The romance of Guy of Warwick. The second or 15th-century version. Edited from the paper ms. Ff. 2. 38. in the University Library, Cambridge, by Dr. Julius Zupitza ...
Zupitza, Julius, 1844-1895.
Page  [unnumbered]Page  1

Guy of Warwick. [Cambridge University MS, Ff 2. 38.]

[folio 161a:1] Sythe þe tyme, þat god was borne
And Crystendome was set and sworne,
Mane aventewres hathe befalle,
That ȝyt be not knowen alle;
Therfore schulde men mekely herke
And thynke gode allwey to wyrke
And take ensawmpull be wyse men,
That haue before thys tyme ben:
Well feyre aventurs befelle them
(And sythen scheweyd to mony men),
For þat they leuyd*. [MS. originally louyd. in added over the line.] in sothefastenes,
In grete trauell and in angwysche.
Of gode menys lyuys men schulde here
And of þer gode dedys sythen lere:
He, that myght lerne and holde faste,
He schulde wexe wyse at the laste.
Hyt ys holdyn grete maystry
To holde wysdome and leue folye.
¶ Of an Erle y wyll yow telle
(Of a better may no man spelle)
And of hys stewarde bryght of hewe,
That was bothe gode and trewe,
And of hys sone, that good squyere,
Whyll he was hole and fere,
And howe he louyd a may ȝynge,
The Erlys doghtur, a swete thynge.
¶ The Erle was of Ynglonde
And helde Warwyk in hys honde: Page  2
Ryche he was and of grete myght,
Also curtes and a gentyll knyght.
He was ryche, wythowten otheys,
Of golde and syluyr and many clothys,
Of stronge castels and cyteys ryche:
In all that londe was none hym lyche,
Knyght nor swayne, in no wyse,
That durste agenste hym ryse,
But þat he toke þem, as thefe felon, [folio 161a:2]
And caste them in hys pryson.
Well he louyd feyre stedys
And gaue gyftys and grete medys;
Therfore all men hym dradde
And to hym grete loue hadde.
Erle he was of grete poste
And lorde ouyr that cuntre:
Of Oxonford all the blys,
Euery daye hyt was hys;
Of the Erledame of Bokyngham*. [MS. Bokyngham.]
Lorde he was and bare the name.
Syr Roholde, for sothe, he hyght:
He was a nobull man and a wyght.
¶ A doghtur he had be hys cowntes,
Ther myght no man telle hur feyrenes.
Lysten to me: telle y wyll
Of hur bewte; for that ys skylle.
Whyte sche was, as felde flowre;
Hur vysage was of feyre colowre,
Longe, small and well farynge;
Feyre mowthe and nose syttynge,
Feyre forhede and feyre here.
Soche a mayde was neuer ȝere,
So feyre schapyn and wele dyght:
Ioye hyt was to see that syght.
Wyse sche was and curtes of mowthe, Page  3
All the vii arse sche cowthe.
Sche had maysturs at hur honde,
The wysest men of that londe,
And taght hur astronomye,
Arsmetryck and gemetrye.
That mayde was of grete prys,
For sche was bothe warre and wyse.
¶ Dewkys, erlys of grete kynne
Of mony a londe come hur to wynne:
Of them all wolde sche none
For the godenes, that was hur on. [folio 161b:1]
Wele feyre was that damycell
Hur name was Felys la Belle.*. [MS. felysabelle.]
Of all maydenys sche bare þe*. [MS. þ e] flowre:
That tyme was none of*. [of over the line.] hur honowre.
Yf men soght all mankynde,
A feyrer maye schall no man fynde.
Who so schulde the fayrenes telle,
All to longe schulde he dwelle.
¶ Now of þe stewarde speke we then,
For he was comyn of ryche kynne.
A man he was of grete myght:
In hys tyme ther was no knyght,
Of armes, of strenkyth of honde
That bare soche pryse in all þat londe.
In Wallyngforde he was borne:
All that londe to hym was sworne.
He was a man of grete poste:
Ther was none bettur on þat halfe þe see.
He cowde ynogh of nobull seruyse,
Therfore he was of nobull pryce.
Ther was noon in all that londe,
That durste aȝenste hys lorde stonde,
But he batyd anon hys boste
Wyth the strenkyth of hys hooste Page  4
And toke hym wyth folke ynowe,
Yf they into Scotlonde flowe.
He helde all hys lordys londe
Wyth grete honowre vndur hys honde.
He made pees, as he wolde:
Yf a man were chargyd wyth golde,
He schulde fynde no robber hym to reeve,
That wolde take oght agenste hys leeue.
¶ Segwarde was the stewardys name,
A trewe man, wythowten fame:
A bettur stewarde had no man.
That ylke stewarde had a sone,
A feyrer may no man knowe [folio 161b:2]
Nodur of hye nor of lowe.
Curtes he was and wyse of lore
And wel belouyd wyth lesse and more.
The Erle Roholde he seruyd than:
He was desyryd of many a man.
The Erle louyd that squyere,
Before all odur he louyd hym dere.
Of hys cowpe he seruyd hym on a day,
In þe knyghtys chaumbur he laye.
Goode he was and bryȝt of hewe:
He wolde not hym chawnge for no newe.
Gye he hyght of Warwykk:
In all þe londe was non hym lyke.
Ther was nodur squyer nor knyȝt,
But þey hym louyd wyth all þer myȝt,
And he þem gafe gyftys wythall,
So þat he was louyd of all.
Thorow feyrenes and strenkyþ allone
They honowred hym euerychone.
Feyre he was and bryght of face:
He schone as bryȝt, as ane glace.
Hys kynne was wondur yoyfull þan,
That he waxe so feyre a man. Page  5
Hende he was and mylde of mode:
All men speke of hym grete gode.
Wyth a swyrde he cowde well pleye
And pryck a stede in a weye.
Gye had to maystyr a knyght
(Syr Harrawde of Ardurne he hyȝt),
A nobull knyght and an hardye
Full well he taght aye Gye.
¶ At Whytsontyde felle a daye,
As y yow telle may,
The Erle made a grete feste
Of lordys of þat londe honeste:
Knyghtys, erlys and barons
Come thedur fro many townes;
Ladyes and maydenys free [folio 162a:1]
Come þedur fro mony a cuntre.
Knyghtys sate in the halle,
Ladyes in the chaumbur alle.
When þey were to mete sett,
Gye came and þe Erle grett.
The Erle clepyd Gye anon
(A sylke gowne he had vppon):
He badde hym go to chaumbur stylle
And serue hys doghtur at hur wylle.
Wele he besemed that ylke clothe:
To chaumbur forthe anon he goyth.
Gye on hys kneys sone hym sett
And that maydyn feyre he grett.
'Madame,' he seyde, 'god the see.
Thy lorde the gretyth well be me
And comawndyd, y schulde, par ma faye,
Before the serue thys same daye.'
Felys askyd at that case,
Who that Gyes fadur was.
'My fadur,' he seyde, 'hyght Seqwarde,
That ys thy lordys stewarde.' Page  6
The mayde seyde: 'Seqwarde ys gode,
And so be all, þat be of hys blode.'
¶ Than can þe maydyn vp stande
And askyd watur to hur hande.
The maydenys wysche wythowten lett
And to þer mete they ben sett.
Gye entendyd all that daye
To serue that lady to hur paye.
Well hur seruyd yonge syr Gye:
There were maydenys thretty,
That for hys seruyse in the halle
There loue on hym can falle.
Therof roght Gye noght:
An other loue was in hys thoght.
Gye ouyr all louydde Felyce,
The Erlys doghtur wyth þe feyre vyce. [folio 162a:2]
¶ Aftur þe mete (hyt waxyd nere eve)
Gye at þe mayde toke hys leue:
To hys inne ȝede Gye,
A carefull man and a sorye.