Sir Perceval of Galles

SIR PERCEVAL OF GALLES: FOOTNOTES

1 She need not even ask for them (the slaughtered animals)

2 Regardless of whoever had stood between them

3 That I should continue living after the one / Who, it seems to me, looked like you (i.e., Perceval's father)

4 For with a ring he had / The maiden who had the land

5 I say there will be no more pathways to walk (i.e., your career is ended)

SIR PERCEVAL OF GALLES: NOTES

1 Lef, lythes to me. The opening formula links this poem to the minstrel tradition which often included a bid for attention, followed by the announcement of a subject. Minstrels favored tail-rhyme romances that could be more easily memorized and heard. The poet's contention that he will speak "two wordes or thre" sets a comic tone for a poem that continues for 2,288 lines.

7 This line is imitated by Chaucer in The Tale of Sir Thopas - "Hymself drank water of the well, / As dide the Knyght sire Percyvell" VII(B2), 915-16 - which appears to be, in part, a takeoff on the more creaky features of this poem. See Introduction and see also note at lines 2141-43.

23 The English poet is unique among romance writers in giving Arthur a sister named Acheflour. The name is perhaps a corruption of Blanchefleur, who in Chrétien's Perceval, is said to be Arthur's sister and the hero's mother.

26 Arthur provides dower for Acheflour. According to medieval law, the husband would control the "broad lands" and the wife would receive one-third of her husband's estate. The lands given by Arthur would revert to Acheflour upon her husband's death.

46 Jousts à plaisance (jousts of "pleasure"), peaceful skirmishes, were commonly held on occasions of celebration, such as a marriage, the birth of a son, or a coronation. Lances with slanted tips were used to reduce the chance of injury. The object was to unhorse one's opponent or to splinter his weapon, not to kill him.

78 was he. The line is a stress short. Holthausen emends it to was that fre.

95 he. MS: it. Holthausen's emendation.

152 And stonayed that tyde. "And stunned at that time" seems anticlimactic. Perhaps the sense is 1) "And, on that occasion, destroyed him" (as in "smashed with a blow"); or 2) "And put an end to that lifetime"; or 3) "And dumbfounded the people celebrating his son's birthday."

160 Mills emends to [v]aylede and glsses the word as "helped."

179 This line might imply that Acheflour left her family and her king (raye). But raye was also a type of striped cloth popular among the nobility in the fourteenth century. Perhaps the point is that Lady Perceval abandoned both her kin and her finery when she left for the wild "wodde" (line 180).

200 French and Hale suggest that this "wande" is a kind of magic dart, which alone has power to bring down the Red Knight.

248 day. A hole in the MS obliterates the a.

261-3 Ewayne fytz Asoure (also spelled "Yvain") is a member of Arthur's court who stars in his own romance by Chrétien (see the Middle English translation/ adaptation in this volume), but also plays a minor role in Perceval of Galles. His father is usually said to be Uriens. Gawain is Arthur's nephew, being the son of Arthur's sister (or half-sister), Anna (as in Geoffrey of Monmouth), and, therefore, is Perceval's first cousin. He is often known for his bravery and courtesy. Kay, Arthur's seneschal, is a dark character, often, as here, a rude troublemaker and foil to noble knights of the court.

275 Perceval is traditionally portrayed as having exceptional physical prowess but being deficient in reason. Because his mother sheltered him as a child, he is also naive. As will become apparent, he has not learned courtly manners.

289 In Middle English fole did not necessarily carry the strongly negative connotations it does today, but, rather, simply comments on Perceval's naiveté.

302-05 Although bukke may mean body (i.e., Gawain's body), French and Hale delete he (line 302) to read: Bot a grete bukke had bene, thus implying that a buck stepped in between Perceval and Kay, thwarting Perceval's rude behavior. Stags frequently appear in fairy tales. Either way, the sense of the lines is obscure.

320 The top corner of the MS is frayed, obliterating most of the line. Reconstructed by Halliwell-Phillipps and others on the basis of the line following, which presumably repeats the key words according to tail-rhyme principles. All that remains of the line is To . . . te his awenn.

326 stode. A place where mares are kept for breeding. The word is derived from the German die Stute (mare).

339 Holthausen emends the line to read Scho will telle [me] the name, an emendation followed by French and Hale to maintain the meter.

356 The implication of be moughte ("must be") is that the mother knew her son would inevitably take the route of his father one day.

362 The reconstruction of is in "thiselfe" is Halliwell-Phillipps' suggestion. There is a hole here in the manuscript and an ink blot as well.

393 I.e., Christmas day. Coincidentally, as Arthur was popularly supposed to have held court on Easter, Ascension, Whitson, All Saints, and Christmas, the first day of the season would have been an opportune time for Perceval to set out in hopes of meeting him.

397 MS: nuttoure. French and Hale's emendation.

410 French and Hale gloss payre as "sets."

432 At this point the scribe interjects the words "Here is a ffyt of Percyvell of Galles." The next line begins with a large capital "0," extending over four lines.

434 The sudden appearance of a castle or hall to a travelling knight in a medieval romance often prepares the reader to expect some enchantment. Here Perceval will receive the magic ring that will figure heavily in his future actions.

493 ff. A strange knight riding into the king's hall on horseback was a common episode in medieval romances. See Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Chaucer's Squire's Tale.

606 The blood-red clothing worn by this character seems to indicate that he (like the green-clad figure in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) is an enchanter against whom everyone is powerless except the one whose destiny it is to slay him.

611 French and Hale emend inwith to the more familiar "within."

617 Although the story of the cup is elliptically treated here, one may assume that this is no ordinary drinking vessel. Earlier critics suggested that it is somehow linked to the health of Arthur's kingdom, which will decline without it and, in this respect, is akin to a secularized grail trope. In line 1062, Arthur is said to have gone to "care-bedd," and even though this is supposedly on account of his concern for the safety of Perceval, it might earlier have been linked more directly to the stolen vessel.

633 Fyve. Holthausen emends to fyftene, imagining that the Red Knight has assailed Arthur every year since the death of Perceval senior.

642 I. Halliwell-Phillipps' emendation, which saves the meter and the sense and is followed by Holthausen and French and Hale.

657 MS: wih.

660 The unarmed "childe" (Perceval has only his dart) fighting and overcoming the armed and experienced foe smacks of the David and Goliath story that Chaucer also parodies in lines 807-27 of the Tale of Sir Thopas. Noting the short stanza, lines 557-60, Mills suggests that twelve lines have been omitted by the scribe. The text in the MS is continuous.

682 French and Hale note that in the Middle Ages, during the twelve days of the Christmas season, all fighting was forbidden. Casting one's foe in the marsh, however, seems to have been acceptable.

872 Mills suggests that Thornton's exemplar might have read: To tham will I te ("go"), which makes more immediate sense.

899 MS: Thou hase the moste foo slayne, which breaks the rhyme scheme, thus the emendation.

921 The brother who was slain fifteen years ago is the elder Perceval, and this man (unnamed) is thus young Perceval's uncle. Line 1050 alludes to this relationship.

977 Sowdane. A "Sultan," the chief ruler of a Muslim country, but the term is seldom used with much precision in medieval literature. Such a character was pagan, powerful, and, therefore, evil, and is commonly a foil to the hero.

1021 The. MS: He. The emendation is Halliwell-Phillipps'.

1043 sprongen of a stane. I.e., alone, as if he were just created. See Franklin's Tale line 1614: cropen out of the ground. The allusion is to the myth of Pyrrha and Deucalion and the repopulation of the world from stones thrown behind them.

1068 Arthur's concern for Perceval, which might seem excessive considering that he has never seen the boy before, can be explained in part by the king's affection for Perceval's father. But Arthur was also Perceval's maternal uncle. Thus he and the boy form that most special of medieval relationships, the avuncular - Arthur's blood most assuredly ran through Perceval's veins.

1165 French and Hale gloss fade as "determined." It could also mean "weak." But see line 616, where MED glosses the word as "eager for battle."

1173 Mills glosses this line as "Let anyone who can narrate [this story] in company [say that]. . . ."

1177 MED notes instances of spede used to imply "ease" or "alleviation," which seems to be the sense here. The point is that Perceval's spear is very busy.

1229-36 The sense of these lines is that Lady Lufamore, eager to find out who has slain the Saracens, asks that he come forth so that she might reward him. No one from inside the castle comes to claim the reward.

1294 Perceval's disposition to ignore the slaughter might be seen as a sign of his modesty, though more likely it signals his frustration at not having carried out his mission, namely, to slay the Sowdan, as he doggedly explains in lines 1298-1300.

1392 Although kene can mean "acrimonious," it also means "brave" or "bold," and it seems that the author intended one of the latter senses here, since Kay is not now playing his usual caustic role.

1540 The manuscript has been damaged so that only the beginnings of the last words recorded from lines 1537-39 remain at this point. The text continues with no space left for the sixteenth line. The omitted lines, the equivalent, perhaps, of the sixteenth line and the first four lines of the next stanza, tell of Lady Lufamore's greeting of King Arthur. They are missing apparently because of the scribe's oversight and not because of the damage to the manuscript.

1576-80 The beginnings of these lines were reconstructed by Holthausen. The lower left corner of the leaf is missing.

1589 Then. MS: The. Emendation by Halliwell-Phillipps.

1595 In the Middle Ages, a knight bent on peace did not wear shoes - only soft socks (see the Green Knight in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, line 160); but a knight intent on battle wore both shoes and spurs. Arthur seems to be saying here that with the death of the Sultan, Perceval would have proven his battle skills to the fullest - i.e., he would be worthy of the shoes of a knight.

1615 The Sultan seems to be asking whether the slayer of his men (i.e., Perceval) is alive to fight with him.

1620 French and Hale note the break in rhyme to suggest the right reading is probably "with hym to fyghte."

1659 The sense of the line is uncertain. It perhaps refers to the distance the Sultan was hurled from his horse, since "land" was a unit of measure. See, for example, "ploughland" (MED, OED), indicating the amount of land one could cultivate with one plough.

1693 The sense of this line seems to be that Perceval stood where he was and thought, an activity somewhat rare for him. The fact that the "mere" was actually a "steed" has come as a revelation.

1698 Then. MS The.

1755 French and Hale emend the line needlessly by adding [wedded] after he had.

1769-92Although the interval might vary, a year was the usual length of time for a mortal to stay in fairyland before longing to return to the world.

1774 with the gres. The point seems to be that without Perceval to hunt for her, she now lives as a vegetarian, a detail that astonishes the narrator (lines 1778-80), but is nonetheless true - without lesyng!

1799 MS: bot.

1830 The noble lady is the same one with whom Perceval exchanged rings earlier in the poem, while she lay sleeping in the castle. Her magic ring protected him in battle, and it is thus much more valuable than the one he left with her.

1836 in lande. An expletive, used vaguely in ME poetry, comparable to in towne. Here, perhaps, it implies a situation or predicament. See Sir Ferumbras, line 2793, Welawo to longe y lyve in londe, where the sense is "on earth." Chaucer toys with the vacuous phrase in The Tale of Sir Thopas (CT VII 887), along with in towne (CT VII 793).

1839 dighte. The author's frequent use of this term pays rich dividends here. The lady is hidden, adorned (with the chains), clothed (in shame), prepared (for humiliation), placed (tied, etc.) - all meanings the poet has previously affiliated with dighte.

1963 Giants were popular creatures of medieval romance. See W. F. Bryan and Germaine Dempster, eds., Sources and Analogues of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" (New York: Humanities Press, 1958), pp. 530-54.

1985 thay. Holthausen and French and Hale read thyn, without acknowledging emendation, though the MS clearly reads thay.

1996 French and Hale gloss: "I gave it away." Mills emends the line to read: [That] toke it fro me. MED cites instances of I functioning as the pronoun he.

2027-08 And one was behynde apparently means that the iron clasp binding the head of the axe to the handle weighs another stone (c. 14 pounds), making the total axe weight 23 stone, or about 322 pounds in all.

2032 It is perhaps worth noting that lome is used in ME as a metaphor for the penis. Certainly, to this giant, his playlome (2013) or cloblome (2053) is a figure of his potency. Cf., MED lome (n.) 1.c.

2084 Perceval's is black comedy here; obviously a giant without a left foot cannot "leap," unless hopping is leaping.

2138 MS: wonnade. Holthausen's emendation.

2141-43 See Chaucer's Tale of Sir Thopas (VII, 748-50): And so bifel upon a day, / For sothe, as I yow telle may, / Sire Thopas wolde out ride.

2209-12 Critics such as Brown and Speirs contend that in earlier versions of this story, Perceval's mother was a water fairy, thus her repeated association with wells. Seen in this light, it is not surprising that she appears to her son just after he has taken a drink.

2251 The use of a magic portion to induce sleep and thus to restore one to the "proper" state of mind was commonplace in medieval romance.

2257-61 A v-shaped tear at the top center of fol. 176r deletes the end word of the first three long lines of the first column.

2257 hir by. French and Hale's reconstruction.

2258 sekerly. Halliwell-Phillipps' reconstruction, followed by Holthausen and French and Hale.

2261 state. Holthausen's reconstruction, followed by French and Hale. Halliwell-Phillipps supplies wate.

2272 Green is associated with vegetation, but it is also a restorative color, thus fitting for the reinstatement of the relationship between mother and son.
 
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Sir Perceval of Galles

Here Begynnes the Romance of Sir Percyvell of Galles
 
   
   
   
   
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Lef, lythes to me
Two wordes or thre,
Of one that was faire and fre
   And felle in his fighte.
His righte name was Percyvell,
He was fosterde in the felle,
He dranke water of the welle,
   And yitt was he wyghte.
His fadir was a noble man;
Fro the tyme that he began,
Miche wirchippe he wan
   When he was made knyghte
In Kyng Arthures haulle.
Beste byluffede of alle,
Percyvell thay gan hym calle,
   Whoso redis ryghte.
   
Who that righte can rede,
He was doughty of dede,
A styffe body on a stede
   Wapynes to welde;
Tharefore Kyng Arthoure
Dide hym mekill honoure:
He gaffe hym his syster Acheflour,
   To have and to holde
Fro thethyn till his lyves ende,
With brode londes to spende,
For he the knyght wele kende.
   He bytaughte hir to welde,
With grete gyftes to fulfill;
He gaffe his sister hym till
To the knyght, at ther bothers will,
   With robes in folde.
   
He gaffe hym robes in folde,
Brode londes in wolde,
Mony mobles untolde,
   His syster to take.
To the kirke the knyghte yode
For to wedde that frely fode,
For the gyftes that ware gude
   And for hir ownn sake.
Sythen, withowtten any bade,
A grete brydale thay made,
For hir sake that hym hade
   Chosen to hir make;
And after, withowtten any lett,
A grete justyng ther was sett;
Of all the kempes that he mett
   Wolde he none forsake.
   
Wolde he none forsake,
The Rede Knyghte ne the Blake,
Ne none that wolde to hym take
   With schafte ne with schelde;
He dose als a noble knyghte,
Wele haldes that he highte;
Faste preves he his myghte:
   Deres hym none elde.
Sexty schaftes, I say,
Sir Percyvell brake that ilke day,
And ever that riche lady lay
   One walle and byhelde.
Thofe the Rede Knyghte hade sworne,
Oute of his sadill is he borne
And almoste his lyfe forlorne,
   And lygges in the felde.
   
There he lygges in the felde -
Many men one hym byhelde -
Thurgh his armour and his schelde
   Stoneyde that tyde.
That arghede all that ther ware,
Bothe the lesse and the mare,
That noble Percyvell so wele dare
   Syche dynttys habyde.
Was ther nowthir more ne lasse
Of all those that ther was
That durste mete hym one the grasse,
   Agaynes hym to ryde.
Thay gaffe Sir Percyvell the gree:
Beste worthy was he;
And hamewardes than rode he,
   And blythe was his bryde.
   
And thofe the bryde blythe be
That Percyvell hase wone the gree,
Yete the Rede Knyghte es he
   Hurte of his honde;
And therfore gyffes he a gyfte
That if he ever covere myghte
Owthir by day or by nyghte,
   In felde for to stonde,
That he scholde qwyte hym that dynt
That he of his handes hynte;
Sall never this travell be tynt,
   Ne tolde in the londe
That Percyvell in the felde
Schulde hym schende thus undire schelde,
Bot he scholde agayne it yelde,
   If that he were leveande.
   
Now than are thay leveande bathe;
Was noghte the Rede Knyghte so rathe
For to wayte hym with skathe.
   Er ther the harmes felle,
Ne befelle ther no stryffe,
Till Percyvell had in his lyffe
A son by his yonge wyffe,
   Aftir hym to duelle.
When the childe was borne,
He made calle it one the morne
Als his fadir highte byforne -
   Yonge Percyvell.
The knyghte was fayne a feste made
For knave-childe that he hade;
And sythen, withowtten any bade
   Offe justynges they telle.
   
Now of justynges they tell:
They sayne that Sir Percyvell
That he will in the felde duelle,
   Als he hase are done.
A grete justynge was ther sett
Of all the kempes that ther mett,
For he wolde his son were gette
   In the same wonne.
Theroff the Rede Knyghte was blythe,
When he herde of that justynge kythe,
And graythed hym armour ful swythe,
   And rode thedir righte sone;
Agayne Percyvell he rade,
With schafte and with schelde brade,
To holde his heste that he made,
   Of maistres to mone.
   
Now of maistres to mone,
Percyvell hase wele done,
For the love of his yonge sone,
   One the firste day.
Ere the Rede Knyghte was bownn,
Percyvell hase borne downn
Knyght, duke, erle, and baroun,
   And vencusede the play.
Right als he hade done this honour,
So come the Rede Knyghte to the stowre.
Bot "Wo worthe wykkyde armour!"
   Percyvell may say.
For ther was Sir Percyvell slayne,
And the Rede Knyghte fayne -
In herte is noghte for to layne -
   When he went on his way.
   
When he went on his way,
Durste ther no man to hym say,
Nowther in erneste ne in play,
   To byd hym habyde;
For he had slayne righte thare
The beste body at thare ware,
Sir Percyvell, with woundes sare,
   And stonayed that tyde.
And than thay couthe no better rede
Bot put hym in a prevee stede,
Als that men dose with the dede,
   In erthe for to hyde.
Scho that was his lady
Mighte be full sary,
That lorne hade siche a body:
   Hir aylede no pryde.
   
And now is Percyvell the wighte
Slayne in batelle and in fyghte,
And the lady hase gyffen a gyfte,
   Holde if scho may,
That scho schall never mare wone
In stede, with hir yonge sone,
Ther dedes of armes schall be done,
   By nyghte ne be daye.
Bot in the wodde schall he be:
Sall he no thyng see
Bot the leves of the tree
   And the greves graye;
Schall he nowther take tent
To justes ne to tournament,
Bot in the wilde wodde went,
   With bestes to playe.
   
With wilde bestes for to playe,
Scho tuke hir leve and went hir waye,
Bothe at baron and at raye,
   And went to the wodde.
Byhynde scho leved boure and haulle;
A mayden scho tuke hir withalle,
That scho myghte appon calle
   When that hir nede stode.
Other gudes wolde scho nonne nayte,
Bot with hir tuke a tryppe of gayte,
With mylke of tham for to bayte
   To hir lyves fode.
Off all hir lordes faire gere,
Wolde scho noghte with hir bere
Bot a lyttill Scottes spere,
   Agayne hir son yode.
   
And when hir yong son yode,
Scho bade hym walke in the wodde,
Tuke hym the Scottes spere gude,
   And gaffe hym in hande.
"Swete modir," sayde he,
"What manere of thyng may this bee
That ye nowe hafe taken mee?
   What calle yee this wande?"
Than byspakke the lady:
"Son," scho sayde, "sekerly,
It es a dart doghty;
   In the wodde I it fande."
The childe es payed, of his parte,
His modir hafe gyffen hym that darte;
Therwith made he many marte
   In that wodde-lande.
   
Thus he welke in the lande,
With hys darte in his hande;
Under the wilde wodde-wande
   He wexe and wele thrafe.
He wolde schote with his spere
Bestes and other gere,
As many als he myghte bere.
   He was a gude knave!
Smalle birdes wolde he slo,
Hertys, hyndes also;
Broghte his moder of thoo:
   Thurte hir none crave. 1
So wele he lernede hym to schote,
Ther was no beste that welke one fote
To fle fro hym was it no bote.
   When that he wolde hym have,
   
Even when he wolde hym have.
Thus he wexe and wele thrave,
And was reghte a gude knave
   Within a fewe yere.
Fyftene wynter and mare
He duellede in those holtes hare;
Nowther nurture ne lare
   Scho wolde hym none lere.
Till it byfelle, on a day,
The lady till hir son gun say,
"Swete childe, I rede thou praye
   To Goddes Sone dere,
That he wolde helpe the -
Lorde, for His poustee -
A gude man for to bee,
   And longe to duelle here."
   
"Swete moder," sayde he,
"Whatkyns a godd may that be
That ye nowe bydd mee
   That I schall to pray?"
Then byspakke the lady even:
"It es the grete Godd of heven:
This worlde made He within seven,
   Appon the sexte day."
"By grete Godd," sayde he than,
"And I may mete with that man,
With alle the crafte that I kan,
   Reghte so schall I pray!"
There he levede in a tayte
Bothe his modir and his gayte,
The grete Godd for to layte,
   Fynde hym when he may.
   
And as he welke in holtes hare,
He sawe a gate, as it ware;
With thre knyghtis mett he thare
   Off Arthrus in.
One was Ewayne fytz Asoure,
Another was Gawayne with honour,
And Kay, the bolde baratour,
   And all were of his kyn.
In riche robes thay ryde;
The childe hadd no thyng that tyde
That he myghte in his bones hyde,
   Bot a gaytes skynn.
He was a burely of body, and therto right brade;
One ayther halfe a skynn he hade;
The hode was of the same made,
   Juste to the chynn.
   
His hode was juste to his chyn,
The flesche halfe tourned within.
The childes witt was full thyn
   When he scholde say oughte.
Thay were clothede all in grene;
Siche hade he never sene:
Wele he wened that thay had bene
   The Godd that he soghte.
He said, "Wilke of yow alle three
May the grete Godd bee
That my moder tolde mee,
   That all this werlde wroghte?"
Bot than ansuerde Sir Gawayne
Faire and curtaisely agayne,
"Son, so Criste mote me sayne,
   For swilke are we noghte."
   
Than saide the fole one the filde,
Was comen oute of the woddes wilde,
To Gawayne that was meke and mylde
   And softe to ansuare,
"I sall sla yow all three
Bot ye smertly now telle mee
Whatkyns thynges that ye bee,
   Sen ye no goddes are."
Then ansuerde Sir Kay,
"Who solde we than say
That hade slayne us to-day
   In this holtis hare?"
At Kayes wordes wexe he tene:
Bot he a grete bukke had bene,
Ne hadd he stonde tham bytwene, 2
   He hade hym slayne thare.
   
Bot than said Gawayn to Kay,
"Thi prowde wordes pares ay;
I scholde wyn this childe with play,
   And thou wolde holde the still.
Swete son," than said he,
"We are knyghtis all thre;
With Kyng Arthoure duelle wee,
   That hovyn es on hyll."
Then said Percyvell the lyghte,
In gayte-skynnes that was dyghte,
"Will Kyng Arthoure make me knyghte,
   And I come hym till?"
Than saide Sir Gawayne righte thare,
"I kane gyffe the nane ansuare;
Bot to the Kynge I rede thou fare,
   To wete his awenn will!"
   
To wete than the Kynges will
Thare thay hoven yitt still;
The childe hase taken hym till
   For to wende hame.
And als he welke in the wodde,
He sawe a full faire stode
Offe coltes and of meres gude,
   Bot never one was tame;
And sone saide he, "Bi Seyne John,
Swilke thynges as are yone
Rade the knyghtes apone;
   Knewe I thaire name,
Als ever mote I thryffe or thee,
The moste of yone that I see
Smertly schall bere mee
   Till I come to my dame."
   
He saide, "When I come to my dame,
And I fynde hir at hame,
Scho will telle the name
   Off this ilke thynge."
The moste mere he thare see
Smertly overrynnes he,
And saide, "Thou sall bere me
   To-morne to the Kynge."
Kepes he no sadill-gere,
Bot stert up on the mere:
Hamewarde scho gun hym bere,
   Withowtten faylynge.
The lady was never more sore bygone.
Scho wiste never whare to wonne,
When scho wiste hir yonge sonne
   Horse hame brynge.
   
Scho saw hym horse hame brynge;
Scho wiste wele, by that thynge,
That the kynde wolde oute sprynge
   For thynge that be moughte.
Than als sone saide the lady,
"That ever solde I sorowe dry,
For love of thi body,
   That I hafe dere boghte!
Dere son," saide scho hym to,
"Thou wirkeste thiselfe mekill unroo,
What will thou with this mere do,
   That thou hase hame broghte?"
Bot the boye was never so blythe
Als when he herde the name kythe
Of the stode-mere stythe.
   Of na thyng than he roghte.
   
Now he calles hir a mere,
Als his moder dide ere;
He wened all other horses were
   And hade bene callede soo.
"Moder, at yonder hill hafe I bene;
Thare hafe I thre knyghtes sene,
And I hafe spoken with tham, I wene,
   Wordes in throo;
I have highte tham all thre
Before thaire Kyng for to be:
Siche on schall he make me
   As is one of tho!"
He sware by grete Goddes myghte,
"I schall holde that I hafe highte;
Bot-if the Kyng make me knyghte,
   To-morne I sall hym sloo!"
   
Bot than byspakke the lady,
That for hir son was sary -
Hir thoghte wele that scho myght dy
   And knelyde one hir knee:
"Sone, thou has takyn thi rede,
To do thiselfe to the dede!
In everilke a strange stede,
   Doo als I bydde the:
To-morne es forthirmaste Yole-day,
And thou says thou will away
To make the knyghte, if thou may,
   Als thou tolde mee.
Lyttill thou can of nurtoure:
Luke thou be of mesure
Bothe in haulle and in boure,
   And fonde to be fre."
   
Than saide the lady so brighte,
"There thou meteste with a knyghte,
Do thi hode off, I highte,
   And haylse hym in hy."
"Swete moder," sayd he then,
"I saw never yit no men;
If I solde a knyghte ken,
   Telles me wharby."
Scho schewede hym the menevaire -
Scho had robes in payre.
"Sone, ther thou sees this fare
   In thaire hodes lye."
"Bi grete God," sayd he,
"Where that I a knyghte see,
Moder, as ye bidd me,
   Righte so schall I."
   
All that nyghte till it was day,
The childe by the modir lay,
Till on the morne he wolde away,
   For thyng that myghte betyde.
Brydill hase he righte nane;
Seese he no better wane,
Bot a wythe hase he tane,
   And kevylles his stede.
His moder gaffe hym a ryng,
And bad he solde agayne it bryng;
"Sonne, this sall be oure takynnyng,
   For here I sall the byde."
He tase the rynge and the spere,
Stirttes up appon the mere:
Fro the moder that hym bere,
   Forthe gan he ryde.
   
One his way as he gan ryde,
He fande an haulle ther besyde;
He saide, "For oghte that may betyde,
   Thedir in will I."
He went in withowtten lett;
He fande a brade borde sett,
A bryghte fire, wele bett,
   Brynnande therby.
A mawnger ther he fande,
Corne therin lyggande;
Therto his mere he bande
   With the withy.
He saide, "My modir bad me
That I solde of mesure bee
Halfe that I here see
   Styll sall it ly."
   
The corne he pertis in two,
Gaffe his mere the tone of thoo,
And to the borde gan he goo,
   Certayne that tyde.
He fande a lofe of brede fyne
And a pychere with wyne,
A mese of the kechyne,
   A knyfe ther besyde.
The mete ther that he fande,
He dalte it even with his hande,
Lefte the halfe lyggande
   A felawe to byde.
The tother halfe ete he;
How myghte he more of mesure be?
Faste he fonded to be free,
   Thofe he were of no pryde.
   
Thofe he were of no pryde,
Forthyrmore gan he glyde
Till a chambir ther besyde,
   Moo sellys to see.
Riche clothes fande he sprede,
A lady slepande on a bedde;
He said, "Forsothe, a tokyn to wedde
   Sall thou lefe with mee."
Ther he kyste that swete thynge;
Of hir fynger he tuke a rynge;
His awenn modir takynnynge
   He lefte with that fre.
He went forthe to his mere,
Tuke with hym his schorte spere,
Lepe on lofte, as he was ere;
   His way rydes he.
   
Now on his way rydes he,
Moo selles to see;
A knyghte wolde he nedis bee,
   Withowtten any bade.
He came ther the Kyng was,
Servede of the firste mese.
To hym was the maste has
   That the childe hade;
And thare made he no lett
At gate, dore, ne wykett,
Bot in graythely he gett -
   Syche maistres he made.
At his firste in-comynge,
His mere, withowtten faylynge,
Kyste the forhevede of the Kynge -
   So nerehande he rade!
   
The Kyng had ferly thaa,
And up his hande gan he taa
And putt it forthir hym fraa,
   The mouthe of the mere.
He saide, "Faire childe and free,
Stonde still besyde mee,
And tell me wythen that thou bee,
   And what thou will here."
Than said the fole of the filde,
"I ame myn awnn modirs childe,
Comen fro the woddes wylde
   Till Arthure the dere.
Yisterday saw I knyghtis three:
Siche on sall thou make mee
On this mere byfor the,
   Thi mete or thou schere!"
   
Bot than spak Sir Gawayne,
Was the Kynges trenchepayne,
Said, "Forsothe, is noghte to layne,
   I am one of thaa.
Childe, hafe thou my blyssyng
For thi feres folowynge!
Here hase thou fonden the Kynge
   That kan the knyghte maa."
Than sayde Peceyvell the free,
"And this Arthure the Kyng bee,
Luke he a knyghte make mee:
   I rede at it be swaa!"
Thofe he unborely were dyghte,
He sware by mekill Goddes myghte:
"Bot if the Kyng make me knyghte,
   I sall hym here slaa!"
   
All that ther weren, olde and yynge,
Hadden ferly of the Kyng,
That he wolde suffre siche a thyng
   Of that foull wyghte
On horse hovande hym by.
The Kyng byholdes hym on hy;
Than wexe he sone sory
   When he sawe that syghte.
The teres oute of his eghne glade,
Never one another habade.
"Allas," he sayde, "that I was made,
   Be day or by nyghte,
One lyve I scholde after hym bee
That me thynke lyke the: 3
Thou arte so semely to see,
   And thou were wele dighte!"
   
He saide, "And thou were wele dighte,
Thou were lyke to a knyghte
That I lovede with all my myghte
   Whills he was one lyve.
So wele wroghte he my will
In all manere of skill,
I gaffe my syster hym till,
   For to be his wyfe.
He es moste in my mane:
Fiftene yere es it gane,
Sen a theffe hade hym slane
   Abowte a littill stryffe!
Sythen hafe I ever bene his fo,
For to wayte hym with wo.
Bot I myghte hym never slo,
   His craftes are so ryfe."
   
He sayse, "His craftes are so ryfe,
Ther is no man apon lyfe,
With swerde, spere, ne with knyfe
   May stroye hym allan,
Bot if it were Sir Percyvell son.
Whoso wiste where he ware done!
The bokes says that he mon
   Venge his fader bane."
The childe thoghte he longe bade
That he ne ware a knyghte made,
For he wiste never that he hade
   A fader to be slayne;
The lesse was his menynge.
He saide sone to the Kynge,
"Sir, late be thi jangleynge!
   Of this kepe I nane."
   
He sais, "I kepe not to stande
With thi jangleyns to lange.
Make me knyghte with thi hande,
   If it sall be done!"
Than the Kyng hym hendly highte
That he schold dub hym to knyghte,
With thi that he wolde doun lighte
   And ete with hym at none.
The Kyng biholdes the vesage free,
And ever more trowed hee
That the childe scholde bee
   Sir Percyvell son:
It ran in the Kynges mode,
His syster Acheflour the gude -
How scho went into the wodde
   With hym for to wonn.
   
The childe hadde wonnede in the wodde;
He knewe nother evyll ne gude;
The Kynge hymselfe understode
   He was a wilde man.
So faire he spakke hym withall,
He lyghtes doun in the haulle,
Bonde his mere amonge tham alle
   And to the borde wann.
Bot are he myghte bygynn
To the mete for to wynn,
So commes the Rede Knyghte in
   Emanges tham righte than,
Prekande one a rede stede;
Blode-rede was his wede.
He made tham gammen full gnede,
   With craftes that he can.
   
With his craftes gan he calle,
And callede tham recrayhandes all,
Kynge, knyghtes inwith walle,
   At the bordes ther thay bade.
Full felly the coupe he fett,
Bifore the Kynge that was sett.
Ther was no man that durste hym lett,
   Thofe that he were fadde.
The couppe was filled full of wyne;
He dranke of that that was therinn.
All of rede golde fyne
   Was the couppe made.
He tuke it up in his hande,
The coupe that he there fande,
And lefte tham all sittande,
   And fro tham he rade.
   
   
Now from tham he rade,
Als he says that this made.
The sorowe that the Kynge hade
   Mighte no tonge tell.
"A! dere God," said the Kyng than,
"That all this wyde werlde wan,
Whethir I sall ever hafe that man
   May make yone fende duelle?
Fyve yeres hase he thus gane,
And my coupes fro me tane,
And my gude knyghte slayne,
   Men calde Sir Percyvell;
Sythen taken hase he three,
And ay awaye will he bee,
Or I may harnayse me
   In felde hym to felle."
   
"Petir!" quod Percyvell the yonge,
"Hym than will I down dynge
And the coupe agayne brynge,
   And thou will make me knyghte."
"Als I am trewe kyng," said he,
"A knyghte sall I make the,
Forthi thou will brynge mee
   The coupe of golde bryghte."
Up ryses Sir Arthoure,
Went to a chamboure
To feche doun armoure,
   The childe in to dyghte;
Bot are it was doun caste,
Ere was Percyvell paste,
And on his way folowed faste,
   That he solde with fyghte.
   
   With his foo for to fighte,
None othergates was he dighte,
Bot in thre gayt-skynnes righte,
   A fole als he ware.
   
   
He cryed, "How, man on thi mere!
Bryng agayne the Kynges gere,
Or with my dart I sall the fere
   And make the unfere!"
And after the Rede Knyghte he rade,
Baldely, withowtten bade:
Sayd, "A knyght I sall be made
   For som of thi gere."
He sware by mekill Goddes payne,
"Bot if thou brynge the coupe agayne,
With my dart thou sall be slayne
   And slongen of thi mere."
The kynghte byhaldes hym in throo,
Calde hym fole that was hys foo,
For he named hym soo -
   The stede that hym bere.
   
And for to see hym with syghte,
He putt his umbrere on highte,
To byhalde how he was dyghte,
   That so till hym spake.
He sayde, "Come I to the, appert fole;
I sall caste the in the pole,
For all the heghe days of Yole,
   Als ane olde sakke."
Than sayd Percyvell the free,
"Be I fole, or whatte I bee,
Now sone of that sall wee see
   Whose browes schall blakke."
Of schottyng was the childe slee:
At the knyghte lete he flee,
Smote hym in at the eghe
   And oute at the nakke.
   
For the dynt that he tuke,
Oute of sadill he schoke,
Whoso the sothe will luke,
   And ther was he slayne.
He falles down one the hill;
His stede rynnes whare he will.
Than saide Percyvell hym till,
   "Thou art a lethir swayne."
Then saide the childe in that tyde,
"And thou woldeste me here byde,
After thi mere scholde I ryde
   And brynge hir agayne;
Then myghte we bothe with myghte
Menskfully togedir fyghte,
Ayther of us, as he were a knyghte,
   Till tyme the tone ware slayne."
   
Now es the Rede Knyghte slayne,
Lefte dede in the playne.
The childe gon his mere mayne
   After the stede.
The stede was swifter than the mere,
For he hade no thynge to bere
Bot his sadill and his gere,
   Fro hym thofe he yede.
The mere was bagged with fole;
And hirselfe a grete bole;
For to rynne scho myghte not thole,
   Ne folowe hym no spede.
The childe saw that it was soo,
And till his fete he gan hym too;
The gates that he scholde goo
   Made he full gnede.
   
The gates made he full gnede
In the waye ther he yede;
With strenght tuke he the stede
   And broghte to the knyghte.
"Me thynke," he sayde, "thou arte fele
That thou ne will away stele;
Now I houppe that thou will dele
   Strokes appon hyghte.
I hafe broghte to the thi mere
And mekill of thyn other gere;
Lepe on hir, as thou was ere,
   And thou will more fighte!"
The knyghte lay still in the stede:
What sulde he say, when he was dede?
The childe couthe no better rede,
   Bot down gun he lyghte.
   
Now es Percyvell lyghte
To unspoyle the Rede Knyghte,
Bot he ne couthe never fynd righte
   The lacynge of his wede.
He was armede so wele
In gude iryn and in stele,
He couthe no gett of a dele,
   For nonkyns nede.
He sayd, "My moder bad me,
When my dart solde broken be,
Owte of the iren bren the tree:
   Now es me fyre gnede."
Now he getis hym flynt,
His fyre-iren he hent,
And then, withowtten any stynt,
   He kyndilt a glede.
   
Now he kyndils a glede,
Amonge the buskes he yede
And gedirs, full gude spede,
   Wodde, a fyre to make.
A grete fyre made he than,
The Rede Knyghte in to bren,
For he ne couthe nott ken
   His gere off to take.
Be than was Sir Gawayne dyght,
Folowede after the fyghte
Betwene hym and the Rede Knyghte,
   For the childes sake.
He fande the Rede Knyght lyggand,
Slayne of Percyvell hande,
Besyde a fyre brynnande
   Off byrke and of akke.
   
   
Ther brent of birke and of ake
Gret brandes and blake.
"What wylt thou with this fyre make?"
   Sayd Gawayne hym till.
"Petir!" quod Percyvell then,
"And I myghte hym thus ken,
Out of his iren I wolde hym bren
   Righte here on this hill."
Bot then sayd Sir Gawayne,
"The Rede Knyghte for thou has slayne,
I sall unarme hym agayne,
   And thou will holde the still."
Than Sir Gawayn doun lyghte,
Unlacede the Rede Knyghte;
The childe in his armour dight
   At his awnn will.
   
When he was dighte in his atire,
He tase the knyghte bi the swire,
Keste hym reghte in the fyre,
   The brandes to balde.
Bot then said Percyvell on bost,
"Ly still therin now and roste!
I kepe nothynge of thi coste,
   Ne noghte of thi spalde!"
The knyghte lygges ther on brede;
The childe es dighte in his wede,
And lepe up apon his stede,
   Als hymselfe wolde.
He luked doun to his fete,
Saw his gere faire and mete:
"For a knyghte I may be lete
   And myghte be calde."
   
Then sayd Sir Gawayn hym till,
"Goo we faste fro this hill!
Thou hase done what thou will;
   It neghes nere nyghte."
"What! trowes thou," quod Percyvell the yonge,
"That I will agayn brynge
Untill Arthoure the Kynge
   The golde that es bryghte?
Nay, so mote I thryfe or thee,
I am als grete a lorde als he;
To-day ne schall he make me
   None other gates knyghte.
Take the coupe in thy hande
And mak thiselfe the presande,
For I will forthire into the lande,
   Are I doun lyghte."
   
Nowther wolde he doun lyghte,
Ne he wolde wende with the knyght,
Bot rydes forthe all the nyghte,
   So prowde was he than.
Till on the morne at forthe dayes,
He mett a wyche, as men says.
His horse and his harnays
   Couthe scho wele ken.
Scho wende that it hade bene
The Rede Knyghte that scho hade sene,
Was wonnt in those armes to bene,
   To gerre the stede rynne.
In haste scho come hym agayne,
Sayde, "It is not to layne,
Men tolde me that thou was slayne
   With Arthours men.
   
Ther come one of my men,
Till yonder hill he gan me kenne,
There thou sees the fyre brene,
   And sayde that thou was thare."
Ever satt Percyvell stone-still,
And spakke no thynge hir till
Till scho hade sayde all hir will,
   And spakke lesse ne mare.
"At yondere hill hafe I bene:
Nothynge hafe I there sene
Bot gayte-skynnes, I wene.
   Siche ill-farande fare!"
"Mi sone, and thou ware thare slayne
And thyn armes of drawen,
I couthe hele the agayne
   Als wele als thou was are."
   
Than wist Percyvell by thatt,
It servede hym of somwhatt,
The wylde fyre that he gatt
   When the knyghte was slayne;
And righte so wolde he, thare
That the olde wiche ware.
Oppon his spere he hir bare
   To the fyre agayne;
In ill wrethe and in grete,
He keste the wiche in the hete;
He sayde, "Ly still and swete
   Bi thi son, that lyther swayne!"
Thus he leves thaym twoo,
And on his gates gan he goo:
Siche dedis to do moo
   Was the childe fayne.
   
Als he come by a wodd-syde,
He sawe ten men ryde;
He said, "For oughte that may betyde,
   To tham will I me."
When those ten saw hym thare,
Thay wende the Rede Knyghte it ware,
That wolde tham all forfare,
   And faste gan thay flee;
For he was sogates cledde,
Alle belyffe fro hym thay fledde;
And ever the faster that thay spedde,
   The swiftlyere sewed hee,
Till he was warre of a knyghte,
And of the menevaire he had syght;
He put up his umbrere on hight,
   And said, "Sir, God luke thee!"
   
   
The childe sayde, "God luke the!"
The knyght said, "Now wele the be!
A, lorde Godd, now wele es mee
   That ever was I made!"
For by the vesage hym thoghte
The Rede Knyghte was it noghte,
That hade them all bysoughte;
   And baldely he bade.
It semede wele bi the syghte
That he had slayne the Rede Knyght:
In his armes was he dighte,
   And on his stede rade.
"Son," sayde the knyghte tho,
And thankede the childe full thro,
"Thou hase slayne the moste foo
   That ever yitt I hade."
   
Then sayde Percyvell the free,
"Wherefore fledde yee
Lange are, when ye sawe mee
   Come rydande yow by?"
Bot than spake the olde knyghte,
That was paste out of myghte
With any man for to fyghte:
   He ansuerde in hy;
He sayde, "Theis children nyne,
All are thay sonnes myne.
For ferde or I solde tham tyne,
   Therfore fledd I.
We wende wele that it had bene
The Rede Knyghte that we hade sene;
He walde hafe slayne us bydene,
   Withowtten mercy.
   
Withowtten any mercy
He wolde hafe slayne us in hy;
To my sonnes he hade envy
   Moste of any men.
Fiftene yeres es it gane
Syn he my brodire hade slane;
Now hadde the theefe undirtane
   To sla us all then:
He was ferde lesse my sonnes sold hym slo
When thay ware eldare and moo,
And that thay solde take hym for thaire foo
   Where thay myghte hym ken;
Hade I bene in the stede
Ther he was done to the dede,
I solde never hafe etyn brede
   Are I hade sene hym bren."
   
"Petir!" quod Percyvell, "he es brende!
I haffe spedde better than I wend
Ever at the laste ende."
   The blythere wexe the knyghte;
By his haulle thaire gates felle,
And yerne he prayed Percyvell
That he solde ther with hym duelle
   And be ther all that nyghte.
Full wele he couthe a geste calle.
He broghte the childe into the haulle;
So faire he spake hym withalle
   That he es doun lyghte;
His stede es in stable sett
And hymselfe to the haulle fett,
And than, withowtten any lett,
   To the mette thay tham dighte.
   
Mete and drynke was ther dighte,
And men to serve tham full ryghte;
The childe that come with the knyghte,
   Enoghe ther he fande.
At the mete as thay beste satte,
Come the portere fro the gate,
Saide a man was theratte
   Of the Maydenlande;
Saide, "Sir, he prayes the
Off mete and drynke, for charyté;
For a messagere es he
   And may nott lange stande."
The knyght badde late hym inn,
"For," he sayde, "it es no synn,
The man that may the mete wynn
To gyffe the travellande."
   
Now the travellande man
The portere lete in than;
He haylsede the knyghte as he can,
   Als he satt on dese.
The knyghte askede hym thare
Whase man that he ware,
And how ferre that he walde so fare,
   Withowtten any lese.
He saide, "I come fro the Lady Lufamour,
That sendes me to Kyng Arthoure,
And prayes hym, for his honoure,
   Hir sorowes for to sesse.
Up resyn es a Sowdane:
Alle hir landes hase he tane;
So byseges he that woman
   That scho may hafe no pese."
   
He sayse that scho may have no pese,
The lady, for hir fayrenes,
And for hir mekill reches.
   "He wirkes hir full woo;
He dose hir sorow all hir sythe,
And all he slaes doun rythe;
He wolde have hir to wyfe,
   And scho will noghte soo.
Now hase that ilke Sowdane
Hir fadir and hir eme slane,
And hir brethir ilkane,
   And is hir moste foo.
So nere he hase hir now soughte
That till a castelle es scho broghte,
And fro the walles will he noghte,
   Ere that he may hir too.
   
   
The Sowdane sayse he will hir ta;
The lady will hirselfe sla
Are he, that es hir maste fa,
   Solde wedde hir to wyfe.
Now es the Sowdan so wyghte,
Alle he slaes doun ryghte:
Ther may no man with hym fyghte,
   Bot he were kempe ryfe."
Than sayde Percyvell, "I the praye,
That thou wolde teche me the waye
Thedir, als the gates laye,
   Withowtten any stryfe;
Mighte I mete with that Sowdan
That so dose to that woman,
Alsone he solde be slane,
   And I myghte hafe the lyfe!"
   
The messangere prayed hym mare
That he wolde duell still thare:
"For I will to the Kynge fare,
   Myne erandes for to say.
For then mekill sorowe me betyde,
And I lenger here habyde,
Bot ryghte now will I ryde,
   Als so faste als I may."
The knyghte herde hym say so;
Yerne he prayes hym to too
His nyne sonnes, with hym to goo.
   He nykkes hym with nay.
Bot so faire spekes he
That he takes of tham three,
In his felawchipe to be -
   The blythere were thay.
   
Thay ware blythe of ther bade,
Busked tham and forthe rade;
Mekill myrthes thay made:
   Bot lyttill it amende.
He was paste bot a while -
The montenance of a myle -
He was bythoghte of a gyle
   Wele werse than thay wende.
Thofe thay ware of thaire fare fayne,
Forthwarde was thaire cheftayne;
Ever he sende on agayne
   At ilke a myle ende,
Untill thay ware alle gane;
Than he rydes hym allane
Als he ware sprongen of a stane,
   Thare na man hym kende,
   
For he walde none sold hym ken.
Forthe rydes he then,
Amanges uncouthe men
   His maystres to make.
Now hase Percyvell in throo
Spoken with his emes twoo,
Bot never one of thoo
   Took his knawlage.
Now in his way es he sett
That may hym lede, withowtten lett,
Thare he and the Sowdan sall mete,
   His browes to blake.
Late we Percyvell the yynge
Fare in Goddes blyssynge,
And untill Arthoure the Kynge
   Will we agayne take.
   
The gates agayne we will tane:
The Kyng to care-bedd es gane;
For mournynge es his maste mane.
   He syghes full sore.
His wo es wansome to wreke,
His hert es bownn for to breke,
For he wend never to speke
   With Percyvell no more.
Als he was layde for to ly,
Come the messangere on hy
With lettres fro the lady,
   And schewes tham righte thare.
Afote myghte the Kyng noght stande,
Bot rede tham thare lyggande,
And sayde, "Of thyne erande
   Thou hase thyn answare."
   
He sayde, "Thou wote thyne ansuare:
The mane that es seke and sare,
He may full ill ferre fare
   In felde for to fyghte."
The messangere made his mone:
Saide, "Wo worthe wikkede wone!
Why ne hade I tournede and gone
   Agayne with the knyghte?"
"What knyghte es that," said the Kyng,
"That thou mase of thy menynge?
In my londe wot I no lordyng
   Es worthy to be a knyghte."
The messangere ansuerd agayne,
"Wete ye, his name es for to layne,
The whethir I wolde hafe weten fayne
   What the childe highte.
   
Thus mekill gatt I of that knyght:
His dame sonne, he said, he hight.
One what maner that he was dight
   Now I sall yow telle:
He was wighte and worthly,
His body bolde and borely,
His armour bryghte and blody -
   Hade bene late in batell;
Blode-rede was his stede,
His akton, and his other wede;
His cote of the same hede
   That till a knyghte felle."
Than comanded the Kyng
Horse and armes for to brynge:
"If I kan trow thi talkynge,
   That ilke was Percyvell."
   
   
For the luffe of Percyvell,
To horse and armes thay felle;
Thay wolde no lengare ther duelle:
   To fare ware thay fayne.
Faste forthe gan thay fare;
Thay were aferde full sare,
Ere thay come whare he ware,
   The childe wolde be slayne.
The Kyng tase with hym knyghtis thre:
The ferthe wolde hymselfe be;
Now so faste rydes hee,
   May folowe hym no swayne.
The Kyng es now in his waye;
Lete hym come when he maye!
And I will forthir in my playe
   To Percyvell agayne.
   
Go we to Percyvell agayne.
The childe paste oute on the playne,
Over more and mountayne,
   To the Maydenlande;
Till agayne the even-tyde,
Bolde bodys sawe he byde,
Pavelouns mekill and unryde
   Aboute a cyté stonde.
On huntyng was the Sowdane;
He lefte men many ane,
Twenty score that wele kan:
   Be the gates yemande -
Elleven score one the nyghte,
And ten one the daye-lighte -
Wele armyde at alle righte,
   With wapyns in hande.
   
With thaire wapyns in thaire hande,
There will thay fight ther thay stande,
Sittande and lyggande,
   Elleven score of men.
In he rydes one a rase,
Or that he wiste where he was,
Into the thikkeste of the prese
   Amanges tham thanne.
And up stirt one that was bolde,
Bygane his brydill to holde,
And askede whedire that he wolde
   Make his horse to rynne.
He said, "I ame hedir come
For to see a Sowdane;
In faythe, righte sone he sall be slane,
   And I myghte hym ken.
   
If I hym oghte ken may,
To-morne, when it es lighte daye
Than sall we togedir playe
   With wapyns unryde."
They herde that he had undirtane
For to sle thaire Sowdane.
Thay felle aboute hym, everilkane,
   To make that bolde habyde.
The childe sawe that he was fade,
The body that his bridill hade:
Even over hym he rade,
   In gate there bisyde.
He stayred about hym with his spere;
Many thurgh gane he bere:
Ther was none that myght hym dere,
   Percevell, that tyde.
   
Tide in townne who will telle,
Folkes undir his fete felle;
The bolde body Percevelle,
   He sped tham to spill.
Hym thoghte no spede at his spere:
Many thurgh gane he bere,
Fonde folke in the here,
   Feghtyng to fill.
Fro that it was mydnyghte
Till it was even at daye-lighte,
Were thay never so wilde ne wighte,
   He wroghte at his will.
Thus he dalt with his brande,
There was none that myght hym stande
Halfe a dynt of his hande
   That he stroke till.
   
Now he strykes for the nonys,
Made the Sarazenes hede-bones
Hoppe als dose hayle-stones
   Abowtte one the gres;
Thus he dalt tham on rawe
Till the daye gun dawe:
He layd thaire lyves full law,
   Als many als there was.
When he hade slayne so many men,
He was so wery by then,
I tell yow for certen,
   He roghte wele the lesse
Awther of lyfe or of dede;
To medis that he were in a stede
Thar he myghte riste hym in thede
   A stownde in sekirnes.
   
Now fonde he no sekirnes,
Bot under the walle ther he was,
A faire place he hym chese,
   And down there he lighte.
He laide hym doun in that tyde;
His stede stode hym besyde:
The fole was fayne for to byde -
   Was wery for the fyght
Till one the morne that it was day.
The wayte appon the walle lay:
He sawe an uggly play
   In the place dighte;
Yitt was ther more ferly:
Ther was no qwyk man left therby!
Thay called up the lady
   For to see that sighte.
   
   
Now commes the lady to that sight,
The Lady Lufamour, the brighte;
Scho clambe up to the walle on hight
   Full faste to beholde;
Hedes and helmys ther was
(I tell yow withowtten lese),
Many layde one the gresse,
   And many schelde brode.
Grete ferly thaym thoghte
Who that wondir had wroghte,
That had tham to dede broghte,
   That folke in the felde,
And wold come none innermare
For to kythe what he ware,
And wist the lady was thare,
   Thaire warysoune to yelde.
   
Scho wold thaire warysone yelde:
Full faste forthe thay bihelde
If thay myghte fynde in the felde
   Who hade done that dede;
Thay luked undir thair hande,
Sawe a mekill horse stande,
A blody knyghte liggande
   By a rede stede.
Then said the lady so brighte,
"Yondir ligges a knyghte
That hase bene in the fighte,
   If I kane righte rede;
Owthir es yone man slane,
Or he slepis hym allane,
Or he in batelle es tane,
   For blody are his wede."
   
Scho says, "Blody are his wede,
And so es his riche stede;
Siche a knyght in this thede
   Saw I never nane.
What so he es, and he maye ryse,
He es large there he lyse,
And wele made in alle wyse,
   Ther als man sall be tane."
Scho calde appon hir chaymbirlayne,
Was called hende Hatlayne -
The curtasye of Wawayne
   He weldis in wane;
Scho badd hym, "Wende and see
Yif yon man on lyfe be.
Bid hym com and speke with me,
   And pray hym als thou kane."
   
Now to pray hym als he kane,
Undir the wallis he wane;
Warly wakend he that mane:
   The horse stode still.
Als it was tolde unto me,
He knelid down on his kne;
Hendely hailsed he that fre,
   And sone said hym till,
"My lady, lele Lufamour,
Habyddis the in hir chambour,
Prayes the, for thyn honour,
   To come, yif ye will."
So kyndly takes he that kyth
That up he rose and went hym wyth,
The man that was of myche pyth
   Hir prayer to fulfill.
   
Now hir prayer to fulfill,
He folowed the gentilmans will,
And so he went hir untill,
   Forthe to that lady.
Full blythe was that birde brighte
When scho sawe hym with syghte,
For scho trowed that he was wighte,
   And askede hym in hy:
At that fre gan scho frayne,
Thoghe he were lefe for to layne,
If he wiste who had tham slayne -
   Thase folkes of envy.
He sayd, "I soghte none of tho;
I come the Sowdane to slo,
And thay ne wolde noghte late me go;
Thaire lyfes there refte I."
   
He sayd, "Belyfe thay solde aby."
And Lufamour, that lele lady,
Wist ful wele therby
   The childe was full wighte.
The birde was blythe of that bade
That scho siche and helpe hade;
Agayne the Sowdane was fade
   With alle for to fighte.
Faste the lady hym byhelde:
Scho thoght hym worthi to welde,
And he myghte wyn hir in felde,
   With maystry and myghte.
His stede thay in stabill set
And hymselfe to haulle was fet,
And than, withowtten any let,
   To dyne gun thay dighte.
   
The childe was sett on the dese,
And served with reches -
I tell yow withowtten lese -
   That gaynely was get,
In a chayere of golde
Bifore the fayrest, to byholde
The myldeste mayden one molde,
   At mete als scho satt.
Scho made hym semblande so gude,
Als thay felle to thaire fude,
The mayden mengede his mode
   With myrthes at the mete,
That for hir sake righte tha
Sone he gane undirta
The sory Sowdane to sla,
   Withowtten any lett.
   
   
He sayd, withowtten any lett,
"When the Sowdane and I bene mett,
A sadde stroke I sall one hym sett,
   His pride for to spyll."
Then said the lady so free,
"Who that may his bon be
Sall hafe this kyngdome and me,
   To welde at his will."
He ne hade dyned bot smalle
When worde come into the haulle
That many men withalle
   Were hernyste one the hill;
For tene thaire felawes were slayne,
The cité hafe thay nere tane.
The men that were within the wane
   The comon-belle gun knylle.
   
Now knyllyn thay the comon-belle.
Worde come to Percevell,
And he wold there no lengere duelle,
   Bot lepe fro the dese -
Siche wilde gerys hade he mo -
Sayd, "Kynsmen, now I go.
For alle yone sall I slo
   Longe are I sese!"
Scho kiste hym withowtten lett;
The helme on his hede scho sett;
To the stabill full sone he gett,
   There his stede was.
There were none with hym to fare;
For no man then wolde he spare! -
Rydis furthe, withowtten mare,
   Till he come to the prese.
   
When he come to the prese,
He rydes in one a rese;
The folkes, that byfore hym was,
   Thaire strenght hade thay tone;
To kepe hym than were thay ware;
Thaire dynttis deris hym no mare
Then whoso hade strekyn sare
   One a harde stone.
Were thay wighte, were thay woke,
Alle that he till stroke,
He made thaire bodies to roke:
   Was ther no better wone.
I wote, he sped hym so sone
That day, by heghe none
With all that folke hade he done:
   One lefe lefte noghte one.
   
When he had slayne all tho,
He loked forthir hym fro,
If he myghte fynde any mo
   With hym for to fyghte;
And als that hardy bihelde,
He sese, ferre in the felde,
Fowre knyghtis undir schelde
   Come rydand full righte.
One was Kyng Arthour,
Anothir Ewayne, the floure,
The thirde Wawayne with honoure,
   And Kay, the kene knyghte.
Percevell saide, withowtten mare,
"To yondir foure will I fare;
And if the Sowdane be thare,
   I sall holde that I highte."
   
Now to holde that he hase highte,
Agaynes thaym he rydis righte,
And ay lay the lady brighte
   One the walle, and byhelde
How many men that he had slane,
And sythen gane his stede mayne
Foure kempys agayne,
   Forthir in the felde.
Then was the lady full wo
When scho sawe hym go
Agaynes foure knyghtys tho,
   With schafte and with schelde.
They were so mekyl and unryde
That wele wende scho that tyde
With bale thay solde gare hym byde
   That was hir beste belde.
   
Thofe he were beste of hir belde,
As that lady byhelde,
He rydes forthe in the felde,
   Even tham agayne.
Then sayd Arthoure the Kyng,
"I se a bolde knyghte owt spryng;
For to seke feghtyng,
   Forthe will he frayne.
If he fare forthe to fighte
And we foure kempys agayne one knyght,
Littill menske wold to us lighte
   If he were sone slayne."
They fore forthward right faste,
And sone kevells did thay caste,
And evyr fell it to frayste
Untill Sir Wawayne.
   
When it felle to Sir Wawayne
To ryde Percevell agayne,
Of that fare was he fayne,
   And fro tham he rade.
Ever the nerre hym he drewe,
Wele the better he hym knewe,
Horse and hernays of hewe,
That the childe hade.
"A, dere God!" said Wawayne the fre,
"How-gates may this be?
If I sle hym, or he me,
   That never yit was fade,
And we are sisters sones two,
And aythir of us othir slo,
He that lifes will be full wo
   That ever was he made."
   
   
Now no maistrys he made,
Sir Wawayne, there als he rade,
Bot hovyde styll and habade
   His concell to ta.
"Ane unwyse man," he sayd, "am I,
That puttis myselfe to siche a foly;
Es there no man so hardy
   That ne anothir es alswa.
Thogfe Percevell hase slayne the Rede Knight,
Yitt may another be als wyghte,
And in that gere be dyghte,
   And taken alle hym fra.
If I suffire my sister sone,
And anothir in his gere be done
And gete the maystry me appon,
   That wolde do me wa;
   
It wolde wirke me full wa!
So mote I one erthe ga,
It ne sall noghte betyde me swa,
   If I may righte rede!
A schafte sall I one hym sett,
And I sall fonde firste to hitt;
Then sall I ken be my witt
   Who weldys that wede."
No more carpys he that tyde,
Bot son togedyr gon thay ryde-
Men that bolde were to byde,
   And styff appon stede;
Thaire horse were stallworthe and strange,
Thair scheldis were unfailande;
Thaire speris brake to thaire hande,
   Als tham byhoved nede.
   
Now es broken that are were hale,
And than bygane Percevale
For to tell one a tale
   That one his tonge laye.
He sayde, "Wyde-whare hafe I gane;
Siche anothir Sowdane
In faythe sawe I never nane,
   By nyghte ne by daye.
I hafe slayne, and I the ken,
Twenty score of thi men;
And of alle that I slewe then,
   Me thoghte it bot a playe
Agayne that dynt that I hafe tane;
For siche one aughte I never nane
Bot I qwyte two for ane,
   Forsothe, and I maye."
   
Then spake Sir Wawayne -
Certanely, is noghte to layne -
Of that fare was he fayne,
   In felde there thay fighte:
By the wordis so wylde
At the fole one the felde,
He wiste wele it was the childe,
   Percevell the wighte -
He sayse, "I ame no Sowdane,
Bot I am that ilke man
That thi body bygan
   In armours to dighte.
I giffe the prise to thi pyth.
Unkyndely talked thou me with:
My name es Wawayne in kythe,
   Whoso redys righte."
   
He sayes, "Who that will rede the aryghte,
My name es Wawayne the knyghte."
And than thay sessen of thaire fighte,
   Als gude frendes scholde.
He sayse, "Thynkes thou noghte when
That thou woldes the knyghte brene,
For thou ne couthe noghte ken
   To spoyle hym alle colde?"
Bot then was Percevell the free
Als blythe als he myghte be,
For then wiste he wele that it was he,
   By takens that he tolde.
He dide then als he gane hym lere:
Putt up hys umbrere;
And kyste togedir with gud chere
   Those beryns so bolde.
   
Now kissede the beryns so bolde,
Sythen talkede what thay wolde.
Be then come Arthour the bolde,
   That there was knyghte and kyng
Als his cosyns hadd done,
Thankede God also sone.
Off mekill myrthis thay mone
   At thaire metyng.
Sythen, withowtten any bade,
To the castelle thay rade
With the childe that thay hade,
   Percevell the yynge.
The portere was redy thare,
Lete the knyghtis in fare;
A blythere lady than . . .
   . . . . . . . . . . . .
   
"Mi grete socour at thou here sende,
Off my castell me to diffende,
Agayne the Sowdane to wende,
   That es my moste foo."
Theire stedis thay sett in the stalle.
The Kyng wendis to haulle;
His knyghtis yode hym with alle,
   Als kynde was to go.
Thaire metis was redy,
And therto went thay in hy,
The Kyng and the lady,
   And knyghtis also.
   
Wele welcomed scho the geste
With riche metis of the beste,
Drynkes of the derreste,
   Dighted bydene.
Thay ete and dranke what thay wolde,
Sythen talked and tolde
Off othir estres full olde,
   The Kyng and the Qwene.
At the firste bygynnyng,
Scho frayned Arthour the Kyng
Of childe Percevell the yyng,
   What life he had in bene.
Grete wondir had Lufamour
He was so styffe in stour
And couthe so littill of nurtour
   Als scho had there sene.
   
Scho had sene with the childe
No thyng bot werkes wylde:
Thoghte grete ferly on filde
   Of that foly fare.
Then said Arthour the Kyng
Of bold Percevell techyng,
Fro the firste bygynnyng
   Till that he come thar:
How his fadir was slayne,
And his modir to the wode gane
For to be there hir allane
   In the holtis hare,
Fully feftene yere
To play hym with the wilde dere:
Littill wonder it were
   Wilde if he ware!
   
When he had tolde this tale
To that semely in sale
He hade wordis at wale
   To tham ilkane.
Then said Percevell the wighte,
"Yif I be noghte yitt knyghte,
Thou sall halde that thou highte,
   For to make me ane."
Than saide the Kyng full sone,
"Ther sall other dedis be done,
And thou sall wynn thi schone
   Appon the Sowdane."
Then said Percevell the fre,
"Als sone als I the Sowdane see,
Righte so sall it sone be,
   Als I hafe undirtane."
   
He says, "Als I hafe undirtane
For to sla the Sowdane,
So sall I wirke als I kanne,
   That dede to bygynn."
That day was ther no more dede
With those worthily in wede,
Bot buskede tham and to bedde yede,
   The more and the mynn;
Till one the morne erely
Comes the Sowdane with a cry,
Fonde all his folkes hym by
   Putt into pyn.
Sone asked he wha
That so durste his men sla,
And wete hym one lyfe gaa,
   The maystry to wynn.
   
Now to wynn the maystry,
To the castell gan he cry,
If any were so hardy,
   The maistry to wynn:
"A man for ane,
Thoghe he hadd all his folke slane,
Here sall he fynde Golrotherame
   To mete hym full ryghte,
Appon siche a covenande
That ye hefe up your hande;
Who that may the better stande
   And more es of myghte
To bryng that other to the dede,
Browke wele the londe on brede
And hir that is so faire and rede,
   Lufamour the brighte!"
   
Then the Kyng Arthour
And the Lady Lufamour
And all that were in the towre
   Graunted therwith.
Thay called Percevell the wight;
The Kyng doubbed hym to knyghte.
Thofe he couthe littill insighte,
   The childe was of pith.
He bad he solde be to prayse,
Therto hende and curtayse;
Sir Percevell the Galayse
   Thay called hym in kythe.
Kyng Arthour in Maydenlande
Dubbid hym knyghte with his hande,
Bad hym ther he his fo fande
   To gyff hym no grythe.
   
Grith takes he nane:
He rydes agayne the Sowdane
That highte Gollerotherame,
   That felle was in fighte.
In the felde so brade,
No more carpynge thay made,
Bot sone togedir thay rade,
   Theire schaftes to righte.
Gollerotheram, thofe he wolde wede,
Percevell bere hym fro his stede
Two londis one brede,
   With maystry and myghte.
At the erthe the Sowdane lay;
His stede gun rynn away;
Than said Percevell one play,
   "Thou haste that I the highte."
   
He sayd, "I highte the a dynt,
And now, me thynke, thou hase it hynt.
And I may, als I hafe mynt,
   Thou schalt it never mende."
Appon the Sowdan he duelled
To the grownde ther he was felled,
And to the erthe he hym helde
   With his speres ende.
Fayne wolde he hafe hym slayne,
This uncely Sowdane,
Bot gate couthe he get nane,
   So ill was he kende.
Than thynkes the childe
Of olde werkes full wylde:
"Hade I a fire now in this filde,
   Righte here he solde be brende."
   
He said, "Righte here I solde the brene,
And thou ne solde never more then
Fighte for no wymman,
   So I solde the fere!"
Then said Wawayne the knyghte,
"Thou myghte, and thou knewe righte,
And thou woldes of thi stede lighte,
   Wynn hym one were."
The childe was of gamen gnede;
Now he thynkes one thede,
"Lorde! whethir this be a stede
   I wende had bene a mere?"
In stede righte there he in stode,
He ne wiste nother of evyll ne gude,
Bot then chaunged his mode
   And slaked his spere.
   
When his spere was up tane,
Then gan this Gollerothiram,
This ilke uncely Sowdane,
   One his fete to gete.
Than his swerde drawes he,
Strykes at Percevell the fre.
The childe hadd no powsté
   His laykes to lett.
The stede was his awnn will:
Saw the swerde come hym till,
Leppe up over an hill,
   Fyve stryde mett.
Als he sprent forby,
The Sowdan keste up a cry;
The childe wann owt of study
   That he was inn sett.
   
Now ther he was in sett,
Owt of study he gett,
And lightis downn, withowtten lett,
   Agaynes hym to goo.
He says, "Now hase thou taughte me
How that I sall wirke with the."
Than his swerde drawes he
   And strake to hym thro.
He hitt hym even one the nekk-bane,
Thurgh ventale and pesane.
The hede of the Sowdane
   He strykes the body fra.
Then full wightly he yode
To his stede, there he stode;
The milde mayden in mode,
   Mirthe may scho ma!
   
Many mirthes then he made;
In to the castell he rade,
And boldly he there habade
   With that mayden brighte.
Fayne were thay ilkane
That he had slane the Sowdane
And wele wonn that wymman,
   With maystry and myghte.
Thay said Percevell the yyng
Was beste worthy to be kyng,
For wele withowtten lesyng
   He helde that he highte.
Ther was no more for to say,
Bot sythen, appon that other day,
He weddys Lufamour the may,
   This Percevell the wighte.
   
   
Now hase Percevell the wight
Wedded Lufamour the bright,
And is a kyng full righte
   Of alle that lande brade.
Than Kyng Arthour in hy
Wolde no lengare ther ly:
Toke lefe at the lady.
   Fro tham than he rade:
Left Percevell the yyng
Off all that lande to be kyng,
For he had with a ryng
   The mayden that it hade. 4
Sythen, appon the tother day,
The Kyng went on his way,
The certane sothe, als I say,
   Withowtten any bade.
   
Now than yong Percevell habade
In those borowes so brade
For hir sake, that he hade
   Wedd with a ryng.
Wele weldede he that lande,
Alle bowes to his honde;
The folke, that he byfore fonde,
   Knewe hym for kyng.
Thus he wonnes in that wone
Till that the twelmonthe was gone,
With Lufamour his lemman.
   He thoghte on no thyng,
Now on his moder that was,
How scho levyde with the gres,
With more drynke and lesse,
   In welles, there thay spryng.
   
Drynkes of welles, ther thay spryng,
And gresse etys, withowt lesyng!
Scho liffede with none othir thyng
   In the holtes hare.
Till it byfelle appon a day,
Als he in his bedd lay,
Till hymselfe gun he say,
   Syghande full sare,
"The laste Yole-day that was,
Wilde wayes I chese:
My modir all manles
   Leved I thare."
Than righte sone saide he,
"Blythe sall I never be
Or I may my modir see,
   And wete how scho fare."
   
Now to wete how scho fare,
The knyght busked hym yare;
He wolde no lengare duelle thare
   For noghte that myghte bee.
Up he rose in that haulle,
Tuke his lefe at tham alle,
Both at grete and at smalle;
   Fro thaym wendis he.
Faire scho prayed hym even than,
Lufamour, his lemman,
Till the heghe dayes of Yole were gane,
   With hir for to bee.
Bot it served hir of no thyng:
A preste he made forthe bryng,
Hym a messe for to syng,
   And aftir rode he.
   
Now fro tham gun he ryde;
Ther wiste no man that tyde
Whedirwarde he wolde ryde,
   His sorowes to amende.
Forthe he rydes allone;
Fro tham he wolde everichone:
Mighte no man with hym gone,
   Ne whedir he wolde lende.
Bot forthe thus rydes he ay,
The certen sothe als I yow say,
Till he come at a way
   By a wode-ende.
Then herde he faste hym by
Als it were a woman cry:
Scho prayed to mylde Mary
   Som socoure hir to sende.
   
Scho sende hir socour full gude,
Mary, that es mylde of mode.
As he come thurgh the wode,
   A ferly he fande.
A birde, brighteste of ble,
Stode faste bonden till a tre -
I say it yow certanly -
   Bothe fote and hande.
Sone askede he who,
When he sawe hir tho,
That had served hir so,
   That lady in lande.
Scho said, "Sir, the Blake Knyghte
Solde be my lorde with righte;
He hase me thusgates dighte
   Here for to stande."
   
She says, "Here mon I stande
For a faute that he fande
That sall I warande
   Is my moste mone.
Now to the I sall say:
Appon my bedd I lay
Appon the laste Yole-day -
   Twelve monethes es gone -
Were he knyghte, were he king,
He come one his playnge.
With me he chaungede a ring,
   The richeste of one.
The body myght I noghte see
That made that chaungyng with me,
Bot what that ever he be,
   The better hase he tone!"
   
Scho says, "The better hase he tane;
Siche a vertue es in the stane,
In alle this werlde wote I nane
   Siche stone in a rynge;
A man that had it in were
One his body for to bere,
There scholde no dyntys hym dere,
   Ne to the dethe brynge."
And then wiste Sir Percevale
Full wele by the ladys tale
That he had broghte hir in bale
   Thurgh his chaungyng.
Than also sone sayd he
To that lady so fre,
"I sall the louse fro the tre,
   Als I ame trewe kyng."
   
He was bothe kyng and knyght:
Wele he helde that he highte;
He loused the lady so brighte,
   Stod bown to the tre.
Down satt the lady,
And yong Percevall hir by.
Forwaked was he wery:
   Rist hym wolde he.
He wende wele for to ryst,
Bot it wolde nothyng laste.
Als he lay althir best,
   His hede one hir kne,
Scho putt on Percevell wighte,
Bad hym fle with all his myghte,
"For yonder comes the Blake Knyghte;
   Dede mon ye be!"
   
Scho sayd, "Dede mon ye be,
I say yow, sir certanly:
Yonder out comes he
   That will us bothe slee!"
The knyghte gan hir answere,
"Tolde ye me noghte lang ere
Ther solde no dynttis me dere,
   Ne wirke me no woo?"
The helme on his hede he sett;
Bot or he myght to his stede get,
The Blak Knyght with hym mett,
   His maistrys to mo.
He sayd, "How! hase thou here
Fonden now thi play-fere?
Ye schall haby it full dere
   Er that I hethen go!"
   
He said, "Or I hethyn go,
I sall sle yow bothe two,
And all siche othir mo,
   Thaire waryson to yelde."
Than sayd Percevell the fre,
"Now sone than sall we see
Who that es worthy to bee
   Slayne in the felde."
No more speke thay that tyde,
Bot sone togedir gan thay ryde,
Als men that wolde were habyde,
   With schafte and with schelde.
Than Sir Percevell the wight
Bare down the Blake Knyght.
Than was the lady so bright
   His best socour in telde;
   
Scho was the beste of his belde:
Bot scho had there bene his schelde,
He had bene slayne in the felde,
   Right certeyne in hy.
Ever als Percevell the kene
Sold the knyghtis bane hafe bene,
Ay went the lady bytwene
   And cryed, "Mercy!"
Than the lady he forbere,
And made the Blak Knyghte to swere
Of alle evylls that there were,
   Forgiffe the lady.
And Percevell made the same othe
That he come never undir clothe
To do that lady no lothe
   That pendid to velany.
   
"I did hir never no velany;
Bot slepande I saw hir ly:
Than kist I that lady -
   I will it never layne.
I tok a ryng that I fande;
I left hir, I undirstande,
That sall I wele warande,
   Anothir ther-agayne."
Thofe it were for none other thyng,
He swere by Jhesu, Heven-kyng,
To wete withowtten lesyng,
   And here to be slayne;
"And all redy is the ryng;
And thou will myn agayne bryng,
Here will I make the chaungyng,
   And of myn awnn be fayne."
   
He saise, "Of myn I will be fayne."
The Blak Knyghte ansuers agayne:
Sayd, "For sothe, it is noghte to layne,
   Thou come over-late.
Als sone als I the ryng fande,
I toke it sone off hir hande;
To the lorde of this lande
   I bare it one a gate.
That gate with grefe hafe I gone:
I bare it to a gude mone,
The stalwortheste geant of one
   That any man wate.
Es it nowther knyghte ne kyng
That dorste aske hym that ryng,
That he ne wolde hym down dyng
   With harmes full hate."
   
"Be thay hate, be thay colde,"
Than said Percevell the bolde,
For the tale that he tolde
   He wex all tene.
He said, "Heghe on galous mote he hyng
That to the here giffes any ryng,
Bot thou myn agayne brynge,
   Thou haste awaye geven!
And yif it may no nother be,
Righte sone than tell thou me
The sothe: whilke that es he
   Thou knawes, that es so kene?
Ther es no more for to say,
Bot late me wynn it yif I may,
For thou hase giffen thi part of bothe away,
   Thof thay had better bene."
   
He says, "Thofe thay had better bene."
The knyghte ansuerde in tene,
"Thou sall wele wete, withowtten wene,
   Wiche that es he!
If thou dare do als thou says,
Sir Percevell de Galays,
In yone heghe palays,
   Therin solde he be,
The riche ryng with that grym!
The stane es bright and nothyng dym;
For sothe, ther sall thou fynd hym:
   I toke it fro me;
Owthir within or withowt,
Or one his play ther abowte,
Of the he giffes littill dowte,
   And that sall thou see."
   
He says, "That sall thou see,
I say the full sekirly."
And than forthe rydis he
   Wondirly swythe.
The geant stode in his holde,
That had those londis in wolde:
Saw Percevell, that was bolde,
   One his lande dryfe;
He calde one his portere:
"How-gate may this fare?
I se a bolde man yare
   On my lande ryfe.
Go reche me my playlome,
And I sall go to hym sone;
Hym were better hafe bene at Rome,
   So ever mote I thryfe!"
   
Whethir he thryfe or he the,
Ane iryn clobe takes he;
Agayne Percevell the fre
   He went than full right.
The clobe wheyhed reghte wele
That a freke myght it fele:
The hede was of harde stele,
   Twelve stone weghte!
Ther was iryn in the wande,
Ten stone of the lande,
And one was byhynde his hande,
   For holdyng was dight.
Ther was thre and twenty in hale;
Full evyll myght any men smale,
That men telles nowe in tale,
   With siche a lome fighte.
   
Now are thay bothe bown,
Mett one a more brown,
A mile withowt any town,
   Boldly with schelde.
Than saide the geant so wight,
Als sone als he sawe the knyght,
"Mahown, loved be thi myght!"
   And Percevell byhelde.
"Art thou hym, that," saide he than,
"That slew Gollerothirame?
I had no brothir bot hym ane,
   When he was of elde."
Than said Percevell the fre,
"Thurgh grace of God so sall I the,
And siche geantes as ye
   Sle thaym in the felde!"
   
Siche metyng was seldom sene.
The dales dynned thaym bytwene
For dynttis that thay gaffe bydene
   When thay so mett.
The gyant with his clobe-lome
Wolde hafe strekyn Percevell sone,
Bot he therunder wightely come,
   A stroke hym to sett.
The geant missede of his dynt;
The clobe was harde as the flynt:
Or he myght his staffe stynt
   Or his strengh lett,
The clobe in the erthe stode:
To the midschafte it wode.
The Percevell the gode,
   Hys swerde owt he get.
   
By then hys swerde owt he get,
Strykes the geant withowtten lett,
Merkes even to his nekk,
   Reght even ther he stode;
His honde he strykes hym fro,
His lefte fote also,
With siche dyntis as tho.
   Nerre hym he yode.
Then sayd Percevell, "I undirstande
Thou myghte with a lesse wande
Hafe weledid better thi hande
   And hafe done the some gode;
Now bese it never for ane
The clobe of the erthe tane.
I tell thi gatis alle gane, 5
   Bi the gude Rode!"
   
He says, "By the gud Rode,
As evyll als thou ever yode,
Of thi fote thou getis no gode;
   Bot lepe if thou may!"
The geant gan the clobe lefe,
And to Percevell a dynt he yefe
In the nekk with his nefe.
   So ne neghede thay.
At that dynt was he tene:
He strikes off the hande als clene
Als ther hadde never none bene.
   That other was awaye.
Sythen his hede gan he off hafe;
He was ane unhende knave
A geantberde so to schafe,
   For sothe, als I say!
   
Now for sothe, als I say,
He lete hym ly there he lay,
And rydis forthe one his way
   To the heghe holde.
The portare saw his lorde slayne;
The kayes durste he noght layne.
He come Percevell agayne;
   The gatis he hym yolde.
At the firste bygynnyng,
He askede the portere of the ryng -
If he wiste of it any thyng -
   And he hym than tolde:
He taughte hym sone to the kiste
Ther he alle the golde wiste,
Bade hym take what hym liste
   Of that he hafe wolde.
   
Percevell sayde, hafe it he wolde,
And schott owtt all the golde
Righte there appon the faire molde;
   The ryng owte glade.
The portare stode besyde,
Sawe the ryng owt glyde,
Sayde ofte, "Wo worthe the tyde
That ever was it made!"
Percevell answerde in hy,
And asked wherefore and why
He banned it so brothely,
   Bot if he cause hade.
Then alsone said he,
And sware by his lewté:
"The cause sall I tell the,
   Withowten any bade."
   
He says, "Withowtten any bade,
The knyghte that it here hade,
Theroff a presande he made,
   And hedir he it broghte.
Mi mayster tuke it in his hande,
Ressayved faire that presande:
He was chefe lorde of this lande,
   Als man that mekill moghte.
That tyme was here fast by
Wonnande a lady,
And hir wele and lely
   He luffede, als me thoghte.
So it byfelle appon a day,
Now the sothe als I sall say,
Mi lorde went hym to play,
   And the lady bysoghte.
   
Now the lady byseches he
That scho wolde his leman be;
Fast he frayned that free,
   For any kyns aughte.
At the firste bygynnyng,
He wolde hafe gyffen hir the ryng;
And when scho sawe the tokynyng,
   Then was scho un-saughte.
Scho gret and cried in hir mone;
Sayd, 'Thefe, hase thou my sone slone
And the ryng fro hym tone,
   That I hym bitaughte?'
Hir clothes ther scho rafe hir fro,
And to the wodd gan scho go;
Thus es the lady so wo,
   And this is the draghte.
   
For siche draghtis als this,
Now es the lady wode, iwys,
And wilde in the wodde scho es,
   Ay sythen that ilke tyde.
Fayne wolde I take that free,
Bot alsone als scho sees me,
Faste awaye dose scho flee:
   Will scho noghte abyde."
Then sayde Sir Percevell,
"I will assaye full snelle
To make that lady to duelle;
   Bot I will noghte ryde:
One my fete will I ga,
That faire lady to ta.
Me aughte to bryng hir of wa:
   I laye in hir syde."
   
He sayse, "I laye in hir syde;
I sall never one horse ryde
Till I hafe sene hir in tyde,
   Spede if I may;
Ne none armoure that may be
Sall come appone me
Till I my modir may see,
   Be nyghte or by day.
Bot reghte in the same wode
That I firste fro hir yode,
That sall be in my mode
   Aftir myn other play;
Ne I ne sall never mare
Come owt of yone holtis hare
Till I wete how scho fare,
   For sothe, als I saye."
   
Now for sothe, als I say,
With that he helde one his way,
And one the morne, when it was day,
   Forthe gonn he fare.
His armour he leved therin,
Toke one hym a gayt-skynne,
And to the wodde gan he wyn,
   Among the holtis hare.
A sevenyght long hase he soghte;
His modir ne fyndis he noghte.
Of mete ne drynke he ne roghte,
   So full he was of care.
Till the nynte day, byfell
That he come to a welle
Ther he was wonte for to duelle
   And drynk take hym thare.
   
When he had dronken that tyde,
Forthirmare gan he glyde;
Than was he warre, hym besyde,
   Of the lady so fre;
Bot when scho sawe hym thare,
Scho bygan for to dare,
And sone gaffe hym answare,
   That brighte was of ble.
Scho bigan to call and cry:
Sayd, "Siche a sone hade I!"
His hert lightened in hy,
   Blythe for to bee.
Be that he come hir nere
That scho myght hym here,
He said, "My modir full dere,
   Wele byde ye me!"
   
   
Be that, so nere getis he
That scho myghte nangatis fle,
I say yow full certeynly.
   Hir byhoved ther to byde.
Scho stertis appon hym in tene;
Wete ye wele, withowtten wene,
Had hir myghte so mekill bene,
   Scho had hym slayne that tyde!
Bot his myghte was the mare,
And up he toke his modir thare;
One his bake he hir bare:
   Pure was his pryde.
To the castell, withowtten mare,
The righte way gon he fare;
The portare was redy yare,
   And lete hym in glyde.
   
In with his modir he glade,
Als he sayse that it made;
With siche clothes als thay hade,
   Thay happed hir forthy.
The geant had a drynk wroghte,
The portere sone it forthe broghte,
For no man was his thoghte
   Bot for that lady.
Thay wolde not lett long thon,
Bot lavede in hir with a spone.
Then scho one slepe fell also sone,
   Reght certeyne in hy.
Thus the lady there lyes
Thre nyghttis and thre dayes,
And the portere alwayes
   Lay wakande hir by.
   
Thus the portare woke hir by -
Ther whills hir luffed sekerly, -
Till at the laste the lady
   Wakede, als I wene.
Then scho was in hir awenn state
And als wele in hir gate
Als scho hadde nowthir arely ne late
   Never therowte bene.
Thay sett tham down one thaire kne,
Thanked Godde, alle three,
That he wolde so appon tham see
   As it was there sene.
Sythen aftir gan thay ta
A riche bathe for to ma,
And made the lady in to ga,
   In graye and in grene.
   
Than Sir Percevell in hy
Toke his modir hym by,
I say yow than certenly,
   And home went hee.
Grete lordes and the Qwene
Welcomed hym al bydene;
When thay hym on lyfe sene;
   Than blythe myghte thay bee.
Sythen he went into the Holy Londe,
Wanne many cités full stronge,
And there was he slayne, I undirstonde;
   Thusgatis endis hee.
Now Jhesu Criste, hevens Kyng,
Als He es Lorde of all thyng,
Grante us all His blyssyng!
   Amen, for charyté!
   
   
   Quod Robert Thornton
Explicit Sir Percevell de Gales
Here endys the Romance of Sir Percevell of Gales, Cosyn to King Arthoure.
Everyone; listen; (see note)
   
   
fierce; fighting
   
brought up; moors
(see note)
yet; strong
   
   
Much honor
   
palace
beloved
did call him
reads correctly
   
   
bold
powerful; war horse
Weapons; wield
   
much
gave; (see note)
   
thence
have the use of; (see note)
well knew
entrusted; govern
   
to him
both their
luxurious
   
luxurious
in his possession
possessions
   
church; went
gentle creature
   
   
Since that time; delay
wedding feast
   
mate
delay
jousting; (see note)
contestants
cease [from fighting]
   
   
Black
come
lance; shield
does as
Ever faithful [to his] promises
proves
Injures; older [knight]
   
same
   
On
Though
   
destroyed
lies
   
   
on
Throughout
Stunned; time
made fainthearted
common; noble
able
blows to suffer
   
   
dared; on; grassy plot
   
victory
(see note)
   
happy
   
though
victory
   
   
he makes a pledge
return (recover)
   
   
repay; blow
from; received
Shall; effort be in vain
   
   
defeat; under
Unless; (see note)
living
   
both alive
impatient
afflict; injury
Before; calamity
   
Until
   
   
   
on
was named
   
eager [to have]
boy
then; further ado
Of joustings
   
   
   
dwell
previously
   
contestants
trained
manner
   
jousting news
prepared for himself; at once
   
Against
broad
keep his vow
Because of injuries remembered
   
conquests worth mention
   
   
   
Before; ready [to enter the lists]
   
   
vanquished the field
As soon as
battle
A curse on bad equipment!
   
   
joyful
conceal
   
   
   
   
   
command; stay
   
person that there was
deadly
stunned; time (see note)
knew; plan
sequestered (private) place
dead
   
She
sorry
lost
(i.e., She felt); (see note)
   
creature
   
made a pledge
Keep it
she; dwell
[any] place
Where
   
wilderness
Shall
   
groves
pay attention
   
go
animals
   
   
She
from the nobility; king; (see note)
   
left bower; hall
   
   
(i.e., she needed service)
goods; require
flock of goats
drink
For
   
   
Except
In anticipation of her son's learning to walk
   
walked about
   
Presented
   
   
   
given to
stick; (see note)
   
truly
is; worthy
   
pleased
   
slain beast
   
   
walks
   
branches
grew; throve
   
things
carry
boy
slay
Male and female deer
those
   
   
walked
useless
   
   
Even then
throve
truly; boy
   
   
gray woods
courtesy; learning
teach
   
to; did
counsel
   
   
power
   
   
   
   
What kind of
   
   
directly
   
   
(see note)
   
If
   
   
left with eagerness
goats
seek
   
   
walked; gray woods
path
   
household
(see note)
   
warrior
   
   
time
   
goat's
broad
On both sides
hood
   
   
hood
   
(see note)
speak properly
   
Such
assumed
   
Which
   
   
   
   
   
must me save
such
   
naif in the field; (see note)
   
   
   
slay
Unless
   
   
   
should
   
gray woods
grew; angry
As if; (see note)
   
He [Percyvell] would have
   
   
do harm always
in a softer manner
If
   
   
   
Who has remained on
   
dressed
   
If
   
   
advise; go
know; own; (see note)
   
   
remain
   
home
   
corral; (see note)
mares
   
Saint
Such; yonder
Rode
   
prosper; thrive
largest; yonder
   
mother
   
   
home
(see note)
aforementioned
largest mare
runs down
shall
   
He puts no store in
leaps upon
   
   
sorely overwhelmed
knew; what to do
   
home
   
   
knew
natural course
would prevail; (see note)
   
should; endure
   
   
   
work; unrest; (see note)
   
   
   
made known
stud-mare strong
had he concern
   
   
before
assumed
   
   
   
   
anger
promised
   
Such a one
those
   
promised
Unless
slay
   
   
Who; grieved
die
on
plan
death
every foreign place
command
first; (see note)
   
   
   
know; courtesy; (see note)
moderation
chamber
try to be well-mannered
   
   
   
hood; bid
greet; right away
   
   
recognize
Tell me how I'll know him
showed; ermine
in sets; (see note)
where; handsome fur
hoods
   
Wherever
   
   
   
   
   
   
Despite anything; happen
none
Sees; means
withy (pliable branch); taken
bridles
   
   
sign (token)
await you
takes
Leaps
   
(see note)
   
   
castle; (see note)
   
   
hindrance
broad dining table
kindled
Burning
manger; found
lying
bound
branch
told
should; moderation
   
shall
   
divides
one of those
   
   
   
   
dinner; kitchen
   
   
divided
   
Another person to sustain
The other
moderation
Eagerly; sought; courteous
Although
   
   
move
To
More marvels
   
   
sign as a pledge
Shall; leave
   
From
own mother's token
noble [woman]
   
   
Jumped upon [his mare]
   
   
   
More marvels
   
further ado
where
course
To [address] him (the King); primary goal
   
permitted no hindrance
   
readily
So powerfully he acted
(see note)
   
forehead
close up; rode
   
pulled back in surprise then
take
   
   
   
   
from whence
desire
fool; field
own
   
Unto; great
   
Such a one
   
ere; cut
   
   
[Who] was; bread server
[he]; lying
those
have
following thy fellows
   
thee; make
   
If
See to it
demand; so
meanly; dressed
   
Unless
slay
   
   
wonder
   
person
waiting
   
   
   
eyes flowed
one waiting for the other
   
   
   
   
   
If; dressed
   
   
   
   
alive
   
   
   
   
remembrance
have gone by
Since a thief
disagreement
Since that time; foe
afflict
slay
numerous
   
   
   
   
destroy; alone
Unless
put
   
Avenge; father's destroyer
waited too long
   
   
   
understanding
   
stop; chattering
care
   
   
too long
   
   
eagerly promised
   
Provided that
at that time
noble countenance
believed
   
   
mind
   
   
dwell
   
lived
wrong nor right
   
   
(i.e., Arthur)
(i.e., Perceval)
mare
turned
before
enjoy
   
Among
Riding rapidly
clothing; (see note)
full sorry sport
knew
   
   
cowards
(see note)
   
fiercely; cup; took
   
oppose
Even though; eager for battle
cup; (see note)
   
   
   
   
found
   
rode away
   
   
   
(i.e., the author of the poem)
   
   
   
Who; won
   
fiend desist
(see note)
taken from me
   
   
Since then
always
Before; arm myself
kill
   
   
strike; (see note)
   
If
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
arm
before; taken down
gone
   
That [knight]; should
   
enemy; (see note)
otherwise; prepared
goat
(see note)
   
   
You! (interjection); mare
goods
terrify
infirm
   
hesitation
   
With; equipment
great
Unless
   
thrown off; mare
anger
fool; foe
Because he called his horse a mare
   
   
   
visor
armed
The one who spoke so to him
impudent fool
marsh; (see note)
Despite
As; sack
noble
   
soon
turn pale
skillful
   
eye
neck
   
took
was shaken
   
   
   
   
   
feeble knave
   
If; wait here for me
   
   
   
Honorably
   
one
   
   
   
direct
   
   
   
   
though; went
heavy; foal
swelled up [animal]
run; suffer
   
   
to; take himself
steps (gaits)
stingy (i.e., no extra steps)
   
stingy
where; went
   
   
trustworthy
sneak away
hope; deal
high (horseback)
you your mare
much
before
   
in that place
should; dead
knew; advice
   
   
off his horse
strip of his armour
   
fastenings; armor
   
   
off; piece
No matter what
taught
   
burn; wood
lacking
   
steel; seizes
delay
spark
   
   
woods; went
gathers; quickly
   
   
burn
figure out how
   
prepared
   
   
   
lying
   
burning
birch; oak
   
   
birch; oak
flames; smoke
   
   
By Saint Peter!
see
   
   
   
   
   
If
   
   
dressed
   
   
dressed
takes; neck
   
flames; increase
boast
roast
care; distressed condition
limbs
sprawling
equipped; arms
   
   
   
becoming
allowed to pass
called [one]
   
   
   
   
nears
do you believe
   
   
   
thrive; prosper
   
   
otherwise [than a] knight
   
present
   
Before
   
   
   
   
   
late in the morning
witch
   
recognize
assumed
   
accustomed; be
equip; [to] run
   
   
   
   
   
   
led me to understand
Where
   
   
   
   
neither less nor more
   
   
   
wretched stuff
if
carried away
could heal you
before
   
knew
   
   
   
he wanted
   
   
   
wrath; anger
cast; flames
sweat
wicked
   
way
more
eager
   
   
   
   
I myself will [go] to them; (see note)
   
thought
destroy
   
Since; thus clad
quickly
   
followed
   
ermine
visor
May God watch over you!
   
   
   
   
   
   
countenance
   
searched for
fearlessly; commanded
   
   
dressed
rode
then
eagerly
greatest; (see note)
   
   
   
   
Earlier
riding
   
passed (i.e., too old)
   
   
These
   
fear that; should; lose
   
thought indeed
   
altogether
   
   
   
haste
Of
   
(see note)
brother
undertaken
   
afraid lest; should; slay
older; more [capable]
   
see
place
death
   
Until; burn
   
burned
been more successful; thought
   
The more happy became
castle their way passed
eagerly
   
   
invite
   
   
   
   
fetched
delay
food; prepared themselves
   
   
   
   
   
At the height of the feast
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
who enjoys food
To give to the traveler
   
   
   
greeted
As; dais
   
Whose
far; travel
lies
   
   
   
put an end to
Uprisen; (see note)
taken
   
peace
   
   
despite; beauty
great wealth
causes; woe
causes; days
slays straight away
   
   
same
uncle slain
each one of her brothers
greatest enemy
closely; pursued
   
   
Until; take
   
   
take
slay
Ere; foe
   
strong
   
   
renowned warrior
   
show
Thither; roads lie
   
   
   
Instantly
If I have life [to do it]
   
rather
   
   
   
   
If
   
   
(see note)
Eagerly; take
   
[Perceval] refuses
   
   
   
happier
   
these tidings
Made themselves ready
Much glee
remedied
[Perceval]; gone
distance
trick
imagined
journey joyful
Ahead
one back
each
   
   
issued; stone; (see note)
tells him what to do
   
instruct
   
foreign
wonders; perform
haste
uncles
those
Recognized his plan
   
hindrance
   
turn pale
Leave; young
To fare
unto
   
   
different direction; take
   
main moan
   
woe; [so] miserable; avenge
   
   
(see note)
put to bed
in haste
   
   
On his feet
But advise; lying there
   
   
   
know
man; sick; sore
hardly travel far
   
   
Woe befall wicked conduct
   
   
   
speak about
   
know
   
Know; conceal
Although; known
was called
   
much learned
mother's; is called
called
   
manly; fine
goodly
   
   
   
jacket; clothing
quality
to; was befitting
   
   
believe
same person
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
takes
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
journeyed across
moor
   
   
men
large; numerous
   
Out
a one
   
guarding
   
   
particulars
   
   
   
   
   
   
in a rush
Before; knew
crowd
   
   
   
where
   
   
   
   
If only; see
   
   
   
   
cruel
   
   
everyone
brave one remain [for battle]
eager for battle; (see note)
person; held
   
   
thrust
pierce
oppose
   
   
What happened; (see note)
   
   
hastened
rest for; (see note)
   
Foolish people of the enemy
(i.e., they get their fill of fighting)
   
   
   
   
dealt blows; sword
withstand
   
struck
   
strongly
   
   
grass
in turn
dawn
low
   
   
   
   
cared scarcely at all
death
In the midst of that place
he would rest himself there
moment; safety
   
safety
Except
chose for himself
   
   
   
glad; abide
   
   
sentinel
fearful performance
provided
marvel
living
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
lie
grass
   
wonder; (see note)
   
death
   
no further inside
make known
   
reward; claim
   
their reward pay
   
   
   
just below
mighty
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
clothes
   
   
   
country
   
   
   
   
judged
   
   
manners
   
Go
yonder; alive
   
can
   
   
goes
Cautiously awakened; man
   
   
   
Courteously greeted; nobleman
   
fair
Awaits you
   
   
request
   
strength
   
   
   
   
   
   
fair lady
   
manly
questioned
noble one; ask
eager to hide the facts; (see note)
   
   
those
slay
   
   
   
Happily; abide
fair
Knew
powerful
noble lady; news
such a helper
Against; [he] was determined
   
Earnestly
govern
field of battle
   
   
hall; brought
delay
prepare
   
high table
dainties
lie
handsomely was served
   
   
on earth
   
friendly welcome
   
roused his spirits
   
then
undertake
   
delay
   
   
   
   
solemn
   
   
death (bane)
   
   
a little
   
   
armed
anger [that]
nearly taken
stronghold
did knell
   
   
   
   
high table
impulsive ways; plenty
   
   
before; cease
delay
   
   
   
   
hold back
alone
Sowdan's gang
   
   
in a rush
   
taken
oppose; eager
blows harm
fiercely
   
strong; weak
   
fall back
fate
   
noon
   
Alive
   
   
   
   
   
hardy [lad] looked about
sees far
   
vigorously
   
most excellent
   
(see note)
   
   
   
keep; promised
   
   
   
   
On
   
rode; powerful
warriors to meet
   
   
   
To meet
   
great; huge
time
grief; make
protector
   
protection
   
   
Directly against
   
charging
   
seek battle
   
warriors
honor
   
   
lots
try
Unto
   
   
against
chance
   
nearer
   
   
   
   
However
   
his enemy
For
If
lives; utterly woeful
   
   
   
menacing gestures
   
remained; stopped
take
   
   
   
also
Although
   
armor; dressed
   
am gentle with
equipment
   
woe
   
   
   
   
be well advised
   
try
   
wears that armor
debates
   
   
   
strong
   
splintered in
As they were bound to do
   
ere; whole
   
   
on
Far and wide
Such
   
   
tell you
   
   
   
Compared to; blow
possessed
Unless; repay
   
   
   
lie
glad
   
   
naïf in
   
strong
   
same
   
   
prize; strength
   
among my people
   
   
advise you
   
cease
   
   
   
didn't know how
plunder
   
   
   
details
had been taught
visor
   
warriors
   
warriors
   
By
   
   
   
reminisce
   
delay
   
   
   
   
   
   
(see note)
   
that
   
   
greatest enemy
   
goes
went
As was the custom
food
quickly
   
   
   
   
   
most costly
Prepared for everyone
   
Then
stories
   
outset
questioned
About
had formerly
   
strong; battle
knew; courtesy
   
   
   
acts of violence
wonders in field
foolish behavior
   
Perceval's upbringing
   
(see note)
   
   
   
   
   
animals
   
   
   
[Arthur]
comely one; hall
will
each of them
(see note)
   
promised
   
   
   
[knight's] shoes; (see note)
against
   
   
   
undertaken
   
   
   
   
   
activity
   
prepared themselves; went
less
   
   
   
torment (i.e., dead)
who
   
(see note)
   
   
   
   
   
(see note)
[a man]
   
   
   
pact
lift
   
   
death
Possess; broad land
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
had little wisdom
strong
act in a praiseworthy way
   
   
among his people
   
   
   
peace
   
Peace
   
was called
cruel
   
   
   
spears; raise
rage
knocked him off
(see note)
   
   
   
in
what I promised you
   
   
received
intended
   
pressed
   
   
   
   
hapless
means could
trained
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
terrify you
   
if
If; get off
Defeat; in battle
banter cautious
on the spot
can this; steed
mare
place; (see note)
   
   
released
   
   
(see note)
same hapless
   
   
   
power
sword play; oppose
acted on his own
toward him
   
measured
flew past
   
awoke; meditation
absorbed in
   
absorbed in
   
hesitation
   
   
work
   
assails; fiercely
   
chest and neck armor
   
from
went
   
spirit
make
   
   
   
dwelt
   
each
   
   
   
young
   
   
He kept his promise
   
   
maiden
   
   
   
   
   
   
broad
   
   
leave of
   
   
   
(see note)
   
the next
   
   
delay
   
   
broad
whom
   
ruled
bow
sought
   
dwells; place; (see note)
   
beloved
   
   
upon grass; (see note)
   
   
   
   
grass; it's no lie
   
gray woods
   
   
   
   
   
   
unprotected
Left
   
Happy
Until
know; fares
   
   
made himself ready soon
   
   
   
leave from
(see note)
   
Eloquently
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
arrive
   
   
   
   
close by
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
marvel
noble lady; complexion
(see note)
   
   
   
   
   
(see note)
   
   
thusly tied; (see note)
   
   
   
fault
   
greatest moan
   
   
   
   
   
sporting
exchanged
finest of all
   
   
   
taken
   
   
stone
know of none
   
war
   
blows; harm
   
   
   
into grief
exchanging [of rings]
   
   
shall loosen you
   
   
   
kept; promised
loosened
bound
   
   
He was utterly weary from lack of sleep
Rest himself
   
   
very comfortably
   
awakened
   
   
must
   
   
   
   
   
   
earlier
blows; harm
   
   
ere
   
conquest; accomplish
   
playmate
pay for it dearly
hence
   
hence
   
   
reward
   
   
   
   
   
   
engage in war
   
   
   
   
camp
   
protectors
Unless
   
   
Even as; brave
Should; death
   
   
spared
   
   
   
   
   
injury
pertained
   
   
   
   
lie
   
believe
guarantee
as a substitute
not otherwise
   
lying
   
   
If
exchange
joyful
   
joyful
   
lie
too late
   
   
   
straight away
way
man
most stalwart giant of all; (see note)
knows
   
   
strike
much violence
   
hot
   
Because of
angry
High; gallows
you here gives
[That] you have
   
none other
   
truth
know; bold
   
   
   
more valuable
   
more valuable; (see note)
anger
know; doubt
Which
   
   
lofty
   
horrid creature
   
   
He; (see note)
   
   
you; has no fear
   
   
   
tell you; surely
   
swiftly
castle
[his] power
   
gallop [his horse]
   
However
prepared to fight
well-endowed
battle weapon
   
   
prosper
   
thrive; prosper
iron club
   
   
weighed a lot
knight
   
(168 pounds)
iron; shaft
(140 pounds' worth)
(see note)
designed
all (i.e., 322 pounds weight)
poorly
   
weapon; (see note)
   
armed
moor
outside
   
   
   
Mahomet
   
   
   
alone
full grown
   
prosper
   
   
   
   
resounded
to each other
   
club-weapon
smitten
skillfully
   
   
   
Before; stop
control
   
was embedded
Then
   
   
   
delay
Thrusts straight
   
from him
   
those
Nearer; went
   
smaller stick
   
   
is; anyone
from; to take
   
Cross
   
   
However poorly you walk hereafter
   
hop; (see note)
leave
gave
fist
near approached
outraged
   
   
already chopped off
Then; cut off
discourteous
shave
   
   
   
   
   
high castle
   
keys; withhold
   
yielded
   
   
   
   
showed; chest
knew [to be]
desired
   
   
   
cast
the floor
flew out
   
   
Woe be the time
   
   
   
cursed; vehemently
Unless
   
fealty
   
delay
   
   
brought it here
present
   
   
Received
   
had great power
   
Dwelling; (see note)
goodly and loyally
   
(see note)
   
   
importuned
   
   
   
asked; noble lady
on any terms
   
   
   
distraught
wept; grief
Thief; slain
taken
entrusted
tore
   
   
course [of fate]
   
Because of; luck (draughts)
gone mad, truly
   
Ever since
   
as soon as
   
   
   
attempt; quickly
   
   
   
capture
rescue her from woe
(i.e., "I am her son.")
   
   
   
time
Have better luck
   
   
   
   
   
went
determination
Despite anything else
more
gray woods
know; fares
   
   
   
   
   
   
left
goatskin
   
   
   
   
cared about
anxiety
ninth
   
   
   
   
(see note)
Farther; walk
Then; aware
   
   
hide
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
hear
   
   
   
   
With that
in no way
   
It behooved her
anger
Know; doubt
Had she been strong enough
   
greater
   
   
He had no pride
   
   
soon
walk
   
walked
   
   
covered; accordingly
   
   
   
   
did not wait long then
poured [the liquid]
(see note)
   
   
   
   
   
   
watched beside her; (see note)
while [he]; (see note)
   
awakened
(i.e. , right mind); (see note)
normal way
formerly or recently
   
   
   
look
   
prepare
make
   
(see note)
   
   
   
   
   
   
altogether
   
   
Then
   
   
In this way
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   


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