Troy Book: Book 3


1 Exerting themselves to rob him of his steed


11 Flegonte. Ovid (Metamorphoses 2.153-54) names four horses of Phoebus: Pyrois, Eous, Aethon, and Phlegon. Fulgentius (Mythologiae 1.12) points out that they correspond to the four periods of the day. Phlegon corresponds to sunset. Vatican Mythographer 2 derives his name from Greek for "loving the earth" because at the ninth hour of the day he follows the sunset to rest.

12 oure. MS: her.

24 his manhod. MS: hie manhod.

545 wordis. MS: wardis.

551-56 See above at 2.192-97 and later at Env.100-01.

569 more, sothly. MS: sothly more.

571 Nor. Bergen emends to No. sade. Bergen emends to fade.

572 in. Accepting Bergen's addition.

583 his. MS: the. to. MS: of. Accepting Bergen's emendations.

611 lokkid in o cheyne. Lydgate repeats the phrase at 3.3838, where Achilles describes his friendship with Patroclus to Hector as the two heroes prepare to settle the war by single combat between them. A version of the phrase - lynke hym in a cheyne (3.4859) - reappears in Lydgate's description of Criseyde's manipulation of Diomede.

618 amonge hem. Bergen emends to anoon hym.

745 myght. Bergen emends to entent.

746 lik a doughty knyght. Bergen emends to ful inpacient.

773 Oute. Bergen reads Out.

796 lik a wode lyoun. See Chaucer's description of Palamon in The Knight's Tale: "this Palamon / In his fightyng were a wood leon" (I.1655-56).

800 ful. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

834 hem. MS: hym.

836 constreyned. Bergen (4:221) takes this as an ablative absolute, but the grammar requires a passive sense for the verb ("he was compelled, forced").

840 among. Bergen emends to maugre, but the MS reading, in the sense of "in the presence of" is equally plausible.

843 alle. Bergen emends to of.

845 avengid on hym. Bergen emends to on hym avengid, but MS reading makes equal metrical sense if avengid is taken as two syllables (aveng'd), as it must be with either reading.

850 callid. Bergen emends to called.

870 cam. I have supplied the verb needed here, which repairs the meter and parallels cam kyng Merioun (line 876) in the later part of the clause.

worthi. Bergen emends to myghty to avoid repetition.

880 for. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

896 anon. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

976 the. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

989 hath. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

994-1004 Lydgate uses anacoluthon here, but the main clause can be restored by dropping And (line 1000) and taking he made (line 1003) as the subject and verb. The overall sense is that while the three Trojans cut down the Greeks, Troilus is exceptionally deadly.

1006 sawe. Bergen reads saw.

1009 Hent. The subject (Menestheus) must be supplied.

1013 the. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

1038 the. MS: your.

1055 enhasteth. MS: enhasteth hym. what. MS: wat.

1087 stronge. MS: so stronge.

1096 the light. Bergen emends to the ferful light.

1097 Accepting the line Bergen supplies for the one missing in the MS.

1098 And. Accepting Bergen's addition.

1103 hurtle. MS: hurkle.

1897 cast. Bergen emends to caste.

pleinly. Bergen emends to platly.

1898 in haste. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

1903 distourbe. MS: distourble.

1908 with. MS: in. in. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

1917 ybonde. MS: bonde.

1918 The line is an ablative absolute; the main verb, Repeired is (line 1920), requires "he" as the understood subject.

1945 made also. Bergen emends to also made.

1947 in. Bergen emends to into.

1964 many other. MS: other many.

1975-2035 Lydgate attributes Troy's fall to Fate, aided by Fortune; but he also insists that the proximate cause is Hector's lack of prudence. By connecting determinism to human choice, he offers a Christian view of pagan history. The thematic framework is in many respects the one that Boethius works out in the Consolation of Philosophy to accommodate divine foreknowledge and free will, but Lydgate complicates the explanation by insisting that other authentic human choices were possible. Tragic action is not the result of a discrepancy between necessity and limited human understanding; it stems from actual choices made from among real alternatives. At 3.2139-57 Lydgate reaffirms the possibility of a different outcome to the story.

1977 welfulnes. MS: wilfulnes.

1993 wer set. Bergen emends to sete.

2003 unkyndnes. Bergen emends to unkyndenes.

2024 after. MS: asterte.

2033-34 Lines transposed in MS.

2042 that he was nyghe. Bergen emends to he was ful nyghe.

2060 of fortune. Accepting Bergen's emendation for MS: fortune.

2097 he of berthe. MS: of berth he.

2128 pleynly. MS: plynly.

2137 hir. Bergen reads her.

2155 lyk. Accepting Bergen's addition.

in. MS: is, followed by Bergen.

2245 and the lamentacioun. Bergen emends to and lamentacioun.

2248 herte was. MS: hertes were.

2264 mercy, pité. MS: pity mercy.

2278 servytude. MS: servytute.

2296 troughth. MS: troughh.

2308 eye of his discreccioun. By tradition, prudence has three eyes to survey past, present, and future. When she is in the Greek camp, Chaucer's Criseyde laments that she lacked one of prudence's three eyes (Troilus and Criseyde 5.744) - the capacity for foresight. Chaucer's reference may be to the famous image of three-eyed prudence on the chariot of the church in Dante's Purgatorio (29.130-32). As Charles Singleton notes, in the Convivio Dante equates prudence with wisdom (The Divine Comedy, trans. Charles S. Singleton, 6 vols. in 3 [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1970-75], 2:723). Jerome Taylor points out that Hugh of St. Victor's De sacramentis identifies the three "eyes" of man before the fall as those of the flesh, reason, and contemplation (The Didascalion of Hugh of St. Victor [New York: Columbia University Press, 1961], p. 177n). These eyes see the world, man, and God respectively.

2311 availeth. Bergen emends to vaileth.

2680 Or. MS: Of.

2684 anon echon. Bergen emends to echon anon.

2687 Thei. MS: The.

2689 on lyve. Bergen emends to alyve.

2719 Fro. MS: For.

2726 lif. Accepting Bergen's emendation for MS: silfe; see silfe used immediately below (line 2728).

2741 maked han. MS: maken.

2744 morwenynge. MS: morwnynge.

3106-14 Priam's counselors comprise two groups - his sons and the men who will later conspire to betray Troy to the Greeks.

3108 inwardly. Accepting Bergen's emendation for MS: inly.

3110 fame. MS: name.

3113 for. Accepting Bergen's emendation for parallelism with line 3111.

3118 The. Bergen emends to This.

3137 thereuppon. MS: hereuppon.

3143 caste. Bergen reads cast.

3149 pleinly. Bergen emends to now pleinly.

3155 as. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

3163 endynge. Bergen emends to ende.

3168 for. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

3201-07 Aeneas unwittingly forecasts the exchange of Antenor for Thoas and Criseyde, and he ironically represents a situation in which right reason and prudence contribute to the overthrow of Troy.

3216 of. Bergen emends to on. Both forms appear in MS: see 1.4044: "venge him of his foon" and 3.3857: "How Achilles was vengid of his foo" (3.3857) but "To be vengid on youre grete pride" (3.2260). Chaucer's Melibee says "I shal nat venge me of myne enemys" (VII.1427); elsewhere in Melibee (VII.1280), Chaucer has forms of "venge on" and "venge upon."

3236 maked. "She" is the understood subject of the sentence.

3666 and Thoas. Bergen emends to and of Thoas.

3667 delyvered shulde. Bergen emends to shulde delyvered.

3671 Oon. MS: And.

3681 hym. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

3690 Howe that. Bergen emends to Howe.

3712 sente. MS: wente.

3719-51 Lydgate, following Guido, differs from Chaucer's version (Troilus and Criseyde 4.135-47) of the exchange. Lydgate and Guido also leave unexplained why Priam's hatred for Calchas (and so his resistance to granting Calchas's wish) is set aside so that the exchange may go forward.

3719 hateful. MS: hathful.

3729 as. MS: a.

3743 the. Bergen emends to an.

3749 repellid. Bergen emends to repeled to assure sense of "rescinded, revoked" rather than "repelled."

3761 Blaundisshinge. MS: Blaundissinge.

3764 to vesite. MS: for to vesite. Accepting Bergen's emendation to avoid repetition from preceding line, where meter requires the additional syllable.

3788 whan. MS: wan.

3794 take. MS: taken.

3810 wolde. MS: wele.

3830 mysilf. MS: my lif. The love of another as oneself is a fundamental value in the discussion of virtuous friendship in Aristotle and Cicero. Achilles's claim here is that his relation to Patroclus is the intimacy of such friendship rather than erotic desire. In Guido, he says that he did not love Patroclus less than himself (Book 19).

3837 outterly. Bergen emends to enteerly. tweyne must be read as a single syllable to rhyme with cheyne.

3838 lokkid in o cheyne. Lydgate echoes this phrase (3.5366) in the scene in which Hector tries to strip the armor off a dead Greek king and Achilles fatally wounds him.

3842 darte. Bergen emends to doth darte.

3843 out of. MS: in.

3844 it shal. Bergen emends to shal and suggests trust should be read as trustë to produce a pentameter line.

3852 long. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

3857 of. Bergen emends to on. See 3.3216 (above).

3887 outher. MS: other.

3889 pursuweth. MS: pursuwet.

3897 right nor equité. Hector employs the same formula that Priam uses earlier in arguing that King Thoas should be killed (3.3139).

3908 Torti, p. 181, notes that this line is echoed in a later reference to Troilus's love (3.4220).

3928 shul. MS: shulen.

3932 al do. Bergen emends to ado.

3981 it quit in youre. MS: in quiete and in.

3994 seie. MS: seide.

4009 nat. MS: it nat.

4018 the whiche. Bergen emends to whiche.

4029 Casting down the glove is Lydgate's addition. See Bergen 4:156.

4035 dide yit. Bergen emends to yit dide.

4053 the. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

4066-70 Priam's acceptance of the majority opinion recalls the earlier scene in which he acceeds to his counselors and does not insist on killing Thoas (3.3219- 21).

4070 He. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

4075-4448 Lydgate presents Troilus's story as if it were a de casibus tragedy, an example illustrating the general principle of Fortune's mutability as in the Fall of Princes, which he translated from Boccaccio's De casibus virorum illustrium, rather than the individualized, subjective experience that Chaucer emphasizes.

4078 to be. Bergen emends to for to be.

4079 men. Bergen emends to folk.

4085 that. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

4090 felt. Bergen emends to felte.

4090 a peyne. Bergen emends to peyne.

4093-94 Lydgate employs Chaucer's ominous rhyme Criseyde / he deyde. Later (3.4199-4200), he uses the rhyme to link Chaucer to the writing of Troilus and Criseyde.

4101 which in. MS: that within.

4104 compleyninge. MS: compleynigne.

4107 behynde. MS: beside.

4109 Lydgate echoes the line ending Arcite's speech when he sees Emily in The Knight's Tale: "I nam but deed; ther nis namoore to seye" (I.1122).

4119-20 The rhyme Troye / joye is pervasive in Troilus and Criseyde, beginning with the opening stanza.

4121 the teris doun distille. See Chaucer's Troilus as he speaks to Pandarus after the Trojan parliament has decided to trade Criseyde for Antenor: "This Troylus in teris gan distille, / As licour out of a lambyc ful faste" (4.519-20).

4122 trille. MS: tille.

4123 hir blake wede. In Chaucer, Criseyde is first seen "in hir blake wede" (1.177).

4133 ascendyng. MS: ascendyn.

4139 whi shal we. MS: we shal.

4159-85 Lydgate retells the events of Book 4 of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde but omits several parts, including Troilus's speech on predestination.

4177 dowmb. MS: dowme.

4179 flikerit. Bergen emends to flikered; see 4.6739, 5.3551.

4182 ther. MS: the.

4187 Disconsolat. Lydgate's use of the term here both echoes Chaucer and connects the lovers' loss of each other to the fall of the city; see below, 3.5488.

4189 bother. Bergen emends to bothe.

4192-95 Lydgate uses one of Chaucer's favorite rhetorical devices, occupatio (where you say what you say you are not going to say), as a means to praise him.

4197 Chaucer. MS: Chauncer.

4198 so wel hath. Bergen emends to hath so wel.

4202 For. Accepting Bergen's addition.

4203 surquedie. See Troilus and Criseyde 1.213.

4208 Lydgate rehearses the events in Book 1 of Troilus and Criseyde, where Troilus falls in love with Criseyde.

4214 wise. MS: while.

4216 aftir. MS: first.

4217 Lydgate describes Pandarus's role in the love affair by obliquely echoing Pandarus's own terms: "for the am I bicomen, / Bitwixen game and ernest, swich a meene / As maken wommen unto men to comen" (Troilus and Criseyde 3.253-55). See below, 4.742.

4218 maked. MS: made.

4224-28 Lydgate here echoes the ending of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde (5.1849- 55).

4226 fleshly. Bergen emends to fleshy.

4227 variacioun. MS: variaunce. See Troilus's "double sorwe" (Troilus and Criseyde 1.1, 1.54).

4228 MS: wordly. Bergen amends to worldly, but MS form is an attested variant.

4233 ever. MS: never.

4234 Chaucer. MS: Chauncer.

4248 as. MS: a.

4251 Petrarch was crowned poet laureate by the Roman Senate on 8 April 1341. In 1330 he entered the service of Cardinal Giovanni Colonna and remained under the family's patronage until 1347-48.

4254-55 In The House of Fame (line 1469), Chaucer names Guido along with Homer, Dares and Dictys, "Lollius," and Geoffrey of Monmouth as writers on the iron pillar that bears up the fame of Troy.

4263 joie. Bergen reads Ioy.

4274 fals. Bergen emends to false.

4294 is meynt ever. Bergen emends to ever is meynt.

4296 her sureté. Accepting Bergen's addition of her.

4315-16 These lines are reversed in other MSS.

4323 It shewed. MS: It is shewed.

4327 oblaciounes. MS: oblaciouns. See 2.3531-51. The repetition of the allusion to the Wife of Bath links Criseyde to Helen; she is a second Helen, as Troilus is a second Hector.

4329 seith. MS: seit.

selle. See the Wife of Bath's remark about herself: "The flour is goon; ther is namoore to telle; / The bren, as I best kan, now moste I selle" (III.477- 78).

4343-4448 In The Legend of Good Women, Chaucer portrays himself as woman's friend: "Be war, ye wemen, of youre subtyl fo, / Syn yit this day men may ensaumple se; / And trusteth, as in love, no man but me" (lines 2559-61). Lydgate offers a standard refutation of the misogynistic attack on women, arguing that there are a thousand virtuous women for each perfidious one; Chaucer incorporates the argument in The Merchant's Tale (IV.1362-74) and The Tale of Melibee (VII.1098-1102), with an accompanying list of Biblical heroines. But Lydgate also accepts the claim that female duplicity is part of women's nature. See Mieszkowski, pp. 117-26, for the contradictions in Lydgate's reproval of Guido. Torti, p. 177, proposes that Lydgate "puts still more subtle and ambiguous emphasis on Criseyde's inconstancy" than Guido. Watson, pp. 97-100, argues that Lydgate associates Chaucer with Criseyde as a way of rejecting Troilus and Criseyde and asserting the moral vision of Troy Book.

4356 secte. See the Clerk's reference to the Wife of Bath and "al hire secte" (IV.1171).

4359 hym. Bergen emends to he, which is an acceptable alternative.

4370 Jacobus de Voragine's Legenda aurea is the most popular late medieval source for the story of St. Ursula and the eleven thousand virgin martyrs of Cologne. According to legend, Ursula was the daughter of a British Christian king promised to a pagan, who managed to delay her marriage for three years, hoping to remain a virgin. During this period, she set out by ship with ten companions, each of them on an accompanying ship with a thousand companions of their own. The women traveled extensively and were eventually martyred by Huns at Cologne after Ursula refused to marry their chieftain. The citizens of Cologne buried them and built a church in their honor. The historical record of Ursula begins with an inscription dated around 400. The number of companions ascribed to Ursula is probably an error, reading an abbreviated text "XI MV" as 11,000 virgins ("undecim millia virgines") instead of eleven virgin martyrs ("undecim martyres virgines").

4382 the nynthe spere. In the Ptolemaic system, the planets and stars revolve around the earth in concentric spheres. The ninth sphere is the Primum Mobile, the First Mover who imparts movement to the other spheres, while God stands at a further remove, encompassing the universe. See below, 5.3602.

4417 skippeth over wher ye list nat rede. See Chaucer's admonition in The Miller's Prologue: "Turne over the leef and chese another tale" (I.3177).

4422 the. Bergen emends to for.

4426-27 See the scene of exchange in Troilus and Criseyde where Diomede is alert to the distress of Troilus and Criseyde when he takes the bridle of Criseyde's horse (5.85-91).

4428 how that. Bergen emends to how.

4435 was. MS: wer. Lydgate follows Guido's version of Criseyde's immediate acceptance of Diomede as a lover rather than Chaucer's consciously indeterminate account of her shift in affections: "Men seyn - I not - that she yaf hym hire herte" (5.1050).

4442 Kyndes transmutacioun. Chaucer describes Criseyde as "slydynge of corage" (5.825).

4446 unto. MS: to.

4820-69 The account here of Diomede's service as a courtly lover contrasts greatly with Chaucer's portrayal of Diomede as a calculating seducer. Criseyde, too, differs by carefully manipulating Diomede, whereas in Chaucer she is increasingly unable to exercise her will.

4827 bothe megre and lene. Diomede resembles Arcite in The Knight's Tale (I.1361-62) as he suffers amor hereos, the lover's melancholy; the phrasing in Lydgate, however, echoes the portrait of Avarice outside the garden in the Roman de la Rose (line 199); in Chaucer's Romaunt, "she was lene and megre" (line 218).

4829 al. Accepting Bergen's addition.

4849 As wommen kan holde a man ful narwe. See Chaucer's Boethian image (Boece 3.m.2.21-31) for Alisoun in The Miller's Tale (I.3224), the peregrine falcon's faithless lover in The Squire's Tale (V.610-20), and Phebus's wife in The Manciple's Tale (IX.163-74).

4853 betwixe hope and drede. Echoes Chaucer's description of Troilus (5.630, 5.1207; see also Troilus and Criseyde 3.1315).

4861 him. MS: hem.

4894 shon. Bergen emends to roos to avoid repetition, but Lydgate here seems to be using iteration both for stylistic elaboration and for contrast with the preceding night and Andromache's dream, whose clarity Hector fatally ignores.

4910-16 Lydgate invokes the vocabulary and dream categories of Macrobius's Commentary on the Dream of Scipio Africanus, the major literary source for medieval dreamlore, but he follows Chaucer's Prologue to The House of Fame (lines 7-11) in expanding Macrobius's five categories to six. See below 3.4969.

4935 stok of worthines. The image is not in Guido. Lydgate's phrase conflates the opening of Chaucer's moral balade Gentilesse ("The firste stok, fader of gentilesse") and Pandarus's description of Hector: "he, that is of worthynesse welle" (Troilus and Criseyde 2.178).

4936 wont. MS: wonnt.

4938 This Troyan wal, Hector. The image here is not in Guido but appears later in Hector's epitaph (Book 35); see Troilus and Criseyde 2.154 and below 4.3946. In the Metamorphoses 13.281, Ovid describes Achilles as "the Greeks' wall."

4942 litel. Bergen reads litil.

4950 this. Accepting Bergen's addition.

4959 Seiyng. Bergen emends to Seying.

4969-70 I have retained the MS readings for oracle and myracle, which Bergen reverses. Lydgate uses the Macrobian vocabulary inconsistently. The oracle (oraculum), for example, is a dream in which a figure of authority appears and then reveals what will occur. Andromache's dream best fits the general category of the prophetic visio (Macrobius, Commentary 1.3.9).

4972 hem. MS: hym.

4981 and sovereinté. Bergen emends to and of sovereinté.

5021 in. Accepting Bergen's addition.

5022 Lyke. Bergen reads Lyk.

5049 on. Accepting Bergen's addition.

5056 to. Bergen emends to unto.

5073 Andronomecha. MS: Andronemaca.

5093 harded. Bergen emends to harde. In Christian theology, the hard heart is a symbol of the lack of charity.

5096 moren and renewe. MS: morne and remewe.

5116 the. Accepting Bergen's addition.

5120 is. Bergen emends to was.

5129 he. MS: hym.

5138 like a tigre or a lyoun wood. In The Knight's Tale (I.1655-57), Chaucer compares Arcite and Palamon respectively to the tiger and the lion; see 3.5246, 3.796.

5139 his. Bergen emends to hir.

5150 had anoon. MS: anoon had.

5158 ne myghte. Bergen emends to myghte.

5164 aboute. Bergen emends to upon.

5165 sese. MS: sesse.

5183 in. Accepting Bergen's addition.

5185 worthi. Bergen emends to myghty.

5196 ne. Accepting Bergen's addition.

5215 Achilles. Bergen emends to Achille, though the addition of a syllable before the caesura is a common pattern in Lydgate.

5223 home. Bergen emends to homeward.

5225 Margaritoun. Bergen emends to Margariton to rhyme with Thelamon.

5226 that. MS: of.

5231 in baste wer. MS: wer in baste.

5247-48 Compare Troilus and Criseyde 2.193-94, as wondrous Troilus puts the Greeks to flight: "For nevere yet so thikke a swarm of been / Ne fleigh, as Grekes for hym gonne fleen." See also Troy Book 3.5330.

5249 Thai. Bergen reads Thei.

5275 grete. MS: grete. Bergen reads gret but emends to grete.

5277 compassen. MS: compassed.

5279 mow. Bergen emends to may.

5280 or. Bergen emends to nor.

5282 that. Accepting Bergen's addition.

5283-84 Lydgate undercuts Achilles's heroic stature by showing in him a mixture of epic furor and calculation; as used elsewhere in the poem (1.1945, 3.5284, 4.197, 4.3117, 4.4406, 4.5789, 4.5822, 4.6330, 4.6997, 5.3358), engyne is a term for deviousness.

5289 Guido (Book 21) follows Benoît (lines 16166-68) in including the detail that Polycenes hopes to marry Achilles's sister.

5291 The line ironically echoes the description of Chaucer's Squire in the General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales: "In hope to stonden in his lady grace" (I.88).

5301 darte. Bergen emends to quarel, a bolt from a crossbow.

grounde. Bergen emends to ygrounde for meter.

5303 the. Accepting Bergen's addition.

5317 to. Accepting Bergen's addition.

5324 yeven. MS: gif.

5332 he. MS: him.

5335 Enbroudrid. Bergen emends to Enbroudid.

5363 No. Bergen emends to Nor.

5364 not to. Bergen emends to to.

5372 Hector's fatal error in trying to despoil the dead Greek king recalls his earlier effort to despoil Patroclus, and so Achilles's vengeance on him reflects a special irony.

5383 Allas. MS: Allas the while. See 3.5396.

5402 to. Accepting Bergen's addition.

5422 for. Accepting Bergen's addition. See 3.4089 and the office of aiding lovers to lament their misfortune which Chaucer's narrator takes on at the beginning of Troilus and Criseyde (1.22-56).

5431 ever. MS: alle.

5445 to. MS: for.

5454 A drery fere. See Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde 1.13.

5462 boget. Bergen emends to boket.

5487-88 desolat . . . discounsolat. Lydgate apostrophizes Troy in the same language that Chaucer employs in Troilus's lamentation before Criseyde's empty house after she has been delivered to the Greeks: "O paleys desolat, / O hous of houses whilom best ihight, / O paleys empty and disconsolat" (Troilus and Criseyde 5.540-42). Lydgate earlier describes Troilus and Criseyde as "Disconsolat" (3.4187) when they meet after the exchange for Antenor has been decided. He repeats the pairing of "desolat" and "disconsolat" in Achilles's speech urging the Greeks to abandon the war so that he can marry Polyxena (4.993-94). The phrasing in both Troy Book and Troilus and Criseyde echoes the opening of Jeremiah's Lamentations. The connection between the biblical lament and the loss of a worldly love object is made in Chaucer's translation of the Roman de la Rose when the dreamer is left "all sool, disconsolat" (Romaunt, line 3168) after Bel Acuel is driven off. Chaucer adds the phrasing from Lamentations; Guillaume de Lorris writes, "je remés tous esbahis, / Honteus et mas" (lines 2952-53).

5517 mortal. MS: mortally.

5526 whom. Accepting Bergen's addition.

5537 token. MS: taken.

5546 boris. Bergen emends to bolis, but I preserve the MS reading, which conveys the image of savage rage rather than sacrifice. "Wilde bore" is a fairly common image in Chaucer, notably in The Knight's Tale (I.1658), where it expresses the fury of Palamon and Arcite in their battle against each other.

5556 make. MS: make make.

5558 Her pitous sobbynge. MS: The woful cries.

5559 The woful cries. MS: Her pitous sobbynge.

5572 Thei. Bergen emends to To.

5595 in sight it. Bergen emends to it in sight.

5596 lifly. MS: likly. Accepting Bergen's emendation.

5603 axeynge. Bergen reads axynge.

5612 the. Bergen emends to in.

5613 spake. MS: speke.

5627 al. Accepting Bergen's addition.

5643 Attenyng. MS: Attendyng. MS reading is a confusion of the verb extenden (MED).

5653 the. Bergen emends to this.

5654 good. MS: gret.

5679 many. MS: many a.

5686 a sowle that were vegetable. The soul is traditionally divided into three parts - vegetative, sensitive, and rational - which correspond hierarchically to plants, animals, and men. The division goes back to Plato's analytic separation of the concupiscible, irascible, and rational souls. Scholastic philosophers insist on the unity of the soul. In their systems, the vegetative soul confers the power to live, the animal soul the power to feel, and the rational soul the power to think. Lydgate's reference conveys the idea that Hector's body is kept alive but the other faculties are dead.

5689 semblably. MS: semblaly.

5705 were. MS: was.

5714 rejoysseden. Bergen emends to rejoyssed.

5728 on heighte. MS: o loft.

5729 Pluvius. MS error for Plinius. The name in the corresponding passage in Benoît is Plines (line 16541). Pluvius is a surname for Jupiter, as the sender of rain. The source for the passage on ebony is Pliny's Natural History 12.8.17-12.9.20.

5733 lond. MS: londes.

5737 is. MS: it is.
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Troy Book: Book 3

from: Troy Book: Selections  1998

Whan Aurora, with hir pale light,
Under the mantel of the mirké nyght
And the curtyn of her hewes fade
Ischroudid was in the dirke schade,
Abasched rody, as I can diffyne,
Only of fer that is femynyne,
Foraschamyd durste nat be seyn
Because sche had so longe abedde leyn
With fresche Febus, hir owne chose knyght,
For whiche sche hidde hir sothly out of sight
Til his stede that callid is Flegonte
Enhasted hym above oure orizonte;
And Appollo with his bemys clere
Hath recounforted hir oppressid chere -
This to seyne, aftir the dawenyng,
Whan Titan was in the est rysyng,
Of his hete atempre and right softe
Her emyspery for to glade alofte -
The same hour the Troyan champioun,
Governour of werris of the toun,
Worthi Ector, whiche in the cité
Next Priam had of alle sovereinté
The toun to guye be knyghtly excellence,
For his manhod and his sapience
Of Troyan knyghtes lord and eke chefteyn,
Whiche hath commaunded in a large pleyn,
To highe and low, he exceptyng noon,
Kynges, princes, and lordis everychon,
The same morwe for to mete ifere,
In hir array to moustre and appere,
Like as thei were of name and of estate,
Besyde a temple whilom consecrate
To the goddes that callid is Dyane,
Moste honoured in that riche fane -
Ther to arraye hem, in al the haste thei can,
Lik the devis of this knyghtly man.
[Hector supervises the arming of all the Trojans and sets the
order of battle. He divides the forces into nine divisions, each
led by his legitimate and natural brothers in addition to
foreign kings. He assigns a rearguard to Priam, with special
orders to stay between the main troops and the city. The
women of Troy watch from the walls as the troops move
forward (lines 37-535).
And of Grekis furthe I wil yow telle,
Yif so be ye list abide a whyle,
For now most I my fordullid stile
Ageyn directe to Agamenoun.
Wel may I make an exclamacioun
On ignoraunce, that stant so in my light,
Whiche causeth me with a ful cloudy sight
In my makynge to speken of the werre.
For lak of termys I mote nedis erre
Connyngly my wordis for to sette;
Cruel Allecto is besy me to lette,
The nyghtes doughter, blindid by dirknes,
Be craft of armys the trouthe to expresse
In ordre due a feld to discryve.
And Chaucer now, allas, is nat alyve
Me to reforme or to be my rede
(For lak of whom slougher is my spede),
The noble rethor that alle dide excelle;
For in makyng he drank of the welle
Undir Pernaso that the Musis kepe,
On whiche hil I myghte never slepe -
Onnethe slombre - for whiche, allas, I pleyne.
But for al this, ther is no more to seyne.
Though my wede be nat polymyte,
Colourles, forthe I wil endyte
As it cometh evene to my thought,
Pleinly to write how the kyng hath wrought,
The manly knyght, gret Agamenoun,
Lyk as the Latyn maketh mencioun.
What! Trowe ye that he in his entent
Was founde sloughe outher necligent
On Grekis half his wardis for to make?
Nay, nay, nat so; for hym list to wake
That tyme more, sothly, than to slepe,
Ful lik a kyng that day the feld to kepe.
Nor necligence myght his herte sade,
For in that day I fynde that he made
Six and twenty wardis by and by,
So wel devised and so prudently
That no man myght amende his ordinaunce.
And of the first he yaf governaunce
To the manful noble Patroclus
That with hym ladde (myn auctour telleth thus)
Mirmidones, so myghti and so stronge,
With alle the folke that to Achilles longe,
Besyde thilke that wern of his meyné
Whiche that he brought out of his contré
At his comyng to the sege of Troye;
And he rood furthe with hem on his woye
Into the feld and made no delaye.
Now fille it so on the same day
That Achilles kepte hym in his tente
And for seknes that day oute ne wente;
For his lechis made hym to abstene,
For his woundes fresche wern and grene
That he kaught on the day tofore,
Whiche for to hele of her akyng sore
He be counseil kepte hym silfe cloos
And from his bed that day nat ne roos,
In hope only the bettre to endure
Whan that he was restored unto cure.
But alle his men he toke to Patroclus,
Whiche was in armys passyngly famus
And be discent come of gret kynrede,
And was also - of hym as I rede -
Habundaunt of gold and of riches,
And fer comendid for his gentilles,
And hadde a name of highe discrecioun.
Now was ther evere swiche affeccioun
Of entere love, trouthe, and feithfulnes,
So gret desyre and inward kyndenes,
Besy thinkyng, and so gret fervence,
So moche frendeschip and thoughtful advertence,
So huge brennyng, passyng amerous,
Betwixe Achilles and this Patroclus
That her hertis were lokkid in o cheyne.
And whatsoever, if I schal nat feyne,
The ton hath wrought, as brother unto brother,
In hert it was confermyd of the tother;
For wil and godys bothe were commune,
And to the deth thei evere so contune -
Withoute chaunge her love so abood.
And Patroclus furthe amonge hem rood
Into the feld with Myrmidones,
And in his tent abideth Achilles.
[Agamemnon, like Hector, disposes his troops in divisions led
by heroes and kings. The Greeks move forward, with their
banners and devices signaling their burning desire for battle,
and they confront the Trojans. Patroclus leads the first
division in place of Achilles, whose physicians prevail on him
not to take the field because of the wounds he suffered the day
before (lines 621-743).
The first, asondre but a litel space,
Began to approche with al her ful myght;
And Hector tho lik a doughty knyght
Formest of alle on the side of Troye,
The ire of whom no man myght acoye
But lik a lyoun in his hungri rage,
Issed oute, furious of visage,
Toward Grekis on his myghti stede,
That with his sporis made his sides blede:
His knyghtly hert so inly was totorn
Of mortal ire. And as he rood toforn,
Brennynge ful hote in his malencolye,
The whiche thing whan Grekis gan espie,
Patroclus withoute more abood
Of surquedie afore the wardis rood
Oute al toforn, in bothe hostis sight,
For to encontre pleinly, yif he myght,
With worthi Hector whan he him saw afer,
And as right lyne as is diameter,
Rood unto hym in his hatful tene;
And with a spere scharpe grounde and kene
Thorughoute his schelde, of envious rage,
He smote Hector withoute more damage,
Except only that the hed of stele
That was toforn, forged and whet ful wele,
Thorugh plate and maile myghtely gan glace,
But to the skyn for no thing myght hit trace:
Albe it cam of passyng violence,
Yit to Hector it dide noon offence,
Oute of his sadel onys hym to flitte.
For though that he sturdely hym hitte,
He myghte nat bakward bow his chyne
Nor on no parti make hym to enclyne;
But fatally to his confusioun
This myghti man, this Troyan champioun,
In his ire ay brennynge more and more,
Upon hym the hate frat so sore,
Lefte his spere, myn auctor writeth thus,
And with a swerd rood to Patroclus,
Avised fully that he schal be ded,
And furiously gan hamen at his hed,
And rof hym doun - ther was no maner lette -
Into the brest thorugh his basenet,
As seith Guydo, with so gret a peyne
That with the stroke he partid hym on tweyne.
His mortal swerde whettid was so kene
That Patroclus myghte nat sustene
Upon his hors but fil doun to grounde,
As he that kaught his laste fatal wounde,
Beyng present his knyghtes everychon.
And delyverly upon hym anon
Worthi Hector from his stede adoun
Discendid is lik a wode lyoun,
Of hatful ire brennynge as the fire,
Havinge in hert inly gret desire
To spoilen hym of his armure anoon,
In whiche ther was ful many riche stoon,
Bothe of rubies and saphiris Ynde:
For thilke daies, pleinly as I fynde,
Kynges, lordis, and knyghtes (this no nay)
To bataille went in her best array.
And sothly Hector, whan he first gan se
The multitude of stonys and perré
On Patroclus, so orient and schene,
Upon his arme he hynge his horse rene,
The menewhile whil he of hool entent
To cacche his praye was so dilligent
Of covetyse in ther alder sightes,
Til Merioun with thre thousand knyghtes
Armed in stele rounde aboute hym alle
Is sodeynly upon Hector falle,
The dede cors of Patroclus to save,
That his purpos Hector may nat have
At liberté the riche kyng to spoille,
Whiche caused hym in anger for to boille.
To whom the kyng callid Merion,
Irous and wood, seide among echon:
"O gredy lyoun, O wolfe most ravenous,
O hatful tygre, passyng envious
Of avarice, O beste insaturable
And of desire sothly unstaunchable,
Upon this pray thou schalt the nat now fede;
Go elliswhere to swe for thi mede:
For truste well, in conclusioun,
Fifti thousand to thi distructioun,
Of oon entent, pleinly wil nat faille
Thin hatful pride attonys for to assaille!"
And sodeinly with speris scharpe whette
On every half thei gonne hym besette,
Maugre his force, his myght, and his manhede,
Enforcyng hem t'arevid him his stede, 1
That sothfastly of gret violence
He constreyned, for al his strong diffence,
As seith Guydo, to falle upon his kne;
But thorugh his myght and magnanymyté,
He of manhood hath his hors recurid
And among Grekis is so moche assurid
In his strengthe and his grete myght
That he recurid lik a worthi knyght
His stede ageyn amiddes alle his foon.
And right as lyne he rood to Merion,
Ful desyrous avengid on hym to be
In his furye of hasty cruelté;
For theruppon was sette al his delit,
That in his mortal blody appetit,
In verray soth, he hadde hym slaw anon,
Save that the kyng which callid was Glacon
Cam to rescue hym with Kyng Theseus
And his sone that hight Archilagus,
As I have tolde, Merion to rescue.
And thre thousand knyghtes gan hym swe,
Ful assentid attonis in bataille
For lyf or deth Hector to assaille,
In await unwar on hym to sette.
But al this whyle with whom that ever he mette,
With his swerde he kylleth and bare doun,
That finally ther gayneth no raunsoun;
For any Greke that durst wyth hym mete
At departyng felte ful unswete:
He made a weye aboute hym everywhere,
That thei fledde hym as the deth for fere,
For where he rod he made a path ful pleyn.
And as I rede, to Patroclus ageyn
He is repeired to spoille hym, yif he myght,
Amyd the feld in the Grekis sight,
As he that wolde his praye nat lightly lete,
Til Ydwme cam, the worthi Kyng of Crete,
With two thousand clad in plate and maille,
Worthi knyghtes, Hector to assaille
Whyles that he was so desirous,
As I have tolde, to spoille Patroclus,
And new ageyn to his confusioun,
Lyk as I fynde, cam Kyng Merioun;
And or Hector myghte taken hede,
Thei of force reften hym his stede,
That sothly he (ther was noon other bote)
Compellid was for to fight on fote.
And of knyghthod his herte he reswmeth;
And with his swerde aboute hym he conswmeth
Al that withstood, bothen hors and man;
And furiously this Troyan knyght began
Armys, leggis, schuldris, by the boon,
To hewen of amyd his mortal foon,
That Grekis myght aforn him nat sustene
And, as I rede, that he slowe fiftene
Of hem that were besy hym to take,
And swiche a slawghter he gan among hem make,
That thei ne durste abide aforn his face.
And Merion in the silfe place
This menewhile toke up Patroclus
With hevy chere and face ful pitous;
And on his stede he leide it hym beforn;
And to his tent anon he hath it born,
Alwey Grekis in her cruel mood
Aboute Hector, furious and wood,
Felly abood, fightynge upon fote.
[The Greeks continue their furious assault on Hector, but the
Trojans rush to his support and force the Greeks to retreat.
Hector remounts his horse and resumes his slaughter of the
Greeks (lines 900-75).
For thilke day the lyoun pleyed he,
Upon Grekis his manhod for to haunte;
For he her pride so mortally gan daunte
That thei hym fled, whereso that he rood,
Makyng al hoot the stremys of her blood
Endelonge to renne upon the grene,
Til the tyme the duke of grete Athene
That callid was whilom Menesteus
With thre thousand knyghtes ful famous,
Of whiche he was bothe lord and guyde,
The feld hath taken upon the lefte side,
For a deceyt, in ful secré wyse,
Where Troylus was with the folke of Fryse
Whiche hath that day, whoso liste to seke,
By his knyghthod kylled many Greke.
Liche a tigre gredy on his pray,
Troylus bar hym al the longe day,
Sleynge of Grekis many worthi knyght.
And while that he was besiest in fight
Ageyn his foon with Kyng Antipus
And the kyng that highte Alcanus,
Upon Grekis elyche fresche and newe,
Makynge her sydes al of blody hewe,
By oon assent, this thre thorugh her manhede -
And specially uppon his baye stede
Whersoever that this Troylus rood,
Every Greke that his swerd abood
Sodeinly he made for to sterve,
Thorugh her platis so depe he dide kerve.
And this contuneth til duke Meneste
Of Troylus sawe the grete cruelté
And the slawghtre that he on Grekis made -
Of hasty ire, with face pale and fade,
Hent a spere and threwe it in the reste
And Troylus smet evene amyd the breste
So sternely that maugre his renoun
To the erthe anon he bare hym doun
In the myddis of his mortal foon
That cruelly hym besette anoon
And him to treyne leide out hoke and laas
Rounde aboute in maner of compas,
With spere and darte and swerdis forgid bright.
But he hymsilf diffendith like a knyght,
With gret manhod his honour to avaunce,
Albe his lif was honged in balaunce
Where he stood and felte ful unswete,
In poynt of deth amonge the horse fete,
With gret await of duke Meneste
How this Troylus myght have take be
Of mortal hate castyng in his thought,
At meschef take that he eskape nought.
On every half he was so besette
With swerdis rounde, kene gronde and whette,
Allone, allas, mortally bestadde;
Thei sesid hym, and furthe thei han hym ladde,
Til Miseres, a worthi knyght of Troye,
Gan to crye as he stood in the woye,
Forabassched, in right furious wyse:
"O ye noble worthi men of Fryse!
Manly knyghtes, ay preved in the feld,
Most renomed bothe with spere and scheld,
Considereth now unto your highe fame
And adverteth the glorie of youre name,
How this day thorugh youre necligence,
By the power and myghti violence
Of the Grekis Troylus is itake
Sool in the feld. For ye han hym forsake,
That schal rebounde to youre alder schame:
For ye in soth gretly are to blame,
Yif he that is of worthinesse flour
Be take of Grekis for lak of socour,
That, but yif ye taken hasty wreche,
Schamful report your honour schal apeche
Perpetuelly and seide therof amys
In youre defaute that Troylus taken is,
Whiche named be so worthi and famus."
And with that word the Kyng Alcamus
Of malencolye felt his herte ryve,
And in his ire hent a spere blyve,
And prikynge after enhasteth what he might,
Til he of hem pleinly had a sight
That besy wern Troylus for to lede.
And he ful knyghtly sittyng on his stede
Ran oon thorugh, that he fil doun ded;
And eft ageyn, pale and no thing red,
In his rancour no lenger wolde lette,
But a Greke, the firste that he mette,
Thorugh the body smette he with a spere,
That men myghte se the poynt afere,
By brest and plate thorugh the scholder-bon,
That to the grounde he fil doun ded anoon.
And therwithal the worthi Freses alle
Cam flokmel doun and on Grekis falle
So myghtely that, maugre her diffence,
Thei sette upon with so gret violence
That Troylus is from al daunger fré;
And thorugh her knyghtly magnanymyté
Thei maden hym to recure his stede.
And specially helpyng in this nede
Was Zantipus, the stronge manly kyng,
Whiche of disdeyn at his incomyng
On Meneste gan his spere grate,
And thorugh his scheld, mail, and thikke plate,
So sore he smot that this Menestee
Had be ded, nadde his armour be;
Whiche for ire gan to tremble and schake
That Troylus was from his hondis take
And eskaped to be prisoner,
Dispit his berd and maugre his power.
Wherfor he gan of hasti hoot envie
On his knyghtes furiously to crye
That wer so myghti, renomed, and stronge,
To peynen hem for to venge his wronge
Upon Troyens, to mete hem in the face.
And thei in hast gan myghtely enbrace
Her scharpe speris, grounde for to bite,
And felly foyne, and togidre smyte.
For tho began the grete mortal werre:
The fire brast out, schene as any sterre,
On basenettis and her platis bright,
That thorugh the feld flawmeth the light;
To lyf nor deth thei toke tho non hede;
And doun the playn, bothe in lengthe and brede,
The wardis gan proudly to avale;
And with lokis of envie pale,
Thei aproche and assemble ifere,
In hate brennynge that no man may stere,
And gan hurtle with spere, swerd, and darte,
And mortally upon every parte
The slaughter gan gretly for to rewe.
[As the wholesale battle begins, Hector kills many Greeks
and the Trojans seize the advantage. When he advances alone
in the fray, the Greek King Theseus, moved by admiration and
his sense of gentility, warns him not to risk his life foolishly.
Hector later returns the noble gesture by prevailing on the
Trojans to allow Theseus to escape. Nestor arrives with more
Greek troops, but Aeneas advances from Troy with
reinforcements. As Aeneas and Ajax fight, Ulysses joins the
battle, driving back the Trojans and nearly killing Paris, who
is rescued by Troilus. Hector eventually calls on Priam to
commit the reserves, and he fights Ajax. Greek and Trojan
heroes ride to each other's rescue, and in the battle Hector
confronts King Merion, who rescued Patroclus's body after
Hector had slain him (lines 1106-1888).
And as I rede, amyd of his victorie
Hector mette under a tentorie
Amonge Grekis Merioun the Kyng,
To whom he spake withoute more tariyng:
"O thow traytour, the hour aprocheth faste,
For thow arte come sothly to thi laste;
Thi fatal day hath his cours ironne.
For truste wel, or westring of the sonne
I cast pleinly to quite the thi mede
And with my swerd in haste thi blood to schede:
For thou so bolde were on me today
To lettyn me of my riche praye
At the spoilynge of Kyng Patroclus -
That for cause thou were presumptuous
Me to distourbe, thou schalt anon be ded."
And doun he stirte, and smote of first his hed,
And hym to spoille also gan hym haste;
But Meneste cam on hym as faste,
Whan he behilde traverse at his bake,
And with a spere, in whiche was no lake,
Smot hym in with grete violence,
Withoute sight, or any advertence
Of worthi Hector, or any takynge hede,
The wounde of whom sore gan to blede.
But out he went and made it faste bynde;
And Meneste stale aweye behynde,
Nat in purpos sothly, yif he may,
To mete Hector of al that ilke day.
But whan that he was ybonde sore,
His wounde staunche that it bled no more,
More furious than evere he was toforn,
Repeired is, with anger al totorne
(So ay the ire on his herte fret),
That he bar doun al that evere he met,
Sleth and kylleth - he was so mercyles -
Alle tho that put hemsilf in pres
Or hardy wern with hym for to mete.
For in his boke lik as writ Darete
For verray soth and in the stori seith
(Yif it be so that men may yeve feyth
And credence of possibilité,
As in Guydo clerly ye may se),
Aftir that he caught his lattre wounde,
Finally Grekis to confounde
(So as it is affermed in certeyn),
A thousand knyghtes with his hond wer slayn,
Withoute hem tho that I spak of rath.
And newe alweye he gan his swerd to bathe
In Grekis blod, that sodeinly thei be
So overlayn thorugh his cruelté
That Greke was noon, of highe nor lowe estat,
That he ne was awhaped and amaat
Of his knyghthod and manly excellence:
For ther was non to make resistence
Nor outterly that durste take on honde
Of al that day Hector to withstonde.
And as it is made also mencioun,
Thilke day Kyng Agamenoun,
As seith Guydo, cam nat in the felde;
For causes gret his presence he withhelde
On Grekis side, that al goth upsodoun:
Hector on hem so pleyeth the lyon
That to her tentes thei fled for socours.
And thei of Troye, proudly as victours,
Sued aftir by tracis of her blood;
And ther thei wan tresour and gret good,
And spoiled hem in ful gret distresse
Of her armour and of her richesse,
And felle on hem or that thei were ware,
And home to Troye al the good thei bare.
For finally that day with meschaunce
Grekis had be brought unto outtraunce,
Withoute recure in soth for everemore;
On every parte thei were beleyn so sore
Thorugh the manhod of Hector and the myght,
With helpe of many other worthi knyght,
That so felly ageyn Grekis wrought:
For to swiche meschef pleinly thei hem brought
That nadde ben her owne pitous slouthe,
Of pride only and of foly routhe,
Thei had of hem at her volunté
That day for evere hadde the sovereynté
And recured thorugh her highe renoun
Lordschip of hem and domynacioun,
Whiche schuld have laste and be contynuel,
Victoriously and perpetuel
Have endurid; save cruel Fate
Is redy ay with Fortune to debate
Ageyn thinges that gynne in welfulnes,
To make hem fyne ay in wrechidnes
Thorugh her envious disposicioun
Of sodeyn chaunge and revolucioun
And unwar tournyng of hir false whele,
That wil nat bide whan a thing is wele -
Allas, freel, devoide of sikernesse.
The cause was dymmed with dirknesse,
That hath Troyens thorugh false oppinioun
Iblended so in her discresioun
And specially fordirked so the sight
Of worthi Hector, the prudent manly knyght,
To sen aforn what schuld after swe,
Be good avis the meschef to eschewe
That folwid hem at the bak behynde.
Allas, thei wern wilfully made blynde
The same day, whan thei wer set softe
Be victorie on the hille alofte,
That thei nat koude of necligence se
The aftirfal of her felicité,
So put abak was her advertence
For lak of resoun and of highe prudence:
For thei her hap han voided and her grace,
That presently were sette afore her face.
For in a man is nat commendable
Yif Fortune be to hym favourable
And blaundischinge with a forhede clere
To smyle on hym with a plesaunt chere,
Only of favour for to help hym oute,
Whan he in meschef is beset aboute,
Yif he refuse his hap of wilfulnes,
Fortune avoidynge thorugh unkyndnes
Whan sche mynystreth to hym of hir grace:
Another tyme he schal hir nat embrace,
Whan he hath nede to hir helpe at al,
To socour hym or he cacche a fal;
But rather than for his ingratitude
Frowardly with mowes hym delude,
Whan he best weneth stond in sikernes.
Fortune is ay so ful of brotulnes,
Remewable, and redy for to flitte
Hir welful hour that who list nat amytte
With hir favour for to ben allied,
Another tyme it schal be denyed,
Whan he wer levest finde hir favourable:
For in some hour, sothly this no fable,
Unto som man sche graunteth his desires,
That wil nat after in a thousand yeres,
Paraventure, onys condiscende
Unto his wil nor his lust hym sende,
As it hath falle this day unhappily
To worthi Hector that so wilfully
Wrought of hede Grekis for to spare,
Fatally whan thei were in the snare.
For he of hem like a conqueroure,
With victorie, triumphe, and honour
Might have brought, thorugh his highe renoun,
The palme of conquest into Troye toun,
Whiche he that day reffusid folily.
For as he rood, this Hector, cruelly
Amonge Grekis slowe and bar al doun,
Casuely he mette Thelamoun,
I mene Ajax, nyghe of his allye,
That of hate and cruel hoot envie
To Hector rood, like as he were wood,
Albe to hym that he was nyghe of blod;
Yit for al that, this yonge lusty knyght
Dide his power and his fulle myght
Withoute feynyng to have born hym doun
(Whos fader hight also Thelamoun,
That hym begat, the stori telleth thus,
Of Exioun, suster to Priamus).
And this Ajax, flourynge in yonge age,
Fresche and delyver and of gret corage,
Sette on Hector of knyghtly highe prowes;
And as thei mette, bothe in her wodnes,
On her stedis, this manly champiouns,
Everyche on other lik tigers or lyons
Began to falle, and proudly to assaille,
And furiously severe plate and maille -
First with speris, longe, large, and rounde,
And aftirwarde with swerdis kene grounde.
And fightyng thus longe thei contune,
Til it befil of cas or of fortune,
Tokne or signe, or som apparence,
Or by Naturis kyndly influence,
Whiche into hertis dothe ful depe myne,
Namly of hem that born ben of o lyne,
Which cause was, paraunter, of this tweyne,
Naturelly her rancour to restreyne,
And her ire for to modefie -
Only for thei so nyghe were of allye,
Unwist of outher and therof unsure,
Til thei wer taughte only of Nature:
For naturelly blod wil ay of kynde
Draw unto blod, wher he may it fynde,
Whiche made Hector kyndly to adverte
To be mevid and sterid in his herte,
Bothe of knyghthod and of gentilnes,
Whan he of Ajax sawe the worthines,
Spak unto hym ful benygnely
And seide: "Cosyn, I seye the trewely,
Yif thou list Grekis here forsake
And come to Troye, I dare undirtake
To thin allyes and to thi kynrede
Thou schalt be there withouten any drede
Ful wel receyved, in party and in al,
Of hem that ben of the blood royal
Sothly discendid and hyest of degré,
That it of right schal suffise unto the,
And kyndely be to the plesaunce
For to repeire to thin allyaunce -
To gentil herte sith nothing is so good
As be confederid with his owne blood;
For I conceyve be the worthines,
Whiche Nature doth in the expresse,
Of Troyan blood that thou arte descendid,
Whiche of Grekis long hath be offendid:
Wherfore I rede to leve hem outterly."
And he answered ageyn ful humblely
That, sithen he of berthe was a Greke,
And was of youthe amonge hem fostered eke
From the tyme of his nativité,
And taken had the ordre and degré
Of knyghthood eke amongis hem aforn,
And, over this, bounde was and sworn
To be trewe to her nacioun
(Makyng of blood noon excepcioun),
He swore he wold conserven his beheste;
And to Hector he made this requeste:
That yif that he of manful gentilnes
Wolde of knyghthood and of worthines
Shewe unto hym so gret affeccioun
To make hem that wer of Troye toun
Only withdrawe Grekis to pursewe,
And fro her tentis make hem to remewe,
And resorte ageyn unto the toun,
Of knyghtly routhe and compassioun,
Withoute assailyng or any more affray
Made on Grekis for that ilke day,
Sith unto hem ought inowgh suffice
That of the felde, in so knyghtly wyse,
Thei were of manhood fully possessours
And of her fomen finally victours,
Lyk as toforn fully is diffinyd.
To whos requeste Hector is enclyned
(Allas the while) of hasty wilfulnes
And made anoon withoute avysenes
Mid the felde a trompet for to blowe,
Wherby Troyens fully myghte knowe
That be his wil thei schulde hem withdraw
Aftir the custom, pleynly, and the lawe,
And the usaunce, bothe nygh and ferre,
Amongis hem that ben expert in werre,
Whan thei were moste fervent for to fight,
Upon Grekis for to preve her myght,
And had hem chacid lowe to the stronde,
That thei wer weyke of power to withstonde:
For thei of Troye, alle of o desire,
Gan settyn on with schot of wylde fire
To brenne hir schippis and of highe meschaunce
Finally to putte hem at outtraunce.
And so thei had, this the verray trouthe,
Nadde Hector had uppon hem routh,
Makynge Troyens repeire to the toun
Ungraciously, to her confusioun,
As the story schal aftir specefie.
For tho he putte, allas, in juparté
Life and deth, whiche myght have be sure,
The whiche ageyn thei nevere schal recure.
Thei han mater to compleyne sore:
For fro that day, farewel for everemore
Victorie and laude fro hem of the toun,
To hem denyed by disposicioun
Of mortal fate, whiche was contrarie -
In this mater me liste no lenger tarie.
For thei of Troye ben entrid her cyté
And schet her gatis for more sureté;
For of that day, lyk as made in mynde,
This was the ende, in Guydo as I fynde -
Thei wende have do paraunter for the beste.
[The Trojans are prepared to renew battle the next day, but
the Greeks ask for an eight days' truce, during which they bury
their dead and Achilles constructs a tomb for Patroclus and
for Protesilaus. The Trojans tend to their wounded, while
Priam mourns for his natural son Cassibellan, whom he
buries in a rich tomb in the temple of Venus. During the
funeral rite, Cassandra prophesies the fall of Troy (lines 2158-
In whiche thing, whan that Cassandra
Withinne hirsilfe considered and beheld
And saw up offrid his helm and his sheld,
His swerd also, and unto Mars his stede,
Of inward wo sche felt hir herte blede,
Herynge the noise and the pitous crye,
The tendre weping and sorwynge outterly
Of hem of Troye, and the lamentacioun
Whiche for her frendis, thorughoute al the toun,
Thei gan to make, that wer slawe afore.
With sodeyn rage her herte was totore,
So inwardly sche myght hir nat restreyne
Furiously to cryen and compleine,
And seide, "Allas" ful ofte and "Wellawey":
"O woful wrecchis that ye be this day,
Unhappy eke and graceles also,
Infortunat and inly wobego!
How may ye suffre the grete harmys kene
Whiche ye ar likly herafter to sustene
Durynge the sege in this toun beloke,
Seynge your foon, redy to be wroke,
Aboute you, beset on every side,
To be vengid on youre grete pride?
I wot right wel ye may hem nat eschewe,
That thei ne schal unto the deth pursewe
You everychon, besegid in this place,
Withoute mercy, pité, or any grace.
Allas, allas, whi nil ye besy be,
Ye woful wrechis schet in this cité,
With the Grekis for to seken pes,
Or the swerd of vengance merciles
On highe and lowe do execucioun?
And or this noble, worthi, royal toun
Eversid be and ybrought to nought,
Why list ye nat consideren in your thought
How the modres with her childre smale
In stretis schal, with face ded and pale,
Lyn mordred here thorugh Grekis cruelté
And yonge maydenes in captivité
Bewepen schal in myserie and in wo
Her servytude; and this toun also,
So famous ryche - allas, it is pité -
With Grekis fire schal distroied be
In schort tyme, sothly this no were.
Eleyne of us, allas, is bought to dere,
Sith for hir sake we schul everychon,
Pore and riche, I excepte noon,
An ende make woful and pitous:
The ire of hem schal be so furious
Upon us alle, ther is noon other mene
Sauf only deth us to go betwene."
This was the noise and the pitous cry
Of Cassandra that so dredfully
Sche gan to make aboute in every strete
Thorugh the toun, whomever sche myght mete,
Lyk as sche had ben oute of hir mynde,
Til Priamus faste made hir bynde
And schettyn up - it was the more roughth;
Sche was nat herde, albe sche seide troughth:
For nouther wisdam nor discrecioun,
Counseil nor wit, prudence nor resoun,
Trouth nor rede - withouten any lye -
Nor the spirite of trewe proficye,
Availeth nat nor al swiche sapience
In place wher ther is noon audience.
For be a man inly nevere so wys
In counseillynge or in hyghe devys,
In werkynge outher in elloquence,
Eche thing to sen in his advertence
Or it be falle, aforn in his resoun,
Amyd the eye of his discreccioun,
Yet for al this (it is the more dool),
Withoute favour he holde is but a fool:
For unfavored, wysdam availeth nought
Nouther trouth, how dere that it be bought,
Liche as Cassandra for al hir wyse rede
Dispised was, and taken of noon hede
Of hem of Troye, to her confusioun,
But cruelly ythrowen in prisoun,
Where a whyle I wele leve hir dwelle
And of Grekis furth I wil you telle.
[In the Greek camp, King Palamedes complains about the
selection of Agamemnon as their leader, but others intervene
to mollify him for the moment. When battle resumes, Achilles
and Hector fight one another, and then in succession Diomede
and Troilus, and Menelaus and Paris confront each other.
When Prothenor, Achilles's cousin, tries to attack Hector from
behind, Hector cuts him in two. Hungry for vengeance,
Achilles tries to rally the Greeks for an attack on Hector, but
Hector and the Trojans drive the Greeks from the field and
return to Troy in glory. The Greek chieftains meet to consider
what they should do about Hector (lines 2319-2666).
Whan Esperus, the faire brighte sterre,
Ageynes eve caste his stremys ferre
And in the weste rathest gan appere,
Whan the twylyght with a pale chere,
In maner morneth the absence of the sonne
And nyght aprocheth with his copis donne,
The same tyme whan Titan toke his leve
That clerkis calle crepusculum at eve -
Whiche is nat ellis but the mene light
Of Phebus absence and the dirke nyght,
And twylight hatte (for it is a mene
Of day and nyght, departinge hem betwene,
Fully nouther but of bothe meynt,
Or the hevene be clustryd and depeynt
With brighte sterris in the evenynge) -
At whiche tyme Agamenoun the Kyng
For his lordis sodeinly hath sent
To come anon echon into his tent.
And whan thei wern assemblid alle yfere,
Triste and hevy with a sorful chere,
Thei gan the slaughter of Hector to compleine,
Affermynge playnly thei myght never ateyne
Unto victorie while he were on lyve:
Wherefore thei gan to conspire blive
The deth of hym in many sondry woye
Echon concludynge, while he wer in Troy,
It was nat likly Grekis for to wynne;
For he alone of hem that were withinne
Was chef diffence and protectioun,
And sovereynly upholder of the toun,
Her myghty castel and her stronge wal,
And unto Grekis dedly fo mortal:
For thei ne myght his grete force endure
Nor never aright ageyn her foos be sure,
He stondyng hool (thei seide) in no degré
Nor whil he floureth in felicité.
Wherfor, echon of oon entencioun,
Thei condiscende to this conclusioun:
That be som sleight of await lying,
Whan he were most besy in fightynge
Amongis hem in meschef or distresse,
That Achilles do his besynes
With al his myght unwarly him to assaille,
That hym to slen for no thing that he faille.
And Grekis alle gan her prayer make
To Achilles for to undirtake
Of this emprise fynally the swt,
Thorugh his manhod that it be execut -
The hasty deth of her mortal foo.
And Achilles withoute wordis moo
Her requeste assenteth to parforme
And to her lust gan holly hym conforme.
Fro that tyme late hym be war, I rede,
To be to hasty this journé for to spede,
Upon Hector his power for to kythe,
List Fortune awronge hir face writhe,
To loke on hym with a froward chere,
Hym to bringe unto the hondis nere
Thorugh sort or hap, of Hector, folily
To put his lif of deth in juparty,
List unto hym it happe evene lyche
To falle hymsilfe in the same dyche
That he for Hector compassid hath and shape:
For it is wonder yif that he eskape,
Sith Hector hadde withouten any drede
As brennyng ire and as grete hatrede
To Achilles his deth for to purvey,
Yif he hym founde or in place sey
Convenient for execucioun.
I trow ther schuld hym gayne no raunsoun,
Nor other mede his herte to quyete,
But only deth, whan so that thei mete:
This the ende and fyn of this mater,
As in this boke after ye schal here.
And thus Grekis maked han an ende
Of her counseil, and anoon thei wende,
Everyche of hem, hom to her loggynge,
And toke her reste til the morwenynge.
[Hector leads the Trojans out, eager to finish the fight. In the
individual confrontations, Hector battles Agamemnon and
Achilles, Diomede and Aeneas resume their hatred, and
Menelaus wounds Paris. When Thoas and Achilles fight later
in the day, Hector is wounded but is able to cut off half of
Thoas's nose. Thoas is captured and carried off to Troy. Paris
shoots Menelaus with a poison arrow. After the surgeons care
for his wound, Menelaus returns to battle and finds Paris
unarmed. Aeneas intervenes and sends Paris back to Troy as
the Trojans force the Greeks back to their camp before
retiring. On the next morning, Priam calls his counselors to
him (lines 2745-3102).
Til on the morwe that the rowes rede
Of Phebus carte gonne for to sprede
Aforn his upriste in the orient,
At whiche tyme Kyng Priamus hathe sent
For swiche as werne with him moste prevé
And of his counseille inwardly secré;
And specialy he sente for be name
For worthi Hector, that grettest was of fame,
For Paris eke, and for Dephebus,
And for Troylus, freshe and desirous,
For Anthenor, and for Pollydamas,
And for the Troyan called Eneas:
For he that day cast him nat to goon
Into the felde to mete with his foon.
And whan thei wern to his paleis come,
The lordis han the righte weye nome
Unto the kyng withinne his closet;
And whan the hussher hath the dore shet,
And everyche hadde liche to his degré
His place take and his dewe see,
This worthi kyng, as made is mencioun,
Gan to declare his hertis mocioun,
And his menynge aforn hem specifie,
And seide: "Sirs, in whom I moste affie,
To yow is knowe how Kyng Thoas is here
In this cité taken prisoner,
And is as yet beloken in prisoun
Whiche evere hath be unto Troye toun
An enmy gret, unto his power,
And us offendid bothe fer and nere
In many wyse (albe we litel reche)
As fer as he his force myghte streche;
And now with Grekis cam to sege our toun,
As he that wilneth oure distruccioun,
And thereuppon hath done his besynes:
Wherfore, of doom and of rightwysnes,
Bothe of resoun and of equyté,
I seie pleynly, as semeth unto me,
So that it be to yow acceptable
And that ye think my counseil comendable,
Liche as he hath caste oure deth and shape,
I holde rightful that he nat eskape
But that of deth he resseyve his guerdoun.
For right requereth and also good resoun,
That deth for deth is skilful guerdonynge,
Unto my wit, and right wel sittynge:
Seth your avis pleinly in this cas."
And first of alle tho spake Eneas
And seide: "Lord, so it be noon offence
To youre highnes to yeve me audience,
Thorugh supporte here of hem that be ful wys,
I shal reherse pleynly my devys,
What is to werken as in this matere:
Me semeth first, my lege lorde so dere,
That youre noble, royal excellence
Consydre shulde, with ful highe prudence,
In every werke and operacioun
To caste aforn, in conclusioun,
The final ende that may after swe;
For to a wysman only is nat dewe
To se the gynnynge and the endynge noght,
But bothe attonis peisen in his thought
And weien hem so justly in balaunce
That of the fyn folwe no repentaunce.
Whi I seie this and platly whi I mene
Is for that ye oughten for to sene
How Kyng Thoas is oon the principal
Amonge Grekis and of the blood royal,
Yif ye considre descendid as be lyn;
Wherfore, yif he have thus foule a fyn
To be slawe while he is in presoun,
It myght happen, in conclusioun,
That ye and yours that therto assente
Hereafterwarde sore to repente.
I preve it thus: that yif by aventure
Or fortune, that no man may assure,
Some of youre lordis were another day
Of Grekis take, as it happe may,
Or of youre sonys, so worthi of renoun,
Or of kynges that ben in this toun,
Trusteth me wel that swiche gentilnes
As ye schew to hem in her distres
Thei wil you quyte, whan in cas semblable
Fortune to hem thei finde faverable,
The whiche no man constreyne may nor binde.
Wherfore, my lorde, have this thing in mynde:
For yif Thoas, of short avisement,
Shal nowe be ded thorugh hasty jugement,
Another day Grekis wil us quyte,
And of rigour make her malis byte
On some of youris, whoevere that it be,
And nouther spare highe nor lowe degré,
Though he were paraunter of youre blood;
The whiche thing, for al this worldis good
It myghte falle that ye nolde se.
Wherfore I rede, lete Kyng Thoas be
Honestly keped in prisoun
Lyche his estate stille here in this toun,
List, as I seide, that another day
Somme lorde of youris, as it happe may,
Casuelly were take of aventure:
Be eschaunge of hym ye myghte best recure
Withoute strif youre owne man ageyn.
In this mater I can no more seyn,
But finally this is my fulle rede."
To whiche counseil Hector toke good hede,
And for it was accordynge to resoun,
He hit commendith in his oppinoun.
But Priam, evere of oo entencioun,
Stode alweie fix to this conclusioun,
Pleinly affermynge: "Yif Grekis may espie
That we this kyng spare of genterye,
Thei wil arrette it cowardyse anoon,
That we dar nat venge us of oure foon
For verray drede, havyng noon hardines
Nor herte nouther to do rightwisnes;
Yet, nevertheles, after youre assent
That he shal leve, I wele in myn entent
To youre desire fully condescende."
And of this counseil so thei made an ende
Withoute more, save Eneas is go
And Troylus eke and Anthenor also
Into an halle, excellynge of bewté,
The Quene Eleyne of purpos for to se,
With whom was eke Eccuba the Quene,
And other ladyes goodly on to sene,
And many mayde that yonge and lusti was.
And worthi Troilus with this Eneas
Dide her labour and her besy peyne
For to counforte the faire Quene Eleyne,
As sche that stood for the werre in drede;
But for all that, of verray wommanhede
Thilke tyme with al hir herte entere,
As she wel koude, maked hem good chere,
Havynge of konnynge inly suffisaunce
Bothe of chere and of dalyaunce.
And Eccuba, beyng in this halle
Verray exaumple unto wommen alle,
Of bounté havynge sovereyn excellence,
In wisdam eke, and in elloquence,
Besoughte hem tho wonder wommanly
And counsaillede eke ful prudently,
For any haste, bothe nyghe and ferre,
Avisely to kepe hem in the werre,
And nat juparte her bodies folily,
But to adverte and caste prudently
In diffence knyghtly of the toun,
Hem to governe by discrecioun:
She spake of feith and koude no thinge feyne.
And thanne of hir and after of Eleyne
Thei toke leve and no lenger dwelle
But went her wey.
[The Greeks mourn their losses, and during the night a high
wind blows down the tents in their camp. But the damage is
repaired by dawn, and Achilles leads their forces into the
field, where he kills the giant Hupon. The centaur
Epistrophus, a skilled archer, slays many Greeks, but he is
killed by Diomede. During the fighting Achilles and Hector
meet again and Antenor is captured by the Greeks. In the next
day's battle, the Trojans suffer many losses and must retire to
the city. In the morning, the Greeks send Ulysses and Diomede
to Priam to ask for a three months' truce, which everyone in
Priam's council, except Hector, endorses. During the truce, it
is agreed to exchange Thoas for Antenor (lines 3255-3663).
And while the trewe dide thus endure,
Thei fil in trete and in comwnynge
Of Anthenor and Thoas the Kyng:
That Anthenor delyvered shulde be
For Kyng Thoas to Troye the cité
And Thoas shulde to Grekis home ageyn,
Only be eschaunge, as ye han herde me seyn,
Oon for another, as it accorded was.
And in this while the byshope, he, Calchas,
Remembrid hym on his doughter dere
Callid Cryseide, with hir eyen clere,
Whom in Troye he had lefte behynde
Whanne he wente, as the boke makith mynde:
For whom he felte passingly gret smert,
So tendirly she was set at his herte
And enprentid, bothe at eve and morwe.
And chefe cause and grounde of al his sorwe
Was that she lefte behynde hym in the toun
Withoute comforte or consolacioun,
As he caste, sothly in his absence
And specially for his grete offence
That he hath wrought ayens hem of Troye;
And as hym thought, he never shulde han joye
Til he his doughter recurid hath ageyn.
Wherfore Calchas, the story seith certeyn,
In his wittes many weies caste
Howe that he myght, while the trew doth laste,
Recure his doughter by som maner way;
And as I fynde, upon a certeyn day
In his porte wonder humblely,
With wepynge eye, wente pitously
In compleynynge, of teris al bereyned,
(Whos inwarde wo sothly was nat feined);
And on his knees anoon he falleth doun
Tofore the grete Kyng Agamenoun,
Besechynge hym with al humilité,
Of verray mercy and of highe pité,
With other kynges sittinge in the place,
To have routhe, and for to don hym grace,
And on his wo to have compassioun,
That he may have restitucioun
Of his doughter whom he loved so,
Preyinge hem alle her dever for to do,
That thorugh her prudent medyacioun
For Antenor that was in her prisoun
With Kyng Thoas she myght eschaunged be,
Yif that hem liste of her benignyté
To his requeste goodly to assente.
And thei him graunte; and forthe anoon thei sente
To Kyng Priam for to have Cryseide
For Calchas sake; and therwithal thei leide
The charge for hir wonder specially
On hem that wente for this enbassatrie
To Troye toun and to Kyng Priamus,
To whom Calchas was so odyous,
So hateful eke thorughoute al the toun
That this reporte was of him up and doun:
That he a traytour was and also false,
Worthi to ben enhonged be the halse
For his tresoun and his doublenes.
And, overmore, thei seiden eke expresse
That he disserved hath be right of lawe
Shamfully firste for to be drawe
And afterward the most orrible deth
That he may have, to yelden up the breth
Liche a treytour in as dispitous wyse
As any herte can thenke or devyse,
Everyche affermynge as by jugement
That deth was noon ffully equipolent
To his deserte nor to his falsenes,
As yonge and olde pleinly bar witnes,
Concludynge eke for his iniquité
That thei wolde assent in no degré
Unto nothinge that myght his herte plese
Nor of Cryseide, for to don hym ese,
Thei caste nat to make delyveraunce -
Lever thei hadden to yeve hym meschaunce,
Yif thei hym myght have at goode large.
But finally th'effecte of al this charge
Is so ferforthe dryven to the ende
That Priamus hath graunted sche shal wende
With Kyng Thoas - shortly, ther is no more -
Unto hir fader for Daungh Anthenor:
Whoevere gruche, the Kyng in parlament
Hath theruppon yove jugement
So outterly it may nat be repellid;
For with his worde the sentence was asselid
That she mot parte with hir eyen glade.
And of the sorwe pleinly that she made
At hir departynge heraftir ye shal here,
Whan it ageyn cometh to my matere.
The trew affermyd, as ye han herd devise,
On outher side of hem that wer ful wyse
And ful assentid of hem everychon
Til thre monthes come be and goon,
Liche as I rede, on a certeyn day,
Whan agreable was the morwe gray,
Blaundisshinge and plesant of delit,
Hector in herte caughte an appetite
(Like as Guydo liketh for to write)
The same day Grekis to vesite
Ful wel beseyn and wounder richely
With many worthi in his company,
Of swiche as he for the nonys ches.
And to the tent first of Achilles,
I fynde, in soth this worthi Troyan knyght
Upon his stede toke the weie right,
Ful liche a man, as made is mencioun.
Now hadde Achilles gret affeccioun
In his herte bothe day and nyght
Of worthi Hector for to han a sight:
For never his lyve by non occasioun
He myght of hym han non inspeccioun
Nor hym beholde at good liberté;
For unarmyd he myght him never se.
But wonder knyghtly bothe in port and chere
Thei had hem bothe as thei mette in fere
And right manly in her countenaunce,
And at the laste thei fille in dalyaunce.
But Achilles firste began abreide
And unto hym evene thus he seide.
"Hector," quod he, "ful plesynge is to me
That I at leiser nakid may the se,
Sith I of the nevere myght have sight
But whan thou were armyd as a knyght;
And now to me it schal be ful grevous,
Whiche am to the so inly envious,
But thou of me - ther is no more to seyne -
Be slaie anon with myn hondis tweyne:
For this in soth wer hoolly my plesaunce,
By cruel deth to take on the vengaunce;
For I ful ofte in werre and eke in fight
Have felt the vertu and the grete myght
Of thi force thorugh many woundis kene,
That upon me be ful fresche and grene
In many place be shedynge of my blood.
Thou were on me so furious and wood,
Ay compassynge to my distruccioun:
For many a mail of myn haberion
Thi sharpe swerd racid hathe asonder
And cruelly severed here and yonder,
And mortally, as I can signes shewe,
My platis stronge percid and ihewe;
And myn harneis, forgid bright of stele,
Might nevere assured ben so wele,
In thin ire whan thou liste to smyte,
That thi swerd wolde kerve and bite
Into my fleshe ful depe and ful profounde,
As shewith yit be many mortal wounde
On my body, large, longe, and wyde
That yit appere uppon every syde
And day be day ful sore ake and smerte.
For whiche thing me semeth that myn herte
Enbolleth newe, now whan I the se,
Of highe dispit avengid for to be -
So am I fret of envious rage
That it may never in my brest aswage
Til the vengaunce and the fatal sut
Of cruel deth be on the execut.
And of o thing moste is my grevaunce,
Whan I have fully remembraunce
And in my mynde considre up and doun -
How thou madist a divisioun
Of me, allas, and of Patroclus,
So yonge, so manly, and so vertuous.
Whom I loved, as it was skyl and right,
Right as mysilf with al my ful myght,
With as hol herte and inly kyndenes
As any tonge may tellen or expres.
Now hast thou made a departisioun
Of us that werne by hool affeccioun
Iknet in oon of hertly allyaunce,
Withoute partynge or disseveraunce -
So outterly oure feithful hertis tweyen
Ilacid werne and lokkid in o cheyne,
Whiche myghte nat for noon adversité
Of lyf nor deth assonder twynned be,
Til cruelly thou madest us departe,
Whiche thorugh myn hert so inwardly darte
That it wil never in soth out of my thought.
And trust wel, ful dere it shal be bought
The deth of hym and be no thing in were,
Paraventure or endid be this yere:
For upon the only for his sake
Of cruel deth vengaunce shal be take,
I the ensure, withouten other bond;
Yif I may lyve, with myn owne hond
I shal of deth don execucioun,
Withoute abood or long dylacioun.
For right requereth withouten any drede
Deth for deth for his final mede;
For I mysilfe theron shal be wroke,
That thorugh the world herafter shal be spoke
How Achilles was vengid of his foo
For Patroclus that he loved so.
And though that I be to the envious
And of thi deth inly desirous,
Ne wyte me nat, ne put on me no blame;
For wel I wote thou arte to me the same,
And haste my deth many day desyred,
And therupon inwardly conspired:
And thus shortly, as atwen us two,
Ther is but deth withoute wordis mo;
Whan Fortune hath the tyme shape,
I hope fully thou shalt nat eskape -
Truste noon other, I seie the outterly."
To whom Hector nat to hastely
Answerid ageyn with sobre countenaunce,
Avised wel in al his daliaunce,
As he that was in no thing rekeles;
And evene thus he spake to Achilles:
"Sir Achilles, withouten any faille
Thou aughtest nat in herte to mervaille
Though with my power and my fulle myght,
With herte and wylle, of verray due right
Day be day I thi deth conspire,
And ever in oon compasse it and desire,
And do my labour erly and eke late
To pursue it by ful cruel hate.
Thou oughteste nat to wondren in no wyse
But fully knowe, by sentence of the wise,
In no maner, whoso taketh hede,
Of rightwysnes it may nat procede
That outher I or any other wight
Shulde hym love that with al his myght
My deth pursuweth and destruccioun,
And over this, to more confusioun,
Hath leide a sege aboute this cité
On my kynrede and also uppon me,
And therupon felly doth preswme
With mortal hate of werre to conswme
Us everychon. Iwis, I can nat fynde
In myn herte, as by lawe of kynde,
Swiche on to love of right nor equité
Nor have hym chere sothly in no degré:
For of werre may no frendlyhede
Nor of debate love aright procede;
For sothly love moste in special
Of feithfulnes hath his original,
In hertis joyned by convenience
Of oon accorde, whom no difference
Of doubilnes may in no degré,
Nouther in joye nor adversité,
For lyf nor deth assounder nor dissevere;
For where love is, it contuneth evere;
But of hate al is the contrarie.
Of whiche sothly from hertis whan thei varie,
Procedeth rancour, at eye as men may se,
Debat, envye, strife, and enmyté,
Mortal slaughter, bothe nyghe and ferre,
Moder of whiche in sothfastnes is werre,
The fyn wherof, longe or it be do,
Severith hertis, and frendship kut atwo,
And causeth love to be leide ful lowe.
But for al this, I wil wel that thou knowe
Thi proude wordis, in herte nor in thought,
In verray soth agaste me right nought;
And yif I schal ferthermore outebreke
Withoute avaunte the trouthe for to speke,
I seie the pleinly, hennes or two yere,
Yif I may live in this werris here
And my swerde of knyghthod forthe acheve,
I hope in soth so mortally to greve
The Grekis alle, whan I with hem mete,
That thei and thou shul fele ful unswete,
Yif ye contynewe and the werris haunt:
I shal your pride and surquedie adaunte
In swiche a wyse with myn hondis two
That, or the werre fully be al do,
Ful many Greke sore shal it rewe.
For wel I wote of olde and nat of newe
That ye Grekis gadred here in on
Of surquedie are fonned everychon,
Only for want of discresioun
To undirtaken of presumpcioun
So highe a thing - a sege for to leyn -
And youresilfe to overcharge in veyn
With emprises whiche, withouten fable,
Bene of weight to you inportable,
And the peis of so gret hevynes
That finally it wil you alle oppres
And youre pride avalen and encline,
The berthen eke enbowe bak and chyne
And unwarly cause you to falle
Or ye have done, I seie to oon and alle.
And, overmore, be ful in sureté -
Thou, Achilles, I speke unto the -
That fatal deth first schal the assaille
Toforn thi swerde in anything availle
Ageynes me for al thi worthines.
And yif so be that so gret hardines,
Corage of wil, vigour, force, or myght
Meven thin herte be manhod as a knyght
To take on the, as in dorynge do,
For to darreyne here betwene us two
Thilke quarel, howso that befalle,
For the whiche that we striven alle,
I wil assent pleinly to juparte
Til that the deth oon of us departe.
Ther is no more but that thes lordis here,
Kynges, princes wil accorde ifere
That it be do fully be oon assent
And holde stable of herte and of entent,
Within a felde only that we tweyne,
As I have seide, this quarel may dareyne
And it finyshe, be this condicioun:
That yif it hap thorugh thin highe renoun
Me to venquyshe or putten at outraunce,
I wil you maken fully assuraunce
That firste my lord, Priamus the Kyng,
Shal unto Grekis in al maner thing,
With septre and crowne, holly him submitte
And in a point varie nouther flitte,
Fully to yelde to youre subjectioun
Al his lordshipe withinne Troye toun;
And his legis in captivité
Shal goon her weye oute of this cité
And leve it quit in youre governaunce,
Withoute strif or any variaunce.
And hereupon to maken sureté,
To devoyde al ambiguyté
Tofore the goddis be othe and sacramente
We shal be swore in ful good entent;
And, overmore, oure feith also to save,
To assure you in plegge ye shal have
The menewhile to kepe hem on your syde
At youre chois hostagis to abide
From Troye toun, of the worthieste
That ye liste chese and also of the beste,
So that ye shal of no thing be in were
Of al that evere that I seie you here.
And, Achilles, withoute wordes mo,
Yif that thou liste accorde ful therto
That I have seide, thin honour to encrese,
To make this werre sodeinly to sese
That likly is for to laste longe
Betwene Troyens and the Grekis stronge,
Thou shalt nat only with honour and with fame
Thorughoute the world getyn the a name
But therwithal - and that is nat a lyte -
Thorugh thi knyghthod to many man profite
That fro the deth shal eskape alyve
And to his contré hol and sounde aryve
That likly arn by cruel aventure
For to be ded, yif the werre endure.
Come of, therfor, and late nat be proloigned,
But lat the day atwen us two be joyned,
As I have seide, in condicioun,
Yif in diffence only of this toun
I have victorie by fortune on the,
I axe nat but anoon that ye
Breke up sege, and the werre lete,
And suffreth us to lyven in quiete,
Into Grece hom whan ye ar goon."
To the whiche thing Achilles anon,
Hoot in his ire and furious also,
Brennynge ful hote for anger and for wo,
Assentid is with a dispitous chere;
And gan anoon to Hector dresse him nere;
And seide he wolde delyvere him outterly
Fro poynt to point his axyng by and by;
And therin made noon excepcioun,
But of hool herte and entencioun
His requeste accepted everydel,
And, as it sempte, liked it right wel.
And for his parte, he caste a glove doun
In signe and tokene of confirmacioun
For lyfe or deth that he wil holde his day
Ageyn Hector, hap what happe may,
Unto the whiche Hector lifly sterte
And toke it up with as glad an herte
As evere dide yit man or knyght
That quarel toke with his foo to fight.
Ther can no man in soth aright devyse
How glad he was of this highe emprise,
Of whiche the noise and the grete soun
Ran to the eris of Agamenoun;
And he anoon cam doun to her tent
With alle the lordis of his parlement
Where Achilles and Hector wern ifere,
To wit her wille as in this matere:
Wher thei wolden assenten finally
To putte the quarel ful in juparty
Of outher part atwene these knyghtes tweyne,
As ye han herde, it fully to darayne.
And with o vois Grekis it denye
And seide thei nolde of swiche a companie
Of kynges, dukis, and lordis eke also
Bothe life and deth juparten atwene two
Nor to the course of Fortune hem submitte,
That can hir face alday chaunge and flitte.
And some of Troye, in conclusioun,
Juparte nolde her lyves nor her toun,
In the hondis only of a knyght
To putten al in aventure of fight,
Priam except, whiche sothly in this caas
Within hymsilf fully assentid was
Pleinly to have put and set in juparté
Holy the honour of his regalye,
Supposynge ay, as maked is memorie,
That Hector shuld have had the victorie
Of this emprise, yif it he toke on honde.
But for Priam myghte nat withstonde
Ageyn so many of oon entencioun
That were contrarie to his oppinioun,
Bothe of Grekis and on Troye side,
He helde his pes and lete it overeslyde.
And so the Grekis parted ben echon;
And Hector is from Achilles goon
Home to Troye, where I him leve a while,
Whiles that I directe shal my stile
To telle of Troylus the lamentable wo,
Whiche that he made to parte his lady fro.
   Allas, Fortune, gery and unstable
And redy ay to be chaungable
Whan men most triste in thi stormy face,
Liche her desire the fully to embrace,
Thanne is thi joye aweye to turne and wrythe,
Upon wrechis thi power for to kithe.
Record on Troylus that fro thi whele so lowe
By fals envie thou hast overthrowe,
Oute of the joye which that he was inne,
From his lady to make him for to twynne
Whan he best wende for to have be surid.
And of the wo that he hath endured
I muste now helpe hym to compleyne,
Whiche at his herte felt so gret a peyne,
So inward wo, and so gret distresse,
More than I have konnynge to expresse;
Whan he knew the partynge of Cryseide,
Almoste for wo and for peyne he deyde
And fully wiste she departe shal
By sentence and jugement fynal
Of his fader, yove in parlement.
For whiche with wo and torment al torent,
He was in point to have falle in rage,
That no man myght apese nor aswage
The hidde peynes which in his breste gan dare:
For lik a man in furie he gan fare
And swiche sorwe day and nyght to make,
In compleyninge only for hir sake.
For whan he sawe that she schulde aweie,
He lever had pleinly for to deye
Than to lyve behynde in hir absence:
For hym thought, withouten hir presence
He nas but ded - ther is no more to seine.
And into terys he began to reyne,
With whiche his eyen gonne for to bolle,
And in his breste the sighes up to swolle
And the sobbyng of his sorwes depe,
That he ne can nat but rore and wepe,
So sore love his herte gan constreyne;
And she ne felt nat a litel peyne,
But wepte also, and pitously gan crye,
Desyring ay that she myghte dye
Rather than parte from hym oute of Troye,
Hir owne knyght, hir lust, hir lives joye,
That be hir chekis the teris doun distille,
And fro hir eyen the rounde dropis trille,
And al fordewed han hir blake wede;
And eke untressid hir her abrod gan sprede,
Like to gold wyr, forrent and al totorn,
Iplukked of, and nat with sheris shorn.
And over this, hir freshe rosen hewe,
Whilom ymeint with white lilies newe,
With woful wepyng pitously disteyned,
And like herbis in April al bereyned
Or floures freshe with the dewes swete,
Right so hir chekis moiste wern and wete
With cristal water, up ascendyng highe
Out of her breste into hir hevenly eye;
And ay amonge hir lamentacioun,
Ofte sithe she fil aswone doun,
Dedly pale, fordymmed in hir sight,
And ofte seide: "Allas, myn owne knyght,
Myn owne Troylus, allas, whi shal we parte?
Rather late Deth with his spere darte
Thorugh myn hert, and the veynes kerve,
And with his rage do me for to sterve.
Rather, allas, than fro my knyght to twynne!
And of this wo, O Deth, that I am inne,
Whi nyl thou come and helpe make an ende?
For how shulde I oute of Troye wende,
He abide, and I to Grekis goon,
Ther to dwelle amonge my cruel foon?
Allas, allas, I, woful creature,
Howe shulde I ther in the werre endure -
I, wreche woman, but mysilf allone
Amonge the men of armys everychon!"
Thus gan she cryen al the longe day;
This was hir compleint with ful gret affray,
Hir pitous noyse, til it drowe to nyght,
That unto hir hir owne trewe knyght,
Ful triste and hevy, cam ageynes eve,
Yif he myght hir counforte or releve.
But he in soth hath Cryseide founde
Al in a swowe, lyggynge on the grounde;
And pitously unto hir he wente
With woful chere, and hir in armys hent,
And toke hir up: and than atwen hem two
Began of new swiche a dedly wo
That it was routhe and pité for to sene:
For she of cher pale was and grene
And he of colour liche to ashes dede;
And fro hir face was goon al the rede
And in his chekis devoided was the blod,
So wofully atwene hem two it stood.
For she ne myght nat a worde speke,
And he was redy with deth to be wreke
Upon hymsilfe, his nakid swerd beside;
And she ful ofte gan to grounde glide
Out of his armys, as she fel aswowne;
And he hymsilf gan in teris drowne.
She was as stille and dowmb as any ston;
He had a mouthe, but wordis had he non;
The weri spirit flikerit in hir breste
And of deth stood under arreste,
Withoute meinpris sothly as of lyf.
And thus ther was, as it sempte, a strif,
Whiche of hem two shulde firste pace;
For deth portreied in her outher face
With swiche colour as men go to her grave.
And thus in wo thei gan togidre rave,
Disconsolat, al the longe nyght,
That in gode feith, yif I shulde aright
The processe hool of here bother sorwe
That thei made til the nexte morwe,
Fro point to point it to specefie,
It wolde me ful longe occupie
Of everythinge to make mencioun,
And tarie me in my translacioun,
Yif I shulde in her wo procede.
But me semeth that it is no nede,
Sith my maister Chaucer heraforn
In this mater so wel hath hym born
In his Boke of Troylus and Cryseyde
Whiche he made longe or that he deyde,
Rehersinge firste how Troilus was contrarie
For to assendyn up on Lovis steire,
And how that he, for al his surquedie,
After becam oon of the companye
Of Lovis folke for al his olde game,
Whan Cupide maked hym ful tame
And brought him lowe to his subjeccioun
In a temple as he walked up and doun,
Whan he his ginnes and his hokis leide
Amyd the eyen cerclid of Cryseyde,
Whiche on that day he myghte nat asterte:
For thorugh his brest percid and his herte,
He wente hym home, pale, sike, and wan.
And in this wise Troylus first began
To be a servaunt, my maister telleth thus,
Til he was holpe aftir of Pandarus,
Thorugh whos comforte and mediacioun
(As in his boke is maked mencioun)
With gret labour firste he cam to grace
And so contuneth by certeyn yeris space,
Til Fortune gan upon hym frowne,
That she from hym must goon oute of towne
Al sodeynly and never hym after se.
Lo, here the fyn of false felicité!
Lo, here the ende of worldly brotilnes,
Of fleshly lust! Lo, here th'unstabilnes!
Lo, here the double variacioun
Of wordly blisse and transmutacioun -
This day in myrthe and in wo tomorwe -
For ay the fyn, allas, of joie is sorwe!
For now Cryseide with the Kyng Thoas
For Anthenor shal go forthe, allas,
Unto Grekis and ever with hem dwelle.
The hoole story Chaucer kan yow telle,
Yif that ye liste - no man bet alyve -
Nor the processe halfe so wel discryve.
For he owre Englishe gilte with his sawes,
Rude and boistous firste be olde dawes,
That was ful fer from al perfeccioun
And but of litel reputacioun,
Til that he cam and thorugh his poetrie
Gan oure tonge firste to magnifie
And adourne it with his elloquence:
To whom honour, laude, and reverence
Thorughoute this londe yove be and songe,
So that the laurer of oure Englishe tonge
Be to hym yove for his excellence,
Right as whilom by ful highe sentence,
Perpetuelly for a memorial,
Of Columpna by the cardynal
To Petrak Fraunceis was yoven in Ytaille -
That the report nevere after faille
Nor the honour dirked of his name,
To be registred in the house of fame
Amonge other in the higheste sete,
My maister Galfride, as for chefe poete
That evere was yit in oure langage,
The name of whom shal passen in noon age
But ever ylyche withoute eclipsinge shyne.
And for my part, I wil never fyne,
So as I can, hym to magnifie
In my writynge pleinly til I dye;
And God, I praye, his soule bring in joie.
   And where I lefte I wil ageyn of Troie
The story telle and first how that Guydo
Within his boke speketh Troylus to,
Rebukyng hym ful uncurtesly
That he so sette his herte folili
Upon Cryseide, ful of doubilnes:
For in his boke as Guydo list expresse
That hir teris and hir compleynynge,
Hir wordis white, softe, and blaundyshynge,
Wer meynt with feynyng and with flaterie
And outward farsed with many a fals lye;
For under hid was al the variaunce,
Cured above with feyned contenaunce,
As wommen kan falsly teris borwe -
In her herte though ther be no sorwe -
Lik as thei wolde of verray trouthe deie.
Thei can think oon and another seie,
As a serpent under floures faire
His venym hydeth, where he doth repaire -
The sugre aforn, the galle hid behynde,
As approprid is unto hir kynde
To be dyvers and double of nature,
Rathest deceyvynge whan men most assure.
For under colour everything thei wirke,
The faire above, the foule in the dirke
Thei hide so, that no man may espie;
And though so be that with a woful eye
Thei can outward wepyn pitously,
The tother eye can laughe covertly -
Whos sorwes alle are temprid with allaies.
And her colour is meynt ever with raies;
For upon chaunge and mutabilité
Stant hool her trust and her sureté,
So that thei ben sure in doubilnes
And alwey double in her sikernes,
Semynge oon whan thei best can varie,
Likest to acorde whan thei be contrarie;
And thus thei ben variaunte in acorde,
And holest seme whan ther is discord.
And Guydo seith how ther are fewe or noon
That in her herte apaied is with oon;
And yit thei can, be it to oon or tweyne,
To thre or foure, in her speche feyne
Like as thei wern to oon and to no moo
Hool in her love, for wele and eke for wo,
That everyche shal of hymsilfe deme
That he be next, lik as it doth seme.
And thus in hope stant eche of hem alle,
The trewest ay redyest to falle;
Who serveth best, nexte to ben appaired:
And thus in chaunge al her love is feired.
Farwel tomorwe, though it be sure today;
Lat no man trust but cache whan he may;
The faire of chaunge lasteth over yere,
But it is foly for to byen to dere
Thilke tresour, whiche harde is to possede
But fleeth aweye whan men therof most nede.
And yif it hap that no chapman be
(As seith Guydo), yit al day men may se
It shewed oute at large fenestrallis,
On chaumbres highe, and lowe doun in hallis,
And in wyndowes eke in every strete;
And also eke men may with hem mete
At pilgrymages and oblaciounes,
At spectacles in cytés and in townys
(As seith Guydo), and al is for to selle:
But after hym I can no ferther telle.
And eke he seith in his sentament
Ther is no fraude fully equipollent
To the fraude and sleighty compassyng
Of a womman nor like in worchynge:
For who that set al his feithfulnes,
Wenynge in hem to fynde stabilnes,
He shal hem fynde stedefaste as the mone,
That is in point for to chaunge sone.
Yif he be yonge, thei cast hym in a rage;
Yif he be olde, he falleth in dotage;
"Wherfore, my counseil is to bothe two:
Cast of the bridel, and lightly lete hem go."
Thus techeth Guydo, God wot, and not I,
That hath delyt to speke cursidly
Alwey of wommen thorughout al his bok,
As men may se, whoso list to loke.
To hem he had envie in special,
That in good feith I am right wrothe with al
That he with hem list so to debate;
For ire of whiche, the Latyn to translate
Inwardly myn herte I felte blede,
Of highe dispit his clausis for to rede
That resownede, in conclusioun,
Only of malys to accusacioun
Of this women - ful evel mote he thrive -
So generally her secte to discryve,
Whiche made nat, thorugh indiscrecioun,
Of good nor badde noon excepcioun.
He was to blame - foule mote hym falle -
For cause of oon for to hindren alle:
For I dar wel affermen by the rode
Ageyn oon badde ben an hundrid gode;
And though som oon double be and newe,
It hindreth nat to hem that be trewe.
And be exaumple, also, though he shewe
That som oon whilom was a shrewe,
Thei that be gode take shal noon hede,
For it noon hindrynge is to wommanhede,
Though two or thre can be double and feyne:
For ther ageyn sothly at Coleyne
Of virgines, inly ful of grace,
Ellevene thousand in that holy place
A man may fynde and in oure kalendere
Ful many maide parfit and entere,
Whiche to the deth stable wern and trewe.
For somme of hem with the rosen hew
Of martirdom the blisse of hevene wonne;
And somme also, as bokis telle konne,
With the lillye of virginité
And violettis of parfit chastité,
Ascendid ben above the sterris clere
And the cercle of the nynthe spere,
Where joie is evere and gladnes eterne.
Wherefor in soth, as I can discerne,
Though som clerkis of shrewis have myssaid,
Lat no good womman therof be myspaid:
For lak of oon, alle are nought to blame,
And eke of men may be seide the same.
For to the trewe it is no reprefe,
Though it so be another be a thefe;
For what is he the werse in his degré,
Though the tother be honged on a tre?
Nor unto wommen hindring is it noon,
Among an hundrid though that ther be oon
Of governaunce that be vicious.
For ther ageyn a thousand vertuous,
Yif that ye liste, lightly ye may fynde.
And though Guydo writ thei han of kynde
To be double, men shulde it goodly take
And ther ageyn no maner grucching make:
Nature in werkynge hath ful gret power,
And it wer harde for any that is here
The cours of hir to holden or restreyne,
For she wil nat be guyed be no reyne,
To be coarted of hir due right.
Therfore, eche man with al his fulle myght
Shulde thanke God and take paciently;
For yif wommen be double naturelly,
Why shulde men leyn on hem the blame?
For though myn auctor hindre so her name
In his writinge, only of Cryseide,
And upon hir swiche a blame leide,
My counseil is, lightly overpasse
Wher he mysseith of hir in any place -
To hindre wommen outher eve or morwe.
Taketh noon hede, but late him be with sorwe,
And skippeth over wher ye list nat rede,
Til ye come where that Dyomede
For hir was sent into Troye toun,
Where ceriously is maked mencioun
First how that she to hym delyvered was
For Anthenor and the Kyng Thoas;
And how Troilus gan hir to conveie
With many other to bringe hir on the weie;
And after this how that Dyomede
By the weie gan hir bridel lede
Til he hir brought to hir fadres tent;
And how that Calchas in ful good entent
Received hir, logged ther he lay,
And of hir speche duryng al that day,
And al the maner hool and everydel.
Al is rehersid ceriously and wel
In Troylus Boke, as ye han herd me seyn;
To write it efte, I holde it wer but veyn.
But Guydo seith, longe or it was nyght
How Cryseyde forsoke hir owne knyght
And yaf hir herte unto Dyomede
Of tendirnes and of wommanhede,
That Troilus wexe in hir herte as colde,
Withoute fire as ben these asshes olde.
I can noon other excusacioun
But only Kyndes transmutacioun,
That is appropred unto hir nature,
Selde or never stable to endure,
Be experience as men may ofte lere.
But now ageyn unto my matere
I mut resort, though that I be ferre,
As I began to writen of the werre.
[After the truce, Hector leads the Trojans out to battle. He is
wounded in the face, and the Trojans are thrown back before
the walls of Troy, where Hector sees Helen, Hecuba,
Polyxena, and the other women watching the battle. Fearing
shame before them, he rallies the Trojans, cuts King Merion in
two (he has earlier killed him by cutting his head off), and
nearly kills Achilles. During the battle, Diomede captures
Troilus's horse, which he sends to Criseyde as a gift. Criseyde
says she cannot refuse a gift from someone kind and generous
to her in a strange place. Later Polydamas unhorses Diomede
and takes his mount to Troilus, who has been fighting on foot
and is bathed in Greeks' blood. Hector again nearly kills
Achilles. After this the battle rages for thirty days, during
which the Greeks suffer many loses, six of Priam's natural
sons are killed, and Hector is wounded. Priam asks for a six
months' truce. He prepares the burial of his sons, and Hector
recovers from his wounds. Diomede meanwhile has fallen in
love with Criseyde (lines 4449-4819).
And al that tyme sike laie Diomede,
With Lovys dart woundid to the herte,
As he that felt inwardly gret smerte
Of woful sighes, wiche in his brest abraide
Ful ofte a day for love of Cryseyde;
For he was shake with a fevere newe
That causid him to be ful pale of hewe
And to wexe bothe megre and lene;
For pitously he gan hym to abstene
Fro mete and drinke and from al solace,
As it was sene in his dedly face;
And ofte a day to hir he wolde pleyne
Of his dissese and his mortal peyne,
Preiynge of grace that she wolde se
Upon his wo for to han pité
And of mercy for to taken hede
Of hir servaunt, only of wommanhede,
Or pleinly elles - ther is no more to seie -
For hir sake he seide he wolde deye.
But konnyngly and in ful sleighty wyse,
To kepe hym lowe under hir servyse,
With delaies she hilde hym forthe on honde
And maked hym in a were to stonde,
Ful unsur betwene hope and dispeire.
And whan that grace shulde have had repeire
To putte hym oute of al hevynes,
Daunger of newe brought hym in distresse;
And with disdeyn to encrese his peine,
Of double were she brought hym in a treyne,
As wommen kan holde a man ful narwe,
Whan he is hurt with Cupides arwe,
To sette on hym many fel assaies,
Day be day to putte hym in delaies,
To stonde unsur betwixe hope and drede,
Right as Cryseyde lefte Diomede
Of entent to sette hym more afire,
As this wommen kyndely desyre,
Whan thei a man have brought in a traunce,
Unevenly to hange him in balaunce,
Of hope and drede to lynke hym in a cheyne,
Ay of the fyn unsure of bothe tweyne,
To dryve him forthe yeres hem to serve
And do no force wher he lyve or sterve:
This is the fyn of Lovis fyri rage.
And for she wolde have hym in servage,
She lokkid hym under swiche a keye
That he wot nat wher to lyve or deye;
And in doute thus I lete hym dwelle,
And forthe I wil of the story telle
And to my mater eke resorte ageyn.
[After the truce ends, fighting renews for twelve days.
Because of heat and infection, however, plague sweeps the
Greek camp. Agamemnon must ask for another thirty days'
truce, which Priam immediately grants (lines 4870-88).
Whan the moreyn and the woful rage
Of pestilence began for to swage
And the trews were wered oute and goon,
The Grekis cast to mete with her foon
Upon a day in platis armyd clene
Whan Phebus shon with his bemys shene
Ful plesauntly and gan to shede his lyght.
But, as I fynd, toforne the silfe nyght
Andronomecha, the feithful trewe wyf
Of worthi Hector, hym lovynge as hir lyf,
Be whom he had gete childre two,
Wonder semly, and inly fair also -
And Lamedonte callyd was the ton,
So yonge the tother that hit ne myghte goon
And Astronanta, I rede, that he hyght,
Fetured wel, and passynge fair of sight,
And, as Guydo listeth to endite,
Of his moder at the pappis white
For verray yong that tyme was soukynge,
And with his armys hir brestis embrasynge.
And she that nyght, as made is mencioun,
Hadde in hir slepe a wonder visioun;
I not in soth what I may it nevene -
Outher a dreme or verraily a swevene,
Or fro above a revelacioun,
(As whilom had the Kyng Scipioun)
Or a shewynge, outher an oracle,
Or of goddis a warnyng be myracle.
For in sothnes slepynge as she lay,
Hir thoughte pleynly, yif the nexte day
Hector went his fomen for to assaille,
As he was wont, armyd in bataille,
That he ne shulde eskapen outterly,
In Fatis hondis to falle finally;
And, overmore, Antropos shal fyne
For evermore his lyves threde to twyne
And shewe the force of hir felle myght,
Whan the parodie of this worthi knyght
Aprochen shal withouten wordis mo,
Into the feld pleynly yif he go -
Of whiche astonyd, streit and short of breth,
Wher as she lay, abreid upon the deth,
And with a sighe stinte for to slepe,
And pitously braste oute for to wepe
For the constreint of hir hertly sorwe.
And specially on the woful morwe,
Whan that she sawe this stok of worthines,
As he was wont, manfully him dresse
To armyn hym in stele bornyd bright,
This Troyan wal, Hector, this worthi knyght,
She can no more but at his fete fil doun,
Lowly declarynge hir avisioun,
With quakynge herte of verray wommanhede.
Whereof, God wote, he toke litel hede
But therof hadde indignacioun,
Platly affermyng that no discrecioun
Was to trest in swiche fantasies
In dremys shewid, glady meynt with lyes,
Ful of japis and illusiouns,
Of whiche pleynly the conclusiouns
Be nat ellis but folkis to delude,
Albe it so that this peples rude
Therin somwhile han affeccioun
To juge and deme in her oppinioun
Diversly what thei may pretende,
And ofte falle and happen as thei wende,
And folweth like in conclusioun.
For drede of whiche the lamentacioun
Encrese gan of Andronomecha,
And in hir swowe first she cried, "A,"
Seiyng, "Allas, myn owne lord so dere,
Your trewe wif, allas, whi nyl you here,
Whiche of so feithful hool affeccioun
Desireth ay youre savacioun!"
And up she roos deedly of visage;
And like a womman caught with sodein rage
To Kyng Priam and Eccuba the Quene
In haste she wente, hirsilfe to bemene,
And of hir wyfly herte, trewe as stele,
Ceriously declarid everydele
Hir pitous dreme, whiche thorugh oracle
To hir only, be devyne myracle,
Ishewed was thorugh Goddes purvyaunce;
And tolde hem eke the final ordinaunce
Of Fortunes fals disposicioun,
Fully purveied to destruccioun
Of hir lord withoute more delay,
Into the felde yif he go that day.
Wherfore, she preieth with a dedly hewe
Unto the kyng of mercy for to rewe,
Upon hir wo to have compassioun,
For to ordeyne by discrecioun
Of his lordship and sovereinté
That hir lord nat distroyed be
Of rekleshede nor of wilfulnes;
And with that worde of verray kyndenes,
In whom was ay so moche love founde,
Tofore the quene aswowne fil to grounde
And seide, "Allas" with a ful pale chere,
"Helpe in this cas, myn owne moder dere,
Of wommanhed and routhe doth me grace,
That my lord into the feld ne pace
And doth your dever of moderly pité
Benignely and goodly for to se
To his knyghthod and his highe prowes,
For to restreyne his renomed noblesse,
Thilke day to handle spere nor shelde,
Nor that he go armyd into the felde."
And bothe tweyne assente for the beste
And condescende unto hir requeste,
Finally accordynge into oon
That whan the wardis wer redi everychon
On issinge oute, and Troylus first of alle,
And Paris next, on Grekis for to falle,
And after hym the Troyan Eneas,
Kyng Sarpedoun, and Pollydamas,
Kyng Eroys, and Kyng Epistrophus,
And eke the kyng ycalled Forcius,
In plate and mail everyche armed clene;
And alderlaste cam Kyng Philomene
With alle the kynges and lordes of renoun
That in diffence comen of the toun,
With the Grekis knyghtly to debate.
And Priamus sothly to the gate
Conveied hem at her oute goyng,
And sette her wardes, this noble worthi kyng,
Ful prudently thorugh his sapience,
And after yaf hem congé and licence
Upon Grekis for to kythe her myght,
Ageynes whom ful redy for to fight
Her fomen wern with royal apparaille
Amyd the feld abidynge the bataille.
But Priamus in this menewhile,
Lyke as Guydo remembrith in his stile,
For thilke fyn that ye han herd me seyn
To worthi Hector repeired is ageyn,
Hym contermaundynge that he ne shold gon
Thilke day to fight ageyn her foon.
For whiche thing of highe dispit he brent,
Whan that he sawe other lordis went
Oute at the gate and he allone abood;
For whiche he wexe furious and wood,
Hooly the cause arrettynge to his wif,
That was of cherté so tendir over his lyf,
Puttinge on hir fully the occasioun
Of his abidynge that day in the toun,
In prejudise of his worthines
And disencresse of his highe prowes.
And list thorugh tongis to his highe estat,
Thorugh fals report it were derogat,
He caste anoon of a ful knyghtly herte
For lyf nor deth it shuld him nat asterte
Withinne the feld that day to be founde,
Though it so wer with many mortal wounde
He shulde on pecis hewe be asoundre,
Upon the pleyn dismembrid here and yonder;
So hool in manhod was his herte sette
That he anoon withoute lenger lette
Ageyn to arme hym was ful dilligent,
Agein the precepte and commandement
Of his fader, and rood forthe on his weie.
For fer of whiche, as she wolde deie,
His wif of newe crie gan and shoute,
And with hir pappis also hanging oute,
Hir litel childe in hir armys tweyne,
Aforn hir lord gan to wepe and pleyne,
Besechinge hym of routhe and pité,
Yif he nolde to hir sorwe se,
At the leste for hir wifly trouthe
That he of manhod have in herte routhe
Upon hir child and on hir also,
Whiche that she bar in hir armys two,
And nat myght him fro criynge kepe,
Whan he sawe his woful moder wepe.
And knelyng doun, unto hym she seide,
In hir sobbynge as she myght abreide:
"Myn owne lorde have mercy now on me
And on this litel child whiche that ye se
So pitously afore you wepe and crye.
Have mercy lord on us or we deye.
Have mercy eke upon this cyté,
Myn owne lorde. Have mercy or that we
By cruel deth passe shal echon,
For lak of helpe, allas, whan ye ar goon."
This was the crie of Andronomecha,
With whom was eke hir suster Cassandra,
Eccuba, and faire Polycene,
And Eleyne, the lusty freshe quene,
Whiche alle attonys fellen hym beforn,
With heer untressid and wepinge al totorn,
And loude gan to crien in the place,
Besechinge hym of mercy and of grace
For thilke day to abiden in the toun
And in his herte to have compassioun
On her compleint and her woful mone,
Sith al the trust of the toun allone
In hym abode and al the resistence:
For ageyn deth he was her chef diffence;
And in hym hooly was her affiaunce,
Her sureté, and her suffisaunce,
In eche thing that hem myghte greve.
And yif al this ne myght his herte meve
For to abide, yit of goodlyhede
Thei hym besought to her wommanhede
He wolde enclyne his harded herte of stele,
That thei myght a litel drope fele
Only of pité on her wo to rewe,
That likly was to moren and renewe
Finally to her distruccioun;
For of the cité sothly and the toun
His unhap were endeles ruyne.
But yit al this myght hym nat encline
That he nold oute in conclusioun,
So indurat and hertid as lyoun
He was alweie, contunynge in his rage,
Whos herte myght asofte nor aswage
Nouther praier nor waymentacioun,
Hym to restreyne from his oppinioun:
For every pereil he leide tho aside;
And on his weie gan anoon to ryde.
Wherthorugh his wif noon other bote can
But in hir rage to the kyng she ran,
So amased in hir mortal wo
That she unethe myghte speke hym to,
So diffacid and ruful of hir sight
That by hir hewe knoweth hir no wight;
For lost she had bothe myght and strengthe,
And plat she fil to the grounde alengthe
Tofore the kyng, that routhe was to sene,
Besechynge hym of entent ful clene
Of his grace to consider hir wo:
For but he help, Hector is ago.
And he, seinge hir faithful wommanhede,
At hir requeste raught anoon his stede,
And priked after, only for hir sake,
In so gret haste that he hath overtake
Worthi Hector withinne the cyté,
And hent his reyne with gret difficulté,
And maugre hym made him tourne ageyn
In swiche wyse he durst it nat withseyn,
Albe that he was ful lothe therto;
So that by force and praier also
From his stede he made hym alight,
The areste of whom eschewen he ne myght,
For he ne wolde ageyn his fader strive,
Albe that he felte his herte rive
Of malencolie, and of hertly ire,
And of disdeyn newe sette afire.
So inwardly sterid was his blod
That like a tigre or a lyoun wood
That wer deprived newly of his praye,
Right so firde he al that ilke day,
Or liche a bore that his tusshes whette,
While the Grekis and thei of Troye mette,
Furiously walkynge up and doun.
And in diffence sothly of the toun,
Troylus first on his baye stede
Of aventure mette Diomede,
And eche at other, surquedous of pride,
With sharpe speris gan togidre ryde;
And Guydo seith, withouten any dred,
Oon or bothe had anoon be ded,
Nadde Menelay knyghtly go betwene.
And after that in a furious tene,
He smet his hors in ful knyghtly wyse;
And Meryem, the myghty Kyng of Frise,
Menelaus markid hath ful wel;
And with his swerd, ful sharpe ground of stel,
Unhorsid him and threwe him on the grene;
For he the strok ne myghte nat sustene,
This Menelay was on him so wood
That it was likly, evene ther he stood,
With the lif he shulde nat eskape.
For the Grekis ful hastily hem shape
This Meriem, as ye han herde me seyn,
For to besette rounde aboute the pleyn
And to sese hym by the aventaille
On every part and cruelly to assaille,
Al destitut in this dredful cas.
But hym to helpe cam Pollydamas
With his knyghtes and gan to neighen ner
Whan he hym sawe take prisoner;
And maugre alle that uppon hym sette,
From her hondis Pollydamas him fette,
At whos reskus ther was so gret a strif
That many on therfore lost his lyf:
For Grekis rather than he shulde eskape
From her hondis in that hasti rape
Caste hem pleynly that he shal be ded,
Fully in purpos to have hadde his hed -
He stood of meschef in so gret disjoynt.
But hym to helpe evene uppon the point
Cam Troylus in, most knyghtly of aray,
And of his manhod made swiche affray
Amongis hem in reskus of this kyng
That maugre hem at his incomyng
Delyvered was this worthi lord of Frise
From cruel deth, as ye han herd devyse.
But theruppon cam Thelamonius,
Proude in armys, and evere surquedous
With thre thousand, ful worthi everychon;
And he unhorseth Pollydamas anoon
Among his knyghtes and proudly bar him doun;
But Troylus hath thorugh his highe renoun
Mid of his foon get hym his hors ageyn.
But thei of Troye so sore were beleyn
On every half thorugh the Grekis pride
That thei ne myght aforn hem nat abide:
For newe and newe the hardy Achilles
Assailled hem with his Mirmidones
That thei compelled of necessité,
In meschef, wern maked for to fle
Home to the walles and gates of the toun,
To gret damage and confusioun
Of her party that abak so goon.
The whiche thing, whan Margariton
Behilde and sawe how the game goth,
In his herte he gan to wexe wroth
And passingly for to have disdeyn;
And as the story recordeth in certeyn,
That he was bothe hardy and famus
And sone also unto Kyng Priamus,
A noble knyght and of gret worthines.
And whan he saw the meschef and distresse
Of hem of Troye and how thei gan to fle,
He caste anoon avengid for to be
Upon Achilles for al his grete myght,
And ran to hym ful like a manly knyght,
On horsebak for the townys sake,
And hym enforseth Achilles to take
Amyd the feld amonge his knyghtes alle.
But Achilles - allas, it shulde falle -
That day hym slowe by cruel aventure,
Wherthorugh Troyens myghte not endure
The felde to hold, but home gan hem hiye,
And mortally to make noise and crie:
Firste, for the deth of Margaritoun,
And for the pursut that Kyng Thelamon
Made on the chaas thorugh his cruelté
Home to the gatis of Troye the cité,
That slow and kylled alweie as he rood,
Albe that Paris manly hym withstood
With his brethre that in baste wer born.
But for al that, her ground thei have lorn,
Lefte and forsake outterly the felde;
And home thei went and broughten on a shelde
The dede cors of Margariton;
And after that her gatis shette anon.
The whiche meschef, as Hector gan behold,
Of verray ire his herte gan to colde,
And seide platly withoute more delay
He wolde avenge his deth the same day,
And made in haste his stede to be fet,
And up he stirte, and on his basenet -
Unwist the kyng, or who be lefe or loth
(Ther was no geyn) - forthe anon he goth,
Til he was passid the gatis of the toun,
More furious than tigre or lyoun;
At whos comynge, thikke as swarm of ben,
Toforn his swerd Grekis gonne flen -
Thai thought it was tyme to withdrawe.
And first, I fynde how that he hath slawe
Two worthi dukes, as he with hem mette,
That besy wern his weie for to lette:
The ton ycalled was Eurypalus,
And the tother highte Hascydyus.
And so Troyens the feld ageyn han wonne,
And of newe manfully begonne
Grekis to sue, and folwen on the chaas.
And yit at meschef Daungh Pollydamas
The same tyme was of Grekis take;
But Hector hath so born him for his sake,
Where as he sorest was beleyn,
And thorugh his knyghthod reskued him ageyn,
And put the Grekis in so gret distresse
Thorugh his manhod and his worthines,
That whersoevere thilke day he rood,
His sharpe swerd he bathed in her blood -
He was so cruel and so mercyles.
But than a knyght called Leothydes
Shope him anon with Hector for to mete,
While he was moste irous in his hete,
And sette on hym ful presumptuously;
But Hector tho, devoyde of al mercy,
Anoon hym slow and threw hym in the feld:
The whiche thing whan Achilles behelde,
The grete slaughter and the woundis wyde
That Hector made uppon every syde,
He gan anon compassen in his herte,
And up and doun casten and adverte
How the Grekis never mow be sure
Ageyn her foon to fighten or endure
Nor kepe a felde with hem for to stryve,
Al the while that Hector were alyve.
Wherfore, he shope and caste many weie
Be what engyne Hector myghte deye,
At avauntage yif he myght hym fynde;
And therto eke Polycenes of Ynde,
A worthi duke, was also of assent -
Only for he of herte and hool entent
In hope stood his suster for to wyve,
For love of whom he felt his herte ryve.
And in hir grace better for to stonde,
He caste fully for to take on honde
This highe emprise, as I have yow tolde.
But while that he was on him most bold,
Hector hym slow - ther was non other geyn;
The whiche anoon as Achilles hath seyn,
For ire he wexe in his herte as wood
As boor or tigre in her cruel mood
Upon Hector avenged for to be
And furiously on hym he gan fle.
But Hector kaught a darte sharpe grounde,
And threw at hym, and yaf him swiche a wounde
Thorughoute the theighe, upon outher side,
That in the feld he myghte nat abide,
But hym withdrow, and anoon is went
With his men home unto his tent,
And made anoon a surgeyn to bynde
His mortal wounde; and after, as I fynde,
Whan he was staunche and cesseth for to blede,
In al haste ageyn he toke his stede:
And liste he were of that wounde ded
Afterward, as it was grete drede,
He thoughte first avengid for to be
Upon Hector, yif he myght hym se,
Of hap or sort, yif it wolde falle:
For hym thoughte, to his peynes alle
It were to hym the beste remedye
Of his honde yif he myghte dye;
For of his lyf he roughte nat a myte,
Be so that he Hector myghte quyte
Deth for deth in conclusioun;
For that was hooly his entencioun,
Of his desire fully suffisaunce
By deth unwarly to yeven hym meschaunce.
But al this tyme, Hector up and doun,
As he was wont, pleieth the lyoun
Amonge Grekis in many sondri place
And with his swerd gan hem so to enchase
That as the deth, where thei myght hym sen,
Thei fledde aforn hym like a swarm of ben:
For noon so hardy was hym to withsette.
And in this while, a Grekysh kyng he mette,
Were it of hap or of aventure,
The whiche in soth on his cotearmure
Enbroudrid had ful many riche stoon
That yaf a light, whan the sonne shoon,
Ful bright and clere, that joie was to sene:
For perlis white and emeraudis grene,
Ful many oon, were thereinne set
And on the cercle of his basenet
And rounde enviroun of his aventaille
In velwet fret, al above the maille,
Safirs ynde and other stonys rede,
Of whos array, whan Hector taketh hede,
Towardis hym faste gan hym drawe.
And firste, I fynd how he hath him slawe;
And after that, by force of his manhede
He rent hym up aforn him on his stede
And faste gan with hym for to ride
From the wardis a litel oute aside,
At good leiser pleynly, yif he may,
To spoillen hym of his riche array,
Ful glad and light of his newe emprise.
But out, allas, on fals covetyse,
Whos gredy fret - the whiche is gret pité -
In hertis may nat lightly staunchid be;
The etyk gnaweth be so gret distresse
That it diffaceth the highe worthines
Ful ofte sythe of thies conquerours
And of her fame rent aweie the flours.
Desyre of havynge in a gredy thought
To highe noblesse sothly longeth nought;
No swiche pelfre, spoillynge, nor robberie
Apartene not to worthi chivalrye:
For covetyse and knyghthod, as I lere,
In o cheyne may nat be knet yfere;
For kouthe it is that ofte swiche ravyne
Hath cause ben and rote of the ruyne
Of many worthi - whoso liste take hede -
Like as ye may now of Hector rede
That sodeinly was brought to his endynge
Only for spoillynge of this riche kyng.
For of desire to hym that he hadde,
On horsebake oute whan he hym ladde,
Reklesly, the story maketh mynde,
He cast his shelde at his bak behynde,
To welde hymsilf at more liberté,
And for to han opportunyté
To spoillen hym, and for no wyght spare,
So that his brest disarmyd was and bare:
Except his platis ther was no diffence
Ageyn the strok to make resistence.
Allas, why was he tho so rekeles,
This flour of knyghthod, of manhod pereles,
Whan that his fo al that ilke day
For hym allone in awayte lay,
Yif in meschef, of hate and of envie,
In the feld he myght hym oute espie,
This Achilles, cruel and venemous,
Of hertly hate most malencolyous,
Whiche covertly havynge hym beside,
Whan that he saw Hector disarmyd ride,
He hent a spere, sharpe grounde and kene,
And of ire in his hateful tene
Al unwarly, or Hector myght adverte,
(Allas the whyle) he smote hym to the herte,
Thorughoute the brest, that ded he fil doun
Unto the erthe, this Troyan champioun,
Thorugh necligence only of his shelde.
The deth of whom, whan Odemon behelde,
The worthi kyng myght hym nat restreyne,
But to Achilles rood with al his peyne,
And hit hym so myd of al the pres,
Maugre the myght of his Mirmidones,
That for ded, Guydo seith certeyn,
Of that wounde he fil gruf on the pleyn,
But his knyghtes on a sheld alofte
Thei leiden hym and caried hym ful softe
Unto his tent in al the haste thei can;
And there I leve this dedly wounded man,
Ful sore seke, til he may releve.
And after that, whan it drowe to eve,
Thei of Troye with gret reverence
Dide her labour and her dilligence
The dede cors to carien into toun
Of worthi Hector, whan Titan wente doun.
And to the temple dolfully thei wende;
And of that day this was the woful ende -
I can no more - but thus the longe nyght
In hevynes, as it was skil and right,
I wil hem leve and ageyn returne
To my mater to help hem for to morne.
   But now, allas, how shal I procede,
In the story, that for wo and drede
Fele myn hond bothe tremble and quake,
O worthi Hector, only for thi sake,
Of thi deth I am so loth to write.
O who shal now help me to endyte,
Or unto whom shal I clepe or calle?
Certis to noon of the Musis alle
That by accorde singen ever in on
Upon Pernaso, besiden Elycon,
So angelik in her armonye
That tonge is noon that may specefie
The grete swetnes of her goodly song;
For no discorde is founden hem among,
In her musik thei bene entunyd so.
It syt hem nought for to help in wo
Nor with maters that be with mournynge shent,
As tragedies al totore and rent,
In compleynynge pitously in rage
In the theatre with a ded visage;
To hem, allas, I clepe dar nor crye
My troubled penne of grace for to guye,
Nouther to Clyo nor Callyope,
But to Allecto and Thesyphone
And Megera that evere doth compleine,
As thei that lyve evere in wo and peyne
Eternally and in turment dwelle
With Cerberus depe doun in helle,
Whom I mote praie to be gracious
To my mater, whiche is so furious.
For to a whight that is compleynynge
A drery fere is right wel sittynge,
And to a mater meynt with hevynes
Acordeth wel a chere of drerynes
To ben allyed, as by unyté.
Wherefore, helpe now, thou woful Nyobe,
Som drery ter in al thi pitous peyne
Into my penne dolfully to reyne;
And helpe also thou cruel Yxioun
And Belydes, that doth the boget gon;
And with thi stoon helpe thou, Zeziphus;
And in thi river helpe eke Tantalus,
That for hunger haste so huge pyne,
This woful pleint helpe me for to fyne,
Me to forthre doth youre besynes.
For now the stok and rote of worthines,
Of knyghthod grounde, of manhod sours and wel,
That toforn alle bare aweie the belle
Of dorynge do, this flour of highe prowes -
And was exaumple also of gentilnes,
That nevere koude don amys nor seie,
Allas, Hector, allas, why shuldestou deie?
O cruel Parchas, why toke ye noon hede,
So cruelly to twyne his fatal threde?
Ye were to hasty! Allas, why were ye so,
And namely the threde to breke atwo,
Thou Antropos, thorugh thi grete envie!
O Troye, allas, wel maist thou wepe and crie
And make a woful lamentacioun,
Whiche hast of newe to thi confusioun
Loste thi diffence and thi stronge wal,
Thi berer up, thi sureté royal,
Be whom thin honour chefly was begonne.
Allas, allas, for now thi brighte sonne
Eclipsed is, and thou stanst desolat
Of al comfort and discounsolat;
Thi light is lost, and thou in dirkenes
Iploungid art: for in sothfastnes,
Of alle worthi thou hast the worthiest
This day yloste and the knyghtlyest
That is, or was, or shal, I the ensure,
Bene evere born, while the world may dure.
No wonder is thaugh thou wepe sore
And day be day compleyne hym evermore
That was thi sheld, bothe in joie and wo,
Whom thou were wont for to love so,
So tendirly with al thin hole herte
That it may nat lyghtly the asterte
To have hym evere in thi remembraunce,
Whiche was in soth thi ful suffisaunce.
For, as Guydo maketh mencioun,
Ther was no man dwellyng in the toun
That he ne had of verray kyndenes,
For love of hym, as he writ expresse,
His child more lef to have died in this cas
Outher his eyr - so wel beloved he was -
Yif the goddis, Fate, or destyné
Disposid had that it myght have be.
Wommen also of every maner age
Bene for his deth falle in swiche a rage,
Thorugh the cyté, aboute in every strete
That with sobbyng and salt teris wete
And here torent for her dedly wo,
Furiously ronne to and fro -
So mortal was her adversité
That to beholde, allas, it was pité.
Yonge maydenes and matrones olde
Sobbe and sighe, and her festis folde,
And loude crie, and seide fynally:
"Allas, now shal oure fadris cruelly
In oure sight be slayen day be day!
Allas the whyle, and no man shal seie nay!
Farwel oure helpe, now Hector is goon,
In whom the surnes of us everychon
Was wont to reste: now is he ded, allas."
Of whom the body whan it caried was
Into presence of Priamus the Kyng,
Anoon he lost the offys of spekyng,
And gan hymsilfe in salte teris drowne,
And pitously therwith fil aswowne
Upon the cors, cold as any stoon,
Inly desyrous for to deie anoon
Withoute tariynge, on hym as he lay,
But that he was by force rent awey.
His bretheren eke, whan thei token hed,
Trist and pale, for sorwe wer nyghe ded
And han hemsilfe with rage al totorn,
That never was, I trowe, seyn aforn
Of brethere yit swiche another care:
For eche of hem with hymsilf gan fare
As thei wolde have died on the cors;
For of their lif platly thei yaf no fors,
But at the grounde with many swoghes sore,
Liche wylde boris thei gan crye and rore,
That routhe was her dedly wo to sene -
An herte of stele myght it not sustene.
What schal I seyn of Eccuba the Quene,
Or his suster, yonge Pollycene,
Or Cassandra, the prudent and the wyse,
Or of his wyf, the sorwe to devise,
Whiche rent hemsilf in torment and in wo
As finally thei wolde hemsilfe fordo
By cruel deth, so thei wepe and waille -
That yif I shulde make rehersaille
To wryte her sorwes and her compleynynges,
Her pitous sobbynge, throwes, and wepynges,
The woful cries, and the pitous sowns,
Her drery pleyntis and lamentaciouns,
And al her wo for to specifie,
A large boke it wolde occupie,
Yiffe eche thinge I shulde in order telle -
I trowe it were to longe for to dwelle,
For any man and tedius to here.
For many day after, as I lere,
The wommen wepte afore the cors liynge,
Hemsilfe diffacynge in her compleynynge;
That wonder was how thei myght endure
But that thei han it sothly of nature
And of kynde for to wepe and pleyne;
Thei sighe sore and into teris reyne,
Til the tempeste of her woful rage
May be processe lyte and lyte aswage.
   And thus I leve hem sighe and sorwe make,
This cely wommen in her clothes blake,
Shroude her facis, and wympled mourne in veyn,
While I turne to my mater ageyn,
To telle pleynly how Kyng Priamus
In herte was inly desyrous
To caste a weie in his entencioun
The cors to kepe from corrupcioun,
Whiche naturelly, but men take hede,
Corrupte muste right of verray nede:
For of kyndely disposicioun
Ther may be made noon opposicioun,
Above the grounde yif the body lie,
That of resoun it mut putrefie;
But yif crafte be above nature,
Uncorrupte it myghte nat endure.
Wherefore, the kyng shope him to ordeyne
To preserve it hool fro thinges tweyne -
From odour and abomynacioun -
And therwith eke by crafty operacioun
That in sight it be not founde horrible,
But that it be lifly and visible
To the eye, as be apparence,
Like as it were quyk in existence.
What it cost the kyng wil spare nought
But made anoon aforn hym to be brought
The craftiest maisteres of the toun,
Swiche as hadde moste discrecioun
To parforme his axeynge coriously.
And thei obeie his byddynge feithfully
With al her wille and enter dillygence
In the temple, moste of reverence
Of al the toun, whilom dedicat
And of ful yore also consecrat
To Appollo of olde fundacioun,
Beside a gate stondynge of the toun,
Callyd Tymbria in her Troyan tonge,
As the story is bothe red and songe.
And in this phane that I spake of here,
Thei made firste be the highe auter,
By gret devis, a litel oratorie
Perpetuelly to be in memorie,
Where was set a riche receptacle
Made in maner of a tabernacle,
Egal of sight, for a large ymage
That reised was on a riche stage,
That was born up at eche of his corneris
Of purid golde upon foure pilers;
And on everych ful craftily ydight
An angel stood of golde burned bright,
Coriously the werke to sustene
With crafty archis, reised wonder clene,
Enbowed over al the werke to cure -
So merveilous was the celature
That al the rofe and closure enviroun
Was of fyn gold platid up and doun,
With knottis grave wonder corious,
Fret ful of stonys riche and precious,
Of every kynde that man can devyse,
So rially and in so thrifty wyse,
That the dirknes of the blake nyght
With the bemys of her clere light
Enchacid was where thei dide shyne.
And from the grounde upright as a lyne
Ther wer degres, men by to ascende,
Made so wel that no man koude amende
The werkemanship; and thei were everychon
Parformyd up al of cristal stoon,
Attenyng up fro the table bas
Where the stondyng and the resting was
Of this riche crafty tabernacle,
Havynge above upon eche pynacle
A riche ruby; and reised highe on heighte
Stood an ymage, huge and large of weighte,
Of massyf gold, havynge the liknes
Of worthi Hector that gan his face dresse
Toward Grekis where he dide stonde,
Ay thretynge hem with his swerd on honde.
And amyddes al the grete richesse
Thei han yset by good avisenesse
The dede cors of this worthi knyght,
To sight of man stondynge as upright
By sotil crafte as he were lyvynge,
Of face and chere, and of quyk lokynge,
And of colour sothly, and of hewe
Beinge as freshe as any rose newe
And like in al, as be supposaille,
As he lyvede in his apparaille:
For on his hede, like as it is tolde,
Thorugh smale pipes wrought and made of gold
That be mesour wern enbowed doun
To an entré makyd in his crown
Be grete avys and subtylité
To eche party and extremyté
Of his body lyneally porrect,
Thorugh nerfe and synwe driven and direct,
Be secré poris craftely to extende,
Wherby the licour myghte doun discende
To kepe hym hool fro corrupcioun,
Withouten any transmutacioun
Of hyde or hewe in any part to tourne.
And at his hede of gold was an ourne
That was filde with bawme natural
That ran thorugh pipes artificial
Thorugh nekke and hed into many place,
Penytrable by veynes of the face,
That thorugh vertu and force of the lycour
He was conserved lifly of colour,
Fresche of hewe, quyke, and no thinge pale,
So myghtely the bawme dide avale -
Comparysownyd, as it were semblable,
To a sowle that were vegetable,
The whiche withoute sensibilité
Mynystreth lyf in herbe, flour, and tre,
And semblably into every veyne
Of the cors the vertu dide atteyne,
By brest and arme spredynge enviroun:
For the moisture by descencioun
To hand and foot sothly, as I rede,
Thorugh bon and joynt gan his vertu shede
And distillynge myghtely to flete.
And at his feet, ful of gommys swete,
A viol stood, temprid with bawme and meynt,
That be processe may nat wexe feynt
But day be day encresen and amende,
Of whiche the vapour upward gan ascende,
Causynge the eyr enviroun be delys
To resemble a verray paradys:
For the flavour more holsom was and soote
Than the odour of spice, gomme, or rote.
And of pure gold were foure lampis light,
Tofore the cors brennynge day and nyght
With oyle in soth, yif it be credible,
That was be crafte made inextinguyble;
For it ne myght, myn auctor seyth certeyn,
Nouther be queint with tempest, winde, nor reyn,
Nor be processe wasten of no yeris -
Whiche in the eyr be bright borned weris
Ful craftely reised werne alofte,
Of whos swetnes men rejoysseden ofte,
In her corage it likede hem so wel.
And whan this werke was complete everydel
Rounde enviroun, ful riche and freshe to se,
Thei made a parclos al of Eban tre
That so longe laste may and dure;
The whiche tre only of nature,
Whan it is kut, smelleth wonder swete
And may nat waste ne brenne with noon hete,
Though it be leide amonge the colis rede,
Mid the flawme of many firy glede:
It nat consumeth, though men assaien ofte;
And in water it hoveth eke alofte,
And kyndely to the grounde it goth,
To swymme on heighte in soth it is so loth.
And like also as techeth Pluvius,
This tre whilom was passingly famus,
Of so hyghe pris and reputacioun
That in the large myghti regioun
And worthi lond of Ethiope and Ynde
Of yore agon the folkis, as I fynde,
Hadden this tre in so gret honour
That thei yaf tribut to the emperour,
As is remembrid of antyquyté,
Of gold and yvor and this riche tre,
With these giftes famous and royal
To quyte her dette to hym in special.
And whan Priam in ful thrifty wyse
Parformed hath, as ye han herde devyse,
This riche werke, noble and excellent,
Of hertly love in al his beste entent
Ordeyned eke, as Guydo can yow telle,
A certeyn noumbre of prestis for to dwelle
In the temple in her devociouns
Contynuelly with devout orisouns
For the soule of Hector for to preie,
That the goddis his spirit list conveie
Eternally with hem to dwelle yfere
In joie and blisse above the sterris clere.
To whiche prestis the kyng yaf mansiouns,
Ther to abide, and possessiouns,
The whiche he hath to hem amortised
Perpetuelly, as ye han herd devysed.
And whiles thei knele, preie, and wake,
I caste fully an ende for to make
Finally of my thridde boke,
On my rude maner as I undirtoke;
And whiles thei of Troye wepe and mourne,
Unto the Grekis I wil ageyn retourne
And with dul stile on the story trace,
Only born up with support of your grace.
Blushing red; say
Greatly ashamed
Phoebus; chosen
(see note)
Hastened; horizon; (see note)
soothed her troubled mood

Commander in chief
wisdom; (see note)
gather for inspection
To the liking
If; wish
greatly dulled stylus
must; wander
Skillfully; (see note)
to hinder me
instruct; help; (see note)
dilatory; speed in writing
poetic composition
Parnassus; Muses
Hardly; lament
garment; many colored
Without rhetorical colors; compose
Do you know
he wished
(see note)
[make] his heart indifferent; (see note)
(see note)

those; retinue
(see note)
physicians; withhold himself
transferred to
widely praised
(see note)
The one
sanctioned; other
(see note)
(see note)
powerful; (see note)
Sallied forth; in appearance
torn to pieces
pride; troops
before all
as straight as the line of diameter
in no way; cut through
momentarily; shift position; (see note)
aimed a blow
cut; hindrance
mad; (see note)
(see note)
lustrous and shining
All the while
sight of all
dead body
among them all
seek after your reward
at once
(see note)
So that
was compelled; (see note)
(see note)
foes; (see note)
(see note)
Except that; (see note)
ambush unexpected
no price paid
At the exchange of blows
prey; abandon
Idomeneus; (see note)
(see note)
took heart again
(see note)
All the time
that same; (see note)
At full length on
wants; (see note)
(see note)
was called
(see note)
[He] seized; (see note)
foes; (see note)
snare; line
around him
hard pressed
Greatly disconcerted
think of; (see note)
all your
unless; vengeance
cast a slur on
speak ill of
Through your fault
anger; break
riding; hurries; (see note)
not at all
come through
by companies
had not
In spite of anything he can do
(see note)
exert themselves
lay hold of
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
divisions; descend
(see note)
was greatly to be regretted
before the setting
to repay you; (see note)
(see note)
hinder me from; prey
(see note)
from behind
(see note)
had it bound up
(see note)
was dressed so that; (see note)
just now
amazed and stupified
utterly; undertake
(see note)
That same day
(see note)
goes badly
before; ready
set upon
(see note)
were it not; sloth
(see note)
(see note)
changeable; certainty
prudence; trouble; avoid
(see note)
chance; emptied
(see note)
out of
Perversely; derisive grimaces
thinks to; certainty
Fickle; take away
wish to consent
most glad to find
(see note)
By chance; agree
Took care
(see note)
slain; overthrown
near [to him] in kinship
(see note)
happened by; (see note)
Unknown to
turn his attention
to you
If; wish
return; kinsmen
advise; altogether
(see note)
keep his promise
stop pursuing
out of
(see note)
(see note)
to ruin
they would have
If Hector had not; compassion
Unfortunately; destruction
might have been secure
(see note)
(see note)
slain before
torn; (see note)
shut up
(see note)
will you not
do you not wish
(see note)
to mediate between us
had her bound
truth; (see note)
(see note)
is thought
(see note)
most readily did
dark copes
is called; midpoint
Before; painted; (see note)
at once each one; (see note)
lament; (see note)
(see note)
at once
each one being
without warning
slay; in no way
(see note)
Lest; wrongly; turn away
unfavorable face
jeopardy; (see note)
(see note)
their dwellings
(see note)
red beams
(see note)
such; intimate
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
came directly; (see note)
inner chamber
usher; shut
appropriate seat
trust most
take little notice
(see note)
(see note)
receive; reward
reasonable reward
State; (see note)
explain; advice
to be done; (see note)
(see note)
at once contemplate (weigh)
from the outcome
express my opinion
(see note)
demonstrate (the point)
By; taken
ill will bite
by chance
would not want to see it happen
According to his social rank
Lest; (see note)
By chance
By; recover
because he is noble
(see note)
The same
(see note)
mood; conversation
in no way
negotiation; conversation
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
was left; (see note)
(see note)
lamenting; wet
to do their best
If; kindness
(see note)
(see note)
pitiless; (see note)
appropriate punishment
They would prefer; disaster
at liberty
(see note)
completely; rescinded; (see note)
must; bright
(see note)
(see note)
good looking
such; occasion chose
bearing and mood
cry out
without armor
(see note)
(see note)
habergeon (shirt of mail)
(see note)
reasonable and just
(see note)
absolutely; (see note)
Fastened together; (see note)
pierce; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
do not doubt it
waiting; (see note)
(see note)
you ill willed
in no way
person; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
Of one accord
continues; (see note)
as men may plainly see
result; long before it is gone
break out [into speech]
feel; (see note)
arrogance subdue
all done; (see note)
too heavy
bear down
send downwards; overthrow
bend down
desperate courage
settle by combat
settle by combat
bring to ruin
nor waver
liege lords
clear; (see note)
do away with
in no way; doubt
(see note)
(see note)
agreed on
(see note)
turn to
commit himself
(see note)
whatever may happen
quickly leapt
(see note)
settle by single combat
would not
(see note)
of a single knight
Entirely; kingship
(see note)
pass; (see note)
writing instrument
(see note)
because he had to part from
(see note)
trust; (see note)
draw away
Remember; wheel
(see note)
thought; pledged
(see note)
(see note)
torn up
ready to go mad
ease; soothe
hidden; lurk; (see note)
(see note)
preferred; die
(see note)
was nothing except; say; (see note)
(see note)
trickle; (see note)
flow; (see note)
wetted through; clothes; (see note)
her hair
Pulled out; shears
(see note)
Many times
made dull
(see note)
sad; toward
(see note)
swoon; lying
(see note)
(see note)
in custody
seemed; (see note)
pass away
talk wildly
(see note)
course; both their sorrows; (see note)
relate in detail
(see note)
Since; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
pride; (see note)
(see note)
round eyes
(see note)
helped; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
worldly; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
no better man is alive
course of events
gilded; tales
Unpolished; rough; days
make greater in importance
given; sung
meaning; (see note)
(see note)
reputation; lack
(see note)
(see note)
seen from the outside stuffed; (see note)
Concealed; appearance
Soonest; pledge their troth
mixed; streaks; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
market; long
windows; (see note)
offerings; (see note)
(see note)
feebleness of mind
knows; (see note)
wished; quarrel
let him have bad fortune
describe; (see note)
befall; (see note)
be duplicitous
(see note)
(see note)
scoundrels; slandered
failing in one
guided; rein
restrained from
(see note)
in due order
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
recounted point by point
before; (see note)
know; excuse
(see note)
(see note)
sick; (see note)
grow; (see note)
(see note)
state of uncertainty
come to him
uncertainty; trap
(see note)
cruel tests
(see note)
(see note)
take no heed whether; die
did not know
(see note)
the one
the other
was named
(see note)
do not know; name
term of life
astonished, winded and
woke up
(see note)
prepare; (see note)
steel burnished
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
deadly pale
Point by point
(see note)
Shown; foresight
(see note)
(see note)
in a faint
placed their divisions
gave them permission
make known their
(see note)
(see note)
grew; mad
To the detriment of
(see note)
(see note)
burst out
(see note)
at once
bend; (see note)
increase and grow afresh; (see note)
misfortune would be
would not
disfigured; pitiable
flat; prostrate; (see note)
unless; dead (a goner); (see note)
rode fast
dared; refuse
Although; unwilling; (see note)
halting; avoid
Although; split
mad; (see note)
prey; (see note)
tusks sharpened
By chance
(see note)
Had not
(see note)
(see note)
protective covering for lower face and neck; (see note)
drew near
many a one
harm; peril
wreaked such havoc
(see note)
(see note)
In the middle; foes
each side
(see note)
grow angry
thought immediately
despite; (see note)
hasten; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
brothers; illegitimate; (see note)
to grow cold
horse; brought
Unbeknownst to; glad
bees; (see note)
(see note)
intent; obstruct
The one was called
The other was called
pursue; chase
distress; Lord
by; taken
set upon
angry in his rage
(see note)
devise; (see note)
think; consider
might; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
stratagem; die
wed; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
thigh; (see note)
(see note)
set no value
If; repay
without warning to give; (see note)
(see note)
surcoat worn over armor
Embroidered; (see note)
face and neck covering
velvet adorned; mail
dress; heed
truly; belongs
pilfering; (see note)
(see note)
chain; knitted together
known; greed
despoiling; (see note)
then; (see note)
If; harm
unforeseen before; notice
(see note)
Except that
leave; mortally
rise again
the sun
(see note)
(see note)
Parnassus; Helicon
brought into harmony
is not fitting for them
(see note)
person; lamenting
sad companion; appropriate; (see note)
face; sadness
Danaids; bucket; (see note)
desperate courage
(see note)
so crazed
hair torn out; their
deadly; (see note)
clasp their hands
security; (see note)
(see note)
plainly; did not care
boars; (see note)
if; (see note)
throes; (see note)
(see note)
Except; are inclined; truly
dissolve into tears; (see note)
Unless art overcomes
(see note)
(see note)
most skillful
wishes ingeniously; (see note)
long ago
(see note)
temple; (see note)
by; altar
Bent; roof; (see note)
knobs carved
Driven away
Made of
Extending upwards; low; (see note)
(see note)
consideration; (see note)
living appearance
extended in a straight line
nerve; sinew
hidden tubes
(see note)
alive; not at all
have effect
Comparable; similar
(see note)
power of sensation
similarly; (see note)
plant resins
vial; balm; mixed
be diluted
grow stronger
(see note)
(see note)
railing; ebony
live coal
(see note)
Pliny; (see note)
(see note)
time passed
(see note)
might wish
gave houses
stylus; move along

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