Amis and Amiloun

AMIS AND AMILOUN: FOOTNOTES

1 You shall be arrested according to the laws of the land

AMIS AND AMILOUN: NOTES

I have used the following abbreviations in these textual and explanatory notes: A: Auchinleck Manuscript; D: Bodleian Manuscript; E: Egerton Manuscript, H: Harley Manuscript; HS: Lillian Herlands Hornstein in J. Burke Severs, A Manual of the Writings in Middle English; K: Eugen Kölbing, ed., Amis and Amiloun; L: MacEdward Leach, ed., Amis and Amiloun; MED: Middle English Dictionary; W: Henry Weber, ed., Metrical Romances.

I have based my text on A except that the beginning (lines 1-52) and the end (lines 2441-2508) are lost. Following W and L, I have supplied these lines from E. A has incomplete or damaged versions of lines 53-96, but I have used E for these lines for the sake of ease of reading, unless the fragmentary A version is overwhelmingly persuasive. For a full discussion of the manuscripts see L, who lists all variant readings in all manuscripts. Although L is the definitive critical edition, I have adopted his emendations, suggested in footnotes, only when there would be confusion in reading the text if I did not. I have expanded contractions and corrected obvious scribal errors without comment.

2 hend(e) has a variety of meanings: gracious, courteous, lovely, nearby, skillful, and others. It is probably just a polite form of address here.

5 of. Omitted in E, it appears in D and H and is adopted by L.

9 toun and tour. One of a number of common formulas in the poem like wele and wo, bryght in bour, lef ne lothe, proude in pride, for soth without lesying, and worthy in wede. See Ford, “New Conception of Poetic Formulae,” for more information on formulaic structures throughout this text.

13 gan: "began to" or "did" as an auxiliary is common throughout the poem. Similarly, lete is often used as an auxiliary meaning "cause to do."

14 unkouth . . . of kynd. I have glossed this line "unaffected by their lineage," i.e., "not proud or haughty." L prefers Rickert's "they were not kin," though he does so without conviction and also mentions (without citation) Weston: "their kinsmen knew them not," and Kölbing: "extraordinary they were in character" or "what unknown ancestry they were" (p. 113).

20 trouth plyght. The pledging of such an oath of loyalty was a serious matter and probably implied exclusivity in the deepest bond of friendship (cf. lines 361–72). The phrase is often used of marriage or betrothal vows (MED). See Ford, “Merry Married Brothers,” for more information on this vow and the paired cups (lines 255–52).

25 Here and elsewhere L cites relations of the English text to French versions.

30 worthy were in wede. Variations on this formula are common in this poem.

58 E: twel yere olde; A: twelve winter old. The use of "winter" better suits the poem's overall tendency to use alliteration.

59 E: were noon so bold; A: was ther non hold. Although E is grammatically correct, A seems to provide a smoother progression for the sentence as a whole.

61 E: y; A: ich. I have left E's reading for purposes of consistency within this section. Later, when A becomes the base, I use A's more common form: ich.

64 E omits sende and finishes the line his honde; A: sende his sonde. A makes such good sense that I have followed L in substituting A for E.

65 fre and bond. This formula depends on the distinction between freemen (and nobles) who held their land in permanent tenure as opposed to bondmen who held land under some form of feudal obligation. Erles, Barouns are capitalized in the manuscript, though not consistently elsewhere (e.g., line 86).

73 E: of; L follows H: and, which seems to make more sense. A is missing this segment of the line.

73-74 A has only the second halves of these lines and has them in reverse order. Like L, I see no reason to disturb E, which is being used as the base for this section of the poem.

76 E: comyn; A: samned. I have used A because it is more precise, "gathered," and does no violence to the rest of the E line.

79 A: aplyght; E: pyght. Although A is arguable, I, like L, use pyght, "adorned," because it makes better sense in this physical description.

91–96 Ford argues in “Contrasting the Identical” that, despite their apparent similarities, Amiloun is portrayed as the more masculine and Amis as the more feminine throughout the tale.

97 A becomes the base text at this line.

101 A repeats line 98; I have followed L in using E.

120 proude in pride. This formula occurs frequently and can be variously rendered as "proud in their pride," "proud in honor," or "in their pride."

188 botelere. Although the word can refer simply to a chief servant in charge of dispensing food and drink, the office granted Amis is more likely "A nobleman of the royal court having various duties, including that of supervising the king's buttery and that of acting as royal cupbearer on ceremonial occasions" (MED).

189 A repeats line 186; I have followed L in using the E, H reading.

191 chef steward in halle. L quite rightly rejects K's association of halle with the place of appointment and instead considers "steward in halle" as a special office which involved overall management of the affairs of the castle and was ordinarily held by a noble.

231 God me spede. Here and in line 300 this phrase seems to have the sense of the modern vernacular "God help me."

244 goldsmithe. A: goldsmitþe. A scribal efficiency, whereby the þ is made by a loop following t that leads in a single stroke to e.

280 herkneth. L reads hekeneþ here and in lines 517 and 1189.

296 A: faily; I have preferred E: faile.

314 A: Amis; E, D, H: Amylioun. Amis is clearly the wrong character; L follows E, D, H. I have emended to "Amiloun," the more common spelling in A.

334 bright in bour: literally "beautiful in bower," a common formula in this poem.

350 Stewards in medieval literature were notorious for treachery. See the false stewards in Havelok, Gower's Confessio Amantis II:2496-2781, and the treacherous stewardship of Mordred in the Alliterative Morte Arthure. It is no wonder that Orfeo in Sir Orfeo takes precautions upon his return to see that his steward has been faithful.

361 These lines echo Amiloun's parting words (lines 308 ff.).

365 to the. Only found in A. Omitted in the other MSS. L deletes.

389 Strictly speaking, Amis is not a traitor since he has not broken an oath to the steward.

395 slo. Literally a sloeberry; since "not giving a sloe" is no longer idiomatic, I have glossed the line: "don't give a fig."

398 wrethe. A: wretþe. Also in lines 404, 718, 830, 1092, 1213, 1322, and 1785. A scribal efficiency. Similarly wrethi in line 606 is spelled wretþi in A. See note to line 244.

438 halle. L emends to hale, on the witness of E, thus improving the eye-rhyme with tale and sale.

448 mirie. L: miri.

478 A adds with him after might, an eye-skip from the following line.

487 com. L reads as come here and in lines 1549 and 2153. A, W, and K read com.

505 The episode that begins here contains both the familiar "love temptation" in a garden and the conventional "love-longing" of the courtly love tradition.

550-51 The sense of these lines, a bit confusing because of Middle English use of negatives, is that she would for no one hesitate to make her way to him.

617 A canon was an ordained clergyman who was not under monastic rule, usually attached to a cathedral or church (MED).

645 drawe. Amis fears that, if he succumbs and the duke finds out, he will be executed and "drawe," dragged behind horses - neither a cruel nor unusual punishment for such a breach of fidelity and chastity.

686 des (dais): "The place occupied by a king, councillors, judges, etc." (MED).

721-23 In medieval romance, a preferred time for sexual intrigue is often when the lord is away hunting. See the Stanzaic Morte Arthur and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

726 Sche went, as sche wele kan. In a note L prefers some version of E, D, H: Wel right the way sche nam. Kan is, however, a legitimate past form of connen: "to have the ability to do something" (MED).

758 Seyn Tomas of Ynde. In John 21:25 ff., doubting Thomas placed his hand in the wound in Christ’s side, thus proving His resurrected corporeality. According to saints’ lore, Thomas proselytized in India, was martyred and buried. Stories about him abound. In one legend he opens Mary’s tomb to see if she is still there. When he finds her body gone, he looks up and beholds it ascending. She drops him her girdle (a sign of chastity), thereby affirming the Assumption. Mandeville claims to have visited Thomas’ tomb in India (Travels, ch. 20) where the Apostle’s hand is kept in a separate vessel and used to make just assessments of hard cases: the hand casts aside false claims and clings to the just. It is fitting that the maiden Belisaunt calls upon Thomas as she chastises Amis for his doubts about her love: Whi seystow ever nay? (line 759).

768 L supplies she. The word is needed, but I have followed E, H: sche.

771 hem for to here. I have followed E by inserting Their consail at the beginning of the line.

785 It was common in romances to swear by saints, though here St. John the Apostle is especially popular. See lines 832, 956, 1918, 2161. Ford argues that the saints’ lives invoked throughout this text are simply variations on a formula used to fit different rhyme, meter, and alliterative needs, but have no special meanings (“New Conception of Poetic Formulae,” pp. 218–24).

796 St. James the Greater, whose body is said to be buried at Compostela, Spain, which consequently became a major pilgrimage site. There does not, however, seem to be any special significance here for Saint James, just as there does not seem to be elsewhere for St. Thomas of Inde (line 758), St. Giles (lines 952, 1126), St. Denis of France (line 1567), or St. Martin (line 2014).

835-40 The sense is that, if anyone has lied about him and the duke's daughter, he (Amis) will challenge the lie by combat.

849 Ataint implies conviction of a serious crime subject to the death penalty or loss of civil or property rights (Oxford English Dictionary).

860 An ambiguous line. L observes that Rickert believes the daughter is speaking in this line and translates "among" as "before" but that H "rather confirms the reading: and her mother swore continually (ever among)."

872 In medieval law a "borwe" was someone who offered himself as a surety or guarantee for someone else's appearance at court. If the charge was a capital offense, the guarantor might forfeit his life (MED). Thus, threats are made later to burn the "borwes." Note also the difficulty Guinevere has in getting guarantors when she is accused of killing the Scottish knight in the Stanzaic Morte Arthur (lines 1328 ff.).

939 A: wrorth; E: wroth (accepted by L and me).

950 A: no nother, but I emended to non other, an obvious false juncture.

952 Seyn Gile. A hermit saint who founded the monastery in Provence bearing his name. The place became an important pilgrimage center on the routes to Compostela and the Holy Land. There were several English festivals honoring him as well. His patronage was thought to be beneficial to travelers, cripples, lepers, and mothers in childbearing. Amis calls upon Saint Gile as he sets out to help Amiloun, little aware of the multiple role that the saint could play in his life as he becomes crippled with leprosy that may be cured only with a baby's blood.

984 Waileway. An interjection of lament, a "woe is me" or "woe the day" sentiment.

988 L explains that knights wore long coats that had to be tucked up for walking or riding (p. 123).

1054 L supplies a for a letter in A that looks like r.

1077 sorn. K defines as "scorn"; L prefers "mockery" from French sorne. I prefer MED: "grief, sorrow, distress, trouble, harm." MED cites Guy of Warwick as well as Amis and Amiloun. The word also appears in line 2141.

1109-10 Judas sold (betrayed) Christ for "thirty pieces of silver." Christ died "on Rode" (on the Cross), thereby redeeming mankind from Adam and Eve's sin. Similar references are common in this and other medieval poems.

1164 The sword lying between a man and a woman, as a sign of chastity, is common, as in various tales of Tristan and Isolde. See L, p. lxiii.

1176 A: wardles; E: worldes. I read warldes, which appears elsewhere in the poem and is a simple transposition of d and l in A.

1217 The tonne (barrel) was apparently meant to conceal their nakedness — an odd delicacy of feeling under the circumstances.

1252 And sayd. A: say. K emends to And sayd, followed by L and me. W reads Stay.

1253 passioun: Christ's passion is comprised of His last sufferings and culminates in the Crucifixion.

1290 Each participant in the combat had to swear an oath as to the truth of his cause; the winner was vindicated.

1339 That. A: The. K's emendation, followed by L and me. W follows A.

1456 unkende: possibly "unnatural" or "untaught" (L); more likely here "different from her kind (family)."

1508 sesed: "put in legal or formal possession (of a kingdom, land, feudal estate, goods, etc.)" (MED).

1511 Of course, Belisent (Belisaunt) is not, strictly speaking, a maiden at this point.

1540–45 Here Amiloun is being punished for pretending to be Amis in the "ordeal." Leprosy was often seen in medieval literature as a punishment by God and frequently used as a metaphor for moral corruption. See Saul N. Brody, The Disease of the Soul: Leprosy in Medieval Literature (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974).

1546 In gest to rede. The "geste," which is the narrator's source, is probably one of the Anglo-Norman versions of the tale or an English redaction of an Anglo-Norman source. The story was ubiquitous in both romance and hagiographic versions. See L, pp. ix-cii. The narrator frequently refers to his "gest" or "book" or "romance," but no specific identification of the source has been made.

1567 Saint Denis (also known as Dionysius) is popularly known as the patron saint of France, and legend has it that he carried his severed head to the location where his abbey church was to be built.

1568 A: Te; I have followed L in preferring E, D: The.

1653 The five wounds of Christ were from the nails in his hands and feet and the spear in his side.

1678 A: wrorn; I follow L in preferring E, D: sworn.

1711 messais, meaning "suffering from starvation," "hungry," "needy," "wretched," "feeble," "miserable," etc. See MED misese and its variant spellings. L and K read messaner without conjecture as to the meaning.

1769 A: mensenger. Like L, I have followed E, D: messanger.

1771 praieste: probably a Northern form of praieth the (L). The sense of the lines 1769-73 is "He sent me as a messanger because he cannot walk and begs you to send him enough of his goods to buy an ass to ride on."

1816 hem. L: him.

1864 cité toun. A town became a city if it had a cathedral.

2008 gold. A: glod. Emended by all.

2014 Saint Martin, known as Martin of Tours, was a soldier who refused to kill Christians. The popular story about St. Martin is that he split his cloak with a naked beggar. This is significant because Amis is, at the time of this oath, instructing his servant to do an act of charity for the begging leper, Amiloun.

2113-24 This stanza is omitted in A. These lines correspond to D lines 2012-24.

2136 that. Reduplicated in A.

2206 A: childer; like L, I have followed E, D: brother.

2209-20 This stanza is omitted in E, D.

2226 care. A reads wo, which is crossed out, and care is added in the margin in another hand.

2242 A: min; like L, I have followed E, D: thin.

2293 hadde. A: hadde hadde with the second hadde deleted.

2397 The rest of the text is from E, following L and the advice of HS.

2399 Tomorow as in E. L reads Tomorrow.

2405 A has this variant spelling of Amiloun here and in lines 2407 and 2425. E has it in 2461, 2485. E has Amylyon at 2476.

2424 E: agoo; like L, I have followed D: away, which maintains the rhyme.

2442 steede. L reads steed.

2472-74 Omitted in E; I have followed L in using D.






















 
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Amis and Amiloun

   
   
   
   
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1465   
   
   
   
   
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1480   
   
   
   
   
1485   
   
   
   
   
   
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1500   
   
   
   
   
   
1505   
   
   
   
   
1510   
   
   
   
   
   
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1985   
   
   
   
   
1990   
   
   
   
   
   
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For Goddes love in Trinyté
Al that ben hend herkenith to me,
I pray yow, par amoure,
What sumtyme fel beyond the see
Of two Barons of grete bounté
And men of grete honoure;
Her faders were barons hende,
Lordinges com of grete kynde
And pris men in toun and toure;
To here of these children two
How they were in wele and woo,
Ywys, it is grete doloure.
 
   In weele and woo how they gan wynd
And how unkouth they were of kynd,
The children bold of chere,
And how they were good and hend
And how yong thei becom frend
In cort there they were,
And how they were made knyght
And how they were trouth plyght,
The children both in fere,
And in what lond thei were born
And what the childres name worn,
Herkeneth and ye mow here.
 
   In Lumbardy, y understond,
Whilom bifel in that lond,
In romance as we reede,
Two barouns hend wonyd in lond
And had two ladyes free to fond,
That worthy were in wede;
Of her hend ladyes two
Twoo knave childre gat they thoo
That douhty were of dede,
And trew weren in al thing,
And therfore Jhesu, hevynking,
Ful wel quyted her mede.
 
   The childrenis names, as y yow hyght,
In ryme y wol rekene ryght
And tel in my talkyng;
Both they were getyn in oo nyght
And on oo day born aplyght,
For soth, without lesyng;
That oon baroun son, ywys
Was ycleped childe Amys
At his cristenyng;
That other was clepyd Amylyoun,
That was a childe of grete renoun
And com of hyghe ofspryng.
 
   The children gon then thryve,
Fairer were never noon on lyve,
Curtaise, hende, and good;
When they were of yeres fyve,
Alle her kyn was of hem blyth,
So mylde they were of mood;
When they were sevyn yere olde,
Grete joy every man of hem tolde
To beholde that frely foode;
When they were twel winter olde,
In al the londe was ther non hold
So faire of boon and blood.
 
   In that tyme, y understond,
A duk wonyd in that lond,
Prys in toun and toure;
Frely he let sende his sonde,
After Erles, Barouns, fre and bond,
And ladies bryght in boure;
A ryche fest he wolde make
Al for Jhesu Cristes sake
That is oure savyoure;
Muche folk, as y yow saye,
He lete after sende that daye
With myrth and grete honoure.
 
   Thoo Barouns twoo, that y of tolde,
And her sones feire and bolde
To court they com ful yare.
When they were samned, yong and olde,
Mony men gan hem byholde
Of lordynges that there were,
Of body how wel they were pyght,
And how feire they were of syght,
Of hyde and hew and here;
And al they seide without lesse
Fairer children than they wesse
Ne sey they never yere.
 
   In al the court was ther no wyght,
Erl, baroun, squyer, ne knyght,
Neither lef ne loothe,
So lyche they were both of syght
And of waxing, y yow plyght,
I tel yow for soothe,
In al thing they were so lyche
Ther was neither pore ne ryche,
Who so beheld hem both,
Fader ne moder that couth say
Ne knew the hend children tway
But by the coloure of her cloth.
 
   That riche douke his fest gan hold
With erles and with barouns bold,
As ye may listen and lithe,
Fourtennight, as me was told,
With meet and drynke, meryst on mold
To glad the bernes blithe;
Ther was mirthe and melodye
And al maner of menstracie
Her craftes for to kithe;
Opon the fiftenday ful yare
Thai token her leve forto fare
And thonked him mani a sithe.
 
   Than the lordinges schuld forth wende,
That riche douke comly of kende
Cleped to him that tide
Tho tuay barouns, that were so hende,
And prayd hem also his frende
In court thai schuld abide,
And lete her tuay sones fre
In his servise with him to be,
Semly to fare bi his side;
And he wald dubbe hem knightes to
And susten hem for ever mo,
As lordinges proude in pride.
 
   The riche barouns answerd ogain,
And her levedis gan to sain
To that douke ful yare
That thai were bothe glad and fain
That her levely children tuain
In servise with him ware.
Thai gave her childer her blisceing
And bisought Jhesu, heven king,
He schuld scheld hem fro care,
And oft thai thonked the douke that day
And token her leve and went oway
To her owen contres thai gun fare.
 
   Thus war tho hende childer, ywis,
Child Amiloun and child Amis,
In court frely to fede,
To ride an hunting under riis;
Over al the lond than were thai priis
And worthliest in wede.
So wele tho children loved hem tho,
Nas never children loved hem so,
Noither in word no in dede;
Bituix hem tuai, of blod and bon,
Trewer love nas never non,
In gest as so we rede.
 
   On a day the childer, war and wight,
Trewethes togider thai gun plight,
While thai might live and stond
That bothe bi day and bi night,
In wele and wo, in wrong and right,
That thai schuld frely fond
To hold togider at everi nede,
In word, in werk, in wille, in dede,
Where that thai were in lond,
Fro that day forward never mo
Failen other for wele no wo:
Therto thai held up her hond.
 
   Thus in gest as ye may here,
Tho hende childer in cuntré were
With that douke for to abide;
The douke was blithe and glad of chere,
Thai were him bothe leve and dere,
Semly to fare bi his side.
Tho thai were fiften winter old,
He dubbed bothe tho bernes bold
To knightes in that tide,
And fond hem al that hem was nede,
Hors and wepen and worthly wede,
As princes prout in pride.
 
That riche douke, he loved hem so,
Al that thai wald he fond hem tho,
Bothe stedes white and broun,
That in what stede thai gun go,
Alle the lond spac of hem tho,
Bothe in tour and toun;
In to what stede that thai went,
To justes other to turnament,
Sir Amis and Sir Amiloun,
For douhtiest in everi dede,
With scheld and spere to ride on stede,
Thai gat hem gret renoun.
 
   That riche douke hadde of hem pris,
For that thai were so war and wiis
And holden of gret bounté.
Sir Amiloun and Sir Amis,
He sett hem bothe in gret office,
In his court for to be;
Sir Amis, as ye may here,
He made his chef botelere,
For he was hend and fre,
And Sir Amiloun of hem alle
He made chef steward in halle,
To dight al his meine.
 
   In to her servise when thai were brought,
To geten hem los tham spared nought,
Wel hendeliche thai bigan;
With riche and pover so wele thai wrought,
Al that hem seighe, with word and thought,
Hem loved mani a man;
For thai were so blithe of chere,
Over al the lond fer and nere
The los of love thai wan,
And the riche douke, withouten les,
Of all the men that olive wes
Mest he loved hem than.
 
   Than hadde the douke, ich understond,
A chef steward of alle his lond,
A douhti knight at crie,
That ever he proved with nithe and ond
For to have brought hem bothe to schond
With gile and trecherie.
For thai were so gode and hende,
And for the douke was so wele her frende,
He hadde therof gret envie;
To the douke with wordes grame
Ever he proved to don hem schame
   With wel gret felonie.
 
So within tho yeres to
A messanger ther com tho
To Sir Amiloun, hende on hond,
And seyd hou deth hadde fet him fro
His fader and his moder also
Thurch the grace of Godes sond.
Than was that knight a careful man,
To that douke he went him than
And dede him to understond
His fader and his moder hende
War ded, and he most hom wende,
For to resaive his lond.
 
   That riche douke, comly of kende,
Answerd ogain with wordes hende
And seyd, "So God me spede,
Sir Amiloun, now thou schalt wende
Me nas never so wo for frende
That of mi court out yede.
Ac yif ever it befalle so
That thou art in wer and wo
And of min help hast nede,
Saveliche com or send thi sond,
And with al mi powere of mi lond
Y schal wreke the of that dede."
 
   Than was Sir Amiloun ferli wo
For to wende Sir Amis fro,
On him was al his thought.
To a goldsmithe he gan go
And lete make gold coupes to,
For thre hundred pounde he hem bought,
That bothe were of o wight,
And bothe of o michel, yplight;
Ful richeliche thai were wrought,
And bothe thai weren as liche, ywis,
As was Sir Amiloun and Sir Amis,
Ther no failed right nought.
 
   When that Sir Amiloun was al yare,
He tok his leve for to fare,
To wende in his jorné.
Sir Amis was so ful of care,
For sorwe and wo and sikeing sare,
Almest swoned that fre.
To the douke he went with dreri mode
And praid him fair, ther he stode,
And seyd, "Sir, par charité,
Yif me leve to wend the fro,
Bot yif y may with mi brother go,
Mine hert, it breketh of thre!"
 
   That riche douke, comly of kende,
Answerd ogain with wordes hende
And seyd withouten delay,
"Sir Amis, mi gode frende,
Wold ye bothe now fro me wende?"
"Certes," he seyd, "nay!
Were ye bothe went me fro,
Than schuld me waken al mi wo,
Mi joie were went oway.
Thi brother schal in to his cuntré;
Wende with him in his jurné
And com ogain this day!"
 
   When thai were redi forto ride,
Tho bold bernes for to abide
Busked hem redy boun.
Hende, herkneth! Is nought to hide,
So douhti knightes, in that tide
That ferd out of that toun,
Al that day as thai rade
Gret morning bothe thai made,
Sir Amis and Amiloun,
And when thai schuld wende otuain,
Wel fair togider opon a plain
Of hors thai light adoun.
 
   When thai were bothe afot light,
Sir Amiloun, that hendi knight,
Was rightwise man of rede
And seyd to Sir Amis ful right,
"Brother, as we er trewthe plight
Bothe with word and dede,
Fro this day forward never mo
To faile other for wele no wo,
To help him at his nede,
Brother, be now trewe to me,
And y schal ben as trewe to the,
Also God me spede!
 
   Ac brother, ich warn the biforn,
For His love that bar the croun of thorn
To save al mankende,
Be nought ogain thi lord forsworn,
And yif thou dost, thou art forlorn
Ever more withouten ende.
Bot ever do trewthe and no tresoun
And thenk on me, Sir Amiloun,
Now we asondri schal wende.
And, brother, yete y the forbede
The fals steward felawerede;
Certes, he wil the schende!"
 
   As thai stode so, tho bretheren bold,
Sir Amiloun drought forth tuay coupes of gold,
Ware liche in al thing,
And bad sir Amis that he schold
Chese whether he have wold,
Withouten more duelling,
And seyd to him, "Mi leve brother,
Kepe thou that on and y that other,
For Godes love, heven king;
Lete never this coupe fro the,
Bot loke heron and thenk on me,
It tokneth our parting."
 
   Gret sorwe thai made at her parting
And kisten hem with eighen wepeing,
Tho knightes hende and fre.
Aither bitaught other heven king,
And on her stedes thai gun spring
And went in her jurné.
Sir Amiloun went hom to his lond
And sesed it al in to his hond,
That his elders hadde be,
And spoused a levedy bright in bour
And brought hir hom with gret honour
And miche solempneté.
 
   Lete we Sir Amiloun stille be
With his wiif in his cuntré -
God leve hem wele to fare -
And of Sir Amis telle we;
When he com hom to court oye,
Ful blithe of him thai ware;
For that he was so hende and gode,
Men blisced him, bothe bon and blod,
That ever him gat and bare,
Save the steward of that lond;
Ever he proved with nithe and ond
To bring him into care.
 
   Than on a day bifel it so
With the steward he met tho,
Ful fair he gret that fre.
"Sir Amis," he seyd, "the is ful wo
For that thi brother is went the fro,
And, certes, so is me.
Ac of his wendeing have thou no care,
Yif thou wilt leve opon mi lare,
And lete thi morning be,
And thou wil be to me kende,
Y schal the be a better frende
Than ever yete was he.
 
   "Sir Amis," he seyd, "do bi mi red,
And swere ous bothe brotherhed
And plight we our trewthes to;
Be trewe to me in word and dede,
And y schal to the, so God me spede,
Be trewe to the also."
Sir Amis answerd, "Mi treuthe y plight
To Sir Amiloun, the gentil knight,
Thei he be went me fro.
Whiles that y may gon and speke,
Y no schal never mi treuthe breke,
Noither for wele no wo.
 
   For bi the treuthe that God me sende,
Ichave him founde so gode and kende,
Seththen that y first him knewe,
For ones y plight him treuthe, that hende,
Where so he in warld wende,
Y schal be to him trewe;
And yif y were now forsworn
And breke mi treuthe, y were forlorn,
Wel sore it schuld me rewe.
Gete me frendes whare y may,
Y no schal never bi night no day
Chaunge him for no newe."
 
   The steward than was egre of mode,
Almest for wrethe he wex ner wode
And seyd, withouten delay,
And swore bi Him that dyed on Rode:
"Thou traitour, unkinde blod,
Thou schalt abigge this nay.
Y warn the wele," he seyd than,
"That y schal be thi strong foman
Ever after this day!"
Sir Amis answerd tho,
"Sir, therof give y nought a slo;
Do al that thou may!"
 
   Al thus the wrake gan biginne,
And with wrethe thai went atuinne,
Tho bold bernes to.
The steward nold never blinne
To schende that douhti knight of kinne,
Ever he proved tho.
Thus in court togider thai were
With wrethe and with loureand chere
Wele half a yere and mo,
And afterward opon a while
The steward with tresoun and gile
Wrought him ful michel wo.
 
   So in a time, as we tel in gest,
The riche douke lete make a fest
Semly in somers tide;
Ther was mani a gentil gest
With mete and drink ful onest
To servi by ich a side.
Miche semly folk was samned thare,
Erls, barouns, lasse and mare,
And levedis proude in pride.
More joie no might be non
Than ther was in that worthly won,
With blisse in borwe to bide.
 
   That riche douke, that y of told,
He hadde a douhter fair and bold,
Curteise, hende and fre.
When sche was fiften winter old,
In al that lond nas ther non yhold
So semly on to se,
For sche was gentil and avenaunt,
Hir name was cleped Belisaunt,
As ye may lithe at me.
With levedis and maidens bright in bour
Kept sche was with honour
And gret solempnité.
 
   That fest lasted fourten night
Of barouns and of birddes bright
And lordinges mani and fale.
Ther was mani a gentil knight
And mani a serjaunt, wise and wight,
To serve tho hende in halle.
Than was the boteler, Sir Amis,
Over al yholden flour and priis,
Trewely to telle in tale,
And douhtiest in everi dede
And worthliest in ich a wede
And semliest in sale.
 
   Than the lordinges schulden al gon
And wende out of that worthli won,
In boke as so we rede,
That mirie maide gan aske anon
Of her maidens everichon
And seyd, "So God you spede,
Who was hold the doughtiest knight
And semlyest in ich a sight
And worthliest in wede,
And who was the fairest man
That was yholden in lond than,
And doughtiest of dede?"
 
   Her maidens gan answere ogain
And seyd, "Madame, we schul the sain
That sothe bi Seyn Savour:
Of erls, barouns, knight and swain
The fairest man and mest of main
And man of mest honour,
It is Sir Amis, the kinges boteler;
In al this warld nis his per,
Noither in toun no tour;
He is douhtiest in dede
And worthliest in everi wede
And chosen for priis and flour."
 
   Belisaunt, that birdde bright,
When thai hadde thus seyd, yplight,
As ye may listen and lithe,
On Sir Amis, that gentil knight,
Ywis, hir love was al alight,
That no man might it kithe.
Wher that sche seighe him ride or go,
Hir thought hir hert brac atuo,
That hye no spac nought with that blithe;
For hye no might night no day
Speke with him, that fair may,
Sche wepe wel mani a sithe.
 
Thus that miri maiden ying
Lay in care and lovemorning
Bothe bi night and day;
As y you tel in mi talking,
For sorwe sche spac with him no thing,
Sike in bed sche lay.
Hir moder com to hir tho
And gan to frain hir of hir wo,
Help hir yif hye may;
And sche answerd withouten wrong,
Hir pines were so hard and strong,
Sche wald be loken in clay.
 
   That riche douke in o morning
And with him mani a gret lording,
As prince prout in pride,
Thai dight him withouten dueling,
For to wende on dere hunting,
And busked hem for to ride.
When the lordinges everichon
Were went out of that worthli won -
In herd is nought to hide -
Sir Amis, withouten les,
For a malady that on him wes,
At hom he gan to abide.
 
   When tho lordinges were out ywent
With her men hende and bowes bent,
To hunte on holtes hare,
Than Sir Amis, verrament,
He bileft at hom in present,
To kepe al that ther ware.
That hendi knight bithought him tho,
Into the gardin he wold go,
For to solas him thare.
Under a bough as he gan bide,
To here the foules song that tide,
Him thought a blisseful fare.
 
   Now, hende, herkneth, and ye may here
Hou that the doukes douhter dere
Sike in hir bed lay.
Hir moder com with diolful chere
And al the levedis that ther were,
For to solas that may:
"Arise up," sche seyd, "douhter min,
And go play the in to the gardin
This semly somers day;
Ther may thou here the foules song
With joie and miche blis among,
Thi care schal wende oway."
 
   Up hir ros that swete wight.
Into the gardine sche went ful right
With maidens hende and fre.
The somers day was fair and bright,
The sonne him schon thurch lem of light,
That semly was on to se.
Sche herd the foules gret and smale,
The swete note of the nightingale
Ful mirily sing on tre;
Ac hir hert was so hard ibrought,
On love-longing was al hir thought,
No might hir gamen no gle.
 
   And so that mirie may with pride
Went into the orchard that tide,
To slake hir of hir care.
Than seyghe sche Sir Amis biside,
Under a bough he gan abide,
To here tho mirthes mare.
Than was sche bothe glad and blithe,
Hir joie couthe sche noman kithe,
When that sche seighe him thare;
And thought sche wold for noman wond
That sche no wold to him fond
And tel him of hir fare.
 
   Than was that may so blithe o mode,
When sche seighe were he stode,
To him sche went, that swete,
And thought, for alle this warldes gode,
Bot yif hye spac that frely fode,
That time no wold sche lete.
And as tite as that gentil knight
Seighe that bird in bour so bright
Com with him for to mete,
Ogaines hir he gan wende,
With worde bothe fre and hende
Ful fair he gan hir grete.
 
That mirie maiden sone anon
Bad hir maidens fram hir gon
And withdrawe hem oway;
And when thai were togider alon,
To Sir Amis sche made hir mon
And seyd opon hir play,
"Sir knight, on the mine hert is brought,
The to love is al mi thought
Bothe bi night and day;
That bot thou wolt mi leman be,
Ywis, min hert breketh a thre,
No lenger libben y no may.
 
   "Thou art," sche seyd, "a gentil knight,
And icham a bird in bour bright,
Of wel heighe kin ycorn,
And bothe bi day and bi night
Mine hert so hard is on the light,
Mi joie is al forlorn;
Plight me thi trewthe thou schalt be trewe
And chaunge me for no newe
That in this world is born,
And y plight the mi treuthe also,
Til God and deth dele ous ato,
Y schal never be forsworn."
 
   That hende knight stille he stode
And al for thought chaunged his mode
And seyd with hert fre,
"Madame, for Him that dyed on Rode,
Astow art comen of gentil blode
And air of this lond schal be,
Bithenke the of thi michel honour;
Kinges sones and emperour
Nar non to gode to the;
Certes, than were it michel unright,
Thi love to lain opon a knight
That nath noither lond no fe.
 
   "And yif we schuld that game biginne,
And ani wight of al thi kinne
Might it undergo,
Al our joie and worldes winne
We schuld lese, and for that sinne
Wrethi God therto.
And y dede mi lord this deshonour,
Than were ich an ivel traitour;
Ywis, it may nought be so.
Leve madame, do bi mi red
And thenk what wil com of this dede:
Certes, no thing bot wo."
 
That mirie maiden of gret renoun
Answerd, "Sir knight, thou nast no croun;
For God that bought the dere,
Whether artow prest other persoun,
Other thou art monk other canoun,
That prechest me thus here?
Thou no schust have ben no knight,
To gon among maidens bright,
Thou schust have ben a frere!
He that lerd the thus to preche,
The devel of helle ichim biteche,
Mi brother thei he were!
 
   "Ac," sche seyd, "bi Him that ous wrought,
Al thi precheing helpeth nought,
No stond thou never so long.
Bot yif thou wilt graunt me mi thought,
Mi love schal be ful dere abought
With pines hard and strong;
Mi kerchef and mi clothes anon
Y schal torende doun ichon
And say with michel wrong,
With strengthe thou hast me todrawe;
Ytake thou schalt be londes lawe 1
And dempt heighe to hong!"
 
   Than stode that hendy knight ful stille,
And in his hert him liked ille,
No word no spac he tho;
He thought, "Bot y graunt hir wille,
With hir speche sche wil me spille,
Er than y passe hir fro;
And yif y do mi lord this wrong,
With wilde hors and with strong
Y schal be drawe also."
Loth him was that dede to don,
And wele lother his liif forgon;
Was him never so wo.
 
And than he thought, withouten lesing,
Better were to graunt hir asking
Than his liif for to spille.
Than seyd he to that maiden ying,
"For Godes love, heven king,
Understond to mi skille.
Astow art maiden gode and trewe
Bithenk hou oft rape wil rewe
And turn to grame wel grille,
And abide we al this sevennight,
As icham trewe gentil knight,
Y schal graunt the thi wille."
 
   Than answerd that bird bright
And swore, "Bi Jhesu, ful of might,
Thou scapest nought so oway.
Thi treuthe anon thou schalt me plight,
Astow art trewe gentil knight,
Thou schalt hold that day."
He graunted hir hir wil tho,
And plight hem trewthes bothe to,
And seththen kist tho tuai.
Into hir chaumber sche went ogain,
Than was sche so glad and fain,
Hir joie sche couthe no man sai.
 
   Sir Amis than withouten duelling,
For to kepe his lordes coming,
Into halle he went anon.
When thai were comen fram dere hunting
And with him mani an heighe lording
Into that worthly won,
After his douhter he asked swithe;
Men seyd that sche was glad and blithe,
Hir care was al agon.
To eten in halle thai brought that may,
Ful blithe and glad thai were that day
And thonked God ichon.
 
   When the lordinges, withouten les,
Hendelich were brought on des
With levedis bright and swete,
As princes that were proude in pres,
Ful richeliche served he wes
With menske and mirthe to mete.
When that maiden that y of told,
Among the birdes that were bold,
Ther sche sat in her sete,
On Sir Amis, that gentil knight,
An hundred time sche cast hir sight,
For no thing wald sche lete.
 
   On Sir Amis, that knight hendy,
Ever more sche cast hir eyghe,
For no thing wold sche spare.
The steward ful of felonie,
Wel fast he gan hem aspie,
Til he wist of her fare,
And bi her sight he parceived tho
That gret love was bituix hem to,
And was agreved ful sare,
And thought he schuld in a while
Bothe with tresoun and with gile
Bring hem into care.
 
   Thus, ywis, that miri may
Ete in halle with gamen and play
Wele four days other five,
That ever when sche Sir Amis say,
Al hir care was went oway,
Wele was hir o live.
Wher that he sat or stode,
Sche biheld opon that frely fode,
No stint sche for no strive;
And the steward for wrethe sake
Brought hem bothe in ten and wrake.
Wel ivel mot he thrive.
 
   That riche douke opon a day
On dere hunting went him to play,
And with him wel mani a man;
And Belisaunt, that miri may,
To chaumber ther Sir Amis lay,
Sche went, as sche wele kan;
And the steward, withouten les,
In a chaumber bisiden he wes
And seighe the maiden than
Into chaumber hou sche gan glide;
For to aspie hem bothe that tide,
After swithe he ran.
 
   When that may com into that won,
Sche fond Sir Amis ther alon,
"Hail," sche seyd, that levedi bright,
"Sir Amis," sche sayd anon,
"This day a sevennight it is gon,
That trewthe we ous plight.
Therfore icham comen to the,
To wite, astow art hende and fre
And holden a gentil knight,
Whether wiltow me forsake
Or thou wilt trewely to me take
And hold as thou bihight?"
 
   "Madame," seyd the knight ogain,
"Y wold the spouse now ful fain
And hold the to mi wive;
Ac yif thi fader herd it sain
That ich hadde his douhter forlain,
Of lond he wald me drive.
Ac yif ich were king of this lond
And hadde more gode in min hond
Than other kinges five,
Wel fain y wald spouse the than;
Ac, certes, icham a pover man,
Wel wo is me o live!"
 
   "Sir knight," seyd that maiden kinde,
"For love of Seyn Tomas of Ynde,
Whi seystow ever nay?
No be thou never so pover of kinde,
Riches anough y may the finde
Bothe bi night and day."
That hende knight bithought him than
And in his armes he hir nam
And kist that miri may;
And so thai plaid in word and dede,
That he wan hir maidenhede,
Er that sche went oway.
 
   And ever that steward gan abide
Alon under that chaumber side,
Their consail hem for to here.
In at an hole, was nought to wide,
He seighe hem bothe in that tide
Hou thai seten yfere.
And when he seyghe hem bothe with sight,
Sir Amis and that bird bright,
The doukes douhter dere,
Ful wroth he was and egre of mode,
And went oway, as he were wode,
Her conseil to unskere.
 
   When the douke come in to that won
The steward ogain him gan gon,
Her conseyl forto unwrain,
"Mi lord, the douke," he seyd anon,
"Of thine harm, bi Seyn Jon,
Ichil the warn ful fain;
In thi court thou hast a thef,
That hath don min hert gref,
Schame it is to sain,
For, certes, he is a traitour strong,
When he with tresoun and with wrong
Thi douhter hath forlain!"
 
   The riche douke gan sore agrame:
"Who hath," he seyd, "don me that schame?
Tel me, y the pray!"
"Sir," seyd the steward, "bi Seyn Jame,
Ful wele y can the tel his name,
Thou do him hong this day;
It is thi boteler, Sir Amis,
Ever he hath ben traitour, ywis
He hath forlain that may.
Y seighe it me self, for sothe,
And wil aprove biforn hem bothe,
That thai can nought say nay!"
 
   Than was the douke egre of mode,
He ran to halle, as he were wode,
For no thing he nold abide.
With a fauchoun scharp and gode
He smot to Sir Amis ther he stode,
And failed of him biside.
Into a chaumber Sir Amis ran tho
And schet the dore bituen hem to
For drede his heved to hide.
The douke strok after swiche a dent
That thurch the dore that fauchon went,
So egre he was that tide.
 
   Al that ever about him stode,
Bisought the douke to slake his mode,
Bothe erl, baroun, and swain;
And he swore bi Him that dyed on Rode
He nold for al this worldes gode
Bot that traitour were slain.
"Ich have him don gret honour,
And he hath as a vile traitour
Mi douhter forlain;
Y nold for al this worldes won
Bot y might the traitour slon
With min hondes tuain."
 
   "Sir," seyd Sir Amis anon,
"Lete thi wrethe first overgon,
Y pray the, par charité!
And yif thou may prove, bi Sein Jon,
That ichave swiche a dede don,
Do me to hong on tre!
Ac yif ani with gret wrong
Hath lowe on ous that lesing strong,
What bern that he be,
He leighth on ous, withouten fail,
Ichil aprove it in bataile,
To make ous quite and fre."
 
   "Ya," seyd the douke, "wiltow so,
Darstow into bataile go,
Al quite and skere you make?"
"Ya, certes, sir!" he seyd tho,
"And here mi glove y give ther to,
He leighe on ous with wrake."
The steward stirt to him than
And seyd, "Traitour, fals man,
Ataint thou schalt be take;
Y seighe it me self this ich day,
Where that sche in thi chaumber lay,
Your noither it may forsake!"
 
   Thus the steward ever gan say,
And ever Sir Amis seyd, "Nay,
Ywis, it nas nought so!"
Than dede the douke com forth that may,
And the steward withstode al way
And vouwed the dede tho.
The maiden wepe, hir hondes wrong,
And ever swore hir moder among,
"Certain, it was nought so!"
Than seyd the douke, "Withouten fail,
It schal be proved in batail
And sen bituen hem to."
 
   Than was atuix hem take the fight
And sett the day a fourtennight,
That mani man schuld it sen.
The steward was michel of might;
In al the court was ther no wight
Sir Amis borwe durst ben.
Bot for the steward was so strong,
Borwes anowe he fond among,
Tuenti al bidene.
Than seyd thai all with resoun,
Sir Amis schuld ben in prisoun,
For he no schuld nowhar flen.
 
   Than answerd that maiden bright
And swore bi Jhesu, ful of might,
That were michel wrong,
"Taketh mi bodi for that knight,
Til that his day com of fight,
And put me in prisoun strong.
Yif that the knight wil flen oway
And dar nought holden up his day,
Bataile of him to fong,
Do me than londes lawe
For his love to be todrawe
And heighe on galwes hong."
 
   Hir moder seyd with wordes bold
That with gode wil als sche wold
Ben his borwe also,
His day of bataile up to hold,
That he as gode knight schold
Fight ogain his fo.
Thus tho levedis fair and bright
Boden for that gentil knight
To lain her bodis to.
Than seyd the lordinges everichon,
That other borwes wold thai non,
Bot graunt it schuld be so.
 
   When thai had don, as y you say,
And borwes founde withouten delay,
And graunted al that ther ware,
Sir Amis sorwed night and day,
Al his joie was went oway,
And comen was al his care,
For that the steward was so strong
And hadde the right and he the wrong
Of that he opon him bare.
Of his liif yaf he nought,
Bot of the maiden so michel he thought,
Might noman morn mare.
 
   For he thought that he most nede,
Ar that he to bataile yede,
Swere on oth biforn,
That al so God schuld him spede
As he was giltles of that dede,
That ther was on him born;
And than thought he, withouten wrong,
He hadde lever to ben anhong
Than to be forsworn.
Ac oft he bisought Jhesu tho,
He schuld save hem bothe to,
That thai ner nought forlorn.
 
   So if bifel opon a day
He mett the levedi and that may
Under an orchard side.
"Sir Amis," the levedy gan say,
"Whi mornestow so withouten play?
Tel me that sothe this tide.
No drede the nought," sche seyd than,
"For to fight with thi foman,
Whether thou wilt go or ride,
So richeliche y schal the schrede,
Tharf the never have of him drede,
Thi bataile to abide."
 
   "Madame," seyd that gentil knight,
"For Jhesus love, ful of might,
Be nought wroth for this dede.
Ich have that wrong and he the right,
Therfore icham aferd to fight,
Al so God me spede,
For y mot swere, withouten faile,
Al so God me spede in bataile,
His speche is falshede;
And yif y swere, icham forsworn,
Than liif and soule icham forlorn;
Certes, y can no rede!"
 
Than seyd that levedi in a while,
"No mai ther go non other gile
To bring that traitor doun?"
"Yis, dame," he seyd, "bi Seyn Gile!
Her woneth hennes mani a mile
Mi brother, Sir Amiloun,
And yif y dorst to gon,
Y dorst wele swere bi Seyn Jon,
So trewe is that baroun,
His owhen liif to lese to mede,
He wold help me at this nede,
To fight with that feloun."
 
   "Sir Amis," the levedi gan to say,
"Take leve to morwe at day
And wende in thi jurné.
Y schal say thou schalt in thi way
Hom in to thine owhen cuntray,
Thi fader, thi moder to se;
And when thou comes to thi brother right,
Pray him, as he is hendi knight
And of gret bounté,
That he the batail for ous fong
Ogain the steward that with wrong
Wil stroie ous alle thre."
 
   A morwe Sir Amis made him yare
And toke his leve for to fare
And went in his jurnay.
For nothing nold he spare,
He priked the stede that him bare
Bothe night and day.
So long he priked withouten abod
The stede that he on rode
In a fer cuntray
Was overcomen and fel doun ded;
Tho couthe he no better red,
His song was, "Waileway!"
 
   And when it was bifallen so,
Nedes afot he most go,
Ful careful was that knight.
He stiked up his lappes tho,
In his way he gan to go,
To hold that he bihight;
And al that day so long he ran,
In to a wilde forest he cam
Bituen the day and the night.
So strong slepe yede him on,
To win al this warldes won,
No ferther he no might.
 
   The knight, that was so hende and fre,
Wel fair he layd him under a tre
And fel in slepe that tide.
Al that night stille lay he,
Til amorwe men might yse
The day bi ich a side.
Than was his brother, Sir Amiloun,
Holden a lord of gret renoun
Over al that cuntré wide,
And woned fro thennes that he lay
Bot half a jorné of a day,
Noither to go no ride.
 
   As Sir Amiloun, that hendi knight,
In his slepe he lay that night,
In sweven he mett anon
That he seighe Sir Amis bi sight,
His brother, that was trewethe plight,
Bilapped among his fon;
Thurch a bere wilde and wode
And other bestes, that bi him stode,
Bisett he was to slon;
And he alon among hem stode
As a man that couthe no gode;
Wel wo was him bigon.
 
   When Sir Amiloun was awake,
Gret sorwe he gan for him make
And told his wiif ful yare
Hou him thought he seighe bestes blake
About his brother with wrake
To sle with sorwe and care.
"Certes," he seyd, "with sum wrong
He is in peril gret and strong,
Of blis he is ful bare."
And than seyd he, "For sothe ywis,
Y no schal never have joie no blis,
Til y wite hou he fare."
 
   As swithe he stirt up in that tide,
Ther nold he no leng abide,
Bot dight him forth anon,
And al his meine bi ich a side
Busked hem redi to ride,
With her lord for to gon;
And he bad al that ther wes,
For Godes love held hem stille in pes,
He bad hem so ich-chon,
And swore bi Him that schop mankende,
Ther schuld no man with him wende,
Bot himself alon.
 
   Ful richeliche he gan him schrede
And lepe astite opon his stede,
For nothing he nold abide.
Al his folk he gan forbede
That non so hardi were of dede,
After him noither go no ride.
So al that night he rode til day,
Til he com ther Sir Amis lay
Up in that forest wide.
Than seighe he a weri knight forgon
Under a tre slepeand alon;
To him he went that tide.
 
   He cleped to him anon right,
"Arise up, felawe, it is light
And time for to go!"
Sir Amis biheld up with his sight
And knewe anon that gentil knight,
And he knewe him also.
That hendi knight, Sir Amiloun,
Of his stede light adoun,
And kist hem bothe to.
"Brother," he seyd, "whi listow here
With thus mornand chere?
Who hath wrought the this wo?"
 
   "Brother," seyd Sir Amis tho,
"Ywis, me nas never so wo
Seththen that y was born;
For seththen that thou was went me fro,
With joie and michel blis also
Y served mi lord biforn.
Ac the steward ful of envie,
With gile and with trecherie,
He hath me wrought swiche sorn;
Bot thou help me at this nede,
Certes, y can no nother rede,
Mi liif, it is forlorn!"
 
   "Brother," Seyd Sir Amiloun,
"Whi hath the steward, that feloun,
Ydon the al this schame?"
"Certes," he seyd, "with gret tresoun
He wald me driven al adoun
And hath me brought in blame."
Than told Sir Amis al that cas,
Hou he and that maiden was
Bothe togider ysame,
And hou the steward gan hem wrain,
And hou the douke wald him have slain
With wrethe and michel grame.
 
   And also he seyd, yplight,
Hou he had boden on him fight,
Batail of him to fong,
And hou in court was ther no wight,
To save tho tuay levedis bright,
Durst ben his borwe among,
And hou he most, withouten faile,
Swere, ar he went to bataile,
It war a lesing ful strong;
"And forsworn man schal never spede;
Certes, therfore y can no rede,
`Allas' may be mi song!"
 
When that Sir Amis had al told,
Hou that the fals steward wold
Bring him doun with mode,
Sir Amiloun with wordes bold
Swore, "Bi Him that Judas sold
And died opon the Rode,
Of his hope he schal now faile,
And y schal for the take bataile,
Thei that he wer wode;
Yif y may mete him aright,
With mi brond, that is so bright,
Y schal sen his hert blode!
 
   Ac brother," he seyd, "have al mi wede,
And in thi robe y schal me schrede,
Right as the self it ware;
And y schal swere so God me spede
As icham giltles of that dede,
That he opon the bare."
Anon tho hendi knightes to
Alle her wede chaunged tho,
And when thai were al yare,
Than seyd Sir Amiloun, "Bi Seyn Gile,
Thus man schal the schrewe bigile,
That wald the forfare!
 
   "Brother," he seyd, "wende hom now right
To mi levedi, that is so bright,
And do as y schal the sain;
And as thou art a gentil knight,
Thou ly bi hir in bed ich night,
Til that y com ogain,
And sai thou hast sent thi stede ywis
To thi brother, Sir Amis;
Than wil thai be ful fain,
Thai wil wene that ich it be;
Ther is non that schal knowe the,
So liche we be bothe tuain!"
 
   And when he hadde thus sayd, yplight,
Sir Amiloun, that gentil knight,
Went in his jurnay,
And Sir Amis went hom anon right
To his brother levedi so bright,
Withouten more delay,
And seyd hou he hadde sent his stede
To his brother to riche mede
Bi a knight of that cuntray;
And al thai wende of Sir Amis
It had ben her lord, ywis,
So liche were tho tuay.
 
   When that Sir Amis hadde ful yare
Told him al of his care,
Ful wele he wend tho,
Litel and michel, lasse and mare,
Al that ever in court ware,
Thai thought it hadde ben so.
And when it was comen to the night,
Sir Amis and that levedi bright,
To bed thai gun go;
And whan thai were togider ylayd,
Sir Amis his swerd out braid
And layd bituix hem tuo.
 
   The levedi loked opon him tho
Wrothlich with her eighen tuo,
Sche wend hir lord were wode.
"Sir," sche seyd, "whi farstow so?
Thus were thou noght won to do,
Who hath changed thi mode?"
"Dame," he seyd, "sikerly,
Ich have swiche a malady
That mengeth al mi blod,
And al min bones be so sare,
Y nold nought toche thi bodi bare
For al this warldes gode!"
 
   Thus, ywis, that hendy knight
Was holden in that fourtennight
As lord and prince in pride;
Ac he forgat him never a night,
Bituix him and that levedi bright
His swerd he layd biside.
The levedi thought in hir resoun,
It hadde ben hir lord, Sir Amiloun,
That hadde ben sike that tide;
Therfore sche held hir stille tho
And wold speke wordes no mo,
Bot thought his wille to abide.
 
   Now, hende, herkneth, and y schal say
Hou that Sir Amiloun went his way;
For nothing wold he spare.
He priked his stede night and day,
As a gentil knight, stout and gay,
To court he com ful yare
That selve day, withouten fail,
That was ysett of batail,
And Sir Amis was nought thare.
Than were tho levedis taken bi hond,
Her juggement to understond,
With sorwe and sikeing sare.
 
   The steward hoved opon a stede
With scheld and spere, bataile to bede,
Gret bost he gan to blawe;
Bifor the douke anon he yede
And seyd, "Sir, so God the spede,
Herken to mi sawe!
This traitour is out of lond ywent;
Yif he were here in present,
He schuld ben hong and drawe;
Therefore ich aske jugement,
That his borwes be tobrent,
As it is londes lawe."
 
   That riche douke, with wrethe and wrake,
He bad men schuld tho levedis take
And lede hem forth biside;
A strong fer ther was don make
And a tonne for her sake,
To bren hem in that tide.
Than thai loked in to the feld
And seighe a knight with spere and scheld
Com prikeand ther with pride.
Than seyd thai everichon, ywis,
"Yonder cometh prikeand Sir Amis!"
And bad thai schuld abide.
 
   Sir Amiloun gan stint at no ston,
He priked among hem everichon,
To that douke he gan wende.
"Mi lord the douke," he seyd anon,
"For schame lete tho levedis gon,
That er bothe gode and hende,
For ich am comen hider today
For to saven hem, yive y may,
And bring hem out of bende,
For, certes, it were michel unright
To make roste of levedis bright;
Ywis, ye eren unkende."
 
   Than ware tho levedis glad and blithe,
Her joie couthe thai noman kithe,
Her care was al oway;
And seththen, as ye may list and lithe,
Into the chaunber thai went aswithe,
Withouten more delay,
And richeliche thai schred that knight
With helme and plate and brini bright,
His tire, it was ful gay.
And when he was opon his stede,
That God hem schuld save and spede
Mani man bad that day.
 
   As he com prikand out of toun,
Com a voice fram heven adoun,
That noman herd bot he,
And sayd, "Thou knight, Sir Amiloun,
God, that suffred passioun,
Sent the bode bi me;
Yif thou this bataile underfong,
Thou schalt have an eventour strong
Within this yeres thre;
And or this thre yere be al gon,
Fouler mesel nas never non
In the world, than thou schal be!
 
   "Ac for thou art so hende and fre,
Jhesu sent the bode bi me,
To warn the anon;
So foule a wreche thou schalt be,
With sorwe and care and poverté
Nas never non wers bigon.
Over al this world, fer and hende,
Tho that be thine best frende
Schal be thi most fon,
And thi wiif and alle thi kinne
Schul fle the stede thatow art inne,
And forsake the ichon."
 
   That knight gan hove stille so ston
And herd tho wordes everichon,
That were so gret and grille.
He nist what him was best to don,
To flen, other to fighting gon;
In hert him liked ille.
He thought, "Yif y beknowe mi name,
Than schal mi brother go to schame,
With sorwe thai schul him spille.
Certes," he seyd, "for drede of care
To hold mi treuthe schal y nought spare,
Lete God don alle His wille."
 
   Al the folk ther was, ywis,
Thai wend it had ben Sir Amis
That bataile schuld bede;
He and the steward of pris
Were brought bifor the justise
To swere for that dede.
The steward swore the pople among,
As wis as he seyd no wrong,
God help him at his nede;
And Sir Amiloun swore and gan to say
As wis as he never kist that may,
Our Levedi schuld hem spede.
 
   When thai hadde sworn, as y you told,
To biker tho bernes were ful bold
And busked hem for to ride.
Al that ther was, yong and old,
Bisought God yif that He wold
Help Sir Amis that tide.
On stedes that were stithe and strong
Thai riden togider with schaftes long,
Til thai toschiverd bi ich a side;
And than drough thai swerdes gode
And hewe togider, as thai were wode,
For nothing thai nold abide.
 
   Tho gomes, that were egre of sight,
With fauchouns felle thai gun to fight
And ferd as thai were wode.
So hard thai hewe on helmes bright
With strong strokes of michel might,
That fer biforn out stode;
So hard thai hewe on helme and side,
Thurch dent of grimly woundes wide,
That thai sprad al of blod.
Fram morwe to none, withouten faile,
Bituixen hem last the bataile,
So egre thai were of mode.
 
   Sir Amiloun, as fer of flint,
With wrethe anon to him he wint
And smot a stroke with main;
Ac he failed of his dint,
The stede in the heved he hint
And smot out al his brain.
The stede fel ded doun to grounde;
Tho was the steward that stounde
Ful ferd he schuld be slain.
Sir Amiloun light adoun of his stede,
To the steward afot he yede
And halp him up ogain.
 
   "Arise up, steward," he seyd anon,
"To fight thou schalt afot gon,
For thou hast lorn thi stede;
For it were gret vilani, bi Seyn Jon,
A liggeand man for to slon,
That were yfallen in nede."
That knight was ful fre to fond
And tok the steward bi the hond
And seyd, "So God me spede,
Now thou schalt afot go,
Y schal fight afot also,
And elles were gret falshed."
 
   The steward and that douhti man
Anon togider thai fight gan
With brondes bright and bare;
So hard togider thai fight than,
Til al her armour o blod ran,
For nothing nold thai spare.
The steward smot to him that stounde
On his schulder a gret wounde
With his grimly gare,
That thurch that wounde, as ye may here,
He was knowen with reweli chere,
When he was fallen in care.
 
   Than was Sir Amiloun wroth and wode,
Whan al his amour ran o blode,
That ere was white so swan;
With a fauchoun scharp and gode
He smot to him with egre mode
Al so a douhti man,
That even fro the schulder blade
Into the brest the brond gan wade,
Thurchout his hert it ran.
The steward fel adoun ded,
Sir Amiloun strok of his hed,
And God he thonked it than.
 
   Alle the lordinges that ther ware,
Litel and michel, lasse and mare,
Ful glad thai were that tide.
The heved opon a spere thai bare;
To toun thai dight hem ful yare,
For nothing thai nold abide;
Thai com ogaines him out of toun
With a fair processioun
Semliche bi ich a side.
Anon thai ladde him to the tour
With joie and ful michel honour,
As prince proude in pride.
 
   In to the palais when thai were gon,
Al that was in that worthli won
Wende Sir Amis it ware.
"Sir Amis," seyd the douke anon,
"Bifor this lordinges everichon
Y graunt the ful yare,
For Belisent, that miri may,
Thou hast bought hir ful dere today
With grimli woundes sare;
Therfore y graunt the now here
Mi lond and mi douhter dere,
To hald for ever mare."
 
   Ful blithe was that hendi knight
And thonked him with al his might,
Glad he was and fain;
In alle the court was ther no wight
That wist wat his name it hight;
To save tho levedis tuain,
Leches swithe thai han yfounde,
That gun to tasty his wounde
And made him hole ogain,
Than were thai al glad and blithe
And thonked God a thousand sithe
That the steward was slain.
 
   On a day Sir Amiloun dight him yare
And seyd that he wold fare
Hom into his cuntray
To telle his frendes, lasse and mare,
And other lordinges that there ware,
Hou he had sped that day.
The douke graunted him that tide
And bede him knightes and miche pride,
And he answerd, "Nay."
Ther schuld noman with him gon,
Bot as swithe him dight anon
And went forth in his way.
 
   In his way he went alone,
Most ther noman with him gon,
Noither knight no swain.
That douhti knight of blod and bon,
No stint he never at no ston
Til he com hom ogain;
And Sir Amis, as y you say,
Waited his coming everi day
Up in the forest plain;
And so thai mett togider same,
And he teld him with joie and game
Hou he hadde the steward slain,
 
   And hou he schuld spousy to mede
That ich maide, worthli in wede,
That was so comly corn.
Sir Amiloun light of his stede,
And gan to chaungy her wede,
As thai hadde don biforn.
"Brother," he seyd, "wende hom ogain."
And taught him hou he schuld sain,
When he com ther thai worn.
Than was Sir Amis glad and blithe
And thanked him a thousand sithe
The time that he was born.
 
   And when thai schuld wende ato,
Sir Amis oft thonked him tho
His cost and his gode dede.
"Brother," he seyd, "yif it bitide so
That the bitide care other wo,
And of min help hast nede,
Savelich com other send thi sond,
And y schal never lenger withstond,
Al so God me spede;
Be it in peril never so strong,
Y schal the help in right and wrong,
Mi liif to lese to mede."
 
   Asonder than thai gun wende;
Sir Amiloun, that knight so hende,
Went hom in that tide
To his levedi that was unkende,
And was ful welcome to his frende,
As prince proude in pride;
And when it was comen to the night,
Sir Amiloun and that levedi bright
In bedde were layd biside;
In his armes he gan hir kis
And made his joie and michel blis,
For nothing he nold abide.
 
   The levedi astite asked him tho
Whi that he hadde farn so
Al that fourtennight,
Laid his swerd bituen hem to,
That sche no durst nought for wele no wo
Touche his bodi aright.
Sir Amiloun bithought him than
His brother was a trewe man,
That hadde so done, aplight.
"Dame," he seyd, "ichil the sain
And telle the that sothe ful fain,
Ac wray me to no wight."
 
   The levedi astite him frain gan,
For His love, that this warld wan,
Telle hir whi it ware.
Than astite that hendy man,
Al the sothe he teld hir than,
To court hou he gan fare,
And hou he slough the steward strong,
That with tresoun and with wrong
Wold have his brother forfare,
And hou his brother that hendy knight
Lay with hir in bed ich night
While that he was thare.
 
   The levedi was ful wroth, yplight,
And oft missayd hir lord that night
With speche bituix hem to,
And seyd, "With wrong and michel unright
Thou slough ther a gentil knight;
Ywis, it was ivel ydo!"
"Dame," he seyd, "bi heven king,
Y no dede it for non other thing
Bot to save mi brother fro wo,
And ich hope, yif ich hadde nede,
His owhen liif to lesse to mede,
He wald help me also."
 
   Al thus, in gest as we sain,
Sir Amis was ful glad and fain,
To court he gan to wende;
And when he come to court ogain
With erl, baroun, knight and swain,
Honoured he was, that hende.
That riche douke tok him bi hond
And sesed him in alle his lond,
To held withouten ende;
And seththen with joie opon a day
He spoused Belisent, that may,
That was so trewe and kende.
 
   Miche was that semly folk in sale,
That was samned at that bridale
When he hadde spoused that flour,
Of erls, barouns, mani and fale,
And other lordinges gret and smale,
And levedis bright in bour.
A real fest thai gan to hold
Of erls and of barouns bold
With joie and michel honour;
Over al that lond est and west
Than was Sir Amis helden the best
And chosen for priis in tour.
 
   So within tho yeres to
A wel fair grace fel hem tho,
As God almighti wold;
The riche douke dyed hem fro
And his levedi dede also,
And graven in grete so cold.
Than was Sir Amis, hende and fre,
Douke and lord of gret pousté
Over al that lond yhold.
Tuai childer he bigat bi his wive,
The fairest that might bere live,
In gest as it is told.
 
   Than was that knight of gret renoun
And lord of mani a tour and toun
And douke of gret pousté;
And his brother, Sir Amiloun,
With sorwe and care was driven adoun,
That ere was hende and fre;
Al so that angel hadde hem told,
Fouler messel that nas non hold
In world than was he.
In gest to rede it is gret rewthe,
What sorwe he hadde for his treuthe
Within tho yeres thre.
 
   And er tho thre yere com to thende
He no wist whider he might wende,
So wo was him bigon;
For al that were his best frende,
And nameliche al his riche kende,
Bicom his most fon;
And his wiif, for sothe to say,
Wrought him wers bothe night and day
Than thai dede everichon.
When him was fallen that hard cas,
A frendeleser man than he was
Men nist nowhar non.
 
   So wicked and schrewed was his wiif,
Sche brac his hert withouten kniif,
With wordes harde and kene,
And seyd to him, "Thou wreche chaitif,
With wrong the steward les his liif,
And that is on the sene;
Therfore, bi Seyn Denis of Fraunce,
The is bitid this hard chaunce,
Dathet who the bimene!"
Wel oft times his honden he wrong,
As man that thenketh his liif to long,
That liveth in treye and tene.
 
   Allas, allas! that gentil knight
That whilom was so wise and wight,
That than was wrought so wo,
Than fram his levedi, fair and bright,
Out of his owhen chaumber anight
He was yhote to go,
And in his owhen halle o day
Fram the heighe bord oway
He was ycharged also
To eten at the tables ende;
Wald ther no man sit him hende,
Wel careful was he tho.
 
   Bi than that half yere was ago
That he hadde eten in halle so
With gode mete and with drink,
His levedi wax ful wroth and wo
And thought he lived to long tho -
Withouten ani lesing -
"In this lond springeth this word,
Y fede a mesel at mi bord,
He is so foule a thing,
It is gret spite to al mi kende,
He schal no more sitt me so hende,
Bi Jhesus, heven king!"
 
   On a day sche gan him calle
And seyd, "Sir, it is so bifalle,
For sothe, y telle it te,
That thou etest so long in halle,
It is gret spite to ous alle,
Mi kende is wroth with me."
The knight gan wepe and seyd ful stille,
"Do me where it is thi wille,
Ther noman may me se;
Of no more ichil the praye,
Bot of a meles mete ich day,
For seynt charité."
 
   That levedi, for hir lordes sake,
Anon sche dede men timber take,
For nothing wold sche wond,
And half a mile fram the gate
A litel loge sche lete make,
Biside the way to stond.
And when the loge was al wrought,
Of his gode no wold he noght,
Bot his gold coupe an hond.
When he was in his loge alon,
To God of heven he made his mon
And thonked Him of al His sond.
 
   Into that loge when he was dight
In al the court was ther no wight
That wold serve him thare,
To save a gentil child, yplight,
Child Owaines his name it hight,
For him he wepe ful sare.
That child was trewe and of his kende,
His soster sone, he was ful hende;
He sayd to hem ful yare,
Ywis, he no schuld never wond
To serven hem fro fot to hond,
While he olives ware.
 
   That child, that was so fair and bold,
Owaines was his name ytold,
Wel fair he was of blode.
When he was of tuelve yere old,
Amoraunt than was he cald,
Wel curteys, hend and gode.
Bi his lord ich night he lay
And feched her livere ever day
To her lives fode.
When ich man made gle and song,
Ever for his lord among
He made dreri mode.
 
   Thus Amoraunt, as y you say,
Com to court ich day,
No stint he for no strive.
Al that ther was gan him pray
To com fro that lazer oway,
Than schuld he the and thrive.
And he answerd with milde mode
And swore bi Him that dyed on Rode
And tholed woundes five,
For al this worldes gode to take
His lord nold he never forsake
Whiles he ware olive.
 
   Bi than the tuelmoneth was al gon,
Amorant went into that won
For his lordes liveray;
The levedi was ful wroth anon
And comaunde hir men everichon
To drive that child oway,
And swore bi Him that Judas sold,
Thei his lord for hunger and cold
Dyed ther he lay,
He schuld have noither mete no drink,
No socour of non other thing
For hir after that day.
 
   That child wrong his honden tuain
And weping went hom ogain
With sorwe and sikeing sare.
That godeman gan him frain
And bad him that he schuld him sain
And telle him whi it ware.
And he answerd and seyd tho,
"Ywis, no wonder thei me be wo,
Mine hert, it breketh for care;
Thi wiif hath sworn with gret mode
That sche no schal never don ous gode;
Allas, hou schal we fare?"
 
   "A, God help!" seyd that gentil knight,
"Whilom y was man of might,
To dele mete and cloth,
And now icham so foule a wight
That al that seth on me bi sight,
Mi liif is hem ful loth.
Sone," he seyd, "lete thi wepeing,
For this is now a strong tiding,
That may we se for soth;
For, certes, y can non other red,
Ous bihoveth to bid our brede,
Now y wot hou it goth."
 
   Amorwe astite as it was light,
The child and that gentil knight
Dight hem for to gon,
And in her way thai went ful right
To begge her brede, as thai hadde tight,
For mete no hadde thai none.
So long thai went up and doun
Til thai com to a chepeing toun,
Five mile out of that won,
And sore wepeand fro dore to dore,
And bad here mete for Godes love,
Ful ivel couthe thai theron.
 
   So in that time, ich understond,
Gret plenté was in that lond,
Bothe of mete and drink;
That folk was ful fre to fond
And brought hem anough to hond
Of al kines thing;
For the gode man was so messais tho,
And for the child was fair also,
Hem loved old and ying,
And brought hem anough of al gode;
Than was the child blithe of mode
And lete be his wepeing.
 
   Than wex the gode man fote so sare
That he no might no forther fare
For al this worldes gode;
To the tounes ende that child him bare
And a loge he bilt him thare,
As folk to chepeing yode;
And as that folk of that cuntray
Com to chepeing everi day,
Thai gat hem lives fode;
And Amoraunt oft to toun gan go
And begged hem mete and drink also,
When hem most nede atstode.
 
Thus in gest rede we
Thai duelled there yeres thre,
That child and he also,
And lived in care and poverté
Bi the folk of that cuntré,
As thai com to and fro,
So that in the ferth yere
Corn bigan to wex dere,
That hunger bigan to go,
That ther was noither eld no ying
That wald yif hem mete no drink,
Wel careful were thai tho.
 
   Amorant oft to toun gan gon,
Ac mete no drink no gat he non,
Noither at man no wive.
When thai were togider alon,
Reweliche thai gan maken her mon,
Wo was hem o live;
And his levedi, for sothe to say,
Woned ther in that cuntray
Nought thennes miles five,
And lived in joie bothe night and day,
Whiles he in sorwe and care lay,
Wel ivel mot sche thrive!
 
   On a day, as thai sete alon,
That hendi knight gan meken his mon
And seyd to the child that tide,
"Sone," he seyd, "thou most gon
To mi levedi swithe anon,
That woneth here biside,
Bid hir, for Him that died on Rode,
Sende me so michel of al mi gode,
An asse, on to ride,
And out of lond we wil fare
To begge our mete with sorwe and care,
No lenger we nil abide."
 
   Amoraunt to court is went
Bifor that levedi fair and gent,
Wel hendeliche seyd hir anon,
"Madame," he seyd, "verrament,
As messanger mi lord me sent,
For himself may nought gon,
And praieste with milde mode
Sende him so michel of al his gode
As an asse to riden opon,
And out of lond we schulen yfere,
No schal we never com eft here,
Thei hunger ous schuld slon."
 
   The levedi seyd sche wald ful fain
Sende him gode asses tuain,
With thi he wald oway go
So fer that he never eft com ogain.
"Nat, certes, dame," the child gan sain,
"Thou sest ous never eft mo."
Than was the levedi glad and blithe
And comaund him an asse as swithe
And seyd with wrethe tho,
"Now ye schul out of lond fare,
God leve you never to com here mare,
And graunt that it be so."
 
   That child no lenger nold abide,
His asse astite he gan bistride
And went him hom ogain,
And told his lord in that tide
Hou his levedi proude in pride
Schameliche gan to sain;
Opon the asse he sett that knight so hende,
And out of the cité thai gun wende;
Ther of thai were ful fain.
Thurch mani a cuntré, up an doun,
Thai begged her mete fram toun to toun,
Bothe in winde and rain.
 
   Over al that lond thurch Godes wille
That hunger wex so gret and grille,
As wide as thai gun go;
Almest for hunger thai gan to spille,
Of brede thai no hadde nought half her fille,
Ful careful were thai tho.
Than seyd the knight opon a day,
"Ous bihoveth selle our asse oway,
For we no have gode no mo,
Save mi riche coupe of gold,
Ac certes, that schal never be sold,
Thei hunger schuld me slo."
 
   Than Amoraunt and Sir Amiloun,
With sorwe and care and reweful roun
Erliche in a morning
Thai went hem to a chepeing toun,
And when the knight was light adoun,
Withouten ani duelling,
Amoraunt went to toun tho,
His asse he ladde with him also
And sold it for five schilling.
And while that derth was so strong,
Ther with thai bought hem mete among,
When thai might gete no thing.
 
   And when her asse was ysold
For five schilling, as y you told,
Thai duelled ther dayes thre;
Amoraunt wex strong and bold,
Of fiftene winter was he old,
Curtays, hende and fre.
For his lord he hadde gret care,
And at his rigge he dight him yare
And bare him out of that cité;
And half a yere and sum del mare
About his mete he him bare,
Yblisced mot he be.
 
   Thus Amoraunt, withouten wrong,
Bar his lord about so long,
As y you tel may.
That winter com so hard and strong,
Oft, "Allas!" it was his song,
So depe was that cuntray;
The way was so depe and slider,
Oft times bothe togider
Thai fel doun in the clay.
Ful trewe he was and kinde of blod
And served his lord with mild mode,
Wald he nought wende oway.
 
   Thus Amoraunt, as y you say,
Served his lord bothe night and day
And at his rigge him bare.
Oft his song was, "Waileway!"
So depe was that cuntray,
His bones wex ful sare.
Al her catel than was spent,
Save tuelf pans, verrament,
Therwith thai went ful yare
And bought hem a gode croudewain,
His lord he gan ther-in to lain,
He no might him bere namare.
 
   Than Amoraunt crud Sir Amiloun
Thurch mani a cuntré, up and doun,
As ye may understond;
So he com to a cité toun,
Ther Sir Amis, the bold baroun,
Was douke and lord in lond.
Than seyd the knight in that tide,
"To the doukes court here biside
To bring me thider thou fond;
He is a man of milde mode,
We schul gete ous ther sum gode
Thurch grace of Godes sond.
 
   "Ac, leve sone," he seyd than,
"For His love, that this world wan
Astow art hende and fre,
Thou be aknowe to no man
Whider y schal, no whenes y cam,
No what mi name it be."
He answerd and seyd, "Nay."
To court he went in his way,
As ye may listen at me,
And bifor al other pover men
He crud his wain in to the fen;
Gret diol it was to se.
 
   So it bifel that selve day,
With tong as y you tel may,
It was midwinter tide,
That riche douke with gamen and play
Fram chirche com the right way
As lord and prince with pride.
When he com to the castelgate,
The pover men that stode therate
Withdrough hem ther beside.
With knightes and with serjaunce fale
He went into that semly sale
With joie and blis to abide.
 
   In kinges court, as it is lawe,
Trumpes in halle to mete gan blawe,
To benche went tho bold.
When thai were semly set on rowe,
Served thai were upon a throwe,
As men miriest on mold.
That riche douke, withouten les,
As a prince served he wes
With riche coupes of gold,
And he that brought him to that state
Stode bischet withouten the gate,
Wel sore ofhungred and cold.
 
   Out at the gate com a knight
And a serjaunt wise and wight,
To plain hem bothe yfere,
And thurch the grace of God Almight
On Sir Amiloun he cast a sight,
Hou laith he was of chere.
And seththen biheld on Amoraunt,
Hou gentil he was and of fair semblaunt,
In gest as ye may here.
Than seyd thai bothe, bi Seyn Jon,
In al the court was ther non
Of fairehed half his pere.
 
   The gode man gan to him go,
And hendeliche he asked him tho,
As ye may understond,
Fram wat lond that he com fro,
And whi that he stode ther tho,
And whom he served in lond.
"Sir," he seyd, "so God me save,
Icham here mi lordes knave,
That lith in Godes bond;
And thou art gentil knight of blode,
Bere our erand of sum gode
Thurch grace of Godes sond."
 
   The gode man asked him anon,
Yif he wald fro that lazer gon
And trewelich to him take;
And he seyd he schuld, bi Seyn Jon,
Serve that riche douke in that won,
And richeman he wald him make;
And he answerd with mild mode
And swore bi Him that dyed on Rode
Whiles he might walk and wake,
For to winne al this warldes gode,
His hende lord, that bi him stode,
Schuld he never forsake.
 
   The gode man wende he hadde ben rage,
Or he hadde ben a folesage
That hadde his witt forlorn,
Other he thought that his lord with the foule visage
Hadde ben a man of heighe parage
And of heighe kinde ycorn.
Therfore he nold no more sain,
Bot went him in to the halle ogain
The riche douke biforn,
"Mi lord," he seyd, "listen to me
The best bourd, bi mi leueté,
Thou herdest seththen thou were born."
 
   The riche douke badde him anon
To telle biforn hem everichon
Withouten more duelling.
"Now sir," he seyd, "bi Seyn Jon,
Ich was out atte gate ygon
Right now on mi playing;
Pover men y seighe mani thare,
Litel and michel, lasse and mare,
Bothe old and ying,
And a lazer ther y fond;
Herdestow never in no lond
Telle of so foule a thing.
 
   "The lazer lith up in a wain,
And is so pover of might and main
O fot no may he gon;
And over him stode a naked swain,
A gentiler child, for sothe to sain,
In world no wot y non.
He is the fairest gome
That ever Crist yaf Cristendome
Or layd liif opon,
And on of the most fole he is
That ever thou herdest speke, ywis,
In this worldes won."
 
   Than seyd the riche douke ogain,
"What foly," he seyd, "can he sain?
Is he madde of mode?"
"Sir," he seyd, "y bad him fain
Forsake the lazer in the wain,
That he so over stode,
And in thi servise he schuld be,
Y bihete hem bothe lond and fe,
Anough of warldes gode;
And he answerd and seyd tho
He nold never gon him fro;
Therfore ich hold him wode."
 
   Than seyd the douke, "Thei his lord be lorn,
Par aventour, the gode man hath biforn
Holpen him at his nede,
Other the child is of his blod yborn,
Other he hath him othes sworn
His liif with him to lede.
Whether he be fremd or of his blod,
The child," he seyd, "is trewe and gode,
Also God me spede.
Yif ichim speke er he wende,
For that he is so trewe and kende,
Y schal quite him his mede!"
 
   That douke astite, as y you told,
Cleped to him a squier bold
And hendelich gan hem sain:
"Take," he sayd, "mi coupe of gold,
As ful of wine astow might hold
In thine hondes tuain,
And bere it to the castelgate,
A lazer thou schalt finde therate
Liggeand in a wain.
Bid him, for the love of Seyn Martin,
He and his page drink this win,
And bring me the coupe ogain."
 
   The squier tho the coupe hent,
And to the castel gat he went,
And ful of win he it bare.
To the lazer he seyd, verrament,
"This coupe ful of win mi lord the sent,
Drink it, yife thou dare."
The lazer tok forth his coupe of gold,
Bothe were goten in o mold,
Right as that selve it ware,
Therin he pourd that win so riche;
Than were thai bothe ful yliche
And noither lesse no mare.
 
   The squier biheld the coupes tho,
First his and his lordes also,
Whiles he stode hem biforn,
Ac he no couthe never mo
Chese the better of hem to,
So liche bothe thai worn.
Into halle he ran ogain,
"Certes, sir," he gan to sain,
"Mani gode dede thou hast lorn,
And so thou hast lorn this dede now;
He is a richer man than thou,
Bi the time that God was born."
 
   The riche douke answerd, "Nay.
That worth never bi night no day;
It were ogaines the lawe!"
"Yis, sir," he gan to say,
"He is a traitour, bi mi fay,
And were wele worth to drawe.
For when y brought him the win,
He drough forth a gold coupe fin,
Right as it ware thi nawe;
In this world, bi Seyn Jon,
So wise a man is ther non
Asundri schuld hem knawe."
 
   "Now, certes," seyd Sir Amis tho,
"In al this world were coupes nomo
So liche in al thing,
Save min and mi brothers also,
That was sett bituix ous to,
Token of our parting;
And yif it be so, with tresoun
Mine hende brother, Sir Amiloun,
Is slain, withouten lesing.
And yif he have stollen his coupe oway,
Y schal him sle me self this day,
Bi Jhesu, heven king!"
 
   Fram the bord he resed than
And hent his swerd as a wode man
And drough it out with wrake,
And to the castel gat he ran;
In al the court was ther no man
That him might atake.
To the lazer he stirt in the wain
And hent him in his honden tuain
And sleynt him in the lake,
And layd on, as he were wode,
And al that ever about him stode
Gret diol gan make.
 
   "Traitour!" seyd the douke so bold,
"Where haddestow this coupe of gold
And hou com thou ther to?
For bi Him that Judas sold,
Amiloun, mi brother, it hadde in wold,
When that he went me fro!"
"Ya, certes, sir," he gan to say,
"It was his in his cuntray,
And now it is fallen so;
Bot certes, now that icham here,
The coupe is mine, y bought it dere,
With right y com ther to."
 
   Than was the douke ful egre of mod;
Was noman that about him stode
That durst legge on him hond;
He spurned him with his fot
And laid on, as he were wode,
With his naked brond,
And bi the fet the lazer he drough
And drad on him in the slough;
For no thing wald he wond,
And seyd, "Thef, thou schalt be slawe,
Bot thou wilt be the sothe aknawe,
Where thou the coupe fond."
 
   Child Amoraunt stode the pople among
And seye his lord with wough and wrong
Hou reweliche he was dight.
He was bothe hardi and strong,
The douke in his armes he fong
And held him stille upright.
"Sir," he seyd, "thou art unhende
And of thi werkes unkende,
To sle that gentil knight.
Wel sore may him rewe that stounde
That ever for the toke he wounde
To save thi liif in fight.
 
   "And ys thi brother, Sir Amylioun,
That whilom was a noble baroun
Bothe to ryde and go,
And now with sorwe ys dreve adoun;
Nowe God that suffred passioun
Breng him oute of his wo!
For the of blysse he ys bare,
And thou yeldyst him all with care
And brekest his bones a two;
That he halp the at thi nede,
Well evell aquitest thou his mede,
Alas, whi farest thou so?"
 
   When Sir Amis herd him so sain,
He stirt to the knight ogain,
Withouten more delay,
And biclept him in his armes tuain,
And oft, "Allas!" he gan sain;
His song was "Waileway!"
He loked opon his scholder bare
And seighe his grimly wounde thare,
As Amoraunt gan him say.
He fel aswon to the grounde
And oft he seyd, "Allas that stounde!"
That ever he bode that day.
 
   "Allas," he seyd, "mi joie is lorn,
Unkender blod nas never born,
Y not wat y may do;
For he saved mi liif biforn,
Ichave him yolden with wo and sorn
And wrought him michel wo.
"O brother," he seyd, "par charité,
This rewely ded foryif thou me,
That ichave smiten the so!"
And he forgave it him also a swithe
And kist him wel mani a sithe,
Wepeand with eighen tuo.
 
   Than was Sir Amis glad and fain,
For joie he wepe with his ain
And hent his brother than,
And tok him in his armes tuain,
Right til he com into the halle ogain,
No bar him no nother man.
The levedi tho in the halle stode
And wend hir lord hadde ben wode,
Ogaines him hye ran.
"Sir," sche seyd, "wat is thi thought?
Whi hastow him into halle ybrought
For Him that this world wan?"
 
   "O dame," he seyd, "bi Seyn Jon,
Me nas never so wo bigon,
Yif thou it wost understond,
For better knight in world is non,
Bot almost now ichave him slon
And schamely driven to schond;
For it is mi brother, Sir Amiloun,
With sorwe and care is dreven adoun,
That er was fre to fond."
The levedi fel aswon to grounde
And wepe and seyd, "Allas that stounde!"
Wel sore wrengand hir hond.
 
   As foule a lazer as he was,
The levedi kist him in that plas,
For nothing wold sche spare,
And oft time sche seyd, "Allas!"
That him was fallen so hard a cas,
To live in sorwe and care.
Into hir chaumber she gan him lede
And kest of al his pover wede
And bathed his bodi al bare,
And to a bedde swithe him brought;
With clothes riche and wele ywrought;
Ful blithe of him thai ware.
 
   And thus in gest as we say,
Tuelmoneth in her chaumber he lay,
Ful trewe thai ware and kinde.
No wold thai nick him with no nay,
What so ever he asked night or day,
It nas never bihinde;
Of everich mete and everi drink
Thai had hemselve, withouten lesing,
Thai were him bothe ful minde.
And bithan the tuelmonth was ago,
A ful fair grace fel hem tho,
In gest as we finde.
 
   So it bifel opon a night,
As Sir Amis, that gentil knight,
In slepe thought as he lay,
An angel com fram heven bright
And stode biforn his bed ful right
And to him thus gan say:
Yif he wald rise on Cristes morn,
Swiche time as Jhesu Crist was born,
And slen his children tuay,
And alien his brother with the blode,
Thurch Godes grace, that is so gode,
His wo schuld wende oway.
 
   Thus him thought al tho thre night
An angel out of heven bright
Warned him ever more
Yif he wald do as he him hight,
His brother schuld ben as fair a knight
As ever he was biforn,
Ful blithe was Sir Amis tho,
Ac for his childer him was ful wo,
For fairer ner non born.
Wel loth him was his childer to slo,
And wele lother his brother forgo,
That is so kinde ycorn.
 
   Sir Amiloun met that night also
That an angel warned him tho
And seyd to him ful yare,
Yif his brother wald his childer slo,
The hert blod of hem to
Might bring him out of care.
A morwe Sir Amis was ful hende
And to his brother he gan wende
And asked him of his fare;
And he him answerd ogain ful stille,
"Brother, ich abide her Godes wille,
For y may do na mare."
 
   Al so thai sete togider thare
And speke of aventours, as it ware,
Tho knightes hende and fre,
Than seyd Sir Amiloun ful yare,
"Brother, y nil nought spare
To tel the in privité.
Me thought tonight in me sweven
That an angel com fram heven;
For sothe, he told me
That thurch the blod of thin children to
Y might aschape out of mi wo,
Al hayl and hole to be!"
 
   Than thought the douk, withouten lesing,
For to slen his childer so ying,
It were a dedli sinne;
And than thought he, bi heven king,
His brother out of sorwe bring,
For that nold he nought blinne.
So it bifel on Cristes night,
Swiche time as Jhesu, ful of might,
Was born to save mankunne,
To chirche to wende al that ther wes,
Thai dighten hem, withouten les,
With joie and worldes winne.
 
   Than thai were redi for to fare,
The douke bad al that ther ware,
To chirche thai schuld wende,
Litel and michel, lasse and mare,
That non bileft in chaumber thare,
As thai wald ben his frende,
And seyd he wald himselve that night
Kepe his brother that gentil knight
That was so god and kende.
Than was ther non that durst say nay;
To chirche thai went in her way,
At hom bileft tho hende.
 
   The douke wel fast gan aspie
The kays of the noricerie,
Er than thai schuld gon,
And priveliche he cast his eighe
And aparceived ful witterlye
Where that thai hadde hem don.
And when thai were to chirche went,
Than Sir Amis, verrament,
Was bileft alon.
He tok a candel fair and bright
And to the kays he went ful right
And tok hem oway ichon.
 
   Alon him self, withouten mo,
Into the chaumber he gan to go,
Ther that his childer were,
And biheld hem bothe to,
Hou fair thai lay togider tho
And slepe bothe yfere.
Than seyd himselve, "Bi Seyn Jon,
It were gret rewethe you to slon,
That God hath bought so dere!"
His kniif he had drawen that tide,
For sorwe he sleynt oway biside
And wepe with reweful chere.
 
   Than he hadde wopen ther he stode,
Anon he turned ogain his mode
And sayd withouten delay,
"Mi brother was so kinde and gode,
With grimly wounde he schad his blod
For mi love opon a day;
Whi schuld y than mi childer spare,
To bring mi brother out of care?
O, certes," he seyd, "nay!
To help mi brother now at this nede,
God graunt me therto wele to spede,
And Mari, that best may!"
 
   No lenger stint he no stode,
Bot hent his kniif with dreri mode
And tok his children tho;
For he nold nought spille her blode,
Over a bacine fair and gode
Her throtes he schar atuo.
And when he hadde hem bothe slain,
He laid hem in her bed ogain -
No wonder thei him were wo -
And hilde hem, that no wight schuld se,
As noman hadde at hem be;
Out of chaumber he gan go.
 
   And when he was out of chaumber gon,
The dore he steked stille anon
As fast as it was biforn;
The kays he hidde under a ston
And thought thai schuld wene ichon
That thai hadde ben forlorn.
To his brother he went him than
And seyd to that careful man,
"Swiche time as God was born,
Ich have the brought mi childer blod,
Ich hope it schal do the gode
As the angel seyd biforn."
 
   "Brother," Sir Amiloun gan to say,
"Hastow slayn thine children tuay?
Allas, whi destow so?"
He wepe and seyd, "Waileway!
Ich hat lever til domesday
Have lived in care and wo!"
Than seyd Sir Amis, "Be now stille;
Jhesu, when it is His wille,
May send me childer mo.
For me of blis thou art al bare;
Ywis, mi liif wil y nought spare,
To help the now therfro."
 
   He tok that blode, that was so bright,
And alied that gentil knight,
That er was hend in hale,
And seththen in bed him dight
And wreighe him wel warm, aplight,
With clothes riche and fale.
"Brother," he seyd, "ly now stille
And falle on slepe thurch Godes wille,
As the angel told in tale;
And ich hope wele withouten lesing,
Jhesu, that is heven king,
Schal bote the of thi bale."
 
   Sir Amis let him ly alon
And in to his chapel he went anon,
In gest as ye may here,
And for his childer, that he hadde slon,
To God of heven he made him mon
And preyd with rewely chere
Schuld save him fram schame that day,
And Mari, his moder, that best may,
That was him leve and dere;
And Jhesu Crist, in that stede
Ful wele He herd that knightes bede
And graunt him his praiere.
 
   Amorwe astite as it was day,
The levedi com home al with play
With knightes ten and five;
Thai sought the kays ther thai lay;
Thai founde hem nought, thai were oway,
Wel wo was hem olive.
The douk bad al that ther wes
Thai schuld hold hem still in pes
And stint of her strive,
And seyd he hadde the keys nome,
Schuld noman in the chaumber come
Bot himself and his wive.
 
   Anon he tok his levedi than
And seyd to hir, "Leve leman,
Be blithe and glad of mode;
For bi Him that this warld wan,
Bothe mi childer ich have slan,
That were so hende and gode;
For me thought in mi sweven
That an angel com fram heven
And seyd me thurch her blode
Mi brother schuld passe out of his wo;
Therfore y slough hem bothe to,
To hele that frely fode."
 
   Than was the levedi ferly wo
And seighe hir lord was also;
Sche comfort him ful yare,
"O lef liif," sche seyd tho,
"God may sende ous childer mo,
Of hem have thou no care.
Yif it ware at min hert rote,
For to bring thi brother bote,
My lyf y wold not spare.
Shal noman oure children see,
Tomorow shal they beryed bee
As they faire ded ware!"
 
   Thus the lady faire and bryght
Comfort hur lord with al hur myght,
As ye mow understonde;
And seth they went both ful ryght
To Sir Amylion, that gentil knyght,
That ere was free to fonde.
When Sir Amylion wakyd thoo,
Al his fowlehed was agoo
Through grace of Goddes sonde;
Than was he as feire a man
As ever he was yet or than,
Seth he was born in londe.
 
   Than were they al blith,
Her joy couth noman kyth,
They thonked God that day.
As ye mow listen and lyth,
Into a chamber they went swyth,
Ther the children lay;
Without wemme and wound
Hool and sound the children found,
And layen togeder and play.
For joye they wept, there they stood,
And thanked God with myld mood,
Her care was al away.
 
   When Sir Amylion was hool and fere
And wax was strong of powere
Both to goo and ryde,
Child Oweys was a bold squyer,
Blithe and glad he was of chere,
To serve his lord beside.
Than saide the knyght uppon a day,
He wolde hoom to his contray,
To speke with his wyf that tyde;
And for she halp him so at nede,
Wel he thought to quyte hur mede,
No lenger wold he abyde.
 
Sir Amys sent ful hastely
After mony knyght hardy,
That doughty were of dede,
Wel fyve hundred kene and try,
And other barons by and by
On palfray and on steede.
He preked both nyght and day
Til he com to his contray,
Ther he was lord in lede.
Than had a knyght of that contré
Spoused his lady, bryght of ble,
In romaunce as we rede.
 
   But thus, in romaunce as y yow say,
They com hoom that silf day
That the bridal was hold;
To the gates they preked without delay,
Anon ther began a soory play
Among the barouns bold.
A messengere to the hal com
And seide her lord was com hom
As man meriest on molde.
Than wox the lady blew and wan;
Ther was mony a sory man,
Both yong and olde.
 
   Sir Amys and Sir Amylion
And with hem mony a stout baron
With knyghtes and squyers fale,
With helmes and with haberyon,
With swerd bryght and broun,
They went in to the hale.
Al that they there araught,
Grete strokes there they caught,
Both grete and smale.
Glad and blyth were they that day,
Who so myght skape away
And fle fro that bredale.
 
   When thei had with wrake
Drove oute both broun and blake
Out of that worthy woon,
Sir Amylyon for his lady sake
And grete logge he let make
Both of lym and stoon.
Thereyn was the lady ladde
And with bred and water was she fed,
Tyl her lyvedays were goon.
Thus was the lady brought to dede,
Who therof rought, he was a queede,
As ye have herd echoon.
 
   Then Sir Amylion sent his sond
To erles, barouns, fre and bond,
Both feire and hende.
When they com, he sesed in hond
Child Oweys in al his lond,
That was trew and kynde;
And when he had do thus, ywys,
With his brother, Sir Amys,
Agen then gan he wende.
In muche joy without stryf
Togeder ladde they her lyf,
Tel God after her dide send.
 
Anoon the hend barons tway,
They let reyse a faire abbay
And feffet it ryght wel thoo,
In Lumbardy, in that contray,
To senge for hem tyl Domesday
And for her eldres also.
Both on oo day were they dede
And in oo grave were they leide,
The knyghtes both twoo;
And for her trewth and her godhede
The blisse of hevyn they have to mede,
That lasteth ever moo.
Amen
   
are courteous listen; (see note)
by (the) love (of God)
once upon a time happened
Concerning; generosity; (see note)
   
Their fathers; well-born
Lords born of great family
excellent; town and tower; (see note)
hear
good and ill
Certainly; sorrow
   
good and ill; fared; (see note)
unaffected by their lineage; (see note)
manner
courteous
became friends
court where
knighted
how they pledged loyalty; (see note)
together
   
children's names were
Listen; will hear
   
(see note)
Once upon a time it happened
read
barons well-born lived
noble in proof
stately were in dress; (see note)
their well-born
Two boy children got they then
doughty (brave)
true (to their word)
king of heaven
fulfilled their deserving
   
children's; as I promised you
will recount properly
   
conceived; one
one; truly
Truthfully, without lying
one; certainly
named
baptism
named
renown
high background
   
then began to thrive
none alive
Courteous, well-born
five years old
family; pleased
mild; manner
   
   
worthy offspring
twelve; (see note)
held; (see note)
bone and blood (i.e., body)
   
(see note)
duke lived
Esteemed in town and tower
Graciously he sent his message; (see note)
To earls, barons, freemen and bound; (see note)
lovely; bower
rich feast
   
savior
as I tell you
He invited
With joy
   
Those; (see note)
fair(see note)
quickly
gathered; (see note)
looked at them
   
adorned; (see note)
fair they were to see
skin; complexion; hair
falsehood
were
They never saw before
   
person
Earl, baron, squire, nor knight
Like it or not
alike; appearance
stature; pledge
truly
alike; (see note)
poor nor rich
   
Father nor mother that could say
Nor could tell the courteous children apart
Except; clothes
   
duke; (see note)
earls; barons
hear
Fortnight (two weeks)
merriest on earth; (see note)
cheer; noblemen joyful
   
minstrelsy
Their skills; show
quite readily
They took leave to go
many a time
   
When; lords; left
noble of family
Called to him then
Those two barons; courteous
entreated them as
   
splendid
   
In fine array to live by
would dub them
support
lords magnificent in honor; (see note)
   
in return
their ladies began to say
quite readily
joyful
their dear; both
were
their children their blessing
   
would shield them from grief
frequently thanked the duke
took their leave; away
To their own countries they began to travel
   
those lovely; certainly
   
freely to eat (be nourished)
branches
then; esteemed
worthiest in clothes
well; loved each other then
Never did children love each other so
Neither in word nor in deed
Between them two, of blood and bone
There was never truer love
stories; read
   
alert and brave
Pledged their loyalty together
   
by
good and ill
nobly try
to stick together
   
Wherever
   
Let each other down
(i.e., swore an oath)
   
stories; hear
Those courteous
   
happy; manner
beloved and dear
Honorably to go by
When
brave young men
To be; time
gave them all that was necessary for them
weapons; arms
proud
   
   
He provided them all they wanted
horses
So that; places; went
spoke; then
   
place
To jousts or to tournaments
   
As doughtiest; deed
horse
   
   
esteem
alert and wise
generosity
   
them; high
   
you; hear
head dispenser (of food and drink); (see note)
courteous and generous; (see note)
over them all
manager of domestic affairs; (see note)
To set in order all members of his household
   
their
To earn themselves honor; spared nothing
honorably
poor so well they behaved
them saw
Many a man loved them
graceful of manner
far and near
honor
lies
alive were
Most he loved them then
   
I
manager of property
doughty; upon call
tried with envy and indignation
To bring them both to shame
guile
courteous
because; friend
   
harmful
tried to do them shame
crime
   
So then within two years
there
skillful with hands
And said how death had fetched from him
father; mother
Through; mercy
sorrowful
   
explained to him
gracious
go
receive (claim)
   
noble of family
in return
God give me fortune; (see note)
go
I was never so sorry
That out of my; went
But if; happens
danger and sorrow
   
Only; messenger
   
avenge
   
terribly sorry
go; from
   
went; (see note)
had made; cups two
them
one (the same) weight
one (the same) size, truly
richly
alike
   
Nothing went wrong with that
   
ready
travel
go; journey
   
sorrow; woe; sighing sadly
Almost fainted; nobleman
sorrowful manner
prayed; where
for charity
Give me leave to travel from you
Unless
in three
   
noble of family
in return
   
   
   
   
gone from me
   
would be gone away
country
Go; journey
back
   
   
Those; young men
Prepared; to go forth
Gracious audience, listen; (see note)
Such doughty; time
travelled
rode
mourning
   
go apart (separate)
together on
They got off their horses
   
on foot set
skillful
justly; counsel
   
earlier pledged fidelity
   
   
(see note)
   
loyal

God give me fortune
   
But; I; in advance
bore
mankind
in no way against your lord
if; lost
   
   
   
asunder shall travel
still I warn you against
fellowship
destroy
   
stood; brothers
draw; two cups; (see note)
[Which] were alike
bade
Choose which he would have
delay
dear
one
   
Let
here on
betokens
   
Great sorrow; their
kissed; eyes weeping

Each commended the other to
horses; mounted
their journeys
   
took
That his ancestors had held
espoused; lady beautiful; bower; (see note)
her home
much solemnity
   
Let
wife; country
grant
   
again
glad
gracious
blessed; bone and blood (body)
Who ever conceived and bore him
Except
Always; tried; malice and anger
grief
   
it happened
then; (see note)
greeted; noble person
you are woeful
Because; from
certainly so am I
But; going
If; believe; teaching
leave off your mourning
If; of one kind (kin)
   
   
   
act on my advice; (see note)
us; brotherhood
pledge; fidelity
   
to you; (see note)
   
pledged
   
Though
walk and speak
break
Neither
   
truth
I have; kind (good-natured)
Since
once I pledged; courteous one
world should go
   
if
broke; vow; totally lost
grievously; rue
Get; friends where
   
Exchange
   
fierce of manner
Almost for wrath he grew near mad
   
died on the Cross
unnatural of breeding; (see note)
atone for this refusal
   
enemy
   
then
I don't give a fig; (see note)
   
   
trouble did begin
wrath; apart; (see note)
Those bold young men two
would never cease
shame
Always he tried thus
together
wrath; surly face
more
   
guile
great sorrow
   
stories
put on a feast
Properly; time
guest
meat; most fitting
serve all around
Many worthy; gathered
lesser and greater
ladies magnificent in honor
   
worthy dwelling
castle to abide
   
   
daughter
lovely and generous
   
there was none held
So splendid to look at
noble; beautiful
called
listen to
ladies beautiful in bower
   
solemnity
   
feast
ladies beautiful
lords many and abundant
   
servant; strong
those nobles in hall; (see note)
chief dispenser
held flower and prize
   

all his clothes
most splendid in the hall
   
all had to go
traveled; dwelling
   
lovely; (see note)
every one
God give you fortune
considered
most splendid in every view
worthiest in dress
   
considered; then
   
   
began; in return
shall to you say
truth; Holy Savior
young men
most of force
most
chief dispenser
world is not his peer
Neither

worthiest; armor
prize and flower
   
lady beautiful
truly
hear
   
Indeed; kindled
realize
Wherever; saw; ride or walk
She; heart would break in two
she never spoke; graceful one
Because she; (see note)
maiden
wept; many a time
   
merry; young
sorrow; love-mourning
   
   
spoke
Ill
mother; then; (see note)
ask
if she
   
pains
wanted to be locked in clay (buried)
   
on one
great lord
   
prepared themselves; delay
go
dressed themselves
lords everyone
stately residence
In a crowd
lies
was
stayed
   
those lords; (see note)
skillful; bows
deep woods
truly
stayed
attend to
courteous; thought to himself then
   
solace himself there
   
birds'; time
state
   
gracious audience, listen
   
Ill
doleful countenance
ladies
comfort; maiden
mine
   
lovely summer's
hear
much
go away
   
creature
   

summer's
shone through gleaming
splendid
birds
   
merrily; tree
But her heart; troubled
   
She could not play or enjoy
   
merry maiden
time
relieve
saw; nearby
remained
that sweet singing better
glad and joyful
could she no one show
saw
no one hesitate; (see note)
make her way
state
   
maiden so happy of mood
saw where he stood
lovely one
world's possessions
Until she spoke to that noble young man
let pass
soon
Saw; woman; bower; beautiful
Came towards him to meet
Towards

greet
   
immediately
Bade
away
together alone
plea
in her courtly love talk
on you my heart
   
   
unless; beloved
Certainly; in three
live
   
noble
I am a woman
From noble family descended
   
descended
   
Pledge; fidelity
exchange; no new (other)
   
pledge; fidelity
set us apart
break my vow
   

manner
generous
died on the Cross
As you; noble
heir
Remember; great
   
Are none too good for you
much
lay
has neither property nor rents
   
if; love game
person; family
find out
pleasure
lose
Anger; thereby
If
evil
Certainly
Dear; advice
   
but woe
   
lovely maiden
have no tonsure
redeemed you dearly
Are you a priest or parson
Or; canon; (see note)
preaches
should
   
should; friar
taught you; preach
I wish would take him
though
   
But; created
preaching
(No matter how long you) resist
Unless
dearly paid for
pains
   
tear; every one
great
violated
   
condemned high to hang
   

he was displeased
spoke; then
Unless
destroy
Before; from
   
   
drawn; (see note)
Reluctant
more reluctant; life give up
He was never so woeful
   
lies
   
life; lose
young
   
Listen to my excuse
As you
Thank; haste will be regretted
harm; fearful
wait; week
I am; noble
   
   

   
escape not; away
fidelity; pledge
As you; noble
keep to that day
then
pledged fidelity between the two of them
then; those two
chamber; again
joyful
could; tell
   
delay
prepare for
at once
   
high lord
stately dwelling
quickly
joyful
gone
eat; maiden

everyone
   
lords; lies
Courteously; high table; (see note)
ladies beautiful
bold in battle
they were
dignity; at dinner
   
women; joyous
   
noble
   
leave off (stop)
   

eyes
let up (stop)
wickedness
attentively; watch
knew; condition
perceived then
between those two
aggrieved; sorely
   
guile
sorrow
   
sweet maiden
Ate; pleasure
or
saw
away
alive
Whether
noble young man
stinted; danger
wrath's
injury; trouble
evilly might
   
(see note)
   
   
sweet maiden
where
(see note)
lies
nearby
saw; then
   
spy on them; time
quickly
   
maiden; dwelling
found
lady beautiful
   
week; has passed
fidelity; pledged
I am
know, as you are
considered
If you will
   
promised
   
in response
espouse; gladly
   
But if; said
fornicated with
Out of the country; would
But
possessions
   
gladly
But certainly I am a poor man
alive
   
noble
(see note)
say you
Regardless of how poor of kin
   
   
thought to himself
took
sweet maiden
played
won; maidenhood
Before; away; (see note)
   
remained
   
secrets; (see note)
   
saw; time
sat together
saw
woman lovely
   
angry; fierce of manner
away; mad
Their secret; disclose
   
dwelling
up to him went
Their secret; reveal
   
(see note)
I will; gladly
thief
heart grief
Shame; say
   
   
lain with
   
became grievously angry

   
(see note)
   
hang
dispenser
   
lain with; maiden
saw; truly
swear before them
   
   
fierce of disposition
mad
would not stop
long curved sword
smote; where
missed
then
shut
dread; head
struck; such a blow
through; long curved sword
fierce; at that time
   
stood
calm his manner
young men
died on the Cross
possessions
But
   
   
lain with
possessions
Unless; slay
two
   
   
Let your anger; die down
for charity
if
I have such; done
tree
But; (see note)
lied about; lying
man
lies about us
I will prove it in battle
exonerated and free
   
will you
Dare you; battle
To make you all exonerated and cleared
then
   
lies; malice
started; then
   
Convicted; (see note)
saw; very
   
Neither of you; deny
   
repeatedly said
   
Indeed; was not
called forth that maiden
persisted
swore
wept; hands wrung
mother; (see note)
   
   
battle
witnessed
   
between; arranged
at fortnight (two weeks)
should; see
great
person
Sir Amis' second (guarantor) dared no one be
Because
Seconds (Guarantors) enough; found; (see note)
Twenty altogether
logically
should be
should nowhere flee
   
answered; beautiful
   
great
   
   
   
flee away
dare
Battle; undertake
according to law
torn to pieces
high; gallows
   
said
good will also she would
Be; second (guarantor)
battle to guarantee
should
against; foe
those ladies; beautiful
Pledged
To offer their bodies two (both)
lords every one
guarantors needed they none
But allowed
   
   
   
   
sorrowed
away
   
   
And was in the right
bore
life gave (cared)
But; much
no man mourn more
   
he must
Before; went
oath before
assist
   
   
   
rather; hanged
   
But
both of them
So that they would not be lost
   
   
maiden
   
lady
Why mourn you
   
dread you
enemy
walk or ride
richly; you equip
Need you
battle; sustain
   
   
   
(see note)
I
I am afraid
As God gives me fortune
must

falsehood
I am
life and soul I am
Certainly; remedy
   

Is there no other guile; (see note)
   
(see note)
There lives hence
   
if I should dare
dare; swear
loyal
His own life to lose as a result
   
felon (criminal)
   

tomorrow morning
travel; journey
   
own country
   
   

generosity
battle; undertake
Against
destroy
   
In the morning; ready
leave; travel
journey
refrain from
spurred; horse; bore
   
delay

far country
exhausted
Then he knew no better plan
wellaway; (see note)
   
   
By need he must go on foot
unhappy
took; hems then; (see note)
   
To keep to what he intended
   
   
   
came
world's possessions
   
   

tree
time
   
in the morning; see
on all sides
   
Considered
country
lived from where he lay
But; journey
Whether walking or riding
   
   
   
dream; dreamed
saw
pledged to loyalty
Surrounded by his enemies
By a bear wild and mad
stood
He was about to be killed
   
expected
   
   
   
   
wife immediately
saw beasts black
vengefulness
slay
Certainly
   
barren
   
   
know; fares
   
Immediately; started
   
But prepared
company on each side
Prepared
their
bade all who were there
hold themselves
every one
made mankind
go
   
   
richly; dress
immediately
would not wait
forbade (excluded)
none so hardy was in deeds
After him neither to walk nor ride
   
where
   
saw; weary; exhausted; (see note)
sleeping
   
   
said
   
   
   
   
   
   
Got down off his horse
kissed; two
lie you down
such mournful disposition
   
   
   
   
Since
   
   
   
   
guile; treachery
such sorrow; (see note)
Unless
knew no other remedy (course of action)
   
   
   
criminal (felon)
Done; shame
   
would
   
   
   
in each other's company
accuse
would
wrath; anger
   
truly
offered
Battle; undertake
person
To save those two beautiful ladies
Dared; second
   
before; battle
falsehood
succeed
know no relief
   
   
   
   
passion
   
i.e., betrayed; (see note)
Cross
   
battle
Even if he is mad
   
sword
see his heart's blood
   
clothes
dress
   
   
I am
brought
those; two
clothes; then
ready
   
villain; beguile
would you destroy
   
   
lady; beautiful
tell (say)
   
each
Until
horse
   
glad
think
   
alike
   
truly
   
   
at once
brother's lady
   
horse
as a valuable gift
By
thought
   
   
   
had completely
   
   
Little and much, less and more
   
   
   
   
   
   
drew
between; (see note)
   
   
Angrily; eyes
thought; mad
why do you behave so
used to do
manner
certainly
   
troubles; blood
sore
I do not want to touch you naked
world's possessions; (see note)
   
   
held; fortnight
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
spurred
   
quickly
same
set for battle
   
   
judgment to undergo
sighing sore
   
waited
offer
proclaim
went
   
speech
   
   
   
   
seconds be burned
   
   
wrath; anger
those ladies
   
fire
barrel; (see note)
burn them
field
saw
spurring
   
galloping
bade; wait
   
rest; milestone
rode
   
   
   
are
hither
if
bonds
   
roast
would be unnatural
   
   
Their; could; no man tell
   
then; listen and hear
quickly
   
dressed
helmet; armor; coat of mail
attire
   
support
prayed
   
galloping
   
   
(see note)
(see note)
warning
undertake
adventure
   
before
leper
   
   
   
warning
   
   
   
worse
far and near
Those
greatest enemies
kin
place that you
every one
   
stand; stone
   
fearsome
did not know
flee, or
   
make known
   
kill
   
   
   
   
   
believed
offer
excellence
   
(see note)
people
Surely
   
   
Surely; maiden
reward
   
   
fight
prepared
   
   
   
brave
spear-shafts
broke into pieces
drew
struck (with weapons); mad
would not stop
   
men; fierce
long curved swords deadly
proceeded as if; mad
struck (with weapons); helmets
great
That fire (sparks) flashed out
struck; helmet; side (of his body)
stroke; severe
were covered
morning to noon
   
fierce; mood
   
sparks from a flint
wrath; went
force
Although; blow
head; hit
smote
   
Then; moment
afraid
i.e., dismounted
went
helped
   
   
   
lost
   
prostrate; slay
   
willing to test (him); (see note)
   
As God give me success
   
   
else; treachery
   
   
   
swords; drawn
   
   
   
moment
shoulder
formidable weapon
   
sad countenance
   
   
angry and mad
   
white as a swan
long curved sword
fierce disposition
   
   
make its way
   
dead
off
   
   
   
   
   
head
took themselves readily
wait
towards
   
Splendid on every side
lead
   
   
   
   
worthy dwelling
Thought
   
   
readily
sweet maiden
   
horrible; sore
   
   
hold; more
   
happy
   
joyful
   
That knew what his name was
   
Doctors quickly
examine
   
   
times
   
   
prepared himself quickly
   
   
   
   
   
offered
   
   
   
quickly prepared himself
   
   
   
Must
   
   
He stopped at no milestone
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
espouse as a reward
same
nobly favored
i.e., dismounted
exchange their clothes
   
   
And told him what he should say
   
   
times
   
   
   
   
   
happen
encounter
   
Only; messenger
delay
   
   
   
to lose as a consequence
   
   
gentle (kind)
   
cruel (unnatural); (see note)
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
immediately
behaved
   
   
   
   
   
   
truly
I will say to you
truth full gladly
But betray
   
immediately began to ask him
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
destroyed
   
   
   
   
truly
criticized
   
   
slew
evilly done
   
   
   
   
lessen (shorten) to bring comfort
   
   
stories
joyful
   
   
   
   
   
gave; (see note)
   
   
maiden; (see note)
pleasing
   
hall
gathered; wedding
married
many and plenteous
   
   
royal
   
   
   
   
excellence
   
two
   
willed
died
wife died
buried in the ground
   
power
   
   
bear life
story
   
   
   
power
(see note)
   
formerly
Just as
leper
   
sadness; (see note)
   
   
   
the end
did not know where
   
   
namely; kin
enemies
   
worse
Than any of them did
   
more friendless
Men knew nowhere none
   
depraved
broke; knife
sharp
wretched coward
lost
obvious
(see note)
To you is coming; (see note)
Cursed be he who laments you
hands; wrung
   
trial and vexation
   
   
once; brave
   
   
   
called
own
high table
   
   
Would; honorably
sorrowful
   
By the time
eaten
   
   
   
   
   
leper
   
kin
near at hand
   
   
   
   
to you
   
   
kin
quietly
Put
no man
I will you beg
   
holy charity
   
   
   
hesitate
   
lodge; had made
   
built
possessions
cup

moan
sending (gifts)
   
disposed of
person
   
Except; truly
was called
sorely
kin
sister's; gracious
eagerly
hesitate
foot to hand
alive
   
   
   
blood
   
called
   
each
fetched them supplies (of food)
For; feeding
glee
   
sad manner
   
   
   
He stinted no effort
Everyone there bade him
leper
prosper
manner
(see note)
suffered
   
   
   
   
year
residence
livery
   
   
betrayed
   
Though
   
   
   
From
   
   
   
sighing
question
tell
why it was
then
   
   
force; (see note)
do us good
   
   
   
Formerly
dispense food and clothing
I am; person
   
loathsome
leave off
harsh news
   
I know no other counsel
It behooves us to beg our bread
[That] I know how it goes
   
In the morning as soon as
   
Prepared themselves
   
intended
food; none
   
market town
area
weeping
begged their food
They knew little about that (i.e., begging)
   
   
plenty

gracious in action
   
kinds of
wretched then; (see note)
   
Old and young loved them
   
joyful of spirit
stopped
   
Then the good man became so footsore
   
   
   
lodging
Where; market went
   

food
   
   
When they stood at greatest need
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
fourth year
Grain; become scarce
increase
old nor young
would give
Very sad; then
   
   
   
wife (woman)
   
Ruefully; moan
   
   
Lived
Not five miles thence
   
   
   
   
sat

   
   
at once
dwells; nearby
   
   
   
   
   
will not stay
   
   
well-born
courteously
truly
(see note)
   
begs; mild manner; (see note)
   
   
will travel
afterwards
Though; slay
   
gladly
   
Provided that
far; after; again
   
will see
   
at once
anger then
   
more
   
   
would not
immediately; bestride
   
   
   
Shamefully
   
city
   
Throughout
   
   
   
   
grew; intense
far
die
bread
then
   
It behooves us
possessions no more
Except; cup
   
Though; slay
   
   
speech
Early
themselves; market town; (see note)
dismounted
delay
then
led
   
scarcity
food
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
on his back he placed him readily
carried
somewhat more
bore
Blessed may
   
   
   
   
   
   
muddy
muddy and slippery
together
   
   
gentle spirit
   
   
   
   
on his back
   

became; sore
possessions
twelve pence
   
pushcart
   
carry no more
   
pushed
many
   
(see note)
Where
   
   
   
try
gentle spirit
   
giving
   
   
won
As you
known
Where I am going or whence I came
   
   
   
   
poor
pushed; cart; mud
sorrow
   
same
tongue
   
   
   
   
castle gate
poor
Withdrew
men-at-arms many
fine hall
   
   
   
Horns in the hall called them to dinner
   
appropriately set in place
right away
earth
lie
   
cups
   
shut out
hungered
   
   
servant; brave
To amuse themselves together
Almighty
cast a look
hideous; appearance
then looked
appearance
   
   
   
handsomeness; equal
   
   
courteously; then
   
   
   
   
   
young servant
lies; service
   
Make our errand come to some good
bounty
   
   
leper
faithfully
   
dwelling
   
gentle manner
   
   
world's good
   
   
   
believed; mad
court fool
wits lost
Or
parentage
high kin chosen
   
   
   
   
jest; belief
since
   
bade
   
delay
   
   
   
Poor; saw
   
   
leper
Heard you
   
   
lies; cart
poor
On
young man
   
I know none
creature
gave
   
one; foolish
   
dwelling area
   
   
   
insane
happily
leper; cart
took care of
   
offered; land and livestock
worldly goods
then
   
mad
   
Though; desolate
Perhaps
   
Either
Or; oaths
   
a stranger
   
   
If I speak to him before
kind (good natured)
reward him
   
   
Called
say
(see note)
as you
   
   
   
Lying in a cart
(see note)
wine
   
   
then; took
   
   
   
   
if
   
made; one
As if they were the same
   
   
   
   
cups then
   
   
could
   
so alike; were
   
say
lost
   
   
   
   
   
   
against
   
by my faith
pull to pieces
   
fine
your own
   
   
Could tell them apart
   
then
no more
alike
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
rose
seized; madman
drew; anger
gate
   
overtake
goes; cart
two hands
cast
attacked; mad
   
sorrow
   
   
Whence
   
   
possession
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
agitated in mind
   
lay a hand on him
   
   
bare sword
feet; leper; dragged
terrified him; mudhole
hesitate
Thief; slain
Unless you make known the truth
found
   
people
told; evil
dreadfully; dealt with
   
seized
   
discourteous
ignoble
   
time
   
   
   
(see note)
once
   
driven
   
   
Because of you he is without happiness
give him grief
in two
helped you
pay back his help
   
   
   
leaped
   
grasped
   
   
   
severe
   
fainted
time
experienced; (see note)
   
lost
Ignobler blood
don't know
in the past
I have; paid; sorrow
   
   
rueful deed forgive
   
at once
   
Weeping; eyes
   
joyful
eyes
seized
grasped
   
   
   
thought; mad
Towards; she
   
   
won
   
   
   
would
   
slain
shamefully; harm
   
   
noble in proof
in a faint
   
wringing
   
   
place
   
   
fortune
   
lead/nobr>
cast off; poor clothing
naked
quickly
well made
   
   
story
Twelve-month (a year)
   
deny him nothing
   
slow in coming
   
   
   
by the time that
chance befell
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Christmas morning
Such
kill
anoint; (see note)
   
   
   
(see note)
   
   
bade
   
   
happy; then
   
   
loath; slay
more loath; abandon
highly born
   
dreamed
then
fairly
slay
two
(see note)
gracious
turned
   
   
await here
no more
   
   
adventures
Those
   
refrain
secrecy
dream
   
   
two; (see note)
escape
hale and whole
   
   
young
deadly
   
   
not cease to try
   
   
mankind
   
prepared themselves
pleasure
   
When
   
   
   
remained
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
notice
keys; nursery
Before
secretly
noticed full well
placed
   
   
   
   
keys
each one
   
   
   
Where
   
then
together
   
slay
   
   
withdraw
   
   
When; wept where; (see note)
again his mind
   
   
horrible; shed
   
   
   
   
   
   
maiden
   
stopped; moment
grasped; sad countenance
took; then
Because
basin
Their; cut
   
   
though
covered
   
   
   
   
fastened
   
keys
everyone should think
murdered
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
did you
   
would have preferred
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
anointed
before
   
covered
many
lie
   
   
falsehood
   
relieve; trouble
   
lie alone
   
   
   
lament
rueful demeanor
   
maiden
   
instance
request
   
   
   
   
   
keys
   
   
   
peace
cease; anxiety
taken
   
   
   
   
Dear beloved
   
   
slain
   
   
   
their blood
   
slew
heal; noble young man
   
terribly grieved
saw
fairly
dear; then
   
   
root
relief
(see note)
   
(see note)
naturally
   
   
   
   
then
(see note)
generous in taking on adventures
then
foulness; gone
messenger
   
before or then
Since
   
joyful
understand
   
hear
quickly
   
blemish
Whole
   
   
   
(see note)
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
proven
   
(see note)
galloped
   
Where; lord over his people
   
Espoused; countenance
   
   
   
same
wedding
galloped
   
   
   
   
earth
grew; ashen; pale
   
   
   
   
   
many
jacket of mail
   
   
reached
   
   
   
escape
wedding feast; (see note)
   
vengeance
   
dwelling
   
lodging had made
mortar (lime) and stone
led
   
life-days
death
cared; bad person
   
   
messenger
   
   
(see note)
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Until
   
   
had built; abbey
endowed; then
   
sing; Judgment Day
their parents
   
laid
   
   
for reward
   
   

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