Excerpt from Robert Mannyng's Chronicle

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Excerpt from Robert Mannyng's Chronicle

from: Robert Mannyng of Brunne, The Chronicle, 1338 (Pp. 327 - 331)  1996

With alle þe folk Ohelle mot spare
toward Bathe Arthure was 3are.
Cheldrik sege he wild remue,
his men within he þouht rescue.
In a pleyn vnder a wod side,
Arthure did his folk abide,
to arme þam alle & ordeyne
whilk suld go with whilk seyne.
Himself was armed fynly wele
with gode chambres of iren & stele
& a hauberk þat non was suilk
abouen an acton mad of silk
& gird with Calaburn, þe gode bronde,
a better com neuer in kynges honde;
ten fote long was þe blade,
in Rameseie þe merk is made;
fro þe hilte to þe pomelle
tuelue inche grete þat tyme as felle,
þe brede of þe blade seuen inche & more.
I trow þat wild smyte sore.
Arthure luffed it wele inouh
mishapped him neuer whan he it drouh.
His helme was gode, non better on molde,
þe naselle befor was alle of golde;
þe bendeles of gold burnyst bright,
a dragon aboun selcouth in sight.
About his nek hang his schelde,
Pridwen it hight, many it bihelde;
þer on was purtreid next him bi
þe image our suete Lady,
in ned to behold hir face,
ageyn his enmys to haf grace.
His lance grete, he cald it Ron,
with iren befor suilk was non.
Whan þe kyng was armed wele
& his folk ilk a dele,
alle softly he had þam go
þat non suld befor oþer þro,
tille þei com to þe batale;
bot þe Sessons durst not assaile,
bot fled vnto a hie hille
þat non mot wele wyn þam tille;
þei held þat hille as castelle strong
& defendid þam fulle long,
as þei were closed within a walle;
bot at þe last it stode no stalle.
Arthur sauh þe hille was taken
& long mot þei hald þam waken;
Tene him þouht þei fro him brak,
& to his men þus he spak:
"Lordynges," he said, "þis hille is hie
& we may not com þam nehi
bot it were long destresse;
þe length wald I schorten lesse.
Agayn to Scotland wald I be.
Ohel, my cosyn, fayn wald I se."
He monessed þam with wordes smerte
& bad þam be gode of herte.
"Lo, here befor vs þan ere þo
þat has vs wrouht mykille wo;
venge vs now we se þam here,
late þam bie our godes dere.
Þei haf don vs many trauaile,
quyte þam þat þei scored on taile,
& I salle 3elde, if þat I may,
þat other þei suore þe toþer day.
If I may not with þam mele,
Hand to hand strokes dele,
þei salle neuer eft haf powere
in bataile to negh me nere."
With þat worde he smote his stede,
Befor þam alle, vpward he 3ede.
His lance fulle wele he bare þe poynt,
þe schelde befor fulle wele ioynt;
þe first Sesson þat with him met,
his daies were no lenger set;
þan bigan Arthur to crie
agayn þis paiens, "Help me, Marie!"
& bare on þam þe brest before.
After him þe Bretons gan bore,
"Þe first stroke þan is myne,
on I mette & mad his fyne."
Þan mot men se þe Bretons strike
& felled þe Sessons douhtilike.
Ilkon wald haf bien þe breste
& at his power Arthure neste,
& he þam egred so with sawe
for schame þat non mot þam withdrawe;
þei bihalued þam aboute
& riden þorgh þe Sessons route;
on ilk a side doun þei fleih
& euer Arthure vpward steih.
Caliburne drawen in his hand,
was non his dynt mot wythstand
þat ne him behoued nedis deie,
þerfor þei fled & gaf him weie.
So fele he slouh & brouht to schame,
for þus þei counted þat couth þam ame,
fyue hundreth he slouh mo alone
þan his oste did ilk one.
Dede was Balduk, slayn Colgrine;
Cheldrik fled with mykelle pyne;
toward þer schippes to Totneis
þei fled & left þer oþer herneis.
Lightli to go, wightli to fle,
þei left alle & fled to þe se.
Arthure perceyued wele inouh
þat to þer schippes þei fled & drouh.
He bad Cador of Cornwaile
tak ten þousand of gode aparaile
& after þam suyth him spede,
& ouertak þam þat fled.
For Arthur to Scotland went,
Ohel a messengere him sent
& said þe Scottes had seged þe castelle
& had nere taken sir Ohel.
Cheldrik fled to his nauy,
bot Cador was quaynt & wily;
be a bigate to Toteneis lay,
Cador & his tok þer wey,
& to þe hauen wele ore cam
ar any Sesson to schip nam.
Cador þe mene folk toke
þe schippes, gaf þam to loke,
& bad þam houe fer fro þe land
þat Sessons rauht no bote in hand.
Siþen went he with alle his oste
& in þe cuntres kept þe coste
& kept þam euer as þei come.
Bi ten, bi tuelue, vmwhile þei nome,
armour, robes, had þei cast
þat þei were light to fle fast;
þei had bot suerdes on þer hippes,
son to com vnto þer schippes.
As þei passed þe water of Tyne,
were þei war of Cador syne.
Whan þei it sauh, þei held þam schent;
vp & doun away þei glent.
Als þei tok þe hille of Tenwik,
was he slayn, Kyng Cheldrik;
þe toþer þat wend wele haf scaped,
to þe dede were alle to fraped.
Whan þe com þer, þei wer vnfayn,
þo þat scaped to þe hauen vnslayn,
for þei were kept at þe brynk,
into þe water did þam synk.
On alle halue wex þam wo,
to woddes, to hilles, fled som of þo,
þam to hide þat non wist
tille þei died for hunger & thrist.
Whan Cador had mad þe cuntre clene
þat no Sesson was more sene,
he hied fast toward Scotland;
in Aklud, Arthure he fand
& Ohel with him, his cosyn,
of his sekenes warissed fyn,
þe Sessons þer sege remued.
Whan Arthur com, Ohel rescued,
alle þe cuntre gan þei weyue
& fled away vnto Moreyue;
þer þei hoped best to be
& klosed þam in a strong cite. (Lines 9871-10032)
Additional Information:
See The Battle of Mount Badon page.