The romans of Partenay, or of Lusignen: otherwise known as the tale of Melusine: tr. from the French of La Coudrette (before 1500 A. D.) Formerly edited from a unique manuscript in the library of Trinity college, Cambridge, with an introduction, notes, and glossarial index, and now rev. by the Rev. Walter W. Skeat ...
Couldrette, active 14th century-15th century., Skeat, Walter W. (Walter William), 1835-1912., Mélusine.
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Page  8


Hit is so in trouth in time auncion, [ 1] *. [In ancient times, after the time of Octavianus, lived in Poitiers a cer∣tain earl named Amery, well∣skilled in astrology and other sciences,]
After the time that OctauiAn was,
In peyters a erle had of grete renoun,
Off whom gret talkyng men held hie and bas; 1. [MS. "has," which is wrong.] [ 4]
louid of all, cherished in eche place,
Callid Amerys; wel cowde astronemie,
And A man ful ripe in other clerigie [ 7]
Off the right Canoun and Ciuile also; [ 8] *. [as well as in canon and civil law.]
Wel nye al by hert thes science coude he,
Als wordly witte I-now had ther-to;
yut hys dedes neuerthelesse to se, *. [Never was there a better astrologer, or one more learned in the science,]
Neuer better astronomian might be, [ 12]
Founde was neuer man being christian;
He cowde moche more than any other man, [ 14]
But only he which sterres gan to name, [ 15] [Fol. 6]
Then all other, with ther names all. *. [excepting only Him, who gave stars their names. He was also great and rich, and very fond of hunting.]
A gret man this was And of noble fame,
And wel at ease of goodes mondiall;
Disport of houndes loued moche with-all, [ 19]
Full ofte chaced he hertes, bores grete;
Thys erle of peyters huge nobles gan gete. [ 21]
A Fair sone had by his gentill wiffe, [ 22] *. [He had a fair son and a fair daugh∣ter, whose names were Bertram and Blanche.]
Full moche loued hir, chirsly can hir hold,
And A doughter fair, ful swete As fare liff,
Streight nose, fair mouth, wel fetured, me told,
Gret beute she had wonderly vnfolde; [ 26]
Page  9 Which men callyd Blanche, she was inly fair;
And the sone-is name Bertram debonaire. [ 28]
Thys Erle thes children ful moche loued tho; [ 29] *. [Neither Ro∣chelle nor Macon were yet founded;]
yut was noght founded, neither like to be,
Rochel ne machon, neither of them to;
Thorugh al peyters foyson of wode plente, *. [and there was, throughout Poi∣tiers, abundance of trees, and espe∣cially a large forest called that of Coulombiers.]
A ful gret forest with many A streight tre, [ 33]
And in the wild forest As of columbere,
Which is noght full ferre fro peiters there. [ 35]
FOr tho ther was A Erle in the forest, [ 36] *. [Now there was an earl in the forest, who had a huge great number of children, not very rich,]
Which of children had A huge noumbre gret;
In riches herite was not in þe best,
But of good lyuyng was in-dede and set,
Sagely And wisely good gouernaunce get; [ 40] *. [but who lived sagely, and spent warily,]
After that had, warly gan dispende;
And for hys good gouernaunce, at ende, [ 42]
Loued and cherished was of peple all. [ 43] [Fol. 6 b.]
Cosyn he was to Erle amerye fre, *. [and was beloved by all. He was cousin to Amery; who, hearing of his great number of children, thought to assist him.]
Which thes nouels hurd at that entreual,
That his cosyn had of children plente;
Then came hym in wil and in volente [ 47]
Off such greuous charge hym to discharge tho;
Without traying, 1. [Read tarying. See note.] therfor, gan he do, [ 49]
At peiters made A roial gret feste, [ 50] *. [He made there∣fore a great feast at Poitiers, and invited the earl of the forest and his feudal barons.]
A more worshipful neuer sayn with eye;
After tho he send the Erle of forest,
Of poiters The erle commaunded so fullie,
And other Barons lyke-wyse verilye, [ 54]
Which of hys seignorie landes gan hold
Of this noble erle A-forne spoke and tolde. [ 56]
Tho wer after sende, to hym came gladlye; [ 57] *. [They came gladly upon the day ap∣pointed; and the]
All other cam, non lakke, vnto that iournay
Page  10 That thys sayd Erle commaunded hertlye. *. [earl of the forest brought with him three of his sons.]
The Erle of Forest brought hym, thay say,
Thre of his sones vnto court that day, [ 61]
For to do to hys cosyn gret plesaunce;
And he cam vnto full fair ordinaunce. [ 63]
The Erle of poiters had gret ioy to sight [ 64] *. [The earl of Poitiers was glad to see them, and regarded the three sons closely, especially the youngest, and said,]
Of hys good cosyn, And hym fested so,
And hym cherished in al that he myght;
Hys children feruently gan he behold tho,
To on of them thre hys behold gan go, [ 68]
The lest gan hym plese in hert brennynglie,
To hys cosyn sayd thes wordes swetly. [ 70]
"Understandeth me, my fair swete cosin, [ 71] [Fol. 7]
I haue vnderstande And by neighbours knowe *. ["My fair sweet cousin, I beg you to give me one of these children; he shall be well taught,]
That largely ye haue children good and fin,
Full good is that ye ther-of discharge yowe;
Here I you require, yeff me on to owe; [ 75]
He shall be wel taught in curtesie and speche,
For suche doctrine schal hym lere and teche; [ 77]
And for euermore ryche man shal hym make." [ 78] *. [and I will make him a rich man." "My lord," said the earl, "do your pleasure as regards these three;]
"My lord," sayd thys Erle of the forest hie,
"Of thes thre on your plesire do and take,
And you ther-of I thanke whyth hert ful humly,
Reson is ne right that you werne shold y; [ 82]
Se ye here now thre in your hie presence, *. [I will not refuse you.]
Do as liketh your noble reuerence. [ 84]
TAke here vnto you which you best do plese, [ 85] *. [Take whichever of them you like best." "Then give me the youngest," quoth the earl of Poitiers;]
No man shall ther-of you werne ne withsay;"—
"Then yeff me the lest to my hertes ese,
For I haue to hym my loue yeff thys day,"
Page  11 The Erle of poiters this to hym gan say. [ 89]
"Sir, I wyll gladly do your will and hest,"
So hym Answerd the Erle of forest, 1. [MS. "forest."] [ 91]
"Syn he you plesith, ye shall hym haue trulie; [ 92]
My lord, se hym here, you here take sone myn;"—
"My fair cosyn, I thanke you ful hertlye; *. ["and declare to me his name.]
Declare me hys name (.) gentil good cosyn."
"My lord, men hym cal Raymound good & fyn, [ 96] *. ["My lord, his name is Ray∣mond."]
The fair, the swet, the gentill, the curtoys,
Off all thre best thaught, still, not moche of uoys."
When thys roiall Feist was endyd and done, [ 99] [Fol. 7 b.]
Ryght so As it fell vppon the thyrd day, *. [The third day after the feast, the earl of the forest departed.]
The Erle of foreste toke hys leue to gone;
Tho thes brethen thre to-geders kyssyd thay, *. [The three brethren mutually com∣mended each other to God, and Raymond re∣mained behind.]
Entercommaundyng to god other ay, [ 103]
At ther departson had thay gret dolour;
Thys Raymound Abode with hys lord that houre.
Ful wele he hym seruyd vnto his powere, [ 106] *. [Raymond served earl Amery faith∣fully,]
Off trouth he it knew ful wel verilye,
Thys full noble erle, sir Amerie, there,
Which moche hym louyd And cherished 2. [MS. "fherished." See l. 121.] hertly, *. [and was much be∣loved in return.]
As for that so wel hym seruyd daily, [ 110]
And surely wold do that to hym wold say,
Neuer seruitour louid so no day; [ 112]
And 3. [MS. "AAnd."] Also he was his faythfull cosyn. [ 113] *. [But after this did Raymond slay him; cast stone∣dead to the earth, to death must Amery incline, through the false gluttonous cruelty of fortune.]
Raymound after thys, gayn wyl, hym gan sly;
Standed cast to ground, to deth most incline
By fortune fals glotenous cruelte,
Which no-thyng dredith ne doughteth to be, [ 117]
Page  12 But causith ofte meruelles for to come,
So As ye may hire sondry tymes lome. [ 119]
At noble poiters the erle Amerie, [ 120] *. [The earl Amery went often to hunt in the afore∣said forest, during five or six years;]
Which so was louyd and cherished tho,
Als of hys men holden ful cherishlye
Both of ryche And pour in like wyse also,
To wodes he went ful ofte to hunt, lo! [ 124]
Into the foreste of sayd columb[e]re;
So fyffe or sexe ȝere regned in powere. [ 126]
HIt cam on A day, for to hunt he went, [ 127] [Fol. 8]
With hym gret fusion of knyghtes many, *. [and he went to hunt one day with a large number of knights,]
Of tho which he moste louyd ther hent,
Whith hym to disport brought he forth surelye.
Besidis hym rode Raymounde gentillye, [ 131] *. [with Raymond on a high courser beside him, bearing his sword.]
vppon A coursere he, beryng ful wel
(As thys hystorie doth declare and tell) [ 133]
The swerd of thys noble Erle and man. [ 134] *. [The chase began;]
Tho began the chace strong and myghtly;
The best for noyse A-forn the hundys ran, *. [the beast ran be∣fore the hounds, closely followed by them and by the earl,]
The houndes sewing after ful strongly;
The Erle thaim sewed and spored lyghtly, [ 138]
Of whom anon shal you declare and say
Where hym cam tho gret mischef and afray; [ 140]
FOr neuer after he ne cam againe, [ 141] *. [who never re∣turned again home. Raymond followed him as closely as he could;]
Raymounde hym sewed As moche As he myght,
As for to leue hym ne wold he certayn;
Of thaim to it fil As ye sall know ryght.
In the forest sought thys swyne euery wyght, [ 145] *. [and, as the moon rose, the boar was still slaying the dogs.]
Which in columbere bred and fed trulye;
The mone ther rose; the swyne ther houndes slye,
Ther ded to ground thaim cast myghtilye. [ 148] *. [The earl's people knew not where he was, having]
his peple wyst noght where that he became,
Page  13 Novmbred were thay ther mo then twentye *. [ridden away after the boar.]
Which full feruently rode after thys game;
"Come heder," said, "Raymound, lord, in goddys *. ["Come hither, Raymond!" said the earl,] name! [ 152]
Our houndes, our peple lost now haue we,
In what part thay ben vnknow is to me; [ 154]
And now is it noght to retorne, parde? [ 155] [Fol. 8 b.]
Thought we cerche Aboute we shal not thaim *. ["and tell me what you advise."] find.
What say ye now? what do now shal we?"—
Raymounde sayd, "go forth, tary we not behynd, *. ["Let us find some retreat," said Raymond, "where we may tarry awhile."]
Vnto som receit nye the wodes lynde, [ 159]
Wher we mow thys tym receyued to be."
The Erle answered, "ful wel now say ye; [ 161]
Ryght so shal it be As to me said, [ 162] *. ["So shall it be," said the earl, "for the moon and stars shine clearly."]
Sithen the mone is risen vp an hie,
The euening is fair and clere displaid,
The sterres shinen fair I-now truly
That all the wordle enlumyneth goodlie." [ 166]
Then vnto ther way went thay ful nere,
For the mone gan shine inly fair and clere. [ 168]
Thorught the wodes went, athirt trauersing, [ 169] *. [Traversing athwart the wood, they found at last an easy path, which the earl thought would lead them to Poitiers.]
Where thay found places diuers and sondrye,
Then a full fair way to thaym apperyng
Wheron a stronge pas rode thay hastily.
The Erle said, "Raymound, thys path wyl vs bryng nye, [ 173]
As me semeth, to peyters the ryght way;
What sey ye? is it noght so, now me say?" [ 175]
RAymounde said, "I trow it so be trulye; [ 176] *. [Raymond thought the same, and advised that they]
Now ride we then, in goddis name, apace,
Page  14 We shall come ful late thought we ful fast hye, *. [should ride on fast, and inquire their way of some one whom they might meet.]
That into the town to entre haue no space;
yut perauenture we may fynd som grace [ 180]
To mete your peple whiche that knowith the way:"—
"Go we," sayd the Erle, "I graunt, al that we may."
Then thay toke ther way wonder spedfullye. [ 183] [Fol. 9]
Thys noble Erle be-gan to behold *. [The earl, as he rode, began to behold the stars, being (as was told) a skilful astrologer.]
Thes fair sterres shinyng ful bryghtly,
So that the skye enlumyned manyfold;
Of astronemye wyse was As is told, [ 187]
So moche ther-of knew he the maistrie.
As he a sterre beheld in the skye an hie, [ 189]
Ther he saw a meruelous auenture [ 190] *. [Thereupon he perceived, by a certain star, that a strange ad∣venture was at hand,]
Which ful sharpe and hard after to hym was.
The profite of other touched he ther sure,
But of hys owne ille perceyued no cas.
Ther wonderful syghtes 1. [syghes (?).] gan to purchas, [ 194]
Hys handys gan wryng and to draw fast, *. [and wrung his hands, and cried out,]
"O lord god!" said, "that angelles formed hast,
That thes merueles so strange bene sothlese! [ 197] *. ["O Lord God! why doth fortune make a man prosper by ill∣doing?]
Fortune is ful strong any man to know;
O varray god! for why made she encresse
Only a man, 2. [MS. "aman."] for doing ille, to grow?
She is ful glad of duyng ille, I trow, [ 201]
Now is it ryght thus, I se wel now expresse *. [For I perceive that prosperity will thus happen.]
That, for ille doing, comyth gret goodnesse! [ 203]
In thes sterres se, Raymounde, vnderstand! [ 204] *. [Raymond! behold these stars, and know that if, in this hour, a man]
For I here perceyue ful gret auenture."
He hym answerd, "what is that sayand?"
Page  15 Thys Erle hym said, "the shal declare sure, *. [were to slay his sovereign lord,]
Without any doubte know thys of trouth pure, [ 208]
And no-thyng no doubte, but be in certayn,
If a man 1. [MS. "aman."] gan sle hys lord souerayn, [ 210]
As in thys hour, he shuld gretter lorde be; [ 211] [Fol. 9 b.]
More pusaunt, ful myghtly, and ryght gret *. [he would become himself a greater lord, and more puissant than any in the country,]
Then any of hys kynred in contre; 2. [MS. "incontre."]
In al places shal fructefie and get,
loue of all shal haue wher he entermet, [ 215]
More gretter loue haue then his neyboures all; *. [and be more beloved than his neighbours."]
know thys, fayr cosin, this is trouth, & shall!"
RAymounde noght o word yaf hym to answere, [ 218] *. [Raymond an∣swered not, but alighted, and found a little fire kindled in a heap of wood.]
Al pensif a foote discended adon;
An hepe of wode a[t] that tyme founde there,
That herdes had lefte, gret and smal, theron;
A lytyll fire found ther, the wode brend anon. [ 222]
Certes ouer warme at that tyme was noght;
The Erle ther lyght doune, somwhat hym chaufe *. [The earl also alighted to warm himself.] thought. [ 224]
Ther thai hurd a noyse, for to speke shortlye; [ 225] *. [Then heard they a noise. The wood brake, and they beheld a huge boar, in marvellous wrath,]
The wod breke and rent ful heuily tho;
Then Raymound his swerd gan to gripe fersly,
And the Erle his in that other party to.
leuing the fyre which ful clere brend, lo! [ 229]
Then aforn them saw ny to them comyng
An huge bore of meruelous wreth beyng, [ 231]
With tuskes tho whettyng ful strongly, [ 232] *. [and whetting his tusks.]
And with malice yre comyng, fast smytyng;
"My lord, saue your lyf and ward yow quiklye, *. [Raymond begs his lord to climb wightly into a tree, who boldly refuses]
here vppon a tre wyghtly be clemmyng;"—
With hie hautyng voice the erle answeryng, [ 236]
Page  16 "I neuer was repreued at no stound,
Ne here shal not be neuer shuch wise founde. [ 238]
WEre it plesaunce to god I shold hens fle [ 239] [Fol. 10]
As beforn A pigge of A fowle sowe, lo?" *. [to flee from a pig of a foul sow.]
Towardes the swine hys swerd fast shoke he; *. [The earl advances to pierce the boar, when his sword glances;]
Raymound vnderstode his worde hym noyed tho.
Thys sayd Erle tho went to launce hym vnto, [ 243]
And when it cam so, the swerd went adōn; *. [for, as the boar came fast to∣wards him,]
Thys swyne to the Erle forth faste ran anon; [ 245]
By mischef ther thys noble Erle gan die; [ 246] *. [his sword would not pierce the boar's hide; so that, missing his stroke, he falls from his horse upon the boar's tusks.]
The Erle hym ne myght no lenger ther hym hold.
By myschef thys swyne smot hym feruentlye;
But hys swerd in hym entre ther ne wold,
There he moste of horse fal to hys tuskes bold. [ 250]
Raymound fast gan ren thys sayd swyne agayne, *. [Raymond runs up to aid him,]
Trowyng hym to smite thorugh the body playne;
But hys swerde glente, non hurt had he tho, [ 253] *. [but his sword also turns aside.]
For vppon the bakke was the stroke to se;
Againe Raymounde smote, thorught the bely gan go, *. [A second stroke, however, is successful, and he cleaves open the boar with his steel sword.]
With the stilen swerde there tho made entre;
The blade fourged good, rasour kene was he, [ 257]
All the bowelles cutte, all fil out anon;
Hys good swerd withdrew, the bore ther fil dōn,
To mortail deth to grounde fallen tho. [ 260] *. [He finds his lord dead, and his soul com∣mended to God.]
Thens vnto hys lord went he forth anon,
Neuer gan to rest til hym cam vnto,
Al dede ther hym founde And the soul gon;
Commaunded was she to goddis hie renon, [ 264]
For A worthy man and vaillant he was *. [For he was as valiant a man as any on this side of Rome.]
As Any A-this-side 1. [MS. "A thisside."] Rome to purchas. [ 266]
Page  17
RAymounde hym tuke fast ther to wepyng, [ 267] [Fol. 10 b.]
hym-selfen gan bete and hym sore torment—*. [Raymond ex∣claims against Fortune, saying that a man who trusts her is a greater fool than any mute beast;]
"ha! alas! thou fals fortune," ther sayng,
"To me hast thou be felonesly bent!
Goode to tho wykyd thou grauntest and lent; [ 271]
he is A more foole then Any mute best
That trustith on the, or in thy behest! [ 273]
Thou art no gudfader ne Godmodere! [ 274] *. [that she is no godfather nor godmother;]
To on art thou swet, Another bitter to;
Non may on the trust, ne in thy fals gere;
Off A smal man thou makest a kyng, lo! *. [that she makes a king of a small man;]
And of tho ful rych right pour men also. [ 278]
In the no wyl streine to helpe moste or lest;
Thou on aydest, Another destroest! [ 280]
Alas for sorow! thys in me to fynde! [ 281] *. [that she has perdurably con∣demned him,]
Thou here me hast destroed entierlie,
And perdurabelly dampned to mynde,
But iesu crist, the cheritable god hye, *. [unless Christ will have pity on him.]
The trew, the swete, the piteful, of mercy [ 285]
Of my wery soule lust to haue pyte!" *. [Hereupon he swoons,]
And with that Raymound zownyng dōn gan fle, [ 287]
And wel nye an hour ryght so gan hym hold [ 288] *. [and does not come to himself again for an hour.]
Without spech or loke; after cam agayne,
Ther begynnyng his sorowes manyfold.
When he rewardyd hys lord souerayne, *. [Again regarding his lord, he in∣vokes death,]
Whiche ther dede-cold lay, sore hym gan complayne,
Rewfully sayng with scrychyng vois hie,
"Come, deth! tarye noght, anon let me dye! [ 294]
Comyng me to take, for time now it is; [ 295] [Fol. 11]
For loste haue I here both soule and bodye; *. [for that his lord is slain by his misdeed.]
My souerayne lorde that dede here lith thys,
Page  18 By my grete mysdede here hym slayn haue I. *. [He would commit suicide, but that it is against provi∣dence.]
Deth, come to me! season is trulye; [ 299]
Come forth here anon, or I shal me sle;
But god shold me sle, I shold noght so me. [ 301]
God wold noght, which is our chef fader hye, [ 302] *. [God would not that any should despair;]
That any cristyn in dispeir be shold;
But the hour coursed that born was worly,
Or that wreched lyf so long leuyng hold.
Better had me be dede-born here vnfold, [ 306] *. [yet it had been better for him to have been born dead.]
For then had I noght dampned ne lost be.
Alas! my lord cousyn, gentile and fre, [ 308]
LEsse worth am I then any sarysyne, [ 309]
Whiche is in beleue of sory mahound!"
Ther leping vp into hys sadel fine, *. [Leaping again into his saddle,]
More lenger ne rest he ther that stound,
The body of hys lord rest 1. [left (?).] in that ground, [ 313] *. [he leaves the body, and rides away from the spot,]
A sory man was thorught the wode gan ride,
With wofull malice destrussed that tyde; [ 315]
The brydell-rayne lefte, at large let it go; [ 316] *. [leaving the bridle∣reins loose.]
hym-selfe 2. [MS. "feffe."] tormented and cursid ful sore,
Vnnethes for-bare hym-selfe to sle tho,
Ful ofte hys colour changing euermore,
he had non end of his dolorous (.) store. [ 320]
In thys estate rode lamentabillye, *. [Thus rode he along lamentably,]
Tyll he Approched, certes, sodenlye [ 322]
The fontayn and well of thursty gladnesse, [ 323] [Fol. 11 b.]
(As said is, it came 3. [MS. "canne."] of the fayrie); *. [till he approached suddenly the fountain of Thirsty Gladness, said to be of fairy origin.]
Thys wofull man apas streight ther-to gan dresse,
hys horse ches a path conueyng wightly,
Ouer all thys hors so went wylfully, [ 327] *. [The horse chooses his path at will,]
here and there ouer all where at hys lust wold,
For that he had lefte the rayne for to hold. [ 329]
Page  19
At thys said fontayn hys courser hym brought, [ 330] *. [and thus brings him to the foun∣tain.]
So forth passing by ther tho apertlye;
Neuer ne reste, but was in other thought;
hys coursere hyme bare forth fast and wyghtly;
For discomforted was he moche truly, [ 334] *. [The rider is so distressed that he cannot look about him.]
That hys mynde was gone fro hym-self full ferre,
So that he ne saw Abowt, ferre ne nerre. [ 336]
Uppon thys fontayn ther had verilie, [ 337] *. [Beside the fountain were three ladies of high degree.]
Which was right holsome, ful clere as crestal,
Thre fair laydes of gret seignorie.
In hys forth-passyng saw non of thaim all, *. [He sees none of them; but the most good-look∣ing and "jolliest" exclaims,]
Such dolorous thoughtes to hym gan call. [ 341]
Then spak the most gentillest of thaim thre,
The most goodlokest And iolyest to se; [ 343]
SAyng, "neuer saw, dais of my lyfe, [ 344] *. ["I never, all the days of life, saw a gentleman pass ladies with∣out salutation."]
Where it were gayn night or at morne erlie,
Gentil man to pass but had respectif
Aforn ladies without saluz hye,
I wyll goo And speke with hym verilie." [ 348]
She vn-to him cam, taking by the rayn, *. [She then seizes his rein,]
After openly to hym said certayn— [ 350]
FOr goddis sake, man, shew the noght soo, [ 351] [Fol. 12]
Which be descended of noble linage, *. [and tells him that to go by without a word is not the deed of a gentle heart.]
Sin Aforn vs thre ye apperen, lo!
And without worde say for to make passage,
It is noght the dede of gentil corage." [ 355]
he, whiche dolour hurt tho ful feruentlye, *. [Raymond suddenly per∣ceives her,]
vpp sodenly lepte, perceyued thys ladye; [ 357]
Ther he trowed that fantesie it were, [ 358] *. [and thinks it is all the effect of his imagination, and knows not whether he is awake or asleep.]
Where he slepte or wakyd wel knew he noght;
A dede mannys colour that tyme had he there,
Page  20 To hir non answere at that season brought, *. [He returns her no answer.]
Noght intended here for sorow in thought, [ 362]
But musing ful fast and was ryght penssife
As euer was man which that here bare life. [ 364]
Thys fayr layde toke her tho to speke, [ 365] *. [She asks him why he will not speak, and]
Anon ful hiely sayd she hym vnto,
"how, Raymound, is thys, ye lust no word breke?
ho hath you taught that to a mayden so, *. [wishes to know who taught him such behaviour;]
Or to A lady when ye se thaim, lo! [ 369]
That no word haue ne lust to say onlye?
Of it cometh repref and vilanye. [ 371]
IN you all swetnesse And good curtesie [ 372] *. [for that it is a dishonour to him that he thus forces his heart to be unnatural.]
Shold byde and dwel with al honour sure;
Here-on ye be dishonoured gretly
Which comyn be of so noble nature,
That your gentil hert put to disnature." [ 376]
Raymounde vnderstode, ther hir gan behold, *. [Raymond is many times astonied,]
Sore astoned was times manyfold, [ 378]
When that he saw she hym held by rayne— [ 379] [Fol. 12 b.]
But when perceyued the humayn bodye *. [and, perceiving the human body of this fair lady, his heaviness of heart troubles him yet more. Knowing not whether he is alive or dead, he alights hastily,]
Of thys fair lady hym so to restrayne,
In whom gret beute was preynted freshlye,
Moche the more troubled his noysance heuye, [ 383]
That he wiste not where he were quicke or dede;
Fro hors fill down vppon the grasse in-dede. [ 385]
After hys 1. [thys (?).] sayd, "moste gracyous ymage, [ 386] *. [and says, "Most gracious image,]
Soueran layde of gret beute hye,
With whome to compare non hath Avantage,
Pardon me, swet thyng, for goddys mercye; *. [pardon me, sweet thing! My heart is heavy with misfortune;]
With sorowes I haue the hert ful heuye [ 390]
Page  21 By ouermoche meruelous auenture;
By my faith, lady, I will you ensure [ 392]
That in such astate wher-on that I was, [ 393]
I remembred noght what I owght to do; *. [I remembered not what I ought to do.]
So moche sorow and care me doth enbras,
Truly more than man can say you vn-to.
For-soth I noght you perceyued no wyse, lo! [ 397] *. [I perceived you not;]
But, noble lady, you beseche and pray
Me vnto perdon so it please you may." [ 399] *. [pray, pardon me."]
Ther thys lady spake, "Raymound!" answeryng, [ 400] *. [She addresses him by name:]
"I am ful sorye of your gret noysance."
When Raymounde knew sche hym ther namyng,
A litell began to muse that instance.
"Lady, of my name ye haue conysance, [ 404] *. [at which he is much astonished;]
Where-of I am Ameruelled gretlye;
By my feith, I know noght your name redilye. 1. [Here follows the catch-word—"you named but." See note.] [ 406]
You named but . . . . . . . . . . . . . [ 407] [Fol. 13]
Wher that perceyue so full huge beute, *. [but, reassured by her beauty, he trusts that he will soon recover himself;]
hyt causeth me to beleue verilie
That I schuld by you wel assured be,
And that I shal yut wel recouer 2. [MS. "yecouer," the tail of the y being partly erased.] me, [ 411]
By you to acquire som good recomfort
Off my huge sorow is my dyscomfort. [ 413]
For of so fair A swete creature [ 414] *. [since only good∣ness can come from so sweet a creature.]
Approcheth non ille, but ay al goodnesse;
Fro you may noght come but good auenture,
I beleue noght that terrene boody sothlesse *. [He cannot believe that an earthly body can have so much sweetness.]
Of lusty beute may haue such richesse, [ 418]
So moche of swetnesse, so moche of connyng
As in your gentil body is beryng." [ 420]
Page  22
"Raymounde, I perceyue how it goth now;" [ 421] *. [She then recounts to him all he has been doing, explaining that she is well acquainted with all that has happened.]
She declared hym ther all hys doyng,
Ther hym gan rehers euerydele how,
As Aboue is said al hym declaring.
Then Raymounde feruently reioyng, [ 425]
How-be-hyt he moche astoned tho was
How hys name myght know; strange to hym þat cas. [ 427]
Then thys lady said of gentil bodye, [ 428] *. [She then declares that all the good fortune which his lord pre∣dicted for him will be brought about if he will attend to what she says.]
"Raymounde, my good loue, vnderstandeth me,
Al that whiche your lord said youe varilye
By wordes myn fulfillyd shal be,
Truly and forsoth, yf so do wil ye [ 432]
Ryght As I shal here vnto you rehers,
Thinges to non hurt, sondry and diuers, [ 434]
Unto the plesire of our lorde an hie, [ 435] [Fol. 13 b.]
And of his glorius moder also."
When Raymounde vnderstode she spake trulye,
Stedfastly hym toke the more surer to, *. [Yet more assured, he gladly pro∣mises to do all her commandments.]
Ther hir saing, "swete gentill lady tho, [ 439]
I schall put my hert And my holy 1. [hole (?). See l. 482.] entent
To your plesour do your commaundement. [ 441]
But certes, lady, I may no wyse tarie [ 442] *. [Yet he wishes to know how she knows his name and cir∣cumstances.]
That you me 2. [read ne; see note.] demaunde the trouth and verite,
How ye myght my name knowen verilie,
And how thys dede know any wyse may ye
That by my fortune and mischef fil to me, [ 446]
As wherthorugh I haue deserued deth full wel,
Wherfor that I haue desired deth cruell?" [ 448]
"RAymounde, you councel, Astoned be noght," [ 449] *. ["Raymond," she said, "I counsel you not to be astonished.]
Asaid thys lady, "for god shal you ayd;
Page  23 yf ye will, moche more to you shall be brought *. [You shall be yet more successful than your dead lord predicted.]
Of wordly goodes then your lorde you said,
Whiche in the forest dede-colde light this braid. [ 453]
I wyll in no wyse you to discomfort,
I shall you socour, helpe, ayd, and comfort. [ 455]
Y Am, after god, your nexst frende trulye, [ 456] *. [I am, after God, your best friend;]
Wordly catell I-now shall be brought.
But loke ye me truste And beleue verilie, *. [but you must trust to me en∣tirely.]
And dubte ye no-thing of goddys part am noght,
I noght beleue in hys vertues wrought; [ 460] *. [Do not doubt∣ingly think that I am not on God's side;]
yut I you promise that I do beleue
Ryght As holy Catholike feith doth yeue. [ 462]
Euery Article beleue I and hold [ 463] [Fol. 14]
Of the holy feith catholike named, *. [for I hold every article of the Catholic faith; viz., that God was born of a spotless virgin, endured death, rose the third day, and ascended into heaven,]
That god, vs to saue, of the virgyn unfold
Was born without wemme in hir attamed;
Dethe endured; third day rose vnshamed; [ 467]
After ascended vnto heuenys hie,
Ther verray man And varray god trulye; [ 469]
And is in ryght syde of hys fader hie. [ 470] *. [and is at the right hand of the Father.]
Raymound, vnderstand here now me vnto,
Firmely all beleue without doubte anye.
Now ye here beleue that sagely ye do, *. [Trust me entirely, and you shall attain to great honour.']
And ye shall rise vp, to such honour go, [ 474]
That more shal ye be As of hie parage
Then any man, lo! As of your linAge." [ 476]
Then Raymound musyd and gan aduertise [ 477] *. [Raymond, much amended of his care and sorrow,]
The wordes ther said, and hertly ioyed tho;
A litel his colour cam, vnto deuise,
And moche amendyd of sorow and care to,
When he answerd, "lady, I shal do [ 481] *. [promises to do what she com∣mands without gainsaying.]
With all my hole hert, without withsaing,
Al that which ye wyll be me commaunding." [ 483]
Page  24
"RAymounde," she said tho, "this is ful wel said; *. ["Swear then to me," she said, "at this time, that you will marry me,]
Now vnderstandeth me without gayn-sayng,
To god and his sayntes me swere now thys braid,
That in mariage me wil be taking, 1. [MS. "betaking."]
And that neuer, dais of your leuing, [ 488] *. [and that you will never inquire as to where I go on a Saturday;]
For no worde that man wyl vnto you say,
ye shall not enquere of me the saturday, [ 490]
NE after me cerche in no wise ye do, [ 491] [Fol. 14 b.]
Neither to what part drawith my body,
Ne what I will do, ne to what place go;
Als I schall you swere For trouth uerilie, *. [and I promise, in return, to go to no ill place, but always to labour that day on your behalf."]
To non ille place go ne will certaynlie, [ 495]
But alwais to labour that iournay,
Puttyng my hole hert, strength, mynde, and thought (.) ay [ 497]
To your honour, hawse, and encrese also; [ 498]
Neuer shal ye se me forsworn no day."
Raymounde wolde swere and ther hys othe gan do, *. [Raymond swears, but was, in the sequel, forsworn, to his great mis∣fortune.]
But att end forsworn was he, is no nay;
To ful gret myschef it cam hym alway, [ 502]
For that hire couenaunt brake and noght gan hold.
"Raymounde," sche sayd, "understande this told;
Iff thys poyntement hold noght in thys deuise, [ 505] *. [She tells him that if he breaks the compact, he will lose her;]
ye shall me lese, be therof certane,
Without sight of me any maner wise;
After that, ye and al your hoires playn *. [and that himself and his heirs will lose their lands.]
Shal begin to fall, and thaim-selfe distayn [ 509]
Off landes, honoures, and heritages;
Then doloures shall be in their corage[s]." [ 511]
Page  25
Raymonde swere agayn secundarilie, [ 512] *. [Raymond swears a second time;]
That neuer no day forsworne wolde he be.
(Alas! thys dolent man said not soth trulie, *. [but alas! this miserable man spake not the truth.]
For gret heuinesse After suffred he,
Hys cherefull lady lost of nicete!) [ 516]
At thys present time of it speke no more,
Vnto my purpos tōrn shall I therfore. [ 518]
"RAymounde," she said, "ye most to court go, [ 519] [Fol. 15.]
And me this not werne here in no cas, *. ["Raymond," said she, "you must go to Poitiers,]
To peyters boldly go ye now vnto,
Say wel and playnly when ye come aplas,
If any you demaunde, hie other bas, 1. [MS. "has."] [ 523]
Of your said lord ne say ye no thyng *. [and give out that you lost your lord in the wood while hunting,]
But that in the wode ye lost hym huntyng; [ 525]
And that longe ye gan After hym Abyde, [ 526] *. [and that you sought for him a long while unsuc∣cessfully.]
Cerching, enquering in wodes ramage,
A wilde swine chasing at that houred (.) tyde.
Many other to court shall do make passage,
Whiche equipollent schall say of corage, [ 530]
After shall your lord truly shall 2. [This word is redundant.] ther be founde, *. [At last he will be found, and brought to Poitiers,]
And to peyters brought openly that stounde. [ 532]
Then gret heuinesse ther shall sone Awake, [ 533] *. [when his wife and children will lament in woful wise.]
With euery men huge sorow shall arise;
Full dolorous wo this lady will take,
And with hir other gentil wemmen of price;
His children lamenting in wofull wise. [ 537]
Thaim aid and councell ryght auysilye *. [You must counsel them concerning his burial,]
yn that belongeth to hys obsequye. [ 539]
Loke ye thaim councell hie and lowe that hour, [ 540] *. [and wear black as others do; and when at last the time shall come]
For a man 3. [MS. "aman."] shold do A grete lorde vnto
his funerall obsequye with gret honour,
Page  26 Cloth you ther in blakke As other ther doo.
When that passyd is ther dolour and wo, [ 544]
By processe of tyme at leyser and space,
When weping dais an end do purchace, [ 546]
And that the enheritour ther shall be [ 547] [Fol. 15 b.]
The erldom of peyters resceyued to, *. [for his heir to receive the earl∣dom,]
And hys homage take of men of contre,
Of thys lord demaunde A yefte or ye go *. [demand of him a gift ere ye go, as payment for your services to the late earl;]
For your guerdon of seruise ye haue doo [ 551]
To the Erle last past in the same place;
Wher þe present be, so myght please his grace, [ 553]
So moche os 1. [for as; cf. Glossary.] A hert-skyn myght aboute enclose, [ 554] *. [beg him to give you so much land as may be en∣closed by a hart's skin, and cause deeds of the gift to be duly exe∣cuted;]
In seueral to shitte wodes and contre.
hit will not you wern but graunt, I suppose;
Dedes therof make the cause ther-on be,
Off the lordes yifte the encheson may se, [ 558]
Wher-for he it yaf, And for wat reason;
After sette day of lyuerey and season, [ 560]
That men deliuer you possession; [ 561] *. [and, when you have the deeds ready, depart; and go on till you see a man carry∣ing a large hart's skin, which buy at his own price.]
And when your letters ye haue all redy,
Thens ye depart, a litell 2. [MS. "alitell."] way shal gon,
ye shal se A man come gayn you hastilie,
The hertis skyn bring gret and large to eye. [ 565]
By ye that skyn, I you gyf in charge,
What-someuere cost, spare not, yif ye large. [ 567]
After cutte that pece into thwanges smal, [ 568] *. [Next cut the skin into small thongs, very narrow, and tie them up into a bundle,]
lete it not be brode, but narow As may be,
Enuiron the skyn rounde Aboute cut all
As narew as may perceyue it to se,
As long As the skyn endure see may ye; [ 572]
After ther-of A fardell do ye make,
And afterwarde to your repair you take, [ 574]
Page  27
ANd lete it noght be lefte 1. [MS. "lefte."] to do, certain, [ 575] [Fol. 16.]
But men deliuere to yow your lande sad *. [and make men deliver you up the land which you can enclose with them around this fair fountain.]
Aboute this clere well and ful fair fontain.
Now complaineth noght of your huge pain had,
For ye shal finde 2. [MS. "finde."] this place fourged and made [ 579]
In all places ryght As it liketh me,
Where that your lande appere shall to se. [ 581]
If the thanges be more lenger certain [ 582] *. [But if the thongs will enclose more than such a circuit, draw them down along the valley.]
then the rowndnesse made which that ye finde shall,
Again the ualey do it to remayn
The rennyng of thys fantain clere with-all,
Where ye shall take the dwellyng to fall [ 586]
The thwanges lenght after to ende had.
Do thys hardily, be no-thyng Adrad, [ 588]
ANd when that ye be Assuryd of all, [ 589] *. [When assured at Poitiers of all your possessions,]
As at peiters when ye come only,
Take your leue and return that enterual, *. [return hither, and you shall find me here."]
For in thys said place shal ye verily,
At wat tym ye come, fynde me certainly. [ 593]
luke ye me hold trew perfecte couenaunt."
"lady," said Raymound at that instaunt, [ 595]
"I shall plainly do your commaundement, [ 596] *. [Raymond pro∣mises to obey at whatever cost;]
What-someuer cost it for to cheue,
Sin it pleassith yow me it commaunde to hent."
Fro hir depertyd, taking fair hys leue,
This thing takith on ioyusly in breue, [ 600] *. [and, greatly rejoiced, returns to Poitiers,]
To peyters he cam in the morow-tyde;
Many demaunded wher ther lord gan bide. [ 602]
RAymounde Answard, "yusterday hym lost [ 603] [Fol. 16 b.]
vppon hys coursere 3. [MS. "courfere."] which bare hym swyftly; *. [where he gives out that he had lost his lord,]
Page  28 That I was basshed, wist noght to what cost *. [and knew not what had become of him.]
he went, I cowde not mete with him truly;
After I sewed As I myght full ny, [ 607]
I hym lost when in-to woode gan draw,
Neuer after perceiued hym ne saw." [ 609]
Ryght thus Raymounde hym excusid tho, [ 610] *. [Thus Raymond excused himself, and accused not the soul of the homicide (him∣self); and none ever thought of accusing him.]
the soule of the dede-doer accusyd noght;
For neuer man ne had in hym beleue, lo!
That þe dede was by hym done and wrought,
Though that moch he were distrained in thought, [ 614]
And that for the dede sighed ful ofte there.
But it behouith to yonge beculere 1. [MS. "baiulere."] [ 616]
Such A strange dede to couere secretly, [ 617] *. [Many now return from hunting, both high and low.]
Wich vnto hym cam at that huntyng-chace.
Vnto his manoir comyn were many,
Which fro hunting were drawing to þat place,
As wel of gret As smal, both hye and bace, [ 621]
Ni to Ramound drawing euermore. *. [There were none but were sorely annoyed]
Ther had was non but noyed wonder sore [ 623]
That thay myght noght the trouth perceiue and know, *. [at not knowing the truth, as to where the earl was that night abiding.]
Wher he that nyght 2. [MS. "myght."] gan byd and remain.
Ful dolorous was his fair wyfe þat throw,
All wette with teres in hir visage plaine, *. [At last his sor∣rowing wife and children saw two men approach, bearing the body,]
And ther children to ful harde gan complain; [ 628]
Tho A-ferrom saw to worthi men comyng,
Which the dede body sorily gan bring [ 630]
Which in the wodes barainly ther founde, [ 631] [Fol. 17.]
Thys notable Erle whilom off renon; *. [which they had found in the woods, with the dead boar lying beside him.]
And thys foule swine besides hym that stounde.
Ther wepte burgesses And squiers manyon,
Page  29 Ther wepte ladies And knightes echon, [ 635] *. [All bewailed his death.]
Ther wepte old, ther wepte yong peple all,
Thay wepte the deth of thys Erle roiall. [ 637]
When that the Countesse of him had the sight, [ 638] *. [His Countess wrang her hands, and tare her hair.]
Ful dolorous wo hir hert gan attain,
Here handes wrang, hir heere tare þis woful wyght,
With wepyng teeres soroly gan complain;
Ther wepte the sone, the doughter, both twain; [ 642]
Ther wepte the gentile that Raymonde men call, *. [Raymond joins in the general mourning.]
Ther wep[t]e prestes, ther wepete Chanones all.
Through Peiters Euery man sorow lad, [ 645] *. [Every one be∣wailed his death, throughout the town;]
Both tho gret and smal ful sore were weping,
Thys day can noght be saad the heuinesse mad,
Noght halfe the wofulnesse the cite hauing.
Tho that this dede Erle were þer beholdyng, [ 649]
Euery bewepte hys deth mornyngly, *. [and buried him with all solemnity,]
Thys Erle beried ryght ful solempnely; [ 651]
Ful nobley wele the almes yef and do; [ 652] *. [distributing alms, and burning great store of wax.]
Aboute hym gret wexe, fair store, and gret light.
Forsoth the burgesses of the cite tho
Cast thys cursid swyne in A huge fire bright; *. [The cursed boar was cast into a fire and burnt up.]
The Barons of contre there had ech wyght. [ 656]
A man shold shortly the dole ouerpas,
When remedy non may be in the cas. [ 658]
RAymounde Ful wel aqueinted hym that hour, [ 659] [Fol. 17 b.]
Ther many A persone of hym said, "a! he *. [Raymond hears many remarking his excessive grief, which was indeed real.]
Felith sore in hert anguish and dolour!
Of hys souerain lord had he such pite."
So he gan do in trouth and uerite, [ 663]
As for to see hym gret pite it was,
His morning, his wailyng, his loking bas. [ 665]
Page  30
After when that the obsequie was don, [ 666] *. [After the burial, the barons busily went to do homage to the new earl;]
The Barons faste went ful beselye,
To the nouel Erle homage hym do echon,
After the season and 1. [MS. "and and."] usage customlye.
Then Raymound drew hym forth to thys lorde hye, *. [and Raymond approached to prefer his request.]
his request to make after hys lady lore,
As she hym warned long tyme ther before, [ 672]
The lady of whom he had take leue to go. [ 673]
"Honourous lord," he said, "bes[e]ch you yif me, *. [He asks for as much land, lying near the fountain, as a hart's skin would enclose;]
Ni to the Fontain of thursty gladnesse, lo!
Off wode, Roche, or ualey in that contree,
Be it medewes or arable (.) to see, [ 677]
So moche as an hertis skin of grounde strech wold;
For noght wyll demaunde, ne in thys place shold,
Thing which that shold you be in cost gretly; [ 680] *. [and requires no other payment.]
I require of you non other paiment
For my seruice done continually
Of your Fader, whos soule god haue and hent."
Thys yong Erle said, "I graunt all your entent, [ 684] *. [The young earl accedes, if it will content his barons.]
So that it may please to my Baronage."
Then the Berons said with full fair langage, [ 686]
"RAymounde may full wel thys said yifte to haue, [Fol. 18.]
(For he hath full wel deseruyd it sertain, *. [The barons think Raymond well deserves it,]
His lord so seruyd), As hym lust to craue."
"Then shal he it haue," Asaid thys Erle plain; *. [and the earl com∣mands the deeds of gift to be duly executed and sealed.]
"hys dedes lete make his graunt to contain." [ 691]
Deuised thay were passyng sotilly,
After the writyng sealled ful truly [ 693]
Page  31
With the gret seal 1. [MS. "feal."] of thys Erle nouel, [ 694] *. [It was sealed both by the earl and the barons,]
Which curious was, fair, and moche of told;
The hye barons put to al-so well
There gret sealles to the dedys unfold;
The scripture deuisyd full wel to be-hold, [ 698] *. [and the day fixed for its becoming of force.]
Fourged and made of good ordinaunce,
The day perfixst of the deliueraunce. [ 700]
The morn a man cartainly he found [ 701] *. [In the morning, a courteous man brings him the skin,]
Which A hertis skin broght hym there before,
A ful curtois man hym it toke that stounde.
The skyn ful narew kerue thay euermore;
His gyfte required after hys lady lore; [ 705]
The Erle said, men him deliuer it shold, *. [and the earl bids men to deliver him up his possession.]
Fro peiters partyd with gret raundon told, [ 707]
To Raymound hys ghyfte deliuerd this wyse; [ 708] *. [As soon as they come to the fountain, Ray∣mond produced the skin, to their great wonder,]
The Erle send peple to delyuer plain,
Fulfillyng that which he gan promise.
By that were comyn vnto the fantain,
Streith Raymound thaim lad to þat place sertain,
Raymound drew hys skin ther forth vnto sight; *. [when they see how narrowly it is cut.]
Of þat merueled strongly many A wight, [ 714]
When so narow corue thai gan it to se; [ 715] [Fol. 18 b.]
Vnknowin was thaim what that thai shold do.
To men comyn were ther to that contre, *. [Two men then approach, who make the thongs up into a bundle,]
Takyng ther thys skin coruen ful smal tho,
Anon on A band put thay it vnto, [ 719]
A gret trusse ther-of making vp that stound.
On ende to a pain thai had ther y-bound, [ 721] *. [and bind one end to a stake;]
Page  32
Aḷ the Roche thay had enuironied, [ 722] *. [and enclose the whole rock with a part of the skin.]
But yut of the skyn ful gretly abode.
To A pane on ende strongly thai tied, *. [They again bind an end to a stake, and carry it down the valley.]
That other ende bare againe the ualey brode,
Ful litill it held As thay forth glode. [ 726]
A-ferre fro thens A streme gan to rise, *. [A stream sud∣denly wells up,]
Wher-of stoned were strongly to deuise; [ 728]
For neuer body had that water sain. [ 729] *. [which had never been seen before.]
And when thay had all prouided thys place,
Which the hertis skin compassed sertain,
Seing the contre that comprehended was, [ 732]
That supposyd noght that it wold purchas *. [All wondered when they saw the immense tract enclosed.]
Neither to enclose ther-of the moite,
Gret wonder and meruail had thay tho, perde, [ 735]
So large contre the skyn gan comprehende. [ 736] *. [Raymond re∣ceives all the neighbouring country,]
Forsoth al the procincte ther gan hym take
Ryght As for that where charged and owte send,
As ther dedes mencion gan make.
To poiters toke way, And ther told and spake, [ 740] *. [and news of it iis carried to to the earl,]
Thys said Erle vnto, al the gret meruail,
Whych neuer ne saw such like apparaill. [ 742]
FOr thys hertis skyn in circute gan hold, [ 743] [Fol. 19.]
To miles aboute gan it comprehende; *. [that the circuit enclosed is two miles about.]
And of tho men which it gan close hym told,
Also of the streme that thai saw at ende, *. [He also hears of the two men, and of the new stream.]
Rysing ther vp, again the ualey wende. [ 747]
"I beleue it was thing of the fairy,"
As said thys Erle, "so god me saue only! [ 749]
FOr thys Raymound hath founden in þe way. [ 750] *. [The earl is aware of the marvels connected with the fountain, and]]
Ful ofte hath bene said that at that fontain,
Many merueles have sain ben A day,
Page  33 Whiche men sodenly and ofte there haue sain;
And so to Raymounde myght it come certain, [ 754] *. [rejoices at Ray∣mond's luck.]
For of it wold [I] merily reioy."
And raymounde tho spake that he had gret ioy,
FOr he was comyn hym to thanke hertly, [ 757]
Of hys notable gyfte ther hym thanking; *. [Raymond thanks the earl, declaring that he hardly knows what is coming to him.]
And he Answerd to hym, "graunt mercy!
Of your goodnesse ye lust so be sayng.
I wout nere what to me shal be comyng, [ 761]
But, if your lord wyll, good may com to me."
So forth passyd till morn-day-lyght to se; [ 763]
RAymounde tho lepte vp hys coursere vppon, [ 764] *. [Raymond rides away to the fountain, and finds there the lady, who wel∣comes him.]
To the fantain and wel of thrust gan to go,
Wher that hys lady founde beyng alon,
Which hym said, "my loue, welcome me vnto!
luke ye be wise, redy, wel thaught, lo! [ 768]
And ye shall now haue for your good labour
yut here-after gret worship and honour!" [ 770]
ANon into A schapel made entre, [ 771] [Fol. 19 b.]
Which thaim ny vnto ful redy ther found, *. [They enter a chapel, and find there knights, ladies, clerks, prelates, and squires, all nobly apparelled.]
knightes, ladies, And gentile wemmen fre,
Clerkys, prelates, Squiers at that ground,
Clothed, apparailled nobylly that stound; [ 775]
Raymounde meruelyd of it wonderly,
Of that peple which ther saw plainly. [ 777]
UNnethes he myght hym-selfen withold [ 778] *. [He cannot refrain from asking her about them.]
That he demaunded noght thys gentile body;
Thys lady had tho many in housold,
I-now hym semyng for to haue truly.
"Neuer bash herof," said this faire lady, [ 782] *. [She replies that he need not mar∣vel, for they are all his.]
"Thay ben al youres," ther commaundyng al
hym for to resceiue for lorde principall; [ 784]
Page  34
Also gan thai do ryght As thai shold, [ 785] *. [They humbly do him reverence.]
Ful humbly thay gan do hym reuerence;
But raymounde in hert musid manyfold, *. [Raymond muses within himself,]
In hym-selfe said demurly in audience,
"Se here a noble gynnyng in presence! [ 789] *. [and hopes the end may be as good as the beginning.]
God yif that the ende therof be ful good!"
Thys lady hym resoned there he stood, [ 791]
SAyng, "ye Raymounde, what willen ye to do? [ 792] *. [The lady tells him he must take her in marriage.]
Til that ye haue me had in mariage,
ye may noght the estat se ne know, lo!
Wherefor you councel, puruey As the sage."
Raymounde said, "I am redy to that passage." [ 796] *. [Raymond declares himself ready at once; but she tells him that all is not yet ready.]
Thys lady hym said, "we faute that we shold haue,
Raymond, all other wyse we moste do craue, [ 798]
Iff we shall do to plesaunce honestly; [ 799] [Fol. 20]
you behouith to trauel and haue pain *. [He must bring a number of wit∣nesses to the marriage with him, and come again on the Monday.]
So that peple ye moste bryng redy,
Which of thys acte may haue conisaunce plain.
haue no point of doubt, but therof be fain, [ 803]
I-now of all good here schal fynd by grace,
But warde that ye be a monday in thys place." [ 805]
RAymounde answerd to hir curtoisly, [ 806] *. [Raymond returns to Poitiers, and comes into the presence of the earl.]
"Forsoth I shal do your commaundement."
Fro thens deperted Raymounde hastily,
Vppon hys courser retorned and went,
To poiters he cam, ther discending, hent [ 810]
And anon forth went, taried ne bode,
Toward the erle of peiters where he stode. [ 812]
RAymound wel cowde salute such estat, [ 813] *. [He salutes the earl, and says he feels that he ought not to hide anything from]
Without colour changing or muable,
To hym humbled formally that dat,
Page  35 There declarid his lord honourable, [ 816] *. [him, but to de∣clare to him all things.]
"My lord," said Raymound with contenaunce stable,
"I ought ne shold my dede be couering,
To you al declare And certefying; [ 819]
I shal noght you lye for no maner1. [MS. "nomaner."] wight, [ 820] *. [He therefore con∣fesses that he is to be married on Monday to a great lady,]
Maryed shal I be vppon monday;
To a gret lady that day be trought plight,
Ryght at the fontain of thurstes gladnesse ay;
Nothyng so loue ne likyng to my pay. [ 824]
humbly you beseke at that day to be, *. [and beseeches him to come to the wedding.]
And to bryng with you your peple and mayne; [ 826]
Ryght gracyous lorde, to me honour do, [ 827] [Fol. 20 b.]
And your gud moder wise and debonair, *. [He also hopes that the earl's mother will be present.]
My ryght doubted and shereful lady to,
Which is proclamed so noble lady fair."
The Erle sayd, "I shal to that place repair, [ 831] *. [The earl is will∣ing to come, but wishes to know the lady's name,]
But afoure will you thys demaunde make,
What is that lady which that ye shal take? [ 833]
WArde you And beware ye tAke noght amis, [ 834] *. [and warns him against marrying one of whom he knows nothing.]
knowith whens she is and of wat linage;
Say me, fair cosin, now what sho is,
Thys day am redy to your mariage."
"Sir, it may noght be for non auantage; [ 838] *. [Raymond asks him not to inquire further,]
More may noght enquere As of hir beyng,
For ye may no more 2. [MS. "nomore."] of hir be knowyng; [ 840]
You it suffisith I-now hyr to se." [ 841] *. [for that it will suffice to see her. The earl marvels greatly at such conduct;]
The Erle to hym said, "thys is gret meruell
That ye take A wif vnknow what is sche,
Neither haue knewlich of hir gouernail,
Ne of hir kinrede; strange is without fail!" [ 845]
Page  36 "Sir," said, "I hir saw in so noble ray *. [but Raymond says she is like a king's daughter;]
As kinges doughter where fresh is and gay; [ 847]
A More fairer neuer sain with ey; [ 848] *. [and that a fairer lady was never seen.]
Off hir linage enquered I no-thing;
Where she be of 1. [MS. "so." See note.] duk or of markois hy,
Forsoth I wyll hyr haue, she is me pleasyng."
Thys Erle said, "Raymounde, to you shal be comyng, *. [The earl promises to come, with his mother and all his barons.]
My moder also with all our barony." [ 853]
Humbly Raymounde sayd, "my lord, graunt mercy!" [ 854]
THe monday cam men apparailled fast; [ 855] [Fol. 21]
Thys Erle Awakyd, rose vp ful erly, *. [On the Monday, the earl and his mother, with many attendants, set out, wonder∣ing where they will be lodged and entertained,]
Hys moder with hym brought, freshly on hyr cast
Full ryche Atire, besain ful womanly;
Sondry ladies with knightes many; [ 859]
But moche on thaim toke to ful gret meruail,
How thay shold there loge, by what gouernail, [ 861]
When thay approched ny to thys fantain. [ 862] *. [though they need not have won∣dered, as all was ready.]
But therof certes nedid noght haue doute,
All redy was made A place ful solain.
The wayes And pathes so rode thay aboute *. [Riding on, they at last approach the rock.]
That thay approched Columbere toun al-oute, [ 866]
And ouer that went ryding the contre,
Hilles, wodes passyd, the roche might se; [ 868]
TEntes And pauilons streght and pight freshly [ 869] *. [There they found pavilions pitched beside a valley, where flowed the new stream.]
Besyde a ualey, 2. [MS. "aualey."] enmyddes a plain;
The streme besydes, the fontain ful ny,
Which nouelly was vp-risen and sain;
Euery man meruellyd of it certain, [ 873]
Ful wel thay sad knew it the fayry was.
Into the medewes thay beheld apase [ 875]
Page  37
TEntes, pauilons freshly wrought and good, [ 876] *. [They heard sweet songs of birds;]
Doucet songes hurde of briddes enuiron,
Whych meryly chirmed in the grene wod;
Vppon the ryn saw A wyld wood anon, *. [and saw a wild wood with many people;]
Where gret peple were to-geders manyon; [ 880]
And in there kechins say thay gret smoke to; *. [also several kit∣chens, with much smoke.]
As tham semyd, was A ful huge hoost thoo. [ 882]
ANd thay saw comyng toward thaim anon [ 883] [Fol. 21 b.]
Ther nombred aboute knightis ful sexty, *. [Next they saw coming about 60 knights, well horsed and armed,]
yong, strong, lusti, fers, and ful lyght echon,
I-horsed ful wel, armed nobilly;
(hyt nedith not demaunde of it truly); [ 887] *. [who asked for the earl, whom many pointed out to them.]
The noble Erle demaunde of peiters,
And thay hem shewed sondry and dyuers, [ 889]
Off whom demaunded had the trouth to know. [ 890] *. [The knights ride up to the earl, and salute him humbly.]
Raymounde thai anon gan se and behold
In the said Erles company so grow,
Which ther ful iocunde tales gan unfold.
humbly to the Erle cam thes knightes bold, [ 894]
And hym ther salute ful debonerly. *. [The earl returns their salute,]
The Erle ther saluz yilding ryght goodly [ 896]
UNto euery man, without other abode, [ 897] *. [yielding to every man the respect due to him, ac∣cording to the place whence each came.]
After that to hym it shold appartain
For that place whens that he cam and rode,
Both to gret and smal menal persones sain,
Ful wel knew to eche ther saluz yild plain; [ 901]
And thay which ne wold haue no point of blame, *. [The knights say to him]
To hym cam and said worshipfully the same:—
"That fair Melusine hym thanked hertly [ 904] *. [that the fair Melusine thanks him heartily,]
Of that pleased hym to com to ther feste;
And that she had charged thaim verily,
you wel for to loge yaf in charge and hest."
Page  38 Thys Erle thaim said, to plesire in the beste, [ 908] *. [and that due lodging was pro∣vided for his retinue.]
"For here I perceiue ful fayre ordinaunce."
Nobley thay loged thys Erle that instaunce. [ 910]
A Ful fair pauilon thay hym gan take, [ 911] [Fol. 22]
Ther coursers loged passing inly wel, *. [The coursers were well lodged, and provided with rack and manger.]
Both rekke and manger at their ease gan make,
Insyde tentes ful fair eueridel.
Gret ther labour was wherfor atimed wel. [ 915]
The Countesse resceiued in that housold *. [The Countess was received in a golden chamber,]
In-to a chambre freshly bete with gold, [ 917]
Which men pight And streight vppon the fontain;
Many ladyes, ful of gret beute, *. [where many ladies welcomed her.]
Went to a company with the Countesse plain,
Ech welcomyng hir after ther degre.
Al meruelyd there thys ryche sight to se, [ 922] *. [All marvelled at so rich a sight.]
Als of the noblenesse that ey myght purches,
Neuer trowed se so fair in no place. [ 924]
RAymounde with the Erle that tyme logid was. [ 925]
Of ther fair chapel doubt therof had non, *. [The chapel was well apparelled, high and low, and stuffed with rich jewels.]
Wel apparailled was it, hie and bas,
With riche iewelles stuffed manyon;
What wold ye shold say? fresh was enuiron. [ 929]
The ful noble Erle And thys fair countesse *. [The earl and countess demand the bride.]
The espouse demaundyd thay expresse. [ 931]
Ther men anon forth aplace hir brought, [ 932] *. [Melusine enters the chapel, freshly attired, and look∣ing, not human, but angelic.]
Fair melusine, enmyddes the chapel;
Thys mayden ful fair As cowde bene I-thought,
Freshly atired rychely and ful wel,
That al hir saw preised thys damycel, [ 936]
Sayng, "it was noght no humayn body lyke,
But more better semed a thyng angell-lyke." [ 938]
Page  39
THen thys said Erle applied vnto [ 939] [Fol. 22 b.]
Thys fair melusine to resceiue sothlesse, *. [The earl and countess duly receive her.]
And of that ful wel his deuoir gan do,
And ful wel or better the noble countesse;
Al tho bothe that hour weren at that messe. [ 943] *. [Minstrelsy is heard, both of high and bass instruments.]
In that place was had ful gret mynstracy;
Both hye and bas instrumentes sondry; [ 945]
ANd fro 1. [MS. "for."] that constantinople vnto, [ 946] *. [Never was so noble a feast.]
In no place was so noble a feste made;
Al the wodes range merily sounding tho, *. [The woods rang merrily, and all agreed that hu∣man eye had never seen the like of it.]
ther was no persone 2. [MS. "prefone."] that present tyme hade,
But that "merueles," said, "I se ful sad; [ 950]
Neuer humain ey saw to it egal!"
With great ioy made thys matrimonial. [ 952]
After thys messe don, taken haue the way; [ 953] *. [The mass done, the earl led forth the bride, and a prince conducted her to the chief hall.]
The Erle the espouse courtoisly forth lad;
In that other part, A prince of contray
In-to the chef hal thys fair mayden had,
Which noble peple held that day ful glad; [ 957]
Ther mete al redy, vnto wash thay went;
After sette As was most conuenient. [ 959]
BEsides thys maiden thys noble Erle sate, [ 960] *. [The earl sat be∣side the bride, and the countess next him.]
The gentile countesse next sette hym vnto,
After A gret lord of contre that date,
Which for gret honour worshipped was so. *. [The courses were brought in by squires, including great plenty of dainties.]
Raymounde tho sate with other knightes mo. [ 964]
The course tho brouth 3. [brought (?).] in with squiers many,
Gret plente there had of deyntees sondry, [ 966]
WHich that apperid As thing infinite; 4. [MS. "infinite."] [ 967] [Fol. 23]
With wine of Angoy, And als of rochel tho *. [There was wine of Anjou, and of Rochelle;]
Which wold eschawfe the braines appetite; [ 969]
Page  40 Wine of Tourain, And of Bewme also, *. [of Touraine and Beaune;]
Which iawne colour applied noght vnto; [ 971]
Clarre Romain, with doucet ypocras, *. [also Clarre Romain and Ypocras.]
Thorught al the hal rynnyng hye and bas. [ 973]
Wine of Tourimz, and also of digon, [ 974] *. [Wine, moreover, of Tours and Dijon, of Auxerre and Saint Jou∣in (?); of St. Jean d'Angely, and others.]
Wyne of Aucerre, of seint Jougon also;
Wyne of Seint Johan of Angely good won,
Of it ful many ther spake and tolde tho;
Wine of estables, of uiart 1. [MS. "mart."] also; [ 978]
After thaim cam the wyne basterd good,
Wine of seint pursain, and of ris hys brood. [ 980]
Ouer all thes wines ther had the prise [ 981]
The nouel osey of Dingenon,
Off all the wynes named to deuise.
Ther all peple preuilage had echon, *. [Every one had abundance, as much as he asked for, whether of wine or meat.]
Euery in hys loge plente and fuson, [ 985]
Euery of that which thai wold demaund
Off wynes and of uitaillouns viand. [ 987]
After thys diner, men to ioustes went; [ 988] *. [After this began the jousting, where Raymond jousted mightily.]
Be-syde the fontain ful fair ioustes had;
But Raymound iousted strongly and feruent,
Certainly myghty ioustes 2. [MS. "ioufted," roughly altered to "iouftes."] ther he made.
Thys Joustes dured till sonne went to glad. [ 992]
After to euessong went euery wyght, *. [Next they went to vespers, and then to supper.]
And sin to soper set were and dyght. [ 994]
When sopyd thay had at ther owne deuise, [ 995] [Fol. 23 b.]
Strongly thay daunced, ioying merily *. [After supper came the dancing.]
Ful long that night in right gladsom wise.
And when that men saw time approched ny
Vnto go to bedde, And deperted fully, [ 999]
Men made the espouse to depart fair. *. [At last the bride retired into a costly pavilion,]
Into A pauilon made she A retrair, [ 1001]
Page  41
Off whom moch cost the fourging And makyng; [ 1002] *. [portrayed with painted birds.]
Portreid it was with briddes freshly,
Thys fair pauilon rich was in seing;
Forth Anon the bede streight And made redy, *. [Then they laid the bed, and made it ready.]
Which with floure-delise couerid was to ey. [ 1006]
Quicly cam Raymound, in the bedde 1. [MS. "beded."] him laide
By fair melusine, the suete doucet made. [ 1008]
Forsoth A Bisshop which that tyme ther was [ 1009] *. [A bishop gave his benediction, "in nomine dei."]
Signed and blissid the bedde 2. ["body;" French text, Le lit.] holyly;
"In nomine dei" so said in that place;
After fro thens departed hastily,
For the ceason late le[n]ger to tary. [ 1013]
The Erle hym withdrew to hys pauilon; *. [The earl and his mother also retired to their tents.]
And hys good moder, time was and ceason, [ 1015]
INto hir chambre goodly went to bed. [ 1016] *. [All went to their allotted chambers,]
Euery man went to hys erbigage,
But som all night dysported And solas led, *. [but some spent the whole night in singing and dancing.]
Singing, dauncing, disporting with longage;
Many fayr songis songe that compernage. [ 1020]
Off thys noble feste no more 3. [MS. "nomore."] you will breke,
Off gentile Raymound shall I to you speke, [ 1022]
Which 4. [MS. "Whicht."] with melusine lyght ful meryly, [ 1023] [Fol. 24]
To whome ful suetly outred she and sayd,
"Now vnderstandith, fayre swet loue, hertly, *. [Melusine ad∣dresses Raymond, reminding him of his good fortune,]
The Auentur comyn vnto vs thys braide
That we togeders by grace here bene laid, [ 1027]
Ryght As mAn And wyffe after entent,
And I Am her at your commaundement; [ 1029]
But that oth most hold which first day me made. [ 1030] *. [and of his oath lately made to her.]
I know full wele, when ye cam to pray
Page  42 The Erle of peiters And knightes that he had *. [She tells him she is aware how the earl inquired concerning her lineage;]
To come and to do you honour that day
That I shuld be maried to your pay, [ 1034]
Be 1. ["He" (?).] you enquered full moch wat it was,
And of linage ye gan me purchas." [ 1036]
HE answered hym to the point ful wel, [ 1037]
"Myn owne verray loue, now doubt ye ryght noght."
"ye sall be moste best fortuned to tell, *. [she proceeds to tell him that his good fortune will]
So ye couenaunt hold As of reson ought,
As euer was Any of your linage brought, [ 1041]
Hou-someuer fortune that thay haue had,
So the contrary by you be noght made. [ 1043]
Iff it be, ye shall haue gretly to doo [ 1044] *. [last as long as he holds to his covenant: but that if he breaks it, he will suffer huge harm∣ful pains, and be disinherited of all.]
huge noisaunt pannes with aduersite,
And desherite be wrechedly also
Of tennementes, landes, the beste to se;
It wyl be so And sertanly schal be." [ 1048]
"Fayre swet lade," said, "I you plegg[e t]routh myne,
Whyle I leue shal be, be it non m[align]e, 2. [A piece near the corner of the page is here torn away.] [ 1050]
FAlshed shall noght be our said couenaunt, [ 1051] [Fol. 25 b.] 3. [See Note to l. 1050.]
Of which here beforne made haue I promesse; *. [He again swears to be faithful,]
And yut I wil you promit the same grant;"
hys hand vnto heres put in gentill wyse, *. [giving her his hand in pledge of his sincerity.]
Makyng A gret oth As hert cowde deuise, [ 1055]
That he wold it hold euer entirely.
Melusine hym hanswered swetly, [ 1057]
"Now, my swet loue, I say you feithfully, [ 1058] *. [Melusine cautions him yet once more, declaring]
If ye be stedfaste and couenaunt hold, 4. [MS. "bold."]
Page  43 In good hour ye be here borne treuely; *. [that she will never fail in her part of the cove∣nant.]
kepe it truly, besech you manyfold;
For in my part fail shal I for no gold, [ 1062]
Off me haue ye had ful tru Assuraunce
Which I shall hold; no more say thys instaunce."
With clipping, kissyng, that nyght gan do so, [ 1065] *. [Their eldest son was named Urien, whose famous deeds will be told of here∣after.]
That an fair 1. [MS. "an m fair."] sone ther engendred was;
Vrien callyd at that tyme tho.
Dedis and warkis such gan he purchas
As in tyme shal hire the mater and cas. [ 1069]
Thys feste endured dais ful fiftene; *. [The feast con∣cluded,]
At ende to lordis yiftes gaf melusine, [ 1071]
ANd to lades which that men brought [ 1072] *. [Melusine gives very rich presents to all, who won∣der at her wealth and liberality.]
With thys roial and noble Countesse.
Al said ther, "lord god! what wyse is this wrought,
Which that we se here present of rychesse?
Maried is he vnto gret hinesse!" [ 1076]
Raymounde of all moch ther preised was,
No worldly man myght better in no cas. [ 1078]
After when it cam vnto departson, [ 1079] [Fol. 26]
Faire melusine went faste ther openyng *. [She opens an ivory casket, and draws from it a clasp garnished with precious stones, which she gives to the countess.]
A forcelet 2. [From Fr. forceret.] wrought fresh of yuor 3. [MS. "your."] bon;
A formelet, 4. ["fermelet" (?).] of gret ualure beyng,
With presious stonis gernesshed that thyng, [ 1083]
With vertues perles ful many,
To the countesse gaf it verra hertly, [ 1085]
Which of that iewel she ful gret ioy had. [ 1086] *. [The earl and his people depart,]
Thens deperted the Erle and hys maine,
Which were ful noble peple, good and sad,
Page  44 The fair melusine hir leue take hath she *. [Melusine taking her leave of them.]
Of thys said countesse of ful hy degre [ 1090]
By-forn al peple honourabylly,
And of thys sayd Erle ryght semblabilly, [ 1092]
Off lades And of maydens all. [ 1093]
Thai leaping vp ther sadelles unto, *. [Leaping up to their saddles, they ride away.]
Openly ther-thens went that enterual;
But gentill Raymound conueied tham so, *. [Raymond accom∣panies them to the edge of the forest.]
With peple of estat Acompanied tho, [ 1097]
With hym wold not haue creature Afoote,
Noght passyng Columberes woodes foote. [ 1099]
RAymounde of thys Erle ther hys leue gan take, [ 1100] *. [At leave-taking, the earl would fain have asked Raymond who Melusine is, but durst not.]
But the Erle drust noght, And ful fayn wold,
Ryght gladly hym A demaunde to make,
Off fair melusine, what she was, tel shold;
Ful moch he thought, but yut hys pes gan hold; [ 1104]
Fere of displesaunce of Raymound any wyse. *. [Raymond, seated on a courser,]
On A coursere sate ful fair to deuyse, [ 1106]
Off thys Erle toke leue; after gan retorne [ 1107] [Fol. 26 b.]
Streight vnto hys wyf kyssyng hir swetly, *. [takes his leave of the earl, and re∣turns to Melusine, who receives him joyously.]
And thought in hert ther vnto sogorn,
Which hym resceiued ryght ful ioyously.
Er that eight dais were ended fully, [ 1111] *. [At the end of eight days, all the trees in the wood were uprooted]
Al the wodys were roted up and gon;
Of laborers had plente and fuson, [ 1113]
NO man knew whens was, ne of what nacion; [ 1114] *. [by labourers of an unknown nation.]
Ful gret diches made, ryght huge and profounde,
Ful hiduous was to behold adon; *. [They made hideously deep ditches,]
No cause had thai dismaing thaim no stound,
Neither no deffaute in þe pament found, [ 1118]
Page  45 Euery day had ther money and argent, *. [and were diligent, finding them∣selves well paid.]
The laborers were the more diligent. [ 1120]
The fundementes made thai right profounde, [ 1121] *. [They made deep foundations,]
(Ful wel know may be if y myssay, lo!)
Fair melusine was deuiser of that ground,
And of werke also lyke as it was do.
Vppon the quicke Roche thay it sett tho; [ 1125] *. [building a castle upon the live rock according to Melusine's plan.]
The fyrste stones to put thay, and made
In litell of tyme; Masons I-now had. [ 1127]
The walles hye deuised she echon, [ 1128] *. [There were two strong towers with a huge dungeon;]
Wel founded was vppon the said uayley;
Too strong toures made with a huge dongun,
And Enuiron an hy with wardes strong that day.
Of it meruelyd strongly the contray, [ 1132] *. [insomuch that all the country marvelled.]
hou ful sone men made this said strong repair.
And when thys castell was bastiled fair, 1. [At the bottom of the page is the catchword—This swet melufine saw.] [ 1134]
Thys swete melusine saw it full fair tho, [ 1135] [Fol. 27]
After hir ryght name gan it she Baptise; *. [Melusine bap∣tized the castle after the latter part of her own name, calling it Lusignen.]
Off hir name she hath taken a part, lo!
lusignen to name yaf after hir deuise,
yut is oueral named in that wise; [ 1139]
Many bare that name, it aboute gan cry,
And yut is ryght and cried was suerly; [ 1141]
NOght-withstandyng the good kyng Ciprian [ 1142]
hit cried lusignen euer in his cry,
As the history seith to euery man
Off whom after shal do make memory.
Melusigne is As moche to say truly, [ 1146] *. [The meaning of Melusine is, "no marvels are lack∣ing," she being a woman A-per-se.]
Ryght As ho seith, merueles fauti[t]h non;
She was A woman A-per-se, alon. [ 1148]
Page  46
YE may se here A comfort meruelous, [ 1149] *. [When this castle was built, high walls and all,]
Moche more then other strange auenture.
Wel was A-cheued this castel beuteuous,
Al A-boute reised wonder hy wallure.
Euery man said it was A huge dede sure, [ 1153] *. [people wondered how it had been finished so soon.]
That thys said castel was so sone made;
The peple wondred and gret meruel had. [ 1155]
Thys fair melusine here in hir tyme bare; [ 1156] *. [Melusine bare a son, named Urien, whose visage was very short and broad, and who had one eye red, the other gray;]
At nyne monthes ende childed she A sone,
vrien named, the soth to declare, 1. ["Vryen" is here scrawled in the margin in a later hand.]
Which that after was of ful gret renone;
But hys uisage was strange to uision, [ 1160]
For it was full short And large in trauers;
On ey was rede, Another grey dyuers. [ 1162]
EVery man myght se it openly, [ 1163] [Fol. 27 b.]
Huge mouth And large gret nostrelles also; *. [also a huge mouth and great nostrils;]
neuer man sain non to hym egally;
But of body was inly wele made tho, *. [yet well made as regarded his legs, arms, and feet.]
Off legges, of Armes, of feete therto, [ 1167]
In it not failled thing thouchyng nature,
And at the ful made vnto hys stature. [ 1169]
After that tyme made she ful huge honoures, [ 1170] *. [After that she made a city,]
Fourged the brought in mount of bew-re-pair,
The walles bild hye, and als tours, *. [with high walls and towers,]
The goinges and comynges wroughten fair,
All couered and made, non might ben gair; [ 1174]
At louers, lowpes, Archers had plente, *. [well provided with loopholes.]
To cAst, draw, and shete, the diffence to be, [ 1176]
That non wordly man myght no wyse it take; [ 1177]
So strong with peple Acompanyed was,
Page  47 That strenght ful strong with peple gan make,
The diches profunde large brede gan purchas, *. [The ditches were of great breadth,]
With this toure couerid hye and bas; [ 1181]
The yates Iumelles, mighty and strong, *. [and the gates large and long.]
To sain the trouth, ful large were and long. [ 1183]
Atwixst the borough and thys strenght myghtly [ 1184] *. [Between the town and the fort was made a strong tower, called "Trompe;"]
A place ther fourged meruelously strong,
The toure trompe som callyd it daily,
In lusignen town so named tham among;
For Sarisins trompers tho were put ful long, [ 1188] *. [for it was gar∣risoned with Saracen trumpet∣ers.]
To ende this said toure thay sold kepe and ward,
And al enuiron aboute to rewarde [ 1190]
That peple noght approch neither to com ny, [ 1191] [Fol. 28]
But tho of that strenght shold it know and se.
That yere childed she the secunde sonne truly, *. [The second year Melusine bare a son named Oede, who had a face as shining fire, resplendent with redness.]
Oede 1. [Oede is also in the margin, written in the later hand.] named; a fair semblant had he,
As shinyng fire his uisage semynge be, [ 1195]
With wonder rednesse so resplendising;
his membres ful fair formid in makyng; [ 1197]
IN that same yere made that lady fair [ 1198] *. [That year she made the castle and town named Mel,]
The castel and brought which men callen mel,
Vauuant and meruant made she, non gair,
The tour of seint Messent after made ful wel; *. [and some others, including Par∣thenay.]
The Borugh fourged, the abbey gan echdel, [ 1202]
Where þat our lady is serued alway;
And After the town of noble partenay. [ 1204]
ANd Als the castel fourged she roial, [ 1205] *. [She also made the castle of Parthe∣nay with good lime and stone, towers, turrets, pinnacles, and wall.]
With good lime and stone freshly vnto sight,
Toures, torettes, pinacles, and harde wall;
The craftismen wrought As tho perfight.
Page  48 By that, Raymound was doubted of ech wight, [ 1209]
Into gret honour risen is A-hy,
And worshipped is in ech company. [ 1211]
After she had the third son fair withall; [ 1212] *. [Her third son was named Guy, who was of great beauty, saving that he had one eye a little lower than the other.]
A more fairer neuer say[n] with ey,
Off beute ynow vnto him gan fal,
hit cowde noght ben withsaid certainly;
Sauyng þat on ey had he more basly [ 1216]
Then þat other a litel 1. [MS. "alitel."] ther semyng,
Men callyd hym Guy, which doubted no-thyng. 2. [In the margin is guy in the later hand.]
Then that said same yere founded was Rochell, [ 1219] [Fol. 28 b.]
In peito, by fair melusine this lady. *. [The same year was founded Rochelle;]
After taried noght, but litel gan dwel,
That A ful faire brigge made she vnto ey, *. [and soon after she built a great bridge, for which she received great praise.]
(As ther cornicles 3. [Sic in MS.] shewith openly), [ 1223]
And in talmondois fourged was to se,
Of which werke gret loos ther resceiued she. [ 1225]
ANon after had she born in certain [ 1226] *. [Her fourth son was Anthony,]
The fourth sone, callyd and named Antony, 4. [In the margin, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.]
But in hys iaw bare A hurt ful of pain *. [who had on his jaw a mark like a hurt made by a lion.]
Off A lyon, which al hys life bare ful sighty;
To hym A gret stonyng was it verily, [ 1230]
To moche skin grow, A long seme cutting;
But hardy man was, noght drad ne fering. [ 1232]
All Is trouth that I outre you or say, [ 1233] *. [All these things are true.]
Doubt ye noght of it that I you do tel;
In luxenbrough fair thyng made that day.
Thys lady norished thes children ful wel [ 1236]
Till thay wer growyn ryght large, wyse, and fell; *. [And when it pleased our Sovereign Lord, this lady had the fifth son,]
And when it pleased our lord souerain,
The fyfte child thys lady had again, [ 1239]
Page  49
Which in his hed had on ey and no mo, [ 1240] *. [whose baptismal name was Ray∣nold. He had but one eye, but his sight was clearer than that of a person who has two eyes, for all their plenty.]
Moste hieste set, wonderly to se.
hys name of Baptime Raynold called tho; 1. [In the margin, Raynold with on ye.]
his sight more clerer ueryle then he
Whiche to eyes had, for al their plente; [ 1244]
Merueles gret gan do, after ye shal hire,
So it may be hurde thys tale hole entire. [ 1246]
GAffrey with gret toth Afterwarde she bare, 2. [In the margin, geffrey withe gret tothe.] [ 1247] [Fol. 29.]
Which growyn in mouth A wonder toth hade, *. [The next was Geoffrey with the great tooth, which issued from his mouth, great and square.]
Which without issued pasing gret and square;
he meruelous strong, of nothyng Adrad,
Blacke monkes he slay, to mortail deth lad; [ 1251] *. [It was he who slew the black monks of Mail∣lezais abbey;]
Off mallers Abbay were thay, lef or loth,
Which causyd hys fader strongly to be wroth. 3. [MS. "wroght."]
Again melusine wrothed he ful sore, [ 1254] *. [which event caused his father to be angry with Melusine,]
That to hir sayd moch repref and velony,
That hir company lost for euer-more;
Which causid a fal fro hys Astat hy *. [and was the cause of all his misfortunes.]
To hys gret repref, ryght to shamfully, [ 1258]
As after wyl make declaracyon,
Of al ther warkis the conclusyon. [ 1260]
The seffe child Ffromont that tyme callyd was, 4. [In the margin, Froymonde w[as] a monke, and w[as] burnd.] [ 1261] *. [The seventh son was Fromont, who had a blemish on his nose.]
Of stature of persone hie, gret, and long,
Inly wel formed, pulcrious of face,
Sage, subtile, wel taught, myghty and stronge;
But vppon hys nosse such a tach had fong, [ 1265] *. [It was rough as a wolf's skin, so that his nose was a strange sight.]
Ryght As A wolfes skyn row was it tho,
Ful strange vnto sight to se hys nose soo. [ 1267]
Page  50
Then the eighteth sone borne of Melusin, [ 1268] *. [The eighth son was Horrible; he had three eyes,]
Thre eyes hauyng on in front uisible; 1. [In the margin, horryble with iii yes.]
Moche peple meruellyd and wonderd ther-in,
Thys child named and called horrible;
For hym vnto se was thyng terrible, [ 1272]
And also he was of wycked doing, *. [and was of a very wicked disposition.]
In no goodnesse, thought but to do ille thing.
Now retorn Again vnto vriens, [ 1275] [Fol. 29 b.]
Which of tham was the most auncion. *. [We now return to Uriens, who was grown big, mighty, strong, and light; and was fond of war.]
Eche shal declare by ordres diligens,
That men may perceiue dul am not ther-on.
vriens was A fair squier of person, [ 1279]
Growen ful bygg, myghtly, stronge, and lyght,
Willing to know where by see and lande ryght.
At Rochel toke A shippe ful fair and large, [ 1282] *. [He took ship at Rochelle in a barge, with Guy and much people; intending to go and acquire lands.]
(And for she was long, wide, hole, sounde, entire,
I founde in scripture that it was A barge),
Sayng þat he wold go land to acquire,
So god hym warde fro perel to plesur; [ 1286]
Moche peple with hym had, the barge ful was;
Ther Guy with hym went landes to purchas. [ 1288]
IN many places preuid was hardly [ 1289]
Thys forsaiden Guy truly manyfold.
And to wel find ther peple only, *. [They took with them much silver and gold, and went to sea.]
The fair melusine of siluer and gold
Gret plente toke, in tresour store to hold. [ 1293]
Into see thay went, the sayl vp gan reise, *. [Soon came they to Cyprus.]
To cipresse contre ther shippes gan teise [ 1295]
Streight to that place wher fair auenture funde. [ 1296] *. [The king of Cyprus was then being besieged in]
Of Cipresse the kyng tho beseged was
Page  51 In A myghty towne, which owyd that stound; *. [Famagousta,]
Named Famagouce 1. [MS. "Samagouce."] that cite and place;
Which, enfaimling, Almoste gan purchace [ 1300] *. [which the Sultan had nearly taken.]
The soudan bigly the town beseging,
With an hundred thousande men fightyng. [ 1302]
Off it knew vriens the uerite, [ 1303] [Fol. 30.]
Off Famagouce 1. [MS. "Samagouce."] the Cite roial;
land toke, refershing 2. [MS. "refershing;" the er is blotted.] hym and hys maine. *. [Uriens lands, and, calling his men together,]
Forth-with declarid to hys peple all,
And to thys Cite his peple gan cal, [ 1307]
Wher-vnto thai had An euyn streight way; *. [displays his banner.]
And beforne tham his baner gan display, [ 1309]
Whych of Fine silke was enbrauded freshly. [ 1310]
The Sarasins knew and saw ther comyng; *. [Both Saracens and citizens see them coming.]
Als tho in cite knew them uerily,
And ther ooste myght see ful fast herbiging,
The peple of Armes ther disloging. [ 1314]
Nye to the soudan thai re[n]gid tho were; *. [Soon were they arrayed against the Sultan.]
As to the Cipriens to sight semyng there, [ 1316]
That the Soudan cast Away for feere to flee; [ 1317] *. [The Sultan medi∣tated flight; which the king perceived, and was at once armed by Ermynee his daughter,]
That said to othir, "we most after sew."
The kyng Armed was with fair Ermynee,
hys swet doughter ful maydenly to vew,
hyr honorous fader with harnois new; [ 1321]
Ther hym conueing ryght ful curtoisly, *. [and mounted his horse.]
Vnto hys courser ful debonairly. [ 1323]
Trompes, clarions, blew up fast sounding, [ 1324] *. [Trumps and clarions sound. A hard conflict ensues,]
The kynges baner lifte, vp-reised hy;
Ther full gret affray was at ther mellyng,
The paynymes saw the kyng cam freshly,
Page  52 Anon Assembled that full hastily; [ 1328] *. [and many Chris∣tians and Saracens are slain.]
Many A cristyn Approched deth in haste,
And Sarasius many to mortal deth caste. [ 1330]
The sarisins were myghty, fers, And strong; [ 1331] [Fol. 30 b.]
The Cipriens shewed ther strenght and myght.
The king withe a dart 1. [MS. "adart."] toxicat poison fong, *. [The king is shot with a poisoned dart,]
Such A malice stroke his foes hym dight
That in garison hym wold take no wight. [ 1335]
Tho Sourgeons doubte, As thay gan report, *. [and the surgeons fear that they cannot heal him.]
Wherfor the peple were tho discomforth. [ 1337]
The 2. [MS. "Thy."] Cipriens went for fere euermore, [ 1338] *. [The Cyprians thereupon retreat, closely followed by the Saracens.]
The sarisines after full fast fleing,
Into the thowne thay bete thaim before,
Many ther slain And many don castyng.
In that towne was horrible crying, [ 1342] *. [Great clamour in the city.]
As for tho wounded And Als tho slayn;
And for the kynges hurt, ther souerain, [ 1344]
Fvll dolorous wo ther enforced was; [ 1345]
Ermyne by-ment hir good fader sore, *. [Ermynee bemoans her father, and tears her goldish hair,]
Gret torment to hir ther gan she purchas,
hir goldish herre tering, breking, euermore,
For hir fader and lord lying hir before, [ 1349] *. [perceiving that he had arrived at death's door.]
Whom perceiued riued at dethes port,
And that no man3. [MS. "nomā."] cowde yif theroff comfort. [ 1351]
Off kyng Ciprian leue we shal and rest, [ 1352] *. [Meanwhile Uriens and Guy had displayed their banners,]
And of vriens speke and talke we shall,
Which was wurthy, uaillant, and gentillest,
Full semly to see, lusty ouer all;
And of his brother, that Guy men do cal, [ 1356]
Of fader And moder As beforn is said;
Ther baneres were openly displayd, [ 1358]
Page  53
ANd in ther handes full faste gan to hold. [ 1359] [Fol. 31.]
A fers and hardy stoure ther a man 1. [MS. "aman."] shold se, *. [and attacked the Saracens.]
When to-geders mete with sperys manyfold.
The petyuins tham bare As warly men fre; *. [The men of Poitou, owing to their good victual and plentiful wine, were stronger than their foes.]
For ther good vitail and wines plente [ 1363]
The more strenger were And the more semly;
Assautes tha[y] gafe dyuers And sondry. [ 1365]
Ther vriens shewed his noble prowesse, [ 1366] *. [Uriens and Guy are dreaded by the Saracens;]
Many be-gan sle and hurt manyon;
his brother Guy in lyke besinesse,
Men hym doubted As thai wold A lion;
Paynymes hym drad, fered hys person; [ 1370] *. [and, at last, the Sultan presses forward at full speed,]
After wiste noght the soudan what to do,
But with spores priked hys coursere tho. [ 1372]
HIs forbeshed swerd of stele faste holding, [ 1373] *. [smiting down a Poitevin with his furbished sword,]
To A peiteuin wightly smote he faste,
So that neuer myght 2. [MS. "nyght."] be purchassyng,
With-in litel while standed was in haste;
The timbre And yre thorugh hys body wraste. [ 1377] *. [so that both wooden hilt and iron blade pierced through his body.]
hyt perceiued tho gentile vriens;
Semyng fro hym-selfe, with gret uiolens, [ 1379]
IN hys handes twain hys swerd fast gripte he, [ 1380] *. [Uriens grips his sword in both hands, and cleaves the Sultan to the teeth, at which the Paynims are distressed,]
Such A stroke ther yaf the Soudan vnto,
To teeth cliue his hed for hys cruelte,
Within the Soudan entred his swerd so;
Vnto mortall deth fell this paynym tho, [ 1384]
The paynymes All abashed heuily.
Such-wise vriens wrought dedes Army, [ 1386]
That both paynymes, turkes, and suriens, [ 1387] [Fol. 31 b.]
That As A larke fro A hauke doth fle, *. [so that Paynims, Turks, and Syri∣ans]
And hare fro grohund As for ther diffence,
Page  54 So fleyng thay vnto thar naue. *. [flee fast to their ships, hard pressed by Uriens.]
Vriens which had to tham enmyte [ 1391]
As for to dystroy the sarisins all,
Smote vppon thaim As vppon curres shal. 1. ["fmal" (?).] [ 1393]
Ther by 2. [MS. "Therby."] vryens And curtois Guy [ 1394]
Were slayn of paynymes the myghtiest.
Vriens in ther tentes thought long surely, *. [Uriens determines to rest awhile in the tents of the conquered foes;]
Thens thought not go, but ther take to reste,
Sin vppon paynyms had he such conqueste. [ 1398]
Ther ne taryed he noght ouer 3. [MS. "oure."] long, *. [but, before long, come a troop of Cyprians,]
That the Cipriens cam besily strong [ 1400]
Off the kinges part to hym send, and come, [ 1401] *. [who beseech him to visit the king,]
Besechyng tham com to the cite,
Off frendlyhed the way to hym nome,
For vnto tham come certes myght not he; *. [as the king cannot visit him,]
For vnnethes myght speche on hym be, [ 1405]
Strayned with seknesse such wyse was tho, *. [being so sorely wounded.]
Wounded and hurt with hys enemyes soo. [ 1407]
When vriens was thaim vnderstandyng, [ 1408] *. [He answers that he will come gladly.]
he Answerd thaim ryght ful curtoisly,
That gladly wold he Approche that hy kyng.
In noble Aray greithed thaim freshly *. [Uriens and his brother dight themselves freshly in noble array, and set off.]
Vryens And hys brother in company, [ 1412]
Towardes the kyng whent thai forth Anon;
Moche went Cipryan, beholdyng the person [ 1414]
Off vriens, which he saw moche, large, and grett, [ 1415] [Fol. 32.]
Ther seing he had A ful strange uisage *. [Many a Cyprian, seeing Uriens' face, said that he would conquer all lands by his appearance,]
In horrible wyse, As he went by strett,
Euery man blessed, sayng in ther passage,
That neuer such a man 4. [MS. "aman."] saw in al ther age; [ 1419]
Page  55 "By reson," said, "he shuld do conquere 1. [MS. "comquere."]
All landes with hys semblant and chere; [ 1421]
NOn shold to fight 2. [MS. "fight."] hym attende ne bide, [ 1422] *. [for that none would dare to stand against him.]
Which fro hym may Any wyse diffende;
ho, lord god, ho? noght A geaunt no tide!
I you ensure, meruelus is to attende!" *. [On arriving, they ascend the palace steps, and find the king's nose and mouth swollen,]
At the gret paleis gan thay to dissende; [ 1426]
On grice went vp, the kyng on bed thay founde,
Hys nose, hys mouth bolned gret that stounde,
With toxicat uenym replete was certain; [ 1429] *. [and the king re∣plete with venom.]
hym ther complaynyng and ful sore bement.
humbly vriens salute thys souerain, *. [Uriens salutes him humbly, who returns his saluta∣tion, and great thanks also.]
Thys kyng which in body this poison hent;
Anon hys saluz yild forthwith ther present, [ 1433]
Sayng, "ye haue me seruyd nobilly,
And to me ye haue done gret curtesy; [ 1435]
NEuer in my lyf no such ne had." [ 1436]
Thes wordes outred the kyng of Cipriens,
After demaundyng vriens ful sad, *. [The king further demands Uriens' name,]
"What be ye? what is your name þis presentens?"
"Worshipful kyng, men cal me vriens; [ 1440] *. [who answers that he is Uriens of Lusignen.]
Off lusignen am naturally grow,
I wyll that my name to all men ben know." [ 1442]
"IN faith," sayd the kyng, "of it am I glad [ 1443] [Fol. 32 b.]
That dressyd and come ye be to thys place, *. [The king is glad to see him, but tells him that he feels he is incur∣ably wounded, being stuffed full of venom;]
And that your wyll were truly to be hade.
Swet frende, I fele mortal dethe me brace,
Neuer After thys comforth to purchace [ 1447]
Off surgery-crafte ne with medicine,
For stuffed I am ful of uenyme, [ 1449]
Page  56
Whereof helth neuer shal I not conquere, [ 1450] *. [wherefore he besought him to please to con∣descend to ac∣cept his gift, which Uriens does.]
But of my days shortly to make end;
Wherefor you bes[e]che with me accorde here [ 1452]
That to my gift you please to condiscend,
Whereby noght shal lese, vriens, gud frend;
honour shal ye haue, worship, and profite."
Vriens graunted hym without respite, [ 1456]
That hys commaundement wold he do gladly, [ 1457]
Agre and Accorde hys sayd gyft vnto;
The kyng hym thanked, And sayd full humbly, *. [The king thanks him for his assent,]
"Thys is wel sayd, and the more gladder, loo!
I shal mortal deth take;" commaundyng thoo [ 1461] *. [and sends for his barons and his daughter Er∣mynee.]
That Al the Barons After send shold be,
And hys fayr doughter the swet Ermyne. [ 1463]
To hys barons said, "now ye vnderstande, [ 1464] *. [He tells his barons he expects not to live longer,]
More longer liff noght in me attend;
lenger may not liue here with you in lande,
My noble Rewme Cipresse; now say you at end, *. [and that he wills to leave his kingdom to his daughter,]
Whom, to my power, haue warded and diffend [ 1468]
Ffro paynymes at point of swerdes cru[e]lte,
Now it wyll I leue my doughter Ermyne, [ 1470]
IN me noght had no poynt of medicin; [ 1471] [Fol. 33.]
For therof she is enheritour of ryght." *. [she being the true heir.]
Thai sayng hym with contenance good and fin, *. [The barons there∣upon do homage to his daughter;]
That gladly wold do hys plesire eche wyght. 1. [MS. "wyight."]
Ther homage made to hir do in sight, [ 1475]
So takyng of hir ther landes and fe. *. [and the king adds,]
Then toke to speke this noble kinge fre; [ 1477]
"The barons All here me vnderstande, [ 1478] *. [that his subjects cannot be de∣fended by a simple woman against]
ye warde And kepte truly may noght be
By simple woman gayn Sarisins hande;
Page  57 your neighbours thay ben wonder ny to se; *. [such cruel neigh∣bours as the Saracens;]
Such fers stoures of huge cruelte [ 1482]
As off Armes bere, ne the sharpe shoures;
Here Auised haue to you good socoures. [ 1484]
Uppon thys dede here I haue deuised [ 1485] *. [that Uriens is puissant and mighty,]
That vriens is pusant and myghty,
Off lusignen uaillantly franchised,
Which that the Soudan discomfith manly, *. [and has discom∣fited the Sultan, as they all saw for themselves;]
And hys men gan sle by dedes Army, [ 1489]
By the huge prowesse off hys body strong;
Off thys knewlych non hath by mene of tonge;
What demaunde or aske here of hym now wold, [ 1492] *. [and that he there∣fore asks them to beseech Uriens to grant him all his request;]
To pray hym I you here beseche hertly,
That he me noght wern, but my requeste hold."
Thay hym besought and prayed swetly; *. [which the barons at once accede to.]
To ther request Acorded he humbly; [ 1496]
To the kyng reportyd thay that he wold do
What someuer he wold hym demAunde, lo! [ 1498]
THeroff was the kyng Full ioyous And glade, [ 1499] [Fol. 33 b.]
To vriens said, "me request hir ye, *. [The king is glad thereof, and tells Uriens that he wishes to ask nothing of him,]
And here perdon me of my wordes hade,
For nothyng wil ne of you for to gyf me,
Off youres nothing sall demaunded be; [ 1503]
But you wil I gif gentilly, sire, of myne *. [but to confer on him something of his own,]
Thys Rewme with all enheritaunce fyne, [ 1505]
With my fair doughter in franke mariage; [ 1506] *. [namely, his king∣dom and his daughter.]
For other haue non discended of my lyne.
you besech to take here thys fair Image."
When the Barons knew to that wold inclyne, *. [The barons are of the same mind.]
Strongly ioyed all off that discipline, [ 1510]
Ther loue to vriens strongly gan draw,
For the gret goodnesse that thay on hym saw. [ 1512]
Page  58
Uriens the king full well understode, [ 1513] *. [Uriens thanks the king, and says he would not take the gift if he saw in the king any respite from death.]
A lytell mused, after gan Answere;
"I thanke you hertly, gracyous lord goode,
Off that ye me haue don such honour here;
But iff respite of deth in you saw were, [ 1517]
Full litill or noght wold I your gifte preise;
But, lord, syn it doth your hert so to pleise, [ 1519]
Syn your will it is, Full wele lyketh me; [ 1520]
Wherfor shold I, lo! lenger it delay?"
Thys mariage don plesantly to see, *. [The marriage is performed: and, as the priest was raising the host at the mass, the king yielded up his soul.]
And ryght As the preste reised god þat day
Off the holy masse, þat þe preste gan say [ 1524]
Where thys sike kyng lay in such maner wise,
yild vpp hys good soule in-to paradise, [ 1526]
Where our lorde will resceyue hym of hys grace, [ 1527] [Fol. 34.]
And off all hys syn yeuyng hym pardon; *. [Their great joy is thus turned into wo.]
For I witnesse you And say in thys place,
That he was A trew catholike person.
Ther gret ioy changed in-to wo Anon, [ 1531] *. [The bride's heart is "locked up" with heaviness.]
full dolorous was tho the espouse,
With heuynesse loke was hir good hert fre. [ 1533]
The kyng After entered was goodly; [ 1534] *. [The king is buried royally;]
long taried noght or put were on graue,
hys obsequie don ryght worshipfully,
And, to say the soth, As reson wold craue;
For A kyng shold roiall obseque haue. [ 1538] *. [and there were therefore no plays or tournaments at the wedding,]
That time noght had pleys ne tornement,
For the gret dolour whych for the kyng hent, [ 1540]
Which At mortall deth was ther presently. [ 1541]
But not-withstandyng honestly was don *. [which was, never∣theless, honestly done.]
The mariage And weddyng greabilly;
Blame ne reproche certes nedith non
Page  59 Tho melled of thes dede passed and gon; [ 1545] *. [No blame at∣tached to those who were busy about that matter;]
So wyll was this thing At poynt don þat day,
At which time ther was full noble array [ 1547]
Appertaynyng wel to A kinges dede. [ 1548]
At thys mariage was nobles ful many, *. [for many nobles, knights, ladies, damsels, and squires, honoured the marriage feast, and danced thereat.]
Of sondry townes peple in that stede,
knightes, laydes, damycelles worthy,
yonge Squiers, And maydens goodly, [ 1552]
Where-with thys said feste gretly gan honour,
Which ther daunced At that tyme and hour. [ 1554]
Ryght 1. [In the margin, [Vr]yen kyng of [Cip]re by ermyne [hy]s wyf hathe a boy [cal]led gryffon.] thus the peple merily ioyng [ 1555] [Fol. 34 b.]
As off the good rule noysed of thaim to, *. [Thus joyed the people on account of the good rule of those two, viz., of the bride and Uriens.]
Of the espouse full noble gouernyng,
And of the good lordes renomyng also.
Anon was she made vnto bedde go, [ 1559]
For vriens wold in no wyse tary,
With hir went to bedde As man ful hastly. [ 1561]
IN that night Greffon ther engendred was, [ 1562] *. [Their firstborn was named Greffon,]
Off whom I shall declare, outre, and say;
Which in payny conquered hye And bas, *. [who conquered many countries,]
Gret seignories And contrees that day,
And of Colcis quitte the contre Alway, [ 1566] *. [including Colchis,]
Where playnly no man in no wise passe myght.
Many merueles of trought cam ther ryght, [ 1568]
EVery moneth twenty And mo. [ 1569]
An Ile was ther had full fair to deuise, *. [where was an isle, in which the golden fleece was gained by Jason, with the aid of Medea.]
Wheron conquered was the flees tho,
Which conqueste was made by medee auise, 2. [MS. "medeeauife."]
By Iason Away it bering such wise. [ 1573]
he it conquered by the hy prudence
Off medee the fair, And by hir science; [ 1575]
Page  60
FVll long tyme wold be it to rehers here. [ 1576] *. [It would take up too much time to tell all that story.]
ho in-to thys boke thys mater draw wold,
The meruailles huge had in that ille there,
A thousand ther hau[e] fall, come, and unfold;
A thousand sayn, A thousand tymes told, [ 1580] *. [I should then be going aside from the matter in hand.]
As wele opin plain As said by straitnesse;
Out of my mater issue shold expresse. [ 1582]
Off thys Ile to speke thys tyme shall I reste, [ 1583] [Fol. 35.]
And vnto Greffon retorn here me shall.
Greffon with swerdes fors was redy and preste, *. [Greffon was quick and ready in war, and conquered many places.]
Off maree the prince, chef, And principall;
After the porte yaffe conquered he all. [ 1587]
So Aboute went purchassing dayly, *. [At last he came to Tripoli (?),]
That the uaillant Cite of Triple cam by; [ 1589]
BI hys huge prowesse went it to assaill [ 1590] *. [which he assailed and took.]
In ryght werly wyse, For manly was in breste,
That both his penon And baner sanfaill
Put within the town, so making conqueste.
Neuer At no day taried ne reste, [ 1594] *. [Thus he acquired laud, honour, and praise.]
That he [ne] went by land And by ssee,
laude, honour, preising so conquered he. [ 1596]
Off hym we shall reste And tary now, [ 1597]
And to our purpos here retorn shall we
Off vriens, kyng which is full know, *. [Uriens is crowned king of Cyprus.]
And crounyd lorde of Cipresse was he.
Vncle 1. [In the margin, kynge of hermy[ne] vnkull to vriens, brother to her fa[ther].] to hys wif, the king of hermyne; [ 1601] *. [His wife's uncle is king of Armenia.]
When hir Fader in lif was being,
Brother to hym was of hermyne the kyng. [ 1603]
Thys full noble kyng of Arminiens [ 1604]
In his days was man of grett goodnesse,
Page  61 But Ay myght not be in liffes existence; *. [This king of Armenia dies, to the great sorrow of his subjects,]
Tho feble and stronge dethe takyth expresse.
Ther ware hys peple full of heuynesse, [ 1608]
With that sorow had many mortalite, *. [many of whom died of grief.]
For whyle he regned, well ruled the contre. [ 1610]
A douthter he had gentile And full fayr, [ 1611] [Fol. 35 b.]
A more gentelere was ther non then she, *. [His daughter was his only heir;]
Off hym discended was non other hayir.
A concell ther hold off the hermyns fre *. [wherefore the Armenians send to Cyprus, requesting Uriens to send them his brother Guy,]
That thay wold send to cipresse contre, [ 1615]
Requiring the kyng that hys brother Guy
Sol[d] send in-to ther region only, [ 1617]
And 1. [MS. "AAnd."] he shold haue that gentile damycell [ 1618] *. [who should have the damsel, Flourie, to wife.]
To hys wedded wife, flourye the fair.
Thay thys ordinaunce Amonge thaim held ful wele;
To Cipresse cam thes messyngers debonair, *. [The messengers come to Cyprus.]
Without tarying or Any retrair [ 1622]
Vn-to the kyng declaryng ther message,
For euery off thaim was full wyse And sage. [ 1624]
With full gret ioy resceyued thaim the kynge, [ 1625]
And tham fested wonder nobilly.
When thes nouelles vriens knowyng *. [Uriens takes counsel with his barons,]
Off the fayr debonair, the gentile floury,
Off hys barons toke concell hastily. [ 1629]
Thay All accorded 2. [MS. "occorded."] And to hym thay said, *. [and they agree that Guy should be sent at once.]
That hys brother shold send with þam þat braid.
That thys thyng were done hasted he bigly; [ 1632] *. [Guy agrees to the proposal, takes ship, and arrives at Armenia.]
Guye after send, Accorded All ther-to
That which vriens commaunded hym only.
Into see thay went with moche peple tho,
Page  62 Off Armes doubty, noble, And gentile, lo! [ 1636]
Ariued thai were In hermeny,
Wher enherite shold the full fair floury. [ 1638]
AT erthe discended, so thay forth going, [ 1639] [Fol. 36.]
lordys of contre contring thaim Again, *. [Disembarking, he soon meets some lords, who receive him gladly;]
With A wilfull hert full gentilly resceyuyng,
And ioyusly brought forth thys souerayn.
Off hys comyng gret ioy had sertayn, [ 1643]
All the estates made hym full gret feste; *. [and marries Flourie,]
he maried floure without other reste, 1. [In the margin, Guy maryd flou[re] kynge of hermy[ne] dogter, & ys ky[ng] hymself.] [ 1645]
The king After was of all the contre, [ 1646] *. [and is king of the country;]
Thes to Rewmes put As thay beforn were.
To brethers Aforn of trouth had it be, *. [so that two brothers are once more kings of Armenia and of Cyprus.]
So ben thay now in to brothers powere,
By fader and moder, in like manere. [ 1650]
Thes kynges to regned, As it is sayd,
And ther tyme strongly gan thay aid [ 1652]
To tho which of thaim discended were; [ 1653] *. [The two kings aided those who were descended from them, and the people of Rhodes too. They had many children,]
As I understande, tho of rodes to,
That in mischef ye know, And uisite there.
Full many children had thes brethers tho,
Which leuid till thay were large woxen, lo! [ 1657]
Many fair dedes in ther tyme thay wrought,
That fele paynymes to discomfiture brought. [ 1659]
After dicesse of ther fader good, [ 1660]
Which vnto tham both gentill fader was,
Ther Rewmes ruled well while in lif stood, *. [and ruled well, trampling under foot those who annoyed them.]
And ther noyours underfote put bas.
Fro thaim to ther fader torn wyll by grace, [ 1664]
As vnto Raymounde And fair melusigne, *. [I will now turn to Raymond and Melusine.]
Ther noble moder with all honour dygne. [ 1666]
Page  63
When that thay hurde the nouelles And tiding [ 1667] [Fol. 36 b.]
Off ther sones too, goode, fair, and gentill, *. [When these heard of the success of their two sons,]
how conquered had to gret Rewmes hauyng;
Wherefor thay sayd the sept psabulmes until *. [they said the 7 Psalms to the King of Glory,]
The kyng of glorie, enpreising with vos shill, [ 1671]
By whom thai haue had the huge victory,
And conquered ther foes many; [ 1673]
ANd that in so gret honoures put be [ 1674] *. [because each of them was called a king.]
That Ayther of thaim claymed is A kyng,
And of sogettes loued in eche degre,
Then was she sette in desy[r]ing *. [Moreover Melu∣sine, for her soul's health,]
Our lord for to serue, hertly hym thankyng. [ 1678]
Thys noble lady called Melusine,
As for the helth of hir soule deuine, [ 1680]
Thys fair Melusine, without tarying, [ 1681]
Of our lady A minstre fourged she *. [built a minster to Our Lady,]
Which was ful fair, gladsom in seing;
hit edefied Melusine the fre,
And full richely it founded to se; [ 1685]
Thorough All peiters, by hir owne deuyse, *. [and founded also many other churches.]
Many churches founded in glorious wysse. [ 1687]
TO euery place yaff she gyftes grett. [ 1688]
Affter Oede hir son gan she to marie *. [Next she married her son Oede to the earl's fair daughter.]
The fair doughter, of the noble Erle gett.
For soth Raynold, whych had but on eye,
Full gret, thikke, And fers wax he wonderly; [ 1692] *. [Raynold and Anthony set out from Lusignan.]
Anthonye And he parted lusignen fro,
For peple went thens when dined had tho. [ 1694]
FOr Anthony was ayne and eldeste, [ 1695] [Fol. 37.]
Towardes Brehain toke he the streight way, *. [They soon came to Luxemburg,]
Till that luxemborugh Approched ful preste,
A famous town of gret renon that day.
Page  64 Beforn whom many A penon gan display, [ 1699] *. [which was then being besieged by the king of Alsace,]
The king of Ausoy it besegied had,
Almoste it toke, within thay sore Adred. [ 1701]
When thes brethren to in feld comyn were, [ 1702] *. [who had nearly taken the town.]
The town vnnethes gayn Ausoys myght hold;
Ther Aither of tham had hurt 1. ["hurd" (?).] the manere, *. [They asked the cause of the war, and find that it was for the duke's daughter, an orphan,]
Wherefor thaim werred thys myghty kyng bold;
For A mayden it was that haue wold, [ 1706]
That within the towne was gentil, curteys, & faire,
Doughter of A duke, 2. [MS. "guke."] Orphelyne debonair. [ 1708]
BI strenght to wife haue wold hir the kyng, [ 1709] *. [whom the king of Alsace wished to marry forcibly.]
Remeue wold he noght thys said Cite fro
Til the dukes doughter he were hauyng.
But Anon cam A-place thes bretherin to, [ 1712]
Which with thaim brought A wonder huge host tho,
Vnto thys said kyng send thay diffiance, *. [The brethren defy the king by a herald,]
By An heraude of theres that instance. [ 1715]
Wherof the king was ioyus And glad, [ 1716] *. [whereof the king is glad, as he is fierce and cruel.]
For he was lusti, yonge, fers, and cruell;
A-ferrome thay perceyued the strenght had, *. [From afar the brethren per∣ceived the host, armed with knives and halberds.]
Seing the baneres with the wynde ful wel, [ 1719]
Which blew thaim A-lofte with many A pensell,
Of Army peple seing grett fuson,
With Custiles And Gisarmes manyon; [ 1722]
Then thay stafte 3. [MS. "stafte."] thaim, putt in-to ordinance, [ 1723] [Fol. 37 b.]
Goyng to smyte ther enemies uppon, *. [The Lusignans attack the foes boldly,]
huge noyse and crye Assembled that instance.
The lusignens went, faste crying tham on;
Page  65 To-geders dreuing cam with gret randon, [ 1727] *. [so that the earth trembles at their encounter.]
And when thay cam the Assemble to,
The erth made thay to tremble and quake tho.
Ther entre-sembling don wonder fersly; [ 1730] *. [The men of Alsace assail the Poite∣vins, who hammer at them in return.]
A gret Abashment was it tho being;
Ausoys peityuyns assailing bigly,
Peiteuyns vppon Ausoys faste knakking, *. [The Lusignans bid their foes abide the taste of their swords.]
Manyon ther slayn, mortally deyng; [ 1734]
Ayen lusignens crying 1. [MS. "eryng," e being mis-written for c, and i omitted] were Ful faste,
"Theffes Ausoys! byde our swerdes taste, [ 1736]
FOr escape no wyse mow ne shal ye noght!" [ 1737]
Ther army dedes the peiteuyns gan do,
Fro fele bodies pertid the soule in brought.
Then thes brethren, ech by thaim-self, tho, *. [The two brethren, each by himself, behave in so war∣like a manner, that their men are the victors.]
So ful werrely wrought, can noght be said, lo! [ 1741]
Off o side and other so departed there,
That the peiteuyns Ausoys gan conquere. [ 1743]
ANthony the kyng toke with handes to, [ 1744] *. [In Anthony's hands the king "seemed no∣thing."]
In his hand he semyd hym no-thyng,
hym wold he haue slayn, but he yilde hym tho,
A-non hys swerd forth-with presenting.
When Anthony saw to hym so yilding, [ 1748] *. [Anthony receives his sword in token of submission.]
he hym resceyued And his swerd gan take;
And tho the Ausoys gret flight gan to make; [ 1750]
But peyteuyns Full ny gan thaim to sew, [ 1751] [Fol. 38.]
And Raynold strongly full faste gan to fight, *. [The Poitevins pursue the men of Alsace till they are all taken and slain.]
Many ther were slayn And fele gan subdew,
The Ausoys takyng all And slayn don-right.
Raynold was full sage, And wel taught perfight, [ 1755]
In like wyse was hys brother Anthony,
Full gentill And connyng vnto mannys eye. [ 1757]
Page  66
Where that day thay toke to ease thaim surely [ 1758] *. [Anthony and Raynold take their ease in their tents,]
As for ther repare in the tentes and place.
In-to the town After send quikly
To se if thay were reioed in thys cace;
knightes sixe made go vnto the good grace [ 1762] *. [and send six knights, with the captive king, to the fair maiden.]
Off thys fair mayden, hire to present the kyng,
Ther thens departyd, lenger noght byding; [ 1764]
The kyng presented to thys fair creature, [ 1765]
vnto do with hym at hir owne plesance.
Then thys fayr mayden, fresh shappe of figure, *. [The fair creature inquires who are the two noble lords who have thus come to her assistance.]
Which was full gentile, Fair, swet of semblance,
And to tho said which had hir in gouernance, [ 1769]
"Fro whens comith this noble lordes thys hour,
That me thys day han don so gret honour?" [ 1771]
"MAdame," said on which was an Aged knight, [ 1772] *. [An aged knight tells her they are the "sons of Lusignan;"]
"With A herty will ye shal know gladly;
These bene the sones of lusignen ryght;
Men thaim so name, certes, by ther cry,
That on of thaim is called Anthony, [ 1776] *. [and that their names are Anthony and Raynold.]
And that other hath vnto name Raynold,
To full myghty men, manly And full bolde." [ 1778]
Thys Fair mayden said, "god off his mercy [ 1779] [Fol. 38 b.]
Off ther socour tham thanke for hys hy pusance, *. [She is very grate∣ful for their services,]
For me haue thay don dedes Full worthy.
What so I haue shall be to ther plesance,
For ther consell wrought and good gouernance, [ 1783] *. [and expresses a wish to counsel with them ere they go.]
With tham shall I concell, er thay goo,
Off all thyngis that I haue to do." [ 1785]
Then she ther demaunded hir concell; [ 1786] *. [She tells her council she shall invite the brethren and]
After commaundyng thes brethren come hir to,
lenger myght not she it withold well,
Page  67 And with ther hoste shall 1. [MS. "fholl."] come loge also, *. [their host into the town.]
In thys said towne ther herbigage haue tho, [ 1790]
And in especiall the Barons moste hy.
hyr peple said, "it shal bene done truly." [ 1792]
TOward thes brethren went thay forth anon, [ 1793] *. [The messengers find the brethren in the king's pavilion, where they had found much treasure and had distributed it among the soldiers.]
Within the tentes merily tham founde,
In place where was the kyngys pauilon
For time that the sege was hold in þat ground.
Ther founde thay I-now of goodes þat stounde, [ 1797]
But of it thay wold take ryght no-thyng,
But to men off armes All was yeuyng. [ 1799]
What-someuer thing in that place was founde, [ 1800] *. [When the mes∣sengers from Luxemburg had arrived at the pavilion, they delivered their message to the two brethren,]
Fyrste gaf to tho gret, After smal vnto.
When fro luxemborugh where come þat stounde
Thes messengers Ful Apertly tho,
Ther message sagely And wightly gan do [ 1804]
To thes to brethren off full huge prowesse
Fro the part off thys lady And mestresse. 2. [At the bottom of the page is the catchword—"Thes brethren to resceyued."] [ 1806]
Thes 3. [MS. "Thyes."] brethren to resceyued tham humbly, [ 1807] [Fol. 39.]
Ryght so As thay k[n]ew full well for to do. *. [who received them humbly.]
When thes messyngers vnderstod uerily *. [The messengers receive their answer, and at once 500 knights set out to lodge within the town.]
All thare Answer, no lenger taried tho,
That of thes knightes fife hundred and mo [ 1811]
Went thaim to loge there, were noght dangerous,
knowing that ther was al thyng plenteuous. [ 1813]
The hostes marschall lefte thai þat instance, [ 1814] *. [The brethren leave their "marshals" with the main army, and send their foragers on before them.]
Ther forigers 4. [MS. "forigers."] A-forn gan to send
For ther hostes to make ordinance,
Page  68 Of whome the Instrumentes sounded at end,
Off luxemborught entre moche to commende; [ 1818]
No place ther had, neither carfoukes non, *. [Every place and cross-way are filled with people.]
But peple shold se ther come many one, [ 1820]
TO the sounde that thes instrumentes gan make; [ 1821]
The nobles and gentiles comyng thaim agayne. *. [The nobles of the city convey the brethren to the castle.]
Tho moste worthiest thes brethren gan take,
Vnto the castel conueing thaim certayn.
To thys assemble peple cam ful fayn, [ 1825] *. [The maiden arrives thither; her name is Christian.]
Where appered thys cristin creature,
Whiche cristian was named, be ye sure. [ 1827]
Ther Acompanied was she noght ill [ 1828] *. [She is accom∣panied by many ladies,]
Of laides had ful gret company,
With noble damyselles longing hir until, *. [both married and maiden, who re∣ceive]
Als of tho maried As of maidens many.
Thai thes brethren resceyued nobilly, [ 1832] *. [the brethren nobly.]
And ful sagely ryght so As thay shold,
Ther vitail redy As to plesire haue wold, [ 1834]
With-out tariyng to wash ther handes went; [ 1835] [Fol. 39 b.]
After went to sitte ther ceriatly. *. [A feast is pro∣vided; they wash their hands, and sit in order;]
Sche made thaim ther A ful fayr sight to hent,
The kyng of Ausoy sette was he moste hy; *. [the king of Alsace highest, Anthony next, and Raynold and three barons next.]
After the brother to Raynold, Anthony, [ 1839]
After thre gret barouns of the same place,
Enmyddes tham Raynold ther sette wace. [ 1841]
Ther tho had was An excellent feste, [ 1842] *. [A more "honest" feast was never seen.]
A more honester neuer sayn with eye,
Of vitail and als wines of the best;
The peiteuyns were at ease merily.
When dined thay had, ther handes wash clenly; [ 1846] *. [After dinner they washed their hands; and, grace being said,]
The tables raysed After tho anon,
And graces saide with gret deuocion, [ 1848]
Page  69
The kyng of Ausoys to thes brethren to [ 1849] *. [the king said to the two brethren, "I am your prisoner, and ask to be put to ransom."]
Said, "I am your presoner thys instance,
In your handes take at thys iournay, lo!
I you here besech to make ordinance,
In such wyse I may be put to finance." [ 1853]
Anthony hym said in fayr, "lord and knight,
Our presoner be ye noght of right; [ 1855]
HEre haue we done And shewid curtessy, [ 1856] *. [Anthony replies that they have been as courteous as he has been villanous,]
Where to wrongously uillanous ye doo,
To thys noble damicel and lady.
Owr dedes we haue put now hir vnto,
your body we haue yeuyn hir also; [ 1860] *. [and that they now put his body in the lady's power,]
Now by hir moste be all the ordinance,
Other-wyse ryght noght but to hir plesance. [ 1862]
IN hir standeth all your deliuerance, [ 1863] [Fol. 40.]
Or elles your deth without doubt Any"—*. [because he had annoyed her wickedly.]
(When the kyng it hurd, in hert had noisance)—
"for that ye haue hir noyed wekkidly."
Forsoth tho anon spake thys fayr lady, [ 1867] *. [But the fair lady at once, without any prompting,]
(Neuer concelled by mannys langage,
For she was well thaught, inly wise and sage),
"MI lordes," she said, "I thank you hertly [ 1870] *. [returns thanks to the two lords, and says in re∣turn that she leaves the king at their disposal,]
Of honour and seruice that ye haue me do;
But by my feith As to that dede surely
Off kyng Ausoys, I wyll not ordayn, lo!
he is yours, I leue hym you vnto; [ 1874]
here all that I haue you 1. ["I" (?).] gyf you thys day, *. [as she could not "guerdon" them]
For you to guerdon 2. [MS. "gruerdon."] certes can ne may, [ 1876]
And hepes of gold had in tresory, [ 1877] *. [if she had heaps of gold.]
That which ye haue yusterday me do,
By your gracious noble chiualry.
Page  70 In you lyth hys lif, And his deth also. *. [The king's life and death are therefore in their power.]
No other thyng shal I do ther-to; [ 1881]
So to your goodnesse am I bounde & hold."
hir wordes hurde Antony and Raynolde, [ 1883]
Thai hir answering, "sin ye wyll do so, [ 1884] *. [They answer, "If so, he shall have a quit-claim of us,]
Of vs shal he haue A quite-clayme fully,
With-that he Amend that he hath misdo.
Then here shall he knele ful debonerly, *. [provided he kneel down here de∣bonairly, and ery you mercy,]
here Aforn vs al, criing you mercy [ 1888]
Of trespas and wronges he hath done here;
And vppon hys feith truly you to swere [ 1890]
That neuer you il after thys shal doo, [ 1891] [Fol. 40 b.]
No noisance, distourbance, neither demage; *. [and swear he will never do you annoyance, dis∣turbance, or damage.]
Surete And hostage shall you take vnto."
Thys fair maden said with full swet langage,
"Ryght As ye haue said, it pleasith my corage; [ 1895] *. [The fair maiden sweetly consents.]
Vnto you I wyll Agre in all thyng,
As ye wyll, so wyll I, by consenting." [ 1897]
The kyng was full glad, ioyng merily, [ 1898] *. [The king is full glad, and cries mercy at once.]
For he trowed wel exiled to be.
To thys lady went, cryng hir mercy,
lyke-wyse As was said by Anthony fre.
Thys womanly thyng ther resceyued she, [ 1902] *. [She accordingly consents to his freedom.]
Ryght As it pleasid ther thys brethren to,
She Accordid in semble wyse tho. [ 1904]
When the kyng had made hys othe & swrete, [ 1905]
Then ful lowde he spake And ful hautaynly, *. [The king next cries with a loud voice, that he should be glad to have such chivalrous men for neighbours,]
And sayd the Barons, "ful glad mow ye 1. ["myght I" (?).] be
yif such a neighbour puruely myght I
As on of you to to haue uerily, [ 1909]
Which bene so chiualrous in your doing,
And which for to do is preisable thyng. [ 1911]
Page  71
SEith here now thys plesant debonair [ 1912] *. [and he bids Anthony look on the pleasant Christian, this duchess, with fair rents, and consider that it is reasonable that he should be repaid for his kindness.]
Gentile Cristian, thys nobyle duchesse,
Which holdeth contrees and rentes fair!
Anthony, me hire besech your hinesse,
ye don haue gret curtesy and gentilnesse, [ 1916]
Hit is gret reson ye were satefied
Off your ful good will don And Applied. [ 1918]
I say thys to ende that it myght be wrought [ 1919] [Fol. 41.]
As that we App[r]oche that I thenke fully, *. [He thinks that Christian might be given to Anthony,]
Ryght noble Barons, sin wel I haue thought, 1. [MS. "thoiught."]
To my semyng, Cristian might mary
As to be yeuen vnto Antoni. [ 1923]
A man no better myght hit employ nay-where, *. [as he is so worthy a bachelor.]
For this knight is A worthi baculere." 2. [MS. "baiulere."] [ 1925]
Off luxembrough the Barons and eche lord, [ 1926] *. [The barons and lords of Luxem∣burg applaud him;]
Thay sayng, "ful wel here hath said the kyng."
All Agreable sete in one Accorde,
To thys werke the kyng was thaim there saing.
The mariage had with all the weddyng, 3. [In the margin, Antony ys [duke] of luxenb[ourgh] by marry∣[ing] Crystyne, eyr yerof.] [ 1930] *. [and the mar∣riage feast is held, and lasted for eight days.]
Which endured eight days plenerly,
Ther had ioustes and tornementes myghty. [ 1932]
There iousted tho ful nobilly the kyng. [ 1933]
At eight days ende finished the feste, *. [The feast ended, every man is about to take leave,]
Then euery man redy faste hastyng
To go And leue take of tho semyng best.
Anon ther cam, without bode or reste, [ 1937] *. [when a messenger arrives from the king of Brehayne,]
A messenger, streight fast As he myght goo,
Which longing was the king of Brehayne to. [ 1939]
Page  72
TO the kyng of Ausoys lettres he brought. [ 1940] *. [with a letter to the king of Alsace.]
Anon the gate opened hym vnto,
Forth-with þe kyng brake thes strange lettres wrought.
As sone As he had radde thes letters tho, *. [Having read the letter, he begins to sigh and weep tenderly;]
There gan he to sigh and sowghid for wo, [ 1944]
And Als for to wepe ryght ful tenderly;
Then thes brethren to demaunded for why [ 1946]
That he weped so, And wat tydinges he hade. [ 1947] [Fol. 41 b.]
Vnto tham he sayd, "reste wil noght to tell; *. [and, being asked the reason, says he has had hard news;]
Full ill me is come, hard nouelles and sad; 1. [MS. "sayd."]
Besegyd haue the sarysins cruell *. [that the Saracens have besieged a town in Brehayne,]
In Brehayne with the tiranny fell. [ 1951]
Off my brother kyng haue I gret pete, *. [and that he pities the king his brother.]
Which sore displeasith and hurteth foule me. [ 1953]
FOr your lordys sake, take therof pete, [ 1954] *. [Anthony listens to his appeal, and bids him not be discomforted;]
And if it you please to hys socour goo,
I thynke it deserue atwixst you and me."
When Anthony vnderstode hys wordes tho,
Full goodly he said thys hy kyng vnto, [ 1958]
"Sir," he sayd, "for thys be not discomfort; *. [for that he will send his brother aid;]
My brother you ful wel shal recomfort. [ 1960]
FOr certes Raynold my brother shal go, [ 1961] *. [and that Raynold should go and slay the Saracens.]
My good knightes with hym shal he bring,
And your brother put Away fro wo,
Ther many Sarisins shal be deing."
"I thanke you hertly," to hym sayd the kyng; [ 1965] *. [The king here∣upon pledges his life that Raynold shall marry his niece;]
"I Afferme And plegge here vppon my life,
My brothe[r]s doughter shal he haue to wyfe; [ 1967]
Raynold shal so enploed be and sette, [ 1968]
Then in your brother better may noght be;
So god me ayde, he shal hir haue without lette
Page  73 After my brother, kyng of hy degre; *. [and, after his brother's death, succeed as king of Brehayne; as his brother had no heir but this one daughter.]
And he shal gouerne noble Brehaynè; [ 1972]
For non other hoir hath non my brother,
But only hir; ne may haue non other." [ 1974]
When Antony vnderstode thys nouell, [ 1975] [Fol. 42.]
Which was ful fayr and inly gracyous,
To the kyng he said hautaynly and wel, *. [Anthony bids the king go and assemble his army, and return again to Luxemburg within a fort∣night;]
"Go hens, ye noble king vertuous,
your hoste Assemble with peple plenteuous, [ 1979]
Al your ful hoste vnto þat place bryng,
Within thys Auynsime 1. [Read "quynsime"; see Note.] be ye retornyng. [ 1981]
MI peple ye shall finden al redy, [ 1982] *. [for there should Raynold meet him.]
Noght ouer ferre, but ny by shall ye;
Raynold my brother to you shal come truly,
In propre persone me ther shal ye see." *. [He himself also (Anthony) would appear there.]
The king hym thanked goodly As myght be, [ 1986]
Fro thens departed he ful hastly tho, *. [The king hastily departs,]
hys peple to Assemble fast gan to go. [ 1988]
And when Assembled hys peple hade, [ 1989] *. [and soon returns to Luxemburg with all his people.]
Then forth-with As sone As he goodly myght,
To luxemborugh A retorn he made,
And then to that place came hys peple raid ryght,
A noble Baronage hauyng ther to sight; [ 1993]
Then he made to come A messengere *. [He next sends a messenger to Anthony]
Fro king Ausoys to Anthony there; [ 1995]
Which ther cam tho in ful noble aray, [ 1996] *. [to say that he was all ready to go to Brehayne,]
With A shil vois said to duke Anthony,
"Sir, I pray your lord you salute thys day;
The king of Ausoy And hys company
Page  74 here comith to go to Brehaynè hastly; [ 2000] *. [and that his hosts were beneath the town in the fields.]
By-nethes ar thai in the fayr medew,
With ful noble company hym to sew." [ 2002]
The duke hym sayd, "welcom shall he be." [ 2003] [Fol. 42 b.]
Raynold forth he send, moste no lenger byde. *. [Duke Anthony says he is wel∣come;]
Raynold cam Agayne, ther taried noght he;
Sir Anthony sayd, "brother, goth thys tyde; *. [and tells Raynold that the king of Alsace is come, and he must find his army good lodging,]
Into thys faire medew forth most ye glyde, [ 2007]
For ther is comyn king Ausoys roiall,
Makyng to loge hys peple gret And small, [ 2009]
His pauilon piche vnto Auantage; 1. [MS. "A uantage." Fr. text, "dauantaige."] [ 2010]
To that done was he inly sage and wyse.
let tham take ther ease after ther corage, *. [and make them take their ease.]
Then make the kyng come of hys hye emprise."
hys commaundement Raynol[d] gan Auise, [ 2014] *. [Raymond obeys, and all is well provided.]
And it was wel don to hertis plesance,
The Ausoys loged wel with all circumstance. [ 2016]
The kinge departed and for 2. ["fro" (?).] thaim toke leue, [ 2017] *. [The king departs to Luxemburg to see the duke.]
Towardes luxemborough thys said duk went,
The town entred in, ther founde, in breue,
Gret fest thaim Among was to all entent; *. [A great feast is made, the particulars of]
After at borde set conuenyent. [ 2021]
Of ther diner and fayr leue here I shal, *. [which I need not rehearse.]
For hit nedith noght As to rehers All. [ 2023]
Anthony Anon made tho all redy, [ 2024] *. [Anthony makes all ready to go to the aid of the king of Brehayne.]
Such peple As were ther in that contre,
he hauyng ther A noble company
As to aid the kyng tho of Brehaignè;
Nombred thay were thirty thousande fre, [ 2028] *. [The number of the two hosts was, in all, 30,000.]
Ther thes hostes too full Assembled were,
And full gret honour to-geders can bere. [ 2030]
Page  75
NOble felowship ther A man shold se; [ 2031] [Fol. 43.]
As moche peple the duke As had the kyng. *. [The duke had as many men as the king.]
When that to-geders thay made assemble,
In euery parte the grounde faste tremblyng.
But er that made fro thens departing, [ 2035] *. [Ere the duke departs, the fair Christian calls him, and beseeches him]
Thys fayr Cristian called Anthony,
Sayng, "you beseche, souerayn lord hy, [ 2037]
That it myght you please me do such honoure [ 2038] *. [to wear the coat-of-arms of Lux∣emburg, and no other blazon.]
That ye the Armes wold fouchesafe to bere
Off luxemborugh; noght put non houre
Other blason, you beseche, to were."
"My fair swet loue," Anthony gan Answere, [ 2042] *. [Anthony says he will not exactly do that,]
"Accorde shal I noght your wyll ther-vnto,
But Another thyng for-sothe shall I doo. [ 2044]
IN whatsomeuer place, lo! that we be, [ 2045] *. [but proposes always to bear on his shield a lion,]
The shild shal I bere of A lyon,
Vppon my armure, plenerly to se;
That Armys wyl haue; other wyl I non; *. [because that, when he was born into the world, he had on his jaw a mark like that made by a lion's claw;]
For that when I was born thys wordle on, [ 2049]
A hurt of A lyon tho I gan to bere,
Vppon my Iawe strongly appering there, [ 2051]
Where-of the peple Abasshed was sore. [ 2052] *. [with this excep∣tion, he will do her pleasure.]
Also your plesire certes shal I doo,
And fulfill your wyll days euer-more."
She said, "I you thanke full hertyly, lo! *. [She thanks him, and says that, excepting the azure, he can bear both his own arms and hers,]
For yf the Asure be put Away fro, [ 2056]
My hole Armys shal ye bere surely,
Both youre armys And thes same only, [ 2058]
Which ben Armes ryght full Auncion." [ 2059] [Fol. 43 b.]
Thes Armes he toke And tham gan to bere, *. [which were the old arms of Luxemburg. He accordingly assorts them,]
And so Assorted thaim ryght thys to gon.
Of this fair lady toke he his leue there,
Page  76 Then fro ther logis thar 1. ["thai" (?).] dressyd tho were, [ 2063] *. [and takes his journey to Brehayne at full speed.]
Towarde Brehaignè went thai fast dreuyng;
Euery Afore other went fleing, [ 2065]
PAssyng so Baueres And also Almayn, [ 2066] *. [Bavaria is passed, and Almaigne;]
Suche progresse forth made ouer the contre,
By huge Iournays, ualey and montayn,
Till thay Approched the land of Brehaignè. *. [and Brehayne is soon reached.]
At thar owne desyre ther made thay entre, [ 2070]
Now shal I say of paynymes the felons, *. [I must now speak of the evil Paynims.]
Which werred dayly thys sayd Brehaignons. [ 2072]
The king of Craquo 2. [MS. "Traquo."] mighty And strong was, [ 2073] *. [The king of Cracow was mighty and strong,]
Werryng ful bigly the Brehaignons thoo,
Withe hym Esclauons many had aplace,
So os 3. [for as.] we haue founde in old scripture, lo!
For of that lande was lorde and syre also. [ 2077] *. [and with his men made great war against the Brehaignons.]
To Brehaignons ful gret werre he made,
On A day he went, to scarmish 4. [See Note.] with thaim sad,
Afforne Brehaignè without hodelnesse. [ 2080]
There hym perceyued the king of Brehaignè, *. [One day the king of Brehayne, whose name was Fedris, armed himself for a sally,]
And ther thought display his baner expresse,
Fedris, which held that Rewme And contre;
Armyng hym ryght faste, taking his helme fre, [ 2084]
When with his armure coueryd he was, *. [and bade the gates be thrown open;]
Ther the gates made opon 5. [Sic in MS.] And unbras; [ 2086]
FRo town issued his peple And he; [ 2087] [Fol. 44.]
Off noble peple had he full many. *. [but the Saracens beat these free knights, over∣whelming them with the number of their men.]
And the Sarisins bete these knightes fre,
Many ther caste done And moche peple sly,
But such store was of Esclauons only, [ 2091]
That we can not put tham As in writing,
Off whom Brehaignons were ryght sore doubtyng.
Page  77
Esclauons Brehaignons put sore Abake, [ 2094] *. [These men drove back the Brehai∣gnons, and chased them into the town.]
And tham sore chased A-non to the ende.
But of luxemborught the duke on gan take,
He puttyng Away ther huge debate tende. *. [But the duke of Luxemburg came up, while the king of Brehaigne]
Off Brehaignons kyng to fyght 1. [MS. "fyght."] was bende, [ 2098]
With the Sarisins faught he in eche side,
Which his peple had put Abake that tide. [ 2100]
But the kyng was noght put Abake only, [ 2101]
But he had ynow hys life to deffende, *. [was fighting for his life, like a wild boar at bay, smiting and cast∣ing down his soes.]
Here And there caste doun, fighting ful manly,
On all for-smete, Another to grounde wende,
As A wyld boor deffendyd hym at ende. [ 2105]
Ryght As at bay stode thys manly good knight,
Full sore were thay hurte whom he Approche myght. [ 2107]
But with A shotte off A launcegay tho [ 2108] *. [But by a javelin this noble knight was smitten through the body,]
Thys noble knyght 2. [MS. "kynght."] smetyn thorugh hys body
Full felonesly And cruelly also,
That to mortal deth fill doun sodenly,
Fro body went the soule ful heuily; [ 2112] *. [and his soul was commended to God.]
To our lord An hy commaunded was she,
For A worthy man certes was he. [ 2114]
There vp ros the cry, As seith the scripture, [ 2115] [Fol. 44 b.]
The Brehaignons wo sore wepte for pite; *. [The Brehaignons wept sore, and fled; but the Saracens pursued, reaching soon the flying troop,]
Tho that myght, ther fled; but sarisins sure
Thay sued ny, attayning tho gan 3. [MS. "gam."] fle.
There swerdes gan take, faste Aboute gan sle, [ 2119]
Fersly on tham went whom þat myght attayn, *. [and slaying them fiercely.]
Full faste cast thay doun, And many ther slayn.
Page  78
Wherof Brehaignons braid and cried, [ 2122] *. [The few who escaped came spurring to the town, and told the sad news;]
And tho which might ther be escaping
Vnto the town come spored And hied,
Declaring thes nouelles of the kyng;
Wherof At hert had that gret noyng [ 2126] *. [to the great grief of the slain king's fair daughter, Eglentine.]
The kynges doughter, named Eglentine,
Whome all good beute gan fair enlumyne. [ 2128]
Eglentine, thys kinges doughter fre, [ 2129]
Off paynymes had gret fere And doubtance.
The peple ran to town And Cite, *. [The people ran fast back into the city for fear of the Saracens, when they saw their king dead. But the Saracens are overjoyed;]
The sarisins moche doubted þat instance,
When the kyng saw dede, whylom of pusance; [ 2133]
Wheroff the sarisins had gret ioy tho,
Tristyng 1. [MS. "Criftyng."] ther were had be ended And doo. [ 2135]
Tho a full gret fire thay tende made And hade, [ 2136] *. [and, making a great fire with bushes and wood, burnt the king's body before the gate.]
With busshes And wod makyng it full hy,
Ful ny to þe gate thys said fire þat thai made,
Byforne hys peple the kyng brend truly.
Marred therof ben tho within Fully, [ 2140] *. [Those within cry and grind their teeth.]
Crying And grinting sore with ther teeth tho,
But no remedy cowde thay shap therto, [ 2142]
FOr non other wyse ther myght it noght be. [ 2143] [Fol. 45.]
But tho cam Anthony And also Raynold, *. [But soon came Anthony, Ray∣nold, and the king of Alsace towards Brehaigne, their basnets glittering like the bright sun.]
Which to paynymes made sautes plente,
And of Ausoys the noble kyng hold.
To-Brehaignè-ward cam thes thre told, [ 2147]
Ther bushinentes fayr resplendising,
As the bryghty 2. [Sic in MS.] sune light and fayr shinyng. [ 2149]
A noble thyng was to behold and se [ 2150]
To-Brehaignè-ward forth faste were passyng, *. [The Brehaignons had great need of succour,]
Which gret nede had to socour and surete,
Page  79 For gretly thai were thaim ouerpressing;
The Brehaignons went out thaim Faste trussing, *. [and were sore astonished, and defended themselves feebly.]
Wheroff Brehaignè was Astoned sore,
And diffendyd thaim febly euermore. [ 2156]
Off thys Eglentyne had gret discomforth, [ 2157] *. [Eglentine would rather have been dead.]
She had more leuer had mortalite.
"Als! dede is," said, "my fader, my comfort; *. [She laments her father, and knows not what she, an orphan, will now do;]
Fader ne moder haue I noght, perde!
here bide And dwell most, orpheline to se. [ 2161]
What now willt thou don, woful Eglentine?
To gret heuynesse off-fors moste thou incline;
For now I se here the destruccion [ 2164] *. [for now she sees the destruction of all her realm.]
Off all my regyon And Rewme roial.
Als! caytif! what shalt thou now don?
In what maner forme gouerne the now shall?
Thy contre shalt se put in exile all, [ 2168] *. [The country would be robbed, pillaged, and worse, by evil Saracens.]
Distroed, robbed, peled, and more wurse,
By ille sarisins; god gife thaim his curse! [ 2170]
I wote nere wat to do, neither what to say, [ 2171] [Fol. 45 b.]
Ne I may noght to it shappe remedy; *. [She would have to deny our Lord, and believe in Saracen customs.]
Me moste here-After our lord to renay,
And in sarisine lau beleue fully!"
Thys complained Eglentine heuily; [ 2175]
For sarisins strong Asseilede faste certain *. [Meanwhile they assailed the town furiously,]
The cite And town, And strongly gan thaim payn
TO haue it, and take by assaute that hour. [ 2178] *. [and thought to take it.]
Such trowed it to dresse, which failled tho;
For in lytell whyle, thorugh goddys labour,
Er that pay[ny]mes trowid it to do,
A messengere cam the Brehaignons vnto, [ 2182] *. [But soon came a messenger secretly into the town unto the Brehaignons,]
Entred brehaignè without tarying,
Ful coyly And preualy within entring, [ 2184]
Page  80
Then escried he ryght full hautanly, [ 2185]
"Now go ye forth, And well shall it appere, *. [and bade them make another sally,]
Which that will diffend thys cite truly.
Diffend you now well, se your socour here, *. [and look out and see the king of Alsace approach∣ing, with Anthony and Raynold;]
Which comyng is you in ryght swifte manere. [ 2189]
Se ye noght her of Ausoys come the kyng,
Anthony And Raynold with hym doth bryng?
Moche ther comyng is you vnto socour, [ 2192] *. [and not to talk of death, for the Poitevins were at hand,]
Ne haue ye no worde deth vnto, sothlesse.
For the noble Duke Anthony of honour,
And raynold hys brother to this place thaim dresse;
With thaim peyteuyns many bryng expresse, [ 2196] *. [so well nourished with meat and wine as to as∣tonish the Paynims.]
Which norished ben with good mete and wyne,
Paynyms thay will make to-stoniste incline. [ 2198]
The kyng of Ausoys thaim haue in company, [ 2199] [Fol. 46.]
To socour And aid tho Af Brehaignè." *. [When the Barons of Brehaigne heard this, they praise God.]
When the Barons it vnderstode truly,
Thay yildyng thankes to god in trenite.
Eche off tham diffended scharply to see, [ 2203] *. [Every man takes good heart, and the Saracens begin to quake,]
Ther euery man good hert gan to take,
The sarisins it saw, ssore gan to quake, [ 2205]
Mvsyng what nouelles or comfort thay hade. [ 2206] *. [wondering what news they had received.]
When thai perceiued tham to contune so,
"Se," on said, "A messyngere comyng sad;" *. [But soon comes a messenger to them, saying,]
Whiche with full shil vois cried right loude tho,
"your escarmish, lordes, lete passe And goo. [ 2210] *. ["Lords, leave off your skirmishing and retreat,]
Vn-to your loges make fair retrete Anon,
Withdraw, remeue hens time is that we dōne.
FOr cristyn peple comyng fast many se, [ 2213] *. [for behold the Christians fast approaching,]
To comforth tho within, sumdele 1. [MS. "famdele."] fered,
Page  81 Off Army peple Full many here bee, *. [by whom all the fields are covered over."]
(The feldes ouerall, lo! ben couered),
Which us cometh, by gret wreth stered." [ 2217]
Then thes paynymes wrethfully ther-thens *. [The Paynims thereupon retreat,]
Whent, leuyng Anon ther stourdy uiolens. [ 2219]
Thens to ther logges went thay retornyng, [ 2220] *. [returning to their tents.]
And not-For-þat made clariners vp-blow;
And ther batailles Anon ordaynyng. *. [Preparations are made for battle on both sides, and the Saracens are struck with terror.]
Off that other part Anthony so grow
Hys batail renged, comyng to be know; [ 2224]
When entreproched thys huge hostes to,
Sarisins strongly ther thaim doubted tho. [ 2226]
The cristin peple tho ran thaim vppon; [ 2227] [Fol. 46 b.]
Persed And brokyng shildes were many; *. [Then were many shields pierced and broken;]
Tho cristin went toward thaim enui[r]on,
The sarisins went tham to deffend withly; 1. ["wightly" (?). See l. 2260.]
Ther A myghty stour men shold see to eye. [ 2231] *. [there might be seen a mighty battle.]
To off thaim hath ther cast don Raynold,
Meruelous strokes smote he as man bold; [ 2233]
ANd ther Anthony hys foes caste dōn, [ 2234]
All peple hym drad And sore hym gan doute.
A paynym to smyte went he forth Anon, *. [Anthony smites a Paynim, whom neither helm nor harness guarded from the blow; for the sword clove his head to the teeth.]
hym not warented harnes ne helme Aboute;
For hys swerd entred hys hed thorugh-oute, [ 2238]
Which ther rent And cleffe dōn the theth 2. [Sic in MS.] vn-to,
he gan fall to erth with gapyng throte tho. [ 2240]
Tho cristin manly gan do at that day, [ 2241]
Euery forth went with strokes smyting.
Tho went lusignens escrying allway, *. [Then went the Lusignans, crying out, "Lords and barons, fight well!"]
"lordys, Barons, Aforn here passyng,
Vppon the paynymes be ye wel fighting!" [ 2245]
Page  82 The kyng of Craquo 1. [MS. "Traquo."] ful wrogth tho he was, *. [The king of Cracow, in great wrath,]
When hys peple saw such hurtes purchas, [ 2247]
TO thaim socour hym efforced tho, [ 2248] *. [comes to the rescue, and smites down a Christian to the grass;]
With gret strength And myght his swerd gan enbrace,
hys swerd fershly shone, And by gret vertu, lo!
A cristin hath he caste dōn vppon the grace,
Al deth to ground laid throwen in the place. [ 2252]
After Craquo 1. [MS. "Traquo."] hily cried And grad, *. [then he cries aloud, "O ye Christians,]
"O ye cristin, your dethe now here had; [ 2254]
All shall ye dye, escape ye ne may, [ 2255] [Fol. 47]
Forsoth here by me of-fors most ye dy." *. [you shall all die!"]
hys langage greuyd moche Raynold that day, *. [But Raynold strained his brand of steel fiercely, and smote the king with such force that he rent his head to the teeth.]
With spores smote faste his course[r] bigly,
With hand strained hys brande of stile fersly, [ 2259]
And wightly went to smite the kyng Craquo, 1. [MS. "Traquo."]
By such fors And strenght hed rent teth vnto.
Bustesly And rude the stroke gan discend, [ 2262] *. [To death fell the king;]
Raynold caste hym don, to deth the king fall;
Wherwith hys peple to discomfort wend,
No lenger sogerned sarisins, gret ne small. *. [and the Saracens stayed no longer, but turned their horses round]
With ther coursers ther ways torned all; [ 2266]
When thay perceiued and saw ther kyng slayn,
Thay thaim held tho All discomfite plain. [ 2268]
APertly And Openly torned to flight, [ 2269] *. [and fled openly.]
But peiteuins tho pursute after made, *. [In the swift pursuit, all the Saracens are cut to pieces like flesh cut upon the stalls.]
Vppon sarisins smote and bete dōn ryght,
Tham all to-chapped And kerue in pecis sad,
As men don the flesh vppon the stal had. [ 2273]
Anthony, the full noble souerayn,
Off paynyms hath ryght manyon slain. [ 2275]
Page  83
The sarisins thaim held for discomfight; [ 2276]
he rent And tare don all he gan attain. *. [Anthony rent and tare all he could attain to,]
The kyng of Ausois, Also A good knight,
He hym bare ful wel And nobilly certain.
All the paynymes ther of trouth were slain; [ 2280] *. [and at last all the Paynims were slain.]
When ther perceiued the king Ausois bold
The kyng of Craquo 1. [MS. "Traquo."] standed and all cold, [ 2282]
And of painymes so full gret fusion, [ 2283] [Fol. 47 b.]
Ther he commaunded hys peple unto *. [The king of Alsace bids that all the dead bodies should be laid upon a heap, and burnt; and thus was it done.]
That unto on hepe put shuld be echon.
Ryght As he had sayd, so ther was it do.
The paynyms hepid strongly An hye tho, [ 2287]
In euery part put to was the fire,
Ther paynymes were bruled and brend entire. [ 2289]
Off Sarsons 2. [MS. "Garsons."] A man shold venge hym ryght so, [ 2290] *. [It was in revenge for the way in which the king of Cracow had burnt his brother's body.]
For of verray trought of Craquo 1. [MS. "Traquo."] the kynge
like made hys brother to Askis brend tho.
Anthony And Raynold ther were logging
In tentes reised which thei were finding; [ 2294] *. [The Poitevins lodge well in the enemy's tents.]
The peiteuins ther logged in-ly well,
And sarisins disloged eueridelle. [ 2296]
The kyng [of] Ausois lefte 3. [MS. "lefte."] thes holy mightes, [ 2297] *. [The king of Alsace and 100 knights ride off to the town.]
Vnto the town went he ther forth A-non,
With hym An hundred of noble knightis,
Of moste wurthiest being enuiron,
And moste hightiest goodly of person. [ 2301]
Ther fair Eglentine comyng hym Agayn, *. [Eglentine comes to meet them,]
What-so she gan do wel be-cam certayn; [ 2303]
HVmbly And swetly salute she the kyng, [ 2304] *. [and salutes her uncle.]
For hir uncle was he naturally;
The kyng gentilly hir ther embrasing,
After hyr gan kysse ryght full curtoisly.
Page  84 "Fair nece," said the kyng, "here I you affy [ 2308] *. [He assures his niece that her father's death is well avenged;]
That your fadir Deth auenged is well;
Be ye noyht wroth, displease you no dell. [ 2310]
YE haue sayn hys deth uenged with gret fors; [ 2311] [Fol. 48]
The king of Craquo 1. [MS. "Traquo."] for hym is ther ded;
Off your fader ne haue mynde ne remors,
Thys said king Craquo 1. [MS. "Traquo."] brende haue I in-ded. *. [and that she should now comfort herself, since her enemies were fully repaid all their wages,]
Comfort your-self, that is wit and womanhed; [ 2315]
iff Any demage don haue in contre,
Off ther wages thay truly payed be. [ 2317]
NO more after this nedith noght to doute; [ 2318] *. [and had failed utterly in their design;]
Thay trowed under fote put the contre,
Now haue thai failled of ther art all-oute;
And of shame no-thyng certes haue not ye, *. [so that no shame or reproach now attached to her.]
Wherfor reproche or repref shold be. [ 2322]
I haue wonnen that nedith you thys houre,
Acquired haue ye worship and honoure." [ 2324]
"HA, sir," she said, "good lord souerain, [ 2325] *. [She replies that her heart is sorrowful when she thinks upon her father's death.]
My gentile uncle, and my ful swet frend,
When I me bethenke on my fader slayn,
A-non my hert within wepingly is tend."
"Was not he my brother?" said the kyng at end; *. ["Was not he my brother?" replies her uncle;]
"hyt behouith us sorow to lete passe,
Pray we god on hym haue mercy and grace. [ 2331]
His funerall obseque to morn we do, [ 2332] *. ["we will perform the funeral rites to-morrow, and pray for his soul."]
And for hys good soule to our lord pray we."
Ryght as he sayd, don was al thyng tho.
A thousand pound of wax fourged and made she, *. [A thousand pounds of wax were made for the occasion.]
As for the morn to dōn the obseque, [ 2336]
At sodayn warnyng had thay such huge light,
Anthony And Raynolde both were ther ryght;
Page  85
Ynly will 1. ["well" (?).] was don that which shold be do. [ 2339] [Fol. 48 b.]
Moche the Brehaignons gan vnto behold *. [Then began the Brehaignons to behold these two worthy brethren;]
The habilite of thes compaynouns tho,
Thes said wurthy men, thes to brethren hold, 2. ["bold" (?). See note.]
That myght noght be wery, yonge ne olde, [ 2343] *. [and none were ever weary of looking at them.]
As thaim vnto see so sette verily,
Large, long, gret, strong, streight, wel thaught truly. [ 2345]
Ther Abasshed And stonde were many [ 2346] *. [Many were astonished at the mark upon Anthony's face,]
Off thys lyons hurt that thai gan behold,
Setten in the skin strangely, lo! ful hy
Off hir Anthony, brother to Raynold;
For the hurt to thaim Appered ther unfold, [ 2350] *. [as it was very plain to the sight and large.]
Wherof euery man basshed was samfayl,
Off gretnesse of it had thay gret meruail. [ 2352]
NEuer to hym saw non like ne egall, [ 2353]
Then after said tho of town And cite *. [They also thought Raynold was well-shapen for conquering king∣doms,]
That raynold was habill man with-all,
As to discomfite well shappen was he
A rewme or 3. [MS. "of." See note.] empire of full large contre; [ 2357] *. [and commended him for every∣thing but his lack of one eye.]
Saf but that o eye had, thay gan complayn,
Al other membres commanded thay certain. [ 2359]
LEnger nedith noght to declare ne tell [ 2360] *. [The king of Brehaigne being honourably buried,]
his obseque dōn without doubte Any,
Worshipfully And honorably wel.
Then the kyng gan hold A parlement truly, *. [the king of Alsace holds a council,]
Where had tho was A noble company, [ 2364]
Withe full wurthy men As of Brehaignè,
The king saing, "Barons, understande me, [ 2366]
Hit you behouith rewarde and behold [ 2367] [Fol. 49]
ho shall doo gouerne And rule this contre, *. [and advises them to choose a new king.]
Page  86 And ho your king shold be know now ye shold,
For presently now with-out king ye be."
Ther hym Answering, "good ryght is to se, [ 2371] *. [They reply that it is his business entirely,]
But the werke therof fully doth partain
And all the labour in you hole and plain. [ 2373]
FOr gif Eglentyne were ended And gōn, [ 2374] *. [as he is the next heir, if Eglentine should die.]
you to enherite shold fall the contre;
The purueaunce therof lith you uppon,
Auaunce you now, for hys loue in trinite, *. [It is therefore for him to choose whom she shall marry.]
So that thys contre well purueyed be [ 2378]
Off on, chosen by you, that Eglentyne
May 1. [MS. "Many."] marie and gouerne us and our line." [ 2380]
The kyng Answered, "to my parte you say, [ 2381] *. [The king inquires whom they wish her to marry.]
To whom behouith my nece to mary?
Or for whom 2. [MS. "whon."] wold ye? you besech All-way,
That ye me say your Auise fully."
"Sir, at your deuise," the Barons said surely, [ 2385] *. [They reply that they leave it entirely to him.]
Ryght As ye will, so certes will we doo;
No knight will resceiue but at your plesire, lo!
Al the werke therof we put you uppon." [ 2388]
"Then in goddis name, sires, lete me do"—*. [He replies that in that case they shall have for a lord one who is a worthy and famous knight.]
(This Answered thys noble kyng Anon)—
"On shal ye haue gentile And curtois to,
A man of goodnesse and of honour also, [ 2392]
Whom ye shall resceiue As unto your lorde,
Is hardy wurthi knight, good of recorde; [ 2394]
NOn other I will certes to you take. [ 2395] [Fol. 49 b.]
Then to brothers haue, noble kynges to, *. [He reminds them that two brothers, both noble kings (knights?),]
And An hye Duke," to thaim thys the kyng spake,
"In your grette nede you aid hath also;
Page  87 To thys place comyn ferre contrees fro; [ 2399] *. [and one of them a duke, have saved their city.]
Deliuerd hath your noble Cite
Fro the paynimes And all your contre." [ 2401]
RAynold called forth by the kyng Anon, [ 2402]
Sayng, "vnto you will I couenaunt hold."
The kyng with uois hye 1. [MS. "hyr." Fr. text, "en hault."] said, hurd manyon, *. [He therefore calls Raynold, and tells him he will per∣form the promise he made him,]
"Come forth here! Appere! come forth, Reynold!
Approche, As come nerre, swete frend, As man hold. 2. ["bold" (?).]
here-beforn I haue you be promysing *. [that he would make him a king.]
That of this contre make you wold A kyng. [ 2408]
Ywill not you lye, but to it consent, [ 2409]
For A king ne shold lye 3. [MS. "by." Fr. text, "mentir."] ne be gabbyng;
My nece Eglentine to wife shal ye hent *. [Raynold is to have his niece and all the kingdom.]
With all [the] rewme And that to it longing.
Will ye hir now take, the land diffending? [ 2413]
Of hyr And hyrs you lorde shall I make,
And all longith hir ye As for to take." [ 2415]
When sir Anthony All thys vnderstode, [ 2416] *. [Sir Anthony thanks the king heartily,]
he taried noght to Answere redy,
he hartly thankyng thys noble king good
That fair Eglentine Raynolde shold mary.
"Off your fre kyndenesse And curtesy [ 2420] *. [and promises that Raynold shall defend the country well.]
The contre shall diffende, ruling well the lande;
For werre 4. [Or "werie;" but "werre" is right.] he can well, knightly is off hand."
When thes Barons thys Answere had fong, [ 2423] [Fol. 50]
To our lorde thankes yeldyng full hyly, *. [The barons praise Our Lord and Our Lady]
And to oure lady in thar hertes strong,
Page  88 Ther thay perceued hym strong, large, And hy; *. [when they per∣ceive how strong and large a man Raynold is.]
The lande to gouerne thought wold pesibilly. [ 2427]
Thys kyng ordayned his nece Eglentine
All that pertain shold A quene of ray fine. [ 2429]
And Raynold like-wise put hym in Aray 1. [In the margin, Raynold marr[ies] Eglentyne, & ys kynge of breh[aine].] [ 2430] *. [Raynold and Eglentine, being finely arrayed, are married;]
As pertained to kinges hye corage.
The mariage don And finished that day
Beforne the syght of all the Baronage;
Thys fest ther roiall fourged by tho sage; [ 2434] *. [and the marriage-feast lasted fifteen days.]
Hit days fiftene endured largely,
Full noble gyftes ther geuen frely. [ 2436]
NEuer was yeuen more fairer thinges, [ 2437] *. [Never were fairer presents given than were then given by Eglentine.]
Robes, coursers, iew[e]lles forth present.
Also ther had thes honorous kinges
Ioustes, tornementes full excellent *. [There were 1000 men there from the country, besides the "townish" people.]
In presence of ladies courtois And gent. [ 2441]
Presently ther had A thousand of contre,
Without tho townishe peple, vnto se. [ 2443]
But Raynold ther-thens bare the grete honour [ 2444] *. [Raynold gained great honour in the tournaments,]
That of Brehaignons lord was tho present;
Ther saing al with O wis 2. ["with O vois" (?). MS. "with .O. wis."] þat hour,
"Lif, lif oure noble kinge reuerent! *. [and is greeted with loud acclaim on all sides.]
For A man hym know vnto All entent! [ 2448]
And blissed be he hym A-place gan bring!"
At feftene dais end cessed the festing. [ 2450]
PEpole toke ther leue homeward to repaire, [ 2451] [Fol. 50 b.]
The ladies And damycelles All,
Off whom there was had manyon And fayre.
The Duke Anthony hys leue toke in hall, *. [Duke Anthony takes his leave,]
In-to way hym sette at that enteruall, [ 2455]
Page  89 Towarde luxembrough, he and his mayne, *. [and returns home to Luxemburg.]
Which were full noble And gentile to see. [ 2457]
And in Brehaignè gan to byde And dwell [ 2458] *. [Raynold acquires great honour as king of Bre∣haigne,]
Raynold the hye kyng, whome gan to honoure
All the wide contre courtoisly And well,
And by hys noblesse be such gouernoure,
Eche man his dedes preised hugely that houre. [ 2462]
In Frise made gret werre Rainold er he reste *. [and carries on a great war in Friesland,]
At ortholegne off the grett conqueste, [ 2464]
BI hys strength Denmarke gan he to acquere; [ 2465] *. [and also conquers Denmark.]
In his tyme regned As man pusantly;
Full goodly leuid hys lif here entire;
And As that man non here more wurthy
Was not A-thys-side the romayns truly. [ 2469]
As off hym here no more declare att All, *. [We leave him now, and return to Duke Anthony.]
Off the Duke Anthony talke & speke me shall;
Anthony the Duke, And off Ausoys the kyng, [ 2472] *. [Anthony and the king of Alsace arrive at Luxem∣burg, where they part;]
Which were courtois, gentile, connyng, And sage.
Fro Brehaignè tho ensemble comyng,
After at luxemborugh toke ther hostage.
Ther on fro other parted of viage, [ 2476] *. [and the king of Alsace returns home.]
At luxemborugh king Ausois not wold sogourn,
Al streight in-to hys contre gan retourn. 1. [Here follows the catchword—"Anthony with hys wyffe."] [ 2478]
Anthony with hys wife gan vnto remayn, [ 2479] [Fol. 51]
For litill while had thai maried be. *. [Anthony remains awhile with his wife, whom he loved heartily.]
Ful moche hir louing with perfecte hert plain,
In wil and dede hir loued hertly he,
As any man cowde A-this-side the se. [ 2483]
Page  90 hys wyfe by hym had to cheldren perfight, 1. [MS. "prefight."]*. [They had two children, one named Bertran,]
On named Bertran, which was A good knight; 2. [In the margin ye elder Bertran, Anton[y] sons, & ye younger lochy[er].]
The younger had to name lochier the gud; [ 2486] *. [and the other Lochier; who freed the passes of Ardennes (?), built Givet (?),]
he delyuerd straytes all and gyed
As of dardane, which plente had wood,
Many A good knight 3. ["brought" (?).] ther fortefied;
ywon all-ther-first ther he edified; [ 2490] *. [and made the bridge of Me∣zieres over the Meuse.]
Vppon meuse the noble brigge made
Off meisiere, after A-conqueste had [ 2492]
MAny other places by hug prowesse; [ 2493]
Of al gret noblesse thys said man tho was.
Anthony wered with strong besinesse *. [Anthony conquers the Earl of Fri∣burg, and passes through Austria, where he con∣quers many a region.]
The Erle of Faborugh, 4. ["Friborugh" (?).] conquest gate by gras;
Passyng Aritrige, 5. ["Autrige" (?).] many richesse made purchas, [ 2497]
And all put in-to hys subieccion,
Conqueryng ther many A regyon. [ 2499]
After, Bertran the eldeste son became, [ 2500] *. [Bertran, An∣thony's eldest son, marries the king of Alsace's daugh∣ter, and succeeds to his kingdom.]
Within litell whyile, ful gret And ryght manly;
To wyfe toke the doughter of Ausoys kyng of fame;
A full good knight was, gentile And wurthy,
Entrepreignant, coragious, and hardy, 6. [In the margin, Bertran kynge of Aufoys.] [ 2504]
And more often-tymes than I can you say;
kyng of Ausoys was after the kynges day; [ 2506]
Hys 7. [MS. "Hhys."] doughter maried, As beforn gan tell, [ 2507] [Fol. 51 b.]
Which lady tho was of all the contre. *. [Thus he and his brother]
Bertran ther regned and gouerned welle.
Page  91 Thes brethren to regned As men fre, *. [put underfoot all that troubled and annoyed them. We shall speak of them no more.]
That by strenght & myght put vnder fote in fe [ 2511]
All tho which thaim made trouble or noysance.
Off thaim will I reste me here this instance. [ 2513]
TO Melusine shall I retorn Again, [ 2514] *. [We return to Melusine.]
And my mater ayen taken shall bee,
how that Raymound hym gouerned certain.
Ther full excellently regned he, *. [Raymond reigned excellently, and all did him homage.]
In places fele, in many A contre, [ 2518]
By strenght of swerd conquered of corage;
For hys noblesse All Barons gan do hym homage.
GAffray with grette toth becam man full grette, [ 2521] *. [Geoffrey with the great tooth became a full great man;]
Ryght myghty, strong, fers, whight, & full pusaunt;
In werring A strong werriour ryght fet; 1. ["fet" (?).]
Dayly his vertu preuyngly gan haunt.
For he conquered Guedon the huge Geaunt, [ 2525] *. [and conquered and discomfited the giant Guedon,]
And by knightly strenght hym ther discomfight,
Which Geaunt wasted the contre don ryght, [ 2527]
Every man strongly gan hym to redoute, [ 2528] *. [for fear of whom all men were taking refuge in Rochelle.]
To Rochel toke sauegarde, for all hym drad;
he pateysed 2. [MS. "paceyfed."] the contre thorugh-oute,
As well in meddes As at endys had.
When Geffray understod thes nouelles sprad, [ 2532] *. [When Geoffrey heard of this, he swore he would go against him]
And þat hym called with gret toth tho,
He swere hys oth Again hym wold he go; [ 2534]
And in hert thought well hym to discomfight, [ 2535] [Fol. 52]
To the swete plesire of kyng of glory *. [and discomfit him.]
Which yeuith all tho that wyll victory ryght.
His fader Raymounde full wo and sory, *. [But his father Raymond was woful and sorry,]
For the Geant he doubted heuily, [ 2539]
Page  92 For that he was so horrible grete; *. [and in fear for Geoffrey's safety.]
Off Geffray in mynde ful huge doubte he get.
GEffray with gret toth Armed hym full preste, [ 2542] *. [Geoffrey arms, and departs with nine others.]
hym-selfenn the tenth went to that partè,
Passyng forth hys way without any ryste, 1. [Sic; for "refte."]
Here shal I hym leue, no more now said be;
Retorn Againe shall to Melusine fre, [ 2546] *. [I shall return now to Melusine, who had yet two more sons,]
The swet, the courtois, the benigne also,
Which after thys bare wurthy children to, [ 2548]
Ryght As we find A litterall scripture, [ 2549]
On called Fromont, Another Tierry. *. [one called Fro∣mont, the other Thierry.]
For-soth fromont was A good creature,
An huge gret clerke ful of clergy, *. [Fromont was a great clerk, and loved religion,]
The Abbey of malers louyd feruently; [ 2553]
Callyng to god, louyng relygyon, *. [so that he wished to become a monk]
So that to hym cam of deuocion [ 2555]
IN the said abbey A monke hym yilding. [ 2556] *. [in the Abbey of Maillezais;]
Fro thens departed without resting plain,
Vnto hys fader faste he cam rennyng, *. [and therefore ran to his father, and besought him to consent to his wearing the monk's habit.]
A-non hym ther made thys requeste certane,
Be-sought the uesture of Malers myght attain, [ 2560]
On monke habite A monke hym to make.
When Raymound hurd thys, wo was for hir 2. ["his" (?).] sake;
HE merueled gretly, to fromont 3. [MS. "formont."] saing, [ 2563] [Fol. 52 b.]
"Fair sone, how is thys? A! good lord hy! *. [Raymond marvels greatly, and bids him regard Anthony and his other brethren, who are all noble knights.]
Wil ye A monke be nedis be-comyng?
Reward and behold your brother Anthony,
And all your bretherin being full knightly, [ 2567]
Which ben so noble knightes to se!
Vnto be A monke certes may noght be; [ 2569]
Page  93
SO god be pleased, monke shall ye noght be. [ 2570] *. [He ought not to wish for the order of monkhood, but of knighthood.]
Another ordre to you yiff I shall,
A knyght will you mak of full hye degre
As your brethren ben named ryght roiall."
Fromont Answered to hys fader all [ 2574] *. [But Fromont says he would never take on himself this order,]
That he neuer wold be in ordre of knight,
Neither armes bere, but serue god to ryght, [ 2576]
"Prayng to oure lorde, vnto hys hy empire, [ 2577]
For you, my moder, and my bretherin all;
Vnto be A mo[n]ke I you here require, *. [and covets no∣thing so much as to remain in the abbey for ever,]
No-thing so moche coueyte ne desire shall
As in maillers Abbay be perpetual. [ 2581]
That place or cite haue I noght in hate, *. [and spend all his life there.]
For ther wold I use all my lifes fate. [ 2583]
BEsech you and pray, cause me not it refuse; [ 2584]
Cherefull fader myne, in you al the hold."
Raymounde saw wele herd was it excuse, *. [Raymond sees it is hard to refuse, and therefore sends a message about it to Melusine,]
To Melusine sent A messinger bold
Which As for that tyme the beste gan unfolde; [ 2588]
Then the messynger gan declare and tel
Al that Raymounde had told hir eueridell, [ 2590]
"HOu Fromont A monke of maillers wold be. [ 2591] [Fol. 53]
Hastily Raymound sent, for ioy of it had non,
To ende that for Fromont ordayn shold she, *. [to the end that she should make Fromont a claus∣tral monk in the royal abbey of Maillezais.]
If pleased wold be, A crowne his hed uppon,
And þat claustrall monke he shold be made on [ 2595]
In faire maillers, that ministre roiall,
That lorde for to serue which is eternall." [ 2597]
The fair Melusine Answerde hym tho; [ 2598] *. [Melusine sends back an answer that she always submits to her lord's command,]
"Off my part ye go, vnto my lord say,
At hys plesaunce all ther-of will I doo,
Me submitte vnto hys ordinaunce all-way;
Page  94 At hys plesire be I will, noght say nay; [ 2602] *. [and will obey gladly.]
For whatsomeuer pleasith hys hynes,
hit liketh me wel, hou-so he it dresse." [ 2604]
Thens the messinger retorned anon, [ 2605] *. [The messenger, arriving next morning, finds Raymond ready dressed, and de∣livers Melusine's message.]
No lenger sogorne in that place ne wold;
Fro thens retornyng vnto Raymonde gōn,
A-morn him found Al redy rayd to behold;
Al hir answere the messinger hym told. [ 2609]
Ful gret ioy of hert in hym gan surmount,
Anon Raymounde called after Fromount. [ 2611]
HE saide to Fromont, "thi fader vnderstande; [ 2612] *. [Raymond tells Fromont that Melusine has left the whole matter at his own disposal,]
Sir, for the haue sent thy good moder vnto,
Iff it pleased hir For to be know, and
Where hir will were monke shold be, or no.
Where-of the charge lefte to me hath, lo! [ 2616]
With the cure and charge enfeffed hath me. *. [and he will there∣fore permit him]
Wherfor, Fromont, behold And see ye, [ 2618]
Iff nedis ye will take thys said habite [ 2619] [Fol. 53 b.]
In mallers Abbay your liffes space; *. [either to go to the abbey of Maillezais, or to "Merk" minster, or to "Brough∣dieu;"]
Or other ministre to your appetite,
As in Merkministre, which is A faire place;
Or iff ye will at Brough-dieu by grace; [ 2623]
In that ye desire A monke for to be,
yo may full well in on of thes thre. [ 2625]
FOrsoth if ye will be A Chanon, [ 2626] *. [or that, if he wished to be a canon, he should be canon of Poitiers and also of Tours in Touraine, and of Saint Martin's,]
Of peiters a Chanon certes shal ye be;
Enherite ye shall As moche As thre Anon;
Toures in tourayn, poscede it shal ye,
Seint 1. [MS. "Seing."] Martins with the Graunt esglise in fe; [ 2630]
All shall be dōn ryght At my deuyse,
And therof do make dedes in best wise, [ 2632]
Page  95
And of our lady of Chartres also. [ 2633] *. [and of Chartres also. Or he might go to Paris if he pleased.]
yff ye wyll of trouth fro parys noght scape,
Be noght Abasshed in it for to goo,
With the Pope will be quented for A Iape,
That nothyng shal be which me shall escape. [ 2637] *. [Afterwards he should have a bishoprie, or, if he liked, two,]
After A Bisshupriche if it lust to craue,
Anot[h]er Bisshupriche Als shal ye haue, [ 2639]
BE it pareys, Bewuais, or Aras." [ 2640] *. [whether of Paris, Beauvais, or Arras. But Fromont chooses to be simply a monk of Maille∣zais, and nothing else.]
Fromont said, "shal I be A Chanon?
Nay, nay, but A monke, by our lordes gras,
Off Maillers it is myn entencion.
Other will I noght off wordly good non [ 2644]
Neuer at no day, while lif may endure,
For that place haue I chosin to me sure." [ 2646]
Thys Fromont outring hys Fader vnto, [ 2647] [Fol. 54]
"Then off goddis part," to hym said Raymounde, *. [Raymond at last accedes,]
"Sin it plesith you, it shal bene ryght soo.
And loke that For us your prayers in founte."
Fromont Anon Answered that stounde, [ 2651]
"yff it please our lord, my power do shall." *. [and Fromont promises to pray for him.]
longer parlement of it nedith noght at all, [ 2653]
The habite he toke, clothed opinly, [ 2654] *. [He therefore takes the habit,]
The monkes ther shewid great gentilnesse;
With huge nobley clothed was to ey *. [and is richly clothed,]
For hys fader loue, Raymounde sothlesse;
And for Melusine his moders noblesse. [ 2658]
All ther hole couent gret ioy made ther ryght, *. [and gladly wel∣comed by the whole convent.]
And him chered in beste wise thei myght. [ 2660]
By processe therof ful ill affter came. [ 2661] *. [This was the source of all the evils that after∣wards befell the family.]
Ther-for wer thei all after disherite
By Gaffray with gret toth; After had gret grame,
Page  96 Which in hert was in full dolorous plite;
For therof he had A full gret dispite, [ 2665] *. [For Geoffrey, in his wrath, set the abbey on fire,]
Without tarying to Mallers cam he,
hit brende and sett Afire by his cruelte [ 2667]
BOth in the monkes, Abbot, and Abbay; [ 2668] *. [and burnt there 100 monks on a certain Tuesday,]
A hundred monkes within brende he tho.
Thys mischefe ther had in A tewisday,
For Mars was the god longing bataill to, *. [the day of Mars the god of battle.]
Vail that vail might, the monkys brend so. [ 2672]
That don, no lenger ther wold noght sogoūrn,
Fro thens he comyng, faste gan to retorn. [ 2674]
Off this here shall leue, speking of melusine. [ 2675] [Fol. 54 b.]
At vavuant cite redily she was, *. [Meanwhile Melusine was at Vouvent city,]
To sonne And winde puttyng hir robys fine,
Which newly were come by fortunat cas,
Neuer Aforn bonde to such seruice bas. [ 2679]
Bi that Raymounde was comyn to þe porte, *. [whither Ray∣mond came to visit her.]
And full gladly sette ther to take disporte, [ 2681]
Ther thay saw come forth messingers to, [ 2682] *. [They see two messengers come, who bring letters from Anthony and Raynold.]
Which fele letters brought with breffes many
Of Anthony hys part, A pusant man tho,
And of Raynold the suffisant kyng hy.
To Raymounde thai tuke thes letters hastily, [ 2686]
he thaim resceiued And the wax gan breke, *. [Raymond reads them,]
The letters gan rede As humble man and meke.
With a feruent ioy hys hert gan laugh tho, [ 2689] *. [and laughs for joy, and calls Melusine,]
Melusine Anon forth-with gan to call.
She hid hir right noght, Anon cam hym to,
"Thys letters behald," said he ouerall.
"Raymound, I you thanke, my lord principall." [ 2693] *. [who thanks him, and rejoices with him,]
Then vnto Raymound fair Melusine said,
"Certes, this goth well at thys houred braid. [ 2695]
Page  97
I thorughly know all thes nouell tidinges [ 2696]
Full good and fair ben vnto vs this hour,
Wherof thanke our lord the king of kinges, *. [and praises the King of kings, who had raised her sons to so high honour.]
Which oure sones han put to such honour.
Thre 1. [MS. "There."] of tham ben thorugh knightly laboure [ 2700]
Kynges full myghty, And on A duke ful hy;
yut god be thanked, haue we here full ny [ 2702]
On off our sones monke in An Abbay, [ 2703] [Fol. 55]
Which daily for vs besechith god an hy; *. [She rejoices also to think that one of her sons is in an abbey,]
At mallers hath hys byding thys day,
Wher god he praith to socour vs truly,
And that so myght pray to hys plesance dayly, [ 2707] *. [and prays God daily to be mindful of them.]
That neuer vs haue in obliuion;
For assigned hath will our sones echon. [ 2709]
Thay bene well taught, inly wise and sage; [ 2710] *. [Four of her sons are yet at home:]
Foure of tham yut ben with vs here bydyng,
Which in thys house ben mery in corage.
Oure lord of hys grace so thaim be theching, *. [but they will want nothing, if God and our Lady Mary aid them.]
That hyly thai may in tyme be regning, [ 2714]
To that shall thay noght faut no-thyng truly,
So god thaim aide and our lady mary!" [ 2716]
The nouell streight Aboute enuironee [ 2717] *. [The glad news soon spread throughout every city,]
And knowen ouerall in eche place and cite;
Whereof reioyed euery man to se,
Fiftene dais were ny in suche delite, *. [and a fifteen∣days' feast is held in celebra∣tion of it.]
Making ryght gret ioy, biding the same plite, [ 2721]
Where-for ther frendes feste wold merily;
In continuaunce thought do it hertly. [ 2723]
SO it cam and fill in a scaturday, [ 2724] *. [It befell on the Saturday, that Raymond lost Melusine, as he had often done before on that day of the week.]
That Raymounde loste the fair melusine, [lo!]
As at other days don had alway,
But noght enquered hou the dede gan goo;
Page  98 To what place she went, or qwhat she wolde do. [ 2728]
yn absence but good neuer she ne thought,
But all that to hys plesaunce myght be wrought.
Tho it cam and fill As in that mornyng, [ 2731] [Fol. 55 b.]
That hys brother, which tho Erle of foreste was, *. [But that day, his brother, the Earl of Forest, arrived at Vouvant,]
For ther Fader dede long biforn being,
At vavuent that day riuage gan purchas.
The thyme fair, without wynde hye or bas, [ 2735] *. [the day being without wind and clear.]
The morni[n]g ryght fair shuwyng, inly clere,
Raymounde his brother saw com drawing nere;
HE him resceiued uerray brotherly; [ 2738] *. [Raymond received him brotherly;]
But after it cam to gret mischef preste. 1. [MS. "prifte."]
Vnto this feste cam Barons full many, *. [and many barons and ladies came to the feast which was then being held.]
Which notable were And ryght ful honeste,
Ther welcomyng the Erle of foreste, [ 2742]
Als of lades cam grett fusion,
Whos comyng was the festes encheson. [ 2744]
Then hym said the Erle of the wild foreste, [ 2745] *. [Then said the Earl to Raymond, "Bid your wife appear."]
"Raymounde, fair brother, now me here entend,
lete your wife appere here at thys said feste."
Raymounde Answerd, As not wold condissend,
"To-morne shall hir se, chere brother And frend;" *. [But Raymond says she shall ap∣pear the next day.]
Anon conueid to sitte att the table,
Thys fest plener And ryght delectable. [ 2751]
After Anon As thai dined hade, [ 2752] *. [After the feast is over for that day,]
And fro the table reised up tho were,
The Erle of foreste Raymound by hand lad, *. [the Earl draws Raymond aside,]
A litill drawing fro other apart there,
Thys gan he to say ther in this manere:— [ 2756]
Page  99 "Raymounde, fair brother, said is in good feith; *. [and tells him that the people say he is bewitched,]
ye be enchaunted, As the peple seith. [ 2758]
I can noght say how ye may bere the shame. [ 2759] [Fol. 56]
Men sayn ouerall, brother, I you say, *. [and that he is never so hardy as to ask his wife where she goes to on the Saturday;]
ye not so hardy (in wreth ne in game)
Of your wif enquere, certes, at no day,
(Which vnto you is gret diffame Alway), [ 2763]
To what place she torn ne hoder wyll go,
Or in what manere hir gouerneth, lo! [ 2765]
And what knowen ye what she doth þat day? [ 2766] *. [also that it is said she is unfaithful to him on that day.]
Men sain ouerall, so god my soule saue,
That all disording is she All-way;
That day hir body Anothir man shall haue,
To you trayteresse, other so to craue; [ 2770]
And som other sayn she is off the fayry. *. [He therefore advises him to know the truth,]
Go thys day, brother, And know it veryly; [ 2772]
Putteth payn to haue off it knowleching; [ 2773]
To go And enquere good is ye do so;
For hide shold noght she As fro you no-thing, *. [because she ought to hide nothing from him.]
I say it yow now As my brother vnto,
Now do As ye seme beste vnto be do; [ 2777]
I beleue she doth you shame And outrage." *. [Raymond blushes for anger,]
Raymound blusshed, changing his corage, [ 2779]
So malice And wroght, wiste noght what to say;
For wo And heuinesse full faste swatte he. *. [and sweats for sorrow.]
Anon went thens, hys swerd fet þat day;
Full well he knew where his wife made entre; *. [He seizes his sword, and hur∣ries on till he sees before him a door of iron.]
There he faste knakked where he had noght be; [ 2784]
There A dore tho perceiued he certain
Off yre Aforn hym with hys eyes twain. [ 2786]
Page  100
IN moche thyng thought, And after thought Anon, [Fol. 56 b.]
That hys wife had do som misdede tho, [ 2788]
And towardes hym som wrong or treson.
Then drawing his swerd the 1. [MS. "ther;" Fr. text, "du fourrel."] scaberge fro, *. [Drawing his sword from the scabbard, he drove the point against the iron door till he at last pierced it.]
The poynt gayn the dore put he ther-vnto, [ 2791]
So he shifte And smote here And ther so faste,
That the yren dore persed at the laste. [ 2793]
A lase! full ill labored was that day! [ 2794]
At the perced hole in beheld with eye *. [Looking through the hole thus made,]
To know what ther was besied faste ay;
Certes ouersone know it shal surely,
And then in hert gret dole shall haue truely! [ 2798]
At the hole beheld, perceyuing full welle *. [he perceived Melusine bathing,]
Melusine, hou she bathed euerydell, [ 2800]
UNto hir nauell shewing ther full white, [ 2801] *. [her upper part white as snow,]
like As is the snow A faire branche vppon,
The body welle made, frike in ioly plite, *. [and her fashion most fair,]
The visage pure, fresh, clenly hir person,
To properly speke off hir faccion, [ 2805]
Neuer non fairer ne more reuerent; *. [but beneath she had a serpent's tail!]
But A taill had beneth of serpent! [ 2807]
Gret And orrible was it verily; [ 2808] *. [It was great and horrible, barred with blue and silver.]
With siluer And Asure the tail burlid was,
Strongly the water ther bete, it flasshed hy.
When that Raymound perceiued this cas, *. [Raymond, per∣ceiving this, cried to God,]
Which neuer beforn to sight gan purchas [ 2812]
In such A state to bath, ther hym blissed faste,
Gretly doubted, cried to god in haste, [ 2814]
But noght-for-that so moche of drede had, [ 2815] [Fol. 57]
That vnnethes myght outre wurde ne say. *. [though he could scarcely utter a word. In order to stop the hole, he cut a little piece of cloth,]
But to Ende the hole were stopped & faste made,
A litell cloute cute he with-out delay.
Page  101 With wax melled, stopped the hole Alway, [ 2819] *. [and fastened it in with wax.]
That by it myght noght man perceiue no-thyng.
Fro thens departed he tho, faste going. [ 2821]
Towarde hys brother thought he to repaire, [ 2822] *. [He returns to his brother, who, see∣ing him sad, asks him what he has discovered,]
Dolorous of hert, full of wrath that stounde.
Hys brother the erle knew at hys retrair
That he better wo in hertte had profounde,
Trowing uerily that his wif had found. [ 2826]
"your wife, had she don gain you As men said, *. [and where he had found her.]
In som dishoneste place where he 1. ["she" (?).] shold no braid?"
Then Raymounde gan speke with vois full hautain, *. [Raymond tells him he lies in his throat and in his teeth, and bids him depart;]
And hym said, "therof ye lye vntrewly,
By your fals throte And youre teeth plain!
In An ill houre here ye entred in surely;
Fro my hous ye goo with [y]our felony; [ 2833]
Off my lady no more 2. [MS. "nomore."] speke ye for shame, *. [for that his lady is pure.]
Sche is pure And clene Als without diffame. [ 2835]
A more wurthier woman is ther non, [ 2836]
ye haue made me do such A manere thyng
Torn̄ contrary will Again my person.
A-non part here; hens, foule rebaude being, *. [He tells him that, unless he departs, he will slay him; and that he ad∣vises him to go at once.]
For, by my feith, full litill is failling [ 2840]
That presently here that I you not sle;
Forth depart you hens, by concell of me. [ 2842]
Cursed be the hour that euer heder came, [ 2843] [Fol. 57 b.]
And that tho wurdes saide were Any wise! *. [He curses the hour in which his brother came, and seems all witless.]
Neuer toward me retorn noght for shame!"
Raymounde semede all witlese to deuise,
All merueled that gan it aduertise, 3. [MS. "aduersite," a curious inversion.] [ 2847]
Page  102 That to his brother so spake and saide. *. [The Earl, sore amazed,]
The Erle, Abasshed And foule dismaide, [ 2849]
There thens retournyng in-to his contre, [ 2850] *. [departs home cursing the hour in which he thus spoke out.]
Full often crussing 1. [Sic in MS.] the hour and the day
That thes wordes scapid or mouthed he.
hys brother perceued he haue shold ne may
Neuer pees ne lufe for this gret affray; [ 2854] *. [He laments bitterly that he has made Ray∣mond so wroth.]
More neuer ne 2. ["he" (?).] was woer at no stounde
Then off that he hade wrethed so Raymounde.
HE stroied And made exile the contre; [ 2857] *. [Afterwards Geoffrey came, and slew the Earl,]
For when Gaffray with gret toth it knew,
Ryght deliuerly ther Ariued he,
Sette it Afire, the Erle gan sle ther trew
Full vilously with huge shame to vew; [ 2861] *. [and gave away the country he thus gained to one of his brothers.]
After the contre yaffe of the Foreste
To on hys brother, so gete by conqueste; [ 2863]
Off the foreste Erle made hym entirely. [ 2864]
Off Gaffray with gret toth leue shall now present,
And retorn I shall to Raymounde fully, *. [But to return to Raymond.]
Which with heuinesse sore hym doth torment.
He wepte, he wailed, wofully lament; [ 2868] *. [He wept and wailed, and waxed pale, having no end of his grief.]
Wonder pale he waxe, wanting his colour,
For ende hade he none of this grett doloure. [ 2870]
"Alas! alas!" thys ther saide Raymounde, [ 2871] [Fol. 58]
"A more purer man in the wordle ne is *. ['Alas!" he cried, "there is no poorer man on earth than I am!]
Off verray trought then I am this stounde!
Alas! Melusine! this day haue don̄ Amys, *. [Alas! Melusine! I have lost you!]
That by my diffaute you haue I loste this!" [ 2875]
(For sorow therof so quaked and swat),
"Alas! shall I you leue, loue delicat, [ 2877]
Page  103
MI swet hert, my good, my loue, And my life? [ 2878]
By the, full dolorous fortune,
Now shall I lese my ioyous thoughtes pensif, *. [Now shall I lose my joyous thoughts, and cast myself into some pit.]
Which me hast made such As I contune.
I shal, lo! caste me in som pitty hume. [ 2882]
What shal I now doo, lord god glorius? *. [Never shall I laugh again!"]
Neuer shal I lagh, 1. [Sic in MS.] neither be ioyous [ 2884]
With that swete lady whom I loued so. [ 2885]
She was my solas, my ioy in ech stede,
My plesaunce, my comfort, my delite to!" *. [Concluding his lament, he un∣dresses and goes to bed; but can∣not sleep.]
Ther hym dispoilled, entring in his bed;
But slepe myght he noght when that he was led;
he sighed, soghed, wepte with teres many, *. [He sighs, and cries,]
"lord, wat shal I doo, lord?" said, "lete me dy!
HA! swet Melusine, yf I you this lese, [ 2892] *. ["Ha! Melusine, if I lose thee, I shall go to some desert place.]
I shall go vnto som desert Cite,
hermite or recluse become, god to plese,
yn som forain place where non enchabite. 2. [Sic in MS.]
ha! Melusine, my hertes Appetite, [ 2896] *. [Ha! Melusine! that I should thus lose you!"]
Fair lady, my hert, my loue, my plesaunce,
That you this shold lese by such ill mischaunce!"
The hier off his hede tere of with gret pine, [ 2899] [Fol. 58 b.]
With fist his brest smote, heuily gan mourn, *. [He tears the hair off his head, smites his breast, and wails.]
Full ofte wailled, by-weping Melusine;
In his bede turny[n]g, And efte gan retorn,
In on estat ne myght he noght sogourn; [ 2903]
here on bakke laide, efte the bely vppon, *. [He turns from side to side on the bed.]
Torning And wendyng euer enuiron. [ 2905]
Then in-to chambre Melusine made entre; [ 2906] *. [Melusine then returns, un∣dresses, and lies beside him.]
When she was comyng, forth-with Anon
Swetly all naked hir dispoilled she,
Courteisly she went ther the bede vppon,
Page  104 With Raymounde she lay in conclusion; [ 2910] *. [She embraces him, and finds his neck cold,]
She enbrasing hym, collyng amouresly,
Fynding his nekked cold with all the body [ 2912]
A cause that he was All uncouered tho, [ 2913] *. [as he was all uncovered.]
And that by greuous beting And turnyng,
Full ill was he raid, plonged sor in wo.
In base wise Melusine ther hym sayng, *. [Softly she whispers to him, "Are you feeling anguish?]
"Dolour or anguish be ye ought feling? [ 2917]
An ouer pale colour haue ye to eye;
Me say ye the trought, besech you hertly. [ 2919] *. [Tell me the truth, I pray.]
Alas! Am I noght your loue eueridell? [ 2920] *. [Am I not your love? tell me all.]
Fro me shold ye noght hide no maner thing.
Say me how it is, hele you shal I welle,
For no wordly thyng not your-selfe hyndryng.
Confesse ye me if Any il be feling, [ 2924] *. [Confess if you feel any ill, and I will cure you."]
Delyuer you shall A-non openly,
All hole shall ye be here now presently." [ 2926]
When Raymound tho wourdes with eres gan here, [Fol. 59]
Reioyed merely, thought no-thyng she knew *. [Hearing this, he rejoices, thinking she knows no∣thing.]
Off all that dede which had do entire;
yut knew she it wel, thow noght said of-new, *. [Yet she knew all, but would not speak of it, seeing his repentance.]
For he discouered noght (but kepe it trew) [ 2931]
The dede vnto no person that instaunce,
And that therof he had uerray repentaunce [ 2933]
A hundred tymes more then I can say. [ 2934]
Raymound hir said, "gret hete haue I had *. [Raymond says, "I have felt great heat:]
In maner of continuaunce alway.
Now is this brennyng whereof Am Adred *. [and now the fever has changed to a shivering."]
Torned and changed, into coldnesse lad." [ 2938]
"helth shall ye purchas," unto hym said she;
"Stoned ne basshed of no thyng be ye." [ 2940]
She embrased hym And swetly gan kisse, [ 2941] *. [She embraces and kisses him, and he feels at ease.]
Where-with Raymound approached gret ease.
Page  105 long tyme he regned in such state of blisse,
And such lif gan led, ech other gan please.
Off ther beyng here will I leue and cease, [ 2945] *. [I must now leave them.]
To declare and say make me will redy,
As of my samplere to procede plainly. [ 2947]
Then this to my mater here retourne I. [ 2948]
Gaffray with long toth gouerned hym so, *. [Geoffrey goes to Guerrand to seek the giant,]
That to Guerrande 1. [MS. "Gueruande."] Gaffray faste gan to hy,
Demaundyng the way the Geant vnto
Where he myght be founde, to fight with hym wold go; [ 2952]
The Roche perceiued myghty and pusant, *. [and at last sees the rock whereon his castle is built.]
Wherto repaired thys cruel Geant, [ 2954]
CAlled Guedon, 2. [MS. "Suedon;" see l. 3011.] that so orgulous was, [ 2955] [Fol. 59 b.]
Gret, thikke, longe, stronge, meruelous to se. *. [Geoffrey alights, arms himself, and again mounts,]
Gaffray fro his hors discended apas,
Armed hym A-non, lenger bode not he.
When Armed he was, to hors lepe a-ye, [ 2959]
The geant doubted noght, A staf toke of stile, *. [making fast to his saddle-bow a steel mace.]
Which at hys arson made faste for A-whyle. [ 2961]
And sin After sesid his shild and shoke, [ 2962] *. [He takes also his shield and his iron spear, and leaves his men,]
Which besides it had shildes many.
After his spere of sharpe yren toke,
Sauyng goddys grace, gret thyng toke surely.
hys men commaunded vnto god an hy. [ 2966] *. [commending them to God on high.]
But for thare master wepte thay in þat place;
Thay trowed neuer se hym in liffes space. [ 2968]
GEffray thaim said, "stil you, noght dismay; [ 2969] *. [He bids them farewell, and departs alone,]
I beleue I shal this Geaunt discomfight
By aid of god And hys moder this day."
Anon than Geffray parted fro thaim ryght,
Adieu tho thaim said, thens went Alone to fyght.
Page  106 The Roche passed he, goyng vp Anon *. [ascending the mount to reach the castle.]
Vnto the castell, sette the mount vppon. [ 2975]
Unto the brigge cam, with shil uois gan cry, [ 2976] *. [He waits at the drawbridge, and in a shrill voice defies the giant.]
"Where Art thou, fals traytour, where Art thow?
To deth shalt thou be cast by me truly,
Which in my contre And in my lande now
So long were haste had; to god I A-uow, [ 2980]
Neuer here-hens shal I depert no day
Till uenquished or dede haue the I may." [ 2982]
On A donIon hid was this huge Geaunt, [ 2983] [Fol. 60]
In the Galaries being ther with-in, *. [The giant, hear∣ing him, rises and puts out his head,]
The uois hurd of hym noble and pusaunt,
hastily Anon vp rising gan to win;
his hede put he out, uisage large and chin, [ 2987] *. [showing his visage and his chin.]
(Which was All so gret As A bole his hede),
Gaffray with gret toth be-held hym in-ded; [ 2989]
HOrrible gret was, A forwoxen grome, [ 2990] *. [The giant thinks himself sorely disgraced that a single man should wish to fight him,]
Such Another neuer had he sain;
Which his goddis swere that full hym come
Sore uilloined gan hym hold certain,
When a soule man lust with hym were plain, [ 2994]
And into hys hous to seke hym comyng. *. [and at once arms himself,]
lightly hym armed, Anon discendyng; [ 2996]
A Fauchon of stele went he unto take, [ 2997] *. [taking a falchion of steel, three flails of iron, and three great sledge-hammers.]
Well grounde or whet, but tendre was it noght;
After flaelles thre 1. [MS. "ther;" Fr. text, trois.] of yre toke for hys sake,
In hys bosom put thre gret slegges wrought;
The bridge Aualed, to issue out thought. [ 3001] *. [He lowers the draw-bridge, and issues out.]
Ful gret and large was formed of body;
When in his being mustred unto ey, [ 3003]
Page  107
Fiftene fote long this Geaunt was expresse: [ 3004] *. [He is fifteen feet long;]
And when Gaffray nehed hym in-dede,
Strongly merueled of his huge gretnesse,
But yut for all that of hym noght gan drede, *. [yet Geoffrey fears him not, but defies him boldly.]
Neither fere had for gretnesse, lenght, ne brede, [ 3008]
But that Anon diffied hym boldly,
And towarde thys Geaunt drew hym lightly. [ 3010]
"What art thou?" said Guedon, "trusse hens," [Fol. 60 b.] said he. *. ["Who art thou?" asks Guedon.]
Hym he answered, "sir," said without blame,
"Gaffray with long toth so men callyn me; *. ["I am Geoffrey with the long tooth."]
At no day ne hour neuer hid my name;
Thine 1. [MS. "Thime."] hed come to haue, diffende þe for shame!"
"Caytiff," said 2. [MS. "And."] Guedon, "wat caste thou to do? *. ["Wretch," says Guedon, "I will slay thee with one sole stroke.]
The will sle 3. [MS. "she."] Anon with o soule stroke or to; [ 3017]
HEns ye now retorn, my fair sone," he saide, [ 3018] *. [I pity you," says Guedon, "and advise you, as a friend, to depart."]
"Off the in my hert renneth gret pite,
your yongly person seing at this braide,
And that ye er or 4. ["ar of" (?).] gret habilite;
Gaffray, go hens of frendlyhede," said he. [ 3022]
hym Answered he, "foly, is no nay; *. [But Geoffrey bids him rather pity his own life,]
haue thou pite non but of thi life this day, [ 3024]
FOr withoute diffaute she shall ende Anon. [ 3025] *. [which should soon end, as he cannot escape.]
Fro keruing of my swerd here now diffend the;
In mortall deth dye shall here thi person;
Escape maiste thou noght in no wyse fro me."
Thys Geaunt noght told of hym in no degre, [ 3029]
Gaffray cam faste contring the Geaunt then, *. [Geoffrey advances to the encounter,]
As moche And As faste As hys courser myght ren.
Page  108
Now god hym socour! in breste ther hym sett, [ 3032] *. [and overthrows the giant.]
Thys cruel Geant A fers stroke yaff he;
By hys wurthinesse so gan do and bette,
Without any demage he caste don to se.
All astoned of that aduersite, [ 3036] *. [The giant, as∣tonished, rises up, and tells him his stroke shall be repaid.]
Thys Geaunt rosse vp; "hast thou noght," he said,
"Take me such offering, it yild shall be this braide." [ 3038]
On fote hopte he up, malice and wroth was [ 3039] [Fol. 61]
That don to grounde so caste in that Ile *. [Being wrath at having been thus struck down by a single blow,]
By a soule stroke of knyghtly manace.
Then he in hand toke hys fauchon of stile; *. [he seizes his steel falchion,]
As Gaffray wold torn, sogernyng no whyle, [ 3043]
The fauchon of stele, the Geant in hand, *. [and cuts the legs off Geof∣frey's horse.]
Off Gaffray curser the legges trenchand. [ 3045]
The courser fill don, fro, hors lepte 1. [MS. "lepete;" but see l. 3070.] Gaffray, [ 3046] *. [The horse falls, Geoffrey leaps off,]
No-thyng hym lette, Fro scaberge his swerd drew;
To the giant went with raundon gret that day,
The sinistre Arme smote he vppon trew, *. [and at a blow nearly severs the giant's left arm.]
Ryght As belonged to knightly uertew, [ 3050]
hys fauchon he made to fall the hand fro,
That neuer After ned had non ther-to; [ 3052]
FOr Gaffray such stroke sette, he failled noght; [ 3053] *. [But Guedon, to end the fight, deals Geoffrey a blow on the helm with his flail,]
In the hanche sour hurt greuously he was,
But to hym Guedon Approched ny, thought
So that mortall were ther hym gan purchas,
his flael ther toke myghtly A-place, [ 3057]
To Gaffray therof gaf on the helme hy, *. [which almost fells him.]
All Astoned Almoste At ground truly. [ 3059]
Into his scaberge the swerde put Gaffray, [ 3060] *. [Geoffrey runs and fetches his steel mace,]
To his courser ran, his staffe ther takyng,
Page  109 To thys Geant caste A huge stroke that day, *. [and with it strikes the giant so that he stum∣bles and drops the flail.]
Stager And stomble made with hys sore striking;
hys Flael fro hand caused ther fleing. [ 3064]
On off hys [s]legges 1. [MS. has "legges," a notable blunder.] Guedon 2. [MS. "Gouedon."] toke in haste, *. [Guedon seizes a sledge-hammer,]
To Gaffray wightly And sharply it caste, [ 3066]
With the said stroke cast of myghty vertew [ 3067] [Fol. 61 b.]
Off Gaffray the stafe or axe gan attain, *. [and with it knocks Geoffrey's mace out of his hand,]
Fro hys handes made to fle and remew.
This Giant lepte forth, the stafe toke certain; *. [and then picks it up.]
To Gaffray noght had twixste hys handes twain,
But Gaffray his swerd gan to draw Anon, *. [Geoffrey draws his sword,]
And vppon the Arme it sett of Guedon; 3. [MS. "Suedon."] [ 3073]
And so huge A stroke geuyng hym was tho, [ 3074]
That quite clene the arme share off throughtly. *. [and shears Gue∣don's arm com∣pletely off.]
Gaffray full manlly ther Auenged so
Off Guedon 2. [MS. "Gouedon."] the Giant strong and myghty,
Where Arme, stafe, or Axe, done fill hym ryght ny. *. [Down fall all his weapons.]
Where-thorught for wo the saide Geant suatte,
For Anguissh And sorow lefte his Arme & bede. 4. [Indistinct.]
Full moche the Geant was Astoned tho, [ 3081]
When off hys Armes on had loste of-new;
haused his swerd, trowing Gaffray smitte to; *. [The giant strikes at Geoffrey with his sword, but he slips aside, and with a mar∣vellous stroke cuts his foe's thigh right in two.]
But the stroke uoided And somwat withdrow,
A litell blenched enmyddes the medew, [ 3085]
Vppon his legge smote with swerde wonderly,
A meruelous stroke gaffe, Ato carf 5. [MS. "craf;" but see l. 3092.] hys thy. [ 3087]
This Giant fill, crying his goddis aide; [ 3088] *. [The giant falls. Geoffrey cleaves his head to the teeth,]
Gaffray A stroke gaffe tho his sculle vppon,
he offeryng so, the helme rent And foulle raide,
Page  110 The helme cutte And rent till the teth Adon;
The swerde so cuttyng, the hede carf Anon. [ 3092]
After that hys horne sarisin toke he, *. [and, seizing his Saracen horn, blows it loudly.]
hyly it blowyng times to or thre. [ 3094]
HIs peple the sounde full wel vnderstode, [ 3095] [Fol. 62]
To hym hied, taried noght certain; *. [Geoffrey's men come up, and find the giant slain.]
Enmyddes the medew founde where he stode,
Thys cruell Geaunt which þat he had slain.
When this meruelous Geant ther was sain, [ 3099]
Off his faccion Astoned thay were, *. [They marvel at his length and breadth.]
hys lenght, his brede was so ouermette there. [ 3101]
TO Gaffray the lordes toke vnto say, [ 3102] *. [The lords com∣pliment Geoffrey highly,]
"Off this Geaunt huge misgouernaunce
ye vnto thys man meued were thys day,
As hym to uenquish thoght in remembraunce,
Thys enemy discomfite this instaunce; [ 3106]
Truly ye haue don̄ An inly good ded." *. [and tell him he has done "an inly good deed."]
Gaffray Answered ther, "faire lordes," sed, [ 3108]
"Hit us behouid, were it wrong or ryght; [ 3109] *. [Geoffrey says he has but done his duty.]
For it putt abake I ne myght, parde;
My lif to diffend I shold, yff I myght;
And so haue I done, our lord preised be,
hym conquered haue here As ye may see." [ 3113]
They entred there, to castell gan repare, *. [They enter the castle, which is well built and fair.]
Which was well billed to sight, And full faire.
MEn all this knew thorugh that region, [ 3116]
For-why shold we then speke therof more? *. [Huge joy is made both by small and great,]
huge ioy and solas therof made and don,
Bothe tho gret and small gret ioy made therffor,
That the Geant was by Gaffray don bore, [ 3120] *. [because the giant was discomfited and stone-dead.]
So discomfite, standede, And all cold;
hug[e] ioy and gladnesse in contre tho hold. [ 3122]
Page  111
Off this lande made lorde he by this uiage, [ 3123] [Fol. 62 b.]
Wherby manly had ended the werre tho. *. [Geoffrey is made lord of that country.]
Ther-thens to uavuent A man sent in message,
Which full courtois was, inly wise also;
Thys said messinger Raymounde said unto, [ 3127] *. [A messenger tells the news to Ray∣mond,]
That by Gaffray the Giant fers and bold
Was descomfite and put to deth, he told. [ 3129]
RAymounde laughed tho, hym preising faste there. *. [who laughs; and Melusine gives the messenger a rich gift.]
Melusine without othir tarying
Made right good chere vnto the messinger;
When hym chered had with all maner thyng, [ 3133]
A ryche gifte hym gaffe; Raymounde tho writyng, *. [He next takes paper and wax to his secretary, and dictates a letter,]
Peper And wexe toke to hys secretory,
Anon A letter conceued hastily, [ 3136]
The tenure of which was well deuysed; [ 3137] *. [which he seals and sends to Geof∣frey in Guerrand,]
By Raymounde seled were thai in þat place;
So forth send by Raymounde, so auised,
Vnto Gaffray which in Guerrande tho wace,
"hou that Fromount his uesture gan purchace [ 3141] *. [telling him how Fromont had be∣come a monk in the abbey of Maillezais,]
At Maillers, And ther resceiued gan say,
And that A monke was in that saide Abbay; [ 3143]
Where that he wold use All his liffes space, [ 3144] *. [where he would spend his life in prayer for his friends.]
And for his frendes pray to god An hy,
For that it was an inly deuout place."
Alas! thes letters il hour wrought truly, *. [Alas! this letter was written in an evil hour, for thereby did Raymond lose Melusine!]
For thai torned to the contrary. [ 3148]
He therthorugh loste the fair Melusine,
Whom that he loued with parfite loue fine. 1. [Here follows the catchword—"Now shall we leue at þis time."] [ 3150]
NOw shall we leue at thys tyme the lyffe [ 3151] [Fol. 63]
Of Raymounde the swete And courtois only, *. [I shall leave the life of Raymond and Melusine,]
Page  112 Of Melusine als hys ful noble wyfe,
Which at þat hour was A woman worthy.
Of Gaffray with gret toth declare shal I; [ 3155] *. [and speak of Geoffrey, who was now in Guerrand country,]
After thys I shall you outre and say;
In Guerrande contre tho was Gaffray, [ 3157]
All the contre hym fested roially [ 3158] *. [where he was royally feasted for killing the giant.]
For thys Geant sake that he distroid there:
Gret ioy ther had of peple ful many.
With that cam to hym ther A messengere, *. [While he was there, came a messenger from Norbeland to him, and having found him]
To gaffray comyng in humble manere, [ 3162]
Fro Norbelande After Gaffray demaunding
Where þat he was; many him shewing, [ 3164]
To Gaffray presented thes letters there. [ 3165] *. [and presented his letters, he proceeds to tell of a giant who had come to Norbeland,]
"My lord," he said, "for goddys hy mercy,
That it myght you ples me vnderstande here.
Vnto Norbeland is comyn truly
A man more gretter then other Any, [ 3169]
Which is A Geaunt, wonder meruelous, *. [savage, cruel, and dangerous,]
Ouerthwart cruel and ryght perilous; [ 3171]
He hath brought were [on] all our contre. [ 3172] *. [and had brought war on all the country.]
Wherfor I am come to seke you thys hour,
Here requeryng you for all loue may be, *. [He begs Geoffrey to help them speedily, as the nobles of the land have great trust in his might.]
ye of Gentillesse wold be ther socour;
Tho of contre, the lordes of honore, [ 3176]
In your person haue ryght gret affiaunce,
Wilnyng you to come hastly thys instaunce. [ 3178]
So that ouer-lang ye mow noght tary; [ 3179] [Fol. 63 b.]
For you will thai yild all the hole contre, *. [Urging him he adds that all the country will be given up to him, as he may see from the letters.]
Ther landes to hold of your estate hy.
For sothe your letters, if opened be,
ye may wel know the trouth And ueryte. [ 3183]
Thay haue caste ther loote certes you vppon, *. [The people trust wholly to him to destroy the giant.]
Off thys strong Geaunt cause distruccion." [ 3185]
Page  113
GEffray the letters After breke and rayd, [ 3186] *. [On reading the letters, Geoffrey swears that he will go,—]
Fro 1. [MS. "For." Fr. text, "de mot en mot."] wurde unto wurd, And sithen hym said,
"Messinger, trouth is, no ly on you had;
By the holy crosse swere I you this braid, *. [but it is not for lands or posses∣sions, but for the sake of helping the people,]
That men cal Geffray with long toth displaid [ 3190]
hens wold noght remeue for lande ne hauour,
But for the contre only to socour. [ 3192]
FOr off the peple haue I gret pitte, [ 3193] *. [on whom he has pity, because he has great zeal for Christianity.]
For the good zele haue to cristine entyre,
Wherin I haue grette affinite:
Als honour And worship to acquire. *. [Also he would win honour; therefore he pre∣pares at once.]
Off me the werre the Giaunt doth desire, [ 3197]
Anon shall I go hym Assail quikly."
To thys forth-progresse Geffray made redy. [ 3199]
A messynger the men tyme gan discend [ 3200] *. [Meanwhile a messenger from his father brings him letters to tell him that his brother has be∣come a monk, at which he is angry and sad.]
Off hys fader part, forth-with hym taking
The letters, al which that he hym send.
Geffray thaim rad, And when he was knowing
That his brother was A monke hym yilding, [ 3204]
leuer had hym be honged were As thef;
Wherof to hert had dole of gret myschef: [ 3206]
HOu-were-it that ioy of hys fader had, [ 3207] [Fol. 64]
And of Melusine his moders welfaire, *. [He was pleased to have good news of his father and mother,]
Thay were hole and sounde, of þat was he glad.
When of hys brother Fromont hurd declare, [ 3210] *. [but he lost his wits at the dis∣grace of Fromont being a monk, and he grew as red as vermilion.]
That he monke was shorn, dole had And gret care;
Off the dispite hys witte gon And loste,
Vermail rede As blode, with wreth tende hys goste; [ 3213]
Off malice And wreth had in his body [ 3214] *. [Foaming like a swine with rage, he made all afraid who came near him.]
he uomed And swatte, A swine resembling;
Neuer man non hym beheld ueryly
But of huge drede ther he were tremblyng.
Page  114 "Ther tho ill," he sayd, "thys lechorus being, [ 3218] *. [Then in his passion he ex∣claims, "These vile monks]
Thes fals monkes, which full uicious be,
Thay haue now, by the holy trynite, [ 3220]
My brother Fromont haue enchanted sure, [ 3221] *. [have surely enchanted my brother, to make him turn monk and have a shaven crown. But they shall suffer for it. The errand into Northumberland must be put off a while.]
A monke haue hym made, certes, in ther town.
To thaim might yut come som misauenture:
hym haue thay shorn and made to bere A crown;
In shall tham put into gret mischef down. [ 3225]
Of this other erande bide Awhile will I;
Thys monkes will se, long er that I dy. [ 3227]
FErre of shall noght be or to that place go, [ 3228] *. [I will go at once and burn up all these monks together."]
Thaim shall I brenne to-geders in A fire."
Tho messengers of norbelande said to:
"you commaunde al abide me here entire, *. [He bids the messengers from Northumberland await his return, when he will go with them as he promised.]
For shortly with you go wil at desire, [ 3232]
That cruell Geaunt As to discomfight,
So shall it be don As graunted haue ryght." [ 3234]
Thai, which durst noght with-say hys hy renon, [ 3235] [Fol. 64 b.]
hym Answered: "we will, lord honourous, *. [They promise to guard his house in his absence, and to wait till his return.]
Sin it plesith you, it is good reson:
In your absence, schall warde and kepe þis hous,
Without departing, to be laborous [ 3239]
Till the tyme approche A-gane you shal se." *. [He sends them away without further parley,]
Geffray answered: "wele saide here haue ye;
GO forth," said he, "with-out sayng-Again." [ 3242]
To hys peple said, "vnto hors ye goo; *. [and summoning his people, rides with all speed till he reaches Maillezais Abbey on a Tuesday.]
I shall nothyng spare ualey ne montain,
Till that I come Maillers Abbay vnto."
Then Geffray hym put forth on hys way tho, [ 3246]
Thys fers, cruell, hardy, the Tewisday,
So rode that he ryued at the Abbay. [ 3248]
Page  115
The monkes were in their chapitre-hous, [ 3249] *. [He finds the monks in the chapter-house.]
And Geffray Anon entred ther within:
When thes monkes knew thys man honorous,
To ryn him Again Alfaste gan begin,
As wel gret As small towar[d] hym gan wyn, [ 3253]
All the hole couent ther hym saluting, *. [They are de∣lighted at his coming.]
Full gret ioy thay had As of hys comyng. [ 3255]
Then to the abbot, which that balled was, [ 3256] *. [But roughly and angrily he de∣mands of the Lord Abbot why they have so foolishly made his brother leave chivalry and turn monk.]
hath Gaffray spokyn rude and bustesly,
As A man chaufed 1. [MS. "chamfed. Fr. text, "eschauffez."] with yerfull manace.
"Ha! dan Abbot," toke hym to say an hy,
"Abbot, forwhy haue ye made folyly [ 3260]
My brother A monke in thys said Abbay
To leue chiualry, takyng your ordre Ay? [ 3262]
IN good feith, full is mused and thought, [ 3263] [Fol. 65]
For your mortall deth ye tho gan purchace: *. [He threatens them all with death,]
ye schal dy for your wykkydnesse wrought,
Both ye And all your couent in thys place." [ 3266]
Then sore he grint And strayined his teeth apace. *. [and grinding his teeth savagely, puts them into great dread.]
All tho which were the Abbay within
Thai had gret drede, seing hym so begin. [ 3269]
Thes monkes wepte, And sighed ful sore there [ 3270] *. [They weep and sigh for fear,]
Of the fereful drede which that time thai had.
Then dan Abbot of the hous gan answere, *. [and the Lord Abbot declares it has all been done of Fromont's own free will.]
"Sir, by me noght was it forth broght ne lad;
By hym-selfen was it, trow I shall ful sad; [ 3274]
he so meued with good deuocion
As Entre into this religion. [ 3276]
HEre Fromont may se ye, lo! personally, [ 3277] *. [He may see Fromont, who, coming to his brother,]
yff it like or please you hym demaunde, lo!"
Fromont thys hym said, "brother, verily
Page  116 By non is it wrought, but by my-selfe do: *. [bears out the Abbot's account, and adds that he will be nothing but a monk.]
A monke for to be, Am, And shall be to; [ 3281]
Wher within for you to our lord shal pray,
To other dedes attende wil no day, [ 3283]
But only to god, to whom I am yild. [ 3284] *. [His father and mother, he says, had consented,]
hit pleased my fader, to hym acceptiff,
And to Melusine, my good moder milde:
Full gladly thay wold I shold use my life *. [and were glad that he should enter on this life, that they all might benefit by his prayers.]
here As for to pray our lord celestif [ 3288]
For thaim and for you in especiall,
That in paradise he vs do put all." [ 3290]
GEffray vnderstode Almoste in wode rage, [ 3291] [Fol. 65 b.]
Thaken 1. ["Taken." Fr. text, "Esprins."] with A meruelous corage tho, *. [Geoffrey, almost mad with rage, replied to him sadly.]
Moche ther resceiued to hym delefull langage.
Fro-thens deperted, the dores after drew to, *. [Then departing, shut the doors, and savagely orders fuel to be collected,]
All tho within closid and shitte also, [ 3295]
After send to fecche, of ferosite,
Straw And berres 2. ["breres" (?) Fr. "busche."] wonder gret plente. [ 3297]
TO all ilnesse do lust had and talent, [ 3298]
Thys bruschet made put in-to on hepe, *. [which he has piled about the Abbey,]
What cause eche merueled, in ther entent.
Fire hath he taken and put in therto; *. [and then sets it all on fire.]
That in litell while se shold not man, lo! [ 3302]
For the smoky fume smortherting so was,
The Abbay it toke, sore gan it enbras. [ 3304]
The fire so kindled thorugh all certainly, [ 3305]
The monkes all betrapped and forshend,
That neuer on soule 3. [MS. "foule."] scaped outwardly. *. [The Abbey, the Abbot, and a hundred monks, are consumed.]
The Abbot And A hunderd monkes brend
On tew[i]sday, by fortune, so ther end: [ 3309]
Page  117 All that ther within wasted to huge grame,
To gret sorow And wo, vnto full huge shame;
And als the moste parte of thys said abbay [ 3312] *. [Most of the building is de∣stroyed,]
By hym stroied, bruled and scorched tho:
Ther not lefte ne bode o soule man that 1. [MS. "thai."] day, *. [and not one soul escaped.]
Thorughly brende it was to gret shame and wo.
When better remembred 2. [MS. "remenbred."] hys diffaute, lo! [ 3316] *. [Geoffrey, on coming to him∣self, laments what he has done,]
With shill voce cried þat time hautaynly,
"Alas, caitife!" saide, "don̄ haste folily, [ 3318]
Which thys minstre undo and so brend." [ 3319] [Fol. 66]
his brother ofte bement dede so, noght in graue; *. [the burning of the minster, and his brother unburied, and the Abbot.]
After the Abbot And all the couent.
Foltish he was, For tho thaim might not haue,
Neuer for golde ne for hauour craue. [ 3323] *. [For there was no getting them back again.]
he thaim complained And waymented sore,
Off pite sighed, lamenting euermore. [ 3325]
Fro-thens departed, on his coursere lepte, [ 3326] *. [Leaving Mail∣lezais, he rode hard, thinking much of his good religious brother;]
He right noght sparyng ualey ne montayn,
In paynfull wo was, musing thoughtes kepte,
Of his brother brende sore hym gan complain;
So god 3. ["good" (?).] religious As he was certain. [ 3330]
Then to hym-selfe said; "fair god lord an hy, *. [and then up∣braids himself,]
What may me become or what do shall I? [ 3332]
NE to what ende come, certes, know ne may [ 3333] *. [that he is more worthy of damna∣tion than any man,]
Neuer man born fro Adam to thys hour
Ne war so well wurth to be dampned ay!
Wel shewith I am An ill fals traitour, *. [even than Judas Iscariot,]
I here more wurse then Iudas the synnour. [ 3337]
Neuer shall I see, visage to visage, *. [and shall be shut out of God's sight.]
Off god our Fader semyng in corage. [ 3339]
Page  118
MOrtall deth, now com bering me away!" [ 3340] *. [He prays for death.]
Such discomforth had Gaffray in corage.
Forsoth so rode An easy pace that day,
That to Guerrande came forth so in viage, *. [In this sorry frame he reaches Guerrande, and finds the messenger wait∣ing for him.]
Full malice And wrogh[t] of thys huge damage [ 3344]
Which that tyme had don, And sore gan com∣plain.
The messingere lefte contred hym Again: [ 3346]
When Geffray hym saw, in hert was full glade; [ 3347] [Fol. 66 b.]
Fro-thens departyd vnto vnderstande. *. [Geoffrey is pleased to see him,]
Of no creature demaund leue ne had.
he ther-thens wende towarde norbelande, *. [and goes at once,]
Where-hens the messinger of the saide lande [ 3351]
Which to Gaffray cam requiring hym then: *. [taking but ten retainers.]
And off his maynee had he but ten. [ 3353]
HE thought he wold noght ouer slow to be: [ 3354]
Anon As he Approched the port there, *. [He was feasted by the people before he went on board.]
Men hym made gret feste or shippe made entre; 1. [MS. "entire."]
And off the contre the said messynger, [ 3357]
Which condute this knight the way and manere.
The saill reised vp, the winde softe gan blow, *. [With a fair wind he sets out at once on his voyage.]
Anon disancred the shippe in a throw; [ 3360]
The maryner thaim put in-to the se, [ 3361] *. [The people bless them as they start,]
And at departson thaim blessed all tho.
The winde was good, the shippe welle sailled sche, *. [and with a fair wind and good ship they go on their way.]
In a litill while ferre passed And goo,
A kennyng thaim was but A Jape vnto. [ 3365]
Ryght thus of Gaffray shall rest and still me, *. [I shall now leave Geoffrey and speak of Raymond.]
And declare And speke of Raymounde the fre.
RAymounde at vauuent lad a mery 2. [MS. "amery."] lif; [ 3368] *. [He was living merrily at Vou∣vant with his wife, Melusine.]
Wher hym gan to hold, As long As he myght,
Page  119 With fayre Melusine hys full noble wyffe.
Thys gentill Raymonde was A courtois knyght.
At vauuent were both, os 1. [For as; see Glossary.] reson was and ryght. [ 3372]
Anon had thay full dolorous noysaunce; *. [At dinner one day a great piece of ill news is brought them.]
As at diner sate, at ther own̄ plesaunce, [ 3374]
A ferrom thai saw com A messingere, [ 3375] [Fol. 67]
Which in humble wise thaim were saluting; *. [Afar off they saw a messenger, who humbly saluted them; but in doubt about how to give his message, he changes colour.]
But hys colour changed sodainly there,
For thys cause that he the dede was doubting
Of that message behofull hym doing. [ 3379]
And Raymound to hym tho ther said anon: *. [Raymond bids him welcome.]
"Gentill messingere, welcom to vs echon." [ 3381]
Off noueles Anon gan hym to enquere; [ 3382] *. [They inquire his news.]
Where-hens he cam; And fro what place þat day.
(Alas! outre moste noueles in strange manere, *. [(Alas! I must utter strange news, for which I am sad, for the message is right naught,]
Tham vnto declare wo is me alway;
For such tydinges And nouels shall say [ 3386]
Which ben full ill, ryght noght, full of yre,
And ryght hiduous, Any man to hyre. [ 3388]
Where-thorugh Raymounde shall lese the company *. [owing to which Raymond shall lose his wife's company.)]
Off faire Melusine, fro that for all-wais,
Neuer after with hys wife be truly:
Where she no point had off diffame no dais.)
Then the messinger spake with-out delais, [ 3393]
"Sir, vnderstande, my wordes and entent *. [Then he tells them]
To say behouith, wherof Am dolent; [ 3395]
On of youre children take hath mortall." [ 3396] *. [that one of their children, Fro∣mont, is dead,]
"Which is he?" said Raymounde: "sir, Fromont it is."
"hou is he dede? good sir, say me all.
Page  120 Is noght the body bered of hys? *. [and Raymond asks if he is interred in our Lady's Abbey at Maillezais.]
On his soule mercy the lord do of blis! [ 3400]
Entered in churche is of our lady
In Abbay off Maillers full sollemply." [ 3402]
Thys messinger said with shill vois hautain, [ 3403] [Fol. 67 b.]
"That blissed man neuer had sepulture; *. [But the mes∣senger replies that Fromont had not been buried,]
Wilbelouid sir, this you say sertain,
Aforn all will declare the Auenture,
hou Gaffray hym put to shameuous oppressure, [ 3407] *. [but burnt by Geoffrey in the Abbey.]
Fired and byrnde, stroyng the Abbay
Off Maillers, for Fromont hys sake Alway, [ 3409]
The Abbot And monkes conuentuall, [ 3410] *. [The abbot and monks were all scorched and burnt to ashes;]
That ther o soule man escapid noght,
But scorched and brend were to Askes small;
And hou the doures made faste As cowde be thought; *. [Geoffrey shut them in and burnt them, out of spite against Fromont.]
For drede non durste fle, to-geders brende and brought, [ 3414]
For the gret dispite which in hert he had 1. [MS. "hed."]
Off Fromont, that in monkes wede was clade.'
When Raymound it knew, blissed with ryght hand, *. [Raymond, at the news, bathes his heart in sorrow,]
In sorow And wo hys hert bathed he.
yut Another tyme he gan to demand, *. [but sternly com∣mands the messenger to be sure he is not lying.]
Commaunding hym straitly As myght be,
That he hym say the trouth and verite. [ 3421]
"Se here," he said, "gret cruelte shewyng,
Is it this? ward the that thou ly no thing!" [ 3423]
HE hym answerd, "sir, it is ryght this; [ 3424] *. [He replies that he saw it with his two eyes.]
I dare wel say this, so god me do aid;
With my eyes to saw it, soo haue I blis!"
When Raymounde it hurd, colour changed þat braid,
Page  121 For ende had he non in his dolour laid. [ 3428] *. [Raymond, in great dolour, leaps upon horse-back,]
To hors lepe he tho with-out tarying,
In hert was ryght wo And full sore mornyng.
IN pensif muses hym faste beseying, [ 3431] [Fol. 68]
He rest noght to ryde, so to Maillers cam. *. [and rides at once to Maillezais.]
Such A pace rode, yut ther the fray finding,
Raymounde perceiued the gret losc[e] 1. [See l. 3608. Fr. text, "perte."] And shame.
Ech man complayned on Gaffray by name. [ 3435] *. [There he hears men complaining, and sees the abbey reduced to a ruin.]
The Abbay saw brend And woxin desert,
Which causid gret wo hym to haue at hert. [ 3437]
HE beheld Aboute euery part sure, [ 3438]
Seyng the Abbot And monkes brend were;
Als seing the meruelous auenture,
"By god died in crosse," Raymound gan swere, *. [Much enraged, he swears that Geoffrey shall die in a cruel manner, if he can but get hold of him.]
That "Gaffray shold dye in cruell manere, [ 3442]
yff atwixst his handis he hym haue myght,
He wold make hym ende, And shameuous deth dight!" [ 3444]
There lepte vp Again hys coursere vppon, [ 3445] *. [Again he mounts his horse, having no wish to stay there,]
So inly malice, full of wrath and yre,
In shuch cAs broght, wiste not wat say ne don;
To sogern̄ At Maillers more wold not desire.
Fro-thens departed, tornyng hole entire [ 3449]
hamwarde in iournay ryght full besily. *. [and rides fast homeward.]
Al day ther he rode faste And spedfully, [ 3451]
So the myghty strenght attained he was [ 3452] *. [He reaches the fort of Vouvant,]
Of vauuent castell, entred in and wend;
hys coursere As the wynde forth went apace.
When within was, After gan discend; *. [and alights from his horse.]
lenger wold he noght bide ne attend. [ 3456]
In-to the chambre entred he Anon, *. [He enters his chamber, and shuts the door.]
The dores to hym drew And closyd echon. [ 3458]
Page  122
There began he wonder waymenting; [ 3459] [Fol. 68 b.]
Complaynyng, wayling, And lamentyng to see. *. [Then he begins to lament and wail, saying, "Ah! Fortune! thy dealings are too manifest, thou art not secret enough.]
"Ha!" he said, "Fortune, to riue art being;
Ne haste thou not be with me full preue.
Aboue All other haste 1. [MS. "baste."] thou hated me! [ 3463]
Alas! this for-whi hast thou me in hate?
To tech me were thou contrary þat date, [ 3465]
When thou me madest that murther to do [ 3466] *. [When I put Earl Amery to death by moonlight, thou wert the cause.]
Off the noble Erle of peiters being,
Amery the good notable knyght tho;
I hym put to deth by the mone shynyng.
By the, lady Fortone, thou were it causing! [ 3470]
Alas! he was man in tyme full worthy! *. [Alas! he was a peerless man!]
Hys pere noght founde Athissid Rome truly! [ 3472]
After me made by thy will and uolente [ 3473] *. [And next, thou madest me marry this infamous serpent;]
To take this woman of the Fayry,
This 2. [MS. "Thes."] here diffamed serpent vnto se;
I am not wronged 3. ["wrong" (?).] thow it bewayle surely.
Then 4. ["Ten." Fr. text, "dix."] fair children haue I had hir by! [ 3477] *. [and one of my ten children by her, a holy monk, is dead,]
But on is dede, whereof Am I pensiffe,
Which was A monke leuyng holy life. [ 3479]
Ther now his brother hat[h] put hym deth to. [ 3480] *. [and his brother slew him. Her children will do no good.]
I trow thes children which that she bare
In this worle ne shall no maner good do.
The begynnyng noght, of trouth to declare,
And, by the teres off uandosme hys fair, [ 3484] *. [I could not have believed it, had I not seen her in the bath.]
hit I to beleue is but fantesy,
Ne hade I hir sain in the bath only; [ 3486]
I not ferre fro thens, the trouth vn-to tell, [ 3487] [Fol. 69]
By the litell hole of the dore gan se *. [I saw through the hole in the door that she]
Fro the hed adon vnto the nauell
Page  123 A full fair and gent woman there was she; *. [was a woman from her head to her middle, but beneath a serpent, with a tail striped with blue and gold.]
But under was A serpent of verite, [ 3491]
A taill burled had of siluer and Asure,
Ther bete that all the water flasshed sure, [ 3493]
Full grett hiduou[s]nesse to my hert made. [ 3494]
Neuer was ther man if hir gan to se *. [No man could have beheld her as I did, and not have fled for fear.]
In the estat that I ther saw hir clad,
But that wold Anon Away fro hir fle;
For it was thing dredfull As myght be. [ 3498]
God me ward and kepe fro werk diabolike, *. [God keep me from diabolic works!"]
And stedfaste me hold in feith catholike!" [ 3500]
FAir Melusine tho the dore gan unshit, [ 3501] *. [Melusine unlocks the door,]
Well cowde it vnloke, in gan she repaire,
Also to the dore the key had of it.
Knyghtes, ladeis, damicelles full faire,*. [and brings with her into the cham∣ber a company of squires and maidens.]
Squiers, yongmen, maydens debonair, [ 3505]
With Melusine ther entre made þat stounde
Into the chambre where Raymound was founde.
In the saide chambre entred thai Anon. [ 3508]
Raymounde saw hys wife, marred was he tho. *. [Raymond is much vexed at the sight of her, and begins to lament anew.]
Ther hauing no 1. [MS. "to." Fr. text, "neust point de couleur."] point of colour hym vppon,
There be-gan of-new hys dolorous woo.
Off Raymounde And of hys fair loue also [ 3512] *. [The moment of their parting was now nigh at hand.]
Ther strange depa[r]tson approched full ny,
Ryght As ye shall hire declared shortly. [ 3514]
Then Melusine said to Raymound hir housband, [ 3515] [Fol. 69 b.]
"hauith not your hert so marred for wo, *. [Melusine says to him, "Be not vexed.]
For þat ye may noght amend at no stonde.
Men shold such sorow lightly lete slip and go.
yff Agayn our lord Gaffray haue mysdo, [ 3519] *. [Even though Geoffrey has thus sinned, and has destroyed the abbey,]
And þat he hath distroid that faire place
Off Maillers by hys misdoing, percas [ 3521]
Page  124
Yut may he his pees Full wel do to make [ 3522] *. [he may yet, perchance, make his peace with God by repentance, and suffer pain in the body;]
Towardes our lord by grete repentance,
And for his trespas pennaunce may he take,
Therfor suffer pain in bodyly substaunce.
For goddis marce is 1. [MS. "his."] redy ech instance, [ 3526] *. [for God's mercy is at all times ready.]
So in hym he haue good contrecion,
And efter veray pure confession. [ 3528]
Off verray trouth my beleue is soo [ 3529] *. [For God willeth not the death of a sinner,]
That our lord god on hym will haue mercy,
For of the synner wold not deth shold go,
But louith better that lif shold truly, *. [but that he should live to repent and to do good."]
To haue time And space, being here wordly, [ 3533]
To effecte And end that he shold repent
And to All goodnesse also to Assent." [ 3535]
Thys lady wisely And sagely gan to speke, [ 3536]
But Raymounde malice And full angry was; *. [But Raymond was spiteful and angry, and his reason awhile departed.]
At hys hert gret noysaunce gan he steke.
Reson deperted tho fro hym apas.
Such A word shal say, repent can not purchas; [ 3540] *. [Soon shall he say a word which he shall never retrieve.]
Neuer shall ne may, vnto þat he dy,
Conquere that he shall And moste lesse ther-by.
Off A fers behold, orgulously wrought, [ 3543] [Fol. 70]
Als with the behold of his eyes twain, *. [With fierce look, proudly wroth, he spake plainly his foolish thought, uttering aloud the fatal word,]
And when that he had A litell thought,
his foley thought spitfully spake plain,
And afore all said he with uois hautain, [ 3547]
"ha! serpent! thy line in lif no good shall doo! *. ["Ha! SERPENT! Behold and see]
Se here now A noble begynnyng, lo! [ 3549]
What Gaffray with long toth thy son hath don̄! [ 3550] *. [what Geoffrey thy son hath done! He hath scorched and burnt a hun∣dred monks,]
A hundred monkes scorched 2. [MS. "scroched"; see l. 3678.] and brend plain,
And after fro-thens made he departson.
Page  125 Where-of on was Fromont thi son certain, *. [of whom Fromont thy son was one.]
The which to cherish euer was I fain! [ 3554]
Alas! thes monkes slain hath thi son Gaffray. *. [But they died not all cold,]
But thay died noght Al cold, I may fery, 1. ["say" (?).] [ 3556]
Euery of thaim so gret An hed 2. ["het" (?). Fr. text, "chault."] had. [ 3557] *. [but every one was hot enough.]
I haue ther be, I saw it verily,
Thaim al hath he brend, Gaffray thi sone made!" *. [Geoffrey, thy mad son, burnt them!"]
Alas! the sorow don so disordinatly *. [Alas! the sorrow caused by that fatal word, which lost him Melu∣sine!]
Off that wurde which he pronounced openly! [ 3561]
For ther-in gan do gret ill and sin plain.
Melusine Anon loste, neuer saw Again. [ 3563]
When Melusine hurd thys said wurde this stounde, *. [When Melusine heard that word, she swooned away,]
After hir sustain forsoth she ne myght.
Zownyngly she fil wofully to grounde;
The sorow so gret, the hert fro hym-self ryght.
Well ny so half hour she lay, this swet wight, [ 3568] *. [and lay in that swoon a whole half-hour, prostrate and astonied.]
Prostrat to the erth, stoned, so zownyng
For that heuy word he was ther outring. [ 3570]
The barons ther cam, vp gan hir redrese [ 3571] [Fol. 70 b.]
Goodly, without hurt or blecere Any. *. [The barons raised her up,]
Anon A knight Approched hir hinesse, *. [and a knight moistened her face with cold water.]
hir visage moisted with fresh water goodly,
Trowing A fiftene times or twenty. [ 3575]
By that resorted hir good hert Again, *. [She revives, and exclaims,]
Vnto Raymound said soberly certain, [ 3577]
FOrsoth to hym spake full peteuously, [ 3578]
"Alas, alas, alas, Raymounde, this day! *. ["Alas, Raymond! Ill for me that ever I saw thee!]
Ill saw I the euery times any!
Ill saw I the beute of the, I say; *. [Wo is me that ever I saw thy beauty, thy array, thy virtuous conduct.]
Ill saw I thi ful gracious Aray, [ 3582]
Ill saw I the vppo[n] the Fontain,
Ill saw I thy vertuous demenyng playn, 3. [MS. "playng."] [ 3584]
Page  126
Ill saw I thy werking amerous, [ 3585] *. [Alas that ever I saw thy precious body,]
Ille saw I thy precyous body,
Ille saw I thy iourne dolorous,
That with the was in loue Amourously! *. [that ever I loved thee!]
Ille saw I thi fair contennaunce truly, [ 3589]
Ille saw I thy gracious body gent, *. [Evil was the hour and season]
Ille saw I the hour And mene season present [ 3591]
That the saw first, thi treson, thi falsnesse! [ 3592] *. [wherein I first saw thy treason and falseness!]
Thy fals vntrew spech, thy huge cruelte,
Thy fals tonges unmesurabelnesse, *. [Thine unmeasur∣able language has condemned me to eternal pain.]
Me put to paynes perdurabilite,
That frothens neuer shall I depart me, [ 3596]
But full moche pain shal I suffre Alway,
For pain shall I haue vnto the laste day, [ 3598]
That it like or pleasse our lord soueran [ 3599] [Fol. 71]
To come iuge And deme tho both quikke and dede!
Neuer shal ye se my clere uisage plain, *. [Never shall you see my face again, O false, perjured traitor, murmurer, liar,]
Most fals traytour And fals forsworn in-ded,
Replet with uices, full of murmerhed, [ 3603]
Fals amerous, fals lesingmonger ryght, *. [betrayer, and false knight.]
Fals betrayer, And in-ded A fals knyght! [ 3605]
Full ill haste thow, lo! my couenaunt hold, [ 3606] *. [Thus hast thou caused us huge loss.]
That thow me promysed in the begynnyng;
Thou haste made us haue huge losce many-fold.
yut myght I all this full wel be suffryng, *. [Yet I could for∣give your seeing me in the bath, because you told it to no one.]
Off that in the bath me so were seyng, [ 3610]
Acause ye ne it said no creature.
The fende knew it noght, the misauenture. [ 3612]
As son As made was reuelacion̄ there, [ 3613] *. [Your revealing it has brought mis∣fortune.]
knawen was A-none For it shalt misfall;
Yf that my 1. [MS. "by." Fr. text, "mon corps."] body to the Abode here,
Page  127 Thow sholdest perceiue ryght brefly with-all
All thy full fals periury disceiu[e]! 1. [See note.] [ 3617]
yf truly ye had the couenaunt hold, *. [Had you kept your covenant truly,]
Vnto Mortall deth me to haue ye shold, [ 3619]
Ryght As A woman born̄ here naturall, [ 3620] *. [I should have been a woman at all hours,]
A feminine thyng, woman at al houres,
To end of my days here terrestriall.
By me 2. [MS. "my."] myghteste haue had huge socoures.
After the hy kyng, full off honoures, [ 3624] *. [and, at death, the King of Glory would have borne away my soul,]
Wold haue born̄ Away the soule of me,
When that Fro body departed were she, [ 3626]
After beried in sacred sepulture, [ 3627] [Fol. 71 b.]
And with gret honour entered shold be. *. [and I should have been buried with great honour.]
Alas! my fortune now putt Away sure!
In payn, in wo, in tormentes cruelte *. [Alas! I must now suffer pain till doomsday.]
Till day of iugement to se. [ 3631]
By thy-selfen disceiued art in all,
Thou art fro hinesse into lownesse fall. [ 3633]
Knowith thys, to you shall come greuous pine, [ 3634] *. [Thou too shalt suffer pain,]
Ne neuer goodnesse shal resceiue certain;
All-way thy dedes shall go to decline, *. [thy great deeds shall decline,]
Ne neuer shal be wrought ne made again,
And thi land shal be, After thi discesse plain, [ 3638] *. [and thy land, at thy death, shall be divided.]
Parted in partes I beleue shal be,
Neuer to-geders hold in seueralte, [ 3640]
By A soule man neuer maintayned be; [ 3641]
Many of your men shal fall, sir Raymounde, *. [Some of your posterity shall lose both land and ground,]
Neuer it acquire As in certainte.
Som of thaim shall lese both ther land and ground.
By fin fors of werre with many A wound, [ 3645]
Fro ther dwellyng full faste shall thay fle, *. [and never return again home.]
Neuer shall resorte A-gane to contre. [ 3647]
Page  128
REmembre thy sones, the beseche And pray, [ 3648] *. [Remember thy sons, for I shall be with thee no more!"]
For I shal neuer hold the company,
To whome haue hert peteuous and tender ay,
I may no langer Abyde ne tary!"
Thre 1. [MS. "Ther;" but French text, "Trois."] of the Barons Apart drew hastily [ 3652] *. [Then she draws three barons aside, speaking to all sensibly in an under-tone.]
Off moste gretteste, sayng in wyse pesible
As woman full sage And ryght sensible; [ 3654]
"RAymounde, understande, horrible thy sone gete [Fol. 72]
Do hym for to dy, neuer be he found. *. ["Raymond, it behoves thee to beware of Hor∣rible.]
Off it houith the to entremete,
Thre eyes shal bere he vppon the grounde.
yff he life, werre neuer shall faill nostounde [ 3659] *. [If he live, war shall never cease, nor bread nor wine increase,]
In all the contre off peiters to deuin,
Shall neuer encresse neithir brede ne win, [ 3661]
All the contre he shall waste, vnderstand, [ 3662] *. [for he shall lay waste all the country.]
So that no-thyng encresse shal ne may.
And all thes places that I gan do make, *. [He will destroy all I have made,]
Distroy And undo, certes, is no nay;
And hys bretherin to porete put alway, [ 3666] *. [and bring his brethren to poverty.]
All tham, of trought, and all of the lyne,
Wherefor I you pray, lete hym dy with pine. [ 3668]
The dole that thou haste for Gaffray thy sone, [ 3669] *. [Thy sorrow for Geoffrey's deed is needless;]
That the monkes brende so disordinaitly,
knowith thys, that it was for punicion *. [it was a punish∣ment upon the monks for their misdeeds.]
Taken vppon tho of religion hy,
For ther misgouernaunce wroughten so dayly, [ 3673]
Off our lordes part, for þat thai do wold
Many of thingys that they do ne shold, [ 3675]
NE ought of ryght ne of reson doo. [ 3676] *. [It is for that reason they are scorched, exiled, and destroyed.]
In that place our lord example hath shewed.
Off goddis parte is thai ben scorched so,
Page  129 All dede, exiled, And foule distroyde. *. [They have harmed them∣selves with lechery.]
Many with lechery haue hym sore noyed; [ 3680]
Fals monkes, synners, holdyng at no day
Ther ordre ne lif of the said Abbay. [ 3682]
Iff your sone be dede with thaim outerly, [ 3683] [Fol. 72 b.]
haue ye no routhe, ne of thaim neuer mo. *. [If your son be dead with them, pity him not.]
ye know what men sain moste, lo! comynly,
For A synner perish shall An hundred, lo! *. [A hundred men perish for one sinner's sake.]
An hundered hath brend, nombred vs unto, [ 3687]
Without the Abbot which nombred is noght, *. [So here 100 died, besides the abbot.]
Which maister is of thaim, As of reson ought,
Iff ther were cause, parcas he myght be. [ 3690]
Iff Gaffray tham haue so destroed all, *. [If Geoffrey have destroyed them, he may easily rebuild a fairer minster,]
It may be by hym restored, parde,
A more fairer ministre fourge 1. [MS. "fourgee."] and make shall
Then that which he hath caused so to fall. [ 3694]
This said Abbay full well may he restore *. [and place in it more monks than before.]
With many mo monkes then were before. [ 3696]
Off trought so he will in ryght good manere, [ 3697] *. [There shall they pray for our lineage,]
Which then shall be good peple verily,
Prayng for the line with myght and powere;
Which church he shall welle redyfy;
The place shall be to sight more plesantly, [ 3701] *. [and the place shall be fairer and better than before.]
And more better then euer was before;
Thys Gaffray shall doo gret goodnesse euermore,
MOste specially whan he comyth to Age. [ 3704] *. [But, ere I go, I tell you one thing more.]
But A thing I shall you declare truly,
Ar I me departe fro your compernage,
To ende that all therof haue memory *. [In order that men may remember me, they shall see me in the air.]
Which after An hundred yere surely [ 3708]
That yut ben unbore shall hir speke of me;
Off trouth in the air thar men shall me see [ 3710]
Page  130
ABoute the castell off lusignen so, [ 3711] [Fol. 73]
Thre dais beforn in the same yere ryght *. [I shall be seen whenever the castle is about to change its master; if not in the air,]
That the casstell shall change hir maister, lo!
yff in the air men not se me myght,
And that thay mow not perceiue me to sight, [ 3715]
I shall me Appere vppon the erth playn, *. [on the earth, or by this fountain.]
Or at the leste besides this Fontain. [ 3717]
Know thys, Raymounde, for so shall it be, [ 3718] *. [For, as the castle was baptized after my name,]
Ass longe As thys said castell shall endure,
For with my name baptised was she
And such As it is devised I sure,
My goddoughter I may calle 1. [MS. "called.'] hir in vre. [ 3722] *. [it may be con∣sidered as my goddaughter.]
Fule wel may it say Aforn peple All,
And, for Melusine men me do to call, [ 3724]
Lusignen named, to name doth calange. [ 3725]
yut will I now say without tarying,
When that of the lord shall come þe eschange, *. [Three days before the castle changes its lord,]
Thre dais be-forne me shall be seyng;
Certainly I shal ther be appering. [ 3729] *. [I shall certainly appear.]
But loste is now al my solas and ese,
Sin so behouith me it leue and lese; [ 3731]
FOr now may it be in non other wise. [ 3732] *. [Raymond, when first we loved, we had all joy and solace;]
Raymounde, vnto you then at beginnyng,
When ye and I entreloued in louers gise,
Al maner plesance we were finding,
Joy And solas As loue And louer hauyng; [ 3736]
Alas! contrary now se thys instance, *. [but now is our solace turned into vexation.]
Our solas torned into gret noysance, [ 3738]
And in-to sorow transport our gladnesse, [ 3739] [Fol. 73 b.]
Our huge uigour to feblesse this instance, *. [Now is our good fortune turned to mischance, and our surety is in doubt.]
Our plesire into displesance expresse,
Our full good fortune into gret misc[h]ance,
Page  131 Our vertuous goodnes into curced chance; [ 3743]
In doubte is all our surete to deuise,
And our noble And blissed franchise [ 3745]
Is full strangely changed into seruice, [ 3746] *. [Our freedom is turned to service by perverse fortune,]
By peruers fortune labored and founde,
Which on reisith, Anothir don brise,
But noght gain our lorde þat causyng me þis stound;
ys only by your dedes, sir Raymounde, [ 3750] *. [and all owing to the jangling of your blabbing tongue.]
Als by your labbyng tonges iongling,
ye shall lesse your loue for your large speking.
NOw more lenger here may I not to dwell, [ 3753] *. [Now must I go.]
Fair loue, me behouith hens As for to go.
your misdedis god perdon euerydell, *. [God pardon you for being the cause of my suffer∣ing torment."]
Whereof Agayne me ye haue so mysdo,
For by you shall suffer torment And woo, [ 3757]
vnto the dredfull day of Iugement;—
And by the I was fro 1. [MS. "for."] sorow ex[e]mpte, [ 3759]
And into yoy entred!—Alas! wo I Am, [ 3760] *. [Such grief had Melusine that none that heard her could with∣hold from weep∣ing.]
For now Am I caste into dolorous woo,
Fro-whens 2. [MS. "For whens."] that I issewed and came!"
Such ful sory dole Melusine lad tho,
That body off humayn creature, lo! [ 3764]
Which hir complaint hurd with huge sighes sore,
Ne shold withold fro weping euermore. [ 3766]
Raymounde heuily wrang his handes twain, [ 3767] [Fol. 74]
Such greuaunce toke tho, Almoste gan he dy, *. [Raymond was so grieved at her words that he could say no word himself.]
So was he take with heuy wurdes plain,
That o soule wurde coude not bryng forth truly.
She hym Approched enbrasing swetly, [ 3771]
Page  132 To-geders kyssing thes to Amerous *. [The two kiss each other sadly.]
In o torment ther were both dolorous. [ 3773]
Fvl greuous Anguish in ther hertes loke, [ 3774] *. [They both swoon away,]
That for heuinesse both gan fall to grounde,
zowning ther full long A maner dethis stroke,
Without takyng breth or wynde any stounde.
The Barons trowing Melusine and Raymound [ 3778] *. [and the barons trow they are both dead and cold.]
That thes louers to were both dede and cold;
For long space And tyme such wise gan thai hold,
And when fro zowning that thai came Agane, [ 3781] *. [Recovering from the swoon, they sighed and wrang their hands.]
And that thai myght breth, to sigh be-gan sore,
To waile, to wepe, to sorely complain,
Ther handes wrange And strained euermore,
Non knew the sorow by thaim lade and bore. [ 3785]
Whereof all thay wepte standing ther Aboute *. [All the whole rout who see them weep.]
With teres many, All the ful hole route. [ 3787]
And melusine, to whome was full greuous, [ 3788] *. [Raymond en∣treats Melusine to pardon him,]
Ryght piteously she releued tho.
Raymound hir praid, as man generous,
Ther knelyng, that she hym pardon wolde, lo!
Off hir courtesy, that he hade mysdo; [ 3792]
Which by gret mischefe don gain hir hath he. *. [but she says that this cannot be.]
Thys lady hym saide that it myght not bee, [ 3794]
Hit please ne wold the king celestiall. [ 3795] [Fol. 74 b.]
"But, fair loue! I you here beseche and pray, *. [She bids him es∣pecially think of his son Raynold,]
Thenke on your loue here terrestriall,
your sone Fromount in obliuy put ay,
And in Raynold loke ye thenke Alway, [ 3799]
For of the foreste Erle shall he be, lo! *. [for that he should be Earl of Forest.]
In all goodnesse thenke, And wel shall ye doo.
The Erle of foreste here long shall not byde [ 3802] *. [The Earl of Forest would soon die.]
In this worlde here After my departson,
Page  133 Also will thenke for Thierry prouyde, *. [He is also to pro∣vide for Thierry,]
For yut shall he 1. [MS. "ye." Fr. "Il fera."] doo thynges manyon.
At norish pappes yut is his person; [ 3806]
Fro 2. [MS. "For."] partenay to Rochell the lande shall iustice, *. [who would after∣wards rule the land from Parte∣nay to Rochelle.]
An inly good knight shall he be and wyse. [ 3808]
ANd all which fro hym linially issew, [ 3809] *. [Also Thierry's lineage should be good knights, and long endure.]
Shall be knightes good, hardy, and wurthy,
Full of gud corage and of all uertew,
And his linage shall longe endure truly.
Fair loue, know thys well, that noble Thierry [ 3813]
Wurthy and hardy Also shall he be. *. [She asks Ray∣mond to pray for her,]
I shall thenke on you, swete loue, pray for me
All dais while lif in worle here haue ye. [ 3816]
Off me shall ye haue both ayde and comfort *. [for that she would aid him in all his needs.]
In all your nedes of necessite.
Off aduersite en-gree 3. [MS. "engree."] take the porte. *. [He must bear his adversity well.]
Neuer in femine forme to you shall resorte, [ 3820]
Neuer shall ye se Melusine truly, *. [She must now go.]
That so was wont to hold you company! 4. [At the foot of this page are the catchwords, "innepee she lepte the."] [ 3822]
Innepee she lepte the fenestre vppon, [ 3823] [Fol. 75]
Aboue beheld she uerdures flouresshing; *. [She then leaps upon the window,]
Without taking leue Away wold not gon, *. [but will not yet depart before she has bidden all farewell.]
For the Barons, of whom after shall be speking,
Off lades, damycelles, knightes beyng, [ 3827]
Squiers, And maydens, off all leue toke she,
For whome euery man wepte of pette. [ 3829]
Afterwarde she said, "adieu! sir Raymounde, [ 3830] *. ["Adieu! Sir Ray∣mond, my heart, my sovereign joy, my gentle jewel!]
Whom I so loued with hert Fȳn And plain,
Neuer shall youe se at no day ne stounde.
Adieu, my hert! Adieu, my loue certain!
Page  134 Adieu, creature, my ioy souerain! [ 3834]
Adieu, myn entire loue moste gracious!
Adieu, my gentile Iewell precious! [ 3836]
Adieu, my swete norish And noriture! [ 3837] *. [Adieu! my sweet nurse, my grace,]
Adieu, my plesaunce And gladnesse worly!
Adieu, full meruelous swete creature!
Adieu, my grace! Adieu, my ioyes hy!
Adieu, what that in worle loue moste hertly! [ 3841]
Adieu, the moste good! Adieu, the moste faire! *. [and noblest de∣bonair youngling!]
Adieu, the noblest yongling debonair! [ 3843]
Adieu, the beste! Adieu, swetteste All Aboue! [ 3844] *. [Adieu! my sugar∣sweet sovereign lord!]
Adieu, my gracyous spouce of recorde!
Adieu, I say, myn owne vertuous loue!
Adieu, suete housbonde by louis concord!
Adieu, my sugret suete souerain lorde! [ 3848] *. [To God I com∣mend you, to keep your sweet life.]
Adieu commaunde, my ioy and boldnesse!
Adieu commaunde, your suete lif to drisse. [ 3850]
Adieu, my solas And iewell roiall! [ 3851] [Fol. 75 b.]
Adieu commaunde all peple here, sothlese!
Adieu, lusignen, fourged fair in all; *. [Adieu! Lusignan!]
Adieu, al that which may A lady plese!
Adieu, the gladnesse, mirthes ioy and ese! [ 3855]
Adieu, the suete sound of ech Instrument! *. [And adieu, sweet sounds of instru∣ments!"]
Adieu, I say, disportes reuerent! [ 3857]
Adieu, wurthieste! Adieu, with all honour! [ 3858]
Adieu, my suete loue prented in hert sad!
Our lorde the aide And be thi concellour!"
With-out more spech A lepe ther she made, *. [Thus having said, she leapt out of the window, and so passed away.]
(Seyng the Barons all that ther were had), [ 3862]
Thorught A fenistre so passed and wend
When of hyr wurdes thys had made an ende. [ 3864]
Thourgh the fenistre in such wise gan fle [ 3865]
Melusine without tariing Any.
Page  135 In-to A serpent changed tho was she, *. [She was at once changed wholly into a serpent,]
Of huge grettnesse and lenght was verily,
Wherof all were Astoned strongly; [ 3869]
With siluer and Asure ther burled was, *. [striped with ar∣gent and azure.]
Thys fairy woman such tail gan purchas, [ 3871]
Which presently was become A serpent; [ 3872]
Whereof Raymound bement hir hugely.
Thre tymes the castell enuironee went; *. [Three times she went round the castle, uplifting a loud cry at every turn.]
At euery tour A ssounde yaf she hyly,
Wonder meruelous cast she vp A cry [ 3876]
Full strange vnto hire, And ryght piteuous,
Hyr cry full heuy, wonder dolorous. [ 3878]
Which I writte is trouth, therof ly no thyng. [ 3879] [Fol. 76]
She thens forth went, vnto the air gan fle. *. [This that I write is truth; I lie not.]
Ther hir lost Raymound, "Alas!" lowde crying,
Ful moche complained And ther wailed he.
Hys heres 1. [MS. "heree."] faste drew, sore hir bement, parde, [ 3883] *. [Raymond tears his hair and curses his hour of birth.]
Cursing the houre that euer he was born̄,
Raymound, out fro wit for wo almoste lorn̄, [ 3885]
In 2. [MS. "Iln."] hy shill uois the Barons said before, [ 3886]
"Adieu, my lady, with heres yowlownesse! 3. [MS. "yow lowneffe."]
Adieu, all debonerte for euermore!
Adieu, I say you, my fair suete maistresse! *. ["Adieu!" he cries, "my fair mistress, my joy, my goods, and my surety!]
Adieu, my ioy, my grace, And my richesse! [ 3890]
Adieu, my goodes and all my surete!
Adieu commaunde, all the disporte of me. [ 3892]
Adieu, my iewell! Adieu, my solas! [ 3893] *. [Adieu! my jewel, my sweet flower!]
Adieu, you say, my lady preciouse!
Adieu, the fair whilom the prise gan purchas!
Adieu, my wife! Adieu, my trew spouse!
Adieu, my lady verray graciouse! [ 3897]
Adieu, I you say, my full doucet floure!
Adieu, my lady of full gret valoure! [ 3899]
Page  136
Adieu, suete throte of soundes clerenesse! [ 3900]
Adieu, fair Rose! Adieu, violet 1. [MS. "violent."] also! *. [Adieu! fair rose, fair violet!]
Adieu, the tree of louers feithfulnesse!
Adieu, I say my gentile lady vnto.
Adieu, my glory! Adieu, my ioy, lo! [ 3904]
Adieu, the fair that so hath loued me!
My goode days gon, shall I neuer you se." [ 3906]
Ryght this Raymounde bewaled and bement [ 3907] [Fol. 76 b.]
his noble wife, for whom felt dolour,
Which thorugh the Air hir flight tho hent,
Wherefor he hath A sory hert þat houre.
"Alas!" Raymound said, "wat do shall or labour? *. [What shall I now do? Never had man such sorrow!]
For certes I haue sorow ynow at hert,
Neuer man had at the full so smert. [ 3913]
FOrwhy shold I noght be A plain man, [ 3914]
yff I fele at hert noysaunce mondiall?
Hit to declare good reson if I can,
For the diche haue made wheron now I fall. *. [I myself made the ditch wherein I now fall;]
Now Am I Acursed, to wo am made thrall, [ 3918]
Now I am dolorous And full pensiffe *. [now am I sadder than any 'ghost' alive."]
More then Any goste felt in his life." [ 3920]
But ther had he A noble company, [ 3921] *. [His barons com∣fort him,]
Which full gentilly gan hym to comforth,
And many hym said And shewed hertly,
That thay hym wold gladly recomfort,
That softly shold bere that dolorous port, [ 3925] *. [and bid him bear his burden softly.]
Many examples to hym exort said,
Causyng sumwhat lesse hys sorow þat braid. [ 3927]
After hym said A sensible Baron̄, [ 3928] *. [A baron advises him]
"Of your son horrible behouith, lo!
Page  137 To ordain As ordained to be don̄ *. [to slay Horrible, as Melusine sug∣gested.]
Melusine, when concell you gaffe vnto.
Anon þat men shold make hym to deth go, [ 3932]
Or perish he wold the contre and grounde."
"My lordes present," ther tham said Raymounde,
"YOu beseche And pray tary noght ne bide, [ 3935] [Fol. 77]
As therof do ye hir commaundment; *. [Raymond com∣mands them to do so,]
So he be dede, I charge not how no tyde."
"To plesire, And will do all your entent;"
Thay wold no lenger ther tary, but forth went. [ 3939] *. [and they depart to find him.]
Raymound, which strongly wroth angry was
For thys sorowfull And mischeuous cas, [ 3941]
Wich that ceason conquered was and gett, [ 3942]
As A sory man thens gan he remew, *. [Raymond retreats into a chamber alone,]
Into A chambre ther made he retret,
hit unshit entring, the dore after drew,
Ther lamentacion be-gan he of-new [ 3946] *. [and there renews his lamentation.]
In this said chambre ther, all soule, alon̄.
No more of Raymound, but passe forth and gon̄,
Off the Barons hy say shall of contre. [ 3949]
Full sensible were, inly wyse and sage,
Orrible toke by on Assent and gre, *. [The barons shut Horrible up in a cave,]
In A caue hym shitte with-out othir damage,
Off moisty hay made bring to thys uiage, [ 3953] *. [fill the entrance with moist hay, and set fire to it,]
The fire put with-in, so with fumy smoke
Was the caue Anon full As myght be stoke. [ 3955]
Then loste horribel both breth and power, [ 3956] *. [so that he was soon stifled.]
Stifled he was Anon with smoky fume sure.
After thay hym put into A faire bere, *. [Then they put him into a fair bier, and buried him nobly.]
Nobly beried, hauing sepulture.
The obsequie 1. [MS. "obfequire."] don̄ And compleshed pure [ 3960]
Page  138 After the wurdes And noble doctrine,
As lored and thaught had good Melusine. [ 3962]
Entered in church, non for hym can mourn̄, [ 3963] [Fol. 77 b.]
After vnto god thay hym commaundyng, *. [They then com∣mend him to God,]
Fro-thens departed without other sogourn̄; *. [depart, and return to Raymond.]
Again to Raymounde were thay retornyng,
Which dolorous wo At hert was feling, [ 3967]
With eyes sore wepte he in mornyng plite,
A man can ne may hys sory dole write. [ 3969]
MAny tymes ofte, "my swete loue," sayng, [ 3970] *. [Raymond again laments, saying,]
"The haue disceiued And betrayed, lo!
By the exort of vntrew man makyng, *. ["It was all through my cousin that I became a for∣sworn man.]
Al this me hath made my cosin to doo.
I Am by hym fals And als forsworne to, [ 3974]
Ful of vice am and of Iniury;
For ill chaunce me fell unfortunatly [ 3976]
At my firste gynnyng And commencement, [ 3977] *. [I was unfortunate at first, when I slew my sovereign lord;]
When in the wode my souerain lord sly.
A gretter mischef neuer men gan hent,
And sithen when me sewed periury *. [and, secondly, when I was false to my lady.]
Off that I had sworn̄ to my fayr lady, [ 3981]
That so loued, by whom good and honour had,
By whom I was susteyned and lord made; [ 3983]
By whom all goodnes me cam suffisantly, [ 3984]
By whom, vnder god, lif had and comforth.
But the Fals fortune, by cruel enuy, *. [False fortune's cruel envy has brought me to this, whereby I have lost all my riches,]
Me hath brought to thys full sharpe & hard port,
Wherby 1. [MS. "Bherby."] loste haue I all my hole disport, [ 3988]
Where like-wise loste my mirth and gladnesse,
Wherby Also lost my hole rychesse; [ 3990]
Page  139
Wherby loste haue I yoy of eternite; [ 3991] [Fol. 78]
That is, Melusine the fair suete wyght, *. [and eternal joy.]
Whom I loued wel, As myself, parde;
She allwais loued me with hert parfight, *. [Melusine always loved me;]
And the dede thereof shewid she to ryght. [ 3995]
In time togeders we haue be ensemble, *. [my heart trembles with pity.]
Where-of of pete my hert doth trimble; [ 3997]
When I bethenke the trouth and verite, [ 3998]
Therof shold I well haue gret pite,
And so shall I haue all the lif of me,
Of whom holdeth he to non end shall go.
I luf better to dy for euermo [ 4002] *. [I had rather die for evermore than suffer so grievous pain.]
Then for to suffer so greuous A pain
vntill so be that ende shall attain. [ 4004]
Full cruell pain I haue, but yut shall not end, [ 4005] *. [My sorrow will never end till I die.]
Ne yut shall not ende Al myn ille truly
Till I diffynid be, and fro 1. [MS. "for."] the worle wend.
Time is for I may no lenger fructefy
As in thys worle, neither edefy [ 4009]
Thyng but that it goth vnto decline,
Rather or later to an endly fine. [ 4011]
FOr Melusine, whom god do warde and kepe, [ 4012] *. [For so Melusine told me."]
Me ther said full well at hir departson,
Which causith my sorow in hert part and lepe."
Parcelly, As the heres of eyes don,
With teres makyng sprancles manyon, [ 4016]
Ryght so is Raymound tormented full sore, *. [Raymond is sore tormented.]
Sore wepyng, teres making euermore [ 4018]
FOr Melusine, the woman off Fary, [ 4019] [Fol. 78 b.]
Which thar-after cam full many A nyght *. [But Melusine came often by night into]
Page  140 Into the chambre right full secrely 1. [MS. "secerly."]*. [Thierry's cham∣ber, and often dressed and fed him.]
Wher norished was Terry suetly to ryght,
That she Full ofte hym raid and dight, [ 4023]
Chaufed, milked, And rechaufed Again. *. [She was often seen by the nurses,]
Ther many tymes by the norish sain, [ 4025]
But thay durste noght in no wise vp-rise, [ 4026]
Neither o soule wurde to outre or say,
But vnto ther lord told the maner wise, *. [who told Ray∣mond of it, to his great joy.]
Wherof Raymond had full huge ioy alway.
In hys hert said with softe vois that day, [ 4030]
"That yut Melusine hope and trust to haue;"
Full ill in hys breste such thoughtes gan craue.
VAnishede is she fro hys syght for ay, [ 4033]
Remedy non, gold, siluer, ne honour.
Thierry cherished Amendid Alway, *. [Thierry grew more in one month than other babes in four,]
(Men merueled gretly off it that hour),
In a moneth more then other in four. [ 4037]
Hys swet moder on hym such wyse thought, *. [but it was due to his mother's nursing.]
Norished with hir milke And forth full wel brought. [ 4039]
OFte in his fader chambyr she was; [ 4040] *. [She was often, too, in his father's chamber.]
To norish no pappe like moders neuer-mo,
As beforn̄ is said, ho many it purchas.
here cesse I and leue now, ferther will not goo *. [I must now leave speaking of Raymond,]
Off wofull Raymounde And hys sones two, [ 4044]
here thys time not say vnto your presence,
But vnto declare will do my diligens [ 4046]
Off Gaffray with long toth you outre And say. [ 4047] [Fol. 79]
Where I ly or no, god knowith An-hy; *. [and tell you about Geoffrey. Remember that I am not lying.]
I lerned it noght certes at no day;
A lier to be founde shame were outerly.
Page  141 Gaffray went noght ouer taryinly, [ 4051] *. [Geoffrey sailed swiftly on,]
Thorugh the se went, ouer pase rowing,
By fors of people so forth ther failling. [ 4053]
HE tho ariued And taried noght [ 4054] *. [and reached Northumberland, where the giant made war.]
In norbelande, sesing both land and ground,
Where this Geant were procured and wrought.
And when Gaffray discended was þat stound,
The Baron̄s bode noght, gain hym went hole & sound, *. [The barons come to greet him,] [ 4058]
Grettest and wurthiest of the said contre,
Comyng to hym, with-out excused to be. [ 4060]
The gret, the meene, the litell, soth to tell, [ 4061] *. [both great and small.]
Approched And cam to hym, gret and small.
A gret Baron then, witty were and fell, *. [A baron tells him how their country was enthralled by that fierce, huge, troublesome, and proud giant.]
Ther hym rehersing the Geant dedes All,
Ther liberte loste, ther contre made thrall [ 4065]
With that fers Geant huge and comerous,
Horrible, myghty, strong, And orgulous. [ 4067]
IN A iournay, to certefy you all, [ 4068] *. [In one day he slew a hundred knights,]
An hundered knightes of this said contre
Distroed and slain, put to deth mortall.
So orgulous sette, full of cruelte,
Gret uengaunce gan do to the comynte; [ 4072]
As cursedly sly A thousand As on, *. [and could as soon slay a thousand as one.]
The st[r]engest mortal eschew wold hys person.
GAffray Answered, "then is he a Fend, 1. [MS. "affend."] [ 4075] [Fol. 79 b.]
A dredful deuill full of cruelte. *. [Geoffrey answer∣ed, "Then is he a fiend, but nevertheless I will soon destroy him.]
But noght-for-that fro hym me will diffende,
By me sonly distroed shall he be.
hys byding-place shewith unto me, [ 4079]
Page  142 For non othir cause comyn Am this houre, *. [I must find this soldier.]
But only to fynde this said soudiour, [ 4081]
Which so goth Aboute, you sore distrussand. [ 4082]
This knoith uerily, ill shall he betide *. [He shall fare ill ere seven weeks pass.]
Or wekes seuyn ben passed to comaunde.
Do me vnto take here som maner gide, *. [Provide me a guide, that I may see him to discomfit him."]
To this place and stede me conuey to ride, [ 4086]
So I may hym se for to discomfight."
As he desired, like gan to hym dight, [ 4088]
A gide hym taken, knowing the contre, [ 4089] *. [Geoffrey takes a debonair guide,]
With all the places where-to gan repair,
Where this Geant was wont dwellyng to be,
hys habitacion And mancion fair.
Such A gide hym toke which was debonare, [ 4093]
After hym commaunde to our lordes grace. *. [and commends himself to God.]
Gaffray went thens, departing fro þat place. [ 4095]
HE And hys gide Apace forth riding, [ 4096] *. [He and his guide at last spy the giant under a tree,]
Till that on full hy thai gan well Auise,
Both of tham faste ther coursers sporing;
Then ny approched, Aboute gan deuise.
Vnder A tre sate this Geant in strange wise; [ 4100]
On a marbre stone at that ceason satte; *. [sitting on a marble stone.]
The Gide for gret drede trembled and swatte. [ 4102]
HE sore Abasshed, changing his colour. [ 4103] [Fol. 80]
Gaffray it saw, and gan to laugh sad; *. [The guide is frightened. Geoffrey laughs at him, and says he has not been misled.]
After in laughter saide to hys Gidour,
As for ryght noght drede and fere he 1. [MS. "the."] hade,
For thought should not mistriste god to be mislad.
"Good be in pees," said to Gaffray the gide, *. [The guide wishes to be off,]
"Behofull is me to uoide and go wide. [ 4109]
Page  143
FOr all richesse and gold worly being, [ 4110]
More nerre wold approche noght this said montain,
Ne lenger with you be here sogernyng,
Sin to you haue I shewed here certain *. [as he has shown him Grimold the giant; and he assures Geoffrey that re∣maining there is no jape.]
Grimold the Geant most meruelous plain. [ 4114]
Sir Gaffray," he said, "here this is no iape,
To god you commaunde, me will hens fast scape."
Gaffray laughed faste, after to hym said, [ 4117] *. [Geoffrey laughs, and asks him to remain and see the battle,]
For all loues desired and besought,
A litell while bide hertly hym praid,
That he wold behold what wise that thai fought.
"For in litell space knowlich shold be wrought [ 4121] *. [which will be soon decided.]
As ho of us to the better shold haue,
And at this iournay ho hym best can saue." [ 4123]
This gide answered, "no charge of your bataill, [ 4124] *. [The guide says he does not care to see it.]
you gided haue to point, lenger will noght bide;
yff ye win, no part wil ne to myn auaill.
Fro 1. [MS. "For."] you will depart, Again wil I ride."
Gaffray therof laughed suetly that tide, [ 4128] *. [Geoffrey laughs sweetly, and again begs him to wait till]
Then to the gide said, "now vnderstande me,
In thys place abide vnto that ye see [ 4130]
Ho bering hym best and ho better haue; [ 4131] [Fol. 80 b.]
That sain And don, torn my men vnto. *. [he sees who gets the best of it.]
Without Any doubte yut may ye go saue, *. [He can then return and tell the others.]
Our Army dedes declare, all we doo,
And al my gouernaunce telling thaim also." [ 4135]
Then hym said the gide, "do shall your entent, *. [The guide con∣sents,]
My lord, I am at your commaundement. [ 4137]
Page  144
DEliuerly to hym ye procede, [ 4138] *. [but declares he is in great dread,]
Assured am noght, ne haue hert non bold.
Of verray trouth I haue such fere and drede
Of this horrible fende, Geant Grimold, *. [and that if Geof∣frey knew the giant as well as he did, he would think twice about it.]
That almoste my herte faillith lif to hold, [ 4142]
And if ye knew hym lik-wise As I doo,
Auised wold ye be or to hym wold goo." [ 4144]
GAffray answerd, "of hym haue ye no doute; [ 4145] *. [But Geoffrey promises that the giant shall die.]
Grimold here shal dy, no-while shall endure."
But yut Gaffray shall fynd hym stoute,
Ful strong was Grimold in werly scomfiture.
Our lord Gaffray gyf aid and 1. ["werly" is repeated after "and."] conforture. [ 4149] *. [Now our Lord aid him.]
Nedfull was to hym at that ceason ryght
More then euer had Any other knight, [ 4151]
Which swerd gan bere or garde with Any. [ 4152]
For 2. [MS. "Fo."] A thousande or mo of contre *. [Grimold had, singly, slain a thousand or more men.]
Grimold the Geant slain had he sowly.
Where-for peple had wonderly to se
huge heuinesse And gret iniquite. [ 4156]
Neuer wurse man sain, truly to rehers, *. [Never was there a worse man seen.]
For meruelous was in dedes diuers. [ 4158]
Then Gaffray hasted, A horsebacke ryding, [ 4159] [Fol. 81]
The montain gan take, leuing the ualay, *. [Geoffrey mounts, leaves the valley, and rides up the mountain,]
Which that vppon was A fantain walling,
leuing the medew And the playnes ay.
Als the gide lefte ther in that place alway; [ 4163] *. [leaving the guide below.]
God wold not þat ill Grimold shold hym doo,
Which so was to doubte in euery stour tho. [ 4165]
GAffray on hym toke vp go the montain; [ 4166] *. [Grimold, perceiv∣ing Geoffrey,]
Grimold perceiued it, moch gan he meruaill
Page  145 That O soule man greithed hym to attain, *. [wonders how one sole man dare come to assail him,]
As to that place come hym For to assaill,
Sayng hym wold hate without any faill. [ 4170]
But when in musing A litell had be, *. [but the thinks he must be coming to propose a peace.]
he said, "this worthy man cometh to me [ 4172]
HEre, As I beleue, for to trete A pees." [ 4173]
The path went he up wonder bustesly.
"Off fine fors," thought he, "moste speke, not tonge lese, *. [Grimold says he shall soon go down again.]
Such on entreth vp, don shall hastily."
A huge leuer toke in handes plainly, [ 4177] *. [Then he takes in his hands a huge lever,]
To sight semyng noght no body humain.
hym with for to aide, this leuer shoke plain [ 4179]
In such maner wise As man A staf wold, [ 4180] *. [which he uses as a staff, or as a little child would a stick.]
Or A lytell body of sixe or sef 1. [MS. "of fef."] yere age,
And better then, I say, seff 2. [MS. "feff."] tymes fold
As a proper staf to walk in viage.
For the which after his strenght & corage, [ 4184] *. [Without gain∣saying, the staff was huge,]
Ryght noght is to syght with-say again,
But that the stafe 3. [MS. "staste."] was more then Any sain, [ 4186]
Which lightly ne wold to bow ne aply. [ 4187] [Fol. 81 b.]
yut it behouith that A staf ply shold *. [and could not easily be bent.]
To the pley of such at som tyme truly,
When in his handes this stafe gan to hold.
Seing that Gaffray towarde hym come wold, [ 4191] *. [Seeing Geoffrey coming, he cries aloud, "How comest thou here?]
In shill hautain uois toke hym lowde to cry,
"how comest thou now me As to diffy? [ 4193]
What art thou, say me, what gost thou to seke? *. [Thou shalt have no warrant from death."]
Off deth no warant neuer shalt thou haue."
Gaffray anon An Answere oute gan breke,
Page  146 "Therof shall the wern̄; Rebaude, loke the saue; *. [Geoffrey answers, "Ribald, look that thou save thyself; I shall smite off thy head."]
For to scomfite the souly I the craue. [ 4198]
Off thi hed shall smite; dy shalt thou by me
Mortally Anon, now here diffynde the, [ 4200]
The unto warant, certes, thou ne may." [ 4201]
Grymold, this hiring, to[ke] 1. [Fr. text, "si prent a rire."] hym to laugh tho. *. [Grimold, hearing this, began to laugh, and ironically asks Geoffrey to spare his life.]
Ther hym said Grymold, "you beseche and pray,
Fair sir, saue my life, lete me on-lif go,
Taking this peple to ranson also!" [ 4205]
Geffray vnderstode, "cherle!" said hastily, *. [But Geoffrey sternly replies,]
"Scornest thou with me? certes thou shalt dy!
HEre lo! shalt thou dy; I limite thi place, [ 4208] *. [that he trusts to rend his head to the teeth.]
Neuer Ranson take shall I to thy charge;
But don̄ to the teeth the shall rent by grace."
Ther had was A place, inly gret And large.
Gaffray that tyme, enbrasing shild and targe, [ 4212] *. [Geoffrey braces on his shield, and shakes his spear, being no coward.]
By malice And wreth his spere Faste he shoke,
his coursere spored, no fentise on hym toke, [ 4214]
FOr noble loos And prowesse to acquire. [ 4215] [Fol. 82]
With the FOrhed plain gain hym went, & smote *. [Riding straight at the giant, he deals him such a blow that only his steel hauberk saved him.]
Enmyddes the brest under the pappe with yre.
Such A stroke hym dalt ther vppon hys cote,
Ne had the hauberke smal mail be, god wote, [ 4219]
Als hys brest of stile, ille hym hade come sure;
For Grimold ther was at ille auenture. [ 4221]
NOght-for-that yut vppon the hard ground [ 4222] *. [Grimold fell on the ground,]
Tombled Grimold enmeddes the mountain,
Page  147 hys legges reised up an-hy that stound, *. [throwing up his legs.]
Wher-with Grimold was strongly greued plain.
Full wightly tho releued hym sertain, [ 4226] *. [But soon he got up again, while Geoffrey alights]
In hys hert gan fele full dolorous woo.
That Gaffray this saw, ther discended tho [ 4228]
That hys hors shold noght myscheuously sle, [ 4229] *. [that his horse may not be killed under him.]
As vnder hym to mortall deth noght cast.
Grimold the Geant, lenger bode noght he,
But vp hym Reised, Gaffray beheld faste 1. [MS. "safte."]; *. [Grimold looks at Geoffrey, and in wonder asks his name.]
So but litell saw hym don to thraste, [ 4233]
Als in so litell body such uertew,
Ther hym demaunding, "what art thou? say trew,
That such a stroke me toke? neuer felt such on, [ 4236] *. [He says he never threw his limbs up like that before,]
My lemys so cast vp; yut know I noght the
Wherehens thou art, ne what is thy person.
But off the me uenge shamed shall I be; *. [yet he is ashamed to revenge him∣self,]
And yut, so I am; but yut, say thou me, [ 4240]
What thou art me say, I the here require; *. [and again asks his name.]
No gentill knyght art but graunt my desire." [ 4242]
GAffray Answerd to [t]hys baculere, 2. [MS. "baiulere."] [ 4243] [Fol. 82 b.]
"My name wil not hide by ryght non engine; *. [Geoffrey answered this bachelor,]
Gaffray with the gret toth named am awhere,
In many contres know the name of myne;
For I Am Gaffray, sone to Melusine, [ 4247] *. ["I am Geoffrey of Lusignan, Melusine's son."]
Off lusignen borne of þat good lady,
And of lusignen, know thou wel, am I." [ 4249]
When thys had spoken vnto hym Gaffray, [ 4250]
The Geant hym said, "I know the full well; *. [The giant says that he knows him now,]
Full moch haue I hurd spokyn of the aday,
And of thy gret prowesse eueridell.
Page  148 Guedon thou slyest, my cosyn, soth to tell, [ 4254] *. [for that he had slain Guedon his cousin, for which he will now pay him off.]
In guerrande lande; thy guerdon for to haue,
To this place ert come it to speke and craue. [ 4256]
Hit shalt thou haue by fors of myghty were, [ 4257]
For of that shall I here now take vengance."
he trowed say trouth, but lied more nerre. *. [The giant thought he was speaking truth, but he was nearer lying. Geoffrey tells him that desire of revenge will increase his hurt.]
Gaffray hym said, "trowyng this instance,
Such supposse to uenge ther huge shame perschance,
Which ofte cressith hurt, men may wel it se,
In sondry places conceyued may be." [ 4263]
Thys cruell Geant ne myght hym withhold [ 4264] *. [The giant strikes at Geoffrey with his lever, but]
When so hym saw scorn, his leuer haused hy,
Gaffray to smite trowyng tho he shold.
Apart Gaffray uoided full warly, *. [Geoffrey blenches,]
Somwhat blent, the stroke so forth passyng by, [ 4268]
With hym noght mette; the leuer don̄ to ground *. [and the lever makes a great hole in the rock.]
With-in the Roche made A grett depe trowe þat stounde; [ 4270]
For it throwen was wonder bustesly, [ 4271]
And with such rudesse gan it to discend, [Fol. 83]
That A plain fote large the roche tare strangely. *. [It tears the rock a foot deep.]
Gaffray hys swerd drew hym for to diffend,
On the elbow 1. [MS. "ellow."] the Geant smote at end, [ 4275] *. [Geoffrey lends the giant a stroke on the elbow.]
Such a stroke hym lent, to full huge maruell,
That of the hauberk brek many a maill; [ 4277]
Fvll litell fauted, fouled had noght be. [ 4278]
The vermail blode don̄ ryn wonderly, *. [The grass round about becomes red.]
The herbes Aboute becam 2. [MS. "becan."] red to se.
This fers Geant tho to Gaffray cam wightly, *. [The giant again raises his lever.]
With full malice yre And cruell enuy [ 4282]
Page  149 The gret leuer reised vp and hy brought;
Full heuy was, but it greuyd hym noght; [ 4284]
GAffray thought smite, but he uoyded place. [ 4285] *. [Geoffrey again blenches, and the stroke tears the ground three feet deep,]
Ther the stroke fill don thre foote in-to grounde,
So in harde roche smote he ther apace;
Whereof the Geant was full wroth that stounde.
With that stroke his arme Astoned tho founde, [ 4289] *. [so that the giant finds his arm stunned and his lever broken.]
And thys said leuer to-rent thorughly,
And Amidward broken outerly; [ 4291]
Wherof Gaffray thankes to godd yilding. [ 4292] *. [Then Geoffrey shows his strength,]
Ther Gaffray hym smot with hys swerd full faste,
Hys grett strenght And fors ther manly shewing,
An-hy hym smoth vppon the scul in haste, *. [and smites the giant a grievous stroke on the skull.]
The Geant with that stroke Almoste don̄ caste; [ 4296]
To whome þat stripe was greuous manyfold.
For sorow And wo An-hy hys hand gan hold, [ 4298]
GAffray forthwith smote vppon the hed an-hy; [ 4299] [Fol. 83 b.]
Off that greuous stroke Gaffray greued sore. *. [Next the giant smites Geoffrey on the head,]
The Geant his fuste lete to fle strongly;
Gaffray with his swerd smote hym euermore, *. [but Geoffrey returns him a marvellous stroke on the shoulder, which rends both hauberk and mail.]
To whom belonged fight in knightly lore, [ 4303]
Vppon hys shuldre A stroke gaffe of meruell
That he rent and brak both hauberke & maill.
Plain pawme of hande the swerde made entre; [ 4306] *. [The giant, severely wounded,]
The sanguine blode don̄ ran the belay,
Anon all made purpurat rede to se.
Thys Geant, of whom we declare and say,
hys goddys 1. [MS. "goodys."] corsed, hys goddys gan renay, [ 4310] *. [curses his gods and abjures them, both Magot, Apolin, and Tervagant.]
Enlesse thei 2. [MS. "ther."] wold gif hym Aid 3. [MS. "And."] or socour,
Both Margot, polin, Bernagant that houre, [ 4312]
Page  150
MAhounde, Iupiter, And als other mo; [ 4313]
hym-selfen bement sorily expresse. *. [But his great wailing was useless.]
But for ryght noght was his gret waling tho;
But Gaffray at end his wil shal redresse, *. [Geoffrey will conquer at last, but will have much trouble first.]
Noght only anon but er þat he cesse, [ 4317]
But yut shall he haue I-now anguisse grete,
Er the victory be conquere[d] and gette. 1. [See line 3942.] [ 4319]
The Geant saw come towarde hym Gaffray, [ 4320] *. [The giant leaps at Geoffrey, and grips him fast by the reins,]
Adrad, afferd of hym was gretly.
Anon forth lepte, enbrasing hym alway,
Teryng, drawyng here and there besily,
As he which was takyn cursidly. [ 4324]
Gaffray gripte he there faste by the raynes, *. [and they wrestle together.]
Ech of thaim both suffryng there hug paynes [ 4326]
That thay almost loste ther breth outerly. [ 4327] [Fol. 84]
Strongly went Aboute, so fast hurteling; *. [They hurtle, beat, and pull each other till they at last separate,]
Il to-geders went As were egally,
Such wyse hurteling, beting, and drawyng
That fro other sondred escaping. [ 4331]
Atwixste thaim yeuen many strokis tho, *. [and then Geoffrey smites him on the haunch]
And Gaffray hym smote vppon the hanche so
Wyth A costile which in hys sleffe gan hold, [ 4334] *. [with a knife which he held in his sleeve, piercing through his coat of mail.]
that his Iesseron failed and breke to,
Thorewly passyng the costile-yre cold;
Hastily the blode lepte out and ran tho.
The Geant bakwarde lepyng Gaffray fro, [ 4338]
Ther-thens spedfully takyng the montain. *. [The giant flees for his life.]
Gaffray hasted after, hym to attain, [ 4340]
TO take leue of hym, but faste he gan fle; [ 4341] *. [The giant enters a chine of the rock,]
In litell time and space ferre was he thens.
In A chine of the Roch made he entry,
Page  151 For gret doubte had of Gaffrayes uiolens. *. [being greatly afraid.]
Gaffray sory that uoided was ther-hens, [ 4345]
Thys cruell Geant whom he so had loste, *. [Geoffrey mourns that he has lost him,]
To hys coursere cam, lepte vp, made no boste,
TO hys gide went, declaryng hym and told, [ 4348] *. [but returns to his guide, and tells him all the story.]
Fro worde to worde, All thar werke indede,
like As thay had don̄; And how this Geant bold
Thens into a caue 1. [MS. "came," altered to "cauee."] fled for fere and drede,
Within the quike roche for all hys manlyhed. [ 4352]
The gide vnto hym approched full ny, *. [The guide marvels strongly,]
Which there wondred and merueled strongly, [ 4354]
HOw that Gaffray had such hug hardinesse. [ 4355] [Fol. 84 b.]
Hys 2. [MS. "hyis."] helme wasted sore, rent And broken all, *. [beholding how Geoffrey's helm was broken, and how full his hauberk was of holes.]
And hys hauberke disma[i]lled all expresse,
In many places holes gret And small.
The gide said, "so god me aid eternall, [ 4359]
I perceiue full well And ryght certanly, *. [He compliments Geoffrey.]
That Gaffray is full of prowesse and hardy." [ 4361]
COmyng thay saw of peple gret fusion, [ 4362] *. [Many nobles approach,]
Many nobles with other of contre,
As sone As the dede vnderstode Anon,
Demaundyng suetly of Gaffray the fre *. [and ask Geoffrey his name, and whence he came.]
Wat was his name? and thaim declared he. [ 4366]
And after thay had demaunded hys name,
Then whens he was, off wat renon & fame, [ 4368]
And that to tham wold the verray trouth say, [ 4369] *. [One of the barons addresses him,]
(For fain wold thay know, And he all tham told).
On of the Barons then said, "lord, you pray
Page  152 here vnderstandeth what you shall vnfold;
Be ye in certain, for all worly gold [ 4373] *. [and tells him the giant will not re∣turn to fight him for any worldly wealth,]
Thys cruel Geant, (that god hym confound!)
Again you will noght retorn at no stound, [ 4375]
WEl knowen is hym he shuld nought escape [ 4376] *. [for that he knows he is predestined to die by Geof∣frey's hand.]
Fro your handes twain, yf he were in hold;
That his mortall deth labour wold and shape,
For so is hym predestinat 1. [MS. "perdeftinat."] of old."
"By the Trynite," said Gaffray the bold, [ 4380] *. [Geoffrey declares he will never de∣part till he finds him.]
"Fro contre shall I neuer, lo! departe
Till that I hym finde by som maner art." [ 4382]
"My lorde," said on of thaim, "beth noght in doute; [Fol. 85]
This montain wheron this Geant is truly *. [One of the barons tells him that the mountain is enchanted,]
Full of the fairy is it all aboute.
The noble helmas, king of Albany, *. [and that the noble Helmas, king of Albany, was en∣closed therein with his three daughters,]
With hys doughtres thre ther was verily [ 4387]
Enclosed with-in, nawhere myght issew,
By such werkes wroughten incongrew, [ 4389]
FOr that there moder, the lady presine, [ 4390] *. [because he had wilfully beheld their mother in child-bed,]
lying in gesian wilfully had sain;
Which hym diffended that by non engine,
Vppon this diffence that she hym made plain.
Noght-withstandyng went to se hir dedes solain, [ 4394] *. [after distinctly promising he would not do so.]
Which therof with hir made had couenaunt
Goyng ne comyng to hir wold noght haunt, [ 4396]
As toward hyr whyle in gesian lay; [ 4397] *. [She had at that time three fair daughters.]
Wher if so gan do, at end mischef shold.
With doughtres fair in lay she that day,
Thys ioly lady, presine, to behold, *. [This fair lady's name was Pre∣sine,]
Doughtres thre had childed and vnfold. [ 4401]
Page  153 helmas forsworn, periured, and comerd to, *. [and Helmas had made her the above promise;]
The couenaunt hold with presine made tho [ 4403]
FOr-soth he failled; wherthorugh he lost [ 4404] *. [but he failed to keep it,]
Presine hys lady, As after shall hyre;
hyt declare And 1. [MS. "Ant."] tell shall my wersom gost.
With thes doughters thre he closed entire, *. [and he and his three daughters were enclosed in the mountain.]
For ther moder lost, the soth to acquire. [ 4408]
In this hy montain shitte up were thay tho,
Neuer was knowen to what place were goo. [ 4410]
FOr-sothe helmas neuer issued oute; [ 4411] [Fol. 85 b.]
Ther were thay shitte vp fro þat heder-to. *. [Ever since a huge giant had been their warden,]
But in this montain, without any doute,
hath euer sith be an hug Geant, loo!
Wardain, with meruelous ouercomyng so [ 4415]
That men ne durst noght it to approche ny. *. [and (till Geoffrey's coming) there had never been a man]
Tyll your comyng now no man sain truly, [ 4417]
But that this Geant put to deth mortall; [ 4418] *. [whom the giant had not slain when they fought together.]
So was he myghty and meruelous stronge.
This contre hath he put to mischef all,
Our kyng which we hild moste chefe vs Among
litell hath fro hym deffended our wrong. [ 4422] *. [All of them had been forced to yield to Grimold the giant.]
To grimold vs hath of Fors made yilding,
Euermore sithen that helmas our king [ 4424]
INto such felowship was put and caste. [ 4425]
Thys Grymold is the fifte Geant found, *. [Grimold was the fifth, the sixth, or perhaps the seventh of these wardens who had made war abound to all men.]
The sixte, or the sefth of thaim hath be last,
Wasting thys contre both the lande and ground,
To All men making werre full habound [ 4429]
Vnto the time of your blessed comyng,
The which ben welcome to vs here beyng." [ 4431]
Page  154
When that Gaffray hurd thes new nouels told, [ 4432] *. [When Geoffrey heard the news,]
Full good and fair bene thes tydinges truly.
Ther A gret oth made As man inly bold, *. [he took an oath that he would die as a recreant or else discomfit the giant.]
Aforn thaim present to all openly,
That he wold be dede ful recreantly [ 4436]
Or discomfite wold this cruell Geant;
He doubted no-thyng, the man so pusant. [ 4438]
The night passed, the fair day appering, [ 4439] [Fol. 86]
Aforne thes Barons full twenty and mo *. [Next day Geof∣frey leapt on his courser,]
Gaffray wightly on hys coursere leping,
The Geant neuer doubted for no wo.
leue toke, after went vp the montain tho; [ 4443] *. [and went up the mountain spurring him nimbly.]
Full gret pain he had to go vp an-hy;
Hys coursere sporing that ceason wightly, [ 4445]
That to the Roche cam, so spored and smote. [ 4446]
Tournyng enuyron, the hole perceyuinge, *. [Perceiving the hole in the rock where the giant entered,]
Auised and knew, well gan it to note
That thys huge Geant ther had made entring.
Fro hys coursere don̄ Anon ther leping, [ 4450] *. [he descended and looked in;]
A-foote discended, in-warde gan behold.
But to see within ne myght noght be 1. [MS. "he."] told; [ 4452]
NO thyng he saw more then in a ouen he. [ 4453] *. [but saw no more than he would in an oven. "I wonder," says he, "how he got in, seeing he is so wondrously 'cor∣poral,' much more than I am.]
Gaffray tho said, "Astoned am in all
Wherby the Geant now here passed be,
Sin þat gret thikke is, wonder corporall,
Moche more then I am fourged personall. [ 4457]
I knaw well that here or there entre made,
Noght that way, but this, ran he full sad. [ 4459]
SE here now the place where he made entre, [ 4460] *. [See here the cave.]
Se here now the caue, without Any doute,
Where thys Geant entred in to se;
Page  155 Thys is the gret Roche openly all-oute, *. [This is the great rock wherein the cave is hewn,]
Where grene grasse hath non̄ growing there Aboute.
The caue was hewin within large and brode *. [and it is big enough inside.]
So As he myght ren without any bode. [ 4466]
FOr he was full huge, moche gretter then I ame. [ 4467] [Fol. 86 b.]
But, so iesu crist me warde fro noisaunce,
Whatsomeuer approch me of grame, *. [Whatever hap∣pens, I will seek him inside."]
Me wil not withold by no gouernaunce
But hym here within will seke þis instaunce." [ 4471]
Entre made he tho ther in-to the grounde, *. [So he enters the cave.]
For-soth ther within thought seke hym that stounde. [ 4473]
Iff that he be there, truly shall hym fynd. [ 4474]
The spere lete don̄, ren the hed, be-forn lete goo; *. [Letting down his spear, he pushes the spear-head before him, and follows it, clench∣ing his teeth.]
After ny sewed, derkly, As man blynd.
Put hys feet before, noght drad, in went tho,
Shittyng vp hys mouth with hys teeth also. [ 4478]
Adon the spere lowe aualed he, *. [Thus came he to the bottom.]
Till he cam vnto the botme and entre. [ 4480]
When at the botme was, hee gan take hys spere;
Off An herd wode was, breke 1. [MS. "bbreke."] wold not soth∣lesse; *. [His spear being of a hard wood, such as could not be broken,]
Man better timbre neuer saw nawhere,
For broken wold, ne had be good expresse;
Inly good it was, to no breche gan dresse. [ 4485]
Ny the hed the spere gan he take full prest, *. [he seizes it near the head, and goes on,]
And forth went apas, lenger wold not rest. [ 4487]
Page  156
After, Aferrome saw he hug clernesse, [ 4488]
When a litell while forth ther he had go.
The spere euermore Aforne hym gan dresse *. [pushing it always before him, test∣ing the way.]
In tastyng the way, vntill that he tho
Ariued and cam A fair place vnto, [ 4492]
Where A chambre founde full fair wroght & well, *. [At last he arrives at a fair chamber.]
There fourged and made was it of nouell. 1. [Here follows the catchword—"she myght in no wise."] [ 4494]
She myght in no wise, lo! more fairer be. [ 4495] [Fol. 87]
In ryght side And lifte wrought by good auise;
Coruen in the roche full freshly was she; *. [It was carved in the rock, with no place of egress,]
But o going oute perceiue myght no wise.
Ryght fair it was And gentile to deuise, [ 4499]
The rychesse gret prise, hard to attain, *. [and was full of all kinds of riches.]
That in this chambre had was tho and sain. [ 4501]
She 2. [MS. "Sshe."] All betan was with fine pured gold [ 4502] *. [It was adorned with pure gold and rich jewels.]
Full of riche perrey, made 3. [MS. "perreymade."] to gret maistry.
Enmyddes A tombe of this chambre told. *. [In the midst was a tomb, supported on six pillars of fine gold.]
Thys tombe sette vppon sixe pilours hy
Off fyne masse gold, with perles many, [ 4506]
A man shold not finde nawhere more fine;
Precyous rich were, of huge medicine. [ 4508]
Above was had A knightly armed kyng, [ 4509] *. [Above it was a king, well formed of chalcedony.]
Off cassedony will formed and made.
Vppon this said tombe was he ther ligging,
Resplendising fair in this chambre sprad.
Ioynant ny ther-to A fair lady had, [ 4513] *. [and beside him a fair lady of alabaster.]
Being in estat (who beheld with ey)
Off Alabastre was this noble lady. [ 4515]
Page  157
TO constantinoble fro-thens is no faill, [ 4516]
Ne myght ymage finde with it to compare.
Off this full strange sight Gaffray gan meruell, *. [Geoffrey marvels at this, but observes a tablet which the lady bare in her hands, on which was written the following:]
An huge tablet this fair lady bar
In hir handes twain all this to declare, [ 4520]
Resembling to be fourged all of-new.
In this tablet wrete As here shall ensew. [ 4522]
"Her 1. [MS. "Hher."] light sir helmas, the full noble king, [ 4523] [Fol. 87 b.]
Which me hath loste by hys gret deray *. ["Here lieth Sir Helmas the king, who promised me ere we were wed∣ded that, whilst I lay in child-bed,]
Wherof I was And had huge estonyng.
Thys noble kyng was full Amerous ay;
Couenaunt me had, er spoused were Alway, [ 4527]
That neuer day, whiles he gan endure,
The time that I in Gesian ly sure, [ 4529]
HE shuld noght enquere by no maner way [ 4530] *. [he would never inquire about me, nor see me, till I was recovered.]
Off my dedes, neither no wise me se,
Towardes me noght come ne go no day,
Till ceason And time I reised shold be.
Tho it fel and cam, of my belay thre [ 4534] *. [Then it befell that I had three fair daughters at once,]
Full faire doughtres had in this same yere,
Which right gracyous And full hable were. [ 4536]
HElmas so gan do that he me gan se [ 4537] *. [and Helmas con∣trived to see me;]
In such wise As I in my childbed lay.
Anon ther fro hym I uanished me, *. [whereupon I vanished and took my daughters with me,]
Such wise departed and thens fly my way;
Neuer knew what part went I my iournay; [ 4541]
And my doughtres thre forth with me lad, *. [and brought them up.]
Al thaim norished vnto gret age had, [ 4543]
FVll well amended And right well gan growe. [ 4544] *. [When they were fifteen years old, I told them how]
With my mylke tham fed, and milked all thre;
After thaim told, when fiftene yeres gan owe,
Page  158 The maner how I loste ther fader fre. *. [I had lost their father.]
In 1. [In the margin, "Auoblon ye fayre contre."] Auoblon the fairy contre, [ 4548]
The eldeste of birth, maried she was, *. [The eldest, Melu∣sine, was very vexed about it.]
Melusine called in euery plas. [ 4550]
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