Alliterative Morte Arthure, Part II

ALLITERATIVE MORTE ARTHURE: FOOTNOTES

1 Harmful Scotland with skill he rules as it pleases him

2 From Swynn (an arm of the North Sea near Zeeland) to Sweden, with his sharp sword

3 Created and gave out dukedoms in diverse realms

4 Caerleon; skillfully made

5 Where he might assemble his followers to review when it pleased him

6 Bishops and young knights (bachelers) and noble senior knights (bannerettes)

7 As the bold men at the table were served with bread (the first course)

8 And then (he bowed) again to the man (Arthur) and delivered his message

9 Think it not a trifle, his shield (armorial device) is to be seen hereon

10 August 1; hindrance found

11 Burn Britain the broad (Great Britain) and beat down your knights / And with anger bring you compliantly as a beast where he pleases / And you shall not sleep nor rest under the great heaven, / Though for fear of Rome you run to the earth (like a hunted animal)

12 The king looked on the man with his large eyes, / Which burned very fiercely like coals because of (his) anger

13 It is loyal (our duty) for us to do his pleasure

14 There is a certain man in this hall, and he was sorely grieved / That you dared not look on him once for all Lombardy (as a reward)

15 In appearance; lies; you seem

16 Since; country; holy oil

17 Don't save money on spices, but spend what you please

18 If you guard my honor, man, by my pledged word, / You shall have very great rewards that will profit you forever

19 Now are they nobly lodged and regarded as guests

20 In chambers with chimneys (heat), they change their clothes

21 himself

22 All with men trained and taught, in very rich clothes, / All of royal blood in a troop, sixty together

23 Flesh fattened in season with noble frumentee (a wheat dish), / Along with wild (game) to choose, and pleasant birds

24 Very many large swans on silver platters, / Pies of Turkey, to be tasted by whomever it pleases

25 Then shoulders of wild boars, with the lean meat sliced, / Barnacle geese and bitterns in pastry-covered dishes

26 Wavy with azure-colored sauce all over, and they appeared to be flaming; / From each slice the flame leaped very high

27 With pastries glazed with egg yolks and many (other) dainties

28 Then Claret and Cretan wine were cunningly made to flow / By conduits that were skillfully made, all of pure silver

29 With great jewels gilded over, glorious of hue

30 So that if any poison should go secretly under them (in the cup), / The bright gold would burst all to pieces with anger, / Or else the poison should lose its power because of the virtue of the precious stones

31 Therefore, without pretending (that you are enjoying it), force yourself all the more

32 Went round very quickly in russet-colored (gold) cups

33 Smiles at him pleasantly with pleasing features

34 sadness because of the ban

35 You take account of no circumstances, nor consider (the matter) any further

36 stately man; Brittany

37 Arrested them unjustly and afterwards held them for ransom

38 At Lamas (August 1) I shall take my leave, to remain freely / In Lorraine or Lombardy, whichever seems preferable to me

39 riders; excellent; siege

40 Unless he (the eagle) is quickly rescued by vigorous knights

41 lightens

42 Before any day's fight (the major battle) begins, to joust with himself (Lucius)

43 Despite the strong (ones) in battle that remain in his troop

44 Within a week from today with one hundred and twenty knights

45 If I can see the Romans, who are considered so powerful, / Arrayed in their riotous groups on a broad field.

46 Ride through all the company, rear guard and the rest, / To make a ready way and paths full spacious

47 He needs be afraid; such

48 When they had confidently discussed (this business), they blew on trumpets afterwards (conclusion of the council)

49 Seize the revenues, in faith, of all those fair realms, / Despite the threat of his power and regardless of his resistance

50 With safe-conduct and credentials; go where you please

51 I shall assign the resting-places for your journey, order them myself

52 stoutly from. Wherever you set down by night you must by necessity remain

53 Lodge yourself under trees, wherever it seems good to you

54 Whether (my order) is now hateful or a hindrance in your mind

55 You shall be speedily beheaded and torn apart by horses, / And then quickly hanged for dogs to gnaw.

56 They dress themselves worthily in precious clothes

57 I summoned him solemnly (to appear in Rome) with his knights looking on

58 Since; born; fearful (afraid)

59 I advise you to prepare yourself therefore and delay no longer

60 A watch-tower shall be raised on Mount Goddard (in the Alps)

61 Equipped with noble bachelors and bannerets (see note to line 68)

62 To Ambyganye and Orcage (Albania?) and Alexandria as well, / To India and to Armenia, where the Euphrates runs

63 Hyrcania; Elam; outer isles

64 From Persia and Pamphilia and Prester John's lands

65 By this time; prepared

66 At the Octave of St. Hillary's day (i.e., a week after January 24) Sir Arthur himself

67 To outrage my enemy, if a chance should appear

68 See that my forests are enclosed (from poachers), on pain of losing my favor, / That no one be allowed to hunt the game except for Guinevere herself, / And even she is to hunt only at the season when the game are fat enough to be hunted, / So that she will take her pleasure at appropriate times

69 earthly prosperity; as well

70 Sheriffs sharply move the common soldiers about, / Give orders (to their men) before the powerful (men) of the Round Table

71 Large ships and small boats then hoist their sails

72 Stoutly on the gunwale they weigh up their anchors

73 Launch the lead on the luff (the bow) to measure the depth of the water

74 And all the stern men of the stream (sailors) struck sail at once

75 Wandering unbecomingly; surging waves

76 Covered with waves of azure, enamelled (colored) very fair; / His shoulders were all covered with scales of pure silver / That clothed the monster with shrinking points (like mail)

77 Then came out of the East, directly against him, / A wild, black bear above in the clouds, / With each paw as big as a post, and palms very huge, / With very perilous claws that seemed all curling; / Hateful and loathly, his hair and the rest, / With legs all bowed, covered with ugly hair / That was churlishly matted, with foaming lips

78 So violently he stamped on it (the earth) to enjoy himself

79 He reared up on his hind legs so rudely that all the earth was shaken

80 Thus he beat down the bear and killed him

81 These dreams so oppress the king aboard the ship / That he nearly bursts for pain on the bed

where he lies

82 Before I must die quickly, interpret my dream for me

83 trumpet calls; boldly

84 And as many infants (baptized babies) of noble children

85 I would give the revenues of all of France for the past fifteen years / To have been even a furlong from that man

86 visor; face guard; plated

87 He puts on the arm straps (braces) of a broad shield and asks for his sword

88 They tie their horses with a good distance between them

89 And afterwards you shall make your offerings, each after the other

90 You crossed yourself unsafely (started out wrong) to go to these mountains; / Six such as you would be too weak to attack him alone, / For, if you see him with sight (of your eyes), you will not have the heart / To cross yourself securely, so huge does he seem

91 He had murdered this mild one by the time that midday (bell) was rung

92 nations he thinks little of

93 For it will be a sorrow without remedy if you offer him anything else

94 spiced wine; Portuguese

95 There that fiend fills himself, to try when you please

96 smoke; went; quickest

97 Those who are roasted on spits in the field and broken with your hands

98 haired; eye-holes

99 Each fold (in the quivering skin of his lips) at once twisted out like the head of a wolf

100 Limbs and loins very loathesome, believe you, truly

101 Right up to; cut; asunder

102 In his death throes the thief squeezes him so fiercely

103 drags; holy body; these

104 He was stronger by far than any I had ever found

105 Quickly strike off his head and put it on a stake thereafter

106 Sir Kay himself brings the club and the coat as well

107 With his battalion spread out by those calm streams

108 Spares; liberty; affrights

109 By foreigners the French tongue is destroyed

110 I shall stop him before much longer if life is granted to me (if I live)

111 These courteous ones wait on a hill by the edge of the wood

112 Palaces (rich tents) proudly pitched, / That had rich walls of silk and purple cloth adorned with precious stones

113 Within a short time I shall not leave him in Paris / So much as a tiny spot; let him test this when he pleases

114 That bears on his shield a heraldic device all of purple, striped with silver

115 With great force, on a brown horse, he offers battle boldly

116 Outjousted at that battle despite his great boasts

117 is filled; pale sea; away

118 astonished; thrusts

119 May I never look on my lord the rest of my life / If we serve him so poorly, we who once pleased him so well

120 die; ground; cut down

121 Even so, he (Sir Gawain) rescued Sir Bois despite all their baleful knights!

122 For, doubtless, if you delay or play any tricks

123 Because of the crowd at the ford they leaped into the water together

124 On the path by the stream they adjust their hauberks

125 They placed the riotous (Roman) knights in the rear guard (as prisoners)

126 God skillfully handles trouble as He pleases. / No one is so harmful that he can escape or slip away from His hands

127 All that concerns temporal life is yours while I live

128 Make ready their battalions, display their banners

129 No attack from ambush is ever defeated

130 See that you pack up your trumpets and trifle no longer

131 Whether we shun (battle) or show (fight), decide as you please

132 I would be boiled alive and cut in quarters

133 Where shrubs were bright under the shining eaves of the forest

134 Of rivets and strong steel and rich gold chain mail

135 Ride on iron-gray steeds at the front rank (of the Romans)

136 Keep what you have taken; it does little harm, / For scorn is internal, use it who will

137 Sir Cador commanded that they be put in wagons and covered with fair cloths

138 When you were placed in a stronghold, you should have endured

139 astonished; destroyed

140 I did my duty today - I put myself at the judgment of lords

141 Commands that his fires be fed so that they flame very high / And (commands them) to pack up securely and march away thereafter

142 Suddenly; each side; troops

143 Sir Kayous, Sir Clegis, and good men of arms / The king decides should keep watch by those shining strands.


144 Six inches above the waist, between the short ribs

145 fulfilled [their] vows

146 Then rushes the steadfast man and grips his bridle

147 Fought with foot-soldiers (brigands) from afar in those lands; / With feathered arrows they very eagerly shoot those men

148 Crossbow bolts skillfully whip through knights

149 whole; hastily; heath;

150 draws; Excalibur

151 All crushed, stamped to death by armored steeds

152 cockatrices (crocodiles)

153 Camels; Arabian horses; elephants

154 Spoil or rot before they could arrive

155 Measured; money; much

156 take care not to deceive

157 While I have power to speak, the Church's possessions shall never be harmed

158 For fear of being dashed asunder by the draw bridge

159 further back

160 Pitched tents of silk and placed (themselves) in siege

161 On Sunday by the time the sun gave out a flood of light

162 (The hay) mown and unstacked, worked over but little, / In rows of cuttings swept down, full of sweet flowers

163 A carbuncle is in the chef (upper third of the shield), changing in colors, / And (he was) an adventurous chief, challenge him who will

164 To that man, steadfast in battle, strongly he stands

165 Near the lower arm plate, veiled with silver

166 We must have a bandage, ere your color changes

167 barbers (surgeons)

168 For he who is wounded with this broad sword shall never cease bleeding!

169 I give you grace and grant you your life, though you have deserved grief

170 confession; prepare

171 If I have the good luck, for my recovery, to serve that noble (Arthur), / I will be quickly cured, I tell thee truly

172 I would rather be stabbed to the heart in private / Than to have an ordinary soldier win such a prize

173 quickly; will be; pieces

174 And some had fallen asleep because of the skillful singing of the creatures

175 Wine casks; broke open

176 those adventuring; To arms!

177 broke; breath

178 If they are not defeated, in faith, it would seem to me a great wonder

179 false of faith; falsehood

180 Meddles; middle guard

181 Devil take you

182 Marquis of Metz; pierces

183 hillside by skill

184 Monasteries and hospitals they hammer to earth

185 Strikes straight; narrow

186 I intend to be lord of that pleasing land!

187 Scout for those hiding so that no harm may befall them

188 Meekly on St. Martin's Day (November 11) to pay homage with his treasures

189 talk; spending; bitterness

190 Sept. 13-14; invade

191 He throws himself quickly on the bed and loosens his belt

192 Beautifully enclosed upon the noble boughs; / There was no moisture that could harm anything

193 expensively; patterned

194 brooches; medallions

195 strange (hostile) to others

196 defeated; hostile

197 Whom you unkindly (as a stranger) left dead in France.

198 Charlemagne; king's

199 An armor neckpiece, a stomach guard, and an excellent belt

200 Pauses at a main road, thinking by himself

201 A man in a full-cut cloak and very roomy clothes

202 With wallet and with pilgrim's mantle and many scallop shells, / Both staff and palm branch,
as if he were a pilgrim

203 I need ask for no credentials; I know you are true

204 Therefore to Great Britain it behooves us to hasten

205 See that in Lombardy no man change his allegiance

206 Sends forth troops and baggage and goes forth thereafter

207 Linked together with great wagon chains

208 Arranged wooden shields on the left (port), painted shields

209 All bareheaded because of business, with beaver-colored locks

210 They are on the rascal's side, I swear by my hand

211 But there was placed in the chef (upper third of shield) a chalk-white maiden

212 They talk in their jargon about what has happened

213 Weather (wind) brings stout ships against planks (of other ships), / So that the bilge and the beam burst apart

214 mast-stays; edgewise; hack

215 Armored knights rush boldly on board, / (Coming) out of small boats on board, (and) were pelted with stones

216 i.e., the captives'

217 By the time the battle was finished the high tide had passed; / Then was the water near the shore such a slush in very large pools / That the king could not land in the low water. / Therefore, he remained on the deep water for fear of losing his horses

218 exhausted with fighting

219 Each man may be warned by vengeance wreaked on another

220 Until he could get away by stealth and come to speak to her

221 not whole (i.e., dead)

222 Nor was there anything that sank him so sad as that sight alone

223 Get knights who hold your castles from their countries

224 Christians; crossed themselves

225 Why did the Lord not destine (me to die) at His dear will

226 Passant (shown from the side, walking) on a purple background of very rich jewels

227 (i.e., the sword Clarent); dainty

228 lifeblood left

229 Let us go to Glastonbury, nothing else avails

230"Into Your hands"

ALLITERATIVE MORTE ARTHURE: NOTES

The following abbreviations are used in these notes to indicate editorial attribution:

Ba: Mary Macleod Banks, ed. An Alliterative Poem of the Fourteenth Century. London, New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1900.

Be: Larry D. Benson, ed. King Arthur's Death. Indianapolis and New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1974.

Bj: Erik Bjorkman, ed. Morte Arthure. Alt- und mittelenglische Texte, 9. Heidelberg and New York: Carl Winters, 1915.

Br: Edmund Brock, ed. Morte Arthure or The Death of Arthur. EETS o.s. 8. London, New York, Toronto: Oxford University Press, New Edition, 1871; reprinted 1961.

F: the present editor

GV: E. V. Gordon and Eugene Vinaver. "New Light on the Text of the Alliterative Morte Arthure." Medium Aevum 6 (1937), 81-98.

H: Mary Hamel, ed. Morte Arthure: A Critical Edition. Garland Medieval Texts, 9. New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1984.

K: Valerie Krishna, ed. The Alliterative Morte Arthure. New York: Burt Franklin and Company, Inc., 1976.

OED: Oxford English Dictionary

OL: J. L. N. O'Loughlin. "The Middle English Alliterative Morte Arthure." Medium Aevum 4 (1935), 153-168.



1 Himselven. On the prominence of reflexive formulas in the poem (himselven, him likes, etc.) as indicators of the will and willfulness, see Peck, pp. 158 ff.

29 Uter. Uther Pendragon, Arthur's father.

32 Scotland and England were often at war in the fourteenth century, hence scathel ("harmful") Scotland.

37 Grace. The MS reading. Most editors emend to Grece (Greece) but Grace (Grasse) makes more geographical sense. Grasse is a small city in southern France, north of Cannes, which was an episcopal see from 1244 to 1790. K retains Grace.

41 Vienne. Ackerman suggests Vienna, though K thinks, rather, that it must refer to a town north of Valence or a district in Poitier.

42 Overgne (Ba, Be, K, H). I.e., Auvergne. MS: Eruge.

47 I.e., the whole extent of Denmark.

61 Caerlion. One of Arthur's principal cities where, according to the chronicles, he often spent Pentecost. K suggests that the reference to the city's "curious walles" may derive from Giraldus' description of the city: "[Caerleon] was of undoubted antiquity, and handsomely built of masonry, with courses of bricks, by the Romans. Many vestiges of its former splendour may yet be seen; immense palaces . . . a tower of prodigious size, remarkable hot baths, relics of temples, and theatres, all enclosed within fine walls, parts of which remain standing. You will find on all sides, both within and without the circuit of the walls, subterraneous buildings, aqueducts, underground passages; and what I think worthy of notice, stoves contrived with wonderful art, to transmit the heat insensibly through narrow tubes passing up the side walls" (p. 164).

64 Carlisle. Here, Arthur's new city, located on the Scottish border; another favorite site for Arthur's festivities, according to Froissant. The Middle English romance Sir Gawain and the Carl of Carlisle suggests the city's foundation at a place where courtesy turned monstrosity to civility.

66 douspeeres. Originally Charlemagne's twelve peers, but here simply "high noblemen."

68 A bannerette was a senior knight entitled to bear his own banner; a bacheler ranked somewhat lower and was either a newly made knight or a young man about to be knighted.

77 West Marches. The territories bordering Wales.

79 The bread is the first course (since the other food was heaped upon it), and the first course is the traditional time for the arrival of a messenger. Compare Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, lines 116-132.

86 Lucius Iberius: "The Emperor Lucius was apparently invented by Geoffrey of Monmouth [History of the Kings of Britain], who calls him Lucius Tiberius. . . . The attempt at a reconquest of Britain by the Romans in the sixth century also derives from Geoffrey" (K, p. 165).

92 Lamass Day: a harvest festival formerly celebrated on August 1.

95 Prime was "the first hour of the day, beginning at six-o'clock throughout the year or at the varying times of sunrise" (OED).

105 The Romans held title to Britain on the basis of Caesar's conquest, as recorded in chronicles based ultimately on Book V of Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain.

108 route. "Ambigious: either 'snore' (OE hrutan), an expression of Lucius's angry contempt, or more neutrally 'go, travel' (OF router), a contrast rather than a parallel to ryste (rest)" (H, p. 257).

134 There is (Br, Be, K). MS: thare.

142 crowned was (Bj, Be, K). MS: corounde.

168 Chambers with chimneys are heated rooms, a luxury at this time. See note to line 61.

176ff. The elaborate feast that follows might actually have been served at a royal household of the late fourteenth century. Menus for royal feasts are printed in Two Fifteenth-Century Cooking Books, ed. Austin, EETS o.s. 91 (London, 1888; reprinted 1964). See H's extensive notes on the dishes and feast practices of the later fourteenth century (pp. 259-63).

178 togges (OL, Be). MS: togers. H reads toges; Br and K follow MS.

186 whom. MS: whame. Bj, Be, and H emend to when or whan, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS sense.

200 Crete. The poet regularly identifies wines by their place of origin. The universality of Arthur's wine cellar is impressive.

213 The virtues (powers) of precious stones were commonplace in the Middle Ages. See English Medieval Lapidaries, eds. Evans and Serjeantson, EETS o.s. 190 (London, 1932; reprinted 1960).

233 Waynor and Gaynor for Guinevere are used interchangeably as are Gawain and Wawain for Gawain.

234 Sir Owglitreth. Sir Owghtreth of Turry is evidently one of Arthur's vassals. Turry perhaps is Turin, Italy. J. L. N. O'Loughlin, "The Middle English Alliterative Morte Arthure,"Medium Aevum 4 (1935), 159, suggests that he is one of Lucius' ambassadors, who out of courtesy is assigned with Gawain to accompany the Queen.

245 Giauntes Towr. Since giants occupied Britain before the arrival of Brutus, this tower is, presumably, a "prehistoric" edifice.

256 deffuse. Be and H emend to disuse, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

277 In Book III of Geoffrey's History we are told that, long before Caesar came to Britain, Belinus and Brennius conquered and ravaged Rome. This is, of course, not historical.

"Baldwin the Third is unknown; perhaps he was invented for the sake of alliteration" (K, p. 169).

282 According to Geoffrey (Book V, chapter 6) Constantine was the son of a Roman Senator and a British Princess, and he succeeded to the kingship of Britain. Then he overthrew the Emperor Maxentius and became Emperor. According to legend, his mother, Helen, discovered the True Cross. Arthur claims kinship with Constantine because of his supposed British mother. Constantine actually did proclaim himself Caesar while in York, but he was never king of Britain and not of British descent.

288 King Aungers. Robert W. Ackerman, An Index of Arthurian Names in Middle English (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1952), p. 20, identifies King Aungers as Geoffrey of Monmouth's Auguselus, a king of Scotland, son of Bryadens, grandson of Igerne, and brother of Lot and Urien. He was, like Lot, an enemy of Arthur who later became an ally.

297 The vernacle (the relic of Veronica) is the handkerchief with which St. Veronica wiped the face of Christ on His way to the Crucifixion. Miraculously, the image of His face was preserved on the handkerchief, which still survives. The cult of Veronica was especially strong in the fourteenth century. Pope John XXII granted an indulgence of ten thousand days for a prayer to the Veronica, and its legend had an important part in the popular romances about Titus and Vespasian.

301 eldes. Bj and Be emend to monthes, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS. It probably means "of two generations".

304 Berne of Britain the Little. King Hoel of Brittany.

305 beseekes. MS; besekys. Bj and Be emend to congee beseekes, but I have followed Br, K, and H in adhering to the MS reading.

320 The Welsh king. Perhaps Sir Valiant (line 2064).

334 Of Wyghte and. GV and Be emend to of wightest; H emends to of wyghte men, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

337 Sir Ewain fitz Urien. Iwain son of Urien and Morgan le Fay.

352 Petersand (Petrasanta, i.e., the Vatican); Pis (Pisa); Pount Tremble (Pontremoli).

368-70 "Lancelot, the great hero of the Vulgate tradition, was unknown in the earlier chronicles. In introducing him as one of the 'lesse men' among Arthur's retainers, the poet gives his audience a clear signal: this poem will not be concerned with the issues and themes of that tradition" (H, p. 268).

369 love. H reads lone and translates the line "I praise God for this contribution" (H, p. 268).

375 Genivers (Genoese): "The notorious giants from Genoa in Lucius' army may derive from the Genoan mercenaries who fought with France against Edward III at Crecy and other important battles" (K, p. 170).

391 renkes. Not rankes (men) but renkes (paths) from OF renc.

415 Epiphany. From the Greek for "appearance" or "manifestation," it is the feast on January 6, commemorating the coming of the Magi to see the child Jesus and symbolizing the "manifestation" of the newborn savior to the whole world (OED).

450 Watling Street. The old Roman road leading from the southern coast by way of London to Cardigan in Wales.

451 nyghes (Ba, K). MS: nyghttes. "The appearance of nyghte in the same line is very likely the source of the scribal error" (K, p. 171).

458 lette. Bj, Be, and H emend to lefe, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

471 sixteen (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: sex sum of six. "Either 'part of a company of six' or 'along with a company of six'. . . . In either case the number given [in the MS] is inconsistent with that of line 81, where the Senator arrives with a company of sixteen" (K, p. 171).

482 Catrik. A town in Yorkshire, identified with the Roman cataractonium.

490 Sandwich is the port from which the Romans will take ship. One of the "cinque ports," Sandwich is the site of the Church of St. Peter where curfew, now ceremonial, was rung.

497 Mount Goddard. One of the principal passes through the French Alps into Italy.

513 sandes. Bj, Be, and H emend to sandesman, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

515 wye (OL, Be, K, H). MS: waye. Br's emendation.

572 Ambyganye and Orcage are apparently in the East. H emends to Arcage, the OF spelling of Arcadia. Ambyganye, she suggests, could be Albania.

575 Irritane (Hyrcania) and Elamet (Elam) are not islands but countries in Asia.

587 Bayous. Be emends to boyes; H emends to barons, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS. This is an odd location in the context, but the suggested emendations are not persuasive. Bayonne (Beune) is in southwestern France.

588 Prester John was thought to be a Christian ruler living somewhere in the Orient. In The Travels of Sir John Mandeville (a famous fourteenth century book of fictitious travels, presented as a true account), Prester John is said to be the Emperor of India, allied by marriage to the great Khan of China. The legend was probably based on reports of Christian communities which actually did exist in the East. Pamphile is a region of Asia Minor.

604-05 Prussland (Prussia) and Lettow (Lithuania) were still pagan in the fourteenth century.

625 The octave of St. Hillary's day would be a week after January 24.

628-29 Constantine (the Peninsula of Cotentin) and Barflete (Barfleur) are on the coast of Normandy.

656 Arthur's concern for the protection of his game is not surprising in a century when (as shown by Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) hunting was of great importance to the aristocracy.

674 wordles. MS: werdez. Bj, K, H read wer[l]de?.

716 Sways (Bj, Be). MS: Twys.

734 Hackes. MS: Hukes. K emends to Hekes. H follows MS on grounds that hukes are outergarments or possibly "caparisons for horses" (MED, s.v.); she finds Bj's emendation hackes to be redundant if paired with hackeneys.

769 Be, following GV, supplies a supposed missing line after 769: His tail was totattered with tonges ful huge; K notes but does not accept the insertion. H accepts. I have followed K.

771 Be, following GV, supplies a supposed missing line after 771: And his clawes were enclosed with clene gold; K does not note. H accepts. I have not included the line.

785 at. Be notes MS at, but prints it. I have retained the MS reading as do Br and K. H deletes the word, explaining that the scribe miscopied the following to which he then corrected by writing to but failed to cross out the at.

Rapped, H suggests, means "barked," not dashed to earth, which is inconsistent with the flying posture.

804 thring. MS: brynge. Holthausen's emendation, followed by Bj, Be, and K. H suggests breen, meaning "frighten, terrify." See her note discussing the problem. Br follows MS.

808 seven science. The seven liberal arts (grammar, rhetoric, logic, which were the trivium, and arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music, which were the quadrivium); these were the basis of Medieval education.

812 Second half of 812 appears in the MS as the second half of 813 and vice versa (Bj, Be). K and H disagree, but I have followed Be.

821 tattered (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: taschesesede. Br: tachesesede.

841 Templar. A member of the Knights Templar, a military order founded c. 1118 for the protection of the Holy Sepulchre and pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. The order was suppressed in 1312.

848 countree of Constantine. The country around Cotentin, a peninsula on the coast of Normandy.

880 The promontory is Mont-Saint-Michel, on which, according to this story, Arthur founds the famous monastery to commemorate his victory. See also line 899.

905 jupon. A gipon is a sleeveless cloth garment worn over the armor; Arthur's is jagged in shredes - with fashionable scallopings at the edges. Jerodine is apparently a kind of cloth (perhaps gabardine).

910 enarmed. Bj and Be emend to enamelled, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

946 them. MS: thus. Br, K, and H retain MS.

964 Wade. A figure in German legend and a now-lost English romance.

1028 piment. Wine mixed with honey and spices.

1041 source (Bj, Be). MS: sowre. Br and K retain MS. H emends to sowþe.

1083 eyen-holes (Bj, Be). MS: hole eyghn. Br, K, and H retain MS.

1123 genitals (Bj, Br, Be, K, H). MS: genitates.

1142 buskes. Bj and Be emend to wild buskes, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

1175 A reference to the giant Pitho, whom Arthur slew "in Aravio Montem" (in the mount of Araby), the Aran mountains in Wales. The story is from Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain, Book X.

1225 Castel Blank is unique in this poem.

1231 mene-while. GV, Be, and H emend to mete-while, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS even though the emendation is plausible.

1248 frayes (Bj, Be, K). MS: fraisez. Br and H retain MS.

1263 Sir Bois. Earl of Oxford. "The name Bos (Boso de Vado Boum in Geoffrey [of Monmouth] was probably invented by Geoffrey as a pun on bos and Oxford" (Ackerman, p. 38).

1264 Sir Berille. Perhaps Borel, Earl of Mans, who fights on Arthur's side and is given Le Mans.

1265 Sir Grime. Bj emends to Geryn of Chartres, one of Arthur's vassals who appears at this point in the chronicles and also in line 3708. Grime is not known elsewhere.

1281 with (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: that with. Br follows MS.

1302 worthy (Bj, Be, K). MS: worthethy. Br and H retain MS.

1334 Appears in MS as line 1330 (Bj, Be, H).

1364 sable (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: salle. Br follows MS.

1378 unabaist all. Bj and Be emend to all unabaist, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS word order and have punctuated to make the grammatical relation clear.

1402-02 The perilous water that falls from the sea fifty miles away apparently refers to a tidal estuary (n.b. salt strandes in line 1422).

1405 I agree with H that changen should be taken as a hunting metaphor: to "change" attention from prey to prey.

1408 all (Bj, Be). MS: and; Bedvere (Be, H). MS: Bedwyne. Br and K retain both MS readings. Perhaps a miswriting of Baldwin, who appears in lines 1606 and 2384.

1427 redies. Be emends to relies, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

1436 stokes. Br and Be emend to strokes, but K notes that emendation is unnecessary, citing OED stoke sb2 (p. 182). H follows MS too.

1466-67 Appear in MS in reverse order (Be). I have followed K, H in retaining MS order.

1503 not (Bj, Be). MS: now. Br, K, and H follow MS.

1558 Sir Ewain fitz Henry. Probably Sir Ewain fitz Urien, as in line 337. Ackerman notes that he is given both names in Layamon's Brut as well (p. 248).

1567 tithandes (Bj, Be, H). MS: thy?andez. Br and K retain MS spelling, as a variant of tydandis.

1622 Sir Evander. King of Syria and one of Lucius's vassals.

1638 Sir Clegis, Sir Cleremus, Sir Cleremond. Sir Clegis is a knight of the Rount Table. Either Sir Cleremus and Sir Cleremond might allude to Clarrus of Clere Mounte who appears in other romances aiding Launcelot in his war against Arthur. Here the pair fill out the alliterative quatrain.

1653 kith (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: lythe. Br retains MS but glosses: "Read Kythe."

1681 Clegis challenges the Romans to a formal tournament, with three courses of war (that is, three jousts with the lance) and the claims of knighthood (the winner to take the horse and arms of the loser.)

1683 Clegis' insult, like the King of Syria's, is part of the formal "flyting."

1688 hufe. Bj and Be emend to leng, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS. The charge that Clegis is trying to delay things is only a pro forma insult. More significant is the King of Syria's inquiry about Clegis' ancestry, since it would be beneath his dignity to joust with any but the highest noble.

1690 crest (Bj, Be, H). MS: breste (Br, K).

1695 Sir Brut. The legendary founder of Britain. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth he was the great-grandson of Aeneas of Troy.

1698 Forthy (Be). MS: ffro the.

Brut (Bj, Be, H). MS: Borghte (Br, K).

1732 on. Bj, Be, and H emend to on the, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

1744 Wawayne. Bj, Be, and H emend to Bawdwyne, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

1745 Rowlaundes (Bj, Be, H). MS: and Rowlandez (Br, K).

1768 all on loud (Bj, Be). MS: o laundone (Br, K, H).

1786 corn-bote. Literally a fine paid in grain.

1797 in his (Bj, Be, K). MS: his ine (Br). H argues that MS reads in his.

1855 I.e., the Saracens are six feet from the waist up.

1866 Cordewa. Be and H emend to Cornett, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

1878 men. Bj, Be, and H emend to hethen men, but I have followed K in retaining MS.

1904 Utolf (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: Vtere (Br). Uther, Arthur's father, is dead. Utolfe appears in lines 1622 and 1868, along with Evander, as knights on the Roman side.

1908 Carous (K, H). MS: Barous. Br emends to Barouns.

1911 Sarazenes ynow (Bj, Be, K). MS: sarazenes.

1912 are (Bj, Be, H). MS: a (Br, K).

1930 never berne (Bj, Be). MS: never (Br, K, H).

1938 Though (Be). MS: Thofe (Br, K, H).

1979 them. Bj and Be emend to then, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

1980 halfe. Bj and Be emend to side, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

1982 Wales (Bj, Be, H). MS: Vyleris (Br, K).

2016 sees. Bj and Be emend to him sees, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

2047 The knights of the Round Table fulfill the vows they made; the King of Wales fulfills the vow he made in lines 330-32.

2066 Ewain fitz Urien (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: Ewayne sir Fytz Vriene (Br). Ewain fitz Urien fulfills the vow he made in lines 357-63.

2073 Lancelot had vowed (lines 372-77) to strike down the emperor himself, and accordingly he now strikes him down and leaves a spear stuck in his belly. The emperor evidently recovers very quickly, for he is soon back in battle.

2081 Lot had vowed to be the first to ride through the Roman ranks (lines 386-94), which he now does. When Lot has accomplished this, the vows are all fulfilled and the battle proper begins.

2108 hethe (Bj, Be, K). MS: heyghe (Br,H).

2112 Jonathal (OL, Be, H, K). MS: Ienitall (Br). Jonathal appears in a corresponding passage in Geoffrey of Monmouth.

2123 Caliburn is used for Excalibur by Geoffrey of Monmouth.

2151 on folde (Bj, Be, K). MS: fygured folde (Br). H emends to faireste-fygured felde.

2157 Sir Cleremond the noble (Bj, K). MS: with clene mene of armes (Br). Be, H have Sir Bedvere the rich, but Cleremond the noble is as familiar a formula and improves the alliteration.

2180 real renk (Bj, Be, H). MS: reall (K). Br reads ryalle. The addition of renk so much improves both rhythm and alliteration that a scribal omission seems likely.

2181 he (K). MS: and (Br, H).

2198 into. Bj, Be, and H emend to into the, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

2217 chis. Bj, Be, and H emend to thriches, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

2250 at. Bj, Be, and H emend to all, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

2280 lighte. Bj and Be emend to lithe, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

2283 cokadrisses (Be, K, H). MS: sekadrisses (Br).

2286 dromedaries of (Bj, Be, H). MS: of dromondaries (Br).

2288 Olfendes (Bj, Be, K). MS: elfaydes (Br, H).

2305 he lenged (Br, Be, K, H). MS: lengede. The colours are the heraldic devices on the banners set above the caskets.

2328 ne. Bj, Be, and H emend to we ne, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

2343 full monee. Bj and Be emend to full of the monee, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

2358 Br, Bj, Be, and H all emend MS fowre to ten. "However, though the messenger is presumably referring in 2358 to the tribute that Arthur's court owed and had not paid for four score winters, Arthur in 2344 is referring to something else - the tribute from Rome to his own kingdom that was lost in his ancestors' days" (K, 187).

2384 Sir Bedwar the rich. Apparently not the same knight as Sir Bedwere the rich who was buried in line 2379. See Bj, p. 158, and K, pp. 187-88, on defects in lines 2371-85.

2386 the Auguste. OL, Be, and H emend to Auguste, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

2390 Cristofer day. St. Christopher's day, July 25. St. Christopher has since been de-canonized.

2398 Lorraine the lele. Bj and Be emend to of Lorraine the lege, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

2403 to (K). MS: and.

2408 Tuskan (Ba, Be, K, H). MS: Turkayne (Br).

2418 is in (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: es (Br).

2419 Citee (Br, Be, K, H). MS: Pety.

2424 Br, Be, and H note MS beneyde: bended (Bj). K emends to bendyde.

2438 ferde. Bj and Be emend to rade, but I have followed K and H in retaining MS.

2478 plattes. Bj and Be emend to plantes, but I have followed K in retaining MS.

2495 Wecharde. Be emends to Wicher, but I have followed K in retaining MS.

2519 withouten any berne (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: with birenne ony borne.

2521 gessenande. Be and H emend to glessenand, but I have followed K. Instead of glistening in gold the sable (black) grayhounds are lying couchant.

2522 and (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: a (Br).

2531 the lange (Bj, Be, H). MS: a launde (Br, K).

2568 vailed (K). MS: vrayllede (Br). Bj and Be emend to railed.

2586 Salerne. Salerno. The University of Salerno was famous in the Middle Ages for its medical school.

2588 Be follows GV suggestion to insert two lines to follow 2588: That I might be cristened, with crisom annointed, / Become meek for my misdeeds for meed of my soul.

2594 legeaunce and land (OL, Be). MS: legyaunce (Br, K). H emends to undir what legyaunce.

2648 It would be dishonorable for Priamus to be defeated by an ordinary soldier. Gawain is such a great knight that even to be defeated by him is an honor that Priamus would prize even if no one were to learn of it.

2663 Be, following GV, inserts the following after 2663: For here hoves at thy hand an hundreth good knightes. H agrees, but I have followed Br and K in omitting the line.

2664 For they are. Be emends to they are, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

2675 slight (Bj, Be, K). MS: slaughte. H emends to a slaughte.

2680 Wecharde (K). MS: Wychere.

2705 The four wells of Paradise (which were thought to be in the East) were celebrated for their magical qualities (one was the Fountain of Youth) and thought to be the sources of the four great rivers of the East - the Nile, the Ganges, the Tigris, and the Euphrates.

2771 breth (Bj, Be, H). MS: breste (Br, K).

2797 and (Bj, Be, H). MS: a (Br, K).

2854 Though (Bj, Be). MS: Thofe (Br, K, H).

2868 Unwine. A legendary hero of the Goths, probably known to the poet from a lost English romance.

Absolon. Absalom (2 Samuel 13-19), celebrated in medieval romance for his personal beauty.

2876 The adventure in the vale of Josephat, to which the gestes refer, is an episode in the Fuerre de Gaderes, a story of the Crusades.

2890 Gerard (Bj, Be, H). MS: Ierante (Br, K).

2891 He stabs him through a gyronny shield (a shield decorated with two colors divided into triangles).

2908 Giauntes. Bj and Be emend to giauntes are, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

2940 duke dresses (Bj, Be, H). MS: duke (Br, K).

2950 Marches. MS: maches (Br). Be emends to matchless, but I have followed K and H.

2951 middle-erthe. "The earth, as placed between heaven and hell, or as supposed to occupy the centre of the universe" (OED).

2977 sleghte (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: elagere (Br).

3013 at heste (Bj, Be, H). MS: the beste (Br, K).

3031 in Hampton. According to H, the phrase "indicates that the messenger's reward is not simply a lump sum but an estate worth £100 a year - a princely gift for a mere herald" (p. 351).

3057 none (GV, Be, H). MS: no (Br, K).

3061 be deemed (Bj, Be, K). MS: idene the (Br). H emends to indeue the, meaning "endow you" or "provide you with a livelihood."

3064 he. Bj and Be emend to sho, but I have followed K and H in retaining MS.

3067 MS lines 3068-3083 are moved by Be to become lines 3112-3127. Although H agrees with Be, I have followed K in leaving them in their MS position.

3074 knighte. GV, H, and Be emend to king, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

3101 He crosses over Lake Lucerne into Switzerland.

3117 Slely. MS: slal (Br). Bj and Be emend to skathel, but I have followed K.

3140 for Pawnce and for (Bj, Be, H, K). MS: of Pawnce and of. Br: Plesaunce (Piacenza), Pawnce (Ponte), and Pownte Tremble (Pontremole) are towns in Lombardy.

3150 thus wele timed. GV and Be emend to him time semed, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

3186 sceptre and swerde. MS: his ceptre (Br). Be emends to sceptre, for sooth, but I have followed K. H emends to ceptre forsothe.

3209 honden. Bj and Be emend to holde, but I have followed K in retaining MS. H emends to honouren.

3212 Cross-days: Rogation Days, three special days of prayer preceding Ascension Day (forty days after Easter).

3220 slakes his (Bj, Be). MS: slakes (Br, H, K).

3241 clerewort. Bj and Be emend to clevewort, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

3251 Dame Fortune, with her Wheel of Fortune, is a familiar figure in late Medieval poetry, as are the Nine Worthies whom Arthur sees in his dream. The Nine Worthies first appear in fourteenth century works such as The Parlement of Three Ages and reappear as late as Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.

3256 With brouches (Bj, Be, H). MS: bruches (Br, K).

besauntes are coins, originally from Byzantium, here coin-shaped golden discs.

3257 Her back (Bj, Be, H). MS: With hir bake (Br, K).

3263 riches (Bj, Be, K). MS: reched (Br), but K thinks MS may read reches anyway.

3272 this (Bj, Be). MS: thir (Br, K). H reads thi.

roo (Bj, Be, K). MS: rog (Br, H).

3282 tone eye (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: two eyne (Br).

3308 folded (Bj, Be, K). MS: fayled (Br). H emends to falded in.

3345 Frollo was the ruler of France whom Arthur killed in single combat when he conquered that country as part of the conquests that immediately precede the action of this poem and that are summarized in the opening lines. The story is told in Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain, Book IX, chapter 11, where Arthur's adversary is called Flollo, and in Wace's Brut (which our poet may have known), where he is called Frolle or Frollo.

3352 crispand (Bj, Be, H). MS: krispane (Br, K).

3356 Circled (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: Selkylde (Br).

3408-10 Alexander the Great, Hector of Troy, and Julius Caesar are the three Pagan Worthies.

3412-16 Judas Maccabeus, Joshua, and King David are the three Jewish Worthies.

3422 tone climand kyng (Bj, Be, H). MS: two clymbande kynges.

3423 Karolus (Charlemagne) is the first of the three Christian Worthies. The second is Godfrey of Bouillon (line 3430), and the third is Arthur himself.

3427 lifelich. Bj and Be emend to loveliche, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

3434 He shall recover the cross when he conquers Jerusalem. Godfrey's deeds, like Charlemagne's (lines 3423-29), are prophesied, since Arthur historically precedes both.

3439 ninde (Bj, Be). Ms: nynne (Br, K, H).

3470 Be interprets rowme ("roomy, or full-cut") to be fashionable, as he does the shreddes and shragges ("scalloped edges") in line 3473, but I am inclined to agree with H that the stranger is dressed quite unfashionably.

3474 slawin. Bj and Be emend to sclavin ("pilgrim's garb"), but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

The scallop shells were the mark of a pilgrimage to St. James of Compostela in Spain, the palm branch of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

3480 wathe (Bj, Be, H). MS: wawthe (Br, K).

3505 Be reverses 3505 and 3506, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

3510 I. Bj and Be emend to I was, but I have followed K and H in retaining MS.

3530 Of (Bj, Be). MS: To (Br, K, H).

3541 From the Humber River (at the southern border of Yorkshire) to the town of Hawick (in southern Scotland), i.e., the whole North Country.

3545 Hengest and Horsa were traditionally the first Germanic (that is, Anglo-Saxon) invaders of Britain; Geoffrey of Monmouth (History, Book VI, chapter 11) gives the traditional account.

3592 trome. Bj, Be, and H emend to trumpe, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

3605 Lines 3605 and 3606 appear in reverse order in the MS (Be).

3611 Apparently the painted cloths (sewn together and doubled) are meant to serve as a protection against arrows.

3648-49 The maiden on the chef, the upper third of the shield, is the Blessed Virgin, who is holding the Christ-child, the Chef or Lord of heaven. In 3650 the sense seems to be "noble."

3650 Arthur will not change his arms to disguise himself even when hard-pressed, as Mordred later does (lines 4181-85).

3662 Wether (Be). MS: With hir (Br, K, H).

Ramming and boarding were the principal tactics in fourteenth century sea battles, since cannon had only recently been introduced.

3672 bernes (Bj, Be). MS: braynes (Br, K). H reads berynes.

3675 Up ties (Be, K, H). MS: Vpcynes (Br).

3678 Many freke (Bj, Be). MS: ffreke (Br, K, H).

3684 englaimes (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: englaymous (Br).

3709 Galuth is Gawain's sword, here personified as "a good gome."

3720 in (Be, K). MS: and (Br, H).

3743 Engendure may be a reference to Mordred's incestuous begetting (see Stanzaic Morte Arthure, lines 2955-56), though there is no direct reference to it in this poem.

3773 The Montagues were a famous Northern English family. The head of the family was a supporter of Richard II and a suspected heretic. He rebelled against Henry IV in 1400; he was beheaded and his head was displayed on London Bridge as a warning to other potential traitors.

3796 help. Be emends to help me, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

3797 to see us (Br, Be, K, H). MS: to us.

3864 Fres. Bj and Be emend to Frisland, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

3869 The golden griffin (a winged dragon) is Gawain's usual heraldic device.

3891 sib-blood. Mordred and Gawain are half brothers; their mother is Arthur's sister.

3911 yeyes (Bj, Be, H, K). MS: ?ee (Br).

3924 Swalters. Bj and Be emend to swafres, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

3929 trewth (Bj, Be, H). MS: trewghe (Br, K).

3937 It is unclear whether the MS reads Guthede or Guchede. The former makes more sense.

3942 encircled (Bj, Be, K, H). MS: enserchede (Br).

3996 kithe (Bj, Be, H). MS: kyghte (Br, K).

4010 Carried it (Br, Be, H). MS: Karyed (Br, K).

4017 Don for him (Bj, Be). MS: Done for (Br, K, H).

4020 erthe. Bj, Be, and H emend to bere, but I have followed Br and K in retaining MS.

4095 The banners must be defended not only for the sake of honor but because signals made with the banners are the only means of communication during a battle.

4129 sere. Bj and Be emend to fele, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

4157 Why then ne (Be). MS: Qwythen. K explains that an emendation may not really be necessary since the OED glosses the MS word in the same words as the emendation.

4181 churles. OL and Be emend to churlish, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS. Mordred adopts the cowardly stratagem of changing his heraldic devices, which Arthur would never do (see note on line 3650).

4221 and in (Br, Be, K, H). MS: and.

4223 he ne (Br, Be, K, H). MS: ne he.

4303 Arthur is said to have been buried at Glastonbury.

4305 day. Be emends to dayes, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

4326 In manus is a common Medieval short form of Pater, in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit," Christ's last words on the cross according to Luke 23:46.

4332 Requiem. Mass for the dead.

4343 blude. Bj and Be emend to kin, but I have followed Br, K, and H in retaining MS.

4346 Brut. The History of Britain, which begins with Brutus, who settled the country. Brut refers to any history of Britain, though the poet may have meant some specific work, such as the popular English prose Brut.

4347 This and the following lines are not by the original author of our poem. This line, which is the inscription on Arthur's tomb (dating from 1278), was added by a later reader of the manuscript. The next lines concern the scribe rather than the author of the poem. Robert Thornton, who lived in Yorkshire, about 1440, wrote out the manuscript that contains this and a number of other romances. The final Latin line, asking that Robert be blessed for his work, was written by a grateful reader in the later fifteenth century.
 
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Alliterative Morte Arthure, Part II


   
   
   
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   Then answers Sir Arthur   to that old wife:
"I am comen fro the conquerour,   courtais and gentle,
As one of the hathelest   of Arthure knightes,
Messenger to this mix,   for mendement of the pople
To mele with this master man   that here this mount yemes,
To trete with this tyraunt   for tresure of landes
And take trew for a time,   to better may worthe."
   
   "Ya, thir wordes are but waste,"   quod this wife then,
"For both landes and lythes   full little by he settes; 92
Of rentes ne of red gold   reckes he never,
For he will lenge out of law,   as himself thinkes,
Withouten license of lede,   as lord in his owen.
But he has a kirtle on,   keeped for himselven,
That was spunnen in Spain   with special birdes
And sithen garnisht in Greece   full graithely togeders;
It is hided all with here,   holly all over
And borderd with the berdes   of burlich kinges,
Crisped and combed   that kempes may know
Ich king by his colour,   in kith there he lenges.
Here the fermes he fanges   of fifteen rewmes,
For ilke Estern even,   however that it fall,
They send it him soothly   for saught of the pople,
Sekerly at that sesoun   with certain knightes.
And he has asked Arthure   all this seven winter;
Forthy hurdes he here   to outraye his pople
Til the Britones king   have burnisht his lippes
And sent his berde to that bold   with his best bernes;
But thou have brought that berde   boun thee no further,
For it is a bootless bale   thou biddes ought elles, 93
For he has more tresure   to take when him likes
Than ever ought Arthur   or any of his elders.
If thou have brought the berde   he bes more blithe
Than thou gave him Borgoine   or Britain the More;
But look now, for charitee,   thou chasty thy lippes
That thee no wordes escape,   whatso betides.
Look thy present be preste   and press him but little,
For he is at his souper;   he will be soon greved.
And thou my counsel do,   thou dos off thy clothes
And kneel in thy kirtle   and call him thy lord.
He soupes all this sesoun   with seven knave childer,
Chopped in a chargeur   of chalk-white silver,
With pickle and powder   of precious spices,
And piment full plenteous   of Portingale wines; 94
Three balefull birdes   his broches they turn,
That bides his bedgatt,   his bidding to work;
Such four sholde be fey   within four houres
Ere his filth were filled   that his flesh yernes."
   
   "Ya, I have brought the berde,"   quod he, "the better me likes;
Forthy will I boun me   and bere it myselven
But, lefe, wolde thou lere me   where that lede lenges?
I shall alowe thee, and I live,   Our Lord so me help!"
   
   "Ferk fast to the fire," quod sho,   "that flames so high;
There filles that fend him,   fraist when thee likes. 95
But thou moste seek more south,   sidlings a little,
For he will have scent himselve   six mile large."
   
   To the source of the reek   he sought at the gainest, 96
Sained him sekerly   with certain wordes,
And sidlings of the segge   the sight had he reched
How unseemly that sot sat   soupand him one!
He lay lenand on long, lodgand unfair,
The thee of a mans limm   lift up by the haunch;
His back and his beuschers   and his brode lendes
He bakes at the bale-fire   and breekless him seemed;
There were rostes full rude   and rewful bredes,
Bernes and bestail   broched togeders,
Cowle full crammed   of crismed childer,
Some as bred broched   and birdes them turned.
   
   And then this comlich king,   because of his pople,
His herte bleedes for bale   on bente where he standes;
Then he dressed on his sheld,   shuntes no lenger,
Braundisht his brode sword   by the bright hiltes,
Raikes toward that renk   right with a rude will
And hiely hailses that hulk   with hautain wordes:
"Now, All-weldand God   that worshippes us all
Give thee sorrow and site,   sot, there thou ligges,
For the foulsomest freke   that formed was ever!
Foully thou feedes thee!   The Fend have thy soul!
Here is cury unclene,   carl, by my trewth,
Caff of creatures all,   thou cursed wretch!
Because that thou killed has   these crismed childer,
Thou has martyrs made   and brought out of life
That here are broched on bente   and brittened with thy handes, 97
I shall merk thee thy meed   as thou has much served,
Through might of Saint Michel   that this mount yemes!
And for this fair lady   that thou has fey leved
And thus forced on folde   for filth of thyselven,
Dress thee now, dog-son,   the devil have thy soul!
For thou shall die this day   through dint of my handes!"
   
   Then glopined the glutton   and glored unfair;
He grenned as a grayhound   with grisly tuskes;
He gaped, he groned fast   with grouchand lates
For gref of the good king   that him with grame greetes.
His fax and his foretop   was filtered togeders
And out of his face fom   an half foot large;
His front and his forheved,   all was it over
As the fell of a frosk   and frakned it seemed;
Hook-nebbed as a hawk,   and a hore berde,
And hered to the eyen-holes   with hangand browes; 98
Harsk as a hound-fish,   hardly who-so lookes,
So was the hide of that hulk   holly all over;
Erne had he full huge   and ugly to shew
With eyen full horrible   and ardaunt for sooth;
Flat-mouthed as a fluke   with fleriand lippes,
And the flesh in his fore-teeth   fouly as a bere;
His berde was brothy and blak   that til his breste reched;
Grassed as a mere-swine   with carkes full huge
And all faltered the flesh   in his foul lippes,
Ilke wrethe as a wolf-heved   it wrath out at ones! 99
Bull-necked was that berne   and brode in the shoulders,
Brok-brested as a brawn   with bristeles full large,
Rude armes as an oke   with ruskled sides,
Limm and leskes full lothen,   leve ye for sooth; 100
Shovel-footed was that shalk   and shaland him seemed,
With shankes unshapely   shovand togeders;
Thick thees as a thurse   and thicker in the haunch,
Grees-growen as a galt,   full grillich he lookes!
Who the lenghe of the lede   lely accountes,
Fro the face to the foot   was five fadom long!
   
   Then stertes he up sturdily   on two stiff shankes,
And soon he caught him a club   all of clene iron;
He wolde have killed the king   with his keen wepen,
But through the craft of Crist   yet the carl failed;
The crest and the coronal,   the claspes of silver,
Clenly with his club   he crashed down at ones!
   
   The king castes up his sheld   and covers him fair,
And with his burlich brand   a box he him reches;
Full butt in the front   the fromand he hittes
That the burnisht blade   to the brain runnes;
He feyed his fysnamie   with his foul handes
And frappes fast at his face   fersly there-after!
The king changes his foot,   eschewes a little;
Ne had he eschaped that chop,   cheved had evil;
He follows in fersly   and fastenes a dint
High up on the haunch   with his hard wepen
That he heled the sword   half a foot large;
The hot blood of the hulk   unto the hilt runnes;
Even into the in-mete   the giaunt he hittes
Just to the genitals   and jagged them in sonder! 101
   
   Then he romed and rored   and rudely he strikes
Full egerly at Arthur   and on the erthe hittes;
A sword-lenghe within the swarth   he swappes at ones
That ner swoones the king   for swough of his dintes!
But yet the king sweperly   full swithe he beswenkes,
Swappes in with the sword   that it the swang bristed;
Both the guttes and the gore   gushes out at ones.
That all englaimes the grass   on ground there he standes!
   
   Then he castes the club   and the king hentes;
On the crest of the crag   he caught him in armes,
And encloses him clenly   to crushen his ribbes;
So hard holdes he that hende   that ner his herte bristes!
Then the baleful birdes   bounes to the erthe,
Kneeland and cryand   and clapped their handes;
"Crist comfort yon knight   and keep him fro sorrow,
And let never yon fend   fell him o life!"
   
   Yet is that warlaw so wight   he welters him under;
Wrothly they writhen   and wrestle togeders,
Welters and wallows over   within those buskes,
Tumbelles and turnes fast   and teres their weedes,
Untenderly fro the top   they tilten togeders,
Whilom Arthur over   and other while under,
Fro the heghe of the hill   unto the hard rock,
They feyne never ere they fall   at the flood marches;
But Arthur with an anlace   egerly smites
And hittes ever in the hulk   up to the hiltes.
The thef at the ded-throwes   so throly him thringes 102
That three ribbes in his side   he thrustes in sonder!
   
   Then Sir Kayous the keen   unto the king stertes,
Said: "Alas!   We are lorn!   My lord is confounded,
Over-fallen with a fend!   Us is foul happned!
We mon be forfeited, in faith,   and flemed forever!"
   
   They heve up his hawberk then   and handelles there-under
His hide and his haunch eek   on height to the shoulders,
His flank and his felettes   and his fair sides,
Both his back and his breste   and his bright armes.
They were fain that they fande   no flesh entamed
And for that journee made joy,   thir gentle knightes.
   
   "Now certes," says Sir Bedvere,   "it seemes, by my Lord,
He seekes saintes but selden,   the sorer he grippes,
That thus clekes this corsaint   out of thir high cliffes, 103
To carry forth such a carl   at close him in silver;
By Michel, of such a mak   I have much wonder
That ever our soveraign Lord   suffers him in heven!
And all saintes be such   that serves our Lord
I shall never no saint be,   by my fader soul!"
   
   Then bourdes the bold king   at Bedvere wordes:
"This saint have I sought,   so help me our Lord!
Forthy braid out thy brand   and broche him to the herte;
Be seker of this sergeaunt;   he has me sore greved!
I fought not with such a freke   this fifteen winter;
But in the mountes of Araby   I met such another;
He was forcier by fer   that had I nere founden; 104
Ne had my fortune been fair,   fey had I leved!
Anon strike off his heved   and stake it thereafter; 105
Give it to thy squier,   for he is well horsed,
Bere it to Sir Howell   that is in hard bondes
And bid him herte him well;   his enmy is destroyed!
Senn bere it to Barflete   and brace it in iron
And set it on the barbican   bernes to shew.
My brand and my brode sheld   upon the bente ligges,
On the crest of the crag   there first we encountered,
And the club there-by,   all of clene iron,
That many Cristen has killed   in Constantine landes;
Ferk to the fore-land   and fetch me that wepen
And let found to our fleet   in flood there it lenges.
If thou will any tresure,   take what thee likes;
Have I the kirtle and the club,   I covet nought elles."
   
   Now they kaire to the crag,   these comlich knightes,
And brought him the brode sheld   and his bright wepen,
The club and the cote als,   Sir Kayous himselven, 106
And kaires with the conquerour   the kinges to shew.
That in covert the king held   close to himselven
While clene day fro the cloud   climbed on loft.
   
   By that to court was comen   clamour full huge,
And before the comlich king   they kneeled all at ones:
"Welcome, our lege lord,   to long has thou dwelled!
Governour under God,   graithest and noble,
To whom grace is graunted   and given at His will
Now thy comly come   has comforted us all!
Thou has in thy realtee   revenged thy pople!
Through help of thy hand   thine enmies are stroyed,
That has thy renkes over-run   and reft them their childer;
Was never rewm out of array   so redyly releved!"
   
   Then the conquerour Cristenly   carpes to his pople:
"Thankes God," quod he, "of this grace   and no gome elles,
For it was never mans deed,   but might of Himselven
Or miracle of his Moder,   that mild is til all!"
   
   He summond then the shipmen   sharply thereafter,
To shake forth with the shire-men   to shift the goodes:
"All the much tresure   that traitour had wonnen
To commouns of the countree,   clergy and other,
Look it be done and delt   to my dere pople
That none plain of their part   o pain of your lives."
   
   He commaunde his cosin,   with knightlich wordes,
To make a kirk on that crag,   there the corse ligges
And a covent there-in,   Crist for to serve,
In mind of that martyr   that in the mount restes.
   
   When Sir Arthur the king   had killed the giaunt,
Then blithely fro Barflete   he buskes on the morn,
With his batail on brede   by tho blithe stremes; 107
Toward Castel Blank   he cheses him the way,
Through a fair champain   under chalk hilles;
The king fraistes a furth   over the fresh strandes,
Foundes with his fair folk   over as him likes;
Forth steppes that steren   and strekes his tents
On a strenghe by a streme,   in those strait landes.
   
   Anon after mid-day,   in the mene-while,
There comes two messengers   of tho fer marches,
Fro the Marshal of Fraunce,   and menskfully him greetes,
Besought him of succour   and said him these wordes:
"Sir, thy Marshal, thy minister,   thy mercy beseekes,
Of thy mikel magistee,   for mendment of thy pople,
Of these marches-men   that thus are miscarried
And thus marred among   maugree their eyen;
I witter thee the Emperour   is enterd into Fraunce
With hostes of enmies,   horrible and huge;
Brinnes in Burgoine   thy burges so rich,
And brittenes thy baronage   that beldes there-in;
He encroches keenly   by craftes of armes
Countrees and casteles   that to thy crown longes,
Confoundes thy commouns,   clergy and other;
But thou comfort them, Sir King,   cover shall they never!
He felles forestes fele,   forrays thy landes,
Frithes no fraunches,   but frayes the pople; 108
Thus he felles thy folk   and fanges their goodes;
Fremedly the French tonge   fey is beleved. 109
He drawes into douce Fraunce,   as Dutch-men telles,
Dressed with his dragons,   dredful to shew;
All to dede they dight   with dintes of swordes,
Dukes and douspeeres   that dreches there-in;
Forthy the lordes of the land,   ladies and other,
Prayes thee for Petere love,   the apostle of Rome,
Senn thou art present in place,   that thou will proffer make
To that perilous prince   by process of time.
He ayers by yon hilles,   yon high holtes under,
Hoves there with hole strenghe   of hethen knightes;
Help now for His love   that high in heven sittes
And talk tristly to them   that thus us destroyes!"
   
   The king biddes Sir Bois:   "Busk thee belive!
Take with thee Sir Berille   and Bedvere the rich,
Sir Gawain and Sir Grime,   these galiard knightes,
And graith you to yon green woodes   and gos on thir needes;
Says to Sir Lucius   too unlordly he workes
Thus litherly againes law   to lede my pople;
I let him ere ought long,   yif me the life happen, 110
Or many light shall low   that him over land followes;
Commaund him keenly   with cruel wordes
Kaire out of my kingrik   with his kidd knightes;
In case that he will not,   that cursed wretch,
Come for his courtaisy   and counter me ones;
Then shall we reckon full rathe   what right that he claimes,
Thus to riot this rewm   and ransoun the pople!
There shall it derely be delt   with dintes of handes;
The Drighten at Doomesday   dele as Him likes!"
   
   Now they graith them to go,   these galiard knightes,
All glitterand in gold,   upon grete steedes
Toward the green wood,   with grounden wepen,
To greet well the grete lord   that wolde be greved soon.
   
   These hende hoves on a hill   by the holt eves 111
Beheld the housing full high   of hethen kinges;
They herde in their herberage   hundrethes full many
Hornes of olyfantes   full highlich blowen;
Palaises proudly pight,   that paled were rich 112
Of pall and of purpure,   with precious stones;
Pensels and pomells   of rich princes armes
Pight in the plain mede   the pople to shew.
And then the Romans so rich   had arrayed their tentes
On row by the river   under the round hilles,
The Emperour for honour   even in the middes,
With egles all over   ennelled so fair;
And saw him and the Sowdan   and senatours many
Seek toward a sale   with sixteen kinges
Syland softly in,   sweetly by themselven,
To soupe with that soverain   full selcouthe metes.
   
   Now they wend over the water,   these worshipful knightes,
Through the wood to the wonne   there the wyes restes;
Right as they had weshen   and went to the table,
Sir Wawain the worthy   unwinly he spekes:
"The might and the majestee   that menskes us all,
That was merked and made   through the might of Himselven,
Give you site in your sete,   Sowdan and other,
That here are sembled in sale;   unsaught mot ye worthe!
And the false heretik   that Emperour him calles,
That occupies in errour   the Empire of Rome,
Sir Arthure heritage,   that honourable king
That all his auncestres ought   but Uter him one,
That ilke cursing that Caim   caught for his brother
Cleve on thee, cuckewald,   with crown there thou lenges,
For the unlordliest lede   that I on looked ever!
My lord marveles him mikel,   man, by my trewth,
Why thou murtheres his men   that no misse serves,
Commouns of the countree,   clergy and other,
That are nought coupable there-in,   ne knowes nought in armes,
Forthy the comlich king,   courtais and noble,
Commaundes thee keenly   to kaire of his landes
Or elles for thy knighthede   encounter him ones.
Senn thou covetes the crown,   let it be declared!
I have discharged me here,   challenge who likes,
Before all thy chevalry,   cheftaines and other.
Shape us an answer,   and shunt thou no lenger,
That we may shift at the short   and shew to my lord."
   
   The Emperour answerd   with austeren wordes:
"Ye are with mine enmy,   Sir Arthur himselven;
It is none honour to me   to outraye his knightes,
Though ye be irous men   that ayers on his needes;
Ne were it not for reverence   of my rich table,
Thou sholde repent full rathe   of thy rude wordes!
Such a rebawd as thou   rebuke any lordes
With their retinues arrayed,   full real and noble!
But say to thy soveraign   I send him these wordes:
Here will I sujourn,   whiles me lefe thinkes,
And sithen seek in by Seine   with solace thereafter,
Ensege all the citees   by the salt strandes,
And senn ride in by Rhone   that runnes so fair,
And of his rich casteles   rush down the walles;
I shall nought leve in Paris,   by process of time,
His part of a pecheline,   prove when him likes!" 113
   
   "Now certes," says Sir Wawain,   "much wonder have I
That such a alfin as thou   dare speke such wordes!
I had lever than all Fraunce,   that heved is of rewmes,
Fight with thee faithfully   on feld by our one!"
   
   Then answers Sir Gayous   full gabbed wordes -
Was eme to the Emperour   and erl himselven:
"Ever were these Bretons   braggers of old!
Lo, how he brawles him   for his bright weedes,
As he might britten us all   with his brand rich!
Yet he barkes much boste,   yon boy there he standes!"
   
   Then greved Sir Gawain   at his grete wordes,
Graithes toward the gome   with grouchand herte;
With his steelen brand   he strikes off his heved,
And stertes out to his steed,   and with his stale wendes.
Through the watches they went,   these worshipful knightes,
And findes in their fare-way   wonderlich many;
Over the water they went   by wightness of horses,
And took wind as they wolde   by the wood hemmes.
Then follows frekly on foot   frekes ynow,
And of the Romans arrayed   upon rich steedes
Chased through a champain   our chevalrous knightes
Til a chef forest   on chalk-white horses.
But a freke all in fine gold   and fretted in sable
Come furthermost on a Freson   in flamand weedes;
A fair flourisht spere   in fewter he castes,
And followes fast on our folk   and freshly ascries.
   
   Then Sir Gawain the good   upon a gray steed
He grippes him a grete spere   and graithly him hittes;
Through the guttes into the gore   he girdes him even,
That the grounden steel   glides to his herte!
The gome and the grete horse   at the ground ligges,
Full grislich gronand   for gref of his woundes.
Then presses a priker in,   full proudly arrayed,
That beres all of purpure,   paled with silver 114
Bigly on a brown steed   he proffers full large. 115
He was a paynim of Perse   that thus him persewed;
Sir Boys, unabaist all, he buskes him againes;
With a bustous launce   he beres him through,
That the breme and the brode sheld   upon the bente ligges!
And he bringes forth the blade   and bounes to his fellowes.
   
   Then Sir Feltemour, of might   a man mikel praised,
Was moved on his manner   and menaced full fast;
He graithes to Sir Gawain   graithly to work,
For gref of Sir Gayous   that is on ground leved.
Then Sir Gawain was glad;   again him he rides;
With Galuth, his good sword,   graithly him hittes;
The knight on the courser   he cleved in sonder,
Clenlich fro the crown   his corse he devised,
And thus he killes the knight   with his kidd wepen.
   
   Then a rich man of Rome   relied to his bernes:
"It shall repent us full sore   and we ride further!
Yon are bold bosters   that such bale workes;
It befell him full foul   that them so first named!"
   
   Then the rich Romans   returnes their bridles,
To their tentes in teen,   telles their lordes
How Sir Marshall de Mowne   is on the molde leved,
Forjousted at that journee   for his grete japes. 116
But there chases on our men   chevalrous knightes,
Five thousand folk   upon fair steedes,
Fast to a forest   over a fell water
That filles fro the fallow se   fifty mile large. 117
There were Bretons enbushed   and banerettes noble,
Of chevalry chef   of the kinges chamber;
Sees them chase our men   and changen their horses
And chop down cheftaines   that they most charged.
Then the enbushment of Bretons   broke out at ones,
Brothly at banner   all Bedvere knightes
Arrested of the Romans   that by the firth rides,
All the realest renkes   that to Rome longes;
They ishe on the enmies   and egerly strikes,
Erles of England,   and "Arthur!" ascries;
Through brenyes and bright sheldes   brestes they thirle,
Bretons of the boldest,   with their bright swordes.
There was Romans over-ridden   and rudely wounded,
Arrested as rebawdes   with riotous knightes!
The Romans out of array   removed at ones
And rides away in a rout - for reddour it seemes!
   
   To the Senatour Peter   a sandesman is comen
And said: "Sir, sekerly,   your segges are surprised!"
Then ten thousand men   he sembled at ones
And set sodenly on our segges   by the salt strandes.
Then were Bretons abaist   and greved a little,
But yet the bannerettes bold   and bachelers noble
Brekes that batail   with brestes of steedes;
Sir Bois and his bold men   much bale workes!
The Romanes redies them,   arrayes them better,
And all to-rushes our men   with their reste horses,
Arrested of the richest   of the Round Table,
Over-rides our rere-ward   and grete rewth workes!
   
   Then the Bretons on the bente   abides no lenger,
But fled to the forest   and the feld leved;
Sir Berille is borne down   and Sir Bois taken,
The best of our bold men   unblithely wounded;
But yet our stale on a strenghe   stotais a little,
All to-stonayed with the stokes   of tho steren knightes, 118
Made sorrow for their soveraign   that so there was nomen,
Besought God of succour,   send when him liked!
   
   Then comes Sir Idrus,   armed up at all rightes,
With five hundreth men   upon fair steedes,
Fraines fast at our folk   freshly thereafter
Yif their frendes were fer   that on the feld founded.
Then says Sir Gawain,   "So me God help,
We have been chased today   and chulled as hares,
Rebuked with Romanes   upon their rich steedes,
And we lurked under lee   as lowrand wretches!
I look never on my lord   the dayes of my life 119
And we so litherly him help   that him so well liked!"
   
   Then the Bretons brothely   broches their steedes
And boldly in batail   upon the bente rides;
All the fers men before   frekly ascries,
Ferkand in the forest   to freshen themselven.
The Romanes then redyly   arrayes them better,
On row on a rowm feld   rightes their wepens,
By the rich river   and rewles the pople;
And with reddour Sir Bois   is in arrest holden.
   
   Now they sembled unsaught   by the salt stremes;
Sadly these seker men   settes their dintes,
With lovely launces on loft   they lushen togederes,
In Lorraine so lordly   on lepand steedes.
There were gomes through-gird   with grounden wepens
Grisly gaspand   with grouchand lates.
Grete lordes of Greece   greved so high.
Swiftly with swordes   they swappen thereafter,
Swappes down full sweperly   sweltande knightes,
That all sweltes on swarth   that they over-swingen. 120
So many sways in swogh,   swoonand at ones -
Sir Gawain the gracious   full graithly he workes;
The gretest he greetes   with grisly woundes;
With Galuth he girdes down   full galiard knightes,
For gref of the grete lord   so grimly he strikes!
He rides forth really   and redyly thereafter
There this real renk   was in arrest holden;
He rives the rank steel,   he rittes their brenyes,
And reft them the rich man   and rode to his strenghes.
The Senatour Peter   then persewed him after,
Through the press of the pople   with his pris knightes,
Appertly for the prisoner   proves his strenghes,
With prikers the proudest   that to the press longes;
Wrothly on the wrong hand   Sir Wawain he strikes,
With a wepen of war   unwinly him hittes;
The breny on the back half   he bristes in sonder;
And yet he brought forth Sir Bois   for all their bale bernes! 121
   
   Then the Bretons boldly   braggen their trumpes,
And for bliss of Sir Bois   was brought out of bondes,
Boldly in batail   they bere down knightes;
With brandes of brown steel   they brittened mailes;
They steked steedes in stour   with steelen wepens
And all stewede with strenghe   that stood them againes!
Sir Idrus fitz Ewain   then "Arthur!" ascries,
Assembles on the senatour   with sixteen knightes
Of the sekerest men   that to our side longed.
Sodenly in a soppe   they set in at ones,
Foines fast at the fore-breste   with flamand swordes
And fightes fast at the front   freshly thereafter,
Felles fele on the feld   upon the ferrer side,
Fey on the fair feld   by tho fresh strandes.
   
   But Sir Idrus fitz Ewain   aunters himselven
And enters in only   and egerly strikes,
Seekes to the senatour   and seses his bridle;
Unsaughtly he said him   these sittand wordes:
"Yelde thee, sir, yapely,   yif thou thy life yernes;
For giftes that thou give may   thou yeme not thyselven,
For, dredles, drech thou   or drop any wiles, 122
Thou shall die this day   through dint of my handes!"
   
   "I assent," quod the senatour,   "so me Crist help.
So that I be safe brought   before the king selven;
Ransoun me reasonabely,   as I may over-reche,
After my rentes in Rome   may redyly further."
   
   Then answers Sir Idrus   with austeren wordes:
"Thou shall have condicioun   as the king likes,
When thou comes to the kith   there the court holdes,
In case his counsel be   to keep thee no longer,
To be killed at his commaundement   his knightes before."
   
   They led him forth in the rout   and latched off his weedes,
Left him with Lionel   and Lowell his brother.
O-low in the land then,   by the lithe strandes,
Sir Lucius lege-men   lost are forever!
The Senatour Peter   is prisoner taken!
Of Perse and Port Jaffe   full many pris knightes
And much pople withal   perished themselven!
For press of the passage   they plunged at ones! 123
There might men see Romans   rewfully wounded,
Over-ridden with renkes   of the Round Table.
In the raike of the furth   they righten their brenyes 124
That ran all on red blood   redyly all over;
They raght in the rere-ward   full riotous knightes 125
For ransoun of red gold   and real steedes;
Redyly relayes   and restes their horses,
In route to the rich king   they rode all at ones.
   
   A knight kaires before,   and to the king telles:
"Sir, here comes thy messengeres   with mirthes fro the mountes;
They have been matched today   with men of the marches,
Foremagled in the morass   with marvelous knightes!
We have foughten, in faith,   by yon fresh strandes,
With the frekest folk   that to thy fo longes;
Fifty thousand on feld   of fers men of armes
Within a furlong of way   fey are beleved!
We have eschewed this check   through chaunce of Our Lord
Of tho chevalrous men   that charged thy pople.
The chef chaunceller of Rome,   a cheftain full noble,
Will ask the charter of pees,   for charitee himselven;
And the Senatour Peter   to prisoner is taken.
Of Perse and Port Jaffe   paynimes ynow
Comes prikand in the press   with thy pris knightes,
With povertee in thy prisoun   their paines to drie.
I beseek you, sir,   say what you likes,
Whether ye suffer them saught   or soon delivered.
Ye may have for the senatour   sixty horse charged
Of silver by Saterday   full sekerly payed,
And for the chef chaunceller,   the chevaler noble,
Charottes chockful   charged with gold.
The remenaunt of the Romanes   be in arrest holden,
Til their rentes in Rome   be rightwisly knowen.
I beseek you, sir,   certify yon lordes,
Yif ye will send them over the se   or keep them yourselven.
All your seker men, for sooth,   sound are beleved,
Save Sir Ewain fitz Henry   is in the side wounded."
   
   "Crist be thanked," quod the king,   "and his clere Moder,
That you comforted and helped   by craft of Himselven.
Skillfully skomfiture   He skiftes as Him likes. 126
Is none so skathly may scape   ne skew fro His handes;
Destainy and doughtiness   of deedes of armes,
All is deemed and delt   at Drightenes will!
I can thee thank for thy come;   it comfortes us all!
Sir knight," says the conquerour,   "so me Crist help,
I give thee for thy tithandes   Toulouse the rich,
The toll and the tachementes,   tavernes and other,
The town and the tenementes   with towres so high,
That touches to the temporaltee,   whiles my time lastes. 127
But say to the senatour   I send him these wordes:
There shall no silver him save   but Ewain recover.
I had lever see him sink   on the salt strandes
Than the segge were seke   that is so sore wounded.
I shall dissever that sorte,   so me Crist help,
And set them full solitary   in sere kinges landes.
Shall he never sound see   his seinoures in Rome,
Ne sit in the assemblee   in sight with his feres,
For it comes to no king   that conquerour is holden
To comone with his captives   for covetis of silver.
It come never of knighthed,   know it if him like,
To carp of cosery   when captives are taken;
It ought to no prisoners   to press no lordes
Ne come in presence of princes   when parties are moved.
Commaund yon constable,   the castle that yemes,
That he be clenlich keeped   and in close holden;
He shall have maundement to-morn   ere mid-day be rungen
To what march they shall merk   with maugree to lengen."
   
   They convey this captive   with clene men of armes
And kend him to the constable,   als the king biddes
And senn to Arthur they ayer   and egerly him touches
The answer of the Emperour,   irous of deedes.
Then Sir Arthur, on erthe   athelest of other
At even, at his own borde   avaunted his lordes:
"Me ought to honour them in erthe   over all other thinges,
That thus in mine absence   aunters themselven!
I shall them love whiles I live,   so me Our Lord help
And give them landes full large   where them best likes;
They shall not lose on this laik,   yif me life happen,
That thus are lamed for my love   by these lithe strandes."
   
   But in the clere dawing   the dere king himselven
Commaunded Sir Cador,   with his dere knightes,
Sir Cleremus, Sir Cleremond,   with clene men of armes,
Sir Clowdmur, Sir Cleges,   to convey these lordes;
Sir Bois and Sir Berille,   with banners displayed,
Sir Bawdwin, Sir Brian,   and Sir Bedvere the rich,
Sir Raynald and Sir Richer,   Rowlaunde childer,
To ride with the Romanes   in route with their feres:
"Prikes now privily   to Paris the rich
With Peter the prisoner   and his pris knightes;
Beteche them the provost   in presence of lordes
O pain and o peril   that pendes there-to
That they be wisely watched   and in ward holden,
Warded of warantises   with worshipful knightes;
Wage him wight men   and wonde for no silver;
I have warned that wye;   beware yif him likes!"
   
   Now bounes the Britons   als the king biddes,
Buskes their batailes,   their banners displayes, 128
Toward Chartres they chese,   these chevalrous knightes,
And in the Champain land   full fair they escheved,
For the Emperour of might   had ordained himselven
Sir Utolf and Sir Evander,   two honourable kinges,
Erles of the Orient   with austeren knightes,
Of the auntrousest men   that to his host longed
Sir Sextynour of Lyby   and senatours many,
The king of Surry himself   with Sarazens ynow;
The senatour of Sutere   with summes full huge
Was assigned to that court   by sente of his peeres,
Trays toward Troys   the tresoun to work,
To have betrapped with a trayn   our traveland knightes,
That had perceived that Peter   at Paris sholde leng
In prisoun with the provost   his paines to drie.
Forthy they busked them boun   with banners displayed,
In the buscaile of his way,   on blonkes full huge,
Plantes them in the path   with power arrayed
To pick up the prisoners   fro our pris knightes.
   
   Sir Cador of Cornwall   commaundes his peeres,
Sir Clegis, Sir Cleremus,   Sir Cleremond the noble:
"Here is the Close of Clime   with cleves so high;
Lookes the countree be clere;   the corners are large;
Discoveres now sekerly   skrogges and other,
That no scathel in the skrogges   scorn us hereafter;
Look ye skift it so   that us no scathe limpe,
For no scomfiture in skulkery   is scomfit ever." 129
   
   Now they hie to the holt,   these harageous knightes,
To herken of the high men   to helpen these lordes,
Findes them helmed hole   and horsed on steedes,
Hovand on the high way   by the holt hemmes.
With knightly countenaunce   Sir Clegis himselven
Cries to the company   and carpes these wordes:
"Is there any kidd knight,   kaiser or other,
Will kithe for his kinges love   craftes of armes?
We are comen fro the king   of this kith rich
That knowen is for conquerour,   crownd in erthe;
His rich retinues here,   all of the Round Table,
To ride with that real   in rout when him likes.
We seek jousting of war,   yif any will happen,
Of the jolliest men   ajudged by lordes;
If here be any hathel man,   erl or other,
That for the Emperour love   wil aunter himselven."
   
   And an erl then in anger   answeres him soon:
"Me angers at Arthur   and at his hathel bernes
That thus in his errour   occupies these rewmes,
And outrayes the Emperour,   his erthly lord!
The array and the realtees   of the Round Table
Is with rancour rehersed   in rewmes full many,
Of our rentes of Rome   such revel he holdes;
He shall give resoun full rathe,   if us right happen,
That many shall repent   that in his rout rides,
For the reckless roy   so rewles himselven!"
   "A!" says Sir Clegis then,   "so me Crist help!
I know by thy carping   a counter thee seemes!
But be thou auditour or erl   or Emperour thyselven,
Upon Arthures behalf   I answer thee soon,
The renk so real   that rewles us all,
The riotous men and the rich   of the Round Table:
He has araised his account   and redde all his rolles,
For he will give a reckoning   that rew shall after,
That all the rich shall repent   that to Rome longes
Ere the rerage be requite   of rentes that he claimes.
We crave of your courtaisy   three courses of war,
And claimes of knighthood,   take keep to yourselven!
Ye do but trayn us today   with troufeland wordes;
Of such traveland men   trechery me thinkes.
Send out sadly   certain knightes
Or say me sekerly sooth;   forsake yif you likes."
   
   Then says the King of Surry,   "Als save me Our Lord,
Yif thou hufe all the day   thou bes not delivered!
But thou sekerly ensure   with certain knightes
That thy cote and thy crest   be knowen with lordes,
Of armes of auncestry   enterd with landes."
   
   "Sir King," says Sir Clegis,   "full knightly thou askes;
I trow it be for cowardis   thou carpes these wordes;
Mine armes are of auncestry   envered with lordes,
And has in banner been borne   senn Sir Brut time;
At the citee of Troy   that time was enseged,
Oft seen in assaut   with certain kinghtes;
Forthy Brut brought us   and all our bold elders
To Bretain the Brodder   within ship-bordes."
   
   "Sir," says Sir Sextynour,   "say what thee likes,
And we shall suffer thee,   als us best seemes;
Look thy trumpes be trussed   and troufle no lenger, 130
For though thou tarry all the day,   thee tides no better,
For there shall never Roman   that in my rout rides
Be with rebawdes rebuked,   whiles I in world regne!"
   
   Then Sir Clegis to the king   a little enclined,
Kaires to Sir Cador   and knightly him telles:
"We have founden in yon firth,   flourished with leves,
The flowr of the fairest folk   that to thy fo longes,
Fifty thousand of folk   of fers men of armes,
That fair are fewtered on front   under yon free bowes;
They are enbushed on blonkes,   with banners displayed,
In yon beechen wood,   upon the way sides.
They have the furth for-set   all of the fair water,
That fayfully of force   fight us behooves,
For thus us shapes today,   shortly to tell;
Whether we shoun or shew,   shift as thee likes." 131
   
   "Nay," quod Cador,   "so me Crist help,
It were shame that we sholde   shoun for so little!
Sir Launcelot shall never laugh,   that with the king lenges,
That I sholde let my way   for lede upon erthe;
I shall be dede and undone   ere I here dreche
For drede of any dogges-son   in yon dim shawes!"
   
   Sir Cador then knightly   comfortes his pople,
And with corage keen   he carpes these wordes:
"Think on the valiant prince   that vesettes us ever
With landes and lordshippes   where us best likes.
That has us ducherys delt   and dubbed us knightes,
Given us gersoms and gold   and guerdons many,
Grayhoundes and grete horse   and alkine games,
That gaines til any gome   that under God lives;
Think on rich renown   of the Round Table,
And let it never be reft us   for Roman in erthe;
Foyne you not faintly,   ne frithes no wepens,
But look ye fight faithfully,   frekes yourselven;
I wolde be welled all quick   and quartered in sonder, 132
But I work my deed,   whiles I in wrath lenge."
   
   Then this doughty duke   dubbed his knightes:
Ioneke and Askanere,   Aladuke and other,
That eieres were of Essex   and all those este marches,
Howell and Hardolf,   happy in armes,
Sir Heryll and Sir Herygall,   these harageous knightes.
Then the soveraign assigned   certain lordes,
Sir Wawayne, Sir Uryelle,   Sir Bedvere the rich,
Raynald and Richere,   Rowlandes childer:
"Takes keep on this prince   with your pris knightes,
And yif we in the stour   withstanden the better,
Standes here in this stede   and stirres no further;
And yif the chaunce fall   that we be over-charged,
Eschewes to some castle   and cheves yourselven,
Or ride to the rich king,   if you roo happen,
And bid him come redyly   to rescue his bernes."
   
   And then the Bretons brothely   enbraces their sheldes,
Braides on bacenettes   and buskes their launces;
Thus he fittes his folk   and to the feld rides,
Five hundreth on a front   fewtered at ones!
With trumpes they trine   and trapped steedes,
With cornettes and clariouns   and clergial notes;
Shockes in with a shake   and shuntes no longer,
There shawes were sheen   under the shire eves. 133
And then the Romanes rout   removes a little,
Raikes with a rere-ward   those real knightes;
So raply they ride there   that all the rout ringes
Of rives and rank steel   and rich gold mailes. 134
   
   Then shot out of the shaw   sheltrones many,
With sharp wepens of war   shootand at ones.
The King of Lyby before   the avauntward he ledes,
And all his lele lege-men   all on loud ascries.
Then this cruel king castes in fewter,
Caught him a coverd horse,   and his course holdes,
Beres to Sir Berille   and brothely him hittes,
Through the golet and the gorger   he hurtes him even.
The gome and the grete horse   at the ground ligges,
And gretes graithely to God   and gives Him the soul.
Thus is Berille the bold   brought out of life,
And bides after the burial   that him best likes.
   
   And then Sir Cador of Cornwall   is careful in herte,
Because of his kinsman   that thus is miscarried;
Umbeclappes the corse,   and kisses him oft,
Gart keep him covert   with his clere knightes.
Then laughs the Lyby king,   and all on loud meles:
"Yon lord is lighted!   Me likes the better!
He shall not dere us today;   the devil have his bones!"
   
   "Yon king," says Sir Cador,   "carpes full large,
Because he killed this keen - Crist have thy soul! -
He shall have corn-bote,   so me Crist help!
Ere I kaire of this coste,   we shall encounter ones:
So may the wind wheel turn,   I quite him ere even,
Soothly himselven   or some of his feres!"
   
   Then Sir Cador the keen   knightly he workes,
Cries, "A Cornwall!"   and castes in fewter,
Girdes streke through the stour   on a steed rich;
Many steren men he stirred   by strenghe of him one;
When his spere was sprongen,   he sped him full yerne,
Swapped out with a sword   that swiked him never,
Wrought wayes full wide,   and wounded knightes,
Workes in his wayfare   full workand sides,
And hewes of the hardiest   halses in sonder,
That all blendes with blood   there his blonk runnes!
So many bernes the bold   brought out of life,
Tittes tyrauntes down   and temes their saddles,
And turnes out of the toil   when him time thinkes!
   
   Then the Lyby king   cries full loud
On Sir Cador the keen   with cruel wordes:
"Thou has worship won   and wounded knightes!
Thou weenes for thy wightness   the world is thine own!
I shall wait at thine hand,   wye, by my trewth;
I have warned thee well,   beware yif thee likes!"
   
   With cornus and clariouns   these new-made knightes
Lithes unto the cry   and castes in fewter,
Ferkes in on a front   on feraunt steedes, 135
Felled at the first come   fifty at ones;
Shot through the sheltrons   and shivered launces,
Laid down in the lump   lordly bernes.
And thus nobly our new men   notes their strenghes!
But new note is anon   that noyes me sore:
The King of Lyby has laght   a steed that him liked,
And comes in lordly   in liones of silver,
Umbelappes the lump   and lettes in sonder;
Many lede with his launce   the life has he reved!
Thus he chases the childer   of the kinges chamber,
And killes in the champaines   chevalrous knightes;
With a chasing spere   he choppes down many!
   
   There was Sir Aladuke slain   and Achinour wounded,
Sir Origge and Sir Ermyngall   hewen all to peces!
And there was Lewlin laght   and Lewlins brother
With lordes of Lyby   and led to their strenghes;
Ne had Sir Clegis comen   and Clement the noble,
Our new men had gone to nought   and many mo other.
   
   Then Sir Cador the keen   castes in fewter
A cruel launce and a keen   and to the king rides,
Hittes him high on the helm   with his hard wepen,
That all the hot blood of him   to his hand runnes!
The hethen harageous king   upon the hethe ligges,
And of his hertly hurt   heled he never.
Then Sir Cador the keen   cries full loud:
"Thou has corn-bote, sir king,   there God give thee sorrow;
Thou killed my cosin;   my care is the less!
Kele thee now in the clay   and comfort thyselven;
Thou scorned us long ere,   with thy scornful wordes,
And now thou has cheved so,   it is thine own scathe;
Hold at thou hent has;   it harmes but little, 136
For hething is home-hold,   use it who-so will!"
   
   The King of Surry then   is sorrowful in herte,
For sake of his soveraign   that thus was surprised;
Sembled his Sarazens   and senatours many;
Unsaughtly they set then   upon our sere knightes.
Sir Cador of Cornwall   he counters them soon
With his kidd company   clenlich arrayed;
In the front of the firth,   as the way forthes,
Fifty thousand of folk   was felled at ones.
There was at the assemblee   certain knightes
Sore wounded soon   upon sere halves.
The sekerest Sarazenes   that to that sorte longed
Behind the saddles were set   six foot large;
They sheerd in the sheltron   shelded knightes;
Shalkes they shot through   shrinkand mailes;
Through brenyes browden   brestes they thirled;
Bracers burnisht   bristes in sonder;
Blasons bloody   and blonkes they hewen,
With brandes of brown steel,   brankand steedes!
The Bretons brothely   brittenes so many
The bente and the brode feld   all on blood runnes!
By then Sir Kayous the keen   a capitain has wonnen;
Sir Clegis clinges in   and clekes another;
The Capitain of Cordewa,   under the king selven,
That was key of the kith   of all that coste rich
Utolf and Evander   Ioneke had nommen
With the Erl of Afrike   and other grete lordes.
The King of Surry the keen   to Sir Cador is yelden,
The Seneschal of Sutere   to Sagramour himselven.
When the chevalry saw   their cheftaines were nomen,
To a chef forest   they chosen their wayes,
And feeled them so faint   they fell in the greves,
In the feren of the firth   for ferd of our pople.
There might men see the rich   ride in the shawes
To rip up the Romanes   rudlich wounded,
Shoutes after men   harageous knightes,
By hundrethes they hewed down   by the holt eves!
Thus our chevalrous men   chases the pople;
To a castel they escheved   the few that eschaped.
   
   Then relies the renkes   of the Round Table
For to riot the wood   there the duke restes;
Ransackes the rindes all,   raght up their feres,
That in the fighting before   fey were beleved.
Sir Cador gart charre them   and cover them fair, 137
Carried them to the king   with his best knightes,
And passes unto Paris   with prisoners himselven,
Betook them the provost,   princes and other,
Tas a sope in the towr   and tarries no longer
But turnes tite to the king   and him with tonge telles:
"Sir," says Sir Cador,   "a case is befallen;
We have countered today   in yon coste rich
With kinges and kaiseres   cruel and noble,
And knightes and keen men   clenlich arrayed!
They had at yon forest   for-set us the wayes,
At the furth in the firth   with fers men of armes;
There fought we in faith   and foined with speres
On feld with thy fomen   and felled them on live;
The King of Lyby is laid   and in the feld leved,
And many of his lege-men   that yore to him longed;
Other lordes are laght   of uncouthe ledes;
We have led them at lenge,   to live whiles thee likes.
Sir Utolf and Sir Evander,   these honourable knightes,
By an aunter of armes   Ioneke has nomen,
With erles of Orient   and austeren knightes,
Of auncestry the best men   that to the host longed;
The Senatour Carous   is caught with a knight,
The Capitain of Cornette   that cruel is holden,
The Seneschal of Sutere,   unsaught with these other,
The King of Surry himselven   and Sarazenes ynow.
But fey of ours in the feld   are fourteen knightes.
I will not feyne ne forbere   but faithfully tellen:
Sir Berille is one,   a bannerette noble,
Was killed at the first come   with a king rich;
Sir Aladuke of Towell   with his tender knightes,
Among the Turkes was tint   and in time founden;
Good Sir Mawrelle of Mawnces   and Mawrene his brother,
Sir Meneduke of Mentoche   with marvelous knightes."
   
   Then the worthy king writhes   and weeped with his eyen,
Carpes to his cosin   Sir Cador these wordes:
"Sir Cador, thy corage   confoundes us all!
Cowardly thou castes out   all my best knightes!
To put men in peril,   it is no pris holden,
But the parties were purveyed   and power arrayed;
When thou were stedde on a strenghe   thou sholde have with-stonden,
But yif ye wolde all my steren   stroy for the nones!" 138
   
   "Sir," says Sir Cador,   "ye know well yourselven;
Ye are king in this kith;   carp what you likes!
Shall never berne upbraid me   that to thy borde longes,
That I sholde blinn for their boste   thy bidding to work!
When any stertes to stale,   stuff them the better,
Or they will be stonayed and stroyed   in yon strait landes. 139
I did my deligence today - I do me on lordes - 140
And in daunger of dede   for diverse knightes,
I have no grace to thy gree   but such grete wordes;
Yif I heven my herte,   my hap is no better."
   
   Though Sir Arthur was angered,   he answers fair:
"Thou has doughtily done,   Sir Duke, with thy handes,
And has done thy dever   with my dere knightes;
Forthy thou art deemed   with dukes and erles
For one of the doughtiest   that dubbed was ever!
There is none ischew of us   on this erthe sprongen;
Thou art apparent to be eier,   or one of thy childer;
Thou art my sister son;   forsake shall I never!
   
   Then gart he in his owen tent   a table be set,
And tryed in with trumpes   traveled bernes,
Served them solemnly   with selcouthe metes,
Swithe seemly in sight   with silveren dishes.
   
   When the senatours herde say   that it so happened,
They said to the Emperour:   "Thy segges are surprised!
Sir Arthur, thine enmy,   has outrayed thy lordes
That rode for the rescue   of yon rich knightes!
Thou dos but tinnes thy time   and tourmentes thy pople;
Thou art betrayed of thy men   that most thou on traisted.
That shall turn thee to teen   and torfer forever!"
   
   Then the Emperour irous was,   angerd at his herte
For our valiant bernes   such prowesh had wonnen.
With king and with kaiser   to counsel they wend,
Soveraignes of Sarazens   and senatours many.
Thus he sembles full soon   certain lordes,
And in the assemblee then   he says them these wordes:
"My herte soothly is set,   assent if you likes,
To seek into Sessoine   with my seker knightes,
To fight with my fomen,   if fortune me happen,
Yif I may find the freke   within the four halves;
Or enter into Auguste   aunters to seek,
And bide with my bold men   within the burg rich,
Rest us and revel   and riot ourselven,
Lende there in delite   in lordshippes ynow,
To Sir Leo be comen   with all his lele knightes,
With lordes of Lumbardy   to let him the wayes."
   
   But our wise king is wary   to waiten his renkes,
And wisely by the woodes   voides his host;
Gart felshen his fires   flamand full high, 141
Trussen full traistely   and treunt there-after.
Sithen into Sessoine   he sought at the gainest,
And at the sours of the sun   disseveres his knightes,
For-set them the citee   upon sere halves,
Sodenly on eche halfe,   with seven grete stales, 142
Only in the vale   a vaweward enbushes.
   
   Sir Valiant of Wales   with valiant knightes
Before the kinges visage   made such avowes
To vanquish by victory   the Viscount of Rome;
Forthy the king charges him,   what chaunce so befall,
Cheftain of the check   with chevalrous knightes,
And sithen meles with mouth   that he most traistes;
Demenes the middilward   menskfully himselven,
Fittes his footmen   als him fair thinkes;
On front in the fore-breste   the flowr of his knightes;
His archers on either half   he ordained there-after
To shake in a sheltron   to shoot when them likes;
He arrayed in the rereward   full real knightes
With renkes renowned   of the Round Table,
Sir Raynald, Sir Richere   that rade was never,
The rich Duke of Rouen   with riders ynow;
Sir Kayous, Sir Clegis,   and clene men of armes, 143
The king castes to keep   by tho clere strandes;
Sir Lot and Sir Launcelot,   these lordly knightes
Shall lenge on his left hand   with legiones ynow,
To move in the morn-while,   if the mist happen;
Sir Cador of Cornwall,   and his keen knightes,
To keep at the karfuke,   to close in thir other;
He plantes in such places   princes and erles
That no power sholde pass   by no privee wayes.
   
   But the Emperour anon   with honourable knightes
And erles enters the vale,   aunters to seek,
And findes Sir Arthur   with hostes arrayed,
And at his in-come,   to eeken his sorrow,
Our burlich bold king   upon the bente hoves,
With his batail on-brode   and banners displayed.
He had the citee for-set   upon sere halves,
Both the cleves and the cliffes   with clene men of armes,
The moss and the morass   with mountes so high
With grete multitude of men   to mar him in the wayes.
   
   When Sir Lucius sees,   he says to his lordes:
"This traitour has treunt   this tresoun to work!
He has the citee for-set   upon sere halves,
All the cleves and the cliffes   with clene men of armes!
Here is no way, iwis,   ne no wit else,
But fight with our fomen,   for flee may we never!"
   
   Then this rich man rathe   arrayes his bernes,
Rewled his Romans   and real knightes;
Buskes in the avauntward   the Viscount of Rome;
Fro Viterbo to Venice   these valiant knightes
Dresses up dredfully   the dragon of gold,
With egles all over   enamelled of sable;
Drawen dreghly the wine   and drinken there-after,
Dukes and douspeeres,   dubbed knightes;
For dauncesing of Dutch-men   and dinning of pipes,
All dinned for din   that in the dale hoved.
And then Sir Lucius on loud   said lordlich wordes:
"Think on the much renown   of your rich faders,
And the riotours of Rome   that regned with lordes,
And the renkes over-ran,   all that regned in erthe,
Ecroched all Cristendom   by craftes of armes;
In everich a viage   the victory was holden
Inset all the Sarazenes   within seven winter,
The part from Port Jaffe   to Paradise gates!
Though a rewm be rebel,   we reck it but little;
It is resoun and right   the renk be restrained!
Do dress we therefore,   and bide we no longer,
For dredles, withouten doubt,   the day shall be oures!"
woman
   
most manly
dung; amendment
speak; possesses
   
truce; until; be
   
these; woman
   
reckons
live outside the law
prince; own (right)
gown
by maidens
sewn; readily
covered; hair; wholly
beards; stately
Curled; warriors
Each; country
revenues; siezes
Easter Eve
peace
   
asked for Arthur's (beard)
Therefore dwells; outrage
i.e., shaved
   
   
   
   
owned
will be
Burgundy; Great Britain
discipline (close)
   
swift
dinner; easily annoyed
If; take; i.e., armor
gown
dines; on; male children
serving dish
   
(see note)
sad maidens; spits
bedtime; do
dead
satisfied; yearns
   
   
go; bear
dear; teach; man
praise thee if
   
Go
   
go; sidewise
away
   
(see note)
Crossed himself
sidewise; man; reached
dining alone
stretched out; lodging
thigh; limb
buttocks; loins
warms; without trousers
roasts; roast meats
Men; beasts spitted
Tub; baptized children
roasts spitted; maidens
   
comely
pain; ground
holds back no longer
   
Rushes; man
hastily greets; proud
All-ruling; honors
grief; lie
foulest man
   
cooking; churl; word
Chaff
baptized children
   
   
assign; reward; deserved
possesses
As
raped; earth
Prepare yourself
   
   
was terrified; glared
snarled (grinned)
groaned; grudging expressions
anger
hair; forelock; matted
foam; long
face; forehead
skin; frog; freckled
Hook-nosed; gray (hoar)
(see note)
Harsh; intently
wholly
Ears; be seen
eyes; flaming
flounder; sneering
foul; bear
fierce
Fat; dolphin; carcass
quivered
   
   
Spotted-breasted; boar
oak; wrinkled
   
man; bowlegged
shoving (i.e., knock-kneed)
thighs; giant
Fat; pig; horrible
length; man carefully
fathoms
   
leaps
   
fierce weapon
churl
diadem
   
   
   
stately; reaches to him
face; monster
   
wiped; face
strikes; Arthur's; fiercely
retreats
escaped; achieved (won)
strikes a blow
weapon
buried; deep
   
in-meat (intestines)
(see note)
   
bellowed; roared
eagerly
ground; strikes
sound
swiftly; quickly; works
Strikes; loins burst
   
makes slimy
   
throws away; seizes
   
   
noble; bursts
sad maidens fall
clasped
   
fiend; kill him
   
warlock; rolls
   
bushes; (see note)
Tumble; tear; clothes
topple
At times
height
   
dagger
   
   
breaks asunder
   
leaps
lost
Over-thrown; by
must; exiled
   
lift; handle
also; up
loins
   
glad; found injured
day's fighting; these
   
   
seldom; more severely
   
churl to enclose
fellow
   
If
father's
   
jokes; Bedevere's
   
draw; spit
fellow
   
(see note)
   
   
   
squire
bonds of sorrow
hearten; enemy
Barfleur
main-gate tower
ground lie
   
   
Peninsula of Cotentin
Go; promontory; weapon
let us go
want; treasure
gown; else
   
comely
   
   
   
Yet
   
   
By that time
   
liege
most active
   
coming
royalty
destroyed
bereft
disordered realm; relieved
   
Christianly
man
   
   
   
   
go; men of the shire
   
   
dealt out
complain; on
   
commanded
church; body
monastery
memory; i.e., the duchess
   
   
goes
   
chooses (i.e., goes); (see note)
open plain
seeks; ford
goes
stern (one); stretches out
strong-hold; narrow
   
meanwhile; (see note)
from those far
honorably
   
   
great majesty; amendment
men of the marches
harmed in spite of
assure
   
Burns; Burgundy; cities
beats down; dwells
invades
belong
Destroys; citizens
Unless; recover
many; plunders
   
slays; seizes
   
sweet; Germans
   
death; put
stay
   
   
i.e., make war
Against
goes
Waits; force
   
boldly
   
Go; quickly; (see note)
(see note)
jolly; (see note)
do this errand
   
wickedly; treat
   
   
   
Go; kingdom
   
courtesy; encounter
quickly
ravage
dearly; dealt
Lord; deal
   
prepare; jolly
   
sharpened; (see note)
   
   
   
noble; heathen
dwellings
elephants; loudly
   
   
pennons; tent-pommels
Placed; meadow
   
   
exactly
eagles; decorated
Sultan
Go; hall
Gliding
dine; rare foods
   
   
dwelling
washed
unfriendly; speaks; (see note)
honors
formed
grief; seat
hall; troubled; be
   
   
   
ancestors owned
Cain
Cleave; cuckold
   
much; word
murder; trouble deserve
   
guilty
   
out of
knighthood
   
done my duty
   
hold back
go quickly
   
austere
   
do violence to
angry; go; errands
   
quickly
low fellow
   
(see note)
it seems good
then go
Besiege
   
   
   
   
   
   
foolish person
rather; head
   
   
foolish
uncle
Britons
garments (i.e., armor)
beat down; sword
boast; knave
   
   
Goes; man; angry
steel
leaps; company
   
path wondrously
   
edges of the wood
fiercely; warriors
   
open field
large (chief)
adorned; (see note)
Frisian horse; bright armor
spear-rest
eagerly; cries
   
   
readily
smites
sharpened
man; lies
grisly; groaning; grief
rider
   
   
pagan; Persia
unabashed; (see note)
wild
fierce (one)
goes
   
much
   
charges at; readily
   
   
readily
cleaved in two
Cleanly; body he divided
famous
   
rallied
if
boasters; evil
   
   
turn back
grief
ground
   
   
   
strong (i.e., swift)
(see note)
in ambush; senior knights
   
redirect; (see note)
   
ambush
Boldly; Bedivere's; (see note)
wood
belong
rush
cry
hauberks; pierce
   
   
low fellows
broke ranks
fear
   
messenger
men; seized
   
suddenly; men
abashed
(see note to line 68)
Break; battalion
pain
rally themselves; (see note)
dash asunder; rested
   
rear guard; sorrow
   
field
   
   
   
company; stronghold pauses
(see note)
taken
   
   
completely
   
Asks; eagerly
went
   
driven like hares
   
shelter; lowering
   
   
   
boldly; spur
   
fierce; boldly cry
Striding through
   
broad; adjust
arrange the troops
fear
   
fiercely attacked
   
dash together
   
pierced; sharpened
gasping; angry expressions
   
strike
swiftly dying
(see note)
faint
   
   
strikes; jolly
   
royally
To where; i.e., Bois
rips; hauberks
bereft; stronghold
pursued
   
Openly; strength
riders; company
Angrily; left
unpleasantly
hauberk; breaks in two
   
   
blow; trumpets
   
   
shining; armor
stuck; battle; steel
struck down
cries
Attacks
   
small troop
Strike; gleaming
eagerly
many; farther
Dead
   
risks
alone
seizes
Hostilely; fitting
Yield; quickly; yearn for
save; (see note)
   
   
   
said
Providing that
reasonably; obtain
tribute; readily furnish
   
   
conditions
   
   
   
   
took; armor
   
below; pleasant
   
   
Persia; Jaffa (Joppa)
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
noble
change horses
company
   
goes
   
   
Hacked to pieces; marsh
   
boldest; belongs
   
   
escaped; defeat
   
   
   
   
pagans
spurring; choice
suffer
   
grant; peace
loaded
   
   
Wagons; loaded
remnant
correctly
make certain
   
   
(see note)
   
immaculate
   
   
   
Destiny
God's
coming
   
tidings; (see note)
appurtenances
   
   
   
unless
rather
man; sick
separate; company
various
lords
comrades
is becoming; considered
bargain; covetousness
knighthood
business
belongs (i.e., is proper)
business is discussed
governs
confinement
command
go; spite
   
excellent
entrust; as
go; tell
angry
noblest
praised
   
   
   
   
game; is granted
wounded; pleasant
   
dawn
   
   
   
   
   
   
comrades
secretly
   
Entrust them to
On the; appends
   
sworn guards
Hire; hesitate
   
   
prepare; as
   
go
succeeded
   
(see note)
stern
most adventurous
Lybia
Syria
Sutri
assent
Goes; Troyes (in France)
trick; travelling
   
suffer
made themselves ready
bushes
   
   
   
   
(see note)
cliffs
   
Search; carefully shrubs
harmful person; shrubs
arrange; harm befall
   
   
hasten; wood; violent
hear; noble
completely armed
Waiting; wood's edges
   
   
renowned; peace officer
show
powerful country; (see note)
   
   
   
   
   
noble
   
   
   
noble
   
outrages
royalty
told
   
quickly
   
Because; king
   
talking; accountant
accountant
   
man
   
drawn up; read; records
rue
powerful (ones)
debt be repaid
(see note)
   
trick; trifling; (see note)
travelling
   
surrender
   
Syria; As
delay; will be; (see note)
   
coat of arms; (see note)
endowed
   
   
believe; cowardice
acknowledged
(see note)
besieged
assault
Therefore; (see note)
Great Britain; aboard ships
   
   
   
   
betides
   
low fellows
   
bowed
   
forest
   
fierce
prepared for battle
in ambush
beech
ford obstructed
truly
it befalls us
   
   
   
shun (battle)
   
give up; man
delay
dog's son; bushes
   
   
heart
endows
   
dukedoms
gifts; rewards
every sort of pleasure
profit any man
(see note)
taken from
Duel; spare
   
   
Unless
   
   
   
heirs; eastern
fortunate
violent
   
(see note)
(see note)
Take care of; i.e., Peter
battle
place
   
Escape; save
respite
   
   
boldly; strap on
Draw on helmets
arranges
readied spears
trumpets; go; caparisoned
skillful
sudden movement; hold back
   
   
Goes; rear guard
quickly
   
   
bushes troops
   
Libya; vanguard
loyal liegemen; (see note)
readies his spear
armored
stoutly
gullet; neckpiece
man
cries
   
awaits the burial
   
sorrowful
   
Embraces
Commanded; protected
speaks
fallen
harm
   
   
brave one
penance; (see note)
place
As does; repay
companions
   
   
readies his spear
Strikes straight; battle
stern; struck
broken; eagerly
failed
   
Makes; painful; (see note)
necks
horse
   
Knocks; empties
   
   
Libyan
   
   
suppose; power
man; word
   
   
horns
Listen; ready their spears
   
   
troops; split
heap
use
business; annoys
seized
with heraldic lions
Surrounds; group; drives
taken
   
open fields
hunting spear
   
   
pieces
taken
stronghold
   
many others
   
readies his spear
   
   
   
heathen violent; heath
mortal; healed
   
penance
   
Cool yourself
   
fared; harm
   
   
   
Syria
taken
   
Hostilely; various
encounters
famous; splendidly
forest; goes forth
   
   
every side
most dependable; company
(see note)
cut down; troop shielded
Men; wrinkled (plated)
armor braided; pierced
Arm guards; burst
Bloody shields
shining; prancing
quickly destroy
earth
captured
rushes; clutches
Cordova; (see note)
country
captured
Africa
surrendered
Sutri
taken
go
groves
ferns; forest; fear
shrubs
rudely
violent; (see note)
edge of the wood
   
achieved (got to); escaped
   
rally
ride through
woods; took; companions
left
   
   
   
entrusted them to
Takes; meal
quickly; tongue
   
encountered; coast
   
   
blockaded
ford; forest
duelled
alive (i.e., killed them)
laid low
formerly
taken; foreign countries
to remain here
(see note)
taken
   
   
(see note)
Corneto
Sutri; distressed
(see note)
(see note)
hold back; delay
   
   
   
lost; found (dead)
   
   
   
   
   
courage
   
excellence
prepared
   
strong men destroy
   
   
   
table; (see note)
cease; command
sets out; company; supply
   
   
death
reward
speak my mind; fortune
   
(see note)
   
duty
   
   
issue (child); sprung
heir
sister's
   
commanded; own
invited; trumpets; exhausted
rare foods
very
   
heard
warriors; taken
outraged
   
do; lose; torment
by; trusted
pain; sorrow
   
irate
prowess
   
   
   
assembly
   
Soissons
   
sides
Autun (province in France)
   
   
Remain; delight
Until; loyal
hinder
   
look out for
withdraws
   
   
Soissons; went; quickest
rising; separates
Blockaded; all sides; (see note)
(see note)
vanguard lies in ambush
   
(see note)
   
   
appoints
attack
to those that; trusts
Leads; middle guard
Arranges
first rank
side
go; troop
   
   
fearful
   
   
   
   
   
morning
   
watch; crossroads; these
   
secret
   
   
   
   
entry; add to
strong; plain rides
battalions spread out
besieged; many sides
gullies
bogs
harm
   
(see note)
marched here; treason
blockaded
gullies
advice
   
   
swiftly
   
vanguard
   
Raise
eagles; adorned
solemnly
   
Germans; sounding
resounded; noise; stood
   
   
ravagers
   
Invaded
each expedition
Overcame
Jaffa
reckon
   
Let us prepare ourselves
surely


Go To Alliterative Morte Arthure, Part III