
He was y-woundid, nought sore y-hurt. 
Ther ros batayle aperte, 2450 


Ten hundrid weoren to dethe y-dyght, 
Or he to sadil lepe myght. 
Ac tho he was in sadil y-brought, 
In bothe halve hit was ful towh. 

Yet n'uste no man in whiche syde 
The maistrie scholde abyde. 
Hors neyghyng, and cryghyng of men, 
Men myghte here myle ten. 
Mark of Rome, and Antioche, 
Heore gode stedis gonne perche, 2460 

With twenty thousant of fressche men, 
And ther arerid a neowe teone. 
Me myghte y-seo ther knyghtis defoille, 
Heorten blede, braynes boyle, 
Hedes tomblen, and guttes drawe, 
Mony body overthrawe. 

Alisaundre wel joly byholdith ; 
His Gregeys ful faire he boldith. 
With Antioche, and Mark of Rome, 
That tho him to socoure come. 2470 

He so stiketh, and so slen. 
That alle Perciens gonne to fleon. 
Darie therof was y-war, ; 
So wo no was him never ar. 
He leop upon a stede corour. 
And flowgh away withoute socour ; 
He lette mony wyves child, 
And fleoth as a best wilde. 


Tho Alisaundre cried anon, 

" Quyk after Darie everychon !" 2480 

Men myghte se tho after ryde, 

With drawe sweord and slak the bridal, 

Kyng and duyk, eorl and baroun, 

Prikid the stedis with gret raundoun ; 

Ac Alisaunder apon Bulsifall, 

He passed his people all, 

After Darie with al his niyght, 

Til hit was nygh the nyght. 

Darye him hudde undur a lynde. 

That Alisaundre no myght him nought fynde ; 2490 

Myght him nought fynde swayn no grome. 

So he was y-hud in lynde and brome. 

Alisaundre wente ageyn, 
Quyk asiweth him al his men. 
He tok Darie's modur, and his wyf, 
And his doughter, that leove lyf, 
And ladies, and damoselis. 
So mony that Y n'ot how feole. 
Ther dude Alisaundre curtesye ; 
He kepith heom fro vylanye, 2500 

Daries modur, and his wif. 
And his doughter that leove lif. 
Theo othir ladies after that they ware, 
To knyghtis weore deliverid there ; 
And damoselis to garsounes, 
Ther was mad al comunes. 


Cupis, pellis, broches, ryngis, 
Hameys, amies, othir thyngis, 
Alisamidre freoly ther dyghtk 
After worthe to his knyghtis ; 2510 

Ther n'as knave, no quystron. 
That he no hadde god waryson : 
He hadde prisons, so Y fynde, 
Gentil men an hundred thousand. 
To divers castles he heom sent : 
Some to Grece, to present. 
Some to Libye, some to Rome, 
And swor that heo no scholde out come. 
Til he of Darie weore awreke, 
That men myghte therof speke. 2520 

Now the Sonne to the grounde held, 
Yet stondith the olifans in the feld ; 
Everychon bar xii. knyghtis, 
Wei arayed so foul to flyghte. 
Of heom was fourty thousand, 
Theo kyng heom assailed byhynde. 
Ther was batayl so strong, 
N'as non suche in the day long. 
Tolome ther cam to socoure. 
With thritty thousand of gret valoure ; 2530 

And Antioche, and Tibire also, 
Aboutyn heom they can go ; 
Parforce smyten into the thrynge. 
And duden beastes from othir derenge. 


Thus they come heom bytweone, 

And stykid feole al so kene ; 

And theo knyhtis of the castelis, 

Thus they slowe thousand feole, 

Derk hit was, men myght nought seon, 

Feole ascapith and gen to fleon. 2540 

Alisaundre therfore made gret sorowe. 

They moste drawe to herborwe. 

They wente anon to pavelounes ; 

With alle duykes and barounes. 

With twenty thousand gode knyghtis, 

He dude heom wardy that ilke nyght. 



The Greeks bwrtj their dead. Alexander carries the captive fa- 
nuly of Darins to Nicomedia, qfter which he marches in pur- 
suit of the enemy, Darius, having escaped to Babylon, again 
assembles a vast army. Alexander, on his part, sends in all 
directions for reinforcements. 7n passing Mount Taurus, on 
his return toward Greece to hasten his succours, he finds a 
spear fixed in the ground, which no man was able to move ; and 
hearing that the empire of the world was promised to the per- 
son who should draw it out, he atchieves the task. Proceeding 
in his expedition, he is stopped by the Thebans. He besieges 
their town. The Thebans make a sally, but, after a long and 
obstinate conflict, are repulsed. Alexander makes a breach in 
the walls, and Parmeneon storms the city. A harper appears 
before Alexander, and supplicates him to spare the remaining 

, inJiabitanis ; but tJie conqueror proves inexorable, and Thebes 
is reduced to ashes. 

In tyme of May, the nyghtyngale 

In wode, makith miry gale ; 

So doth the foules grete and smale, 

Some on hulle, som on dale. 2550 


Theo day dawith, the kyng awakitfa, 
He and his men heore armes takith ; 
They wendith to theo batail steode. 
They fyndith nought bote bodies dede. 
Yonge and olde, feole they founde, 
Knyghtis dede of grete londe ; 
AUe they dude brynge heom on eorthe, 
After that hy weren worthe, 
For heom was y-mad gret deol. 
Afterward parted that spoyi, 2560 

That eche mon was wel payed, 
So Y have to-fore sayd. 

Thennes to Nekomedie they turneth, 
A strong cit6, and sojorneth. 
Daries doughter, suster, and wyf. 
He kepte, so his owne lyf, 
In mete and drynke, and clothyng, 
And in all othir thyng : 
And spirred whider Darie is went. 
God ows geve avauncement ! 2570 

Mury is the blast of the styvour ; 
Muiy is the twynkelyng of the harpour ; 
Swote is the smeol of flour ; 
Swete hit is in maidenes bour ; 
Appeol swote berith faire colour ; 
In treowe love is swote amour. 

Darie is to Babiloyne went, 
And after socour hath y-sent. 


First to him com, saun faile, 
Alle that flowen fro the bataile. 2580 

Faire chevalry him cam fro Mede, 
Wei y-armed, on heygh stede, 
Ther com a faire compaignye : 
So him dude fro Asye, 
From Saba, and from Peutapolis ; 
Muche people to him cam, y-wis. 
From Pamphile, and from Lyde, 
Mony knyght can to him ryde. 
Out of Ynde, from Prestre Jon, 
Him cam knyghtis mony on. 2590 

So muche people cam fro southe, 
No mon telle heom no kouthe : 
So muche people had never kyng. 
On eorthe in the beryng. 
Of his people theo grete pray 
Laste twenty myle way : 
Alle they bostodyn, muche and lyte, 
Alisaundres hed of to smyte. 
To Alisaundre com tidyng. 
Of the people, and of the grete thretyng. 2600 
He sent messangers of nobleye, 
Into Grece, into Achye, 
Into Egipte, into Libye, 
Into Cisyle, and Lumbardie, 
Into Champayne, into Rome, 
And to al that weore at his dome. 


Quykliche he sent his sonde, 

To alle the justices of the londe, 

That he hadde, undur sonne, 

With dynt of batayle to hym wonne. 2610 

They scholde him sende al the knyghtis, 

That on hors ride myghte ; 

And bowe-men, and alblastreris, 

And alle that hadde power 

To here weopene to defence : 

They scholde him sende with her dispence. 

An hundred thousand, and fyfty therto, 
Ye and twenty thousand mo, 
Knyghtis and men of gret vygoure, 
Comen quyk to his socoure. 2620 

So sone so they buth alle y-com, 
Alisaundre hath the way y-nome, 
With al his folk, toward Darie : 
No lengur nolde he sparie. 
He passeth Tauryn, theo heyghe hul : 
Ther stod a spere, so men tellith, 
Yn the ground y-stikit fast, 
That never more schadue cast; 
Who that drough hit of the molde, 
The world to wille wynne scholde. 2630 

Darie hadde y-beon there. 
And mony kyng, and eke kaysere ; 
Ac non of his myghte up-drawe, 
No forth in eorthe hit wawe. 


Tho Alisaundre this say he lowh. 
And at the furste up he drough, 
Al his folk myd, y-wis, 
Therof hadyn gret blys. 

To Thebes hy wendith whate ; 
They schutten ageyn him every gate : 2640 

The kyng hit het of the cite. 
So ful he was of iniquit6 ! 

Thebes was a cite riche, 
Non in the world hit y-liche. 
Bote Rome alone, 
That pere no hadde none, 
xii. gates weore ther abowte, 
That no stont none doute : 
Everiche gate of the toun, 

Lokith eorl or baroun, 2650 

That hadde citees, or castelis, 
Uudur heom, and knyghtis feole. 
To everiche of the xii. gates, 
Ther laye to hyghe stretis, 
Al so noble of riche mounde. 
So is Chepe in this londe. 
That cite was rjght fyn and riche ; 
Wei y-walled, and well y-dyched 
Ethmes hette heore kyng, 

He was of Edippes ofsprjng : 2660 

Feol, and fikel, and proud also. 
Tliat him feol to muche wo. 


He of-sente his barounye, 
And eke al his bachelrye. 
Alle they comeii, saun faile, 
To give Alisaundre bataile. 
Wei they warden gatis alle, 
The fortresses and the walle. 

Alisaundre hit herde telle ; 
His ost he hyght thidir snelle, 2670 

Quykliche to Tebie toun : 
They wenten and segedyn aviroun. 
Ther was asawt gret withalle, 
Of tho that weore withynne the wallis, 
With albristris, and with bowe, 
They dude othir wo and liowe. 
Alisaundre, and his barouns. 
Had y-telde heore pavelouns, 
And went to Alisaunder sone. 
Aboute tyme of none, 2680 

(The gate that hette Dardanidas, 
That tyme unstokyn Was) 
Of Thebes come rydyng, tho, 
Foure thousand knyghtis, and mo ; 
Wyght of mayn, and strong of bones, 
Y-coled alle for the nones ; 
Armed alle in gyse of Fraunce, 
With fair pencel and styf launce. 
For heom alle, on gan crye. 
And saide, " Alisaunder !" thrye, 2690 

VOL. I. H 


" Whar artow, horesone ! whar ? 

*' An hore to Amon the bar : 

*' Thou avetrol, thou foule wreche^ 

'* Here thou hast thyn eyndyng feched ! 

** Com, and geve us on justyng, 

" And thow schalt have hard metyng." 

Alisaundre swor, anon rygbt, 
By him that made day and nyght, 
And he myghte heom wyune, 
No for love, no for gynne, 2700 

He nolde with heom acorde : 
Ac heo schole al to the sworde, 
And al that cite he wolde brenne. 
Forth he is with that y-ronne, 
And with his launce metith a duyk. 
And sente his soule to Belsabuk. 
There was mony pencel god, 
Quyk y-bathed in heorte blod. 
Mony hed atwo y-kyt, 

Mony lym from the body smitte, 27 10 

And also mony gentil cors. 
Was y-foiled undur fet of hors. 
Ther lay on grounde mo than ynowe ; 
Some sterved, and some y-swowe. 

Ther was y-come, out of Athene, 
A yong knyght, jolyf, and kene : 
To Thebes he cam, y-wis. 
For to Wynne los, and pris : 


He was an emperouris sone : 

Wei to justis was his wone ; 2720 

Notheles, sone he say 

A yong knyght, also of gret deray ; 

He smot his stede, and lette the bridel^ 

Ageyns him he gynneth to ride, 

A launce was on his spere, 

Whiche he can ageyns him to beore. 

He smot him thorugh armure, longe, and livere : 

The scharpe spere gynneth al to-schivere : 

Notheles, sone slayn he is, 

Faste by Alisaundre y-wis. 2730 

The yonge knyght his bridel turneth. 

And to that othir side eometh. 

Tho of Thebes cried, in blisse, 

" Alisaundres folk deoleth, y-wis, 

" For the knyght that is y-slawe ; 

*' For he was ryght good felawe !" 

Yet, this yong knyght of Athene, 

Draweth his sweord bryght and schene ; 

Threo he slough of Grece lond. 

And two of Trace, Y undurstond. 2740 

Theo sixte he slough of Naveme that was, 

The seventhe he slough of Tas. 

Alisaundre sygh ful wel. 

That he dude his folk quelle. 

He tok in bond a styf spere ; 

Bulsifal gan hira swithe beore ; 


He smot Madan, the yonge knyght, 

Ageyns the breste, with al his myght, 

That thorugh the heorte the launce flang, 

And thorugh the chyne an elne lang. 2750 

They of Thebes can graden, 

And for him giet deol maden. 

Hit nas no wondur, in gret stude he stod : 

Among heom alle was non so god ; 

And foke that he hadde wyght, 

Among heom alle, threo hundred knyghtis : 

Thai heom hulden al y-lore ; 

Away heo haveth heore lord y-bore. 

To Athenes, wei feor thenne, 

And buried him among his kynne. 2760 

Tho of Thebes faste foughte ; 
And tho of Grece as knyghtis doughty. 
And, of Thebes, in litel stounde, 
Threo hundrod layden to grounde. 
This Thebes seyghen how men heom clowen ; 
To heore gates they drowen ; 
The gates weoren quyk unschut, 
And quyk beon al y-steot. 
Ac, ar the gate weore y-loke, 
Mony poune was to-broke ; 2770 

Mony foul crye was y-grad ; 
And mony brayn was y-schad. 
Notheles, at the laste, 
The gates weore schut ful faste. 


Alisaundre, and his folk alle, 
Faste asailed heore wallis, 
Myd berfreyes, with alle gyn, 
Gef they myghte the cite wynne. 
Ac tho of Thebes heom steorid, 
And heore wallis wyghtly weorred. 2780 

With scharpe quarelis, and with flone ; 
With hot water, and with stone, 
And with wildefuyr, that they caste, 
Tliey slowe mony, and made agaste. 
Ac with targes, and hurdices, 
Tlieo Gregeis heom wryed als the wise. 
The kyng hotith all hid maigne 
Quyk to assaile that cite, 
Al abowte, every man, 

And everiche al that he can. 2790 

Some schote, some threowe, 
Theo slaughte myghte mony on rewe ! 
For they no myghte hed up habbe, 
Bote they laughte dedly dabbe. 
Vche of hem byment othere, 
Frend, felawe, knighth his brothere. 
The 'saut com so thikke and swithe. 
That no weryng ne myghte heom lithe. 
Men myghte ther y-seo hondis wrjnge, 
Paunes bete, and hors turnyng ; 2800 

Sway, and gret dismayng ; 
Women scrike, girles gredyng. 


The kyng hadde of heoin pit6 non : 
He hotith his men everichon, 
To geve asaut, nyght and day, 
With al that everiche can and may. 
He nolde heom geve restyng, 
JSo treowes for no biddyng. 
And they weore proude of that cite ; 
And ful of everiche iniquyte : 28 10 

Kaucyon they n'olde geve, no bidde. 
The kyng saw well heore pruyde ; 
He hette quyk his fotemen alle. 
To brynge of Thebes doun the wallis : 
So they dude, and laide hit asyde, 
That men myghte theron ryde. 
By the coyntise of the kyng, 
Was mony on up rjdyng. 

Mawgre the Thebes everichon. 
The gode knyght Permeneon, 2820 

Is y-ride up to the wall ; 
And leop adoun among heom all, 
On his stede, and al his armes. 
Theo ITiebes stoden aboutc his harme, 
Hasteliche him for to slene ; 
Ac with his scheld he gan him wren 
And with his sword defenden his cors j 
Undur him they slowe his hors. 
Up he leop on fote, sikir. 
And fond heom alle good bikir. 2830 


He is to-hewe by fyve by sixe, 

So the bocher doth the oxe. 

Whiles the people of the toun 

Ententid to Permeneon, 

The kyng dude a noble stake. 

The gate parforce up he brak ; , 

In to the cit6 he con dassche, 

And al his people more and lasse. 

There quyk yeoden to sweord 

Swayn and knyght, with heore lord ; 2840 

Faire and foule, man and wif, 

There loren heore swete lif. 

Tofore the kyng com an harpour, 
And made a lay of gret favour, 
In whiche he saide, with mury cry, 
" Kyng, on ows have mercy ! 
" Hereinne was y-bore Amphion, 
" Fadir of godis everychon ; 
" Aliber, the god of wyne, 

*' And Hercules of kynne thyne ; 2850 

" Here hadde the godes of nortoure. 
^' This toun thow schalt, kyng, honoure ; 
" Ageyns heom thy wraththe adant 
" Gef heom mercy and pes heom graunt I" 

Al so quyk, al the contrey, 
That weoren of the kyngis fey, 
Grad, and gan the kyng preche, 
He scliolde tak of heom wreche j 


And saide wel, er that tyme, 
Al Giece was of heom venyme. 2860 

Tliey him tolde, how Edippus 
Hadde y-slawe his fadir Layus ; 
And, more wo at the laste, 
How he weddid his modur Jocast, 
And bygate in hire sones two, 
None worce no myghte go : 
That on was Etheilieches, 
That othir was Polonices. 
Of pruyde n'as non heom y-liche ; 
How they stryveden for the kynriche, 2870 

And, for heom, was slayn in fyghtis, 
Of Grece alle the gode knyghtis : 
Ipomidon, and Tideus, 
Amphiriie and Adrastus, 
And the faire Pertonopus, 
And the stronge duyk Capaneus, 
Of wimen the iniquite 
In that tyme of that cite. 
^ Tho the kyng had this herd. 
He slough dounryght, with sweord, 2880 

Mon and wif, child in hond, 
Eche lyves body into the ground. 
And wildefuyr theron sette. 
That brente doun, into the flette, 
Tymber, ston, and morter. 
He made of Thebes a place cleir : 


Never siththe that destroying, 

N'as in Thebes wonying ; 

Bote, as a stude for-let, 

Is now Thebes, that men of spak. 2890 

That was a cit6 of most worthe. 

Of alle tho that weore in eorthe. 

For heore sonde that was unhende 

Now hit is brought out of mynde. 

Thus endith Thebes cite. 
God on us have pit6 ! 
And leve us so to thrive. 
We mote come to his lyve, 
When we schule hennes wende, 
And libbe with him withoute eynde ! 2900 



Alexander continues his march, and receives the submission of all 
the cities on his waif, till he arrives at Athens. Letter of A- 
lexander to the Athaiians. Contemptuous answer. Second 
summons on the part of Alexander, Debates in the city. 
Speeches of the Emperor, of Dalmadas, and Demosthenes. By 
ifdvice of the latter, the Athenians determine on submission ; 
and he is deputed to convey their message to Alexandei; whom 
he finds engaged at cJiess. Address of Demosthenes to tlie 
King. His reply. Second speech of Demosthenes. Alexan- 
der at length accepts the submission of the Athenians, and con- 
tinues his progress, but is unexpectedly interrupted by the re- 
volt of the city of Macedonia, which he besieges. The revoUers 
make a sally and are repulsed. The inhabitants seize on the 
keys of the city, and cany them to Alexander, who receives 
the citizens into his favour and protection. 

MuKY hit is in sonne-risyng ! 

Tlie rose openith and inispiyng ; 

Weyes fairith, the clayes clyng ; 

The maideues flourith, the foulis syng ; 

Damosele makith mornyng, 

Whan hire leof makith pertyng ! 


The kyng with his ost wendith, 
And to mony citees his sonde sendith. 
So he wendith by the way, 

Homage non withsay ; 2910 

Ac alle heo duden him feute, 
And swore heom holde, and lewt6 ; 
And gave him giftes of gret pris, 
And fonden him knyghtis to his servise. 
Ac tho he cam nygh Athene, 
(That was a cite proud and kene ; 
Of Grece he bar theo maistrie, 
Of marchauns and clergie) 
Alisaundre his lettre heom sendith : 
Theo messangers thidre wendith. 2920 

To Athenis they buth y-take ; 
Word for word thus they spake. 

" Alisaundre, the stronge kyng, 
" To Athenis sendith gretyng. 
"We weore aslepe, Darie us wight, 
" Til he asked with unryght. 
" We havilh mad his acord, 
" With styf launce and scharpe sweord ; 
" And XV. kyngis, of gret pris, 
" We haveth y-wonne to owre servys : 2930 

" Of barouns, duykes, grete and smale, 
^' No comie we nought telle in tale. 
" To you we have also y-sent : 
^' Ye here owre comaundement, 


" Sendith ows, to gode bans, 

" An C. thousand besans, 

" From yeir to yeir tbat beo no faile, 

*' And a thousand knyghtis to bataile : 

*' With no more nul Y yow karpe. 

" Al quyk Y bote that ye yarke, 2940 

*' Tbat Y have by lettre yow saide, 

" Othir ye schule beo sore anoyed !" 

Tho this lettre was rad and herd, 

Mony on redid in the herd ; 

And saide they wolde with him fyght, 

Ar they wold thole such unrygbt : 

And maden a lettre of suche spekyng, 

Ageyn to Alisaundre the kyng. 

And saiden, " Alisaundre, the kyng, 

" Folk of iVthenes sendith th^ gretyng ! 2950 

" Sire, so thou art hende and corteys, 

" Let us lyve and have oure pes ! 

*' No kyng, of no parage, 

" Never of us badde homage. 

" Pbelip thy fadir askid tbat yilde, 

" Ac yet we dryven him out of feilde : 

" So we haveth alle othir kyngis, 

" Tbat ows askid suche thyngis. 

*' Gef tbow wold aske suche a yeld, 

*' Com and have bit in the feild ! 29G0 

" We schol do th^ of londe skyppe, 

" So we dude thy fadir Pbelip. 


" He is ded, we beon therof fawe.; 

" The sothe we beon byknowe, 

" So we wolde that thou ware, 

" That mony mon hast don care. 

" Now byleve thyn outrage, 

" Or thou mygh lache dedly damage !" 

Alisaundre herde this writ, 
Wod he wax nygh out of wit : ^70 

He swor they scholde sore abugge ; 
With scharpe sweordis egge, 
Bothe theo lewed and the lerid, 
He wolde delivere this mydell erid, 
So he of Thebes hadde y-do. 
Anothir lettre he sent heom tho. 
And of a more bitter tenour ; 
Herith hit alle, per amour. 

" Ye, proude and stoute of Athene, 
" Havelh don myn heorte teone ! 980 

" Of yow Y wol me so awreke, 
" That al the world schal thereof speke. 
" Quyk me sendith x. barouns, 
" Tlie best of youre regiouns, 
" Anon Y wol don heom serve, 
" Tlie tonges out of the hed kerve ; 
" Heore fet, heore honden also, 
" For ye me haveth dispised so. 
*' Afterward, to-fore my syght, 
** On a treo they schole beo pyght ; 2S90 


" And hongon, in wynd and reyn, 

" Heore wickid counsail to abuyn. 

" Now, do quykliche myn heste, 

" Other Y wol me wreke in mest and lest." 

Athenis was ful of riche spyrie, 
Of clerkis that couthe muche clergie, 
Of knyghtis, and of faire bachelrye, 
And niony fan* maide and lady ; 
Of al the world hit was drywery. 
A clerk can the lettre unplye ; 3000 

And so he saide in loud cry, 
Byfore al that company. 
Hit was ryght after the tenure 
That furst spak the emperour ; 
He was a fair old man ; 
Tofore heom alle thus he gan. 

" Lordynges, Alisaunder the kyng, 
" No hath in eorthe non evenyng : 
" Hardy is his flesch and blod, 
" His ost is muche, wyght, and god. 3010 

" Bothe in palys, and in bataile, 
" He doth by Aristotles counsaile : 
" By him, he is so ful of gynne, 
" That alle men he may wynne. 
" He hath y-wonne Grece and Lumbardye, 
" Akaye, Romele, and Romanye, 
" Gene, Provence, Burgoiyne acoste, 
" And Saveye, al to ost : 


*' Tlieo marche of Fraunse, and of Spayne, 

" And Tolouse, and eke Almayne ; 3020 

*' And Egipte, and eke Barbaric, 

" And dryven out of feild Darie ; 

" And takyn his children and his wif. 

" Hit n'ys nought with him for to stiyf j 

*' He askith ows bote lite tence : 

" A fewe besans to his dispence ! 

" The peny is of riche mounde, 

" That makith hoi the pounde. 

" They beon worthy to have care, 

" That nulleth by othre beowar. 3030 

" Thebes, Cydoyne, and Tyre, 

*' He hath distroied with wildefuyre ; 

" And alle that he rebel founde, 

" He hath y-slawe heom to grounde. 

*' That he askith we wol him sende, 

" And make him our freonde : 

*' Betre is, so Y ow telle, 

*' Than he ows alle aquelle. 

" Who so nul by othir beo chast, 

" Overthrowe he schal in hast." 3040 

After him spak Dalmadas 
A riche almatour he was, 
A fair mon, quoynte, and vertuous, 
Feol, and hardy, and coragous. 

" Emperour," hesaide, "thou spekesttodeope; 
" Ich am so trayed that neegh ich weope ! 


" Nultow never late ne skete 

" A goshauk makeu of a kete, 

" No faucon mak of busard, 

** No hardy knyght mak of coward : 3050 

" Ac thou konst make, of knyghtis gode, 

*' With thy prechyng, coward of blode ! 

" For no povert, no for no wondur, 

*' Yet weore we never undur : 

" Phelip his fadir we overcome ; 

" XX. thousand of his we nome. 

** The kyng of Peirce, and othir ynowe, 

" We overcome heore folk and slowe, 

" And certis, the riche kyng of Mede 

** Hadde he never suche ferhede 3060 

" His ost wried see and lond, 

" Yet he crepe undur oure hond. 

'* His hed we laide tho to wedde ; 

" And mony thousand of his we fedde. 

" That day thou hadist heorte of pris ; 

*' And now art ful of cowardys. 

** Thow woldest geve vyl trowiige ; 

** So dude never non of thy lyn%e ! 

" More honour is, faire to sterve, 

" Than in servage vjliche to serve. 3070 

** Take we mayn in oure honde ; 

" And dryve we him out of londe ! 

" We haveth knyghtis therto ynowe 

" Oure is the ryght : his is the wowhe." 


The foles herte tho gan sprynge, 
Ageyns Alisaundre the kynge, 
And saide, Dalmadas was god knyght, 
He hadde y-said soth and ryght. 
Alle they wolde heom bysteorre, 
Ageyns him with ryght to vveorre ; 3080 

And gan crye, at on ciy, 
They weore alle therto hardy. 
Ac Demostines, a riche admyrail, 
Saide heom anothir counsail. 

" Lordynges, he saide, for the emperour, 
" No leosith nought youre hono6r ! 
" And, gef he haveth wel y-saide, 
" No buth nought ageyns him anoyed. 
" No doth nought by Dalmadas, 
" That ye siggen after alas ! alas ! SOQO 

" And, for youre pruyde and outrage, 
" Leosen wif, child, and heritage. 
'* The kyng you redith that ye acoide, 
^* And makith Alisaundre youre lord. 
" Gef ye wolen holde him with, 
" Ye mowe have pes and grith. 
" And thow hast well y-spoke Dalmadas ; 
" Sum while we toke Margoras, 
" And Cornythe, and eke Perce, 
" And mo than Y can reherce. 3100 

" W har buth, now, alle tho knyghtis 
" That tho weore redy to fyghtis r 

VOL. I. I 


" In al this cit6, no schaltow fynde, 

" Of so gode, on thousand ; 

" And he an c. thousand and mony other ! 

" Hold th6 in pes, gode biothir ! 

" Geveth the besauns, and makith pes ; 

" Than mowe ye beon at ese." 

Dalmadas him saide tho, 
" Thou art old, and may nought go ! 31 10 

" Thy wordes buth sone y-don : 
** Therfore mak thou streynthe non, 
*' Though we fare longe the wors ; 
"No schaltow paye, of thy purs, 
*' Neither besant, no no peny : 
" Ac schole the pore eche halpeny !" 

Gret stryf was, bytweone the olde. 
And the yonge that weore bolde : 
Notheles the olde, saun faile, 
Wan the maistry of that counsaile ; 3120 

And dude hit apon Demostines, 
That he scholde make heore pes. 

Demostines was a baroun of pris 
Ful well norysched mon, y-wis : 
He tok an honde this message, 
And with him faire baronage, 
Wise men, wyghte and belde, 
And alle nygh of his elde. 
He passith bothe dalis and dounes, 
Mony citees, mony tounes, 3180 


Til they come to that plas, 

Ther Alisander y-logged was. 

He sat, and pleyghed at the chesse, 

With o GrifFoun of hethenesse. 

Threo hiindrod to-fore him stode, 

Flombardynges, knyghtis gode, 

Schreden in selk, of riche pris, 

Redy to the kyngis servys. 

Demostines is alyght, 

And com among heom ful ryght : 3140 

Bote he beo wel y-taught, 

Withoute skom passith he nought. 

To-fore the kyng, on kneo he dwellith, 

And gentiliche his tale tellith, 

" Kyng Alisaundre ! he saide, kyngis flour, 
" God th^ kepe, and thyn honour ! 
" The kynge of Athenis regiouns 
" Th^ gietith, and his barouns. 
" They heom yeildith, in alle wise, 
" In al thyng, to thy servyse. 3150 

" Here this koroune he the sent, 
" Of gold and gymmes, to present, 
'* And this sweord of steil clere, 
" And this launce, and this baner. 
" The baner is with gold grave ; 
" N'is non on eorthe widder y-knawe. 
" And a thousand besans of gold, 
" Forthy th^ faire serve wold ; 


*' And hendely they bysechith th6 

" That thou beo heore avow6 : 3160 

" Forgeve heom, sire, thy mal talent j 

" They wol do thy comaundement !" 

The kyng let game of the ches, 
And lokid on Demostines. 
He tok the croune in honde, in hast, 
A-two anon he hit to-barst ; 
And saide, " wene ye of Athene, 
*' Yow beo forgeve my teone ? 
" Nay ! by my lay Y sigge, 
" Ye schole hit ful sore abigge! 3170 

" Y wol beo wroke, in alle wyse, 
** Of tho that dudyn me dispyse. 
" The emperour, and his barouns, 
" Alle schule abygge by Dalmadas !" 

" Sire, quod Demostines, thy men thou niyght 
spill : 
" They yeildith heom to youre will ! 
" Mercy they biddith the, sire, freo, 
" Of that they myssayde to th^ ! 
" The emperour, and his barouns, 
" Yeildith heom to thy baundouns, 3180 

" With body and chatel, nygh and feorre, 
" To helpe th^ to thy werre !" 

So faire spekith Demostines, 
"^The kyng tho grauutid his pes ; 


And sent heom a writ anon, 

That thus was rad to eveiichon : 

" Alisaunder forlet his teone, 

*' Ageyns the barouus of Athene 4 

*' And afongith the croune, 

" In the nome of raunsoun,, 3190 

" And the sweord, and the baner, 

** By sofFraunce, of such maner, 

" That heo makyn amendiment 

" Of Beomny, my baron gent, 

" That ye slowe, in youre haven, 

" Whan Y com fro Perce ageyn*" 

Him was deliverid, anon ryghtis, 
A thousand besans, and a thousand knyghtis. 
Dabinadas was heore chevynteyn ; 
An hardy baroun, of gret mayn, 3200 

And Alisaunder, withouten asoyne. 
Hath forth his ost to Macedoyne. 

Lord ! muche host was thare ! 
Gret pruyde, and gay gere ; 
Mony torforth, mony geaunt, 
Mony asse, muyle, and olifaunt : 
Mony stede, mony palfray, 
Mony gentil knyght, mony fole boy : 
Mony baroun, ful wel y-thewed, 
Mony ledron, mony schrewe : 3210 

Mony baner, mony pensel, 
Mojiy sword of broun steil : 


Mony juster in covertour, 
Mony knyght in riche armure : 
Mony faucon, mony spere, 
Mony goshauk, mony banere, 
Muche cry, mony a song ; 
The ost was twenty myle long. 

So they wendith, by way and path, 
To Macedoyne they come rathe. 3220 

Ther they weoren fouly y-Iet ! 
The gates weoren ageyns him scheot. 
With magnelis, slyngis, and bowe, 
They duden the host much ho we. 
Ten thousand of armed knyghtis, 
On gode stedis, wel y-dyghte, 
Comen out in the strete, 
With Ahsaundre for to mete. 
Tho Alisaundre herde telle. 
He spak with tonge so a belle. 3230 

He hette, quycly, a] the rowte, 
Bysette the cit^ al abowte. 
So they dude, al so swithe, 
And madyn mony mon unblithe. 
Heo setten fuyr about the cit^. 
For gadelynges ful of iniquit6. 
And toke al the contrey, 
Abowte fyve myle wey. 
The cit6 hadde threo hundred torellis. 
The leste was worth a castell. 3240 


Allsaundre himself gon flyng, 

Aller furst, to this justyiig. 

He smot a duyk hatte Currend, 

That gaf heom counsail to withstond, 

Thorugh scheld, bruny and chyne : 

He moste nedis his lif tyne. 

Tholomou smot Taran, 

And gaf him a strok of mayn, 

Mark of Rome with Morgas met, 

Theo spere thorugh his heorte shette. 3250 

Permeneo smot Naburell : 

Thorugh the heorte brede the steil. 

Philotas mette Laban the duyk, 

And bathed his spere in his bouk. 

Elicus smot Rodulyn, 

Thorugh the throte and thorugh the pypyn. 

Antigonus smot Maury feoloun. 

That he feol ded of his arsoun. 

Nicanor smot male-aperte, 

Thorugh the brunye into theo herte. 3260 

The kyng sygh, of that cite. 

That they no myghte duyre : 

They dasscheth heom in at the gate, 

And doth hit schutte in hast. 

The tayl they kyt of hundrodis iyve, 

To wedde heo lette heore Iyve. 

Theo othre into the wallis stygh. 

And the kynges men with gonnes sleygh. 


Theo cit^ upon the see stod ; 

And hat is al Alisaundres blod : 3270 

He het his folk, so a wod wolf, 

Asaile the cite on the see half. 

So they dude with myghtly hond. 

The pore folk of the lond, 

And ladies bryght in hour, 

Seyen that heo neo myghten dure. 

Hy stolen the kayes under their yate ; 

The kyng there hy leten in whate, 

And fellen aknowe in the strete, 

Tofore and under his horses fete, 3280 

And crieden, " mercy !" The kyng herde ; 

He het eche mon do in his sweord : 

He undurfong heore feute, 

Alle they swore him leute. 

More and lasse, everichon. 

The kyng afong heore mone ; 

And, withoute more tale, 

Makith heom alle his speciale. 

There he ordeynith his wendyng, 

Toward Darie the kyng. 3290 

Now, listenith withoute gyle, 

How Darie doth the while. 



Darius assembles his council. His speech. Opinions of Daria- 
das, of Salomi, of Archelans, of Jerobyans, The Pei-sians 
march against Alexander. Description of theh' march, 
They encamp in a vast plain, on the banks of tlie Tygtis. 

Whan note brounith in haselrys 

The lady is of lemen chis ; 

The person werith the for and the gris ; 

Ofte he settith his love amys. 

The rybaiid pleyeth at the deys. 

Ful seilden is the fol wys. 

Darie in a verger ys ; 
To-fore him mony knyghtis y-wis. 3300 

Threo hundrod thousand, so Y fynde. 
He ladde of his owne holdyng : 
And fourty thousand knyghtis sondres. 
N'ot Y the tale of the swyers, 
No of velasours, no of bacheleris, 
No of bowiers, no of alblastreris : 


And longe among heom everichon, 
Darie makith thus his mone. 

" Lordynges," he saide, " Y am aschamed, 
" And sore anoyed, and agramed, 3310 

" That Alisaundre, with myghty hond, 
" Hath nie dryven of my lond : 
" My modur, my suster y-tak, 
" And Floriant my gentil make ; 
" My children, and ttiy maign6. 
" Myn harm is gret, wite wel ye, 
" Ac yet therof he is freo. 
" Faire he lokith my maign6, 
*' At bord, in chaumbre, in curtesye, 
" Withowte eny vylanye. 3320' 

" Wondur Y have of his myght : 
" No have I seyghe so hardy knyght ; 
" So quoynte, no so malicious, 
" So strong on hors, so vertuous ! 
" Justjere he is, with the beste, 
" He can his launce thorugh threste : 
" Whoso he takith M'ith sweordis egge, 
*' He clevith hed to the rigge. 
" N'as never non better knyght : 
" And alle his folk strong and wyght. 3330 

" Fonde we, by counsail togedre speke, 
" How we mowe us awreke." 

Thanne byspak Dariadas ; 
The kyugis brothir Darie he was. 


*' Sire, he saide, welcome hom ! 

" Thow him clepedst an harlot gome ; 

" Now thow seist he is the beste knyght, 

" That may beore armes in fyght. 

^' Thou saist soth, hardy and hard : 

" And thou art as arvve coward! 3340 

" He is the furste in eche bataile ; 

" Thou art byhynde ay at the taile. 

" His justis and duntis his folk hardieth ; 

" And thy tarying thy folk cowardith ! 

" He makith heom way with scharpe launce ; 

" Thy men anarwith thy continaimce. 

" He is the furste with sweord that remith ; 

" Thou art the furste with hors that flemeth. 

" Of Grece he hath paied thy rente, 

" With mony deddly dunt. 3350 

" No worth th^ of him othir acord, 

" Bote mon-quellyng with sweord. 

" Acorsed beo Grecis truage ! 

" Hit hath don ows dedly damage." 

Auoyed was Salome, and spak tho : 
" Sire eorl, no say no more so. 
" Y say Darie narwe by lace, 
" Among the Gregeis in the place. 
" That he was god knyght y-kud ; 
" For monliche above he ryd. 3360 

" A doseyn he slough at a leope. 
" Ac, of thyseolf nym t|iou kepe ! 


*' With deont of spere thou weore y-feld, 

" And thyn hors into the feild ; 

" No had beo oure Tiriens, 

" Thou haddest leye ther withoute defence. 

*' No hadde Y th^ m ith mayn y-holpe, 

" No hadestow no more y-yolpe ! 

*' No schaltow wreththe thy lord gent ; 

" Of him is thyn avauncement. 3370 

" Hit is tjme that thow beo stille, 

" No sey no more out of skille." 

Archelaus him dredith, and askith pays. 
'* Let beon, he saide, al this noise ! 
" Forsothe, witeth alle wel, 
" lliat Alisaundre is strong and feol. 
'' More fair hit is, saun faile, 
" That we wende and him assaile^ 
" Or he come here on ows ; 
" For he is hardy and coragous. 3380 

" N'ul he lete, for no travaile, 
*' That he n'ul M'ith us have bataile. 
" In the cole dawenyng, 
" Wende we forth in al thyng. 
** Than mowe we, god hit wote, 
" Resten our bestis in the hote. 
" We darth nought tarie, Y make avow, 
" We havith streynthe and folk ynowe." 

Tlio by spak Jerobyans : 
" Here now, Darie, riclic soudans i 3390 


" Now quyk, sire, and snel, 
" Do ryng alle thy bellis, 
" And do thy seolf thyn fayn, 
" Thy folk al to ordeyne. 
" Thyn olifans, and thy best, 
" Do al ordeyne in hast : 
" And do lieom in the waye 
" That they weoron in feildyn contr^ye : 
" For Alisaundre is passed Akaye, 
" And is y-come to Arabye. 3400 

" So me saide a drogman, 
" He is a this half flura Jordan. 
" Have we the feild'er than he, 
" We schal him wynne maugre." 
Quyk was don his counsaile ; 

And charged olifans and camailes, 

Dromedaries, assen, and oxen, 

Mo than ye can askyn ; 

Alle weore dryven athrang : 

Ten myle they yeode alang. 34 IQ 

After come theo somers, 

And thanne knyghtis on heore justers. 

Mony stede ther proudly leop : 

Stilliche mony on weop. 

The recheles and the proude song : 

The cowardis heore hondis wrong. 

There thou myghtest here here : 

Mony fair pencel on spere, 


Mony knyght with helm of steil. 

Mony scheld y-gult ful wel, 3420 

Mony trappe, mony croper, 

Mony queyntise on armes clere. 

The eorthe quakid heom undur ; 

No scholde mon have herd the thondur, 

For the noise of the taboures, 

And the trumpours and jangelours. 

To a water they biith y-come, 
Ther they haveth herberow y-nome ; 
For they hath take keip, 

The ryver was clere and deop. 3430 

At that half, fondith heom no doute 
Of Alisaundre, no al his route. 
Theo feildes both brode and wide ; 
They thenkith to warde wel that tyde. 
With cartes, and waynes strong : 
XX. mylen they stoden along. 
Theo pavelons weoren al withynne, 
Strongliche y-tielde with gynne. 
Warde they settith by eche syde, 
Tliere they wol Alisaundre abyde : 3440 

And he is comyng wel god speid. 
God ows helpe at oure neide ! 




Alexander p'oceeds against Darius, and wastes the country toith 
fire and sword, He attempts to swim a river in complete ar- 
mour, but is chilled by the wate)\ and brought on shore almost 
lifeless. He is recovered by the care of Philip his physician. 
The author hints at a story to the prejudice of Parmeneon, 
which he refuses to repeat. During Alexander's convalescence, 
Tholomeus crosses the river with a chosen party, and places 
himself in ambush in a wood near tlte Persian camp. 

i^oRDYNGES, after mete ariseth play ; 
The coward is ful loth to dye. 

Alisaundre comuth, Y yow say, 
Al fast as he may ; 
He passeth Cecile contray, 
And Mede, and is in Ermoueye. 
Tliere, his folk come wel or weye, 
Him tofore n'ys bote deth : 3450 

For he spedly brennith, and sleth, 


Alle that heo fynde mowe, 

Ten myle way, Y wol avowe, 

They brentyn doun to-fore the ost, 

And al so feole the kyng acost. 

They robbedyn tiesours and clothes, 

And brenten townes, and bothes : 

The fuyr was on so gret lyghe, 

That Darie hit sone syghe. 

With him cam mony stede farant, 3460 

And mony faire juster corant, 

And mony fat palfray amblant ; 

And mony armed olifant. 

Mony baron, mony sergant, 

Mony strong knyght and g6ant, 

Ryden aside so acost. 

They mowe kenne Daries ost. 

At the othir side akenuynge, 

They sygh Darie the kyng. 

The kyng ther teildid his pavelons ; 3470 

And his duykis, and barons. 

No sygh no mon no where, in no contrdy, 

So noble asemblaye. 

There caste Alisaunder the kyng 

For to aspye Daries gylyng. 

On a day the kyng nome god kepe, 
That the water was ful deop. 
He bad his serjans, heom among, 
Brynge his armure hevy and strong. 


So they dude, and he, withoute oth, 3480 

Anon he dude of his clothes. 

The armure he dude on his liche : 

Alle his folk hadde ferliche. 

What he wolde armed do. 

Into the water he leop tho : 

He swam in thilke hevy armes ; 

A mile waie with strengthe of armes. 

Ac, thaugh he ware strong and bold, 

Theo water was ful styf and cold ; 

Maugre him he moste synke, S490 

A bowe-schote fro the brynke, 

Tho he felde drenche he scholde. 

An hygh he sprong, so God hit wolde. 

And huld him abowe, that he no sank, 

Til he com to the water bank. 

There he levyd unnethe alyve. 

To bote his men heom dude blyve. 

So sone so they to him come, 

Into bote they him nome ; 

Quyk they ladde him to londe. 3500 

In his body tho was litel onde. 

Ther was deol, and gret crying, 

That ded was Alisaunder the kyng ! 

Anon ther com a ficicion, 

Phelip he hette, a noble man ; 

He bad heom lete heore waylyng : 

He saide, he wolde to lyve him bryng ; 



And dude him beore to pavelouns, 

And helid him with pocions, 

And made him hoi man and fere. 3510 

Now the geste tellith here. 
Of this leche Felipoun, 
And of a baroun Permeneon^ 
And of onde, and of wiyeng, 
That scholde beo saide to the kyng. 
Ac, for that lettrure seith ther ageyn, 
Nul Y schewe hit to no mon. 
For in this boke, feorre Y fynde, 
Of Permeneon and of his kynde ; 
That thorugh heore geste, 350 

The kyngis dedis weore honeste. 

The kyng is hoi, may ride and go ; 
Now other thyng lustneth to. 

Kyng Alisaunder y-logged is, 
And his barouns of gret pris, 
Upon a water y-hote Tygres. 
On that other half is Darie, y-wis. 
Wroth and grym, and alle his. 
For Alisaunders gret aprise. 
The spies on bothe sydes goth, 3330 

And tellith tales for soth. 
Of Alisaundre, and eke Darie, 
How eche schal from othir werye ; 
How the riche duykis hyght. 
And who weore strong and wyght. 


Thorugh the tidyng of the spie, 

Ofte, the yonge bachelrye, 

Over Tiger, to othir ferde ; 

And heom proferid launce and sweorde, 

And made mony knyght aknawe, 3540 

On medewe, in feld, ded bylaue. 

On a day Tholomeus, 
An hardy baroun and coragous, 
Mark of Rome, clepith to him ; 
And the savage Salabyn, 
And Tibire, and Antigonus, 
And Gaudyn and Antiognos, 
And ten thousand duykis and knyghtis ; 
Non in the ost of more myghte. 

" Lordynges, he saide, lustneth to me. 3550 
" We buth here, so foule in treo : 
" Scarseliche we etith and drynkith, 
" And nought for oure mete swynkith. 
" We beon knyghtis of hygh perage, 
" And buth byset, so foul in cage : 
" A spye hath y-told me, 
** That the admyral, Salome, 
** And the duyk Antoyne of Cartage, 
" And Archelaus, of proud corage, 
** And the soudan his brothir, 3560 

" And mony proud gome, on and othir, 
** Wolen come in the morewenyng, 
" And on us make skekkyng. 


" Oure lord is in his reste. 

*' Wende we, withowte chest, 

" Over the water, (Y wot yond is best,) 

" And huyde ows in the forest. 

" And whan they connith, sodeynliche 

" Smyte we on monnyliche ! 

" Wol ye do by my counsaile ?'* 3570 

** Ya ! Ya !" seiden alle, saun faile, 

In gode armes they gan heom schrede, 

And leope on heore gode stedis. 

The pavelouns they rideth acost ; 

The kyng hit n'ot, no for the ost. 

Theo water quycliche they passith. 

At on shepe, more and lasse. 

On lond they beon, over the brynke, 

Mony of heom hit doth of-thynke. 

Quyk they 'gynneth thennes ride, 3580 

And huydith heom in a forestis syde. 

Now bygynneth riche geste. 
God in heven geve us reste ! 



A strong guterd of Persians, who luxd hem going their rounds 
during the night, are attacked by Thohmeus and his party. 
Particular account of this skirmish, the noise of which at 
length alarms the camp, and brings the whole army of Darius 
against the Greeks. Tliey are driven to the water^s edge, and 
in danger of being all cut off, when a wounded knight swims 
the river, and informs Alexander of their danger. He imme- 
diately hastens to their assistance. The action becomes gene- 
ral. Darius, to encourage his troops, promises half of his 
kingdom, together with the hand of his dauglUer in marriage, 
to any man who should kill Alexander. A Persian knight at- 
tempts the enterprise, dresses himself in the armour of a Greek 
whom he had slain, and, in this disguise, unexpectedly assails 
Alexander from behind. The king's life is saved by tlie strength 
of his hauben'k. He seizes the knight, who, after the battle, 
is brought to trial. Speeches of the Grecian generals on the 
occasion. Alexander pardons the anminal, and dismisses him 
with many presents. 

HoRs, streyngthe of herte, and hardinesse, 
Schewith mony faire prowesse. 


N'is SO fair a thyng, so Crist me blesse, 

So knyght in queyntise, 

Bote the prest, in Godis servyse ! 

Sitteth stille in alle wyse : 

For here bigynneth gest arise, 3590 

Of doughty men and gret of prise. 

Salome, Archelaus, and Jonas, 
Salabyn, Besas, and Barsonas, 
And Octiater Daries brothir. 
And XX. thousand knyghtis, on and othir, 
Hadde warded, saun doute, 
That nyght ryght feor abowte. 
Now, they cometh homward, 
And metith chaunse hard : 

For, ryght in the day spryng, 3600 

Tholomeus con on heora flyng. 

" Traytours," he saide, " we haveth brought 
" The tole ye haveth in Grece y-sought, 
" Yellde yow or ye beon dede !" 
And with the sporen smot his stede. 
His lonse he can liim beode. 
And smot a riche prynce of Mede ; 
Heort and armes, thorugh scheldis bord, 
He clevyd with speris ord : 
And of the sadil cast him, saun faile, 36 K) 

Over his croupe and his hors tuile. 

Percians weorc armed wel, 
On hygh stedc; in hard steil. 


They withstoden, and wel defendit, 

And of heom was xx. thousent. 

Loude they can alle cryghe ; 

Ther ros justis for the maistrye ! 

Knyghtis y-slawe, stedis y-feld, 

Ther was clevyd mony a scheld. 

Crye, and noise, and gredyng. 36^10 

Of strong knyghtis hard metyng ! 

Tiberie was an hardy mon ; 
He sygh a prynce, that hette Aufrikan, 
To men of Grece don muche wo. 
He smot his stede with sporen, tho, 
Thorugh scheld and bruny his spere threost, 
He smot that duk, on the breost; 
Thorugh livre, and his entraile, 
His scharpe spere karf, saun faile : 
The duyk feol of his stede tho : ' 3630 

His folk maden muche wo. 
The kyng of Casedoyse seygh this ; 
He smot his gode stede, y-wis. 
Of Grece he smot a baroun, 
That was y-hote Maneloun, 
Thorugh the gargaze and the gorger ; 
Theo knyght feol ded of his joster. 
Mark of Rome abyt nought longe ; 
He slough fyve in that thronge, 
And Tigem slough Gildardjn, 3640 

And !Nepan a strong Sarsyn. 


Antiochus slough the duk Bardat, 

And Madifas, and eke Ballak. 

Antigonus, the hardy marchal, 

Slough Whandagon, an admyral, 

And Dudinas, and Pharaan : 

In Perce was no wyghter man. 

Gaud}!!, that was of Macedoyne, 

With his sweord of Coloyne, 

He slough Birel, and Nasaran, 3650 

And mony another Aufrican. 

Ac Tholome, tofore heom alle, 

Fast he gan heom quelle. 

Mony he clevyd into the sadel ; 

He hit byweop that lay in cradel ! 

Tho of Perce gan heom werye. 

And mony of Grece dedly derye. 

Notheles Alisaunder, so Y fynde, 

Theo Perciens loron six thousand, 

And they of Grece hundrodes threo. 5660 

Undur scheldis hy gau heom wreo ; 

Everiche on othir gan to legge, 

AVith maces, and sweordis egge, 

That hit denned, so ryght, 

As on nayl doth theo schipwryght. 

Ac, of Grece the barouns, 

Foughte so doth lyounes. 

Tlio of Perce al arowe 

Gan fleo, and heom withdrawe. 


Tlieo othres heo dryve, verrament, 3670 

To Daries ost with hard dunt. 

Theo noise of heom askaped ; 

Al that ost was awaped, 

And gradde " Js armes, for douce Mahons! 

*' Lo here of Grece the barouns !" 

From on to othir this cry was herd ; 

They armed heom, and gurd with svveord, 

And leopon apon stedis with styf baneris ; 

With sporen they smyten heore justeris. 

Tho they of Grece seyghen this, OGSO 

A gret queyntise they dude, y-wis. 

Scheome heom thoughte for to fleon ; 

They undurgyngith heom bytweone, 

Threo thousand of thoo that comen, 

That hy hadden overcomen. 

To water-ward, with sweord egge, 

Theo othres come at heore rygge. 

Thus they folowen and dryven, 

Til they come, so I fynde ; 

Alle they come, Daries and Perseniens, 3690 

Strong Turkies, and Arabiens, 

Feolle Escleiris, and eke Mediens, 

And Capadoces, and eke Suliens, 

Caldiens, Ebriens, and Cretiens, 

And Partiens, and ek Albaniens, 

And Indiens, and Emaniens, 

With swordes, lances, and peseus. 


Al this say Tholomew : 

A lite ruwet loude he bleow. 

Gregies stodyn alle in doute, 3700 

And Tholomew aboute. 

They beon by set in water syde. 

Tliolomew let gon the bridel, 
He smot Aperlicus with his spere ; 
Thorugh the heorte he gan him beore : 
And anon he smot anothir, 
(Y undurstonde he was his brothir) 
That he clef his basnet, 
At his chyn stod the dunt. 

His men, and his amys, 37 10 

For him maden grete cryes ; 
And Tholomew saide, " So ho ! so ho ! 
" We beon awreke of dogges two !" 

Sire Dalmadas of Athenis, 
Cleputh his felawe, y-hote Messiens, 
And Mark of Rome, and Anticon, 
And seith to heom, in stilie soun, 
" Lordynges," he saide " hit is nought to fleon ! 
" We buth the ost and the water bytwene. 
" Schame hit is we weore so faynt, 3720 

*' That we weore in water dreynt ! 
" Hit is beter that we to heom schoure, 
" So longe so we may dure. 
" To Perciens Y wol me seolle, 
" Sywe me now wha so wol !" 


He dasschith forth, so a doughty mon, 

And smot a duyk Arabyan ; 

Thorugh armure, livre and longe, 

To the deth he hath hhn stonge. 

Everiche also of his fere, 3730 

Everiche on othir on soche manerfe, 

Theo grete ost herde herof speke, 

And hyeth heom to beon awreke : 

On the Gregies quyk they dasschith, 

And feole of heom theo deth lachith. 

They no mowe nought assaut stonde, 

And fledde forth by the stronde ; 

And hem biradieth bett. 

And gynneth reme manlich flett ; 3740 

There they holdith heom togedre. 

So flok of deor in thondur wedre. 

Of Grece a gentil knyght of mounde, 
Hadde on him mony a wounde, 
And a tronchon in his flank ; 
He gan in the water launche : 
Up he cam in that othir side. 
And to-fore Alisandre he can ride, 
Ryght as he was aryse, 
Of his M'oundyn he was agrise. 

" Alisaundre, Philippes streone, 5750 

" Gef thow wolt Tholomew seone, 
" Gaudyn, Mark, and Antiochus, 
" Theo duyk Tibire, and Antigonys, 


" And theo noble duyk Gregies, 
" Arme the quyk in armes, 
" And thy barouns, and hieth bet ! 
" For all the world hath heom byset. 
" Thow myght y-seo, by my lere, 
*' That Y am a" treowe messangere/' 

" As armes /" he cried fast : 3760 

Sone was y-armed al the ost. 
Quoth Alisaundre, with voys hynde, 
" Now Y schal wite who is my freonde !" 
They hied heom quykliche, 
And that sone and pryveliche. 
Tho that up the water fyghtis, 
Yet neotith nought of this knyghtis, 
That now brought the kyng tidyng, 
No of Alisaundris comyng. 

No sygh never men beter fyghtors, 3770 

Beter stonders, no beter weorryours. 
Now is non of heom y-founde, 
Withowte threo othir four woundis. 
Feole weore on fote, and feole on hors, 
With meschef eche askapith othres cors. 

Alisaundre to-fore is ryde, 
And mony gentil knyght him myde : 
Ac, for to abide his maign^ freo, 
He abideth undur a treo. 

xl. thousand chivalrie 3780 

He heom takith in his batail^. 


He dasscheth forth overward, 

Theo othres comen afterward : ' 

He soughte his knyghtis in meschef, 

He tok hit in heorte agref. 

He tok Bulsifal in the syde ; 

As a swalewe he can forth glide. 

A duyk of Perce sone he mette, 

With his launce he him grette ; 

He perced his bruny, and clewyd his scheld, 3790 

Theo heorte he carf ; so he him yeilded : 

Theo duyk feol doun to the grounde. 

He starf quykliche of that wounde. 

Alisaundre tho aloud saide, 

" Other tole nane Y payd : 

" Yut ye schole, of myn paye, 

" Or Y go hennes, more asay !" 

Anothir launce in honde he hent ; 

Ageyns the prynce of Tyre he went, 

And smot him thorugh the breste tliare, 3800 

And out of his sadel him bare ; 

And, Y sey, for soth thyng, 

He brak his launce in the fallyng, 

Octiater, with muche wondur, 

Antiochim hadde him undur. 

With his sweord he wolde his heved 

Fro the body have y-weved. 

He sygh Alisaundre, the gode gome, 

To him wardes swithe come ; 


He lefte his pray, and fleygh to hors, 3810 

For to save his owne cors. 

Antiocus on stede he leop, 

Of no wounde tok he kep ; 

And eke he hadde y-mad fiirford, 

Alle y-mad with speris ord. 

Tholoitleus, and his felawe, 
Of this socoure weore ful fawe. 
Alisaundre made a cry hardy 
" Ore tost, ore tost, aly ! aly /" 
There, knyghtis of Akaye 3820 

Justed with heom of Arabye ; 
Tho of Rome and heo of Mede ; 
Mony lond with othir yeode. 
Egipte justed with Tire, 
Simple knyghtis with riche sire ; 
There was yeve no forberjTig ; 
Bytweone favasour and kj-ng, 
To-fore, me myghte, and byhynde, 
Contek seche, and contek fynde. 
With Perciens foughte Egregies ; 3830 

Ther ros cry, and gret noyse. 
They kydde there they nere nyce : 
They braken speres to sclyces : 
Me myght fynde knyghtis there, 
Mony on loste his justere : 
There was sone, in litel thrawe, 
Many gentil knyght y-slawe ; 


Mony arm, mony hed, 

Was sone fro the body weved : 

Mony gentil levedy 3840 

There les hire amy : 

There was mony mon killed. 

And mony fair pencel bybl6d. 

There was sweord lakkyng. 

There was spere bathyng. 

Bothe kynges there, saun doute, 

Beoth y-beten, with al heore rowte; 

The on to don men of him speke 

The other his harmes for to wreke. 3S50 

Mony londes, nygh and feor, 

Losten heore lordes in that weorre. 

The eorthe quakid of hir rydyng : 

The weder thicked of heore crjeng ; 

Theo blod, of heom that was slawen^ 

Ran by flodis and by lauen : 

And Y you sigge sikirliche, 

Darie faughte wel doughtyliche, 

And dude s withe muche wo. S860 

To on side he drough him to ; 
He blew his horn, saun doute. 
His folk come swithe aboute : 
And he heom saide, with voys clere, 
" Y bidde, freondes, ye me here ! 
" Alisaundre is y-come in this lond, 
" With stronge knyghtis, and myghty of hond. 


" Gef he passeth with honour, 

" Oure is the deshonour ! 

" Y am of Perce deschargid, 

" Of Mede, and of Assyre aquyted. 

" Ac, gef there is among us, 3870 

" Ony knyght so vertuous, 

" That Alisaundre myghte slen, 

" We scholde parten ows bytweon, 

" Alle my londis even a-two : 

" And yet, he schal have therto, 

" Cristalme my doughter flour, 

" And thorugh and thorugh al my tresour. 

" Now let seo gef ony is so hardy 

" That durste hit him asyghe." 

They thoughten thorugh, notheles, 3880 

Gef he myghte come on cas, 
Wher hy hym myghte so hound abaye, 
Othir bygile othir bytreye. 
Lord Crist ! that this world eyghte 
Is lyf to duyk and to knyghte ! 
Ther n'ys non so slow withinne, 
And he wiste to have muche wynne. 
That he no wolde for gret tresour 
Don him seolf in antoure ! 

Among tho of Perce, was a knyght, 3890 

Hardy and stalvvorthe, queynte and lyghl, 
A knyght of Grece sone he slowe, 
And his annure of he drowe. 


And quyk armed him therymie, 

And thoughte Alisaundre wynne. 

Alisaundre of him nought gaf, 

Ac Perciens to-fore him he drof. 

Some he kyt of the arme, 

And some the hed, and dude heom harm. 

He bad his folk fyghte harde, 3900 

With spere, mace, and sweord ; 

And he wolde, after fyght, 

Bonie londis to heom dyght. 

Tliis forsaide knyght rod him by, 
As he weore his amy. 
Whan he Alisaunder besy seoth. 
To him anon he geth ; 
He tok a launce, so Y fynde, 
And rod Alisaundre byhynde ; 
He smot him harde on the hawberk : 3910 

Hit was mad of strong werk. 
The kyng was sumdel agast ; 
He huld faste ; theo spere to-barst. 
He sat faste, and lokid ageyn. 
And saw on armed so hit weore his men. 
" Fy, he saide, apon the lechour : 
'* Thow schalt dye as a traytour !" 
" Certis quod the aliene knyght, 
" Y am no traytour, ac an aliene knyght ; 
" Y dude a gyn the to slene, S920. 

" And ded thow hadest forsothe y-beon, 

vol. 1. L 


" Ac aventure, for the lyght, 

" This victorie is th6 y-dyght. 

" Of Perce Y am, feor by west : 

*' This hardinesse Y dude for a byheste, 

" That Dane byheyghte to whom that myghte 

" Th^ to slene in this fyghte, 

" He scholde have half his kywiche, 

" And his doughter, sikirliche. 

" This was, kyng, al my chesoun : 3930 

" No myght thou fynde here no treson; 

" Ac that Y me putte in dedly cas, 

** For to have that faire byheste." 

The kyng by chyn him schoke, 
And his serjauns he him toke. 
And bad him loke in prisoun : 
He n'olde him sle, bote by resoun. 
He was don in god warde, 
And bounde faste in bondis harde. 

The kyng broughte forth Bulsifall, 3940 

And metith of Perce an admyrall : 
He smot him thorugh body and scheld. 
And cast him ded into theo felde. 
Ther myghte men in heorte reowe, 
How noble knyghtis overthreowe ; 
Hors to-traden theo boukes 
Of noble barouus and dukis : 
Thicke weore the stretis of knyghtis y-slawe, 
And medewe and feld, hygh and lowe. 


Non no myghte, heom bytweone, 3950 

Wite who scholde maister beon. 

In bothe halve, with sweord and spere, 

Was y-don wel grete lere. 

Mony faire knyght that day was schent, 

Hors to-torn, hauberke to-rent : 

Mony fair eyghe with deth y-blent, 

And mony a soule to helle went. 

Theo day failith, theo nyght is come : 
Wery buth the gentil gome. 
In bothe halve, mony gent, 3960 

Wenten hom to heore tent. 
And tokyn reste til amorwe ; 
Makyng ful gret sorwe 
For heore lordis and for heore kyn, 
Tliat laien y-slayn in the fen. 

Alisaundre arisen is. 
And sittith on his hygh deys. 
His duykes and his barouns, saun doute, 
Stondith and sittith him aboute. 
He hette brynge forth that felawe, 3970 

That him wolde have y-slawe. 
He is forth brought, and the kyng 
Geveth him acoysyng. 
" Thow, he saide, traytour, 
" Yursturday thow come in amiture, 
*' Y-armed so on of myne, 
" Me byhynde at my chyne, 


" Smotest me with thy spere. 

" No hadde myn hawberk beo the strongere, 

" Thou hadest me vyly y-slawe. 3980 

" Thou schalt beo honged and to-drawe, 

" And beo to-brent al to nought, 

" For thou soche traytory wroughtest !" 

" Sire, quoth theo Perciens knyght, 
" Gef ye doth me lawe and ryght, 
" No worth Y to-drawe no an-honge : 
" For hit weore al with wronge. 
" Darie byhette, to eche of his, 
" To make pere to him, y-wis, 
" Who that myghte th^ wynne, S990 

" Othir by gile, othir by gynne. 
" Darie was my ryghte lord : 
" Y fonded to do his word ; 
" His fo to quelle in eche manere, 

" And of treson me wol Y skere. 

" Gef ony wol other preove, 

" Ageyns him lo here my glove !" 

Antiochus saide, " Thow no myght th^ skere ; 

'/ Thow hast denied thyself here, 

" Tho thow, for mede, or byhotyug, 4000 

" Stal byhynde on oure kyng 

" Him to slen so theofliche 

" Founde thow schalt beon oponliche ; 

" Thou schalt sterve on sioche deth hard 

" This dom Y geve to \\\h, ward." 


Tholomeus, theo marchal, up stod, 
Wyght in bataile, and in counsail god, 
And saide, " The kyng may do his wille, 
" Save that Percien knyght, or spille : 
" Ac he no hath no ryght cheson ; 4010 

*' For he no dude no treson. 
" His dede n'as bote honest ; 
" For he dude his lordes hest. 
" Every man, to sle his fo, 
" Divers gyn he schal do. 
" For his lord, nymeth god cure, 
" He dude his lif in aventure. 
" He nas nought sworn to my lord : 
" Bote, with spere and with sweord, 
" Lefliche is every fo, 4020 

" How he may othir slo. 
" Ye mowe wel him do brenne and honge, 
" Ac Y sigge hit where w ith wrong !" 

Up stode Sire Mark of Rome, 
And entermetyd of this dome. 
" Certes, he saide, he dude wowgh, 
" That he a knyght of Grece slowgh, 
" And dispoyled him of his armes, 
" By treson, to oure harmes, 
" And joyned him us among : 4030 

" So on of al this was wrong ; 
" And so stal on oure kyng, 
" Him to bryng to eyndyng : 


" Y jugge he schal an-honged beo. 
" Barouns of court, what sey ye ?" 

Eveiiche saide, " He schal beo slawe, 
" For-brent, hongid, and to-drawe." 
Non no spak him on word fore. 
Bote that he scholde beo lore. 
Tho Alisaunder say this, 4040 

Herith what he saide, y-wis, ' 
Hit is y-writein, Every thyng, 
Himseolf schewith in tastyng. 
So hit is of lewed and clerk : 
Hit schewith in his werk. 

The kyng seeth that no knyghth hende 
N'ylle more that Percien defende. 
And saide, " Knyght ! he weore wod 
*' That wolde do the ought bote god ! 
" Treson thou no dudest, no feyntise ; 4060 

" Ac hardy dede, in queyntise. 
" For that dede, by myn hod, 
" No schaltow have bote god." 
Richeliche he doth him schrede. 
In spon-neowe knyghtis wede ; 
And sette him on an hygh corsour, 
And gaf him muche of his tresour. 
And lette him to Darie wende hom. 
No gaf he him non othir dom. 



Alexander crosses the river with his whole army, and marches 
through a forest~He directs his cavalry to fasten boughs of 
trees to their horses tails, and advance against the Persians. 
TTie cloud of dust thus raised makes Darius imagine that the 
Greeks must have received strong reinforcements. He therefore 
breaks up his camp, and retires to the banks of a river called 
Estrage (forsan Granicus.J Alexander pitches his camp on the 
spot which Darius had lately occupied. He assumes the liabit of 
an ambassador, rides to the camp of Darius, and delivers him 
a challenge to meet Alexander oj the plain. He is invited to 
table ; steals a golden cup, and hides it under his mantle.-^ 
Being observed, he attributes this action to an usage of Greek 
hospitality. A knight, named Pertage, recognizes his person. 
Alexander leaps over the table, forces a passage through 
the guests, unhorses a knight who endeavours to oppose his 
escape, leaps on the knight'' s horse, swims the river, and car- 
ries the cup in triumph to his army. 

MuRY hit is in the dawenyng, 4060 

Whan the foules bygynneth to syng, 


And jolyf heorte bygynneth to spryng ; 
To sone hit thenkith theo slowe gadelyng. 
In muche love is gret mornyng, 
In muche nede is gret thankyng. 

A ferly thougth is with the kyng, 
How he may best don his thyng : 
Eriy he ariseth and makith bost, 
And hoteth quyk arme al his host. 
They beon alle armed quykliche, 4070 

And alle him sywith, sikirliche, 
Over a water, into a forest, 
And alle doth heore lordes best. 
Bo\ves of divers treoes they kyttith, 
And to heore hors tayl kneottith ; 
To Darie-ward alle they farith, 
Theo bowes theo dust arerith. 
Of drawying of bowes and stikke, 
Theo eyr bycam tho trouble and thikke. 
That to Daries ost hit ferde, 4080 

So on heom com the myddel erd. 
Anon they tolden hit Darie, 
And bad him he scholde warye, 
For Alisaundre cometh with his pray ; 
His folk spredith al the contr^y. 

Darie hyght al his men 
Remuwe his tentis of the fen, 
And setten his bysyde Estrage ; 
A cold water and a sav^e, 


A castel he hadde in that ryve, 4090 

N'as non strenger in al his lyve. 

Anon was alle Daries ost 

Y-logged by Estrages acost : 

There they wolde fonde aspye, 

Al Alisaundres folye. 

Alisaunder this tellen herd ; 

With his ost he after ferd, 

And there he loggitli anon, 

Ther Darie hadde beon erst apon. 

Now is y-wrye al the contray, 4100 

Bytweone heom, as feole myle way. 

Ofte ther was bytweone heom rydyng, 

And mony a wyght batailyng : 

Theo whiles, of Alisaunder the kyng, 

Listenith now a woundur thyng. 

In a moretyde hit was ; 
Theo dropes hongyn on the gras ; 
Theo maydenes lokyn in the glas. 
For to tyflfen heore fas. 

Kyng Alisaundre is out y-ride, 4110 

And threo noble knyghtis him myde, 
Pryveliche, in a gret myst : 
His grete ost hit no wist. 
He doth theo threo, withoute reuthe, 
Plyghte to him heore treowthe, 
" That ye no schal me bywryghen, 
" Of that Y wol to yow sayn." 


They doth all his wille ; 

And he heom gan telle, 

He wolde wende, swithe snel, 4120 

To Darye the feolle, 

To seo the contynaunce, 

Of Daries court, saun demorrance. 

No knyght no rod withoute stede. 

No withouten yren wede. 

To the water they come ryght : 

Of his stede the kyng alyght ; 

And of dude al his armure. 

And dude on a robe of peolour. 

Apon a palfray he leope, 4130 

And saide, " Knyghtis, nymeth kepe 

** To Bulsifall my destrere ; 

" And abideth me ryght here : 

" Y wol come whan Y may." 

Quyk he doth him in his way. 

Theo threo knyghtis of whom Y saide. 
That on het Amas of Cartage ; 
That othir, hette Philotas ; 
And the thridde, Perdicas. 

Ther nere better knyghtis threo, 4140 

In al the kyngis maigne. 
This threo Alisaundre abyde, 
Wei y-armed, by the water syde. 

Now sit Darye on an hulle. 
Folk of his ost to telle. 


Alisaunder to him cometh, and nought stet, 

And saide, " Kyng Alisaunder the gret ; 

" He is y-come to the perlement, 

*' For to yeilde th^ thy rent. 

" Tweyes he hath th^ overcome ; 4150 

" Thy wif and thy children y-nome ; 

" Feole thow hast y-slawe of his. 

" He sent the sigge thus, y-wis : 

" Hit schal beo ful deore abought, 

" Theo tole that was in Grece y-sought. 

" Greytheth armes, and yarkith scheldis ; 

" He yow abideth in the felde." 

Darie was ful sore anoyed, 
Of that Alisaunder hath to him saide, 
And saide of tale, " Beo smart, 4160 

*' Alisaundre thyseolf thow hit art !" 
Alisaundre saide, " Hit is nought so : 
" He is whitter, withowte no, 
" And his lokkes buth nought so crolle ; 
" Ac he is waxe more to the fuUe. 
" Ac Y am hoten Antygon, 
" That mony a message have y-don." 
Darie saide, " Messanger alyght ! 
" And gowe eten anon ryght : 
" And, after mete, thow schalt beore 4170 

" To thy lord ageyn onswere." 
Darrie to mete yede onon, 
With his barouns everychon. 


Alisaundre, withoute fable, 

He set at his owne table. 

They weore served with gret plente, 

With fresch and salt, and alle deynt6 ; 

And dronke wyn, and eke pyment, 

Whyt and red, al to talent. 

There was coppes riche y-wrought; 4180 

Alisaunder him bythought. 
How he myght do sumthyng, 
Of to speke withoute eyndyng. 
Ther of a coppe to him he dronk ; 
He hit afongith with muche thonk : 
He dronk of that wyn rede, 
Tlie coppe he putte undur his grede. 
Theo coppe was of red gold ; 
A botileir hit hath al byholde. 
And tolde Darie al the sothe, 4190 

And he bycom ryght wrothe, 
And saide, " Hath he do me that schond ? 
" Men schal speke of Grece londe, 
*' Of the vengaunce that he schal thole, 
*' Have he my coppe y-stole !" 
Theo botiler takith up his grede. 
And fynt theo coppe of gold rede. 
Darie to Alisaunder gan to sigge, 
" Fy, felaw, theof, thow schalt abygge ! 
" Y set th^ at table myn, 4200 

" For reverence of lord thyn ; 


** My coppe thow hast y-stole, 

" And undur thy barm hole. 

** Thow art y-nome hond-habbynde, 

" Thow schalt honge with the wynd !" 

Quoth Alisaundre, the kyng so heynde, 
*' Of thefthe Y wol me defende, 
** Ageyn knyght, swayn, and baroun, 
" That Y no am no laroun. 
*' Y come to yow on message ; 4210 

" And wende ye hadde soche an usage, 
" So haveth my lord in court his ; 
** For thy richesse, and for thy pris, 
*' That thow hast other to-fore. 
" Ac that honour thou hast lore. 
*' For, gef kyng sente, or kayser, 
" To my lord a messanger, 
" And he beo worthy, saun fable, 
*' He schal sitte at his table ; 
" And whan my lord him drynkith to, 4220 

" The coppe he schal to wille up-do. 
" Y wende ye hadde also, here, 
" Of oure court the manere. 
" Y am repentand, seth ye no doth : 
" For harme no dude Y hit forsoth." 
Darie, ihaugh he weore agramed, 
Of his onswar he was aschamed. 
Stille sate yonge and olde. 
And heo gonne him byholde. 


A knyght ther was, that hyghte Pertage ; 4230 
Alisaundre he kneow in the ^sage ; 
For he had ben in message 
At kyng Phelipp for trowage. 
He seith it Darrie under his hood ; 
Wei Alisaunder hit undurstood. 
Hit ran in Alisaundres corage, 
That qued of him reumed Pertage, 
And that he of him to Darie spak. 
Over theo table he leop arape ; 
Quyk in his way he him dyght ; 4240 

Darie after with al his myght. 
A sweord Alisaunder hadde, certes, 
That was to him faste y-gurd : 
Out he brayd hit in bond ; 
Non n'olde in his way stonde. 
He mette a knyght, with a spere. 
So God wolde, on a justere : 
He smot him swyftly in the swyre. 
That he laide his bed to byre. 
He schof him quycly adoun, 4250 

And leop himseolf in the arsoun. 
He smot the stede and he forth glyt. 

Alisaunder quyk away ryt : 
That day no schole they him take ; 
Darie gynneth after schake, 
Prynce and duyk, knyght and swayn, 
Dasscbeth after with gret mayn : 


Everichon they doth for nought ; 

Alisaunder hath theo water caught. 

Hit was brod, and highth Estrage ; 4260 

Deope stremes, and savage. 

He smot the hors and in he leop ; 

Hit was swithe brod and deop. 

Hors and kyng, with alle hater. 

Was auntred undur the water. 

Alisaunder to-fore no seoth : 

He was sore adred of deth. 

Nolheles, his hors was god. 

And keoverid up abowe the flod ; 

And swam to that othir syde, 4270 

There his knyghtis him dude abyde. 

Thay halp him up and his stede. 
And anon chaungeth his wede. 
Yette he hadde the coppe in hond, 
That he on Daries table fond. 
To his ost he farith, good skour, 
And tolde heom his aventure. 
Theo yonge therof hadden game ; 
Theo olde wyse nome hit agrame. 
And saiden wel, that cas 4280 

Of gret folye don hit was ! 

Darie hath y-lost his pray, ' 

Therfore he went to-day : 
Was him never er so wo ; 
For he hath y-lost his fo. 


Ageyn they wendith, lasse and more, 
For that eschape they beon anoyed sore. 
That nyght they token heore rest j 
Amorwe ariseth a neowe gest. 



Alexander encamps close to the river. Darius determines to 
attack him. Alexander, on the approach of tlie Persians, sets 
fire to his tents, and retires in apparent confusion. Having 
thus drawn the enemy over the river, he suddenly falls on them 
with his whole force. A dreadful conflict ensues, which is most 
minutely described. The Persians, having lost all their best 
officers, are totally defeated. Darius flies, with a few atten- 
dants, to a neighbouring castle, from which he sends a submis- 
sive letter to Alexander; who neglects to send an immediate 
answer. Darius, in despah; wi'ites to Pmnis for assistance. 
Two traitors betray this measure to Alexander, who imme- 
diately advances toward the castle. Darius, sends out his 
household troops, who readily sacrifice themselves in his defence. 
He mounts a horse, and flies toward Babylon, attended only 
by the two traitors, who wound him mortally, and disappear. 
Alexander, having pressed forward in pursuit of Darius, 
finds him at the point of death. He makes a supplicating 
speech to Alexander, and dies in his arms. Generosity of 
Alexander. Punishment of the assassins. 

Day spry ng is jolyf tide. 4290 

He that can his tyme abyde, 

VOL. I. M 


Ofte he schal his wille bytyde. 
Loth is gentil man to chyde. 

Alisaunder doth crye wyde, 
His logges set on the water syde. 
Quyk was don his heste ; 
Ther was mony tent hon6ste ; 
Mony gentil tent stod 
Bysyde on theo water brod. 
Theo kyng dude sette out his dragoun, 4300 

And on his tent a gold lyoun : 
Every baron, on his tent, 
Riche baners, and pencel gent. 

Darie hit wot by a spye : 
Among his barouns he doth crye, 
" As amies! as amies everichone, 
" And sle we doun ryght oure fone ! 
" Who so failleth at this nede ; 
" Mote he never in othir spede !" 
The knave greytheth the hors, and scrobbeth ; 43 10 
Theo knyghtis heore body dubbeth ; 
The waytes bleow, the belle rynges. 

Darie makith ten bataylynges : 

In every bataile xx. thousand 

Wei y-dyght, so Y fynde. 

They doth heom forth the contray to wreon, 

So that heo mowe heore fon y-seon. 

No mowe they firther, saun faile, 

Ben to don withoute bataile 


Mercy Jhesu ! on ows socoure ! 4320 

Hit farith by a mon so by the floure : 
Bote after, no may he dure, 
So glyt away, so doth the fure. 
Faire is lady in hire bour ; 
And so is knyght in his armure. 

Two hundred thousand buth in J)aries oste ; 
Among heom is muche bost. 
Alisaundre hath, saun faile, 
Y-clepid to him ten constables ; 
Antioche, the ostage, 4330 

And Gandyn, and Aymer of Cartage, 
Tiberye, Julie, and Perdicas, 
(Y kan nought all theo names ther was,) 
Tholomew theo marchal, and Clitoun, 
Mark, and Permeneon, the baroun ; 
And bad non have the rage 
Theo water to passe of Estrage : 
For who so passith, knyght or grome, 
He schal thole dethes dom. 

Ac everiche ageyn scholde renne, 4340 

So they hadde take fleme. 
" For, gef Darie, of Perce lord, 
" With his ost passeth this ford, 

" He schal beo kytted so an ape : 
" Oure bond schal he never scape ; 
" Ne non ost ageyns vs 
" Gadren more so vertuows." 


They drowe heom quyk undur a lowe, 
So they hadde alle y-flowe. 
They setten a-fuyre heore tentis, 4350 

And alond drowe heom, verrament, 
Salome theo smoke say ; 
He gan make gret disray. 
And gradde ageyn to Darye, 
" Sire, thow myght me here ! 
" The Gregeys havith heore loggis brent, 
" And buth, for ows, away y-eomd. 
" Anon passe we this lake, 
*' Theo cowardes fonde we to take ; 
" And to-cleove heore rygge, 4360 

" With scharpe sweordes egge." 

Quyk they smyten over the forde, 
Knyght, and swayn to-fore lorde ; 
Over they dasscheth everichon. 
And priked to sywen heore fon. 
They wende that they weore y-flowen : 
Nay, they fonde heom to heore owen ! 
Tho Alisaunder heom over hadde, 
** Ye beoth dede, tray tours ! he gradde. 
" Aiy ! he saide, aly biyve ! ^ 4370 

" No leteth non skape on lyve." 

He smot Persage that him bywryed, 
Theo spere was styf, and nought no beyghed : 
He karf his heorte and his pomon, 
A threow him over arsun ; 


And saide, " ly ther vyle bay ! 
" Schaltow never kyng bywrye !'* 

Ther ros soche cry, verrement. 
No scholde mon y-here the thondur dunt. 
Theo dust aros heom bytweone, 4380 

No myghte no mon the sonne seone. 
Ther was many sweord y-drawe, 
And many a god knyght y-slawe. 
Salom6 doth the Gregeys sore : 
With his spere he slow sire Nycanore. 
In Grece n'as better threo : 
Parmenies sone was he. 
Philotas that undurstod ; 
Cold and drury was his blod ! 
His sweord he bar in bond y-drawe, 4390 

With whiche he hadde mony y-slawe ; 
On his bed smot the egge. 
That he him cleof hito the rigge. 
Ded he is of sadel y-falle ; 
Perciens hit byweileth alle : 
Also Gregeys for Nycanore, 
In beorte haveth muche sore. 

Octiater sygh Salome y-slawe, 
(He was Daries brother in lawe ; 
He hadde y-wedded Jemeydas, 4400 

Daries suster heo was :) 
He was hardy mon, and strong ; 
He tok a launce, styf and long, 


He smot Helan, of Mede a duyk, 

Even to the navel thorughout. 

Theo spere to-barst, the knyght doun feol. 

Threo he slow with sweord thertil ; 

Nepon, and eke Pharmus, 

And Godlan ; threo riche barouns. 

Theo two weore in Grece y-bore amydde ; 4410 

Of Egipte was the thridde. 

This was to Grece a sory fall ! 

Ac hit saugh Tholomew the marchall, 

He tok in honde a red pencel, 

With a soket of kene stel, 

Octiater in the scheld he gret ; 

He perced armes and his heorte, 

And the pencel riche and god, 

!3athed in Octiateris blod. 

Tholomew him saide, snell, 4420 

" No schaltow more Gregeys quell ! 

" Octiater, thou hast y-brought 

" The tole that was at Grece y-sought !" 

Dariadas, Daries brother. 
He hadde y-slawe on and othir. 
Tauryn, and Hardas he slowe with spere. 
With sweord ryden he dud amere, 
In this strong fyghtyng cas, 
He mette with Dalmadas. 

There thou myght y-seo two knyghtis, 4430 

Doughtyliche togedre fyghte; 


With scheld wryen, with sweord assaile, 
Bytweone heom was strong bataile ! 
At the laste, Dahnadas 
Wan the hed of Dariadas. 

Wei smot Perciens, and wel smot Gregies, 
So doth Romayne, so doth Toskanters. 
The speris craketh swithe thikke, 
So doth on hegge sterre stike. 
Ther les child, and eke levedy, 
Hire fadir, and hire amy : 

Damyseles heore leman : 4440 

Theo man his lord, the lord his man. 
Meollen myghte, by the blod, 
Gryngen corn so by the flod. 
Twenty myle weyes and mo 
No myghte men astryde go. 
Bote he step on dede men. 
In dale, in downe, in wode, in fen. 

Archelaus, in this fyghtyng, 4450 

Metith with Alisaunder the kyng. 
With a spere he him grette, 
Ac hit brak ageyn his heorte. 
Theo hawberk was y-mad ful wel. 
That therynne myghte entre no steil. 
Ac Alisaundre him hitte bet, 
Ryght ageyns theo heorte put ; 
That the spere karf thorughout, 
Also thorugh a wollea clout : 


And kaste him over the stede croupe. 4460 

Tho gan Darie for to doute : 
Thousandes he sygh, him abowte, 
Ac none of heom was wounde withoute, 
Slayn weoren his freondes of mounde, 
And layn ded apon the grounde. 
His men conne abowte him flyng, 
For to have of him helpyng. 
Some byleved al abowte. 
Of some theo gottes hongyn oute ; 
And Alisaunder, on everiche half, 4470 

He sleth doun ryght so a raggid wolf. 
For muche sorwe him worth so wo, 
That his heorte nygh to-barst a-two. 
He smot theo stede with the spore, 
And fleygh awey so mon forlore : 
And whan the lord is y-flowe, 
Theo maigne is in much wo ! 
Everiche fondith, in uche half 
Of Daries ost, to save him seolve. 
And fleygh hider and thider, by every way, 4480 
And sechith divers contray. 
Alisaunder wel mony schencheth ; 
Theo moste perty heom seolve drenchith. 

This cas laste al til nyght : 
Alisaunder tho to reste is tyght. 
Darie the kyng is y-flowne. 
Toward Babiloyne his owne. 


In a castel he entred thare, 

That was y-cleped Melanare. 

So sone so he was alyght, 4490 

Y-swowe he feol to grounde ryght. 

Sawe Y never mon no kyng, 

Make so muche mornyng. 

For Octiater, and Dariadas, 

He saide weyl away ! and alas ! 

For Archelaus, and Saloni6, 

And for othir pryve maign6, 

He made so muche wo and reuthe, 

Y no may telle al in treowthe. 

Notheles, tho he up cam, 4500 

Counsaile of his prynces he nam, 

And sente to Alisaunder a wryt ; 

How hit saide herith hit : 

** O Alisaundre, the riche kyng, 
" Of alle kaysers maisterlyng ! 
" Darie, that was emperour, 
" Sendith th^ gretyng, per amour. 
" Gentil sire, in my sorowe 
" Forbeore me a fewe morwe ! 
" For ageyns th^ have Y no vygour ! 4510 

" Ded buth my prynces be atour. 
" Al youre hygh streynthe to honour 
" Power me hath made antur ! 
" Y geve yow Mede, withoute assoyne : 
" Theo tour, and the cites of Babyloyne : 


" Tyre, Numen, and Pamphile, 

" And into Ynde xx. score myle : 

" My riches, and my tressours, 

" And alle hath do myn autors. 

** Nul Y here byleve, saun faile, 4520 

" Ac fleo into the lond of travaile, 

" And there leve in peyne and sorwe, 

" With that ye me from deth borwe, 

" And forgeve me youre eovel wil, 

** And nought for this trespas me spil !" 

Kyng Alisaunder him undurstond. 
The lettres that come from Daries sond. 
Wroth he was, and hadde pyte : 
Ac for his grete autorite, 

He nolde anon geve men onswere. 4530 

That feol DSrie to lyves dere ! 

Theo messangers hem can gone, 
And no broughte onswer none. 
Tho Darie heold him bycought, 
That he hadde him so bysought. 
He sente message to Pors, 
Bothe on stede, and on hors, 
To the kyng of Ynde, and eke salueth, 
And on this manere heo doth 
Playned on Alisaundre, per maistrie, 4540 

Hadde him overcome thrie. 
And hadde take his londis, and slawe his freondis : 
And bysoughte heom, as heo weore heynde, 


To eche mon on hors geve he wolde, 

Fyve mark of red golde : 

Tho on fote scholde have threo ; 

And don he wolde heom fewt6 ; 

And have they scholde, notheles, 

Al heore wynnyng, and purchas : 

" And Y th^ byhote, by byleys, 4550 

" Bulsifall, with the riche hameys, 

" That better is then a thousent mark : 

" No kan his worthe discryve no clerk : 

" And, al that Y ever welde, 

" By trowthe of th^ Y wol hit holde." 

Whiles the messangeris weoren to Pors-ward, 
To Darie feol a chaunse hard. 
He hadde norysched traytours two 
In his court : so habbeth mo ! 
That on, was clepid Besas, 4560 

And that othir, Besanas : 
Theose heore lord bywreyde. 
And to Alisaunder saide, 
How Darie hadde y-sent to Ynde, 
After folk mony a thousand ; 
From Assire, Egipte also. 
Him scholde come people mo : 
And that he hadde y-geve the kyng Pors, 
Bulsifal his gode hors. 

Kyng Alisaunder furst hade y-ment 4570 

Him have forgeve his maltalent ; 


And wolde him, with gret honour, 
Have y-fonge in his amour. 
Now he is strongly with him wroth ; 
And hath y-swore his grete oth, 
No schal he twyes seo.the sonne, 
Ar he have him per-force y-wonne. 
He hotith his folk alle to bataile, 
His castel anon to assaile. 

Theose two traytours goth to-fore, 4580 

And seyn to Darie he is y-lore : 
For Alisaunder wol, or nyght, 
Breke the castel doun ryght, 
And take him with quyk vigour, 
For he hath sent after socour. 
Tho was Darie sore agast : 
He sente out his folk in hast. 
His pryv^ maign^, for to fyght. 
While he myghte him seolf dyght. 
They went out and ful wel foughte, 4590 

For of lif heom no roughte. 
Darie, the while, stal away. 
By a postome, a prive way. 
N'uste no mon his deolful cas. 
Bote Besas and Besanas. 
Theose riden him bysyde. 
Eovle chaunse heom bytyde ! 
Heo bothe, with scharpe speris, 
Heore lord gan thorugh beore ; 


And kast doun that gentil cors, 4600 

Adoun of his gode hors. 
Away thay gan flyng fare, 
Also theygh hit nought no ware. 
Foundelynges weore they two, 
That heore lord by-sayen so ; 
Therfore no scholde gentil knyght 
Never norische founden wyght, 
No beggeris blod brynge on hygh wyke, 
Bote he wolde him seolf byswyke ! 
Darie now lith on grounde, 4610 

In his body two dethes wounde. 
His folk weore sone, in that medldy, 
Parforce y-dryven al away. 
Alisander, in his disray, 
Fond Darie in a put, ther he lay. 
Anon, he lyghte of his hors. 
And tok in armes that gentil cors. 
Darie sith the kyng hit is : 

On kneoes he set up, y-wis, 

To him he heold his hondes tweye, 4620 

Also wel as he maye. 

And saide, " Gentil baroun ! here my cry, 

" On me that thou have mercy, 

" And graunte me soche beryng, 

" So fallith for a kyng ! 

" No tak thou never wreththe non 

" On sunful ttesch, no on sunful bon. 


" Burye me by kynges lawe, 

" No let none houndes me to-gnawe, 

" No the tyger, no the lyon : 4630 

" Y th^ byseche, gentil baron ! 

" And Y th^ byqwethe, by my lif, 

" To thy spouse, my gentil wif ; 

" And Y byqwethe to youre honours, 

" Alle my castelis, and my tours." 

(Al for nought was that cryeng. 

For he starf at the furste tidyng.) 

" Sire, he saide, kep childre myne, 

" So hit farith to honoure thyne. 

" Mede, and Perce, Y th^ byqwethe : 4640 

" No may Y longer lyve for dethe ! 

" No so longe hadde Y dured, 

" No hadde ye me thus honoured. 

" My spirit hath y-had vertue 

" And lif, thus longe, for joye of yow. 

" Mercy ! he saide, baroun gent !" 

With that word theo spirit went. 

Ac theo deol that Alisaunder made, 
No may Y nought fully rede. 
Darie starf in his armes two : 4650 

Lord that Alisaunder was wo ! 
He w rong his hondes, saun faile ; 
Ofte he cried, and ofte he uaile, 
" Y wolde Y hadde al Perce y-geve, 
" With that Y myghte have thy lif !" 


That ever hem hatid so the feondes, 
Now they buth gode freondis. 
Alisaundre his clothes to-tare, 
And to-diough his yelow here. 
His gentil folk aboute him come, 4660 

And from theo cors him nome ; 
And comforted him m faire manure, 
And amended his chere. 

Pays he dude anon grede 
To al Daries manrede. 
That body he ladde to Assire, 
And gentiliche dude hit atire. 
Theo bowelis weoren y-nomen out, 
And for-brent, withowte dout. 
Theo body was bawmed, and leyd in a schryne, 4670 
Of entaile riche and fyne. 
Alle his freondis, pore and riche, 
Weore ther sikirliche. 
Fairer, no with more worthe. 
Was never kyng y-brought on eorthe. 

Tho he was buried in gret honour. 
He nam Daries tresour, 
And pertid hit among his kynne. 
And among his owne men. 

Of heom alle he fong fewt6, 4680 

Servys, and eke lewte. 
What with gefthe and qweyntise, 
Al he wan to his servyse. 


His two dowtren, theo two swetynges, 
He maried heom to two riche kynges. 
His wif starf at the furste tidyng : 
Faire on eorthe he dude hire bryng. 
His moder he dude kepe so hende, 
Fair to hir lyues end. 

Whan he hadde y-stabled that lay, 4690 

Thus he saide apon a day : 
" Myghte Y wite who hit ware 
" That Darie thorugh with spere bare, 
" And slow him with double dunt, 
" Al for myn avauncement, 
" Y wolde avaunce heore cors, 
" And sette heom on hyghe hors, 
" And yiuen hem stele and baudry, 
" As men don the kjnges amy, 
" And lede heom theo cite al abowte, 4700 

" And do the folk to heom lowte." 

Tho this traytours herde this. 
They wente to keovere honour, y-wis. 
They come forth, and weore byknawe, 
How they hadde Darie y-slawe. 
Kyng Alisaunder heold his word. 
He herde how they slowe heore lord. 
He dude quyk harnesche hors, 
And sette theron heore cors : 
Hyndeforth they seten, saun faile ; 47 10 

In heore hond they hulden theo tailes. 


Of dieose bought was heore crouae : 

They weore y-lad abowte theo towne ; 

A withthe was heore stole, certes, 

With on othir they weoren y-gurte, 

As men heoni ladde abowte theo toun, 

Heo schewed folk heore treson. 

Men to heom threowe drit and donge, 

With foule ayren, with rotheres lunge. 

Tho this dispit was heom y-do, 4720 

Heore feet men kneotte theo hors to. 

To the gybet al quyk men tare, 

Hygh they weore an-honged thare. 

Thus ended the traytour Besas, 

And the traytour Besenas. 

The deuel of helle hem mote stike, 

Vche traitour that his lorde byswike ! 

From prynces may no man hyni warie ; 

And that ye see wel by Darye. 

His owen noryes to deth hym broughth, 4730 

Sore it myghte hem rewe in her thoughth ; 

For clerkes seyn, in wrytyng, 

That treson hath eovel eyndyng ! 
Now ye mote undurstonde, 

How Alisaunder secheth the londe. 

And makith his bailifs and justise, . 

And takith fewte to his servyse. 

Tho that weore Daries freondes, 

Love til him with heorte hende, 
VOL. I. N 


For the honour, after his lif, 4740 

He dude to him, and to his wif ; 

And for the vengeance of Besas, 

That he dude, and to Besanas. 

A\ aboute the proude riche 

He advaunced quykliche. 

And maketli pes, maugre to eche, 

Dar no man agein hym queche. 






Jr AiBE ben tales in compaignye ; 

Mery in chirche is melodye ; 

Yuel may the slow hye, 4750 

And wers may blynde siweye. 

Who that hath trewe amye, 

Joliflich he may hym in her afyghe. 

Y wot the beste is Marie : 

Heo us schilde from vylanye ! 

Now bygynneth the other partie 
Of Alisaundres dedis hardye ; 
How he wan Inde lond, 
Egipte, and eke Braumond, 
Albayne, and eke Taprobaunce, 476(J 

And the grete ylis of Meranse ; 


And how he bysette Tamyteys, 

With pilers of brass and botemeys ; 

And two-and-twenty regiouns 

Alle Menbrette naciouns ; 

How he hadde mony batailles 

With wormes, and other merveilles; 

How he slew Pors in the place, 

And how he was bygiled of Candace ; 

Of selkouth trowis, and of selkouth best, 4770 

Al yow schal telle the other geste. 



Alexander causes the tconders wkich he beheld on his march to 
be described by learned clerks. He marches in pursuit of 
King Porus, but is misled into the deserts by his guides. De- 
scription of India ; of the islands Gangerides, Polibote, &c. ; 
of the hill Malleus ; the country Pandea, inJiabited by Ama- 
zons ; of the Farangos, Maritiny, Orphani, the Houndynges, 
and nutnerov^ other fabulous nations. The perils of Alexan- 
der on his march, He encamps on the banks of a poisonous 
lake. Many of his mn die, but are restored to life by a herb 
pointed out by an angel. Number of the train and the army, 
of whom many die of thirst. They arrive before a town, the 
inlmbitants of which refuse them entrance. Two hundred 
young knights, sent by Alexander, are decoured by Hippopo- 
tami. Alexander orders tuJo hundred and fifty of the guides 
to be thrown into the sea, who are also devoured. A descrip- 
tion of the Hippopotami. Alexander marches forward. 

1 Hoo Alisaunder went thorough desert, 
Many wondres he seigh apert, 
Whiche he dude wel descryue 
By good clerkes m her lyue ; 


By Aristotle his maister that was ; 

Better clerk sithen non nas. 

He was with hym, and seigh, and wroot 

Alle thise wondres, (god it woot !) 

Salomon, that al the werlde thorough yede, 47 BO 

In sooth witnesse helde hym myde. 

Ysidre also, that was so wys, 

In his bokes telleth this. 

Maister Eustroge bereth hym witnesse 

Of the wondres more and lesse. 

Seint Jerome, yee shuUen y-wyte. 

Hem hath also in book y-wryte ; 

And Magestene, the gode clerk, 

Hath made therof mychel werk. 

Denys, that was of gode memorie, 4790 

It sheweth al in his book of storie ; 

And also Pompie, of ^ome lorde, 

^ude it writen every worde. 

Beheldeth me therof no fynder ; 

Her bokes ben my shewer, 

And the lyf of Alysaunder, 

Of whom fleigh so riche sklaunder. 

Yif yee willeth yive listnyng, 

Now yee shullen here gode thing. 

In somers tyde the day is long ; 4800 

Foules syngeth and makelh song. 
Kyng Alisaimder y-went is, 
With dukes, erles, and folk of pris, 


With many knighth and doughtty man. 

Toward the cite of Facen ; 

After kyng Porus that flowen was 

Into the cit^ of Bandas : 

He wolde wende thorough desert, 

Thise wondres to seen apert. 

Gyoures he name of the londe, 48 10 

Fyve thousande I understonde, 

That hem shulden lede ryth. 

Thorough desert, by day and nyth. 

The gyoures loueden the kyng noughth, 

And wolden have hym bycaughth : 

Hy ledden hym therfore als I fynde 

In the straungest peryl of Ynde. 

Ac, so ich fynde in the book, 

Hy were asshreynt in her crook. 

Now rideth Alisaunder with his ost, 4820 

With mychel pryde and mychel boost ; 

Ac ar hy comen to castel, oither toun, 

Hy shullen speken another lessoun. 

Lordynges, also I fynde, 
At Mede so bigynneth Ynde : 
Forsothe ich woot, it stretcheth ferrest 
Of alle the londes in the est, " 
And oth the south half sikerlyk, - 

To the cee taketh of Afifryk ; 
And the north half to a mountayne, 4830 

That is ycleped Caucasayne. 


Forsothe yee shullen vnderstonde, 

Twyes is somer in the londe. 

And neuer more wynter ne chalen. 

That londe is ful of al wele ; 

Twyes hy gaderen fruyt there, 

And wyne, and corne in one yere. 

In the londe, als I fynde, of Ynde 

Ben cit^s fyue thousynde ; 

Withouten ydles, and castels, 4840 

And borughs tonnes s withe feles. 

In the londe of Ynde thou mighth lere 

Nyne thousynde folk of selcouth manere. 

That ther non is other yliche ; 

Ne helde thou it noughth ferlich, 

Ac by that thou understonde the gestes 

Bethe of man and ek of beestes. 

That vs telleth the maistres saunz faile ; 

Than mighth thou haue meruaile. 

Lete we now Alisaunder in pays ride, - 4850 
And speke we of wondres that ben biside ; 
Listneth of wondres, and sitteth in pes. 
In Ynde is a water y-hote Ganges ; 
There ben jnne fysshes of strengthe, 
Thre hundreth feet hy ben of lengthe. 
In that water an ydle is. 
And in that ydle tonnes of prys. 
To bataile may the kyng of that ydle. 
With foure and fifty thousand men ride ; 


Foure thousande on hors of prj^s, 4860 

And the other ben fote men, I wys. 

There is another ydle hatt Gangerides 
There ben jnne castels and of poeple pres j 
Hy beeth also mychel and bolde. 
As childe of seven yeres elde, 
Hy ne ben no more verreyment : 
Ac hy ben of body faire and gent ; 
Hy ben natheles faire and wighth, 
And gode, and engyneful to fighth, 
And have horses auenaunt, 4870 

To hem stalworthe and asperaunt^ 
Clerkes hy ben with the best 
Of alle men hy ben queyntest ; 
And evermore hy beth werrende, 
And upon other conquerrende. 
By the mone and by the sterren, 
Hy connen jugge alle werren. 
Hy ben the altherbest 
That ben from est into west ; 
For hy connen shete the gripes fleigheyng 4880 
And the dragons that ben brennyng. 
Hy ben in wode gode hunteres. 
To cacche bores and wilde beres. 
And ek lyouns and olyfaunz. 
The kyng of these sergeaunz 
May leden to bataille 
Two thousande knighttes sauuz faille. 


And seven hundreth olifaunz 

And fourty thousande redy sergeaunz. 

Noughth fer than so is Polibote, 4890 

The men of the cuntrere ben y-hote ; 
Hy ben fyne hardy men and wighth, 
And mychel connen of werre and fighth. 
The kyng of that ydle may, saunz faile, 
Thritty thousande gn hors lede to bataile, 
And sex hundreth on fote folk, non better shetynde, 
And olyfaunz y-armed eightt thousynde. 
Riche ben the ydles of Yndes cuntreye. 
Albaundres hardynesse may no man seye ; 
The whiche, oither bi strengthe, or elles by sum 
gynne, 4900 

All that he seeth thencheth for to wynne. 

Michel is the wonder that is vnder Crist Jesus. 
There biyonden is an hyll is cleped Malleus. 
Listneth now to me I praie for my loue ! 
This hyll is so heie that nothing cometh aboue ; 
The folk on the north-half in thester stede hy beth. 
For in al the yer no sunne hy ne seeth. 
Hy on the south-half ne seen sonne non 
Bot in on moneth, atte fest of seint John ; 
Thoo that woneth in the est partie, 4910 

The Sonne and the bote skye 
Al the day hem shyneth on, 
That hy ben black so pycches som. 


Thise naciouns ben outelyng, 
And in her owen yemyng. 

Pandea is a land fast there biside. 
There-inne is joliffe curteisie and pride ; 
Alle hy ben maydens that thereinne woneth ; 
Mannes compaignye certes hy shoneth. 
The quene of her londe so is 4920 

A damoysel of mychel prys. 
Faire and wel thise damoysels 
Loketh her cites, and her castels. 
The quene may lede to hire baners 
Twenty thousaude maidens upon destrers ; 
That conne on felde wel shake a spere, 
And stronge knighttes out of her sadles bere. 

A folk woneth biside thoos, 
That beeth y-cleped Farangos ; 
That haunteth wildernesse and forestes, 4930 
And nymeth thereinne wilde bestes, 
And flesshe hy eten raw and hoot, 
Withouten kycehen, God it m oot. 

Another folk hem woneth by, 
That beth y-hoten Maritiny. 
By the water is her wonynge. 
And hy libben al by fysshynge. 
Hy nymeth the fyssh, and eteth it thanne, 
Withouten fyre, withouten panne. 
Ne hebben hy non other fyre 4940 

Bote shynnyng of the sonne clere. 


Another folk there is next, as hogges crepeth, 
After crabben and airen hy skippen and lepeth ; 
Of thomes and busshes ben her garnement, 
And of holmen leues, I sigge verrayment. 

Another folk woneth there biside ; 
Orphan! hy hatteth wide. 
When her eldrynges beth eldc, 
And ne mowen hem seluen welde, 
Hy hem sleeth, and bidelue, 4950 

And the guttes hy eteth hem selue ; 
Tlie guttes hy eten, for loue fyne, 
And for penaunce and for discipline. 

Another folk there is acost, 
Stille men, withouten bost ; 
Whan hy seen seek her vryne, 
Hy nylleth seche no medecyne ; 
Ac from her frendes hy stelen 
And gon to wode and maken hem helen, 
And crepen there inne, andsteruen so, 4960 

Ne ben hy founden never mo. 

Another folk there is biside ; 
Houndynges men clepeth hem wide. 
From the brest to the grounde 
Men hy ben, abouen houndes. 
Berkyng of houndes hy habbe. 
Her honden, withouten gabbe, 
Ben y-shuldred as an fysshe, 
And clawed after hound, i-wis86. 


In wood hy woneth, god it woot, 4970 

And libben by the wylde goot. 

Another folk there is ferliche, 
Also blak so any pycehe ; 
An eighe hy habbeth and no mo. 
And a foot on to goo. 
With his foot whan hyt ryneth 
He wrieth his body, and wanne it shineth ; 
For his foot so mychel is, 
It may his body wryen, i-rwis. 

Another folk there is forthers, 4980 

That libbeth also palmers. 
Ac other mete thai ne habben 
Bot hawen, hepen, slon, and rabben. 

On the south side, there Ynde maketh ende, 
Woneth a folk wise and hende : 
Hy clothen hem with grys and ermyne 
With golde and siluer and skarlet pers fyne ; 
Faire vesage, and of face bolde ; 
Here hy habben yelewe so golde. 
Cites hy habben and castels plenty, 4990 

And eten and drynken of grete deynt^ ; 
None men in the londe of Ynde 
Ne fareth sq wel als ich fynde. 

Another folk there is bisyde 
That habbeth furchures swithe wide ; 
Eighttene fete hy ben longe, 
Swithe lighth, and swithe stronge. 


In the londe, by the forest, 

There hem liketh wonyng best. 

Barefoot hy gon withouten shoon, 5000 

Michel wiglitnesse hy mowen don. 

Every wilde dere astore, 

Hy mowen by cours ernen tofore. 

Wymmen theie ben mychel and belde ; 

Whenne hy habbeth ben of fiftene wyntre elde, 

Children hy beren verrayment. 

That ben of body fair and gent : 

Ac no womman of that contrey 

Ne lyueth no lenger, par ma fey, 

Then she be of twenty wyntres age, 5010 

For than she gooth to dethes cage. 

There biside is a folk ful wys. 
And proude men of mychel prys. 
Hy conuen hem shilde from al sorough ; 
For hy arisen erly amorwe. 
And gon to the sees stronde ; 
(On on foot al day hy stonde,) 
By the wawen, and by the sterren, 
Hy juggen thanne alle werren ; 
And hy connen by swiche boke, 5020 

From euery contek her londe loke. 
Thise men ban selkouthe wyues 
And childem bot ones in al her lyues. 
Alsone as that childe y-borne is 
It hath wytt or har I wys, 


And may speken to his dame : 
Now is this a selkouthe game. 

Another folk woneth hem bisyde, 
A riche folk of mychel pride : 
Of nynetene wyntres and an half, 5030 

Hy ben hore al so a wolf ; 
And when hy ben of thiitty yaar, 
Hy ben broun of hare, as hy weren aar ; 
And so ay, by the ten yere, 
The coloure chaunges of her here. 
None men so longe libbe 
As don hy and her sibbe. 

Off wonder folk yee habbeth y-hard, 
That woneth in this myddelerde, 
In a few ydles of Ynde. 5040 

Fele moo there beth bihynde. 
Ac a few wordes, with youre wille, 
Of Alisaunder ich wil telle, 
Thoo he rood toward Porus, 
His fomen wel malicious : 
Of bestes, of wormes in desert 
That he seigh with his eighen apert> 
And sufFred swych batayle so stronge, 
That slayn he was neigh hem among, 
He and alle his noble men, 5050 

Als hy riden from Facen. 
Day, and other, and thrid vpou 
Mightten hy fynde water non, 

VOL. I. o 


Bot wildemesse and non othere thing. 

Wei sore anoyed was the kyng, 

For he seygh his stedes honestes, 

Dromedaries, and other bestes, 

Tofome his eighen steruen for thurst ; 

Of all pyne that was hym werst. 

Natheles with all peyne, 5060 

He fonde therafter ane pleyne. 

Amyddes the pleyne was a laak, 

And the water thereof was blaak ; 

The water was ful of longe reede. 

The kyng there thoughth to bete his nede. 

The Sonne gan in the west helde ; 

The kyng there hete his paylouns telde, 

And forbed lowe and heighe. 

That non ne shulde, upon her eighe, 

Of the water drynk ne taste 5070 

Ar he had asked tryacle on haste. 

Of this water he proved siker, 

Ac there was never galle so bitter ; 

Ne had he had tryacle thoo 

Hadden hy never forther goo. 

Natheles al that ilk nighth 

He bileued there righth. 

Many of his men and bestes, 

Agein kyng Alisaunder hestes, 

Stelendelich dronken of this lake : .'080^ 

Wei woo was hym for thaire sake. 


Many there storuen ; so hadden moo, 

Ac a palmer there com thoo ; 

And taughtte the kyng an herbe take, 

With whiche he shulde hem hole make. 

The kyng with that herbe onon, 

Yaf hem bote everychon. 

It was an aungel, so seith the book, 

That the kyng the herbe took. 

Amorowe the kyng and his baronage 5090 
Wen ten forth in her viage. 
Of al that hy mightten riden ne gon, 
Water ne mightten hy fynde non. 
The Sonne and the dust aroos ; 
The kyng of his folk agroos, 
And for his bestes, par ma fey, 
That drowen and ledden his charrey : 
For neigh hy weren bothe for thurst 
Astrangled, and ek for-prest. 
It nas no wonder, als I fynde : 5100 

For of olyfaunz two thousynde 
The kynges golde and silver bare ; 
That was a ryche chafFare. 
Foure hundreth olifaunz baren his engynes, 
'Yo throwen with magnels to his wetherwynes. 
A thousand there drowen cartes longe, 
That ledden mete and armes stronge. 
Ten thousande mules the kynges tiesoure. 
On rewe, berande heuy soraers ; 


And fyve hundreth damailes of Asseries, 5110 

And two thousande dromedaries, 

And a thousand bugles of Ynde, 

And two thousand oxen, als I fynde. 

Withouten horses, withouten steden, 

Of whiche no man ne couthe areden 

The nombre bot the heuene kyng. 

That woot the sothe of al thing ; 

Ne of the kynges curreye. 

That lasteth twenty mylen weye. 

It nas no wonder though the kyng 5120 

Hadde doel and grete moumyng ; 

For of men on fote, als I fynde, 

He had thre hundreth thousynde ; 

And two hundreth thousande of knighttes. 

And thretty thousand stronge and wighttes. 

Many thousande of them there starf ; 

That thrust to the herte carf. 

Seuen nighth this thrust last, 

The more ne drunken ne the lest. 

At the seuen nighttes ende 5130 

A castel toun the kyng com hende. 
Theo he it seigh the kyng was blithe, 
And gan thider hyghe swythe. 
Men of the castel and wymman 
Bihelden that oost that to hem cam. 
For drede hy weren out of wytt ; 
In hy went and her gates shytt ; 


Her brygge hy drowghen blith, 

And bothe hem hyd, man and wyf. 

The kyng com thider with his oost, 5140 

And cleped and made grete boost, 

And asked water of the ryuere ; 

Ac. non nolde hym answere. 

With mangenels, ne with gynne, 

Ne mighth he on word y-wynne. 

The kyng hete onon righttes, 

Two hundreth of yonge knighttes, 

That weren in water wise, 

Annen hem in breny of yse, 

Withouten sotoned aketoun, 5150 

Oither plate, oither gaumbisoun ; 

With swerd y-gird, and with knyue. 

And into the salt water blyue 

To the castel, and ouer wynne 

For to wyte with sum gynne, 

What folk there weren inne. 

The knighttes stoden on heighe brymme, 

And lepen into the cees arme ; 

That was bothe reuthe and harme. 

S withe wightlych hy bigynne 5l60 

The thriddendale, and faire, swymme 

Of the water that hy were inne, 

Upberande faire chynne. 

Ac thoo hem aroos a vyle meschaunce, 

Kyng Alisaunder to gret greuaunce. 


Ypotamos comen flyngynge, 

Out of roches, loude nayinge, 

Grete bestes and griselich, 

More than olifaunz sikerliche. 

Into the water hy shoten onon, 517 

And freten the knighttes everychon. 

Alisaunder, the riche kyng, 
Thoo wep and made grete moumyng ; 
And of the oost the gentil njen 
Bigradden, and wepden her ken. 
The kyng in wraththe nyme dede 
Thrid half hundreth in the stede 
Of his gyouours, and therinne he cast. 
Hy weren freten alle in hast 
Of the wylde bestes ypotame ; 5180 

So is there hoten her name. 

The gode clerk, men cleped Solim, 
Hath y-writen in his latin, 
That ypotame a wonder beest is 
More than an olifaunt, I wis ; 
Toppe, and rugge, and croupe, and cors, 
Is semblabel to an hors. 
A short beek, and a croked tayl 
He hath, and bores tussh, saunz fayle ; 
Blak is his heued as pycche. 5190 

It is a beeste ferliche ; 
It wil al fruyt ete, 
Applen, noten, reisyns, and whete. 


Ac mannes flesshe, and mannes bon, 

It loueth best of everychon. 

In roche is his wonyying, 

In water and londe his purchaceyng, 

Botha hy eteth flesshe and fysshe. 

Of no beest drad he nys. 

Hynd and forth he toumeth his pas, 5200 

Whan he gooth on any cas ; 

That no man ne shulde y-wite, 

VVhiderward hy were biwite. 

Michel was the pleynt and the grade 
That the folk haddep y-made. 
Ac so he seighe none mendynge 
By the heste of the kynge, 
Thennes hy wenten withouten duellyng. 
And soughtten better soiournyng. 

J ^ 



'JTie host encamps near a river. Description of the feasting, 
which is disturbed by numerotu wildjteasts attacking the army, 
The King of the Albauyen sends valuable presents to Alex- 
ander, amongst which are two greyhounds, who put the wild 
beasts to flight. The host is assaulted by dragons, who are 
defeated by small adders; then by monstrous crabs, lions, 
tigers, wonderful birds, by fabulous beasts called deutigrans, 
by foxes f and other animals, 

Mery time it is in May, 5210 

The foules syngeth her lay ; 

The knighttes loueth the toraay, 

Maydens so daunceii and thay play. 

The kyng forth rideth his joumay. 

Now hereth gest of grete noblay ! 

Al day he rideth to mydouer-non ; 

Water mighth he fynde non ; 

Bot a fyssher in the cee 

He bad hym, par charyte, 


He shulde hem teche to sum ryuere, 5220 

And he shulde have gode here ; 

And he hem taughtte, ouer a wode, 

To fynden watres s withe gode. 

Al that day and al that nighth, 

Hy riden south-est righth. 

Bores, beres, and lyouns, 

Olyfaunz, tygres, and dragouns, 

Vnces grete, and leopardes, 

Youen hem many assaut hardes, 

And sloM'ghen many bolde and wighthes 5230 

Of kyng Alisaunder knighttes. 

Ac so hy comen ouer that wode, 

And founden watres swithe godp, 

There was talt many pauyloun 

Of riche sendel and siclatoun ; 

Many banere and banerett 

Was on pauyloun y-sett. 

The kynges ost lasted aboute 

Two and twenty milen withouten doute. 

The kyng dude onon afelle 5240 

Many thousande okes, ich telle ; 

Beches, birches of the fairest, 

And hete sette on fire on hast. 

Hy maden fyres vertuous 

Fyve hundreth, vche gret als an hous : 

For the kynge wolde haue swiche lighth, 

He nere bitrayed vpon that nighth. 


To mete was greithed beef and motoun, 
Bredes, briddes, and venysoun. 
The kyng of-sent erles and barouns, 5250 

For to sopere it was seysouns. 

Tofore the kyng honge a charbokel ston, 
And two thousande laumpes of gold and oi^ 
That casten also mychel lighth, 
As by day the sonne brighth. 
ITie glevmen useden her tunge ; 
The wode aqueightte so hy sunge. 
To a twenty milen aboute 
Of barouns and knighttes lasted the route. 
Also the kyng, and his meign6, 5260 

Gladdest weren and aveys^, 
Grete addren comen flynge, 
And scorpion with vile whistlynge ; 
Tygres, olyfaunz, and beres 
Comen flynge with grete heres, 
And assaileth, with cry and boost, 
Al Alisaundres oost. 

In this tyme, noughth fer thenne, 
Woned a kyng of selkouth menne : 
Hy ben y-cleped Albanyen, 5270 

Alle hy ben wighth men 
Her visages ben blew so Ynde, 
Swiche other men ne may me non fynde. 
Alle wolden-eighed hy beeth 
JKy nighth als a cat hy seeth ; 


Of foure feet hy habbeth the lengthe, 

And ben men of grete strengthe. 

The kyng dude by his mennes rede ; 

And to haue Alisaunder fiendrede, 

Of golde he sent hym a coroune, 5280 

And a swithe fair faukoune, 

Tweye bugle homes, and a bowe also, 

And fyve arewen ek therto ; 

In a cheyne of golde tweie grifhoundes ; 

Ne haue ich none swiche y-founde. 

Hy weren mychel als lyouns ; 

Of mete neren hy none glotouns. 

Thoo that broughtten this present, 

With faire giftes ayeine were went. 

Now ariseth cry and boost, 5290 

Among Alisaunders oost. 
Of scorpiouns and addres, with her speres. 
Of tigres, olifauntz, lyouns, and beres. 
That mychel of Alisaunder folk to-tereth ; 
And with brondes and swerdes hy hem wereth ; 
And of the addres and scorpiouns 
Hy slowen a gret fuysouns. 
Ac the houndes of whiche we spaak 
Her cheyne bituene hem hy braak : 
That on lep on a lyoun, 5300 

And to ground hym threw adoun, 
And hym astrangled meigntenaunt. 
The other lep on an olyfaunt, 


And threw hym also to grounde, 

And strangled hym in iitel stounde ; 

And with how, and with cry. 

The otlier duden away fleighe. 

The kyng, and ek his meign^, 

Thereof hadden grete glee. 

The smale addren, of whiche we spaake, 5310 

Weren bileued att a lake, 

And dronke and wesshe hem satmz faile 3 

The kynge thereof had meruaile. 

Also the kyng was meruelynde, 
A cry he hereth gret byhynde, 
A gret noyse of ful soun, 
As al the werlde shulde adouu. 
Than comen dragouns flynge. 
Non of hem ne lyst synge ; 

Shelde and spere in honde hy toke, 5320 

Euery gan his heuede loke. 
Thise dragons weren of dyuers coloure, 
And foughtten ayein with grete vigoure, 
And slowghen of the kynges men 
Moo than an hundreth and ten. 
Thus thise dragons with thise knighttes 
Foughtten two tydes of the nighttes : 
And thoo comen the addren smale. 
Of whiche was first our tale, 
Ageins the dragons, and helden fighth 5330 

Another tyde of the nighth. 

i?:yng alisaunder* Sair 

Ahd ouercomen hem with maistrie. 

The kyng onon dude crye, 

That non mysdone hem ne sholde, 

As he sauen his lyf wolde. 

Thus the smale addren yeden and come 

Withouten harme of alle and some. 

Thoo was the folk to rest-ward. 
Ac now hem cometh a wonder hard j 
From the mountayn swyche a soun, 5340 

As al the werlde shulde adoun ; 
And fyre flyngynge also clere, 
As al the werlde were on fyre. 
Thoo nas there non of so good loos. 
That in herte hym agroos. 
It nas no wonder for dragouns it ware, 
Summe two, sumnie three heuedes bare ; 
Tliat grisely whistleden and blasten 
And of her mouthe fyre out-casten, 
Alisaunder and his knighttes of mighth, 5350 
Ayeins hem with amies gonne fighth ; 
And euerychon sloughen to grounde : 
That was a dede of mychel mounde. 
The kyng there les tuenty knighttes, 
And on and thritty of sergeantz wighttes. 
Ac joye hy hadden at the frome, 
That the deuelen weren ouercome. 

The kyng hym seluen seide thoo, 
" Here is now mychel woo 


" Resten we now for this nighth more, 5360 

" Ne shullen we tholen more sore." 

Hy token rest a litel wightth, 

^for-to it were ouer midnighth. 

Than there comen by on lowe, 

As al the wood shulde ouere throwe, 

Of wonder bestes many thousynde, 

Crabben hy oten als I fynde. 

Hy weren as mychel as bores ; 

Thoo was that folk agrised sores. 

Twelue feet hadden eueryche, 5370 

And als the deuel hy weren griseliche. 

Thise bigonnen that folk assayle, 

And bigonnen, grete batayle. 

Hy leiden hem on on side, on regge, 

W ith axe and swerde of gode egge. 

Ac hy ne mightten hem hirt verrayment 

Ne with swerd, ne with dent : 

For steel, ne yrne, in her swerd, 

Ne mighth hem percen hy weren so hard. 

Ac natheles in her hondon, 5380 

Hy henten grete fire bronden. 

And thorough that fyre and goddes mighth^ 

Hy hem sloughen dounerighth ; 

And wolden thoo have y-nome restes. 

Ac thoo come flyngende othere bestes ; 

White lyouns, than boles more ; 

That. folk was thoo adrad wel sore. 


The kyng vp lepeth and helpeth his men, 
And slowen hem by twelue and ten. 
The mest part thereof hy slowen ; 5390 

The other flowen away and drowen. 

Ac onon after that wonder, 
Comen tigres many hundre ; 
Graye bicchen als it waren, 
And fyre in her mouthes baren. 
That folk assaileden anon righttes, 
And many slowen of the kynges knighttes ; 
And foughtten with hem, par ma fay y 
For-to it were almest day ; 

And flowen thoo to her denne. 5400 

Woo was the kyng, and ek his menne. 
That ilk nighth, withouten jest, 
So woo dude the wilde beest. 

Thoo comen there fleyng sory foules 
More than colueren, ac hy weren foule, 
Hy weren blake fethered on the wombe, 
And rough on the rigge, als a lombe. 
He weren tothed als a man, 
And tressed in the nekkes, as a womman. 
Cry hy hadden als a pecok ; 5410 

Griselich was her flok. 
Thise duden the oost mychel noye, 
In the gravkyng of the daye. 

Thor comen there dasshyng bestes ferlich ; 
Man ne saugh neuere none swich. 


Hy ben y-hote deutyrauns ; 

More hy ben than olyfaunz. 

Blake heueded after a palfray ; 

Ac in the foreheuede, par ma fay, 

Hy have thre homes sharp and longe ; 5420 

And als a stede hy ben stronge. 

Thise haue the kyng assayle, 

And y-yoven hym grete bataille. 

An hundreth knighttes twenty and to 

Hy han hym y-slawe, and lesse ne mo. 

The kyng and his barouns mightty 

Of hem slongh two and fyfty. 

The othere part away hy dryuen 

Into dales and into clyuen. 

Hereafter, litel in a stounde, 5430 

Comen vp out of the grounde, 
Amonge the folk sodeynlich, 
Grete foxes, and griselich. 
By the membres and by the cors 
Hy biten bothe man and hors. 
Her bytt envenymed was ; 
Man ne beest non there nas, 
And he were of hem y-bite, 
Tliat he nas ded, God it wyte ! 
No man ne mighth hem sloo 5440 

Therefore hy duden mychel woo, 
And slowghen bothe man and beest< 
The kyng thereof hadde molest. 



Thoo comen there fleigheyng foules blake, 
And houeden on heighe ouere the lake; 
And of perches, and of savmouns. 
Token and eten grete foysouns. 
And thoo hy hadden eten ynowe. 
To the est-ward hy drowe ; 

And seighen these bestes hem amonge. 5450 

The foules weren of clawes stronge ; 
Vp hy spreden, and away hem bare. 
And tho delivered that folk of care. 
The kyng, and al his meign^. 
Thereof hadden joye and glee. 

VOL. X. 



Alexander marclies towards Bandas. He enters the town dis- 
guised, and confers with Porus, who delivei's him a cludlenge 
for himself without knowing him. Tfie ojinies drawn out on 
the appointed day. Porus is defeated and taken prisorier ; but 
obtains his possessions back from Alexander. Poj'us and Akx- 
under march to the world's aid, where they see two golden 
images, denominated Hercules' bounds. An old man gives 
him an account of the countries bordering thereupon, particu- 
larly of Est-Ynde, which Alexander determines to invade. 
His army embarked and landed at Yperoun. The king of the 
country makes peace with Alexandei: Account of the kingdom 
and inhabitants of Taprobane, and of the territories beyond it, 
Wondeiful adders, producing precious stones. Fartlier on 
the terrestrial Paradise. Alexander returns into Upper India, 
where he defeats the inhabitants. The host attacked by a 
motistrous beast, and by elephants, which are subdued. 

The Sonne ariseth, the day spryngeth ; 
Dewes falleth, the foules syngeth. 
The oost arist on erne morowe, 
That hath had a nighth of sorowe. 


Nov it is y-passed hy ne don thereof ; 5460 

Bot gamenen togedres, and ek scoff. 

The kyng forth went to Bandas, 

Noughth fer thenne to bocas ; 

He there was a litel while. 

Noil listneth of a queynt gyle. 

Porus the kyng had will with the mestre 
To wite of Alisaundres estre ; 
To wite his estre, and his beyng, 

Grete wille had Poms the kyng : 

So that the tale and the sklaunder 5470 

Com to kyng Alisaunder ; 

And swore onon, so most he thee, 

He wolde wite who was he. 

The kyng dude of his robe, furred with meneuere, 

And dooth on a borel of a squyer. 

And a lighth tabard, als I fynde, 

And trusseth a male hym bihynde. 

Upon a mule he went forth onon. 

And gynneth flynge gode score hir vpon, 

Forto he com to Bandas, 5480 

There the kyng Porus was 

In the strete conseilynde, 

With his riche folk of Ynde. 

Alisaunder cometh upon his mule, 

Bishiten and bydagged foule ; 

His mules sides al blody, 

And flyngeth gode skowr hem forby. 


Kyng Porus by his man 
Dude hym swithe clepe ayan ; 
And asked hym, whennes he was, and whennes he 
com ; 5490 

And he swore, bi Goddes dom, 
That he was of Grece a swayn, 
And the kyng Alisavndres chaumberlayn, 
Wexe to bygge in this cit6, 
Of whiche hy hadden scarsete. 

" Saye," quoth Porus, " what man is Alisaunder, 
That of loos bereth so gret sklaunder." 
And he ansuered, verrayment, 
lliat he was hendy, wighth, and gent, 
And he was a litel man, and an elde, 5o(X) 

And had on at the mete, for the chelde, 
Twoo thik mantels, y-furred with grys. 
" Certes, quoth Porus, ich am unwys, 
" Ne habbe ich y-take cit^ and toune 
" To his wille in [h]is baundoune : 
" Often ar this me agroos, 
" For man leide on hym swyche loos ; 
" Ac now ne shal I blithe be, 
" Forto ich hym mowe mete and see, 
" With suerd and shelde in batayle, dC>\(> 

" To proue his wightnesse saunz faile." 
To hym that rood, he seide thoo : 
" Ich me awonder by Seint Bardo, 


" Siththe that Alisaunder is so elde 

" Hou he dar, and is so belde, 

" And how he may and is so hardy, 

" Other kynges to don foly ; 

" Noughth on, ne two, ne thre, ac alle, 

" Nymeth perforce, and maketh hem thralle." 

The folk seide that abouten stood, 5520 

He ne had neuer so hardy blood. 
That he durst the kyng y-see. 
" Yis, quoth he that rode, so mote I thee, 
" He dar with thee speke, and ek y-seen." 
Quoth the kyng Porus : " Jeo croy ben ! 
" Ich wil thee yiue of golde a mark, 
" And a stede strong and stark, 
" By so thou wil, withouten ansuere, 
" To youre kyng a lettre here." 
And he hym graunted, God it wyte. 5530 

Tlie lettre was onon y-write. 
Kyng Alisaunder it underfynge, 
And golde and silver to medyng. 
He smoot his mule with sporen whate ; 
Bot whan he com to the gate 
To the porter he yaf the golde. 
And lete the mule gon where he wolde. 

On the destrer onon he slang, 
Als arewe of bowe forth he sprang. 
To his folk he com ful swithe, 5540 

And of his comyng hy weren blithe. 


He lighte and told his auenture, 
Hy lowghen and maden ennesure. 
Alisaunder the wryt behelde, 
And saugh therinne thretyng belde, 
And defyeaunce, the thrid day. 
That was his gamen and his play. 

The thrydde day wel sone cam. 
Kyng Alisaunder his armes napi, 
And armed hym ful wel, 5550 

And al his folk in ime and steel. 
So dude kyng Porus, saunz faile, 
And comen hem to chaumpe bataile. 
There was displayed many gounfanoun 
Of ryche sendel and syclatoun ; 
There was many riche stede, 
And many knighth wel ful of pride ; 
There was many faire justynge, 
Assailynge and defendynge. 
Ac natheles kyng Alisaunder with his man 5560 
Of Porus kyng the maistrie wan. 
Kyng Porus yalde his swerd to his honde, 
And to his wille al his londe. 
Kyng Alisaunder was has curteys, 
And graunted hym his loue and pays. 

Now ben the kynges men euerychon, 
And ek Porus al at on. 
Ac Porus and al his folk pard^, 
Ben of kyng Alisaundres meignee. 


Now went Porus, so I fynde, 5570 

With kyng Alisaunder ouere all Ynde, 

To shew hym the merueilynges 

Of men, of bestes, of other thinges ; 

And helpen wynne vnder nis honde 

All the naciouns of the londe. 

Of Bandas wenden thise kynges of prys. 
W ithouten noumbre her poeple is ; 
Neuer, in al this myddelerde, 
Nas so myche folk in on ferde. 
Hy passeden dales, hy passede pleynes, 5580 

Wildernesse and mounteynes. 
Hy comen to the on werldes ende ; 
And there hy founden thing of mynde : 
Of pure golde two grete ymages 
In the cee stonden on brasen stages ; 
After Ercules hy weren y-mad, 
And after his fader of golde sad. 
Ercules was whilom a man, 
That non ne mighth stonde ayein. 
Thider he wan the middelerde, ' 5590. 

By maistres, be werres he conquerde. 
He sette there ymages of moundes, 
That men clepeth Ercules boundes. 
The kyng and his folk, saunz faile. 
Thereof hadden grete merueile. 

Kyng Alisaunder asked onon, 
Yif hy mightten forther gon ? 

232 KYN6 ALlAtNI)i!ft. 

A cherle him ansuered ayeinwaid ; 

(To his nauel penge his herd ; 

He was also blak as pycche, 5600 

And had a face wel griseliche ;) 

" Sir," he seide, " south hiderward 

" Is the eude of myddelerd ; 

** A west-half, yee mowen y-see, 

" The waye lithe into the rede cee ; 

" A north-half ne mowen yee noughth y-passe 

" For deserte and wildernesse ; 

" For tygres, bores and lyouns, 

" Addres, quinres, and dragouns 

" Wolden this folk mychel and lyte, 5610 

" Envenymen and abite. 

" Ac hiderward, sir, into the Est, 

" The waye is sikerest and best. 

" Thiderward is Est-Ynde ; 

" Foure and fyfty kynges thou mighth fynde, 

" That noither of thee ne of Pore, 

" Ne helden tale, lesse ne more ; 

" Withouten ydles that there ben inne, 

" That qued and stronge ben to wynne. 

" Noither for Ercules, ne for Liber 5620 

" Ne dursten neuere comen ther. 

" Two somers and two wyntres in on yare, 

" Verreyement, hy habben thare. 

" Yperens hatte her hauene. 

" A lie hei gorgen as a rauene ; 


" Grete men and blake hy ben. 

** Yif thou desirest merueiles to sen, 

" There yee mowen merueile y-fynde, 

" More. than o wer elles in Ynde. 

** The wynde you may theder blawen, 5630 

" In lesse than in twenty dawen. 

*' An Emperoure y-hete Lybertyne, 

" A strong knighth hardy and fyne, 

" Thider passed and al this fonde. 

" Al it is sooth ich understonde." 

Kyng Alisaunder onon heet 
Greithen his shippe, swithe and skeet. 
Dromuns, botes, and barge 
With man and beest he dude charge ; 
And seileden wel swyftely est : 5640 

Al the cee ferd, as a forest. 
The fourtenthe day hy comen to Yperoun ; 
There hy founden a fair cit^ toun, 
There hy founden folk of strengthe. 
The londe is seuen thousande mylen of lengthe, 
And foure thousande mylen of brede. 
The kyng of the londe dude by rede, 
And made with kyng Alisaunder peys, 
And yaf hym yiftes of nobleys. 
Verrayment there ne groweth no whete, 5650 
Ne other corne, hot spyces swete. 
Thereof hy maken her breed, 
And drynken wyne white and red. 


Eueryche man and eke womnian 

Of the londe of Taproban 

Of an hundreth wyntres ful libbeth the dawe, 

Bot hy ben of fomen y-slawe. 

Hy ben y-clothed in alle wones, 

In golde, and siluer, and precious stones. 

It is boystous folk nathelas, 5660 

Michel folk, and griselich of faas. 

The kyng had with hem many fest, 

Svvithe riche and ek honest. 

Forther than into the Est, 

Was no wonyng bot wilde best. . 

Addres with foure hedes and dragomis, 

Gripes, tygres, and lyouns ; 

And a maner folk there is y-founde. 

That men hem clepeth cee-hounde. 

The addres shiteth preciouse stones. 5670 

Listneth now for the nones. 

In shynyng of tlie sonne, whan Marche blaweth, 
The addres upward hem thraweth, 
And to-cleueth wombelyng, 
Ayeynes the sonne shynyng ; 
And conceyueth of the sonne, veire, 
By nature of the wynde and eire ; 
And yif of fele hiwe is the eyre. 
So shullen the stones ben, in veyre : 
Swich is this addres kyndlyng, 5680 

Preciouse stones withouten lesyng, 


Jacynkte, piropes, crisolites, 
Safyres, smaragdes, and margarites. 

Beyonde the dragouns, gripes, and beste, 
Paiadys terrene is righth in the Est, 
Where God Almightty, thorough his grace, 
Fourmed Adam our fader that was. 

The kyng thennes went forth, 
Ayein into Ynde in the north, 
That is y-cleped, als I fynde 5690 

In the book, the vpper Ynde. 
Thoo he com, with his compaignye 
Al the londe he fonde y-wrye, 
With armed men, riche and pouer, ; 

Kynges, dukes, on and other. 
That hym and hise with swerd gretten 
And with sharpe launces metten. 
And of yonge knighttes sloughen the floure ; 
The kyng therfore was in doloure. 
Hy maden her armes envenymed ; 5700 

He that was take of deth was lymed. 
Alisaunder waxe wrooth and gan hym bistere, 
And eke alle his gode fightteres, 
Thise folk to-hewe and slough e. 
Mo thousandes than ynowe. 
And ouercomen hem at the last. 
The remenaunt than fleigh on hast, 
Bisiden into a riche cit^. 
The kyng hem bishette withoutteu pit^ ; 


And in on nighth, by oij metyng, 57 10 

Yaf al his folk botyng. 

Onon after that cit^ he feld 

And al that folk anon queld. 

Childe in cradel, man ne wyf, 

Ne lete he neuere on a lyf. 

Forth went the kyng wondres sekynde : 
A griselich hest he gonne fynde ; 
So mychel seigh he neuere, ne non swiche ; 
Two heuedes it had wel ferlich, 
To a cokedrill that on was liche, 5720 

That othere the moneceros selcouthliche. 
His rigge was bristled as with sharp sithen ; 
Toeth he had so wrethen writhen ; 
Eighen he had so brennyng bronde ; 
And two knighttes of Grece londe, 
At the first assaut, he slough. 
The kyng, ne non of his ne lough. 
Ac hy it smyten myche and lyte, 
And non arme nolde byte 

In that beest, so mote I lyuen ; 5730 

And hy it away tofor hem dryuen. 

Forth went the kyng thennes with hy ; 
Of the forme-ward he herd grete cry 
For hy weren assailed of olifauntz. 
The kyng highed, and his sergeaunz ; 
Ac, so I fynde on the book, 
By Porus conseil hogges hy took, 


And beten hem so they shrightte. 

The olyfauntz away hem dightte ; 

For hy ne haue so mychel drade, 5740 

Of nothing as of hogges grade. 

Nyne hundreth and eightte hy slowghe ; 

And quyk thai lokeden therof y-nowe 

To seruen hem in batailles, 

And to beren her vitailles. 

The Sonne loweth and west helt, 

Tlie kynges pavylouns there men telt, 

And token hem there herberewe, 

For- to the sonne ryse amorowe. 

God make alle soon blithe, 5750 

Who so wil lystne and lithe. 

The most wonder ye mowen vnderstonde. 

That ben y-founde in Ynde londe. 



Alexander finds a nation living in the water. He arrives on the 
Ganges, and marches to a city, the gates of tohich are shut against 
him. Alexander leaps on the wall to reconiuntre the town, btU 
is pulled in by hooks. He d^ends himself, is tcounded, and in 
great peril. Perdicas leaps from the wall and comes to his 
assistance. The city is stormed by the army, taken, and 
burnt. Alexander visits all the Indian isles. Description 
of the Isle of Bramande. He is preparing to go against 
France, Germany, Ergland, ifc. wlien he is informed of the de- 
scendants of Nimrod in Taracun, and by an old man advised to 
march against them. 

In tyme of heruest mery it is ynough ; 
Peres and apples hongeth on bough. 
The hayward bloweth mery his home ; 
In eueryche felde ripe is come ; 
The grapes hongen on the vyne : 
Swete is trewe loue and fyne. 

Kyng Alisaunder amorowe arist ; 5760 

The Sonne dryueth away the myst. 


Forth he went ferre into Ynde, 

Moo merueiles for to fynde. 

Hy founden many lake and pett, 

AVith trowes and thornes byshett ; 

Withinne grene and mychel weed, 

Waterkressen and heighe reed. 

There hy seighen men, ich wil avowe, 

And wymmen as beres rowe ; 

Bristled hy weren as hogges, 5770 

And stynken as water-dogges. 

In the water hy swymme and yede ; 

Ypotami hem leued myde ; 

A He hy lyueden by raw fyssh. 

Tho hy seighe that folk, I wys, 

Hy pluniten doune, as an doppe, 

In the water, at on scoppe. 

Thoo hy plumten the water under, 

The folk had of hem grete wonder. 

Forth went the kyng and al his folk apert, 5780 
Wondres to seen in the desert, 
And entreden, toward the west. 
Into a swithe fair forest, 
And fomiden appel, trowes, and fygeres, 
Peryes, cypres, and olyuers. 
That weren thre hundreth feet longe : 
There was mery foules songe. 
The shadewe cast two mylen wayes j 
Thoo weren trewes of nobleyes. 


There biside, withouten lees, 5790 

Hy founden a water y-hoten Ganges. 
There ben jnne eles strong, 
That beth thre hundreth fet loi^e ; 
Hy habbeth in hem hondes two. 
With which hy don mychel woo. 
Olyfauntz and knighttes in hy drowen, 
And in the water som slowen. 
There hy seighen a selcouth folk 
Al day pouren in the walken. 
And al day men on fote stondynde, 5800 

And neuere wery so I fynde. 
So hy ben delited in that art 
That wery ne ben hy neuere cert. 

The kyng and hise wenten forth 
Into the est, into the north ; 
Als fer as hy for water mighth, 
Ac of wondres nadden hy more sighth, 
That any tale be of to telle ; 
Bot of bestes and wormes felle, 
And of the wederes stronge, and tempestes, 58 10 
That hem duden grete molestes. 
The kyng lete the waye of the est, 
And by a ryuer toumed west. 
He was war of a cit^ wall, 
Swithe fair and stronge withall. 
Tbider hy drowen lesse and more, 
Hem of vitaile to astore. 


Ac the men of that cit^ 

Weren ful of iniquity ; 

And ronnen to her gates fas^ 5820 

And hem shetten wel on hast. 

Alisaundre, and his meygnee, 

Comen, and badden hem entree, 

Ac non ne welde ansuere a word, 

Noither to men ne to lorde. 

The kyng of his stede alighth 
And steegh on the wal anon righth, 
And loked ouer what hy dede. 
Hy weren redy in that stede, 
Als I fynde on the boke, 5830 

And plightten hym in with ymen hoke ; 
And laiden hym on with swerd and batt. 
The kyng was neigh al to-flatt, 
Er he west where he was. 
The kyng rekowered nathelas. 
Vnder shelde he gan hym were, 
And wel swiftely hym bistere ; 
Smoot and leide on with mayn. 
And slough a rawe two duzeyn ; 
And maugre the teeth of hem alle, 5840 

Sette his rigge to the walle. 
That folk grete assaught hym yaue. 
With swerdes, axes, stones, and staue, 
Woundeden, felden, and sore hym hirten : 
His woundes bledden, his dyntes smerten, 

VOL I. 9 


That he greiited als a bore, 

And deled many a dynt sore. 

Of siimme he karf h^ued of, of summe arme. 

Of summe foot and legge, it nas non harme. 

He slowgh an hundreth in rawe, 5850 

That at his feet laien y-slawe. 

The prince of the cit^ seigh this, 

And com flynge onon, I wis, 

With a launce on his hors, 

And smoot Alisaunder thorough the cors. 

And braided hym doune on knee to grounde. 

The kyng swoghened for that wounde. 

And liastilich hymself aweightte. 

And the launce out pleightte. 

And lepe on fote with swerd of st^l, 5860 

And gan hym were swithe wel. 

Ac vnnethe on his feet he stood. 

He had bled so mychel blood ; 

And the folk hym leide on, ay the lenge the more, 

Byhynde, and biside, and also before. 

In the ost withoute a noble duk was. 
That was y-hote Sir Perdicas ; 
This on the wal steigh on heigh, 
And al his lordes tourment seigh. 
Anon he lepe doun of the walle, 5870 

Amonge the kynges fomen alle ; 
And with his swerd, sharp y-grounde. 
He yaf maaiy a dedly wounde. 


Sixty swithe and therto fyue 

He byname the dayes of lyue. . 

Ac for sothe, ne had he so y-come, 

The kyng had ben slayn, oither y-nome. f^ 

Wharfore kyng Alisaunder ouer than, 

Loued sir Perdicas ouere all his man ; ^ 

And made hym his heire sethe, 5880 

Ouere al Grece in his dethe. 

The kyng is bicomen fiers and lighth, 
And wightly ayeins his fomen gan fighth ; 
And Perdicas feyned noughth, 
For als a wode lyoun he faughth* 
The kynges oost that withouten was ^ 

Hadden aspyed al this cas, 

And broughtten gynnes to the walle, 
Houen, shouen, and drowen alle ; 
And maugre Picard and Bretoun, 5890 

Breken there the wal adoun ; 
And in flunge in litel stounde, ,. 
And laiden al that folk to grounde, 
Ac Alisaunder his owen honde 
Biheueded the prince of the londe ; 
And sithen, withouten any pyt^, 
Sette on fyre that cit^ ; 
And forbrent it more and lesse, 
And made therof wildernesse. 
There, beside his pauylouns, 5900 

Weren y-tolde by dales and dovnes. 


The kyng there soioumed to he was hoole. 
To hardy man wel ofte is foole : 
So had the kyng y-ben neigh ; 
Ac God him sent help from heigh. 

Tho the kyng was hool, and wel y-doughth. 
Mo woudres he hath y-soughth. 
Euerych ydle, eiieiych contrey 
He hath y-soughth, par ma fey. 
An ydle he passeth, y-hote Perfiens, 5910 

And Gangeridas, and Gai^iens, 
An ydle y-hote Cormorans, 
And a stronge ydle y-hote Bramans. 
Mychel he hym pyned er al this londe 
He haueth y-wonne vnder his honde. 

Ich wil you telle what men ben in Braraande, 
Yif yee willen vnderstonde ; 
Hy ben men withouten doutaunce, 
Of hard lyf and stronge penaunce ; 
Hy ne eten bot gresses rote, 5920 

And fruyt of trees and herbes swote. 
Thinnelich hy beth y-hatered 
And drynken of the broune water ; 
Hy ne eten of oxe, ne of swyne, 
Hy ne drynken of ale, ne of wyne ; 
Ne hy ne han boures, ne halles, 
Ne casteles, with heighe walles ; 
Bot in trowes, and in denne, 
And iu roches holed withinne. 


Theieinne is her wonyghing. 5930 

Hy ne eteth non othere thing 

Than the erthe youet, withouten tallyng, 

Bereth notys, rotys, and other thing. 

In penaunce sikerlyk ': 

Hy don hem brenne also quyk, 

For her mysdede and for her synne, 

The ioye of Paradys to wynne. 

Forth went kyng Alisaunder this vyage ; 
Ne fyndeth he kyng ne baronage 
No whare in the londe, 5940 

That he ne falleth to his honde. 
Thoo had kynge Alisaunder y-ment, 
By al his baronage consent^ 
The cee haue y-passed ayein, 
And werren upon Fraynsshe men, 
Alemanns, and ek Englysshe, 
Bretons, Yrissh, and Denmarchisshe. 

Tho com there goande a man ferlich. 
Also blak as any pycch, 

Caluz was his heuede swerdy 5950 

And to his nauel henge his herd. 
He ne had noither nekke, ne throte, 
His heued was in his body y-shote ; 
An eighe he had in his vys. 
And a foot, and no moo, I wys. 
He was rughher than any ku, 
And spaak als an helle bu ; 


And seide to kyng Alisaunder, 

** A pese nys worth tlii riche slaunder, 

** Bot thou passe here forth, 5960 

" Ouer the cee righth in the north ; 

*' Thou shalt there fynde kynges felouns, 

" Ful of malice and traisouns. 

" Of the kynde Nebrot the traitoure, 

" That in Babiloyne made the toure, 

" After the grete Noos flood, 

" That fele mylen in heightte stood, 

*' And thorough Goddes ^vieche shoten away, 

" Into that vile countreye. 

" That is y-hote Taracun, 5970 

" In the werlde nys non so felun ; 

" For hy libben by addren, and snaken, 

" And wormes, that hy mowen taken. 

" Mannes flesshe, and mannes blood, 

" That hem thinketh swete and good. 

** Al thing ayeins kynde, 

" That hem thinketh good and hende. 

" Many man bitwene Gog, 

" Thou shalt fynde, and Magog, 

" That thou, ne none swyche, 5980 

** Neuer [founde] in no kyngriche. 

" Mowen hy, and her sybbe, 

" Her wille have and longe lybb, 

" Alle the werlde ne shull hem were, 

" That hy ne shulle hem with tooth tere ; 


" Ac yifthou wilt habbe maistrie ^ 

" Of loos and prys, thider thou highe, 

" And thou mighth there, by bataile and gynne, 

" Of al the werlde mest loos wynne !" 



Alexander announces to his army his intention of leading them 
against certain monstrous races of men. Sends for recruits 
throughout all his dominions. List of nations comprehend- 
ed in his army. He embarks his troops, and sails to Ta^ 
nuounte. The inliabitants retreat to the marslics, from 
whence they slay many of his men. He prepares hurdles, on 
which his troops Jight to advantage. He continues his march 
to Taracounte (the capital of the land of Magogas) and finds 
the people to be a monstrous species of cannibals. Being <n- 
ofrle to subdue them, he retires to a mountain named Mount 
Celion, makes a sacrifice, and is inspired with a device for the 
accomplishment of his purpose. He is directed to a marvellous 
people somewhere between Egypt and India, who inhabit tlie sea, 
and possess a material for building which hardens under water : 
the place of their residence is called Meopante. He descends 
with them under the sea ; stays with them half a year, obtains 
the miraculous clay, and blocks up the port of Taracounte in 
the sea cf Calpias, (probably the Caspian) so that the vari- 
ous monsters in human shape who inhabit that country shall 
never break forth till the arrival of Antichrist. Alexander 
then proceeds to visit many extraorditutry nations in the neigh- 
bourhood of Egypt, the Garmaciens, the Sorebotes, the Azachy^ 
the Sanberies, the Mauritimi, the Agofagi, the Macropy, the 
Orisine, the Auryali, the Garranians, ifc. all of whom are 
particularly described. 

MuRY hit is in halle to here the harpe, 5990 
Theo ihynstral syngith, theo jogolour caipith ; 


Yet thoughte mury kyng Alisaunder, 
Of uncouth loiidis to here sclaunder. 
Loude he counsailith, anon ryghtis, 
To his dukes, barouns, and knyghtis. 

** Listenith," he saide, " gode lordynges ! 
" Ye haveth y-herd selcouth tidynges 
Of the foule folk, and felle, 
" That buth of the kuynde of helle ; 
" And also houndes buth unkuynde, 6000 

" That wollith frete monnes kuynde. 
" Al that we havith wonne and wrought, 
" Y no holde hit for nought, 
" Bote we mowe heom wynne, 
" With bataile or with gynne. 
" Wyde we haveth y-gone, 
" And feole londes wyde wonnen : 
" Helpeth now, for my love, 
" We niyghte that folk beo above ; 
" And youre mede schal riche beon, 6010 

" For al Y wol departe yow bytweoue ; 
" Bothe lond, and eke juwel, 
" That everiche nion schal beo paied ful wel." 

Tlie barouns gaven counsail hende. 
And saide they wolde with him wende, 
Wyde and syde to his wille, 
That wickid folk for to spille. 
Here-to-fore ye haveth herd. 
Of tlieo kyngis ost how hit ferd 


That amounted fyve hundrod thousand 6020 

Knyghtis to armes, so Y fynde, 

Withowte pages and skuyeris, ' 

Divers gyours, and sumpteris, 

That no mo no myghte telle, 

Bote the Lord of heoven and helle. 

Now wol the kyng'eche his est. 
Feorre aboute, and eke acost, 
He sente his messangers bet, 
Me scholde him socoure sende skit. 
Now, ye mowe undurstonde, 6030 

That folk of divers londe, 
That to him cam, how feole ther ware. 
God ows schilde al fro care ! 

From Mede him cam thousandis ten, 
Of armed knyghtis noblemen ; 
From Capadose, withowte no, 
Him cam of knyghtis thousandis two ; 
And of Assyre thousandis sixe ; 
(Now bygynneth his ost to waxe,) 
And from Aufryk, thousandes seoven, 6040 

Of the beste undur heoven ; 
Of Perce seolf, thousandis eyghte, 
Him cam of swithe noble knightis ; 
Of Babiloyne, and Esclanomye, 
Fyf thousand of wyght chivalrye. 
Thider cam theo queue of Chichis, 
With ten thousand maidenes of pris, '< 


That nW never overcome, 

Bote of Alisaunder theo gode gome. 

Thider com, withowten assoyne, 6050 

Two quenes of Amazoyne, 

With twenty thousand to hire ban6re, 

Faire maydenes of whyte chere, 

That weore wyght in bataile, 

And comly in bed, saun faile. 

Of Grece, and also out of Ynde, 

Him cam thrytty thousand. * 

So muche folk, in on ferde. 

Was never yet in this myddel erd ! 

Tho the kyng this of-sygh, 6O6O 

In heorte he hadde joye. 
He schipeth heom in schipes cayvars. 
In dromondes, and in lumbars. 
They drowe up sail, and wente forth. 
To Taracounte, ryght north. 
Theo folk of that lond herde the sclaunder, 
That to heom com Alisaunder ; 
They haden wallid cite tovmes. 
In dalis, and eke in downes. 
And calke trappen maden ynowe, 6070 

In weyes undur wode and bowe, 
Alisaundris men to aqwelle, 
And synfulliche heom to spille. 
And into theo mores they heom drowe. 
To quede paththes, to quede slowe, 


For to skyke, and for to slene. 
Of kyng Alisaundris men. 

Kyng Alisaunder, and his baronage, 
Haveth y-take god ryvage. 

Whan they hadde reste a lyte, 6080 

Theo lond they wente to vysitte. 
They fonde narwe pathes, and lite fen ; 
Ageyn heom, mony thousand men. 
Bothe perty flang togedre, 
So doth the hail with the wedre. 
There was sone mony baner gode 
Y-wassche, and bathed in red blode : 
And mony corven sweord 
Made lady withowte lord : 

There was mony knyght y-slawe, GOQO 

And mony mon y-brought of dawe. 
Ac, for they weore in the fen, 
Kyng Alisaunder leoseth many men, 
Ac, allegate, the kynges 
Losen ten ageyns on in werrynges. 
This bataile laste a day ryght, 
Til hit com to derk nyght. 

Theo kyng hette Antiokon, 
That was maister of his barouns, 
Al the folk to the mont he ladde ; 6100 

He dude anon by the kyngis rede. 
He bleow his horn, his men he knawe, 
Theo folk gan to the mont drawe. 


Of hurdles of bruggen they made floras, 

And so they wente into the mores. 

Ther they foughte, and they slowe 

Mo men then ynowe, ' 

And bynomen that ilke men 

Theo mores, theo schawes, and the fen. 

Over dales, and over eleven, 6l 10 

To Taracounte, per force, they dryven ; 

Theo maister that ther was. 

Of al the lond of Magogas. 

Theo wayes weore so strayte, and fyle, 
That mon no hors, by twenty myle. 
No myghte come the toun nigh. 
To greven, or to don anoye : 
And they al day his folk to-drowe, 
Soken heore blod, heore flesch to^nowe. 
That ilke men of that lond , 6120 

Weore blak, so cole brond ; 
And teth haden yolowe as wax ; 
Every toth as a boris toxe. 
Rowgh they weore so a beore. 
They weore mowthed so a mare. 
Evetis, and snakes, and paddokes brode, 
That heom thoughte mete gode. 
Al vermyn they eteth, 
Bestes, men, al quyk they freteth. 
Everiche of heom lyth by othir, 6130 

Sone by modur, and suster by brother. 


So corny n they biith, y-wis 

Non u'ot who his fadir is. 

Al that imcioun of that lond, 

Weore fallen to heore hond. 

Two and twenty kynges, fram Gog, 

Alle what thon come to Magog. 

No mon telle no myghte 

Of heore folk, bote oure dryght ! 

The kyng was sory, saun faile, 6140 

That he no myghte geve heom bataile, 
Bote here and there, with skykyng ; . 
That was al to his leosyng. 
He saide, al that he hadde y-wonne. 
In the world undur the sonne. 
He n'olde geve a pynne, 
Bote he myghte heom wynne, 
Other destruye, othir afere, 
That they in this world no weore. 
For, moste they come to othir londe, 6150 

(Com, mete and drynk, and they founde) 
Alle the naciouns of the myddelerd 
They wolde do to dethes sweord ; 
And to-frete with heore teth. 
Therof Alisaunder sikir beoth : 
Therfore he bythoughte him iStreyte, 
By queyntise to don, other deseyte, 
Wher with theo world delivere he myghte, 
Of theose feoule unwreste wyghtis. 


He tok barounes mony on, 6 160 

And went to an hul they cleputh Celion, 
And ther, on Sarsynes wyse, 
Maden offryng and sacrefyse: 
And so longe criede and bade, 
That him com from heven, rade, 
How he scholde heom distroye, 
That they no scholde this world anoie, 
No in this worlde do evel chanse. 
Now bygynneth a god romaunce. 

A lond ther is, bytweone Egipte and Ynde, 6170 
(In maistris bokes as we fyndith) 
In an yle of water they wonith ; 
Queyntaunce of al men they schoueth ; 
For they woneth in water, y-wis, 
With eker and fysch. 
A clay they haveth, verrament. 
Strong so yren, ston, or syment. 
Therof they makith bour and halle. 
That never more no mowe falle, 
And wyndowes y-glywed by gynne, 6180 

Never more water no comuth thei-ynne. 
Schipes they haven, y-hote pyrites. 
In the water is heore gates ; 
Whan hit is ebbe, up they buth : 
Whan hit is flod, y-scheot they beotb. 
Heo buth )i-mad of oysers, Y fynde, 
And y-bounde al with tren rynde. 


Above, and byneothe, is heore heolyng, 

With botemay, that wol clyng, 

That no water, salt no cler, 6190 

Heom to derye hath no power. 

So we fyndith in oure bokes, 
By heore g}nnes, and hy heore crokes, 
So wyght undur the water they rideth, 
So ony schip above glideth. 
This yle is y-hote Meopante. 
The k)T3g thider message sente. 
And so spedde with his mede. 
That he hadde heore felawrede, 
Theo kyng was of hardy blod 6200 

With heom he wente undur the flod. 
He say the ekeris wonynge. 
And the fysches lotynge. 
How everiche other mette, 
And the more the lasse frete. 
Theo botemay of the see ther he kneowe. 
How the wynd ros, and how he bleowe. 
And the marches of the see y-wis. 
From helle al to paradys. 

Tho he hadde y-beo thare 6310 

The mountaunce of half a yere, 
He hadde y-purveyed, of that lond. 
Mony thousand schipe, Y undurstond, 
Ful y-charged of heore clay, 
Tliat me clepith botemay, 


That water none no may to-dryve. 

No iren, no steil, no metal to-ryve ; 

Ho so hit tempreth, by power, 

So hit askith, in suche man6r. 

Tho he to his folk come : 620 

Ther was joye bytvveone lord and gome ! 

Aswithe, the kyng gaf bataill 
Apon the Taracounte, saun faile, 
Of half his ost, and sum del mo, 
By sixty dawes, fourty and two. 
The whiles, he dude his entent. 
With help of heom of Meopent, 
To stoppe theo see of Calpias, 
Wher thorugh heo hadde heore pas, 
In and owt for to ryde, 6230 

And to robbe schipes in every side. 
And other men of divers lond. 
For to do wo and schond. 
And, owt of the lond no myghte schyp go. 
Bote bytweone roches two. 
So ahygh so any Hion myghte seone. 
That two myle was bytweone. 
The kyngis knyghtis iherwhiles dought. 
On the lond every day fought ; 
And he there caste botemay, 6240 

Of Meopante, that towhe clay. 
With pilers of matel strong, 
That buth an hundred feet long : 

VOL. I. K 


And made suche a strong muray, 
That nevere, til domes-day, 
Ther no schal schip out passe ; 
Neither more no lasse. 

Of that dede he was blithe ; 
On the lond he wente, svvithe, 
And dude perforce stoppe the pas, 6250 

That goth fro Taracounte to Capias. 
For ther was non othir wey, 
Bote over a mounteyn to the sky an hygh. 
This dude Alisaundre, per ma fay, 
Thorugh the koyntise of his botemay. 
He bysette the see and the lond, 
With botemay, and mace strong. 

Taracountes, and Magogecas, 
And a folk me-clepith Vetas, 
Al blak so cole-brond, 6260 

And rowgh as beore to the hond ; 
Turks he bysette with heom, 
Grete werriours, and doughty men, 
Schorte y-swerred, so Y fynde. 
And bouked byfore and byhynde. 
Dur^ves al so he bysette, 
Thikke and schort and gud sette ; 
Ac non so hygh, Y th^ telle, 
So the leynthe of on elne : 

Ac none betre Y no wot, 6270 

Than tliey buth, God hit wot ! 


Wolflynges they byset also, 

Merveillouse men buth tho ! 

Wolfus by the navel donward, 

And men thennes upward. 

By robbery they liveth, and skickyng ; 

In cleoves is heore wonyng. 

With heom he bysette a folke Gogas ; 

And al the folk of Crisolidas ; 

A folk of Griffayn, and Besas, 6280 

And xxii. other folk notheles. 

Everiche, fouler folk than othir : 

By the suster lyth the brother, 

And by the moder lith the sone : 

That is folk of foule wone ! 

Al this kyng Alisauudre hath byset ; 
Mowe they worse, mowe they bet. 
No comuth they thennes ay, 
Til hit come to domesday. 

Antecrist schal come thaime, 6290 

And cheose him so feole man. 
And schal falle, thorugh blanis myght, 
Al Alisaundres werk dounryght ; 
And alle theosje out with him lede, 
Al the world to muche quede. 
For tho that n'ul his men beon, 
With heore teth heo wolith to-teren. 

Now hath the kyng this in his rope. 
He schipeth swithe to Ethiope:. . .. 


For to seon that folk selcouth, 6300 

In diverse londes that buth kouth. 

Geveth listnyng, and buth now blithe ; 
Of wondurfolk ye may lithe. 
In Egipte is folk of selcouth kynde, 
In oure bokes as we fyndith, 
And buth comyn in lechure. 
So buth bestes in pasture. 
No mon no knowith ther other ; 
Fadir no sone, suster no brother. 
Oure boke saith that ilke men 6310 

Buth y-cleped Garmacien. 
Heo buth the lothlokest men on to seon, 
That in the world may beon. 

By heom woneth a folk wel strong, 
Everiche of heom xij. fote long. 
Wyde and long is heore furchur ; 
Sorebotes they hotith in lettrure. 

Another folk is bysyde this. 
That beon y-cleped Cenophalis. 
Non of heom never swynkith, 6320 

Ac eche of othir my Ik drynkith. 
No schule they ete elles Y avowe. 
So longe so they libbe mo we. 

Another folk ther is bysyde, 
Azachy men clepith heom wyde. 
Lyght men, withoute dotaunce, 
Olifaus is heore sustiuauuce. 


Olifans they eteth ; tberby they libbuth ; 
Fadir and modur, and al that sibbe. 

Anothir folk ther is, stronge men and foule 6330 
They buth long, and blak, and lokith as an houle. 
Tliey no haveth camayle, no olifaunt. 
No kow, no hors, avenaunt. 
On hond they creoputh, at o word, 
They n'ul have non othir lord. 
To him they maki;th gret honouryng, 
For heore lord and for heore kyng. 
Theose beon y-cleped Sanbereis : 
So in bok Y fynde y-wis. 

Another folk woneth therby, 6340 

That beon y-hote Mauritymy. 
Foure eyghnyn, by Godes grace, 
Eche of heom beorith in face. 
They buth archeris with the beste. 
And scheoteth theo gryp in his neste. 
Foul and deor, by nyght and day. 
They seoth to scheote alway. ' 
Alle they beon Sarasyns, 
And 'leveth on Bakus and Appolyns. 

Another folk woneth in the west half, 6350 
That eteth never kow no kalf, 
Bote of panteris and lyouns, 
And that they nymeth as venesons. 
Othir flesch, no othir fysch. 
No othir bred, heo no haveth y-wis.^ 


Feorne men, and othir therby,^ 
Clepeth heom Agofagy. 

A folk ther is byside, of swithe gret pris, 
They buth y-cleped wide Archapitis. 
None no may upryght stonde, 6360 

Ac they creopeth on fot and honde. 
Also bestis sikir they buth. 
And wanne the wenche that they seoth, 
They turaeoth theo wombe upryghtis, 
And so they haveth of the wenche sightt 
Anothir folk byside is, 

Visege after hound y-wis : 

And also bores, they buth rowe. 

And berkith as an hound, Y avowe ; 

Veolthe loveth al heore lynage. 6370 

Cinomolgris they hoteth in langage. 

Theose woneth in Ethiope west. 

Now lusteneth of the est. 

Fair folk woneth in the este ; 

Of al theo lond they lyveth best ; 

Clothed m scarlet and grene, 

Drynkith wyn, bryght and schene. 

Gorteise they buth of mete and drynke, 

Wyght in bataile, and to swynke. 

Kyngis they haveth of heomseolve, 6380 

And duykes riche mO than tweolve ; 

Eorles, knyghtis, and burgeys : 

Hit is a lond of nobleyse. 


Macropy is heore name ; . 

Of gret worschipe is heore fame. 

In heore lond is a cite, 

On of the noblest in Cristiant6 ; 

Hit hotith Sabba in langage, 

Thennes cam Sibely savage, 

Of al theo world theo fairest queue, 6390 

To Jerusalem, Salamon to seone. 

For hire fairhed, and for hire love, 

Salamon forsok his God above; 

And dude Mawmetis sothe servys ; 

Ther [he] dude noght as the wise ! 

Ac seththe he dude, verrament, 

Ageynes God amendement. 

Out also of that cit6 

Comen, on dromedaries, kyngis threo, 

That folewed Godis steorre, 6400 

And broughte gold, encence, and myrre ; 

And presentid oure Dryghte, 

In Cristemasse, on tweolthe-nyght. 

Tigris, a flum from Paradys, 

Cometh to that cite, y-wis. 

There is bysyde an yle wel heyghe, 

That brenneth bothe nyght and deyghe. 

And hit schal don, par ma fay j 

Til hit come to domes-day. 

Over that lond is bote desert, 6410 

To Paradys even apert : 


And ther byside, on the north-est. 

Both men off selcouthe gest. 

Tlie face of heom is playn, and hard, 

Al so hit weore an oken bord. 

Blak is heore visage, and liche 

Al so hit weore grounde pych. 

Eyghnen they haveth so arnement, 

And no nose, verament : 

Mouth they haveth gret, and wide, -6420 

And a tonge as a schyde. 

So God me helpe at my nede, 

Unlossom is that kynrede. 
Anothir folk byside is. 

With brod vysage, and playn, y-wis. 

Eyghnen they haven clere, 

In othir mannes manure ; 

Ac heo no hath nose, no mouth ; 

No toth, no lippe, (that is selcouth !) 

Bote a litel hole undur his chyn, 6430 

Wher heore M^nd goth out and yn. 

When they schule ete ought selcouth, 

A reod they putteth in heore mouth ; 

And they sowketh by the reod, 

Ywene hit beo mylk ; so God me sped. 

Tonge haveth they none, y-wis, 

To speke Latyn no Englysch. 

Eche of heom othir undurstond, 

By tokenyng of the houd. 


Fyre nys non in that contrey, 6440 

Never non of heom fere no sygh. 
They buth y-cleped, men telleth me, 
In langage, Orisine. 

Another folk bysyde ther is, 
Swithe merveillous folke, y-wis. 
They haveth visage swithe long, 
And fuatted nose, that is wrong. 
Eren they haveth an ellen long. 
That byneothe theo gurdel hit hongith. 
"Whan hit snywith, other rayneth, 6450 

Other theo sonne to bote schyneth. 
Anon ryghtis, his eren with, 
Al his body he bywiyeth ; 
That neither wynd, no sonne murye. 
No may nothyng his body derye. 
Theose beon y-cleped in Latyn, 
Among clerkis, Auryalyn. 

Another folk byside wones ; 
Y wene hit beoth theo deoveles sones. 
So wex yalow is heore visages, 6460 

In the world no buth so foule pages ! 
Ryght they buth as an hound. 
From the heved doun to the ground. 
Visage after martyn apen : 
Folke heo buth ful eovel y-schapen ! 
Heore mouth is from that on ere to that othir^ 
Heore nether lippe is a foul foth^r : 


For to the navel doun scheo hongith ; 

And foule al so carayne fongith. 

Alle they beon mysfaryng, 6470 

Bothe byfore and eke byhynde, 

They haveth clothyng unhon6st ; 

As a dogge other a best. 

They beon y-cleped Garranien ; 

Of the world the fouleste men, 

Wei ofte Alisaundre agros, 
r he hadde wonne al thos : 
Ac so he chasted heom with sweord, 
That he was heore aller lord. 
Ac arst, mony of his knyghtis gode 6480 

Loren theo balles in heore hode. 

Now hath he in Egipte y-seyghe, 
Al that any mon can outwryghe. 
Thennes he wente, with al his host, 
On a grene wode acost. 
Verrament, ther he fond 
Wymmen growing out of the ground. 
Of some the hed pud owt ; 
Somme to the breost, withowte dout ; 
And also somme to the knowe ; 6490 

And somme to navel y-growe ; 
And somme weore y-growe al out, 
And yeode, and romed al aboute. 
Faire wymmen heo buth, of pris ; 
Heore heir heore clothyng ys. 


Al SO yalow so any gold, 

S the maistris han us told. 

Weore they lad othir y-bore 

Of heore lond, heo weore y-lore. 

Perforce men liggith heom bye ; 6500 

And thanne they maken a reouthful crye ; 

Al so swithe cometh hire felawe, 

And al to peces hire to drawith. 

Theose wymmen, in letter blak, 

Beoth y-cleped Archdrak. 

Of selcouthes ye haveth herd, 

That dwellen in this myddell erd. 



Description of wonderful animals seen by Alexander in the course of 
his wars, the Cessus, the Rhinoceros, the Monoceros, the Cataih- 
leha, emots, dolphins, crocodiles, !fc. Alexander finds a curious 
volcano in Ethiopia ; and, proceeding toward India, passes the 
dominions of Queen Candace, who sends him a declaration of 
love. Alexander thanks her for this declaration, but proceeds 
vn his march. A famous modeller, who icas one of Candac^s 
messengers, takes a correct likeness of Alexander, without his 
knowledge, and carries it to his mistress. Alexander meets 
two old men, who direct him to the miraculous trees of the sun 
and moon. He goes to consult the oracle of the trees, and it 
informed of his future destiny. 

!Now ye schule y-here gestes, 

Bothe of wormes, and of bestis, 

That kyng Alisaunder fond, 6510 

Tho he wente in Egipte lond. 

Sitteth stille, and geveth listenyng. 

And ye schule here of wondur thyng. 

Certes, lordynges, Alisaunder the kyng 

Wolde y-seo al thyng; 


Weore hit open, weore hit loke, 
That he myght here of spoke. 

He fond, as the bok tellith us, 
A best in the lond y-cleped Cessus. 
Homed hit is, as an oxce : 6520 

Berd hit hadde long y-waxe. 
Hit hath monnes feet byhynde ; 
And his feet to-fore, so Y fynde, 
Buth yliche monnes bond. 
Hit nedeth nothyng to wond. 
Hit is a best founde in boke, 
Wei griseliche on to loke. 

Another best also ther ys 
Tliat hatte rinocertis, y-wis. 
Hit is more than an olifaunt ; 6530 

In wilde wode is his hont. 
The olifans, in medle, 
And theo lyouns he wol sle. 
For, on his snowte, an horn he beres. 
That he smyt with lyouns and beres. 
Theo horn is scharp as a sweord, 
Bothe by the greyn and at ord. 

A best ther is, of more los. 
That is y-cleped Monoceros. 
In marreys and reods is heore wonyng, 6540 

No best no haveth his fyghtyng. 
To-fore, y-mad is his cors 
After the forme of an hors. 


Fete after olifant, certis : 

Hed he hath as an heort. 

Tayl he hath as an hog : 

Croked tuxes as a dog. 

Ther n'ys to hym tygre, no lyoun, 

No no best, so feloun. 

He hath, in his front strong, 6350 

An horn foure feet long. 

So as Y in bokes fynde : 

No rasour is so kervynge. 

He sleth ypotanos, and kokadrill, 

And alle bestes to his wille. 

Hound no best dar him asayle, 

No non armed mon saun faile. 

No no mon may him lache, 

Bote by that he no snache. 

Another best there is, of eovel kynde, G^GO 
Griseliche hit is, after theo feonde. 
He schal sterve anon ryght. 
That hit may on have a syght. 
Catathleba is hire name : 
God ows schilde al fro schame ! 

Yet ther beon emoten, so Y fynde. 
That beon more than grehoundis, 
No mon no may heom anoye, 
Bote he wol anon ryght dye. 

Ethiope and Clante buth two londis ; 6570 
Ant bytweone heom renneth selcouth strondis. 


From Nyl, a water of Paradys 

Thennes cometh, and hoteth Tiger y-wis. 

In tyme of wynter hit is dryhe ; 

And in somur hit over renneth the contr^y. 

Heo noriceth delfyns, and cokadrill^ 

Of whom after telle Y wol. 

Ther woneth a folk, of body lyght ; 
Broun they beon, and nothyng wight. 
For they beon withoute clothes, naked ; 6^80 
Hardy they beon and ful of wrake. 
Delfyns they jiyineth, and cokedrill, 
And afyghteth, to heore wille. 
For to beore heom to the flod ; 
And by lond, gef heom thynkith god. 
Tlieose beon stronge y-wis : 
In winter no eteth they flescli no lisch ; 
No corn, no fruyt, no other thyng : 
Ac they liveth, so theo heryng, 
By the water, and gendryth therynne. 6590 

Feet and hond bath heore vynnes. 
They cometh a lond in somer tide. 
And makith teyntis wide and side : 
And libbeth by flesch and fisch. 
So doth other men y-wis. 

Now, listeneth and sitteth stUle, 
What best is the cokadrille, i 

He is strong, and of gret valom*, 

Brode feet he hath foiu'. . ,' 


Ac by kynde he is byreved, GGOO 

That they no haveth no tonge in the heved, 

Ayren they leggith, as a griffon ; 

Ac they beon more feor aroun. 

Twelf fote he is long, 

And so olifant he is strong. 

In hire mouth buth teth treble sety 

None bettre bores y-whet* 

He beoreth at ones, there he is good, 

Ten men over theo flod. 

Theo delfyns woneth hire byside ; 66 10 

A strong best of gret pryde. 
They haveth schuldren on the rygge, 
Eche as scharpe as sweordis egge. 
Whan the delfyn the cokadrill seoth. 
Anon togedre wroth the buth. 
And smyteth togedre anon ryght. 
And makith thenne a steome fyght, 
Ac the delfyn is more queynter. 
And halt him in the water douner ; 
And whan theo kocadrill him over swymmeth, 6620 
He rerith up his brustelis grymme, 
And his wombe al to-rent ; 
Thus is the cokadrill y-scheut. 
And y-slawe of theo delfyn. 
God geve ows god fyn ! 

Monye buth theo merveilles of Ethiope, 
That Alisaundre hath y-grope. 


There he fond a mounte berning, 

And tidynges herde of his endyng. 

Hit helpeth noght, ay Y saide : 6630 

Ac therof he was eovil paied ! 

Yet in Ethiope is a dych, 
Merveillous, and eke gryslich. 
Nyght and day there is gredyng; 
Ac mon may seo no quyk thyng. 
Ac sot, and snow, cometh out of holes, 
And brennyng fuyr, and glowyng coles ; 
That theo snow for the fuyr no malt. 
No the fuyr for theo snow aswelt. 
This is now a wondur thyng, 6640 

That last to theo worldis endyng. 

Now Alisaunder hath y-grope 
Alle the merveiles of Ethiope, 
And taken feut6 of the men, 
To Ynde yet he wol ageyn. 
Blithe therof is kyng Pors. 
His baner takith Antiocus; 
On stede leop Philotas ; 
His spere tok Perdicas ; 

His mule sporeth Emudis ; 6650 

His scheld enbraceth Antiocus ; 
His juster takith sire Cliton ; , 

Nought byhynde n'ys Salamon. 
Duyk and prince, eorl and knyght. 
To Ynde- ward dasschith ryght. 

VOL. I. s 


To Facen-ward theo way they holdia. 
By waies, wodis, and over feldis. 

Heo passeden by a quenes lond^ 
That hette Candace, Y undurstond. 
Of the world scheo was richest ; 0660 

Of alle wymmen scheo was fairest. 
Heo lovede Alisaundre previliche ; 
And he hire sikirliche ; 
Ac non of heom no hadde other y-seyghe, 
In halle, in hour, no in weye. 
In this vya'ge he hadde y-ment, 
He wolde to hire have y-went ; 
Ac he lette, for suspecioun ; 
And yet more for treson. 

Ac forth he wente Y undurstcHide, 6670 

And passed the qwenes ionde. 

Tho the qwene undurstod, 
For ferd of love heo was nygli wed : 
Heo greithed noble messangers, 
And sette heom on noble justers, 
And tok heom a lettre, and bad heom beore 
To Alisaundre and brynge onswere. 
Theo messangers to the kyng went, 
xVnd broughten theo lettre that scheo sent. 
Tliey weore swithe welcome ; 6680 

The kyng hath the lettres y-nome, 
And brak the sel, the lettres say : 
This was the tenour, per ma Jay. 


" To Alisaundre, the empetodt, 
" Of alle kayseris pris, kyng^ and flour, 
" The c.uene Candace, with alle honour, 
" Seuoith th6 gretyng per amour. 
" O /lictu .ire ! dure sire, 
" Over ul'.c liieii Y ilih desyre ! 
" Tak nie, to-forc aile, to thy qtvene ; 6690 

" Riche schai thy mede beone ! 
" Y woi charge, isan feile, 
" Willi besauns, a thousand cafnailes ; 
" \ woi gcvc ih6 gyrnmes, and byghes, 
" Teu thuusaiid caries. 
" Y wol chargcjQ ai ;Le bestis 
" Witi: peliis, :uiid siglatciuns honeste. 
" Y Avoi the geve gentil men, 
" Ten thcusaiiJ wyghte Ethjopen ; 
" Yougo kiiyghtis, flunibardynges, 6700 

" Wyghte in every batalyuges : 
" And au c. thousand nobie knyghtis, 
" To ihy servyse gode and wyghte : 
" And of gold a coroune bryght, 
" Ful preciouse stones y-pyght ; 
" Gold no seolver, so Y sigge, 
" No ii;yghte the stones to worth bigge. 
" Yet thou schalt have six hundrod rinoceros ; 
" And V. c. olifauns, and vij. c. perdos ; 
" And two hundrod unycomes ; 6710 

" And fuf M. boles with on homes ; 


V *' And four hundred lyouns whyte ; 

" And a thousand, that wel can byte 

" Olifauntz, and lyouns on playne, 

" Stronge houndis of Albayne ; 

" And fyf hundrod ceptres of gold ; 

" And my lond to thy wold : 

" And an c. thousand gentil sqwyers, 

" That konne th^ serve in eche maesters ; 

" And thrytty thousand maidenes bryght 6720 

" For to serve thyne knyghtis : 

" Alle eorlis, duykes, and barouns, 

" Ful of cortesy wones : 
f *' O Alisaundre, riche kyng, 
J " Beo my lord and my derlyng ! 
; " Y wol th^ serve to bond and fot, 

" By nyght and day, yef Y mot !" 
Of this lettre was muche pris, 

With Alisaundre and alle his. 

The messangers ageyn heom dyghtis, 6730 

And gaf heom riche geftis, 

And with wordes bon6re, 

Heom answerith swithe faire. 

Ther was y-come with the messangers, 

A queynte mon, a metal geoter ; 

That couthe caste in alle thyng. 

He avysed than the kyng ; 

And tho he com hom, sykirliche. 

He caste a forme the kyng y-liche, 


In face, in eyghnen, in nose, in mouth, 6740 

In leynthe, in membres, that is selcouth ! 

The qwene sette him in hire boure. 

And kepith hit in gret hono6r. 

Now rideth Alisaunder in jumaying. 

With riche pruyde, with muche syngyng, 

In gret delit and solasyng. 

Listenith now of his metyng. 

As the kyng rod with duykes and eorlis, 
He mette with two olde cheorlis. 
To the navel theo herd heng : 6750 

Thus aresoned heom the kyng. 
" Sey me now, ye olde hore ! 
" (Mony day is seothe ye weore bore,) 
" Wite ye eghwar by my weyes, 
" Any merveilles by this wayes, 
" That Y rayghte do in storye, 
" Othir men ban in memorie ?" 

" Ye, par ma fay, quoth heo, 
" A gret merveille we wol telle th6 ; 
" That is, hennes, in even way, 6760 

" The mountas of ten daies jornay, 
" Thou schalt fynde trowes two : 
" Seyntes and holy they buth bo. 
" Hygher than in othir contray all. 
" Arbeset men heom callith. 
" Yef thou wolt the thider dyght, 
" Thou most lede fourty thousand knyghtis ; 


'^ With hecMn, thou myght wel werye 

" That wilde bestis th^ no deiye. 

" Mo no myghtow lede, saiin doutaunce, 6770 

" Bote th^ faille sustinaunce." 

*' Sire kyng," quod on, " by myn eyghe, 
** Eythir trough is an hnndrod feet hygh ; 
" They stondith up into theo skye. 
** That on to the sonne, sikirlye, 
" That othir, we tellith th^ nowe, 
" Is sakret, in the mone vertue. 
" Go to heom and aske, in heorte, 
" Al that thou wolt wite certis. 
" Of th^, of freond, othir of kynne, 6780 

*' Othir of othir stronge men, 
" And thou schalt here the sothe anon, 
" And thou wolt thider gon." 

The kyng, by god counsdile, 
Dyght him thider saun faile ; 
And sente, with Pors, al his men 
Into theo cite of Facen. 
Bote fourty thousand with him he tok ; 
So we fyndith in the bok. 

Forth Alisaundre gan wende, 6790 

Til he com to theo trowes ende. 
Notemugge, and the sedewale, 
On heom smuUith, and the wodewale, 
Theo canel, and the licoris, 
And swete savour y-meynt, y-wis, 


Theo gilofre, quybibe, and mace, 

Gynger, comyn gaven odour grace ; 

And, undur sonne, of alle spices 

They hadden savour with delices. 

That lond was holy they undurstode ; 6800 

And lyghten of heore justeris gode ; 

And yeoden on fote : Men they metten, 

And everiche othir faire gretten. 

Of lyouns, and of pantoren, 

Al heore wedes, certeyn, weoren. 

They haveth no wolle to spynne ; 

Heore clothis buth of bestis skynne. 

Theo byschop that was of that lond, 

He haveth of the kyngis come sond. 

Herith now of a selcouth man ! 6810 

He greythed him, and went the kyng ageyn. 
Theo bysschop hette Longis, sikirliche. 
He was bothe blak, and gryseliche. 
And rough y-schuldreod also. 
His on fot was more than othir two. 
He hadde boris teth, and wyde mouth j 
The kyng of him hadde selcouth. 
He hadde in leynthe ten grete fpet ; 
In a lyons skyn he was y-shred : 
Of a best that hyghte pantere 6820 

His hod was, that heng aboute his swire. 
Theo kyng wel faire he grette, 
Al so sone so he him mette : 


And the kyng say, by god reson, 

Of his comyng theo encheson. 

What helpith al to telle ? 

Theo bysschop granted al his wille, 

And schryved heom alle tho 

That scholde with him to the trough go. 

Now is the sonne gon undur ; 6830 

The bischop ladde the kyng to the wondur ; 
And foure c. knyghtis him myde, 
To the trough after yede. 
No saughe he never so fair atoure, 
No feled such a savour. 
At the trough of the sonne, 
Heore sacrefyse they haveth bygonne. 
The bischop to the kyng seide. 
And to al theo felawrede, 

** Kyng, he saide, this trowe honest, 6840 

" Asketh offryng of non beeste ; 
" Neither of broches, ne of rynges, 
** Ne of mony crieynges : 
" Bote in thyn heorte thenk al thy wille, 
" And thou schalt y-wite snelle ! 
" For, behold, up thy steovene 
** Ys y-herd into the heovene." 

Theo kyng sygh a lem, so a fuyrbrond. 
And from the trough a stem to heven stond. 
On kneo he gan doun falle, 6850 

And with him his knyghtis alle. 


And thoughte, yef he scholde wynne the world 

Est and west, south and north : 
Yef he scholde to Grece ageyn wende. 
And seon his modur and his freondis. 

The trough him onswerid ageyn, 
In langage of Indien, 
" Kyng Alisaunder ! Y telle th^ certis, 
" Of al the world theo thridde partys 
** Thou schalt wynne and beon of kyng, 6860 
" Ac selcouth worthe thine endyng. 
'* To my langage thou undurstond : 
*' No comustow never in Grece lond. 
" Modur, no suster no thy kynne, 
" Schalt thou never in Grece y-seon. 
" Er thou weore in thy bygetyng, 
" Of God hit was thy destenyng. 
" For al this world, Y telle hit th^, 
" Otherwise no myghte hit beo !" 

Tho the kyng herde this, 6870 

For deol he chaungith colour, y-wis. 
Wo was heom for that onsware 
And that hit herde so feole. 
Ac tho me myghte y-seo ynowe, 
Duykes and barons, felle y-swowe ! 
Heore heir heo taren, lasse and more, 
And wrongen heore honden, and weopen sore, 


And byweyled his prowls, 

His youth, his streyngh, his largenesse. 

The kyng syghte swithe sore ; 6880 

And bad heom beo stille, lasse and more : 

He solaced heom, and bad heom beo stille ; 

He moste suffre Godes wille ! 

He highth hem aughtte and gret nobleys 

He schulden hit hele and ben in peis. 

He tok the bischop, anon ryght, 
For hit was after the mydnyght, 
And wente him, also sone. 
To the trogh of the mone. 

Threo knyghtis he hette with him go, 6890 

Of his preovest, and no mo. 
That het Ditonas, Philotas, and Perdicas, 
Ther nere nowthir more no lasse. 
The kynges knyghtis kneoled, certis, 
And thus he saide in his heorte. 

" Trough faire ! Y byseche th^, 
" By thy leve, tel thou me, 
" Whan Y schal sterve, yn god fay, 
" Whare, and in what contray ?" 

^Theo treo him onswerid, in gret resoun, 6900 
" Thou schalt steorve in Babiloyne ; 
" Thorugh envye and by traisouns, 
" To-fore alle thy barouns, 
" In the next yer her afterward, 
" lliou schalt suflfre deth ful hard." 


Tho weopte the kyng and his y-fere, 
And made swithe reowly chere. 
His wit he forgat for sorow 
And yede ligge forto amorow. 
His knyghtis of Grece and of Perce, 6910 

Wo and sorwe gan reherce, 
Weopen and heore clothes taren ; 
Nomon sygh never men so faren ! 

Philotas tho to the kyng cam, 
Theo tale of heom all he nam. 
" Sire ! he saide, undurstond, 
" We buth with the in divers lond. 
" Heo buth nought alle oure freondis 
" That now is us hende. 

" We habbeth mony a pryve fo, 6920 

" That wolde of on harme have two, 
" And wol fonde to greven us. 
" Let thou th^ make vigorous ! 
" That thou herdest is fairye : 
" No shallow heorte and flesch hardye i 
" Let beo, sire, such mornyng, 
" And go comforte thy derlyng 1" 

Kyng Alisaundre, though him weore wo. 
He tok him god heorte to. 

Up he ros, to his folk he goth, 6930 

And makith heom blithe, and nothyng wroth ; 
Eteth and drynkith, and geveth no skof, 
Als he yaf nothing therof. 


For he made him blithe and lyght, 
Muche joye maden his knyghtis : 
Al was forgete ; sorwe and care, 
That day they letten forth fare. 

Tho hit was eft nyght, 
The kyng went to the bisschop ryght, , 
And saide, he hadde forgete 6940 

Thyng that he wolde y-wite 
The thridde tyme, and to him saide, 
He scholde him to the trough lede, 
That was y-cleped of the sonne : 
More fayn he wolde konne. 
The bisschop graunted al his wille, 
And ladde him thider stille. 
Creature with him non n'as, 
Bote the treowe Perdicas. 

Tho he com to the treo, 6950 

He feol sone on his kneo, 
And thoughte in god fay, 
" Trough ! thou to me say, 
" Which day Y schal hennes teon, 
" And who schal my bale beon ?" 

The trough onswerid, in gret yre, 
" Per fay ! thou art a selcouth sire ! 
" Thou askest thyng ageys skyll ! 
" Now is the tyme in Averill ; 
*' Nought, withoute gret care, 6960 

" Thou schalt lyve al this yere ! 


" Thou schalt wel overcome ; 

" Ac, thyn endyng schal beo nome 

" In the nexte yeir, as Y th^ teche, 

" Theo xxiiij. day of Marche. 

" Thou schalt beo poysond, and deth thole ; 

" Thy traitour schal beo forhole. 

" No most thou witen thy fo ; 

" For Cleth, Lachosis, and Antropo, 

" Thyse sustreon hit schopen th^ : 6970 

" No more, Y bote, thou aske me. 

" No more Y dar th^ telle : 

" Go out of oure wode snelle !" 

The kyng amonestement herde ; 
Quykliche thennes he ferde ; 
As we fyndith in oure boke. 
At the bysschop leve he toke. 
For he wot his certeyn day. 
He wolde fonde, gef he may, 
Thaugh hit beo to him y-schape, 6980 

In som maner for to ascape : 
And makith heom a riche feste, 
As wel to leste as to meste ; 
And anon, loude dude crye, 
"No mon no 'leve that fairye !" 
Everiche mon hit nom askof. 
For he no tellith no tale therof. 

Tho thou myghtest, in mony gyse, 
V-seo solas and game arise. 


Murye they syngyn, and daunces maken ; GQQO 

Dy sours dalye, reisons craken. 

Suche chaunce theo world kepith ! 

Now raon laugh with, now mon weopith : 

Now mon is hoi, now mon is sek. 

N'is no day othir y-lyk : 

No no mon may fynde borowe, 

Fro even to lyve til amorwe ! 



Alexander marches to the valley of Jordan, which he finds filled 
with adders and dragons. He suffers great distress ; is re- 
lieved by the Seresys, a nation who are here described. Alex- 
ander an-ives at Capias. The guides whom he takes here lead 
him into a desert, where he loses great part of his army from 
the attacks of wild beasts, He sends for fresh succours, and, 
in the mean time, builds a city in the desert, which he names 
Alexandria. Poru^ emboldened by Alexander's distress, re- 
nounces his allegiance, and sends him a message of defiance, 
Alexander answers by a challenge to single combat, which 
is accepted by Porus, Preparations for the battle. 

AvEREL gevetb mury schoures ; 

The foulis syngith, than spryngith the flouris. 

Mony hoket is m amours ; 7000 

Stedfast seldom ben lechoures ; 

Hot love after wil soure ; 

Fair jewel ys gode neyghbour ; 

The best thing is God to honoure. 


Alisauiidre hotith quycliche al his men, 
Trussen to grete Facen, 
And saide, " Lordynges, makith no tale 
** Of theo trowes wode gale ! 
" Ye witeth wel that Pors, certis, 
" Beorith to me eovel heorte ; 7010 

" He beorith to me none amour, 
** For Y bynam him his tresour. 
" Quede and harme he wil me spye 
" Or, par aventure, me to defyghe ; 
" Gef he wot of this sygaldrye, 
" That this trowes kan lye. 
" Alle the men that bath of Ynde, 
" Wenetli me a god to fynde : 
" Therfor no dar they, saun faile, 
*' Ageyn me geve bataile. 7020 

" Gef they wiste a mon Y ware, 
" Ageyn me to fyghte they weore yare. 
" Therfore holdeth yow stille, 
" And ye schule have youre wille." 

Forth they wente, grete and smale ; 
Passeden downes, and mony dalis, 
And in the valey of Jurdan, 
They founden eddren mony on : 
Grete drakis also ther ware. 
That emeraundis in mouth bare. 7030 

Of heom is gret ferly ; 
Theo whyt peopm* they liveth by. 


Here herd Pors to him unwren, 
That Alisaundre no scholde Grace y-seon ; 
And on this tidyng tok counsaile, 
That him n'as neither god ne haile ; 
For thorugh that ilke tidyng, 
He forsok Alisaunder the kyng, 
Alisaundre soffred gret payne, 
In valeys, and on mountayne. 7040 

Theo path on mount was narwe and stepe, 
In valeys, dark and deope. 
The way was ever up and doun. 
Among the eddren and dragons. 
At the seovenyghtis eynde. 
He fond a folk gent and hende : 
Seresys is heore name, 
They conne none schame ; 
They beon treowe, and steodefast, 
Mesureabele, bonere, and chest. 7050 

No schal ther non othir y-knawe, 
Bote hit beo by the ryght lawe. 
Heore mete is bred, herbes, and water, 
Naked they goth, withowten hater. 
Ther is none of othir agramed, 
No for the nakedhed aschamed. 
Withoute lost of synne they streoneth. 
Alisaundre heom bymenith 
That they no hadde worldis manhede, 
To heore othir godhede. 7060 

VOL. I. T 


'Diis undurfong the emperour, 

And dude don him al honour : 

And fond heom alle to dispence 

In mete and drynke for reverence, 

And ladde him, sikir pas, 

Al to the gates of Capias. 

Theose Seresys, as Y fypde, 

Uppurest folk buth of Ynde. 

They haven seolk, gret plente, 

And maken clothis of gret deynt6, 7070 

And goth heom seolf y-liche bare : 

This is now a selcouth fare ! 

Whan ther comes marchaundise, 

With corn, wyn, and steil, othir other assise, 

To heore lond any schip, 

To house they wollith anon skyppe. 

Ac theygh the marchaunt sette out his ware, 

In the stret, and away fare, 

Amorwe, gef he come ther ageyn, 

Al away he schal fynde hit clene ; 7080 

Ac of pellis, and of bawdekyns. 

And riche clothis of seolk fyne. 

He schal fynde worth treble pris. 

For his owne marchaundise : 

To schip he may hit beore anon, i 

No schal he heom more y-seon. 

Alisaunder is at Capias ; 
Ther he 'gynneth a selcouth pas ; 


For ther he fond latimeris, 

That ladde him to hyghe rochetis. 7090 

To rocheris and wildeines, 

He fond hard way, and gret distresse 1 

Ther he fond addren, and Monecores, 

And a feoUe worm, Cales, and Manticores ; 

Broune lyouns, and eke white, 

That wolden fayn his folk abyte. 

Unicornes they fond in that wast6n, 

Feolle bores, and eke wilde swyn ; 

And croched dragons, saun faiJb, 

That alle heom gaf bataile. 7100 

Thaugh me slowe feole of heom. 

They slowe mo of the kyngis men. 

Bestes ther ware that todes eten. 

And the kyngis men faste they freten. 

Alisaunder, as Y fynde, 

Les ther thrytty thousand 

Of his knyghtis, mo than ynowe. 

That wilde bestis to-drowe and gnowe, 

Fyue hundred also, sixty and lyve, 

That ther lasten hecre lyve : 71 10 

For Cadace was a ferly best, 

Thries set teth was in his teste ; 

Al that he tok he schent, 

Slough, othir freet, otliir al to-rent, 

Alisaunder and his folk alle 
No hadde nought passed theo haivendall, 


For he hadde, in that rocher, 

Y-lore mony a counseiler, 

Mony duyk, mony eorl, 

Mony baroun, knyght, sweyn, and cheorl. 7120 

Alle they liggen, in the wastyn, 

Y-slawe with bestis and with vermyn ! 

Theo kyng no hadde nought so muche damage, 

No wer in al his viage. 

To a wode they flowe, unnethe, 
For to askape theo dethe. 
Ther he dude his men alle, 
Al aboute make a wall, 
And holde heom in with gret wardyng, 
For doute of the foule thynges. 7130 

Whiles, the kyng, in tapnage, 
Sente after Antioche theo ostage, 
And his marchal Tholomew, 
That mony prynce wyde kneow ; 
And bad, he scholde brynge to him anon. 
His maign6 everychon ; 
And tolde him al his damage. 
That he hadde y-tholed in that vyage. 

When the kyng hath message y-sent, 
Theo contray to seon he is y-went : 7 140 

On his on bond stond a spervyrs. 
He seygh faire medes, and eke ryvers. 
Large, wyde, and eke hygh, 
God lond, and esy contray. 


On a pleyn he chese a place, 

That byclupputh a muche space ; 

Sixe and sixty myle aboute : 

Hygh contray, saun doute. 

Aboute they maden a wal strong, 

That sixe and fourty myle was long, 7150 

Withynne the walles he made houses, 

And made the stretes merveylouse. 

Of his gentil men he enherited there. 

And tho that of the lond ware ; 

And gaf theo toun a name of prys, 

Alisaunder, after himseolf, y-wis. 

Now is y-come tidyng 
To Tolome from the kyng. 
Muche deol they maken alle, 
And trussuth bothe in hour and halle ; 71 60 

And, in the deyes dawenyug, 
Doth heom toward heore kyng. 
So they riden, bothe day and nyght, 
That nyght they buth to the kyng y-tyght. 
Tho they to Alisaunder come, 
(More and fairer than is Rome,) 
And the kyng hit undurstode. 
Much blisse was in his mode. 
He made him fair welcomyng : 
Ther was cluppyng, and kussyng, 7170 

Ther was fair hostejl, and lyvereyng. 
And of al neowe bygynnyng : 


Other telleth other tithing 
Of her fare, of her libbyng. 
They reste heom longe tydes, 
And wel ofte on ryver rydes. 

Pors byleved at Facen, 
And of-sendith al his men ; 
Bothe duykes, and barouns, 
Of al Yndeis regiouns ; 7180 

And saide, " Y pleyne me, lordyngia, 
" To yow, of Alisaunder the kyng ! 
" He hath y-falle myn honour ; 
" He hath y-robhed myn tresodr ; 
" He hath take my castelis ; 
** He hath falle my torellis. 
" Now is him falle a chaunce hard ; 
" He hath y-lore nygh al his ferd. 
" Wilde bestis ban y-slawe 
" His gode knyghtis, and to-drawe. 7190 

" Fourty thousand, almast, 
" They haveth y-slawe, al in hast. 
" Now Y wol him defye, 
" And have of him theo maistrye ; 
" With sweord him sle, or with knyf, 
" Or out of my lond him dryve. 
" Y th^ bote, sire Torold, 
" And thou Faras, that art so bold, 
" Yeldith him my feute : 
" I no kepe with him have no lewte. 720O 


" Syggith him Y him defyghe, 

" With sweord and with chyvalrye ! 

" Of him more holde Y nulle : 

" Y him defyghe goth him telHth !" 

Theose dukis rideth in heore way 
By dounes and dalis, mony jornay. 
Alisaunder rometh in his toun, 
For to wissen his masons, 
The touris to take, and the torellis, 
Vawtes, alouris, and the corneris. 7210 

Tho come theose dukis swiftly flynge, 
And brought Alisaunder tidyng. 
They weore men of gret perage ; 
And haden fourty wynter in age. 

Togeder they token heore hondis, 
And wente ther the kyng stondis, 
And saide furst with mury chere, 
" Sire, we beon messan eris : 
" We no scholde, by ryghte lawe, 
" Have non harm for oure sawe." 

Kyng Alisaunder knowe wolde 
Bothe Phares and eke Torold ; 
He saide to heom, " Freondis honest, 
" Tellith youre lordis hest ! 
" Beon they fole, beon they ^vyse, 
" No schole ye me fynde bote corteise T 

Torold saide, " Pors wroth is, 
" And seith, ye don muche amys, 


" That makith you lord and sire, 
" Nygh and feor, of his empire ; 7230 

" Citeis makis, wallis thare, 
*' Ye dreden him al to his care ! 
" Ye haveth him twyes overcome ; 
*' And all his tresour him by-nome, 
" He with-seith alle homage ; 
" And sendeth you, by sonde, gage, 
*' And defence by oure hond, 
" And bad you remeve out of his lond !" 
Alisaunder bygynneth to laugh smale. 
And thus he 'gynneth to heom his tale. 7240 

" Y wol preove, with spere and sweord, 
" Of this lond that Y am lord. 
" Pors weneth that Y am amaied, 
" For his gwinris me han bytraied, 
" And of my people hath forlore. 
" In that he is forswore, 
" Al theo lore in him Y rette : 
" Y schal yeilde wel his dette ! 
" Yet Y have on lyve, saun fable, 
" Alle my xii. constables. * 7250 

" He hath y-sponne a threde, 
" That is y-come of eovel rede. 
" Yet Y have an c. thousant, 
" Better knyghtis neo buth in Ynde. 
" Redy to preove, with vigour, 
" That he is a traitour ! 


" Ac, gef he doth so as Y wil, 

*' His, no myn, no schole nought spill, 

" For aqueyntaunce that hath beon, 

** Ferre and neor, heom bytweone ; 7260 

" And take we, bothe, spere and scheld, 

" And flyng on stede into the feld ; 

" And who that may othir wynne, 

*' Do there bothe streynthe and gynne. 

** For his barouns and for myne 

" This weore the ryghtest lyne." 

Theo two barouns he kneow by eyghe. 
And schewed heom alle the contreye, 
Of his folk theo pyt^. 

And theo atyr of the cit^. 7270 

He heold heom there daies foure ; 
And sent heom horn with gret houofire. 
The messangeris swithe wendith. 
Alisaunder his barouns of-sendith ; 
This defyeng he heom tellith, 
They him counsailith also snelle, 
To wende swithe after heom, 
" That ye weore at Facen !" 
They trussen alle in the dawenyng, 
And makith, swithe after-wendyng. 7280 

Thorold and Phares buth y-come home ; 
Ageyn heom come bothe lord and grom. 
For to here what tidyng 
They broughte fro Alisaunder the kyng. 


Theo messangers come into the halle, 

To-fore Pors and his baronns alle, 

And saiden, " Sire ! we beon y-come 

" From Alisaunder, the riche gome ; 

" He hath afonge thy defFying, 

" And sent th^, by ous tidyng, 7290 

*' He n'ul that youre baroims, no his, 

" No beore charge of all this. 

" Yet he may to bataile fynde 

" Fourty hundred thousant. 

" He n'ul nought that ye demere, 

*' No that his, no thyn no dere, 

" Ac ye two, with hors and scheld, 

" Comen armed wel into the feld, 

" Gef he wynneth ther the maistrye, 

" Of us he have the seignory : 7.^00 

" Gef thou him myght perforce aquelle, 

" His folk wolen don thy wille. 

" Ye chalangith al to habbe. 

" Bytweone you delith hit with dabbe ; 

" And with spere, and sweordis dunt ! 

*' This is Alisaundris juggement." 

Prynce, duk, baroun, and knyght, 
Saiden the juge was ryght, 
And that hit was never y-dyght, 
Withoute heorte of noble knyght; 7310 

And, who so ware ther ageyn, 
He no hath heorte of wyght man. 


Pors stont, and is agramed ; 
He n'olde nought beo blamed ; 
Colour him chaungith sumdel for drede. 
And with gret ire to heom he saide : 

" Lordyngis, he seide, gef ye weore gent, 
" To me feol the juggement : 
" Ac, for ye recheth of me lyte, 
" Of me ye haveth you aquyt ! 7320 

" Ac notheles, Y wot y-wis, 
** Stronger Y am then he is ; 
" And more in everiche bon also. 
" Ageyns him Y dar me do. 
" Falle hit to nesche or to hard, 
" Schal Y never beo coward." 

By that this was fuUiche saide, 
Alisaunder is yn a maied 
Y-come boldeliche, with al his men, 
To-fore the cit6 of Facen. 7330 

Ther quyk mony tent is y-set, 
Mony corde to paveloun knut, 
Mony a baner up y-pult, 
And mony a scheld with best y-gult. 
They ete and drank, forsothe, aplyght^ 
And rested heom that ilke nyght ; 
And buth so warded al abowte, 
That heom no stod no doute. 
Amorwe, as Y have saide, 
This covenaunt bytweone heom was made ; 7340 


That the bataile scholde beon 
Pors and Alisaunder bytweone. 
Who so othir wynne myght, 
In bataile, by streynthe of fyght, 
He scholde have al Ynde lond. 
And alle folk undur his hond. 

Alisaunder him gan affye 
In his owne chivalrie ; 
And wiste wel in soth for hole 
That he no scholde the deth thole. 7350 

Pors afyed in his streynthe, 
In his muchehed, and in his leynthe. 
This dereyne, by the barouns 
Is y-mad, by alle bothe regiouns. 
Have who so the maistry may, 
Afeormed faste is this deray ; 
Hostage y-take, and treuth y-plyght. 
Now herith of the kyngis fyght ! 



Description of the combat, in which, Poms is ultimately killed 
hy Alexander, who takes possession of the throne. Candulakey 
a son of Candace, comes to request the assistance of Alexander 
against a tyrant who had cairkd off his wife. Alexander 
thinks fit to pass for Antigonus, and invests Ptolomy with 
royal robes. Ptolomy hears the complaint of Candulake, and 
directs the feigned Antigonus to redress his wi'ongs. The en- 
terprise is successful, and Candulake returns to court to swear 
fealty to the king. Ptolomy now pretends a great curiosity 
to know whether the reports of Candace' s beauty be not ex- 
aggei'ated, aud directs Alexander (still under the name of 
Antigonus) to go on the embassy. He and Candulake airive 
at the couH of Candace, who instantly recognizes his person, 
and entices him to her bower and chamber, where he is induced 
to gi'atify her passimi. Alexander is discovered by the younger 
son of Candace, and, returning to his army, marches to Baby- 

(jODE hit weore to beo knyght, 

No weore turaement and dedly fyght ! 7360 

With marchauns to beon weore hende, 

No weore acountis at the bordis eynde ! 


Swete is love of damosele ; 
Ac hit askith costes feole ! 
Beter is, lyte to have in ese, 
Then muche to have in malese. 
Who so is of dede untreowe, 
Ofte hit schal him sore reowe. 

Alisaunder com into the feld, 
Wei y-armed undur scheld ; 7370 

And syt, so a noble knyght, 
On a stede wel y-dyght : 
He ryt his spere braydyng. 
Pors also, com flying, 
Y-greithed so a riche kyng. 
Y-armed wel in knyghtis wise, 
N'is no nede heore armes to devyse. 
Ac eythir lette go theo reyne. 
And smyten togedre with gret mayne. 
Heore speris barsten ageyn theo scheldis, 7380 
They dasschen over into the feldis. 
They turned ageyn, dough til iche, 
With drawen sweordis sikirliche. 
Eythir on other laith on. 
So doth the mason on the ston ; 
Ac as they skirmed to the cors, 
Ayther slough otheris hors. 

Tho they were on fote bothe, 
They foughte togedre with heorte wrothe. 


Getith nought of reste to preche ; 7390 

Aither gan so areche, 

With 'saylyng, and with smytyng, 

And keputh heom with fair weiTyng. 

Wei they foughte in the playn, 

With target, and with reremayn, 

With overhed, and with stoke, 

Ayther on othir sweordis schoke ; 

Yet wiste no mon, heom bytweone, 

Who scholde maister beone ; 

For heore armes, riche of mounde, 7400 

Hole they weoren in that stounde. 

Ac listeneth now ! After restyng, 
They bygynneth togedre fiyng. 
To kerve heore armes, and heore schelde, 
Theo peces flowen into the feldis. 
No say never men yet knyghtis two 
So manliche togedre go ! 
Aither othir faste gan spye ; 
To don othir vilanye, 

Othir with stoke, othir with dunt, 7410 

Therto is al heore entent. 
While they weore so in mangle, 
Theo Yndiens gan gangle ; 
Pors gan abak renne, 
And nom thiderward yeme. 
And loked toward heore ciye. 
Alisaunder was sone him bye j 


And smot him, in the discoverte, 

Ryghte with the strok into the heorte, 

Faste by the chyne bon : 7420 

Pors theo kyng feol ded anon. 

Indiens comen, with drawen sweord, 
For to socoure heoie lord. 
Alisaunder gan loude crye, 
" Beo non of you so hardye, 
" Ageyns covenaunt me to assaile, 
" Bote ye wole neowe bataile, 
" And youre ostage to-drawe ; 
*' For that is ryght lawe. 

" For ben yee sele, ben ye wrothe, 7430 

" Ynde and Perce buth myn bothe. 
" Yeildeth me homage alle, 
" Other ye schole eovel deth byfalle !" 

Prynces and duykis token heore red, 
Tho they syen Pors ded. 
Heo token Alisaunder by the bond, 
And yolden him theo croune of Ynde-lond. 
They duden him alle feute, 
And sworen him alle leut6. 

Now is ded kyng Porus, 7440 

Alisaunder is kyng glorious. 
He geveth londis, he geveth rentis, 
Stedis, tresours, warentmentis, 
And makith justice and constable. 
And over al his lawe stable : 


And wente out of Facen, 

To Neowe-Facen with al his men. 

And doth fill make the stronge walles, 

Castelis, touris, bouris, and halles, 

And stretes, brode and riche, 7450 

That non is othir y-liche. 

On a day, sone after than, 
Cam Candulake, a gentil man, 
Candaces sone kyng of Urye, 
With ful fair chevalrye. 
With Alisamider he wolde speke. 
For to beon, thorugh him, awreke 
Of a prynce, that by stryf 
Hadde bynomen him his wyf. 
Ac kyng Alisaunder hadde a wone, 7460 

Theygh to court come kyng, or gome, 
Prynce or duyk, or gret kayser, 
Knyght or sweyn, or messanger, 
He scholde nought the kyng y-seo, 
Bote hit weore by a trou6. 

Now is him told, that with him speke 
Wolde theo kyng Candolek. 
Tolomew, that is next the kyng, 
So him seith this tydyng ; 

And Alisaunder makith a stille crye, 7470 

" That non no beo so hardy, 
'' To beo-knowe to Candacis sone, 
" Who beo the kyngis persone. . . 

VOL. J. u 


" Ac they scholde, everichone, 

** Clepe the kyng Antigone." 

He dude on Tolomew, verrament, 

Quyk al his vestement ; 

And sette him on the kyngis deys : 

And he tok Tolomews hameys, 

And made him chef mesteir, . 7480 

Theo kyngis furste conseiler. 

They cleputh anon Candelek, 
He scholde with the kyng spek. 
He cometh quyk on bothe his kneoes, 
And kneoled byfore Tolomeus : 
Ac, for he was a gentil gome, 
He was sone up y-nome. 
His pleynt he tolde in this man6r 
As ye mo we now y-here. 

" Alisaunder ! thou riche kaiser, 7490 

" Thou no hast in eorthe no pere ! 
*' Mony is the riche lond 
" Thou haste y-wonne into thyn hond. 
" In th^ they buth wel byset, 
" For thou art ful of thewes pett. 
" Thow 'batest wrong, and hauntest ryght, 
" Thow art fader of alle knyghtis. 
" Thow lovest alle gentil men, 
" And aba test alle tyranne. 

** Y me yeilde to thyn hond, 7500 

" For thow art kayser of this lond. 


" Amendyng, Y bidde th^ to, 
" Of unryght that me is y-do !" 

" Tel on thy wrong !" quoth Tolomey, 
" We schole th^ helpe, gef we mey !" 

" Sire gent, mercy ! whiles Y was y-far, 
" On pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Indar, 
" Theo duyk Hirant, a tirant of Urye, 
'* Cam, with gret chyvalrye. 
" He robbed me of my make Blasfameye, 7510 
*' Al so bryght as daies-eyghe ! 
" Heo is my qwene ; Y hire chalenge. 
" Help me of this dispit to defende !" 

" How feole knyghtis, as thou wenes, 
" Myghte awreke thy teone r" 

" On foure thousand Y hadde ynowe, 
" To awreke my wowe." 

Tolomeus saide anon, 
" What seistow here Antigon ?" 

Alisaunder saide, " For this gome 7520 

*' Is from feor to us y-come, 
** And in youre freondhed trust ; 
" Y rede you, by counseile best, 
" That ye leve, to his socoure, 
*' Soche folk that beon to your honour, 
" And faileth him nought at this nede !" 

" Nay," quoth Tolomew, " so God me spede ! 
" Wend with him, he saide, Antigon, 
" And help to wreke him of his fone ; 


" For thou art whyght, hardy and strong, 7530 

" Y n'ot non better us among. 

*' Y the bytake my bailye, 

" My folk with him to coverye." 

Alisaunder is fayn to afonge ; 
He n'olde nought abyde longe ; 
Y-greithed beon alle his foure thousent, 
Quycliche to hors heo went. 
With Candelek they wendith swithe ; 
His knyghtis maden chere blithe, 
For heore lord, in tapnage, 7540 

Was y-went in that vyage. 
So they rideth dale and doune, 
That heo syghen a cite towne ; 
Where hym holdeth the duk Hircan, 
That hath Candalekes leman. 

Candeleke saide, " Sire Antigon, 
** How schole we now taken on ?" 

Alisaunder saide, " Here and there 
" To-fore ows sette al a-fuyre ; 
" Til he come to ows in feilde ; 7550 

" And that lady to ows yelde !" 

They sette a-fuyre, withowte pyte, 
Al the lond to that cit6 ; 
And byset hit al abowte. 
That non no myghte yn no owte. 
Theo burgeys syghe heore wyues berne, 
Everiche gau otheris harm weme ; 


And seiden wel her was the gult, 

To ben forbarnd, to ben forswelte, 

That soflfred theo duyk Hirkan 7560 

To have yn demayn othir woman. 

Alle the burgeys of the toun, 

Duden by on rede comyn ; 

To the palys they wente alle, 

And anon beoten doun the wallis ; 

They toke and slowe Hirkan, 

And yolde Kindeleke his woman. 

Thus come this burgeys. 

And haveth of werre pes. 

After sojour of four^enyght, 7570 

To kyngis court they doth heom ryght, 
And fonde Tolomeus, so he was yn bedde. 
And sit in Alisaundris stude. 
Candeleke on kneois set, 
And the kyng ofte he grette ; 
And thankid him of his socour, 
Thorugh whiche he hadde his honour, 
And y-conquered his qwene then. 
He was up-take of gentil men. 
And y-set on hyghe benche, 7580 

Wyn and pyment gan they schenche. 
And wyne clarre and wyne greek. 
And tho saide Tolomew to Candeleke, 
" Sire," he saide." men tellith me, 
** Thou hast a modir faire and freo. 


*' Scheo IS y-hote dame Candace, 

" Faire and whyt is hire face. 

*' N'is in this world so fair a qwene ; 

*' Fayn Y wolde hire y-seone, 

" Hire castellis, and hire touris, 7590 

" Yef hit ware to myn honouris." 

Quoth Candeleke, " Leove sire, 
** Al so muche heo you desirith ! 
" Y th^ seyghe, by Godis ore, 
" Heo desirith nothyng more, 
" Than to beo to you aqweynte. 
" Haveth now non heorte feynte ! 
" Now is theo tyme hit to done ; 
" Y wol you brynge thider sone. 
" No beo hit you for my brothir loth, 7600 

" Thaugh he beo with you wroth, 
" For ye duden Pors of lyve, 
" Whos doughter he hath to wyve : 
" For on bond Y wol him take ; 
" He schal do yow no wrake." 

Tholom6 gaf onsweryng, 
In the name of the kyng : 
And saide, " Y n'ul come hire nere, 
" Ac, by special messangere, 
" Y wol sende hire love-drewry, 7610 

" And hire hestris eke aspye." 

He cleputh Alisaunder, Antigon, 
And bad him wende with him anon, 


And rowned with him a gret while, 

And al hit was for a gyle. 

And after this qweynte rownyng, 

Alisaunder spedde in his doyng ; 

And qwyk on horse with him eke 

Tho that he hadde, with Candelek. ^^7620 

Kandeleke was ful blithe 

Faire he heom ladde and swithe. 

When hy into Saba come 

To the paleys way they nome. 

Theo lady romed in a plas, 
And syngith of Dydo and Enyas, 
How love heom ladde by strong bride. 
Candelek con to-fore ride. 
And saide, " Madame, buth redy ; 
" Welcometh here myn amy, 
" Kyng Alisaundris raessanger, 7630 

" A noble knyght of god maner ! 
" He hath y-yolde me my wyf, 
" And duyk Hircam y-brought of lyve. 
" Kyng Alisaunder ne hath to gye, 
" Non fewer of chyuellerye." 

Alle her tale were at the ende ; 
Kyng Alisaunder was heom hende. 
Anon they buth of hors alyght: 
The lady come, anon ryght. 
And clupputh him in armes tweye, 7640 

And he hire with gret joye. 


Heo thanked him of Kandelek, 

And of his gentil wif eke ; 

And he brought hire mony a gretyng, 

On Alisaundris half, theo kyng. 

*' Do 'way ! quoth the qwene Candace, 

** Y iindurstonde, by thy face, 

*' That thou Alisaunder beo ; 

" No hele thou nought for nie !" 

" Nay dame ; nay, by Godes ore ! 7650 

" Alisaunder is well more ; 
" Redder man of vysdge, 
*' And sum del more of age : 
" And that ye schal certeyn beon, 
" Sum day whan ye him y-seon." 

" De per Deus" quoth the qwene, 
" Go we now myn esteris to seone ! 
*' Oure mete schal, ther bytweone, 
" Y-graithed and redy beone." 

Scheo ladde him to an halle of nobleys, 7660 
There he dude of his barneys. 
Of Troye was therin al the storye, 
How Gregeys hadde theo victorye. 
Theo hemes ther weore of bras ; 
Theo wyndowes weoren of riche glas ; 
Theo pynnes weoren of evorye. 
Theo kyng wente with the lady, 
Himseolf alone, fro bour to bour. 
And syghe muche riche tresour. 


Gold and seolver, and preciouse stones, 7670 
Baudekyns, mad for the nones ; 
Mantellis^ robes, and pavelounes ; 
Of gold and seolver riche foysons : 
And heo him asked, per amour ^ 
Yef he syghe ever suche a tresour I 
And he saide, in his contr^y, 
Tresour he wiste of gret nobl^y ! 
Heo thoughte more than heo saide. 
To anothir stude heo gan him lede, 
That hire owne chaumbre was ; 7680 

In al this world richer non n'as. 
Theo atyr was therein so riche. 
In al this world n'ys him non liche. 
Heo ladde him to a stage, 

And him schewed one yniage ; 

And saide, " Alisaunder, leif thou me, 

" This ymage is mad after th^ : 

" Y dude hit in ymagoure, 

" And caste hit after thy vygoure, 

" This othir yeir ; tho thow n'olde '7690 

" To me come for love no for golde. 

" Hit is th^ y-liche, leove brothir, 

" So any faukon is anothir. 

" O Alisaunder, of gret renoun, 

" Thou art y-take in my prisoun ! 

" Al thy streynthe helputh th^ nought, 

" For woman th^ haveth.bycought : 


** Woman th^ haveth in hire las !" 

" O !" quoth Alisaunder, " alas ! 
" That Y nere y-armed wel, 7700 

" And hadde my sweord of broun steil ! 
** Many an hed wolde Y cleove, 
*' Are Y wolde in prison bileve ! 
" Ac no man no may him wite 
'* From theose wymmennes disseyte !" 

" Alisaunder," heo saide, " thou saist soth. 
" Beo novvthir adrad no wroth ! 
" My tale thou myght leve : 
" Adam was byswike of Eve ; 
" And Sampson theo fort, also, 77 10 

" Daliada dude him wrong and wo ; 
" And Davyd the kyng was brought of lyf, 
" Thorugh the gyle of his wyf ; 
" And Salamon, for a womanis love, 
** Forsok his God that syt above : 
*' And thou art y-falle in bond myne, 
" Th^ to solace, and no pyne ! 
" For here, undur this covertour, 
" Y wol have th^ to myn amour. 
** Now thou art in my baundoun, leove sire! 7720 
** Longe hit hath beo my desire, 
" No schaltow have othir lathe, 
" Bote mete and drynke, late and rathe." 

Tho Alisaunder gan y-seo 
That hit n'olde nou othir beo, 


He dude al the ladyes wille, 

Undur covertour ful stille. 

Mony nyght, and mony day, 

Thus they duden heore play. 

In halle, a-day he sat hire by, 7730 

And anyght in bedde, sikirly. 

Antigon he hette in halle ; 

And kyng Alisaunder undur palle. 

So longe they hadde thus y-plaied, 
Apon a day hit was saide 
To Candidus, by a losenger, 
That was Candaces sone theo yonger. 
That hadde y-weddid Porsis doughter, 
A well fair lady and a cleir, 
That Alisaunder sat at his bord, 7740 

And hadde y-slawe Pors his lord. 
And dude him clepe Antigon. 
To theo qwene he sterte anon, 
And saide, " Madame, thou hast wrong, 
" That thou boldest Alisaunder heir so long ! 
" He hath y-slawe my lord Pors, forsothe 
" Myn bond scapith he nought nouthe." 

" Pes !" quoth Candace, " thou konioun ! 
" Hit is Antigon ; a gentil baroun, 
" That is y-come to me on message, 7750 

" No bidde thou him non outrage ! 
" Gef thou dost, by God above, 
" Thou schalt leose al my love !" 


" Dame, whomsoever Y serve ; 
" In myn hoiid}'n he schal sterve ! 
" Alisaunder himseolf hit is, 
*' And hath chaunged his name, y-wis." 

** Beo thou nought so hardy," quod Candace, 
" More to seo Alisaundres face ! 
" Hadestow don him ought bote gode, 7760 

** He wolde seo thyn heorte blode ; 
" And Y my seolf, for that wrong, 
" Hyghe wolde do th^ an-hong ! 
** For, messanger that is to me sent, 
'* Schal her have no comburment." 

Candidus, wel wroth, went away, 
Ageyn cam he nought mony a day. 
When theo table was y-drawe, 
Theo wayte gan a pipe blawe. 
Tho Alisaunder and Candace, 7770 

To a chaumbre tokyn a trace ; 
And, also Y fynde yn oure bok. 
That nyght Alisaunder leve tok ; 
And went to Ynde, to his barouns. 
By wodis, dalis and downes. 
Leve he tok with muche moumyng ; 
And wente forth in the dawenyng, 
By a pryv6 way that he kneow, 
Til that he cam to Tolomew. 

He welcomode him mony a sithe, 7780 

And al his oste weore ful blithe. 


Whan they hadde of him a syght. 

No dwelled he there bote o nyght, 

On the morwe they weynt, withoute assoyne, 

To the grete borwgh of Babiloyne. 

Antioche hadde the former- warde, 

And Tolom^ the reirwarde ; 

And Alisaunder, the riche sire, 

Passed Perce, and eke Assire, 

To Babiloyne ; ther men heom tolde 7790 

That Daries tresour was theryn holde. 

Nenbrok furst, a geaunt fell, 
Made Babiloyne, and eke Babell : 
And he no moste, for God Almyght, 
Fulliche hit up dyght : 
For ther feol furst, for his outrage. 
Two and sixty divers laugdge ; 
And siththe, a lady that hette Amyramis, 
Alaide his bost and his prys, 
And that cit6 wan with honour, 7800 

And XV. kynriche, tout entour. 
Theo cite is, so seyn men, 
Bytweone Tiger and Aufriten. 
An c. pas is hygh the wal ; 
And an c. gates al of met^l. 

Alisaunder, of al his regioun, 
Thoughte ther make his maister-toun : 
Into al the world he sent message ; 
A thoughte arere a neowe trowage. 


Of kyngis, dukis, barouns, and eorlis, 7810 

Of prynces, knyghtis, freomen, and cheorlis ; 

And gedren ost so grete, 

Was never y-seyghe non such yette. 

For he thoughte to Aufryke wende, 

Nexte after that somer eynde. 

Ac him was erst sent a sonde, 

Of a justise of his londe, 

Antipater was his name ; 

Mony a mon he dude scheome. 

Theo lewed folk prayed theo kyng, 7820 

Of him to make remuwyng. 

Theo kyng dude [him] anon depose : 

That feol him to harm forsothe ! 

Antipater was to court went. 

Now herith the kyngis encombrement ! 



Antipater, who had been accused of mal-practiceSf and dreaded 
thejtist resentment of Alexander, resolves to poison him, and 
sends him a present of medicated mine. Alexandei- drinks it, 
and immediately perceives his death approaching. He swoons. 
Grief of his army. He makes a long speech to his generals, 
among whom he divides his dominions, and dies. Moral re- 
flections, with which the poem concludes. 

In this world fallith mony cas ; 

Bothe lite blisse, and schort soltis ! 

Ipomydoun, and Pallidanas, 

And Absolon, that so fair was, 

They lyved here bote lite ras ; 7830 

And sone echon forgete was ! 

Theo ladies schynen, so the glas ; 

And this maidenes, with rody face, 

Passen sone so flour on gras ! 

So strong, so fair, never non n'as, 

That he no passith with alias ! 


Aventure so hath turned his pas, 
Ageynes the kyng his mas. 
That undurstod dame Olimpias, 
And sendeth to Alisaunder warayng, 7840 

As to her owen swete darlyng : 
" That he him werye, in alle wise, 
" Fro Antipater his justise." 

Antipater undurstod wel 
That the kyng is ful crewell. 
Adrad he was, and wod nygh ; 
Ac yet he was of heorte slygh. 
How so hit ever beo. 
The kyng scholde dyghe or he. 
Venym he tok, and tempred hit with wyn, 7850 
The wyn hette Elboryn ; 
(In this world above the eorthe, 
N'is wyn of so muche worthe :) 
And to the kyng he hit sent. 
The kyng askid drynk of that present. 
Me broughte hit him in a coppe of gold 
The kyng therof drank, that he no schold ! 
Away he threow the gold rede. 
" Alas ! he saide, Y am dede ! 
" Drynk ne schal neuer efte more, 7SC)6 

" Do to this werlde so mychel sore, 
" As this drynk shal do ! 
" Alas, alas ! that me is wo, 


" For my modir, dame Olimpias, 

" And for my suster that so fair was ! 

" And for my barouns, al above, 

" That Y myghte in heorte wel love! 

" They beon lordis, now Y am ded 

*' Thorugh a traitour ful of quede. 

" What helpeth it lenger y-teid, 7870 

" His poyson present me hath aqueld : 

** No mon, that wol this day passe, 

" No drynke therof mor no lasse." 

With that word he gan to swowe : 
And aboute him come barounes ynowe. 
And toke him up in heore arme. 
And weopten sore for his harnu 
There men myghte reouth y-seo, 
Bytweone theo barouns of gret poust6 ! 
Mony on wrong heore honde, 788Q 

And mony a robe ther to-ronde. 
There was mad muche gredyng, 
Much weopyng, muche waylyng, 
Ofte they bymeneth his prowesse, 
His youthe, and his hardynesse ; 
His gentrise, and cortesye. 
AUe they gan aloud crye, 
Apon Alisaundris name that Was. 
Mony crieden, " Alas ! alas !" 
Riche and pore, lasse and more, 7890 

Wrongyn heore hondyn and wepten sore. 

VOL. 1. X 


Two myle aboute, men hiyghte here 
Of gentil men a reoutheful chere. 

The kyi^ rovertid of his gredyng, 
And gaf heom alle comfortyhg^. 
He saide, " Bryrigith forth my maign6 ! 
** Er Y in this world iyne, 
" Y Wol byqwethe niy gode freo, 
" To heom that haven served me." 
He was y-brought to bedde anon, 7900 

Aboute him barouns mony on. 

" Lordyngis," he saide, " of this contr^y, 
'* Of Tyre, and Mede, and of Sydon%, 
" That wide haven served me, 
" And in muche travaile for me haveth beo : 
*' Londis, and rentis, as Y heom fond, 
" Ageyn you Y geve, hoi and sound. 
"And everiche knyghta thousand pound, or more, 
*' Youre harmes to restore. 
*' O bel amy ! sire Perdicas, 7910 

" For my love, in mony a eas, 
" Thou hast y-tholed mony a stryf, 
" And treowe beon in al thy lif ! 
" Y th^ byqwethe Grece, myn heritage, 
" Corinthe, Macedoyne, and Cartage, 
" Tebie, and tho olhir londis : 
*' Kep my modir, arid wrek my schondis I 
" Tholomew, my marchal, 
" Thou schalt have al Portyngale, 


" And Egipte, to flun Jordan : 7920 

" For better baroun no wot Y non ! 

' Antiochus, ostage by dome, 

" Thou schalt have tlie lond of Rome, 

" And al Romayn, and Lumbardye^j . 

" For thou kanst ful wel heom gye ! 

" Ayme of Cartage, so God me 'soile, 

" Thou schalt have Cal,abre and Poyle, 

" And theo riche lond of Laboure, 

" And beo Antiochus neygheboure ! 

" Tyberye, with flesche hardye, 7930 

" Thou schalt have Sullye, 

" Acres, Jafes, and Jerusalem, 

" And Nazareth, and Bedlehem j 

" Al theo lond of Galyleo, 

" Ryght now Y byqwethe th^ ! 

" Mark of Rome, bel amy, 

" Esclaveyn that is so freo, 

" And eke Constantyn theo noble, 

" And Limochius that is noble, 

" And GrifFayne, the riche pece, 7940 

" That lith to the seo of Grece. 

" Philo, thou schalt have Caucas, 

" And all theo lond of Caspias, 

" And al the lond of Melonas, 

" To theo riche cite of Bandas, 

" And al the ylis of 1 aproban,^ 

" That Y of Pors the kyng wan. 


** Sampson theo vetuse for myn amour 

" Thou hast y-tholid mony hard schour : 

" Thou schalt have al Albyenne ; 7950 

" And Armonye, into theo fenne ; 

" And Orcanye, and Neowe-Alisaunder, 

" My neow cit6, theo riche sclaunder. 

" Salome, sith Darie was dede, 

" Thou hast served me in mony stude, 

" In noble servise, wel redy, 

" And treowe in bataile, and hardy. 

** Thou schalt have Perce, and Mede, 

" And Babiloyne, theo riche thede. 

" Daries blod thou art next, 7960 

" VVyght and gentil, y-bore hext. 

" Daries eire Y make th^, 

*' And seise th^ with al his feo. 

*' This venym creopith undur my ribbe, 

" That Y no may no longer libbe." 

In al this grete doloure. 
He made to fettc his tresoure, 
And gaf to knyght, swayn, and knave. 
As muche as they wolde have 
Of hors, and clothis, and seolver won, 7970 

And made hcom riche everichon : 
And ryght as he hadde y-do, 
'llieo lif of body he lette go. 

Ac never man, in Soth treowethe, 
!No say never so muche reowthe. 


Of weopyng, cryeng, and hondis wryiigyng, 
As was y-made for Alisaunder the kyug ! 

Now is the kyng out of lyf. 
Swithe ariseth gret stryf, 

For the body beoriing : 7980 

And, after gret crying, 
Salome saide, with al that fare. 
He wolde his body burye thare : " 
And him wolde duk Sampson 
To Alisamider theo neowe toun. 
Philot also Y fynde, > 

Him chalangith into Ynde. 
Perdicas, withoute assoyne, 
Him chalangith to Macedoyne. 
Aymes, Avith gret honour, 7990^ 

Him askith to theo lond of Labour. 
Anlioche, by hygh dome, 
Wolde him lede to riche Rome, 
Everiche baroun sette on him liond, 
And wolde him lede to his lond. 

In all this stryf that was heom myde 
Over heom con fleo a gentil brid. 
And said, " Barouns ! letith your stryf, 
" And doth Godis heste blyve ! 
" Of his beoryng no thyng no dredith ; 8000 

" Into Egipte his body ledith, 
" Into Alisaunder, that cite apert, 
" That he made in desert. 


** Tho he hadde destruyed theo vermyn. 
" Swithe, Y you hote, doth heste myn." 

As sone as theo foul was out of syght, 
Theo barouns dude as he heom hyght : 
Theo body richeliche they kepte, 
And ladde hit into Egipte ; 

And layden him in golde fyn, 8010 

In a temple of Appolyn, 
N'uste mon never hethen kyng 
Have so riche a buryeng. 
Now Tholomew hath theo sesyng ; 
God geve alle good fynyng ! 

Whan theo kyng was bydeolve, 
Everiche duyk went to him seolve, 
And maden wo and contek ynough. 
Everiche of heom, nygh, othir slough. 
For to have theo kyngis qwede, . 8020 

Muche bataile was heom myde. 

ITius hit farith, in myddel erd, 
Among lewed and lerid ! 
Whan theo heved is doun y-falle, 
Acombred buth theo lymes alle ! - 
Thus eyndith kyng Alisaunder, 
Of whom was so muche sclaunder. 

Now ye haveth al y-herd. 
God, that made the myddel erd, 


Geve ows alle his blessyng, 8030 

And graunte ows alle god endyng ! 
Amen, Amen, Amen, &c. 

Alisaunder ! me reowith thyn endyng, 
That thou n'adest dyghed in Cristenyng ! 


,4>. th 



ti- '*"i;':f" rry rrr- 


Will ye lystyn, and ye schyll here 
Of eldyrs that before vs were, 

Bothe hardy and wyght : 
In the tyme of kynge Vter/'V ' ^ ' T" O ^ * 
That was fadyr of kynge A[r]thyr 

A semely man in sight. 
He hade a knyght, that hight Sir Cleges, 
A dowtyar was non of dedes 

Of the rovnd tabull ryght : 
He was a man of hight stature, 10 

And therto full fayr of feture. 

And also of gret myght. 

A corteysear knyght than he was on, 
In all the lond was there non ; 
He was so gentyll and fre ; 


To men, that traveld in londe of ware 
And weren fallyn in pouerte bare, 

He yaue both gold and fee : 
The pore pepull he wold releve 
And no man wold he greve ; 20 

Meke of maners was hee ; 
His mete was fre to euery man, 
That wold com and vesite hym than : 

He was full of plent^. 

The knyght hade a gentyll wyffe. 
There might neuer better here life, 

And mery sche was on sighte : 
Dame Clarys hight that fayre lady j 
Sche was full good sekyrly, 

And gladsum both day and nyghte : SO 

Almes gret sche wold geve. 
The pore pepull to releue ; 

Sche cherissched many a wight : 
For them had no man dere, 
Reche ar pore, wethyr thej were. 

They ded euer ryght. 

Euery yer Sir Cleges wold 
At Cristemas a gret fest hold, 
In worschepe of that daye. 

sm CLEGES. 333 

As ryall in all thynge 40 

As he hade ben a kynge 

Forsoth as I you saye. 
Rech and pore in the cuntr^ abought 
Schulde be there wythoutton dought ; 

There wold no man say nay. 
Mynstrellis wold not be behynde ; 
For there they myght most myrthis fynd, 

There wold they be aye. 

Mynstrellys, whan the fest was don, 
Wythoutton yeftes schuld not gon, 50 

And that bothe reche and good : 
Hors, robis and reche ryng. 
Gold, siluer and othyr thyng, 

To mend wyth her modde. 
Ten yere sech fest he helde. 
In the worschepe of Mari myld. 

And for hym that dyed on the rode. 
Be that his good began to slake 
For the gret festes that he dede make, 

The knyght gentyll of blode. 60 

To hold the feste he wold not lett ; 
His maners he ded to wede sett, 
He thowght hem out to quyghtt. 


Thus he festyd many a yere, 
Many a knyght and squire, 

In the name of God allmyghtt. 
So at the last, the soth to say, 
All his good was spent awaye : 

Than hade he but lyght. 
Thowe his good were ner and leste, 70 

Yet he thowght to make a feste : 

Yn God he hopyd ryght. 

This ri^te he made than aye, 
Tyll his maneres were all awaye, 

Hym was lefte but on ; 
And that was of so lytyll a value 
That he and his wyflFe trewe 

Might not leve thereon. 
His men that weren mekyll of pride 
Gan slake awaye on euery syde ; 80 

With hym there wold dwell non. 
But he and hLs childym too : 
Than was his hart in mech woo 

And he made mech mone. 

And yt befell on Crestemas evyn 
The kyng bethowght hym full evyn ; 

He dwellyd be Kardyfe syde. 


Whan yt drewe toward the novn * 

Sir Cleges fell in svounyng sone, 90 

Whan he thowght on that tyde, 
And on his myrthys that he schuld hold, 
And howe he hade his maners sold 

And his renttes wyde. 
Meche sorowe made he there, 
He wrong his hdnd, and weped sore. 

And fellyd was his pride. 

And as he walkyd vpp and dovn 
Sore syghthyng, he hard a sovne 

Of dyvers mynstrelsee ; 
Of trompes, pypes, and claraneris, 100 

Of harpis, luttis, and getarnys, 

A sotile, and sawtr^ ; 
Many carellys, and gret davnsyng ; 
On euery syde he hard syngyng, 

In euery place trewly. 
He wrong his hondes, and wepyd sore j 
Meche mone made he there, 

Syghynge petusly. 

" Lord Jesu ! he seyd, hevyn kynge^ 
" Of nowght thou madyst all thynge : 1 10 

" I thanke th^ of thy sond. 


" The myrth that I was wonte to make, 
" At thys tyme, for thy sake, 

" I fede both fire and bond ; 
" All that euer cam in thy name 
" Wantyd neythyr wyld nof tame, 

** That was in my lond, 
" Of reche metis, and drynkkys good, 
" That myght be gott, be the rode, 

" For coste J wold not lend." 120 

As he stod jn mornyng soo. 
His good wyfFe cam hym vnto, 

And jn hyr armys hym hent ; 
Sche kyssyd hym wyth glad chere : 
'* My lord, sche seyd, my trewe fere, 

" J hard what ye ment : 
" Ye se will yt helpyth nowght 
** To make sorowe in your hart, 

" Therefore J pray you stynte. 
" Let your sorowe awaye gon ISO 

" And thanke God of hys lone 

" Of all that he hath sent. 

** For Crystis sake J pray you blyne 
** Of all the sorowe that ye ben jn, 
" In ono of thys daye. 


*" Nowe euery man schuld be glade, 
" Therefore J pray you be not sade ; 

" Thynke what J you saye. 
" Go we to oure mete swyth, 
" And let vs make vs glade and blyth, 140 

" As wele as we may. 
" J held yt for the best trewly 
" For youre mete is all redy, 

" I hope to youre paye." 

*' J asent," seyd he tho, 
And jn with hyr he gan goo. 

And sumwatt mendyd hys chere ; 
But neuertheles hys hart was sore. 
And sche hym comforttyd more and mord, 

Hys sorowe away to stere ; 150 

So he began to waxe blyth, 
And whypyd away hys teris swyth. 

That ran dovn be his lyre. 
Than they wasschyd, and w ent to mete, 
Wyth sech vitell as they myght gett. 

And made mery in fere. 

Whan they had ete, the soth to saye, 
Wyth myrth they drofFe the day away 
As will as they myght : 

VOL. 1. Y 


Wyth her chyldyrn play they ded, I60 

And after soper went to bede, 

Whan yt was tyme of nyght : 
And on the morowe they went to chirch, 
Godes service for to werch, 

As yt was reson end ryght. 

Sir Cleges knelyd on his kne 
To Jesu Crist prayed he, 

Becavse of his wlffe : 
" Gracius Lord, he seyd thoo, 
" My wyffe and my chyldyrn too 170 

*' Kepe hem out of stryfFe !" , 
The lady prayed for hym ayen, 
_ That God schuld kepe hym fro payne 

In everlastyng lyf. 
Whan service was don hom they went. 
And thanked God with god entent. 

And put away penci. 

Whan he to hys place cam 
His care was will abatyd than, 

Thereof he gan stynt : 1 80 

He made his wife afore hym goo, 
And his chyldyrn both to ; 

Hymselfe alone went 


Jnto a gardeyne there besyde. 
And knelyd dovn in that tyde. 

And prayed God veramend ; 
And thanked God with all his hartt 
Of his disese, and hys pouertt, 

That to hym was sent. 

As he knelyd on hys knee, 190 

Vndemeth a chery-tre, 

Makyng his preyere. 
He rawght a bowe on hys hede, 
And rosse vpe in that stede ; 

No lenger knelyd he there. 
Whan the bowe was in hys hand 
Grene leves thereon he fonde. 

And rovnd beryse in fere. 
He seyd : " Dere God in Trenyt^, 
" What manere of beryse may this be 20Q 

" That grovyn this tyme of yere ? 

*' Abowght this tyme J sey neuer ere 
" That any tre schuld frewght here, 

"As far as J have sowght." 
He thowght to taste, yf he cowthe, 
Arid on he put in his mowth, 

And spare wold he nat. 


After a chery the reles was 

The best that euer he ete in place 

Syn he was man wrowght. 210 

A lytyll bowe he gan of slyve, 
And thowght to schewe yt to his wife, 

And in he yt browght. 

** Loo dame ! here ys newelt^ ! 
, *' In oure gardeyne of a chery-tre 

" I fond yt sekerly. 
" J am aferd yt ys tokynnyng 
" Of more harme that ys comynge, 

" Forsoth thus thynkkyth me : 
" But wethyr wee have les or more, 220 

" AUwaye thanke we God therefore ; 

" Yt ys best trewely." 

Than seyd the lady with good chere 
*' Latt vs fyll a panyer 

" Of this that God hath sent : 
" Tomorovn whan the day dothe spryng 
" Ye schill to CardyfFe to the kynge, 

" And yeve hym to present ; 
" And seche a yefte ye may haue there, 
'* That the better wee may fare all this yere ; 230 

** J tell you werament." 

SIR CliEGES. 341 

Sir Cleges gravnted sone thereto : 
*' To morovn to CardiiFe will J goo, 
" After your entent." 

On the moroun, whan yt was lyght, 
The lady had a panere dyght ; 

Hyr eldest son callyd sche ; 
" Take vp thys panyer goodly 
" And here yt forthe esyly 

" Wyth thy fadyr fre." ^40 

Than Sir Cleges a staffe toke ; 
He had non hors, so seyth the boke, 

To ryde on hys jomy ; 
Neythyr stede, ner palfray, 
But a staife was hys hakenay 

As a man in pouert^. 

Sir Cleges, and his son gent. 
The right waye to CardifFe went 

Oppoji Cristemas daye. 
To the castell he cam full right, 250 

As they were to mete dyght, 

Anon the sothe to say. 
In Sir Cleges thowglit to goo ; 
But in pore clothyng was he tho. 

And in sympull araye. 


The porter seyd full hastyly, 
** Thou chorle, withdrawe th^ smertly, 
" J rede th^, without delaye ! 

" EUys, be God and Seint Mari, 

" J schall breke thyne hede on high ; 260 

" Go stond in beggers rowght ! 
" Yf thou com more inward 
" Jt schall th^ rewe aftei-ward, 

" So J schall th^ clowght." 
" God sir, seyd Sir Cleges tho, 
" J pray thou lat me in goo, 

" Now without dowght : 
" The kyng J haue a present browghtt 
" From hym that made all thynge of nowght : 

" Behold all abowght." 270 

The porter to the panere went, 
And the led vppe he hentt ; 

The cheryse he gan behold. 
Will he wyst for his corayng 
Wyth that present to the kyng, 

Gret yeftes haue he schuld. 
" Be hym, he seyd, that me bowght, 
*' Into thys place comste thou nott, 

" As J am man of mold, 

SIR CL6S. ^48 

" The thyrde part but thou graunte me 280 

** Of that the kyng will yeve th^, 
" Wethyr yt be syluer or gold !" 

Sir Cleges seyd, " J asent." 

He yaue hym leve, and in he went, 

Without more lettyng. 
Jn he went a gret pace : 
The vsscher at the hall dore was 

Wytli a staflfe stondynge, 
In poynte Cleges for to smyght. 
'* Goo bake, thou chorle, he seyd, 290 

" Full tyghte without teryyng ! 
" J schall th^ bette euery leth, 
" Hede and body, wythout greth, 

" Yf thou make more pressynge." 

" Good sir, seyd Sir Cleges than, 
" For hys loue that made man, 

" Sese your angrye mode ! 
" J have herr a present browght 
" From hym that made all thynge of nowght, 

" And dyed on rode tre : 300 

" Thys nyght jn my gardeyne it grewe ; 
" Behold wethyr it be false or trewe 

" They be fayre and good." 

344 SIR CLEGEg. 

The vsscher lyfte vp the lede smartly, 
And sawe the cheryse verily ; 
He marveld in his mode. 

The vsscher seyd, " Be Mari swet, 
" Chorle thou comste not jn yett, 

" J tell th^ sekyrly, 
" But thou me graunte, without lesyng, SIO 

" The thyrd part of thi wynnyng, 

" Wan thou comste ayen to me." 
Sir Cleges sey non other von ; 
Thereto he grauntyd sone anon ; 

Jt woU non othyr be. 
Than Sir Cleges with hevi chere 
Toke hys son and hys panere ; 

Into the hall went he. 

The styward w^lkyd there withall, 

Amonge the lordes in the hall, 320 

TTiat were rech in wede. 
To Sir Cleges he went boldly, 
And seyd, " Ho made th^ soo hardi 

" To com into ihys stede ? 
" Chorle, he seyd, thou art to bold ! 
" Wythdrawe th^ with thy clothys olde 

Smartly, J th^ rede !" 


" J haue, he seyd, a present browght 
" From our Lord that vs dere bowght, 

" And on the rode gan blede." 330 

The panyer he toke the styward sone, 
And he pullyd out the pyne 

As smartly as he myght. 
The styward seyd, " Be Mari dere, 
** Thys sawe J neuer ihys tyme of yere, 

" Syn J was man wrowght ! 
" Thou schalt com no nere the kyng, 
" But yf thowe graunt me myne askyng, 

" Be hym that me bowght : 
" The thyrd part of the kynges yefte, 340 

" That will J haue, be my threfte, 

" Ar forthere gost thou nott !" 

Sir Cleges bethowght hym than, 
" My part ys lest betwyxt thes men, 

" And J schall haue nothynge ; 
^* For my labor schall J nott get 
" But yt be a raelys mete." 

Thus he thought syynge. 
He seyd, " Harlot, hast noo tonge ? 
" Speke to me, and terye nat longe, 350 

" And graunte me myn askynge ; 

346 SIB CLEGEg^ 

" At wyth a staSe J sc^iall th^ wake, 
" That thy rebys schall all to-qu^ke, 
" And put th^ out hedlynge." 

Sir Cleges sey non othyr bote, 
But his askyng graunte he most, 

And seyd with syynge sore : 
" Whatsoeuer the kypg reward, 
" Ye schall haue the thyrd part, 

" Be yt lesse or more." 360 

Vpe to the desse Sir Cleges went. 
Full soborly and with good entent, 

Knelynge the kynge before. 

Sir Cleges oncowyrd the panyere, 

And schewed the kynge the cheryse clere. 

On the grovnd knelynge. 
He seyd, " Jesu our savyor 
*' Sent th^ thys frewght with honor 

" On thys erth growynge." 
The kynge sye thes cheryse newe : 370 

He seyd, " J thanke Cryst Jesu ; 

" Thys is a fayre neweynge." 
He commaundyd Sir Cleges to mete, 
And aftyrward he thowght with hym to speke, 

Wythout any faylyuge. 

9Ift GLBG^S. 347 

The kynge therof made a present. 
And sent yt to a lady gent 

Was bom in Cornewayle : 
She was a lady bryght and schene 
And also ryght will besene, 380 

Wythout any fayle. 
The cheryse were servyd thorowe the hall ; 
Than seyd the kynge, that lord ryall, 

" Be mery, be my cunsell ; 
" And he that browght me this present 
'^ Full will J schall hym content ; 

" Yt schall hym wyll avayle." 

Whan all men were mery and glade, 
Anon the kynge a squire bade, 

" Brynge nowe me beforn, 390 

" The pore man that the cheryse browght." 
He cam anon, and teryde natt, 

Wythout any skorn. 
Whan he cam before the kyng, 
On knese he fell knelynge. 

The lordes all beforn. 
To the kyng he spake full styll : 
" Lord, he seyd, watte ys your will f 

" J am your man fre born." 

348 SIR cLeges^. 

" J thanke th^ hartyly, seyd the kyiige, 400 

*' Of thy yeft and presentynge, 

" That thou hast nowe i-doo. 
" Thowe haste onowryd all my fest, 
** Old and yonge, most and lest, 

" And worschepyd me also : 
*' Wattsooeuer thou wolt haue, 
** J will th^ graunte, so God me saue, 

" That thyne hart standyth to." 

He seyd, " Gramarcy, lech kynge, 

" Thys ys to me a comfortynge : 410 

" J tell you sekyrly, 
" For to haue lond or lede, 
" Or othyr reches, so God me spede ! 

" Yt ys to meche for me : 
** But seth J schall chese my selfe, 
" J pray you graunt me strokys twelve, 

" To dele were lykyth me : 
" Wyth my staffe to pay hem all 
*' To myn adverseryse in the hall, 

" For send Charyt^ !" 420 

Than aunsswerd Hewtar the kynge : 
*' J repent my grauntetynge, 
" That J to th^ made. 

sin CLEGEs. 349 

** Good, he seyd, so mott J thee 

** Thowe haddyst be belter haue gold or fee ; 

*< More nede therto thou hade." 
Sur Cleges seyd, with a waunt, ' 

" Lord yt ys your owyn graunte, 

" Therfore J am full glade." 
The kynge was sory therfore, 430 

But neuerthelesse he grauntyd hym there ; 

Therefore he was full sade. 

Sir Cleges went into the hall, 
Among the gret lordes all. 

Without any more. 
He sowght after the prowghd styward. 
For to yeve hym hys reward, 

Becavse he grevyd hym sore. 
He yaffe the styward sech a stroke, 
That he fell dovn as a bloke, 440 

Before all that therin were : 
And after he yafe hym othyr thre ; 
He seyd, " Sore, for thy corteci, 

*' Smyghte me no more !" 

Out of the hall Sir Cleges went, 
Moo to paye was hys entent, 
Wythout any lett. 


He went to the vsscher in a breyde : 
" Haue here sum strokys he seyde," 

Whan he wyth hyrti mete ; 450 

So that after and many a daye 
He wold warn no man the waye, 

So grymly he hym grett. 
Sir Cleges seyd, " Be my threft, 
** Thou hastte the thyrd part of my yeftle 

As J th^ behyght." 

Than he went to the portere, 

And four strokys he yaue hyiti there ; 

His part hade he there [too] : 
So that after and many a daye, 466 

He wold warn no man the waye, 

Neythyr to ryde nether goo. 
The fyrste stroke he leyde hym on 
He brake in to bys schuldyrbone. 

And his on arme thereto. 
Sir Cleges seyd, " Be my threfte, 
*' Thowe has the thyrd parte of my yefte ; 

" The couenaunte we made soo." 

The kynge was sett in his paflor, ' 

Wyth myrth solas and onor ; 4^0 

Sir Cleges thedyr went. 


srR CLEGES* S51 

An harpor sange a gest be mowth 
Of a knyght there be-sowth ; 

Hymselffe werament. 
Than seyd the kynge to the harpor ; 
" Were ys knyght Cleges, tell me herr, 

" For thou hast wyde i-went. 
*' Tell mie trewth yf thou can, 
*' Knowyste thou of that man ?" 

The harper seyd, " Yee, J wysse : 480 

*' Sum tyme forsoth J hym knewe ; 
*' He was a knyght of yours full trewe, 

" And comly of gesture. 
" We mynstrellys mysse hym sekyrly, 
" Seth he went out of cuntr^ ; 

" He was fayr of stature." 
The kynge seyd, " Be myne hede ! 
" J trowe that Sir Cleges be dede, 

" That J lovyd peramore : 
Wold God he were alyfe ! 490 

** J had hym lever than othyr fyve, 

" For he was stronge in stowre." 

Sir Cleges knelyd before the kynge, 
For he grauntyd hym hys askynge. 
He thanked hym cortesly. 


Specyally the kynge hym prayed 

To tell hym whye tho strokes he payed 

To hys men thre. 
He seyd, " That he myght nat com inward, 
** Tyll euerych J graunttyd the thyrd partt 500 

" Of that ye wold yeve me : 
" With that J schuld have nowght myselfe ; 
" Werefore J yaue hem strokes twelve : 

" Methowt yt best trewly." 

The lordes lowe both old a[nd] yenge, 
And all that weren with the kynge, 

They made solas inowe. 
The kynge lowe so he nott myght : 
He seyd, " This ys a noble wyght, 

" To God J make a wowe !'* 510 

He sent after his styward, 
" Hast thou, he seyd, thy reward ? 

" Be Cryst, he ys to lowe !" 
The styward seyd, with lok grym, 
" - - - - the dewle hym 

" Born on a lowe !" 

The kynge seyd to hym than, 
" What is thy name tell me, good man, 
" Now anon rygh[t] ?" 

StU CLEGES. ^53 

" J hight Sii' Cleges, soo haue J blysse ! 520 
*' My ryght name yt ys, i-wysse ; 

" J was your owyn knyght" 
'* Art thou Sir Cleges, that servyd me, 
*' That was soo jentyll and soo fre, 

" And so stronge on iyght ?" 
" Ye, sir, lord, he seyd, so mott J thee, 
** Tyll God in hevyn had vesyte me : 

" Thus pouerte haue me dyght." 

The kynge yaue hym anon ryght 

All that 'loriged to a knyght, 5S0 

To rech his body wyth. 
The castell of CardyfFe he yaue hym thoo, 
[With many other yeftes moo, 

Miri to lyue and blyth. 
The knyght rode to dame Clarys his wyue, 
Fairer ladie was non olyue ; 

He schewyd his yeftes swyth : 
Now to Mari that hende may, 
For all yowr sowlys Y her pray 

That to my talys lythe.] 540 

YOL. l4 


fir r :' '. t.- 


.'.:viin HA 





We redeth (rft, and findeth y-write, 
^And this clerkes wele it wite, 
Layes that ben in harping, 
Ben y-founde of ferli thing : 
Sum bethe of wer, and sum of wo. 
Sum of joie and mirthe also, 
And sum of trecherie and of gile, 
Of old auentours that fel while ; 
And sum of bourdels and ribaudy. 
And many ther beth of fairy ; 10 

Of al thinges that men seth, 
' Maist o loue forsothe thai beth. 

In Breteyne bi hold time, 
This layes were wrought, so seith this rime : 
When kinges might our y-here 
Of ani meruailes that ther were. 


Thai token an harp in gle and game, 

And maked a lay and yaf it name. 

Now of this auentours that weren y-falle, 

Y can tel sum, ac nought alle : 20 

Ac herkeneth lordinges sothe to sain, 

Ichil you telle Lay le Frain. 

Bifel a cas in Briteyne, 

Whereof was made Lay le Frain, 

In Ingliche for to tellen, y-wis, 

Of ane asche, forsothe it is, 

On ensammple fair withalle 

That sum time was bifalle. 

In the west cuntr^ woned tvay knyghtes 
And loued hem wele in al ryghtes ; 30 

Riche men, in her best liif, 
And aither of hem hadde wedded wiif. 
That o knight made his leuedi milde 
That sche was wonder gret with childe ; 
And when hir time was comen tho, 
Sche was deliuerd out of wo. 
The knight thonked God Almight, 
And cleped his messanger an hight. 
*' Go, he seyd, to mi neighebour swithe, 
" And say, Y gret him fele sithe, 40 

" And pray him that he com to me ; 
** And say he schal mi gossibbe be." 
Tlie messanger goth and hath nought foryete ; 
And fint the knight at his mete, 


And fair he gret in the halle 

The lord, the leuedi, the meyn^ alle : 

And seththen on knes doun him sett, 

And the lord ful fair he gret : 

** He bad that thou schult to him t^, 

*' And for loue his gossibbe be." 50 

" Is his leuedi deliuerd with sounde ?" 

" Ya, sir, y-thonked be God the stounde !" 

" And whether a maiden child other a knaue ?" 

" Tvay sones, sir, God hem saue !" 

The knyght therof was glad and blithe, 

And thonked Godes sond swithe ; 

And graunted his erand in al thing, 

And yaf him a palfray for his tiding. 

Than was the leuedi of the hous 
A proude dame and an envieous, GO 

Hokerfulliche missegging, 
Squeymous and eke scorning ; 
To ich woman sche hadde envie, 
Sche spac this wordes of felonie : 
" Ich haue wonder, thou messanger, 
*' Who was thi lordis conseiler 
" To teche him about to sende, 
*' And telle schame, in ich an ende, 
*' That his wiif hath to childer y-bore. 
" Wele may ich man wite therfore, 70 

" That tvay men hir han hadde in hour ; 
" That is hir bothe deshonour J" 

360 liAY LEtFREINi:. 

The messanger was sore aschamed. ^. 

The knight himself was sore agramed, .' 

And rebouked his ieuedy, 
To speke ani woman vilaynie. 
And ich woman therof might here, * 

' Curssed hir alle y-fere, ^^ 

And bisought God in heuen, ^ 

For his holy name seuen, 80 

That yif hye euer ani child schuld abide, ^ 

A wers auentour hir schuld bitide. 

Sone therafter bifel a cas, 
That hirself with child was. 
When God wild sche was unbounde, 
And deliuerd, al with sounde : 
To maiden childer sche hadde y-bore. 
When hye it wii^t, wo hir was therfore : 
" Alias, she seyd, that this hap come ! 
" Ich haue y-youen min owen dome : 90 

" For boden bite ich woman 
" To speken ani other harm opon. 
" Falsliche another Y gan deme ; 
" The selue happe is on me sene. 
" Alias, sche seyd, that Y was born ! 
" Withouten ende ich am forlorn, 
" Or ich mot siggen gikerly, 
" That tvay men han y-ly me by ; 
" Or ich mot, that God it schilde ! 
** Help to sle min owhen child. IGO 


" On of this thre thinges ich mot nede 

*" Sigge, other don, in dede. 

" Yif ich say ich hadde a bi-leman, 

" That ich leighe meselue opon : 

" Than ich Avorth of old and yong 

" Be hold leighster and fals of tong. 

*' Yete me is best take mi chaunce, 

*' And sle me childe, and do penaunce.'* 

Hir midwiif hye cleped hir to ; 
** Anon, sche seyd, this child for-do, 110 

" And euer say thou, wher thou go, 
;" That ich haue o child and na mo." 
The midwiif answerd thurchout al 
That hye nil, no hye ne schal. 

[The levedi hadde a maiden fre, 
Who ther y-nurtured hade y-be. 
And fostered fair ful mony a yere ; 
Sche saw her kepe this sori chere, 
And wepe, and syke, and crye, " Alas !" 
And thoghte to helpen her in this cas. 120 

And thus sche spake, this maiden ying, 
" So n'olde Y wepen for no kind thing : 
" But this o child wol I of-bare 
" And in a covent leue it yare. 
" Ne schalt thou be aschamed at al ; 
" And whoso findeth this childe smal, 
" By Mary, blissful quene aboue,] 
" May help it for Godeg love." 


The leuedi graunted anone therto. 
And wold wele that it were y-do. 130 

Sche toke a riche baudekine 
That hir lord brought fram Constentine, 
And lapped the litel maiden therin ; 
And toke a ring of gold fin, 
And on hir right arm it knitt 
With a lace of silke therin pilt : 
And whoso hir founde schuld haue in mende. 
That it were comen of riche kende. 

The maide toke the childe hir mide, 
And stale oway in an euentide, 1,40 

And passed ouer a wild heth ; 
Thurch feld and thiirch wode hye geth 
Al the winter-long night. 
The weder was clere, the mone was light, 
So that hye com bi a forest side : 
Sche wax al weri and gan abide. 
Sone after she gan herk 
Cokkes crowe, and houndes berk. 
Sche arose and thider wold ; 
Ner and nere she gan bihoM. 150 

Walles and hous fele hye seighe ; 
A chirche, with stepel fair and heighe ; 
Than nas ther noither strete no toun> 
Bot an hous of religioun : 
An order of nonncs, wele y-dight, 
To seruy God both day and night. 


The maiden abode no lengore ; 

Bot yede hir to the chirche-dore, 

And on knes she sat adoun, 

And seid wepeand her orisoun : l60 

" O Lord, he seyd, Jesu Crist, 

" That sinful man bedes herst, 

** Vnderfong this present, 

" And help this seli innocent, 

" That it mot y-cristned be, 

" For Marie loue, thi moder fre !" 

Hye loked vp, and bi hir seighe 
An asche, bi hir, fair and heighe, 
Wele y-bowed, of michel priis ; 
The bodi was holow as mani on is. 170 

Therin she leyed the child, for cold. 
In the pel as it was bifold ; 
And blisted it with al hir might. 
With that it gan to dawe light ; 
The foules up, and song on bough, 
And acre-men yede to the plough. 
The maiden turned oyain anon. 
And tok the waye he hadde er gon. 

The porter of the abbay aros, 
And dede his ofice in the clos ; I8Q 

Rong the belles and taperes light, 
Leyd forth bokes, and al redi dight. 
The chirche dore he vndede. 
And seighe anon in the stede 

r364 LAY LE FRElNEf. 

The pel liggen in the tre, 
And thoughte wele that it might be. 
That theues hadde y-robbed sumwhare, 
(^nd gon therforth, and lete it thare. 
Therto he yede and it Arnwond, 
And the maiden child therin he fond. 190 

He tok it up bitven his hond, 
And thonked Jesu Cristes sond : 
And hom to his hous h6 it brought, 
And tok it his doubter, and hir bisought. 
That hye schuld kepe it as sche can. 
For sche was melche and couthe theran. 
Sche bad it souke and it nold, 
(For it was neighe ded for cold. 

Anon fer sche alight, 
And warmed it wele aplight. 200 

Sche yaf it souke opon hir barm, 
And seththen laid it to slepe warm. 

And when the masse was y-don, 
The porter to the abbesse com fill son : 
** Madame, what rede ye of this thing ? 
*' To-day, right in tJie morning, 
" Sone after the first stounde, 
** A litel maiden-childe ich founde 
" In the holwe assche therout ; 
" And a pel him about ; 210 

" A ring of gold also was there : 
" Hou it com thider Y jiot nere." 


The abbesse was awOnderd of this thing : 

" Go, hye seyd, on heigheing, 

" And feche it hider, Y pray th^ : 

" It is welcom to God and to me.- 

" Ichil it help as Y can, 

" And sigge it is mi kinswoman."-^ 

The porter anon it gan forth bring, 

With the pal, and with the ring. 220 

The abbesse lete clepe a prest anon. 

And lete it cristin in fun-ston : 

And for it was in an asche y-founde 

She cleped it Frain in that stounde. 

The Freyns of the asche is afrei/n 
After the language of Breteyn, 

Forthi, le Frein men clepeth this day 

More than asche, in ich cuntray. 

This Frein thriued fram yer to yer : 
The abbesse nece men wend it were. 230 

The abbesse her gan teche and held. 
Bi tliat hye was of xii. winter eld. 
In al Inglond ther nas non 
A fairer maiden than hye was on. 
And when hye couthe ought of manhed 
Hye bad the abbesse hir wis and rede. 
Which were her kin, on or other. 
Fader or moder, soster or brother. 
The abbesse hir in conseyl toke : 
To tellen hir hye nought forsoke, 240 


Hou hye was founden in al thing ; 
And tok hir the cloth and the ring, 
And bad hir kepe it in that stede ; 
And, ther-whiles she lined, so sche dede 

Than was ther in that cuntr^, 
A riche knight of lohd and fe, 
Proud, and yong, and joliue ; 
And had nought yete y-wedded wiue. 
He was stout, of gret renoun 
And was y-cleped Sir Guroun. 250 

He herd praise that maiden fre, 
And seyd, he wald hir se. 
He dight him in the way anon. 
And joliflich thider he come ; 
And bad his man sigge, verrament, 
He schuld toward a tumament. 
The abbesse and the nonnes alle. 
Fair him gret in the gest-halle : 
And damisel Frein, so hende of mouthe, 
Gret him faire as hye wele couthe ; 260 

And swhe wele he gan deuise 
Her semblaunt, and hir gentrise. 
Her louesum eighen, her rode so bright. 
And comenced to lone hir anon-right : 
And thought hou he might take on, 
To haue hir to his leman. 

He thought, " Yif ich com hir to 
" More than ichaue y-do, 

. tAY LE PREINE. 36? 

" The abbesse wil souchy gile, 

** And voide hir in a litel while/' 270 

He compast another enchesoun 

To be brother of that religioun. 

** Madame, he seyd to the abbesse, 

** Y-loui wele in al godenisse : 

** Ichil yiue on and other, 

*' Londes and rentes to bicom your brother, 

*' That ye schul euer fare the bet, 

" When Y com to haue recet." 

At fewe w'ordes thai ben at on : 
He graythes him and forth is gon.. 280 

Oft he come, bi day and night. 
To speke with that maiden bright. 
So that, with his fair bihest> 
And with his gloseing atte lest, 
Hye graunted him to don his M'ille, 
When he wil, loude and stille. 
*' Leman, he seyd, thou most lat be 
*' The abbesse thi nece, and go with me : 
" For icham riche, of swithe pouwere ; 
" Th^ finde bet than thou hast here." 290 

The maiden grant, and to him trist. 
And stale oway that no man wist j 
With hir tok hye no thing 
Bot hir pel and hir ring. 

When the abbesse gan aspie. 
That hye was with the knight owy. 

^68 LAY tfi'FRElNB. 

Sche made morning in hir thought 

And hir biment, and gained nought. ' 

So long she was in his castel, 

That al his meyn^ loued her wel. 300 

To riche and pouer she gan hir dresse, 

That al hir loued more and lesse ; ^ 

And thus sche lad with him hir liif ' 

Right as she hadde ben his wedded wiif. 

His knightes come and to him speke, - 

And holy chirche comandeth eke, 
Sum lordes doubter for to take, 
And his leman al forsake ; 
And seyd, him were wel more feir, 
In wedlok to geten him an air, 310 

Than lede his liif with swiche on, ' 

Of was kin he knewe non : 

And seyd, " Her bisides is a knight, 'i 

" That hath a doubter fair and bright, 
" That schal here his hiritage ; . 

" Taketh hir in mariage." * 

Loth him was that dede to do > 

Ac atte last he graunt therto. 

'^The forward was y-maked aright. 
And were at on, and treulhe plight. 320 

Alias ! that he no hadde y-wite, 
Er the forward were y-smite, ^ 

That bye, and his leman also, 
Sostren were and tvinnes to, ,' 


Of o fader biyeten thai were ; 
Of o moder born y-fere. 
That hye so ware nist non, 
Forsoth Y say, bot God alon ! 

The newe bride was grayd withalle 
And brought hom to the lordes halle. 330 

Hir fader com with hir also ; 
The leuedi hir moder, and other mo. 
The bischop of the lond withouten fail 
Cora to do the spusseayl. 

[Tliat maiden bird in hour bright, 
Le Codre sche was y-hight : 
And ther the guestes had gamen and gle. 
And sayd to Sir Guroun joyfully : 
" Fairer maiden n'as neuer seen. 
Better than ash is hazle Y ween ! 340 

(For in romaunce Le Frain ash is, 
And Le Codre hazle, y-wis.) 

A gret fest than gan they hold 
With gle and pleasaunce manifold ; 
And mo than al servauntes, the maid 
Y-hight Le Frain, as servant sped : 
Albe her herte wel nigh to-broke, 
No word of pride ne grame she spoke. ' 
Tlie leuedi marked her simple chere, 
And gan to love her, wonder dere. .^50 

Scant could sche feel more pine or reuth 
War it hir owen childe in sooth. 

VOL. I. A a 


Thau to the boui the damsel sped, 

Whar graithed was the spousaile bed ; 

Sche denied it was ful foully dight, 

And yll besemed a may so bright; 

So to her coffer quick she cam, 

And her riche baudekyn out-nam, 

Which from the abbess sche had got ; 

Fayrer mantel n'as ther not ; 360 

And deftly on the bed it layd ; 

Her lord woulde thus be well apayd. 
Le Codre and her mother, thare, 
Ynsanie unto the hour gan fare. 
But whan the leuedi that mantyll seighe 
Sche wel neighe swoned oway. 
The chamberleyut sche cleped tho, 
But he ne wist of it no mo. 
Then came that hendi maid Le Frain, 
And the leuedi gan to her sain, 370 

And asked, whose mantyll it ware ? 
Ilien answered that niaiden fair : 
" It is mine without lesiug ; 
Y had it, togeder with this ringe. 
Myne aunte tolde me a ferli cas, 
Hon in this mantyll i-fold 1 was, 
Atid hadde upon mine arm this ring, 
Whanne I was y-sent to norysching." 
Then was the leuedi astonied sore : 
" Fail child ! my doughter ! Y th^ bore !" 380 


Sche swoned and was wel neighe ded, 
And lay sikeand on that oed. 
Her husbond was fet tho, 
And sche told him al her wo, 
Hou of her neighbour sche had missayn, 
For sche was delyvered of childre twain ; 
And hou to children herself sche bore ; 
" And that o child I of sent thore, 
In a covent y-fostered to be ; 
And this is sche our doughter free ; 390 

And this is the mantyll, and this the ring 
You gaf me of yore as a love-tokenyng." 
The knight kissed his daughter hende 
Oftimes, and to the bisschope wende : 
And he undid the mariage strate. 
And weddid Sir Guroun alsgate 
To Le Frain his leman so fair and hend. 
With them Le Codre away did wend, 
And sone was spousyd with game and gle. 
To a gentle knight of that countr^. 400 

Thus ends the lay of tho maidens bright, 
Le Frain and Le Codre y-hight.] 

Variom Readings and Mistakes in the MSS. 
corrected in the Text. 


B. Signifies the MS. in the Bodleian Library, Laud 1. 74. fol. 
L. That in the Library of Lincoln's Inn, 130. Audi. MS. 
- Tlie fragment in the Aucbinleck MS. in the Atlvocates' 
Library at Edinburgh. 


2, To lerid men and to lewed. Xt. 
25, Boute y-set. L. 
28, and in the fell. L. 
42, On thre dighteu this myddel erd 

And cleped them, B. And cleped is. L. 
48, XII. shedynges. B. 
136, edlermayn. L. 
143, 144, Wanting in MS. L. 
176, With sadel of gold sambu of silk. B. 
183, Afuyr. B. 
228, the soth. B. 

233, Game'.i is good whiles it wil last, 
Ac it fareth so wyndes blast 
The werldeHch man and lesse and niaast 
Here lone therinne so wel waast 
Whan it is beest to thee henne it will haste 
On wondreth that men nc beeth agaste 
And that somme hem by othere ne chasteth. B. 
256, Who broughte thee see here above. L. 
268, Tho Y rod to womon is pris. L. 
299, sarsle grene. L. 
492, 493, Wanting in MS. L. 
552, The kyng had wel grete hawe 

Alle his baroims to chanmbre flaw. B. 


661, Theo feorthe to afeyte pien in halle. L. 
732, auatince. B. 
762, his goddes feyre. B. 
781, So of bowe fleiglielh the flon. B. 
793, eorthe. L. 

800, 801, These two lines are omitted in MS. L. 
815, colere ariglit. B. 
817, As the iren of the doreu. L. 
857, and dr with hond. L. 
902, And his hcde for that gilt legge. B. 
926, and naygheing. B. 
960, Carafe. L. 
964, Mo than Y telle can. L. 
1027, Willi saynles. L. 

1045, turmenlyng. L. 

1046, flvniyng. L. 

1047, The gamen ne getli nought al byline, 
There some leigheth and some wyue. B. 

1217, doughty werys. L. 

1281, 1282, These two lines are erased in the Bodleian MS. 
1309, Gif folic, other tiiorough rage. L. 
1328, songyu a new soug. L. 
1383, To couit they bntb alle y-corae, 
There bar Alisaiuidre the crounc, 
Bothe the lord and eke the grome 
' And al tiie feut6 of mouy a towne. L, 

1387, 1388, Wanting in MS. L. 
1415, halith. L, 
1430, alithed. B. 
1443. by assoyuc. L. 

1519^ 1520, Tliese two Unes occur here both in tlie Bodleian 
and Lincoln's Inn MS. and in the latter the two fol- 
lowing are added by tlie ignorant transcriber : 
And the planetis alle seven, 
Weore puiiraied undur hevcn. 
Perhaps neither these, nor those admitted into the text, 
should be allowed to stimd, as the latter occur again 
within a few lines. 
1531, Kyng of no londe. L. 
1541, And by his charnie my chel. wonder. B. 
1546, art. B. 
1603, Dieu mercy ! nmche harme. L. ^The following line i 

omitted in this MS. 
1613, With laning. L. 

1631, friisht. B. 

1632, to dcth hisbt. B. 


1706, a top of neillis. L. 

1775, To Dane-ward he went biyf. U. 

1822, Eche man hadde gret howe. B. 

1823, For to loke what was his owne. L. 
1826, Bote he by othir oounsailc 

Ahsaundre was at his iiaile. L. 
1852, His couvyn [or comyii] belle. L. 
1912, And he of sent quyk farctirrende. L. 

1922, This line does not occur in MS. Hosp. Line. 

1923, Darryn. L.--1926, Barabyn. L, 1926, Eafrakyn. 


1928, Sclantynie. L. 

1929, Colomye. L. 
1932, Saba. B. 

1947, And doth to-fore of n)y maigny. L. 

1957, The sledyn they beon make grithe. 

And hurpith into sadel withoute strive. L. 

1994, by your standard. B. By is altered by another band 
into with. 

2000, Croddetl throte, and white the swere. L. ^The Bod- 
leian MS. reads, Croune tliereonne, &c. an evident 

2019, And do thy enbues couseiilynge. L. 

2033, The glow. L. 

2046, This line is omitted in the MS. Hosp. Line. 2056, This 
line is also omitted there. 

2077, Maiiryne brouglith after of honnde londe. B. 

2078, XX. thousand of Ynde-londe. L. 

2079, Numen. L. 

2091, There was gret hong of stede. L. 
163-2166, Tliese four lines do not occur in MS. L. The 
ten next lines are also from the Bodleian MS. in- 
stead of which, the following eight occur in the 
Lincoln's Inn MS. 
SI 67-2177, Theie was strong knightis metyng, 
Launces brek, and in creopyng, 
Rnyghtis fallyng, and stedis lepyng, 
Sweordes drawe, and lymes leosyng, 
Assaillyng, and det'endyng, 
With-stondyng, and with-flemyug, 
Of takyng annes, dispoilyng. 
So gret bray, so loud cryeng, Sic. L. 
2366, Glitoun so gan fii'st adawe 

And his lymes to hym draw e. B. 
2270, uprisyngc. L. 
2273, That dunt stod at the gurdil. L. 


2277, Jophas. B. 

2295, wel felde. L. 

2298, And stnot doan Philosofs arme. L. 

2417, Saloin^ ^ysK ^^^ ^^ l'^f> 

Was gredy as a wolf, 

That feole dayghes hadde y-fast, 

Then sclieip to drjwe iu the wast. L. 
2606, Wcren made there alle commouiis. B. 
2533, Parforce .siuyten in the thrynge, 

And deode bestis from other thrynge. L. 
2558, After that beo worthe. L. 

2571, Mury is the styvour. L. 

2572, Mui-y is the touchyug of theliarpour. B. 
2610, That bataile to him y-womie. L. 

2616, with dispence. L. 

2639, To Tliebes Darie wendith what. L. 

2654, So lay tlitre an heighe strate. 

Also noble of riche momide. 

As is chepe that is in londe. B. 
2668, Theo forostoces on the walle. L, 

2755, And toke that they hadde wight. L. 

2756, three thousand. B. 
2786, al with vys. L. 

2795, 96, Tliese two lines do not occnr in MS. H. Line. 
2798, That weryng no myghte heoni lithe. L. 
2826, he him wryod, 

And witli bis scheld defendid his cors. L. 

2875, Partonopes. L. 

2876, Capusis. L. , 
2886, a blase cleir. L. 

2897, And lene us grace so on him prive. L. 
2944, Many redcden in the herd. B. 
2995, Athenis was full riche spycerie. L. 
3003, Hit was ryght at the tour . 

There, &c. L. 
3018, And Savoye all to the oste. L. 
3046, This line is omitted in MS. H. Line. The two foliow- . 

ing are thus in that copy: ^* 

Nultow neither lepe no skippe 

Make no goshauk of a kat. L. 
3136, Flunibardelynges. B. 
3160, Heore owne. L. 
3181, Witli body and castel. L. 
3202, Hadde want. L. 
3204, Many jobet and many ware 

Many tufibrth and many jouaunt. B. 


3230, als a bello. B. 

3250, stette. L. 

3277 to 80, Here are only tlie two following lines in MS. H. 
Line, (line 3280 bein^ wanting entirely :) 
They stale the keyis and letten in whate, 
And feollcn on kneoes in the strete. L. 

3293, haselg. L. 

3295, The pei*sone wercth fow and gris. B. 

3299, Darie in verger ys. L. 

3340, And thou art also arewe onward. B. 

3346, Thon an arewest thi countenance. B. 

3347, rennith. B. 

3393, And do thi self tliy peyne. B. ' 

3419, Mony knyght helm of steil. L. 
3445, Late slowe men keuereth preie ; 

His ost lasteth twenty mile waie. B. 

3449, This line does not occur in MS. B. 

3450, tey. L. 

3451, For his pidaile brenneth and sleth. B. 
3458, The smoke was so gret and leyte. 

That Daries ost it dude awayte. B. 
3487, This line is wanting in MS. H. L. 
3512 to 3519, These eight lines are erazed in tlie Bodl. MS. 
3526, 3529, These two Hues are introduced from the B. MS. 
3530, Tiie spies on sydes goth. L. 
3577, At on sop. L. 
3590, 3591, Omitted in MS. H. L. 
3661, Undur scheldis gan heom wreo. L. 
3684, Threo thousuid of the gomes 

That heo hadde overcome. L. 

3695, Omitted in MS. H. L. 

3696, And Indiens and also Maueris. L. 

3697, Also on)ilted in MS. H. L. and added in MS. Bodl. by 

a different, but an ancient hand. 
3739, 3740, Omitted in MS. H. L. 3796, That. L. 
3814, And ek he had fonrford 

Alle ymade with speris ord. B. 
3844, liklakyng. B. 
3858, 3859, Omitted in MS. H. L. 
3882, WhjRr he myghte ysee him akaye. L. 
3953, Was y-do gret lore. L. 
4046, He saw that no knyght hende, 

Nul more that knyght schende. L. 
4063, 4064, These two lines are transposed in MS. H. L. 
4066; 4067, Omitted in the same MS. 
4068, Erlv the kyng. U 


4104, Theo whiles Alisaander the kyng. L. 

4160, And saide of table beo smart. L. 

4172, 4173, Omitted in MS. H. L. 

4304, faond-habbyng. L. 

4230, Parsage. B, 

4232, 4233, Wanting in MS. H. L. 

4234, He saw Alisaundre undur his hood. L. 

4260, and eke Estrage. L. . - 

4276, god schour. L. 

4319, Wei to doD. B. 

4323, ssure. L. 

4345, No afterward ageyns vs 

Gadre he never so vertitous. L. 
4415, With a soket of broun slel. B. 
4427, With sweord rydon and gan him beore. L. 
4463, Ac none of heom was y-wounded. L. 
4511, Ded ben myne princes as Alma cours. B. 
4513, auenture. B. 
4519, myn antecessours. B. 
4650, And I the bihote by my leys. L. 
4605, beseighen so. B. 
4i621, Wanting in MS. H. L. 

4622, And saide, gentil baroun ! here my mercy ! L. * 

4623, Omitted in MS. H. L. 
4671, Of tile riche and fyne. L. 
4688, 4889, Omitted in MS. H. L. 
4698, 4699, Omitted in the saine. 

4719, With foiile egges, and reotheres tongen. L. 
4724 to 4731, and 4742 to 4747, Introduced into the text from 
MS. Bodl. 


4748, Faire bnth talcs in compaignye ; 

Eovele may the slowe liyghe. 

Mcory, in chirche, is melodie. 

Eovele may the hlynde the biynde gye. 

Who so haveth Ireowe amye, 

Jolilichc may him disgye. L. 
4^60, Taxbance, L. 

4762, Tajintcys. B. 

4763, butumeys. B. 

4764, And xii fegiounse 

Alle niembritis nacionns. L. 
4770, Ufselkotith trowes, ofselkouUibeeste. B. 


4772 to 5989, These 1227 lines are entirely wantiug iu H^jb 

Lincoln's Inn MS. 
6046, Sicliis. B. 

6136, God. L. 

6137, Magotl. L. 

6142, Bot liy and thai besekyng. B. 

6175, So dooth the Iker, oithere the fyssh. B. 

6266, Dwerewes also he bischette. B. 

6292, And shall afelle thoroug the bleynes migth. B. 

6298, Now tlie kyng hath al this in his rope. B. 

6362, Also bestes siker yee be 

And whan hy willen the walkne ysee 
They turneth the walkne upiyghtes. B. 
6372, Kcliype. L. 

6418, Eighen hy han so amement. B. 
6440, Ther is non in that contrey. L. 
6498, Weren hy yladde oither ybore. B. 
6695, carreyes. B. 
6707, bugge. L. 
6714, Olifars and in playn. L. 
6745, wilh rauche syng. L. 
6819, schurd. L. 

6834, No syghe they never such a tour. L. 
6840, Kynge, he saide, I his trough honest, 
Ac hit spryngitli of noblest. 
No forthe of broches, no of ryngis. 
No of mouthes cryinges. L. 
6848, The kyiig seigh a leeni so fire bronde; B. 
6861, Omitted in MS. H. L. where tlie preceding line is 

marked as if intended to be erazed. 
6872, Woo was hym for that ansnerc 
And it liad yherd so fele. B. 
6884, Beo hit eyghte and gret nobleys 

Ye schole hit holde and beon in pes. L. 
6902, Thorngh envye of traltours. L. 
6908,' His wit he forgat lil amorwe. 

And yeode to bedde til amorwe. L, 
6932, Ryglit as ye yave nought thorof. L. 

7001, Omitted in MS. H. L. 

7002, Hot love ofte after sonres ! 
Faire rywel ys god neyghbouris ; 

The beste thyng is God to amours. L. 
7006, Alisaundre nyl no more loure, 

Trusse to sreto Ffaacen, B, to Grece Facen. L# 
7013, Quede and harm me to awayte. L. 
35059, Tliat hy ne hadden worldes nianhede 

To her outher godhede. B. 


7110, For Cades. B. 

7173, 7174, Omitted in MS. H. L. 

7184, amour. L. 

7211, swythe lyslyng. L. 

7236, And sent you by ous saun gage. L. 

7244, For his gyoures. B. 

7247, ich rette. L. 

7267, Wei he knew thoo barouns tweye. B. 

7295, He wil he nnughtli thine amere 

Ne tliat thine hise dere. B. 
7303, Yee that chalangeth al to habbe. B. 
7413, bigonnen jangle. B. 
7430, For yorire sale beo ye wi'othe. L. 
7495, putt. L. 
7499, fcUe tyrasen. L. 
7510, Blasfame, 

As faire as was Cyane. R. 
7533, Myself with hym to conduye. B. 
7544, 7545, Omitted in MS. H. L. 
7558, And saide, heore lord was the gult 

To brenne bront ; and to beo welt, L. 
7582, Omitted in MS. H. L. 
7600, Ne be it you for my brother looih. B. 
7611, estres. B. 

7623, Til they into the sale come. L. 
7634, 7635, Omitted in MS. H. L. 
7636, Ar hir tale was at the ende. L. 
7662, Of Ttoye was tber men the storye. L. 
7690, noldest. L. 
7746, my lord Pore, 

Myn bond scapeth he ncuer more. B. 
7754, Dame, whom so ich euere serue. B. 
- 7809, And dootii arere newe tallage. B. and Audi. MS. 
7820, The lond folk beden the kinge. Auch. MS. 
7823, With harm lo liis owen nose. Auch. MS, 
78!^8, Palli<lamas. B. Auch. MS. 

7840, And sente lo Alisaunder the cas. L. And sendeth to 

Alisanndcr bihas. Auch. MS. 

7841, Omitted in MS. H. L. and MS. Auch. 
7860, Drink no schal no more vernel, 

As to tliis world muchel del, 

So this drynk now hath y-do. L. The Auch. and Bod. 
MSS. both read as in the text. 
7870, 7871, OmitleJ in MS. H. L. 
7915, Torcoynte. L. 
7946, Tabran. L. 


7948, Samson of Enuise. Auch. MS. 
7950, by Empne ; 

Al Emmery, into theo fenne ; 

And Orbenye. L. 
802S, Ainong the lew and the lerde. B. 
8028, Thus ended Alisaunder the kyng ; 

God vs graunte his blissyug. Amen. B. and Auch. MS. 

The following lines neither occur in the Bodleian MS., uor 
in the Auchinleck fragment. 


V. 220, More or les. 519, Myght not. 521, Wove. 526 
and 527 are written in one line in the MS. 533-540 have 
been added by the editor. 


Tliirteen lines in the middle of this fabliau (v. 115 to 127), 
and the conclusion, trom v. 335, have been inserted by tlK^ 
editor, to complete the story. 


G. Ramsay & Co. printers, 
Edinbargh, 1810. 




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