The "Gest hystoriale" of the destruction of Troy: an alliterative romance tr. from Guido de Colonna's "Hystoria troiana." Now first ed. from the unique ms. in the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, with introduction, notes, and a glossary, by ... Geo. A. Panton, and David Donaldson, esq.
Colonne, Guido delle, 13th cent., Huchown, 14th cent., Benoît, de Sainte-More, 12th cent., Panton, George A., Donaldson, David.

Page  [wrapper of part 1]Page  [unnumbered]Page  [wrapper of part 2]Page  [unnumbered]Page  [half title]

Page  [unnumbered]
Page  [t.p.]The
"Gest Hystoriale"
of the
"Hystoria Troiana."
Page  [t.p. verso]39 & 56

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Page  lxivPage  lxv


As many of the following corrections consist of the addition of final -e, it may be well to state that, where the contracted form of that letter appears distinctly in the MS., the letter is given in the Text or Errata; and wherever it is doubtful, which it frequently is, the letter has been omitted. Occasion|ally the liberty has been taken to alter a small letter to a capital at the begin|ning of a line, and in a proper name.

p. 1, l. 4, for end read ende

p. 1, l. 11, for mind read mynde

p. 2, l. 28, for stryfe read stryffe

p. 2, l. 34, for fablis read ffablis

p. 2, l. 42, for traiet read turnet

p. 2, l. 48, for Ouyd read Ouyde

p. 2, l. 49, for Virgill read Virgille

p. 2, l. 55, for weghes read weghes

p. 3, l. 57, for assemely read assembly

p. 3, l. 62, for loged read logede

p. 3, l. 63, for tothyr read tother

p. 3, l. 66, for citée read Sité

p. 3, l. 69, for ouerraght read ouer|raght

p. 3, l. 76, for grace read grace

p. 3, l. 79, for dedes read dedis

p. 3, l. 80, for groundes read groundes

p. 3, l. 83, for kynges ... costes read kynges ... costes

p. 3, l. 84, for Dukes read Dukes

p. 3, l. 87, for kynges enarmed read kynges enarmede

p. 3, l. 89, for shalkes read shalkes

p. 4. l. 92, for dyntes read dyntes

p. 4, l. 93, for aftur read after

p. 4, l. 94, for shall read shalt

p. 4, l. 96, for þer with read þerwith

p. 4, l. 98, for mater read mater

p. 5, title, for exit ... Golde read Exit ... golde

p. 5, l. 100, for aperte read aperte

p. 5, l. 102, for maner ... called read maner ... callid

p. 5, l. 104, for is read [is]

p. 5, side-note 2, for ytaile read þtaile

p. 5, l. 112, for lost read loste

p. 5, l. 114, for broþer read broþer

p. 5, last side-note, delete

p. 5, l. 122, for drowpyaite read drowp|ynge

p. 5, l. 123, for Ovid ... Eydos read Ovide ... Eroydos

p. 6, l. 126, for said read saide

p. 6, l. 132, for Well read Wele

p. 6, l. 140, for take read toke

p. 6, l. 141, for wold read wolde

p. 6, l. 142, for pricket read pricket

p. 6, l. 147, for bethoght read be|thought

p. 6, l. 148, for ware read war

p. 6, l. 156, for flamand read flamande

p. 7, l. 163, for enchauntementes ... god read enchauntementes ... gode

p. 7, l. 168, for fuastyng read fnastyng

p. 7, l. 170, for nelue read nelne

p. 7, l. 174, for wold read wolde

p. 7, l. 189, for King read king

p. 7, l. 190, for gobbottes ... hid read gobbettes ... hide

p. 8, l. 195, for printed read printede Page  lxvi

p. 8, l. 197, for jorney read journey

p. 8, l. 198, for semyd...him read semyde...hym

p. 8, l. 202, for hond read honde

p. 8, l. 208, for thoght read thought

p. 8, l. 211, for said read saide

p. 8, l. 216, for go read goo

p. 8, l. 221, for you read þou

p. 13*, l. 342, for swonghe read swoughe

p. 13*, l. 357, for ȝynerus read ȝyuerus

p. 19, l. 543, for ȝenernes read ȝeuernes

p. 23, l. 657, for said read saide

p. 28, l. 801, for sacrifice read Sacrifice

p. 42, l. 1242, for ȝyneris read ȝyueris

p. 49, l. 1495, for feire read ferre

p. 50, l. 1503, for color read colour

p. 50, l. 1506, for in read on

p. 51, l. 1522, for thriccing read thricching

p. 52, l. 1563, for beste read bestes

p. 56, l. 1680, for of god read of [a] god

p. 57, l. 1720, for gremy read gremþ

p. 57, l. 1726, for sik read sib

p. 61, l. 1837, for umbly read tumbly

p. 61, l. 1863, for Be sir read Ben sher

p. 62, l. 1893, for to read of

p. 62, l. 1894, for lofe read lose

p. 63, l. 1919, for onryng read orryng

p. 65, l. 1977, for fere read ferd

p. 65, l. 1978, for Left...fle read Lest...sle, and delete comma after hade

p. 67, l. 2041, for message...o read messager...

p. 68, l. 2052, for harmes read harmys

p. 69, l. 2076, for too read to

p. 69, l. 2098, for seterioll read sete rioll

p. 70, l. 2126, for wintors read winteris

p. 71, l. 2144, for sith read sithe

p. 113, l. 3491, for gremy read gremþ

p. 123, l. 3793, for wordye read wordys

p. 127, l. 3917, for ȝenerus read ȝeuerus

p. 128, l. 3956, for faffure read fassure

p. 154, l. 4754, for gremy read gremþ

p. 156, l. 4795, for boue read bone

p. 166, l. 5106, for deme to read deme [me] to

p. 186, l. 5732, for shout read shont

p. 196, l. 6063, for felous read felons

p. 199, l. 6127, for vnwyly read vn|wysly

p. 199, l. 6133, for leue read lene

p. 230, l. 7127, for ffounet read ffonnet

p. 234, l. 7273, for dernly read deruly

p. 259, l. 7983, delete comma after haue

p. 274, l. 8444, for vnfittyng read vn|sittyng

p. 275, l. 8477, for feld read fild

p. 278, l. 8542, for feld read felde

p. 279, l. 8579, for clomour read clamur

p. 279, l. 8601, for sword read sworde

p. 285, l. 8767, for bold read bolde

p. 287, Rubric, for Dethe read Deathe

p. 287, l. 8840, for Patroculus...alse read Patroculun...als

p. 287, l. 8842, for Xancipun read Xancipun

p. 288, l. 8857, for ferr read ferre

p. 289, l. 8889, for hold read holde

p. 289, l. 8910, for werre read werre

p. 290, l. 8921, for comyns read Comyns

p. 292, l. 8971, for ferr read ferre

p. 294, l. 9040, for well read welle

p. 294, l. 9048, for gird read girde

p. 296, l. 9100, for wend read wende

p. 297, l. 9133, for yerne read yerin

p. 301, l. 9263, for wold read wolde

p. 306, l. 9400, for turnyd read turnyde

p. 315, l. 9652, for raiked read raikede

p. 320, l. 9826, for ded read dede

p. 321, l. 9842, for birr read birre

p. 322, l. 9869, for entrid read entride

p. 322, l. 9875, for ground read grounde

p. 323, l. 9903, for vmbraid read vm|braide

p. 336, l. 10291, for laited read laitede

p. 337, l. 10320, for end read ende

p. 344, l. 10546, for seuyan read seyuon

p. 349, l. 10705, for Betweene read Betwene

p. 349, l. 10713, for damp read dump

p. 355, l. 10902, for hed read hede

p. 359, l. 11015, for wordes read wordes

p. 373, l. 11462, for groaund read gronond

p. 379, l. 11633, for Amphimacous read Amphymacus

p. 389, l. 11942, for polisshit read polishit

p. 392, l. 12038, for company read cumpany

p. 403, l. 12356, for burgh read burghe

p. 405, l. 12424, for mertrid read martrid Page  lxvii

p. 408, l. 12517, for leymond read ley|monde

p. 412, l. 12639, for sklandur read sklaunder

p. 415, l. 12728, for Oute read Out

p. 417, l. 12794, for lond read londe

p. 419, l. 12857, for enerdand read enerdande

p. 421, l. 12906, for be-fell read befelle

p. 427, l. 13070, for exiled read exilede

p. 432, l. 13201, for kyd read kyde

p. 433, l. 13263, for spird read spirde

p. 437, l. 13371, for lord read lorde

p. 438, l. 13399, for Ournond read Ournonde

p. 450, l. 13794, for glyssonond read glyssononde

p. 452, l. 13803, for naked . . . bed read nakede . . . bede

p. 455, l. 13904, for hold read holde

p. 455, l. 13913, for hond read honde

p. 456, l. 13930, for birr read birre

p. 462, l. 6, for They stuk read They steek

p. 467, l. 10, for Eydos read Eroydos

p. 490, note to ll. 1977-8, delete comma after tene

p. 491, note to l. 1996, for damp into helle read dump into helle

p. 498, note to l. 3703, for still used for read still applied to

p. 498, note to l. 3746, delete See note l. 6523.

Page  [lxviii]Page  lxix


[In the MS., as has been stated in pp. liii-iv, Books XXXII-VI are disarranged, and the Index follows the disorder: in the Text they are properly arranged, and the Index is altered accordingly.]

Page  lxx
The Prologe of this Boke [1]
The first boke: how Kyng Pelleus exit Iason to get the goldyn flese [5]
The ijd boke: how the grekes toke lond vpon troy. Cawse of the first debate [12*]
The iijd boke: how Medea enformyt Iason to get the flese of gold [24]
The iiijth boke: of the distruccon of the first Troy by Ercules & Iason [35]
The vth boke: of the foundyng of new Troy, & of the qwerell of Kyng Priam for his fader deth [51]
The sext boke: how Kyng Priam toke counsell to wer on the grekes [68]
the vijth boke: how Paris went into grese for Elan [90]
The viijth boke: of the counsell of the grekes for recoueryng of Elan [115]
The ixth boke: of the nowmber of shippes, & the Nauy of the grekes [131]
The xth boke: how the grekes sent vnto delphon to haue onswar of a god of þere Iornay [135]
The xjth boke: how the grekes saylet fro Atthens to Troy [148]
The xijth boke: how the grekis sent two kynges in message to Kyng Priam for restitucon of þere harme [156]
The xiijth boke: how the grekes sent Achilles and Thelæfon for vitaill for the oste into Messan [168]
The xiiijth boke: how the grekes sailet fro tenedon to be-sege of the Cité of troy, & of the counsell of Dyamed to stir the Cité, & the deth of Prothesselon by Ector slayn, & of the strong fight at the Ariuall [181]
The xvth boke: of the ordinaunce of the troiens to the secund batell, & of the deth of Patraclus by Ector slayn, & other thinges vt pȝ [197]
The xvjth boke: of a trew takyn two monythes, & of the iijd batell [230]
The xvijth boke: of the counsell of the grekes for the deth of Ector, & the iiijth batell [238]
The xviijth boke: of the fyuet batell in the feld [245]
The xixth boke: of the sext batell [254]
The xxth boke: of the vijth batell & skyrmychis lastyng xxx dayes betwene the towne & the tenttes [266]
The xxjth boke: of the viij batell, and of the drem of Ector wyf [274]
The xxij boke: of the Elleuynt batell of the Cité [292]
The xxiij boke: of the xij and the xiijth batell [306]
The xxiiij boke: of the xiiij and the xvth batell of the Cité [314]
The xxv boke: of the sextene, seyuentene, the eghtene, and the xix batell [322]
The xxvj boke: of the xx batell of the Cité [331]
The xxvij boke: of the xxj batell of the Cité of Troy [352]
The xxviij boke: off the councell of Eneas & Antenor of treson of the Cité [364]
The xxix boke: off the takyng of the toune & the deth of Kyng Priam [386]
The xxx boke: of the stryfe of Thelamon & Vlyxes, & of the deth of Thelamon, with the exile of Eneas & Antenor [397]
The xxxj boke: of the passage of the grekes fro Troy [407]
The xxxij boke: of the lesyng that was made to Kyng Nawle, & of the dethe of his son Palamydon: the dethe of Aga|mynon, & the exile of Dyamede by þere wifes [410]
The xxxiij boke: how Orest toke venionse for his fader dethe [423]
The xxxiiij boke: how hit happit Vlixes aftur the sege [429]
The xxxv boke: of Pirrus, & his passyng ffro Troy, & of his cronyng, & of his deth [438]
The xxxvj boke, & the last: of the dethe of Vlixes by his son. Whiche endis in the story wt the nome of the knight þt causet it to be made, & the nome of hym that trans|latid it out of latyn in-to englysshe. And how long the sege last, with the nowmber of grekes & troiens that were slayn: & what kynges Ector slogh: whom Paris slogh: whom Achilles slogh: whom Eneas slogh: whom Pirrus slogh: and Laudes deo [452]
Page  1


Maistur in magesté, maker of Alle, [folio 2a]
Endles and on, euer to last!
Now, god, of þi grace graunt me þi helpe,
And wysshe me with wyt þis werke for to ende!
Off aunters ben olde of aunsetris nobill,
And slydyn vppon shlepe by slomeryng of Age:
Of stithe men in stoure strongest in armes,
And wisest in wer to wale in hor tyme,
Þat ben drepit with deth & þere day paste,
And most out of mynd for þere mecull age,
Sothe stories ben stoken vp, & straught out of mynde,
And swolowet into swym by swiftenes of yeres,
Ffor new þat ben now, next at our hond,
Breuyt into bokes for boldyng of hertes;
On lusti to loke with lightnes of wille,
Cheuyt throughe chaunce & chaungyng of peopull;
Sum tru for to traist, triet in þe ende,
Sum feynit o fere & ay false vnder.
Yche wegh as he will warys his tyme,
And has lykyng to lerne þat hym list after.
But olde stories of stithe þat astate helde,
May be solas to sum þat it segh neuer, Page  2
Be writyng of wees þat wist it in dede,
With sight for to serche, of hom þat suet after,
To ken all the crafte how þe case felle,
By lokyng of letturs þat lefte were of olde.
Now of Troy forto telle is myn entent euyn,
Of the stoure & þe stryffe when it distroyet was.
Þof fele yeres ben faren syn þe fight endid,
And it meuyt out of mynd, myn hit I thinke
Alss wise men haue writen the wordes before, [folio 2b]
Left it in latyn for lernyng of vs.
But sum poyetis full prist þat put hom þerto,
With ffablis and falshed fayned þere speche,
And made more of þat mater þan hom maister were:
Sum lokyt ouer litle and lympit of the sothe.
Amonges þat menye,—to myn hym be nome,—
Homer was holden haithill of dedis.
Qwiles his dayes enduret, derrist of other
Þat with the Grekys was gret & of grice comyn.
He feynet myche fals was neuer before wroght,
And turnet þe truth, trust ye non other.
Of his trifuls to telle I haue no tome nowe,
Ne of his feynit fare þat he fore with:
How goddes foght in the filde, folke as þai were,
And other errours vnable þat after were knowen,
That poyetis of prise have preuyt vntrew:
Ouyde and othir þat onest were ay,
Virgille þe virtuus, verrit for nobill,
Thes dampnet his dedys & for dull holdyn.
But þe truth for to telle & þe text euyn
Of þat fight how it felle in a few yeres,
Þat was clanly compilet with a clerk wise,
On Gydo, a gome, þat graidly hade soght,
And wist all þe werks by weghes he hade,
That bothe were in batell while the batell last, Page  3
And euþer sawte & assembly see with þere een.
Thai wrote all þe werkes wroght at þat tyme,
In letturs of þere langage, as þai lernede hade:
Dares and Dytes were duly þere namys.
Dites full dere was dew to the Grekys,
A lede of þat lond & logede hom with: [folio 3a]
The tother was a Tulke out of Troy selfe,
Dares, þat duly the dedys be-helde.
Aither breuyt in a boke on þere best wise,
That sithen at a Sité somyn were founden
After at Atthenes as aunter befell;
The whiche bokes barely bothe as þai were,
A Romayn ouerraght & right hom hym-seluyn,
That Cornelius was cald to his kynde name.
He translated it into latyn for likyng to here,
But he shope it so short þat no shalke might
Haue knowlage by course how þe case felle;
ffor he brought it so breff, and so bare leuyt,
Þat no lede might have likyng to loke þerappon,
Till þis Gydo it gate, as hym grace felle,
And declaret it more clere & on clene wise.
In this shall faithfully be founden to the fer ende,
All þe dedis by dene as þai done were;
How þe groundes first grew, & þe grete hate,
Bothe of torfer and tene þat hom tide aftur.
And here fynde shall ye faire of þe felle peopull,
What kynges þere come of costes aboute:
Of Dukes full doughty, and of derffe Erles,
That assemblid to þe citie þat sawte to defend:
Of þe grekys þat were gedret how gret was þe nowmber,
How mony knightes þere come & kynges enarmede,
And what Dukes thedur droghe for dedis of were:
What Shippes þere were shene, & shalkes with in, Page  4
Bothe of barges & buernes þat broght were fro grese:
And all the batels on bent þe buernes betwene.
What Duke þat was dede throughe dyntes of hond,
Who ffallen was in ffylde, & how it fore after: [folio 3b]
Bothe of truse & trayne þe truthe shalt þu here,
And all the ferlies þat fell vnto the ferre ende.
ffro this prologe I passe & part me þerwith,
ffrayne will I fer and fraist of þere werkes,
Meue to my mater and make here an ende.
Explicit Prologue.
Page  5

Here begynnes the ffirst Boke. How Kyng Pelleus Exit Iason to get þe ffles of golde.

In Tessaile hit tyde as thus in tyme olde,
A prouynce appropret aperte to Rome,
An yle enabit nobli and wele
With a maner of men, mermydons callid:
There was a kyng in þat coste þat þe kithe ought,
A noble man for þe nonest [is] namet Pelleus.
That worthy hade a wyfe walit hym-seluon,
The truthe for to telle, Tetyda she heght:
Þes gret in þere gamyn gate hom betwene,
Achilles by chaunce chiualrous in armes.
(More of thies Myrmydons mell I not now,
Enabit in (þat aile,) [ne] Etill will I ferre,*. [MS. has "þtaile."]
How Mawros were men made on a day
At þe prayer of a prinse þat peopull hade loste.)
This Pelleus pert, prudest in armys,
Hade a broþer of birthe born or hym-seluyn,
That heire was & Eldist, and Eson he hight.
Till it fell hym by fortune, faintyng of elde, [folio 4a]
Unstithe for to stire, or stightill the Realme,
And all were, & weike, wantide his sight,
Of Septur and soile he sesit his brothir,
And hym crownede as kyng in þat kithe riche.
Eson afterwarde erdand on lyffe,
Endured his dayes drowpynge in age,
As Ovide openly in Eroydos tellus,
How Medea the maiden made hym all new, Page  6
By crafte þat she kouth of hir coint artys.
Eson, þat elde man þat I er saide,
Hade a son of hym-selfe semly to wale,
And Jason, þat gentill aioynet was to name:
A faire man of feturs, & fellist in armys,
As meke as a Mayden, & mery of his wordis.
This Jason for his gentris was ioyfull till all,
Wele louit with þe lordes & the londe hole;
All worshipped þat worthy inwones aboute,
No les þan þe lege þat hom lede shuld:
And he as bainly obeyede to the buerne his Eme,
As þof his syre hade the soile & septure to yeme.
Pelleus persayuit the people anone,
That the londe so hym louede, lorde as he were,
And ay drede hym on dayes for doute þat might falle,
Lest he put hym from priuelage & his place toke,
Of Tessaile, as truthe wolde, to be trew kyng.
Thus Pelleus with payne was pricket in hert,
ffull egurly with enuy, & euer hym bethoght,
With a course of vnkyndnes he caste in his thoghte,
The freike vpon faire wise ferke out of lyue,
And he no daunger nor deire for þat dede haue.
He bethought hym full thicke in his throo hert,
And in his wit was he war of a wyle sone,
Of a fame þat fer in fele kynges londes,
And borne was a brode for a bare aunter. [folio 4b]
Out in the Orient Orible to here,
In a cuntre was cald Colchos by name,
Was (an) aunter in a nyle þat I nem shall,*. [MS. has "as."]
Beyonde the terage of Troy as þe trety sayse,
There was a wonderfull wethur weghes to be-holde,
With a flese þat was fyne, flamande of gold;
And þe Kyng of þat coste callid was by name
Chethes, for sothe, as souerayne & lord: Page  7
He was mighty on molde & mekull goode hade,
His pride well ouerput, past into elde.
This whethur and þe wole were wonderly keppit
By the crafte & the cure & conyng of Mars,
That with charmes & enchauntementes was chefe gode.
Thus coyntly it kept was all with clene art,
By too oxen oribull on for to loke,
And a derfe dragon drede to be-holde.
These balfull bestes were, as þe boke tellus,
ffull flaumond of fyre with fnastyng of logh,
That girde thurgh ther gorge with a grete hete
A nelne brode all Aboute, þat no buerne might
ffor the birre it abide, but he brente were.
And wo this wethur shuld wyn bude wirke as I say,
Ayre euyn to þe Oxen, entre hom in yoke,
With striffe or with stroke till þai stonde wolde;
Aftur ayre vp the erthe on ardagh wise.
Sythen drawe to þe dragon, & þe derfe qwelle,
Girde out the grete teth of the grym best,
And alse sede in þe season sowe it on þe erthe,
Than a ferlyfull frute shall he fynde after:
The tethe shall turne tite vnto knightes
Armyt at all peses, able to were
Thai to falle vpon fight as fomen belyue,
With depe woundes and derfe till all be dede euyn.
All thes perels to passe with-outen payne other,
That the flese wold fecche & ferke yt away. [folio 5a]
Of this wonderfull wethur for to here more,
Why it kept was by craft on so coynt wyse;
Hit was said oft sythes and for sothe holden,
That Chethes the same king had a som hoge
Of grete gobbettes of gold in the ground hide,
And so kepid it with craft of his coynt artys: Page  8
And for to get of this gold & the grete sommys,
ffor couetous þere come knightes full ofte,
And endit in Auerys to ay lastand sorowe.
This Pelleus with pyne printede in hert
Iff he might sleghly be sleght & sletyng of wordes,
Gar Jason with any gyn the journey vndertake:
He were seker as hym semyde for sight of hym euer,
And most likly be loste & his los keppit.
He purpast hym plainly in his pure wit
ffor to tyse hym þerto, if it tyde might,
To take it hertely on honde in a high pride,
And þe way for to wylne with wilfull desyre.
He cast hym full cointly be cause of this thyng.
In a Cité be-syde to somyn a fest,
With princes and prelates & prise of the lond,
Thre dayes to endure with daintes ynogh.
The iijd day throly he thought in his hert
ffor to mele of this mater, þat he in mynde hade:
He cald Jason in his Japis with a Joly wille.
Before the baronage at ther burde thus þe buerne saide,—
"Cosyn, it is knowen þat I am Kyng here,
And mekyll comfordes me the crowne of this kyde realme;
But more it Joyes me, Jason, of þi just werkes,
Þat so mighty & meke & manly art holdyn:
Now þi fame shall goo fer & þu furse holdyn,
And all prouyns & pertes þi pes shall desyre.
To tessayle a tresure tristy for euer, [folio 5b]
Thy selfe to be sene and in suche fame,
By þi name þus anoisyt & for noble holden,
Whyle þou rixlis in this Reame no riot we drede,
But all fferd be þerfore and frendship dyssire.
Hit wold sothely me set as souerayne in Joye,
Iff our goddes wold graunt þat þu grace hade, Page  9
That the fflese þat is ffreshe flamond of gold
Were brought throw þi boldness into þis byg yle
And þat wold doutles be done & no dere In,
Wold þu afforce þe þerfore and þe fight take,
Be of gouernance graithe & of good wille.
Yiff þu puttes þe pristly þis point for to do,
Thou shall arayit be full ryolle with a route noble
Of my Baronage bolde & my best wise.
I shall spare for no spence & þu spede wele,
And do þi deuer duly as a duke nobill:
Thou shalt haue holly my hert & my helpe alse,
And be lappid in my luffe all my lyffe after.
Þu may be glad for to get such a good name,
And haue for þi hardynes a full hegh mede:
Leve þis for lell, me list it perfourme,
And to hold it with hert þat I hete nowe,
I will fayne þe [no] faintis vnder faith wordes.
When my dayes be done þu shalt be Duke here,
And haue þe Crowne to kepe of þis Kyd Realme;
And while I liffe in this londe, no less þan my selfe,
Halfe for to haue & hold for þi name,
And with all weghis to be worshipt to þe worldes ende."
WHEN PELLEUS his proses hade puplishit on highe,
And all soburly said with a sad wille,
Jason was Joly of his Juste wordes,
Þat in presens of the pepull þo profers were made,
And mony stythe of astate stonding aboute. [folio 6a]
He hedit not the harme þat in his hert lurkyt,
Ne the ffalshed he faynit vnder faire wordes;
He drede no dissayet of his dere vncle,
But hooped full hertely it come of hegh loue.
Þen he trist hym full tyte in his tried strenght, Page  10
Thurghe hardynes of hond hopit to spede;
He put noght vnpossible pelleus wordes,
Ne the kynges couetous cast not before:
Þen he grauntis to go with a grete chere,
And all thies fferlyes to fraist he fursly awouet.
Pelleus of the proffer was proude at his hert,
And glad of þe graunt before the grete lordys;
He ertid to an end egurly fast,
Þat no tarying shuld tyde ouer a tyme set;
And þet ffortune vnderfonges þat he feile shall,
And will put hym fro purpos þat he presys after.
He consydret þat Calcos was closet in an yle,
Þat no creature might keuer for course of the see,
But with ship þat shapon were for þe shyre waghes.
Þan he comaundet to come of þe crafte noble,
A wright þat was wise þis werke for to ende;
And Argus þat after was abill of his crafte,
Sone he dressit to his dede & no dyn made,
And made vp a mekyll ship, þe most vpon erthe,
Þat after hym awne selfe Argon was cald.
Sum sayn full sure & for sothe holdyn,
Hit was þe formast on flete þat on flode past,
Þat euer saile was on set vpon salt water,
Or euer kairet ouer cost to cuntris O fer.
Now ordant was althing onestly þere,
And abundantly broght þat hom bild might,
With all stuff for þe stremes, þat hom strenght shuld.
Mony noble for þe nonest to þe note yode,
Tryed men þat were taken of tessayle rewme,
To this Journey with Jason, as the gest tellus: [folio 6b]
All entred into Argon after anon. Page  11
There was honerable Ercules egur of wille,
As poyetes haue pricked of his prise fader:
He was getton of a god on a gret lady,
Þat ajoinet was Iobeter to his iuste nome,
And his moder full mylde Almena was clepid:
She was wyffe as I wene to worthy Amphitrio.
This Ercules euermore egur & nobill,
The worde of his werkes thurghe þe worlde sprange:
So mony groundes he for-justede & of ioy broght,
That no tung might hom telle þof it tyme hade.
Hit is tolde in his tyme, wo þat trawe lyst,
In his hastines he highyt vnto helle yates,
A þre hedet hounde in his honnd coght,
That was keper of the close of þat curset In:
So dang he þat dog with dynt of his wappon,
Þat þe warlag was wete of his wan atter,
And thurgh voidyng of venym with vomettes grete,
Mony prouyns and perties were put out of helle.
All þat poites haue pricket of his prise dedis,
I haue no tome for to telle ne tary no lengur.
But þe wonders þat he wroght in þis world here,
In yche cuntré ben knowen vnder Criste euyn.
Tow pyllers he pight in a place lowe,
Vppon Gades groundes, þat he gotton hade:
Too whiche pyllers priste as prouyt is before,
The mighty Massidon Kyng maister of All,
The Emperour Alexaunder Aunterid to come:
He wan all the world & at his wille aght.

A hiatus occurs here in the MS. of perhaps two or three pages. The extent of the obvious gap at the beginning of Book II. was not suspected, till it was ascertained that the work was a translation from Guido de Colonna. The following extracts, from the Stras|burg edition, 1489, continue the story.

Page  12Obtenta ergo a rege Peleo Iason nauigandi licentia nova sulcat maria cum Hercule et suis complicibus navi nova cujus vela dum secundus ventus imbuit et ejus inflat afflatus loca Thesalie cognita deserit valde cito et ad incognita maris loca citius dissilit velocissimo cursu suo. Multis itaque diebus ac noctibus navigantibus illis sub ducto Thesalici Philotete eis discrete notantibus stellarum cursum visibilium existentium juxta polum majoris urse scilicet et minoris que nunquam occidunt.

Noverat enim Philotetes stellarum cursus et motum si aliquis est in illis tanquam ille qui causa navigationis erat multum expertus. et imo aura secunda perflante tamdiu recto remige navigavit donec ad oras phrigias regni Trojani videlicet pertinentias nova navis applicuit in portum scilicet qui tunc dicebatur ab incolis Simoenta.

Liber Secundus. De Grecis applicantibus in pertinencias Trojæ, et de Laomedonta rege licentiante Iasonem et Herculem de locis illis.

Greci autem maris fatigatione lassati ut pervenerunt in terram in ipsam descendere quietis causa sitienti animo moliuntur et descendentes ibidem recentes aquas a fontibus hauriunt et ibidem pro majoris refrigerationis gratia moram per dies aliquos statuerunt non ut incolis molestiam inferre disponerent nec nociuis dispendiis eos ledere aliquatenus at|temptarent. Sed invida fatorum series quæ semper quiete viventibus est molesta ab inopinatis insidiis sine causa inimi|citiarum et scandali causas traxit propter quas tante cladis diffusa lues orbem terrarum infecerit ut tot reges et principes bellicosa nece succumberent et tanta et talis civitas qualis extitit magna Troja versa fuisset in cinerem tot viduatis muli|eribus viris suis orbatis parentibus et tot pueris et tot puellis et demum jugo servitutis addictis.

Subsequenter describit historia quod Iasone et Hercule cum suis in portu quiescentibus Simoente de eis ad Laomedontam regem Trojanum fama pervenit, quod gens quædam Trojanis incognita scilicet gens græcorum novo remigi Frigias partes intravit exploratura forte archana regni Trojani vel potius Trojæ provinciam vastatura. Erat autem diebus illis Troja Page  13 non tantæ magnitudinis qualis fuit postmodum de novo firmata, et in ea regnabit tunc rex predictus Laomedon nomine qui sumpto damnoso consilio quod utinam non fuisset legatum suum in comitia multorum ad Iasonem destinavit; quo ad Iasonem veniente legationem suum explicat in hæc verba. Rex Laomedon hujus regni dominus de adventu vestro valde miratur quare terram suam intravistis ab eo licentia non obtenta cujus est intentio sub tranquilla pace eam tenere; hoc instantissime mandat vobis ut incontinente debeatis terram ejus exire ita quod adveniente die sequenti sciat vos ab omnibus terræ suæ finibus recessisse; quod si mandatorum suorum sentiet vos con|temptores pro certo noveritis ipsum jubere suis in offensionem vestram irruere et depopulationem rerum et vestrarum finale dispendium personarum. Postquam Iason totam seriem lega|tionis audivit totus in ira et dolore cordis exacerbatus intrin|secus antequam ad legationis dicta verba mutuata retorqueret, conversus ad suos sic locutus est eis. Laomedon rex hujus regni dominus mirabilis dedecoris injuriam nobis infert cum absque alicujus offensionis causa nos ejici a sua terra man|davit. Itaque si eum regia nobilitas animasset nos mandare debuisset honorari. Nam si casus similis illum in Græciam adduxisset scivisset sibi illatum a Græcis non dedecus sed ho|norem. Sed ex quo magis sibi dedecus quam honor applausit, nos etiam applaudimus ut illi et ab ejus regni finibus recedamus cum posset contingere et leve sit quod ejus enormæ consilium sit carissimo pretio redempturus. Deinde continuatis verbis conversus ad nuntium dixit, Amice! legationis tuæ verba diligenter audivimus et dona quæ per regem tuum nobis more nobilium sunt transmissa recepimus sicut decet, deos nostros in dei veritate testamur non ex proposito terram tui regis intrasse ut offensam ingereremus in aliquem more predonio violentiam illaturi. Sed cum ad remotiores partes conferre nos nuperrime intendamus necessitas in hunc locum divertere necessario nos coegit. Dic ergo regi tuo nos de sua terra sine mora postposita recessuros scituro pro certo quod etsi non per nos poterit forte per alios qui presentem injuriam nobis illatam audierint non lucra sed pressuras et dampna infallibiliter obtinere. Hercules vero verbis Iasonis non contentus regis nuncio refudit hæc verba. Amice quisquis es secure referas regi tuo quod ad plus die crastina de terræ suæ statione penitus discedemus, sed sequentis tertii anni dies non erit exitura dic illi quam nos videbit si vivet in terram suam velit nolit anchoras injecisse et de danda nobis tunc recedendi licentia non erit sibi plena libertas cum talis litis ad presens inchoaverit questionem quod priusquam de eo possit superare victoriam ignominiosi dede|coris pondere depremetur. Cujus regis nuncius respondendo sic dixit. Turpe satis est et nobili et precipue strenuo minarum sagittas immittere nec mihi qui sum missus, est commissum a rege ut erga vos litigiosis verbis insistam. Dixi vobis quæ mihi commissa fuerunt, si sapienter agere placet vobis do con|silium bonum ut ab hac terra recedere non sit grave priusquam possitis incurrere graviora, cum leve non sit personas perdere quæ se possunt consilio salubri tueri. Et post hæc a Græcis petita licentia suum remeavit ad regem. Page  12*

Iason vero et Hercules nulla mora protracta Philotete vocato jubet anchoram a mari subtrahi et omnia colligere quæ in terram adduxerant causa quietis. Sciebant enim si voluissent in Phrigios insultare non esse eis in congressu pares vel equales in viribus nec in potentia fortiores. Ergo Argon ascendunt et elevatis velis diis ducibus Frigia deserunt littora et sulcantes maria ventis afflantibus prosperis non post multos dies in Colcos insulam salvi perveniunt et desideratum feliciter portum intrant. In insula igitur Colcos erat tunc temporis quædam civitas nomine Iaconites caput regni pro sua magnitudine con|stituta.

That was Jocund and Joly and Jacomede*. [Probably for Æa, the capital of Colchis.] hight, [folio 7a]
Hit was þe souerayne Citie of the Soyle euer,
Of lenght & largenes louely to see,
Well wallit for werre, watrit aboute.
Grete toures full toure all þe toune vmbe,
Well bilde all aboute, & mony buernes In,
With proude pals of prise & palys full noble.
There was the souerayne Cytie of Shetes þe kyng,
With his baronage bolde & buernes full noble;
Mony Knightes in his courtte & company grete.
Ther were fyldes full faire fast þere besyde,
With grete medoes & grene, goodly to showe,
With all odour of herbis þat on vrthe springes;
The bourderis about abasshet with leuys,
With shotes of shire wode shene to beholde:
Grete greues full grene, grecfull of dere,
Wilde bestes to wale was þere enow:
Herdes at þe hond ay by holte sydes,
Vppon laundes þai lay likyng to see.
Vmbe the sercle of the Citie was sothely A playne,
ffull of floures fresshe fret on þe grounde,
With lefs-ales vppon lofte lustie and faire,*. [or lef-sales.]
ffolke to refresshe for faintyng of hete,
With voiders vnder vines for violent sonnes.
There was wellit to wale water full nobill,
In yche place of the playne with plentius stremes, Page  13*
With a swoughe and a swetnes sweppit on þe grounde,
And all fowles in ffether fell þere vppon,
ffor to reckon by right þat to ryuer haunttes.
Small briddes aboue in þe bright leuys
With shrikes full shrille in the shire bowes;
The noise was full noble of notes to here,
Thurgh myrth & melody made vppon lofte. [folio 7b]
To this souerayne Citie þat yet was olofte,
Jason [a]ioynid and his iust fferis,
Steppit vp to a streite streght on his gate.
As þai past on the payment þe pepull beheld,
Haden wonder of the weghes, & wilfulde desyre
To know of þere comyng and the cause wete,
Þat were so rially arait & a rowte gay.
So faire freikes vppon fote was ferly to se,
So ȝonge and so yepe, ȝyuerus of wille,
ffolke fraynide fast at tho fre buernes,
Of what cuntre þai come & the cause why.
Was no wegh þat A word warpid hom too,
But sewid furthe to the sale of Chethes the kyng:
þai bowet to the brode yate or þai bide wold.
The Kyng of his curtessy Kayres hom vnto,
Silet furthe of his Citie seriaunttes hym with,
Mony stalworth in stoure as his astate wold;
Than he fongid þo freikes with a fine chere,
With hailsyng of hed bare, haspyng in armys,
And led hom furthe lyuely into a large halle,
Gaid vp by a grese all of gray marbill,
Into a chamber full choise (chefe) on þere way,*. [MS. has "chese."]
Þat proudly was painted with pure gold ouer,
And þan sylen to sitte vppon silke wedis,
Hadyn wyn for to wale & wordes ynow.
Then Jason to þe Just King (Joyuely) can say*. [MS. has "Joyntly."]Page  14
All the cause of his come to Calcos was þan:
ffor the flammond fles þat fele had desyrid,
He hade wille for to wyn & away lede, [folio 8a]
By leue of the lord þat þe lond aght.
After custome to kepe as the Kyng set,
Chethes full soberly & with sad wordes,
Has grauntid godely þat he go shuld,
Soiorne þere a season, assay when hym lyke.
Be þan burdes were bred in the brade halle,
And þo mighty to meite meuit belyue,
With all deintes on dese þat were dere holden;
Walid wyne for to wete wantid þai none,
In grete goblettes of gold yche gome hade.
The Kyng was full curtais, calt on a maiden,
Bede his doughter come downe & his dere heire,
To sit by þat semely, and solas to make.
This maiden full mylde, Medea was callid,
Whan she sought into sale salute hom all,
With loutyng full low to hir lefe fadir.
She was eldist & heire etlit to his londes,
Hym chefet thurghe chaunse childer no mo;
And she at hond for to haue husband for age,
Byg ynoghe vnto bed with a bold knight.
She was luffly of lere & of lore wise,
And kyndly hade conyng in the clene artis:
Þere was no filisofers so fyn found in þat lond,
Might approche to þat precious apoint of her wit.
Of nygramansi ynogh to note when she liket,
And all the fetes full faire in a few yeres.
Wyndis at hir wille to wakyn in the aire,
Gret showres to shede & shynyng agayne,
Haile from the heuyn in a hond while,
And the light make les as hir lefe thought; [folio 8b]
Merke at the mydday & the mone chaunge, Page  15
To clere Sune into Clippis & the cloudes dym;
The Elementes ouerturne & the erthe qwake,
fflodes with forse flow agayne the hilles;
Bowes for to beire in the bare winttur,
ffor to florisshe faire & þe frute bryng;
Yong men yepely yarke into Elde,
And the course agayne calle into clere youthe.
All thies Japes ho enioynit as Gentils beleued,
All thies maistres & mo she made in hir tyme,
Als put is in poisé and prikkit be Ouyd,
Þat feynit in his fablis & other fele stories.
Hit ys lelly not like, ne oure belefe askys,
Þat suche ferlies shuld fall in a frale woman;
But only gouernaunse of God þat þe ground wroght,
And ilke a planet hase put in a plaine course,
Þat turnys as þere tyme comys, trist ye non other.
As he formed hom first flitton þai neuer;
Ne the clere Sune neuer clippit out of course yet,
But whan Criste on the crosse for our care deghit;
Than it lost hade the light as our lord wold,
Erthe dymmed by dene, ded men Roose,
The gret tempull top terned to ground.
This Medea the maiden, þat I mynt first,
Þat gay was in garmentes & of good chere,
And als wemen haue wille in þere wilde youthe,
To fret hom with fyn perle, & þaire face paint,
With pelur and pall & mony proude rynges,
Euyn set to þe sight and to seme faire:
This gentill by Jason ioinet was to sit, [folio 9a]
As be comaundement in courtte of hir kynd fader.
Hit is wonder of the wit of this wise kyng,
Wold assent to þat sytting þat hym sewet after,
And his doughter to dresse in daunger of loue,
To sit with þat semely in solas at þe meite.
Syn wemen are wilfull & þere wit chaunges, Page  16
And so likrus of loue in likyng of yowthe,
Þis vnwarnes of wit wrixlis hys mynd.
What forthers þi fare and þi false goddes,
And Mars the mighty þat þu mykill trist?
Agayne þe wyles of wemen to wer is no bote.
When this mylde in hir maner was at þe meite set
Betwene hir fader and þe freke, þat I first ment,
Hir shire fface all for shame shot into rede,
And a likyng of loue light in her hert;
Hir Ene as a trendull turned full rounde,
ffirst on hir fader, for feare þat she hade,
And sethyn on þat semely with a sad wille;
Smale likyng of loue lurkit in hir mynde,
And she light on þat lede with a loue egh;
ffirst on his face fresshe to beholde,
And his lookes full louely lemond as gold,
And all ffeturs to ffynd fourmed o right.
The sight of þat semely sanke in hir herte,
And rauysshed hir radly þe rest of hir sawle,
Sho hade no deintithe to dele with no deire meite,
And hir talent was taken for tastyng of wyne.
Soche likyng of loue lappit hir with in,
That euyn full was þat fre and no fode touchet
And þat keppit she close in hir clene hert, [folio 9b]
That no wegh þat hir waited wist of hir thought;
But hir semblaund so sad was semond to hom.
Mony thoughtes full thro thrange in hir brest,
And þus sho spake in hir sprete if ho spede myght:
"I wold yonder worthy weddit me hade,
Bothe to burde & to bede blessid were I:
So comly, so cleane to clippe vpon nightes, Page  17
So hardy, so hynd in hall for to se,
So luffly, so lykyng with lapping in armys;
Well were that woman might weld hym for euer."
Dissyring full depely in her derne hert,
As maner is of maydons þat maynot for shame,
ffor to languysshe in loue till þere lere chaunge:
Shentyng for shame to shew furth þere ernd,
As þai wylne to be woghit þere worship to saue.
Mony burdys bene broght to þaire bare dethe,
Þat wondyn for wonderfful þaire wille for to shewe.
Whan þe fest and þe fare was faren to the ende,
And burdes borne downe, burnes on fote,
Medea myldly mevet to chaumber
Be leue of þe lordes and þe ledys all.
The Knightes at the Kyng cachyn þere leue,
Intill a chaumber full choise chosen þere way
Be comaundement of þe Kyng, & þe courtte voidet.
Medea the mylde, þat I ment first,
Wox pale for pyne in hir priuy chamber,
In a longyng of loue as the lowe hote,
With a Sykyng vnsounde, þat souet to hir hert;
She compast kenly in hir clene wit
ffor to bring it aboute & hir bale voide.
Thus sho drof forth hir dayes in hir depe thoght, [folio 10a]
With weping and wo all the woke ouer,
Till it fell hir by fortune, as I fynd here,
On a day, as the Dukes were ouer des set,
And comynd with the Kyng of Knighthode in Armys,
Chethes for þat semly sent into chamber,
Bade his doughter come doune to hir dere fader:
And sho obeit his bone, & of boure come
In clothes as be-come for a kynges doughter,
And obeit the bolde, and bowet hir fader; Page  18
And he assignet hir a seite, þat hir-selfe liket,
With chere for cherys the chiualrus Knightes,
As maner was of Maidones, with hir myld chere.
His comaundment to kepe sho hir course held,
And Joynet by Jason iustly to sit;
And he welcomed þat worthy as he well kouthe:
A litill set hym on syde, & a seet leuet,
ffor to mele with þat maidyn & hir mode here.
The Kyng with other knightes hade comford to speike
Ercules of armes, & auntres to telle
Of chiualry & chaunce, þat cheuyt hym before,
Þat no lede was lelly þo louers betwene,
But þai might say by hom-self all þere sad wille.
The woman was war þat no wegh herd,
And vnder shadow of shame shewid forth hir ernd,
With a compas of clennes to colour hir speche.
In sauyng hir-seluen and serche of his wille,
"Now frynd," quod þat faire, "as ye bene fre holden,
Will ye suffer me to say, and the sothe telle?
Voidis me noght of vitius, [ne] vilaus of tunge;
Ne deme no dishonesty in your derfe hert,
Þof I put me þus pertly my purpos to shewe.
Hit sittes, me semeth, to a sure knyghte, [folio 10b]
Þat ayres into vnkoth lond auntres to seche,
To be counseld in case to comfford hym-seluyn,
Of sum fre þat hym faith awe, & þe fete knoweth;
This curtysy he claymes as for clere det,
And be chaunce may chere hym & cheue to þe bettur.
I wot ssir, ye are wight & a wegh nobill,
Auntrus in armes, & able of person; Page  19
A storre man of strenght & of stuerne will,
That wilnes for to wyn this wethur of gold,
And puttes you to perell in pointis of armes,
And likly for litle your lyffe for to tyne.
I haue pittye of your person & your pert face,
And ȝeuernes of ȝowthe, þat ȝomers in my hert,
Þat causes me with counsell to caste for your helpe,
And put you in plite your purpos to wyn,
In sound for to saile home & your sute all,
Both the whethir & þe wolle a-way for to lede,
On a forward before, þat ȝe me faith make,
In dede for to do as I desyre wille,
And my wille for to wirke, if I wele serue."
Jason was full ioly of hir iuste wordys,
And þat comly can clip in his close armes.
He onswared hir onest[l]y opynond his hert,—
"Now louely and leell, for your lefe speche
I thanke you a thowsaund tymes in my thro hert,
Þat ye kythe me suche kyndnes withouten cause why;
And here I put me full plainly in your pure wille,
To do with me, damsell, as your desyre thynke,
ffor this gloriose graunt glades me mekyll."
MEDEA. [folio 11a]
Than saide þat semely to þe sure knyght,—
"Sir, wete ye not the wochis þat this wethir ȝemes,
The keping in case is vnknowen to yowe,
And the truthe of the tale vntold to your ere?
The perlouse pointtes þat passe you behoues, Page  20
Hit is vnlike any lede with his liffe pas,
Syn it is gate with a gode & no gome ellis,
And ye may strive with no stuerne but of your strenght nobill.
Wo shuld pas out of perell fro þo proude exin,
Þat with flamys of fyre han so furse hete?
Woso bydis þere bir is brent into askys.
Or þat dragon so derfe, as þe deuyll felle?
There is no gome vnder gode, þat hym greue may.
And if ye highly haue het in your hote yowthe,
And folily be ffaryn out of fer londes,
Ȝet turne your entent, & betyme leue;
Wirkes as a wise man, & your wille chaunge,
ffor þere is doutles no dede but þe dethe thole."
The wegh at hir wordes wrathit a litill,
And Swiftly to þat swete swagit his yre.
"A! damsell full dere, with your derffe wordys,
What lure is of my lyfe & I lyffe here:
I hope ye found me to fere & my faith breike;
And if destyny me demys, hit is dere welcum
Or it were knowen in my contry & costis aboute,
That I faintly shuld fle and þe fight leue;
Among knightes accounted coward for euer,
Me were leuer here lefe & my life tyne,
Þan as a lurker to lyue in (ylka) lond after.*. [MS. has "ylke a"]
I wole put me to perell and my payne thole,
Do my deuer yf I dar, & for no dethe wonde. [folio 11b]
ffor yche wise man of wit, þat wilfully hetis
Any dede for to do, and dernly avowes,
Shuld chose hym by chaunce to chaunge out of lyue,
Ere he fayne any faintes & be fals holdyn."
Medea full myldly vnto þe mon said:— Page  21
"It is playnly your purpos to put you to dethe,
With suche fyndes to fight till ye fay worthe:
I haue pitie full playn of your proude wille,
And I shall fonge you to forther, & my faith holde.
I will shunt for no shame of my shene fader,
Ne no hede to my heale, þat I thee helpe shall;
But this forward to fille, first ye me sweire,
And with no gaudys me begyle, ne to grem brynge;
But in dede for to do, as I desyre wille."
"Moste worshipfull woman, wisest on erthe,
What-euer ye deme me to do, & my days laste,
I hete you full highly with hert to fulfille,
And your wille for to wirke: wittenes our goddes."
Þen Medea with mowthe motys þus agayne:—
"And ye wede me with worship & to wiffe holde,
Lede me with likyng into your lond home;
No gatis me begyle, ne to grem brynge,
I hete you full hertely, þat I you helpe shall
The flese for to fecche, and ferke it away;
And withstond all the stoure þat it strait yemys;
Ouercome hom by crafte, and no care thole.
I haue only þat aunter of all þat are quycke,
The mightes of Mars make to distroy, [folio 12a]
And hir keping by crafte out of cours bryng."
"Ah! this glorius gyste & this grete mede,
That ye hete me so hyndly to haue at my wille!
(Your-selfe, þat is sothely the semliest on lyue,
And þe fresshist and fairest fed vpon erthe;
As the Roose in his Radness is Richest of floures, Page  22
In the moneth of May when medowes are grene,
So passis þi propurty perte wemen all)
And help me to haue þat I hidur seche;
Out of daunger & drede deliuer me too:
I wot me vnworthy þis wirdis to ffall.
He þat sadly for-soke soche a sure proffer,
And so gracius a gyste, þat me is graunt here,
He might faithly for-fonnet be a fole holdyn.
Wherfore I beqwethe me to your qweme spouse,
To lyue with in lykyng to my lyfes ende;
As wyfe for to wede in worship and Joye:
And þis forward, in faith, I festyn with hond."
Medea was mery at this mene graunt,
And to þat souerayn full soberly said o this wise:—
"ffrynd, I am ffayne of þis faire heste,
And wele I hoope þu will holde þat þu here said:
More suerty, for sothe, yet I sue fore;—
Yow swiftly shall sweire vppon swete goddes,
This couenaunt to kepe & for no case chaunge.
But this tyme is so tore & we no tome haue,
We will seasse till, now sone, the sun be at rest,
All buernes into bede on hor best wise,
And yche lede, as hym list, lullit on slepe. [folio 12b]
I wull send to you sone by a sure maydon:
Bes wakond and warly; wyn to my chamber,
Þere swiftly to sweire vpon swete (haloghes),*. [MS. has "haroghes"]
All this forward to fulfill ye fest with your hond:
So may ye surely & sounde to my-selfe come,
With daliaunce to dele as your dere wyffe.
I will you faithfully enforme how ye fare shall,
Your worship to wyn and þe wethur haue:
All your gate and your gouernaunse graidly to telle." Page  23
The Knight was curtas, & kendly he saide:—
"Most louesom lady, your lykyng be done!
As ye wilne for to wirke & your wille folowe,
In dede be it done, as ye deuysede haue."
The lady with loutyng þen hir leue tase,
ffirst at hir fadir and other fre buernes,
Past to hir priue chamber: & here a pas endis.
Page  24

Third Boke: how Medea enformed Iason to get the Iason of Golde.

Here tellus þe tale, woso tentis after,
How the wethir was wonen, & away borne
The grete goldyn flese with a greke noble,
Thurghe wyles of [a] woman, þat þe wegh louet.
Whan Medea the maidon, þat I mynt have,
Was chosyn into chamber, & on hir charge thoght,
Of hir Janglyng with Jason & hir iuste wordys,
Hit neght to þe night & the none past:
Sone the day ouerdroghe & the derke entrid,
And all buernes vnto bed as hom best liked.
Medea full myldly movede aboute, [folio 13a]
Waynet up a window, the welkyn beheld,
Persauyt pertly, with hir pure artis,
When the dregh was don of þe derke night,
Þat all sad were on slepe, seruond & other.
ffayn was þat fre and forþer ho went,
Waknet vp a wydow, þat hir with dwellit,
And sent to þat semly, as ho said first.
He busket from his bede & þe burde folowid,
Till he come thurghe a cloyster to a clene halle,
Þere Medea the mylde met hym hir one,
And with myrthe at þere metyng mowthet to gethir;
Þen suet þai with solas into a sure chamber. Page  25
The old wedo on hir way wendys belyue,
And þo louers ho leuyt lightly to-gedur.
Medea the maidon meuyt to þe dore,
Barret it bygly on hir best wise;
Þan she brought forth þe bold to hir bedde syde
In solas full soberly he set hym þeron.
She went from þat worthy into a wale chambur,
A triet Image she toke all of true golde,
Halowet was hertly in a highe nome
Of Joue, þat gentillis held for a iust god,
And broght to the buerne on þe beddis syde,
With light that was louely lemyng þer-In
Of suergys semly, þat set were aboute.
Þan wightly thies wordes to þat worthy ho said:—
"Here I aske you hertely þat ye may het here,
With a solemne sacrement on this sure gode,
All þe forward to fulfille, þat ye first made,
And þo couenaundes to kepe with a clene hert;
And for your felow & fere me faithfully hold,
Euer from this owre to the ende of your lyffe; [folio 13b]
ffor no chaunce, þat may cheue, chaunge your wille:
And I heghly shall holde, I het you before."
Jason grauntede full goodly with a glad chere,
And swiftly he sware on þat (Shene) god;*. [MS. has "Shete."]
All tho couenaundes to kepe, & for no cause let,
Whill hym lastes the lyffe: he laid on his hond.
But vnfaithfull freke, with þi fals cast,
Þat such a lady belirt with þi lechur dedes,
Þat put hur so plainly þi power vnto,
All þi wille for to wirke, þi worship to saue:
And þow hedis not the harme of þat hend lady,
Ne tentes not thy trouth þat þou tynt has. Page  26
Soche a maiden to mar þat þe most louet,
Þat forsec hir fader & hir fre londe,
When the soile & þe Septur was sothely hur awne,
And þe tresure she toke vntruly for thee;
Auntrede hir to Exile euer for þi sake;
Wan þe thy worship & wilfull desire:
Keppit þe fro combraunse & fro cold deth,
Storet thee to strenght & þi stythe londes,
And dawly hir distitur of hir dere fader.
With shame may þou shunt fro þi shire othes,
So fals to be founden, & þi faithe breike,
To betraut soche a trew, þat þe trust In:
And þi god has þou greuit with þi grete filth.
Wete for þi werke þat þe shall wo happyn,
And myschefe full mekill, þou art mansworne:
Þou failes not in faith of a fowle end.
And þow Medea so mad, what myndes had þou þen?
Syn þou wist thurgh wit werdis to come, [folio 14a]
What seruit it your sciense of þe seuon artes,
That þou sogh not your sorow, þat thee suet after?
But þou sothely may say þat your sight failed,
And þow loket not large, for lust þat þe blyndit.
And oft in astronamy hit auntres to falle,
Þat domes men dessauis & in doute bringes.
ffor hit passis þe power of any pure mon,
All þe course for to know, þat is to cum after:
Saue God, þat all gouernes with grase of his honde.
Now turne to our tale, take þere we lefte.
When he swiftly hade sworne to þat swete maidon,
Þai entrid full evyn into an Inner chamber,
Þat was rially arayed with a riche bede;
And bothe all bare busket þere-in. Page  27
Þai solast hom samyn, as hom-seluon liket,
With venus werkes, þat hom well pleasid:
Þat sorily dessauis, & men to sorow bringes.
Whan þe day vp droghe & the dym voidet,
Thus Jason full ioyfull to þat gentill said:—
"Hit is best þat we buske & of bede rise,
Lest þe day vs be-daghe & our dedes knowen,
And we founden in fere & oure fame loste;
And I vnformet in faith how I fare shall,
Of my dedes to do, as ye me dere heght.
Iff þe any thing have amyt abill me to,
Þat þe me faithfully informe, & let me fare hethyn,
My deuer for to do & my deth voide;
Þat I might lede þe with luff into my londe home,
Wede ye with worship, and to wiffe hold."
Medea to þat mighty myldly answarit:—
"A! my lord & my loue, more lefe þan my seluyn,
I have mynde of youre mater most of all other:
I will fully enforme yow or ye fare hethyn,
How ye dewly shall do, & no drede haue.
Ryse we now full radly, rest here no longer,
And I shall tell you full tyte, & tary no thing." [folio 14b]
Than þai cladde hom clenly vppon clese wise:
The burd bowet from þe bede, broght hym in haste
An ymage full nobill, þat he naite shulde,
Þat qwaint was & qwem, all of white siluer,
Charmet with enchauntment, & chargit hym to holde.
Hit was wroght all by wit & wiles to helpe,
And myghty suche mawmentry made to distroy:
Sho bade hym kepe it full close on his clene body.
An oyntment þat was noble, anon she hym set, Page  28
Toke hit hym full tyte & tolde hym these wordes:—
"This strongly distroy shall þe strenght of þe venym,
And fade all the ffyr and þe furse lowe."
Than ho raught hym a ring with a riche stone,
Þat no poison enpaire might, þe power is soche:
And if it borne were in batell on his bare flesshe,
He shulde slyde forth sleghly & vnslayn worthe.
Achates it calde is with clene men of wit,
And in Cicill forsothe sene was it first:
Eneas it name & in note hade,
Whan he to cartage come vnknowen with sight.
And þan ho broght hym a bref all of brode letres,
Þat was comly by crafte a clerke for to rede;
And enformyt him fayre how he fare shuld,
When he [h]is deuer hade done & drow to þe whethir,
ffor to knele on his knes to the cold erth,
And grete all his goddes with a good chere;
And the rolle for to rede or he rest thry,
As with Sacrifice to shew & seruice to goddes,
Þat hym grauntede of grace þat gifte for to haue,
Þat he might worthely it welde, & away beire.
And þan sho gafe hym a glasse with a good lycour,
And bade whan he buskyt to the bolde Exin,
To werke it with mesure, & in hor mouthe caste,
And þai clappe shall full clene, & neuer vnclose aftur,
Ne neuer dere hym a dyse with no dede efte. [folio 15a]
Thus enfourmet ho þat fre of þe fete euyn,
How he wyn shuld his worship, & his woche pas:
And þen lacches his leue & his loue kyst,
Past furth priuely and þat pert leuyt, Page  29
Enon lurkys to his loge, & laide hym to slepe.
By the renke hade hym restid ryses the sun,
Brightis all the burghe and the brode valis;
Meuyt ouer the mounteyns men to beholde.
Jason feynit with fare as he hade fast sleppit,
And now rapis hym to ryse & rom from his bede.
With Ercules and oþer mo of his aune men,
He sues furth on þe soile to Chethes the kyng,
In company of kynges and oþer clene burnes.
Whan he was ware of þe wegh, welcomed hym faire,
And spird at hym specially what his spede were.
Than Jason vnioynid to the gentill speche:—
"Lord, and it like you, longe am I here!
Wold ye graunt me your grase goodly to wende,
I wold boune me to batell, and take my bare aunter,
Yon worthy wethir to wyn, & your wille be."
The Kyng þan full curtesly karpes agayne:
Sais, "Jason, this Jorney is no ioye in,
I am ferd, by my faith, of þi frele yowth,
þat hit lede þe to losse and þi lyffe tyne,
And me harme for to haue of thy hegh wille,
To be sclaundret of þi skathe, & þou skape noght.
Þerfore ffrynd, by my faith, vppon faire wise,
I counsell þe in kyrt, kaire to þi londe,
And put of þis purpos, for perille þat may folowe."
Jason carpes to the kyng, conyngly he said,
"Sir I hade counsaill in þis case er I come here, [folio 15b]
And ye shall boldly be blameles, þof me bale happyn,
Þat I wilne of my wit & wilfull desyre."
Þan the kyng to þe knight carpes these wordes;—
"ffrynd þou shall fully haue fauer to wend, Page  30
And ouer goddes þe graunt grace of þi hele."
He lowted the lege kyng, & his leue toke,
Dressit hym for his dede, dose hym to goo.
In an yle þat was negh þe noble kynges sete,
This clene flese was inclosede all with clere water,
Euon a forlong þerfro, & fully nomore.
Jason to þis Jorney ioynes hym belyffe,
Bowes euyn to þe banke & a bote fonde,
Entris with armur & all his other gere,
ffore to þe fer syde, noght aferd was:
Gird vp to þe grounde, gripes his weppon,
Armur & all thing atlet before,
Þat Medea þe maiden myldly hym betaght,
And past furth prudly his pray for to wyn.
Mournyng the maiden made in hir thought,
Lest þe ffyre shuld hym fere of þe fuerse bestes,
Þat was blasound of brunston with a brem lowe.
Sho went vp wightly by a walle syde
To the toppe of a toure, & tot ouer the water
ffor to loke on hir luffe, longyng in hert.
So ferd was þat fre, & he faile shuld,
Sho brast out bright water at hir brode een.
Thus sykyng ho said with a sade wille:—
"A! Jason my ioye & my gentill knight,
I am ferd lest þou faile of my fyn lore,
And for ȝenernes for-ȝete þat þe ȝeme shuld;
Thou dawly bes dede, & I to doll broght,
Neuer þe comly to kysse, ne clippe in myn armys.
Now full pristly I pray to my prise goddes,
Þat I may see thee come sounde to þis sale enys,
And me comford of thy coursse, kepe I no more."
When the knight was comyn into þe cliffe ferre, [folio 16a]
He waites vmbe hym wightly, & was ware sone
Of þe orible oxin, vgsome to see,
Þat fyre out fnast with a fuerse lowe, Page  31
Þat no buerne might abide but he brent were;
Hit gird from the grym with so gret hete.
The tokyn hym taght was of a tru maiden
He forȝet not, but ȝepely ȝarkit hym þerfore,
And anoyntide hym anon with his noble boyste,
Bothe the face and þe fete, & all þe fore perte.
His noble ymage at his necke for neghyng of fyre,
And his rolle þan he rede as he to reste toke;
ffore evyn to þe fight with þo felle bestes.
So þe fuerse by-flamede all with fyre hote,
Þai brent vp his brode shilde & his bigge speire;
And Jason for all þo Japes hade nere his ioy lost,
Hade his licour ben to laite, þat þe lede caght,
And caste it be course into the core hete:
Hit stake vp the stith lippes as stiffe bounden,
As þai chaltrede were choisly with chenys of yerne,
Þat abatede the breme hete, brent it no more.
All cold it became & the course helde,
Bothe of ymur & aire, after I-wise.
ffayne was the freike & fore to þe hornes
Of þe balefull bestes, & hom aboute ladde;
Þai were made als meke as maistur behouet,
And as bowande to þe bowes as any bestes might.
Ȝynerly the ȝepe knight ȝokit hom belyue,
Pight hom into ploghe, pilde vp the vrthe,
Braid vp bygly all a brode ffeld:
And all the gayre of the ground þere þe gome leuyt. [folio 16b]
Drow euyn to the dragon, dressit hym to fight,
And he gird him agayne with a grym noyse:
Mony slecynges vnslogh throughe hys slote yode.
As þe welkyn shold walt, a wonderfull noyse
Skremyt vp to the skrow with a skryke ffelle. Page  32
With a smorther & a smoke smult through his nase,
He rut out roidly with a rede hete,
Þat all blasit the bent on a breme lowe;
And as he tilt out his tung with his tethe grym,
He straght fro hym stremes all of styth venym.
The freike was a-ferd of þat felle beste,
And raght to his Ryng in a rad haste,
Held it high in his hond, þat he behold might.
ffor chynyng of the chene stone he shont with his hede,
And with-droghe the deire of his dere attur;
All dropet the dule as he degh wold.
Þis stone full of strenght, as þe story tellus,
Is erdand in Judé, as Isoder sais:
Be it smethe owþer smert, smaragden hit hat.
Þere is no derffe dragon, ne no du edder,
Ne no beste so bold with no bale atter,
May loke on þe light, but he his lyffe tyne.
Þis stone with his stremys stroyed all the venym,
And drepit the dragon to the dethe negh.
Jason grippede graithly to a grym sworde,
Dange on the deuyll with a derffe wille,
Tyll the stremys of stynke & of stythe venum
Past out in the place pyne to be-holde.
He laid on þat loodly, lettyd he noght,
With dynttes full dregh, till he to dethe paste,
And he Enfecte the ffirmament with his felle noise.
Jason of his iorney was ioyfull ynoghe,
Gryppet a grym toole, gyrd of his hede,
Vnioynis the Jamnys þat iuste were to-gedur:
Gyrd out the grete tethe, grippet hom sone, [folio 17a]
Sew hom in the soile or he sesse wold.
Stythe knightes and stoure stert vp agayne,
Armet at all peses abill to fight, Page  33
Delt dynttes full derffe, geuyn depe woundes.
These balefull brether batell so longe,
Till none left was alyue ne o lofte stode.
Now thies charmys & enchauntementtes are cheuit to noght,
Dede ys the dragon and the derffe knightes,
The exin left on þe lond vnneth lyfe in,
He past all his perels and no pyne tholed.
By the crafte so coynt þat hym kend were,
He glydis forthe gladly to the golde fflese,
Wynnes to the wethir, wroght hym to dethe,
fflypit of the fflese ffoldet it somyn;
Thonkes gretly his goddis þat hym grace lent
The flese for to fonge and no fay worthe.
Jason was ioly, hade Juels ynogh,
Busket to the bank and the bote tok,
Stird ouer the streame streght to þe lond,
Þere he found all his feris fayne of his werke;
Ercules and oþer þat euer were abyding,
Þat fayne were to fonge þat freike vppon lyue.
Jason with ioy and his ioly ffellowes
Soghten euen to the Sete of Chetes þe kyng.
And he as wee full of worship welcomed hom all
With a faynyng fare vnder faire chere;
Hade no deynté of the dede but dere at his hert,
Ne of ryches so Riall þat the Renke hade:
He assignet hym a sete by hym-selfe euyen.
The flammyng of þe flese was ferly to see,
ȝet merueld hym more how Mars was distroyed,
Geter of his good and a god holdyn.
Medea the mayden with a mylde chere, [folio 17b]
Was Joyfull of Jason, Aioynit hym to,
Kyst hym full curtesly, and of his come fayne.
By þat semly he sate as hir syre bade,
Ho prayet hym priuely all with pert wordes,
To bow to hir bede boldly at euyn; Page  34
And he hir graunted þat gate with a good wille.
When it turnyt to þe tyme as I told ere,
He bowes to hir bed þere he ben hade,
And lay þere in lustes þe long night ouer,
In Solas on soche wise as hom-selfe thoght,
And spekyn of hor spede while þai space hade,
ffor to fare on þe fome into fer londes;
But Medea mouet hym a moneth to lenge.
Þen leuyt þai the lond and no leue toke,
Stale from þe styth kyng styllé by night;
With þe maiden Medea & myche oþer goodes,
Þai turne into Tessaile with-outen tale more,
Hit vp into a havyn all the hepe samyn.
Pelleus not prowde hade pyne at his hert,
Þat Jason of his Jorney Joifully hade sped,
And faynet ay faire wordes vnder felle thoghtes,
Holy het hom to have þe hestes before.
Jason of his Jorney was ioyfull ynoghe,
Þat he hade fongit þe flese & þe fresshe gold;
He hedit not the hestes ne the hegh othes,
Ne he keppid no couenaund to þe kynd maydon.
But a Sourdyng with sourgrem sanke in his hert,
And a lourekand lust to Lamydon the kyng:
Ercules with Enuy was enmy also.
Þai comynd in the case, cast hom þerfore,
Comyn euyn to the kyng & þe cause tolde
Of dyshoner he did and his derfe wordes,
Þat the grettyst of Grise gremyt þerat; [folio 18a]
And heghly to helpe heghtyn þai all,
As I shall telle you the treuthe truly hereaftur.
Page  35

Here begynneth þe ffourth boke. Of þe dystrucion of þe fyrst Troy by Ercules and Iason.

All charge of þis chaunse, chefe how it will,
Ercules vppon hond hertely has tane;
He sped hym vnto spart, sparit he noght,
Þat a cuntre is cald of þe coste of Rome.
Tow brether full bold abidyng þer-in,
Bothe kynges of þe kythe, Caster was one,
And Pollux, þe proude, pristly þat other.
As poyetis han put, plainly þo two
Were getyn by a gode on a grete lady,
Þe fairest of ffeturs þat euer on fote yode:
And a suster to þe same, sothly, was Elyn,
Getyn of þe same god in a goode tyme.
To these kynges he come & his cause tolde,
And to haue of hor helpe hertely dissyred,
And þai graunted hym full goodly with a glad chere.
Þen he lacches his leue and þai lordes þonkit,
Suet forth to (Salame) in a sad haste,*. [MS. has "Salerne."]
Þat gouernet was in gryse by a gome noble,—
One Telamon trewly, as þe text sayse,
Þat was kyng in the coste & þe coron hade,—
A bold man in batell & byg in his Rewme.
Ercules of helpe hym hertely besoght,
And he grauntid to goo with a good wille, Page  36
With mony bold men in batell and biggest in Armes.
To Pelleus pertly þen past he agayne,
Assemblid of Soudiours a full sadde pepull, [folio 18b]
Of the tidiest of Tessaile, tore men of strenght.
Þen to Philon þe freike ferkit in haste,
To a Duke þat was derffe & doughti of honde,
Nestor, A noble man naitest in werre,
Þat hade louyt hym of long, & his lefe frynde;
He hight hym full hertely þat he haue sholde
ffertheryng to his fight with a fre wille.
Þen leues þe lede & of lond paste
To Pelleus pristly, þat puruiaunce hade made
Of twenty shippes full shene, shot on þe depe,
All redy to the Roode of þe roghe ythes,
With mony barons full bold & buernes þer-in.
Þen comyn thies kynges fro þer kyth evyn,
Saylyng full sound with seasonable wyndes;
At Tessaile full tyte turnyt into havyn,
ffor to fare to þere ffoos with a ffryke wille.
Þus it tyd as I telle þe tyme of þe yere,
Þe sun in his sercle was set vppon high,
Entrid into Aries vnder a signe,
And euyn like of a lenght þe light & þe derke.
Þe cloudes wax clere, clensit the ayre;
Wynter away, watris were calme;
Stormes were still, þe sternes full clere,
Ȝeforus softe wyndis Soberly blew;
Bowes in bright holtes buriont full faire;
Greuys wex grene and þe ground swete;
Swoghyng of swete ayre, Swalyng of briddes;
Medowes & mounteyns myngit with ffloures,
Colord by course as þaire kynd askit.
At Mid Aprille, the mone when myrthes begyn,
The season full softe of þe salt water,
And the bremnes abated of the brode ythes, [folio 19a] Page  37
Thies kynges, with knightes in companies grete,
Past fro port, pulled vp þere sailes,
Were borne to þe brode se & the banke leuyt;
Sailed fourthe soberly with seasonable windes
Till þai comen [to] the cost, as þe course felle,
Of the terage of Troy & turnyt into hauyn,
Þat sothly was said Segeas to nome.
By thies rialles aryven were, to rest was þe sun,
And neghed to þe night, noy was þe more:
Kaste ancres full kene into þe (cold) water,*. [MS. has "cole."]
Cogges with cablis cachyn to londe,
And lay so on lone the long night ouer.
Wen the derke was done & the day sprange,
And lightid o lofte ledis to beholde,
The Grekys in hor geyre graithid hom to banke,
Launchid vp lightly lordis and other.
The kyng had no knawlache, þat the kith aght,
Of the folke so furse þat hym affray wold,
ffor-þi vnkeppit were þe costes all þe kythe ouer.
Þai hailit vp horses & hernes of maile,
Armur and all thinge euyn as hom liked:
Tild vp þere tentis tomly and faire,
Skairen out skoute-wacche for skeltyng of harme,
Armyn hom at all peces after anon.
Er the sun vp soght with his softe beames,
Pelleus full prestly the peopull did warne
To appere in his presens, princes and dukys.
With-out tarying to his tent tytly þai yode,
And were set all samyn þe souerain before.
When the peopull were pesit he proffert þes wordes,—
Sais, "Ye noblist of nome þat neuer man adouted,
The worde of your werkes & your wight dedis,
And the prise of your prowes passes o fer! [folio 19b] Page  38
Hit was neuer herd, as I hope, sith heuyn was o loft,
In any coste where ye come but ye were clene victorius,
And happet the herre hond to haue at þe last.
Lamydon, þat is lord, has vs ledde hedur,
ffor to wreke vs of wrathe, & þe wegh harme:
Þat is the cause of the course þat we come hidur.
And syn our goddes haue vs graunt þe ground for to haue,
Hit is spede-full to speike of our spede fur,
And of gouernaunce graithe at our gret nede,
ffor to fillyn our fare & our fos harme;
Hald all our hestes, harmles our-seluyn;
The tresour to take þat to Troy longes,
Þat us abides in the burgh & we þe better haue.
Hit is knowen in cuntres & costis o fer,
Þat the tresour of Troy is of tyme olde,
Out of nowmber to nem & nedefull to vs;
Iff vs fallus in fight þe fairer at ende,
We shall haue riches full riffe & red gold ynogh
Our ffyne shippes to fille and our fraght make:
Now fraist we before how fairest wille be,
And speike for our spede while we space haue."
Then Ercules the Avntrus onswarid Anon,—
"Sothely, Sir kyng, ye haue said well,
Wise wordes I-wis & of wit noble;
Iff it be worship & wit wisdom to shewe,
Hit [is] sothely more soueran to see it in werke.
I will say for myself, sauyng a bettur,
As me thinkes full throly with-outyn threp more.
Let us dres for our dede er þe day springe,
And thrugh lemys of light þe lond vs perseyue: [folio 20a]
Part we vs pertly þe pupull in two,
In the ton shall be Telamon, þat is a tore kyng, Page  39
With all the fere þat hym folowes, furse men of Armys;
And ȝe sothely your-selfe, þat soueran are here,
With your company clene as ye come hider.
Jason full iustly aioynet to my-seluon,
With a soume of soudiours assignet vs with,
Draw furthe in the derke er þe day springe,
Wyn us to þe wallis, wacche þere vndur,
Vmset all the Citie er þe sun rise;
Lurke vnder leuys logget with vines
Till tithaundes in toune be told to þe kyng,
Of our come to þis coste, and þe case wist.
He will aray hym full rad with a route noble,
And shape hym to our shippes with his shene knightes;
Vnwar of our werkes wete vs not þere.
Þat oþer part of our pupull put we in thre;
Nestor with a nombur of noble men all,
ffare shall before the forward to lede:
Castor with his company come next after,
Pollux with his pupull pursu on the laste.
These batels on the banke abide now here,
ffeght with hym fuersly and his fell pupull;
The Citie to sese in þe same tyme,
We shall found by my feith, or ellis fay worthe:
So may we sonyst the souerain distrye.
To werke on this wise and our wille haue,
I hope it shall happon in a hond w[h]ile."
Hit likit well þe lordes þat þe lede said,
And plainly the pupull purpast þerfore.
Then Telamon full tyte with a triet pupull,
Pelleus with a power, & þe prise Ercules,
Jason full iustly and Joly knightes moo, [folio 20b]
With all the here þat þei hade highet belyue,
Armet at all peces abull to fight;
Wonen vp wynly vppon wale horses, Page  40
Silen to the Citie softly and faire;
Lurkyt vnder lefe-sals loget with vines,
Busket vndur bankes on bourders with-oute.
Þes oþer batels at the banke abidyng full stille,
The kyng for to kepe and þere course holde.
And whiles þese renkes þus rest þan rises þe sun,
Bredis with his beames all þe brode vales.
Hit was noiset anon þat a noumbur hoge
Of Grekes were gedret & þe grounde hade.
When þe kyng hade knowyng he comaund beliue
Þat the Citye samyn were assemblet In haste,
Iche buerne on his best wise batell to yelde.
Comyn to þe kyng in companies grete,
Mony stithe man in stoure on stedis enarmyt,
All redy for þe rode Arayet for the werre.
The kyng depertid his pupull, put hom in twyn,
In batels on his best wise for boldyng hym-seluyn.
Vnwar of þe weghes þat by the walles lay,
(He knew not the caste of þe curste pepull,
Ne dred no dissait þat hym derit after,)
He busket to þe banke with a bolde chere,
With his freikes in filde to þe fight on þe playne.
Þe Grekes hym agayne with a grym ffare,
ffaryn to þe fight with a frike wille.
Duke Nestor anon, nobli arayed,
Countres the kyng with a cant pupull:
Bothe batels on bent brusshet to-gedur;
With stithe strokes and store, strong men of armys, [folio 21a]
Shildes throgh shote shalkes to dethe;
Speires vnto sprottes sprongen ouer hedes,
So fuerse was the frusshe when þai first met.
All dynnet þe dyn the dales Aboute,
When helmes and hard stele hurlet to-gedur;
Knightes cast doune to þe cold vrthe. Page  41
Sum swalt in a swym with-outen sware more,
Mony perysshet in þe plase er þe prise endit.
The Troiens were tydé, & tid þere þe bettur,
And the grekes on þe ground were greatly as|toynet.
Þen Castor the kyng comys vpponone,
Restoris hom with strenght þat distroyet were.
Þen þe crie wax kene, crusshyng of wepyns,
And the fight so felle of þe fresshe knightes,
Þe Troiens were torne tynte of þere folkes.
Lamydon, þat hom led, as a lion fore,
Bare don mony bolde & brittonede to dethe;
Mony kilde the kyng to þe cold vrthe,
Mony woundit we from his weppont paste.
So fuersly he fore with his felle dynttes,
Þat þe Grekes with gremy geuyn hym way.
Þen Pollux aperit with pepull ynogh,
Brusshit into batell & moche bale wroght;
Alse wode of his wit as þe wild ffyre,
Mony bolde buerne on þe bent the bold king (slogh),*. [MS. has "shogh."]
Mony turnyt with tene topsayles ouer,
Þat hurlet to þe hard vrthe & þere horse leuyt.
Lamydon at the laste lokit besyde,
Segh his folke so fare & his fos kene,
ffor wothe of þe worse & of weirdis feble,
He with-drogh hym A draght & a dyn made, [folio 21b]
Gedrit all his gynge And his grounde held.
Duke Nestor Anon nemly persayuit
Þat he was prinse of þe pepull & þe power led,
He left all his ledis & a launse caght,
Launches euyn to Lamydon with a light wille.
Þe king consayuit his come, keppit hym swithe,
Ricchis his reynys & th Reenke metys:
Girden to-gedur with þere grete speires. Page  42
The king share thrugh his shild with þe sharpe ende,
And the rod all-to roofe right to his honde;
The Duke had dyed of þe dynt doutles anon,
But the souerayn hym-seluon was surly enarmyt,
And the kyng with the caupe caste to þe ground,
With a warchand wounde thurgh his wedis all.
He feynyt not for þe fall ne þe felle hurtte,
But stert vp stithly, straght out a swerde
And flange at the freike with a ffyn wille.
A ȝonge knight and a ȝepe, ȝyueris of hert,
High[t] Sedar for sothe, suet to þe Duke
With a bir on þe brest, þat backeward he ȝode,
And fuersly of his foole fell to þe grounde.
Þe king fayne of þe falle and þe freke segh,
And bare to þe bolde with a bigge sworde.
The bourder of his basnet brestes in sonder,
And videt the viser with a vile dynt,
Gaffe hym a great wounde in his grete face.
He hade slayne hym slighly for sleght þat he couth,
But a gret nowmbur of Grekes gedrit hym vmbe,
And put hym fro purpas þof þai payn þolit:
Þai hurlet hym fro horse fete & of hond toke,
Set hym in his sadill þof he vnsound were.
Castor the king conceyuit beliue,
That Nestor with noy was nolpit to ground,
He Richet his Reynes and his roile stroke, [folio 22a]
Suet vnto Sedar with a sore wepyn,
To deyre hym with a dynt for þe Dukes sake.
And er he come to the king, so his course fell,
One caupet with hym kenely, a cosyn of Sedars,
And set hym a sad dynt, Secorda he high[t]:
His shafte all-to sheuerit the shalke was unhurt,
And Castor in the caupyng the knight euyll wondyt, Page  43
A Sore dynt in the syde at the same coursse.
Sedar was sory for sake of his cosyn,
Carue euyn at Castor with a kene sworde,
Þe shilde away share vnto the shyre necke,
And all þe haspes of his helme þat þe hede ȝemyt;
With a swinge of his sworde swappit hym in þe fase,
Bare hym ouer backeward to þe bare vrthe.
When þe freke was fallen & on foote light,
He laid vppon lyuely & no lede sparit,
Ȝald hym not ȝet for ȝynernes of hert.
Þan pollux full pertly aprochet in hast
With seuyn hundrithe sad men assemblit hym with,
ffrochit into þe frount & a fray made;
Bere backeward the batell & his brother toke,
Horsit hym in haste, halpe hym olofte;
And pollux with a proude wille prickit to an|oþer,
One Eliatus, a lede, and hym o liue broght.
The kynges son of Cartage & a knight noble,
Aliet vnto Lamydon by his lefe suster,
Cosyn to the kyng, & he his kyde Em,
Pité of þat pert knight persit his hert,
Þat the shire water shot ouer his shene chekys.
Myche woo hade þe wegh for þe wale knight,
And assemblit his sad men on a soppe hole,
With a horne þat he hade, in a hond while,
(Seuyn thousand be sowme all of sure knightes,) [folio 22b]
And charget hom chefely for chaunse vppon vrthe,
ffor to dere for the dethe of his dere cosyn.
Þen the Troiens full tite tariet no lengur,
Gird euyn to the Grekes with a grym fare;
Slogh hom downe sleghly & slaunge hom to grounde; Page  44
Wondit of þe wightist, warpide hom vnder;
Put hom fuersly to flight, folowet hom after
To the banke of the brode see þere botis were leuit.
þere Lamydon þem leuyt, for a lede come
With tithynges fro the towne told to the kyng;
One Dotes, with dyntes þat dedly was wondyt,
Said the Citie was sesit & sad men þere-in,
Of our fos full fell, fuerse men in Armys,
A grete nowmber of Grekis, & þe goodes takyn.
Þe kyng for þat care coldit at his hert,
And siket full sore with sylyng of teris,
Henttes his horne and hastily blawes;
Assemblit his sad men on a sop holle,
Left the Grekes on þe ground by the gray water:
Soght to þe Citie on soppes to-gedur
Tho þat left were on lyue þogh þai lite were.
The kyng in his comyng kest vp his egh,
Segh a batell full breme fro þe burghe come
Prickand full prest vppon proude stedys.
He blusshed ouer backeward to þe brode see,
Se the Grekys come girdand with a grym noise,
Þat fled were before & þe fild leuyt.
He was astonyet full stithly to be stad so,
Betwene the batels on bent & so bare leuyt,
Vmfoldyng with his fos þat he ne fle might.
Þen to batell on bent þai busket anon,
A felle fight & a fuerse fell hom betwene.
But vnmete was the Macche at þe mene tyme: [folio 23a]
The Grekes were grym, of a grete nowmber,
And lite of þat other lede, þat on lyue were.
The Troiens full tyte were tyrnyt to þe grounde
With batell on bothe halfes, blody beronyn,
Wyde woundes & wete of hor wale dyntes.
Ercules yreful euer vponone,
Pricket furthe into prise and full playne made, Page  45
Gird gomes vnto grounde with vngayn strokes,
Bere the batell a-bake, mony buerne qwellid.
The freke was so fuerse, the[y] fled of his gate;
All shodurt as shepe shont of his way,
Non so derffe to endure a dynt of his hond,
ffor all loste þe lyfe þat þe lede touchet.
Tyll he come to þe kyng in a kene yre,
Dang hym derffly don in a ded hate,
Grippit hym grymly, gird of his hede,
Þrew it into þronge of his þro pepull;
Þat moche sorowe for þe sight & sobbyng of teres,
When þaire kyng was kylt, hom be course felle.
Sesit was the Citie, socour non þere,
Þaire fomen so felle, and so few other,
The Grekes gird hom to grounde & to grym dethe:
Of the dite & þe dyn was dole to be-holde.
The Troiens with tene turnyt þe bake,
ffleddon in fere and þe filde leuyt,
Ouer hilles & hethes into holte woddes,
Þat left were on lyue with mony laithe hurtes,
When the Grekys hade the gre & the grounde wonen.
Thai soght into the Cité vpon sere haluys,
Streght into stretis and into stronge houses,
There were wemen to wale, A wondurfull nowm|bur,
Childer full choise and of chere febill,
Wyth olde ffolke vnfere ferly to see. [folio 23b]
All tight to þe tempull of þere tore goddes,
ffor drede of the dethe, & myche dynne made.
Mony wyues, for woo, of þere wit past, Page  46
And þere barnes on brest bere In þere armes,
Hyd hom in houles and hyrnys aboute.
Maydons for mornyng haue þere mynde loste,
(Soche payne of a pepull was pitie to be-holde)
Hurlet out of houses, and no hede toke
Of golde ne of garmenttes, ne of goode stonys;
ffongit no florence, ne no fyn pesys,
Gemys ne gewellis, ne no ioly vessell,
But all left in hor loges & lurkit away.
The Grekes were full gredy, grippit hom belyue,
Prayen and pyken mony priuey chambur,
ffongit þere florence and oþer fyn gold,
Geton girduls full gay, mony good stonys;
Wele wantid no wegh wale what hom liste.
A monyth on þis maner meuyt no ferre,
But soughton vp the Cité vpon sere haluys,
Grippit vp the grounde, girdyn doun þe wallys,
Prowde pales of prise puttyn to grounde;
Brent vp the byggynges & full bare maden;
The temple ouer-turnyt, tokon þe folke,
Dydden all to the dethe & for ne drede lettyd;
Wemen, wale childur, & other weike pupull,
Madens full mony & of mete Age,
Sesit hom sone in seruage to holde.
When the pales was put doun of þe prise kyng,
Þai fonde þer a fre faire to be-holde,
Euyn of his owne doughter Exiona was callid.
Bannet worthe the bale tyme þat ho borne was,
ffor the care þat þere come because of hir one.
Ercules egerly euyn vponone
Betoke hir to Telamon, for he the towne entrid,
In reward as by right for his ranke wille. [folio 24a]
But caitif unclene, for thy curst dede! Page  47
Syn the fortune felle þat faire into honde,
Þat was cumly and clene and a kinges doughter,
Þou shuld have holdyn þat hynd, had hir þi-selfe,
Weddit with worship and to wife holdyn.
And þou so doggetly has done in þi derfe hate,
Þrast hir vnder þraldam with þi þro hert,
To a kyng þat is curst, of vnclene lyfe,
ffor to lede in his lechery all his lyfe after.
Thurgh vnhappe of þat hynde, þat þou a hore mase,
Myche greuaunce shall groo & a gronnd hate;
Wer wakyn & wo for þi wickede dede,
Mony boldes for þat bright in batell be kylde.
When the toune was ouertyrnyt, takyn þe godys,
Þe Grekes to þe gray water gyrdyn belyue;
Shottyn into shippes all þe shene godis,
Launchet furthe lightly & the lond passit,
Girdon ouer the grym waghes into grece samyn.
All þere lordes were light þat þai lyffe hade,
ffayne of þere fortune & þere fine relikes,
Didyn sacrifice solempne vnto sere goddes.
All þere Rewmes wax riche, hade relikes ynowe,
And long tyme with hom last & þere lefe children.
When the Cité was sesit, as I said ere,
And Lamydon the lege kyng out of lyfe broght,
Wemyn & wale children vnto wo put,
Set vnder seruage, sorow for euer,
The kynges doughter caght & out of kythe led,
And in horedam holdyn, harme was þe more.
Se now the sorow þat þere suet after;
And yche wegh þat is wise & of wit stable,
Light harmes Let ouer-passe, Lap noght in yre [folio 24b]
ffor foly þat may falle of a felle hert.
A word þat is wrappid, and in wrath holdyn, Page  48
May feston as a fyre with a fuerse lowe,
Of a sparke unaspied, spred vnder askys,
May feston vp fyre to mony freike sorow;
So lurkes with lordes of a light wrathe,
Þat growes into gronnd harme, greuys full sore.
(Happye) is þe here In no hate lengis,*. [MS. has "happyn."]
Ne letis bele in his brest wherof bale rises,
Ne mynnes no malis þat is of mynd past;
As yt happes here harme for to come,
And wreke to be wroght for wordes a few;
Soche a kyng to be kylde, A cuntre distroyed,
ffele folke forfaren with a ffeble ende.
Gyf an end hade ben now, & neuer noyet efter,
Bothe of lure & of los, & oure lorde wolde,
Hit was euyn bot a venture of Angur to come,
And a Sesyn of sorow þat þere suet after.
Right as Lamydon þe lorde was of lyue broght,
ffor he grethit with þe Grekys þat on his ground lay;
So þis Maidon shalbe mater of full mekull harme,
And mony londes to lure þat euer ho lyffe hade.
Lo, how fortune is felle & of fer caste,
Þat drawes in a dede hate in a derke wille,
And of a litill hath likyng a low for to kyndull,
Þat hepis into harme in a hond while!
By þis mater I meane what myschefe befell,
Þere no cause was to ken but vnkynd wordes.
And while þis Lady was on lyffe in a lond fer,
And all thies maters in mynde, þat I mene here,
Grete Troy was vp tild with mony toures vmbe,
Þat was meruelously [made], & mekell to shew, [folio 25a]
And Sesyt was sython & to sorow broght,
And mony kynges were kyld & knightes þerfore.
What ledys were lost & of lyue done,
Now I turne for to telle, whill I tyme haue. Page  49
This Lamydon, þat was lord, hade a lefe son,
A pert man þat was prinse, & priam he hight;
A man witty & wise, wight, wildist in Armes.
Hit felle hym [by] fortune at his fader dethe,
He was faryn to fight in a fer londe,
To riche hym of Rebelles þat of þe rewme held;
To cache a castell þat was kene holdyn,
And to wyn it with werre, went þere a while
With his houshold hole, & here þat he walt.
He hade a woman to wyue worthy & noble,
Onest & abill & Ecuba she hight:
By þat same hade he sonnes, semly men all,
ffyue þat were faire & fuerse men of armes,
And þree doghter by-dene þat were dere holden.
Of his sonnes to say or I sew ferre,
Ector was oldist & heire to hym seluyn;
And most is in mynd for his mykyll strenght.
The secund of his sonnes sothely was parys,
Or Alisaunder ewther was his other name;
He was fairest of þe freikes & a fyne archer,
A bowman of þe best & a buerne wise.
The þrid was a þro knight, þrivand in Armys,
Deffebus þe doughty on a derfe stede.
The fourth was a philosoffer, a fyne man of lore,
In þe Syense full sad of þe seuyn Artes.
The fyfte of the fre, þat I first nemyt, [folio 25b]
Was Troylus the true, tristy in wer,
That mykell worship wan, witnes ye of story.
Of his Deghter by dene, þat were dere holdyn,
One Creusa was cald kyndly by nome,
Þat Eneas afterward Elit to wed,
Þat spokyn is of specially in our spede after,
And Virgill of his werkes writis also,
After takyng of þe toune how hym tid þen.
The secund of þe suster for to say ferre, Page  50
Cassandra was cald, clennest of wytte,
Þat Enformet was faire of þe fre artis,
And hade knowyng by course of þe clere sternys.
The last of þos lefe children was a lysse faire,
Polexena the pert, prise of all other;
Of hir ffeturs & fairhed is ferly to telle,
Alse noble for þe nonyst as nature cold deuyse
Bothe of colour & clennes, to declare all.
This prise kyng Priam hade of pert childer,
Thretty sonnes besydes, als other wemen,
Þat he gate on his gamen, goode men of Armys,
And felle men in fight, as we shall fynd after.
Now I turne to my tale & tary here a while.
Page  51

There beginnys the Fyfte Boke: Of the Foundyng of new Troye and of the Qwerell of Kyng Priam ffor his ffader dethe.

Now as þis kyng vmbe the Castell lay closit abute,
With his folke all in fere & his fyn childur,
He was enformyt of þe fare & of his fader dethe; [folio 26a]
How his towne was takon and tirnyt to grounde;
His Suster sesyd and soght into syde londis;
His knightes downe kylde vnto cold vrthe.
Soche sikyng and sorow sanke in his hert,
With pyté and complaint pyne for to here,
He toke vp his tentes & the towne leuyt,
Teght hom vnto Troy with tene þat he hade,
Segh the buyldynges brent & beton to ground.
Soche wo for þat werke þan þe wegh thowlit,
Þat all his wongys were wete for weping of teres,
Thre dayes þroly, with thricching of hondys,
And drowpet of dole as he degh wold.
Þen he sesit of sychen & his sorow voidet,
Mendit his mode & his mynd stablit,
Toke councell in the case & his care leuyt.
The styfe towne to Restore & so strong make,
ffor daunger and drede of enny derfe enmys,
Gate masons full mony, þat mykull fete couthe;
Wise wrightis to wale werkys to caste;
Qwariours qweme, qwaint men of wit;
Mynors of marbull ston & mony oþer thinges. Page  52
Sone he raght vpon rowme, rid vp þe dykis,
Serchit vp the soile þere þe Citie was,
And byld vp a bygge towne of þe bare vrthe,
In the nome of Neptune þat was a noble god.
This Cite was sothely, to serche it aboute,
Þre iorneys full iointly to ioyne hom by dayes:
Was neuer sython vnder son Cite so large,
Ne neuer before, as we fynd, fourmyt in vrthe,
Nonso luffly on to loke in any lond oute. [folio 26b]
The walles vp wroght, wonder to se,
With grippes full grete was þe ground takon
Bothe Syker & Sad, þat selly were þik
ffro the vrthe vpward vne of a mesure.
Of the walle for to wete to þe wale top,
xx Cubettes be coursse accounttid full euyn,
Þat of marbill was most fro þe myddes vp,
Of diuers colours to ken craftely wroght.
Þat were shene for to shew & of shap noble,
Mony toures vp tild þe toune to defende,
Wroght vp with the walle as þe werke rose,
One negh to Anoþer nobly deuyset.
Large on to loke, louely of shap,
In the Sercle of the Cite were sex faire ȝates,
ffor entre & yssue & ease of þe pepull.
The furst and the fairest fourmet was Dardan,
Tricerda, Thetas, Troiana, þo foure;
Anchinordes, Hylias, heght þe two other,
With grete toures vmb-tilde & torettis aboute,
Well wroght for the werre, wacches O lofte.
Ymagry ouer all amyt þere was,
Of bestes and babery breme to be holde,
Bost out of þe best þe byg toures vmbe.
The wallis in werre wikked to assaile
With depe dikes and derke doubull of water. Page  53
Within the Citie, for sothe, semly to ken,
Grete palis of prise, plenty of houses,
Wele bild all aboute on the best wise.
The werst walle for to wale, þere any wegh dwelt,
Was faurty cubettes by coursse, to count fro the vrthe,
And all of marbill was made with meruellus bestes,
Of lions & Libardes & other laithe wormes.
The Stretis were streght & of a stronge brede, [folio 27a]
ffor ymur & aire opon in þe myddis;
By the sydes for sothe of sotell deuyse,
Was archet full Abilly for aylyng of shoures,
Pight vp with pilers all of playne marbill,
Weghis into walke for wetyng of rayn.
There were stallis by þe strete stondyng for peopull,
Werkmen into won, and þaire wares shewe,
Bothe to selle and to se as þaim selfe lyked,
Of all þe craftes to ken as þere course askit:—
Goldsmythes, Glouers, Girdillers noble;
Sadlers, souters, Semsteris fyn;
Taliours, Telers, Turners of vesselles;
Wrightes, websters, walkers of clothe;
Armurers, Arowsmythis with Axes of werre;
Belmakers, bokebynders, brasiers fyn;
Marchandes, Monymakers, Mongers of fyche;
Parnters, painters, pynners also;
Bochers, bladsmythis, baxters amonge;
fferrers, flecchours, fele men of Crafte;
Tauerners, tapsters, all the toune ouer;
Sporiors, Spicers, Spynners of clothe;
Cokes, condlers, coriours of ledur;
Carpentours, cotelers, coucheours fyn;
With barburs bigget in bourders of the stretes; Page  54
With all maister men þat on molde dwellis,
Onestly enabit in entris Aboute.
Thurgh myddis þe mekill toune meuyt a water,
And disseuert þe Cite, þat Xanthus hight.
There were bild by the bankes of þe brode stremes,
Mylnes full mony, made for to grynde,
ffor solas of the Cite þat suet hom to.
The water by wisshyng went vnder houses, [folio 27b]
Gosshet through Godardys & other grete vautes,
And clensit by course all þe clene Cite
Of filth and of feum, throughe fletyng by nethe.
In Ensample of this Cite, sothely to telle,
Rome on a Riuer rially was set,
Enabit by Eneas after full longe,
Tild vpon Tiber after Troy like.
Priamus pertly the peopull ylkon,
Þat longit to his lond & logit O fer,
Gert sue to þe Cite sothely to dwelle,
And fild it with folke fuerse was þe nowmber,
Of lordes of þe lond and oþer lesse peopull.
In þat Cite for sothe, as saith vs the story,
Mony gaumes were begonnen þe grete for to solas.
The chekker was choisly þere chosen þe first,
The draghtes, the dyse, and oþer dregh gaumes.
Soche soteltie þai soght to solas hom with;
The tables, the top, tregetre also,
And in the moneth of may mekill þai vsit,
With floures and fresshe bowes fecchyng of somer:
Somur qwenes, and qwaintans, & oþer qwaint gaumes,
There foundyn was first, & yet ben forthe haunted.
Priam by purpos a pales gert make Page  55
Within the Cite full Solempne of a sete riall,
Louely and large to logge in hym seluyn,
ffull worthely wroght & by wit caste,
And euyn at his etlyng Ylion was cald;
Closit with a clene wall crustrit with towres,
Euyn round as a ryng richely wroght,—
ffyue hundrith fete fully the heght:—
Withoute, toures full tore torret aboue, [folio 28a]
Þat were of heght so hoge, as I here fynde,
Þat the clowdes hom clede in vnclene ayre.
In þe heghest to houe and beholde ouer,
All the lond for to loke when hym lefe thought.
To all the prouyns þai apperit & pertis ofer,
With mekyll solas to se in mony syde londis:
Of crafty colours to know, all in course set,
Made all of marbyll with mason deuyse,
With ymagry full honest openly wroght.
In cornols by course clustret o lofte.
The windowes, worthely wroght in a mesure,
Shapyn full shene all of shyre stones,
Caruen in Cristall by crafte of Entaile,
Pight into pilers prudly to shewe
The bases & bourdurs all of bright perle.
Within this palis of prise was a proude halle,
Þat large was of lenght & louely to shewe,
Painted full prudly with pure gold ouer,
Drapred by dene with a dese riall.
There were bordis full bright aboute in þat sale,
Set in a sercle, of Sedur tre fyn,
Gret vp fro þe ground vppon gray marbill.
With a flore þat was fret all of fyne stones,
Pauyt prudly all with proude colours,
Made after musycke, men on to loke.
In the cheffe of þe choise halle, chosen for þe kyng,
Was a grounde vp graid with gresis of Marbill, Page  56
And a tabill atyret, all of triet yuer,
Bourdurt about all with bright Aumbur,
Þat smelt is & smethe, smellis full swete,
With taste for to touche the tabull aboute.
ffor the souerayn hym selfe was a sete rioll,
Pight full of perrieris & of proude gemys, [folio 28b]
Atyret with a tabernacle of Eyntayill fyn.
At the tother hede of þe halle was, hegh vppolofte,
A wonderfull werke weghes to beholde;
With preciose stones of price & perlles ynogh,
An auter enournet in nome of a god,
Goond vp by a grese all of goode stones,
Twenty pase vp pight all of pure cristall,
Þat were shynyng full shene shalkes to deuyse.
Vne oppon þe Auter was amyt to stond
An ymage full noble in þe nome of [a] god,—
ffyftene cubettes by course all of clene lenght,
Shynyng of shene gold & of shap nobill,
Dubbed ouer with dyamondes, þat were dere holdyn,
Þat with lemys of light as a lamp shone:—
Of Jubiter þe iust god, þat þe ioy weldis,
In qwhom Priam prinsipally put his beleue
In sauyng his Citie and hym selfe alse;
With long dayes to endure & fro dethe kepe.
Qwhen this Citie was set & full sure made,
As Priam hade purpost all with pure wit,
Then meuyt to his mynde, as yt most nede,
Þat his Cite was sure of hym selfe wroght;
With mekyll pepull of prise & proude men of Armys,
Riches full ryfe & relikes ynow;
All abundaunt in blisse blent with his folke,
Þat wele wantid no wegh, ne worship in vrthe. Page  57
Þan a sorow full sodenly sanke in his hert,
A Remorec of maters, þat hym mys lyket;
How þe Grekes hym greuyt and to ground put,
His fader & his fryndis ferkit out of lyue,
And his suster into seruage, þat hym sore noyet. [folio 29a]
Then he somond all þe Cite vppon sere haluys,
To a counsell to come for a cause hegh,
And his wille for to wete as hom wele aght.
When the grete were gedurt & þo graithe all,
With his semly sonnes, þat hym sate next,
Saue Ector,—was oute, as aunter befelle,
In a countre by coursse þat of þe coron helde,
Assignet by his souerayne & certen hym with,
ffor play or for purpos:—pas we þerfro.
When þe souerayne was set in a sete rioll,
As become for a kyng in counsell with lordes;
All pese vmbe þe plase, pepull were stille,
Be comaundement of þe kyng, as be come well;
Þen he menyt of þe mater all with mylde wordes,
And touchet his entent, as I telle shall.—
"Now lordys of my lond & other lefe pepull,
Hit is knowen to þis court and oþer kyd fryndes,
Of þe harmys þat we haue, & þe hoge lose;
That the Grekes in horgremþ vs to grefe broght,—
Bothe to me & to myne mykull vnright,
And to yow & also yours ȝomeryng for euer.
How our faders before falsly were slayne,
And my suster Exiona in seruage is holdyn,
Þat is comen of soche kyn, coldes my hert;
Your susters for sothe & oþer sib fryndes,
Wyues & wale children, þai away led,
Þat ben set vnder seruage & sorow for ay.
And our Cite for sothe, þat sum tyme was here,
Brent & betyn downe to þe bare vrthe;
Our golde & our godys gripped in hond;
Robbet our riches, our renttes distroyet; Page  58
Token all our tresoures, trussit into grise;
Kyld all oure kynnesmen into colde dethe; [folio 29b]
And other wrongis vs wroght & to wo put.
Thes redurse to riche by rede of you all,
Hit were sittyng, me semys, & to sue fore.
We haue a Cite full sure, & sad pepull in;
Well wroght for the werre, wallis full high;
ffolke of defence, and to fight able;
Mony knightes full kant, & kyd men of Armys.
We haue riches full rife, red gold fyn;
Clothes full comly, and other clene Juellis;
Armur and all thing abill þerfore.
Well viteld, I wis, for wynturs ynow;
ffele fryndes and fauer out of fer londys,
With a liaunse full large of other lege kyngis,
Þat we to helpe vs may haue in a hond whyle:
And now tyme, by my trauthe, to take it on hond,
To mene vs with manhode & our mys wreke.
But the fortune of feghters may be fell chaunse,
And siker were to sit and solas vs here;
But þe harme and the hethyng of my kynd suster,
Þat is set vnder seruage, & in syn holdyn,
Greuys me so gretly & my greme ekys,
Þat it reuys me my rest & my right hele.
But it likis you lordis, at a lite wordys,
Thus gate to begyn er we goo ferre;—
Þat I send for my suster on a softe wise
To þe Grekes, for to goo with a goode wille
And restore withoutyn strife into þis stide home,
My sister Exina soberly & faire;
To qwit claym all querels, & be qweme fryndes.
Of all our dures þai vs did & daunger for euer,
All account and Enuy after to voide,
Neuer to deire for þat dede þe dayes in our lyue."
When the souerain hade said, þen sesit he here,
And it liket well the lordys & þe ledis all: Page  59
Of his wit & his wordes & his wise speche,
In dede thus to do þai demyt it all. [folio 30a]
When Priam hade persayuit all þere pure wille,
He chese hym a chere man the charge for to beire.
Antenor he toke for his triet wit;
He was gret, & graithe, & a gome noble,
Wisest of wordes and willé þerto.
He spake to hym specially, þat he spede shuld
With fauer and fair wordes his frenship to haue.
And he lowted his lege with a low chere,
And grauntid to go with a goode wille.
Then he shope hym to ship in a sharp haste,
And dressit for þe depe as hym dere þught;
Halit into havyn in a hond while,
Shippit hym full shortly & his shene folke;
Grippit vp a gret sayle, glidis on þe water,
Sailet on soberly and þe se past;
Teght into Tessaile, turnyt into hauyn,
There Pelleus þe proude was a prise kyng.
At Mansua for mirth in þe mene tyme,
A hauyn toun, as hap was, þere þe hind lay,
Antenor not tariet ne no tome hade,
But went to the wale kyng on his way sone,
Hailsit hym hendly, & he his honde toke,
And welcomyt hym worthely as a wegh noble,
And fraynit hym with frendship qwat the fre wold.
Antenor full tite told of his wille:—
"ffro Priam full prist put am I hider,
As a messynger made at þis mene tyme.
Thus he sent me to say to your will euyn,
ffor to mene to your mynde, as I most nede,
The harmys and þe heuenys hym happit of yow.
ffirst of his fader, in fight was distroyet Page  60
His Cite and his Syb men to sorow for eld;
His londes, his legemen, out of lyue broght; [folio 30b]
His suster into seruage & to syn put;
And oþer Redurs full ryfe in his Rewme dyd.
His golde and his goodis grippit also;
Pikked all his prouynce & full pore leuyt,
Withouten cause but of couetous, þat come of your seluyn.
Qwherfore, to qweme qwyt of all other,
To skape out of skathe and sklaunder to falle,
In obregyng of batell & buernes to saue,
As ye ben wegh full of wit & for wise holdyn,—
To send hym syster vne in sounde home,
And all giltis for gyffen & greuanse for Ay."
When Pelleus persayuit þis in a proude yre,
Sodenly he sourdit into soure greme,
And Priam reprouyt as a pure fole,
With hethyng and hate as hys hegh wordes.
Antenor full tyte to trusse he comaundes,
At the most in a moment of his mold passe,
Or he doutles shold degh for his derfe wordys.
Antenor vntomly turnet his way
Withoutyn lowtyng or lefe, lengit he noght,
But fast vppon fote ferkyt to shippe,
And hasted to the hegh see in a hond while;
Sailit on soundly as hym selfe lyket.
On dayes and derke nightes dryuyn on the ythes,
At Salame full sound þai set into hauyn.
That tyme in the towne was Telamon þe kyng,
To soiourne a season as hym selfe lyked.
Antenor arghly auntrid of ship
And wentto þat worthy his wille for to shew.
He welcomyt þat wegh with a wille feble,
ffor he louet not his lede of long tyme before:
Yet he fraynit at þat freike whedur he fare wolde, [folio 31a] Page  61
And the cause of his come to his courtte þan.
The Troiane full tumbly tolde hym Anone;—
"ffro Priam, full prist, haue I presit hedur,
And wonen ouer the waghis his wille for to say,
That in Troy truly is a triet kyng,
And lord of þe londe as be lyne olde;
Þat now of youre nobilte newly desyres
His Syster to be sent to his syde Rewme.
Þat hynd for to helpe hertely he prayes,
Þat ye kepe in youre company on vnclene wise,
As subiecte vnto syn, vnsemyng for you.
Soche a lady of lynage & of lordis comyn,
That were knowen for kynges of cuntre fele,
Sho might haue bene mariede to more þen your selfe,
ffor worship to wed and as wife holde,
That ye haue thus in hething, & a hore mase.
And oþer dishonor ye did to his dere fader,
All he grauntes to forgyue & neuer to greue after,
Iff ye send hom þat semly þat I sew fore,
That he may menske hur with mariage þat ye mart haue,
And Restore hir astate in sum straunge rewme:
This is the cause of my come, I couet no more
But a graunt of your good wille þat gret for to haue."
When Antenor had tolde & his tale endit,
The kyng was caste into a clene yre;
And wrothe at his wordes as a wode lion,
He Answares in Anger Awrthwert agayne;—
"Ben sher, who so euer þou be, with þi bold speche,
Me meruellis of þi momlyng & þi mad wordes;
Syn he no knowlage, ne Acoyntaunse of my cors has,
Ne I hardely herde of hym hade in my lyue,
That he þis Message Wold make to me at this tyme. [folio 31b] Page  62
I am not purpast plainly his prayer to here,
Ne his wille for to wirke wete þou for sothe.
Knowen be it to þi kyng of þat case wele,
That I with Ercules entrid his rewme,
When Lamydon was o lyue & the lond aght,
ffor to wreke vs of wrathe, & the wegh harme
Bothe of skathe & of skorne, as we skylle hade.
Ther with batell at the burgh I my blode shed,
Depe woundes to the dethe, & mony derfe strokes,
And the Cite I sesit sonest of other;
Was cause of the conquest with my clene strenght;
And for a riche reward of my ranke wille,
All the soueranis by assent assignet me hir,
ffor to wirke with my wille, & weld as myn owne;
And for lesse hir to leue þen I hir luff boght,
I think not, by my thrifte, for no þro wordys.
Syn þe fre is so faire, & so fele vertus,
So corius, so conyng, & of so clene nurtur,
Me is not lefe hir to leue and to lyue after.
Therfore, say to thy souerain þat ye sent hydur,
He weldis not that worthy but with wale strokes,
And with swappyng of swerdys, þof he swelt wolde,
And þou faithfully a fole, & a freike mad,
May be countid in this case for þi come hider,
Soche a message to make at this mene tyme.
Wete þou full witterly in warnyng of other,
Saue I let for my lose, þou shuld þi lyffe tyne;
And be done to the dethe for þi derfe speche.
Pas fro my presens on payne of þi lyffe,
And rape of my rewme in a rad haste,
Or þou shall lelly be lost and þou leng oghter."
Antenor for anger auntert no ferre,
Lut not þe lede, ne no lefe toke,—
Shot euyn into ship o þe shire waghis,— [folio 32a]
Hade bir at his bake, and þe bankes leuyt;
Sailet furth soundly & þe see past,— Page  63
Come to Acaxon þere Castor was lord,
And Pollux þe proude, þat was his pure brothir:
Bothe reynit in þat Rem, as I red first.
To þe courtte of þe kyng come he beliue,
His message for to make, as I mynt haue.
He salut þo semly all with sad wordys,
And told furth of his tale, taried no longur,
Of the dole and the dethe of his dere fader,—
How þe rewme was robbet, redurs ynow,—
His Sister þat was sesit, his Cite distroyet;
And couet þat cleane, as I declaret haue,
ffor to lede to his londe vppon lyue home.
All priamus purpos plainly he told,
Of his message by mowthe as I mynt ere.
When Castor hade clanly consayuit his wille,
He onswared hym honestly with orryng a litill;—
"Now frynde, vppon faithe and at sad wordes,
We purpost neuer plainly Priam to wrathe,
Ne offend his frendeship with no felle dedis.
With outen cause of vnkyndnes, þat was kyde after,
His fader vs forset with his fowle wille,
Did hething and harme to our hede Rewmes;
We wrekit vs with woundis & þe wegh slogh,
Did our lykyng in his londe as vs leue thoght.
Qwerfore vs qwemes noght now his qwaint speche;
We fors not his frendship, ne fere of his hate.
We loue noght his lede, ne his land nowþer;
Ne charge noght his chateryng, thogh he chide euer.
He loues þe full litull, lede, as me think,
To make þe þis message for to mele here:
And þou hardly no hede of þi hele toke,
Ne thy lyfe was not lefe ne lusty, it semys, [folio 32b]
When þou entrid our Ile þis erende to beire. Page  64
But loke þat no lettyng ger þe lenge here,
Ne no tarying the tyde for tene þat may folow;
ffor and þou do þou shalt degh, deme þe non oþer."
Qwen Antenor þis aunter angerly herd,
He turnyt hym tyte with outen tale more,
Hastit hym hertely, highit into bote,
Wound vp full wightly all his wale Ancres,
Caght in Cablis of þe calme water,
Braid vp a brode saile, hade brethe at his wille,
ffore enon to Philon with his feris all:
Aroue þere full radly, rest in a hauyn,
Þere Nestor the noble Duke was negh at his hond,
With a company clene in his close halle.
The man with his message meuys him to,
As legate and lege from his lord comyn.
He mekyt to þat mighty, and with mowthe said
His charge full choise, chefe how he might,
Euyn fairly by fourme, as I firste said.
Nestor anone noyet þere with,
And walt at his wordes into wode yre;
He frothet for folle, and his face chaunget;
His een flammet as þe fyre with a felle loke;
And louret on þe lede with a laithe chere,
Onswaret hym angerly with Awthwert wordis.
"Thou sot with vnsell, seruand of o þe werst!
How durst þou so dernly þis dede vndertake,
To appere in my presens with so proude wordes,
Þat myn eris shuld negh the noise of þi speche?
But for noy of my nobilte & my nome gret, [folio 33a]
I shuld tere out þi tunge and þi tethe euyn,
And chop þurghe þi chekes for chateryng so high:—
Spede the to spille in spite of þi kynge,— Page  65
To be hurlet with horses vpon hard stones,
And drawen as a dog & to dethe broght:—
Brittonet þi body into bare qwarters,
And caste vnto curres as caren to ete.
Sile furth of my sight in a sad haste:
And þou tary in þis towne, or any tide lenge,
Þou shalt haue þat I hete & þou hence worth."
Antenor arghet with austerne wordes,
Hade doute of the Duke & of his dethe ferd,
Lest the tyrand in his tene hade turnyt hym to sle.
He highit full hastely & of his hond past;
Shoke euyn into ship, & the shalke leuyt.
A stithe man to the stere hade, & a stoute wynde,
Were blouen to þe brode se in a bir swithe.
There a tempest hom toke on þe torres hegh:—
A rak and a royde wynde rose in hor saile,
A myst & a merkenes was meruell to se;
With a routond rayn ruthe to be holde,
Thonret full throly with a thicke haile;
With a leuenyng light as a low fyre,
Blaset all the brode see as it bren wold.
The flode with a felle cours flowet on hepis,
Rose vppon rockes as any ranke hylles.
So wode were the waghes & þe wilde ythes,
All was like to be lost, þat no lond hade.
The ship ay shot furth o þe shire waghes,
As qwo clymbe at a clyffe, or a clent hille,—
Eft dump in the depe as all drowne wolde.
Was no stightlyng with stere, ne no stithe ropes,
Ne no sayle, þat might serue for vnsound wedur. [folio 33b]
But all the buernes in the bote, as hom best liked,
Besoght vnto sainttes & to sere goddes;
With knelyng & crie to þere kynd halowes,
And with solempne sacrifice to seke þai awowet. Page  66
Þre dayes þroly þai þrappit with stormys,
Euer in point for to perysshe in the pale stremys;
With daunger and drede duret vnder hacche,
ffor wete of þe waghes þat wastis ouer hed.
The furthe day fell all þe fuerse wyndes,
And the wodenes of waghes wightly with droghe;
The se wex sober and þe sun clere,
Stormes were stille, Stremes abated,
All calme it be come, comferd þe pepull.
Þai kairen to þe cordis, knitten vp þe saile,
Atyrit the tacle, tokyn þere herte;
Kachyn on kyndly, & þaire course held;
Euyn turnit to Troy, taried no lenger;
Past into port, proude of þere lyues;—
Lepyn vp to þe lond, leuyn þere ship.
Euþer buerne all bare, on þere best wise,
Soghten to sainttes & to sere goddys,
As þai heghly hade het in þe hegh stormes.
When þai hade melit with þere mowmettes & made þere offrond,
Perfourmet þere pilgramage, prayers and all,
Antenor Amyt after anone
To the palis of prise of priam the kyng,
Among Lordys full light & oþer les peopull,
ffull glad of þat gest and his gayne come,—
Þat hym happint with hele hit vnto londe.
When þe souerain was set þat þe soile aght,
And þe lordes of þe lond, with his lefe children,
Antenor his tale titly began,
And rekont by row all þere rogh speche;—
The proude wordis & þe prise of Pelleus the kyng;
The tene & the torfor of Telamon after;
The Reprofe and prise of Pollux & Castor;
The noy and þe new grem of Nestor the Duke, Page  67
With the fere and the fare of his fell chere;
And all þe manas of þo men he with mowthe tolde, [folio 34a]
As it was said to hym selfe, euyn with sad wordes.
When the kyng hade consayuit all his clere tale,
And þe Authwart answeres, hym angert full sore,
That his messager was manast & þo men all,
And reproued with prise in þere proude yre;
And of his suster sorili set out of hope,
Neuer to haue hir at home, þen his hert chaunget,
And put hym in purpas no pease for to make.
Now wackons vp werre as ye shall note after.
Page  68

here begynnes the Sext Boke: how Kyng Priam toke counsell to Werre on þe Grekys.

Now Priam persayuit all þese proude wordes,
The greme of þe Grekys, and þe gret yre,
How þai maintene þere malis with manas & pride;
Uncertain of his Sister for seyng hir euer,—
Ne redresse for þe dethe of his dere fader,—
Ne to harmys þat he hade was no hede takyn;
Soche a sorow & a sourgreme sanke in his hert,
Þat his harme, as a hote low, het hym with in
More frike to þe fight, feller of wille.
Þan he purpost plainly with a proude ost,
ffor to send of his sonnes & oþer sibbe fryndes,
The Grekes for to greve, if hom grace felle;
To wreke hym of wrathe & his wrong riche.
But say me, sir kyng, what set in þi hede;—
What wrixlit þi wit & þi wille chaunget;
Or what happont thee so hastely with hardnes of wille,
To put þe to purpas, þat pynet þe after.
What meuyt the with malis to myn on þi harme,
And to cacche soche a connse, to combir þi rewme Page  69
With daunger and drede of a dede hate,
ffor a lure þat was light & of long tyme; [folio 34b]
Þat wold ȝepely haue bene forȝeton in yeres a few,
And neuer menit with mowthe but þurgh mishap.
Thow se not þat sothely said ys of olde,
And oft happes to hit qwo so hede tas:—
"He þat girdis with grete yre his grem for to venge,
Ofte shapis hym to shote into shame ferre,
With hoge harmes to haue, & his hert sarre."
Hit is siker, for sothe, and a sagh comyn,—
"He þat stalworthly stondes, stir not to swithe,
Lest he faile of his fotyng and a falle haue;"
ffor he þat set is full sad on a soile euyn,
And pight has his place on a playn ground,
Hym þar not hede to be hurt with no hegh falle,
Ne be lost þurgh his lip to þe low erthe.
But þou put þe, priam, to so proude Aunter,
ffor to heuyn on þi harme in a hegh yre;
And þi fall was so fuerse with so fele other.
Thy Cité and þi soile sesit of þi hond;
Thow dungen to dethe, and þi dere sonse;—
Thi lege men lost, and of lyue done.
Thurgh vnwarnes of wit þat þi wirdis cast,
Thow ges matir to men mony day after,
fforto speke of þi spede, & with spell herkyn
Of þi lure and þi losse for a high wille.
Now what felle þe be fortune, & þi fre pepull,
All in coursse how it come I will carpe ferre,
And turne agayne to my tale, qwill I tome haue.
Priam by purpos a perlament assignet,
And gedrit all þe grete in his grym yre:
Euyn into ylion þai entrid by dene,
There þe souerain was set in a sete rioll,
And all þe lordes of þe lond, with his lefe childur. Page  70
Then carpes the kyng and his cause tellus,
Why the metyng was made at þe mene tyme: [folio 35a]
ffor to serche of þe sounde & to say ferre.
"Now," quod the souerain, "as your assent was,
The man þat with message meuyt fro vs all,
By assent of my selfe, & sythen of þe lordes,—
He is comyn to þis courtte, as ye know wele;
And þe Authwart answares þat Auntrid hym þere,
Ys knowen to þis company be course of his tale.
Thai hede not the hething, ne þe harde greme,
Ne the wronges þai wroght, ne wille to amend;
But with sklaunder and skorne to skather agayn,
In þere pompe and þere pride & þere pure angur.
Our goddes with grace get vs þerfro!
Þat neuer vs happon so hard with hom to be spit.
God will noght, y wis, our wirdis enpaire,
Soche dedis to redresse & our dethe voide.
Let vs purpos a power pas into grese,—
Stir furthe with strenght, stroy of þere londes,—
Get my suster agayne, or sum grete other,
And wreke we full wele of weghes full nobill.
We are bigger in batell, haue a burghe stronge,
Wele wallit for þe werre, watris aboute,
ffew folke to defende fro a fuerse ost;
And are knightes in our cuntre kyddist in Armys,
ffell men to fight a full fuerse nowmber;—
Wele viteld, y wis, for winteris ynow,
Stuff of al maner store þat vs strenght may:
We full of defense, & no faute, haue
Help vppon yche hond highond vs to.
And now sothly it sittes vs, as semith to me,
By assent of youre selfe, & ye so wille,
ffor to purvey a pepull pruddest of werre,
And gird furthe into grese with a gret batell: [folio 35b] Page  71
Pas into þere prouyns, pray in hor londys,
Dyng hom to deth er any dyn ryse;
Er any batell be boune, hom to bale worthe,
Þat vnwarnyt of our werkes or hom wo happon.
Thus, I say for my selfe, hit sittis vs all,
ffor to proffer our persons & our pure goodes,
To venge of our velany and our vile harme,
And our state to restore with strokes of hond.
Let not fere you the fray, ne the felle chaunse,
That the Grekes vs greuyt, & to ground broght;
ffor ofte sithe hit is sene, and in sere londes,
That a victor of a victe is vilé ouercomyn:—
So I hope hit shall here with helpe of our goddes."
QWEN the kyng had his counsell declaret to the ende,
Hit likit all the legis þat the lorde said;
And affirmet it fast with þere fre wille,
To proue with þere persons & þaire pure goodes.
Than was priam full proude, preyset his lordes,
Þonket hom þroly, þrappit no lengur;
ffull glad of the graunt with a great joye,
More feruent to fight, fuerser in hert,
Myche comforth he caght of þaire kynd speche:—
And þus pertid þe persons & presset to þere ynnes.'
When the pepull was depertid & the presse voidet,
Saue the kyng and þe courtte with his clene childur,
Þat he wan on his wiffe, as ye wist ere,
And other sonnes vpon syde all with faire wemen. Page  72
Þan Ector was one, as aunter befelle,
ffro the parties of payeme present at home,
By comaundement of þe kyng þat was his kynd fader.
And when þe sons all somyn were the Syre vmbe,
Euyn stondyng full still, as þaire astate askyt,
Thus carpes the kyng to his clene childur,
With weping and wo, wateryng of ene,
Sobbyng and sikyng, Syling of terys.— [folio 36a]
"Now synkes not in your sowle þe sorow of your graunser,
And the dulfull dethe of your dere fryndes,
The seruage of Exina, þat is in syn holdyn,
And hade in horedam for hethyng of vs;
And we so mighty on molde & of mayne strenght?
Hit is lure of our lyues, and we let sholde
ffor to wreke vs of wrathe for any wegh oute.
And ye þat are ȝepe knightes, & in yowthe alse,
Shuld highly take hede in hert for to venge
The slaght of þe souerayne, þat was my sure fader;
And my wille for to wirke, as ye wele aw.
Þat greuys me full gretly, & to ground bringes,
Hit shuld come you by course, as of kynd childer,
To be sory for my sake, & soner þen I;
And part-taker of my payne with prickyng in hert.
And þou my son, for sothe, sonest of other.
Ector the eldist, and heire to my selfe,—
Antrus in armys, ablist of person,—
Boldest in batell, and best of þi hondes;—
Thou shuld hede to my harmes, herkon my wille, Page  73
Pursew to my purpos, present myn astate;
To lede all my legis with likyng in werre.
Thy brether obey shall thy biddyng vnto;—
All þe Renkes of my rewme will þi red folowe,
As storest of strenght to stightill thy foose,
And soche tyrandes to tame, þat vs tene wirkes.
With hardynes of hond, & with hole might,
Ger hom bowe as a berslet & þi blithe seche.
I Aioyne thee this iorney with ioy for to take,
And the charge of þe chaunse, chef as þou may.
This burthen þou beire shall, bigger þen I,
Wightur in werre, and of wale strenght,
Lusty and likyng, and of lite yeres,
Mighty and monfull, maistris to wirke.
And I, ournand in elde with arghnes in hert, [folio 36b]
My floures bene fallen, & my frike age,—
I graunt thee þe gouernaunse of þis gret mode,
And shake it on þi shulders, shape þe þerfore."
When Priam hade his prologe preched to ende,
Ector hym answarede esely and faire,
With wordys full wise vnto his wale kyng,
Vnder shadow of shame shewed in his chere.—
"Most worshipfull fader, & my fre kyng!
Hit is kendly by course & custome of men,
Þat any hardlaike has, or a hede shame,
ffor to wreke in hor wrathe of wranges before.
And if we, þat are worthy, & wight men in Armys,
Take harme, other hethyng, or hurtys vnȝoldyn,
Of any erdyng in erthe euenyng to vs,
Hit were shortly a shame & a shire greme.
ffor þe more he is mighty, þat the mysse tholis, Page  74
The more the greuaunce is grete & to gref turnys.
If we desyre no redresse of dedis before,
We may boldly vs byld with bostis out of Reason.
Now, dere fader, in faithe of all my fre brether,
Non is holdyn so highly the harme for to venge,
Of my graunsers grefe so gretly as I:
ffor I am Eldest and heire after hym belyue,
And the first of vs fyue, as falles by chaunce.
So first will I found his fos for to greue,
And couet it by course, as comys in my hert,
With my body to by, and my byg strokes.
On right hond shall hom reue þe rest of þe saule,
That my graunser with greme gird vnto dethe,
And sloghe all our Sitesyns, & our sad pepull
Brittoned to bale dethe, and þere blode shed.
But faithful fader, & our fre kyng!
I aske of you O thing,—but angurs you noght,—
Lettis mene to your mynde at þis mene tyme,
And consider to oure cause with a clene wit; [folio 37a]
Let oure gate be so gouernet, þat no grem folow,
Ne no torfer betyde, ne no tene after.
Ouer lokes all lures to the last ende,
What wull falle of þe first furthe to þe middis;
Sue forthe to þe secund, serche it with in,
And loke to þe last end, what lure may happyn.
Hit is no counsell to encline, ne to calle wise,
Ne not holsom, I hope, þat hedis to þe first,
And for-sees not the fer end, what may falle after.
What proffet any prowes with a prowde entre,
To begyn any goode, on a ground febill,
And fortune it faile, and haue a fowle ende?
Hit is wit for to wayue soche a wilde counsell,
And put of a purpos, þat enpaire might,
Or þat wayueris in wer what shall worthe of; Page  75
Licker at þe last end in langore to bide,
And turne vnto torfer, þen any triet ioye.
A blisfull begynnyng may boldly be said,
Þat ffolow to þe fer end and hath a faire yssue.
ffull witty to wale & worshipfull Kyng!
I Say not this, sothely, to ses of your wille,
Ne put you fro purpos, ne plainly for fere;
But to wisshe you with wit, þat worship might folow,
And eschew soche a chaunse þat cheuys to noght.
Ye wetyn þis full wele, worshipfull fader!
Þat all Auffrike & Europe are vnder þere power,—
Sittyn to hom subiecte, & mony syde londes,
Þat fild are all full of fuerse men of Armys;—
Of Knightes full kene, & cant men of wille,
And of comyns to count out of course mony,
ffull wise men of wer, and war of hor dedys.
There are not in Asia, to Ame all the pepull, [folio 37b]
So fele fightyng folke be a fuerse nowmber,
As the Grekes may gedur & get when hom likes.
Hit semes more sertain, sothely, to me,
Yff we wackon vp werre with weghes so fele,
That are bigger in batell, boldest in Armys,
Hit may negh vs with noy, but neuer to our ioye.
Lakys to our lyving, and likyng we haue
Of pes & of prowes our prouyns aboute;
Of Riches full ryfe, of rest at our wille;
ffull stithe of astate, & stondyng at ese.
Why couet we combraunse, or cachyng of harme,
In enpayryng of our persons & pyllyng our goodes,
And to put vs fro pes payne for to thowle?
Sothely your suster sittes vs not so harde, Page  76
'To chaunge for hir choisly the cheuyst of vs here;
Or all so myght Aunter to atter for euer.
To seke þis, in certayn, hit semys not euyn;
And put vs all in perell for pyne for hir one,
Þat long sythen was laght & out of lond broght,
And mey be drepit with dethe in yeres a few;
And all the ȝomeryng for yeten in yeres A lyte.
Now hoope ye not, hynde fader, ne in hert thinke,
That I carpe thus for cowardys, & be course ferde,
Or for the sake of my selfe in sauyng alone;
But I doute it for destany, and drede at þe ende,
ffor lure and for losse of the londe hole;
Bothe of soile & of Septor, soueraynly of you;—
That we falle into forfet with our fre wille,
And chese vs a chaunse þat cheuys to noght.
While we may stithly absteyne, & stond at our ese,
Hit is leifull to leue syche lykynges in hele;
And put of a purpos of a proude sute,
Þat harmes at þe hynder ende & heuy to beire."
When Ector hade answaret & endet his tale,
He enclynet the Kyng & closit his mowthe.
Than parys aprochyt And put hym to say,
And come with his counsell declaret his wit.
"Now fader ful faithfull, and our fre Kyng!
Will you suffer your son to say at this tyme,
And tent to my tale, it turnys to the best?
I shall put you to purpos and plesauns at ende.
Who might faithfully be ferde, or fortune to dred?
Syne we are put in prosperite & pepull so fele,
And Riches so Rife, and Reames beside;
With a Cite full sure, and set for the werre;
With Armure, and all things abill to fight. Page  77
We might say this for certen, & suppose it in hert,
Syn we are put in prosperite, and pepull so fele,
That any care or confusion shuld come to our rewme.
Therfor, faithfull ffader, folow your wille;
Send furthe a soume All of sure knightes;
Let hom gird into Grise with a grym fare,
ffight with your foos, fonge of thaire goodes,
That vs harmyt so highly, & our hede sloghe;
Our pepull to pyne, pild all our londe.
And yff it like your Aliegiaunce, þat I, your lefe son,
Be sent from your seluon with sure men of Armys,
An aioynet to þis Jorney with iuste men & sure;
I am siker, for sothe, it shall vs wele like,
Worship to wyn, and our wille haue.
ffor my goddis me grauntid, & of grace lent,
The Grekes for to grefe, & of grem bryng;
Confound of hor cuntres, kylle of hor pepull,
And the lustist lady in hor lond wyn;
Bryng hur to þis burghe, & no bale suffer,
That be chaunget by chaunse for your choise Sister.
And yf ye wilne for to witte how hit worthe shulde,
I shall telle you the trewthe how me tyde euyn;
And all the case how yt come know yf ye lyste.
"Hit is not meuyt of mynde ne mony day past,
Syn I was leut in a londe, þat is lefe ynde,
Your biddyng to obey, as my blithe ffader. [folio 38b]
In the season of somer, er the sun rose,
As it come into canser, and be course Entred, Page  78
Hit fell me on a fryday to fare vppon huntyng.
With myrthe in the mornyng & mony other pepull,
All went we to wod the wilde for to cacche;
And laburt full long, laytyng Aboute.
Till mydday and more myght we not fynde,
ffor to wyn as for waithe in þat wode brode;
Tyll hit entrid to euyn, & euynsong was past.
Then it fell me by fortune, fer on a playne,
As I beheld þurgh a holte, a hert for to se,
Þat pastured on a playn pertly hym one:
And I cast me be course to cum hym before.
ffast fro my felowes & fuersly I rode,
Euþer lede hade I lost, & left me behynde,
And swaruyt out swiftly, might no swayne folo.
So I wilt in the wod and the wilde holtis,
ffer fro my feres, and no freike herde,
Till I drogh to a derke, and the dere lost.
He þrong into þicke wodes, þester with in,
ffor thornes and tres I tynt hym belyue.
Than I sesit of my sute, & softly doun light,
Beheld to my horse, þat hote was of Rennyng,
All swoty for swyme and his swift course,
That stremys from hym straght, & stert vppon þe erthe,
And dropis as dew or a danke rayne.
All wery I wex and wyll of my gate,
And raght to my reyne, richet o lenght,
Bound vp my blonke to a bogh euyn;
And graithed me to grounde as me gode liked,
In a shadow of shene tres & of shyre floures,
Ouer hild for þe hete hengyng with leues.
My bow þat was bigge, & my bright qwyuer,
Arowes and other geire atled I anon,
Pight as a pyllow, put vnder my hede;
And sleghly on slepe I slypped be lyue. Page  79
I drow into a dreme, & dreghly me thought
That mercury the mykill God, in þe mene tyme,
Thre goddes hade gotten goyng hym bye,
That come in his company clere to beholde:— [folio 39a]
Venus the worthy, þat wemen ay plesyn;
And Palades, with pure wit þat passes all other;
And Jono, a iustis of ioyes in erthe.
These ladis he lefte a litill besyde,
And sothely hym seluyn said me thies wordes.
'To the, Paris, I appere with þre prise goddes,
That are stad in a strife here stondyng besyde;
And haue put hom full plainly in þi pure wit,
To deme as þe dere thinke & þai in dede holde,
When treuthe is determynet & tried by the.
Thus it be fell hom by fortune, faire as I telle:—
As þai sate in hor solas samyn at a fest,
An appull of a new shap, þat neuer man hade sene,
Coyntly by crafte was cast hom amonge.
Hit was made of a mater meruell to shew,
With grete letturs of Grece grauyn þere vmbe.
To rede it by reson rankes might se,
That the fairest of þo fele shull þat fe haue:
And duly this dome haue þai done o þi selfe,
And put on þi person hor pese for to make.
The is hight for to haue highly by me,
A mede of þo mighty to mend the with All,
As in rewarde for to ricche of hir þat right has:
That ye faithfully shall falle & not faile of.
Yf þou Juge it to Jono, this ioye shall þou haue,—
To be mightiest on molde, & most of all other:—
This ho grauntis ye to gyffe of hir good wille.
And if þou put it to Palades, as for your prise lady,
Thou shalbe wisest of wit,—this wete þou for sothe,— Page  80
And know all the conyng, þat kyndly is for men.
Iff þou deme it in dede duly to Venus,
Hit shall falle the, to fortune, þe fairest of Grice
To haue and to holde, to þi hegh mede.'
When mercury hade menyt this mater to ende,
And graunt me þise gyftis hit gladit my hert.
I onswaret hym esely euyn vponon:—
'This dome is in dowte to demyng of me,
The certayn to say, but I hom segh naked; [folio 39b]
And waited hom wele, þo worthy togedur,
The bodies aboute with my bright Ene.
Than shuld I full sone say, as me thought,
And telle you the truthe, & tary no lengur.'
Then mercury with mowthe þus menyt agayne;—
'Be it done euyn in dede as þi dissire is.'
Than nakuet anon full naitly were all,
And broght to me bare:—I blusshet hom on.
I waited hom witterly, as me wele thoght,
All feturs in fere of þo fre ladys.
Hit semit me for certayn, & for sothe dom,
Þat Venus the vertuus was verely the fairest,
Most excelent of other, and onest to wale:
And I duli, be dom, demyt hir the appull.
And ho fayn of þat faire, & frely me het
That the mede shuld be myne, þat mercury saïde.
Þen wightly þai went. I wackonet with þat,
And grippet my gayre & my gate helde.
Now, howpe ȝe not hertely, þat þis hegh goddes
Will faithly fulfille þaire forward to ende?
I am certen and sure, be I sent forthe,
The brightiest lady to bryng of þo brode londys.
Now, meke fader and mylde! þis message to do,
Ye deme your dere son, & dresse me þerfore:
Hit shall glade you full godely agaynes your gret anger,
And fille you with faynhed, in faithe I you hete." Page  81
When he told hade his tale tomly to the ende,
He enclinet the kyng, and Carpit no more.
Then Deffebus drogh negh, dressit hym to say,—
Com before the Kyng, & Carpit on highe:
All soberly, for sothe, & sylens he hade.
"Now, dere fader vppon dese, & our due Kynge!
Suffers your son to say at this tyme:—
And þe dome of yche dede were demyt before,
To grepe at þe begynnyng, what may grow after;
To serche it full suerly, and se to þe ende,
With due deleberacion for doutis of Angur;
Who shuld hastely on hond an heuy charge take? [folio 40a]
And he cast be course what shuld come after,
Shuld neuer purpos vnperisshit be putto A yssu;
Ne neuer no man no note to no end bryng.
Iff tylmen toke tent what shuld tynt worth,
Of sede þat is sawen, be sesyng of briddes,
Shuld neuer corne for care be caste vppon erthe:
Ne neuer dede shuld be done but drese furth to noght.
Therfore, fader, it is fairest, þat ye a flete ordan,
With a nauy full nobill, þis note to begynne;
Puttis it to Parys, & let hym passe furthe,
As he said you hym seluyn, is sothely the best:
No pure man may pertly preue it for other.
And if it happon hym to haue any hynde lady,
Or any worthy to wyn & Away lede,
Hit may chese you, be chaunse, to chaunge hir agayne,
Your suster to sese and in sound wyn,
Þat our fame so defoules, & is in filthe holdyn."
When Deffebus hade done, he dressit hym to sit,
By leue of the lordes, þat liket his wordes. Page  82
Then Elinus, eftesones, (was Eldist of birthe
After Deffebus, by destyny) he drest hym to say;—
Come before the kyng, declarit his wit,
And warpet these wordes, as ye wete shall.
"A! comly kyng coronid, þat þis kith aw!
Let no blyndnes you blenke, ne your blisse faide,
Vnwisely to wirke in your wilde yre.
I know me so konyng in the clene Artis,
Thurgh gifte of god, & your goode fyndyng,
Þat I wot all the wordys, & the wilde Angres,
Þat be course are to come, & the cause why.
Your seluyn sothely asayet haue before,
I told you neuer tale in tyme þat is past,
But ye faithfully haue found it fore as I said.
Therfore, putte of this purpos; Let Paris not go [folio 40b]
On no wise in this world, for woo þat may happyn.
I say you for certen, & it so worthe,
That Paris be put furthe his purpos to holde,
Gird vp into Grese, & any grem wirke;
This Cite full solempne sesit be þen,
With the Grekes to ground gird vnder fote,
And we exiled for euer: this Aunter shall falle.
Abstene þen stithly, þat no stoure happon,
Þat drawghes to our dethe, vndoyng for euer.
Soche bargens are bytter, þat hafe a bare end.
Turne your entent, lest it tyde after,
Þat ye be drepit with dole, and done out of lyue;
And Ecuba, your owne wife, angur to þole;
Your sones vnsoberly slayne in the place.
All thies cases shall come, I know it full wele,
Yf Paris pas furth, as purpos is takon. Page  83
This is sothe, þat I say, sir, with your leue:
Now wirkys by wit, as you well likes."
Then he bowet the buerne & busket to syt,
Seyit furth with sory chere, and his sete toke.
When the kyng hade consayuit of his clere wit,
And his wordys full wise, all his wille chaunget;
He was stonyt full stille & in a stody sate,
And ferd of þe felle wordes, þat þe freike saide.
All the buernes aboute abasshet þer with,
Be cause of the kyng, þere countenaunse failed:
Was no wee þat a worde warpit þat tyme,
But all stodyn full stille: astoneide þai were
ffor þe wordys of wit, þat þe wegh tolde;
And doute of his dome for destyne febill.
Than Troilus full tyte talkes with mowthe,—
Þat was þe yongist of yeris, & a ȝepe knight,—
Brake Sylense belyue, and abrode saide:—
"A! nobyll men of nome, what noyes your hertes?
Why are ye trowblit þis tyme, and your tung lost? [folio 41a]
And meuyt so mykell, for a mad priste,
That neuer colde of no knighthode, but in a kirke chyde?
Hit is propurté for a preste perellis to drede,
fferd be for fight, and O fer shun it,
Melle hym with mekenes, þat hym most louys,
Delyte hym in Drynke, and oþer dere meytes,
Set hym to solas, as hym selfe likes.
Who may tell it for tru, or trust haue þerin,
Þat any gome shuld be graithe of our goddes wille,
Or haue knowyng of case for to come after?
There is no wyse man, I wene, þat will it suppose, Page  84
Þat a foole shuld be forwise soche ferlies to know.
If Elinus be argh, & ournes for ferde,
Let hym tegh to þe tempull, talke with his goddes,
Deuyne seruice to do, and fro drede kepe;
And let other men Aunter, abill þerfore,
ffor to shunt vs of shame, shend of our foos,
And venge vs of velany & of vile gremy.
Why fader, in faith, are yo so fer troublet
At his wordys of waste, & his wit febill?
Comaund, sir kyng, þat a clene nauy
Be redy to rode on þe rugh see,
All well for þe werre, with wight men ynogh:
Syne the Grekes with greme may grefe vs no more,
But it syt hom so sore, þat þai sorrow euer."*. [MS. 'sororow']
When Troilus hade told, & his tale endit,
Hit blithet all the buernes, þat aboute stode,
Of his wit, & his wille, & wordes full bolde;
And confermyt his counsell by comyn assent.
Than comaund the kyng the courtte for to ryse;
Askit water wightly, wentton [to] meyte.
Bothe hym selfe and his sonnes, with sere lordes vmb,
Maden all mery, menyt þere speche.
When etyn hade all men & at ese bene,
Bordys away borne, buernes on fote;
The kyng syttyng hym selfe, & his sete helde: [folio 41b]
He comaund for to cum of his kynd sons.
Parys apperit, pert Deffebus alse,
Comyn to the kyng, knelit full low,
ffor to wete of his wille; & þe wegh saide:—
"I bid þat ye buske, and no bode make;
Pas into Payone þere prise knightes dwellis, Page  85
Doughty of dede, derfe men in Armys.
Assemble you soudiours, sure men & nobill,
Shapyn in shene ger, with shippis to wynde,
The Grekys to greue, & in grem brynge."
Þan þai lacchyn hor leue,—lowton hor kyng,—
Cayren forthe to þe coste, & hor course helde.
Assemblit soudiours anon, mony sad hundrith;
And lengit while þem list, þe lond was þere owne.
The secund day, sothely, for to say ferre,
When he his sons herde, he somond his lordes
And all the knightes to come, & clene men of wit,
To appere in his presens a purpos to take.
When þe souerain was set with sere lordes vmbe,
Then carpes the kyng his knightes vntill.
"Now, lordes of my lond, & lege pepull!
The case is well knowen to your clene mynde,
How þe Grekes vs greuit, & to ground broght,
And put vs, with hor pride, to pouerte full low.
Of our souerans & sib men seruondis to be,
Ay hengis in my hert þe hethyng I thole;
Of my Suster in seruage, & in syn holdyn,
Hit meuys into mynd, & mekill me noyes;
And I sothely haue sent, as ye see all,
Antenor to aske hir, & Angur no more.
He hade not of hom but hethyng & skorne,
Grete wordis & gref, & moche grym þrete;
Þat doublis my dole, & to dethe bryngis.
Now woundys shalbe wroght, weghes to sorow,
And dyntes full dedly for þe dere sake.
I haue purpast Parys with prise men ynow,
Into Grese for to go, & hom to greme;
Kylle of hor knightes, knocke hom to dethe; [folio 42a]
Grype of hor godes, and agayne wyn.
Hit may chefe hym by chaunce to get som choise lady, Page  86
Or sum woman to wyn, þat worthy is holdyn,
Bryng to this burghe, (& other brode godes,
Our worship to wyn & our will haue,)
That may chefe by chaunse chaunge for Exiné.
This I will þat ye wete, & your wille shewe;—
If ye deme it in dede, þus I do will;
And pursue on my purpos plainly to ende.
And if ye list it be lefte, let me wete sone,
And I will soberly sese, & sue it no ferre.
Þof þai touche me with tene, all these tore harmes,
All the comyns be course haue cause for to say;
ffor it Angurt hom all, & out of ese brought:
And as wise men witnes, & in writ shewes,
Þat at longis to lenge on a lell comyns,
Shuld propurly be a-preuyt by the pepull hole."
When tale of the trew was triet to þe ende,
And silens on yche syde sittyng full stille,
A stuerne of þo stithe were stondyng aboute,
A praty man of pure wit, protheus he hight,
Þat was sothely the son of soueran Ewsebij,
A Phylosofer fyne fele yeres past,
Þat, Ouyd in old tyme oponly tellus,
Had all the crafte & conyng in his clere wit,
Þat pictagoras the pure god possessiant was of.
This protheus pertly put hym to say,—
To the kyng in the court carpis thies wordes:—
"A! nobill kyng & nomekowthe! notes in your hert,
And suffers me to say, Symple þof I be;
Let mene to your maiesty þe mynde of my tale,
Hedys me with heryng, & in hert kepe:
I will telle myn entend vpon trew wise,
And say you in sertain þat ye mon sure fynde. Page  87
Hit is knowen to you kynd lord & your court hole,
That my fader was a philisofer, & of fele yeres,—
To the nowmber of nene skowre, & his nome kouthe,— [folio 42b]
And fully was enformet of fortune deuyse,
What be course was to cum of care & of ioye.
Ofte he said me for sothe, & for sure tolde,
Þat if Parys with a pepull past into Grese,
In purpas to pray, or profet to gete,
An wan þere a wife & away led,
Þat grete Troye shuld be tane, & tyrnyt to ground,
And all the buyldynges brent into bare askys:
Your selfe & your sons sothely be dede,
With the Grekes in hor grefe; & þis ground lost.
Wherfore, wheme kyng! for what þat may come,
Let your lordship lystyn with a loue ere,
And wirke after wit, þat worship may folow:
Syn wordys of wise men is no wit to dispise.
And nomely in þis note, þat noise not your selfe,
Ne hurttes not your hegh Astate, ne no harme dos;
And persiueraunse of purpos may quit you to lure,
Your landys to lose, & langur for euer.
Why couet ye be course to cum out of ese,—
Your rest into Robery & to ryfe perellis,
Bothe in daunger and drede, & may dryfe of?
Absteyne you stithly, þat no stoure fall;
And endure furthe your dayes at your dere ese,
In lykyng to lyue, & your ledis all,
Withouten heuynes or harme. Hedis to þat,
And puttis of þat purpos; let paris not wend;
Let anoþer do þat note, if hit nede shall.
This is my counsell, sir kyng, carpe I no fer."
At Protheus profesi þe pepull made noise,
Myche Rumur & rud speche at his red sonne; Page  88
His olde fader fantasi þai filet in hert,
And repugnet þo pointtes with a proude wille;
As, lord, gyffe þai leuyt hade for lure þat come after,
Hit might, by fortune, haue failet of þat foule end.
But it was desteynid by dome, & for due holdyn
Hit plesit wele the pepull at parys to wende:
Thay affermyt hit fully, & faren to þere Innes.
Hit come to Cassandra, þat was the kynges doughter,
That, be counsell of the kyng & comyns assent,
Parys was purpost with pouer to wende
Into Grese for a gay, all on grete wise.
All in sikyng & sorow, with syling of teris,
Ho brast out with a birre from hir bale hert,
And all forthly ho fore in hir fyne wittes;
Warpet out wordes wonder to here.
With a carefull crie carping ho sayde:—
"A! nobill Troye, þe noy þat neghis ye at hond!
What vnhappe & hardshïp hapnes the to!
All þi toures & tildes shalbe tyrnyt vnder;
And thy buyldyng betyn to þe bare erthe.
A! vnhappy hegh kyng, what hardship is to the!
Priam, & þi pepull, be put to þe dethe;
Vnder seruage set, & sorow for ay.
What defense has þou done to our dere goddes?
And þou qwene, þat vnqwemyt has on sum qwaint wise,
The angur thee is, Ecuba, entrond on honde!
Þat all þi sons shall þou se slayn with þin ene.
Why puttes þou not Parys his purpos to leue?
That shall be cause of suche care, þat wull come after." Page  89
Ho ros þan full radly, & ran to þe kyng.
With teris don trickelyng of hir tore ene,
And a sembland full soure, sorow to be holde,
She prayet hym full pitously his purpos to leue.
As ho þat wise was of wit, & wist it be-fore
Thurgh craft of hir conyng & course of þe sternys,
She said hym full sadly with sorowfull wordys,
All shuld turne hym to tene, & þe towne lose.
But fortune, þat is felle, forthers his tyme;
Hastis to vnhappe, having no rewarde;
Ordans an yssew, euyn as hym lyst;
Turnys all entent, þat hym tary wold;
Caches furthe his cold wirdis with cumpas to ende.
But I may sothely say, & for sure holde,—
Hade the counsell ben kept of the knight Ector, [folio 43b]
And the Ernyst speche Eftward of Elinus the Bysshop,
Cassandras care considret with all,
With the prophesy of Protheus put into hertys,
Troy with þi toures hade bene a toune noble,
And wond in his weile to the worldes ende.
But no man tentes to tene er þe tyme come,
Ne ferd is for fortune till it falle to.
And þof hit chaunses to chefe þat men charge litill,
To grow into gronnd harme & greuys full sore;
When the tene is be tyde, & turnys to þe werst,
Men demyn hit for destyny, & for due holdyn;
And takon yt to þat entent: & here a tale endes.
Page  90

Here begynnes the Seuynt Boke: how Parys went into Grese for Elan.

Envy, þat Euermore ertis to skathe,
Ryxles full Ryfe in her ranke hertes.
This forward was festynit with a felle wille,
And all the purpos plainly with pouer to wende.
Hit betid þus in tyme, as I telle shall,
When sit was [the] Sun þese signes betwene,
Entred in yades, efter as it fell;
And the planet of pliades, with his playn course,
Into taure was turnyt as the tyme asket.
In the moneth of May, when medoes bene grene,
And all florisshet with floures þe fildes aboute;
Burions of bowes brethit full swete,
fflorisshet full faire; frutes were kuyt;
Greuys were grene, & þe ground hilde;
Hit was likyng in Laundys ledys to walke;
Parys the pert knight, And his pure brother, [folio 44a]
Comyn vnto courtte with company grete,
Of thre thowsaund þro knightes, þriuand in Armys;
The pruddist of payone, prise men of honde.
Shippes were shot furth on the shyre water,
All boune on the brode see, with botys amonge.
To nem you the mowmber naytely be tale,
There were twenty and too, to twyn hom in sonder, Page  91
Stithe shippes & stoure stuffet with vitell,
All full vpon flote with fyne pepull in.
The kyng comaund to come, & cald hym anon,
Antenor alstite, and Aunteros Eneas,
And Polidamos prist,—a full pert knight,
Antenor Aune son, aldist of yeris;
Bade hom buske & be boun & no bode make,
To pas furthe with parys & hor prise knightes,
Bowne on hor best wise in hor bright wedis.
And þai grauntid the grete with a glad chere,
And shope hom to ship in a sharpe haste.
All the pepull to appere Pryam comaundit,
That were purpast to pas on the pale stremys,
And wightly thies wordes warpit hom to,
With a Sembland full sad, er he ses wold:—
"Hit nedys not now our noyes to telle,
Ne mony wordes to warpe, for it is well knowen.
All wete ye my wille why ye wend shall,
The Grekes for to grefe, if your grace happe,
And harme with your hond, þat our hede slogh;
To venge of our velany, & our vile grem
And hardlaike we hade of hom in þis londe:
And most is my mynde, & I might haue,
My Sister Exiona fro seruage to brynge.
That shalbe choisly your charge: chefe & ye may
With all your mightes to mene, & most to pursew
On hom þat hir holdis, & vs harme dyd. [folio 44b]
Wetys hit all wele: with outen any cause
Þat þe dayens you derit, & to drede broght;
And for Redur & ranke harme of vnright dedis,
We may tyre vs with truthe to tene hom agayne,
And wreke vs of wrathe & wranges before.
I bid you now barly with besines at all,
Þat ye set you most souerainly my suster to gete.
Now is tyme most tore to tente þere aboute, Page  92
And to aunter on our Enmys with armes in werre,
Our Knighthode to Kythe, & our clene strenght;
And mene vs with monhode maistry to wyn.
Wetis all wele: & you wont oght,
Or any case to you come comford to haue,
To be suppoueld by selfe & my sad helpe.
And if it falle you be fortune to forther your wille,
My Syster to sese, or any sure lady,
Ye haue shall my helpe & my hole strenght,
To pas with a power to þaire playne londys,
Þat all the dayens vs doute shall for our derfe strokes,
And be war vs to wrathe to þe worldes end.
Prinse of þis pouer Parys shalbe,
And leder of these ledys & the lefe pepull;
And Deffebus, my dere son, I dem hym þe next;
With counsell & comford of clene men of wit,—
Of Antenor, & Eneas, & other full noble,
Þat fare shall in fere & feliship to gedur."
When the Kyng hade declarit all his clene wille,
Than entrid the oste evyn into shippe.
Paris with pyne, & his pure brother,
Toke leue at þere lege with loutyng & teris;
Shot into ship with shene men of Armys;
Lauset loupis fro the le; lachyn in Ancres;
Brode sailes vp braid; bonkis þai leuyt.
With Jono, the Juste god Joynet to þe see,
And Venus the worthy, þat hom well plesit,
Thay sailed furth soundly with seasonable wyndes,
Tyll þai comyn of the cost of Caucleda in spase:—
Of the regione of Rene, & rode þere in havyn. [folio 45a]
Gayn vnto Grese on þe gray water,
By the Regions of Rene rode þai ferre,
Streit by the stremys of the stithe londys; Page  93
Ay boun to the banke, when hom best thoght,
ffor to light on þe londe, & leng on hor ese.
Now it felle hom by fortune, as þai fere so,
Monolay for to mete, the mightiest of Grese,
Come sayland by syde & the see held;
Purpost vnto Pyle by prayer of Nestor,*. [MS. has Pire]
To solas hym a season, & soiourne with the Duke.
This Menelay, þat I mene, the mighty before,
To Agamenon the graithe was a gay brother;
And had weddit, I wis, & to wif held
Elan, þat afturward angert hym sore.
Of hir feirehede & feturs is ferly to here,
I shall telle you, when I tyme haue, tomly her|aftur.
Ho was suster for sothe, as I said ere,
To Pollux the pert kyng, & his pere Castor,
Þat soiournet the same tyme at the Cite Emscor,
As legis in hor owne londes, a louely hom with,—
Ermonia, a Maydon þat þai moche louyt,—
A doghter full dere of dame Elan the quene.
When the Grekes se the grete nauy, þai girdon o rowme,
And meuyt fro þere metyng at the mene tyme.
Nawther company by course hade Kennyng of other,
But past to þere purpos & no prise made,
And sailet vpon syde vnto sere costys.
Parys and his pepull past by the stremys,
Hadyn wynd at hor wille, & the wedur calme,
And sailet to Sithera, and set into hauyn;
A ground of the Grekes, as hom grase felle,
And now cald is, by course, of hom þat costes hauntyn,
Sytrinos forsothe, with Sailers to nome. [folio 45b]
There arofe all the rowte, as þai rede toke,
And halit into hauyn, & houyt full stille; Page  94
Caste ancres full kene with cables to grounde;
ffestonit the flete, as hom fayre thoght;
Buskys into botys, were borne to þe lond,
To solas hom a season, as hom selfe liked;
And waited vppon hor wirdes for wynnyng of godys.
In Sythera, for sothe, was a solempne tempull,
Of Venus, I wis, þat worthy was holdyn,
ffoundet before, fele yeres past,
And enabit of old þere auntres were sene.
With Riches full Rife & myche Ranke godys,
The yle well enabit & onest with in,
And lyuet after law of þe lell gentils,
Þat Venus the worthy worshippit for god,
And most honouret of other with onesté þere.
There auntered hom oft, onsware to haue,
When þai put hom with prayer þat prise for to seche.
Thus tyd hit þat tyme, as I telle wille,
Þat the principall & prise fest of þere pure goddys
Was holdyn þo high dayes with hom þat þere dwelt;
And other folke vpon fer fell thedur thicke,
With mykull prese of pepull of prouynce aboute,
Soght to þat solenité sacrifis to make.
Worthy wemen to wale, wete ye forsothe,
Þat prist are of pilgrymes to pas ouer lond
To waite after wondres, & wilfull desyre
More Janglyng of Japes þen any Juste werkes,
And for solas & sight þen sacrifice to do.
When parys persayuit had the pepull anon,
He cacchis a compony clenely arayed,
And to the tempull full tyte toke he þe gate.
ffull mylde on his maner meuit within. [folio 46a]
On a side he hym set, as semyt for a straungior,
In prayers full prist the pepull beheld. Page  95
He offert onestly in honour of Venus,
A gobet of gold, þat gyngys might se;
And sylid for-sothe on the same wise,
ffor solempnite of sacrifice in sight of þe pepull.
Paris was pure faire, & plesaund in sight,
A store man & a stoute, full stithe hym be semyt;
ffairest be ferre of his fre buernes,
Wemen waited hym well, hade wondur of hym one,
That of shap for to shew was shene to beholde,
And clad as a kyng in clothys full fyne.
He was louyt with ladys, lappit in hert.
As course is of kynd & comyn dessire,
Ich on fraynet at his fere þe frekys to know,
Of what lond were þo louely hit list hom to wete,
And prinsipall of Parys the pepull dessiret,
Of þat comly to Ken, & his cause here.
And o sithen it was said, & for sothe tolde,
That Parys was Pryam son, þat prinse is of Troy,
By comaundement of his kyng comyn into Grese,
With a company clene his cosyn to gete.
Exiona sothely he soght for to haue,
That Telamon hade takon & with tene held,
And set vnder seruage þat hom sore greuyt.
This speche furth sprede & sprange vppo ferre,
Ouer all into yles, so aunter befelle,
Into the Eres of Elan hit entrid belyue.
The prishede of parys was praisit so mekyll,
With ferly of his fairnes, & his fre buernes,
Sho was lappit in longyng þat louely to se,
And to wete of þat worthy with wilfull desyre. [folio 46b]
As wemen are wount in Wantonhede yet,
With a likyng full light in loue for to falle,
That hetys into hertys and hurtes sone after;
So longid this lady with lust to the Temple,
With Sacrafice solempne to seche vnto Venus. Page  96
This ho tolde hir entent, as þe tyme asket,
And to stare o þo stoute, & hir astate shewe
To the folke of the frigie with a ffrike wille:
Holdur þen holynes happont so then.
Hit is wondur to wit of wemen dissyre,
Þat shunt not for shame to shake ouer lande,
To glogh vppon gomes at gedering of folke,
And prese vnto playes pepull to beholde,
Þat ledis vnto loue with lustes þat folowes.
Yong men & yepe, yenerus in hert,
Rauisshe hom Radly & þaire rede turnys;
Puttes hom to purpos þat pynes hom after.
Soche stirrynges ger stumble, þat stidfast wold be.
With sight at assemblis, & sythen with speche,
With flatery, & faire wordys fallyn to gedur,
Acoyntyng hom with kissyng & clippyng in Armes,
With Sossyngs, & Sotelte, Settyng of cases,
The willes of wemen wightly þai chaunge,
To falle vpon foly & hor fame lose:
Now fey be þe freike þat it first ordant.
Soche Riot & Revell so ryuely to haunt,
Of yonge men & yenerus, þat yurnes to gaumes
To daunse amonge damsels; drawing of glovis,
With comonyng in company, þat comes but to harme,
Gers maidnes be mart, mariage for done;
Brynges wyues into wondur þaire worship to lose;
And ertes ay to euyll ende & ernyst by the last. [folio 47a]
Throgh whiche treason betydes, & ternys vm|qwhile
Bolde men to batell and biker with hond:
Þat draghes vnto dethe, & deris full mony. Page  97
Therfore saintes to seche and to sere halowes,
And turne vnto Templis atyrit with pride,
Þof it be laifull to ladys and oþer les wemen,
Ȝet it ledis vnto laithnes and vnlefe werkes;
And shotis into shame as shene has ben ofte.
But þou Elan, þat haldyn was hede of all ladys,
And the fairest of feturs formyt in erthe,
What wrixlit þi wit & þi wille chaunget,
In absens of þi souerayne, for saghes of pepull,
To pas of þi palays & þi prise chamber,
To loke on any lede of a londe straunge?
Þat might faire haue refraynit with þi fre wille;
Haue sauyt thy septur & þi selfe alse.
Hade þou holdyn þe at home, hedit þin astate,
And not cayret fro court þere company was gedurt,
To waite aftur wondurs for a worde light.
Hit were sittyng for sothe, & semly for wemen,
Þaire houses to haunt & holde hom with in;
Kepe hom from company & comonyng of folke;
And, ouer all, þere onesty attell to saue,
Whethir a ship, þat is shot on þe shire wawes,
Shuld drowne in the depe, & it drye stode,
Halyt into havyn, harlit with ropes.
Ne a woman, I wis, þat wisely will gouerne,
Shall not into fame but of hir fre wille.
Thou dissyret full depely, dame Elan, þi seluon
To pas fro þi palis & þi priuey chamber,
And seche to Sytheria with solempne Avowe;
In colour of þi cause þou couet to se
Þat straunge, þat was stoute & stare hym vppon;
So þou light in vnlefulnes, þat lefully semyt,
Thurgh þi Licrus lust þat Lurkit in þi hert. [folio 47b]
ffor þe sight of þat semely, sotheli, was venum,
Þat enfecte þi faire loue to þe fairist of Grise,
And mony Greke with grem vnto grounde broght Page  98
All the frigies vnfaire vnder fight endit.
Now furder how it felle I will faire telle.—
Sho assemblid hir seruandes with a sad wille,
Hade hom radly arayed for þe rode furth;
Bryng horses to grounde and hernes anon,
To seche to Sitheria for solempne avowe;
And Venus to worship, as hir wele awe,
As ho heghly hade het for helping before.
This Sitheria, for sothe, from þe same yle
Of Menelay þe mighty was but a mene spas,
And he souerain hym selfe & þe soile aght.
Tite, with outyn tariyng, atirit were all,
Horses in haste & to hond brought;
The lady full louely was lifte vppon on,
A palfray of prise, prudly atyrit,
And glod on full gayly, þe gaynist to the bonke.
There light þai full lyfely, lept into bote,
And were set ouer soundly into the same yle
Right with a Rother, and Rayket to bonke.
In hir atire to þe tempull tomly ho yode,
Þere onestly sho offert, honourt hir goddes
With giftes of golde & of gode stones;
Tariet in the tempull, tentit to goumes;
Ho segh not þat semly, þen set hir to ground
And proffert hir prayers to þe prise goddes.
These tythandes full titely told were to Parys,
Þat honerable Elan was entrid in þe tempull,—
Menelay mody wife þat he most louyt.
He araiet hym full riolly with a route noble,
And past thurgh þe prese into þe proud tempull. [folio 48a]
He was enformyt before of þat fre lady,
Þat ho to Castor þe kyng accounttid was euon,
And to Pollux: pure suster pristly to bothe.
Of hir fairehede feltymes hade þe freike herd.
ffro he þe semly hade sene he set so his egh, Page  99
He proffert no prayer to no prise goddis,
Ne hedyt noght hertely but þe hend lady;
Ne no lede on to loke saue lelly hir one.
All the feturs of þat fre was fourmyt so well,
And ho of fairnes so fele was ferly to se.
The here of hir hede, huyt as the gold,
Bost out vppon brede bright on to loke:
The shede þurghe the shyre here shone as þe lilly,
Streght as a strike, straght þurgh the myddes,
Depertid the proudfall pertly in two,
Atiret in tressis trusset full faire.
Hir forhed full fresshe & fre to be-holde,
Quitter to qweme þen þe white snaw,
Nouþer lynes ne lerkes but full lell streght;
With browes full brent, brightist of hewe,
Semyt as þai set were sotely with honde,
Comyng in Compas, & in course Rounde,
ffull metly made & mesured betwene,
Bright as the brent gold enbowet þai were.
Hir ene wull full onest euyn of a mesure,
Shynyng full shene as þe shire sternys,
Or any staring stone þat stithe is of vertue;
ffull sutelly set, Serklyt with heris
On the browes so bryght, borduret full clene,
Stondyng full stepe and stable of chere. [folio 48b]
Hir nose for the nonest was nobly shapyn,
Stondyng full streght & not of stor lenght,
Ne to short for to shew in a shene mesure;
Noght growen to grete ne to grefe smalle;
With thrilles noght thrat but thriftily made,—
Nawther to wyde ne to wan, but as hom well semyt.
Hir chekes full choise, as the chalke white,
As the rose, was the rud þat raiked hom in,— Page  100
Mengit with mesure in hir mylde face
To the lippus full luffly, as by lyn wroght,
Made of a meane vmb þe mowthe swete,
As it were coruyn by crafte, colourd with honde,
Proporcionet pertly with painteres deuyse.
To telle of hir tethe þat tryetly were set,
Alse qwyte & qwem as any qwalle bon;
Wele cumpast in cours & clenly to gedur
By rule in þe rede gomys, as a rose faire,
Þat with lefes of þe lylly were lappit by twene.
Hir chyn full choise was the chekys benethe,
With a dympull full derne, daynté to se.
In the hew of þat hend was a hegh ioye
Of faiernes so fele in hir face shewide.
The slote of hir slegh brest sleght for to showe,
As any cristall clere, þat clene was of hewe,
Shene for to shew & of shap noble.
With a necke for þe nonest of naturs deuyse,
Glissonand as the glemes þat glenttes of þe snaw;
Nawþer fulsom, ne fat, but fetis & round,
ffull metely made of a meane lenght.
With shulders full shaply, shenest of hewe,
ffull pleasaund & playn, with a plase lawe
Goyng downe as a goter fro the gorge euyn.
Hir armys were auenaund & abill of shap,
Large of a lenght, louely to shewe.
Hir hondes fetis & faire, with fingurs full small, [folio 49a]
With nailes at the neþer endes as a nepe white.
The brede of hir brest, bright on to loke,
Was pleasaund & playne pluttide a litull,
ffresshe and of fyne hew as þe fome clere:
With two propur pappes, as a peire rounde,
ffetis and faire, of fauour full swete.
Hir corse [was] comly & of clene shap,
Euyn metely made of a medill deuyse,
As nobly to þe nethur-most as nature cold shape. Page  101
Parys stode in a stody & streght on hir lokit,
ffaste by þat fre fresshe of araye;
Beheld hir full hertely, hade no rewarde
To prayer, ne pepull, ne prayer within.
So he hedit þat hynde, & ho hym agayne
With a lokyng on lenght in hor loue ene,
Þat Paris ho pryset in hir pure mynde,
Of feturs & fourme fairer by myche,
Þan he vppon hir hertely couthe fynde:
And thus ho thought full thrange in hir thro hert,
Þat so semely a sight ho se neuer before,
Ne so comly a creature to hir clene wit,
Ne no lede to hir lykyng halfe so luff-able.
Ho tentit not in Tempull to no tall prayers,
Ne no melody of mouthe made at þe tyme,
Ne speche of no spiritualtie, with speciall ne other;
But ay staryt O þat stoute with hire stepe Ene.
There most was hir mynd in þat mene qwhile;
And Parys perceyuit the print of hir sight,
And lokit on þat louely with a light chere,
Till aither sight was sadly set vppon other.
So be lokyng of lenght with a loue chere,
Ayther kyndly by course knew oþer wille.
Then Parys pertly proffert a seigne,
ffor to telle his entent yf ho tome hade;
And ho onswaret þat Abill after agayne, [folio 49b]
By seignes on the same wise soburly to come;
And beckonet hym boldly, when bourdys were thicke,
And pepull in play, his place to Remeve.
Parys listinet lyuely, let for no shame,
But drogh to þat dere & dressit to sitte,
And softly by him selfe said what him liket.*. [MS. has 'hom']
While oþer tentid in the temple tomly to playes, Page  102
And noght hedit þat hynde hertely in loue,
And þai hade laisure at lust þere likyng to say,
And wrixle þere wit & þere wille shewe:
Ayther vnto oþer arghit hom noght.
Þai were assentid full sone sittyng to gedur,
And festoned þere forward how þai fare sholde.
Þan pertid þai priuely, Paris toke leue,
And loutid þat louely, & ho hur luf kyste.
The knight with his company kayred fro þe tempull,
And sho beheld to þat hynd houyng full stille,
Lokyng on lenght with a loue ee,
Ay folowyng on fer till he was forthe past.
Then Parys forthe past proude at his hert,
Wele laburt with loue longit full sore;
Evyn shoke to his shippes þere shene men were in,
And gedurt all the great greidly anon,
And said hom full soberly, er he sese wolde,
Thes wordys I wis, as ye wete shalle:—
"Now faithfull felowes, & my fre buernes!
Hit is knowen to you kendly þe cause of our iourney,
Why Pryam has put vs þes partis vnto.
This was truly his entent, & takon vs in charge,
His sister Exiona to sese & we might,
By any Way in this worlde & Wirdis vs demyt: [folio 50a]
And if vs happynt not hir to haue at our wille,
The Grekes for to greue on sum gret wise,
With all þe might þat we may our malice to kythe.
And O nowise may we wyn þat woman to gete,
Withouten batell full bigge & a breme oste.
Telamon, the tore kyng, tentes hir so wele, Page  103
And is fuerser of folke by a felle nowmber,
And lappis in hir loue, þat leue hir he nyll
But with strenght of strokys, or with store fight;
And we ledis to lyte þat lady to wyn,
Or any Cité to sese by a sawte now,
Þere pepull are so plaintiose, & placis of strenght.
And, sers, syn he so is be souerans of goddis,
Vs may falle here by fortune a fulfaire gifte,
Þat shuld lelly be laght, as me leue thinke.
Here is a tempull atyret all with triet godys,
And the grettist of Grise gedrit þerin,
As of wemen to wale, worthy & nobill,
And prise of þis prouynse are in yond proude yle.
The most of tho mighty is menelai wife,
Lady of þis lond, full louely to shew,
The grettist of grese and a gai qwhene.
Yf we take this full tite, & tary no lengur,
Bothe pepull & pilage, & put into ship,
Hit is a proffitable pray of persons me thinke,
And godis full grete of gold & of syluer;
ffor the tempull is atyret all with tryet clothes,
Bassons of bright gold, & oþer brode vessell,
Chaundelers full chefe, & charbokill stones,
And other Riches full Rife þat we may rad haue:
What fairer shuld vs falle and we fer soght. [folio 50b]
Yf ye deme it to do be deuyse of you all,
Hit sittes, me semes, sone in the night
We arme vs at all peces, & aunter þere on
The temple to take and all the triet ladys.
Golde and oþer goodes gripe it by dene,
And shote into our shippes, shake on our way:
And Elan of all thing we aunter vs to take.
Yf we þat luffly may lacche & lede vnto troy, Page  104
Priam, our prise kyng, may prestly suppose
His suster to sese, sent by eschaunge,
And his couetyng to cacche because of þat bright.
Lokys now lyuely! what list you to do?
To melle in þis mater, or to meue ferre?
And assai if we suffise our seluyn of might,
Yf we put vs to pillage, er we pyne þole."
At þe last, when the lede hade left of his speche,
ffele of þe folke febull it thughten;
But yche lede by the last aliet þerto,
And assentid to his saw, & suet his rede.
When counsell was kaght of knightes & oþer,
And all things examynt, so aunter befell,
The neght drow negh anon vppon þis,
And the mone in the merke myghtely shone,
As come it by course, & cast a gret light.
Þai armyt hom at all peces abill to werre;
To the tempull full tite token þere gate,
Prayen & piken all the pure godes;
Affrayet the folke fuersly by dene,
Sesit & slogh, slongen to ground;
Grippit the godys and the gay ladys,
And all the company clene closit hom within.
Parys þen presit to þe proude qwene,
And sesit hir sone, as hir assent was;
Led hir furth lyuely, lefte hir in shippe [folio 51a]
Vnder sight of sure men set hir to kepe:
And to the tempull full tyte turnyt agayne,
To rob of þe Riches, and Renkes to helpe.
Clamour & crie was Comyns amonge,
Hoge noise for þe nonest in night for to here;
Lelly of the ladies, þat leuer were degh
Þan be led out of lande, lowde was þe noise.
The noise vpponone neghit to þe Eris*. [MS. has 'uppon none']
Of Soudiours besyde in a sure castell, Page  105
That the tempull was taken & tulkes þerin,
And sum þat were slayne & slungen to ground.
By frekys þat fled for ferd to þe holde,
Distracte were þai stithly, & stonyt by dene,
And braid to þere bright gere, buskit hom furthe:
The soudiours by assent soghten to þe tempull.
In the castell were a cumpany, kyd men of Armys,
Þat enfourmet were of fyght, & the fet couthe;
Þai turnyt to the troiens, tarit hom longe,
ffoghten with hom felly, frusshit hom abake;
Hopit with hondis to hew hom to dethe,
Prisoners to pike, & the pray lyuer.
ffell was þe fight þo fuerse men betwene,
Mony derfe þere deghit, & dungen to ground;
But the Troiens were Torer & tentymes moo,
And greuit the Grekes gretly with strokys;
Oppressit hom with pyne, put hom to flight,
ffolowed hom fuersly, felle hom with swerdys,
Till þai come to þere castell & caght hade þere strenght.
Then turnyt the Troiens, tariet no lengur,
And went vnto water with þere wale godys:
Lefte noght vnlaght þat lykyng was in. [folio 51b]
Myche Riches full Rife and relikes ynow,
Þai shot into shippe: the sheltrun to-gedur,
Þat fild were with folke & fyne gold to wale,
Sesit vp þere sailes, set hom to wyndes.
Cairet on the colde ythes cogges & other,
Aght dayes be-dene & the derke nightes,
Till þai comyn by course to the cuntre of Troy;
Hit hom into hauyn, as hom hap shope,
At the castell, þat cald was kyndly by name,
Tenydon, and tomly tariet þere in;
Þat sothely was sex myle fro the cité euyn. Page  106
There arofe all the Rowte & restid a whyle,
And were welcom, I wis, as weghes to þere owne;
Honourt with all men, as þere astate wolde.
Parys full pristly puruait a message,
And sent to his souerain in a sad haste,
Of thies tithandes to telle how hom tyde hade.
The messanger maynly meuyt to the kyng
To Troy, or he turne wolde, and told hym in haste,
Þat his sons were in sound & hor sute holl
At Tenydon; and told how hom tyde hade,
As hym seluyn hade sene, þat sothely was þere.
Pryam was proude of these pert dedis,—
The fainest freike in faithe þat on fote yode,—
And gedrit with gamyn the grettist of Troye,
And sum of the Citizens assemblit with all;
ffestid hom faire frely with hym,
And tolde hom þose tythinges tomly to end:*. [MS. has "hym"]
All maden þai mery & mekyll ioye haden.
As Parys and his pepull were in hor pride samyn,
At Tenydon þat tyme talkyng to gedur,
Hit Auntrid þat Elan, with other of hir lede
Þat were takon in the tempull, as I tolde first,
Were sorowfull sobbyng with syling of Teres;
All tourniet with tene, tremblit in hert, [folio 52a]
Wailyng & weping, wringyng of hondys.
Hit was pité to the pepull the pyn þat ho þolet,
And said in hir sikyng with a softe speche:—
"A! my husband full hynd, & my hede brother!
My Doughter, my Derlynge, & my dere rewme!
Whethur I se you in solas or in sound euer."
Þus bemournet full mekull & no meite toke,
But with care & complaint,—comford away.
Parys hade pyté hir payne for to se, Page  107
On þat lady, his loue, with langour & wo.
He kairet to þat comly with comfortable wordys,
And menyt hir in maner hir mournyng to voide;
Yet sesit not hir sorow for solas of hym.
Ne noght glad of þat geste, but greatly anoyet,
Paris greuit at þat grete & gird out in yre;
Saide hir full soberly sittyng these wordes:—
"What lyffe is þis, lady, to lede on þis wise?
Noght sesyng of sorow, & sobbyng vnfaire
On dayes to Endure, with drouping on nightes.
Who sothely might suffer þe sorow þat þou mase,
With care & with complaint comynly ay:
Lamentacoun & langour the long night ouer?
Thus tourment with tene, & tides non end,
Ne hopis þou not it harmys, & thy hew chaunges;
And enpaires thy person, & proffettes no more?"
In faithe the burde fell of falling of terys.—
"And þou drunkyn hade dewly as mony du sopis,
As shottes of shire water has shot fro þin ene,
Thou faithfully were fillid vnto þi faire swyre.
Therfore, lady, & it like you, lighten your chere;
Comford you kyndly, kacches sum rest;
ffor in this riall Reme of my riche fader,
Ne faute shall ye ffynde, ne your fre buernes. [folio 52b]
Tho truly þat are takon and temyn to you,
Shalbe plesit with plenty at þere playne wille,
And haue riches full ryfe: red ye non oþer.
And ye sothely, your selfe, souerain of all,
Shalbe worshipped worthely & your wille haue,
And honouret of all men as your astate shuld;
To be gouernet in your grettenes, most godely of other, Page  108
All daintes to you dight, þat are dere holdyn,
Plaintiouse in yche place, as a prise qwene;
And all your ledys deliuert and lose out of bandys;
At your comaundement clene all your choise pepull;
And lyue in þis lond with lustes at ease,
Alse syker and sure als þai set were at home."
Þen onswared Elan easely agayne,
And driet the dropis of hir dregh teris:—
"I wot, sir, witterly, will I or noght,
Your wille I moste wirke, waite I non other;
Syn weikenes of wemen may not wele stryve,
Ne haue no might tawardes men maistries to fend:
And nomely in an unkythe lond nedys hom so.
And what daunger or dysese þat done is vs here,
Auther me or to myne at this myschefe,
Hit may happon you in haste haue suche another.
Thurgh giftes of our goddys, þat vs grace leuys,
We most suffer all hor senndes, & soberly take."
Than Parys with plesaunce apperit agayne:—
"Dere lady full leell! your lykyng to do,
And all your wille forto wirke, yche wegh shall."
Þen he hent hir by the hond hastely there,
And a littyll agayne lust lifte hir vp swithe;
Silet furth with þat semly & hir sute leuyt,
Into a place well appareld all with prise clothes,
And moche onestly ordainit for esmint of hir:
Þat þo souerains by hom selfe might say what hom liket,
Aither vnto other as onesty wolde.
Þen Parys to þat pure pertly can say:—
"Hope ye now, hynde Lady, þat your hegh goddis [folio 53a]
Haue put you to þis prouynse pyne for to thole; Page  109
And let you be led vnto this lond hydur,
Þat suche a chaunge shuld you chefe to a choise febill;
And don fro delites depely to angur,
Noght abundonet in blis ne blithe in your hert?
Trowe ye not Troy is tore of all godis,
As plaintiouse in yche place as þe prouynse of Achaia,
At is doublit of delitis & druris at all?
Ne trawes not, tru lady, þat I take wolde
Thy ladyship to losse, ne in lust holde.
Thou shalt haue riches more Rife, & Ranker of godis,
Þan any lady in þi land, leue me for sothe;
And more likandly lyf & þi lust haue,
Bothe in weile & in worship, as a wee noble.
And me, þat am mete & of more power
Þen hym þat þou hade and held for þi lorde,
Wyuly to weld; & I the wed shall,
To lede with þi lyf as a leale spouse.
This I purpos me plainly in pleasauns of goddes,
Vnder Sacramen solempne, your souerain to be;
And so lede þe with likyng to my lyues end.
Suppos not þi seluyn, ne for sothe holde,
Þof þou left haue a litle lond lightly at home,
Þat þou ne hertely shall haue here a well larger,
And þi chaunge to chefe choisly the bettur;
Syn Asia is auenond of yles ynow,
Þat are attendant to Troy with tresour ynogh,
Þat obey þe shall bainly, & bow to þi wille.
Ne for þe mysse of þi maister make þou no sorow,
That neuer yet of nobley An euenyng to me,
Ne of dedis so doughti þe dayes in his lyue,
Ne so luffly to a lady with lokyng at egh.
And I in longing am Laght & Lappit full sore [folio 53b]
With hete of þi hegh loue, þat my hert warmys; Page  110
And of hym, þat þou hopis most hertely þe louys,
Wete þou full wele most worshipfull to haue.
Ses now of sorowe, sobur þi chere,
Wond of þi weping, whipe vp þi teris;
Mene þe to myrthe, & mournyng for-sake,
Cast þe to comford, keuer þi wille:
This I pray þe full prestly with all my pure hert,
Þat þou hede me with heryng, & my hest kepe."
Than answared þat honerable onestly agayne:—
"Who might stithly absteyne, or stable of teris,
Þat prestly were pricket with paynes so fele,
And with sorow ouerset sothely as I?
But syn hit now bes non other nomly of me,
I shall appres me with pyne your prayer to here;
Syn me botis not barly your biddyng with stonde,
Ne of power to put of, ne of playn strenght."
Þen ho sesit of sykyng, sobirt hir chere,
At the prayer of Parys and his prise wordys.
When þat semely was sesit & sorow for-yetyn,
The lorde toke leue with full lowe speche,
And went fro þat worthy his weghis vntill.
When yt seyit to Sopertyme he seruyt hir well
With all daintes on dese & drynkes ynow,
And cherisshed hir full choisly with chere of hym seluyn.
When the derke was done, & the day comyn,
Parys full pristly with preciouse araye,
Worshippit þat worthy in wedys full riche,
As qwemet for a qwene & qwaintly atyret,
Þat Priam hade purueit & to þe place sent.
He broght furth þat bright with buernys full nobill. Page  111
To a palfray of prise full prudly arayet;
Set hir in a sadill serklyt with golde,
ffret ouer with fyne perle fresshist of hew,
With a bridell full bright, bothe of a sewte.
Other tulkes, þat were takyn, atiret were alse [folio 54a]
Hastely on horses, as hor astate askit,
A company clene of knightes hom with;
And Paris full priste on a proude stede,
Deffebus dight on a dere horse,
Antenor, Eneas, all other grete,
Polidamas þe pert, & payones ynow,
All arayet in a Rowte ryden to þe qwene;
Worshippit þat worthy & wenton all samyn.
Turnet fro tenydon, taryt no lengur,
Soberly a soft pas samyn þai rode,
Euyn takand to Troy tomly o þere way.
And er þai comyn to courte þis cumpany faire,
Priam full prudly with mony pert knightes,
To welcom to þat worthy went on þere gate,
And fonget full feire all hir fre buernes.
To þe lady, þat lege kyng, with a light wille,
Past full pertly all with prise wordys;
Obeit þat bright all with blithe chere;
With worship & wyn welcomyt þe grete;
And somyn to þe Cité softly þai rode.
At the burghe were abyding withoute the brode ȝate
Gret plenty of pepull,—all the place full,—
So mony on molde was meruell to se;
With synging, & solas, and sitals amonge;
With myrthes of mynstralsy, musike with all;
Daunsyng of Damsele, Dynnyng of trumpys,
With A ledy full lusti & lykyng to here.
Priam, the prise kyng, prestly down light, Page  112
And was first vpon fote of all of his fresshe knightes.
He raght to the reynes of þe riche qwene,
And led furth þat louely long vpon fote,
Softe into þe Cité hym seluyn with honde
On a worshipfull wyse, with mony wegh noble, [folio 54b]
Vnto the palaies of price, þere pepull full fele;
And led hir vnlight into a large halle,
Vp into ylion with honour ynogh;
And toke hir full tite into a triet chamber,
Þere seruaundes full subiecte assingnet hir to:
And noblay ynogh, was nothyng to laite.
In the Cité forsothe was solempnite made,
With myrthes, & melody, & mony gret feste,
ffor ioy of þis iornay and þis gentill lady;
And þat Parys in point repairit was home
With his felowes in fere, fayne was þe pepull,
And lyuys in hor lykyng þe long night ouer.
The secund day suyng, sais me the lyne,
All the grete were gedret, as hom grase felle:
Paris with pride and his prise lady,
At Appolynes owne tempull after were weddit.
Þere made was þat mariage with myrthes ynow,
With solempnite & sacrafice þe Cite thurghe out;
And double fest þat day derely was holdyn,
With all þe reuell & riolté þat Renkes couthe deuise,
Þat enduret by-dene with daintes at wille,
Aght dayes ouer all after the dede.
When Cassandra hade knowyng how þe case stode,
Þat the mariage was made þo mighty betwene,
She brast out in a birre, bale to be-holde.
With a mighty noise, noye for to here,
Playnond with pytie, no pleasurance at all, Page  113
With sykyng & sorow said on this wise:—
"A! fonnet folke, why fare ye thus now,
With solas full sore, and sanges of myrthe,
At the weddyng of the weghes, þat shall to wo turne.
With hardlayke & harme, þat happyn shall after,
Ye dowtles mun degh for dedes of þo two;
And your fryndes full fey fallyn to ground,
Your sonys be slayne in sight of your ene;
Your husbandes hewen with hondys in pesis,
Wyues made wedowys, & wayling for euer.
A! Troy, þat is tore with toures full hegh, [folio 55a]
Myche baret shall þou bide, & betyn to ground,
And be stithly destroyet, & þi strenght lost!
A! Modris so mylde, what myschefe is to you!
Moche care is to come to your cold hertys;
Moche baret on your birthe you bese for to se;—
Dyssmembrit as marters, & murtheret to dethe,
And the bowels out braide of hire bare sydes.
A! Ecuba, þat euermore easely hase leuyt,
What gretyng & gremþ growes vnto þe?
To se þi sones be slayne in sight of þin ene,
And the blode of þo blithe blent with the erthe!
A! balefull buernes, & full blynd pepull,
The hard dethe is you dight, þat ye doute litle!
Why wrought ye so wantonly in your wilde yre?
fforto rauysshe vnrightwisely þis riche out of Grece,
ffro a man þat neuer mys did to þis mene lond.
Why haste ye not heturly to haue hir agayne,
And restore hir stithly to hir strenght hom,
To hir lorde þat is lell & no lede harmys?
Venions and vile dethe to voide fro þis Rewme,
Er ye with swerdis in swym be swongon to ground. Page  114
Hope ye Parys, playn þefte vnponysshet wilbe,
Withouten sorow & sourgrem sewyng þerafter;
And you angur for euer en[d]les to worche?
A! Elan, vnhappy, hardist of chaunse!
Soche sorow & sikyng þi seluyn vs bringes;
Myschaunse & euyll chefe þi childur shalbe!
A! Sory Sytizins, sendis you fro
The smoke & smorther, þat smytes to dethe,
Qwyle ye lawfully lefe may & your lyf haue;
Þoche dole ho dregh with mony depe terys!"
With pyté & complaint, þat pyne was to here,
Þat Priam out of pes put ay anone,
And neuer sesit of saghis & sorowfull wordys.
The kyng þen comaund to cacche hir belyue,
And fetur hir fast in a fre prisoune,— [folio 55b]
A stithe house of stone,—to still hir of noise.
Hit said was for sothe, ho sate þere full longe,
And suffert moche sorow for hir sothe tales.
Þus kept the kyng vnkyndly his doughter;—
ffor hir tales of truthe teghit her in yernes.
But, hade þai herkont þat hynde, & in hert keppit,
Troy hade bene truly out of tene yet;
And þere fortune full felle faire ouer-paste,
Þat all the world hade warnyng of þere wo sythen;
And euer mynde wulbe made of þaire myshap,
Enduryng till domysday for doole þat þere was.
Now, what felle of hor foly faire will I tell;
And ye hastely shall here, and ye houe stille.
Page  115

Eght Boke. Of the Counsell of the Grekys fior Recoueryng of Elayne.

Sone after þis saute, sothely to telle,
Þat the Troiens in the Temple tokyn þe qwene,
And the riches hade Robbed with relikes ynow,
Er þai tenydon hade takon & turnyt into hauyn,
The speche of hom sprange & spred into Grise,
And gret noise of þere noie naitly ouer all.
Vnto Menelay, the mene tyme, mowthly was told
Of the rape vnrightwis of his Riche qwene,
And he stythely astonyt stroke into sorowe.
Ȝit present at pilé with the proude Duke,
The pité of his pepull pricket hym so sore;
The murther of his men & his mylde qwene,
The robbyng of his Riches & his riall temple,
Of his subiectes sesit, in seruage to dwelle
ffor tene & for torfer, of his triet lady,
Þat he luffit so lelly no lesse þen hym seluyn;
Thes harmes so heterly hepit in his mynde
With sorow so sodainly, þat his sight failet;
ffainted for febull, and felle to þe ground [folio 56a]
In a swyme & a swogh, as he swelt wold.
When he past of his payne & his pale hete,
And resort to hym selfe & his sight gate,
He plainted full pitiously, was pyn for to here, Page  116
Of the harmes & the hethyng hym happont to thole.
And for his worshipfull wife, that hym worst liket,
Þat faren was ouer the fome, & hir fame loste;
And other freikes shuld fonge in a fer londe
With þat semly to solas, hit sate in his hert.
And of delites full dere, þat dight were at home,
Lest hir lackit suche lustis in a londe straunge,
Þoche mones he made & mournyng ynoghe,
With wailyng & weping, wo for to here;
Þat it neght to non end þe noie þat he tholet.
Vnto Nestor anon þis naytly was tolde,
Of þe mornyng & myscheffe to Menelay was comyn;
Vnto þat worthy he went wisly anon,
With sorow for þat syre & sylyng of teris.
He comford þat kyng with his clene speche,
To sober hym somwhat & sese of his chere,
Þen hyet he with haste home to his rewme.
And Nestor anon, with a nowmber grete
Of knightes & cant men, cairyt him with
Lyuely to his londe, & leuyt hym noght;
And by assent of hym sone sent for his brother,
Agamynon þe graithe, in a gret haste,
By a message on molde þat he mekyll triste;
In his cause for to cum with counsell of wit,
As he þat was helply and highest of other.
To Pollux the proude & his pere Castor,
Þat all highit in haste, houyt no lengur;
But comyn to þe kyng, þat the care tholit,
To helpe hym in haste & here of his noye.
When agamynon the grete the greuaunce behelde, Page  117
And the bale of his brother, þus the buerne saide:—
"Why dreghis þou þis dole, & deris þi seluyn?
Lefe of þis Langore, as my lefe brother, [folio 56b]
Þat puttes þe to payne and peires þi sight.
If þu has cause for to care for vnkynde werkes,
And with sykyng ouerset, & sorow at þi hert,
Hit were wit, as I wene, to were it ffro noise,
And fro knowyng of comyns & of course opun;
ffor a sorow þat is sene on a sib frynde,
Mas þe mournyng more of men þat hym luffes:
Mikull comfordes his care all his kene fos,
And engendres þaire ioy all his iuste sorow.
ffayne euer feire chere in þi felle anger.
Whan sorow is most sad, set all at litle;
Lete of it lightly, þat no lede wete,
Þi sorow & þi sikyng set all at noght.
And in maters þat meuys þe with might for to stir,
There is no worship in weping, ne in wan teres;
But desyre þi redresse all with derfe strokis:
With þi swerde is to swinke & not with swym thoghtes.
ffor in sorow may be sene who is sad wise;
ffull propurly to preue in his pale angre,
When hym comys by course contrary thinges;—
He þat opressit not with payne his prinsepall wittes,
Ne ouersettes not his saule with sorow full hoge.
Þerfore wackon þi wille into wight dedis,
And þere as sikyng & sorow slees the within,
Þat þe harme þat þou has, and hethyng with all,
Pas noght vnponisshed for pité ne other,
But þe dedes þat vs deirus be full dere boght.
Þerfore sobbyng & sorow ses at þis tyme, Page  118
And wreke þe on weghis þat þe wrathed hase.
Yow know þat our kyngdomes are of clene strenght,
And we haue felowes full fele þat vs faith owe,
To wreike vs of wrathe & our wronge ricche.
All Grece, for þis grefe, with þere grete ostis,
Wilbe redy to ryse with a ranke pepull;—
Euery kyng for to cum with knightes enarmyt,
ffull stoutly with strenght to stir on our fos. [folio 57a]
With a nauy full nobill, naite for þe werre,
We shall tyre vs to Troy tomly to gedur;
And if hit tyde vs our tentis tild on þere londe,
Hit shalbe hevi & harde, & happi vnlike,
Þat any frigies vs fere, or to flete dryue;
But it happon hom harder in a hond while,
And the dernyst be dede with dynte of our hondes.
Þaire pepull & hor power to pyne as vs liste,
Troy and þe tresoure take at our wille,
Bete downe the bildynges to þe bare erthe.
And paris, þat is prinsipall of our pure hate,
Iff hit happe vs to hent, hongit shalbe
As a felon falsest foundyn with thefte.
Hit is sothely to sese of sorow in mynde,
And to all the kynges by course, þat knowen are in Grece,
Dukes by dene, & other derfe Erles,
Let vs send to hom salus solemli by letre,
Praiand hom prestly with all our pure hertis,
To helpe vs in hast our harmys to venge,
And dyshonour and daunger done to our rewmes."
When Agamynon the graithe hade geuen þus to red,
Menela mightily made for to write Page  119
To all the grete of Grece, fro Agamynon & hym,
Vnder sailes of those souerains, samyn to wend
By currouris to yche cost, kynges to warne:
And all agreit to þe gate with a gode wille.
The first of þo freikes, þat to the fight come,
Was Achilles, a choise kyng & cheuallrus in armys;
And Patroculus the proude, a prise mon of werre;
With Diomed, a doughti mon & dernist of hond,—
A stronge man in stoure & stuernist in fight.
Sone the cause was declaret with a clene wit,
Of the dede, ilke-a-dele, to þo derfe kynges;
And opunly, by one assent þai ordant hom all,
With grym ost for to go & a grete nauy, [folio 57b]
Elan fuersly to fecche, and hor fos qwell,
And venge on þere velany & þere vile harme.
And for explait of þere spede, þai spekyn in fere
To chese hom a cheftayn to be chefe of þem all,
To be prinse in þat prise and þe prese haue;
All the ost for to honour & his hest kepe,
And be gouernett by this grete by grement of hom.
Þen by assent of þose souerans somyn, þai yode
And walit hom a wegh by wit, as hom thoght.
To Agamynon þai giffen þe gouernaunce hole,
ffor worthiest of wit þat worship to haue;
And ordant hym Emperour by opyn assent,
With power full playn þe pepull to lede,
And obey to þat bolde his biddyng to wirke.
Pollux the pert kyng and his pere Castor,
When hor sister was sesit, saies me the story,
In hope for to hent hir, highit to þe se
With a nauy full noble anon by hom seluyn;—
The Troiens to take was þere intent euyn, Page  120
And hor sister to sese, with sailyng þai wend.
Sum tellyn þis tale, & for true holdyn,
Þat þai bode not the biddyng of þe buerne Menelay;
But when tithyng was told of hor triet sister,
Þai fore to þe fome, as I before saide.
But how it tide of þat tale this is tru sothe,—
To þe water þai went, þo weghis to gedur,
Paris to pursew with prise men of Armes.
Thai sailit not sounde, sothely to telle,
Two dayes by dene, as hom dere felle,
When the heuyn in hast hepit with cloudis,
Wex merke as þe mydnight; mengit þe ayre;
No light but of Laite, þat launchet aboue; [folio 58a]
Thunret full throly; thrappit the windes;
Sodenly þo sail[er]es were sorely bestad.*. [MS. has "sailes."]
With a ropand rayne rugh was the se.
The wyndes full wodely wackont anon,
Rut vp the rughe se on rokkes aboute;
As hilles hit hepit in a hond while.
So þe bre and the brethe burbelit to gedur,
Þat hit spirit vp spitiously fyue speire lenght
With walter and wawes, þat þe wynd dryues
All fore as a fyre þe firmament ouer.
With an ugli noise noye for to here,
Hit sundrit þere sailes & þere sad ropis;
Cut of þere cables were caget to gedur.
All þere takyll was tynt, tylude ouer borde;
The nauy wex nakit; noy was on honde.
The shippis with shire wynd shodert in twyn,
Dryuen furth on the depe dole to be-holde.
The two brether were abidyng bothe in a shippe,
Þat was stird with the storme streght out of warde;
Rut on a Rocke, rof all to peces.
The bordes all to brast, brusshet in the water; Page  121
The Dukes were drounet, & oþer dere folke.
All the sort þat hom suet sunkyn to ground
A brode in the breme se, barges & other.
And syn the dethe was in doute of þo dere kynges,
Ne non certayn cold say, ne for sothe telle,
What worth of þo wight in the wilde se;
The gentils aiuges hom two iuste goddis,
Lyuond in the lofte with lordships in heuyn,
Tran[s]late truly into triet ioy.
And poites haue put of þo prise brethir,
Þat þai Rauichit were radly into þe red ayre,
And set in a seigne þat zodias is callid;
That demyt is to þis day duly with clerkes, [folio 58b]
Gemini Aiugget in þere iuste artis.
ffor the sun vnder zodias settis hym to leng
Two dayes betwene, & dryues no ferre
Mo in his mouyng þen any mone other.
But, what is sothely be said of þo sure brethur,
ffor þe sute of þere sister somyn were þai drounyt.
Let Poyetis go play hom, & passe to our tale.
Here Darys in his dyting duly auisys
ffor to telle in his tale þe tulkes of Grece;
Of þere shap for to shew and þere shene colour,
Of the worthiest þere were, to wale hom be nom.
Þus he breuyt in his boke of þo breme kynges,
ffor he segh hom in sight at sembles full ofte,
(As in tymes of tru, þaire tentes with in)
And waited hom wele; for þe wegh thoght
To myn hom in makyng in maner as þai were.
Agamynon þe gay was of a gode mykull;
His colour of þat kyng all of clene qwite.
He was store man of strenght, stoutest in armes, Page  122
With lymes full large; light of his will,
Meke as a maiden, mery with all;
Wode in his wrathe, wild as a lion,
He was witty þer with, & wegh hardy,
And of faciund full faire, fre of his speche.
Menelay the mighty was of meane shap,
Noght so large of his lymes as his lefe brother;
In mesure was made of a medull size,
Betwene the large & the litill; likyng of colour
Auntrus in armys, eger of wer,
A bolde man in batell, & of breme wille.
Achilles the choise was of chere faire,
Likyng & luffly, a large man with all.
Crispe herit was the kyng, colouret as gold.
Stokyn ene out stepe with a streught loke; [folio 59a]
His loke was full louely, when ledys were opyn.
With a brest þat was brode, byg of his shulders;
Grete armys in the gripe, growen full rounde;
A large man of lenght with limis full brode.
A stythe man in stoure, storest of wille,
Was no greke on þat grounde of so great strenght,
Ay bowne vnto batell, boldist in armys,
Godely of giftes, grettist in expense,
Ay furse on his fos, and to fight Redy.
Tantelus the tore kyng was a tulke hoge,
Borly of brede, & of big strenght;
Wele colouret by course, clene of his face,
Rede roicond in white, as þe Roose fresshe;
With grete Ene & gray, gleyit a litill;
Meke of his maners, & manly in werre.
Aiax oelius was outrage grete,
Brode of his brest, byg in his armys;
A large man of lyms, lengest of stature.
Costius clothyng ay þe kyng weiret;
Noght lowrand with laithe chere lese for to speike. Page  123
Telamon truly was a tulke full faire,
Blake horit, aboue breghis and other
Serklyt of hom seluyn, semly with all.
A Sotell man of song with mony sere notys,
And mellit hym with musike & myrthes also.
He was doughty of dedys, derfe of his hond;
Pompe and proude wordis ay þe prinse hated.
Ulexes the lefe kyng was loueliest of other,
He was the fairest by ferre of all the felle grekes,
And falsest in his fare, and full of disseit.
Vndertaker of treyne, of talkyng but litill,
Neuer myrth in his mouthe meuyt with tong:
Sad of his semblaundes, sober of chere. [folio 59b]
And of facound fairest with a fre speche,
He hade no make of þo men in meuyng of wordys.
Dyamede þe doughty was a dere kyng,
Stronge of his stature, stithe in his armys,
Brode in his brest, byg in his shulders,
With a loke þat was laithe like out of wit.
ffals of his forward, felle of his hond,
A derffe man in dede, dyssirus of batell.
Vnsober with seruaundes, sorofull in hert,
Dredfull in dole for dissait þat he vsit.
Lusty to lechery, vnlell of his trouthe,
And mony harmes hepit for hete of his loue.
Off Duke Nestor to deme, doughty in werre,
He was long & large, with lemys full grete.
A ffreike þat was fre, and a feire speiker,
Wise in his wordys, witté of counsaille;
Tru of his trowthe, tristy to loue,
Meke of his maners malise to pese;
And if he walte into wrathe, wode as a lyon,
But he lengit not long in his lothe hate;
ffaithfull of frendship to frekys þat he louyt,
The hertist to helpe of all the high kynges.
Protheselus the pert kyng was of pure shap, Page  124
Semely for sothe, & of Syse faire.
Doughty of dedis, derfe of his hondes,
None wighter in werre, ne of wille bettur.
Neptolon nobill was non of þe lest:
A store man of stature, stabill of chere.
His here was hard blake, on his hede stode.
Grete Ene and gray, with a grym loke.
Rounde sydes for sothe, sober of wille;
His shulders were shapon of a clene brede.
Bytell browet was the buerne, þat aboue met;
And stutid full stithly, þat stynt hym to speke;
But he was lernyd of þe lawe, & in his londe wise;
ffor to comyn in a case hade a clere wit. [folio 60a]
Palomydon the pure, he was prinse faire;
Naulus son þe nobill kyng, & his next childe.
Vne made of a mene in the medyll shap,
Large of a lenght, lyuely & small,
Noght borely ne brode, but as hym best semyt.
A stythe man of his stature, stirond of wille,
Menyt hym to mony thinges, & of mynde gode;
Nobill talker with tales, tretable alse,
Curtas & kynde, curious of honde.
Polidarius was pluccid as a porke fat,
ffull grete in the grippe, all of grese hoge.
So bolnet was his body, þat burthen hade ynoghe
The fete of þat freke to ferke hym aboute,
Or stond vppo streght for his strong charge.
Aparty was he proude, presit after seruys,
He wold not gladly be glad, ne glide into myrthe;
But euermore ymaginand & entrond in thoghtes.
Machaon the mody kyng was of a mene stature,
Noght to long ne to litle, lusty to se,
Proude & presumptius, prouyt of wille,
Ballit was the buerne with a brode face;
Neuer slept þat slegh for slouthe vppon day. Page  125
Dares in his dytyng duly þus tellus,
Þat for the helpe of these hende, & hertely of oþer,
Of Perse come the proude kyng with pepull full mony,
And a company of knightes comly to se,
Þat tellis his Atyre & his triet strenght.
He was large, & long, & of lene shap,
With a face somwhat fat, fellist of colour.
The here of þat hathell was huet as þe fire,
Bothe o berde & aboue all of bright rede.
Of the tulkes of Troy telle we now ferre,
Bothe of mesure & mykyll whille I mynde haue,
As breuyt is in boke and aboue set,
ffull duly by Dares endited of olde. [folio 60b]
Priam þe prise kyng was of pure shap,
A large man & a longe, liuely & small.
A faire man in feturs & hade of furse steuyn.
Wight in his werkes & of wit redy;
Delited to the deuer on dayes be tyme.
Noght ferfull, ne furse, faueret full wele,
Louet he no lede þat lustide in wrange;
He rulet hym by Reason & the right spake.
Songis of solemnite and songes of myrthe
He wold herkon full hertely in his high wit.
Was neuer kyng vnder cloude his knightes more louet,
Ne gretter of giftes to his goode men,
Ne lellier louyt ledys of his aune,
Ne with Riches so Rife rewardet his pepull.
Of all his sones for sothe, þat semely were holdyn,
Non was so noble, ne of nait strenght,
As Ector, þe eldist, & aire to hym seluyn.
He was truly in his tyme tristiest of other Page  126
Þat leuit in any londe, & a litle he stotid.
This prinse with his pure strenght plainly auer|come
All Auntres in Armys, þat he euer raght:
Non so stuerne þat withstode a stroke of his honde.
He was massy & mekull, made for þe nonest,
Neuer Troy no tyme soche a tulke bred,
So graithe, ne so good, ne of so gret myght.
Ruly & rightwise, a roghe man of hors,
He spake neuer dispituosly, ne spiset no man;
Ne warpit neuer worde of wrang with his mowthe.
Ne sagh, þat was vnsemond, slipped hym fro,
But ay meke as a maydon, & mylde of his speche.
Neuer hatfull to hym to hygh into batell,
Neuer wery of þat werke, ne of wegh fferde,
He swat neuer for þat swynke, ne in swayme felle. [folio 61a]
Was neuer red in no Romanse of Renke vpon erthe
So well louyt with all ledys, þat in his lond dwelt.
Parys was pure faire, and a pert knighte;
Here huet on his hede as haspis of silke,
And in sighkyng it shone as the shyre golde.
He was bowman O þe best, bolde with a speire,
A wilde man to wale, wode on his fos;
ffull siker at asaye, & a sad knight,
Of hunters he was hede, & hauntyd it ofte.
Deffebus was doughty & derfe of his hond,
The þrid son of þe sute, & his sure brother
Elenus, the eldist euyn after hym.
Þo freikes were fourmet of feturs [a]like,
Bothe of hyde & of hew to hede of a mykell;
ffor, to loke on þe ledys with a light egh, Page  127
The ton fro þe tother was tore for to ken
In sight at þat sodan, somyn & þai were.
The fourme of þo freikes was, faithfully to se,
Right suche as the syre, þat I said first;
Vndifferent to deme fro þere dere fader,
Saue Priam the prise was past into eld,
And þai of yeris full yong, ȝeuerus of wille.
The ton was a triet knight, tristy in armys,
A wight man for to wale, & wise of his dedis;
The tother, sotele of syense to seke in a lond,
And a corius clerke with a clene wit.
Troilus þe tru was full tore mekull,
ffull massely made, & of mayn strenght;
And yet hoger of hert & of her wille,
He demenyt well his maners, & be mesure wroght.
Amirous vnto Maidens, & mony hym louyt, [folio 61b]
And delited hym in dole with damsels ofte;
But he mesuret his maners, þof he þe myrth vsid,
Þat it impairyt not his person, ne his purpos lettid.
In strenght ne in stryfe þere strokes were delte,
He was Ector eftsones, or ellis soche another.
In all the kyngdome & cuntre, þat to þe coron longit,
Was no yong man so ȝepe, ne ȝenerus of dedis,
Ne so hardy of hond holdyn in his tyme.
Eneas was euermore eger of wille,
Brode in his brest, & of body litill.
Wise in his werkes, & of wordys sober,
A faire speiker in a spede, speciall of wit,
A clene man of counsell, with a cloise hert,
Of litterure & langage lurnyt ynoghe.
A man full of mekenes & mery of his chere.
ffaire Ene hade þe freike, & of fyn colour,
Glemyt as þe glasse and gliet a little.
Of all the tulkes of Troy, to telle þem by name, Page  128
Was non so riche of Renttes, ne of renke godes,
Of castels full close, & mony clene tounes.
Antenor also was abill man of wit,
Long man & large, lyuely & small.
Mony wordys hade the wegh, wise of his dedis,
In fele thinges forwise, & a fer caster.
Wele louyt of his lege, delited hym in myrthe,
Bourdfull among buernes, blithe of his wordis,
Hethyngfull to hathels, but it harmyt not.
Polidamas þe pert þat was his prise son,
ffull ȝener and ȝepe, and a yong knight,
ffaire man of fassure, & of fyn strenght,
Worshipfull in wer, wise of his dedis;
A large man of lenght, delyuer, & small,
Euyn fourmyt as his fader of feturs & other.
A full strong man in stoure, sturnyst in Armys,
Wrothe with a worde & away sone: [folio 62a]
His colour blent was in blake, with a blithe chere.
Merion the mighty kyng was massely shapen,
A faire man of fourme, & a fre knight.
Grete sydes to gripe growen full sad,
Brode shulders aboue, big of his armys,
A hard brest hade þe buerne, & his back sware.
Crispe heris & clene, all in cours yelowe,
All the borders blake of his bright ene.
A felle man in fight, fuerse on his enimys,
And in batell full bigge, & myche bale wroght:
Grete worship he wan while the wer laste.
Ecuba, the onest & onerable qwene,
Was shewyng in shap of a shene brede,
Massily made as a man lyke.
She hade a wonderfull wit a woman to bene,
Alse sad in þe syens as semyt for a lady
Wele norisshed þerwith; wise of hir dedis,
Meke of hir maners, myldest of chere;
Onest ouerall, as aght hir astate, Page  129
An delited hir deply in dedis of charité.
Andromaca, auenonde abill of person,
Worthy Ector wyfe, was a we faire.
Long body hade the burdde, bright of hir colour.
Ho was mesurably made, as þe mylke white.
Hir ene flamyng fresshe, as any fyne stones.
Rud as þe Roose roikede in hir chekes.
Hir lippes were louely littid with rede.
Gilde hores hade þat gay, godely to se.
Most onest of other euer in hir tyme,
And all hir dedis full duly done by a mesure.
Cassandra the clere was a Clene Maydon, [folio 62b]
Semely of a Sise, as the silke white,
Womonly wroght, waike of hir colour,
Godely of gouernaunce, and gleyit a litle.
Of wemen werkes wilnet ho none,
Most was hir mynde hir maidonhede to kepe.
Mony cas for to cum ho be course wiste,
By artys of astronomy, & ame of hir wit,—
By staryng on the sternys thurgh hir stithe lore.
Polexena the pert was prise of all other,
Of feturs & fourme the fairest on lyue;
ffull tendur of hir tyme, triet of hewe.
Of hir fairnes fele may no freike telle,
Ne no wegh has wit ne wordys þerfore,
ffor to labur so longe of hir lefe shap;
But truly I telle as þe text sais,
Ho was of bewte aboue all borne in hir tyme,
To wale þurgh the world of wemen bydene,
Alse noble for þe nonest as natur cold deuyse,
To paint in yche place thurgh his pure study,
(Þat errit not in anythyng of abilté þer,
Saue he demyt hir dedly, when hir day come.)
And ay cheriste hir chastité with a choise wille,
To þat abundaunse of bewte ho was best norisshed.
Witté to wale, wantid no thewes; Page  130
Voidet all vanities, & virtus dissyret.
Þus Dares in his dyting deuyses þe shap
Of þese freikes in fere, þat I before tolde;
Of kynges & knightes & oþer clene ladies;
Of Dukes by-dene, þat were dere holden;
Of the gretist of Grece, & of gret Troy,
Þat he hade comyng with in company, & knew well þe persons,
As the worthiest to wale & wildest in Armys. [folio 63a]
Of these nomly to neuyn, & nobill men other,
How þai bere hom in batell, I buske me to say;
And telle how hom tyde, whill I tyme haue.—
Stir fuorth to our story, & stynt here a while.
Page  131

Neynt Boke. Of the Nowmber of Shippes and the Þauy of the Grekes.

Comyn was by course þat the cold wyntur
Was wastid & went with his wete shoures.
ffrostes were faren, and the fell cold;
The slippond slete slidon of the ground;
fflodys were fallyn into furse vales,
And into caues be course cleufit the erthe.
Wyndis wastid away, warmyt the ayre;
The rede beames aboue blusshet with hete;
Ver entrid full euyn, eger with all.
The sun in his serkyll set in þe last,
Passyng fro pisshes vnder playn course;
ffeueryere faryn with his fuerse windes
At the metyng of Marche with his mayn droghte.
The grete Nauy of Grekes with a grym oste,
Entrid into Attens, euyn at hor wille;
And holly in hauyn þere houyt þai to-gedur,
ffor to rest in þe Rode & hor rede take.
Now wete yche wegh, þat writyng beholdis,
Or þat stares vpon stories, & stirs in bokys,
Þat syn the firmament was fourmed, & folke vpon erthe,
Syche a Nauy was neuer of nowmber to-gedur;
Ne soche a company clene of knightes & other;
Ne so fele feghtyng men in a fflete somyn. [folio 63b]
Of the worthy þere were, thus þe write sais:— Page  132
Agamynon the gret, was gide of hom all,
Leder of þo lordis, fro his lond broght
A hundrith shippes full shene with sharp men of armys,
Pight full of pepull & mony prise knight.
Menelay the mighty, þat was his mete brother,
Come fro his kingdom with clene shippes Sixti,
With nobill men for þe nonest a nowmber full hoge,
And sped hym fro spart his awne spilte Rewme.
Out of boyse was þere brought with bold men two,
Archisalus was an, auntrus in werre,
And Protheno, a prise kyng, prestly þat other.
In hor company come clene shippes fyfté,
With abill men of armys, auntrus in fight.
Þer suet of Siche semly men two,—
Ascalaphus, a skathilduke & skant mon in wer,
And Helminus, a hede vrle, hadyn to-gedur
Thretty shippes full shene o þe shire water,
With barons of the best & bold men within.
Ephistaphus, a pert kyng & prinse out of focce,
And Tedius þat tothir, þat was his trew felowe:
ffyfty shippes in fere folowet hom two,
With a company of knightes cast for the wer.
Telamon, the tore kyng, tide for to haue
ffyfty shippes full faire of his fuerse Rewme;
And of the Cité of Salame, þat suyt hym after,
In his company come mony clene Dukes,
And Erles also, with mony gret lordis.
The Duke of Teucor, to telle truly, was þere;
Amphimakus also, auntrus in wer;
Donori, the derfe Erle, & doughty Theseus.
Nestor, the nobill Duke, þat was an old man,
ffore out of Phylon with fyfti gret shippes. [folio 64a]
Toax fro toylé, þat was a true kyng, Page  133
ffyfte shippes in fere to the fflete broght.
Aiax œlius, aunterous in werre,
Thretty shippes full thriste throng into hauyn;
And sex of a sort þat suyt hym after.
Polibos, a proude kyng, & his pere Amphimake,—
Þai come out of Calydon with a clene pepull;
And foure scoure fyne shippes to the flete broght.
Out of Trasy þere turnet triet Vlexes the kyng,
With fyfty, in a furthe, all of fuerse vesell.
Duke Melios the mighty met in a hauyn,
And soght fro his Cité sothely of Pygre,
With Eleuon od shippes abill to werre.
Poterhas & Protesselon, þo proude Dukes twoo,
Þai fecchid out of Philace, þat was þere fre londe,
ffyfté shippes in fere, & fore vnto Attens.
Machaon & Polidus, pris kynges bothe,
Turnyt out of Trision, & triet shippes broght
Two & thretty full thryuond, & þrong into prise.
Out of Phithes, þe faire Cité folowet Achilles,
ffifté shippes full shene strode fro þe depe.
Kyng Thelephus tomly toke from his hauyn,
Twelue shippes well shapon, & shalkes within,
Of his Rewme noght Riche, Rodan was cald.
Rufirus the ryche raght fro his Rewme,
Þat Sicham was said sothely to nome;
And fyfté shippes full shene folowet hym after.
Two Dukes full derke droghen in fere,
I shall neme you þere nomes now, er I pas:—
Antius & Amphimake, auntirous in werre.
Þay were lordes of a londe þere ledis in dwelt,
That were bioustious of beiryng, byg men with all, [folio 64b]
Enerdond by hor one, & Elyda hit hight.
Þai broght to the Brym XL bigge shippes.
Polibethes, a proud kyng, pert of his dedis,
He broght to the brym barges eleivan,
Prothylus, a pert kyng, put on the water Page  134
ffyfté shippes fyn, full of folke all,
Of Deymon duly, his owne dere londe.
Kyng Sapmon for sothe soght fro þat hauyn,
With alsmony abill shippes auntrid hym seluyn,
Þat Capidoise cald is, the cuntre so hat.
Theorius, a tryet kyng, toke fro his Rewme,
And broght of his brode londe, þat Boisa is callid,
Two & thretty thried shippes þrast full of pepull.
And when thies souerauns were somyn, sothely to telle,
Of kynges full kene, & of kyde Dukes,
The sowme for to set was sexty & nene.
The nowmber of the noble shippes, þat to þe note yode,
ffor to telle hom by tale, was truly a thowsaund
Twa hundrethe & twenty, & twelue o þe last,
Without Palomydon þe proude, þat preset hom after
With a nauy full noble;— Nawlus son the grete.
When thes graidly were gedret, & gird into hauyn,
Þen come þai to counsell, as I shall kythe after.
Page  135

Tent Boke. how the Grekes sent vnto Delphon to have onsware of a god of thayre Journay.

Lenge we a little with lykyng, to telle [folio 65a]
How thies kynges with hor knightes carpyn to gedur.
When all were at Attens, aunter befell,
Agamynon the gret gedrit in fere,
Into a place þat was playne without the prise Cité,
There Setis for þo souerans Sothely was maked,
ffor kynges þat þere come & other kyde Dukes,
Bothe Erles & almen after þere astate.
When all set were in sercle þe souerayn aboute,
And silence on yche syde the serkyll within,
Agamynon the graithe, þat the gomes led,
These wordes he warpid þo worthy vnto:—
"Ye princes full prest, þat present are here!
Þat with pouer of pepull presit are hider,
And aioynt to þis Jorney Justly to-gedur,
Considirs to this company & the clene strenght,
What bolde ye haue broght into þis brode hauyn!
What fighting folke yche freike has!
Who sothely hath sene soche a pepull ere?
Neuer wegh, as I wene, syn þe world stode,
Se at a Semly soche a sight hoole Page  136
Of kynges in a company, & of kyde Dukes,
Erles and other men all of assent;
Ne of one purpas in a place pepull so fele;
So mony yong men & ȝepe, ȝenerus of wille;
So od men in armys, & egur to fight,
To fare in a furde our fos to distroy.
Þai are blyndit with baret & with bare sorow,
Þat wackons vp werre, & wrathus vs in hert,
Or stiris vs with strenght vpon stuerne wise.
ffor in this semly for sothe, soche men I know
A hundrith, þat with hondes our harmys might wreike,
Perfourme our purpos, and put it to end, [folio 65b]
Þat we so mony and so mighty are meuyt to do.
Ye weton all full wele þe worthy ben here,
Of daunger & desese is don to our londis;
Of shame & of shenship shapyn vs alate;
Our fryndys defelet, and fonget our godys.
Þe harmes we haue, & hethyng with all,
Hit sittes vs full sore to suffer on lyue.
Hit menys vs with monhede þat malis to venge,
And Aunter vs in armys our Enmyes to greue;
With strenght for to stryve & strokes to dele,
The Troiens to tene þat trespas haue done.
All somyn by Assent, with a sad wille
To venge of our velany & our vile greme.
And þat is rightwise & reasonable to riche vs þerto;
ffirst, to Refrayne the fame þat men speikes,
And wipe of our wranges, & wirdis vs done;
So þat Troiens fro þis tyme take not on honde
To aspye vs with spite in no spede efte.
Þat all þe weghes of þe world be warnit by hom,
And þat no tale may be told in tyme for to come,
Ne witnes in writyng by weghes herafter,
Þat any lord of our londe shuld lacche soche a skorne Page  137
Vnwrokyn with wondis: þat weghes may knowen,
Ne we, þat are so worthy & wight men ynogh,
Shall not slely let slide, ne slip out of mynde,
Þat our successoures may say sothely, ne holde
Dyssehonour of our dedys, & dem vs for feble.
Syn we now bene of noble men in nowmber so fele,
And of strenght so stern stondyng in one,
Who is now so qweme or qwaint of his wit,
That couthe mesure our might, or with mouthe tell [folio 66a]
The pouer of our pepull, & our playn strenght?
Who so hardy durst hede, or on hond take
To wrathe vs be any way, or wirk vs dyssese?
Saue þes fonnet folke, þe frigies of troy,
Þat vnwysely has wroght with wyttis full febill,
And offendit our frenchyp thurgh foli of hom seluyn.
Ne mynd not þes men of þe mykyll harme,
That a sone of our folke before hom has done,
When lamydon was lord & þe lond eght,
That was fader to the freike that offens mas;
Kyld all his Knightes, cumbrit his rewme,
Sesit his sité, slong it to ground,
And fele of his folke fongit on lyue,
Led into our londys, þat lengis þer ȝet,
In seruage and sorow set for to dwelle.
Þerfore, sotly hyt semys not surfetus harde
No vnpossibill, thys pupull perfourme in dede,
That fyuetymes fewer before home has done.
Þai wetyn full wele þe wyllys of vs here,
That we purpos a pouer to put in hor lond,
To noy hom with note and negh hom belyue.
Sum helpe for to haue, hast hom þay wyll,
Of ledys of other lond lyond hom gayne, Page  138
To withstond vs with strenght & stroy of our pupyll,
And þaire cuntre to kepe with cumpany grete.
Þerfor, sotly me semys, & yow so lyke,
Er we passe fro þis port, or pull vp our saylys,
That we make vs a message of men of astate, [folio 66b]
Duly to Delphon deuoutly to wende,
To the yle þere Appolyn erdis with in,
In hast forto herkyn of þo hend goddes,
What shall falle vs by ffortune, er we ferre pas,
Of þis mater þat vs meuys, & mo of our dedys.
Þis is clerely my counsell; conceyuis hit all."
When the souerayn hade said, he sesit anone.
Of hor willes to wete, þo worthy by dene,
Bothe kynges, & knightes, & other kyde Dukes,
All assentid hom sone, þat his saw herd.
This message to make þo mighty deuyset
Achilles the cheualrous, by þere choise wittes,
And Patroculus the proude, his pere for to be.
ffor proffet of þo prinses and hor prise folke,
Þai were demyt vnto Delphon this dede to per|forme
Of þere noyus note, & an onsware to haue,
With offeryng at appolyn, if aunter might falle,
Worship to wyn and wreke on hor fos.
With out tarying, full tite þai turnyt into hauyn,
Achilles full chere and his choise felow,
And saylet furth soberly as hom selfe lyket;
Hade wedur at þere wille, & the water calme,
Dryuon vnto Delphyn & no deire þolet.
Vmclosit with a course of the colde ythes,
With a serkle of the se þat soght þere aboute,
Not Delphon but Delos sum demyt hit to het,
Þat is the myddis & þe most of mony smalle yles,
Set in a sercle þe same place vmbe,
As þai are fourmet with the flode: fyfté & thre, Page  139
To reckon by row, þe rodys is the moste.
In þat yle, sais ysidir, euyn on a hylle,
Ys Appolyn honouret and also Diana.
There was foundyt a faire temple of a fyn werke, [folio 67a]
With wallis vp wroght, wyn to beholde,
Þere Appollo, the pure god, was principally worshippid.
Delos, who demys hit, is duly to say
Shortly to shalkes,—'a shewyng on opun';
And fro þat soile, for sothe, the sun first aperit,
And the mone in the merke, to men of þe lond;
Þerfore gentils aiugget, & for iuste held,
Þat in þat bare yle bothe borne were þai first.
Þat lede in þere langage lyuely can call
The pure sun in hir pride, appollus doughter;
And Ediana, also, þai amyt hit to nome.
The mone in his myldnes, þai menyt to hat
Ortigia, ouer all honouret with grekes.
Of þis mater nomore but meue to our tale.—
In this Temple was a tor ymage, all of triet gold,
In honour of Appolyn, þat I ere saide.
Þof it defe were & doumbe, dede as a ston,
The gentils hit aiugget as a iuste god,
With errour vnable þat erst hom began,
And worshippit hom wofully, for hom wit lacket
Of þe Godhed giffen, þat grew from the sun,
Þat all mightylé made & merket of noght.
ffor lacke of beleue þai light into errour,
And fellen vnto fals goddes, & faithly honourt
With worship on all wise as weghis vppon lyue;
Þat no pouer hade plainly but of pale fyndes,
Þat entrid into ymagis euer for dissayet,
Spekand to specyals, þat spede for to aske,
Thurgh falshede of fyndes þe folke to dissayue,
And to ert hom in errour euermore to lenge.
I will tell here a tale, er I turne ferre, Page  140
Of þe fyndyng of false goddes, & the foule vse;
How sprittis in hom spake to qwho þat spirre wold,
And how fowle þat þai faylit at the ferre end.
Throgh the glorious gyfte of goddes son of heuyn,
That come to our kynde throgh a cleane Maydon, [folio 67b]
All maumentre in myddelerthe myrtlit to peses*. [MS. has "pes."]
And wastid away þurgh wit of hym one,
As the gospell of God, þat gabbis not, says.
When Heraude in Anger atlede to sle
Cryste þurgh his curstnes, as þe clause tellus,
An angell anon neghed to Jasep,
Sent fro þe souerayn þat in Celé dwelles,
To take the childe for a chaunse & his choise moder,
And euyn into Egypt entre on his way.
When Criste in þat contre come with his dame,
The false goddes in fere fell to þe ground;
Bothe Mawhownus & maumettes myrtild in peces.
Isai also oponly tellus,
When Jesu Egipte Joynit with in,
All Symylacres for sothe soghten to ground.
Þat was a tokyn, he tellus, fro tyme of his come,
Þat sacrifice shuld sese vnto ser goddis.
Þus the Jewes aiugen, & for iust holdyn,
Þat ysmaiell, of all men erst hom, began
Maumettes to make of moldes & clay.
And the gentils aiuggen Justly anoþer,
Prometheus, principall of þat pure art,
Þat folke are fourmyt faithly to gentils.
ffor no law in hor lede list hom to holde,
But folowit þere foule wille as fyndis hom taght;
Nawther cercumsiset sothely in sort with the Jewes, Page  141
Ne comyn with cristenmen, ne on Criste leuyn;
But barly, as þai borne were, bydon þai stille,
And nauther law ne belefe lenton hom to.
The furst þat was founden of þes fals goddes,
Was wroght on þis wise, as weghes can tell.
On Delus, a derfe Kyng þat deghit in eld,
Or Belus, as þe boke says, (bothe were his namys)
Hade a son þat hym sewit, sesit in his lond,
Nine was his name, & his next heire.
He brought hym to berynes on his best wise,
As be-come for a kyng, closit hym faire [folio 68a]
With solempne sepulcre, sothely wroght.
And for his fader shuld faithly be fer in his mynd,
An ymage a noble anon gert he make,
All grauyn of gold, & of good stonys,
Vne of mesure & mykyll, of his myld fader.
ffull solemly set in the sight of the pepull,
With worship on all wise, þat worthy comaundit
To all the pepull of his prouyns, as a prise god.
That ymage to honour he ordant hym seluyn,
And gert the ledis to beleue, þat in his lond dwelt,
Þat the gome was a god groundet in blisse.
And so the ffigur of his fader was falsly honouryt,
By assent of hym selfe þat the soile aght;
And þen the fynde, with his falshed & his fer cast,
Entrid in þat ymage, & onswaret the pepull.
Who þat any thing asket after his dissyre,
Þere onswaret opunly the aungell of helle:
And so the ledis of the lond lyuely hym cald,
Sum beall, sum belus, sum bell þe god,
Sum belphegor, & belsabub, as hom best likes. Page  142
In ensample of þat same sithyn other folke
Haue feynit mony fals goddes, þat þe fynde plesit,
Did honour to dedemen, & for dere holdyn.
And þe sun the saidon sothely a god,
Þat appollo the pepull put into nome,
Þat is honouret in the yle, þat I of telle,
Delphon, or Delos, dem as ye list.
And þan Venus the worthy is worshippit with sum,
Þat of planettes of prise has hor pure nome.
Þen mercury, a mighty god, is most in honour,
Þat þai saidon was sun sothely to Jobiter.
Then the mone was most made for to please, [folio 68b]
That Diana full duly þai demyt to hat.
And þus in costes & cuntreis of þe cursit gentils,
Þai sought with sacrifice vnto sere goddes.
In Egipt was honourt Ysum as god,
An in the cuntre of Crete cald vpon Jubiter.
The men of Mawsom most honret ymbane,
And þe latyn lede loutid to faawn.
At Rome þai Reuerenst vppon riche wise
One qwirion, a qwicke fynde, & qwemly did serue;
At attens all folke aykewardly worshippid
Minerva, a maument & most on hym leuyt;
At pauy, a pure god the pepull cald Venus;
At Lemno þai loutid to a laithe fynde,
On Volcaun þai worshippit on þere wise most.
At Vaxor þe vayn pepull voidly honourit
Bachian, a bale fynde, as a blist god.
And at Delphon, duly, for derrest of other,
Appollyn was honourit, as I here said.
In yche yle vppon erthe, eftur hor deuise,
Thai made mowmettes of mold in mynd of hor goddes,
And honourit ouer all thyng as þere belefe askit. Page  143
Thus þurgh falshed of þe fendes þe folke was dissayuit,
Vnder daunger of þe dule droupet full longe,
Of whose falshede & fourme in his first makyng
Will I somwhat say, & sithen of his falle.
(But þe fader, þat first fourmyt all thinge,—
Both the ayre, & Element, & Angells in heuyn,
Water, & wynde, & welkyn aboue,—
In the highest heuyn, as holy writ sais,
He ordant angels after his deuyse,
And set hom in seruice hym seluyn to honour. [folio 69a]
But on the oddist of other ordant our lord,
Brightest of bemes in blisse for to dwelle.
Of whom the proffet of prise plainly can say,
Þere was no sterne in astate stode hym aboue,
Ne no pert tre in peradise apperith to hym,
Ne burione ne braunche to his beamys like.)
God fourmet hym so faire, as I fynd here,
Þat mony legions his light launchet aboue.
Thurgh his fairhede as fast he felle into pride,
When he said of hym selfe his sete he wold make
ffull noble in þe north, þat non shuld be here
Like to þe lord, þat the light made;
Euynyng in all thing euyn with hym selfe,
Sone he fell of his faire-hede, & fele of his peres,
Þat assentid to þat syn, sonkyn in fire.
Mony legion þere light vnto laithe fendes
With lucifer, þat lyuet in delites aboue,
Þat wofully welt & woundid to the dethe.
Thus the gospell of God of þat grym tellis,—
'I segh satan hym selfe slippe out of heuyn,
As þe leuenynges light, þat laches to ground.'
This fende was the first þat felle for his pride,
And lost has his lykyng, þat lyuyaton is cald.
And for the case is vnknowen be course to þe lewd, Page  144
Here sumwhat I say, er I sew ferre.
And ysidre in ethemoleger openly tellis,
Þat bemoth in Ebrew ys opunly to say,—
'A Roid beste vnreasonable, þat no Rule holdes.'
And for þe fende was so fals & full of dissait,
God at the begynnyng of his gret falle,
Wroght hym to a worme in wildurnes like,
Writhen, as the writte sayes, like a wilde Eddur. [folio 69b]
And for grettnes of þat Grym in his grete filthe,
He is demyt a Dragon with Dauid the prophete.
In his song of the sawter þere he sais þus,—
'This Dragon of Dissait, þat þou derfly hath fourmet':
So sethe in the sauter the Salme to the end.
And loke of lyuyaton in the lyffe of saynt Brandon,
There þis warloghe, I wis, a water eddur is cald,
Þat þis saint þere seghe in the se occiane,
ffull large and long of a lawe depnes.
Closet þere be comaundement of his clene maker,
Vnto the day of dom dulfully to abide,
Writhyn is þat warloghe with wilis ynoghe,
Mannes saule to dissaiue & in syn holde.
Þis lyuyatan, leder of all thies laithe fyndes,
To our fader the first fellé in Envy,
And put hym to peradise pristly anon
To tempt hom with trayn, þat trist of non euyll,
To forfet þat faire place & offense make.
Hade a face vne fourmet as a fre maydon,
And as a sprite in hor spake, þat spede to our harme,
Or barly toke body of þat bold eddur,
And so with falshede & faire our faders dissayuit,
And all þere successours sorily sent vnto pyne.
Of þis mater of mawmentry nomore at this tyme:
Þis sufficis forsothe. Ses we now here, Page  145
And turne to our tale & take þere we lefte.
Thus be dissayt of the deuyll, as I declaret haue,
This appollo apperit to pepull full ofte
In Delphon, or Delos, dem as ye list.
To þis appollo, þe pure god, þat pepull honouret,
Thies kynges by course comyn anon,
Þat messengers were made fro þe maisters of Grece,
And turnyt into tempull fro þere tore shippis.
Be counsell of the kepers, when the course felle, [folio 70a]
Þat serued þat Synagod to the sory fyndes,
Than entrid þai with honour, & offerond made,
Grete soumes forsothe of siluer & of golde;
Did þere deuocioun as hom dere thought,
And frayned at the fynd how þai fare shuld,
Of þaire Journay, full Justly, a Juggement to haue.
And þen Appollo apperith with a priue voise
To þo worthy, o this wise, as þe writ sayes.
"Achilles! Achilles! [attle] to þe Grekes,*. [MS. has 'a litle']
Sew to the same þat þou art sent fro;
Tell hom for truth, þat hom tyde shall
In sounde for to saile somyn vnto Troy,
And mony batels on bent with buernes to thole.
And the tent yere truly, tell hom for sothe,
Þere worship to wyn, & þere wille haue;
All the Cité to sese, and the syde londis;
Kyng Priam to pyne, & his pure wife;
All his sonnes to sle with sleght of your honde;
Þaire Riches to Robbe, & þere Rife goodis;
And no lede for to lyue, but þat hom selfe thinke."
When Achilles this chaunse choisely hade herd,
He was glad of þe graunt, and the god answared; Page  146
And er he turnyt fro the temple, thus hit tid euyn.
A tulke out of Troy, testor aune sone,
Þat was a bisshop of the burghe, & a buerne wise,
(Calcas, by course, was his kyd nome)
A Sad man of siens, sought to þe temple,
ffrom Priam, his pure kyng, priuely sent,
To haue answare at Appollin what aunter shuld falle
Of the tulkes of Troy and the triet pepull.
He meuyt to the mowmentes with his mayne giftes, [folio 70b]
Praiond hym full prestly, as a pure god,
To warne hym full wightly what wirdis shuld happyn:
And þus gatis to the gome þen the god saide.
"Calcas! Calcas! cair yow not home,
Ne turne neuer to Troy, for tene þat may falle;
But go with the grekes into the gret nauy,—
With Achilles the choise kyng chose on þe way.
Part neuer fro þat pepull, ne the prise leue,
ffor it is grauntid of goddis the grekes for to haue
The fairer of þat fight vnto the ferre end;
All Troy for to take and tirne at hor wille.
And your graithnes may gretly the grekes auaile,
With counsell & comyng in cas þat will falle,
Till þai haue wonen hor will: wete þou for sothe."
And when Calcas with comyng hade kyndly persayuit
Þat Achilles the choise was in the chere temple,
He wentto þat worthy his wille for to shewe;
And euyn told hym by tale as hym tide hade. Page  147
And felle of affynite, and fryndes be-come,
Achilles with chere cherisshed hym full mekull,
And hight hym hoge thinge to haue at his wille.
Þus went þay to water, þose wise men to gedur,
Cacched in cables & þere kene ancres,
Sesit vp þere sailes, & in sound Rowet,
Past ouer the pale stremys & no payne tholet.
Entret into Attens, þere þe oste lay,
Þo shene out of shippe shake into botes,
Houit to þe bonke, the Bysshop hym with;
To Agamynon þai gon with other gaye kynges.
Bothe Dukes & derfe Erles droghen to gedur,
That were blithe of þat bisshop, þat þai broght hade. [folio 71a]
Achilles to the choise men all the chaunse tolde,
The answare of Appolyn what aunter shuld happon;
How hom grauntid was the gre by the goddes all;
And how Calcas, the contrary, cachit of hym,
That fro Priam was put to haue a pure onsware;
And how in batell hym bydon was abide with the grekes,
Till Troy all takyn were, & tirnet to ground.
When thies tythinges told were tomly to end,
All the grekes were glad, & þere god þanked;
And for ioy of þat iornay aioynet a fest,
As a high day to holde, & halowet it all
With worship to wale goddis on þaire wise did.
And of the Bisshop þo buernes beldid were þen;
Thai cherisshed hym choisly, all þo chere kynges,
With Riches & Rewardes raght hym ynogh,
And heghten hertely þere hestis to kepe.
Þan þai solast hom somyn, as hom selfe liked,
And dryvon furth þat day with dalians to end.
Page  148

The xi Boke. how the Grekys sailet fro Attens to Troy.

EVERY wegh, þat will wete of þere werke more,
Listen a litle, & leng here a while:
Let vs karpe of thies kynges or we cayre ferre.
When thies worthy hade worshipped all þere wale goddes,
And the day with deuocioun dryuen to þe end,
The secund day suyng somyn were þe grete
In Agamynons gay tent; gedrit for sothe,
fforto speke of hor spede, whille þai space hade.
This Calcas in company com with Achilles
And Patroclus the pure kyng into the proude tente.
Þai hailset þat hynde & hertely hym welcommyt,
And sithen to sit all somyn þai yode [folio 71b]
Among þo kynges in company, as þaire course felle.
When all the pepull were pesit, þe presens full still,
Calcas to the kynges carpes thies wordes:—
"Ye noble men of nome, þat to note wendyn
In þis company clene! kynges & Dukes,
Erles & other men onest of astate,
Þat are aioynet to þis Journey with ioynyng of wer! Page  149
Is not the cause of your comyng with company grete,
To turne vnto Troy, þat you tenit has,
And are opunly your enmys, & euermore you noies?
Why tary ye so tomly, & turnys not furthe?
And are redy to þe rode, & restis þus lenge?
Þere-as all thing is ordant, hit angris to abide,
Or tary ouer a tyme, when tulkes ben redy.
Ne hope ye not highly, þat here are sum fals,
And aspies your spede with spit þat þai may,
To write to þat wale kyng your werkes by-den?
Þis fenyond fare is forthoryng to hom,
To assemble on yche syde soudiours ynogh,
And fret hom with fryndes þere fos to withstond,
Of kynges & knightes in contres abowte;
Syn ye haue tarit ouer tyme tomly at home,
And noght hastid with harme your hething to wenge.
Ye shuld haue soght to þe Cité sone oponone!
Mony wekes are went & þis wale somur,
And monythes full meuyt of þe mylde aire,
Of seasonable sailyng of þe salt water,
Syn winter was went & windes were lithe;
The course of the colde see calmyt with all,
Ȝeforus with softe wyndes soberly blew,
Planettes in the pure aire pullishet full clene,
And all softe was the see to sailers þerin.
Why leng ye so long & lose all this tyme, [folio 72a]
When ye might soberly haue sailet, & set on your fos,
And haue flayet the freikes with your felle hast?
When tythandes hade ben tolde of soche a tore pepull,
Hit wold haue noyet hom anon þe nombur to here.
Thoche tarying ouer tyme turnys hom to ioy,
And hertis hom highly to hold you for faint. Page  150
Ne hope ye not hertely þe hest of your goddes
Wilbe faithly fulfilled, & not faile of.
But if ye tary ouer tyme þai tene hom þereat,
And in case to þe contrary cast your auentur;
Your chaunse for to chaunge & chef yow þe worse.
Þerfore hefe vp your hertis; hast you to saile;
Sette furthe to þe se; sitte no lengur.
Has harnes ouer hacche; highes in ancer;
ffolowe to your fos with a frike wille.
Syn your goddes haue it grauntid þe gre shalbe yours,
Highes you in haste, houes here no lengur.
This is clerely my counsell, kithe if you list!"
When Calcas his counsell had carpit to þe end,
Iche lede hym alowet, þat listnet his wordes;
And his counsell to kepe keston hom all.
Agamynon the gret his gomys did warne,
Iche buerne to be boune at the blast of a trumpe:
fforto pas into port & pull vp hor sailes,
And dryue on þe depe se þe doughti comaundet.
All the company enclinet, cairyn to ship;
Cachyn in cables, knyt vp hor ancres;
Sesit vp hor sailes in a sad hast;
Richet þere rapes, rapit vnto see.
Hokit out of hauyn, all the hepe somyn
Hade bir at hor bake, blawen to þe depe;
Sailyn forthe soberly, somyn but a while,
Noght fyftene forlong fairly to the end. [folio 72b]
When sodenly the softe aire vnsoberly rose;
The cloudis ouer cast, claterrit aboute;
Wyndes full wodely walt vp the ythes;
Wex merke as the mydnighte mystes full thicke;
Thunret in the thestur throly with all; Page  151
With a launchant laite lightonyd the water;
And a Ropand rayne raiked fro the heuyn.
The storme was full stithe with mony stout windes,
Hit walt vp the wilde se vppon wan hilles.
The ffolke was so ferd, þat on flete were,
All drede for to drowne with dryft of the se;
And in perell were put all the proude kynges.
Then Calcas the curset, þat come out of Troy,
To the worthy þere were warpit anon:—
"The cause of our care I know it right well:
The goddes is greuyt, þat we are gon fro
At honourable Attens,—auntrus Diana:
ffor we soght notto sacrifice, hir seluyn is wrothe,
And has wroght vs þis wedur: þat wete I for sothe.
My counsell is kyndly, kythe if ye list,
Þat we seche to þat same or we sew ferre,—
Into the Ile of Awlida,—all men to gedur,
There Diana the dere ys duly honourt,
Our Emperour, hym owne selfe, offeraund to make.
Be ho plesid with prayers & other pure giftes,
This tempest will turne into tyme faire,
And we haue wedur at our wille, & our way holde."
Þen keppit was the counsell of Calcas belyue.
All turnyt þaire tacle with trussyng of sailes,
And stird hom full streight withouten stad more
Into Awlida þe yle, to honour Diana,
Þat was fast by the flete but a forlonge.
Agamynon in grete hast gird to the lond,
Turnyt to the Temple, taried no Lengur;
To Diana full derely did his honowre, [folio 73a]
With Sacrifice full solempne & mony sad giftes,
And worshippet þat worthy as a wale goddes. Page  152
Then the se wex sober, sesit the wyndis;
Calme was the course, clensit the aire;
The derke ouerdrogh, & the dym voidet;
The bremnes abatid; blusshit the sun.
Hade wedur at þaire wille, wentton to ship,
And past fro þat port the pepull in fere;
Halit to the high se in a hond while;
Sailit on soundly as hom self list,
Tyll þai comyn to the cost & countre of Troy;
And þere hyt into hauyn as hom happe felle,
Vnder a castell of þe cuntre, þat cald was Saracbla.
There þai fastnet the flete & the furse shippes,
Cachit hom with cables & castyng of ancres,
And logget hom to lenge in þat le hauyn.
The kepars of the castell caghten þere armys,
Wentten out wightly the water to kepe;
Bowet to the bonke in hor bright geire.
To put of þat pepull pristly þai wend,
And foryn as folis; for þai but few were.
Þai with stode hom a stoure but it stad litle.
The folke were so fele, þat felle to the londe,
Armyt at all peces, angarly mony,
The troiens þai tokyn & tirnyt to dethe,
And fell to the flight in fere to the castell.
But the Grekes on þe grounde grymly pursueyt,
Swappit hom with swordes till the swalt all.
Comyn to the castell, (vnclose were the yatis,
The cuntremen for to kepe as þai cum wold,)
The Grekes Ingird, gripped the warders,
And all the fonnet folke fell to the dethe;
Slogh hom doune sleghly, slang hom to ground;
Robbit þere riches, raght to þere shippes. [folio 73b]
Wonen to the walles, walt hom to ground;
Betyn doune the buyldynges to the bare erthe;
Tokyn the tresure; turnyt into hauyn.
When þis castell was caght, kylled the pepull, Page  153
And all the shalkes to ship with the shene godes,
Þai past fro þat port with pillage þai hade,
And turnyt vnto tenydon, taryt no lengur.
Þere arof all the rowte with þere Ranke shippes,
Cast ancres with cables þat kene were of byt;
Let sailes doune slide; slippit into botes;
ffestnet with fuerse Ropis the flete in þe hauyn;
And buskit vnto banke, the boldist ay first.
At this tenydon truly was a tried castell,
Wele wroght for the werre with walles full stronge;
Evyn fild full of folke, fuerse men & noble,
And Riches full Rife, Ranke men with in;
Wele viteld, I-wisse, for winturs ynoghe.
(Hit was sothely but sex myle fro the Cité euyn,
As I told haue tomly in a tale here before.)
The folke in þat fuerse hold were ferde of hom selfe,
Arait hom full radly, right to the werre.
In defense of hor fos, þat on flete lay,
Wenton out wightly wale men of armys,
And bateld hom on the banke as hom best thught.
When the Grekes were gethurt & to ground comen,
Mony fightyng folke in a fuerse nowmbur,
The pepull with hor power put hom agayne,
And foght with hom felly, þof þai few were.
Bold was þat biker opon bothe haluys.
Mony deid by-dene of the derfe grekes;
And Troiens with tene tynt of hor pepull,
But not so fele at þe first as of the ferre side.
The Grekes full greatly greuyt þerat,
Oppresset hom with payne & preset þereafter;
ffought full felly, and fele were þere þai sláyne:
Of the Troiens þat tyme tynt were þe mo.
The fresshe was so felle of the furse grekes, [folio 74a] Page  154
And the nowmber so noyous, þat neghed in hast,
That the ffrigies floghen and the fild leuyt;
Turnyt vnto Troy, and the toune entrid.
And þo at fore not to flight, ne of forse were,
The grekes gird hom to grounde with hor grym swerdes,
And brittenit on the bent, þat abide wold.
Comyn to the castell, vnclosit it aboute,
ffoghten with the folke, þat defens made.
Shottyn vp sharply at the shene wallis
With glayues; & gomes girdyn doun toures;
Dryuen vp dartes, gyffen depe woundes.
With alblasteris also amyt full streght,
Whappet in wharles, whellit the pepull.
With speris full dispitiously spurnit at the yates,
Dongen on dernly with mony dede hurtes,
In diffens of þe folke, þat affroi made.
But the wallis the[y] were for all the wo yet,
And fele of hor fos fellyn with out.
Þen gone forthe the grekes, graithet engynes,
Batold hom all abrode vmbe the bare walles;
Layn ladders alenght & oloft wonnen.
At yche cornell of þe castell was crusshyng of weppon;
ffell was the feght þo fuerse men amonge;
Mony grekes in þere gremþ gird on the hed,
Till þai lept of the ladder, light in the dyke,
The brayne out brast & the brethe leuyt;
And mony dongen to dethe with dynttes of honde.
The Troiens full tit were tirghit for fight,
Wondit & weré þat þai were noght;
And the grekes in so grete nowmber gedrit hom till,
Wonyn on the wallis wightly with ladders,
At wyndous on yche syde-wise a wondurfull nombur, Page  155
The grete toures þai toke, tirnyt the pepull:
Was no lede opon lyfe þat a lofte stode.
The[y] chefe into chambers & oþer chere hallis,
And yche freke, þat þai found, felly þai slogh, [folio 74b]
Old men & other, with ournyng to dethe,
Tyll no lede of þat lynage vpon lyfe was.
All the caves in the castell clenely þai sought,
Robbit the Riches & the Rife goodes;
Prayet & piket þat proffet was in,
And wonnyn it wightly the wallis withoute,
Till all was bare as a bast, to þe bigge woghes.
Mynours then mightely the moldes did serche,
Ouertyrnet the toures, & the tore walles
All dusshet into the diche, doll to be-holde;
Betyn doun the buyldynges & brent into erthe,
Tyll the place was playne & out of plite broght;
And hegh Tenydon with tourys tyrnyt all vnder.
When þai hade wasted the won & wonen the gre,
All the tresour thay toke & turnyt to ship.
This fight is the first and firre vs behouus.
Page  156

xijth Boke. how the Grekys sent two Kinges in Message to Kyng Priam ffor Restitucion of þaire harme.

ROBBET was þis ronke hold & ryuyn to ground;
All the kepars kild vnto cold dethe.
ffull glad were the grekes the godis to fonge,
And þat hom happit so hastely the haldes to distroy.
Mery was the menye & maden gret Joye,
As þai houyt in hauyn holly to gedur.
Then Agamynon graidly, þaire gay Emperour,
Chargit hom as cheften all his choise pepull,
Þat any godis hade goten at the gret hold,
ffor to bryng it belyue & no bode make;
And cum wightly þerwith the weghes hom selfe, [folio 75a]
To a place þat was playne on þe pure ground.
And þai obeyt his bone. The buernes anon,
Past to the playne þere prince vntill:
Yche gome with his gode þat he gotyn hade.
Þai comyn forth clenly with clothes & other,
And pight it on a playne in a place faire.
Þan the souerain hym seluon soberly deuidet
Tho godes to his gomes, as hym graith thoght,
And depertid the pray to his prise folke.
To the weghes þat hom wan with woundes before,
And put hom in perell, depertid þai were:
He, þat boldist was in batell, the best for to haue. Page  157
When þis duly was done by dom of þe lorde,
The cheftayn full choisly chargit the gret,—
All the kynges of his company & his kyde Dukes,
Erles & all men þat of astate were,—
The secund day suyng or the sun Rose,
To appere in a place pertly hom seluon,
ffor a counsell to carpe & comyn to gedur,
And to speke of hor spede whill the[y] space hade.
When the derk was don & the day sprange;
Gedrit were the grete & to þe ground comyn
On a place þat was playne, plenty of Setis;
Euyn set in a serkyll þe soferan before,
And pes in yche place, princes were stille;
Agamynon, the gouernour, godely did say
These wordis full wisely to his weghes all.
"Ye frendes faithfull, þat fuerse ben in armys!
Princes & prise kynges, preuyt of Astate!
That are gedrit on the ground, & fro grece comyn. [folio 75b]
The pouer of our pepull is plainly full hoge,
And the fame of our fuersnes fares abrode.
The word of our werkes thurgh the world springes!
Is not accountid of kynges, ne kyde men of armys,
Thurgh the world for to wale so worthy of dedis,
By the grace of our goddes, as grekes are now!
And no pride in our pepull for our prise werkes,
That happis vs to haue þurgh our kynd goddes.
Hom þroly we thanke þan thrive we þe bettur,
And put away pride fro our prise hertes;
ffor it knowen by course & custome to all,
What harmys & vnhap has hastid þurghe pride,
And what cumbraunse & care, in mony kyde londes. Page  158
Syn it haten thies hegh goddes & hogely with|stondyn,
And ay the purpas enpayres with pride is be|gonen,
Hit is wit for to wayue or vs worse happon;
ffor proude men in price haue playnly no fryndes,
But euery mon with enuy ertis hom skathe;
And who-so frend is & felow to þat foule vise,
Myche hate on hym highes & harmys with all,
And makes fos of his frendes & fele þat hym louys.
Let vs waive now wisely in our werkes all
And nomly in þis note, þat now is in honde,
Þat no pride fro our purpos put vs abacke;
And rule vs by rightwisnes in our Ranke dedis,
With a lyue of lewte, þat as a laump shynes,
Þat no fawte with vs founden be, ne fylyng of pride.
Now wete ye right well, þat all þis wale pepull
Are comyn to this cost with cumpany grete,
And pursuyt to þis prouynse in purpos to venge
Of harmys & hegh grem, with hethyng full mekull,
Þat Priam and his pepull hath plainly vs done.
Syn we arofe in þis Rewme in a rad haste,
We haue ournyt hym with angur, ertid hym mykill, [folio 76a]
Yf he were fully our foo forwith this tyme,
To hate vs in hert, now here is our cause.
This wot I full well, þai warnyt are before,
And haue gedrit of gyngys mony grym batell.
But þai wete not our werkes, ne our wilde fare;
Þat we be neghit so negh, ne noy þat is fallyn.
ffor if þai might be so mony, & of mayne strenght,
We mut bye it full bitterly þe baret we make.
Þai haue a Cité for sothe, a sure & a noble, Page  159
Well wallit to wale, with water aboute;
And þerfore sothly I say, hit semis vnto vs,
Þai are feler of folke, & fuerser by the halfe,
With more plenty of pepull, & þe province hor owne;
And yche freike is þere frynd to filsom þere spede.
Þis I say not, for sothe, supposyng in hert
Þat of our dede shuld be doute,—I dem it not so.
Ne I put not vnpossible ȝon place for to take,
And all þere folke in fight with forse to distroy;
Ne the Cité to sese and serche within,
And all the toures of the toun tumbell to ground;
But þat louyng & lose shuld lenge of our dedis,
And our werkes all wisely wroght by discrecioun,
Þat we fare with no foly ne fonnyng of pride.
Hit has fallyn vnto fele men, fer in tymes past,
Þat hastely on hede has highit to a note,
And keppit no counsell, ne no clene rule,
But put hom with pride a purpos vnto,
Hit rapit to repentaunse & mony ranke harmys.
This knowis all the company, þat the kyng Priam,
Noght leng sithen but late, a lede of his owne
Made on a message vnto our menes londis,
ffor his sustor Exiona to send hym agayne:
This couet the kyng, keppit he no more.
And we, as vnwise men, welt into pride;
Answarth hym awterwart with angur & skorne,
With thretyng vnthriuand of our thro hertes; [folio 76b]
And manast his messanger with malicous pride.
Hade we herkont hym hyndly, hedit his wille,
Done his dissyre, deiret not our seluyn,
The harme & the hardgrem, þat highet vs after,
And this sorow in Sitheria had sothely not fallyn;
Ne Elan, ne other mo honerable of grece,
Had not laithly bene laght, & led vnto Troy; Page  160
Ne we, þat are wonyn ouer the wale streames,
Þat worthy to wyn with weppon in fight,
Hade not faren so far our fos to distroy,
Ne so long fro our londes lengit away.
And, what fall shalbe fortune, no freke can vs telle:—
Wethur worship or wo: wete we not all?
Þerfore, sirs, me semys, if you so like,
Yf ye deme it be don, & in dede holde,
To put of all perells & our pepull saue;
All chaunse to exchewe, & cheue vs the bettur
Our worship to wyn, & no wegh hurt;
Þat we may saile hom in sound & our sute haue;
Let make vs a message to the mon Priam,
Þat is kyng of the coste & the kythe ow,
And wilne hym wisely, þat worthy, to send
Honerable Elan & other of our pepull:
And redresse vs the domage, þat he don has
By Paris his proude son, in our prise londis.
If þat souerayne accept this sothly with hert,
And do it in dede, as our dissyre wille,
We may wend hom with worship & our wille haue;
And saue so our seluyn & our sute hole;
Nauther redur ne rape to þis rem do.*. [MS. has 'ruder.']
And if Priam with pride this purpos refuse,
Two frendes haue fully to fight in our cause:
On is right, þat vs riches for rape of our godes;
And pes, þat we proffer our pouer to extaint.
Thurgh the world shall it wend our werke at þis tyme.
Ay the mo, þat our mesure maynly may here,
The lengur vs luff shall till our last end;
And the Troiens be told as for triet foles, [folio 77a]
Ne excusit of skathe & sklaunder of pride,
To macche vs with monhede & might of our selfe, Page  161
And wyn hom in wer with weppon in fight.
Neuer buerne will vs blame, ne ban for our dede,
Ne wegh will vs wite to þe worldes end.
Ses now, your seluyn, my saghis vnto,
And deuys of þis dede as you dere think."
When the souerain hade said, þen sesit he here,
And mony of þo mighty menyt þer agayn,
Noght semond, þai said, ne sittyng to do;
And part of þat pepull prouyt hit for wit;
And o sithin, all samyn assentid þerto.
Two chere men þai chese on þis choise erend,—
(Onest & abell Vlexes was one,
And Dyamede, þe derfe kyng demyt þat other)—
Aionet to þis iornay iustly to-gedre.
Stiden vpon stithe horse stird to the Cité,
And wenton in wightly þo worthy hom seluon.
Entred into Elion, þat honerable Palis,
Lightyn at the low, leftyn þaire horses,
Gone vp by the greses all of gray marbill,
Hit into the halle of the high kynge.
Hade meruell full mekull of þat mayne place,
Of the walles þat wroght were wondurly faire,
With high toures full torrit all the toun vmbe.
Yet meruelt hom more ymyddes the halle
Was a tre, þat was tried, all of tru gold,
Meruelous & mekyll men to be-hold.
The bole was of bright gold, bret to þe myddes,
Largior þen a lawriall & lengur with all,
(xij cubettes by course all of clene heght)
Þat fourmyt was full faire to þe fre boghes.
The brede of his bowes borly to se, [folio 77b]
Large and longe, (light as the sun)
ffro the dese to the dorse doblit on brede
And the sydys, by a sercle of þe same hall.
The braunches were borly, sum of bright gold,
Sum syluer for sothe, semlist of hew; Page  162
With leuys full luffly, light of þe same;
With burions aboue bright to be holde;
And frut on yt fourmyt fairest of shap,
Of mony kynd þat was kuyt, knagged aboue,
Þat shemert as shire as any shene stonys.
Long abodyn thies buernes in the bright hall,
Or þai comyn to the kyng by course for to speike.
Led were þo lordes þro mony long chaumburs,
Goand vp by degres þurgh mony gay Alys,
And past into a proude chaumbur þere Priam was set,
Among lordes of his londe & ledis of his owne.
Þai salut not þat souerain with no sad wordes,
Ne worshippit no wegh þat hym with stode;
But euyn agaynst þat gret þai gone for to sit,
In the ffrount of þo folke & þe fre kyng.
Þen auntred Vlexes and his erund said,
And warpet þies wordes as ye wete shall.
"Sir Priam! thof we prise not þi person to hailse,*. [MS. has "Sais"]
Ne worship the as worthy, no wonder þou haue;
ffor we haue þe in hate as our hede ffoo:
And an enmy to anoþer nothing it semys,
Hailsyng ne hynd speche with no hede bare.
Agamynon the gret, þat on þi ground lys,
Hase made vs as messengers at this mene tyme,—
Hyder send vs to say to þi selfe euyn,
He biddes the full barly the bright qwene Elan,
That you caght fro his kyng, & oþer kyd pepull, [folio 78a]
Send hom in sound & safly to hym,
And stifly restore o the stithe harmys;
All Redurs to riche with þi Ranke goodes,
That you pild in his prouynse by Paris þi son. Page  163
Iff yow do þus in dede, hit doghis the bettur:
And yf þou set noght our saghe, se what will fall,
Of harme in a hond qwhile highand the to!
Thou bes ded for þe dede dernly þi selfe;
All þi pepull be perisshit & put out of lyue;
Thy Cité & þi Sid londe sesit in were,
Betyn and brent doun vnto bare askes;
The Rewme þurgh Riden, robbed þi goodis,
Set vnder seruage & sorow for euer!"
When Priam persayuit had all his proude wordes,
He onswared Vlixes vne vponone,
Withouten counsell of knightes or any kyde lordis.
ffull soberly he said all in sad speche,—
"Me meruells full mekill of your mayne þrete,
And angers me full euyll your angard desyre,
When ye couet by course, with vnkynd fare,
Satisfaccioun to be sent fro my selfe euyn,
Syn ye are cause of þis care, & curstly haue don.
My souerayn ye slogh, & my sybbe fryndes;
My folke put into pyne, pild all my Rewme;
Moche disseese ye me did, no redresse made.
Exiona, my suster, in seruage ye put,
And fele of my ffryndes into fer londes,
In hordam & harlatry vnhyndly to lye;
Not keppit hir kyndly, as a kynges doughter,
But laithly in lechery, lengyng to dwelle:
And menen me with manas Amendes to bede!
I wold sothely, my Selfyn, sittyn with the harme [folio 78b]
Of the dethe & the dole of my dere fader,
In obryggyng of batell, & blode to be spilt.
And on message I made a mon of myn owne,
Antinor I ordant þat erende to wende, Page  164
And sent for my Sustor, sothely, to you;
And all giltes for-gyffen & greuans of old.
And of the awthwart onswares & angur to hym,
All the wise how it was ye wetyn your selfe.
Hit is knowen to your kynges & comyn with all,
Of the dishonour ye did to my dere legat,
And with spite in your speche dispiset my name.
Here is plainly no place in þis plit now,
Your wille for to wirke for no wild threte.
I hope the grekes in hor grem shall neuer so gret worthe,
To oppresse me with power, ne my plas take,
Ne my godis to gripe agaynes my wille.
I will Agamynon hit wete, & his weghes all,
Þat for pes to his pepull pray will I neuer,
Ne folowe on hor frendship, þat me so foule hyndryt;
But I wond for my worship as wetheruns shuld die!
And ye, so rebell and roide with your rugh speche,
Wynnes yow now wightly for woche of my sight!
While I se you in certain I sourde full of yre,
And bolne at þe brest all for bale angre!"
When the worthy hade his wordes warpit to end,
Diamede full depely drough out a laughter,
And said to þat suffrayn sittyng agayne:—
"Now kyng, yf we be cause of þi kene yre,
And þou vnsaght of þi sight sothely of vs two,
While þou lyues in þis londe, leue for trew,
Withouten noy be þou neuer, & þin ene opon,
Syn the grekes on the ground are of so gret pouer; [folio 79a] Page  165
And þou faithly shall fynd, in a felle haste,
A hundrith thowsaund þro men þriuand in armys,
The weghes to wound & warpe vnto dethe.
And if þou sothely of sorow set be so full,
ffor two buernes all bare & of body nakyd,
I hope your bolnyng with brest, & your brethe leue
To qwhiche pouer, playnly, þou proues no strenght,
Ne no suertie, may saue fro þere sid harmys."
Mony knightes in the courte, þat by the kyng stode,
Wex wroth at his wordes, walt into yre;
Warpit out wordes full swice at the kyng,
And drogh taward Diamede to dere hym anon,
ffor to britton þat buerne for his bolde speche.
Priam þen presit vp fro his proude sete,
Bade hom blym of hor brathe or hor bare lyues,
Þat no gome shuld hym greue with no grym weppon,
Ne negh hym with noy for noght þat he said.
"Syn the wit of no wise man shuld walt into yre,
Ne be fuerse on a fole, þat foutly hath wroght;
ffor it falles to a fole his foly to shew,
And a wise man witterly his wordes to suffer.
As it is fre to a fole foly to carpe,
So is it wit, a wiseman his wordis to listyn,—
Laghe at it lightly and let it ouer pas;
ffor in speche may men spie the speker to know,
And wete, by his wordes, the wit þat he beires.
I wold sothely, my-seluyn, suffer full harde,
Or any messanger were mysdon, or marrit with hond
Within my courtte, or my cumpany, for any cause here. Page  166
ffor lightly a litil thyng, a lose may be tynt,
And a fame be defoulede, & fatid for euer;
Þerfore set you full sone, sober your wille,
And non proffer, apon payne, to prese hym no more,
Ne to warpe hym no worde, þat worship may hyndur." [folio 79b]
Þen set þai sone, as said hom the kyng.
And Eneas efterward etlid to say,—
Þat sete by the souerayne, non sothely betwene,—
Breke out full boldely all in breme wordis,
And spake full dispitously with a sprete felle:—
"Sir kyng, it sittes not, sothely, for right,
A fole to be fauoret folili to speke.
But wo vnwisely with wordis walis his speche,
Hit is skille for his skorne, þat he scathe thole,
And not cherist, but chastist, by charge of his foly.
I might sothely so say, here syttyng yow by,
Þat ye wold deme [me] to dethe for my derfe wordes,
Þat right wold & reason by rewle of my-seluyn.
And, saue your magiste so mykell, þat men will obey,
He, þat warpes thies wordes in his wild foly,
Shuld degh, for his derfenes, by domys of right;
Þat so dispitously hath spoken in spit of your person,
And meuyt your magesty with his mad wordes,
And angert vs all angardly sore,
With presumpcoun & prise of his proude hert.
I bid þerfore barly, þat he bove herchyn,
And pas fro this place o payn of his lyfe.
If he faine will foly for a fyn wit,
And gyrt on no grete wordis to greue vs no more." Page  167
Then Dyamed, the derfe kyng, withoutyn dyn said:—
"You, frynde, with þi fare, what freike so þou be,
I wote, by your wordes, þou ert no wise juge;
But I deply dissyre in dedis to come,
Þat I may fynd þe before þi frendship to þonke,
And mede the after mesure of þi meke wille,
To thanke the of þi thret and þi þro wordis. [folio 80a]
Now I se well, for-sothe, sely is the kyng,
Þat kepis the for counsell clene for hym seluyn,
Þat well con his worship wisshe hym to saue,
And rede hym to redurs, þat rixles to shame!"
Þen Vlixes, with vtterans vne vpponone,
The derfe wordis of Diamede dullit with speche;
And wysely he waynet all his wild yre,
Þat he nomore in þe mater shuld mene at þat tyme.
And to Priam [the] price kyng prestly he said:—*. [MS. has "to"]
"Kyng, we haue clenly consaiued þi wille.
To Agamynon agayne we go with our onsware,
All þi saghes, for-sothe, þat souerain to telle!"
And so þai past fro þat pales, preset vnto horse,
Lepyn on lightly, launchet on hor way,
Gone to þe grekes in a grete hast;
Lighten at þere logges, leuyn þere horses,
And ferdon on fote fairly to-gedur;
Into the Emperours awne tent entrid belyue,
Ther all the grete were gedrit Agamynon before
And toldyn all tomly, as hom tide hade,
The purpas of Priam tho prinses vntill.
Thai hade meruell full mekyll in hor mynd all,
Of his authwart onswares, þat hym arghet no more.
Then þo Kynges in counsell castyn hom anon,
And ordant on all wise þaire enmeis to greue
Be wiles of wer, as ye shall wete after.
Page  168

xiij Boke. How the Grekys sent Achilles and Thelefon for bitaill for the Ost into Messam.

KYNGYS and knyghtes and other kyde Dukes, [folio 80b]
All the souerayns hade selly, as I said ere,
Of priam, the price Kyng, þat prudly hade saide.
Than gedrit were the grekes on a ground faire,
Besyde tenydon truly, to talke of hor dedis.
Ordant by the emperour opunly to holde
A counsell in the case, with knowyng to all,
And procede on hor purpos, as prise men of wer.
When the souerayns assemblit were, as I said first,
Agamynon, the gouernour, graithit hym to speike,
To þo worthy thieȝ wordis warpit anone:—
"Noble sirs, in this note hit nedis vs to haue
ffode till our folke, the formast of other,
Þat no hongur vs happyn to harme in our werre,
While our buernes in batell abiden here stille:
Þat we faint not in fight, ne feble of strenght.
And mykyll is the mete so mony bus haue,
If we shall proffet with proues, or any fose wyn:
ffor þere as failes the fode, faint is the pepull;
And þere hongur is hote, hertis ben febill.
Þerfore, highly in hast, I hold for þe best, Page  169
If ye deme it in dede, Dukes and other,
Þat we mightily to Messam our men send,
To fecche vs som fode, or we firre passe.
In þat prouyns is plenty all of prise vitell,
Of corne, & of catell, & mony kyd Rewme;
Þerfore, sone let vs send sum of our folke,
Worthy to wale, & wise of hor dedis,
To trie of the trewist, & turne into ship,
And set furth to the se with soudiours ynow,
Pas to þat prouyns, prese to þe londe,
And make puruiaunce plentie, while prese lastis,
That may cum vs, by course, to comford our ost, [folio 81a]
And abundantly broght with buernes betwene,
ffor to stall our astate and our strenght hold."
When þis counsell was kyd, he carpis no ferr,
Was alowet with the lordis, & all þe ledis after.
By assent of þo souerains, & sithen of all,
Achilles was chosyn chefe of þis erend;
And Thelephus, þat tother, ton to his fere,
Was Ercules aune son eldist for sothe.
Þes assignet for þe se, with soudiours ynogh,
And fuerse men in fight a felle nowmber:
Þes drest for þe dede and droghen to ship,
And merkit vnto Messam with a mekyll nauy.
In þat yle was onest, an honerable kyng,
As men told in his tyme, and Teutras his name,
Þat his countre in kuit hade keppit full longe,
And regnit in rest with riches ynogh.
He hade fightyng folke fele of his owne,
And knightes full kene, & konyng of werre.
Sum sain it for sothe, and for sure holdyn,
The same yle I said you, Cicill is calt,
Ay abundand of blisse, & bret full of vitaill,
And menyt was with men Messan to nome;
ffor a cité in the same lond so gat was cald,
Bild on a banke at a brode hauyn, Page  170
ffull longe, & large, louely with all,
And a pesable port pight full of shippes,
Þat comen for corne to contres aboute;
And because of the corne, cald was it Messan,
Þat past fro the port to prouyns o fer.
And sum of hit sain, & for sure holdyn,
Þat the Cité was so calld by a sure kyng,
That biggit the burgh bigly hym-seluyn, [folio 81b]
And callid it Messan be mowthe, in mynd of his nome;
But Dares, in his dyting, dewly noght tellus
Of the Cité, for sothe, ne the selfe lond;
But how þo mighty were made to Messan to wende,
ffode for to fecche to þe felle ost.
Som othir Cicill hit sothly myght be,
Þat was geynde to grece, þen the grete yle,
Þat ferly was fer be-ȝond fele Rewmes.
Into this prouynce past þo pepull to-gedur,
Achilles the choise, and his chere felow,
With thre thowsand tristé all of þro knightes,
And mony shippes full shene, shot o þe depe,
Þat hit into hauyn, houyt not longe,
But bounet to þe bonke þo buernys anon.
Then the kyng of þe cuntre, with cumpany grete
Of fell fightyng folke, þat on fote were,
Past to þe port, þere the prinse lay.
The grekys, þat were gedrit & to grounde comyn,
With all þere cumpany clene of the cloise shippes,
Segh the kyng of the cuntre cum hom agayne,
With fele folke vppon fote, þat hom fray wold.
Þai wan to þere weppon wightly anon.
In defense of þe folke, þai fuersly were armyt,
And girden to-gedur with mony grym dyntus.
Bigge was the batell opon bothe haluys, Page  171
Mony fallyn were fey of þe fell grekes,
But mo of the meny, þat mellit hom with.
Þof the grekes were grym & of grete myght,
Þai hade no strenght to withstonde þe striff of þe pepull,
Þat were þro men in threpe, & thretyms mo.
Þere the grekes hade grymly ben gird vnto dethe,
Hade not Achilles ben cheualrous & choise of his dedis.
He shot thurgh the sheltrone & shent of hor knightes [folio 82a]
Mony doughty were ded thurgh dynt of his hond.
All þat warnyt hym þe way he warpet to ground,
Till he come to þe kyng, be course as hym list,
And flang at hym fuersly with a fyne swerde;
The haspes of his helme heturly brast;
Braid of his basnet to þe bare hede;
Woundid hym wickedly, warpit hym to ground.
He was wode of his wit, wild as a lione,
Wold haue brittonet the bold with a bare swerd.
Hof vp his hond heturly to strike,
With a fouchon felle to ferke of his hede,
And Thelephus, þe tothir, titly persayuit
That Teutra with torfer shuld tynt haue his liff.
He stert vnder the stroke with a store shild,
And keppit by course the caupe of his sword;
And Achilles the choise kyng cherly he prayit,
To let the lorde haue his lyffe for lewté of hym,
That woundit was wickedly to þe wale dethe;—
Þat he graunt wold godly þat gome for to leue.
Þen to Thelaphus, þe tore kyng, tomly can say;—
"What causes ye, by course, so kenly to pray,
This syre for to saue, þat is our sad enmy;
And has wackont vs wer þurghe will of hym seluyn, Page  172
And harmyt vs hogely with his hond one.
Syn he boldly with bate þis baret began,
Gode faithe will he first fall in his turne."
Þen Thelaphus tomly talkyt agayne:—
"He was a frynde to my fader, & a fyn louer,
Worshippit hym on allwise & his will did.
Hit felle me, be fortune, forwith þis tyme,
Into this coste for to come, vnknowen my selfe;
And he worship me worthely, & his weghes all. [folio 82b]
With giftes full gay & of his gode mekyll,
Assignet me soueraines, sure men ynogh.
Hit sothely with sorow sounys to my hert,
To se þat doughty be dede & don out of lyue."
Þen Achilles to þat chere choisly can say:—
"Take hym here tyt, & tent as ye list,
And wirke with þat worthy, as ye wele likes."
Thus halpe he þat hynd fro hond of Achilles,
And dro hym fro dethe, as for þat due tyme:
So the batell was barly broght to an end.
The grekes hade þe gre & gone into ship,
And Teutra the true kyng was trust on a litter,
Had hom to his halle, halfe out of lyue.
At whose prayer, full prestly, þo prise men two
Wentte with þat worthy vnto his won riche,
Receyuit with reuerence & renke of astate,
Honouret with all men onestly & well,
And all daintethes hom dight dere for þe nonyst.
When few dayes faren were þe fre kyng Teutra
Wex weike of his wound & widrit to dethe:
ffeblit full fast of his fyn strenght,
Se his dethe on hym drogh dressit hym þerfore.
He sent after, sothely, þe souerain Achilles,
And Thelaphe, þat tothir, vnto his owne chaumbur.
When þai comen to þe kyng, þo curtes to-gedur,
Þen fond þai þat fre febill in his bed Page  173
All in point for to pas with paynes of dethe.
Then Teutra þo triet men tretid o þis wise:—
"Ye worshipfull weghes, well be you euer,
And gode hele mot ye haue with hop of your lyues!
I say you now sothely, as my sad fryndes,
My lif is not long lastand in erthe.
Done are my dayes, I draw to an end;
And non eire of myn own neuer yet I hade,
Þat I my londes might leue, lyuely to kepe,
That I getton haue & gate with moche gret trauell, [folio 83a]
And holdyn of hard, & with my hond werit
Vnto now, þat with noy is myn end comyn.
The whiche lond I hade lost long tymes past,
Hade not helpe ben of hym, was hardiest of othir,
Most doughty of dedis, dreghist in armys,
And the strongest in stoure, þat euer on stede rode,—
Ercules, þat honerable, edist of my knightes.
He was þi fader so fuerse, þat me faithe eght,
Þat preset at my prayer to this pure rewme,
In hast me to helpe with his hede strenght,
When my fos were so fell, & fuerse me agayn,
Þat þai occupiet ouer all, euyn as hom list,
And I vncertayn, for-sothe, to sese it on lyue.
But he sothely, hym-selfe, of his sad strenght,
Thurgh hardynes of hond & helpe of hym one,
All my fos in fight felly distroyit;
Breke all þere batells, britned hom to dethe,
And so rid he this rewme of my ranke fos,
Euer sythen, for sothe, to þis same tyme,
And deliuert me þis lond, & left it in pes.
Thus the septur & the soile sithyn haue I ȝemyt, Page  174
Noght sothely þurgh my selfe, ne my sad dedis,
But þurghe ffrendship of þi fader, & his fre helpe.
Now son, I will say the, as my sad frynd,
Syn þi fader in fuerse with his fre will,
Rid me þis Rewme out of ronke Enmys,
And wan it full worthely with worship hym|seluyn,
Hade he lyuyt in lede, he hade ben lorde here,
Duly after my day, be domys of right.
And syn our goddis wold not graunt grace to be so,
This soile & the septur þi seluyn shall haue,
ffor to reigne in this rewme by right of þi fader:
Thus our goddes the graunttes of hor grace now.
Here qwemly I beqwethe þe to be qwem kyng
Of all my londes full large, & my lefe godis,
ffor to gouerne & to get, as ye good þinke:
Þis I take the be testament, as my trew aire.
And bryng me to berenes on þi best wise, [folio 83b]
As be comys for a kyng in his kyde rewme;
And honour me with obit as ogh myn astate."
He wrote thus his wille, & wightly asselit,
And deght þen full dawlily, as destyny wold.
And Thelaphus a toumbe trietly gart make,
A riche & a riall, with mony ronke stonys.
On a worshipfull wise warpit hym þerin,
With all the princes of þe prouyns, & other prowde folke,
And sacrifices full solemne, soche as þai vsit.
He puruait a proude stone of a prise hoge,
His course for to couer clenly aboue.
Þus the wegh gert write vmbe the wale sides,
With letturs full large, ledis to be-holde:—
"Teutra, the true kyng, here in tombe lis,
Þat Achilles, with a chop, chaunsit to sle;
Þat to thelaphon betakis all his triet Rewme, Page  175
Bothe septur & soile, as souerain to haue."
When þes dedis were done, & the dede leuyt,
All the lordes of the londe, & the lege pepull,
Thurgh the Citis dyd send, and þe soile ouer,
ffor to come to the coronyng of þe kyde lord,
With honour & homage, as aght hom of right;
And to call hym as kyng in cuntres aboute,
Þat before, þurghe his fader right, fell to be duke,—
So cald in his cuntre be course of his londes,—
Now coronyd is the kyng this cuntre to weld;
Hade homage of all men, & honour full grete,
And began for to gouerne, as gome in his owne.
Þan fild þai with fraght all þere fuerse shippes,
And stuffe of all maner store, þat hom strenght might;
With corne, & with clene flowre, & othir kid vitaill.
Achilles, with choise men, chefe into shipp,
And thelaphon, the tothir, wold haue turnyt after,
Agayne to the grekes with his grete folke, [folio 84a]
In batell to byde, as a buerne noble;
And be course to his cuntre comyn agayne.
Þen the choise kyng Achilles chaunget his wille,
Spake to hym specially for sped of hom all,
In his lond for to long with his lege pepull,
And puruay for the pure oste plenty of vitaill.
Here at talaphon he toke leue, & turnyt to ship,
And halet to the hegh se in a hond while,
Wan þurgh the waghis, had wind at his ese;
Sailet on soundly, & the se past;
To þe gret Navy of þe Grekes graidly he comes.
At tenydon, full tomly, turnyt into hauyn,
Lept into a litle bote, launchit to bonke;
To Agamynon gay tent gos on his way, Page  176
In company clene of mony kyde lordes.
All the gret to hym gedrit with a good chere,
And welcomth þat worthy the weghes ychon,
As derrest bi-dene to þe dukes all.
And he tomly hom told þe tale to þe end,
All the maner in Messan, how þo men ferd.
ffirst, how þai faght fuersly to-gedur,
And how thelaphus tide to be treu kyng;
And of the cariage of corne comyn by ship,
Þat no wegh suld want while the werre laste,
Ne no fode for to faile, but the fulthe haue,
Sent fro the same lond by þe selfe thelaphon.
All worshippit the wegh for his wale dedis,
And he turnyt to his tent tomly & faire,
To the Mirmydouns his men, þat mekill ioy hade,
And fayuer of þat fre, þen any folke ellis.
NOW here will I houe a litle hond qwhile,
Or any maters mo into mynd fall,
Of the Troiens to telle, & þere triet helpe, [folio 84b]
After Dares indityng, as I did first,
Of the Grekes, þat gedrit to the grete nauy.
Sone will I say, & in the same kynd,
What kynges þere come of countres aboute;
What Dukes by-dene, & other derfe Erles,
Þat soght to þe Citie with hor sad helpis,
ffor to comford the kyng with hor cant pepull.
Here nem will I now the nomes by-dene,
And the soume of the soudiours, er I sue ferre.
Of the worthy to wale, as the writ shewes,
The kynges þere come out of kyde londys,
Þat holdyn were of hom, as þere hede lordes, Page  177
With thre thowsaund þro men, þriuound in armys.
Pendragon the pert, pristly was on,
And Thabor, þat tother, a tor man of strenght;
Adasthon the doghte, þat derfe was the þrid.
And of a cuntre, was cald Colophon to nome,
Þat faire was & full all of fre townes,
ffoure kynges þere come with a cant pepull,
With ffyve thowsaund full, all of fyn knightes.
To acounte of þe kynges,—Caras was on,
And Nestor, another, to neuyn of þo same;
The thrid Ymasus, yrfull, egor of wille,
And Amphymacus, þe fourt, a felle mon in werre.
Out of Licé come lyuelé þe lege kyng Glaucon,
With his son Serpidon, a sad mon of strenght,
Þat to Priam was pure sib, a prise mon of dedes,
And þre thousaund thro knightes þrifty in armys.
Out of Lachan, a lond, come a light kyng,
Euphymus the fuerse, fell of his hondes,
And Capidus þe kene,—kynges were bothe
With a thousaund þro men þrifte in armys, [folio 85a]
And fyue hundrith ferre all of fyn knightes.
There come of a cuntre, cald was Tebaria,
On Baunus, a bold kyng, and broght with hym|seluyn
Þre thousaund þro knightes, þriuound in werre:
And seven Erles, sothely, in his sort were,
And foure Dukes dughty, & of dede nobill,
Þat to Priam the prise kyng all were pure syb.
All hor colouris to ken were of clene yalow,
Withouten more in the mene, or mellit with other,
To be knowen by course thurghe the clene ost,
As bold men in batell, and of breme will. Page  178
Out of Trasy þere come þe tru kyng, with a triet pepull,
Philon the fuerse, with fele men of armys,
Þat is out in the Orient, honerable faire;
And a Duke þat was derfe & of dede felle,
With a thousand þro men, & þrifty of hond,
And a hundrith hole all of his knightes.
Out of Payuon com prist Pricomysses the kyng,
And a Duke, þat was derfe, & his dere cosyn,
Þat stithe was & store, & Stupex he heght,
With þre thowsaund þristé, þrepond in werre.
ffor his kyngdom was clene clustrit with hilles,
All merkyd with mounteyns, & with mayn hylles,
And no playne in no place, ne plentie of vales,
Þere auntrid hom oft aunsware to haue
Of mowmenttes in þe merke, þurghe might of þe fynd,
Þat with gomes of þe ground, goddes were cald,
And mony meruell to mete, & mysshapon bestes.
Out of Beyten broght bold men two,
Þat were kynges in the coste, and also kyd brether,—
On Boetes, þat was bigge, & his brother Ephistrus.
And in hor company come knightes a thowsaund.
That is out in the orient the vtmast syde: [folio 85b]
ffull is þat fre lond all of fyne spices.
Out of Pafflegon,—þat pight is in the playn est,
And is set on a syde þere þe sun ryses,
And so ferre out of folke, þat no freke sese,—
Come the richest renke, þat reigned in Erthe,
On philmene, a freke full of fyn gold,
Bothe of gemmes & Juellis, Joly for þe nonest,
Þat fonden are in Evfraton & þe flode Tyger,
Þat passyn out of peradis þurghe the playn Rewme. Page  179
He broght to þe burghe, all of bold knightes,
Two thowsand þristie & þro men of wille.
Iche shalke hade a shild shapyn of tre,
Wele leddrit o lofte, lemond of gold,
Pight full of prise stonys vmbe the pure sydes.
This Philmen, þis fre, was a fuerse man of shape,
Of largenes & lenght no lesse þen a giaund.
Of More Ynde come Merion, a mighty kyng alse,
With Perses, a proude kyng, and a pert knight,
With Dukes full doughty, and derfe Erles mo,
Þat subiect were sothely to þe same Perses,
With þre thowsaund þro knightes, þrepond in wer;
And Symagon, sothely, com with the same kyng,
Þat was mighty & monfull Merions brother.
Out of Tire come Theseus, tristé of hond,
And Archillacus also, þat was his aune son,
With knightes in hor company, clene men a thowsaund:—
He was cosyn, by course, to the kyng Priam.
Two kynges þere come of a clene yle,
Þat Agestra, þe ground geuyn is to nome.
(Of þo kynges, þat I carpe, know I no nomes;
ffor in þis boke, of þo bold, breuyt are none)
Þai broght to þe burghe, buernes a thowsaund,
And two hundrith by tale, all of triet knightes.
There come of a kyngdome, callid is Delissur,
Of an yle be-ȝonde Amysones, an abill mon of wit,— [folio 86a]
A discrete man of dedis, dryuen into age,
And a sad mon of sciens in the seuyn artis,—
Epistaphus, to preue, was his pure nome:
He broght to þe bate of bold men a thowsaund,
And an archer an ugly, þat neuer mon hade sene.
He was made as a mon fro þe myddell vp,
And fro the nauyll by-neithe, vne an abill horse, Page  180
And couert as a capull, all the corse ouer,
ffro þe hed to þe hele, herit full thicke.
His Ene flammet as the fire, or a fuerse low,
fferfull of fase, & hade a felle loke,
Þat þe Grekes oft greuit & to grem broght.
Mony woundit þat wegh & warpit to dethe,
ffor he was boumon of the best, & bold of his dedis.
The nowmbur of þes noble men, þat I nemmyt haue,
Þat come with thes kynges and other kyde Dukes,
Withoute Priams pouer of his prise rewme,
Were thretty thowsaund þro knightes þriuond in armys
And two, for to tell, þat to þe toune soght,
ffor to comford þat kyng & his cause forþer.
Syn þe world was wroght, & weghis þerin,
Was neuer red in no Romans, ne in ronke bokes,
So fele fightyng folke in hor fuerse yowthe,
Of knightes & clene men comyn to-gedur,
Of tried men & trusty, þat to Troy come.
And of the grekes, þat were gedrit in a grym ost,
Of knighthede to count þere was the clene floure,
ffor to wale þurghe the world, as þe writ tellis.
Wo so staris on þis story, or stodis þerin,
Take hede on þe harmys & the hard lures!
What mighty were marrit, & martrid to dethe;—
Of kynges, & knightes, & oþer kyde Dukes,
That þaire lyues here lost for a light cause! [folio 86b]
Hit is heghly to haue, & of hert dryue
Soche sklaundur & skorne, þat skathis to mony;
And mene vnto mekenes for þe more harme!
Page  181

xiiij Bok. how the Grekys sailet from Tenydon to Besege the Cite of Troy: And of stronge fight at þe Ariuaill.

DRESSE will I duly to dem of my werkes,
How thai wenton to werre, tho worthy to-gedur.
Er þai turnyt fro Tenydon, & token þe se,
Palomydon, the proude kyng, presit into hauyn,—
That was Naulus son þe noble, & his next aire,—
With xxxti shippes full shene, shot full of pepull
ffull onest & abill of his owne lond.
At wose come all the kynges kyndly were fayn,
Þat were heuy to hym for houyng so longe
With anger at Attens, þere all were assemblit;
And he excuset the skathe, þat he skape might,
ffor sore sickenes & sad, þat hym selfe þolet.
Þis Palomydon was pert mon, & prise of his dedis,
He was grete with the Grekes, & godely honourit;
ffor he was most full of men, & mighty of londes,
Bothe of fuersnes of fight & of fre counsell,
And of Riches full Rife, & rankist of knightes.
Þai prayet þat prinse, all þo prise kynges,
To be close in hor cause for his clene wit,
And he grauntid full godely all with glad chere.
All thonkid hym þo thristé, þroly to-gedur. Page  182
Then the grete of the Grekes gone into counsell,
How þai best might in batell þe burgh to assaile. [folio 87a]
And þen þai purpast hom plainly, in the pure night
ffor to dresse for þat dede, er þa day sprange.
But the ffreikes were ferd of hor fre shippes,
ffor to caire by the coste, & knew not the waches;
Or to remeve fro rode for rokkes in þe se,
Or to wyn to þe walles, wachid, hom thoght,
ffor los of hor lyues and hor lefe knightes:
And so þai put of þat purpas, & past to another.
When all counsels were kyde and carpit to end,
Þai didyn after Dyamede, & demyt hit þe best,
Þat said hom full sadly all in softe wordes:—
"Ye worthy to wale, wonder me thinke,
Of our dedis so dull why we dure here!
Now is ȝepely a yere yarket to end,
Syn we light in this lond & logget our seluyn,
And neuer dressid, ne drogh, to no dede ferre;
Ne so hardy, fro þis hauyn to hale on our fos,—
ffor to turne vnto Troy, ne on þe toun loke.
What dede haue we don, or dryuen to an end;
Or þe farrer in our fare fortherit our seluyn?
But ertid our Enmys, & angert hom noght;
Made hom wiser of werre, ware of our dedys,
And by compas to caste to conquere vs all.
We sothely haue sene, & our selfe knowen,
Syn we come to þis coste & cairet no ferre,
The Troiens haue atiret hom with myche tor strenght,
Þaire Cité to saue, and hom selfe alse,
With new wallis vp wroght, water before,
And pals haue þai pight, with pittis and caves, Page  183
And other wilis of werre wroght for our sake,
That may hast vs to harme, & hindur our spede [folio 87b]
With all fare þat may forthir, & filsyn our seluyn.
Þai holdyn vs vnhardy hom for to negh,
Or with note for to noye now at þis tyme:
And ay the ferrer þat we fay our fare opon longe,
The more we procure our payne & our pure shame.
Þis I hope in my hert & holly beleue,
Hade we sailit all somyn to þe Cité euyn,
In our course as we came, & cast vs þerfore,
We shuld lightlier haue laght þe lond at our wille:
Or any we hade ben warre, wonen of ship
Withouten hurt other harme to haue in the dede,
Or any lede to be lost, or hor lyue tyne.
Now are the war of our werkes, wetyn vs at hond,
Vs will gayne mykell greme er we ground haue:
And ay the ser þat we sit our sore be þe harder.
Therfore, sothely me semys, yf ye so wille,
Þat we dresse to our dede when þe day sprynges;
All redy to rode, aray for our shippes,
Iche wegh in his wede, as hym well likes,
All boune vnto batell on his best wise.
Row forthe in a rape right to the banke,
Tit vnto Troy, tary no lengur;
And monly with might meve vnto londe,
The ground for to get, gaynis vs non other.
If the Troiens with tene turne for to fight,
We wynnyt not of water but with wight strokes; Page  184
And with fightyng full fell with a fuerse pepull,
To set vp on yche syde vppon sere haluys.
Þerfor, lause of our lyuys, leng we not here;
Put of all purpos, prese on our gate!
This bus duly be done, dem we non other,
Syn we wyn to our wille be no way ellis."
All plesit the prinse with his prise wordes,
And the dom, þat he dulte, duly was kept. [folio 88a]
When the derke was done, and the day sprange,
All the renkes to row redyn hor shippes,
Halit out of hauyn to the hegh see,
There plainly thaire purpos putto an end.
Who fare shuld be-fore, of þo felle kynges,
And wo kepit his cours for to caire after,
Thus demyt thes dukes on the depe water:—
A hundrith of hede shippes to hale on before,
Sadly to saile on þe salt waghes,
With baners o brede bret for þe werre;
The forcastels full of fuerse men of armys,
With shot & with shildis shalkes to noy.
Anoþer hundrith, anon, negh sone aftur,
With sailes vp set on þe same wise,
All wroght for the werre & wight men þerin.
Þen folowet all the flete fast oponon,
Euyn kepyn hor course, as þai kend were,
Turnet euyn to þe toune, tariet no lengur,
Till o sithen þai segh þe Cité at hond,
And the bonkes aboute to þe bare walles.
Then þai turnyt hor tacle tomly to ground,
Leton sailes doun slide, slippit into botes,
Launchet vp to the lond lyuelé bedene,
Buernes buskit vnto bonke; bold men in hast,
Thoght þe ground for to gete, & no grem suffer.
But the Troiens, truly, þes tourfer beheld, Page  185
How the fflete of þere fos fell to þe bonke,
And armyt hom [at] all peces abill to fight;
Lepon vpon light horses, lappit in stele;
Withouten leue of the lege, or þe leffe prince,
Bowet euyn to þe banke or þai bide wold;
Out of rule or aray raungit on lenght. [folio 88b]
The Grekes in the gret shippes graidly beheld,
Segh the pepull so plaintiouse, presaund in armes,
The bonke to forbede, bold men ynow:
Thai hade meruell full mekyll in hor mynd all,
To se the gouernaunce graithe, & the grete chere,
How wisely þo werriours wroghten vndur shild.
There was no Greke so grym, ne of so gret wille,
Durst abate on þo buernes, ne to bonke stride;
Ne afforse hym with fight to ferke out of ship.
But for hom gaynet no ground to get at þe tyme,
But þurghe strenght of strokes, & of strong fight,
And with batell full big on a breme wise,
Þai armyt hom at all peces all the ost well,
Wonyn to þere weppons wyghtly by-dene,
And girdyn vp to þe ground with hor grete shippes.
Prothessalon the proude, of Philace was kyng,
He was formast on flete with the first hundrith,
Þat boldly to bonke braidis to fight.
But his shippes were shent with a sharpe wynd,
Gird on the ground with so grym wille,
Till þai rut on a Rocke, & rent all to peses,
Þat mony was mard & the men drownet:
Vne sunkyn in þe se mony sure knightes.
And who, þat lacchit the lond with the lyf þen,
Were takon with the Troiens & tyrnet to dethe,
Martrid & murthrid, manglit in peses.
Þen the fight wex fell þo fuerse men amonge,
With shot fro the shippes and the shire banke. Page  186
Of Arowes & Awblasters þe aire wex thicke,
And dynnyt with dyntes, þat delte were þat tyme.
The rynels wex red of the ronke blode,
Þat were slayne in the slicche, & in slym lightyn.
There sothely was sene what sorow & pyne,
And how balfull & bittur the banke was to wyn. [folio 89a]
How the grekes were gird vnto grym dethe,
Neuer red was in Romanse with no renke yet,
That any weghes in the world, þat to werre yode,
With soche baret, fro þe bote vnto bank wan,
As hit happit here with so hard fight.
But the secund sort sothely, þat sewet hom aftur,
Were graither of gouernaunce, grippet hor sailes,
And light vnto lond lyuely and sound.
More wisely þai wroght þurgh warnyng before.
Þai preset vp proudly with panys in hond,
In refut of hor felowes, þat were foule mart;
And the Troiens tyt turnyt hom agayne,
ffor-bode hom the banke with mony bale dintes.
Þai braid to þere bowes, bold men in hast,
With alblastis also atlet to shote,
With big bowes of brake bykrit full hard,
Lacchet on þe ledis, þat on lofte stode,
Hurt hom full hidiously, hurlet hom abake.
There were ded of þo dyntes, mony derfe knightes.
The shalkes for þe shot shont fro þe banke,
And the grekes vp gird in a gret nowmber,
ffell fuersly to fight, & hor felowes halpe,
Þo þat left vpon lyue, þof þai lyte were.
Þen gird þai to-gedur with a grym fare!
ffull fell was the fight with þo fuerse troiens.
Prothesselon, þe prise kyng, preuyt his strenght, Page  187
There wonderfully wroght his weghis to helpe;
Mony Troiens with tene tyrnyt to ground,
Thurgh swap of his sword swaltyn belyue!
Mony doughty were ded with dynt of his hond,
And myche fortherit his feris in hor fell angur!
Hade not the freike ben so fuerse with his fell dyntes,
All the grekes hade ben gird vnto grym dethe,
And all brittnet yche ben, þat were to banke comyn. [folio 89b]
But what fortherit his fight, þof he fell were,
With seven thowsaund þro men þrongen to-gedur,
Þere a hundrith hole were on a hepe somyn
All triet men of Troy þat hom tene wroght?
Mony dynttes full dedly delt were anon!
The Grekes were gird doun, & on ground lay,
Mony swonyng, & swalt, & in swym felle.
The grekes were so greuyt, & to grem broght,
Þai wold fayn haue ben forthe, fled on hor way,
But no wise might þo weghis wyn into ship;
Ne to lepe fro þe lond into þe low se,
Hit was not holsom for hom, so hard was the stour!
Hom was leuer on þe lond leng at hor aunter,
And be brittnet in batell, þen burbull in the flod.
Þai fell fuersly to fight, þo few þat þere were,
And put all þere pouer, pynyt hom sore.
The Troiens dong hom doun in the depe slithe,
Mony lost hor lyues, & light in the water,
And were ded in the depe withouten dyn more.
The might was so mekyll of þo mayn Troiens,
Þai hade no strenght to withstond, ne hor stid holde,
But all borne were þai backe to þe buerne syde,
And hade deghit by-dene with dynttes of hond;
But Archelaus in armys auntrid to banke, Page  188
And fell vnto fight his feris to helpe.
Now batell on bent þo buernes betwene,
The grevans was gret þo grekes among;
Assemblit were sone þe same in þe fight,
And restorit full stithly þe stuff of þe grekes.
ffell was the fight & fuerse hom agaynes,
And mony deghit with dynt of þo derfe pepull:
Mony harmys þai hent er hor helpe come.
Þen Nestor anon neghit to lond,
With his shippis full shene, & sharpe men of armys, [folio 90a]
Hard hastid to helpe with heturly wille,
And sodainly with his sort soght into batell!
Speiris into sprottes spronge ouer hede;
Arowes vp in the aire ysshit full þicke;
Swordis, with swapping, swaruyt on helmes;
The dede, vnder dynttes, dusshit to ground;
Cloudis with the clamour claterit aboue,
Of the dit & þe dyn, þat to dethe went!
Prothenor the prise kyng, & proud Archelaus,
Mony tolke of þe Troiens tyrnyt to dethe.
Þen Ascalus & Alacus auntrid to lond,
And aryuen full rad with þere rank shippes:
With þere pouer full prist past fro þe water,
Brusshet into batell, & myche bale wroght.
So felly in fere foghtyn þo two,
Obacke went the batell of þe burghe folke;
But þere were fele other fresshe, þat no fight touchit,
Þat gird into the grekes with a grym will,
And all backward hom bere to þe buerne side,
Þat fer from þe flode might no freke wyn.
Then Vlexes come vp vne with his folke,
Wan out of þe water & his weghis all,
And braid into batell with a brem wille.
Sharpe was the shoure the sheltrun [amonge]! Page  189
The Grekes geton hor ground, þat [graidly was lost],
And myche comford hom the co[m of þat kene knight].
Mony woundes þai wroght, [and warpit to dethe]!
Vlixes with vtteraunse vnder [his shild],
Mony stithe in stoure stroke on [þere helmes];
Launsit, as a lyoun, þat were [lengen aboute],
And of the ffrigies fell with [his fuerse dinttes]: [folio 90b]
Sum he stroke in the stoure streght to þe erthe;
Sum dange to the dethe, & derit full mykyll.
The proud kyng of Pafligon persayuit his dede,—
One Philmene, a freike of the ferre halue,—
He gird hym to ground with a grym speire;
And he fell vppon fote, faght with the kyng.
And Philmene the fuerse, with a fell dynt,
Vttrid Vlixes vne in the place,
Þat hit shot þrough the shilde & þe shire maile,
To þe bare of þe body, þat the blade folowet;
And he gird to þe ground with a grym hurt,
Hade no strenght for to stond, ȝet he stert vp,
And frusshit at Philmene with a fyn launse.
With all the might & the mayn, þat the mon hade,
He hit hym so hetturly on hegh on the shild,
Þat he breke þurgh the burd to the bare throte;
Hurlet þurghe the hawbergh, hurt hym full sore;
The gret vayne of his gorge gird vne ysondur,
Þat the freike, with the frusshe, fell of his horse,
Halfe ded of the dynt, dusshet to ground.
The Troiens for þat tulke had tene at hor hert;
Kayron euyn to the kyng, caght hym belyue;
Harlet hym fro horsfet, had hym away.
[He] for ded of þe dynt was drest on his shild,
[And bou]rne on the burde to þe burgh hom;
[For the de]the of þis duke doll was ynogh
[That trublit þe] Troiens with tene, trist ye no nother Page  190
[Myche harm to þem] happit here at þis tyme!
[The Grekes were] so grym þat were to ground comyn,
[Mony dukes were] ded of þe derfe Troiens.
[Þan Toa]x of Toilé Telemon the kyng,
[Agamynon, &] Aiax, & all oþer shippis,
[Come launchond to] lonnd and hor lordes all:
And Menelaus the mighty, & his men hole, [folio 91a]
ffull radly arofe, raiked to lond;
Halet vp horses, highet olofte;
And fellon vnto fight þere feres to helpe,
Þat were strongly be-stad in a stoure hoge.
To the Troiens þai turnyt & mekill tene wroght!
The frusshe was so felle, þo fuerse men betwene,
Crakkyng of cristis, crusshyng of speiris,
The clynke & þe clamour claterit in the aire,
And with dynttes of derfe men dynnet the erthe;
Mony Troiens with tene were tyrnyt to ground,
Sum ded of þo dynttes, sum depe woundit;—
Restoret the stithe batell strongly anon,
And mony dongen to dethe of the derfe Troiens.
Then Prothessalon þe prise kyng, þat preset to lond
ffirst in the forward, þat his folke lost,
He was wery for-wroght, & woundet full sore,—
Hade laburt so longe, hym list for to rest,—
And bowet fro the batell to þe bonke side,
ffor to beld hym on þe bent, & his brethe take.
And o sithen he soght to þe se euyn,
Þere þe fight was first, & the folke drounet;
Þen he plainly persayuit his pepull were ded,—
Þat no lede of þat lordes vppon lyue was.
Soche a sorowe of þat sight sanke to his hert,
Þat his wedis wex wete of his wan teris,
And he, stithely astonyt, stert into yre;
More breme to þe batell his baret to venge, Page  191
Of his folke þat were fallyn vnto fell dethe,
Hard highet vnto horse with a hert þro,
fforto felle of þe ffrigies felly he þoght.
Onon with a naked sword neghit to batell,
Vne wode of his wit as a wild lyon,
Mony breme on þe bent brittoned to ground. [folio 91b]
Mony kild the kyng in his clene yre!
Myche tene þe Troiens tid of his hond!
Then Perses the proude kyng prise mon of ynde,
With a batell of bowmen fro the burgh come,
And with a fernet fare fell to þe stoure.
At whose come the cuntre-men comford were all,
And restoret the stithe fight stuernly agayn;
As fresshe to þere fos as at the first tyme,
Gird to the Grekes, & moche grem wroght;
Woundit hom wikkedly, walt hom to ground,
Oppresset hom with pyne, put hom abake,
All the batell to þe bonke, & mony buerne slogh.
Þere the grekes hade ben grymly gird vnto dethe,
Ne hade Palomedon, the prise kyng, preset to lond,
With fele fightyng folke of fuerse men of armys;
Halet vp horses hard out of bote,
Wonyn on wightly, wentyn to batell,
His folke to refresshe with a fyn wille.
The assembly was sorer o þe se banke;
Mony deghit full dernly, dole to be-holde!
Then the grekes agayne geton þere hertes,
And myche comford kaght of his come þen.
This Palomydon paynyt hym pepull to slee,
And mony woundys he wroght in his wild yre.
He soght to on Symagon, a sad mon of armys,—
Kyng Merion þe mighty was his met brother,
Þat fele had confoundit of the fuerse grekes;—
He bere to þe bold with a big sworde,
And rof þurgh the Ribbes right to þe hert, Page  192
Þat he fell of his horse flat to þe ground,
Deghit of þe dynt, & deiret no moo.
Palomydon preset furth into þe prise batell;
Mony tulke out of Troy tyrnyt to dethe; [folio 92a]
Mony knight don cast to þe cold erthe.
All were ferd of þe freike, fled of his way;
Durst no buerne on hym bate for his bold dedis.
Myche clamour & crye was kyde in þe ost,
Þat the Troiens for tene might tary no lengur;
But with prise of Palomydon put all abake,
And fer in the fight fell hom the worse,
Vne boun fro þe batell busket to fle,
Vntill Ector eris hit entrid belyue
The great noise of þe noy, þat in note was.
He lepe on a light horse lyuely enarmyt,
And soght to þe se banke to socur his pepull;
Wode in his wrathe wynnys into batell!
All shone his shilde & his shene armur,
Glissenond of gold with a glayre hoge:
Thre lions the lord bare all of light goulis,
Þat were shapon on his shild, shalkes to be|holde.
He gird to the grekes with a grym yre;
In the brest of the batell, þere buernes were thicke,
He ffrusshet so felly freikes to ground;
Made wayes full wide þe weghis among;
Shot thurgh the sheltrons, shent of þe pepull.
To Prothesselon he preset, þat pepull hade slayn,
And myche wo had wroght on þe wild troiens.
He swappit at hym swithe with a swerd felle;
Hit on his hede a full hard dynt;
Clefe þurghe the criste & the clene maile; Page  193
Slit hym down sleghly thurghe the slote euyn,
Bode at the belt stid, and the buerne deghit.
Then leuet he the lede, launchet on ferre,
Mony dange to the dede with dynt of his hond:
Who happit hym to hitte harmyt nomo.
Mony brem in the batell britnet to dethe,
Sundrit the soppis vnsarkonly with hondes:
All gird of his gate, gevyn hym the way.
Iche freike of þat furse fraynit at other,
Þat our folke þus felly flynges to ground:
Þen þai knowen by course of his clene shap,
Þat it was Ector the honerable, eddist of knightes.
Thai fled fro the fase of his felle dynttes,
So bold was no buerne his bir to withstond,
Ne þe caupe of his kene sword kast hom to mete.
Whill he bode in the batell, þe buerne with his honde
Mony grekes with grem he gird to the dethe.
All failit þere forse, feblit þere herttes,
The batell on backe was borne to þe se.
Then wery he wex, & of his werke hote,
Bowet fro the batell, & his buernes leuyt.
The sun in his sercle set vndurnethe;
The light wex las, he leuyt the fild,
Soght to þe Cité soberly & faire,
Left his feris in þe fild fightyng full hard.
Then grekes agayne getton þere herttes,
ffrushet þe ffrigies felly to ground;
So hit tid hom tensiche betymys þat day.
But þe Troiens full tore turnyt agayne,
ffoghten so felly, frunt hom o backe,
Kyld mony knightes, cacchit on hard,
Greuyt so the grekes, þai graithet to fle,
Were borne to þe banke with baret ynogh.
Then Achilles the choise cheuyt to land, [folio 93a] Page  194
With his shippes in a sheltrun, & skalkes within;
Gird vp to þe ground with a grym fare,
With þre thowsaund þro men þristé in armys;
ffell to þe fight on a fuerse wise.
Myche tene the Troiens tid of his hond!
The grekes keuriyt for comford by comyng of hym.
ffell was the fight þo frekes betwene!
Mony gird to þe ground, and to grym dethe;
Mony lede out of lyue light on the erthe!
The stoure was so stithe þo strong men among,
That full mekull was the murthe, & mony were ded.
The Troiens full tyte were tyrnit to ground:
Thurghe Achilles chiualry hom cheuyt the worse.
Mony fell þat freike with his fuerse dynttes!
Myche blode on the bent, bale for to se;
Of myrthe & of murnyng thurgh might of hym one.
Then the last of þo lefe shippis launchit to bonke,
And all the fighting folke fell to þe lond;
Gyrdyn in grymly into grete batell.
The multitude was so mykyll at þe mene tyme,
Of the grekes vppon ground, & of grym folke,
The Troiens for tene tyrnyt the backe,
ffleddon in fere, & the filde leuyt;
All somyn to the Cité soghten by-dene,
With myche clamur & crie for care of hor dethe.
Mony warchond wound, and weré at all,
Mony chivalrous Achilles choppit to dethe:
All his wedis were wete of þaire wan blode!
As þai flaghe in the filde, þe freke with his hond,
So he gird hom to ground with a grym sword,
To þe Cité forsothe, cessit þai noght. Page  195
Moche angre at the entré auntrid to falle,
To the Troiens with tene, er þai toun entred.
Myche slaghte in the slade, & slyngyng of horse! [folio 93b]
Mony derfe þere deghit, was dole to beholde!
ffull myche was the murthe, & more hade þere bene,
Hade not Troilus the tene turnyt to fight,
And Paris the prise with pepull ynogh,
With Deffebus the derfe, of dedis full felle,
Þat fell to þe frusshe of þe fuerse grekes;
Issuet out egurly, angret full mony,
And so sesit the suet, soghtyn no ferre.
The night was so nigh, noye was the more,
The day was done, dymmet the skyes.
The Troiens full tite tyrnyt the ȝates,
Barret hom bigly with barres of yrne.
Achilles with his chiualers chefe to þe bonke,
All the grekes agayn Agamynon vnto.
The Emperoure hym owne selfe ordant onon,
fforto bilde vp tenttes, tariet no lengur.
Sithen hym selfe assignet the gret
Placis of pauylions, for the prise kynges
Grete tenttes to graide, as þaire degre askit;
Logges to las men, with leuys of wod.
Iche buerne, on his best wise, busket to lenge,
ffor the night was so neghe, noyet hom all.
Stablit vp hor stedis & hor stithe horses,
On suche maner as þai might, for the mene tyme;
And all necessaries for þe night, þat þai naite shuld,
ffecchit fro the flete, & ferkit to bonke.
Thaire shippis in sheltrons shotton to lond,
Knyt hom with cables & with kene ancres,
And bound hom full bigly on hor best wise.
As Agamynon the grete the gomys commaundyt, Page  196
Brode firis & brem beccyn in þe ost,
Torchis and tendlis the tenttes to light,
That yche freike in the fild his felow might know, [folio 94a]
Alse light on to loke, as þe leue day.
Other feris opon fer the freikes withoute,
With skowte wacche for skathe & skeltyng of harme.
The Troiens with tene, þat in the towne were,
Neghit hom not negh, ne no noy did,
But closit the clene yates, keppit hom within.
This Agamynon, the grete, gaynit no slepe.
Bisé was the buerne all the bare night,
To ordan for his Enmyes, as I er saide,
ffolke opon fer, the firis withoute,
ffor to wacche and to wake for wothis of harme,
With qwistlis, & qwes, & other qwaint gere,
Melody of mowthe myrthe for to here;
And men of armys full mony made for to stond,
In soppes on sere halfe the sercle to kepe;
The ost out of angur & auntur to were,
Wacche wordes to wale, þat weghis might know;
Sore men & seke soundly to rest,
Þat were feblet in fight, & hade fele woundes,
To lie in hor lodges a littell at ese.
Armet were all men for auntur to come,
Till the derke was don, & the day sprange,
And the sun in his sercle set vppo lofte.
This fight was the first þo felons betwene,
Syn thay light on the lond:—lord giffe vs ioye!
Page  197

xv Boke. Of the Ordinaunce of the Croiens to the Secund Batell.

Ector the Honerable, erly at Morne,
When the sun vp soght with his softe beames,
Ledar of the ledis, þat longit to Troy,
He purpost his pepull with his pure wit, [folio 94b]
ffor to fare to the fight, & the fild take.
He somond all the Cité vppon sere haluys,
Euery buerne to be boun on hor best wise,
Armyt at all peses abill to fight;
And assemblit in sad hast hym seluyn before,
On a place, þat was playn, plesaund with all,
There a temple was tild of tide Diana,
ffull worthely wroght weghis to beholde.
Thidur comyn the kynges with knightes enarmyt,
And were pertid full pristly, put into batell,
By deuyse of the duke, þat doghtie was aye,
As for the fight at the full on the first day.
ffor to ȝarpe vp the ȝate, he ȝepely comaund,
Þat hight Dardan by-dene duly to nome.
Of his cosyns he cald kyde men two:
On Glaucon, a gome þat graithe was in armys,
(He was a knight full kant, the kynges son of Lice,
And a wight mon in wer, wild of his dedis)
And Synabor, forsothe, the secund was he,
Ector owne brother, abill to fight. Page  198
To hom assignet the souerain, all of sure knightes,
A thowsaund full þro, þriuaund in wer,
Strong men in stoure, sturnest of will,
Witty and wild, waled men all
Of the ledis of Lice & of leue troy.
In Neptune nome & nobill goddis other,
Bad hom wend for hor worship tho worthy to|gedur;
And þai glode furth gladly at the grete yate,
Tawardes the grekes on the ground in a grym ost.
Þen ordant Ector, of honerable knightes,
Of wise men in wer, wightly a thowsaund;
Betaght to Teseus, of trasy was kyng,
With archilacus a choise knight in his chere som; [folio 95a]
Gaf loue to þo lordys, let hom pas on,
Bed hom fare to þe frekys, þat before were,
And bothe in a batell as hom best lyket.
The secund batell, sothely, þe soueran araiet,
Of thre thowsond þro knyghtis, þryuond to|gedur,
And assignet hom, for soueran, Xantipus þe kyng,
And Ascane also, abill of dedys,
Þat of frigie þe faire, þai were fre kynges.
Þen be leue of þe lord, þo ledys in fere
Bowet to þe brode ȝate, hor burnys hom with,
And gon tooward þe grekis with a grete chere.
The þrid batell in þe burgh, þat þe buerne made,
Was as mony abill knyghtes, auntrus of hond,
Of þe tulkys of troy, tidé men all,
With Troilus to turne furthé, truest of knyghtes.
And ector full onestli his aune brother taght,
With fayre wordis in faythfull of hys fre will:—
"Dere brother and derfe, I dout me full sore,
Lest þi friknes so furse, in þi fell hert, Page  199
Brynge þe to bale for þi bold dedys;
Þat þou couet be-curse to caire into woche,
And ouer fer on þi fose fare by þi seluyn!
I pray þe full prestli, with all my pure saule,
Þat þou kepe þi corse, for case þat may fall,
And fare not with foli oure fos for to glade,
Ne wirk not vnwysly in þi wilde dedis,
Þat þi manhod be marte thurgh þi mysrewle;
But bere þe in batell as a buerne wyse,
Þat þi fose thurgh þi foli þe faynen not worthe,
Ne be cheryst with chere thurgh our chaunse febyll!
Go furthe now with fortune, þat þe fayre happyn!
Our goddis the gouerne, & soche grace lene, [folio 95b]
Þat þou the victorie wyn, thi worship to saue,
And to þis Citie in sound þi seluyn may come."
Than Troilus tomly talket agayne:—
"Dere sir, of my dedis doute no thing!
With grase of our goddes, in our gate furthe,
Your comaundement to kepe, as my kynd brother,
And my lord, þat is lell, my lust shalbe ay!"
Than he past with his pepull to the playn fild,
Thre thowsaund thromen, without þrepe more.
This the bold knight bare for his bright armys;
All his shelde was to shew shynyng of gold,
With þre lions lyuely launchound þerin,
Ouer-gilt full gay, gomys to behold:
And so he fore to his fos with a fyne wille!
The furthe batell in the burghe the bold knight arayet,
Of fell fightyng men full þre thowsaund,
All of knightes full kene, kyddest in armys,
And seven hundreth besyde, all of sure knightes,
Vnder ledyng of a lord in Larrys was kyng,— Page  200
Hupon the hoge, a hegh mon of stature,
And in batell full big, bold of his hondes;
Dissyrus was the Duke in dedes of armys,
Of all the Troiens, to tell, torest in fight,
Saue Ector the honerable, oddist of knightes.
And in his company come a kyd mon in armys,
On Ardelaus full auntrus, abill of person,
Þat come with the same kyng fro his kythe riche,
And was doughty of his dedis, derf on a stede.
Þes laughten þere leue at þe lefe prince,
And gone to þe grekes with a grym chere,
Soghten the same yate softly to gedur; [folio 96a]
And on Damake, by-dene, þat was dere brother,
To Ector hym owne selfe, auntrid hom with,
As for doghty of dede & for dere holdyn.
The ffyfte batell of bold men, þat the buerne made,
He ordant on Oyscm, the honerable kyng,
Of the ledis of the lond the ledyng to haue,
With Polidamus of prise, the prinses owne brother.
Þes Oysoms all were od men of strenght,
Massily made, mykell as giaunttes,
And all þere colouris to ken was of clene yalow,
With-outen difference to deme dubbit þerin:
All luttyn the lord & þere leue toke,
And foren onon to þe fild þaire fos to assaile.
The Sexte Batell, þat was sent fro þe Cité þen,
Ordant by Ector [of] odmen & noble,—
The pepull of Poyem, with þere pure kynges,
And Seripes, a sad Duke of the same lond,
Þat were fond to the fight, fell of hor dedis.
Vnarmyt were þai all, aunter was the more,—
No helmys, ne hawberghes, ne no hard shildes,—
Bowmen of the best, þo buernes were all,
Well enfourmet of þe fete, & hade fyne takell: Page  201
Mony woundis þai wroght, wete ye for sothe,
Bothe on horse & on here harmyt full mekull.
By ordinaunce of Ector, þes odmen to lede,
Was Deffibus demyt of his dere brother:
Þen þai lacchen þere leue at the lord euyn,
fforen to the fild with a fyn will.
To þes bowmen bold, þat of burgh went,
Ector did ordan od men of armys,
A gret nowmber for the nonest, noble knightes all,
Vnder care of two kynges, þat þai come with: [folio 96b]
Philon the fuerse, faithly was on,
And Esdras þat other, eddist in wer,
With all the gomes of Agresta, gode men & abill.
This Philon the fre kyng, þat I first nemyt,
Hade a chariot full choise, as þe chalke wyte,
All of yuer full onest, ordant for hym;
And the whelis full wheme, all of white aumber.
Couert with a cloth all of clene gold,
Dubbit full of diamondis, & oþer dere stones,
fframet ouer fresshly with frettes of perle.
Two dromoudarys drowe hit, dressit þerfore,
And led it furth lyuely with light men of armys,
Vne full for the fight, & fuerse men & nobill.
With the kynges in company comaund the prinse,
His aune brother full bold, barly to wend,
Þat hym fell on his fader side a fighter full nobill.
Nowther lut he þe lord, ne no leue toke,
But kaires fourthe with the kyng & his course held.
The Seuynt, þat assignet was the souerain before,
Was auntrus Eneas, abill of person;
In his company clene, the knightes of the lond,
Þat heldyn in hede of þat high Cité, Page  202
With fele fightyng folke of the fuerse comyns,
Þat were gouernet by a gome, þat was graith holdyn,—
A fyne squier & a fuerse,—Eufemius he hight;
At Ector þai asket leue, & yssuit furth somyn.
The Eghtid Batell in the burgh, þat the buerne set,
Vnder Serces for-sothe, the souerain of Percé,
With all the pepull of his prouynce, prise men & nobill,
And his brother of blud, þat he best loued.
Paris he put to þere pure hede,
And said hym full soberly, all in soft wordes, [folio 97a]
Þof he bownet fro the burgh to the batell euyn,
Þat he fell not to fight with no felle grekes,
Till hym selfe were beside for socour at nede.
And Paris to the prinse pertly aunsward;—
"Sir, your comaundement to kepe, I cast me for|sothe,
With all the might, þat I may, at þis mene tyme."
He lut hym full lelly, & his leue toke,
And past furth with his pepull to þe playn fild.
Then Ector, hym owne selfe ordant belyue,
The last batell to lede of his lege pepull.
Of the truemen of Troy & his triet brether,
He toke with hym ten, most tristy in wer,
And fyue thowsaund fuerse, all of fyn knightes,
Wise men of were, & of wit nobill,
ffor to fare to þe fight with þaire fre prinse.
Hym selfe on a sad horse surely enarmyt,
Þat Galathe, with gomys gyuen was to nome,
Of whose mykill, & might, & mayn strenght,
Dares, in his dytyng, duly me tellus.
When the lede was o lofte, as hym list be,
Armyt well at [all] peces, as I er said, Page  203
He caires furth to þe kyng & his kynd fader,
Lowtis euyn to þe lord, & on lowde saide:—
"Dere fader, full faire, & my fre kyng!
Ye shall haue in a here of hend men a thous|aund,
All of knightes full kene, & kid men of armys,
With all the fotemen in fere, þat are to fight abill.
Abidis here at the border, buske ye no fer!
Lokis well to þe listis, þat no lede passe!
If any stert vpon stray, strike hym to dethe,
Oure Cité to saue fro our sad fos!
I haue messangers with me, made for þe nonest, [folio 97b]
Þat ffor perell or purpos shall pas vs betwene,
Bodword for to bryng, as we best lykys;—
All tythondys to tell, as tydis vs in fight,
How vs happys to haue, in hast shall ye wete.
And wysly bes ware waytys to þe towne,
On yche half forto hede, þat no harme fall,
Þat our fos with no faulshed in þe fyght tyme,
Sese not our Cité, our seluyn to pyne,
Ne rob not our ryches, ne our ryf godys.
Be ye wayt for þe wallis, warden of all,
And a post for all perellis youre pepull to saue,
As stuf of our strenkyth, yf we stond hard!"
Þen Priam to þe prinse prestly onswart:—
"Dere son, all be don, as þou demyt has!
I haue no hope of no halp, after hegh goddys,
But in stuf of þi strenkyght, & þi stythe arme;
In þi wyt, and þi warnes, & þi wyght dedys,
With þi gouernanse graythe, & þi gode rewle!
Þerfore, prestly I pray to oure pure sanctys,
Þat þai saue þe in sound, sent to þi hele;
Kepe þe fro cumbranse, & fro cold dethe;
And leue me þi lyf in lykyng to se!"
So þe lede toke leue, lut to hys fader, Page  204
Past furthe to hys pepull, & hys pas held.
He was wyght and wylfull, wysyst in batell,
Strongest in stour, sturnest of other;
Euer frike to þe fyght, fayntid he neuer.
Leder of þe ledys, þat longyt to Troy,
Hys armys were auenond, abill to fyght;
Hys feld was of fyn gold, freche to behold,
With þre lyons launchond, all of lyght goulys.
Þus he glod on hys gate, and hys gomys all,
With hys baners o brode, and þe burght past,
Penons & penselles, proud men of armys; [folio 98a]
ffore euyn to þe feld, and hys ferys leuyt,
Prykyd furthe prestly, past on hys way!
Þof he lengyt to þe last, er he leue toke,
He was foundyn þe fyrst, þat in feld stroke,
And þe sonest in assembly in þe sad fyght.
All þe worshypfull wemen of þe wale toune
Wentyn to þe wallys, þe weghys to behold.
Þe kyngys doughter, bedene, droghin hom alofte,
With honerable Elan, þat arghit in hert;
Myche fere had þat fre, & full was of þoght,
All droupond in drede and in dol lengyt,
Þof Ector þe honerable had ordant hys folke,
And bateld hom bygly, on hys best wyse;
Vnder gouernanse graythe, all hys grym ost
In rewle and aray redy to fyght.
Agamynon hys grekys graythyt to feld:
Twenty batels full bold of byg men of armys,
And sex other besyde, all of sure knyghtys.
Patroclus, þe proud kyng, put to þe first,
With all þe folke, þat hym folowet, and fele other moo.
Achylles choise men cheuyt hym with;
Hym-selfe fore to no fyght for hys fel wondys,
But lay in hys loge, lechit hys sores. Page  205
Þis patroclus, þe proud kyng, was full pure ryche,
Of aunsetre olde, abyll of kyn,
Wel manert & meke, myghti of pupull.
Achylles, þe choise kyng, cherist hym mekill,
And louyt hym no lesse þen hym lefe seluyn.
Þay were so festenyt with faythe, & wythfyn loue,
Þat bothe þaire saulis & þaire self were set on a wyll
And qwat so tendit to þe totheris was all.
The secund batell, forsothe, assignet was þen
To Merion, a mody kyng, þat mekull couth of were,
With þre thousond þro knyghtis, þrepond in Armys,
And Menestaus the mighty, with his men of Attens. [folio 98b]
To Atholapo, a tore kyng, takyn was the þrid,
And Philmene, his faire son, fre in his hond,
With all the company clene of comaynes pepull,—
Wise men in wer, wight of hor dedes.
The ffourthe batell in feld, he fourmet to leng
With Archelaus, a lede lyuely in armys,
And Prothenor, a prise kyng, with his pepull holl:
In the same was Segurda, with sad men & noble.
The fyfte, þat was fourmit of þo fuerse batell,
Was Menelay the mighty, with his men all,
With the pepull of his prouynse, & his pert knightes.
The Sext of þat sort, þat soght to þe fild,
Was kyng bysshop the bold, with his buernes felle;
And Selidis, for sothe, soght in his honde,
With all the here, þat he hade, highet hym with. Page  206
The Seuent of the soum, þat I said ere,
Was Telamon þe tidé, with mony tried knightes,
Þat suett hym from salerne, sad men & noble,
With foure Erles in fere, fell men of wer,—
Theseus the tru, & tide Amphimake,
And on Domys, the doghty, doutid in fild,
With Polisarius the pert, of person full abill:
Thes comyn with the kyng in his clene batell.
The viij ffreke, þat to feld fore with his batell,
Was Toax, a tore kyng, & tidé of hond.
The ix of the nowmber, to nem þom full euyn,
Was Aiax Oelius, with od men to wale.
And Philoc, the fell kyng, fore with the tenth.
Nestor, the noble Duke, an old man with all,
The xi with odmen auntrid to fild.
The xij vnthwyuond, þat twyet not in fight,
Was Maumbert mayn son, mightfull Henex. [folio 99a]
The xiij thro batell þrong with Vlixes,
That past to the playn with proud men of armys.
The xiiij to þe fight fore with Arestes.
Humelius, the hasty, highit with the fyftene.
Protessalous proud son presit with the sextene,
ffor to dere for the dethe of his dere fader.
Polidarius, the porknell, and his pere Machaon,
Suet with the xvij, sad men & noble.
The riche kyng of the Rodes raiked with the xviij,
With fell men in fight to the fild past.
The xix of the nowmbur a nobill mon toke,
One Gumplius a gome, þat mony grekes led.
And Philoc the freke fore with the twenti,
Þat of Larris was lord & a lege kyng.
With xxj auntrid abill men two,—
Amphimas, a fre kyng, and his fere Cepton.
With xxij vnthwyuond twyet to filde, Page  207
Dyomede, the derfe kyng, and doughty Celernis.
Eneus, the nobill kyng, þat neghit fro Sypris,
With xxiij þriuond, þronge to the playne.
Procholus, a prise kyng, presit with another.
Now xxiiij fully are faren to þe batell.
Cupenor, a cant man, come with the next,—
The xxv fully, all of fyn knightes.
The xxvj of the soume, þat I said first,
Of bold batels & bigge, þat to bent come,
Led Agamynon the grete, with grekes full mony,
And fore euyn to þe fight, & the fild toke.
When the batell on bothe haluys were to bent comyn,
ffor to fight in the fild, all þo fuerse pepull, [folio 99b]
Ector the auntrus, ablist of knightes,
Was the first in the fild, þat to fight entrid,
Toke his horse with his helis, hastid before,
Gird euon to þe grekes with a grete yre,
ffrusshet to the forward, felly anon.
Patroclus persayuit, þat the pepull led,
Þat was formast in fight with a felle speire.
He auntrid vpon Ector, atlit hym a dynt,
With all the forse of his fole & his fuerse arme;
He shot þrough the shild & the shene maile,
To þe ynmast of his armur, angardly fast;
Hit neghit to þe nakid, but no noy did.
Ector for þat od dynt, ournyt in hert,
Wode for the wap, as a wild lyon;
His speire into sprottes sprongyn was before,
But he braid out a brond with a bill felle,
Carve euyn at the kyng & þe crest hit,
Slit hym full slighly to þe slote euyn,
Þat he dusshet, of þe dynt, dede to þe ground. Page  208
When the kyng was kyld, cast to þe grene,
His shene armys to shew shone in the filde.
Ector to þe erth egurly light,
The gay armur to get of the gode hew,
That he duly dessirit in his depe hert;
And to spoile that spilt kyng he sped ferr.
His horse in his hond held by the reyne,
And come to þe kyng, þere the corse lay,
Wold haue Robbit the Renke of his riche wede.
With the ton hond in the toile tyrnyt it offe: [folio 100a]
But Merion the mighty with a mayn pepull,
With þre thousaund þro men þrong hym vnto.
In defence of the freike, þat on fild lay,
To Ector in ernyst full angurdly said:
"Nay, warloghe wolfe, in þi wode hongur,
Þat neuer of forray art full, with þi foule vse,
The tydis not to taste of þis triet meite!
ffor-bode the firke þi fode forto wyn!
Sone shall þou se in a sad hast,
A C thousaund on horse highand þe to,
Thyn hede forto haue, & hew þe to dethe,
And put þe fro purpos, þi payn to encres!"
Sone, by the same kyng & his sad helpis,
He was borne fro þe body, backward agayn.
His horse for to haue, þai hasted by-dene,
And mony strokes, in þat stoure, þo stithe men hym gefe,
Till þe knight, vndur knappis, vppon knes fell.
Then he stert vp full stithly, with his store might,
Was on hys wight horse, for wepyn or other.
ffor all the grefe of þo grekes, & þe grete þronge,
Was no led might hym let, þof hom lothe were.
He meuit taward Merion his malis to venge,
Wode of his wit, in his wan yre; Page  209
But Glaucon the grete, with a grym batell,
Theseus, þe tore kyng, turnyt hym agayn,
With iij. M. þro men þronge hym aboute,
And socurd the same kyng with hor sad helpis.
But the first of þo frekes þat he fell to,
Was Archilacus, a choise kyng, hym cheuit full ille:
The buerne, with his bare sword, bere hym to dethe,
Þat he felle of his fole flat to þe ground!
Mony on he martrid at the meane tyme!
The pruddist, þat hym preset, plainly he slogh. [folio 100b]
Breme was the batell on the bent þan!
Mony stithe, in the stoure, stale fro þere lyues.
Yet Ector, eftsones, ettillit to assay,
And Patroclus proud geere preset to haue.
He light doune full lyuely, lettid he noght,
And bounet to þe body, þere the buerne lay.
Þen come þere a kyng with kene men of armys,
Idymynus, full dernly, & dressit hym to,
With two thowsaund þro knightes, & þronge hym aboute:
And Myrion, þat I mynt, with his men all.
Thay preset so the prince with power of knightes,
Þat þai warnit hym his wille, & away put:
But fele dynttes he delt, & to dethe cast,
And other weghis hym with woundet the grekes.
When he segh þat hym-selfe was set vppon fote,
And so fele of his fos fuerse hym aboute,
All horset but he, & on hegh set,
He aforset hym felly with his fyn strenght;
Gird to the grekes in his grete yre.
Mony woundis he wroght, weghis to dethe;
Hondes of hew heturly fast;
Mony foteles freike of his fell dinttes;
ffele horses with his hond hew he to dethe, Page  210
Till all shent fro þat shene, & þe shalke leuyt!
So he rid hym a rowme in a rad hast,
Of þo tulkes, with tene, þat hym take wold.
Than Merion, þe mody kyng, þat I mynt first,
Presit to Patroclus in place þere he lay,
Braid vp the body on his big horse,
And so the freike hym before ferkit to his tent.
Now the grekes with grem gedrit vnto Ector,
His horse for to haue, & hym away lede.
Thay caupit at the knight, kene men of armys,
Þat the wegh on no wise might wyn on his horse.
In þat company kene was a knight noble,
That Carion was cald by his kynd nome,
ffull ernestly with Ector auntrid to fight;
Gaf hym dinttes full dedly, & derit hym mekill.
But a souerain seruand of þe same prinse [folio 101a]
Segh his maistur at mischefe amonges his fos;
Two speirus full dispitus he sparet to cast,
Þat fuerse were before & of fell bite.
At the knight Carion cast he þat one,
As he mellit with his maistur, merkit hym euyn,
Hit hym so hitturly with a hard dynt,
Þat he gird to þe ground, & þe gost yalde.
Þen anoþer, þat was next, noyet hym alse,
Mellit with his maistur at þe mene tyme,
The tother speire, þat he sparit, spent vpon hym:
Brochit hym þrough þe body þat þe buerne swalt.
Then criet he full cantly þe knightes vpon,
And the tyde men of Troy, with a tore steuyn,
In hast for to hye to þere hed prinse,
Þat in perell was put in plite to be slayn.
Þen Synabor, forsothe, with a sad pepull,
Neghit to þe note,—his naturall brother;
He come to þe crye with a cant will,
And gird to the grekes mony grym dynt,
ffelled mony fuerse men with his fyne strenght, Page  211
Made wais full wide, wan to his lord,
Halpe hym full hertely, hurt of his fos;
Gird hom to ground, & to grym dethe.
Thretty of þe þroest he þronge out of lyue:
Mony weghis he woundit & warpit to erthe!
Þen the troiens full tyt tokyn þere hertes,
ffell of hor fos with a frike wille,
Getyn þere ground with a gret strenght,
And frusshet þere fos fer vppo backe.
ffuerse Ector was fayn of his fyn helpe,
And as wode as a wild bore wan on his horse. [folio 101b]
He shouuyt þurgh his sheltrum, shent mony grekes,
And mard of þo men, out of mynd fele;
Gird hom to ground with mony grym hurt.
All þat met hym with malis in þe mene tyme,
Auther dyet of his dynttes, or were ded wondit.
The grekes, for þe greuaunce, gyuen hym þe way,
ffled all in fere, ferd of hor dethe.
Mony batell he broke, myche bale wroght,
All his wedis wex wete of hor wan blode:
Þen found he no frekes to fraist on his strenght,
Ne non so derfe to endure a dynt of his hond.
Then Menestaus, þe mighty, with his men hole,
The Duke of Athens full derf, drogh into batell,
With þre thowsaund þro men, þriuond in armys,
And other folke full fuerse, þat the freike hade.
He launchit in o þe left side with his ledis all,
There Troilus the tried, turnyd to fight
With the frigies fell, þat þe freike lad,
Þat myche greuaunce & grem to þe grekes did;
With Alcanus, a kyng, a kid man of strenght,
And Machaon, the mighty, with his men all:
Xantipus the same batell sothely was þen.
There mynget þai þere men, machit hom to-gedur;
Mony dedly dint delt hom amonge! Page  212
Big was the batell vpon bothe haluys,
And myche slaghtur in slade, & slyngyng to ground!
Troilus, in the toile, turnyt was of hors,
ffaght vppon fote felly agayne:
Mony woundit the wegh of his wale fos.
Menestaus, the mighty, mainly beheld,
Segh Troiell in toile, & tynt had his horse,
ffoght vppon fote in þe fuerse batell,
And myche harme with his hond happit to do.
Then aforsit hym the freike with his fuerse knightes,
Troilus to take and to tent lede. [folio 102a]
Presit hym full prudly with his prise folke,
Halit hym fro horse fete, & in hond toke.
Then he led hym furthe lyuely, and his wille hade.
But a mon of þat mighty, þat Myseres was cald,
To the frigies in fere felly he saide;—
"Alas! ledis of þis lond, þat ye lyfe haue!
Wherto bounet ye to batell in your bright geire,
Whethur worship to wyn, or willfully shame?
Se ye not the sun of youre sure kyng,
With torfer be takon, & turnyt away?
If ye let hym be led furthe, your lefe haue ye tynt,
And of sham, þat be shapyn you, shent be ye neuer.
Mellis you with monhod & might of your seluyn,
To Restore the rynke in a rad hast,
Er he be led out of lenght, & lost of your sight,
And past fro your pouer thurgh the prese hoge!"
Then Alcanus, the kyng, kyndlit in yre,
Gird after the Grekes, with a grete speire,
Þat Troilus hade takon, hym tenyt full ylle. Page  213
So he frusshet to a freike, þat the fre led,
Þat sodenly he seit doun, soght out of lyue;
And anoþer, anon, he nolpit to ground,
Shent of þo shalkes, shudrit hom Itwyn.
So fuersly he fore, and freikes þat hym halpe,
Þat Troilus was takyn, & turnyt furth louse,
And don out of daunger for the due tyme.
The freke þen in fuerse hast ferkid on horse,
Grippit to a grym sword, gird on his fos,
ffor to comford the kyng, þat hym caght hade.
Þis Xantipus soght forth with a sad dynt
To Mynestaus with might, & þe mon hit,
That þe freike hade ben fay but for his fyn armur.
Then Menestaus mournyt, & mykell sorow hade,
That Troilus, þe triet, was takyn of his hond, [folio 102b]
And afforsit hys frekys to þe fight harde:
He gedrit all hys gomys in a grete hate.
Þe fyght was fel þo frekis betwene;
Mony derf, to þe deth, vndur dyntes yode;
Mony buerne on the bent bytturly wondyt;
Mony knyghtys were kyld to þe cold deth!
Ector was euermore Eger with-all;
Mony weghys in hys wrath welt to þe ground;
Mony Slogh in þe slade þurgh sleght of hys hond;
And sore greuyt þe Grekys with his grete dyntys.
Menestaus þe mighty, þat mekill was in yre,
ffor he faylit of þe freke, þat he first toke,
As he rod þurgh þe rout with his roid fare,
Þe troiens to tene with his tore strenkyth,
He met with þis Myseres at þe mene tyme,
By qwom he lost þe lord, þat he laght hade.
He knew hym full lyuely by colore of his armys,
And frunt euyn to þe freke with a fell spere,
Hurlet hym to hard vrthe vndur horse fete;
But þe lede vppon lyue leuyt he þen, Page  214
And nolpit to another, þat hym noiet at,
Gird hym vne to þe ground in hys gret yre.
Þen Hupon, þe hoge kyng, highet to batell.
With mony tulkys of troy, tryet in were;
And Eripa also auntrid hym with,
With all þe ledys of Larris led hom betwene.
And fro þe grekys com gyrdond agaynes þo two,
Prothenor, a prise kyng, & pert Archelaus,
With all þe buernes of Boyes, bold men of hond.
Þen þe fyght wex fell, & mony freke deghyt!
Sone after, forsothe, o þe Cité halue,
Polidamas aprochit with a proud ost,—
Antenor aune son abill of dedys.
He segh þe troiens so tore, & turnyt so þik,
All pyght in a place on a playn feld.
Anon to anothir side naitli he dryuys,
With all þe here, þat he hade, highit aboute, [folio 103a]
And fell to þe fyght with his folke hole.
Þen yssit furth also, yrfull in dedys,
Remys, þe Ryche kyng, with a rught batell,
And presit in prudly with a proud wyll,
And fell to þe fyght with þe freke alse.
Þere was kyllyng of knyghtis, crusshyng of helmys,
Bold men bakward borne of hor horses:
Þat assembly was sorer of þo sad knyghtis.
Mony hurlit doun hedstoupis to þe hard vrthe!
Polidamus, þe pert, presit vnto Merion,
Þat was auntrus in armys, Elan aune cosyn;—
He was a duke in hys day, & for dere holdyn,
A ȝop knyght & a ȝonge, of ȝeris but lite;—
So he gird to þat greke with a grym spere,
Þat he seyt to þe soile, & soght out of lyue.
When Menelay, þe myghty, þat myschef beheld,
Myche sorow for þe syght sank in his hert;
He turnyt to þe troiens his tene for to venge, Page  215
With all þe bir in hys brest, for hys bale angur.
He raght vnto Remys with a roid dynt,
Alto hurlit his helme, harmyt hym euyll,
Wondyt hym wykkydly, walt hym to ground.
Half ded of þe dynt, þer þe duk lay!
Hys weghys all wend, for þe wale stroke,
Þat þe kyng hade ben kyld, & myche care had:
Non soght hvm to socore with no sad holp,
But all purpost hom playnly to pas of þe fyld.
Polidamas, prestly, þe pupull gert lenge,
And warnet vppon all wyse his weghis to go,
ffond with hor forse þe freke for to wyn,
Hurle hym fro horse fete, haue hym away,
Ber hym out fro þe batell to þe burgh euyn.
With myche wepyng & wo, weghis of his aune
Luggit hym out to þe laund, lefte hym for ded;
And fore agayne to þe fyght þaire feris to help.
Kyng Celidis, forsothe, semliest of knightes,
All folke in þat filde, of fairhed he past,
Of whom Daries, in his dytyng, duly me tellus
All the shap of þat shene, in his shire boke:
The qwene of femyné þat freike so faithfully louyt,
More he sat in hir soule þen hir-selfe ay.
This Celidis, forsothe, fought with a speire,
Polidamas to put doun, & his pride felle;
And he, wode of his wit for þe wale dynt,
Corve euyn at the kyng with a kene sword,
Hurlit þurghe the helme & the hed bothe,
That he braid ouer backward & on bent light.
Honerable Ector, euer vppon-one
ffell of þo fuerse men, & þurgh the fild rode:
Mony batels he broke, buernes he slough,
And made wayes full wide þurgh the wale ost. Page  216
Þen he soght to a syde, þere salamé folke
Were fightyng full fell with the fuerse troiens,
With Thessall the tried kyng, & hor true hede,
That was lord of þe lond, & the ledes aght.
This Thessall, in the toile myche tene wroght,
Tyrnit doun Troiens with mony toure dynttes:
Mony woundit the wegh, & warpit to ground,
Myche dere he hom did with dynttes of hond.
Þen Teuser, with tene turnyt to Ector,
Sparrit to hym with a speire spitusly fast;
Woundit hym full wickedly in his wild yre;
Hurt hym full hidiously, hastid away.
Ector richit his reyne, the Renke for to mete,
ffor to wreike of his wound, & the wegh harme;
But the freike for ferd fled of his gate,
ffrusshet þurgh the folke forth of his sight.
Then for wrath of his wound, & for wild shame,
He gird to a greke, þat was a grym syre,
With a swyng of his sword swappit hym of lyue,
And mony other martrid at the mene tyme. [folio 104a]
A gret nowmber of grekes gedrit hym vmbe,
Hym tyte for to take, or tyrne vnto dethe.
Among all the meny was mighty Teseus,
Þat onestly to Ector þus esely said:—
"Sir, buske fro the batell er you bale worthe,
Lest you happyn with hond here to be slayne:
Of soche a mon were a mysse þurgh the mekyll world."
Ector full onestly þat onerable þanket:
And yet the batell on bent was breme to behold!
The Troiens with tene turnyt to the grekes.
Polidamas, with prise, prestly can fight,
With his Enmeis full egurly, euer vpon-one.
Menelay the mighty, in the mene tyme,
And Telamon, the tore kyng, tally to-gedur:
To Polidamas þai preset all in pure angur, Page  217
The freike for to felle, & ferke out of lyue.
Telamon hym tacchit on with a tore speire,
Bare hym downe backward with a bir hoge,
Preset hym with payne, & with proude strokes,
Tokyn hym full tyte, þof hym tene thoght.
Brokon was the blade of his big sword,
His helme of hurlit, & his hed bare.
Þai led hym furth lightly, þof hym loth thught,
To the tentes full tomly, þaire entent was.
But Ector, as aunter fell, euyn was beside,
Segh the grekes with þat gome gedrit full þicke;
The prise knight put doun the pepull among,
Takon with torfer, hym tenyt full euyll.
He hurlet forth vnhyndly, harmyt full mony,
Of þe ledis, þat hym led, luskit to ground;
Made waies full wide, wan to the knight,
And xxx in the throng thrucchit to dethe;
The remnond full radly rid hym the gate,
fflagh all in fere, and the freike leuyt.
He highit of þere hondes, and his horse toke, [folio 104b]
Wan on hym wightly, & of woche past.
The kyng Bisshop the bold, byg Menelaus,
And Thelamon the tore kyng, with theire tite batels,
All assemblit on a sop in a sad hast,
And fell to the frigies in a fuerse wille.
Þai foghton so felly with the freikes þen,
Derit hom with dynttes, delt mony woundes,
Hurlet hom on hepis, hurt of hor knightes,
fferket hom to flight fuersly by-dene.
All-þof Ector was on, þat odmony slogh,
And wonderfully wroght with wepyn at the tyme,
Hym-selfe might not suffise to þat soume hoge.
His horse, in þat hete, was hurlit to dethe,
And he foght vpon fote with þo felle grekes, Page  218
Wore hym full wightly, & myche wo did:
Was non so bold in þat batell, of þo buernes all,
fforto deire hym with dynt, ne þe Duke touche,
Ne negh hym with noy, for nolpis of his hond.
His nobill brether naturile nemly persayuit,
Þat þe troiens in the toile had turnyt þe backe,
And segh not þere souerain, þaire sorow was þe more,
Wend þere lord hade ben lost, or of lyue broght.
Þai assemblit on a sop sone vpon-one,
ffrusshet to þe fight, þe freike for to laite.
ffull bremly þurgh the batels þe buernes can pas,
And wan to þat worthy, þat in woche stode;
Telamon, the tore kyng, þai tenfully woundit,
Gird mony to þe ground of the grekes felle.
Dynadron, a derf knight of his dere brother,
Preset to Polexuma, þat hade a proude stede,
Gird hym euyn to þe ground, grippit his horse,
Raght to þe Reynes, ricchit hom belyue,
Broght hym his brother, þe best vpon erthe,
And he launchit o lofte with a light wille.
All the nobill anon,—þo naturill brether,— [folio 105a]
Wonderfully wroght with wepyn in hond,
Gird doun of the grekes vnto grym dethe,
And stird hom in the stoure stightly vnfaire.
Then Deffibus drogh negh with a derfe pepull,
Þat by ordynaunse of Ector was etlit to hym;
The prise folke of Poyeme presit hym after,
Bowmen of þe best, big in hor armys,
Myche greuaunce & grem to þe grekes did.
Mony woundit þo weghis & warpit to ground,
Mony shalke þurgh shot with þere sharpe gere,
And myche hyndrit the hepe with þere hard shot.
Deffibus the doughty, with a derfe wepyn,
Tachit vpon Teutro, a full tore dynt,
Vne fourme in the face foule to behold. Page  219
Þen the troiens, full tite, tokyn þere hertes
ffelly vnto fight, þat were fled er.
ffull stithe was þe stoure for þe striffe new;
Mony bold on the bent brytont to dethe;
Mony lyue of lept with lasshyng of swerdis!
As Theseus, the tore duke, the troiens anoyet,
And mony fell of þe folke, with his fuerse wepon,
On of Ector owne brether, þat I erst neuenyt,
And Modernus, the mayn kyng, on þe mon set.
Theseus þai toke, þof hym tene þoght,
And wold haue slayn hym in þe slade sleghly anon;
But Ector aurthwart þis auntrid to se,
Bade hom leue of lightly, let hym pas forth,
Withouten hurt owþer harme, hast hym agayn:
And so he kyd hym counsell of kyndnes before.
At biddyng of þe bold, þe buerne was rescewet,
He launchit furth lightly, & þe lede þonket,
Gird furth to þe grekes with a glad chere,
And Ector euer more egerly þonket. [folio 105b]
Then þe kyng of Calsidon com into batell,
Toax, a tide mon of þat oþer side,
And Philote, a fuerse kyng, with a fell power,
A grete nowmber of grekes with a grym fare.
Toax, in his tene, with a tore speire,
Caupit to Cassibilan, þe kynges son of Troy,—
On of Ector aun brether, þat I er said;
And þe lede on lokond, hym launchit to dethe:
ffor whose dethe the Duke moche dole þolit.
As wode in his wit as a wild bore,
Gird euyn to the grekes in his gret yre,
And mony knight doun kyld in his kene hate.
Sum wondit full wide, walt to þe ground;
Sum hurlit to þe hard yerth, & on hede light;
Sum þe lymes of lop, sum þe lyf tynt;
And myche wo in his wodenes wroght at þe tyme. Page  220
So fuersly he fore in his fight þen,
With other helpe þat he hade, his harmys to venge,
Þat þe grekes gyuen bake, & the ground leuyn,
And were forsit to þe fight or þai fay worthit.
Þen gird in on þe grekes half with a grym fare,
Nestor, the noble duke, with a new batell
Of v thousaund fuerse men, & felle to þe stour,
Þat mony warchand wound wroght on hor fos.
ffull tyte fro þe toun turnyt hym agayne,
Philon, a felle kyng, & his fere Esdras,
Þat shot þurgh þere sheltruns & shent mony knightes.
This Philon, in fight, mony freike slogh.
Þen the grekes with grym gedirt hym vmbe,
Wold haue kyld the kyng with a kant wille;
But on Iacomas, a Ioly mon, as the gest tellis,
To Esdras, in ernyst, egirly saide:—
"Se Philon, the fre kyng, is with his fos takon:
High we vs hastely, help hym away! [folio 106a]
Let vs reskew the Renke, refe hym his fos!"
Þen the Troiens, with tene, tidely þai faght;
Sore greuit the grekes, gird hom abacke;
Wonen to þe wale kyng, & away toke,
Withouten hurt, other harme, in a hond while.
Þen Ector Eftersones entrid agayne,
With the noble men, þat I neuenyt, his naturill brether,
And Deffebus the Duke, dughty of hond;
Polidamus, the pert knight, preset in als.
Thes wonderfully wroght in hor wale strenght,
With þere company clene of kyd men of Troy,
Þat the grekes, of þe ground, gird were anon,
fflagh fro the frekes, & the fild leuyt;
But Menelay the mighty, & the mayn Telamon,
So sturnly withstod with þaire strenkyth holl, Page  221
Þat þe troiens tite tynt of hor purpos,
And were foghtyn with felly, folut no lengur.
Þen entrid Eneas, egur to fight,
With the comyns full clene in a close batell,
Þat were led by the lede, þat I lefe saide,—
Euformus the fuerse, þat was a fyn sqwier.
With þes, Ector & other, so odly þai foght,
That the grekes gaf bake, & þaire ground leuyt.
Þat Aiax the auntrus, þat angardly wroght,
With mekill sorow þis segh in his sad yre.
He lokit back on þe bent, þere þe buernes were,
Segh soppes of sad men in a soum hoge,
Þat neghit no note, ne no noy feld,
With baners on brede, & bold men of armys,
Þere all þe grete of þe grekys, & þe grym knyghtys,
And þe chose of hor chyualry, was chargit to lenge.
Þen he said to þo souerans, þat þe saut lefte;—
"Abide, buernys, on þis bent, buskys vs ferre;
Here seches vs socoure in a sad haste!"
Þen gird in þe grekys with a grete wyll,
Restoret þe stithe fight stalwertly þen. [folio 106b]
Eneas to Aiax angarely rode,
And he keppit hym cantly with a kene spere,
Þat bothe were þai bakeword borne to þe grene.
Þen gyrd in þe grekys syde with a grym pupull,
Philothetes, a freke, with a freshe batell,
Þat kyng was of Calsidon,—a kid mon of were,—
With iij M. þro knyghtis þronge into prese.
Þe troiens to þis tyme tyd ay þe bettur,
And þe fairer of þe fyght in þe feld had;
But þes batels so big, þat þe buerne led,—
Philoc þe freke, þat I first saide,—
Tenyt the troiens with mony tore dintes,
And to put hom fro purpos, pynyt hym sore. Page  222
Þe freke, with a felle spere frunt vnto Ector,
Þat hit shok alto schyuers, & þe schalk holl:
But Ector Aurthewert hym Auntrid to hyt,
Þat he frunt of hys fol flat to þe ground,
Half ded of þe dynt, derit no mo.
Þen Henex, with hese men, happit to come,
Gird in with grekys, as a grym syre;
Vlixes also, with angarely mony
Of tulkis of Traci, tor men of strenkyth;
Humelius with hast highit hom after,
And all þe kyngis clene, þat comyn out of grice,
With X. M. þro knyghtis, þristiest of all:
Þes bounyt vnto batell & to bent droghyn.
Wat schall tyde of þes troiens to þes tore pupull,
Þat so were wroght of weghis before,
And so bysy in batell er þo bold come?
Þen Paris aprochyt, þe Percians hym with;
Radli on þe right syde Rakit he furth,
And bounet into batell with a brym will.
Vnto Frigie, þe fell kyng, he frusshit anon,
With þe strenkyth of his stroke & his store arme, [folio 107a]
Þat þe kyng, to þe cold erthe, cayrs out of lyue.
Þen þe grekys, for greme of þe gay kyng,
Miche dyn & dol for þat deth made.
Vlixes, his aune cosyn, angrit full sore,
To venge of þat vilany vili dissirit:
He put hym to Paris with a proude will,
Sparrit at hym with a spere spitusly fast.
He myst of þe mon with his mayn dynt,
But he hit on his horse, hurt hym full sore,
Þat he deghit of þe dynt, dusshit to ground,
And Paris, in þe plit, pight vppon fote.
Troiell, þat tyme, was truly besyde,
Segh þe bold at his brother boun for to strike;
He swapt at hym swyth with a sword fell.
Hit brake thurgh þe basnet to þe bare hed, Page  223
And frunt hym in þe fase a full fel wond,
Þat þe blod out brast, & on his brest lyght.
Þe lede, for þat laith dynt, leuyt not hys horse,
But sound in his sadill, he his sete held,
Turnyt vnto Troilus, þat hym tenyt had,
And wondyt hym wickydly in hys wale fase.
Þen þe troiens full tite had, turnyt þe bak,
Had not honerable Ector, & his aune brethir,
Deffibus þe doughti, & þe derf Troilus,
And þe nobill brethir naturill, þat naitli withstod.
All þe day, with outyn doute, to þis du tyme,
Ector was Euermore Eger in fyght:
His aune batell full breme vppon bent leuyt,
Hym selfe liuely o þe launde launchit aboute.
Þen he segh þat þe soume of þe saide grekys,
Were þe stithir in þe stoure, & strongur of pupull:
He bounet to his batell, bode he no lengur,
Þat fayn were in fere of þaire fre prinse,
Þat þai had hym at hond & in holl qwert.
Then the lord to his ledis vpon lond said:— [folio 107b]
"Now, bold men in batell, buske ye to fight,
Haue mynd of þe malis, & the mykell harme,
Þat vs wold happon to haue in a hond while,
And the grekes may vs gripe, & to ground bryng!
Therfore, feris, bes fell, fraistes your strenght,
Let your hertes be hoole, hold you to-gedur!
Bes frike on your fos, fell of your dynttes,
Settes hom full sadly, sekir for to hit
With all þe might & þe mayn of your mekill strenght!"
Þen he led hom forth lyuely by a law vale,
Raiked in full radly on þe right side,
There deghit mony derfe of þe due grekes;
Miche slaght in þat slade of þo slegh knightes.
Hit is wonder to wete of þe wode stoure,
What knightes were kild vnto cold dethe! Page  224
Toax þat tyme þurght the toile rode,
Þat Cassibilan had kyld, the kyngis son of Troy:
He fell of þe frigies with his fuerse dynttes,
And myche wo with his weppon wroght at þe tyme.
Cassibilan kynd brether þen þe kyng segh,
Wonyn to þe wegh in hor wode hate,
Vmset hym full sone in a sop hole,
And gird hym euyn to þe ground in a gret Ire.
Brokyn was the blade of his bright swerd,
Hade no wepyn hym to weire fro þere wild harmys;
The haspes of his helme were hurlit in sonder;
All bare was the buerne aboue on his hed.
He hade lelly ben lost & of lyue done,
Ne hade þe derfe Duke of Athens drawen hym to
With fuerse men in fight, & fell to þe stoure.
To Qwintilion the quem he qwithit a dynt,
Woundit hym wickidly, warpit hym to ground,
Dressit hym with dere to dele with another. [folio 108a]
Þen Paris, þe prise knight, with a pile sharp,
Rut hym in thurgh þe rybbis with a roid wond,
Þat þe duk for þe dynt derit hym but a littell.
Toax in þe toile out of tene broght,
Wan hym wightly away wondit full sore.
As Ector rod thurgh þe rout with his roid dyntes,
Miche greuanse and grem to þe grekys dyd,
Humerius þe mighty, with a mayn bow,
ffrunt hym euyn in þe fase with a fyn arow.
Þe worthi at þe wond wrathit hym sore,
ffore euyn to þe freke with a fyn sworde;
Hit þe hathill o þe hede in his hote angur,
And rent hym doun roidly ryght to þe sadill:
He bend neuer bow more, ne no buerne hurt, Page  225
But was ded of þe dynt er he doun lyght.
Þen hastid on heterly, & a horne blew.
vij .M. said grekys semblit hym vmbe.
To Ector full egerly with enuy þai drogh,
fforto lache þe led, or of lyue brynge,
And he were hym full wightly, wondit full mony.
Mony derf to þe deth of his dyntis ȝode!
Þen he bounet fro batell, & þe bent leuyt,
Issit out of þe ost angarely fast;
ffore euyn to his fader in a furse hast,
Bad hym socore hom sone with his sure knightes;
And he fore to þe fyght with a fryke wyll,
With þre þousond þro knyghtis þrong into batell,—
ffurse men, & fel, & of fyn strenkyth.
Þai gyrd to þe grekys & myche grem wroght,
Slogh hom doun sleghly in þe slade moue.
Ector and Aiax auntrid to mete:
With fyn spers in þe frount frochit togedur,
Þat aythir bakward was borne to þe bare erthe. [folio 108b]
Menelaus, a myghti out of mayn Troi,
With his wepyn he wondit, & warpit to deth.
Selidonas, a son of þe self Priam,
Slogh Moles þe myghty, a mon out of Oreb,
Þat to Toax, þe tore kyng, was a tru cosyn.
Madon, a myghty kyng,—þe Medion was cald
Of þe grekys full gret, he gaf soche a dynt,
Þat bothe his Ene out brast & on bent light.
Serdill, anoþer son of the same kyngis,
Slogh a grete of þe grekes, þat was a grym syre.
Margariton, a mighty of þo mayn brether,
Tachet vpon Thelamon, & tenfully woundit.
Famen, a fuerse of þo fell children,
Presit to Protheus & put hym to grond.
So all þe noble brether naturyll of þe naite kynge,
Priam sons, þe prise kynges prestly þai foghten, Page  226
And mony buerne in þe batell broght vnto ground.
Anglas, the able kyng, antrus of dede,
To Menestaus mightyly, þe maistur of Attens,
He gird with a gret speire, greuit hym sore;
And the duke with a dynt derit hym agayn,
Þat the viser & the ventaile voidet hym fro:
The noble kyng in the nase hade an euyll wound.
Then Dianior the doughty, þat þe dede segh,
How his brother on the bent was blody beronyn,
He merkit to Menestaus with a mayn dynt,
Þat he hurlit fro his horse to þe hard erthe;
But the Renke vp rose with a rad wille,
And foght vpo fote as a freke noble.
Anoþer brother of þo bold to þe buerne rode,
And foght with hym felly as he on fote was:
Throly the þre men thronght hym aboute,
The bold for to britton or to burghe lede;
But manly he macchit hom with his mayn strokes,—*. [Fol. 109 is awanting in MS. See Note.]

[—and anon he was succoured by the king Theuter. But Hector then assayled them both, and without fault they had not escaped, had not Ajax the strong and valiant knight haue come to the reskue with a thousand knights, that he had in his company. Then came on the King of Perse with fiue thousand knights, that Paris lead; and so did all the other Troyans, and made the Greeks recule, and goe back by force. Dares writeth in his Boke, how that Hector slew a thousand knights, onely in this assault.

Among all other things, Hector encountred the King Menon before a Tent, and said to him: "ha, euill traitour, that thou lettest me to take the armes of Patroclus:" and then he smote him so great a stroke that he fell downe to the ground. And after Hector alighted downe, and smote off his head, and would haue taken his armes from him: but Menesteus letted him, and smote upon Hector ouerthwart, by such force that he gaue him a great wound, and went then his way without more tarrying, doubting the fury of Hector. Then Hector went out of the throng and bound up his wound, that it bled no more; and after went in againe into the prease, and slew in his comming many Greekes. And Dares sayth, that after he had bound up his wound, he slew the same day a thousand Knights, and there was none had courage to auenge him Page  227 against him, or defend himselfe, but he put them all to flight; and the Troyans entred into their Tents, and pilled and robbed them, and tooke all the best that they could finde.]

Guido di Colonna: (from The Ancient Historie of The Destruction of Troy. Sixth Ed. London, 1636.)

Garmentes full gay all of grete furris,*. [Marked 109 in MS.]
Bright beidis & Brasse broght þai with-all,
And voidet all as victors avauntage to haue;
And euyn laiked as hom list, lettid hom noght.
Þat was duly the day & desteny wold,
Þat for euer hade ben ende Angur to voide;
And þai wonen þaire wille neuer the werre aftur,
Ne neuer greke hom haue greuyt ne to grem broght;
But wirdis, þat is wicked, waitis hir avauntage,
With ffortune so felle, þat is of fer cast.
All þat desteny with dole has demyt to falle,
Ay puttes of þe purpos, þat it enpaire shuld,
And ay ertes to þe end ordant before.
And Ector of all men euyll hit dissayuet,
Þat his pepull, and his prouyns, & his pure hele,
Might soundly haue sauit with his sad strenght;
And all his fos in the fight felly distroyet,
Doutles þat day, withouten deire aftur,
And all perels ouer put plainly for euer.
Hit is lelly not louable in no lede oute,
Of no wise mon to wale, when wirdes has grauntid,
ffor to tary on his tyme, when hym tydes faire,
And put of a purpos, þat empaires after,
Or þat draghes to dethe, and deres at þe ende.
He þat tas not his tyme, when þe tyde askes,
But lettes it deuly ouerdryve with delling to noght, Page  228
Wite not his wirdis, þof hym woo happyn!
And he þat kepis not kyndly the course of his heale,
But sodanly forsakes þat sent is of god,
Hit shalbe gricchit hym þat grace in his grete nede.
So happit hit here to þis hed prinse,
Honerable Ector, oddist of knightes,
That holly the herhond hade at his wille, [folio 110b]
And haue vttred his Enmyes angur þat tyme;
His worship haue wonyn, & his wille hade;
And all his fos in the filde fuersly ouer-comyn.
Then it cheuyt þus by chaunse of þat choise knight,
Þat the sun of Exiona, þat was his sib mon,
And Telamon, þe triet kyng, þat was his true fader,
Þat cald was be course of the kynges syde,
Telamonius Aiax truly to nome,
That a mon was of might & of mayn strenght,
He auntrid hym to Ector ernystly with fight.
The stoure was full stithe of þo stuerne knightes!
As þai fughtyn in fere with þere felle swerdis,
Hit auntrid þat Ector, be ame of his speche,
Knew hym for his cousyn comyn of his Aunt,
And syb to hym-selfe, sewyng of blode.
He was glad of the gome, & o goode chere
Voidet his viser, auentid hym seluyn,
And said to þat semly all in sad wordis,
Prayond hym prestly, as his pure frynd,
Turne vnto Troy & talke with his cosyns,
His honerable Em, & other of his ffryndes.
He denyet hym anon with a nait wille;
His ledis for to leue hym list not as þen.
But he prayet the prinse with his pure hert,
Iff he louyt hym, as he let to leue for þe tyme, Page  229
Þat þe troiens in hor tenttes shuld tene hom no more,
Ne dere hom with dinttes whille þat day last,
Ne folow hom no furre, ne felle of hor pepull.
Þen vnhappely hys hest he hastid to do,
Þat angart hym after angardly sore,
Turnyt hym to tene & all the tit Rewme.
With the tuk of a trump, all his tore knightes
He assemblit full sone, & sad men of armys,
And comaundit hom kyndly, kynges & all,
To go bake fro þe batell, & buske vnto troy,
And mene hym no more, ne hor men kylle. [folio 111a]
The Troiens þaire tore shippis hade turnyt on ffyre,
Wold haue brent hom barly, botis & other;
Haue grippit the goodis, & the gomes qwellet,
And no lede vpon lyue left in þe fild.
But at the biddyng of þe bold, þat þe buernes led,
Þai were assemblit full sone, & myche sorow hade,
Wentton to þe wale toun wailyng in hert,
Entrid with angur, and to þere Innes ȝode.
Thus curstly þat knighthode for a cause light,
Voidet þere victory for vanité of speche,
Þat neuer auntrid hom aftur so ably to wyn;
But þurgh domys of destany dreuyt to noght,
And ay worth vnto werre, as ye shall wete aftur.
Page  230

xvj Boke. Of a Trew Takyn two Monethes: And of the thrid Batell.

Wen fortun wyth fell angur feftis on hond,
ffull tid in hire tene turnys he þe qwell!
Wen þes ffonnet folk were faryn to toune,
And entryd full Esely erdyng in sorow.
After settyng of þe Sun þai Seyn to þe ȝates,
Braidyn vp þaire briggis, barrit hom fast;
Iche Rink to þaire rest Richit hom seluyn,
And esit hom all nyght after þaire deuyse.
Wen þe day vp drogh, & þe dym voidit,
All þe troiens full tit tokyn þaire armys,
That were hoole and vnhurt hastid to ffild, [folio 111b]
By the ordinaunce of Ector erly at morow,
To fare to þe fight þere fos to distroy,
And make an end of þere note naitly þai thoght.
But the grekes, in the gray day, graidly did send
A message full myldly to þe maistur of Troy,
Of a true for to trete of a tyme short,—
Two monethes, and no more, þo mighty dessirit.
Hit was grauntid agayn of þo grete all;
Of Priam, & the prinse, & the pert Dukes.
Then the grekes were glad, gedrit þere folke,
That were brittnet in batell, broght hom to|gedur. Page  231
Thai gird into graves þe grettist of astate,
And beriet hom bairly on hor best wise.
All the Remnond and Roke radly þai broght,
And brent vp the bodies vnto bare askis,—
Consumet the corses for vnclene aire,
As the custome was comynly in cuntres of grece.
Achilles, the choise kyng, was of chere febill,
ffor Patroclus, his pere, þat put was to dethe:
Myche weping & wo, waylyng of teris,
And lamentacioun full long for loue of hym one.
He araiet for þat Rioll, all of Riche stones,
A faire toumbe & a fresshe all of fre marbill,
There closet he the kyng vppon cleane wise,
With Sacrifice and solempnite vnto sere goddes;
And Prothessalon, the pert kyng, put in another,
Wroght for þat worthy vppon wise faire;
And Merion, the mighty, into mold put
With soche worshipfull werkes, as þe weghis vsit.
All the Troiens, on the tother side, while the tru last,
Helit þere hurt men þurgh helpis of leches.
By two monethes were myldly mouit to end,
Iche freike was fyn hole of þere fell hurttes.
Care hade the kyng for Cassibilon his son,
ffor he was noblist & next of his naite children, [folio 112a]
ffull tendurly with teris tynt myche watur,
And mournet full mekull, for he þe mon louyt.
In Venus temple þe worthy, in a wale toumbe
He bereit that bold on his best wise.
Cassandray, the kynges doughtur, consayuit the dole,
Weping and woo, þat þe weghis made,
Sho brast out in a birre, & to þe bold said:—
"A! wrecches vnwar, woo ys in our hond!
Why Sustayn ye þat sorow, þat Sewes for euer, Page  232
With care for to come, & cumbrans to all?
Why proffer ye not pes, or ye payne thole,
And be done to þe dethe with dynttes of swerdes?
This Cité and þe soile be sesit you fro,
Ouertyrnet with tene, temple and oþer;
Modris þere myld childer with mournyng behold,
Be set vnder seruage & sorow to byde!
Elan was neuer honour auenant so mykell,
Ne so precious of prise to pay for vs all!
So mony to be martrid for malice of hir!
All our lyuys to lose for lure of hir one!"
When the kyng had consayuit Cassandra noise,
He comaundet hir be caght, & closit full hard:
In a stithe house of ston stake hir vp fast;
There ho lengit full longe, as þe lyue says.
Palomydon, the proud kyng, prise of the Grekes,
Made murmur full mekyll in the mene tyme,
Agamynon the grete was of no gre chere
To beire the charge as cheftan of þo choise kynges.
More syttyn he saide hym seluyn to haue,
As Richer of Renttes, & Riollier of astate;
Held hym for no hede, ne wold his hest kepe,
ffor he Chargyt was for no cheftain, ne chosyn by hym
Ne of xxxti other þro kynges, þat þriuond were all;
Was non assentyd to þat souerain sothely but thre,
Without ordinaunce of other only or assent: [folio 112b]
But of þat mater was meuit nomore at þat tyme.
When the tyme was ourtyrnyt, and þe tru vp,
Agamynon þe grekys gedrit in þe fild, Page  233
Armyt at all peses abill to fyght,
Araiet on a rout redy to batell.
Achilles the choise chargit to batell,
And Diomede the derfe drogh next aftur;
Monelay the mighty meuit with the þrid;
The Duke of Athens after auntird with the iiijrt.
Þus ordant were all men angardly mony,
In batels full big all boune to þe werre,
ffaire yche furde folowand on other,
And past furth prudly into þe plaine feld.
Ector, on the other side, egor hym selfe,
Dressit for þe dede, deuydyt his pepull.
Troiell, the tru knight, betakon was the first,
In his company to kayre mony kene buerne;
Other batels full bigge, with bold men to ride,
He araiet full Riolly by rede of hym seluyn.
Then the prinse with his power past to the lond,
And gird furth on his gate with a grym chere.
He met hom full monly with his mayn dynttes,
And gird hom to ground & to grym dethe.
Ector to Achilles amyt hym sone,
Þat he knew well be course was his kene fo;
And he keppit hym kenely, and coupid to-gedur,
That bothe went bakward & on bent lay.
But Ector the honerable erst was on fote,
Lepe on a light horse, leuyt Achilles,
Breke þurgh batels, britnet the grekes,
Kyld mony knightes, kest hom to ground.
Mony hurlet to þe hard erthe & þere horse leuyt;
Mony woundit wegh fro his wepyn past!
So he hurlit hom on hepis with his hard dinttes,
Till he was blody of þe buernes, & his bright wedis. [folio 113a]
Achilles also afterward rose,
Hit on his horse, hurlit into fight,
Mony Troiens ouertyrnyt, tumblit to dethe, Page  234
And shot þurgh þere sheltrons, shent of þe pepull.
Þen auntred it eftsones þat Ector hym met,
As he fore þurgh the feld he ferkit hym to,
And aither lede full lyuely lachit vpon other,
Þat his speire alto sprottes sprent hom betwene,
And he hurlet doun hedstoupis to þe hard erthe.
Ector þat od kyng auntrid to take,
But he was put fro his purpos with prese of the grekes;
And reskewet full radly by renkes of his owne,
Achilles highit in hast, and on horse wan,
And auntred vppon Ector a full od dynt.
He hit on his helme with a heuy sword,
Þat greuit hym full gretly, gert hym to stoupe;
But in his sadell full sound þe souerain hym held.
Vne wode of his wit for the wale stroke,
He choppit to Achilles with a chere felle;
Heturly his helme hurlit in sonder,
Þat the fas in the fell hast femyt on blode.
ffull big was the batell þo buernes betwene!
Hade it last but a litle on þe laund so,
Auther doutles had deghit of þo derfe knightes;
But other batels full big vppon bothe haluys,
ffrusshet in fuersly þo frekes betwene,
And depertid hom with prese of þaire pale dynttes.
Þen Diomede the derfe drogh into batell,
With mony grekes full grym of a gret will;
And Troiell with a tore folke turnyt hym agayne.
Boldly tho buernes bickryn to-gedur,
That aither backward was borne & on bent lay;
But Diomede full deruly dressit vp first,
And wightly for all the woo wan on his horse;
Swynget out a sword, swappit at þat other;
Sundret the sercle of his sure helme.
Þat other freke vpon fote, þurgh his fyn strenght, Page  235
Diomedes dere horse vnto dethe broght.
And so the freikes on fote foghton to-gedur! [folio 113b]
But the grekes þaire gay kynge getyn appoloft,
And the Troiens þat tother on a tried stede.
Þen foght þai in fere with þere felle swordes,
And delt mony dynttes, þo doughty in fere.
But Diomede in daunger duly hym toke,
And turnyt with the Troien tomly away,
Wold haue broght furth the buerne to his big tent;
But he was tarriet with the Troiens, & tenit full euyll,
And wernit of his wille, þof hym wo thoght;
His pray fro hym puld, & his pepull slayn.
Then to batell was boune bold Menelaus,
Hurlit in hastely with a hoge folke.
Withoutyn tarying o þe tother side titly cam Paris,
With mony triet knight of Troie, & the toile entrid.
So bycceret þe batells vppon bothe haluys,
And Restoret with stithe men þe stoure was full hoge!
Mony doughty þat day deghit in the fild,
Mony wofully woundit, & wappid to ground!
There was crie of kenmen, crussing of wepyn,
All the bent of þo buernes blody beronnen!
Ector euermore egerly foght,
Breke of þere batell, britnet þere knightes,
Mekyll greuit the grekes with his grete strenght,
And kild all to kold dethe, þat countrid hym with.
There come launchand o þe lond a lyuely yong knight,
Now made at the note, & nomet Boethes.
He auntrid hym to Ector euyn at the tyme,
And þe mighty hym met with a main dynt; Page  236
Carve hym euyn fro the creste cleane to þe nauell,
Þat he gird vnto ground & the gost yalde;
And sesit hys sure horse & a seruand betaght.
Archilacus, a choise kyng & cheftain of grece,
Se his cosyn so kild & cast to þe dethe,
Wold venge o þat velany in a vile hast,
And ayres vnto Ector Angardly swithe. [folio 114a]
The Prinse hym persayuit & preset hym agayn;
With the bit of his blade he bobbit hym so,
Thurgh the might of þe mon & þe mayn strenght,
He clefe hym to þe coler, & the kyng deghit.
Prothenor, a pert knight, preset hym ner,
Set hym a sad dynt Sydlyng by-hynd;
Vnhorsit hym heturly, er he hede toke.
But Ector in angur egurly rose,
Was horset in hast, hent to his sword,
Preset to Prothenor in a proude yre;
He merkit hym in mydward thc mydell in two,
Þat he felle to þe flat erthe, flote he no lengur.
Achilles þan auerthward þis auntre beheld,
How Prothenor was perysshet, his aune pure cosyn:
He angurt hym full euyll, & egerd hym with,
ffor the dethe of þe dere his dole was þe more.
Þen he gedrit the grekes with a grete yre:
Of þo kynges, þat were kild, & oþer kene mony,
Wold haue vengit of þe velany, & þe vile harme.
Þen preset þai full prudly, & pynet hom selfe.
The Troiens hom tenyt and tyrnit to dethe;
Wet hom with woundes, warpit hom doun;
Greuit hom full gretly, gird hom abacke.
Þen fled all in fere, & the fild leuyt, Page  237
Turnyt to þere tenttes, þe troiens hom aftur,
Slogh hom in the slade, slang hom to ground;
Woundit hom wikkidly, walt hom of horse.
Þus neghet hom with noye, till þe night come;
Left hom for late, launchet to towne;
Entrid in all somyn, euyn at hor wille;
ffore to þere Innes, & þus the fight endit!
Page  238

xvij Boke. Off the Counsell of the Grekes ffor the Dethe of Ector / & þe iiijrt Batell.

Herkinys now a hondqwile of a hegh cas, [folio 114b]
And I schall tell you full tomly how hom tide aftur!
When the day ouer drogh, & the derk entrid,
The sternes full stithly starond o lofte;
All merknet the mountens & mores aboute;
The ffowles þere fethers foldyn to gedur.
Nightwacche for to wake, waites to blow;
Tore fyres in the tenttes, tendlis olofte;
All the gret of the grekes gedrit hom somyn.
Kynges & knightes clennest of wit,
Dukes & derffe Erles droghen to counsell,
In Agamynon gret tent gedrit were all.
There only was ordant of Ectors dethe,
With all Soteltie to serche opon sere wise;
ffor sothely þai saidon, and for sure holdyn,
But þat doghty were dede & his day comyn,
Thaim happynt not the herhond to haue of hor fos.
He was fully the fens & the fyn stuff
Of all the tulkes of Troy, þat hom tene wroght;
ffuerse on his foes, fellist of other,
And dethe to the derfe grekes delt hym aboute.
Then by ordinaunce of all men, as abliste þerfore, Page  239
Achilles by chaunse may chefe to þe worse,
And be dede of his dynttes, but if desteny let.
When this purpos was plainly putto an end,
Then partid the prinsis, and the prise dukes,
Turnyt to þere tenttes & tarit no lengur;
And Rapit to þere rest, rioll & other.
When the light vp launchit, littid the erthe,
The derke ouer-done, and þe day sprange,
All the grekes in hor geire gedrit to feld,
Were boun on the bent on hor best wise.
And þe stithest in stoure, sturnyst of knightes,
Honerable Ector, þat eger was ay, [folio 115a]
Euer waker and vnwar, wightist in armys,
Past furth with his pepull fro the pure Cité:
ffore euyn to þe fild with fuersmen of Troye,
That hym self hade assignet surest of othir.
Eneas afturward with abill men ynow;
Paris þen put furthe with a proude folke;
Deffebus drogh next with a derfe pepull;
Troiell, the tru knight, with a triet menye,
And other, þat Ector had ordant before,
Suet furth to þe semely, as þai assignet were.
The first of þo fuerse men, þat to fight past,
Was Ector, hym aune selfe, with odmen of troye,
As Dares in his dytyng of his dedis tellis.
ffro the Cité, the same day, soght to þe fild,
With the prinse, to the plase, and his prise brether,
& iij .M. thro men, þriuond in armys,
And V .M. fer, fuersmen & noble.
Þen gird thai to-gedur with a grym will!
The stere was full stithe; þere starf mony knightes!
Paris, with the perseans, presit in first,
With his bowmen full bold bykrit with the grekes. Page  240
Mony woundit tho weghis & wroght vnto dethe,
And harmyt full hogely with þere hard shot.
Than Agamynon the grete gird into batell!
Ector full egerly etlit hym to mete,
Gird hym Euyn to þe grond with a grym hurt:
Halfe dede of þe dynt þere þe duke lay.
Than Achilles with a choise sword choppit to Ector,
Alto hurlet the helme of þe high prinse;
But hym seluyn was safe, & his seate helde.
Than Troilus full tite, & tidé Eneas,
Chefyn to Achilles with choise men ynogh,
Hurlit hym hastely, harmyt hym full mekull,
Bere hym bak of þe bent & his buernes all.
Then Diomede, the derfe kyng, drof to Eneas,
Woundit hym wykkidly, & to þe whe saide:— [folio 115b]
"Now, welcum I-wysse, for þi wale counsell,
Þat in presens of Priam pursuet me to fle!
Wete hit full well for þi wyll febill,
If þou contynu by course, & cum into batell,
You shall happyn in my handis hardly not faile,
And be ded of my dyntis for þi dissire old."
Þen he drof to the duk with a dynt fell,
Vnhorsit hym in hast, had hym to ground.
Ector eftirsons ettlyt on Achilles,
And greuit hym full gretly with a grym stroke,
Alto hurlit his helme, hurt hym full euyll,
Wold haue takyn hym full tit, but at tene fell
A sad man full sone, þe sun of Theseus,
Segh Achilles myscheuyt, choppit to Ector:
With a swyng of his sword swagit on þe prinse.
Ector, for þe stithe stroke stoynyt no thyng,
Gryppit to his gode sword in a grym yre,
Drof vnto Diomede, þat deryt hym before,
Þat hedstoupis of his horse he hurlit to ground.
Þat Toilus in þe toile þis torfer beheld, Page  241
Segh Dyomede with a dynt dryuyn to fote,
He lyght doun full lyuely leuyt his horse,
And dressit to Dyamede with a derfe chere.
Þe freke hym defendit with a fyn wyll,
Were hym full wightly, and his woche past.
Achilles and Ector angarely faght!
Furse was þe fare þo fyn men betwene;
But þer hastid on hond help vnto bothe,
With batels full byg, þat on bent met.
Þen Menelay þe myghti, & monly Vlixes;
Palomydon, Philomytes, Philothetes þe grete;
Neptolon þe nobill, & Nestor þe duk;
Theseus, & Thoax, & mony tryed knight;
Menestaus þe myghty, & modé Girilius;
Stelleus, þe stythe kyng, with a sturne wyll;
Þes gyrd in o þe grekys side with a grym ost.
On the tothir Side fro Troy turnyt in swith, [folio 116a]
All þe kyngis, þat were comyn by course of þere helpe,
With þere batels full big & mony buerne felle,
As honerable Ector hade ordant before.
Hit is wonder to wete of þo weghes þen,
How fell was þe fight of þe fuerse pepull!
How stith men & stedis were strikon to ground,
And mony derf þat was ded er þe day endit!
Agamynon þe grete, & his gay brother,
Menelay with mayn macchit hom in fere,
And presit vnto Paris all with pale hate,
The duke for to deire & to dethe bringe.
Menelay hym met with a mayn speire,
And woundit hym wickedly, warpit hym doun;
But his armour was od good & angardly þicke,
And sauit þat Syre, socurd his lyfe.
Then shamet þe shalke for þe shene Elan,
Þat he held in his hate fro þe hed kyng. Page  242
Þen Vlixes & Arest angurdly faght:
Vlexes gird hym to grond, grippit his horse,
Sent hym by a seruaund sone to his tent.
Polimytes, þe proud kyng, presit vnto Hupon,
Wondit hym wickedly, warpit hym to dethe.
Neptolemus, the noble, nolpit to Archilagon,
That both went backward & bultvppon the erthe.
Polidamas to Palomydon presit so fast,
Þat he gird hym doun grymly with a grym wound;
Spake to hym spitously, dispisit hym foule;
ffore with hym fuersly all in fell angur.
Stelleus, the stithe kyng, stroke vnto Carax,
Hurlet hym of horse, hade hym to ground.
Philmen, the fuerse, with a fell dynt
Drof to the derfe duke, doughty of Athens;
Hurlit hym doun hedlynges, & his horse toke;
Raght hym full radly to a rynke of his owne. [folio 116b]
Philoc with felle angur frusshet to Remo,
Till bothe welt backward of hor bare sadles.
Theseus, a tore kyng, tachit on Eurialon,
That aither wegh other woundit, & welt to þe grene.
The noble brether naturell naited þere strenght,
Mony woundit in wer wroght þo þat day;
Mony grekes, thurgh hor grefe, on þe ground leuyt;
Mony woundit þo worthy of þaire wale kynges.
Telamon, the tore kyng, with a togh speire,
With the kyng of Capadoys caupit so harde,
Þat bothe were þai bold men borne to þe grene,
Woundit full wickedly in wer of hor lyues:
In the brest of þe batell þere þe buernys lay!
Þen Achilles cherfull, & his choise cosyn
Toax, þat other, a tore mon of strenght,
Ayren vnto Ector angardly sore! Page  243
With the strenght of hor stroke, & hor store fare,
The helme of his hede þai hurlit to peces;
Woundit hym wickedly with wepon aboue,
Þat þe Rinels of red blode ran doun his chekes.
But Ector in angur aykeward he stroke,
Tachit vpon Toax, toke hym in the face,
He hade of þe halfe nase to þe hard chekes;
And he, for dere of þe dynt, droppid on þe laund.
Þen his noble brother naturell neghit hym aboute,
Socurd hym full sone with þaire sad helpis.
Mony grekes þai gird doun with þere grym fare!
Kyng Toax þai toke, & to toun led;
Telamon, þat tore kyng, so tenfully wondit,
Þat he was borne on his brode sheld with buernes to his tent,
As for ded of the dynt, dressit of þe fild,
And left halfe lyueles with ledis of his aune.
Menelay with malys meuyt hym to Paris,
Þe freke forto felle fondit at all;
But Paris, with a prise arow put into Venum,
Hurt hym so hidously, þat he his horse leuyt,
And was borne to his bare tent with his bold knightes, [folio 117a]
As for dede of þe dynt, so derit hym sore;
But leches full lyuely lokid his wound;
With oile and with ointment abill þerfore,
Bond it full bigly on hor best wise.
And Menelay with malis meuit vnto batell,
To venge on his velany & his vile harme;
Presit vnto Paris with a prise speire,
Wold haue hurt hym full hidusly, or had hym to ground.
But Eneas come ouerthwert, as aunters befelle,
And Keppit the caupe on his clene shild,
ffor the buerne was bare of body vnarmyt, Page  244
And so went he to wer wilfully hym selfe,
Þat wist well the wale kyng, þat waited hym so,
To haue slayn hym full sleghly with sleght of his hond.
Eneas eftir, with abill knightes mony,
Send hym to þe Cité for the same cause,
ffor marryng of Menelay at þe mene tyme.
Þen Ector come egurly, euyn vpon-one,
Merkit hym to Menelay, the mon for to take;
But þe multitude was so mekill, þat marrit hym sone,
And put hym fro purpos with a prese hoge,
That he leuit the lede, launchit aboute,
Gird doun of þe grekes grymly with strokes,
ffrusshit þurgh the frount, fell hom to dethe!
Thurghe the pouer of þe prince, & his pert knightes,
Þen fled all in fere, & the fild leuit;
Turnit to þere tenttes with tene at þere hertis.
Thai sesit of þe sute, þe sun was to rest,
And turnyt to þe toune, taried no lengur!
Page  245

xviijt Boke of the ffguet Batell in the ffelde.

As hit happit of þes hynd, herkyn a while! [folio 117b]
When the derke was don & the day sprang,
Thes kynges and knightes, kid men of arms,
Were assemblit full sone in hor sure wedis.
Then Priam full plainly purpos hade takon,
That no freike to þe fight shold fare out of toun,
But yche renke take his rest right as hym liked.
And of maters to mene in þe mene tyme,
The kyng sent for his sons and souerains of Troy,—
Ector, & Eneas, and Alexsaunder Paris,
Troilus þe tru knight, tristy of hond,
Deffebus þe doughty, & derfe Palidamas.
When the knightes were comyn, þus the kyng said:—
"Wot ye not worthy, þe wale kyng Toax
Is put in our pouer, our prison within,
Þat myche harme with his hond happont to do,
And with his pouer hath preset oure pepull to sle,
Oure Citie to sese and oure side londes!
ffor his hardines here, & his hegh malis,
He shold be done to þe dethe by domys of right,—
To be hangit in hast, or his hede tyne:
Thus me semyth for certain, now sais me your witte!" Page  246
The[n] answard Eneas easely agayne:—
"Lord, with your leue, þat were a laithe dede!
Syche a chaunse for to chefe choisly of you,
The noise of your nobilté were noyet for euer!
Syne he is gret of degre, groundit of old,
And mony syb to hym selfe of souerans & other,
Ye haue ledis, þat ye loue, & lightly may happyn
Of your sons to be sesit, or sum sib other:
Þen the grekes for grem in hor grete yre,
Wold dight hym to dethe, your dole to increse.
Hit might sothely be siche on, as your self nold
ffor mykill of þis medill erthe þat myschefe to se:
Therfore, sothely me semeth, sauyng your wille,
Hit is bettur þis bold kyng in the burgh hold.
He may be chaungit by chaunse for sum choise other,
Þat is takon of Troy, if hit tyde so;
And the lure be þe les þen the lyfe tyne."
Ector to Eneas egerly assentid, [folio 118a]
And confermyt his counsell in cas for þe best;
And lowet the lede for his leue speche.
Then Priam to þe purpos prestly can say:—
"If we leue hym on lyue, & the lede kepe,
Oure fomen, in faith, for faint will vs deme;
And hold vs vnhardy oure harmys to venge!
But, neuertheles, as you list, of þat lord wirke;
And, as yo counsell in the cas, I comaund be done."
When this speche was sped, speke þai no fferre.
Eneas to Elan Etlit to wend,
To se hir in sight, and solas þat fre.
He toke with hym Troilus & trusty Antenor,
And went in full wightly into a wide halle.
There was Ecuba þe honerable, & Elan to-gedur,
With women of worship, the worthiest of Troy: Page  247
There segh þai þat semly, & with soft wordys,
Comford hur kyndly with carpyng of mowthe.
The grekes for þe greuaunce & the grete harmys,
ffor the tene, þat hom tyde, & tynyng of pepull,
Made myche murmur & menit hom sore,
As folis, þat folily hade faren fro home
To put hom in perell to perysshe þere lyues;
Myche gold & goodes vngraidly dispendit,
With mony harmys, þat hom hepit of hor hede persons,
And might haue lengit in hor lond, & þe lak voidet.
The same night was a note, noyet hom all;—
A thondir with a thicke Rayn thrublit in þe skewes,
Ouershotyng with shoures thurgh þere shene tenttes,
As neuer water fro the welkyn hade waynit before.
The flode was so felle, with fallyng of Rayn,
Hit was like, by the lest, as oure lord wold
With water haue wastid all þe world efte:
So kene was þe course of the cold shoures!
And more greuit the grekes by þe grym windes,
Þat wacknet so wodely, walt ouer the logges;
Ouertyrnit the tenttes, teghit vp the ropes; [folio 118b]
And alto rafet & rent all the riche clothes.
When the derke ouerdrogh, & þe dym voidet,
The stourme wex still, stablit the course;
The sun in his sercle sette vpo lofte;
All clerit the course, clensit the aire;
The grekes hor geire grippit anone,
Bounet vnto batell, and to bent droghe!
Achilles, of all men auntrid hym first,
ffore euyn to the fild with a felle pepull:
Then Diomede the doughty, & derfe Menelaus, Page  248
Agamynon the grete, [&] þe goode duke of Athens.
With the kyng of Larris full cantly caupit Achilles,
Þat he droffe hym to dethe with the dynt of a speire.
Antoneus on Ector full egerly met,
But, er he past fro the prinse, he was pale ded.
Then Diomede, the derfe kyng, deghit out of lyue
Xantipus, þe same tyme, þat was a sure kyng.
Two kynges þere come, þat were kyde brether,—
Epistafus þe pert was propurly þat one,
And Tedius, þat tothir,—tydé men bothe:
Vppon Ector ernistly þos egir men set.
Ephistafus hym presit with his proude wordes,
As a ribold with reueray in his Roide speche,
Sythen spurnit hym dispitously with aspeire felle;
But he hurt not þat hynd, ne hade hym to ground;
Ne the deire of his dynt dasit hym but litle.
Ector, wrathed at his wordis, waynit at the kyng,
Þat he gird to þe ground and the gost yald:
Þen warpid he þes wordis in his wild hate:—
"ffor þou of flytyng was fuerse with frekes vppon lyue,
Go dresse þe to dedmen, & dyn þere a while."
This, Tedius the tothir full tomly beheld.
Gret pytie with payne persit his hert;
ffor the dethe of þat dere doublit his sorow.
He cald of his knightes of clene men a thowsaund, [folio 119a]
That all hastid to þat hend hertly & mo.
He bade hom full boldly, for bale vpon erthe,
All folow to þat freke, þat his fere slogh.
On his broder bale dethe baldly to venge,
All suyt on þat syre in a sad hast,
And laited aftur þe lede with a light wille; Page  249
Saght þai the sure prinse thurgh the syde batell.
fforsit hym with fight, fellyn hym aboute,
Vnhorset hym in hast, hade hym to fote.
Tedius, the tore kyng, in a tene yre,
fflappit at hym felly with a fyne swerde,
The worthy to wound, & warp vnto dethe.
Then auntrid þat Ector aurthwert beheld
The stroke of þe stith; with a strenght arme
He keppit the caupe on his clene sheld,
And britnet the bold with a breme dynt:
The right arme, with a rappe, reft fro þe shul|durs;
Hurlit hym to hard erthe, hue hym to dethe.
Eneas to Amphimak angurdly drof,
And the lede with a launse out of lyue broght!
Then the grekes full grymly gedrit in somyn,
Menelay the mighty with a maine batell!
The Duke of Athens full derf, & Dyamede the kyng,
Telamon the tydé, & tristy Vlixes;
Archillaus also, Agamynon hym selfe,
And Machaon þe mighty, meuit hym with.
All þes bold with þere batels brochet in swithe,
ffell was the fight at the first stoure!
Buernes vpon bothe halues brittoned full mony!
Gret slaght in þe slade, & slyngyng to ground,
And mony lost hade þe lyffe, or þe larke endit!
Be þat the Sun in his Sercle set was o loft, [folio 119b]
At the merke of þe myddaywith his mayn course;
When the grekes were gedrit, & gird into fight,
With all the forse of the fell ost frusshet by-dene;
That þe Troiens with tene turnyt to flight,
ffor oppressing with payne, & of pale strokes;
Than Achilles with a chop chaunset to sle
Philles, a fre kyng, with his fyn strenght. Page  250
There-at Ector was angry, & out of his wit!
Two kynges he kyld of the kene grekes,—
Amphenor the fuerse, and the freike Durius;
And wonderfully wroght at the wode stoure.
Thurgh pouer of the prinse & his pert knightes,
The Troiens turnyt in full tyte, tokyn the fild,
ffoghtyn full fuersly, fell mony grekes,
Beron hom abacke with a breme wille.
Then kyng Bisshop the bold fro the burghe come
With thre thowsaund þro knightes, þrong into batell,
All wight men in wer, willy to fight,
And boldly the bekirt, britnet þere fos.
There come with this kyng a coynt mon of shappe,
ffellist in fight, and a fyn archer:
ffro the Nauell netherward he was an able horse,
And euyn made as a man fro the medill vp.
The fell of þat freike, fuerse to beholde,
ffro þe hede to þe hele herit as a capull!
Thof his face was fourmyt as a fre mon,
Hyt was colourt by course as a kowlt red.
His Ene leuenaund with light as a low fyn,
With stremys full stithe in his stepe loke.
He was a ferfull freke, in fas to beholde;
And mony ledes with his loke laithet full euyll!
He neyt as a nagge, at his nose thrilles!
No hawberke he hade, ne harnes of mayle,
But bare into batell with a bowe stronge, [folio 120a]
With gret arowes & grym in a gay qwyuer.
When this feerfull freike frusshet into batell,
The grete horses on the grene girdon abacke,
Sparit for no Spurse, speddyn to the flight,
And grete affray in the fild for feare of hym one. Page  251
Thurghe the birre of his bowe & his big Arme,
Mony woundit the wegh to þe wale dethe,
And myche greuit the grekes with his grym fare.
Ector faght in the fild felle of his Enmys.
Polexenas, a pert Duke, þat þe prinse met,
He dang to the dethe with his derfe weppon,
And wonderfully wroght in his wild yre.
This orribell archer so angardly wroght,
Renyng thurgh the route with his roid arowes,
With the Troiens so tore, tydé men alse,
That myche greuit the grekes, gird hom abacke.
Then flagh all in fere, and the fild leuyt;
Turnyt to þere tenttes, tariet no lengur.
Thaire Enmys hom after angardly sore,
Pursuet hom with pyne, put hom to ground.
There it felle hom by fortune a ferfull cas!
As þis mysshapon mon marrit of þe grekes,
The Troiens in the tenttes tenyt hom also,
Oppressit hom with payne & with pale strokes.
Diamede, the derfe kyng, þat don was to flight,
Presit to a pauilyon the pepull before,
Wold haue wonen away & of woche p st,
And haue sauet hym selfe, & he so might.
There met hym þis Mawhown, þat was so mysshap,
Euyn forne in his face, as he fle wold.
He myght no wise away for wothe of his dethe,
But auther aunter vppon hym, or angardly moue. [folio 120b]
He se his fomen so felle and fuerse at his backe,
Þat wold lelly the lede out of lyue bryng;
And if he turnyt hade tyte, þen hym tyde shuld,
The warlagh with a wicked arowe woundit hym behynd.
He auntrid on this Vnbest angardly fast. Page  252
As the shalke shuld haue shot at the shene kyng,
Dyamede with a dynt dang hym to ground,
With a swap of his swerd he swalt in the place.
Then the grekes with grym there gedurt þere hertes,
ffrusshet out felly, and the ffild toke;
Bore backward the batell of þe bold troiens;
Kyld of hor knightes and kene men of armys!
Ector to Achilles angardly rode;
And he keppit hym full kenely, þai caupit togedur,
That bothe were backward þere borne of þere horses,
And light on the lond the lordes in fere.
But Achilles aftir auntrid to rise,
Highet to his horse in a hote yre,
Grypit vnto galathe, þat was the gode stede
Of honerable Ector, & etlit away.
Ector cryed on his knightes with a kant wille,
Bade hom hast hom in hygh, and his horse take.
Þen highet furth in haste of his hede knightes,
ffelyn vmbe the fuersse kyng, foghtyn full hard.
His nobill brether naturell naitly þai strekyn,
Gird downe of the grekes, grippit þe roile,
Raft hym the Renke with a roide fare,
Restorit þe stithe horse to þe stuerne prinse!
He was fayne of the fole, fongit hym anon,
Wan on hym wightly, & his way held.
Þen fell he to fight with a fyne sworde,
Kyld mony knightes vnto cold dethe;
Oppressit hom with payne, put hom to ground,
And mony deghit þat day þurgh dynt of his hond.
Antenor the auntrus angardly faght!
Thurghe might of his manhode mony distroyed,
And in batell full boldly bare hym þat day. [folio 121a] Page  253
Then the grekes on hym gedrit in so grete nowmber,
Oppressit hym with pyne, & with pale strokes,
He had no forse hym to fend of so fele othir:
Þai toke hym full tite, & to tenttes led.
Polidamas, the pert knight, þat was his prise son,
Myche sorow for his syre sothely did make;
Mony stithe men in stoure stroke he to ground,
Wold haue fongit his fader, but þe freike ne might.
ffor the day wex dym, doun was the sun,
The night was so nighe, þat noyet hym sore,
Merkit the mountayns & mores aboute.
Iche freke to his fre held & so þe fight endis.
Page  254

xix Boke. Of the vj Batell.

Lystenes a lyttyll of þis laike more,
How hit happit in hast of thes hed kynges!
Sone as þe sonne rose & set vppon hegh,
Bothe þe grekis on þe grene, & þe grym troiens,
Mettyn with mayne þaire myghtis to kythe:
Þer was fyghtyng full fell þe fuerse men betwene,
All þat day, with dole, to þe derk nyght.
Mony lyueles lede leuyt on þe bent,
And mony wondyt whe þat away past;
Mony knyghtis wer kyld of the kene grekys,
But mo were þere mard of the mayn troiens.
Þe grekys fellyn in fyght þe feghur þat day,
And þe bigger in batell, as þe boke saise. [folio 121b]
When þe nyght come anon þe nobill depertid,
And bounet fro batell vppon bothe haluys.
The secund day suyng, as says vs the story,
Þe grekys by agrement of þe grete all,
Sent to þe Cite soueran men two,—
Dyamed, þe derf kyng, & dughty Vlixes.
Þai past furth to Priam pertly to-gedur,
Of a tru forto trete in þe triet Cité,
To be grauntid of þe grete by grement of all.
Þes Messangers met with a mayn knight,
A derf mon to dem, & Delon his nome. Page  255
He was borne in þe burgh a bold mon of hond,
Went with þo worthy, & þe way taght;
Present hom to Priam, þat was prise lord:
Þere menyt þai þaire message & with mouthe told.
Priam to þe prise men prestly onswart:—
"I wyll haue counsell in þe case of clene men of wit,
By Assent of Seniours, & sum of my knightys;
And of oure wyll in þis werk, I wete ȝow say."
He was ymyddis þe mete with men of astate,
Kyngis in his cumpany, & knyghtis full nobill.
Þen gedrit were þe grete to þe gay kyng,
And assentid full sone, somyn to þe dede.
All affermyt hit fast with a fyn wyll,
Saue Ector þe honerable, þat egerly with-stod,
Disasent to þe dede, & dernely he sayde:—
"Hit is falshed in faythe & of fer cast!
All þaire tretyng of tru turnys vs to harme.
Þai colowrne hom coyntly with a cause febill,
fforto beri þe bodys of hor bold frendys;
And lighyng, by my lewte, now lakkys hom þe fode.
Þai wold stuf hom full stithly, strenkyth hom agayn,
With mete in þe meneqwile, & mony othir thinges;
And we oure store schall distroi, & stynt of oure sped.
We are folke full fele; in þis fre hold,
Of Lordis, and Ladies, and other lesse pepull, [folio 122a]
Assemblit in this Cité oure seluyn to kepe
And þof we maitles marre, may we no fer."
But syn the souerain assentid, with other sad lordes,
He agreet to the grete, & grauntid with all
ffor þere-as men are so mony, & of might grete, Page  256
And of wit for to wale, wisest of other,
All put in a purpos with a plain wille;
Þof the syngle mon say, & it sothe be,
Hit is demyt for dulle, & done out of heryng.
Syn it is sothely said, & for sure holdyn,
Þof a yong mon be ȝepe, & of yeres lite,
His wit shuld be waled of wise men in age:
So the prinse to þere purpos prestly assent,
Þof. hit worche to þe worse, þat wist be hym seluyn.
Then takyn was the true, and with trauthe fest,
Thre monethes & no more, þo mighty betwene,
By assurans full sad vpon suche wise,
Þat non offens shuld þere fall þo freikes betwene;
But yche kyng & knight comyn with other,
Bothe in tent & in towne, while the true last.
Than þai spekon in spase of hor spede after,
Made a chaunge by chaunse of hor choise lordes.
Toax, fro Troy, was turnyt to the grekes,
ffor Antenor aunterous, þat aftur was takyn:
Deliuert were þo lordes, lawsit of prisone,
ffro ayther syde by assent, & suet to þere fryndes.
Than Calcas the clerke, þat come out of Troy,
Hade a doughter full dere,—a damsell faire,—
Þat bright was of ble, and Breisaid she hight:
So cald was the clere with comyns and other,
Within the Cité forsothe, þere hir-selfe dwellit.
This Calcas to the kyngis contynually prayet,
Bothe Agamynon the grete, & the grekes all,
That þai Priam shuld pray for this prise lady, [folio 122b]
To be sent to hir Sir, if he so lyked;
And þai the bysshoppis bone bainly haue graunted,
And sent to þat souerain for þe same cause,
Dessirond full depely delyuerans of hir,
With Speciall speche to spede at the tyme. Page  257
But the triet men of Troy traitur hym cald,
And mony pointtes on hym put for his pure shame,
Þat disseruet full duly þe dethe for to haue.
Priam, at the prayer of þo prise kynges,
Deliuert the lady with a light wille,
In eschaunge of þo choise, þat chaped before,—
Toax þat I told and þat tothir duke.
In the tyme of the true, as þe trety saith,
Ector with other egurly went
ffro the burghe to þe batells of þe bold grekes,
ffor to sport hym a space, & speike with þo kynges,
To se the maner of þo men, & mirth hym a stound.
Achilles, the choise kyng, with a chere faire,
Welcomyt þat worthy, as a whe noble!
He hade solas of þe sight sothely of hym,
ffor his body was bare out of bright wedes.
He toke hym to his tent, talket with hym fast;
ffraynet at the freike of his fell dedis:
And as þai spekon of þere spede in hor spell þere,
Thies wordes to þat worthy warpit Achilles:—
"Now Ector, in ernyst, I am euyn fayn
Of þe sight of þi Self, to se þe vnarmyt;
Syn þat fortune before fell me neuer ere,
To se þi body all bare out of bright wedis.
But it shall sitte me full sore with sorow in hert
But the happyn of my hond hastely to degh, [folio 123a]
Thurgh strenght of my strokes in our stoure enys,
And I thi bane for to be with my brond egge.
I haue feld of þi forse, & þi felle dynttes;
Thy might & þi monhode mykell hath me greuit. Page  258
My body hath þou brisit, & my blode shed,
With thy strokes full store of þi stithe arme!
Þof my wille be so wilde to waite on þin end,
ffor the sake of my selfe and othir sib fryndes,
More feruent in faith þi falle I dessyre,
ffor Patroclus, my pure felow, þou put vnto dethe.
I louet hym full lelly, no les þen my seluyn;
And þou partid our presens with þi prise wepyn,
Þat with faith and affynité [were] festinyt to|gedur;*. [MS. has 'where.']
And dang hym to dethe þat deires me full euyll.
But trust me for tru, and þis tale leue,
Er hit negh to an end of this next yere,
The dethe of þat doughty shalbe dere yolden
With the blode of þi body, baldly me leue!
And in so myche, for sothe, I say ye ȝet ferre,
Þat I wot the in witte to waite on myn end,
My wonsped to aspie in dispite ay,
And to deire me with dethe yche day new."
Than Ector hym answared Esely agayn;
With wordis full wise vnto the wegh said:—
"If auntur be, sir Achilles, I am the to sle,
And hate þe in hert, as my hede foo,
Withouten couenable cause, or cast for þi dethe;
Thow might meruell the mykell of my misrewle,
But þat wottes in thi wit by wayes of right,
Þat þere longes no loue ne lewte to ryse,
To hym þat dressis for my dethe with a ded hate,
And pursewis to my prouyns my pepull to sle.
ffor of werre by no way wackons þere loue,
Ne neuer charité be cherisst þurghe a chele yre: [folio 123b]
Luff ingendreth with ioye, as in a iust sawle,
And hate in his hote yre hastis to wer. Page  259
Now, I will þat þou wete, þi wordes me not feryn,
Ne thy boste me abaistes with þi bold speche;
But I hope with my hond & my hard strokes,
Thurgh might of oure mykell goddes, & of mayn strenght,
Thy body to britton vnto bale dethe;
And all the grete of þe grekes, þat on oure ground lyun,
ffor to fell in the feld fay with my hond!
Grete folie, by my faithe, fell in your hedis,
ffor to hent vppon hand soche a hegh charge,
That passes youre pouer, & proffettes no more,
But the losse of your lyues, & your ledis all.
This wot I full well, bewar if þe lyste,
Þou bes ded of my dynttes, & þi day past,
Er hit hap the with hond my harmys to forther,
To deire me with daunger, or to dethe put.
And if þou hopys in hert, with þi hegh pride,
To oppresse me with power, & to payn bring,
Get graunt of the grekes, & the grete all,
Of kynges, & knightes, & other kyd dukes,
Þat all the deire of the ded be done on vs two,
To vttranse & yssue vne at this tyme,
Withouten meuyng of moo, or marryng of pepull.
And if hap the þe herre hond to haue in the plase
Of me, thurgh þi might, by maistry of hond,
I shall fast the þis forward all with fyne othes,
All the londis to leue, þat longyn to Troy,
And our ground to þe grekes graunt as for right;
And we exiled for euer-more our easement to laite,
All our prouyns & parties put in your wille.
And if it falle me by fortune the feirer to haue,
Make vs sekur, on the same wise, oure soile for to leue, Page  260
Of our prouyns to pas, & paire vs no more,
Ne neuer dere vs in dede, ne oure due londes."
Achilles was angret angardly sore; [folio 124a]
Wrathet at his wordes, warmyt in yre;
Chaunget his chere, chauffit with hete,
That the droupes, as a dew, dankit his fas.
He approchet to þe prinse, presit hym ner,
And affyrmit with faithe & with fyn chere,
All þo couenaundes to kepe with his cleane trauthe:
This he sadly assurit at the same tyme.
Ector toke hit full tyd with a triet wille,
More dessyrous to the dede, þen I dem can.
But Agamynon was gayn at þis gret dyn,
With other kynges in company comyn to the tent,
Þat hasted for the high noise, & hopit in haste
Of þo mighty full mony the mater to here.
When the knewen all the cause, þo kynges by|dene,
All denyede it anon;—no mon assentid,
Þat Achilles in chaunse shuld be chosen for hom all,
With þat fuerse for to fight þurgh folye of hym seluyn;
Ne so mony & so mighty men of astate,
ffor to coupull of hor cause on a knight one,
Bothe of londes & lyffe for lure þat might happon.
And the Troiens, on the tothir syde, torely with stode,—
Dysasent to þe dede, Dukes & other;
Saue Priam, the prise kyng, þat the prinse knew,
Bothe his strenght & his stuerne wille stondyng in hert,
Wold haue put hym to þe plit for perell of all,
ffor þe will & þe worship of his wale strenght:
But for so mony & mighty menit þere agaynes, Page  261
He put of his purpos, & passis þerfro.
Þen tho prinse at the prise kynges prestly toke leue,
Turnit fro the tenttes and to toune yode:
Past to his palais, & his pale entrid.
When hit tolde was Troilus the tale of his loue, [folio 124b]
How þat faire, by his ffader, was fourmet to wende
To the grekes, by graunt of þo grete kynges,
ffor Bresaide the bright vnblithe was his chere;
ffor he louit hir full lelly, no lesse þen hym seluyn,
With all the faithe and affection of hys fyn hert.
Myche sykyng and sorow sanke in his brest;
He was tourment with tene, tynt was his hew;
All wan was the weghe for his wete teres;
With lamentacion & langour vnlusty to se;
Was no knight in the court kouthe comford hym oght,
Ne ses hym of sorow sothely þat tyme!
And Bresaid, the bright, blackonet of hew;
With myche weping & waile, waterid hir ene;
All fadit that faire of hir fyn coloure,
With shedyng of shire water of hir shene chekes;
All-to tugget hir tresses of hir triet here;
Hir faire fyngurs with forse femyt of blode,
And all-to rafet the rede chekys, ruthe to be holde,
That the blode out brast, & on brest light;
And ay swonit in swyme, as ho swelt wold
In þere hondes, þat hir helde & halp hir to stond;
And þes wordes ho warpit as hir wo leuit:—
"I hade leuer my lyf leue in this place,
Than any lengur to lyffe & my luff tyne!"
No lengur of thies louers list me to carpe, Page  262
Ne of the feynit fate of þat faire lady;
Who-so wilnes to wit of þaire wo fir,
Turne hym to Troilus, & talke þere ynoghe!
Hit is a propertie apreuit, & put hom of kynd.
To all wemen in the world, as þe writ saythe,
To be vnstable & not stidfast, styrond of wille:
ffor yf the ton ee with teres trickell on hir chekes,
The tothur lurkes in lychernes, & laghes ouer|thwert!
So full are þo faire fild of dessait, [folio 125a]
And men for to mad is most þere dessyre,
There is no hope so vnhappy, þat hastes to noght,
Ne so vnsikur at a say, as to set vppon wemen!
A foole is þat freike in his frele yowthe,
And myche more þat man is meuyt into age,
That in wordes of wemen wastyn þere hope,
Or in faire hotes of þo fre fully will trust.
This Breisaid, the burde, by byddyng of þe kyng,
In apparell full prowde purpost to wend;
Troilus, the true knight, with triet men other,
ffro the Cité with þat semely soghtyn on þe gate.
Then the grekes com girdond fro the gay tentes,
Resayuit hir with Reuerense, & Riden furthe somyn;
And the Troiens to the towne turnyt agayne.
The derf kyng Diamede drughe the lady ner,
Beheld hur full hertely, het hir in loue;
With venus woundit, I-wis, in his wild hert,
He rode to þat Riall, and the Reyne toke.
Then he said to þat semly all on soft wise,
All his corage by corse of his cold hert,
With full speciall speche to spede of his erend.
Then Breisaid, the bright, bainly onswart,
ffor to hold hym in hope & hert hym the bettur:— Page  263
"Nauther list me my luff lelly the graunt,
Ne I refuse the not fully þi frendship to voide;
ffor my hert is not here holly disposit,
To onsware on otherwise, ne ordant þerfore!"
At hir wordes, I-wis, the worthy was glad;
Hengit in hope, held hym full gayne.
At hir fader fre tent fongit hir in armys,
And set hir on þe soile softely with hond.
A gloue of þat gay gate he belyue,
Drogh hit full dernly the damsell fro:
None seond but hir-selfe, þat suffert full well.
Hit pleaside hir priuely, playntyde ho noght, [folio 125b]
Let hit slip from hyr slyly, slymyt þerat.
Than Calcas, the clerke, came fro his tent,
ffongit hir faire and with fyne chere,
Toke hir into tent, talket with hir fast,
And menit of hir maters, as þai in mynd hade.
When the burde in hir boure was broght with hir fader,
Thes wordes ho warpet with wateryng of Ene:—
"How fader, in faithe, failet þi wit,
That was so conyng of clergy, & knowen in Troy,
Myche louet with the lordes, & the ledis all;
And worshippit of yche we as a wale god!
All the gret of þe ground gouernit by the,
And þou riches full riffe, renttes ynow?
Now art þou trewly hor traitour, & tainted forfals!
Thy kyn & thy cuntre vnkyndly forsakyn,
Þat þou shuld faithly defend with a fre hert;
And fro woches haue werit, & þi wit shewed.
Hit is cheuit the a chaunse of a choise febull!
Leuer forto lyf in a lond straunge,
In pouerte & penaunce with thy pale fos,
Then as a lord in þi lond lengit at home. Page  264
As thy fall and þi faith is foulé loste,
And þi worship is went & wastid for euer,
Of shame & shenship shent bes þou neuer:
Euery lede will þe lacke and þi lose file,
And þe fame of þi filth so fer wilbe knowen.
Ne hopis þou not hertely, for þi hegh treason,
If men laith with þi lyf, lyffyng in erthe,
That the shall happon in helle hardlaikes mo,
ffor thy filthe & þi falshed with fyndes to dwelle?
Hit were bettur the to byde with buernes of þi kyn,
In sum wildurnes wilde, & won þere in lyf, [folio 126a]
Then the ledys vpon lyue to laithe with þi shame.
Hopis þou fadur, in faith, in þi faint hert,
Þat þou be takon for treu with thies triet kynges,
Or be holdyn in hert of þi hest stable,
Þat art founden so fals to þi fre londes?
Now appolyn with answare hase euyll the begiled,
And belirt þe with lesynges þi lose forto spille;
Gert the fall fro þi fryndes, & þi faire godis,
And sorily to syn, and þi selfe lose!
Hit was neuer appollo the pure god, þat put the in mynd,
But sum fend with his falshed, faren out of helle,
Þat onsward the owkewardly, ordand þe skathe,
fforto set the in sorow, and þi soule tyne!"
Thus the lady at the last left of hir speche,
With myche sobbyng & sorow, sylyng of teris.
Than the bysshop to his barne barely onswart,
And shend to þat shene all in short wordes.
"Ne hopis þou noght, hend doghtur, þat our hegh goddes
Wold be wrothe at our werkes, & wisshe vs to skathe,
If we bowet not hor biddyng, & hor bone kept.
And nomly in þis note, þat noyes to þe dethe, Page  265
Oure seluyn to saue, and oure saule kepe
Out of daunger & drede, & oure dethe voide.
This wot I full well, thurgh wisshyng of hom,
That þis sorow wilnot sese, ne the saute leue,
Tyll the toun be ouerturnyt, & tumblid to ground;
All the folke, with þere fos, frusshet to dethe,
And the wallis ouerwalt into þe wete dyches.
Therfore bettur is a-byde in þis bare fild,
Than be murthert with malis, & to mold put."
All the grekes were glad of þat gay lady,
And comyn in companys, þat comly to se, [folio 126b]
All the souerans for sothe, into hir syre tent,
And spire at hir specially of hor spede ay,—
Of the tulkes of Troy, and the toun selfe;
Of the pepull full prest, & þe prise kynges:
And all the maner of þo men the maidon hom tolde,
ffrely with faire chere, þat thei frayn wold.
The kynges full curtesley cald hir þere doughter,
And heght hir to haue all þere helpe þen;
To be worshypt well with welthis ynow;
And grete giftes hir gafe all þo grete kynges.
Er þis day was done, or droghe to þe night,
All chaunget the chere of this choise maidon,
And hir leuer to leng in lodge with the grekes,
Then turne vnto Troy, or to toun wend.
Now is Troiell, hir trew luff, tynt of hir thoght,
And yomeryng for-yeton, & yettyng of teres.
Lo, so lightly ho left of hir loue hote,
And chaunget hir chere for cherisshyng a litle!
Tristly may Troiell tote ouer the walle,
And loke vpon lenght, er his loue come!
Here leue we this lady with hir loue new,
And turne to oure tale, & take þere we lefte.
Page  266

The xx Boke. Of the bijnt Batell, and Skarmiches Lastyng xxx dayes Betwene the Towne & the tenttes.

After the monethis were meuyt of þe mene true, [folio 127a]
Þen waknet vp were and myche wale sorow!
The secund day suyng, says me þe lyne,
There bownet vnto batell from the burgh euyn,
Mony triet men of Troy, and tokyn þe fild,
Euyn ordant by Ector, after his deuise.
The prinse with his pouer past on first,
With xv .M. fully, all of fyn knightes,
In his batell full bold boun to þe feld:
And Troiell with x .M. turnit forth aftur.
Then Paris put furth, the percians hym with,—
Abill men of archery, auntrus in wer,—
Three M. thro and thristy of hond,
Vppon horses full hoge, hardy men all.
Then Deffibus drogh furth, & to þe dede went,
With thre M. thro men, þrepond in armys.
Eneas afturward with angardly mony,
And oþer kynges full kant, as þere course fell.
As Dares in his dyting duly me tellus,
The sowme of the sowdiouris, that fro þe Cité came,
ffor to tell at this tyme of triet men & noble,
A C. M. all hoole, herty to stryke!
ffro the tenttes come tyte of the triet grekes, Page  267
Menelay full monly, with a manur pepull,
Seuyn M. be sowme assignet for hym.
Then meuit with as mony, mighty Dyomydes,
And Achilles with choise men chosen of the same.
Than sought furth Xantippus with sad men a hepe,
Thre thowsaund thristy, þrong to the fild.
Than Agamynon the grete gird on the last,
With a noyus nowmbur, nait men of strenght.
The first, þat to fight past, was Philoc the kyng, [folio 127b]
Put hym furth prudly, presit to þe Troiens!
Ector met hym with mayn, macchit hym so harde,
That he gird to the ground & the gost past.
Myche clamur & crye for the kynges sake,
And dynttes full dedly delt hom betwene.
Then girde o the greke halfe with grym fare,
Xantipus, a sure Kyng, with a sad wepyn,
ffor to dere for þe dethe of his dere vncle.
He suet furth sadly to þe sure prinse,
And stroke hym full stithly with a stiff sworde.
Ector turnet with tene, toke hym on þe hed,
Þat he slode doun sleghly, & sleppit euer after.
Then the grekes were greuit for the grym kyng;
Oppressit hom with pyne, pressit full hard;
Turnit to the Troiens, tenit hom full euill;
Mony woundit full wickedly, & warpit of horse.
Achilles mony choise men choppit to þe erthe;
Mony ledes with his launse out of lyfe broght.
Two Dukes full derne vnto dethe kyld,
Þat were comyn to þe kyng with þere kyde helpis,—
ffull bold men in batell, & myche bale did.
Hit auntrit, þat Ector was angrit full euill,
Woundit full wickedly, wist not of woo, Page  268
Vne before in the face, with a fell stroke,
Þat myche blode fro þe buerne on þe bent fell;
And þan bakeward was borne all þe bold Troiens,
With myche noye for þe note of þere noble prinse.
But the knight, in his kene yre, cast vp his egh,
Brusshet on the burgh & the bright walles,
Segh the ladies o lofte leghen to waite,—
Elan an other, the oddest of Troy,
His worshipful wife, þat he well louet,
With his Suster beside, the semliest on lyue,
Þat were sory for þe sight, Semple of chere.
And the grekes so grymly had gird hom abacke [folio 128a]
Þat euyn borne were þai bigly to the bare wallis
Than shamet was the shalke for the shene ladies,
And euyn wode of his wit wex he belyue.
He kyld þere a kyng, cosyn to Achilles,—
On Merion the myghty,—thurgh the mayn dynt.
He hurlet thurgh the helme, þat the hed yemed,
Þat the brayn all-to brast, & on bent leuyt.
Achilles aurthwart this aunterd to se,
Grippet to a grete speire with a grym wille;
Pight on the prinse, persit his wede;
Mart of his mailes, meuit hym noght;
And nauther hurt he the hathell, ne hade hym to ground.
Þen Ector in angur, angardly fast,
With the bit of his brond, on the bold light;
Hurlit þurgh the helme & the hard maile.
But it breke not the brayn, ne the buerne woundit.
Achilles, with a chop, cheuyt on syde;
All in wer for to walt, wayueronde he sote,
But he held hym on horse, houyt o lofte. Page  269
Euyll masit of the mynt, & the mayn stroke,
Thes wordys to the whe warpit the prinse:—
"Achilles, Achilles, þou cheses þe fast,
ffor to prese me with pyne in thy proud yre!
The next tym þou noyes me, þou neghis to þe fer,
Thow dowtles shall dye with dynt of my hond."
But or hit auntrid hym to aunsware Ector agayne,
Come Troilus full tyte with a tore pepull,
ffrushet in felly þo frekes betwene,
Depertid the prinse & the prise kyng.
So he greuit the Grekes, and gird hom abacke,
Þat fyue houndrith were fay & in fild leuyt,
Off knightes full kene, kild in the stoure; [folio 128b]
And o backe fro the burghe bere hom anon.
Menelay with his men meuyt in swithe,
Thre thousaund full þro þrang into batell;
Restorit hom stithly, stuffit hom anon,
And cobbyt full kantly, kaghten the fild.
Then Sedymon with a sowme from the Cité come,
Of fell men in fight, freikes of his owne:
He macchit hym to Menelay, & met on þe kyng,
Woundit hym wickedly in his wale face,
And gird hym to ground of his grete horse.
Than Troiell hym toke þurgh his tried helpe
Of Sedymon, the same kyng þat þe syre felle,
Wold haue led the lord o-lyue to þe towne;
But the stoure was so stithe, & stedis so thicke,
Thai pullid hym with pyne, but passid þai noght.
Then Diamede full dernly, with a dyn hoge,
On Troiell with tene tachet belyue;
Bere hym backe to the bent of his big stede,
Raght to the Reynes in a rad hast,
Sent hym by a seruaund, or he ses wold,
To Breisaide the bright, & bad hym to say,
That þat was lelly a ledis, þat ho louet well,— Page  270
The whiche fro Troiell he toke, & turnet hym besyde,
With a stroke, in the stoure, of his stithe arme.—
Prayaund her prestly, with all his pure hert,
Þat hir seruaund were sadly set in hir mynd,
Dyamed, the derf kyng, in daunger of loue.
Þen the seruond, full sone, with the same horse,
Went to the woman fro the wale kyng,
And the palfray of prise present hir to.
Ho receyuit hym with Reuerence, & to þe Renke said:—
"To þi lord, þat me loues, lelly þou telle,
I may not hate hym, by heuyn, þat me in hert tes."
ffro the maidon, with his message he meuyt anon, [folio 129a]
And the bodeword broght to þe bold kyng.
ffayne was the freike of the fre answare,
Past furth into prese, paynet hym ther-for.
The grekes þan were gird backe to þere grete tenttes;
With Swym vnder swerd swalton full mony!
Ne hade Agamynon the gret oste gird in anon,
The fight in the fild hade ben fynisshed for euer.
Than Restoret was the stithe batell stuernly agayn!
The grekes full grymly girdon out swithe,
Harmet hom hogely in a hond while.
Polidamas, the pert knight, presit in þen,
With a batell full breme, britnet the grekes;
ffaght with hom felly, frunt hom abacke;
Droff hom vnto dykes with dynttes of sword.
Then Diamede the doughty duly beheld,
Segh þe freke in his felnes his folk so distroy.
He ffrusshit at hym felly with a fyn spere;
And the knight hym kept, caupit with hym so, Page  271
That bothe the hathell and his horse hurlit to ground.
Dyamed was derit with a depe hurt,
Euill frusshet with the fall, & on feld lay.
Polidamas the prise horse presit vnto,
Raght to þe Reyne, and the Roile toke;
Broght hym full bainly to þe bold Troiell,
Þat was fightand on fote in þe felle stoure.
The triet knight Troiell titly wan vp,
As fayne of the foale, as a freke might.
Then Achilles with angur angardly preset,
Troiell to tene with a triet wepyn;
And he keppit the kyng with a kant wille,
Hurlit hym to hard yerthe, hurt hym full sore.
The bold kyng vp braid, & the bent leuyt,
ffor deire of his dynt dut hym but litle!
Þen Ector come auerthwert, as aunter befell,
Presit hym to þe place with a prise sworde;
Brittonit the bold men, þat aboute stode,
And mony dange to the dethe & deret full mekyll! [folio 129b]
Thus Dares of his dedis duly vs tellus,
A thowsaund, full throly, he þrang to þe dethe,—
All the knightes full kant, þat keppit Achilles,—
To haue wonen to þat worthy, so wodely he fore!
There Achilles with choppes chaunset so hard,
With myche wo he hym werit in wothe of his lyffe.
Then the night come anon, neghit with merke,
And for lacke of the light the ledis depertid:
ffro the batell on bothe halues busket anon
And turnyt to towne & to tenttes all. Page  272
Than thretty dayes þroly þei þrappit in feld,
And mony bold in the bekur were on bent leuit!
Mony doughty were ded of the derfe Troiens,
But mo were þere marrit of þe mayne grekes.
With-in thies dayes, with dole, was to dethe broght
Sex sonnes, for sothe, of the sure kynges,—
Of the noble brother naturill,—þat nait were in feld,
And Ector wondit, I-wis, in his wale face.
Þen Priam, the prise kyng, prestly can sende
To Agamynon the grete, gomys of his awne,
ffor a trew to be takon of a tyme short,—
Sex moneth & no more,—his men for to rest:
Þat the Grekes hym grauntid, grucchet þai noght.
Hit was festenit with faithe, & with fyn othes,
On bothe halues to hold holly assentid,
Withouten fight or affray to the fer end.
Er þes dayes were done, the doughty prinse Ector
Was hole of his hurtes þurgh helpe of a leche.
In a halle, þat was hoge, þere þe hend lay,
In honerable Ylion, eset hym a qwile,
Of whiche fairehed & fourme, the fynest clerke Dares
Tellys in his trety, vppon trew wise.
Hit was pight vp with pilers all of pure stones, [folio 130a]
Palit full prudly; and a proude flore
Rowchet all with cristall, clere as the sonne.
The walles vp wroght on a wise faire
With stones full stoute, stithest of vertue.
ffaire pillers were þere proude, all of pure coper,
In ffoure hyernes of the house hogely fest.
O lofte on tho louely were loget to stond,
ffoure ymages full fresshe, all of fyn gold, Page  273
Wonderfully wroght weghis to be-hold,
With gematry Justly aioynet to gedur;
Miche soteltie, for-sothe, settyng of notes,
Crafte þat was coynt, knawyng of tymes,
And other faynet fare & fantasy olde!
Within the tyme of the tru, the triet kyng Priam,
His noble sonnes naturell naitly gert bery,
With hor brether, in the burgh, on his best wise:
Eure son by hym selfe, sais me the lyne,
In a precius place, & in prise toumbis!
When the sex monethes were meuit of þe mene true,
Than faght þai in feld felly to gedur,
Twelue dayes, be-dene, dole to be-holde!
ffull myche was the murthe of þo mayn knightes,
On bothe sydes, for-sothe, sayes me the lyne;
And myche blode on the bent of tho bold leuyt.
Than the hete was so hoge, harmyt the grekes,
With a pestylence in the pepull pynet hom sore:
Thai fore out to the fildes, fellyn to ground,
And droppit to dethe on dayes full thicke.
ffor þat Agamynon, by grement, graidly did send
To the toun, for a true of a tym shorte;
Thretty dayes to endure, & no deire wirke.
Hit was grauntid þat grete, by grement with-in
Of Priam, & [the] prinse, & the prise all
Of kynges, and Comyns, and of kyde Dukes. [folio 130b]
Therto sworne were þai swiftly on hor swete haloes,
And affermyt hit fast: and here a ffyt endes.
Page  274

The xxj Boke. Of the biij Batell: And of the Dreme of Ector wyffe.

Lengye here at a litill, lystyn my wordes,
I shall tell you full tyte how hom tyde after,
When thes dayes were done, & dryven to an ende,
All þai fforen to þe fight, & the fild toke!
Of Andromaca drem I dresse me to telle,
How hir noyet in the night, er þai to note yode.
As þis burde was in bed with hir blythe lorde,
And slippit vpon slepe, slomeryng a while,
Sho was affrayet full foule with a fuerse dreme,
That she met of hir maister, & masit full euyll.
At hir wakonyng ho wist, as the writ sayes,
Iff the bold vnto batell busket þat day,
He shuld doutles be dede, & drepit for euer!
Andromaca for drede of her dreme felle,
Miche water ho weppit, and wackont the prince.
As þai bothe were in bed, þe burd to hym saide,
And told hym by tale, as her tyde hade.
Sho prayet the prinse with hir pure hert,
ffor drede of hir drem, & deire þat might falle,
On nowise in thys world the walles to passe,
ffor to bowne vnto batell, ne of burghe wend. [folio 131a]
Þan the worthy at his wife wrathet a litle,
And blamyt the burde for hir bold speche.
Hit was vnsittyng, he said, a sad man of wit, Page  275
Any dremys to drede, or deme hom for trew,
Syn þai feble are & faint, & falsly dissayuyn,
And be-lirten yche lede, þat leuys þerapon.
When the day vp droghe, & the derke voidet,
The burd bownet fro bed, & of boure past:
To his fader ho fore, & his fre moder.
All ho told hom in tale, as her tyde hade,
Besechis the souerain, with sykyng in hert,
Hir lord for to let, for lure þat might happyn:
On nowise þat he went, for wothe of his lyf!
When the sun vp set with his softe beames,
All the batels of the burghe bownet to feld,
Ordant of Ector efter his deuyse.
Troiell, the triet knyght, toke the feld sone;
Then Paris full prest put hym next aftur.
Deffebus drogh furth with a derfe pepull;
Eneas afturward auntred to feld.
Polidamas, the proud knight, past on swithe;
Then the fuerse kyng Forcius folowet anon;
And Philmen, the freke, with a felle batell.
Then all the kynges by course, þat comyn were to Troy,
The citie to socour, with þere sute hoole,
Passit furth fro Priam to þe playn feld,
With leue of þe lord, þat the lond aght.
Then Priam to þe prinse prestly can send,
That he bownet to no batell, ne þe burgh past,
On nowise in this world, for worship or other.
Therat Ector was angry, & angardly wrothe,
Repreuet the prinses with a pale face:
With his worshipful wife wrathit hym þen. [folio 131b]
Withouten leue of the lord, þat hym let wold,
To his seruondes he saide in a sad haste,
To bryng hym his bright geire, bownet to fild,
And arayed for the rode with a ronke wille. Page  276
Than his wif was war of his wille sone,
Myche watur ho weppit, wailyng for sorow.
Two sonnes hade þat semly, with the sure prinse,—
On Lamydon was litle, and his leue brother
Astionac also, þat after was borne,—
Þat were bothe at the brest of the bright norse,
Noght put fro the pappe to no prise fode.
The ton toke ho full tyte in hir true armys,
To the fote of þat fre fell ho belyue:
Hit was dole & deire, þat dere to be-hold!
With myche wepyng & woo þes wordes ho said:—
"A! my lord, & it like yow at this lefe tyme,
I be-seche you, for my sake sober youre wille:
Put of youre purpos, preses no fer,
ffor all the loue in our lyue, þat light vs betwene!"
He denyet hir anon: hir noy was the more.
And sho braid with the barne to þe bare erthe,
Vmbfoldyt his fete, felle vnto swone.
And when ho wacknet of wo, thies wordes ho said:—
"If ye no mercy haue on me, for mysse þat I thole,
Haue pité on youre pure sonnes, þat mone payne thole!
To be done to þe dethe with hor dere moder,
Or be shot out with shame fro youre shene landes;
Exiled for euermore endles to sorow,
Pight vnder pouert and penaunce to lyue!"
Then his moder the myld qwene, & his meke syster,
Cassandra the clene, & clere Polexena,
And honerable Elan also, with hom:
Thies fellyn hym to fete with a foule chere, Page  277
Prayond the prinse (pitie was to se)
To put of his pale wedis, & his pale entre;
And abyde in the burgh to the bare night.
He hade no ruthe of hor remyng, ne þe rank teris, [folio 132a]
Ne þe prayer of þo prise persit not his hert;
But past furth prudly his purpos to hold,
And bounet toward batell, bode he no lengur.
Þen Andromoca for dol drogh out of wit,
Vne fore as a fole, fonnet at all;
Past vnto Priam, þe prinsis aune fadur,
With a rufull rore rent of hir clothis;
Rafit þe red chekis roidly with hond,
And þe hore of hir hede heterly pullit!
So þat ffre with hir face fore at þe tyme,
Þat all blod was þe bright in hir ble qwit:
Ho was vnkyndly to knaw of hir kyd frendis.
So disfigurt of face & febill of hew,
To þe fete of þe fre kyng fel ho belyue,
Besechond þat soueran, in a sad hast
ffor to high to þat hynd, & hold hym within,
Þat he fore not to fight, ne the fild toke!
Than Priam in pure hast preset to horse,
Lept vp full lyghtly, & the lede folowet:
Ouertoke hym full tyte, taried hym þan,
Raght to the reynes of his riche bridell:
Vne wrothe in his wille weppit full sore,
Comaundand þat comly, as his kynd fader,
By all hor goddes so gret, & greuyng of hym,
Þat he fare shuld ne ferre, ne the feld entre.
At the last, þurgh the likyng of his lege kyng,
And offence of his ffader, the freke agayne turnyt:
Past euyn to his palais, & the place entrid.
He wold put of no plate of his prise armur,
But abode in the burgh in his bright wedis. Page  278
Then the batell was brem in the brode felde,
Mony fell in the fight at the first tyme!
Dyamede that duke, & the derfe Troilus,
Evyn macchit hom to mete with two mayn speires:
With all the bir in hor brest and hor byg horses, [folio 132b]
So þai cast hom to caupe with a course felle,
The ton hade doutles ben dede, & drepit for ay,
Hade not Menelay mightyly met hom betwene,
With a batell full big bere hom in sonder.
He frunt to a fuerse kyng of frigies lond,
A mon full of might, þat Meseron was cald:
He had hym of horse, hyndward anon,
And he was takon full [tite] & turnyt away.
Polidamas, the prise knight, come prikond belyue
With a folke þat was felle, & the fight entrid.
He Reskewet the Renke, russhet vnfaire,
And myche baret on bent to the buernes dyd:
Þan the grekes agayne grippit the kyng,
Wold haue [had] of his hede in a hast þere,
But Troiell full tydely turnyt hom agaynes,
Kyld doun þere knightes, and the kyng toke!
He deliuert the lord, lete hym of hond;
And fell of his foos fuersly þat tyme.
Telemonius Aiax come angardly fast,
With þre thowsaund þro men þrang into batell;
Gird in with the grekes, & myche grym wroght,
And mony tulke out of Troy tyrnit to ground.
Þen þurghe chaunse of Achilles & his choise helpe,
Þai bere the burgh-men abacke to the bare walles:
Þai bounet fro batell, & the bent leuyt,
ffled all in fere frikly to toune!
Mageron the mighty macchet with Achilles, Page  279
Wold haue takon the talle kyng, & to toun led:
He was a proude son of Priam, & a prise knight,
And a wight man in wer, þof hym woo happnit.
Achilles were hym full wightly, & the wegh slogh;
Bare hym bak to þe bent, & the buerne deghit.
Þen was clamur & crye for care of hym one,
And myche dole for his dethe, þat derit hom all!
Telamon, the toure kyng, þe Troiens pursuet; [folio 133a]
Paris hym put of, & preset hym sore,
With other kynges & knightes, and the kyde brether;
But hom worthe to þe worse, wete ye for sothe,
And soghtyn to the Citie in a sad hast!
Than kaght þai the corse of þe kynges son,
Broghtyn into burgh with baret & crye.
When Ector herd of þat hynde vnhappely was dede,
Þan fraynit þat fre, who þe freike sloghe.
"Achilles the choise kyng," oon chaunsit to say,
"ffell hym in fight & fele of oure knightes!"
Ector, wode of his wit for woo of his brother,
Haspit on his helme, & his horse toke;
Went out wightly, vnwetyng his fader.
Two Dukes full derne, he to dethe broght,
And manly with mayn mellit with other;
Kyld downe knightes, karve hom in sonder.
Mony wondet the weghe, & to woo caste;
Britnet hom on bent, and on bake put.
The grekes, for his greffe, girdyn hym fro,
Thay knew hym full kyndly be caupe of his sworde.
Then the Troiens full tyte to the toune floghen,
Issuet out egurly Ector to helpe;
Gird evyn to the grekes, and hor ground toke;
ffoghten full felly, and hor fos harmyt. Page  280
Polidamas, the pert, was presset so fast,
Þat he was wonen in wer, & away led:
Than Ector in yre Egerly faght,
And the grekes in his grem gird he to dethe,—
Two hundreth in hast, þat the hend led,—
And deliuert the lede with his lyfe hole!
This a grete of the grekes graidly beheld,
Had meruell full mekyll, macchet hym to Ector,
(Liochydes, the large, so þe lord hight):
He wend, the prinse in the prese haue put o